Mr. FALLE's SERMON Before the Lord Mayor, April 21. 1695.

Lane, Mayor.

THis Court doth desire Mr. Falle to Print his SERMON, Preach'd on Sunday last at the Guild-hall Chappel, before the LORD MAYOR, and ALDERMEN of this City.



Guil. Lancaster.

Of the Descent of the PARACLET.

A SERMON PREACH'D Before the Right Honourable THE LORD MAYOR, AND Court of ALDERMEN, AT THE GUILD-HALL Chappel, April 21. 1695.

Being the Fourth Sunday after Easter.

By PHILIP FALLE, Chaplain in Ordinary to His Majesty.

LONDON, Printed for John Newton, at the Three Pigeons, over against the Inner Temple Gate, in Fleetstreet. 1695.

TO The Right Honourable Sr. Thomas Lane, LORD MAYOR OF The City of LONDON.


SO many Excellent Discourses have been already written against Scep­ticism, and in Defence of Christianity, that I might justly be deterr'd from coming [Page]after Others, if the Command of that Honourable Court, where Your Lordship so worthily Presides, had not call'd for the Publication of this Sermon. I could not foresee, it should be longer-liv'd than many better Composures of this Kind; which, after they have serv'd for an Hour's A­musement, are thrown aside, and vanish with the Breath of the Preacher: and therefore was not much concern'd to give it that Turn and Air, that is given to Things, which, from their First Concep­tion, are design'd for the Press. Such as 'tis, I leave it to God's Blessing: ear­nestly wishing that it may conduce to settle the Minds of those who shall chance to read it, in an hearty Belief of that Holy Religion which God has Reveal'd unto us by his Son, and confirm'd by the Ministry of the PARACLET; whose Miraculous Effusion on the Apostles, and Apostolic [Page]Men, in the First Ages of the Church, we commemorate at this Time: And may that Blessed Spirit guide us into all Truth Joh. xvi. 13.. I am,

YOƲR LORDSHIP's Most Humble, and Most Obedient Servant, Philip Falle.


SERMON sur l'Hymne Angélique & Eucharistique, Luc. ii. 14. Prononcé dans l'Eglise de St. Sauveur en l'Isle de JERSEY, le 3me jour d'Avril. 1687, Jour de Céne.

A SERMON on Luk. iii. 14. Preach'd at St. Helier, in the Isle of JERSEY, before the English Garrison, April 10. 1692.

Of the Impunity of Bad Men in the World. A SER­MON on Eccles. viii. 11. Preach'd at White-hall, Dec. 30. 1694.

An Account of the Isle of JERSEY, the Greatest of those Islands that are now the only Remainder of the English Dominions in France; with a New and Accurate Map of the Island. Humbly dedicated to His Majesty.

Written by PHILIP FALLE, M. A. Deputy from the States of the said Island, and Chaplain in Ordinary to His Majesty; and Printed for John Newton in Fleetstreet.

JOHN. xvi. 7.

Being part of the Gospel of the Day.

Nevertheless, I tell you the Truth; it is expe­dient for you that I go away: For if I go not a­way, the Comforter will not come unto you: but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

JOHN. xvi. 8.

Being part of the Gospel of the Day.

And when he is come, he will reprove the world of Sin, and of Righteousness, and of Judgment:

JOHN. xvi. 9.

Being part of the Gospel of the Day.

Of Sin, because they believe not on me;

JOHN. xvi. 10.

Being part of the Gospel of the Day.

Of Righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;

JOHN. xvi. 11.

Being part of the Gospel of the Day.

Of Judgment, because the Prince of this world is judged.

THESE are the Words of our Blessed Saviour to his Disciples, when he was going to leave them, and to depart from the World. He had fulfill'd all that belong'd to his Prophetick Office by a Three Years Ministry on Earth: He had reveal'd the Will of God to Mankind: He had gather'd a Church: He had ordain'd Apostles and Teach­ers: Nothing remain'd but that he should suffer, and return to his Father that had sent him. And [Page 2]now therefore, having lov'd his own which were in the World unto the end Joh. xiii. 1., he calls them together before his Passion, eats his last Supper with them, and in the most tender and moving Words that ever Man spake, I mean in that admirable Dis­course contain'd in This and the Three forego­ing Chapters, acquaints them with his going a­way from them. These were sad News to the Disciples, and their Grief was extream on this Occasion. They had forsaken all to follow him, and now in requital he was going to leave them: They had drawn upon them the Hatred of the World by adhering to him, and they were sure to meet with nothing but Persecution from it af­ter he was gone: Which way soever they look'd, they had but a Prospect of dark and gloomy Days coming upon them: and this mightily de­jected them, and fill'd their Minds with melan­choly Boadings and Apprehensions of what might befall them, when they should be depriv'd of the Support they now receiv'd from his Presence a­mong them. Our Lord bids them not to be trou­bled at his DepartureJoh. xiv. 1.; for he would be so far from leaving them (as they fear'd) helpless and a­lone [...]. ibid. vers. 18., expos'd to the Fury and the Rage of the World, that he would send them the Comforter, as soon as he was ascended unto his Father, the [Page 3]Glorious Spirit of God, who would be a mighty Succour and Defence to them, and would abide and continue for ever with themVers. 16.. It was this Blessed Spirit (he goes on to tell them) that was to plead and to maintain his Cause against the World that had rejected him, but could not come down till he was glorified Joh. vii. 39.: Therefore it was necessary he should speedily go away to send him down on Earth, that he might vindicate him a­mong Men, shew them their Infidelity in not believing on him, their Cruelty and Injustice in Crucifying of him, assure them of his Divinity and Exaltation at the Right Hand of God, and severely avenge him on all his Enemies, the Devil especially, the chief Author of his Death and of his Sufferings. Nevertheless, I tell you the Truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: For if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. Or, I will send him down from on High upon you, for so much the Word imports in the Original [...]. Quasi ex arce demittam. Grot.. And when he is come, he will reprove the World of Sin, and of Righteousness, and of Judgment: Of Sin, because they believe not on me; Of Righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of Judg­ment, because the Prince of this World is judged.

I am fall'n this Day on one of the most Difficult Texts of Scripture. It has puzzl'd the Learned'st Men to find out the true Sense and Meaning of this place.See their Anno­tations on the Place. The Incomparable Grotius, and the Excellent Dr. Hammond, have, in my Judgment, given the best Light to it, as they have done to many other Obscure Passages of the Sacred Oracles.

The Difficulty that is in these Words lies not in the Promise which our B. Saviour makes to his Disciples of sending them the Comforter after his Departure; for that's plain enough, and it was exactly accomplished some time after, viz. on the Day of Pentecost: but in the Effects he tells them that Blessed Spirit would produce in the World at his Coming. And when he is come, he will reprove the World of Sin, and of Righteousness, and of Judgment: Of Sin, because they believe not on me; Of Righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of Judgment, because the Prince of this World is judged. These are the Words which I design more particularly to treat of at this time. I shall first briefly explain them, and then enlarge further upon them.

