Chapter 36

Of Mr. John Hunt’s 15 Errors in his Excluding of the Holy Ghost.

Before I enter upon those dishonors abounding in this author’s book, which he hath done to God the Spirit, in the common departures of other wandering preachers, {I mean wanderers from the Christian Religion into nature’s precepts and observations;} let me hint one or two of the defaces that more properly belong unto himself. This author speaking of the pride of the Apostles, when he had produced a single instance, comes off with this reflection upon the Holy Ghost. “But I am loath {says he} to rake any farther into this dust, since my design is not to degrade the Apostles, but to magnify Christ.” {Page 124} The Spirit hath revealed the Sins of the Apostles in the Word, and to speak of them in the Holy Ghost’s Language, is to use God’s Holy Word. How dare then he {a poor worm} to carry it so saucily towards God the Spirit, as to call it raking into the dust! If the finger of God be in it, Lk.11:20, as the Holy Ghost is called {and Didymus of Alexandria, who was Jerome’s tutor, or instructor, gives us this reason of it; because he is of the same Essence with God, as a finger is of the same substance with the body of man} then what an impudent reflection is that cast upon the Spirit in his Office for his revealing it, that as he hath raked into it by revealing it; because mentioning of any of the Apostle’s faults, or aggravating them out of the Word, is but to act towards them in what the Holy Ghost hath delivered of the same matter. If I mention the sins of holy men, which the Holy Ghost hath laid open to my hand, ‘tis magnifying God’s Holy Word {which a good man should not be weary of, nor excuse with reflection upon the Author of the Scriptures} and is not raking into holy men’s dust.

Again, he speaks slightly of the Authority of the Old Testament, as if the Holy Ghost were only the Author of the New. For using the Holy Ghost’s Words to confirm the Dominion of Jesus Christ out of Daniel, he carries it off with this slur, “but lest some good question this, they being in a dark prophecy, I shall confirm this from the New Testament.” {Page 92} If he had thought, or known, any men had questioned the history of Daniel, his work had been as a faithful expositor of the Word {since he quoted a place of Scripture there} to have cleared up the Divine Authority of the Holy Ghost, or the Spirit of Christ in Daniel, as much as it is stamped upon any verse of the New Testament; for he ought to have gone to work in Gospel light, and have opened the Prophecy, and not have left it under the smoke and clouds of his own ignorance, crying out it is a dark prophecy, and so bidding it good night. What honor is this to God the Spirit?

But passing this, I may lay open some more of his Arminianism, viz., in the excluding of God the Spirit; for, if men shut out the Spirit in their practicals, {as use and application almost evermore misguides them,} they let in nothing but the creature into their principles and acts. Now therein lies the very spring, or soul, and genius of Arminianism. Acts 28:25-27. I shall reckon fifteen dishonors of this kind {this excluding kind} he hath done the Spirit in his Office and Operations on the souls of men. Jn.16:13. I shall begin with the mismanagement of his fifth inference about the Worthiness of Christ to be imitated; which sure can never be done in the practical part of Religion by such a universal excluding of the Holy Ghost, as I will complain of throughout all that inference. Heb.10:15-17. {If Christ’s Spirit be not given to be men’s principle, Christ’s example will never be chosen to be men’s pattern!} “Oh; {says he,} if Christ were imitated there would be no more of this, nor no more of that miscarriage. Oh, what a blessed time would it be if Christ was but more imitated; there would be no more such swearing and cursing, such Sabbath-breaking, &c., there would then be no more such want of love, since he has taught us to love one another. There would then be no more such cheating, defrauding, and going beyond each other, as now is in the world, since he hath taught us to do to others as we would have them do to us; there would not then be such immoderate pursuit after the world as now there is, &c., there would then be no more such murmuring and discontent under the afflicting hand of God, as now there is; there would then be no more impatience among the people of God, &c. Oh, what a new world would this be if Christ’s law was more observed, and his practice more imitated!” {Pages 174-176}

Thus he only brings down Christ to a scheme of Natural Religion, {which men call Christianity, but is indeed common to all mankind from the light of nature,} and all for want of the Evangelical work, and renewing of the Holy Ghost. Tit.3:5. Oh, what a blessed time would it be if the Spirit of Christ was poured from on high, Isa.32:15, and all this fruitful field {in the aforesaid scheme of brave religion} was counted for a forest! And such a wilderness, as an opposite number of Law-breakers, having the Righteousness of Christ upon them, and the Spirit of Christ within them, become a fruitful field, and made holy to the Lord! Gal.5:18. What is that Practical Religion he hath laid down, I Cor.2:13, to match with this book for two pages together? Without the Righteousness of Christ a man shall go to Hell after it all; therefore that’s the blessed time, II Cor.3:8, when, in the Righteousness of Christ, the Comforter comes, and leads into the land of uprightness. Psal.143:10. He that truly imitates Christ must be spiritual; for Christ is the Lord from Heaven, and opposed to the first man that is of the earth, earthy. I Cor.15:47. But who can be spiritual that has none of the Spirit of Christ? And who shall have the Spirit of Christ to do as much as will fill two pages of Practical Religion, and not give God the Spirit the glory of it? Psal.115:1. What blessed time would that be, though we had no swearing and cursing, if so be all this vast number of Reformers, and the sober party, had not one among them born of the Spirit? Jn.3:5. Unrenewed flesh is in the sight of God as proud flesh as any. What if there were no Sabbath-breaking, in those gross acts men call so? Would the strictest, moral observation of the Day convert the age into a blessed time, while men should be all serious, mean well, go to their Church and Dissenter’s Meetings, come home, pray, and examine themselves what and how they have heard, and yet not one found in the Spirit upon the Lord’s Day? Rev.1:10. This is all possible to be done, after men’s fashion, without the Spirit of Christ from God our Father. But now so far would it be from a blessed time to be rid of our publicans, that men should {all nominalists} for want of the Holy Ghost, run to Hell in the broad way of profession, Mt.7:13, among whole droves of Scribes and Pharisees! A Turk thinks he sanctifies his Friday’s Sunday, a Jew may give honor to the Seventh Day; and a nominal Christian, having not the Spirit, Jude 19, can but vary nature to another point of her own compass, when he respectfully keeps the first day of the week. Acts 20:7. What a blessed time then to have no more such Sabbath-breaking, as profanely abounds in the day we live? I should be glad to see Sabbath-breaking at an end, and nature tied up from her Lord’s Days visits, Lord’s Day’s walks in fields and meadows, Lord’s Day’s recreations in the public houses of News and Entertainment, Lord’s Day’s merchandising, Lord’s Days journeys for Monday’s business, under the pretense of hearing a sermon 15 or 20 miles onward of the way, when ‘tis not purely the Gospel, but the flesh, Gal.5:16, the devil and the world, draws men on. Sure, if I saw all this and more, yet if I saw nothing of the Spirit of Christ {and the Spirit of Christ hath an Evangelical way, Phil.3:3, to discover Himself} in men’s light and practices, I must not deceive myself with a dream of nature, to cry out, oh; what a blessed time would such a time be! The Jews kept the Sabbath, and yet were a barren fig tree still, and Christ cursed them with a notwithstanding, Lk.13:6-7, and they have been dried up ever since from the roots!

What if there were no more such want of love, as there is at this day, towards the shining members of Christ? {I don’t mean shining with old Adam’s glow-worm beams, but shining through the Spirit of God, and of glory resting on them, I Pet.4:14, though they are evil spoken of by many of the professors of an old Adam-holiness.} Suppose, men were universally agreed to love one another in the scheme of formality, without the power of Godliness, II Tim.3:5; that is, without the Spirit, Col.1:8 - Phil.2:1, as in the two deceitful pages, from whence I have made shorter transcripts? What would signify the embraces of Old Adam in this love-fest? For, if the Spirit did but turn his hand, and purely take away the dross, Isa.1:25, of a remnant, Rom.11:5, what would all that ignorant love be? There would soon be division again, when the sword of the Spirit came. Eph.6:17. Would not God infallibly break the brotherhood of all natural cleaving together, Zech.11:14, because ‘tis not by the Spirit, in the curious girdle of the ephod? Exod.28:8. Alas; if that which is now commonly one of the same party loves another of the same party, and calls this the love of the brethren, and a mark of Grace, I Pet.1:22, was but spiritualized among some of the party, though it ought to be loved the more for this; yet they who should be made to apprehend spiritual Discoveries of Christ, I Cor.2:16, and in the life of the Holy Ghost, adhere to him, would be a prey to religious furies, Acts 26:9-11, for the others would be flying at them ready to tear out their throats, after all this love they pretend to languish after; and the carnal of the party would hate the spiritual, for the very Spirit’s sake. This would be far short of the pattern, “by pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned.” II Cor.6:6.

