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I will pray
for you that I go away, for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come. As though he had said, if I remain with you, ye will not be the spiritual followers that I design you to be, you will still lean upon my outward testimony and instructions; but if I go away, the Father, and he will send you another Comforter, even the Spirit of Truth, and he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance." But the anointing which ye have received of him, abideth in you, and
, ye need not that any man teach you,
but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth nd no lie." John ii. 26, 27. This is the end of a outward religion. It is neither the law of Moses, the baptism of John, nor any thing less than the Gospel of Christ, which is the power of God unto salvation to all them that believe. The reader may observe, that having given a particular account of the end for which John the Baptist appears to have been sent into the world, and noticed that he was not designed to be the founder of a system, but merely a witness, and minister to the Jews, I have omitted saying any thing about the practice of the disciples in regard to water baptism, apprehending it would not be reces
şary. But before I wholly leave the subject, I will add, that when Christ commissioned his disciples to go teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, as water is not mentioned in the charge, we infer that it was not meant; but that he who sent them to preach in his name, would be with them in spirit always, even to the end of the world. And having his spirit and power with them, they should, by its influence, baptize into the divine nature, those who were willing to receive their testimony. This we consider to be the only saving baptism, not the putting away the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience towards God.
Having now closed the remarks upon the subject of water baptism, I will just inform the reader, that in going through this point of controversial doctrine, I have apprehended the evidences brought into view are so far conclusive, and so fully manifest that the religion of Christianity is not entangled with Jewish ceremony that not much is necessary to be remarked upon the profession of others concerning the communion and outward partaking of bread and wine, in commemoration of the Lord's supper.
Very little, therefore, will be said on that subject.
ON THE COMMUNION; OR CEREMONY OF THE
The society of Friends believe, that the communion of Christ is not an outward partaking of bread,and wine, but an union of spirit with God. This they believe to be attainable, and have no doubt is offered to all: and being satisfied that the kingdom is within, that it does not consist in meats and in drinks, but in rightcousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost, we are concerned to draw the attention of all from those outward and formal acts, to that which is spiritual; that they may open to him, who has long stood knocking, and waiting for an entrance; and then they will experience the fulfilment of the promise, that he will come in and gup with them, and they with him.” Rev. ii. 20. Under those views of the heavenly union, which we believe may be attained, our attention is directed to a divine and spiritual communion; this we are satisfied cannot be supplied by any outward ordinance to which men have recourse in their own will and time; and the prophane may partake thereof, as well as the professor. We therefore look for, and at times enjoy, the inward and spiritual bread, which only can nourish the soul up into eternal life; and have no confidence in any of those outward ordinances. We desire not to speak harshly of those fellow professors of Christianity, who believe in the necessity to perpetuate the outward sign; but leave them where they may apprehend their duty leads them. But as we are satisfied that the only strength, nourishment, and consolation, of the dedicated disciple of Christ must be the light and aid of his holy spirit, we wish not, by any outward act, to produce a dependence upon any other means. Therefore, although we do not join with others in the outward sign, we are nevertheless concerned that all may come to the living and eternal substance; and in that, know for themselves, the whole man brought into subjection, and the will of God so fulfilled in and upon them, that they may really partake of the new wine of the kingdom, and no longer remain in the old and fallen nature, but in the new and spiritual life, where the spiritual meat and drink may be received, and where the life
of Christ becomes their life. Then shall they partake spiritually of his body and his blood, and sit at his heavenly communion table, in the unity of the spirit, which is the bond of peace.
The society of Friends are of opinion that swearing is not only unreasonable in itself, but contrary to the positive command of Christ, and in no instance ought to be submitted to by those who profess to be Christians. have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, thou shalt not förswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths. But I say unto you, swear not at all.
Neither by heaven, for it is God's throne; nor by the earth, for it is his footstool. Neither by Jerysalem, for it is the city of the great king. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be yea, yea, nay, nay, for whatsoever is more than these, cometh of evil.” Mat. v. 33 to 38. The apostle James appears to have very fully adopted the counsel