« PreviousContinue »
deed, did I expect, that the review very little reluctance in taking the of a life so virtuous, so religious, so part of the Quakers, in these times benevolent, and so honourable, as of violence and persecution; and I that of William Penn, would have think I should be able to exbibit drawn forth any unpleasant reflec- their conduct in at least as favourable tions on that religious Society, of a point of view as that of any of which he was so bright an orna-. their opposers or persecutors could ment. And when I consider that be placed. in these reflections, the present ge
The Reviewer, after introducing neration of Quakers is, in a great his remarks on the Life of William degree, exculpated, it does appear Penn with some strictures on the to me to betray a want of charity conduct of the early Quakers, and by no means creditable, either to their doctrine of the light of Christ the justice or liberality of the Re- withio, plainly asserts, that some, viewer. Supposing what is said to in their zeal for the hidden Christ, be true, respecting men and women actually denied the outward Christ, passing naked through the streets; and grossly contended, that the Go. which, so far as relates to women at spels are a niere allegorical bistory least, was not, I believe, the case of Christ in the mind,' &c. It is to with any acknowledged members of be regretted, that in reporting the the society; what benefit do the religious sentiments of others, we members of the Church of England should not have recourse to their suppose they shall derive from a owo acknowledged writings, instead reference to those times of exces- 'of the works of their enemies. The sive zeal and violent persecution ? accusation bere brought forward Or shall the Scriptores be depre- has been often advanced, and often ciated because those violent perse- refuted. Charles Leslie, a bitter cutors professed to make them the opponent of the Society, has repeatrule of their conduct, and the Anaediy advanced the same charge, and baptists and Fifth-monarchy men particularly in the preface to The grounded their violent outrages on Snake in the Grass which excited å misconstruction of those Sacred the following indignant reply from Writings? Surely these instances Joseph Wyeth, in bis · Anguis Flaapply at least as forcibly against the gellatus,'or • A Switch for the Snake;' teachings of the Scriptures, as the a reply which I trust will set this quescases brought forward by the Re- tion ai rest, so that it will not again viewer do against the teachings of be brought forward in the Christian the Spirit? What is there, of all the Observer*. Wyeth's words are: • The gifts of God 10 men, so good that the assertion of the Snake is not allegoweakness or wickedness of human rically, but literally a lie; for we nature will not either mistake or acknowledge the satisfaction made corrupt?
by Christ to his Father; but we “ Very wisely, indeed, has the deny that groundless and dangerous excelleni Dean of Carlisle, in his notion of his having paid, and bit controversy with Dr. Marsh, ob- Father exacted, that strict and ris served, that there were great faulis gorous satisfaction, by undergoing on all sides, during these unhappy the self-same punishment and pains times; and that a free confession of that the damned suffer in hell. We this sort, or (what would be still own the merit of his outward death better) silence respecting them, and sufferings, but dispute against would perhaps be the most healing the misapplication of ihat merit to of all applications. If, however, å ungodly men, continuing impenicomparative estimate should be tently in their sins.' Again: We made of the conduct of different re have never said or believed, that the ligious denominations during the satisfaction made by Christ to his reigns of Charles I. and II., includ.
• • It has before been adtanced and new ing the Interregaum, I should feel futed. See rol. č. p. 593."
Father and the merit thereof con- clay's fifteen propositions, which sisted in any allegorical suffering or form the basis of the Apology for blood of the Ligh within, inwardly the Quakers, and endeavours to re. shed ;' and have never placed or fute such parts as he disapproves. believed the possibility thereof did He would have acted more fairly, consist in such allegorical death and when writing on the Scriptures, and puiferings, as the Snake does insi. their inferiority to the Spirit which duate against us.'
