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and salvation with it to all flesh; all nations being 'one body in Christ Jesus, and every one memlters one of another.'
But though grace be given to the whole body, and every member has his share, we must not forget, that every member is to have no more than his share. For as ' all members have not the same office,' but there are 'diversities of administrations,' so likewise must there be • diversities of gifts.' For the Spirit was given in different 'measure' to different persons, and at different times ; as to the Apostles, for establishing the Church, in one measure; to the ordinary ministers, for governing it, in another; and to every individual, for his sanctitication, in a third. 'Unto every one of us is given grace, according to the measure of the gift of Christ.'
The first measure, which may be styled the Apostolical, differs from all the rest in the nature of the gifts, as well as their end, and the manner of their being given.
As to their nature, it is written, that 'God bore the Apostles witness with signs, and wonders, and divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost,' who was constantly with them, displaying to the world his almighty power, by numberless external demonstrations of his presence, as well as manifesting his infinite wisdom, by his internal operations and gifts. They had ' the word of wisdom,' or a supernatural revelation made to them of that wisdom of God in a mystery, the whole scheme of his dispensations in Christ. They had 'the word of knowledge," or the gift of understanding the scriptures, which contain and describe this wisdom. They had 'faith,' to remove nil mountains that stood in their way, by miracles; and to give them a holy confidence and courage, invincible by all the powers of earth and hell. They had the gift of 'healing" all the diseases of soul and body by a single word; the power of working all miracles, controlling the agency of created nature, raising the dead, and inflicting punishments on the disobedient, as Moses did on Egypt, by the rod of their apostolic power. They had the gift of 'prophecy,' to explain things past, and foretel things future, to preach and pray at all times by the Spirit, till all things were put in order, and the church-services framed and established. They could 'discern spirits,' and see through all the devices and disguises of Satan, at a glance. Add to all this the gift of 'tongues, and their interpretation,' by which the same persons were enabled to speak and understand all the languages under heaven, without a moment's labour.
The end for which these extraordinary gifts were bestowed, was the public benefit of the Church, then rising out of the nations, and opposed, on one side, by the envy and malignity of the blind Jew; on the other, by the false wisdom and earthly power of the idolatrous Gentile. In these circumstances, 'the word of knowledge' was necessary to confute the Jew from the scriptures; 'the word of wisdom, and the demonstration of the Spirit,' to bring to nothing the wisdom, and overthrow the power of the Gentile; and all the gifts of God, to cast out and destroy the works of the devil. As the Church was to be gathered out of an unbelieving world, there was need of miracles, which, as the Apostle says, ' are a sign to them that believe not.' And this may, perhaps, intimate to us the time when they ceased; namely, when the spirit of heathenism and opposition was overcome and extinguished by them. These gifts therefore were given 'for the work of the ministry, and edification of the body of Christ;' not for the private or inward sanctification of those that had them, who were not the better men for them, but were to be sanctified in their degree by the ordinary means, as other men were. To prevent men from being puffed up with what is bestowed on them for the benefit of others, it should be recollected, that Saul was among the prophets, and Judas among the apostles. Wherefore Christ tells us, that 'many will say to him in the day of judgement, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name; and in thy name cast out devils, and in thy name done many wondrous works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you; depart from me, ye workers of iniquity.' St Paul, the great converter of the Gentile world, was obliged to use the proper means of mortification and self-denial, to ' keep under his body, and bring it into subjection, lest after he had preached to others,' in all the demonstration of the power of the omnipotent Spirit, he, this great St. Paul himself, • should become a castaway.'
The manner in which these apostolical gifts were conferredr shows them to have been extraordinary, and for extraordinary purposes. For whereas the Spirit, in its ordinary work of sanctification, acts upon the souls of men,—as his representative, the air, or material spirit, does upon their bodies,—by a silent, equable, and imperceptible mode of operation, giving to all things life and motion; his coming at the day of Pentecost was sudden, impetuous, and irresistible; not in the still small Toicc of the common breathing of the air, but in 'the sound of a mighty rushing wind;' and that not blowing, as in the common course of nature, horizontally, but descending directly from above; not spreading itself abroad, and diffusing its agency universally, but 'filling that house," and that house only, 'where the apostles were sitting.' From thence, indeed, it went forth, by a display of its miraculous gifts, to the ends of the world. But as it had a work to perform, which never was performed but once, so its operations were such as no ■pint in after-times can pretend to, without proving itself, by the attempt, to be a spirit of error and delusion: since there is as much difference between the extraordinary effusion of the Spirit, at the day of Pentecost, for the purpose of founding the Church, and the ordinary gift of grace for the sanctification of believers, as there is between that mighty Spirit, which, at God's command, moved, at the beginning, upon the face of the deep, to form tin? earth,—and the common air, acting continually for its support and preservation.
