Project Canterbury
Library of Anglo-Catholic Theology

Lancelot Andrewes Works, Sermons, Volume Three
pp. 130-144


Preached before the King's Majesty, at Greenwich, on the Twenty-fourth of May,
A.D. MDCVIII being Whit-Sunday

Transcribed by Dr. Marianne Dorman
AD 2002

Text: Acts ii:4.

And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

This day hold we holy to the Holy Ghost, by Whom all holy days, persons, and things are made holy. And with good reason hold we it: He that maketh all holy days it is meet should be allowed one Himself. And if we yield this honour to this and that Saint, much more to the Saint-maker, to Him That is the only true Canonizer of the Saints in the Calendar.

2. This honour were we bound to yield Him, if there were nothing besides; but seldom shall we find a feast wherein with His honour there is not joined the remembrance of some memorable benefit then vouchsafed us; as here this feast is not to the Holy Spirit simply, but to the sending or coming of the Holy Ghost; to the Holy Ghost sent.

3. Sent; not, as in former times, qualified or by measure, but even in plenitudine, 'in plenteous manner,' fully. It is said, 'They were filled with the Holy Ghost.'

4. 'Filled;' not to hold, but to set over. For so many tongues, so many pipes to derive it to others, that by preaching [130/131] they might impart the Spirit they received; preaching being nothing else, as the Fathers observe out of the eleventh of Numbers, but 'the taking of the spirit' of the preacher, and putting it on the hearer; or, to express it by the type of fire, the lighting of one torch by another, that so it might pass from man to man, till all were lightened.

For this Holy Spirit thus sent, plenteously sent, sent to them, and by them to all and to us, are we here met to render our thanks to God, even to imitate Him; to send this day tongues into heaven, there to laud and magnify Him who as this day sent these tongues into earth.

Now, of this benefit, so far as the two types in the former verses hath formerly been treated; and we are now to supply what was then left in remainder.

This fourth verse then is nothing else but a commentary of the former; what in them was set forth in figure, is here expressed in plain terms. The types were of two sorts, according to the chief senses: 1. Audible to the ear, in the sound of wind; 2. Visible to the eye, in the show of tongues. these two are expounded in the two moieties of this verse. The former, the commentary of the wind, in these words; 'They were filled with the Holy Ghost.' The latter, the gloss of the tongues, in these; 'And they began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.'

For the first. The place was filled with a wind from Heaven. The filling of the place was a sign of the filling the persons in the place; the wind was a sign of the Spirit--the wind from Heaven, of the Holy Spirit; which Spirit filled the persons, no less than did the wind the room they sat in. Two points there be in it: 1. One of the gift itself, in Spiritu Sancto; 2.The other of the measure of the gift, in repleti sunt.

For the latter, four things were in the type; 1. 'tongues,' 2. 'cloven;' 'with other tongues.' 3. 'Sitting;' 'as the Spirit gave them.'4. 'Fire;' ¢pof_qggesqai, 'utterance' it is turned, it is more. These are the heads. But for that there is no speaking neither; to the end that speaking and hearing of Him, He many help our infirmities, &c.
[131/132] The truth answering the type per omnia, as there were in that two, 1. the wind, and 2. tongues; so there here two, 1. the spirit, 2. and speech. Spirit, because speech without spirit, is but a dead sound like the 'tinkling of a cymbal.' Speech, because spirit without speech is but as the spirit that Christ cast forth, et illud erat mutum, 'a dumb spirit,' none the better for it. Which made the Holy Ghost come in spirit and speech; not in spirit only, but in spirit and speech.

But in spirit first, and then speech. So is the order. The Holy Ghost begins within, a centro, and works outward; alters the mind, before it changes the speech; gives another heart, before another tongue; works on the spirit, before on the phrase or utterance; ever so. It is preposterous, and all out of order, to have the tongues come before the wind: where they do, it commonly falls out in such, all their religion is in common phrases and terms well got by heart, and nothing else. This for their joining, and for their order.

