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State of Religious Inquiry amongst Quakers.
95 their offspring from endless bondage, guage of Jesus Christ and his Apos Thus will the rising generation of a tles, is, in my apprehension, unquesdistant clime have reason gratefully to tionable. bless your memory.
BEREUS. I have the honour to be, Your Royal Highness' most humble,
Yarmouth, April 24, 1822.
I duly received thy Letter of the 14th
instant, and have no wish to disguise the London,
pleasure I felt in reading it. Where is
the mind that would not be gratified by SIR, December 10, 1822. VINCE I sent you a copy of the
the approbation, sympathy and zeal of
others, in what it deems matters of highLetter, inserted in your Journal, importance ? To me it appears to be of XVII. 465,) an authenticated copy the highest importance to impress on the of the reply to it has been put into minds of young persons the duty of free my hands, which I also send you. The and serious inquiry in whatever concerns parties are strangers to me personally, their well-being. Happy, indeed, should but are, I have reason to believe, per- ! be, to see the number of the friends of sons of estimable character; and alike, free inquiry increasing, especially in our though it seems implicitly, attached to own Society, for the principles of which the principles of their education. An entertain far more respect than I do increasing spirit of inquiry, arising, ciples must not, however, escape exami
for those of any other sect. Those prin perhaps, in some measure, from the nation,
or be taken upon trust. intolerant proceedings of the Society
It is worthy of remark, that the advo of Friends some years ago, has already cates of all new opinions have asserted produced, in these times, its natural the right of inquiry, while most of them fruits, in some of the most active and have shewn themselves really enemies to zealous disciplinarians of that Society, it in their conduct. Dr. Franklin someviz. a greater degree of toleration to where says, that we shall find few of the wards such of its members, in various ancient Christians who were not in their parts of the kingdoin, as are known turn persecutors and complainers of perby them to hold as highly important
Our own Society was thought by many truths, such religious sentiments as were not long since visited by them to intolerance, until some occurrences
to be remarkably free from a disposition with ecclesiastical censure and excom- of late years called forth the latent spirit munication.
of persecution and dread of inquiry. Let Whether this obvious improvement this teach all who are zealous for the in the conduct of the Society, is to be promulgation of their religious opinions, imputed to a more general conviction to examine well whether they be really of the inexpediency of persisting far- free from this almost universal feeling. ther in such intolerant measures, or
It certainly requires much less labour,
er error to any variation in the views of the skill and judgment, to disc
than to discover truth, and it is common present rulers of the Society, concern
for persons who see that they have avoiding the doctrines in question, com. pared with those which actuated the have none.
ed popular errors, tò suppose that they rulers of the former period, who are The Christianity of the apostles was gone off the stage of this life, or to certainly something very different from any alteration in the sentiments of that which passes for Christianity in the those who are still amongst its rulers, present day, and presumptuous, indeed, is not for me to determine. Perhaps must be be, who imagines that out of the it may in part be justly attributed to mass of falsehood and rubbish with which each of these causes. However that it is mixed up and obscured, he has exmay be, I am well assured that such
tracted the truth, the whole truth, and a difference of conduct as I have
nothing but the truth. How absurd, then, stated, towards conscientious believers to restrain the exercise of that under in the doctrine of the simple Unity of standing given us of God for the discoGod, as is directly opposed to the doc very of truth from error!
I have sent, as thou requested, a few trine of the Trinity, and is plainly ex- copies of my Letter, to which thou art pressed in the language of Scripture, extremely welcome ; charging for them especially in the most definite lana is out of the question, as they are no
thing more than waste paper.* I shall at rians in the Eclectic Review of No. all times be pleased to hear from the vember last. 'It is there asserted “that and am thy sincere Friend,
the word Trinity is objected to, not
only by Quakers, but by many devout
human invention. But still between SIR,
Dec. 15, 1822. the creed of the Quaker and that of I .
