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their eternal Author—a rule! Let any man of sense and principle, who prefers not to swing, gored through life, and “his offspring with him," on either horn of this bellowing monster, deny him, and take the word of God as his highest rule in religion, in this world and in that which is to come! The absurdity of the soul of the system, the putrid quality of its very heart, is such—but I leave the reader, who can, to think that it is not among impious absurdities and destructive errors the most confounding and confounded!

Monstrum horrendum ! informe, ingens, cui lumen ademptum.


A monster tremendous—misshapen-forlorn-
Whose fiction of light is the challenge of scorn!

III. The fact that all the real knowledge and intelligible preaching of Friends are derived from the scriptures, demonstrates the non-entity of their inward light.

The thirty-nine books of the Old Testament had all been extant for nearly five, and some of them for nearly fifteen centuries, before the apostolic age. They had been translated into the Greek language for three centuries. Christ and his apostles often quoted them, and always in a style of commendation. “The scripture cannot be broken," said Christ. He also said, “think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets; I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one


tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be · fulfilled.” The evangelists and apostles followed

the example of Christ. They ever revered and confirmed the writings of their inspired predeces

They reasoned from the sayings of scripture as philosophers reason from facts, and mathematicians from axioms or propositions already demonstrated. “What saith the scripture? the scripture saith; for it is written; as saith the prophet;" were their accustomed forms of reference, quotation, and proof. This is manly and even sublime. It shows that all the long succession of inspired men, from Enoch to the apocalyptic angel, who said to John, “I am thy fellow-servant, and of thy brethren the prophets," all the series of so many centuries and millenaries of time, were raised up, commissioned, and inspired, by the eternal and immutable God. It shows that they had a common cause with each other and with God; it shows “the unity of the Spirit and the bond of peace.”

But beside this common agreement in doctrine and subserviency in object, these two characteristic qualities of genuine inspiration are manifest in each individual writer ; (1) Each writer is perfectly INDEPENDENT of the others. Being equally inspired, he could deliver his message for the substance of it, if none other had preceded, if none other had existed. He quotes the others indeed, and so evinces their common unity; for the cause requires it. But this he does comparatively seldom, and then obviously more for others than himself. His own resources in God are just as ample, compared with his official exigences, as were those of the first writer. No man can think concerning one of the writers of the New Testament that all his real knowledge and intelligible doctrine are servilely owing to his acquaintance with the writers of the Old Testament. If this were the case, his assumed inspiration would be suspected or incredible. The other characteristic is (2) That in the writers of the New Testament there is A PLAIN MORAL EQUALITY IN STYLE AND EFFICACYto say the least of themin those passages which are not quoted, and which are largely more abundant, compared with those which are quoted from the prophets of a preceding dispensation. All proof of this is deemed superfluous; otherwise we could refer to the whole of the New Testament.

If this be true of the New Testament writers, why may we not expect the same in their inspired successors and equals of the Society of Friends! Proper inspiration undoubtedly equalizes for the time all its genuine subjects. Where all is truth that is spoken or written, we cannot say that what one uttered is more true than what another uttered by the same authority. Consequently the oracles of the Quakers are the oracles of God-or, those of the apostles are not-or, the inspiration of the Quakers is a miserable delusion.

But is it a delusion? If it have the two characteristics above considered, we should be slow to conclude against its claims. Has it then those characteristics ? Is each inspired preacher, independent, in the sense explained, of his inspired

predecessors of the Bible? And is there EQUAL excellence of style and strength in what they speak at large, in distinction from what they quote from the scriptures? Would their sermons make another Bible, if they were only collected and printed and bound in one book, beginning with Fox and proceeding onward to living prophets and prophetesses? Why not? Is not God as able to inspire ignorant persons now as he was aforetime? What a loss to mankind, that so much inspiration is not rescued from oblivion by the labors of stenography and stereotyped for the benefit of all coming ages! O Mill, Kennicott, and De Rossi, what a loss!

We must press the question. Are Friends indebted to inspiration or to the scriptures for all they know or intelligibly preach in religion? Would the inward light have told them of the person, mission, name, and glory, of Jesus Christ, or of a thousand other topics of truth, if the light of scripture had never directly or indirectly shone upon them? If, for the knowledge of these things, as far as they possess it, they are wholly indebted to scriptural revelation, in common with all their cotemporaries, how almost impious the delusion or the disingenuousness which affects to derive it independently of the written oracles ! whether they know it or not, their pretension is a monstrous fallacy! If they know it not, their ignorance is criminal and they have no right to be deceived. They have amply the means of knowledge; and God will call them to a solemn account.

They have Moses and the prophets ;” they have Christ and

the apostles. “Let them hear them.” Otherwise “ neither would they be persuaded though one rose from the dead." And when they descend to the dead or rise in judgment, they will find their sins and their excuses classed together, in the indictment of eternal righteousness against them.

There is a great variety in the style and copiousness of their preaching. Some of their preachers do not deliver twelve public speeches in as many months; and all of them together would not occupy an hour in the delivery. These perhaps never, or very seldom, make a scriptural quotation. Sometimes the recital of a passage constitutes the whole sermon. Some preachers are long to unendurable; and their elders have the office of advising them to a curtailment of their inspirations. They are all as various in the manner of making formal quotations, as they are in the time they occupy in preaching. In general, they are loose and indefinite in the citation of passages. They very often quote what is not there, because so said the light within at the time. One of their then most eminent preachers, on one occasion, in formally arguing with the writer, quoted a passage improperly. This was instantly remarked and the Bible produced. The passage was read in its connection (1 Cor. 12 : 7, to be considered hereafter) before the company of Friends, which was large. The effect was powerful. The preacher, “ as he needs must,” admitted his error.

He was admonished to beware of depending upon misquotation for his arguments and upon the light within for his quotations. As he

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