A Beacon to the Society of Friends/Sermon II

SERMON II.




EXTRACT I.

Jesus the only Saviour.

I feel bound in spirit to inform you, that there is such a pilot as will carry every individual of us to the celestial city—We read in the few expressions of Jesus of Nazareth, who the pilot is that can do this for us. He told his followers that he was not the one that could do it; that it was expedient for them that he should go away,—that this pilot, this Comforter, this safe deliverer of the soul, would not come unless he did go away.—They had looked to him as an outward comforter, therefore he could be no more than an outward comforter to them, although comprehending in himself greater power than any that had gone before him, and by which he did many miracles to convince them, yet all these were outward, and only evident to their external senses; but he could not save them, otherwise than to relieve them from their outward afflictions and perils. That this was absolutely the case, is evident from the necessity of his departure, that so his followers should have nothing to depend on; that they should see their total want, and their inability to do any good thing, or to take one step in the right way; and by which they might see that it was in the wisdom of God that they were thus brought to feel their own insufficiency, and so to humble themselves, as never to seek to man, or any external thing that is mortal. For every thing that these external eyes see is mortal; and therefore it never can be a saviour to that which is immortal. And how correct—how blessed it was, that he had given them this direction to come out of all dependence on man, that so they might find out the Pilot, the Comforter, and that they must trust in him.'Tarry at Jerusalem.'—Now Jerusalem signifies a place of quiet.[1]—'Tarry at Jerusalem, until ye shall receive power from on high." pp. 26-28.

In the preceding extract, the deity of Christ is kept out of sight, and the offices of the Son of God, and those of the Holy Spirit are confounded. With awful presumption it is then asserted, that Jesus of Nazareth was not the Saviour of the world.

These sentiments are at variance with the whole tenor of the New Testament, which ascribes the salvation of man, to him, who in the beginning was with God, and was God—by whom all things were created—who in the fulness of time took flesh, and dwelt among men—offered himself a sacrifice for our sins—rose from the dead—ascended up on high—and ever liveth to make intercession for us.

"Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know; him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands, have crucified and slain.—This Jesus hath God raised up.—Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ." Acts, ii. 22, 23, 32, 36.

"I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest." Acts, xxii. 8.

Is not this Jesus of Nazareth the same, to whom the following passages refer?

1st.—The Testimony of Jesus Christ himself, as to his being Saviour.

"God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved." Jno. iii. 17.

"The Son of Man is come to save that which was lost." Matt. xviii. 11.

"The Son of Man came

to give his life a ransom for many." Matt. xx. 28.

"I came not to judge the world, but to save the world." John, xii. 47.

"I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." Jno. x. 10.

2nd.—The Testimony of the Spirit.

"This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners." 1 Tim. i. 15.

"She shall bring forth a Son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins." Matt. i. 21.

"Of this man's [David] seed hath God, according to his promise, raised unto Israel a Saviour Jesus." Acts, xiii. 23?.

"This is the Stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." Acts, iv. 11, 12.

The Saviour was seen.

"Unto you is born, this day, in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall

be a sign unto you; ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.—And they came with haste, and found—the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child." Luke, ii. 11, 16, 17.

"His name was called Jesus, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb." Ibid. 21.

John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." John, i. 29.

"Many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this Book: but these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that, believing, ye might have life through his name."[2] Jno. xx. 30, 31.

EXTRACT II.

Preaching an Appointed means.

"Wait for this Pilot; for it was not any more necessary for the followers of Jesus to wait, than it is for every individual now present, or under heaven. It is as much our duty now, and the language will apply as much to us as it did to them.—'Tarry at Jerusalem till ye receive power from on high.'—We have no outward Jerusalem to wait in, and there is no need of it; but we are to wait at Jerusalem,—a place of quiet,—with a willingness on our part to know redemption effected in us. We are not to expect it through hearing preaching or running after ministers, or what not; for we shall find that it has all been insufficient to do the work for us." pp. 31, 32.

Is not the preaching of the word, or gospel, a, very principal means appointed by God, for the salvation of man?

What saith the Spirit through the Scripture?

In the first quotation following, the reader will notice the words, "it pleased God." In these words is a full answer to the puny wisdom of man, which sets itself up to point out ways more worthy of God than those which his infinite wisdom has appointed, for communicating the knowledge of his salvation.

"After that in the wisdom of God, the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe." 1 Cor. i. 21.

"Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of
whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the Gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!—So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Rom. x. 13, 15, 17.

"Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." Mark, xvi. 15, 16.

"That repentance and remission of sins should

be preached in his name among all nations." Luke, xxiv. 47.

"Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word," John, xvii. 20.

"Peter said, Ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the Gospel, and believe." Acts, xv. 7.

"An angel—said unto him, [Cornelius] Send—for Simon, whose surname is Peter; who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved." Acts, xi. 13, 14.

Words whereby thou shalt be saved;—Pause here, and consider this remarkable case at large, as it is related in the New Testament. To the subject immediately before us, it is very important. Observe the character of Cornelius—the divine testimony concerning him—the import of the words of the Angel, as to the necessity of his having the outward knowledge of the Gospel, in order to his salvation. Observe particularly that the Angel did not communicate this knowledge to him; neither did the Holy Spirit communicate it, (i.e. immediately) though undoubtedly he could have done so, but a man must do it.—Cornelius must send for Peter, and he must tell him the words whereby he should be saved: Peter is prepared by divine interposition; and is sent by the Spirit to Cornelius, to communicate the word of life and salvation.

Now let the reader deliberately and seriously consider and determine the question. Whether for nearly eighteen hundred years since the days of the Apostles; among all the nations of the earth, there has been a single well authenticated instance of a people being converted to Christianity, or bringing forth the fruits of the Spirit, who have not previously been made acquainted with the Scripture revelation? And if at this day, when through missionary efforts, our knowledge of heathen nations is so vastly extended, history furnishes not one such instance; then let him determine what ground there is for hesitation in coming to the conclusion, that, it is the appointment of Infinite wisdom, that by the revelation of the Holy Spirit which we have in Scripture, (communicated either directly or remotely,) mankind shall be brought to the know ledge of the truth.

again.

"Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the Gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; by which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless yo have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I

also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures." 1 Cor. xv. 1-4.

"Many of the Corinthians, hearing believed, and were baptized." Acts, xviii. 8.

"Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself and them that hear thee." 1 Tim. iv. 16.

"Preach the word;[3]—exhort with all long

suffering and doctrine. For

the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine;—they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." 2 Tim. iv. 2-4.

again.

"They please not God, and are contrary to all men; forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles, that they might be saved."[4] 1 Thess. ii. 15, 16.

"[God] hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me, according to the commandment of God our Saviour." Titus. i. 3.

"Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my Gospel

and the preaching of Jesus

Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, but now is made manifest, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith: to God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen." Rom. xvi. 25?-27.

EXTRACT III.

Authority of Scripture.

"It is through this Comforter that all our knowledge of God must come; and all that ever was, among rational beings under heaven, came through this medium, and none other.—But by our believing that we can help ourselves to heaven by the aid of the Scriptures, a mere written book, at the same time that we understand it so diversely, sets us to warring and quarrelling. Has not this been long enough the case for every rational being to be instructed and to see, that instead of its being a sufficient rule of faith and practice, it is the reverse, for while it is depended on as such, it hinders from coming to the truth. The Scriptures never told us that they were a sufficient rule; but they recommend us to that from which they themselves had their origin,—the Spirit of truth." p. 37.

"The scriptures a mere written book." This is the common method of endeavouring to get rid of the authority of the Holy Scriptures. But what does it signify whether a message be conveyed to us by words written in a book, or by words orally delivered; if we receive the ideas which God wills we should receive, this is surely what is designed. But if instead of receiving these ideas, we despise the method which God has been pleased to appoint for their communication to us, we must necessarily be left to the miseries of unbelief. Or, if we unhappily flatter ourselves, that we have the knowledge of the will of God, independently of the written revelation by which it has pleased him to convey it, we lay ourselves open to the delusion of the Devil; who, in the guise of an angel of light, may then readily prevail upon us to receive as the truth of God, whatever suggestions most comport with our particular bent of mind.

It is indeed by the power of the Holy Spirit, that the heart is softened and opened to receive the truth, and also that the truth when received, is applied with saving efficacy to the heart, and made to produce fruit unto holiness; but let us with fixed attention to the following passages, consider the Divine testimony to the authority of the word, which word whether originally written or spoken, comes down to us by the revelation of the spirit through the Scriptures; constantly bearing in mind that it is through these divine records that we at this day, have the true knowledge of God—of his holy law, and of the gospel of life and salvation through Jesus Christ.

Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word[5] of God." Rom. x. 17.

1st.—As to the Written word.

