Page:A Beacon to the Society of Friends.djvu/49

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SER. II.
45
AUTHORITY OF SCRIPTURE.

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