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Though the arrangement of the subjects, and the manner of treating them, have been dictated by the views presented to my own mind, yet in the subjects. themselves, I have endeavored to keep to the acknowledged doctrines of the Society. And in compiling the following pages, I have made such extracts, from the writings of our early friends, as seemed necessary to establish the position, that they held the principles laid down. And in taking these extracts, I have consulted those parts of their writings, in which they make a statement of what they believe, rather than those in which they expose the errors of contrary opinions.
And here it may not be improper to remark, that many of the Essays which were published by the members of this Society, in the early periods of its history, were in direct and pointed controversy: and frequently in reply to affusions from the press, which have long since been consigned to merited oblivion. In these replies of our Friends, the object of the writer was frequently to expose the consequences of the opinions which they opposed. And as the publications thus opposed, and exposed, are now out of print, and generally forgotten, while the replies of our Friends are preserved, there is some possibility that their views & sentiments may not be gathered from such of their writings, without a knowledge of the causes which gave rise to them.
This remark will not apply exclusively to the writings of Friends; it will hold in relation to controversial works in general. And the more bold and animated the manner of the writer, the more occasion there will be to keep this particular distinction in view.
My intention, at first, was to compile a general history of the Society, embracing its doctrines, and discipline, together with biographical notices of
individual members. Which several divisions of the subject, I proposed to treat of separately. The doctrines stood first in my view, and having completed these, it seemed, for different reasons, best to publish this part, without waiting for the slow collection of meterials, and the laborious arrangement of the historical and biographical parts. These remaining parts of the original design, are not abandoned, but whether either of them will ever be accomplished, remains with Him, at whose disposal are time, opportunity, and capacity, for every good word and work.
It is perhaps one of the laws of nature, that objects assume a degree of the shade, which belongs to the medium through which they are seen. And this is as true in the moral, as in the physical world. Hence prejudice or prepossession cannot fail to cast a shade over any principle or performance that may be examined through them. But there is a principle, (the Spirit of Truth,) which can divest the mind of these, and enable us to see things as they really are. 1 solicit therefore a calm and candid perusal of the "Doctrines of Friends." And over and above all, I earnestly desire an increasing prevalence of the influence of that principle which, independent of names or denominations, infuses into the hearts of the children of men, the feelings of gratitude and love to God, and of charity and love to each other. ELISHA BATES.
MOUNTPLEASANT, 2d mo. 1825.
AT a MEETING FOR SUFFERINGS OF OHIO YEARLY MEETING, held by adjournments from the 3d of the 9th month, to the 13th of the same, inclusive, 1824:
The writings of ELISHA BATES, on the Doctrines of Friends, were examined, and approved; and he left at liberty to publish them: and the clerk is directed to furnish him with an extract of this minute, and sign it on behalf of the Meeting.
Extracted from the Minutes, by
JORDAN HARRISON, Clerk.
For the information of those not acquainted with the Society, the following brief explanation may not be altogether uninteresting:
"In order that the Yearly Meeting with its several branches might be properly represented during the recess thereof, a meeting has been instituted by the name of the "Meeting for Sufferings," which is to consist of twenty-six friends appointed by the Yearly Meeting, and four by each Quarterly meeting," [making forty-six in all.] "Approved ministers, and members of any other Meeting for Sufferings-may also be permitted to attend its sittings." Among other important duties confided to this Meeting, they are "to take the oversight and inspection of all writings proposed to be printed, relative to our religious principles or testimonies; and to promote or suppress the same, at their discretion." Discipline of Ohio Yearly Meeting.
ADAM, created in the Divine Image
Attributes of the Deity defended 39,
ty to be saved 101; no Calvinis-
Days &c. 250; names, origin 256.
Eden, garden of, 2.
Election and Reprobation 40. condi-
Example of Jesus Christ 183.
Authenticity of the Scriptures 157.
Children not in the same state that
ty 76; quotations from primitive God, Nature and Reason bear testi-
mony to his being & attributes 24;
Fathers, testimony to Immediate
Females, ministry of, 205; proved
Infants, their condition, 37.
Instructions to the Disciples 198;
Isaac and Ishmael 56;
Jacob and Esau 53 to 56.
Justification 120, &c.
Kingdom of heaven,how to be receiv-
Law, its types ended 223, 239; why
Man, his original state 2, 3; by nature
Meals, feelings at, 245.
New Dispensation, superior to the
New Testament, acknowledged
Oaths, forbidden 273.
Perfection and perseverance 125.
Philosophers, (heathen,) testimony
Place of existence for the soul 26, 27.
Ministry 196; call, ib. & 200 of the
rupt m. dangers of, 212; cautions Supplication, vocal 218.
215; preparatory and other exer- Theatre 264, 267.
cises of the true m. 213; support Toplady, quotations from, 40, 41, 71.
Transfiguration of Christ 229.
Redemption 9, 28; See Divinity of
Seed promised 5; seed of Grace the
Washing of feet 243, 246.