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believing as I do, that it is not in the power and wisdom of man to effect this, by all the coercive laws which can be enacted, nor by all the force of the arm of flesh. For nothing can destroy and put an end to sin and wickedness, but a principle in man of perfect righteousness and justice, and this adhered to by man in so full and complete a manner, as to have no fellowship or communion, either directly or indirectly with any acts of injustice or oppression. Hence, I believe, that if we, as a people, were faithful and obedient to this first principle of our profession, we should be led thereby to abstain from all kinds of commerce or dealings in the produce of our country or elsewhere, which we had cause to believe originated out of, or through the medium of, the labour of slaves, wrung from them and sold by their tyrannical masters. And I am well assured that nothing short of such an exalted testimony to truth and righteousness will ever put a full end to oppression and injustice; and I believe he who called our worthy predecessors to exalt the testimony of truth in the earth, and who is still calling us to advocate this noble cause, is looking for this testimony of strict justice and righteousness in our hands." Journal, p. 339.
that the writer (" a Friend" from Bristol, or the neighbourhood) has received some gleams of light upon the system in which he finds himself, sufficient to make the darkness visible, but not to lead him to the full recognition of all the consequences which must flow from the new views he has received. One of the questions which the writer presses on the attention of his Friends, is the following: "Do we not falsify our testimony of the necessity of being born again' by permitting our children to be considered members before we have reason to believe that their hearts are effectually brought to the love of Christ their Saviour ?" The writer, then, has seen the necessity of being "born again." We rejoice at it. But whence arises this necessity? From the state of death in which we all are, by nature, born; not to the inheritance of a nature equally free to choose the evil or the good; but by nature, the children of wrath," without strength" to obey the commands of God, and working out in all our thoughts, and words, and actions, the proof of the inspired declaration, "So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God." If these things be so, then must it be granted that in Adam all died; that man is not only a sinner, but a lost sinner; not strictly in a state of probation, but sentenced already, and under the curse of a broken law, awaiting the termination of the period of God's long-suffering for judgment to be executed. Where, then, is the ground for the supposition, that man has implanted in him some light, grace, or principle of good, which of its own nature inclines him
to good. According to the most evangelical form of the doctrines of Friends, this notion must be admitted as fundamental in their creed; but it needs but a very small share of spiritual discernment to perceive that he who has already from his birth "life" in him, needs not to be "quickened" i. e. made alive-that he who has "Christ in him" from his birth cannot be born again. Other consequences
flow from the admission of "the necessity of being born again," which the writer has, perhaps, not contemplated. We should have known nothing about the subject, if we had not been in possession of the Scriptures. This, as matter of fact, cannot, without selfevident absurdity, be disputed: for, who ever heard such doctrine from the lips of an untaught heathen; hence the indispensable necessity of an external revelation of God's will to man's salvation a proposition this never yet conceded by "Friends." Again : taking our information from Scripture, we find that those who are born again, "are born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man; but of God." We then find man's will excluded as the originating cause of the new birth, and all ascribed to God. Of course, those who are made alive, recognising this truth, must acknowledge that it is God who has made them to differ: that he has mercy on whom he will have mercy, and to the question, What hast thou that hast not received?-they must freely respond, "Nothing, Lord: the very will to accept the offers of mercy in the Gospel, I owe to thy preventing and distinguishing grace." Again: we read in James, "Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth;" and this word of truth is not, as Quakerism teaches, some fancied internal word, but the word of the Gospel preached (1 Pet. i. 25, original). Hence the duty of preaching the word, of using those means, through neglect of which the "Friends" have so much suffered; of reading the Scriptures, expounding and teaching them with all diligence. But not to dwell too long on this fruitful theme, which must lead us beyond our limits, if pursued into the blessed consequences flowing from being born again. What means this worthy Friend by the Society having" a testimony of the necessity of being born again?"
