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of it. If therefore it was extant in his time, it was very obscure, and in little or no credit. Nor do we at all want it for explaining the epistle to the Hebrews.
Once more, Mr. Hallet, as you observe, affirms, that • they who were tortured not accepting deliverance, ver. 35, • and they who were stoned, sawn asunder, &c. ver. 37, were the same persons.'
Whereas the text assures us, ver. 36, that they were not the same persons, but others.
But here you seem to me, partly, to mistake both St. Paul, and Mr. Hallet. The others are those next mentioned, who did not suffer death. And they are of four sorts. Some were exposed to “mockings, some to scourgings,” some to “ bonds,” some to“ imprisonment.” After which such are mentioned as suffered death ; of which also, according to our present reading, there are four sorts. They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword.” To these, and others, the apostle may refer. For there were many prophets and other good men, who suffered death among the Jewish people, who might have saved their lives by sinful compliances. See Neh. ix. 26; and 1 Kings xviii. xix. There were, particularly, many such patient and victorious sufferers, in the times of the two prophets, Elijah and Elisba, from whom the “ women," mentioned, ver. 35, “ received their dead raised to life again.” After which therefore the apostle adds, most beautifully, and agreeably to the force and elegance, for which this epistle is so remarkable: “ And others were put to death, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection,
I bave allowed myself to be very minute and particular in my answer to your remarks, considering the uncommonness of the subject; for which reason I hope it will be excused by yourself and others.
Mr. Hallet says, “ All the commentators agree in supposing, that the apostle bere refers to the histories in the
second book of the Maccabees. But perhaps he there allows more than he needed to do. Wolfius expresses himself in this cold and general manner: • There are,
who • think that there is here a reference to the seven brothers in • the Maccabees. Ad septem fratres Maccabcos respici, sunt, qui existiment.'
St. Chrysostom, in a homily upon part of this chapter, says, he thinks the persons here intended are John and • James ; for anotuunaviouos denotes beheading. They might . have lived longer; but they who bad raised up others to life, chose to die, that they might obtain a better resur
*rection. In Hebr. Hom. 27. tom. XII. p. 248. I do not think this interpretation to be right; for St. Paul refers to such as lived before the coming of Christ. But we hence discern, that Chrysostoin did not then think of the Maccabees, or that the apostle referred to them. Theophylact, following Chrysostom, says, they were beheaded,' ineaning Jolin, and James the son of Zebedee. But otbers by that word understand being beaten with clubs.
UPON THE PERSONALITY OF THE SPIRIT,
WRITTEN IN THE YEAR 1762, TO THE REV. MR. CALEB FLEMING.
SIR, YOU refer me to John xvi. 13, as a difficult text relating to the Personality of the Spirit. I must refer you to the letter written in 1730, p. 141, 145, and p. 148, 150.-At p. 141, that and other texts are proposed ; and in the same place follow explications of those texts sufficient to remove all difficulties.
Christ's promise of the spirit, and all his expressions made use of about it, as recorded in St. John's gospel, are explained in the Acts, where is the bistory of the accomplishinent. of all these promises. The fulfilment plainly shows, that by the spirit, to be sent, is meant an effusion of spiritual gifts of power, knowledge, and understanding.
Our Lord himself has explained it thus, John vii. 38, “ He that believeth on me, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” There is the plentiful effusion of knowledge, &c. It follows, ver. 39, “ But this he spake of the spirit, which they that believe on bim should receive; for the Holy Ghost was not yet (given,] because Jesus was not yet glorified.” Miraculous gifts are the spirit. That is what Christ promised when he spoke of the spirit. So Mark xvi. 17, 18,"" And these signs shall follow them that believe. In my name shall they cast out demons; they shall speak with tongues ; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” These are the “ living waters” promised, John vii. 38, which at ver. 39, are said to be the spirit.
Acts v. 32, is a remarkable text, and is explained in the above letter, p. 150, “ And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him :" that is, these are the miraculous gifts wbich God has bestowed upon us, and upon others, who believe in Jesus, &c. These miraculous gifts, bestowed upon believers, are the promised spirit, of which Christ told, John xv. 26, “ He shall testify of me." John xvi. 12; “ I have many things to say unto you,
but ye cannot bear them now." However, be easy, in a short time you shall be so illuminated from above, as to know all those things distinctly.
