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Title: A Portraiture of Quakerism, Volume 2
Author: Clarkson, Thomas, 1760-1846
Language: English
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available by the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF/Gallica) at


Taken from a View of the Education and Discipline, Social Manners,
Civil and Political Economy, Religious Principles and Character, of
the Society of Friends


Author of Several Essays on the Slave Trade

New York: Published by Samuel Stansbury, No 111, Water-Street





SECT. I.--Marriage--Regulation and example of George Fox, relative to
Marriage--Present regulations, and manner of the celebration of it among
the Quakers.

SECT. II.--Those who marry out of the society, are disowned--Various
reasons for such a measure--Objection to it--Reply.

SECT III.--But the disowned may be restored to membership--Terms of
their restoration--these terms censured--Reply.

SECT IV.--More women disowned on this account than men--Probable causes
of this difference of number.


SECT I.--Funerals--Extravagance and pageantry of ancient and modern
funerals--These discarded by the Quakers--Plain manner in which they
inter their dead.

SECT II.--Quakers use no tomb-stones, nor monumental inscriptions
--Various reasons of their disuse of these.

SECT. III.--Neither do they use mourning garments--Reasons why they thus
differ from the world--These reasons farther elucidated by
considerations on Court-mourning.


Occupations--Agriculture declining among the Quakers--Causes and
disadvantages of this decline.


SECT. I.--_Trade--Quakers view trade as a moral question--Prohibit a
variety of trades and dealings on this account--various other wholesome
regulations concerning it._

SECT. II.--_But though the Quakers thus prohibit many trades, they are
found in some which are considered objectionable by the world--These
specified and examined._


_Settlement of differences--Abstain from duels-and also from law--Have
recourse to arbitration--Their rules concerning arbitration--An account
of an Arbitration Society at Newcastle upon Tyne, on Quaker-principles._


SECT. I.--_Poor--No beggars among the Quakers--Manner of relieving and
providing for the poor._

SECT. II.--_Education of the children of the poor provided
for--Observations on the number of the Quaker-poor--and on their



_Invitation to a perusal of this part of the work--The necessity of
humility and charity in religion on account of the limited powers of the
human understanding--Object of this invitation._


_God has given to all, besides an intellectual, a spiritual
understanding--Some have had a greater portion of this spirit than
others, such as Abraham, and Moses, and the prophets, and
Apostles--Jesus Christ had it without limit or measure._


_Except a man has a portion of the same spirit, which Jesus, and the
Prophets, and the Apostles had, he cannot know spiritual things--This
doctrine confirmed by St. Paul--And elucidated by a comparison between
the faculties of men and of brutes._


_Neither except he has a portion of the same spirit, can he know the
scriptures to be of divine origin, nor can he spiritually understand
them--Objection to this doctrine-Reply._


_This spirit, which has been thus given to men in different degrees, has
been given them as a teacher or guide in their spiritual concerns--Way
in which it teaches._


_This spirit may be considered as the primary and infallible guide--and
the scriptures but a secondary means of instruction--but the Quakers do
not undervalue the latter on this account--Their opinion concerning


_This spirit, as a primary and infallible guide, has been given to men
universally--From the creation to Moses--From Moses to Christ--From
Christ to the present day._


Sect. I.--_And as it has been universally to men, so it has been given
them sufficiently--Those who resist it, quench it--Those who attend to
it, are in the way of redemption._

Sect. II.--_This spirit then besides its office of a spiritual guide,
performs that of a Redeemer to men--Redemption outward and
inward--Inward effected by this spirit._

Sect. III.--_Inward redemption produces a new birth--and leads to
perfection--This inward redemption possible to all._

Sect. IV--_New birth and perfection more particularly explained-New
birth as real from "the spiritual seed of the kingdom" as that of plants
and vegetables from their seeds in the natural world--and goes on in the
same manner progressively to maturity._


SECT. I._--Possibility of redemption to all denied by the favours of
"Election and Reprobation"--Quaker-refutation of the later doctrine._

SECT. II._--Quaker refutation continued._


_Recapitulation of all the doctrines advanced--Objection that the
Quakers make every thing of the Spirit and but little of Jesus
Christ--Attempt to show that Christians often differ without a just
cause--Or that there is no material difference between the creeds of the
Quakers and that of the objectors on this subject._


SECT. I._--Ministers of the Gospel--Quakers conceive that the spirit of
God alone can qualify for the ministry--Women equally qualified with
men--Way in which ministers are called and acknowledged among the

SECT. II._--Quaker-ministers, when acknowledged, engage in family
visits--Nature of these--and sometimes in missions through England--and
sometimes in foreign parts._


_Elders--Their origin and their office--These are not to meddle with the
discipline of the church._


SECT I._--Worship--is usually made to consist of prayer and
preaching--But neither of these are considered by the Quakers to be
effectual without the aid of the spirit--Hence no liturgy or studied
form of words among the Quakers--Reputed manner and character of
Quaker-preaching--Observations upon these._

SECT. II--_Silent worship--Manner of it--Worship not necessarily
connected with words--Advantages of this mode of worship._

SECT. III.--_Quakers discard every thing formal and superstitious from
their worship--No consecrated ground--No priest's garments--No
psalmody--No one day esteemed by them holier than another--Reasons for
these singularities._


_Miscellaneous particularities--Quakers seldom use the words "original
sin," or "Trinity," and never "the word of God" for the
Scriptures--Believe in the manhood and divinity of Christ--In the
resurrection--Their ideas on sanctification and justification._


_Quakers reject baptism and the Lord's supper--Indulgence solicited for
them on account of the difficulties connected with these subjects--These
difficulties explained._


SECT. I.--_Two baptisms, that of John and of Christ--That of John was by
water--and a Jewish ordinance--John the prophet left under the law._

SECT. II.--_Baptism of Christ was by the Spirit--This the baptism of the
Gospel--Authorities on which this distinction between the two is

SECT. III.--_Quakers conceive it was not the baptism of John which Jesus
included in the Great Commission, when he ordered his disciples to go
into all nations, and to teach them, baptizing in the name of the
father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost--This shown from
expressions taken from St. Peter and St. Paul--and from the object and
nature of this baptism._

SECT. IV.--_But that it was the baptism of Christ--This shown from a
critical examination of the words in the commission itself--And from the
commission, as explained by St. Mark, St. Luke, and St. Paul._

SECT. V.--_Practice of Jesus and the Apostles a confirmation of this


Sect. I.--_Two suppers, the one instituted by Moses, the other by Jesus
Christ--The first called the passover--Ancient and modern manner of its

Sect. II.--_Second, enjoined by Jesus at Capernaum--This wholly, of a
spiritual nature--Way in which this may be enjoyed._

Sect. III.--_Quakers say that Jesus instituted no new supper distinct
from that of the passover, and which was to render null and void that
enjoined at Capernaum, at a rite of the Christian church--No such
institution to be collected from St. Matthew, St. Mark, or St. John._

Sect. IV.--_Nor from St. Luke--St. Luke only says, that all future
passovers of the Disciples with Christ were to be spiritual--but if, as
Jews, they could not all at once abdicate the passover to which they had
been educated, they were to celebrate it with a new meaning--But no
acknowledged permission of it to others._

Sect. V.--_Nor from St. Paul--St. Paul only says that the passover, as
spiritualized by Jesus, was allowed to his disciples, or to the Jewish
converts, who could not all at once lay aside their prejudices
concerning it, but that it was to last only for a time--Different
opinions about this time--That of the Quakers concerning it._

Sect. VI.--_Had a new supper, distinct from that of the passover, been
intended as a ceremonial of the Christian church, it would have been
commanded to others besides the disciples, and its duration would not
have been limited--Reasons from St. Paul, to show that he himself did
not probably consider it as a Christian ordinance--Whereas the supper
enjoined at Capernaum, was to be eternal--and universal--and an
essential with all Christians._







_Marriage--Quakers differ in many respects from others, on the subject
of Marriage--George Fox introduced Regulations concerning it--Protested
against the usual manner of the celebration of it--Gave an example of
what he recommended--Present regulations of the Quakers on this

In the continuation of the Customs of the Quakers, a subject which I
purpose to resume in the present volume, I shall begin with that of

The Quakers differ from others in many of their regulations concerning
this custom. They differ also in the manner of the celebration of it.
And, as they differ in these respects, so they experience generally a
different result. The Quakers, as a married, may be said to be a happy,
people. Hence the detailers of scandal, have rarely had it in their
power to promulgate a Quaker adultery. Nor have the lawyers had an
opportunity in our public courts of proclaiming a Quaker divorce.

George Fox suggested many regulations on this subject. He advised, among
other things, when persons had it in contemplation to marry, that they
should lay their intention before the monthly meetings, both of the men
and women. He advised also, that the consent of their parents should be
previously obtained, and certified to these. Thus he laid the foundation
for greater harmony in the approaching union. He advised again, that an
inquiry should be made, if the parties were clear of engagements or
promises of marriage to others, and, if they were not, that they should
be hindered from proceeding. Thus, he cut off some of the causes of the
interruption of connubial happiness, by preventing uneasy reflections,
or suits at law, after the union had taken place. He advised also, in
the case of second marriages, that any offspring resulting from the
former, should have their due rights and a proper provision secured to
them, before they were allowed to be solemnized. Thus he gave a greater
chance for happiness, by preventing mercenary motives from becoming the
causes of the union of husbands and wives.

But George Fox, as he introduced these and other salutary regulations on
the subject of Marriage, so he introduced a new manner of the
celebration of it. He protested against the manner of the world, that
is, against the formal prayers and exhortations as they were repeated,
and against the formal ceremonies, an they were practised by the Parish
Priest. He considered that it was God, who joined man and woman before
the fall; and that in Christian times, or where the man was truly
renovated in heart, there could be no other right or honourable way of
union. Consistently with this view of the subject, he observed, that in
the ancient scriptural times, persons took each other in marriage in the
assemblies of the Elders; and there was no record, from the Book of
Genesis to that of Revelations, of any marriage by a Priest. Hence it
became his new society, as a religious or renovated people, to abandon
apostate usages, and to adopt a manner that was more agreeable to their
new state.

George Fox gave in his own marriage, an example of all that he had thus
recommended to the society. Having agreed with Margaret Fell, the widow
of Judge Fell, upon the propriety of their union as husband and wife,
he desired her to send for her children. As soon as they were come, he
asked them and their respective husbands,[1] "If they had any thing
against it, or for it, desiring them to speak? and they all severally
expressed their _satisfaction therein_. Then he asked Margaret, if she
had fulfilled and performed her husband's Will to her children? She
replied, the _children know that_. Whereupon he asked them, whether, if
their mother married, they should not lose by it? And he asked Margaret,
whether she had done any thing in lieu of it, which might answer it to
the children? The children said, _she had answered it to them_, and
desired him to _speak no more about that_. He told them, that he was
plain, and that he would have all things done plainly; for he sought not
any outward advantage to himself. So, after he had acquainted the
children with it, their intention of marriage was laid before Friends,
both privately and publicly;" and afterwards a meeting being appointed
for the accomplishment of the marriage, in the public Meeting-house at
Broad Mead, in Bristol, they took each other in marriage, in the plain
and simple manner as then practised, and which he himself had originally
recommended to his followers.

[Footnote 1: G. Fox's Journal, Vol. 2. p. 135.]

The regulations concerning marriage, and the manner of the celebration
of it, which obtained in the time of George Fox, nearly obtain among the
Quakers of the present day.

When marriage is agreed upon between two persons, the man and the woman,
at one of the monthly meetings, publicly declare their intention, and
ask leave to proceed. At this time their parents, if living, must either
appear, or send certificates to signify their consent. This being done,
two men are appointed by the men's meeting, and two women are appointed
by that of the women, to wait upon the man and woman respectively, and
to learn from themselves, as well as by other inquiry, if they stand
perfectly clear from any marriage-promises and engagements to others. At
the next monthly meeting the deputation make their report. If either of
the parties is reported to have given expectation of marriage to any
other individual, the proceedings are stopped till the matter be
satisfactorily explained. But if they are both of them reported to be
clear in this respect, they are at liberty to proceed, and one or more
persons of respectability of each sex, are deputed to see that the
marriage be conducted in an orderly manner.

In the case of second marriages, additional instructions are sometimes
given; for if any of the parties thus intimating their intentions of
marrying should have children alive, the same persons, who were deputed
to inquire into their clearness from all other engagements, are to see
that the rights of such children be legally secured.

When the parties are considered to be free, by the reports of the
deputation, to proceed upon their union, they appoint a suitable day for
the celebration of it, which is generally one of the week-day meetings
for worship. On this day they repair to the Meeting-house with their
friends. The congregation, when seated, sit in silence. Perhaps some
minister is induced to speak. After a suitable time has elapsed, the man
and the woman rise up together, and, taking each other by the hand,
declare publicly, that they thus take each other as husband and wife.
This constitutes their marriage. By way, however, of evidence of their
union, a paper is signed by the man and woman, in the presence of three
witnesses, who sign it also, in which it is stated that they have so
taken each other in marriage. And, in addition to this, though, it be
not a necessary practice, another paper is generally produced and read,
stating concisely the proceedings of the parties in their respective
Meetings for the purpose of their marriage, and the declaration made by
them, as having taken each other as man and wife. This is signed by the
parties, their relations, and frequently by many of their friends, and
others present. All marriages of other Dissenters are celebrated in the
established churches, according to the ceremonies of the same. But the
marriages of the Quakers are valid by law in their own Meeting-houses,
when solemnised in this simple manner.


_Quakers, marrying out of the Society, to be disowned--That regulation
charged with pride and cruelty--Reasons for this disownment are--That
mixed Marriages cannot be celebrated without a violation of same of the
great Principles of the Society--That they are generally productive of
disputes and uneasiness to those concerned--and that the discipline
cannot be carried on in such families._

Among the regulations suggested by George Fox, and adopted by his
followers, it was determined that persons, belonging to the society,
should not intermarry with those of other religious professions. Such an
heterogeneous union was denominated a _mixed marriage_; and persons,
engaging in such mixed marriages, were to be disowned.

People of other denominations have charged the Quakers with a more than
usually censurable pride, on account of their adoption of this law. They
consider them as looking down upon the rest of their fellow-creatures,
as so inferior or unholy, as not to deign or to dare to mix in alliance
with them, or as looking upon them in the same light as the Jews
considered the Heathen, or the Greeks the Barbarian world. And they have
charged them also with as much cruelty as pride, on the same account. "A
Quaker, they say, feels himself strongly attached to an accomplished
woman; but she does not belong to the society. He wishes to marry, but
he cannot marry her on account of its laws. Having a respect for the
society, he looks round it again, but he looks round it in vain. He
finds no one equal to this woman; no one, whom he could love so well. To
marry one in the society, while he loves another out of it better, would
be evidently wrong. If he does not marry her, he makes the greatest of
all sacrifices, for he loses that which he supposes would constitute a
source of enjoyment to him for the remainder of his life. If he marries
her, he is expelled the society; and this, without having been guilty of
an immoral offence."

One of the reasons, which the Quakers give for the adoption of this law
of disownment in the case of mixed marriages, is, that those who engage
in them violate some of the most important principles of the society,
and such indeed as are distinguishing characteristics of Quakerism from
the religion of the world.

It is a religious tenet of the Quakers, as will be shown in its proper
place, that no appointment of man can make a minister of the gospel, and
that no service, consisting of an artificial form of words, to be
pronounced on stated occasions, can constitute a religious act; for that
the spirit of God is essentially necessary to create the one, and to
produce the other. It is also another tenet with them, that no minister
of a christian church, ought to be paid for his Gospel-labours. This
latter tenet is held so sacred by the Quakers, that it affords one
reason among others, why they refuse payment of tithes, and other
demands of the church, preferring to suffer loss by distraints for them,
than to comply with them in the usual manner. Now these two principles
are essentials of Quakerism. But no person, who marries out of the
society, can be legally married without going through the forms of the
established church. Those therefore who submit to this ceremony, as
performed by a priest, acknowledge, according to the Quakers, the
validity of an human appointment of the ministry. They acknowledge the
validity of an artificial service in religion. They acknowledge the
propriety of paying a Gospel-minister for the discharge of his office.
The Quakers, therefore, consider those who marry out of the society, as
guilty of such a dereliction of Quaker-principles, that they can be no
longer considered as sound or consistent members.

But independently of the violation of these principles, which the
Quakers take as the strongest ground for their conduct on such an
occasion, they think themselves warranted in disowning, from a
contemplation of the consequences, which have been known to result from
these marriages.

In the first place, disownment is held to be necessary, because it acts
as a check upon such marriages, and because, by acting as such a check,
it prevents the family-disputes and disagreements which might otherwise
arise; for such marriages have been found to be more productive of
uneasiness than of enjoyment. When two persons of different religious
principles, a Quaker for example, and a woman of the church, join in
marriage, it is almost impossible that they should not occasionally
differ. The subject of religion arises, and perhaps some little
altercation with it, as the Sunday comes. The one will not go to church,
and the other will not go to meeting. These disputes do not always die
with time. They arise, however, more or less, according to
circumstances. If neither of the parties set any value upon their
religious opinions, there will be but little occasion for dispute. If
both of them, on the other hand, are of a serious cast, much will depend
upon the liberality of their sentiments: but, generally speaking, it
falls to the lot of but few to be free from religious prejudices. And
here it may be observed, that points in religion also may occasionally
be suggested, which may bring with them the seeds of temporary
uneasiness. People of other religious denominations generally approach
nearer to one another in their respective creeds, than the Quakers to
either of them. Most christians agree, for example, in the use of
Baptism in some form or other, and also in the celebration of the Lord's
Supper. But the Quakers, as will be shown in this volume, consider these
ordinances in a spiritual light, admitting no ceremonials in so pure a
system as that of the Christian religion.

But these differences, which may thus soon or late take their rise upon
these or other subjects, where the parties set a value on their
respective religious opinions, cannot fail of being augmented by new
circumstances in time. The parties in question have children. The
education of these is now a subject of the most important concern. New
disputes are engendered on this head, both adhering to their respective
tenets as the best to be embraced by their rising offspring. Unable at
length to agree on this point, a sort of compromise takes place. The
boys are denied, while the girls are permitted, baptism. The boys,
again, are brought up to meeting, and the girls to church, or they go
to church and meeting alternately. In the latter case, none of the
children can have any fixed principles. Nor will they be much better off
in the former. There will be frequently an opposition of each other's
religious opinions, and a constant hesitation and doubt about the
consistency of these. There are many points, which the mothers will
teach the daughters as right, or essential, but which the fathers will
teach the sons as erroneous or unimportant. Thus disputes will be
conveyed to the children. In their progress through life other
circumstances may arise, which may give birth to feelings of an
unpleasant nature. The daughters will be probably instructed in the
accomplishments of the world. They will be also introduced to the
card-room, and to assemblies, and to the theatre, in their turn. The
boys will be admitted to neither. The latter will of course feel their
pleasures abridged, and consider their case as hard, and their father as
morose and cruel. Little jealousies may arise upon this difference of
their treatment, which may be subversive of filial and fraternal
affection. Nor can religion be called in to correct them; for while the
two opposite examples of father and mother, and of sisters and brothers,
are held out to be right, there will be considerable doubts as to what
are religious truths.

The Quakers urge again in behalf of their law against mixed marriages,
that if these were not forbidden, it would be impossible to carry on the
discipline of the society. The truth of this may be judged by the
preceding remarks. For if the family were divided into two parties, as
has been just stated, on account of their religion, it would be but in a
kind of mongrel-state. If, for instance, it were thought right, that the
Quaker-part of it should preserve the simplicity of the Quaker-dress,
and the plainness of the Quaker-language, how is this to be done, while
the other part daily move in the fashions, and are taught as a right
usage, to persist in the phrases of the world? If, again, the
Quaker-part of it are to be kept from the amusements prohibited by the
society, how is this to be effected, while the other part of it speak of
them from their own experience, with rapture or delight? It would be
impossible, therefore, in the opinion of the Quakers, in so mixed a
family, to keep up that discipline, which they consider as the
corner-stone of their constitutional fabric, and which may be said to
have been an instrument in obtaining for them the character of a moral


_But though persons are thus disowned, they may be restored to
membership--Generally understood, however, that they must previously
express their repentance for their marriages--This confession of
repentance censured by the world--But is admissible without the
criminality supposed--The word repentance misunderstood by the world._

But though the Quakers may disown such as marry out of their society, it
does not follow that these may not be reinstated as members. If these
should conduct themselves after their disownment in an orderly manner,
and, still retaining their attachment to the society, should bring up
their children in the principles and customs of it, they may, if they
apply for restoration, obtain it, with all their former privileges and

The children also of such as marry out of the society, though they are
never considered to be members of it, may yet become so in particular
cases. The society advises that the monthly meetings, should extend a
tender care towards such children, and that they should be admitted
into membership at the discretion of the said meetings, either in
infancy or in maturer age.

But here I must stop to make a few observations, on an opinion which
prevails upon this subject. It is generally understood that the Quakers,
in their restoration of disowned persons to membership, require them
previously and publicly to acknowledge, that they have _repented_ of
their marriages. This obligation to make this public confession of
repentance, has given to many a handle for heavy charges against them.
Indeed I scarcely know, in any part of the Quaker-system, where people
are louder in their censures, than upon this point. "A man, they say,
cannot express his penitence for his marriage without throwing a stigma
upon his wife. To do this is morally wrong, if he has no fault to find
with her. To do it, even if she has been in fault, is indelicate. And
not to do it, is to forego his restoration to membership. This law
therefore of the Quakers is considered to be immoral, because it may
lead both to hypocrisy and falsehood."

I shall not take up much time in correcting the notions that have gone
abroad on this subject.

Of those who marry out of the society, it may be presumed that there are
some, who were never considered to be sound in the Quaker-principles,
and these are generally they who intermarry with the world. Now they,
who compose this class, generally live after their marriages, as happily
out of the society as when they were in it. Of course, these do not
repent of the change. And if they do not repent, they never sue for
restoration to membership. They cannot, therefore, incur any of the
charges in question. Nor can the society be blamed in this case, who, by
never asking them to become members, never entice them to any
objectionable repentance.

Of those again, who marry out of the society, there may be individuals,
so attached to its communion, that it was never imagined they would have
acted in this manner. Now of these, it may in general be said, that they
often bitterly repent. They find, soon or late, that the opposite
opinions and manners, to be found in their union, do not harmonize. And
here it may be observed, that it is very possible, that such persons may
say they repent without any crimination of their wives. A man, for
instance, may have found in his wife all the agreeableness of temper,
all the domestic virtue and knowledge, all the liberality of religious
opinion, which he had anticipated; but in consequence of the mixed
principles resulting from mixed marriages, or of other unforeseen
causes, he may be so alarmed about the unsteady disposition of his
children and their future prospects, that the pain which he feels on
these accounts may overbalance the pleasure, which he acknowledges in
the constant prudence, goodness, solicitude, and affection, of his wife.
This may be so much the case, that all her consolatory offices may not
be able to get the better of his grief. A man, therefore, in such
circumstances, may truly repent of his marriage, or that he was ever the
father of such children, though he can never complain as the husband of
such a wife.

The truth, however, is, that those who make the charge in question, have
entirely misapplied the meaning of the word _repent_. People are not
called upon to express their sorrow, for _having married the objects of
their choice_, but for _having violated those great tenets of the
society_, which have been already mentioned, and which form
distinguishing characteristics between Quakerism and the religion of the
world. Those, therefore, who say they repent, say no more than what any
other persons might be presumed to say, who had violated the religious
tenets of any other society to which they might have belonged, or who
had flown in the face of what they had imagined to be religious truths.


_Of persons, disowned for marriage, the greater proportion is said to
consist of women--Causes assigned for this difference of number in the
two sexes._

It will perhaps appear a curious fact to the world, but I am told it is
true, that the number of the women, disowned for marrying out of the
society, far exceeds the number of the men, who are disowned on the same

It is not difficult, if the fact be as it is stated, to assign a reason
for this difference of number in the two sexes.

When men wish to marry, they wish, at least if they are men of sense, to
find such women as are virtuous; to find such as are prudent and
domestic, and such as have a proper sense of the folly and dissipation
of the Fashionable world; such in fact as will make good mothers and
good wives. Now if a Quaker looks into his own society, he will
generally find the female part of it of this description. Female Quakers
excel in these points. But if he looks into the world at large, he will
in general find a contrast in the females there. These, in general, are
but badly educated. They are taught to place a portion of their
happiness in finery and show: utility is abandoned for fashion: The
knowledge of the etiquette of the drawing-room usurps the place of the
knowledge of the domestic duties: A kind of false and dangerous taste
predominates: Scandal and the card-table are preferred to the pleasures
of a rural walk: Virtue and Modesty are seen with only half their
energies, being overpowered by the noxiousness of novel-reading
principles, and by the moral taint which infects those who engage in the
varied rounds of a fashionable life. Hence a want of knowledge, a love
of trifles, and a dissipated turn of mind, generally characterize those
who are considered as having had the education of the world.

We see therefore a good reason why Quaker-men should confine themselves
in their marriages to their own society. But the same reason, which thus
operates with Quaker-men in the choice of Quaker-women, operates with
men who are not of the society, in choosing them also for their wives.
These are often no strangers to the good education, and to the high
character, of the Quaker-females. Fearful often of marrying among the
badly educated women of their own persuasion, they frequently address
themselves to this society, and not unfrequently succeed.

To this it may be added, that if Quaker-men were to attempt to marry out
of their own society, they would not in general be well received. Their
dress and their manners are considered as uncouth in the eyes of the
female-world, and would present themselves as so many obstacles in the
way of their success. The women of this description generally like a
smart and showy exterior. They admire heroism and spirit. But neither
such an exterior, nor such spirit, are to be seen in the Quaker-men. The
dress of the Quaker-females, on the other hand, is considered as neat
and elegant, and their modesty and demeanor as worthy of admiration.
From these circumstances they captivate. Hence the difference, both in
the inward and outward person, between the men and the women of this
society, renders the former not so pleasing, while it renders the latter
objects of admiration, and even choice.



_Funerals--Most nations have paid extravagant attention to their
dead--The moderns follow their example--This extravagance, or the
pageantry of funerals, discarded by the Quakers--Their reasons for
it--Plainness of Quaker-funerals._

If we look into the history of the world, we shall find, from whatever
cause it has arisen, whether from any thing connected with our moral
feelings, such as love, gratitude, or respect, or from vanity, or
ostentation, that almost all nations, where individuals have been able
to afford it, have incurred considerable expense in the interment of
their dead. The Greeks were often very extravagant in their funerals.
Many persons, ornamented with garlands, followed the corpse, while
others were employed in singing and dancing before it. At the funerals
of the great, among the Romans, couches were carried, containing the
waxen or other images of the family of the deceased, and hundreds joined
in the procession. In our own times, we find a difference in the manner
of furnishing or decorating funerals, though but little in the intention
of making them objects of outward show. A bearer of plumes precedes the
procession. The horses employed are dressed in trappings. The hearse
follows ornamented with plumes of feathers, and gilded and silvered with
gaudy escutcheons, or the armorial bearings of the progenitors of the
deceased. A group of hired persons range themselves on each side of the
hearse and attendant carriages, while others close the procession. These
again are all of them clad in long cloaks, or furnished, in regular
order, with scarfs and hat-bands. Now all these outward appendages,
which may be called the pageantry of funerals, the Quakers have
discarded, from the time of their institution, in the practice of the
burial of their dead.

The Quakers are of opinion, that funeral processions should be made, if
any thing is to be made of them, to excite serious reflections, and to
produce lessons of morality in those who see them. This they conceive to
be best done by depriving the dead body of all ornaments and outward
honours. For, stripped in this manner, they conceive it to approach the
nearest to its native worthlessness or dust. Such funerals, therefore,
may excite in the spectator a deep sense of the low and debased
condition of man. And his feelings will be pure on the occasion, because
they will be unmixed with the consideration of the artificial
distinctions of human life. The spectator too will be more likely, if he
sees all go undistinguished to the grave, to deduce for himself the
moral lesson, that there is no true elevation of one above another, only
as men follow the practical duties of virtue and religion. But what
serious reflections, or what lessons of morality, on the other hand, do
the funerals of the world produce, if accompanied with pomp and
splendour? To those who have sober and serious minds, they produce a
kind of pity, that is mingled with disgust. In those of a ludicrous
turn, they provoke ludicrous ideas, when they see a dead body attended
with such extravagant parade. To the vulgar and the ignorant no one
useful lesson is given. Their senses are all absorbed in the show; and
the thoughts of the worthlessness of man, as well as of death and the
grave, which ought naturally to suggest themselves on such occasions,
are swallowed up in the grandeur and pageantry of the procession.
Funerals, therefore, of this kind, are calculated to throw honour upon
riches, abstractedly of moral merit; to make the creature of as much
importance when dead as when alive; to lessen the humility of man; and
to destroy, of course, the moral and religious feelings that should
arise upon such occasions. Add to which, that such a conduct among
christians must be peculiarly improper; for the christian dispensation
teaches man, that he is "to work out his salvation with fear and
trembling." It seems inconsistent, therefore, to accompany with all the
outward signs of honour and greatness the body of a poor wretch, who has
had this difficult and awful task to perform, and who is on his last
earthly journey, previously to his appearance before the tribunal of the
Almighty to be judged for the deeds which he has committed in the flesh.

Actuated by such sentiments as these, the Quakers have discarded all
parade at their funerals. When they die, they are buried in a manner
singularly plain. The corpse is deposited in a plain coffin. When
carried to the meeting-house or grave-yard, it is attended by relations
and friends. These have nothing different at this time in their external
garments from their ordinary dress. Neither man nor horse is apparelled
for the purpose. All pomp and parade, however rich the deceased may have
been, are banished from their funeral processions. The corpse, at
length, arrives at the meeting-house[2]. It is suffered to remain there
in the sight of the spectators. The congregation then sit in silence, as
at a meeting for worship. If any one feels himself induced to speak, he
delivers himself accordingly; if not, no other rite is used at this
time. In process of time the coffin is taken out of the meeting-house,
and carried to the grave. Many of the acquaintances of the deceased,
both Quakers and others, follow it. It is at length placed by the side
of the grave. A solemn, silent pause, immediately takes place. It is
then interred. Another shorter pause then generally follows. These
pauses are made, that the "spectators may be more deeply touched with a
sense of their approaching exit, and their future state." If a minister
or other person, during these pauses, have any observation or
exhortation to make, which is frequently the case, he makes it. If no
person should feel himself impressed to speak, the assembled persons
depart. The act of seeing the body deposited in the grave, is the last
public act of respect which the Quakers show to their deceased
relations. This is the whole process of a Quaker-funeral.

[Footnote 2: It is sometimes buried without being carried there.]


_Quakers use no vaults in their burying-grounds--Relations sometimes
buried near each other, but oftener otherwise--They use no tomb-stones
or monumental inscriptions--Reasons for this disuse--But they sometimes
record accounts of the lives, deaths, and dying sayings, of their

The Quakers, in the infancy of their institution, were buried in their
gardens, or orchards, or in the fields and premises of one another. They
had at that time no grave-yards of their own; and they refused to be
buried in those of the church, lest they should thus acknowledge the
validity of an human appointment of the priesthood, the propriety of
payment for gospel-labour, and the peculiar holiness of consecrated
ground. This refusal to be buried within the precincts of the church,
was considered as the bearing of their testimony for truth. In process
of time they raised their own meeting-houses, and had their respective
burying places. But these were not always contiguous, but sometimes at a
distance from one another, The Quakers have no sepulchres or arched
vaults under ground for the reception of their dead. There has been here
and there a vault, and there is here and there a grave with sides of
brick; but the coffins, containing their bodies, are usually committed
to the dust.

I may observe also, that the Quakers are sometimes buried near their
relations, but more frequently otherwise. In places where the
Quaker-population is thin, and the burial ground large, a relation is
buried next to a relation, if it be desired. In other places, however,
the graves are usually dug in rows, and the bodies deposited in them,
not as their relations lie, but as they happen to be opened in
succession without any attention to family connexions. When the first
grave in the row is opened and filled, the person who dies next, is put
into that which is next to it; and the person who dies next, occupies
that which is next to the second[3]. It is to many an endearing thought,
that they shall lie after their death, near the remains of those whom
they loved in life. But the Quakers, in general, have not thought it
right or wise to indulge such feelings. They believe that all good men,
however their bodies may be separated in their subterraneous houses of
clay, will assuredly meet at the resurrection of the just.

[Footnote 3: By this process a small piece of ground is longer in
filling, no room being lost, and the danger and disagreeable necessity
of opening graves before the bodies in them are decayed, is avoided.]

The Quakers also reject the fashions of the world in the use of
tomb-stones and monumental inscriptions. These are generally supposed to
be erected out of respect to the memory or character of the deceased.
The Quakers, however, are of opinion, that this is not the proper manner
of honouring the dead. If you wish to honour a good man, who has
departed this life, let all his good actions live in your memory; let
them live in your grateful love and esteem; so cherish them in your
heart, that they may constantly awaken you to imitation. Thus you will
show, by your adoption of his amiable example, that you really respect
his memory. This is also that tribute, which, if he himself could be
asked in the other world how he would have his memory respected in this,
he would prefer to any description of his virtues, that might be given
by the ablest writer, or handed down to posterity by the ablest monument
of the sculptor's art.

But the Quakers have an objection to the use of tomb-stones and
monumental inscriptions, for other reasons. For, where pillars of
marble, abounding with panegyric, and decorated in a splendid manner,
are erected to the ashes of dead men, there is a danger, lest, by making
too much of these, a superstitious awe should be produced, and a
superstitious veneration should attach to them. The early Christians, by
making too much of the relics of their saints or pious men, fell into
such errors.

The Quakers believe, again, that if they were to allow the custom of
these outward monuments to obtain among them, they might be often led,
as the world is, and by the same causes, to a deviation from the truth;
for it is in human nature to praise those whom we love, but more
particularly when we have lost them. Hence, we find often such
extravagant encomiums upon the dead, that if it were possible for these
to be made acquainted with them, they would show their disapprobation of
such records. Hence we find also, that "as false as an epitaph," has
become a proverbial expression.

But even in the case where nothing more is said upon the tomb-stone than
what Moses said of Seth, and of Enos, and of Cainan, and others, when he
reckoned up the genealogy of Adam, namely, that "they lived and that
they died," the Quakers do not approve of such memorials. For these
convey no merit of the deceased, by which his example should be
followed. They convey no lesson of morality: and in general they are not
particularly useful. They may serve perhaps to point out to surviving
relations, the place where the body of the deceased was buried, so that
they may know where to mark out the line for their own graves. But as
the Quakers in general have overcome the prejudice of "sleeping with
their fathers," such memorials cannot be so useful to them.

The Quakers, however, have no objection, if a man has conducted himself
particularly well in life, that a true statement should be made
concerning him, provided such a statement would operate as a lesson of
morality to others; but they think that the tomb-stone is not the best
medium of conveying it. They are persuaded that very little moral
advantage is derived to the cursory readers of epitaphs, or that they
can trace their improvement in morals to this source. Sensible, however,
that the memorials of good men may be made serviceable to the rising
generation, ("and there are no ideas, says Addison, which strike more
forcibly on our imaginations, than those which are raised from
reflections upon the exits of great and excellent men,") they are
willing to receive accounts of the lives, deaths, and remarkable dying
sayings, of those ministers in their own society, who have been eminent
for their labours. These are drawn up by individuals, and presented to
the monthly meetings, to which the deceased belonged. But here they must
undergo an examination before they are passed. The truth of the
statement, and the utility of the record, must appear. It then falls to
the quarterly meetings to examine them again, and these may alter, or
pass, or reject them, as it may appear to be most proper. If these
should pass them, they are forwarded to the yearly meeting. Many of
them, after this, are printed; and, finding their way into the bookcases
of the Quakers, they become collected essays of morality, and operate as
incitements to piety to the rising youth. Thus the memorials of men are
made useful by the Quakers in an unobjectionable manner; for the
falsehood and flattery of epitaphs are thus avoided; none but good men
having been selected, whose virtues, if they are recorded, can be
perpetuated with truth.


_They discard also mourning garments--These are only emblems of
sorrow--and often make men pretend to be what they are not--This
contrary to Christianity--Thus they may become little better than
disguised pomp, or fashionable forms--This instanced in the changes and
duration of common mourning--and in the custom also of court-mourning
--Ramifications of the latter._

As the Quakers neither allow of the tomb-stones, nor the monumental
inscriptions, so they do not allow of the mourning garments of the

They believe there can be no true sorrow but in the heart, and that
there can be no other true outward way of showing it than by fulfilling
the desires, and by imitating the best actions, of those whom men have
lost and loved. "The mourning, says William Penn, which it is fit for a
Christian to have on the departure of beloved relations and friends,
should be worn in the mind, which is only sensible of the loss. And the
love which men have had to these, and their remembrance of them, should
be outwardly expressed by a respect to their advice, and care of those
they have left behind them, and their love of that which they loved."

But mourning garments, the Quakers contend, are only emblems of sorrow.
They will therefore frequently be used, where no sorrow is. Many persons
follow their deceased relatives to the grave, whose death, in point of
gain, is a matter of real joy; witness young spendthrifts, who have been
raising sum after sum on expectation, and calculating with voracious
anxiety, the probable duration of their relations' lives. And yet all
these follow the corpse to the grave, with white handkerchiefs, mourning
habits, slouched hats, and dangling hat-bands. Mourning garments,
therefore, frequently make men pretend to be what they are not. But no
true or consistent Christian can exhibit an outward appearance to the
world, which his inward feelings do not justify.

It is not contended here by the Quakers, that because a man becomes
occasionally a hypocrite, this is a sufficient objection against any
system; for a man may be an Atheist even in a Quaker's garb. Nor is it
insinuated, that individuals do not sometimes feel in their hearts, the
sorrow which they purpose to signify by their clothing. But it is
asserted to be true, that men who use mourning habits as they are
generally used, do not wear them for those deceased persons only whom
they loved, and abstain from the use of them where they had no esteem,
but that they wear them promiscuously on all the occasions which have
been dictated by fashion. Mourning habits therefore, in consequence of a
long system of etiquette, have become, in the opinion of the Quakers,
but little better than _disguised pomp_, or _fashionable forms_.

I shall endeavour to throw some light upon this position of the Quakers,
by looking into the practice of the world.

In the first place, there are seasons there, when full mourning, and
seasons when only half mourning, is to be worn. Thus the habit is
changed, and for no other reason, than that of conformity with the laws
of fashion. The length of this time also, or season of mourning, is made
to depend upon the scale of men's affinity to the deceased; though
nothing can be more obvious, than that men's affection for the living,
and that their sorrow for them when dead, cannot be measured by this
standard. Hence the very time that a man shall mourn, and the very time
that he shall only half-mourn, and the very time that he shall cease to
mourn, is fixed for him by the world, whatever may be the duration of
his own sorrow.

In court-mourning also, we have an instance of men being instructed to
mourn, where their feelings are neither interested nor concerned. In
this case, the _disguised pomp_, spoken of by the Quakers, will be more
apparent. Two princes have perhaps been fighting with each other for a
considerable portion of their reigns. The blood of their subjects has
been spilled, and their treasures have been exhausted. They have
probably had, during all this time, no kind disposition one towards
another, each considering the other as the aggressor, or as the author
of the war. When both have been wearied out with expense, they have made
peace. But they have still mutual jealousies and fears. At length one of
them dies. The other, on receiving an express relative to the event,
orders mourning for the deceased for a given time. As other potentates
receive the intelligence, they follow the example. Their several levees
or drawing-rooms, or places of public audience, are filled with
mourners. Every individual of each sex, who is accustomed to attend
them, is now habited in black. Thus a round of mourning is kept up by
the courtiers of Europe, not by means of any sympathetic beating of the
heart, but at the sound, as it were, of the postman's horn.

But let us trace this species of mourning farther, and let us now more
particularly look at the example of our own country for the elucidation
of the point in question. The same Gazette, which gave birth to this
black influenza at court, spreads it still farther. The private
gentlemen of the land undertake to mourn also. You see them accordingly
in the streets, and in private parties, and at public places, in their
mourning habits. Nor is this all. Military officers, who have fought
against the armies of the deceased, wear black crapes over their arms in
token of the same sorrow.

But the fever does not stop even here. It still spreads, and in tracing
its progress, we find it to have attacked our merchants. Yes, the
disorder has actually got upon _change_. But what have I said? Mourning
habits upon change! Where the news of an army cut to pieces, produces
the most cheerful countenances in many, if it raises the stocks but an
half per cent. Mourning habits upon change, where contracts are made for
human flesh and blood! Where plans that shall consign cargoes of human
beings to misery and untimely death, and their posterity to bondage, are
deliberately formed and agreed upon! O sorrow, sorrow! what hast thou
to do upon change, except in the case of commercial losses, or
disappointed speculation! But to add to this _disguised pomp_, as the
Quakers call it, not one of ten thousand of the mourners, ever saw the
deceased prince; and perhaps ninety nine in the hundred, of all who
heard of him, reprobated his character when alive.


_Occupations of the Quakers--Agriculture declining among them--Probable
reasons of this decline--Country congenial to the quietude of mind
required by their religion--Sentiments of Cowper--Congenial also to the
improvement of their moral feelings--Sentiments of William
Penn--Particularly suited to them as lovers of the animal creation._

The Quakers generally bring up their children to some employment. They
believe that these, by having an occupation, may avoid evils, into which
they might otherwise fall, if they had upon their hands an undue
proportion of vacant time. "Friends of all degrees, says the book of
extracts, are advised to take due care to breed up their children in
some useful and necessary employment, that they may not spend their
precious time in idleness, which is of evil example, and tends much to
their hurt."

The Quakers have been described to be a domestic people, and as
peculiarly cherishing domestic happiness. Upon this principle it is,
combined with the ties of their discipline and peculiar customs, that
we scarcely find any of this society quitting their country, except for
America, to reside in foreign parts. If it be a charge against the
Quakers, that they are eager in the pursuit of wealth, let it at least
be mentioned in their favour, that, in their accumulation of it, they
have been careful not to suffer their knowledge to take advantage of the
ignorance of others, and to keep their hands clear of the oppression,
and of the blood of their fellow-creatures.

In looking among the occupations of the Quakers, we shall find some, who
are brought up as manufacturers and mechanics; but the number of these
is small.

Others, but these are few, follow the sea. There may be here and there a
mate or captain in the coasting employ. In America, where they have
great local and other advantages, there may be more in the seafaring
line. But, in general, the Quakers are domestic characters, and prefer

There are but few also, who follow the professions. Their education and
their religion exclude them from some of these. Some, however, are to be
found in the department of medicine: and others, as conveyancers, in the

Several of the Quakers follow agriculture. But these are few, compared
with the rest of the society, or compared with the number of those who
formerly followed a rural life. Almost all the Quakers were originally
in the country, and but few of them in the towns. But this order of
things is reversing fast. They are flocking into the towns, and are
abandoning agricultural pursuits.

The reasons, which may be given for this change, may be the following.
It is not at all unlikely but that tithes may have had some influence in
producing it. I am aware, however, it will be said, that a Quaker,
living in the country, and strongly principled against these, would
think it a dereliction of his duty to leave it on this account, and
would remain upon the principle, that an abode there, under the annual
exercise of his testimony, would, in a religions point of view, add
strength to his strength. But it must be observed; on the other hand,
that where men are not obliged to remain under grievous evils, and can
get rid of them, merely by changing their occupation in life, and this
honourably, it is in human nature to do it. And so far tithes, I
believe, have had an influence, in driving the Quakers into the towns.
Of later years, as the society has grown thinner in the country, I
believe new reasons have sprung up; for the Quakers have had less
opportunity of society with one another. They have been subjected, also
to greater inconvenience in attending their religious meetings. Their
children also have been more exposed to improper connexions in marriage.
To which it may be added, that the large and rapid profits frequently
made in trade, compared with the generally small and slow returns from
agricultural concerns, may probably have operated with many, as an
inducement to such a change.

But whatever reasons may have induced them to quit the country, and to
settle in the towns, no temporal advantages can make up to them, as a
society, the measure of their loss. For when we consider that the
Quakers never partake of the amusements of the world; that their worldly
pleasures are chiefly of a domestic nature; that calmness, and quietude,
and abstraction from worldly thoughts, to which rural retirement is
peculiarly favourable, is the state of mind which they themselves
acknowledge to be required by their religion, it would seem that the
country was peculiarly the place for their habitations.

