Primitive Christianity Revived in the Faith and Practice of the people called Quakers: written in testimony to the present dispensation of God through them to the world; that prejudices may be removed, the simple informed, the well-inclined encouraged, and the truth and its innocent friends rightly represented. By William Penn. To which is prefixed a memoir of Penn, by James M. Brown, of Virginia. Philadelphia: published by Miller and Burlock, George street, above Eleventh. Price, fifty cents.
"The name of William Penn is fondly and widely cherished in the State called by his name. He was one of the noblest of men, and his words and acts are immortal. We are glad of the republication of this admirable work, and to see the memoir of Penn on the printed page. The example and lessons taught by him will do good where they are known, and become the subject of reflection. Mr. Brown has placed the State of Penn and others under special obligation for securing the publication of this work. It contains 150 pages, and is neatly bound."—Christian Chronicle.
"The above-named work, by William Penn, has always been acknowledged by the Society of Friends as a clear and candid, though brief, exposition of its belief upon the great and cardinal doctrines of Christianity. It is a sufficient answer to the cavils that have been renewedly put forth by some in the present day, who appear anxious to have it believed that our early Friends were not orthodox in relation to the divinity of Jesus Christ and the atonement made by him for the sins of the whole world. It also fully sets forth and demonstrates what the author lays down 'as a main fundamental in religion,' and the 'ancient, first, and standing testimony' of Friends,—viz.: 'That God through Christ hath placed a principle in every man, to inform him of his duty, and to enable him to do it; and that those who live up to this principle are the people of God, and that those who live in disobedience to it are not God's people, whatever name they may have or profession they may make of religion.'
"We are glad to find that a member of another religious denomination than our own has become so much interested in this little work as to be at the labour and expense of publishing an edition of it; and we hope he may succeed in spreading it widely among persons of all professions. He has prefaced it with a short biographical notice of William Penn, including the principal parts of Foster's refutation of the calumnies of Macaulay.
"The whole work contains 150 pages, and is sold for fifty cents a copy."—The Friend.
"We have received a copy of this work from the author of the memoir, who announces himself a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
"Having met with the treatise of William Penn, he was interested in its contents, and concluded to republish it in its present form. He appears to have formed a correct idea of the character of this distinguished man, both as a Christian and legislator, and in the memoir prefixed to the work has introduced him as an example to the rising generation.
"'Primitive Christianity Revived' was written by William Penn soon after the death of his eldest son, and was 'intended to show that the principles of Friends are the same as those of the Primitive Church, and that the life and power of religion, when received in faith and obeyed without reserve, will produce the same fruits of holiness as in the morning of the gospel day.'"—Friends' Intelligencer.
"Penn's Primitive Christianity Revived.—We have received a copy of a new edition of this short but valuable treatise, to which is prefixed a brief Memoir of the Author, by James M. Brown, of Virginia; also, Dixon's refutation of the 'Macaulay Charges.'
"J. M. Brown is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and, in stating the reasons for his interest in the reprint of a work of William Penn's more than one hundred and fifty years after its first publication, says:—
"'Read the work attentively, and consider well the character of the man in connection with the condition of the world at that time,—its moral darkness, the prevalence of dishonesty, priestcraft, superstition, intolerance, bigotry, and church pride,—in short, every thing hateful to a man like William Penn, who was too wise to be cheated by the vanities, empty professions, or promises of this fleeting world; and then judge whether it be not high time to recur to first lessons and first principles, and whether there be a man, woman, or child who would not be not only gratified but much profited by a careful and proper reading of this little volume.'"—Friends' Review.
"A most interesting volume lies upon our table, from James M. Brown, of Virginia, the 'Primitive Christianity' of William Penn; a treatise from the founder of Pennsylvania, on the essential principles of Christianity as held by the Quakers. The Christian community at large will thank Mr. Brown for reviving this work, for, whatever may be our dissent from a few of its most 'Quakerish' notions, it is a noble 'testimony' for evangelical orthodoxy in general. It is seasonable also in its appearance. Quakerism is disintegrating throughout this country; Parkerism is taking its place. William Penn is summoned to remonstrate against this declension. The book should be universally circulated among the descendants of his people, and it can hardly be less useful among others. It is introduced by a good biographical sketch, and is embellished by a portrait of Penn, and an engraving of the famous 'Treaty Tree.'"—Christian Advocate and Journal.
IN TESTIMONY TO THE PRESENT DISPENSATION OF GOD THROUGH THEM TO THE WORLD;
PREJUDICES MAY BE REMOVED, THE SIMPLE INFORMED, THE WELL-INCLINED ENCOURAGED, AND THE TRUTH AND ITS INNOCENT FRIENDS RIGHTLY REPRESENTED.
BY WILLIAM PENN.
To which is prefixed a Memoir of Penn,
BY JAMES M. BROWN,
This reprint gives much of the Scripture which is referred to in the original.
PUBLISHED BY MILLER & BURLOCK,
GEORGE STREET, ABOVE ELEVENTH.
Also, for sale at T. E. Chapman's; John W. Moore; Hays & Zell; Uriah Hunt & Son: Smith, English & Co.: Henry Longstreth, Friends' Book Store, Phila. Armstrong & Berry, Balt.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1857, by
JAMES M. BROWN,
in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the Western District of Virginia.
STEREOTYPED BY L. JOHNSON AND CO. PHILADELPHIA.
But more especially to the followers of William Penn, George Fox, and Robert Barclay.
If it be made a question why a member of the M. E. Church should interest himself so much as to reprint a work of William Penn's more than one hundred and fifty years after its first publication, and a short memoir of the man, let the answer be—William Penn, like the great Washington, was a benefactor to his race. No country or sect can claim him exclusively; his acts were too general in their character and noble in their object to be confined or appropriated to any clime or to any persuasion; hence my privilege. Read the work attentively, and consider well the character of the man, in connection with the condition of the world at that time,—its moral darkness, the prevalency of dishonesty, priestcraft, superstition, intolerance, bigotry, church pride, and arrogance; in short, every thing hateful to a man like William Penn, who was too wise to be cheated by the vanities, empty professions, or promises, of this fleeting world; and then judge whether it be not high time to recur to first lessons and first principles, and whether there be a man, woman, or child, who would not only be gratified, but much profited, by a careful and proper reading of this little volume; thence my object and pleasure.
The author gratefully acknowledges the many favours he has received in aiding him to get up this book, particularly that of Jno. Frost, LL.D., for the plate of the likeness of William Penn, and that of Messrs. H. Cowperthwait & Co. for the loan of their plate of William Penn's Treaty with the Indians at Philadelphia.
Of the various representations of that ever-memorable event, none that he has seen so fully sets it forth according to his fancy as it is in the third revised edition of Mitchell's Primary Geography, published by Messrs. H. Cowperthwait & Co., of Philadelphia, 1854, page 73.
And for the free use which the author has made of the works of others who have written of William Penn, he now tenders his profound acknowledgements.
And last but not least, to Edward W. Miller, Esq., of the firm of Miller & Burlock, bookbinders, &c., George Street, Philadelphia, for the great attention he bestowed in procuring materials, &c.
To appreciate fully such favors, they must be received by one remote and unacquainted in cities like
So rapid has been the sale of this little book, that many of the original subscribers have not been supplied out of the first edition; hence the haste with which the second has been issued.
Let all those who revere the character, sentiments, and memory of William Penn be encouraged by this circumstance: for, "although dead, he yet speaketh;" yea, his name carries with it its own peculiar influence.
By a little effort he can be introduced to tens of thousands who have as yet but heard his name; and to many more in other lands, who have never heard it.
Who can contemplate the wonderful result of science in discovering methods to dispel diurnal darkness by the aid of gas, without feeling and expressing admiration of the superior intelligence, industry, and perseverance of those whose inventive genius effected an achievement so wonderful? But William Penn calls our especial attention to a light of far transcendent magnitude and importance,—even that light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world, and which alone emanates from God, and to which all will do well to take heed.
I have been particularly requested to explain certain dates found on pages 30, 31, 32, 33, &c., which I do with pleasure.
Formerly there were various kind of years in use; but, for the object now in view, it is unnecessary to allude to more than three of them.
The civil year is the legal account of time which every government establishes to be used within its own dominions; and, until 1752, in all Protestant countries the different kinds of years began at different periods. One commenced
6 PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION.
on the first day of January, —the Circumcision; and another began on the first day of March; a third on the twenty-fifth day of March,—the Annunciation, or Lady-day.
The General Assembly of Pennsylvania, on the seventh day of December, 1682, enacted a law making the year to begin on the first day of March, and the months to be numbered accordingly: hence, March was "1st mo.,'' August was "6th mo.," and February was "12th mo.," and so on.*
We often meet with 7ber for September, and 8ber for October, and 9ber for November, and 10ber for December. While on this subject, a few more lines will serve to explain an interesting feature connected with the foregoing.
The time intervening between the first day of January and the twenty-fifth day of March was the commencement or opening of one kind of year, while it was the closing or termination of others; hence, we frequently meet with dates given thus: "22d 11mo. 1685-6;" "12th mo. 15th, 1668-9;" and "February 23d, 1693-4;" and "January 28th, 1641/2;" and, "At a session of the General Court in Hartford on the 24th of March, 165/6/7/8;" because those days were in more than one kind of year.
This led to great confusion, and, by an Act of Parliament passed in 1751, the necessity for double dating ceased on the last day of December of that year. For by said act the next day — viz. : January the first — should be reckoned, taken, deemed, and accounted to be the first day of the year of our Lord 1752, and so on, from time to time, the first day of January in every year, which should happen in time to come, should be reckoned, taken, deemed, and accounted to be the first day of the year.**
Hence, since the last day of December, 1751, "1st month" means January; and " 2nd mo." means February; and "3rd mo." is March.
