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therefore a subject to be decided sanctifying efficacy upon their by sallies of wit, or ostentation of hearts. Alas! what will it avail learning, or by attempting to render any man to have maintained, or one another odious or ridiculous. even triumphantly contended for A sober, humble, teachable mind, this fundamental truth, if he condisposed to believe the testimony tinue the devotee of ambition, avaof God, is above all things requisite rice, or any other vile affection? in such inquiries; this must be Of what use is it to show the dissought of God by fervent prayer; tinct offices of the Father, Son, and and then the Scriptures must be Spirit, in the work of our salvation, daily and diligently examined with unless we, as lost sinners, depend an obedient and reverential mind. on the everlasting love and free The writer of these remarks was mercy of the Father; on the merits once an Antitrinitarian, and on the and mediation of the incarnate Son, point of leaving the Church of Eng- and on the sanctifying grace of the land, from objections to her doctrine Holy Spirit? No outward adminisand worship in this respect. But tration of baptism can profit those the study of the Scriptures has who are not made by "the true changed his judgment; and as he baptism," the spiritual worshippers then neglected or disliked the other and servants of "the Father, the doctrines which he now values more Son, and the Holy Ghost." Nor than life, and was a stranger to vital, can the pronunciation of the aposexperimental religion; so he ob- tle's benediction save any man who serves, that they who deny this does not partake of the blessings doctrine, gradually give up other pronounced, in the inward experipeculiarities of Christianity till the ence of his own soul. name alone, or very little more, be Moreover, whilst we disregard left of it. He cannot therefore but the charge of bigotry, in refusing deem it (like the key-stone of an all religious intercourse with Antiarch) essential to the support of trinitarians, lest we should give a evangelical piety; and would sub- sanction to their heresy; let us join these observations on the Tri- protest against all attempts to innity with the apostle's words, "This jure them in their temporal interests. is the true God, and eternal life; Every kindness is due to them as little children, keep yourselves from men, when they need it; many of idols. Amen." them, as good members of society, But whilst we deem the rejection are entitled to civil respect and of this doctrine as a virtual renun- commendation; and by this conciation of Christian baptism; a dis- duct, we shall best silence the censent from the apostolical benedic-sures brought against our principles tion; and a substitution of another as intolerant; and prove that they object of worship in the place of enlarge the heart with the most the God of the Bible; and whilst diffusive philanthropy. we lament the rapid progress of this destructive heresy, which often proves a forerunner to prepare the way for a more avowed apostasy; we must also observe, that it is almost equally to be lamented, that so few who profess the doctrine, THE doctrine which is selected for seem to understand its real nature the subject of the present Essay, and tendency, or to experience its has occasioned a great variety of


On the Gifts and Influences of the
Holy Spirit.


dangerous or destructive mistakes. ousness and atoning blood of that Some persons have advanced claims, Saviour, whom he, the Spirit, is which seem at least to place them sent to glorify among men. upon an equality in this respect, short, much enthusiasm and spiwith the prophets, apostles, and in- ritual pride, and many fatal or disspired writers; and others (per- graceful delusions have, on the one ceiving the absurdity or arrogance hand, arisen from misapprehensions of such pretences; deeming them- of this subject; and, on the other, selves wise, strong, or good, by their multitudes have taken occasion from native powers and exertions; and these things, to treat the whole dochaving no experience to direct them trine with the most profane conin discriminating between what is tempt and derision. Scriptural and what is antiscrip- But a careful attention to the tural) have argued, that we neither Scriptures, and to the ends for want, nor are warranted to expect which the Holy Spirit was proany such influences: that they were mised, may enable us properly to exclusively vouchsafed to the apos- discriminate in this matter; and to tles and primitive Christians; and show in what sense, and for what that all, which is now spoken of the purposes, we ought to expect and operations or assistance of the Spirit, depend on the influences of the is mere enthusiasm and delusion. Spirit, and which of his gifts and These opposite extremes have also operations were peculiar to the priadmitted of intermediate errors and mitive times, or to such extraordivariations; whilst some contend, nary occasions. I shall therefore that there is no discoverable dis- at present offer some thoughts on tinction between divine influences the miraculous gifts and powers and the actings of our own minds; and imparted by the Holy Ghost; on do not clearly admit of an exception, those ordinary endowments which in respect of the diverse effects pro- uninspired men may reasonably exduced by these distinct causes; pect to receive from him; on his others suppose, that they are im- common influences upon the minds mediately distinguishable by an in- of many unconverted persons; and ward and a kind of instinctive con- on the special nature of those insciousness (like that which doubt-fluences which he vouchsafes, and less assured prophets of their divine of that sanctifying work which he inspiration); and thus, whilst they effects on " the vessels of mercy, seem to honour the Spirit, and will prepared before unto glory." attempt nothing, till, as they say, If we accurately mark the lanthey are moved by him, they covertly guage of the Scriptures, we shall advance a claim to infallibility and find that the Holy Spirit is spoken perfection, in those favoured sea- of as the Author and Giver of all sons, or impute all their mistakes those miraculous and supernatural and follies to this sacred Agent. powers with which any of the huNor is it uncommon for men to man race ever were endued. Not plead that they are influenced by only did " holy men of God speak the Holy Spirit, in order to establish as they were moved by the Holy other rules of faith and practice Ghost" (2 Pet. i. 21); not only did than the written word of God, to apostles, evangelists, and primitive bring that, or some parts of it, into believers receive the Holy Ghost, a measure of discredit; or even to to enable them to cast out devils, substitute something wrought in or heal the sick, raise the dead, speak by them, in the place of the righte-in languages before unknown, or to

