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close by where they were fighting, or firing upon the garrison : and as we passed through the skirts of General Green's army, the cross officer, whose prisoner I had been when at Camden, saw me ride on as I before had told him. He called to me: "What! old fellow, are you there? I answered him according to his question. He asked, how I came to deceive him. I replied I had not, and that he knew it. He came to me, took me by the hand in a friendly way, and said he hoped I had done no harm. I told him I did not intend harm; and with some more friendly conversation we parted. Just before we got round into the road, General Green's men fell upon a fort or redoubt but a little way froin us, making a terrible noise. There was a great stir among the people, some running one way, and some another; some hiding behind trees : we rode smartly on, and could hear them for about seven miles without intermission. We passed on towards North Carolina, without any other remarkable interruption. As for my service and exercise in the ministry, I have left it to the judgment of my brethren. My Master had a service for me there, and I trusted my life in his hand, travelled on, and so obtained a reward which is more precious than gold.
- ABEL THOMAS.” "7th month, 7th, 1781.". Again he was favoured to return to his family and friends in peace; and from this time to the year 1800 was very often from home, on the like weighty service. In 1801 he removed to Monallen, and whilst a member there was also diligently engaged in the work of the ministry at home and abroad. In old age, he was enabled to endure infirmities, attended with much pain, in resignation and patience; and towards the last would often say, in a little while he should land on that shore where he should no more have trouble (a).
I have taken this specimen of the difficulties undergone by the Society in America, during the war of Independence, from a little publication put into my hands by a Friend. Should any one incline to the opinion, that the minister in these instances might more suitably have staid at home, and not have thus exposed himself to gratuitous dangers, let him reflect a little on that declaration of the Saviour, Matt. xvi. 26, implying that a man's soul (or its welfare in a future state) is of more value to himself than the whole world; and then put himself in the place of the persons thus visited. Surrounded by conflicting armies, and cut off from communication with distant friends; subjected to plunder or exaction, and far from being assured of the personal safety of themselves and families, it must have been to them a peculiar consolation, to see but the face of a preacher of the gospel of peace. Much more, when his message tended, (as might not unfrequently be the case), by bringing them into a contrite and humble state of mind, to prepare them for whatsoever event it might please Almighty Providence in that time of trouble to permit to come upon them! Running waters (it is remarked) are the sweetest—and I have observed none more clear and wholesome, than those which were poured from rock to rock in a rough, unnavigable channel. So it is with preaching, -the best and most effectual has ever been exercised abroad, in discomfort and peril. Ed.
(a) A Brief Memoir of Abel Thomas, &c. Philadelphia, 1924.
Art. I.-A Chronological Summary of events and circumstances connected with the origin and progress of the doctrine and practices of the Quakers.
(Continued from page 118.)
These · Remarks' were subscribed' A Unitarian Christian,' and addressed to the Editor of the Monthly Repository, under date Aug. 10, 1810. I shall notice the parts which have immediate relation to my subject.
The Author first objects decidedly to the doctrine implied in the following sentence: “The more we can abide under a sense of our own wants, the readier and the more earnestly shall we apply for help, to Him upon whom help is laid. The text referred to here is Ps. Ixxxix. 19, which, the Author insists, by the very import of the words and by the context means, one who himself received help from another.' But how the having received help, in the character of the Son, should hinder Christ from extending it to us, upon our calling upon the name of the Lord, in that of our Saviour, appears not. The Vulgate has the part in question, thus, Posui adjutorium in potente ; in margin, super potentem ; it is enough, that the objection is that of a Unitarian.
He next censures the following: 'These we would encourage to hold on in the way cast up before them, trusting in the Lord, who hath declared that all things necessary will be given to those who first seck His kingdom.' He would tie them to the precise words of Matt. vi. 33, and Luke xii. 31; 'the kingdom of God.' But see the following texts also: Matt. xvi. 28 ; Luke i. 33, xxii. 30; 2 Tim. iv. 1; John xviii. 36; which may surely
bear out the application—not to go back into the prophecies for any thing further.
