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forbearance in judging of the religion of others. For who is he, who can say that he sees the furthest, or that his own system is the best? If such men as Milton, Whiston, Boyle, Locke, and Newton, all agreeing in the profession of Christianity, did not all think precisely alike concerning it, who art thou, with thy inferior capacity, who settest up the standard of thine own judgment as infallible? If thou sendest thy neighbour to perdition in the other world, because he does not agree in his creed with thee, know that he judges according to the best of his abilities, and that no more will be required of him. Know also that thou thyself judgest like a worm of the earth; that thou dishonourest the Almighty by thy reptile notions of him; and that, in making him accord with thee in condemning one of his creatures for what thou conceivest to be the misunderstanding of a speculative proposition, thou treatest him like a man, as thou thyself art, with corporeal organs, with irritable passions, and with a limited intelligence. But if, besides this, thou condemnest thy neighbour in this world also, and feelest the spirit of per
šecution towards him, know that, whatever thy pretensions may be to religion, thou art not a Christian. Thou art not possessed of that charity or love, without which thou art but as a sounding brass and à tinkling cymbal.
Having therefore no religious prejudices * myself except in favour of Christianity, and holding no communion with the Quakers as a religious society, it cannot be likely that I should attempt to proselyte to Quakerism. I wish principally, as I stated in my introduction to this work, to make the Members of this community better known to their countrymen than they are at present. In this I think I have already succeeded; for I believe I have communicated many facts concerning them, which have never been related by others. But no people can be thoroughly known, or at least the character of a people cannot be thoroughly understood, unless we are
* Though I conceive a charitable allowance ought to be made for the diversity of religious opinions among Christians, I by no means intend to say, that it is not our duty to value the system of opinion, which we think most consonant to the gospel, and to be wisely zealous
in its support.
acquainted with their religion. Much less can that of those under our consideration, who differ so materially, both in their appearance and practice, from the rest of their fellow-citizens.
Having thought it right to make these prefatory observations, I proceed to the prosecution of
CHAP CHAPTER 1.
The Almighty created the universe by means of his
Spirit—and also man-He gave man, besides his intellect, an emanation from his own spirit, thus making him in his own image—but this image he lostma portion, however, of the same Spirit was continued to his posterity—These possessed it in different degrees -- Abraham, Moses, and the prophets had more of it than some othersJesus possessed it immeasurably, and without limit—Evangelists and apostles possessed it, but
in a limited manner and in different degrees. The Quakers believe, that, when the Almighty created the universe, he effected it by means of the life, or vital or vivifying energy, that was in his own Spirit.
6 And the earth was without form, and void ; and darkness was upon the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
This life of the Spirit has been differently named, but is concisely styled by St. John the evangelist the Word; for he says,
" In the beginning was the Word, and the Word
was with God, and the Word was God. All things were made by him, and without him was not any thing made, that was made.'
The Almighty also, by means of the same divine energy, or life of the Spirit, which had thus created the universe, became the cause of material life and of vital functions., He called forth all animated nature into existence. For he “ made the living creature after his kind.”
He created Man also by the same power. He made his corporeal and organic nature. He furnished him also with intellect, or a mental understanding. By this latter gift he gave to Man, what he had not given to other animated nature, the power of reason, by which he had the superiority over it, and hy means of which he was enabled to guide himself in his temporal concerns.
But he gave to Man at the same time, independently of this intellect or understanding, a spiritual faculty, or a portion of the life of his own Spirit, to reside in him. This gift occasioned Man to become more immediately, as is expressed, the image of the Almighty. It set him above the animal and rational part of his nature. It made him