It would seem, also as if, by this forsaking of the country, they had
deprived themselves of many opportunities of the highest enjoyment of
which they are capable as Quakers. The objects in the country are
peculiarly favourable to the improvement of morality in the exercise of
the spiritual feelings. The bud and the blossom, the rising and the
falling leaf, the blade of corn and the ear, the seed time and the
harvest, the sun that warms and ripens, the cloud that cools and emits
the fruitful shower; these, and an hundred objects, afford daily food
for the religious growth of the mind. Even the natural man is pleased
with these. They excite in him natural ideas, and produce in him a
natural kind of pleasure. But the spiritual man experiences a sublimer
joy. He sees none of these without feeling both spiritual improvement
and delight. It is here that he converses with the Deity in his works:
It is here that he finds himself grateful for his goodness--that he
acknowledges his wisdom--that he expresses his admiration of his power.

The poet Cowper, in his contemplation of a country life, speaks forcibly
on this subject.

   "O friendly to the best pursuits of man,
   Friendly to _thought_, to _virtue_, and to _peace_,
   Domestic life, in rural leisure pass'd!
   Few know thy value, and few taste thy sweets;
   Though many boast thy favours, and affect
   To understand and choose these for their own
   But foolish man _forgoes his proper bliss_,
   Ev'n as his first progenitor, and quits,
   Though plac'd in Paradise, (for earth has still
   Some traces of her youthful beauty left,)
   _Substantial happiness_ for _transient joy_.
   Scenes form'd for _contemplation_, and to _nurse_
   The _growing seeds of wisdom_, that suggest
   By every pleasing image they present,
   Reflections, _such as meliorate the heart,
   Compose the passions, and exalt the mind."_

William Penn, in the beautiful letter which he left his wife and
children before his first voyage to America, speaks also in strong terms
upon the point in question.

"But agriculture, says he, is especially in my eye. Let my children be
husbandmen and housewives. This occupation is industrious, healthy,
honest, and of good example. Like Abraham and the holy ancients, who
pleased God, and obtained a good report, this leads to consider the
_works of God_, and _nature of things that are good_, and diverts the
mind from _being taken up_ with the _vain arts and inventions of a
luxurious world_." And a little farther on he says, "_Of cities and
towns, of concourse beware_. The _world is apt to stick close_ to those,
who have _lived and got wealth there_. A _country life and estate_, I
like best for my children. I prefer a decent mansion of a hundred pounds
a year, to ten thousand pounds in London, or such like place, _in the
way of trade_."

To these observations it may he added, that the country, independently
of the opportunity it affords for calmness and quietude of mind, and the
moral improvement of it in the exercise of the spiritual feelings, is
peculiarly fitted for the habitation of the Quakers, on account of their
peculiar love for the animal creation. It would afford them a wide range
for the exercise of this love, and the improvement of the benevolent
affections. For tenderness, if encouraged, like a plant that is duly
watered, still grows. What man has ever shown a proper affection for the
brute creation, who has been backward in his love of the human race?



_Trade--Trade seldom considered as a question of morals--But Quakers
view it in this light--Prohibit the slave-trade--Privateering
--Manufactories of weapons of war--Also trade where the revenue is
defrauded--Hazardous enterprises--Fictitious paper--Insist upon
punctuality to words and engagements--Advise an annual inspection of
their own affairs--Regulations in case of bankruptcy._

I stated in the last chapter, that some of the Quakers, though these
were few in number, were manufacturers and mechanics; that others
followed the sea; that, others were to be found in the medical
profession, and in the law; and that others were occupied in the
concerns of a rural life. I believe with these few exceptions, that the
rest of the society may be considered as engaged in trade.

Trade is a subject, which seldom comes under the discussion of mankind
as a moral question. If men who follow it, are honest and punctual in
their dealings, little is thought of the nature of their occupations,
or of the influence of these upon their minds. It will hardly, however,
be denied by moralists, that the buying and selling of commodities for
profit, is surrounded with temptation, and is injurious to pure,
benevolent, or disinterested feelings; or that where the mind is
constantly intent upon the gaining of wealth, by traffic, it is
dangerously employed. Much less will it be denied, that trade is an
evil, if any of the branches of it through which men acquire their
wealth, are productive of mischief either to themselves or others. If
they are destructive to the health of the inferior agents, or to the
morality of any of the persons concerned in them, they can never be
sanctioned by Christianity.

The Quakers have thought it their duty, as a religious body, to make
several regulations on this subject.

In the first place they have made it a rule, that no person,
acknowledged to be in profession with them, shall have any concern in
the slave-trade.

The Quakers began to consider this subject, as a Christian body, so
early as in the beginning of the last century. In the year 1727, they
passed a public censure upon this trade. In the year 1758, and
afterwards in the year 1761, they warned and exhorted all in profession
with them "to keep their hands clear of this unrighteous gain of
oppression." In the yearly meeting of 1763, they renewed their
exhortation in the following words: "We renew our exhortation, that
Friends every where be especially careful to keep their hands clear of
giving encouragement in any shape to the slave-trade; it being evidently
destructive of the natural rights of mankind, who are all ransomed by
one Saviour, and visited by one divine light in order to salvation; a
traffic calculated to enrich and aggrandize some upon the miseries of
others; in its nature abhorrent to every just and tender sentiment, and
contrary to the whole tenour of the Gospel."

In the same manner, from the year 1763, they have publicly manifested a
tender concern for the happiness of the injured Africans, and they have
not only been vigilant to see that none of their own members were
concerned in this impious traffic, but they have lent their assistance
with other Christians in promoting its discontinuance.

They have forbidden also the trade of privateering in war. The Quakers
consider the capture of private vessels by private persons, as a robbery
committed on the property of others, which no human authority can make
reconcileable to the consciences of honest individuals. And upon this
motive they forbid it, as well as upon that of their known profession
against war.

They forbid also the trade of the manufacturing of gun-powder, and of
arms or weapons of war, such as swords, guns, pistols, bayonets, and the
like, that they may stand clear of the charge of having made any
instrument, the avowed use of which is the destruction of human life.

They have forbidden also all trade, that has for its object the
defrauding of the king either of his customs or his excise. They are not
only not to smuggle themselves, but they are not to deal in such goods
as they know, or such as they even suspect, to be smuggled; nor to buy
any article of this description, even for their private use. This
prohibition is enjoined, because all Christians ought "to render to
Caesar the things that are Caesars," in all cases where their
consciences do not suffer by doing it: because those, who are accessory
to smuggling, give encouragement to perjury and bloodshed, these being
frequently the attendants of such unlawful practices; and because they
do considerable injury to the honest trader.

They discourage also concerns in "hazardous enterprises," in the way of
trade. Such enterprisses are apt to disturb the tranquillity of the
mind, and to unfit if for religious exercise. They may involve also the
parties concerned, and their families, in ruin. They may deprive them
again of the means of paying their just debts, and thus render them
injurious to their creditors. Members, therefore, are advised to be
rather content with callings which may produce small but certain
profits, than to hazard the tranquillity of their minds, and the
property of themselves and others.

In the exercise of those callings which are deemed lawful by the
society, two things are insisted upon: first, that their members "never
raise and circulate any fictitious kind of paper credit, with
endorsements and acceptances, to give it an appearance of value without
an intrinsic reality:" secondly, that they should be particularly
attentive to their words, and to the punctual performance of their
engagements, and on no account delay their payments beyond the time they
have promised. The society have very much at heart the enforcement of
the latter injunction, not only because all christians are under an
obligation to do these things, but because they wish to see the high
reputation of their ancestors, in these respects, preserved among those
of their own day. The early Quakers were noted for a scrupulous
attention to their duty, as Christians, in their commercial concerns.
One of the great clamours against them, in the infancy of their
institution, was, that they would get all the trade. It was nothing but
their great honour in their dealings, arising from religious principle,
that gave birth to this uproar, or secured them a more than ordinary
portion of the custom of the world in the line of their respective

Among other regulations made by the Quakers on the subject of trade, it
is advised publicly to the members of the society, to inspect the state
of their affairs once a year. And lest this advice should be
disregarded, the monthly meetings are directed to make annual
appointments of suitable Friends to communicate it to the members
individually. But independently of this public recommendation, they are
earnestly advised by their book of extracts, to examine their situations
frequently. This is done with a view, that they may see how they stand
with respect to themselves and the world at large; that they may not
launch out into commercial concerns beyond their strength, nor live
beyond their income, nor go on longer in their business than they can
pay their debts.

If a Quaker, after this inspection of his affairs, should find himself
unable to pay his just debts, he is immediately to disclose his affairs
to some judicious members of the society, or to his principal creditors,
and to take their advice how he is to act; but to be particularly
careful not to pay one creditor in preference to another.

When a person of the society becomes a bankrupt, a committee is
appointed by his own monthly meeting, to confer with him on his affairs.
If the bankruptcy should appear, by their report, to have been the
result of misconduct, he is disowned. He may, however, on a full
repentance, (for it is a maxim with the society, that "true repentance
washes put all stains,") and by a full payment of every man his own, be
admitted into membership again; or if he has begun to pay his creditors,
and has made arrangements satisfactory to the society for paying them,
he may be received as a member, even before the whole of the debt is

If it should appear, on the other hand, that the bankruptcy was the
unavoidable result of misfortune, and not of imprudence, he is allowed
to continue in the society.

But in either of these cases, that is, where a man is disowned and
restored, or where he has not been disowned at all, he is never
considered as a member, entitled to every privilege of the society,
till he has paid the whole of the debts. And the Quakers are so strict
upon this point, that if a person has paid ten shillings in the pound,
and his creditors have accepted the composition, and the law has given
him his discharge, it is insisted upon that he pays the remaining ten as
soon as he is able. No distance of time will be any excuse to the
society for his refusal to comply with this honourable law. Nor will he
be considered as a full member, as I observed before, till he has paid
the uttermost farthing; for no collection for the poor, nor any legacy
for the poor, or for other services of the society, will be received
from his purse, while any thing remains of the former debt. This rule of
refusing charitable contributions on such occasions, is founded on the
principle that money, taken from a man in such a situation, is taken
from his lawful creditors; and that such a man can have nothing to give,
while he owes any thing to another.

It may be observed of this rule or custom, that as it is founded in
moral principle, so it tends to promote a moral end. When persons of
this description see their own donations dispensed with, but those of
the rest of the meeting taken, they are reminded of their own situation,
and of the desirableness of making the full satisfaction required. The
custom, therefore, operates as a constant memento, that their debts are
still hanging over them, and prompts to new industry and anxious
exertion for their discharge. There are many instances of Quakers, who
have paid their composition as others do, but who, after a lapse of many
years, have surprised their former creditors by bringing them the
remaining amount of their former debts. Hence the Quakers are often
enabled to say, what few others can say on the same subject, that they
are not ultimately hurtful to mankind, either by their errors, or by
their misfortunes.


_But though the Quakers have made these regulations, the world find
fault with many of their trades or callings--Several of these
specified--Standard proposed by which to examine them--Some of these
censurable by this standard--and given up by many Quakers on this
account, though individuals may still follow them._

But though the Quakers have made these beautiful regulations concerning
trade, it is manifest that the world are not wholly satisfied with their
conduct on this subject. People charge them with the exercise of
improper callings, or of occupations inconsistent with the principles
they profess.

It is well known that the Quakers consider themselves as a highly
professing people; that they declaim against the follies and vanities of
the world; and that they bear their testimony against civil customs and
institutions, even to personal suffering. Hence, professing more than
others, more is expected from them. George Fox endeavoured to inculcate
this idea into his new society. In his letter to the yearly meeting in
1679, he expresses himself as follows: "The world also does expect more
from Friends than from other people, because they profess more.
Therefore you should be more just than others in your words and
dealings, and more righteous, holy, and pure, in your lives and
conversations; so that your lives and conversations may preach. For the
world's tongues and mouths have preached long enough; but their lives
and conversations have denied what their tongues have professed and
declared." I may observe, therefore, that the circumstance of a more
than ordinary profession of consistency, and not any supposed immorality
on the part of the Quakers, has brought them, in the instances alluded
to, under the censure of the world. Other people, found in the same
trades or occupations, are seldom noticed as doing wrong. But when men
are set as lights upon a hill, blemishes will be discovered in them,
which will be overlooked among those who walk in the vale below.

The trades or occupations which are usually condemned as improper for
Quakers to follow, are numerous. I shall not therefore specify them all.
Those, however, which I purpose to select for mention, I shall accompany
with all the distinctions which equity demands on the occasion.

The trade of a distiller, or of a spirit-merchant, is considered as
objectionable if in the hands of a Quaker.

That of a cotton manufacturer, who employs a number of poor children in
the usual way, or in a way which is destructive to their morals and to
their health, is considered as equally deserving of censured.[4]

[Footnote 4: Poor children are frequently sent by parishes to
cotton-mills. Little or no care is taken of their morals. The men, when
grown up, frequently become drunken, and the girls debauched. But the
evil does not stop here. The progeny of these, vitiated by the
drunkenness and debauchery of their parents, have generally diseased and
crippled constitutions, which they perpetuate to a new generation; after
which the whole race, I am told, generally becomes extinct. What
Christian can gain wealth at the expense of the health, morals, and
happiness of his fellow-creatures?]

There is a calling which is seldom followed by itself: I mean the
furnishing of funerals, or the serving of the pall. This is generally in
the hands of Cabinet-makers, or of Upholsterers, or of woollen-drapers.
Now if any Quaker should be found in any of these occupations, and if he
should unite with these that of serving the pall, he would be considered
by such an union, as following an objectionable trade. For the Quakers
having discarded all the pomp, and parade, and dress, connected with
funerals, from their own practice, and this upon moral principles, it
is insisted upon, that they ought not to be accessary to the promotion
of such ceremonials among others.

The trade of a printer, or bookseller, when exercised by a Quaker, has
not escaped the animadversions of the world. A distinction, however,
must be made here. They who condemn this calling, can never do it
justly, but in supposed cases. They must suppose, for example, that the
persons in question follow these callings generally, or that they do not
make an exception with respect to the printing or selling of such books
as may convey poison to the morals of those who read them.

A Quaker-tailor is considered as a character, which cannot consistently
exist. But a similar distinction must be made here as in a former case.
The world cannot mean that if a Quaker confines himself to the making of
clothes for his own society, he is reproachable for so doing; but only
if he makes clothes for every one without distinction, following, as he
is ordered, all the varying fashions of the world.

A Quaker-hatter is looked upon in the same light as a Quaker-tailor. But
here a distinction suggests itself again. If he make only plain and
useful hats for the community and for other Quakers, it cannot be
understood that he is acting inconsistently with his religious
profession. The charge can only lie against him, where he furnishes the
hat with the gold and the silver-lace, or the lady's riding-hat with its
ornaments, or the military hat with its lace, cockade, and plumes. In
this case he will be considered as censurable by many, because he will
be looked upon as a dealer in the superfluities condemned by his own

The last occupation I shall notice is that of a silversmith. And here
the censure will depend upon a contingency also. If a Quaker confines
himself to the selling of plain silver articles for use, little
objection can be raised against his employ. But if, in addition to this,
he sells goldheaded canes, trinkets, rings, ear-rings, bracelets,
jewels, and other ornaments of the person, he will be considered as
chargeable with the same inconsistency as the follower of the former

In examining these and other occupations of the Quakers, with a view of
seeing how far the objections which have been advanced against them are
valid, I own I have a difficult task to perform. For what standard shall
I fix upon, or what limits shall I draw upon this occasion? The
objections are founded in part upon the principle, that Quakers ought
not to sell those things, of which their own practice shows that they
disapprove. But shall I admit this principle without any limitation or
reserve? Shall I say without any reserve, that a Quaker-woman, who
discards the use of a simple ribbon from her dress, shall not sell it to
another female, who has been constantly in the habit of using it, and
this without any detriment to her mind? Shall I say again, without any
reserve, that a Quaker-man who discards the use of black cloth, shall
not sell a yard of it to another? And, if I should say so, where am I to
stop? Shall I not be obliged to go over all the colours in his shop, and
object to all but the brown and the drab? Shall I say again, without any
reserve, that a Quaker cannot sell any thing which is innocent in
itself, without inquiring of the buyer its application or its use? And
if I should say so, might I not as well say, that no Quaker can be in
trade? I fear that to say this, would be to get into a labyrinth, out of
which there would be no clew to guide us.

Difficult, however, as the task may seem, I think I may lay down three
positions, which will probably not be denied, and which, if admitted,
will assist us in the determination of the question before us. The first
of these is, that no Quaker can be concerned in the sale of a thing,
which is evil in itself. Secondly, that he cannot encourage the sale of
an article, which he knows to be essentially, or very generally, that
is, in seven cases out of ten, productive of evil. And, thirdly, that he
cannot sell things which he has discarded from his own use, if he has
discarded them on a belief that they are specifically forbidden by
Christianity, or that they are morally injurious to the human mind.

If these positions be acknowledged, they will give ample latitude for
the condemnation of many branches of trade.

A Quaker-bookseller, according to these positions, cannot sell a profane
or improper book.

A Quaker spirit-merchant cannot sell his liquor but to those whom he
believes will use it in moderation, or medicinally, or on proper

A Quaker, who is a manufacturer of cotton, cannot exercise his
occupation but upon an amended plan.

A Quaker-silversmith cannot deal in any splendid ornaments of the

The latter cannot do this for the following reasons. The Quakers reject
all such ornaments, because they believe them to be specifically
condemned by Christianity. The words of the apostles Paul and Peter,
have been quoted both by Fox, Penn, Barclay, and others, upon this
subject. But surely, if the Christian religion positively condemns the
use of them in one, it condemns the use of them in another. And how can
any one, professing this religion, sell that, the use of which he
believes it to have forbidden? The Quakers also have rejected all
ornaments of the person, as we find by their own writers, on account of
their immoral tendency; or because they are supposed to be instrumental
in puffing up the creature, or in the generation of vanity and pride.
But if they have rejected the use of them upon this principle, they are
bound, as Christians, to refuse to sell them to others. Christian love,
and the Christian obligation to do as we would wish to be done by,
positively enjoin this conduct. For no man, consistently with this
divine law and obligation, can sow the seeds of moral disease in his
neighbour's mind.

And here I may observe, that though there are trades, which may be
innocent in themselves, yet Quakers may make them objectionable by the
manner in which they may conduct themselves in disposing of the articles
which belong to them. They can never pass them off, as other people do,
by the declaration that they are the fashionable articles of the day.
Such words ought never to come out of Quakers' mouths; not so much
because their own lives are a living protest against the fashions of the
world, as because they cannot knowingly be instrumental in doing a moral
injury to others. For it is undoubtedly the belief of the Quakers, as I
had occasion to observe in a former volume, that the following of such
fashions, begets a worldly spirit, and that in proportion as men indulge
this spirit, they are found to follow the loose and changeable morality
of the world, instead of the strict and steady morality of the gospel.

That some such positions as these may be fixed upon for the farther
regulation of commercial concerns among the Quakers, is evident, when we
consider the example of many estimable persons in this society.

The Quakers, in the early times of their institution, were very
circumspect about the nature of their occupations, and particularly as
to dealing in superfluities and ornaments of the person. Gilbert Latey
was one of those who bore his public testimony against them. Though he
was only a tailor, he was known and highly respected by king James the
Second. He would not allow his servants to put any corruptive finery
upon the clothes which he had been ordered to make for others. From
Gilbert Latey I may pass to John Woolman. In examining the Journal of
the latter I find him speaking thus: "It had been my general practice to
buy and sell things really useful. Things that served chiefly to please
the vain mind in people, I was not easy to trade in; seldom did it; and
whenever I did, I found it weaken me as a Christian." And from John
Woolman I might mention the names of many, and, if delicacy did not
forbid me, those of Quakers now living, who relinquished or regulated
their callings, on an idea, that they could not consistently follow them
at all, or that they could not follow them according to the usual manner
of the world. I knew the relation of a Quaker-distiller, who left off
his business upon principle. I was intimate with a Quaker-bookseller. He
did not give up his occupation, for this was unnecessary; but he was
scrupulous about the selling of an improper book. Another friend of
mine, in the society, succeeded but a few years ago to a draper's shop.
The furnishing of funerals had been a profitable part of the employ. But
he refused to be concerned in this branch of it, wholly owing to his
scruples about it. Another had been established as a silversmith for
many years, and had traded in the ornamental part of the business, but
he left it wholly, though advantageously situated, for the same reason,
and betook himself to another trade. I know other Quakers, who have held
other occupations, not usually objectionable by the world, who have
become uneasy about them, and have relinquished them in their turn.
These noble instances of the dereliction of gain, where it has
interfered with principle, I feel it only justice to mention in this
place. It is an homage due to Quakerism; for genuine Quakerism will
always produce such instances. No true Quaker will remain in any
occupation, which he believes it improper to pursue. And I hope, if
there are Quakers, who mix the sale of objectionable with that of the
other articles of their trade, it is because they have entered into this
mixed business, without their usual portion of thought, or that the
occupation itself has never come as an improper occupation before their

Upon the whole, it must be stated that it is wholly owing to the more
than ordinary professions of the Quakers, as a religious body, that the
charges in question have been exhibited against such individuals among
them, as have been found in particular trades. If other people had been
found in the same callings, the same blemishes would not have been so
apparent. And if others had been found in the same, callings, and it
had been observed of these, that they had made all the beautiful
regulations which I have shown the Quakers to have done on the subject
of trade, these blemishes would have been removed from the usual range
of the human vision. They would have been like the spots in the sun's
disk, which are hid from the observation of the human eye, because they
are lost in the superior beauty of its blaze. But when the Quakers have
been looked at solely as Quakers, or as men of high religious
profession, these blemishes have become conspicuous. The moon, when it
eclipses the sun, appears as a blemish in the body of that luminary. So
a public departure from publicly professed principles will always be
noticed, because it will be an excrescence or blemish, too large and
protuberant, to be overlooked in the moral character.


_Settlement of differences--Quakers, when they differ, abstain from
violence--No instance of a duel--George For protested against going to
law, and Recommended arbitration-Laws relative to arbitration--Account
of an arbitration-society, at Newcastle upon Tyne, on Quaker-principles
--Its dissolution--Such societies might be usefully promoted._

Men are so constituted by nature, and their mutual intercourse is such,
that circumstances must unavoidably arise, which will occasion
differences. These differences will occasionally rouse the passions;
and, after all, they will still be to be settled. The Quakers, like
other men, have their differences. But you rarely see any disturbance of
the temper on this account. You rarely hear intemperate invectives. You
are witness to no blows. If in the courts of law you have never seen
their characters stained by convictions for a breach of the
marriage-contract, or the crime of adultery; so neither have you seen
them disgraced by convictions for brutal violence, or that most
barbarous of all Gothic customs, the duel.

It is a lamentable fact, when we consider that we live in an age,
removed above eighteen hundred years from the first promulgation of
Christianity, one of the great objects of which was to insist upon the
subjugation of the passions, that our children should not have been
better instructed, than that we should now have to behold men, of
apparently good education, settling their disputes by an appeal to arms.
It is difficult to conceive what preposterous principles can actuate
men, to induce them to such a mode of decision. Justice is the ultimate
wish of every reasonable man in the termination of his casual
differences with others, But, in the determination of cases by the
sword, the injured man not unfrequently falls, while the aggressor
sometimes adds to his offence, by making a widow or an orphan, and by
the murder of of a fellow-creature. But it is possible the duellist may
conceive that he adds to his reputation by decisions of this sanguinary
nature. But surely he has no other reputation with good men, than that
of a weak, or a savage, or an infatuated creature; and, if he fells, he
is pitied by these on no other motive than that of his folly and of his
crime. What philosopher can extol his courage, who, knowing the bondage
of the mind while under the dominion of fashion, believes that more
courage is necessary in refusing a challenge, than in going into the
field? What legislator can applaud his patriotism, when he sees him
violate the laws of his country? What Christian his religion, when he
reflects on the relative duties of man, on the law of lore and
benevolence that should have guided him, on the principle that it is
more noble to suffer than to resist, and on the circumstance, that he
may put himself into the doubly criminal situation of a murderer and a
suicide by the same act?

George Fox, in his doctrine of the influence of the spirit as a divine
teacher, and in that of the necessity of the subjugation of the passions
in order that the inward man might be in a fit state to receive its
admonitions, left to the society a system of education, which, if acted
upon, could not fail of producing peaceable and quiet characters; but
foreseeing that among the best men differences would unavoidably arise
from their intercourse in business and other causes, it, was his desire
that these should be settled in a Christian manner. He advised therefore
that no member should appeal to law; but that he should refer his
difference to arbitration, by persons of exemplary character in the
society. This mode of decision appeared to him to be consistent with the
spirit of Christianity, and with the advice of the apostle Paul, who
recommended that all the differences among the Christians of his own
time should be referred to the decision of the saints, or of such other
Christians, as were eminent for their lives and conversation.

This mode of decision, which began to take place among the Quakers in
the time of George Fox, has been continued by them to the present day.
Cases, where property is concerned to the amount of many thousands, are
determined in no other manner. By this process the Quakers obtain their
verdicts in a way peculiarly satisfactory. For law-suits are at best
tedious. They often destroy brotherly love in the individuals, while
they continue. They excite also, during this time, not unfrequently, a
vindictive spirit, and lead to family-feuds and quarrels. They agitate
the mind also, hurt the temper, and disqualify a man for the proper
exercise of his devotion. Add to this, that the expenses of law are
frequently so great, that burthens are imposed upon men for matters of
little consequence, which they feel as evils and incumbrances for a
portion of their lives; burthens which guilt alone, and which no
indiscretion, could have merited. Hence the Quakers experience
advantages in the settlement of their differences, which are known but
to few others.

The Quakers, when any difference arises about things that are not of
serious moment, generally settle it amicably between themselves; but in
matters that are intricate and of weighty concern, they have recourse to
arbitration. If it should happen, that they are slow in proceeding to
arbitration, overseers, or any others of the society, who may come to
the knowledge of the circumstance, are to step in and to offer their
advice. If their advice is rejected, complaint is to be made to their
own monthly meeting concerning them; after which they will come under
the discipline of the society, and if they still persist in refusing to
settle their differences or to proceed to arbitration, they may be
disowned. I may mention here, that any member going to law with another,
without having previously tried, to accommodate matters between them
according to the rules of the society, comes under the discipline in
like manner.

When arbitration is determined on, the Quakers are enjoined to apply to
persons of their own society to decide the case. It is considered,
however, as desirable, that they should not trouble their ministers, if
they can help it, on these occasions, as the minds of these ought to be
drawn out as little as possible into worldly concerns. If Quakers,
however, should not find among Quakers such as they would choose to
employ for these purposes, or such as may not possess skill in regard to
the matter in dispute, they may apply to others out of the society,
sooner than go to law.

The following is a concise statement of the rules recommended by the
society, in the case of arbitrations.

Each party is to choose one or two friends as arbitrators, and all the
persons, so chosen, are to agree upon a third or a fifth. The
arbitrators are not to consider themselves as advocates for the party by
whom they were chosen, but as men, whose duty it is to judge
righteously, fearing the Lord. The parties are to enter into engagements
to abide by the award of the arbitrators. Every meeting of the
arbitrators is to be made known to the parties concerned, till they have
been fully heard. No private meetings are allowed between some of the
arbitrators, or with one party separate from the other, on the business
referred to them. No representation of the case of one party, either by
writing or otherwise, is to be admitted, without its being fully made
known to the other; and, if required, a copy of such representation is
to be delivered to the other party. The arbitrators are to hear both
parties fully, in the presence of each other, whilst either has any
fresh matter to offer, for a time mutually limited. In the case of any
doubtful point of law, the arbitrators are jointly to agree upon a case,
and consult counsel. It is recommended to arbitrators to propose to the
parties, that they should give an acknowledgment in writing, before the
award is made; that they have been candidly and fully heard.

In the same manner as a Quaker proceeds with a Quaker in the case of any
difference, he is led by his education and habits to proceed with
others, who are not members of the same society. A Quaker seldom goes to
law with a person of another denomination, till he has proposed
arbitration. If the proposal be not accepted, the Quaker has then no
remedy but the law. For a person, who is out of the society, cannot be
obliged upon pain of disownment, as a Quaker may, to submit to such a
mode of decision, being out of the reach of the Quaker-discipline.

I shall close my observations upon this subject, by giving an account of
an institution for the accommodation of differences, which took place in
the year 1793, upon Quaker principles.

In the town of Newcastle upon Tyne, a number of disputes were
continually arising on the subject of shipping concerns, which were
referred to the decision of the laws. These decisions were often
grievously expensive. They were, besides, frequently different from what
seafaring persons conceived to be just. The latter circumstance was
attributed to the ignorance of lawyers in maritime affairs. Much money
was therefore often expended, and no one satisfied. Some Quakers, in the
neighbourhood, in conjunction with others, came forward with a view of
obviating these evils. They proposed arbitration as a remedy. They met
with some opposition at first, but principally from the gentlemen of the
law. After having, however, shown the impropriety of many of the legal
verdicts that had been given, they had the pleasure of seeing their plan
publicly introduced and sanctioned. For in the month of June, 1793, a
number of gentlemen, respectable for their knowledge in mercantile and
maritime affairs, met at the Trinity-hall in Newcastle, and associated
themselves for these and other purposes, calling themselves "The
Newcastle upon Tyne Association for general Arbitration."

This association was to have four general meetings in the year, one in
each quarter, at which they were to receive cases. For any urgent
matter, however, which might occur, the clerk was to have the power of
calling a special meeting.

Each person, on delivering a case, was to pay a small fee. Out of these
fees the clerk's salary and incidental expenses were to be paid. But the
surplus was to be given to the poor.

The parties were to enter into arbitration-bonds, as is usual upon such

Each party was to choose out of this association or standing committee,
one arbitrator for himself, and the association were to choose or to
ballot for a third. And here it will be proper to observe, that this
standing association appeared to be capable of affording arbitrators
equal to the determination of every case. For, if the matter in dispute
between the two parties were to happen to be a mercantile question,
there were merchants in the association: If a question relative to
shipping, there were ship-owners in it: If a question of insurance,
there were insurance-brokers also. A man could hardly fail of having his
case determined by persons who were competent to the task.

Though this beautiful institution was thus publicly introduced, and
introduced with considerable expectations and applause, cases came in
but slowly. Custom and prejudice are not to be rooted out in a moment.
In process of time, however, several were offered, considered, and
decided, and the presumption was, that the institution would have grown
with time. Of those cases which were determined, some, relating to
ships, were found to be particularly intricate, and cost the arbitrators
considerable time and trouble. The verdicts, however, which were given,
were in all of them satisfactory. The Institution, at length became so
popular, that, incredible to relate, its own popularity destroyed it! So
many persons were ambitious of the honour of becoming members of the
committee, that some of inferior knowledge, and judgment, and character,
were too hastily admitted into it. The consequence was, that people
dared not trust their affairs to the abilities of every member: and the
institution expired, after having rendered important services to
numerous individuals who had tried it.

When we consider that this institution has been tried, and that the
scheme of it has been found practicable, it is a pity that its benefits
should have been confined, and this for so short a period, to a single
town. Would it not be desirable, if, in every district, a number of
farmers were to give in their names to form a standing committee, for
the settlement of disputes between farmer and farmer? or that there
should be a similar institution among manufacturers, who should decide
between one manufacturer and another? Would it not also be desirable,
if, in every parish, a number of gentlemen, or other respectable
persons, were to associate for the purpose of accommodating the
differences of each other? For this beautiful system is capable of being
carried to any extent, and of being adapted to all stations and
conditions of life. By these means numerous little funds might be
established in numerous districts, from the surplus of which an
opportunity would be afforded of adding to the comforts of such of the
poor, as were to distinguish themselves by their good behaviour, whether
as labourers for farmers, manufacturers, or others. By these means also
many of the quarrels in parishes might be settled to the mutual
satisfaction of the parties concerned, and, in so short a space of time,
as to prevent them from contracting a rancorous and a wounding edge.
Those, on the other hand, who were to assist in these arbitrations,
would be amply repaid; for they would be thus giving an opportunity of
growth to the benevolence of their affections, and they would have the
pleasing reflection, that the tendency of their labours would be to
produce peace and good will amongst men.



_Management of the poor--Quakers never seen as beggars--George Fox began
the provision for the Quaker-poor--Monthly meetings appoint
overseers--Persons passed over are to apply for relief and the
disorderly may receive it in certain cases--Manner of collecting for the
poor--If burthensome in one monthly meeting, the burthen shared by the
quarterly--Quakers gain settlements by monthly meetings, as the other
poor of the kingdom, by parishes._

There are few parts of the Quaker-constitution, that are more worthy of
commendation, than that which relates to the poor. All the members of
this society are considered as brethren, and as entitled to support from
one another. If our streets and our roads are infested by miserable
objects, imploring our pity, no Quaker will be found among them. A
Quaker-beggar would be a phenomenon in the world.

It does not, however, follow from this account, that there are no poor
Quakers, or that members of this society are not born in a dependent
state. The truth is, that there are poor as well as rich, but the wants
of the former are so well provided for, that they are not publicly seen,
like the wants of others.

George Fox, as he was the founder of the religion of the Quakers, I mean
of a system of renovated Christianity, so he was the author of the
beautiful system by which they make a provision for their poor. As a
Christian, he considered the poor of every description, as members of
the same family, but particularly those, who were of the household of
faith. Consistently with this opinion, he advised the establishment of
general meetings in his own time, a special part of whose business it
was to take due care of the poor. These meetings excited at first the
vigilance and anger of the magistrates; but when they came to see the
regulations made by the Quakers, in order that none of their poor might
become burthensome to their parishes, they went away--whatever they
might think of some of their new tenets of religion--in admiration of
their benevolence.

The Quakers of the present day consider their poor in the same light as
their venerable elder, namely, as members of the same family, whose
wants it is their duty to relieve; and they provide for them nearly in
the same manner. They intrust this important concern to the monthly
meetings, which are the executive branches of the Quaker constitution.
The monthly meetings generally appoint four overseers, two men and two
women, over each particular meeting within their own jurisdiction, if
their number will admit of it. It is the duty of these, to visit such of
the poor as are in membership, of the men to visit the men, but of the
women sometimes to visit both. The reason, why this double burthen is
laid upon the women-overseers, is, that women know more of domestic
concerns, more of the wants of families, more of the manner of providing
for them, and are better advisers, and better nurses in sickness, than
the men. Whatever these overseers find wanting in the course of their
visits, whether money, clothes, medicine, or medical advice and
attention, they order them, and the treasurer of the monthly meetings
settles the different accounts. I may observe here, that it is not easy
for overseers to neglect their duty; for an inquiry is made three times
in the year, of the monthly meetings by the quarterly, whether the
necessities of the poor are properly inspected and relieved[5]. I may
observe also that the poor, who may stand in need of relief, are always
relieved privately, I mean, at their respective homes.

[Footnote 5: In London a committee is appointed for each poor person.
Thus, for example, two women are appointed to attend to the wants and
comfort of one poor old woman.]

It is however possible, that there may be persons, who, from a variety
of unlocked for causes, may be brought into distress, and whose case,
never having been suspected, may be passed over. But persons, in this
situation, are desired to apply, for assistance. It is also a rule in
the society, that even persons whose conduct is disorderly, are to be
relieved, if such conduct has not been objected to by their own monthly
meeting. "The want of due care, says the book of Extracts, in watching
diligently over the flock, and in dealing in due time with such as walk
disorderly, hath, brought great difficulties on some meetings; for we
think it both unreasonable and dishonourable, when persons apply to
monthly meetings for relief in cases of necessity, then to object to
them such offences as the meeting, through neglect of its own duty, hath
suffered long to pass by, unreproved and unnoticed."

The poor are supported by charitable collections from the body at large;
or, in other words, every monthly meeting supports its own poor. The
collections for them are usually made once a month, but in some places
once a quarter, and in others at no stated times but when the treasurer
declares them necessary, and the monthly meeting approves. Members are
expected to contribute in proportion to their circumstances; but
persons in a low situation, and servants, are generally excused upon
these occasions.

It happens in the districts of some monthly meetings, that there are
found only few persons of property, but a numerous poor, so that the
former are unable to do justice in their provision for the latter. The
society have therefore resolved, when the poor are too numerous to be
supported by their own monthly meetings, that the collection for them
shall be made up out of the quarterly meeting, to which the said monthly
meeting belongs. This is the same thing as if any particular parish were
unable to pay the rates for the poor, and as if all the other parishes
in the county were made to contribute towards the same.

On this subject I may observe, that the Quaker-poor are attached to
their monthly meetings, as the common poor of the kingdom are attached
to their parishes, and that they gain settlements in these nearly in the
same manner.


_Education of the children of the poor particularly insisted upon and
provided for by the Quakers--The bays usually pat out to
apprenticeship--The girls to service--The latter not sufficiently
numerous for the Quaker-families, who want them--The rich have not their
proper proportion of these in their service--Reasons of it--Character of
the Quaker poor._

As the Quakers are particularly attentive to the wants of the poor, so
they are no less attentive to the education of their offspring. These
are all of them to receive their education at the public expense. The
same overseers, as in the former case, are to take care of it, and the
same funds to support it. An inquiry is therefore made three times in
the year into this subject. "The children of the poor, says the book of
Extracts, are to have due help of education, instruction, and necessary
learning. The families also of the poor are to be provided with Bibles,
and books of the society, at the expense of the monthly meetings. And as
spine members may be straitened in their circumstances, and may refuse,
out of delicacy, to apply for aid towards the education of their
children, it is earnestly recommended to friends in every monthly
meeting, to look out for persons who may be thus straitened, and to take
care that their children shall receive instruction: and it is
recommended to the parents of such, not to refuse this salutary aid, but
to receive it with a willing mind, and with thankfulness to the great
author of all good."

When the boys have received their necessary learning, they are usually
put out as apprentices to husbandry or trade. Domestic service is
generally considered by their parents as unmanly, and as a nursery for
idleness. Boys too, who can read and write, ought to expect, with the
accustomed diligence and sobriety of Quakers, to arrive at a better
situation in life. The girls, however, are destined in general for
service: for it must be obvious, whatever their education may be, that
the same number of employments is not open to women as to men. Of those
again, which are open, some are objectionable. A Quaker-girl, for
example, could not consistently be put an apprentice to a Milliner.
Neither if a cotton-manufactory were in the neighbourhood, could her
parents send her to such a nursery of debauchery and vice. From these
and other considerations, and because domestic employments belong to
women, their parents generally think it advisable to bring them up to
service, and to place them in the families of friends.

It is a remarkable circumstance, when we consider it to be recommended
that Quaker-masters of families should take Quaker-servants, that
persons of the latter description are not to be found sufficiently
numerous for those who want them. This is probably a proof of the
thriving situation of this society. It is remarkable again, that the
rich have by no means their proportion of such servants. Those of the
wealthy, who are exemplary, get them if they can. Others decline their
services. Of these, some do it from good motives; for, knowing that it
would be difficult to make up their complement of servants from the
society, they do not wish to break in upon the customs and morals of
those belonging to it, by mixing them with others. The rest, who mix
more with the world, are, as I have been informed, fearful of having
them, lest they should be overseers of their words and manners. For it
is in the essence of the Quaker-discipline, as I observed upon that
subject, that every member should watch over another for his good. There
are no exceptions as to persons. The servant has as much right to watch
over his master with respect to his religions conduct and conversation,
as the master over his servant; and he has also a right, if his master
violates the discipline, to speak to him, in a respectful manner, for
so doing. Nor would a Quaker-servant, if he were well grounded in the
principles of the society, and felt it to be his duty, want the courage
to speak his mind upon such occasions. There have been instances, where
this has happened, and where the master, in the true spirit of his
religion, has not felt himself insulted by such interference, but has
looked upon his servant afterwards as more worthy of his confidence and
esteem. Such a right, however, of remonstrance, is, I presume, but
rarely exercised.

I cannot conclude this subject without saying a few words on the
character of the Quaker-poor.

In the first place I may observe, that one of the great traits in their
character is independence of mind. When you converse with them, you find
them attentive, civil, and obliging, but you see no marks of servility
about them, and you hear no flattery from their lips. It is not the
custom in this society, even for the poorest member to bow or pull off
his hat, or to observe any outward obeisance to another, who may happen
to be rich. Such customs are forbidden to all on religious principle. In
consequence, therefore, of the omission of such ceremonious practices,
his mind has never been made to bend on the approach of superior rank.
Nor has he seen, in his own society, any thing that could lessen his own
importance or dignity as a man. He is admitted into the meetings of
discipline equally with the rich. He has a voice equally with them in
all matters that are agitated there. From these causes a manliness of
mind is produced, which is not seen among any other of the poor in the
inland in which we live.

It may also be mentioned as a second trait, that they possess
extraordinary knowledge. Every Quaker-boy or girl, who comes into the
world, must, however poor, if the discipline of the society be kept up,
receive an education. All, therefore, who are born in the society, must
be able to read and write. Thus the keys of knowledge are put into their
hands. Hence we find them attaining a superior literal and historical
knowledge of the scriptures, a superior knowledge of human nature, and a
knowledge that sets them above many of the superstitions of those in
their own rank in life.

Another trait conspicuous in the character of the Quaker-poor, is the
morality of their lives.

This circumstance may easily be accounted for. For, in the first place,
they are hindered in common with other Quakers, by means of their
discipline, from doing many things, that are morally injurious to
themselves. The poor of the world are addicted to profane swearing. But
no person can bring the name of the creator of the Universe into
frequent and ordinary use, without losing a sense of the veneration that
is due to him. The poor of the world, again, frequently spend their
time in public houses. They fight and quarrel with one another. They run
after horse-racings, bull-baitings, cock-fightings, and the still more
unnatural battles between man and man. But, by encouraging such habits,
they cannot but obstruct in time, the natural risings of benevolence
both towards their fellow-creatures and to those of the animal creation.
Nor can they do otherwise than lose a sense of the dignity of their own
minds, and weaken the moral principle. But the Quaker-poor, who are
principled against such customs, can of course suffer no moral injury on
these accounts. To which it may be added, that their superior knowledge
both leads and attaches them to a superior conduct. It is a false, as
well as a barbarous maxim, and a maxim very injurious both to the
interests of the rich and poor, as well as of the states to which they
belong, that knowledge is unpropitious to virtue.





_Religion of the Quakers--Invitation to a patient perusal of this part
of the work--No design, by this invitation, to proselyte to
Quakerism--All systems of Religion, that are founded on the principles
of Christianity, are capable, if heartily embraced, of producing present
and future happiness to man--No censure of another's Creed warrantable,
inasmuch as the human understanding is finite--Object of this

Having explained very diffusively the great subjects, the moral
Education, Discipline, and Peculiar Customs, of the Quakers, I purpose
to allot the remaining part of this volume to the consideration of their

I know that persons, who are religiously disposed will follow me
patiently through this division of my work, not only because religion is
the most important of all subjects that can be agitated, but because,
in the explanation of the religious systems of others, some light may
arise, which, though it be not new to all, may yet be new and acceptable
to many. I am aware, however, that there are some who direct their
reading to light subjects, and to whom such as are serious may appear
burthensome. If any such should have been induced, by any particular
motive, to take this book into their hands, and to accompany me thus
far, I entreat a continuation of their patience, till I have carried
them through the different parts and divisions of the present subject.

I have no view, in thus soliciting the attention of those who are more,
or of those who are less religiously disposed, to attempt to proselyte
to Quakerism. If men do but fear God, and work righteousness, whatever
their Christian denomination may be, it is sufficient. Every system of
religion which is founded on the principles of Christianity, must be
capable, if heartily embraced, of producing temporal and eternal
happiness to man. At least, man with his limited understanding, cannot
pronounce with any absolute certainty, that his own system is so far
preferable to that of his neighbour, that it is positively the best, or
that there will be any material difference in the future happiness of
those who follow the one or the other; or that the pure professors of
each shall not have their peculiar rewards. The truth is, that each
system has its own merits. Each embraces great and sublime objects. And
if good men have existed, as none can reasonably deny, before
Christianity was known, it would be a libel on Christianity, to suppose
either that good men had not existed since, or that good Christians
would not be ultimately happy, though following systems differing from
those of one another. Indeed, every Christian community has a great deal
to say in the defence of its own tenets. Almost all Christian churches
have produced great characters; and there are none, I should hope, that
had not been the authors of religious good. The church of England, in
attempting to purify herself at the reformation, effected a great work.
Since that time she has produced at different periods, and continues to
produce, both great and good men. By means of her Universities, she has
given forth, and keeps up and disseminates, a considerable portion of
knowledge; and though this, in the opinion of the Quakers, is not
necessary for those who are to become ministers of the Gospel, it cannot
be denied that it is a source of temporary happiness to man; that it
enlarges the scope of his rational and moral understanding, and that it
leads to great and sublime discoveries, which become eminently
beneficial to mankind. Since that time she has also been an instrument
of spreading over this kingdom a great portion of religious light, which
has had its influence in the production of moral character.

