Gifts of the Spirit

General Booth; from the "War Cry," March 14th, 1885

MY DEAR COMRADES,-

A good deal of attention is being given just now to what are known as the extraordinary "gifts of the Spirit;" that is, the ability to do something which is beyond the power of man to do without the direct operation of God. Such gifts as these were, without doubt, possessed by the Apostles ........! They had the gift of tongues; that is, they received suddenly the power to speak languages which they had never learned. They had the gift of healing; that is, they cured the sick, opened the eyes of the blind, unstopped the ears of the deaf, and restored the dead to life instantaneously without the use of ordinary means. They wrought miracles; they caused events to happen that were contrary to the usual course of nature. These were very remarkable gifts, proving that God was with them, because no man could do these things unless God was operating directly through him. These gifts were useful, inasmuch as they called attention to those who possessed them, declared that the mission of these Officers was Divine,...... . For this reason they were important to the world, and their possession to-day might be a great blessing to mankind. There is not a word in the Bible which proves that we may not have them at the present time, and there is nothing in experience to show they would not be as useful to-day as in any previous period of the Church's History. No man, therefore, can be condemned for desiring them, and the recent remarkable signs and wonders wrought amongst us not only demand, but shall have our most profound and sympathetic consideration.

Taken from HQL-9812, p. 31