You must note then that our B. Saviour makes allusion here to the Jewish way of pleading Cau­ses, and managing Actions and Suits at Law after the mode of the Courts, and the method of the [Page 5]Public Judicatories among that People in those Daies. All the Words and the Terms here us'd are properly Words and Terms of Law; which seems not to have been Understood by common Expositors. There were Three sorts of Actions usual among the Jews in our Saviour's time, all which are alluded to by him in this place. The First were those that consisted in Condemning and Punishing Sinners and Offenders against God: as, Blasphemers of his most Holy Name; False Prophets, that feduc'd the People, pretending they came from God when he had not sent them; and the like: These they call'd Actions concern­ing Sin [...].; that is, Sin by way of Eminency, Sin that struck directly and immediately at the Ho­nour, Veracity, or any other of the Attributes of God. The Next were those that consisted in pro­tecting and defending Innocent Persons from the Oppressions and Vexations of other Men; which therefore they call'd Actions concerning Righte­ousness [...].. The Last were when they demanded Vengeance, and urg'd the benefit of that great Law of Retaliation, express'd in Leviticus xxiv. 20., and mention'd elsewhereExod. xxi. 23. Deut. xix. 21. Matt. v. 38., against those that had injur'd them; by which Law it was ordained that whoever wrong'd another, it should be re­paid back to him in the same kind: These they [Page 6]call'd Actions concerning Judgment [...].. To me it is very evident that our B. Saviour in the Text alludes to these Three sorts of Actions (as he doth frequently in the Gospel to many other Civil and Religious Customs that were in use among the Jews in his time) and applies them to the manner of the H. Ghost's vindicating him, and pleading his Cause against the World at his Descent.

The word PARACLET in the Original is ano­ther Key to unlock this difficult Text. If I go not away, [...] ΠΑΡΑΚΛΗΤΟΣ [...],the PARACLET will not come unto you. For tho' the Word be commonly render'd The Comforter, it signifies al­so an Advocate, one that acts, sollicits, and pleads for another: and the Jews (I mean the Jews Helle­nists, for the Word in its primitive Derivation is a Greek WordΠΑΡΑΚΛΗ­ΤΟΣ Vox Grae­ca, frequens a­pud Judaeos in Versione Chal­daeâ, & apud Thalmudicos, non pro Conso­latore, sed pro eo qui causam agit alterius. Grot. in Joan. xiv. 16. PARACLE­TUS Judaeorum, & PARACLE­TUS Samari­tanorum. Juchasin. 138.2. ubi non Con­solatorem sig­nificat, sed Ad­vocatum, aut Patronum. Drus. Praeter. Lib. IV. ad. Joan. xiv.) us'd it generally in this Sense. 'Tis according to this known Acceptation of the word in his time that St. John, for instance, calls our B. Saviour himself Our PARACLET 1 Ep. ii. 1.: If any man sin, says he, ΠΑΡΑΚΛΗΤΟΝ [...], We have a PARACLET with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous: that is, (as our own Translation renders it) We have an Advocate with the Father, one that will plead and defend our Cause at the Bar of Heaven, even the Lord Jesus, who for this end is gone up on High, and sits at [Page 7]the Right Hand of God. And as the Jews call'd him that pleaded for another, ΠΑΡΑΚΛΗΤΟΣ [...], so him that pleaded against him, and was his adverse Party, they call'd [...] [...], the Accu­ser: which is the very Name given to the Devil in the Revelation xii. 10.; He is there call'd [...], the Accuser of the Brethren. These Two do very appositely explain and illustrate each o­ther: As 'tis the Part of the Infernal Spirit to be the [...], the Accuser of Good Men, so 'tis the Of­fice of the H. Ghost to be their ΠΑΡΑΚΛΗΤΟΣ, that is, their Advocate, and their Defender. The Jews have a Saying, That he that does one Precept of the Law, gets him PARACLIT EHAD [...], an Advocate, that will intercede to God for him: But he that transgresses one Precept of the Law, gets him Katigor-Ehad [...], an Accuser, that will charge and impeach him before GodPirke Avoth. ceu, Lib. A­pophthegm. Hebraeor. Cap. IV. Vid. Joh. Buxtorf. Flo­rileg. Hebraic. ad vocem Prae­ceptum. p. 277.. Our B. Saviour liv'd among the Jews, and express'd himself as they did; therefore I doubt not, but this is the Notion he had of the Word PARACLET in the Text: which according­ly Beza, in his Latin Version, renders Advocatus; Nisi abiero Advocatus ille non veniet ad vos. Grotius says the old Latin Interpreters render'd it constantly thusAnnot. ad Joan. xiv. 16. The word frequently occurrs in the ancient Greek Classical Writers, in the Sense wherein we now take it, of an Advocate, or Intercessor. Vid. Budaei Comment. Ling. Graec. Edit. Paris. An. MDXLVIII. pag. 802, 803. Ubi multa annotantur ex Aeschin. Demosth. Isocr. &c. Tertull. Lib. de Monogamiâ. Cap. III. In hoc quoque PARACLETUM agnoscere debes Advocaium, quod à totâ Continentiâ infirmitatem tuam excusat..

Further, that which our B. Saviour says the H. Ghost would do at his Coming, proves that he intended to speak of him in this Sense, and in this Notion, of an Advocate. And when he is come, [...], he will reprove the World. The word [...] is of the nature of the former, and pro­perly belongs to an Advocate Verbum hoc responde He­braeo [...] & Forense est, con­veniens Perso­nae causarum actori. Grot., who pleads the Cause of his Client with such Force of Argument, and such Evidence of Truth, that he confounds the [...] or Adversary, Silences him that pleads on the opposite side. The Word is us'd in this Sense by St. Paul Tit. i. 9., when he says that the Duty of a Christian Bishop, is to hold fast the faith­full Word, as he has been taught, that he may be able by sound Doctrine, both to Exhort, [...], and to Convince the Gainsayers. That is, so to plead the Cause of God and Religion, that he may stop the Mouths of all that speak against them.

