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Early Apoftatizing of the Church from her firft Love, and the gradual Progrefs of that Apoftacy, made God abhor his Sanctuary, and withdraw thofe vifible Tokens of his Prefence; and among the Jews the fufpenfion of thefe miraculous Powers was conftantly looked upon as a Mark of the Divine Displeasure. Thus Exod 33.3, 5. God refufes to go up with the People because of their Iniquities, which cannot be understood of his general Prefence, who is every where, and filleth all things, but of his fpecial miraculous Care and Protection of them. So when Joshua humbled himself before God, for the Defeat of Ifrael by the Men of Ai, Josh. 7. 12. God tells him the Reason, and threatens him to be with them no more, unless they did destroy the Accurfed Thing from among them. To mention no more, when the Angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon in his Threshing-floor with this Salutation, The Lord is with thee; Thou mighty Man of Valour. Jud. 6. 12. His Anfwer was, Oh my Lord! if the Lord be with us, why is all this befaln us (viz. the Oppreffion of the Madianites)? and where are all his Miracles which our Fathers told us of, fuch as the Deliverance out of Egypt, &c.? As if he had faid, the fufpending his wonted miraculous Protection of us, is a fufficient Mark of his Indignation. And I cannot but think that the wife Compilers of our Excellent Liturgy, had this in their Thoughts, when after thofe moving words, Pfal. 44. 1.
O God, we have heard with our ears, &c. The Church devoutly adds, by way of Confidence in the former Mercies of God, O Lord arife, help, and deliver us for thine Honour. II. IT was the Opinion of many of the Ancients. Fathers, (not to fay the Doctrine of the Catholick Church, which the Learned Mr. Dodwell afferts, Differt. Cyprian, p. 12. § 10.) that Miracles, or the Gifts of the Holy Ghoft, would always accompany the Catholick Church, and by confequence were. never to cease, unless (which was hinted by many of their Expreffions) there fhould be wanting fit Perfons to receive and execute
Lib. 3. those great Commiffions. Irenaus*,fpeaking
cont.Haref. of the Gifts of the Spirit, fays, They were a Treasure depofited by God in the Church;
Ach Spirit, he says, is the Principle of Di
vine Life and Energy in the Church, even as the Soul to the Natural Body; adding,
God has placed in the Church Apoftles, Prophets, Teachers, and all the other Gifts of the Spirit, which all they are not PartaC kers of who are out of its Communion ; (plainly intimating, that the Faithful were Partakers:) For (a little after) where the Church is, there is the Spirit of God; and where the Spirit of God is, there is the Church, and all Graces (or Spiritual Gifts, as the Word fignifies.) Origen alfo †, fpeaking of the Jews, fays, "They had no Prophets among them after the Coming of our Bleffed Saviour. For they were forfaken by God, after they had rejected him whom the Prophets foretold: But thefe Powers, • revived
Lib. 7. cont. Celfum, p.
revived again at the Preaching of Jefus, and much more after his Affumption; then they decreased again: But there are still fome Footsteps of them remaining among a few Perfons, whofe Souls are purified by the Word of God, and whofe Actions are conformable. For (as he goes on) The Holy Spirit of Difcipline will flee Deceit, and remove from Thoughts that are without Understanding, Wifd. 1. 5. Eufebius †, di-t Eccl.Hift. fputing against the Montanifts, has this Paffage: If (as the Montanifts tell us) after Quadratus and Ammianus Philadelphus, thefe Women of Montanus fucceeded in the Gift of Prophecy; let them fhew us who shall fucceed them, for the Apostle teaches us, that the Gift of Prophecy must continue in the Church till the Second Coming of our Lord; which, left any fhould interpret only of the ordinary minifterial Succeffion, as it has been expounded, I fhall produce another Paffage (Lib. 5. Cap. 7.) where, after he had quoted a Paffage out of Irenæus, concerning the continuance of Miracles to his time, adds, That these different aeiouala (a very comprehenfive Word) were exercifed even in his own times παρα τοῖς ἀξίοις, by thofe that were worthy to receive them. Many other Teftimonies might be produced, which I fhall omit, excepting only one out of Cardinal Cajetan's Commentary upon Aquinas *. Speaking of the gratia grada.ada. tis date, he puts a Quefton, why the Gift Quest. of Tongues is not continued in the Church? To this, fays he, 1. St. Augustin anfwers,
That the Gospel hath been preach'd among áll Nations. This Anfwer he rejects as unfatisfactory, and contrary to the Knowledge and Experience of that time. 2. That being of the Number of the gratiæ gratis data, which were by them conceiv'd to be given to Men without any regard to the moral or natural Difpofition of the Receivers, it must be refolved entirely into the arbitrary Pleasure of God, who divides them feverally to every Man, according to his good Pleafure: But neither does this Anfwer fatisfie him. He adds, The chief and great Reafon feems to be our lukewarmnefs, and neglecting to fulfil that Command of our Lord, of praying the Lord of the Harveft to fend more Labourers into his Harveft. To which, fays he, may be added, the want of Piety, particularly in the Prelates, or Governors of the Church, whofe Iniquities make them uncapable of receiving thofe Graces; for it is plain, that thofe Graces are not regularly beftow'd on those who unqualifie themselves for the receiving them, though they are not given upon the Score of Merit. So the Marriage - Conversation rendred even the Prophets themselves uncapable of receiving the Influences of the Spirit. Thus far this Great Man. But to return to our Subject from whence we have made
fition be this (I hope not unprofitable) Digreffion. $16: LET us here contemplate a little Chriftian the Oppofition that the Holy Scripture and Anti-feems to make between the Antichriftan chriftian
Company and the Followers of the Lamb, according to the different Characters and Denominations by which they are diftinguifhed to us. First then, answerable to Babylon in the Weft, the great Whore, the Mo ther of Harlots, Rev. 17. 1,5. is the Woman in the Wilderness, bringing forth the Man-child, that was to rule all Nations with the Rod of Iron, Rev. 12. as the being in the Wilderness or Solitude, is opposed to being in the City. Answerable to the Worfhippers of the Image of the Beast in the East, Rev.13.15. are those that Worship in the Temple, Rev. II. I. The Beaft and Falfe Prophet are opposed by the Two Witneffes, Rev. 11. 3. The Hundred Forty and Four Thousand that receive the Mark of the Lamb upon Mount-Sion, Rev. 14. ftand in Oppofition to those who receive the Mark of the Beaft, Rev. 13. 16. And all thefe, no doubt, with a peculiar regard to fome particular Marks and Signatures, according to the arch-typal or myftical Order of Scripture Names and Characters; all which we must be content to be ignorant of, till the Spirit that fearcheth the deep Things of God, fhall be pleafed to reveal them to us.
§ 17. OUR laft View of Antichrift was, Antichrift as triumphing at Rome; we fee him next the Eaft, invading with his Magical Army marching to invade and the the East. This Tranflation of his Govern- Prophecy of ment is attefted by Irenaus; as alfo by Joel exLactantiust, in these remarkable Words: plain'd in The Government fhall again return into Lib. 5. Afia; the Eaft fhall govern, and the Weft Cap. 30.