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are as necessary for the life of the church and her members, as the vital heat and natural blood are for the life of the body and its members. When, therefore, all flesh, Gentile as well as Jew, became incorporated into the church, which is the body of Christ, the Lord poured out of his Spirit upon all flesh, and there was no age, sex, condition, or nation, that did not partake of the fountain of life freely, which flowed from the heart of Christ pierced on the cross, and which, when circulated in the church, as the blood is in the body, wherever it came brought life, and health, and salvation with it to all flesh. In no place was its "way manifested upon earth," by the preaching of the word, and the institution of the ordinances, which were as so many vessels to convey it, but there was manifested, at the same time, "its "saving health unto all nations, "all being "one body "in Christ Jesus, and every one members one of "another."
But though grace be given to the whole body, and every member has his share, we must not forget, that every member is to have no more than his share. For as "all members have not the same office," but "there are diversities of administrations," so likewise must there be "diversities of gifts." For the Spirit was given in different measure to different persons, and at different times: as to the apostles, for establishing the church, in one measure; to the ordinary ministers, for governing it, in another; and to every individual, for his sanctification, in a third. "Unto every one of us is given grace, according to "the measure of the gift of Christ."
The first measure, which may be styled the apostolical, differs from all the rest in the nature of the gifts, as well as their end, and the manner of their being given.
As to their nature, it is written, that "God bore "the apostles witness with signs, and wonders, and "divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost"," who was constantly with them, displaying to the world his almighty power by numberless external demonstrations of his presence, as well as manifesting his infinite wisdom by his internal operation and gifts. They had "the word of wisdom," or a supernatural revelation made to them of that wisdom of God in a mystery, the whole scheme of his dispensations in Christ. They had "the word of knowledge," or the gift of understanding the Scriptures, which contain and describe this wisdom. They had "faith," to remove all mountains that stood in their way by miracles, and to give them an holy confidence and courage, invincible by all the powers of earth and hell. They had the gift of "healing" all the diseases of soul and body by a single word; the power of working all "miracles," controlling the agency of created nature, raising the dead, and inflicting punishments on the disobedient, as Moses did on Egypt, by the rod of their apostolic power. They had the gift of “ pro"phecy," to explain things past, and foretel things future, to preach and pray at all times by the Spirit, till all things were put in order, and the church-services
" Heb. ii. 4.
framed and established. They could "discern spi"rits," and see through all the devices and disguises of Satan at a glance. Add to all this the gift of tongues, and their interpretation," by which the same persons were enabled to speak and understand all the languages under heaven, without a moment's labour.
The end for which these extraordinary gifts were bestowed, was the public benefit of the church, then rising out of the nations, and opposed, on one side, by the envy and malignity of the blind Jew, on the other, by the false wisdom and earthly power of the idolatrous Gentile. In these circumstances, "the "word of knowledge" was necessary to confute the Jew from the Scriptures; "the word of wisdom, "and the demonstration of the Spirit," to bring to nothing the wisdom and overthrow the power of the Gentile; and all the gifts of God to cast out and destroy the works of the devil. As the church was to be gathered out of an unbelieving world, there was need of miracles, which, as the apostle says, 66 are "a sign to them that believe not." And this may perhaps intimate to us the time when they ceased, namely, when the spirit of Heathenism and opposition was overcome and extinguished by them. These gifts therefore were given "for the work of the mi"nistry, and edification of the body of Christ;" not for the private or inward sanctification of those that had them, who were not the better men for them, but were to be sanctified in their degree by the ordinary means, as other men were. To prevent men
from being puffed up with what is bestowed on them for the benefit of others, it should be recollected, that Saul was among the prophets, and Judas among the apostles. Wherefore Christ tells us, that "many "will say to him in the day of judgement, Lord Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name; and "in thy name cast out devils, and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess "unto them, I never knew you, depart from me, ye that work iniquity." And so again, when the apostles, having received and made trial of their gifts, returned to him full of joy, "saying, Lord; "the very devils are subject to us through thy name;" his answer was, "In this rejoice not, that the spirits "are subject unto you, but rather rejoice because
your names are written in heaven"." And the reason is plain; for so far were these miraculous powers from necessarily transforming their minds and renewing their souls, that they could not, like one single act of genuine repentance and saving faith, give them a title to the kingdom of God. St. Paul, the great converter of the Gentile world, was obliged to use the proper means of mortification and self-denial, to " keep under his body and bring it "into subjection, lest, after he had preached to "others," in all the demonstration of the power of the omnipotent Spirit, he, this great St. Paul hinıself, should become a castaway.
The manner in which these apostolical gifts were conferred, shows them to have been extraordinary,
Matt. vii. 22.
P Luke, x. 17, 20,
and for extraordinary purposes. For whereas the Spirit in its ordinary work of sanctification acts upon the souls of men, as his representative, the air, or material spirit, does upon their bodies, by a silent, equable, and imperceptible mode of operation, giving to all things life and motion; his coming at the day of Pentecost was sudden, impetuous, and irresistible; not in the still small voice of the common breathing of the air, but in "the sound of a mighty "rushing wind;" and that not blowing, as in the common course of nature, horizontally, but descending directly from above; not spreading itself abroad, and diffusing its agency universally, but "filling that "house," and that house only, "where the apostles "were sitting." From thence, indeed, it went forth, by a display of its miraculous gifts, to the ends of the world. For as it had a work to perform, which never was performed but once, so its operations were such as no 'spirit in after-times can pretend to, without proving itself, by the attempt, to be a spirit of error and delusion; since there is as much difference between the extraordinary effusion of the Spirit at the day of Pentecost for the purpose of founding the church, and the ordinary gift of grace for the sanctification of believers, as there is between that mighty Spirit, which, at God's command, moved at the beginning upon the face of the deep to form the earth, and the common air acting continually for its support and preservation.
The second measure of grace is the ecclesiastical measure, or that which is given to the ordinary ministry, for the standing government and continual