« הקודםהמשך »
for themselves; are durable monuments of their talents, as well as of their piety and religion; and even had they not received the encomiums of many of the first characters among other societies, would probably remain unshaken by the attacks of a host of enemies. It may be proper here, as an evidence of his prejudice, to point out an instance of the reluctance with which Maclaine partially accedes to the ingenious and candid testimony of Dr. Tillotson, in acquitiing Penn of the imputation of popery, to the reports of which he had at one time listened ; Maclaine says, “that the imputation of popery was groundless, appears from his correspondence with Dr. Tillotson ;" but adds, “it is nevertheless certain, he was very intimate with father Peters, the hotheaded Jesuit;" yet in the same correspondence Penn says to Dr. Tillotson, " for the Roman correspondence I will freely come to confession, I have pot oly no such thing with any Jesuit at Rome, though a protestant may have without offence, but I hold none with any Jesuit, priest, or regular in the world, of that communion, and that the doctor may see what a novice I am in that business, I know not one any where ;" to which Dr. Tillotson replies, 6, and I do now declare, with great joy that I am fully satisfied that there was no just grounds for thạt suspicion, and therefore I do heartily beg your pardon for it."* Thus have we the positive declaration of Penn, corroborated by the testiinony of Dr. Tillotson, to weigh against the ipse dixit of the translator, who quotes no authority, and who elsewhere affords sorrowful and abundant evidence of his disposition to defame the Quakers.
Dr. Mosheim has in several instances endeavoured to impress the reader with the idea that the ancient and modern Quakers were entirely different people, both in respect to their principles and conduct; this is the more worthy of notice, as it is an error not by any means peculiar to him ; but which in degree prevails very generally. We view the modern Quakers with our own proper vision, and through a medium cleared from the discolorations of that through which we view the ancient; and they appear to us a quiet, orderly, moral, and religious people; but in the accounts transmitted to us by their enemies, we view the ancient Quakers through a discoloured medium, a vis
* Penn's Works, vol. i. folio, London edition. 1726, p. 128, 129.
ion extremely acrimonious and tinged with bile, and they appear to us fanatic, turbulent, and riotous.
If we were to imagine to ourselves the modern Quakers, passing through our country as they actually do; seeking and conversing with sober inquirers, appointing meetings for religious worship, and if at the same time we were to imagine a mob of dissolute and enraged rabble at their heels, scoffing and beating them with sticks and stones to interrupt their meetings, without the least marks of violence or even defensive resistance to any on their part. If we imagine some unworthy ministers and magistrates rather instigating their fury, ihe latter sending them to prison, charged with the riots to which themselves had been accessory; the Quakers submitting to all with a patience unconquerable, yet pursuing their mission with undeviating perseverance, not to be paralleled in history since the days of the first promulgators of the Christian faith; we might then perhaps view a true picture of the ancient Quakers; their principles, their doctrine, and their manners being the same. For as we now see some of them whose manners, language, and address, is somewhat inore polished than that of others, the same was the case among their ancient friends, and owing to the same accidental circumstances of education, residence, and social intercourse.
Perhaps we have only one step more to advance, in order to obtain a pretty correct opinion of the ancient as well as modern Quakers; and that is, to overcome, through homage to the truth, a certain degree of self-interest which almost allmankind feel in the reputation of their forefathers. We feel a difficulty in believing that the ancient Quakers were such as we see the modern to be, lest a suspicion should arise, that some of our forefathers may not have been good Christians; but to make this the more easy, we ought to recollect that those who have employed themselves to manufacture and to transmit to posterity this bear's covering for the society, were comparatively but few; that many of our forefathers of superior grade for intelligence, for religion, and candour, viewed them as we view the Quakers now, and endeavoured to shield them from sufferings; that many more, though not distinguished by resisting the torrent of the times, yet treated them with charity and kindness; we might instance the learned and upright chief justice Hale, not to mention judge Fell, wboshielded them TOL. IV.
to the utmost his office as a dispenser of the law, would admit, and whose family united with the society. And what Episcopalian of the present day would choose to follow the comparatively narrow-minded Burnet, in preference to the far more enlightened, pious, intelligent, and discriminating Tillotson?
HISTORY, DOCTRINE, AND DISCIPLINE,
WRITTEN AT THE DESIRE OF
MEETING FOR SUFFERINGS IN LONDON,