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make a person“ wise unto salvation," and was “ profitable” for every sort of instruction, so as to “ perfect” even an Evangelist --- much more is our Bible, when attended to in its real import, and believed, able to make sinful corrupt persons “ wise “ unto salvation,” and to “ furnish” them out “to " all” manner of “ good works :" For those only, we apprehend, who are corrupt and finful need falvation.

But we are far from excluding the influence of God, or his Spirit, from the mind; for we are fully convinced that every one who knows and is influenced by the Scriptures, is directed, influenced, and taught of God. It appears to us, that the sense or truth plainly expressed in them, is the means which he always uses to save perishing men.

No more than what we affert of the ability of Scripture, have the Apologist or his defenders said of their light within: No more can they say. They affirm, if we attend to it and follow its teachings, it will save us, and therefore it is a saving principle: We also say, the Scriptures will make us “ wise unto falva“ tion,” if we attend to the sense of them, believe it, and so become influenced by it, therefore they are able to save. Barclay and his friend speak of no divine assistance which enables persons to be passive, that the light within may operate and save; we believe God superintends, and in an especial matiner influences the minds of all, who are brought to attend to the import of revelation, by whatever outward means they were excited to it. Therefore we daily

pray,” as Paul did, “ that the word of the Lord

niay have free course, and be glorified.” 2 Theff. 3. 1.

Though certain parts of the Scriptures may, with some show of reason, be perverted, by the superficial and enthufiaftic, to countenance their absurdities; yet many, and even most parts of sacred writ, are too



clear and express to be thus tortured and abused : Whereas the plea of the motion of the Spirit within, as being not to be over-ruled or subjected to any other teft; as being positive, fure and supreme, --- has been a source of the wildest reveries and most monstrous tenets, that have ever been broached in the world. With what contradictions, oppositions, gross absurdities, abominable scandals, and even horrid blasphemies, many have been perplexed, under the pretence of being moved by the Spirit, and of having him for their supreme guide, --- they cannot be ignorant of, who have read any thing of the history of the Gno?ticks, Montanists, Priscillianists, Begharts, Menno- . nites, the family of love, David Georgians, Ranters, Muggletonians, French prophets, Bourignonians, and many other pretenders to the peculiar and extraordinary revelation of the Spirit.

Mr. Phipps's friend cannot help reminding him, that his manner of arguing against the perfection of the Scriptures, as the rule or standard of faith and manners, brings to his remembrance an objection frequently urged of old, and still insisted on by the Papists : It is as follows ---“ The Scriptures are not the

supreme guide ; for they do not answer the end, “ that is, the reconciling of differences : for those “ who pretend most to consult the Scriptures, do most “ of all disagree in matters of faith, and in their in“ terpretations of the Scripture.” This appears,

however, to be wretched logic, and worse divinity. For Protestant writers have clearly shewn in their reply, that the infallibility of the Popes, councils, and the church, are equally, nay, much more exceptionable : Because one infallible Pope has annulled the decrees of another infallible Pope; the determinations of one council have been a direct contradiction to those of another; and, what the church approved in one age, as agreeable to the will of God, it has solemnly condemned as herefy in another.


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We may also, fince Mr. P. observes, P. 2. “ That s6 the Spirit necessarily unites those who faithfully a66 bide therein, one to another in itself, and that both « in affection and fentiment,” retort the argument upon the Quakers themselves. Their Spirit is not the supreme and perfect guide, because there have been, and it is presumed still are, many differences of sentiment about some doctrines and practices among them: For the proof of this the reader is referred to Chapter the fifth, and section the fixth, of this treatise.

However, respecting the divine writings, commonly called, by way of emphasis, the Scriptures, it may be farther replied to the observator. They have a meaning, or they have not. If they have, that is the will of the Holy Spirit; whether it agrees with his system, or his opponent's: If they have not, they cannot be divine, or from God; for it never can be supposed, with any reason, that he should ever reveal himself unto mankind, without expressing, in language that may be understood, some ideas or sentiments : And who keeps closest to these, whether Mr. P. or his opponent, must be left to the judgment of every reader.

