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didft leave the World, and afcend to Heaven about the thirty third Year of thy Age, to teach us in the Prime of our Years to difpife. this World when we are beft able to enjoy it, and to referve our full Vigour for Heaven and for thy Love.
O thou, whom my Soul loveth, fince thou haft left the World, what was there ever in it worthy of our Love! O let all my Affections. afcend after thee, and never return to the Earth more; for, whom have I in Heaven but thee? and there is none upon Earth, that I defire in Comparison of thee. Amen, Lord Jefus, Amen.
Whitsunday. A Moveable Feast.
HAT Festival doth the Church this Day
A. The Descent of the Holy Ghost upon the
Q. Why do we call this Festival Whitsunday? A. Partly from the glorious Light of Heaven, which was this Day fent down upon the Earth from the Father of Lights; but principally because this Day being one of the stated Times for Baptifm in the ancient Church, those who were baptifed, put on white Garments, as Types of that spiritual Purity they received
in Baptifm; and which they were obliged to preferve in the future Course of their Lives.
Q. Which were the stated Times for Baptism in the Primitive Church?
A. At first all Perfons were baptifed as Opportunity and Occafion ferved; and when there were appointed Seafons, Infants and the Sick received Baptifm at all Times. But when the Difcipline of the Church began to be fettled, it Tert. de was confined to two folemn and ftated Times Baptif. of the Year, Eafter and Whitfuntide, including the intermediate Space of fifty Days that is between them; which was in a Manner accounted Feftival, and Baptifm adminiftred during the Orat. 40. whole Time. Befides thefe Nazianzen reckons the Feast of Epiphany, propably in Memory of the Birth and Baptifm of our Saviour, both which went antiently under that Title; but though this might be a Custom in fome Places, yet it is queftioned whether it was uni verfal; befides, afterwards it was prohibited and laid afide.
Q. Why were Eafter and Whitfuntide appointed for this Purpose?
A. Eafter was appointed in Memory of Chrift's Death and Refurrection, correfpondent, to which are the two Parts of the Chriftian Life reprefented in Baptifm, dying unto Sin, and rifing again to Newnefs of Life. Whitfuntide, in Memory of the Apoftles being then baptifed, Mat.3.11. with the Holy Ghost and with Fire, and of their having at that Time baptifed themselves three Acts 2.41. thousand Souls; this Communication of the Holy Ghoft to the Apostles being in fome Measure reprefented and conveyed in Baptifm.
Q. Why was Baptifm deferred to thofe ftated: Times?
A. That adult Converts, who made up the Body of baptifed Perfons in thofe Days, might be fitted and prepared for their folemn Admiffion into the Church by this Sacrament. In order to this Purpose they were for fome confiderable Time catechized and inftructed in the Principles of the Chriftian Faith, from whence the Candidates of Baptifm were called Catechu mens; they were obliged to give Teftimony of their Proficiency in Chriftian Knowledge to the Bishop or Presbyter, who was appointed to examine them upon fuch Points; they were farther to give Proof of a fober and regular Con-" verfation, and that they might be the better! difpofed to receive the great Benefits of this Sacrament, they prepared themfelves by Prayer Cyril. and Fafting in a ftrict Obfervation of the holy tech. Iren. Seafon of Lent. As for the Children of Chri-1. 2. c. 9. ftian Parents, it is evident they were admitted Tertul. de to Baptism in their Infancy, from the greatest Bap. Orig. C. Part of the antient Writers, as Irenæus, Tertul in Love 12. § 1. lian, Origen and Cyprian. In Rom.
Q. When were the miraculous Gifts of the lib. 5. § 3Holy Ghost conferred upon the Apostles? Cypr. EA. Upon the Day of Pentecoft, which was ob-pitt. ad Fiferved by the Jews fifty Days after their Paffover, in Memory of the Law delivered at Mount Sinai, and for the gathering and bringing in of their Harvest.
Q. What was the first Effect of the Defcent of the Holy Ghost upon the Apoftles
A. They began to speak with other Tongues Acts 2, 4. as the Spirit gave them Utterance. Whereby they who were Jews, were enabled in an In-
ftant to publish that Religion, which God had
Q. Did the Inhabitants of Jerufalem take any
A. Yes; at the Noife of it, thofe Jews, that Acts 2. 6. were assembled at Jerufalem from all Parts to obferve the Day of Pentecoft, came together unto the Place, and were confounded, becaufe every Man heard the Apoftles fpeak in their own Language wherein they were born.
Q. Wherein did this Gift of Tongues confift? A. Not in a Capacity of fpeaking several Languages at the fame Inftant, for that is impoffible; but in fpeaking feveral Languages, without ever having had the Advantage of learning them. So that the feveral Nations then Ver. 8. prefent heard fome or other of the Apostles fpeaking in their own Language.
Q. How was this Gift conferred upon the Apoftles?
A. Suddenly there came a Sound from Heaven, as of a mighty rufhing Wind, and it filled Acts 2. 2, all the House where they were fitting; and there appeared unto them cloven Tongues, like as a Fire, and it fat upon each of them.
Q. What doth this Sound from Heaven, as of a mighty rushing Wind, reprefent to us?
A. It is a fit Emblem of the divine Spirit, by whofe Efficacy the Gofpel was to have a speedy and unexpected Succefs. To this our Saviour had compared it in his Difcourfe with John 3. Nicodemus. And it fignifies to us, that the Publication of the Gospel was attended with the fame divine Prefence and Power, that the giving of the Law was; but not with the fame Circumftances of Terror.
Q. What do the Cloven Tongues as it were of Fire reprefent to us?
A. Not only the Diversity of Languages, miraculously infufed into the Apostles, to enable them to preach to divers Nations; but the quick and piercing Efficacy of their Speech.
Q. What mean thefe Cloven fiery Tongues fitting upon each of them?
A. It fignifies that this Gift of Tongues was conftant, because they had continual Use of it; and that it was common to all the Apostles, because they were all to be Publishers of the Gof-. pel, and the Witneffes of our Lord's Refurrection; which was the great Miracle whereby the Gofpel was to be confirmed.
Q. What Evidence is there that this Miracle was real, and that there was no Manner of Deceit in it?
A. It was publickly wrought before many Witneffes, and thofe Enemies to the Apoftles, as being the Disciples of him they had fo lately crucified. They gave Proof of this miraculous Power in the Prefence of great Multitudes of feveral Nations, and in all Places where they went preaching the Gospel.
Q. Might not the Apoftles craftily combine together to impofe upon the World by the Pretence of fuch a Miracle, after having acquired the Knowledge of Languages by Study and Industry?
A. No, becaufe they were not Strangers at Jerufalem; their Perfons were known as the Followers of Jesus; and fo was their mean Condition and illiterate Education; which gave them no Opportunity to attain this Skill in an, ordinary, Way. And where they were not known, their affirming that this Gift was fupernaturally