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Religion. We have already mentioned the prevailing religious fects in this state. A particular account of some of their peculiar cuítoms and tenets will here be expected.
Of the great variety of religious denominations in Pennsylvania, the FRIENDS or QUAEERS are the most numerous. George Fox is called che Father of this religious sect, because he first collected them into a society in England, about the middle of the 17th century. The true ap. pellation of these people is Friends; that of QUAKERS was carly and unjuftly given them by way of contempt. They came over to America as early as 1656, buí were not indulged the free exercise of their religion in New-England *
They were the first settlers of Pennsylvania in 1682, under William Penn, and have ever since flourished in the free enjoyinent of their religion. They believe that God has given to all men fufficient light to work their salvation, unless it be refifted; that this light is as extenfive as the feed of sin, and saves those who have not the outward means of salvation; that this light is a divine principle, in which dwells God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. They maintain that the scriptures are not the principal ground of all truth and knowledge; nor yet the primary rule of faith and manners; but because they give a true tefti. niony of the firft foundation, they are and may be deemed a secondary rule, subordinate to the Spirit, from whom they derive all their excellence. They believe that ininiediate revelation has not cealed, but that a measure of the Spirit is given to every person. That as by the light or gift of God, all spiritual knowledge is received, those who have this gift, whether male or female, though without human commillion or learning, ought to preach ; and to preach freely, as they have freely received the gift. All true and acceptable worship of God, they maintain, is hy the inward and immediate moving of his Spirit; and that water baptism and the Lord's Supper were commanded only for a time.
They neither give titles, nor use compliments in their conversation or writings, believing that whatsoever is more than zea, yea, and nay, nay, cometh of evil. They conscientiously avoid, as unlawful, kneeling, bowing, or uncovering the head to any perfon. They discard all superfluities in dress or equipage; all games, sports, and plays, as unbecoming the christian. • Swear not at all' is an article of their creed, literally observed in its utmost extent. They believe it unlawful, to fight in any case whatever; and think that if their enemy smite them on the ore cheek, they ougbi to turn to bim the other aliot. They are generally honest, punctual, and even punétilious in their dealings; provident for the necellities of their poor; friends to humanity, and of course enemies to Navery ; Strict in their discipline; careful in the observance even of the punctilios in dress, speech and manners, which their religion enjoins ; faithful in
* See Hift. of Massachusetts and Connecticut.
+ During the late war, fome of their number, contrary to this article of their faith, thougbe it their duty to take up arms in defence of their country. This laid the foundation of a piedion from their brethrero, oni they now form a jeparate congregation in Philadelphia, by the name of the • Refilling or foghting Quakeri,