"The scripture cannot be broken"[6] Jesus Christ.—John, x. 35. "I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last; and, what thou seest,
write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia." Rev. i. 11.

"Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter." Rev. i. 19.

"Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write.—Unto the angel of the church of Smyrna,—of Pergamos,—of Thyatira,—of Sardis,—of Philadelphia,—and of Laodicea, write,[7] &c." Rev. ii. 1. to iii. 14.

  1. Jerusalem means either "people or dwelling of peace," not "place of quiet." Vide Gesenius Lex. Heb.
  2. According to Irenæus, the earliest writer who has made any mention of the design of John's Gospel, this very passage was written against those heretics, who separated Christ from Jesus.—Michaelis.
  3. Preach the Word—Observe this passage is in immediate connection with the testimony, that all Scripture is given by inspiration; but by the division of the chapters much of its force is lost.
  4. Saved.—Observe the strong language of the Holy Spirit, in this and other instances, with regard to the importance of the knowledge of the Gospel being communicated by outward means.
  5. In the Greek, rhematos—not logou from logos as in 1 chap. John—ῥήμα (rhema) and λόγος (logos) are both translated word; both are used in the New Testament, logos much the more frequently. The meaning of logos is not definite, and the context can alone determine the sense. It is used both for the declaratory word, and for the eternal word. Rhema comes from rheo, to speak, and, according to the best authorities, is never applied to Christ, but means saying, command, discourse: therefore, where this term occurs, the sense is fixed as in the passage above, and also Eph. vi. 17. "The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God," and some others.
  6. Disannulled.—Purver.
  7. Observe, (by the way,) after each of these written communications it is added, He that hath an ear let him hear what the spirit saith unto the churches. And in the following, observe not only the authority, but what the Spirit saith, as to the object for which the Scriptures were written.
"Many other signs truly did Jesus, which are not written in this Book; but these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that, believing, ye might have life through his name." John, xx. 30, 31.

"These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life." 1 John, v. 13.

"It seemed good to me—to write unto thee, in order—that thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed." Luke i. 3, 4.

"These things write I unto you that ye sin not." 1 John ii. 1.

"These things write we unto you, that your joy may be full." 1 John i. 4.

"When I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints." Jude iii.

"This second Epistle, I now write unto you; in which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: that ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the

commandment of us the Apostles of the Lord and Saviour." 2 Peter, iii. 1, 2.

"Our beloved brother Paul also, according to the wisdom given unto him, hath written unto you, as also in all his Epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other Scriptures,* unto their own destruction. Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness." 2 Pet. iii. 15, 17.

"What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only? If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord." 1 Cor. xiv. 36, 37.

"Whatsoever things were written aforetime, were written for our learning, that we, through patience and comfort of the Scriptures, might have hope.—Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost." Rom. xv. 4, 13.

*Observe the testimony of the Holy Spirit through Peter to the writings of Paul. And observe also, in the following, not only the authority of that which is written by divine inspiration, but the danger of adding to, or diminishing ought from it.

"To the law, and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them," Isa. viii. 20.

"Every word of God

is pure :—add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar." Prov. xxx. 5, 6.

Ye shall not add unto the word which I

command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it." Deu. iv. 2.

"He that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son." 1 John, v. 10.

"He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophecied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they

worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition; for Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother, &c., but ye say, &c.: making the word of god* of none effect through your tradition, Which ye have delivered; and many such like things do ye." Mark, vii. 6, 7, 9-?11, 13.

* Observe in this, as well as other passages, the high authority for calling the written revelation the word of God.

again.

"It is easier for heaven and earth to pass than one tittle of the law to fail." Luke, xvi. 17.

"I [Jesus] testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book. If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written

in this book. And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book." Rev. xxii. 18, 19.

2nd.—As to the word spoken; but which cometh to us as the written word.

"God, who at sundry times, and in divers manners, spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us
by his Son.—Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. For if the word spoken by Angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward: how shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?" Heb. i. 1, 2; ii. 1-4.

"Whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand." Matt. vii. 24, 26.

"If any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not:—He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day." John, xii. 47, 48.

In the following passages, as well as in some of the preceding, observe particularly what Christ and the Spirit teach, as our incumbent duty, with regard to the Scriptures, and also what is the efficacy of the scriptures through faith, as well as their authority.

"Search the Scriptures,—they are they which testify of me." John, v. 39.

"Jesus said,—Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures." Matt. xxii. 29.

