Page:A Beacon to the Society of Friends.djvu/140

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136
SER. VIII.
WE MUST BELIEVE

originally to communicate them, in order that they might be made known in the world; it is plain that the revelation of the Spirit in the Scripture, and the preaching of the Gospel, are not essential: that is to say, the way which God hath appointed for the communication of the knowledge of his will, might very well have been dispensed with. Will any Christian maintain, that the testimony of God, and the sanctions of his holy law, are not obligatory, unless a man has them communicated to him by immediate revelation? This doctrine is certainly not inconsistent, in one who holds the paramount authority of the inward light; but it is not the doctrine of Christ and his Apostles. We ought ever to remember, that the vail is upon the heart; and it is only by the power of the Spirit that it can be taken away, and the heart be inclined to receive and believe "the word of truth." But the authority of the word, and the obligation which it imposes, is the same, whether we acknowledge it or not.

What saith the Scripture?

"If any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. 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." Jno. xii. 47, 48.

"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?" Jno. v. 45-47.

"Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature. He that believeth, and is