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ye would altogether hold your peace; and it should be your wisdom.” The blood of souls will be found in your skirts, and that by thousands.
You are not aware exactly of your heavy responsibility to God. He has condemned those rash and ignorant pretenders to a call from him, who preach “another” and an unkaown gospel, “understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.” I would recommend to you a rational and prayerful perusal of the twenty-third chapter of Jeremiah.
Another argument is drawn from the recognised former condition of those saints to whom the apostolical epistles were written. Says Paul to the Corinthians ; “ Ye know that ye were gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.” He says to the Galatians; “ This only would I learn of you, received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith ?” The Quaker answer properly is; “O foolish Paul! be ashamed of thy ignorance. We receive the Spirit neither by the one nor the other. Every man by nature, whether heathen, jew, or christian, receives a portion of the Spirit of God, without which God could not be just, nor man accountable. Dost thou think that God could not save his creatures without the preaching of thee or any other man? We have nobler and more honorable views of the universal Father.” Plainly Paul thought that saints receive the Spirit “ by the hearing of faith.” With the fact alone am I concerned. Other matters I leave to Friends. What then was their condition before they enjoyed “the hearing of faith ?"
“the Spirit” then? He reminds the Ephesians of their previous state in these words; “ that at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world." How could all this be, on the Quaker theory? In the same letter, he says; “ This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as OTHER GENTILES WALK, IN THE VANITY OF THEIR MIND, having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart. Who being past feeling, have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.” He says to the Thessalonians; “ Ye turned to God from idols, to serve the living and true God.” Says the beloved John, on the behalf of the church, his brethren; “And we know that we are of God; and the whole world lieth in wickedness." A thousand other testimonies could be added; but it is useless. Where are the fruits of the light universal ? Did the apostles kņow? They did not.
But Friends aver that in other passages their doctrine is recognised. Is this likely, after reading those passages that exclude the possibility of its existence! But I will examine one or two of their texts, which they love-mainly because they misunderstand them!
“ Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons ; but, in every nation, he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.” Acts, 10 : 34, 35. If this passage asserted as a factwhat it does not—that in every nation there are instances of holy men, who, without all knowledge of scriptural revelation, are accepted of God; more than this would still be necessary to sustain the theory of Friends : it would still be wanting to show that the knowledge, by which they wrought righteousness, was the result of the universal inward light. It might be the result of oral preaching; it might depend upon special disclosures of the Spirit, as that which first warned Abram to migrate from Ur of the Chaldees; it might occur as the consequence of patriarchal tradition, like that which assisted (at least) the piety of antediluvian saints. The passage has no affinity with the doctrine of Friends. It merely asserts the characteristic largeness of the new dispensation, in distinction from the NATIONAL bigotry of the Jews. “In short," says Dr. Scott, “where the essence of true religion is found, God will graciously accept it, without regarding names, forms or sects :—and whatever may yet be wanting in explicit knowledge of faith, will in due time be communicated.” The opposite of the text is that a man who had heard of salvation, who had long resided among the people of God, who believed the scriptures, and was sincerely devout, could not be accepted, because he was by nativity an uncircumcised Roman: this the Jews believed, and with a violence that was perfectly inexorable.
that the nations were to be admitted “ fellow-heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel,” as distinguishing the new economy, were incredible to the Jews and at first even to the apostles themselves. This was the first instance, and Cornelius and his household were the first fruits, of apostolic preaching to the Gentiles. It required a miracle, a divine vision thrice repeated at Joppa, to convince Peter of the will of God, in this grand relation. Nothing less could break the spell of his jewish prejudices; 'which were almost as strong as those of Friends against what they choose to call “ a hireling ministry.” When he journeyed, in obedience to the order of God, from Joppa to Cesarea, “ certain brethren from Joppa accompanied him.” These had not seen his vision, and hence “what God had cleansed, that called they common.” They would doubtless report his uncanonical administration on their return. Peter was afterward put to trial on this very ground. When he “was come up to Jerusalem, they that were of the circumcision contended with him, saying, thou wentest in to men uncircumcised, and didst eat with them. But Peter rehearsed the matter from the beginning, and expounded it by order unto them." Hence it is evident that this passage respects the Jewish, but has no relation to the Quaker controversy. I remark a few particulars. 1. Cornelius, though a native Roman, was an inhabitant of Palestine. He lived in Cesarea, which was nearer to Jerusalem than was Nazareth, where Christ was educated. He was
doubtless acquainted with the Old Testament scriptures, with the worship of the synagogue, and the persons of the Jews. Though he held a military commission (a case where piety and soldiership combine) under the Roman Emperor, he appears so to have conducted as to win the universal approbation of the Jews; and he had been quartered at Cesarea most probably for years. Thus he was a religious man long before Peter's visit; though very imperfect in his knowledge. The historical facts of Messiah's advent he had not then learned. He “was of good report among all the nation of the Jews.” 2. That “God is no respecter of persons” is an elemental truth that refers to his JUDICIAL character alone. His providential administration-his eternal sovereignty is not considered : it is only affirmed that as a judge he will be IMPARTIAL, deciding according to facts and evidence; he will not accept or condemn a man, Jew or Greek, because of national characteristics. 3. The ministry of the gospel, and not the inward light, nor even the ministry of angels, did God employ to “preach peace by Jesus Christ” to this converted heathen and “perfect that which was lacking in his faith.” The ministry of angels was employed to prepare the way for the nobler or better adapted service of an apostle preaching the gospel. Cornelius “saw an angel in his house, who stood and said unto him, send men to Joppa, and call for Simon, whose surname is Peter; who shall tell thee words WHEREBY THOU AND ALL THY HOUSE SHALL
What need of all this on the principle