Now of either apart. Of the Spirit first, which they were filled with; after, of their filling; that is, 1. First, of the gift itself; 2. then, of the measure. That they were filled with it set down in two words: Spiritu and Sancto. First, that it was a 'spirit;' then, that that spirit was 'holy.' A 'spirit,' for men may be filled, and not with the 'Spirit;' 'holy,' for there is a spiritu without sancto. We must needs put the difference; 'spirit' and 'holy' are two diverse things.

'With the Spirit;' for men may be 'filled,' and not with the 'Spirit.' That which enforceth this note, is a speech at the thirteenth verse; there they stick not, some, this that was the Spirit indeed to reproach with the term of new wine. 'These men are full,' say they 'full,' they grant; but with 'wine,' a liquor though full of spirit, yet no spirit though. It was false, as if fell out; yet this it worketh, that if the Spirit likewise? And not the humour of the vine only; but the philosopher in his problems tells us, that look whatsoever operation win hath, the same have some humours in our bodies, with a little fermenting. The Prophet Esay seemeth to say the same in two places, that men may be 'drunk, and not with wine;' their own humour will do it as well.

I wish it were not true, this; that humours were not sometimes [132/133] mistaken, and mistermed the Spirit. A hot humour flowing from the gall, taken for this fire here, and termed, though untruly, the spirit of zeal. Another windy humour proceeding from the spleen, supposed to be this wind, here, and they that filled with it, if nobody will give it them, taking to themselves the style of the godly brethren. I wish it were not needful to make this observation, but you shall easily know it for an humour; non continentur termino suo, 'its own limits will not hold it.' They are ever mending churches, states, superiors--mending all, save themselves; alieno, non suo, is the note to distinguish an humour.

'With the Spirit;' yet, not every spirit. I told you, there was a spiritu without sancto; and I mean not the wicked spirit--away with him, we shall not once mention him -but two others. There is a 'spirit' in a man, says Elihu, that is, our own spirit; and many there be, qui sequuntur spiritum suum, 'that follow their own ghost,' instead of the Holy Ghost; even that spirit takes upon it to inspire, and 'flesh and blood,' we know, have their revelations.

The other is, that the Apostle calleth spiritum mundi, 'the world's spirit;' or worldly spirit, qui posuit mundum in corde suo, saith Solomon, has set up and shrined the world in his heart; thence rise all his reasons, by them he frames and measures religion. Up shall the golden calves, to uphold the present estate; down shall Christ, ne veniant Romani, 'that the Romans come not,' and carry us all away. Either of these is peradventure sacer spiritus, as the Poet calleth auri sacra fames; but neither is sanctus. St. Peter opposeth the first, 'of private resolution,' to the Holy Ghost; St. Paul the second, of 'worldly wisdom,' to the Spirit of God. The wind before had four qualities: two of them, 1. suddenness and 2. vehemency are passed by. Every wind, every spirit hath them. And commonly, other spirits are more violent, and make a greater noise, than the true Spirit. The other two, of coming down from heaven, coming for the Church; from the holy heaven to the holy Church, are both in sancto; and sapere quae sursum, being wise from thence, and regard to religion and the Church, are the two best characters to discern the Holy Spirit by.

[133/134] Now ye will understand of yourselves, I shall not need to tell you, when we speak of the Holy Spirit as It filleth us, we mean not the essence or Person of the Holy Ghost--that 'filleth Heaven and earth,' saith the Prophet; and 'there is no going from it,' saith the Psalmists--but only certain impressions of the Spirit. The Psalmists calleth them 'gifts,' the Apostle 'graces,' which carry the name of their cause; so that, in the dialect or idiom of the Scriptures, to be filled with them, is to be filled with the Spirit. To shew this, otherwhile they be joined; 'the spirit and power of Elias,' that is, the power of the Spirit; 'the wisdom and the spirit of Stephen,' that is, the wisdom of the Spirit.

