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Here is now that glass, wherein thou must hehold thyself, and discern whether thou have the Holy Ghost within thee, or the spirit of the slesh. Is thou tee that thy works be virtuous and good, consonant to the prescript rule of God's word, favouring and tasting not of the slesh, but of the Spirit, then affure thyself that thou art endued with the Holy Ghost: otherwise, in thinking well of thyself, thou dost nothing else but deceive thyselt. The Holy Ghost doth always declare himself by his fruitful and gracious gifts, namely, by the word of wisdom, by the word of knowledge, which is the understanding of the Scriptures by faith, in doing of miracles, by healing i Cor. xii. them that are diseased, by prophecy, which is the declaration of God's mysteries, by discermng of spirits, diversities of tongues, interpretation of tongues, and so forth. All which gifts, as they proceed from one Spirit, and are severally given to man according to the measurable distribution of the Holy Ghost; even so do they bring men, and not without good cause, into a wonderful admiration of God's divine power. Who will not marvel at that which is written in the Acts of the Apostles, to hear their bold consession be- As* V. fore the council at Jerufalem; and to consider that they went away with joy and gladness, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer rebukes and checks for the name and faith of Christ Jesus. This was the mighty work of the Holy Ghost, who, because he giveth patience and joyfulness of heart in temptation and affliction, hath therefore worthily obtained this name in holy Scripture, to be called a Comforter. Who will not also marvel to read the learned and heavenly sermons of Poter and the Disciples, considering that they were never brought up in school of learning, but called even from their nets, to fupply the rooms of Apostles? This was likewise theJohnxir. mighty work of the Holy Ghost, w ho, because he doth instruct the hearts of the simple in the true knowledge of God and his word, is mott justly termed by this name and title, to be the Spirit of Truth. E,usebius in Lib his Ecclesiastical History telleth a strange story of a certain cap. 3. learned and subtile philosopher, who heing an extreme adverfary to Christ and his doctrine, could by no kind of learning be converted to the faith, but was able to withstand all the arguments that could be brought against him^ with little or no labour. At length there started. up a poor simple man, of small wit and less knowledge, one that was reputed among the learned as an ideot; and he on God's name would needs take in hand to dispute with "- cc 4 this
this proud philosopher. The bishops and other learned men standing by were marvellously abashed at the matter, thinking that by his doing they should be all confounded and put to open shame. He notwithstanding goeth on, and beginning in the name of the Lord Jesus, brought the philosopher to such point in the end, contrary to all men's expectation, that he could not choose but acknowledge the power of God in his words, and to give place to the truth. Was not this a miraculous \Vork, that one silly soul, of no learning, should do that ■which many bishops of great knowledge and understanding were never able to bring to pass? So true is the faying of Bede: "Where the Holy Ghost doth instruct and teach, there is no delay at all in learning." Much more might here be spoken of the manifold gifts and graces of the Holy Ghost, most excellent and wonderful in our eyes: but to make a long discourse through all, the shortness of time will not serve. And seeing ye have heard the chiesest, ye may easily conceive and judge of the rest. Now were it expedient do discuss this question; whether al! they which boast and brag that they have the Holy Ghost, do truly challenge this unto themselves, or no? Which doubt, because it is neceffary and prositable, shall, God willing, be diffolved in the next part of this Homily. In the mean season, let us (as we are most hound) give hearty thanks to God the Father, and his Son Jesus Christ, for sending down his Comforter into the world, humbly beseeching him so to work in our hearts by the power of this Holy Spirit, that we being regenerate and newly born again in all goodness, righteousness, sobriety, and truth, may in the end be made partakers of everlasting lise in his heavenly kingdom, through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour. Amen.
The Second Part of the Homily concerning the Holt Ghost, dissolving this doubt; whether all men rightly challenge to thenifel-ves the Holy Ghost, or no.
John xiv. /"\UR Saviour Christ departing out of the world unto Xv- V/ his Father, promised his Disciples to send down another Comforter, that should continue with them for ever, and direct them into all truth. Which thing to he
faithfully and truly performed, the Scriptures do fufficiently tear witness. Neither must we think that this Comforter was either promised, or else given, only to the Apostles, but also to the univerlal church of Christ, dispersed through the whole world. For unless the Holy Ghost had been always present, governing and preserving the church from the beginning, it could never have su(- 1 tained so many and great brunts of affliction and persecution, with so little damage and harm as it hath. And the words of Christ are most plain in this behalf, faying, John xxiv. that tbe Spirit of truth jhould abide with them for ever, that Mauii. xxi. he would he ivi/h them ahvays (he meaneth by grace, virtue, and power) even to the world's end. .