Ver. 13, “ How beit, when the spirit of truth is come,” or when the divine miraculous powers and gifts, which are to testify to the truth of my mission and doctrine, are poured out upon you, “ He will guide you into all truth." You will be enabled to understand every thing relating to the institution which God is setting up by me, &c. So we find, that gradually the apostles were able to speak properly to Jews and Gentiles, as they were instructed in the right manner of receiving the Gentiles, of which they had no notion, whilst Christ was with them, nor till after they were illuminated from above, after his ascension.
It is certain that the Holy Ghost is often mentioned as a gift or power plainly. These texts may enable us to understand others, if we will exercise our reason. Dr. Ward says, p. 159, that the term, the “ Holy Ghost," often denotes
power, cannot be questioned; as where the apostles and other christians at that time, are said to be filled with the Holy Ghost.
There are no wishes of peace from the Spirit at the beginning or ending of the apostolical epistles ; nor any where ascriptions of glory to the Spirit.
There are also other texts, leading us to think that the apostles knew not of any divine person under the name Spirit. If they had, he would have been mentioned by them. I Tim. v. 21, “ I charge thee, before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels." Rev. i. 4, 5, “ Grace from him, wbich is—and from the seven spirits before the throne, and from Jesus Christ.” Our Lord will “ come in the glory of the Father, with the holy angels.” How could the boly spirit be omitted in all these places, if
Jesus and bis apostles knew there was a divine Spirit equal to the Father, or nearly so ?
November 13, 1762.
Shall I add a few more thoughts upon the same subject ?
By the Holy Ghost is plainly meant, in divers places, a power, a gift, an effusion of spiritual gifts. Jobn vii. 39, * For the Holy Ghost was not yet given.” So we translate, supplying the sense. But the Greek is, “ for the Holy Ghost was not yet:” and so the Latin Vulgate, and Beza, nondum erat spiritus sanctus. In Dr. Jortin's Life of Erasmus, vol. I. p. 420, are some curious observations
that text. If by the Holy Ghost is to be understood a divine person, St. John would not say, that “ he did not exist yet.” Read also Acts xix. 1–19. There are twelve Jewish people who know not that there “ was any Holy Ghost.” The ineaning is, they did not know there was an effusion of spiritual gifts, in which they could partake. St. Paul laid bis hands upon them, and the “ Holy Ghost came on them, and they spake with tongues and prophesied.” Compare Acts x. 45; and xi. 15–17.
Our Lord has told us what he meant by the Comforter, Jobn xiv. 26,“ but the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost," meaning the miraculous knowledge and understanding which they should receive by inspiration,
“ The blasphemy against the Holy Ghost” is blaspheming the miraculous works which Christ did, or professed to do, by the power, or finger, or spirit of God. To ascribe those works to demons, or to Satan himself, was that blasphemy.
John xvi. 14, “ He shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you. This relates to some things of which Christ had spoken, but not fully, and wbich the disciples did not yet understand ; particularly the calling of the Gentiles, and the manner of receiving them. Says Christ, John X. 16,“ And other sheep I have which are not of this fold, them also I must bring.” And he several times said, that many should come from the east and the west-and the children of the kingdom be cast out. These things were explained afterwards to the disciples by divers miraculous manifestations, as we see in the Acts, chap. x. and elsewhere. And gradually, by such means, the disciples were led into “all truth," that is, every thing relating to the gospel institution.
November 22, 1762.
THE LATE DR. WARD'S DISSERTATIONS
SEVERAL PASSAGES OF THE SACRED SCRIPTURES.
WHEREIN "ARE SHOWN, BESIDE OTHER THINGS, THAT ST. JOHN COMPUTED THE HOURS OF THE DAY AFTER THE JEWISH MANNER; WHO ARE THE GREEKS, JOHN XII, WHO THE GRECIANS, ACTS VI. THE DESIGN OF THE APOSTOLIC DECREE, ACTS XV. THAT THERE WAS BUT ONE SORT OF JEWISH PROSELYTES : WHEREIN LAY THE FAULT OF ST. PETER, AND HOW
ST. PAUL MAY BE VINDICATED.
Dr. Ward's intimate acquaintance with antiquity, and his uncommon skill in all parts of literature, are well known. His sincere piety and respect for the sacred scriptures were as conspicuous. And bis Dissertations, though posthumous, have been well received by the public. Nevertheless among many curious criticisms, and just observations, there are some things, which appear to deserve farther consideration. I hope, therefore, that my making remarks upon some places, where I hesitate, will not be reckoned inconsistent with the respect which I long bad, and still bave for the learned and pious author.
And I may take this opportunity to enlarge upon some articles, beyond what the desigu of making remarks would require.
PAGE 73. Diss. xxi. The case of the demoniac, who resided among
the tombs on the coast of Gadara.'