« PoprzedniaDalej »
meat. “ They come, in the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto perfect men, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ. They arrive at such a state of stability, that they are no more children tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, but, speaking the truth in love, grow up unto him in all things, which is the head, even Christ*"-" The old man with his deeds being put off, they have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him t."
They are washed, they are sanctified, they are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and in the Spirit of our God I.” The new creation is thus completed, and the Sabbath, wherein man ceases from his own works, is fully attained ; so that
so that every
believer can then
say with the apostle, “ I am crucified with Christ. Nevertheless I live: yet not I, but Christ liveth in me : and the life, which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and
gave himself for me S.”
Ephes. iv. 13, 14, 15. I ! Cor. vi. 11. # Coloss. iii. 9, 10. § Galat. ii. 20.
But this state of manhood, “ by which the man of God may be made perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works *,” does not take place till Christ be fully formed in the souls of believers, or till they are brought wholly under his rule and
government. He must be substantially formed in them. He must actually be their life and their hope of glory. He must be their head and
governor. As the head and the body and the members are one, according to the apostle, but the head directs, so Christ, and believers in whom Christ is born and formed, are one spiritual body, which he himself must direct also.
Thus Christ, where he is fully formed in man, or where believers are grown up to the measure of the stature and fulness of sonship, is the head of every man, and God is the head of Christ. Thus Christ the begotten entirely governs the whole man, as the head directs and governs all the members of the body; and God the Father, as the head of Christ, entirely guides and governs the begotten. Hence, believers “ Christ's, and Christ is God's †:" so that ultimately God is all in all.
* 2 Tim. qii. 17.
ti Core iii. 23.
Having given this new view of the subject, I shall only observe further upon it, that the substance of this chapter turns out to be the same as that of the preceding; or, that the inward work of redemption cannot be effected but through the medium of the Spirit of God. For Christ, according to the ideas now held out, must be born in men, and he must be formed in them, and he must rule them, before they can experience full inward redemption; or, in other words, they cannot experience this inward work of redemption, except they can truly say that he governs them, or except they can truly call him Governor or Lord. But no person can say that Christ rules in him, except he undergoes the spiritual process of regeneration, which has been described; or, to use the words of the apostle, "* no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Spirit +."
1 Cor. xii. 3.
↑ The reader will easily discern from this new view of the new birth, how men, according to the Quakers, be come partakers of the divine nature, and how the Quakers make it out that Abraham and others saw Christ' day, as I mentioned in a former chapter.
Quakers believe from the foregoing account that redemption is possible to all-hence they deny the doctrine of Election and Reprobation-do not deny the texts on which it is founded, but the interpretation of them-as contrary to the doctrines of Jesus Christ and the apostles--as making his mission unnecessaryas rendering many precepts Kseless and as casting a stain
on the character and attributes of God. It will appear from the foregoing observations, that it is the belief of the members of this Society that every man, who attends to the strivings of the Holy Spirit, has the power of inward redemption within himself; and that as outward redemption by the sufferings of Jesus Christ extends to all, where the inward has taken place, so redemption or salvation, in its full extent, is possible to every individual of the human
This position, however, is denied by those
Christians, who have pronounced in favour of the doctrine of Election and Reprobation; because, if they believe some were predestinated from all eternity to eternal happiness, and the rest to eternal misery, they must then believe that salvation is not possible to all, and that it was not intended to be universal.
The Quakers have attempted to answer the objections, which have been thus made to their theory of redemption. And as the reader will probably expect that I should notice what they have said upon this subject, I have reserved the answers they have given for the present place.
In the first place they do not deny the genuineness of any of those texts, which are usually advanced against them. Of all people they fly the least to the cover of interpolation or mutilation of Scripture, to shield themselves from the strokes of their opponents. They believe, however, that there are passages in the Sacred Writings, which will admit of an interpretation different from that which has been assigned them by many; and upon this they principally rely in the present case.
If there are passages