Also i n the prayer that he made to his Father a little hefore his death, he maketh intercession, not only for himself and his Apostles, but indifferently for all them John xvii. that should believe in him through their words, that is to wit, for his whole church. Again, St. Paul faith, If any Rom. viii. nan have not the Spirit of Chrijl, the fame is not bis. Also in the words following: We have received the Spirit of adop-lbidem. tion, whereby we cry Abba, Father. Hereby then it is evident and plain to all men, that the Holy Ghost was given, not only to the Apostles, but also to the whole body of Christ's congregation, although not in like form and majesty as he came down at the seast of Pentecost. But now herein standeth the controversy; whether all men do justly arrogate to themselves the Holy Ghost, or no? The bishops ot Rome have for a long time made a sore challenge thereunto, reasoning with themselves after this fort. "The Holy Ghost," fay they, " was promised to the church, and never forfaketh the church. But we are the chief heads and the principal part of the church, therefore we have the Holy Ghost for ever; and whatsoever things we decree are undoubted verities, and oracles of the Holy Ghost." That ye may perceive the weakness of this argument, it is needful to teach you, sirst, what the true church of Christ is, and then to conser the church of Rome therewith, to discern how well they agree together. The true church is an univerfal congregation or fellowlhip of God's faithful and elect people, built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the headEphrf. ii. corner-stone. And it hath always three notes or marks, whereby it is known: pure and found doctrine, the facraments ministered according to Christ's holy institution, and the right use of ecclesiastical discipline. This description of the church is agreeable both to the Scriptures of
God, and also to the doctrine of the ancient Fathers, so that none may justly sind fault therewith. Now if you will compare this with the church of Rome, not as it was in the beginning, but as it is at present, and hath been for the space of nine hundred years and odd; you shall well perceive the state thereof to be so far wide from the nature of the true church, that nothing can be more. For neither are they built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, retaining the found and pure doctrine of Christ Jesus; neither yet do they order the facraments, or else the ecclesiastical keys, in such sort as he did sirst institute and ordain them: but have so intermingled their own traditions and inventions, by chopping and changingi by adding and plucking away, that now they may seem to be converted into a new guise. Christ commended to his church a facrament of his body and blood: they have changed it into a facrisice for the quick and the dead. Christ did minister to his Apostles, and the Apostles to other men indifferently under both kinds: they have robbed the lay-people of the cup, faying, that for them one kind is sufficient. Christ ordained no other element to be used in baptism, but only water, whereunto when
Augustine. the word is joined, it is made, as St. Augustine faith, a full and perfect facrament. They being wiser in their own conceit than Christ, think it is not well nor orderly done, unless they use conjuration, unless they hallow the water, unless there be ori, falt, spittle, tapers, and such other dumb ceremonies, serving to no use, contrary to the plain rule of St. Paul, who willeth all things to be done in
i Cor. xiv. the church to edisication. Christ ordained the authority of the keys to excommunicate notorious sinners, and to absolve them which are truly penitent: they abuse this power at their own pleasure, as well in cursing the godly with bell, book, and candle, as also in absolving the reprobate, which are known to be unworthy of any Christian society: whereof they that lust to see examples, let them search their lives. To be short, look what our Saviour Christ pronounced of the Scribes and Pharisees in the Gospel: the fame may be boldly and with fase conscience pronounced of the bishops of Rome; namely, that they nave forfaken, and daily do forfake, the commandments of God, to erect and set up their own constitutions. Which tiiing being true, as all they which have any light of God's word mull needs consess, we may well conclude, according to the rule of Augustine, that the bishops of Rome and their adherents are not the true church of
Christ, Christ, much less then to be taken as chief heads and rulers of the fame. Whosoever, faith he, do diffent from August. the Scriptures concerning the head, although they be conira Pefound in all places where the church is appointed, yet are they not in the church: a plain place, concluding direct-cap. 4. Jy against the church of Rome. Where is now the Holy Ghost, which they so stoutly do claim to themselves? Where is now the Spirit of Truth, that will not suffer them in any wise to err? If it be poffible to be there, where the true church is not, then is it at Rome: otherwise it is but a vain brag, and nothing else. St. Paul, as ye have heard before, faith, If any man have not the Spirit of Chrijl, the same is not bis. And by turning the words, it may be truly faid, If any man he not of Cbrijl, the fame bath not the Spirit. Now to discern who are truly his, and who not, we have this rule given us; that bis sheep do always hear bis voice. And St. John faith, He that is John x. of God hearetb God's word. Whereof it followeth, thatJohn viii. 'the Popes, in not hearing Christ's voice, as they ought to do, but preserring their own decrees before the express word of God, do plainly argue to the world that they are not of Christ, nor yet poffeffed with his Spirit. But here they will allege for themselves, that there are divers necessary points not expreffed in holy Scripture, which were left to the revelation of the Holy Ghost; who being John xvi. given to the church, according to Christ's promise, hath taught many things from time to time, which the Apostles could not then bear. To this we may easily answer by the plain words of Christ, teaching us that the proper ossice ot the Holy Ghost is, not to institute and bring in new ordinances, contrary to his doctrine before taught; but (hall come and declare thole things which he had hefore taught, so that it might be well and truly understood. When the Holy Ghojl, faith he, shall come, he jhall leadyou into all truth. What truth doth he mean ? John xvi. Any other than he himself had before expreffed in his word? No. For he faith, He shall take of mine, and Jahn xvi. shew unto you. Again, he shall bring you in remembrance of all things that I have told you. It is not then the duty and part of any Christian, under pretence of the Holy Ghost, to bring in his own dreams and fantasies mto the church: but he must diligently provide that his doctrine and decrees be agreeable to Chriii's holy Testament; otherwise, in making the Holy Ghost the author thereof, he doth blaspheme and belie the Holy Ghost to his own condemnation.