And because these 'gifts' and 'graces' be of many points, more points of this wind than there be of the compass, and as it were many Spirits in One; six, saith Esay; 'seven,' saith St. John; they are all recapitulate under these two: 1. Under the wind is represented the saving grace which all are to have so to serve God that they may please Him, as necessary to all, and without which we can be no more in our spiritual life than we can without breath in our natural. This is general to all. It is said, repleti sunt omnes; the hearer must have it, as well as the speaker. It must air and dry up the superfluity of our nature; else the fire will not kindle in us, but turn all to smoke. Of this Spirit are those nine points, Galatians, the fifth chapter, and the twenty-second verse. 2. The other, represented in the tongues, set forth unto us another kind of grace, principally meant and sent for the benefit of others; given therefore in tongues which serve to teach, and in fire which serves to warm others; to show they are given and received for the good of others rather than of themselves. And of this Spirit are the points reckoned up, the first of Corinthians, twelfth chapter, and the seventh verse.

And now we know what it was they were filled with, let us come to the measure--repleti sunt. It was not spiritus transiens. but implens; a wind, not that blew through them, as it doth through many of us, I know not how oft, but that filled them; they were the fuller for it. Which word, of filling, wanteth not his special force: refer we it to their estate now, compared with what it was before, repleti sunt; or to their estate [134/135] in this point compared with other since, and namely with ourselves, repleti sunt illi.

With their own estate first. For there is no question they were not empty or void of the Spirit before this coming. They had not been baptized by Christ, He had not breathed on them, and bid them 'receive the Holy Ghost' in vain. If before this they had died, none would have doubted of the estate of their souls. This filling then, first, shows us there be divers measures of the Spirit; some single, some double portions, as appeareth by Elisha's petition; not all of one size or scantling. That as there are degrees in the wind, aura, ventus, procella, 'a breath, a blast, a stiff gale,' so are there in the Spirit. One thing to receive the Spirit as on Easter day, another as on Whit Sunday. Then but a 'breath,' now 'a mighty wind;' then but 'received' it, now 'filled' with it. Sprinkled before as with a few drops--Ezekiel's Stilabo Spiritum; but now comes Joel's Effundam Spiritum, which very text is alleged at the twenty-fourth verse after by St. Peter, 'poured out plenteously,' and they baptized, that is, plunged in it. Imbuti Spiritu, covered with some part of it--so were they before; here now they be induti Spiritu, 'clothed all over with power from above,' as Christ promised. To conclude: the Holy Ghost came here, saith Leo, cumulans, non inchoans: nec novus opere, sed dives largitate; 'rather, by way of augmenting the old, than beginning a new.' Though to say the truth, both ways He came here. The rule of the Fathers is--Hierome and Cyril have it--where the Holy Ghost was before, and is said to come again, it is to be understood one of these two ways:--1. Either of an increaser of the former, which before was had; 2. or, of some new, not had before, but sent now for some new effect. Breath they had before; breath and wind are both of one kind, differ only secundum magis et minus; to be 'filled,' is but to receive only in a great measure; therefore greater, because their work was now greater. Before, but 'to the lost sheep of Israel;' now to all the stray sheep in all the mountains of the whole earth.

But beside that increase, here is a new form too. Which is a sign of a new gift, utterly wanting in them before, and wherewith now, and never till now, they were furnished; to [135/136] speak to all nations, of all tongues under heaven. Thus far, compared with themselves.

Now, repleti sunt illi. Illi, with reference to others since. and if you will, to ourselves. They, in the succeeding ages, and we to this day, receive the Spirit too, or else it is wrong with us. But both they before us, short of the Apostles; and we short of them, by much. It fares herein, as it doth in the pouring forth of an 'ointment''- the psalm so likeneth it. No ointment at the skirts or edges of a garment, doth run so fresh and full as on the head and beard, where it was first shed; ever, the farther it goes, the thinner and thinner the streams be. Therefore it is said, Repleti sunt illi; and even illi wants not his force, they were filled, they. We, but a hin to their ephah; but an handful, to their heap; but a rantism [i.e. sprinkling] to their Baptism. They 'filled;' had as much as they could hold. We have our measure, such as it is; but full we are not. None of us so full, but we could hold more.

