« ForrigeFortsett »
of the «
REFORMING" fons of liberty, of whatever rank or deno: mination.
Would it were in my power, Sir, by any thing I could farther add, to convince your correspondent G. how much more effentially it might serve the cause of pure and undisguised religion, in these times especially, would he satisfy himself by upholding and supporting those usual forms and regular modes of worship, which 19 many pious and conscientious diisenting ministers of real worth and learning steadily adhere to in their own proper places of congrega: ting, without intruding upon, or rather feducing, the flock of other pattors, by unsettling the minds of those who have perhaps been brought up, and willing of themselves to remain as quiet members of the established church. He would then find few men of candour impeach his conduct for any unbecoming zeal--as who in that cale would presume to quarrel with him for worshipping his Maker in the manner he shall think beft? But, then, is it too much to say he thould obferve such method as would not give just ground of offence to his neighbour by an officious encouragement of mere jugglers” in religion, if the term may be pardoned me!
Let me just observe, that when G. maintained that “ there are very few of the Diffenters firenuous in political concerns, or active in their hoftility to our conftitution in church and state," couid hardly be aware that such and similar instances might be adduced to the contrary with those stated in your last Number, as having occurred in the neighbourbood of Leeds.
If G. mix much in the world, surely he must himself have witz nessed the extraordinary conduct of many Diffenters, who, upon the first establishment of Volunteer Corps, now so general, were pleased to manifest a wonderful forwardness to be enrolled in defence of their King and country, and when admitted, have taken not leis pains, though not quite so “ publicly," to excite distrust, jealousy, and murmuring amongst their brethren in arms; and, in the end, upon fome paltry pretence, have most unhandsomely fcceded. In some cates, indeed, commanding officers, upon discovering the “ cloven foot,” have, though with some expence and much inconvenience to themselves, in a proper manner either discharged them, or intimated the neceflity of their inftantly withdrawing. This, Sir, has been so notoriously the fact in several districts that, were I not even fearful of longer trespatiing, it were scarcely worth while to specify more fully and particularly circumstances which many of your impartial readers can bear me very ample testimony.
I would, therefore, for the present only, in G.'s own words to you, Mr. Editor, Number vii. P. 98, “ beseech him, for the sake of God, his own soul, and the welfare of his King and country, to proceed no farther in fo dangerous a road, upon such a subject ; but tread back the path he has trodden by a public acknowledgement that he has already gone too far!!! June 14, 1799
TO THE EDITOR. I
Did not intend to have made any farther remarks on the abuse
which some of the contributors to the Review are bestowing on the poor Quakers, of which body I am an individual. In this capacity I offered
former remarks ; and I mention it now to obviate one with which they were introduced, “ At length the friends have broken filence.” However, when fa&, and not opinion, is the question, it matters little by whom it is adduced.
I have now an inclination to advert to the letter of last month, figned T. Countermine, particularly as Leslie is, I believe, though not quotel, his source of information and his pattern for abuse: and it is very much in order to show once more the unfairness and fallacy of Leflie's way of quoting our authors, that I solicit the infertion of this. I hope, in future, if our opponents will have the candour to acknowledge what they take from him, their readers may know in what estimation hold the évidence.
George Fox's letter to Cromwell is dated 11th month, 1657, (not 1659, as says Countermine, which was after Cromwell's death.) So Leslie has it, vol. 11. P. 113 of his works. Probably it had no date at all, as was not unusual with Fox, but was delivered to Cromwell, (as says the original printed copy, published in 1659,) in the 11th month, 1657. I only mention this to prove I have got hold of the right thing. I have read it through. The words, “ Tbou fbouldest not bave food trifling about small tbings. Do not stand cumbering tbyself about dirty priests," are not prefixed to the words “ Hollanders bad been tby subjects, &c. nor is the latter part, marked with double commas, in the letter at all. Neither are the words, “Let thy foldiers go fortb witb a free and willing beart, tbat tbou mayst rock nations in a cradle, for a mighty work batb the Lord to do in otber nations, and their quakings and saking are but entering. So* tbis is the word of the Lord to thee, as a cbarge from the Lord God; neither, I fay, are these words to be found at all in the said letter. On these latter words, however, is built the charge of T. Countermine.