Would not a Socinian that everywhere excludes God the Spirit, and lays all upon a natural imitation of Christ, embrace the doctrine of this book, and preach it up warmly? Ezek.17:24 - Mal.2:7-9. “O what a blessed time would it be if Christ was but more imitated! There would then be no more such cheating, defrauding, and going beyond each other, as now is in the world.” Ah! Men shall have the glory of their honesty presently, if they won’t cheat and defraud; they shall have the praises of their upright dealings in the world; but the Holy Ghost that sanctifies the heart, Matt.22:37 - Dan.5:23, weans it from this world, and raises up the heart to Christ at the right hand of God in the other world, while a man’s sojourns in this, shall not have one word spoken in his praise; if a man does this or that, though it be some ordinary, slight matter, scarce worth the speaking of, he shall hear enough of it, he shall be told over and over, and be set out and commended to the skies; {especially, if the flattering orator has but ten shillings, Hos.9:1, to preach his funeral sermon;} whereas, let the Holy Spirit take of Christ’s fulness and show it unto us, and there is not one word said of that experience. And yet one glimpse of the Glory of Christ seen under the Spirit’s teaching is worth a thousand volumes of such barren matter, Jn.16:14-15, I Jn.4:6, as all the creature-spun argument of Mr. Hunt’s fifth inference that excludes the Holy Ghost. Men may cease to cheat, leave off to defraud, and may go no more beyond each other, in the strength of the nature-part of the will. Yea, I have read of one of the heathen emperors, Isa.52:15, who had a very great valuation for the memory of our Saviour, upon the matter of that rule of moral justice between man and man which Christ inculcated, and Mr. Hunt insists on for a blessed time; being part of the Law written upon the hearts of the men of every nation under Heaven, Rom.2:15, whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them. Matt.7:12. But what then? Shall I now pronounce, O what a blessed time would it be to imitate Christ in moral justice, since he hath taught us to do to others, as we would have them do to us? Shall I call it a blessed time, I say, when the nature-part of man imitates Christ in such a nature-branch of Justice? And yet let the Spirit do ten thousand times more upon the hearts of all that are saved by Grace, and that is, make them the workmanship of God created in Christ Jesus unto good works, Eph.2:10, which God hath before ordained we should walk in them. {And so bestows on us no less a gift than his Mighty Spirit through his Son, for this workmanship.} And again, the Father gives us His Spirit, by whom we are made meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light, Col.1:12; made meet in what he hath shown of Christ unto us, and hath put of Christ upon us; and shall I take no notice of it to admire Grace? O what a blessed time is this! The Spirit of Christ works daily with the Gospel, I Cor.2:12; and yet here’s no happy time at all pronounced for his doing all this. What treacherous and unfaithful Preaching and Printing is that which thus robs God of his honor by excluding God the Spirit!

That Religion too which breaks off an immoderate pursuit of the world may become an equal cheat among the rest. Nay is so, where ‘tis not an Evangelical fruit of God the Spirit. How many have retired from the world to a cloister, shut up themselves in a monastery, or impaled themselves in a nunnery, and yet the highest fruits of all their sequestration have been but their beads and orisons? All their time has been but leisure for the flesh, Isa.63:10, acting its part under new veils; there has been no communion after all with Jesus Christ, except by the life of the Spirit, and till men are born from above. Jn.3:3. So that let men, as men, cease immoderately to pursue the world, as now they follow after it, yet God the Spirit hath no glory by it, given him in the scheme of nature, which our Author hath drawn together; for he goes on praising the man, and the times, and the world, if it would but come to this; but has no praises for his Maker, no, not for Him that maketh all things new. Rev.21:5.

What if I am patient, and yet am not patient by the God of Patience, Rom.15:5, under the afflicting hand of God? What am I in it more than nature? A philosopher has been patient in suffering pains and losses by a stoical apathy. He has sometimes fancied he has conquered his pains by a strong imagination of the brain that he never felt any. Do I see it to be God’s hand in Christ’s light, and feel supports of the Holy Ghost in Christ’s Strength? What do you talk of imitating of Christ in this, who shut out the Image of Christ for this? It is through Christ that patiently endured the cross, Heb.12:2, if I am ever wrought up to patience. Again, it is by Him that patiently abideth in me, I Jn.3:24, that notwithstanding all my corruptions and provocations, grieving of the Spirit, quenching of the Spirit, yet in the Sovereign and Federal Grace, dwelleth in me forever. Rom.8:11. ‘Tis by the God of patience in such respects, and working mightily in my soul, Eph.3:20, and not by any abstract virtue of my own, that there is no such murmuring and discontent under the afflicting hand of God; and it is by no other means that there can be no more impatience among the people of God. And yet ungrateful saint! The creature is entertained with the Creator’s praises, and the Spirit himself shut out of his own work and habitation. Eph.2:22.

What if your dames pulled off their patches {for Mr. Hunt too in his 176th page instances in their painted and patched faces} they will keep on their pride still, Prov.30:13, so long as they have the Ethiopian’s skin, and the leopard’s spots, Jer.13:23; and are not washed from their filthiness, by the Spirit, in the blood of the Lamb.

“Oh! What a new world will this be, {says he,} if Christ’s Law was more observed, and his practice more imitated!” Thus my practical divine proposes a new world by creature-acts, and shuts out both Him that is the Beginning of God’s way, and the Beginning of the Creation of God, Rev.3:14, in the true Creation-image; whilst yet, if you mind the title of his book, he pretends to unveil the Glory-Man; and also shuts out Him that is the Comforter, to convince the world of sin, righteousness and judgment, Jn.16:8, thereby to put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Eph.4:24. Thus his first excluding of the Holy Ghost is reproved.

The second and third exclusions of him lie in his motives and trial of an interest in Christ. “Now {says he} since we are naturally so apt to be deceived, I shall lay down some sure rules, to try whether Christ is ours, and we His.” {Page 131} And, {again in another place,} “therefore to all that I have said I shall lay down some quickening motives, that so all I have hitherto said may not be ineffectual.” {Page 194}

The Scriptures answers him, for it is the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, as the Apostle, under the Inspiration of the Holy Ghost saith, “shining in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ,” II Cor.4:4-6, and Power of the Holy Ghost to discover my interest in Christ, not rules. Psal.51:11. When the Apostles were taught to give rules, I find they were for saints outer and after-acts, to adorn the Gospel thereby, Tit.2:10, in the form of Christ’s Government, as that form is to be kept outwardly distinct from all other forms, according to the form of sound words, II Tim.1:13; and they were not given for their first inward acts, much less to obtain Interest in Christ and Gospel-benefits by them, and the life and spirituality of Christ’s Government. Isa.28:5-6. Now then, when men come in thus with the rules of their own form-devisings, over and above the Light and Power of the Holy Ghost, Acts 2:4, to try an interest in Christ by passives for acts, not by acts without passives antecedently, as the blind manner is, it is here their application-form evidently spoils all, Eph.4:30; and it had been well for souls, if Ministers had never devised such forms as they usually close and spoil, Gal.3:3, all their sermons with. Sure rules to try whether Christ is ours, and we His, is religious nonsense; the Scriptures will tell you, ‘tis sure Revelation; revealing of Christ to me. “To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by Faith that is in me.” Acts 26:18. Revealing of Christ in me, Galatians 1:16; and so away with rules then in the room of Revelation-Power in the soul.

What an impotent exclusion is it of the Holy Ghost all through a man’s Preaching Christ in the doctrinal part {where if the soul be ever converted to Christ at all under the man, ‘tis there} to make as if the Spirit of Christ had stood still, and done nothing of the main work, even with the main instrument of all, the Doctrine of Christ; but he must arrogantly spoil the Holy Ghost’s work, as well as his own, by a rude and unbelieving inference, “therefore to all that I have said I shall lay down some quickening motives, that so all I have hitherto said may not be ineffectual.” Did the man believe this Profession he makes in his own corollary? Then why did he stand so long in the fruitless part of his work? Why would he claim his hearers and readers with so many links of particularity? What need hath so many stolen particulars in the Explication, Jer.23:30, since it is his principle that no good was likely to be done, till he came to an application of his own? If this had been true, and he had had just grounds to receive it, why did he not make it all application, and have given men a whole book full of it? It seems by his own way of Confession, all his other Discourse was no better than harangue, or at least he feared so; for supposing {with his own allowance} all he had said before application-form, had been ineffectual, he will have a hard bout of it to prove {it being confessedly his own, and not the Holy Ghost’s} that it was not a mere harangue, by his own laws of trial. So that if he hath said anything that is good, he hath knocked it down here himself, Job 15:6; and if the Holy Ghost had done any good in drawing any soul to Christ out of his Regenerating Power on the faculties, this application-doctor with his confident I’s, and his ineffectual schemes, strikes at the New Birth itself, and proposes an effecting it otherwise in the new system.

And ‘tis too common with men to think they speak nothing effectual, till they come in with those forms of Preaching, which are usually temptations to the Preacher to undo all his work, and are a general unraveling of it to the hearers. This convinces them all is untwined in an instant that was unskillfully wound up, an hour, or half an hour, afore. Thus, what poor judges are they of Effectual speaking! I Cor.3:10. I own, the Holy Ghost in a Sovereign way may work by these, whilst they are opening any part of the Gospel; but I must faithfully add, that these men presently strike at what he hath wrought, and preach up perversion and entangling of the Holy Ghost’s works, in their own way of aiming at Conversion to Christ; for it is very consistent for the preacher to unravel his own work and entangle the Holy Ghost’s, in the view of men’s souls. Whereas, the truth is, these men however they defer all hopes of doing good till their application comes, where they do the harm if they have occasionally spoken anything that is Effectual, it is before; for as soon as they arrive in these common-place forms of Application, they go about effectually {one encouraging another to it} to destroy all the Truth, and damp the Power of it that was either seen or felt before through the Holy Spirit given unto them by their Heavenly Father. Lk.11:13.

What a disparagement is it to the Holy Ghost to be excluded from his own works! “To all that I have said, I shall lay down some quickening motives,” says he. “I” and “Quickening” are ill matched. How long hath great “I” been a Quickener? What can his laying motives down be, as to life, if the Holy Ghost {who was here forgotten} doth not Quicken? I feel them not quickening motives. Why? The Holy Ghost uses them not upon me so much as to believe them to be motives; I do therefore oppose them under the false name of quickening motives, as intrusions into the Prerogative of God the Spirit. II Cor.3:3. They have got nothing in them but what the Preacher hath put into them, Neh.6:8, and that’s very exceptional. I want motives {because I am in myself dead} that have the Holy Ghost in them from an Exalted Saviour, who is the Resurrection and the Life. John 11:25.