"He views The dismal situation waste and wild; A dungeon horrible on all sides round, As one great furnace flamed; yet from those flames No light, but rather darkness visible Served only to discover sights of wo, Regions of sorrow, doleful shades, Where peace and rest can never dwell." — Paradise Lost.
Our earth, all beautiful as it is, and admirably adapted to contribute to the wants of the human family and render them happy, has been by them converted into something very much resembling a slaughter-house.
From the earliest account of man, we learn that among his first acts was that of murder, most foul and malicious. Almost every page of his history repeats the sad story of his murderous deeds; and but for the light of the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ, darkness would reign supreme.
At intervals the light has shone brightly, the clouds of ignorance and wickedness appeared to be yielding to the influence of the gospel, and hope has again and again sprung up anew in the bosom of the faithful; but alas! alas! darkness returned with tenfold horrors.
The Reformation seemed to promise much to the cause of
Christ. The powers of darkness seemed to be shaken to their centre, and a flood of light was poured upon the earth that appeared sufficient to dispel the gloom and make it all glorious within; but man, the poor recipient, proved himself again unworthy, and in a few years perverted the blessings that Heaven, in mercy, had richly bestowed upon him; and, instead of seeking for others, by the operation and exercise of faith, hope, and charity, we find him endeavouring to merit heaven by good works, and in his blindness and bigotry burning all those who had independence enough to think and act for themselves.
What an astounding disclosure it would be to the world could I but give the number and extent of that multitude of men, women, and children who have suffered death for opinion's sake at the hands of the ruthless executioner of religious intolerance !
If it be asked which was the guilty party, let the answer be forever remembered. It was the party in power. And the constant warfare waged for ascendency has kept the earth stained with blood. Any one who will read carefully the history of Europe for two centuries beginning with the year 1500, will, I am sure, conclude that darkness then covered the earth as the waters cover the great deep. Within this period of time, to wit, on Monday, October the 14th, 1644, was born in London, the great champion of religious liberty, the American lawgiver, and founder of Pennsylvania, William Penn. He was the son of Sir William Penn, a man of good estate and high reputation, who in the time of the Commonwealth served in some of the highest maritime offices, and whose tomb bears the following inscription:
To the Just Memory of Sir William Penn, Knight, and sometimes General, Born at Bristol, Anno 1621. Son of Captain Giles Penn, several years Consul for the English in the Mediterranean; of the Penns of Pennslodge in the County of Wilts, and those Penns of Penn in
Thus he took leave of the Sea, his old Element, but continued still his other Employs, till 1669, at which time, through Bodily Infirmities contracted by the Care and Fatigue of Public Affairs, he withdrew, prepared, and made for his end; and with a gentle and even Gale in much Peace arrived, and anchored in his last and best Port at Wanstead in the County of Essex, the 16th of September, 1670, being then but Forty Nine years and four months old.
To His Name and Memory, His Surviving Lady hath Erected This Remembrance.
After the Restoration he was knighted by King Charles the Second, being a peculiar favourite of the then Duke of York, James, a brother to Charles.
Paternal care, and a promising prospect of his son's advancement, induced the father to give him a liberal education; and the youth, of an excellent genius, made such early-improvements in literature, that about the fifteenth year of his age he was entered a student at Christ's Church College in Oxford.
His ardent desire after pure and spiritual religion (of which he had before received some taste, or relish, through the ministry of one Thomas Loe, a Quaker) now began to show itself; for, with certain other students of that university, he withdrew from the national way of worship, and held private meetings for the exercise of religion, where they both preached and prayed among themselves. This gave great offence to the heads of the college, and when but
At this time the true character of the youth was fully developed. He was endowed with many good properties, not the least of which were the power of great discernment; a firmness of purpose, with a moral courage that knew no fear; a perfect disregard for the opinion of the world, when that opinion was at variance with his sense of duty, or stood between him and his God; a sense of justice capable of making the nicest discriminations, accompanied by a moral honesty that stopped at no sacrifice; a perseverance that never wearied, and a spirit of tolerance and charity that was truly godlike.
At this time commenced the conflict between the father and the son. The fond parent, who had paved the road for his son to honour, wealth, and fame, now for the first time saw his hopes blighted, and in the anguish of his spirit resorted not only to harsh words, but to blows, in order to change his son's course; and finding both ineffectual, he turned him out of doors. The youth bore it patiently until affection triumphed over anger, when be was sent to France with some persons of quality, with the view of having his
Now it was that he was tempted of the devil to desert his religious principles. To his youthful mind were presented the honours and pleasures of the world, the favour and love of that father who had done so much for him already, (and was anxious to do so much more,) and the comforts of his home, where he enjoyed all he could desire, with a prospect (provided he did not offend his father) of inheriting his whole estate. To all this must be added the favour of his king and the smiles and caresses of the court. Several years were spent in this dubious condition, and especial care was taken by his father to prevent a return to his former companions. He entered him as a student of law at Lincoln's Inn, had him employed in the king's service, presented him to great personages, and caused him to visit them. In the Dutch war he belonged to his father's staff for a short time, yet witnessed real service. Shortly after this the plague ravaged London, and William Penn changed his residence.
The solemn scenes he had witnessed in the metropolis no doubt revived his former religious sentiments, and more than ever convinced him of the folly of seeking happiness in any thing except purity of heart, with which he always associated a life of self-denial. The admiral was not long in discovering a change in his son's demeanour, and determined to repeat his former experiment; and, owning a fine estate in Ireland which required immediate attention, proposed to his son to go and take charge of it, giving him letters of introduction to the first officers of the government. He arrived in 1665 among his father's friends, by
The duke presented him with a highly responsible office connected with the fleet at Kinsale, the duties of which he discharged to the entire satisfaction of his employer. The interest of the Irish estate required his services in London, when his superior capacity for business was fully developed. His father, fearing the religious influence of his former acquaintances, soon hurried him off to Ireland. Having business at Cork, he there met and associated with Quakers, and at their meeting again heard Thomas Loe, who began his discourse with these ever-memorable words, "There is a faith that overcomes the world, and there is a faith that is overcome by the world." By this discourse Sir Admiral Penn's apparently well-laid plans were entirely defeated, and William Penn, Jr., thoroughly convinced, subsequently became a regular attendant at their meetings, brooking violent persecution. In 1667 he and many others were apprehended at a Quaker meeting in Cork, and taken before the mayor, who, observing that his dress was not that of a Quaker, would have set him at liberty upon bond for his good behaviour. Penn refused to accept this, and, with eighteen others, was committed to prison.
His openly espousing the cause of the Quakers soon procured him the reproachful name, which was accompanied
Every parent must sympathize with William Penn the elder. Language cannot describe the anguish he experienced on this occasion. I shall not attempt it. "My pen," says a former biographer, "is diffident of its abilities to describe that most pathetic and moving contest which was betwixt his father and him. His father, actuated by natural love, principally aiming at his son's temporal honour; he, guided by a divine impulse, having chiefly in view his own eternal welfare. His father, grieved to see the well-accomplished son of his hopes, now ripe for worldly promotion, voluntarily turn his back upon it; he, no less afflicted to think that a compliance with his earthly father's pleasure was inconsistent with an obedience to his heavenly one. His father, pressing his conformity to the customs and fashions of the times; he, modestly craving leave to refrain from what hurt his conscience. His father, earnestly entreating him, and almost on his knees beseeching him, to yield to his desire; he, of a loving, tender disposition, in an extreme agony of spirit to behold his father's concern and trouble. His father, threatening to disinherit him; he, humbly submitting to his father's will therein. His father, turning his back on him in anger; he, lifting up his heart to God for strength to support him in that time of trouble."
His father, to compromise matters somewhat, proposed to excuse him from complying with the fashionable manners and customs of the day, provided he would take off his hat in the presence of the king, the duke, and himself. He, desiring time to consider the question, withdrew, and humbled himself before God, with fasting and supplication. He was thus strengthened in his resolution, and, returning to
William Penn, in relating his religious experience at a meeting on the Continent in 1677, said, "Here I began to let them know how and when the Lord first appeared unto me, which was about the twelfth year of my age, anno 1656. How at times, between that and the fifteenth year, the Lord visited me, and of the divine impressions he gave me of myself, of my persecutions at Oxford, and how the Lord sustained me in the midst of that hellish darkness and debauchery; of my being banished the college; the bitter usage I underwent when I returned to my father-—whipping, beating, and turning me out of doors in 1662; of the Lord's dealing with me in France, and in the time of the great plague in London; in fine, the deep sense he gave me of the vanity of this world, of the irreligiousness of the religions of it. Then of my mournful and bitter cries to him that he would show me his own way of life and salvation, and my resolutions to follow him, whatever reproaches or sufferings should attend me, and that with great reverence and brokenness of spirit. How after all this the glory of the world overtook me, and I was even ready to give up myself unto it, seeing as yet no such thing as the primitive spirit and church on the earth, and being ready to faint concerning my hope of the restitution of all things.
