Times and Seasons, 15 June 1842

  • Source Note
Page 824
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istrations, while more frequently there is no  manifestation at all that is visible to the sur rounding multitude; this will appear plain when  we consult the writings of the apostles and no tice their proceedings in relation to this matter.  Paul, in 1 Cor. xii. says, “Now concerning  spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you  ignorant;” it is evident from this that some of  them were ignorant in relation to these matters,  or they would not need instruction. Again, in  the xiv. chapter, he says “Follow after charity  and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may  prophecy.” It is very evident from these scrip tures that many of them had not spiritual gifts,  for if they had spiritual gifts where was the ne cessity of Paul telling them to follow after them!  and it is as evident that they did not all receive  those gifts by the imposition of hands, for they  as a church had been baptized and confirmed  by the laying on of hands—and yet to a church  of this kind, under the immediate inspection and  seperintendance of the apostles, it was necessa ry for Paul to say “follow after charity and desire  spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophecy,”  evidently showing that those gifts were in the  church but not enjoyed by all in their outward  manifestations.
But supposing the gifts of the spirit were im meditely, upon the imposition of hands, enjoy ed by all, in all their fullness and power; the  skeptic would still be as far from receiving any  testimony except upon a mere casualty as be fore, for all the gifts of the spirit are not visible  to the natural vision, or understanding of man;  indeed very few of them are. We read that  “Christ ascended into heaven and gave gifts  unto men; and he gave some apostles, and some  prophets, and some evangelists, and some pas tors and teachers;” Eph. iv. The church is a  compact body composed of different members  and is strictly analogous to the human system,  and Paul after speaking of the different gifts  says, “Now ye are the body of Christ and each  one members in particular; and God hath set  some in the church, first apostles, secondarily  prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles,  then gifts of healing, helps, governments, di versities of tongues. Are all apostles? are  all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of  miracles? have all the gifts of healing? do all  speak with tongues? do all interpret?” It is  evident that they do not; yet are they all mem bers of the one body; all members of the natural  body, are not the eye, the ear, the head or the  hand—yet the eye cannot say to the ear, I have  no need of thee, nor the head to the foot, I have  no need of thee; they are all so many component  parts in the perfect machine—the one body;— and if one member suffer, the whole of the mem bers suffer with it; and if one member rejoice  all the rest are honored with it.
These then are all gifts; they come from God;  they are of God; they are all the gifts of the  Holy Ghost; they are what Christ ascended into  heaven to impart; and yet how few of them could  be known by the generality of men. Peter and  John were apostles, yet the Jewish court scourg ed them as impostors. Paul was both an Apos tle and prophet, yet they stoned him and put  him in prison. The people knew nothing  about it, although he had in possession the gift  of the Holy Ghost. Our Savior was “anoint ed with the oil of gladness above his fellows,”  yet so far from the people knowing him, they  said he was Beelzebub, and crucified him as an  imposter. Who could point out a pastor, a  teacher or an evangelist, by their appearance;  yet had they the gift of the Holy Ghost. But  to come to the other members of the church  and examine the gifts as spoken of by Paul, and  we shall find that the world can in general know  nothing about them, and that there is but one  or two that could be immediately known, if  they were all poured out immediately upon the  imposition of hands. 1 Cor. xii. Paul says,
“There are diversities of gifts yet the same  spirit; and there are differences of administra tions, but the same Lord; and there are diversi ties of operations, but it is the same God which  worketh all in all. But the manifestation of  the spirit is given unto every man to profit with all. For to one is given, by the spirit, the word  of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge, by  the same spirit; to another faith by the same  spirit; to another the gifts of healing, by the  same spirit; to another the working of miracles;  to another prophecy; to another discerning of  spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to an other the interpretation of tongues. But all these  worketh that one and the self same spirit, dividing  to each man severally as he will.”
