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furniture. The Quaker who own'd it was a hale ruddy complexion'd old man, who had never been afflicted with fickness, because he had always been insensible to passions, and a perfect stranger to intemperance. I never in my life saw a more noble or a more engaging aspect than his. He was dress'd like those of his persuasion, in a plain coat, without plaits in the sides, or buttons on the pockets and Neeves; and had on a beaver, the brims of which were horizontal, like those of our clergy. He did not uncover himself when I appear'd, and advanc'd towards me without once stooping his body; but there appear’d more politeness in the open, humane air of his countenance, than in the custom of drawing one leg behind the other, and taking that from the head, which is made to cover it. Friend, says he to me, I perceive thou art a stranger, but if I can do any thing for thee, only tell me. Sir, says I to him, bending forwards, and advancing as is usual with us, one leg towards him, I flatter myself that my juft curiosity will not give you the least offence, and that you'll do me the honour to inform me of the particulars of your religion. The people of thy country, replied the Quaker, are too full of their bows and compliments, but I never yet met with one of them who had so much curiosity as thyself. Come
in, and let us first dine together. I still continued to make some
unreasonable ceremonies, it not being easy to disengage one's self at once from habits we have been long us'd to; and after taking part of a frugal meal, which began and ended with a prayer to God, I began to question my courteous hoft. I open'd with that which good Catholicks have more than once made carán to Huguenots. My dear fir, says I, were you ever baptiz'd? I never was, replied the Quaker, nor any of my brethren. Zouns, says I to him, you are not Christians then. Friend, replies the old man in a soft tone of voice, swear not; we are Christians, and endeavour to be good Christians, but we are not of opinion, that the sprinkling water on a child's head makes him a Chriftian. Heavens ! says I, shock'd at his impiety, you have then forgot that Christ was baptiz’d by St. John. Friend, replies the mild Quaker once again, swear not. Chrijt indeed was baptiz'd by John, but he himself never baptiz’d any one.
We are the disciples of Christ, not of John. I pitied very much the sincerity of my worthy Quaker, and was absolutely for forcing him to get himself christened. Were that all, replied he very gravely, we would fubmit chearfully to baptism, purely in compliance with thy weakness, for we do not condemn any person who uses it ; but B 2
then we think, that those who profess a religion of so holy, so fpiritual a nature as that of Christ, ought to abstain to the utmost of their power from the Jewish ceremonies. O unaccountable ! says I, what ! baptism a Jewish ceremony Yes, my friend, says he, so truly Jewish, that a great many Jews use the baptism of John to this day. Look into ancient authors, and thou wilt find that John only reviv’d this practice; and that it had been us’d by the Hebrews, long before his time, in like manner as the Mahometans imitated the Ishmaelites in their pilgrimages to Mecca. Fesus indeed submitted to the baptism of John, as he had suffered himself to be circumcis'd; but circumcision and the washing with water ought to be abolish'd by the baptism of Christ, that baptism of the spirit, that ablution of the soul, which is the salvation of mankind, thus the forerunner said, I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance; but he that cometh after me, is mightier than I, whose hoes I am not worthy to bear: he mall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire*. Likewise Paul, the great apostle of the Gentiles, writes as follows to the Corinthians ; Christ Sent me not to baptize, but to preach the Gospelt; and indeed Paul never baptiz'd but two
* St. Matth. iii. 11.
t i Cor. i. 17.
persons persons with water, and that very much against his inclinations. He circumcis’d his disciple Timothy, and the other disciples likewise circumcis'd all who were willing to submit to that carnal ordinance. But art thou circumcis'd, added he? I have not the honour to be so, fays I. Well, friend, continues the Quaker, thou art a Christian without being circumcis'd, and I am one without being baptiz’d. Thus did this pious man make a wrong, but very specious application, of four or five texts of scriptue which seem'd to favour the tenets of his sect; but at the same time forgot very sincerely an hundred texts which made directly against them. I had more sense than to contest with him, since there is no possibility of convincing an enthusiast. A man fhou'd never pretend to inform a lover of his mistress's faults, no more than one who is at law, of the badness of his cause; nor attempt to win over a fanatic by strength of reasoning. Accordingly I wav'd the subject.
WELL, says I to him, what sort of a communion have you? We have none like that thou hinteft at among us, replied he. How! no communion, says I ? Only that spiritual one, replied he, of hearts. He then began again to throw out his texts of scripture; and preach'd a most eloquent sermon against that ordinance. He ha
ranged in a tone as tho' he had been infpir'd, to prove that the facraments were merely of human invention, and that the word sacrament was not once mention'd in the gospel. Excuse, says he, my ignorance, for I have not employ'dan hundredth part of the arguments which might be brought, to prove the truth of our religion, but these thou thyself mayest peruse in the Exposition of our Faith written by Robert Barclay. 'Tis one of the best pieces that ever was penn'd by man ; and as our adversaries confess it to be of dangerous tendency, the arguments in it must necessarily be very convincing. I promis'd to peruse this piece, and my Quaker imagin'd he had already made a convert of me. He afterwards gave me an account in few words, of some singularities which make this sect the contempt of others. Confess, iays he, that it was very difficult for thee to refrain from laughter, when I answer'd all thy civilities without uncovering my head, and at the same time faid Tbee and Thou to thee. However, thou appeareft to me too well read, not to know that in Christ's time no nation was so ridiculous as to put the plural number for the fingular. Auguftus Cæfar himself was spoke to in such phrases as these, I love thee, I beseech thee, I thank thee; but he did not allow any person to call him Domine, Sir. 'Twas not