"It was at this time that the Lord visited me with a certain sound and testimony of his eternal word through one of those the world calls Quakers, namely, Thomas Loe. I related to them the bitter mockings and scornings that fell upon me, the displeasure of my parents, the invectiveness and cruelty of the priests, the strangeness of all my companions. What a sign and wonder they made of me; but,
I feel that I would be remiss were I to fail to make another extract from his writings touching upon this immediate subject; a lesson so well calculated to encourage all those who are in the way of righteousness to persevere therein at all hazards, and at the same time to admonish parents and guardians against putting obstacles in the way of tenderly visited minds. He says, "My own father, after thirty years' employment with good success in divers places of eminent trust and honour in his own. country, upon serious reflection, not long before his death, spoke to me in this manner: 'Son William, I am weary of the world; I would not live over my days again if I could command them with a wish; for the snares of life are greater than the fears of death. This troubles me, that I have offended a gracious God that has followed me to this day. Oh, have a care of sin! that is the sting both of life and death. Three things I commend to you: 1. Let nothing in this world tempt you to wrong your conscience; I charge you do nothing against your conscience; so will you keep peace at home, which will be a feast to you in a day of trouble. 2. Whatever you design to do, lay it justly and time it seasonably, for that gives security and despatch. Lastly: Be not troubled at disappointments; for if they may be recovered, do it; if they can't, trouble is vain. If you could not have helped it, be content; there is often peace and profit in submitting to Providence; for afflictions make wise. If you could have helped it, let not your trouble exceed instruction for another time. These rules will carry you with firmness and comfort through this inconstant world.' At another time he inveighed against the profaneness and impiety of the age; often crying out with an earnestness of spirit, 'Wo to thee, O England! God will judge thee, O England! Plagues are at thy door, O England!' He much bewailed
He died on Friday, 16th September, 1670. I let the reader make his own comment.
Truly man sees not as God sees; and would it be too much were I to say that God raised up William Penn for a special purpose, as he did Moses? There is certainly a very striking similarity in many important events of their lives. Moses was brought up at court; the same may be said of William Penn. Moses could look forward to the time when he could enjoy all of the worldly pleasures this life affords; so could William Penn. The popularity and wealth of Sir William Penn, and the great obligations that rested on Charles II., as well as his inclination to promote the son, rendered it plain to the weakest capacity that worldly glory was in the grasp of William Penn.
God saw proper to call the attention of Moses to the
God kindled in the bosom of William Penn a fire that was to him as remarkable and as certain a beacon in after life as was the burning bush to Moses, with this difference, however, in favour of William Penn, his fire never ceased to burn upon the altar of his heart.
How beautifully does St. Paul describe Moses in his Epistle to the Hebrews, chap. xi. 24-27! — "By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing Him who is invisible."
I will also record here what William Penn said of Moses, after speaking of Abraham and Job; he said, "Moses is the next great example in sacred story for remarkable self-denial, before the times of Christ's appearance in the flesh. He had been saved, when an infant, by an extraordinary providence; and it seems, by what follows, for an extraordinary service. Pharaoh's daughter (whose compassion was the means of his preservation when the king decreed the slaughter of the Hebrew males) took him for her son, and gave him the education of her father's court. His own graceful presence and extraordinary abilities, joined with her love for him and interest in her father to promote him, must have rendered him, if not capable of succession, at least of being chief minister of affairs under that wealthy and powerful prince. For Egypt was then, what Athens and Rome were after; the most famous for learning, arts, and glory.
"But Moses, ordained for other work, and guided by a better star, a higher principle, no sooner came to years of discretion, than the impiety of Egypt and the oppression of his brethren there, grew a burden too heavy for him to bear. And though so wise and good a man could not want those generous and grateful resentments that became the kindness of the king's daughter to him, yet he had also seen that God that was invisible, and did not dare to live in the ease and plenty of Pharaoh's house whilst his poor brethren were required to make brick without straw.
"Thus the fear of the Almighty taking deep hold of bis heart, he nobly refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, and chose rather a life of affliction with the most despised and opprest Israelites, and to be the companions of their temptations and jeopardies, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season: esteeming the reproach of Christ (which he suffered for making that unworldly choice) greater riches than all the treasures of that kingdom. Nor was he so foolish as they thought him. He had reason on his side; for it is said he had an eye to the recompense of the reward: he did but refuse a lesser benefit for a greater. In this his wisdom transcended that of the Egyptians, for they made the present world their choice, (as uncertain as the weather,) and so lost that which has no end.
"Moses looked deeper, and weighed the enjoyments of this life in the scales of eternity, and found they made no weight there. He governed himself, not by the immediate possession, but the nature and duration of the reward. His faith corrected his affections, and taught him to sacrifice the pleasures of self to the hope he had of a future more excellent recompense."
Permit me to pursue the parallel. By faith William Penn, when he was come to years, refused to enjoy the pleasures of the court of Charles the Second; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to
What a remarkable man, and what a remarkable life! With every opportunity for the enjoyment of all that worldlings could desire, he, when yet a youth, renounces them all, and incurs the absolute displeasure of his king and father, and was turned out of doors; incurs the scoffs and sneers of every worldly-minded man at home and abroad; associates with the low and humble and despised followers of Jesus Christ; suffering persecution and imprisonment joyfully.
In the fulness of time, however, a door of deliverance is opened for him and his oppressed brethren. The second land of promise is in view, but Penn is required to do more than Moses, yet his faith fails not. He hesitates not to embark a very large portion of his estate (some say $200,000) in a wilderness beyond an ocean three thousand miles in width, inhabited by a few European adventurers and hordes of savages. He called it the holy experiment.
I will here insert a letter which was written by him at "Chester, Pennsylvania, on the 5th of the 12th month, (February,) 1682, which will explain my views more fully.
My Old Friend: —
I could speak largely of God's dealings with me in getting this thing. What an inward exercise of faith and patience it cost me in passing. The travail was mine, as well as the debt and costs, through the envy of many, both professors, false friends, and profane. My God hath given it me in the face of the world, and it is to hold it in true judgment; as a reward of my sufferings; and that is seen
Keep thy place: I am in mine, and have served the God of the whole earth since I have been in it; nor am I sitting down in a greatness that I have denied. I am, day and night, spending my life, my time, my money, and am not sixpence enriched by this greatness; costs in getting; settling transportation, and maintenance now in a public manner at my own charge duly considered; to say nothing of my hazard and the distance I am from a considerable estate, and, which is more, my dear wife and poor children. Well; the Lord is a God of righteous judgment. Had I sought greatness I had stayed at home, where the difference between what I am here and was offered and could have been there, in power and wealth, is as wide as the places are. No, I came for the Lord's sake, and therefore have I stood to this day, well, and diligent, and successful, blessed be his power. Nor should I trouble myself to tell thee what I am to the people of this place, in travails, watchings, spendings, and my servants every way, freely, (not like a selfish man,) I have many witnesses.
To conclude, it is now in friends' hands. Through my travail, faith, and patience, it came. If friends here keep to God, and in the justice, mercy, equity and fear of the Lord, their enemies will be their footstool; if not, their heirs, and my heirs too, will lose all, and desolation will follow; but, blessed be the Lord, we are well, and live in the dear love of God, and the fellowship of his tender, heavenly Spirit; and our faith is for ourselves and one another, that the Lord will be with us a King and a Counsellor forever.
Thy ancient though grieved friend,
I will here give an extract from his writings, to show what sustained him in his trials and tribulations.
"Wherefore, my dear friends, be not you discomfited; for there is no new thing happened unto you; 'tis the ancient path of the righteous. For thy sake, says David, have I borne reproach; I am become a stranger to my brethren, and an alien to my mother's children. When I wept, and chastened my soul with fasting, that was to my reproach. I made sackcloth also my garment, and I became a proverb to them. They that sit in the gate speak against me; and I was the song of the drunkard. Save me, God, for the waters are come in unto my soul; and the water-floods are ready to swallow me up. They persecute him whom thou hast smitten; and they talk to the grief of those whom thou hast wounded.
"Do you not know this, dear friends? are not your tears become a reproach, your fasts a wonder, your paleness a derision, your plainness a proverb, and your serious and retired conversation a byword? Yea, when the Lord hath wounded, have not they also grieved? And when the Lord hath smitten you, have not they mocked? But this was David's joy. The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want; he restoreth my soul; he leadeth me in the path of righteousness for his name's sake; he maketh me to lie down in green pastures; he leadeth me beside the still waters. Yea, though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me, thy rod and thy staff comfort me.
"Who was the comforter and preserver of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that refused to obey the king's command against the commandment of God? They would not bow to his image; but rather chose the fiery furnace than to commit idolatry, or bow to another thing than to the living God. Did not we cast three men into the midst of the fire? said Nebuchadnezzar; lo, I see four men loose,
"Oh! my friends, the fire obeyeth him, as well as the winds and seas. All power is given to the Son of God, who is given to you for your salvation. Well, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego the king calleth out of the fire, and they have no harm, though the mighty men that cast them into the fiery furnace were consumed. The God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego is by the king highly preferred. Here is the end of faithfulness; here is the blessing of perseverance. God will bring honour to his name, through the patience and integrity of his people.
"And it was this Son of God that preserved Daniel in the lion's den; it was his voice, that David said, divideth the flames of fire; he rideth upon the winds, he sitteth upon the floods. The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty. They that trust in him shall never be confounded. Blessed are they whose God is the Lord: for he is a present help in the needful time of trouble. The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and he delivereth them. Oh! taste and see that the Lord is good. Blessed is the man that trusteth in him. Oh! fear the Lord, for there is no want to them that fear him. The young lions shall lack, and the old lions suffer hunger, but they that seek the Lord shall not want for any good thing. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivereth them out of all; for the Lord redeemeth the souls of his servants, and none of them that trust in him shall be made desolate. For which cause, my dear friends, cast away every weight, and every burden, and the sin that doth so easily beset you. Neither look at the enemies' strength, nor at your own weakness; but look unto Jesus, the blessed Author of your convincement and faith: the mighty one, on whom God hath laid help for all those that believe in his name, receive his testimony, and live in
"Be ye, therefore, encouraged in the holy way of the Lord; wait diligently for his daily manifestations unto your souls, that you may be strengthened in your inward man, with might and power to do the will of God on earth as it is done in heaven. Oh! watch that you enter not into temptation; yea, watch unto prayer that you enter not into temptation, and that you fail not by the temptation.