I will now just show where and how these last words are introduced. In another letter of George Fox to Cromwell, wherein is no mention of priest or king, they come in, as follows. I set down some of the preceding sentence, and of the succeeding words, to show the context; and I punctuate according to the edition of 1659, whereby it appears that “ So this” &c. begins after a period,
Therefore live in the power of the Lord God, and feel bis band tbat is stretched out over the nations, for a migbty work batb the Lord to do in otber nations, and tbeir quakings and Jbakings are but entering. So this is the word of the Lord God to thee, and a sbarge to tbee from the Lord God, in tbe presence of the Lord God, live in the power of the Lord God df beaven and Eartb, that will make all nations to tremble and quake,
The omiffion of the word this in T. C.'s letter is, probably, an error in copy or print.
for those be God's enemies that be out of bis power and counsel, and be tbou faithful to God singlely, without respecting any man's perfon, but respect tbe Lord and bis work, and be obedient to bis will finglely, witb
end to tbyfilf, living in the pure wisdom, counsel, and instruction The plea, printed 1661, is, I believe, by Edward Burrough, intitled “ A juft and rigbtcous plea prisinted unto the King of England and bis council
, &c. bring the true state of tbe prefent case of ibe people, called Quakers, truly demonstrated and justly pleaded in ibeir bebalf." Lellie refers the words mentioned by Countermine, “ Sucb of us wlose principles were once so, are cbangeii cven from tbat principle and practice of going to war and figbting," to p. 5 of the Quaker's plea. I have carefully read the page and cannot find the words; and have also examined such other parts of the plea as had reference to fighting, or to allegiance, but have not found them. If it Thould de faid, this is not the plea meant by Countermine and Leslie, I answer, a catalogue of the books written by the friends was published in 1708, and it'is the best clue we have for old pieces. It has a head Quakers, comprehending pieces published in the name of the body, which head has no piece called a plea in 1661, or any other date. The plea abo e-mentioned stands under Burrough. I have also sought under Fox, Howgill, and Whitehead, in vain.
I am inclined to think, that until George Fox's writings are more faithfully represented to the public, than is likely to be done by retailing the page of Leslie, I need not enter into arguments, or encounter dilemmas, to vindicate his character. In the mean time I think my former argument holds good, that to go back such a length of time for a charge, is, in effect, a panegyric on the modern friends.
EXAMINER. 14tbGtb montb, 1799.
TO THE EDITOR
verses, and their context, to the more striking transactions of the present times. I have had the pleasure of seeing several of my pre dictions since fulfilled, and have conversed with some learned and ingenious men, who highly approve the discourse in question. Here. after, perhaps, it may be printed entire : but by admitting, in the mean time, a few extracts from it, you will oblige your devoted fervant,
FATIDICUS. Daniel, c. xi. v. 36. "He mall magnify himself above every God, and speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall profper, till the indignation be accomplished; for that that is deterined thall be done." Amidst these prevailing corruptions there fall spring up an Antichristian power, the champion of infidelity
who shall pursue the most arbitrary measures-fhall exalt itself above the nations, arrogate to itfelt all the homage paid to faints, or gods, by the Papift, or the Pagan, and even blaspheme the God of gods, denying his existence, and ridiculing his name ; and this power shall prosper till the indignation of the Almighty against the sophisticators of Chriftianity be accomplished-shall be an inttrument in the hands of the Moft High, to overthrow the last great empire prefigured by the prophet. v. 37. The prophetic fcripture farther proceeds to inform us, that this Antichristian power fhall have no regard for God as being the God of his fathers; who, though they addressed the Deity through the medium of saints, yet worshipped the true God. No. he shall have respect for nothing as rendered venerable by the sanction of antiquity ; since he shall despise all former usages, and customs, and manners : nay, he shall disregard the desire of women for the defire of wives); he shall night the marriage-ceremony, and ridicule all conjugal affection. v. 38. “ But he Mall honour the god of forces, or (as it might have been rendered) the god of fortreffese god whom his fathers knew not, shall he honour with gold and silver, , and precious stones, and pleasant things"-with the spoils and trophies of war, consecrated with mock worship in mock heathen teinples. v. 39.
