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I say, in such a case as this, will you absolve them of the greater, for the sake of the less? This is not the way of absolution in a higher relation—“ even as God, for Christ's sake, hath forgiven you.” Nor do I see, by parity of reasoning, so far as the general principle and spiritual ethics of the case are concerned, why we might not recognise also some, or many of the deniers of the divinity of Jesus Christ, because they talk so much panegyric, and so much truth of him, and because they live and act so unblamably, notwithstanding ! I am far from accusing you of any such recognition; and only allege, that, however benevolently your hearts may beat, as I know they do, toward their highest interests, you will be wrong in principle, and injurious toward those very interests, should you recognise, in your exalted stations, the visibility of their claims as a christian church, or the reality of their pretensions as individual christians. An opposite course would, I am persuaded, be a real injury to themselves. Their error debilitates all their principles of faith, and pervades the whole of their religious sympathy. I have no doubt at all, that it has, first and last, been the means of destroying more souls than the wheels of the great car of oriental idolatry have ever crushed of the bodies of men, devoutly prostrate before them! It is a virus that I know experimentally, and shudder at the thoughts of it: “remembering mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall, my soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled in me.” As long as it lasts, we can never corrvince a Friend of one of his “ legion" of subordinate mistakes! It completely NULLIFIES THE CON

Like papacy,



pays great court to a certain volume, the legitimate use of which it for ever precludes; awarding, it may be, a costly and gorgeous “ envelope of purple, a casket and a lock, for the Word of Life!" If there is any doubt of this, I ask a Friend, on certainly demonstrable scriptural evidence, to submit most cordially to the ordinances of baptism and the Lord's supper. And what think

. you of this divine test? I know what to think. He will not wait for the evidence ! he is afraid to look at it! and as for doing it, not he! he will glide off, like an eel in his proper element, and resist the light that shines “ outwardly" as plain as day; under the influence of his viaticum of interior illumination ; walking by the greater, and not by the less !! And so of any thing else, contained, however plainly, in the word of God, which his carnal prejudices happen to dislike.

I dismiss this part of the subject with the remark, that it is, at all events, saier to withhold such

recognition, in doubtful circumstances, than to extend it ; since, if they are christians, many, or all, or any of them, such will not be ultimately damaged by the principled reserve; if otherwise, you will do nothing to assist their delusion; and, at all events, it should never be a question, in reference to any people, who, on any pretence whatever, professing a general christianity, still reduce the word of God to a rule of “ secondary” importance. All I know, and all I have ever thought, and read, and prayed, on this momentous subject, has settled me in the conclusion for ever, that they are fundamentally wrong on this

article, touching the rule of scripture in religion ; that they can never be rectified till they surrender, with all their heart, that πρωτον ψευδος 16 of their heresy; that any reformation short of this, is nothing but an abortion, instead of a birth ; and that any other sentiment in the case, especially emanating from centres of influence, and eminences of light, honored and dear sirs, such as God hath appointed you to fill with happy success in this our age and country, would dishonor the Master whom you serve, and injure the cause that you love, and frustrate the very ends that might prompt or tempt your benevolence, in any instance, to utter or to sanction it.

3. For reasons similar to those just stated, it seems not justifiable that the · orthodox' should be sanctioned in their severities against their brethren of the other party. Into the merits of their controversies I have no mind to enter, referring to principles alone in these animadversions. I ask the i orthodox' the following questions : Do you see the errors of the other party? Do you lament them? Do you feel, in their case, the criminality of religious error? Do you wish to correct and reclaim them? Well! I admit that you do. But have a care how you carry it toward them. Are yourselves much better, when you tell them doctrinally that their inward

, light (this is no fetch or perversion) is paramount to the book of their reputed scorn! that the Bible is not THE WORD of God! that the Holy Scriptures amount only to a secondary rule," and ought to be so “ esteemed !” and that Fox (to say nothing of THOUSANDS of others) was truly inspired, accord

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ing to his towering pretensions ! You had better be cleaner yourselves, before you count their spots. You had better study self-knowledge more impartially, before you “ throw the first stone” at them. In the name of Jesus Christ, my glorious Master and Redeemer, I am not at all afraid to say to you, Repent of your cardinal heresy, and accept the word of God as YOUR HIGHEST RULE IN RELIGION! In vain do you vend your inspired argumentation against them; they can answer you with arguments equally inspired. You will only break down one another, without building up any one in the “ most holy faith” of christians. You have helped to take from them both the fulcrum and the lever, without which all attempts to elevate their views are vain. Like task-masters of old, you take away straw, and demand the “full tale" of brick. They will never be rectified, nor you either, till you both renounce together, or that party that shall be so rectified, your mysticising heresy of interior light and your consequent degradation of the word of God—a heresy in which there is, alas ! quite too little to choose between you. But, I have more to say on the schism.

4. There may be such an unceremonious denouncing of the other party, as the lower and the more erroneous, as really to do injustice to some of their better characteristics ; regarding the men, rather than their wrong opinions, in this palliative reflection. That some of them are very honest, and possessed of much moral courage of a certain sort, must be admitted. Their very confessions of infidelity are honorable, rather than covert hypocrisy. Any thing but a hooded villain—a concealed and sanctimonious hypocrite in the church! There is always more hope of the conversion of an infidel, that knows himself such, than of a false pretender who mistakes himself for a genuine worshipper. A man had better, with respect to the hopefulness of his conversion to Christ, have no religion than a false one; had better know himself a foe, than mistake himself a friend. “ Be not deceived: God is not mocked." Till deceit can throw its veil of midnight over the eye-sight of Omniscience, its practisings, however ingenious, will be utterly vain. They may ruin and deceive their possessor alone. If to say this be uncourtly-I am acting for the court of heaven.

The grand rallying sentiment of the party now in question, has been that of their great championwhose name is now burnt into them as Hicksites : No MAN CAN BELIEVE WHAT HE DOES NOT UNDERSTAND. It is not with him original, as you well know: nor is the controversy novel that depends upon it. It affects every truth and every heresy ; it belongs to some very interesting discussions in intellectual philosophy; and it deserves to be well considered for the sake of all men. It is a matter that actually enters into the experience in some way of every thinking christian, and of every doubting sinner. And I confess that it has elicited my compassion, when I have witnessed the hopeless contests, especially of Friends, in regard to it. That there is some truth in it, which of you, dear sirs, will question? How then ought the difficulty to be resolved? How does it

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