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of God's Spirit : These were the Gifts which were poured down upon true Believers by the Hands of the Blessed Apoftles; these are likewise the Gifts which the Succeffors of the Apostles are made the Instruments of conveying to those Persons who are duly qualified for their Reception, neither they nor the Blessed Apostles themselves could be said to give ; they laid on their Hands, and God alone it is that gives his Holy Spirit. But were Men as duly prepared now to receive Grace as they were in the Apostles Days, the same Portions of Ordinary Grace would certainly be supply'd by the same Means now as were then. We have in Holy Scripture the most express Assurances that Grace will be constantly supplied to us in full Proportion to the Improvements we make of former Grace, inasmuch as in this our State of Probation we must be continually growing up into Glory, and as God's Grace encreases upon us, so likewise the Fruits of it, such as Peace, Love, Joy, and all other Christian Virtues ; and these Fruits can alone be brought to Perfection by our
own regular and zealous Endeavours to refine and raise our Souls into a ftill more pure and elevated State of GospelRighteousness.
Now to God the Father, who will re
ceive us into his Glory, to God the Son, who hath redeemed by his Blood, to God the Holy Ghost, who fanctifies by bis Grace, be all Honour and Glory for ever. Amen.
EPHES. iv. 29. Let no corrupt Communication proceed out
of your Mouth; but that which is good for the Use of Edifying, that it may minister Grace unto the Hearers.
HE Apostle having de
clared the Dignity and AdT
vantages of that strict Union which is betwixt Christ
and the Members of his Church, infers the Obligation his Ephefan Converts lay under of walking worthy
of of that Vocation, wherewith they were called ; of walking, not as the other Gentiles walk, or as they themselves, while Gentiles, did walk : He exhorts them, that they would now put off concerning former Conversation the old Man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful Lusts ; that they would be renew'd in the Spirit of their Mind; and that they would put on the new Man, which after God is created in Righteousness and true Holiness. The Apostle then proceeds to warn them against some particular Sins, which have no Connection with one another, and therefore may be each treated of without any immediate Regard to the Context; such as Lying, Stealing, immoderate Anger, Malice, and some others.
The Words of the Text stand among the rest of these Precepts, and are intended to regulate the common Conversation of Men with one another.
Let no corrupt Communication proceed out of your Morth. The Word corrupt is frequently thought in this place to signify filthy or obscene ; but it may perhaps be