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glorious kingdom: but love, freeds to show upon what principles he defrom the trammels of sin and the clares prophecy to be the most imtemptations of Satan, shall then live portant. By prophecy here we unand sing and triumph throughout derstand teaching by the Spirit, an eternity; for God is our salvation, immediate gift of teaching by the and God is love. Love is the more Spirit for the edification of the Church. excellent way. O follow after love. I now call your attention to the Desire spiritual gifts indeed ; but fol. fourteenth chapter. “ Follow after low after love. I show you a more charity, and desire spiritual gifts ; but excellent way—“ Follow after charity, rather that ye may prophecy. For he and desire spiritual gifts.”
that speaketh in an unknown tongue This is no new doctrine. Have I speaketh not unto men, but unto God : any Jews in this congregation that for no man understandeth him ; howhear these words? This doctrine was beit in the spirit he speaketh mystetaught of old : it was taught in the ries. But he that prophesieth speaktabernacle service: it was commented eth unto men to edification, and exupon in the book of Psalms. “Be- hortation, and comfort. He that hold," says the Psalmist, “how good speaketh in an unknown tongue ediand how pleasant it is for brethren to fieth himself; but he that prophesieth dwell together in unity. It is like the edifieth the Church. I would that ye precious ointment upon the head, that all spake with tongues, but rather that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's ye prophesied; for greater is he that beard ; that went down to the skirts prophesieth than he that speaketh of his garments.” Now, how is this? | with tongues, except he interpret, that O ye who value the Old Testament the Church may receive edifying.” Scriptures, ye children of Abraham, The main point in striking a balance how is it that brethren dwelling to. between the comparative value of gether in unity is like the ointment valuable gifts—the main point taken flowing upon Aaron's beard? There into the account was, benefit to the is no natural similitude between the Church : that gift which is most two things. Ointment flowing down valuable to benefit the Church is the the beard of Aaron, even to the skirts most to be desired. Therefore, said of his garments-how is that like bre- the apostle, Prophesy rather, because thren dwelling together in unity? Now, by prophecy the Church is edified : I will shew you the meaning of that whereas by the other gift the man Psalm. Aaron was the type of Jesus only is edified. This is the meaning Christ the great High Priest of the of the whole of the remainder of the Church ; and that ointment was the chapter. He says, If there be no type of the Holy Ghost, with which interpreter let a man speak to himself Jesus Christ our great High Priest is and to God: and at the conclusion of anointed ; and the Holy Ghost de- the chapter his language marks the scending from him to the members, is comparative estimate of the two things; the Spirit of love by whom the bre- -"Wherefore, brethren, covet to prothren dwell together in unity. There- phesy, and forbid not to speak with fore the brethren dwelling together in tongues. Let all things be done deunity was beautifully exhibited by the cently and in order." ointment poured upon Aaron's head Now we have seen from the proand flowing down to the skirts of his phecy of Christ, from the fulfilment of garments. Behold, I show you a more that prophecy in the history of the inexcellent interpretation than your Rab- fant Church, from the language of the bies can give of this Psalm.
Apostle to the Gentile Church-we But to proceed. Having thus dwelt have seen this great truth, that God upon the fruits of the Spirit compre- the Holy Ghost was given to the hended in this love, and having in- Church of Christ-given to exercise sisted upon it as a more excellent way, I gifts-given to produce fruits-given the Apostle returns to the spiritual for power-given for holiness. Now, gifts : and then he makes a preference, has that Spirit ever been removed from a choice amongst them of PROPHECY the Church has the gift ever been as the most important; and goes on recalled ? Is it possible in the very
