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Ordination to the Ministry. Thus we read, that Barnabas and Saul were separated for the Work of the Ministry by Imposition of Hands, Aits 13. 3. and the like is spoken of Timothy, 1 Tim. 4. 14. And accordingly, tho' St. Stephen was full of the Holy Ghost and Wisdom, Acts 6.3. that is, a most holy and religious Man, full of Faith in God, and Zeal for his Glory, and trust in his Mercy, &c. as the Phrase here seems to import, if it be compared with the same Phrase, as 'tis used, Acts 7:55. yet I say, we do not find, that St. Stephen was baptized with the Holy Ghost, or had re, ceived the Effusion of the Extraordinary Gifts of it, till the Apostles had laid their Hands on him, &c. verse 6. Whereas their Hands were no sooner laid on him, but we are told immediately, that Stephen full of Faith and Power, did great Wonders and Miracles among the People, verse 8.
However, 'tis very clear, that Admission into the Church, or being a Disciple of Jesus Christ, did not even in those Daies imply, that the person had been baptized with the Holy Ghost, or received the Extraordinary Gifts of it. For Sin mon the Sorcerer, and the People of Samaria , were converted, believed, and were baptized by St. Philip, Afts 8.12, 13. and yet none of the Samaritans received the Extraordinary Gifts of the Holy Ghost till some time after; that is, not till. St. Peter and St. John were sent to them, verse 14, Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Gbojt (for as yet he was fallen on none of them; only they were baptized in the Name of the Lord Jesus.) Thér laid they their Hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost, verses 15, 16, 17. That is, when those Apostles which were at Jerusalem, had heard of the Con
verlion of the Samaritans, they fent unto them St. Peter and St. John; who when they came to them, setled a Ministry among them by laying Hands on several persons, who after such Imposition of Hands, received not only authority to preach the Gospel
, but also a power of Working Miracles in Confirmation of it.
But, whatever becomes of this Notion, 'tis ex tremely plain, that the Extraordinary Gifts of the Spirit were not bestowed upon them, as soon as they were made Christians; and consequently the Participation of the Extraordinary Gists of the Holy Ghost was not, even in the Apostles times, so universal, but that a Man might be a Christian, that is, a Member of Christ's Church, without it.
If it be objected, that St. Peter faies, the promise is unto you, and to your Children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call, Acts 2. 38. and consequently Baptism with the Holy Ghost was in the primitive times, universal and common to all Christians; I answer, St. Peter does indeed there speak of the promise of Baptism with the Holy Ghost, but yet since I have shewn, that Baptism with the Holy Ghost
, fignifies the Effusion of the Extraordinary Gifts of the Holy Ghost, his Words must of Necessity not be extended to every individual Christian, but limited to some of all kinds, viz. fome Jewish and some Gentile Converts. For if the words be taken in the latitude which this Objection supposes, they will then prove, that those Extraordia nary Gifts of the Holy Ghost,the promise of which the Apostle there speaks of, were to be conferred upon all Christians whatsoever, that should be called in the Asterages of Christianity; whereas I observe
in the next place, that the Baptism with the Holy Ghost, or Effusion of the Extraordinary Gifts of the Holy Ghost, is now adaies wholly ceased. The Design of Almighty God in pouring forth the Holy Spirit in such a plentiful manner in the primitive Times, was to convince the World of the Truth of the Mission of the Apostles, to furnish them with such Credentials, as evidently proved that they were inspired of God, and ought to be received as his Ambassadors. This Design was fully answered in the beginnings of Chrifti. anity; and accordingly, when the Gospel was spread and received, and had taken root in the World, then Miracles began to cease, and they are now vanished away. Whereas the Baptism mentioned, and consequently commanded in this Text, is confessed by our Adversaries themselves to be a perpetual Baptism ; a Baptism that must remain as there is a Church upon the Earth, as long as the Religion of Christ shall be professed and taught, that is, not only down to our own times, but even to the End of the World, to the very coming of Christ to Judgment,
If it be objected, that all true Christians are even in our daies baptized with the Holy Ghost, because they do receive, are made partakers of, born of, and filled with the Holy Gholt, ác. I answer, that a Man may enjoy all these Blessings and Privileges without being baptized with the Holy Ghost. 'Tis true, whosoever is baptized with the Holy Ghost, does also receive, is made partaker of, born of, and filled with the Holy Ghoft, c. but it does not follow from thence, that whoso. ever does receive, is made partaker of, born of, and filled with the Holy Ghost, is also baptized with it,
For, as I have already said, the Gifts of the Holy Ghost are twofold, ordinary or extraordinaryThe Ordinary Gifts of the Holy Ghost are those, whereby we are sanctified and renewed in the inner Man; those wherewith we are allifted and comforted in the Performance of our Duty to God, our Neighbors, and our Selves; those whereby we are enabled to work out our Salvation with fear and trembling, perfecting holiness in the Fear of God; in short, they are those whereby we are impowered to do all such things as are necessary to the Salvation of our own Souls. But the Extraordinary Gists of the Holy Ghost are those, whereby we are enabled to perform (not necessary and standing Duties, but) Wonders and Miracles, in order (not to our own Salvation, but) the Be. nefit and Advantage of others. A Man cannot be jult, temperate, chaft, &c. without the Ordinary Gift and Communication of God's Spirit: but he may practise all those Graces of Justice, Temperance, Chastity, &c. without the Extraordinary Gift or Communication of God's Spirit, whereby the Apostles and primitive Christians were enabled to raise the Dead, speak with Tongues, heal the Sick, &c.
Thus then it appcars, that every good Christian does receive the Holy Ghost, is made partaker of it, born of it, filled with it, cc, in an Ordinary, but not in an Extraordinary Manner. Now I have thewn, that Baptism with the Holy Ghost does in the Holy Scriptures, constantly denote the Extràordinary Communication of the Spirit. And confequently, the true and orly Baptism with the Holy Ghost (in the Scripture-fense of the Phrase) is now adaies wholly ceased, notwithstanding the present Ordinary Communication of God's Spirit to his Servants.
From what has been said, it is very plain, that the Baptism mentioned and commanded in this Text, cannot be the Baptism with the Holy Ghoft; because the Baptism with the Holy Ghost, that is, the Effusion of the Extraordinary Gifts of the Holy Ghost, never was universal, and it is wholly ceased, not only now adaies, but these many hundreds of Years; and we have not the least reason to believe, that it will ever be granted to the Church of Christ again.
But farther, altho it should be granted, (in spight. of those evident proofs of the Contrary, which I have already given) that those who are endued with none but the Ordinary Gists of the Holy Ghost, are in the Scripture sense of that phrase, baptiz'd with the Holy Ghost; yet the one Baptism here mentioned and commanded , cannot be Baptism with the Holy Ghost notwithstanding. For let us consider the Context, The Apostle faies, endevoring to keep the Unity of the Spirit in the Bond of Peace. There is one Body, and one Spirit, égiem as ye are called in one Hope of your Calling, one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism, one God and Father of all, &c. Eph. 4:3,4,5,6. In these words the Apostle persuades them to Peace and Unity, from the Consideration of their being Members of one Body, partaking of one Spirit, having one Hope, worshiping one Lord, professing one Faith, partaking of one Baptism, ý c.
Now 'tis very plain, that the one Spirit, which the Apostle here mentions, cannot signify one Dilposition of Mind. For then he wou'd persuade them to unity of Spirit from this very Considerațion, that they had already that one Spirit or Unity thereof. Wherefore the one Spirit mult denote, çither the one Holy Spirit of God, uis.