« 이전계속 »
whole is so blended as to form together but one complete whole; the joint love, and grace, and favour, of One infinite and eternal Jehovah," who is One Lord, and his name One,” Zech. xiv. 9.
Thus, to make application of this statement to the point now in view. I have before remarked, that every spiritual prayer formed by grace in the heart of a regenerated child of God, (and it is of such only I speak) how poor and weak soever it may appear to him, hath in it the savour of each Person in the Godhead, and as such it bears an equal assurance of acceptance with the highest and the best. And thus this great leading truth is proved from scripture. God the Holy Ghost is said to be the quickener to prayer, and the helper in prayer. His is the blessed work to renew from day to day, the souls of those whom he hath regenerated. His, to maintain and, carry on the life of grace in the heart, by glorifying to his redeemed ones the Person of Christ, and taking of the things of Christ and shewing unto them. He excites a sense of want in the soul for Christ: he puts an hungering and thirsting after Christ. He opens to such rich and blessed views of Christ, in his Person, fulness, suitableness, and all-sufficiency, as nothing short of the personal enjoyment in Christ can satisfy. And by opening a door of communication with the Lord, and keeping open that door in real spiritual refreshment from the Lord, he performs that gracious office which is specially and personally his in the covenant of grace, and which is spoken of in the scripture under that comprehensive expression, of filling the souls of the Lord's people " with all joy and peace in believing, abounding in hope through the power of the Holy Ghost," Rom. xv. 13. Hence we find the Lord Jesus himself calling upon the Spirit, " to blow upon his garden, (the church) that the spices might flow," Song iv. 16. Hence God the Father is revealed, as commanding the prophet to the same thing, by inviting
the Spirit "to breathe upon the slain of his people that they might live," Ezek. xxxvii. 9. And hence we find the apostle praying for the church, for the same influences of the Holy Ghost to be poured upon them. "The Lord (said he) direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ," 2 Thess. iii. 5. I stay not to make references for all the proofs; the bible is full of them. Let a few suffice. Rom. viii. 26. Isa. xliv. 3-5. Zech. xii. 10. John xiv. xv. and xvi. Thus the conclusion is, that it is the personal work of God the Holy Ghost to quicken and lead, to keep up and maintain in all spiritual prayer, the regenerated child of God, (and it is of such only I speak) and his, and his only to induce what the apostle John calls, “a a joy that shall be full, in having fellowship with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ," 1 John i. 3, 4.
And in relation to the part which God the Father takes in every prayer of the regenerated child of God, (and it is of such only I speak) there cannot be a single petition presented at the mercy seat, as taught by the Holy Ghost, but what is agreeable to the mind and will of God. For "it is the Spirit which searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God." And hence the apostle saith," now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things which are freely given to us of God," 1 Cor. ii. 9-12. And therefore elsewhere it is said, 66 he that searcheth the heart knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God," Rom. viii. 27. So that here we gain another point in confirmation of this most precious doctrine. We have before seen, that it is the Holy Ghost which leads out the soul in prayer: and we have now seen, that all the leadings of the Lord in prayer are in conformity to the will of God. And hence the conclusion is undeniable, no prayer can
come up before God but what bears with it the double testimony of the Father's will, and the Spirit's searching the deep things of God; so that both are in the same divine agency; the Holy Ghost knoweth what the Father is disposed to give, and the intercession he puts in the heart is in perfect correspondence to the same; "he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God," Rom. viii. 27.
And that God the Son is equally engaged in every prayer of the regenerated child of God, (and it is of such only I speak) is evident from the whole tenor of scripture. Indeed, his unceasing work is intercession. But what I now particularly aim at, is to shew the beautiful order and correspondence which is manifested in the sacred Three, in relation to the saints of God in their seasons of prayer. And a reference to a single verse in the close of the chapter, which hath been already quoted on this subject, will be enough in point. For the apostle having most decidedly shewn that the Spirit "searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God," and as such, teacheth the Lord's people to make intercession" according to the will of God," makes this very blessed conclusion," that we have the mind of Christ," 1 Cor. ii. 16. Now how may a child of God, taught of God, be said to have the mind of Christ? Evidently from hence; because the same Spirit which dwelleth in Christ, dwelleth in his people also. And therefore the prayer which the Spirit indites in our hearts, is in perfect agreement to the mind of Christ. What the Holy Ghost teaches us to pray for upon earth, is an echo to the intercession of Christ in heaven. that as a voice reverberates from broken walls, the intercession of the Son of God will return in corresponding language from our broken hearts, and both be in conformity to the will of God our Father! What a blessed testimony is the whole, of the joint grace and love, and favour, of the Holy Three in One, to the
poorest and humblest breathings of the souls of the Lord's people in prayer, when drawing nigh the mercyseat? And what a relief ought the conviction of it afford to every regenerated child of God, (and it is of such only I speak) under all his own short comings, and heart straitenings in prayer? Who of the Lord's little ones would evermore fear to go before the mercyseat, while assured of the love of God the Father, the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the communion of the Holy Ghost? And who then would suffer those sweet and hallowed seasons of personal knowledge of, and fellowship with the Holy Three in One, which bear record in heaven, to be broken in upon by any or by all the studied words of creatures upon earth? How hath my heart been affected, when beholding men bolstered up in such trammels of devotion, unable to come to the Lord's table without bringing with them what is called, "the Week's preparation for the Sacrament," and afraid to receive the elements of the supper, before they had repeated certain forms of words, written in this book? Surely the regenerated child of God, (and it is of such only I speak) cannot but see that the Poor Man's Prayer Book must be the Lord's Scripture Book, for we can say nothing that is truly spiritual to the Lord in a way of prayer, until the Lord hath first spoken to us in a way of grace. And all true spiritual personal communion with God, must be the sole gift of God, and "not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth."
And here I might close my introductory and explanatory chapter. And, indeed, if the proof that all spiritual prayer must first come from God before it can come to God, was all I aimed at in this introduction, I should think it unnecessary to add more. But what hath been hitherto said, is but a preface, and that a very short preface, to what might be offered on the subject
of holy acquaintance with, and communications from God, in his Trinity of Persons in prayer. When we consider the vast and interesting thought, in relation, not simply to the life that now is, but of that yet more principally which is to come, it riseth to a magnitude indeed! We then enter as into a new region. Here objects hitherto unexplored, open before us. And, as the man who hath been ascending an high hill, when reaching the summit, discovers before him a boundless prospect extending on every side to the utmost verge of the horizon which he saw not before, so in the contemplation of the world to come, where the personal knowledge of and communion with Jehovah in his Trinity of Persons is to constitute the whole blessedness of eternity; the consciousness of this gives a tenfold energy to all that hath been said for the cultivation of acquaintance with these glorious Persons of the Godhead now, with whom ere long, the church of God will everlastingly dwell.
I dare not trespass any longer by way of introduction. But I must not conclude without first observing, that the very idea of that oneness and union, into which the church of God is brought for communion with the Persons of Jehovah to all eternity, as it is among the first and leading points of our most holy faith, so is it the first and greatest which is the most affectionately endeared to our feelings. When Jehovah, in his Trinity of Persons was pleased to go forth in acts of creation, and to call a church into being, the purpose was declared to be for communion-" This people have I formed for myself, they shall shew forth my praise." Isa. xliii. 21. "But know that the Lord hath set apart him that is godly for himself." Ps. iv. 3. And the Lord Jesus Christ most blessedly confirmed the same when speaking to the Father on the subject, he ← said, "That they all may be one, as thou Father art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in