"Christ said to Peter, canst not thou watch one hour? Every one hath an hour of temptation to go through; and this is the hour that every one is to watch. Jesus, the Captain of our salvation, was under great temptations; he was sad unto death; he did sweat drops of blood, but he watched, he prayed, he groaned; yea, he cried with strong cries; but through suffering overcame; and remember how in the wilderness he was tempted, but the angels of the Lord ministered to him. So they that follow him in the way of the tribulations and patience of his kingdom, God's angels shall minister unto them all; yea, he will keep them in the hour of temptation; he will carry their heads above the waters and deliver them from the devouring floods.
"Wherefore, finally, my friends, I say unto you in the name of the Lord, Be of good cheer! Look to Jesus, and
"Now to Him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory, with exceeding joy; to the only wise God, our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.
"I am your friend that sincerely loves you, and earnestly travails for your redemption, William Penn."
The history of the transaction in regard to the purchase of Pennsylvania; as recorded in an early "Life of William
And to secure the new planters from the native Indians, (who in some other provinces being injuriously dealt with, had made reprisals to the loss of many lives,) the governor gave orders to treat them with all candour and humanity; and appointed commissioners to confer with them about land, and to confirm a league of peace, by whom he also sent the following letter:-—
WILLIAM PENN'S LETTER TO THE INDIANS.
London, the 18th of the 8th month, 1681.
There is a great God and power that hath made the world and all things therein, to whom you and I and all
I am your loving friend,
His friendly and pacific manner of treating the Indians begat in them an extraordinary love and regard to him and his people, so that they have maintained a perfect amity with the English of Pennsylvania ever since. And 'tis observable, that upon renewing the treaty with the present governor. Sir William Keith, Bar., in 1722, they mention the name of William Penn with much gratitude and affection, calling him a good man, and as their highest compliment to Sir William use this expression, "We esteem and love you as if you were William Penn himself. So universally doth a principle of peace, justice, and morality operate on the hearts even of those we call heathens."
He also drew up the fundamental constitution of Pennsylvania in twenty-four articles, consented to and subscribed by the first adventurers and freeholders of that province, as the ground and rule of all future government: the first of which articles, showing that his principle was to give as well as take liberty of conscience in matters of religion, we shall transcribe.
THE FIRST CONSTITUTION.
In reverence to God, the Father of light and spirits, the author as well as object of all divine knowledge, faith, and worship, I do for me and mine declare and establish for the first fundamental of the government of this country, that every person that doth or shall reside therein shall have and enjoy the free profession of his or her faith and exercise of worship toward God in such way and manner as any
such person shall in conscience believe is most acceptable
In the next year, 1682, he published the frame of government of Pennsylvania, containing twenty-four articles somewhat varying from the aforesaid constitution, together with certain other laws to the number of forty, agreed on in England by the governor and divers freemen of the said province. Of which laws one was
That all persons living in this province, who confess and acknowledge the one almighty and eternal God to be the Creator and upholder and ruler of the world, and that hold themselves obliged in conscience to live peaceably and justly in civil society, shall in nowise be molested or prejudiced for their religious persuasion, or practice in matters of faith and worship; nor shall they be compelled at any time to frequent or maintain any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever.
In the 6th month, (August,) 1682, William Penn with many of his friends sailed for his province; in six weeks they saw the American coast. Sailing up the Delaware, the inhabitants, Swedes, Dutch and English received him with many demonstrations of joy. He landed at New Castle, which was principally inhabited by Dutch, and the next day he summoned the people to the court-house where possession of the country was legally given him. He then sailed for Upland, or Optland, now Chester, where he called an Assembly, and declared his purpose of coming among them, and the ends of his government, giving them assurances of a free enjoyment of liberty of conscience in things
Now began that remarkable event, the Exodus of the Quakers, and so extensive was it that William Penn, in a letter to the Marquis of Halifax, written on the 9th of the 12th month, (February,) 1683, says: "I must without vanity say I have led the greatest colony into America that ever any man did upon a private credit, and the most prosperous beginnings that ever were in it are to be found among us." He also added, "Since last summer we have had about sixty sail of great and small shipping."
The emigration was not confined to England, it extended to Germany, Ireland, Holland, and Wales, which must have been very gratifying to the founder, for he came, he said, into the charge of the province "for the Lord's sake. He hoped, under the Divine aid, to have raised up a people who should have been a praise in the earth for conduct, as well as for civil and religious liberty." He said, "I wanted to afford an asylum to the good and oppressed of every nation. I aimed to frame a government which might be an example. I desired to show men as free and happy as they could be."
What a beautiful example he set before our Revolutionary fathers! and to their everlasting credit may it be remembered that they had wisdom and goodness sufficient to act upon it, and did really contribute not only to make the land of Penn an asylum to the good and oppressed of every nation, but extended the noble cognomen over all the territory of the United States, and the identical idea William Penn expressed near two hundred years ago, is now the most glorious name our beloved country is known by throughout the earth, viz.: "The Asylum to the Good and Oppressed of every Nation." Will the beneficiaries have wisdom and goodness sufficient to perpetuate it?
He planned the city of Philadelphia and named it, and
"Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivereth him out of them all." — Psalm xxxiv. 19.
On Friday, the 6th day of the 12th month following, (February,) 1685, King Charles the Second died, and was succeeded by his brother, the Duke of York, by the name of King James the Second, who being a professed papist, his accession to the crown filled the people with just apprehensions and fears lest he should establish his own religion by the destruction of others; and had William Penn at that time fomented the general uneasiness by encouraging multitudes then upon the wing, he might, as he himself said, have put many thousands of people into his province and £20000 into his pockets. His not doing it, is sufficient proof that it was not wealth or fame that first brought him to America.
Because James the Second, who was a Catholic, esteemed him highly, treating him with marked respect and attention, his enemies fabricated the charge of papist against him, notwithstanding he had been so bold against that persuasion. He, however, soon silenced them and continued his labours of love — preaching, travelling, and writing. Among his writings was a persuasive to moderation toward
On the 14th of March, 1685-6, came forth the king's proclamation for a general pardon, and instructions being given to the judges of assizes in their several circuits to extend the benefit of it to the Quakers; about thirteen hundred of that persuasion, many of whom had been imprisoned for years, were set at liberty. On the 4th of April, 1687, the king issued a declaration for liberty of conscience, suspending the execution of all penal laws in ecclesiastical matters.
This was followed by an address of thanks to the king from the annual Assembly of Friends held in London, who deputed William Penn and others to present it. On the 27th of April, 1688, King James renewed his declaration for liberty of conscience, with an order of council for the reading of it in churches, against which seven bishops petitioning were committed to the Tower. On the 6th of November, 1688, William, Prince of Orange, landed at Torbay, in Devonshire, to the great joy of the English nation. James the Second withdrew to France, and on the 13th of February, 1688-9, William and his spouse, Mary, King James's daughter, were proclaimed King and Queen of England, &c. Of this change the enemies of William Penn took advantage, charging him with disaffection to the present government, and had him arrested on the 10th of December, 1688. Nothing was proved against him, yet his strong assurances failed to convince the council that he loved his country and the Protestant religion above his life, and they obliged him to give sureties for his appearance the first day of the next term, which he did, and then was
In the year 1690 he was again brought before the lords of the council, upon an accusation of holding correspondence with the late King James, and they requiring sureties for his appearance, he appealed to King William himself, who after a conference of near two hours inclined to acquit him; but to please some of the council he was held upon bail for a while, and in Trinity term the same year again discharged.
He was attacked a third time, and his name inserted in a proclamation, dated July 18th, wherein he, with divers lords and others, to the number of eighteen, were charged with adhering to the enemies of the king; but proof failing respecting him, he was again cleared by order of the king's bench court at Westminster, on the last day of Michaelmas term, 1690.
Being now at liberty, he proposed visiting Pennsylvania the second time, and published printed proposals for another settlement there. He had so far prepared for his transportation that an order for the convoy was granted him by the secretary of state, when his voyage was prevented by a fresh accusation against him, backed by the oath of one William Fuller,—-a WRETCH, afterward by Parliament declared a CHEAT and IMPOSTOR,—-and a warrant was thereupon granted for his apprehension, which he narrowly escaped at his return from G. Fox's burial, on the 16th of January, 1691. He prudently retired for a few years, during which time he applied himself to writing, and on the 30th of the 3d month, (May,) 1691, addressed the following epistle to the yearly meeting in London:—
My beloved, dear, and honoured Brethren: —
My unchangeable love salutes you; and though I am absent from you, yet I feel the sweet and lowly life of your
Your faithful friend and brother,
By the interposition of friends, he was granted an audience with the king and council, in the latter part of 1693, when he established his innocency and was acquitted. The
"My dear wife, after eight months' illness, (though she never perfectly recovered her weakness the year before, which held her about six months,) departed this life on the 23d of the 12th month, 1693-4, about half an hour past two in the afternoon, being the sixth day of the week, and in the fiftieth year of her age, and was sensible to the very last." Her maiden name was Gulielma Maria Springett, the step-daughter of Isaac Pennington, a ministering Friend. They had lived in the most happy manner in the holy estate of wedlock about twenty years. He bears ample testimony to her happy exit from time to eternity. He now continued to write, preach, and travel, not, however, escaping arrests and other hinderances.