A passage that follows, encouraging • secret supplication' to Christ, is then (consistently enough for a Unitarian) declared to contain ' a palpable perversion of a declaration of the lip of truth.' Nor is Christ admitted, in what next is remarked on, to any share with God the Father, in endowing us by nature with the talents we possess; though the gifts of grace, the more excellent enclowments of the Holy Spirit, secm to obtain more respect from him, as proceeding from the Father and the Son. There is in this the Trinity, however !
Now comes the strength of his case, as a fault-finder on the present occa. sion: Let us then, dear Friends, (says the Epistle further on,) be willing to examine ourselves, and know whether we are indeed humble followers of a lowly-minded, though omnipotent Saviour.' I remember to have oljected to this phrase, when the Epistle was under discussion in the Meeting, and to have given my reasons. That the lowly-mindedness belongs to the humanity of Christ we are sure : but that it is right thus to attach it to the Godhead is not, to me, even now, at all clear. The present critic, however, contented himself with excepting against it as an unscriptural sentimentand here we come to an end of these not very striking, though plainly Unitarian, remarks on the Epistle of 1810.
I may idd here, on the sulject of the kingdom of Christ,' the following from Sewel, vol. ii. p. 509: the date 1693.
“ Now, since Francis Bugg, an envious apostate, charged the Quakers with some Socinian notions : and, being set on by some Churchmen, endeavoured also to render them odious with the Government, the following Confession of faith, signed by one and thirty persons, of whom George Whitehead was one, was in December presented to the Parliament.
• Be it known unto all, that we sincerely believe and confess,
• Ist. That Jesus of Nazareth, who was born of the Virgin Mary, is the true Messiah, the very Christ, the Son of the living God, to whom all the prophets gave witness: and that we do highly value his death, sufferings, works, offices, and merits for the redemption of mankind; together with his laws, doctrine aud ministry.
• 2nd. That this very Christ of Gorl, who is the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world, was slain sand, for this end, 7 was dead, and is alive : and lives for ever in his divine eternal glory, dominion, and power, with the Father.
• 3rd. That the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament are of divine authority : as heing by Divine inspiration,
• 4th. And that magistracy or civil government is God's ordinance : the goorl ends thereof being for the punishinent of evil doers, and the praise of them that do well.'
In the third month, a Testimony of Disownment was issued against the Appellant.
"Ratcliff Monthly MEETING, 19ih of 3rd. mo. 1812. The friends appointed to bring in a testimony of denial against Thomas Foster, brought in the draft of one, which was twice read, and agreed to, and is as follows; they are desired to hand him a copy thereof. John Harris is desired to take a notice of the 'sownment to the Six Weeks' Meeting.
The Testimony. “It having been represented to this Meeting that Thomas Foster, one of its members, had imbibed and aided in propagating some opinions contrary to the principles of our Society, and that private labour had been unavailingly extended, a Committee was appointed to visit him thereon ; who have had several interviews with him, and from their report, it appears that lie has joined a socicty who publicly avow their disbelief of the eternal divinity of Jesus Christ, our Lord ; that he has circulated some anonyinous papers, entitled - Remarks on the Quakers' Yearly Epistle, calculated to promote such sentiments, and that he is publicly stated to be the author of some publications under the assumed name of Verax,' (which he does not deny,) apparently intendled to prove that doctrine to have been held and supported by our carly Friends.
“ They endeavoured to convince him of the impropriety of his conduct, and deviation from our principles; but he was fully disposed to justify himself, and would not allow that lie had acted at all improperly or inconsistently,
“This Meeting, therefore, believes it incumbent upon it to testify its disunity with such principles and conduct, and hereby disowns the said Thomas Foster as a Member of our religious Society; nevertheless desiring that hic rnay hereafter become convinced of his errors, and be restored to religious fellowship with us.”_
Dissatisfied with the judgment of the Monthly Meeting, Thomas Foster appealed to our Quarterly Meeting in the 9th month, 1812, and a Committee was in usual course appointed to consider the Appeal, and make report.
" At a Quarterly Meeting for London and Middlesex, 29th of 9 mo. 1812.
