- Their Objections concern the Enthusiastical Spirit, whom they maintain,
α. To have been Promised both elsewhere and especially in Joel 2:28, 29.
I Respond: a. With phrases alike selected out of the Old Economy according to the manner of the Prophets, that the abundance of light and knowledge is designed, that would obtain under the New Testament through the instruction of the Spirit, but from the Scripture, according to Isaiah 59:21; and that would be such that the faithful flocks of the New Testament, compared with the faithful flocks of the Old Testament, would excel them by so great an interval as formerly had been between the Prophets and other men of the common people. b. But, a certain excellent and extraordinary proof of this matter, and earnest, as it were, God willed to be on record in that effusion of the Spirit, with which the Apostles were magnified, and of which He made certain others sharers in those first times, and in which the words of the prophecy were more literally fulfilled: so that from those the faithful might gather what they might be warranted to expect for themselves from the divine resources. c. For it is evident that those extraordinary gifts of the Spirit do not pertain to all unto whom the prophecy of Joel had regard; inasmuch as Peter extends this promise unto all truly penitent under the New Testament, Acts 2:38, 39, just as Joel had made mention of all flesh, whom nevertheless the event teaches not at all to have been made partakers of that extraordinary prophetic gift. While the promises of Isaiah 54:13 and Jeremiah 31:34 ought not to be understood absolutely, but rather comparatively, concerning the greater grace of the Spirit and more extensive effusion of knowledge under the New Testament, or concerning the more abundant, future, subjective effusion of the Holy Spirit under the New Testament than under the Old; and concerning the greater and clearer, shining, objective revelation under the New Testament through the execution and fulfillment of the things signified and predicted under the Old: which things do not at all exclude instruction also mediated out the Scriptures, which are revealed for this purpose, as a perfect rule of faith. On Isaiah 54:13, consult TRIGLAND’S Antapologiam, chapter XXXIII, pages 447, 448, in comparison with the Apologia Remonstrantium, chapter XVII, page 185b; and WESSELIUS’ Fasciculum Dissertationum, Sermon on this passage, pages 647-653. The same WESSELIUS, Fasciculo Dissertationum, in the Dissertation on 2 Corinthians 3:6, § VIII, concerning the text of Jeremiah 31:34, writes: “They shall teach no more every man his friend, and every man his brother, that is, an Israelite, but also the Nations, dwelling through the entire world, unto its bounds, with the dividing wall now removed.”