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Though the arrangement of the subjects, and the manner of treating them, have been dictated by the views presented to my own mind, yet in the subjects themselves, I have endeavored to keep to the acknowledged doctrines of the Society. And in compiling the following pages, I have made such extracts, from the writings of our early friends, as seemed necessary to establish the position, that they held the principles laid down. And in taking these extracts, I have consulted those parts of their writings, in which they make a statement of what they believe, rather than those in which they expose the errors of contrary opinions.
And here it may not be improper to remark, that many of the Essays which were published by the members of this Society, in the early periods of its history, were in direct and pointed controversy: and frequently in reply to affusions from the press, which have long since been consigned to merited oblivion. In these replies of our Friends, the object of the writer was frequently to expose the consequences of the opinions which they opposed. And as the publications thus opposed, and exposed, are now out of print, and generally forgotten, while the replies of our Friends are preserved, there is some possibility that their views & sentiments may not be gathered from such of their writings, without a knowledge of the causes which gave rise to them.
This remark will not apply exclusively to the writings of Friends; it will hold in relation to controversial works in general. And the more bold and animated the manner of the writer, the more occasion there will be to keep this particular distinction in view.
My intention, at first, was to compile a general history of the Society, embracing its doctrines, and discipline, together with biographical notices of
individual members. Which several divisions of the subject, I proposed to treat of separately. The doctrines stood first in my view, and having completed these, it seemed, for different reasons, best to publish this part, without waiting for the slow, collection of meterials, and the laborious arrangement of the historical and biographical parts. These remaining parts of the original design, are not abandoned, but whether either of them will ever be accomplished, remains with Him, at whose disposal are time, opportunity, and capacity, for every good word and work.
It is perhaps one of the laws of nature, that objects assume a degree of the shade, which belongs to the medium through which they are seen. And this is as true in the moral, as in the physical world. Hence prejudice or prepossession cannot fail to cast a shade over any principle or performance that may be examined through them. But there is a principle, (the Spirit of Truth,) which can divest the mind of these, and enable us to see things as they really are. I solicit therefore a calm and candid perusal of the “Doctrines of Friends." And over and above all, I earnestly desire an increasing prevalence of the influence of that principle which, independent of names or denominations, infuses into the hearts of the children of men, the feelings of gratitude and love to God, and of charity and love to each other.
MOUNTPLEASANT, 2d mo. 1825.
AT a MEETING FOR SUFFERINGS OF OHIO YEARLY «Meeting, held by adjournments, from the 3d of the 9th month, to the 13th of the same, inclusive, 1824:
The writings of Elisha Bates, on the Doctrines of Friends, were examined, and approved; and he left at liberty to publish them: and the clerk is directed to furnish him with an extract of this minute, and sign it on behalf of the Meeting.
Extracted from the Minutes, iy JORDAN HARRISON,
For the information of those not acquainted with the Society, the following brief explanation may not be altogether uninteresting:
“In order that the Yearly Meeting with its several branches might be properly represented during the recess thereof, a meeting has been instituted by the name of the "Meeting for Sufferings,” which is to consist of twenty-six friends appointed by the Yearly Meeting, and four by each Quarterly meeting,” [making forty-six in all.] “Approved ministers, and members of any other Meeting for Sufferings--may also be permitted to attend its sittings.' Among other important duties confided to this Meeting, they are "to take the oversight and inspection of all writings proposed to be printed, relative to our religious principles or testimonies; and to promote or suppress the same, at their discretion." Discipline of Ohio Yearly Meeting:
ADAM, created in the Divine Image ty to be saved 101; no Calvinis.
1; his condition happy 2; Fall 3; tic doctrine in this 104; not in-
tended to perpetuate sin 114; an in-
312; ministers 314; youth 316; ob obedience 114, 115.
Eden, garden of, 2.
Election and Reprobation 40. condi-
tional 48; of the Jews 50.
Example of Jesus Christ 183.
Fathers, testimony to Immediate
Adam was in before the fall 6, 7; from Scripture 208; and from rea-
10, 11, 12, 108; as extensive as the Freedom of will 2,3, 123.
liver us 129; stands at the door 179. Hardening 57, 62, 64.
Holy Spirit, its influence acknow-
the possibility of avoiding it 74; power 180; danger of mistaking it
181, 182; its operation ib. effects
of grace which is in all men 37,91 ; ib. of Jesus Christ 163; of the aposa
Infants, their condition, 37. Pennsylvania 299.
diate Revelation 177; overlooked Philosophers, (heathen,) testimony
to Immediate Revelation 172;
Place of existence for the soul 26, 27.
Plan of Divine operations 70.
Prophecy, a character of the New
Dispensation 175; of the ministry
203; evidence of the authenticity
of the Scriptures 145.
Providence, in human affairs 284,
some of these continued afterwards Christ, Justification, &c.
general character 184; not gloomy
268; revealed religion 22.
human, short, 31 ; reflections 30, 31, Rewards and Punishments 21, 28.
Sabbath, a type 251; practice of
far below that state 12; his condi- Salutations, &c. 160.
tracts 138; stye 142; evidences of
their Divine origin 143, &c.
Secret Will 40, 70.
apostles 197, 198, 201, 204; their purchase of Christ's death 37; the
Law 176, 282; not changeable 179; Washing of feet 243, 246.
Worship 186; various modes 187;
rites 188; worship described by Je-
sus Christ ib. apostles and pro-
phets 189; silent 190; public and