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belong. Too happy, if in thus taking on themselves the whole responsibility of a Religious Establishment, connected with the State, (but not found in the New Testament) they shall be justified before God, and accepted of the people at large!
In this, as in the case of Taxes for the general purposes of the State, it seems likely that Friends would not decline the payment of that to Cæsar, the application of which should be so clearly made out to be Cæsar's : but our Testimony to the free ministry of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ will remain upon our shoulders still; to be supported as heretofore—would that I could also say, as of old! Friends have needed or this subject, of late, even to be reminded of the character given beforehand to passive Issachar; that he was a strong ass, couching down between two burdens; and seeing rest was good (though under the panniers) and the pasture pleasant, he bowed his shoulder to bear, and became a servant to tribute :-to an ignominious tribute indeed, in the present case, bringing no return of protection, but stripes and curses in its stead! We hear little among us now, of courage and constancy, in holding this standard upright in view of the enemy: all seems to centre in advices to Christian meekness, and a quiet bearing of all that comes upon us. Well ; meekness is a virtue becoming Christ's disciples, above all men-but where and how are we to exhibit it? Formerly this was done under the sabre of the trooper, and amidst the rude and brutal treatment of the court-room and the gaol : now, we are content to view the danger of the testimony at a distance; and this virtue is grown so near to worldly prudence, as that it can scarce bring itself to look the Justices in the face at the Petit Sessions, or the Constable when he comes to distrain. To be sure, that Moses was the meekest man on earth, of his time: he but once offended in anger, and that by little more than a word—but what did he (with Divine help and direction) to Pharaoh and his host ? He led them upon a shoal and drowned them in the depths of the sea ! We may disclaim political motives as long as we please ; but no one will be able to persuade me, that here is nothing of that feeling mixed in with the Testimony, which leads a man to care for his own : and why should this be attempted to be excluded, when we oppose so manifest injustice, such enormous spoil and wrong?
The Yearly Epistle, now in course of reading in our Meetings for worship throughout the Society, says on the subject of WAR, We are comforted in the belief that our Christian principles, as regards all war, are spreading in the world. Indeed there is cause of satisfaction for us, and an incentive to thankfulness and praise to God, in that peace has continued so long; that the veteran has had time to lay his bones in his native land, and the young soldier space to forget his sanguinary lesson, and betake himself to other pursuits. The advice therefore is good with which the Epistle proceeds, May we, as opportunities present themselves, promote by every means in our power the brotherhood of the nations of the earth.'
Yes, that heavenly attribute of the Gospel of Christ, in the first sentence that was ever preached of it, ' Peace on earth,' is becoming more and more conspicuous in the view of its professors. It is agreed, now, that if possible we shall remain at peace: the conviction of men's judgments, and their improved affections towards each other nationally, furnish a daily increasing security for this ; and it must be no ordinary pretext now (certainly not chagrin at a window out of plumb, or the demand of a white elephant) that shall set potentate against potentate and the world in flames.
Let us the people called Quakers, then, thank God and take courage: but let us rejoice with trembling, and ask ourselves, Are we worthy of the blessings and benefits thus conferred upon us? Is our character for honesty as safe now, by indubitable proof, as for piety? Are we grown more charitable, as well as more knowing ? Nay, are we even less credulous and superstitious, than in the age of stayed hats and drab suits, of few words and no compliments at all? We are of late years so changed in habit and deportment, that superficial obser. vers, losing us from view in the streets, have imagined us quite gone down as a people, or reduced at best to an inconsiderable remnant. Our entrance into a counting-house or a Justice-room no longer provokes the grin of the little, and the affable pity of the great: we are treated with civility in all companies, and expected to become like the rest of the world (for all is genteel now that can afford it) and in due time to rub off the rust altogether! Wo unto us, though, if with an antiquated external we put off also the simplicity of our minds, the integrity of our wills, the moral elevation of our spirits! It will avail us little to have gained, in place of them, a more complete and modish
Christian profession, and the facility of uttering (with Napthali, that
With these cautions duly observed, we may go on (while there is
Art. II.--Extracts elucidatory of some passages in Barclay's Apology.
Composed by John Eliot of London, lately deceased; printed in
[The Author's preface.] Having in earlier life, when reading the
[Contents.], $. I. Preliminary Observations, stating the reasons
On the term
§. I. Preliminary Observations. It will be seen that in the following
A list of George Keith's publications before his dereliction of the Principles of Friends, may be seen in Whiting's Catalogue.' These writings, which are probably very little read, will be found to throw some light upon certain parts of Barclay's Apology. The intimacy between these authors was great, and the latter appears, as above intimated, to have borrowed not a little froin the former :-G. Keith, indeed, asserts that R. Barclay followed him in many or most of his distinctions and terms, not to be found in “ Quakers’ books” written before his (Keith’s), so far as he knew or remembered. See Keith's “ Standard of the Quakers examined ; or, an Answer to the Apology of Robert Barclay,“ pr. 1702, p. 22 ; a book which, on account of the well-known character of the writer, ought not to be read without due caution.