But let us hear what those motives of our consistent brother are, which he has undertaken for their quickening. “Motive to get an interest in Christ, consider you stand in need of him, and are most miserable without him. If he was never so Excellent in Himself, yet if you did not need him, it would be no wonder if I could not prevail with you to renounce all for him.” {Page 195} Alas; who can be moved to Christ by that which thus openly affronts the Spirit of Christ? II Cor.3:17. The Holy Ghost’s prevalency in the work of Discovery and Faith, is here struck off, and a counterfeit “I” coming in upon His work is put to prevail! “If you did not need Christ,” says he, “it would be no wonder if I could not prevail with ye to renounce all for Him!” As if now, because souls do need Christ, it was a wonder Mr. Hunt could not prevail with them to get their interest in Him. There is more of pride, I am sure, than motive in all this. And then to renounce all for Christ; oh; this is a mighty work of the Spirit upon the soul! And this poor blind brother makes a wonder at it, that he can’t prevail in it.

2. Motive to beg of God to interest you in Christ is this, “that God will accept of no service from you, or performances done by you, so long as you are not found in Christ.” {Page 196} As to the introductions to both of these motives, it may easily be remembered, answers have been given them already in this Vindication; and as to the strict motive itself, that God will accept of no service from you, &c., is it not a strange forecast of this writer to get an interest in Christ, whilst the Spirit must be excluded to stand and look on? Matt.4:10. Alas; there’s no way to be found in Christ, after all experiments preachers set them about by themselves, but by the Free Grace of God to sinners from Father, Son and Spirit. “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us.” I Thes.5:9.

3. Another motive runs thus, “consider you can never possibly get to Heaven if you die out of Christ.” {Page 146} Well, and will this consideration get Christ, or help towards it? This sooner works despair than believing, {II Cor.5:11, the Apostle “knowing the terror of the Lord,” would not terrify, but persuade;} if ever he knew what soul-plunges meant. Suppose a man drowning considers that he can never get to shore if he be drowned in the Sea; does this in anyway tend towards calming of the storm, or taking the distressed man out of the waters where he lies perishing? My preacher very unwisely calls this a motive; for ‘tis without the Mover; and instead of promoting Motion in the soul, motives laid down at this rate do clog all Spiritual Motion in the will.

4. Fourth motive, “thou canst never escape Hell and Eternal Vengeance if thou art not found in Christ.” {Page 198} ‘Tis not fear of Hell in the conscience, but love of God shed abroad in the heart, Rom.5:5, through the Holy Ghost is the Mover to Christ, and sounds the true fear of God’s Name in him that comes, in opposition to the slavish fright of Death and Hell. If men under the Gospel, where the Spirit is more plentifully bestowed, did firmly believe and sweetly perceive in themselves, the Life and Conquests of Effectual Grace, Eph.1:13, they would never put that which jogs for that which quickens; nor cheat themselves and others with the stirring of a carcass in the room of that which raises it from the dead. Isa.63:11. They preach motives, but conceal the Loving Kindness of the Lord in Influences of the Holy Ghost for the true motions in these motives.

In a word or to let me examine his fourth motive, and his fifth which is of the same piece {for as to his sixth and seventh, they have been answered already in other places of my book, in their more peculiar classes.} “Thou canst never escape Hell and Vengeance if thou art not found in Christ. Why sinners, this must be the portion of your cup if you get not into Christ,” and it follows {says he} “as a natural consequence from what hath been spoken; consider death will be very dreadful upon this account.” {Page 199} Now first of all, does the author of these motives suppose that this way of exhorting sinners, or this exhortation to sinners branched into these particulars, will move God the Spirit, to regenerate one whom the Father hath not chosen, nor the Son redeemed? His doctrine here insinuates a belief into sinners, as if God went not by Grace of Election, or Particular Redemption, but by the single consideration of this, and the consideration of that terrible motive of his Preacher. He hath elected the means, but not these frights to be the means. Whatever it be, his Doctrine herein looks like the Arminian way of nature; and elsewhere he hath taken a full liberty to contradict the matter of this legal exhortation to sinners made up thus of the nature-fright, by a sort of Doctrine which I am afraid his hand-alley friends will call Antinomianism. His words are these, “he saw what man would do; he well knew how vile he would make himself; and yet all this could not prevent him sending of his Son;” and a little after, “we are so far from having anything in us to move God to bestow him upon us, that there is that in us that might justly provoke him to abhor us.” {Page 157} Very good. What! Could none of this prevent God from sending of his Son, and can this prevent God from sending his Spirit to the elect? And yet he tells an elect sinner for all he knows among the rest, “thou canst never escape Hell and Vengeance, if thou art not found in Christ;” he should have told thee rather a piece of Good News {as the Gospel signifies} that though there be yet no open sight of thine Election, yet if the Spirit now shows thee Christ, and makes Him precious to thee thou hast the secret sign thereof. Nay, if the Spirit hath done nothing to thee of this nature, yet thou hast done nothing that shall bar God from sending the Spirit to thee, if thou secretly belongest to Christ. I Pet.2:10 – Hos.2:23 – Rom.9:15. And therefore be encouraged to wait under the Gospel till God doth reveal even this unto thee, that thou belongst to Him, and he hath taken hold of thy dead, hard and adamantine will. Had he spoken of the Spirit, as he speaks of the Redeemer, he had then laid down a motive indeed to sinners. The Holy Ghost to the elect stirs with such doctrine as this.

Secondly, is not the Gift of the Spirit as absolute a gift, as the gift of Christ? Let any divine prove it to me that the Spirit of God hath been given a man savingly to regenerate him upon the performances of an antecedent Condition in his Unregenerate State. Now first, if any man have not the Spirit of Christ he is none of His, Rom.8:9; here then is my condition {to speak their language} of being His, my having the Spirit of Christ. And again secondly, “he that hath the Son hath life,” my condition then {as they speak} of having life, is having the Son, or Christ, the Son of God in the Human Nature.

Thirdly, except a man be born again he cannot see the Kingdom of God; except he be born of God the Spirit he cannot, Jn.3:3-5, so then, if he be born of the Spirit he will be found in Christ, I Jn.3:9, and escaping Hell and Vengeance, which is screwed into the Exhortation by creature-acts of sinners, is only brought about by Free Grace to sinners; and the last of the Persons in God that hands this Free Grace to Sinners is God the Spirit.

Fourthly, all the business of the Spirit, though it be in this very fundamental point of Practical Religion, Conversion to Christ, is omitted in these wrath and vengeance motives; and Hell is likely to work only more of its own kind, when Heaven and Free Grace motives are shut out. And yet he positively urges it as a motive to convert elect sinners, that the same cup which belongs to Babylon and her brats, Rev.14:11, must be the bride’s cup too; and all upon this feeble and groundless conjecture, that she doth not give her own consent. “Why sinners,” says he “this must be the portion of your cup, if you get not into Christ,” as if Christ with one look in the Great Power of God could not secure that closure, and as if the Mighty Spirit had not undertaken it. Pray, when was such a phrase of “getting into Christ” ever used by the Spirit of God in Scripture, towards them that are appointed and committed to the renewings of the Holy Ghost?

The fourth exclusion of the Holy Ghost to be complained of is this, “is Christ such a Glorious and Excellent Person? How blind then are the men of the world, who can see no Excellency in Him? What I have spoken may be as a glass to let such see the film upon their own eyes if they can see nothing else.” {Page 187} Why must it be what he has spoken, and not what the Spirit saith, who is the Anointing received of Christ, I Jn.2:27, and an Unction, I Jn.2:20, we have from the Holy One? Why must the eye-salve, as the Spirit in his Operation upon the understanding is called, Rev.3:18, be here excluded in this expression; and the Balm in Gilead, as the Spirit is called, Jer.8:22, be put by, for the weaker ointment of this unskillful apothecary, Eccles.10:1, in his “what I have spoken may be as a glass to let such see the film upon their own eyes?” Undoubtedly, the men of the world will never believe how ignorant they are of Jesus Christ, till the Spirit hath shown them something of Christ they never thought on; and such of them as belong to the Election of Grace, as blind as they are, shall be brought by a way they know not, Isa.42:16, when the Holy Ghost takes them into hand into Christ. He might have dashed out this uncomely period, since it was not long after he remembered to tell us incidentally, {for it is but by the bye,} “as ‘tis the Good Spirit opens the eyes, so it is the work of the wicked one to keep souls in blindness,” {page 188,} but if the Lord will I'll go on, and pass this two and fortieth self-contradiction.

His fifth exclusion of the Holy Ghost is in the great point of believing, as to believing on the Lord Jesus and practical acting towards Christ, this is made no more of by him, than if Faith of the Operation of God, Col.2:12, was as naturally wrought in the heart, as the press-language of believing drops from the preacher’s mouth. He all along in his third inference for nine pages together about believing in Christ, distinguishes not between that common nature-Faith, which our Lord Jesus spake so much of to the body of the Jews in the days of his flesh, {when the Spirit was not given, because Jesus was not glorified, Jn.7:39; that external Faith which would, though but a nature-Faith, have saved their nation from the external calamities of the day,} and the Spiritual Faith of the Gospel to match with Christ’s Risen and Exalted State in Glory. This latter Faith is the Faith of the Gospel; and this Mr. Hunt confounds and excludes the Spirit from, as if it was merely but the former Faith. Gospel Faith is not wrought but by the Gospel Author. “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.” Heb.12:2. ‘Tis a Faith which so receives Christ by an act of the new nature, or the evangelical workmanship of the Holy Ghost, “that whosoever believeth in him” {in this life-principle of the Holy Ghost} shall have Everlasting Life in the world to come. Therefore ‘tis spiritually a seeing the Son, and believing on him. “And this is the will of him that sent me, that everyone which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” Jn.6:40.

