« PreviousContinue »
< without Works', quoting. James ii. 18. when the former part of his Affertion is not there. He concludes thus, "And there are Damnable He
resies, as well as. Damnable Sins, fome even denying the Lord that bought them'.
2 Pet. xi. 5. which proves as much as the rest.
Our Reader may compare this sort of Argumentation with that of the Quakers foregoing, and prefer that which carries the greater Evidence.
He then queries,
What are the peculiar Precepts and Institutions of Jesus Christ?
• They are our Worshipping God thro' Jesus < Christ the Mediator between God and Man ; • and Faith in his Blood as outwardly shed for ( the Remission of our Sins : And his outward
Baptism and Supper, and Communion with his • Church, and Obedience to our Spiritual Rulers « and Teachers'.
This we shall briefly and distinctly consider,
1. The Worshipping of God through Jesus Christ the Mediator, was the acceptable Worthip through all Ages of the World, as (l) Dr. Taylor in his Duetor Dubit. p. 180, observes. • It is Remarkable that this Word or Law of the • Father was the Instrument of teaching Man« kind in all Periods of the World. When God • spake to Adam, to the Patriarchs, to the Pro• pbets, ftill he fpake by Christ, who was the
Angel of the Old Testament, and the Media
( $e-ci ilge's Lux Evan. Att. P. 42.
« tor of the New ; He is therefore Verbum Pa
tris, The Word of the Father.
2 Faith in Christ's Blood as outwardly med for the Remision of our Sins, we highly Prize, but to make that or any thing else a peculiar Precept of Christ, the express Words of Christ commanding it must be produc'd. But for this Writer to express himfelf in Terms neither us’d by Christ nor found in the New Testament, [such as outwardly shed, his outward Baptism and Supper, Communion with his Church, Obedience to Spiritual Rulers) and then call those Expressions of his own, the peculiar Precepts of Christ, is such an attempt to impose on his Readers Understanding, as nothing less than a blind Obedience to him under the Unscriptural Notion of a Spiritual Ruler can make him successful in.
We heartily acknowledge many real Advantages and helps of the Christian Inftitution, tho' we admit not his Catalogue of them, p. 8. for even the Jews had the Advantages of a Church or Society, of a setled Order of Scribes and Teachers, of the Religious Observation of the Sabbath, of publick divine Worship, of divers Baptisms, and of the Passover. If this Author will have it, that Christ came to establish another Hierarchy of Priests, and another Set of Rites and Ceremonies instead of the Jewish, let him produce his Authorities from the New Testament ; otherwise he attempts in vain to exclude the pious Gentiles who have not the Scriptures out of the Christian Church, and to rebuild that middle Wall of Partition which Chrift hath broken down, Ephef. ii. 14.
In the greater Motives which, he says, p. 8. the Gospel affords us for tbe performance of our Duty,
we differ not much, only one Expression he uses, viz. the Refurre&tion of the mortal Body, we approve not, since we find it not in Scripture.
We concurrwith him in saying, p. 7. • It should « very much recommend the Scripture to us, that « whatever wise Rules of Morality and Virtue « all the wiseft Men of all Sects and Ages among • the Heathen, with their greatest Industry, and • the highest Improvement of their Reason, were
ever able to discover, we may find them all ' now with very little Pains in the Holy Scrip• tures.' For we do esteem them the best System both of Faith and Morality, that ever was written, and do therefore juftly prefer them to all other Books whatsoever. We shall now pass to
Of the Light of Christ.
Is not Christ the Word, the true Light that lighteth every Man that cometh into the World? < And does hé not therefore enlighten every Man • with a divine spiritual supernatural Light with< in hiin, sufficient to teach him all the Essentials • of Christianity, without the Scripture or any ľ outward Teaching ?
Ans. No: This is a mere precarious Afertion, <that would make the Scripture, and all out
ward Teaching of no necessary Use, nor the outward ordinary Means of enlightning us with
the Essentials of Christianity; for which there o is no Colour nor Ground, neither in this, nor • in any other Text of Scripture ; tho' it be the very Foundation of Quakerism, and their great < and Fundamental Error, that has led them in" to so many more, by their taking their own « vain Imaginations for the Teachings of Christ « the Word, as the Light within them; where
as it is not said, That Christ the Word was a
Light in every Man ; nor can it be inferrd < from his being the true Light that lighteth • every Man, that he therefore inwardly enlight
ens every Man with a divine spiritual and su..pernatural Light within him, fufficient to teach « him all the Necessary and Effential Truths of
Christianity without any outward Teaching.'
To this we Answer,
(m) That which the People call’d Quakers lay down as a main Fundamental in Religion, is < this, That God through Christ, hath placed a
Principle in every Man, to inform him of « his Duty, and to enable him to do it; and that
those that live up to this Principle, are the Peo<ple of God; and those that live in Disobedience
to it are not God's People, whatever Name
they may bear, or Profession they may make • of Religion'.
This Principle they call the Light of Christ within Man, or Light within:
This Light, they say, is the same spokenof in the ift Chapter of John, and thus reason in Proof of it's Divinity.
From the Words of that Evangelist, 1. In him the Word) was Life and the Life was
(m) W. P's. Works. Vol. 2. p. 855.
the Light of Men. Joh. i. 4. The Life of the Word which was God, is divine spiritual and supernatural; hat Life was the Light of Men, therefore a divine spiritual and supernatural Light.
2. THAT was the true Light which lighteth every
Man that cometh into the World. v. 9. consequently every Man that comcth into the World . is enlightened with a divine spiritual and supernatural Light.
3. If Christ the Word be by his divine Essence every where in all Things, and in all Men, as this Writer grants p. 10. then the Life of Christ, the Word, is in all Men, which Life being the Light of every Man, it Necessarily follows that the Light is within every Man.
This Light of Christ, they affirm, is the same with the Spirit of God, in proof whereof W. P. fays,
(n) • If it appear that the properties ascribed
to the Light within, are the same that are given " to the Holy Spirit or Grace of God; and that these < several Terms or Epithets, are only to express - the divers Manifestations and Operations of
one and the same Principle, then it will not, it
cannot be denied, but this Light within is Di( vine and Efficacious, as we have a flerted it. Now, « that it is of the same Nature with the Spirit and · Grace of God, let the Properties of the Light · be compared with those of the Spirit and Grace
of God. I say, they are the fame, in that,
First, The Light proceeds from the One Word, s and One Life of that one Il'ord, which was
(n) Works p. 861