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Darkness, and the Moon into Bloud, before the great and terrible day of the Lord come. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord fhall be deliver'd. v. 30, 31, 32. These words do evidently relate to the Deftruation of Jerufalem, and that remarkable efcape therefrom which the Chriftians fhould make; and they are exactly parallel to Matt. 24. 16, &c. 29, &c. Mark 13. 14, &c. 24, &c. Luke 21. 11, 20, &c. wherein the fame difmal overthrow, and the delivery of the Chriftians, are foretold. This prophecy therefore is limited to that very time, and cannot be extended beyond the Destruction of Jerufalem; and confequently our Adverfaries cannot prove from hence, that every true Chriftian does enjoy immediate Revelation, or may lay claim to any thing promifed therein.
And accordingly St. Peter affures us, that Joels words were verifyed in that plentifull effufion of the Extraordinary Gifts of the Holy Ghoft on the day of Pentecoft, Acts 2. 17. when the Gift of Tongues, and of working Miracles, &c. were beftowed on the Church. And confequently the Gift of Tongues, and of working Miracles, &c. were as certainly promifed in thefe Words of Joel, as immediate Revelation. So that, ifall true Chriftians may lay claim to immediate Revelation, by virtue of Gods promise made by Joel; then they may for the fame reafon lay claim alfo to the Gift of Tongues, and of working Miracles, &c.
But will our Adverfaries dare to fay, that all true Chriftians can now adaies fpeak with Tongues, work Miracles, &c. Thefe words therefore, as I have already faid, muft relate to that space of time, between the beginning of the Gofpel and the Deftruction
Deftruction of Jerufalem; and confequently the promifes contained therein cannot poffibly belong to all true Chriftians in general.
If it be objected, that God promises to pour out his Spirit upon all flesh; I answer, that the Words all flesh must be understood in a limited fenfe, and fignify all forts, or all manner of flesh. Thus the Word All frequently fignifies in Scripture. For inftance, our Savior healed (πᾶσαν νόσον καὶ πᾶσαν madagar) all sickness and all Diseases, that is, as our tranflation has it, all manner of fickness and all manner of Difease, Matt. 4. 23. Thus alfo in the Sheet which St. Peter faw let down from Heaven, there were (vru reinoda) all four-footed beafts, or as we read it, all manner of four-footed beafts, Acts. 10. 12. Nay, Mr. (a) Barclay himself faies, that ALL fometimes is taken with a restriction, I deny And accordingly, by all flefb in this place is meant, not every individual Perfon, but only fome Perfons of each Nation. In this fenfe was the Prophecy fulfilled in thofe early times. For fome Perfons of every Nation under Heaven, where the Gospel was planted, had the Spirit poured out upon them, and did partake of fome one or more of the Extraordinary Gifts of it.
19. St. Paul faies, But what faith it? The Word is nigh thee, even in thy Mouth, and in thy Heart, that is, the Word of Faith which we preach, Rom. 10. 8. From hence our Adverfaries conclude, that God teaches Chriftians by Immediate Revelation. Because the Word of Faith is faid to be in the Mouth and Heart of a Chriftian. But if the context be confider'd, the weakness of this objection will easily appear. For no fooner had the Apo
(a) Apol. Vindic. Sect. 7. p. 804.
Ale quoted Dent. 30. 14. faying, But what faith it? that is, that Holy Scripture in which 'tis written that the Word is nigh thee, even in thy Mouth, and in thy Heart; and told us, that that Scripture is to be understood of the Word of Faith which we preach: but he adds in the very next words, That if thou shalt confefs with thy Month the Lord Jefus, and fhalt believe in thine Heart, that God hath raised him from the Dead, that fhalt be faved, v. 9.and he gives this reafon in the following verfe, for with the Heart Man believeth unto Righteousness, and with the Mouth Confeffion is made unto Salvation, v. 10. From whence it is manifeft, that a Mans having the Word of Faith in his Mouth does here fignify his Confeffing it; and that his having it in his Heart fignifies his believing it. And a Man may both believe and confefs the Word of Faith, without an immediate Revelation of it; as has been already proved.
