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This spirit of God, which has been thus given to men as an infallible guide in their spiritual concerns, has been given them universally-To the patriarchs and Israelites, from the creation to the time of Moses-To the Israelites or Jews, from Moses to Jesus Christ-To the Gentile world from all antiquity to modern times-To all those who have ever heard the gospel-And it continues its office to the latter even at the present day.

THE Quakers are of opinion that the spirit of God, of which a portion has been given to men as a primary and infallible guide in their spiritual concerns, has been given them universally; or has been given to all of the human race, without any exceptions, for the same purpose.

This proposition of the Quakers I shall divide, in order that the reader may see it more clearly, into four cases. The first of these will comprehend

the Patriarchs and the Israelites from the creation to the time of Moses. The second, the Israelites or Jews from the time of Moses to the coming of Jesus Christ. The third, the Gentiles or Heathens. And the fourth, all those who have heard

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of the gospel of Jesus Christ, from the time of his own ministry to the present day.

The first case includes a portion of time of above two thousand years. Now the Quakers believe, that during all this time men were generally enlightened as to their duty by the spirit of God; for there was no scripture or written law of God during all this period. "It was about two thousand four hundred years, says Thomas Beaven, an approved writer among the Quakers, after the creation of the world, before mankind had any external written law for the rule and conduct of their lives, so far as appears by either sacred or profane history; in all which time mankind, generally speaking, had only for their rule of faith and manners the external creation as a monitor to their outward senses, for evidence of the reality and certainty of the existence of the Supreme Being; and the internal impressions God by his divine spirit made upon the capacities and powers of their souls or inward man, and perhaps some of them oral traditions delivered from father to son."

To the same point Thomas Beaven quotes the ever memorable John Hales, who, in his golden remains, writes in the following manner: "The love and favour, which it pleased God to bear our

fathers before the law, so far prevailed with him, as that without any books and writings, by familiar and friendly conversing with them, and communicating himself unto them, he made them receive and understand his laws, their inward conceits and intellectuals being, after a wonderful manner, figured as it were and charactered by his spirit, so that they could not but see and consent unto, and confess the truth of them. Which way of manifesting his will unto many other gracious privileges it had, above that which in after ages came in place of it, had this added, that it brought with it unto the man to whom it was made, a preservation against all doubt and hesitancy, and a full assurance both who the author was, and how far his intent and meaning reached. We who are their offspring ought, as St. Chrysotom tells us, so to have demeaned ourselves, that it might have been with us as it was with them, that we might have had no need of writing, no other teacher but the spirit, no other books but our hearts, no other means to have been taught the things of God."

That the spirit of God, as described by Thomas Beaven and the venerable John Hales, was the great instructor or enlightener of man during the period we are speaking of, the Quakers believe, from what they conceive to be the sense of the


holy scriptures on this subject. For in the first place, they consider it as a position, deducible from the expressions of Moses, that the spirit of God had striven with those of the antediluvian world. They believe, therefore, that it was this spirit (and because the means were adequate, and none more satisfactory to them can be assigned) which informed Cain, before any written law existed, and this even before the murder of his brother, that "if he did well, he should be accepted; but if not, sin should lie at his door." The same spirit they conceive to have illuminated the mind of Seth, but in a higher degree than ordinarily the mind of Enoch; for he is the first, of whom it is recorded, that he walked with God." It is also considered by the Quakers as having afforded a rule of conduct to those who lived after the flood. Thus Joseph is described as saying, when there is no record of any verbal instruction from the Almighty on this subject, and at a time when there was no scripture or written law of God, 1" How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?" It illuminated others also, but in


h Gen. 6. 3.

i lb. 4. 7.

k Gen. 5. 24.

1 Ib. 39. 9. The traditionary laws of Noah were in force at this time; but they only specified three offences between man and man.

Thus Noah

Thus Abra

a greater or less degree, as before. became a preacher of righteousness. ham, Isaac, and Jacob, were favoured with a greater measure of it than others who lived in their own times.

From these times to the coming of Jesus Christ, which is the second of the cases in question, the same spirit, according to the Quakers, still continued its teachings, and this notwithstanding the introduction of the Mosaic law; for this, which was engraven on tables of stone, did not set aside the law that was engraven on the heart. It assisted, first, outwardly, in turning mens' minds to God; and secondly, in fitting them as a schoolmaster for attention to the internal impressions by his spirit. That the spirit of God was still the great teacher, the Quakers conceive to be plain; for the sacred writings from Moses to Malachi affirm it for a part of the period now assigned; and for the rest we have as evidence the reproof of the Martyr Stephen, and the sentences from the New Testament quoted in the fourth chapter. And in the same manner as this spirit had been given to some in a greater measure than to others, both before and after the deluge, so the Quakers believe it to have been given more abundantly to Moses and the prophets, than to others of the same na

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