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the Spirit they had, were not in the usual language of the New Testament, called spiritual persons. For it was not by men's having the gifts of the Spirit, but by their having the virtues of the Spirit, that they were called spiritual ; as is apparent by Gal. vi. 1. 6 Brethren, if any man be overtaken' in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness.” Meekness is one of those virtues which the apostle had just spoken of, in the verses next preceding, shewing what are the fruits of the Spirit. Those qualifications are said to be spiritual in the language of the New Testament, which are truly gracious and holy, and peculiar to the saints.
Thus when we read of spiritual wisdom and understanding, (as in Col. i. 9, “ We desire that ye may be filled with the knowledge of his will, in all wisdom and spiritual understanding") hereby is intended that wisdom which is gracious, and from the sanctifying influences of the Spirit of God. For doubtless, by spiritual wisdom is meant that which is opposite to what the scripture calls natural wisdom ; as the spiritual man is opposed to the natural man. And therefore spiritual wisdom is doubtless the same with that wisdom which is from above, that the Apostle James speaks of, Jam. iii. 17. “ The wisdom that is from above, is first peaceable, gentle, &c. for this the apostle opposes to natural wisdom, ver. 15. 66 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual”....the last word in the original is the same that is translated natural, in 1 Cor. ii. 14.
So that although natural men may be the subjects of many influences of the Spirit of God, as is evident by many scriptures, as Numb. xxiv. 2, 1 Sam. x. 10, and xi. 6, and xvi. 14, 1 Cor. xiii. 1, 2, 3. Heb. vi. 4, 5, 6, and many others ; yet they are not, in the sense of the scripture, spiritual persons ; neither are any of those effects, common gifts, qualities, or affections, that are from the influence of the Spirit of God upon them, called spiritual things. The great difference lies in these two things.
1. The Spirit of God is given to the true saints to dwell in them, as his proper lasting abode ; and to influence their
hearts, as a principle of new nature, or as a divine supernata ural spring of life and action. The scriptures represent the Holy Spirit not only as moving, and occasionally influencing the saints, but as dwelling in them as his temple, his proper abode, and everlasting dwelling place, 1 Cor. iii. 16. 2 Cor. vi. 16. John xiv. 16, 17. And he is represented as being there so united to the faculties of the soul, that he becomes there a principle or spring of new nature and life.
So the saints are said to live by Christ living in them, Gal. ii. 20. Christ by his Spirit not only is in them, but , lives in them; and so that they live by his life ; so is his spirit united to them, as a principle of life in them ; they do not only drink living water, but this “ living water becomes a well or fountain of water," in the soul, “ springing up into spiritual and everlasting life,” John iv. 14, and thus becomes a princi. ple of life in them: This living water, this evangelist himself explains to intend the Spirit of God, Chap. vii. 38, 39. The light of the Sun of righteousness does not only shine upon them, but is so communicated to them that they shine also, and become little images of that Sun which shines upon them ; the sap of the true vine is not only conveyed into them, as the sap of a tree may be conveyed into a vessel, but is conveyed as sap is from a tree into one of its living branches, where it becomes a principle of life. The spirit of God being thus communicated and united to the saints, they are from thence properly denominated from it, and are called spiritual.
On the other hand, though the Spirit of God may many ways influence natural men; yet because it is not thus communicated to them, as an indwelling principle, they do not derive any denomination or character from it ; for, there being no union, it is not their own.
The light may
upon a body that is very dark or black ; and though that body be the subject of the light, yet, because the light becomes no principle of light in it, so as to cause the body to shine, hence that body does not properly receive its denomination from it, so as to be called a lightsome body. So the Spirit of God acting upon the soul only, without communicating itself to be
an active principle in it, cannot denominate it spiritual. A body that continues black, may be said not to have light, though the light shines upon it: So natural men are said “ not to have the Spirit,” Jude 19, sensual or natural (as the word is elsewhere rendered) having not the Spirit.
