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affirming, he says “truly,” that “this revelation of God's spirit” is that without which there is no saving knowledge, he avers, as follows; "the certainty of which truth is such, that it hath been acknowledged by some of the most refined and famous of all sorts of professors of christianity in all ages.” He then tries, awkwardly enough, to reconcile his theory with their piety and salvation—whom he intends to adduce as witnesses; and in a sort succeeds. But mark! they were all hireling priests, doctors, and schoolmen, whom he elsewhere abundantly denounces; “justly divests of the noble title of christians ;" and holds up to popular execration as the corrupters of christianity! Now he needs their aid; and as they have all spoken of the excellency of the Spirit's influences, yea, of their necessity too, he first canonizes—how safe they are—and then quotes them! Reader, take their names ; Augustine, Clemens Alexandrinus, Tertullian, Hierom, Athanasius, Gregory the Great, Cyrillus Alexandrinus, Bernard, Luther, Melancthon, Calvin, Dr. Smith of Cambridge, Plotinus, and Origen. All these, with the exception of Plotinus, (a heathen platonic philosopher of the third century, who much more probably held the doctrine of Barclay than the others,) believed in the paramount authority of scripture ; in the subserciency of the influences of the Spirit to the progress of revealed truth ; in the pestilent enthusiasm of all pretension to “inward objective manifestations ” of the Spirit ; and in the total darkness of every human mind that is not converted through the gospel, to “the marvellous light”
of God. Quakerism indeed did not arise till more than a century after the Reformation ; still, we can judge from no uncertain premises, that the Fathers of that age of glorious memory would (more than any other men perhaps whose piety is admitted by Barclay) have denounced his doctrine in no measured terms. He has culled some of their loose and hortatory notices of the excellency of the Spirit's influence, has translated them-I think-with some accommodation, and then strung them together as witnesses for his doctrine! The zealots, Stork, Stubner, Cellary, Munzer, and others, whose seraphic enthusiasm clouded the Reformation and seems for a time to have confounded Melancthon and the Elector of Saxony, were in their pretensions the similars of Friends; hence the judgment of Luther in their case is in point, as it condemned them for impostors, and that on the sole authority of scripture; a test to which they were subJimely unanxious to be subjected.
The same may be said of the scripture authorities quoted in Barclay. Unmystically interpreted, they are loved, as well as understood, by his protestant opponents. And what in sound
argument do they yield him, till he has shown a perfect agreement in nature between his view of the Spirit and the scripture view of the Spirit ? To me (and I have studied the subject with full conviction for more than twenty years) the two doctrines appear just as different, and just as much hostile and mutual rivals, as are a piece of gold coined by the government and legitimated among the people and a brazen counterfeit that claims an equal, nay, a much superior currency.
Before I leave this point I would solemnly warn the christian community against a specious deception. It has been very successfully and very extensively practised already. Friends will probably say of the author, Why! he criminates all other denominations, as much as he does us. For the church of England, the Baptists, [and just as much the Presbyterians,] and others, hold to the influences of the Spirit also. I reply 1. This is only deception and evasion. The view of Friends is their own foxian view, and not ours at all! There is UTTER CONTRARIETY IN NATURE, as well as difference, between the catholic view and that of Friends. Does the former inculcate immediate inspiration, as indispensable to a preacher, and to “ the building up of true faith,” so that without it, all is vain ? or that the scriptures are “a secondary rule” merely, and to be so "esteemed !” or that their paramount is, by the Spirit, inserted, as a seed, light, and so forth, in every man that ever was born? or that this non-entity is itself the very vital influence of the Spirit? or that our GREAT DUTY is, to “retire inwardly" and let it “expand and take the government !" Does the catholic view admit that all other ways of concurrence with the influence of the Spirit, except that of “silent waiting” on “ the immediate drawing and moving of the Spirit” and his influences necessarily “sensible," "are to be denied, rejected, and separated from, in this day of his spiritual aris
ing?" does it deny the scriptures to be “the word of God, the only infallible rule of faith and practice?" Does it make the Spirit, i. e. God himselfa rule of action and the highest rule? Does it find out a way of salvation for Turks, Jews, and Heathen of all sorts, wiTHOUT THE GOSPEL, and by “inward objective manifestations in the heart ?" I reply 2. That I know of no more palpable dishonesty of argument than theirs, (unless their inspired ignorance may palliate the crime—as it can no more—for their ignorance is itself a transcendent crime in the eyes of God,) when they dare to identify their view of the Spirit's influences, with that of “the common faith!” It is just as much like, as-folly is like wisdom; or “Lucifer fallen" resembles “the son of the morning,” when he shone among the stars of God! The things are two, not one; they are contrary, not identical; they are as different as inspired presumption and most ignorant 'sincerity' are different from the “ truth and soberness ” of christianity.
There is one class of texts, by which Friends defend their tenets; such as this, for example, that Christ has promised “to be to them. mouth and wisdom, tongue and utterance,” (see orthodox TESTIMONY, 1830,) whenever they preach ; which class it is exceedingly difficult for me, as an uninspired biblical student, to expound. I will promise to do it, however, on one condition—that they will lend me a concordance that contains them! the one above cited, is rery often quoted, “with indubitable clearness and infallible certainty,” by their inspired holders forth; and hence it convinces all mightily, that each one, when speaking, is an example of its truth. Now, I can account for all they say, much better, on any other supposition, than that of divine inspiration! Let them cease to injure others so much, as to aver that their view of the Spirit's influence, is at one with the view of protestant christians generally. I know of no two sentiments, held by different religionists on the same subject, more radically hostile and utterly diverse, than theirs and ours on that grand article ! Theirs too pervades and characterizes, as THE GRAND ERROR of the system, its total volume. It absorbs every thing within, as the great sepulchre where all is buried “in silence !" What is not within ? Is it the Lord's supper, or Baptism, or justification, or light, or the great “Teacher that cannot be removed in a corner,” or the strivings of the Spirit, or the ministry of condemnation and righteousness, or the seed, life, power, grace, principle, inspiration, and so forth—to the end of the inspired vocabulary?
Friends often speak of sins to be “ winked at;" as if God winked at them; and as if they did not wholly pervert the sense of Acts, 17 : 30, which they assume to use and explain. It means only that in former times God did not, as now notably he does, send out an official protest and a demonstration of the preached gospel, against all the wickedness of men ! and not that he ever connived absolutely at sin, though he can pardon it through the sacrifice of his own Son. It means that in other times he practically overlooked (ütep