BV597 W547 v1

48 The Inliitution and Government 3. Minilierial Abilities to preach the Gofpel are not acquired by thefe human Arts. They are the Gifts of Chrift, Ephef iv. 8. When he afcended up on high, he gave Gifts to Men : ver. t t , 1 z, 13. He gave Jome Apofiles, foie Prophets, fame F.vangelifls, force Pallors, fine Teachers. Thefe Gifts were for the perfe1ing of the Saints, for the Work of the Miniflry, foe the edifying of the Body of Chrifl. But you will afk me, How long we may expel that Chrift will bellow thefe Gifts i 1 anfwer, to the End of the World, as long as he bath Work for Paflors and Teachers to do, I mean ordinary Elders; fuch as were extraordinary, were long Since ceafed. I fay, he will continue to give thefe minifterial Gifts to the End of the World, till we all come to the Unity of the Faith, to the Knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect Man in 7efus Chrifl, to the Meafùre of the Stature of the Fulnef of Chrift And if fo, then it is a firaighter, eafier, and cheaper Way, to pray to the Lord of the Harveft to fend forth more Labourers into his Vineyard, than to fend Men to School in order to be Mi- nifters, not knowing whether they will labour in his Vine- yard or not when they come there. 4. The A poiile :yarns the Colofans, To take heed that no Man foci' them through Philofophy, Chap. ii. 8. I cannot think that fo necefiary a Prequalification to an Elder, which Churches are warned to take fuch heed of, left they Should be fpoiled thereby. But you will fay, If Miniflers do not underfiand the He- brew and the Greek, in which the Scriptures were fzrß given out, how can thy fay to the People, Thus faith the Lord, not knowing whether the Scriptures be rightly trarjiated or no? I anfwer, i. If Miniflers cannot fay, Thus faith the Lord, unlefs they underfiand Hebrew and the Greek ; then they cannot fay, Thus faith the Lord, though they do underfiand thefeTongues : for that which is now in being is but a Copy of the Original, which Original they never faw. Now there, may be Errors in thefe Copies, for ought they know, as well as in the Englìfh Tranflation ; and if there are five Verfions of the Greek, as bath been reported, they cannot tell which is the right; that there are various Copies of the