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66 baptized, shall be saved; but he that believeth SER M.
CXXIV. ,' 6 not, shall be damned.” And then it follows, o these signs shall follow them that believe; in “ my name they shall cast out devils, and shall " speak with new tongues.” And Luke xxiv. 49. instead of " lo, I am with you,” it is said, “ be“ hold, I send the promise of my FATHER upon " you,” that is, the miraculous gifts of the Holy
Ghost; for it follows in the next words, “but c" tarry in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be
" endowed with power from on high.” This St. Luke himself interprets of the promise of the HOLY GHOST, Acts i. 4, 5. “ He commanded
them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, :“ but wait for the promise of the Father, which,
« faith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly :“ baptized with water, but ye shall be baptized E” with the Holy Ghost, not many days hence.”
And ver. 8. “ Ye shall receive power after that the
“ HOLY GHOST is come upon you, and ye ::" shall be witnesses unto me, both in Jerusalem, 3“ and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the ut
" termost part of the earth.” So that no man that compares these texts together, can doubt, but that this was the primary meaning of this promise, as it was made to the apostles.
But then it is as plain likewise, that this promise - is to be extended farther than to the persons of the
apostles, even to all those that should afterwards fuc
ceed them in this work of preaching the gospel, - and baptizing, because our Saviour adds, that
" he would be with them to the end of the world;" which words, because they reach far beyond the apostles times, (as I shall shew by and by) must
SER M. neceffarily be exter.ded to such persons in after-ages, CXXIV. ; as should carry on the same work. '
There are two famous controversies about the sense of these words, in which this promife is exprest.
The first is; concerning the circumstance of time mentioned in this promise, “alway, to the end of " the world."
The other concerning the substance of the promile itself, what is meant by our Saviour's 6 being « with them.” In the first we have to deal with the enthusiasts, in the latter with the papists. I shall examine the pretences of both these, as briefly and plainly as I can.
First, concerning the circumstance of time expreft in these words, “alway, to the end of the world." The enthusiasts would persuade us, that the meaning of these phrases is not to be extended beyond that age, and that this promise is to be limited to the apofiles persons, and that the sense of it is, that CHRIST would be with the apostles, não as ma's opépocs, all their days so long as they should live, and that would be, fws tñs OUITEREÍCS to cio', to the end of thar age; thus they translate it, and with no worse design than to take away the necessity of a gospelminiliry:
But this pretence will vanish, if we can make good these two things.
1. That the letter of this promise extends farther than the persons of the apostles, and the continuance of that age.
2. However that be, it is certain that the reason of it extends to all that should fucceed them in their ministry, to the end of the world.
1. The letter of this promise extends farther than S ERM. the persons of the apottles, and the continuance of that age. I will easily grant that the phrase nãoas Tais mušpæs signifies only continually; “ I will be
“ with you continually ;" but then the other phrase, 1 έως της συντελείας τε αιωνG, until the end of the
world, is several times in scripture undeniably used ! for the end and dissolution of all things, and can
not with any probability be shewn to be ever used i otherwise. In this sense it is unquestionably used
three times, Matth. xiii. “ The harveft is the end « of the world.” Ver. 39. “ So shall it be at the
" end of the world.” Ver. 40. and ver. 49. it is I said, that at “ the end of the world, the angels shall ;" come forth, and fever the wicked from the just, E “ and cast them into the furnace;" which must ei
ther be understood of the end of the world, and of - the day of judgment, or there will be no clear text
in the whole bible to that purpofe ; and it is very
probable, that this phrase is used in the same sense, : Marth. xxiv. 3. where the disciples ask our Saviour,
“ what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the « end of the world ?” as will appear to any one that considers our Saviour's answer to this question; the latter part whereof cannot, without too much violence, be accommodated to any thing but the final dissolution of the world. Now if this phrase be every where else in scripture used in this sense, there is no reason why it should be taken otherwise in the text, only to serve the purpose of an unreasonable opinion.
I know there are phrases very near a-kin to this, which are ufed in a quite different sense, namely, for the expiration of the Jewish state, and that we may
SER M. know how to distinguish them, it is observable, that CXXIV.
, when the scripture speaks of the end of the world,
it is called OUUTÉNE12 Tğ ajūro, the end of the age,
So that this last age of the gospel, is that which the scripture by way of eminency calls “ the age;" those that went before are constantly called aswvef, the ages in the plural number. So we find, Eph. iïi. 9. the gospel is called “ the dispensation of the “ mystery that was hid in God," ato, tão aidvar,
: “ from ages ;” and you have the same phrase, Col. SERM.
CXX. - i. 26. Upon the same account, the expiration of the
Jewish state, is in scripture called " the last times, : " and the last days,” Heb. i. 2. “ But in these last E “ days, God hath spoken to us by his Son." 1 Cor.
X. 11. “ These things are written for our admoni" tion, upon whom tá téan twv alwvww, the ends of
“ the ages are come.” In the same fense the apostle, E Heb. ix. 26. speaking of CHRIST, says, that “ he
" appeared, éri OUNTEMEçe tã.aiwtwv, at the end of “ the ages,” to take away sin; that is, at the conclusion of the ages which had gone before, in the laft age. So that if we will be governed in the interpretation of this text, by the constant use of this phrase in fcripture, the letter of this promise will extend to the end of the world.
2. But however this be, it is certain that the reason of this promise does extend to all those that
hould succeed the apostles in their ministry to the ii end of the world; I will suppose now (to give the
adversaries their utmost scope) that which we have no reason to grant, that the letter of this promise reacheth only to the apostles and their age, and that our Saviour's meaning was no more but this, that he would send down the Holy Ghost upon them in miraculous gifts, to qualify and enable them for the speedy planting and propagating the gospel
in the world, and that he would be with them 'till r this work was done. Now supposing there were
nothing more than this intended in the letter of it, this ought not much to trouble us, so long as it is certain; that the reason of it does extend to the succestors of the apostles in all ages of the world. I do not mean, that the reason of this promise does . 3