Images de page
[ocr errors]

sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ;" that “ * Jesus Christ was set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;" thatt “ he tasted death for every man;" that he was “ # delivered for our offences, and raised again for our justification;" that

She is set down at the right-hand of the throne of God;" “ || and ever liveth to make intercession for us ;" and that he is the substance of all the types and figures under the Levitical priesthood, being the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.

They believe, again, that in consequence of these various revelations, as contained in the Scriptures, they have inestimable advantages over the Heathen nations, or over those where the Gospel-sun has never yet shone; and that as their advantages are greater, so more will be required of them, or their condemnation will be greater, if they fail

* Rom. iii. 25. Rom. iv, 25. + Heb. ii. 9. ♡ Heb. xii. 2.

|| Heb. vii. 25.

Rom. x. 4.


to attend to those things which are clearly revealed.

They maintain, again, that their discipline is founded on the rules of the Gospel; and that in consequence of giving an interpretation different from that of many others to some of the expressions of Jesus Christ, by which they conceive they make his kingdom more pure and heavenly, they undergo persecution from the world; so that they confirm their attachment to the Scriptures by the best of all credible testimonies--the seal of their own sufferings.




men as

This Spirit of God, which has been thus given to

an infallible guide in their spiritual concerns, has been given them universally-to. the patriarchs and Israelites from the creation to the time of Mosesto the Israelites or Jews from Moses to Jesus Christto the Gentileworld from all antiquity to modern times--10 all those who have ever heard the Gospel and it continues its office to the latter even at the

present day. Tue Quakers are of opinion, that the Spirit of God, of which a portion has been given to men as a primary and infallible guide in their spiritual concerns, has been given them universally, or has been given to all of the human race, without any exception, for the same purpose.

This proposition of the Quakers I shall divide, in order that the reader may see it more clearly, into four cases. The first of these will comprehend the patriarchs and the Israelites from the creation to the time of Moses. The second, the Israelites or Jews

from the time of Moses to the coming of Jesus Christ. The third, the Gentiles or Heathens. And the fourth, all those who have heard of the Gospel of Jesus Christ from the time of his own ministry to the present day.

The first case includes a portion of time of above two thousand

years. Now the Quakers believe that during all this time men were generally enlightened as to their duty by the Spirit of God; for there was no Scripture, or written law of God, during all this period. “It was about two thousand four hundred years,” says Thomas Beaven, an approved writer among the Quakers, « after the creation of the world, before mankind had any external written law for the rule and conduct of their lives, so far as appears by either sacred or profane history; in all which time, mankind, generally speaking, had only for their rule of faith and manners the external creation as a monitor to their outward senses, for evidence of the reality and certainty of the existence of the Supreme Being, and the internal impressions God by his Divine Spirit made upon the capacities and powers of their souls or

inward man, and perhaps some of them oral traditions delivered from father to son."

To the same point, Thomas Beaven quotes the ever memorable John Hales, who, in his Golden Remains, writes in the following manner : “ The love and favour, which it pleased God to bear our fathers before the Law, so far prevailed with him, as that, without

any books and writings, by familiar and friendly conversing with them, and communicating himself unto them, he made them receive and understand his laws; their inward conceits and intellectuals being, after a wonderful manner, figured as it were and characterized by his Spirit, so that they could not but see, and consent unto and confess the truth of them. Which way of manifesting his will, unto many other gracious privileges which it had, above that which in after ages came in place of it, had this added, that it brought with it unto the man to whom it was made, a preservation against all doubt and hesitancy, and a full assurance, both who the Author was, and how far his intent and meaning reached. We, who are their offspring, ought, as St. Chrysostom tells us, so to have demeaned ourselves, that




« PrécédentContinuer »