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set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldst be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.” Acts xiii. 47.
“ For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth.” Rom. i. 16.
“ And he said unto them, go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. Mark xyi. 15.
* For the grace of God, that bringeth salvation, hath appeared unto all men.” Titus
An unprejudiced consideration of these passages, we are of opinion, might satisfy every man that God is no respecter of persons. This was the judgment of Peter, when at the house of Cornelius; and it is worthy of remark, that in his more infant stage of the ministry he was differently minded, because he was under the prejudice of education. He thought he had reason to believe that salvation was confined by immutable decree to the Jews. Now he finds it governed by conditions. And so also we bes
lieve, “ That of a truth God is no respecter of persons, but in every nation he that feareth him and worketh righteousness is accepted with him.” Acts x. 34, and 35. 66 For there is no * respect of persons with God.” Rom. ii. 11.
With our opinion of free will we nevertheless connect the dependency of man. We do not say, as some have supposed, that there is in us, or in any others, a natural light or means of salvation. But otherwise that, “ every good gift, and every perfect gift is from above," Jam. i. 17. and has the Lord only for its author and giver." And therefore all the light in man is an effect of his own divine power, and cannot be attributed to any inferior cause. On this subject we profess, according to the Scriptures, that God has made the means of salvation universal. To support which we refer to the following passages, among many others which might be chosen. 6- The people which sat in darkness saw great light, and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death, light is sprung up." Mat. iv. 16. « For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all people, a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy
Luke ii. 30, 31, 32. “That was the true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world."
" Then spake Jesus again unto them saying, I am the light of the world, he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but siiall have the light of life.” 1 Jolin i. 9, and visi. 12. If we may believe the foregoing, then Jesus is the light of the world, and all are enlightened by him. All may fol . low him, and enjoy the light of life. This we confidently believe and teach ; and therefore reject, as erroneous and contrary to the ScripTures, all those doctrines which deny the freedom of man in the sense above given, or which hold out a partiality on the part of a just and righteous God, in his administration of the means of salvation and restoration to a fallen world. The reader will perceive that I have connected the doctrine of universal means of „salvation, with what I have offered concerning the free will of man; and that having closed the subject with those two points in connection, it will not be necessary to say much upon the belief of Friends respecting the universal offer of salvation. This however, is the doctrine they teach and believe, and have no doubt it is founded upon the profession of all the apostles,
and true believers in Christ. A doctrine suffi. ciently set forth in the passages already quoted from the holy Scriptures.
DIVINE REVELATION, THE GROUND AND
PRINCIPLE FROM WHICH THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD IS TO BE OBTAINED. THOSE WHO COME TO FIND THIS PRINCIPLE WHICH IS OFFERED TO ALL, MAY AFTERWARDS FALL FROM IT.
And first, the true knowledge of God, we believe, cannot be obtained by any outward means. God is a spirit, and cannot be known but by a spiritual and divine manifestation opened in the soul : “ No man knoweth the Father but the Son, and he to whom the Son revealeth him.” Mat. xi. 27. From which it appears, that though there may be some idea of God excited by tradition, and seated in the mind of the natural man, yet that this idea or knowledge is not the true and saving knowledge, not that living and spiritual knowledge which Christ described, as recorded by the evangelist John, “ This is life eternal to know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ,
whom thou, hąst sent." John xvii. 3. Friends believe, that according to the Scriptures,
God in his love and mercy, has granted a spiritual manifestation to all, by which they may come to this living experimental knowledge of him. “ For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting
life.” John iii. 16. And the same apostle has said of the Son, " In him was life, and the life was the light of men, and the light shineth in. darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not. John i. 4, 5. That this same light, at
was the true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” John i. 9. But
if any were not furnished with it, then the doctrine of the apostle would not be correct. This divine life of the Spirit by which we come to the knowledge of God, is the only means which can open in the soul that' saving knowledge. Therefore we believe that it is the great principle by which the secrets of God and man are opened. “ For the spirit searcheth all things, yea the deep things of God.” 1 Cor. ii. x. By this quickening principle man is brought into a capacity to understand those things which pertain to life and salvation. “But the things of