Friends Society of
Friends Society Of.
This body of Christians now subsists in two main divisions, generally known to the public; as the Orthodox and the Hicksite; but these designations are not used by the bodies them. selves. The former body is designated below as No. 1, and the article is written by William J. Allinson, editor of The Friends' Review; the latter body is designated as No. 2, and the article is written by Samuel M. Janney, of Lincoln, London County, Virginia.
FRIENDS (No. 1). The organization of the Friends as a distinct society o church was not the result of any deliberate design to form a sect, but must be regarded as a providential ordering, and as a necessity growing from the degeneracy, corruptions, and worldlinsess which permeated the churches in the early part of the 17th century. They did not profess tto establish a new religion, or claim to have discovered any new truthe. Their object was the revival of primitive Christianity, which had been maintained through the centuries of the Christian aera by successive testimony-bearers, many of whom had sealed the truth with their blood, and been counted unto the Lord for a generation. Especially they were led to call the attention of the people to the Holy Spirit as the living and infallible guide, as a precious and glorious reality, essential to the Christian life, and sufficient to lead into true holiness. They never held the doctrine of the Spirit as a mere theory, or ignored the great truth that this unspeakable gift proceeded from the adorable Giver, and was consequent upon the death and vicarious sacrifice of him who for our sakes laid down his life upon Calvary. They always regarded the close connection of cause and effect as described in our Lord's words: "I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart I will send him unto you" (Joh 16:7). This truth George Fox began to teach aied preach, not as an invention of his own, but as a priceless jewel thrown aside and hidden under the rubbish ofdogmas and forms. The Divine Spirit asserted himself almost simultaneously in the hearts of many contemporaries, who were ready to respond to the preaching of Fox: "It is the very truth." Had the clergy and other professors of that day opened their hearts to the spirituality of the Christian religion, and yielded themselves to the Spirit's guidance, the Church would have been reformed, and Fox would have been satisfied. The religious awakening of this period was well described by the pen of Milton: "Thou hast sent out the spirit of prayer upon thy servants over all the land to this effect, and stirred up their vows as the sound of many waters about thy throne. Every one can say that now certainly thou hast visited this land, and hast not forgotten the uttermost corners of the earth, in a time when men thought that thou wast gone up from us to the farthest end of the heavens, and hadst left to do marvellously among the sons of these last ages." Christ the object of faith, the Spirit the transforming power, was the doctrine of the first Friends, as it has ever been that of their true successors. The divinity of our Lord was not called in question by the teachers of that day, whilst the guidance of His Spirit, the light of Christ in the conscience, was denied or ignored; and hence the prominence given to the latter truth, and the comparative silence respecting the other, in the controversial writings of the early Friends. George Fox, the founder of the Society of Friends, was born in 1624, and in 1647, after much deep experience of the blessedness of the Comforter, "even the Spirit of Truth which proceedeth from the Father," he went forth through England, on foot and at his own charges, freely preaching to the people the unsearchable riches which Christ had purchased for them, and was ready to give liberally to all who would ask for it, coming unto God by him. To the spiritual standard thus raised many flocked ministers of various churches, sin-sick members of their flocks who had wandered unsatisfied upon "barren mountains and desolate hills," magistrates, rich men and poor, and "honorable women not a few." Eight years from the date last given, ministers of the new society preached the Gospel in various parts of Europe, in Asia, and Africa, and bore, with heroic endurance, persecutions, imprisonment, and the tortures of the Inquisition in Rome, Malta, Austria, Hungary, etc. An authentic history of their sufferings was collected by Joseph Besse, and published, London, 1753, in two large folios. The systematic interference by the state in matters of religion and conscience, which was the policy of England through all the political overturnings, caused shameless oppressions and wrongs to be perpetrated upon this peaceable and God-fearing people, three thousand four hundred of them at one time being incarcerated in filthy and unwholesome prisons, where many of them died martyrs to the truth. No one seemed to think of purchasing exemption from persecution by yielding, even in appearance, a point of principle.
"No — nursed in storm and peril long The weakest of their band was strong;"
and, whilst men and women were perishing in jails, even the little boys and girls would meet together at the places appointed, and in the beauty and sweetness of early piety worship the God of their fathers in spirit and in truth. But not even childhood was sacred from religious intolerance and official interference. These babes in Christ (as truly they might be called) were disturbed at their worship, savagely threatened, and sometimes cruelly beaten.
