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

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selects, calls, ordains, and furnishes his minis-
ters for the work of the gospel. If what the
Tractists say respecting their rite of ordina-
tion, be true, it is certainly most remarkable
that a ceremony creating a body of men so
necessary to the salvation of mankind, and
conferring on them powers so extensive and
supernatural, which, according to them,
scarcely any thing can revoke, should not
have been comviarided by our Lord or his
apostles, and the rule for performing it dis-
tinctly laid down. But we no where find any
such precept or regulation. The laying on of
hands is incidentally mentioned as occasionally
practised by the apostles, and accompanying
the affusion of the Holy Ghost ; but there is
no direction given or implied, that it shall be
used in the choice or appointment of ministers,
nor any promise or declaration, that if used,
it shall be attended with the gifts of the Spi-
rit. It was a Jewish custom which bad long
been in practice among that people, when they
prayed for a person, or pronounced a blessing
upon him, and with many other such ceremo-
monies was continued by the converts to
Christianity. But this does not render it obli-
gatory, any more than in the eases of circum-
cision, vows, shaving the head, the washing
of feet, community of property, or feasts of
charity. All these were in use among the
primitive believers, but none of them are now
considered proper or necessary by the great



body of Christian professors.



The



argu-



ment drawn from precedent has therefore no
weight.

According to the episcopal method of
making ministers, it would seem as if Christ
had nothing to do with it. A parent deter-
mines to educate his son for the ministry. It
is a genteel calling, one of" the learned pro-
fessions," and the salaries are generally liber-



THE FRIEND.



405



a\. He is accordingly sent to college to learn I
the languages, and such other studies as are
deemed appropriate. He is put to it as he
would be to any other calling, with the same
views and feelings, as though he were to be a
lawyer or a doctor, or to enter the army or
navy. In England, where the law of primo-
geniture prevails, it is notorious that this bu-
siness is frequently resorted to in order to
aSbrd a handsome provision for sons who are
debarred by that law from a share in the real
property of their parents. When the student
has passed through his course, he is examined
as to his acquirements, and if there be no
^reat impediment, is recommended to the
bishop to be ordained a deacon, or a priest.

It is true the bishop is to ask the candi-
date, " Do you trust that you are inwardly
moved by the Holy Ghost to take upon you this
office and ministration ?" or, " Do you think
in your heart that you are truly called, ac-
cording to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ,
and according to the canons of this church, to
the order and ministry of priesthood ?" In
both cases the answers to be given by the can-
didate are provided for him in the liturgy, and
when we remember, that in the present day
few of the members of that society admit that
there is any sensible or perceptible guidance
of the Holy Ghost, it will be seen how little
it amounts to. The estimate in which it is
held, may be inferred from the answer of a
bishop, who, on the passage being adduced as
proof of the perceptible influences and oper-
ation of the Spirit of Truth, replied, that it
meant nothing more than that the candidate
was called to be a deacon or priest, in the
same way as another man would be called to
be a tailor.

When a bishop is to be chosen in England,
the king issues a license to elect, and at the
same time sends a letter, informing who he
wishes to be appointed ; if the choice is not
made by the chiipter in twelve days, the king
appoints whom he will. In America the mode
is different; but in either case, it is wholly a
matter of human appointment ; the immediate
guidance and direction of Christ not being
believed in, and consequently not sought for.
Couple with these facts the right of advowson,
so common in England, and the supernatural
gifts and powers over the church claimed by
the priests ; and then let any serious man ask
himself, whether he can believe that the infin-
itely wise, just, and merciful Being would
abandon his people to the chances of salvation
through a class of men chosen by such doubt-
ful means, or depute to them the bestowal of
the gifts and graces of his blessed Spirit, es-
sential as they are to the present and everlast-
ing well-being of mankind.

Where is the king that is fit to designate
who shall be the " deputy and representative
of Christ" — his " earthly likeness" — and the
dispenser of his spiritual gifts? Look at the
canvassing, the party strife and struggle which
are resorted to, in order to promote the choice
of opposing candidates, when one of these pre-
tended " successors of the apostles" is to be
appointed. What should we think of the
apostles had they degraded themselves by
such artifices in the strife for office ? Again,



the bishops of England, with the exception of
he of Man, have a seat in the House of Lords,
and form a part of the government. This
unnatural, and may we nut say, unholy alli-
ance, is another feature which marks the anti-
christian character of the system. It is
directly at variance with the precepts of our
Lord, and the example of the primitive be-
lievers.

