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erroneous notion that the "
speaking in languages,” according to that gentleman, or the " gift of tongues,” according to Scripture, was limited to the church of Corinth. We do not say Mr. M.Neile intended this ; but some have so understood him; and to remove further improper inference, we remind the reader, that the Epistle to the Corinthians is really addressed (1 Cor. i. 2) “ Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours." Upon this we contend, that what the Apostle "mentions to the church of Corinth,” is “ written for our instruction;" and we dare not except the chapters (for instance) on unknown tongues, &c. No doubt the circumstances of the Corinthian church-such as the number of the gifted persons, or the disorderly use of the gists-rendered the Apostles's formal and prominent exhortations on the subject wise and necessary; but to suppose, therefore, that such subject refers to no other church, is to carry conclusions where Mr. M`Neile has carried some of bis readers, to wit, out of the right course; placing them, and leaving them, though perhaps not so intended, at "Corinth, on the middle of an isthmus, close to the sea on either side.” (p. 41).
Besides, the fact as to other churches destroys Mr. M`Neile's statement, or restriction, or inference, or whatever it may be ; for the believers at Jerusalem (Acts iv. 31), at Ephesus (Acts xix. 6), at Cæsarea (Acts x.44), at Samaria (Acts viii. 17), at Antioch (Acts xiii. 1)—to say nothing of the universal church as assembled on the day of Pentecost (Acts ii. 4), received the gift of the Holy Ghost, speaking with tongues being particularly « mentioned.”
This is so important a part of the controversy, and error bere is so common and so dangerous, that we must, at the risk of censure for “ vain repetitions,” draw further attention to Mr. M`Neile's statement.
• In the Apostle's prayers for the highest advancement of the • churches in boliness there is no mention of the gifts: Eph. *i. 16, 20; iii. 14, 21; Phil. i. 9, 11.' (p. 41.)
We deny this statement, and pronounce it “ unreasonable and unscriptural," upon the principle and in the language of Mr. M'Neile, in Preliminary Observations, page 11, . That it is as unreasonable as it is unscriptural to claim the Spirit's presence in the church for the production of fruits of holiness, and deny • His presence for the performance of works of power.'
The first passage referred to by Mr. M`Neile as having mention of the gifts” (Eph. i. 16) is prefaced (ver. 13) by the Apostle speaking of the church as “sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise after they believed ;” and in the context of Mr. M'Neile's second quotation, St. Paul states (Eph. iii. 7) he“ was made a minister, according to the gift,” &c. 'Will Mr. M'Neile say that
" the Holy Spirit of promise" to the Ephesians, is not “ that Holy Spirit” which “ gave utterance” on the day of Pentecost, when the disciples were " waiting for the promise of the Comforter?” Or will be say that the gift of ministry,” mentioned in the Epistle to the Ephesians, is not the same gift mentioned, with others, in the Epistle to the Corinthians ?
That we are “ reasonable and scriptural" in thus reconciling Paul with Paul, though in doing so we are compelled to contrast Mr. M.Neile with Mr. M.Neile, and in thus connecting “ the highest advancement in holiness with mention of the gifts," is further evident from the following more direct passages.
In the xiith chap. to the Romans, ver. 1, the Apostle“ beseeches them” (and if he besought them, we presume he“ besought” God for tbem-Mr. M`Neile's reference is to “ the Apostle's prayers) “ to present their bodies a living sacrifice, holy,” &c. Then he introduces (ver. 5) the figure of the one body and many members; using the same figure and the same expressions as in his chapter to the Corinthians on the gifts generally, and on tongues and prophesying particularly. He also "mentions” (vers. 6–8) various gifts,” beginning with that of prophecy; and in this connection proceeds, to the
end of the chapter, to inculcate “ the highest advancement in holiness.”
Once more: In 1 Thess. last chapter (and Mr. M'Neile places the Thessalonians in his schedule A of exceptions), we find the Apostle exhorting (and we again presume his“ prayers corresponded with his preaching) to holiness, and mentioning gifts.
