« PreviousContinue »
to it, so I believe, that in the present day, as ever since the promulgation of the gospel, each individual by coming into this obedience, may witness in himself the fulfilment of the prophecies respecting the nature of the gospel dispensation ; and, thus, as any indi. vidual, or people, live under the influence of this evangelical dispensation, they become instrumental in promoting and hastening those blessed days described in such a lively manner by the prophet Isaiah : “ And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains; and shall be exalted above the hills ; and all nations shall flow unto it: and many people shall go and say, come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob ; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths ; for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people ; and they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks : nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more."
* Isaiah ii, 21
In page 115, he says, Instead of eng “ couraging vocal prayer to God in the fam- . “ ily or in public, you have as a people de s claimed against it.”
This assertion is without foundation, Those who attend our meetings know the contrary : and I presume, he must have for: gotten, when he was penning this, what he said respecting our discipline, in page 91, viz, “ In their discipline, page 15, they have “ made this regulation concerning the hat:
none are to take upon them publicly to oppose any ministering friend; or in time “ of prayer to keep on the hat." » And his own ipference from this
our dis cipline, is, by keeping the hat on in time of prayer, they tell their disapprobation of what is said. Here he produces our discipline, regulating conduct in time of prayer, and yet says, we as a people declaim against vocal prayer.
He asserts in page 125, “ But when Qua"kers separate the spirit from the word of " God, or Scripture of truth ; they put asi under what God has joined together." This is, indeed, a very singular position. It is in effect saying, whoever is deprived of the Scriptures, is also of the spirit of truth : and, if the spirit and letter are inseparable, then the spirit, as well as the letter, may be transferred from one to another, either bought or sold at pleasure ; and, at this rate, the vilest of men may purchase it with money, even as Simon Magus thought to obtain the gift of God by offering money to the apostles. Yet he further asserts, that, “ It is “ in effect denying the unity of the Trinity, “ and trusting in fancy instead of plain de“ claration of truth.” Could he possibly have understood himself when writing this? Surely, I never before heard of any one who believed the Scriptures to be any part of the Trinity, which theologists define as the incomprehensible unity of the Godhead.
I pass on to notice the exalted commission he claimed for writing his book, in page 126, viz. “ If the reader will turn to the good old “ book, and read Ezekiel, Chap. ii. 17, 18, “ 19, and 20, he will see my commission 66 for what I have done : son of man I have “ made thee a watchman unto the house of “ Israel, therefore hear the word at my “ mouth, and give them warning from “ me,” &c.
As this author has presumed to claim so high authority for what he has done, it might be queried, through what medium he received it, seeing he ridicules our belief in divine inspiration, asserting the Scriptures to-be an all sufficient rule for faith and practice.
In what portion of Scripture shall I find, that he is the very man appointed as a watchman, and commanded to warn us, as this commission of the Almighty to Ezekiel has no more allusion to him, than to any other
I find our using thee and thou to a single person ; wearing our hats, when he thinks we ought not ; our not acknowledging the fourth command obligatory on christians ; believing that acceptable worship may be performed in silence ; not calling the Scriptures the word of God ; omitting water baptism and the supper ; and saying that ministers ought not to receive money for preaching, are, in his view, the crying sins of the Quakers.
But, besides these, he brings many other heavy accusations against us. He says, we are ignorant of experimental religion ; that we invalidate the divine authority of the Scriptures ; quibble and use duplicity; are
guilty of blasphemy ; eye servants to the Lord, page 41 ; not knowing Christ, 42; deceivers, 43. telling untruth, 45; having neither form nor power of Godliness, 47 ; persecuting all other denominations ; also using deceit, 51 ; acting contrary to christian candour, 73 ; self-willed and profane, 53; making conceit our God, 130 ; dead to the principles of divine grace, 85; will not endure sound doctrine, 87 ; quite ignorant of the abiding witness of the spirit that we are born of God, 119; yea, that a dumb devil possesses us, 118.
Now, that he should accuse us of being guilty of this long catalogue of heinous crimes ; and then, at one stroke, clear us of them all, except not observing the sabbath, and the ordinances, (so called) is a glaring contradiction; but, as glaring as it is, we find him, in page 104, making an acknowledgement in these words : " If the Quakers re“ garded the sabbath and ordinances of the “ Lord, there would be no occasion to judge " them as transgressors."
Having noticed such parts of this remarkable work as appeared to require attention, I