These Remarks may not possibly seem so pro­per in a Discourse of this Nature; but they were necessary to clear the Text. And now we may understand the words of our B. Saviour, as if he had spoke to his Disciples in this manner. The H. Ghost, whom I must go away to send down upon Earth, besides what he will do more immediately for you, My Friends! whom [Page 9]he will never leave, as I must leave you now, will be my PARACLET, my Advocate, a­gainst the World when he comes; He will plead and he will defend my Cause, and he will lay in Three Actions against it in my Name. The First will be concerning Sin [...] —.. The World, you know, has rejected me as a Blasphemer Mat. ix. 3. and xxvi. 65., and a Seducer, and a False Prophet, and a Sinner against God. But when the H. Ghost comes down, he will charge the World with Infidelity at my Suit for not Be­lieving on me [...].. He will demonstrate that I am the Christ, the anointed of God, promised to the Fathers, foretold by the Scriptures, and so long expected by all the Nations of the Earth; and therefore that 'tis not I, but they, viz. the World, that is guilty of Sin and Blasphemy a­gainst God, for refusing to believe on him whom he has sent. Another Action which the H. Ghost, my PARACLET, will put in against the World on my behalf, will be concerning Righteousness [...] —.. The World has treated me as the most flagitious Malefactor: I have been tax'd of some of the blackest and foulest Crimes: I have been traduc'd for a Sabbath-Breaker Luke vi. 1. &c. — xiii. 14., a Glutton, a Wine-Bibber, a friend of Publicans and Sinners — vii. 34.; and in few days ye shall see [Page 10]me put to Death as a Robber and a Thief Matt. xxvi. 55, &c.. But when the H. Ghost, my PARACLET, comes down, he will assert my Innocency a­gainst the unjust Calumnies of the World: He will convince it of my Righteousness: He will shew the wrong that has been done me, and how undeservedly it is that I have suffer'd all these things from the hands of sinfull and un­gratefull Men. If you ask how the H. Ghost will do this, that will be by publishing at his Descent how God has glorified me [...]., rais'd me from the Grave where the Malice and Cru­elty of the World had laid me, restor'd me to a Life Glorious and Immortal, taken me up in­to the Mansions of the Blessed above, so that from hence forth ye see me no more [...]., exalted me at his Right Hand and on his own Throne, resign'd the Soveraignty and the Empire of the Uni­verse into my hands, and given me all Power in Heaven and in Earth Mat. xxviii. 18.. This will be a clear Proof of my Innocency, since 'tis not to be sup­pos'd that the most Holy and Just God would reward my Sufferings with so great a Glory, if I were a wicked Man and a Sinner: He would leave me in my Grave, and under the Power of Death, if the World had justly con­demn'd meFatebitur Mundus me ve­rè justum fuisse, qui ex hoc mun­do discedens non fuerim d [...]mnatus à Patre. Beza.. Now who fitter to convince the [Page 11]World of this New Glorious Life of mine, and Exaltation at the Right Hand of my Father, than the H. Ghost, who, coming down from Heaven, ought best to know what has been done there, and is best able to declare it to the World? One Action more which the H. Ghost, my PARACLET, will put in against the World on my behalf, will be concerning Judgment [...] —.. He will demand Vengeance, and urge the Great Law of Retaliation against it. You have seen how the World has us'd me. 'Tis but just it suffer the Punishment due to its Unbelief and Cruelty towards Me; and that it will most eminently do when the H. Ghost comes down. For he will avenge me on all mine Enemies, those that triumph and rejoyce now in my Shame, and in my Sufferings. He will avenge me especially on the Devil, the Prince of this World [...]., the chief Author and con­triver of my Death. He will destroy his King­dom, and execute so remarkable a Judgment upon him, that the whole World shall be asto­nish'd at it, and my Name shall be glorified among Men. This will the H. Ghost do, All these mighty Things will he bring to pass at his Coming; Therefore when I say unto you that I go to send him, if ye loved me ye would re­joyce Joh. xiv. 28., [Page 12]and not mourn at my Departure. And when he is come, he will reprove the World of Sin, and of Righteousness, and of Judgment: Of Sin, be­cause they believe not on me; Of Righteousness, be­cause I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of Judgment, because the Prince of this World is judged. This I take to be the meaning of these Words, which I shall now apply my self to consider more particularly.

I. The First Thing that Our B. Saviour tells his Disciples, the H. Ghost, his PARACLET, would reprove or convince the World of at his Coming, is Sin, for not believing on him.

When the Son of God came into the World, though all the Characters that had been given of the Messiah in the Books and Oracles of the ancient Prophets were most exactly fulfill'd in his Person, he was nevertheless rejected by the World, as tho' he had been a Deceiver Matt. xxvii. 63., and had design'd to put a Trick upon it. The Miracles which he wrought were the great Evidences that he brought to prove the Divine Authority of his Mission, and he frequently appeals to them in the Gospel. If I do not the Works of my Father, believe me not: But if I do, though you believe not me, believe the [Page 13]Works Joh. x. 37, 38.. But what effect had these Miracles upon the World? Some indeed confess'd that no man could do them, except God were with him Joh. iii. 2.: but Others turn'd the Argument against him, and said they were done by the Power of Charms and Enchantments, by a Pact and Collusion with the Devil. He casts out Devils by Beelzebub the Prince of the Devils Matth. xii. 24. Luke xi. 15.. Thus the World did not be­lieve on him. Though he had done so many Miracles before them, says the Sacred RecordJohn xii. 37, &c., yet they believed not on him. That the Saying of Esaias the Prophet liii. 1. might be fulfilled, which be spake, Lord, who hath believed our Report? These things said Esai­as, when he saw his Glory, and spake of him.

He therefore tells his Disciples in the Text, that the H. Ghost at his Coming would convince the World of what it would not now believe: would put the Truth of his Mission in such an open Day, that the World should not any longer be able to deny him. It may indeed seem a matter of just Wonder, how the H. Ghost at his Coming should demonstrate the Truth of our Saviour's Mission with greater Force and Evidence than he had done himself. But 'tis most certain the H. Ghost (the PARACLET) did it, and that especially Two waies.

First, By doing more and Greater Miracles [...], &c. D. Cry­sost. Hom. lxxvii. in Jo­an. on Earth, by the hands of the Apostles, after his Descent upon them, than our Lord himself had done before in the Days of his Flesh. The won­derfull Gift of Tongues bestow'd on the Apostles, on the Day of Pentecost, being One of those Great­er Miracles of the H. Ghost. That a few poor Ga­lileans, who before spake only the rude Dialect of their Province, and by their uncouth Speech be­wray'd themselves Mat. xxvi. 73. where-ever they went, as Peter did to the Damsel and others in the High Priest's House, Thou art a Galilean, thy Speech a­greeth thereto Mark. xiv. 70.: That these Men, I say, should in an instant, without Study, meerly through a sudden Impulse or Inspiration of the H. Ghost, be heard to speak accurately and elegantly all the Various and the most Learned Languages of the World, and going to the utmost Bounds and Ex­tremities of the Earth, should declare to every Na­tion in its own proper Tongue the wonderfull Works of God Acts ii. 11., was certainly a New and Unheard-of Miracle; such a Miracle as the World had not been acquainted with before. Are not they which speak Galileans? say the Multitudes: How then hear we every Man in our own Tongue wherein we were born ibid vers. 7, 8.? Our Blessed Lord himself, the Word and Wis­dom of the Father, never spake but one Language [Page 15]only, during the whole Time that he liv'd among Men, viz. the Vulgar Syro-Chaldean Matt. xxvii. 46. Mark vii. 34., us'd through­out the Region which he honour'd with his Resi­dence and Ministry. The speaking of diverse kinds of Tongues by the Spirit 1 Cor. xii. 10. was a Miracle reserv'd to be the Crown and Perfection of all others wrought under former Dispensations, and was particularly design'd to make good those so very remarkable Words of our Saviour to his DisciplesJoh. xiv. 12., He that believeth on me, the Works that I do shall he do also, AND GREATER WORKS THAN THESE SHALL HE DO [...]. D. Crysost. de Sto. Paulo A­postolo Hom. xxxii. in Ep. ad Rom. pro­pè sinem., be­cause I go unto my Father. Nor does this any ways lessen the Glory of our Saviour's Miracles; because whatever the H. Ghost did by the Apo­stles, the great End thereof was to corroborate our Saviour's Miracles, and to bear Testimony to the Truth of every Thing he did or spake whilest he abode upon Earth. When the PARACLET is come, whom I will send from the Father, he shall te­stifie of me Joh. xv. 26.: And in the Words after the Text, He shall glorifie me —xvi. 14.. It was indeed that admi­rable Knowledge of Tongues and Languages which the Apostles receiv'd from the H. Ghost, that enabled them to propagate as they did the Gospel of Christ, that taught every Mouth to Confess him, that got him Proselytes from all Na­tions [Page 16]under the Sun, and that in very little time made the Glory and Reputation of his Name fly over all parts of the Universe.

