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our Bleffed Lord, who after his Refurrection and Afcenfion fent his Spirit upon his Holy Apoftles, giving them thereby a Commiffion to preach his Gospel, and doe Miracles in his Name) He fhall caufe to be made an Image of the first Beaft who had the deadly Wound, and by his great Magical Power fhall make it live and fpeak, i. e. perhaps caufe fome Evil Spirit to inhabit it and give Oracles from it; who fhall command all that will not worship it to be put to Death. v. 15. This Image might probably be in this refpect reprefented by the Image which was fet up by the King of Babylon. Dan. 3. as Irenæus afferts it was upon another, viz. the Number,it being 60 Cubits high, and 6 broad. Iren. Lib. 5. Cap. 29.
S. 14 AND as the Mystery of Iniquity The Oppo- fhall thus work, fo it is probable there fition that fhall be fhall be a proportionable Oppofition made made by by fome who fhall be anointed to be as the theChurch. Firft Fruits of the Kingdom of the Lamb, and who before they are gather'd into one Body, as they fhall be afterwards, may bear their Teftimony in both thefe Regi ons (perhaps in the two Cities of Babylon or Rome, and Jerufalem) against the Blafphemous Ufurpations of the Antichriftian Beafts. Thefe fhall be fuch who having been long exercifed in the Difcipline and Patience of the Crofs, fhall before the Appearance of Antichrift be fo_perfected, as to be qualifi'd to receive the Everlafting Gofpel, which fhall be preach'd to all Nations,
Nations. This we are to understand, Rev.
High P. 5.
High Office, and qualify to bear it, fhall probably be chofen here and there one out of all Nations and People whom the Spirit of Wisdom fhall inftruct and teach, enter into them, and fully poffefs them, making them thereby Friends of God, and Prophets, Wifd. 7. 14, 27. at firft she will walk with them by crooked ways, and bring Fear and Dread upon them, and torment them with her Discipline, until she may trust their Souls, and try them by her Laws; then will fhe return the ftraight way unto them, and fhew them her Secrets. Eccluf. 4. 17, 18. And from this Divine Teaching and Wisdom these Perfons are frequently in the Prophet Daniel, called the Wife, and Men of underftanding, and thofe that know their God, Dan. 11. 35. 12. 3, 10. 11. 32. and as they fhall go forth in the Spirit of Wifdom, fo fhall they alfo in the Spirit of Power, being accomplished with the high graduated Gifts of the Holy Ghoft. For to them alfo does the Great Charter of the Apoftles extend, Mark 16. 17, 18. that they shall caft out Devils, They shall Speak with New Tongues, they shall take up Serpents, and if they drink any Deadly Thing it shall not hurt them, &c. For it is not faid that thefe Signs fhould follow the Apostles, but in general all them that believe, i. e. who have the fame Faith that they had, according to what is faid Mat. 21. 21, 22. Mark 11. 22, 23, 24. that all things are poffible to them, that believe. So alfo St.
St. Peter declares Acts. 2. 39. that the Promise,
S15. THIS is a Doctrine that will never A Digrefgo down with those who are wedded to fioh conthe commonly received Opinion, that the cerning the miraculous Powers and Gifts of the Holy Reftitution Ghost were appropriated to the Apoftles al Gifts, or the next fucceeding Age, looking up- and Miraon them indeed to be no better than the culous Infant Supports of a rifing Church, things proper to gain Refpect and Authority to new Doctrines and the Preachers of a new Religion, but not at all neceffary for times of greater Perfection and Improvement, fuch as came afterwards, when the Truths of Chriftianity were fufficiently fettled, and generally believed; much lefs can they be neceffary for these Days of Light and Wisdom, for us who live under fuch a Difpenfation, which, fome would have us believe to be as Perfect, both as to Doctrine and Difcipline, as any thing can be on this fide Heaven.
From the Scriptures.
This is a common and prevailing Opinion, which deferves a very particular Examination, too long for this Place; I fhall therefore only make two or three Remarks upon it, and return to my Subject.
I. ŠT. Paul, Eph. 4.8, 9, 10, 11, 12. afferts that the various Gifts and Difpenfations of the Spirit given by our Lord after his Afcenfion, which were those before mention'd out of St. Mark 16. 17. with the other, whereby they were diftinguished into Apoftles, Prophets, Evangelifts, Paftors and Teachers, were given, for the Perfecting of the Saints, for the Work of the Miniftry, for the edifying of the Body of Chrift, till we all come in the Unity of the Faith, and of the Knowledge of the Son of God, unto a Perfect Man, unto the Measure of the Stature of the Fulness of Chrift, &c. i. e. as the fucceeding Verfes explain it. The End of these Gifts and Powers was the gathering and compleating a perfect Church upon Earth; which is a Doctrine of Scripture of fingular use in things of this Nature. Now can any one fhew me when this End was attained? When and where was this Perfection of the Saints? When did all come in the Unity of the Faith and Knowledge of the Son of God unto a Perfect Man? and yet it has pleafed God to fufpend these Means, thefe Powers are ceafed. What fhall we fay then? that God determin'd an End which he could not accomplish, or pitch'd upon Means difproportionable to the End propos'd? God forbid! The