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with the language and metaphors of Scripture : Bur the comparison will not hold. For the Apologist evidently means, if any sense at all can be given to his expressions, that the rational principle in man, is not the right organ or faculty, by which we know God, and apprehend spiritual things. It may be justly said then, in his own words, that Mr. P. in what he observes on this
part of the section, “idly fancies he is ” satirizing his opponent, whilft he is only ludicrously “ trifling with his own manifeft perverfion.”
Besides this, it must give pain to every impartial friend of Mr. P. when it is observed, what a poor vain subterfuge he has recourse to, in order to make the Apologist either confiftent with himself or common fense: He expresses himself thus ; P. 23." Barclay's “ doctrine is, that the Holy Spirit communicates not
a natural faculty, but itself, to the faithful foul, “ and becomes to it a new principle wherein, or as
an organ whereby, it is capacitated rightly to un“ derstand religious truth.”
Without asking Mr. P. how a person becomes “ faithful,” in order that he may have this “ principle” or “ organ," it is most certainly a very low and base representation, which makes the almighty and infinitely wise Spirit, a mere organ of thought to his imperfect creatures. But did we allow him the propriety of this remark, and that it is a just description of Barclay's sentiments, it is still difficult, if not impossible, to reconcile it, with what we have before quoted from the Apology: For we demand of Mr. Phipps, Whether the Soul, by this divine principle or organ, which is the “Holy Spirit itself,” discerns truth, or not? If she does not, she can never be faid to understand it in any sense whatsoever : If she does, is it by any power, faculty, or exertion, that can be understood to be different from the rational principle in man? Supposing then she be assisted, influenced, and taught, by the Spirit of God, it is the foul, by
her power or capacity of viewing and discerning objects, which understands the truth; or, to use Mr. Barclay's expreffion, the foul, by her rational faculty, or principle, that. views, apprehends, and receives it; or otherwise the Spirit cannot be her organ of thought at all : For how can it be the organ of thought, “whereby the foul is rightly capacitated to “ understand divine truth," if she never be hereby enabled to apprehend and understand it herself? The Spirit's understanding it within a person, will be of no advantage to the soul, unless she herself discerns and believes it: For the Holy Ghost, or “ light “ within," which are the same thing, according to Messrs. Barclay and Phipps, [Observations, P. 231“ is
not only distinct, but of a different nature, from to the soul of man, and its faculties.”
However, without enlarging any further here, the Observator himself shall answer Mr. Barclay : For he afferts, P. 22. that “ by heart-knowledge is meant, “ that which is experimentally and deeply rooted in “ the foul, or rational spirit of man :" Mr. Barclay then, we apprehend, must be mistaken, if his de fender be right, when he afferts, that this experimental saving knowledge cannot be apprehended by the rational principle in man, because it is not the right organ.
For where the difference is, between “rational Spi66 rit,” and “ rational principle,” or its being placed in the one, and
yet not apprehended by the other, we will leave Mr. P. with his usual dexterity, to make
CH A P.
1. A concesion of the Letter-Writer. 2. Messrs. Barclay's
and Phipps's notion of the term Revelation inaccurate and unusual. 3. The main question in debate fairly stated, and one of Mr. Barclay's arguments for the affirmative confuted. 4. His five Afertions under his Second proposition, examined, and shown to be inconclusive. 5. His proofs from Scripture examined, and nown to be
founded upon a mistake of the true sense of those pafJages he quotes
. 6. Some of Mr. Phipps's best additional remarks considered. 7. The religious opinions and practices of some of his Heathen brethren, whose fayings he is so fond of, produced. 8. An appeal to Scripture, reason, and fuel, against the Quakers notion of internal immediate revelation.
1. Concession of the Letter-Writer, with some other
N the first edition of this chapter, it was appre
hended, that Mr. Barclay's notion of “internal, immediaté, objective revelation," was that which may be deemed purely metaphysical : By which was meant, God's communicating ideas and sentiments to the foul, without their being cloathed with terms and expressions that are analogous to the bodily senses, or without the mind's conceiving and operating in connexion with these. It cannot, however, be comprehended, how a person can have any ideas, on this fide the grave, either Neeping or waking, in a trance, or out of one, without some expressions, terms, or words, which are suited to his present condition, as a being, composed of mind and matter ; and it must be very ciear to every impartial observer, that the mind not only expresses itself, to others, through the bodily
senses, but forms and compares ideas, or exercises all its thoughts, according to its intimate connexion with this organized body. Hence it is concluded, that the revelations to the Patriarchs, Prophets, and Apostles, though they might some of thein have been without the instrumentality of any visible or external means, were, notwithstanding, by what we may call inward voices, visions, or something, by which a scene was painted before the mind *, so that it should conceive and understand, according to its most intimate connexion with a body, formed with senses or organs fuited to its present state. Therefore, though the sentiments, in any case, were revealed objectively to the mind, and not first to the bodily senses, yet the
apprehensions and conceptions it immediately formed of them, were cloathed with the common terms of hu-' man language, and whilst it was employed about them, it used, by the imagination at least, the bodily senses pie
It never was my intention to deny, that the Prophets and Apostles had an immediate revelation from God, nor can Mr. Phipps, it is believed, upon cool and impartial reflection, think it was, neither can he conclude, whilft he exercises any candor, unless it be froin detached passages, without considering their connexion, that it was my purpose to deny internal vifions, or that God ever did, in any case, reveal himself to the souls of his people, in former ages, without some visible appearance to the bodily eye, or a real found in the air which conveyed sentiments to the mind through the organ of hearing. It will appear,
* An instance of this we have in the Revelation of John.
+ That this was my meaning, appears from the questions asked, p. 18. “Can we conceive of any sentiments distinct fiom terms ? # Have we any ideas, sleeping or waking, but what are cloathed,
as they stad in our minds, wiib the common terms of human language? Does the soul ever think, in this itate, without using, by the imagination at least, some of the bodily senses ?" K 2
under the next article, that the notion of revelation which Mr. Barclay has adopted, and his manner of describing it, implies in it, if there be any meaning in words, something more than, or different from, The discovery. or manifeftation of religious sentiments to the mind, by either internal visions, dreams, or any objective immediate influence of the Spirit whatever, and consequently what I was oppofing was this, and not that great truth before-mentioned, which Mr, Phipps would, with much pleasure, have proved me to have rejected. However, to convince him that I write not for victory, but rather for the sake of truth, and that I am not blind, at least, to all my infirmities, nor ashamed to acknowledge a few of them, I will admit, that some of his exceptions to my use of the term “bodily fenfes” are just, and that I did not apply this phrase with accuracy, precision, and proper explication : An acknowledgment, which I am so far from thinking a disgrace, that, to make it, appears to me rather my duty and honour,
Mr. P. sets off, in his observations upon this chapter, with the following sentence: “I now come to “ the principal point of our author's oppofition,” But this is not allowed, as he afterwards represents the subject, to be the principal point in dispute, neither does it determine the inain question in debate' ; for should it haye been proved, that the Prophets and Apostles had the same kind of inspiration which we thought Mr. Barclay laid claim to, still it remains to be proved, that he and his followers were thus inspired,
2. The Quakers notion of Revelation considered.
Let us next inquire further more particularly into the Quakers sense of “REVELATION," and whether Barclay's and his Defendant's notion of it be just,
If Mr. Phipps and his opponent affix different ideas to the same word, they must not only mistako