Early Friends understood the Light to be the Spirit of Christ pouring into their hearts and minds. Just listen to Elizabeth Bathurst (1655?-1685):
- The High Priests and Rulers asked Peter and John, By what Power, or by what Name, they have made the impotent Man whole? For that Name of Christ which heals and saves, is his Power that maketh free from Sin.
- Then spake Jesus unto them, saying, I am the Light of the World, he that follows me shall not walk in Darkness, but shall have the Light of Life. And praised be the Lord, there is a Remnant who have experienced it, and can say with the Apostle, this Thing is true in them, viz. The Darkness is past, and the true Light now shineth, which Light is a Light of the Spirit of the Lord dwelling in his People, and therefore whatever the World may think concerning them, ’tis no Presumption in them to own they are made Possessors of the same, for saith the Apostle to the Corinthians, Know ye not, that ye are the Temples of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? For ye are the Temples of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them.
- And this Light of the unerring Spirit, by which the Lord leads his People in the Way everlasting, it shineth within, It shineth in the Darkness, though the Darkness comprehend it not, as saith the Apostle.
- It shines in the dark Heart of Man, though Man in his dark State cannot discern what it is, yet it is that sure Word of Prophecy, whereunto we do well to take heed, as unto a Light that shineth in a dark Place, until the Day dawn, and the Day-star arise in our Hearts, according to that in 2 Pet. i. 19. which is as much as if the Apostle had said, This is commendable, that you give diligent Heed to the least Measure or this Light, or Grace of God, which he hath dispensed to you, till he shall see sit to bestow a greater Measure upon you.
- For ’tis still but one Thing that I am describing, although rendred by divers Names: Inasmuch as the sure Word of Prophecy, and the Day-star here spoken of, differ only in Degrees, not in Nature and Kind; both which Expressions denote to us, that one Gift of Light and Grace through Christ Jesus, freely bestowed on all Men, and according to the Improvement that they make of their Measures, so an Increase thereof is administred to them.
Note that she equates the Name of Christ with the Power of Christ, rather than the word “Jesus.” To that I would add Divine Love as he has revealed it.