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too hard for them. They could difcourfe to Men of all Nations and Countries, in their feveral Languages; and that too, without any previous Learning or Meditation, but by the immediate Affiftance and Infpiration of the Holy Ghoft. By which means they who were but poor illiterate Fishermen, became of a fudden Fishers of Men; and intead of catching the mute and filly Fifh, they converted the Wits and Sages of the World, and brought in whole Sholes of Profelytes to Chriftianity.
Laftly, 'tis here faid, that they fpake as the Spirit gave them Utterance: they fpake not of their own heads, rafhly or what came first to mind, but what was dictated and directed to them by the Holy Spirit. They did not utter vain, empty, or idle Effufions, but wife, ufeful, and weighty Sayings; for fo the Word amiyyedar, in the Original fignifies not any loose or vain talking, but wife and fententious Speaking: 'tis the uttering of Apophthegms, and fpeaking like the Oracles of God. Hence we read that God gave them a Mouth and Wisdom, not a Mouth_only to fpeak any-how, but Wisdom too, to order their Speech, and direct it to wife and useful Purposes. This is the Utterance that the Spirit gives, not the pouring out the crude, hafty Conceptions of our own Brain, which too many father upon the Holy Spirit ; but wife, pithy, and profitable Sentences, fuch as befits the Holy Spirit to utter, and becomes us to hear. Once more,
Their fpeaking as the Spirit gave them Utterance, betokens the Freedom and Fluency of their Speech, which the Spirit gave them in the Delivery of their Meffage; that whereas before they were but flow of Speech, and in a manner tongue-tyed, they were then enabled to speak with the greateft Readiness, Courage, and Confidence, and that before all Perfons, and in all Places, without being in the leaft afraid or abafh'd at any in all which 'twas not fo much they that fpake, but the Spirit of God, that fpake in and by them. Thefe were the Effects that this coming down of the Holy Ghoft had upon the Apostles, who were thereby inspir'd with many new Gifs and' Abilities.
But what Effect had this upon the People who faw and heard thefe things? Why, that the following Words tell us they were feiz'd with Aftonishment and Admiration, and that not a few, but all that beheld or heard it, for there were at that time dwelling at Jerufalem, Jews, and
other devout Men out of every Nation under Heaven; who were wont to come from all Quarters of the World to the Worship of God at Jerufalem. Now when this was nois'd abroad, the whole Multitude of them came together, and were confounded or aftonifh'd at the Strangeness of the thing, because that every Man heard the Apoftles Speaking to them in their own Language. This unexpected News fo ftartled them, that they were all amaz'd, and marvell'd, faying one to another, Behold, are not all these that speak Galileans! that is, Men born in Galilee, that had lived all their time there: And how hear we every Man of them speaking in our own Tongue wherein we were born; and as readily too, as we who are Natives of thofe Countries; Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the Dwellers in Mefopotamia, and in Judea and Cappadocia, in Pontus and Afia, Phrygia and Pamphilia, in Egypt, and in the Parts of Lybia, about Cyrene, and Stran gers of Rome, Jews and Profelytes, Cretes and Arabians; we do hear them Speak in our Tongues the wonderful Works of God: that is, we of fo many different Nations and Countries, and likewife of fo many different Dialects and Languages, we do hear them preaching the Doctrine of Chrift and the Miracles wrought by him in our own feveral Tongues, which they never knew or understood before, nor had any Opportunity of learning. And this Wonder made fuch an Impreffion upon them, that the Apostles Preaching convinc'd them of the Truth of their Doctrine; and thereby were daily added to the Church, such as should be faved.
These are the Effects which this Defcent of the Holy Ghost had upon the People, it being the Means of teaching and converting all Nations, and of turning them from the Darkness of Paganifm and Idolatry, to the Light of the Gospel, and the Hopes of eternal Salvation.
This is, in fhort, the Mercy we are to call to remembrance this Day; a Mercy too great for all the Tongues, that at this time fell on the Apoftles, fufficiently to celebrate; a Mercy, for which all that Fire in which the cloven Tongues appear'd, cannot enough inflame our Breasts with Love and Thankfulness to God: In a word, a Mercy for which every Sermon we hear, coming from the Affif tance of this Holy Spirit, fhould fet us a bleffing and praifing God, for fending him to us. For 'twas the Holy Ghoft's coming down this Day, that endow'd the Apostles with Power from on high, to plant and propagate the Gof
pel to all the World: by which means it was, that we of thefe Iflands, who before fat in Darkness and in the Regions of the Shadow of Death, had this marvelous Light, which arofe and fhone among us: by this it was that we at prefent enjoy the Inftructions and Comforts of this Holy Spirit, acquainting us with our Duty here, and the Means of being happy hereafter.
Finally, the Apoftles receiving the Holy Ghoft at this time, gave them a Commiffion afterwards to breathe it on others, and thereby to preferve a Succeffion of Paftors and Teachers, for the Edification of the Church to the World's end.
