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which its members received by him, or some of the other Apostles, consisting either in the power of speaking in unknown tongues, in the interpretation of tongues, or some other miraculous gift. By a reference to these he proved his Apostolic character, and thereby was enabled to dictate with authority in correcting the errors which obtained in the churches. Those very gifts which he imparted, and of which they were conscious, together with the miracles he wrought amongst them to demonstrate the truth of what he taught, and to make the Gentiles obedient in word, and deed, conferred upon him the authoritative character of a divine teacher, and governor. By these means the Apostles manifested the glory which Jesus Christ gave unto them, (John 17. 20. 22.) that the world might believe on him through their word. This was the method which Moses pursued in the government of the children of Israel, as is manifest from the history of his administrations, or of God through him. In his farewell address, contained in Deuteronomy, and par ticularly in the 4th chapter, it is evidently seen, (contrary to the assertions of many of the enemies, and opposers of revealed religion, who declare that the communications of God to Moses were secret, and only pretended,) that Moses refers the Israelites, for the truth, and authority of what he taught them, to what they saw, and HEARD. It was amidst one of the most tremendous scenes of a sensible miraculous description that the world ever witnessed, that the ten commandments were published in the hearing of all Israel. As a proof of this, Moses, after describing it in minute detail, tells the Israelites, "the Lord spake unto you out of the fire: ye heard the voice of the words, but saw no similitude, only ye heard a voice. And he declared unto you his covenant which he commanded you to perform, even ten commandments; and he wrote them upon two tables of stone. Deut. 4. 12. 13. Paul, in like manner, in one of his Epistles to the Corinthians, (amongst whom, attempts by a false teacher had been made to disparage him, and weaken his authority,) tells them, "I ought to have been commended of you; for in nothing am I behind the very chiefest Apostles; though I be nothing. Truly the signs of an Apostle were wrought amongst you in all patience, in signs, and wonders,
and mighty deeds. 2 Corinth. 12. 11. 12. In several parts of those Epistles he refers directly to the spiritual gifts of the common believers, which some of them seemed disposed to use in vain glory. He urges them to use their gifts, which they had received from the Spirit, to godly edifying -to be more desirous of instructing the church by intelli gible words, than to speak in unknown tongues. 1 Corinth. 14, which see. In one part of these Epistles he enumerates the gifts of the Spirit. 1 Corinth. 12. 4-11. These miraculous gifts of the Spirit had no saving influence in them, having been received in consequence of their faith; nor did they, by any necessary impulse, direct their possessors into the obedience of faith. Paul's Epistles were designed for this, and to correct the abuses which were made of those very gifts by their possessors.-Read the 14th chapter of 1 Corinth.
In the two first chapters of his Epistle to the Galatians, Paul is very particular in describing his appointment to be an Apostle, and also the nature, and character of Jesus Christ, and his Gospel. He tells them that he neither received the Gospel of man, nor was he taught it, but by the revelations of Jesus Christ. After making a very clear distinction between the Jewish law, and the law of faith, or the Gospel of Jesus Christ, he addresses them in the following impressive terms: "O, foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified for you? This only would I learn of you; Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?" Gal. 3. 1. 2. The gifts of the Spirit were bestowed upon those who believed in Jesus Christ, after he was glorified, (John 7. 39.) and after they believed, as before observed; and it is to the fact of those gifts having been thus received that Paul refers the Galatian church, in order to correct the errors which the Judaizing teachers had led its members into.
In his Epistle to the Ephesians, Paul, after describing the grace of God, as manifested unto the Jewish nation, in the first twelve verses of the first chapter, concluding the twelfth verse in the following words, "that we (Jews) should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in
Christ", in the 13th verse observes, "in whom ye (Gen. tiles) also trusted, AFTER that ye heard the word of truth, the Gospel of your salvation: in whom also, AFTER that ye believed ye were SEALED with the holy Spirit of promise which is the earnest of our inheritance." He tells them that he mentions them in his prayers, "that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Glory, may give unto you the Spirit of wisdom, and revelation in the knowledge of him, the EYES OF YOUR UNDERSTANDING BEING ENLIGHTENED, that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us ward who believe according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ when he raised him from the dead, and sat him at his own right hand in the heavenly places."
