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proof of divine inspiration, as the advocates for the modern unknown tongue so strenuously contend it is.

(54.) Lightfoot supposes thisto be in reference to the custom which prevailed in the Jewish synagogues, after which the first Christian churches were modelled, of any one present being permitted to put questions to the person expounding the Scriptures. “ Women," he thinks, “ might have evinced too much forwardness in proposing such interrogatories in the Christian assemblies at Corinth.”-See Lightfoot, Hor. Heb. in loc., and Gurney's Epitome of the Quaker Doctrines. But these writers should have recollected, that the Jewish women were separated from the male part of the congregation by a lattice, and were restricted, in public, to saying Amen to the prayers.---See Buxtorf's Synag. Jud. cap. iv.

Besides this practice was to facilitate learning, and cannot be construed into any act of teaching on the part of women.

(55.) Mr. Pilkington perceived when a gifted sister was about to speak, “ by the violent agitation or working of her whole frame, of which it is difficult,” he says, “ to give a written description, without appearing to ridicule the parties,” which, he declares, is not his intention. “ Her whole frame was in violent agitation, but principally the body, from the hips to the shoulders, which worked with a lateral motion ; the chest heaved and swelled ; the head was occasionally raised from the right hand, which was placed under the forehead, whilst the left hand and arm seemed to press and rub the stomach. She was but a few seconds in this state, when the body stayed, the neck became stiff, and the head orect; the hands fell on the lap, the mouth assumed a circular form, the lips projected, and the 'tongue’ and English came from her in an awful tone. During the utterance, I observed a violent exertion of the muscles at the back of the jaw-bone, and that the stiffened lips never touched to aid the articulation of the tongue, but they closed sufficiently to express the labials of the English part of the delivery, and instantly resumed the circular form.”—Pilkington on the Unknown Tongues, pp. 17, 18.

Mr. Irving himself describes the judgment spoken by these persons, as uttered with a mighty voice.

“ The other night, the Lord spake with a voice that seemed as if it would rend the roof.”—Irving's Sermon. The Pulpit, No. 468, Nov. 7, 1831.

Compare this with Virgil's description of an inspired sister, for so St. Jerome, who is a great authority with the advocates for the Regent's Square gift,* supposes the sybils to have been. Their prophetic spirit, he affirms, was bestowed on them by the true God, in approbation of their virginity.Hieron. adversus Jovinianum, lib. i.

“ He comes, behold the God! Thus, while she said,
(And shivering at the sacred entry staid,)
Her colour changed, her face was not the same,
And hollow groans from her deep spirit came.
Her hair stood up: convulsive rage possess'd
Her trembling limbs, and heav'd her labouring breast.
Greater than human-kind she seem'd to look :
And, with an accent more than mortal, spoke.
Her staring eyes with sparkling fury roll;
When all the god came rushing on the soul.”+

Dryden's Virgil, Book vi.

* The author of the tract, intitled, Have ye received the Holy Ghost ? is good enough to inform us, on the authority of St. Jerome, that neither Paul nor Peter could speak Greek!!! If they could not speak it, it cannot be supposed they could write it, and he ought to have intimated who wrote their epistles for them.

+ Deus ecce,

Deus! Cui talia fanti
Ante fores, subitò non vultus, non color unus,
Non comptæ mansêre comæ : sed pectus anhelum,
Et rabie fera corda tument; majorque videri,
Nec mortale sonans: afflata est numine quando
Jam propiore Dei.

Virg. Æn. vi. v. 46.

Whether the erection of the hạir still takes place during these paroxysms, our authorities say not, the precept of St. Paul, which directs women to prophesy with the head covered, not being yet dispensed with, notwithstanding the slight put on all his other injunctions respecting females. The “ staring eyes ” is an addition of Dryden's. In every other particular the resemblance is perfect.

The same symptoms announced the convulsive utterance of the French prophets, the persons affected by Animal Magnetism, and the Dutch orphans at Amsterdam and Hoorn. They also accompany oracular predictions among the Laplanders and North American Indians. The “ gifted sisters” among the latter, Charlevoix tells us,

“ differ in nothing from the Pythonesses, as the poets have represented them on the tripod. They are seen to become convulsed, and possessed with enthusiasm, to acquire tones of the voice, and to do actions, which appear to be beyond the strength of nature, and which seize the most unprejudiced spectators with a horror, and a disorder of spirits, that they cannot overcome.John Lacy, who published his Prophetical Warnings in 1707, laboured under similar agitations, when about to prophesy orally, as we are informed by Dr. Calamy, who had an opportunity of witnessing one of these imagined inspirations. In short, the same uniform effects, indicating decisively the same cause, whether natural or supernatural let the reader judge, are apparent in heathens and pretended Christians. Among true Christians nothing of the kind was ever heard of, either in the primitive times or since.

