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them in the elements of geography and astronomy; lest the^ should thereby form an inordinate attachment to these branches of science, and be ambitious of becoming profound mathematicians. It is very strange that a man offense should argue in a way which would apply as much against the cultivation of all the other liberal arts, and even the study of some of the dead languages as against music. But Mr. Clarkson had a party to pleats for, and it was necessary it seems, that even Gothic barbarism itself should be. defended, if it acted in any way as a buttxesi to support the rotten fabric for which he is the advocate.
In opening the Quaker's own objections to music, both instrumental and vocal, it is asserted, "that they aim at ** christian perfection; and that it is their wish to educate •* their children not as moralists, or as philosophers, but at •* christians." According to this sentiment, vocal and instrumental music must be considered as being in some measure contrary to the precepts and example of Christ; for in aiming towards christian perfection, the eye must be directed jleadily to the doctrine and conduct of the founder of this xeligion. But where in the New Testament do we meet with any thing against vocal or instrumental music? So far to the contrary, our Lord himself, on the night that he was betrayed, and immediately after the institution of the sacrament of the supper, joined with his disciples in "singing a hymn." The " psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs" recommended by St. Paul to the Ephesians, will hardly be denominated inward feelings, and certain rapturous flights, or elevations of the , mind, even by those who resolve all religion into internal sensations and external formalities. But what shall we say' ©i the " songs and harps" with which the redeemed in heaven are represented as celebrating the praises of their God and Saviour? If music is so honoured as to be a celestial employment, for saints and angels above, why should it be deemed unfit for mortals here below ?*
• What an amiable contrast does the temper of the pious Her* bert exhibit, to the sfrur, unsocial, and cheerless piety of the Qua» kers. "His chiefest recreation, says Walton, was musick, in which •* heavenly art he was a most excellent master, and did himself *' compose many divine hymns and anthems, which he set and ** sung to his lute or viol; and though he was a lover of retired* *• ness, yet his love to musick was such, thai he went usually •' twice every week, on certain appointed days, to the cathen dral church in Salisbury, and at his return would say, • that *• i his time spent in prayer, and cathedral musick, elevated hit
But k is argued that music may be and is prostituted ta mnworthy aud immoral purposes; and so is every thing and every faculty else. The study of the sciences and the ■learned languages, has been frittered away by some trifling pedants, into criticisms of the most trifling nature; and ia some instances this kind of learning has been made the ve. hide for conveying the most immoral and indecent disquisitions to the public eye. What then; are we to discard the study of the learned languages, lest the minds of our youth should be vitiated by the pruriencies of some of the Greek and Latin poets? If so, we ought to go further, and proscribe the art of reading altogether, for we have in our own tongue, books,of a worse quality, and a more pernicious tendency than can be found among all the remains of antiquity.
To Mr. Clarkson's view of the stage, as it now is, we cannot object ; although we are far from agreeing with him and Jus friends, in th»ir general condemnation of dramatic enter* tainments. That such exhibitions have a direct tendency to "injure the moral feelings of the spectators" is a very strange assertion; and at complete variance with the sentiments of the soundest moral writers of every age. A person must be dead to all "moral feeling" if he could behold the agonies of a Lear, without being deeply affected by the pathetic scene; and he must be either stupidly abstracted, of incorrigibly depraved, if he did not at that time feel the full force of all the tender ties of human nature. Mr. Clarkson Very gravely observes, that " were a man asked, on entering "the door o'f the theatre, if he went there to learn the moral "duties, he would laugh at the absurdity of the question; undoubtedly he would, and so would a Quaker, if you were to ask him the like question when he is entering the stockCx change, qr about to take a pleasant ride, in his chaise in the evening. The silliness of such a question is characteristic of the cause which is thus pleaded for, and also of the mind of the advocate.
When a person enters a theatre to fee an innocent performance, it is with the fame feeling, as when he goes to an exhibition to fee a fine painting; and it would be just at
"• soul, and was his heaven upon earth.' But before his return ** thence to Bemerton, he would usually sing and play his part, at "an appointed private musick meeting: and to justify thb prac** tice, he would often say,' religion does not banish mirth, but "• only moderates and sets rules to it.'"
wise to ask a man " whether he is going to learn the moral •• duties" when he is about to look at the representation of the death of lord Nelson, or of William Penn's treaty with the Indians, as to put such a question to one who is going to fee the tragedy of George Barnwell, or the comedy ofthe West Indian.
From a view of the Moral Education of the Quakers, at it is here called, our author proceeds to acquaint us with the discipline of their sect, and this is divisible, he fays, into two parts.
** The first may comprehend the regulation of the internal asfeirs, such as the management of the poor belonging to it; the granting of certificates of removal to its members; the hearing of their appeals Upon various occasions; the taking cognizance of their proposals of marriage, and the like. The second may comprehend the notice or observance of the moral conduct of individuals, with a view of preserving the rules which the Quakers have thought it their duty to make, and the testimonials which they have thought it their duty to bear 3* achristian people."