"They have Moses and

the prophets, let them hear them.—If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rose from the dead." Luke, xvi. 29.[1]

"Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father, there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?" John, v. 45-47.

"He [Apollos] mightily convinced the Jews, and that publickly, shewing by the Scriptures that Jesus was Christ." Acts, xviii. 28.

"From a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation, through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. I charge thee therefore before God, and

the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing, and his kingdom; preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.' For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine." 2 Tim. iii. 15-17.; iv. 1-?3.

"Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises; that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." 2 Pet. i. iv.

"Give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.—Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them.—Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee." 1 Tim. iv. 13, 15, 16.

In the following passages also, Christ and the Spirit testify to the efficacy of the declaratory word, whether called the truth, the word of truth, the Gospel, the law of God, or the word of God; and which is revealed to us by the Spirit, through the Scriptures.

"Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth.—For their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me, through their word." Jno. xvii. 17, 19, 20.

"Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you." Jno. xv. iii.

"God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation, through sanctification of the Spirit, and belief of the truth. 2 Thes. ii. 13.

"Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth." Jas. i. 18.

"In Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the Gospel." 1 Cor. iv. 15.

"Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit" 1 Pet. i. 22.

"Thy law is the truth." Ps. cxix. 142.

"All thy commandments are truth." Ps. cxix. 151.

"The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the

Lord is sure, making wise, the simple: the statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.—By them is thy servant warned; and in keeping of them there is great reward." Ps. xix. 7, 8, 11.

again.

"The sower soweth the word." Mark, iv. 14.

"The seed is the word of God." Luke, viii. 11.

"Take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word (Rhema) of God." Eph. vi. 17.

"He hath made my mouth like a sharp sword." Isa. xlix. 2.

"I hewed them by the prophets; I have slain them by the words of my mouth." Hosea, vi. 5.

"The word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." Heb. iv. 12.

The Testimony of the Spirit to the efficacy of the inspired word, in a few more passages from the Old Testament record.

"As the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater; so shall my word be that goeth forth of my mouth. It shall not return unto me void; but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper whereto I sent it." Isa. lv. 10, 11.

"Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee." Ps. cxix. 11.

"The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding to the simple." v. 130.

"I will never forget thy precepts: for with them thou hast quickened me." v. 93.

"Thy word hath quickened me." v. 50.

"I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation." v. 99.

"Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed; but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded." Prov. xiii. 13.

"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." Ps. cxix. 105.

"The commandment is a lamp, and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life." Prov. vi. 23.

"He that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the Lord. Is not my word like as a fire? saith the Lord; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?" Jer. xxiii. 28, 29.

"They made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the Lord of Hosts hath sent in his Spirit by the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath from the Lord of Hosts." Zech. vii. 12.

"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou

shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children." Hosea, iv. 6.

Christ and the Spirit testify to the same efficacious word of God, as it was preached by the apostles, and it is now, by the Scriptures, communicated to us.

"Preach the Gospel to every creature. He that believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." Mark, xvi. 15, 16.

"Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the Gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand, by which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you, first of all, that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures; and that he was buried; and that he rose again the third day, according to the Scriptures." 1 Cor. xv. 1-4.

"When ye received the word of God, which ye heard of us, ye received

it not as the word of men; but (as it is in truth) the word of God; which effectually worketh also in you that believe." 1 Thes. ii. 13.

"In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the Gospel of your salvation." Eph. i. 13.

"These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so, therefore many of them believed." Acts, xvii. 11, 12.

"God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of

righteousness." Rom. vi. 17, 18.

"He continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them." Acts, xviii. 11.

"It is not reason that we should leave the word of God.—But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word." Acts, vi. 2-4?.

1st.—By the written word is the knowledge of God's Holy law.

"By the law is the knowledge of sin." Rom. iii. 20.

"I had not known sin but by the law. For I

had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet." Rom. vii. 7.

2nd.—Encouraging declaration of Christ to keep his word.

"He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.—If a man

love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.—He that loveth me not, keepeth not my sayings." Jno. xiv. 21, 23, 24.




EXTRACT IV.

Blood of Christ.

"I don't want to express a great many words, but I want you to be called home to the substance. For the Scriptures and all the books in the world can do no more.—Jesus could do no more than to recommend to this comforter, which was this light in him.—They who dwell in God dwell in love, and they are constrained to walk in it, and if they "walk in it they have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus

Christ his Son, cleanseth us from all sin." But what blood, my friends? Did Jesus Christ, the Saviour, ever have any material blood? Not a drop of it, my friends, not a drop of it. That blood which cleanseth from all sin, was the life of the soul of Jesus." p.p. 40,41.

