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ceeding from the Father and the Son, have mercyupon us miserable sinners?" The Holy Ghost, my brethren, was promised by Jesus Christ to his Church. That promise is contained in a variety of expressions in the fourteenth, fifteenth, and sixteenth chapters of the Gospel according to St. John. It is there written that the Lord thus spake to his apostles:—" I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever ; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you." He again said, that "the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." Again he said, "When the Comforter is come, whom I will send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me." And again he said, "It is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart I will send him unto you." This promise was repeated by our Lord after he arose from the dead. When his apostles were assembled together, we read in the first chapter of the Acts, he commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem; but, said he, "Wait for the promise of the Father, which ye have heard of me: for John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence." This promise, so made and so repeated, was fulfilled on the memorable day of Pentecost. "When the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place—and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance." This promise, so fulfilled in the apostles, was not intended to be confined to the apostles. Peter said to the thousands of the Jews who were converted on the day of Pentecost, when they were pricked to the heart, and cried, "Men and brethren, what shall we doi" "Repent," said the Apostle, "and be baptized
every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost: for the promise is to you, and to your children"—and not only so, not only to Jewish converts and their children—but also "to them that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call;"—intimating that this gift was to be extended to the Gentiles also. This is made more clear and satisfactory by the history of Peter's preaching in the house of Cornelius; for when Peter spake "the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed"—that is, the believing Jews who were there— "were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost." So far, then, it is clear the Lord promised the Holy Ghost to his apostles: that promise was fulfilled to them on the day of Pentecost: being filled with the Holy Ghost, they declared that the promise was to all converts, as well as to them: and, in point of fact, the Holy Ghost did come on both Jew and Gentile.
Now, the next question is, To what end, for what great purposes was the Holy Ghost given? To a part of this subject I have already directed the attention of as many of you as were here present this morning: and I now proceed with it as one of the most important branches of the whole subject which the Lord has commissioned his ministers to declare at this present time in the Church.
All the effects which were produced by the Holy Ghost in and by the Church may with clearness be enumerated under the two principal heads following—namely, his gifts and his fruitt. There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit: there are diversities of fruits, but the same Spirit. The gifts are enumerated in the twelfth chapter of this first epistle to the Corinthians; and the fruits are enumerated in the fifth chapter of the epistle to the Galatians. The gifts are thus enumerated:—" To one"—that is, to one person in the Church—" is given, by the Spirit, the word of wisdom ; to another the word of knowledge, by the same Spirit; to another faith, by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing, by the same Spirit; to another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: but all these worketh that one and the self-same Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will." Thus we read the enumeration of the fruits :—" The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts." The leading characteristic of the gifts is power: the leading characteristic of the fruits is holiness. When the Spirit so wrought by the instrumentality of man as to change things that were outside of a man, as in healing a sick brother, there was what we understand by a work of power. When the Spirit so wrought in a man as to change the constitution of the man himself, making an angry and passionate man to be a mild, and meek, and gentle man, there was a work of holiness.
Now we arc prepared to understand the exhortation in the text:—" Follow after charity"—or love, which is comprehensive of all the fruits of the Spirit—" and desire spiritual gifts; but rather," adds the Apostle, "that ye may prophecy." Here are three subjects—two of them already discussed in this epistle—one of them he proceeds now to discuss. The two discussed are—spiritual gifts, which form the subject of the twelfth chapter; and love, comprehensive of all the fruits of the Spirit, which is the subject of the thirteenth chapter. The preference given to Prophecy above the other gifts is the subject of the fourteenth chapter. Thus in discussing this text we are naturally led to adopt the division of these chapters, and take the subjects in the order they stand in the epistle. First, Spiritual gifts. Secondlv, Love, comprehensive of all the fruits'of the Spirit. Thirdly, The preference given to Prophecy above the other gifts of the Spirit. To these things, beloved brethren, I now request your attention. May the Spirit of God now assist us, by whom alone I can speak with profit, and by whom Blone you can hear with profit: for all
speaking and hearing without the Spirit is but human work, and ends with the occasion in the excitement and instruction of the moment, leaving men to go to wickedness just as before; but where the speaking and hearing are by the Spirit of speaking and hearing, a work is done in the world which a man cannot gainsay.
First, then, we are to consider what the apostle says concerning Spiritual Gifts. Now, my dear brethren, here is a subject which will require your attention, and your attention with your Bibles open before you. Open, then, your Bibles, and read with me the twelfth chapter of the first epistle to the Corinthians. And think it not strange I should ask you to open your Bibles. How can you desire instruction without pains-taking? How can you be instructed without your books open, and your hearts and minds open. You cannot and will not be instructed, unless you learn and study for yourselves.
