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very Spirit," or the Holy Ghost; at ver. 44,“ While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell upon all them which heard the word, and they of the circumcision which believed, were astonished, because that upon the Gentiles was also poured out the gifts of the Holy Ghost,” In one verse it is said, “They received the Holy Ghost;" and in the next, they “received the gift of the Holy Ghost.” “ For they heard them speak with tongues and magnifying God: then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost ? ” Yet notwithstanding, before, it is said, the gift of the Holy Ghost was poured out upon them. So that here the gift of the Holy Ghost is called the Holy Ghost. And so I take that place in Heb. vi. to be understood, concerning wicked men that do fall away: it is said, “ They are made partakers of the Holy Ghost;" that is, the gifts of the Holy Ghost : for in those times the Holy Ghost appeared by sensible gifts, and it is usual to put the sign for the thing signified. But now, that these gifts should be raised up to such a title as this, to be called the Holy Ghost, it argues that there is a great deal of excellency in these gifts, in spiritual gifts.
They are the purchase of Christ, the fruits of his ascension; some of those talents which that great Lord left unto his servants, when he went into a far country; they are better than all gold and silver in the world, for if you had all the gold and silver of both Indies, you had but natural gifts, but these gifts are spiritual.
It is an excellent thing for a man to be able to do good to others : this is the end of gifts; they are, as the schools speak, in ordine ad alium, they are given for others' good; they are to profit with, saith the apostle. The sun is an excellent creature; why? because he doth good to others : so, many are, by these spiritual gifts, enabled to do good to others; they are those vessels, which grace and holiness being embarked in, is transported into others' souls. Though there be excellent commodities in other countries, yet if you have not shipping to transport them, you are not the better for them; therefore you say, there is a great use of shipping, thereby such and such rare commodities are transported: so, by these gifts, that grace and goodness that grows in one man's heart, is transported into another's, carried into another's soul. “ He hath given gifts," saith the apostle, “ for the edifying of the body of Christ,” Eph. iv. If you cannot reach a book off the shelf, you take a stool, and standing upon that stool, you are able to reach down the book: the stool are these gifts; grace alone many times cannot reach down such a notion in divinity, as it is able to do by the help of gifts. Dona dantur in adjutorium gratia : gifts are given for the help of grace, they are the handmaids of grace, and they bring forth sweetly upon the knees of grace.
Again, That must needs be excellent, that is able to add a further excellency unto that which is the most excellent. You say ordinarily, that if a worse thing be added unto a better, the better is defiled; as if water be added unto wine, the wine is corrupted; if lead be added unto silver, the silver is defiled ; if silver be added unto gold, the gold is debased; and so the better is defiled by the worser. But now grace is the greatest excellency in the world, yet add gifts unto grace, and grace
itself is made the more excellent and beautiful: for as the temple did sanctify the gold, but the gold did beautify the temple; so though grace do sanctify gifts, yet gifts do beautify grace. Now grace being the greatest beauty under heaven, and gifts putting a further beauty upon that which is the most beautiful, what doth this argue, but that there is abundance of excellency and beauty in spiritual gifts.
Thirdly, But then, if there be such an excellency in gifts, in spiritual gifts, wherein is grace and love more excellent? Wherein lies the excellency of grace and love, beyond the excellency of gifts ?
Concerning love first. Love is not an empty thing, the voice and sound of love is not an uncertain sound, or an empty voice; but saith the apostle here, i Cor. xiii., “Though I speak with the tongue of men and angels, and have not love, I am become as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal.” A man's heart may be purged from grosser sins, and he may be garnished with parts and gifts, and yet his soul left empty for Satan to return into again, as you read in that xiith of Matthew; but grace and love is a filling thing, yea, saith the apostle, chap. xiii. 8, “ Love (or charity) never fails,” but it continues, it is that garment that never waxeth old; but gifts do, and are soon threadbare. Though these gifts are
fine sweet flowers, yet therewithal the mower filleth not his hand; a gracious heart cannot be satisfied with gifts alone, gifts alone are not able to satisfy, love and grace doth. But wherein doth love work beyond gifts ? Saith the apostle here, I will tell you, chap. xiii. 4, “ Love is not easily provoked;" better read thus, Love is slow to anger; parts and gifts are not so. But a man may be slow to anger, and yet not kind and bountiful. True, but “ love is kind,” or bountiful, as the word bears it, gifts are not so. The apostle speaks of the effects of love in opposition to parts and gifts all along. Love, saith he, is slow to anger, and is kind, or bountiful. Aye, but though a man be kind or bountiful, yet notwithstanding he may envy at the good of others. True, if he have parts and gifts only; but love, true love, that envies not. Aye, but though a man do not envy at the good of others, yet he may not consider the wants of others. True, but love will, for in the next words, “Charity (or love) vaunteth not,” so you read it, but according to the greek, rather, “ Love is not light,” or inconsiderate, but considers, and weigheth all things. Aye, but though you do all this, yet notwithstanding a man may be proud when he hath done. True, if he