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Revelations of Knowleas Soiritual mac wir
enter'd upon that Subject in the former of these Texts, his Words are to be understood of Spiritual Men, rather then of Spiritual Gifts, which he seems to speak of, not as his principal Theme, but only as the faults of the Spiritual Men, who are his principal Theme, give him occasion.
Now some of those Spiritual Men, which are now supposed to be mentioned by St. Paul, 1 Cor. 12.1. as well as i Cor. 14.37. are such as enjoyed the benefit of immediate Revelation. Because several of the Gifts there mentioned by St. Paul, the Enjoyment of which does denominate the Possessor a Spiritual Man, were such Gifts as suppose imme. diate Revelation. For instance, the Word of Wif. dom, and the Word of Knowledge @ci i Cor. 12. 8. And consequently, when the spiritual Man sige nifies such a person as enjoyed 'the word of Wir dom, the word of Knowledge, or the like, 'it signifies such a Person as enjoyed the benefit of immediate Revelation.
But then, tho’the Spiritual Man in these Texts, as it denotes such a person as enjoyed the word of Wisdom, or the like, docs signify such a Person as enjoyed the benefit of immediate Revelation; yet it does not denote every true Christian in general, but fome particular true Chriitians only, whose peculiar priviledge it is to be Spiritual Men in this Sense, that is, to enjoy the benefit of immediate Revelation.
This will appear, if we consider, that the Spiritual Men here spoken of, are such Perfons as enjoy the extraordinary Gists of the Holy Ghost, which were necessary in the first Ages of Christianity, not in order to the Regeneration, Sanctification, Comfort and Salvation of those Persons upon whom they were bestowed, as
the ordinary Gifts of the Holy Ghost then were, and alwaies will be; but for the first Plantation and Confirmation of the Gospel, and the Edification of an Infant Church, and are accordingly in these times wholly ceased.
There needs no other proof of this, than that manifest distinction which the Apostle makes between those Spiritual Gifts, which he speaks of in this Chapter, and Charity. But, faies he, covet ear. nestly the best Gifts, and yet New I unto you a more excellent way, v. 31. Again, Follow after Charity, and defire Spiritual Gifts, 1 Cor. 14. 1. From whence ’tis plain, that even Charity it self, which is the greatest and most excellent of the ordinary Gifts of the Holy Ghost, is not one of those spiritual Gifts, the Enjoyment of which denomi. nates the possessor a Spiritual Man, in that Sense in which the Apostle here uses the Word. And consequently the spiritual Gifts here mentioned are none other than the extraordinary Gifts of the Holy Ghost.
It may be faid perhaps, that Faith, which is an ordinary Gift of the Holy Ghost is here numbred amongst those Gifts, the Enjoyment of which does. denominate the Possessor a Spiritual Man; and confequently, the Spiritual Men here spoken of are, not such Persons only as enjoy the extraordinary Gifts of the Holy Ghost, but such Persons as enjoy any Gifts of the Holy Ghost, whether extraordinary or ordinary. But I reply, that Faith is indeed here numbred amongst those Gifts, the Enjoyment of which does denominate the Possessor a Spiritual Man; but then I deny, that the Faith here spoken of, is an ordinary Gist of the Holy Ghoft.
For For Faith has different significations in the New Teftament. Sometimes it betokens an ordinary Gift of the Holy Ghost, which every true Christian is endued with ; but at other times it signifies an extraordinary Gift of the Holy Ghost, particu. larly in this place, where it is spoken of, not as a Grace common to every true Christian, but as the privilege of some particular true Christians only. For the Apostle faies, To one is given by the Spirit the word of Wisdom; to another the word of Knowledge by the fame Spirit ; to another Faith by the fame Spirit; to another the working of Miracles ; to another Prophecy; to another discerning of Spirits ; to another diverse kinds of Tongues ; to anothe Interpretation of Tongues. But all these work. eth that one and the self same Spirit, dividing to every Man severally as he will, 1 Cor. 12.8, &c. In these Words we are plainly told, that the Faith here meant, is not given to all true Christians; but is as much a peculiar privilege as the Gift of Tongues, &c. And consequently, the Faith here meant, is not an ordinary, but an extraordinary Gift of the Holy Ghost; and fignifies either, 1. that Miraculous Courage inspired by God, and visible in the first Spreaders of the Gospel; cr 2. tha: full persuasion inspired by God, whereby they knew what Wonders might be attempted with fuc. cess. For tho' there was a power of doing Won: ders in curing Diseases, &c. yet every possible Miracle was not be undertaken; but God directed them by a divine impulse to such particulars, as they might fet about with Faith, or a full assurance of effecting them.
Since then every one of the Gifts here menti. oned is extraordinary, and those who are here called Spiritual Men, are so called for this very rea
eth rhai pretation of Tom kinds of Tonemning of Sp very Manne and the felfogues. But everything to ako.
fon, because they enjoy'd some of these extraordinary Gifts; therefore 'tis plain, that the Spiritual Men here mentioned, are not all Christians in general, because all Christians in general did not even in the Primitive Times enjoy the extraordinary Gifts of the Spirit ; but the Spiritual Men here mentioned, are only such particular true Christians, as these extraordinary Gifts were vouchsafed to. And consequently, those Persons who are here called Spiritual Men, upon the account of their enjoying an immediate Revelation, as having the word of Wisdom, or the like; are not all true Christians in general, but only such particular true Christians, as bad some special Gift conferred upon them.
Nay, tho' it were granted, that all true Chri. stians in general, did in the first Ages of Christianity, enjoy some or other of the extraordinary Gifts of the Holy Gholt; yet'tis plain, that every one of them did not enjoy those extraordinary Gifts in particular, which suppose immediate Revelation. For it appears from the Apostle's Words already cited, that every one had not every extra. ordinary Gift ; and consequently those that suppose immediate Revelation, were not universal, any more than the Gift of Tongues, &c. And there. fore the Spiritual Man, as it denotes such a Person as had a Gift of immediate Revelation, is not e. very true Christian in general, but only such a particular true Christian as had that special favour allotted to his share.
Thus then it appears, that whenfoever the Spie ritual Man does signify such a Person as enjoys the benefit of immediate Revelation, it then denotes not every true Christian in general; but fume particular true Christians only, whole peculiar
the spirit of im in gens had th
privilege it is to be Spiritual Men in this sense, that is, to enjoy the benefit of immediate Revelation. And consequently we must not understand the word in 1 Cor. 2. 15. where our Adversaries grant 'tis applied to all true Christians in general, after the fame manner as in those other places, where 'tis certainly limited to some particular true Christians. And since the whole force of that Argument which is drawn from 1 Cor. 2. 14, 15. depends upon such a sense of the Word, as I have thewn to be not only not necessary, but also unreasonable, or rather impossible; therefore those expressions of St. Paul do by no means prove, that God has resolv'd, and so dispos'd matters, that a faving Christian Faith shall be alwaies built upon immediate Revelation.
C H A P. VI. 1 John 2. 20, 27. &* 5. 10. & Rom. 8.16.
explained. 15. CT. 7ohn faies, Te have an unction from the
holy One, and ye know all things, 1 John 2.20. and again, the anointing which ye have received of him, abideth in you; and ye need not that any man teach you ; but as the same anointing teacherh you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie; and even as it hath taught you, ye fall abide in him, v. 27. From these words our Adversaries pretend to draw great advantages. For, say they, by the Unction is meant the holy Spirit; and 'tis plain, that this Unction or holy Spirit teachcth the Saints of all things, and is to abide in them, and that they need no