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“Friend to Friends,” endeavours clergyman could not plead ignoto support his charge of injustice, rance on the point; and should it appears to me to be quite beside so happen that, although unwilling the mark. His case, put into a voluntarily to abandon his claim, he more definite shape, would stand feels some misgivings of conscience thus :-A purchases of B a piece at enforcing it, he should, in that of land ; say, for 5001. C, the cler- case, endeavour to find some other gyman of the parish, has a claim purchaser. No clergyman, I apon this land; say 5l. per annum, prehend, abstains from claiming, for tithe; and inasmuch as A, merely from unwillingness to “conbeing a Quaker, does not intend test" the point, because he knows to give any part of this 5l. per an beforehand that no opposition num to C, he ought therefore, in would be offered him : the Quaker conscience, to give to B such an passively submits to the enforceadditional sum as would be equi- ments of those laws with which valent to the redemption of this he cannot actively comply. Would tax; say 1001. more than what he the clergyman be in any danger of contracted to pay him; well know- giving personal offence by the teming, at the same time, that C has perate exercise of that power
with only to apply to a magistrate, who which the law as it now stands inwill in a very short time put him vests him? It is not against men, into a situation to take, with per- but against principles and pracfect impunity, that which the tices which the Quaker conscienQuaker did not, in conscience, feel tiously believes to be irreconcilehimself at liberty to give: know- able with the spiritual nature and ing also by experience that, al- Christian liberty of the Gospel disthough exceptions have occurred, pensation, and opposed to the there is not, generally speaking, universal spreading of Christ's any room to doubt this power will kingdom in the hearts of mankind, be exercised. This being the real that he feels it his duty to bear his state of the argument advanced, it uniform, uncompromising, but unis much to be regretted that our offending testimony: he therefore “Friend” should have omitted to does not consider himself at liberty inform us by what process
to negotiate about them in any soning he arrived at the conclusion, shape whatever. This testimony that, because tithes may be with- is, however, attended, in most cases, held from C, their estimated value with considerable loss and expense, ought to be paid to B. I confess
as appears by the periodical returns myself quite unable to perceive of tithe and church rates, and therehow either the claims of C, or those fore cannot be connected with selfish of “ordinary justice,” would be at feelings. all satisfied by this transposition Undoubtedly an estate wholly of interests: and I am strongly in- and permanently relieved from clined to think that a similar state tithe, he would estimate as more of mental blindness must have at- valuable than if it remained subject tended thy readers in general. to that impost : but notwithstand
To suppose the Quaker bargain- ing the “Friend to Friends," by ing with a clergyman would be quite designating tithes as “a reserved to beg the question; but as I shall portion of rent," seems to intimate not be likely to occupy thy pages that they are of the same tenure as a second time, I will, with per- the land itself; nothing can be mission, briefly take that view of more clear than that the clergythe subject; and in reply would man does not hold his tithes as a say, The practice of Friends to de- freehold, but merely as a stipend cline the payment of tithes is now for certain services supposed to be so universally known, that the performed-namely, the “cure of
A MEMBER OF THE SOCIETY
souls ;" and therefore, although “ It is now more than thirty
cient and decayed church. But her
were sunk together in spiritual AMERICAN CRITIQUE ON WILBER
coldness, and decent conformity FORCE'S PRACTICAL VIEW.
to the world. Those among the
higher and middle classes, who To the Editor of the Christian Observer.
retained any show of respect for Philadelphia, April 1830. the institutions of religion, imitated, I SEND you, by the hands of our to a great extent, the example of mutual friend, Dr. Milnor, the last their religious teachers, on a still Number of the Christian Spectator broader scale. The lower classes, (a quarterly review published at as a body, were plunged in ignoNewhaven), containing an inter rance and brutal unconcern as to esting article on the Rev. Daniel Wil- their spiritual interests ; except son's edition of Mr. Wilberforce's where the followers of Whitfield View of Christianity. It is said to and Wesley had produced some have been drawn up by Dr. Skin- partial reformation by their selfner, of the Presbyterian Church; denying labours. Against these and such an article written by a humble, and perhaps, in some inPresbyterian minister, inserted in stances, ill-directed exertions, the a Congregational Magazine, refer- animosity of the established clergy ring to an Episcopal work, the was wrought up to the highest author of the work an English pitch. Cold and heartless while statesman, the editor an English millions around them were perishclergyman, and the reviewer an ing in sin, their zeal broke forth into American, I cannot but think highly open violence against those who honourable to the Christian and ventured to discharge the duties brotherly feelings of all parties con- which they had themselves negcerned. A few pages from that part lected. Nor were they satisfied of it which relates to the state of with ridicule, contempt, and open religion in England, would pro- denunciation. The passions of the bly interest the readers of the vulgar and profane were sometimes Christian Observer *.
artfully inflamed into tumult and . We have copied the whole of the ar.. ticle, the latter half on the character of those who lived above the surrounding true religion being highly valuable. There contagion than our transatlantic friends ate some passages in the former part which seem to think; and in reference to the for obvious reasons we had thoughts of brighter, those who are mentioned with omitting ; but, upon re.consideration, we
kindness will, we are sure, be the first to give the whole as we find it, only not divest themselves of any exclusionism with making ourselves responsible for all the which their Western brethren would ena statements. In reference to the darker circle them, and to rejoice in the extension shades of the picture, we are fain to hope of the work of God, however feebly they that there were many more names in our
may think their own efforts have con British Sardis in the worst of times, of duced to its advancement.
