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vent worse grief. The due and proper act of a christian in this life, is to please Christ, and to be comfortable in himself; and so to be fitted for all services.
These things premised, it is easy to conceive the equity of the apostle's diffuafive from grieving the holy spirit. For the better unfolding of which, we will unfold these four points: ift, What it is to grieve the spirit. 2dly, Wherein we specially grieve the spirit. Thirdly, When we may know when we have grieved the spirit. Fourthly, What course we should take to prevent this grief.
For the first: The Holy Ghost cannot properly be grieved in his own person ; because grief implies a defect of happiness, in suffering that which we wish removed. It implies a defect in forelight, to prevent that which may grieve. It implies passion, which is foon raised up, and soon taid down. God is not subject to charge. It implies fome want of power to remove that which we feel to be a grievance : and therefore it is not beseeming the majefty of the fpirit thus to be grieved. We must "therefore conceive of it as befitting the majesty of God, removing in our thoughts all imperfections. First, then, we are faid to grieve God, when we do that which is apt of itself to grieve : as we are faid to destroy our weak brother, when we do that which, he taking offence at; is apt to mislead him, and so to destroy him. Secondly, when we do that whereupon the spirit doth that which grieved persons do; that is, retireth and Meweth' dislike, and returns grief again. Thirdly, though the pallion of grief be not in the Holy Ghost, yet there is in his holy nature, a pure displeasure and hatred of sing with such a degree of abomination, that though it tend not to the destruction of the offender, yet to sharp correction : so that grief is eminently in this hatred of God, in such manner as becomes him. Fourthly, we may conceive of the spirit as he is in himself in heaven, and as he dwells and works in us, as we may conceive of God the Father, as hidden in himself, and as revealed in his son, and in his word; and as we may conceive of Christ as the second person, and as incarnate : fo likewise of the Holy Ghost, as in himself, and as in us, God, in the perfon of his Son: and his Son as man, and as minister of circumcision, was grieved at the rebellion and destruction of his own people. The holy spirit, as in us, grieveth with us, witnefseth with us,
rejoiceth rejoiceth in us, and with us ; and the spirit in himfelf, and as he worketh in us, hath the same name as the gifts and graces; and the comforts of the spirit are called the fpirit; even as the beams of the sun shining on the earth are called the sun: and when we let them in, or shut them out, we said to let in or shut out the sun. We may grieve the spirit, when we grieve him, as working grace, and offering comfort to us. The graces of the spirit have the name of the spirit whence they come, as the spirit of love and wisdom. Again, our own spirits, so far as fanctified, are said to be the spirit of God. So the spirit of God, not in itself, but in Noah, did strive with the old world ; and so we grieve the fpirit, when we grieve our own, or other men's spirits, fo far as they are fanctified by the spirit.
Now the spirit as in us, worketh in us, according to the principles of man's nature, as understanding and free creatures, and preserveth the free manner of working proper to man ; and doth not always put forth an almighty prerogative power; but dealeth with us by way of gentle and sweet motions and perfuafions; and leaveth it in our freedom to embrace or refuse these inferior works of the spirit: and our hearts tell us, it is in our power to entertain or reject the motions; which, when we do in our own apprehension, we churlifhly offend the spirit, as willing to draw us to better ways; and we cannot otherwise judge of this, but as grieving. God, in his dealing with men, puts his cause into our hand, that, by our prayers, and otherwise, we may help and hinder him against the mighty. And Christ puts himself into our hands in his ministers, and in the poor; counts himself regarded or neglected in them so the holy spirit puts, as it were, his delight in and contentment in our power, and counts, when we entertain his motions of grace and comfort, we entertain him; and when we refuse them, we grieve him. And the Holy Ghost will have us interpret our refusing of his motions, to be a refusing him ; and not only a refusing, of him, but of the Son, and of the Father, whose spirit he is. Oh, if we did but consider how high the flighting of a gracious motion reaches, even to the flighting of God himself, it would move us to give more regard unto them; as we use them, fo would we use the spirit himself, if he were in our power. They are not only the ambassadors, but the royal offspring of the spirit in us; and when we offer violence to them, we kill, in us lieth, the royal feed of the spirit. Object. It may be objected, when we do any thing amiss
as much as
we intend not the grieving of the spirit. It is true, unless we were devils incarnate, we will not purposely and directly grieve the fpirit ; but when we fin, we will the grieving of him in the caufe. No man hates his own foul, or is in love with death, yet men will willingly do that, which, if they hated their own fouls, and loved death, they could not do worfe. « Why will you perish, O house of Israel,” faith God. They intended no fuch matter as perishing : God's meaning is, why will you go on in fuch destructive courses as must end in perishing? If we could hate hell in the caufe of it, and way to it, as we hate it in itfelf, we would never come there.
For the second point, wherein we especially grieve the spirit : Grief arifeth either from antipathy and contrariety, or from difunion of things naturally joined together. In greater persons especially, grief ariseth from any indignity offered from neglect or disrespect, and efpecially from unkindness after favour shewn. Thus the Holy Ghost is grieved by us : what more contrary, to Holiness than fin, which is the thing, and the only thing that Gcd abominates, yea in the devil himself; but then add to the contrariety in fin, 'the aggravations from unkindness, and this makes sin more sinful.
