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toleration of opinion, which, at this time, on the continent of Europe is not admitted,—not even believed to be possible. They won that toleration by their kindness, their patience, an almost fabulous endurance, and an invincible charity ; but their services were not confined to this result. The Quakers first demanded * the emancipation of the slave; Penn lifted his voice against the traffic in slaves; the first Petition to Parliament against slavery came from the Quakers, and they first bound themselves to put it down. The Quaker, Clarkson, anticipated the labours of Wilberforce: in the Quakers, Wilberforce found his firmest friends; and their zeal, unabated by a century of effort, cheered and sustained Fowell Buxton. To the Quakers our prisons owe their improvement, and our criminal law its mitigation; they first taught us, by their benevolent example, how to cure the sorest of human diseases, and in their hands, cells, where lunacy had been goaded to frenzy, became merciful instruments of relief. In the Quaker, William Allen, we lost the fast friend of the education of the poor ; the Gurneys have set our merchants an example of princely beneficence, and, from the Quaker ranks, came that gentle visitant
* In the Quakers' yearly meeting in 1696 in America, in 1727 and 1760, in London, the Quakers excluded from their body all who partook of the traffic. The Quakers, Miffen in 1770, and David Barclay in 1785, emancipated their slaves. In 1769, the Quakers presented their first petition to Parliament.
of our crimes and sorrows, whose life in our prisons was, like Dante's angel-mission, a pathway of light through darkness.
We cannot therefore leave, without interest, a sect illustrated by so much virtue, and we can find it in our hearts to love even the dress and language, which recal so many passages of goodness.
Still we ought not to shrink from the moral of the Quaker history. They were, as a sect, earnest in their outset, strict in their aim and true; but they committed the great fault, of rejecting all provision for a Christian ministry, and those ordinances which present and perpe
Religion. They were subject therefore, from the first, to the license of unbridled imaginations, and they often mistook the dreams of a morbid fancy for the Revelation of truth. As they became more numerous and less earnest, other faults appeared. Then was felt the want of a ministry, set apart to rebuke worldliness, and of ordinances, which could withstand or expose error. The system depended on individuals; and inditidual impressions are wavering and transient. It was soon discovered that oddity of speech did not separate a man from the world, that a grey silk bonnet might envelope vanity, and a broad brim might cover selfish avarice. It appeared that singularity and piety were not synonymous, and that hatred of vice did not always accompany hatred of tythes. It was perceived that, after all, the best training for character is through the dis
charge of common duties, and that the best guarantees for religion are found in obedience to that Word, which directs us to the provision for a ministry, and to the ordinances of a Church.
I have derived my information from John Wesley's Works, 14 vols; from
the “ JOURNAL AND POETRY OF CHARLES WESLEY," 2 vols ; of John WESLEY,” by Rev. H. Moore, 2 vols ; “ LIFE OF CHARLES WESLEY,” by Jackson, 2 vols ; Watson's “ OBSERVATIONS ON SOUTHEY ; Watson's “ LIFE OF WESLEY ; ” Southey's “ LIFE OF WESLEY," 2 vols ; “ WESLEY AND METHODISM,” I. Taylor; Alexander Knox's “ REMAINS ; “ CENTENARY OF WESLEYAN METHODISM ;
“ REPORT OF WESLEYAN CENTENARY FUND; “ Philips' Life and TIMES OF GEORGE WHITFIELD.”