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regard to either or both these passages, I affirm that they neither teach nor contain the doctrine of Barclay. Let us examine them; and first that in Romans.
In examining this passage, it would be preferable to view it in extenso from the first verse of the chapter to the tenth. The eighth verse, however, is the hobby of Barclay. “The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth and in thy heart.” Quere, Is the inward light in a man's mouth? Is it also in his heart? And at the same time? What walking temples of phosphorescence must we be, especially some of us ? For aught one knows to the contrary we may be saturated with it, as men on glass with electricity. There is hardly as much humor as soberness, to a reader for example of Fox's journal, in the thought that he must have seemed to himself, as he walked about on the dark earth, like à charged conductor of etherial light, with scintilations of glory streaming from him in all directions. But why is it called “the word ?” Why not his own talismanic name of “inward light ?" The charm is gone, however, as soon as you allow the apostle to explain his own words; “that is, the WORD OF FAITH WHICH WE PREACH.” He proceeds farther to explain it thus, “ That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thy heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved : for with the heart it is believed unto justification, and with the mouth it is confessed unto salvation. The liberty I have taken with the tenth verse, is one to
which no honest scholar will object ; since it literalizes more strictly, as well as better renders the sense of the original. How the word came “nigh,” is told us by the implication or rather the very words of the passage ; since it is “the word of faith which we preach.” See verse 15 also. It is in the heart, when it is there “believed ;” it is in the mouth, when it is there “confessed.” It is originally then in neither. Thus says God to Moses ; Deut. 31 : 19. “Now therefore write ye this song for you, and teach it [to] the children of Israel : PUT IT IN THEIR MOUTHS, that this song may be a witness for me against the children of Israel." Says David ; “ Thy word have I HID IN MY HEART, that I might not sin against thee.” Ps. 119: 11. This is the genuine idea of “phylacteries” (preservatives or defenders) and the proper style of wearing them about with us! And again ; " Take not the word of truth UTTERLY OUT OF MY MOUTH ; for I have hoped in thy judgments.” 43. It were well if Friends should ponder that Psalm, with its 176 verses. It is a devotional panegyric (with eight stanzas for every letter of the Hebrew alphabet-án acrostic in the original) on the written word of God, as essentially subsidiary to vital piety in the soul ; and as showing the way of the Spirit in its production there ; and proving illustriously how a truly spiritual worshipper values “the word, the testimonies, the statutes, the judgments, the precepts, the laws, the sayings,” of God! How “excellently and evidently" then is their doctrine “held forth” by Barclay's vaporing quotation ! What a deception to the unwary, to the ignorant and unstable! What a sin so to “wrest the scriptures ;" and to do it under the forged claim of inspiration, the more to blind the mythic visionaries that see with him ! The enemies of God may see no sin in the perversion, as they see comparatively none in themselves : but will the friends of God sympathize or symbolize with them?
There is another proof to the same end. It is taken from the etymology and scriptural usage of the expression, here rendered in the chapter four times, “ the word.” The original is prua, not hoyos. The difference is that the former means specifically what is spoken, enunciated with the organs of the voice; and occurs in the New Testament (I have counted and examined them) about 70 times. The latter is more generic and extensive : it means doctrine or discourse, a word collective (as speech) or individual, written or spoken, heard or remembered or imagined; and it means also, by a grand and most appropriate personification, the Son of God in his prophetical office, as the instructor of mankind and “ the light of the world.” In this last sense it is used by John in his gospel, 1:1, and in his Revelation, 19: 13. Here permit a digression in place.
The Friends, Orthodox and Hicksites, the whole of them, refuse to call the scripture the word of God. One reason assigned is—that the title is appropriated personally to Jesus Christ. But this reason is most weak and sophistical. John so appropriates it indeed, in the two instances above cited ; and in
these alone does it certainly or prominently occur. He so applies it in a secondary and figurative sense, and very rarely, i. e. but twice. But be it remembered that as the expressions in the original are different, so pnua tov Osov is NEVER applied personally; never once; though for the uttered or spoken, or subsequently written word of God, it occurs so rery frequently in scripture. What reason then is there for their refusal ? especially when we consider, (1) that the inspired message of God, whether written or spoken, contains identically his words, and in the nature of things, could not have an appellation more proper than “his word” for its collective record ; (2) that Fox says he declared “ the word of the Lord” to the people ; and if he did, and records what he said identically, is not so much of it “the word of the Lord” still? (3) that the scriptures call themselves “ the word of God. ”Paul after quoting with explanations from the Old Testament, justifies the spirituality of the sense and its application, thus: “for the word of God is quick (alive) and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, &c.” Heb. 4:12. Mark, he does not say it is “a dead letter," and not to be understood but by inspired catechumens ! They are called “the lively oracles” once ; Acts 7 ; 38; and “the oracles of God," three times ; Rom. 3: 2 ; Heb. 5 : 12; 1 Pet. 4 ; 11. The word spoken and heard is called “the word of God” veryfrequently. Hundreds of passages might be collected—but quantity is not our aim. (4) That Jesus Christ expressly calls the scripture the word of God. See Mark, 7: 13; where he refers, having just quoted it, to Exod.
20:12; and John, 10 : 35, where he refers, having just quoted it, to Psalm 82:6. I could easily command more proof; but suppose that man to be uncandid whom the evidence already adduced fails to conciliate to the truth of the position that Friends act without reason and against it, in refusing to call, what God inspired to be “the law of his mouth” 10 ns, the holy scriptures, the word of God. (5) That the word of God is properly and absolutely, (whether written or spoken or in whatever way conveyed,) the highest or the paramount rule of action. It is not true in this world peculiarly, that it holds supreme pre-eminence. It is the highest rule everywhere ; throughout the universe; "in all places of liis dominion.” It is the highest with “angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, HEARKENING TO THE VOICE OF HIS WORD.'
." It is thus that all the illustrious hierarchies of heaven obey him, walking by no higher rule, or rather flying by it alone. Thus are they “ all his hosts;" sentient of his will as indicated in his word; “ministers of his, that do his pleasure.” And what know we of God in a way of worship, or as it respects his ascertained will concerning us, except from his written word ? " whereunto we do well that we take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day-star arise in our hearts.” What know Friends without that glorious and plenary informer? Nothing at all in religion ! Nothing that is true or distinguishingly Christian! Why then refuse they to call it what it is, the word of God ? 0 how much do they lose by their error here! Where