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men, who are acted upon solely by his inward strivings, have not the same advantages as those who are also acted upon by his outward word, so less is expected in the one than in the other case. Less is expected from the Gentile than from the Jew less from the Barbarian than from the Christian.
And this latter doctrine of the universality of the striving of Christ with man, in a spiritually instructive and redemptive capacity, as it is merciful and just, so it is worthy of the wise and beneficent Creator. Christ, in short, has been filling, from the foundation of the world, the office of an inward redeemer, and this, without any exception, to all of the human race. And there is even b« now no salvation in any other. For there is no other name under Heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."
From this new statement of the proposition, which statement is consistent with the language of divines, it will appear, that, if the Quakers have made every thing of the spirit, and but little of Christ, I have made, to suit the objectors, every thing of Christ, and but little of the spirit. Now I would ask, where lies the difference between the
c Gal. 2. 20,
two statements? Which is the more accurate; or whether, when I say these things were done by the spirit, and when I say they were done by Christ, I do not state precisely the same proposition, or express the same thing?
That Christ, in all the offices stated by the proposition, is neither more nor less than 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 life and light to men. And yet 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 by 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 own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?"
d 2 Cor. 13. 5.
Now no person imagines that St. Paul had any idea, either that the body of Christ was in himself, or in others, on the occasions on which he has thus spoken.
That Christ therefore, as he held the offices contained 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, is spirit." The only question then will be as to the magnitude of the spirit thus produced. In answer to this St. John says, f" that God gave him not the spirit by measure." And St. Paul says the same thing: "For in him all the fulness of the godhead dwelt bodily." Now we can have no idea
Coloss. 2. 9.
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 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 Itim 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" 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 if the Quakers only allow, when the spirit took flesh, that the body was given as a sacrifice
h 1. Cor. 1. 24.
for sin, or that a part of the redemption of man, as far as his 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 Christi.
i 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 as extravagant and wild. The reader will therefore see, that if he admits the one, he cannot very consistently censure the other.