« הקודםהמשך »
senses and passions," this however is no tenet of the Quakers, “or," and a useful word this or is, “ such pleasure is to be so modified by reason and meditation, as to prevent its debasing and corrupting the mind." This latter alternative, which I believe no Friend will disclaim, is so much like what the apostle James calls, “to keep himself unspotted by the world,” that if the poor Quakers do but also 6 visit the widows and fatherless in their affliction," it will be hard for such as our author to deny, that they have arrived at the substance of true religion.
I have already testified my readiness to believe that the account of our society by Mosheim, fraught as it is with inaccuracy, may,nevertheless, not be intentionally malevolent. It is to be remembered that he lived at a distance from the places where the members of the society wbich he was describing had their abode; and his literary friends in England were, probably, such as were themselves but little acquainted with our principles. This I am warranted in supposing, from having frequently observed how little even some of our countrymen, with whom we daily converse, enter into an examination of our motives; which, as formerly they had the lot to be misrepresented and traduced, because our manners were dissimilar to those of the age, and novel ; so now these seem to have become too familiar, to excite much curiosity respecting the principles from which they arise. We are just considered as a good sort of people in the main, who refuse to fight, and to swear, and to pay tithes; and while the improved manners of the age allow that for these, and other singularities, we ought not to be molested, the public in general cares little further about us ; and seldom inquires a reason of the hope that is in us. But the excuses which I willingly seek for Mosheim, I cannot so readily find for his translator. It behooved him when he found in his author so distorted a portrait, to have inquired, to have seen, whether it were a true resemblance of the original; and not himself to have heightened the caricature. Let us begin with his note respecting the character of Fox, whom he labours to represent as a man of a turbulent spirit. The first part of the note gives an account of an anonymous defender of the Quakers, who had represented Fox as a meek, contented, easy, steady man. The testimony of this author, Maclaine rejects, because he supposes him to draw his account from
Penn, who was intimate with Fox; and from Ellwood, who had been in his company. Maclaine however chooses to refer us to Sewel, from whose history he selects three instances of Fox's opposition to Ministers in the public celebration of divine service, at Nottingham, Mansfield, and Market Bosworth.” I shall not stop long to inquire whether the sermon be a part of divine service; nor to admit that Fox frequently, in the early part of his career, did promulgate his doctrines in the public places for worship; but as the passages are short, shall lay the words of Sewel before my readers. The transactions are all of the year 1649, and may therefore easily be found in any edition of Sewel. Mine is the first English one, 1722. Nottingham
-he" went away to the steeple house, where the priest took for his text these words of the apostle Peter,' .We have a most,' probably a mistake for more,* sure word of prophecy, whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day-star arise in your hearts.' And he told the people that this was the scripture, by which they were to try all doctrines, religions, and opinions. G. Fox hearing this, felt such mighty power and godly zeal working in him that he was made to cry out, O! no, it is not the Scripture, but it is the Holy Spirit, by which the holy men of God gave forth the Scriptures, whereby opinions, religions, and judgments, are to be tried. That it was it, which led into all truth, and gave the knowledge thereof. For the Jews had the Scriptures, and yet resisted the Holy Ghost, and rejected Christ, the bright morning-star, and persecuted him and his apostles; though they took upon them to try their doctrine by the Scriptures; but they erred in judgment, and did not try them aright, because they did it without the Holy Ghost. He thus speaking, the officers came and took him away, and put him in a nasty stinking prison.” Before I proceed, I would just remark how little Mosheim, when he said that the modern Quakers misapprehend the doctrines of their ancestors, &c. (see his note at page 33,) would have thanked his translator for referring to this passage. Sewel adds that the sheriff who examined Fox, (was so little apprehensive of his turbulence, that he] took him to his own house from the common prison ; that he was so
* It seems by the way, not easy, in our translation, to find what constitutes the comparison, in this passage,
much affected with the interview, that he sent for a woman with whom he had traded, confessing that he had wronged her, and must make restitution; and that he and some others were moved to exhort the people to repentance. Such were the effects of Fox's declaration, whether turbulent or otherwise.'
