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altitude, to be very acceptable in his doctrinal influence to Friends general-
The COMPENDIUM of Mr. Murray I take to be, every way, one of the most worthy documents I ever saw from a member of the society. Its simple classic excellence of diction, constitutes not at all its highest claim—it is generally so clear and sound in its matter! Still, I object to it; (1) that it is so wary in not asserting the supremacy of the scriptures : and (2) that its other defects, resulting from that prime one, are such and in detail so many. If my own father, or any nearer relative, were the subject of animadversion here, I could not suppress or qualify this censure !-or record it with scarcely more anguish of heart! And as for the praise-it is wholly founded on the recognition of qualities de rived from christianity, as contradistinguished from Quakeriem; qualities that have rendered the COMPENDIUM unacceptable and useless, where it was designed to be especially adapted and serviceable ; qualities that have commended their subject to the esteem of christians everywhere, not more than they have discommended him to many of his own denomination,
63. With the anniversary abominations of heathenism-sol et annuswas its known and base and proudly pompous original : and much the same could be said of myriads of other excellent and even holy words.
Solemnes tum forte dapes et tristia dona
Exsequerer, struerem que suis altaria donis.-VIRG. 64. Pythagoras divided the doctrines of his dogmatism into two classes : the exoteric, which were publicly avouched and inculcated; and the esoteric, which were entrusted to the initiated alone. I do not
mean, however, by this allusion to the sage of Crotona and the father of dogmatic philosophy, that Friends resemble him in all his errors, or that they practise a systematic legislation of one code of principles for the nation and another for the clan: but only that some of their sages see, and sometimes confess to each other, certain truths, of whose eroteric currency they would not be particularly ambitious. Any usage of theirs, which seems to me to be a limb of their system and properly no limb or member of Christ, I think it just to bring into the animadversion of the community.
Nullius addictus jurare in verba magistri.-HOR.
To no dogmatic master am I sworn;
There is one hidden feature of their system on which I might voluminously enlarge-not so much the mystic, as the mythic or fabulous character. Their old men, as well as “old wives," have “ fables" of the marvellous, as "a secondary rule” almost, a store of them. These they relate and interchange, with very placid satisfaction, in select circles around the fire of a winter's evening ; while the younger, with “ ductile minds” intent, listen, wonder, believe, and become edified in their turn to-transmit the precious treasure to their heirs of a coming generation. These goodish stories are very entertaining, romancing if not quixotic-only that it is so spiritual and so inspired and so fresh in the experience of Friends, that "the truth” in comparison is plausibly and practically disgraced
Loses discountenanc'd and like folly shows.
In this way they illustrate, manifest, and enforce "what Friends belive,” more impressively than “truth and soberness” could ever affect them. I might almost compose a distinct volume of Quaker mythology, from notes and my own memory; recollecting a score at least of quite interesting stories, all luciferous and tributary to the interior light with its prodigious efficacy and feats. Their stories seem all true to those who think it'carnal reasoning' to apply the known laws of evidence: and the inference is hence all in the light,' very sincere, and no very bad logic either, that-their system is true! They believe it; and so did their fathers before them, who knew when and where it happened and all about it: and their children believe it in their turn, and transmit the precious information to their children, and so on progressively; while,
like old wine, it continually improves by time and travel. All this, and a thousand other things of the sort, result, I think, from the system.
Mobilitate viget, viresque acquirit eundo.–VIRG.
By motion increasing, it prospers and grows ;
65. The italicising is all his.
66. Since writing the above, I have received from a respectable hand the following bill of exhibited abuse in England, which I am as willing as any man in the world to denounce and expose. Where the kingdom of Christ is secularized, subordinated to the mere ends of intriguing statesmen, and made a mighty wheel in the machinery of political oppression, I say with any others—it is christianity no longer: no more of it! Let its end come! Religion can best flourish and protect the state, when left free and independent of all such perilous and polluting influence. If God will not uphold christianity, let it fall! Only spare it from the embrace in which it perishes; from the communion that is its dishonor ; from the ignoble and rickety supports that prevent a safer basis and portend a dreadful fall !
It is one of the hand-bills that were circulated through the kingdom by thousands, during the late pendency of the spirit-stirring question of REFORM. I would suggest a thirteenth reason-Because the church is not the state, and the state is not the church; and since God hath not joined them together, it is lawful for man to put them asunder. What a horrid misnomer, to call a collection of worldly and greedy aspirants, the church! as they often do, meaning ultimately themselves alone. I know there is “salt” in the church of England; possibly even in some of its high places, where THE KING OF HEAVEN is duly honored as its proper and only legitimate HEAD.
