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who have made no outward Things to be internal Things; but that Internal and Spiritual Things are frequently represented in the Holy Scriptures by external and natural Things, is so evident, that if the believing it entitle a Man to the hardNames of Allegorist and Entbusiast, every one that reads those facred Records will be in danger of coming under those Appellations.
He next forms this Question, · Would it be just to charge the Body of the Quakers with all the Errors of particular Persons among them, if there were any such ? He answers, It may be ve• ry just to charge them with the Errors of their « Teachers.' Now let us suppose, what is poffible enough, that a Parish Priest from his Pulpit should, through Ignorance or Mistake, drop à Point of Herely among the People ; would the found of his Words make all his Auditors Hereticks? We think not; but that all the wiseMen among his Hearers might continue every whit as Orthodox as they were before, yea, though it should happen, that Preacher might never be called to Account for his Words before his Diocesan, or any Spiritual Court. Why then must the Quakers in such a Cafe have harder Measure than other People? They says the Vicar, pre• tend to immediate Inspiration and Infallibility in • all they teach. But how a Preacher's pretences to
Inspiration and Infallibility can make their • Hearers justly chargeable with all their Er
rors, is a Mystery he has left altogether unexplain'd,
And, he adds, “ They may very justly be charg• ed with all the Errors of any particular Per• sons among them, contained in their Books, approv'd by their Meetings appointed for that
Service.' But will he admit the Jartice of bis own Charges against the Quakers to be tried by that Rule? If he does, he'll be certainly convicted of Injustice, since many of the Books and Papers he pretends to Charge them from, were never approv'd by their Meetings appointed for that purpose.
WHICH, says he. may. therefore well pass ? for the general Principles of that Body of Peo
ple, if they will not call in these Books, and • Witness against these Errors.' Now, upon Supposition, not granting, that there were Errors in some such Books, it does not follow that a Society must either call in those Books, or be justiy charged with those Errors.' Some Errors are Typographical, with which no Reader of common Ingenuity will charge so much as the Author of the Book, much less a Body of People,
Other Things, which fome may call Errors, may be but meer Opinions of the Author, which, if not contrary to Scripture, why he may not be indalg'd in publishing of, even though his Book before 'tis printed should pass the Perusal of some of his Friends, we cannot see a Reason for. Nor do we think, that the Bishop of London, who, the Vicar says, was pleased to peruse in Manufcript some part of his Papers, and thought good to lay on him his Commands to proceed in his DeSign (which is more Authoritative than any thing the Quakers do in such Cases) is therefore justly to be charged with all the Errors he has publish’d.
Were some of the Quakers Books then as really erroneous, as the Vicar is deficient in pro
ving ving any of them to be so, it does not follow, that they are any more obliged to call in those Books, than the Bishop is the Vicar's, who though he may possibly discern fome Nips therein, must not therefore necessarily despair of its doing any Service. Much less should the Quakers who know the general Import and Tendency of their Friends Writings to have been the spreading of the Gofpel 'of Christ, and the promotion of Truth upon Earth, by directing Men to follow the Guidance of the Light of Christ which the holy Scriptures testify, of, call in or prevent the spreading of Books which tend to the Universal good of Mankind, because Carping Adversaries pretend to find some Expressions therein, which they have ill Will enough to construe in a Manner contrary to the plain Intent and Purpose of the Author's whole Work.
But the Vicar, p. 254. seems to put on some Appearance of Charity for the present Quakers, when in Answer to this Question, . Do not you < think the Quakers are more sound in the 'Faith than formerly they were judged to be," he answers
Yes, I do really think they are now ge• nerally fo. An excess of Charity he has thought fit to qualify in his Errata, by adding, as to some Things. · For, says he, at their first Appear
ance and for some Years after, many of their
Doctrines were so Antichristian and Blasphe« mous, that they found it generally necessary to < recede from them.' Which is a Miftake, for.
they have not receded from the Doctrine taught by their early Friends at their first Appearance, which was the Doctrine of Truth, neither Antichristian nor Blasphemous; every particular Expression we do not think ourselves obliged to defend ; when we consider the Dificulty of those
Suffering Times, and the Restraint of the Press, and that the Authors confined in nasty Holes and Dungeons, were frequently deprived of the Opportunity of Correcting their own Works, 'tis easie to see that some Mistakes were unavoidable, but we know of none which a moderate Portion of Charity, duly weighing the Author's . Circumstances in thoie Times, would not readily pass by, or make a juft Allowance for, especially, if it be true as the Vicar says, that that they seem now to be generally con( vinced of several Errors in their former Books
by contradicting them in Words at least in their " latter Writings.' But how his acknowledging that their contradicting them in ll'ords in their latter Writing', is consistent with his asserting, that they endeavour still with Shuffling Excuses and Evasions to justify them, or to Cloak and Dijemble them, 'tis his Business to fhew; who needs a Talent at reconciling Inconsistencies, to make this and many other placesin his Book intelligible.
Having thus far in performance of the Task we undertook, gone through the Vicar's Nineteen Sections ; we trust it will appear to the unprejudic'd Reader, that the Quakers Tenets are not new moulded, but that as they have been formerly, so they continue still, (not, as the Vicar says Page 354. very Errone011s and Heretical, but) very sound and Orthodox in their Notions of the Effentials of Christianity, believing, that Virtue is essential to true Christianity, and that the Outward Knowledge of Christ is necessary to all those whom Providence has favoured with the means of attaining it ; that the Holy Spirit is the Primary Rule
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of Faith and Life, and that the Scriptures are the best External Rule of Faith and Manners that ever was extant in the World, and far
preferable to all other Books and writings whatsoever, as being given forth by Inspiration of the Holy Spirit: That the Light or Spirit of Christ, immediately illuminating and inspiring the Souls of Men is infallible and perfect and that a State of Infallibility is no otherwise attainable than by following its Guidance : That the true Gospel-Worspip is Inward and Spiritual ; and Holiness a necesary and effential Qualification to a Gospel-Minister : That our Lord Jesus by his Life, Death, Sufferings and Obedience without us, made away for our Reconciliation with the Father, and became a Sacrifice for the Remission of Sins that are past, and purchas'd for Men the Gift of the Holy Spirit, by whose effectual Operations within them, cleansing from the guilt of Sin, they are made Partakers of the Merits of Christ's Death and Sufferings, and Performances for them without them ; That the Baptism of Christ is not an Outward walhing of the Body with Water, but an Inward cleansing of the Soul from Sin ; and that the Supper of the Lord is not a Participation of Outward Bread and Wine, but an Inward and Spiritual Communion with Christ, whereby the Souls of the Faithful are fed, nourish'd and strengthened unto eternal Life. That there will be a Resurrection of the Dead, both of the Just and also of the Unjuft, in such Bodies as it thall please God to give them. And that there is a Day appointed wherein Christ shall come in Power and great Glory to judge both the Quick and Dead according to their works. In the Belief of these Christian Do&trines and all other Things contain'd in the Holy Scriptures, the People · called Quakers, do all unanimously or general