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to leave thi* rnjrraTTOg. 'har »s Œmusd * be Xsas? <:t vrs^ [constantly pt spared' 33 jive a Xiiiox off tie H»>ps T1:ji is n* us?" No, favs Alexander ArJcoc w*o is cne ot --at Oracles of the Friends this lamm be done- because :iw **■ :«derstanding of -.lie tE.iiue w-L, eves wf:i regard » present duty, is sometimes-irirhdxanra slum those who K otier tioaes experience the ia£-3?nee c£ tae Sptrie cf God. and kraves them ignorant and deir:'~e-*
The wboie Christian life then, we &e„ b made br the Quakers to connst in fapernacaral coœœciucatwBS, and the very path of reL^soas cLcy which we thoijht was plainly enough marked o-it in Scritjetrre, is rendered oc scare if the mind is withoot a dilute nspclfe, or sot directed bv a "clear light."
This pretence to an immediate Eifciratioa is u->kwbeedhr a claim to infallibiliry, and indeed :he erst Quakers were impudent enough to avow it. George To\ favs of himself and his party "that thev have the word of God. Christ, which is eternal and infallible, in their heart, to judge persons and things.'"* A doctrine $0 preposterous, not to lay blasphemous, we should hardly have supposed artv man •would have ventured to state in the present day without the animadversion which it deserves.
In the volume before us, however, this claim to infallibility is expressly maintained in behalf ot the Qiiakers, who tenacioufly hold that the)- have an unerring direction in the Light within, while they regard the Scriptuies as being *' highly useful" in an outward sense, and in points of discipline only subordinate or secondary to the infallible spirit by which they are actuated.
Upon this subject we should think our time as much misspent, were we to enter into a consideration and refutation of it, as our readers would, were we to argue at length against the modest claim to infallibility set up by the old Gentleman at Rome.
In a following chapter it is attempted to be prove*!, that the very " Heathens believed that God's Holy Spirit became a guide to them, and furnished them, as it had done the patriarchs and Jews, with a rule of practice." Our author brings forward as evidences of this, Pythagoras, Timæus, Plato, Seneca, Cicero, and others. But the moll remarkable instance of all, is that of Socrates and his genius, or good angel.
It was the observation of one of the wisest of the persons here mentioned, that there was nothing so absurd but what some philosopher had advanced the like * and of all the absurdities attributed to any of the old philosophers, not one exceeded this of the dæmon of Socrates. The belief of aerial intelligences, or certain intermediate beings between the gods and men, was indeed common among all the Heathen nations, but that a man should have one of these especially allotted to him from his childhood to attend upon him, as his monitor, requires better authority than can be produced by the modern advocate for immediate inspiration.1 Plato and Xenoplion have indee4 recorded this circumstance of Socrates, but who will believe two writers who have directly contradicted each Other in relating the particulars of their master's life?
It is remarkable enough that modern times have afforded us two instances resembiiwg that of Socrates; but neither of them have yet received an apologist. The one was in the cafe of the noted Jgroip Cardan, who pretended to have a dæmon as his constant attendant, but for asserting which he, only exposed himself to universal contempt and derision. The other was that fine genius Torquatus Tasso, who asserted that for many years he was in the habits of conversing with a heavenly visitant, "Si fece all' orecchio quel gentile spirito che quattro anni sono, sua mercede, cortesemente mi savella." J\nd when hit great friend Manso endeavoured to drive the imagination out of his head, Taffo gravely replied. "He instructs me in matters which I have never before heard or thought of." This, to be sure, was a very convincing argument, and we cannot well fee how a Quaker in particular can withhold his assent from it.
Our readers will excuse us for this little rambling, to which we were invited by the extraordinary addgction of heathen authorities, and their lystetn of demonology, in an apology for Quakerism. The occasion was the more alluring because it popped upon us unexpectedly, and we trust that it has not only afforded some amusement to our readers, hut will also be taken in good part by the Friends and their advocate, to whom we have lent such considerable assistance, by furnishing them with two additional, and far from disreputable, authorities, in behalf of supernatural i nstruction. fc
* Cicero, de Divinat. lib. 2.
It is no wonder that with such notions the Quaker* should maintain the possibility of attaining to a state ot unless perfection in this life. Most enthusiasts believe the fame in fact, though many of them do not so frankly own it. When men have brought themselves U believe that their mental faculties are possessed by a divine afflatus, and that they are the special favourites of heaven, having been selected from the mass of corruption, and made, by supernatural operation, the children of God, it is natural enough for them to imagine that they are in a state of total deliverance from fin, or in other words, that they are arrived at perfection. To reason with such persons would be almost as great a folly as to believe them. Two chapters are taken up with telling us that the Quakers do not believe the CalTinistic dogmas of election and reprobation, and with stating their objections to those doctrines, but as we have no concern with what they do not believe, we shall past over these chapters without farther notice.