tic Review for November, 1822. pancy is infinite. The distinguishing As that publication is supposed to re
tenet of the former, namely, the perpresent the opinions of the best in- ceptible influences of the Holy Spirit, formed of those who call themselves involves in it a practical belief,
as far removed from the No-creed orthodox Christians, it may not be unpleasant to your readers to see the of the Socinian, as light from dark
The readers of the Eclectic concessions, made by those who differ from us, as well as the terms of Review are aware of the frequency abuse they are pleased to heap upon introduced. They know it is the nick
with which the term Socinian is there us. One lesson I trust we shall learn, not to return railing for railing, but
name for Unitarian; but they may on the contrary, to give the reason of not believe that modern Unitarians the hope that is in us without bittere are no more chargeable with Socinus's ness, though accompanied with a maniy system than modern Baptists with the defence of what we believe to be truth. practices of their German predeces
sors. The professed object of the Reviewer,
It is high time that those who in p. 425, is a work of Mr. Barton, contend for the right of private judgthe Quaker poet; though the greatment for themselves, should lay aside aim is to convince his readers that Quakers are not Unitarians, and that who, in the exercise of their reasonFriends are much nearer the standard ing, powers, see cause to differ from of orthodoxy than they are commonly not dwell on the liberality
of the Re:
their brethren. But though we cansupposed to be.
Mr. Barton's publi- viewer, we may recollect his love of cation affords the opportunity of ex. plaining the defects in the Quakers'
truth, in stating “that many devout practice, with which the Reviewer persons belonging to other communi proves himself unacquainted ; and
ties object to the term Trinity, as of shews that he has formed his ideas on is, however, followed by an assertion
human invention.". This concession past periods and not on modern events.
which deserves remark. But it is not my design to dwell on
Between this circumstance, or to lessen the rians there is an infinite discrepancy ,”.
"the creed of Quakers and Unitapraise the Reviewer would bestow on the truly venerable philanthropist Mr. and in the next sentence we are called Allen, whose publication he quotes ;
No-creed Socinians. This indeed may nor is it my wish to attempt to coax who can believe one to be three and
not appear a contradiction to those
more common faculties it will not be
be compared to nothing, and an infi
avowal of the belief in the divinity of tures to bring its counsels to the touch our Lord and Saviour, and in the be. stone of that revelation to the rational nefits to be procured by his death, offspring of God, which is contained in seem to include every essential part of the New Testament.
the Christian system. The man who BEREUS.. believes this with his , heart, believes
American Society for the Abolition of Domestic Slavery. 97 all the Scriptures require him to be- portance but what are clearly stated liere in order to salvation.” This in the word of God. What then does Dust be good news to Unitarians, the Reviewer intend? Is he wise be-, although the Reviewer may not be yond what Divine wisdom has dissequainted with the fact, for we can closed? Or does the phrase, our lannoi suppose him combating a mere guage," mean some particular confescreature of his own imagination. Uni- sion of faith, some standard of true tarians do believe in divine influence : orthodoxy? It would have been cansee Dr. Carpenter on that subject. did to have given an explanation, espe. Unitarians do believe in the divinity cially as his design was to induce the or divine mission of Jesus Christ : see Quakers to join the sect that is characMr. Belsham, Mr. Aspland, Mr. terized by its soundness in faith. PerYates, Mr. Kenrick and Dr. Thomas haps, the writer only meant to furnish Rees. Unitarians do believe in the a specimen of the language of that redemption of the world by Jesus sect, in the correctness and diversity Christ, and the means of recovery of metaphor, and the substitution of from sin and its effects : see Mr. sound for sense in the quotation of Wright, Mr. Wellbeloved, Mr. Ken- scripture. If this were his object, he tish, Mr. Butcher. Unitarians do not is happy in his elucidation of a person only believe that the Scriptures have who believes with his heart, holding revealed to us the means of salvation, the head, belonging to the true cirbut that they alone ought to be the cumcision, worshiping God in spirit, rule of our faith and the guide of our &c. Mr. Editor, I am a plain man, conduct. If because we call no man and as the gospel was designed as a master in matters of religion, we are peculiar blessing for the poor, I am said to have no creed; if because we anxious that both our religious serdeem it better to worship God accord- vices and our controversial writings ing to the dictates of our heart, rather should be conducted in a language that than obey the traditions and inventions may only excite to love and good of men, if for this cause we are lightly works, esteemed by others, we will bear with