Hence it comes to pass, that the other Faith was, as to the elect, inchoatively, or in some begun sense, Jn.20:5, Gospel-Faith, viz., in the Object; but this latter, Evangelical Faith, is completely so. The other Faith had its external assistances, Jn.2:23 – Jn.6:2, 26, and nature was to work upon them; whereas this Faith has its internal Creation, and is made to act towards Jesus by the Spirit, when all the external assistances of the other Faith are withdrawn. I Pet.1:8 – Jn.20:29. The one sort of Faith had its evidences in the Works of the Son, the other sort hath all its evidences in the Works of the Spirit. One was no other Faith than what required visible miracles to produce it, and the other a Faith that depends upon an Invisible Power to work it, and maintain its being. ‘Tis for this reason the Apostles do magnify the Holy Ghost in the Evangelical Faith, and discover that in their own Gospel-believing {as well as it was so in other Saint’s believing} they had the Spirit of Faith, II Cor.4:14, as the Author and Indwelling Cause of all the Grace of God in them. It must be the Spirit who is the inward Spring and Root of this Faith, for nature Faith in the other branch of the distinction, suits not an Exalted Jesus; inasmuch as nature can’t behold him since he is passed into the Heavens, though it was fitted to behold Jesus in his humbled state at the sight of miracles, and was fitted thereupon to a consent that he was the true Messiah, the Christ of God, that should come into the world.

To speak so slightly of Faith, in concealing the Holy Spirit from it, as if it was but some external work of obedience, Jn.6:28, as the Jews looked upon working the works of God to be; and as if Gospel Unbelief was no more than a mere refusing to believe in Christ, as the Jews of old refused the nature-believing on Him, {in the time of his nature-state on earth, Zech.6:12,} which Mr. Hunt prosecutes so heterogeneally, from his page 163 to page 172, wherein he argues men are not taught of God, but taught one from another out of the digested books. Whereas nature-unbelief is a principle of dead nature in men, and Spiritual Faith, Psal.71:17, in Christ {in opposition to that unbelief} is more than a dogmatical receiving of Christ, and beyond, Mk.16:16 – Eph.1:19, an assenting to Him doctrinally with the heart and will, which is the only Faith Christ pressed upon his countrymen, the Jews, and which they refused to exert towards Him. Jn.5:40. The Mystery and Power of Faith, as it falls under a work of God the Holy Ghost, is entirely excluded, and no regard had to it. Nothing of it opened, not of the difficulty of it laid forth, none of the mistakes and cheats in it by counterfeit faiths obviated, none of the Holy Ghost’s guidance of it, by the narrow way, through the strait gate, Lk.13:24, the Accomplishments of Christ, to Eternal Life, in the least hinted through his nine pages of continuity about refusing to believe in Christ.

Whatever it be, if Mr. Hunt had intended to set out the true Faith of the Gospel, he should have insisted on the Exceeding Greatness of the Power, necessary towards this sort of Believing, and therein have exalted the Holy Ghost in a man’s going altogether out of himself to Christ by sheer Faith. How does the Apostle magnify it! Take the description of it as it lies in Ephesians 1:19-20, “and what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenlies, &c.” The Apostle sets the ground of an Evangelical Faith right. He had fixed it in the work of the Holy Ghost, in the Spirit of Wisdom and Internal Revelation, verse 17, and is there praying for more of this Spirit for these Ephesians in the daily work of the Holy Ghost opening their eyes to behold, “the eyes of their understanding being enlightened,” verse 18, and so are made, by Another, to behold, in all that they see of Gospel-Mysteries. He knits and couples this of Faith with the greatest of Evangelical Mysteries he had insisted on in, verse 18, and which the eyes of their understanding were enlightened by the Holy Ghost to see.

The Apostle calls the Reason and Internal Cause of Faith in the saints, Power, distinct from Light and Vision, “power to us-ward who believe.” Power to us that have the Distinguishing Faith of the Gospel. Power to us in our coming by that Faith and receiving it. ‘Tis the Power of God; for any other power is too low and too short to work the lively Faith of the Gospel. Faith is wrought by the Power of God, the Greatness of his Power. He puts forth less Power for some things than he does for others; and He puts forth more Power Himself in the New Creation than in the Old. He puts forth great Power, Eph.3:16, to work that Faith which is led into Great Mysteries. He works by the Greatness of his Power to us-ward who believe. Nay, that’s not enough yet, the exaggeration, and heaping up one word upon another, till it becomes like the great mountains, Psal.36:6, runs higher still; even to Exceeding Greatness of his Power. He will put in enough and enough of his own great Power, and the Greatness of it, infinitely to out-do all the strength of sin that dwelleth in us, Rom.7:20; and put down all the contrary principles of the Law in our members, Rom.3:27, that the law of Faith shall prevail above it. And more emphasis still, “according to the working of his mighty Power.” A power in motion, a power going forth in the utmost activities of the Spirit of God and of Grace; and that in the most raised and noble wonder of the whole Creation! In the highest, greatest and most amazing instance of Power, wherein the Power of God was ever shown! Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead! It was a mighty working of his power, I Pet.3:18, to raise Christ from the dead; because as he died a Public Person, representing all the elect of God in Himself, so God’s power raised Him from the dead as a Public Person too, that all the elect rose with Him and in Him mystically complete, the Foundation of all influential completeness through Him to our persons. And this after all our sins had lain on Him to press Him down, and to keep Him down, both Naturally and Legally, had he not fully paid our debt. I Tim.3:16. Oh! Mighty power raises him! And it is the same working of the Mighty Power of God, the Holy Ghost tells us, works Faith, while the Exceeding Greatness of His power is to us-ward who believe {against most of our Ministers} into Him.

His sixth exclusion of the Holy Ghost lies in his blind and wrongful apostrophe unto sinners, “Oh sinners, why do ye not make out to Him, since you have all such need of Him in this respect, that there is in Christ such an enlightening virtue? Why sit you still in darkness, when a light ten thousand times brighter than the sun shines so near you?” {Page 37} Here he puts sinners upon motion to Christ, before the Spirit has applied the Enlightening Virtue of Christ. For upon this consideration he lays it, that the virtue is in Christ; in him, not the virtue brought down through him, which is by the Holy Spirit from him. ‘Tis only the need of Christ that he argues from, for motion to Christ, as the Arminians do; not the Communication of Christ, in sending the Holy Ghost to create a New Nature, in the Conscience and heart of a Sinner, for the motion. ‘Tis only a light ten thousand times brighter than the Sun shines near you, which he insists on for your act in making out to Christ; whereas there is not one syllable of this Glorious Light, and enlightening virtue of Christ applied, shining in you, Sinners, by the Spirit, that this excluding writer takes notice of, to help you out of your dark condition. This, it seems, you must do your selves, by your going on to the Light in your own darkness. So you are like to make as brave way and work of it, in the dark practice, as our doctor hath done in his Preaching and Publishing of his Sermons. You plainly see he puts you, without the Spirit of the Lord, upon blindfold motion to Christ, and tells you, sinners, you shall have light to behold him after you are come unto him. Whereas the truth is this, the Spirit, Rev.19:10, opens the eyes to see Christ in the very enlightening virtue of Christ before the soul stirs, or comes one step towards him. What does he talk then of making out to Christ, while he is shutting out the Spirit of Christ? As if the Comforter from the Father and Christ did not first make out to sinners chosen, and apply the true Light to them, I Jn.2:8, but these sinners were beforehand with Christ and the Spirit, and did apply themselves to that Light in their own darkness. Oh! What nonsense do men make in Religion by their shutting out the Spirit of God thus! Why are men afraid of the Spirit? There’s our comfort in the Comforter. The Spirit is as infallible in securing His own work, I Pet.1:2, and as much interested in it, and as tender about it, as the Father, and the Son are, in and about their Effectual Operation. The Holy Spirit reconciles me to that Light which else offends me {such is my natural enmity to Christ} if that Light don’t shine in me, that yet I am told is so near me. Men love darkness, Christ says, Jn.3:19, rather than light {all men do by fallen nature} because their deeds {in one kind or in another} are evil. Now what cause makes men out of love with their own darkness, and in love with the Light, Christ, and the Light of Christ in all the Doctrine of the Gospel, but the Mighty Spirit working in them by this Light, Christ, before they walk to Christ in it? The Spirit brings home the light to you, I Jn.5:6, sinners, before you come to Christ, believing on the same Light, in a motion-Faith to him. The Spirit heals you by this enlightening virtue. He doth it; he, the third Person in God, he as Comforter, he in Office, he therefore a Person; for I dare not “it” him, and “it” him, as is the manner of most divines, inconsistently with their own orthodoxy of confessing him a Person; as if, after all, he was but a Socinian quality. And so long as men hold the Person of the Son is given us, I don’t see how they’ll come off, to deny the Person of the Spirit is given us too. Well, ‘tis he makes out to you, Sinners, as Comforter, before ever you make out to Christ. “And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.” I Jn.3:24.

His seventh exclusion of God the Spirit is making Christ as a mere Spectator to look on, and see all the burden and vigorous resistance of his suffering ones lying on their own backs alone in temptation, as if they carried all the success of the combat before them in their own strength. Christ {says he,} “takes this well at our hands, and laughs at the trial of his innocent ones, to see them fight so valiantly.” {Page 210}

Takes this well at our hands; as if he did not give this well into our hands? To you {says the Apostle to his Philippians} is given in the behalf of Christ {or in Christ’s cause} not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake. Phil.1:29. And if it be given, it is given by the Spirit; now shall it be given by the Spirit, I Thes.1:5, and the Spirit have no honor given Him in the Ability of his own Bestowments? Furthermore, what does he mean by Christ’s laughing at the trial of his innocent ones? In Job 9:23, laughing there is in a disregarding sense; that is, going on still and inflicting them, and not regarding to take off his present hand for their crying, or complaining at their usage Job 30:20. Oh! They think much, because it is not for this or that or the other sin; but they make more moan and words of it than they need to do. Whatever it be, the Lord sees it meet to continue them longer under the trial. This is the meaning of laughing, God’s laughing at the trial of the innocent, there in Job. But this cannot be that laughing of Christ at the trial of his innocent ones, which Mr. Hunt means by his citation and use of that place. He plainly, as appears by coherence of matter, takes it in an acquiescing sense; as if the Lord rested in it, as he is said to do in the delightful outgoings of his love unto his Church. “The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.” Zeph.3:17. Now what is there in the doings or sufferings of his people, Job 15:15, that God by any acquiescency resteth in, as in his own Love? ‘Tis all wrong therefore, as he carries it injuriously to Christ, as well as injuriously to the Spirit of Christ.

