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as many as were led by this Spirit, these and these only, possessed the knowledge that was requisite to enable them to become the sons of God. And in his letter to the Thessalonians, who had become a Christian church, he gave them many particular injunctions, among which one was, that they † would not quench or extinguish this Spirit.
And in the same manner as this Spirit was deemed necessary in the days of the apostles, and this to every man individually, and even after he had become a Christian, so the Quakers consider it to have been necessary since, and tu continue so, wherever Christianity is professed. For many persons may read the holy Scriptures, and hear them read in churches, and yet not feel the necessary conviction for sin. Here then the Quakers conceive the Spirit of God to be still necessary. It comes in with its inward monitions and reproofs, where the Scripture has been neglected or forgotten. It attempts to stay the arm of him who is going to offend, and frequently averts the blow.
Rom. viii. 14.
ti Thess. v. 19.
Neither is this Spirit unnecessary, even where men profess an attention to the literal precepts of the Gospel. For, in
For, in proportion as men are in the way of attending to the outward Scriptures, they are in the way of being inwardly taught by God. But without this inward teaching, no outward teaching can be effectual; for though persons may
read the Scriptures, yet they cannot spiritually understand them; and though they may admire the Christian religion, yet they cannot enjoy it, according to the opinion of the Quakers, but through the medium of the Spirit of God.
may read the Scr
This Spirit, as it has been given universally, so it
has been given sufficiently—those who resist this Spirit are said to quench it; and
become so hardened in time, as to be insensible of its impressions—those who attend to it, may be said to be in the way of redemption—Similar sentiments of Monro--This visitation, treatment, and influence of the Spirit usually explained by the
Quakers by the parable of the Sower. As the Spirit of God has been thus afforded to every man since the foundation of the world to profit withal, so the Quakers say that it has been given to him in a sufficient measure for this purpose.
By the word “ sufficient” we are not to understand that this Divine Monitor calls upon men every day or hour, but that it is within every man, and that it awakens him seasonably, and so often during the term of his natural life as to exonerate God from the charge of condemning him unjustly, if he
fail in his duty, and as to leave himself without excuse.
And in proportion as a greater or less measure of this Spirit has been afforded him, so he is more or less guilty in the sight of his Maker. If any
should resist these salutary operations of the Holy Spirit, they resist it to their own condemnation.
Of such it may be observed, that they are said to quench or grieve the Spirit, and not unfrequently to resist God, and to crucify Christ afresh ; for God, and Christ, and the Spirit, are considered to be inseparably united in the Scriptures.
Of such also it may be observed, that if they continue to resist God! Holy Spirit, their feelings may become so callous pr hardened in time, that they may never be able to perceive its notices again ; and thus the day as it were of their visitation
be over : for “my people,” saith God, “would not hearken to my voice, and Israel would none of me; so I gave them up to their own hearts' lusts, and they walked in their own counsels*.” To the same import was the saying of Jesus Christ, when he wept over
* Psalm lxxxi. 11, 19.
Jerusalem : “ If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes*.” As if he had said, There was a day, in which ye,
the inhabitants of Jerusalem, might have known those things which belonged to your peace. I was then willing to gather you, as a hen gathereth her chickens; but, as ye would
1 not suffer me, the things belonging to your
, peace are now hid from your eyes. Ye would not attend to the impressions by God's Holy Spirit, when your feelings were tender and penetrable ; and therefore now, the day having passed over, ye have lost the
: discerning them.
Those, on the other hand, who, during this visitation of the Holy Spirit, attend to its suggestions or warnings, are said to be in the
way of redemption or salvation. These sentiments of the Quakers on this subject are beautifully described by Monro in his Just Measures of the pious Institutions of Youth. “ The Holy Spirit,” says he, “ solicits and importunes those who are in a state of sin, to return, by inward mo* Luke xix. 42.