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the message, but “none of the wicked shall understand :"
" ver. 30 shews the resurrection and renovation of all things, and (31) the millennial kingdom: and vers. 32–35, the everlasting destruction of all iniquity at the end of the same. Such appears to me the truth contained in these holy songs. If any contend that the language of these Psalms is only literal, then our text stands very clear without these auxiliaries. .
It will not be necessary to say much respecting the three concluding verses of the subject of this paper; but with regard to the evil servant smiting his fellow-servants, two of the marginal references are so appropriate that I shall quote them in illustration. Isa. lxvi. 5 : “Hear the word of the LORD, ye that tremble at his word : Your brethren that hated
that cast you out for my name's sake, said, Let the Lord be glorified : but he SHALL APPEAR to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.” No reference could be more happy: this Scripture is now fulfilling before all men : servants are smiting those fellow-servants who are watching for their Lord ; they are casting them out, saying, “Let the Lord be glorified !” One thing is worthy of remark: the parallel passage in Luke says,
“ If that servant shall begin to beat the men-servants and maidens ;” and it is well known, that those females who are now peculiarly honoured meet with their portion of ridicule from ignorant and perverse men; as do all others who are so presumptuous as to quit the first principles of Christ. The other reference is to 1 Peter v. 2: “ Feed the flock of God, as much as is in you is (margin); not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; neither as over-ruling (margin) God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock : and when the chief Shepherd SHALL APPEAR, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.”-Regarding the phrase ' to eat and drink with the drunken,” I shall quote two marginal references, and allude to some other texts which illustrate the subject. The first reference is Isa. lvi. 12, but we will read from ver. 10: “ His watchmen are blind : they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber: they are shepherds that cannot understand. Come ye, say they, I will fetch wine, and we will fill ourselves with strong drink; and to-morrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant.” The second reference is Micah ji. 5: “ Thus saith the Lord concerning the prophets that make my people err, that bite with their teeth, and cry, Peace; and he that putteth not into their mouths, they even prepare war against him: therefore night shall be unto you, that ye shall not have a a vision; and it shall be dark unto you, that ye shall not divine.” The passages I would now quote are—Isa. xxix. 9:“Stay yourselves, and wonder ; cry ye out, and cry [or, take your pleasure, and riot]: they are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink. For the Lord hath poured out upon
you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes : the prophets and your heads, the seers hath he covered. And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee ; and he saith, I cannot ; FOR IT is sealed!” And the ignorant cannot, saying, "I am not learned." Therefore the Lord will do “a 'marvellous work and a wonder; for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.” The whole of this
extraordinary chapter refers to the last days. Jer. li. 7: “ Babylon hath been a golden cup in the LORD's hand, that made all the earth drunken: the nations have drunken of her wine; therefore the nations are mad.” Ver. 39: “ In their heat I will make their feasts, and I will make them drunken, that they may rejoice, and sleep a perpetual sleep, and not awake, saith the LORD” (See also ver. 57). Lam. iv. 21:“ Rejoice and be glad, o daughter of Edom, that dwellest in the land of Uz; the cup also shall pass through thee: thou shalt be drunken, and shalt make thyself naked. 1 Thess. v. 7: “For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.” The Apostle had informed them that “the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night:" therefore they were to “ watch and be sober;" not sleeping, as those who, “ when they shall say, Peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon
them.” Rev. xvii. 6: “And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints,” &c.-From these we may discern that “ the drunken,” the drunken ones, or the drunken one, is the apostasy : and we gather, that to “ eat and drink with the drunken," is to hold ungodly union or fellowship with the enemies of God. To this agrees the word of our Lord in ver. 38 of this xxiv th of Matthew : “ For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, and marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be:" as also the language of ver. 48, &c., If the evil servant eat and drink with the drunken, the Lord shall come in an hour that he is not aware of, and shall cut him off.
I shall only further observe, that wherever the term “weeping and gnashing of teeth” is mentioned, it evidently alludes to the time of the possession of the kingdom by the saints, and to those who are then cast out: which mystery, and much other wisdom contained in all I have attempted to interpret, I shall leave, as fit meditation for those who love every word of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. And may God through our Lord Jesus Christ pardon all our infirmities ; and give us to grow up in all love and heavenly wisdom, to His glory, and the praise of His holy name! Amen.
ABUSE OF SPIRITUAL GIFTS.
We enter upon the subject of which we are now about to treat with a deep sense of its importance, and of painful awe upon our minds. We are conscious that it is adapted to the atmosphere of very few minds; and having made it a matter of fervent prayer ourselves that nothing may appear which shall be calculated to injure the souls of our readers, we exhort all who are inclined to follow us to commence its perusal with a similar petition to the God of truth. It may be asked," wherefore we have undertaken to enter upon the discussion ?" Our answer and our justification is, “ The necessity of the case.” It is to the shame of the pastors, that this necessity is placed upon us; but since they are incompetent to exercise the higher department of teaching the flock from the pulpit, we are compelled to exercise the lower function of instructing from the press. Even this last remark will sound strange in the ears of this infidel generation, which despises preaching, though the ordinance of God, and exalts above it human reason in the exercise of reading books; but to such we recommend the observation in Eusebius iii. c. xxi. “ that the ministers of Christ used in their preaching a plain and simple manner of speech, from a divine and forcible power which they had received of Christ; and by such a demonstration of the Holy Spirit they published the knowledge of the kingdom of heaven to the whole world, being nothing solicitous about writing of books; and those few we have, some of them wrote not without being constrained thereto; particularly St. John, as Epiphanius says, being in himself very unwilling, and avoiding it, was forced and compelled by the Spirit to write his Gospel a little before his death."