But though I bestow this encomium upon the established church, I should
be chargeable with partiality and injustice, if I were not to allow,
that among the dissenters of various descriptions, learned, pious, and
great men, had been regularly and successively produced. And it must be
confessed, and reflected upon with pleasure, that these, in proportion
to their numbers, have been no less instrumental in the dissemination of
religions knowledge, and in the production of religious conduct. I might
go to large and populous towns and villages in the kingdom, and fully
prove my assertion in the reformed manners of the poor, many of whom,
before these pious visitations, had been remarkable for the profaneness
of their lives.

Let us then not talk but with great deference and humility; with great
tenderness and charity; with great thankfulness to the author of every
good gift,--when we speak of the different systems that actuate the
Christian World. Why should we consider our neighbour as an alien, and
load him with reproaches, because he happens to differ from us in
opinion about an article of faith? As long as there are men, so long
will there be different measures of talents and understanding; and so
long will they view things in a different light, and come to different
conclusions concerning them. The eye of one man can see farther than
that of another: So can the human mind, on the subject of speculative
truths. This consideration should teach us humility and forbearance in
judging of the religion of others. For who is he, who can say that he
sees the farthest, or that his own system is the best? If such men as
Milton, Whiston, Boyle, Locke, and Newton, all agreeing in the
profession of Christianity, did not all think precisely alike concerning
it, who art thou, with thy inferior capacity, who settest up the
standard of thine own judgment as infallible? If thou sendest thy
neighbour to perdition in the other world, because he does not agree in
his creed with thee, know that he judges according to the best of his
abilities, and that no more will be required of him. Know also that thou
thyself judgest like a worm of the earth; that thou dishonourest the
Almighty by thy reptile notions of him; and that in making him accord
with thee in condemning one of his creatures for what thou conceivest
to be the misunderstanding of a speculative proposition, thou treatest
him like a man, as thou thyself art, with corporeal organs; with
irritable passions, and with a limited intelligence. But if, besides
this, thou condemnest thy neighbour in this world also, and feelest the
spirit of persecution towards him, know that, whatever thy pretensions
may be to religion, thou art not a Christian. Thou art not possessed of
that charity or love, without which thou art but as sounding brass and a
tinkling cymbal.

Having therefore no religious prejudices[6] myself, except in favour of
Christianity, and holding no communion with the Quakers, as a religions
society, it cannot be likely that I should attempt to proselyte to
Quakerism. I wish only, as I stated in my introduction to this work, to
make the Quakers better known to their countrymen than they are at
present. In this I think I have already succeeded, for I believe I have
communicated many facts concerning them, which have never been related
by others. But no people can be thoroughly known, or at least the
character of a people cannot be thoroughly understood, except we are
acquainted with their religion; much less can that of the Quakers, who
differ so materially, both in their appearance and practice, from the
rest of their fellow-citizens.

[Footnote 6: Though I conceive a charitable allowance ought to be made
for the diversity of religious opinions among Christians, I by no means
intend to say, that it is not our duty to value the system of opinion
which we think most consonant to the Gospel, and to be wisely zealous
for its support.]

Having thought it right to make these prefatory observations, I proceed
to the prosecution of my work.


_The Almighty created the Universe by means of his spirit--and also
man--He gave man, besides his intellect, an emanation from his own
spirit, thus making him in his own image--But this image he lost--A
portion, however, of the same spirit was continued to his
posterity--These possessed it in different degrees--Abraham, Moses, and
the prophets, had more of it than some others--Jesus possessed it
immeasurably, and without limit--Evangelists and apostles possessed it,
but in a limited manner, and in different degrees._

The Quakers believe, that when the Almighty created the Universe, he
effected it by means of the life, or vital or vivifying energy that was
in his own spirit. "And the earth was without form, and void; and
darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the spirit of God moved upon
the face of the waters."

This life of the spirit has been differently named, but is concisely
stiled by St. John the evangelist "the word" for he says, "in the
beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God.
All things were made by him, and without him was not any thing made,
that was made."

The Almighty also, by means of the same divine energy or life of the
spirit which had thus created the universe, became the cause also of
material life, and of vital functions. He called forth all animated
nature into existence; for he "made the living creature after his kind."

He created man also by the same power. He made his corporeal and organic
nature. He furnished him also with intellect, or a mental understanding.
By this latter gift he gave to man, what he had not given to other
animated nature, the power of reason, by which he had the superiority
over it, and by means of which he was enabled to guide himself in his
temporal concerns. Thus when he made the natural man, he made him a
rational agent also.

But he gave to man, at the same time, independently of this intellect or
understanding, a spiritual faculty, or a portion of the life of his own
spirit, to reside in him. This gift occasioned man to become more
immediately, as it is expressed, the image of the Almighty. It set him
above the animal and rational part of his nature. It made him know
things not intelligible solely by his reason. It made him spiritually
minded. It enabled him to know his duty to God, and to hold a heavenly
intercourse with his maker.

Adam then, the first man, independently of his rational faculties,
received from the Almighty into his own breast such an emanation from
the life of his own spirit, as was sufficient to have enabled him both
to hold, and to have continued, a spiritual intercourse with his maker,
and to have preserved him in the state of innocence in which he had been
created. As long as he lived in this divine light of the spirit, he
remained in the image of God, and was perfectly happy; but, not
attending faithfully and perseveringly to this his spiritual monitor, he
fell into the snares of Satan, or gave way to the temptations of sin.
From this moment his condition became changed. For in the same manner as
distemper occasions animal life to droop, and to lose its powers, and
finally to cease, so unrighteousness, or his rebellion against the
divine light of the spirit that was within him, occasioned a dissolution
of his spiritual feelings and perceptions; for he became dead as it
were, in consequence, as to any knowledge of God, or enjoyment of his

[Footnote 7: It was said that, in the day in which Adam should eat
forbidden fruit, he should die; but he did not lose his animal life, or
his rational nature. His loss therefore is usually considered by the
Quakers to have been a divine spiritual principle, which had been
originally superadded to the animal and rational faculties.]

It pleased the Almighty, however, not wholly to abandon him in this
wretched state, but he comforted him with the cheering promise that the
seed of the woman should some time or other completely subdue sin, or
to use the scriptural language, "should bruise the serpent's head;" or,
in other words, as sin was of a spiritual nature, so it could only be
overcome by a spiritual conqueror; and therefore that the same holy
spirit, or word, or divine principle of light and life, which had
appeared in creation, should dwell so entirely and without limit or
measure, in the person or body of some one of his descendants, that sin
should by him be entirely subdued.

As God then poured into Adam, the first man, a certain portion of his
own spirit, or gave him a certain portion of the divine light, for the
regulation of his spiritual conduct and the power of heavenly
intercourse with himself, so he did not entirely cease from bestowing
his spirit upon his posterity; or, in other words, he gave them a
portion of that light which enlighteneth every man that cometh into the
world. Of the individuals therefore who succeeded Adam, all received a
portion of this light. Some, however, enjoyed larger portions of it than
others, according as they attended to its influences, or according to
the measure given them. Of those who possessed the greatest share of it,
some were the ancient patriarchs, such as Noah and Abraham, and others
were the ancient scriptural writers, such as Moses and the prophets.
The latter again experienced it in different measures or degrees; and in
proportion as they had it, they delivered more or less those prophecies
which are usually considered as inspired truths, from a belief that many
of them have been circumstantially completed.

At length, in the fulness of time, that is, when all things had been
fulfilled which were previously to take place, this divine spirit, which
had appeared in creation, this divine word, or light, took flesh, (for,
as St. John the Evangelist says, "the word was made flesh, and dwelled
among us,") and inhabited "the body which had been prepared for it;" or,
in other words, it inhabited the body of the person Jesus; but with this
difference, that whereas only a portion of this divine light or spirit
had been given to Adam, and afterwards to the prophets, it was given
without limit or measure to the man Jesus[8]. "For he whom God hath
sent, says St. John, speaketh the words of God, _for God giveth not the
Spirit by measure unto him."_ And St. Paul says, [9] "In him _the fulness
of the Godhead_ dwelled bodily." In him, therefore, the promise given to
Adam was accomplished, "that the seed of the woman should bruise the
serpent's head;" for we see in this case a human body, weak and infirm,
and subject to passions, possessed or occupied, without limit or
measure, by the spirit of God. But if the man Jesus had the full spirit
of God within him, he could not be otherwise than, perfectly holy. And
if so, sin never could have entered, and must therefore, as for as
relates to him, have been entirely repelled. Thus he answered the
prophetic character which had been given of him, independently of his
victory over sin by the sacrifice of himself, or by becoming afterwards
a comforter to those in bondage, who should be willing to receive him.

[Footnote 8: John 3:34]

[Footnote 9: Col. 2:9]

After Jesus Christ came the Evangelists and Apostles. Of the same spirit
which he had possessed _immeasurably_, these had their several portions;
and though these were[10] limited, and differed in degree front one
another, they were sufficient to enable them to do their duty to God and
men, to enjoy the presence of the Almighty, and to promote the purposes
designed by him in the propagation of his gospel.

[Footnote 10: 2 Cor. 10. 18.]


_Except a man has a portion of the same spirit, which Jesus and the
prophets and the apostles had, he can have no knowledge of God or
spiritual things--Doctrine of St. Paul on this subject--This confirms
the history of the human and divine spirit in man--These spirits
distinct in their kind--This distinction farther elucidated by a
comparison between the faculties of men and brutes--Sentiments of

The Quakers believe, that there can be no spiritual knowledge of God,
but through the medium of his holy spirit; or, in other words, that if
men have not a portion of the same spirit which the holy men of old, and
which the Evangelists and Apostles, and which Jesus himself had, they
can have no true or vital religion.

In favour of this proposition, they usually quote those remarkable words
of the Apostle Paul;[11] "for what man knoweth the things of a man, save
the spirit of a man which is in him? Even so the things of God knoweth
no man, but the spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of
the world, but the spirit which is of God, that we might know the things
that are freely given to us of God." And again--"but the natural man
receiveth not the things of the spirit of God, for they are foolishness
to him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually

[Footnote 11: 1 Cor. 2.11, &c.]

By these expressions the Quakers conceive that the history of man, as
explained in the last chapter, is confirmed; or that the Almighty not
only gave to man reason, which was to assist him in his temporal, but
also superadded a portion of his own spirit, which was to assist him in
his spiritual concerns. They conceive it also to be still farther
confirmed by other expressions of the same Apostle. In his first letter
to the Corinthians, he says,[12] "Know ye not that your body is the
_temple of the Holy Ghost_, which _is in you_, which ye have of God;"
and in his letter to Timothy he desires him[13] "to hold fast that good
thing which was committed to him by means of the _holy_ Ghost, which
_dwelled in him_" Now these expressions can only be accurate on a
supposition of the truth of the history of man, as explained in the
former chapter. If this history be true, then they are considered as
words of course: for if there be a communication between the supreme
Being and his creature man, or if the Almighty has afforded to man an
emanation of his own spirit, which is to act for a time in his mortal
body, and then to return to him that gave it, we may say, with great
consistency, that the divinity resides in him, or that his body is the
temple of the holy spirit.

[Footnote 12: 1 Cor. 6. 19.]

[Footnote 13: 2 Tim. 1. 14.]

The Quakers conceive again from these expressions of the Apostle, that
these two principles in man are different from each other; they are
mentioned under the distinct names of the spirit of man, and of the
spirit of God. The former they suppose to relate to the understanding:
the latter conjointly to the understanding and to the heart. The former
can be brought into use at all times, if the body of a man be in health.
The latter is not at his own disposal. Man must wait for its
inspirations. Like the wind, it bloweth when it listeth. Man also, when
he feels this divine influence, feels that it is distinct from his
reason. When it is gone, he feels the loss of it, though all his
rational faculties be alive. "Those, says Alexander Arscott, who have
this experience, certainly know that as at times, in their silent
retirements and humble waitings upon God, they receive an understanding
of his will, relating to their present duty, in such a clear light as
leaves no doubt or hesitation, so at other times, when this is withdrawn
from them, they are at a loss again, and see themselves, as they really
are, ignorant and destitute."

The Quakers again understand by these expressions of the Apostle, which
is the point insisted upon in this chapter, that human reason, or the
spirit of man which is within him, and the divine principle of life and
light which is the spirit of God residing in his body or temple, are so
different in their powers, that the former cannot enter into the
province of the latter. As water cannot penetrate the same bodies, which
fire can, so neither can reason the same subjects as the spiritual

The Quakers, however, do not deny, that human reason is powerful within
its own province. It may discover in the beautiful structure of the
Universe, and in the harmony and fitness of all its parts, the hand of a
great contriver. It may conclude upon attributes, as belonging to the
same. It may see the fitness of virtue, and deduce from thence a
speculative morality. They only say that it, is incompetent to spiritual
discernment. But though they believe the two spirits to be thus distinct
in their powers, they believe them, I apprehend, to be so far connected
in religion that the spirit of God can only act upon a reasonable being.
Thus light and the power of sight are distinct things. Yet the power of
sight is nothing without light, nor can light operate upon any other
organ than the eye to produce vision.

This proposition may be farther elucidated by making a comparison
between the powers of men, and those of the brute-creation. An animal is
compounded of body and instinct. If we were to endeavour to cultivate
this instinct, we might make the animal tame and obedient. We might
impress his sensitive powers, so that he might stop or go forward at our
voice. We might bring him in some instances, to an imitation of outward
gestures and sounds. Bat all the years of his life, and centuries of
life in his progeny would pass away, and we should never be able so to
improve his instinct into intellect, as to make him comprehend the
affairs of a man. He would never understand the meaning of his goings
in, or of his goings out, or of his pursuits in life, or of his progress
in science. So neither could any education so improve the reason of man
into the divine principle of light within him, as that he should
understand spiritual things; for the things of God are only discernible
by the spirit of God.

This doctrine, that there is no understanding of divine things except
through the medium of the divine principle, which dwells in the temple
of man, was no particular notion of George Fox, or of the succeeding
Quakers, though undoubtedly they have founded more upon it than other
Christians. Those, who had the earliest access to the writings of the
evangelists and apostles, believed the proposition. All the ancient
fathers of the church considered it as the corner stone of the Christian
fabric. The most celebrated of the reformers held it in the same light.
The divines, who followed these, adopted it as their creed also; and by
these it has been handed down to other Christian communities, and is
retained as an essential doctrine by the church of England, at the
present day.

The Quakers adduce many authorities in behalf of this proposition, but
the following may suffice.

"It is the inward master, says St. Augustine, that teacheth. Where this
inspiration is wanting, it is in vain that words from without are beaten

Luther says, "no man can rightly know God, unless he immediately
receives it from his holy spirit, except he finds it by experience in
himself; and in this experience the holy spirit teacheth as in his
proper school, out of which school nothing is taught but mere talk."

Calvin, on Luke 10. 21. says, "Here the natural wisdom of man is so
puzzled, and is at such a loss, that the first step of profiting in the
school of Christ is to give it up or renounce it. For by this natural
wisdom, as by a veil before our eyes, we are hindered from attaining the
mysteries of God, which are not revealed but unto babes and little ones.
For neither do flesh and blood reveal, nor doth the natural man
perceive, the things that are of the spirit. But the doctrine of God is
rather foolishness to him, because it can only be spiritually judged.
The assistance therefore of the holy spirit is in this case necessary,
or rather, his power alone is efficacious."

Dr. Smith observes, in his select discourses, "besides the outward
Revelation of God's will to men, there is also an inward impression of
it in their minds and spirits, which is in a more especial manner
attributed to God. We cannot see divine things but in a divine light.
God only, who is the true light, and in whom there is no darkness at
all, can so shine out of himself upon our glossy understandings, as to
beget in them a picture of himself, his own will and pleasure, and turn
the soul (as the phrase is in Job) like wax or clay to the seal of his
own light and love. He that made our souls in his own image and
likeness, can easily find a way into them. The word that God speaks,
having found a way into the soul, imprints itself there, as with the
point of a diamond, and becomes (to borrow Plato's expression) 'a word
written in the Soul of the learner.' Men may teach the grammar and
rhetoric; but God teaches the divinity. Thus it is God alone that
acquaints the soul with the truths of revelation."

The learned Jeremy Taylor, bishop of Down and Connor, speaks in a
similar manner in his sermon de Viâ Intelligentiae. "Now in this
inquiry, says he, I must take one thing for granted, which is, that
every good man is taught of God. And indeed, unless he teach us, we
shall make but ill scholars ourselves, and worse guides to others. No
man can know God, says Irenaeus, except he be taught of God. If God
teaches us, then all is well; but if we do not learn wisdom at his feet,
from whence should we have it? It can come from no other spring."

Again--"those who perfect holiness in the fear of God, have a degree of
divine knowledge more than we can discourse of, and more certain than
the demonstration of Geometry; brighter than the sun, and indeficient as
the light of heaven--A good man is united to God--As flame touches
flame, and combines into splendour and into glory, so is the spirit of a
man united to Christ by the spirit of God. Our light, on the other hand,
is like a candle; every word of doctrine blows it out, or spends the
wax, and makes the light tremulous. But the lights of heaven are fixed
and bright and shine for ever."

Cudworth, in his intellectual system, is wholly of the same opinion:
"All the books and writings which we converse with, they can but
represent spiritual objects to our understanding, which yet we can never
see in their own true figure, colour, and proportion, until we have a
divine light within to irradiate and shine upon them. Though there be
never such excellent truths concerning Christ and his Gospel, set down
in words and letters, yet they will be but unknown characters to us,
until we have a living spirit within us, that can decypher them, until
the same spirit, by secret whispers in our hearts, do comment upon them,
which did at first indite them. There be many that understand the Greek
and Hebrew of the scripture, the original languages in which the text
was written, that never understood the language of the spirit."


_Neither can a man, except he has a portion of the same spirit which
Jesus and the Apostles and the Prophets had, know spiritualty that the
scriptures are of divine authority, or spiritually understand
them--Explanation of these tenets--Objection, that these tenets set
aside human reason--Reply of the Quakers--Observations of
Luther--Calvin--Owen--Archbishop Usher--Archbishop Sandys--Milton
--Bishop Taylor._

As a man cannot know spiritual things but through the medium of the
spirit of God; or except he has a portion of the same spirit, which
Jesus and the Prophets and the Apostles had, so neither can he, except
he has a portion of the same spirit, either spiritually know that the
writings or sayings of these holy persons are of divine authority, or
read or understand them, to the promotion of his spiritual interests.

These two tenets are but deductions from that in the former chapter, and
may be thus explained.

A man, the Quakers say, may examine the holy scriptures, and may deduce
their divine origin from the prophecies they contain, of which many have
been since accomplished; from the superiority of their doctrines beyond
those in any other book which is the work of man; from the miraculous
preservation of them for so many ages; from the harmony of all their
parts, and from many other circumstances which might be mentioned. But
this, after all, will be but an historical, literal, or outward proof of
their origin, resulting from his reason or his judgment. It will be no
spiritual proof, having a spiritual influence on his heart; for this
proof of the divine origin of the scriptures can only be had from the
spirit of God. Thus, when the Apostle Paul preached to several women by
the river side near Philippi, it is said of Lydia only,[14] "the Lord
opened her heart, that she attended to the things that were spoken by
Paul." The other women undoubtedly heard the gospel of Paul with their
outward ears, but it does not appear that their hearts were in such a
spiritual state, that they felt its divine authority; for it is not said
of them, as of Lydia, that their hearts were opened to understand
spiritually that this gospel was of God. Again,[15] when Jesus Christ
preached to the Jews in the temple, many believed on him, but others
believed not, but were so enraged that they took up stones to cast at
him. It appears that they all heard his doctrine with their outward
ears, in which he particularly stated that he was from above; but they
did not receive the truth of his origin in their hearts, because they
were not in a state to receive that faith which cometh from the spirit
of God. In the same manner persons hear sermon after sermon at the
present day, but find no spiritual benefit in their hearts.

[Footnote 14: Acts 16.13]

[Footnote 15: John]

Again--a man, by comparing passages of scripture with other passages,
and by considering the use and acceptation of words in these, may arrive
at a knowledge of their literal meaning. He may obtain also, by perusing
the scriptures, a knowledge of some of the attributes of God. He may
discover a part of the plan of his providence. He may collect purer
moral truths than from any other source. But no literal reading of the
scriptures can give him that spiritual knowledge of divine things, which
leads to eternal life. The scriptures, if literally read, will give him
a literal or corresponding knowledge, but it is only the spiritual
monitor within, who can apply them to his feelings; who can tell him
"thou art the man; this is thy state: this is that which thou oughtest
or oughtest not to have done;" so that he sees spiritually, (the spirit
of God bearing witness with his own spirit) that his own situation has
been described. Indeed, if the scriptures were sufficient of themselves
for this latter purpose, the Quakers say that the knowledge of spiritual
things would consist in the knowledge of words. They, who were to get
most of the divine writings by heart, would know spiritually the most
of divine truths. The man of the best understanding, or of the most
cultivated mind, would be the best proficient in vital religion. But
this is contrary to fact. For men of deep learning know frequently less
of spiritual Christianity, than those of the poor, who are scarcely able
to read the scriptures. They contend also, that if the scriptures were
the most vitally understood by those of the most learning, then the
dispensations of God would be partial, inasmuch as he would have
excluded the poor from the highest enjoyments of which the nature of man
is susceptible, and from the means of their eternal salvation.

These tenets, which are thus adopted by the Quakers, are considered by
many of the moderns as objectionable, inasmuch as they make reason, at
least in theology, a useless gift. The Quakers, however, contend that
they consider reason as one of the inestimable gifts of God. They value
it highly in its proper province. They do not exclude it from religion.
Men, by means of it, may correct literal errors in the scriptures; may
restore texts, may refute doctrines inconsistent with the attributes of
the Almighty. The apology of Robert Barclay, which is a chain of
reasoning of this kind from the begining to the end, is a proof that
they do not undervalue the powers of the mind. But they dare not ascribe
to human reason that power, which they believe to be exclusively vested
in the spirit of God.

They say, moreover, that these tenets are neither new nor peculiar to
themselves as a society. They were the doctrines of the primitive
Fathers. They. were the doctrines also of the protestant reformers. And
though many at the present day consider that scripture, interpreted by
reason, is the religion of protestants, yet it was the general belief of
these reformers, that the teaching of the Holy spirit was necessary to
the spiritual understanding of the scriptures, as well as to the
spiritual establishment of their divine origin.

Luther observes--"It is not human reason, or wisdom, nor the law of God,
but the work of divine grace freely bestowed upon me, that teacheth me
and showeth me the gospel: and this gift of God I receive by faith

"The scriptures are not to be understood but by the same spirit by which
they were written."

"No man sees one jot or tittle in the scriptures, unless he has the
spirit of God."

"Profane men, says Calvin, desire to have it proved to them by reason,
that Moses and the prophets spoke from God. And to such I answer, that
the testimony of the spirit exceeds all reason. For as God alone is a
sufficient witness of himself in his word, so will his word not find
credit in the hearts of men, until it is sealed by the inward testimony
of his spirit. It is therefore necessary, that the same spirit which
spake by the mouth of the prophets, enter into our hearts to persuade
us, that they faithfully declared what was commanded them by God."

Again--"Unless we have the assurance which is better and more valid than
any judgment of man, it will be in vain to go about to establish the
authority of scripture, either by argument or the consent of the church;
for except the foundation be laid, namely, that the certainty of its
divine authority depends entirely upon the testimony of the spirit, it
remains in perpetual suspense." Again--"The spirit of God, from whom the
doctrine of the Gospel proceeds, is the only true interpreter to open it
to us."

"Divines, says the learned Owen, at the first reformation, did generally
resolve our faith of the divine authority of the scriptures, into the
testimony of the Holy Spirit;" in which belief he joins himself, by
stating that "it is the work of the Holy Spirit to enable us to believe
the scripture to be the word of God."

In another place he says, "our Divines have long since laid it down,
that the only public, authentic, and infallible interpreter of the holy
scriptures, is the author of them, from whose inspiration they receive
all their truth, clearness, and authority. This author is the Holy

Archbishop Sandys, in one of his Sermons, preached before Queen
Elizabeth, has the following observations:

"The outward reading of the word, without the inward working of the
spirit, is nothing. The precise Pharisees, and the learned Scribes, read
the scriptures over and over again. They not only read them in books,
but wore them on their garments. They were not only taught, but were
able themselves to teach others. But because this heavenly teacher had
not instructed them, their understanding was darkened, and their
knowledge was but vanity. They were ignorant altogether in that saving
truth, which the prophet David was so desirous to learn. The mysteries
of salvation were so hard to be conceived by the very apostles of Christ
Jesus, that he was forced many times to rebuke them for their dulness,
which unless he had removed by opening the eyes of their minds, they
could never have attained to the knowledge of salvation in Christ Jesus.
The ears of that woman Lydia would have been as close shut against the
preaching of Paul, as any others, if the finger of God had not touched
and opened her heart. As many as learn, they are taught of God."

Archbishop Usher, in his sum and substance of the Christian Religion,
observes, "that it is required that we have the spirit of God, as well
to open our eyes to see the light, as to seal up fully in our hearts
that truth, which we can see with our eyes: for the same Holy Spirit
that inspired the scripture, inclineth the hearts of God's children to
believe what is revealed in them, and inwardly assureth them, above all
reasons and arguments, that these are the scriptures of God." And
farther on in the same work, he says, "the spirit of God alone is the
certain interpreter of his word written by his Spirit; for no man
knoweth the things pertaining to God, but the Spirit of God."

Our great Milton also gives us a similar opinion in the following words,
which are taken from his Paradise Lost:

   ----"but in their room----
  Wolves shall succeed for teachers, grievous wolves,
  Who all the sacred mysteries of Heaven
  To their own vile advantages shall turn
  Of lucre and ambition, and the truth
  With superstition's and tradition's taint,
  Left only in those written records pure,
  Though not but by the spirit understood."

Of the same mind was the learned bishop Taylor, as we collect from his
sermon de Viâ Intelligentiae. "For although the scriptures, says he, are
written by the spirit of God, yet they are written within and without.
And besides the light that shines upon the face of them, unless there be
a light shining within our hearts, unfolding the leaves, and
interpreting the mysterious sense of the spirit, convincing our
consciences, and preaching to our hearts; to look for Christ in the
leaves of the gospel, is to look for the living among the dead. There is
a life in them; but that life is, according to St. Paul's expression,
'hid with Christ in God;' and unless the spirit of God first draw it, we
shall never draw it forth."

"Human learning brings excellent ministeries towards this. It is
admirably useful for the reproof of heresies, for the detection of
fallacies, for the letter of the scripture, for collateral testimonies,
for exterior advantages; but there is something beyond this that human
learning, without the addition of divine, can never reach. Moses was
learned in all the learning of the Egyptians; and the holy men of God
contemplated the glories of God in the admirable order, motion, and
influences of the heaven; but, besides all this, they were taught
something far beyond these prettinesses. Pythagoras read Moses' books,
and so did Plato, and yet they became not proselytes of the religion,
though they were the learned scholars of such a master."


_The spirit of God which has been thus given to man in different
degrees, was given him as a spiritual teacher, or guide, in his
spiritual concerns--It performs this office, the Quakers say, by
internal monitions--Sentiments of Taylor--and of Monro--and, if
encouraged, it teaches even by the external objects of the
creation--William Wordsworth._

The Quakers believe that the spirit of God, which has been thus given to
man in different degrees or measures, and without which it is impossible
to know spiritual things, or even to understand the divine writings
spiritually, or to be assured of their divine origin, was given to him,
among other purposes, as a teacher of good and evil, or to serve him as
a guide in his spiritual concerns. By this the Quakers mean, that if any
man will give himself up to the directions of the spiritual principle
that resides within him, he will attain a knowledge sufficient to enable
him to discover the path of his duty both to God and his fellow-man.

That the spirit of God was given to man as a spiritual instructor, the
Quakers conceive to be plain, from a number of passages, which are to be
found in the sacred writings.

They say, in the first place, that it was the language of the holy men
of old. [16] "I said, says Elihu, days should speak, and multitude of
years should teach wisdom. But there is a spirit (or the spirit itself
is) in man, and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth him
understanding." The Levites are found also making an acknowledgment to
God; [17] "That he gave also their forefathers his good spirit to
instruct them." The Psalms of David are also full of the same language,
such as of [18] "Shew me thy ways, O Lord; lead me in the truth." [19] "I
know, says Jeremiah, that the way of man is not in himself. It is not in
man that walketh to direct his steps." The martyr Stephen acknowledges
the teachings of the spirit, both in his own time and in that of his
ancestors. [20] "Ye stiff-necked, and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye
do always resist the holy spirit. As your fathers did, so do ye." The
Quakers also conceive it to be a doctrine of the gospel. Jesus himself
said, [21] "No man can come to me except the Father, which sent me, draw
him--It is written in the prophets, they shall all be taught of God."
[22]St. John says, "That was the true light, (namely, the word or
spirit) which lighteth every man that cometh into the world." St. Paul,
in his first letter to the Corinthians, asserts, [23]that "the
manifestation of the spirit is given to every man to profit withal."
And, in his letter to Titus, he asserts the same thing, though in
different words: [24] "For the grace of God, says he, which bringeth
salvation, hath appeared unto all men."

[Footnote 16: Job 32. 7.]

[Footnote 17: Nehemiah 9. 20.]

[Footnote 18: Psalm 25. 4.]

[Footnote 19: Jeremiah 10. 23.]

[Footnote 20: Acts 7. 51.]

[Footnote 21: John 6.44.45]

[Footnote 22: John 1. 9.]

[Footnote 23: i Cor. 12. 7.]

[Footnote 24: Titus 2. 11.]

The spirit of God, which has been thus given to man as a spiritual
guide, is considered by the Quakers as teaching him in various ways. It
inspires him with good thoughts. It prompts him to good offices. It
checks him in his way to evil. It reproves him while in the act of
committing it.

The learned Jeremy Taylor was of the same opinion. "The spirit of grace,
says he, is the spirit of wisdom, and teaches us by secret inspirations,
by proper arguments, by actual persuasions, by personal applications, by
effects and energies."

This office of the spirit is beautifully described by Monro, a divine of
the established church, in his just measures of the pious institutions
of youth, "The holy spirit, says he, speaks inwardly and immediately to
the soul. For God is a spirit. The soul is a spirit; and they converse
with one another in spirit, not by words, but by spiritual notices;
which, however, are more intelligible than the most eloquent strains in
the world. God makes himself to be heard by the soul by inward motions,
which it perceives and comprehends proportionably as it is voided and
emptied of earthly ideas. And the more the faculties of the soul cease
their own operations, so much the more sensible and intelligible are the
motions of God to it. These immediate communications from God with the
souls of men are denied and derided by a great many. But that the father
of spirits should have no converse with our spirits, but by the
intervention only of outward and foreign objects, may justly seem
strange, especially when we are so often told in holy scripture, that we
are the temples of the holy Ghost, and that God dwelleth in all good

But this spirit is considered by the Quakers not only as teaching by
inward breathings, as it were, made immediately and directly upon the
heart without the intervention of outward circumstances, but as making
the material objects of the Universe, and many of the occurrences of
life, if it be properly attended to, subservient to the instruction of
man; and that it enlarges the sphere of his instruction in this manner,
in proportion as it is received and encouraged. Thus the man, who is
attentive to these divine notices, sees the animal, the vegetable, and
the planetary world, with spiritual eyes. He cannot stir abroad, but he
is taught in his own feelings, without any motion of his will, some
lesson for his spiritual advantage; or he perceives so vitally some of
the attributes of the divine being, that he is called upon to offer
some spiritual incense to his maker. If the lamb frolics and gambols in
his presence as he walks along, he may be made spiritually to see the
beauty and happiness of innocence. If he finds the stately oak laid
prostrate by the wind, he may be spiritually taught to discern the
emptiness of human power; while the same spirit may teach him inwardly
the advantage of humility, when he looks at the little hawthorn which
has survived the storm. When he sees the change and the fall of the
autumnal leaf, he may be spiritually admonished of his own change and
dissolution, and of the necessity of a holy life. Thus the spirit of God
may teach men by outward objects and occurrences in the world; but where
this spirit is away, or rather where it is not attended to, no such
lesson can be taught. Natural objects of themselves can excite only
natural ideas: and the natural man, looking at them, can derive only
natural pleasure, or draw natural conclusions from them. In looking at
the Sun, he may be pleased with its warmth, and anticipate its
advantages to the vegetable world. In plucking and examining a flower,
he may be struck with its beauty, its mechanism, and its fragrant smell.
In observing the butterfly, as it wings its way before him, he may smile
at its short journeys from place to place, and admire the splendour
upon its wings. But the beauty of Creation is dead to him, as far as it
depends upon connecting it spiritually with the character of God. For no
spiritual impression can arise from any natural objects, but through the
intervention of the spirit of God.

William Wordsworth, in his instructive poems, has described this
teaching by external objects in consequence of impressions from a higher
power, as differing from any teaching by books or the human
understanding, and as arising without any motion of the will of man, in
so beautiful and simple a manner, that I cannot do otherwise than make
an extract from them in this place. Lively as the poem is, to which I
allude, I conceive it will not lower the dignity of the subject. It is
called Expostulation and Reply, and is as follows:[25]

     Why, William, on that old gray stone,
     Thus for the length of half a day,
     Why, William, sit you thus alone,
     And dream your time away?

     Where are your books? that light bequeath'd
     To beings, else forlorn and blind,
     Up! Up! and drink the spirit breath'd
     From dead men to their kind.

     You look round on your mother earth,
     As if she for no purpose bore you,
     As if you were her first-born birth,
     And none had liv'd before you!

     One morning thus by Esthwaite lake,
     When life was sweet, I knew not why,
     To me my good friend Matthew spake,
     And that I made reply:

     The eye it cannot choose but see.
     We cannot bid the ear be still;
     Our bodies feel where'er they be,
     Against or with our will.

     Nor less I deem that there are powers,
     Which of themselves our minds impress,
     That we can feed this mind of ours
     In a wise passiveness.

     Think you,'mid all this mighty sum
     Of things for ever speaking,
     That nothing of itself will come,
     But we must still be seeking?

     Then ask not wherefore, here, alone,
     Conversing as I may,
     I sit upon this old gray stone,
     And dream my time away?

[Footnote 25: See Lyrical Ballads, Vol. 1. p. 1.]


_This spirit was not only given to man as a teacher, but as a primary
and infallible guide--Hence the Scriptures are a subordinate or
secondary guide--Quakers, however, do not undervalue them on this
account--Their opinion concerning them._

The spirit of God, which we have seen to be thus given to men as a
spiritual teacher, and to act in the ways described, the Quakers usually
distinguish by the epithets of primary and infallible. But they have
made another distinction with respect to the character of this spirit;
for they have pronounced it to be the only infallible guide to men in
their spiritual concerns. From this latter declaration the reader will
naturally conclude, that the scriptures, which are the outward teachers
of men, must be viewed by the Quakers in a secondary light. This
conclusion has indeed been adopted as a proposition in the Quaker
theology; or, in other words, it is a doctrine of the society, that the
spirit of God is the primary and only infallible, and the scriptures but
a subordinate or secondary guide.

This proposition the Quakers usually make out in the following manner:

It is, in the first place, admitted by all Christians, that the
scriptures were given by inspiration, or that those who originally
delivered or wrote the several parts of them, gave them forth by means
of that spirit, which was given to them by God. Now in the same manner
as streams, or rivulets of water, are subordinate to the fountains
which produce them; so those streams or rivulets of light must be
subordinate to the great light from whence they originally sprung. "We
cannot, says Barclay, call the scriptures the principal fountain of all
truth and knowledge, nor yet the first adequate rule of faith and
manners; because the principal fountain of truth must be the truth
itself, that is, whose certainty and authority depend not upon another."

The scriptures are subordinate or secondary, again, in other points of
view. First, because, though they are placed before us, we can only know
or understand them by the testimony of the spirit. Secondly, because
there is no virtue or power in them of themselves, but in the spirit
from whence they came.

They are, again, but a secondary guide; because "that, says Barclay,
cannot be the only and principal guide, which doth not universally reach
every individual that needeth it." But the scriptures do not teach deaf
persons, nor children, nor idiots, nor an immense number of people, more
than half the Globe, who never yet saw or heard of them. These,
therefore, if they are to be saved like others, must have a different or
a more universal rule to guide them, or be taught from another source.

They are only a secondary guide, again, for another reason. It is an
acknowledged axiom among Christians, that the spirit of God is a perfect
spirit, and that it can never err. But the scriptures are neither
perfect of themselves as a collection, nor are they perfect in their
verbal parts. Many of them have been lost. Concerning those which have
survived, there have been great disputes. Certain parts of these, which
one Christian council received in the early times of the church, were
rejected as not canonical by another. Add to this, that none of the
originals are extant. And of the copies, some have suffered by
transcription, others by translation, and others by wilful mutilation,
to support human notions of religion; so that there are various readings
of the same passage, and various views of the same thing. "Now what,
says Barclay, would become of Christians, if they had not received that
spirit and those spiritual senses, by which they know how to discover
the true from the false? It is the privilege of Christ's sheep, indeed,
that they hear his voice, and refuse that of the stranger; which,
privilege being taken away, we are left a prey to all manner of wolves."
The scriptures, therefore, in consequence of the state in which they
have come down to us, cannot, the Quakers say, be considered to be a
guide as entirely perfect as the internal testimony of their great
author, the spirit of God.

But though the Quakers have thought it right, in submitting their
religious creed to the world on this subject, to be so guarded in the
wording of it as to make the distinction described, they are far from
undervaluing the scriptures on that account. They believe, on the other
hand, whatever mutilations they may have suffered, that they contain
sufficient to guide men in belief and practice; and that all internal
emotions, which are contrary to the declaration of these, are wholly
inadmissible. "Moreover, says Barclay, because the scriptures are
commonly acknowledged by all to have been written by the dictates of the
holy spirit, and that the errors, which may be supposed by the injury of
time to have slipt in, are not such but there is a sufficient clear
testimony left to all the essentials of the Christian faith, we do look
upon them as the only fit outward judge of controversies among
Christians, and that whatsoever doctrine is contrary to their testimony,
may therefore justly be rejected as false."

The Quakers believe also, that as God gave a portion of his spirit to
man to assist him inwardly, so he gave the holy scriptures to assist him
outwardly in his spiritual concerns. Hence the latter, coming by
inspiration, are the most precious of all books that ever were written,
and the best outward guide. And hence the things contained in them,
ought to be read, and, as far as possible, fulfilled.

They believe, with the apostle Paul, that the scriptures are highly
useful, "so that, through patience and comfort of them, they may have
hope; and also that they are profitable for reproof, for correction, and
for instruction in righteousness:" that in the same manner as land,
highly prepared and dressed by the husbandman, becomes fit for the
reception and for the promotion of the growth of the seed that is to be
placed in it, so the scriptures turn the attention of man towards God,
and by means of the exhortations, reproofs, promises, and threatenings,
contained in them, prepare the mind for the reception and growth of the
seed of the Holy Spirit.

They believe, again, that the same scriptures show more of the
particulars of God's will with respect to man, and of the scheme of the
Gospel-dispensation, than any ordinary portion of his spirit, as usually
given to man, would have enabled him to discover. They discover that
[26] "the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life
through Jesus Christ:" [27] "That Jesus Christ was set forth to be a
propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness
for the remission of sins that are past through the forbearance of
God;" [28]that "he tasted death for every man;" that he [29]was
"delivered for our offences, and raised again for our justification;"
[30]that "he is set down at the right hand of the throne of God;"
[31] "and ever liveth to make intercession for us; and, that he is the
substance of all the types and figures under the Levitical priesthood,
[32] being the end of the law for righteousness to every one that

[Footnote 26: Rom. 6. 23.]

[Footnote 27: Rom. 3. 25.]

[Footnote 28: Heb. 2. 9.]

[Footnote 29: 4. 25.]

[Footnote 30: Heb. 12. 2.]

[Footnote 31: Heb. 7. 25.]

[Footnote 32: Rom. 10. 4.]

They believe, again, that, in consequence of these various revelations,
as contained in the scriptures, they have inestimable advantages over
the Heathen nations, or over those, where the gospel-sun has never yet
shone; and that, as their advantages are greater, so more will be
required of them, or their condemnation will be greater, if they fail to
attend to those things which are clearly revealed.

They maintain, again, that their discipline is founded on the rules of
the gospel; and that in consequence of giving an interpretation
different from that of many others, to some of the expressions of Jesus
Christ, by which they conceive they make his kingdom more pure and
heavenly, they undergo persecution from the world--so that they confirm
their attachment to the scriptures by the best of all credible
testimonies, the seal of their own sufferings.


_This spirit of God, which has been thus given to men as an infallible
guide in their spiritual concerns, has been given them universally--To
the patriarchs and Israelites, from the creation to the time of
Moses--To the Israelites or Jews, from Moses to Jesus Christ--To the
Gentile world from all antiquity to modern times--To all those who have
ever heard the gospel--And it continues its office to the latter even
at the present day._

The Quakers are of opinion that the spirit of God, of which a portion
has been given to men as a primary and infallible guide in their
spiritual concerns, has been given them universally; or has been given
to all of the human race, without any exceptions, for the same purpose.

This proposition of the Quakers I shall divide, in order that the reader
may see it more clearly, into four cases. The first of these will
comprehend the Patriarchs and the Israelites from the creation to the
time of Moses. The second, the Israelites or Jews from the time of Moses
to the coming of Jesus Christ. The third, the Gentiles or Heathens. And
the fourth, all those who have heard of the gospel of Jesus Christ, from
the time of his own ministry to the present day.

The first case includes a portion of time of above two thousand years.
Now the Quakers believe, that during all this time men were generally
enlightened as to their duty by the spirit of God; for there was no
scripture or written law of God during all this period. "It was about
two thousand four hundred years, says Thomas Beaven, an approved writer
among the Quakers, after the creation of the world, before mankind had
any external written law for the rule and conduct of their lives, so far
as appears by either sacred or profane history; in all which time
mankind, generally speaking, had only for their rule of faith and
manners the external creation as a monitor to their outward senses, for
evidence of the reality and certainty of the existence of the Supreme
Being; and the internal impressions God by his divine spirit made upon
the capacities and powers of their souls or inward man, and perhaps some
of them oral traditions delivered from father to son."

To the same point Thomas Beaven quotes the ever memorable John Hales,
who, in his golden remains, writes in the following manner: "The love
and favour, which it pleased God to bear our fathers before the law', so
far prevailed with him, as that without any books and writings, by
familiar and friendly conversing with them, and communicating himself
unto them, he made them receive and understand his laws, their inward
conceits and intellectuals being, after a wonderful manner, figured as
it were and charactered by his spirit, so that they could not but see
and consent unto, and confess the truth of them. Which way of
manifesting his will unto many other gracious privileges it had, above
that which in after ages came in place of it, had this added, that it
brought with it unto the man to whom it was made, a preservation against
all doubt and hesitancy, and a full assurance both who the author was,
and how far his intent and meaning reached. We who are their offspring
ought, as St. Chrysostom tells us, so to have demeaned ourselves, that
it might have been with us as it was with them, that we might have had
no need of writing, no other teacher but the spirit, no other books but
our hearts, no other means to have been taught the things of God."

That the spirit of God, as described by Thomas Beaven and the venerable
John Hales, was the great instructor or enlightener of man during the
period we are speaking of, the Quakers believe, from what they conceive
to be the sense of the holy scriptures on this subject. For in the first
place, they consider it as a position, deducible from the expressions of
Moses[33], that the spirit of God had striven with those of the
antediluvian world. They believe, therefore, that it was this spirit
(and because the means were adequate, and none more satisfactory to them
can be assigned) which informed Cain, before any written law existed,
and this even before the murder of his brother, that[34] "if he did
well, he should be accepted; but if not, sin should lie at his door."
The same spirit they conceive to have illuminated the mind of Seth, but
in a higher degree than ordinarily the mind of Enoch; for he is the
first, of whom it is recorded, that[35] "he walked with God." It is also
considered by the Quakers as having afforded a rule of conduct to those
who lived after the flood. Thus Joseph is described as saying, when
there is no record of any verbal instruction from the Almighty on this
subject, and at a time when there was no scripture or written law of
God, [36] "How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against
God?" It illuminated others also, but in a greater or less degree, as
before. Thus Noah became a preacher of righteousness. Thus Abraham,
Isaac, and Jacob, were favoured with a greater measure of it than others
who lived in their own times.

[Footnote 33: Gen. 6.3]

[Footnote 34: Ib 4.7]

[Footnote 35: Gen. 5.24.]

[Footnote 36: Ib. 39.9.--The traditionary laws of Noah were in force at
this time; but they only specified three offences between man and man.]