have gifts alone, but “ love is not puffed up,” is not swelled or blown and filled with wind as the bellows are; at the 5th verse, saith he, “ Love doth not behave itself unseemly.” This may be understood two ways, saith Peter Martyr; love will do no unseemly thing, or, love counts nothing unseemly for the person loved. Our Saviour Christ washed his disciples' feet: one would think it an unseemly thing for the Lord and Master to do this for the servants, but he loved them, and love counts nothing unseemly for the person loved. Judas comes and betrays his Master with a kiss, this was an unseemly thing; Judas had parts and gifts, but he had not love, and therefore he did an unseemly thing. Love doth not behave itself unseemly, that is, it doth no unseemly thing, and yet counts notling unseemly for the person loved. “ It seeks not her own,” in the next words, but the good of the person loved. “ Love is not easily provoked ;" the words rather to be read thus, “ Is not easily embittered,” or is not sharp, doth not speak bitter language; gifts and parts will. “ Love thinks no evil;" that follows : and at verse 6, “ It rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the
truth." “ It rejoiceth not in iniquity;" the word is adukia,* injustice : “ It rejoiceth not in injustice, but it doth rejoice with the truth ;” συγχαίρει δε αληθεια ;f s0 the words are to be read, and that is thus : If a man be oppressed, love cannot rejoice in his oppression ; but if a man be freed and delivered from his oppression, and the truth heard and known, love rejoiceth with such a man when the truth is discovered; it rejoiceth not in injustice, but rejoiceth with the truth when that comes to light. Well, but suppose all this, yet notwithstanding a man may labour under some sintul infirmities, &c., what will love do then ? “Love beareth all things," verse 7. But the words should be otherwise translated; for as you read them, “ Love beareth all things ;" what difference will there be between that clause and the latter of that verse, “ Endureth all things, it bears all things,” &c.?! Here is no difference. The words, therefore, should be read thus: “ It covereth all things.” So the greek word, Teyw, signifies properly, to cover : it is the same word that is used ordinarily in the New Testament to that purpose. Mark ii. 4, “ They uncovered the roof of the house,” &c. The roof, or the covering, is the same word that is used here, and so, “ love covereth all things ;” though men have many infirmities, yet true love will cover them all : and “ it believeth all things;" though a man have done that which is evil in itself, yet love believes he had a good intention in the doing of it, for it believeth all things; and though a man go very far in sin, yet if another have love, he hopeth that God will bring him back again, for “ love hopeth all things, it covers all things, it believeth all things, it hopeth all things;" and if another do me wrong, if I have love I shall bear that too, for “ love endureth all things.” But, now, will gifts and parts do these things? Surely no; gifts and parts will not bear all things, cover all things, believe all things, hope all things, endure all things. Aye, but love doth, and love will, and therefore here is a greater excellency in the way of love than in the way of gifts; and if love do outshoot gifts in their own bow, then certainly there is a greater excellency in love than in all gifts. Now if you look into 1 Cor. viii., you shall find χαίρει επι τη αδικια.
* Συγχαίρει δε τη αληθεια.
† * Δωμα et στεγη ita distinguuntur quod δωμα sit summa cdium pars στεγη notat tabulatum του δωμαίος.
that it is said concerning love, that it edifies ;" knowledge puffeth up, but charity (or love) edifies.” Knowledge, that is, the gift of knowledge, doth puff us up. The end of gifts is edification ; it is the proper work of gifts to edify; yet, saith the apostle, love edifies ; comparing love and gifts together, he shews that love edifies rather than gifts. Now, I say, if that love do thus outshoot gifts in their own bow, then certainly there is a great deal more excellency in love than in all gifts, though they be never so great. Thus concerning love.
And concerning grace and holiness in the general. Grace and holiness is the proper and natural effect of the Spirit, as I may so speak. Gifts are, opus ad extra. You shall find that voluntary and rational agents have a twofold effect: a man begets a child like himself, that is a natural effect; then he makes a stool, or a hat, or a ship, this is not a natural effect, this is an artificial effect: so God the Father, he made the world, there is opus ad extra : but he begat his Son, and the Son is of the Father, so the Holy Ghost hath a twofold effect. The proper and the natural effect of the Holy Ghost is grace, but the opus ad extra is gifts. Grace and holiness is the proper effect of the Holy Ghost, and therefore the apostle Paul speaking of love, joy, peace, and of other particular graces, saith, they are “ the fruits of the Spirit,” Gal. v. 22. “ But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, gentleness, goodness, faith,” &c.
Again, Sin and corruption will not so easily plant upon grace as upon gifts; pride and corruption will more easily plant upon gifts than upon grace; gifts do sooner gather filth and sooner rust than grace doth. Saith the apostle in that place I named even now. “ Knowledge puffeth up, but love edifies;" he speaks of knowledge as of a gift; now saith he, “ Knowledge, that puffeth up." But how can knowledge, or how can any spiritual gift puff one up? Can that which is the fruit or the effect of the Spirit of God puff one up? No, but occasionally it can, and it will occasionally. So, you will say, grace itself doth, for a man may be proud of his grace as well as he may be proud of his gifts. It is very true. I remember that speech of Mr. Fox, Sometimes, said he, I get hurt by my graces, and sometimes I get good by my sins; for by my sins I am made more humble, and by my grace I am