interpret the discourses of others: ¡phets, and other servants of God, but even Christ himself was " anoint- who from time to time were raised ed by the Holy Ghost," to work his up to call the attention of Israel to beneficent miracles (Acts x. 38): his law and promises, or to effect he cast out devils " by the Spirit of extraordinary deliverances for the God" (Matt. xii. 28); "who was nation, were endued with miracunot given to him by measure" (John lous powers by the same Spirit: at iii. 34): and through "the Holy the coming of Christ, Mary, ElizaGhost he gave commandments to beth, Zacharias, Simeon, &c., spake his apostles" (Acts i. 2). Indeed of him by the Spirit; and his aposthe promises made to him, in the tles and seventy disciples partook Old Testament especially, relate to of his extraordinary gifts, and mithis; and his very title of the Mes- raculous powers, even before our siah, the Christ, the anointed of the Lord's crucifixion. Yet the outLord, was derived from it (Psalm pouring of the Spirit, at and after xlv. 7; Isaiah xi. 2, 3; xlii. 1; lix. the day of Pentecost, was so vastly 21; lxi. 1). Nor can we easily and superior in energy, extent, and dusatisfactorily account for these ex-ration, that St. John, who had witpressions, or reconcile them with nessed and shared both, says, in our Lord's conduct in speaking and relating the discourses of Christ, acting, as in his own name, or by" This he spake of the Spirit-for his own authority and power; un- the Holy Ghost was not yet given, less we advert to the distinction because that Jesus was not yet globetween his divine and human na- rified" (John vii. 39). Whatever ture, and his personal and media- had preceded that great event, torial dignity; and remember that might be an earnest of, but did not in respect to his divine nature, he properly belong to "the dispensais one with the Father, and with tion of the Spirit," nor was worthy the Holy Spirit, in all the essence, to be compared with it. But when perfections, and operations of the Jesus was risen, and ascended on Godhead. We must therefore con- high, these gifts were showered sider the Holy Spirit as the great down on men in rich abundance, to Agent, according to the economy of confirm the testimony of the aposthe everlasting covenant, in the in-tles to his resurrection, and to quaspiration of the Scriptures, in the lify them and their fellow workers performance of all those miracles to spread the gospel through the by which the messengers of God nations and being communicated authenticated their doctrine, and in by the laying on of the apostles' the revelation of those future events, hands, the number of witnesses and which being interwoven with every instruments was continually multipart of the sacred volume, and re-plied, and provision was made for ceiving their accomplishment from the rapid progress of their salutary age to age, confirm the divine ori-doctrine.

ginal of the whole to every attentive The evident design and use of and impartial inquirer. Such dis- these extraordinary influences of the coveries of the truth and will of Spirit was to rouse the attention of God had been made from the be- a careless world to the spiritual ginning: but they became more doctrines of the gospel; to counterparticular and copious when Israel balance men's prejudices in favour was brought out of Egypt, and the of their old traditions, and against law was given by Moses. The pro- religious innovations; and to put

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honour on those who were em- [justly been deemed impostures, or ployed to propagate Christianity satanical delusions, and marks of in the midst of contempt and perse-antichrist. We allow therefore,