From these times to the coming of Jesus Christ, which is the second of
the cases in question, the same spirit, according to the Quakers, still
continued its teachings, and this notwithstanding the introduction of
the Mosaic law; for this, which was engraven on tables of stone, did not
set aside the law that was engraven on the heart. It assisted, first,
outwardly, in turning mens' minds to God; and secondly, in fitting them
as a schoolmaster for attention to the internal impressions by his
spirit. That the spirit of God was still the great teacher, the Quakers
conceive to be plain; for the sacred writings from Moses to Malachi
affirm it for a part of the period now assigned; and for the rest we
have as evidence the reproof of the Martyr Stephen, and the sentences
from the New Testament quoted in the fourth chapter. And in the same
manner as this spirit had been given to some in a greater measure than
to others, both before and after the deluge, so the Quakers believe it
to have been given more abundantly to Moses and the prophets, than to
others of the same nation; for they believe that the law in particular,
and that the general writings of Moses, and those of the prophets also,
were of divine inspiration, or the productions of the spirit of God.

With respect to the Heathens or Gentiles, which is the third case, the
Quakers believe that God's holy spirit became a guide also to them, and
furnished them, as it had done the patriarchs and the Jews, with a rule
of practice. For even these, who had none of the advantages of scripture
or of a written divine law, believed, many of them, in God, such as
Orpheus, Hesiod, Thales, Pythagoras, Socrates, Plato, Cicero, and
others. And of these it may be observed, that it was their general
belief, as well as it was the belief of many others in those days, that
there was a divine light or spirit in man, to enable him to direct
himself aright.

Among the remnants that have been preserved of the sayings, of
Pythagoras, are the following which relate to this subject: "Those
things which are agreeable to God, cannot be known, except a man hear
God himself." Again--"But having overcome these things, thou shalt know
the cohabitation or dwelling together of the immortal God and mortal
man. His work is life--The work of God is immortality, eternal life."
"The most excellent thing, says Timoeus, that the soul is awakened to,
is her guide or good genius; but if she be rebellious to it, it will
prove her daemon, or tormentor."

"It was frequently said of Socrates, he had the guide of his life within
him, which, it was told his father Sophroniscus, would be of more worth
to him than five hundred masters. He called it his good angel, or
spirit; that it suggested to his mind what was good and virtuous, and
inclined and disposed him to a strict and pious life; that it furnished
him with divine knowledge, and impelled him very often to speak publicly
to the people, sometimes in a way of severe reproof, at other times to

Plato says, "the light and spirit of God are as wings to the soul, or as
that which raiseth up the soul into, a sensible communion with God above
the world."

"I have, says Seneca, a more clear and certain light, by which I may
judge the truth from falsehood: that which belongs to the happiness of
the soul, the eternal mind will direct to." Again--"It is a foolish
thing for thee to wish for that which thou canst not obtain. God is near
thee, and he is in thee. The good spirit sits or resides within as, the
observer of our good and evil actions. As he is dealt with by us, he
dealeth with us."

The Quakers produce these, and a multitude of other quotations, which it
is not necessary to repeat, to show that the same spirit, which taught
the patriarchs before the law, and the Jews after it, taught the
Gentiles also. But this revelation, or manifestation of the spirit, was
not confined, in the opinion of the Quakers, to the Roman or Greek
philosophers, or to those who had greater pretensions than common to
human wisdom. They believe that no nation was ever discovered, among
those of antiquity, to have been so wild or ignorant as not to have
acknowledged a divinity, or as not to have known and established a
difference between good and evil.

Cicero says, "there is no country so barbarous, no one of all men so
savage, as that some apprehension of the Gods hath not tinctured his
mind. That many indeed, says he, think corruptly of them, must be
admitted; but this is the effect of vicious custom. For all do believe
that there is a divine power and nature."

Maximus Tyriensis, a platonic philosopher, and a man of considerable
knowledge, observes, that "notwithstanding the great contention and
variety of opinions which have existed concerning the nature and essence
of God, yet the law and reason of every country are harmonious in these
respects, namely, that there is one God, the king and father of all--and
that the many are but servants and co-rulers unto God: that in this the
Greek and the Barbarian, the Islander and the inhabitant of the
continent, the wise and the foolish, speak the same language. Go, says
he, to the utmost bounds of the ocean, and you find God there. But if
there hath been, says he, since the existence of time, two or three
atheistical, vile, senseless individuals, whose eyes and ears deceive
them, and who are maimed in their very soul, an irrational and barren
species, as monstrous as a lion without courage, an ox without horns, or
a bird without wings, yet out of these you will be able to understand
something of God. For they know and confess him whether they will or

Plutarch says again, "that if a man were to travel through the world, he
might possibly find cities without walls, without letters, without
kings, without wealth, without schools, and without theatres. But a city
without a temple, or that useth no worship, or no prayers, no one ever
saw. And he believes a city may more easily be built without a
foundation, or ground to set it on, than a community of men have or keep
a consistency without religion."

Of those nations which were reputed wild and ignorant in ancient times,
the Scythians may be brought, next, to the Greeks and Romans, as an
instance to elucidate the opinion of the Quakers still farther on this
subject. The speech of the Scythian Ambassadors to Alexander the Great,
as handed down to us by Quintus Curtius, has been often cited by
writers, not only on account of its beauty and simplicity, but to show
us the moral sentiments of the Scythians in those times. I shall make a
few extracts from it on this occasion.

"Had the Gods given thee, says one of the Ambassadors to Alexander, a
body proportionable to thy ambition, the whole Universe would have been
too little for thee. With one hand thou wouldest touch the East, and
with the other the West; and not satisfied with this, thou wouldest
follow the Sun, and know where he hides himself."----

"But what have we to do with thee? We never set foot in thy country. May
not those who inhabit woods be allowed to live without knowing who thou
art, and whence thou comest? We will neither command nor submit to any

"But thou, who boastest thy coming to extirpate robbers, thou thyself
art the greatest robber upon earth."----

"Thou hast possessed thyself of Lydia, invaded Syria, Persia, and
Bactriana. Thou art forming a design to march as far as India, and thou
now contest hither, to seize upon our herds of cattle. The great
possessions which thou hast, only make thee covet more eagerly what thou
hast not."----

"We are informed that the Greeks speak jestingly of our Scythian
deserts, and that they are even become a proverb; but we are fonder of
our solitudes, than of thy great cities."----

"If thou art a god, thou oughtest to do good to mortals, and not to
deprive them of their possessions. If thou art a mere man, reflect on
what thou art."----

"Do not fancy that the Scythians will take an oath in their concluding
of an alliance with thee. The only oath among them is to keep their word
without swearing. Such cautions as these do indeed become Greeks, who
sign their treaties, and call upon the Gods to witness them. But, with
regard to us, our religion consists in being sincere, and in keeping the
promises we have made. That man, who is not ashamed to break his word
with men, is not ashamed of deceiving the Gods."

To the account contained in these extracts, it may be added, that the
Scythians are described by Herodotus, Justin, Horace, and others, as a
moral people. They had the character of maintaining justice. Theft or
robbery was severely punished among them. They believed infidelity after
the marriage-engagement to be deserving of death. They coveted neither
silver nor gold. They refused to give the name of goods or riches to any
but estimable things, such as health, courage, liberty, strength,
sincerity, innocence, and the like. They received friends as relations,
or considered friendship as so sacred an alliance, that it differed but
little from alliance by blood.

These principles of the Scythians, as far as they are well founded, the
Quakers believe to have originated in their more than ordinary attention
to that divine principle which was given to them, equally with the rest
of mankind, for their instruction in moral good; to that same principle,
which Socrates describes as having suggested to his mind that which was
good and virtuous, or which Seneca describes to reside in men as an
observer of good and evil. For the Scythians, living in solitary and
desert places, had but little communication for many ages with the rest
of mankind, and did not obtain their system of morality from other
quarters. From the Greeks and Romans, who were the most enlightened,
they derived no moral benefit. For Strabo informs us, that their morals
had been wholly corrupted in his time, and that this wretched change had
taken place in consequence of their intercourse with these nations. That
they had no scripture or written law of God is equally evident. Neither
did they collect their morality from the perusal or observance of any
particular laws that had been left them by their ancestors; for the same
author, who gives them the high character just mentioned, says that they
were found in the practice of justice,[37] not on account of any laws,
but on account of their own _natural genius or disposition_. Neither
were they found in this practice, because they had exerted their reason
in discovering that virtue was so much more desirable than vice; for the
same author declares, that nature, and not reason, had made them a moral
people: for[38] "it seems surprising, says he, that nature should have
given to them what the Greeks have never been able to attain either in
consequence of the long succession of doctrines of their wise men, or of
the precepts of their philosophers; and that the manners of a barbarous,
should be preferable to those of a refined people."

[Footnote 37: Justitia gentis Ingeniis culta, non Legibus.]

[Footnote 38: Prorsus ut admirabile videatur, hoc illis naturam dare,
quod Graeci longá sapientium doctriná praeceptisque philosophorum
consequi nequeunt, cultosque mores incultae barbariae collatione

This opinion, that the spirit of God was afforded as a light to lighten
the Gentiles of the ancient world, the Quakers derive from the
authorities which I have now mentioned; that is, from the evidence which
history has afforded, and from the sentiments which the Gentiles have
discovered themselves upon this subject. But they conceive that the
question is put out of all doubt by these remarkable words of the
Apostle Paul. "For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by
_nature_ the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are
a law unto themselves: which shew the work of the law _written on their
hearts_, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the
mean while accusing, or else excusing one another." And here it may be
observed, that the Quakers believe also, that in the same manner as the
spirit of God enlightened the different Gentile nations previously to
the time of the apostle, so it continues to enlighten those, which have
been discovered since; for no nation has been found so ignorant, as not
to make an acknowledgment of superior spirit, and to know the difference
between good and evil. Hence it may be considered as illuminating those
nations, where the scriptures have never reached, even at the present

With respect to the last case, which includes those who have heard with
their outward ears the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Quakers believe, that
the spirit of God has continued its office of a spiritual instructor as
well to these as to any of the persons who have been described. For the
Gospel is no where said to supersede, any more than the law of Moses
did, the assistance of this spirit. On the other hand, this spirit was
deemed necessary, and this by the apostles themselves, even after
churches had been established, or men had become Christians. St. Paul
declares,[39] that whatever spiritual gifts some of his followers might
then have, and however these gifts might then differ from one another,
the spirit of God was given universally to man, and this to profit
withal. He declares again that [40] "as many as were led by this spirit,
these, and these only, possessed the knowledge that was requisite to
enable them to become the sons of God." And in his letter to the
Thessalonians, who had become a Christian church, he gave them many
particular injunctions, among which one was, that [41] they would not
quench or extinguish the spirit.

[Footnote 39: Cor. 12. 7.]

[Footnote 40: Rom. 8, 14.]

[Footnote 41: 1 Thess. 5. 19.]

And in the same manner as this spirit was deemed necessary in the days
of the apostles, and this to every man individually, and even after he
had become a Christian, so the Quakers consider it to have been
necessary since, and to continue so, wherever Christianity is professed.
For many persons may read the holy scriptures, and hear them read in
churches, and yet not feel the necessary conviction for sin. Here then
the Quakers conceive the spirit of God to be still necessary. It comes
in with its inward monitions and reproofs, where the scripture has been
neglected or forgotten. It attempts to stay the arm of him who is going
to offend, and frequently averts the blow.

Neither is this spirit unnecessary, even where men profess an attention
to the literal precepts of the Gospel. For in proportion as men are in
the way of attending to the outward scriptures, they are in the way of
being inwardly taught of God. But without this inward teaching no
outward teaching can be effectual; for though persons may read the
scriptures, yet they cannot spiritually understand them; and though they
may admire the Christian religion, yet they cannot enjoy it, according
to the opinion of the Quakers, but through the medium of the spirit of



_This spirit, as it has been given universally, so it has been given
sufficiently--Hence God is exonerated Of injustice, and men are left
without excuse--Those who resist this spirit, are said to quench it, and
may become so hardened in time, as to be insensible of its
impressions--Those who attend to it, may be said to be in the way of
redemption--Similar sentiments of Monro--This visitation, treatment,
and influence of the spirit, usually explained by the Quakers by the
Parable of the sower._

As the spirit of God has been thus afforded to every man, since the
foundation of the world, to profit withal, so the Quakers say, that it
has been given to him in a sufficient measure for this purpose. By the
word "sufficient" we are not to understand that this divine monitor
calls upon men every day or hour, but that it is within every man, and
that it awakens him seasonably, and so often during the term of his
natural life, as to exonerate God from the charge of condemning him
unjustly, if he fails in his duty, and as to leave himself without
excuse. And in proportion as a greater or less measure of this spirit
has been afforded him, so he is more or less guilty in the sight of his

If any should resist these salutary operations of the Holy Spirit, they
resist it to their own condemnation.

Of such it may he observed, that they are said to quench or grieve the
spirit, and, not unfrequently, to resist God, and to crucify Christ
afresh; for God and Christ and the Spirit are considered to be
inseparably united in the scriptures.

Of such also it may be again observed, that if they continue to resist
God's holy Spirit, their feelings may become so callous or hardened in
time, that they may never be able to perceive its notices again, and
thus the day of their visitation may be over: for [42] "my people, saith
God, would not hearken to my voice, and Israel would none of me; so I
gave them up to their own hearts' lusts, and they walked in their own
counsels." To the same import was the saying of Jesus Christ, when he
wept over Jerusalem. [43] "If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in
this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are
hid from thine eyes." As if he had said, there was a day, in which ye,
the inhabitants of Jerusalem, might have known those things which
belonged to your peace. I was then willing to gather you, as a hen
gathereth her chickens, but as ye would not suffer me, the things
belonging to your peace are now hid from your eyes. Ye would not attend
to the impressions by God's Holy Spirit, when your feelings were tender
and penetrable, and therefore now, the day having passed over, ye have
lost the power of discerning them.

[Footnote 42: Psalm 81. 11,12]

[Footnote 43: Luke 19, 42.]

Those, on the other hand, who, during this visitation of the Holy
Spirit, attend to its suggestions or warnings, are said to be in the
way of their redemption or salvation.

These sentiments of the Quakers on this subject are beautifully
described by Monro, in his just measures of the pious institutions of
youth. "The Holy Spirit," says he, "solicits and importunes those who are
in a state of sin, to return, by inward motions and impressions, by
suggesting good thoughts and prompting to pious resolutions, by checks
and controls, by conviction of sin and duty; sometimes by frights and
terrors, and other whiles by love and endearments: But if men,
notwithstanding all his loving solicitations, do still cherish and
cleave to their lusts, and persevere in a state of sin, they are then
said to resist the Holy Ghost, whereby their condition becomes very
deplorable, and their conversion very difficult; for the more men resist
the importunities, and stifle the motions of the Holy Spirit, the
stronger do the chains of their corruption and servitude become. Every
new act of sin gives these a degree of strength, and consequently puts a
new obstacle in the way of conversion; and when sin is turned into an
inveterate and rooted habit, (which by reiterated commissions and long
continuance it is) then it becomes a nature, and is with as much
difficulty altered as nature is. Can the Ethiopian change his colour,
or the Leopard his spots? Then may you also do good, who are accustomed
to do evil."

"The Holy Spirit again," says he, "inspires the prayers of those who, in
consequence of his powerful operations, have crucified the flesh with
the affections and lusts, with devout and filial affections, and makes
intercession for them with sighs and groans that cannot be uttered. He
guides and manages them. The sons of God are led by the spirit of god.
He makes, his blessed fruits, righteousness, peace, joy, and divine
love, more and more to abound in them; he confirms them in goodness,
persuades them to perseverance, and seals them to the day of

The Quakers usually elucidate this visitation, treatment, and influence
of the Holy Spirit, by the parable of the sower, as recorded by three of
the Evangelists. "Now the seed is the word of God." But as the word of
God and the spirit, according to St. John the Evangelist, are the same,
the parable is considered by the Quakers as relating to that divine
light or spirit which is given to man for his spiritual instruction and
salvation. As the seed was sown in all sorts of ground, good, bad, and
indifferent, so this light or spirit is afforded, without exception, to
all. As thorns choked this seed, and hindered it from coming to
perfection, so bad customs, or the pleasures and cares of the world,
hinder men from attending to this divine principle within them, and
render it unfruitful in their hearts. And as the seed in the good ground
was not interrupted, and therefore produced fruit in abundance, so this
spiritual principle, where it is not checked, but received and
cherished, produces also abundance of spiritual fruit in the inward man,
by putting him into the way of redemption from sin, or of holiness of


_The spirit of God, therefore, besides its office of a teacher, performs
that of a Redeemer of men--Redemption outward and inward--Outward is by
the sufferings of Jesus Christ--These produce forgiveness of past sins,
and put men into a capacity of salvation--inward, or the office now
alluded to, is by the operation of the spirit--This converts men, and
preserves them from sins to come--outward and inward connected with each

The spirit of God, which we have seen to be given to men, and to be
given them universally, to enable them to distinguish between 'good and
evil, was given them also, the Quakers believe, for another purpose,
namely, to redeem or save them. Redemption and salvation, in this
sense,' are the same, in the language of the Quakers, and mean a
purification from the sins or pollutions of the world, so that a new
birth may be produced, and maintained in the inward man.

As the doctrine of the Quakers, with respect to redemption, differs from
that which generally obtains, I shall allot this chapter to an
explanation of the distinctions, which the Quakers usually make upon
this subject.

The Quakers never make use of the words "original sin," because these
are never to be found in the sacred writings. They consider man,
however, as in a fallen or degraded state, and as inclined and liable to
sin. They consider him, in short, as having the seed of sin within him,
which he inherited from his parent Adam. But though they acknowledge
this, they dare not say, that sin is imputed to him on account of Adam's
transgression, or that he is chargeable with sin, until he actually
commits it.

As every descendant, however, of Adam, has this seed within him, which,
amidst the numerous temptations that beset him, he allows sometime or
other to germinate, so he stands in need of a Redeemer; that is, of some
power that shall be able to procure pardon for past offences, and of
some power that shall be able to preserve him in the way of holiness for
the future. To expiate himself, in a manner satisfactory to the
Almighty, for so foot a stain upon his nature as that of sin, is utterly
beyond his abilities; for no good action, that he can do, can do away
that which has been once done. And to preserve himself in a state of
virtue for the future, is equally out of his own power, because this
cannot be done by any effort of his reason, but only by the conversion
of his heart. It has therefore pleased the Almighty to find a remedy for
him in each of these cases. Jesus Christ, by the sacrifice of his own
body, expiates for sins that are past, and the spirit of God, which has
been afforded to him, as a spiritual teacher, has the power of cleansing
and purifying the heart so thoroughly, that he may be preserved from
sins to come.

That forgiveness of past sins is procured by the sacrifice of Jesus
Christ, is obvious from various passages in the holy scriptures. Thus
the apostle Paul says, that Jesus Christ [44] "was set forth to be a
propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness
for the remission of sins that are past through the forbearance of God."
And in his epistle to the Colossians he says, [45] "In whom we have
redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins." This
redemption may be called outward, because it has been effected by
outward means, or by the outward sufferings of Jesus Christ; and it is
considered as putting men, in consequence of this forgiveness, into the
capacity of salvation. The Quakers, however, attribute this redemption
wholly to the love of God, and not to the impossibility of his
forgiveness without a plenary satisfaction, or to the motive of heaping
all his vengeance on the head of Jesus Christ, that he might appease his
own wrath.

[Footnote 44: Rom. 3.25.]

[Footnote 45: Coloss. 1.14.]

The other redemption, on the other hand, is called inward, because it is
considered by the Quakers to be an inward redemption from the power of
sin, or a cleansing the heart from the pollutions of the world. This
inward redemption is produced by the spirit of God, as before stated,
operating on the hearts of men, and so cleansing and purifying them, as
to produce a new birth in the inward man; so that the same spirit of
God, which has been given to men in various degrees since the
foundation of the world, as a teacher in their spiritual concerns, which
hath visited every man in his day, and which hath exhorted and reproved
him for his spiritual welfare[46], has the power of preserving him from
future sin, and of leading him to salvation.

[Footnote 46: The Quakers believe, however, that this spirit was more
plentifully diffused, and that greater gifts were given to man, after
Jews was glorified, than before. Ephes. 4.8.]

That this inward redemption is performed by the spirit of God, the
Quakers show from various passages in the sacred writings. Thus St. Paul
says, [47] "According to his mercy he hath saved us by the washing of
regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Ghost." The same apostle
says, again, [48] "It is the law of the Spirit that maketh free from the
law of sin and death." And again--[49] "As many as are led by the spirit
of God, they are the sons of God."

[Footnote 47: Titus 3.5.]

[Footnote 48: Rom. 8.2.]

[Footnote 49: Rom. 8.14.]

The Quakers say, that this inward redemption or salvation as effected by
the spirit, is obvious also from the experience of all good men, or from
the manner in which many have experienced a total conversion or change
of heart. For though there are undoubtedly some who have gone on so
gradually in their reformation from vice to virtue, that it may have
been considered to be the effect of reason, which has previously
determined on the necessity of a holy life, yet the change from vice to
holiness has often been so rapid and decisive, as to leave no doubt
whatever, that it could not have been produced by any effort of reason,
but only by some divine operation, which could only have been that of
the spirit of God.

Of these two kinds of redemption, the outward and the inward, of which
the latter will be the subject of our consideration, it may be observed,
that they go hand in hand together[50]. St. Paul has coupled them in
these words: "for if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by
the death of his son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by
his life;" that is, by the life of his spirit working inwardly in
us.--And as they go together in the mind of the apostle, so they go
together as to the benefit of their effects. For, in the first place,
the outward redemption takes place, when the inward has begun. And,
secondly, the outward redemption, or the sufferings of Jesus Christ,
which redeem from past sins, cannot have any efficacy till the inward
has begun, or while men remain in their sins; or, in other words, no man
can be entitled to the forgiveness of sins that have been committed,
till there has been a change in the inward man; for St. John intimates,
that [51]the blood of Christ does not cleanse from sin, except men walk
in the light, or, to use an expression synonymous with the Quakers,
except men walk in the spirit.

[Footnote 50: Rom, 5. 10.]

[Footnote 51: John I. 6.7.]


_Inward redemption, which thus goes on by the operation of the Holy
Spirit, has the power of producing a new birth in men--This office of
the spirit acknowledged by other Christians--Monro--Hammond--Locke--It
has the power also of leading to perfection--Sentiments of the Quakers
as to perfection--and of the ever memorable John Hales--Gell--Monro
--This power of inward redemption bestowed upon all._

The sufferings then of Jesus Christ, having by means of the forgiveness
of past sins, put men into a capacity for salvation, the remaining part
of salvation, or the inward redemption of man, is performed by the
operation of the Holy Spirit; of which, however, it must be remembered,
that a more plentiful diffusion is considered by the Quakers to have
been given to men after the ascension of Jesus Christ, than at any
former period.

The nature of this inward redemption, or the nature of this new office,
which it performs in addition to that of a religious teacher, may be
seen in the following account.

It has the power, the Quakers believe, of checking and preventing bad
inclinations and passions; of cleansing and purifying the heart; of
destroying the carnal mind; of making all old things pass away; of
introducing new; of raising our spiritual senses, so as to make us
delight in the things of God, and to put us above the enjoyment of
earthly pleasures. Redeeming thus from the pollutions of the world, and
leading to spiritual purity, it forms a new creature. It produces the
new man in the heart. It occasions a man by its quickening power to be
born again, and thus puts him into the way of salvation. [52] "For verily
I say unto thee, says Jesus Christ to Nicodemus, except a man be born
again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."

[Footnote 52: John 3.3.]

This office and power of the spirit of God is acknowledged by other
Christians. Monro, who has been before quoted, observes, "that the soul,
being thus raised from the death of sin and born again, is divinely
animated, and discovers that it is alive by the vital operations which
it performs."

"Again, says he, this blissful presence, the regenerate who are
delivered from the dominion, and cleansed from the impurities of sin,
have recovered, and it is on the account of it, that they are said to be
an habitation of God through the spirit and the temples of the Holy
Ghost. For that good spirit takes possession of them, resides in their
hearts, becomes the mover, enlightener, and director of all their
faculties and powers, gives a new and heavenly tincture and tendency to
all their inclinations and desires, and, in one word, is the great
spring of all they think, or do, or say; and hence it is that they are
said to walk no more after the flesh, but after the spirit, and to be
led by the spirit of God."

Dr. Hammond, in his paraphrase and annotations on the New Testament,
observes, that "he who hath been born of God, is literally he who hath
had such a blessed change wrought in him by the operation of God's
spirit in his heart, as to be translated from the power of darkness into
the kingdom of his dear Son."

"As Christ in the flesh, says the great and venerable Locke, was wholly
exempt from all taint and sin, so we, by that spirit which was in him,
shall be exempt from the dominion of carnal lusts, if we make it our
choice, and endeavour to live after the spirit."

"Here the apostle, says Locke, shows that Christians are delivered from
the dominion of their carnal lusts by the spirit of God that is given to
them, and dwells in them, as a new quickening principle and power, by
which they are put into the state of a spiritual life, wherein their
members are made capable of becoming the instruments of righteousness."

And this spirit of God, which thus redeems from the pollutions of the
world, and puts a new heart as it were into man, is considered by the
Quakers as so powerful in its operations, as to be able to lead him to
perfection. By this the Quakers do not mean to say, that the perfection
of man is at all like the perfection of God; because the perfection of
the former is capable of growth. They believe, however, that, in his
renewed state, he may be brought to be so perfect, as to be able to keep
those commandments of God which are enjoined him. In this sense they
believe it is, that Noah is called by Moses [53]a just and perfect man
in his generation; and that Job is described [54]as a perfect and an
upright man; and that the evangelist Luke speaks of Zacharias and
Elizabeth in these words--[55] "They were both righteous before God, and
walked in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless."

[Footnote 53: Gen. 6. 9.]

[Footnote 54: Job 1. 3.]

[Footnote 55: Luke 1. 6.]

That man, who is renewed in heart, can attain this degree of perfection,
the Quakers think it but reasonable to suppose. For to think that God
has given man any law to keep, which it is impossible for him, when
aided by his Holy Spirit, to keep, or to think that the power of Satan
can be stronger in man than the power of Christ, is to think very
inadequately of the Almighty, and to cast a dishonourable reflection on
his goodness, his justice, and his power. Add to which, that there would
not have been such expressions in the New Testament, as those of Jesus
Christ--"Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in
Heaven is perfect"--Nor would there have been other expressions of the
Apostles of a similar meaning, if the renewed man had not possessed the
power of doing the will of God.

This doctrine of perfection brought the Quakers into disputes with
persons of other religions denominations, at the time of their
establishment. But, however it might be disapproved of, it was not new
in these times; nor was it originally introduced by them. Some of the
fathers of the church, and many estimable divines of different
countries, had adopted it. And here it may be noticed, that the doctrine
had been received also by several of the religious in our own.

In the golden remains of the ever memorable John Hales, we find, that
"through the grace of Him that doth enable as, we are stronger than
Satan, and the policy of Christian warfare hath as many means to keep
back and defend, as the deepest reach of Satan hath to give the onset."

"St. Augustine, says this amiable writer, was of opinion, that it was
possible for us even in this natural life, seconded by the grace of God,
perfectly to accomplish what the law requires at our hands." In the
Golden Remains, many sentiments are to be found of the same tenour.

Bacon, who collected and published Dr. Robert Gell's remains, says in
his preface, that Dr. Gell preached before King Charles the first on
Ephesians 4. 10. at New-Market, in the year 1631, a bold discourse, yet
becoming him, testifying before the King that doctrine he taught to his
life's end, "the possibility, through grace, of keeping the law of God
in this life." Whoever reads these venerable Remains, will find this
doctrine inculcated in them.

Monro, who lived some time after Dr. Gell, continued the same doctrine:
So great, says he, in his just measures, is the goodness and benignity
of God, and so perfect is the justice of his nature, that he will not,
cannot command impossibilities. Whatever he requires of mankind by way
of duty, he enables them to perform it--His grace goes before and
assists their endeavours; so that when they do not comply with his
injunctions, it is because they will not employ the power that he has
given them, and which he is ready to increase and heighten, upon their
dutiful improvement of what they have already received, and their
serious application to him for more.

Again--"Though of ourselves, and without Christ, we can do nothing; yet
with him we can do all things: and then, he adds a little lower, why
should any duties frighten us, or seem impossible to us?"

Having now stated it to be the belief of the Quakers, that the spirit of
God acts as an inward redeemer to man, and that its powers are such that
it may lead him to perfection in the way explained, it remains for me to
observe, that it is their belief also, that this spirit has been given
for these purposes, without any exception, to all of the human race: or
in the same manner as it was given as an universal teacher, so it has
been given as an universal redeemer to man, and that it acts in this
capacity, and fulfils its office to all those who attend to its inward
strivings, and encourage its influence on their hearts.

That it was given to all for this purpose, they believe to be manifest
from the Apostle Paul:[56] "for the grace of God, says he, which bringeth
salvation, hath appeared unto all men." He says again,[57] that "the
Gospel was preached unto every creature which is under Heaven." He
defines the Gospel to be[58] "the power of God unto salvation to every
one that believeth." He means therefore that this power of inward
redemption was afforded to all. For the outward Gospel had not been
preached to all in the time of the apostle; nor has it been preached to
all even at the present day. But these passages are of universal import.
They imply no exception. They comprehend every individual of the human

[Footnote 56: Titus 2.11.]

[Footnote 57: Coloss. 1.23.]

[Footnote 58: Rom. 1.16.]

That this spirit was also given to all for these purposes, the Quakers
believe, when they consider other passages in the scriptures, which
appear to them to belong to this subject. For they consider this spirit
to have begun its office as an inward redeemer[59] with the fall of the
first man, and to have continued it through the patriarchal ages to the
time of the outward Gospel, when there was to be no other inward
redemption but by the same means. Thus by the promise which was given to
Adam, there was to be perpetual enmity between the seed of the serpent
and the seed of the woman, though the latter was to vanquish, or as, the
Quakers interpret it, between the spirit of sin and the spirit of God,
that was placed in man. This promise was fully accomplished by Jesus,
(who came from the woman) after he had received immeasurably the spirit
of God, or after he had become the Christ. But the Quakers consider it
to have bean partially accomplished by many from the time of Adam; for
they believe that many, who have attended to the seed of God, or, which
is the same thing,[60] to the portion of the spirit of God within them,
have witnessed the enmity alluded to, and have bruised, in a great
degree, the power of sin within their own hearts, or have experienced in
these early times the redeeming power of the spirit of God. And except
this be the case, the Quakers conceive some of the passages, which they
suppose to relate to this subject, not to be so satisfactorily
explicable as they might be rendered. For it is said of Abraham, that he
saw Christ's day. But as Abraham died long before the visible appearance
of Christ in the flesh, he could neither have seen Christ outwardly, nor
his day. It is still affirmed that he saw Christ's day. And the Quakers
say they believe he saw him inwardly, for he witnessed in his own
spirit, which is the same thing, the redeeming power of the spirit of
God. For as the world was made by the spirit, or by the word, which is
frequently interpreted to be Christ, so these terms are synonimous, and
often used the one for the other. The Quakers therefore believe Abraham
to have experienced in a very high degree the power[61] of this inward
redemption. They believe also that Job experienced it in an
extraordinary manner. For he asserted that he knew "that his redeemer
lived." But Job could never have said this, except be had alluded to the
powerful influence within him, which had purified his heart from the
pollutions of sin. For being as early as the time of Moses, he could
never have seen any of the sacred writings which mentioned Jesus Christ
as a redeemer, or the person of Jesus Christ.

[Footnote 59: In the same manner Jesus Christ having tasted death for
every man, the sacrifice, or outward redemption, looks backwards and
forwards, as well to Adam as to those who lived after the Gospel times.]

[Footnote 60: 1 John. 3. 9. Whosoever is born of God does not commit
sin, for his seed remaineth in him, and he cannot sin, because he is
born of God.]

[Footnote 61: The Quakers do not deny, that Abraham might have seen
Christ prophetically, but they believe he saw him particularly in the
way described.]

The Quakers also consider David, from the numerous expressions to be
found in the Psalms, as having experienced this inward redemption also,
and in the same manner as they conceive this spirit to have striven with
Abraham, and Job, and David, so they conceive it to have striven with
others of the same nation for their inward redemption to the time of
Jesus Christ. They believe again, that it has striven with all the
Heathen nations, from the foundation of the world to the same period.
And they believe also, that it has continued its office of a redeemer to
all people, whether Jews, Heathens, or Christians, from the time of
Jesus Christ to the present day.


_Proposition of the new birth and perfection, as hitherto explained in
the ordinary way--New view of the subject from a more particular detail
of the views and expressions of the Quakers concerning it--A new
spiritual birth as real from the spiritual seed of the kingdom, as that
of plants or vegetables from their seeds in the natural world--And the
new birth proceeds really in the same progressive manner, to maturity or
perfection--Result of this new view the same as that in the former

I stated in the last section that the spirit of God is considered by
the Quakers as an inward redeemer to men, and that, in this office, it
has the power of producing a new birth in them, and of leading them to
perfection in the way described. This proposition, however, I explained
only in the ordinary way. But as the Quakers have a particular way of
viewing and expressing it, and as they deem it one of the most
important of their religious propositions, I trust I shall, be excused
by the reader, if I allot one other section to this subject.

Jesus Christ states, as was said before, in the most clear and positive
terms, that [62] "except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom
of heaven."

[Footnote 62: John 3. 3.]

Now the great work of religion is salvation or redemption. Without this
no man can see God; and therefore the meaning of the words of Jesus
Christ will be this, that, except a man be born again, he cannot
experience that inward redemption which shall enable him to see the
kingdom of heaven.

Redemption then is necessary to qualify for a participation of the
heavenly joys, and it is stated to take place by means of the new birth.

The particular ideas then, which the Quakers have relative to the new
birth and perfection, are the following. In the same manner as the
Divine Being has scattered the seeds of plants and vegetables in the
body of the earth, so he has implanted a portion of his own
incorruptible seed, or of that which, in scripture language, is called
the "Seed of the Kingdom," in the soul of every individual of the human
race. As the sun by its genial influence quickens the vegetable seed, so
it is the office of the Holy Spirit, in whom is life, and who resides in
the temple of man, to quicken that which is heavenly. And in the same
manner as the vegetable seed conceives and brings forth a plant, or a
tree with stem and branches; so if the soul, in which the seed of the
kingdom is placed, be willing to receive the influence of the Holy
Spirit upon it, this seed is quickened and a spiritual offspring is
produced. Now this offspring is as real a birth from the seed in the
soul by means of the spirit, as the plant from its own seed by means of
the influence of the sun. "The seed of the kingdom, says Isaac
Pennington, consists not in words or notions of mind, but is an inward
thing, an inward spiritual substance in the heart, as real inwardly in
its kind, as other seeds are outwardly in their kind. And being received
by faith, and taking root in man, (his heart, his earth, being ploughed
up and prepared for it,) it groweth up inwardly, as truly and really, as
any outward seed doth outwardly."

With respect to the offspring thus produced in the soul of man, it maybe
variously named. As it comes from the incorruptible seed of God, it may
be called a birth of the divine nature or life. As it comes by the
agency of the spirit, it may be called the life of the spirit. As it is
new, it may be called the new man or creature: or it may have the
appellation of a child of God: or it is that spiritual life and light,
or that spiritual, principle and power within us, which may be called
the Anointed, or Christ within.

"As this seed, says Barclay, is received in the heart and suffered to
bring forth its natural and proper effect, Christ comes to be formed and
raised, called in scripture the new man, Christ within us, the hope of
glory. Yet herein they (the Quakers) do not equal themselves with the
holy man, the Lord Jesus Christ, in whom the fulness of the Godhead
dwelt bodily, neither destroy his present existence. For though they
affirm Christ dwells in them, yet not immediately, but mediately, as he
is in that seed which is in them."

Of the same opinion was the learned Cudworth. "We all, says he, receive
of his fulness grace for grace, as all the stars in heaven are said to
light their candles at the sun's flame. For though his body be withdrawn
from us, yet by the lively and virtual contact of his spirit, he is
always kindling, cheering, quickening, warming, and enlivening hearts.
Nay, this divine life begun and kindled in any heart, wheresoever it be,
is something of God in flesh, and in a sober and qualified sense,
divinity incarnate; and all particular Christians, that are really
possessed of it, are so many mystical Christs."

Again--"Never was any tender infant so dear to those bowels that begat
it, as an infant newborn Christ, formed in the heart of any true
believer, to God the Father of it."

This account relative to the new birth the Quakers conceive to be
strictly deducible from the Holy Scriptures. It is true, they conceive,
as far as the new birth relates to God and to the seed, and to the
spirit, from the following passages: [63] "Whosoever is born of God doth
not commit sin, for his seed remaineth in him." [64] "Being born again,
not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God."
[65] "Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth." It is
considered to be true again, as far as the new birth relates to the
creature born and to the name which it may bear, from these different
expressions: [66] "Of whom I travail in birth again, till Christ be
formed in you." [68] "Nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth
in me." [69] "But ye have received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry
Abba, Father." [70] "But as many as received him, that is, the spirit or
word, to them gave he power to become the sons of God." [71] "For as many
as are led by the spirit of God, they are the sons of God." And as
parents and children resemble one another, so believers are made [72]
"conformable to the image of his son," "who is the image of the invisible

[Footnote 63: 1 John 3. 9.]

[Footnote 64: 1 Peter 1. 23.]

[Footnote 65: James 1. 18.]

[Footnote 66: Gal. 4. 19.]

[Footnote 67: Gal. 2.20.]

[Footnote 68: Rom. 8.15.]

[Footnote 69: John 1. 12.]

[Footnote 70: Rom. 3. 14.]

[Footnote 71: Rom. 8. 29.]

[Footnote 72: Coloss. 1. 15.]

Having explained in what the new birth consists, or having shown,
according to Barclay, [73] "that the seed is a real spiritual
substance, which the soul of man is capable of feeling and apprehending,
from which that real spiritual inward birth arises, called the new
creature or the new man in the heart," it remains to show how believers,
or those in whose souls Christ is thus produced, may be said to grow up
to perfection; for by this real birth or geniture in them they come to
have those spiritual senses raised, by which they are made capable of
tasting, smelling, seeing, and handling, the things of God.

[Footnote 73: P. 139. Ed. 8.]

It may be observed then, that in the new birth a progress is
experienced from infancy to youth, and from youth to manhood. As it is
only by submission to the operation of the spirit that this birth can
take place, so it is only by a like submission, that any progress or
growth from one stature to another will be experienced in it; neither
can the regenerated become instrumental in the redemption of others, any
farther or otherwise than as Christ or the anointing dwells and operates
in them, teaching them all truths necessary to be known, and
strengthening them to perform every act necessary to be done for this
purpose. He must be their only means and [74] "hope of glory." It will
then be that the [75] "creature which waiteth in earnest expectation for
the manifestation of the sons of God, will be delivered from the bondage
of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God." For
[76] "if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are
passed away; behold, all things are become new, and all things of God."

[Footnote 74: Coloss. 1. 27.]

[Footnote 75: Rom. 8. 19, 21.]

[Footnote 76: Cor. 5. 17, 18.]

They who are the babes of the regeneration begin to see spiritual
things. The natural man, the mere creature, never saw God. But the
babes, who cry Abba, Father, begin to see and to know him. Though as yet
unskilful in the word of righteousness, [77] "they desire the sincere
milk of the word, that they may grow thereby." And [78] "their sins are
forgiven them."

[Footnote 77: 1 Pet 2. 2.]

[Footnote 78: 1 John 2. 12.]

They, who are considered as the young men in this state, are said to be
[79] "spiritually strong, and the word of God abiding in them, to have
overcome the wicked one."

[Footnote 79: 1 John 2. 14.]

They, who have attained a state of manhood, are called fathers, or are
said to be of full age, and to be capable of taking strong meat.
[80] "They come, in the unity of faith, and of the knowledge of the Son
of God, unto perfect men, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness
of Christ. They arrive at such a state of stability, that they are no
more children tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of
doctrine; but speaking the truth in love, grow up unto him in all
things, which is the head, even Christ." [81] "The old man with his deeds
being put off, they have put on the new man, which is renewed in
knowledge after the image of him that created him." [82] "They are
washed, they are sanctified, they are justified in the name of the Lord
Jesus, and in the spirit of our God." The new creation is thus
completed, and the sabbath wherein man ceases from his own works,
commences; so that every believer can then say with the apostle, [83] "I
am crucified with Christ. Nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ
liveth in me. And the life, which I now live in the flesh, I live by the
faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."

[Footnote 80: Eph. 4. 13.14.15.]

[Footnote 81: Col. 3.9.10.]

[Footnote 82: 1 Cor. 6.11.]

[Footnote 83: Gal. 2.20.]

But this state of manhood, [84] "by which the man of God may be made
perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works, does not take place,
until Christ be fully formed in the souls of believers, or till they are
brought wholly under his rule and government. He must be substantially
formed in them. He must actually be their life, and their hope of glory.
He must be their head and governor. As the head, and the body, and the
members are one, according to the apostle, but the head directs; so
Christ, and, believers in whom Christ is born and formed, are one
spiritual body, which he himself must direct also. Thus Christ, where he
is fully formed in man, or where believers are grown up to the measure
of the stature and fulness of sonship, is the head of every man, and God
is the head of Christ. Thus Christ the begotten entirely governs the
whole man, as the head directs and governs all the members of the body;
and God the Father, as the head of Christ, entirely guides and governs
the begotten. Hence, believers [85] 'are Christ's, and Christ is God's;'
so that ultimately God is all in all."

[Footnote 84: 2 Tim. 9.17.]

[Footnote 85: Cor. 9.23.]

Having given this new view of the subject, I shall only observe farther
upon it, that the substance of this chapter turns out to be the same as
that of the preceding, or according to the notions of the Quakers, that
inward redemption cannot be effected but through the medium of the
spirit of God. For Christ, according to the ideas now held out, must be
formed in man, and he must rule them before they can experience full
inward redemption; or, in other words, they cannot experience this
inward redemption, except they can truly say that he governs them, or
except they can truly call him Governor, or Lord. But no person can say
that Christ rules in him, except he undergoes the spiritual process of
regeneration which has been described, or to use the words of the
Apostle, [86] "No man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy

[Footnote 86: 1 Cor. 12.6]

[Footnote 87: The reader will easily discern from this new view of the
new birth, how men, according to the Quakers, become partakers of the
divine nature, and how the Quakers make it out, that Abraham and others
saw Christ's day, as I mentioned in a former chapter.]



_Quakers believe from the foregoing accounts, that redemption is
possible to all--Hence they deny the doctrine of election and
reprobation--do not deny the texts on which it is founded, but the
interpretation of them--as contrary to the doctrines of Jesus Christ and
the Apostles--as making his mission unnecessary--as rendering many
precepts useless--and as casting a stain on the character and attributes
of God._

It will appear from the foregoing observations, that it Is the belief of
the Quakers, that every man has the power of inward redemption within
himself, who attends to the strivings of the Holy Spirit, and that as
outward redemption by the sufferings of Jesus Christ extends to all,
where the inward has taken place, so redemption or salvation, in its
full extent, is possible to every individual of the human race.

This position, however, is denied by those Christians, who have
pronounced in favour of the doctrine of election and reprobation;
because, if they believe some predestined from all eternity to eternal
happiness, and the rest to eternal misery, they must then believe that
salvation is not possible to all, and that it was not intended to be

The Quakers have attempted to answer the objections, which have been
thus made to their theory of redemption; and as the reader will probably
expect that I should notice what they have said upon this subject, I
have reserved the answers they have given for the present place.

The Quakers do not deny the genuineness of any of those texts, which are
usually advanced against them. Of all people, they fly the least to the
cover of interpolation or mutilation of scripture to shield themselves
from the strokes of their opponents. They believe, however, that there
are passages in the sacred writings, which will admit of an
interpretation different from that which has been assigned them by many,
and upon this they principally rely in the present case. If there are
passages, to which two meanings may be annexed, and if for one there is
equal authority as for the other, yet if one meaning should destroy all
the most glorious attributes of the supreme being, and the other should
preserve them as recognized in the other parts of the scripture, they
think they are bound to receive that which favours the justice, mercy,
and wisdom of God, rather than that which makes him appear both unjust
and cruel.

The Quakers believe, that some Christians have misunderstood the texts
which they quote in favour of the doctrine of election and reprobation,
for the following reasons:--

First, because if God had from all eternity predestinated some to
eternal happiness, and the rest to eternal misery, the mission of Jesus
Christ upon earth became unnecessary, and his mediation ineffectual.