The early history of Friends is closely connected with that of George Fox, and necessarily included in the various biographies of that remarkable man. He commenced his career as a seeker after the truth, amid meeting, in Europe and America, with many whose yearnings were similar, they were called Seekers. The epithet of Quakers was given in derision, because they often trembled under an awful sense of the infinite purity and majesty of God, and this name, rather submitted to than accepted by them, has become general as a designation. "To this man will I look," said the Holy Spirit by Isaiah, "even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word." To tremble, then, at the presence of the God of the whole earth, and especially when speaking in his name, is not to be regarded as any reproach; but their name, as a body, is "The Religious Society of Friends." The spread of the society in North America was rapid, especially after the founding of Pennsylvania in 1680 by William Penn, whose career as a wise legislator is prominent in history, and who, as a Christian philanthropist, a statesman, a writer, and a minister of the Gospel of Christ, established a reputation which even the vindictive attacks of Macaulay could not undermine. As early as 1672 George Fox found an established settlement of Friends in Perquimans County, North Carolina, which proved the germ of an independent diocese, or Yearly Meeting, whose members from that time have been exemplary upholders, at the cost of persecution and much loss of substance, of the principles of civil and religious liberty, steadily testifying against slavery and war, and maintaining the freeness of the Gospel. During the War of the Rebellion their heroic firmness in refusing to bear arnms was proof against cruel tyranny, so that some of these simple testimony-bearers, who "loved not their lives unto the death," by meek yet brave endurance of tortures and privations have made their names historic. It is noteworthy that in North Carolina, within a very few years (during and since the Rebellion), about seven hundred persons joined the society frohm convincement. The membership of that Yearly Meeting, although many times thinned by emigration to free states, is now about three thousand souls. The persecution of Friends in New England was so sanguinary that
"Old Newbury, had her fields a tongue, And Salem's streets, could tell their story Of fainting woman dragged along, Gashed by the whip accursed, and gory;"
and four Friends actually suffered martyrdom — a Quaker woman of remarkable refinement and piety, and three men of equal worth, being hanged on Boston Common. The number of victims was likely to be increased, when proceedings were checked by a royal mandamus.
The membership of the society becoming very widely extended, a formal organization by a system of Church government became necessary, and George Fox evinced much sagacity, mental soundness, and spiritual guidance in successful efforts to establish rules for the government of the Church, and meetings for discipline in a harmonious chain of subordination, the highest and final authority being a Yearly Meeting. The Yearly Meetings are, in a sense, diocesan, having each a derlied torrifolial jurisdiction, and independent of each other in their government and lawmaking powers, whilst by a sort of common law there are principles of discipline sacred to all, and membership in any meeting involves a connection with the society wherever existing, and may be transferred by certificate when the person claiming suchi credential is not liable to Church censure.
The transaction of the business of these meetings is regarded as the Lord's work; and as he declared "where two or three are gathered in my name, there AM I in the midst of them," they regard his immediate presence with his Church as the foundation of its authority. Hence, in these meetings, and in those especially for worship, it is held to be necessary for all kinds to be turned to him who is present by His Spirit, and whose anointing teacheth all things, and alone can enable his people to serve him according to the counsel of his will.
In the ministry of the Word, no Friend who is true to the principles of the society will speak without feeling a direct call and movement of the Holy Spirit for the service. Under this influence, the Gospel ministry is regarded as very precious, and a blessing to be guarded and cherished. Elders are appointed, who are believed to be prudent persons, gifted with a discerning spirit, and it is their duty to counsel, foster, and aid the ministers, and either to encourage or restrain the vocal offerings of those who attempt to speak in this capacity, according as they are or are not believed to be called of God to the work.
No system of theological training is known or could be permitted among the Friends. They are favorable to education, and provide for its free extension to the children of poor mnembers; but they regard it as the exclusive province of the Holy Spirit to select his own ministers, and to instruct them what they shall say. It is, however, considered the duty of all and especially of those who stand as ambassadors for Cherist, to be diligent and prayerful in the perusal of the Holy Scriptures, through which the man of God, led as he will assuredly be by the Spirit which gave them forth, will be "thoroughly furnished unto all good works." So great is the stress which Friends place upon the perusal of the Scriptures, and upon the bringing up of their children and others under their care in this practice, that it is made a natter of semi-annual investigation in all their meetings, and so long ago as 1754 London. Yearly Meeting enacted a rule of discipline that the families of poor Friends should be provided with Bibles — a gratuitous Scripture distribution which was in advance of any Bible Society.
The privilege and duty of prayer, both secretly and vocally, under a reverent and filial sense of the character of the engagement, are regarded as of the very highest importance. It is believed that "men ought always to pray," but a jealousy is felt lest any should in a light and flippant way rush into this exercise. He who knoweth. what we have need of before we ask him, will, if reverently waited upon, extend his kingly scepter and put into, the heart the prayer of faith; and before anyone shall pray vocally in their meetings, as mouthpiece for the people, it is requisite that a direct movement of the Holy Spirit should prompt the offering, lest the words of rebuke be applicable: "Ye ask and receive not, because ye ask amiss." The following clause in the London Discipline expresses the creed of the society respecting this part of the service of Almighty God:
"As prayer and thanksgiving are an important part of worship, may they be offered in spirit and in truth, with a right understanding seasoned with grace. When engaged herein, let ministers avoid many words and repetitions, and be cautious of too often repeating the high and holy name of God or his attributes; neither let prayer be in a formal or customary way, nor without areverent sense of divine influence." The meetings of the society are characterized by practical recognition of the presidency and headship of Christ in the Church, and a conviction that every movement of the body should be dictated by its Head.
