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 our nature, never allowing himself to indulge in heat or violence, persuading rather than threatening? Did he overestimate that immeasurable Love, the manifestation of which in his own heart so reached the hearts of others, revealing everywhere unsuspected fountains of feeling and secret longings after purity, as the rod of the diviner detects sweet, cool water-springs under the parched surfaces of a thirsty land? And, looking at the purity, wisdom, and sweetness of his life, who shall say that his faith in the teaching of the Holy Spirit—the interior guide and light—was a mistaken one? Surely it was no illusion by which his feet were so guided that all who saw him felt that, like Enoch, he walked with God. ‘Without the actual inspiration of the Spirit of Grace, the inward teacher and soul of our souls,’ says Fenelon, ‘we could neither do, will, nor believe good. We must silence every creature, we must silence ourselves also, to hear in a profound stillness of the soul this inexpressible voice of Christ. The outward word of the gospel itself without this living efficacious word within would be but an empty sound.’ 1 ‘Thou Lord,’ says Augustine in his Meditations, ‘communicatest thyself to all: thou teachest the heart without words; thou speakest to it without articulate sounds.’ Never was this divine principle more fully tested than by John Woolman;
1 ‘However, I am sure that there is a common spirit that plays within us, and that is the Spirit of God. Whoever feels not the warm gale and gentle ventilation of this Spirit, I dare not say he lives; for truly without this to me there is no heat under the tropic, nor any light though I dwelt in the body of the sun.’ —Sir Thomas Browne's Religio Medici.
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