I have often heard it said of persons, that such and such an one has a gift.
What gift, I ask? natural? or spiritual?
For, I am persuaded, there is a difference of the highest nature between even the utterance of a natural and spiritual gift. The one is formed by the dry handicraft of the stores of nature; the spiritual gift is the costly and most precious workmanship of the Holy Ghost, that most supreme and blessed Sovereign.
The utterance in a spiritural gift breathes life; It has dew. Moistened and comprehending in its expression of heavenly and experienced glories from the man’s soul, wherein the blessed Trinity walks and dwells, the utterance of such a man falls with a weight neither saints nor sinners can reject. It is the key, unlocking to the eye, fellowship, advantage, or injury, of all, the mysterious kingdom of God, in the speaker’s soul, a savour of life or death, increasingly, to a certainty, to every saint and profane man that comes within its reach.
What dry, miserable nurses are the college-clad, academy-made, sons of nature, who, not sent of Christ, preach him, but how? As Cain, with the fruits of the earth, which are cursed, the stores of nature, their own bread (Isaiah 4:1), natural intellect, judgment, and understanding, all fallen, the endowments of the first man (I Corinthians 15:45), of the earth, earthly, having nothing whatsoever to do with the second Man, the glorious Lord from heaven, the Lord Jesus Christ.
And I believe the fallen mind of natural man, in all its endowments of reason, ideas, capacity of expressing itself, memory, judgment, and intellectual excellence, is all Christ-hating, and has an impassable gulph of eternal enmity and separation drawn between it and the God and Father of the Lord Jesus, the true God.
Natural-made ministers, who have a gift in and by the stores of nature, as above, differ as much, and are quite as much of a different kind, from heaven-ordained, and grace-ordained, experimental, ransomed ministers, as heaven differs from hell.
No; never let there be confusion on this head. And, if it is said, Such an one has a gift; ask, “What gift? Is he a ransomed soul, manifested in his experience?” For, as for dry letter-men, their religion, standing in what they know of God through natural conscience and reading the Bible, and being breathed upon by the false angel of light, the false Christ; I say,
these men, amongst dissenters and the church, as well as amongst the universal herd of self-made, and mongrel, and infinitely varied professors, are a plague, sore, and confusion, to any weaklings of Christ’s flock, not vet severed from them.
And, as Nehemiah cursed them that spake half Ashdad and half the Jews’ language, so, generally, the vast herd of Baptist, Independent, and various professing ministers, in and out of the Establishment, who fatten on Christ and the loaves, but never, as the predestined elect, experimentally manifested by the Spirit in themselves and to spiritual persons; I say, these mongrel, Samaritan, and academy-made race, are the plague often for a long time to some poor souls that know Christ.
They are the stronghold of the devil, who never leads any of the human race, so inextricably involved in his nets, as those in a false and mere natural religion. The nearer to the truth in the letter, the better for him, and the easier. ‘rhus, he is called the false Christ; and this tribe whom I have been here attacking, are the most disguised and efficient officers in his army, children of the bondwoman, head-knowledge Calvinists and Arminians, whose natural conscience and judgment, exercised on the Bible, under the tuition of the devil, dressed as fair as any angel of light.
Thus, IF it were possible, planning for the deception of the very elect themselves; and thus, we are sure, he will get all the rest. All these mysteriously Satan-endowed, natural-gifted, and admired orators, of every shade and kind that can be imagined, the world is infested with; and, like Satan, walk up and down in it all around us, and increasingly every day.
And lettery high Calvinists, with a general experience, have the stamp of reprobation, as far as we can see, along with these mentioned.
For, there is neither salt, dew, brokenness, contrition, extent of experience, or living marks in them to satisfy the discerning eye of a spiritual man. Their experience is like the miracles of Pharoab’s magicians, as two to ten, when compared with the living marks in a living child of God: so small, scanty, feeble, and unsatisfactory; quite within the reach of natural conscience, the letter-knowledge of Scripture, and the mystic touch of the devil to inflate and decorate it up.
By John Kay
January 14, 1836.