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Early Apoftarizing of the Church from her first Love, and the gradual Progress of that Apoftacy, made God abhor his Sanctuary, and withdraw those visible Tokens of his presence; and among the Fews the suspension of these miraculous Powers was constantly looked upon as a Mark of the Divine Displeasure. Thus Exod
33. 3,5. God refuses to go up with the People because of their Iniquities, which cannot be understood of his general Presence, who is every where, and filleth all things, but of his special miraculous Care and Protection of them. So when Joshua humbled himself before God, for the Defeat of Israel by the Men of Ai, Folh. 7. 12.
God tells him the Reason, and threatens him to be with them no more, unless they did destroy the Accursed Thing from among them. To mention no more, when the Angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon in his Threshing-floor with this Salutation, The Lord is with thee; Thou mighty Man of Valour. Jud. 6. 12. His AnSwer was, Ob my Lord ! if the Lord be with us, ; why is all this befaln us (viz. the Oppression of the Madianites) ? and where are all his Miracles which our Fathers told us of, such as the Deliverance out of Ægypt, &c.? As if he had said, the suspending his wonted mira, culous Protection of us, is a sufficient Mark of his Indignation. And I cannot but think that the wise Compilers of our Excellent Liturgy, had this in their Thoughts, when after those moving words, Psal. 44. 1.
O God, we have heard with our ears, &c.
O Lord arise, help, and deliver us for thine Honour. From the
II. It was the Opinion of many of the Ancients. Fathers, (not to say the Doctrine of the Ca
tholick Church, which the Learned Mr. Doda well afferts, Dissert. Cyprian, p. 12. S 10.) that Miracles, or the Gifts of the Holy Ghost, would always accompany the Catholick Church, and by consequence were never to cease, unless (which was hinted by many of their Expressions) there should be
wanting fit Persons to receive and execute * Lib. 3. those great Commissions. Irenæus *, speaking cons.Heres
. of the Gifts of the Spirit, says, They were a Treasure deposited by God in the Church; which Spirit, he says, is the Principle of Divine Life and Energy in the Church, even as the Soul to the Natural Body; adding, «God has placed in the Church Apostles,
Prophets, Teachers, and all the other Gifts of the Spirit, which all they are not Partakers of who are out of its Communion ; (plainly intimating, that the Faithful were Partakers:) For (a little after) where the
Church is, there is the Spirit of God; and where the Spirit of God is, there is the
Church, and all Graces (or Spiritual Gifts,
as tlie Word signifies.). Origen alfot, speak+ Lib. 7. ing of the Jews, says, “They had no Procont. Celo phets among them after the Coming of our fum, p. «Bleffed Saviour. For they were forsaken
by God, after they had rejected him whom the Prophets foretold ; But these Powers,
revived again at the Preaching of Jesus,
Actions are conformable. For (as he goes
Lib.s. Cap. fputing against the Montanists, has this Pas
That the Gospel hath been preach'd among áll Nations. This Answer he rejects as unsatisfactory, and contrary to the Knowledge and Experience of that time. 2. That being of the Number of the gratia gratis date, which were by them conceivd to be given to Men without any regard to the moral or natural Disposition of the Receivers, it must be resolved entirely into the arbitrary Pleasure of God, who divides them severally to every Man, according to his good Pleasure : But neither does this Answer fatisfie him. He adds, The chief and great Reason seems to be our lukewarmness, and neglecting to fulfil that Command of our Lord, of praying th Lord of the Harvest to send more Labourers into his Harvest. To which, says he, may be added, the want of Piery, particularly in the Prelates, or Governors of the Church, whose Iniquities make them uncapable of receiving those Graces; for it is plain, that those Graces are not regularly bestow'd on those who unqualifie themselves for the receiving them, though they are not given upon the Score of Me rit. So the Marriage - Conversation rendred even the Prophets themselves uncapable of receiving the Influences of the Spirit. Thus far this Great Man. But to return
to our Subject from whence we have made The fitión be this (I hope not unprofitable) Digression,
$16. Let us here contemplate a little Chriftian the Opposition that the Holy Scripture and Anti- seems to make between the Antichristan christian Characterse
Company and the Followers of the Lamb,
Antichrift as triumphing at Rome ; we see him next
the East, with his Magical Army marching to invade and the the East. This Translation of his Govern- Prophecy of ment is attested by Irenæus*; as also by Joel, ex
shall • 449.