should have said its testimony was directly the reverse. But be it so; he is quite correct in the deduction
that the Society of Friends must, if they mean to adopt this testimony, drop the practice of birthright membership. To be consistent, they should either erase from their Bible the third chapter of John, and all cognate passages, or they at once remodel their society, making it an assemblage of those who are "born again;" that is, in Scripture language, of " called saints.' A happy transformation indeed, which, if it could be effected, we should view with intense delight. But where are the props to sustain the fabric while the foundation is changed? This is a question alarming to those who are determined at all hazards to abide in this "old house." Consequently, we do not marvel that the introduction of this subject in the discussions of the Yearly Meeting by Mr. Robert Jowitt, of Leeds, has produced (as we hear has been the case) a very lively sensation. So much opposition, we believe, was excited by the mention of this question of birthright membership, as one cause of the languid state of this Society, that it was only through the interposition of "the clerk" (or chairman) that the discussion was allowed to proceed. We have not heard that it has led to any definite result; but we rejoice in it, as calculated to excite very profitable inquiry, and to furnish to many minds materials for future meditation.
so injurious to the best interests of society, at variance with the laws of the land, and in direct violation of the precepts of the Gospel.
"With every feeling of regard and courtesy, and in a spirit far removed from dictation, and with a view, it may be, to continue to your Lordship their support, without the compromise of principle, the undersigned have felt it to be due to religion, their representative, and themselves, to offer this decided expression of their sentiments; and in so doing, they would cherish the hope that your Lordship may, in future, be enabled to manifest that exalted moral courage which, in the matter of duelling, can set at nought the corrupt practice of the world, by proclaiming, whenever a fit occasion may be presented, your regret that, in your own person, the sanction of rank, position, and of character should have been given to a practice which the wise and good have on such just grounds so often and so reasonably united to condemn.
"The impression produced by the letter which you have done me the honour to address to me, and which I received this morning, cannot be more fully conveyed, than in the assurance that I have received it with all the respect due to the character and sacred office of those who have subscribed it.
"As it is in substance the same as one which I received a few days past from certain of my constituents, and the answer that I gave to that address applies equally to this, I shall make use of it also upon this occasion.
trust, appreciate as it deserved. My
"I can only say further, that it is, and ever will be, my constant wish to stand on such a ground of moral elevation, that as my conscience and judgment respond to the sentiments, so my conduct may always receive the approbation of those whose sacred office I so highly respect, and whose personal character I so sincerely esteem, as those to whom I now have the honour to sign myself their obedient, humble servant,
"Far from imputing any want of courtesy, or any spirit of dictation, to those who have felt it their duty to subscribe their names to this address, I feel that it was inspired by a sense of Christian duty which, even if it were not, as I have every reason to believe it is, mingled with kind feelings towards myself, I should still, I "London, May 8, 1839."
A SCENE FROM EXETER HALL.
WE copy the following curious account of the closing acts of the great Annual Meeting of the New British and Foreign Temperance Society from the pages of the official organ of that body. It should be premised for the information of our readers, that the question which had previously occupied the meeting, was not whether the members of the Society should individually abstain from all intoxicating liquor (that was a point on which all were united) but whether none should be admitted as members except those who would agree not only not to use intoxicating liquors as a beverage, nor traffic in them," but would in addition sign the following declaration, "that we will not provide them as an article of entertainment, or for persons in our employment, and that in all suitable ways we will discountenance their use throughout the community."
"The Noble Chairman (Lord Stanhope) was of a different opinion: but Mr. Ball withdrew his motion, under the loud and continued clamorous cries of ❝ Divide, divide.'
"At this period the meeting presented an appearance of vast confusion and anarchy-the mass of the more eager disputants crowded densely around the chair-they debated across the front of the President, so that Lord Stanhope was concealed frequently from the audience. Lady Sarah Somerset, who sat on his Lordship's left hand, was evidently alarmed; and a Quaker female forced herself through the ring, apparently with an intent to render her Ladyship any assistance that might
be necessary. The confusion increased; the cross-fire of the debates became more fierce; and one person from the body of the house shouted out something about the Chairman vacating his place. In a few seconds we saw the Noble Earl slowly rise from the chair and retire, attended by several individuals. The Chairman having retired, a vote of thanks was put and
carried amidst the clapping of hands and waving of handkerchiefs and hats.
