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realized, and feeling more impressively the importance of the work, the apprehension of duty gradually and permanently settled on my mind, to make the attempt.

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 endeavoured 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. 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 effusions 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 preseved, there is some possibility that their views and 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 divi

sions 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 materials, 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. I 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.

Mountpleasant, 2nd mo. 1825.


At a MEETING FOR SUFFERINGS OF OHIO YEARLY MEETING, held by adjournments, from the 3rd 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






In entering upon a concise statement of the Doctrines of this Society, it seems most consistent with the natural order of things, to take, in the first place, a view of the Original and Present State of Man.


The Scriptures bear testimony, that man was made in the image of his Creator: In the image of God created he him male and female created he them." Gen. i. 27. In this state, which was his by creation, he lacked neither wisdom nor understanding. He lacked nothing that was necessary to enable him to exercise the dominion that was given him in the world, or that could perfect his happiness, or secure acceptance in the divine sight: otherwise he could not be in the image of God; nor would it have been said, that "God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good." ib. 31. Accordingly, we find that he had a clear sense of the relation in which he stood to the Almighty; was favoured with communion with him; and, when the various orders of animated beings were brought before him, he had such a sense and understanding of natural things, as enabled him to give them all appropriate names. This was not acquired knowledge; but all these faculties and capacities were the endowments with which he was furnished, and made up his Original Character.


Thus constituted, our first parents were placed in a situation adapted to their comfort and convenience: "The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed." Gen. ii. 8. And though there may be a mystical signification in these terms, representing that spiritual communion and fellowship which the saints obtain with God, by Jesus Christ, yet we do not thence call in question the historical fact, that they were provided with a residence, in all respects adapted to their condition. Nor do we doubt that, when they lost their happy condition by disobedience, they lost also the residence which was adapted only to that condition. But these truths respecting the outward affairs of our prime ancestors, are not so deeply interesting to us, as those relations in which they stood before and after their transgression. And as the inspired historian was led to touch very briefly on these outward affairs, so we believe it is not necessary, or even safe, to run out into speculation concerning them. But so far as the holy Scriptures record historical facts, respecting the first and all subsequent ages, those facts we admit as truth.

Though man was created such a being as has been described, and was so eminently favoured, in relation both to temporal and spiritual things; yet the sequel proved that he was placed in a state of probation, and that he was permitted to choose good or evil, according to his own free will. He received a command; and the penalty of death was annexed to its violation: "In the day thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die." Gen. ii. 17.

As he was constituted in due rectitude of body and mind -as he was, in his first estate, in the divine image, he must have had power to stand. How is it possible that he could be in that image, if he had not power to reject evil, and to remain in a state of acceptance? That he had this power, is evident, not only from the character which is clearly given of him, but from the divine attributes themselves. Therefore, as surely as we believe that God is merciful and just, so surely we believe that Adam was enabled to obey the command that was given him. (Vide Art. Universality of Grace.)

In the freedom of will with which our first parents were endowed, they disobeyed the divine command. As the

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