An eighth exclusion of God the Holy Ghost is to be noted in his encouragement to dead sinners to exercise returning Faith, who never yet exerted any motion-Faith at all towards Jesus Christ. “Let those things {says he, spoken of the Prodigal} encourage thee to return as he did, and thou wilt certainly speed as he did.” {Page 203} Had this been in his exhortation to Saints, because these have been with Christ, as the Prodigal was with his father, and have often departed from him as that Prodigal once did, there had been some sense, and coincidence of the case, in it; but to bring it under an exhortation to sinners {as he distinguishes} whom he yet aims after, for their first Conversion to Christ, is like the rest of Mr. Hunt’s doctrine of in-and-out, or self-inconsistence. II Cor.1:18. Can that man be said {suppose} to return from Northampton to London who never was at London, but hath abode all his days, to every hour of his time, in other places? Why thus influentially and openly under fallen nature, sinners, before their turning to Christ, are in no capacity for their returning, according to the influential and open nature of Conversion.

But to his exclusion of God the Spirit in the matter. Say, “let those things encourage thee to turn, as he, the Prodigal, did return,” which must be his meaning, though ill phrased. Now if he holds to what is Conversion, namely, an inward and spiritual turning of the heart unto the Lord, how can this be effected, if the Holy Ghost be shut out? What encouragement will do it, if the Spirit frowns, withdraws, ceases to cooperate with the Ministry of the Word in the most Evangelical of Doctrinal Encouragements? For being a Sovereign and Free Agent, he hath his limitations in the Covenant of Operation, or the Covenant of Grace in that branch of it which concerns Operation, and will blow only when and where he lists. Jn.3:8. Where then are all your encouragements whilst you forget to eye Him? And again, does he set in with his own Revelations of Grace and Truth that come by Jesus Christ, Jn.1:17, and shan’t he have the Glory of it? Shall an abstracted encouragement run away with all the praise of it? Shall the instrument be honored, and the worker that uses it laid by?

Why, {as some scrutinizing critic would ask of me,} how must Mr. Hunt have worded it to please you? Nay hold, ‘tis not wording it {that’s the blind man’s maxim, that we differ only about words} ‘tis “thinging” it {if I may so speak} which he hath failed in. Neither is it a fault because it doesn’t please me, but because it doesn’t please the Holy Ghost, to exclude him in his Operations, and lay the whole stress of the Motion upon creature-acts. It should have been so uttered in the matter {especially, because it is an exhortation to the impotent; yea, to Sinners distinguished from Saints;} that is to say, it should have been uttered either by a verbal acknowledgment of the Holy Ghost, Col.2:2, in that sentence, or in some fundamental sentence just by, upon which that additional, or conclusive sentence depends, or by some passive phrase of doing a thing upon me, in order to do another thing by me, that necessarily takes in his Operation, though it does not name the Holy Ghost, or the Spirit of God. For instance, if the Holy Ghost owns these things for thy Conversion, sinner, he will as effectively bring thee to Christ, or draw and persuade thee to come to Christ, and close with Christ, as Christ hath paid a price for thee. This now had been the encouragement in the Ministry of Christ to wait under it, till the Good Spirit of the Lord, Neh.9:20, had brought Grace in thy heart to discern the Truth in his own gracious way, by the same ministry. Oh! This had been to exalt the Spirit in the exhortation, and not a proud and presumptuous exhortation of the creature, to go and do the Spirit’s work. For ‘tis virtually so, whenever he is excluded, and the form runs so in creature-actives, that it presently swells whole volumes all upon creature acts and performances, and this under the vain pretense of preaching good works, which indeed, in the Gospel-sense, are nevertheless, in managing this pretense, all shut out; and so it is a rare thing indeed to have one drop of the Spirit, or his work, found him among it all. And this I know to be true.

His ninth and next excluding of the Holy Ghost I shall take notice of, is in his rambling from a sinner’s sense of unworthiness to come to Christ to his obstinate refusing to beg. “He that will not beg when he has neither meat nor money, will never beg when he has both.” {Pages 205} Once again, he lays it here all upon the will of the flesh, and the will of man, not the will of God. John 1:13. He that will not beg, is as much as to say, he that hath the power in his hands to beg and will not. For begging is an outward act quite distinct from coming to Christ, which is an inward act; yet this preacher is in his exhortation still {where it runs} exciting Sinners to come to Christ. Thus he confounds outward acts with inward acts, and excludes the Holy Ghost in the inward acts, because man hath a natural power for the outward.

Nevertheless, {to follow him into his wanderings from a sense of unworthiness to come to Christ, to a refusing to beg when he has neither meat nor money,} what is the outward act of begging here, if there be nothing of the Spirit of Grace and Supplication, Zech.12:10, upon this beggar? Why is the Spirit still shut out who must help the infirmities of the petitioner, Rom.8:26, when he is made willing to beg, as well as make him willing, by giving him a heart to come to this work, and taking away his unwillingness? ‘Tis praying with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit. Ephesians 6:18. All sorts of prayer; invocating the Person, Titles and Names of God in the Name of Christ; confessing Evangelical Mercies; confessing also Sin {because there is the remainder of it, even after Mercy received} and especially our birth-sin, the Sin of our fallen natures, and the nature-guiltiness and pollution of our state, so far as it lies in Adam; supplicating in these humble views for blessings and good things to be conveyed through Christ, according to the Pattern how that God has secretly blessed us with them already in Christ; comprecating for more and more of these things to be so conveyed, as we find God raising our hearts to behold them in Christ, and implore them at this Throne of Grace; deprecating evils from ourselves and all the elect of God, with submission to His Supreme Will; imprecating evils upon those whom the LORD Himself knows to be His own implacable enemies, Psal.139:21; thanksgivings for particular mercies received, &c. This is praying with all Prayer and Supplication; and so far as we are born of the Spirit in praying, Jn.3:5, so far it is brought up to all Supplication in the Spirit, even as he hath buckled on our armor; and this is the Gospel-begging; and so is the work of a regenerate man, and not his unconverted beggar in his exhortation to sinners; as he puts an unconverted man to do more without the Spirit, than the saints themselves find they are able to do with the Spirit of Christ. They must pray in the Holy Ghost, Jude 20, as to viewing of their state, and by the Holy Ghost as to their assistances; for otherwise, they know not what to pray for as they ought. Rom.8:26. There must be light in prayer before heat, a sight of the Object, as an Advocate with the Father, I Jn.2:1, to receive our prayers, together with the Spirit of Supplication to be the Principle of life in our prayers; or else, in the matters of the Gospel, what are they all worth? Ministers think they have done great things when they have insisted upon natural praying, but rarely give the Holy Ghost the least degree of honor in the Duty.

His tenth exclusion of God the Spirit is in the close of his Exhortation to Sinners thus, “show more manners to Christ, and love to thyself, than to refuse that which tends so much to thy advantage.” {Page 206} As if believing on Christ which requires the Great Power of God, and to be accompanied with abundance of the Glorious Light of the Gospel was such a slight and indifferent thing, that it was but showing more manners to Christ, and ‘twas done as if believing into the Person, Fulness, and Glory of Jesus Christ, was no more to do than rising up, pulling off my hat to a man, and doing some respectful honor to a superior creature in the world. Ah! How slightly does he turn over the glorious Operations of the Spirit!

Besides, he sounds it basely at the other end of it in self-love, which the Holy Spirit of God destroys; not in love to the Person of Christ, which the Spirit of God works in the soul of every comer unto Jesus. “Show more love to thyself!” Unworthy counsel indeed! Here’s love to thyself, without love to Christ. Alas; a little manners to Christ will do. It’s a sign the Spirit had left Mr. Hunt to his own dead temper and frame, to his own dark and distracted spirit in all this; venting of his own corruption, but delivering no message from the Prince of Life. Acts 3:15. And this is a plain and open case.

But next from his exhortation to Sinners let us follow him into his exhortation to Saints; and we shall see the saints themselves who have known the Spirit, who have felt him, rejoiced in him through his own work upon them, yet by this unreasonable divider, are doctrinally departed from the Holy Ghost.

His eleventh excluding of the Spirit of Christ is in his exhortation to Saints. “Is Christ such a Glorious and Excellent Person? And is he yours? Then see that you praise God for this so great a blessing. Great mercies call for loud praises; O how should it enlarge our hearts to praise God, to think that he should ever bestow such a Person on us! To praise God for Christ will be our great work in Heaven, let us begin it now on earth. We read of a multitude of the Heavenly Host praising God, and saying, glory to God in the highest, &c., Lk.2:13-14, and if God has revealed Christ to our souls, we have cause to join with them.” {Page 206} What does the vindicator mean? If he finds fault with this, he may find fault with anything, find fault with the Scriptures, &c., for what can be more Orthodox than this he quarrels at? Let me answer this demand out of the Answer to the Question in the Assembly Catechism. Q. How many Persons are there in the Godhead? A. There are Three Persons in the Godhead, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are One God, the same in substance, equal in power and glory.

