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"We consider ourselves the injured par: "ty; therefore, as in the case of an individ❝ual, when he thinks himself falsely accu"sed, he repeats the accusation, and then "the accuser, in his turn, is at liberty to 66 prove, or substantiate his assertions: and "this is the mode of procedure we shall ex86 pect in this business, and which is the on"ly method that we think fair and honora"ble, and by which the truth can be made "to appear: the truth being manifest is "our object."
From page 95, to 100, he has again endeavoured to prove his original charge, that our ministers take money for preaching, under the cloak of being paid for doing business, &c.
Here he quotes our discipline; and, from thence, draws his own inferences, till finally, pretending his charge to be sufficiently proved, he proceeds: "O, my dear sirs, you "have but the one of the two things to do, "to settle all this difficulty, and stop the "force of my complaint in this matter: and "the first is, to erase the two articles allu❝ded to, and cease to pay your preachers
for services or sufferings: or, secondly, to quit complaining of other denomina
❝tions for doing openly and honestly what 466 you do slyly."
I see no difficulty to be settled; neither do I see that any of his complaints have either force or weight in them, when examined by one acquainted with our discipline and practice in this particular. Such implications of hypocrisy I utterly reject, as being in no wise applicable to our society. And, surely, if we had believed it right to pay our min isters for preaching, we could have no possible motive for denying or concealing it; seeing other societies generally admit the propriety of the practice.
But, in order for the information of those unacquainted with us, I will briefly notice one of his quotations from our discipline, stating some of the duties of our Meeting for Sufferings, which closes thus: "And as "there may be sometimes a necessary ex"pense attending the transaction of some 66 part of their business, the treasurer is re66 quested to furnish the said meeting with 66 money necessary for such services."
From this, he asserts, that the members of that meeting are allowed, by this article, to take pay for their services; thence infering, that a minister being a member, thereof, may be well paid for preaching.
There is sometimes a necessary expense attending some part of the business of that meeting, as stated in the discipline, for printing and purchasing books, epistles, &c. for the use of our society, and for distribution amongst others and for these, and other exigencies of society, the treasurer of the Yearly Meeting is requested to furnish the said meeting with money necessary for such expenses. But, his inference, that the members of that meeting are allowed, by this article, to take pay for their services, is altogether untrue.
The Meeting for Sufferings keeps regular minutes of its disbursements, as well as of other proceedings; and those minutes are annually read at large in our Yearly Meeting; so that where he finds the place for our ministers to get pay slyly for preaching, is by no means demonstrated; neither can be, as no such practice exists among us.
Page 96, he says: "Who does not see "that your preachers, seeing they are indem"nified for all their suffering in their testi"mony of truth, are well paid for preach"ing. 99 Where he has found this information, he does not tell us; and the reason is obvious, because it is no where to be found.
Neither our ministers, nor any other members, are in any wise indemnified by the society, for any sufferings that fall to their lots.
In page 102, he says, "And when we cc see the majority among the different de"nominations agreeing in the Scripture. "ordinances, (though they differ with res"pect to mode of administration) and wil"ling to unite in the worship of God, such "as joining in prayer, and hearing each o"ther preach and exhort, and many among "them can set or kneel together before God, "and commemorate the death and passion " of the adorable Jesus, in the sacred supper, who are you, that ye will not join in 66 prayer with any of them, and take upon "you to judge such people unworthy of "christian fellowship, calling them blind, "carnal, not yet in the true light. But you "will say, we profess to believe that there " is some good people in all denominations. "Do you profess this? then I beseech you "to evidence sincerity in your profession, "by joining in prayer with such, when they "desire to join in prayer or the worship, "of God together with you.'
Page 103,"Now to profess to have charity, or to believe a man is led by a good
spirit, and then refuse to join in prayer ❝ with him, is such a departure from con"sistency as you ought to be ashamed of.”
In order that the reader may clearly understand our reasons for declining to unite with others in their forms of worship, prayers, &c. I will endeavour to explain our sense of the nature of true prayer, and the neces sary qualifications therefor.
Prayer to the Divine Being, we consider the most solemn part, or act of public worship; and as our heavenly Father only knoweth what we stand in need of, he alone can direct and inspire our hearts what to pray for, in a manner that will be acceptable unto him and this prayer may either be mental or vocal. "Mental prayer is the turning of the mind towards God, when the soul, awakened by the Spirit of Christ, and bowed under a sense of its wants and unworthiness, looks up to God," and by the influence of his Spirit is enabled to "breath forth its desires without words."
"Vocal prayer is, when it feels an influence of the Spirit to express audible words, either in public assemblies or in private.' Thus, as it is the Spirit that helpeth our infirmities, and we know not what to pray for