The Society of Friends is not at issue with other orthodox churches on the, general points of Christian doctrine. Avoiding the use of the word Trinity, they revresntly believe in the Holy Three: the Father, the Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten of the Father, by whom are all things, who is the mediator between God and man, and in the Holy Spirit, who proceedeth from the Father and Son — ONE GOD, blessed forever. They accept is its fullness the testimnony of holy Scripture with regard to the nature and offices of Christ, as the promised Messiah, the Word made flesh, the atonement for sin, the Savior and Redeemer of the world. They have no reliance upon any other name, no hope of salvation that is not based upon his meritorious death on the cross. The charge that they deny Christ to be God. William Penn denounced as "most untrue and uncharitable," saying, "We truly and expressly own him to be so, according to the Scripture." As fully do they admit his humanity, and that he was truly man, "sin only excepted." They so fully believe in the Holy Spirit of Christ, that without the inward revelation thereof they feel that they can do nothing to God's glory, or to further the salvation of their own souls. Without the influence thereof they know not how to approach the Father through the Son, nor what to pray for as they ought. Their whole code of belief calls for the entire surrender of the natural will to the guidance of the pure, unerring Spirit, "through those renewed assistance," says one of their writers, "they are enabled to bring forth fruits unto holiness, and to stand perfect in their present rank." As it was the design of Christ, in going to the Father, to send asea comforter his Spirit to his disciples, so it is with his Spirit that he baptized and doth baptize them, it being impossible, in the estimation of the Friends, that an outward ablution should wash from the spirit of man the stains of sin. Hence they attach importance only to "the baptism which now saveth," and which John the Baptist predicted should be administered by Christ. And it is by his Spirit, also, that his followers are enabled to partake of the true supper of the Lord: "Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice and, open unto me, I will come in and sup with him, and he shall sup with me." Thus they hold that the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ is the flesh was the grand epoch and central fact of time, and that types, and shadows, and all ceremonial observances, which had their, place before as shadows of good things to came, now that they have been fulfilled in him, are only shadows of those shadows. The type properly precedes the reality, and truly this was worthy of being foreshadowed; "but," says Paul (1Co 13:10), "when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in past shall be done away." Their view respecting the resurrection may be briefly stated in the language of one of the society's documents: "The Society of Friends believes that theawill be a resurrection both of the righteous and the wicked; the one to eternal life and blessedness, and the other to everlasting misery and torment, agreeably to Mt 25:31-46; Joh 5:25-30; 1Co 15:12-58. That God will judge the world by that man whom he hath ordained, even Christ Jesus the Lord, who will render unto every man according to his works; to them who by patient continuing in well-doing during this life seek for glory and honor, immortality and eternal life; but unto the contentious and disobedient, who obey not the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, tribulation and angumish upon every soul of can that sinneth, for God is no respecter of persons" (Thomas Evans).
They have ever regarded war as inconsistent with Christianity. For this they refer to the teachings of Christ and his apotiles, the example of the early Christians, and to the witness for truth in their own consciences, tested and confirmed by the sacred writings. They find that all the emotions which are exercised in wars and fightings are traced to evil lusts, and are inconsistent with that love which is the substance of the first, the second, and the new commandment, which "worketh no ill to his neighbor," and on which "hang all the law and the prophets." They consider oaths to be inadmissible, as being positively forbidden by our Lord in language not to be mistaken, and this testimony was made the occasiol of inflicting severe penalties upon the first Friends. When their persecutors failed to convict them upon false charges, it was customary to administer the testoaths to them on refusing to take which they were thrown into prison. They decline to employ the complimentary and false language of the world, and to apply to the months and days the names given in honor of pagan gods, preferring, the numerical nomenclature adopted in the Scriptures. In dress they aim at plainness and simplicity, avoiding the tyranny of an ever-changing fashion. As a natural result, a degree of uniformity of dress prevails among them, bearing much resemblance to the style in vogue at the rise of the society. This approach to uniformity, which at first was unintentional, came to be cherished as a hedge of defense against worldly and ensnaring associations, and a means by which they recognized each other. The principle at stake is not in the fashion of a garb, but in simplicity and the avoidance of changes of fashion. Were the customary patterns all abandoned today, and the principle of simplicity still consistently adhered to the kaleidoscope of fashion would make frequent changes in the people around them and Friends would soon be left as peculiar in their appearance as at present.
