These Documents should be compared to the later Essays from the end of A Narrative of the Early Life, Travels, and Gospel Labors of Jesse Kersey, Late of Chester County, Pennsylvania.
The Christian's Belief
The Society of Friends believe that Jesus Christ, the Messiah spoken of by the prophets, is the Son God.--That he is the only mediator between God and man.--In the necessity of obedience to his doctrines according to the Scriptures,--That the Scriptures were written under the direction of his Spirit, and can only be understood by those who live in obedience to the same.--That man is a free agent, and that the means of salvation are universal.
Divine Revelation the ground and principle from which
the knowledge of God is to be obtained.--Those who come to find this principle,
which is offered to all, may afterwards fall from it.
Concerning the Scriptures.
Scriptures not the Word of God.--The Word of God, as described by the Evangelist, has universal influence.
Of the Ministry.
A Divine gift.--No human talents can qualify for the ministry, without this gift.--Bestowed upon females as well as males.--The Apostle instructs females how to appear in the exercise of their gifts.--Speaks with approbation of some of them.--Ministers not to be paid for their labours, or preach by contract.
Of Divine Worship.
Indispensable duty publicly to assemble to Worship the Living God.--Qualification to Worship to be waited for.--No well-founded objection can be raised against silent meetings.--Scripture instances of waiting upon God.--Friends not alone in their belief that Worship is a spiritual act, performed in silence.
Of Prayer and Spiritual Singing to the Lord.
Prayer should not be neglected.--Scarcely an act less understood, and none more abused than prayer.--Christ the only proper instructor.--He instructed the disciples.--To adopt the first sentence of the compendium he taught requires a preparation.--The Pharisees and their prayers condemned.--True prayer is an entrance into, and concurrence with, the Divine Mind.--Singing of hymns and spiritual songs not of necessity vocal.--Singing that is acceptable to the Almighty must proceed from that which is pure in the hearts even from the Divine Life.--The use of instruments of music, or artificial singing in the Worship of God, not warranted in the New Testament.
It is a living principle which no human means can beget in us.--By it the eiders obtained a good report.--Until we have come to this living principle, the soul remains subject to the fallen nature, and cannot serve God acceptably, or be united to him.--Wheresoever this living faith is, there will be works corresponding with it.
Of Sanctification and Justification.
Entire justification must be because of entire sanctification.
Friends believe perfection is enjoined.--It is considered under the figure of the vine.--The Apostle alludes to some in his day that had attained to this state.--Not attainable by any power of our own.
Rewards and Punishments.
The Saviour of men has taught this doctrine.--This doctrine is connected with the immortality of the soul, and the resurrection.--Friends believe it according to the Scriptures.
Days and Times.
One day in seven set apart for Divine Worship.--The Jews were strictly enjoined to observe the Sabbath.--New and important views excited by the Messiah about the observance of days.--No particular holiness attached to one day more than another.--Friends cannot join with others in observing days and times appointed for prayers, fastings, &c.
Friends do not believe it is enjoined upon Christians by the Scriptures.--Consequences if admitted to be necessary to salvation.--No evidence that any after John the Baptist were commanded to practice water baptism.--Christianity is not entangled with Jewish ceremony.
On the Communion; or Ceremony of the Lord's Supper.
The communion of Christ not an outward partaking of bread and wine, but an union of Spirit with God.--Inward and spiritual bread sometimes experienced, which can nourish the soul up unto eternal Life.
Swearing unreasonable in itself and contrary to the command of Christ.--The apostles gave their testimony against swearing.--It ought to be abolished among Christians.--Friends not alone in their objections to this practice.
A main pillar in the Gospel is the Spirit of non-resistance.--The Saviour of the world not only taught it, but confirmed it by his example.--Some in most-countries redeemed from the Spirit of War.--Friends particularly addressed upon this subject.--Civil governments all make provision for war, they all complete their ends by force.
The primitive believers in Christ adopted a form of government.--They did not agree upon all the orders and rules at once.--Gospel order in case of offenders in the Church.--When a separation takes place, no human power can restore such an one to the unity and fellowship of the Church.