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unbind the fetters of the slave indifferent to all probable results. They thought they had no right to keep a single human being in bondage, except for crime, that all made in God's image were to be left perfectly free to choose their own mode of happiness, that such, as well as themselves, had the inner light to guide them, which it was no concern to others whether they respected or disregarded. Prudence, or calculation, or expediency never entered into their schemes of enfranchisement. They would give all an equal chance to rise and improve their own conditions. They advocated liberty as an abstraction, and not as a reality. Tell them of its probable, nay almost certain failure, and they would reply : "what is that to us, we must do right though the heavens should fall.” And they had sufficient faith in the ultimate power of truth to be serene amid the apparent failure of their cause. They would be true to their principles even if they believed that they would be defeated. Their hopes extended to far distant times. Hence they believed in the gradual and progressive improvement of human society, since truth and God's Spirit would never be withdrawn ; that successive developments of human progress would ultimately assimilate man to the image that was lost. They became the most sanguine of reformers, as well as the most radical and fearless. They would see the prostration of their cause and still rejoice, unmoved by the expostulation of the prudent, indifferent to the voice of wisdom, reckless of all the past experience of the world. How different such men from the Cranmers and the Cromwells of the Reformation! How different such from modern conservatives ! But some may object to this statement, even some of the least intellectual and best conditioned among the members of their Society, and deny that Quakerism is radical in its spirit. We admit that many Friends are conservative in their sympathies, but there is nothing conservative in their principles or in the character of their early members. If they pushed abstract truths too far, and applied them too fearlessly and recklessly, still it is something to have advanced the indestructible ideas on which the welfare of the race depends.

The Society of Friends have been the most enlightened advocates of religious toleration. They never have persecuted any class of men for their religious opinions. In this respect

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they have shown a decided superiority to the Puritans, who, next to them, have made the greatest professions. We do not say that they have never evinced any practical intolerance. That would be too much to expect of any sect of Christians in this world, since intolerance is in human nature itself, and is never entirely to be eradicated from the mind. We do not like those who differ from us, and not liking them, we avoid them, we do not sympathize with their afflictions, we are not averse to their humiliation, we would put them down so far as we can legally and properly. We frown upon them, we undermine them, we pervert their doctrines, we distort their views. We wish our enemies to be denounced, we will hear no censure of those we love, no praise of them we hate. In these respects the Friends are like other men. We would no more dream of satisfying them unless we adopted all of their views, than we would think of making Romanism appear to have been a useful power, in ages of baronial tyranny and ignorance, in the eyes of a bigoted partizan of ultra Protestant opinions. Religious toleration, in its broadest meaning, is the highest form of charity itself, which, though commanded, is no more to be attained than absolute perfection. We may approximate it, bnt we can not reach it. It is a virtue rarely seen in men of impetuous impulses, or ardent feelings, or one-sided habits of thought. It thrives best among those who are naturally mild and meek, among those whose reason is not apt to be dethroned by passion, among philosophers, among those who have seen the world. It is often allied with that indifference and coldness which betray a want of proper earnestness and love for truth, in the absence of any firm convictions; while, again, intolerance itself is sometimes the defect of the very loftiest natures, jealous of the dignity of truth, watchful of the glory of their Master.

If the Friends have not always manifested a practical toleration in the affairs of ordinary life, they yet have avoided those extreme courses of severity which other sects have been wont to exercise against those who differed from them. We read of no burning of witches, no expulsion of obnoxious heretics from the land, no branding with ignominy, no vile imprisonments, no savage tortures. They have never attempted to restrain the

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thinking of opposing sects. And they have been peculiarly charitable in their judgments. They would not quench the fires of hell, but they have not consigned to those eternal torments the heathen sage, the pagan king, or the unlettered devotee to degrading forms, so long as they were true to the light they had. This, they affirm, has shined in every age enough for the practical ends of life. It is the voice of Deity in the soul, which, when obeyed, will lead to everlasting life; which, when resisted, will end in everlasting death. The Friend would welcome Socrates, and Seneca, and Plato, and Pythagoras into the abodes of the blessed, as well as the fathers of the church and the guides of modern Christians. The expansiveness of his benevolent desires is as boundless as the limits of the universe. He does not deny or doubt a state of future retribution. The universality of God's grace, to Jew and Gentile, Scythian and Barbarian, of whatever country, or kindred, or age, was one of the favorite tenets of Fox and Barcklay and Penn, and which they embraced with undissembled fervor.

