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cite in him such an affection and esteem for those worthy sectaries, as we think can scarcely fail to issue in his public conversion; and, in the mean time, has produced a more minute exposition, and a more elaborate defence of their doctrines and practices, than has yet been drawn from any of their own body.

The book, which is full of repetitions and plagiarisms, is distributed into a number of needless sections, arranged in a most unnatural and inconvenient order. All that any body can want to know about the Quakers, might evidently have been told either under the head of their doctrinal tenets, or of their peculiar practices; but Mr Clarkson, with a certain elaborate infelicity of method, chooses to discuss the merits of this society under the several titles of their moral education-their discipline -- their peculiar customs-their religion-their great tenets-and their character; and not finding even this ample distribution sufficient to include all he had to say on the subject, he fills half a volume with repetitions and trifles, under the humiliating name of miscellaneous particulars.

Quakerism had certainly undergone a considerable change in the quality and spirit of its votaries, from the time when George Fox went about pronouncing woes against cities, attacking priests in their pulpits, and exhorting justices of the peace to do justice, to the time when such men as Penn and Barclay came into the society by convincement,' and published such vindications of its doctrine, as few of its opponents have found it convenient to answer. The change since their time appears to have been much more inconsiderable. The greater part of these volumes may be considered, indeed, as a wilful deterioration of Barclay's apology and it is only where he treats of the private manners and prevailing opinions of the modern Quakers, that Mr Clarkson communicates any thing which a curious reader might not have learnt from that celebrated production. The laudatory and argumentative tone which he maintains throughout, gives an air of partiality to his statements, which naturally diminishes our reliance on their accuracy and as the argument is often extremely bad, and the praise apparently unmerited, we are rather inclined to think that his work will make a less powerful impression in favour of the friends,' than might have been effected by a more moderate advocate. With many praiseworthy maxims and principles for their moral conduct, the Quakers, we think, have but little to say for most of their peculiar practices; and make a much better figure when defending their theological mysteries, than when vindicating the usages by which they are separated from the rest of the people in the ordinary intercourse of life. It will be more convenient, however, to state our observations


on their reasonings, as we attend Mr Clarkson through his account of their principles and practice.

He enters upon his task with such a wretched display of false eloquence, that we were very near throwing away the book. Our readers will scarcely accuse us of impatience, when we inform them that the dissertation on the moral education of the Quakers begins with the following sentence.

When the blooming fpring fheds abroad its benign influence, man feels it equally with the reft of created nature. The blood circulates. more freely, and a new current of life feems to be diffused, in his veins. The aged man is enlivened, and the fick man feels himself refreshed. Good fpirits and cheerful countenances fucceed. But as the year changes in its feafons, and rolls round to its end, the tide feems to flacken, and the current of feeling to return to its former level.' Vol. I. p. 13. This may serve, once for all, as a specimen of Mr Clarkson's taste, and his powers in fine writing, and as an apology for our abstaining, in our charity, from making any further observations on his style. Under the head of moral education, we are informed that the Quakers discourage, and strictly prohibit in their youth, all games of chance, music, dancing, novel reading, field sports of every description, and, in general, the use of idle words and unprofitable conversation. The motives of these several prohibitions are discussed in separate chapters of extreme dulness : and prolixity. It is necessary, however, in order to come to a right understanding with those austere persons and their apologist, to enter a little into these discussions.

The basis of the Quaker morality seems evidently to be, that gaiety and merriment ought, upon all occasions, to be discouraged; that every thing which tends merely to exhilaration or enjoyment, has in it a taint of criminality; and that one of the chief duties of man is to be always serious and solemn, and constantly occupied, either with his wordly prosperity, or his eternal welfare. If it were not for this attention which is permitted to the accumulation of wealth, the Quakers would scarcely be distinguishable from the other gloomy sectaries, who maintain, that, man was put into this world for no other purpose, but to mortify himself into a proper condition for the next ;-that all our feelings of ridicule and sociality, and all the spring and gaiety of the animal spirits of youth, were given us only for our temptation; and that, considering the shortness of this life, and the risk he runs of damnation after it, man ought evidently to pass his days in dejection and terror, and to shut his heart to every pleasureable emotion which this transitory scene might supply to the unthinking. The fundamental folly of these ascetic maxims has prevented the Quakers from adopting them in their full extent; but all the peculiarities of their manners may evidently be

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referred to this source; and the quaifications and exceptions under which they maintain the duty of abstaining from enjoyment, serve only, in most instances, to bring upon their reasonings the additional charge of inconsistency.

Their objection to cards, dice, wagers, horse-races, &c. is said to be, first, that they may lead to a spirit of gaming, which leads, again, to obvious unhappiness and immorality; but chiefly, that they are sources of amusement unworthy of a sober Christian, and tend, by producing an unreasonable excitement, to disturb that tranquillity and equanimity which they look upon as essential to moral virtue.

They believe,' fays Mr Clarkson, that ftillness and quietnefs, both of fpirit and of body, are necessary, as far as they can be obtained. Hence, Quaker children are rebuked for all expreffions of anger, as tending to raise those feelings which ought to be fuppreffed: a raifing even of the voice beyond due bounds, is difcouraged as leading to the diflurbance of their minds. They are taught to rife in the morning in quietness; to go about their ordinary occupation with quietness; and to retire in quietnefs to their beds. '

Now this, we think, is a very miserable picture. The great curse of life, we believe, in all conditions above the lowest, is its excessive stillness and quietness, and the want of excitement which it affords: and though we certainly do not approve of cards and wagers as the best exhilarators of the spirits, we cannot possibly concur in the principle upon which they are rejected with such abhorrence by this rigid society. A remark which Mr Clarkson himself makes afterwards, might have led him to doubt of the soundness of their petrifying principles.