Then there are the enormous pecuniary
resources attached to the bishoprics and other
benefices in England, and the salaries paid in
this country, which are no less contrary to
Christ's commands, and the practice of his
apostles. If they were objectionable in no
other point of view, they would be greatly so
because of the temptation they hold out to the
cupidity inseparable from the unrenewed heart.
Human nature is much the same aniong every
class of men, and " the love of money" is not
only " the root of all evil," but is one of the
sins which " most easily besets" our fallen
nature.

We trust there are those who discharge
the duties of the sacred office, uninfluenced by
any pecuniary considerations ; but when we
see how generally " the calls" (so styled) of
paid ministers, are from lower to higher sala-
ries, it creates a fear lest there be many who
dare not say to the awful searcher of hearts,
" a necessity is laid upon me hy Thee — yea,
woe is unto me, if I preach not thy gospel,"
— and who, if the emoluments and honours
were taken away, would still be bound in con-
science, and for the pure love of souls, not to
give up the ministerial vocation.

The system of hireling ministry is not only
utterly at variance with the precepts and ex-
ample of Christ and his apostles, but is pecu-
liarly obnoxious, on account of the strong
temptations which it holds out for the indul-
gence of unworthy and sinful motives, leading
men to seek the office for its gain. Amid
all this cumbrous machinery of human contri-
vance, the great prerogative of Christ Jesus
as the glorious and omnipotent Head of his
own church, is scarcely recognized or even
thought of; but the whole business is managed
and completed, apparently with as little refer-
ence to his perceptible guidance and direction
as though he was a mere unconcerned and
uninterested spectator of the passing scene. Is
it thus that he cares for the church which he
has purchased with his own blood ? Has the
Shepherd and Bishop of our souls no more
regard than this for his spouse? We have not
so learned from the Holy Scriptures. His
apostles tell us not so ; but that He, himself,
even Christ Jesus, our crucified Lord, but now
glorified Head and High Priest, gives us apos-
tles, and prophets, and pastors, and teachers,
according as every one has received the gift,
which He, even he himself, (and not the king,
or any other man, or set of men,) by his eter-
nal Spirit, " divideth unto every man, seve-
rally, as he will." This is one of the glorious
privileges of the church in these gospel days.
We are not abandoned to the supervision of
men who hold their office by mere human
appointment, without reference " to their
moral or spiritual attainments," or to " the
inward frame of their minds," and among



whom " the question of worth is absurd" — nor
are we to " act faith" in any mere man as
such, in order to lie benefitted by his minis-
trations though they be " in the main false-
hood ;" but our gracious and adorable Lord
feeds his flock himself by the immediate and
sensible operations of the Holy Spirit in their
hearls; and also through the instrumentality
of those ministers whom he selects, qualifies,
and appoints, not by the ordination of men,
but by the baptism of the Holy Ghost, for
which he commanded even his chosen disci-
ples to wait, and which is still necessary to
qualify his messengers to become living and
faithful witnesses unto Him. " Where this
Spirit of the Lord is," and has the govern-
ment, " there is liberty" for every one to ex-
ercise the gift which it dispenseth to him or
her; and it is one of the anti-christian marks
of the episcopal organization, that it attempts
to limit and restrain the free course of the
Spirit of God, by allowing none to exercise
the gifts of the Spirit, and indeed denying that
any can have them, save as the will of fallen
man shall ordain and direct. In whatever
light therefore it is viewed, the pretence of
apostolical succession is unscriptural, and
destitute of any solid foundation, and repug-
nant to every feeling of Christian liberty
and charity ; and the system of episcopacy,
as it exists in England and America, is con-
trary to the precepts and example of our Lord
and his apostles.



(To



nucd.)



