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negligence and carelessness, or otherwise, we fall into those things which he abhors, he observes the unkindness and ingratitude which is therein, and is therefore said to be grieved by us.
2. Disappointment in expectation. Properly speaking, disappointment is utterly inconsistent with the prescience and omniscience of the Spirit of God. But we are disappointed when things fall out contrary to expectations, and to the means we employed for their accomplishment; and when the means that God useth towards us do not, by reason of our sins, produce the effect they are suited unto, God speaks of himself as disappointed. Now disappointment causeth grief. As when a father hath used all means for the education of a child, and expended much of his estate therein, if he, through dissoluteness or idleness, deceive his expectation, it fills him with grief. The Spirit of God hath done great things for us; and they all have a tendency to an increase in holiness, light, and love. Where they have not a suitable effect, there is that disappointment which causes grief.
3. The concern of the Holy Spirit in us, concurs to his being grieved; for we are grieved by those in whom we are particularly concerned,-those whom we love, or to whom we are related. The miscarriages of others are passed over without any such trouble. Now the Holy Spirit has undertaken the office of a Comforter, and stands in that relation to us; and his love towards us has been already declared. Hence he is so concerned in us, that he is said to be grieved with our sins when he is not so at the sins of others, to whom he stands in no special relation.
Now we may be said to grieve the Spirit (1.) When we are not influenced by his love and kindness to answer his mind and will in all holy obedience, accompanied with joy, love, and delight. This he deserves. at our hands, this he expects from us; but where it is neglected, when we attend to duties with an unwilling mind, or servile frame, we are said to grieve him.
(2.) When we lose the sense and impression of sig nal mercies received by him,-when we forget the
grace, kindness, and condescension of the Holy Spirit in his dwelling in us, and communicating the love and grace of God unto us, we may well be said to grieve bim.
(3.) Some sins there are which, in a special manner, above others, do grieve the Holy Spirit. These our apostle discourseth of in 1 Cor. iii. 15-20; and by the connection of the words, he seems to make corrupt communication, which always hath a tendency to corruption of conversation, to be a sin of this nature. Verse 29, 30.
When any persons continue in those ways whereby he is grieved, he is said to be vexed. Thus it is said of some of old, "They rebelled and vexed his Holy Spirit; therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them." This is the progress of these things. If those whom we are concerned in, as children or other relations, fall into evil ways, we are at first grieved; and this grief is attended with pity and compassion, with an earnest endeavour for their recovery; but if, notwithstanding all our endeavours, they persist in their froward ways, then we are vexed with them; which includes an addition of anger and indignation to our former grief and sorrow. Yet in this posture of things we cease not to attempt their cure for a season, which, if it succeed not, but they continue in their obstinacy, then we resolve to treat with them no more, but to leave them to themselves; -and thus it is in the dealings of the Holy Spirit with us; and woe be to us when he shall depart from us! So when the old world would not be brought to repentance by the dispensation of the Spirit of Christ in the preaching of Noah (1 Pet. iii. 19, 20) God said That his Spirit should give over, and not always 66 contend with man." Gen. vi. 3.-Now, the cessation of his operations comprizes three things:-1, A total removal of the means of grace, as to all the ways of revealing the mind of God; or as to the efficacy of the word, even where the outward dispensation of it is continued, so that, "hearing, they shall hear, but not understand;"-for it is by the word that he strives
with men. 2, A forbearance of all chastisement, out of a gracious design to heal and recover them. 3, A giving them up to themselves, or leaving them to their own ways.
The consideration of these things is incumbent upon us. It is our wisdom and duty to consider the ways and degrees of the Spirit's departure from provoking sinners, as well as those of his approach unto us, with love and grace. David, on his sin, feared nothing more than that God should "take his Holy Spirit from him ;" and this fear should influence us to the utmost watchfulness against sin;—for though he should not utterly forsake us, which as to those who are true believers is contrary to the tenor, promise, and grace of the new covenant, yet he may so withdraw his presence from us, as that we may spend the remainder of our days in darkness and sorrow.- "Let him therefore that standeth, take heed lest he fall."