G. Keith appears, while in profession with Friends, to have been of a speculative turn of mind; for a proof of which, in addition to what may be collected from these extracts, one might, I think, refer to his hypothesis respecting the middle nature of the divine birth of our Saviour. Way to the City of God, pp. 128–133. That he was well read in the philosophy of the Schoolmen is evident, and he seems to have been no stranger to the Cartesian system. He appears to coincide with R. Barclay respecting the origin of our ideas, namely, that they are implanted in the mind, and excited by external and other causes; in which I apprehend they agreed with the Platonists. Vid. Keith,
, Immediate Reyelat. not ceased, p. 78. Barclay's Works, pp. 900, 901. Reid's Essays, ii. 40. 47. Harris's Hermes, pp. 393-397 (5th edit.)
His style is in general perspicuous, when not obscured by scholastic terms ; and his manner of treating subjects methodical. The following testimony in his favour is from R. Barclay, in a Preface written by him? to one of G. Keith’s Tracts, entitled “ Fundamental Truths of Christianity,” &c. with “A Treatise of Prayer."
“ The author,” G. Keith, “ of the ensuing Treatises (who is now reinoved out of Europe) hath been blessed with a singular faculty of expressing himself both briefly and clearly, as is well known to such as have perused his writings ; which inclined me to present these to the public."
1 Before the destructive fire at Gracechurch-street Meeting-House, a copy of George Keith’s “Immediate Revelation not ceased,” second edition, was in the Library there, as also of his “ Truth's Defence.” The former seems to have been his opus palmare. His “Way cast up,” and “Way to the City of God,” are at the Peel Meeting House. Many of his Tracts are in the Library of the Society at Devonshire House.
Recently I have had presented to me by my kind friend Thomas Thompson of Liverpool, a copy of the first mentioned piece; which I had been much wishing to procure. In taking these Extracts, many years ago, I had the privilege of making use of the copy then in the Library at Gracechurch-street.
? It is signed R. B. only, but Whiting gives the name of R. Barclay.
§ II. On the Terms “ Objective and Subjective Revelation."“ He,“ Barron, “ illustrates this (narnely] in what sense he owns Immediate Revelation, and in what sense he denies it, by a pretty fit comparison; as, when a veil or cover is taken off a man's eye, that is, says he, a revelation ex parte subjecti, sive potentie, of the part of the subject, or faculty, or sense, which perceives : and that which he denies, is, revelation ex parte objecti, as, when the eye having no veil upon it, or stop from seeing, but that the object is hid by a veil covering it; and this veil must be removed ere the eye see, though never so quick of discerning in itself. And thus he concludeth that there needs the operation of the Spirit of God, to take the veil off the eye, but not off the object ; for that needeth not: the object of a man's faith is the doctrines of the Scriptures, which are most clear and evident therein; only the veil must be taken off the eye of the mind, to see them in the Scriptures." [2 Cor. iii, 13-16. Ed.]
The “illumination of the Spirit, and the mind (or rather, perhaps, some faculty of the mind] concurring therewith," seems to have been considered as the medium ex parte subjecti of this spiritual perception; called medium incognitum assentiendi, “that which gives the knowledge of the object, but is not known itself iinmediately,--as the eye is medium incognitum (invisum Ed.] videndi ; it gives the sight but is not seen itself.”—Keith, Imm. Rev. not ceased, pp. 134-136.
“ By immediate revelation-we understand not only immediate, supernatural operations and influences of the Spirit of God in and upon the mind and understanding of man, which the Schoolmen call Revelations ex parte subjecti—to assist and enable, or elevate, the mind to know and understand savingly; but also such inward manifestations and appearances, and illuminations and influences, as are the very immediate objects of our mind—which the Schoolmen call Revelations ex parte objecti.-So that a real object or objects are immediately by the Lord set before the mind of man, which he seeth ; and perceiveth when they are presented and when not, as my outward eye seeth when it is light or dark; or what is presented in the light, and when it is presented, and when it is taken away out of my sight.” Ibid. pp. 25, 26.
“ Whereas they say, the influence and illumination of the Spirit in believers is merely effective or subjective, and not at all objective.-I say it is both effective and objective; effective to help us to see or hear, and objective, or by way of object for the sight and hearing or any other perception of our souls to stay and rest upon-as when the sun enlightens us, its ray or beam helps us to see, and also it is the object of our sight.” Keith, Truth's Defence, &c. pp. 87, 88. (3 3]
On this subject of Objective and Subjective Revelation, G. Keith, in his Answer to the Apology expresses himself thus :-“ This distinction I had found fault with in my first book of Iminediate Revelation, as
3 Robert Barron, “called Doctor of Divinity in Aberdeen, and of great fame for his learning at home and abroad.” Keith's Immediate Revelation not ceased, p. 219. [3 3 The latter clause philosophically false. Ed.]