The apostle says in the beginning of this chapter, "Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant." It is needful that Christians should be instructed, not only concerning the work of the Lord Jesus Christ for their sins—not only concerning the person of Christ—not only concerning his resurrection from the dead, and his present glory, and his second coming with glory to reestablish the earth in the restitution of all things as God first made it, and to restore his ancient people, and to drive Satan out of his usurped possession; —all these things are to be studied and taught; but in addition to these, brethren, I would not have you ignorant concerning spiritual gifts. Well, the apostolical teaching on the subject begins thus: "Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led"— Ye were idolaters of the Gentiles: if you had been left to yourselves you would have continued idolaters to the end of your lives: you would have called Jesus accursed, as these idolaters do, speaking by the devil: but " I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed." You would have continued to call him so, as the demons do, if you had not received the Spirit of God. And I further instruct you, that "no man can say," understanding it, and meaning it from his heart, "that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost." So much for the existence and actual presence of the Holy Ghost amongst those people. The apostle argues from the fact, that instead of continuing to worship idols, and to call Jesus accursed, they had turned to worship God, and to call Jesus Lord—he argues from that, that the Holy Ghost was among them; for that no power but the power of the Spirit of God, could have put down the idolatrous worship.
Then, concerning the gifts: "Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administration, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations; but it is the same God that worketh all in all. But the administration of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal." It is not given to him for his own sake: it is given to him to be profitable to the church. "To one is given, by the Spirit, the word of wisdom, to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit." Then follows the enumeration of the gifts, which I have already read to you. On these I further remark, they are not described as given to the same person; but one given to one person, and another to another person; they arc distributed to the church; to one the gift of wisdom—to another the gift of knowledge—to another the working of miracles—prophecy—discerning of spirits—tongues, and so on. Now, this is of importance; for this is the point of the subject which the apostle takes up and discusses to the end of the chapter. "As the body is one"— mark his illustration of the distribution of the gifts—" As the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body; so also is Christ, For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free: and have been all made to drink into one Spirit." There he marks the oneness of the Spirit; and then he proceeds to the diversities of the gifts, illustrating it by the diversities of members in the body.
"For the body is not one member,
but many." Now mark the analogy of this comparison. The Church has not one gift, but many. Then his comparison again—" If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body i" If the interpretation of tongues shall say, Because I am not prophecy, I am not in the Church; is it therefore not in the Church ?— "And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am therefore not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?" If the discerner of spirits shall say, Because I am not healing, I am not in the Church; is it therefore not in the Church ?—" If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?" If the Church had no gift but one—Prophecy for example—where were the healing' And if the Church had no gift but healing, where were the miracles ?—" But now hath God set the members, every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him." AndnowhathGodsetthe gifts, every one of them in the Church, as it hath pleased him.—" Now there are many members, yet but one body." There are many gifts, yet but one Church.—" The eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee; nor again, the head to the feet, I have no need of you." Wisdom cannot say to miracles, I have no need of you; knowledge cannot say to the interpretation of tongues, I have no need of you.—" Nay, much more, those members of the body which seem to be more feeble, are necessary." Nay, much more, those gifts of the Spirit which seem to be despised, are necessary.—" And those members of the body which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need; but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked." There are gifts in the Church which are more comely even in the opinion of men, as knowledge and wisdom; there are other gifts in the Church which arc more despised of men, and called fanaticism, as the gifts of tongues, and the interpretation of tongues : but God hath bestowed more
abundant honour on them as his own immediate voice in the Church, not to be mingled with the natural attainments of men.—" That there should be no schism in the body"—that there might be no divisions amongst those that have gifts in the Church—" but that members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it." That as the members of the natural body—some more honourable, some more useful—all sympathize together; so the individuals in the Church—some having one gift, and some having another—should combine together to the glory of the one Spirit that works all the gifts. Then in the twenty-seventh verse, combining his illustrations together, he says, "Ye are the members of Christ, and members in particular. And God hath set some in the Church; first, apostles; secondarily, prophets; thirdly, teachers; after that, miracles; then gifts of healing, helps, governments, diversities of tongues." God hath distributed these in the Church, as the members are in the body. "Are all Apostles?" It might as well be said that the whole body is the head. "Are all prophets ?—are all teachers? —are all workers of miracles ?—have all the gifts of healing ?—do all speak with tongues ?—do all interpret?" By no means; only some of each. It might as well be said that the whole body were one member. There is subordination in every body: there is subordination of members in the natural body—there is subordination of gifts in the spiritual body of Christ— there is subordination in every family —there is subordination in every society. It is madness, it is worse than madness, to aim at getting rid of subordination. Subordination and dependance is the great truth of God: insubordination and equality is the great lie of the devil. The perfected happiness of the creature is to be in subjection to one above him: and to keep men from flying against one another, like the beasts of the forest, who are without subordination, God hath set powers on the earth: the powers that be arc ordained of God. And the attempt to get rid of subordi
nation by levelling and equalizing, by pulling down the head, and lifting up the feet, is the beginning of greater mischief than has yet been seen in the world. Look at the instances of this in all ages, every instruction of history giving a sample of the fact, that after men's attempt at insubordination their boasted liberty invariably issues in tyranny and despotism; they are obliged to fly from the horrors of equality to the very worst of tyrannies. The whole history of the world proves the fact. But fallen as the world is, it cannot throw off its allegiance to God, who is ever maintaining his government in it and over it. Man could not live without subordination.
