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All then that have any share in these Gifts and Endowa ments of the Spirit, are to lay them out according to the Degree and Measure they have receiv'd, for the publick Good: As every one hath receiv'd the Gift (faith the Apoftle) even so minister the same one to another, as good Stewards of the manifold Grace of God; 1 Pet. 4. 10. Where we are bid to look upon our selyes, not so much as Owners, but as Stewards of what we have. Now the Office of a Steward, you know, is not to hide or embezel his Master's Goods, but to employ them for his benefit, and to give to every one of the Houshold his Portion of Meat in due feafon. This is the End and Use of all our Gifts, natural and temporal, as well as spiritual; which the Will of the Donor, and the Nature and Quality of the Gifts require and call for at our hands : and that because our own Insufficiency of our selves puts us in mutual need of the Gifts and Afiftance of one another. If a Man could come to that All-sufficiency in himself, as to be able to say to his Brethren, I have no need of you, then might he keep his Gifts to himself: till then let him remember, he is to employ, his Talent to the profit of his Master, and to the benefit of his Brother; for the Manifestation of the Spirit is given ta every one to profit withal.

For the better clearing and confirming hereof, the Apostle proceeds to the Distribution of these spiritual Gifts; Thewing that they are not all given to one, nor are the fame given to all, but they are scatter'd with an admirable variety, and in different measures on the Sons of Men, that like the various Members of the natural Body, they might be all helpful and serviceable to one another. There is none so mean, but may be useful to the greatest ; and there is none so great, but may sometimes stand in need of the Service of the meaneft.

For to one is given by the Spirit (faith the Apostle) the Word of Wisdom. By which we may understand the Revelation of the Gospel, which is in Scripture often callid the Wisdom of God in Christ. St. Paul stiles the Evangelical Doctrine and Mysteries by the name of Wisdom, and distinguishes it too from the Philosophy of the Heathens, and the Wisdom of this World ; i Cor. 2.6, 7, Howbeit (faith he) we speak Wisdom, yet not the Wisdom of this World, but we speak the Wisdom of God in a Mystery, even the hidden Wisdom, the Revelation whereof God ordain'd before the World unto our glory. This Word of Wisdom, or

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Revelation of the Mysteries of the Gospel, was first given to the Apostles, who were the first Preachers and Discoverers of it unto the World. And this is here faid to be given by the Spirit, the Holy Ghost inspiring them with those Abilities, as enabled them to understand those Mysteries themselves, and likewise to publish and unfold them unto others. Again,"

To another is given the Word of Knowledg by the same Spirit. Where by the Word of Knowledg is meant the Knowledg of things past, present, and to come; the Knowledg of things secret, such as the Will of God, and the Thoughts of Men ; of remote things, as of what was done in other places:9 of future things, as of what would come to pass hereafter : all which are reveald by the fame Spirit, which alone can communicate to any the Knowledg of these 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 il. 28. By this it waș, that Ananias knew the Conversion of St. Paul, Afts 9. 10. and that St. Paul, told the Centurion before the ihipwreck, that not a Man in the Ship should be loft, Acts 27. 23, 24.' The Knowledg of which things could not be attain'd in any ordinary way, but was reveald to them by the Holy Spirit. Again,

To another is given Faith by the Same 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 {peaks, Mat. 17. 20. that he who hath it shall say unto this Mountain, Remove hence to yonder place, and it Mall remove; and nothing fall be 'impossi'ble to you. To which the Apostle refers, in saying, if I bad all Faith, so that I could move Mountains, 1 Cor. 13. 2. Others take Faith here for that supernatural Courage and Confidence, with which the Apostles were endow'd for withstanding all the Opposition 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, Itill owning and adhering to the Name of Jesus, notwithstanding all the Threats and Terrors denounc'd againft them. This extraordinary Confidence and Resolution proceeded likewise from the Spirit of God, which inspir'd them with a Courage suitable to their Cause, and carry'd them on above and Vol. IV. Part 2

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beyond beyond all Opposition. So we read of St. Stephen and others, that all their Adversaries could not gainsay or refift the Wisdom and Spirit with which they fpake; Acts 6. 10. Again,

To another is given the Gifts of Hedling by the Same Spirit. By these are meant the Power of curing all Diseases both of Body and Mind without the help of Physick, by the sole mentioning the Name of Jesus. Thus we find the Apoftles curing the Blind and the Lame with a word's speaking, healing Lunaticks and Demoniacks, and cafting out Devils only by calling over them the Name of Jesus : which made the Disciples acquaint our Saviour, not only of their healing all manner of Diseases, but that even the Devils Tere subject to them through his Name, Luke 10. 17. This Power likewise proceeded from the fame Spirit of God, who over-rules all evil Spirits, and hath all Principalities and Powers subject to him. Moreover, .

