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he will judge the world in righteousness by that Man whom he hath ordained, &c." Acts xvii, 30, 31.
Fear God and give glory to Him; for the hour of HIS JUDGEMENT is come, &c." Rev. xiv, 7.
The Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgement to the Son; that all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father." John v, 22, 23.
These truths are urged on professors also, as exhortations against sundry evils, into which they are prone to fall: e.g. against
When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompense be made thee: but when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind, and thou shalt be blessed; (for they cannot recompense thee;) for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.' Luke xiv, 12,-14.
Sensuality and Worldliness, "Take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day [of Judgement and Advent] come upon you unawares." Luke xxi, 34.
"Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?
Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? And if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?" 1 Cor. vi, 1, 2.
Pride and Censoriousness.
"To this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living. Why then dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgement seat of Christ, &c."* Rom. xiv, 9, 10.
I have already noticed, when commenting on 1 Thess. iv, 14, that the return of the saints, &c. is the doctrine, whereby the godly are comforted under bereavements: but these truths are likewise specially urged on them, to incite them to self-denial, diligence, devotedness, patience, boldness, watchfulness, prayer, and general holiness.
"If the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you." Rom. viii, 11.
I reckon that the sufferings of this present life are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God." Rom. viii, 18, 19.
We groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption—the redemption of our body." Rom. viii, 23. Why stand we in jeopardy every
* Believing the 9th verse to be more immediately connected with the following than previous verses, I have taken the liberty of marking that connection by substituting for de then (or therefore) instead of but;-a meaning which most Lexicons assign to the word. Tap, which begins the first verse, I do not believe to be deductive; but merely denoting (as it often does in St. Paul's Epistles,) a continuation of the discourse.
“We believe and therefore speak; knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. 2 Cor. iv, 4.†
be re therefore sober, and watch
Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming (σπεvdoras TηY Tαρovoia) of the (σπευδοντας την παρουσιαν) day of God." 2 Pet. iii, 11, 12.
Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, [new heavens and a new earth] be diligent, that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot and blameless." 2 Pet. iii, 14.
He that overcometh and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations, and he shall rule them, &c." Rev. ii, 26, 27. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, &c. Rev. iii, 21.
I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in HIM; &c.-that I may know HIM, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable to his death, if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead." 1 Phil. iii, 8—11.
If we suffer, we shall also reign Rev. xx, 6. with HIM." 2 Tim. ii, 12.
Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection."
" WATCH YE THEREFORE AND
PRAY ALWAYS, THAT YE MAY BE
Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might ACCOUNTED obtain a better resurrection ; and others had trials of mockings and scourgings, yea moreover of bonds, &c." Heb. xi, 35, 36, and context.
"The end of all things is at hand;
* This follows a long dissertation, in which the Apostle first insists upon the resurrection and then opens the mystery thereof.
+ The context is, that being made bold in this faith to speak, the Apostle was exposed to trouble on every side, to perplexity and persecution; which he nevertheless bore in hope of the resurrection.
ON THE GIFT OF THE HOLY GHOST.
To the Editor of the Investigator,
I am anxious to submit to your attentive christian Readers a few thoughts on a paper in Number VI, headed The gift of the Holy Ghost." The Writer of that is not so clear as I could wish him to be; or perhaps I am not so ready at apprehending as I ought to be. However, if I can get at his leading idea with any thing like accuracy, (and I will not designedly mis-state him,) I understand him to mean, that the "perpetuity" of the miraculous gifts in the Church, all through the christian dispensation, was to keep pace with believing, and is so established by Joel, as quoted and explained by Peter. To this To this single position, (without at all referring to the present unhappy dispute on the said gift of tongues" in Scotland and London ;-unhappy, I mean, as to the naughty spirit in which it is carried on,) I shall confine my present thoughts.
Against the position, that the miraculous "gifts of the Holy Ghost" were intended to be, and certainly have been, perpetual in the Church, I have to present the following, among others, as insuperable negatives.
I. EXPRESSED TEXTUAL OBJECTIONS. By this I mean, that the language of Joel and Peter must be attentively regarded, and most rigidly adhered to. It is of essential moment to remember, that all the prophecies were written To the Jewish people, and that this fact must ever dwell in our memories whilst we are searching the are searching the
prophetical records. Joel states, that God would pour out of his Spirit upon all flesh." Peter says, Now there were dwelling at Jerusalem, Jews, devout men out of every nation under heaven ; phrase, I think, equivalent to Joel's, all flesh." But if this should be disputed by Quæsitor, I will admit, for the sake of inquiry, the most extensive use of the term all flesh,' as including the Gentiles of all nations. Still there is a great difficulty in the way. For the text speaks of the pouring of the Spirit on all flesh;' which promise is evidently in the third person: but the gift of prophesying, &c. foretold by Joel and explained by Peter, is clearly in the second person, or the persons spoken ro, in reference to their descendants-your sons— your daughters—your young men— your old men shall prophesy, see visions, dream dreams, &c.; plainly making a distinction between the pouring out of the Spirit, (a scriptural term for producing contrition of heart by divine energy,)a and the gifts" above-named. Should it further be contended, that Peter's subsequent words are decisive, (“for the promise is to you, and your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call,"b) I reply, that the words " afar off" are by no means explicit enough to make it definitively certain, that the Jews, who are driven to the "four winds of heaven" are not the persons to whom the allusion is made. For be it well known, that Peter was at this very time a minister to the circumcision :" and it is not in
a Zech. xii, 10. b Acts ii, 39. c Gal. ii, 7.
harmony with the Spirit's teaching to suppose, that Peter, who, after this event, required a vision from the Lord to incline his heart to the Gentiles,d would have so paraphrased Joel as to include the Gentiles, immediately after he had received the "gift of the Holy Ghost" himself; and then, so soon after, act so contrary to that principle towards the Gentiles, as to make a vision from heaven necessary to correct his mistake. The words “afar off,” most certainly will apply as well to the alienation of mind and the distance of place with regard to the scattered unbelieving Jews at the close of the present dispensation, as to the Gentiles to whom St. Paul applies the term, alluding to their unregenerate condition. Some better proof than has yet been produced, for the " perpetuity of miraculous gifts" beyond the apostolic age, is required, before the expression
afar off" can be admitted as undisputed evidence; it being of too general an application to admit of exclusively particular appropriation
to the Gentiles.