What blood was that which came forth mingled with water, when the soldier pierced his side with a spear? Was it material or immaterial?

Do not the following passages, with many more, refer unequivocally to the blood of the Man Christ Jesus, which was shed on Calvary?

"It pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell; and, (having made peace through the blood of his cross) by him to reconcile all things unto himself." Col. i. 19, 20.

"Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death," &c. Heb. ii. 14.

"God commendeth his love toward us, in that,

while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more, then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him." Rom. v. 8, 9.

"Having therefore boldness, to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh" Heb. x. 19, 20.

See many other passages equally conclusive, under Sermon I, Extract 2.




EXTRACT V.

Evidence of Miracles.

"We have a day much higher than any thing that outward miracles could give. For they were the weakest evidence that

Almighty Goodness could ever have given: but they were suited to the low and degraded state of the people, which was the case with the poor Israelites." p. 45.

Miracles were the great evidence of the divine mission of Christ, He appeals to the works which he wrought, as evidence so conclusive, as to leave wholly without excuse those who do not believe. But how awfully consistent is it, for him who presumptuously asserts the sufficiency of the inward light, to endeavour to undermine the authority of miracles!

"I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath, sent me." John, v. 36.

"The works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me. But ye believe not; because ye are not of my sheep." Jno. x. 25, 26.

"If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works; that ye may know and believe that the Father is in me, and I in him." Jno. x. 37, 38.

"Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me?—The

Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works sake." Jno. xiv. 10, 11.

"Go, and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: the blind receive their sight, and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up, and the poor have the Gospel preached to them. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me." Matt. xi. 4-6.

"Now when he was in Jerusalem, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did," Jno. ii. 23.

"A great multitude followed him, because they saw his miracles, which he did on them that were diseased." John. vi. 2.

"Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you, by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know." Acts, ii. 22.

"Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not: Woe unto thee, Chorazin! Woe unto thee, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say unto you, it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment than for you. And thou, Capernaum,

which art exalted unto heaven, shall be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained unto this day. But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom, in the day of judgment than for thee." Matt. xi. 20, 24.

"(God) hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness, by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead." Acts, xvii. 31.

"God also bearing them [the apostles] witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will." Heb. ii. 4.




EXTRACT VI.

Christ did emphatically direct to himself.

"O then let us be individually endeavouring to gather to the light, and wait on the Lord that we may see his counsel;


then shall we believe in the doctrine of his Son.—And what was this? Tarry at Jerusalem,—wait for the Comforter. He never directed to himself; but all he wanted was to lead their minds to the Spirit of truth, yo the light within; and when he had done this he had done his office. And what we have to do, is to retire to this law which is written upon the tables of the heart."[2] p. 47.

What saith the Scripture?

"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father but by me." John, xiv. 6.

"I am the resurrection, and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me, shall never die." John, xi. 25, 26.

"He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life." John, v. 24.

"As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 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. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned, but he that believeth not is condemned already; Because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." John, iii. 14, 18.

"If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink." John, vii. 37.

"I am the bread of life; he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst." John, vi. 35.

again.

"Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye

have eternal life; and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life." John, v. 39, 40.

"All things are delivered unto me of my Father; and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls." Matt. xi. 27-29.

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers:—I am the door: by me, if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.—I am come that they might have 1ife, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good Shepherd; the good Shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. I an the good Shepherd; I know my sheep, and am known of mine. I lay

down my life for the sheep.—no man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself: I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have received of my Father. I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand." John, x. 7, 15, 18, 28,

again.

"Then, said he—O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses, and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. Luke, xxiv. 25, 27.

"These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the Psalms, concerning me. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures, and said unto

them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: and that repentance and

remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations." Luke, xxiv. 44-47.

"All he wanted was to lead their minds to the Spirit of truth." So far from this being correct, the Lord Jesus expressly states it as being the office, or perhaps we should rather say, one of the great offices, of the Holy Spirit, to testify of him.—He shall glorify me.—He shall receive of mine.—He shall take of mine and show it unto you.—He shall testify of me, &c., as in the following passages. The Holy Spirit also, through the apostle Peter, testifies of himself as a witness to Christ. Acts, v. 32.

And are not these declarations of the Lord Jesus also fulfilled, in a most important respect, in the constant testimony of the Spirit to him, through the inspired writings of the Evangelists and Apostles?