Secondly, The Coming of the PARACLET made it impossible for the World any longer to deny our Saviour, another way: And that was by his very Coming down, abstracting from the Miracles which he wrought afterwards. Thus. Our Saviour pleaded that he was a true Prophet, sent from God, and he foretold many things that should come to pass, whereof this was one: That as soon as he was ascended unto his Father, the H. Ghost should come down, and the Effects of it should be seen visibly in the World. He bad his Apostles not to depart from Jerusalem, untill they were endued with Power from on High Luk. xxiv. 49. Acts i. 4.. The H. Ghost therefore coming down as he had fore­told, descending on the Apostles, and exerting his mighty Power in them immediately upon it, what was this but a most Signal Testimony that our Saviour was a true Prophet, and that conse­quently they were guilty of very great Sin that did not believe on him?

But now to discourse particularly of this Glori­ous Descent of the H. Ghost, to relate the Man­ner of it, the Circumstances that attended it, is neither the Business of the Text nor of the Day. [Page 17]'Tis a Subject proper for the Great Solemnity that is approaching, upon which I shall not Anti­cipate. But I must crave your Attention to the Matters now before us.

II. The Next Thing that our B. Saviour tells his Disciples the H. Ghost, his PARACLET, would reprove or convince the World of at his Coming, is Righteousness: that is, His Righ­teousness, our Saviour's Righteousness; be­cause (saies he) I go to my Father, and ye see me no more.

The World not only rejected our Saviour, as to his Office; but likewise aspers'd his Innocency, as to his Life and Conversation among Men. False Witnesses did rise up, they laid to my charge things that I knew not, says David Ps. xxxv. 11. Matt. xxvi. 59., speaking Prophetically of him. He was the Lamb of God, without blemish, and without spot 1 Pet. i. 19.. Who did no Sin, neither was Guile found in his Mouth —ii. 22. Isa. liii. 9.. And yet how barbarously was he us'd by the Tongues of Men? His very best Actions were censur'd, and cavil'd at. He was reckon'd among the Trans­gressors Luke xxii. 37. Isa. liii. 12.: He bare the Sins and Iniquities of us all Ibid. vers. 6. and 12.: He had his Grave with the Wicked Vers. 9.: and he was at last cut off from the Earth, as tho' he [Page 18]had been guilty of Crimes which nothing but his Blood could expiate.

Our Lord then tells his Disciples in the Text, that the H. Ghost at his Coming would Convince the World of his Righteousness, or Innocency, which was then Eclips'd, as it were, by the Ca­lumnies and the Obloquies of Men; but would be clearly manifested to all, and would shine out again to a perfect day, at the Coming of the H. Ghost. But how should the H. Ghost Convince the World of our Saviour's Innocency? Because (says he) I go to my Father, and ye see me no more. That is [...]. D. Cry­sost. in loc., by publishing at his Descent, how that our Saviour was ascended unto his Father, so as we see him now no more on Earth, and urging This as the great Argument of his most Righteous and Holy Life. And this the H. Ghost should do by the Ministry of the Apostles, and the Mighty Power with which he should go along with them in the whole Course of it; giving them full Evidence of the Truth of these Things, and enabling them to convince others of them; and the World should not be able to stand out against the Force of their Testimony.

How this was perform'd by the Apostles, at the Descent of the H. Ghost, we have an ample Account in Scripture. This was so remarkably [Page 19]fulfill'd, that on the very Day on which the Spi­rit of God descended upon these Holy Men, viz. the Day of Pentecost, the First Thing they did, was to Vindicate our Saviour's Innocency against the Jews, by these same Arguments of his Resurrecti­on from the Dead, and Exaltation at the Right Hand of God. For when great Multitudes flock't to the place where they were assembled, 'tis said that Peter standing up with the Eleven, spake in this mannerActs ii. 22.. Ye Men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a Man approved of God among you, by Miracles, and Wonders, and Signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye your selves also know: Him being delivered by the determinate Counsel and Foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, —23. and by wicked hands have Crucified and Slain: —24. Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of Death; be­cause it was not possible that he should be holden of it. —32. This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we are all Witnesses. And being by the Right Hand of God ex­alted, —33. and having received of the Father the Promise of the H. Ghost, he hath shed forth this which ye now see and hear. Therefore let all the House of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus whom ye have Crucified, both Lord and Christ. Now,—36. what was the Effect of this Discourse? Was any body convinc'd of our Saviour's Innocency by it? [Page 20]Read what followsVers. 37., When they heard this, they were pricked in their hearts, and said unto Peter, and to the rest of the Apostles, Men and Brethren, what shall we do? O the Mighty Power of the Spirit of God! which brought the very Murtherers of our Lord, those who but few daies before had so bitterly revil'd him, and persecuted him to the Death, to acknowledge his Innocency and their Guilt, and come trembling and crying at the feet of his Apostles, Men and Brethren, what shall we do?

