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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
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 not suffer
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 power of 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 Society 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
tions and impressions, by suggesting good thoughts and prompting to pious resolutions, by checks and controls, by convictions of sin and duty; sometimes by frights and terrors, and other whiles by love and endearments. But if men, notwithstanding all his loving solicitations, do still cherish and cleave to their lusts, and persevere in a state of sin, they are then said to resist the Holy Ghost ; whereby their condition becomes very deplorable, and their conversion very difficult: for the more men resist the importunities, and stifle the motions, of the Holy Spirit, the stronger do the chains of their corruption and servitude become. Every new act of sin gives these a degree of strength, and consequently puts a new obstacle in the
way of conversion; and when sin is turned into an inveterate and rooted habit, (which by reiterated commissions and long continuance it is) then it becomes a nature, and is with as much difficulty altered as nature is. • Can the Ethiopian change his colour, or the leopard his spots ? Then may you also do good, who are accustomed to do evil.'» “ The Holy Spirit, again,” says he, “inspires the prayers of those who, in consequence of his powerful operations, have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts, with devout and filial affections, and makes intercession for them with sighs and groans which cannot be uttered. He guides and manages them.
The sons of God are led by the Spirit of God. He makes his blessed fruits, righteousness, peace, joy, and divine love, more and more to abound in them, He confirms them in goodness, persuades thein to perseverance, and seals them to the day of redemption.”
The Quakers usually elucidate this visitation, treatment, and influence of the Holy Spirit, by the parable of the Sower, as recorded by three of the evangelists." Now, the Seed is the Word of God." But as the ingrafted Word, which is able to save the Soul, and the Spirit, or divine Principle in man, are the same, the parable is considered by the Quakers as relating to that divine Light or Spirit, which is given to man for his spiritual instruction and salvation. As the seed was sown in all sorts of ground, good, bad, and indifferent, so this Light or Spirit is afforded without exception to all.
As thorns choked this seed, and hindered it from coming to perfection, so bad customs, or the pleasures and cares of the world, hinder men from attending to this Divine Principle within them, and render it unfruitful in their hearts. · And as the seed in the good ground was not interrupted, and therefore produced fruit in abundance; so this spiritual principle, where it is not checked, but received and cherished, produces also abundance of spiritual fruit in the inward man, by putting him into the
of redemption from sin, or of holiness of life.
The Spirit of God, therefore, besides its office of a
Teacher, performs that of a Redeemer of menRedemption outward and inward--the outward part of it is by the sufferings of Jesus Christ these produce forgiveness of past sins, and put men into a capacity of salvation--inward part of it is by the operation of the Spirit--this converts men, and preserves them from sins to come outward and inward connected with each other.
The Spirit of God which we have seen to be given to men, and to be given them uni
versally versally to enable them to distinguish between good and evil, was given them also, the Quakers believe, for another purpose ; namely, to redeem or save them. Redemption and salvation in this sense are the same in the language of the Society, and mean a purification from the sins or pollutions of the world, so that a new birth
produced and maintained in the inward man.
As the doctrine of the Quakers, with respecţ to redemption differs from that, which generally obtains, I shall allot this chapter to an explanation of the distinctions, which they themselves usually make upon
The Quakers never make use of the words Original Sin, because these are never to bę found in the Sacred Writings. They consider man, however, as in a fallen or degraded state, and as inclined and liable to sin. They consider him, in short, as having the seed of sin within him, which he inherited from his parent Adam. But though they acknowledge this, they dare not say that sin is imputed to him on account of Adam's transgression, or that he is chargeable with sin until he actually commits it,