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Revelation of the Mysteries of the Gofpel, was first given to the Apostles, who were the firft Preachers and Difcoverers of it unto the World. And this is here faid to be given by the Spirit, the Holy Ghost inspiring them with thofe Abilities, as enabled them to understand thofe Myfteries themselves, and likewife to publish and unfold them unto others. Again,
To another is given the Word of Knowledg by the fame Spirit. Where by the Word of Knowledg is meant the Knowledg of things paft, prefent, and to come; the Knowledg of things fecret, fuch as the Will of God, and the Thoughts of Men; of remote things, as of what was done in other places of future things, as of what would come to pas hereafter all which are reveal'd by the fame Spirit, which alone can communicate to any the Knowledg of thefe things. By this it was, that St. Peter knew that Ananias and Saphira lyed to the Holy Ghost, Acts 5. 3. that Agabus foretold the Famine in the days of Claudius Cæfar, Acts 11. 28. By this it was, that Ananias knew the Conversion of St. Paul, Acts 9. 10. and that St. Paul told the Centurion before the fhipwreck, that not a Man in the Ship fhould be ·loft, Acts 27. 23, 24. The Knowledg of which things could not be attain'd in any ordinary way, but was reveal'd to them by the Holy Spirit. Again,
To another is given Faith by the fame Spirit. Where by Faith we are to understand not the common and ordinary Gift or Grace of Faith, but a miraculous Faith, by which he that had it was able to work divers kind of Miracles. Of this our Saviour speaks, Mat. 17. 20. that he who hath it fhall fay unto this Mountain, Remove hence to yonder place, and it shall remove, and nothing fhall be impoffi ble to you. To which the Apoftle refers, in faying, If I bad all Faith, fo that I could move Mountains, 1 Cor. 13. 2. Others take Faith here for that fupernatural Courage and Confidence, with which the Apoftles were endow'd for withstanding all the Oppofition they met with from Men or Devils; for we read in the Acts of the Apostles, with what undaunted Boldness and Courage they appear'd before the Jewish and Heathen Tribunals, ftill owning and adhering to the Name of Jefus, notwithstanding all the Threats and Terrors denounc'd againft them. This extraordinary Confidence and Refolution proceeded likewife from the Spirit of God, which infpir'd them with a Couxage fuitable to their Caufe, and carry'd them on above and Vol. IV. Part 2.
beyond all Oppofition. So we read of St. Stephen and others, that all their Adverfaries could not gainfay or refift the Wisdom and Spirit with which they spake; Acts 6. 10. Again,
To another is given the Gifts of Healing by the fame Spirit. By thefe are meant the Power of curing all Difeafes both of Body and Mind without the help of Phyfick, by the fole mentioning the Name of Jefus. Thus we find the Apoftles curing the Blind and the Lame with a word's fpeaking, healing Lunaticks and Demoniacks, and cafting out Devils only by calling over them the Name of Jefus: which made the Difciples acquaint our Saviour, not only of their healing all manner of Diseases, but that even the Devils were fubject to them through his Name, Luke 10. 17. This Power likewife proceeded from the fame Spirit of God, who over-rules all evil Spirits, and hath all Principalities and Powers fubject to him. Moreover,
To another is given the working of Miracles. This being mention'd as diftinct from the former, muft be meant of the Power of working Signs and Wonders in the Heavens, and more especially of railing the Dead, the greateft of all Miracles. So we read of the Apoftles, that they restor❜d many from Death to Life, which is afcrib'd here and elfe where to the Divine Power of the Holy Ghoft. Again,
To another is given the Gift of Prophecy: that is, either the Faculty of expounding the Holy Scripture, or the Power of foretelling things to come, both which come alfo from the Spirit of God.
Furthermore, To another is given the difcerning of Spirits: that is, a Gift of knowing true Prophets from falfe, and difcerning the divine Infpirations of God's Holy Spirit, from the evil Suggeftions of the Devil; and thereby a Fa 'culty of diftinguishing Impoftors and falfe Teachers from the true Minifters of Christ.
To another is given (as our Apoftle goes on) the Gift of divers kind of Tongues: that is, an Ability of fpeaking feveral Languages which they had never learnt, receiving them not by any previous Art or Education, but by the fudden Infufion and Inspiration of the Holy Spirit ; which Gift of Tongues ferv'd as a miraculous Act, both to confirm the Truth of the Gospel, and to reveal it to Men of all Nations and Languages.
Laftly, 'tis added, To another the Interpretation of Tongues: which fhews this to be a diftinct Gift from the Gift of Tongues;
Tongues for fome had the one, that had not the other, not being able to interpret that in the vulgar Tongue, which themfelves utter'd in a ftrange Language and therefore certain Perfons were enabled to speak that to the Understanding of the People, which they understood not in the Language in which the Apostles fpoke. And this was the Gift of the Interpretation of Tongues: Do all speak with Tongues? Do all interpret? faith the Apoftle, ver. 30. implying thefe to be different Gifts, and that the one might be without the other.