Here indeed it was that the Blessed Apostles Conquer'd and overcame the World! Where­ever they went, this was the thing they constant­ly Preach'd, and enforc'd on the Belief of Man­kind: That it was no strange thing that a Good Man should Suffer; That Jesus was a Righteous, and an Innocent Person; That the Ignominious Death he had been put to, was no Argument at all of his Guilt, but of the implacable Malice of his Enemies, whose horrible Hypocrisy drew from him those sharp but just Reproofs that in Re­venge made them seek his Destruction. If any doubted it, they bade him consider how God had glorified him after Death, crown'd him with Ho­nour in the Highest Heavens, who had been so ill intreated, and so shamefully reproached upon [Page 21]Earth: Seated him on his own Throne, far a­bove all Angels, and Principalities, and Powers, and Mights, and Dominions, and every Name Eph. i. 21., who had been despised and rejected of Men Isa. liii. 3.. For it was most certain God had rais'd him from the Dead. They saw him, spake with him, eat and drank with him after his Resurrection many daysLuk. xxiv. 30.42. Joh. xxi. 12, &c.: They touch'd him, and handl'd him Luke xxiv. 29. Matt. xxviii. 9.: They thrust their hands into his Side, and they put their fingers into his very Wounds Joh. xx. 25.27.: So that they were sure it was a Real Body which they beheld and felt, and not a Spirit or a Phantasm that deluded them; and that it was the very self-same Body which had been dead and breathless before, that was now quick and alive again; for another Body could not have had the Prints, and the Marks, and the Scars upon it which they saw. As for his As­cension into Heaven, and his Session at the Right Hand of God, it was as Certain and Undoubted as his Resurrection from the Dead. For after he had remain'd on Earth forty daies Acts i. 1, &c. Luk. xxiv. 50., both to assure them by many infallible Proofs that he was indeed risen, and to instruct them in the Things per­taining to the Kingdom of God, he assembled them on the Mount of Olives, where, after he had blessed them, whilest he was yet speaking unto them, and they beheld him, he was taken up, and a Cloud received [Page 22]him out of their sight. They saw him visibly mount up, and take his Flight towards the Mansions of Eternal and Immortal Bliss. And tho' he was able in a moment, in the twinkling of an Eye, to have passed from the Earth to the Highest Hea­ven, he set out at first and march'd up but slow­ly, so that they stood gazing up a long while after him as he went up Acts i. 10, 11., that they might the better observe his Ascending. And lest it should be thought that he had been only carried up in the AirSo some Anci­ent Hereticks thought., and there left in some of those Wild and Unknown Regions, two Angels came down in bright and shining Apparel [...]. ibid., who most expresly as­sur'd them, that our Everlasting High-Priest was entred into the Holiest of all Heb. ix 8, 11, 12, 24., the Third and Inmost Heaven, where is the Throne of God on which he was to sit, and that they should see him one day come down from thence in like manner as they had now seen him taken upActs i. 11., namely, when he should return to Judge the World. Thus did these Holy Men, by the mighty Power of the Spi­rit of God, which strengthen'd them in an extra­ordinary manner, upbraid the World with its Cruelty and Injustice to their Lord, by shewing how God had Justified him, thô Men had Con­demn'd him. He was indeed for a while of no re­putation, says St. Paul Phil. ii. 7., and took upon him the [Page 23]form of a Servant, and was made in the likeness of Men: And being found in fashion as a Man, —8. he hum­bled himself, and became Obedient unto Death, even the Death of the Cross. —9. Wherefore God also hath high­ly Exalted him, and given him a Name which is above every Name: That at the Name of Jesus every Knee should bow, of things in Heaven, and things in Earth, —10. and things under the Earth; And that every Tongue should confess, that Jesus Christ is the Lord, —11. to the Glory of God the Father.

III. The Third and Last Thing that our B. Saviour tells his Disciples the H. Ghost, his PARACLET, would reprove or convince the World of at his Coming, is Judgment, because the Prince of this World is judged.

Nothing had expos'd the Son of God more to the Scorn and Derision of the World, than that Unexampled Patience and Meekness with which he suffer'd all the Indignities that were cast upon him, never making any other Returns than Kind­ness to his greatest Enemies, and Prayers unto God for them. When he was reviled, he reviled not again: When he suffered, he threatned not 1 Pet. ii. 23.. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his Mouth: He was brought as a Lamb to the Slaugh­ter, [Page 24]and as a Sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opened not his Mouth Isa. liii. 7. Acts viii. 32.. He did not strive, nor cry, neither did any man hear his voice in the Streets. Mat. xii. 19. Isa. xlii. 2.. This, the base and degenerous World imputed to his Impotence, and made it an Argument of his Guilt, which was rather an Instance of his Love, and Goodness, and Compassion to Men. Thou that destroyest the Temple, and buildest it in three daies, save thy self: If thou be the Son of God, come down from the Cross Matt. xxvii. 40.! were the insulting words of the Jews, mocking him whilst he lay labouring under the Throws and the Agonies of Death. The Time of his Abode upon Earth was indeed a Time of Sufferings: 'Twas the Hour of his Ene­mies, and the Power of Darkness Luk. xxii. 53.. But when once God had exalted him, and taken him up unto himself, it was then fit he should assert his Power and Godhead by his Judgments on the World, and that being sate down at the Right Hand of God, his Enemies should be now made his Foot­stool Psal. cx. 2 Matt. xxii. 44.. But the Heavens being to contain him un­til the Times of the Restitution of all things Acts iii. 21., he could not come down presently again on the Earth, to execute Judgment in Person upon the World that had rejected him. Therefore he sends the H. Ghost, who, as his PARACLET, his Great Representative on EarthPARACLE­TUS Vicarius Christi. Tertul. advers. Valent. Cap. xvi., avenges him on [Page 25]the Authors and Instruments of his Sufferings. Not one of them escap'd the Vengeance they de­serv'd. Judas who betray'd him, had some time before, with unconceivable Horrour and Anguish of Mind, ended his wretched daysMat. xxvii. 3. Acts i. 18.. Herod lost his Tetrarchy, and, with his Incestuous He­rodias, died in BanishmentJoseph. An­tiq. Jud. lib. xviii. cap. 9.. Pilate was put out of his Government, grew weary of his Life, and became his own MurdererEuseb. Hist. Eccl. lib. ii. cap. 7. Nic [...]ph. Cal­list. Eccl. Hist. lib ii. cap. 10. Vid & quae [...]bi­dem resert de Annâ & Cal­phâ, aliis (que) qui & ipsi (ut lo­quitur) dignas varias (que) dede­runt paenas, ejus quam Christo intulerunt, ini­quae & injustae Necis.. But not to insist on Judgments upon Particular Persons, to whom God's afflicting Providences are so variously and so unaccountably administred in this World, what became rather of the Jews and Romans, those two great Nations that had combin'd to put him to Death? They were destroyed by the Sword of his Mouth Rev. xix. 15., and by the mighty Power of his Spirit 2 Thes. ii. 8.. The Jews were his most deadly Enemies, but they soon felt the terrible Effects of that direfull Imprecation which they made upon themselves and their Posterity, when they cried out at his Crucifixion, His Blood be on us, and on our Children Mat. xxvii. 25.! No sooner was the Lord ascended unto his Glory, and the PARA­CLET came down, but the Christian Church prevail'd o'er the Jewish Synagogue. Their Pom­pous Temple was destroy'd, the daily Oblation ceas'd Dan. ix. 27., The Abomination of Desolation stood in [Page 26]their Holy Place Matt. xxiv. 15., and the Divine Justice left not pursuing them till they were no longer a Na­tion. As for the Romans, never was the Hand of God more remarkably seen in any thing than in the Overthrow of their EmpireVid. D. Au­gust. de Civit. Dei. & Osor. adv. Paganos, qui Argumen­tum hoc fuse, & operatò prose­quuntur., which, at the Birth of our Saviour, was at the Height and Top of all its Glory. All the Mighty Nations of the Earth were Tributary to it, and there was an U­niversal Peace in all its Provinces. But after his Ascension, and the Descent of the PARACLET, it began visibly to decline. The Rhine, the Da­nub, and the Euphrates, which were before the Bounds of its Greatness, and over which it was certain Death for any Barbarous Nation to pass, saw their Banks cover'd with Swarms of a Savage and Unknown People, that spred over it like Lo­custs. Rome it self, which was call'd the Eternal City Romulus Ae­ternae nondum fundaverat Ur­bis Marnia. Tib. lib. ii. Eleg. 5. Inter haec Or­phitus praefecti potestate rege­bat Urbem Ae­ternam. Amm. Marcellin. lib. xiv., that Name of Blasphemy Roma, Aeter­na cum dicitur, quae Temporalis est, nomen est Blasphemiae. Prosper. mention'd by St. John in his Revelation xiii. 1., which said I sit a Queen, I shall see no sorrow, I shall never be mo­vedxviii. 7.; That proud City, the Mother of Spiritual Whoredoms, the Seat of all the Idolatries and Abominations of the Earth, Drunk with the Blood of the Saints, and of the Martyrs of Jesus xvii. 5, 6., was sack't by the Goths and Vandals.

