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Analysis of the second treatise.

The dispensation of the Spirit for the edification of the church is twofold; including, first, the bestowal of saving grace; and, secondly, the communication of spiritual gifts. The former has already been considered in books III.-VIII. of this work on the dispensation of the Spirit. The latter, spiritual gifts, as distinguished from saving graces, it is proposed to discuss in reference to the following points:— 1. Their name; 2. Their nature in general; 3. Their distribution; 4. Their particular nature; and, 5. Their use in the church of God. Some remarks are made on their name, chap. i. Their nature generally is considered with reference, — 1. To their points of agreement with saving graces, (1.) They are both the purchase of Christ; (2.) They agree in their immediate efficient cause — the Holy Spirit; (3.) In the end contemplated, — the good of the church; and, (4.) In the bounty of Christ, as their source. 2. The points of difference are, — (1.) Saving graces are the fruit, gifts are but the effects of the Spirit; (2.) Saving graces are the fruit of electing love; (3.) The result of the covenant; and, (4.) Have respect unto the priestly office of Christ; (5.) Gifts and graces differ as to their ultimate issue, the former being sometimes lest: the latter never; (6.) Saving graces are imparted directly for the benefit of those who receive them, and gifts for the benefit of others; and, (7.) They differ, finally and chiefly, in their subjects, operations, and effects, ii. Gifts are distributed into, — 1. Gifts implying powers and duties conjoined; and, 2. Gifts qualifying for duties simply. 1. Of the former, a subdivision is made into gifts extraordinary and ordinary:— (1.) Extraordinary gifts constituted extraordinary officers — apostles, evangelists, and prophets, iii. The gifts themselves, in virtue of which they exercised these extraordinary offices, are, first, powers exceeding the natural faculties of their minds; and, secondly, the special enlargement and adaptation of their natural faculties for their work: these are considered in an exposition of 1 Cor. xii. 7–11, iv. The origin, duration, use, and end, of extraordinary gifts are considered, v. (2.) The ordinary gifts are viewed in relation to the Christian ministry, the eminent value of which is seen from the grandeur of its introduction, from its original acquisition, from the immediate cause of its actual communication, from its own nature, from the variety of offices in it, and from the end designed by it, vi. The reality of the spiritual gifts requisite for the discharge of the ministerial office is proved, from the promise of Christ, Matt. xxviii. 20; the presence of Christ by the Spirit; the covenant promise of the Spirit, Isa. lix. 21; the name given to the gospel, “The ministration of the Spirit;” the end for which the Spirit is promised, administered, and continued; the plain assertions of Scripture; the indispensable necessity for them; and from the actual enjoyment and experience of them, vii. These gifts are enumerated: first, as respects doctrine, — wisdom, skill in the division of the word, and utterance; secondly, as respects the worship of God; and, thirdly, as respects the rule of the church. 2. The ordinary gifts of the Spirit, qualifying for duties only, are alluded to; but the previous discussions are held to supersede the necessity of any full consideration of them. A brief inquiry ensues into the manner in which may come to participate in these gifts, ministerial or more private, viii. — Ed.

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