In the ninth chapter we have a recapitulation of the doctrines of the Quakers concerning the influence of the spirit, in which the darkness and confusion are still more thick and perplexing than before. We are here told what we have long considered to be the real doctrine of the Quakers, that Christ is not * person, but a mere principle, or an operation, and identically the fame with what is called the Spirit of Gon. It must however, in justice be observed, that Mr.. Clarkson will not directly say, "that the Quakers always consider Christ and the Spirit the same, or the former only as a principle." He then quotes Isaac Pennington, an ancient quaker, as faying, "There is a difference Detween the fullness of the light which enlighteneth, and the measure that is given, The one is Christ himself; the other it his gift."
Now though we give Mr. Clarkson credit for his caution, ■we fee nothing in this passage which deviates an hair's breadth from his statement of the Quaker doctrine, for if there is any meaning in the cant of old Isaac, it is this, "that the only difference between the Light retained and the Light imparted, is the degree or the.measure thereof," as he calls it;—a very profound proposition, and well deserving the serious investigation of a mystical analyst.
(To be concluded in our next.)
TO THE EDITOR OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCHMAN'*
THE following curious description of the Visitation of the University of Oxford, by the Parliamentary Commissioners in 1648, was written by Dr. Allibond, of Magdalen College, and afterwards Rector of Bradwell in Gloucestershire where he died ?n 1658. As it is now very scarce, you may probably think it worth preserving in your Magazine.
I am, &c.
Ruflica Acadtmict Oxoniensis nuper reformata Descriptio, in yifitatione Fanaticd, O8..6to, A. D. 1648; Cum Comitiis ibidem Anno sequenU: Et aliis Notatu non indignis.
Auctore Joh. Allibond, S.T.P.
Rumore nuper est delatum Erectas illi crebras cruces
Dum agebamus ruri, Et templa conspcxere,
Oxonium iri reformatum, Quæ prisci pietatis duces,
Ab iis qui dicti Puri. Tune primum construxere. .
Decrevi itaque confestim, Nos autem sanctiora nuper
Obstaculis sublatis, Incidimus in saecula,
Me oculatum dare teslem Qui tollunt ista tanquam super
Hujusce novitatis. Stitionis symbola.
Ingressus urbem juxta morem Ad scholas primum me trahebat Scrutandi desiderio; Comitiorum norma,
Nil præter maciem & squalorem Queis olim quisque peragebat
A Decio in specum jaett ', Expecto regios professores:
Post seculum expergefacti, Nee illic adsunt incepttre*
1 This alludes to the Arabian itory of the seven sleeping mussulmans in iht cave.
Calcavi atrium quadratum, Procuratores sine clavibus, ' . Qyo juvenum examen
Quærentibus ostendas; Confluxit olim-Video pratum Bedellos novos sine stavibuss
Quod densem tegit gramen. Res protinus ridendas. Adibam lubens scholam musices, Suggestum conscendebat Fungus
Quam fæminæ & joci . Insulsa quæque fundens; Ornassent pridem: sed tibicines So dull a fool was ne'er among us,
Jam nusquam erant loci. Pulvinar sic contundens. Conscendo orbis illud decus; Quicquid in buccam evenivit . Bodleio fundatore : '
Miñaci utens dextrà, Sed intus erat nullum pecus Boatu magno effutivit, Excepto janitore.
Et nunquam fuit extra.
There's few could understand 'em. Amicos visitandos,
Nunc propriè sic dictum, Ad ædes propero Mariæ
Nam rerum hic corporearum, . Nam didæ vox nefanda'. Vix quicquam est relictum. Tenebar mox intrandi metu, Hic quæro virum suavitate . Solicitus ut ante;
Omnimoda politums; Sed frustra prorsus, nullo coetu Responsum alibi ingrate, Introitum negante.
“Custodem custoditum." ... Ingressus, sedes senioribus Ad Corpus Christi flecto gressum, Togatis destinatus,
Qua brevitate possum, Videbam cocis, & sartoribus. Jurares novis probris pressum, :) . Et lixis usurpatas. ..! Et furibus confossum. Procancellariusrecens prodit, Ecclesiam Christi susque deque, Cui satis literarum;
Jactatam mox & versam, Quod vero quisque probus odit, Et sobolem heu ! longe lateque Est conscientiæ parum.
1 The fanatics abolished the use of Saint as attributed to the Apostles, &c. and applied it only to themselves. Mr. Addison (Spectator, No 125) tells a humourous story of Sir Roger de Coverley's danger in enquiring for Saint Anne's-lane during these times. A curious instance is to be seen in an inscription on the porch of Ellesmere church, in Shropshire ; where Saint John was originally carved; afterwards, the Saint was eut out; and at the Restora., tion, the Saint was restored to its original situation on the defaced spot,
2 Edw. Reynolds, D. D. appointed vice-chancellor by an ordinance of both houses, ob. 1676.
3 Macaronicè; without staves or maces.
4 Edm. Stanton, D. D. appointed president of Corpus Christi by the Parlia, nent, ob. 1571. 5 Sheldon, afterwards archbishop.