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النشر الإلكتروني

CONTEMPLATIONS

ON

THE GOD OF ISRAEL.

LETTER I.

TO THE REV. J. JENKINS, LEWES,

SUSSEX.

Cricklewood. Dear son in the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, grace and peace be multiplied.

I HAVE for some time had it upon my mind to send thee some account of my late goings on, having for some weeks back been much indulged and helped by the Holy Spirit of promise, of whose influence, help, and energetic intercession at the throne of grace, I have been very watchful and observant;

B

me.

and, on the other hand, could not but wonder at the backwardness, deadness, dryness, and barrenness, both in power and in expression, when his sensible influence was withheld from

His divine person, and his most benign influences and operations, were for many days my meditation, both by night and by day; and, during this time, these things were the principal subjects of my ministry; and, had I written them then, I have no doubt but thou wouldest have felt the blessed effects; but now it is not so with me; my harp is upon the willows: and, with respect to sensible enjoyments, the Comforter that should relieve my soul seems to be far from me. Oh, what is all religion without the operation of the Holy Spirit! An empty shew, and a weariness to the flesh.

I thought not a little of his divine personality; and wondered much how any man living, who reads the Scriptures, could ever have the effrontery to deny his being a divine person, But the world knows him not. "I

will send you a comforter whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him;

but ye know him, for he dwelleth with you,

and shall be in you.” He is therefore to be known by all believers: and those who do know him will glorify him and honour him; reverence him and adore him; and we know that all who are destitute of him, and strangers to his operations, are sensual men, and know nothing but what they know naturally.' Hence some have called the Holy Spirit no more than a quality, or an attribute of God; others an influence only; others no more than a name; avowing that there is but one person in the Godhead, but a plurality of names:-as Simon Magus gave it out, that he himself was God the Father in Samaria, the Word in Judea, and the Spirit in the other parts of the world. Surely that monster of a man must be the father or ringleader of all heretics. But we know that no curious diving, no speculative prying, no presumptuous intruding, will meet with the divine approbation. “God resisteth the proud.” But 0, how safe, how sweet, how salutary, how satisfactory, how humbling and softening, are the sweet influences, operations, discoveries, and communications of the Holy Spirit upon the souls of the children of God!

Various things are meant by the word Spirit in the holy scriptures : as wind, the spirit of beasts, and the souls of men, and angels, both good and bad. But the Holy Ghost is distinguished from all these, being emphatically called God, not in a figurative or metaphoric, but in an absolute, sense; "to the acknowledgment

, of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ,” Col. ii. 2. In which passage the Holy Ghost stands first in the Holy Trinity, and he is distinct from the Father and from Christ: and, surely, if he were not essentially God, to all intents and purposes, he never would have inspired the apostle to name and place him as God before the Father. The church

also is called “the temple of the Holy Ghost; as God hath said, I will dweil in them and walk in them.” No spirit whatever, that is mentioned in all the book of God, is ever numbered with the persons in the Holy Trinity, or ranked with the Father and the Son, except the Holy Ghost. Nor is the church the property, the temple, or the habitation, of any but of God alone: and, as the church is called the temple of the Holy Ghost, the Holy Ghost must be God.

A ghost is a spirit. The Holy Ghost and the Holy Spirit is one and the same in the original, as say the learned. Now what I have upon my mind, to write to my dear brother, is upon this important subject: and, however weakly, or however imperfectly I may express myself, I am fully persuaded, by my own experience, that it is most safe, and ever will be satisfactory and establishing, to the elect of God, who are regenerated and renewed by the Holy Spirit, to believe as I do: wbile the contrary is most dangerous, if not

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