ther of Lights, where hadft thou thy Gifts > who made thee a Pastor ? I think, if Scripture must be believed, then no Man hath any thing, or can receive any thing, except it be given him from Heaven, Febn 3: 27. And are not these Gifts, for the work of the Ministry, Extraordinary and Supernatural? If he that ministers, is no more fitted, gifted and furnished, than he that is ministred unto by him, what halt thou, or any Man, that he hath not received ? Who made thee to difer? What inust thy Flock feed on, if no more grow up in thee, their pretended Pastor, nor spring up in thee, than in them?

And it is evident, that these Gifts being given freely from above, they are not attainable by any Art, Strength, Power; Wisdom, Righteous. ness, or Skill of Man: For in vain, as to these things, is the help of Man. Therefore the Natural Man knows not the things of God, nor understands them; nor indeed can he, by all his Natural Attainments, or Humane Aris.

Let all Flesh therefore be filent before the Lord, and the Lord alone be exalted, in this his Glorious Gospel-Day : And take the ApoAtle's Counsel to the Romanis, chap. 12. 3, 4, 5; 6, 7, 8, 9. Every Man not to think more bigbly of bimself, tban be ought to think; but think soberly, as God batb dealt to every Man the measure of Faith. For as we have many Memo bers in one Body, and all Members have not the Same Office; so we being many, are one Body in Chrift, and every one Members one of anotber :


[ocr errors]


Having then Gifts, differing according to the Gract that is given to us; whether Prophecy, let us propbefie according to the proportion of Faitb.; or Mic nistry, let us wait on our ministring; or. ke that teacheth, on Teaching; or be that exhortetb, on Exhortation :... Let Love be without Dilsimulation; abbor that which is Evil, cleave to that which is Good, Rom. 12.6,7,8,9. So here' the Church, or Body of Christ, edifies it self in Love, is brought into Christ its Head, and he ministers to every Member, and makes every Member ferviceable in its Place, and comfortable in the Body. So that, though there are diversities of Gifts, yer 'tis the same Spirit that gives to one, and to another. And though there are diverficies of Operations, yet it is the same God which workech all in all : See i Cor. 12, So here's but one Lord, one Master, one Head and Law-giver, one Fountain, in whom all our Fresh-springs are.

Hence all Boasting is excluded, and one Member cannot say to another, I bave no ņeed of thee; the Eye to the Hand, nor the Head to the Feet; yet every one is serviceable in his place, and in Love doth his office and service, according to the ability given him of the Lord, as good Stewards of the manifold Gifts of God. Now these good and, perfect Gifts coming from above, are doubtless Supernatural Gifts : And yet all are not gifted for Miracles, all have not che Gift of Healing, nor do all speak with Tongues, nor do all Interpret ; but he may


speak with a Tongue, that cannot interpret. Buc that Extraordinary Mission thou talk'i of, tell me what thou mean'st by it : Doth any Man take that Honour to himself, to be a Pastor, Teacher, &c. but he that is call'd of God ? See Heb. 5. 4. Is any Man Calld rightly, that is not Calld of God ? For it is not by way of a Carnal Commandment, but in the Power of an Endless Life, Heb. 7. 16. Life and Immortality being come. But it seems, except Men work Miracles, they must not be reckoned to be Sent of God; this I take to be thy Extraordinary Mission; and to be Sent and Ordained of Man, is Ordinary indeed, and hath no force upon a Man, further than fuits with his Interest; and that Rome well knew, when she made her Motives and Baits so strong as they are, for Self-eale, Honour, Exaltation and Interest,

But, Friend William, dost not thou pretend to Miracles, although thou deniest an Extraordinary Miffion? For is it not a Miraculous Work, with a few drops of Wacer, and a few formal Prayers, for a Man to make an Infant a Child of God, a Member of Christ, and an Inheritor of the Kingdom of Heaven? Is it not a Miracle for a Man to have so much Power committed to him, as to be able to abfolve Sick People from all their Sins ? Is it not Miraculous, that à Man should be able to deny the Devil, and all his Works, the Pomps and · Vanities of this wicked World,

the che sinful Lults of the Fleshi, with all the De fires of the fame; so as not to follow, or be led by them?

Surely these are great things, and great Stares, for one Man to bring another into; and these are brave People, that attain such States and Conditions ; perfect Men, yea, Perfect and Compleat in the whole will of God: Perfeet and Compleat, wanting nothing. These may fing, as David did, The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want, Pfal. 23, i.

These Works, in my Thoughts, are more Miraculous, than Healing of Bodily: Distempers; and dost not thou pretend to these ?

But however, it's clear from plain Scrip. ture, that no Man ought to run, if God fend : y him nor; and those that do fo run, never profit the People at all. ' . . ,

And it's also clear, thar thiofe that are sent of God, are by him Gifted, Fitted, and Furnished for the Work he sends them to do: And those that are Paithful, good Stewards of what they are entrufed with, they need not fear what Man can do unto, them ; nor take care whai to Eat, Drink, or be Cloatb'd with. . Having a little hinted about this of the Million and Qualifications of true Ministers of Chrift; I proceed to tell thee, That 'tis great Boldness in ghee to affirm, that Christ's words to his Apostles, Mat. 10.8. Freely ye bave received, freely give, did only belong to that Journey : For if so, then what did the rest he

B 2 ..

spoks spoke to them at that time belong to? It's true, how far they were to go, is plainly there set down : But they were not that Journey de. livered up to Councils, nor scourged in Synagogues, that we read of, nor brought before Governours or Kings, for a Testimony against them and the Gentiles : Surely this relates to further Times, than that particular Journey. But as it is proved before, that the Ministers of Christ are called, Gifted, Sent, Fitted, and Furnished for the Work of the Ministry of the Gospel; so the Reason stands good, which Christ laid down then, Freely ye bave received.

There is no Man hach any thing of Spiritual Abilities at this Day, but what's freely given him from above: For the Natural Man is Natural still, and knows not the things of the Spirit of God; neither can he know them, because they are Spiritually discern'd. So that it's said, The Spirit searcbeth all things, gea, the deep things of God; and the Spiritual Man discerns all things : But no Man can be truly a Spiritual Man, without the Gift of the Holy Spirit be given him in fomne mea. fure from above: And if he freely receives, then let him freely give of his Spirituals, in the Love of God; as we find the Apostles did: Wbo came not with the enticing Words of Man's Wisdom, or that Man's Wisdom teacherh; but with Words the Holy Ghost teacheth.

So when the Church came together into one place, one had a Psalm, a Doctrine, &c. read ! Cor. 14. And take notice, that the


« VorigeDoorgaan »