Whilst Friends, as good citizens, have cheerfully paid all legal assessments for the support of public schools and of the poor, and have contributed abundantly to the various charities and general claims of benevolence, they have always been characterized by their scrupulous care in relieving their own poor, so that none of their members come upon the public for maintenance or for gratuitous education.
A dangerous tendency to "hold the truth in parts" led a portion of the society, in the early part of the preselt century, into the error of insisting too singly upon the precious doctrine of Christ within the hope of glory, and of denying, or at best holding lightly, a belief in his true divinity whilst incarnate, and in the atoning, cleansing, saving efficacy of his blood which was shed for us. Thus Socinianism gained a footing in the society, to the grief of those who held the ancient faith, and in 1827 an extensive and much-to-be-regreted secession occurred, in which doctrinal and personal considerations were mingled; and, in the excitement of the division, it is believed that many failed to comprehend the true issues, and that not a few who were essentially one in faith were dissevered for life as regards church fellowship. Thus two entirely distinct societies now exist, each claiming exclusive right to the same name, and causing confusion among other professors as to their identity. In this secession portions of six out of ten Yearly Meetings then existing joined with the body popularly designated by the name of their leader (though they have never acknowledged the title). In Great Britain and Ireland, and in two of the American Yearly Meetings then existing, no schism occurred.
There are thirteen independent Yearly Meetings of the Religious Society of Friends. The oldest of these is that of London, the records of which are preserved from the year 1672. This body is regarded by the others with respectful affection as the mother of Yearly Meetings, and its General Epistle of Christian Counsel, which is issued annually is gladly received, repuilished, and circulated by nearly all the coordinate bodies. The number of members in England is 15,453, whilst there is an attendance of its meetings by non. members of 3658. There are settlements of Friends in France, Germany, Norway, and in several parts of Australasia, which all make annual reports to London Yearly Meeting, and acknowledge subordination to it. Friends in England are a highly influential body in proportion to their number. There is a Yearly Meeting in Ireland, one in Canada, and nine in the United States, viz., the Yearly Meetings of New England, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, North Carolina, Ohio, Indiana, Western Indiana, and Iowa. The increase of membership in the Western States has been rapid of late years, and settlements of Friends are starting up in Kansas, Missouri, etc. The membership of the society may be rated at 80,000.
In all these Yearly Meetings, First-day Schools are conducted with zeal and efficiency, exerting a wide evangelical influence. In a number of the Yearly Meetings these are under the direct care of the society, and made the subjects of annual statistical reports. Thus, in Indiana Yearly Meeting, there are 115 such schools, with 710 teachers, and 6953 pupils, ofwhom 2307 are over twenty-one years of age. In the Yearly Meeting of Western Indiana there are 63 First-day Schools, with 6170 pupils, and 411 teachers. North Carolina Yearly Meeting has taken the lead in the establishment of a Normal First-day School, the benefit of which has been very decided.
There are in England and Ireland several educational institutions of merit under care of the society. In this country Friends have three colleges, viz., Haverford College, Pennsylvania; Earlham College, Richmond, Indiana; and Whittier College, Salem, Iowa. There are also large boarding-schools under the care of different Yearly Meetings, the most noted of which are those of West Town, Pennsylvania, Providence, Rhode Island, Union Springs, N.Y., and New Garden, New Carolina. (W.J.A.)
FRIENDS (No. 2). —
I. History. — The origin of the Religious Society of Friends dates from about the middle of the 17th century. George Fox, the chief instrument in the divine hand by whom it was gathered, was born in Leicestershire England, in the year 1624. His parents were pious members of the National Church, and from his childhood he was religiously inclined. When about nineteen years old he was led by a sense of duty to seek retirement from the world, and he spent much time in reading the holy Scriptures, with meditation and prayer. In the year 1647 he began to appear as a preacher of the Gospel, and he found many prepared to receive his message of love, calling them away from a reliance upon all rites and ceremonies to the word of divine grace, or Spirit of Christ, as the efficient cause of salvation. Converts in large numbers were soon gathered, who met together for divine worship, waiting upon God in silence, or engaging in preaching, prayer, or praise, as they believed themselves prompted by the Spirit of Christ, their ever-present teacher. The persecutions endured by the early Friends, both in Europe and America, were exceedingly severe, and were chiefly on account of their absenting themselves from the Established Church, refusing to pay tithes, openly attending their own religious meetings when prohibited by law, and declining to take oaths of any kind, or to engage in military service. "Between the years 1650 and 1689, about fourteen thousand of this people suffered by fine and imprisonment, of which number more than three hundred died in jail, not to mention cruel mockings, buffetings, scourgings, and afflictions innumerable." It has been estimated that, at the death of George Fox in the year 1690, the number of Friends in Europe and America was about 75,000, and that 10,000 of these inhabited the British colonies. They afterwards declined in the mother country, and greatly increased in America, where they became most numerous in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and North Carolina.
