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the Spirit of God, there can surely be no doubt. In looking at Christ, we are generally apt to view him with carnal
eyes. We can seldom divest ourselves of the idea of a body belonging to him, though this was confessedly human, and can seldom consider him as a pure Principle or Fountain of divine Light and Life to men. And
it is obvious, that we must view him in this light in the present case ; for, if he was at the Creation of the World, or with Moses at the delivery of the Law, (which the proposition supposes) he could not have been there in his carnal body, because this was not produced till centuries afterwards from the Virgin Mary. In this abstracted light the Apostles frequently view Christ themselves. Thus St. Paul: “I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me*.”
And again : “ Know ye not your ownselves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates 7?" Now no person imagines that St. Paul had any idea, that the body of Christ was either in himself, or in others, on the occasions on which he has thus spoken.
That Christ, as he held the offices con
* Galat.ii. 20.
+ 2 Cor. xiii. 5.
tained in the proposition, was the Spirit of God, we may pronounce from various views, which we may take of him, all of which seem to lead us to the same conclusion.
And first let us look at Christ in the scriptural light, in which he has been held forth to us in the fourth section of the seventh chapter, where I have explained the particular notions of the Quakers relative to the new birth. God may be considered here as having produced, by means of his Holy Spirit, a birth of divine life in the soul of “ the body which had been prepared,” and this birth was Christ. « But that which is born of the Spirit,” says St. John, *
The only question then will be as to the magnitude of the Spirit thus produced. In answer to this, St. John says, " that God gave him not the Spirit by measuret.” And St. Paul says the same thing: “ For in him all the fulness of the Godhead dwelt bodily t.” Now we can have no idea of a Spirit without measure, or containing the fulness of the Godhead, but the Spirit of God.
Let us now look at Christ in another
« is Spi
* John iii. 6.
† John iii. 34.
| Coloss. ï.g.
point of view, or as St. Paul seems to have viewed him. He defines Christ " to be the Wisdom of God and the Power of God *." But what are the Wisdom of God and the Power of God, but the great characteristics and the great constituent parts of his Spirit ?
But if these views of Christ should not be deemed satisfactory, we will contemplate him, as St. John the evangelist has held him forth to our notice. Moses says that the Spirit of God created the world. But St. John says that the Word created it. The Spirit therefore and the Word must be the same. But this word he tells us afterwards, and this positively, was Jesus Christ. It
appears therefore from these + observations, that it makes no material difference, whether we use the words “Spirit of God,”
i Cor. i. 24.
+ I would not have it understood from this little statement of my own invented merely to show how near Christians may be to each other when they think they differ) that the Quakers always consider Christ and the Spirit the same, or the former only as a principle. . “ There is a difference,” says Isaac Pennington, “between the fulness of the Light, which enlighteneth, and the measure that is given. The one is Christ himself. The other is his gift.”
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 sins are 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 t.
* I ought to mention here, that the Quakers believe that the atonement involved much greater sufferings than merely the death of the body of Christ. They conceive that the nature of a propitiation for sin, made to an infinitely holy and just God, and the expressions of Christ,
my soul is exceedingly sorrowful even unto death," “my God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me,” point to a much greater sacrifice.
+ 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 has 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 effectual This proposition not peculiarly adopted by George Fox, but by Justin the Martyr, Luther, Calvin, Wickliff, Tyndal, Milton, and others – Way in which this call by the Spirit qualifies for the
ministry—Women equally qualified with men. 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 man, 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