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the fear of God, have a degree of divine knowledge, more than we can discourse of, and more certain than the demonstrations of geometry, brighter than the sun, and indeficient as the light of Heaven.-A good man is united to God. As flame touches flame, and combines into splendour and into glory, so is the spirit of a man united to Christ by the Spirit of God.--Our light, on the other hand, is like a candle. Every wind of doctrine blows it out, or expends the wax, and makes the light tremulous. But the lights of Heaven are fixed, and bright, and shine for ever."

Cudworth, in his Intellectual System, is wholly of the same opinion. "All the books and writings which we converse with, they can but represent spiritual objects to our understandings, which yet we can never see in their own true figure, colour, and proportion, until we have a divine light within to irradiate and shine upon them. Though there be never such excellent truths concerning Christ and his Gospel set down in words and letters, yet they will be but unknown characters to us, until we have a living Spirit within us, that can decypher them;



them until the same Spirit, ;

by secret whispers in our hearts, do comment upon them, which did at first indite them. There be many that understand the Greek and Hebrew of the Scripture, the original languages in which the text was written, that never understood the language of the Spirit."



Neither can a man, except he have a portion of the same Spirit which Jesus and the apostles and the prophets had, know spiritually that the Scriptures are of divine authority, or spiritually understand them-Explanation of these tenetsObjection that these tenets set aside human reason-Reply of the Quakers-Observations of Luther-Calvin-Owen-Archbishop. UsherArchbishop Sandys—Milton—Bishop Taylor.

As a man cannot know spiritual things but through the medium of the Spirit of God, or except he have a portion of the same Spirit which Jesus and the prophets and the apostles had; so neither can he, except he have a portion of the same Spirit, either spiritually know that the writings or sayings of these holy persons are of divine authority, or read or understand them to the promotion of his spiritual interest.

These two tenets are but deductions from that in the former chapter, and may be thus explained:

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A man, the Quakers say, may examine the Holy Scriptures, and may deduce their divine origin from the prophecies they contain, of which many have been since accomplished; from the superiority of their doctrines beyond those in any other book which is the work of man; from the miraculous preservation of them for so many ages; from the harmony of all their parts, and from many other circumstances which might be mentioned. But this, after all, will be but an historical, literal, or outward proof of their origin, resulting from his reason or his judgment. It will be no spiritual proof having a spiritual influence on his heart; for this proof of the divine origin of the Scriptures can only be had from the Spirit of God. Thus, when the apostle Paul* preached to several women by the river-side near Philippi, it is said of Lydia only, “The Lord opened her heart that she attended to the things that were spoken by Paul." The other women undoubtedly heard the Gospel of Paul with their outward ears: but it does not appear that their hearts were

* Acts xvi. 13.


in such a spiritual state that they felt its divine authority; for it is not said of them, as of Lydia, that their hearts were opened to understand spiritually that this Gospel was of God*. Again, when Jesus Christ preached to the Jews in the Temple, many believed on him; but others believed not, but were so enraged that they took up stones to cast at him. It appears that they all with their outward ears heard his doctrine, in which he particularly stated that he was from above; but they did not receive the truth of his origin in their hearts, because they were not in a state to receive that faith which cometh from the Spirit of God. In the same manner persons may hear sermon after sermon at the present day, but find no spiritual benefit on their hearts.

Again: A man, by comparing passages of Scripture with other passages, and by considering the use and acceptation of words in these, may arrive at a knowledge of their literal meaning. He may obtain also, by perusing the Scriptures, a knowledge of some of the attributes of God. He may

* John viii. 30. 45. 49.


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