Now then surely, when it comes to an act of praising God for so great a Blessing as Christ, the Holy Ghost is concerned as well as the Father and Christ. But to press it thus, “see that you do praise God for this so great a blessing,” is so far from interesting the Spirit in our praise, as to make him equal with God in Power and Glory, in and for the matter of interesting us in Christ, that it does not make him equal in Power and Glory to ourselves, to whom the honor of a distinct act is positively ascribed, namely, seeing {or looking to it} that we do give God praise. His backing this with considerations is still exclusive of the Spirit, and so does not truly reach the case. 1. He minds us of the Obligation! “Great mercies call for loud praises.” Aye, but still if it ever comes to praise, that great Mercy, of God’s giving us the Spirit {the greatest gift next the gift of his Son} is a great Mercy that works in us praise, beyond all others of his mercies call to it. Psal.145:7. 2. He minds us from cogitation, good thoughts, “O how should it enlarge our hearts to praise God, to think that he should ever bestow such a Person on us.” Well, but still the Person of the Spirit works all our good thoughts in us. Phil.2:13, II Cor.3:5. And why must His honor be cast off, and the glory given separately to our own good thoughts? 3. He argues from consideration more directly, to praise God for Christ will be our great work in Heaven. Well, but so long as we are not in Heaven, so as we shall be, {for our natural foundation is in the dust, Job 4:19, and if the Spirit of God, II Cor.5:5, does not raise up our hearts to Heaven,} we can never begin that work of praise on earth which is the work of Heaven. Because ‘tis done in the virtue of the Holy Ghost {the Father and Christ do it in us by him;} we do come in and act under Him, and therein set our affections upon things above, Col.3:2, and not on things on the earth. “For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.” Eph.2:18. 4. He argues for the reason of it from Angels, but still shuts out the spring of it from the Holy Ghost. “We read of a multitude of the Heavenly Host, praising God, and saying, glory to God in the Highest, &c., Lk.2:14-15, and if God hath revealed Christ to our souls, we have cause to join with them.” Aye, but we are not yet as the angels of God, Matt.22:30, and therefore in our weaknesses and corruptions, unbelief and darkness, we are utterly insufficient, when Angels have begun the chorus, to step in by ourselves, and keep the high tune of praise to Christ.

His twelfth excluding of the Spirit is in the Exhortation to fruitfulness. Be fruitful in good works, or, “let me exhort you to fruitfulness in good works, that so you may not only praise God with your lips, but with your lives. Let us not be barren while we profess ourselves engrafted into him. The world will more regard our lives than our lips. If a saint’s foot slipped, then aha, aha! So we would have it! Therefore it stands the saints in hand, while they admire his Excellency, to walk as he walked.” {Page 207}

What fruitfulness can there be in any saint without the Spirit? And if so, why should not the Spirit in all this be reverently entitled to it? Is morality fruitfulness? Is what is done in our own spirits, fruitfulness in good works? He is barren that professeth the Holy Ghost, and yet produceth everything from flesh as his only principle. And he is fruitful, II Pet.1:8, who professeth Christ from his having the Spirit, Rom.8:9, and so engrafted into Christ as his root, and abounds in all Grace as the fruit of the Spirit. Gal.5:22. Eph.5:9. Gospel-fruitfulness the world can’t judge of, who regard our lives more than our lips. And our lives for what? Truly the fruits of the flesh. They value us more when we bring forth crabs and wild fruit, than when we bear pippins, I mean the proper fruits of Christ’s own planting; the world never could, nor ever shall relish and delight in these. {“Thy people also shall be all righteous; they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified.” Isa.60:21.} They delight not in the fruit of the vine, except it be of that vine of which they can be drunk, or now and then, sitting over a bottle of wine, be cheerful. Christ is the True Vine, Jn.15:1, and the wine he produces, since he was trod in the winepress of God’s wrath alone, Isa.63:3, is the Spirit, Zech.9:17, with which God’s people to be fruitful are to be filled, and not drunk with other wine wherein there is excess. Eph.5:18. Doth a spiritual man talk of fruitfulness, and instance only in that part of our lives which the world are able to judge of? Alas! They can judge only of our leaves, not of our fruit. {“For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” Col.3:3.} And here we ought, and are able, to bring forth leaves to men from, and from common engrafture, or at least open engrafture into Christ; but though we ought, yet we are not able to bring forth fruit unto God, Hos.14:8, but by the life of God the Spirit in us. Saints are not fruitful in a Gospel-sense, when their feet are kept from falling, and they do not slip before the wicked. Besides, if the saints walk {and oh! that they did so walk, Gal.5:25} as Christ walked in the world, the world would be more upon them for that walk {because then there would be so much of the Anointing in it from Jesus of Nazareth, Acts 10:38, so much of the Spirit, that the world cannot bear; nay our world in the Conversation of the Dissenters, Ezek.33:30,} than they would be upon them for all their faults. Christ’s walk was such he would not bear the profession of the times; he preached more against the Church and the Chapel than against the taverns and ale-houses; and more against the sons of Zion, the Pharisees, than against the Philistines and the Romans. Matt.23:1-39. But now let a man do so in the fulness of the Spirit of Christ {for without him in our souls, we sneak and truckle under, and fall in with the enemy company, and are as bad as others;} let the Spirit of Christ carry out a man bravely against the preaching, and the praying, and the temple-marks and signs of these times, and see what the world will say of this fruitfulness in good works. Let a man in the life of the Spirit tell our world of Dissenters what large purses and funds, II Tim.2:4, they’ll raise to give as they please; as they direct and order; and some with strict caution that nothing of it go outside their own party; whereas let other men have as much Grace by the Spirit, Eph.1:13, or more than they, they shall have less share of the stock. There are perhaps thousands who would not contribute so much as a penny, nor would some manage in other men’s contributions, but lay it all down in an anger, upon the first opposition made to their peevishness, if they did not rule all the roost. Now what fruitfulness is this in good works, when it is evident men do it not for Christ, but for a particular party? Lk.6:33. They make a worldly interest for the Church, and at last the Church too dwindles away, and is found to be nothing but themselves. ‘Tis more fruitfulness in good works if we had more of the Spirit of Christ, and could go and tell men of these faults; for their loftiness and their partialities would not bear the opposition from our flesh, whatever they might do, if we could assault them with the Spirit of Christ. But the Spirit is pleased to leave men much unto themselves. Psal.51:11. Well, I say, could we now walk as Christ walked, and with the Spirit of Christ whip buyers and sellers of their party-interest with their large purses and funds out of the temple, and tell them this of theirs is not done for Christ, but oppressing Mammon; how would the round world of our Dissenters {not to go into the other world, the round globe of the Conformists over against us} approve of this same fruitfulness in good works? Why, Christ fell upon men notably in his Day, and they hated him for his light, zeal, faithfulness, the fruits of his Unction in the Human Nature, whilst the Spirit of the Lord did rest upon Him. Isa.11:2. And truly, if we could walk spiritually, as Christ walked by the Spirit, we should be the more hated too, than if we were carnal, and walked as men. I Cor.3:3. And ‘tis in this very respect the Holy Ghost gives me so much comfort under men’s hatred. Ah! ‘Tis a great thing in any one instance to walk even as Christ walked; for ‘tis easily talked of, but who doth it and gives God the Spirit the Glory of it? Christ set upon men; and as for his spiritual Apostles they were counted the common incendiaries of the world, Acts 17:6, and no wonder when they acted under the Spirit of the Lord of Hosts, for “who may abide the day of his coming? And who shall stand when he appeareth? For he is like a refiner's fire,” Mal.3:2, and he burns up all before him, where he baptizeth with the Holy Ghost and with fire. Matt.3:11. He will spare the tribe of Levi no more than if they were the tribe of Gad or Manassas; but the children of Solomon’s servants, Neh.7:57, shall know their Master; and whilst he sits as a Refiner and a Purifier of silver, Mal.3:3, he’ll fetch out the spots of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver. Christ would not bear with the profession of the times, but fell hard, and hardest upon the religious party; stigmatized the religious party, and called those who thought they had been for holiness, the world. Jn.15:19. He gave divers instances in his walk and conferences with the Jews, of his Spirituality, beyond the severest morals. He did not reprove after the hearing of his ears, nor judge after the sight of his eyes, Isa.11:3, nor proceed according to the humbled limitations of his Manhood, but opposed men most faithfully and severely; even the meek Jesus did so, Lk.9:55, and would not abate them a frown, Mk.3:5, a cutting word, Jn.8:44, nor a lash, Lk.13:32, in his Father’s cause. Jn.2:15. And is not this walking as Christ walked enough to set the two worlds about their ears? Would not men pretend, if a man was acted by the Spirit of Christ, and preached down and lived down the Religion of the times, that his foot could slip, and his tongue transgress in nothing more than this? Look back to his twelfth excluding of the Spirit of Christ, mind the words of it, and see if this be not an Answer of the Gospel to it.