Mr. P. talks, P. 5. of “ a case in religion which the

Scriptures do not reach.” We really wish he would point out one or more such, and then we should better understand his meaning. He had before spoken “ of “ a revelation of particular duty, which the Scriptures “ did not come up to,” but it is to be hoped, when he puts pen to paper again, to defend the Apologist, that he will specify thole particular duties, which the Spirit now teaches men by internal immediate revelalation. The person whom Mr. P. writes against, has a feeling sense of that truth, that it is the duty of every profeflor to “ acknowledge God in all his ways, “ and he shall direct his paths,” Prov. iii. 6. and hopes, he fall be enabled to observe it, throughout

life ;

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life; however, he does not expect to have his paths directed by an inward sensible immediate revelation of particular duty, but by the Spirit of God disposing his mind, by the ordinary methods of information and instruction, according to the true meaning of his word. Any system of duties supposed to be superadded to the Scriptures, by any man's private spirit, he should consider, just of as much authority as the traditions of the church of Rome; some of which were asserted to be revealed in an extraordinary manner to several of their canonized saints.

Should any of the Quakers say, “ The books of “ the New Testament are greatly corrupted,” then their appealing to them (as Messrs. Barclay, Phipps, and Beasley have done) for the proof of their sentiments, is abfurd: For who would appeal for the decision of a controversy, to corrupted and erroneous books, which would in this case be supposed to have no determinate and confiftent meaning? And if they think their spirit can point out to them, where they are corrupted and where not, this will be bringing the controversy to this issue, that their opponents must infift upon the authority of their spirit, as not being inferior to that of the Quakers; which they have an equal right to do, as will afterwards appear.

Not contented with his observations about the sense of Scripture, which prove nothing on either side of the question, Mr. P. inakes some observations of the fame kind on right reason.

« Our author,” says he, P. 6, 7. makes high pretensions to “ right reason; which he threatens us with, “ as if he had the perfect mastery of it.” Let it be observed however,that this is a term first used by Barclay, and the Gentleman who has written to Dr. Formey (See Chap. 1. P. 1. of this treatise): These are the men, who threaten their adversaries with it, as. if they were it's perfect masters, if, for an appeal to it, they deserve to be thus represented. --But why may



not the writer of this use it as well as they? What! are Mr. P. and his brethren the sole judges of right and sound reason? Or have they a patent from heaven to justify their exclusive claim upon the term and thing? Surely it can never be allowed them by any, who do not believe thein infallibly directed by the Spirit.

He goes on, “ We may talk of balancing things " by right reason, while we inean only our weak and « limited faculty.” When he talks of reason, he may mean only “his own weak and limited faculty,' if he pleases, but the writer he animadverts


imagined, that Barclay, and the letter-writter quoted in the first page, meant by “ right reason,” what logicians do; not the faculty of the understanding itself, but that reasoning or argument, which is conformable to the true relation of things, and which the mind viewing objects should be ftruck with and governed by.

It is farther observed by Mr. P. “We see how dif« ferent (man's reason) is in different persons, re

specting many things, especially in spiritual matters.” And he gives us fome instances. To which it is replied - True. It is as different as the Quakers spirit, or as various as the spirit of others pretending to immediate divine revelation, is among themselves.

4. But what would Mr. P. infer from these reflections, by which he endeavours to set forth the uncertainty of the sense of Scripture and right reason, as understood by different people ? Undoubtedly, (or else it is nothing to the purpose) the necessity of carrying the decision of the controversy up higher, that is, to what the Holy Ghost inwardly suggests to them. This Barclay must be supposed to incan, and all the Quakers, when they say the Scripture is a rule but not the rule. If so, then the point in debate will be, whether the writer of this treatise in the profession of his principles, or any one of the Quakers in the


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