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The Friend : a religious and literary journal (Volume 16) online

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their office or their virtues may be.

We can scarcely conceive it possible that
any sober and considerate member of the epis-
copal society can, on calm reflection, believe
for a moment that any of their bishops or
priests, whatever may be their piety, is en-
trusted with the power of dispensing the gifts
of the Holy Ghost. It is an assumption so
prodigious and awful in its character, such a
direct interference with the power and prero-
gative of the Almighty himself, and so utterly
unsupported by Scripture, and by experience,
that it seems little less than incredible that
any man should be so presumptuous as to make



THE FRIEND.

' or to believe it. But when it is deliberately
made, and upheld in behalf of men whose lives
and conversations show that they are enemies
to the cross of Christ, and lovers of pleasure
more than lovers of God ; who are greedy of
filthy lucre, and eagerly seeking llieir gain

I from their office, it marks a degree of blind-
ness or of corruption, utterly repugnant to the
least measure of gospel light and purity.

In the extracts we have already given, the
reader will perceive some traces of what is
most conspicuous throughout the Tracts, and
indeed is too apparent in the whole of the
episcopal organization. We allude to the
attempt to exalt the power, and extend the
influence of the clergy — to hold them up as a
distinct and privileged order of men — as being
peculiarly the church — men to whom the
things pertaining to salvation are specially
committed, and at whose hands the people are
to receive the knowledge of them — nay, even
further, as "representatives of Christ," as
mediators between men and their God, by
whom sins are forgiven, and salvation is dis-
pensed.*

Thus we are told, that the episcopal clergy
are " exclusively God's amhassauors" — of
their " ministerial prerogatives" — of th
" bringing men nearest to Christ our Saviour,
and conforming them more exactly to h
mind" — of their being " armed with the
power to confer spiritual gifts in the church,
and to wield their awful weapon of rejection
from the fold of Christ" — of " reverencing
them," and " sitting at their foet" — and
abundance more, the direct tendency of whic
is to rob God of the honour and obedience
which is due to him. Take the follow
passage as a specimen : " Look on your pastor
as acting by men's commission, and you may
respect the authority by which he acts, and
love his personal character; but it can hardly
be called a religious veneration ; there is no-
thing properly sacred about him. But once
learn to regard him as the deputy of Christ,

for reducing men to the obedience of God, and
every thing about him becomes changed,
every thing stands in a new light. In public
and in private; in church and at home ; in
consolation and in censure ; and above all, in
the administration of the holy sacraments, a

faithful man naturally considers ; By this his
messenger, Christ is speaking to me ; by his
very being and place in the world, he is a per-
petual witness to the truths of sacred history,
a perpetual earnest of communion with our
Lord to those who come duly prepared to his
table."

It seems to us that all this savours of that
spirit which the Saviour of men rebuked in
some formerly, who made broad their phylac-
teries, and enlarged the borders of their gar-
ments — loved the uppermost rooms at feasts,
and the chief seats in the synagogues, and to
be called of men Rabbi— Rabbi. We freely

« In the episcopal service for the ordaining of priests,
the bishop laying his hands upon the kneehng candi-
date, says, " Receive the Holy Ghost for the office and
work of a priest in tlie church of God, now committed
unto thee by the imposition of our hands ; whose sins
t/iou dost forgive, they are forgiven — and whose sins
thou dost retain, they are retained.'"



399

admit, that they who, being Divinely called
and appointed to the ministry of the gospel,
labour laithfully, in word and doctrine, ruling
themselves and their own bouses well, and also
tlie church of God, and who are " examples to
the believers, in word, in conversation, in
charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity," are
worthy indeed of double honour.

But this is very far different from setting
up a class of men, who hold their office,
" without respect to their moral or spiritual
attainments," and among whom " the very
question of wurth is absurd ;" and making
them, in virtue of that office, the objects of a
superstitious veneration. It is painful, it is
tnortifying, nay, it is fearful, to see with what
implicit reliance thousands are hanging their
hopes upon their priests, frail, sinful, and
helpless men, utterly unable to save them-
selves, let alone others, as though they had
the gift of eternal life at their disposal. The
religion of multitudes appears to consist in
idolizing their priest, " going to church," as
they call it, and listening to his readings, and
eating and drinking the bread and wine ; while
the great work of repentance and regenera-
tion — of being created anew in Christ Jesus
unto good works, by the internal operation of
the Holy Ghost, separating the heart from sin
and defilement of every kind, and bringing it
into righteousness and true holiness, is little
thought of or regarded.

