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i ascension, and after the Gospel had been preached every where, in the following words: “So then, after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God; and they (the twelve) went forth and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following." The latter part of Mark's history, in which he details the promises of Christ in respect to the gifts of the Holy Ghost, and the various promises of the same character which are enumerated by John, are correspondent with the concluding part of Matthew's history: - "And Jesus came, and spake unto them, (the eleven disciples, who went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them, taken from verse 16,) saying, all power is given unto me in heaven and in earth-go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” Mark says, “And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following;” by which he has explained the sense in which the expression in Matthew, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world, made to the eleven disciples, was used, and intended. Luke informs us that after Jesus Christ had risen, he appeared unto his disciples, and said unto them, "these are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses, and in the Prophets, and in the Psalms concerning me. Then opened he their understanding that they might understand the scriptures, and said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations beginning at Jerusalem-And ye are the witnesses of these things—And behold I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusan lem until ye be endued with power from on high."
I will proceed, in the next Section, to shew the manner in which the above promises were fulfilled, by which a former observation will be established: (viz.) that the spiritual gifts never were bestowed upon, nor received by any description of persons, after Christ's ascension, except believers, who were made so, not by the secret, internal optrå tions, but by those of an external, miraculous kind, addresa sed to the mind through the exterint senses, and explained in words, and by them applied to Jesus Christ as proof that he is the Son of God, and sustains a mediatorial character between God, and man, in his administrations. I will afterwards
prove that it is by the record of these facts, and communications to the mind by hearing, and explanations in words, we learn, and believe the same things that this is the established plan of God, and that preaching the Gosé pel, and discipling the world to christianity, consist in no thing but teaching the things thus recorded, and believing them by the evidence in the record. And, lastlý, thut they des rive their practical operations upon the human mind, and cona duct from the great personal motives, and interests they ascerá tain which consist in, and proceed from the insensible relations it sustains to insensible existences, which were nécessarily una known but for the Gospel revelations; and from the co-oprations of God's providences, his chastisements, &c. which are only conducive to hese purposes, as they are explained by God's word, as being a part of the divine, and gracious administrations over this fallen province of his government,
The promises of Christ to his Disciples, relative to the gifts;
and operations of the Spirit, literally fulfilled, and the manz ner of it--- from whence is to be collected the true doctrine, and principles of spiritual operations, and the intention of them.
Without knowledge intelligent beings cannot act morally. Without spiritual, and divine knowledge, the moral character of men's conduct would, of necessity, be restricted to natural, and earthly principles. The intention of the Gospel, in the hands of its first teachers, trus, intellectually, to inform
mankind upon spiritual, and divine subjects; and, morally, to reform them by the practical authority of their divine instruction. But, in order to these purposes, the means were to be adapted to the faculties, and capacities of men__their senses were to be addressed, &c.
The reader will excuse the repetitions of which I am chargeable in the last Section, and, in some degree, in this. The subject requires the most minute attention, both as to the promises of the Spirit, and the precise manner of their fuifilment, in order to discover the wide, and essential difference between the notions of spiritual operations in our day, and those in the Apostolic time; and the difference between the promises, and our ideas of their fulfilment.
Luke, in the Acts of the Apostles, which contams a faithful and literal history of the fulfilment of the promises made to the disciples, recapitulates what he had written before in his gospel relative to the promises in the first chapter. He observes, that “Christ commanded them that they should not dupart froin Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father; which, saith he, ye liave heard of me. For John truly baptized with water, but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost, not inany days hence, &c. Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be Witnesses unto me, both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the utterinost part of the earth.” Acts 1. 4. 74-8.
According to Christ's commandment, they were all together (above one hundred, and twenty, taken from 1st chapter, 15th verse,) when the day of Pentecost was fully come: Acts 2.and, agreeably to what he told them, relative to the promise of his Father, the gift of the Holy Ghost, “suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting, and there appeared unto them cloven tongues, like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance." \Vho were these who receiv. ed the Spirit, and spake, by his influence, with other tongues? I answer, that they were the one hundred, and twenty diseiples, who wore, with one accord, in cne place. These gifts were correspondent with the promise, these signs shall follow them that believe; they shall speak with new tongues,” &c.: for the world (the unbelievers) could not receive him. “And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men,” (according to the Jewish idea of devoutness, I suppose)
Now, when this was noised abroad,” (viz. the one hundred, and twenty disciples, speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance,) “the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language; and they were all amazed, and marvelled; saying one to another, behold, are not all these which speak Galileans? (who were illiterate men) And how hear we every man in our own tongue wherein we were born? Parthians, Meads, &c. &c.; we do hear them speak in our own tongues, the wonderful works of God.
And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, what meaneth this? Others, mocking, said, these men are full of new wine.” I ask the reader, whether, in this period of the operations, any of the secret operations were employed, or whether it is fair to infer any other than what are detailed? If it is, it is manifest they are not of record, and cannot claim divine authority. I proceed with the history.
- The spirit was to testify by his out-pourings, &c. and the gifts of tor:gues in them that believed: this we have literally fulfilled. But the Apostles were also to bear witness, for they had been with Christ from the beginning.” John 15. 26. 27.; accordingly, Peter, (Acts 2. 14.) standing up (to whom was committed the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and who opened tiie door of faith to the Jews on the day of Pentecost, and to the Gentiles on their day of Pencost, when Cornelius, and friends received the Spirit,) with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, “ye men of Judea, and all you that dwell in Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words,” (by words this miraculous affair is to be explained, and applied to Jesus Christ to prove his character, &c.) “hese are not drunken as you suppose, &c. but this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; and it shall come to pass in the last days (saith God) I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons
and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. And on my servants, and on my handmaidens, (none could be called such but those that believed) I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy,” &c.; precisely agreeable to Christ's promise, “and these signs shall follow them that believe, they shall speak in new tongues, &c.”_ “Ye men of Israel,” said Peter) “hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles, and wonders, and signs, which God did by him" (for Jesus said, If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not, but if I do, believe for the works' sake,) “in the midst of
you, as ye yourselves also know; him being delivered by the determinate council and fore-knowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain; whom God hath raised up; having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.” Peter then goes on with David's prophecies concerning Jesus Christ, his resurrection, &c. He then observes, “This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we are all witnesses. Therefore, being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this which ye now see and
For David is not ascended into the heavens; but he saith himself, “The Lord saith unto my Lord, sit thou on my right hand until I make ny foes my foot-stool.” Therefore, let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God hath made that same Jesus whom ye have crucified both Lord and Christ. Now, when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the Apostles, Men, and Brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, repent, and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you and your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call, And with many other words did he testify, and exhort, saying, save yourselves from this unto vard generation.”
I must call the reader's attention to the observation which I several times before made, and for the establishment of