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c is a liar, but he that,” (by words or actions) “de« nieth that Jesus is the Christ,” or Meffiah ? « He « is Antichrist that denieth the Father or the Son," ver. 23
“ Whosoever denieth the Son, the same “ hath not the Father,” ver. 24. “Let that therefore
abide in you, which ye have heard from the be
ginning; if that which ye have heard from the be“ ginning, shall remain in you, ye also shall continue “ in the Son and in the Father.”
That which they had heard from the Apostles, * feems plainly here to mean, either the very fame which he intended by the metaphor “ unɛtion," or that with which this anointed them ; which if it abode in them, would guard them against the errors of the Antichrists, and save them. And it appears most reasonable to fuppofe, it was nothing less or more, than the very fame Gospel which is to be found in the apostolic speeches in the Acts. “ He that believeth" this 6 shall be saved,” Matt. xvi. 16. or he that continues under the genuine influence of this, or that hath it abiding in him, “ hath both the Father and Son." 2 Ep. 9.
He tells them, “ that he had written these things « unto them concerning those that seduced them, ver. 26. which confirms the former observations,
Next comes the text which is adduced by Mr. Barclay for the support of his point, “ but the an“ ointing” or ointment, “ which ye have received “ from him," (the Holy one) “ abideth in you, “ and ye need not that any man teach you,” ver. 27. (concerning the false doctrines of these seducers or Antichrifts; or it may be thus, they needed not any one of these new teachers to instruct them) “ but at “ the fame anointing teacheth you of all things," (relative to the grand articles of faith and practice, which
They had from the beginning declared it unto them, and the Spirit of the Holy One, by their teaching, had fully convinced them of its truth and importance.
are sufficient to guard you against these Antichrists) cs and is truth, and is no lie," (as their system is) “ and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in 6 him,” (the anointed, or “ it” the anointing itself.)
Now the question here is, what is meant by this metaphorical“ anointing or ointment?” Mr. Barclay takes it for granted that it is his “ internal, immediate “ revelation" of the spirit, and thereupon says, “ This “ is not any special, peculiar, extraordinary privilege, " but that which is common to all the Saints -- that “ it is a more certain touchstone, to try and discern “ seducers by, even than John's own writings *, and « that it is lasting."
It is well known, that many ancient and modern commentators understand it of the extraordinary and peculiar inspiration and gifts of the Spirit, in the first age of Christianity ; which were conferred not only upon the Apostles and Evangelists, but upon some of the members of most, if not all
, the primitive churches, Any one who will read the twelfth and following chapters of the first epistle to the Corinthians, will evidently see, that they had this privilege. Thus the Apostle writes, ver. 8, 9, 10,-“ To one is given by “ the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the “ word of knowledge, by the fame Spirit ; to an“ other faith, by the fame Spirit ; to another the “ gifts of healing, by the fame Spirit ; to another “ the working of miracles ; to another prophecy ; to “ another discerning of spirits ; to another divers
* If John's own writings proceeded from the immediate sug, gestion, or even from the infallible fuper-intendency of the Holy Ghoit, they could not be a less certain touchstone to try these feducers by, than any thing the Spirit might have been fupposed to have revealed immediately to them : They surely at leaft had an qua' authoriy. But Mr. Barclay's thought here, does not appear to have been John's ; for it cannot be imagined, that the Apostle would have written this epistle. to Chriftians, by the direction of the Holy Ghost, unless they needed it. Can we suppose the Spirit in flu:nced lin to do a thing which was unnecessary?
kinds of tongues ; to another the interpretation of tongues.