The Pines of Oregon. — The pine forests
are very extensive, the trees being of great
size, and the timbers extraordinarily beauti-
ful, straight, and free from knots. All the
timber of the genus pinvs, of which there are
a great number of species, is gigantic, when
compared with our trees in this part of the
world ; but occasionally one is met with, huge,
almost beyond comparison. I measured with
Dr. Gardiner, surgeon of the fort, (Vancouv-
er,) a pine of the species Dovglassi, which
had been prostrated by the wind ; its length
was above two hundred feet, and its circum-
ference forty-five feet ! Large as was this spe-
cimen, its dimensions are much exceeded by
one on the Umptqua river, measured by the
late David Douglass. The height of this tree
was, I think, nearly three hundred feit, and its
circumference ffty-six feet ! The cones of
this pine, according to D. Douglass, were%
from twelve to fifteen inches in length, re-
sembling, in size and form, sugar loaves.

American Fruit Abroad. — In one of editor
Weed's letters, he speaks of the superiority
of American strawberries, raspberries, plums,
&c., as compared with those produced in
England. This superiority extends to and is
still more marked in the case of apples. An
American in London last year stopping at a
fruit stand, asked for some apples. Various
kinds were shown him. Not liking thpir
looks, he inquired if they had none better.
" Oh ! yes, sir," was the reply, " wo have a
few American apples," and they were accord-
ingly produced.— Baltimore Patriot.



406



For " The Friend.'
ANTIQUAKIAN KESEARCIIES



Among the Early Printers and Publishers of\
Friends' Books.

(Continueti from page 3»".)

Account of Thomas Ratjllon continued.]
— •' Now, after I was joined with those peo-
ple, the word of God more powerfully wrought
in me, and showed nie, that I was to alter the
course of my conversation ; that was, to leave
the corrupt life, and to shun evil company ;
forasmuch as 1 was bowed before the Lord,
and had given up my name to serve him ; I
then saw I must walk in the narrow way, and
leave the vain compliments, the putting off the
hat, and bowing the knee to man, &c. Upon
which I was soon taken notice of, and com-
plaint iij.ide lo my mother, of my neglecting
to conlbrni to these things, by the priest, my
then master, who was moved at my behaviour,
and I suppose, intended at that time to have
used the rod, and having made preparation,
called me to him, and said, I heard to-day
that thou wentest by Mr. Bounskell, and didst
not put off thy hat, and bid good-morrow ;
adding. What is thy reason for so doing?
Whether is it pride or religion? Upon which
I told him it was not pride : then, said he, it
must be religion; and if so, thou must not be
whipped ; and so laid down the rod : but, said
he, if for religion, let me know why thou
refusedst, and give me some precedent. So I
told him I had been reading in the Revela-
tions, and there I found that an angel showed
John many things, and that John said, ' When
I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship
the angel that showed me those things;' but
the angel said, ' See thou do it not, for I am
of thy fellow-servanis, and of thy brethren the
prophets, and of them which keep the sayings
of this book : worship God.' And for this, 1
told him, I refused to do it unto men. But he
endeavoured to persuade me, that what he
requested of me, was no more than a civil
respect between man and man ; and from
thence he thought I might the better conform
to it ; and to make rne the more willing to be-
lieve it was no worship, hut respect, he turned
me to the place of the children of Ileth and
Abraham's bowing to each other, and also
proceeded to show me something of the like
kind among the children of Israel, in the time
of Moses and Joshua ; but all these were to no
purpose to me, for my eye was open to see a
more glorious dispensation than that of Moses,
yea, or the prophets: for though they were
good men, and that by the Spirit of Christ in
them, they did foretell the coming of Christ,
and of his sufferings ; yet they did not live to
see those things come to pass, which they had
spoken of: so that he had no force in his ar-
gument to make me use those things, which
n)ight be used among the fathers, and also
afker the law. And since the New Testament
is silent, and gives no account of either Christ
or his apostles being in the practice of bowing,
I did not see why either knee or hat should
be expected of me ; for as for the latter, I
have no account at all, therefore I stood to my
principle, and kept to the light and under-
standing the Lord had given me through



THE FRIENU.

Jesus Christ my Saviour, « ho then was come
to my house in spirit, and had brought salva-
tion with him.

