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remark? Again on pages 44/47 of the "Memorials of the War,” an account is given of a model prayer meeting. "The scene," says Rev. William Barrows, the writer, " is near Stoneman’s Station, and the time the evening of April 3d, 1863.” We quote from the closing paragraph : "No one was called on to pray or speak, and no hymn was given out. No one said he had nothing to say, and then talked long enough to prove it. No one excused his inability to edify. No one waited to be called on; no time was lost by delay, and the entire meeting was less than an hour.” Now in the "Nurse and Spy,” we find an account of a prayer meeting held shortly after the first Bull Run battle, and nearly two years before the one just mentioned. In this account, pages 37, 38, we find the following sentence. It is not quoted. " No one was called upon to pray or speak, no one said he had nothing to say and then talked long enough to prove it, no one excused his inability to interest his brethren, and no time was lost by delay, but every one did his duty and did it promptly."

Other examples might be given, for in the " Nurse and Spy are found at least forty pages of the " Memorials of the War.” But we have already devoted more attention to this book than it deserves. We feel, however, that it is due to the public that this exposure should be made, inasmuch as the book has been widely distributed throughout New England. It comes to our homes under the guise of religion. It is dedicated to our " sick and wounded soldiers of the army of the Potomac.” In its exaggerations and falsehoods, however, it honors neither.

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It has been affirmed that it is impossible for any writer, unless he be a member of the Society of Friends, to understand the principles and spirit of George Fox. We shall venture, nevertheless, to discuss this remarkable man.

We shall endeavor, in attempting this, to confine ourselves to his character

to us.

and principles and influence, rather than those of his Society as existing among us at the present time; for it may reasonably be presumed that his followers have modified some of their ancient doctrines with the progress of truth and light. It is not our object to discuss religious sects, at the present day, but those great men, who, in former times, founded schools and systems, and as these, again, affected the state of society, and the great interests of humanity, when they were established. Nor, in the discussion of Fox and his principles, shall we dwell much on outward manners and forms, for these are nothing in comparison with those ideas, which, whether true or false, have changed, and will continue to change the great social and moral institutions of society. Still less is it wise, or dignified, or courteous to dwell on the outward forms and habits of men and women with whom we ordinarily mingle, and to which they have an undoubted right, whether pleasing or disagreeable

What have we to do with the tastes and habits and fancies and peculiarities of our neighbors, provided they do not affect our interests or the general welfare of society. On what a low ground do we base the discussion of Quakerism, to praise or censure forms of dress, habits of social life, peculiarities of religious worship, or modes of salutation and speech. Nor is it proper to discuss even the religious differences and doctrines of the Society of Friends, in this connection, but only the principles and conduct of their founder, as one of the developments of the Reformation in a former age.

Concerning him, as a matter of history, we shall speak with freedom, for we have a right so to do, shall point out what was excellent and permanent in his system, and show what was false and dangerous. It is a matter of 'no proper concern to ourselves or to our readers whether the Society of Friends in this country fully endorse or disown his principles. The more enlightened and religious probably do agree with him in what they deem to be truth, and attach different meanings to what in his writings is questionable. We should slander the Society were we to affirm that the present members believe everything George Fox said and did was true and proper, for he was but a man, and they would not be man-worshippers. Moreover it is not to be expected that even the members

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of the Society would agree among themselves as to the meaning of Fox's principles, in all their extent and application, for schism and disunion have entered into their ranks as well as into those of other sects.

These introductory remarks are necessary in the discussion of so delicate a subject as George Fox, in order to be understood, and to avoid giving needless offence. And if we fail in doing justice to him and his principles, it will be from want of capacity rather than inclination.

Men who justly extorted the admiration of their age, or who have transmitted to posterity great and important ideas should be honored in spite of their mistakes and defects, for they are our benefactors, they are the few who are immortal.

In this light the life of George Fox is interesting, since he was undoubtedly sincere and earnest in his Christian principles ; since he desired the spiritual welfare of society ; since, in his way, he sought to save the souls of men ; since he believed in most of the great cardinal doctrines of religion, and since he was the first to propose some great truths which ultimately contributed to modify society and elevate mankind. The world is better probably for his having lived in it, although he advanced some unsound doctrines, and iningled with his sublime truths, errors exceedingly insidious and dangerous, and which, if carried out to their extreme logical sequence, are hard to be distinguished from the exploded fallacies of pagan sages.

