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to hold our views, have fallen into extravagances, we regret it; but if, on the other, any opposing them deny all present miracles, we tell them, that they bring the very existence of any
present church of Christ into question, for these signs shall •follow them that believe.") *
As the magazines and newspapers have laid so much stress upon what infidels may think and say upon the present controversy, we cannot do better than close our extracts with the following remarks on the “ alleged consequences of the doctrine."
'It is said, that if we assert miraculous manifestations in the present day, infidels will make a handle of the assertion; and, • through modern miracles, attack the miracles of the Scriptures. • But surely, ere we come to consequences of this kind, the ques. tion to be first considered is, whether the allegation is correct. . Consequences are not to divert us from the investigation or ac' knowledgment of truth; and indeed it is generally found, that • where truth is fearlessly pursued, and at length openly pro
claimed, the consequences menaced by those who would re• sist the inquiry, do not follow. But, meanwhile, both in point
of theory, and in point of fact, the alarm seems groundless. • Jesus Christ, the great Head and universal Bishop of the
church, having placed it, with respect to miracles, on a parti'cular footing, and on that footing left it, there are some who
maintain, that on this footing the church still continues. Is • it likely, is it possible, that infidelity should find any advantage here? Is it not rather to be apprehended, that the real advantage will be given by the opposite statement ? by stating " that Jesus Christ left his church on a certain footing, but that this footing has since been altered? and by all the unsatisfying pleas, forced constructions, and tortuous inferences, by which such a form of doctrine is commonly and necessarily supported ? It might be presumptuous to remind your Lordship' (writing to the Bishop of London) that in the wretched system of divinity which upholds such views, and in the wretched arguments used in support of it, infidelity finds one of its chief advantages, as well as inquiring ignorance one of its chief stumbling-blocks. • But let the appeal be made to fact. The writer has some opportunities of knowing what is actually taking place amongst infidels; and he is happy in being able to assure your lordship, that he has heard of no instance where any advantage has really been taken of the allegation of miraculous powers in the church, but that rather the contrary has happened. As the • interesting occurrence which gave occasion to the present con
troversy respecting miracles has become generally known, reli• gious professors indeed have cavilled, but avowed infidels have
bowed in silence, and scoffers have laid their hands upon their 'mouths. I have my information, my lord, from an individual
whose daily occupations take him much into the company of ' such persons, and who with joy and wonder has reported to
me the fact. They have asked for the particulars, they have * earnestly listened, they have been lost in wonder. Oh! my ' lord, what if, amidst our alarm at infidelity, it should at las • be found, that it is only some backwardness to declare the • the whole scheme of Christian verity on our part; that it is * only the shearing Christianity of some rays of the wonder or
the mystery which properly belong to it; that it is only the substitution of a low system of doctrine, which is error, for a higher, which is truth; that it is only the poor, deteriorated form of religion which is now preached; that it is only some defect of statement; that it is only some unworthy compromise, under the disguise of an allowable accommodation; that it is only the • abandonment of doctrines which our fathers thought essential; that it is only our distrust of that Gospel which God has given us as an efficient instrument, accompanied by the substitution of another Gospel, which is not another, and therefore utterly devoid of efficiency; that it is only the keeping back of that 'truth which comes as our appointed weapon from above, and 'the thinking we can do the work better with weapons of our own; which has made so many infidels ! • Behold, we tell them of the wonderous works of the Lord;
new thing” to them: and they are awed to silence. • This surely, from miracles alone, is all that we can expect. • Here the proper office of miracles, acting by themselves, must • terminate. Let the preaching of the Gospel, as in the first ages, be added to this, and at any rate we have no practical grounds of fear that the one will hinder the other's success.
* But why dwell on the alleged consequences of our doctrine ? . Let us rather leave consequences to take care of themselves, ' and inquire, What is truth? What is the real state of the case ? • It is simply this : We maintain, as before said, that the Chris* tian dispensation still possesses that miraculous character with which it was invested in the beginning, by our Lord himself; or, in other words, that the Lord, having placed and left his church, with respect to miracles, on a certain footing, it remains on that footing now.' Dedication, pp: 40—42.
As this work was one of the foremost in defence of the truth, and as the author has experienced much reproach for its sake, we commend both to the prayerful attention and Christian sympathy.of our readers.
We hope to be able in our next Number to notice another publication of this honest and able Minister; “ The Suppressed Evidence: or, Proofs of the Miraculous Faith and Experience of the Church of Christ in all Ages,” &c.
it is a
The Doctrine of the miraculous Interference of Jesus, on Behalf
of Believers, both in the first and last Days of the Gentile Dispensation, asserted from Scripture, and proved from Facts.
By Henry B. Bulteel, Minister of the Gospel. The title of this excellent pamphlet is sufficiently expressive ; and the contents are worthy of it; comprising an epitome of scriptural, historical, reasonable, and practical proof, which it would be creditable in some of our opponents, who talk of " discussion,” &c., to notice and reply to.
• The great reason with which men satisfy themselves, in • accounting for the absence of the manifestations of God's Spirit in the church, is, that such manifestations are no longer needed, and therefore no longer bestowed. And such reason‘ing may well do for those who have not a thought above and • beyond the matter of their own personal salvation; but it will not satisfy the man who has learned to value God's glory above his own salvation, as Paul did when he said, “ I could wish • that I myself were accursed from Christ, for my brethren ac
cording to the flesh.” Men in the present day are so blinded by • selfishness, that they make God's purposes stop short at salva* tion, and consider not the end of that salvation, which is, • that, being placed in that condition, we might shew forth the praise of his glory. It is God's wisdom and goodness, and our happiness, that he hath coupled together his own glory • and our salvation ; but how many in these days are for severing • the links, and who would deem themselves happy to be in a * state of safety, and not have a thought to trouble them as to * there being such a thing as a God to be glorified thereby ? To this low view of things do we owe almost all the arguments against the recurrence of miracles :—there is no need, say they, of any more miracles of Christ, or manifestations of the Spirit.