" That day, I said to one of my school-fel-
lows, that what my master had shown to me,
was but out of the law, and not of the gospel,
which he told my master, and I had a quiet
day : it is to be observed, that this was but
the beginning of farther exercise ; for after
this, whether for grief which he was then in,
(being in all probability likely to part with
one from his flock, over which he nnght look
upon himself to be pastor,) or from the per-
suasion of my parents, he began to be more
severe, and told me, that unless I would make
congees to him, (as he called them,) he would
teach me no longer; although 1 must confess,
1 would gladly have learned a litile more ; yet,
perceiving it must be in a way I saw I must
deny and bear testimony against, I forsook the
school at that time, and went home to my
father's house, and told my mother the occa-
sion of my coming; and although she took me
to the first meeting but a few weeks before,
yet she now repented it, and would not hear
of my suffering by my master, so as to give
me any rebel'; upon which I left the house
for a while. But I think I may say the arm
of the Lord wrought for me ; for my master
presently sent word to my mother, that he
had done what was in his power to persuade
me to be conformable, but he saw it would not
do, therefore desired her to send me to school
again, and said he would leave me to my liber-
ty about religion. 'J'he tidings being brought
to me, as 1 vyas alone under a hedge, where I
was retired, not then knowing what would
beco(ne of me, who had both left the school,
and knew not with whom to lodge ; but whilst
1 was in this condition, the tidings brought to
me, I received gladly, and went to school
again, and found it pretty much as had been
told me : and thus the Lord pleaded my
innocent cause ; unto whom be glory ascribed
forever.

" Thus far I was got on my way, and was
still to go farther. My parents had taught us
from our childhood, lo ask of them to pray to
God to bless us, and though it is true, there
is not an evil in the thing itself, yet the bring-
ing of it into such a form, as to use it every
night and morning, this also I found was my
place to leave off, at which they were much
offended, and began to beat me into a compli-
ance with them ; but that would not do, for I
had read that saying of our Lord, ' Whosoever
loves father or mother more than me, is not
worthy of me :' so that in a holy resolution I
went on, not much doubting but the Lord
would help me over that as he had over other
things before. The course I took, after much
threatening, and several beatings upon the
above subject, was this ; I left my father's
house, and was kept privately for about fifteen
days, (as Moses by the good providence of
God, and care of his sister, who watched to
see what would become of him, was ordered
to his mother again to be his nurse, a provi-
dence to be commemorated) so was I watched
over by some of those people, unto whom I
was joined in fellowship, and by them invited
to come to one of their meetings, being then



remote from it, yet at their request I went :
for meetings were precious unto me, for X had
been but at about two meetings from that of
the first, which was about three quarters of a
year before ; a good meeting this also was to
me ; and after the meeting, some of the
Friends undertook to go and ofjer me to my
father again : so I went along with them ; and
coming there, they told my father it was their
desire that he would take me home again, as I
was his son ; and if he would not accept of
me as a son, then as a servant into his huyse ;
but if he would not as either, then, said they,
he must become our care, forasuiuch as be
has become one of us. This proposition took
such place with my parents, that the Friends
were thanked for the care they had over me :
and thus 1 was brought home again, and had
free access to their presence morning and
evening, without insisting on the aforenien-
ed ceremony ; yet they were loaih one of their
children should leave their religion, and de-
cline going to church, as they called it. After
this, for about seven weeks, 1 lived with them
at peace, and went to meetings with their
knowledge ; and at the end of that lime, being
the 30lh of the Fourth month, 16S6, 1 went
apprentice to a F'riend in the county of Dur-
ham, by the approbation of my parents, being
conducted thither by my father. And thus
my freedom was brought about, so that I
might well, with some of old, sing unto the
Lord, and say, ' He had delivered me from the
noise of the archers, in the places of drawing
water.'

