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DEFENCE OF THE QUAKERS.
(Concluded from p. 104.)
tion of the primitive Quakers, as was not very unlikely for a religious body, was to religious abufes, of which they thought they faw many in the ministers of that time, who were practising the fame things which they had reprobated in their predecessors of the Church of England. The quotation in the note marked , Lefie, P. 103, is also, as he says, taken from the sheet addressed to the Council of Officers, &c. 1659, that is, from the sheet signed F.G. Now we come to Edward Burrough.-" The Son of God (I omit the blafphemous parenthesis introduced in the explanation of that term by your illustrator) might command thousands and ten thousands of his faints at this day to fight in his cause." Now, taking this literally, who dares say that he cannot? But Leslie, in his quotation, omits fome material words.--Burrough writes thus: “ Yet are we dreadful unto the wicked, and must be their fear; for we have chosen the Son of God to be our King, and he hath cholen us to be his people ; and he might command thousands and tens of thousands of his faints at this day to fight in his cause; he might lead them forth and bring them in, and give them victory over all their enemies, and turn his hand upon all their perfecutors; but yet his kingdom is not of this world, neither is his warfares with carnal weapons, neither is his vietory by the murthering and killing of mens' perfons, neither hath he chosen us for that end, neither can we yet believe that he will make use of us in that way, though it be his only right to rule in nations, and our heir ship to poffefs the uttermoft parts of the earth; but, for the prefent, we are given up to bear and suffer all things for his name fake, and our present glory and renown therein ftands till the appointed time of our deliverance without the arm of flesh, or any multitude of an host of men.”-Our next Note leads us to a denunciation of Burrough against the Cavaliers, in which are the words mentioned in the note, or nearly fo; but it must be observed, that the cavaliers only come in for their share of censure, or curse, with divers other descriptions of people into which the country was then (1656) divided, viz. to Oliver Cromwell to his council--to judges, lawyers, &c.--to all astrologers, magicians, &c.-to all generals, colonels, &c.--to the Cavaliers above mentioned-to priefts, prophets, and teachers-to Papifts--to Protestants-to Presbytcrians and independents--10 Anabaptifts, &c. To most of which his address begins, “ The controversy of the Lord is against you ;" so that this book of Burrough's was a general reprehension of what appeared to him the sin of each. As, however, Leslie has taken care to single out and preserve this ad. dress to the Cavaliers, we may see, by perusing it, whether the conftru&tion of your illustrator be the right one:
" You are,” say's Burrough, “ become cursed in your hatchings and endeavours,” 2,6, (says your illustrator) the Cavaliers attempting to restore the
king. But let Burrough speak for himself_" and from time to time my
hand hath been against you in battle, and you have been, and you are, given up to be a prey to your enemies, for the pure pose and intent of your hearts have been known always to be against the form of truth, and much against my powerful truth itself; and because you attempted to take my throne, conscience, therefore I role in fury against you, and will have war with all your followers herein forever.” Here your illustrator dismilles Burrough and turns him to Howgill, whom he accuses of boasting that the Quakers had given intelligence to the Parliament of the insurrection of Booth. It would not follow from hence that those Quakers who did so were disaffected to Charles II ; for I find, by Clarendon's History and Whitelock's Memorial, that Booth, in his declaration, did not mention the King, but pretended to have taken arms in behalf of a free Parliament, and the liberties of the people.
The Quakers, of 1660, having thus been charged with disaffection to monarchy, are next accused of time-serving on the restoration of Charles II. Proof of this is taken from a declaration presented to him soon after, wherein are the words, “ that we do love, own, and honour the King and these present governors"but hear them go on a trifle farther, " so far as they do rule for God and his truth, and do not impose any thing upon people's consciences, but let the gospel have free passage through the consciences of men, which we do not know they have by any law as yet impaled; and if they grant liberty of conscience towards God and towards man, then we know that God will bļess them.”