But all these (faith he) worketh that one and the felf-fame Spirit, dividing to every one feverally as he will: meaning, that they all come from the fame Holy Spirit of God, who beftows them in various meafures and proportions, ac. cording to his Good-pleafure, for the Benefit and Edification of his Church.
This is briefly the Subftance of this Day's Epiftle, which may teach us feveral Leffons: As,
1. From the Apoftle's ftiling all thefe by the Name of -Gifts, we may learn not to boaft or be lifted up, on the account of any of them for what haft thou (faith the Apoftle) which thou haft not receiv'd? And if thou haft receiv'd it, why boaft eft thou thy felf, as if thou receiv'dit not? If thou haft a double Portion of the Spirit, or a larger fhare of these fpiritual Gifts than others, remember they rare but given to thee, and ask thy felf who made thee to -differ: 'twas not thy own Worth or Industry, but the fole Goodness and Bounty of Heaven; which may check all Pride," and teach thee to think foberly of thy felf.
2. If thefe be all the Gifts of God, then we may learn hence whom to thank, and where to feek for them. All the Praife and Glory of them is due to God only; and therefore afcribe nothing to thy felf, but thy Weakneffes and Imperfections. And 'tis Prayer to him that is the beft means of attaining them: If any Man lack Wisdom (faith St. James) let him ask it of God, who giveth to all Men liberally, and upbraideth not; James 1. 5.
d Laftly, If the Manifeftation of the Spirit be given to profit withal, then let us learn to use the Gifts and Graces beltow'd upon us to that end, let us diligently employ them in the Calling wherein God hath fet us, for the Good of our felves and one another; beware of abufing them to wrong Ends, to the difhonour of God, or the detriment of
thy Neighbour: Do not put thy Parts to the maintenance of Schifm, or the difturbance of the Church, but labour to promote the Peace, Unity, and Edification of it. So fhalt thou avoid the Doom of the flothful, and receive the Reward of the faithful Servant, to enter into his Master's Joy.
The GOSPEL for the Tenth Sunday after
And when he was come near, he beheld the City, and wept over it, faying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things that belong unto thy Peace! but now they are bid from thine eyes. For the days fhall come upon thee, &c.
HE preceding part of this Chapter acquaints us with Chrift's going to Jerufalem, together with the Manner and other Circumftances of his Entrance and Reception into it.
The Gofpel for this Day, which immediately follows it, lets us know his Carriage upon his near approach and fight of the City: When he was come near, he beheld the City, and wept over it. The Reafon or Motive whereof was, his knowing the fad Fate or dreadful Deftruction that would fhortly befal it; of which we read after. The Thoughts of the difmal Miferies and Calamities that were coming upon it, drew Tears from his Eyes, and Compaffion from his Heart and both were attended with a moft paffionate Wish, that they would yet know and confider before it be too late, what might help to prevent that doleful Ruin, that was haftning upon them. He beheld the City, and wept over it, faying, Othat thou hadst known, even thou, in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy Peace!
Sure, the Circumftances of their Condition must be very fad and dreadful, when our Saviour could not fee the City without weeping: but that which moft of all increas'd his Sorrow, was their ftupid Senfeleffness of their Condi tion, that they would not fo much as confider, or know the things belonging to their Peace, infomuch that they were now hidden from their eyes. Their Doom was irreverfible, and therefore he pity'd them the more, because they had no Pity for themselves. Now here,
Ift, From our Saviour's weeping over Jerufalem, we may obferve his tender Senfe and Concern for the Miferies and Calamities of other Men; and that may teach us to fhew Pity and Compaffion upon the like occafions. Chrift was mightily affected with the Evils that befel any; he wept at the Grave of Lazarus, and here we find him weeping for the City of Jerufalem. From his Example we may learn the fame Sympathy and Fellow-feeling of others Sufferings, True Religion makes the Heart tender, and apt to commiferate; it makes the Bowels yearn towards the Miferable, and to bear a fhare in the Calamities of others. 'Tis the hard-hearted and narrow-fpirited that caft off all Care or Concern for others Happiness or Mifery, and there are but too many fuch, who if they fare well themfelves, care not what becomes of others: but they who fhew no mer ey, feldom or never find any. Again,
2dly, From our Saviour's paffionate With, that they had laid hold of thofe happy Opportunities, which were offer'd to them for their own Safety, we learn his Backwardness to punish, and his Willingness to pardon. He doth not delight in the Death of a Sinner, nor willingly grieve the Children of Men; he is troubled and concern'd for their Folly, when he is driven to it, and befpeaks them as God did Ephraim, How fall I give thee up, O Ephrain? In like manner our Saviour was deeply affected at the fight of Ferufalem, his Bowels were turn'd within him, and could not but break into Tears for a City that had made it felf ripe for Destruction. O Jerufalem, Jerufalem, (faith he in another place) how often would have gather'd thee as a Hen gathereth her Chicken under her wing? and thou wouldst not. And here, O that thou hadst known the things, which belong unto thy Peace! which he doubles and trebles with Earneftnefs and Affection, Even thou, in this thy day. Even thou, who haft had fo many Admonitions, fo great Obligations, and fuch plain Directions to prevent thefe Evils: Even thou