gave them forth, bad he given a few “ The Reviewer is not satisfied words more of the passage to which with these reflections in the intro- he objects. His deficiency I will duction ; but after his remarks on endeavour to supply. Barclay says: Clarkson's Life of Peon, which are • Moreover, those Divine inward rein general favourable to both, he velations neither do nor can contrarecurs to the Quakers and their dict the outward testimony of the principles, and states, that such is Scriptures, or right and sound reathe caution used by their writers, Yet from hence it will not that he cannot even now pronounce follow, that the Divine Revelations whether, when they affirm the Divja are to be subjected to the examinasity of Christ, they mean to speak tion either of the outward testimony of him as a Divine Person, or as a of the Scriptures, or to the natural quality of the Godhead. Perbaps I reason of man, as to a more noble and cannot more concisely reply to this certain rule and touchstone.' Bot charge, than by the following ex- there is another passage in Barclay, tract from a late publication: We wbich, if the Reviewer had seen can, indeed, say on this, as' on every and brought forward, might have other occasion, that we believe all made his reader's mind, if not his that the Scriptures have spoken and own, easy on the subject, as showing joculeated. We believe that the that we do not setthe Spirit in oppoEvangelist was clearly speaking of sition to the letter, though we place Jesus Christ, and of his Divinity or the former above the latter. The pas. Godhead, when he said, “ In the be: sage is this: We shall also be very ginning was the Word, and the willing to admit it as a positive cerWord was with God, and the Word tain maxim, that whatever any do, was God. The same was in the pretending to the Spirit, that is conbeginning with God. All things irary to the Scriptures, be accounted were made by Him, and without and reckoned a delusion of the devil.' Him was not any thing made that What more explicit and strong than was made. In Him was life, and the this can be said ? Indeed I often think life was the light of men. “And, that our dispute, with some at least the Word was made flesh, and of the Church of England, on the dwelt among us." Here we have a Scriptures, is more about words than clear and full testimony both to the things. Some of the sentiments of Divinity and Humanity of Christ; the Reviewer bimself may be addus. and we have, ever since we were á ed in support of this assertion. He people, borne testimony to this admits, that as many as receive Scripture doctrine.'*
the light of the Spirit, in them is “ After this remark, the Reviewer produced a holy birth, bringing forth enters into an examination of Bare holiness and purity. p. 601. Now,
when the Reviewer says, 'as many Tuke's Principles of the Quakers,
as receive the light of the Spirit,' be p. 53, 5th edition. See also a pamphlet en. titled, The Faith of the People called Quad of refusing it; and therefore, that it
fully allows, that we have the power kers, in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, set forth in various Extracts from their Writ. cannot operate upon the mind of ings; of which a few copies are sent with man without his being cooscious of this to the Publisher of the Christian Ob- the same. But if the Spirit proserter."
duces a holy birtb, bringing forth Cariss. OBSEAY, No. 146.
holiness and purity,' surely its power mistaken the object of Barclay's 5th is superior to that of the Scriptures, and 6th propositions. He there and that is all we plead for. Again: pleads, and I ihjuk successfully, for
It may be true, that we should not the extension of the benefits which pray, whenever the Spirit of God result from the coming of Christ, to disposes the mind' to prayer,' (p.602). all those who share in the conseI think we must acknowledge, if the quences of Adam's transgression ; Spirit of God disposes the mind to that is, to the wbole buman race, prayer, that we cannot be insensible His object is to establish the opinion, of its power; and surely the immedia that by the one propitiatory Sacrifice, ale operation of this Divine principle all men were placed in a capacity of ought to be esteemed superior to that salvation, but by no means to release writien revelation of the will of God those who have the knowledge of which is bestowed through the the Scriptures from that responsibiScriptures, however highly we may lity for the gift of them which this walue those writings.
