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But Neander is more explicit in some admirable passages in his “ History of the Planting and Progress of the Christian Church under the Apostles,” translated from the German by Professor Robinson for one of the early volumes of this work.* The passages to which I refer contain the views entertained by that eminent ecclesiastical historian concerning the nature and operation of the gifts of teaching and prophecy. He believes both of these endowments, as well as the gifts of tongues, miracles, signs and wonders, to have been above the course of nature. The teachers he understands to be such persons as had been in some measure prepared, by a previous culture of the receptive and communicative faculties of the understanding, to develop and communicate that, which the illumination of the Spirit revealed to them, in a connected series of doctrinal instruction. Their christian knowledge, according to Neander, they “ acquired for themselves through a self-agency quickened by the Holy Spirit—a self-agency which developed and wrought into form the truths perceived by them through this divine illunination. The prophet, on the contrary, spoke as he was impelled by the might of sudden inspiration at the moment ; yielding to a sudden elevation of his higher self-consciousness, to a light which here burst upon him, he spoke according to a revelation. Hence the two gifts of teaching and prophecy might be possessed by the same person. In many moments of inspiration, the teacher might rise into the prophet. In such a state of mind the prophet uttered incidental and powerful addresses for the awakening, exhortation, warning, and consolation of the church ; or such addresses to those who had not yet embraced the faith, as might serve to arouse their conscience and so prepare the way in their minds for the instruction of the diddoxalos. It is manifest, what an influence this power of inspired discourse, which wrought so especially upon the feelings, must have had at this period for the spread of the gospel. There came often into the congregations, persons, who only wished once to see what was done in the christian assemblies; or who only wished to become acquainted with the christian doctrine, of the divine character of which they were by no means convinced. In these assemblies there now stand forth men, who testify with overwhelming power to the corruption of human nature and the universal need of an atonement; they

* Bib. Repos. Vol. IV. pp. 241–277.

speak from the depths of their own religious and moral consciousness to that of the other, as if they could read it to the bottoin. The heathen feels himself stricken in conscience; his heart is as it were unlocked before him ; he must acknowledge what before he could not believe, that the power of God is with this doctrine, that it dwells among these men.*

“If now the connected instruction of the diddoxalos, teacher, served to lead on to further knowledge those who had already embraced the faith ; or further to uphold them in the intelligent consciousness of that which they had received in the faith ; it was in like manner the province of the nooqnala, prophecy, to bring over to the faith those who were not believers ; or, in those who were already in the faith, to quicken anew and strengthen their faith, and stir up anew in them the life of faith.”

Another passage, which I extract from the same author, relates to the discerning or distinguishing of spirits, which was also a supernatural gift among the gentile churches of the apostolical age.

“ The christian life,” he says, was to be allowed in the church to develop and declare itself with freedom. Whoever felt an inward impulse, was permitted to speak in the assemblies of the church ; but self-possession was to accompany inspiration side by side ; and it was from this very circumstance that the latter was to be known to be genuine. No one was permitted to speak alone and exclusively; no one was to interrupt another.f If now Paul held it to be necessary to give such directions, it follows, that he by no means recognized the prophets in the church to be such untroubled media or organs of the divine Spirit, as not easily to mingle the divine and human together. Against the prevalence of such an intermixture and the delusions flowing from it, if that which was human and impure were given out as the inspiration of the Holy Spirit,against this the churches were to be protected by a trying of the spirits, in the exercise of a gift bestowed on individuals for this special purpose.” I

Neander is of opinion that the “word of knowledge” and the “ word of wisdom” were distinctions in the gift of teaching ;

* 1 Cor. 14: 25.
| 1 Cor. 14: 29. 1 John 4: 1.

Vol. XII. No. 31.

f 1 Cor. 14: 30–32.
§ 1 Cor. 12: 8.

13

the one referring to “ the capacity for unfolding the christian doctrine theoretically in its constituent parts ;" the other referring to the capacity for applying it practically to the particular relations and circumstances of life.”

The gift of church government (" governments,” 1 Cor. 12: 28) Neander explains as a special talent quickened by the Holy Ghost, designed to qualify individuals for the station of officers in the church. These were called h1080BÚTepot, presbyters, elders, or iníoxo 101, overseers; both names referring to one and the same office, and both synonymous. It was such the apostles ordained over the churches they gathered among the Gentiles. The gift of helps he understands as having reference to the various services required in administering the affairs of the church, as the superintendence of alms and the care of the sick; and to this class probably belonged the gift of miraculous cures.