On the 6th of the 1st month, (March,) 1695-6, he consummated his second marriage, at Bristol, with Hannah, the daughter of Thomas Callowhill, with whom he lived during the remainder of his life, and by whom he had four sons and one daughter.
In April, 1696, his eldest son by his first wife died; his name was Springett, aged twenty-one years. "This year he published a treatise, entitled. Primitive Christianity Revived, in the Faith and Practice of the People called Quakers. A book which rightly represented that people's principles, and hath been serviceable to the information of many." This is the book I now reprint, with the hope that it may prove serviceable to the information of many more.
On the 9th day of September, 1699, himself and family set sail for his province of Pennsylvania. They were nearly three months at sea; the great length of the voyage saved them from the danger of a contagious disease, the yellow fever, that reigned in the province. When they arrived it was over, and they were received with the universal joy of
May it please the Proprietary and Governor: —
We have this day in our assembly read thy speech delivered (yesterday) in council; and having duly considered the same, cannot but be under a deep sense of sorrow for thy purpose of so speedily leaving us, and at the same time taking notice of thy parental regard to us and to our posterity, the freeholders of this province and territories annexed, in thy loving and kind expressions of being ready to comply with whatsoever expedient and provisions we shall offer for our safety as well in privileges as property, and what else may render us happy in a nearer union of our interests, not doubting the performance of what thou hast been pleased so lovingly to promise, do in much humility, and as a token of our gratitude, return unto thee the unfeigned thanks of this house.
Subscribed by order of the House,
Joseph Growdon, Speaker.
The next month, October, he sailed for England, and arrived about the middle of December at Portsmouth and proceeded to London. After his return the bill was wholly
In 1710, he, for a better atmosphere, left the vicinity of London, and took a handsome seat at Ruscombe, near Twyford, in Buckinghamshire, where he resided until his death. In 1712, he had three several fits, supposed to be apoplectic, by which his understanding and memory were so impaired as to render him incapable of public action for the future. He continued to fail by degrees for the space of about six years, until, the 30th of the fifth month, (July,) 1718, in the 74th year of his age, his soul, prepared for a more glorious habitation, forsook the decayed tenement, which was committed to the earth on the 5th of the 6th month, at Jordan's, in Buckinghamshire, where his former wife and several of his family had been buried.
CHARACTER OF WILLIAM PENN — BY EDMUND BURKE.
William Penn, as a legislator, deserves great honour among mankind. He created a commonwealth which, from a few hundreds of indigent refugees, have in seventy years grown to a numerous and flourishing people. A people who from a wilderness have brought their territory to a state of high cultivation, filled it with wealthy and populous towns, and who, in the midst of a fierce and lawless race of men, have preserved themselves, with unarmed hand, by the rules of justice and MODERATION, better than any other have done by policy and arms. The way in which he did this deserves eternal notice. Though brought up, as it were, in the corrupt courts, of Charles the Second, who had
This great and good man lived to see an extensive country rescued from the wilderness and filled with a free and flourishing people; he lived to lay the foundation of a splendid and wealthy city; he lived to see it promise every thing, from the situation he himself had chosen and from the encouragement which he himself had given it; he lived to see all this, but he died in the Fleet prison! [A mistake.]
'Tis pleasing to do honour to those great men whose virtues and generosity have contributed to the peopling of the earth and to the freedom and happiness of mankind; who have preferred the interest of a remote posterity, and times unknown, to their own fortune and to the quiet and security of their own lives. Now both Britain and America reap just benefit from his labours and his losses; and his
MONTESQUIEU, ON PENN.
"A character so extraordinary in the institutions of Greece, has shown itself lately in the dregs and corruption of modern times. A very honest legislator has formed a people to whom probity seems as natural as bravery to the Spartans. William Penn is a real Lycurgus; and though the former made peace his principal aim, as the latter did war, yet they resemble one another in the singular way of living to which they reduced their people—in the ascendent they gained over freemen, in the prejudices they overcame, and in the passions they subdued."
CHARACTER OF WILLIAM PENN — BY DB. MABSILLAC.
"After so many acts of violence and oppression, so many robberies and murders committed by the Europeans in the New World, the heart finds some consolation in pausing over the part which William Penn acted there. In an age when savage Europe put to death so many innocent people merely because they could not embrace the faith of their sovereigns, and spread over so large a part of America those horrors of fire and sword at which nature revolts, William Penn, like an angel from heaven, presented the olive-branch to those afflicted people, and, by acts of godlike justice, not only restored tranquillity to their ravaged quarters, but laid the foundation of extensive liberty and happiness.
"He was perhaps the first who ever built one of the fairest empires of the world on the sole basis of general good, and, by assuring universal toleration and community of rights, offered a happy asylum to persecuted innocence
"Of all the Europeans who have mitigated the ills of life and the fury of religious persecution, William Penn most deserves the gratitude of posterity. His first act in America held up a lovely presage of the prosperity that was to follow. And in his unyielding efforts to shield the oppressed, he looks like Moses, followed by a host of religious friends, whom he conducted across the wilderness of waves to a new 'land of promise,' flowing with the milk and honey of freedom, peace, and plenty.
"Abhorring persecution, as the direst reproach and scourge of mankind, he resolved effectually to bar the door against it. Hence that sublime charter of his, guaranteeing the most perfect liberty of conscience to all the honest worshippers of God, no matter what their opinions and forms. Instantly crowds of persons, oppressed in their own country because of religion, embarked for the country of William Penn. Then shone forth that divine philosophy 'Love thy neighbour as thyself,' in the blessed fruits resulting from it; for, while among the antichrists of Europe, the popes and bishops, nothing was heard but cries
"This most virtuous of men was the honoured instrument of blessings to thousands of the unfortunate; and his institutions have laid the imperishable foundations of a new empire, which shines like a star in the west, and whose rays have already begun to open the eyes of Europe.
"Having held the reins of government no longer than was necessary for the good of his province, he mixed among his people as only one of their number, and despising on the one hand all the pomps of the falsely great, and filling up life, on the other, with the most beneficent labours, he came to the grave in a good old age, eulogized by the greatest philosophers, honoured above the proudest kings, and to this day revered by the Indians, as a benevolent spirit sent down from heaven to establish the reign of peace and happiness on earth."
"THE MACAULAY CHARGES"*
In this supplementary chapter I propose to review the charges made against William Penn by Whig historians, and adopted; with novelties and exaggerations of his own, by Mr. Macaulay in his recent history. The reader who has traced his career from Tower Hill to the graveyard at Jordans, may hardly care to read what follows; the simple record of his life being the most emphatic answer that can be given to party misrepresentation; but I believe there are some who will look for a more formal refutation of these charges at my hands, and for their satisfaction I enter into the several points of controversy which have been raised. Every one is conscious of the animus which pervades the last Whig history. To point out the capricious likes and dislikes of the historian would be tedious, and is unnecessary: at the same time I will not deny that his page is alive with pictures, and that the narrative possesses a unity and vehemence which render it one of the most useful additions to our store of historical reading since the appearance of the Scotch novels.
Mr. Macaulay has written several volumes of history and criticism. He must be aware that one of the fundamental laws of Critical Inquiry demands, that when a fact or a character has stood the tests of time, and in the progress of opinion has attained to something like a fixed position in the historical system, the evidence in support of any assault on it must be strong and free from taint in some fair proportion to the length of time and strength of opinion on which it rests.
- From Dixon's Life of Penn.
[continue]This rule is deeply based in human nature. The fixity of historical ideas is, in other words, the permanence of truth. Once a great historical verdict is passed, the noblest instincts of our being prompt us to guard it as something sacred, — to be set aside only after scrupulous inquiry and conclusive evidence against its justice. The wise man will not rashly disturb the repose of ages. Our faith in history is akin to religion: it is a confidence in our power to separate good from evil — truth from falsehood, — to preserve in their native purity the wisdom which serves to guide, and the memories which inspire the best actions of mankind. Mr. Macaulay will not deny the reasonableness of a rule growing out of such a feeling. He would himself exact the strongest facts and the severest logic from the man who should presume to dispute the laws of Kepler; and the fullest and most unquestionable evidence would be required in support of an assertion that Milton was a debauchee, or Buckingham a man of virtue.
I will apply this canon to his own method. That I may not incur the charge of improperly assuming that Penn's reputation was thus historically fixed, I will cite Mr. Macaulay's own reading of the verdict which more than a century and a half has ratified. "Rival nations," he says, "have agreed in canonizing him. England is proud of his name. A great commonwealth beyond the Atlantic regards him with a reverence similar to that which the Athenians felt for Theseus, and the Romans for Quirinus. The respectable society of which he was a member honours him as an apostle. By pious men of other persuasions he is generally regarded as a bright pattern of Christian virtue. Meanwhile, admirers of a very different sort have sounded his praises. The French philosophers of the eighteenth century pardoned what they regarded as his superstitious fancies in consideration of his contempt for priests, and of his cosmopolitan benevolence, impartially extended to all races
This general verdict Mr. Macaulay challenges. He admits that his attempt "requires some courage;" I think the reader will agree with him, when the evidence is adduced on which his challenge is supported. This evidence consists of five assertions: (I.) That his connection with the court in 1684, while he lived at Kensington, caused his own sect to look coldly on him and even treat him with obloquy. (II.) That he "extorted money" from the girls of Taunton for the maids of honour. (III.) That he allowed himself to be employed in the work of seducing Kiffin into a compliance with court designs. (IV.) That he endeavoured to gain William's assent to the promulgated edict suspending the penal laws. (V.) That he "did his best to seduce" the Magdalen collegians "from the path of right," and was "a broker in simony of a peculiarly discreditable kind.."
These allegations I shall examine in the order in which they occur.