Pray without ceasing” (ver. 17): here is “prayer.” Quench not the Spirit” (ver. 19): here is the Spirit's work generally, and of course " the gifts ” inclusively. « Despise not prophesying” (ver. 20): here is a “gift” particularly “ mentioned.” " Abstain from all appearance of evil” (ver. 22): here is “holiness.” Concluding with “ I pray God” (prayer again) “your whole spirit, and soul, and body, be preserved blameless ” (holi. ness again)" unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
These connections of “ prayer and holiness, with mention of the gifts,” prove Mr. M`Neile's statement to be “as unreasonable as it is unscriptural;" and, with the instances we have given of some of his waverings, objections, and insinuations, authorize us to pronounce his work on “ Miracles and Spiritual Gifts” the most unsatisfactory, if not the most contradictory, which has appeared on the subject. At the same time we remember and repeat our acknowledgment of his past services, especially in following other able ministers in proclaiming the glorious doctrine which we have just seen the Apostle connect with unceasing prayer and perfect holiness,-“ the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
The false reasoning which pervades this publication of Mr. M'Neile causes us to entertain serious apprehensions for the solidity of his grounds on other subjects. If he have none better than such as these, he has nove that can stand the proof in the evil days that are at hand. Many persons have bewailed him, as having been for a time lost to the Evangelical party, and now hail with triumph the symptoms of his returning to their ranks. Both the sorrow and the joy are misplaced, for to neither party does he give any real strength. The leaders of these parties have been at different times the objects of imitation in Mr. M`Neile; and as he possesses great talents for popularity, he has been able to enunciate in a popular form all that he could gather from the master spirits with whom he was thrown into contact : all, probably, that the populace could receive and understand. Vaughan's grand views of the purpose of God, stretching from eternity to eternity, and embracing the whole of time, are beyond the com. prehension of the multitude: Way's keen and accurate discrimination of the various intricacies and bearings of prophecy, requires greater polish and exactness than can be found in ordinary minds: the whole of the great scheme of truth, which was familiar to these master spirits, a vulgar mind cannot comprehend, but, in attempting to dilate upon its details, is bewildered in its mazes. In the writings against the manifestations we search in vain for any one original idea (unless the oryarw be one): not one argument has been adduced, we believe, which may not be found in Middleton, Spinoza, Hume, and the older infidels, and has been thence transferred into the Record, or some of the periodical receptacles of indiscriminate abuse. When the case has been fornished by another, Mr. M.Neile can speak eloquently from his brief; but if his evidence break down, or even become embarrassed, he is non-plussed. As long as he followed Mr. Irving he was safe ; but when he began to copy the Record, be failed. On Prophecy he had jumped to his conclusions on insufficient grounds, and then sought for arguments to justify his opinion: he has jumped to conclusions on spiritual gifts on equally insufficient grounds, and is now seeking for arguments to justily his present opinion. We say these things with affection and sorrow: and may God take as much of them as is the
truth, and apply it to the heart and conscience of the Rev. Hugh M'Neile.' Then shall we find bim advocating a work, which he has preached as a doctrine, though he denies it as a fact; and what is still better, see him rejoicing in the refreshment which is poured upon the souls of those who have faith to receive God's returning favour to his church. And he will find, that the
more excellent way,” so far from superseding the gifts, car only be attained through them, and is for their exercise.
THE ARK OF GOD IN THE TEMPLE OF DAGON.
Mr. Irving and his Church have been ejected from Babylon, and have found a refuge in the jaws of Antichrist. The readers of this Journal will have been long prepared for this event. A preacher who thinks only of the truth of God; who will preach Christ himself, and not doctrines about him; who is only anxious to tell what God has taught him, without any reference to its effect upon man ; was sure at some period or other to get far more light than others into his own soul, and exhibit more than the rest would endure.
