« PreviousContinue »
C. ELCOCK; LONDON, LONGMAN AND CO., PATERNOSTER ROW: LEEDS,
BAINES AND NEWSOME; AND YORK, W. ALEXANDER.
The Editor deems it seasonable, in commencing a Second Volume of this publication, to recur to professions advanced in the outset of the work, and to invite the Reader to a review of the degree and manner of their fulfilment. He proposed, then, to advocate those fundamental principles of the Christian religion, on which rest what his Friends the Quakers call their leading Testimonies ; exhibited in their refusal to bear arms,- or to swear in any case-or to contribute to the support of any religious ministry, in which the gifts of the Gospel were not bestowed freely ; even as they are received from the Giver of all good. And what he might do in this way he purposed should also subserve to the advancement of the great cause of Religious liberty, and (by a fair induction) of the best interests of his country.
If his Friends will now take the trouble to look over the one hundred and forty-seven Articles contained in the First Volume, they will find them distributed to the several subjects in nearly the following proportions. Five have been given to Quaker history, (with a comment) in the Chronological Summary; twelve to the Sufferings' of Friends; four to the subject of War, and nine to Oaths and the Affirmation. Fourteen have been occupied with discussions on Tithes and other similar claims; and thirty-one with Church matters of a more general
kind, but always in a direction opposed to the intolerant principle and practice. In six of the remainder, will be found treated the subject of an attempt at African Instruction by quakers, and the character and conduct of the honest though feeble instruments in that work : ten others relate to Scripture passages, in the way of Comment or Criticism, and thirty-one are Miscellaneous and in part Literary. There are, lastly, comprised in twenty-four articles a much greater number of free translations, and other pieces of verse (such as the Reader may call poetry, or not, as he may incline) with a few prose fables; the whole of an instructive and moral tendency in the subjects. Two thirds of this matter is either original composition, and correspondence, or it is such as the Editor has fairly made his own by labour bestowed upon it: the remainder consists of a series of extracts, in which (according to a sentiment advanced in the third Article of his First number) he found his own intentions would be best fulfilled by quoting others' words. In calling to his aid in this way such authors as Milton and Locke-as Taylor and Burnet and Calamy, he conceives he would not have so well served the great cause of Liberty of conscience by attempting to write after them, as by letting them speak for themselves.
The concluding number of the volume presents an article which is of a nature to excite the hope that, with but a moderate circulation of the work, joined to some little exertion in public, he has not been advocating the cause of Truth in vain. Friends have at length
spoken out,' and presented to the Legislature two Petitions on the subject of Tithe and other Ecclesiastical claims, in which they go the length of soliciting the entire removal of all such imposts. That to the Commons will be found in No. XXIV, with an account of its presentation, as witnessed by the Editor: that to the Lords presented to the House by Lord Suffield, on the 1st of this month: it was signed by Six hundred and eighty-one Friends, assembled at Yearly Meeting and representing the whole society; the place of abode of each individual being annexed to his name.*
Reported in the Christian Advocate' newspaper, which I read at Ackworth, as signed by 68 members merely—a trick-(whether of the Editor, or of his man, or of a spiritual personage formerly very troublesome to printers) which reminds me of a circumstance that occurred in a like case before. A petition to Parliament
TO THE SECOND VOLUME.
Thus has the • Testimony' been held up once more in the view of both Houses; but nothing was moved, or expected to be in either, on occasion of the presentation. Friends, it is believed, are heartily disposed to take time in the business ; and to leave what they may have to offer to the Government and the public, for a sufficient
in the hands of both, before they proceed finally to urge their request for AN ECCLESIASTICAL EMANCIPATION Perhaps it would have been as modest to have asked, on the present occasion, only an exemption from the payment of such demands for themselves—but it requires a very
short time of reflection to discover that such a proposal would tend also in a direct manner, to bring closely before the Legislature the more large and weighty question of an equitable settlement of the dispute for the country at large.
The Editor of the · Yorkshireman' has now to look forward,—with the needful qualification of a Deo volente' indeed,—to another volume Needful the Editor has found it, having had to taste of the cup of affliction and to experience the uncertainty of all human prospects, in the recent loss of a beloved member of his family. But should life and health (which are a man's strength, while a good conscience remains) be mercifully afforded him, he purposes to continue the work, in the same form and with the like materials, through another series of numbers ; issuing two at the end of every month as before. This arrangement seems to have given, on the whole, satisfaction to his friends ; it is convenient in printing, and may admit hereafter of an easy change to a more frequent publication.
What sayest thou, Reader ? Shall we make it a second course merely, or a repetition of the entertainment? For my own part, I prefer the latter; and believe that both the exigency of the time, and the nature of the materials on hand, will best justify this mode of proceeding. So let us sit down to it at once!
numerously signed (as I recollect by the ‘Meeting for Sufferings' at large) was printed in the votes of the House as the Petition of the “ three undersigned," instead of the there undersigned, quakers; the names being suppressed, as usual. Honestas optima politia !