L. E F. patience the sneers of the world, and look to him who will judge righte
Bristol, ously, and prepare to give to him an Sir,
Feb. 3rd, 1823. ROM
. first perused the Review I have men- spectable Quarterly Publication, tioned, I was rejoiced, and resolved to entitled “The Inquirer," I have with congratulate my brethren on our being a peculiar degree of satisfaction learnacknowledged to be Christians; for it ed the existence of a Convention of is not always pleasant to see ourselves Delegates from New York, Philadelclassed with Deists, Infidels and Athe- phia and Delaware, whose specific obists. But my joy was damped when jects are “the abolition of domestic I read, and re-read the following pas- slavery, the protection of free Negroes sage: “The man who believes this illegally detained, and generally the with his heart, believes all the Scrip- improvement of the condition of the tures require him to believe in order African race throughout the United to salvation. He may not express States ;” and that this Convention askimaelf on the subject of the Trinity, sembled at Philadelphia on the 29th the personality of the Spirit and other of October, and closed the sittings of points of confessed importance in our its 17th Session on the 29th of No. language; but he holds the head; vember, 1821. he belongs to the true circumcision, This intelligence being new and inwho worship God in spirit, rejoice in teresting to me, I conclude that it will Christ Jesus, and have no confidence be equally so to many of your readers, in the flesh.” Though of all men and that they will share in the pleasure Cnitarians have the least confidence which I feel in finding that the rein the flesh, acknowledging that it is ports of the Session are said to be for of the mercy of God that they are the most part, of a highly encouraging saved and not of themselves; yet they description. “The constituted Sociedisclaim any language of their own, ties continue to add to their numbers, and deem no points of confessed im- the schools for the education of Ne
gro children prosper and increase, and pre-occupied by inveterate vulgar pre-
a plantation so organized, we cannot «« The plan now proposed” (by the doubt respecting the success that American Delegates) “is not new. would have attended his judicious and It is no Utopian visionary theory, un persevering efforts ; and thus it clearly supported by experience. It has been appears, that this bitherto wretched successfully tried in the Island of Bar- and degraded race of men, may, even badoes, by the late Joshua Steel, and with large pecuniary advantage to their the result exceeded his most sanguine owners, be rendered comfortable, raexpectations. The first principles of tional and religious. his plan,' says Dr. Dickson, are the In another article of the “ Inplain ones of treating the Slaves as quirer," (Proceedings of School Sohuman creatures ; moving them to ac- cieties, we are also informed that “a tion by the hope of reward, as well as gentleman of Barbadoes lately made a the fear of punishment ; giving them voyage to England at his own expense, out of their own labours, wages and in order fully to understand the Lanland, sufficient to afford them the easterian system of teaching, and has plainest necessaries; and protecting returned to promote it with his utthem against the capricious violence, most zeul.” too often of ignorant, unthinking, or The information which I have thus unprincipled, perhaps drunken men gained, of bright rays, precursors I and boys, invested with arbitrary trust of freedom and intelligence, havpowers, as their managers and dri- ing penetrated into a morully dark vers. His plan is founded in nature, region, I hope you will permit me to and has nothing in it of rash innova. spread through the medium of your tion. It does not hurry forward a Repository. It cannot, but be acceptanew order of things : it recommends ble to many; and if any of your readers no fine new projects or ticklish expe- have connexions in the Island where riinents ; but by a few safe and easy this interesting experiment has been steps, and a few simple applications tried, and these great improvements of English law, opens the way for a made, I hope they will be disposed to gradual introduction of a better sys- gladden the hearts of the benevolent, tem. To advance above 300 debased by communicating such farther partifield Negroes, who had never before çulars as are within their present know. moved without the whip, to a state ledge, or that by inquiry, they may be nearly resembling that of contented, able to procure. honest and industrious servants, and often paying them for their labour; to
MARY HUGHES. triple in a few years the annual net income of his estates-these were great achievements for an aged man, in an intried field of improvement,
Aible Society's Versions.
