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Ordination to the Miniftry. Thus we read, that Barnabas and Saul were feparated for the Work of the Miniftry by Impofition of Hands, Acts 13.3. and the like is fpoken of Timothy, 1 Tim. 4. 14. And accordingly, tho' St. Stephen was full of the Holy Ghoft and Wisdom, Acts 6.3. that is, a most holy and religious Man, full of Faith in God, and Zeal for his Glory, and truft in his Mercy,
c. as the Phrafe here feems to import, if it be compared with the fame Phrafe, as 'tis ufed, Acts 7.55. yet I fay, we do not find, that St. Stephen was baptized with the Holy Ghoft, or had received the Effufion of the Extraordinary Gifts of it, till the Apoftles had laid their Hands on him, &c. verfe 6. Whereas their Hands were no fooner laid on him, but we are told immediately, that Stephen full of Faith and Power, did great Wonders and Miracles among the People, verfe 8.
However, 'tis very clear, that Admiffion into the Church, or being a Difciple of Jefus Chrift, did not even in thofe Daies imply, that the perfon had been baptized with the Holy Ghoft, or received the Extraordinary Gifts of it. For Simon the Sorcerer, and the People of Samaria, were converted, believed, and were baptized by St. Philip, Acts 8. 12, 13. and yet none of the Samaritans received the Extraordinary Gifts of the Holy Ghoft till fome time after; that is, not till. St. Peter and St. John were fent to them, verfe 14. Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost (for as yet he was fallen on none of them; only they were baptized in the Name of the Lord Jefus.) Then laid they their Hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost, verfes 15, 16, 17. That is, when thofe Apoftles which were at Jerufalem, had heard of the Con
verfion of the Samaritans, they fent unto them St. Peter and St. John; who when they came to them, fetled a Miniftry among them by laying Hands on feveral perfons, who after fuch Impofition of Hands, received not only authority to preach the Gospel, but alfo a power of Working Miracles in Confirmation of it.
But, whatever becomes of this Notion, 'tis extremely plain, that the Extraordinary Gifts of the Spirit were not beftowed upon them, as foon as they were made Chriftians; and confequently the Participation of the Extraordinary Gifts of the Holy Ghost was not, even in the Apoftles times, fo univerfal, but that a Man might be a Christian, that is, a Member of Christ's Church, without
If it be objected, that St. Peter faies, the promife is unto you, and to your Children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God fball call, Acts 2.38. and confequently Baptifm with the Holy Ghoft was in the primitive times, univerfal and common to all Chriftians; I anfwer, St. Peter does indeed there fpeak of the promise of Baptifm with the Holy Ghoft, but yet fince I have fhewn, that Baptifm with the Holy Ghoft, fignifies the Effufion of the Extraordinary Gifts of the Holy Ghoft, his Words muft of Neceffity not be extended to every individual Chriftian, but limited to fome of all Kinds, viz. fome Jewish and fome Gentile Converts. For if the words be taken in the latitude which this Objection fuppofes, they will then prove, that thofe Extraordinary Gifts of the Holy Ghoft,the promife of which the Apostle there fpeaks of, were to be conferred upon all Christians whatfoever, that should be called in the Afterages of Chriftianity; whereas I obferve
in the next place, that the Baptifm with the Holy Ghoft, or Effufion of the Extraordinary Gifts of the Holy Ghoft, is now adaies wholly ceafed. The Defign of Almighty God in pouring forth the Holy Spirit in fuch a plentiful manner in the primitive Times, was to convince the World of the Truth of the Miffion of the Apoftles, to furnish them with fuch Credentials, as evidently proved that they were infpired of God, and ought to be received as his Ambaffadors. This Defign was fully anfwered in the beginnings of Chriftianity; and accordingly, when the Gospel was fpread and received, and had taken root in the World, then Miracles began to ceafe, and they are now vanished away. Whereas the Baptifm mentioned, and confequently commanded in this Text, is confeffed by our Adverfaries themfelves to be a perpetual Baptifm; a Baptifm that must remain as there is a Church upon the Earth, as long as the Religion of Chrift fhall be profeffed 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 Ghoft, because they do receive, are made partakers of, born of, and filled with the Holy Gholt, &c. I answer, that a Man may enjoy all thefe Bleflings and Privileges without being baptized with the Holy Ghoft. 'Tis true, whofoever is baptized with the Holy Ghoft, does alfo receive, is made partaker of, born of, and filled with the Holy Ghoft, &c. but it does not follow from thence, that whofo-, ever does receive, is made partaker of, born of, and filled with the Holy Ghoft, is also baptized with it.