Let us beware of the very entrances of the course described. Have there been any such evils in us as have grieved the Spirit?-as we love our souls, let us take care that we do not vex him by a continuance in them. Has he been grieved by our negligence as to duties, by our indulgence to any lust, or by our conformity to the world?-let not our continuance therein make it his vexation. Remember, that while he is but grieved, he continues to supply us with all due means for our recovery. He will do when he is yet vexed but with such a mixture of anger as shall make us know that what we have done is an evil and a bitter thing; but have any proceeded further, and continued long to vex him, and refused his instructions, when accompanied perhaps with sore afflictions or inward distresses? Let such souls rouse up themselves to lay hold on him, for he is ready to depart,—it may be, for ever!-and
We may do well to consider the miserable condition of those who are thus utterly forsaken by him. When we see a man who has lived in a plentiful manner, brought to extreme want, seeking his bread in rags, from door to door, the spectacle is sad, though we
know he brought this misery on himself by profusion or debauchery; but how sad it is to think of a man who had once great light and conviction, made an amiable profession, was adorned with useful gifts, and held in estimation on this account,-now despoiled of all his ornaments, having lost light, and life, and gifts, and profession, and lying as a poor withered branch on the dunghill of the world!-and the misery hereof will be increased, when we consider that the Spirit of God is not only departed from him, but is become bis enemy, and fights against him, whereby he is devoted to irrecoverable ruin!
ON SPIRITUAL GIFTS.
THE Second Part of the Dispensation of the Spirit for the edification of the Church, consists in his Communication of Spiritual Gifts to the members of it, as their places and stations therein may require. By his work of saving grace, he makes all the elect "living stones;" and by his communication of spiritual gifts, he builds those stones into a temple for the habitation of the living God;-he unites them into one mystical body, under the Lord Christ, as a head of influence, by faith and love; and he unites them as an organical body under him, as a head of rule, by gifts and spiritual abilities. Their nature is one and the same by grace; their use is various by gifts. Every one is a part of the body of Christ, by the same animating Spirit of grace: but one is an eye, another a hand, another a foot in the body, by virtue of peculiar gifts; "For unto every one of us is given grace, according to the measure of the gift of Christ." Eph. iv. 7.
These gifts, indeed, are not saving, sanctifying graces, nor were the most extraordinary and miraculous such; yet they are not to be despised :-they are "the powers of the world to come," by which the kingdom of Christ is preserved and propagated; and though they are not grace, yet they are the means by which all grace is ingenerated and exercised; and
therefore they are frequently mentioned in the Scrip ture as the peculiar privilege of the New Testament; and we are exhorted earnestly to seek them, especi-. ally such as are the most conducive to edification.-1 Cor. xii. 31.
The sigual promise of the communication of these gifts is recorded in Ps. lxviii. 18, "Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led Captivity captive, thou hast received gifts for men ;"—and these words are applied by the apostle to that communication of spiritual gifts from Christ, whereby the Church was founded and edified, Eph. iv. 8. And whereas it is foretold in the Psalm that Christ should receive gifts, that is, to bestow them on men; so he did this, by receiving the Spirit, who is the immediate author of them all, as Peter declares (Acts ii. 23) "Therefore, being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this which ye now see and hear,"-namely, the miraculous gifts conferred on the apostles at the day of Pentecost.
The general name of these endowments is DOMATA; so the apostle renders Eph. iv. 8, from Ps. lxviii. 18. Dona, Gifts-that is, free and undeserved effects of divine bounty; hence called "the gift of God," John iv. 10.-"The gifts of the Holy Ghost," Acts x. 45."The gift of Christ," Eph. iv. 7.-"The heavenly gift," Heb. vi. 4.-all expressing the freedom of their communication on the part of the Father, Son, and Spirit.
With respect to their special nature, they are called spirituals, or spiritual gifts, 1 Cor. xiv. 1, and 1 Cor. xii. 31. They are not natural, nor moral, but spiritual endowments; their author is the Holy Spirit; their nature is spiritual, and the objects about which they are exercised are spiritual things.
With regard to the manner of their communication, they are called, Heb. ii. 4, Distributions, or Partitions of the Holy Ghost, because they are of various kinds; not at any time given to any one person, but variously distributed to men for the advantage of the Church.