What greater indignity can we offer to the holy spirit, than to prefer base duft before his motions, leading us to holiness and happiness? what greater unkindness, yea, treachery, to leave the directions of a friend to follow the counsel of an enemy? such as, when they know God's will, yet will consent with flesh and blood, like Balaam, who was swayed by his profit against a clear discovery of God's will. We cannot but make the fpirit of God in us, in some fort ashamed, to think of our folly, in leaving the fountain, and digging cisterns; in leaving a true guide, and following the pirate. Men are grieved especially, when they are disrespected in their place and office. It is the office of the fpirit to enlighten, to foften, to quicken, and to fan&tify;; when we give content to Satan, it puts the Holy Ghost out of office. The office of the Holy Ghost is likewise to be a comforter: it cannot therefore but grieve the holy spirit, when the confolations of the Almighty are either forgotten, or seem nothing unto us in the pettishness of our fpirits ; when with Rachel we will not be comforted; when, instead of wresting with God by prayer, wrangle with him by cavilling objections: they take pleasure to move objections instead of a holy submission to higher reafons that might raise them to comfort; who take Satan's part against the holy spirit, and their own spirit ; and against argu
ments that are ministered by those who are more skilful in the ways of salvation than themselves. How little beholden is the holy spirit to such, who please themselves in a spirit of oppofition? and yet, fo kind is this holy spirit, that he overcomes many of these with his goodness, and makes them at length, with thame, lay their hands, upon their mouth, and be filent. Yet that is one reafon they stick so long in temptations, and are kept so long under the spirit of bondage. Those likewise cannot but grieve the comforter, that leave his comforts, and seek for other comforters: that think there is not comfort enough in religion, but will be beholden to the world : such as linger after the liberties of the flesh, after stolen waters, as if God kept a house not good enough for them : it is a great disparagement to prefer husks before the provision of our Father's house, and to dié like fish out of their proper element, if we want carnal comforts. But above all, they grieve the spirit most that have the deepest acquaintance with the spirit: where the spirit hath gone furtheit in his favours, when the Holy Ghost comes in love, and we have given way to him to enlighten our understanding, and into our affections, that we have tasted of the good things of God, that the promises are sweet, and the gospel is good. When we have given way to the spirit ; then to use him unkindly, this grieves the spirit, and this makes the sin against the Holy Ghost so desperate, because there hath been so strong a conviction and illumination. Therefore of all sins, the fins of profeflors of religion grieve the spirit most; and of all profeffors, those who have moft means of knowledge : because their obligations are deeper, and their engagements greater : the deeper the affection hath entered, the grief must needs be the greater in unloosing ; the offence of friends grieves more than the injuries of enemies : and therefore the fins' which offend God most, are committed within the church'; where is the greatest fin of all, the sin against the Holy Ghost, committed? never out of the church, but within the church, where there is the greatest light, and the greatest means : amongst his own people, where the Holy Ghost, hath not only set up a light, but given a taste of heaven. ly things ; and yet we, upon false allurements, will grow to a distaste: it cannot but grieve the holy spirit. And this caufeth another grief, when thofe that are good, watch not over their ways; the spirit is grieved for the reproaches of religion that come from the wicked: for what say they ? doth religion and the spirit teach you this ? thus Christians make the name of God
be ill fpoken of, and this grieves the fpirit, and will grieve them, if they belong to God. Oh, wretch that I am, that I should open the mouths of others, and grieve the spirit of God! not only in myself, but in others, because he is grieved by me; especially if it grow to malicious opposing, for there can be nothing to excuse it: the malice of the will makes the fin of the deeper dye; and it is contrary to the Spirit, as the spirit is a spirit of goodness, and thereupon presumptuous fins must likewise grieve the spirit, when we will abuse the sweetest attribute of God's fpirit, his goodness, and therefore evil, because he is good ; and turn his grace to wantonness, the fin of this age. Sins against knowledge are either such as are directly against knowledge, as when we will not understand what we should do, because we will not do what we understand ; such as put out the candle, that they may sin with the more freedom; this ignorance doth not free from sin, but increaseth it: those who will not hear the word, and read good books, lest their consciences should be awakened; this affected ignorance increaseth the voluntariness. Again, when we maintain untruths for any advantage, knowing them to be untruths, as many learned papists cannot but do. What a great indignity is it to the spirit of God, to sell the truth, which we should buy with the loss of our lives; and to prefer the pleasing of a base man, or some gain to ourselves, before a beam of God? Other fins, if we know them to be fins, are fins against knowledge, as collaterally: yet this will be the chief aggravation, when our consciences are once awakened, not fo much that we have finned, as that we have finned against the light, when the will hath nothing to plead for itself, but itself; it would, because it would, though it knew the contrary. Involuntariness takes away something of the heinousness of sin, when there is ignorance, perturbation, or passion, there is less fin, and less grieving of the spirit : but when there are none of these, and a man will sin because he will, accounting it a kind of sovereignty of his will, this will prove the most miserable condition : for not to have the will regulated by him that is the chiefest good, will end in defperation.
Quest.-Why are voluntary fins fo great, and fo much grieve the Spirit of God?
Anf.---When there is passion, there is some colour for fin; as profit, pleasure, fear to displease, &c. When there is ignorance, there is a want of that which might help the understanding; but