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account of their hypocrisy, because they pretended to be what they were not. But he no where condemned the devout Jew, who was sincere in his faith. But if he be found no where to have censured another for a difference in religious opinion, much less was it ever said of him, that he forced him to the adoption of his own. In the memorable instance, in which James and John were willing to call fire from heaven to burn those, who refused to receive him, he rebuked them by an assurance, that “ they knew not what Spirit they were of." And with respect to his doctrine, nothing can be more full to the point than his
saying, that “ his kingdom was not of this world;" by which he meant, that his dominion was wholly of a spiritual nature, and that men must cast off all worldly imaginations, and become spiritually-minded, before they could belong to him. But no applićation of outward force, in the opinion of this Society, can thus alter the internal man. Nor can even the creeds and doctrines of others produce this effect, except they become sanctioned by the divine influence on the heart.
Neither is it recorded of any of the Aposs tles, that they used any other weapons than those of persuasion and the power of God in the propagation of thieir doctrines, leaving such as did not choose to follow them to their own way. They were explicit also in stating the spiritual nature of Christ's kingdom, from whence an inference similar to the former is deducible; namely, that no compulsory interference can be effectúal in matters of religion. And St. Paul in particular tells the Corinthians, that, in his spiritual services to them, he does not consider himself “ as having any dominion over their faith, but as a helper of their joy*.”
But if neither Jesus Christ, who was the author of that religion which many Civil Governments have established, nor the Apostles, who afterwards propagated it, forced their doctrines upon other men, or hindered them by force from worshipping in their own manner, even though the former could have called legions of angels to his support,it certainly does not become weak, ignorant, and fallible men, because they are placed in the situation of governors, to set up their
* 2 Cor. i. 24.
own creeds as supreme, and to throw penalties and restrictions in the way of the religious exercise of others.
But if governors, contrary to the example of Jesus Christ and of his Apostles, should interfere in religious matters, and impose laws upon the governed, of which as Chris, tians they cannot but disapprove, then the Quakers are of opinion that the governed ought always to obey the laws of Jesus Christ, rather than the laws of any governors, who are only men. Thus, when Peter and John were commanded by the rulers of the Jews to speak no more in the name of Jesus, they dared not yield obedience to their commands, reasoning thus: “ Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you, more than unto God, judge ye*.”
And as the governed, in such case, ought, in obedience to God the Supreme Ruler of the Universe and the King of kings, to refuse a compliance with the laws of their own governors, so they ought to be prepared patiently to submit to the penalties, which are annexed to such a refusal; and on no account (if just representations made in the meek and quiet spirit of their religion are not likely to be effectual) to take up arms, or resist them by force. And this doctrine they ground, first, on the principle, that it is not only more noble, but more consistent with their duty as Christians, to suffer, than to give growth to the passion of revenge, or by open resistance to become the occasion of loss of life to others : and, secondly, on the example of Jesus Christ, and of the Apostles and primitive Christians, all of whom patiently submitted to the pains and penalties, inflicted upon them by the Governments of their respective times, for the exercise of their religion.
* Acts iv. 19.
Oaths Quakers conceive it unlawful for Christians
to take an oath-iheir sufferings on this account --consider oaths as unnecessary--as having ant immoral tendency, which even the Heathens allowed—and as having been forbidden by Jesus Christ-explanation of the scriptural passages, cited on this occasion-Christianity not so perfect with the lawfulness of oaths, as without it other reasons taken from considerations relative
to the antient oath by the name of God. A second tenet, which the members of this Society hold, is, that it is unlawful for Christians to take a Civil Oath.
Many and grievous were the sufferings of these people, in the early part of their history, on account of their refusing to swear before the civil magistrate. They were insulted, fined, and imprisoned. Some of the judges, too, indulged a rancour against them on this account unworthy of their high office, which prescribed justice impartially. to all. For, when they could not convict them of the offences laid to their charge,