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dinary readers may believe the facts which I allege; and no scholar, tyro though he be in literis graecis, can help seeing the truths of the facts, if he will open his Testament at the place. But if the facts are true, so are the inferences: this any common mind of common honesty can well discern ; and all that is excellently and evidently' proved, by the passage of Barclay's inspired and confident quotation, is—that the inspiration of the Quakers is sorry imposture, and that the word of God yields them no support. Quakerism is NOT christianity.
The apostle had been mentioning relative duties, and enjoining their performance on different classes and conditions of men, in the previous con
He had specified “aged men, and women, young women, young men, servants, masters, and others : then the text is introduced which declares that “the grace of God hath appeared ;" that it brings salvation “ to all men;" and that it “ teaches us,” &c. Mind, reader, it is one thing for salvation to be brought to you; and another for you to accept it. Tendency is one thing ; effect another. Yet both are necessary to a realized salvation. Again, what a dreadful error it is, which the gloss of Friends, from the mere surface of a mistaken and unskilful rendering, maintains ! Farewell, all missionary hopes and efforts! “The grace of God which bringeth salvation HATH APPEARED TO ALL MEN!” This proposition, as such, is absolutely and eminently false! In the previous chapter, verse 3, it is said that God hath “ manifested his word THROUGH PREACHING;" but this is doubtful or
superfluous, if it is manifested in every heart; if it hath actually “appeared to all men” in their minds; if it hath a universal location in that dark interior! I cannot help censuring the error ; and blaming, in the name of Jesus Christ, the people that propagate it. It is a dreadful forgery against the life of souls. Its central point, its fulcrum, and its rest, that saving grace has “ appeared to all men," is A MOST PALPABLE FALSITY; and deserves to be displayed, that it may be known by those who are now “ignorant of his devices” and blindly accessary to his homicidal reign, who “was a murderer from the beginning.” And yet I know that if the evidence takes hold of a Friend, it will draw blood! How can he give up his faith in the “ effectual operation," and the “ objective manifestations,” of a “universal inward light ?” How admit the serene delusion of “early Friends ?" How withdraw his confidence from Barclay, whose performance in his esteem has been such a masterpiece as to non-plus forever the whole “ CLERGY, of what sort soever, unto whose hands his volume may come; but more particularly, the DOCTORS, PROFESSORS, and STUDENTS of divinity in the universities and schools of Great Britain, whether prelatical, presbyterian, or any other;" to whom it is thus pompously addressed, with all the holy defiance of a man whose inward light renders him at least infallible!
Having gone through the examination of the illustrious proof-texts to which he refers us, in the end of his “sixth proposition,” as if they were not all witnesses against him only, I shall conclude this chapter with the inspection of some others ; almost
; as iHustrious and as powerfully in their favor, as those we have just considered. Some stars are so brilliant and beautiful that it requires a practised astronomic eye to see it, if they do not belong to the first-magnitude class. I here claim again to speak as a witness; and shall mention some that occur indeed in their books, but which I have more felt in their public ministrations, and which now I know to be nothing but stupefactions of the truthas they inspire and enunciate them. O what a spectacle for angels to weep at, is a large Quaker meeting of deluded souls, believing in things that have no existence! and disbelieving, as priest-craft
, the demonstrable realities of God! and trepanned, the whole of them, with the conceit of immediate inspiration, as the infallible light of their miserable dreams and devout hallucinations! Will George Fox defend them in the day of judgment ? Will he be their “advocate with the Father ?” “But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.” 1 Cor. 14:38.
“A portion of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal ;" as I have often heard them say,
and then dilate on the imagination. It is so quoted frequently by Fox, Penn, and others. Some however quote the passage as it is, 1 Cor. 12: 7. “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.”
Their meaning is plain. It is that every one of us is distributively furnished with a quantum sufficit of inward light, as a starting capital for spiritual augmentation and profit" to our
selves ; that this is a gift of the Spirit in us all universally, not only “every man,” but every one of the species, of whatever age, sex, or description ; and that the grand business of life is—to walk by that internal light as our “more excellent way,” our chief and paramount rule in religion ; the word of God being sublimely postponed to it. So say Martha Rowth, Sarah Grubb, Job Scott, Robert Barclay, and ancient Friends, Hence Quakerism makes its regards chiefly concentre every way toward the very penetralia of the soul, the blazing focus of the light within! And why not? This is consistency.
Quam Juno fertur terris magis omnibus unam
The goddess this is said to have preferred
Excuse the bathos of the application. It is like falling from the chariot of the sun, into the inward light (to say nothing of the fire) of the crater of Vesuvius. I am not sure but a little of the ridiculous may be of service. And if so, no thanks to me! No invention of mine has the right to be credited. I can say with Young as pompously,
I find my inspiration in my theme :
Soberly, however, I am not inspired at all; and shall proceed in a common sense way, as Friends do not-why should they ?—to show them, or others as the case may be, that the passage in question belongs all to “the steeple-houses and the world's people and hireling priests ;" at least that it is none of theirs. It is not felonious to reclaim one's own from pillagers ; however “sincere” they were in finding what was not lost, or in making mistakes systematically in the way of their vocation. But who can forgive inspiration for making mistakes ? Had I that plenipotentiary gift of God, I would care nothing for critics of any sort, nor stoop to ask clemency of the intellect, the feelings, or the conscience of the reader.
Take a few specimens of high pretension from the fountain head. Only a few, where hundreds similar, with disgusting repetition, are seen. It is not generally believed how high their claims rise.
" I saw," says Fox-meaning by plenary inspiration, “ that the grace of God, which brings salvation, had appeared to all men, and that the manifestation of the Spirit of God was given to every man to profit withal. These things I did not see by the help of man, nor by the letter, though they were written in the letter: But I saw them in the light of the Lord Jesus Christ, and by his immediate Spirit and power, as did the holy men of God by whom the holy scriptures were written.” On the