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this view of the subject ; since, if it be clear, that the influence of the Spirit varied according to the circumstances of the writers, it remains to be shown why the same may not be maintained concerning their words. These remarks, however, refer to the originals, and are by no means applicable to translations.
On the Extraordinary Influence of the
Spirit viewed in relation to the Mission of Christ.
The term 'extraordinary' is here used to distinguish it from that influence of the Spirit which is common to Christians in every country and in every age ; and of which extraordinary influence a clearer idea cannot, perhaps, be conveyed than in the language of St. Paul. “God also bearing them witness, both with signs, and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will."1 These expressions intimate the purpose for which they were . Heb. ii. 4.
wrought, the effect produced by them, their variety, and the voluntary manner in which they were performed.
As “ signs,” they were ocular proofs of the divine interference; as “wonders,” they were both extraordinary in them. selves, and excited a corresponding feeling in the minds of the spectators; as “miracles,” (duvápeon, powers,) they dis. played the divine power; and as “gifts," (ueplouois, distributions,) they varied according to the effects intended to be produced by their author. These together make up the distinctive character of every miracle recorded in the Scriptures, whether performed prior to the coming, during our Lord's personal ministry on earth, or after his ascension to heaven. Their design also, allowing for the difference of circumstances, was the same ;-directly, perhaps, to certify the person employed, or the persons to whom he was sent, of his being divinely commissioned ; and indirectly, or ultimately, of the certainty or truth of our Lord's advent.
“ For the testimony of (concerning) Jesus is the spirit ( sign) of prophecy ;” but "holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” He therefore was the author of prophecy. Were the prophecies then dictated by one agent, and the miracles performed by another ? Did he give to Bezaleel his artist powers to execute, and not himself exhibit “ the pattern of the tabernacle showed to Moses in the mount ?"5 as he unquestionably did to David the pattern of the temple erected by Solomon ?6 or did he confessedly bestow upon the seventy elders of Israel, upon Gideon, upon Jeptha, upon Sampson, and upon Saul, &c. those extraordinary powers we know they possessed,? and is not the same Almighty Agent intended by the magicians when they confessed, “ This is the finger of God ? For our Lord em
2 Rev.xix. 10; and Bishop 6 i Chron. xxviii. 12. Hurd's Sermon II. on Pro 7 Numb. xi. 25. Judges phecy, note m, p. 32-3. vi. 34; xi. 29; xiv. 6. 1 3 2 Pet. i. 21.
Sam. xi. 6. 4 Exod. xxxi. 3.
8 Exod. viii. 19. 3 Exod. xxv. 40.
ployed under similar circumstances, the same phrase in Luke xi. 20, which, in the parallel place of St. Matthew xii. 28, is represented as synonymous with “ the Spirit of God.”
In like manner, it would seem, by comparing Acts xxviii. 25, “ Well spake the Holy Ghost,” &c., with Isa. vi. 8, “ The voice of the Lord, saying,” that the prophet intends the same agent ; as the prophet Ezekiel also does by the phrase, “ The hand of the Lord,” &c., ch. iii. 22, compared with verse 24.
The inference, therefore, seems per. fectly just, (and more instances might easily be cited,) that as the person, advent, and offices of the Messiah were gradually developed, and that developement was, as occasion required, accompanied with miraculous attestations, so both were but parts of one great scheme equally performed by the same divine agent.
Nor is it less clear, that our Lord was himself to be the subject, as well as the