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have met with before. For one of his brethren, to wit, W. Barnet, a preacher, saith in his book called - The Capital Principles," (p. 35,) “ That Christ, as he was the Word which was God, was not a Saviour, as he was God he could not save man," which denjes the omnipotency of God. But H. G. grants that it is the power and spirit of God himself, or God alone that doth regenerate and make men his children. Whence it follows, that it was not merely the outward body of Jesus that was the Saviour, though he was a Saviour in that body, but it was by the Divine power or holy Spirit of the Father in him.
XI. HIS ERRONEOUS DISTINCTIONS ABOUT THE LIGHT.
But H. G. accounts the light and knowledge of God as Crcator, that was given to the Gentiles, (Rom. i. 19, and chap. ii. 14, 15.)" but the light of the moon to guide their paths," and so much inferior to that of “a crucified Jesus, that it leaves them utterly void of the saving knowledge of the gospel, and of a crucified Jesus.” p. 68, 69. Mark here, how he bath undervalued the light and knowledge of the glorious Creator, whom before he has in words exalted above all, in the work of regeneration, accounting Christ as man, but finite, weak, &c. But now, alas ! with him, the light and knowledge of the glorious Creator, is but the light of the moon in comparison of the light and knowledge of Christ as man, though in that weakness as cruci. fied! How egregiously he is involved in gross confusion and self-contradiction in these things, he that runs may read; and no such distinction nor contrariety between the light of God and the light of his Son is owned in scripture, for “ I and my Father are one,” saith Christ: and the Father, Word, and holy Spirit are one.
And the same life which was in him was the light of men, (John i. 4.) and this life, which in due time was manifested, was the same eternal life which was with the Father, (1 John i. 1. 2.) which light or life brings them that obey and follow it in its appearance and guidance, to a fellowship with the Father, and with the Son: and this is not the light of the moon, as our opposer blindly and unscripturally terms it. But seeing he saith, this « law or light is given to guide their paths, by which the Gentiles are taught their duty to God in morals," I ask him, whither will this light guide them, if not in the way to salvation ? And whither will they go, and to what end, if they obey and follow it? Does not the apostle, for a proof of a justified state, instance it in the Gentiles, showing the effects of the law written in their hearts ? Rom. ii. 13, 14, 15, 16. And what nature was that by which those Gentiles did the things contained in the law ? Surely it was not the corrupt nature, for that is in
consistent, the law being holy, just, and good. And though these Gentiles bad not the law in the letter of it, as many now have not the literal description or historical relation of Christ's outward sufferings, must they therefore be damned to hell ? What cruelty were this, to condemn whole nations for want of the scriptures ? But as those Gentiles had not the law in the letter, and yet had and obeyed it in the spirit, they were both therein a law to themselves, and excused in the sight of God, in the day when he judgeth the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to the gospel. Rom. ii. 16.
So those Gentiles and people who obey the light and life of the Son of God in them, though they have not the historical knowledge and profession of Christ as he was man, and suffered death in the flesh, &c. yet they are truly accepted of God, and more real christians inwardly than many of you that have the scriptures, and an historical faith and profession of the man Christ, and of christianity outwardly; for in all nations, every one that feareth God and worketh righteousness is accepted of him. “ Depart from evil and do good, and dwell for ever. more." And this the light of the Son of God implanted in the hearts of all nations teacheth; and herein " the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared unto all men.” Tit. ii. 11. But it is the error and mistake of these men, to put their bistorical notions and professions of the man Christ, for the light of Christ in man, whereas their notions and professions are neither any real knowledge of the man Christ, nor the principle of his light in man. For the one is traditional and acquired by man, and so but dark; the other is the immediate and Divine unchangeable gift of Christ in man, which indeed is the light of the eternal Word, the glorious Creator. But as these men's pretended light and knowledge of the man Christ, is what they get out of scriptures, (with their own private interpretations on them,) so they hereby render Christ and his light, as only limited to such places and people as have the scriptures, opposing his Divine omnipresence, and denying him his right, which is the heathen for his inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for his posession. Psal. ii.
Now, as for that morality, as he calls it, which the law of the first covenant, and light implanted in the hearts of all mankind teacheth, in the true nature and intent thereof, it falleth no more short of christianity than godliness doth; for this law and light teacheth man to love the Lord God with all his heart, and soul, &c. and his neighbour as himself. “This do," saith Christ, “and thou shalt live," in answer to the question, “ what shall I do to inherit eternal life ?” Luke x. 25, 26, 27, 28. This is the highest morality or duty of mankind, even this love to God and one another, which is the fulfilling of the law. And
this is both taught by the light within, and power giren by the grace of God to fulfil it, which the law without in the letter cannot do. Now, if the Jews' way to inherit eternal life was, through the grace or help of God, to fulfil what was written, then if a heathen, that hath not this law outwardly written, should ask, the same question, What shall I do to inberit eternal life?" he may truly be answered, “ Obey the light or law of thy Maker in thy heart, which tells thee, thou must love and honour him above all, and do injury or wrong to no man. This do and thou shalt inherit eternal life ; for this end the grace
of God is free for thee.”
XII. OUR DOCTRINE, FOR TURNING PEOPLE TO THE LIGHT
H. G. “ None of the true gospel preachers did ever teach such a doctrine as this is which the Quakers preach, namely, bid people turn to the light within." *p. 63, 64.
[Contradiction.] “ That God who commanded the light to shine out of darkness hath shined in our hearts." 2 Cor jv..