His thirteenth instance of exclusion, or shutting out the Spirit, which I shall mention, is in another very notable task too, if we don’t serve in the newness of the Spirit. Rom.7:6. ‘Tis this, “let me exhort you to contentedness in every condition.” {Page 211} Here he runs on three pages together upon contentment, and not one word of the Spirit, as a Worker of the heart into this frame. Nothing of his Presence against discontent, nothing of his Power to keep the mind easy, nothing of his Discoveries in a Supernatural way. But on the other hand, an impertinent story, and altogether strained in the application, as he had often before strained the metaphor in his text. The story is how an Ambassador of Spain, telling Henry IV of France the several partitions of the Spanish monarchy, was severally answered by that king, “I am King of France.” The reason of the impertinence is this, sensual pride and ambition still prompted that Monarch to repeat it often, “I am King of France;” and it being also a truth which fell under sense and apparently, it could not be any ways denied. Whereas there is none but the Spirit of Christ can make it out to me witnessing with my spirit, Rom.8:16, and so making my spirit a testimony, that when others have this, and that, and the other; as, riches, honors, pleasures, &c., I have Christ. Discontented persons see little of Christ, enjoy little of Christ, and then what avails it, that the Preacher tells them Christ is theirs? If the Spirit of God doth not tell them so, and in the very Revelation wean their hearts more from the world, and win them more to Christ, they will always be discontented, let a thousand preachers come and tell them that Christ is theirs. So that he had better have demonstrated the grounds of this contentment from the Word and Spirit, other than have unfitly illustrated them, it may be at two or three removes upon trust at disadvantage, from Jacques Auguste de Thou, the French Historian, whose volumes he never saw. He should have insisted upon the Operations of the Holy Ghost for this contentment. But herein he has failed.

His fourteenth exclusion of the Spirit is in four or five of the last pages of his book, where he hath an entire use of consolation, but not one word of the Comforter in it. “The last use shall be of consolation to the saints. Is Christ so excellent; and is he yours? This may be matter of comfort to you living and dying; you need not be afraid to die, &c.” {Page 213} Now by way of concession, he doth indeed comfort the saints through that use with a good objective consolation, to wit, the enjoyment of Christ in Heaven at their journeys end. However, consider that it is a use of consolation, and so it was a very unfit place to exclude the Comforter. The Holy Ghost’s Operation is stamped upon all spiritual consolation; and why should not his name go along with his own work? Mr. Hunt quotes two texts in his use of consolation out of the fourteenth of John, where the Comforter is promised, and yet did not see to bring Him in. Nay, he is promised over and over in the same chapter. In verse 16, says Christ, “I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, {or Paraclete, called into the very Office of Consolation besides me, as the compound of the Greek in verb and preposition signifies} that he may abide with you forever.” Also, whom he means by this Comforter besides Himself, the 17th verse explains, “even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him; but ye know him; {in the Power and Miraculous gifts of his Unction, shed on the Man Christ Jesus,} for he dwelleth with you, {in the Human Nature of Christ, so long as Christ dwelleth with you,} and shall be in you,” {as the Comforter, when Christ is gone to Heaven.} Then in verses 25,26, he renews this and brings it over again, “these things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you; but the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” Now methinks the internal spring of all that farewell comfort, Christ left with his disciples at parting, should not have been forgotten! Saints being not yet at their journeys end, but weary pilgrims, as in that use he calls them, they need the Comforter in the rest of their way to Heaven, and the Spirit to be their daily Guide home.

His fifteenth excluding of the Holy Ghost is in his pretending to open the Satisfying Virtue of Christ. His words are, “but now Christ hath a satisfying virtue, and that we shall find when we do by Faith receive him; ‘he hath wines on the lees well refined to drink.’ ‘Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters.’ Isa.55:1. So John 7:37, ‘in the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink; as such are called to him to come and drink,’ so when they do come they shall certainly find this satisfying virtue in him. ‘Jesus answered and said unto her, whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again; but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst, &c.’ i.e., he shall find such a satisfying virtue in me, that he shall never so eagerly pursue after the creature as before.” {Page 63}

Now had it not been for ill example, one might admire the ignorance of this man, quoting so many texts of Scripture which do all speak of the Spirit of God, as a refreshing Comforter, and wherein the Satisfying Virtue of Christ’s consists in giving forth his Spirit to the soul, and yet not glossing it in the least hint, that these things are spoken of the Spirit. But I see much of the cause. My “Gospel Feast” hath all along misled him; there this fault of excluding the Spirit reigns, and brings in all the Arminianism which abounds in the practical part of that treatise. Whatever it be, he hath made that ill pattern his model through the entire manual of his book.

His first text of the Spirit, though he brings not chapter and verse, is Isaiah 25:6. “Wines on the Lees,” as much as to say, in the feast of the Gospel the Lord bestows his Good Spirit to be in us, notwithstanding all our own corruptions at the bottom of nature upon which he sits in his active Operations whilst he mightily raises his own work above them, and sweetly prevails against them, that these graces of the Spirit; Faith, Love, Joy, Comfort, &c., {notwithstanding the sin that dwelleth in us,} are daily purged from it, which the Holy Ghost in the same text calls wines on the lees well refined, in them that are born after the Spirit. Gal.4:29.

The second text which he brings speaks of the Spirit too, “ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters.” Isa.55:1. The waters are the manifold preparations of God’s Spirit to be given forth in a Gospel way of refreshment to the soul. These are doctrinally prepared in the Gospel, to which men are graciously invited, thirsty men, souls under some begun work of Divine Quickening that thirst after something, but they don’t know yet what, to refresh their dry and languishing spirits; these are compelled to come, i.e., to come to the means of Grace where these waters are, though it be but yet coming with a Nature-Faith as well as coming to the means with a Nature-Motion, and there wait at these means, where these waters are to be had freely. “Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.” Prov.8:34. Freely, for at these means you are not by the Gospel asked what have you brought? How are you qualified? How have you lived? What have you done? How often have you prayed? Have you repented of sin? Do you mortify sin? Do you labor to fulfill the conditions of the Covenant of Grace? And twenty such questions. This is but men’s way, not Christ’s way of dealing with souls. These are none of the means where these waters for every one that thirsteth are to be had. Thirsty souls shall come from these means thirstier than they came there. Here are no waters. Psal.84:2. Here is no satisfying virtue, here’s no refreshment in all this; and yet you must pay dearer for all this, as appears by the high price of the sellers, than you shall need to do for the waters themselves. Now these waters under the means of Grace are the Divine Refreshments of the Spirit, emptying us of our selves, rejecting our qualifications and self-attainments, and filling us with Jesus Christ freely, and with nothing but what the Spirit of Grace, that pure River of the Water of life, derives from Him. A soul under trouble of mind, troubled for sin, can never be refreshed in a sense of the Pardon of it, till the Spirit be sent down as a Comforter from Christ, I Cor.6:11, to be in that soul, and apply the Satisfaction of God in the Righteousness of Christ unto that soul thirsting for Divine Refreshments, Psal.63:1-2; and then upon that Application of the Spirit the soul is satisfied, II Cor.5:5, there the satisfying virtue works, there the waters flow freely. So much for that, “ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters.”

His third text is John 7:37, “in the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, if any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.” Here the coherence itself is so plain it can’t be denied but ‘tis meant of the Spirit, who also is named in verse 39. Thirsting is that painful and languishing condition {or case} of the soul in which there is no enjoyment, but a Communication of the Spirit of God to it can satisfy it, and take away the painfulness of the appetite of the New Nature after Jesus Christ by the Spirit. {“How excellent is thy loving kindness, O God; therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings. They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures. For with thee is the fountain of life; in thy light shall we see light.” Psal.36:7-9.} Drinking is actual and sensible partaking of the Spirit and the Free Bestowment of him, who brings all the sweet Consolations of God, and the Divine Refreshments from Jesus Christ in a flow of the living comforts with him, even as verse 38 manifests in these words, “he that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.”

His fourth and last text is John 4:13-14 about Christ’s conference with the Woman of Samaria; where our Lord took occasion from her coming forth to draw water at the well of Jacob, to set forth the Doctrine of Free Grace by the Spirit of Jesus Christ; and in this manner, by expressing it of the Water which he should give; and that because so many of the Old Testament Promises of the Spirit, Rom.15:4, had all along ran under the similitude of water, clean water, &c. {“Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.” Isa.12:3. “They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them; for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them.” Isa.49:10. “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.” Isa.55:1. “For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.” Jer.2:13. “For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground; I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring.” Isa.44:3. “Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean; from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.” Ezek.36:25.} “Jesus answered and said unto her, whosoever drinketh of this water {at the well of Jacob, and the city of Sychar in Samaria} shall thirst again. But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him {shall, in the future tense} shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” What can this Water be, but the Spirit and his flow of Graces on the soul, when Jesus should be exalted? Especially it must be so, if we compare it with the preceding text, Jn.7:37, that speaks to us in the same metaphor, and same way of Promise. None can tell me else consistently what to fasten on for the interpretation, if they understand it not that he spake this also of the Spirit, and with Him of his Consolatory Refreshments, which they that believed on him should receive, as he saith afterwards, Jn.7:39, a little further on in this chapter.

Thus ‘tis evident in all the Scriptures that the Holy Ghost is spoken of the Second Gift of God’s love, next the Gift of his Son. Gal.4:6. Yet Mr. Hunt hath excluded the Spirit, and turned all these texts over to a Satisfying Virtue in Christ at large, or in the general, without the particular application of the Satisfying Virtue, in the Bestowment of the Holy Ghost whom God gives with Christ. Aye, rather than have given us one hint that these texts are spoken of the Spirit, he comes off thus in words next what I have transcribed. “I might, says he, have enlarged, but lest I should be thought tedious I proceed.”

