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of blossoms, leaves, flowers; to entertain those comfortable heats and influences. So and more is it, in the declining or approach of this all-glorious Sun of Righteousness. In his presence, there is life and blessedness; in his absence, nothing but dolour, disconsolateness, despair. If an earthly king do but withdraw himself from us for a time, we are troubled: how much more, if the King of Glory shall absent himself from us in displeasure. Surely, nothing but our sins can estrange him from us: our miseries do rather attract him to us: our sins are only they, that separate between God and


III. That we may, therefore, shut up in some APPLICATION, there is the same reason of a particular soul and of a whole Church: one of these is but an abridgment of the other: there is, therefore, the same consideration of God's absence from, or presence with both.

And, certainly, if sins can alienate a people from God, and God from a people, we have cast ourselves miserably aloof from him: for, which of his commandments, have we not shamefully violated? Woe is me, how is our patient God affronted by us every day! by our atheous profaneness; by our frequent oaths and blasphemies; by our wilful disobediences; by our pride, excess, drunkenness, uncleanness, usury, cozenages, oppressions, lying, slanderous detractions as if we would utterly cashier the ninth commandment out of the Decalogue! Yea, what evil is there under heaven, that we can wash our hands of?

But, withal, we are so much the further off from God, by how much we either were or should have been nearer. Of a people, that knew not God, that could not know him, no other could be expected. Had we had the Gospel of the Kingdom locked up from us, and been kept hood-winked from the knowledge of his royal Law; the times of such ignorance God had not regarded: but now, that we have had so clear a light of God's truth shining in our faces; and such importunate solicitations from God, to reclaim us from our wicked ways, by his messengers, rising early and suing to us; and yet have, as it were, in spite of heaven, continued and aggra vated our wickednesses, alas, what excuse is there for us? how can we do other than hang down our heads, in a guilty confusion: and expect a fearful retribution, from the just hand of God?

Thus have we done to God: and, whilst we have gone away from him, hath he done other to us? Hath he not given too just testimonies of withdrawing his countenance from us? Hath he not, for these many years, crossed us in our public designs, both of war and peace? Hath he not threatened to stir up evil against us, out of our own bowels? Nay, which is worse than all this, hath he not given us up to a general security, obduredness, and insensibleness of heart; so as we do not feel either our own sins, or our dangers, or relent at all at his judgments?

Alas, Lord, thou art too far off from us; and we have deserved it: yea, we have too well deserved, that thou shouldest turn thy

face away from us for ever; that thou shouldest draw near to us in thy vengeance, who have so shamefully abused thy mercy.

But, what shall we say? whatsoever we be, we know thou wilt be ever thyself; a God of mercy and compassion, long-suffering, and great in kindness and truth. So bad as we are, could we have the grace to draw nigh to thee in an unfeigned repentance, thou wouldst draw nigh to us in mercy and forgiveness: could we turn away from our sins to thee, thou wouldst turn away from thy judgments to us. Lord, what can we do to thee, without thee? Oh, do thou draw us unto thee, that we may come. Do thou enable us to draw nigh unto thee, upon the Feet of our Affections, upon the Hands of our Actions, upon the Knees of our Prayers; that so thou mayest draw nigh to us in thine Ordinances, in thine Audience, in thy Grace and Mercy, in thine Aid and Salvation. All this for thy mercy sake, and for thy Christ's sake: To whom, with thee, O Father, and thy good Spirit, One Infinite God, be given all praise, honour, and glory, now and for ever. Amen.





EPH. iv. 30.

And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, by which ye are sealed to the day of Redemption.

IT was a rule of some wise heathen of old, That he was a great master of morality, that had learned to govern his tongue, his gut, his concupiscence; these three: and, well might it be so, when Christianity hath so far seconded it, as that the Spirit of God hath singled out one of these for a trial of the rest; He, that offends not with his tongue, is a perfect man; James iii. 2: so as that triplicity is reduced to an unity. And, indeed, if a man have attained to an exact government of this loose and busy film, which we carry in our mouths, it is a great argument of his absolute mastership over himself in the other particulars.

Whereupon it is, that the Apostle hath hedged in my Text, with this charge: before my text, inhibiting all corrupt communication; after it, all bitterness and clamour and evil-speaking; and betwixt both, enforcing this vehement and heavenly dehortation, And grieve not the Holy Spirit: intimating, in the very contexture of the words, that that man can never hold good terms with the Spirit of God, what profession soever he makes, that lets his tongue loose to obscene and filthy communication, or to bitter or spiteful words against his brethren; and, in these words, dissuading us, both from this and all other beforementioned particularities of wickedness, by an argument drawn from unkindness: "Look to it; for, if you shall give way to any of these vicious courses, ye shall grieve the Holy Spirit of God; and that will be a shameful and sinful ingratitude in you, forasmuch as that Holy Spirit hath been so gracious unto you, as to seal you to the day of redemption:" a motive, which, how slight soever it may seem to a carnal heart, and by such a one may be past over and pisht at, in imitation of the careless note of Pharaoh, "Who is the Spirit of God, that I

should let my corruptions go?" yet, to a regenerate man, (to such our Apostle writes,) it is that irresistible force, whereof Nahum speaks, that rends the very rocks before it; Nahum i. 6.

