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same is made his by imputation, and by Him is healed and taken away; so that it cannot be we now should perish, if we hold fast our faith and confidence of rejoicing to the end. Whatsoever troubles, sorrows, or temptations, sins only excepted, do befall us in this life, the like have befallen Him; were by Him overcome; and shall from us, as already they are from Him, be done away. Finally, whatsoever freedom and liberty Christ, as man, in ordinary estate, had on earth conversing among men, the like hath He given, daily giveth, and confirmeth unto christians.”
So much for the communion and fellowship which believers enjoy specially with the Son of God, our incarnate and yet our living and divine Redeemer. But there is also a communion and fellowship which is enjoyed with the Holy Ghost and many graces and comforts.
In His distinctive character and office the Holy Spirit is the Comforter in adversity whom the Father and Christ has given to believers to abide with them forever, to cheer them in the absence of their Lord; that they might not be left as orphans destitute of immediate help and comfort amid all their trials. We see how great this strength and comfort was when bestowed to the apostles in emboldening their fainting and faltering hearts, in leading them into all truth, embuing them with power from on high and making them mighty to the pulling down of the strong holds of sin and Satan.
But not unto them only, nor unto primitive believers only, but unto all saints is this grace given. All are sealed with the same spirit of promise and furnished by Him with gifts and graces as seemeth to Him good. As in the beginning He perfected the work of creation and garnished the heavens so does He still as the finger or power of God create all creatures and renew the face of the earth. From Him come down also upon the children of men all those gifts, graces and endowments whether of body or of mind by which as of old they are made to minister to God's purposes in the affairs of men. By Him too God bears inward testimony unto all men striving with them and convincing the world of sin. We are thus admonished that in all ages men have struggled against these inward motives of the divine spirit, have provoked, grieved and tempted Him, have fallen away after receiving gifts whereby they have done many great works and yet finally perished. But it is especially in all that pertains to life and godliness that we are to consider the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, seeing that it is by Him God worketh in us to will and to do of His good pleasure. To them the Holy Spirit is the source of spiritual life, help, comfort, sanctification and assurance of life eternal. By His power invisibly but effectually applied to their hearts they are born again. By Him is the immortal seed of divine truth quickened in their souls received and believed. By the Holy Ghost dwelling in them is that word retained, kept and obeyed. By Him are they confirmed, comforted, emboldened and assisted in all their spiritual warfare. By Him are their affections subdued and sanctified and their souls conformed to the image of God.
. *For whereas, aforetime some of them were fornicators, idolaters, thieves, covetous, extortioners, or given to other like vices; they are washed, they are sanctified, they are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of God. And whereas, while they were fleshly, having not the Spirit, they walked after the flesh, and favoured the things thereof, and could not please God, but were subject unto death; now, He that raised up Christ from the dead, doth also quicken their mortal bodies, because His Spirit dwelleth in them; and so is fulfilled that which, in figure, God said of old unto Israel: “Ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, my people, and brought you up out of your sepulchres, and shall put my Spirit in you, and ye shall live.” Thus
" then, living in the Spirit, they do also walk in the Spirit, and by it do mortify the deeds of the body, not fulfilling the lusts of the flesh, which they have crucified, but bringing forth the fruits of the spirit, which are love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.
The love of God is shed abroad in their hearts, by the Holy Ghost, which is given unto them; and by Him are they sealed unto the day of redemption; the same Spirit beareth witness with their spirits, that they are the sons of God; and hereby they know that they dwell in God, and He in them, because He hath given them of His Spirit, which is as a pledge, or earnest in their hearts, where by they do not only behold the glory of the Lord with open face, but are changed unto the same image from glory to glory, as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
Among the other benefits communicated by the Spirit is the help He imparts to the infirmities of believers in prayer, for as they fíknow not what to pray for as they ought, the Spirit itself maketh intercession for them, with sighs and groans which cannot be expressed; and the request which He maketh is according to the will of God, who searcheth the hearts, and knoweth what the meaning of the Spirit is."
*Ainsworth, p. 144, 145. † Ainsworth, p. 145.
But time would fail to point the infinite, innumerable and incomprehensible way in which the Holy Spirit communicates help and hope, assistance and comfort to believers according to their need.
I“Through the power of the Holy Ghost they abound in hope. By the comfort of the Holy Ghost, they and the churches of them are multiplied; and by Him whatsoever good thing is done among God's people, is not by an army, not by strength, but by the Spirit of the Lord of Hosts, without which no man can say that Jesus is the Lord.
"Thus are the saints of God advanced to honour and dignity above all people on the earth, being themselves the temple of God, and having His Spirit dwelling in them; enjoying a most holy and happy communion with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ, and with the Holy Ghost; the grace, and peace, and comfort whereof passeth all understanding; and can no way be sufficiently expressed by the tongue or pen of man."
fAinsworth, p. 146. Ainsworth, p. 148.