I. I quote Mr. Macaulay's own words. "He was soon surrounded by flatterers and suppliants. His house at Kensington was sometimes thronged at his hour of rising by more than two hundred suitors. He paid dear, however, for this seeming prosperity. Even his own sect looked coldly on him and requited his services with obloquy." His only authority for this statement is Gerard Croese, (Hist. Qua. lib. ii. 1695,) a Dutchman, who never was in England in his life, and whose work the Society of Friends has never recognised. Croese could have no trustworthy knowledge of the opinions of the Quakers, and no right to represent their opinions. The statement is not, however, merely unsupported; but it is positively contradicted by the Devonshire House Records. These prove that at this time Penn was in regular attendance at the monthly meetings, and was elected to the highest offices in the body.
II. That the reader may understand the Taunton affair, I must point out the features, with more exactness than Mr. Macaulay has done, which relate to his charge against Penn. When Monmouth arrived at Taunton, he found that the town had pledged itself to the rebellion, by the signal act of having had wrought, at the public expense, a set of royal standards for him and his army, by the daughters of the principal families. The ceremony of presenting these standards was one of the most important acts of the rebellion; at the head of her procession the schoolmistress carried the emblems of royal power — the Bible and the sword;* and the royal banner was presented to the duke as to their sovereign. Thereupon he assumed the name of King — set a price on his uncle's head — and proclaimed the Parliament then sitting a treasonable convention, to be pursued with war and destruction.+ This insanity cost Monmouth his head, and won a gibbet for hundreds of his followers. The case of the maidens was not different to that of many others. They had taken, with their parents' knowledge, a prominent part in the rebellion; and when the day of vengeance came, they stood before the law guilty of a crime for which the sentence was — death. The idea of sending them to the scaffold for faults which were their parents' more than their own, was of course not thought of; but that the parents might not escape punishment, the power to pardon them was given by the king to the maids of honour, — not likely, I must suppose, to be the most exacting of creditors, — as a sort of fee or bounty. It is to be remembered the sale of pardons was in that age a regular profession; from the king — at least in Charles's time — to the link-boy or the porter at
Mr. Macaulay forgets the sword, because Sir James Mackintosh had forgotten it.
Though very fond of strong language, Mr. Macaulay softens these harsh words into simple "illegal assembly"! his evident object being to make the after-vengeance appear unprovoked.
[continue]his gates, almost every man and woman connected with the court regularly sold his or her influence. The young girls about the Queen, daughters, be it remembered, of the first families in the land, had no proper conception of the horrid wickedness of this brokerage; and they requested the Duke of Somerset to get the affair arranged for them on the best terms. Somerset wrote to Sir Francis Warre, the member for Bridgewater, asking him as a personal favour to see the parents, as being a neighbour and likely to be known to them, or to name some proper agent who might arrange the business. Warre had evidently no wish to be mixed up with an affair of this kind; and he replied that it was already in proper hands, those of one Bird, the town-clerk. For some unknown reason the maids of honour forbade this agent to proceed in their behalf, and Warre was again applied to; but he refused to name a broker on the spot, excusing himself on the pleas that the schoolmistress was a woman of mean birth, and the young ladies were acting at the time under her orders. Weeks elapsed, and no settlement was made by the parents; nor do we know — except by inference — what was done in the matter at court, until the following letter was written: —
"Whitehall, Feb. 13th, 1685-6.
"Mr. Penne: — Her Majesties Maids of Honour having acquainted me that they designe to employ you and Mr. Waldon in making a composition with the Relations of the Maids of Taunton for the high Misdemeanour they have been guilty of, I do at their request hereby let you know that His* Majesty has been pleased to give their Fines to the said Maids of Honour, and therefore recommend it to Mr. Walden and you to make the most advantageous composition you can in their behalfe. I am, Sir, your humble servant,
*In transcribing this letter from the State Papers, Mr. Forster writes " her" majesty — a mistake which gives an erroneous countenance to Mr. Macaulay's "scandal against Queen" Maria.
To whom was this letter addressed? Sir James Macintosh, the first man who brought the letter to light, — for Mr. Macaulay has not even the merit of originality in his errors, — assumed that it was addressed to William Penn; and in this singular assumption he has been followed by his friend and admirer. But Macintosh went still further: he not only assumed, without warrant, that a letter addressed to a "Mr. Penne" to engage him in a "scandalous transaction" was addressed to the Governor of Pennsylvania; but he also dared, in defiance of every rule of historical criticism, to assume that William Penn accepted the commission that was so offered. Mr. Macaulay, of course, copied this gross mistake from Sir James, and gave it the additional currency of his own volumes. This point is particularly noticeable, — that Mr. Macaulay did not consult the original authorities, but satisfied himself with merely quoting from the "Macintosh collection." Now this letter was certainly not addressed to William Penn. (1.) In the first place, it does not bear his name: he never wrote his name "Penne," nor did others ever so write it. In the Pennsylvania correspondence, in the Minutes of the Privy Council, and in the letters of Van Citters, Locke, Lawton, Bailey, Creech, and Hunt, and in the correspondence of his private friends, I have seen it written hundreds of times, but never once, even by accident, with an e final. Least of all men could Sunderland, his intimate acquaintance from boyhood, make such a mistake. (2.) The letter is highly disrespectful, if supposed to be written to a man of his rank — a man who had refused a peerage, and who stood before the court not only as a personal friend to the king, but as Lord Proprietor of the largest province in America; the more especially would this be the case when it is considered that the letter was written by the polite and diplomatic Earl of Sunderland. (3.) The work to be done required a low, trafficking agent, who could go down to Taunton and stay there until the business was
But, if William Penn were not the "Mr. Penne" addressed by Lord Sunderland, and designed by the ladies to be employed in their behalf — who was the man? A little research enables me to answer this question. In the registers of the Privy Council I find this entry: —
"Nov. 25th, 1687.
"George Penne — Upon reading the petition of George Penne, gent., setting forth that his family having been great sufferers for their loyalty, He humbly begs that His Majesty would be graciously pleased to grant him a patent for
This man, whose fitting reward, according to his own estimate of the value of his services, was the fief of a gaming-table was the Mr. Penne. His name is always spelt with the final e. In the first draft of the foregoing minute, the clerk had spelt the name George Penn, both in the margin and in the text, but has filled the final letter in afterwards, as if prophetically guarding against any confusion of this wretched fellow with the great governor of Pennsylvania. He was a low hanger-on about the back-doors of the court, ready for any dirty work. When pardons were to be bought and sold, he was a pardon-broker. He was actively engaged in the Taunton affair; and among other feats, as I am able to state on the authority of a family-cash book still preserved, he obtained 65l. from Nathaniel Pinney as the ransom of his brother Azariah Pinney, one of the transported rebels. Mr. Walden was apparently an agent of the same kind, and equally and deservedly obscure. For some reason, however, the "designe to employ" these men miscarried, and the maids of honour found another agent in the person of Brent, the Popish lawyer, who was a regular pardon-broker, and was arrested on the flight of King James, as I find by the minutes of Privy Council. This fellow employed as great a rascal as himself, one Crane of Bridgewater, as his sub-agent, and between them they settled the business, as Oldmixon relates.
Having cleared Penn from this foul and unfounded charge, let me say a word or two in behalf of the maids of honour.
III. Towards the close of his reign, when the churchmen openly repudiated their own doctrine of passive obedience, James became anxious to secure the adhesion of his dissenting subjects; and among other leading men, he selected Penn's old opponent, William Kiffin, the Baptist, for a city magistracy. But two of Kiffin's grandsons had been taken and executed in the Western rebellion, and it was doubted whether the old man would comply with the wishes of the court. At this point Mr. Macaulay introduces Penn. "The heartless and venal sycophants of Whitehall, judging by themselves, thought that the old man would be easily propitiated by an alderman's gown, and by some compensation in money, for the property which his grandsons had forfeited. Penn was employed in the work of seduction, but to no purpose." Now, there is not the slightest foundation in history for this statement. Mr. Macaulay here asserts that Penn was "employed," by the " heartless and venal sycophants" of the court, to seduce Kiffin into an acceptance of the alderman's gown, — and that he failed. The passage means this, or it means nothing. It will be allowed that on such a point Kiffin himself must be the best authority: in his autobiography, lately published from the original manuscript, he says, — "In a little after, a great temptation attended me, which was a commission from the King, to be one of the aldermen of the city of London; which, as soon as I heard of it, I used all the diligence I could, to be excused, both by some lords near the King, and also by Sir Nicholas Butler and Mr. Penn. But it was all in vain." This is just the reverse of what Mr. Macaulay states. Penn did not go to Kiffin; Kiffin went to Penn. Instead of being
IV. A little attention to dates will soon dispose of the fourth charge against Penn. Mr. Macaulay writes — "All men were anxious to know what he [the Prince of Orange] thought of the Declaration of Indulgence. . . . Penn sent copious disquisitions to the Hague, and even went thither in the hope that his eloquence, of which he had a high opinion, would prove irresistible." Now, Penn returned from Germany in the autumn of 1686, and the Declaration was not issued until April, 1687. After 1686, he never went to the Dutch capital. There is no evidence, even, that Penn sent over "copious disquisitions;" Burnet, Mr. Macaulay's authority, says not a word on such a subject. When Penn was at the Hague, in the summer of 1686, the subject that was under discussion related to the Tests, not the Indulgence. The Declaration was unthought of at that time;-—Burnet is very clear on this point. But there is other proof that Mr. Macaulay's guesswork is wrong. In November, 1686, five months before the Declaration was issued, Van Citters reported to his correspondent the substance of the conversation between Penn and the Prince, as it was then known in court circles in London; and in that report no mention whatever is made of the Declaration.