But surely, if every miracle performed in the name of Jesus, * doth give glory to Jesus, and to God through Jesus, then this ""
argument” amounts just to this; “ There is no more need • that God and Christ should be glorified in the earth.”
• Some men will also argue thus; “ The word of God is given us, and that is sufficient; that word contains the mind of the Spirit, and the Spirit himself can make no new revelation con
trary to the word, therefore there is no need of the Spirit's * manifestation.” True; the word is one complete witness for • God, but not the only witness; in the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established. The Spirit beareth witness with the word; and the church, being filled with the * manifestation of the Spirit, becomes the third witness; so that • the word, the Spirit, and the church do all witness to the same
thing; and this was always God's design, and in the first ages • it was manifested, after that the inspired word had been given
' to the churches; and if the Spirit did remain and manifest ' himself in any one age after the word was given, why not now? • It is a matter of as great probability, that he should shew himself in one age of the Gospel as in another. pp. 10, 11.
The simple comments upon Scripture, with which this pamphlet abounds, ought to shame into silence “ the strange efforts at definition, fictitious distinctions, imaginary lines, and canons coined for the occasion," of which Mr. Boys so justly complains. We wonder not at Mr. Bulteel's strong censure (p. 19) on the stupidity which could bring forward, as proof of the cessation of the manifestation of the Spirit during the dispensation of 'the Spirit, the text (1 Cor. xiii. 8—13), “ Whether there be
prophecies, they shall fail," &c.' The torturings of this passage have been sufficient to drive men, reverencing the written word, into immediate rejection of the popular creed as to spiritual gifts. It is refreshing to turn to the plain and honest dealing of the author with Holy Writ; and the advocates for the literal meaning and durable application of the promises of God in Christ, cannot do better than remember and repeat the simple expositions which so many of our friends have been enabled to give : such as the following, p.36 — I conclude this little tract, and strengthen your faith in calling upon the Lord for his Spirit, by recalling to your minds one portion of the word of God, which might more properly have been placed among • those fore-cited texts which afford undeniable proof that the gifts of the Spirit were designed of God to continue always in the church. Peter (Acts ii.) exhorts his countrymen to repent, with this assurance annexed, and
shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost : for the promise is unto you and to your children.” Now, what promise is this ? First, Jesus says (Luke *xxiv. 48), “ Behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you;" for which his disciples were to wait in Jerusalem : which promise was to endue them with power from high, and is explained (Acts i. 5) to mean the baptism with the Holy Ghost. • This gift of the Holy Ghost, says Peter, ye shall receive, seeing it has already been bestowed on the man Jesus by the Father, and by Jesus upon us, his disciples; as it is written (Acts ii. 33),
Being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this which
now see and hear.” By these texts we get the full meaning of the promise, even the Holy Ghost himself in
power; and by what follows we are moreover assured that he is intended ' for ourselves, who are alive at this present moment: “ For it is "unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off," • Gentile as well as Jew, without distinction of country or of time; not to you of the present generation only, but to those who are yet unborn, to the utmost generations of the latter day, “
even ! to as many as the Lord our God shall call.”
An Inquiry concerning Spiritual Gifts. By the Rev. Williams
W. Pym, M. A. Vicar of Willian. A most temperate, cautious, and scriptural inquiry into spiritual gifts in general—the Baptism of John, and of Our Lord, as separately considered—the probable extent and duration of the gifts—the question of their re-appearance, with a trial of objections against them which are supposed to have reappeared—and the duty of Christians respecting the same.
This is another of the publications in favour of the question, which is perfectly free from the charges of " bad spirit,” &c. so sweepingly made by opponents. The following is one specimen : -“"We see not our signs, there is no more any prophet, neither
is there among us any that knoweth : How long” (Psalm lxxiv.9). • Thus spoke the church in the days of old, when the Lord had
visited her with judgment, and had withdrawn those marks of . special love, which in these words she so feelingly laments. • As a "wife of youth,” “forsaken, and grieved in spirit," she * mourned over the Bridegroom's absence, and the loss of that ' favour which had made her face to shine, and was indeed the • very life of her soul. Where do we discover corresponding feelings at the present hour? Where do we hear words which harmonize with these complainings? The church of Christ, after his appearing, were favoured beyond all former days. • Her prayer then was, “Let me see thy countenance, let me • hear thy voice; for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely” He was then to her®“ the chiefest among ten thousand.' She rested in his love; and if at any time He hid, as it were, his face from her, “Return, return, that we may • look on thee,” was the earnest request of her lips. The tokens of his love accordingly abounded; the manifestations of his presence were frequent; her gifts were very plenteous; her graces manifold. Hence her members, in themselves no better • than we (Eph. ii. 3), were “ filled with the Spirit,” and
abounded in “ love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, o goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.” Gifts and graces
were the handmaids of the Gospel, and God was glorified in • each. But now we may cry, " Ichabod”-her glory is departed, and who mourns its loss? Her gifts are withdrawn, and whom does it concern? Her graces languish, and who • laments? But if any one should say that her God is beginning again to manifest these tokens of former days—that "the time to favour her, yea, the set time, is come”-that she may lift up her head, for her redemption draweth nigh-does not the heart of every living member leap with joy, and is not the . bearer of such tidings gladly received ? - Tell it not in Gath,
publish it not in the streets of Askelon, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph!” The word is rejected as false,