And two reasons there are rendered: 1. One, such a Pentecost as this, never was but this; never the like before, nor since. It was Christ's coronation day, the day of placing Him in his throne, when He 'gave these gifts unto men.' That day, all magnificence was shewed, the like not to be looked for every after.

Then again, to say truth, our task-work is not so great, that we need require such a filling. We have to deal but with an handful of men, in comparison; and those brought up in religion, and, as it were, broken to our hands. They with 'fulness of the Gentiles,' all mankind; wild as then, and enraged; filled full of malice against them, and their doctrine by the evil spirit; that they needed the good Spirit, to fill, to encounter such opposition. The case, you see, differs much. It was happy for the world, they had this overflowing fulness of the Spirit. It is enough for us, we have the measure spoken of--the second of Corinthians, the twelfth chapter, and the ninth verse -sufficit tibi gratia, 'grace sufficient' for us; and let that content us. And thus much for the commentary of the wind. Now, to the gloss of the tongues.

'They were filled;' and in sign they were filled it is [136/137] added, they ran over. The 'fire was kindled in them' by this wind; and in sign thereof, 'they spake with their tongue.' Indeed, pity they should be thus full, and have no means to vent it; have a spirit to fill, and not a tongue to empty or impart it. Therefore the tongues were requisite. The wind would have served them, if they had been to be Christians only; but they were to be Apostles, that is, ambassadors, and such must have tongues, needs. But two imperfections were in their tongues. 1. They were but single: He cleft them, and made them able to deal with many. 2. Their tongues were waterish and weak: He gave them the force and operation of fire, to kindle such a light as should burn to the world's end. In a word, where they knew neither how nor what to speak, He gave them both; noth sicut, how and ¢pofq_ggesfai, what; He gave them both, and so made them perfect Apostles. These four, 1. Courage; 2. Language; 3. Discretion; and 4. Learning.

First, a word of the dependence of repleti and locuti: they were filled, and then 'they began to speak.' It is well they began not before, but were filled first and then spake after. This is the right order. Somewhere, some fall a speaking, I will not say before they be full or half full, but while they be little better than empty, if not empty quite. There is not repleti sunt, et coeperunt loqui; coeperunt begins the verse with them, repleti sunt is skipped over. Ever, emptying presupposeth filling; repleti hath reference to the cistern, locuti to the cock. The cistern would be first looked to, that it have water store, before we be too busy to ply the cock; else follow we not the Holy Ghost's method. Else it may be coeperunt loqui, but not sicut dedit Spiritus; He giveth leave to none to speak empty.

It is but a grammar note, that of Hierome's, but it is to the purpose, upon the word quem docebo scientiam, that doceo, if it have his right, would have a double accusative; not only quem, `whom,' that is, an auditory; but scientiam, what, that is, 'knowledge.' So as he that hath not scientiam, should not have quem; and they that get themselves whom to teach, and have not scientiam what to teach, go they never so oft into the pulpit, it is not sicut dedit Spiritus, the Holy Ghost gave them neither mission nor commission. He ever [137/138] taketh order for repleti before he giveth license for coeperunt loqui.

And this for their skill. But he that reads the Fathers' writings, shall find they refer this coeperunt loqui no less to their boldness, than to their ability; 'began,' not only posse, 'to be able,' in respect of their skill, but audere, 'to dare,' in regard of their courage. Before, neither courage nor skill; now, both; that nay man might see there was a new spirit come into them. In saying 'they began,' it is as if before they had been tongue-tied, had never spoken. No more they had; never, as they spoke now; never, with that confidence. Before, they did not speak out, they dared not; they spoke between the teeth, hoarsely, as if they had lost their voice. A poor damsel did but ask St. Peter a question; he faltered presently, could not speak a right word. But after this mighty wind had filled them and blown up the fire, and they warmed with it, then, saith Augustine, in omni prætorio, in omni consistorio, 'in every judgment place, in every consistory,' then, they spoke what they had heard and seen, even before kings, and were not abashed. It confirmed them, it gave them sides and strength, which so sudden change, from so great pusillanimity to so great courage and constancy, was sure 'a change wrought by the hand of the most high.' No hand could work it.