In the year 1827 a schism took place in Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, wrhich afterwards extended to most of the other Yearly Meetings in America. The space allotted for this article will not suffice to give an intelligible account of it (see Janney's Hist. of Friends, volume 4: The part relating to the separation has been republished in a small volume by T. Ellwood Zell, Philadelphia). At the time of the separation, those who took the name of Orthodox Friends were in the Western States the more numerous; but in the Atlantic sea-board States they were less numerous than those who are by some called Hicksites, but who persistently refuse to acknowledge any other name than that of Friends or Quakers. It is of this branch only that we now treat.
II. Doctrines. — We hold the doctrines of the early Friends, as expounded in the writings of Fox, Penn, Penninsgtosn, and Barclay. A committee mhich represents Philadelphia Yearly Meeting has recently so farapproved of a "Sumary of Christian Doctrines," from which the following abstract is taken, as to order its purchase for distribution:
The Scriptures. — The Religious Society of Friends, from its rise to the present day, has always maintained its belief in the authenticity and divine authority of the holy Scriptures, referring to them for proof of its principles and acknowledging them to be the only fit outward test of. Christian doctrines. We do not call them the Word of God, because this appellation is applied by the writers of the Scriptures to that Eternal Power by which the worlds were made, for "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God." We assign to the Scriptures all the authority they claim for themselves, which is chiefly expressed in the following texts: "Whatsoever things are written aforetime were written for our learning, that we, through patience and comfort of the Scriptures, might have hope" (Ro 15:4). "The holy Scriptures are able to make wise unto salvation, through faith which is in Christ Jesus" (2Ti 3:15-17). "All Scripture given by inspiration of God is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction ins righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works" (Barclay's Apology, prop. 3, § 5).
In the advices issued by our several Yearly Meetings, the Scriptures are very frequently and earnestly recommended to the attention of our members. In the year 1854, Philadelphia Yearly Meetings after referring to "those sublime truths which are recorded in the holy Scriptures," thus continues: "In these invaluable writings we find the only authentic record of the early history of our race, the purest strains of devotional poetry, and the sublime discourses of the Son of God. Their frequent perusal was therefore especially urged upon our younger members, who were encouraged to seek for the guidance of divine grace, by which alone we realize in our experience the saving truths they contain." In the year 1863, the following minutes of Baltimore Yearly Meeting was sent down to its subordinate meetings, viz.: "We have been reminded that this Yearly Meeting has at various times issued advices to its members inciting them to the frequent reading of the holy Scriptures, the authenticity of which has always been acknowledged by the Society of Friends. We believe it is not the part of true wisdom to dwell upon defects, whether real or imaginary, in the sacred records but rather to use them as they were intended, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, remembering that it is only through the operation of the Spirit of Truth upon our hearts that they can be made availing to us in the promotion of our salvation." The following extract is taken from the Rules of Discipline of the Yearly Meeting of Friends held in Philadelphia: "If any in membership with us shall blaspheme, or speak profanely of Almighty God, Christ Jesus, or the Holy- Spirit, he or she ought early to be tenderly treated with for their instruction, and the convincement of their understanding, that they may experience repentance and forgiveness; but should any, notwithstanding this brotherly labor, persist in their error, or deny the divinity of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the immediate revelation of the Holy Spirit, or the authenticity of the Scriptures; as it is manifest them are not one in faith with us, the monthly meeting where the party belongs, having extended due care for the help and benefit of the individual without effect, ought to declare the same, and issue their testimony accordingly."
Immediate Revelation. — The highest privilege granted to man is that of entering into communion with the Author of his being. "Ye are the temples of the livineg God," writes the apostle Paul; "as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people" (2Co 6:16). "The anointing which ye have received of him," says the beloved disciple, "abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you; but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him" (1Jo 2:27).
In the ordering of divine Providence, instrumental means are often employed to convey religious truth, such as the reading of the Scriptures, the preaching of the Gospel, and the vicissitudes of life; but in all cases the good effected is from the immediate operations of divine grace upon the heast or conscience. In fact, there can be no saving knowledge of Christ but from immediate revelation. "No man can come to me" said Jesus, "except the Father, which hath sent me draw him." This drawing of the Fither is the operation of his Spirit, for "the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal" (1Co 12:7). To the wicked he comes as a reprover for sin, a "spirit of judgment and a spirit of burning," but to the prayerful and obedient as a comforter in righteousness.
The Original and Present State of Man. — It is a scriptural doctrine that neither righteousneess nor unright-eousness can be transmitted by inheritance, but every man shall be judged according to his deeds. The language of the prophet Ezekiel is very clear on this point. "As I live, saith the Lord God, ye shall not have occasion any more to use this proverb in Israel."' ... "The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge." ... "Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die." ... "The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of thee wicked shall be upon him" (Eze 18:2-25).
