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worthy, that we see no reason to intermit their
2:10—" in the person of Christ ;” says the blessed Paul. The same word or phrase exactly, in 4:6, is repeated ; and might be well rendered, “the glory of God in the person of Jesus Christ.” 2 Tliess. 1:9 is another instance; “who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence (Greek-person) of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.” I will quote only one other example ; Heb. 1 :3. “ who, being the brightness
: of his glory and the express image of his person :" whose ? The person of the Father! yes, and as distinguished, by necessary implication, from the person of the Son: and both as persons in the Godhead! But, I forbear. In adverting to these specimens of what is scriptural, it is not my plan to write a dissertation on the trinity. I must remark, however, once more, fifth, That Friends are in a dilemma which their light has made, and from which to be extricated is possible only in one way—and that is, candidly, as individuals or as a society, to renounce the great meteor of their delusion! They are at best in the common predicament of men. In truth, i. e. apart from a wonted simulation of being inspired, THEY KNOW NOTHING in theology that the Bible has not directly or indirectly taught them; and why will they not honestly acknowledge so certain a truth? If they would only acquire a release or manumission from the spell of ignorance, and fatuity, and REAL DISHONESTY; and willingly own their indebtedness to “the oracles of God;" they might then be helped, by “the Bridegroom” and “the Bride,” to make a proficiency in heavenly wisdom, from which now
their sincere sorcery necessarily precludes them! God will be no party to a cause “ that loveth or maketh a lie "-as Quakerism is! I have little or
” no hope of their valid improvement until their foundations of falsehood are exploded ; and so convinced is my whole soul of this, that I avow it as steadfastly: whatever some judicious ones, who have comparatively never attended to the subject, may think or pronounce in the opposite. “They that forsake the law, praise the wicked: but such as keep the law, contend with them.” Prov. 28 : 4, 5, 9, 13, 18, 23. I reject therefore the idea that Friends, at their “best estate," are orthodox' or unequivocal, on the revealed doctrine of the GODHEAD.
It is my own conviction that the power of the Quaker system is much more human than divine; excessively more of the man than the Master; more fixed in dogmatizing, incomparably, than in demonstration : that, apart from influence sectarian and clanish, there is precious little of pure christian influence among them. Their leaders know not, learn not, study not, teach not, the pure expounded sense of “the oracles of God;" and hence their christianity is mainly as equivocal and false, as their vaunted inspiration is a ridiculous conceit, a most impudent lie, a fundamental delusion and cheat of the destroyer! The whole system is a mystical and false invention of men ; founded in falsehood of the most insidious kind, which pervades and characterizes the whole concern of principles and persons—so far as they
are purely and exclusively under its influence. Who can honestly or consistently deny this ? I answeronly those who are willing to endorse their pretensions to immediate inspiration! I do not say that no better influence comes on some of them in spite of their system. “The sun of righteousness” may shine through a mist, and vivify even the mental surface that his beams affect : and is the mist to be praised for that?
One ill feature of their system is that implicated in the forementioned topics—the virtual impersonality of their God. They, all of them, refuse to allow personality to the names of the Godhead. They say, the Spirit is God-but deny his personality: and they just as much deny it, distinctively, and wholly, to the Father and to the Son; resolving this into their “tender” respect for the “secondary rule”almost as if that were a person! Now what I furthermore allege is that in effect they deny it to the Godhead. I allege this as a fact, rather than an argument; and write it as a witness rather than a disputer. Their theology is debilitated, and rendered effete and powerless, by their totality within; by an impersonal divinity of uncertain attributes, confused definition, and most mystified sanctity. Their God is—a principle, seed, light, and so forth, inserted in the soul ; "a measure of that power, virtue, spirit, life, and grace, that was in Christ Jesus : thus the seed of the kingdom, as a redeeming principle, is placed in the heart of every individual, ready to expand with the opening faculties of the soul, and to take the government of it,
from the first dawn of intellectual life : the gift of grace, as an operative power in the hearts of wen, was universally dispensed to the whole human race: by whose inward operations in our hearts, we are sanctified and prepared for an inheritance eternal in the heavens :" so that the greatest condemnation “would be to resist that holy seed, which, as minded, would lead and incline every one to believe it as it is offered unto them; though it revealeth not in every one the outward and explicit knowledge of it, nevertheless it always assenteth to it where it is declared.” It “ought to be distinguished from every other influence which actuates the human mind. We therefore profess and firmly believe, that the light of Christ, in the heart, is an unerring guide, and the primary rule of faith and practice that it is the only medium through which we can truly and livingly attain to the low knowledge of God, and the mysteries of his heavenly kingdom. That the influences of the Holy Spirit must be sensibly experienced, in order to be availing to us, is evident, in the very nature of things. To experience this essential qualification, it is our duty to retire inwardly to the measure of divine grace.
We believe that the solemn duty of vocal prayer requires a special impulse. Whenever the gospel is really preached, it is preached baptizingly in a greater or less degree. We profess the same faith, and the guidance of the same unerring principle.” I have selected the above * orthodox' specimens from “ The TESTIMONY of the Society of Friends on the continent of America ;"