outrage ; and sometimes the arm with the utmost plainness, and of power was called in to crush with pointed appeals to the conthe weak or unwary. The general sciences and hearts of his readers. odium created by the religious The immediate effect of his treatise movements
the lower is thus described by Mr. Wilson. classes, was studiously transferred An electric shock could not to all of a higher rank, who main- be felt more vividly and instantained the doctrines of grace. They taneously. Every one talked of it, were publicly treated with con every one was attracted by its elotempt or pity, as being identified quence, everyone admitted the by their principles with men of benevolence, talents, and sincerity coarse and vulgar minds. Saints, of the writer. It was acknowledged, Methodists, Canters, &c. were the that whether good or bad on a few terms by which they were fami- particular topics, such an importliarly described; and some of the ant work had not appeared for a purest and most enlightened Chris- century. The great elevation of tians of the British empire were its view and principles, stamped considered by the great body of upon it a noble singularity, which the English church, both clergy did not fail to strike the experienced and laity, as voluntary victims of observer.' a degrading and hopeless fanati ~ The effect of this treatise was cism.
still farther heightened by the fact, “ It was at such a period, that that it came from an early and inMr. Wilberforce came before the timate friend of the Prime Minispublic, as the advocate of Evan- ter; who was generally acknowgelical religion. A layman, and of ledged to be the ablest and most course not called upon by his pro- popular statesman which Great fession thus openly to vindicate Britain had produced, since the his principles,--a man in public days of his illustrious father the life, and therefor in imminent Earl of Chatham. With such redanger of sacrificing by this step commendations, the manly and all his hopes of political advance- conciliatory spirit, the guarded ment,-how few are there who reasonings, the warm benevolence would not have shrunk from the and fervent piety of Mr. Wilbertrials on which he entered, in force, had the happiest influence making himself the rallying point in obviating the general prejudice of a despised and scattered party, against Evangelical principles, in in the midstofajealous and worldly- the English church. It was no minded church! But he counted longer possible to deny, that these all things but loss' for the sake of principles are perfectly consistent Christ. While he endeavoured, with the soundest exercise of the therefore, to strip Evangelical re- understauding, and with the most ligion of all degrading associations refined sensibility of taste and feel. by the selectness of his thoughts, ing. At this period also, Mr. Wilthe elegance of his taste, and the berforce was leader in that noblest richness and eloquence of his lan- struggle of British humanity, the guage, he did not suffer himself to effort for the abolition of the slave extenuate its most humbling doc- trade ; and the honours which trines, or self-denying duties. 'In- afterwards gathered round him in adequate conceptions of the cor the hour of triumph, were reflected ruption of human nature' -'in- back on the religious sentiments adequate conceptions concerning which he had thus publicly esour Saviour and the Holy Spirit' poused. The establishment of the - inadequate conceptions of prac. Christian Observer in 1801, by his tical Christianity, are the three influence, in conjunction with that great topics which he discussed of Mr. Macaulay, Mrs. Hannah
More, and others of congenial sen- affectionate, and spiritual religion,
ness of life-these do not meet its
demands, unless there is corres,
of the Divine excellencema heart,
lency of the knowledge of Christ. how confidently may we hope for
imaginary, they ought in fitness there is no sensible relish and de and reason to command the whole light in God and divine things. heart, and rule the whole inner and
“The difference between this last outer man, If they are real, they kind of religion and the one alluded are comparatively the only realito above, is very apparent in ex ties : all else is shadow and illuamples of each. Who does not see sion. If the God of the Scriptures a remarkable difference, in piety, and the objects revealed to us in between such men as Leighton, eternity do indeed exist, well may Baxter, Edwards, Brainerd, Wil- the prophet pronounce the world berforce, and Martyn; and the and its affairs to be less than nomass of those who bear, and are thing in the comparison. Such obnot supposed to dishonour, the jects, then, so transcendently imChristian name? Thedistinguished portant in themselves, ought to and excellent author of the Book have a correspondent influence on of Nature' (Dr.John Mason Good), our character and conduct. And said on his death-bed, 'I have taken what is such an influence? If that what unfortunately the generality Being who is the infinite fountain of Christians too much take-I of all being, who made me, and have taken the middle walk of sustains me every moment; who Christianity. I have endeavoured in all the glory of His infinite perto live up to its duties and doc- fections, compasses my path and trines, but I have lived below its my lying down,' and is ever with privileges.' The men first men me : the Being on whom my happitioned were not content to pursue nesswholly depends and from whom what is here called the middle my last sentence is to proceed—if walk of Christianity. Their reli He has that influence on me which gion was strictly and eminently His character and relations to me experimental and spiritual. ought to exert, shall I not always
“It is chiefly for the sake of be in His fear; shall I not always urging upon our readers, the ha dwell in love to Him ; and rejoice bitual cultivation of such a spirit, when He smiles upon me, and be that we have called their attention troubled when He suspends the to the beautiful exhibition of it communications of His favour? contained in the life and writings Toward such a Being, so related of Mr. Wilberforce. Such is the to me as God is, do I not express depravity of our nature, that even a reasonable affection when I exthe best of men need continual in- claim, 'Whom have I in heaven but citements to spirituality of mind. Thee? and there is none upon earth And whenever this shall become that I desire beside Thee.' If I the prevailing temper of the church have any love at all for such a universal—whenever the meek, af personage, and one so related to fectionate, and devotional spirit of me, as Christ, ought I not to be primitive times shall be carried by constrained by that love, as St, professed Christians into their daily Paul was, to live and die to this intercourse with the world, to how infinite Benefactor-making it my great an extent will the reproach whole duty and happiness to serve of the Cross be taken away, and and enjoy Him? And what would