(Concession.) “ Who doth deny that holy men did endeavour to turn men and women from darkness to the light, to leave their sins, to turn from all their wicked abominations, and unfruitful works of darkness, to God and Christ? p. 67. What may be known of God is manifest in men.” Rom. i.-P. 68, 69,
Animadversion. If God hath shined in our hearts, and what may be known of God be manifest in men, must they not turn to his shining and illumination? For God is light, whose inward light, which we testify to, is become the main stumbling block and rock of offence to these dark opposers. And where was the darkness which holy men endeavoured to turn others from, was it not within ? And the light shines in darkness, the light of God and Christ, which their minds were to be turned to, was not an outward, created, or natural light, but inward and spiritual, and so received. God hath shined in our bearts. See 2 Cor. iv. 6. His concession to this overturns him. And if the Quakers do not prove these very bare words in scripture, to wit, “ turn to the light within," it doth not therefore follow that they cannot prove the matter of the doctrine that men ought to turn to the light within. See Deut. XXX. 1, 2, both in Tindal's translation, and in the bible in folio, printed in London in the year 1576. ^ Thou shalt turn into thy heart--and shalt return unto the Lord thy God," &c. As also to the question, "wherewith shall a young man cleanse his ways?'' the answer and direction is, (saith H. G. page 64,) « by taking heed thereto
This is Mat. Caffin's old story against the light.
according to thy Word." Psalm cxix. 9. And did not David hide this Word in his heart, that he might not sin against God?
And both Moses and the apostle say, " The Word is nigh thee iu thy heart." Deut. xxx. Rom. x. And did not Jesus say, “ There is yet a little light in you," (as some copies have it, John xii. 35. And, “ while you have the light, believe in the light, that you be the children of the light.” ver. 36. Many other instances of this doctrine might be urged.
XIII. OF CHRIST AS AT THE FATHER'S RIQAT HAND, &c.
I may not well omit one passage of H. G. which had like to have been buried in his rubbish, that is, after he denies the Spirit to be the Saviour, though present, to prove the Saviour absent, he saith, “ He is ascended into heaven, and bath a real outward existence at the Father's right hand, (p. 46,) an outward glorified existence in the kingdom of bis Father or glory above.” p. 47. To which I say, the Saviour is not absent from them that are saved; for Christ said, he that is with you shall be in you. His ascending into heaven, yea, and far above all heavens, was not that he might remain absent from his church, but rather that being departed from them in his outward presence or body, he might be the more present with them, and in them, in the spirit and power of the Father.
And Christ being exalted at the Father's right hand, is no proof that he is remote, separate, or absent from his people and members, any more than that the Father's right hand of power is absent and remote from them. Though we see what gross apprehensions some men have of God and Christ, who thus would exclude, Jimit, or circumscribe them, yea, God and his right hand of power, only to a place distant from his people and children. This not only strengthens gross apprehensions in the ignorant, to keep them in ignorance, dark thoughts, and carnal imaginations concerning God and his right hand, as if he were a body or person like themselves; but also opposes his infiniteness and omnipresence, and so Christ's divinity ; whereas the heaven of heavens cannot contain him. We may in a sense be said to be absent from the Lord, while at home, or strangers, in the body, in comparison of that enjoyment of himn hereafter to be bad. But this proves not him nor bis right hand absent, (as circumscribed, or only far distant,) from us. His right band of power is where he is; and Christ is inseparably with and in the Father, glorified with the Father's ownself, even with the same glory which he had with him before the world began; which glory is divine, invisible, and incomprehensible. And therefore human or earthly pature is not capa
ble of that divine glory and power, wherewith the Son of God was anointed, dignified, and exalted at God's right hand. And David said, “thou that savest by thy right hand them which put their trust in thee,” and “ thy right hand hath holden me up.” Psa. xvii. 7, and xviii. 35, and xx. 6, and Ix. 5, and Ixiii. 8, and lxxiji. 23. So that neither the infinite God, nor his Son, nor his right hand of strength can be circumscribed, or limited into a separation or remoteness from the children of light, who are saved by the right hand of God, whose hand and power are spiritual. And if Saul was struck down and blinded by the light that shone from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, (which he calls the heavenly vision in Acts xxvi. 13, 19,) in which Jesus spake to him, whose voice the men with Saul heard not ; (ch. xxii. 9,) how much further doth Jesus himself in the Father's divine glory transcend this vision, though glorious ? And how far is his own being, his spiritual and glorious body, beyond the reach of these men's carnal thoughts and mean conceptions, as this man represents Christ, at God's right hand in glory, as consisting of flesh and bone, human nature, outward existence, &c. And so to have appeared to Paul at the time of his conversion, (p. 46.) and which John saw in that vision, Rev. i. 13, 14, 15. p. 56. Whereas Paul and Jobn give no such account of Christ's appearance to them, as that it was in a human body of flesh and bone ; much less, that be consisted mere. ly of flesh and bone. But the cause of the martyr Stephen's seeing Jesus standing on the right hand of God was, his being full of the Holy Ghost. Acts vii. 55, 56. And it is in the same Holy Ghost, that the truly sanctified and spiritually minded come to see the glory of God, and Jesus, or the Son of man, at his right hand.
XIV. OF PERFECTION.
H. G. “We do not believe it is possible to attain to such a degree of perfection, as to be as pure from sin as Jesus Christ was. p. 62. I know not what such should call on the name of the Lord for," &c. p. 63.
[ Contradiction.) “ We can experience the power of Christ's spirit risen in us for our sanctification and renovation. p. 54. He doth adopt, regenerate, make others children of God, by the effectual workings of his blessed Spirit in their hearts, by which they are interested into all the privileges, promises, and blessings of the covenant of grace.” p. 91, 92.
Animadversion. We believe that the spirit and power of Christ working in our hearts, is able to sanctify throughout, and his blood to cleanse from all sin, and that in Christ, who is the covenant of grace, all the promises of God are yea and amen.