But if we regarded this occurrence as merely the ejection of a faithful minister from the Church of Scotland, we should not think it necessary to bring it prominently before our readers, a large proportion of whom belong to the Church of England, and most of whom are unacquainted with the peculiar circumstances which give to this occurrence the dignity of a sign of the times, and involve in it the most important consequences to the church universal.
The profoundest thinker of the age has characterised Mr. Irving as “a mighty wrestler in the cause of spiritual religion and Gospel morality ; in whom, more than in any other contemporary, I seem to see the spirit of Luther revived." (Aids to Reflection, p. 373.) And the ejection of this man will, we are persuaded, mark an era of far greater importance than the ejection of Luther from the Papacy. The Reformation properly began before the time of Luther, and he at first would certainly have shrunk from those decisive steps which the course of events at length forced upon him : the setting forth of truth was all he aimed at in his theses and first addresses, with no ulterior object. So has it been with Mr. Irving: he declared his convictions of truth according as God taught it him; and when Babylon had rejected it all, God delivered him and his flock at a single blow. The last truth to which Mr. Irving had been led, and for testifying to which he has been cast out, is the baptism of the Holy Ghost. For this great truth, which is in fact the peculiar doctrine of Christianity, the Reformers left no place : they admitted it as a doctrine, but drew their forms of confession and their rules of worship and discipline too strait for their doctrine. The Westminster divines mistook reverse of wrong for right; and they drew the Westminster Confession so loose as to admit almost every variety of doctrine; and it has been adopted by a variety of sects, who, agreeing in no one doctrine but thať of the Trinity, find they can tack on to this confession any form of worship and discipline which pleases them best.
But this seems near its close : God is bringing out his own
doctrines, and making room for them in his church ; and those forms and confessions which are too strait to receive them, or too loose to retain them, shall be burst and snapped asunder, like the green withs on the arms of Samson ; and Mr. Irving may be the “mighty wrestler” empowered to do the deed. Let any thoughtful member of the Church of England mark the discrepancy between the breadth of the doctrines laid down or implied in her standards, and the narrow and precise forms which exclude their exercise. Her Canons, for instance, prohibit the improper use of prophesyings and exorcisms; but where is the provision now for their lawful exercise ? The Homilies declare that the Holy Spirit doth always manifest himself by his fruitful gifts; but who dares admit them into the church? What is true of one church is true of all : not one of them has left place for the cise of those gifts which were common in the Corinthian and Ephesian and all Apostolic churches.
Mr. Irving has been ejected from the Church of Scotland for daring to allow them a place; and God will now clear a way for the reception of all his gifts, to gather and constitute an Apostolic church, to be set upon his holy hill of Zion.
We stand now at a most critical period ; at the turning point, in fact, in all the typical histories ; at the conclusion of the wilderness wanderings of one class, and the entry into their rest; at the commencement of wilderness persecution and endurance of every kind for another party. The forty years' probation of the church is now expiring, and the church of God is about to enter upon her inheritance: and the man who shall make the world like a wilderness, the Saul who shall hunt David to the wilderness, the impersonation of the dragon who shall persecute the seed of the woman, is about to arise. Preparation for both these states is now begun: the ark is separated from the high place, and the Philistines boast of their victory. But what is the high place without it? Ichabod may be inscribed on its walls; and though the congregations may offer formal worship, as at Gibeah and Shiloh, the name thereof shall be called Bamah (Ezek. xx. 29; Psal. lxxviii. 60 ; Jer. vii. 12; xxvi. 6).
The ark in the temple of Dagon is the type which explains what is now going on; and considerations like the above, which we can only thus hastily glance at, induce us to attach more than its seeming importance to the ejection of Mr. Irving and his Church, from the Church of Scotland. It is profitable to bring before our minds the circumstances which led to this event, and to mark the way in which God had been preparing Mr. Irving for the important part which he seems designed to take in fulfilling the purpose of God.
When this gentleman first arrived in London, he was deeply infected with the intellectual pride of his countrymen, and