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in their Minds, being very heady and ftubborn, lighting Instruction; more apt to teach than learn, being swift to speak, but flow to hear, judging every Body that will not receive them as true Minifters, by foretelling the Ruin and Downfal of all their Oppofers; working themselves up to a strange degree of Imagination, endeavouring to drive all before them; and fuch as will neither hear nor heed what they fay, they will be apt to call for Vengeance from Heaven upon fuch who offer to oppose them. This, and

much more that might be mention'd, is the Conduct of these deceived and deluded Souls.

Now this Error, by the Party thus deluded, might be eafily difcerned by themfelves, if they wou'd but give themselves Time to think and confider aright in coolness, and defire that the Lord wou'd fhew them the right Way. Here is therefore great need to be cautious, and try the Spirit ; viz. I mean not to receive any Thing for Infpiration or Revelation, without being first well fatisfied in thyfelf that it is fuch; and this cautious Fear will not be any Way difpleafing to God, but thou wilt find thy Doubts will be removed, and thou wilt be confirmed, that what thou haft is of God, and will ftand. Now this agrees with the Practice of Mofes and Gideon, and with what the Apostle advised, Believe not every Spirit, but try the John Spirits, whether they are of God: Because many falle Prophets are gone out into the


1, 5, 6.

World. They are of the World: Therefore Speak they of the World, and the World heareth them. We are of God: He that knoweth God, heareth us: He that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the Spirit of Truth, and the Spirit of Error.

But fuppofing I or any others may be infpired, as is aforefaid, from a right Spirit: How fhall Proof he made thereof to another, that he may receive our Word that we have by Revelation, not as our Word only, but as given us of God?

Anfw. In this thou wilt find no hard Task with thy Brethren, if thou wilt but do thy Endeavour to live according to that Doctrine given thee to preach to others, in the first Place: And next mind, that thou, without being infpired, undertake not this Work of Preaching, neither in thy own Time nor Will, nor by thy own Contrivance, Collecting and Cafting what thou shalt fay; for by fo doing thou wilt be at a lofs and confounded in thyfelf, and give great occafion of Offence to them that hear thee; not only to them that are unacquainted with the Gift, and Unbelievers therein (for they will see that thou art wrong) but thy own Brethren will be greatly loaded and uneafy with thy fo Appearing; for they will foon find that thou art out of thy Place in thy Speaking; it not being from Infpiration, but Imagination of thy own Brain; for The Ear trieth Words


as the Mouth tafteth Meat; and them that are fpiritual will see where thou art, better than thou thyself.



But then I fay, it will be a hard Task to make Proof of thy Miniftry, tho' thou speakest as the Oracle of God, and ministrest of that Ability which God giveth, to fuch as are in Unbelief, and in a State of Nature. For the Cor li. natural Man (Jays Paul) receiveth not the Things of the Spirit of God; for they are Foollifbnefs unto him, neither can be know them, because they are spiritually difcerned. I fay, therefore it will be impoffible that fuch Unbelievers, or thofe in a State of Nature (whilft they are in that State and Unbelief) hou'd receive thy Word, not as thy Word only, but as given to thee of God; because they believe no fuch Thing concerning any Man: If therefore thou feemeft to them as à Babbler, be not thereat difcouraged; becaufe Paul was fo accounted before thee.. Yet however, tho' fome may fo look upon thee, others may perhaps be reached by thy Word; and as thou doft minifter from a right Spirit, and keepeft in thy Gift, thou mayft be inftrumental to beget Faith in them that believe not, and greatly to edifie and confirm them that believe, fo that they'll foon conclude thou art a right Minister, not of the Letter, but of the Spirit, and thy Brethren who are fpiritual will give thee Encouragement to go on, having Fellowship with thee in thy Gift as a right Minifter, C


approved by them, as appointed of God for that Work unto which thou art Called: For no Man ought to take this Honour unto himself, by any human or external Call, until firft he is called of God, as was Aaron.

I now shall come to speak of the GIFT itself.

I Cor. xii, 4. 5. 6.


Advice to MINISTERS in a State of INFANCY.



S to the Gift of the Miniftry, the better to set it in a true Light, these three Things are first to be con

ift. There are Diversities of Gifts, but the fame Spirit.

2d. There are Differences of Adminiftrations, but the fame Lord.

3d. There are Diverfities of Operations, but it is the fame God that worketh all in all.

First, There are Diverfities of Gifts, but the fame Spirit: i. e. Every Gift of God is from the one and the fame Spirit of Truth that is come by Jefus Chrift; for which Reason, tho' we may seem to differ in our Gifts one


from another, yet the Defign and End is the fame, and the fame Spirit as in one, fo in all, affisting to that End, which is to turn People from Darkness to Light, from the Power of Satan to God, that they may be edified in the true (Gofpel) Receiving a Remiffion of their Sins, and an Affurance of an Inheritance amongst them that are fanctified through Faith in the only begotten Son of God.

Now there must be fome Time to gain Experience and Understanding, before any one can come to a Settlement, and true and perfect Knowledge of his own Gift; and for want of a right Settlement and true Knowledge of this Gift, and keeping to it, and in it, is the Caufe of many of the Mistakes that are committed in the Exercise of it.

Then we ought to confider the Ministry in these three States, 1ft. Infancy. 2d. A Young Man's State. And laft, The Father's State.

First then, A State of Infancy ought to be look'd with great upon Allowance of Charity, and if any Thing appears manly in fuch a State, that ought not to be made the Standard of others to walk by; but we must attribute it rather to the Giver, than the Inftrument, that giveth to every one as he will, to fome a greater, and to others a finaller Portion of his Spirit, but to every one, both Preach

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