Man was created in the image of God; he was pure, benevolent, and blissful, and he enjoyed thes privilege of communion with God, that is, to partake of "the tree of life which is in the midst of the paradise of God" (Re 2:7). But, although he was made a free agent, he was not to be so independent of God as to know of himself good or evil without divine direction. And when he presumed to set up his own will, and to be governed by it in oppositionto the divine will, be assusmed the place of God, and having thus turned away from the Holy Spirit, he ceased to partake of "the tree of life," and consequently died a spiritual death. It was then he experienced the fulfillment of the divine prediction," In the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die;" for "to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace." Animal propensities may be transmitted from parents to children, but the Scriptures do not teach that we inherit any guilt from Adam, or from any of our ancestors; nor do we feel any compunction for their sins. The language of our Savior clearly implies that little children are innocent, for "of such," he says, "is the kingdom of heaven."
The Divine Being. — The unity, omnipresence, omnipotence, and omniscience of God, the only fountain of wisdom and goodness, are fully set forth in the Scriptures of both the Old and the New Testament. He declares by the mouth of his prophet, "Thus saith the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, his Maker." ... "I, even I, am the Lord, and besides me there is no Savior." ... "Thus saith the Lord, your. Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel" (Isa 43:11,14). These. declarations are reiterated and confirmed in the New Testament. "Jesus answered, The first of all the commandments is, 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord,'" etc. (Mr 12:29).
That spiritual influence or medium by which the Most High communicates his will to man is called his Word, and the same term is applied to his creative power, by which all things were made. The unity of the Eternal Word, or Logos, with God, may be illustrated by the light which emanates from the sun; for "God is light," and of Christ it is said, "In him was life, and the life was the light of men." The connection between the great luminary of the solar system and the light proceeding from him is so perfect that we apply the term Sun to them both. So, in relation to the Eternal Word, which was in the beginning with God, and was God, it is a manifestation of his wisdom and power, being called in the Old Testament "The angel of his presence" (Isa 63:9), "The Redeemer of his people;" and in the New Testament, "The Son of God, by whom also he made the worlds" (Heb 1:2). The term Christ was also applied by the apostles to the Spirit of God as manifested in men. For instance, Paul writes of the children of Israel under Moses, "They did all eat the same spiritual meat, and they did all drink the same spiritual drink; for they drank of that spiritual rock that followed them, and that rock was Christ" (1Co 10:4). Peter says that the prophets "prophesied of the grace that should come unto you, searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand of the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow"'(1Pe 1:11).
The most full and glorious manifestation of the divine Word, or Logos, was in Jesus Christ, the immaculate Son of God, who was miraculously conceived and born of a virgin. In him the manhood or son of man was entirely subject to the divinity. The Word took flesh, or was manifested in the flesh. "He took not on him the nature of angels, but he took on him the seed of Abraham." ... "Of whom as concerning the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, God, blessed forever." Being "in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin," he, was an examnple to all succeeding generations, "a man approved of God by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did by him." The intimate union between Christ and lhis Church is illustrated in the epistles of Peter and Paul by two similitudes: that of a body having many members, of which Jesus Christ is the head; and that of a temple, of which he is the chief corner-stone. The holy manhood of Christ, that is, the soul of him in whom the Holy Spirit dwelt iwithout measure, is now, and always will be, the head: or chief member of that spiritual body which is made up of the faithful servants of God of all ages and nations.
"There is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" (1Ti 2:5). As Moses was a mediator to ordain the legal dispensation, so Jesus Christ was and is the Mediator of the new covenant; first, to proclaim and exemplify it in the day of his outward advent; and, secondly, through all time, in the ministration of his Spirit.
"The Spirit itself maketh intercession for us wlth groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God" (Ro 8:26).
When the apostles went forth preaching Christ and his spiritual kingdom, they attributed to his name or power their wonderful success. Ac 2:32-33; Ac 4:10-12: "This is the stone," said Peter to the rulers, "which was set at naught of you builders, which is become the head of the corner, Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved."
Salvation by Christ. — The great work of the Messiah for the salvation of men is beautifully portrayed in the passage which he read from Isaiah in the synagogue at Nazareth. "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the Gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the, Lord" (Lu 4:18-19). He came to establish a spiritual kingdom of truth and love in the hearts of mankind, and thereby to put an end to the kingdom of evil; a work of reformation was then begun which has not ceased to this day, though often obstructed and retarded. Then was laid the foundation on which succeeding generations have built, and no moral reform of any value or permanency can take place unless it be founded on Christian principles.