V. In the ninth chapter of the preceding memoir, I have given the true history of Penn's connection with the affair of Magdalen College. In this place I shall content myself with a special refutation of Mr. Macaulay's errors; first quoting his material passages, and numbering them for separate remark. (1) "Penn was at Chester, on a pastoral tour. His popularity and authority among his brethren had greatly declined (2) since he had become a tool of
Now that the Jesuits had acquired power at court, he continually hazarded his influence by urging the King to banish them from the royal presence. Citters, Johnstone, and Clarendon, all testify clearly to this effect. The Dutch diplomatist says, "Penn has had a long interview with the King, and has, he thinks, shown to the King that Parliament will not consent to a revocation of the Test and Penal Laws—and that he never will get a Parliament to his mind, so long as he will not adopt moderate councils, and drive away from his presence the immoderate Jesuits, and other Papists who surround him daily, and whose ultra councils he now follows." Johnstone says expressly, that Penn was against the order commanding the Declaration to be read in the churches. Clarendon says in his Diary that Penn "laboured to thwart the Jesuitical influence that predominated." On what authority, then, does Mr. Macaulay make his assertion? Simply on his own! Was he a tool of the King? The idea is absurd. He never sacrificed a point to the humour of James; but he often crossed that humour, and his political action was always against the court. Not to go so far back as the days of Sidney, when, according to Barillon, he divided the leadership of the most advanced body of Reformers with that great Republican,—-if his private friendship was given to Sunderland, Halifax, and Rochester, his political sympathy was always with the more liberal men of the opposition. The supporters of Monmouth looked to him and half a dozen others to bring over the American colonies to the cause of liberty and Protestantism. Though he was trusted by James, he was always an object of suspicion to his government. He plainly told the King of his errors; he advised him to expel the Jesuits from Whitehall; not to trust to his prerogative, but to meet his Parliament with wise and just proposals; not to insist on having the Declaration read by the clergy; not to commit the seven Prelates to the Tower. And when that impolitic
Now, let us see what is really known about this interview. Dr. Hough, its chief subject, wrote on the evening of the day on which it took place a letter to his cousin, in which he recited the principal heads of the discourse, — and this account, from one too deeply interested to be impartial, and too much excited to remember any thing but what especially concerned his own prospects and position, is unfortunately the only existing authority. Hunt was not present at this interview, and no account of it is preserved in the Magdalen College MSS. Holden's MS. letters in the same library commence posterior to the affair of Penn; and Baron Jenner's MS. account of the Visitation is not to be found. But let us take the authority we have, imperfect though it be, and see what matter can be drawn from it in support of the accusation. What says Hough? In the outset, instead of
Having far exceeded the limits of my original intention, which was only to introduce William Penn to the rising generation, and thereby induce the spirit of inquiry to read the various able biographies written of him,—to which, and his autobiography, I now make every acknowledgement for the liberties I have taken with them in compiling this sketch,—I have to regret that, even after lengthening my short memoir to its present extent, I have so signally failed to portray him in his full and diversified character. I have met with nothing, in my opinion, that has done him justice, neither as a Christian nor lawgiver, highly as he has been extolled for both. I did not know, when I penned my sketch, that he had ever been likened unto Moses. When we consider the darkness of the age in which he lived, both in a religious and political point of view,—the circumstances that surrounded him,—and contrast him with his fellows, which is the only correct method to obtain a true picture, we find him determined at all hazards to do good, surmounting every obstacle that parental authority wielding an immense estate could do to intimidate him, together with the
Good and great as he was, he was not shielded from the attacks of the ignorant and designing. I, therefore, take the liberty of calling attention to his biography by William Hepworth Dixon of England, written in 1851; and that also by Samuel M. Janney of Virginia, written since to exculpate him from various charges recently promulgated; they have succeeded, without an effort, to burnish him up, and caused him to shine forth even as the sun after a summer thunderstorm. Notwithstanding the facetious style of the Rev. M. L. Weems, I think his life of Penn should be introduced into every school in Pennsylvania, and in as many elsewhere as possible.
By this short ensuing treatise, thou wilt perceive the subject of it,—viz.: The Light of Christ in Man, as the Manifestation of God's Love for Man's Happiness. Now, forasmuch as this is the peculiar testimony and characteristic of the people called Quakers,—their great fundamental in religion,—that by which they have been distinguished from other professors of Christianity in their time, and to which they refer all people about faith, worship, and practice both in their ministry and writings,—that as the fingers shoot out of the hand, and the branches from the body of the tree,—so true religion, in all the parts and articles of it, springs from this divine principle in man. And because the prejudices of some are very great against this people and their way; and that others, who love their seriousness and commend their good life, are yet, through mistakes, or want of inquiry, under jealousy of their unsoundness in some points of faith; and that there are not a few in all persuasions which desire earnestly to know and enjoy God in that sensible manner this people speak of, and who seem to long after a state of holiness and acceptance with God, but are under doubts and despondings of their attaining it, from the want they find in themselves of inward power to enable them, and are unacquainted with this efficacious agent which God hath given and appointed for their supply.
For these reasons and motives, know, reader, I have taken in hand to write this small tract of the nature and virtue of the light of Christ within man; what and where it is,
And when thou, reader, shalt come to be acquainted with this principle, and the plain and happy teachings of it, thou wilt with us admire thou shouldst live so long a stranger to that which was so near thee, and as much wonder that other folks should be so blind as not to see it, as formerly thou thoughtest us singular for obeying it. The day, I believe, is at hand that will declare this with an uncontrollable authority, because it will be with an unquestionable evidence.
I have done, reader, with this preface when I have told thee:—first, that I have stated the principle and opened, as God has enabled me, the nature and virtue of it in religion,
Thy real friend,
§ 1. Their Fundamental Principle. § 2. The Nature of it. § 3. Called by several names. § 4. They refer all to this, as to Faith and Practice, Ministry and Worship.
§ 1. That which the people called Quakers lay down as a main fundamental in religion is this — That God, through Christ, hath placed a principle in every man, to inform him of his duty, and to enable him to do it; and that those that live up to this principle are the people of God, and those that live in disobedience to it, are not God's people, whatever name they may bear, or profession they may make of religion. This is their ancient, first, and standing testimony: with this they began, and this they bore, and do bear to the world.
§ 2. By this principle they understand something that is divine; and though in man, yet not of man, but of God; and that it came from him, and leads to him all those that will be led by it.
§ 3. There are divers ways of speaking they have been led to use, by which they declare and express what this principle is, about which I think fit to precaution the reader — viz., they call it, The light of Christ within man, or, light within, which is their ancient, and most general and familiar phrase, also
But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it: yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth, because of the word, by-and-by he is offended.
He also that received seed among the thorns, is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.
But he that received seed into the good ground, is he that hearetb the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundred-fold, some sixty, some thirty.
To the truth of all which, they call in a threefold evidence: First, the Scriptures, which give an ample witness, especially those of the New and better Testament. Secondly, the reasonableness of it in itself. And lastly, a general experience, in great measure; but particularly, their own, made credible by the good fruits they have brought forth, and the answer God has given to their ministry: which, to impartial observers, have commended the principle, and gives me occasion to abstract their history, in divers particulars, for a conclusion to this little treatise.
§ 1. The evidence of Scripture for this Principle,
§ 1. I shall begin with the evidence of the blessed Scriptures of Truth, for this divine principle, and that under the name of light, the first and most common word used by them, to express and denominate this principle by, as well as most apt and proper in this dark state of the world.
Verse 3. All things were made by him.
Verse 4. In him was life, and the life was the light of men.
Verse 9. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
§ 2. I have begun with him that began his history with him that was the beginning of the creation of God; the most beloved disciple, and longest liver of all the apostles, and he, that for excellent knowledge and wisdom in heavenly things, is justly entitled John the divine. He tells us first, what he was in the beginning, viz. The Word. In the beginning was the Word.
And though that shows what the Word must be.
§ 3. All things were made by Him. If so, he wants no power. And if we were made by him, we must be new made by him too, or we never can enjoy God. His power shows his dignity, and that nothing can be too hard for such a sufficiency as made all things, and without which nothing was made, that was made. As man's maker must be his husband, so his Creator must be his Redeemer also.
§ 4. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. This is our point. The evangelist first begins with the nature and being of the Word: from thence he descends to the works of the Word: and lastly, then he tells us, what the Word is, with respect to man above the rest of the creation, viz. The Word was life, and the life was the light of men. The relation must be very near and intimate, when the very life of the Word (that was with God, and was God) the light of men: as if men were next to the Word, and above all the rest of his works; for it is not said so of any other creature.
Man cannot want light then; no not a divine light: for if this be not divine, that is the life of the divine word, there can be no such thing at all as divine or supernatural light and life. And the text does not only prove the divinity of the light, but the universality of it also, because man mentioned in it, is mankind: which is yet more distinctly expressed
§ 1. How this Scripture is wrested, § 2. That it is a Natural Light. § 3. That it is only the Doctrine and Life of Christ when in the Flesh. All answered, and its Divinity and Universality proved.
§ 1. But though there be no passage or proposition to be found in Holy Scripture, in which mankind is more interested, or that is more clearly laid down by the Holy Ghost, than this I have produced, yet hardly hath any place been more industriously wrested from its true and plain sense: especially since this people have laid any stress upon it, in defence of their testimony of the light within. Some will have it to be but a natural light, or a part of man's nature, though it be the very life of the Word, by which the world was made; and mentioned within those verses, which only concern his eternal power and Godhead. But because I would be understood, and treat of things with all plainness, I will open the terms of the objection as well as I can, and then give my answer to it.
