« PrécédentContinuer »
light of the Spirit that was within him, occasioned a dissolution of his spiritual feelings and perceptions; for he became dead, as it were, in consequence, as to any knowledge of God, or enjoyment of his pre
It pleased the Almighty, however, not wholly to abandon him in this wretched state, but he comforted him with the cheering promise, that the seed of the woman should some time or other completely subdue sin, or, to use the Scripture language, “ should bruise the Serpent's head;" or, in other words, as sin was of a spiritual nature, so it could only be overcome by a sp:ritual conqueror: and therefore that the same Holy Spirit, or Word, or Divine Principle of Light and Life, which had appeared in creation, should dwell so entirely, and without limit or measure, in the person or body of some one of his descendants, that sin. should by him be entirely subdued.
* It was said, that in the day in which Adam eat the forbidden fruit he should die; but he did not lose his animal life, or his rational nature. His loss therefore is usually considered by the Quakers to have been a divine. spiritual principle, which had been originally superadded to the rational and animal faculties,
As God then poured into Adam, the first man, a certain portion of his own Spirit, or gave him a certain portion of the divine Light, for the regulation of his spiritual conduct, and the power of heavenly intercourse with himself; so he did not entirely cease from bestowing his Spirit upon his posterity: or, in other words, he gave them a portion of that Light, which enlighteneth every man that cometh into the world. Of the individuals, therefore, who succeeded Adam, all received a portion of this Light. Some, however, enjoyed larger portions of it than others, according as they attended to its influences, or according to the measure given them. Of those who possessed the greatest share of it, some were the antient patriarchs, such as Noah and Abraham; and others were the antient scriptural writers, such as Moses and the Prophets. The latter, again, experienced it in different measures or degrees; and in proportion as they had it, they delivered, more or less, those prophecies which are usually considered as inspired truths, from a belief that many of them have been circumstantially completed. At length, in the fulness of time, that is,
when all things had been fulfilled which were previously to take place, this divine Spirit, which had appeared in creation, or this divine Word, or Light, took flesh, (for, as St. John the evangelist says,
" the Word was made flesh, and dwelled among us,”) and inhabited the body,
« which had been prepared for it;" or, in other words, it inhabited the body of the person Jesus ; but with this difference, that whereas only a portion of this divine Light or Spirit had been given to Adam, and afterwards to the prophets, it was given, without limit or measure, to the man Jesus*.
« For he, whom God hath sent," says St. John, “speaketh the words of God; for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.” And St. Paul says t,
« In him the fulness of the Godhead dwelled bodily.” In him therefore the promise given to Adam was accomplished, “ that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent's head ;" for we see, in this case, a human body, weak and infirm, and subject to passions, possessed or occupied without limit or measure by the Spi
* John iii. 34,
+ Coloss. ii. 9.
rit of God. But if the man Jesus had the full Spirit of God within him, he could not be otherwise than perfectly holy. And, if so, sin never could have entered, and must therefore, as far as relates to him, have been entirely repelled. Thus he answered the prophetic character which had been given him, independently of his victory over sin by the sacrifice of himself, or by becoming afterwards a comforter to those in bondage who should be willing to receive him.
After Jesus Christ came the Evangelists and Apostles. Of the same Spirit which he had possessed immeasurably, these had their several portions; and though these were limited*, and differed in degree from one another, they were sufficient to enable them to do their duty to God and men, to enjoy the presence of the Almighty, and to promote the purposes designed by him in the propagation of his Gospel.
Except a man has a portion of the same Spirit
which Jesus and the prophets and the apostles had, he can have no knowledge of God or spiritual things—Doctrine of St. Paul on this sulject This confirms the history of the human and divine Spirit in man—these Spirits distinct in their hind—This distinction further elucidated ly a comparison l'etween the faculties of men ard brutes — Sentiments of Augustine - LutherCalvin-Smith-Cuduorth.
The Quakers believe that there can be no spiritual knowledge of God, but through the medium of his holy Spirit; or, in other words, that if men have not a portion of the same Spirit which the holy men of old, and which the evangelists and apostles, and which Jesus himself had, they can have no true or vital religion.
In favour of this proposition they usually quote
those remarkable words of the apostle Paul *, “ For what man knoweth the things
* i Cor. ii, 1], &c.