nature of the thing that it should be? I of this epistle; there is wisdom-knowCould there be a Church if the Spirit ledge—faith for the working of miwere taken away? “No man can call racles-gifts of healing—the working Jesus Lord but by the Spirit.” “ If of miracles - prophecy - unknown any man have not the Spirit of Christ tongues, and interpretation of tongues. he is none of his." There might be an | What shall we say to these things ?apparent Church; there might be a Are these things withdrawn from the political engine made use of by a go-Church? Were they but of temporary vernment, and called a Church; but application? Were they but for the there could be no Church if there were establishment of the religion of Christ, no Spirit. The best informed observers and then removed, as our Commentaof the state of things on the Continent tors tell us ? of Europe tell us something of this It is an important question I ask. sort: there is the outward and visible | What is your judgment concerning this appearance of such a Church as our chapter: Are the blessings of the Optimists desire, formed after the Holy Ghost in this chapter temporary model of what men call liberty ; but blessings, or permanent blessings? there is no Spirit of God in it ; and Answer from your own hearts, and there is no power of God amongst the judgments, and convictions, that you people. And, my brethren, just in may be instructed. If you say they proportion as the Spirit leaves us are but temporary blessings for a spethere is no Church; and if the Spirit cial purpose, and then withdrawn, were withdrawn there could be no mark what follows. The Apostle enuChurch at all. If the Holy Ghost be merates them in one chapter; in the taken away, how shall a man be con- | next he enumerates, as from the same verted? If the Holy Ghost be taken Spirit, love-long-suffering, kind, paaway, why what is Baptism? It is tient, gentle love. If you say that the water. If the Holy Ghost be taken twelfth chapter is but of temporary away, why what is the Lord's Supper? application, how can you deny me It is bread and wine. If the Holy saying that the thirteenth chapter is Ghost be taken away, what is my also of temporary application, and that preaching? Sound, a tinkling cym- therefore there is no more right to bal. And what is your hearing? Mere look for love in the Church than there curiosity and vanity. And can this be? is to look for the gifts of healing ? This cannot be : for Jesus Christ said Upon what principle is it you will that all the gates or powers of hell select a part of what the Apostle deshould not prevail against his Church. scribes as belonging to the Spirit And he said to his disciples, “ Go, in the Church, and say it is temporary, teach all nations, baptizing them in and that you will take another part as the name of the Father, and of the belonging to the same Spirit, and say Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teach- it is permanent ? It is a fair arguing them to observe all things whatso ment which I offer—it is a simple arever I have commanded you.” Now gument-it is an intelligible argument. in person he is not with us ; for he If you are prepared to stand for it, that said, “It is expedient that I go away.” love should be a permanent characBut he explains this difficulty in histeristic of the Church, how can you language concerning the Comforter; resist the conclusion that the gifts for he says, promising the Holy should have permanent application in Ghost, “I will not leave you comfort- the church? If you say, There are no less.” He is with us by the Spirit; such gifts, I may answer you mournthe Holy Ghost is upon the earth in fully by saying, in the same sense, and the Church of Christ; it has never perhaps with the same degree, There been removed. Has any part been re- is no love. moved? Is the Spirit divided ? Is not How is it as a matter of fact? We the Holy Spirit God? and how can any cannot with any great clearness point part of the Spirit be removed? Is the out the historical details of the declenSpirit in the Church for fruits ? and is sion of the gifts and fruits of the Spirit he not in the Church for gifts ? Now in the Church of Christ. That they mark what I say. Look into the enu- both did exist largely in the Church in meration of gifts in the twelfth chapter its infant state is a matter of notoriety to all who are acquainted with the attested that I see not how it can be Scriptures. That they do not exist more so. The reader shall have both now, in any large measure, is equally the fact and its proofs. Though their a matter of notoriety. But at what tongues were cut out to the root they periods, and in what degrees, the de-spake as well as before. If any one clension took place is a matter of ex doubt the fact,' says Victor of Vita, treme difficulty: it seems to have been let him go to Constantinople, where he gradual and intermitting; sometimes will find a Deacon, called Reperatus, all seemed darkness—then a few bursts one who was thus treated, who speaks of light-and again darkness greater plainly, and who has a particular than before. A reference to some of respect shown him in the palace of the circumstances which took place the Emperor Zeno, especially by the during the Arian persecution in the Empress.' Æneas of Gaza, a Platonic fifth century, will make more clear philosopher, a cautious and prudent what I intended by this last observa man, was at that time at Constantition.