Our modern sybils, following close in the footsteps of their heathen predecessors, assure us of their inability to resist the impulse that urges them. Hear Virgil again :

“Struggling in vain, impatient of her load,
And labouring underneath the ponderous god,
The more she strove to shake him from her breast,
With more, and far superior, force he press'd :
Commands his entrance, and, without control,

Usurps her organs, and inspires her soul.”*_Dryden. The frantic prophets of the heathen, Gaspard Peucer remarks, were as different as possible, in this respect, from the prophets of God. The patriarchs and prophets to whom the Lord revealed his will, always retained their self-possession;“but these mad diviners, urged by frenzy to the beck and aidance of the evil spirit, ceased to be masters of their own body, and could make no use whatever of their understanding and reason. They understood not what they gave utterance to, however plainly delivered.” De præcipuis Divinat. Gener. lib. iii. c. 1. Lyon, 1584.

To complete the parallel, the substance of the oracles of the ancient and modern Pythonesses exactly coincides. They alike present a mixture of acknowledged truth and studied ambiguity.

“ Thus, from the dark recess, the Sybil spoke,
And the resisting air the thunder broke :
The cave rebellow'd, and the temple shook.
Th' ambiguous god, who rul'd her labouring breast,
In these mysterious words his mind express'd :
Some truths reveal’d, in terms involv'd the rest.
At length her fury fell, her foaming ceas’d,
And, ebbing in her soul, the god decreas’d.”+Dryden.

* At Phæbi nondum patiens, immanis in antró
Bacchatur vates, magnum si pectore possit
Excussisse Deum : tantò magis ille fatigat
Os rabidum, fera corda domans, fingitque premendo.-Æn. vi. v. 77.
+ Talibus ex adyto dictis Cumæa Sybilla
Horrendas canit ambages, antròque remugit,
Obscuris vera involvens : ea fræna furenti
Concutit, et stimulos sub pectore vertit Apollo.
Ut primùm cessit furor, et rabida ora quierunt.--Æn. vi. v. 98.

The “ gifted sisters," while they retail to us some very pious scriptural.common-places, assure us, among other vague predictions, much in the style of Moore's Almanack, that Britain is to be destroyed, and that judgments are coming on the earth. They very cautiously omit every thing about the how or the when. They venture on nothing definite. The predictions of the French prophets were remarkably similar. How different are the prophecies of the Bible! In inanity, however, the modern oracles, it must be allowed, far surpass most of those formerly uttered.

“ As far as I heard,” says an ear-witness, on the only occasion that I could ever induce myself to witness these strange and repulsive scenes, instead of observing any proof that a divine illumination had indeed beamed upon their minds,' the contrary was so decidedly the case, that when they spoke intelligibly, the matter of the speech was no more than any child, of a common charity-school, might very easily have supplied. It consisted of a few sentences of exhortation to repentance, repeated over and over again, with a poverty of expression, and a paucity of ideas, which I was astonished to find in connexion with so much enthusiastic excitement." Sermon on the Miraculous Gifts of the Spirit, by the Rev. William Harness.

“I have heard these truly' unknown tongues' utter their senseless and scarcely articulate intonations ; and must solemnly aver, that the passage from Isaiah, to which your attention has just been directed, could not, by any possibility, have been more completely burlesqued, or more absurdly illustrated, than in the very exercises which were, on that occasion, referred to, as specimens of the fulfilment of prophecy! These were, indeed, reiterations vociferated with most prodigious rapidity, till the utterer at length seemed to drop into low and murmuring cadences that died away, giving the impression of exhaustion : but how could such noises be compared with the precept upon precept---line upon line ---here a little and there a little, of the prophetic description, and which exhibits 80 striking an illustration of the divine condescension ? Surely nothing on earth could be more unlike such gentle methods of teaching those who are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breast,' than these scaring and terrifying utterances.”--- Fletcher's Sermon on pretended Miraculous Gifts, p. 54.