There was one more form of generous toleration for which the Friends were distinguished, and which is not often spoken of. They honored woman. They respected her voice in religious meetings as well as in the social home. They ever have zealously cultivated her intellect because they believed in her real and natural equality. They never depreciated her tastes or her genius. They would condemn her to no coarse and degrading duties.

In all respects she was viewed as the companion of man, rather than his slave, his friend and counsellor and helpmate, rather than an inferior to be fattered by silly speeches and amused with toys and spectacles. The Friend associated with woman, not with scductive influence to beguile her, but with dignity and simplicity, as the being whom God gave to cheer him in his loneliness, or assist him in his misfortunes. Under such a treatment she has ever retained in his ranks, a true as well as admitted equality..

Such have been some of the blessings which Fox and his Society have conferred upon the world - some great ideas and some valued rights. Who will not concede that the principles of peace, of liberty and of generous toleration, are the glory of all true benefactors to our race, as well as the pride and the boast of a progressive age?

In view of these great substantial ideas, and also in view of the undoubted excellences which have ever characterized the followers of Fox, we can readily excuse any peculiarities in dress, or manners, or modes of speech ; even opposition to many harmless pleasures, and disregard of many elegant arts. Such outward peculiarities will probably pass away, for they do not constitute the genius and the life of the system which they

defend. These were not uppermost in the minds of Fox or . Penn. What they thought of was nobler, higher, and more enduring, even the religious and moral welfare of a wicked world, Nor were their labors and principles in vain. Their ideas, in some respccts, have been modified by the progress of society, but all that is truly great in them will live forever ; while their errors, and who on earth can claim exemption from mistakes and follies, we believe will vanish gradually before the light, not of human reason, but of that everlasting Gospel which is to be the salvation of nations, and of that divine Spirit whose teachings they so earnestly invoked.




Reason in Religion. By FREDERICK VIENRY HEDGE. Bog

ton : Walker, Fuller & Company. 1865.

The sceptical spirit is fast passing from the destructive to the constructive stage. This is a human necessity. It is impossible to rest in negations, to live comfortably among ruins. To pull things in pieces is the easiest of all arts, and the least rewarding. Voltairism has had its day. It never satisfied the finer type of the unbelieving mind. That is nearer akin to tears than to sneers and scoffs. Miss Hennell, who ranks among the ablest and most earnest of British atheistic writers, says with pathetic truthfulness : " It is useless for reason to convince itself to weariness that Christianity is a fable; and to go on showing

; plainly to our eyes how it grew out of its earthly root; while the heart keeps protesting that it contained a response to her need whose absence leaves her cold and void. It would be much better for reason to cease its claim to be solely attended to, till her wants have been supplied.” This confession, wrung out of an honest hour, is shared more or less audibly by many unsettled speculators in moral and religious science. It will not do to let go all the old holding places until some others are provided. We have come, through a century of demolition, into the age of reconstruction in free inquiry. Comte, Spencer and Stuart Mill have undertaken this n universal philosophy, with suggestive oftener that sufficing results. The world yet waits to see if the Michael Angelo of the new St. Peter's has appeared. The book before us is a fruit of the same intention, in Christian dogmatics. It is not Parkerism in temper and purpose, however it may agree therewith in parts of its system. It professes to build up, and not to lay waste.

Vigorous thinking, and a vivid, energetic style have been generally conceded to this volume. Yet it is only a fair criticism to say, that the thought is often less strong than nimble ; that the style is sometimes strained and ambitious beyond the best requirements of rhetorical taste. Thus the line — " Man is a yonder-minded being, an embodied hereafter” – begins one of these prelections. Dr. Hedge's mind is poctical rather than logical. Hence, though his book is intended to be a popular body of well-reasoned divinity, it turns out to be a fragmentary and inconsequential series of theological tracts. We have subjected it to a careful analysis, not, however, to review it at length, for that would demand a treatise on natural and revealed religion. Instead of this, we shall condense the thoughts which run through these chapters into as concise an expression as is consistent with intelligibility, adding here and there a comment upon the argument, where it does not manifestly carry its own refutation. This will necessarily preclude the notice of the varied embellishments so gracefully thrown around these dissertations. Once for all we will say, that the ornamentation of this structure is quite as lavish as its frame work of ideas will bear. It is not severely chaste enough, in method, for an accurate, scientific study. Our objection is not that the preacher stands out so conspicuously on these pages : most books of this kind,

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