Another prophecy of Isaiah is referred to by the evangelist Matthew as having been fulfilled by the miracles of Christ. He says, "When the even was come they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils, and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities and bare our sicknesses" (Mt 8:16). As in the outward relation he took away the infirmities of the people and healed their sicknesses, so in the inward and spiritual relation he heals the maladies of the soul, and raises it from death in sin to a life of righteousness.
The great object of the Messiah's advent is thus declared by himself: "To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice" (Joh 18:37). He could not bear witness to the truth among that corrupt and perverse people without suffering for it. He foresaw that they would put him to death, and he went forward calmly doing his Father's will, leading a life of selfsacrifice, wounded for the transgressions of the people, baptized spiritually in suffering for them, and finally enduring on the cross the agonies of a lingering death, thus sealing his testimony with his blood. His obedience in drinking the cup of suffering was acceptable to God, for "he hath loved us and hath given himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God, for a*sweetsmelling savor" (Eph 5:2).
It was to reconcile man to God by. removing the enmity from (man's) his heart that Jesus Christ lived, and taught, and suffered, and for this purpose the Spirit of Christ is still manifested as a Redeemer from the bondage of corruption. Hence the apostle says, "God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them, and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation." ... "We pray you, in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God" (2Co 5:19-20). It is in man that the change must be wrought and the reconciliation effected, for there can be no change in Deity.
"If, when we were enemies," says Paul, "we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life" (Ro 5:10); for "in him was life, and the life was the light of men" (Joh 1:4). It is the life of God, or spirit of truth reaealed in the soul, which purities and saves from sin. This life is sometimes spoken of as the blood; for, according to the Mosaic law, "the blood is the life." And when Jesus told the people, "Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you," he alluded to the life and power of God which dwelt inshim, and spake through him. In explanation of this, he said to his disciples, "It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, thery are spirit and they are life." It is obvious that the sinner cannot come into a state of concord with God until the sinful nature is remoesed, and that nothing can remove it but the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The dealings of the Most High with the children of men are beautifully exemplified in the parable of the prodigal son, who had wandehied far from his father's house, and spent his substance in riotous living. When he came to himself, and determined to go back, confessing his sins, and offering to become as one of the hired servants, his father did not stand off and order him to be punished, neither did he lay his punishment upon the other son who had been faithfuil; but his compassion was awakened by his penitence and the sufferings he had brought upon himself, and "while he was yet a great way off he ran and fell on his neck, and kissed him." The conduct of the parent, as represented in this parable, answers exactly to the divine character, and corresponds entirely with the character of Jesus Christ, who was filled with the divine perfections. But the doctrine that God cannot, or will not forgive sins without a compensation or satisfaction, and that man, not being able to make this satisfaction, it was made by Jesus Christ, who was appointed or given up to be killed for this purpose, is so inconsistent with the divine character, that it cannot be reconciled with the teachings of the Son of God. It appears to deprive, the Deity of that infinite love which is his most endearing attribute; and if a human parent were to act upon the same principle towards his children, we could not justify his conduct.
When the sinful nature in man is slain by the power of God being raised into dominion in us, then is divine justice satisfied, for there is nothing vindictive in the character of the Deity. He does not afflict his creatures for any other purpose than their own reformation or purification and, when that purpose is accomplished, he is ready to pardon his repenting children. The only sure ground of acceptance is the new birth; for, when Christ's kingdom is established within us, then his righteousness becomes ours; not by imputation, but by our becoming really "partakers of the divine nature" (2Pe 1:4). "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost, which he shed on us abundantly, through Jesus Christ our Savior" (Tit 3:5).
Baptism and the Lord's Supper. — Friends believe that the "washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost" is the only baptism essential to salvation. "There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, through all, and in you all" (Eph 4:5-6). The baptism of Christ is inward and spiritual, as may be shown by the following texts: Mt 3:11-12; Ac 1:5; Ac 18:25-26; 1Co 12:13; 1Co 6:11; Col 2:20,23; 1Pe 3:21.
We have no grounds to believe that "the passover" which Jesus ate with his disciples was intended to be perpetuated in the Christian Church; nor does it appear that he instituted a new ceremony on that occasion. He conformed to the Mosaic law, which was not abrogated until his crucifixion, when he blotted out the handwriting of ordinances, and "took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross" (Col 2:14). "Behold, I stand at the door and knock," says Christ; "if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me" (Re 3:20). This is the Lord's Supper, is which the new wine of the kingdom and the bread of life are distributed to sustain the soul.
III. Worship, Discipline, etc. — The author of Christianity has prescribed no set form of worship, enjoining only that it must be in spirit and in truth. Friends have adopted silence as the basis of public worship, believing that it is free from the objections that exist against all prescribed forms; that it gives to each worshipper an opportunity for self-examination and secret prayer, with the benefit that results from the sympathy of other minds present; and that it affords the best preparation for the exercise of spiritual gifts in preaching, prayer, or praise.
