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apostles: Thus I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever ; even the Spirit of truth. Ye know him, for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. (John, xiv. 16, &c.) Again—The Comforter, the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name ; he shall teach
all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Here we find that the instruction and inspiration of the Holy Ghost, which the apostles had not yet received, were to be expected as necessary qualifications for their evangelical testimony, and the work of the ministry.
The same appears from other passages, such as the following-But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me; and ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning. (John, xv. 26.)
Thus, notwithstanding the apostles had been with our Lord from the beginning of his ministry; had seen his miracles, and
attended to his instructions; we find they were not authorised to bear witness of him upon the strength of their own natural powers, or to become publishers of the Gospel, before they should have received the Spirit of truth. And, as Christ himself declares, the endowment of this Spirit was requisite, to give them a right apprehension of his doctrine: for he tells them I have many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he shall guide you into all truth : for he shall not speak of himself, but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak; and he shall shew you things to come. (John, xvi. 12, 13.)
And, as the endowment of the Spirit was requisite, not only for the propagation, but also for the right apprehension of the Gospel, our Lord does not authorise his apostles to enter upon the work of the ministry, till they should have received this divine assistance. And behold, says he, just before his ascension-behold I send the promise of my Father upon you ; but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye
dowed with power from on high. (Luke, xxiv. 49.)
It is in reference to this final instruction that St. Luke'speaks of the day in which our Lord was taken up, after that he, THROUGII The Holy Ghost, had given commandment unto the apostles whom he had chosen. (Acts, i. 2.)
And then he adds, that, being assembled with them, he commanded them, that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me : for John truly baptized with water ; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost, not many days hence. And yet further-Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you ; and ye shall be witnesses unto me, both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up, and a cloud received him out of their sight.
Here we perceive that the general commission of the apostles did not open till after the ascension of Christ. They had been nominated and appointed to the great charge of publishing the Gospel ; but they had not received the power by which they were to execute this charge. They 'were not authorised to testify of him, till they should have been baptized with the Holy Ghost ; because the faith of Christ's church was not to stand in the wisdom of men, but in the
power of God.
Accordingly, the apostles did not enter upon their public ministry, but continued in prayer and supplication, in a private room, till this divine promise had been fulfilled. They ventured upon no minise terial office, excepting the election of a fellow-witness of Christ's resurrection, in the room of Judas. And this they did, not by a deliberative act of their own judgment, not by a claim of any supernatural illumination, or by any official power which had been hitherto committed to them; but, with prayer, they gave forth their lots, and resigned the choice to God alonę, who knoweth the hearts of men. But, as it was of essential moment, that the faith of the church should not stand in the wisdom
of men, but in the power of God, the promise of the Father was fulfilled in due time; and that, not in a secret or doubtful, but in the most public and notorious manner. IVhen the day of pentecost was fully come, the apostles were all, with one accord, in one place; and suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting : and there appeared unto them cloven tongues, like as of fire ; and it sat upon each of them: and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts, ii. 1-4.)
Then was verified that saying of the Lord, It is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father that speaketh in you.
Henceforth we behold the able ministers of the New Testament, and the authorised stewards of the mysteries of God. St, Peter no longer betrays that terror and human frailty, which had lately compelled him to deny his master. He boldly declares, before the multitude, the subject of the apostolical mission, and the power with which it was ratified. This Jesus,