They think Elias Hicks had a large element of personal ambition, the pride of leadership, of establishing perhaps a sect that should reflect his own name, and to which he should give especial form and character. Very likely. Such indeed seems the means, all through progress and civilization, by which strong men and strong convictions achieve anything definite.
Space and time which seem never to fail the Buddhists in their literature would fail us to describe this sect in full, or to show in detail its teachings, wherein are wonderful resemblances to European ideas and facts in philosophy, to Hegel and Spinoza find in history, to Jesuitism.
The point which the Bishop had to prove is, that whereas an image cannot be the occasion of outward adoration and kneeling to God before it in the act of looking upon it, the sacrament may be, and is, an occasion of kneeling, when it is set before us in the act of receiving. This neither he, nor any for him, shall ever make good. Sect. 10.
Jesus remained thus at Jerusalem, a provincial admired by provincials like himself, but rejected by all the aristocracy of the nation. The chiefs of schools and of sects were too numerous for any one to be stirred by seeing one more appear. His voice made little noise in Jerusalem. The prejudices of race and of sect, the direct enemies of the spirit of the Gospel, were too deeply rooted there.
Fairweather was of the sect of the Quakers, a peaceable race that Virginia had long ill-treated. "The land is none so bad," said the Receiver, "but the people are a perverse generation. Their hearts are set on vanity, and puffed up with pride. I could wish, Mr. Fairweather, that my lines had fallen among your folk in the north, where, I am told, true religion yet flourisheth.
In the meantime, however, a temporary refuge for the sect was found in the province of West Jersey on the Delaware, which two Quakers had bought from Lord Berkeley for the comparatively small sum of 1000 pounds. Of this grant William Penn became one of the trustees and thus gained his first experience in the business of colonizing the region of his youthful dreams.
The prosecution and further discovery of the plot were still the object of general concern. The commons voted, that, if the king should come to an untimely end, they would revenge his death upon the Papists; not reflecting that this sect were not his only enemies. They promised rewards to new discoverers; not considering the danger which they incurred of granting bribes to perjury.
It might therefore be expected, that they would unite with indignation against any sect or people which should separate itself from the communion of mankind, and claiming the exclusive possession of divine knowledge, should disdain every form of worship, except its own, as impious and idolatrous.
If some true knowledge were thus everywhere to be found, why should truth be confined to one religion, or to a creed like Islam, which was comparatively new, and scarcely a thousand years old; why should one sect assert what another denies, and why should one claim a preference without having superiority conferred upon itself?"
Few sights can be lovelier than that of a man who, having rushed up the staircase of fame in his youth what matter whether the fame of a paltry world, or a paltry sect of that world! comes slowly, gently, graciously down in his old age, content to lose that which he never had, and careful only to be honest at last. It had not been so with Walter Drake.