Did they " sit at the feet" of Christ, instead
of the minister, and " reverence" God and his
righteous law, written in the hearts, rather
than the priest, vital religion and godly zeal
would not languish and decline as they have
done. But it is lamentably the case, that
many of the clergy encourage this idolatrous
veneration, and preach themselves rather than
Jesus. The natural man loves power — he
courts popularity; and listens with delight to
the silver notes of adulation and praise ; and
when we read such announcements as are
made in the "Tracts for the Times," on the pow-
er and prerogatives of the priesthood, and the
reverence due to it, and see how far they are
borne out by other episcopal writings ; he
must be blind, indeed, who does not perceive
that a vast scope is given for the exercise of
those corrupt appetites, on the one hand, and
for a dependence and a veneration on the part
of the people, of the most dangerous and delu-
sive character.

We search the New Testament in vain for
any authority by which such an order of men
is instituted. Christ Jesus alone is the High
Priest and Bishop of souls under the gospel
dispensation. He took especial care to fore-
close in the minds of bis followers any claim
to pre-eminence. " Be ye not called Rabbi,"
said he, " for one is your Master, even Christ,
and Ai-L ye are brethren." Again, " Ye
know that they which are accounted to rule
over the gentiles, exercise lordship over them,
and their great ones exercise authority upon
them. But so it shall not be among you —
but whosoever will be great among you shall
be your minister; and whosoever of you will
be chiefest shall be servant of all."

Nothing can be plainer than these sayings;
and when we put in contrast with them the



400 _^_

exorbitant claims of the clergy ; their greedi-
ness for power, and their luve of veneration,
as exhibited in the quotations we have given,
and a multitude more that we might quote —
the numerous titles they claim, invented to
gratify the pride of poor worms of the dust ;
such as doctor of divinity — reverend — very
reverend — right reverend — his grace — his ho-
liness — the worshipful, &c., &c. ; but little
discernment is required to perceive that they
are totally at variance with the commands of
Christ, and mark a state of the church widely
apostatised from the Truth as it is in Jesus.

We do not find the apostles of our Lord
making any such arrogant pretensions. They
assume no superiority over their fellow-believ-
ers, as a privileged and separate order in the
church of Christ. They claimed not to be
saluted as the right reverend Paul, or Peter;
his holiness James, or John ; his grace 15ar-
Iholomew ; or the worshipful Thomas. No !
they would have scorned and spurned such
trumpery. Yet, surely, if any class of men
in the church might properly receive such
titles, they were the men. If any were enti-
tled to pre-eminence, they were — if any might
draw the attention of the people to themselves,
as the " representatives" and " deputies of
Christ," their eminent gifts and graces would
seem to authorize it ; but so far from this, the
uniform tenor of their ministry was, " Why
look ye on us ?" " W^e preach not ourselves,
but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves, your
servants, for Jesus's sake." They recognized
the whole body of believers as brethren and
sisters in Christ ; having gifts differing ac-
cording to the measure of grace received by
each one ; all of which were necessary to
making up the harmonious whole ; and the
right exercise of them essential to the growth
and edification of the church. These views
are clearly set out by the aposlle in Rom. xii.,
1 Cor. xii., Eph. iv. The gifts of the Holy
Ghost are not committed to, or transmitted
through, any man ; nor are they restricted to
any class or order of men or women, but
"that self-same Spirit divideth to every one,
severally, as He will." The true believers in
Christ are styled in Scripture, " a royal na-
tion, a holy priesthood, a peculiar people" —
and the Apostle John, in the opening of his
book of Revelations, has these words, as the
language of all the servants of God: " unto
him that loved us, and washed us from our
sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings
and PRIESTS unto God and his Father; to him
be glory and dominion forever and ever,
amen."



A correspondent of the London Medical
Gazette states, that to close the nostrils with
the thumb and finger during respiration, leav-
ing them free during inhalation, will relieve a
fit of coughing in a short time.



A Simple Remedy. — The New York Sun
gays, " If some common salt be put into the
water when washing cabbages or greens, pre-
paratory to cooking them, the snails, slugs,
v.orms, &.C., will come out and sink to the bot-



Tiie FRIEMU.

torn, so that Ihey need not be boiled with the
vegetables. It is impossible to wash them out,
exce[)t the cabbages be taken to pieces, and
people generally like to have this vegetable
served up whole."



