Imágenes de páginas

strong consolation and full assurance, he confirmed the immutability of his counsel by an oath ; and when he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself.” Heb. vi. 17. Do you, then,” said Tertullian, “ charge the Most High with perjury, or vain swearing ?” Advers. Marcion. lib. 2, § 26.

Besides these leading opinions, there are one or two other peculiarities, by which the adherents of . Quakerisın are distinguished. They pronounce it unlawful for a Christian to resist evil. But if this maxim be established on a rigid observance of the letter of Scripture, why do the Friends stop short in their interpretation? They refuse to pay tithes, but permit the officer to take them; and this they call persecution : but, on a principle of strict adherence to the letter of Scripture, they ought further to make a voluntary payment of double tithes : for, “ if a man takes away thy cloak, give him thy coat also.” Matt. v. 40.

On similar principles the Quakers think it inconsistent with the duty of a Christian to fight. Yet, when the soldiers demanded of the forerunner of Christ, “ What shall we do?” he said unto them, not, “ Lay aside your weapons,” but, “ Do violence to no man ; neither accuse any falsely ; and be content with your wages.” Luke, iii. 14. And Cornelius, the first fruits of the gentile world, “ was a centurion of the Italian band;" nor do we find that prior to his baptisın he was commanded to relinquish the military life. How


NN :

strange an inconsistency is a Quaker ! He will not strike; but he will wound with the tongue. “I will not beat thee," said one of them to a vicious dog, “ but I will raise a bad report against thee."

Joseph Lancaster will not flog a pupil, but he will hoist him up in a basket, and flog his mind.

The Quakers dislike music.
“ The man who hath not music in himself,
Nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet sounds;
The motions of his spirit are dull as night,

And his affections dark as Erebus." Does a Quaker stop his ears when he hears a nightingale ? Does he remember, that, on the return of the prodigal, which has been chosen to describe the reception of a penitent offender, “ there was music and dancing within ; and that LIKEWISE there is joy among the angels, over one sinner that repenteth * ?"

* That there are some obscene and bacchanalian songs, is father an argument for stopping the sense of hearing, than against learning music. A Quaker teaches his child to read, although he may meet with improper books t.

“ Either let the Quakers renounce all the enjoyments of this life, or take all that are innocent. The pursuit of wealth surely holds out a greater temptation to immorality, than the study of music. Let them disown those who accumulate more than is necessary for their subsistence, or permit those who have leisure, to employ it in something better than moneygettingI."

« The ancient ascetics," says the author of the article alkuded to, « acted consistently. They gave up every thing in this world, for the contemplation of a better. A modern

I f See Edinb. Review, 1807. Ibid.

As to the calling Sunday. the first day, and Jan nuary the first month, and so forth, this is idle foppery. I might as well take it into my head to call Oxford Road the first street in my neighbour. hood, or Hume's History the first book in my library. Words are the signs of ideas : and, provided there is no profaneness, does it signify a rush what these signs are? St. John called the first day, not the first day, but the Lord's Day. But affect: ation is to be shunned as a petty sin ; and a Quaker, so extremely precise and captious in every thing, is as consummate a coxcomb as a Bond Street lounger *.

I have thus brought to a close my long discussion of the principles peculiar to a sect, of whom it is but justice to add, that almost all their prin

Quaker earns a large fortune, and employs it for self-gratification, in every way but the social and agreeable. He keeps an excellent table and garden ; he is driven about in an easy chariot, but his plate must be without carving, and his chariot must be of a dusky colour. His guests may talk of oxen and broad-cloth; but wit and gaiety are entirely proscribed. His boys and girls are bred to bargaining and housekeeping; but when their bounding spirits are struggling in every limb, they must not violate their sedateness by a skip: and they would be disowned if they were to raise their innocent voices in a hymn to their great Benefactor t, &c.”

* But, to speak of Saturday and January excites veneration for heathen gods. It is impossible to hear this stuff without laughing. Does any man think of Saturn or Janus when he makes an appointment ? :; .. . Review of Clarkson's Portraiture.' ..

N N ?


ciples are good rules carried to excess; and that, whatever may be thought of their speculations now commented upon, there is much in their behaviour for all men to unite in admiring and imi. tating. In the simplicity of their speech, and manners, and apparel, let profaneness, insincerity, and vanity, receive an instructive lesson. Their aversion from waste of time in frivolous occupations, - might lead us a little more up to the line of propriety, although they may go considerably beyond it. While religion and reason teach us to pay a decent submission to superiors, let us copy the plain dealing of the Friends, by a scorn of abject flattery. While we perceive the necessity for some ceremonies to aid the devotion of beings whose instructions enter, and whose affections are mainly engaged, through the channels of sight and hearing, let the silent adoration of the Friends remind us of this important doctrine, that “ God is a Spirit, and will be worshipped in spirit and in truth." And well would it be, if all of every Christian denomination approached as closely to primitive practice as this inoffensive, amiable, and upright people; should adopt their simple manners and pacific disposition ; beating their swords into instruments of husbandry, and learning the destructive and shocking arts of war and carnage no more *. .::

* The Quakers are, on principle, averse from law, and usually settle all matters of dispute by arbitration. It is said, 3

XXVI. Not long ago, while I was curate of Warrington, a new sect sprang up, engendered in that town by the enthusiasm of the Methodists upon the fanaticism of the Quakers, and denominating themselves Quaker Methodists, to signify, their extraction on both sides. They had all the broad brims and the jockey bonnets, the demure looks and the stiff manners of the Friends; but having, unfortunately, dwelt at one time contiguously to their place of assemblage, I am quite ready to testify, that they had no silent meetings. Their assemblies, indeed, were scenes of the most horrible extravagance and uproar; uniting the Methodist vociferation with the Quaker universality of speak

too, that they never affix a price on their goods, which is lowered in bargaining.,

It was once remarked to me, and I believe it to be generally true, that a flourishing family of Quakers seldom continue attached to the sect beyond the third generation. The first obtains wealth; the second accumulates it; living in the enjoyment of some comforts, without many sources of expenditure. The third becomes iinpatient of the Quaker restraints: the hat is cut down, as a Jew clips a dollar to a halfcrown ; the coat is of a lighter shade and a newer cut; buck. skins, or, as a certain prelate used to call them, profanes, are sported; now and then a novel is permitted to display its excitement; and very commonly a sly visit is paid to the house of Beelzebub. This is the phenomenon known' in the world under the appellation of a Wet Quaker. He is the usual forerunner of a son who figures away at Bath and Newmarket, and who remembers little more of Quakerism, than to make a joke of baptizing his children.

« AnteriorContinuar »