It is remarkable, that had the Quakers, in 1660, been a body so evidently anti-monarchical, that the fagacity of the returning loy, alills did not find it out, especially as the fources, from which Lellie takes his charges, were then more abundantly open; namely, their books printed before the restoration. Instead of which, in 1660, early after Charles's return, he fingularly befriended Geo, Fox, and admitted another of them to a familiar conversation about their principles and sufferings,
The fact seems to be, that the first Quakers were pretty plain with all the governments under which they lived, from the long parliament to the revolution; and foretold the downfall of most of the powers, that, during that period, succeeded each other, as a thing that would be consequent on the persecuting spirit which, more or less, pervaded thein all. In that short period, less than forty years, fix or eight forms of Government arose, abused their authority, and fell. · At length came the revolution and the succefsion of the Crown to the House of Hanover. Persecution ceated on the part of Government; one hundred and eighteen years have elapsed ; and no convulsion has overturned the State. These, if not confequences, must be allowed to be remarkable coincidences.
It is, however, as I have hinted, foreign to the purpose to thew that the carly Quakers were loyal or not, I conceive that, had they been the means of the restoration itself, their services would not justify a turbulent conduct in their successors of the
present day; neither also can any acts of the Quakers under Charles II. criminate the peaceable subjects of a George the Third, who has been pleased repeatedly to testify his fatisfaction with their conduct, and whose judgement, thus publicly given, is not over-decently contradicted by your illustrator.
To the Editor of the Anti-Facobin Review and Magazine,
Am one of those numerous readers of your peculiarly excel.
lent Review, who experience considerable satisfaction in ob. ferving with what persevering veracity you continue to expose the partial and pernicious recommendations, the insidious and deepdesigning misrepresentations, the unjust and illiberal criticisms, the unqualified affertions, the gross falichoods of those opprobria of literature, the Critical and Monthly Reviewers. Could I cha. racterize, in terms less harsh and more appropriate, publications which assume and exercise a judiciary authority over the literary world, I would most gladly do so; because, Sir, I have always deemed Reviews and their Authors objects claiming an exclusive deference; and, as far as I dare rely upon my own incompetent judgement, have been led to conceive that Reviewers ought not only to be judges of letters, but also the patrons of religion, the cenfors of morals, the guardians of their sountry's weal. When, therefore, I turn my eyes towards the Monthly and Critical Rea viewers, and behold these judges of letters palling by, without one honest acknowledgement, one tributary commendation, the most convincing truths established on the profoundeft erudition, and supported by the most classical style, but militating against, and counteracting, their degenerate doctrines; when I see them, on the other hand, lavishing indiscriminate praise upon the most barren sophistries founded upon the lowest perversions of learning, and clothed in the coarleft irregularities of language, but countenancing and defending those doctrines; when, moreover, I observe these patrons of religion, leated in the scorner's chair, rafhly deciding against the Revelation of Heaven ; when I see these cenfors of morals uniformly applauding, encouraging: enforcing the inebriate philosophy, the debauched reasonings of illuminati. Again, when I witness these guardians of their country's weal, discipling and abetting the feditious; reviling and rudely repelling the truly patriot and loyal; when, Sir, I behold men who claim the eminent office of Reviewers, thus abusing the most interesting departments of their duty, thus regardless of its most imperative obligationsthen, and then most justly, do I apply to the vehicles of their apofary, their immorality, their democracy, the severest terms of indignation, which the reproach they lo richly deserve can dictate.