But to return. What a subject this is I have opened, being led to it by the subordination of the members of the body, and of gifts in the Church. How full of power is this subject, how full of wisdom! How full of wisdom to know one's place, and to keep one's place, and not to leave it at every change! How full of wisdom to know that dependence is happiness in the creature —that independence is madness—that independence is impossible. O that men would be taught! The tide of human society is rolling on toward the shore of what they call independence, and liberty, and equality. The tide of human society is rolling on in its pride, gathering strength as it goes; and like other tides that roll and gather strength, just when it reaches the wished-for shore, it will break and burst in its own weight, and be dashed back into its own channel again. It cannot be—insubordination cannot be. These things which we see around us are the feverish excitements of society: they are the symptoms of disease; but they never last long. The eyes that see such things are few compared with the eyes that witness seasons of subordination. The times of popular tumult are like thunder storms: the times of orderly government are like fair and ordinary weather. I bless God he has thus uttered a warning on a subject upon which I had no intention of saying a word this night. He has sent it, I believe. Look not at the instrument through which it comes; but look at the Providence who sent you here to night to listen to it. Look at the vortex of society in which vou are living: look at the message you have received without the slightest intention on the part of your fellow sinner who is speaking to you. May God cause you to stay in your places: and rest assured that if you stay in your places, and be content with your wages and with your work, God will bless you in that contentment. Oh, stay in your places.
The Apostle having thus shown the distribution of the gifts of the Holy Ghost, and that no one individual in the Church was to expect all the gifts, because they were distributed to several, exhorts every one to "covet earnestly the best gifts." And then he adds, "Yet show I you a more excellent way." Although I have insisted upon the excellence and advantage of spiritual gifts, yet I show you, says he, a more excellent way. For it is true that though the gifts of the Spirit are useful, though they are excellent, though they are much to be desired, yet the man or the woman who exercises those gifts may nevertheless be still at enmity against God, and may perish. Though a man have all the gifts of the Spirit, if he have not the fruits of the Spirit, he may be useful to others, but does nothing toward his own advancement in spiritual things. Though the Spirit of God were to work by me, so that by my word mountains were removed; yet if he does not work in me, so as to remove malice and hatred from my soul, I am nothing. Though the Holy Ghost were to work by me, so as to do such works as the Lord Jesus Christ did; yet if he work not in me, so that there shall be in me the mind which was in Christ Jesus, I am nothing.— "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels," says the Apostle, "and have not Love, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal." I should just explain here, that this word in the thirteenth chapter which is translated "charity," is the same word which in the Apostle John's epistle is translated "love." So that if the word in this place had been translated as it is in the epistle of John, it would read, "Love suffereth long," and so on. And if in the Apostle John's epistle it had been translated as this is, it would have read, "God
is charity," where it is read, "God is love."
Now mark what the Apostle says about this love. "Though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor" —in the exercise of the most unbounded natural benevolence—"and though I give my body to be burned"—in the exercise of the highest zeal for a creed —yet " if I have not love, it profiteth me nothing." Thus then love is a more excellent gift. He then proceeds to describe this love—" Love suffereth long, and is kind; love envieth not; love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Love never faileth." All gifts when compared with this are as nothing: they are excellent in themselves; but, in the comparison, that which was glorious has no glory, by reason of that which excelleth. He that hath this love is born of God, and knoweth God; for God is love. Gifts are for usefulness in this world; love is for happiness in eternity. All the gifts of the Spirit will cease to be useful; but love, the fruit of the Spirit, shall never cease; for God is love. Prophecy, and tongues, and miracles, shall cease to be useful. Prophecy shall cease to be useful when all the prophecies are fulfilled. Tongues shall cease when all the nations of the earth shall speak one tongue. Knowledge such as we have now at the best shall vanish away as moonlight at the approach of the rising sun. But love is the very element of the wannest and brightest ray of that meridian splendour. Yea, even faith and hope, which are now in the church along with love, shall cease. Faith shall cease in the sight of the Lord Jesus, who is the object of faith. Hope shall cease in the enjoyment of the Lord Jesus, who is the object of hope. Faith and hope both expire upon the threshold of the Lord's