And that we may know, that not only the tongues wrought in them, but even the cleaving also had his effect, 'they began,' not only to 'speak;' but 'with other tongues;' 'other,' than ever they had learned. For look, what tongue soever it was beside the Syriac, it was another tongue, it was not theirs, they had but one till now; and other they could not skill of. But now, on a sudden, Greek, Latin, Arabic, Persian, Parthian, none came amiss; yet never were they taught them, but came to them, as it were with a cleft only. A great miracle in itself, and a great enabling to them. For by this means every Apostle, look how many tongues he could speak, so many Apostles was he, as serving for so many sundry men as must else have been used for the speaking so many sundry tongues to so many nations. Whereby, as the 'line' of the Creator is said to have gone [138/139] 'into all lands,' so is the 'sound' of the Apostles said likewise to have gone as far. The one, to proclaim the creation; the other, the redemption of the world. And so, by speaking all tongues, they have gathered a Church that speaks all tongues; a thing much tending to the glory of God. For being now converted to Christ, they send up daily to Heaven so many tongues, there to praise His name, as He this day sent down to earth, to convert them withal to His truth. And indeed, it was not meet one tongue only should be employed that way, as before but one was. It was too poor and slender, like the music of a monochord. Far more meet was it that many tongues, yea that all tongues should do it; which, as a concert of many instruments, might yield a full harmony. In which, we behold the mighty work of God; that the same means of divers tongues, which was the destroying of Babel, the very same is here made to work the building of Sion; that means that scattered them from the tower of confusion, the very same to reduce them to the fold of unity; that so the curse might be taken away, and a blessing come in place, the confused tongues being united into God's glory; and there 'being neither speech nor language, but His praise is heard among them.' The nations being once converted to the faith, most of them, the gift is ceased; ceased so far as by immediate inspiration, though in part to attain it by our endeavours, and God's blessing upon them, is found still of good use. For, even to this day, it is holden for requisite, there be one cleft at least in the tongue; and we be able to speak one tongue more than our mothers taught us. Better yet, if the cleft, which God hath made in His word, in the tongues of the Old and New Testament, be in our tongues too. That hath still a necessary service, and maimed are we without it; for we must else receive the embassage from God by an interpreter, which is not so convenient. But enough of the cleft of the tongues.

Now, that this might not prove to vain-glory, as it did after in some at Corinth, it is well added, sicut dedit Spiritus, which is the third; that 'they began to speak,' not as their own vanity carried them, but as the Holy Spirit directed them. Their 'tongue' was but 'the pen;' He, the 'Writer.' His wind blew the fire, slaked it, and made it more or less, as need was, [139/140] 'The tongues sat on them,' and He in the tongues, holding, as it were, the reins in his hand; guiding and moderating their speech; making them keep time, measure and manner: time, when; measure, how much; manner, how to speak. Which sicut is the gift of discretion, many times as much worth as dedit, the gift itself. Sure, these are two: 1. Dedit is one thing, the gift; 2. Sicut another, the use of the gift. To many is given to speak, but not with the right sicut. Two distinct things be they; and howsoever we do with the one, we shall find a needful use of prayer to obtain the other. We may begin to speak when we please; but who shall give us our sicut? Sure, none but the Spirit. Of Him we must receive this, or else we shall never have. Let that suffice.

Last then, that we mistake not what it was He gave them to speak; for all this while it is not said what. That 'they began to speak' is said; and wherewith 'as the Spirit gave them utterance.' Lest therefore we might mistake, it was quicquid in buccam, 'any thing that took them in the head,' it skilled not what, he tells us what it was in the last word, that He gave them ¢pofq_ggesfai, 'utterance,' we read; it is of larger contents, a more pregnant word, and more full of significancy.