(56.) The following exhortation, delivered by one of the “ gifted sisters,” at the National Scotch Church, on the 26th of October, will serve as a fair specimen :

Men doubt---they doubt the very being of their God; they dare to doubt it, they dare to doubt it. The worms of the dust-the worms of the dust, the works of his hands they dare to doubt : they dare to doubt his very being. Think you not that he will arise ? that he will plead his own cause ? that he will plead his own cause ? Oh, beware of going on, of going on---beware, beware! Know that the Lord he is God; know that he made all things; 0, know it, Oh know it! You will know it, you will know it. O know it now,

know it now! Put away your unbelief, put away your unbelief. Come to him now, come to him now. Oh, he is not known, he is not known! Men do not know what it is to walk before him; they do not know that his eye searcheth them; they do not know, that at the great day of God they shall have to give account. Oh, it is a fearful thing! Oh, it is a fearful thing! Oh, it is a fearful thing! Oh, mock not! Oh, it is your perdition if you mock! Oh, it is your perdition if you mock! Oh, mock not at your God! Oh, mock not at your God !"---The Pulpit, No. 469, Nov. 10, 1831.

By far the most analogous modern screech is the howl at an Irish Wake.

(57) « The cases of the famous George Psalmanazar,” says one who at least looks with no unfavourable eye on the new creed, “who invented a language, devised a new character, wrote a grammar and dictionary, and passed it on the public as being the Japanese tongue; and of the equally famous Caraboo, who spoke fluently in a gibberish of her own invention, are sufficient to establish the position, that men, for the purpose of imposture, may imitate successfully the gift of tongues.”---Try the Spirits, p. 11.

And cannot Satan do the same? One of the most blundering of the contenders for this new female inspiration denies it. The writer just quoted, however, differs with him in opinion. “That this counterfeiting of tongues by diabolical agency is possible, seems to me to be the meaning of that passage in Isa. viii. 19, 20: “And when they shall say unto you, seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, (or chirp) and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? For the living to the dead? To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them :” taken in connexion with chap. xxix. 4: Thy speech shall be low out of the dust, and thy voice shall be as of one that hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust." These passages distinctly mark diabolic inspiration as producing a change in utterance, and, unless I am very much mistaken as to the meaning of the original, in language too.”---Try the Spirits, p. 12.

Or may not the supposed inspiration be a delusion, like that of the really gifted Cowper ? “ We have the authority of a near relation of the amiable and unhappy Cowper,” says the same writer, “ for the fact that his despair of his own salvability, originated in his imagining that he heard a voice from heaven, commanding him to restore his life to him who gave it; and, in a few minutes after, a second voice, announcing to him that the penalty for his withholding the due obedience to this command was eternal perdition! This strange communication, believed in as a sacred truth, caused the unfortunate victim of delusion to live without comfort, and to die in despair.”—Try the Spirits, p. 13.

“Another case,” he adds, “was that of a person with whom I have often conversed, in a lunatic asylum to which he was confined. His mania consisted in believing that he was possessed by no fewer than seven devils; and he has told me, with every token of heart-felt agony, that he constantly heard the fiend saying to him, “I'll tear you, Ward ; I'll tear you!' He also imagined that he had communications with respect to the condition of others beside himself; for he pronounced, on one occasion, that a friend who accompanied me, and myself, were each possessed by seven devils; and, on being asked his authority for the assertion, replied, • The devil tells me so: he is in you, though he does not speak to you as he does to me.'”---Try the Spirits, pp. 13, 14.

Perhaps, after all, for we would be charitable, medicine, and an able physician, are what these poor people most stand in need of.

(58.) See the tract, Have ye received the Holy Ghost? p. 10. (59.) Have ye received the Holy Ghost ? p. 11.

(60.) Macknight correctly interprets this as an affirmation of St. Paul, that there were as many kinds of languages in the world, as were spoken by the Corinthian converts. The common translation is somewhat obscure.

(61.) The reason why an interpreter was necessary, in aid even of one who understood both the tongue in which he spoke, and that into which his address was to be rendered, will be evident to those who are acquainted with the structure of languages, and are aware of the difficulty of transferring the idioms of one into those of another. Persons almost equally conversant with both, frequently fail in this. To understand thoroughly what is said or written in Chinese or Persian, is quite a different acquirement to that of being able to express it correctly in English or French, especially in an extemporaneous manner. Thus the gift of interpretation bore the signet of a miracle, as well as that of speaking in an unknown tongue.

