Quaker Heritage Press > Online Texts > Job Scott, Essays on Salvation by Christ
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Material written by Job Scott was transcribed from The Works of that Eminent Minister of the Gospel, Job Scott, late of Providence, Rhode Island (Philadelphia: John Comly, 1831, 2 volumes); I have added notes indicating where the 1824 printing by Emmor Kimber differs significantly from Comly's text.
The three controversial pamphlets of 1825-26, all independently published, were found in Haverford College Library's Quaker Collection.
The 1881 article from the Philadelphia Friend and the reply to it by George Pitt (both items included for the first time in this second edition) were obtained from the same source with the help of curator Ann Upton.
Spelling and punctuation have been modernized, but wording is unchanged.
Job Scott (1751-93), of Providence, Rhode Island, died in Ireland of smallpox after 19 years of ministry, leaving manuscripts that he felt still needed editing; his yearly meeting (New England) published his Journal much abridged in 1797. A slightly fuller version appeared in 1815, with most of Scott's doctrinal commentary still omitted. Publication of the doctrinal writings was repeatedly considered by the meeting, but "though the general tenor of the pieces has had the manifestation of unity," yet "for want of satisfactory evidence that the present is a suitable time," the subject was tabled.1 Scott's original manuscripts, however, were in the hands of his father-in-law, Daniel Anthony, who provided them to John Comly for the purpose of making a neat and legible copy. Other Friends made copies, and a demand for their publication grew.
The essays on Salvation by Christ were first published by Emmor Kimber in 1824 under the title Salvation by Christ. To which is added, Remarks upon the Nature of Salvation by Christ, showing that it is a Birth of Divine Life in Man, Known long before the Appearance of our Lord in that Body that was born of the Virgin Mary, in which he did the Father's Will, and exemplified and displayed the Way and Work of Salvation, as a Union of God and Man:—a Work of God in Man, and of Man by God, in a blessed Harmony, and Co-operation. By that faithful Servant and Minister of Christ, Job Scott.
Controversy immediately ensued. Scott's acceptability as a Friends minister was undisputed, but the doctrines expressed in these essays seemed unorthodox to some. Luke Howard, a British Friend and well-known scientist, published a critique of the doctrine which he presented as a defense of Scott's reputation—arguing that "had he lived" Job Scott would not have published these essays. His pamphlet was promptly rebutted by Benjamin Ferris,2 of Wilmington, Delaware, who defended <vi> the doctrines contained in Salvation by Christ and maintained that Scott would have published them. Another anonymous controversialist then replied with "An Expose of Some of the Misrepresentations" in Ferris's pamphlet.
A year later American Friends were split in what has become known as the Hicksite/Orthodox separation. British Friends sided with the Orthodox. In general, Hicksite Friends liked Job Scott better than the Orthodox did, though this editor cannot envision Scott himself identifying with either party.
Fifty years later, a British Friend, George Pitt, republished Scott's essays. In 1881 a Philadelphia-based Orthodox Quaker periodical, The Friend, published its criticism of Pitt's decision. Pitt replied but had to publish his rebuttal independently.
I have generally taken my text from Comly, as did George Pitt, but since it was Kimber's 1824 publication that Luke Howard, Benjamin Ferris, and the anonymous author of "An Expose..." read, I have included footnotes indicating points where the two texts of Scott's essays differ. (I have not seen Scott's handwritten manuscript.)
Footnotes are the editor's unless otherwise indicated.
Since much of the discussion was over what Job Scott would have wanted—all of the disputants citing a letter dated eight days before his demise—that 'last word' from Job Scott is included in the present volume.
Licia Kuenning, Quaker Heritage Press
Seventh Mo., 1993
First Mo., 2010
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1. From an 1820 minute cited by Emmor Kimber in his preface to Job Scott, Salvation by Christ (Philadelphia, 1824), p. 4.
2. Ferris is known to Quaker historians as the writer who defended Quakerism (though not acceptably to all Quakers) against a Presbyterian challenge in the Letters of Paul and Amicus. His reply to Luke Howard was written anonymously. Larry Ingle (Quakers in Conflict [Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1986], p. 276) states that "Ferris's authorship [of the reply to Luke Howard] is confirmed in Hopper to Ferris, 20 March 1826, Ferris papers, FHL [Friends Historical Library, Swarthmore College]."