'They began to speak as the Spirit gave them.' Why not there stay, what needed anymore? Yes; more it seems needed; there goes more unto it than so. Speaking will not serve the turn; else, lalÁsai had been enough, and not any word more put to it. He foresaw that to speak, and only to speak, would be enough for some. So we go up for an hour and speak, be it to the purpose or no, it is all one. For the common man it skills not, it contents him well enough; but the Holy Ghost is not content with lalÁsai, it is not every speaking, but a kind of speaking it must be, and that kind is ¢pofq_ggesqai.
The word I wish well weighed. Chrysostom, OEcumenius, the interpreters, all weight it; and assure us, it is no slight, or light word, but verbum talenti, 'a word of weight, of a talent weight.' To tell you what it is. You have heard of apophthegms; (so doth both Greeks and Latins call wise and weighty sententious speeches:) that word, apophthegms, is the true and proper derivative of this ¢pofq_ggesqai here. [140/141] Such the Spirit gave them to utter. Not the crudities of their own brain, idle, loose, undigested gear, God knows; no, but pithy and wise sentences; those be sicut dedit Spiritus, 'such as the Holy Spirit gave them.' It is after said in the second verse, that by virtue of this, when they spake, they spoke magnalia; 'great and high points;' not trivialia, 'base and vulgar stuff,' not worth the time it wasted, and takes from the hearer. Yet now, all is quite turned, and we are come to this, that this kind of speaking is only from the Spirit of God; and the othere, said here to be given by the Holy Ghost, is study, or affectation, or I wot not what: but Spiritus non dedit, that is certain.

Well, St. Luke saith ¢pofq_ggesqai is that the Spirit giveth. So saith St. Paul, lÒgos kaat_ diidac_u, 'speech according to learning.' So St. Peter, such speech as may seem, or beseem the very 'oracles of God,' as may work light in the understanding, or fervour in the affection; those two shew it fire. The fire of the Old Testament, 'the burning coal,' wherewith the Seraphim touched Esay's mouth, and gave him as he saith, linguam eruditam, 'a learned tongue;' not only a tongue, but 'a learned tongue.' As the fire of the Old, so that of the New. So I am sure, was Our Saviour's promise, Dabo vobis os et sapientiam, He would give them 'a mouth and wisdom.' Not 'a mouth' only, but 'a mouth and wisdom.' Put these two together, 1. 'a mouth and wisdom,' 2. and 'a learned tongue,' and you know what is ¢pofq_ggesqai, and you know what is meant by a tongue of fire. Fire cannot speak chaff, it consumes it we see; therefore if it be chaff, it is no fiery tongue that speaks it.

And where it is required that not only the tongue have this fire, but that it sit and bide by us, sure it is that volubility of utterance, earnestness of action, straining the voice in a passionate delivery, phrases and figures, these all have their heat, but they be but blazes. It is the evidence of the Spirit in the soundness of the sense, that leaves the true impression; that is the tongue that will sit by us, that the fire that will keep still alive. The rest comes in passion; move for the present, make us a little sermon-warm for the while; but after, they flit and vanish, and go their way--true mark leave they none. It is only verba sapientium clavi, saith the Wise [141/142] Man; 'the wisdom of the speech,' that is the nail, the nail red-hot, that leaves a mark behind, that will never be got out. Enough, I trust, to sever them that do lalÁsai, as their own spirit, from them that do ¢pofq_ggesqai, as the Spirit of God giveth them; and to stop their mouths for ever, that call it not speaking by the Spirit, unless never a wise word be spoken. So have we the gloss of the tongues:--1. The 'tongues' themselves, in coeperunt loqui; 2. 'Cloven,' in linguis aliis; 3. 'Sitting,' in the Spirit's sicut; 4. 'Fire,' in shewing us what was in them, and what they should be that hold their places; able to speak more tongues than one, to speak directly, and to speak learnedly.