If this again had been a fundamental doctrine of Christianity, it never
could have been overlooked, (considering that it is of more importance
to men than any other) by the founder of that religion. But he never
delivered any words in the course of his ministry, from whence any
reasonable conclusion could be drawn, that such a doctrine formed any
part of the creed which he intended to establish among men. His doctrine
was that of mercy, tenderness, and love; in which he inculcated the
power and efficacy of repentance, and declared there was more joy in
Heaven over one sinner that repented, than over ninety-nine just persons
who needed no repentance.

By the parable of the sower, which the Quakers consider to relate wholly
to the word or spirit of God, it appears that persons of all description
were visited equally for their salvation; and that their salvation
depended much upon themselves; and that where obstacles arose, they
arose from themselves also, by allowing temptations, persecutions, and
the cares of the world, to overcome them. In short, the Quakers believe,
that the doctrine of election and reprobation is contrary to the whole
tenour of the doctrines promulgated by Jesus Christ.

They conceive also, that this doctrine is contrary to the doctrines
promulgated by the Evangelists and Apostles, and particularly contrary
to those of St. Paul himself, from whom it is principally taken. To make
this Apostle contradict himself, they dare not. And they must therefore
conclude, either that no person has rightly understood it, and that it
has been hitherto kept in mystery; or, if it be intelligible to the
human understanding, it must be explained by comparing it with other
texts of the same Apostle, as well as with those of others, and always
in connexion with the general doctrines of Christianity, and the
character and attributes of God. Now the Apostle Paul, who is considered
to [88] intimate, that God predestined some to eternal salvation, and
the rest to eternal misery, says, [89]that "God made of one blood all
nations of men to dwell on all the face of the earth;" that, in the
Gospel dispensation, [90] "there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision
nor uncircumcision, Barbarian nor Scythian, bond nor free." [91]He
desires also Timothy "to make prayers and supplications and
intercessions for all men;" which the Quakers conceive he could not have
done, if he had not believed it to be possible, that all might be saved.
"For this is acceptable, says he, in the sight of our Saviour, who will
have all men to be saved; for there is one God and one mediator between
God and man, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all."
Again, he says,[92] that "Jesus Christ tasted death for every man." And
in another place he says, [93] "The grace of God, which bringeth
salvation, has appeared unto all men." But if this grace has appeared to
all, none can have been without it. And if its object be salvation, then
all must have had sufficient of it to save them, if obedient to its
saving operations.

[Footnote 88: Romans, Chap. 9.]

[Footnote 89: Acts 17. 26.]

[Footnote 90: Coloss. 3. 11.]

[Footnote 91: 1 Tim. 2. 1. 3. 4. 5. 6.]

[Footnote 92: Hebrews 2. 9.]

[Footnote 93: Titus 2. 11.]

Again, if the doctrine of election and reprobation be true, then the
recommendations of Jesus Christ and his Apostles, and particularly of
Paul himself, can be of no avail, and ought never to have been given.
Prayer is inculcated by these as an acceptable duty. But why should men
pray, if they are condemned before-hand, and if their destiny is
inevitable? If the doctrine again be true, then all the exhortations to
repentance, which are to be found in the scriptures, must be
unnecessary. For why should men repent, except for a little temporary
happiness in this world, if they cannot be saved in a future? This
doctrine is considered by the Quakers as making the precepts of the
Apostles unnecessary; as setting aside the hopes and encouragements of
the Gospel; and as standing in the way of repentance or holiness of

This doctrine again they consider as objectionable, in as much as it
obliges men to sin, and charges them with the commission of it. It makes
also the fountain of all purity the fountain of all sin; and the author
of all good the dispenser of all evil. It gives to the Supreme Being a
malevolence that is not to be found in the character of the most
malevolent of his creatures. It makes him more cruel than the most cruel
oppressor ever recorded of the human race. It makes him to have
deliberately made millions of men, for no other purpose than to stand
by and delight in their misery and destruction. But is it possible, the
Quakers say, for this to be true of him, who is thus described by St.
John--"God is Love?"


_Quakers' interpretation of the texts which relate to this
doctrine--These texts of public and private import--Election, as of
public import, relates to offices of usefulness, and not to
salvation--as of private, it relates to the Jews--These had been
elected, but were passed over for the Gentiles--Nothing more
unreasonable in this than in the case of Ishmael and Esau--or that
Pharaoh's crimes should receive Pharaoh's punishment--But though the
Gentiles were chosen, they could stand in favour no longer than while
they were obedient and faithful_.

The Quakers conceive that, in their interpretation of the passages which
are usually quoted in support of the doctrine of election and
reprobation, and which I shall now give to the reader, they do no
violence to the attributes of the Almighty; but, on the other hand,
confirm his wisdom, justice, and mercy, as displayed in the sacred
writings, in his religious government of the world.

These passaged may be considered both as of public and of private
import; of public, as they relate to the world at large; of private, as
they relate to the Jews, to whom they were addressed by the Apostle.

The Quakers, in viewing the doctrine as of public import, use the words
"called," "predestinated," and "chosen," in the ordinary way in which
they are used in the scriptures, or in the way in which Christians
generally understand them.

They believe that the Almighty intended, from the beginning, to make
both individuals and nations subservient to the end which he had
proposed to himself in the creation of the world. For this purpose he
gave men different measures of his Holy Spirit; and in proportion as
they have used these gifts more extensively than others, they, have been
more useful among mankind. Now all these may be truly said to have been
instruments in the hands of Providence, for the good works which they
have severally performed; but, if instruments in his hands, then they
may not improperly be stiled chosen vessels. In this sense the Quakers
view the words "chosen," or "called." In the same sense they view also
the word "preordained;" but with this difference, that the instruments
were foreknown; and that God should have known these instruments
before-hand is not wonderful; for he who created the world, and who, to
use an human expression, must see at one glance all that ever has been,
and that is, and that is to come, must have known the means to be
employed, and the characters who were to move, in the execution of his
different dispensations to the world.

In this sense the Quakers conceive God may be said to have foreknown,
called, chosen, and preordained Noah, and also Abraham, and also Moses,
and Aaron, and his sons, and all the prophets, and all the evangelists,
and apostles, and all the good men, who have been useful in spiritual
services in their own generation or day.

In this sense also many may be said to have been chosen or called in the
days of the Apostle Paul; for they are described as having had various
gifts bestowed upon them by the spirit of God. [94] "To one was given the
word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge; to another the
'discerning of spirits;' to another prophecy; and to others other kinds
of gifts. But the self-same spirit worked all these, dividing to every
man severally as he chose." That is, particular persons were 'called by
the spirit of God, in the days of the Apostle, to particular offices for
the perfecting of his church.

[Footnote 94: 1 Cor. 12. 10. 11.]

In the same sense the Quakers consider all true ministers of the Gospel
to be chosen. They believe that no imposition of hands or human
ordination can qualify for this office. God, by means of his Holy Spirit
alone, prepares such as are to be the vessels in his house. Those
therefore, who, in obedience to this spirit, come forth from the
multitude to perform spiritual offices, may be said to be called or

In this sense, nations may be said to be chosen also. Such were the
Israelites, who by means of their peculiar laws and institutions, were
kept apart from the other inhabitants of the world.

Now the dispute is, if any persons should be said to have been chosen in
the scripture language, for what purpose they were so chosen. The
favourers of the doctrine of election and reprobation, say for their
salvation. But the Quakers say, this is no where manifest; for the term
salvation is not annexed to any of the passages from which the doctrine
is drawn. Nor do they believe it can be made to appear from any of the
scriptural writings, that one man is called or chosen, or predestined to
salvation, more than another. They believe, on the other hand, that
these words relate wholly to the usefulness of individuals, and that if
God has chosen any particular persons, he has chosen them that they
might be the ministers of good to others; that they might be spiritual
lights in the universe; or that they might become, in different times
and circumstances, instruments of increasing the happiness of their
fellow-creatures. Thus the Almighty may be said to have chosen Noah, to
perpetuate the memory of the deluge; to promulgate the origin and
history of mankind; and to become, as St. Peter calls him, "a preacher
of righteousness" to those who were to be the ancestors of men. Thus he
may be said to have chosen Moses to give the law, and to lead out the
Israelites, and to preserve them as a distinct people, who should carry
with them notions of his existence, his providence, and his power. Thus
he may be said to have chosen the prophets, that men, in after ages,
seeing their prophecies accomplished, might believe that Christianity
was of divine origin. Thus also he may be said to have chosen Paul,([95]
and indeed Paul is described as a chosen vessel) to diffuse the Gospel
among the Gentile world.

[Footnote 95: Acts 9. 15.]

That the words, called or chosen, relate to the usefulness of
individuals in the world, and not to their salvation, the Quakers
believe from examining the comparison or simile, which St. Paul has
introduced of the potter and of his clay, upon this very occasion.
[96] "Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, why hast thou
made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay of the same lump
to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?" This
simile, they say, relates obviously to the uses of these vessels. The
potter makes some for splendid or extraordinary uses and purposes, and
others for those which are mean and ordinary. So God has chosen
individuals to great and glorious uses, while others remain in the mean
or common mass, undistinguished by any very active part in the promotion
of the ends of the world. Nor have the latter any more reason to
complain that God has given to others greater spiritual gifts, than that
he has given to one man a better intellectual capacity than to another.

[Footnote 96: Rom. 9. 20. 21.]

They argue again, that the words "called or chosen," relate to
usefulness, and not to salvation; because, if men were predestined from
all eternity to salvation, they could not do any thing to deprive
themselves of that salvation; that is, they could never do any wrong in
this life, or fall from a state of purity: whereas it appears that many
of those whom the scriptures consider to have been chosen, have failed
in their duty to God; that these have had no better ground to stand
upon than their neighbours; that election has not secured them from the
displeasure of the Almighty, but that they have been made to stand or
fall, notwithstanding their election, as they acted well or ill, God
having conducted himself no otherwise to them, than he has done to
others in his moral government of the world.

That persons so chosen have failed in their duty to God, or that their
election has not preserved them from sin, is apparent, it is presumed,
from the scriptures. For, in the first place, the Israelites were a
chosen people. They were the people to whom the apostle addressed
himself, in the chapter which has given rise to the doctrine of election
and reprobation, as the elected, or as having had the preference over
the descendants of Esau and others. And yet this election did not secure
to them a state of perpetual obedience, or the continual favour of God.
In the wilderness they were frequently rebellious, and they were often
punished. In the time of Malachi, to which the Apostle directs their
attention, they were grown so wicked, [97]that "God is said to have no
pleasure in them, and that he would not receive an offering at their
hands." And in subsequent times, or in the time of the Apostle, he tells
them, that they were then passed over, notwithstanding their election,
[98]on account of their want of righteousness and faith, and that the
Gentiles were chosen in their place.

In the second place, Jesus Christ is said in the New Testament to have
called or chosen his disciples. But this call or election did not secure
the good behaviour of Judas, or protect him from the displeasure of his

[Footnote 97: Malachi 1. 10.]

[Footnote 98: Rom, 9. 31. 32.]

In the third place, it may be observed, that the Apostle Paul considers
the churches under his care as called or chosen; as consisting of people
who came out of the great body of the Heathen world to become a select
community under the Christian name. He endeavours to inculcate in them a
belief, that they were the Lord's people; that they were under his
immediate or particular care; that God knew and loved them, before they
knew and loved him; and yet this election, it appears, did not secure
them from falling off; for many of them became apostates in the time of
the Apostle, so "that he was grieved, fearing he had bestowed upon them
his labour in vain." Neither did this election secure even to those who
then remained in the church, any certainty of salvation; otherwise the
Apostle would not have exhorted them so earnestly "to continue in
goodness, lest they should be cut off."

The Quakers believe again, that the Apostle Paul never included
salvation in the words "called or chosen," for another reason. For if
these words had implied salvation, then non-election might have implied
the destruction annexed to it by the favourers of the doctrine of
reprobation. But no person, who knows whom the Apostle meant, when he
mentions those who had received and those who had lost the preference,
entertains any such notion or idea. For who believes that because Isaac
is said to have had the preference of Ishmael, and Jacob of Esau, that
therefore Ishmael and Esau, who were quite as great princes in their
times as Isaac and Jacob, were to be doomed to eternal misery? Who
believes that this preference, and the Apostle alludes to no other, ever
related to the salvation of souls? Or rather, that it did not wholly
relate to the circumstance, that the descendants of Isaac and Jacob were
to preserve the church of God in the midst of the Heathen nations, and
that the Messiah was to come from their own line, instead of that of
their elder brethren. Rejection or reprobation too, in the sense in
which it is generally used by the advocates for the doctrine, is
contrary, in a second point of view, in the opinion of the Quakers, to
the sense of the comparison or simile made by the Apostle on this
occasion. For when a Potter makes two sorts of vessels, or such as are
mean and such as are fine and splendid, he makes them for their
respective uses. But he never makes the meaner sort for the purpose of
dashing them to pieces.

The doctrine therefore in dispute, if viewed as a doctrine of general
import, only means, in the opinion of the Quakers, that the Almighty has
a right to dispose of his spiritual favours as he pleases, and that he
has given accordingly different measures of his spirit to different
people: but that, in doing this, he does not exclude others from an
opportunity of salvation or a right to life. On the other hand, they
believe that he is no respecter of persons, only as far as obedience is
concerned: that election neither secures of itself good behaviour, nor
protects from punishment: that every man who standeth, must take heed
lest he fall: that no man can boast of his election, so as to look down
with contempt upon his meaner brethren: and that there is no other
foundation for an expectation of the continuance of divine favour than a
religions life.

In viewing the passages in question as of private import, which is the
next view the Quakers take of them, the same lesson, and no other, is
inculcated. The Apostle, in the ninth chapter of the Romans, addresses
himself to the Jews, who had been a chosen people, and rescues the
character of God from the imputation of injustice, in having passed over
them, and in having admitted the Gentiles to a participation of his

The Jews had depended so much upon their privileges as the children of
Abraham, and so much upon their ceremonial observances of the law, that
they conceived themselves to have a right to continue to be the peculiar
people of God. The Apostle, however, teaches them, in the ninth and the
eleventh chapters of the Romans, a different lesson, and may be said to
address them in the following manner:--

"I am truly sorry, my kinsmen in the flesh, that you, who have always
considered yourselves the elder and chosen branches of the family of the
world, should have been passed over; and that the Gentiles, whom you
have always looked upon as the younger, should be now preferred. But God
is just--He will not sanction unrighteousness in any. Nor will he allow
any choice of his to continue persons in favour, longer than, after much
long suffering, he finds them deserving his support. You are acquainted
with your own history. The Almighty, as you know, undoubtedly
distinguished the posterity of Abraham, but he was not partial to them
alike. Did he not reject Ishmael the scoffer, though he was the eldest
son of Abraham, and countenance Isaac, who was the younger? Did he not
pass over Esau the eldest son of Isaac, who had sold his birth-right,
and prefer Jacob? Did he not set aside Reuben, Simeon, and Levi, the
three eldest sons of Jacob, who were guilty of incest, treachery, and
murder, and choose that the Messiah should come from Judah, who was but
the fourth? But if, in these instances, he did not respect eldership,
why do you expect that he will not pass you over for the Gentiles, if ye
continue in unbelief?"

"But so true it is, that he will not support any whom he may have
chosen, longer than they continue to deserve it, that he will not even
continue his countenance to the Gentiles, though he has now preferred
them, if by any misconduct they should become insensible of his favours.
[99] For I may compare both you and them to an Olive-Tree. If some of
you, who are the elder, or natural branches, should be broken off, and
the Gentiles, being a wild Olive-Tree, should be grafted in among you,
and with you partake of the root and fatness of the Olive-Tree, it would
not become them to boast against you the branches: for if they boast,
they do not bear the root, but the root them. Perhaps, however, they
might say, that you, the branches, were broken off, that they might be
grafted in. Well, but it was wholly on account of unbelief that you were
broken off, and it was wholly by faith that they themselves were taken
in. But it becomes them not to be high-minded, but to fear. For if God
spared not you, the natural branches, let them take heed, lest he also
spare not them."

[Footnote 99: Rom. 11. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21.]

"Moreover, my kinsmen in the flesh, I must tell you, that you have not
only no right to complain, because the Gentiles have been preferred, but
that you would have no right to complain, even if you were to become the
objects of God's vengeance. You cannot forget, in the history of your
own nation, the example of Pharaoh: you are acquainted with his
obstinacy and disobedience. You know that he stifled his convictions
from day to day. You know that, by stifling these, or by resisting God's
Holy Spirit, he became daily more hardened; and that by allowing himself
to become daily more hardened, he fitted himself for a vessel of
wrath, or prepared the way for his own destruction. You know at length
that God's judgments, but not till after much long suffering, came upon
him, so that the power of God became thus manifested to many. But if you
know all these things, and continue in unrighteousness and unbelief,
which were the crimes of Pharaoh also, why do you imagine that your
hearts will not become hardened like the heart of Pharaoh; or that if
you are guilty of Pharaoh's crimes, you are not deserving of Pharaoh's


_Recapitulation of all the doctrines hitherto laid down with respect to
the influence of the Spirit--Objection to this, that the Quakers make
every thing of this spirit, and but little of Jesus Christ--Objection
only noticed to show, that Christians have not always a right
apprehension of Scriptural terms, and therefore often quarrel with one
another about trifles--Or that there is, in this particular case, no
difference between the doctrine of the Quakers and that of the objectors
on this subject._

I shall now recapitulate in few words, or in one general proposition,
all the doctrines which have been advanced relative to the power of the
spirit, and shall just notice an argument, which will probably arise on
such a recapitulation, before I proceed to a new subject.

The Quakers then believe that the spirit of God formed or created the
world. They believe that it was given to men, after the formation of it,
as a guide to them in their spiritual concerns. They believe that it was
continued to them after the deluge, in the same manner, and for the same
purposes, to the time of Christ. It was given, however, in this
interval, to different persons in different degrees. Thus the prophets
received a greater portion of it than ordinary persons in their own
times. Thus Moses was more illuminated by it than his contemporaries,
for it became through him the author of the law. In the time of Christ
it continued the same office, but it was then given more diffusively
than before, and also more diffusively to some than to others. Thus the
Evangelists and Apostles received it in an extraordinary degree, and it
became, through them and Jesus Christ their head, the author of the
Gospel. But, besides its office of a spiritual light and guide to men in
their spiritual concerns, during all the period now assigned, it became
to them, as they attended to its influence, an inward redeemer,
producing in them a new birth, and leading them to perfection. And as it
was thus both a guide and an inward redeemer, so it has continued these
offices to the present day.

From hence it will be apparent that the acknowledgment of God's Holy
Spirit, in its various operations, as given in different portions before
and after the sacrifice of Christ, is the acknowledgment of a principle,
which is the great corner stone of the religion of the Quakers. Without
this there can be no knowledge, in their opinion, of spiritual things.
Without this there can be no spiritual interpretation of the scriptures
themselves. Without this there can be no redemption by inward, though
there may be redemption by outward means. Without this there can be no
enjoyment of the knowledge of divine things.

Take therefore this principle away from them, and you take away their
religion at once. Take away this spirit, and Christianity remains with
them no more Christianity, than the dead carcass of a man, when the
spirit is departed, remains a man. Whatsoever is excellent, whatsoever
is noble, whatsoever is worthy, whatsoever is desirable in the Christian
faith, they ascribe to this spirit, and they believe that true
Christianity can no more subsist without it, than the outward world
could go on without the vital influence of the sun.

Now an objection will be made to the proposition, as I have just stated
it, by some Christians, and even by those who do not wish to derogate
from the spirit of God, (for I have frequently heard it started by such)
that the Quakers, by means of these doctrines, make every thing of the
spirit, and [100]but little of Jesus Christ. I shall therefore notice
this objection in this place, not so much with a view of answering it,
as of attempting to show, that Christiana have not always a right
apprehension of scriptural terms; and therefore that they sometimes
quarrel with one another about trifles, or rather, that when they have
disputes with each other, there is sometimes scarcely a shade of
difference between them.

[Footnote 100: The Quakers make much of the advantages of Christ's
coming in the flesh. Among these are considered the sacrifice of his own
body, a more plentiful diffusion of the Spirit, and a dearer revelation
relative to God and man.]

To those who make the objection, I shall describe the proposition which
has been stated above, in different terms. I shall leave out the words
"Spirit of God," and I shall wholly substitute the term "Christ." This I
shall do upon the authority of some of our best divines.... The
proposition then will run thus:

God, by means of Christ, created the world, "for without him was not any
thing made, that was made."

He made, by means of the same Christ, the terrestrial Globe on which we
live. He made the whole Host of Heaven. He made, therefore, besides our
own, other planets and other worlds.

He caused also, by means of the same Christ, the generation of all
animated nature, and of course of the life and vital powers of man.

He occasioned also by the same means, the generation of reason or
intellect, and of a spiritual faculty, to man.

Man, however, had not been long created, before he fell into sin. It
pleased God, therefore, that the same Christ, which had thus appeared in
creation, should strive inwardly with man, and awaken his spiritual
faculties, by which he might be able to know good from evil, and to
obtain inward redemption from the pollutions of sin. And this inward
striving of Christ was to be with every man, in after times, so that all
would be inexcusable and subjected to condemnation, if they sinned.

It pleased God also, in process of time, as the attention of man was led
astray by bad customs, by pleasures, by the cares of the world, and
other causes, that the same Christ, in addition to this his inward
striving with him, should afford him outward help, accommodated to his
outward senses, by which his thoughts might be oftener turned towards
God, and his soul be the better preserved in the way of salvation.
Christ accordingly, through Moses and the Prophets, became the author of
a dispensation to the Jews, that is, of their laws, types, and customs,
of their prophecies, and of their scriptures.

But as in the education of man things must be gradually unfolded, so it
pleased God, in the scheme of his redemption, that the same Christ, in
fulness of time, should take flesh, and become personally upon earth the
author of another outward, but of a more pure and glorious dispensation,
than the former, which was to be more extensive also; and which was not
to be confined to the Jews, but to extend in time to the uttermost
corners of the earth. Christ therefore became the Author of the inspired
delivery of the outward scriptures of the New Testament. By these, as by
outward and secondary means, he acted upon men's senses. He informed
them of their corrupt nature, of their awful and perilous situation, of
another life, of a day of judgment, of rewards and punishments. These
scriptures therefore, of which Christ was the Author, were outward
instruments at the time, and continue so to posterity, to second his
inward aid. That is, they produce thought, give birth to anxiety, excite
fear, promote seriousness, turn the eye towards God, and thus prepare
the heart for a sense of those inward strivings of Christ, which produce
inward redemption from the power and guilt of sin.

Where, however, this outward aid of the Holy Scriptures has not reached,
Christ continues to purify and redeem by his inward power. But as men,
who are acted upon solely by his inward strivings, have not the same
advantages as those who are also acted upon by his outward word, so less
is expected in the one than in the other case. Less is expected from the
Gentile than from the Jew: less from the Barbarian than from the

And this latter doctrine of the universality of the striving of Christ
with man, in a spiritually instructive and redemptive capacity, as it is
merciful and just, so it is worthy of the wise and beneficent Creator.
Christ, in short, has been filling, from the foundation of the world,
the office of an inward redeemer, and this, without any exception, to
all of the human race. And there is even [101] "now no salvation in any
other. For there is no other name under Heaven given among men, whereby
we must be saved."

[Footnote 101: Acts 4. 12.]

From this new statement of the proposition, which statement is
consistent with the language of divines, it will appear, that, if the
Quakers have made every thing of the spirit, and but little of Christ, I
have made, to suit the objectors, every thing of Christ, and but little
of the spirit. Now I would ask, where lies the difference between the
two statements? Which is the more accurate; or whether, when I say these
things were done by the spirit, and when I say they were done by Christ,
I do not state precisely the same proposition, or express the same

That Christ, in all the offices stated by the proposition, is neither
more nor less than the spirit of God, there can surely be no doubt. In
looking at Christ, we are generally apt to view him with carnal eyes. We
can seldom divest ourselves of the idea of a body belonging to him,
though this was confessedly human, and can seldom consider him as a pure
principle or fountain of divine life and light to men. And yet it is
obvious, that we must view him in this light in the present case; for if
he was at the creation of the world, or with Moses at the delivery of
the law, (which the proposition supposes) he could not have been there
in his carnal body; because this was not produced till centuries
afterwards by the virgin Mary. In this abstracted light, the Apostles
frequently view Christ themselves. Thus St. Paul:[102] "I live, yet not
I, but Christ liveth in me." And again,[103] "Know ye not your own
selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?"

[Footnote 102: Gal. 2.20.]

[Footnote 103: 2 Cor. 15.5].

Now no person imagines that St. Paul had any idea, either that the body
of Christ was in himself, or in others, on the occasions on which he has
thus spoken.

That Christ therefore, as he held the offices contained in the
proposition, was the spirit of God, we may pronounce from various views,
which we may take of him, all of which seem to lead us to the same

And first let us look at Christ in the scriptural light in which he has
been held forth to us in the fourth section of the seventh chapter,
where I have explained the particular notions of the Quakers relative to
the new birth.

God maybe considered here as having produced, by means of his Holy
Spirit, a birth of divine life in the soul of the "body which had been
prepared;" and this birth was Christ. [104] "But that which is born of
the spirit, says St. John, is spirit." The only question then will be as
to the magnitude of the spirit thus produced. In answer to this St. John
says,[105] "that God gave him not the spirit by measure." And St. Paul
says the same thing: [106] "For in him all the fulness of the godhead
dwelt bodily." Now we can have no idea of a spirit without measure, or
containing the fullness of the godhead, but the spirit of God.

[Footnote 104: John 3.6.]

[Footnote 105: John 3.34.]

[Footnote 106: Coloss. 2.9]

Let us now look at Christ in another point of view, or as St. Paul seems
to have viewed him. He defines Christ [107] "to be the wisdom of God,
and the power of God." But what are the wisdom of God, and the power of
God, but the great characteristics and the great constituent parts of
his spirit?

[Footnote 107: 1 Cor. 1. 24.]

But if these views of Christ should not be deemed satisfactory, we will
contemplate him as St. John the Evangelist has held him forth to our
notice. Moses says, that the spirit of God created the world. But St.
John says that the word created it. The spirit therefore and the word
must be the same. But this word he tells us afterwards, and this
positively, was Jesus Christ.

It appears therefore from these observations, that it makes no material
difference, whether we use the words "Spirit of God" or "Christ," in the
proposition that has been before us, or that there will be no difference
in the meaning of the proposition, either in the one or the other case;
and also if the Quakers only allow, when the spirit took flesh, that the
body was given as a sacrifice for sin, or that part of the redemption of
man, as far as his sins are forgiven, is effected by this sacrifice,
there will be little or no difference between the religion of the
Quakers and that of the objectors, as far as it relates to Christ[108].

[Footnote 108: The Quakers have frequently said in their theological
writings, that every man has a portion of the Holy Spirit within him;
and this assertion has not been censured. But they have also said, that
every man has a portion of Christ or of the light of Christ, within him.
Now this assertion has been considered as extravagant and wild. The
reader will therefore see, that if he admits the one, he cannot very
consistently censure the other.]



_Ministers--The Spirit of God alone can made a Minister of the
Gospel--Hence no imposition of hands nor human knowledge can be
effectual--This proposition not peculiarly adopted by George Fox, but by
Justin the Martyr, Luther, Calvin, Wickliffe, Tyndal, Milton, and
others--Way in which this call, by the Spirit, qualifies for the
ministry--Women equally qualified with men--How a Quaker becomes
acknowledged to be a Minister of the Gospel._

Having now detailed fully the operations of the Spirit of God, as far as
the Quakers believe it to be concerned in the instruction and redemption
of man, I shall consider its operations, as far as they believe it to
be concerned in the services of the church. Upon this spirit they make
both their worship and their ministry to depend. I shall therefore
consider these subjects, before I proceed to any new order of tenets,
which they may hold.

It is a doctrine of the Quakers that none can spiritually exercise, and
that none ought to be allowed to exercise, the office of ministers, but
such as the spirit of God has worked upon and called forth to discharge
it, as well as that the same Spirit will never fail to raise up persons
in succession for this end.

Conformably with this idea, no person, in the opinion of the Quakers,
ought to be designed by his parents in early youth for the priesthood:
for as the wind bloweth where it listeth, so no one can say which is the
vessel that is to be made to honour.

Conformably with the same idea, no imposition of hands, or ordination,
can avail any thing, in their opinion, in the formation of a minister of
the Gospel; for no human power can communicate to the internal man the
spiritual gifts of God.

Neither, in conformity with the same idea, can the acquisition of human
learning, or the obtaining Academical degrees and honours, be essential
qualifications for this office; for though the human intellect is so
great, that it can dive as it were into the ocean and discover the laws
of fluids, and rise again up to heaven, and measure the celestial
motions, yet it is incapable of itself of penetrating into divine
things, so as spiritually to know them; while, on the other hand,
illiterate men appear often to have more knowledge on these subjects
than the most learned. Indeed the Quakers have no notion of a human
qualification for a divine calling. They reject all school divinity, as
necessarily connected with the ministry. They believe that if a
knowledge of Christianity had been attainable by the acquisition of the
Greek and Roman languages, and through the medium of the Greek and
Roman philosophers, then the Greeks and Romans themselves had been the
best proficients in it; whereas, the Gospel was only foolishness to many
of these. They say with St. Paul to the Colossians,[109] "Beware lest any
man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of
men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ." And they
say with the same Apostle to Timothy,[110] "O Timothy! keep that which
is committed to thy trust, avoid profane and vain babblings, and
oppositions of science falsely so called, which some professing have
erred concerning the faith."

[Footnote 109: Coloss. 2. 8.]

[Footnote 110: 1 Tim. 6, 20, 21]

This notion of the Quakers, that human learning and academical honours
are not necessary for the priesthood, is very ancient. Though George Fox
introduced it into his new society, and this without any previous
reading upon the subject, yet it had existed long before his time. In
short, it was connected with the tenet, early disseminated in the
church, that no person could know spiritual things but through the
medium of the spirit of God, from whence it is not difficult to pass to
the doctrine, that none could teach spiritually except they had been
taught spiritually themselves. Hence we find Justin the Martyr, a
Platonic philosopher, but who was afterwards one of the earliest
Christian writers after the Apostles, and other learned men after him
down to Chrysostom, laying aside their learning and their philosophy for
the school of Christ. The first authors also of the reformation,
contended for this doctrine. Luther and Calvin, both of them, supported
it. Wickliffe, the first reformer of the English church, and Tyndal the
Martyr, the first translator of the Bible into the English language,
supported it also. In 1652, Sydrach Simpson, Master of Pembroke-Hall in
Cambridge, preached a sermon before the University, contending that the
Universities corresponded with the schools of the prophets, and that
human learning was an essential qualification for the priesthood. This
sermon, however, was answered by William Dell, Master of Caius College
in the same University, in which he stated, after having argued the
points in question, that the Universities did not correspond with the
schools of the prophets, but with those of Heathen men; that Plato,
Aristotle, and Pythagoras, were more honoured there, than Moses or
Christ; that grammar, rhetoric, logic, ethics, physics, metaphysics, and
the mathematics, were not the instruments to be used in the promotion or
the defence of the Gospel; that Christian schools had originally brought
men from Heathenism to Christianity, but that the University schools
were likely to carry men from Christianity to Heathenism again. This
language of William Dell was indeed the general language of the divines
and pious men in those times in which George Fox lived, though
unquestionably the opposite doctrine had been started, and had been
received by many. Thus the great John Milton, who lived in these very
times, may be cited as speaking in a similar manner on the same subject.
"Next, says he, it is a fond error, though too much believed among us,
to think that the University makes a minister of the gospel. What it may
conduce to other arts and sciences, I dispute not now. But that, which
makes fit a Minister, the Scripture can best inform us to be only from
above; whence also we are bid to seek them. [111]Thus St. Matthew says,
'Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth
labourers into his harvest.' Thus St. Luke: [112] 'The flock, over which
the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers.' Thus St. Paul: [113] 'How shall
they preach, unless they be sent?' But by whom sent? By the university,
or by the magistrate? No, surely. But sent by God, and by him only."

[Footnote 111: Mat. 9.38.]

[Footnote 112: Acts 20.28.]

[Footnote 113: Rom. 10.15.]

The Quakers then, rejecting school divinity, continue to think with
Justin, Luther, Dell, Milton, and indeed with those of the church of
England and others, that those only can be proper ministers of the
church, who have witnessed within themselves a call from the spirit of
God. If men would teach religion, they must, in the opinion of the
Quakers, be first taught of God. They must go first to the school of
Christ; must come under his discipline in their hearts; must mortify the
deeds of the body; must crucify the flesh with the affections and lusts
thereof; must put off the old man which is corrupt; must put on the new
man, "which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness;"
must be in fact, "Ministers of the sanctuary and true tabernacle, which
the Lord hath pitched, and not man." And whether those who come forward
as ministers are really acted upon by this Spirit, or by their own
imagination only, so that they mistake the one for the other, the
Quakers consider it to be essentially necessary, that they should
experience such a call in their own feelings, and that purification of
heart, which they can only judge of by their outward lives, should be
perceived by themselves, before they presume to enter upon such an

The Quakers believe that men, qualified in this manner, are really fit
for the ministry, and are likely to be useful instruments in it. For
first, it becomes men to be changed themselves, before they can change
others. Those again, who have been thus changed, have the advantage of
being able to state from living experience what God has done for them;
[114] "what they have seen with their eyes; what they have looked upon;
and what their hands have handled of the word of life." Men also, who,
by means of God's Holy Spirit, have escaped the pollutions of the world,
are in a fit state to understand the mysteries of God, and to carry with
them the seal of their own commission. Thus men under sin can never
discern spiritual things. But "to the disciples of Christ," and to the
doers of his will, "it is given to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of
Heaven." Thus, when the Jews marvelled at Christ, saying [115] "How
knoweth this man letters, (or the scriptures) having never learned?
Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his who sent
me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether
it be of God, or whether I speak of myself." Such ministers also are
considered as better qualified to reach the inward state of the people,
and to "preach liberty to the captives" of sin, than those who have
merely the advantage of school divinity, or of academical learning. It
is believed also of these, that they are capable of giving more solid
and lasting instruction, when they deliver themselves at large: for
those, who preach rather from intellectual abilities and from the
suggestions of human learning, than from the spiritual life and power
which they find within themselves, may be said to forsake Christ, who is
the "living fountain, and to hew out broken cisterns which hold no
water," either for themselves or for others.

[Footnote 114: Coloss. 2. 6.]

[Footnote 115: 1 Tim. 6.20.21.]

This qualification for the ministry being allowed to be the true one, it
will follow, the Quakers believe, and it was Luther's belief also, that
women may be equally qualified to become ministers of the Gospel, as the
men. For they believe that God has given his Holy Spirit, without
exception, to all. They dare not therefore limit its operations in the
office of the ministry, more than in any other of the sacred offices
which it may hold. They dare not again say, that women cannot mortify
the deeds of the flesh, or that they cannot be regenerated, and walk in
newness of life. If women therefore believe they have a call to the
ministry, and undergo the purification necessarily connected with it,
and preach in consequence, and preach effectively, they dare not, under
these circumstances, refuse to accept their preaching, as the fruits of
the spirit, merely because it comes through the medium of the female

Against this doctrine of the Quakers, that a female ministry is
allowable under the Gospel dispensation, an objection has been started
from the following words of the Apostle Paul: [116] "Let your women keep
silence in the churches, for it is not permitted unto them to
speak"--"and if they will learn any thing, let them ask their Husbands
at home." but the Quakers conceive, that this charge of the Apostle has
no allusion to preaching. In these early times, when the Gospel
doctrines were new, and people were eager to understand them, some of
the women, in the warmth of their feelings, interrupted the service of
the church, by asking such questions as occurred to them on the subject
of this new religion. These are they whom the Apostle desires to be
silent, and to reserve their questions till they should return home. And
that this was the case is evident, they conceive, from the meaning of
the words, which the Apostle uses upon this occasion. For the word in
the Greek tongue, which is translated "speak," does not mean to preach
or to pray, but to speak as in common discourse. And the words, which
immediately follow this, do not relate to any evangelical instruction,
which these women were desirous of communicating publicly, but which
they were desirous of receiving themselves from others.

[Footnote 116: 1 Cor. 14.34.35.]

That the words quoted do not relate to praying or preaching is also
equally obvious, in the opinion of the Quakers; for if they had related
to these offices of the church, the word "prophesy" had been used
instead of the word "speak." Add to which that the Apostle, in the same
epistle in which the preaching of women is considered to be forbidden,
gives them a rule to which he expects them to conform, when they should
either prophesy or pray: but to give women a rule to be observed during
their preaching, and to forbid them to preach at the some time, is an
absurdity too great to be fixed upon the most ordinary person, and much
more upon an inspired Apostle.

That the objection has no foundation, the Quakers believe again, from
the consideration that the ministry of women, in the days of the
Apostles, is recognized in the New Testament, and is recognized also, in
some instances, as an acceptable service.

Of the hundred and twenty persons who were assembled on the day of
pentecost, it is said by St. Luke that [117] some were women. That these
received the Holy Spirit as well as the men, and that they received it
also for the purpose of prophesying or preaching, is obvious from the
same Evangelist. For first, he says, that "all were filled with the Holy
Ghost." And secondly, he says, that Peter stood up, and observed
concerning the circumstance of inspiration having been given to the
women upon this occasion, that Joel's prophecy was then fulfilled, in
which were to be found these words: "And it shall come to pass in the
hist days, that your sons and your daughters shall prophesy--and on my
servants and handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my spirit; and
they shall prophesy."

[Footnote 117: Acts, Chap. 1.]

That women preached afterwards, or in times subsequent to the day of
pentecost, they collect from the same Evangelist. [118]For he mentions
Philip, who had four daughters, all of whom prophesied at Cæsarea. Now
by prophesying, if we accept [119]St. Paul's interpretation of it, is
meant a speaking to edification, and exhortation, and comfort, under the
influence of the Holy Spirit. It was also a speaking to the church: it
was also the speaking of one person to the church, while the others
remained silent.

[Footnote 118: Acts 21.9.]

[Footnote 119: 1 Cor. 14.]

That women also preached or prophesied in the church of Corinth, the
Quakers show from the testimony of St. Paul: for he states the manner in
which they did it, or that [120]they prayed and prophesied with their
heads uncovered.

[Footnote 120: 1 Cor. 11. 5.]

That women also were ministers of the Gospel in other places; and that
they were highly serviceable to the church, St. Paul confesses with
great satisfaction, in his Epistle to the Romans, in which he sends his
salutation to different persons, for whom he professed an affection or
an esteem: [121]thus--"I commend unto you Phoebe our sister, who is a
servant of the church, which is at Cenchrea." Upon this passage the
Quakers usually make two observations. The first is, that the [122]Greek
word, which is translated servant, should have been rendered minister.
It is translated minister, when applied by St. Paul to [123]Timothy, to
denote his office. It is also translated minister, when applied to
[124]St. Paul and Apollos. And there is no reason why a change should
have been made in its meaning in the present case. The second is, that
History has handed down Phoebe as a woman eminent for her Gospel
labours. "She was celebrated, says [125]Theodoret, throughout the world;
for not only the Greeks and the Romans, but the Barbarians, knew her

[Footnote 121: Romans 16.1.]

[Footnote 122: [Greek: Diokogos.]]

[Footnote 123: 1 Thess. 3. 2.]

[Footnote 124: 1 Cor. 3. 5.]

[Footnote 125: In Universa Terra celebris facta est; nec eam soli
Romani, &c,]

St. Paul also greets Priscilla and Aquila. He greets them under the
title of fellow-helpers or fellow-labourers in Jesus Christ. But this is
the same title which he bestows upon Timothy, to denote his usefulness
in the church. Add to which, that Priscilla and Aquila were the persons
of whom St. Luke [126]says, "that they assisted Apollos in expounding to
him the way of God more perfectly."

[Footnote 126: Acts 18. 24. 26.]

In the same epistle he recognizes also other women, as having been
useful to him in Gospel-labours. Thus--"Salute Tryphena, and Tryphosa,
who labour in the Lord." "Salute the beloved Persis, who laboured much
in the Lord."

From these, and from other observations, which might be made upon this
subject, the Quakers are of opinion that the ministry of the women was
as acceptable, in the time of the Apostles, as the ministry of the men.
And as there is no prohibition against the preaching of women in the New
Testament, they see no reason why they should not be equally admissible
and equally useful as ministers at the present day.


_Way in which Quakers are admitted into the ministry--When acknowledged,
they preach, like other pastors, to their different congregations or
meetings--They visit occasionally the different families in their own
counties or quarterly meetings--Manner of these family-visits--Sometimes
travel as ministers through particular counties or the kingdom at
large--Sometimes into foreign parts--Women share in these
labours--Expense of voyages on such occasions defrayed out of the
national stock._

The way in which Quakers, whether men or women, who conceive themselves
to be called to the office of the ministry, are admitted into it, so as
to be acknowledged by the society to be ministers of the Quaker-church,
is simply as follows.

Any member has a right to rise up in the meetings for worship, and to
speak publicly. If any one therefore should rise up and preach, who has
never done so before, he is heard. The congregation are all witnesses of
his doctrine. The elders, however, who may be present, and to whose
province it more immediately belongs to judge of the fitness of
ministers, observe the tenour of his discourse. They watch over it for
its authority; that is, they judge by its spiritual influence on the
mind, whether it be such as corresponds with that which may be presumed
to come from the spirit of God. If the new preacher delivers any thing
that appears exceptionable, and continues to do so, it is the duty of
the elders to speak to him in private, and to desire him to discontinue
his services to the church. But if nothing exceptionable occurs, nothing
is said to him, and he is allowed to deliver himself publicly at future
meetings. In process of time, if, after repeated attempts in the office
of the ministry, the new preacher should have given satisfactory proof
of his gifts, he is reported to the monthly meeting to which he belongs.
And this meeting, if satisfied with his ministry, acknowledges him as a
minister, and then recommends him to the meeting of ministers and
elders belonging to the same. No other act than this is requisite. He
receives no verbal or written appointment or power for the execution of
the sacerdotal office. It may be observed also, that he neither gains
any authority, nor loses any privilege, by thus becoming a minister of
the Gospel. Except, while in the immediate exercise of his calling, he
is only a common member. He receives no elevation by the assumption of
any nominal title, to distinguish him from the rest. Nor is he elevated
by the prospect of any increase to his wordly goods in consequence of
his new office; for no minister in this society receives any pecuniary
emolument for his spiritual labours.

When ministers are thus approved and acknowledged, they exercise the
sacred office in public assemblies, as they immediately feel themselves
influenced to that work. They may engage also, with the approbation of
their own monthly meeting, in the work of visiting such Quaker families
as reside in the county, or quarterly meeting to which they belong. In
this case they are sometimes accompanied by one of the elders of the
church. These visits have the name of family visits, and are conducted
in the following manner:--

When a Quaker minister, after having commenced his journey, has entered
the house of the first family, the individual members are collected to
receive him. They then sit in silence for a time. As he believes himself
concerned to speak, he delivers that which arises in his mind with
religions freedom. The master, the wife, and the other branches of the
family, are sometimes severally addressed. Does the minister feel that
there is a departure in any of the persons present, from the principles
or practice of the society, he speaks, if he believes it required of
him, to these points. Is there any well disposed person under any inward
discouragement; this person may be addressed in the language of
consolation. All in fact are exhorted and advised as their several
circumstances may seem to require. When the religious visit is over, the
minister, if there be occasion, takes some little refreshment with the
family, and converses with them; but no light or trifling subject is
ever entered upon on these occasions. From one family he passes on to
another, till he has visited all the families in the district, for which
he had felt a concern.

Though Quaker ministers frequently confine their spiritual labours to
the county or quarterly meeting in which they reside, yet some of them
feel an engagement to go beyond these boundaries, and to visit the
society in particular counties, or in the kingdom at large. They who
feel a concern of this kind, must lay it before their own monthly
meetings. These meetings, if they feel it right to countenance it, grant
them certificates for the purpose. These certificates are necessary;
first, because ministers might not he personally known as ministers out
of their own district; and secondly, because Quakers, who were not
ministers, and other persons who might counterfeit the dress of Quakers,
might otherwise impose upon the society, as they travelled along.

Such persons, as thus travel in the work of the ministry, or public
friends as they are called, seldom or never go to an inn at any town or
village, where Quakers live. They go to the houses of the latter. While
at these, they attend the weekly, monthly, and quarterly meetings of the
district, as they happen on their route. They call also extraordinary
meetings of worship. At these houses they are visited by many of the
members of the place and neighbourhood, who call upon and converse with
them. During these times they appear to have their minds bent on the
object of their mission, so that it would be difficult to divert their
attention from the work in hand. When they have staid a sufficient time
at a town or village, they depart. One or more guides are appointed by
the particular meeting, belonging to it, to show them the way to the
next place, where they propose to labour, and to convey them free of
expense, and to conduct them to the house of some member there. From
this house, when their work is finished, they are conveyed and conducted
by new guides to another, and so on, till they return to their
respective homes.

