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the apostle could not have said, he either spake unto God, or edified himself, though no man should understand him; we see, as in ver. 4, he that speaketh in an unknown tongue, edifieth himself.'
• Surely,' I said, “it is a humbling proof of the vanity of men, that the very endowments granted them, should have proved a temptation to make a vain display, and a profitless use of this gift, at a time unsuitable for its application: for if none were present in the assembly, to whom the tongues were intelligible, they ought either to have used it privately with God, or to have modestly withheld it until the fit time indicated by the presence of such to whom the language was known; or until sent by the Holy Ghost to a nation or people for whom the Spirit had thus endued them.'
"It is so; I have often learnt this lesson from the subject, Henry answered, and it is a salutary check to the presumption of some, as well as to that heated zeal, which must always be preaching or talking whether suitably or not. It is not improbable that some such (strangers, perhaps,) were in the assemblies at Corinth, who might know no other tongue than their own native tongue, or some one tongue which had qualified them for a particular mission; and they would but speak in vain, unless there were one to interpret for them, and if not, then their evident duty was to pray, that they themselves might interpret: for such as were zealous for spiritual gifts, should seek to excel for edification; wherefore, as in ver. 10. Let him that speaketh in a tongue pray that he may interpret, and that could be only by the gift of another tongue intelligible to his hearers. The apostle himself esteemed the gift of tongues highly, as indeed
he had need, and thanked God that he spake with tongues more than them all,—yet, put in comparison with speaking with understanding and to edification, ten thousand words in a foreign tongue were of less value than five words intelligible and instructive to his hearers; as he says verse 9, Except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken, for ye shall speak unto the air.”
“ To be sure,' said Mrs. Milbanke. . Suppose Paul, in the various places to which the Holy Ghost sent him, had spoken ten thousand tongues diverse from the tongues of the people or nation whom he addressed, what would have been the fruit of his ministry? How would they have learnt to have turned from their dumb idols to serve the living God?'
• Or how' exclaimed Mrs. Reynolds, 'would they have learnt the efficacy of that atoning blood which streamed from Jesus crucified !'
• Is it not evident then, continued Henry; -- that in these latter days, these days of the Spirit, and of his testimony of Jesus to the soul, the great proof of the finished work of salvation and reconciliation made for men must necessarily be in the tongues understood of all nations, as the token of Jesus's ascension and acceptance, when he received the promise of the Father in gifts for men.
It was among the things expedient for us, that Jesus Christ, and him crucified should be set forth, in words easy to be understood ; and therefore in the day of Pentecost the cloven tongues, as of fire, were sent and sat upon each of the favoured messengers, and qualified them with the gift of tongues, the power from on high
to preach repentance and remission of sins in his name.'
· True, I see, • said Mrs. Millbanke, had they been new tongues in the sense of tongues such as never had been spoken before, it would have been babel-confusion,-a curse, and not a blessing, would have appeared, as though our redemption had not been wrought, nor the blood of sprinkling applied.
"Turn also to Acts x. 46,' said Henry, and you will see when the Holy Ghost fell on Cornelius's distinguished party, at the preaching of Peter, they were heard to speak with tongues, and what they spake was the magnifying of God. See also xix. 6, when the twelve at Ephesus on whom Paul laid his band, were blessed they spake with tongues and prophesied. Surely we may believe this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel (ii. 28,) and was like the inspiration of David's barp, the sweet Psalmist of Israel, who said, “ The Spirit of the Lord spake by me, and his word was in my tongue.” 2 Sam. xxiii. 2.
I am grateful to you,' Mrs. Milbanke said, for thus patiently instructing me, and at least in the present instance,' she added, with feeling, “I may see the value of being addressed in a tongue intelligible to myself, my own tongue, in which I was born; I begin to feel a new cause of gratitude to God himself, of which I was before unmindful, that I have always heard the wonderful works of God in my own tongue. Would that they made more impression, and that I had derived the real edification. But do not let us drop the subject yet: for I have more to propose, and I think you will not find it so easy to explain, for it seems to be taken in direct opposition to the ideas you have now been declaring.
• Before you state it,' Henry said, “I think I can tell you what you mean; for this is a subject not new to my reflections, therefore I am aware you allude to the apostle's argument in the 21st verse of the 14th chapter; and I think I shall be able to satisfy your mind on this point also; for by comparing spiritual things with spiritual, we come to a more enlarged understanding, than by dwelling on the difficulties of the private or single text.'
THE BOOK OF NATURE.
In a church not far distant from me, there is, immediately over the south entrance, a nest of Martins, which I can never pass without being reminded of the beautiful expression of the eighth Psalm, and calling to mind the God who is the believer's strength and glory, and whose rich and varied bounties are so profusely poured out upon a sinful world. How beautiful is the work of this little plasterer-how perfect its contrivance for the purpose intendedhow firmly is the work fixed and put together-and shall man look on such work and not call to mind the God who made both himself and the little bird, each in its proper proportion, and faculty, and powers ?
The instinct of the bird is wonderful, and strikes every beholder; but does he then turn his thoughts inward, to examine his own sinful heart, and see how by sin that superior reason is degraded, which the Almighty Maker has assigned to himself? Is be put to shame by the obedient instinct of the animal ? My fellow sinners, look at what animal we will, and it will put us to shame by its obedience in every instance to the laws of that God, whom we are every hour disobeying. Shall man then boast of reason-or dare to say that he can walk by the guidance of reason alone-when he has the perfect law of God written in plain characters before him-and is con