"The vociferation and noise became now general from all parts of the house; and a cry that Mr. Delavan, of America, should occupy the vacant chair, was raised from the right. That gentleman, however, did not seem to think it proper for him to interfere; and, after a good deal of distraction and noise, Mr. Lawrence Heyworth of Liverpool was requested to occupy the seat of rule, and did so accordingly. Mr. Heyworth endeavoured to still the waves of discord, and persisted in this intention for some time. As well as we could hear him, he said,'Brother tee-totallers, if I have any influence in this society, I beseech you to impose some restraint upon your feelings, and to suffer the business of the meeting to proceed. I have been a total abstainer for nearly three years, and it has been the first object of my heart, to advance the principles of this society, by every means in my power. I represent here, 40,000 tee-totallers, and I call upon you, in my own, and in their name, to let the business of the meeting go on-this is of the utmost importance.' Mr. Heyworth continued at some length; but finding remonstrance ineffectual, he bowed and retired, and universal anarchy for a time prevailed.
"Some few in the neighbourhood of the seat of power seemed inclined that Dr. Oxley should occupy it, with a view to get on with the proceedings. By this time it was half-past six o'clock: another meeting was about to commence its operations; and, to increase the confusion, some one connected with its arrangements proceeded to play on the grand organ. The circumstances of the Parent Society had become very critical. Not only was the grand question of the pledges left undecided, but no committee for next year had been appointed, and the power of the existing managers would have ceased at the breaking up of the
"At this critical point, therefore, it was proposed, that Mr. Dunlop, president of the Scottish Temperance Union should take the chair. Mr. D., before doing so, expressly insisted that he should not be prevented from allowing some of the gentlemen opposed to the amendment, from being heard. This being so far settled, Mr. D. occupied the seat, and proceeded to clear the front of the chair, and cause the standing mass that closed around it, to sit down all round; this piece of ministerial discipline he effected by the assistance of one of the long wands of office used by the stewards of the meeting; and the swellings of the people being somewhat allayed, the chairman was enabled to effect an opportunity for the reverend Mr. Ball to be heard, on whom he loudly called to come forward. That gentleman had gone away amid the bustle, and Mr. Freeman was then called to address the meeting, which he did in opposition to the American pledge.
"After this was over, it seemed to be generally agreed, that, come what may, a division must take place. The chairman was of this opinion, and after a good deal of trouble succeeded in getting the immense house into a state of order, and he then took the sense of the meeting, when a large majority appeared for the amendment, (i. e. for the American pledge, exclusive) which was accordingly declared to be carried. The bulk of the meeting did not wait for any announcement, but received the show of hands with long and continued cheering.
"The Chairman then requested that proposals for a set of managers for the ensuing year, should be brought forward with as little delay as possible.
"The Rev. Mr. Baker then proposed the following resolution, which, having been seconded, was carried.
That, in future, all matters relating to the government of the society be transacted at the annual meeting of delegates, and that no auxiliary be empowered to send delegates, but such as shall have contributed during the year to the funds of the society.'
66 The chairman then left the chair ten minutes before seven o'clock; and thus ended the most lengthened and tumultuous meeting that was ever held within the walls of Exeter Hall. The audience might throughout the day consist of four thousand persons; and the numbers were well kept up till the last. We have been accustomed to scenes in both houses of Parliament, to debates and differences in meetings of benevolent societies, and to angry and violent tumults in political meetings, but we never witnessed among such vast numbers, such an intensity of interest as was manifested on both sides with respect to the issue of the struggle. Others may regard this as indicating a want of that union and cordial co-operation, so necessary for the attainment of an object so great and glorious in its results, but we are rather disposed to regard it as indicative not only of the value of the principle in itself, about which this contest has been raised, but also as indicative of the strong hold this subject has taken upon the public mind, when in so vast a concourse as the present, a contest for the mastery should have been fought."
There is food for profitable reflection in meditating on this scene. We here behold in action the "head of one of our numerous benovolent and religious societies in the act of exercising its legitimate functions-those of legislation for the body; and in what language is the result summed up? "in so vast a concourse as the present, a contest for the mastery has been fought." It is with no unfriendly feelings to the