But I hasten to that Judgment which our Lord tells his Disciples the H. Ghost, his PARACLET, [Page 27]would more particularly execute on the Devil, the Chief Author of his Death, and of his Suffer­ings. For it was he that had most bitterly Perse­cuted him in the whole Course of his Life, tempt­ing Judas to betray him, animating Herod and Pilate, the Jews and Romans, to his Destruction.

Our Lord calls him here [...], The Prince of this World. So he had call'd him twice before. Now is the Judgment of this World: Now shall the Prince of this World be cast out Joh. xii. 31.. And again, The Prince of this World cometh, and hath nothing in me —xiv. 30. St. Paul calls him yet somewhat more, even The GOD of this World 2 Cor. iv. 4.. These were some of the Usual Names and Appel­lations by which the Devil was Known and Un­derstood among the Jews Vid. Doctiff. Lightf. Hor. Hebr. & Thalmud. in Joan. Cap. xii. Vers. 31., who thereby intend­ed to express that Empire which he had at that time over the whole World, that little corner of it where they dwelt, Palestine, only excepted. There indeed the true God was Confess'd; for in Juda God was known, his Name was great in Israel Ps. lxxvi. 1.: But every where else, a dark Night of Idolatry and Paganism cover'd the face of the Earth, and Wretched Men forsaking the God that made them Deut. xxxii. 15, 16, 17., paid Religious Service to the DevilToto passim Terrarum Orbe rerum potieba­tur Satanat, co­lebatur (que) ab c­mnibus prope­modùm Genti­bus & Nationi­bus. Ubiq, ex­tabant Delubra in illius Hono­rem crecta, ubi­que Arae, ubi (que) Sacrisitia, &c. Author. Com­ment. in Luc. adscript. Tito Bostrens. Ep. in Auctuar. Bi­blioth. Patr. Tom. xi.. He had Sumptuous and Magnificent Temples erected to his Honour: Glorious and Goodly Shrines, which [Page 28]were every day throng'd with vast Multitudes of Worshippers of all Countries under Heaven. He had all the Rites and Ceremonies of a Public and Solemn Ministration appointed him: Fla­mins and Priests ordain'd to attend and to serve at his Altars; which sent up a Cloud of Incense towards Heaven, and reek'd with the Blood of the Victims that were offer'd him: But that Mur­therer Joh. viii. 44. chiefly delighted in Human SacrificesEuseb. Prae­parat. Evang. lib. ix. cap. 15. & alibi passim. Lactant. Di­vin. Instit. lib. i. cap. 21. Minuc. Foelix. in Octav. Porphyr. [...]. lib. ii. Sect. 53, 54, &c.. Parents made him a Burnt Offering of their Chil­dren, and drown'd the Cries of the Dying In­nocents with the Noise of Drums and Cymbals. He had Vestals and Holy Virgins consecrated to him. He had Augurs, and Sybils, and Prophe­tesses that spake in his Name, and deliver'd his Oracles to Men, when they consuited him about Future Events.

Our Lord then tells his Disciples in the Text, that the PARACLET at his Coming would o­verthrow this Empire which the Devil had set up in the World; and this Prediction was most ex­actly accomplished at the Descent of the H. Ghost. For that Blessed Spirit coming down on the A­postles, arm'd them with such an irresistible Pow­er, that they soon led Captive the Prince of this World. Wherever they went, by the Doctrine which they preach'd, and the mighty Works [Page 29]which they did for the Proof and Confirmation of it, they destroy'd his Kingdom, and set up the Kingdom of Christ: They beat down his Idola­trous Temples, and built Churches on their Ru­inesEuseb. Prae­par. Evang. lib. iv. cap. 4.: They overturn'd his Altars, and erected the Triumphant Cross: They struck dumb his OraclesId. ibid. lib. v. cap. 16, &c. Id. Demonst. Evang. lib. v. in Proem. [...]., and publish'd aloud in all places the glad Tidings of the Gospel: and by that means convinc'd the Unbelieving World that That impure Spirit, who had so long reign'd in the Earth, whose Nostrils had been fed with the Steams and Fumes of so ma­ny Sacrifices, was now Judg'd and Condemn'd, and That Jesus who had been Crucified, and who sate at the Right Hand of God, was the only God and Lord.

When the H. Ghost came down, and assisted the Apostles in Preaching up Jesus, and the Power of his Resurrection Phil. iii. 10., then fell Satan as Lightning from Heaven Luk. x. 18.; who had said, I will exalt my Throne above the Stars of God, I will be like the most High Isa. xiv. 12, 14.. No sooner did the Light of the Gospel, by the Ministry of these Holy Men, display its Beams o'er the benighted World, but the Powers of Darkness vanish'd, and fled at its Glorious Appearance. The Devil could not bear that Light, which discover'd the Imposture he had kept the World under for so many Ages.

How Absolute was he in the World before, when all the Mighty Kingdoms of the Earth paid him Homage, and were daily prostrate at the foot of his Altars! Well might he be call'd The Prince of this World, who Reign'd on this side Heaven with so uncontroul'd an Empire, and to whom were offer'd the Vows, the Supplications, and Prayers of the Idolatrous Nations. Some worship'd him under one Name, some under a­nother: but under those Various Names he had those Divine Honours paid him that were due to the only Supreme God. For what were all those False Divinities of the Gentile World but Impure DaemonsPs. xcvi. 5. [...]. Se­ptuag. Omnes Dii Gen­tium Daemonia. Vulgat., who nestl'd in those Unhallowed Pla­ces where those Divinities were Worship'dIsti impuri Spiritus, sub Statuis, & Ima­ginibus conse­cratis, delite­scunt; & affla­tu suo authori­tatem quasi praesentis Nu­minis conse­quuntur; dùm inspirantur Va­tibus, Fanis im­morantur, Ora­cula efficiunt— Minuc. Fael. in Octav. In eadem ferè verba S. Cypri­an. lib. de Ido­lorum Vanit. [...], &c. Scri­ptor Respons. ad Orthodox. apud Just. Martyr., and under those Various NamesIidem sunt Daemones quos vulgus Deos esse opinatur; qui dejiciendi ho­minis causâ, varios sibi cul­tus per diversa Regionum con­diderunt, men­titis tamen as­sumptis (que) Nomi­nibus, ut falle­rent. Lactant. Divin. Instit. lib. iv. cap. 27. [...]. Athe­nag. legat. pro Christianis. [...]. Scriptor Respons. ad Orthod. utsupr. drew unto them­selves the Adorations of Mankind? This is evi­dent from Scripture, where the Worship of Hea­then Gods and Idols (that is, of those Spiritual Invisible Intelligences, which the Idolatrous World thought to reside in the Visible Objects of its Wor­ship: in some Naturally, as in the Heavenly and Elementary Bodies; in others, by the Virtue of Magical Consecrations and TelesmsRapere ad se Daemonia, & omnem Spiritum immundum, per Consecrationis obligamentum. Tertul. lib. de I­dolol., as in Ima­ges, and the like Artificial Representations) is ex­presly term'd a Worship of Devils Revel. ix. 20. See also Lev. xvii. 7. Deut. xxxii. 17. ii Ch [...]on. xi. 15. &c.. Thus, the Apostat Israelites, who made their Children pass [Page 31]through the fire to Molech, the Abomination of the Ammonites, and the same with Saturn, are said to have Sacrificed their Sons and Daughters unto De­vils Psal. cvi. 37.. The Things which the Gentiles sacrifice, says the Apostle plainly, they sacrifice to Devils, and not to God 1. Cor. x. 20.. And he calls the Table where they feasted after those Sacrifices, in honour of their Gods, the Table of Devils Ibid. Vers. 21.. But what is now become of all those False Divinities which swarm'd in the World when Our Saviour came in it? They are gone! They are perish'd from the Earth! The Coming of the H. Ghost, and the Preaching of the Gospel, has convinc'd the World that they were indeed but Devils; and the Nations who once worship'd them, (We a­mong the rest) worship now the Great God, the Creator of Heaven and Earth; and bow the Knees before the Lord Jesus, the Saviour and the Redeemer of the WorldMr. Mede Disc. on Jerem. x. 11. pag. 193..