Furthermore, the predictions of Joel as repeated by Peter, contain several distinct facts; viz. The pouring out of the Spirit-phophesyings-wonders in heaven above signs in the earth beneath-blood fire—vapour of smoke, &c.f But Peter speaks only of one of these facts, as to its then fulfilment"THIS IS THAT which was spoken by Joel; I will pour out of my Spirit, saith God, in the last days, &c."g Peter repeats all the prophecy, but he does not say that all the prophecy was then fulfilled: and we know it was not, from the silence of the word as to any effect produced beyond a penitential heart,
d See Acts x. e Ephes. ii, 13. g vv. 16, 17. b v. 37. i v. 43.
the consequence of the pouring out of the Spirit.h For what signs and wonders were done at that time were done BY THE APOSTLES; nor is there the least hint of any other persons working miracles in consequence of the effusion of the Spirit on that day. It was on the assembled disciples the pouring out of the Spirit came, that the house of Israel might be "pricked to the heart;" and not on all the congregated multitude, who, because of their mocking," are called "this untoward generation." The devout Jews were witnesses only of the "gift of the Holy Ghost” on the apostles: not partakers of the miraculous endowment; but only of the heart softening dew of the Spirit to cause them to receive Christ Jesus the Lord. In a word, it was the fulfilment of the divine command, "beginning at Jerusalem;" -it was a sermon to the Jews and their proselytes alone;k and a "minister of the circumcision,” (a very tenacious one too,) was the preacher, he being at that very instant under the infallible guidance of the Holy Spirit.
The biblical student will be aware, that it is not uncommon for the holy writers to quote and apply a prophecy when only part of it was fulfilled. Our Lord's conduct is a case in point. In the 4th of Luke we are informed, that Jesus, in the synagogue of Nazareth, when reading Isaiah lxi, 1, 2, closed the book where, in the Prophet, two sentences occur very distinct from one another; one that the Lord himself was then fulfilling, "to preach the acceptable year of the Lord;" and another not fulfilled to this time, and the day of vengeance of our God." Christ did not preach or come to preach
f Compare Joel, ii, 30, 31, with Acts ii, 19, 20. Í vv. 13 and 40. k Acts ii, 5-10, 22 and 36.
that. A superficial reader is very likely to pass over this minutia ; especially as the sentence before and the sentence after the phrase the day of vengeance of our God" was actually being fulfilled by the Lord Jesus at the very time. This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears.'1 He only quoted what he said was that day fulfilled: Peter quotes all of Joel, but does not say ALL these things are this day fulfilled."
This distinction is, to me, very important. For had Peter said, all these things" are come to pass, instead of "this is," the case would have been widely different. There was the beginning of a blessing which will be perpetuated among all flesh,—the pouring out of the Spirit for the work of conversion and edification; but the miraculous effects or gifts are not stated to be
And even thirty years after the day of Pentecost, Paul appears to confine the gift to the apostles and the elders whom they had ordained; for he says God hath sealed us, and given us the earnest of the Spirit and anointed us." He is speaking of himself and Timothy as the 'us as distinguished from the Corinthians to whom he is writing, and of whom he uses the second person · you.'m But surely he would not have done this if miraculous gifts had been the " boon" of the whole Church all those thirty years. The words in Joel and Peter, afterwards" and in the last days," do not therefore affect the point at all; seeing it cannot be clearly shewn that the "all flesh" are placed in precisely the same circumstances of miraculous endowment with your sons, &c." spoken to.
Were this distinction carefully remarked in reading all the Scrip
1 Lu. iv, 21, 22. m 2 Cor. i, 21, 22.
tures,-to wit, whether the speaker, the persons addressed, or those of whom something is affirmed, be intended,--it would prevent much confusion and labor. It is the mixing up what ought to be kept most carefully distinct, which sadly bewilders, not only the simple English reader, but the otherwise judicious christian scholar; and this ap
pears to me to evince the value of Paul's ministerial advice to Timothy, "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."n
II. INVOLVED TEXTUAL OBJECTIONS. By this I mean, that we are clearly taught, Salvation is of the Jews;"o and so also are all holy miraculous endowments. The apostles are a specimen of this fact. The silence then of Scripture ought to be with us as sacred as its speech. It was certainly in all cases of miraculous gifts, that an apostle was personally concerned; and generally, yea almost invariably, through the laying on of hands that they were given. Simon Magus saw this, and would fain have purchased the gift with money. I do not deny that some Gentiles received the gift; but I must contend for a marked attention to the medium, time, and circumstances of such reception. This will explain the case of Cornelius; and even in the affair of Ananias with Paul, although Ananias was not a permanent apostle, he was for the time being, so to speak, as an apostle: for it was in a vision that the Lord appeared to him, (no one of the eleven being present at Damascus at that period,) and sent him to lay hands on Saul, that he might receive his sight and be filled with the Holy Ghost. If this point be especially
• n 2 Tim. ii, 15. John iv, 22. P Acts ix, 10—17.