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Unless a man has a portion of the same Spirit,
which Jesus and the prophets and the apostles had, he can have no knowledge of God or spiritual things--Doctrine of St. Paul on'this subject This confirms the history of the human and divine Spirit in man--these Spirits distinct in their kind-This distinction further elucidated by a comparison between the faculties of men and brutes Sentiments of Augustine -- Luther
Calvin-Smith-Cudworth. The members of this community believe that there can be no spiritual knowledge of God, but through the medium of his holy Spirit; or, in other words, that if men have not a portion of the same Spirit, which the holy men of old, and which the evangelists and apostles, and which Jesus himself had, they can have no true or vital religion.
In favour of this proposition they usually quote those remarkable words of the apostle Paul*, “For what man knoweth the things
* i Cor. ii. 11, &c.
of a man, 'save the Spirit of a man which is in him? Even so the things of God knoweth no man but the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the Spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God, that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.” And again: “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
By these expressions the Quakers conceive that the history of man, as explained in the last chapter, is confirmed, or that the Almighty not only gave to man reason, which was to assist him in his temporal, but also superadded a portion of his own Spirit, which was to assist him in his spiritual concerns. They conceive it also to be still further confirmed by other expressions of the same apostle. In his first letter to the Corinthians he says*, “ Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, which is in
have of God?" And, in his letter to Timothy, he desires
* i Cor. vi. 19.
him* “ to hold fast that good thing, which was committed to him by means of the Holy Ghost, which dwelled in him.” Now these expressions can only be accurate on a supposition of the truth of the history of man as explained in the former chapter. If this history be true, then they are considered as words of course: for, if there be a communication between the Supreme Being and his creature Man, or if the Almighty has afforded to man an emanation of his own Spirit, which is to act in his mortal body, for spiritual purposes, we may say with great consistency, that the Divinity resides in him, or that his body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.
They conceive again from these expressions of the apostle, that these two principles in man are different from each other. They are mentioned under the distinct names of the Spirit of Man, and of the Spirit of God. The former they suppose to relate to the understanding; the latter conjointly to the understanding and to the heart. The former can be brought into use
*.2 Tim. 1. 14.
at all times, if the body of a man is in health. The latter is not at his own disposal. Man must wait for its inspirations, Like the wind, it bloweth when it listeth. Man also, when he feels this divine influence, feels that it is distinct from his reason. When it is gone, he feels the loss of it, though all his rational faculties be alive. “ Those,” says Alexander Arscott,
66 who have this experience, certainly know, that as at times, in their silent retirements and humble waitings upon God, they receive an understanding of his will relating to their present duty,-in such a clear light as leaves no doubt or hesitation; so at other times, when this is withdrawn from them, they are at a loss again, and see themselves, as they really are, ignorant and destitute.”
They understand again by these expressions of the apostle (which is the point insisted upon in this chapter) that human reason, or the spirit of man which is within him, and the Divine Principle of Life and Light, which is the Spirit of God residing in his body or temple, are so different in their powers, that the former cannot enter into the province of the latter. As water cannot 1
penetrate the same bodies, which fire can, so neither can reason the same subjects as the spiritual faculty. The Quakers, however, do not deny that human reason is powerful within its own province. It may discover, in the beautiful structure of the universe, and in the harmony and fitness of all its parts, the hand of a great contriver. . It may conclude upon attributes belonging to the same.
It may see the fitness of virtue, and deduce from thence a speculative morality. They only say that it is incompetent to spiritual discernment. But though they believe the two Spirits to be thus distinct in their powers, they believe them, I apprehend, to be sa far connected in religion, that the Spirit of God can only act upon a reasonable being. Thus light, and the
power of sight, are distinct things. Yet the
power of sight, is nothing without light, nor can light operate upon any
organ than the eye to produce vision.
This proposition may be further elucidated by making a comparison between the powers of men and those of the brute creation. An animal is compounded of body and instinct. If we were to endeavour to 3