Holy Harvests: Annual Revivals at Whitsuntide Through Pentecost Feasts

Now the "infallible assurance" of our state of grace and salvation comes — whenever the believer is "enabled by the Spirit to know the things which are freely given him of God."   The believer indeed "may — without extraordinary revelation — in the right use of ordinary means, attain thereunto….  Thereby, his heart may be enlarged in peace and joy in the Holy Ghost, in love and thankfulness to God, and in strength and cheerfulness in the duties of obedience — the proper fruits of this assurance."

The present writer considers the last paragraph to be one of the most important (yet also one of the most neglected) parts in the Westminster Confession.   For here, Christians are enjoined by God, through His Holy Ghost, to have their hearts enlarged — in peace and joy and love and thankfulness and strength and cheerfulness.   Indeed, such are the duties of their obedience. Nay more!   Such are the proper fruits of this assurance that they truly are the Spirit-indwelt children of the Living God.

Of course, as the Confession goes on to explain too, even "true believers may have the

– 28 –

assurance of their salvation [in many or] divers ways shaken, diminished and intermitted — as by negligence in preserving of it, by falling into some special sin which woundeth the conscience and grieveth the Spirit…. Yet are they never so destitute of that seed of God and the life of faith, [of] that love of Christ and the brethren, [nor of] that sincerity of heart and conscience of duty — out of which, by the operation of the Spirit, this assurance may in due time be revived."160

Now then, what is the nature of such a revival?    "God gave to Adam a Law….  This Law, after his fall, continued to be a perfect rule of righteousness — and, as such, was delivered by God upon Mount Sinai in Ten Commandments….   The Moral Law doth for ever bind all, as well justified persons as others, to the obedience thereof….   Neither doth Christ in the Gospel any way dissolve, but much strengthen this obligation….   Neither are the…uses of the Law contrary to the grace of the Gospel, but do sweetly comply with it — the Spirit of Christ subduing and enabling the will of man to do that freely and cheerfully which the Will of God revealed in the Law requireth to be done."161

Further: "The liberty which Christ hath purchased for believers under the Gospel — consists in their freedom from the guilt of sin….  The liberty of Christians is further enlarged…in the greater boldness of access to the throne of grace and in fuller communications of the free Spirit of God than believers under the Law did ordinarily partake of."162

Moreover: "The acceptable way of worshipping the true God is instituted by Himself — and so, limited by His own revealed will…. He may not be worshipped according to the imaginations and devices of men, or the suggestions of Satan…. 

"Religious worship is to be given to God — the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost…. Prayer with thanksgiving…is by God required of all men…. It is to be made in the name of the Son, by the help of His Spirit, according to His will, with understanding[!]…and, if vocal, in a known tongue.   I Cor. 14:14."163

Again: "The reading of the Scriptures…; the sound preaching and conscionable hearing of the Word in obedience unto God with understanding….; the singing of Psalms…instituted by Christ — are all parts of the ordinary religious worship of God."   This is quite in addition to or "besides religious…thanksgivings upon special occasions (Ps. 107 & Est. 9:22) — which are, in their several times and seasons, to be used."164   For example, at the Acts 1:7f "times" and "seasons" of annual Whitsuntides — alias the Feasts of Pentecost, year after year.165

Page 20 of 47« First...10...1819202122...3040...Last »