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the evidence ; be knew no other criterion of hisr being a Quaker than that of his own profession . But does every judge and every magistrate so interpret the law of the Jand , with regard to the people called Quakers ? I meddle not with the
TJnitas JRratrum , or people called Moravians , who also are favoured , in their religious scruples , against the taking of an oath . I knew an Ex-quaker in Dublin
subpoenaed as an evidence ; the counsellor , Curran , ( what is it that counsellors may not be feed to do ?) called out in court , " Hand him the book . " ** I am a Quaker—cannot take an oath . "
" You a Quaker , Sir ! Pray do you attend their meetings of discipline ?" ** No . " " Do they receive your collections > " " No , " «« What were you disowned for ? " " I have no objection to tell that . I married my wife without consulting my friends . " iC My Lord ! here is a man whom the Quakers have
turned out for a breach of their laws , and yet he claims the privilege of giving only his affirmation as a Quaker . " " I appeal to the court , " said the Quaker , tc I avow myself not in membership with the society of Friends , but hold myself liable to all the pains and penalties incurred by taking a false oath , if I affirm what is untrue . " " Let his affirmation be
taken , " said the judge . Being once subpoenaed myself , in that city , I took the Act of Parliament in that behalf in my pocket , Jn Ireland it is required that such evidence shall solemnly , sincerely and truly declare , that he is and has been of the
profession of the people called Quakers for a year and a day : 1 proposed to myself to make the declaration ; but was not called upon for my testimony . But it has happened to me since , in this city , that on a trial which was to determine ( the decision by show of
hands ) on some points of professional competency , consequently on my bread , on the whole shape , probably , of my future life , one of the company called a public friend ( Quaker speaker ) , a man skilled in the law , publicly declared I was no Quaker , whereby the number of hands in mv favour was
diminished ; though still , happily for me ( unheard ) , constituting the majority . Acknowledged in his society as a minister , I hold him as completely
ordained as any minister of Oxford , or Geneva - , as fully consecrated as the Pontiff of Rome . I will say more : though I acknowledge not any man to be the Reverend ; yet , I acknowledge it would be a breach of charity to
assert that I may not sometimes have had reason to believe him the reverent Richard Phillips . I mean on the occasions of his changing his attitude and uncovering his head , on his letting his voice be heard aloud in meeting . Now , if an acknowledged minister of the Quakers of London could make so
public a declaratiop that I was no Quaker , while /„ mistaken man , in different countries abroad , on being interrogated on the subject of my Quakerian peculiarities , have always declared myself a Quaker , what might I not expect from the forensic acumen
of the gentlemen of the long robe at Westminster Hall ? Being lately subpcenaed to the Court of King ' s Bench , there , as an evidence on behalf of the Defendant , I had intended appealing , in limine , to the judge , on the validity of my evidence , and to have utterly withholden it , if he withheld his
explanation , as completely as if his decision had accorded with the notions of Richard Phillips , and not with those of Lord Mansfield , or of his brother on the Bench in Ireland . The Plaintiffs , however , withdrew the cause , and my evidence was consequently not required .
Will , then , any of thy readers , Quaker or other , inform me what is the law in the case of gi \ ing evidence , of a man professing himself a Quaker , but not being formally in any religious society of his fellow-professors ? I am apprehensive the question will not be
easily answered . In the answers I have yet obtained from Friends , I cannot come at any certainty ; and , in thus soliciting further information , I will suppose , by way of illustration , a case of considerable complexity , or of the greatest difficulty .
The legitimate children of the members of the society of Friends are , in later timers , members by inheritance . It is not necessary for them to make any confession of faith whatever . A
young couple in this city lately sent in their resignation , as members of the society , on behalf of themselves and their children . The meeting received the resignation of the parents , bufc
5 S 6 Dr . Walker on the Affirmation of the Quakers .
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Oct. 2, 1817, page 586, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2469/page/14/