God ? and talk deceitfully for him ?". SIR,
Feb. 12, 1823. Job xüi. 7. It is also deserving of HEARTILY wish every person in very serious consideration, whether it free access to a correct copy of the command of God, given us in Dent. Holy Seriptures. But the capital law iv. 2: “Ye shall not add unto the. of the Bible Society, i. e. "without word wbich I command you, neither note or comment," and akove all the shall ye diminish aught from it, that very many serious defects that the ye may keep the commandments of most learned and pious acknowledge the Lord your God, which I command attend our version, and many other you.” And in Rev. xxii. 18: “If very modern translations, have effec- any man shall add unto these things, tually
prevented me from having any God shall add unto him the plagues thing to do with the Bible Society. 1 that are written in this book.”. sent a letter about the year 1810 to
Esq., a very zealous two monthly publications, in which I and aetive member of the Bible Soexhorted the distributors of Bibles and ciety, called on me, many months ago, Testaments seriously to consider whe- to procure orders for Bíbles and Testher they ought not to correct our taments. I informed him that I had version, before they proceeded to mul- Bibles and Testaments put into my tiply the copies in so great a degree. hands to give away, and that I had
When I give away a Bible or Testa. then some copies by me. He came ment, I put the following note in one in, took a seat, and we conversed for of the blank pages at the end of it: a few minutes. When he rose up to
“! John v. 7, There are three go away, a few of my books being at that bear record in Heaven, the Far hand, I pointed to them and said, there ther, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: is Newcome, and there is Griesbach; and these three are one."
and there is the Improved Version; and “ Dr. Doddridge thought this past then turning to him, I laid my finger sage doubtful.
on his arm, and said in a very serious “Archbishop Newcome has left it manner, what a pity, Sir, it is that our out of bis translation of the New Tes translation was not improved before tament: and the present Bishop of the copies were so much multiplied ! Lincoln says it is spurious. See Dr. He, I apprehend, meant to say that it Prettyman's Works, Vol. II. p. 90." was not expected at first that the co
And in more instances, probably, pies would have been so numerous than one, I have also pointed out ihat the work would be done. I resome acknowledged erroneous translab plied, yes it will be done,--but in
the mean time I have suffered a great It appears from a pamphlet by Dr. deal from the defects of our transla, P. Smith, that he had used to information; and I feel for those that shall his Catechumens that I John y. 7 was coine after me; I meant wheresoever not genuine ; and that this offended these corrupt translations shall be dissome of his brethren. He says in his persed. own defence, “I cannot, as an honest He some time after favoured me man, permit my Catechumens to re with the loan of the second number peat the passage as if it were a part of Mr. Bellamy's Translation of the of the word of God, and I should Bible : when I returned it, I sent with dread the effects (and I know a painful it a letter that contains the following instance) of the discovery being made passage : at a less propitious time." Vindiciæ “I
wish, Sir, you would seriously Academicæ. Part 2nd. By John Pye ask yourself, whether the great works Smith, D.D.; p. 77.
of Kennicott and Griesbach, and the I also beg leave to say, that it is not New Translations of part of the Scripacting an open, honest and upright tures by Bishop Lowth, Drs. Blayney, part, por doing as we would be done Geddes, Doddridge, Archbishop Newby, to give away Bibles or Testaments come, and many others, do not call without taking such notice of it, as is upon you and other persons to use all specified above. Truth stands in no your influence to excite the British need of error to-shore it up. Job nation to improve our authorized Versays, “Will ye speak wickedly forsion of the Holy Scriptures. Depend