In respect to the gift of tongues, this writer follows the mode of explanation now common among his countrymen, regarding it as designed solely for the benefit of the possessor. His views are founded upon

i Cor. xiv. Our view of it, in common with that generally entertained by Christians in this country and Great Britain, is founded on Acts 2: 11. We regard the endowment as designed to enable the first missionaries and the prophets and teachers in the different churches to instruct others who spoke languages foreign from their own.

« The gift of foreign tongues," says Mosheim, “appears to have gradually ceased as soon as many nations became enlightened with the truth and numerous churches of Christians were everywhere established ; for it became less necessary than it was at first. But the other gifts, with which God favored the rising church of Christ, were, as we learn from numerous testimonies of the ancients, still conferred [i. e. in the second century) on particular persons here and there."* There is reason to think that they did not wholly cease until sometime in the third century

Thus were the apostolical churches among the heathen furnished with religious teachers and guides. The apostles (excepting Paul) after spending three years in the most intimate connection with one who spake as never man spake—in a school for which any candidate for the ministry would gladly exchange the most favored of the halls of science-were wondrously endowed by the Holy Ghost with miraculous gifts and graces. Paul, pre-eminently the apostle to the Gentiles, spent his youth, probably, in the schools of Tarsus, but completed his education at the feet of Gamaliel in Jerusalem. He received his knowledge of the gospel by immediate revelation ; " for I neither received it,” says he, "of man, neither was I taught it but by the revelation of Jesus Christ." Next were the evangelists, often companions of the apostles in travels and labors, also endowed supernaturally for the work of missions. Next came prophets, teachers, etc., in the several churches.

* Mosheim, vol. I. p. 125.

And these supernatural gifts appear not to have been restricted to one or two mem-, bers of each church, but, sometimes at least, were bestowed, for mutual edification, upon numerous members, if not upon all.*

Now we must believe that the Holy Ghost would not have exerted this supernatural agency upon the minds of the first Christians, had it been unnecessary. And whence the necessity ? Why were their minds strengthened, made the subjects of a spiritual illumination, and endowed with a facility and force of utterance beyond the reach of their natural powers in their circumstances And why was this supernatural agency gradually withdrawn, as the churches became more enlightened by education, and able to train up her own teachers in her schools at Alexandria, Caesarea, Antioch, Edessa, and elsewhere? It has been said that the church grieved away the Spirit by her corruptions and follies. But it is far more reasonable to suppose, that the agency was withdrawn because the exigency which called for it had ceased.

We now turn our attention to modern missions, and contrast their circumstances with those of the missions described in the New Testament.

Modern missions have been sent to the Oriental churches, to the Mohammedans, and to-omitting some small districts—the pagan nations in western and southern Africa, India, the Archi

* 1 Cor. 14: 23, “If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues. v. 24, “ If all prophesy." v. 26, “When ye be come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation.” v. 29–31, “ Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the others judge. If any tbing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace.

For ye may all prophesy one by one.”

pelago, Polynesia, and the territories occupied by the native tribes of North America. The Oriental churches and the Mohammedans occupy most of the countries that were the scene of the apostolical missions. These I pass by at present, to contrast the circumstances of the modern and ancient missions to pagan nations.

One obvious and most important fact in modern missions to the heathen is, that they are prosecuted in the less civilized, and to a great extent in uncivilized, portions of the world. What heathen nation of these times will compare with the nations visited by the apostles ? India is partially civilized; the rest are in a state of barbarism, and most of them, except as they have been affected by the gospel, are absolutely savage. On the score of education and intelligence, they stand immeasurably below the Greeks and Romans. The aboriginal-American, the Polynesian, and the African nations were without an alphabet until they received it from the missionaries. The larger nations of the Indian Archipelago have long had the use of letters, but scarcely one in forty of the inhabitants can read, and books of every kind are rare. Concerning India, the Abbé Dubois is good authority, except where he speaks of Protestant missions. He says the brahmins regard the sciences as their own exclusive property, that they make a mystery of them to the vulgar, and have always taken the greatest pains to prevent their spread among other classes of men. At the same time they have themselves made no progress in learning beyond their ancestors of the era of Pythagoras, and stand, with the whole body of the Hindoos, where they did two thousand years ago. It is worth while to add, that the sciences above referred to, which are the ones that in ancient times gave so much celebrity to the Indian philosophers, are astronomy, astrology and magic. The native schools now existing in India are so unlike those of Europe or America, and so inferior to them, as not to bear a comparison. The Abbé says they are in the larger towns, or within the precincts of some large temple, and are without method, or plan for study, or discipline, without excitement for the student, or encouragement for the teacher.*

I hesitate not to advance the proposition, that mind, in all the pagan nations, now open to missionaries, is in such a state that the converts, without either the supernatural gifts of early times, or the substitute for those gifts (imperfect as it may be) wbich

* Description of the People of India, Vol. I. p. 354.

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