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The Quakers usually elucidate this visitation, treatment, and influence of the Holy Spirit, by the parable of the sower, as recorded by three of the Evangelists. "Now the seed is the word of God." But as the word of God and the spirit, according to St. John the Evangelist, are the same, the parable is considered by the Quakers as relating to that divine light or spirit which is given to man for his spiritual instruction and salvation. As the seed was sown in all sorts of ground, good, bad, and indifferent, so this light or spirit is afforded, without exception, to all. As thorns choked this seed, and hindered it from coming to perfection, so bad customs, or the pleasures and cares of the world, hinder men from attending to this divine principle within them, and render it unfruitful in their hearts. And as the seed in the good ground was not interrupted, and therefore produced fruit in abundance, so this spiritual principle, where it is not checked, but received and cherished, produces also abundance of spiritual fruit in the inward man, by putting him into the way of redemption from sin, or of holiness of life.


The spirit of God, therefore, besides its office of a teacher, performs that of a Redeemer of men-Redemption outward and inward—Outward is by the sufferings of Jesus Christ-These produce forgive ness of past sins, and put men into a capacity of salvation inward, or the office now alluded to, is by the operation of the spirit-This converts men, and preserves them from sins to come-outward and inward connected with each other.

THE spirit of God, which we have seen to be given to men, and to be given them universally, to enable them to distinguish between good and evil, was given them also, the Quakers believe, for another purpose, namely, to redeem or save them. Redemption and salvation, in this sense, are the same, in the language of the Quakers, and mean a purification from the sins or pollutions of the world, so that a new birth may be produced, and maintained in the inward man.

As the doctrine of the Quakers, with respect to redemption, differs from that which generally obtains, I shall allot this chapter to an explanation

of the distinctions, which the Quakers usually make upon this subject.

The Quakers never make use of the words

original sin," because these are never to be found in the sacred writings. They consider man, however, as in a fallen or degraded state, and as inclined and liable to sin. They consider him, in short, as having the seed of sin within him, which he inherited from his parent Adam. But though they acknowledge this, they dare not say, that sin is imputed to him on account of Adam's transgression, or that he is chargeable with sin, until he actually commits it.

As every descendant, however, of Adam, has this seed within him, which, amidst the numerous temptations that beset him, he allows sometime or other to germinate, so he stands in need of a Redeemer; that is, of some power that shall be able to procure pardon for past offences, and of some power that shall be able to preserve him in the way of holiness for the future. To expiate himself, in a manner satisfactory to the Almighty, for so foul a stain upon his nature as that of sin, is utterly beyond his abilities; for no good action, that he can do, can do away that which has been once done. And to preserve himself in a state of virtue for the future, is equally out of his own pow

er, because this cannot be done by any effort of his reason, but only by the conversion of his heart. It has therefore pleased the Almighty to find a remedy for him in each of these cases. Jesus Christ, by the sacrifice of his own body, expiates for sins that are past, and the spirit of God, which has been afforded to him, as a spiritual teacher, has the power of cleansing and purifying the heart so thoroughly, that he may be preserved from sins to come.

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That forgiveness of past sins is procured by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, is obvious from various passages in the holy scriptures. Thus the apostle Paul says, that Jesus Christ" "was set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past through the forbearance of God." And in his epistle to the Colossians he says, "In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins." This redemption may be called outward, because it has been effected by outward means, or by the outward sufferings of Jesus Christ; and it is considered as putting men, in consequence of this forgiveness, into the capacity of salvation. The Quakers, however, attribute this redemption wholly to the love

u Rom. 3. 25.

▾ Coloss. 1.14..

of God, and not to the impossibility of his forgiveness without a plenary satisfaction, or to the motive of heaping all his vengeance on the head of Jesus Christ, that he might appease his own. wrath.

The other redemption, on the other hand, is called inward, because it is considered by the Quakers to be an inward redemption from the power of sin, or a cleansing the heart from the pollutions of the world. This inward redemption is produced by the spirit of God, as before stated, operating on the hearts of men, and so cleansing and purifying them, as to produce a new birth in the inward man; so that the same spirit of God, which has been given to men in various degrees since the foundation of the world, as a teacher in their spiritual concerns, which hath visited every man in his day, and which hath exhorted and reproved him for his spiritual welfare, w has the power of preserving him from future sin, and of leading him to salvation.

That this inward redemption is performed by the spirit of God, the Quakers show from various passages in the sacred writings. Thus St. Paul

w The Quakers believe, however, that this spirit was more plentifully diffused, and that greater gifts were given to men, after Jesus was glorified, than before. Ephes. 4. 8.

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