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According to his mercy he hath saved us by the washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Ghost." The same apostle says, again, "It is the law of the Spirit that maketh free from the law of sin and death." And again— "As many as are led by the spirit of God, they are the sons of God."
The Quakers say, that this inward redemption or salvation as effected by the spirit, is obvious also from the experience of all good men, or from the manner in which many have experienced a total conversion or change of heart. For though there are undoubtedly some who have gone on so gradually in their reformation from vice to virtue, that it may have been considered to be the effect of reason, which has previously determined on the necessity of a holy life, yet the change from vice to holiness has often been so rapid and decisive, as to leave no doubt whatever, that it could not have been produced by any effort of reason, but only by some divine operation, which could only have been that of the spirit of God.
Of these two kinds of redemption, the outward and the inward, of which the latter will be the subject of our consideration, it be observed,
x Titus 3. 5.
y Rom. 8. 2.
z Rom. 8. 14.
that they go hand in hand together 2. St. Paul has coupled them in these words: " for if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life;" that is, by the life of his spirit working inwardly in us. And as they go together in the mind of the apostle, so they go together as to the benefit of their effects. For, in the first place, the outward redemption takes place, when the inward has begun. And, secondly, the outward redemption, or the sufferings of Jesus Christ, which redeem from past sins, cannot have any efficacy till the inward has begun, or while men remain in their sins; or, in other words, no man can be entitled to the forgiveness of sins that have been committed, till there has been a change in the inward man; for St. John intimates, that the blood of Christ does not cleanse from sin, except men walk in the light, or, to use an expression synonimous with the Quakers, except men walk in the spirit.
a Rom. 5. 10.
b John 1. 6. 7.
Inward redemption, which thus goes on by the operation of the Holy Spirit, has the power of producing a new birth in men―This office of the spirit acknowledged by other Christians-Monro-Hammond-Locke-It has the power also of leading to perfection-Sentiments of the Quakers as to perfection and of the ever memorable John HalesGell-Monro-This power of inward redemption bestowed upon all.
THE sufferings then of Jesus Christ, having by
means of the forgiveness of past sins, put men into a capacity for salvation, the remaining part of salvation, or the inward redemption of man, is performed by the operation of the Holy Spirit; of which, however, it must be remembered, that a more plentiful diffusion is considered by the Quakers to have been given to men after the aseension of Jesus Christ, than at any former period.
The nature of this inward redemption, or the nature of this new office, which it performs in addition to that of a religious teacher, may be seen in the following account.
It has the power, the Quakers believe, of checking and preventing bad inclinations and passions; of cleansing and purifying the heart; of destroying the carnal mind; of making all old things pass away; of introducing new; of raising our spiritual senses, so as to make us delight in the things of God, and to put us above the enjoyment of earthly pleasures. Redeeming thus from the pollutions of the world, and leading to spiritual purity, it forms a new creature. It produces the new man in the heart. It occasions a man by its quickening power to be born again, and thus puts him into the way of salvation. "For verily I say unto thee, says Jesus Christ to Nicodemus, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."
This office and power of the spirit of God is acknowledged by other Christians. Monro, who has been before quoted, observes," that the soul, being thus raised from the death of sin and born again, is divinely animated, and discovers that it is alive by the vital operations which it performs." Again, says he, this blissful presence, the regenerate who are delivered from the dominion, and cleansed from the impurities of sin, have re
e John 3. 3.
covered, and it is on the account of it, that they are said to be an habitation of God through the spirit and the temples of the Holy Ghost. For that good spirit takes possession of them, resides in their hearts, becomes the mover, enlightener, and director of all their faculties and powers, gives a new and heavenly tincture and tendency to all their inclinations and desires, and, in one word, is the great spring of all they think, or do, or say; and hence it is that they are said to walk no more after the flesh, but after the spirit, and to be led by the spirit of God."
Dr. Hammond, in his paraphrase and annotations on the New Testament, observes, that "he who hath been born of God, is literally he who hath had such a blessed change wrought in him by the operation of God's spirit in his heart, as to be translated from the power of darkness into the kingdom of his dear Son."
"As Christ in the flesh, says the great and venerable Locke, was wholly exempt from all taint and sin, so we, by that spirit which was in him, shall be exempt from the dominion of carnal lusts, if we make it our choice, and endeavour to live after the spirit."
"Here the apostle, says Locke, shows that Christians are delivered from the dominion of their