In declaring our belief that the Holy Ghost is now speaking in several persons, we deem it incumbent upon us to state the ground of that belief; and furthermore to shew, that we have such a basis of Scripture that we cannot be shaken from it by any reasonings of man's invention. When any one speaks in an extraordinary manner, and informs us that he is constrained to do so by a supernatural power acting upon, and within, him, the question is one simply of fact: if we love the person who makes the declaration, we do not doubt him, for confidence is the lowest ingredient in love: if we doubt him, it is a proof not to be gainsayed that we place no confidence in the truth of his assertions, that we entertain no love for him. The doubt, therefore, of the truth of what the persons assert who are now speaking in an extraordinary manner, is proof conclusive that there is no love amongst high-sounding professors of religion for them : yet
they are persons walking blamelessly in all the ordinances of God and man, fulfilling the various duties of their several stations, and making good and unquestionable confession of faith in Christ Jesus: the boasted pretensions to love in the Evangelical world turns out, when tried, to be all hypocrisy and delusion. On the other hand, if these persons assert falsely that they are speaking by a supernatural impulse, then are they most fearful impostors; but if they are truly speaking by a supernatural spirit, it becomes us next to inquire into the nature of that spirit.
For this purpose the Bible has given us very clear and explicit directions : “ Now, concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant :.... wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed ; and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost” (1 Cor. xii. 1,3). In these days it is rare, except amongst Jews, to hear any one call Jesus accursed; and as almost all call him Lord, in some sense or other, it is necessary to define the meaning of that term. It can, then, mean only one of two things : either that He is Jehovah, that is, Essential Godhead; or that He is the only Lord and Master (deoporns, as in Jude) of this earth, and of all that it contains. The next test is in 1 John iv. 1-3: “ Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God : every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in flesh, is of God; and every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in flesh, is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come, and even now already is it in the world.” The last test left for our guidance, that we may KNOW-not merely think, or doubt, or guess, or fancy, but know, in order to be fully assured, and certain, and act upon that knowledge, assurance, and certaintyis in 2 John 7:“ Many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is coming (epxouevos) in flesh: this is a deceiver and antichrist.” Now, if the supernatural voice affirms, and bears testimony to, the essential Godhead of Jesus of Nazareth; to Him as the sole source of power, authority, and rule on this earth; to the Christ having taken the fallen flesh of the
1; Virgin Mary into personal subsistence with Deity; and to His coming in that flesh again ; that supernatural voice is God the Holy Ghost himself speaking. Now all these points we have heard the voices proceeding from divers persons affirm; and therefore we believe, on the sanction and by command of the written word of God, that the persons so speaking were moved by God himself indwelling in them in the Person of the
Holy Ghost. On the other hand, if we had heard them say, that Jesus was a mere man, as they do whom the religious world has formally, after due debate and deliberation, and by large majorities, voted to be a denomination of Christians; or that, not Jesus, but an ungodly rabble, was the source of all power and authority upon earth, as the Evangelical liberals assert; or that Christ has not appeared in the flesh of Abraham and Mary, but in a better and new kind of flesh first created in her womb, as the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland asserts; or that, if Christ did take the substance of Mary into subsistence, yet He is not coming in that flesh, but only in spirit, to reign on the earth; then we should with equal confidence maintain that the spirit speaking in them was the spirit of antichrist, which is the spirit of Satan.
If it be objected to this argument, that Satan comes as an angel of light, to deceive if possible the very elect, and therefore he must come in a form so like the truth that there is no discovering him by such tests as those above quoted, then we reply, that such an objection proves too much ; for it proves,
, either that the very elect may be deceived, or that there can be some mode of preservation and sanctification in Christ other than by belief of the truth;-—an argument only of an Antinomian Calvinist, who fancies that he may be kept by some indefinable and incomprehensible chain, while his whole judgment and affections are absorbed in Satanic delusion. It is an argument which sets aside the written word of God as the only standard and guide, and makes the directions given, whereby we are to KNOW THE SPIRITS, utterly useless for any such
purpose. Whilst there are some persons who are too tardy in bringing their minds to a decision on this subject, partly from ignorance of scriptural guides, and partly from habitual want of faith in what the bare word of God declares, there are others who decide with equal impropriety from the mere result of animal feeling, and apprehension at the novelty of hearing so appalling a sound as a voice which is said to be the voice of God Himself, and before they have “ tried the spirit” for themselves. Now let it be observed, that it is the spirit which is to be tried, not the individual whose organs he uses. An evil spirit, therefore, may be found in a person whose outward conduct is unblameable; but such a spirit will not testify to the things given as the test for trying him, and to which Scripture declares the Spirit of God alone can testify. Thus some persons have felt convinced upon first hearing another speak in the Spirit, while others have not felt so; and the latter may really have better grounds for their doubt than the other for their faith, although the Spirit be really the Holy Spirit himself. And this we say in