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him which had purified his heart from the pollution of sin. For, being as early as the time of Moses, he could never have seen any of the Sacred Writings which mentioned Jesus Christ as a Redeemer, or the personi of Jesus Christ. The Quakers also consider David, from the numerous expressions to be found in the Psalms, as having experienced this inward redemption also. And in the same manner as they conceive this Spirit to have striven with Abraham, and Job, and David, so they conceive it to have striven with others of the same nation for their inward redemption to the time of Jesus Christ. They believe, again, that it has striven with all the Heathen nations from the foundation of the world to the same period. And they believe also that it has continued its office of a Redeemer to all people, whether Jews, Heathens, or Christians, from the time of Jesus Christ to the present day.
Proposition of the new birth and perfection, as
hitherto explained, explained in the ordinary way -new view of the subject from a more particular detail of the views and expressions of the Quakers concerning it—a new spiritual birth as real from the spiritual seed of the Kingdom, as that of plants or vegetables from their seeds in the natural world—and the new birth proceeds really in the same progressive manner to maturity or perfection-Result of this new view the
same as that in the former section. I ST
STATED in the last section that the Spirit of God is considered by the Quakers as an inward redeemer to men; and that in this office it has the power of producing a new birth in them, and of leading them to perfection in the way described. This
proposition, however, I explained only in the ordinary way.
But as the Quakers have a particular way of viewing and expressing it, and as they deem it one of the most important of their religious propositions, I trust that I shall be excused by the reader if I allot one other section to this subject. 7
Jesus Christ states, as was said before, in the most clear and positive terms, that except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of Heaven.
Now the great work of religion is salvation or redemption. Without this no man can see Cod. And therefore the meaning of the words of Jesus Christ will be this,-that except a man be born again, he cannot experience that inward redemption which shall enable him to see the kingdom of Heaven.
Redemption, then, is necessary to qualify for a participation of the heavenly joys; and it is stated to take place by means of the new birth.
The particular ideas, then, which the Quakers have relative to the new birth and perfection, are the following: In the same manner as the Divine Being has scattered the seeds of plants and vegetables in the body of the earth, so he has implanted a portion of his own incorruptible seed, or of that which in Scripture-language is called the " Seed of the Kingdom," in the soul of every individual of the human race. As the sun by its genial influence quickens the vegetable seed, so it is the office of the Holy Spirit, in whom is life, and who resides in the temple of man, to quicken that which is heavenly. And in the same manner as the vegetable seed conceives, and brings forth a plant, or a tree with root, stem, and branches; so if the soul, in which the seed of the Kingdom is placed, be willing to receive the influence of the Holy Spirit upon it, this seed is quickened, and a spiritual offspring is produced. Now this offspring is as real a birth from the seed in the soul by means of the Spirit, as the plant from its own seed by means of the influence of the sun. • The seed of the Kingdom,” says Isaac Pennington, “consists not in words or notions of mind, .but is an inward thing, an inward spiritual substance in the heart, as real inwardly in its kind as other seeds are outwardly in their kind ; and being received by faith, and taking root in man, (his heart, his earth, being ploughed up and prepared for it,) ir groweth up inwardly, as truly and really as any outward seed doth outwardly.”
With respect to the offspring thus produced in the soul of man, it may be variously named. As it comes from the incor
ruprible seed of God, it may be called a Birth of the Divine Nature or Life. As it comes by the agency of the Spirit, it may
be called the Life of the Spirit. As it is new, it may be called the New Man or Creature. Or it
may have the appellation of a Child of God. Or it is that spiritual life and light, or that spiritual principle and power within us, which may be called the Anointed or
, Christ within.
“ As this seed,” says Barclay, “is received in the heart, and suffered to bring forth its natural and proper effect, Christ comes to be formed and raised, called in Scripture the New Man, Christ within us, the Hope of Glory. Yet herein they (the Quakers) do not equal themselves with the Holy Man, the Lord Jesus Christ, in whom the fulness of the Godhead dwelt bodily, neither destroy his present existence.
existence. For though they affirm Christ dwells in them, yet not immediately, but mediately, as he is in that seed which is in them."
Of the same opinion was the learned Cudworth. “ We all;” says he,“ receive of his
grace, as all the stars in heaven are said to light their candles at the