THE rRZEND.



MNTH MONTH, 9, 1843.



That " unruly member," the tongue, had '
need to be watched at every turn. Many I
people seem to think that they have plenary]
license to tell again what is told them, provi-
ded it be true, and is unaccompanied with the
injunction of privacy. In this there is a great ]
mistake; and indulgence in such thoughtless!
indiscretion, is often productive of consequen-I
ces equally mischievous and cruel as those'
which follows direct slander. Tlie following!
anonymous remarks, copied from one of our |
exchange papers, are much to the point, and [
well deserving of serious consideration.

" Secrecy. For once that secrecy is for-
mally imposed upon you, it is implied a hun-
dred times by the concurrent circumstances.
All that your friend says to you, as a friend,
is entrusted to you only. iMuch that a man
tells you in the hour of affliction, in sudden
emergency, in anger, or in any outpouring of
the heart, should be secret. In his craving
for sympathy, he has spoken to you as to his
own soul.

" To repeat what you have heard in social
intercourse, is sometimes a sad treachery ;
and when it is not treacherous, it is often fool-
ish. For you commonly relate imperfectly
what has happened ; and even if you are able
to relate that part with fairness, it is still as
likely to be misconstrued, as a word of many
meanings, in a foreign tongue, without the
context.

" There are few conversations which do not
imply some degree of mental confidence, how-
ever slight. And in addition to that which is
said in confidence, there is generally some-
thing which is peculiar, though not confiden-
tial ; which is addressed to the present com-
pany alone, though not confided to their
secrecy. It is meant for them, or for persons
like them, and they are expected to under-
stand it rightly. So that when a man has no
scruple in repeating all that he hears to any
body that he meets, he pays but a poor com-
pliment to himself, for he seems to take it for
granted, that what was said in his presence,
would have been said in the same words, at
any time, aloud in the market-place. In short,
that he is the average man of mankind ; which
we doubt much whether any man would like
to consider himself."

SLAVERY AND SL.AVE TRADE.

Of the numerous pamphlets, published by
the -Meeting for Sufferings of our Yearly Meet-
ing on these subjects, some of the following
are still on hand, viz. : —

View of the Slave Trade in 1824
Do. do. do. in 1826

Do. do. do. in 1841

Memorial on do.



Address to the citizens of the United Stalea
on Slavery.

Friends who have opportunities of distribu-
ting them where they will be useful, can pro-
cure them, on ap|>licaiioD to Nathan Kite, No.
1 Apple-tree Alley.

COntMITTEE ON EDLCATION.

A stated meeting of the Yearly Meeting's
Committee on Education, will be held at the
Committee-room, in Mulberry street, on Sixth-
day, the loth of Ninth month, at three o'clock

F. M.

Daniel B. Smith, Clerk.



FRIENDS' ASYLUM.

Committee on Admissions. — John G. Hos-
kins, No. 60 Franklin street, and No. 50
North Fourth street, up stairs; Itaiah Hack-
er, No. 112 south I'hird street, and No. 32
Chestnut street; Samuel Bettle, jr.. No. 73
N. Tenth st. ; Charles Ellis, No. 95 S. Eighth
street, and No. 56 Chestnut street ; Benjamin
Albertson, No. 45 North Sixth street, and
No. 19 High street; Blakey Sharpless, No.
253 Pine street, and No. 50 North Fourth
street.

Visiting Managers for the Month. — Jere-
miah Hacker, No. 128 Spruce street; Ben-
jamin Albertson, No. 45 North Sixth street ;
Charles Ellis, No. 95 South Eighth street.

Superinttndents. — Philip Garrett and Su-
san Barton.

Attending Physician. — Dr. Charles Evans,
No. 201 Arch street.

Resident Physician. — Dr. Joshua H.
Worthington.

WHITELAND BOARDING SCHOOL,

For Girls.

The winter term of this school will com-
mence on Second-day, the 30th of Tenth mo.
next. The number of scholars is limited to
eleven ; it is therefore requested that those
intending to send, make application before the
last of Ninth mo. As the principal is en-
deavouring to conduct the education of those
placed under his care, in accordance with the
principles of the Society of Friends, he will
expect the pupils to conform to the testimony
of the Society, with regard to plainness of
speech, behaviour, and apparel.