There are  several gifts mentioned here, yet which of them  all could be known, by an observer, at the imposi tion of hands? The word of wisdom, and the word  of knowledge, are as much gifts as any other, yet  if a person possessed both of these gifts, or re ceived them by the imposition of hands, who  would know it? Another might receive the  gift of faith, and they would be as ignorant of  it. Or suppose a man had the gift of healing,  or power to work miracles, that would not then  be known; it would require time and circum stances to call these gifts into operation. Sup pose a man had the discerning of spirits, who  would be the wiser for it? Or if he had the in terpretation of tongues, unless some one spoke [p. 824]
istrations, while more frequently there is no manifestation at all that is visible to the surrounding multitude; this will appear plain when we consult the writings of the apostles and notice their proceedings in relation to this matter. Paul, in 1 Cor. xii. says, “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant;” it is evident from this that some of them were ignorant in relation to these matters, or they would not need instruction. Again, in the xiv. chapter, he says “Follow after charity and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophecy.” It is very evident from these scriptures that many of them had not spiritual gifts, for if they had spiritual gifts where was the necessity of Paul telling them to follow after them! and it is as evident that they did not all receive those gifts by the imposition of hands, for they as a church had been baptized and confirmed by the laying on of hands—and yet to a church of this kind, under the immediate inspection and seperintendance of the apostles, it was necessary for Paul to say “follow after charity and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophecy,” evidently showing that those gifts were in the church but not enjoyed by all in their outward manifestations.
But supposing the gifts of the spirit were immeditely, upon the imposition of hands, enjoyed by all, in all their fullness and power; the skeptic would still be as far from receiving any testimony except upon a mere casualty as before, for all the gifts of the spirit are not visible to the natural vision, or understanding of man; indeed very few of them are. We read that “Christ ascended into heaven and gave gifts unto men; and he gave some apostles, and some prophets, and some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers;” Eph. iv. The church is a compact body composed of different members and is strictly analogous to the human system, and Paul after speaking of the different gifts says, “Now ye are the body of Christ and each one members in particular; and God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healing, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?” It is evident that they do not; yet are they all members of the one body; all members of the natural body, are not the eye, the ear, the head or the hand—yet the eye cannot say to the ear, I have no need of thee, nor the head to the foot, I have no need of thee; they are all so many component parts in the perfect machine—the one body;—and if one member suffer, the whole of the members suffer with it; and if one member rejoice all the rest are honored with it.
These then are all gifts; they come from God; they are of God; they are all the gifts of the Holy Ghost; they are what Christ ascended into heaven to impart; and yet how few of them could be known by the generality of men. Peter and John were apostles, yet the Jewish court scourged them as impostors. Paul was both an Apostle and prophet, yet they stoned him and put him in prison. The people knew nothing about it, although he had in possession the gift of the Holy Ghost. Our Savior was “anointed with the oil of gladness above his fellows,” yet so far from the people knowing him, they said he was Beelzebub, and crucified him as an imposter. Who could point out a pastor, a teacher or an evangelist, by their appearance; yet had they the gift of the Holy Ghost. But to come to the other members of the church and examine the gifts as spoken of by Paul, and we shall find that the world can in general know nothing about them, and that there is but one or two that could be immediately known, if they were all poured out immediately upon the imposition of hands. 1 Cor. xii. Paul says,
“There are diversities of gifts yet the same spirit; and there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord; and there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the spirit is given unto every man to profit withall. For to one is given, by the spirit, the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge, by the same spirit; to another faith by the same spirit; to another the gifts of healing, by the same spirit; to another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues. But all these worketh that one and the self same spirit, dividing to each man severally as he will.”
There are several gifts mentioned here, yet which of them all could be known, by an observer, at the imposition of hands? The word of wisdom, and the word of knowledge, are as much gifts as any other, yet if a person possessed both of these gifts, or received them by the imposition of hands, who would know it? Another might receive the gift of faith, and they would be as ignorant of it. Or suppose a man had the gift of healing, or power to work miracles, that would not then be known; it would require time and circumstances to call these gifts into operation. Suppose a man had the discerning of spirits, who would be the wiser for it? Or if he had the interpretation of tongues, unless some one spoke [p. 824]
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