20. The next Argument is built upon Col. 1. 23. Where the Apoftle faies, that the Gofpel was preached & day rỹ xlod, that is, fay our Adverfaries, not to every Creature, as our Translation reads it, but in every Creature; and confequently 'tis preached by an immediate Revelation of it to their Minds. But to this I answer, that the preaching here mentioned is not an inward manifeftation of the Gospel to their Soul, but an outward declaration of it to their bodily Ears. For, 1. 'Twas fuch as they had heard, as the Apoftle affures them in the fame Verfe, and confequently 'twas the Preachers Speech to them. 2. the word nguose, which is here used, fignifies to preach or declare with the Voice. Thus the Apostles are frequently faid (unguose) to preach the Gospel,
that is, by a Vocal Declaration of it. Nor can our Adverfaries produce fo much as one fingle inftance, where xnguas fignifies to make a thing known by immediate Revelation.
And as for the prepofition & which is the only ftrength of this Argument, it alwaies fignifies among or to, when 'tis join'd with xngue. Thus 2. Cor. 1. 19. For the Son of God Jesus Christ, who was preached (ciui) among you by us, even by me and Silvanus, and Timotheus, &c. again, I went up by Revelation, and communicated unto them that Gospel, which I preach (crois rea) among the Gentiles, Gal. 2.2. You fee the Apostles and other Perfons did preach &, that is, not in Men by immmediate Revelation, but among them, or to them, viz. by fpeaking to them. And according ly in this place the Gospel is said to be preached ¿ micỹ rỹ xl'ce, not in, but to every Creature, or among all Mankind.
If it be objected, that the Gospel is the Power of God unto Salvation, Rom. 1. 16. and confequently 'tis not an outward, but an inward thing, which must be inwardly preached by Immediate Revelation; I anfwer, that tho' the Gofpel be what St. Paul calls it, yet it may be declared and made known to be the Power of God unto Salvation, by the voice of Man. For why may not outward words declare or make known that Truth? The effect indeed must be wrought upon the heart of believers, before it can avail to their Eternal Happinefs; but the notice of it may be communicated to their understandings by an outward Voice; as well as by an immediate Manifeftation of the Spirit of God. Nay farther, the Apostles are oftentimes faid to preach the Gofpel. Now the Apoftles could not preach by vouchfafing immediate Revelation
Revelation to their Hearers; and confequently, tho' the Gofpel be the Power of God unto Salvation, yet it may be outwardly preached.
If it be objected alfo, that the Words every Creature are so very comprehenfive, as to include every individual Perfon in the Whole World; and confequently, that if the Gospel was then preached to every Creature, then it was then preached to every individual Perfon in the Whole World: whereas every individual Perfon in the Whole World had not then heard the outward preaching of the Gospel, and therefore the preaching here meant, and which was then vouchfafed to every individual Perfon in the World, must be immediate Revelation; I fay, if this be objeeted, I anfwer, that the Words every Creature must be understood in a limited fenfe, and do fignify, not every individual Perfon then living in the World, but only a great number of Perfons of Different Nations, or all forts of Perfons, viz. both Jews and Gentiles. Now Mr. Barclay himself(b) confeffes that the Word Every is not taken alwaies univerfally. But I fhall prove the fame by feveral parallel texts of Scripture.
For inftance, Chrift faies to his Apoftles, Go ye into all the World, and preach the Gospel to every Creature, Mark. 16. 15. And we need not doubt, but that the Apoftles perform'd this Command in the fame fenfe in which Chrift gave it. But did the Apoftles preach the Gofpel in every corner of the World, and to every individual Person in it? 'Tis confeffed on all hands, that they did not. Wherefore all the World and every Creature do not
(b) Quakerifm confirmed, Sect. 1. p. 609.