For these ineftimable Benefits and Bleffings, let us compafs the Altar with Songs of Thanksgiving: let not the Wonders of this Day, which aftonifh'd and converted the World, fink into Oblivion, or pafs away as things to be flighted or forgotten by us; but let us remember them in the Feast of the Holy Communion, where our Saviour gives us himself, and figns over his Merits to us by the Seal of this Holy Spirit. Let us (as the Apoftles did) af femble together this Day, with one accord, and in one place, that we may in fome measure partake of the Gifts and Gra ces of the Holy Ghoft, that were this Day pour'd down upon them at leaft let us meet together with one Heart and one Mind at God's Holy Table, to celebrate the Memory, and receive the Comforts of it. Let us call to mind that time, when illiterate Fishermen fpake more Languages than the moft ftudy'd Linguifts, and the Foolishness of Preaching confounded all the Wisdom of the Wife; which things were done by this glorious Defcent of the Holy Ghost, O Bleffed Change! when Ignorance was turn'd into Knowledg, Sorrow into Joy, Darkness into Light. Let us all then praise and adore the Goodness of God for these miraculous Difpenfations, and pay our Tribute of devout Thankfulness to that Holy Spirit by which all thefe Things were effected. Beware of quenching the pious Ardours of this Holy Spirit, that came down this Day in the form of Fire to kindle in us the Love of God, and to inflame our Devotion, left he come again in a confuming Fire to deftroy all that wilfully refift him in a word, let us not trample under foot the Blood of the Son of God, by turning our backs upon the Holy Sacrament, but rather let us remember him now, that we may be for ever remembred by him hereafter.
The GOSPEL for Whitsunday.
Jefus faid unto his Difciples, If ye love me, keep my Commandments: And I will pray the Father, and he fhall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever, even the Spirit of Truth; whom the World cannot receive, because it Seeth him not, neither knoweth him; but ye know him, &c.
HE Difciples had fhew'd many Signs and Tokens of their Love to Chrift; as the Delight they took in his Prefence, the Fears they had of lofing his Company, and the Sorrow they conceiv'd' at the News of his departing from them, and the like: all which were great Marks and Inftances of Affection. But our Saviour here minds them of another and truer Token of their Love to him than all these; and that is, the doing what he had commanded them: If ye love me (faith he) keep my Com mandments. As if he had faid, Some of you have profefs'd great Love to me, and yet in a time of Trial have deny'd and forfaken me: Others have cry'd, Hail Mafter! and kifs'd me; and yet have foon after betray'd and crucify'd me. And indeed it is but too common among Men, to pretend much Love and Friendship, and in words to compliment each other with Your humble Servant, when in deeds they prove quite otherwife; and when need or occafion requires, to fhew the quite contrary. And therefore if you would prove the Truth and Reality of your Love to me (faith our Saviour) fhew it by obferving my Precepts, and by doing as I have directed you. This is the beft Touchftone and Trial of the Sincerity of your Affection to me: and if you give me that, I will give you a higher Token of my Love to you, than you have yet receiv'd from me; for I
will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter} that hall abide with you for ever.
I will pray, and he shall give: If Chrift will pray, there can be no fear of fpeeding; efpecially confidering, that he who is fued to is a Father, and he that fues is a Son: the Nearness of the Relation, and the Dearness of the Affection between them, is abundantly enough to fecure the Success of the Petition; for if earthly Parents know how to give good Gifts to their Children, how much more shall your Father which is in Heaven, give good things to them that ask them? And if an ordinary Son is commonly heard of his Father, and obtains his Request, how much more fhall an only-begotten and only-beloved Son, in whom the Father is well pleas'd, prevail in what he asks? He was ever heard (faith the Apostle) in that he feared, Heb. 5. 7. His Duty and Reverence to his heavenly Father will not fuffer his Petitions to be difmifs'd without a gracious and effectual Anfwer: I will pray (faith he) and the Father shall give; and between both ye fhall be fure to receive...
But what is the Gift he here promiseth from the Father? Why, Ift, 'tis a Comforter, yea, I fay unto you, and more than a Comforter, 'tis a Paraclete; nor do viv, he shall give you a Paraclete: which, befide a Comforter to chear in Diftrefs, fignifies an Inftructor in cafe of Doubts, and an Interceffor in time of Need; all which good Offices are included in the word Paraclete, and are perform'd by him, as was fhew'd in the Gospel for the last Sunday. Again,
2dly, Here is promis'd another Comforter: Your Father Shall give you another Comforter; that is, another befides himfelf: for another always fuppofes one before or befide, and that can be no other than Chrift. He was a Comforter to the Disciples while he was upon Earth, and fo he continues ftill to be in Heaven, where he appears as an Advocate in the prefence of God for us, to plead our Cause, and to make Interceffion for us. But another Comforter was neceffary for us here on Earth, to fupply the Defect of his bodily Prefence; and this is here promis'd: fo that Chriftians now have a double Comforter, the one in Heaven, to act for them there; the other on Earth, to help. their Infirmities: And both are no more than need, to carry them thro the Troubles and Temptations of this Life, and to bring them to a better. Moreover,