Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

"fence thus: suppose the yearly meeting " in New-York wants some business done "with the yearly meeting in one of the "southern states, they will choose one or 66 more of their members and entrust them "with it. He is paid for doing business "and not for preaching, though he preaches 64 on his way.

V 66

:

Again, when the yearly meeting sends "out any one to preach; they first exam"ine him and make inquiry, as well as hear "him. Then they wait for the moving of "the divine spirit, so as to get divine ap"probation and if they are agreed, they "send him out to preach. He travels "through their connexion as is thought 66 proper, and attends the quarterly meet"ings and monthly meetings, preaching, "or holding silent meetings, as he thinks "best; and if there is any business, to be "done, he attends to so much of it as is con"sistent with his mission, and receives pay " for it, but not for preaching.

"This defence shews that they receive money, but not for preaching."

A person reading this statement of his, attended with such particular circumstances, and coming from one professing to speak only the truth, would naturally suppose there

was some foundation for it: but, I assure him, there is none. I have been trained up a member of this society from infancy; and have steadily attended our meetings for discipline. I have, therefore, had full opportunity of becoming acquainted, not only with our principles, but with the discipline and practice of our society in these particulars. I have known committees appointed by one yearly meeting, to attend another : and, frequently, committees have been appointed by our own yearly meeting, consisting of ministers and others, to visit our quarterly and monthly meetings, and on other concerns of society; in the course of which services, they often travel some hundreds of miles; but, never have I known a single instance, where a minister, or private member, hath received the least pecuniary compensation for such services; feeling an ample reward in having their minds replenished with that peace which arises from a consciousness of a faithful discharge of their respective duties.

These being facts, which I know to be truth, both by observation and experience, I see no cause for him to charge us with duplicity, as he does in page 45; but am forced to consider his bold and positive asser

tions to be mere surmises of his own. Like Tobiah and Sanballat of old, he has feigned them out of his own heart; for no such things as these are done amongst us."

Our yearly meetings never sent out any one to preach, as this author asserts. When our ministers travel in the exercise of their

gifts, it is from the impressions of religious duties in their own minds; they having previously opened their concern to their respective monthly meetings; (and, in very extensive prospects, to the quarterly meeting also) which, if they unite therewith, leave them at liberty to proceed therein.

In page 45, he says "While Quakers "support the poor of their own church, a "minister of their order in want, is sure to "have his wants supplied, because they are one class of their poor."

Can any reasonable man suppose, that while we believe it a christian duty to re-. lieve the necessities of the poor in membership with us, we should be so inconsistent as to suffer the indigent minister and his family to want needful supplies, merely because we believe him called to the ministry of the Gospel?

[ocr errors]

m Neh. vi. 8.

We feel equally interested for the necessitous amongst them, as for the rest of our poor; and, in the like manner, supply their wants, and not otherwise.

He proceeds, "For it is well known that "they are very careful not to to take any poor people that they think will become "chargeable, into their church; therefore "their preachers have a better supply.”

This is but his bare assertion, many of the poor, and of our own neighbours, knowing to the contrary. A considerable proportion of those, whose wants we supply, have been received at their request; and frequent instances have come within my own knowledge of indigent persons being received into membership with us, who have had assistance almost immediately rendered them; and which has been continued to this day; or through the remainder of their lives: for, we believe, that neither riches, nor poverty, ought to influence our judgment in the reception of members into religious society; but consider the worthiness of the person to be the only true criterion to judge of his fitness for membership.

In replying to these several allegations, I have remembered his assertion : "the "pamphlet does not contain any thing else

[ocr errors]

"but plain truth concerning the Quakers." As also, "The Lord called me to write "the Errors of the Quakers."

Page 45. In his 11th and last charge, as numbered in his original pamphlet, he says: "It is a general practice among the Qua"kers, to consider and receive their chil"dren in consequence of their birth, and "call them birthright members." And which practice, he infers, is sufficiently reprobated in Barclay's speaking of the errors of the ancient Christian Church, Apol. page 276, and 277; but which I do not allow. Let the reader examine Barclay for himself. He proceeds, page 46, "If they continue to

be Quakers, and to pursue their present "system of principle and form of making "their children members by birthright, "their vile, wicked, profane lives will pro"duce principles of Deism, if not of A"theism."

High charges, indeed, against a whole body of professing Christians.

But our experience hath not yet taught us, that our practice in this respect is an error; for, being fully persuaded of the propriety of our religious principles, and having no doubt but training up a child in the way he should go, is the most likely means of

« VorigeDoorgaan »