Images de page

from the power of sin, or a cleansing of the heart from the pollutions of the world. This inward redemption is produced by the Spirit of God, as before stated, operating on the hearts of men, and so cleansing and purifying them as to produce a new birth in the inward man; so that the same Spirit of God, which has been given to men in various degrees since the foundation of the world, as a teacher in their spiritual concerns, which hath visited every man in his day, and which hath exhorted and reproved him for his spiritual welfare*, has the power of preserving him from future sin, and of leading him to salvation.

That this inward redemption is performed by the Spirit of God, the Quakers show from various passages in the Sacred Writings. Thus St. Paul says, “ According to his mercy he hath saved us by the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Ghost t.” The same apostle says, again, “ It is the law of the Spirit that maketh free from the law of sin and death*.” And again, “ As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God t.”

* The Quakers believe, however, that this Spirit was more plentifully diffused, and that greater gifts were given to men, after Jesus was glorified, than before. Eph. iv. 8. # Titus iji, 5.


The Quakers say, That this inward redemption or salvation is effected by the Spirit, is obvious also from the experience of all good men, or from the manner in which many have experienced a total conversion or change of heart. For though there are undoubtedly some, who have gone on so gradually in their reformation from vice to virtue, that it may have been considered to be the effect of reason which has previously determined on the necessity of a holy life ; yet the change from vice to holiness has often been so rapid and decisive, as to leave no doubt whatever that it could not have been produced by any effort of solely by some Divine operation, which could only have been that of the Spirit of God.

Of these two kinds of redemption, the outward and the inward, of which the latter will be the subject of our consideration, it may

be observed that they go hand in hand together. St. Paul has coupled them together in these

reason, but

* Rom. viii, 2.

+ Rom. viii. 14.

words: And as

words: “ For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more being reconciled we shall be saved by his life *;" that is, by the life of his Spirit working inwardly in us. they go together in the mind of the apostle, so they go together as to the benefit of their effects. For, in the first place, the outward redemption takes place when the inward has begun; and, secondly, the outward redemption, or the sufferings of Jesus Christ which redeem from past sins, cannot have any efficacy till the inward has begun, or while men remain in their sins; or, in other words, no man can be entitled to the forgiveness of sins that have been committed, till there has been a change in the inward man; for St. John intimates that the blood of Christ does not cleanse from sin except men walk in the light t, or, to use an expression syno-, nymous with the Quakers, except men walk in the Spirit.

* Romans v, 10.

+ John i. 6,7.



Inward redemptiort, which ihus goes on by the ope

ration of the Holy Spirit, has the power of producing a new birth in menthis office of the Spirit acknowledged by other Christians-Monro, Hammond, Lochemit has the power also of leading to perfectionSentiments of the Quakers as to perfection-and of the ever memorable John Hales-Geli-MonroThis power of inward redemption bestowed upon all.

. The sufferings, then, of Jesus Christ having, by means of the forgiveness of past sins, put men into a capacity of salvation, the remaining part of salvation, or the inward redemption of man, is performed by the operation of the Holy Spirit ; of which however it must be remembered, that a more plentiful diffusion is considered by the Quakers to have been given to men after the ascension of Jesus Christ than at any former period.

The nature of this inward redemption, or the nature of this new office, which it perforins in addition to that of a religious reacher, may be seen in the following account:

It oc

It has the power, the Quakers believe, of checking and preventing bad inclinations and passions,-of cleansing and purifying the heart --of destroying the carnal mind,-of making all old things pass away,---of introducing new,-of raising our spiritual senses, so as to make us delight in the things of God, and to put us above the enjoyment of earthly pleasures. Redeeming thus from che pollutions of the world, and leading to spiritual purity, it forms a new creature. It produces a new man in the heart. casions a man by its quickening power to be born again, and thus puts him into the way of salvation.

" For verily I say unto thee,” says Jesus Christ to Nicodemus,“ except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God *

This office and power of the Spirit of God is acknowledged by other Christians. Monro, who has been before quoted, observes, “ that the soul, being thus raised from the death of sin and born again, is divinely animated and discovers that it is alive by the vital operations which it performs." * John iii. 3.

“ Again,"


« PrécédentContinuer »