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woman, though the latter was to vanquish, or as the Quakers interpret it, between the spirit of sin and the spirit of God, that was placed in man. This promise was fully accomplished by Jesus, (who came from the woman) after he had received immeasurably the spirit of God, or after he had become the Christ. But the Quakers consider it to have been partially accomplished by many from the time of Adam; for they believe that many, who have attended to the seed of God, or, which is the same thing, ' to the portion of the spirit of God within them, have witnessed the enmity alluded to, and have bruised, in a great degree, the power of sin within their own hearts, or have experienced in these early times the redeeming power of the spirit of God. And except this be the case, the Quakers conceive some of the passages, which they suppose to relate to this subject, not to be so satisfactorily explicable as they might be rendered. For it is said of Abraham, that he saw Christ's day. But as Abraham died long before the visible appearance of Christ in the flesh, he could neither have seen Christ outwardly, nor his day. It is still affirmed that he saw Christ's day. And the Quakers say they believe he saw him inwardly, for he witnessed in his own spirit,
1 1 John. 3. 9. Whosoever is born of God does not commit sin, for his seed remaineth in him, and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
which is the same thing, the redeeming power of the spirit of God. For as the world was made by the spirit, or by the word, which is frequently interpreted to be Christ, so these terms are synonimous, and often used the one for the other. The Quakers therefore believe Abraham to have experienced in a very high degree the power of this inward redemption. They believe also that Job experienced it in an extraordinary manner. For he asserted that he knew" that his redeemer lived." But Job could never have said this, except he had alluded to the powerful influence within him, which had purified his heart from the pollutions 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 person 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
m The Quakers do not deny, that Abraham might have seen Christ prophetically, but they believe he saw him particularly in the way described.
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 hi therto explained in the ordinary way-New viewo 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 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 I shall be excused by the reader, if I allot one other section to this subject.
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 hea
Now the great work of religion is salvation or redemption. Without this no man can see God; 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 nial 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
n John 3. 3.