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same page he says, “When the Lord God and his Son Jesus Christ sent me forth into the world to preach his everlasting gospel and kingdom, I was glad that I was commanded to turn people to that inward light, spirit, and grace, by which all might know their salvation and their way to God; even that Divine Spirit which would lead them into all truth, and which I infallibly knew would never deceive any.” Here is inspiration, infallibility, and full equality with apostles and prophets “ by whom * the holy scriptures were written!” Again, “The Lord God opened to me by his invisible power, how,
every man was enlightened by the divine light of Christ.' I saw it shine through all, &c. This I saw in the pure openings of the light without the help of any man; neither did I then know where to find it in the scriptures ; though afterward, searching the scriptures, I found it.” Is this the kind and degree of inspiration that must be excused and compassionated for mistakes, blunders, lying, and sorcery? for vending “damnable heresies ” in the name of God? for deluding thousands of silly and credulous persons, the unstable and the ignorant, and sometimes the educated and the respectable? Is it no sin to poison the waters of the sanctuary? Nonebut I forbear! I write for sober and unprejudiced readers; and am willing to rest the appeal with them whether one can have too much zeal in the exposure and extirpation of such a system? It is not “an iniquity to be punished by the judges ;" but it is an iniquity of aspects and relations infinitely terrible. IF To expose their inspiration, as the
centre of their system, is one chief design of this publication. I view it as spiritual falsehood, sorcery, and delusion-almost without an equal in the world. Modern cheats and inventions are quite inferior. Mormonism is more gross and revolting. St. Simonism, with its “family,” is palpably ridiculous and false. But Quakerism is more specious, more seraphic, more impalpable every way, more refined, a better counterfeit, more imposing: but in some respects more criminal, more destructive and subverting than either!
In respect to the true sense of the passage, I remark,
1. That “every man" in that place, does not mean every human being ; but every one of those only, concerning whom demonstrably the apostle speaks: every christian, or every member, and especially every officer, of the church of God. Read the context and take the drift of his homily. He speaks to the church and of the church collectively, as“ the body of Christ” with its many “members;" and each member, as appointed to a peculiar office; and each office, as differing in form and in magnitude, in honor and in importance, from the others ; and all the offices, as having a common scope, a common spirit, and a common glory in Christ. 2. Besides, “the manifestation” given is not a
” passive one; not an objective revelation made to us: but AN ACTIVE manifestation made by us ; "the
o manifestation of the Spirit” to others. It were better rendered or paraphrased thus; “ The duty and office of manifesting the mind of the Spirit to others,
and so of diffusing his homogeneous light in this dark world, is confided responsibly to every one of you, to every member of the body of Christ, in this and all coming ages. True, all have not the same office, nor each an office of honor equal to that of others; still, all are honored, all are obligated, all are called and qualified for some appropriate service in the church ; each is “necessary
necessary” to the others": and by all in different ways, the Spirit is ‘manifested,' and his influence diffused.” The original word, rendered “the manifestation,” “ Pavepwois, OCcurs only in one other place ; where the sense is quite parallel and perfectly clear : 1 Cor. 4: 2. “by manifestation of the truth,” i. e. ACTIVELY MANIFESTING IT, “commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.” A preacher has a noble office of “ manifesting the Spirit,” confided to him; and a poor, sequestered, pious old woman, such as my eye at this moment mentally sees, on her couch of debility, or in her chamber of privation, a prisoner, (I mean a real individual—and many others there are,) has an honorable office also; manifesting the Spirit in a way of holy exemplification, of cheerful and lucid faith in Christ, of patience and pain, of resignation, constancy, prayer, and words of grace, “seasoned with salt, that minister grace to the hearers," and that are “good to the use of edifying.” Eph. 4: 29. Col. 4: 6.
3. The end of this distribution is declared, mpos TO Ovupepov, “ for the common benefit;" or, as Dr. το συμφερον, Macknight has it, “ to each is given the manifestation of the Spirit, for the advantage of all.”
is very diverse from the view of Friends. According to them, it is, as I said, a private capital at starting, to be improved for the individual behoof of its possessor in every case ; it is that without which we should scarce be accountable, and with which our grand business in life is
If this is ridiculous, I cannot help it; it is the folly of Quakerism, a monstrous spiritual hoax, that more injures thousands than telling them of it can injure any. Clear is my own conviction that the good of souls and of society requires its exposure; and that I am “manifesting the Spirit,” according to the office given me, in some humble degree, when I hold it up to the scorn of conscience and the abhorrence of mankind. I do it « for the advantage of all;" or, the common benefit.
We may here see the causes that freeze the feelings of Friends in respect to the christian charities of the day. They believe that “the grace of God," the very grace “that bringeth salvation," hath actually “ appeared to all men;" and that every human being has an inserted quantum or “manifestation of the Spirit :” and if we or the apostles believed so—why, what silly dotards, to go into all the world and preach (audibly proclaim and orally communicate) the gospel to every creature," at such hazard, pain, and cost of every sort! Hence their
equivocal love, (with VERY FEW exceptions,) rather their ill disguised antipathy, to Bible societies and all such institutions of purely spiritual charity! Hence I endeavor to show the real or more potent moral causes of their armed neutrality. All however ought to concur with me and do the same. Christians are one. I might anglicise the original word, rendered “to profit withal,” and say that christians are A SYMPHERIAN SOCIETY ; a spiritual corporation, for mutual aid and mutual action, against a common foe, and with a common inotive, bond, and ultimate reward. Glorious community!
Blessed commonwealth! “How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob; thy tabernacles, O Israel! Surely there is no enchantment against Jacob, neither is there any divination against Israel : according to this time it shall be said of Jacob and of Israel, WHAT Hath God WROUGHT! Blessed is he that blesseth thee, and cursed is he that curseth thee !" One reason that Friends adduce or feel, why they are so sparsely and so seldom seen in the operations of the Bible cause, is—the peculiar testimonies given them to maintain ! A better version of the matter is their abandoned sectarianism ; the misrepresentation (not “ the manifestation) of the Spirit” in their characteristic way; the important duty of sustaining their clanish singularities ! And pray, do they think it the best way to fight—to keep out of the way! can they best “ maintain” their singular way of speech, behavior, and attire, and other important testimonies, by withdrawing from their presence whom such lucid examples and protests as theirs were