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It has often been obferved,' he fays, that a Quaker boy has an unnatural appearance. The idea has arifen from his drefs and his fedatenefs, which, taken together, have produced an appearance of age above the youth in his countenance. I have often been surprised to hear young Quakers talk of the folly and vanity of purfuits in which perfons, older than themselves, were then embarking in purfuit of pleasure,' &c.

We feel no admiration, we will confess, for prodigies of this description, and think that the world is but little indebted to those moralists, who, in their efforts to ameliorate our condition, begin with constraining the volatile spirit of childhood into sedateness, and extinguishing the happy carelessness and animation of youth, by lessons of eternal quietness.

The next chapter is against music, and is, as might be expected, the most absurd and extravagant of the whole. This is Mr Clarkson's statement of the Quaker reasoning against this delightful art.

Providence gave originally to man a beautiful and a perfect world."


He filled it with things neceffary, and things delightful: and yet man has often turned these from their true and original defign. The very wood on the furface of the earth he has cut down, and the very stone and metal in its bowels he has hewn and caft, and converted into a graven image, and worshipped in the place of his beneficent Creator. The food which has been given him for his nourishment, he has frequently converted by his intemperance into the means of injuring his health. The wine, that was defigned to make his heart glad, on reafonable and neceffary occafions, he has used often to the ftupefaction of his fenfes, and the degradation of his moral character. The very raiment, which has been afforded him for his body, he has abufed alfo, fo that it has frequently become a fource for the excitement of his pride, Juft fo it has been, and fo it is, with mufic, at the present day. I. p. 41, 42.

From which, if it follows that music ought to be entirely rejected and avoided, it must follow also, that we should go naked, and neither eat nor drink; and as to the arguments that follow against the cultivation of music, because there are some obscene and some bacchanalian songs, which it would be improper for young persons to learn, they are just such as might be used against their learning to read, because there are immoral and heretical books, which may possibly fall into their hands. The most authentic and sincere reason, however, we believe, is one which rests immediately upon the general ascetic principle to which we have already made reference, viz. that music tends to self-gratification, which is not allowable in the Christian system. Now, as this same self-denying principle is really at the bottom of most of the Quaker prohibitions, it may be worth while to consider, in a few words, how far it can be reconciled to reason or morality.

All men, we humbly conceive, are under the necessity of pursuing their own happiness; and cannot even be conceived as ever pursuing any thing else. The only difference between the sensualist and the ascetic is, that the former pursues an immediate, and the other a remote happiness; or, that the one pursues an intellectual, and the other a bodily gratification. The penitent who passes his days in mortification, does so unquestionably from the love of enjoyment; either because he thinks this the surest way to attain eternal happiness in a future world, or because he finds the admiration of mankind a sufficient compensation, even in this life, for the hardships by which he extorts it. It appears, therefore, that self-gratification, so far from being an unlawful object of pursuit, is necessarily the only object which a rational being can be conceived to pursue; and consequently, that to argue against any practice, merely that it is attended with enjoyment, is to give it a recommendation which must operate in its favour,

even with the most rigid moralist. The only consistent form of the argument is that which was adopted by the mortified hermits of the early ages, but is expressly disclaimed for the Quakers by their present apologist, viz. that our well-being in this world is a matter of so very little concern, that it is altogether unworthy of a reasonable being to bestow any care upon it; and that our chance of well-being in another world depends so much upon our anxious endeavours after piety upon earth, that it is our duty to employ every moment in meditation and prayer, and altogether sinful and imprudent to indulge any propensities which may interrupt those holy exercises, or beget in us any interest in sublunary things.

There is, evidently, a tacit aspiration after this sublime absur dity in almost all the Quaker prohibitions; and we strongly suspect, that honest George Fox, when he inhabited a hollow tree in the vale of Beevor, taught nothing less to his disciples. The condemnation of music and dancing, and all idle speaking, was therefore quite consistent in him; but since the permission of gainful arts, and of most of the luxuries which wealth can procure, to his disciples, it is no longer so easy to reconcile these condemnations, either to reason, or to the rest of their practice. A Quaker may suspend the care of his salvation, and occupy himself entirely with his worldly business, for six days in the week, like any other Christian. It is even thought laudable in him to set an example of diligence and industry to those around him; and the fruits of this industry he is by no means required to bestow in relieving the poor, or for the promotion of piety. He is allowed to employ it for self-gratification, in almost every way but the most social and agreeable. He may keep an excellent table and garden, and be driven about in an easy chariot by a picus coachman and four plump horses; but his plate must be without carving, and his carriage and horses (perhaps his flowers also) of a dusky colour. His guests may talk of oxen and broad cloth as long as they think fit; but wit and gaiety are entirely proscribed, and topics of literature but rarely tolerated. His boys and giris are bred up to a premature knowledge of bargining and housekeeping; but when their bounding spirits are st: iggling in every limb, they must not violate their sedateness single skip ;-their illners must not be disturbed by raisinir voices beyond their common pitch ;-and they would be discwned, if they were to tune their innocent voices in a hymn to their reat Benefactor. We cannot help saying, that all this is absur and indefensible. Either let the Quikers renounce all the enjoyments of this life, or take all that are innocent. The pursuit of wealth surely holds out a greater temptation to immorality, than the



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