And, indeed, an ingenuous spirit is more moved with this, than with all outward violence. The law of Christ both constrains and restrains him; constrains him to all good actions, and restrains him from all evil.

The good Patriarch Joseph, when his wanton mistress solicited him to her wicked lust, Behold, saith he, my master hath committed all that he hath to my hand: there is none greater in his house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me, but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God? Gen. xxxix. 8, 9. Wherein, ye see, he hath a double antidote for her poisonous suggestion: the one, his master's favour and trust, which he may not violate; the other, the offence of his God. Joseph knew he could not do this wickedness, but he must bring plagues enough upon his head: but that is not the thing he stands upon so much, as the sin against God.

A Pilate will do any thing rather than offend a Cæsar. That word; Thou art not Cæsar's friend, if thou let him go; John xix. 12; strikes the matter dead.

"Thou art not God's friend if thou entertain these sins," cannot but be prevalent with a good heart, and bear him out against all temptations. And this is the force of our Apostle's inference here; who, after the enumeration of that black catalogue of sins, both of the whole man and especially those of the tongue, infers, And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed to the day of redemption.

The Text, you see, is a dehortatory charge to avoid the offence of God. Wherein we have the Act; and the Subject: the ACT, grieve not: the SUBJECT; set forth by his Title, by his Merit; his Title, The Holy Spirit of God; his Merit, and our Obligation thence arising, By whom ye are sealed to the day of redemption.

I. The SUBJECT is first considerable, both in nature and act: as that, the knowledge and respect whereof doth both most dissuade us from the offence, and aggravate it when it is committed, The Holy Spirit of God: which when we have shortly meditated on apart, we shall join together by the Act inhibited in this holy dehortation.

That this is particularly to be taken of the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, to whom this day is peculiarly devoted, there can be no doubt. For, both the Title is his, The Holy Spirit of God: not, absolutely, God, who is a holy spirit; but, The Holy Spirit of God: And the Effect attributed to him is no less proper to him; for, as the contriving of our Redemption is ascribed to the Father, the atchieving of it to the Son, so the sealing confirming and applying of it to the Holy Ghost. There are many spirits; and those holy; and those of God, as their Creator and Owner: as the innumerable company of angels, and the spirits of just men made perfect; Heb. xii. 22, 23: but this is set forth, as Zanchius notes well,

with a double article, Tò IIveuua To ayiov, that Holy Spirit, by a transcendent eminence; by a singularity, as that, which is alone, The Holy Spirit of God.

Now, why the Third Person should specially be denominated a Spirit, a title no less belonging to the Father and the Son, to the whole absolute Deity, as being rather essential than personal; or, why a Holy spirit, since holiness is as truly essential to the other Persons also, as their very being; or, why, being coequal and coessential with God the Father and the Son, he should be called the Spirit of God: though they might seem points incident into the day; yet, because they are catechetical heads, I hold it not so fit to dweil in them, at this time.

Only, by the way, give me leave to say, that it had been happy, both for the Church of England in general, and this Diocese in particular, that these Catechetical Sermons had been more frequent than they have been; as those, which are most useful and necessary for the grounding of God's people in the principles of saving doctrine: and I should earnestly exhort those of my Brethren of the Ministry, that hear me this day, that they would, in these perilous and distractive times, bend their labours this way; as that, which may be most effectual for the settling of the souls of their hearers in the grounds of true religion, that they may not be carried about with every wind of doctrine, ἐν τῇ κυβείᾳ τῶν ἀνθρώπων, in the cockboat of men's fancies; as the Apostle speaks. But this by the


I shall now only urge so much of the Person, as may add weight to the dehortation from the act, Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God: and every notion of it adds a several weight; as a Spirit; as the Spirit of God; as the Holy Spirit of God.

It is a rule not capable of contradiction, That, by how much more excellent the Person, so much more heinous is the offence done to him: as to offend an officer, is, in the eye of the law, more than to offend a private subject; a magistrate, more than an inferior officer; a peer, more than a magistrate, for that is Scandalum Magnatum; a prince, more than a peer; a monarch, more than a prince.

Now, in very nature, a spirit is more excellent than a body. I could send you higher, but, if we do but look into our own breasts, we shall find the difference. There is a spirit in man; saith Elihu; Job xxxii. 8. The spirit of man is as the candle of the Lord; saith wise Solomon; Prov. xx. 27: without which, the whole house is all dark and confused. Now, what comparison is there betwixt the soul, which is a spirit; and the body, which is flesh? Even this, which wise Solomon instanceth in, may serve for all, The spirit of a man sustains his infirmities, but a wounded spirit who can bear? Lo, the body helps to breed infirmities, and the spirit bears them out. To which add, the body, without the spirit, is dead; the spirit, without the body, lives more. It is a sad word of David,

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