The essential and usual branches of English
education, including arithmetic, algebra, ge-
ometry, with ils application to plain trigono-
metry, &c., astronomy, natural philosophy,
chemistry, and physiology, are taught, with
lectures, on the three latter subjects ; also the
Latin language. Terms $60 per session of
twenty-three weeks. Applications may be
made to

Y'ardley Warner, Warren Tav. P. O.
Chester county. Pa.

John C. Allen, 180 south Second street,
Philadelphia.

PRINTED BY JOSEPH & WILLIAM KITE,
Seventh and Carpenter Streets.



A RELIGIOUS AND LITERARY JOURNAL.



S&VENTH-DAT, KXNTK MOnTTH, 16, 1843.



SrO. 61.



EDITED Bl' ROBERT SMITH.

PUBLISHED WEEKLY.
Prict two dollar e per annum, pat/able in adca
Subscriptions and Payments received by
GEUUGE W. TAYLOR,

NO. 50, NORTH FOURTH STREET, UP STAIRS,

PHILADELPHIA.



A Brief Statement of the Rise and Progress of
the Testimony of the Religious Society of
Friends, against Slavery and the Slave-
trade.

(Continued from page 394.)

The Yearly Meeting of the next year,
(175.5,) renewed its directions to the subordi-
nate meetings, to treat with those who im-
ported, and bought or sold slaves, by the fol-
lowing minute : —

" The ponsideration of the inconsistency of
the practice of being concerned in importing
or buying slaves, with our Christian princi-
ples ; being weightily revived and impressed,
by very suitable advices and cautions given on
the occasion, it is the sense and judgment of
this meeting, that where any transgress this
rule of our discipline, the overseers ought
speedily to inform the Monthly Meeting of
such transgressors, in order that the meet-
ing may proceed to treat further with them,
as they may be directed in the wisdom of
Truth."

In the year 1758, it issued the following
minute, which continued to be the rule of dis-
cipline on the subject, until 1776.

" After weighty consideration of the cir-
cumstances of Friends within the compass of
this meeting, who have any negro or other
slaves, the accounts and proposals now sent up
from several quarters, and the rules of our
discipline relative thereto; much time having
been spent, and the sentiments of many Friends
expressed, there appears an unanimous concern
prevailing, to put a stop to the increase of the
practice of importing, buying, selling, or keep-
ing slaves for term of life ; or purchasing
them for such a number of years, as manife.sts
that such purchasers, do only in terms, and
not in fact, avoid the imputation of beini-
keepers of slaves. This meeting very earn-
estly and affectionately intreats Friends, indi-
vidually, to consider seriously the present cir-
cumstances of these and the adjacent provinces,
which, by the permission of Divine Providence,
have been visited with the desolating calami-
ties of war and bloodshed, so that many of our
fellow-subjects are now suffering in captivity;
and fervently desires, that, excluding temporal



considerations, or views of self-interest, we
may manifest an humbling sense of ihese judg-
ments, and in thankfulness for the peculiar
favour extended and continued to our Friends
and brethren in profession, none of whom
have, as we have yet heard, been sluiii, nor
carried into captivity, would steadily observe
the injunction of our Lord and Master, ' To
do unto others, as we would they should do
unto us;' which it now appears to this meet-
ing, would induce such Friends who have any
slaves, to set them at liberty, — making a
Christian provision for them, according to
their ages, &c. And in order that Friends
may be generally excited to the practice of
this advice, some Friends here now signified
to the meeting, their being so fully devoted to
endeavour to render it effectual, that they are
willing to visit and treat with all such Friends
ho have any slaves : the meeting, therefore,
approves of John Woolman, John Scarbo-
gh, John Sykes and Daniel Stanton under-
taking that service ; and desires some elders
or other faithful Friends in each quarter, to ac-
company and assist them therein ; and that they
may proceed in the wisdom of Truth, and
thereby be qualified to administer such advice
as may be suitable to the circumstances of
those they visit, and most effectual towards
obtaining that purity, which it is evidently our
duly to press after. And if after the sense
and judgment of this meeting, now given
against every branch of this practice, any pro-
fessing with us should persist to vindicate it,
and be concerned in importing, selling, or pur-
chasing slaves, the respective Monthly Meet
ings to which they belong, should manifest
their disunion with such persons, by refusing
to permit them to sit in meetings for disci-
pline, or to be employed in the affairs of Truth,
or to receive from them any contribution
towards the relief of the poor, or other servi-
ces of the meeting. But if any cases of ex-
ecutors, guardians, trustees, or any others
should happen, which may subject any such
Friends to the necessity of being concerned
with such slaves, and they are nevertheless
willing to proceed according to the advice of
the Monthly Meetings they belong to ; wherev-
er such cases happen, the Monthly Meetings
are left to judge of the same in the wisdom of
Truth, and, if necessary, to take the advice of
he Quarterly Meeting therein."