invaluable treasure imposes. }, "I remember in a controversy " That the Quakers are advocates several years ago*, in the Christian of the advantages of education, their Observer, I produced testimonies conduct, as a body, and as indivi: in favour of our opinions, from Lu- duals, amply proves. But as they ther, Calvin, and various other emi believe that learning is only so far nent Christiau writers. This piece useful as it is sanctified to the cause the Editor declined inserting, because of religion, and as they unite with he knew the sentiments contained in the Christian Observer in the be the quotations were consistent with lief that "God prepares true minithe views expressed by my oppo sters,' they dare not limit this prepa. ment. Now, if, in explaining our ration to those only who are capa. views, we refer to anthorities and ble of readiog. passages which are agreed to by our “ In justice to Barclay and the opponents, it seems clear that there Quakers, I shall transcribe the folis a greater degree of approximation lowing parts of his Thesis on Wor than they are willing to admit. If we slip, and hope by so doing to obcannot go the length of many Chris wiate the objections brought forward tians in calling the Scripiures the on that subject :- All true and acWord of God, and in applying texts ceptable worship to God is offered to them which we conceive were in the inward and immediate mov never intended to be so applied, but ing and drawing of his own Spirit, that many of them exclusively-be which is neither limited to places, long lo. Christ...we still acknow. times, nor persons. For though we Jedge their Divine authority, and are to worship Him always, and conbelieve that they were given by tinually to fear before Him; yet, as inspiration of God, and are profit to the outward signification thereof, able for doctrine, for reproof, for in prayers, praises, or preachings, correction, for instruction in righ- we ought not to do it in our own teousness, that the man of God may will, where and when we will; but be perfect, thoroughly furnished where and when we
are moved unto all good works.' This is the thereunto by the stirring and secret bighest testimony which the Scrip- inspiration of the Spirit of God in tures give of themselves; and why our hearts, which God heareth, and are we to be accounted heterodox, accepteth of, and is never wanting hecause on this subject, and on thé to move us thereunto, when need is, Divinity of Cbrist, we do not inchine of which he himself is the alone 10 go further than the Scripture leads proper judge. All other worship, us.
then, both praises, prayers, or “ The Reviewer appears to have preachings, which man sets about
... In the year 1806 : see Christian Oh. in bis own will, and at his own apserver, vol. V, pp. 168, 464, 607, and 730." pointment, which he can both begin
and'end at his pleasure, do or leave members of the society, when every undone, as himself seeth meet, whe one is at liberty to express his sen. ther they be a prescribed form, as timents on the call of those whose a liwrgy; &c. or prayers conceived ministry is uader consideration. extern pore, by the natural strength “ The Reviewer has certainly said and faculty of the mind, they are many bandsome things of the people all but superstition, will-worship, whose opinions he has endeavoured and abominable idolatry in the to controvert. Had be considered sight of God, wbich are now to be that. 'a tree is known by its fruits, denied and rejected, and separated and that men do not gather grapes from, in this day of his spiritual of thorns, or figs of thislles,' he arising
would probably have been a little “ 'There are other matters, loosely more doubtful of his own views of and incorrectly stated by the Re- our principles, and have suspected viewer, which afford room for ani• that they have not that injurious madversion; but which I think not tendency which he supposes likely of sufficient importance to notice, to tlow from them. Some of his except that I would make a few compliments, however, are so mixed remarks on what he says of the of- with a disposition for ridicule, that fice of Elders among the Quakers. they are uot likely to be very gra. It is asserted, p. 602, that anyone ciously received. His desires for our who may think bimself prepared to laying aside a few colloquial pepreach to a Quaker congregation, culiarities,' &c. in order for our union must have previously received the with good old mother church, permission of the Eiders. This is will not, I apprehend, produce much incorrect. It is in order that those etfect. The space between us is who are in the station of ministers too great, and occupied by subjects may bave the tender sympathy and of too much importance to render counsel of those, of either sex, who, such a union probable.
But if we by their experience in the work of cannot unite in church fellowship, religion, are qualified for that ser we can love and respect the pious vice
, that monthly meetings are ad- and virtuous of all denominations; vised, to select such under the deno. and to no class of Christians can we mination of Elders *! And the more readily convey our esteem and Quakers have never, by their disci. respect, than to the consistent mempline, or any other act, assumed the bers of the Church of England ; for teachings of the Spirit of God to many of whom, within the small be dubious.? They acknowledge circle of my knowledge, I feel an it to be an unerring guide ; but asupfeigoed affectionate regard, and they are also fully sensible of the can say, it always gives me much frailty of human nature, they be more pleasure to unite with, ttian to lieve, that in every Christian com duiker from, them. munity order is requisite for the .*** I apprehend that I cannot close preservation of harmony. It is from these remarks better than by adoptthis conviction, that those who ing the words of a writer in the believe themselves required to speak Christian Observer, in the very folio in meetings for worship are not im- where the Reviewof Pena's Life con mediately acknowledged as mini. mences.