cution. The gift of tongues espe- that in this respect, the promise of cially seems to have been indispen- the Spirit related to the primitive sably necessary, to enable the first times, or at least, that all claims at preachers of the gospel to address present to such powers, as imply men of different nations in a suitable new revelations, predictions, mimanner; and the difficulty of learn-racles, infallibility, &c., in those ing the languages of heathen na- who advance them, are enthusiastic, tions, forms, at this day, one grand arrogant, and unwarranted. impediment to the propagation of The Scriptures are fully authenChristianity. These miraculous ticated, as a complete rule of faith powers seem to have continued and practice: Christianity has all with the church, in some measure, the advantages which it can possess, during the three first centuries; in a world that "lieth in the wicked but to have decreased in proportion one," there is no rival system, preas the Christian religion obtained tending to be a divine revelation, establishment in the world. At that can at all stand in competition length, when" the only wise God with it; ministers may obtain needour Saviour," saw that occasional ful qualifications, by the ordinary prejudices had sufficiently subsided, blessing of God on their diligent and extraordinary obstacles were in studies; the establishment which a great degree removed; and that our religion has had for so many the truth had only to contend with ages, and through so many nations, those lusts of man's fallen nature, gives it, as it were, a claim by preand those efforts of the powers of scription, to the attention of mandarkness which are common to kind; and the Lord sees these every age and place; he was pleased things to be sufficient for the acto withdraw these miraculous ope- complishment of his purposes, in rations, and to carry on his work the present state of human affairs. by means of the written word, the We may further observe, that fulfilment of prophecies, and other miraculous and prophetical powers, abiding evidences of the truth, and imparted by the Holy Spirit, had by the ordinary influences of the no inseparable connexion with perHoly Spirit. But it does not ap-sonal sanctity; and they have often pear that he hath any where de-been bestowed on very wicked men. clared, that he will no more endue Balaam might, in a measure say his servants with miraculous pow-with David, "The Spirit of the ers, or confer on them the spirit of Lord spake by me, and his word prophecy. We may however be was in my tongue" (Numb. xxiii. assured, that such powers will never 5, 16; xxiv. 2, 16-24: 2 Sam. be imparted to enable men to sup- xxiii. 2). Judas doubtless was enport any thing materially different dued with the power of casting out from that complete revelation which devils and working miracles, as well we now possess: and for thirteen as the other apostles; and many hundred years at least, all pre- will be condemned as never known tences to miracles or prophecies of Christ at the last day, who have have tended, in one way or other, done many wonderful works in his to subvert the doctrine contained name (Matt. vii. 22, 23; 1 Cor. xiii. in the New Testament; and have 1-3). These gifts were likewise

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liable to be abused by man's am-[of the Holy Spirit. Diligence inbition and corrupt passions; and deed in the use of proper means, is however useful to others, were in- required, yet the success of that jurious or even fatal to the pos- diligence should be considered as sessor, if he were not disposed and the gift and work of the Spirit of enabled by the more common, but Christ; on him we ought to defar more valuable influences of the pend for all needful qualifications Holy Spirit, to use them in hu- for the services allotted us; and mility, zeal, and love (1 Cor. xii. whilst we take to ourselves the xiv.) blame of every mistake, defect, and But there are also other gifts de- evil, that mixes with our endearived from the same Spirit, which vours, the whole glory of all that is are not directly of a sanctifying na- true, wise, or useful, should be asture. It is observable, that John cribed to this divine Agent. This the Baptist, who was filled with may surely be done, without enthuthe Holy Ghost from his mother's siasm or arrogance: and the apostle womb," wrought no miracles: yet hath taught us to do it, in his our Lord declared, that "he was before-cited discourse on spiritual more than a prophet;" and it is gifts, in which he enumerates wisevident, that he was more illumi- dom, knowledge, and the faculty of nated in the nature of Christ's re-speaking to edification, exhortation, demption and kingdom, than any of and comfort, among the operations the apostles were, previous to the of the Spirit; and these are evidescent of the Holy Spirit on the dently as much wanted at preday of Pentecost. His divine illu- sent, as they were in the primitive mination, therefore, according to times (1 Cor. xiv. 3). We need the Scriptures of the prophets, and not then wonder, that the official his ministerial endowments, though ministration of numbers at present, not miraculous, were yet the gifts is so devoid of pathos, energy, and of the Holy Ghost. The apostles Scriptural wisdom, when we learn, and disciples, on the day of Pente- that all dependence on the Holy cost, were not only endued with Spirit in preparing for the ministry miraculous powers, but greatly ad- or the pulpit is disclaimed by them vanced in their knowledge of the as enthusiasm and folly: for if no gospel, delivered from their preju-man can say that Jesus is the dices and mistakes, raised above Lord," or do any thing effectual to the fear of men, and enabled to promote the gospel, but by "the speak with promptitude, facility, Holy Ghost;" and if men, preand propriety, far beyond what was tending to be teachers, affront this natural to them, or what they could divine Agent, by rejecting and have acquired by habit or study. vilifying his proffered assistance, That wonderful change, which, in the consequence must be, that they these respects, took place in them, will be left to oppose or disgrace ought to be ascribed entirely to the the faith, instead of preaching it. agency of the promised Spirit (John, But these gifts too may be posxiv. 26; xvi. 12, 13); and we may sessed and exercised by those that. hence conclude, that religious know-are strangers to the sanctifying ledge, prudence, fortitude, utter-work of the Holy Spirit. Men may ance, and other endowments for be enabled by the Spirit to attain the sacred ministry, or for any use-knowledge in the mysteries of the ful service in the church, are gifts gospel, and readiness in speaking

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