To another is given the morking of Miracles. This being mention'd as distinct from the fornter, muft be meant of the Power of working Signs and Wonders in the Heavens, and more especially of raising the Dead, the greatest of all Miracles. So we read of the Apostles, that they restora many from Death to Life, which is ascrib'd here and else. where to the Divine Power of the Holy Ghost. 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 also from the Spirit of God.

Furthermore, To another is given the discerning of Spirits: that is, a Gift of knowing true Prophets from falfe, and discerning the divine Inspirations of God's Holy Spirit, from the evil. Suggestions of the Devil; and thereby a Fa*culty of distinguishing Impostors and false Teachers from the true Ministers of Christ.

To another is given (as our Apostle goes on the Gift of divers kind of Tongues : that is, an Ability of speaking feveral Languages which they had never learnt, receiving them not by any previous Art or Education, but by the sudden Infusion and Inspiration of the Holy Spirit, which Gift of Tongues serv'd as a niraculous Act, both to confirm the Truth of the Gospel, and to reveal it to Men of all Nations and Languages.

Lastly, 'tis added, to another the Interpretation of Tongues: which shews this to be a distinct Gift from the Gift of

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Tongues ; for some had the one, that had not the other, not being able to interpret that in the vulgar Tongue, which themfelves utter'd in a strange Language and therefore certain Persons were enabled to speak that to the Understanding of the People, which they understood not in the Language in which the Apostles spoke. And this was the Gift of the Interpretation of Tongues : Do all speak with Tongues? Do all interpret? faith the Apostle, ver. 30. iniplying these 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 severally as he will : meaning, that they all come from the fame Holy Spirit of God, who bestows them in various measures and proportions, ac. cording to his Good-pleafure, for the Benefit and Edification of his Church

This is briefly the Substance of this Day's Epistle, which may teach us several Lessons; As,

1. From the Apostle's stiling all these by the Name of -Gifts, we may learn not to boast or be lifted up, on the account of any of them : for what halt thou (faith the ApoAtle) which thou hast not receiv'd? And if thou hast rea ceivd it, why boast ejt thou thy felf, as if thou receiv’djt 'not? If thou hast a double Portion of the Spirit, or a larger fhare of these fpiritual Gifts than others, remember they are but given to thee, and ask thy self 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 soberly of thy felf.

2. If there be all the Gifts of God, then we may learn hence whom to thank, and where to seek for then. All the Praise and Glory of them is due to God only, and therefore ascribe nothing to thy self, but thy Weaknesses and Imperfections. And 'tis Prayer to him that is the beft means" of attaining theni: 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 Lastly, If the Manifestation of the Spirit be given to profit withal, then let us learn to use the Gifts and Graces bettow'd upon us to that end ; let us diligently employ them in the Calling wherein God hath fet us, for the Good of our selves and one another ; beware of abusing theni to wrong Ends, to the dishonour' of God, or the detriment of

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thy Neighbour : Do not put thy Parts to the maintenance of Schism, or the disturbance of the Church, but labour to promote the Peace, Unity, and Edification of it. So shalt thou avoid the Doom of the slothful, and receive the Reward of the faithful Servant, to enter into his Master's Joy.

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DISCOURSE XXXI.

The Gospel for the Tenth Sunday after

Trinity.

St. Luke xix. 41-47. And when he was come near, he beheld the City, and

wept over it, Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things that belong unto thy Peace! but now they are hid from

For the days shall come upon thee, &c.

thine eyes.

T

HE preceding part of this Chapter acquaints us with Christ's going to Jerusalem, together with

the Manner and other Circumstances of his Entrance and Reception into it.

The Gospel 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 Reason or Motive whereof was, his knowing the fad ,Fate or dreadful Destruction that would Hortly befal it ; of which we read after. The Thoughts of the dismial Miseries and Calanities that were coming upon it, drew Tears from his Eyes, and Compassion from his Heart: and both were attended with a most passionate Wilh, that they would yet know and consider before it be too late, what might help to prevent that doleful Ruin, that was hastning upon them. He beheld the City, and wept over it, saying, Othat thou hadft known, even thou, in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy Peace!

Sure,

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