But the religious views of the Quaker ministers are not always confined
even within the boundaries of the kingdom. Many of them believe it to be
their duty to travel into foreign parts. These, as their journey is now
extensive, must lay their concern not only before their own monthly
meeting, but before their own quarterly meeting, and before the meeting
of Ministers and Elders in London also. On receiving their certificates,
they depart. Some of them visit the continent of Europe, but most of
them the churches in America, where they diligently labour in the
vineyard, probably for a year or two, at a distance from their families
and friends. And here it may be observed, that, while Quaker ministers
from England are thus visiting America on a religious errand, ministers
from America, impelled by the same influence, are engaging in
Apostolical missions to England. These foreign visits, on both sides,
are not undertaken by such ministers only as are men. Women engage in
them also. They cross the Atlantic, and labour in the vineyard in the
same manner. It may be mentioned here, that though it be a principle in
the Quaker society, that no minister of the Gospel ought to be paid for
his religious labours, yet the expense of the voyage, on such occasions,
is allowed to be defrayed out of the fund, which is denominated by the
Quakers their national stock.


_Elders--Their appointment--One part of their office to watch over the
doctrines and conduct of ministers--Another part of their office to meet
the ministers of the church, and to confer and exhort for religious
good--None to meddle at these conferences with the government of the

I mentioned in the preceding chapter, as the reader must have observed,
that certain persons, called Elders, watched over those who came forward
in the ministry, with a view of ascertaining if they had received a
proper qualification or call. I shall now state who the elders are, as
well as more particularly the nature of their office.

To every particular meeting four elders, two men and two women, but
sometimes more and sometimes less, according as persons can be found
qualified, are appointed. These are nominated by a committee appointed
by the monthly meeting, in conjunction with a committee appointed by the
quarterly meeting. And as the office annexed to the name of elder is
considered peculiarly important by the Quakers, particular care is
taken, that persons of clear discernment, and such as excel in the
spiritual ear, and such as are blameless in their lives, are appointed
to it. It is recommended that neither wealth nor age be allowed to
operate as inducements in the choice of them. Indeed, so much care is
required to be taken with respect to the filling up this office, that if
persons perfectly suitable are not to be found, the meetings are to be
left without them.

It is one part of the duty of the elders, when appointed, to watch over
the doctrine of young ministers, and also to watch over the doctrine and
conduct of ministers generally, and tenderly to advise with such as
appear to them to be deficient in any of the qualifications which belong
to their high calling.

When we consider that every religious society attaches a more than
common respectability to the person who performs the sacerdotal office,
there will be no difficulty in supposing, whenever a minister may be
thought to err, that many of those who are aware of his error, will want
the courage to point it out to him, and that others will excuse
themselves from doing it, by saying that interference on this occasion
does not belong more immediately to them than to others. This
institution therefore of elders fixes the offices on individuals. It
makes it their duty to watch and advise--It makes them responsible for
the unsound doctrine, or the bad conduct of their ministers. And this
responsibility is considered as likely to give persons that courage in
watching over the ministry, which they might otherwise want. Hence, if a
minister in the Quaker church were to preach unsoundly, or to act
inconsistently with his calling, he would be generally sure of being
privately spoken to by one or another elder.

This office of elders, as far as it is concerned in advising ministers
of the Gospel, had its foundation laid by George Fox. Many persons, who
engaged in the ministry in his time, are described by him as "having run
into imaginations," or as "having gone beyond their measure;" and in
these cases, whenever they should happen, he recommended that one or
two friends, if they saw fit, should advise with them in love and
wisdom. In process of time, however, this evil seems to have increased;
for as the society spread, numbers pressed forward to become Gospel
ministers; many supposed they had a call from the spirit, and rose up,
and preached, and in the heat of their imaginations, delivered
themselves unprofitably. Two or three persons also, in the frenzy of
their enthusiasm, frequently rose up, and spoke at the same time. Now
this was easily to be done in a religious society, where all were
allowed to speak, and where the qualifications of ministers were to be
judged of in part by the truths delivered, or rather, where ordination
was no mark of the ministry, or where an human appointment of it was
unknown. For these reasons, that mode of superintendence which had only
been suggested by George Fox, and left to the discretion of individuals,
was perfected into an establishment, out of imperious necessity, in
after times. Men were appointed to determine between the effects of
divine inspiration and human imagination; to judge between the cool and
the sound; and the enthusiastic and the defective; and to put a bridle
as it were upon those who were not likely to become profitable labourers
in the harvest of the Gospel. And as this office was rendered necessary
on account of the principle that no ordination or human appointment
could make a minister of the Gospel; so the same principle continuing
among the Quakers, the office has been continued to the present day.

It devolves upon the elders again, as a second branch of their duty, to
meet the ministers of the church at stated seasons, generally once in
three months, and to spend some time with them in religious retirement.
It is supposed that opportunities may be afforded here, of encouraging
and strengthening young ministers, of confirming the old, and of giving
religious advice and assistance in various ways: and it must be supposed
at any rate, that religious men cannot meet in religious conference,
without some edification to each other. At these meetings, queries are
proposed relative to the conduct both of ministers and elders, which
they answer in writing to the quarterly meetings of ministers and elders
to which they belong. Of the ministers and elders thus assembled, it may
be observed, that it is their duty to confine themselves wholly to the
exhortation of one another for good. They can make no laws, like the
ancient synods and other convocations of the clergy, nor dictate any
article of faith. Neither can they meddle with the government of the
church. The Quakers allow neither ministers nor elders, by virtue of
their office, to interfere with their discipline. Every proposition of
this sort must be determined upon by the yearly meeting, or by the body
at large.



_Worship--Consists of prayer and preaching--Neither of these effectual
but by the Spirit--Hence no liturgy or form of words, or studied
sermons, in the Quaker-church--Singular manner of delivering
sermons--Tone of the voice usually censured--This may arise from the
difference between nature and art--Objected, that there is little
variety of subject in these sermons--Variety not so necessary to
Quakers--Other objections--Replies--Observations of Francis Lambert, of

As no person, in the opinion of the Quakers, can be a true minister of
the gospel, unless he feel himself called or appointed by the spirit of
God, so there can be no true or effectual worship, except it come
through the aid of the same spirit.

The public worship of God is usually made to consist of prayer and

Prayer is a solemn address of the soul to God. It is a solemn confession
of some weakness, or thanksgiving for some benefit, or petition for some
favour. But the Quakers consider such an address as deprived of its life
and power, except it be spiritually conceived. [127] "For the spirit
helpeth our infirmities. For we know not what we should pray for as we
ought. But the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings
which cannot be uttered."

[Footnote 127: Rom. 8. 26.]

Preaching, on the other hand, is an address of man to men, that their
attention may be turned towards God, and their minds be prepared for the
secret and heavenly touches of his spirit. But this preaching, again,
cannot be effectually performed, except the spirit of God accompany it.
Thus St. Paul, in speaking of himself, says, [128] "And my speech and my
preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in
demonstration of the spirit and with power, that your faith should not
stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God." So the Quakers
believe that no words, however excellent, which men may deliver now,
will avail, or will produce that faith which is to stand, except they be
accompanied by that power which shall demonstrate them to be of God.

[Footnote 128: 1 Cor. 2. 4.]

From hence it appears to be the opinion of the Quakers, that the whole
worship of God, whether it consist of prayer or of preaching, must be
spiritual. Jesus Christ has also, they say, left this declaration upon
record,[129]that "God is a spirit, and that they that worship him, must
worship him in spirit and in truth." By worshipping him in truth, they
mean, that men are to worship him only when they feel a right
disposition to do it, and in such a manner as they judge, from their own
internal feelings, to be the manner which the spirit of God then

[Footnote 129: John 4.24.]

For these reasons, when the Quakers enter into their meetings, they use
no liturgy or form of prayer. Such a form would be made up of the words
of man's wisdom. Neither do they deliver any sermons that have been
previously conceived or written down. Neither do they begin their
service immediately after they are seated. But when they sit down, they
wait in silence,[130] as the Apostles were commanded to do. They
endeavour to be calm and composed. They take no thought as to what they
shall say. They avoid, on the other hand, all activity of the
imagination, and every thing that arises from the will of man. The
creature is thus brought to be passive, and the spiritual faculty to be
disencumbered, so that it can receive and attend to the spiritual
language of the Creator. [131]If, during this vacation from all mental
activity, no impressions should be given to them, they say nothing. If
impressions should be afforded to them, but no impulse to oral delivery,
they remain equally silent. But if, on the other hand, impressions are
given them, with an impulse to utterance, they deliver to the
congregation as faithfully as they can, the copies of the several
images, which they conceive to be painted upon their minds.

[Footnote 130: Mat. 10.19. Acts 1.4.]

[Footnote 131: They believe it their duty, (to speak in the Quaker
language,) to maintain the watch, by preserving the imagination from
being carried away by thoughts originating in man; and, in such watch,
patiently to await for the arising of that life, which, by subduing the
thoughts of man, produces an inward silence, and therein bestows a true
sight of his condition upon him.]

This utterance, when it manifests itself, is resolvable into prayer or
preaching. If the minister engages in prayer, the whole company rise up,
and the men with the minister take off their hats, that is, [132]uncover
their heads. If he preaches only, they do not rise, but remain upon
their seats as before, with their heads covered. The preacher, however,
uncovers his own head upon this occasion.

[Footnote 132: 1 Cor. Ch. 11.]

There is something singular in the manner in which the Quakers deliver
themselves when they preach. In the beginning of their discourses, they
generally utter their words with slowness; indeed, with a slowness,
which sometimes renders their meaning almost unintelligible to persons
unaccustomed to such a mode of delivery; for seconds sometimes elapse
between the sounding of short sentences or single words, so that the
mind cannot always easily carry the first words, and join them to the
intermediate, and connect them with the last. As they proceed, they
communicate their impressions in a brisker manner; till, at length,
getting beyond the quickness of ordinary delivery, they may be said to
utter them rapidly. At this time, some of them appear to be much
affected, and even agitated by their subject. This method of a very
slow and deliberate pronunciation at first, and of an accelerated one
afterwards, appears to me, as far as I have seen or heard, to be
universal: for though undoubtedly some may make less pauses between the
introductory words and sentences than others, yet all begin slower than
they afterwards proceed.

This singular custom may be probably accounted for in the following
manner. The Quakers certainly believe that the spirit of God furnishes
them with impressions on these occasions, but that the description of
these is left to themselves Hence a faithful watch must be kept, that
these may be delivered to their hearers conformably to what is delivered
to them. But if so, it may perhaps be necessary to be more watchful, at
the outset, in order to ascertain the dimensions as it were of these
impressions, and of their several tendencies and bearings, than
afterwards, when such a knowledge of them has been obtained. Or it may
be that ministers, who go wholly unprepared to preach, have but a small
view of the subject at first. Hence they speak slowly. But as their
views are enlarged, their speech becomes quickened, and their feelings
become interested with it. These, for any thing I know, may be
solutions, upon Quaker principles, of this extraordinary practice.

Against the preaching of the Quakers, an objection is usually made by
the world, namely, that their ministers generally deliver their
doctrines with an unpleasant tone. But it may be observed that this,
which is considered to be a defect, is by no means confined to the
Quakers. Persons of other religious denominations, who exert themselves
in the ministry, are liable to the same charge. It may be observed also,
that the difference between the accent of the Quakers, and that of the
speakers of the world, may arise in the difference between art and
nature. The person who prepares his lecture for the lecture-room, or his
sermon for the pulpit, studies the formation of his sentences, which are
to be accompanied by a modulation of the voice. This modulation is
artificial, for it is usually taught. The Quakers, on, the other hand,
neither prepare their discourses, nor vary their voices purposely,
according to the rules of art. The tone which comes out, and which
appears disagreeable to those who are not used to it, is nevertheless
not unnatural. It is rather the mode of speaking which nature imposes,
in any violent exertion of the voice, to save the lungs. Hence persons
who have their wares to cry, and this almost every other minute, in the
streets, are obliged to adopt a tone. Hence persons with disordered
lungs, can sing words with more ease to themselves than they can utter
them, with a similar pitch of the voice. Hence Quaker women, when they
preach, have generally more of this tone than the Quaker men, for the
lungs of the female are generally weaker than those of the other sex.

Against the sermons of the Quakers two objections are usually made; the
first of which is, that they contain but little variety of subject.
Among dissenters, it is said, but more particularly in the
establishment, that you may hear fifty sermons following each other,
where the subject of each is different. Hence a man, ignorant of
letters, may collect all his moral and religious duties from the pulpit
in the course of the year. But this variety, it is contended, is not to
be found in the Quaker church.

That there is less variety in the Quaker sermons than in those of
others, there can be no doubt. But such variety is not so necessary to
Quakers, on account of their peculiar tenets, and the universality of
their education, as to others. For it is believed, as I have explained
before, that the spirit of God, if duly attended to, is a spiritual
guide to man, and that it leads him into all truth; that it redeems him;
and that it qualifies him therefore for happiness in a future state.
Thus an injunction to attend to the teachings of the spirit, supersedes,
in some measure, the necessity of detailing the moral and religious
obligations of individuals. And this necessity is still farther
superseded by the consideration, that, as all the members of the Quaker
society can read, they can collect their Christian duty from the
scriptures, independently of their own ministers; or that they can
collect those duties for themselves, which others, who are illiterate,
are obliged to collect from the church.

The second objection is, that the Quaker discourses have generally less
in them, and are occasionally less connected or more confused than those
of others.

It must be obvious, when we consider that the Quaker ministers are often
persons of but little erudition, and that their principles forbid them
to premeditate on these occasions, that we can hardly expect to find the
same logical division of the subject, or the same logical provings of
given points, as in the sermons of those who spend hours, or even days
together, in composing them.

With respect to the apparent barrenness, or the little matter sometimes
discoverable in their sermons, they would reply, that God has not given
to every man a similar or equal gift. To some he has given largely; to
others in a less degree. Upon some he has bestowed gifts, that may edify
the learned; upon others such as may edify the illiterate. Men are not
to limit his spirit by their own notions of qualification. Like the
wind, it bloweth not only where it listeth, but as it listeth. Thus
preaching, which may appear to a scholar as below the ordinary standard,
may be more edifying to the simple hearted, than a discourse better
delivered, or more eruditely expressed. Thus again, preaching, which may
be made up of high sounding words, and of a mechanical manner and an
affected tone, and which may, on these accounts, please the man of
learning and taste, may be looked upon as dross by a man of moderate
abilities or acquirements. And thus it has happened, that many have left
the orators of the world and joined the Quaker society, on account of
the barrenness of the discourses which they have heard among them.

With respect to Quaker sermons being sometimes less connected or more
confused than those of others, they would admit that this might
apparently happen; and they would explain it in the following manner.
Their ministers, they would say, when they sit among the congregation,
are often given to feel and discern the spiritual states of individuals
then present, and sometimes to believe it necessary to describe such
states, and to add such advice as these may seem to require. Now these
states being frequently different from each other, the description of
them, in consequence of an abrupt transition from one to the other, may
sometimes occasion an apparent inconsistency in their discourses on such
occasions. The Quakers, however, consider all such discourses, or those
in which states are described, as among the most efficacious and useful
of those delivered.

But whatever may be the merits of the Quaker sermons, there are
circumstances worthy of notice with respect to the Quaker preachers. In
the first place, they always deliver their discourses with great
seriousness. They are also singularly bold and honest, when they feel it
to be their duty, in the censure of the vices of individuals, whatever
may be the riches they enjoy. They are reported also from unquestionable
authority, to have extraordinary skill in discerning the internal
condition of those who attend their ministry, so that many, feeling the
advice to be addressed to themselves, have resolved upon their amendment
in the several cases to which their preaching seemed to have been

As I am speaking of the subject of ministers, I will answer one or two
questions, which I have often heard asked concerning it.

The first of these is, do the Quakers believe that their ministers are
uniformly moved, when they preach, by the spirit of God?

I answer--the Quakers believe they may be so moved, and that they ought
to be so moved. They believe also that they are often so moved. But they
believe again, that except their ministers are peculiarly cautious, and
keep particularly on their watch, they may mistake their own
imaginations for the agency of this spirit. And upon this latter belief
it is, in part, that the office of elders is founded, as before

The second is, as there are no defined boundaries between the reason of
man and the revelation of God, how do the Quakers know that they are
favoured at any particular time, either when they preach or when they do
not preach, with the visitation of this spirit, or that it is, at any
particular time, resident within them?

Richard Claridge, a learned and pious clergyman of the Church of England
in the last century, but who gave up his benefices and joined the
society of the Quakers, has said a few words in his Tractatus
Hierographicus, upon this subject, a part of which I shall transcribe as
an answer to this latter question.

"Men, says he, may certainly know, that they do believe on the Son of
God, with that faith that is unfeigned, and by which the heart is
purified: for this faith is evidential and assuring, and consequently
the knowledge of it is certain. Now they, who certainly know that they
have this knowledge, may be certain also of the spirit of Christ
dwelling in them; for [133] 'he that _believeth_ _on the Son of God, hath
the witness in himself;'_ and this witness is the spirit; for it is
[134] 'the spirit that beareth witness,' of whose testimony they may be
as certain, as of that faith the spirit beareth witness to."

[Footnote 133: 1 John 5.10.]

[Footnote 134:1 John 5. 6.]

Again--"They may certainly know that they love the Lord above all, and
their neighbour as themselves. For the command implies not only a
possibility of knowing it in general, but also of such a knowledge as
respects their own immediate concernment therein, and personal benefit
arising from a sense of their conformity and obedience thereunto. And
seeing they may certainly know this, they may also as certainly know,
that the spirit of Christ dwelleth in them;[135] for 'God is love, and
he that dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God, and God in him.' And
[136] 'if we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is
perfected in us.'" In the same manner he goes on to enumerate many other
marks from texts of scripture, by which he conceives this question may
be determined[137].

[Footnote 135:1 John 4. 16.]

[Footnote 136:1 John 4. 12.]

[Footnote 137: The Quakers conceive it to be no more difficult for them
to distinguish the motions of the Holy Spirit, than for those of the
church of England, who are candidates for holy orders. Every such
candidate is asked, "Do you trust that you are inwardly moved by the
Holy Ghost to take upon you this office and ministration?" The answer
is, "I trust so."]

I shall conclude this chapter on the subject of the Quaker preaching, by
an extract from Francis Lambert of Avignon, whose book was published in
the year 1516, long before the society of the Quakers took its rise in
the world. "Beware, says he, that thou determine not precisely to speak
what before thou hast meditated, whatsoever it be; for though it be
lawful to determine the text which thou art to expound, yet not at all
the interpretation; lest, if thou doest so, thou takest from the Holy
Spirit that which is his, namely, to direct thy speech that thou mayest
preach in the name of the Lord, void of all learning, meditation, and
experience; and as if thou hadst studied nothing at all, committing thy
heart, thy tongue, and thyself, wholly unto his spirit; and trusting
nothing to thy former studying or meditation, but saying to thyself in
great confidence of the divine promise, the Lord will give a word with
much power unto those that preach the Gospel."


_But besides oral or vocal, there is silent worship among the
Quakers--Many meetings where not a word is said, and yet worship is
considered to have begun, and to be proceeding--Worship not necessarily
connected with words--This the opinion of other pious men besides
Quakers--Of Howe--Hales--Gell--Smaldridge, bishop of Bristol--Monro
--Advantages which the Quakers attach to their silent worship._

I have hitherto confined myself to those meetings of the Quakers, where
the minister is said to have received impressions from the Spirit of
God, with a desire of expressing them, and where, if he expresses them,
he ought to deliver them to the congregation as the pictures of his
will; and this, as accurately as the mirror represents the object that
is set before it. There are times, however, as I mentioned in the last
section, when either no impressions may be said to be felt, or, if any
are felt, there is no concomitant impulse to utter them. In this case
no person attempts to speak: for to speak or to pray, where the heart
feels no impulse to do it, would be, in the opinion of the Quakers, to
mock God, and not to worship him in spirit and in truth. They sit
therefore in silence, and worship in silence; and they not only remain
silent the whole time of their meetings, but many meetings take place,
and these sometimes in succession, when not a word is uttered.

Michael de Molinos, who was chief of the sect of the Quietists, and
whose "Spiritual Guide" was printed at Venice in 1685, speaks thus:
"There are three kinds of silence; the first is of words, the second of
desires, and the third of thoughts. The first is perfect; the second is
more perfect; and the third is most perfect. In the first, that is, of
words, virtue is acquired. In the second, namely, of desires, quietness
is attained. In the third, of thoughts, internal recollection is gained.
By not speaking, not desiring, and not thinking, one arrives at the
true and perfect mystical silence, where God speaks with the soul,
communicates himself to it, and in the abyss of its own depth, teaches
it the most perfect and exalted wisdom."

Many people of other religious societies, if they were to visit the
meetings of the Quakers while under their silent worship, would be apt
to consider the congregation as little better than stocks or stones, or
at any rate as destitute of that life and animation which constitute the
essence of religion. They would have no idea that a people were
worshipping God, whom they observed to deliver nothing from their lips.
It does not follow, however, because nothing is said, that God is not
worshipped. The Quakers, on the other hand, contend, that these silent
meetings form the sublimest part of their worship. The soul, they say,
can have intercourse with God. It can feel refreshment, joy, and
comfort, in him. It can praise and adore him; and all this, without the
intervention of a word.

This power of the soul is owing to its constitution or nature. "It
follows, says the learned Howe, in his 'Living Temple,' that having
formed this his more excellent creature according to his own more
express likeness; stampt it with the more glorious characters of his
living image; given it a nature suitable to his own, and thereby made it
capable of rational and intelligent converse with him, he hath it even
in his power to maintain a continual converse with this creature, by
agreeable communications, by letting in upon it the vital beams and
influences of his own light and love, and receiving back the return of
its grateful acknowledgments and praises: wherein it is manifest he
should do no greater thing than he hath done. For who sees not that it
is a matter of no greater difficulty to converse with, than to make a
reasonable creature? Or who would not be ashamed to deny, that he who
hath been the only author of the soul of man, and of the excellent
powers and faculties belonging to it, can more easily sustain that which
he hath made, and converse with his creature suitably to the way,
wherein he hath made it capable of his converse?"

That worship may exist without the intervention of words, on account of
this constitution of the soul, is a sentiment which has been espoused by
many pious persons who were not Quakers. Thus, the ever memorable John
Hales, in his Golden Remains, expresses himself: "Nay, one thing I know
more, that the prayer which is the most forcible, transcends, and far
exceeds, all power of words. For St. Paul, speaking unto us of the most
effectual kind of prayer, calls it sighs and groans, that cannot be
expressed. Nothing cries so loud in the ears of God, as the sighing of a
contrite and earnest heart."

"It requires not the voice, but the mind; not the stretching of the
hands, but the intention of the heart; not any outward shape or carriage
of the body, but the inward behaviour of the understanding. How then can
it slacken your worldly business and occasions, to mix them with sighs
and groans, which are the most effectual prayer?"

Dr. Gell, before quoted, says--"Words conceived only in an earthly mind,
and uttered out of the memory by man's voice, which make a noise in the
ears of flesh and blood, are not, nor can be accounted a prayer, before
our father which is in Heaven."

Dr. Smaldridge, bishop of Bristol, has the following expressions in his
sermons: "Prayer doth not consist either in the bending of our knees, or
the service of our lips, or the lifting up of our hands or eyes to
heaven, but in the elevation of our souls towards God. These outward
expressions of our inward thoughts are necessary in our public, and
often expedient in our private devotions; but they do not make up the
essence of prayer, which may truly and acceptably be performed, where
these are wanting."

And he says afterwards, in other parts of his work--"Devotion of mind is
itself a silent prayer, which wants not to be clothed in words, that God
may better know our desires. He regards not the service of our lips, but
the inward disposition of our hearts."

Monro, before quoted, speaks to the same effect, in his Just Measures of
the Pious Institutions of Youth. "The breathings of a recollected soul
are not noise or clamour. The language in which devotion loves to vent
itself, is that of the inward man, which is secret and silent, but yet
God hears it, and makes gracious returns unto it. Sometimes the pious
ardours and sensations of good souls are such as they cannot clothe with
words. They feel what they cannot express. I would not, however, be
thought to insinuate, that the voice and words are not to be used at
all. It is certain that public and common devotions cannot be performed
without them; and that even in private, they are not only very
profitable, but sometimes necessary. What I here aim at is, that the
youth should be made sensible, that words are not otherwise valuable
than as they are images and copies of what passes in the hidden man of
the heart; especially considering that a great many, who appear very
angelical in their devotions, if we take our measures of them from their
voice and tone, do soon, after these intervals of seeming seriousness
are over, return with the dog to the vomit, and give palpable evidences
of their earthliness and sensuality; their passion and their pride."

Again--"I am persuaded, says he, that it would be vastly advantageous
for the youth, if care were taken to train them up to this method of
prayer; that is, if they were taught frequently to place themselves in
the divine presence, and there silently to adore their Creator,
Redeemer, and Sanctifier. For hereby they would become habitually
recollected. Devotion would be their element; and they would know, by
experience, what our blessed Savour and his great Apostle meant, when
they enjoin us to pray without ceasing. It was, I suppose, by some such
method of devotion as I am now speaking of, that Enoch walked with God;
that Moses saw him that is invisible; that the royal Psalmist set the
Lord always before him; and that our Lord Jesus himself continued whole
nights in prayer to God. No man, I believe, will imagine that his
prayer, during all the space in which it is said to have continued, was
altogether vocal. When he was in his agony in the garden, he used but a
few words. His vocal prayer then consisted only of one petition, and an
act of pure resignation thrice repeated. But I hope all will allow,
that his devotion lasted longer than while he was employed in the
uttering a few sentences."

These meetings then, which are usually denominated silent, and in which,
though not a word be spoken, it appears from the testimony of others
that God may be truly worshipped, the Quakers consider as an important
and sublime part of their church service, and as possessing advantages
which are not to be found in the worship which proceeds solely through
the medium of the mouth.

For in the first place it must be obvious that, in these silent
meetings, men cannot become chargeable before God, either with hypocrisy
or falsehood, by pretending to worship him with their lips, when their
affections are far from him, or by uttering a language that is
inconsistent with the feelings of the heart.

It must be obvious, again, that every man's devotion, in these silent
meetings, is made, as it ought to be, to depend upon himself; for no man
can work out the salvation of another for him. A man does not depend at
these times on the words of a minister, or of any other person present;
but his own soul, worked upon by the divine influence, pleads in
silence with the Almighty its own cause. And thus, by extending this
idea to the congregation at large, we shall find a number of individuals
offering up at the same time their own several confessions; pouring out
their own several petitions; giving their own thanks severally, or
praising and adoring; all of them in different languages, adapted to
their several conditions, and yet not interrupting one another.

Nor is it the least recommendation of this worship, in the opinion of
the Quakers, that, being thus wholly spiritual, it is out of the power
of the natural man to obstruct it. No man can break the chains that thus
binds the spirit of man to the spirit of God; for this chain, which is
spiritual, is invisible. But this is not the case, the Quakers say, with
any oral worship. "For how, says Barclay, alluding to his own times, can
the Papists say their mass, if there be any there to disturb and
interrupt them? Do but take away the mass-book, the chalice, the host,
or the priest's garments; yea, do but spill the water, or the wine, or
blow out the candles, (a thing quickly to be done,) and the whole
business is marred, and no sacrifice can be offered. Take from the
Lutherans and Episcopalians their liturgy or common prayer-book, and no
service can be said. Remove from the Calvinists, Arminians, Socinians,
Independents, or Anabaptists, the pulpit, the bible, and the hourglass,
or make but such a noise as the voice of the preacher cannot be heard,
or disturb him but so before he come, or strip him of his bible or his
books, and he must be dumb: for they all think it an heresy to wait to
speak, as the spirit of God giveth utterance; and thus easily their
whole worship may be marred."


_Quakers reject every thing formal, ostentatious, and spiritless, from
their worship--Ground on which their Meeting-houses stand, not
consecrated--The latter plain--Women sit apart from the men--No
Pews--nor priest's garments--nor psalmody--No one day thought more holy
than another--But as public worship is necessary, days have been fixed
upon for that purpose._

Jesus Christ, as he was sitting at Jacob's well, and talking with the
woman of Samaria, made use of the following, among other expressions, in
his discourse: "Woman, believe me, the hour cometh when ye shall
neither, in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.
But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship
the Father in spirit and in truth."

These expressions the Quakers generally render thus: I tell you that a
new dispensation is at hand. Men will no longer worship at Jerusalem
more acceptably than in any other place. Neither will it be expected of
them, that they shall worship in temples, like the temple there. Neither
the glory, nor the ornaments of gold and silver and precious stones, nor
the splendid garments of the High Priest, will be any parts of the new
worship that is approaching. All ceremonies will be done away, and men's
religion will be reduced simply to the worshipping of God in spirit and
in truth. In short, the Quakers believe, that, when Jesus came, he ended
the temple, its ornaments, its music, its Levitical priesthood, its
tithes, its new moons, and sabbaths, and the various ceremonial
ordinances that had been engrafted into the religion of the Jews.

The Quakers reject every thing that appears to them to be superstitious,
or formal, or ceremonious, or ostentatious, or spiritless, from their

They believe that no ground can be made holy; and therefore they do not
allow the places on which their Meeting-houses are built to be
consecrated by the use of any human forms.

Their Meeting-houses are singularly plain. There is nothing of
decoration in the interior of them. They consist of a number of plain
long benches with backs to them; There is one elevated seat at the end
of these. This is for their ministers. It is elevated for no other
reason, than that their ministers may be the better heard. The women
occupy one half of these benches, and sit apart from the men.

These benches are not intersected by partitions. Hence there are no
distinct pews for the families of the rich, or of such as can afford to
pay for them: for in the first place, the Quakers pay nothing for their
seats in their Meeting-houses; and, in the second, they pay no respect
to the outward condition of one another. If they consider themselves,
when out of doors, as all equal to one another in point of privileges,
much more do they abolish all distinctions, when professedly assembled
in a place of worship. They sit therefore in their Meeting-houses
undistinguished with respect to their outward circumstances, [138]as the
children of the same great parent, who stand equally in need of his
assistance; and as in the sight of Him who is no respecter of persons,
but who made of one blood all the nations of men who dwell on all the
face of the earth.

[Footnote 138: Spiritual officers, such as elders and overseers, sit at
the upper part of the Meeting-house.]

The Quaker ministers are not distinguishable, when in their places of
worship, by their dress. They wear neither black clothes, nor surplices,
nor gowns, nor bands. Jesus Christ, when he preached to the multitude,
is not recorded to have put on a dress different from that which he wore
on other occasions. Neither do the Quakers believe that ministers of the
church ought, under the new dispensation, to be a separate people, as
the Levites were, or to be distinguished on account of their office from
other men.

The Quakers differ from other Christians in the rejection of psalmody,
as a service of the church. If persons feel themselves so influenced in
their private devotions, [139]that they can sing, as the Apostle says,
"with the spirit and the understanding," or "can sing[140] and make
melody in their hearts to the Lord," the Quakers have no objection to
this as an act of worship. But they conceive that music and psalmody,
though they might have been adapted to the ceremonial religion of the
Jews, are not congenial with the new dispensation that has followed;
because this dispensation requires, that all worship should be performed
in spirit and in truth. It requires that no act of religion should take
place, unless the spirit influences an utterance, and that no words
should be used, except they are in unison with the heart. Now this
coincidence of spiritual impulse and feeling with this act, is not
likely to happen, in the opinion of the Quakers, with public psalmody.
It is not likely that all in the congregation will be impelled, in the
same moment, to a spiritual song, or that all will be in the state of
mind or spirit which the words of the psalm describe. Thus how few will
be able to sing truly with David, if the following verse should be
brought before them: "As the hart panteth after the water-brooks, so
panteth my soul after thee, O God." To this it may be added, that where
men think about musical harmony or vocal tunes in their worship, the
amusement of the creature will be so mixed with it, that it cannot be a
pure oblation of the Spirit, and that those who think they can please
the Divine Being by musical instruments, or the varied modulations of
their own voices, must look upon him as a Being with corporeal organs,
sensible, like a man, of fleshly delights, and not as a Spirit, who can
only be pleased with the worship that is in spirit and in truth.

[Footnote 139: 1 Cor. 14. 15.]

[Footnote 140: Ephes. 5. 19.]

The Quakers reject also the consecration and solemnization of particular
days and times. As the Jews, when they became Christians, were enjoined
by the Apostle Paul, not to put too great a value upon "days,[141] and
months, and times, and years;" so the Quakers think it their duty as
Christians to attend to the same injunction. They never meet upon saints
days, as such, that is, as days demanding the religious assemblings of
men, more than others; first, because they conceive this would be giving
into popish superstition; and secondly, because these days were
originally the appointment of men and not of God, and no human
appointment, they believe, can make one day holier than another.

[Footnote 141: Gal. 4. 10.]

For the latter reason also they do not assemble for worship on those
days which their own government, though they are greatly attached to it,
appoint as fasts. They are influenced also by another reason in this
latter case. They conceive as religion is of a spiritual nature, and
must depend upon the spirit of God, that true devotion cannot be excited
for given purposes or at a given time. They are influenced again by the
consideration, that the real fast is of a different nature from that
required. [142] "Is not this the fast, says Isaiah, that I have chosen,
to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let
the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal
thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out,
to thy house? When thou seest the naked, that thou cover him, and that
thou hide not thyself from thy own flesh?" This the Quakers believe to
be the true fast, and not the work of a particular day, but to be the
daily work of every real Christian.

[Footnote 142: Isaiah 58. 6. 7.]

Indeed no one day, in the estimation of the Quakers, can be made by
human appointment either more holy or more proper for worship than
another. They do not even believe that the Jewish Sabbath, which was by
the appointment of God, continues in Gospel times, or that it has been
handed down by divine authority as the true Sabbath for Christians. All
days with the Quakers are equally holy, and all equally proper for the
worship of God. In this opinion they coincide with the ever memorable
John Hales. "For prayer, indeed, says this venerable man, was the
Sabbath ordained: yet prayer itself is Sabbathless, and admits of no
rest, no intermission at all. If our hands be clean, we must, as our
Apostle commands us, lift them up every where, at all times, and make
every place a church, every day a Sabbath-day, every hour canonical. As
you go to the market; as you stand in the streets; as you walk in the
fields--in all these places, you may pray as well, and with as good
acceptance, as in the church: for you yourselves are temples of the Holy
Ghost, if the grace of God be in you, more precious than any of those
which are made with hands."

Though, however, the Quakers believe no one day in the sight of God to
be holier than another, and no one capable of being rendered so by human
authority, yet they think that Christians ought to assemble for the
public worship of God. They think they ought to bear an outward and
public testimony for God; and this can only be done by becoming members
of a visible church, where they may be seen to acknowledge him publicly
in the face of men. They think also, that the public worship of God
increases, as it were, the fire of devotion, and enlarges the sphere of
spiritual life in the souls of men. "God causes the inward life, says
Barclay, the more to abound when his children assemble themselves
diligently together, to wait upon him; so that as iron sharpeneth iron,
the seeing the faces of one another, when both are inwardly gathered
unto the life, giveth occasion for the life secretly to rise, and to
pass from vessel to vessel: and as many candles lighted and put in one
place, do greatly augment the light and make it more to shine forth, so
when many are gathered together into the same life, there is more of
the glory of God, and his power appears to the refreshment of each
individual; for that he partakes not only of the light and life raised
in himself, but in all the rest. And therefore Christ hath particularly
promised a blessing to such as assemble in his name, seeing he will be
in the midst of them." For these and other reasons, the Quakers think it
proper, that men should be drawn together to the public worship of God:
but if so, they must be drawn together at certain times. Now as one day
has never been, in the eyes of the Quakers, more desirable for such an
object than another, their ancestors chose the first day in the week,
because the Apostles had chosen it for the religious assembling of
themselves and their followers. And in addition to this, that more
frequent opportunities might be afforded them of bearing their outward
testimony publicly for God, and of enlarging the sphere of their
spiritual life, they appointed a meeting on one other day in the week in
most places, and two in some others, for the same purpose.


_Miscellaneous particularities--Quakers careful about the use of such
words as relate to religion--Never use the words "original sin"--nor
"word of God," for the scriptures--Nor the word "Trinity"--Never pry
into the latter mystery--Believe in the manhood and divinity of Jesus
Christ--Also in a resurrection, but sever attempt to fathom that
subject--Make little difference between sanctification and
justification--- Their ideas concerning the latter_.

The Quakers are remarkably careful, both in their conversation and their
writings, on religious subjects, as to the terms which they use. They
express scriptural images or ideas, as much as may be, by scriptural
terms. By means of this particular caution, they avoid much of the
perplexity and many of the difficulties which arise to others, and
escape the theological disputes which disturb the rest of the Christian

The Quakers scarcely ever utter the words "original sin," because they
never find them in use in the sacred writings.

The scriptures are usually denominated by Christians "the word of God."
Though the Quakers believe them to have been given by divine
inspiration, yet they reject this term. They apprehend that Christ is
the word of God. They cannot therefore consistently give to the
scriptures, however they reverence them, that name which St. John the
Evangelist gives exclusively to the Son of God.

Neither do they often make use of the word "Trinity." This expression
they can no where find in the sacred writings. This to them is a
sufficient warrant for rejecting it. They consider it as a term of mere
human invention, and of too late a date to claim a place among the
expressions of primitive Christianity. For they find it neither in
Justin Martyr, nor in Irenaeus, nor in Tertullian, nor in Origen, nor in
the Fathers of the three first centuries of the church.

And as they seldom use the term, so they seldom or never try, when it
offers itself to them, either in conversation or in books, to fathom its
meaning. They judge that a curious inquiry into such high and
speculative things, though ever so great truths in themselves, tends
little to Godliness, and less to peace; and that their principal concern
is with that only which is clearly revealed, and which leads practically
to holiness of life.

Consistently with this judgment, we find but little said respecting the
Trinity by the Quaker writers.

It is remarkable that Barclay in the course of his apology, takes no
notice of this subject.

William Penn seems to have satisfied himself with refuting what he
considered to be a gross notion, namely, that of three persons in the
Trinity. For after having shown what the Trinity was not, he no where
attempts to explain what he conceived it to be. He says only, that he
acknowledges a Father, a Word, and a Holy Spirit, according to the
scriptures, but not according to the notions of men; and that these
Three are truly and properly One, of one nature as well as will.

Isaac Pennington, an ancient Quaker, speaks thus: "That the three are
distinct, as three several beings or persons, the Quakers no where read
in the scriptures; but they read in them that they are one. And thus
they believe their being to be one, their life one, their light one,
their wisdom one, their power one. And he that knoweth and seeth any one
of them, knoweth and seeth them, all, according to that saying of Christ
to Philip, 'He that hath seen me, hath seen the Father.'"

John Crook, another ancient writer of this society, in speaking of the
Trinity, says, that the Quakers "acknowledge one God, the Father of
Jesus Christ, witnessed within man only by the spirit of truth; and
these three are one, and agree in one; and he that honours the Father,
honours the Son that proceeds from him; and he that denies the Spirit,
denies both the Father and the Son." But nothing farther can be obtained
from this author on this subject.

Henry Tuke, a modern writer among the Quakers, and who published an
account of the principles of the society only last year, says also
little upon the point before us. "This belief, says he, in the Divinity
of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, induced some of the
teachers in the Christian church, about three hundred years after
Christ, to form a doctrine, to which they gave the name of Trinity; but,
in our writings we seldom make use of this term, thinking it best, on
such a subject, to keep to scriptural expressions, and to avoid those
disputes which have since perplexed the Christian world, and led into
speculations beyond the power of human abilities to decide. If we
consider that we ourselves are composed of a union of body, soul, and
spirit, and yet cannot determine how even these are united; how much
less may we expect perfect clearness on a subject, so far above our
finite comprehension, as that of the Divine Nature?"

The Quakers believe, that Jesus Christ was man, because he took flesh,
and inhabited the body prepared for him, and was subject to human
infirmities; but they believe also in his Divinity, because he was the

They believe also in the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead, as
connected with the Christian religion. In explaining our belief of this
doctrine, says Henry Tuke, we refer to the fifteenth chapter of the
first epistle to the Corinthians. In this chapter is clearly laid down
the resurrection of a body, though not of the same body that dies.
"There are celestial bodies, and there are bodies terrestrial; but the
glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is
another. So also is the resurrection of the dead: It is sown a natural
body, it is raised a spiritual body: there is a natural body, and there
is a spiritual body. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood
cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit
incorruption." Here we rest our belief in this mystery, without desiring
to pry into it beyond what is revealed to us; remembering "that secret
things belong unto the Lord our God; but those things which are
revealed, belong unto us and to our children."

The Quakers make but little difference, and not such as many other
Christians do, between sanctification and justification. "Faith and
works, says Richard Claridge, are both concerned in our complete
justification."--"Whosoever is justified, he is also in measure
sanctified; and as far as he is sanctified, so far is he justified, and
no farther. But the justification I now speak of, is the making of us
just or righteous by the continual help, work, and operation of the Holy
Spirit."--"And as we wait for the continual help and assistance of his
Holy Spirit, and come to witness the effectual working of the same in
ourselves, so we shall experimentally find, that our justification is
proportionable to our sanctification; for as our sanctification goes
forward, which is always commensurate to our faithful obedience to the
manifestation, influence, and assistance, of the grace, light, and
spirit of Christ, so shall we also feel and perceive the progress of our

The ideas of the Quakers, as to justification itself, cannot be better
explained than in the words of Henry Tuke before quoted: So far as
remissions of sins, and a capacity to receive salvation, are parts of
justification, we attribute it to the sacrifice of Christ; "In whom we
have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to
the riches of his grace." But when we consider justification as a state
of divine favour and acceptance, we ascribe it, not simply either to
faith or works, but to the sanctifying operation of the spirit of
Christ, from which living faith and acceptable works alone proceed; and
by which we may come to know, that "the spirit itself beareth witness
with our spirits, that we are the children of God."

In attributing our justification, through the grace of God in Christ
Jesus, to the operation of the Holy Spirit, which sanctifies the heart
and produces the work of regeneration, we are supported by the testimony
of the Apostle Paul, who says, "Not by works of righteousness which we
have done, but of his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration,
and renewing of the Holy Ghost." Again--"But ye are washed, but ye are
sanctified, but ye are justified, in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by
the spirit of our God."

"By this view of the doctrine of justification, we conceive the
apparently different sentiments of the Apostles Paul and James are
reconciled. Neither of them say that faith alone, or works alone, are
the cause of our being justified; but as one of them asserts the
necessity of faith, and the other of works, for effecting this great
object, a clear and convincing proof is afforded, that both contribute
to our justification; and that faith without works, and works without
faith, are equally dead."


_Quakers reject Baptism and the Lord's Supper--Much censured far
it--Indulgence solicited for them on account of the difficulties
connected with these subjects--Christian Religion spiritual--Jewish
types to be abolished--Different meanings of the word "Baptise"--Disputes
concerning the mode of Baptism--Concerning also the nature and constitution
of the Supper--Concerning also the time and manner of its celebration
--This indulgence also proper, because the Quakers give it to others,
who differ from them as a body on the subject of Religion_.

The Quakers, among other particularities, reject the application of
water-baptism, and the administration of the Sacrament of the Supper, as
Christian rites.

These ordinances have been considered by many as so essentially
interwoven with Christianity, that the Quakers, by rejecting the use of
them, have been denied to be Christians.

But whatever may be the difference of opinion between the world and the
Quakers, upon these subjects, great indulgence is due to the latter on
this occasion. People have received the ordinances in question from
their ancestors. They have been brought up to the use of them. They have
seen them sanctioned by the world. Finding their authority disputed by a
body of men, who are insignificant as to numbers, when compared with
others, they have let loose their censure upon them, and this without
any inquiry concerning the grounds of their dissent. They know perhaps
nothing of the obstinate contentious; nothing of the difficulties which
have occurred; and nothing of those which may still be started on these
subjects. I shall state therefore a few considerations by way of
preface, during which the reader will see, that objections both fair and
forcible may be raised by the best disposed Christians, on the other
side of the question; that the path is not so plain and easy as he may
have imagined it to be; and that if the Quakers have taken a road
different from himself on this occasion, they are entitled to a fair
hearing of all they have to say in their defence, and to expect the same
candour and indulgence which he himself would have claimed, if, with the
best intentions, he had not been able to come to the same conclusion, on
any given point of importance, as had been adopted by others.