"An Appeal having been brought in against the Monthly Meeting of Ratcliff, the following Friends are appointed to consider the saine and report:-Joseph Allen, John Row, Thomas Christy, John Sanderson, John Eliot, junior, Richard Burrett, John Hamilton, William Manser, George Stacey, junior, John Bell, Luke Howard, John Barrett, Thomas Brewster, John Coleman, Samuel Hull, John Bailey, William Forster, Josiah Forster, to meet next second day week at Ten, at Devonshire House. William Manley to give notice ; also to the Appellant and Respondents.” —
Minute of the Quarterly Meeting, and of its Committee." At an adjourn. ment of the Quarterly Meeting of London and Middlesex, the 2d of ilth Mo. 1812. The following Minute was brought in from the Committee on the Appeal against Ratcliff Monthly Meeting, and read in the presence of the Appellant and Respondents.
Committee on Appeals, appointed by the Quarterly Meeting of London and Middlesex. 10th Mo. 12, 1912. Present, all the Coinınittee, except John Sanderson.
This Committee having read the appeal of Thomas Foster, against Ratcliff Monthly Meeting, in the presence of the Appellant and Respondents, the Respondents produced a pain phlet which has been some time in print, having an Appendix, intitled • Copy of the Minutes of Ratcliff Monthly Meeting, respecting Thomas Foster, with explanatory Notes ;' and Which appears to contain a case on behalf of the Appellant against Ratcliff Monthly Meeting. The same having been read and considered, the Appellant had opportunity given him to disavow it as his publication, or as published with his knowledge on his behalt. He did not choose either to own or to disavow it, but admitted he had read it, and thought the Notes on the Meeting's proceedings to be well founded. Under these circumstances, the Committee does not feel inclined to call upon the Respondents for their reply, (seeing the case is thus already before the Society at large,) until it has the direction of the Quarterly Meeting so to do. Luke Howard is desired to take this Report to the Quarterly Meeting.'
" And being considered, the Committee is desired to proceed with the business committed to it, and report."
On being instructed to proceed, the Committee sat down to the business, and were occupied during six sittings of considerable length in hearing the parties, and after that had two more such sittings, chiefly employed in considering the evidence and arguments adduced on both sides.Minutes of the Quarterly Meeting, and report of its Committee.
“At a Quarterly Meeting for London and Middlesex, the 16th of the 11th Mo. 1814. The following Report was brought in, and read.
• At a Committee appointed by the Quarterly Meeting of London and Middlesex, on the appeal of Thoinas Foster against the judgment of Ratcliff Monthly Meeting Committee Room, Devonshire House, 11th Mo. 14, 1812. Present, all the Committee except Samuel Hull, absent since the first sitting, and John Hamilton, who was obliged, after constantly attending the sittings of the Committee, to leave London this morning. To the Quarterly Meeting : We, your Committee on the Appeal against the Monthly Meeting of Ratcliff report, that having heard the Appellant, and also the Respondents appointed by the Monthly Meeting, until both parties acknowledged that they had been fairly and fully heard, and having deliberately investigated and considered the case, we are unitedly of the judgment that the decision of the Monthly Meeting, in relation to the Appellant, should be confirmed.
Thomas Brewster George Stacey, jun. Joseph Allen
Thomas Christy John Bailey
John Eliot, jun. William Forster
Richard Barrett Josiah Forster
William Manser.' “ And the said Thomas Foster, the Appellant, not being satisfied with the Report, the case was opened in the Meeting.
66 This Meeting adjourns to Four o'clock this afternoon. “ Second day, afternoon, 16th of 11th Mo. Met pursuant to adjournment.
• Proceeded with hearing the Appellant and Respondents, on the appeal of Thomas Foster against Ratcliff Monthly Meeting, until both parties acknowledged that they had been fairly and fully heard.
- This Meeting adjourns to Four to-morrow afternoon. “ Third day, aft. i7th of 11th Mo. 1812. Met pursuant to adjournment."
“ This Meeting having deliberately considered the case of Thomas Foster, against the Monthly Meeting of Ratcliff, and also the Report of the Committee of this Meeting, appointed to consider the said Appeal, is of the judge ment, that the Report of the said Committee, and the decision of Ratcliff Monthly Meeting in disowning the said Thomas Foster, as a member of our religious Society, should be confirmed ; and the judgment of the said Monthly Meeting is confirmed accordingly. The Clerk is desired to send a copy of the above Minute to Ratcliff Mo. Meeting, and to the Appellant.
“ The Appellant and the Respondents were present, and heard the aforesid