If then the sanointing," which John mentions, in the passage before us, refers to the gifts of the Spirit here mentioned, and which were undoubtedly granted to hold forth and attest that truth or Gospel, which the Disciples of Jesus believed, and by which they were saved ; then all that can be fairly argued from it, is this, that the Christians whom John wrote to, had this extraordinary influence among them, and that hc directed them to that system of faith, hope, and action, which this held forth and attested, against the erroneous doctrines of those Antichrists which he cautions them to avoid. But, for the Quakers to say, it is common to, and abiding in, every true Saint of God now, without facts to confirm it, (which might easily be produced was this the case) is not only, abfurd, but presumptuous. Let them produce persons from among them, who manifest a faith by which they can effect things as difficult as the removing of mountains-Let them point out to us men, or women, who can interpret the Old Testament predictions, with a clearness and evidence, which shall manifest, that they are infallibly superintended by the Spirit, or foretell any future events which cannot be discovered by the most sagacious human foresight, without divine assistance-Let them furnish us with a fingle instance of a person's being immediately qualified to speak divers kinds of tongues, or of interpreting what another says, in any foreign language, without ever having used the common methods of learning them-Let them, I say, give us any such facts as these, and then we will not object to their applying unto themselves “ the anointing” of the Holy Ghost, in this high sense with which the Apostles and first churches, before the canon of the New Testainent was compleated, were inriched; but till they do this,
we must-evidence compels us to do it, deny, that it is common to Christians now, and abiding in them.
“ The unction from the Holy One” may precisely mean, for aught I know, “ the Spirit of truth” sent by Christ, according to his promise. His Apostles had such a measure of it as kept them from error, in all their public addresses and writings; and withall, a power to work miracles, upon proper occasions, for the confirmation of what they declared, with the greatest simplicity and solemnīty, to mankind. They were enabled to confer some extraordinary gifts upon many of the members of the first churches, as we have hinted, by that measure of the Spirit which was given to them : But all these gifts were employed, by those who were blessed with them, for this one grand purpose, the discovery and confirmation of the truth, or Gospel. The Christians to whom John more parti'cularly wrote, might have had some of this extraordinaary unction of the Spirit among them, as well as the believing Corinthians. In his epistle, he is earnest in cautioning them against delusions, and very particular in reminding them of their privilege, in being favoured with “ the Spirit of truth," by which they were remarkably honoured, as the Priests, Kings, and Prophets of old, were distinguished by anointing : But does it follow from hence, that they received the truth, or Gospel, first of all
, by “internal, immedi" ate revelation," without the instrumentality of the ministry or testimony of the Apostles? The only authentic history of the first propagation of the Gospel which Providence has favoured us with, will certainly lead the impartial reader to answer in the negative. They first became Christians, no doubt, in the same manner as the members of the other primitive churches did, by the Apostolic report : When they understood and received this, they were actuated by the Spirit of truth, and many of them, afterwards, received his miraculous gifts, to attest, recommend,
and confirm it; which is emphatically called, in the New Testament, “ the receiving of the Holy Ghost.”..
But is there no portion of the Spirit's influences which teaches and applies the Gospel, for the sanctification and establishment of the disciples of Christ, now miraculous gifts are ceased? Yes, we firmly believe there is, and it may be beautifully called, “ the 6. unction of the Holy One.” But by what means does it operateThis is the question. Mr. Barclay says, by none at all : But universal experience and fact contradict him ; for there cannot be any instances produced of persons knowing what John meant by * the truth," or the Gospel, without the reading, or hearing, something about the embassy of the Apostles, as it is written in the New Testament.
Take then this passage in John's epistle in which sense we will, it cannot serve the cause of Barclay. 6. Some of Mr. Phipps's best additional remarks
What has been observed, concerning those passages on which Mr. Barclay founds his notion of « imme“diate revelation," and the absolute necessity of it, to Christians of this age, it is presumed, intirely invalidates every thing his defender has advanced, in his obfervations: But we would just take notice of some of his remarks.
We acknowledge, with Mr. Phipps, P. 40. that when the Apostles, Matt. x, 19. “ were brought be“ fore governours and kings, for Christ's fake, it was “ given them,” by “the immediate, internal revela“ tion of the Spirit,” “what they should speak :" But it does not follow from hence, that all Christians now receive the saving-knowledge of Christ Jesus, in