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sire, and prayed for with the most ardent supplication—the descent of the Spirit and the beginning of a new moral creation. It is a fact worthy not only of mention but of profound study that, in virtue of the mysterious sympathy existing between the physical and moral worlds, the grand leading epochs of bistory have generally been accoinpanied and authenticated, as it were, by extraordinary phenomena in the sphere of nature. Thus the proclamation of the Law delivered at Sinai was attended with thunder, and lightning, and the voice of a trumpet (comp. Ex. 19: 16, &c.). So in the case now under consideration, the disciples recognized in the visible form under which God revealed his presence to them an appropriate symbol of the spiritual act just accomplished. A sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, suddenly filled the quiet house of prayer. The Holy Ghost who once brooded over the chaos of the natural world as the life-giving breath of God, now appeared in a nobler character, under the form of cloven tongues like unto fire, as the spirit of the glorified Redeemer, as the spirit of faith and of love, of truth and of holiness. In this whole transaction, it is evident that the wind and fire were symbols expressive of the purifying, enlightening, and vivifying power of God. The believing disciples were translated into a new sphere of life, into the very centre of the christian system, and, in conformity to the prediction of Christ, became instruments by means of which the Holy Spirit announced His presence and intentions: “ T'he Spirit of truth shall testify of me and ye also shall bear witness" (John 15: 26, 27). For the bearing of witness is the first fruit of faith and furnishes at the same time resources for its propagation. Forthwith they gave vent to their feelings in audible prayers and songs of praise; with joy ineffable and a courage which neither difficulties nor threats could daunt, they proclaimed the wondrous workings of God and the redemption effected by Christ to the astonished people who, attracted by the rushing noise and the speaking in longues,' had flocked around them. During this period when their minds were enkindled by the exciting feelings of an unusually exalted inspiration, the language of common life failed to express the new spiritual ideas which agi

"The povis rúvrns Acts 2: 6 seems to be referred by the demonstr. to the speaking in longues immediately preceding, whilst the singular of the subst. seems to refer it to the rushing wind (v. 2). But as in the distance persons could not distinguish the single voices but would hear an indistinct general noise, the phrase may be regarded as an undefined collective and applicable to both.

tated their souls. As body and soul, thought and language, are necessary complements to each other and cannot come to true expression without mutual adaptation, it was necessary that the Spirit thus poured out should originate in them words fit for the transinission of the new thoughts infused into their minds. Here, accordingly, for the first time, came to view the power of speaking in tongues which Christ prior to his ascension had expressly promised would be given to his disciples (Mark 16 : 17). The obscurity connected with the right understanding of this remarkable phenomenon compels us to enter upon an investigation of its character. It must be confessed, however, that, on account of a want of experience in events of a like nature and, consequently, of the almost inextricable confusion in the interpretation of the passages' bearing upon the subject, it does not admit of a perfectly satisfactory and clear representation.


82. The Speaking in Tongues. The power of speaking with other or new Tongues (Glossology) is one of the most extraordinary spiritual gifts which distinguish the apostolic church from all other periods of history whose character bears the lineaments of more tranquil and natural features. Down to the second and third centuries we find traces of its presence. If we leave out of view the sporadic and occasional appearances of modern times concerning which it may with propriety be asked whether they proceed from the operation of the Holy Spirit, or of an unusually excited nature ibat delights to revel in exhibitions of a sickly, sentimental fanaticism of feeling,' we may safely affirm that since the third century the gift of speaking with other tongues has utterly vanished.

*The different interpretations of ylcosaos dalciv which we cannot here state in detail, have been classified in the most convenient and complete form by De Wette in his commentary on the Acts p. 20–30.