And now to draw to an end. Let us return to our Pentecost duty, to glorify God for the Holy Ghost thus sent these two ways:--1. As the Spirit within, filling; 2. As the tongues without, uttering. The tongues, they are a peculiar to one kind of men, though all now invade them, and talk even too much. Of them first. Where the Apostle expoundeth that of the Psalm, 'Going up on high, He gave gifts unto men,' he tells us what those gifts were; 'He gave some Apostles, some Prophets, some Evangelists;' and he stays not there, but tells us that part of that gift were 'Pastors and Teachers,' whereof there were none at Christ's ascension, but they were ordained after, for the succeeding ages. Intending, as it seemeth, a part of our Pentecostal duty should be, not only to give thanks for them He first sent on the very day, but even for those He has sent ever since; and for those He still sendeth, even in these days of ours. To thank Him also for the Apostles; thank Him for the ancient Doctors and Fathers; thank Him for those we have, if we have any so much worth. And are these the 'gifts;' which Christ sent 'from on high?' Was St. Paul well advised? Must we keep our Pentecost in thanksgiving for these? Are they worth so much, trow? We would be loath to have the Prophet's way taken with us, that it should be said to us as there it is; If you so reckon of them indeed, let us see the wages you value them at; and when we shall see it is but eight pound a year, and having once so much, never to be capable of more, may not then the Prophet's speech there well be taken up, 'A goodly price' [142/143] these high gifts are valued at by you! and may not He justly, instead of Zachary and such as he is, send us a sort of foolish shepherds; and send us this senselessness withal, that speak they never so fondly, so they speak, all is well, it shall serve our turn as well as the best of them all? Sure, if this be a part of our duty this day to praise God for them, it is to be a part of our care too, they may be such as we may justly praise God for. Which, whether we shall be likely to effect by some courses as of late have been offered, that leave I to the weighing of your wise considerations.

But leaving this which is peculiar but to some, let us return to the Holy Spirit common to all, and how to be filled with it. A point which importeth every one of us, this day especially; when first, certain it is we are not to content ourselves, as Bernard well saith, quibusvis angustiis, 'with every small beginning,' and there to stick still; to think, if we have never so small a breath of it and that but once in all our life, that that is enough, we may sit us down securely, and take no more thought, but rely upon that, for that will do it; but to aspire still as we may, nearer and nearer, to this measure here, and know that repleti sunt was not said for nothing. Which how to do, we may take some light from the text. The two types He came in being bodily, serve to teach us we are not to seek after means merely spiritual for attaining it, but trust, as here He visited these, so will He us, and that per signa corporea, says Chrysostom. For had we been spirit, and nothing else, God could and would immediately have inspired us that way; but consisting of bodies also as we do, it has seemed to His wisdom most agreeable, to make bodily signs the means of conveying the graces of His Spirit into us. And that, now the rather, ever since the Holy One Himself and Fountain of all holiness, Christ, the Son of God, partakes of both body and Spirit, is both Word and Flesh. Thus it is; that 'by the word we are sanctified,' et per linguam verbi patrem, says Chrysostom, even by those tongues here; but no less, by His flesh and body. And indeed, this best answers the term filling, which is proper to food; et Spiritus est ultimum alimenti, 'the uttermost perfection of nourishment.' In which respect He instituted escam spiritualem, 'spiritual food,' to that end; so called spiritual, not so [143/144] much for that it is received spiritually, as for that being so received it makes us, together with it, to receive the Spirit, even potare Spiritum--it is the Apostle's own words.

In a word; our Pentecost is to be as these types here were. They were for both senses; 1. the ear, which is the sense of the word; 2. and the eye, which is the sense of the Sacrament, visibile verbum, so it is called. Meant thereby, that both these should ever go together, as this day; and as the type was, so the truth should be. And for our example, we have themselves and their practice, in this very chapter, who on this feast joined together the word, at the fourteenth, and the breaking of bread, at the forty-second verse. And so let us too; and trust that, by filling up the measure of both types, we shall set ourselves in a good way to partake the fulfilling of His promise, which is to be 'endued with power from above,' as they were; at least, in such sort, as He knows meet for us. Which Almighty God grant we may!

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