Now what a pitiful, dull shift is this! I am sure it is far more tedious to me to tell an idle story, I Tim.1:4, in the same page which himself professeth not to believe. “I remember {says he} a passage I have read reported by Nicephorus {why did he quote that ecclesiastical plagiary, who stole his superstitious, Monkish insinuations out of Eusebius, II Tim.4:4,} that Abgarus, a great man that lived in the days of Christ’s flesh, who, hearing of his Miracles, sent a Limner to draw his picture; but when he came his countenance so dazzled his eyes, that he could not perform his work; how true that is I know not, but sure I am all that is in Christ cannot be set forth by creatures.” {Page 64}

To all these excludings of the Spirit I might add abundance more in the range of this book, opposed in my Vindication, but I have only designed a taste. In his very Exhortation, where the honor of the Holy Ghost is so eminently concerned in exhorting to creature-acts; yet for 20 pages together, as to the Spirit, there is only once, in a single sentence, the name of that Person; though there was such continual need of this Worker, in all that long task of soul-working, soul-acting, and internal creature-moving, laid open, in pressing obedience and performances, from page 193 to 213. I have only a particularized in fifteen instances in this chapter of his excludings of the Holy Ghost, though the same fault hath been more copiously opposed in the preceding chapters of Arminianism. I say but fifteen times; but nevertheless, I do much question whether anyone can show me, if he numbered all his letters, that Mr. Hunt does more than fifteen times so much as name the Spirit {or speak of Him} in all his book. Whatever it be, there is scope enough in this task-master’s setting of dead sinners and drowsy Saints {as his forms are out of the Gospel Feast} to work, to have made mention of the Holy Ghost one hundred times oftener than he has done in that spot of labor.

Let me subjoin a few hints upon those words of the Apostle, as a seasonable close of this chapter, Gal.5:25. “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” Wherein observe; living is before walking. ‘Tis if we live before ‘tis let us walk. A principle of Motion is first suited to the movement. Again, living in the Spirit is before walking in the Spirit. And moreover, life is through Christ from the Spirit, Jn.10:10, before there is any life of ours in the Spirit. Jn.3:6. And then ‘tis as necessary to be understood, that this Life from the Spirit in order to walk in the Spirit is the free and pure gift of God’s Grace. As the necessity of a thing ought to go before the nature of a thing, so likewise it is in this matter. “And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts.” Gal.4:6. “And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” Rom.5:5.

First the necessity of living in the Spirit in order to walk in the Spirit, may be set forth more outwardly and generally, in these four negatives. 1. Nothing any man knows of Religion by the reason of an unrenewed mind is more than a carnal knowledge in the things of God. He is but a sensualist in Religion, Jude 19, though a separatist, so long as in the profession of it he hath not the Spirit of God. The reason of that great man of parts, Simon Magus, was a corrupt knowledge of the Gospel, for want of the Experience of it by the Holy Ghost, as his story in the Acts witnesses at large. Acts 8:18-20. Reason without the Spirit of Christ is but the carnal mind; and the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. Rom.8:7. Nothing any man does in Religion by the zeal and devotion of an unregenerate heart is more than formal. ‘Tis jogging on in the common road of nature without any enjoyment of Father, Son and Spirit. I Jn.1:3. The heart is not carried out one step beyond old Adams pad. The form may vary, but the heart is one and the same in all; no power of the Holy Ghost to alter it. {“For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.” I Cor.4:20.} There is nothing in which a man sets out himself by gifts, and a mighty flaunting show of profession, but ‘tis all hypocrisy in the sight of God, out of Christ and out of the life of the Spirit. There are none of a man’s excellencies and commendableness, let him attain to the highest notions and forms, but sooner or later, if that man does not live in the Spirit, they will, they must at last, all come to nothing. {“But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” Rom.8:9.}

The necessity of living in the Spirit in order to walk in the Spirit appears more inwardly and directly in these four positives. 1. The Lord the Spirit, II Cor.3:17, will have his due glory, as well as the other Persons in God have theirs. As there are three distinct Persons in God, so there are three distinct praises to be ascribed, Isa.6:3, and offered up to God. 2. All our ultimate enjoyment of God rises out from God, through God, to God in Christ. Rom.11:36. How can I think of enjoying God for ever, if I am not made spiritual here? 3. Our inward taste and experience of Communion with God can never be without spirituality. Rom.8:6. 4. Our Acceptableness with God in all we say or do, think or act about the Gospel, is connected with our living in the Spirit, and this Acceptableness can never be separated from our Union in Christ, as solely accepted in Him. If the Lord, the Spirit from the Father and Christ doth not work, we work from Adam, not from Christ. He must have a Gracious Hand in it, if ever we experience that we find favor with God in what we perform to him.

The Spirit leads us through Christ to the Father in all Acceptation of what we are, or do. As we cannot go to the Father but as we are led through Christ, so we cannot be led thus spiritually, but by the Spirit of Christ. Eph.2:18. Moreover, as there is an acceptance of what we are, so likewise of what we do through Jesus Christ. Eph.1:6. The acceptableness of the most spiritual performances {or the acceptableness to God of all our living in the Spirit} is founded alone in union to Christ, together with an interest in the complete Surety-Righteousness of Christ. Phil.3:9. Union in Christ; for union to him does not reach this mystery. The branch is in the stock, so the soul is in Christ which lives in the Spirit, and therein finds favor with God through Christ. Jn.15:2-5. Also, this Union in Christ is together with an interest in the Complete Surety-Righteousness of Christ. Gal.1:4. And as the woman in marriage wears the husband’s name, and therein loses her own last name she had before her husband married her, so it is with the Gospeller in the Gospel-Righteousness. {“In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely; and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” Jer.23:6. “In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely; and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The LORD our righteousness.” Jer.33:16.}

This same Acceptableness with God, you’ll say is a great thing, which they who live in the Spirit attain. But how is it evidenced to the soul by living in the Spirit? Why, it is for God to hold out his Free Grace to you in the Faith of Christ, as your spiritual eye of Faith is kept up upon what he hath done for you in Christ. ‘Tis for God by the Activity and Power of his Spirit to descend upon your hearts, kindling up the life of the Spirit in you into more flame, into more ardent love to Christ. Lev.9:24. ‘Tis for God by his coming down {from the Advocacy of Christ in Heaven} upon your hearts, and there Efficaciously swallowing up all those things before you that were wont to be your main regard in Worship, you ever kept in your eye. I Kings 5:30-38.

Secondly, the nature of living in the Spirit is more especially, 1. To live out of ourselves in Christ, by another Faith than the Common Faith of the world. Gal.2:20. 2. ‘Tis to live above in the views and enjoyments of Christ who is above. Phil.3:20. Psal.73:25. 3. ‘Tis to live under a constant maintaining of the Spirit’s own work by Himself from Christ. Phil.2:13. 4. ‘Tis a conscious experience of living by the Spirit according to our Complete and Transcendent Relation above the natural. Our relation Mystical in Jesus Christ is above all our remaining nature-relation unto Adam. The victory is always from the transcendent relation above the natural. Rom.7:25.

Thirdly, the concomitant is walk in the Spirit. This is to walk with God in Christ by the same Spirit from whom we spiritually live. And of this Enoch, Gen.5:22, was a rare instance of in the times of the Old World. Heb.11:5. Moreover it is to walk with God in Christ by the Spirit of love, joy, peace, &c. Gal.5:22. Nevertheless, it may be here inquired, how a gracious walk is spiritual, and when it is so? A gracious walk spiritual by the Indwelling of the Spirit, I Cor.3:16, as the Apostle speaks, “but if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” Rom.8:11. Likewise, a gracious walk is spiritual by the Daily Operation of the Spirit. “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.” Eph.3:20. When is a man’s walk with God spiritual? Why, it is so, when the eye is always towards the Lord above forms and carnality. “I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.” Psal.16:8. {“Mine eyes are ever toward the LORD.” Psal.16:4. Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the LORD our God, until that he have mercy upon us.” Psal.123:2.} The eye of the soul by Faith and Heavenly Expectation. “My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.” Psal.62:5. Furthermore, ‘tis when Christ is our Principle by the Spirit, of his being our Example by the same Spirit. Also, when Christ is our life by the Power of the Holy Ghost. {“For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear.” Col.3:3-4.}

Uses: Take heed, if you live in the Spirit, that you do not fulfill the works of the flesh. “Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” Gal.5:16. Fall into them you will, even at unawares, from a corrupt nature-principle; but let everyone take heed how he deliberately finishes them. “For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die; but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.” Rom.8:13. Then, take heed of sinking below the natural excellences of a moralist, you that live in the Spirit. Jer.35:16. Would not one think this was needless? Yet the truth is, it cometh to pass, we have need to give nature-directions, in nature-points, to even very gracious men. I don’t mean nature-directions for men to come to Christ savingly, like your blind preachers; but nature-directions to walk honestly among men, that spiritual walking with God may not be reproached for your sakes. Rom.2:24. {For, coming to Christ savingly is a Supernatural Work of the Spirit.} 2. Walking honestly agrees with the light of nature. This does not make you Christians, but to be Christians makes you to walk honestly. {“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” I Jn.1:7.} Never take up your righteousness to men to be your righteousness towards God; lest God make your heart sick of the plague he loathes. Psal.38:5. Therefore, if you live in the Spirit expect that that Spirit will soon give you experiences from wicked men and carnal professors, of the outward Reproaches of Christ. {“If ye were of the world, the world would love his own; but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” Jn.15:19.}

Lastly, a few words to the Unconverted, if the Holy Spirit will bless the instructions to them. 1. If ever God take hold of your hearts it must be by His Spirit. Jn.16:8. 2. You cannot sit under the Gospel, but you will resist the Spirit, if the Spirit does not conquer you. {“But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming. - And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord; and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.” Acts 13:45,48.} 3. If the Spirit works savingly in any of your souls, he will discover a thousand times more in Christ for you, than there is in Sin, Satan and the World against you. {“For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world; and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God.” I Jn.5:4-5.} The Spirit exalts the payments of Christ against all your own debts. He has paid all, yet is not one whit lessened in the stock. {“Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father.” Gal.1:4.} The Spirit exalts the Holiness of Christ, and sets it against all your own deformity and defilements. {“But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” I Cor.1:30.} The Spirit shows you this. As the Spirit is given to you for your turning to the Lord, so it is the work of his Office to show you, in order to it, that all that is in Christ is for you. {“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth; for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak; and he will show you things to come. He shall glorify me; for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine; therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall show it unto you.” Jn.16:13-15.}