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They are neither subject to synods, assemblies, nor pres. byteries; but the elders of each congregation govern their own members.

With regard to their opinions, they are much the same as the Calvinists and the Presbyterians. They allow all to preach who think themselves capable, and will not baptise any who are not of their own congregation. They receive the sacrament sitting, and will not communicate with those who are of another persuasion.

They were not known as a body, or sect, until the time of Elizabeth. They were called Puritans by way of reproach, because they were particular in inculcating a purer kind of life than the professors of the time. They were also stigmatized by the term Novatians ; for, as Novatius formed a distinct sect, on account of the dissolute abuses prevailing in the church of Rome, so the Independents separated from the established church of England about the year 1580.


The Quakers arose in England, about the time of Oliver Cromwell. George Fox, a man of unblamable life and conversation, born at Drayton, in Leicestershire, was the first of this sect.

They were so called in derision, because George Fox, when he was committed to Derby gaol, for promulgating their principles openly, by preaching the necessity of the life of God in the soul, told the magistrates who committed him, to tremble at the word of the Lord. But that has passed away, and the term Quaker is become respectable. Yet they term themselves the Soci

ety of Friends. They address each other by their christian name.

They call those who preach, ministers. In their meetings they sit covered, except when at prayer, during which, the minister kneeling, they all rise: the men uncover their heads, and all remain standing till the prayer is ended, when they resume their former order, and again wait in silence. They believe, that silent waiting for the secret influence of the spirit, is more consistent with the religion of the heart, than a ceremonial, or formal order of worship; that silent meetings are frequently more beneficial to their inward state of retirement.

They believe in the fall of man, in the coming of Christ in the flesh, and in all those things which are written in the scripture concerning him; and that Christ is that “light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world,” They believe in immediate revelation, which is confirmed by 1 Cor. xii. 3. “ No man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Spirit," and that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are one God. But they are averse to unnecess

essary inquiries into subjects which are above the limited ideas of finite beings, as not tending to increase vital godliness. They maintain that the righteousness of Christ is imparted to the regenerate, to whom he 66 is made wisdom and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” 1 Cor. i. 30. That we are justified if we follow and obey the teaching of the inward light. That the reception of the inward light to the renewing of the heart is the true baptism, agreeably to those words, "For John truly baptised with water; but ye shall be baptised with the Holy Ghost." Acts i. 5. Thus they believe, that water baptism is not

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essential : and that there are no visible sacraments re. quired to be observed.

They do not believe in a partial cleansing from sin only, but that purity of heart is to be obtained in this life, agreeably to those words of John, “ If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

As oaths are forbidden, they conform themselves to this command, swear not at all. They have always been uniform in showing their abhorrence of war, by undergoing great deprivations on that account, until government, convinced that they objected from conscientious motives, has included them in the act as exempt from military service, but obliges them to suffer distraint when they are chosen to serve in the militia.

In like manner, they object to the payment of tythe, which they consider as a kind of spiritual oppression, suífer much in their property, and have sometimes been deprived of their liberty on this account.

They hold, that those who minister should do it without fee or reward, which was the opinion of a sect called the Albanenses, who arose in France in the eighth century. They say the gospel is neither to be bought nor sold : yet when their ministers travel, their expenses are sometimes defrayed.

They believe, that the letter only is not the rule to try the spirit, but they consider the scriptures as the rule of life, and as the test whereby doctrines must be proved; they believe also, that when this outward rule is not made living in the heart, by that light which lighteth every man, which is Christ, the true word or anointed in the heart, the hope of glory, it remains a dead letter, agreeably to the apostle, 2 Cor. iii. 6. 6 who hath made uable ministers of the New Testament, not of the letter,

but of the spirit, for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.” Laying, therefore, little stress on outward ceremonies, they endeavour to raise their affections to a pure internal devotion ; to a state of passive humble contemplation, silently attending to the working of the Spirit of God on the mind, agreeably to those words, Isaiah xli. 1. “ Keep silence before me,”—Amos v. 13. 66 The prudent shall keep silence,”—Hab. ii. 20. “But the Lord is in his holy temple ; let all the earth keep silence before him.” On this ground it is, that they have thought all formal, or ceremonial worship unnecessary, because it has a tendency to divert the mind from the one thing needful, viz. silently watching and waiting for the influence of the Holy Spirit, agreeably to those words, Luke xi. 13. “How much more shall


heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him." And 2 Thess. iii. 5. 6 And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.” That this inward influence is in perfect agreement with the words of the prophet, “ Behold the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah, not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers, in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, but this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it on their hearts."

They recommend plainness in apparel, agreeably to the direction of the apostle, 1 Tim. ij. 9. 6 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness, and with sobriety, not with broidered hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array.” They think it right, as it is consistent with scripture, to address

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each other in the singular, thee and thou. They allow of no distinction by way of pre-eminence, such as sir ; nor flattering titles, except they be such as are necessarily attached to situations in life, as the king, prince, dnke, &c. They avoid unmeaning compliments, such as your most obedient humble servant, &-c. and when they separate, their custom is, to use the expressive word, farewell

. Their members, either male or female, who believe themselves called to the office of the ministry, are at liberty to minister, but such are not recognised as preachers until they are acknowledged by the members of the meeting to which they belong.

They justify the practice of women preaching, on this ground, that as male and fernale are one in Christ, so the female has an equal right to minister. And 'from the words of the apostle, Acts xxi. 9. 6 And the same man had four daughters, virgins, who did prophesy." Chap. ii. 16–18.“ But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel. And it shall come to pass in the last days (saith God) I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh : and your sons and daughters shall prophesy, and on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.” Romans xvi. 1. "I commend unto you Phæbe, our sister, who is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea.” Ver. 12. 66 Salute Tryphena and Tryphosa, who labour in the Lord.”

But the Quakers are not the only sect of religious professors who have permitted women to preach. The custom of women speaking, or preaching, is very ancient. The Pepuzians, in the second century, soon after the time of the apostle John, permitted women to fill the office of bishop, to preach and to administer the sacrament. But like the Acephali, who separated from the

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