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THE following sheets are principally - intended for the perusal of fuch as are. not acquainted with the principles of the People called Quakers, on the subject of women's preaching. Their sentiments may, perhaps, at the first view, appear rather fingular to some ; but it is hoped, that the. reader, on a serious and attentive considera tion of them, will be convinced, they are founded on Scripture, and fanctioned by the practice of the primitive church. The design of this treatise is information; and to point out, in a succinct manner, the privilege which women, qualified and commissioned by the Holy Spirit, have to preach the gospel.
The character of John Locke, the annotator on Paul's epistles, is well eftab. lished; and it is presumed, that the sentiments of this great man will not have less weight with the reader, when it is considered, he was a member of the established religion, and died in its communion : though he declared a short time before his decease, in the true spirit of a Christian, that he was “ in the sentiments of perfect charity towards all men, and of a sincere union with the church of Christ, under whatever name distinguished.”
But, apart from the comments and fentiments of those who have ably defended the right which women enjoy, in common with men, to publish the glad tidings of life and salvation, it is evident, from Scrip. ture, and the concurrent experience of mankind, thai, in this day of evangelical freedom, as well as in the times of the apostles, all are alike the objects of divine regard. God is no respecter of persons.
i Acts x. 34.
Such as fear him, and work righteousness, are accepted of him; whether they be
Jew or Greek, bond or free, male or fe. male ; for they are all one in Christ Jesus. To every one of the whole bulk of man. kind, without exception, a measure or
manifestation of the Spirit is given to profit withal : and consequently to women as well as to men ; which, it should seem, cannot be denied, without calling in question and impeaching the veracity of holy writ.
Now as this gift, or grace of God, is the only true spring of gospel ministry, by which we can be made really servicea able to others in their spiritual progress, why should we be surprised that the Lord, in his adorable mercy, should send forth wonien, as well as men, to labour in his vineyard ? Why do any circumscribe the operations of his power? Why quench the Spirit? Why despise prophesyings through any instrument, which the Lord, in his wisdom and goodness, may see meet • Gal. iii. 28. c I Cor. xii. 7. . !