For, as I have already faid, the Gifts of the Holy Ghost are twofold, ordinary or extraordinary. The Ordinary Gifts of the Holy Ghost are thofe, whereby we are fanctified and renewed in the inner Man; thofe wherewith we are affifted and comforted in the Performance of our Duty to God, our Neighbors, and our Selves; thofe whereby we are enabled to work out our Salvation with fear and trembling, perfecting holiness in the Fear of God; in fhort, they are thofe whereby we are impowered to do all fuch things as are neceffary to the Salvation of our own Souls. But the Extraordinary Gifts of the Holy Ghost are those, whereby we are enabled to perform (not neceffary and ftanding Duties, but) Wonders and Miracles, in order (not to our own Salvation, but) the Benefit and Advantage of others. A Man cannot be juft, temperate, chaft, &c. without the Ordinary Gift and Communication of God's Spirit: but he may practise all thofe Graces of Juftice, Temperance, Chaftity, &c. without the Extraordinary Gift or Communication of God's Spirit, whereby the Apostles and primitive Chriftians were enabled to raise the Dead, fpeak with Tongues, heal the Sick, &c.
Thus then it appears, that every good Chriftian does receive the Holy Ghoft, is made partaker of it, born of it, filled with it, &c, in an Ordinary, but not in an Extraordinary Manner. Now I have fhewn, that Baptifm with the Holy Ghoft does in the Holy Scriptures, conftantly denote the Extraordinary Communication of the Spirit. And confequently, the true and only Baptifm with the Holy Ghoft (in the Scripture-fenfe of the Phrafe) is now adaies wholly ceafed, notwithstanding the prefent Ordinary Communication of God's Spirit to his Servants.
From what has been faid, it is very plain, that the Baptifm mentioned and commanded in this Text, cannot be the Baptifm with the Holy Ghoft; because the Baptifm with the Holy Ghost, that is, the Effufion of the Extraordinary Gifts of the Holy Ghoft, never was univerfal, and it is wholly ceafed, not only now adaies, but these many hundreds of Years; and we have not the leaft reafon to believe, that it will ever be granted to the Church of Chrift again.
But farther, altho it fhould be granted, (in fpight. of thofe evident proofs of the Contrary, which I have already given) that those who are endued with none but the Ordinary Gifts of the Holy Ghoft, are in the Scripture fenfe of that phrafe, baptiz'd with the Holy Ghoft; yet the one Baptifm here mentioned and commanded, cannot be Baptifm with the Holy Ghoft notwithstanding. For let us confider the Context, The Apoftle faies, endevoring to keep the Unity of the Spirit in the Bond of Peace. There is one Body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one Hope of your Calling, one Lord, one Faith, one Baptifm, one God and Father of all, &c. Eph.4.3.4, 5, 6. In these words the Apoftle perfuades them to Peace and Unity, from the Confideration of their being Members of one Body, partaking of one Spirit, having one Hope, worshiping one Lord, profeffing one Faith, partaking of one Baptifm, &c.
Now 'tis very plain, that the one Spirit, which the Apoftle here mentions, cannot fignify one Dif pofition of Mind. For then he wou'd perfuade them to unity of Spirit from this very Confideration, that they had already that one Spirit or Unity thereof. Wherefore the one Spirit mult denote, either the one Holy Spirit of God, viz. what