* Luke, in his account of the festival of Pentecost, makes use of the expression “to speak with other tongues" (érépais ydsons datciv), which may stand opposed to the vernacular and, in some sense, to all human languages. Our Lord himself designates the gift (Mark 16: 7) as " a speaking with new (Kauvais) tongues” which seems to imply that a language hitherto unknown and the direct product of the Spirit, would be spoken by ihe disciples. With these exceptions we always find in use the abbreviated formula : " to speak with tongues" (ydocais ladciv, also in the singular ydwoon duasiv, Acis 10: 46; 19: 6; 1 Cor. c. 12 and 14,). The simplest grammatical meaning of ydwoon is : dialect. This is demanded by the qualifying adjective éripais in the second chapter of the Acts and the word “dialeci" which the strangers then present (v. 8) evidently used in the same sepse. Besides, it alone agrees with the singular form ydwoon dal, as used by Paul. This last formula is sufficient to disprove the interpretation of Bleek who explains ydorais as referring to uncommon, highly poetical, and provincial expressions-a meaning which profane writers very seldom allow and cannot be admitted in the Old and New Testament.

* Irenaeus (died 202) speaks of many brethren living in his own time who were in possession of prophetic powers and spake by the aid of the VOL. II.-NO. IV.


In considering this subject we must take care to ascertain what constitutes the peculiar nature of glossology as a gift of the apostolical Church in general and the particular form it assumed at its first appearance on the day of Pentecost. In order to

Spirit in various languages (παντοδαπαϊς γλώσσαις) and exposed to view the hidden things of men and the mysteries of God for the spiritual improvement of Christians” (adv. baer. V, 6.) Comp. the somewhat obscure pas. sage of Tertullian in his argument against Marcion V, 8 and Neander's History of the Planting &c., I, 26, 4, Edition.

"We refer to the speaking with tongues as exercised in the assemblies of the Irvingites. A Swiss, by name Michael Hohl, who was an eye and ear witness of their proceedings, gives the following interesting description in his “ fragments of the life and writings of Edward Irving, former preacher of the Scottish National Church in London,” St. Gallen, 1839, p. 149: Previous to their speaking one could observe that the persons concerned were wholly absorbed in self-contemplation which manifested itself in closing the eyes and covering them with the hand. Suddenly, as if struck by an eleciric flash, they fell into spasmodic convulsions which shook the whole body; then gushed forth from quivering lips a copious, passionate effusion of strange, energetic tones, resembling most nearly, in my opinion, the sounds of the Hebrew language, which were usually repeated three limes and, as already said, with incredible vehemence and acuieness. Af ter this first outburst of strange sounds which were regarded as the main proof for the genuineness of the inspiration, followed invariably, in no less violent tone, a shorter or longer address in English which was likewise repeated partly by words and parily by sentences and consisted now in very forcible and earnest admonitions, then in horrible warnings of approaching misery, and in words full of soothing comfort and moving pathos ; the last part was generally regarded as a periphrastic explanation of the first, although it as such could not be wholly explained by the speaker himself. Having given utterance to his feelings the inspired person continued for some time in a state of profound silence and recovered only by degrees from the weakness occasioned by his powerful excitement." The inward condition of such persons was told the narrator by a young girl after the following fashion : “Suddenly and unexpectedly the Spirit seized hold on her with irresistible power. For the time she felt herself to be entirely under the influence of a higher nature and guided by its motions, without which, indeed, she would have been incapable of such severe physical er. ertion. Of that which she was compelled to speak she had no distinct con. sciousness; much less did she understand anything of what she spake in a strange, and to her utterly unknown, language, so that she was not able to give any precise account of the scene in which she had been the chief actor. A state of great weakness and exhaustion succeeded the departure of the inspiration, from which she in a short time recovered."

