Hopkins - HP BR75 .H65 1710

164 An Expojition upo11 the ·:---- the }'lace} 1 ca~not but judge it to be the true fenfe and In'1port of it, up011 thcfe two Conl!derauons. Fi,rft, That the Holy Ghofr was in no other rcfpea ~tall at that time giV'en to them. They neither received any extraordinary Degree Of Grace, or any extraordinary Gift.s of Grace more than they were before indowed with. Yen, it is plainly exprefs'd,that as yer the Holy Ghoft was not given them in his extraordinary Gifts, but they were con:'manded to wait for ~he Pmmifc of the Father at Jtrufalem ; and the firfi: Accomphfhment of that Pronufe was on the day ofPcntecoft,when the Spirit defcended upon them in the form of fiery cloyen Tongues. Here then being a receiving of the Holy Ghoft, and that nor in the extraordinary Gifts or Graces of. it; what can remain, but that our Saviour by breathing on them, gave them the Holy Ghoft, that is, Million and Authority to preach the Gqfpel, and to difpenfe his Ordinances to the Church. 1 • Seco11dly, The words following interpret thefe in this 'Sc:nfe. Receive ye the Holy Ghoft. Whofe·foever Sim ye rcmir, rhey arc remitted unto them; aud whofe-{oever Sins ye retAin, they arc retained. Now thefe Words feem to me a clear Expofitian of the farmer, Receive ye the Holy Ghoft, i. e. ReceiH ye Authority to remit and retain Sins, which is one great part of the Minifterial Power, to declare Pardon to the Penitent, and Wrath to the Incorrigible and Obftinate. This though it may fcem a ftrange, yet to me it feli:ms the only true and canfonant l?..xpofition of this Place. But 1 fhall not now farther vindicate it. Now as our Saviour ufed this fign of breathing upon his Difciples when he or-· dained therh ;fo the Apoftles afterwards infti tuted and ufed another fign, ~~z.. laying on of Hands, of which there is frequent mention in Scripture, and which was introduced into the Chrifrian Church from the Pattern of the Jewifh Chur<.h. Thus we read, .Afts. 9· I?· that Paul is ordained by the Impofition of the Hands of A· natliM; he put his Hands on . him, and faid, The Lord ']efus hath fent me that thou mighteft receive thy Sight, and be filled with rhe Holy Ghoft, i. e. that he might be indowed with Minifterial Gifts, and invefied with the MinifterialAuthority. And again, (which I wiil1 heartily our diffenting Brethren, who fo much decry Re-ordi... nation, would but a little more maturely weigh and confider) he the fecond time receives Miffion and Ordination with Barnabas, AC\s 13. 2. As they miniftred to the Lord, ttnd fafted, the Holy Ghofl {aid, Separate me Barnabas ttnd Saul, unto the Work whereunto 1 have caUed them. And when they had fafted and prayed, and laid their Hands on them, they font them away. Yea, this lmpofition ofHands was fo infeparable an Attendant upon Ordination,· that fometimes it is ufed a}one to fignifie it. So 1 Tim. 5· 22. Lay Ha11ds fuddenlJ on no Man, i. e. ordain no Man rafhly, and without due Advice. Now fince this external Call is fo expre.Oy and frequently mentioned, and the manner of it fo particnlarly defcribed, haw daringly prefumptuous are they, who without regarding thofe Methods which the Holy Ghoft hath prefcribed, yea, defpiftng and contemning them as _obfolete and out-worn Formalities, rulh into the Miniftery, and pretend an inward Call of Gifts and Graces, which yet in very maIlY of them, are no other than moft of the People might as well pretend unto, if they had but the like Impudence ; and fo we lhould have more Minifters than People, more Shephe~ds than Sheep? But let their Gif~s and their ~races be never ~o eminent and admirable, they ought not to take th1s Honour to themfelves, unul they are [et a part by the ~hurch, ~nd ~s well impo"Yred _to preach by an outward Million, as enabled to do 1t. by their G1fts and Qj.Jaltficauons. And thus much for the very firft thing which a Minifter ought to regard, which is his Call to that Office. When we are affured. that our Call is right, and according to the Will of God, there are then many other Duties incumbent upon us in the due c.xercife of our Calling. As, ' Firjl, and chiefly, We ought to be good Examples to the Flock. This St. P.-l moft exprefiy injoins Timothy, 1 Ttmo 4· J2, Be thou an Example to rhe Believers, in Word, in Converfation, in Charity, in Spirir, in. Faith, in Purity. Indeed it is very fad to1confider, how the unfui[able Converfation of Minifters doth quiZe enervate all th'C: force and ftrength of their DoCtrine and Exhortations. For let them fpeak with the Tongues of Angels, and preach as holily and powerfully, as if the Holy Ghoft did immediately infpire them ; yet if their Lives be loofe, and their Convcr-