nople, and writes thus in the concluIn the second volume of Milner's sion of his Dialogue on the ResurrecChurch History, at page 505, he says, tion : I myself saw them, heard “ In the Arian persecution under them speak, and wondered that their Huneric at Typasia, the Secretary of utterance could be so articulate. I Cirila was ordained Bishop by the searched for the organ of speech, and Arians. The inhabitants seeing this not trusting my ears, was resolved to transported themselves into Spain, as have the proof of the eyes. Causing the distance was but small: some them to open their mouths, I saw that who could meet with no vessels re- their tongues were plucked out even mained in Africa. The new Bishop by the roots, and was then more surlaboured by courtesy to win their prised that they could live than that favor; but they, in contempt of his they could speak.' Is this sufficient ministry, assembled themselves in a evidence? Hear more: Procopius the private house for public worship.” historian, in his History of the VanThey would not compromise with the dalic War, says, Huneric ordered Arian Bishop: they were not of that the tongues of many to be cut out, stamp that could make light of truth who were afterwards seen in the streets for the sake of peace. These men, ac- of Constantinople when I was there, cording to the historical account, loved talking without any impediment, or peace if they could have truth with it ; feeling any inconvenience from what but when peace and truth were put the they had suffered.' Count Marcellinus, one against the other, they held for in his Chronicons, says, I have seen truth though war should follow. This some of this company of faithful conwas right. « Huneric hearing of this fessors at Constantinople, who had by a message from the Bishop, or- | their tongues cut out, but spoke nedered their tongues to be cut out, and vertheless without any impediment in their right hands to be cut off, in the their utterance.' To name only one public market place." Now, Mr. more witness: the great Emperor JusMilner says, and I marvel at such a tinian, in a Constitution published by man having condescended to say it in him for Africa, after it had fallen into his History "Shall I, in compliance his dominion, testifies that he had with modern prejudices, throw a veil beheld the same.”
or proceed according to This was in the year 483. I men. city? Why, proceed tion it to show, that, as far as historical storical veracity to be evidence goes, there is not the slightest
historian: and so foundation for the common opinion ys, "A miracle fol circulated amongst us, that the mira
ut God, whose majesty cles wrought by the Holy Ghost ceased een so daringly in
with the apostolicage: and I believe that which must at that time
that error, that great error, has gained strengthened the her
circulation amongst the Protestant who needed ind
Churches for want of knowing how amidst such
rightly to meet the Popish pretensions well to miracles; and that because they
were not fairly met and rightly under- | Spirit wholly ; but it is false; we are stood, our Commentators have taken not wholly without the gifts : for what the short way of denying there were are they? To one is given the word any miracles at all ; which they could of wisdom by the Spirit ; to another not prove. I believe that the devil, the word of knowledge by the Spirit. who has from the beginning imitated There is much knowledge amongst the works of God, did imitate the the members of the Church at this miracles of the Spirit in the Church moment-knowledge, too, unaccomby false and lying wonders amongst panied by sanctification, knowledge the Papacy—that when Moses and of things which man cannot learn Aaron went in before Pharaoh, and himself, which flesh and blood cannot Aaron's rod became a serpent, the discern, which the Spirit alone teachdevil did cause the magicians to do eth. There is much of this knowthe same, and their rods were turned ledge ; and in some instances it is into serpents—that when God com made clear to be the gift of the Spirit. manded the first born to be set Look at some of the poor labouring apart from the matrix for himself, the men in this land, who have not yet devil imitated it in causing the idola- advanced in the progress of education, ters to pass through the fire to idols, which is advancing so rapidly, who that when God caused a blessing to know nothing of any other subject, rest on his infant Church, moved them who cannot read a word, but are to have all things in common, and utterly ignorant and unlettered in every caused brotherly love to abound, and respect except religion. The knowBarnabas the son of consolation did ledge which is in some of you and me sell his possession, and brought the would be no gift of the Spirit, because money and laid it at the Apostle's much may be acquired by the natural feet, the devil stirred up Ananias | power of the understanding, in learnand Sapphira to proceed to do the ing, and reading a variety of books ; same, but to keep part of the price but the knowledge these poor men back. And when God did work mira- have on the subject of religion, the cles in his Church by the power of the clearness with which they can speak Holy Ghost, in testimony of the truth, on spiritual things, even the elegance the devil stirred up false wonders, to of the language they will use on spirideceive, if it were possible, the elect, tual things, compared with the dulin support of the fables of Popery. It ness and vulgarity that cleaves to is not by denying the miracles, but by them on every other subject, is a going into the subject fully, we shall proof to any discerning mind, that the honestly meet the Popish pretensions. gift of the Holy Ghost is thus the
Now how is it? In the time of the word of knowledge by the Spirit of Reformation many glorious works God. We are not left without witwere done in the Church by the Spirit ness-it is small, but there is some of God, both as to the exhibition of that the Spirit of God has not forthe fruits of the Spirit, and also of saken his Church, even in point of his gifts amongst them : and I have gifts. no doubt, that at the time of the mi. Now, another gift of the Spirit to nistry of Whitfield and Wesley, God the Church was that of prophecy, or wrought many signs and wonders in teaching. Are there not men in the the Church in the name of his holy Church who have gifts of teaching, of child Jesus.
