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outward guide: and hence the things contained in them ought to be read, and, as far as possible, fulfilled.
They believe, with the apostle Paul, that the Scriptures are highly useful ; so that “ through patience and comfort of them they may have hope; and also that they are profitable for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness.” That in the same manner as land highly prepared and dressed by the husbandman becomes fit for the reception and for the promotion of the growth of the seed that is to be placed in it, so the Scriptures turn the attention of man towards God, and by means of the exhortations, reproofs, promises, and threatenings, contained in them, prepare the mind for the reception and growth of the seed of the Holy Spirit.
They believe, again, that the same Scriptures show more of the particulars of God's will with respect to man, and of the scheme of the Gospel-dispensation, than any ordinary portion of his Spirit, as usually given to man, would have enabled him to discover. They discover that the “ *
* Rom. vi. 23.
sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ;" that “ * Jesus Christ was set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God ;" thatt " “ he tasted death for every man;" that he was “ I delivered for our offences, and raised again for our justification;" that . “She is set down at the right-hand of the throne of God;" “ || and ever liveth to make intercession for us ;” and that he is the substance of all the types and figures under the Levitical priesthoods, being the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.
They believe, again, that in consequence of these various revelations, as contained in the Scriptures, they have inestimable advantages over the Heathen nations, or over those where the Gospel-sun has never yet shone; and that as their advantages are greater, so more will be required of them, or their condemnation will be greater, if they fail
to attend to those things which are clearly revealed.
They maintain, again, that their discipline is founded on the rules of the Gospel; and that in consequence of giving an interpretation different from that of many others to some of the expressions of Jesus Christ, by which they conceive they make his kingdom more pure and heavenly, they undergo persecution from the world; so that they confirm their attachment to the Scriptures by the best of all credible testimonies--the seal of their own sufferings.
This Spirit of God, which has been thus given to
an infallible guide in their spiritual concerns, has leen given them universally—to the patriarchs and Israelites from the creation to the time of Moses--to the Israelites or Jews from Moses to Jesus Christ—to the Gentileworld from all antiquity to modern times—to all those who have ever heard the Gospeland it continues its office to the latter even at the
present day. Tue Quakers are of opinion, that the Spirit of God, of which a portion has been given to men as a primary and infallible guide in their spiritual concerns, has been given them universally, or has been given to all of the human race, without any exception, for the same purpose.
This proposition of the Quakers I shall divide, in order that the reader may see it more clearly, into four cases. The first of these will comprehend the patriarchs and the Israelites from the creation to the time of Moses. The second, the Israelites or Jews 3
from the time of Moses to the coming of Jesus Christ. The third, the Gentiles or Heathens. And the fourth, all those who have heard of the Gospel of Jesus Christ from the time of his own ministry to the present day.
The first case includes a portion of time of above two thousand years. Now the Quakers believe that during all this time men were generally enlightened as to their duty by the Spirit of God; for there was no Scripture, or written law of God, during all this period. “It was about two thousand four hundred years," says Thomas Beaven, an approved writer
the Quakers, “ after the creation of the world, before mankind had any external written law for the rule and conduct of their lives, so far as appears by either sacred or profane history; in all which time, mankind, generally speaking, had only for their rule of faith and manners the external creation as a monitor to their outward senses, for evidence of the reality and certainty of the existence of the Supreme Being, and the internal impressions God by his Divine Spirit made upon the capacities and powers of their souls or