With this view I can corsterk by their monthly meetings; but dially express “ a feeling of regret time is taken for judgment, that the that when the British and Foreign meeting, may be satisfied of their Bible Society has done so much to call and qualification ti These mitigate the hostilities of different monthly ineetings are open to all the sects, particularly the Church and *** A Summary of the History, Doctrine, the Dissenters, and is still exercising und Discipline of Friends. 8vo. pp. 97. Sold its benign influence, to produce by W. Phillips, London." t. lbid. agreement in every point where
agreement is possible, and to ren- ling ministry,” and to represent those der unavoidable differences, cbarita- who exact tithes in tbe light of per. ble; in short, to reduce the world to secutors. But while works are daily two sects,– those who are Christians, appearing, the effect of which is to and those who are none; there should recommend the tenets of Quakerism exist writers who sympathize so little to general acceptance, and unduly in this great object, as at least to to exalt the claims of the fathers of endanger the incipient and increase that system to public éstimation, it ing barmony, and to do what has seems somewhat unreasonable to an evident tendency to revive be. expect that the very individuals tween the Establishment and the whose faith and practice are assaid. Dissent their former animosities. ed in some instances directly, Surely other times should be chosen in others indirectly-shall not even for such labours.'
H. T.”. presume to examine those tenets, or
to sift those claims.- We do not On this communication we shall blame the Quakers for what they now proceed to make a few re. have done. They have a right to marks.
publish, and to recommend, and to 1. Our respectable correspondent circulate with all their might, the is not content with affirming, and Journal of George Fox. They have endeavouring to prove, that we have a right to exhibit portrajtures of Jaboured under mistake or misappre. Quakerism, and testimonies against hension in respect to the Quakers; but a hireling ministry, after their own he charges us with “ a disposition to manner. They have a right to de traduce and misrepresent” them, and monstrate, if they can, that “ truth with “a want of charity by no and " light” and “power” are to be means creditable either to our jus. found exclusively among them, and tice or liberality.” These are se
to represent their founder and all rious charges; whether they are
his followers as inspired persons. just, must be left to the reader to We neither question their right to determine, after he shall have read do all this, nor censure them for the this article.
exercise of that right. But then we 2. Our correspondent argues as if do expect in return to be allowed there were something uncandid and freely and calmly to examine their unchristian in the public examina. public pretensioos, without being tion of the principles of Quakers, considered as either uncandid or un. and particularly in any reference to charitable for so doing. Mr. Tuke the early history of their Society. himself admits, that the space beWhat benefit, he inquires, is to be tween the Quakers and the Church derived from such a proceeding? of England is too great, and occuNow it does strike us as not a litile pied by subjects of too much im. extraordinary that such a question portance to render an union beshould proceed from such a quarter. iween them probable: and yet he What, we would ask in our curn, is expresses grief and surprise, that the tendency of some of the most we should bring these important esteemed Quaker writings? Is it not subjects into discussion; albough to contrast the conduct of the foun. we have shewn ourselves anxious ders of their Society with that of to discuss them, not in a spirit of other religionists of the same period? hostility or irritation, but of real Is it not to bring other sects into dis- respect and good-will for the very eredit, the better to justify their own persons from whom we differ, What, proceedings: From the “ Journal” in truth, have we done but defend of George Fox down to the “ Prin- ourselves? We have endeavoured to ciples" of Henry Tuke, it is, for shew, that we have reason and Scrip. example, one end of their publica- ture on our side, when, natwithsions to detach men from a hire, standing the works of Georg Foxe