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preventing his departure therefrom when he is older, we think it a very important duty early to instruct our children in those principles which we believe are founded in the truth; and therefore, acknowledge them as members that they may enjoy the privileges of society, and the benefit of pious instruction and, thus, as attending our meetings of discipline, where there arise often cummunications both moral and religious, is one means of conveying this instruction, we think it right our children should enjoy the advan tage of it. And having found great benefit hath resulted to many of our young people from this practice, we are induced to continue it believing it is a means of preserving them from evil.
I come now to his summoning up the contents of what he calls "Errors of the Quakers," in which, he employs near ten pages. In these, he appears to have exerted his faculties in declamation, ridicule, and invective.
I shall quote only a small part as a specimen; from whence the reader may form a judgment of its general tenor.
Pages 46 and 47, "O! what a lamenta tion ought every honest man to make for the dying and dead souls that are amongst
66. us ! the
Here is a high charge; without one word of proof. He proceeds, "They rob God of "the sabbath which he has claimed for his 66 own, and reject that form of godliness in"stituted by our Lord Jesus Christ. It "cannot be said the Quakers have either the "form, or the power of godliness: It is true "they have a form, but what is it? It is not "of Christ? It is not of God? It is contra66 ry to the old and new testament: From "whom did they receive it? From George "Fox; and he says he had it by special
command from God, but he has not pro"ved it. O ye that believe there is a God, "and believe ye have souls; would ye re"ject Christ's ordinances for those of "George Fox? would ye renounce the "Scriptures as the word of God, for the "writings of a Fox, Barclay, Penn, or "Scott?"
High charges again; but no attempt to prove them
In page 51, he says, "They also use de(6 ceit, professing charity for other denom❝inations, when they have none;" page 52, "Were people to observe them as closely as they do other sinners, they would find "them as bold violators of the fourth com"mandment as the murderer is of the sixth, "or the adulterer is of the seventh, or the "thief of the eighth. Now if murderers, "adulterers, and thieves get to heaven, "then violators of the sabbath will get "there too. But if there be a God, and if "the Scripture is a revelation of God to 66 man, then the man that dies guilty of "murder or adultery, &c. must have his 66 part in the lake that burns with fire and "brimstone; so also the Quaker." &c. &c.
Is it possible this author is so vain as to imagine, that he can terrify or shake us, by thus pouring forth his anathemas? We humbly trust, that our principles are grounded upon that rock against which, even "the gates of hell shall not prevail."n
On the remainder of his railing, such as comparing us to the pharisees; having ne
Mat, xvi. 18.
charity for others, &c. I shall make no other remarks, than that I cannot believe it was written according to the will of God, or dictated by his spirit. And, I conceive, the foregoing specimens must evince to any ju dicious reader, not only the uncharitableness, but also the unmercifulness of his disposition; for, what could more fully discover it, than thus to upbraid and censure, not only the living, but also the dead. Were we delivered over to his tribunal, we must doubtless be plunged together into a state of perdition. But great cause have we for thankfulness, in feeling an unshaken belief, that we are still under the protecting care of a gracious God, whose compassions fail not, but his mercies are new every morning therefore, we are not terrified with his anathemas, nor moved with the feigned lamentations which he has taken up for
He has taken much pains to detract and villify the religious character of George Fox, whose body has been consigned to the dust more than one hundred years, and finally seems not satisfied without inevitably fixing him in a state of deception and perdition, as will appear by the following quotation from page 50. "He," (George Fox)
"saith he was never addicted to commit "those evils. Again, if he was in the state "of Adam before he fell, he could not die, "unless he committed a sin as Adam did; "of course George is still alive, else he "has committed sin, and if so, he is gone "to hell. The Quakers say, George Fox ❝ is dead. Could Adam have ever died if "he had not sinned? I answer, no-for by "sin came death. So then, George was « either deceived in his opinion of himself, "or he is not dead, and if dead, and not de"ceived, he is in Hell."
I think he has here advanced doctrine quite new, by affirming, that, if George Fox was not deceived in believing he had no sin, and is dead, he is gone to hell.
I have been taught to believe, that it is sin, and not being free from it, that finally centres man in a state of perdition.
Whether Adam could have ever died, if he had not sinned, I leave the reader to determine.
But, it was said to him: "In the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die," yet the Scripture account tells us, that he did not die till several hundred years after. Hence, I conclude, that the penalty annexed implied a more important_meaning