But these were excrescences, were defects on a system which has been productive of great blessings. Moreover Fox, though unlearned, was a great genius, and advanced new ideas, which, though they shocked the age, as new truths always do, still wrought great changes. Fox, in his leathern breeches, living in jails, or wandering among unlettered and rude people in obscure villages, will be, to all coming time, a much greater subject of interest to the philosophical historian than King Charles II., with all his palaces, mistresses and sycophants ; not, perhaps, to people who love scandal and anecdote and dramatic painting, but to those who seek to trace the true progress of society ; for the sovereign of England was a mere creature of pleasure, a gilded show, who sought ease and self-indulgence, while the itinerant preacher declared ideas which contributed to produce

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future revolutions. Of the one can only be narrated what he ate and what he drank, and what he wore, how he sported and made inglorious dalliance with the frivolous and the idle, while, in delineating the other we must speak of the most exciting ideas which ever moved the minds of men, and which, when once declared, shall never perish. How much greater are ideas than men.

How much more interesting are the principles of Fox, than his wanderings, persecutions and miseries.

There is nothing especially worthy of our attention in his life until his religious experience commenced. He was born in those tumultuous times which produced a Cromwell, but it was during the inglorious reign of Charles II., that he appeared upon the stage.

Nor did he start with the notion of being a reformer, or the founder of a great school. No more did Luther or any of the great lights of our world. His peculiar doctrines grew out of his religious experience, and as these were a life to him, he declared them with zeal and fidelity, and the discussion of them produced agitation, persecution, martyrdom and religious triumph. It was these which drew together a peculiar class of thinkers, and bound them together in a single cause, and affected future generations.

It is interesting to see how the great question of all time, what will it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his own soul, has been the chief cause of the revolutions and changes in the religious history of society. It has produced the Basils, the Jeromes, the Bernards, and the Luthers of the world. It induced men, in primitive ages, to retreat to deserts and solitudes, and thus gave birth to monastic life. It led St. Francis to institute a new order of monks. It led Luther to study diligently the Bible, and then to seek justification through faith in Christ alone, and then to declare the greatness of the doctrine to bewildered millions, and then to denounce those Roman priests, as well as the arts by which they kept the ignorant in bondage, and then to establish his position by an appeal to Scripture, and then to declare the duty of all to study those eternal oracles, and then the right of private judgment, and other principles which shook Europe to its centre, and which were the parent of future revolutions, and the origin of doctrines of unlimited application.

In like manner it was the religious experience of Fox which, taking another direction, gave birth to a system which has lasted to our own times, and modified the general opinions of society on several most important points.

George Fox, when quite young, was distracted with religious ideas. He was moral, obedient, and amiable from his boyhood. But mere outward morality did not satisfy his anxious and inquiring mind. He was burdened with doubts and perplexities. He was tempted by the snares and suggestions of the spiritual enemy.

He broke off from all intercourse with the world, and with his friends. He courted solitude and meditation. But solitude did not relieve his mind, nor did celestial beings come to comfort him. He sought the oracles of wisdom in the great metropolis, but all London seemed enveloped in darkness and wickedness. He returned to his friends, and they advised him to get married. He asked direction from a clergyman of great repute, who recommended him to sing psalms and use tobacco. He consulted another, and he advised physic and bleeding. None understood his malady, none could minister to a mind diseased, which led him to set a light value on men educated in universities, since they could not give him the consolation he required. At last, when all hopes in man had fled, he heard what he supposed a heavenly voice speaking to his soul : " Only Christ can administer to thy condition.”

A new light dawned upon his distracted mind, his heart leaped for joy. He obtained hope and consolation. It was not man, or his reason, or even the ordinary reading of the Scriptures which had enlightened him, had removed the burden from his soul. It was, as he supposed, a special revelation from God himself. It was the voice of the Spirit. It was the inner light, revealing new and glorious mysteries.

We will not, as yet, dwell on this first, cardinal principle of Quakerism, the recognition of a direct spiritual influence from God Almighty on the human soul, so powerful and so clear that it could not be mistaken, and all sufficient to guide a man in the perplexities of life, revealing to him the loftiest spiritual truths. This will be discussed when we shall show what is transient and what is permanent in the system of Fox. At

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