The Christian ministry can be rightly exercised by those only who have received a call and qualification from the Head of the Church and the prophecy of Joel, quoted by Peter, is fulfilled, under the Gospel: "It shall comne to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy." As it was in the primitive Church, so it is now in the Society of Friends, women as well as men are permitted to preach the Gospel. No salary or pecuniary compensation is allowed to ministers, but those who travel in the service of the Gospel may partake of the needful hospitality or assistance of their friends.
Testimonies. — The testimonies of Friends against war, slavery, oaths, lotteries, and the use, as a beverage, of intoxicating drinks, as also against vain fashions, corrupting amusements, and flattering titles, are founded on Christian principles, and have been found salutary in practice.
Discipline. — The system of Church government existing in this society is in accordance with the doctrine, "One is your Master, even Christ, and all ye are brethren." There is so distinction like that of clergy and laity, but all the members of both sexes have a right to participate insthe deliberations and decisions of the body. In meetings for discipline the men and women meet in separate apartments, and are coordinate branches of the body, each transacting the business pertaining to its own sex; but, in some cases, when needful, they act in concert, by the appointment of joint committees of men and women. The cooperation of women in the administration of discipline has been found salutary in many respects, but especially in promoting among them self-reliance and dignify of character.
IV. Statistics. — We have six Yearly Meetings, connected by epistolary correspondence, but independent of each other in regard to discipline. The aggregate membership of these is about 35,000.
Large numbers of persons not members, but who affiliate with us in religious profession, regularly attend our meetings for divine worship.
We have, in the cities of New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Richmond, Indiana, extensive and well-sustained schools, adapted to a high standard of useful and practical education. There are also numerous schools of varied character throughout the Yearly Meetings.
Swarthmore College, situated about eight miles southwest from Philadelphia, on the line of the Westchester Railroad, is designed for three hundred pupils of both sexes. Here our children, and those intrusted to our charge, may receive the advantages of a thorough collegiate education,. under the guarded care of members of our religious society. (S.M.J.)
FRIENDS, PROGRESSIVE. A religious society organized in 1853, in Chester County, Pennsylvania, as a result, in part, of a division in Kennett Monthly Meeting of Friends ("Hickite"). The division was caused by differences of opinion upon questions of reform and progress; the official members of the Society of Friends generally discouraging activity in temperance, antislavery, and other similar organizations, while a large proportion in many localities a majority of the laity were warmly in favor of cooperating with them. After years of contention, the two parties in Kennett Monthly Meeting fell asunder, and finally, in 1853, an association was organized under the name of "Pennsylvania Yearly Meeting of Progressive Friends." Thes new society opened its doors to all who recognized the equal brotherhood of the human family, without regard to sex, color, or condition, and who ackunowledged the duty of defining and illustrating their faith in God, not by assent to a creed, but by lives of personal purity, and works of beneficence and charity. It diasavowed any intention or expectation of binding its members together by agreement as to theological opinions, and declared that it would seek its bond of union in "identity of object, oneness of spirit in respect to the practical duties of life, the communion of soul with soul in a common love of the beautiful and true, and a common aspiration after moral excellence." It disclaimed all disciplinary authority, whether over individual members or local associations; it set forth no forms or ceremonies, and made no provision for the ministry as an order distinguished from the laity; it set its face against every form of ecclesiasticisrm, and denounced as the acme of superstitious imposture the claim of churches to hold an organic relation to God and to speak by his authority, maintaining that such bodies are purely human, the repositories of no power save that rightly conferred upon them by the individuals of whom they are comsposed. Besides the Yearly Meeting, which includes persons living in places widely distant from each other, there is a local association, which meets for worship at Longwood, near Hamorton, on every First day, and, during a large portion of every year, maintains a First day School for children. This local body has never employed a religious teacher, though there is nothing in the principles of the organization to forbid such a step whenever its members, may think it necessary or expedient. Uniformity of practice in this respect is neither expected nor desired it being held that the arrangements for meetings should be in every case adapted to the peculiar needs and tastes of the communities in which they are held. The division in the Society of Friends was not confined to Kennett Monthly Meeting, but extended to every Yearly Meeting in the body. As early as 1849, that division led to the organization, at Grees Plain, Ohio, of a society exactly similar to that of the Progressive Friends, but under a different name. This society is now extinct. At Junius, near Waterloo, N.Y., in the same year, a society of "Congregational Friends" was formed. This society afterwards took the name of "Progressive Friends," and, at a later day, that of "Friends of Human Progress," by which it is still known. In Salem, Columbiana County, Ohio, in 1852, a society called "Progressive Friends" was organized, which had but a brief existence. In North Collins, Erie County, N.Y., there is a society bearing the name of "Friends of Human Progress," which, in its principlen, is vary similar to the "Progressive Friends." (O.J.)