How successfully did the Holy Apostles [...], &c. D. Cry­sost. de Sto. Paulo Aposto­lo. Hom. xxxii. in Epist. ad Rom., and the First Preachers of Christianity, assisted by the Spirit of God, go up and down the World ere­cting Churches on the Ruins of Idolatry! How [Page 32]did they every-where, by the Mighty Power that went along with them, shake the Foundations of the Devil's Kingdom! How did they expose to view the Impious Cheats, the Obscene Mysteries, the Ridiculous Pomps and Pageantries of his Reli­gion! How did they confound the Wisdom of the Philosophers, and triumph'd over all the Mi­nisters of Paganism! In less than Forty Years time, there was no Part of the then known and Habitable Earth, where the Gospel was not Preach'd; and in few Years more the whole World in a manner became Christian. Where­ever Christianity appear'd, the Devil was forc'd to quit his Idolatrous Temples: He was aw'd by the Presence of the meanest Christian coming into themCùm Diis suis immolant, si as­sistat aliquis Si­gnatamfrontem gerens, sacra nullo modo li­tant.— Cùm enim qui­dam nostrorum sacrificantibus Dominis assiste­rent, imposito frontibus Signo, Deos eorum fu­gaverunt. La­ctant. Divin. Instit. lib. iv. cap. 27.: His Service and Sacrifices grew into Contempt: His Priests withdrew into Corners and VillagesInde Religio Pagana. Vid. Cl. Sarra­vij Epist. Po­sthum. pag. 90. Superstitio ulti­ma resedit in Pagis, ubi tenaci [...]re cultu Rustici sua Numina adorabant. Certè Religio Pagana indè appellata, quod in Pagis adhuc perseveraret, cùm ab Urbibu [...] jam esset exterminata.: His forsaken Oratories were raz'd, or fell of themselves to the Ground; and if some, for the Beauty or Conveniency of their Structure, were thought worthy to be preserv'd, they be­came the Mansions of the H. Ghost, and the Name of Jesus was Invocated in them. When a Strong Man armed keepeth his Palace, his Goods are in Peace, says our B. Saviour, foretelling this De­struction of the Devils Temples; But when a Stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome [Page 33]him, he taketh from him all his Armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his Spoils Luk. xi. 21, 22..

The Ceasing of Oracles, which at the time of our Saviour's appearance began to be very rare, but were not perfectly Silenc'd till the Descent of the PARACLET, and in proportion to the Pro­gress which Christianity made in the World, is a Famous Instance of what the H. Ghost did then in it: Viz. scatter'd those Evil Spirits that abus'd the Credulity and Simplicity of Mankind, chac'd away the Father of Lies Joh. viii. 44., that he should deceive the Nations no more Rev. xx. 3.. This I observe again, because it was then much taken notice of, not on­ly by ChristiansVid. suprà., but by the very Heathens themselvesCicer. de Di­vinat. Lib. ii. Porphyr. apud Euseb. Praep. Ev. Lib. V. passim.; who were amaz'd at that unusual Silence, and wonder'd the Gods did not answer their Worshippers as formerly. Plutarch, we know, wrote a Book about it [...]. Inter Opusc. Moral..

Now, how the World has been convinc'd by this remarkable Judgment which our Lord after his Ascension executed on the Devil, the Prince of this World, by sending the PARACLET, I think I need not lose time to shew you: It being That which has most evidently demonstrated that That Jesus must needs be a Great and a Mighty God who has thus overcome the Devil by the Force of [Page 34]his Spirit, and has wrested the Worldly Power and Empire out of his hands. 'Tis that which has opened the Eyes of Men, that were before blinded with Ignorance and Prejudice, and turned them from Darkness to Light, and from the Power of Satan unto God Acts xxvi. 18.. 'Tis That which has set up Christ's Throne in the World, and made those that were before the Devil's most Zealous Votaries, become Converts, renounce him (as we do still) at the Sa­cred Fonts, and Profess themselves the faithfull Soldiers and Servants of our LordThe Ancient Form of Bap­tism.. Whereby you see how exactly our Saviour's Promise to his Dis­ciples has been fulfilled. Nevertheless, I tell you the Truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: For if I go not away, the PARACLET will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the World of Sin, and of Righteousness, and of Judgment: Of Sin, because they believe not on me; Of Righteousness, be­cause I go to my Father, and yet see me no more; Of Judgment, because the Prince of this World is judged.

The Consideration of these Things, I fear, has carried me too far. For who can sufficiently repeat the Mighty Changes which the H. Ghost wrought in the World at his Coming? the Glo­rious Triumphs of our Lord over all his Enemies on Earth, after his Exaltation at the Right Hand of his Father? But I must forbear. Therefore to Conclude,

You have heard that the End of the Coming of the PARACLET was to do these Three Things. I. To Vindicate the Truth of our Saviour's Mis­sion, as to his Office; and to shew that he was the very Christ, sent from God, and therefore that 'tis a very great Sin, not to believe on him. II. To Vindicate his Righteousness or Innocency, as to his Life and Conversation among Men, from the unjust Calumnies and Reproaches of the World: and That by shewing how God had raised him from the Dead, taken him up from the Earth, and seated him next to his Divine Majesty in Heavenly Places, which 'tis not conceivable God would have done, had he deserv'd the ill Usage he receiv'd among Men. III. To avenge him on all his Enemies, bring them like so many condemn'd Captives at the Foot of his Throne, and slay them before his face, who would not have this Great King to Reign over them Luk. xix. 27; especially to avenge him on the Devil, The Prince of this World, by over­throwing his Kingdom, casting him out of his Idolatrous Temples, and causing the Name of Je­sus to be Magnified in the World. You have heard how eminently All these Things have come to pass. We have heard with our ears, O God! Our Fathers have told us, what Work thou didst in their days, in the Time of old Ps. xliv. 1.!