preaching unto the edification of the How is it now, my brethren: Let people, as wholly distinct from the us examine ourselves as a component individual's Christianity as the shape part of that Church to which the of their head is from the shape of their Spirit was given, and promised to body? The gifts which the Lord has abide for ever with it. How stand given me, and which I am now exerwe respecting the gifts and the fruits ? | cising, are not connected with the How stand we as inheritors of the Christianity of my heart; they are promised power, as the inheritors of utterly distinct; they are the gift of the promised holiness, which God God for the edification of his Church, gave to his Church? It is commonly | which I may have, and after exersaid we are without the gifts of the cising it be damned myself. I speak thus plainly that I may get the sub- sinned against the Son of God, and to ject to your apprehensions; and I am cast into hell those apostates who are willing to transfer this part of it in a sinning against the Holy Ghost. figure to myself, for your sakes.
My beloved brethren," follow after There are gifts, then, of the Holy | Charity, and desire spiritual gifts," Ghost in the Church still. I have says the Apostle in our text. Have you said, and repeat now, that they are ever been exhorted to desire spiritual but small indeed. There are fruits gifts? Have you ever been exhorted of the Spirit; but they are few and to seek for all that the Holy Ghost did far between. Alas! it is only a little in the Church? You hesitate not to love; it is cold and feeble ; the at- ask upon the thirteenth chapter of this mosphere by which it is surrounded is epistle-you hesitate not to ask of the uncongenial to it. There is a qualify- | Lord to give you that love which sufing of Christian honesty among us, a fereth long and is kind : hesitate not, mingling of Christian truth with error, then, to ask of the Lord to give to one a denial by many of the immediate amongst you the word of knowledge, inspiration even of the Holy Scriptures and to another amongst you the word by the Holy Ghost. There is an as- of wisdom, and to another amongst cribing of it to the natural wisdom of you faith, and to another amongst man, merely superintended by the you the gift of healing. Will you Spirit: and the plenary inspiration of stop there? Will you ask of God for the very language of the word of God knowledge, and wisdom, and faith, by the Holy Ghost, is called fanaticism and the gift of healing; and will you by some of our professors. Then in stop there? Will you separate what point of practice there is suspicion God has joined ? Will you not ask for abroad; Christians are hardly able to all the gifts ? If you do not, how then trust one another and exercise love, lest can you expect to have them? The they should be taken advantage of, and Holy Ghost is restrained by your untheir secret betrayed. There is so much belief ; just as when Jesus went down of bearing false witness against our to Nazareth, it is written, “ He could neighbours, that we can scarcely treat do there no mighty work because of them as brethren ; and so suspicion has their unbelief ;” he mourned at their frozen up the very sources of love. unbelief. So the Holy Ghost is come This should not be.
down among you, but can do no Yet still, there is a little of this love. mighty work among you because of We see occasionally in families and your unbelief. O, ask of God to besmall circles, where the leaven of wick-stow on one among you the word of edness has not exalted itself, something knowledge by the Spirit; to another of what the Church of Christ should the word of wisdom by the same be, something that gives a proof the Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit of God is here. We know that Spirit; to another the gift of healing men by nature are hateful, and hating by the same Spirit: and ask for another one another—that they cannot love of you to have the working of mione another with pure hearts, but by racles by the same Spirit ; and for the Holy Ghost: and in this respect another among you the gifts of teach.. we have occasional proof that the Holy ing, prophecy, by the same Spirit; Ghost is still on the earth in the and for another the discerning of SpiChurch. But instead of the Church rits : and ask of God for another, that being filled with the Spirit as it was, he would grant to speak with divers and instead of its being seen to be the kinds of tongues ; and for another that power of God in the earth, alas, my | he would give the interpretation of brethren, the power of the Church is tongues. Let it not be asked, What driven back ; the holiness of the is the use of these things. He, who Church is restrained ; the Church her- has described them as the gifts of the self is despised; she has been so long Spirit, knows what use he intended to quenching the Spirit, that she has all be made of them, and would make of but filled up her unpardonable iniquity | them if they were asked in faith. by sinning against the Holy Spirit. I have set now before you, my dear And her Lord and Master is about to brethren, a most important subject. come to take back that nation which I have opened to you from the Holy