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the true Meffiah.
atheists? And yet it is evident, that thro' prejudice many of them rejected our Lord; putting him to open shame, and a bloody death: But when Peter preached Christ on the day of Pentecoft, they at first believed on him with a true, tho' not with a luminous faith.
This appears from the anguish, which they felt upon being charged with having sain the prince of life. No man in his senses can be pricked to the heart merely for having had a hand in the juft punishment of an impoftor, and a blasphemer, who makes himself equal with God.
If therefore keen remorse pierced the heart of those penitent Jews, it is evident, that they looked no more upon Christ as an impostor, but already believed in him as
No sooner had they thus passed from faith in the Father to an explicit faith in the Son, but they cried out, What shall we do? And Peter directed them to make by baptism an open, solemn profession of their faith in Christ, and to believe the great promise concerning the Holy Ghost. The promife is unto you, said he: Be baptized, EVERY ONE OF you, in the name of Jesus Chrift for the remiffion of fins; and ye [every one of you] Jhall receive the gift of the Holy Ghoft. And upon their gladly receiving the word ; i. e. upon their heartily believing the promise relating to pardon and to the Comforter ; and, no doubt, upon their fervently-praying, that it might be fulfilled in them; they were filled with the spirit : all their hearts overflowed with righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
St. Peter speaking (A&s xi.) of a similar out-pouring of the Spirit, fays, The Holy Ghost fell on them (Gentiles] as on us [Jews) at the beginring. Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water them that entered his dispensation, but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost, when you shall enter the full dispensation of my Spirit:- God, adds Peter, gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Chrift.
And when the apostles heard these things, they glorified God; not indeed by shouting, “Then hath God given the Gentiles power to speak Arabic :" but by saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repent. ance unto life, according to the fulness of the Chris tian dispensation.
That this dispensation of the Holy Ghost, this coming of Christ's spiritual kingdom with power, is attended with an uncommon degree of sanctifying grace, is acknowledged by all : And that the gist of tongues, &c. which at first on fome occasions, and in fome persons, accompanied the baptism of the spirit, for a Ggn to bigoted Jews, or to ftupid Heathens--that such a gift, I say, was a temporary ap. pendage, and by no means an effential part of Christ's spiritual baptism, is evident from the merely fpiritual effect, which the receiving of the Holy Ghost had upon the penitent Jews, who, being
born of water and of the Spirit, pressed after the apostles into the kingdom of God on the day of Pentecost.
• Even in the infancy of the church,' [says an eminent divine] · God divided those' [miraculous]“ gifts
with a sparing hand. Were all even then prophets? • Were all workers of miracles? Had all the gifts of • healing ? Did all speak with tongues? No, in no• wise. Perhaps not one in a thousand. Probably 6 none but the teachers of the church, and only some 6 of them. It was therefore for a more excellent
purpose than this, that they the brethren and apostles) were all filled with the Holy Ghost. It was • to give them (what none can deny to be essential • to all Christians in all ages) the mind which was in • Christ, those holy fruits of the spirit, which, who• soever has not, is none of his; to fill them with 6 love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness.”
* It is very remarkable, that altho' 3000 converts received the gift of the Holy Ghost on the memorable day, in which Christ opened the dispensation of his spirit, no mention is made of so much as one of them working a fengle miracle, or speaking with one new
tongue. But the greatest, and most beneficial of miracles was wrought upon them all : For, all that believed, says St. Luke, were together; continuing daily with one accord in the temple, breaking bread from house to house, eating their meat with gladness and fingleness of heart, praising God, and having favour with all the people, by their humble, affectionate, angelical behaviour. Or, as the same historian expresses it, Ads iv. 32, The multitude of them that believed-spoke Greek and Latin !-No, but-were of one heart, and of one foul: neither faid any of them, that ought of the things which he posessed was his own : but they had all things common : having been made perfect in one, agreeably to our Lord's deep prayer, recorded by St. John: Neither pray I for these [my disciples] alone, but for Them also, who shall believe on me thro' their word, That they may be one: -I in them by my spirit, and thou in me, that they may be made PERFECT IN