The second measure of grace is the ecclesiastical measure, or that which is given to the ordinary ministry, for the standing government, and continual edification of the church. This likewise is the gift of Christ, he being the fountain-head of all principality ami power; and it is conferred by the Spirit, who only commissions men to be the representatives of Christ, and to act in his name. Thus it is written in the Acts of the Apostles: * The Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul.' This ecclesiastical measure is as distinct from the common measure of sanctification, as the apostolical, which will be seen, by considering (as in the former case) its nature, the end for which, and manner in which, it is given.
As to its nature, it is a commission, or an office, concerning which it is a rule established beyond all controversy, that 'no man taketh it unto himself.' Internal gifts and graces may qualify a person for an office, but they cannot put him into one. No man, however righteous and holy, through faith and the sanctifying grace of the holy Spirit, can have authority to act in the name of Christ, till Christ gives him that authority. Before that is done, let his life and character be what they will, his ministrations can have no validity. Whatever he may be in other respects, in this particular he is a grievous offender, and will be found guilty before God of sacrilegiously intruding into an office, to which he can have no pretensions. A crime, for which the leprosy once rose up in the forehead of Uzziah; and Korah and all his company, holy as they said they all were, went down alive into the pit. And that none in the Christian church might imitate the presumption of Uzziah, or 'go in the gainsaying of Koran,' even Christ ' took not this honour upon himself, nor glorified himself to be made a Highpriest,' (for a glory it was to him,) ' till he was called of God,' by the visible descent of the Holy Ghost upon him in the presence of the people, and by the voice from heaven, saying, 'This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. From that time Jesus began to preach.' Who, then, is that follower of Jesus, that shall offer to begin before?
The end for which this ecclesiastical measure of the gift of Christ was bestowed on the Church, is the preservation of it, by the exercise of discipline, the preaching of the word, and the administration of the sacraments. Persons are separated from a common condition to holy offices, that, by their ministration, souls may be separated from the pollutions of sin to holiness of life. So that holiness of office is as distinct from holiness of life, as the cause from the effect; one is given to the ministry, that the other may be produced in the people. And though all that are in holy offices, ought to lead holy lives, and it should be a part of our daily prayers to God, that he would enable them to do so, yet a failure in duty is not a forfeiture of authority. The vices of a minister make not void the acts of his ministry: dominion, in this case, as in all others, not being founded on grace, but on a positive commission given by him who is empowered to give it, and continuing in force till he takes it away. It is with an officer of the Church, as with an officer of the state: a misdemeanour does not vacate his office, or entitle another to step into it. The king, or an agent appointed by him, must take it from one, and give it to another. If this necessary distinction between holiness of office and holiness of person be not kept up, the end for which a ministry was appointed, will not be attained; all will be teachers, and no hearers; all governors, and no subjects; the Church, as a society, will be dissolved, and a confusion intro
duccd into the spiritual system, like that which prevailed in the natural, when ' the earth was witlwut form and void, and darkness lay upon the face of the deep.'
The wanner of the conveyance of this ecclesiastical measure of grace, has likewise been always distinctive of it. Under the law, the priesthood was conveyed by unction ; and to show how far removed it was from every thing common or ordinary, it is written concerning the holy anointing oil used upon the occasion, 4 l'\um man's flesh shall it not be poured, neither shall ye make any other like it, after the composition of it; it is holy, and it shall be holy unto you. Whosoever compoundeth any like it, or whosoever putteth any of it upon a stranger, shall even be cut off from his people.' When Christ, after hit resurrection, appointed his apostles to the work of the ministry, 'he breathed on them, and said, Receive ye the Holy Ghost.' The next words show for what purpose the Spirit was then given by his breathing on them: 'Whosesoever sins ye remit, they are remitted; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained." The apostles afterwards ordained by the • laying on of hands,' as their successors have done, and do to this day, saying, after the example, and by the authority, of their great Lord and Master, ' Receive thou the Holy Ghost. Whose soever sins thou dost remit, they are remitted; and whose soever sins thou dost retain, they are retained.'
The thinl measure of the gift of Christ is that, given for the personal sanctification of individuals. Now, in order to form a clear idea of sanctification, it must be considered, that man, as a fallen creature, stands in need of two things, a deliverance from the guilt of sins past, and an emancipation from the power of sin present and future. The former of these is styled justification; the latter, sanctification. The one is performed without a man, by the blood of Christ, effectually offered and pleaded for him in the presence of God, upon his repentance and faith; the other is wrought within him, by the Spirit sent into his soul, in consequence, as well as evidence, of its ju>ti(ication. Christ first made the atonement for sin, by shedding his blood, then ascended to plead it, and then sent the Spirit. The atonement he made once; but he liveth continually to make intercession for us, by pleading it on our bel>alf; and as continually to send the Spirit to renew the soul of every sinner, who, by repentance and faith, through the ministration of the