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Recapitulation of all the doctrines hitherto laid
down with respect to the influence of the Spirit, objection to this, that the Quakers make every thing of the Spirit, and but little of Jesus Christ -objection only noticed to show that Christians have not always a right apprehension of scriptural terms, and therefore often quarrel with one another about trifles—or that there is, in this particular case, no difference between the doca trine of the Quakers and that of the oljectors on
this subject. I
SHALL now recapitulate in few words, or in one general proposition, all the doctrines which have been advanced relative to the power of the Spirit; and shall just notice an argument, which will probably arise on such a recapitulation, before I proceed to a new subject.
The Quakers, then, believe that the Spirit of God formed or created the world. They believe that it was given to men, after the formation of it, as a guide to them in their spiritual concerns. They believe that it was
continued to them after the Deluge, in the same manner and for the same purposes, to the time of Christ. It was given, however, in this interval to different persons in different degrees. Thus the Prophets received a greater portion of it than ordinary persons in their own times. Thus Moses was more illuminated by it than his cotemporaries ; for it became through him the Author of the Law. In the time of Christ it cantinued the same office ; but it was then given more diffusively than before, and also more diffusively to some than to others. Thus the Evangelists and Apostles received it in an extraordinary degree; and it became through them, and Jesus Christ their head, the Au. thor of the Gospel. But, besides its office of a spiritual light and guide to men in their spiritual concerns, during aļl the period now assigned, it became to them, as they attended to its influence, an inward redeemer, producing in them a new birth, and leading them to perfection. And as it was thus both a guide and an inward redeemer, so it has continued these offices to the present day. From hence it will be apparent, that the
acknowledgment of God's Holy Spirit in its various operations, as given in different
portions before and after the sacrifice of Christ, is the acknowledgment of a principle which is the great corner-stone of the religion of the Quakers. Without this there can be no knowledge, in their opinion, of spiritual things. Without this there can be no spiritual interpretation of the Scriptures themselves. Without this there can be no redemption by inward, though there may be redemption by outward, means. Without this there can be no enjoyment of the knowledge of divine things. Take, therefore, this principle away from them, and you take away their religion at once.
the Spirit, and Christianity remains with them no more Christianity, than the dead carcase of a man when the Spirit is departed remains a man. Whatsoever is excellent, whatsoever is noble, whatsoever is worthy, whatsoever is desirable in the Christian faith, they ascribe to this Spirit ; and they believe that true Christianity can no more subsist without it, than the outward world could go on without the vital influence of the sun. Now an objection will be made to the proposition, as I have just stated it, by some Christians, and even by those who do not wish to derogate from the Spirit of God, (for I have frequently heard it started by such,) that the Quakers, by means of these doctrines, make every thing of the Spirit, and but little of Jesus Christ*. I shall therefore notice this objection in this place, not so much with a view of answering it, as of attempting to show, that Christians have not always a right apprehension of scriptural terms, and therefore that they sometimes quarrel with one another about trifles; or rather, that when they have disputes with each other, there is sometimes scarcely a shade of difference between them.
To those who make the objection I shall describe the proposition, which has been stated above, in different terms. I shall leave out the words “Spirit of God," and I shall wholly substitute the term “ Christ.” This I shall do upon the authority of some of
* The Quakers make much of the advantages of Christ's coming in the flesh. Among these are considered the sacrifice of his own body, a more plentiful diffusion of the Spirit, and a clearer revelation relative to God and nian.
our best Divines. The proposition will then run thus :
God, by means of Christ, created the world, “ for without him was not any thing made that was made."
He made, by means of the same Christ, the terrestrial globe on which we live. He made the whole host of heaven. He made therefore, besides our own, other planets and other worlds.
He caused also, by means of the same Christ, the generation of all animated nature, and of course of the life and vital powers of
He occasioned also, by the same means, the generation of reason or intellect, and of a spiritual faculty, to man.
Man, however, had not long been created before he fell into sin. It pleased God, therefore, that the same Christ, which had thus appeared in creation, should strive inwardly with man, and awaken his spiritual faculties, by which he might be able to know good from evil, and to obtain inward redemption from the pollutions of sin. And this inward striving of Christ was to be with every man, in after times, so that all