"If I go not away the Comforter will not come to you; but if I depart I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove [or convince] the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they believe not on me; of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. I have yet many things to

say unto you, [the Apostles] but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak; and he will show you things to come. He shall glorify me, for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he

shall take of mine, and show it unto you." Jno. xvi. 7-15.

"These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you; but the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the

Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."* Jno. xiv. 26.

* This passage has been wrested, to prove that the Spirit, independently of his revelation by the Scriptures, would teach mankind all things needful for their salvation; but the reader will observe how evidently this passage relates to the Apostles themselves, as a promise to them, that they should, by divine inspiration, be qualified for the work, of conveying to mankind, the knowledge of the things they had immediately received from the mouth of the Lord Jesus; and also what should be further revealed to them by the Spirit.

again.,

"When the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: and ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.". Jno. xv. 26, 27.

"The God of our fathers raised up Jesus,

whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins; and we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him." Acts, v. 30-32.

And how often we find, that when any one is described as being full of the Holy Ghost, the inspired page presently gives the fulfilment of the words of our Lord, "He [the Spirit of truth] shall glorify me;" for instance

Simeon—"The Holy Ghost was upon him." Note his testimony, Luke, ii. 25-32.

On the day of Pentecost "they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance." Note Peter's testimony to Jesus of Nazareth. Acts, ii. 4, 22-36.

"When they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together: and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost.—And with great power gave the Apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus." Acts, iv. 31, 33.

"Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said,—Be it known—that by the name of Jesus Christ, of Nazareth," &c. Acts, iv. 8, 10-12.

"Stephen, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, and said, Behold I see the Son of man standing on the right hand of God." Acts, vii. 55, 56.

"The Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself unto this chariot—Then Philip opened his mouth, and—preached unto him Jesus." Acts, viii. 29, 35.

On the other hand, let us observe the test given by the Apostle John, of true or false teachers in his day, namely, their preaching, or omitting to preach, salvation through the coming of Christ in the flesh.

"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby

know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: and every spirit that confesseth not that

Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come, and even now already is it in the world." 1. Jno. iv. 1-3.

The foregoing extract from the Sermon, [see page 58] compared with the above quotations from Scripture, exhibits in a striking manner how recklessly the positive assertions contained in the extract are made, and how easily we may, whilst making high pretensions to divine guidance, put the imagination of man above the revelation which God has given us in the Holy Scriptures.




EXTRACT VII.

Quietism unauthorised by Christ and his Apostles.

"But time would fail me to open all these things.—I feel my own infirmity. I felt nothing when I came into this meeting, nor had I a desire after any thing, but to centre down into abasement and nothingness. And in this situation I remained for a while, till I found something was stirring and rising in my spirit. And this was what I laboured after—to be empty,to know nothing—to call for nothing—and to desire to do nothing.* Now my whole drift is, to gather the minds of the people to the light within, which is the same as the grace of God, the manifestation of the spirit that reproves for evil." p. 47.

* Such notions as the above, are to be found in the works of some mystic Roman Catholic writers; but very little attention will enable us to discover, how entirely they are unauthorised by Christ and his Apostles.

We are indeed not sufficient of ourselves, to think any thing as of ourselves; it is God who worketh in us both to will and to do according to his own good pleasure. To these truths Scripture and experience bear testimony. What then must we do? The Quietist reasons somewhat in this way:—It is God who worketh in us, therefore our own creaturely activity is only a hinderance; our place is to be entirely passive,—we, must do nothing, only let God work. The reasoning is specious; but let us consider, in connection with the same important truth, what is the exhortation of the Holy Spirit by the pen of the Apostle Paul:{{—}"Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling." Our blessed Lord said, "Strive to enter in at the strait gate." There is not, in fact, one exhortation in the New Testament to be passive. but rather, strive—seek—watch—pray—knock—work. Those who in sincerity desire to obey these injunctions, will indeed find that they cannot do so without strength from above.

The divine command then is, believe—work. The Quietist says,—be passive.

But this is a part of that system which, under pretension of high personal spirituality, substitutes its own supposed piety for the perfect righteousness of Christ, and in the guise of an angel of light, undermines the Gospel.

See under Ser. V. Ex. 2;—Ser. VI. Ex. 1; Ser. VII. Ex. 1, 2.

  1. Does our Lord refer them to the inward light?
  2. "Law written on the heart."—See under Ser. IV. Ex. 5.