The system of discipline was introduced by Gcor g e Fo who pretended to be under the guidance of the divine aid in the formation of it; and it seems the Quakers still believe that his pretension was just. The principle on which Fox acted was, the assumption of a right to watch over all the actions, and even sentiments too, as far as could be discerned, of his followers. He arrogated to himself what the pope had usurped before him, "the power of the keys;" and this right or power Fox bequeathed to the elders of his congregation, by whom it has been continued to be rigidly exercised ever since.
This it must be owned was a master-stroke of policy in Fox, for hereby he kept his people together and he established a sure method of perpetuating the succession. Quakers are obliged to marry in their own tribe, and they are bound to abide by all the peculiar formalities of their sect under pain of censure and disownment, that is, of excommunication. In all this we fee clearly more of worldly policy than of Christian benevolence; and for the liberty of the Gospel we have here the narrow and separating spirit of the antieat Pharisees.
Mr. Clarkson gives us an accurate account of the govern, ment of the Quakers, their monthly, quarterly, and yearly meetings, for which we muff refer our readers to the work itself.
We now enter upon a view of the peculiar customs of the Quakers, the most remarkable of which, are their dress, language, and behaviour.
- Mr. Clarkson gives a description of the extravagant dress which was in vogue when Fox arose, and he retails a whimsical anecdote concerning the famous Dr. John Owen from Wood, about which time, he fays, that Dr. Nathaniel Vincent incurred the displeasure of Charles II. for the foppery of his dress, and commanded the duke of Monmouth, then chancellor of the university of Cambridge, to cause the statutes concerning decency of apparel among the clergy to be put into execution-; which was accordingly done.
Here are two blunders. Dr. Owen was dean of Christchurch, and vice-chancellor of Oxford, under Cromwell, and was deprivedafter the restoration; so that it was not "about this time" that Dr. Vincent made so ridiculous an appearance before Charles II. for this was above twenty years after. The duke ot Monmouth might have had instructions to regulate the dress of the students and other members of the uaiversity of Cambridge, but he could have no authority over the clergy, neither were there any statutes concerning dress which.affected them.
But for what purpose did Mr. Clarkson bring forward these two remarkable instances? Does he wish to insinuate that this ridiculous foppery was general among the cleigy in those times? if he does, his authorities will prove the direct contrary, for they expressly show that these two persons were singular, and differed in their appearance from the reft of their profession.
It is very true, that extravagance in dress was carried to a foolish height both with regard to fashion and expense in those days; but does this furnish an apology for the "plain gray eoat with alchymy buttons, and the leathern girdle" of Fox, or for the whimsical "green apron" of his female devotees?
We shall offer nothing in behalf of gay habiliments, no more than for frivolous amusements; but on the other hand, we shall always treat with contempt that proud and secluding superstition which places much of the virtue and religion of a man in the shape of his hat, and the colour and cut of hii coat.
Mr. Clarkson enters very largely into this important subject of the Quaker-clothing, and were it not for his mentioning "the box of Pandora," the "pallium," and the " toga,"
Yel, XIILCkurchm. Mag. for August 1807.
we might have fancied ourselves attending to a solemn harangue in a meeting-house.
On the subject of the Quaker-language our author is equally diffuse, and he labours with a great parade of learning to vindicate the use of the word thou for you when ap. plied to a single person. He tells a foolish story about a foolish book drawn up by some of the first Quakers, and presented by them to Charles II. "(hewing that in all languages thou was the proper and usual form of speech to a single person, and you to more than one." This book it is said puzzled the archbishop of Canterbury, and "spread conviction wherever it went."
There are two reasons alleged why the Quakers use the pronoun thou instead of you; the one is in compliance with the rules of grammar, and the other is, that is is contrary to their principles to flatter any person. Now all languages in their very nature are subject to the influence of custom, and if the Quakers will scrupulously adhere to grammatical propriety, why do they not practise it alike in all instances? Instead of this, any one who is much in the company of Quakers will continually hear such barbarous phrases as Friend, thee sayejl right;—Friend, thee art wrong, £?c. &c. As to flattery, it is wonderful how any man of common fense could ever think that the word You is more indicative of it, than the application of Thou. But in reality the reason why the Quakers made the alteration was that they might stand alone. Singularity was their object; and the love of singularity is affectation and pride. . To the fame cause we may ascribe the other particulars in the Quaker-phraseology, such as the omiflion of titles of civil honour, and the abolition of the ordinary names of the days and months. On these points Mr. Clarkson makes many observations, and he endeavours to strengthen the common reasons assigned by the Quakers for their peculiarities, by something like biblical criticism, but his attempts this' way, are miserable efforts to evade the direct meaning of language, or to pervert passages to a purpose for which they were never intended.
As Mr. Clarkson has had a great and general intimacy with the Quakers, he has thereby been enabled to give a more exatt pitlure of their domestic manners, than we remember to have met with". He praises them for their hospitality and the freedom with which they treat strangers: Speaking of their conversations he relates the following remarkable circumstance.