" Now, in the time of my seven years ap-
prenticeship, to a laborious trade, being a
blacksmith, at leisure times I often read the
Scriptures of the Old and New Testament, in
which 1 found great benefit, being nfl»n broken
into many tears when 1 read, and especially
wimn 1 met with places that mentioned the
call of God to siimers, and their return to his
call, in order for their couverjsion and salva-
tion ; and my delight was in reading some
places of the prophets, which prophesied ot'
the coming of the Just One, and of the work
of restoration that he would bring lo pass; and
although I have said I delighted in those
things, yet the crown of my rejoicing was,
that I was counted worthy lo know this blessed
work begun ; and I did not only read in pri-
vate, but in the family we used to read much
by candle-light, my master and mistress allow-
ing it, and were in the practice thereof them-
selves, being honest Friends, that feared God,
with all their children, who were dutiful to
their parents, and kept very much out of the
evil communication of the world, so that we
were a comfort one to another, as we kept to
that which was good: and when I have been
alone at my work, the Lord did very often
comfort me with his Holy Spirit, and gave me
a sight, that he would give me a dispensation
of the gospel to preach : and for seven years
the word of the Lord was often very powerful
in my heart, not only to the fitting of me for
so great a work, but growing upon me, to the
affecting of my heart : during those years,
living breathings often ran through me to
the Lord, that he would preserve me in his
fear.



THE FKIEPrn.



407



" Afler I had served out tlie full time of my
apprenticeship, I went to llie place of my
birth, and there followed my trade about a
year ; but it was not long until the Lord
brought that which I had seen before more
near, viz., the work of the ministry ; and the
nearer it came to me, I still saw the more
need to be weighty and solid, and much in-
ward in spirit, often filled with the word of
life, so that I could scarcely hold my peace in
the assemblies of the people of God ; yet much
inward and still, often remembering the build-
ing of Solomon's temple, where there was not
the sound of an hammer or iron tool : and in
this quietness in meetings, i was greatly re.
freshed and filled with inward joy to the Lord,
but could not yet utter by words what I felt.
For, indeed, as the ministry is a great work,
it made me the more cautious how I entered
into it, remembering it was not approved, that
one of old laid hold of the ark when it was
shaken.

" Now by all this experience and careful-
ness, I found it safe not to appear in the min-
istry, until I was fully satisfied of the Lord's
requirings therein, although the Lord had
been often with me from meeting to meeting,
and in his visitations, left his holy dew upon
my spirit ; and thus was I filled with the odour
of his good ointment, with which I was anoint-
ed to preach the gospel ; and thus I was led
into the ministry.

" About the 30th of the Tenth month,
1695, being in a meeting at the house of
John Bowron, in Cutherstone, after a little
time, my soul was divinely touched with the
power of God, and his word was again in
my heart, as a burning fire in my bones, and
1 could then no longer contain, my tongue
being loosed, my mouth was opened to speak
of the Lord unto his people in that meeting.
I cannot but observe one thing, and that was
the holy silence which was in the fore part
of that meeting, before my mouth was opened,
although there were several there that had
public testimonies, yet that power by which
I was opened, bound them to silence, but after
I had spoke what I then delivered, there stood
up a Friend, and was like one that had a seal
to set to the words I had spoken. As I grew in
testimony, a concern came into my mind, to
visit Friends in Cumberland, where, after
some time, I went, and was kindly received
by them, and was at most of their meetings,
if not all."

(To bo continued.)

Letter from Joseph Pike to John Fothergill.
Cork, Eighlh monUi 30th, 17-25.
In that love which reaches over sea and
land, do I at this time salute thee, even in
that love which neither time nor distance can
ever separate or wear out, so long as we con-
tinue to be, and keep in the cementing power
and life of this heavenly love. Here it is that
we can truly sympathize together, with all
the Lord's children, in joy or affliction, espe-
cially in those things that relate to the pros-
perity of Zion, or the contrary; in rejoicing
when it flourishes, and mourning when we see
anything that mars or stains the beauty of it ;



as I can truly say I do with thee, and all those
that are heartily and zealously concerned in
soul — that s|Mrilual Jernnalcm may become
the praise of the whole earth, and that her
beauty may shine to (he nations.

But that which hath greatly obstructed
this, at this day, hath very much proceeded
from the lukewarmneKS, easiness, or coldness
of too many of her watchmen, that should at
first have stood in the gap, and endeavoured
to make up the breaches that the enemy was
making in the walls of Zion. And in a par-
ticular manner, by their not standing their
ground, and joining hand in hand together to
keep out that floating, high, and proud spirit
of undue liberty on the one hand, and a spirit
of worldly-mindedness and covetousness on the
other. Here 1 chiefly mean some of our el-



Online LibraryRobert SmithThe Friend : a religious and literary journal (Volume 16) → online text (page 150 of 154)