The records of the Yearly Meeting show,
that, in almost every year, during the interval
from 1758 to 1776, the subject claimed the
earnest and increasing care of the meeting.
The subordinate meetings were exhorted to
labour in Christian love and meekness with
those who offended in this particular. From
the year 1767, regular statements of this
labour, and of the success which attended it,



were forwarded to the Yearly Meeting, which
repeatedly expressed its satisfaction with the
care and concern thus manifested.

An examination of the minutes of the va-
rious Quarterly and Monthly Meetings has
shown that the attention of Friends was, from
the year 1758, forward, steadily directed to
the great point of convincing their fellow-mem-
bers who held slaves, of the cruelty and injus-
tice of so doing. It does not appear that
many were disowned for purchasing and selling
negroes. The forbearance, and yet earnest-
ness of the course pursued, had the happier
effect of inducing the greater number to ab-
stain from doing either ; and by the year
1774, the Yearly Meeting may be said to
have cleared its members from dealing in
slaves.

A considerable number had also been eman-
cipated ; yet still the holding of slaves was
not a disownable offence, nor did a Friend
bring himself under censure for transferring
or accepting a slave, without a pecuniary con-
sideration ; although by the minute of 17.58,
the sense of the meeting had been so far ex-
pressed, as to declare, that the slave-holder
was not to be employed in the affairs of the
Society.

Friends in various quarters were now no
longer satisfied with this qualified disunity, and
in 1774, requests were sent up from Philadel-
phia and Bucks Quarterly Meetings, soliciting
a revision and explanation of the minute o?
1758. In the Yearly Meeting itself, a con-
cern appeared for the further promotion of
our testimony against the iniquitous practice
of depriving our fellow-men of their natural
right to liberty, as appears from the following
minutes : —

" A committee of thirty-four Friends was
appointed, to take this weighty subject under
their consideration, and make report to a
future sitting, of their sense and judgment of
what additions or amendments are seasonable
and necessary, at this time, to be made to the
rule of discipline before mentioned; and any
Friends who find a concern on their minds
to deliver their sentiments to the said com-
mittee, have the consent of this meeting for
so doing.

" Tenth month, 1st. — The report of the
committee relative to our testimony against
importing, buying, selling, or keeping slaves,
being now deliberately read and attentively
considered ; a calming, uniting spirit presi-
ding, it is agreed to ; and the Quarterly and
Monthly Meetings are earnestly recommended
and enjoined to give due attention to the same,
as the present sense and judgment of this meet-
ing, being as follows, viz. : —

Agreeable to appointment, we have weigh-
tily considered the sorrowful subject comtnit-



402



THE FRIEND.



ted to us; and iriany brethren having had an
opportunity of freely communiculinu; their
seatimenis tiiereon ; after a solid conference,
we find there is a painful exercise attending
the minds of Friends, and a general concern
prevailing, that our Christian testimony may
be more extensively held forth, against the
unrighteous practice of enslaving our fellow-
creatures, to promote which, it is our sense
and judgment, —

" That such professors among us who are,
or shall be concerned in importing, selling or
purchasing ; or that shall give away, or trans-
fer any negro or other slave, with or without
any other consideration than to clear their
estate of any future incumbrance, or in such
manner as that their bondage is continued
beyond the time limited by law or custom for
white persons; and such member who accepts
of such gift or assignment, ought to be spee-
dily treated with, in the spirit of true love and
wisdom, and the iniquity of their conduct laid
before them. And if after this Christian
labour, they cannot be brought to such a sense
of their injustice, as to do every thing which
the Monthly Meeting shall judge to be reason-
able and necessary for the restoring such
slave to his or her natural and just right to
liberty, and condemn their deviation from the
law of righteousness and equity, to the satis-
faction of the said meeting, that such member
be testified against, as other transgressors are,
by the rules of our discipline, for other im-



Online LibraryRobert SmithThe Friend : a religious and literary journal (Volume 16) → online text (page 148 of 154)