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either prove that I have perverted Barclay's meaning, and drawn unfair consequences from his doctrine, or misrepresented those passages of Scripture on which he endeavours to found his hypothesis ; then, what he offers to the world will deserve my further consideration. But, declamatory animadversions, abounding more with folemn censures than argument ; manifest perversions ; contemptuous epithets; and pious effufions, upon his own false system, to captivate the affections of the ignorant ; or copious enlargements upon any smaller defects, which do not relate to the main questions in debate—will not deserve from me any public answer.

Whatever may be found erroneous in this performance, must be chargeable upon myself, and not upon any with whom I am connected : For it has not been revised or corrected by an assembly of wise men, who had a right to curtail or add to it, before it dared to appear in public, as, I am most credibly informed, was the case with Mr. Phipps's observations. Should I then have misrepresented the true sense of Scripture, or the meaning of Barclay or his defender, I am alone responsible for it, and shall think myself bound, in justice and honour, to correct such mistakes.

To conclude this long Introduction-You will find, reader, that Mr. Barclay and his friends appeal to Scripture and right reason, for the proof of their system; the connected and just meaning of the former, and the plain maxims of the latter, are the standard, by which Ī desire also the controversy may be determined: And if common sense does not enable you easily to decide on which fide the truth lies, upon an impartial examination of this treatise and the writings which it opposes, either the questions debated are of no conse

quence

quence to your hope, holiness, and happiness, or we that have written upon them have not treated the subject fairly and explicitly.

May the Holy Spirit, by all those means of information which he now uses, lead both reader and writer into all evangelical truth! Amen!

Leading

THE

Leading Sentiments, &c.

CH A P. I.

Things granted by Mr. Beasley and the Apologist, con

cerning Scripture and Right Reafor.

T

HE Author of the Letter to Dr. Formey concludes a paragraph thus, [It is the first

edition of Mr. B.'s letter is here used.] p. 8, « Therefore the New Testament is to be regarded, '« as a standard of faith and manners religious and 6 civil, its doctrines to be considered as free from “ those ambiguities it hath by many authors been

charged with, and itself to be consistent with right reason. This granted, I think, I can prove, that " the Quakers principles are all of divine authority, " as being deduced from the Holy Scriptures of the « Old and New Testament *."

* We really wish, that this fenfible, decent, and elegant writer had attempted to support this declaration, by replying to the letter addresled to him ; for it is evident to his opponent, from the fpecimen he has given of his manner of writing, that he could not have allowed himself to have written, in the unkind, unfriendly, nay, even illiberal and contemptuous strain, that a certain gentleman has done. B

Mr. Mr. Barclay also in his Apology expresses himself in these words, Apol. P. 86, edit. 6th—“ We do “ look upon them (the Scriptures) as the only fit “ outward judge of controversies among Christians; “ and that whatever doctrine is contrary to their tef“ timony, may therefore be justly rejected as false. “ And, for our parts, we are very willing, that all

our doctrines and practices should be tried by " them; which we never refused, nor ever shall, in “ all our controversies with our adversaries, as the

judge and the test. We shall also be ready to ad“ mit it, as a positive and certain maxim, that what“ foever any do, pretending to the Spirit, which is

contrary to the Scriptures, be accounted and rec«koned a delusion of the Devil.” He also calls them, Prop. 3. $. 1.-" The most excellent wri“ tings in the world.” And in the second Propofition, he has expressed himself thus—“ Moreover, “ these divine inward revelations, which we make « absolutely necessary for the building up true faith, 6 neither do nor can ever contradict the outward “ testimony of Scripture, or right and sound rea

66 fon.”

These concessions authorize any person to bring every thing Mr. Barclay and his brethren advance, under the supposed immediate revelation of their Spirit, to the test of Scripture and right reason. To these they appeal with a manifest confidence, that they entirely coincide with their sentiments.

Barclay's zealous advocate, in his observation upon the former part of this paragraph, Phipps's Obfervations, P. 2. tells us, “ That he does not un5 derstand what the writer means by their spirit," and adds, “ That the people called Quakers profess no private spirit peculiar to themselves.”

They may profess to be influenced by no other spirit than that which directed the Apostles, but this is no proof, that they are actuated by that spirit ; their

own

own imaginations and affertions being no greater evidence of it to a stander-by, than the firm persuasion and confident affirmations of the French Prophets were, that they had the one essential Spirit of God influencing them. And though it be readily granted and firmly believed by Mr. Phipps's opponent (notai withstanding all that he has insinuated to the contrary) that no man can be a true Christian, although he may bear the name and make the profeffion, without the special direction and influence of the Spirit of God, yet it does not follow, that every person, who thinks himself influenced by him, actually is so.

The Apostle John; 1 Epist. 4. 6, speaks of spirits which were to be tried and rejected, and has given Christians a criterion, which is a more certain one than their own feelings or imaginations, by which we may judge of them.“ We are of God: He that “ knoweth God, heareth us (the Apostles). He “ that is not of God, heareth not us. Hereby “ know we the Spirit of truth and the spirit of er

ror,"

If then the writer of this treatise, conscientiously thinks, the leading principles of the Quakers, as they stand in the Apology, are contrary to what the Apostles have taught and written, and is able to prove

them to be fo; it will follow, that they are not, in the profession of them, influenced by the Spirit of God, the Spirit of truth, though they may honestly think they really are. Nay, Mr. Phipps himself says, “ That the sense of every person is not that of “ the Spirit, and that whosoever, whether under the “ pretence of the Spirit, or in opposition to it, puts “ a sense upon the Scriptures, which is not that of & the Spirit, must himself be of a wrong spirit,”

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