Now, the best Use that we can make of this [Page 36]Discourse, is, to be confirm'd by it in the Belief of Christianity, that Blessed Religion by which alone we can hope to be Eternally Saved: That is to say, in the Belief of Jesus, his Life, his Death, his Doctrine, his Miracles, his Resurrection, his Ascension into Heaven, the Power he has now o­ver the Quick and the Dead, and the Final Judg­ment he will accordingly pass and execute on All at the Last Day, when he shall come to reward every Man according to his Works Matt. xvi. 27.. For these are the Things that I call Christianity, all others being but Superstructures on this Great Foundati­on. The World can have now no Plea for its Infidelity, if it does not believe in this Jesus, and in this Religion, after the Truth of it has been attested by so many Instances of a Divine Power going along with it, and setting it up against all Oppositions of Devils, and of Men. And this I mention, because I know how many there are who do really question the Truth of our most Holy Faith in this Sceptical and Degenerate Age. We abound with certain Vain and Frothy Men; who are not afraid to Scoff openly at Christiani­ty; and These would pass in the World for the Great Masters of Reason, Men of true Latitude of Thought, who will not be enslav'd by Opini­ons grounded only on the Report of Priests, that tell them I know not what Stories of one Jesus, [Page 37]and the Mighty Works done by him, because 'tis their Trade to Preach up these Things, and their Interest to have them Believ'd. 'Tis strange in­deed, that this Spirit of Infidelity should still pos­sess the World, after all that God hath done to Convince it, and to ascertain the Truth of Our Holy Religion! God no sooner made Man, but he Reveal'd himself to him. He appear'd fre­quently to the Patriarchs in the First Ages of the World. Under the Law, he gave a very clear Knowledge of himself to Mankind, inspiring Pro­phets, and sending them in his Name. But in these last Days, he has spoken unto us by his own Son, who being the Brightness of his Glory, and the express Image of his Person Heb. i. 2, 3., came down on the Earth, and made himself like unto one of us, that he might more familiarly converse among Men. He fulfill'd all the Prophecies that had been given ma­ny Ages before, as Marks to know him by when he came: He spake so as no Man ever spake Joh. vii. 46.: And he seal'd the Truth of his Doctrine by such Miracles, as none could do but He that had all the Powers of Nature subject to his Command. And when he had finish'd what he came to do on the Earth, when by a Free and Voluntary Oblati­on of himself upon the Cross he had made Atone­ment for the Sins of the whole World, he rose gloriously from the Dead, and in the Sight of [Page 38]many Withnesses was taken up into Heaven. Presently after his Ascension he sent the PARA­CLET, to confirm all that he had said or done before. That Blessed Spirit came down, and wrought New Signs and Wonders by the hands of his Apostles. They spake with Tongues, and in the Name of Jesus they cast out Devils. They were endued with such Wisdom and Vertue from above, that they drew after them the Admiration of the World, the Heathens crying out That the Gods were come down on the Earth in the likeness of Men Acts xiv. 11.. The Effects of this Miraculous Power of the H. Ghost accompanying them, were in ve­ry little time seen throughout all the World. The Devil's Kingdom was overthrown, his Oracles were silenc'd, the Temples of the Idols were de­molished, Paganism was beat down, and Chri­stianity prevail'd wherever it appear'd. These are plain Matters of Fact, delivered down to us by Credible History, and by the Constant and Universal Tradition of all Ages. Now, if Men will not be Convinc'd by these Things, what can God do more to Convince them? They that can doubt after this, neither would they be perswaded, I do not say though one rose from the Dead Luk. xvi. 31., for That our Lord hath done, and a great deal more, for their Conviction, but, thô a Voice should speak unto them from Heaven.

And here I cannot conceal my Thoughts, that Infidelity, or a Denial of the Truths of Christi­anity now, that is, since the Descent of the H. Ghost, I very much suspect to be that tremendous Sin and Blasphemy against the H. Ghost, which our Lord pronounces to be Unpardonable in this World, and in that which is to come. I am confident, that if That Sin can be com­mitted now, it must be This; or, I know not what it is. I say unto you, all manner of Sin and Blasphemy shall be forgiven unto Men, says our B. Saviour; But the Blasphemy against the H. Ghost shall not be forgiven unto Men. And whosoever speak­eth a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgi­ven him; but whosoever speaketh against the H. Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this World, neither in the World to come Mat. xii. 31, 32.. Our Lord here states a Difference betwixt Sinning against the Son of Man (that is, against himself) and Sinning against the H. Ghost. They that were Guilty of Sin against the Son of Man, were the Jews, who liv'd in our Saviour's time, saw his Miracles, and yet did not believe on him. And thô this no doubt was a very great Sin, nevertheless upon Supposition of the [...] and Acknowledg­ment of him, which [...]sonably be expec­ted from those fur [...] [...] that God was yet to make use of [...] [...]iction, had still room [Page 40]left for Pardon. For, when the Lord said this, he was not yet Risen, he was not yet Ascended into his Glory, and the PARACLET was not yet come down. All these Great Evidences of Christianity were still wanting, to leave them without excuse. And doubtless many were Convinc'd by them, that did not at first believe. But They are Guilty of Sin and Blasphemy against the H. Ghost, who have liv'd since the Manifestation of that Blessed Spirit, and have heard of all the Mighty Things he has wrought in the World to attest the Truths of Chri­stianity, and yet continue in their Unbelief. This, our Lord declares to be Unpardonable, because Pardon presupposeth Repentance and Faith in our Saviour; but Faith must proceed from a Convic­tion of the Mind; and They whom these Things will not Convince, can never be Convinc'd: Because, since the Descent of the H. Ghost, no New Reve­lation is to be look'd for, all Extraordinary Dis­pensations are ceas'd; The Sending of the H. Ghost was the Last that God had resolv'd to use for the Conviction of Men, and we must expect no otherCameron. Myrothec. E­vang in Loc. supr. Alloquitur Do­minus Pharisae­os, qui Patris Oeconomiam, quae antè Chri­sti Adventum vigebat, insu­per habuerant: suamitem Blas­phemantes spreverant. Ait ergò, licet Oeconomias illas, quamdiù duravere, con­tempserint, esse tamen spem ve­niae sub Tertiâ, quae Spiritui Sancto tribui­tur. Sancti ve­rò Spiritûs Oe­conomiam si prosequantur o­dio, sublatam esse omnem ve­niaespem; quia Quarta Oeco­nomia minimè expectari debet.. Therefore They that doubt still after this, must doubt on for ever; Their Case is desperate; and they must be abandon'd to their own perverse and Reprobate Sense. GOD, in his Infinit Mercy, preserve us all from Hardness of Heart, and from doing despite unto the Spirit of Grace Heb. x. 29.. AMEN.


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