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ing I believe errors have, in some in. stances, been fathered upon the book of God, by the mis-transcriptions and mis-translations of man. Yet, even in the present adulterated state of that blessed book, I believe, and am assured, that it is far preferable to all the books in the world beside ; and " is able to make us wise unto salvation, through faith, which is in Jesus Christ. Finally, all Scripture given by inspiration of God, is profitable for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto every good work.” 2 Tim. iii. If, therefore, I find any thing in the sacred Scriptures, repugnant to truth, reason, and common sense, I do not immediately condemn the whole as fabulous, but rather impute the error to some of the transcribers or translators; who, I fear, did not always give us the signification of the words of their authors, but rather strained them, in order to give the opinion they had of truth. And as for commentators, they often, instead of illucidating the sacred page, cast a gloom over it, and it is frequently harder to understand their expositions, than the things they attempt to expound. Hence some parts of scripture are involved in such obscurities, that the aid of the Holy Spirit which dictated them, is indispensably necessary, in order to ascertain their excellency and spirituality: with this divine aid we shall be drawn into piety, persuaded to practise virtue, taught the lessons of immortality, and illuminated with a ray from heaven. Those therefore, who seek spiritual illumination, from commentaries, or the books and sermons of college manufactured clergymen, are seeking the living among the dead. Those who listen only to the voice of a man with the outward ear, may get their ears titilled, but their hearts can only be touched by the voice of God. A spirit can only be discerned by a spirit. As the sweetness of honey can be better ascertained by tasting it, than by the most elaborate and scientific disquisitions, on the pleasurable gratifica
tion resulting from the participation of it, so he best knows God, and discerns his will and word, who feels him in his soul with an intellectual touch ; who beholds his sovereign beauty with his inward eyes; who hears the music of his voice with his inward ears; who tastes the celestial sweets of his love, with the lips of his soul; finally, who handles the word of life with his intellectual hands. 66 Taste and see, (therefore, exclaims David) how good the Lord is,” not by speculation, but grateful sensation.
If the Scriptures are true, none are Christians, but those who are led by the spirit of God. How then will many of our doctors of divinity, and masters of arts appear, who claim so much power and superiority in the church of Christ? who not only live and die without the influence of this spirit themselves, but call all those enthusiasts and fanatics, who assert that such a thing is attainable in this life, as the in-dwelling witness of the Spirit of Truth! Such teachers, and millions of their
adherents, I very much fear, do not know Jesus by the Holy Ghost. Indeed, they cannot be the sons of God, while they are led by the spirit of the devil. They may talk about the knowledge of the truth, the same as a parrot, who has been taught to say a few words; but they cannot know the Father experimentally, without the Son, nor the Son, without the influence of the holy Spirit. A great many texts of Scripture might be adduced, to confirm this hypothesis, or rather fundamental truth, but I would refer the reader to my “ Collection of Scripture Promises," where this argumentation is more fully demonstrated : at present I will only shew the indispensable necessity of every Christian being influenced, enlightened, and stimulated by the spi. rit of Christ, from Scripture testimony.
“ It is the spirit that quickeneth ; the flesh profiteth nothing ; the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.”—John vi. 63. “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak with other tongues, as the spirit gave them utterance."
Acts ii. 4. 16 There is, therefore, now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit. For the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus, hath made me free from the law of sin and death. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the spirit, if so be that the spirit of God dwell in you. Now, if any man have not the spirit of Christ, he is none of his. But if the spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead, dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies, by his spirit that dwelleth in you. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die : but if ye through the spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear: but ye have received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.' Thé spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God. Likewise the spirit also helpeth our infirmities; for we know not what we
should pray for as we ought: but the * spirit itself maketh intercession for us