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"what he means, ought to be held a com66 mon enemy, and hated as the gates of "Hell."
How lamentable it is, that the spirit of defamation should be so predominant in any professing christian, as to upbraid and ridicule us for not believing as himself does, and that even in things not essential to salvation; nor to be ascertained by our investigation! He says, "( Barclay has not made it a sub"ject of discourse in all his Apology to give R any decided opinion."
I do not suppose that Barclay, (any more than his friends of the present day,) considered it so essential a doctrine as to say much on it; and since it is thus called into notice, I am also willing to say, that I do not consider a belief in the resurrection of the body, to be a necessary article of the christian faith and what great disagreement has arisen among those, professing this belief; respecting the manner of it. But, I believe, it by no means profitable to indulge in curious speculations on the subject; remembering that "secret things belong unto the Lord our God, but those things that are revealed belong unto us," for, as we are assured, that the immortal spirits of the
* Deut. xxix, 29.
righteous will be accepted in the sight of God our Creator, it ought fully to suffice us.
The beloved disciple of our Lord saith; now are we the sons of God; and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is."
Happy, therefore, are those who have known Him who is "the resurrection and the life," to redeem and prepare their souls for this glorious resurrection unto life eternal; in which, our Saviour tells us, they 66 are as the angels of God in heaven."a
These being my sentiments, I consider it foreign to the proper business of a christian, to be contending about the resurrection of these bodies, which are but dust, and unto dust shall return; while the immortal spirit, which is redeemed through the power and virtue of Christ, ascends unto God its Creator, to live and enjoy him for ever: as saith the wise man, "Then shall the dust return to the earth, as it was; and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.".
Page 28, I find these words in a note; "Some Quakers say, that the resurrection “of Christ was a spiritual resurrection, i. e. his spirit rose, but not his body."
Mat. xxii. 19.
Eccles. xi. 7. 1 John, iii 2.
From whence he gets his authority for this assertion, I know not; having never heard the sentiment in our society. But though he only accuses some Quakers, I will notice it, and say, the Quakers believe all that is written in Scripture respecting Jesus Christ; that he was born of the virgin Mary; suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified and buried in the sepulehre of Joseph, of Arimathea; rose again the third day; and, at sundry times, appeared unto his disciples, who have given full testimony of his resurrection.
Having thus briefly given my sentiments on this subject, I feel no disposition to enter into disputation, or nice disquisition, on a subject not essential to salvation; and which, man, by the utmost exertion of the powers of his mind, cannot investigate or determine; for, all his researches must end as they began.
I consider it of infinitely greater importance for all to "give diligence to make their calling and election sure."w For, "in every nation, he that feareth God, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him."* We never find the Saviour of mankind leading his disciples into curious spe* Acts, x. 25.
w2 Pet. i. 10.
culative inquiries; but the whole tenor of his doctrine is to recommend and enforce practical religion; as that which alone can ensure salvation. He testifies, "I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live; and whosoever liveth and believeth in me, shall never die."
He next asserts, as his fifth charge, page 32,"Quakers deny the ordinances of "Christ, viz. the sacrament of the Lord's "Supper, and Baptism. Barclay's Apol. .66 page 424 and 485.
"When the reader has examined what "Mr. Barclay and others of the order are "pleased to call argument on the subject: "and proving his propositions; they will "find them to read thus: Therefore it is plain-Having proved before-It can be "proved-It was to cease-It is not com"manded-Our adversaries are divided in "their opinion-I shall prove-Many did "not believe it-It is not Christ's baptism "I have proved before-Our adversaries "cannot deny-We know the true light now
y John, xi. 25.
"shineth-It will enlighten all-We shall
"Thus they assert and affirm. And an "assertion proves an affirmation, and an "affirmation proves an assertion. In this "way they can prove any thing, and prove "it by the Scripture too.'
These mutilated quotations from Barclay, as well as all his animadversions upon the subject, fully evince, this was the only method he could devise, to get over Barclay's clear and cogent reasoning; and also expose the disposition of the writer, and his injustice towards the Quakers. But although his assertions and remarks upon this subject, may be of such a kind, as in themselves merit no reply, yet, for the information of those unacquainted with us, I will endeavour to explain our sentiments thereon.
John the Baptist pointing out the essential difference between his own baptism and that of Christ, says, "I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh; the latchet of whose shoes, I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire." Again,
2 Luke, iii. 16.