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tions, that it makes no material difference, whether we use the words “Spirit of God," or Christ,” in the proposition that has been before us, or that there will be no difference in the meaning of the proposition either in the one or the other case; and also that if the Quakers only allow, when the Spirit took flesh, that the body was given as a sacrifice for sin, or that a part of the redemption of man, as far as his
past forgiven, is effected by this sacrifice, there will be little or no difference between the religion of the Quakers and that of the objectors, as far as it relates to Christ *.
* The Quakers have frequently said in their theological writings, that every man has a portion of the Holy Spirit within him; and this assertion has not been censured. But they have also said, that every man bas a portion of Christ, or of the Light of Christ, within him. Now this assertion has been considered extravagant and wild. The reader will therefore see, that if he admits the one, he cannot very consistently censure the other.
Ministers—The Spirit of God alone can make a
minister of the Gospel-Hence no imposition of hands, nor human knowledge, can be effectualThis proposition not peculiarly adopted by George Fox, but ly Justin the Martyr, Luther, Calvin, Wichliff, Tyndal, Milton, and others—Way in which this call by the Spirit qualifies for the ministry-\Vomen equally qualified with menHow a Quaker becomes acknowledged to le a
minister of the Gospel. Having now detailed fully the operations of the Spirit of God, as far as the Quakers believe it to be concerned in the instruction and redemption of
I shall consider its operations, as far as they believe it to be concerned in the services of the church. Upon this Spirit they make both their worship and their ministry to depend. I shall therefore consider these subjects, before I proceed to any new order of tenets which they may hold. .
It is a doctrine of the Quakers, that none can spiritually exercise, and that none ought to be allowed to exercise, the office of ministers, but such as the Spirit of God has worked upon and called forth to discharge it; as well as that the same Spirit will never fail to raise up persons in succession for this end.
Conformably with this idea, no person, in the opinion of the Quakers, ought to be designed by his parents in early youth for the priesthood; for as the wind bloweth where it listeth, so no one can say which is the vessel that is to be made to honour.
Conformably with the same idea, no imposition of hands, or ordination, can avail any thing, in their opinion, in the formation of a minister of the Gospel; for no human power can communicate to the internal man the spiritual gifts of God.
Neither, in conformity with the same idea, can the acquisition of human learning, or the obtaining of academical degrees and honours, be essential qualifications for this office: for though the human intellect is sa
great, that it can diye as it were into the ocean, and discover the laws of Auids, and rise again up to heaven, and measure the celestial motions; yet it is incapable of itself of penetrating into divine things, so as spiritually to know them; while, on the other hand, illiterate men appear often to have more knowledge on these subjects than the most learned. Indeed the Quakers have no notion of a human qualification for a divine calling. They reject all school divinity, as necessarily connected with the ministry. They believe, that if a knowledge of Christianity had been obtainable by the acquisition of the Greek and Roman languages, and through the medium of the Greek and Roman philosophers, the Greeks and Romans themselves had been the best proficients in it; whereas the gospel was only foolishness to many of these. They say with St. Paul to the Colossians, “ Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ *.” And they say with the same
* Coloss. ii. 8.
apostle to Timothy,“ O Timothy! keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called, which some professing have erred concerning the faith *'
This notion of the Quakers, that human learning and academical honours are not necessary for the priesthood, is very antient. Though George Fox introduced it into his new Society, and this without any previous reading upon the subject, yet it had existed long before his time. In short, it was connected with the tenet, early disseminated in the church, that no person could know spiritual things but through the medium of the Spirit of God; from whence it was not difficult to pass to the doctrine, that none could teach spiritually except they had been taught spiritually themselves. Hence we find Justin the martyr, a Platonic philosopher, but who was afterwards one of the earliest Christian writers after the Apostles, and other learned men after him down to Chrysostom, laying aside their learning and
* i Tim. vi. 20, 21.