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equally despised on all hands. And indeed this was that whereby in all ages countenance was given unto apostacy and defection from the power and truth of the gospel. The names of spiritual things were still retained, but applied to outward forms and ceremonies, which thereby were substituted insensibly into their room, to the ruin of the gospel in the minds of men. But as these gifts were not any of them to be bought, no more are they absolutely to be attained by the natural abilities and industry of any, whereby an image of them is attempted to be set up by some, but deformed and useless. They will do those things in the church by their own abilities, which can never be acceptably discharged but by virtue of those free gifts which they despise ; whereof we must speak more afterward. Now the full signification of these words in our sense is peculiar unto the New Testament. For although in other authors they are used for a gift or free grant, yet they never denote the endowments or abilities of the minds of men who do receive them, which is their principal sense in the Scripture.
With respect unto their especial nature, they are called πνευματικά : sometimes absolutely; 1 Cor. xii. 1. περί δε των TT Vevmatikūv, but concerning spirituals;' that is, spiritual gifts. And so again, chap. xiv. 1. Endoute tà a Vevmatika,' desire spirituals;' that is, gifts; for so it is explained ; chap. xii. 31. ζηλούτε τα χαρίσματα τα κρείττονα, “covet earnestly the best gifts. Whenever therefore, they are called avevmatikà, there xapiouara, denoting their general nature, is to be supplied: and where they are called χαρίσματα only, πνευματικά is to be understood, as expressing their especial difference from all others. They are neither natural, nor moral, but spiritual endowments. For both their author, nature, and object, are respected herein. Their author is the Holy Spirit; their nature is spiritual; and the object about which they are exercised, are spiritual things.
Again, with respect unto the manner of their communication they are called μερισμοί του πνευμάτος αγίου; Ηeb. i. 4. · Distributions, or partitions of the Holy Ghost ;' not whereof the Holy Ghost is the subject, as though he were parted or divided, as the Socinians dream on this place; but whereof he is the author, the distributions which he makes. And they are thus called divisions, partitions, or distributions, because they are of divers sorts, and kinds, according as the edification of the church did require. And they were not, at any time, all of them given out unto any one person, at least so, as that others should not be made partakers of the same sort. From the same inexhaustible treasure of bounty, grace, and power, these gifts are variously distributed unto men. And this variety, as the apostle proves, gives both ornament and advantage to the church. If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing, &c. 1 Cor. xii. 16–25. It is this ueplouos, this various distribution of gifts, that makes the church an organical body; and in this composure, with the peculiar uses of the members of the body, consists the harmony, beauty, and safety of the whole. Were there no more but one gift, or gifts of one sort, the whole body would be but one member: as where there is none, there is no animated body but a dead carcass.
And this various distribution, as it is an act of the Holy Spirit, produceth διαίρεσιν: διαιρέσεις χαρισμάτων εισί, “There are diversities of gifts;' 1 Cor. xii. 4. The gifts thus distributed in the church are divers as to their sorts and kinds, one of one kind, another of another : an account hereof is given by the apostle particularly, ver. 8-10. in a distinct enumeration of the sorts or kinds of them. The edification of the church is the general end of them all; but divers, distinct, different gifts are required thereunto.
These gifts being bestowed, they are variously expressed with regard unto the nature and manner of those operations which we are enabled unto by virtue of them. So are they termed diakovias, ministrations ;' 1 Cor. xii. 5. That is, powers and abilities whereby some are enabled to administer spiritual things unto the benefit, advantage, and edification of others : and évepyhuara, ver. 6. 'effectual workings of operations, efficaciously producing the effects which they are applied unto. And lastly, they are comprised by the apostle in that expression, φανέρωσις του πνεύματος, “The manifestation of the Spirit; ver. 7. In and by them dotik the Holy Spirit evidence and manifest his power. For the effects produced by them, and themselves in their own nature, especially some of them, do evince, that the Holy Spirit is in them, that they are given and wrought by him, and are the ways whereby he acts his own power and grace.
These things are spoken in the Scripture as to the names of these spiritual gifts: and it is evident, that if we part with our interest and concern in them, we must part with no small portion of the New Testament. For the mention of them, directions about them, their use, and abuse, do so frequently occur, that if we are not concerned in them, we are not so in the gospel.
Differences between spiritual gifts and saving grace. Their nature in general, which in the next place we inquire into, will be much discovered in the consideration of those things wherein these gifts do agree with saving graces, and wherein they differ from them.
First, There are three things wherein spiritual gifts and saving graces do agree.
