GIFTS, SPIRITUAL (gifts, spir'it-d-al), (Gr. xaptcri.Lara, khar-is'mah-tah, gifts of grace).
1. Charismata means those "graces" which are the effects of grace; that is of the outpouring of the Holy Ghost, consequent on the ascension of our Lord into heaven,—all, properly speaking, subjective: yet St. Paul calls the pardon of sin in one place (Rom. v :15), and eternal life in an other (ib. yi:23), a "charisnza ;" that is, a gracious or free gift on the part of God through Christ.
2. Again, subjective graces have been distin guished into two classes : (1) those conferring mere power (gratiae gratis datae); and (2) those which affect the character (gratiae gratum fa cientes). The locus classicus for both is Cor. xii to the end of ch. xiv (on which see Bloom field, Alford, Cornelius a Lapide, and others), where they are thrown together without much system or classification.
(a) Of the former class, some were neither permanent nor universal, as the gift of healing: others, as for instance, that which he affirms else where to be in Timothy by the laying on of his hands (2 Tim. i :6 ; comp. Pet. iv :to) ; in other words, the gift conferred upon all ministers of the gospel at their ordination, fitting them for their respective posts, were permanent, but not uni versal. Both were bestowed primarily for the edification of the whole body ; not but that it would fare better or worse with each individual possessed of them according to the way in which they were used. "The manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man, to profit withal." (b) Of the latter class all were permanent and universal, being designed primarily for individual sanctification ; all had them therefore without ex ception; and anybody might double or quadruple his share of them by his own exertions. \Vhere they lay dormant in any, the fault was his own. Wherever they were cultivated, they would bring forth, some thirty, some sixty, and some a hun dredfold.
(c) "Follow aftcr charity," says the Apostle. Then, in substance, he goes on to say : This is a gift of the same character with faith and hope, permanent and bestowed on all. There fore the degree to which you may become pos sessed of it rests with yourselves. As you fol
low after it, so you will obtain it. For those gifts which are not given to all you can only pray ; still I enjoin you to pray ; and of these "pray rather that ye may prophesy;" in other words that ye may "understand the scriptures" (compare Luke xxiv :45), and be able to interpret them for the benefit of others, as well as your own ;—a gift which is permanent, and for the good of all, like charity. Of ordinary gifts, I have devoted a whole chapter to show that charity should oc cupy the first place: of extraordinary gifts, I pro ceed to show in the ensuing chapter my reasons for considering prophecy, taken in its widest sense, to be first also; one is for practice, the other for information: to understand the ;criptures, and to act upon them aright, for general as well as for private profit and edification, is to fulfill every purpose for which grace is vouchsafed.
(d) Prophecy, therefore, will mean here the gift of expounding, rather than of foretelling (Corn. a Lap. ad.1.), and to the nine extraordi nary "charismata" set down here, correspond the nine ordinary, described as "the fruit of the Spirit," in the Epistle to the Galatians (v :22). To these last three more have been added, making twelve in all ; while faith, hope, and charity have been contrariwise classified by themselves as the three theological virtues. E. S. F.
(e) Concerning spiritual gifts Cremer says: "Their number is as various as the needs of the Church, and neither the enumeration of Cor. xii, nor of Eph. iv, nor Rom. xii can be regarded as exhaustive. But those are permanent which are necessary for the government of the Church, and those temporary which had a miraculous element'. as the miraculous gifts of the apostles. But among the latter is not to be included the 'gift of proclaiming the gospel so as to produce faith' (Weiss). The apostolic charismata bear the same relation to those of the ministry that the apos tolic office does to the pastoral office, and consist in the power to lay•the foundations of the Church. They are therefore not repeated, as the Irvingites hold, for there are no circumstances calling for their repetition." (Sec article in Schaff-Herzog.)