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be then that "the creature, which waiteth in earnest expectation for the manifestation of the sons of God, will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God *." For, "if any man be in Christ he is a new creature : old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new, and all things of God †.”
Those who are the babes of the regene ration begin to see spiritual things. The natural man, the mere creature, never saw God. But the babes, who cry Abba Father, begin to see and to know him. Though as yet unskilful in the word of righteousness, "they desire the sincere milk of the word, that they may grow thereby t." And "their sins are forgiven them§.".
Those who may be considered as the young men in this state are said to be "spiritually strong, and the word of God abiding in them, to have overcome the wicked one." They who have attained a state of manhood are called fathers, or are said to be of full age, and to be capable of taking strong
*Rom. viii. 19. 21.
1 Peter ii. 2.
§ 1 John ii. 12.
1 John ii. 14.
meat. They come, in the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto perfect men, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ. They arrive at such a state of stability, that they are no more children tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, but, speaking the truth in love, grow up unto him in all things, which is the head, even Christ*."" The old man with his deeds being put off, they have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him†. "They are washed, they are sanctified, they are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and in the Spirit of our God ‡." The new creation is thus completed, and the Sabbath, wherein man ceases from his own works, commences; so that every believer can then say with the apostle, "I am crucified with Christ. Nevertheless I live: yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me§."
Ephes. iv. 13, 14, 15.
+ Coloss. iii. 9, 10.
1 Cor. vi. 11. § Galat. ii. 20.
But this state of manhood, " by which the man of God may be made perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works*," does not take place till Christ be fully formed in the souls of believers, or till they are brought wholly under his rule and government. He must be substantially formed in them. He must actually be their life and their hope of glory. He must be their head and governor. As the head and the body and the members are one, according to the apostle, but the head directs; so Christ, and believers in whom Christ is born and formed, are one spiritual body, which he himself must direct also. Thus Christ, where he is fully formed in man, or where believers are grown up to the measure of the stature and fulness of sonship, is the head of every man, and God is the head of Christ. Thus Christ the begotten entirely governs the whole man, as the head directs and governs all the members of the body; and God the Father, as the head of Christ, entirely guides and governs the begotten. Hence, believers "are Christ's, and Christ is God'st:" so that ultimately God is all in all.
* 2 Tim. iii. 17.
+1 Cor. iii. 23.
Having given this new view of the subject, I shall only observe further upon it, that the substance of this chapter turns out to be the same as that of the preceding; or, that inward redemption cannot be effected but through the medium of the Spirit of God. For Christ, according to the ideas now held out, must be born in men, and he must be formed in them, and he must rule them, before they can experience full inward redemption; or, in other words, they cannot experience this inward redemption, except they can truly say that he governs them, or except they can truly call him Governor or Lord. But no person can say that Christ rules in him, except he undergoes the spiritual process of regeneration which has been described; or, to use the words of the apostle, "*no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Spirit."
* 1 Cor. xii. 3.
↑ The reader will easily discern from this new view of the new birth, how men, according to the Quakers, become partakers of the divine nature, and how the Quakers make it out that Abraham and others saw Christ's day, as I mentioned in a former chapter.
Quakers believe from the foregoing account that redemption is possible to all-hence they deny the doctrine of Election and Reprobation-do not deny the texts on which it is founded, but the interpretation of them as contrary to the doctrines of Jesus Christ and the apostles-as making his mission unnecessary-as rendering many precepts useless-and as casting a stain on the character and attributes of God.
Ir will appear from the foregoing observations, that it is the belief of the Quakers that every man has the power of inward redemption within himself, who attends to the strivings of the Holy Spirit; and that as outward redemption by the sufferings of Jesus Christ extends to all, where the inward has taken place, so redemption or salvation, in its full extent, is possible to every individual of the human race,
This position, however, is denied by those