Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

were (often, if not always) but the organs

of the Spirit, pronouncing what the Spirit dictated, and even without understanding at all times the meaning of what they said. The former' kind of illumination is general and extensive; the latter occasional and confined. To the former class belong the gift of wisdom, knowledge, of an evangelist, of a teacher, of a president or ruler, of a deacon, of tongues, of the interpretation of tongues, and of utterance. And to the latter class

perhaps belong prediction, discernment of fpirits; exhortation, in all its branches of admonition, conviction, reproof, confirmation, and comfort; psalms or hymns, prayer, and the seeing things at a distance; though it is poflible, that exhortation, prayer, and pfalmody, might be conveyed as an art, as well as that of teaching. Perhaps the gift of knowledge, wisdom, of an evangelist, of a teacher, of a ruler, and of a deacon, were only imparted to such as bore more stated offices in the church. Perhaps the second class of gifts (except the daft, which seems to have been peculiar to St. Paul) were imparted to all believers. And I suppose the gift of tongues, interpretation and utterance, were common both to stated officers and private christians.

Now this gift, illumination or enlightening, was communicated two different ways, either immediately by the Spirit's falling on

them,

O4

them, or by the laying on of the hands of the apostles. When this illumination came immediately, it seems to have been accompanied with the symbol of “cloven tougues, “ 'as of fire, sitting on each of them," that is, in little flames, which resembled tongues; as flame in the Hebrew, is called a tongue of fired. And which the apostle Peter says that Christ had poured out ; that which, says he, “ ye fee and hear."

see and hear.” And from 'coming in, that symbol is said to fall on theme; agreeably to John Baptist's predi&tion f: “I « indeed baptize you with water unto repen6 tance; but he that cometh after me ihall

baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and “ with fire." And this prediction is in the same manner recorded by St. Marks, and St. Luke h. It may not be altogether improper to take notice, on this occasion, that Chrift, who thus baptized his apostles and first disciples, had been most probably baptized in the very same manner himself. Peter says i, that

Jesus was anointed with the Holy Ghost,

and with power;" which any one may see, by the place it holds in Peter's narration, lignifies Christ's baptism. Anointed with the Holy Ghost is therefore the same thing with

c Acts ii. 3.
• Acts x. 44. xi. 15.
& Mark i. 8.
1 Acts x. 38.

d Ifa. V. 24:
f Matr. iii. 11.
h Luke iii. 16.

5

baptized

baptized with the Holy Ghost; and being baptized with the Holy Ghost, in all other instances, tignifies being baptized with the Holy Ghost and with fire, as we thall see presently; and probably, therefore, fignities the same in the case of our Saviour. That he was baptized with the Holy Ghost, after John Baptist had baptized him with water; or that the Holy Ghost detcended on him after he came out of the water, all the evangelists relatek. The gospels, indeed, make no mention of fire, or of any glory, yet it is most likely that it was a glory; in which the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily thape, and with the hovering motion of a dove, and rested upon him. Justin Martyr fays, that it came from the apostles, that the fire came upon Christ as he went into the water, and that the Holy Ghost came upon him as he came out of the water! By which means perhaps it was, that John Baptist knew Jesus when he went into the water, as it is plain he did, from his forbidding him, saying, “ I have “ need to be baptized of thee, and comest “ thou to me m? Though we are told, that

John knew him not ; at least, knew not that he was the person that was to be baptized with the Holy Ghost and with fire (which, perhaps, is the meaning of St. John in this k Matt. iii. 16. Mark i. 10. Luke iji. 22. Johni. 32–35. "Dial. cum Tryph, p. 31.

m Matt. iii. 14.

passage

pallage of his gospel); but by the sign that God had given him, “ that on whomsoever " he should see the Spirit defcending, he it was that should baptize with the Holy Ghost ..” Which, according to the account of the evangelists, did not happen till after he came out of the water. This is the account given in the gospel of the Ebionites or Nazarenes, και ευθύς σερκέλαμψε τον τόπον φώς μέγα δν ίδων ο Ιωάννης λέγει αυτο, Συ τις εί, Κύριε. But whether Jesus himself was baptized with fire or no, yet he foretold what Thould happen to his disciples, just before his ascenfion, as John Baptist had done before. Acts i. 4,5. “ And being assembled together with them, “ commanded them, that they should not des part from Jerusalem, but wait for the “ promise of the Father, which, faith he, ye 66 have heard of me. For John truly baptiz6 ed with water, but ye Thall be baptized 6 with the Holy Ghost, not many days “ hence." And when Peter found, that the Holy Ghost fell on Cornelius and his familyo; or, as he says in another place P, that “ the Holy Ghost fell on them as he did on “ us (that is, us apostles and our company) “ at the beginning (that is, with cloven 56 tongues like as of fire), putting no differ**ence between them and us?, then that

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

6 he remembered the word of the Lord, how " that he said, John indeed baptized with “ water, but ye shall be baptized with the “ Holy Ghost." By comparing these texts, and particularly Matt. iii. 11. Mark i. 8. Luke iii. 16. together, it is sufficiently plain, that baptizing with the Holy Ghost, and baptizing with the Holy Ghost and with fire, are expreísions of the same import and signification; which it is of use on this occasion to observe, and will be on others. It is likewise called, “the pouring out of the Holy Ghost," alluding to the plentiful effusion of it foretold in Joel, “ I will pour out my Spirit on all $ felh, faith the Lord,” Joel ii. 28. And the reason of the phraseology in Joel is the allusion to the plenty that Joel had just before told the people that God would send them, by means of the former and latter rain, ver, 23.

and to the Spirit's being represented under the symbol of water in other prophets, as Isa. xliv. 3. XXXV. 7. lv. I. xii

. 3. Ezek, xxxvi. 25. John vii

. 37–40. It is perhaps from the same reason, that it is called the Thedding forth of the Holy Ghosts : or, perhaps, rather in allusion to the plentiful unction we have from the holy One, who was himself the 6 Anointed, being anointed with fi the Holy Ghost and with power“; or with Acts xi.

152 1 Ibid. x. 38.

" the

16.

s Ibid. ji. 23.

« PoprzedniaDalej »