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St. Peter declares Acts. 2. 39. that the Promife, viz. of the Spirit, was not to themfelves and that Generation only, but to their Children alfo, and to all that were afar off, even to as many as the Lord God should call. Thus accomplished and compleated in the New Birth, which is nothing else but Faith working by Love. Gal 5. 6. 6. 15. they cannot be fuppos'd to want thofe Virtues and Powers, which our Lord hath promised fhall always accompany Faith, though no greater than a Grain of Muftard-feed, which as himself fays, is the least of all Seeds. Luke 17. 6. Mat. 13. 31, 32.

Powers to

theChurch.

S15. THIS is a Doctrine that will never Digref go down with those who are wedded to fion conthe commonly received Opinion, that the cerning the miraculous Powers and Gifts of the Holy of SpirituReftitution Ghost were appropriated to the Apoftles al Gifts, or the next fucceeding Age, looking up- and Miraon them indeed to be no better than the culous Infant Supports of a rifing Church, things proper to gain Refpect and Authority to new Doctrines and the Preachers of a new Religion, but not at all neceffary for times of greater Perfection and Improvement, fuch as came afterwards, when the Truths of Chriftianity were fufficiently fettled, and generally believed; much lefs can they be neceffary for thefe Days of Light and Wifdom, for us who live under fuch a Difpenfation, which, fome would have us believe to be as Perfect, both as to Doctrine and, Difcipline, as any thing can be on this fide Heaven.

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Scriptures.

This is a common and prevailing Opinion, which deferves a very particular Examination, too long for this Place; I shall therefore only make two or three Remarks upon it, and return to my Subject.

I. ST. Paul, Eph. 4.8, 9, 10, 11, 12. afferts that the various Gifts and Difpenfations of the Spirit given by our Lord after his Afcenfion, which were those before mention'd out of St. Mark 16. 17. with the other, whereby they were diftinguished into Apoftles, Prophets, Evangelifts, Paftors and Teachers, were given, for the Perfecting of the Saints, for the Work of the Miniftry, for the edifying of the Body of Chrift, till we all come in the Unity of the Faith, and of the Knowledge of the Son of God, unto a Perfect Man, unto the Measure of the Stature of the Fulnefs of Chrift, &c. i. e. as the fucceeding Verfes explain it. The End of these Gifts and Powers was the gathering and compleating a perfect Church upon Earth; which is a Doctrine of Scripture of fingular ufe in things of this Nature. Now

can any one fhew me when this End was attained? When and where was this Perfection of the Saints? When did all come in the Unity of the Faith and Knowledge of the Son of God unto a Perfect Man? and

yet it has pleafed God to fufpend these Means, thefe Powers are ceased. What fhall we fay then? that God determin'd an End which he could not accomplish, or pitch'd upon Means difproporţionable to the End propos'd? God forbid! The

Early

Early Apoftatizing of, the Church from her firft Love, and the gradual Progrefs of that Apoftacy, made God abhor his Sanctuary, and withdraw thofe vifible Tokens of his Prefence; and among the Jews the fufpenfion of these miraculous Powers was conftantly looked upon as a Mark of the Divine Displeasure. Thus Exod 33.3, 5. God refufes to go up with the People because of their Iniquities, which cannot be understood of his general Prefence, who is every where, and filleth all things, but of his fpecial miraculous Care and Protection of them. So when Joshua humbled himself before God, for the Defeat of Ifrael by the Men of Ai, Josh. 7. 12. God tells him the Reason,

and threatens him to be with them no more, unless they did deftroy the Accurfed Thing from among them. To mention no more, when the Angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon in his Threshing-floor with this Salutation, The Lord is with thee; Thom mighty Man of Valour, Jud. 6. 12. His Anfwer was, Oh my Lord! if the Lord be with us, why is all this befaln us (viz. the Oppreffion, of the Madianites)? and where are all his Miracles which our Fathers told us of, fuch as the Deliverance out of Egypt, &c.? As if he had faid, the fufpending his wonted mira culous Protection of us, is a fufficient Mark of his Indignation. And I cannot but think that the wife Compilers of our Excellent Liturgy, had this in their Thoughts, when after thofe moving words, Pfal. 44. 1.

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O God, we have heard with our ears, &c.
The Church devoutly adds, by way of
Confidence in the former Mercies of God,
O Lord arife, help, and deliver us for thine Honour.

II. IT was the Opinion of many of the Ancients. Fathers, (not to fay the Doctrine of the Catholick Church, which the Learned Mr. Dodwell afferts, Differt. Cyprian, p. 12. § 10.) that Miracles, or the Gifts of the Holy Ghoft, would always accompany the Catholick Church, and by confequence were never to cease, unless (which was hinted by many of their Expreffions) there fhould be wanting fit Perfons to receive and execute * Lib. 3. thofe great Commiffions. Irenæus*,fpeaking cont.Haref of the Gifts of the Spirit, fays, They were á Treasure depofited by God in the Church; which Spirit, he fays, is the Principle of Divine Life and Energy in the Church, even as the Soul to the Natural Body; adding, God has placed in the Church Apoftles, Prophets, Teachers, and all the other Gifts C of the Spirit, which all they are not Partakers of who are out of its Communion; (plainly intimating, that the Faithful were Partakers:) For (a little after) where the Church is, there is the Spirit of God; and where the Spirit of God is, there is the Church, and all Graces (or Spiritual Gifts, as the Word fignifies.) Origen alfo †, fpeakLib. 7. ing of the Jews, fays, They had no Procont. Cel- phets among them after the Coming of our Bleffed Saviour. For they were forfaken by God, after they had rejected him whom the Prophets foretold: But thefe Powers,

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revived again at the Preaching of Jefus, and much more after his Affumption; then C they decreased again: But there are ftill fome Footsteps of them remaining among a few Perfons, whofe Souls are purified by the Word of God, and whofe Actions are conformable. For (as he goes on) The Holy Spirit of Difcipline will flee Deceit, and remove from Thoughts that are without Understanding, Wifd. 1.5. Eufebius †, di-t Eccl.Hift. fputing against the Montanifts, has this Paf- Lib.5. Cap. fage: If (as the Montanists tell us) after Quadratus and Ammianus Philadelphus, thefe Women of Montanus fucceeded in the Gift of Prophecy; let them fhew us who fhall fucceed them, for the Apoftle teaches us, that the Gift of Prophecy muft continue in the Church till the Second Coming of our Lord; which, left any should interpret only of the ordinary ministerial Succeffion, as it has been expounded, I fhall produce another Paffage (Lib. 5. Cap. 7.) where, after he had quoted a Paffage out of Irenæus, concerning the continuance of Miracles to his time, adds, That these different aeiouala (a very comprehenfive Word) were exercifed even in his own times παρα τοῖς ἀξίοις, by those that were worthy to receive them. Many other Teftimonies might be produced, which I fhall omit, excepting only one out of Cardinal Cajetan's Commentary upon Aquinas *. Speaking of the gratiæ gratis date, he puts a Quefton, why the Gift of Tongues is not continued in the Church? To this, fays he, 1. St. Auguftin answers, L 2 That

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2da. 2da

Quest.

176.

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