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thee blessed. Did thy life go out as the snuff of a candle ? O nay! Thou hast penetrated the hearts of many, and the memorial of the just shall live for ever, and be in renown among the children of wisdom for ever, &c."*
Many other instances of extravagance and folly, more gross' than any yet enumerated, might readily be selected from the history of the Friends; but in some of these, we are aware, that we should be immediately met by the assertion, that the friends themselves disapprove of the conduct of some of the individuals who figure in their history, and were united with their body. Such, for in
* That the posthumous honours of Burroughs may not suffer in our hands, it may be necessary to notify to the reader, that he was not only a prophet but a poet. Isaiah and other of the Hebrew prophets have, as is sufficiently known, delivered some portions of their writings in poetry, which for sublimity of thought, and force and beauty of expression, deservedly command our admiration. With this observation, we will introduce a specimen of Burroughs' inspired poetry, which we extract from a long poem, constructed by him as an introduction to Fox's book, entitled “ The great mystery of the greut whore unfolded.” 1659. “ The antichrist who hath put on and cover'd with sheep's cloathing,
And long ruld kings, on notions inwardly ravening;
Then is the day of praises, for saints both great and small.” We confess this does not read like inspiration ; and yet so careful is the collector of the remains of Burroughs in preserving whatever records of his genius or his inspiration were worthy of going down to posterity, that on turning to the volume of his works, which was collected and published after his death, we find the above divine composition inserted, with the following note by the Editor.
· This epistle was, by E. B., prefixed to a book of G. Fox's published in the year 1659; which, though some of it related to that book, yet, it being Ě. B.'s epistle, and much of it of a more general concernment, it was judged meet to be here inserted and published with the rest."
Francis HowGILL, the author of the last quoted testimony, was, it may be necessary to observe, a man of good report among the Quakers, and greatly
stance, would be the case with regard to the well-known instance of James Naylor, whose horrible blasphemy reached to such a pitch, that he received from many of the Quakers the titles and appellations which belong to God himself; and his female followers, when he was in prison at Exeter, actually kneeled before him and kissed his feet. It does not at all satisfy us to be told, that the more prudent Quakers, even in his own days, condemned his conduct and that of his followers; for the question, as far as our present inquiry is concerned, simply is, whether their extravagance was not the natural effect and legitimate offspring of their own doctrine of the inward light? It was, as we conceive, in admirable keeping with the Quaker creed, that Naylor, when asked, during his examination before Parliament, why he suffered those women to worship and adore him ?” coolly replied, that “ bowing to the creature he denied, but if they beheld the power of Christ wherever it was, and bowed to it, he had nothing by which he might resist that, or gainsay it." Sewell, whilst he condemns the conduct of Naylor, seeks at the same time to extenuate it, by observing that, during these transactions,“ his understanding was under a cloud;” now, this is exactly what we think, only that we say it was a cloud arising from the mists of Quakerism. This is, indeed, the very thing which we are concerned to establish; and we think, that the evidence already presented, ought to convince even the Quakers themselves, that “ all their fathers were under the cloud,” only impending, perhaps, though of that we should feel some doubt, more densely over the heads of Naylor and his companions.
Another brief instance of the effects of the Quaker principles -in which it will be difficult to determine which ought the most to command our admiration, the folly or the assurance
influenced by the inward light; by which, indeed, he was prompted to go to court to lecture the Protector, and subsequentiy to annoy him with several prophetic letters. His works were, after his death, collected by the faithful in a folio volume; in the introduction to which, we find " Thomas Langhorn's and Thomas Carlton's testimony concerning Francis Howgill.” In this testimony, the two Thomas's have enshrined in verse the virtues of their saint.
« God's everlasting gospel he did preach,
His witness pure in many he did reach;
it evinces-we present from Picari, (Tome iv.p. 144, 145) who relates, that during the war which followed the English revolution, a Quakeress, named Esther Bidley, went on a mission from God to exhort to peace the powers which were at war. She addressed herself first to the Queen of England, (Ann) by whom she was kindly received; she then proceeded to France, and, by means of James the II., obtained an interview with the Duke of Orleans, whom she desired to introduce her to the King (Louis XIV.); upon her request being refused by the Duke, the Quakeress exclaimed, “ I converse every day with the Monarch of Monarchs, and it is not permitted to me to speak for a moment to the King of a single nation!!”
It may possibly be objected, that we have noticed chiefly the unlearned teachers of the Quaker principles—unlearned indeed! So then we must admit, that the SPIRIT OF GOD, by which these teachers are supposed to have spoken and to have written, requires the aid of human learning to prevent its manifestations from appearing ridiculous ! But we are by no means certain, that even the learned and, as he is generally considered, the amiable Penn, was wholly, free from that pride and presumption which is, as we maintain, of the very essence of the Quaker principles. His overbearing manners and virtuperative language to his opponents, proceeded less, we would fain believe, from an unfeeling heart, than from a head intoxicated with the fumes of spiritual pride. His old friend, Mr. Fermin, he denominated “ a winding sheet,” “ that little, great, pragmatical Thomas “ Fermin-a monster, all tongue and no ears.