“ Thus shall he do, in the most ftrong holds, with a strange god, whom he thall acknowledge and encrease with glory.--And he Mall cause them to rule over many, and mall divide the land for gain.” Through his fortresses, erected every where in honour of his Itrange god, he shall extend his dominion over many people, and shall divide his territories into different provinces, with no view to personal property or security, bat solely for his own aggrandisement.
Who, then, is this Antichristian power, destined to put an end to patriarchal and papal Rome, despising the God of his fathers, doing homage to the god of forces, and plundering and subduing the countries in a manner before unheard of? Who is it, but democratic and infidel France ? St. Paul has drawn the portrait of Gallic apoftafy, in colours ftill more striking and vivid. 2d Epift. Thell. c. ii. " The day of Christ shall not come unless there be a falling off first; and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or is worshipped." Surely, these are terms too harsh to be applied, in Chriftian charity, to the Apostles of Chrift; though erring, yet, we hope, fincere in their profession of the Gospel. Can it be said, that the Bishops of the eastern or the western church, the Greek Emperors, or the Roman Pontiffs (however pompous their titles may have been,) have, at any period, exalted themselves above the God of gods, or honoured the god of forces, whom their fathers knew not--that (however corrupt their Ministers) they have divided the land for gain? Can we call the head, either of ihe eastern or the western church, the man of fin, the son of perdition? In the rage of polemical controversy, the Proteftant, I own, hath often branded his antagonist with such appellations : but, even in the last age, there were many Divines of our Church who hesitated in applying them to the Pope. Yet, can any
one diffent, a moment, from the propriety of their application to a country of avowed and blafphemous infidels, who have over-run the world with fire and sword, breathing defiance against God, and ven. geance against many Have not the French, in a notorious manner, rified the museum, the galleries of art, and plundered the shrines of the Papists, in order to enrich their god of fortresses with gold, and with silver, and with precious stones—with pictures and with statues ? And have they not finally dethroned the Pope himself, and abandoned his doininions to an insolent soldiery? In the 7th chapter of Daniel, v. 20, the fame people, or the leader of the same people, is imaged to us under the figure of the little horn, with eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things: and it is plain, that to the strength of the horn (or military valour) the French nation collectively, and the leaders of their armies, individually, have added that strength which consists in fagacity, cunning, and address, and which they exert in high-sounding claims, and boasting manifeftoes. In v.21, of this chapter, it is said, “ The same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them.” That the appellation of saints is exactly suited to the Roman Catholics, as well as the Christians of the Greek church, no one can hesitate to determine who inspects their calendar full of saints, or considers their saint.worship; against whom we have a notorious leader making war, and prevailing in a most signal manner. The last trait which I shall notice is, a remarkable feature of the French character : it is, indeed, so discri. minating a mark of the present Gallic democracy, and, at the same time, so inapplicable to any other people or personage, that it must fix, (I had almost faid,) in unprejudiced minds, the application of the whole prophetic paffage. v. 25. “He shall speak words against the Moit High, and shall think to change times and laws.” Several of the commentators, in applying this verse to the Pope, have inti. mated their doubts upon the subject. For, though by the adoption of faint-worship, he hath greatly departed from the fimplicity of the gospel, it dous not appear that he hath ever blafphemed the Most High : and, admitting this to be the case, what connection hath hi impiety with the change of times and laws ? Besides, the Pope has not changed times, nor laws, in such a distinguished manner as to render the revolution a subject of prophetic enumeration. The calendar of Pope Grigory is but a flight improvement of that of Julius Cæsar. In this verse there is surely predicted that great apostary of which we have been trembling spectators. We have seen the French abolishing Chriftianity; and, in order to root out the very memorial of it, destroying their whole calendar, and adopting a new reckoning of time ; the non-observance of which is attended with the severest penalties.
Having thus applied that paragraph to infidel France, which has hitherto been appropriated to papal Rome, let us pursue the thread of the prophecy. c. xi. v. 40. “ And, at the time of the end, shall the King of the south peth at him; and the King of the north shall come againit him, like a whirlwind, with chariots and with horfemen,