2. Another reason why the saints and their virtues are called spiritual (which is the principal thing) is, that the Spirit of God, dwelling as a vital principle in their souls, there produces those effects wherein he exerts and communicates himself in his own proper nature. Holiness is the nature of the Spirit of God, therefore he is called in scripture the Holy Ghost. Holiness, which is as it were the beauty and sweetness of the divine nature, is as much the proper nature of the Holy Spirit, as heat is the nature of fire, or sweetness was the nature of that holy anointing oil, which was the principal type of the Holy Ghost in the Mosaic dispensation; yea,
rather say, that holiness is as much the proper nature of the Holy Ghost, as sweetness was the nature of the sweet odour of that ointment. The Spirit of God so dwells in the hearts of the saints, that he there, as a seed or spring of life, exerts and communicates himself, in this his sweet and divine nature, making the soul a partaker of God's beauty and Christ's joy, so that the saint has truly fellowship with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ, in thus having the communion or participation of the Holy Ghost. The grace which is in the hearts of the saints, is of the same nature with the divine holiness, as much as it is possible for that holiness to be, which is infinitely less in degree; as the brightness that is in a diamond which the sun shines upon, is of the same nature with the brightness of the sun, but only that it is as nothing to it in degree. Therefore Christ says, John iii. 6. « That which is born of the Spirit, is spirit ;" i. e. the grace that is begotten in the hearts of the saints, is something of the same nature with that Spirit, and so is properly called a spiritual nature ; after the same manner as that which is born of the flesh is flesh, or that which is born of corrupt nature is sorrupt nature. VOL. IV.
But the Spirit of God never influences the minds of natural men after this manner. Though he may influence them many ways, yet he never, in any of his influences, communicates himself to them in his own proper nature. Indeed he never acts disagreeably to his nature, either on the minds of saints or sinners : But the Spirit of God may act upon men agreeably to his own nature, and not exert his proper nature in the acts and exercises of their minds: The Spirit of God may act so, that his actions may be agreeable to his nature, and yet may not at all communicate himself in his proper nature, in the effect of that action. Thus, for instance, the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters, and there was nothing disagreeable to his nature in that action ; but yet he did not at all communicate himself in that action, there was nothing of the proper nature of the Holy Spirit in that motion of the waters. And so he may act upon the minds of men many ways, and not communicate himself any more than when he acts on inanimate things.
Thus not only the manner of the relation of the Spirit, who is the operator, to the subject of his operations, is different ; as the Spirit operates in the saints, as dwelling in them, as an abiding principle of action, whereas he doth not so operate upon sinners; but the influence and operation itself is different, and the effect wrought exceeding different. So that not only the persons are called spiritual, as having the Spirit of God dwelling in them ; but those qualifications, affections, and experiences, that are wrought in them by the Spirit, are also spiritual, and therein differ vastly in their nature and kind from all that a natural man is or can be the subject of, while he remains in a natural state ; and also from all that men or deyils can be the authors of. It is a spiritual work in this high sense ; and therefore above all other works is peculiar to the Spirit of God. There is no work so high and excellent ; for there is no work wherein God doth so much communicate himself, and wherein the mere creature hath, in so high a sense, a participation of God; so that it is expressed in scripture by the saints, “ being made partakers of the di. vine nature,” ? Pet. i. 4, and having God dwelling in them,
and they in God," 1 John iv. 12, 15, 16, and chap. iii. 21, << and having Christ in them,” John xvii. 21, Rom. viii. 10, « being the temples of the living God," 2 Cor. vi. 16,“ living by Christ's life,” Gal. ii. 20, “ being made partakers of God's holiness,” Heb. xii. 10, 6 having Christ's love dwelling in them," John xvii. 26, “ having his joy fulfilled in them," Jolin xvii. 13,“ seeing light in God's light, and being made to drink of the river of God's pleasures," Psal. xxxvi. 8, 9, « having fellowship with God, or communicating and partaking with him (as the word signifies) 1 John i. 3. Not that the saints are made partakers of the essence of God, and so are godded with God, and christed with Christ, according to the abominable and blasphemous language and notions of some heretics : But, to use the scripture phrase, they are made partakers of God's fulness, Eph. üi. 17, 18, 19, John i. 16, that is, of God's spiritual beauty and happiness, according to the measure and capacity of a creature ; for so it is evident the word fulness signifies in scripture language. Grace in the hearts of the saints, being therefore the most glorious work of God, wherein he communicates of the goodness of his nature, it is doubtless his peculiar work, and in an eminent manner, above the power of all creatures. And the influences of the Spirit of God in this, being thus peculiar to God, and being those wherein God does, in so high a manner, communicate himself, and make the creature partaker of the divine nature (the Spirit of God communicating itself in its own proper nature) this is what I mean by those influences that are divine, when I say that “truly gracious affections do arise from those influences that are spiritual and divine."
The true saints only have that which is spiritual ; others have nothing which is divine, in the sense that has been spoken of. They not only have not these communications of the Spirit of God in so high a degree as the saints, but have nothing of that nature or kind. For the Apostle James tells us, that natural men have not the Spirit ; and Christ teaches the necessity of a new birth, or of being born of the Spirit, from this, that he that is born of the flesh, has only flesh, and no