a proper understanding of the first point we must summon to our aid the remarks made by Paul in his first epistle to the Cor: inthians. -As regards its general nature it may be termed an involuntary, spiritual speaking in an ecstatic state of the most exalted devotion, in which the subject is not translated to a sphere beyond himself but buried rather in the inmost essence of his own being and brought into felt contact with that part of his nature which allies him directly to the Divine mind. In such case the ordinary consciousness of himself and the surrounding world recedes, disappears, as it were, and the language of common life fails to give utterance to his feelings, while his con- . sciousness of God's presence governs his whole personality and he becomes the involuntary organ of the divine Spirit that dwells within him. Hence it is written in Acts 2: 4; “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance." This inspiration has respect to form and contents, to thought and language. Paul calls the speaking with tongues a praying and singing " in the spirit” (avevua); by means of which he distinguishes the highest intuitional faculty, or the direct consciousness of God from “the understanding” (vous), or the logical, reflective consciousness (1 Cor. 14: 14, 15,). The contents of the speaking with tongues was a praising of the wonderful works of the redeeming love of God (Acts 2: 11; 10: 46; 1 Cor. 14: 14, 16,) in the form of prayer, thanksgiving, and song (Acts 10: 46; 1 Cor. 14: 14, 18). Closely related to it is the gift of prophesy. ing which likewise sprang from a direct inward revelation of divine mysteries and in Acts 19: 6 is mentioned in immediate connection with the gift bestowed on the day of Pentecost. The difference between them is of a twofold character. In the first place, the man who employed other tongues addressed hina self directly to God, while the prophet spake to the congregalion; in the second place, the latter delivered his thoughts in such form that even unbelievers could understand their meaning, while the former, such was the case at least in the Corinthian Church, could not be understood without the aid of an interpreter (1 Cor. 14: 2, &c). Hence Paul gives the preference to the gift of prophesying (1 Cor. 14: 5) and likens the speaking with tongues to sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal (1 Cor. 13: 1), to the uncertain sound of an instrument (i Cor. 14: 7,8), of a barbarous language which no man can understand (1 Cor. 14: 11) and which appears to the uninitiated as proof positive of madness in those who exercise it (v. 23). The speaking in tongues, therefore, was a dialogue carried on between the enraptured soul and God, an act of the most intense devotion which could become a source of profit to others only by being interpreted and translated into the language of common life. . As regards this last point, however, an important difference obtained between the gift of tongues as described by the Apostle and the gift of tongues as used on the day of Pentecost. This leads us to a consideration of the second point of our subject.

As regards the particular form which this gift first assumed, it seems to have been immediately intelligible to the hearers with• out any explanation; at least, in the account recorded in the Acts no mention is made of an interpreter. Even in such case, however, there must have been at hand an inward receptivity for the proper apprehension of the truth delivered ; for a portion of the assembled multitude turned the entire occurrence into a convenient occasion for mockery and regarded it as the product of minds disordered by intoxication (Acts 2: 13). But there was a second and more important difference. Paul gives no sufficient reason to suppose that the speaking with tongues consisted in the use of various foreign languages as distinguished from the vernacular. He himself, though pre-eminently endow. ed with the gift of tongues (1 Cor. 14: 18: “I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all"), did not understand the speech of Lycaonia (Acts 14: 11, 14). The ecclesiastical tradition of primitive antiquity, also, speaks of interpreters of the Apostles; thus Papias calls Mark the Interpreter of Peter.” It would seem necessary, therefore, to suppose the existence of an unusual facility in the use of the vernacular, or of an entirely new spiritual language which differed from all other languages in vogue in the same degree that the thoughts and feeling of the speaker were elevated above the consciousness and understanding of common life. The internal ecstasy that agitated the subject, and the unusual spiritual elevation of the soul which was involuntarily brought into close connection with the Divine life, manifested their presence in this particular mode of communication. Yet this mode of speech itself, it must be borne in mind, so far as its essential nature is concerned, did not annihilate the language originally spoken by the subject but stood rather in close fellowship with it. Those, accordingly, who were not under the influence of this high-wrought inspiration, could not possibly understand the speaker who felt its power. The Acts of the Apostles, on the contrary, evidently describe the gift of tongues as a speaking in the strange languages of the foreigners who were present on the day of Pentecost. For, from this very

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