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case down to the present day; He will “not give his glory to another, nor his
praise to graven images.' Isa. xliii. 8. "To those who run and are not sent, the "inquiry still forcibly applies; “Who hath required this at your hands?' Isa. i 12.
“The great apostle of the Gentiles was “not made a minister by man, nor in the “ will of man; but necessity was laid upon “him, and he felt that woe was to him, if " he preached not the Gospel--a Dispensation of which had been committed to “him. He also acknowledged; ‘by the Grace " of God I am what I am.' 1 Cor. xv. 10. “And all true ministers, as such, should “ be able to adopt the same language. pp. 215, 216.
It will probably be admitted by the impartial reader, that the following discourses, examined with reference to this particular point of doctrine, are singularly appropriate, avoiding the declamatory appeals to the passions which characterize some of the extemporaneous effusions of other sects, as it must be acknowledged that they are deficient in the logical accuracy which distinguishes the generality of written pulpit addresses.
If, however, we judge of their preaching by the effects produced, -by the conduct of the members of the Society in all the outward relations of life, it will not be denied that they have an efficacious ministry; and though upon many points (as the editor has expressed in the introduction to the two other collections before published) most christian professors will probably differ from the Society of Friends, much good would result were their systems and opinions more closely examined with a view to ascertain how far they are capable of more general adoption.
That some of their views are capable of more general adoption to the great benefit of the community, is proved by the issue of Penn's Treaty with the Indians, of which it has been remarked "that it was the only treaty not ratified by an oath, and the only treaty that was never broken;" and history bears testimony to the complete success of this colony, so long as the government was conducted on the liberal and pacific principles laid down by the Quaker lawgiver, William Penn. And in the recent abolition of a great number of judicial oaths, and the sentiments which the discussions on their repeal elicited, the intelligent observer will not fail to trace an adoption, however partial, of the quaker principle, that all swearing is unnecessary and sinful.
And the writer would fain hope, and indeed believe, that however remote the period may be, the time will come, when it will be seen by the christian world more generally, that it is opposed to the genius and spirituality of the Gospel dispensation to set apart any body of men, to inculcate and enforce the truths and duties of christianity; and that it will be felt and acknowledged, that a few words addressed immediately from the heart, by those whose conduct affords a living illustration of their precepts, have greater efficacy than the most labored harangues which form but part of the routine of official duty.
It only remains to add, that the ministers whose addresses are introduced into this little volume are no parties to its publication. Every precaution has been taken to ensure their accuracy; but the considerate reader will make due allowance for any slight deficiencies, when he recollects, that they have been published without any revision by the individuals who delivered them.