Mr. Hedworth, he called “a very night-bird--a wanderer-one that looks “and creeps about like an angry, vagrant Momus-burstened • with folly and revenge--stuffed with dull ignorance and
cavilsshallow head-envious heart !” In his Pamphlet, entitled “The Spirit of Alexander the Coppersmith,” he calls Mr. Mucklow," an old cankered apostate, a very mu?tineer in religion, a dark, envious, inveterate man—an ada“mantine Alexander the apostate.”* Bishop Burnet, who was personally acquainted with Penn, describes him as * talking, vain man, who had been long in the king's favour, “he being the vice admiral's son. He had such an opinion of
his own faculty of persuasion, that he thought none could “stand before it, though he was singular in that opinion ; “ for he had a tedious, luscious way that was not apt to over
come a man's reason, though it might tire his patience.”
* See this and much more, as stated in “ the true picture of Quakerism," 1736.
(History of his own times, folio edition, vol. 2, p. 693, 1724.) This judgment of Burnett concerning Penn is, confess, in our minds, greatly confirmed by the letters which passed between him and Baxter; and which have been only recently presented to the public, being published from the original MSS. in Dr. Williams' library.* One of these letters [date 1675] opens in the following terms, “ I have received a long letter from thee, which I shall
answer with what brevity I can. The first part of it “ contains an evasion of meeting ; the last a repetition of
thy old refuted clamours; and both wrapped up “ terms only fit for the devil ; such is the sweetness of thy
nature, and the great charity of thy new modelled re
ligion.” Richard Baxter's letter, to which the above is à reply, by no means deserves the epithet by which it is characterised; it is written, indeed, with some peevishness, but Baxter was at the time an invalid, and the poor man had the day before been exposed to a seven hours debate with Penn! In another of these letters, Penn makes use of the following gentle language : “ For thy senseless, head
less, tailless talk, I profess I am more than ashamed, for I “was grieved. Has my last kind letter had no better success? “I perceive the scurvy of the mind is thy distemper; I fear
it is incurable.” The Editor of the Monthly Repository offers an apology for the asperity with which this correspondence was conducted; he intimates that some allowance should be made for the times in which these letters were written, for that “ both these good men were infected with the polemical temper of the age.” This, certainly, may be an apology for Baxter, but it can prove none for Penn. Penn wrote by the spirit of God.-Penn's thoughts were dictated by the inward light.-What, then! is the spirit of God " infected with the polemical temper of the age?” We admit, indeed, with the Editor, that “ im
provement in knowledge has softened the asperity of theo“logical controversy;" but the question is-has improvement in knowledge softened the asperity of the spirit of God? Is the divine wisdom debased or improved, according to the ignorance or intelligence of the age in which it is manifested. We put then this query to the serious consideration of every sincere member of the Society of Friends—are you not compelled to charge all the folly, the presumption, the
* See Monthly Repository for March and April 1823.
impiety, which we have proved to be so common among the early members of your sect, upon the spirit of God, or to admit the very case which we are endeavouring to establish, that such folly, presumption, and impiety have been engendered by, and are the natural consequence of, that pernicious and intoxicating principle which ascribes the thoughts and actions of man to the immediate and supernatural agency of the Most High?
What then is the point to which we have now arrived ? We say, that the belief in the inward light, and the dependance on a constant revelation to, and miraculous influence exerted on, the heart of man, as defined and believed in by the Quakers, have a most pernicious tendency; that they are calculated, when encouraged, to produce pride and extravagance and fanaticism, in an extreme degree. We have proved abundantly, and could, if challenged to the task, fill a volume with similar evidence, that such qualities have been prolific amongst this sect.
For this effect then, we are compelled to seek a cause. If the cause we have assigned be not one applicable to the case, or adequate to produce the effect, it will be for the parties themselves to adduce a cause more appropriate and fully sufficient. It is evident, indeed, that, from an ignorance of scripture language, and a fatal and much-to-be-lamented misunderstanding of the simple doctrines of the gospel, many other sects of religious professors have, more or less, participated with the Quakers in the doctrine of the continued influence of the Holy Spirit; we admit thus much, but at the same time we must observe, that the pernicious effects upon such sects have accordingly been similar in kind, if not equal in degree, with those which we have seen to follow in the Quaker body. With each and all, however, who assume the possession of this inward influence, we avow ourselves at issue; but chiefly with the Quakers, because, of their system, it forms the chief and leading feature. We are aware, that in favour of the continued influence of the Holy Spirit, a reference is made to scripture authority; but, without entering on an obstruse, textual inquiry, we profess our belief, that the scriptures, so far from favouring such an influence as existing in the present day, or in any age after that of the apostles, are decisively against it. Nor is it a little remarkable to observe the confusion which prevails in the argument by which the Quaker writers main tain the affirmative of this question ; for they refer us, generally, as evidence in favour of their hypothesis, to the