This extract from the Epistle to the Ephesians, affords a very striking representation of the gifts of the Spirit after belief. Paul went to Ephesus, and found there twelve of John's disciples, and "said unto them, have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, we have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, unto John's Baptism. Then, said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance; saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is on Jesus Christ. WHEN THEY HEARD THIS they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus, and when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Ghost came on them, AND THEY SPAKE WITH OTHER TONGUES, AND PROPHECIED.' Acts 19. 1. 6. This was the Spirit with which they were sealed (Eph. 1. 13.) after they heard the word of truth, and after that they believed. And this was the same Spirit of wisdom, and revelation, whom Paul prayed God might give unto them (the Ephesians) that they might know what is the hope of his calling, &c. and (said he) what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us ward who believe according to the working of his mighty power which he wrought in Christ when he raised him from the dead.
Eph. 1. 17. 20. This is the same Spirit whom Christ said unto his disciples "shall testify of me, and ye (the twelve who had been with him from the beginning) also shall bear witness." John 15.26. 27. In precise correspondence with this, and according to the sealing above mentioned, togeth er with the Spirit of wisdom and revelation which Paul prayed the Ephesians might have; Peter said unto the Jews who had commanded the Apostles to teach no more in the name of Jesus Christ, "we ought to obey God rather than man. The God of our Fathers raised up Jesus whom ye slew, and hanged on a tree; him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince, and a Saviour, for to give repentance unto Israel, and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost whom God hath GIVEN TO THEM THAT OBEY HIM." Acts 5. 29. 32. This was the same Spirit who fell on Cornelius, and friends, after they believed, as it did on the one hundred and twenty disciples (composed of Jewish proselytes) at the beginning. Acts 1. 15-2. 2-4. 11. 15— 16. The Ephesians are commanded to "grieve not the Holy Spirit of God whereby ye are SEALED unto the day of redemption." 4. 30. The circumstances attending Paul's ministry at Ephesus are very remarkable, as described in the Acts of the Apostles; and tend, with great force, to shew the necessity of miracles in the establishment of churches in the beginning of the Gospel dispensation. The history of Luke, relative to the miraculous circumstances, is in the following words: Paul, after baptizing John's disciples, went into the Synagogue, and spake boldly of the things concerning the kingdom of God. He was then compelled to teach in the school of Tyrannus on account of the oppositson he met with in the Synagogue-"And this continued for the space of two years; so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks. And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul; so that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them. Then some of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits, the name of the
Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. The seven sons of Sceva did so. And the evil spirit answered, and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know, but who are ye? And the man in whom the spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house, naked, and wounded. And this was known to all the Jews, and Greeks also, dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name. of the Lord Jesus was magnified, &c. &c. so greatly grew the word of God, and prevailed. Acts 19. 8-20. By these means the Ephesians were converted to christianity; to the truth of which, the sovereignty of Jesus Christ, and the divine power with which Paul was endowed, even the evil spirit bore witness. Those Ephesian converts, and them upon whom he laid his hands after baptizing them, Acts 19. 6. and who received the Spirit, were they unto whom Paul wrote his Epistle, called his Epistle to the Ephesians; in which he tells them, "ye trusted in Christ, after that ye heard the word of truth, the Gospel of your salvation: in whom, also, after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy spirit of promise." Chapt. 1. 13. With an eye to the means before mentioned from the Acts, he tells them, in the beginning of the 2nd chapter of his Epistle, "And you hath he (God) quickened who were dead in trespasses and sins; wherein in time past ye walked, according to the course of this world; according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience;" having a reference, probably, to the satanical influence mentioned in Acts 19. 13-16.
Ephesus was the very throne of idolatry; the worship of idols being performed in no part of the heathen world with greater splendour than at that city, on account of the famous temple of Diana, which was built at the expense of all Asia; and in which was an image of that Goddess, said to have fallen down from Jupiter. Acts 19. 35.
The holy spirit of promise, by which believers were sealed, and thereby enabled to speak with new tongues, to discern spirits, &c. is called the earnest of the believer's inhe ritance. Earnest is a small part of the price of a thing, given as an evidence that the Bargain is concluded, and as a