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“ ing,” not by any language, or verbal descriptions, whether divine or human. Could it be contained in a “ composition of words,” it may be written or printed,
bought and sold, and, consequently, carried in “ the pocket ;” but this, to Mr. Phipps, is an insuperable objection against it. The reader surely will admire the great veneration he has for the Bible.
It can be no pleasure to any honest man, to differ from a fellow-finner, upon the interesting subjects of revelation : It therefore gives one pain to observe, that Mr. Phipps, and his brethren, seem to think it no Gof. pel, that Jesus
of Nazareth was “ the Christ, the Son of the living God," and that consequently “remiffion “ of fin was preached” by the Apostles “ through “ his name,” to Jews and Gentiles. We are really much grieved to think, that men should be taught to neglect “the record which God has given” us
'“ of « his Son," and to believe that any knowledge of what our Saviour was, and what he did and suffered, to work out our salvation, as described by the New Testament writers, is not a sufficient foundation of their hope before God :-No-it is an inward feeling, or impression, that is not occafioned by any sentiments delivered by the inspired servants of Jesus, but by a mystical virtue or power, that is the ground of their encouragement and confidence.
The Apologist, and his defender, seem to take it for an undoubted truth, which cannot be contradicted, that there cannot be, properly speaking, any Gospel, or Goodnews, which is expressed by the words of the Holy Ghost in the Scriptures : Or they suppose such a Gospel as this, would contain nothing of reality, nothing influential, nothing lifegiving to the despairing, nothing interesting and important, nothing truly Laving to the soul, who knows, believes, and, consequently, feels it ; to theżn it appears to be only “an « outside,”“ a form,” & “name," and " an' unaffecting “composition of words. "
But, But,' I defire any Quaker would confider the following representations, and then judge whether there be not the most affecting Gospel, which may be expreffed by words.
Suppose Mr. Phipps, and some of his brethren, had been in a state of rebellion against their lawful Prince, and were now shut up, by a conquering army, within the walls of a city : Imagine them to be without any prospect of escaping, without any of the necessaries of life, absolutely in starving circumstances, beholding numbers falling around them into the cold arms of death, and feeling themselves almost finking into the grave, under the pressure of a diffolving faintnessSuppose this, I say, and then alk-What ef fect would the spoken, or written tidings of a royal messenger being at the gate, have upon them, if he came to proclaim a moft gracious pardon, the full enjoyment of their liberty, and an immediate and ample supply of every thing they wanted ? If they believed these tidings to be true, would they not congratulate one another ? Could they avoid feeling ex-. tacies of joy? Would not the news appear to be a reality, to be something more than a mere name, or an uninteresting report, even though an “outside”. and external proclaination? Though they had only a bare belief of what they heard, would it not enlarge and support their sinking hearts and spirits ? I think, it cannot be denied.
Or let me suppose, that they were under a just sentence of condemnation to an excruciating death, for daring rebellion against a truly good King, and that, in consequence of the appointment of the death warsant, they now stood at the place of execution, ready to suffer the dire pụnishment to which they were fentenced, without any hope of pardon, or even a respitej: How dejected, how truly miserable, would they appear! What shudderings of nature ! What difinal ap: prehepsions would actuate their ininds ! X 2
In this deplorable fituation, would it not be reviving, joyous, transporting news, to be certified, by the King's fon himself, either by word or writing, (after a great deal of condescenfion, pain and suffering, by which he supported the dignity of government, and the honour of those laws which they had broken) that his Father fo pitied, fo loved them, in their condemned hopeless state, as to send him to do all this, and propose a free and full pardon to every one of them, who believed in the real import of his royal miffion? Would not this appear a great, as well as a fuitable Gospel ? Would not their
fouls feel fuch a ferment of warm sensations, if they really believed it true, as would engage them to express themselves, in mutual congratulations, joyous hopes, and admiring gratitude ? Surely Mr. Phipps cannot deny, but, in these fupposed circumstances, the news, the tidings, the Gospel, would be truly interesting, important, heart affecting, and strongly influential.
How then can he look into the New Testament, and read this saying, John iii. 16. “For God so loved “ the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that « whosoever believeth in him, fhould not perish, but “ have everlasting life," and not see some thing much more affecting, much more interesting, fomething truly lifegiving to his guilty dead soul, with respect to his eternal happiness, in these gracious tidings from heaven? Will he object and fay, this is only an biftorical truth, expressed by“ a composition of words," as it is recorded by the divine historian, and therefore not the Gospel ? If so, then, it appears to us, he trifles most egregiously with the fayings of Jesus and his Apostles, and manifests, that he does not believe what our Lord expreffed in these words. He neither thinks that he is a part of that world which is in itself perishing, nor that there is enough in the character and work of the Son of God, when known and be
lieved, to give a finner solid hope before his offended maker.
Is there not something in this divine report or testimony of Jesus, calculated to fill the believing heart, with the highest veneration for the divine purity, in that God thought it nof proper to forgive tranfgreffors, but, through the mediation of his son, who Thould humble himself, and become obedient unto death, for them? Does it not so display infinite wisdom and pardoning goodness, as to soften the rebellious hearts of all who believe it, and melt them into genuine repentance? Can there be a nobler principle of virtuous action, or a scheme more mortifying to the pride of the human heart? What better Gospel, what more affecting, powerful, and transforming fyftem, can the Spirit of God now discover to the minds of men ? But I must restrain myself, upon this copious heart-affecting subject.
Mr. Phipps may here perceive, that I « feel" what I am writing : Indeed I do. This is my Gospel. It runs through every page almost of the New Testament, and I know it, by experience, as well as by Scripture declarations, to be a “ doctrine according to “ godliness.” 1 Tim. vi. 3. I wish for nothing more, than that the Spirit of God may convey the conviction of it to his heart, and all those of his brethren who do pot believe it,
CH A P. VII.
1. Mr. Barclay's elaborate dissertation on the fifth and fixth Propositions analyzed. 2. His arguments from
Scripture, for the universal saving principle of the
Light within examined, with remarks upon the obser* vations of his defender, concerning the sense of some passages in the word of God.
1. The Analysis.
N order that we may more fully understand Mr.
Barclay's system, let us fairly analyze what he has written under the fifth and fixth propositions; and as a kind of key to these, I would insert the following paragraph, from the fourth.
« All Adam's posterity, (or mankind) both Jews « and Gentiles, as to the firlt Adam, or earthly man, “ is fallen, degenerated and dead, deprived of the “ sensation or feeling of this inward testimony or feed “ of God; and is subject unto the power, nature and “ seed of the serpent, which he foweth in men's hearts, “ while they abide in this natural and corrupted “ estate: from whence it comes, that not only their " words and deeds, but all their imaginations, are “ evil perpetually in the fight of God, as proceeding “ from this depraved and wicked seed. Man, there“ fore, as he is in this state, can know nothing “ aright; yea his thoughts and conceptions concerns « ing God, and things spiritual (until he be disjoined “ from this evil seed, and united to the divine light) , are unprofitable both to himself and others."
The fifth and fixth propofitions treat of " a spiri“ tual, heavenly and invisible principle, or seed, which a counter-acts that derived from Adam, mentioned