Superior intelligence, that noble gift of God to man, was bestowed, as were all the other munificent grants of the Divine Mercy, for the benefit of his croatures ; how then ought the attempts of those
men to be execrated who labour to thwart the Almighty's goodness, and convert the instruments of his bounty to their own baneful purpose, that they may blast where He designed to bless ? Of this faithless and ungrateful ftamp, I do not hesitate to affert, are the attempts of thele Reviews, attempts which have been detected and exposed by irrefragable evidence. As such, then, they ought to be condemned and rejected by every sincere friend of learning, who, in the proud pursuits of frience, retains the humbler principles of Christian piety. From those literary focieties, therefore, where the superficial dogmas of infidelity, and the crude fystems of republican philosophy, are over-ruled by pious conviction and found senie; these agents of the former will be cast out; and it seems to be a natural inference that, in the literary societies of the clergy, books to hostile to religion, virtue, and peace, will not be tolerated—at this period of the year most of these societies hold fome principal meeting; I have, therefore, to request that you, Sir, the Editor of lo valuable a substitute as the Anti- Jacobin Review, will permit me, through its medium, to call the attention of their members to thie following consideration :
Whether, after the well-substantiated proofs of the numerous falsehoods of these Reviews, the constant exposure of their perni. cious principles, the confutations of their partial and illiberal criticisms, which you, Sir, as a true friend to your country have developed, by eviderice which every reader of attention and information will readily acknowledge and admit, whether, I say, with such unanswerable testimony against their principles and party, it would not be, in every shape, adviseable to exclude them from the literary collections of such societies ?
I do not presume to go farther in my suggestions ; it is true, I have mentioned your Review as a substitute, but it requires not the commendatory aid of my pen to direct their choice, where the individual merits of the object challenge regard.
I am aware, Sir, thaťthis propolition of exclusion will meet with some few objections: with your permission I will anticipate and endeavour to answer one or two of them. Perhaps 'I shall be told that it is good to have an opportunity of seeing both sides of the question--if by seeing be here meant judging, I am content to allow that such an opportunity is an advantage, and must eventually operate in favour of my proposition. For, Sir, it is commonly said that the poffeffion of happiness constitutes the chief end of the various pursuits of man; if so the original and universal queftion must be, How are we to obtain and secure it? The voice of God has dictated the means to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with our God.” The voice of reason blends these requisites, and, in the following essentials, points out our happiest dependencies-religion, virtue, and good order ; by securing which we cannot fail to preserve every comfort whence our felicity can spring. This, then, is the important question which every good man will thus decide upon. And as to the existence of any other side of this question, I know but of one other; and that is its reverse
Infidelity, vice, and confufon, and surely none will hesitate a moment which to choose and to attach himself to.
Publications, therefore, which make use of their circulatory and authoritative nature, not only to disseminate by recommendatory extracts, the atheistical rhapsodies, the deliberate impurities, of a Godwin; the levelling anarchy and impious profanations of that foe to his God, and his fellow creatures, Paine; but which also apply their most strenuous exertions to distort and decry the genuine effufions of religious, moral, and political truth-let me ask any man, of the least reflection, whether such books, so positively favourable to the reverse of the question referred to, be not much less likely to promote and preserve the happiness of mankind, than one which is framed and conducted upon principles, in every instance, diametrically opposite.
Again, with respect to what can be said concerning the implicit confidence we must consequently place in the sentiments of one fet of persons, if we reject every production of contrary principle; let but the preceding argument be admitted, and it will follow, of course, that we shall be acting more like wise and prudent men, by arranging our ideas, our principles, and our sentiments agreeably to the standard of that one set of persons, than by dividing them and allowing them to be weakened and corrupted by any evil influ. ence whatsoever. The evil tendency of the Critical and Monthly Reviewers have been incontrovertibly proved; thus expoled, then, in their native deformity, they ought not to be suffered to diffuse their evil-influence. As there can be but one path to virtue, every guide which betrays us into deviation from it is to be furs pected and abandoned.
Lastly, in regard to those new-fangled creeds of liberality and prejudice, which these Reviews, notwithstanding their avowed antipathy to creeds of every description, have established as tests of the worth of their party, I have but this to add in conclusion, that thing can be liberal which is not true, neither can there exist any prejudice too strong which is consequent of pious, honourable, and well-founded conviction.
Feb. 20, 1799.
(Continued from vol. I. P. 733.)
(AVING exhibited specimens from Hickes, Wilkins's Saxon
man's Magazine can convict me of “ palpable inaccuracies,” for ihis critic's, sense of feeling is as acute as Butler's hero's sense, of seeing,
« Can see where other folks are blind,