1. They are both sorts of them the purchase of Christ for his church, the especial fruit of his mediation. We speak not of such gifts or endowments of men's minds as consist merely in the improvement of their natural faculties. Such are wisdom, learning, skill in arts and sciences, which those may abound and excel in who are utter strangers to the church of Christ; and frequently they do so, to their own exaltation and contempt of others. Nor do I intend abilities for actions moral, civil, or political; as fortitude, skill in government or rule, and the like. For although these are gifts of the power of the Spirit of God, yet they do belong unto those operations which he exerciseth in upholding or ruling of the world, or the old creation as such, whereof I have treated before. But I intend those alone which are conversant about the gospel, the things and duties of it, the administration of its ordinances, the propagation of its doctrine and profession of its ways. And herein also I put a difference between them, and all those gifts of the Spirit about sacred things, which any of the people of God enjoyed under the Old Testament. For we speak only of those which are powers of the world to come. Those others were
suited to the economy of the old covenant, and confined with the light which God was pleased then to communicate unto his church. Unto the gospel state they were not suited, nor would be useful in it. Hence the prophets, who had the most eminent gifts, did yet all of them come short of John the Baptist; because they had not by virtue of their gifts that acquaintance with the person of Christ, and insight into his work of mediation, that he had ; and yet also, he came short of him that is least in the kingdom of heaven, because his gifts were not purely evangelical. Wherefore these gifts whereof we treat, are such as belong unto the kingdom of God erected in an especial manner by Jesus Christ after his ascension into heaven : for he was exalted that he might fill all things, tà távra, that is, the whole church with these effects of his power and grace. The power, therefore, of communicating these gifts, was granted unto the Lord Christ as mediator by the Father, for the foundation and edification of his church, as it is expressed, Acts ii. 33. And by them was his kingdom both set up and propagated, and is preserved in the world. These were the weapons of warfare which he furnished his disciples withal, when he gave them commission to go forth and subdue the world unto the obedience of the gospel; Acts i. 4. 8. And mighty were they through God unto that purpose ; 2 Cor. x. 3—6. In the use and exercise of them did the gospel run, and was glorified, to the ruin of the kingdom of Satan and darkness in the world. And that he was ever able to erect it again under another form than that of Gentilism, as he hath done in the antichristian apostacy of the church visible, it was from a neglect and contempt of these gifts, with their due use and improvement. When men began to neglect the attaining of these spiritual gifts, and the exercise of them, in praying, in preaching, in interpretation of the Scripture, in all the administrations and whole worship of the church, betaking themselves wholly to their own abilities and inventions, accommodated unto their ease and secular interest, it was an easy thing for Satan to erect again his kingdom, though not in the old manner, because of the light of the Scripture which had made impression on the minds of men, which he could not obliterate. Wherefore he never attempted openly any more to set up Heathenism or Paganism, with the gods of the old world and their worship; but he insensibly raised another kingdom, which pretended some likeness unto and compliance with the letter of the word, though it came at last to be in all things expressly contrary thereunto. This was his kingdom of apostacy and darkness under the papal antichristianism, and woful degeneracy, of other Christians in the world. For when men who pretend themselves intrusted with the preservation of the kingdom of Christ, did wilfully cast away those weapons of their warfare whereby the world was subdued unto him, and ought to have been kept in subjection by them, what else could ensue ?
By these gifts, I say, doth the Lord Christ demonstrate his power, and exercise his rule. External force and carnal weapons were far from his thoughts, as unbecoming his absolute sovereignty over the souls of men, his infinite power and holiness. Neither did any ever betake themselves unto them in the affairs of Christ's kingdom, but either when they had utterly lost and abandoned these spiritual weapons, or did not believe that they are sufficient to maintain the interest of the gospel, though originally they were so to introduce and fix it in the world; that is, that although the gifts of the Holy Ghost were sufficient and effectual to bring in the truth and doctrine of the gospel against all opposition, yet are they not so to maintain it; which they may do well once more to consider. Herein, therefore, they agree with saving graces: for that they are peculiarly from Jesus Christ the mediator, is confessed by all; unless it be by such as by whom all real internal grace is denied. But the sanctifying operations of the Holy Spirit, with their respect unto the Lord Christ as Mediator, have been sufficiently before confirmed.
2. There is an agreement between saving graces and spiritual gifts, with respect unto their immediate efficient cause. They are both sorts of them wrought by the power of the Holy Ghost. As to what concerneth the former or saving grace, I have already treated of that argument at large; nor will any deny that the Holy Ghost is the author of these graces, but those that deny that there are any such. That these gifts are so wrought by him is expressly declared wherever there is mention of them in general or particular. Wherefore, when they acknowledge that there were such gifts, all con