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The Spirit of God, which has been thus given to
man in different degrees, was given him as a spiritual teacher or guide in his spiritual concerns— It performs this office, the Quakers say, by internal monitions—Sentiments of Taylorand of Monro—and, if encouraged, it teaches even by the external objects of the CreationWilliam IVordsworth.
The Quakers believe that the Spirit of God, which has been thus given to man in different degrees or measures, and without which it is impossible to know spiritual things, or even to understand the Divine Writings spiritually, or to be assured of their divine origin, was given to him, among other purposes, as a teacher of good and evil, or to serve him as a guide in his spiritual concerns. By this the Quakers mean, that if any man will give himself up to the directions of the spiritual principle that resides within him, he will attain a know
ledge ledge sufficient to enable him to discover the path of his duty both to God and his fellow-man.
That the Spirit of God was given to man as a spiritual instructor, the Quakers conceive to be plain from a number of passages which are to be found in the Sacred Write ings.
They say, in the first place, that this was the language of the holy men of old *. “I said,” says Elihu, “ days should speak, and multitudes of years should teach wisdom. But there is a Spirit (or the Spirit itself is) in man, and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth him understanding." The Levites are found also making an acknowledgment to God t, that “ he gave also their forefathers his good Spirit to instruct them." The Psalms of David are also full of the same language, such as of“ Show me thy ways, O Lord ; lead me in the truth.” “I know,” says Jeremiah S, 66 that the
of man is not in himself. It is not in man, that walketh, to direct his steps.” The martyr Stephen acknowledges the teachings of the Spirit, both in his own time and in that of his ancestors.
* Job xxxii. 7.
# Psalm xxv. 4.
« * Ye stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do ye.” The Quakers also conceive it to be a doctrine of the Gospel. Jesus himself said t, “ No man can come to me except the Father, which hath sent me, draw him-It is written in the prophets, They shall all be taught of God.” St. John I says,
“ That was the true Light (namely, the Word or Spirit) which lighteth every man that cometh into the world." St. Paul also, in his first letter to the Com rinthians, asserts that “the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal;” and in his letter to Titus he asserts the same thing ||, though in different words : “ for the Grace of God,” says he, “ which bringeth Salvation, hath appeared unto all inen.
The Spirit of God, which has been thus given to man as a spiritual guide, is con
* Acts vii. 51. | Jobni. y.
t John vi. 44, 45.
sidered by the Quakers as teaching him in
It inspires him with good thoughts.' It prompts him to good offices. It checks him in his
to evil. It reproves him while in the act of committing it.
The learned Jeremy Taylor was of the same opinion. “The Spirit of Grace,” says he, " is the Spirit of Wisdom, and teaches us by secret inspirations, by proper arguments, by actual persuasions, by personal applications, by effects and energies.”
This office of the Spirit is also beautifully described by Monro, a divine of the established church, in his Just Measures of the Pious Institutions of Youth. Spirit,” says he, “ speaks inwardly and immediately to the soul. For God is a Spirit. The soul is a spirit, and they converse with one another in the Spirit, not by words, but by spiritual notices, which, however, are more intelligible than the most eloquent strains in the world. God makes himself to be heard by the soul by inward motions, which it perceives and comprehends proportionably as it is voided and emptied of earthly ideas. And the more the faculties
" The Holy
of the soul cease their own operations, so much the more sensible and intelligible are the motions of God to it. These immediate communications of God with the souls of men are denied and derided by a great many. But that the Father of Spirits should have no converse with our spirits but by the intervention only of outward and foreign objects, may justly seem strange, especially when we are so often told in Holy Scripture, that we are the temples of the Holy Ghost, and that God dwelleth in all good men.”
But this Spirit is considered by the Quakers, not only as teaching by inward breathings as it were, made immediately and directly upon the heart, without the intervention of outward circumstances, but as making the material objects of the universe, and
many of the occurrences of life, if it be properly attended to, subservient to the instruction of man; and as enlarging the sphere of his instruction in this manner in proportion as it is received and encouraged. Thus, the man who is attentive to these divine notices sees the animal, the vegetable,