Let me then ask, in the first place, what is the great characteristic of
the religion we profess?

If we look to divines for an answer to this question, we may easily
obtain it. We shall find some of them in their sermons speaking of
circumcision, baptismal washings and purifications, new moons, feasts of
the passover and unleavened bread, sacrifices, and other rites. We shall
find them dwelling on these as constituent parts of the religion of the
Jews. We shall find them immediately passing from thence to the religion
of Jesus Christ. Here all is considered by them to be spiritual.
Devotion of the heart is insisted upon as that alone which is acceptable
to God. If God is to be worshipped, it is laid down as a position, that
he is to be worshipped in spirit and in truth. We shall find them also,
in other of their sermons, but particularly in those preached after the
reformation, stating the advantages obtained by that event. The Roman
Catholic system is here considered by them to be as ceremonial as that
of the Jews. The Protestant is held out as of a more spiritual nature,
and as more congenial therefore with the spirit of the gospel. But what
is this but a confession, in each case, that in proportion as men give
up ceremonies and become spiritual in their worship, their religion is
the best, or that spirituality is the grand characteristic of the
religion of Jesus Christ? Now there immediately arises a presumption, if
spirituality of feeling had been intended as the characteristic of any
religion, that no ceremonious ordinances would have been introduced into

If, again, I were to make an assertion to divines, that Jesus Christ
came to put an end to the ceremonial parts of the Jewish law, and to the
types and shadows belonging to the Jewish dispensation, they would not
deny it. But baptism and the supper were both of them outward Jewish
ceremonies, connected with the Jewish religion. They were both of them
types and shadows, of which the antetypes and substances had been
realized at the death of Christ. And therefore a presumption arises
again, that these were not intended to be continued.

And that they were not intended to be continued, may be presumed from
another consideration. For what was baptism to any but a Jew? What could
a Gentile have understood by it? What notion could he have formed, by
means of it, of the necessity of the baptism of Christ? Unacquainted
with purifications by water as symbols of purification of heart, he
could never have entered, like a Jew, into the spiritual life of such an
ordinance. And similar observations may be made with respect to the
Passover-Supper. A Gentile could have known nothing, like a Jew, of the
meaning of this ceremony. He could never have seen in the Paschal Lamb
any type of Christ, or in the deliverance of the Israelites from
Egyptian bondage, any type of his own deliverance from sin, so clearly
or so feelingly as if the facts and customs had related to his own
history, or as if he had been trained to the connexion by a long series
of prophecies. In short, the passover could have had but little meaning
to him.

From these circumstances, therefore, there would be reason to conclude,
that these ceremonies were not to be continued, at least to any but
Jews; because they were not fitted to the knowledge, the genius, or the
condition of the Gentile world.

But, independently of these difficulties, which arise from a general
view of these ordinances as annexed to a religion which is confessed to
be spiritual, others arise from a particular view of each. On the
subject of baptism, there is ground for argument, as to the meaning of
the word "baptize." This word, in consequence of its representation of a
watery ceremony, is usually connected with water in our minds. But it
may also, very consistently, be connected even with fire. Its general
meaning is to purify. In this sense many understand it. And those who
do, and who apply it to the great command of Jesus to his disciples,
think they give a better interpretation of it, than those who connect it
with water. For they think it more reasonable that the Apostles should
have been enjoined to go into all nations, and to endeavour to purify
the hearts of individuals by the spirit and power of their preaching,
from the dross of Heathen notions, and to lead them to spirituality of
mind by the inculcation of Gospel principles, than to dip them under
water, as an essential part of their new religion.

But on a supposition that the word baptize should signify to immerse,
and not to purify, another difficulty occurs; for, if it was thought
proper or necessary that persons should be initiated into Christianity
by water-baptism, in order to distinguish their new state from that of
the Jews or Heathens, who then surrounded them, it seems unnecessary for
the children of Christian parents, who were born in a Christian
community, and whose ancestors for centuries have professed the
Christian name.

Nor is it to be considered as any other than a difficulty that the
Christian world have known so little about water-baptism, that they have
been divided as to the right manner of performing it. The eastern and
western churches differed early upon this point, and Christians continue
to differ upon it to the present day; some thinking that none but
adults; others, that none but infants should be baptised: some, that the
faces only of the baptized should be sprinkled with water; others, that
their bodies should be immersed.

On the subject of the sacrament of supper, similar difficulties have

Jesus Christ unquestionably permitted his disciples to meet together in
remembrance of their last supper with him. But it is not clear, that
this was any other than a permission to those who were present, and who
had known and loved him. The disciples were not ordered to go into all
nations, and to enjoin it to their converts to observe the same
ceremony. Neither did the Apostles leave any command by which it was
enjoined as an ordinance of the Christian church.

Another difficulty which has arisen on the subject of the supper, is,
that Christians seem so little to have understood the nature of it, or
in what it consisted, that they have had, in different ages, different
views, and encouraged different doctrines concerning it. One has placed
it in one thing, and another in another. Most of them, again, have
attempted in their explanation of it, to blend the enjoyment of the
spiritual essence with that of the corporeal substance of the body and
blood of Christ, and thus to unite a spiritual with a ceremonial
exercise of religion. Grasping, therefore, at things apparently
irreconcilable, they have conceived the strangest notions; and, by
giving these to the world, they have only afforded fuel for contention
among themselves and others.

In the time of the Apostles, it was the custom of converted persons,
grounded on the circumstances that passed at the supper of the passover,
to meet in religious communion. They used, on these occasions, to break
their bread, and take their refreshment and converse together. The
object of these meetings was to imitate the last friendly supper of
Jesus with his disciples, to bear a public memorial of his sufferings
and his death, and to promote their love for one another. But this
custom was nothing more, as far as evidence can be had, than that of a
brotherly breaking of bread together. It was no sacramental eating.
Neither was the body of Jesus supposed to be enjoyed, nor the spiritual
enjoyment, of it to consist in the partaking of this outward feast.

In process of time, after the days of the Apostles, when this simple
custom had declined, we find another meeting of Christians, in imitation
of that at the passover supper, at which both bread and wine were
introduced. This different commemoration of the same event had a new
name given to it; for it was distinguished from the other by the name of

Alexander, the seventh bishop of Rome, who introduced holy water both
into houses and churches for spiritual purposes, made some alterations
in the ingredients of the Eucharist, by mixing water with the wine, and
by substituting unleavened for common bread.

In the time of Irenaeus and Justin the Martyr, we find an account of the
Eucharist as it was then thought of and celebrated. Great stress was
then laid upon the bread and wine as a holy and sacramental repast:
prayers were made that the Holy Ghost would descend into each of these
substances. It was believed that it did so descend; and that as soon as
the bread and wine perceived it, the former operated virtually as the
body, and the latter as the blood of Jesus Christ. From this time the
bread was considered to have great virtues; and on this latter account,
not only children, but sucking infants, were admitted to this sacrament.
It was also given to persons on the approach of death. And many
afterwards, who had great voyages to make at sea, carried it with them
to preserve them both from temporal and spiritual dangers.

In the twelfth century, another notion, a little modified from the
former, prevailed on this subject; which was, that consecration by a
Priest had the power of abolishing the substance of the bread, and of
substituting the very body of Jesus Christ.

This was called the doctrine of Transubstantiation.

This doctrine appeared to Luther, at the dawn of the reformation, to be
absurd; and he was of opinion that the sacrament consisted of the
substance of Christ's body and blood, together with the substance of the
bread and wine; or, in other words, that the substance of the bread
remained, but the body of Christ was inherent in it, so that both the
substance of the bread and of the body and blood of Christ was there
also. This was called the doctrine of Consubstantiation, in
contradiction to the former.

Calvin again considered the latter opinion erroneous: he gave it out
that the bread was not actually the body of Jesus Christ, nor the wine
his blood; but that both his body and blood were sacramentally received
by the faithful, in the use of the bread and wine. Calvin, however,
confessed himself unable to explain even this his own doctrine. For he
says, "if it be asked me how it is, that is, how believers sacramentally
receive Christ's body and blood? I shall not be ashamed to confess, that
it is a secret too high for me to comprehend in my spirit, or explain in

But independently of the difficulties which have arisen from these
different notions concerning the nature and constitution of the Lord's
supper, others have arisen concerning the time and the manner of the
celebration of it.

The Christian churches of the east, in the early times, justifying
themselves by tradition and the custom of the passover, maintained that
the fourteenth day of the month Nissan ought to be observed as the day
of the celebration of this feast, because the Jews were commanded to
kill the Paschal Lamb on that day. The western, on the other hand,
maintained the authority of tradition and the primitive practice, that
it ought to be kept on no other day than that of the resurrection of
Jesus Christ. Disputes again of a different complexion agitated the
Christian world upon the same subject. One church contended that the
leavened, another that unleavened bread only should be used upon this
occasion: others contended, whether the administration of this sacrament
should be by the hands of the clergy only: others, whether it should not
be confined to the sick: others, whether it should be given to the young
and mature promiscuously: others, whether it should be received by the
communicant standing, sitting, or kneeling, or as the Apostles received
it: and others, whether it should be administered in the night time as
by our Saviour, or whether in the day, or whether only once, as at the
passover, or whether oftener in the year.

Another difficulty, but of a different nature, has occurred with respect
to the Lord's supper. This has arisen from the circumstance, that other
ceremonies were enjoined by our Saviour in terms equally positive as
this, but which most Christians, notwithstanding, have thought
themselves at liberty to reject. Among these the washing of feet is
particularly to be noticed. This custom was of an emblematic nature. It
was enjoined at the same time as that of the Lord's supper, and on the
same occasion. But it was enjoined in a more forcible and striking
manner. The Sandimanians, when they rose into a society, considered the
injunction for this ordinance to be so obligatory, that they dared not
dispense with it; and therefore, when they determined to celebrate the
supper, they determined that the washing of feet should be an ordinance
of their church. Most other Christians, however, have dismissed the
washing of feet from their religious observance. The reason given has
principally been, that it was an eastern custom, and therefore local. To
this the answer has been, that the passover, from whence the Lord's
supper is taken, was an eastern custom also, but that it was much more
local. Travellers of different nations had their feet washed for them in
the east. But none but those of the circumcision were admitted to the
passover-supper. If, therefore, the injunction relative to the washing
of feet, be equally strong with that relative to the celebration of the
supper, it has been presumed, that both ought to have been retained;
and, if one has been dispensed with on account of its locality, that
both ought to have been discarded.

That the washing of feet was enjoined much more emphatically than the
supper, we may collect from Barclay, whose observations upon it I shall
transcribe on this occasion.

"But to give a farther evidence, says he, how these consequences have
not any bottom from the practice of that ceremony, nor from the words
following, 'Do this in remembrance of me,' let us consider another of
the like nature, as it is at length expressed by John. [143] 'Jesus
riseth from supper and laid aside his garments, and took a towel, and
girded himself: after that, he poureth water into a bason, and began to
wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he
was girded. Peter said unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus
answered him. If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. So after he
had washed their feet, he said, Know ye what I have done to you? If I
then, your Lord and master, have washed your feet, ye also ought to wash
one another's feet: for I have given you an example, that ye should do
as I have done to you.' As to which let it be observed, continues
Barclay, that John relates this passage to have been done at the same
time with the other of breaking bread; both being done the night of the
passover, after supper. If we regard the narration of this, and the
circumstances attending it, it was done with far more solemnity, and
prescribed far more punctually and particularly, than the former. It is
said only, 'as he was eating he took bread;' so that this would seem to
be but an occasional business: but here 'he rose up, he laid by his
garments, he girded himself, he poured out the water, he washed their
feet, he wiped them with a towel.' He did this to all of them; which are
circumstances surely far more observable than those noted in the other.
The former was a practice common among the Jews, used by all masters of
families, upon that occasion; but this, as to the manner, and person
acting it, to wit, for the master to rise up, and wash the feet of his
servants and disciples, was more singular and observable. In the
breaking of bread and giving of wine, it is not pleaded by our
adversaries, nor yet mentioned in the text, that he particularly put
them into the hands of all; but breaking it, and blessing it, gave it
the nearest, and so they from hand to hand. But here it is mentioned,
that he washed not the feet of one or two, but of many. He saith not in
the former, that if they do not eat of that bread, and drink of that
wine, that they shall be prejudiced by it; but here he says expressly to
Peter, that 'if he wash him not, he hath no part with him;' which being
spoken upon Peter's refusing to let him wash his feet, would seem to
import no less, than not the continuance only, but even the necessity of
this ceremony. In the former, he saith as it were passingly, 'Do this in
remembrance of me:' but here he sitteth down again; he desires them to
consider what he hath done; tells them positively 'that as he hath done
to them, so ought they to do to one another:' and yet again he redoubles
that precept, by telling them, 'that he has given them an example, that
they should do so likewise.' If we respect the nature of the thing, it
hath as much in it as either baptism or the breaking of the bread;
seeing it is an outward element of a cleansing nature, applied to the
outward man, by the command and the example of Christ, to signify an
inward purifying. I would willingly propose this seriously to men, that
will be pleased to make use of that reason and understanding that God
hath given them, and not be imposed upon, nor abused by the custom or
tradition of others, whether this ceremony, if we respect either the
time that it was appointed in, or the circumstances wherewith it was
performed, or the command enjoining the use of it, hath not as much to
recommend it for a standing ordinance of the Gospel, as either
water-baptism, or bread and wine, or any other of that kind? I wonder
then, what reason the Papists can give, why they have not numbered it
among their sacraments, except merely Voluntas Ecclesiae et Traditio
Patrum, that is, the Tradition of the Fathers, and the Will of the

[Footnote 143: John 13. 3. &c.]

The reader will see by this time, that, on subjects which have given
rise to such controversies as baptism and the Lord's supper have now
been described to have done, people may be readily excused, if they
should entertain their own opinions about them, though these may be
different from those which are generally received by the world. The
difficulties indeed, which have occurred with respect to these
ordinances, should make us tender of casting reproach upon others, who
should differ from ourselves concerning them. For when we consider, that
there is no one point connected with these ordinances, about which there
has not been some dispute; that those who have engaged in these
disputes, have been men of equal learning and piety; that all of them
have pleaded primitive usage, in almost all cases, in behalf of their
own opinions; and that these disputes are not even now, all of them,
settled; who will take upon him to censure his brother either for the
omission or the observance of one or the other rite? And let the
Quakers, among others, find indulgence from their countrymen for their
opinions on these subjects. This indulgence they have a right to claim
from the consideration, that they themselves never censure others of
other denominations on account of their religion. With respect to those
who belong to the society, as the rejection of these ceremonies is one
of the fundamentals of Quakerism, it is expected that they should be
consistent with what they are considered to profess. But with respect to
others, they have no unpleasant feelings towards those who observe them.
If a man believes that baptism is an essential rite of the Christian
church, the Quakers would not judge him if he were to go himself, or if
he were to carry his children, to receive it. And if, at the communion
table, he should find his devotion to be so spiritualized, that, in the
taking of the bread and wine, he really and spiritually discerned the
body and blood of Christ, and was sure that his own conduct would he
influenced morally by it, they would not censure him for becoming an
attendant at the altar. In short, the Quakers do not condemn others for
their attendances on these occasions. They only hope, that as they do
not see these ordinances in the same light as others, they may escape
censure, if they should refuse to admit them among themselves.



_Baptism--Two baptisms--That of John and of Christ--That of John was by
water, a Jewish ordinance, and used preparatory to religious conversion
and worship--Hence John used it as preparatory to conversion to
Christianity--Jesus submitted to it to fulfil all righteousness--Others
as to a baptism to repentance--But it was not initiative into the
Christian church, but belonged to the Old Testament--Nor was John under
the Gospel, but under the law_.

I come now to the arguments which the Quakers have to offer for the
rejection of the use of baptism and of the sacrament of the supper; and
first for that of the use of the former rite.

Two baptisms are recorded in scripture--the baptism of John, and the
baptism of Christ.

The baptism of John was by water, and a Jewish ordinance. The washing of
garments and of the body, which were called baptisms by the Ellenistic
Jews, were enjoined to the Jewish nation, as modes of purification from
legal pollutions, symbolical of that inward cleansing of the heart,
which was necessary to persons before they could hold sacred offices,
or pay their religions homage in the temple, or become the true
worshippers of God. The Jews, therefore, in after times, when they made
proselytes from the Heathen nations, enjoined these the same customs as
they observed themselves. They generally circumcised, at least the
proselytes of the covenant, as a mark of their incorporation into the
Jewish church, and they afterwards washed them with water or baptized
them, which was to be a sign to them of their having been cleansed from
the filth of idolatry, and an emblem of their fitness, in case of a real
cleansing, to receive the purer precepts of the Jewish religion, and to
walk in newness of life.

Baptism therefore was a Jewish ordinance, used on religious occasions:
and therefore John, when he endeavoured by means of his preaching to
prepare the Jews for the coming of the Messiah, and their minds for the
reception of the new religion, used it as a symbol of the purification
of heart, that was necessary for the dispensation which was then at
hand. He knew that his hearers would understand the meaning of the
ceremony. He had reason also to believe, that on account of the nature
of his mission, they would expect it. Hence the Sanhedrim, to whom the
cognizance of the legal cleansings belonged, when they were informed of
the baptism of John, never expressed any surprise at it, as a now, or
unusual, or improper custom. They only found fault with him for the
administration of it, when he denied himself to be either Elias or

It was partly upon one of the principles that have been mentioned, that
Jesus received the baptism of John. He received it as it is recorded,
because "thus it became him to fulfil all righteousness." By the
fulfilling of righteousness is meant the fulfilling of the ordinances of
the law, or the customs required by the Mosaic dispensation in
particular cases. He had already undergone circumcision as a Jewish
ordinance, and he now submitted to baptism. For as Aaron and his Sons
were baptized previously to the taking upon them of the office of the
Jewish priesthood, so Jesus was baptized by John previously to his
entering upon his own ministry, or becoming the high priest of the
Christian dispensation.

But though Jesus Christ received the baptism of John, that he might
fulfil all righteousness, others received it as the baptism of
repentance from sins, that they might be able to enter the kingdom that
was at hand. This baptism, however, was not initiative into the
Christian church. For the Apostles rebaptized some who had been baptized
by John. Those, again, who received the baptism of John, did not profess
faith in Christ, John again, as well as his doctrines, belonged to the
Old Testament. He was no minister under the new dispensation, but the
last prophet under the law. Hence Jesus said, that though none of the
prophets "were greater than John the baptist, yet he that is least in
the kingdom of Heaven is greater than he." Neither did he ever hear the
Gospel preached; for Jesus did not begin his ministry till John had been
put into prison, where he was beheaded by the orders of Herod. John, in
short, was with respect to Jesus, what Moses was with respect to Joshua.
Moses, though he conducted to the promised land, and was permitted to
see it from Mount Nebo, yet never entered it, but gave place to Joshua,
whose name, like that of Jesus, signifies a Saviour. In the same manner
John conducted to Jesus Christ. He saw him once with his own eyes, but
he was never permitted, while alive, to enter into his spiritual


_Second baptism, or that of Christ--This the baptism of the gospel--This
distinct from the former in point of time; and in nature and essence--As
that of John was outward, so this was to be inward and spiritual--It was
to cleanse the heart--and was to be capable of making even the Gentiles
the seed of Abraham--This distinction of watery and spiritual baptism
pointed out by Jesus Christ--by St. Peter--and by St. Paul._

The second baptism, recorded in the scriptures, is that of Christ. This
may be called the baptism of the Gospel, in contradistinction to the
former, which was that of the law.

This baptism is totally distinct from the former. John himself
said,[144] "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance; but he that
cometh after me, is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to
bear. He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire."

[Footnote 144: Matth. 3.11.]

From these words it appears, that this baptism is distinct, in point of
time, from the former; for it was to follow the baptism of John: and
secondly, in nature and essence; for whereas that of John was by water,
this was to be by the spirit.

This latter distinction is insisted upon by John in other places. For
when he was questioned by the Pharisees [145] "why he baptized, if he was
not that Christ, nor Ellas, nor that prophet," he thought it a
sufficient excuse to say, "I baptize with water;" that is, I baptize
with water only; I use only an ancient Jewish custom; I do not intrude
upon the office of Christ, who is coming after me, or pretend to his
baptism of the spirit. We find also, that no less than three times in
eight verses, when he speaks of his own baptism, he takes care to add to
it the word [146] "water," to distinguish it from the baptism of Christ.

[Footnote 145: John 1. 25]

[Footnote 146: John 1 from 25 to 34.]

As the baptism of John cleansed the body from the filth of the flesh, so
that of Christ was really to cleanse the soul from the filth of sin.
Thus John, speaking of Jesus Christ, in allusion to this baptism,
says,[147] "whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his
floor, and gather his wheat into his garner, but he will burn up the
chaff with unquenchable fire." By this he insinuated, that in the same
manner as the farmer, with the fan in his hand, winnows the corn, and
separates the light and bad grains from the heavy and the good, and in
the same manner as the fire afterwards destroys the chaff, so the
baptism of Christ, for which he was preparing them, was of an inward and
spiritual nature, and would effectually destroy the light and corrupt
affections, and thoroughly cleanse the floor of the human heart.

[Footnote 147: Mat. 3. 12]

This baptism, too, was to be so searching as to be able to penetrate the
hardest heart, and to make even the Gentiles the real children of
Abraham.[148] "For think not, says John, in allusion to the same
baptism, to say within yourselves, we have Abraham to our Father; for I
say unto, you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children
unto Abraham." As if he had said, I acknowledge that you Pharisees can,
many of you, boast of relationship to Abraham by a strict and scrupulous
attention to shadowy and figurative ordinances; that many of you can
boast of relationship to him by blood; and all of you by circumcision.
But it does not follow, therefore, that you are the children of Abraham.
Those only will be able to boast of being his seed, to whom the fan and
fire of Christ's baptism shall be applied. The baptism of him, who is to
come after me, and whose kingdom is at hand, is of that spiritual and
purifying nature, that it will produce effects very different from those
of an observance of outward ordinances. It can so cleanse and purify the
hearts of men, that if there are Gentiles in the most distant lands,
ever so far removed from Abraham, and possessing hearts of the hardness
of stones, it can make them the real children of Abraham in the sight of

[Footnote 148: Math. 3.9.]

This distinction between the watery baptism of John, and the fiery and
spiritual baptism of Christ, was pointed out by Jesus Christ himself;
for, he is reported to have appeared to his disciples after his
resurrection, and to have commanded them [149] "that they should not
depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which,
says he, ye have heard from me. For John truly baptized with water, but
ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence."

[Footnote 149: Acts 1.4.]

Saint Luke also records a transaction which took place, in which Peter
was concerned, and on which occasion he first discerned the baptism of
Christ, as thus distinguished in the words which have been just given.
[150] "And as I began to speak, says he, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as
on us at the beginning. Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that
he said, John, indeed, baptised with water, but ye shall be baptized by
the Holy Spirit."

[Footnote 150: Acts II, 15,16.]

A similar distinction is made also by St. Paul; for when he found that
certain disciples had been baptized only with the baptism of John,[151]
he laid his hand upon them, and baptized them again; but this was with
the baptism of the spirit. In his epistle also, to the Corinthians, we
find the following expression:[152] "For by one spirit are we all
baptized unto one body."

[Footnote 151: Acts 19.]

[Footnote 152: I Cor. 12, 13].


_Question is, which of these turn baptisms is included in the great
commission given by Jesus to his Apostles, "of baptizing in the name of
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost?"--Quakers deny it to be that
of John, because contrary to the ideas of St. Peter and St.
Paul--because the object of John's baptism had been completed--because
it was a type under the law, and such types were to cease._

It appears then that there are two baptisms recorded in Scripture; the
one, the baptism of John, the other that of Christ; that these are
distinct from one another; and that the one does not include the other,
except he who baptizes with water, can baptize at the same time with the
Holy Ghost. Now St. Paul speaks only of[153] one baptism as effectual;
and St. Peter must mean the same, when he speaks of the baptism that
saveth. The question therefore is, which of the two baptisms that have
been mentioned, is the one effectual, or saving baptism? or, which of
these it is, that Jesus Christ included in his great commission to the
Apostles, when he commanded them "to go and teach all nations, baptizing
them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost."

[Footnote 153: Eph. 4.5.]

The Quakers say, that the baptism, included in this commission, was not
the baptism of John.

In the first place, St. Peter says it was not, in these words:
[154] "Which sometimes were disobedient, when once the long suffering of
God waited in the days of Noah while the Ark was preparing, wherein few,
that is, eight souls, were saved by water;[155] whose antetype baptism
doth also now save us, (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh,
but the answer of a good conscience towards God,) by the resurrection of
Jesus Christ."

[Footnote 154: 1 Peter 3. 20. 21]

[Footnote 155: Antetype is the proper translation, and not "the figure

The Apostle states here concerning the baptism that is effectual and
saving; first, that it is not the putting away of the filth of the
flesh, which is effected by water. He carefully puts those upon their
guard, to whom he writes, lest they should consider John's baptism, or
that of water, to be the saving one, to which he alludes; for, having
made a beautiful comparison between an outward salvation in an outward
ark, by the outward water, with this inward salvation by inward and
spiritual water, in the inward ark of the Testament, he is fearful that
his reader should connect these images, and fancy that water had any
thing to do with this baptism. Hence he puts his caution in a
parenthesis, thus guarding his meaning in an extraordinary manner.

He then shows what this baptism is, and calls it the answer of a good
conscience towards God by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. In fact, he
states it to be the baptism of Christ, which is by the Spirit. For he
maintains, that he only is truly baptized, whose conscience is made
clear by the resurrection of Christ in his heart. But who can make the
answer of such a conscience, except the Holy Spirit shall have first
purified the floor of the heart; except the spiritual fan of Christ
shall have first separated the wheat from the chaff, and except his
spiritual fire shall have consumed the latter?

St. Paul makes a similar declaration: "For as many of you as have been
baptized into Christ, have put on Christ."[156] But no man, the Quakers
say, merely by being dipped under water, can put on Christ, that is, his
life, his nature, his disposition, his love, meekness, and temperance,
and all those virtues which should characterise a Christian.

[Footnote 156: Galat 3. 27.]

To the same purport are those other words by the same Apostle:[157] "Know
ye not, that so many of us as were baptized unto Jesus Christ, were
baptized into his death; that like as Christ was raised up from the dead
by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of
life." And again--[158] "Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are
risen with him, through the faith of the co-operation of God, who hath
raised him from the dead." By these passages the Apostle Paul testifies
that he alone is truly baptized, who first dies unto sin, and is raised
up afterwards from sin unto righteousness, or who is raised up into life
with Christ, or who so feels the inward resurrection and glory of Christ
in his soul, that he walks in newness of life.

[Footnote 157: Rom. 6.3.4]

[Footnote 158: Colos. 2.12]

The Quakers show again, that the baptism of John could not have been
included in the great commission, because the object of John's baptism
had been completed even before the preaching of Jesus Christ.

The great object of John's baptism, was to make Jesus known to the Jews.
John himself declared this to be the object of it. [159] "But that he
should be made manifest unto Israel, _therefore_ am I come baptizing
with water." This object he accomplished two ways; first, by telling all
whom he baptized that Jesus was coming, and these were the Israel of
that time; for he is reported to have baptized all Jerusalem, which was
the metropolis, and all Judea, and all the country round about Jordan.
Secondly, by pointing him out personally.[160] This he did to Andrew, so
that Andrew left John and followed Jesus. Andrew, again, made him known
to Simon, and these to Philip, and Philip to Nathaniel; so that by means
of John, an assurance was given that Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ.

[Footnote 159: John 1.31.]

[Footnote 160: John 1.40.]

The Quakers believe again, that the baptism of John was not included in
the great commission, because it was a type under the law, and all types
and shadows under the law were to cease under the Gospel dispensation,
or the law of Christ.

The salvation of the Eight by water, and the baptism of John, were both
types of the baptism of Christ. John was sent expressly before Jesus,
baptizing the bodies of men with water, as a lively image, as he himself
explains it, of the latter baptizing their souls with the Holy Ghost and
with fire. The baptism of John, therefore, was both preparative and
typical of that of Christ. And it is remarked by the Quakers, that no
sooner was Jesus baptized by John with water in the type, than he was,
according to all the Evangelists, baptized by the [161] Holy Ghost in
the antetype. No sooner did he go up out of the water, than John saw the
Heavens opened, and the spirit of God descending like a dove, and
lighting upon him. It was this baptism of Jesus in the antetype which
occasioned John to know him personally, and enabled him to discover him
to others. The baptism of John, therefore, being a type or figure under
the law, was to give way, when the antetype or substance became
apparent. And that it was to give way in its due time, is evident from
the confession of John himself. For on a question which arose between
some of John's disciples and the Jews about purifying, and on a report
spread abroad, that Jesus had begun to baptize, John says, [162] "He
(Jesus) must increase, but I must decrease."--This confession of John
accords also with the following expressions of St. Paul: [163] "The Holy
Ghost this signifying, that the way into the Holiest of all was not yet
made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing, which
was a figure for the time then present,"--which stood only in meats and
drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances imposed on them until
the time of reformation.

[Footnote 161: Mat. 3. 16.--Mark 1. 10.]

[Footnote 162: John 3. 30.]

[Footnote 163: Heb. 9. 8. 9. 10.]


_Quakers show that the baptism, included in the great commission, which
appears not to be the baptism of John, is the baptism of Christ, from a
critical examination of the words in that commission--Way in which the
Quakers interpret these words--This interpretation confirmed by
citations from St. Mark, St. Luke, and St. Paul_.

Having attempted to show, according to the method of the Quakers, that
the baptism of John is not the baptism included in the great commission,
I shall now produce those arguments, by which they maintain that that
baptism, which is included in it, is the baptism of Christ.

These arguments will be found chiefly in a critical examination of the
words of that commission.

To enable the reader to judge of the propriety of their observations
upon these words, I shall transcribe from St. Matthew the three verses
that relate to this subject.

[164] "And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given
unto me in Heaven and in earth. Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the
Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have
commanded you. And lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the

[Footnote 164: Mat. 23.18,19,20.]

The first observation, which the Quakers make, is upon the word
"THEREFORE." As all power is given unto _me_ both in Heaven and in
earth; and as I can on that account, and as I will qualify you, go ye
therefore, that is, having previously received from me the qualification
necessary for your task, go ye.

The next observation is, that the commission does not imply that the
Apostles were to teach and to baptize as two separate acts, but, as the
words intimate, that they were to teach baptizing.

The Quakers say again, that the word "teach" is an improper translation
of the original [165]Greek. The Greek word should have been rendered
"make disciples or proselytes." In several editions of our own Bibles,
the word "teach" is explained in the margin opposite to it, "make
disciples or Christians of all nations," or in the same manner as the
Quakers explain it.

[Footnote 165: [Greek: didasko] is the usual word for teach, but [Greek:
word] is used in the commission; which latter word occurs but seldom in
the New Testament, and always signifies to "disciple."]

On the word "baptize," they observe, that because its first meaning is
to wash all over, and because baptism with Christians is always with
water, people cannot easily separate the image of water from the word,
when it is read or pronounced. But if this image is never to be
separated from it, how will persons understand the words of St. Paul,
"for by one spirit are we all baptized into one body?" Or those of
Jesus, "Can ye drink of the cup that I drink of, or be baptized with the
baptism that I am baptized with?" Or, if this image is not to be
separated from it, how will they understand the Evangelists, who
represent Jesus Christ as about to baptize, or wash all over, with fire?
To baptize, in short, signifies to dip under water, but, in its more
general meaning, to purify. Fire and water have equally power in this
respect, but on different objects. Water purifies surfaces. Fire
purifies by actual and total separation, bringing those bodies into one
mass which are homogeneous, or which have strong affinities to each
other, and leaving the dross and incombustible parts by themselves.

The word "in" they also look upon as improperly translated. This word
should have been rendered [166] "into." If the word "in" were the right
translation, the words "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and
of the Holy Ghost," might be construed into a form of words to be used
at the time of baptism.

[Footnote 166: The word in the original Greek is [Greek word] and not
[Greek word]]

But we have no evidence that such a formula was ever used, when any of
the Apostles baptized. Indeed, the plain meaning of the word is "into,"
and therefore all such formula is groundless.[167] "Jesus Christ did
not, says Zuinglius, by these words institute a form of baptism, which
we should use, as divines have falsely taught."

[Footnote 167: Lib. de Bapt. p. 56, tom. 2. Oper.]

On the word "name," the Quakers observe, that, when it relates to the
Lord, it frequently signifies in scripture, his life, or his spirit, or
his power. Thus, [168] "in my name, shall they cast out devils." And,
[169] "by what power, or by what name have ye done this?"

[Footnote 168: Mark 16. 17.]

[Footnote 169: Acts 4. 7.]

From the interpretation, which has now been given of the meaning of
several of the words in the verses, that have been quoted from St.
Matthew, the sense of the commission, according to the Quakers, will
stand thus: "All power is given to me in Heaven and in earth. In virtue
of the power which I have, I will give you power also. I will confer
upon you the gift of the Holy Spirit. When you have received it, go into
different and distant lands; go to the Gentiles who live in ignorance,
darkness, and idolatry, and make them proselytes to my new dispensation;
so purifying their hearts, or burning the chaff of their corrupt
affections by the active fire of the Holy Spirit, which shall accompany
your preaching, that they may be made partakers of the divine nature,
and walk in newness of life. And lest this should appear to be too great
a work for your faith, I, who have the power, promise to be with you
with this my spirit in the work, till the end of the world."

The Quakers contend, that this is the true interpretation of this
commission, because it exactly coincides with the meaning of the same
commission as described by St. Luke and St. Mark, and of that also which
was given to St. Paul.

St. Luke states the commission given to the Apostles to have been
[170] "that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his
name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." The meaning therefore
of the commission, as stated by St. Luke, is precisely the same as that
stated by St. Matthew. For first, all nations are included in it.
Secondly, purification of heart, or conversion from sin, is insisted
upon to be the object of it. And thirdly, this object is to be effected,
not by the baptism of water, (for baptism is no where mentioned,) but by
preaching, in which is included the idea of the baptism of the spirit.

[Footnote 170: Luke 24. 47]

St. Mark also states the commission to be the same, in the following
words: [171] "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach
the Gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized, shall
be saved." Here all nations, and the preaching of the Gospel, are
mentioned again; but baptism is now added. But the baptism that was to
go with this preaching, the Quakers contend to be the baptism of the
spirit. For first, the baptism here mentioned is connected with
salvation. But the baptism, according to St. Peter, which doth also now
save us, "is not the putting away the filth of the flesh, but the answer
of a good conscience towards God by the resurrection of Jesus Christ;"
or the baptism of the spirit. Secondly, the nature of the baptism here
mentioned is explained by the verse that follows it. Thus, "he that
believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved. And these signs shall follow
them that believe: they shall speak with new tongues." This therefore is
the same baptism as that which St. Paul conferred upon some of his
disciples by the laying on of his hands. [172] "And when Paul had laid
his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came upon them, and they spake with
tongues and prophesied." Thus, again, it is demonstrated to be the
baptism of the spirit.

[Footnote 171: Mark 16.15.]

[Footnote 172: Acts 19.6.]

The commission also, which has been handed down to us by St. Matthew,
will be found, as it has been now explained, to coincide in its object
with that which was given to Paul, as we find by his confession to
Agrippa. For he declared[173] he was sent as a minister to the Gentiles
"to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from
the power of Satan unto God, that they might receive forgiveness of
sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith in
Christ." But what was this, the Quakers say, but to baptize them into
the life and spirit of a new and divine nature, or with the baptism of

[Footnote 173: Acts 26.17. 18.]

And as we have thus obtained a knowledge from St. Paul of what his own
commission contained, so we have, from the same authority, a knowledge
of what it did not contain; for he positively declares, in his first
Epistle to the Corinthians, that "Christ sent him not to baptize
(evidently alluding to the baptism by water) but to preach the Gospel."
It is clear therefore that St. Paul did not understand his commission to
refer to water. And who was better qualified to understand it than

It is also stated by the Quakers, as another argument to the same point,
that if the baptism in the commission had been that of water only, the
Apostles could easily have administered it of themselves, or without
any supernatural assistance; but, in order that they might be enabled to
execute that baptism which the commission pointed to, they were desired
to wait for divine help. Jesus Christ said,[174] "I send the promise of
my father upon you; but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem until ye be
endued with the power from on high; for John truly baptized with water,
but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence." Now,
the Quakers ask, if baptism by water had been the baptism contained in
the great commission, why could not the Apostles have performed it of
themselves? What should have hindered them more than John from going
with people into the rivers, and immersing them? Why were they first to
receive themselves the baptism of the spirit? But if it be allowed, on
the other hand, that when they executed the great commission, they were
to perform the baptism of Christ, the case is altered. It became them
then to wait for the divine help. For it required more than human power
to give that baptism, which should change the disposition and affections
of men, and should be able to bring them from darkness unto light, and
from the power of Satan unto God. And here the Quakers observe, that the
Apostles never attempted to execute the great commission, till the time
fixed upon by our Saviour, in these words: "But tarry ye in the city of
Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high." This was the day
of pentecost. After this "they preached, as St. Peter says, with the
Holy Ghost sent down from Heaven," and with such efficacy, that "the
Holy Ghost fell upon many of them, who heard their words."

[Footnote 174: Luke 24.49.]


_Objection to the foregoing arguments of the Quakers--namely, "If it be
not the baptism of John that is included in the Great Commission, how
came the Apostles to baptize with water?"--Practice and opinions of
Peter considered--also of Paul--also of Jesus Christ--This practice, as
explained by these opinions, considered by the Quakers to turn out in
favour of their own doctrine on this subject._

I have now stated the arguments by which the Quakers have been induced
to believe that the baptism by the spirit, and not the baptism by water,
was included by Jesus Christ in the great commission which he gave to
his Apostles, when he requested them "to go into all nations, and to
teach them, baptizing in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of
the Holy Ghost."

Against these arguments the following question has been usually started,
as an objection: "If it be not included in the great commission, how
came the Apostles to baptize; or would they have baptised, if baptism
had not been considered by them as a Christian ordinance?"

The Quakers, in answering this objection, have confined themselves to
the consideration of the conduct of the Apostles Peter and Paul. For
though Philip is said to have baptized also, yet he left no writings
behind him like the former; nor are so many circumstances recorded of
him, by which they may be enabled to judge of his character, or to know
what his opinions ultimately were, upon that subject.

The Quakers consider the Apostles as men of the like passions with
themselves. They find the ambition of James and John; the apostacy and
dissimulation of Peter; the incredulity of Thomas; the dissention
between Paul and Barnabas; and the jealousies which some of them
entertained towards one another, recorded in holy writ. They believe
them also to have been mostly men of limited information, and to have
had their prejudices, like other people. Hence it was not to be expected
that they should come all at once into the knowledge of Christ's
kingdom; that, educated in a religion of types and ceremonials, they
should all at once abandon these; that, expecting a temporal Messiah,
they should lay aside at once temporal views; and that they should come
immediately into the full purity of the gospel practice.

With respect to the Apostle Peter, he gave early signs of the dulness of
his comprehension with respect to the nature of the character and
kingdom of the Messiah. [175]For when Jesus had given forth but a simple
parable, he was obliged to ask him the meaning of it. This occasioned
Jesus to say to him, "Are ye also yet without understanding?"

[Footnote 175: Matt. 15.16.]

In a short time afterwards, when our Saviour told him, [176] "that he
himself must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things, and be killed, and
be raised again the third day, Peter took him and rebuked him, saying,
Be it far from thee, Lord. This shall not be unto thee."

[Footnote 176: Matt. l6. 21. 22.]

At a subsequent time, namely, just after the transfiguration of Christ,
he seems to have known so little about spiritual things, that he
expressed a wish to raise three earthly tabernacles, one to Moses,
another to Elias, and a third to Jesus, for the retention of signs and
shadows as a Gospel labour, at the very time when Jesus Christ was
opening the dismission of all but one, namely, "the tabernacle of God,
that is with men."

Nor did he seem, at a more remote period, to have gained more large or
spiritual ideas. He did not even know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ
was to be universal. He considered it as limited; to the Jews, though
the words in the great commission, which he and the other Apostles had
heard, ordered them to teach all nations. He was unwilling to go and
preach to Cornelius on this very account, merely because he was a Roman
Centurion, or in other words, a Gentile; so that a vision was necessary
to remove his scruples in this particular. It was not till after this
vision, and his conversation with Cornelius, that his mind began to be
opened; and then he exclaimed, "Of a truth, I perceive that God is no
respecter of persons; but in every nation, he that feareth him and
worketh righteousness, is accepted with him."

The mind of Peter now began to be opened and to see things in a clearer
light, when a new occurrence that took place nearly at the same time,
seems to have taken the film still more from his eyes: for while he
preached to Cornelius, and the others present, he perceived that "the
Holy Ghost fell upon all of them that heard his words, as on himself and
the other Apostles at the beginning." Then remembered Peter the words of
the Lord, how that he said, "John indeed baptised with water, but ye
shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost:" that is, Peter finding that
Cornelius and his friends had received, by means of his own powerful
preaching, the Holy Ghost, perceived then for the first time, to his
great surprise, that he had been executing the great commission of Jesus
Christ; or that he had taught a Gentile, and baptized him with the Holy
Spirit. Here it was that he first made the discrimination between the
baptism of John, and the baptism of Christ.

From this time there is reason to think that his eyes became fully open;
for in a few years afterwards, when we have an opportunity of viewing
his conduct again, we find him an altered man as to his knowledge of
spiritual things. Being called upon at the council of Jerusalem to
deliberate on the propriety of circumcision to Gentile converts, he
maintains that God gives his Holy Spirit as well to the Gentiles as to
the Jews. He maintains again, that God _purifies_ by _faith_; and he
delivers it as his opinion, that circumcision is to be looked upon as a
yoke. And here it may be remarked, that circumcision and baptism
uniformly went together, when proselytes of the covenant were made, or
when any of the Heathens were desirous of conforming to the whole of the
Jewish law.

At a time, again, subsequent to this, or when he wrote his Epistles
which were to go to the strangers all over Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia,
Asia, and Bithynia, he discovers himself to be the same full grown man
in spiritual things on the subject of baptism itself, in these
remarkable words, which have been quoted: "Whose antitype baptism doth
also now save us, (not the putting away the filth of the flesh, but the
answer of a good conscience towards God,) by the resurrection of Jesus
Christ." So that the last opinion of Peter on the subject of
water-baptism contradicted his practice, when he was but a noviciate in
Christ's kingdom.

With respect to the Apostle Paul, whose practice I am to consider next,
it is said of him, as of St. Peter, that he baptized.

That Paul baptized is to be collected from his own writings. For it
appears, by his own account, that there had been divisions among the
Corinthians. Of those who had been converted to Christianity, some
called themselves after the name of Cephas; others after the name of
Apollos; others after the name of Paul; thus dividing themselves
nominally into sects, according to the name of him who had either
baptized or converted them. St. Paul mentions these circumstances, by
which it comes to light, that he used water-baptism, and he regrets that
the persons in question should have made such a bad use of this rite, as
to call themselves after him who baptized them, instead of calling
themselves after Christ, and dwelling on him alone. [177] "I thank God,
says he, that I baptized none of you but Crispus and Gaius; lest any
should say that I baptized in my own name. And I baptized also the house
of Stephanas. Besides I know not whether I baptized any other, for
Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the Gospel." Now this
confession of the Apostle, which is usually brought against the Quakers,
they consider to be entirely in their favour, and indeed decisive of the
point in question. For they collect from hence, that St. Paul never
considered baptism by water as any Gospel ordinance, or as any rite
indispensably necessary, when men were admitted as members into the
Christian church. For if he had considered it in this light, he would
never have said that Christ sent him not to baptize, but to preach the
Gospel. Neither would he have thanked God, on account of the mere abuse
of it, that he had baptized so few, for doubtless there were many among
the learned Greeks, who abused his preaching, and who called it
_foolishness_, but yet he nowhere says, that he was sorry on that
account that he ever preached to them; for preaching was a gospel
ordinance enjoined him, by which many were to be converted to the
Christian faith. Again--If he had considered water baptism, as a
necessary mark of initiation into Christianity, he would uniformly have
adopted it, as men became proselytes to his doctrines. But among the
thousands, whom in all probability he baptized with the Holy Spirit
among the Corinthians, it does not appear, that there were more than the
members of the three families of Crispus, Gaius, and Stephanus, whom be
baptized with water.

[Footnote 177: 1 Cor. I. 14, 15, 16.]

But still it is contended, that Paul says of himself, that the baptized.
The Quakers agree to this, but they say that he must have done it, in
these instances, on motives very different from those of an
indispensable Christian rite.