TWELVE REASONS why Dissenters should not be compelled to pay church rates, tythes, or in any way to contribute toward the support of the Establishment. BECAUSE
1. The cause of God and truth ought to be supported by the voluntary contributions of its adherents—and is disgraced when compulsory measures are adopted.
2. It is compelling Dissenters to support a system which they conscientiously view as unscriptural.
3. Dissenters derive no commen rate advantage in return from the Church.
4. Dissenters bear all the expenses connected with their places of worship without asking or receiving any aid from the Church.
5. There is nothing more fair, equitable, and unobjectionable, than that every denomination of professing christians should meet its own expenditure.
6. The Church has resources in herself amply sufficient to defray all her pecuniary engagements.
7. It is taking from Dissenters an amount which they might much more profitably employ in the cause of christian philanthropy.
8. It is an infringement of religious liberty, and in direct violation of the divine mandate, “ As ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise." How would Churchmen approve a compulsory tax for the support of Dissenting places of worship?
9. The remission of this claim by Churchmen, would efface one foul blot which now attaches to the Establishment.
10. Many Churchmen see the impolicy and injustice of thus taxing Dissenters, and are prepared to concede the point.
11. Dissenters now equal, if they do not exceed in number, Churchmen.
12. On no principle of honor, justice, or honesty, can the exaction be defended, and therefore REFORM here must ensue.
On a moderate calculation, the washing of surplices costs this nation annually, upwards of £13,000! A considerable proportion of this amount is exacted from Dissenters. Might not the whole be much more beneficially appropri ited ?
“There are probably in England, Scotland, and Ireland, not including the Roman Catholics, not less than 8,000 congregations of Dissenters; which build their own places of worship; which sustain their own ministers; which support their own 'colleges, to the number of nearly 20; which conduct the tuition of perhaps 7,000 Sunday Schools ; and which expend nearly £150,000 in support of Foreign Missions."
67. But in other ways and in thousands of forms, can they be nobly useful and excellent auxiliaries to the ministry. They can sometimes speak well and effectually, as also eloquently, in private circles and to individuals, for their Master's honor; witness the lady mentioned page 16 of this volume. They can subserve most valuably the usefulness of others. For we need “helps," as well as “governments,” in the church of God. Thus Priscilla, the beloved Persis, Junia and Phebe, Evodias and Syntyche, with other “honorable women not a few,” helped the apostles usefully and acceptably; as Paul says of one of them to the church : “ Receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you; for she hath been a suc
corer of many and of myself also." An honorable testimony-which I could bear in favor of many, who have in different ways assisted me in the Lord; and of one (now a member of my own church and the wife of one of its honored eldership) who, when I was “ perplexed, but not in despair, persecuted but not forsaken, cast down but not destroyed," 80 kindly and wisely, in the love of Christ,“ ministered unto me of her substance,” Luke, 8:3, and in other ways encouraged me in God, when I first knew him, that my heart will never forget its obligations to Mrs. Sarah Sayrs-and, if it were equally pertinent, I should have previously named her excellent husband, Mr. Isaac Sayrs ; both remembered by many with similar sentiments and feelings. “The Lord grant unto" them and their large household, that they “may find mercy of the Lord in that day!” However little it may be in my power to compensate their generous and christian kindness, I rejoice to think that “my God shall supply ALL THEIR NEED, according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” And to many other friends indeed, do I extend the hope and the invocation that God would crown them with grace and glory, in his own perfect kingdom.
68. On one occasion a dumb animal of the sex prophecied with man's voice.” Shall we argue here from a rare exception, to a general rule of prophetic investiture, and instate an order of such officers in the church? I know of no other instance in the scriptures, where inspiration ever authorized their preaching: and have no idea that a solitary precedent of the sort ought to be pleaded in favor of their regular ministration. Numb. 22 : 25. 69. Ventum erat ad limen, cum virgo, Poscere fata
Tempus, ait: Deus, ecce, Deus! Cui talia fanti
Jam propiore Dei.- Virg. Their inspiration often shows some of the contorsions and gesticulations of the Cumaean sibyl-shivering, transported, tremulous, unnatural in voice, as if borne along by a tide of irresistible influence, in spite of themselves. It is heathenism! How « gross” are their conceptions who see no sin in forging the signature of God; declaring one's self inspired-when it is not so !
70. See note 55.
71. I have taken these lines chiefly from the 'Universal passion,' by Dr. Young. Those referring to the nudity of females "for a sign,” I have mainly supplied, (referring to note 55,) for the following reasons :