(62.) The early spread of Christianity is an undisputed fact. “ Now this is certain," says Bishop Blackall,

“ that there can be no effect without a cause or sufficient power to produce it, and it was evidently impossible that Christianity should make so swift a progress, and prevail so much in the world, as it did, in so short a time, only by natural

For without good skill in the languages of the several nations wherein the apostles were to preach the gospel, it had been in vain for them to have gone about to convert all nations; or if they had attempted it, 'tis impossible it should have been with success; and how can it be conceived possible that twelve grown men, who before understood not a word of any but their own mother tongue, and that perhaps not well, who had never been bred up to study, and who were then past the proper age of learning languages, should yet be able, in so short a time, to become perfect masters of all the languages then in use in the world, so as to speak them readily and Auently, as if every one had been their


own native tongue ? And that, after this, they should have time enough still left to go and preach the gospel in all countries? So that the speedy conversion to Christianity of such a great number of men in all parts of the world by their ministry, is a direct proof of that gift of tongues wherewith we believe they were endued.”---Blackall's Suffic. of Scrip. Revel. Part ii. Serm. 5.

(63.) The champions of this silly delusion attempt to support a contrary hypothesis by the following prophecy of Joel, which Peter asserts to have been accomplished on the day of Pentecost. “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh;


your sons and your daughters shall prophesy; your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions : and also upon the servants and upon the handmaids, in those days, will I pour out my Spirit.” Joel ii. 28, 29. This, they say, is sufficient to prove that women must have been present, and must have been sharers in the gift of tongues.

But this is leaping to a conclusion a little too hastily. According to the method of these doughty logicians, if women were present on the day of Pentecost, it should have been to prophesy: and the business of the men, old and young, bond and free, was to have been dreaming dreams, and seeing visions, occupations of privacy, instead of speaking with tongues in public. Joel says nothing of speaking with tongues, and Luke says nothing of the actual dreaming of dreams, or seeing of visions, or of the presence or inspiration of females. If the dreams and visions were not communicated until some following day, or till some later period of the day, as these self-complacent reasoners must admit to have been the case ; then females were not necessarily present on that particular day; or at that particular period of the day, spoken of by the apostle.

The speaking with tongues was not the accomplishment of any thing expressed in the prophecy of Joel; nor is any miraculous endowment that prophecy particularizes spoken of as manifested on the day of Pentecost. It follows, that the fulfilment of the prediction must have been understood by Peter in a more general sense. He clearly alludes, in fact, to the Spirit of God,-signified and certified, by the prophecies, and dreams, and visions, foretold by Joel, and the previously unknown tongues in which the apostles suddenly spoke,

,—as poured out, for the first time, in so copious a measure, on all filesh, in its general and abiding influences. As if to prevent our mistaking the temporary sign for the permanent benefit, Joel was directed to announce a different display of its miraculous energy from that which the auditory of the apostles witnessed on the day of Pentecost.

It is further necessary, in order to the establishment of this absurd theory, so inconsistent with the whole tenor of Scripture, that a meaning must be given to an important word in the passage, which the context will not justify. The word prophecy is sometimes indeed used by the sacred writers, as in 1 Cor. xiv. 1, 3, 4, for “explaining Scripture, preaching, or speaking to the church in public.” But more generally, and always when it occurs in connexion with seeing visions, and dreaming dreams, it must obviously be understood of “foretelling future events.” In the latter sense therefore must it here be taken, which does not necessarily imply a public personal ministration. As Jeremiah deputed Baruch, so might they depute suitable persons, to publish their prophecies abroad.

It is not a little remarkable, that as all the false prophets and fanatics who have at any time distracted or brought opprobrium on the church, have appealed to the Scriptures in general in proof of their claims, so is there scarcely an exception to their having insisted on this prophecy of Joel as fulfilled in themselves and their followers. One use they all make of this appropriation is to obtain a sanction, so cautiously withheld in the New Testament, for ministrations and teaching of women.

(64.) A futile attempt has been made to show, that as the ordinary influences of the Spirit actuated the Apostles before the day of Pentecost, it could only therefore be its miraculous energies that were then shed on them, and on the rest of the church. That they were in some measure partakers of the Spirit before their Lord's ascension is admitted; but they were also in some measure gifted with the power of working mira

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