In endeavouring to account for these motives, the Quakers consider the
Apostle Paul as not in the situation of Peter and others, who were a
long time in acquiring their spiritual knowledge, during which they
might be in doubt as to the propriety of many customs; but as coming, on
the other hand, quickly and powerfully into the knowledge of Christ's
kingdom. Hence, when he baptized, they impute no ignorance to him. They
believe he rejected water-baptism as a gospel ordinance, but that he
considered it in itself as an harmless ceremony, and that, viewing it in
this light, he used it out of condescension to those ellenistic Jews,
whose prejudices, on account of the washings of Moses and their customs
relative to proselytes, were so strong, that they could not separate
purification by water from conversion to a new religion. For St. Paul
confesses himself that "to the weak he became as weak, that he might
gain the weak, and was made all things to all men, that he might by all
means save some." Of this his condescension many instances are recorded
in the New Testament, though it may be only necessary to advert to one.
At the great council at Jerusalem, where Paul, Barnabas, Peter, James,
and others, were present, it was[178] determined that circumcision was
not necessary to the Gentiles. St. Paul himself with some others carried
the very letter of the council, containing their determination upon this
subject, to Antioch to the brethren there. This letter was addressed to
the brethren of Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia. After having left Antioch,
he went to Derbe and Lystra, where, notwithstanding the determination of
himself and the rest of the council, that circumcision was not a
Christian rite, he[179] circumcised Timotheus, in condescension to the
weakness of the Jews, who were in those quarters.

[Footnote 178: Acts 15.]

[Footnote 179: Acts 16.3.]

In addition to these observations on the practice and opinions of the
Apostles, in the course of which the Quakers presume it will be found
that the baptism of John is not an ordinance of the Gospel, they presume
the same conclusion will be adopted, if they take into consideration the
practice and opinions of Jesus Christ.

That Jesus Christ never forbad water-baptism, the Quakers readily allow.
But they conceive his silence on this subject to have arisen from his
knowledge of the internal state of the Jews. He knew how carnal their
minds were; how much they were attached to outward ordinances; and how
difficult it was to bring them all at once into his spiritual kingdom.
Hence, he permitted many things for a time, on account of the weakness
of their spiritual vision.

That Jesus submitted also to baptism himself, they allow. But he
submitted to it, not because he intended to make it an ordinance under
the new dispensation, but to use his own words, "that he might fulfil
all righteousness." Hence, also he was circumcised. Hence he celebrated
the Passover. And hence, he was enabled to use these remarkable words
upon the cross: "It is fulfilled."

But though Jesus Christ never forbad water-baptism, and, though he was
baptized with water by John, yet he never baptized any one himself. A
rumour had gone abroad among the Pharisees, that the Jesus had baptized
more disciples than John the Baptist. But John, the beloved disciple of
Jesus, who had leaned on his bosom, and who knew more of his sentiments
and practice than any other person is very careful, in correcting this
hear-say report, as if unworthy of the spiritual mind of his master,
and states positively; [180] "that Jesus-baptized not."

[Footnote 180: John 4.2.]

The Quakers, lay a great stress upon this circumstance: for they say,
that if Jesus never baptized with water himself, it is a proof that he
never intended to erect water-baptism into a Gospel-rite. It is
difficult to conceive, they say, that he should have established a
Sacrament, and that he should never have administered it. Would he not,
on the other hand, if his own baptism had been that of water, have begun
his ministry by baptizing his own disciples, notwithstanding they had
previously been, baptized by John? But he not only never baptized, _but
it is no where_ recorded of him, that he ordered his disciples to
baptize "with water."[181] He once ordered a leper to go to the priest,
and to offer the gift for his cleansings. At another time[182], he
ordered a blind man to go and wash in the pool of Siloam; but he never
ordered any one to go and be baptized with water. On the other hand, it
is said by the Quakers, that he dearly intimated to three of his
disciples, at the transfiguration, that the dispensations of Moses and
John were to pass away; and that he taught himself, "that the kingdom of
God cometh not with observation;" or, that it consisted not in those
outward and lifeless ordinances, in which many of those to whom he
addressed himself placed the essence of their religion.

[Footnote 181: Mat. 8.4.]

[Footnote 182: John 9.7]



_Supper of the Lord--Two such suppers, one enjoined by Moses, the other
by Jesus Christ--The former called the Passover--Original manner of its
celebration--The use of bread and wine added to it--Those long in use
when Jews Christ celebrated it--Since his time, alterations made in this
supper by the Jews--But bread and wine still continued to be component
parts of it, and continue so to the present day--Modern manner of the
celebration of it._

There are two suppers of the Lord recorded in the Scriptures; the first
enjoined by Moses, and the second by Jesus Christ.

The first is called the Supper of the Lord, because it was the last
supper which Jesus Christ participated with his disciples, or which the
Lord and master celebrated with them in commemoration of the passover.
And it may not improperly be called the Supper of the Lord on another
account, because it was the supper which the lord and master of every
Jewish family celebrated, on the same festival, in his own house.

This supper was distinguished, at the time alluded to, by the name of
the Passover Supper. The object of the institution of it was to
commemorate the event of the Lord passing over the houses of the
Israelites in Egypt, when he smote the Egyptians, and delivered the
former from their hard and oppressive bondage.

The directions of Moses concerning this festival were short, but

On the fourteenth day of the first month, called Nissan, the Jews were
to kill a lamb in the evening. It was to be eaten in the same evening,
roasted with fire, and the whole of it was to be eaten, or the remains
of it to be consumed with fire before morning. They were to eat it with
loins girded, with their shoes on their feet, and with their staves in
their hands, and to eat it in haste. The bread which they were to eat,
was to be unleavened, all of it, and for seven days. There was to be no
leaven in their houses during that time. Bitter herbs also were to be
used at this feast. And none who were uncircumcised were allowed to
partake of it.

This was the simple manner in which the passover, and the feast of
unleavened bread, which was included in it, were first celebrated. But
as the passover, in the age following its institution, was not to be
killed and eaten in any other place than where the Lord chose to fix his
name, which was afterwards at Jerusalem, it was suspended for a time.
The Jews, however, retained the festival of unleavened bread, wherever
they dwelt. At this last feast, in process of time, they added the use
of wine to the use of bread. The introduction of the wine was followed
by the introduction of new customs. The Lord or master of the feast used
to break the bread, and to bless it, saying, "Blessed be thou, O Lord,
who givest us the fruits of the earth." He used to take the cup, which
contained the wine, and bless it also: "Blessed be thou, O Lord, who
givest us the fruit of the vine." The bread was twice blessed upon this
occasion, and given once to every individual at the feast. But the cup
was handed round three times to the guests. During the intervals between
the blessing and the taking of the bread and of the wine, the company
acknowledged the deliverance of their ancestors from the Egyptian
bondage; they lamented their present state; they confessed their sense
of the justice of God in their punishment; and they expressed their hope
of his mercy from his former kind dealings and gracious promises.

In process of time, when the Jews were fixed at Jerusalem, they revived
the celebration of the passover, and as the feast of unleavened bread
was connected with it, they added the customs of the latter, and blended
the eating of the lamb and the use of the bread and wine, and several
accompaniments of consecration, into one ceremony. The bread therefore
and the wine had been long in use as constituent parts of the
passover-supper, and indeed of all the solemn feasts of the Jews, when
Jesus Christ took upon himself, as master of his own family of
disciples, to celebrate it. When he celebrated it, he did as the master
of every Jewish family did at that time. He took bread, and blessed,
and broke, and gave to his disciples. He took the cup of wine, and gave
it to them also. But he conducted himself differently from others in one
respect, for he compared the bread of the passover to his own body, and
the wine to his own blood, and led the attention of his disciples from
the old object of the passover, or deliverance from Egyptian bondage, to
a new one, or deliverance from sin.

Since the time of our Saviour, we find that the Jews, who have been
dispersed in various parts of the world, have made alterations in this
supper: but all of them have concurred in retaining the bread and wine
as component parts of it. This will be seen by describing the manner in
which it is celebrated at the present day.

On the fourteenth day of the month Nissan, the first-born son of every
family fasts, because the first-born in Egypt were smitten on that
night. A table is then set out, and covered with a cloth. On the middle
of it is placed a large dish, which is covered with a napkin. A large
passover cake of unleavened bread, distinguished by marks, and
denominated "_Israelite_," is then laid upon this napkin. Another, with
different marks, but denominated "_Levite_," is laid upon the first: and
a third, differently marked, and denominated "_Priest_," is laid upon
the second. Upon this again a large dish is placed, and in this dish is
a shank bone of a shoulder of lamb, with a small matter of meat on it,
which is burnt quite brown on the fire. This is instead of the lamb
roasted with fire. Near this is an egg, roasted hard in hot ashes, that
it may not be broken, to express the totality of the lamb. There is also
placed on the table a small quantity of raw charvil instead of the
bitter herbs ordered; also a cup with salt water, in remembrance of the
sea crossed over after that repast; also a stick of horse radish with
its green top to it, to represent the bitter labour that made the eyes
of their ancestors water in slavery; and a couple of round balls, made
of bitter almonds pounded with apples, to represent their labour in lime
and brinks. The seat or couch of the master is prepared at the head of
the table, and raised with pillows, to represent the masterly authority
of which the Jews were deprived in bondage. The meanest of the servants
are seated at the table for two nights with their masters, mistresses,
and superiors, to denote that they were all equally slaves in Egypt, and
that all ought to give the same ceremonial thanks for their redemption.
Cups also are prepared for the wine, of which each person must drink
four in the course of the ceremony. One cup extraordinary is set on the
table for Elias, which is drank by the youngest in his stead.

All things having been thus prepared, the guests wash their hands, and
seat themselves at table. The master of the family, soon after this,
_takes his cup of wine in his right hand_, and the rest at the table
doing the same, he says, together with all the others, "Blessed art
thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who hast created the fruit
of the vine." This is followed by a. thanksgiving for the institution of
the passover. _Then the cup of wine is drank by all_. Afterwards the
master of the family says, "Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, King of
the Universe, who hast sanctified us with thy commandments, and
commanded us to cleanse our hands."

Then the master of the family desires the guests to partake of the
charvil dipped in salt water, which he gives them with an appropriate
blessing. He makes them touch also the dish, containing the egg and
shank bone of the lamb, and repeat with him a formula of words suited to
the subject. He then takes _the second cup of wine_, and uses words in
conjunction with the rest, expressive of the great difference between
this and any other night. After this, copious remarks follow on the
institution of the passover. Then follow queries and answers of the
rabbis on this subject: then historical accounts of the Jews: then the
fifteen acts of the goodness of God to the Jewish nation, which they
make out thus:--He led the Jews out of Egypt: he punished the Egyptians:
he executed judgment on their gods: he slew their first-born: he gave
the Jews wealth: he divided the sea for them: he made them pass through
it as on dry land: he drowned the Egyptians in the same: he gave food to
the Jews for forty years in the wilderness; he fed them with manna: he
gave them the sabbath: he brought them to Mount Sinai: he gave them the
law: he brought them to the Laud of Promise: he built the Temple.

When these acts of the goodness of God, with additional remarks on the
passover out of Rabbi Gamaliel, have been recited, all the guests touch
the dish which contains the three cakes of bread before mentioned, and
say: "This sort of unleavened bread, which we eat, is because there was
not sufficient time for the dough of our ancestors to rise, until the
blessed Lord, the King of Kings, did reveal himself to redeem them, as
it is written. And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough, which they
brought forth out of Egypt; for it was not leavened, because they were
thrust out of Egypt, and could not tarry; neither had they prepared for
themselves any victuals." After this they touch the horse-radish and
join in a narration on the subject of their bondage. Then they take
_their third cup of wine_, and pronounce a formula of adoration and
praise, accompanied with blessings and thanksgivings, in allusion to the
historical part of the passover. After this the master of the family
washes his hands and says, "Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, King of
the Universe, who hast sanctified us with thy Commandments, and
commanded us to cleanse our hands." He then breaks the _uppermost cake
of bread_ in the dish, and says, "Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, King
of the Universe, who hast brought forth bread from the earth." Then he
takes _half of another cake of bread, and breaks it_, and says, "Blessed
art thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who hast sanctified us
with thy commandments, and commanded us to eat the unleavened bread."
_Then he gives every one at the table of each of the two cakes of bread
that are broken_, and every one repeats audibly the two last blessings.
He then takes the green top from the horse-radish, and puts on the balls
before mentioned, and pronounces a blessing. He then puts these into the
hands of the guests, and they pronounce the same. After this, he cuts
the bottom cake, and puts a piece of it upon a piece of horse-radish,
and pronounces a formula of words, in allusion to an historical fact.

These ceremonies having been thus completed, the guests sup.

After supper, a long grace is said. Then the _fourth cup_ is filled. A
long prayer follows, on the subject of creation. This is again followed
by a hymn, enumerating and specifying the twelve wonders which God did
at midnight. Another hymn succeeds, specifying the fifteen great works
which God did at different times, both on the night, and on the day, of
the passover. Then follows a prayer in praise of God, in which a desire
is expressed, that they may again he brought to Jerusalem. Then follows
a blessing on the fourth cup which is taken; after which another hymn is
sung, in which the assistance of the Almighty is invoked for the
rebuilding of the temple. This hymn is followed by thirteen canticles,
enumerating thirteen remarkable things belonging to the Jews, soon after
which the ceremony ends.

This is the manner, or nearly the manner, in which the passover is now
celebrated by the Jews. The bread is still continued to be blessed, and
broken, and divided, and the cup to be blessed and handed round among
the guests. And this is done, whether they live in Asia, or in Europe,
or in any other part of the known world.


_Second Supper is that enjoined by Jesus at Capernaum--It consists of
bread from Heaven--or of the flesh and blood of Christ--But these not of
a material nature, like the passover-bread, or corporeal part of
Jesus--but wholly of a spiritual--Those who receive it, are spiritually
nourished by it, and may be said to sup with Christ--This supper
supported the Patriarchs--and must be taken by all Christians--Various
ways in which this supper may be enjoyed_.

The second supper recorded in the scriptures, in which bread, and the
body, and blood of Christ, are mentioned, is that which was enjoined by
Jesus, when he addressed the multitude at Capernaum. Of this supper, the
following account may be given:

[183] "Labour not, says he to the multitude, for the meat which
perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which
the Son of Man shall give unto you."

[Footnote 183: John 6. 27.]

A little farther on, in the same chapter, when the Jews required a sign
from heaven, (such as when Moses gave their ancestors manna in the
wilderness,) in order that they might believe on him, he addressed them
thus: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread
from heaven: but my father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For
the bread of God is he that cometh down from heaven, and giveth light
unto the world."

Then said they unto him, "Lord, evermore give us this bread." And Jesus
said unto them, "I am the bread of life. He that cometh to me shall
never hunger; and he that believeth in me, shall never thirst."

It appears, that in the course of these and other words that were spoken
upon this occasion, the Jews took offence at Jesus Christ, because he
said, he was the bread that came down from heaven; for they knew he was
the son of Joseph, and they knew both his father and his mother. Jesus
therefore directed to them the following observations:

"I am the bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness,
and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a
man may eat thereof and not die. I am the living bread, which came down
from heaven. If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever. And
the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life
of the world." The Jews, therefore, strove among themselves, saying, How
can this man give us his flesh to eat? Then Jesus said unto them,
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye eat the flesh of the Son of
Man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whosoever eateth my
flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up
at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink
indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me,
and I in him. As the living father hath sent me, and I live by the
father, so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. This is that
bread that came down from heaven. Not as your fathers did eat manna, and
are dead. He that eateth of this bread, shall live forever."

As the Jews were still unable to comprehend the meaning of his words,
which they discovered by murmuring and pronouncing them to be hard
sayings, Jesus Christ closes his address to them in the following words:
"It is the spirit that quickeneth. The flesh profiteth nothing: the
words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life."

It appears from hence, according to the Quakers, that Jesus Christ, in
mentioning the loaves, took occasion to spiritualize, as he did on all
other fit occasions, and to direct the attention of his followers from
natural to spiritual food, or from the food that perisheth, to that
which giveth eternal life.

Jesus Christ calls himself upon this occasion the living bread. He says
that this bread is his flesh, and that this flesh is meat indeed. The
first conclusion which the Quakers deduce on this subject, is, that this
bread, or this flesh and blood, or this meat, which he recommends to his
followers, and which he also declares to be himself, is not of a
material nature. It is not, as he himself says, like the ordinary meat
that perisheth, nor like the outward manna, which the Jews ate in the
wilderness for their bodily refreshment. It cannot therefore be common
bread, nor such bread as the jews ate at their passover, nor any bread
or meat ordered to be eaten on any public occasion.

Neither can this flesh or this bread be, as some have imagined, the
material flesh or body of Jesus. For first, this latter body was born of
the virgin Mary; whereas the other is described as having come down from
heaven. Secondly, because, when the Jews said, "How can this man give us
his flesh?" Jesus replied, "It is the spirit that quickeneth. The flesh
profiteth nothing;" that is, material flesh and blood, such as mine is,
cannot profit any thing in the way of quickening; or cannot so profit as
to give life eternal. This is only the work of the spirit. And he adds,
"the words I have spoken to you, they are spirit, and they are life."

This bread then, or this body, is of a spiritual nature. It is of a
spiritual nature, because it not only giveth life, but preserveth from
death. Manna, on the other hand, supported the Israelites only for a
time, and they died. Common bread and flesh nourish the body for a time,
when it dies and perishes; but it is said of those who feed upon this
food, that they shall never die. This bread, or body, must be spiritual
again, because the bodies of men, according to their present
organization, cannot be kept for ever alive; but their souls may. But
the souls of men can receive no nourishment from ordinary meat and
drink, that they should be kept alive, but from that which is spiritual
only. It must be spiritual again, because Jesus Christ describes it as
having come down from heaven.

The last conclusion which the Quakers draw from the words of our Saviour
on this occasion, is, that a spiritual participation of the body and
blood of Christ is such an essential of Christianity, that no person who
does not partake of them, can be considered to be a Christian; "for
except a man eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, he has
no life in him."

The Quakers therefore believe, that this address of Jesus Christ to his
followers near Capernaum, relates wholly to the necessity of the souls
of men being fed and nourished by that food, which it is alone capable
of receiving, namely, that which is of a spiritual nature, and which
comes from above. This food is the spirit of God; or, in the language of
the Quakers, it is Christ. It is that celestial principle, which gives
life and light to as many as receive it and believe in it. It is that
spiritual principle, which was in the beginning of the world, and which
afterwards took flesh. And those who receive it, are spiritually
nourished by it, and may be said to sup with Christ; for he himself
says, [184] "Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my
voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him,
and he with me."

[Footnote 184: Rev. 3. 20.]

This supper which Jesus Christ enjoins, is that heavenly manna on which
the Patriarchs feasted, before his appearance in the flesh, and by which
their inward man became nourished; so that some of them were said to
have walked with God; for those, according to St. Paul, [185] "did all
eat the same spiritual meat, and did all drink the same spiritual drink;
for they drank of that spiritual rock that followed them, and that rock
was Christ."

[Footnote 185: 1 Cor. 10.3.4.]

This supper is also that "daily bread," since his appearance in the
flesh; or, as the old Latin translation has it, it is that
supersubstantial bread, which Christians are desired to pray for in the
Lord's prayer; that bread, which, according to good commentators, is
above all substance, and above all created things. For this bread fills
and satisfies. By extinguishing all carnal desires, it leaves neither
hunger nor thirst after worldly things. It redeems from the pollutions
of sin. It so quickens as to raise from death to life, and it gives
therefore to man a sort of new and divine nature, so that he can dwell
in Christ and Christ in him.

This supper, which consists of this manna, or bread, or of this flesh
and blood, may be enjoyed by Christians in various ways. It may be
enjoyed by them in pious meditations on the Divine Being, in which the
soul of man may have communion with the spirit of God, so that every
meditation may afford it a salutary supper, or a celestial feast. It may
be enjoyed by them when they wait upon God in silence, or retire into
the light of the Lord, and receive those divine impressions which
quicken and spiritualize the internal man. It may be enjoyed by them in
all their several acts of obedience to the words and doctrines of our
Saviour. Thus may men everyday, nay, every hour, keep a communion at the
Lord's table, or communicate, or sup, with Christ.


_The question then is, whether Jesus Christ instituted any new supper,
distinct from that of the passover, (and which was to render null and
void that enjoined at Capernaum) to be observed as a ceremonial by
Christians--Quakers say, that no such institution can be collected from
the accounts of Matthew, or of Mark, or of John--The silence of the
latter peculiarly impressive in the present case._

It appears then, that there are two suppers recorded in the scriptures,
the one enjoined by Moses, and the other by Jesus Christ.

The first of these was of a ceremonial nature, and was confined
exclusively to the Jews: for to Gentile converts who knew nothing of
Moses, or whose ancestors were not concerned in the deliverance from
Egyptian bondage, it could have had no meaning.

The latter was of a spiritual nature. It was not limited to any nation.
It had been enjoyed by many of the Patriarchs. Many of the Gentiles had
enjoyed it also. But it was essentially necessary for all Christians.

Now the question is, whether Jesus Christ, when he celebrated the
passover, instituted any new supper, distinct from that of the
passover, and which was to render null, and void, (as it is the tendency
of ceremonies to do) that which he enjoined at Capernaum, to be observed
as an ordinance by the Christian world.

The Quakers are of opinion that no institution of this kind can be
collected from Matthew, Mark, or John. [186]St. Matthew mentions the
celebration of the passover supper in the following manner: "And as they
were eating, Jesus took bread and blessed it, and brake it, and gave to
his disciples, and said, take, eat, this is my body."

[Footnote 186: Mat. 26. 26.]

"And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying,
drink ye all of it."

"For this is my blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for
the remission of sins."

"But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of the fruit of the
vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my father's

St. Mark gives an account so similar to the former, that it is
unnecessary to transcribe it. Both mention the administration of the
cup; both the breaking and giving of the bread; both the allusion of
Jesus to his own body and blood; both the idea of his not drinking wine
any more but in a new kingdom; but neither of them mention any command,
nor even any insinuation by Jesus Christ to his disciples, that they
should do as he did at the passover supper.

St. John, who relates the circumstance of Jesus Christ washing the feet
of his disciples on the passover night, mentions nothing even of the
breaking of bread, or of the drinking of the wine upon that occasion.

As far therefore as the Evangelists Matthew, Mark, and John, are
concerned, it is obvious, in the opinion of the Quakers, that Christians
have not the least pretence, either for the celebration of the passover,
or of that which they usually call the Lord's Supper; for the command
for such a supper is usually grounded on the words, "do this in
remembrance of me." But no such words occur in the accounts of any of
the Evangelists now cited.

This silence with respect to any command for any new institution is
considered by the Quakers as a proof, as far as these Evangelists are
concerned, that none was ever intended. For if the sacrament of the
supper was to be such a great and essential rite as Christians make it,
they would have been deficient in their duty, if they had failed to
record it. St. Matthew, who was at the supper, and St. Mark, who heard
of what had passed there, both agree that Jesus used the ceremony of the
bread and the wine, and also that he made an allusion from thence to his
own body and blood; but it is clear, the Quakers say, whatever they
might have heard as spoken by him, they did not understand him as
enjoining a new thing. But the silence of John, upon this occasion, the
Quakers consider as the most impressive in the present case. For St.
John was the disciple, who leaned upon the bosom of Jesus at this
festival, and who of course must have heard all that he said. He was
the disciple again, whom Jesus loved, and who would have been anxious to
have perpetuated all that he required to be done. He was the disciple
again, who so particularly related the spiritual supper which Jesus
enjoined at Capernaum, and in this strong language, that, "except a man
eat his flesh, and drink his blood, he has no life in him."
Notwithstanding this, St. John does not even mention what took place on
the passover night, believing, as the Quakers suppose, that it was not
necessary to record the particulars of a Jewish ceremony, which, being a
type, was to end when its antitype was realized, and which he considered
to be unnecessary for those of the Christian name.


_Account of St. Luke examined--According to him Jesus celebrated only
the old Jewish passover--Signified all future passovers with him were to
be spiritual--Hence he turned the attention of those present from the
type to the antitype--He recommended them to take their meals
occasionally together in remembrance of their last supper with him; or
if, as Jews, they could not relinquish the passover, to celebrate it
with a new meaning._

St. Luke, who speaks of the transactions which took place at the
passover-supper, is the only one of the Evangelists who records the
remarkable words, "do this in remembrance of me." St. Luke, however,
was not himself at this supper. Whatever he has related concerning it,
was from the report of others.

But though the Quakers are aware of this circumstance, and that neither
Matthew, Mark, nor John, give an account of such words, yet they do not
question the authority of St. Luke concerning them. They admit them, on
the other hand, to have been spoken; they believe however, on an
examination of the whole of the narrative of St. Luke upon this
occasion, that no new institution of a religious nature was intended.
They believe that Jesus Christ did nothing more than celebrate the old
passover; that he intimated to his disciples, at the time he celebrated
it, that it was to cease; that he advised them, however, to take their
meals occasionally, in a friendly manner, together, in remembrance of
him; or if, as Jews, they could not all at once relinquish the passover,
he permitted them to celebrate it with a new meaning.

In the first place St. Luke, and he is joined by all the other
Evangelists, calls the feast now spoken of the passover. Jesus Christ
also gives it the same name; for he says, "with desire I have desired to
eat this passover with you before I suffer."

Jesus Christ, according to St. Luke, took bread and broke it, and
divided it among his disciples. He also took the cup, and gave thanks,
and gave it among them. But this, the Quakers say, is no more than what
the master of every Jewish family did on the passover night: nor, is it
any more, as will have already appeared, than what the Jews of London,
or of Paris, or of Amsterdam, or of any other place, where bread and
wine are to be had, do on the same feast at the present day.

But though Jesus Christ conducted himself so far as other masters of
families did, yet he departed from the formula of words that was
generally used upon these occasions. For in the first place, he is
described to have said to his disciples, that "he would no more eat of
the passover, until it should be fulfilled in the kingdom of God;" and a
little farther on, that "he would not drink of the fruit of the vine,
till the kingdom of God should come; or, as St. Matthew has it, till he
should drink it new with them in his father's kingdom."

By these words the Quakers understand, that it was the intention of
Jesus Christ to turn the attention of his disciples from the type to the
antitype, or from the paschal lamb to the lamb of God, which was soon to
be offered for them. He declared, that all his passover suppers with
them were in future to be spiritual. Such spiritual passovers, the
Quakers say, he afterwards ate with them on the day of pentecost, when
the spirit of God came upon them; when their minds were opened, and when
they discovered, for the first time, the nature of his kingdom. And
these spiritual passovers he has since eaten, and continues to eat with
all those whose minds, detached from worldly pursuits and connexions,
are so purified and spiritualized, as to be able to hold communion with

It is reported of him next, that "he took bread, and gave thanks, and
brake it, and gave to his disciples, saying, this is my body which is
given for you."

On these words the Quakers make the following observations:--The word
"this" does not belong to the word "bread," that is, it does not mean
that this bread is my body. For the word "bread" in the original Greek
is of the masculine, and the word "this" is of the neuter gender. But it
alludes to the action of the breaking of the bread, from which the
following new meaning will result. "This breaking of the bread, which
you now see me perform, is a symbol or representation of the giving, or
as St. Paul has it, of the breaking of my body for you."

In the same manner, the Quakers say, that the giving of the wine in the
cup is to be understood as a symbol or representation of the giving of
his blood for them.

The Quakers therefore are of opinion, when they consider the meaning of
the sayings of Jesus Christ both with respect to the bread and to the
wine, that he endeavoured again to turn the attention of his disciples
from the type to the antitype; from the bread and wine to his own body
and blood; from the paschal lamb that had been slain and eaten, to the
lamb that was going to be sacrificed; and as the blood of the latter
was, according to St. Matthew, for the remission of sins, to turn their
attention from the ancient object of the celebration of the passover, or
salvation from Egyptian bondage, to a new object, or the salvation of
themselves and others by this new sacrifice of himself.

It is reported of him again by St. Luke, after he had distributed the
bread and said, "this is my body which is given for you," that he added,
"this do in remembrance of me."

These words the Quakers believe to have no reference to any new
institution; but they contain a recommendation to his disciples to meet
in a friendly manner, and break their bread together, in remembrance of
their last supper with him, or if as Jews, they could not all at once
leave off the custom of the passover, in which they had been born and
educated as a religious ceremony, to celebrate it, as he had then
modified and spiritualized it, with a new meaning.

If they relate to the breaking of their bread together, then they do not
relate to any passover or sacramental eating, but only to that of their
common meals; for all the passovers of Jesus Christ with his disciples
were in future to be spiritual. And in this sense the primitive
Christians seem to have understood the words in question. For in their
religious zeal they sold all their goods, and, by means of the produce
of their joint stock, they kept a common table, and lived together. But
in process of time, as this custom from various causes declined, they
met at each other's houses, or at their appointed places, to break their
bread together, in memorial of the passover-supper. This custom, it is
remarkable, was denominated the custom of _breaking of bread_. Nor could
it have had any other name so proper, if the narration of St. Luke be
true. For the words "do this in remembrance of me," relate solely, as he
has placed them, to the breaking of the bread. They were used after the
distribution of the bread, but were not repeated after the giving of the

If they relate, on the other hand, to the celebration of the passover,
as it had been modified and spiritualized with a new meaning, then the
interpretation of them will stand thus: "As some of you, my disciples,
for ye are all Jews, may not be able to get over all your prejudices at
once, but may celebrate the passover again, and as it is the last time
that I shall celebrate it with you, as a ceremonial, I desire you to do
it in remembrance, or as a memorial of me. I wish the celebration of it
always to bring to your recollection this our last public meeting, the
love I bear to you, and my sufferings and my death. I wish your minds to
be turned from carnal to spiritual benefits, and to be raised to more
important themes than the mere escape of your ancestors from Egyptian
bondage. If it has been hitherto the object of the passover to preserve
in your memories the bodily salvation of your ancestors, let it be used
in future, if you cannot forsake it, as a memorial of your own spiritual
salvation; for my body, of which the bread is a representation, is to be
broken, and my blood, of which the wine is an emblem, is to be shed for
the remission of your sins."

But in whatever sense the words "do this in remembrance of me" are to be
taken, the Quakers are of opinion, as far as St. Luke states the
circumstances, that they related solely to the disciples themselves.
Jesus Christ recommends it to those who were present, and to those only,
to do this in remembrance of him. But he no where tells them to order or
cause it to be done by the whole Christian world, as he told them to
"preach the Gospel to every creature."

To sum up the whole of what has been said in this chapter:--If we
consult St. Luke, and St. Luke only, all that we can collect on this
subject will be, that the future passover-suppers of Christ with his
disciples were to be spiritual; that his disciples were desired to break
their bread together in remembrance of him; or if, as Jews, they could
not relinquish the passover, to celebrate it with a new meaning; but
that this permission extended to those only who were present on that


_Account of St. Paul--He states that the words "do this in remembrance
of me" were used at the passover-supper--That they contained a
permission for a custom, in which both the bread and the wine were
included--That this custom was the passover, spiritualised by Jesus
Christ--But that it was to last but for a time--Some conjecture this
time to be the destruction of Jerusalem--But the Quakers, till the
disciples had attained such a spiritual growth, that they felt Christ's
kingdom substantially in their hearts--And as it was thus limited to
them, so it was limited to such Jewish converts as might have adopted it
in their times._

The last of the sacred writers, who mentions the celebration of the
passover-supper, is St. Paul, whose account is now to be examined.

St. Paul, in his first epistle to the Corinthians, reproves[187] the
latter for some irregularities committed by them in the course of their
religious meetings. What these meetings were is uncertain. They might
have been for the celebration of the passover-supper, for there was a
synagogue of Jews at Corinth, of whom some had been converted. Or they
might have been for the celebration of the passover as spiritualized by
Jesus Christ, or for the breaking of bread, which customs both the
Jewish and Gentile converts might have adopted. The custom, however, at
which these irregularities took place, is called by St. Paul, the Lord's
Supper. And this title was not inapplicable to it in either of the cases
supposed, because it must have been, in either of them, in
commemoration of the last supper, which Jesus Christ, or the Lord and
Master, ate with his disciples before he suffered.

[Footnote 187: Chap. 11.]

But whichever ceremonial it was that St. Paul alluded to, the
circumstances of the irregularities of the Corinthians, obliged him to
advert to and explain what was said and done by Jesus on the night of
the passover-supper. This explanation of the Apostle has thrown new
light upon the subject, and has induced the Quakers to believe, that no
new institution was intended to take place as a ceremonial to be
observed by the Christian world.

St. Paul, in his account of what occurred at the original passover,
reports that Jesus Christ made use of the words "this do in remembrance
of me." By this the Quakers understand that he permitted something to be
done by those who were present at this supper.

He reports also, that Jesus Christ used these words, not only after the
breaking of the bread, but after the giving of the cup: from whence they
conclude, that St. Paul considered both the bread and the wine, as
belonging to that which had been permitted.

St. Paul also says, "for as often as ye eat this bread and drink this
cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come." By these words they
believe they discover two things; first, the nature of the thing
permitted; and, secondly, that the thing permitted, whatever it was, was
to last but for a time.

The thing then, which was permitted to those who were present at the
passover-supper, was to show or declare his death. The words "show or
declare," prove, in the first place, the connexion of the thing
permitted with the Jewish passover. For after certain ceremonies had
been performed on the passover night, "the showing forth or
declaration," as it was called, followed; or the object of the meeting
was declared aloud to the persons present, or it was declared to them
publicly in what particulars the passover feast differed from all the
other feasts of the Jews. Secondly, the word "death" proves the thing
permitted to have been the passover, as spiritualized by Jesus Christ;
for by the new modification of it, his disciples, if they were unable to
overcome their prejudices, were to turn their attention from the type to
the antitype, or from the sacrifice of the paschal lamb to the sacrifice
of himself, or to his own sufferings and death. In short, Jesus Christ
always attempted to reform by spiritualizing. When the Jews followed him
for the loaves, and mentioned manna, he tried to turn their attention
from material to spiritual bread. When he sat upon Jacob's well, and
discoursed with the woman of Samaria, he directed her attention from
ordinary, or elementary to spiritual and living water. So he did upon
this occasion. He gave life to the dead letter of an old ceremony by a
new meaning. His disciples were from henceforth to turn their attention,
if they chose to celebrate the passover, from the paschal lamb to
himself, and from the deliverance of their ancestors out of Egyptian
bondage to the deliverance of themselves and others, by the giving up of
his own body and the shedding of his own blood for the remission of

And as the thing permitted was the passover, spiritualized in this
manner, so it was only permitted for a time, or "until he come."

By the words "until he come," it is usually understood, until Christ
come. But though Christians have agreed upon this, they have disagreed
as to the length of time which the words may mean. Some have understood
that Jesus Christ intended this spiritualized passover to continue for
ever as an ordinance of his church, for that "till he come" must refer
to his coming to judge the world. But it has been replied to these, that
in this case no limitation had been necessary, or it would have been
said at once, that it was to be a perpetual ordinance, or expressed in
plainer terms, than in the words in question.

Others have understood the words to mean the end of the typical world,
which happened on the destruction of Jerusalem, when the Jews were
dispersed, and their church, as a national one, done away. For the
coming of Christ and the end of the world have been considered as
taking place at the same time. Thus the early Christians believed, that
Jesus Christ, even after his death and resurrection, would come again,
even in their own life time, and that the end of the world would then
be. These events they coupled in their minds; "for[188] they asked him
privately, saying, tell us when these things shall be, and what shall be
the sign of thy coming and of the end of the world?" Jesus told them in
reply, that the end of the world and his coming would be, when there
were wars, and rumours of wars, and earthquakes, and famine, and
pestilence, and tribulations on the earth; and that these calamities
would happen even before the generation, then alive, would pass away.
Now all these things actually happened in the same generation; for they
happened at the destruction of Jerusalem. Jesus Christ therefore meant
by the end of the world, the end of the Jewish world, or of the world of
types, figures, and ordinances: and he coupled naturally his own coming
with this event, because he could not come fully into the hearts of any,
till these externals were done away. He alluded, in short, to the end of
the Jewish dispensation and the beginning of his own spiritual kingdom,
or to the end of the ceremonial and the beginning of the Gospel world.

[Footnote 188: Matt. 24.]

Those therefore who interpret the words "till he come" to mean the end
of the typical world, are of opinion that the passover, as spiritualized
by Jesus Christ, was allowed to the disciples, while they lived among a
people, so wedded to religious ceremonies as the Jews, with whom it
would have been a stumbling block in the way of their conversion, if
they had seen the Apostles, who were their countrymen, rejecting it all
at once; but that it was permitted, them, till the destruction of
Jerusalem, after which event the Jews being annihilated as a nation, and
being dispersed and mixed among the infinitely greater body of the
Gentiles, the custom was to be laid aside, as the disuse of it could not
be then prejudicial to the propagation of the Gospel among the community
at large.

The Quakers, however, understand the words "till he come," to mean
simply the coming of Christ substantially in the heart. Giving the words
this meaning, they limit the duration of the spiritualized passover, but
do not specify the time. It might have ceased with some of them, they
say, on the day of pentecost, when they began to discover the nature of
Christ's kingdom; and they think it probable, that it ceased with all of
them, when they found this kingdom realized in their hearts. For it is
remarkable that those, who became Gospel writers, and it is to be
presumed that they had attained great spiritual growth when they wrote
their respective works, give no instructions to others, whether Jews or
Gentiles, to observe the ceremonial permitted to the disciples by Jesus,
as any ordinance of the Christian church. And in the same manner as the
Quakers conceive the duration of the spiritualized passover to have been
limited to the disciples, they conceive it to have been limited to all
other Jewish converts, who might have adopted it in those times, that
is, till they should find by the substantial enjoyment of Christ in
their hearts, that ceremonial ordinances belonged to the old, but that
they were not constituent parts of the new kingdom.


_Quakers believe, from the preceding evidence, that Jesus Christ
intended no ceremonial for the Christian church--for if the custom
enjoined was the passover spiritualized, it was more suitable for Jews
than Gentiles--If intended as a ceremonial, it would have been commanded
by Jesus to others besides his disciples, and by these to the Christian
world--and its duration would not have been limited--Quakers believe St.
Paul thought it no Christian ordinance--three reasons taken from his
own writings on this subject._

The Quakers then, on an examination of the preceding evidence, are of
opinion that Jesus Christ, at the passover-supper, never intended to
institute any new supper, distinct from that of the passover, or from
that enjoined at Capernaum, to be observed as a ceremonial by

For, in the first place, St. Matthew, who was at the supper, makes no
mention of the words "do this in remembrance of me."

Neither are these words, nor any of a similar import, recorded by St.
Mark. It is true indeed that St. Mark was not at this supper. But it is
clear he never understood from those who were, either that they were
spoken, or that they bore this meaning, or he would have inserted them
in his Gospel.

Nor is any mention made of such words by St. John. This was the beloved
disciple who was more intimate with Jesus, and who knew more of the mind
of his master, than any of the others. This was he who leaned upon his
bosom at the passover-supper, and who must have been so near him as to
have heard all that passed there. And. yet this disciple did not think
it worth his while, except manuscripts have been mutilated, to mention
even the bread and wine that were used upon this occasion.

Neither does St. Luke, who mentions the words "do this in remembrance of
me," establish any thing, in the opinion of the Quakers, material on
this point. For it appears from him that Jesus, to make the most of his
words, only spiritualized the old passover for his disciples, all of
whom were Jews, but that he gave no command with respect to the
observance of it by others. Neither does St. Luke himself enjoin or call
upon others to observe it.

St. Paul speaks nearly the same language as St. Luke, but with this
difference, that the supper, as thus spiritualised by Jesus, was to last
but for a time.

Now the Quakers are of opinion, that they have not sufficient ground to
believe from these authorities, that Jesus intended to establish any
ceremonial as an universal ordinance for the Christian church. For if
the custom enjoined was the spiritualized passover, it was better
calculated for Jews than for Gentiles, who were neither interested in
the motives nor acquainted with the customs of that feast. But it is of
little importance, they contend, whether it was the spiritualized
passover or not; for if Jesus Christ had intended it, whatever it was,
as an essential of his new religion, he would have commanded his
disciples to enjoin it as a Christian duty, and the disciples themselves
would have handed it down to their several converts in the same light.
But no injunction to this effect, either of Jesus to others, or of
themselves to others, is to be found in any of their writings. Add to
this, that the limitation of its duration for a time, seems a sufficient
argument against it as a Christian ordinance, because whatever is once,
most be for ever, an essential in the Christian church.

The Quakers believe, as a farther argument in their favour, that there
is reason to presume that St. Paul never looked upon the spiritualised
passover as any permanent and essential rite, which Christians were
enjoined to follow. For nothing can be more clear than that, when
speaking of the guilt and hazard of judging one another by meats and
drinks, he states it as a general and fundamental doctrine of
Christianity, that [189] "the kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but
righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost."

[Footnote 189: Romans 14. 17.]

It seems also by the mode of reasoning which the Apostle adopts in his
epistle to the Corinthians on this subject, that he had no other idea of
the observance of this rite, than he had of the observance of particular
days, namely, that if men thought they were bound in conscience to keep
them, they ought to keep them religiously. "He that regardeth a day,
says the Apostle, regardeth it to the Lord." That is, "as he that
esteemed a day, says Barclay, and placed conscience in keeping it, was
to regard it to the Lord, (and so it was to him, in so far as he
regarded it to the Lord, the Lord's day,) he was to do it worthily: and
if he were to do it unworthily, he would be guilty of the Lord's day,
and so keep it to his own condemnation." Just in the same manner St.
Paul tells the Corinthian Jews, that if they observed the ceremonial of
the passover, or rather, "as often as they observed it," they were to
observe it worthily, and make it a religious act. They were not then
come together to make merry on the anniversary of the deliverance of
their ancestors from Egyptian bondage, but to meet in memorial of
Christ's sufferings and death. And therefore, if they ate and drank the
passover, under its new and high allusions, unworthily, they profaned
the ceremony, and were guilty of the body and blood of Christ.

It appears also from the Syriac, and other oriental versions of the New
Testament, such as the Arabic and Ethiopic, as if he only permitted the
celebration of the spiritualized passover for a time in condescension to
the weakness of some of his converts, who were probably from the Jewish
synagogue at Corinth. For in the seventeenth verse of the eleventh
chapter of his first epistle to the Corinthians, the Syriac runs thus:
[190] "As to that, concerning which I am now instructing you, I commend
you not, because you have not gone forward, but you have gone down into
matters of less importance." "It appears from hence, says Barclay, that,
the Apostle was grieved, that such was their condition that he was
forced to give them instruction concerning these outward things, and
doting upon which they showed that they were not gone forward in the
life of Christianity, but rather sticking in the beggarly elements; and
therefore the twentieth verse of the same version has it thus:
[191]'When then ye meet together, ye do not do it as it is just ye
should in the day of the Lord; ye eat and drink.' Therefore showing to
them, that to meet together to eat and drink outward bread and wine, was
not the labour and work of that day of the Lord."

[Footnote 190: The Syriac is a very ancient version, and as respectable
or of as high authority as any. Leusden and Schaaf translate the Syriac
thus: "Hoc autem, quod praecipio, non tanquam laudo vos, quia non
progressi estis, sed ad id, quod minus est, descendistis." Compare this
with the English edition.]

[Footnote 191: Quum igitur congregamini, non sicut justum est die domini
nostri, comeditis et bibites. Leusden et Schaaf lordoni butavorum.]

Upon the whole, in whatever light the Quakers view the subject before
us, they cannot _persuade_ themselves that Jesus Christ intended to
establish any new _ceremonial_, distinct from the passover-supper, or
which should render null and void, (as it would be the tendency of all
ceremonials to do) the supper which he had before commanded at
Capernaum. The only supper which he ever enjoined to Christians, was the
latter. This spiritual supper was to be eternal and universal. For he
was always to be present with those "who would let him in, and they were
to sup with him, and he with them." It was also to be obligatory, or an
essential, with all Christians. "For except a man were to eat his flesh,
and to drink his blood, he was to have no life in him." The supper, on
the other hand, which our Saviour is supposed to have instituted on the
celebration of the passover, was not enjoined by him to any but the
disciples present. And it was, according to the confession of St. Paul,
to last only for a time. This time is universally agreed upon to be that
of the coming of Christ. That is, the duration of the spiritualized
passover was to be only till those to whom it had been recommended, had
arrived at a state of religious manhood, or till they could enjoy the
supper which Jesus Christ had commanded at Capernaum; after which
repast, the Quakers believe they would consider all others as empty, and
as not having the proper life and nourishment in them, and as of a kind
not to harmonize with the spiritual nature of the Christian religion.


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