The account Sewel gives of the transaction at Mansfield is this ; " Whilst G. Fox was in this place, he was moved to go to the steeple house, and declare there the truth to the priest and the people; which doing, the people fell on him, and struck him down, almost smothering him, for he was cruelly beaten and bruised with their hands, bibles, and sticks. Then they hauled him out, who was hardly able to stand, and put him into the stocks, where he sat some hours; and they having brought horsewhips, threatened to whip him. After some time they had him before the magistrates, at a knight's house ; who, seeing how ill he had been used, set bim at liberty, after much threatening. But the rude multitude stoned him out of the town.” Here was certainly turbulence; but I think the passage not well adduced to prove it upon Fox.
Respecting Market Bosworth, Sewel gives this short relation; “Coming into the public place of worship, he (G. F.) found Nathaniel Stephens preaching, who was priest of the town where G. Fox was born; here G. Fox taking occasion to speak, Stephens told the people he was mad, and that they should not hear him ; though he had said before to one colonel Purfoy, concerning him, that there was never such a plant bred in England. The people now being stirred up by the priest, fell upon G. Fox and his friends, and stoned them out of the town.”
PROPOSED TO BE ADDED TO THE REFUTATION OF MOSHEIM.
For a further historical correction of the account Mosheim has given of the Society, the inquiring reader may find in John Gough's History of the people called Quakers, London, printed 1789, a pretty full account of the difficulties occasioned by the defection and disownment of George Keith, by the Monthly Meeting of Philadelphia ; also the doings of the Yearly Meeting of London, Vol. iii. p. 333, 386, &c.
Also for the History of James Naylor's fall, treatment, recovery, and restoration to the Society, Vol. i. p. 236, &c. or to Joseph Gurney Beven's History of the Life of Naylor.
As Mosheim refers to the general, without saying what Dictionary, for the Life of Robert Barclay, the reader is referred to the account of that worthy man's life, published by William Penn and others, his contemporaries, at the beginning of the folio volume of his writings, 1692, comprised in about 40 pages.
As Mosheim refers to a German work for the life of Samuel Fisher, the English reader is referred to an interesting account of him, written by William Penn, annexed to a folio volume of Fisher's Works, printed 1679.
As mention is likewise made of Voltaire's four Letters concerning the Quakers, which composes a part of a splendid French work, the reader is referred to " a Letter from one of the people called Quakers to Francis de Voltaire," written for their correction, by Josiah Martin, London, second edition, 1742, in which are added, Interesting Extracts from a number of learned Writers, both ancient and modern, in support of the Truth and Friends.
For a correct account of the Faith of the people called Quakers, in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the reader is referred to Henry Tuke's Collection from the writings of Friends, ancient and modern, and from the Society ; London, printed 1801.
For a more correct and full account of the moral principles, &c. of the Society, than is given by Mosheim, the reader is referred to Thomas Clarkson's Portraiture of Quakerism, printed in London and New York, 1806.
* The above additional notes and references were sent for publication after the preceding and following matter was put in type, and in part printed, which prevented their being placed where they would have appeared to more advantage.
THE ARTICLE QUAKERS,
BY ANOTHER HAND.
the feelings of his wanting in his deject of all genu
The writer of these remarks, on a careful perusal of the history of the sect called Quakers, by Dr. Mosheim, was surprised to find his account of their principles and practices, in several particulars, so illy accord with the true character and principles of that society. And the result of further examination into their ancient history, has been a conviction that the learned author has not given the history of the Quakers with his usual accuracy, if indeed with his usual candour. An apprehension has hence arisen in the writer, that, as truth is the object of all genuine history, he would be wanting in his devotion thereto, and to the feelings of his own mind, without attempting to correct some of its errors.
The same principles oblige him to remark, in justice to the author, that having perused an exact and literal translation of this article from the original Latin, he is convinced that the translator bas used that liberty, which, in his preface, he says he has taken, of " adding a few sentences, to render an observation more striking, a fact more clear, a portrait more finished ;" but in such a way, however, in respect to the Quakers, as highly to aggravate the unfavourable account which the author himself had given; and that many of the most odious epithets, given the society in the translation, are not to be found in the original. As, for instance, George Fox and his friends, " strolling” and "running like bacchanals through the towns and villages," page 147, 148.
One cannot, without surprise and regret, observe our eminent author instancing, note, page 147, the conduct of Naylor; of the woman, wbo, he says, went naked into the chapel at Whitehall, and of the man who came to