§ 2. If by natural be meant a created thing, as man is, or any thing that is requisite to the composition of man, I deny it: the text is expressly against it; and says, the light with which man is lighted, is the life of the word, which was with God, and was God. But if by natural is only intended, that the light comes along with us into the world; or that we have it as sure as we are born, or have nature; and is the light of our nature, of our minds and understandings, and is not the result of any revelation from without, as by angels or men; then we mean and intend the same thing. For it is natural to man to have a supernatural light, and for the creature to be lighted by an uncreated light, as is the life of the creating word. And did people but consider the constitution of man, it would conduce much to preserve or deliver them from any dilemma upon this account. For man can be no more a light to his mind, than he is to his body: he has the capacity of seeing objects when he has the help of light, but cannot be a light to himself, by which to see them. Wherefore as the sun in the firmament is the light of the body, and gives us discerning in our temporal affairs; so the life of the word is the glorious light and sun of the soul: our intellectual luminary, that informs our mind, and gives us true judgment and distinction about those things that more immediately concern our better, inward and eternal man.
§ 3. But others will have this text read thus, not that the word enlightens all mankind, but that all who are enlightened, are enlightened by him, thereby not only narrowing and abusing the text, but rendering God partial, and so severe to his creatures, as to leave the greatest part of the world in darkness, with
Chap. viii. 12. Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
Chap. viii. 12. Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
§ 4. There is a third sort that will needs have it understood, not of any illumination by a divine light or spirit in man, but by the doctrine Christ preached, and the life and example he lived, and led in the world; and which yet neither reached the thousandth part of mankind, nor can consist with what the apostle John intends in the beginning of his history, which wholly relates to what Christ was before he took flesh, or at least, what he is to the soul, by his immediate inshinings and influences. 'Tis most true, Christ was, in a sense, the light of the world, in that
[continue]very appearance, and shined forth by his heavenly doctrine, many admirable miracles, and his self-denying life and death: but still that hinders not, but that he was and is that spiritual light, which shineth more or less, in the hearts of the sons and daughters of men. For as he was a light in his life and conversation, he was only a light in a more excellent sense than he spoke of to his disciples, when he said. Ye are the lights of the world. But Christ the word enlightened them, and enlightens us, and enlightens all men that come into the world; which he could not be said to do, if we only regard his personal and outward appearance: for in that sense it is long since he was that light, but in this he is continually so. In that respect he is remote, but in this sense he is present and immediate, else we should render the text, That was the true light which did lighten, instead of which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. And that the evangelist might be so understood, as we speak, he refers to this as an evidence of his being the Messiah, and not John; for whom many people had much reverence, for in verse eighth he saith of John, He was not that light, but was sent to bear witness of that light: now comes his proof and our testimony, that was the true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world; which was not John, or any else, but the word that was with God, and was God.
The evangelist did not describe him by his fasting forty days, preaching so many sermons, working so many miracles, and living so holy a life; and, after all, so patiently suffering death, (which yet Christ did) thereby to prove him the light of the world; but, says the evangelist, That was the true light, the word
The Scriptures referred to are as follows.
Chap. xxi. 17. How oft is the candle of the wicked put out? and how oft cometh their destruction upon them? God distributeth sorrows in his anger.
Chap. xxv. 3. Is there any number of his armies? and upon whom doth not his light arise.
Chap. xxxviii. 15. And from the wicked their light is withholden, and the high arm shall be broken.
§1. The virtue of the light within; it gives discerning. §2. It manifests God. §3. It gives life to the soul. §4. It is the apostolic message. §5. Objection answered about two lights. §6. About natural and spiritual light: not two darknesses within, therefore not two lights within. §7. The Apostle John answers the objection fully: the light the same,
§ 1. The third thing, is the virtue and efficacy of this light for the end for which God hath given it, viz. To lead and guide the soul of man to blessedness. In order to which, the first thing it does in
and for man, is to give him a true sight or discerning of himself: what he is, and what he does; that he may see and know his own condition, and what judgment to make of himself, with respect to religion and a future state: of which, let us hear what the word himself saith, that cannot err, as John relates it, chap. iii. 20, 21. "For every one that doeth evil, hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they
are wrought in God."
A most pregnant instance of the virtue and authority of the light. First it is that which men ought to examine themselves by. Secondly, it gives a true
If it could not manifest God, it could not tell man what was God's mind, nor give him such a grounded sense and discerning of the rise, nature, and tendency of the workings of his mind or inward man, as is both expressed and abundantly implied in this passage of our Saviour. And if it reveals God, to-be-sure it manifests Christ, that flows and comes from God. Who then would oppose or slight this blessed light?
§ 2. But that this light doth manifest God, is yet evident from Rom. i, 19. Because that which may be known of God, is manifest in them: for God hath showed it unto them. An universal proposition; and we have the apostle's word for it, who was one of a thousand, and inspired on purpose to tell us the truth: let it then have its due weight with us. If that which may be known of God is manifest in men, the people called Quakers cannot, certainly, be out of the way in preaching up the light within, without which, nothing
But all things that are reproved, are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest, is light. Well then may they call this light within a manifestation or appearance of God, that sheweth in and to man, all that may be known of God. A passage much like unto this, is that of the Prophet Micah, chap. vi. 8. God hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? God hath shewed thee, O man! It is very emphatical. But how hath He shewed him? Why by his light in the conscience, which the wicked rebel against,
§ 3. But the light giveth the light of life, which is eternal life to them that receive and obey it. Thus, says the blessed Saviour of the world,
§ 4. Furthermore, this light was the very ground of the apostolic message, as the beloved disciple assures us,
§ 5. Some, perhaps, may object, as indeed it hath been more than once objected upon us. That this is another light, not that light wherewith every man is enlightened. But the same apostle, in his evangelical history, tells us, that in the word was life, and the life was the light of men, and that that very light, was the life of the word, was the true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world,
§ 6. But if any shall yet object, That this is to be understood a spiritual light, and that ours is to be a natural one, I shall desire them to do two things: First, to prove that a natural light, as they phrase it, doth manifest God, other than as I have before explained and allowed; since whatever is part of man, in his constitution, but especially in his degeneracy from God, is so far from yielding him the knowledge of God, that it cannot rightly reprove or discover that which offends him, without the light we speak of: and it is granted, that what we call divine, and some, mistakingly, call natural light, can do both. Secondly, if this light be natural, notwithstanding it doth manifest our duty, and reprove our disobedience to God, they would do well to assign us some certain medium, or way, whereby we may truly discern and distinguish between the manifestations and reproofs of the natural light within, from those of the divine light within, since they allow the manifestation of God, and reproof of evil, as well to the one, as to the other. Let them give us but one Scripture that distinguishes between a natural and a spiritual light within. They may, with as much reason, talk of a natural and spiritual darkness within. It is true, there is a natural proper darkness, to wit, the night of the outward world; and there is a spiritual darkness, viz. the clouded and benighted understandings of men, through disobedience to the light and spirit of God: but let them assign us a third, if they can. People use, indeed, to say, improperly, of blind men, they are dark, we may call a natural or idiot so, if we will; but where is there another darkness of the understanding,
Christ distinguished not between darkness and darkness, or light and light, in any such sense; nor did any of his disciples: yet both have frequently spoken of darkness and light. What difference, pray, doth the Scriptures put between spiritual darkness and darkness mentioned in these places,
Eph. V. 8. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of the light:
Upon the strictest comparison of them I find none. It is all one spiritual darkness. Neither is there so much as one Scripture that affords us a distinction between light within and light within; or that there are really two lights from God, in man, that regard religion. Peruse
Chap. iii. 19, 20, 21. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil, hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth, cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest that they are wrought in God.
Chap. viii. 12. Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world; he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
Chap. vi. 14. Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers; for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
Chap. ii. 8. Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him, and in you; because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth.
Chap. xxii. 5. And there shall be no night there: and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light; and they shall reign forever and ever.
And we believe the greatest opposer, to our assertion, will not be able to sever light from light, or find out two lights within, in the passages here mentioned, or any other, to direct man in his duty to God and his neighbour: and if he cannot, pray let him forbear his mean thoughts and words of the light of Christ within man, as man's guide in duty to God and man. For as he must yield to us, that the light manifesteth evil, and reproveth for it, so doth Christ himself teach us of the light,
§ 7. And, as if the Apostle John would have anticipated their objection, viz. 'Tis true, your light within reproves for evil, but it is not therefore the Divine Light which leads into higher things, and which comes by the gospel; he thus expresseth himself,
§ 1.The Light the same with the Spirit. It is of God; proved by its properties. § 2. The properties of the Spirit compared with those of the Light, § 3.The Light and Grace flow from the same principle, proved by their agreeing properties. § 4.An objection answered. § 5.Difference in *manifestation, or *operation, especially in Gospel times, but not in principle, illustrated,
§ 1. But some may say, We could willingly allow to the Spirit and grace of God, which seemed to be the peculiar blessing of the new and second covenant, and the fruit of the coming of Christ, all that which you ascribe to the light within; but except it appeared to us that this light were the same in nature with the Spirit and grace of God, we cannot easily bring ourselves to believe what you say in favour of the light within.
Answ. This objection, at first look, seems to carry weight with it: but upon a just and serious review, it will appear to have more words than matter, show than substance: yet because it gives occasion to solve scruples, that may be flung in the way of the simple, I shall attend it throughout. I say, then, if it appear that the properties ascribed to the light within are the same with those that are given to the Holy Spirit and grace of God; and that those several terms or epithets, are only to express the divers manifestations or operations of one and the same principle, then it will not, it cannot be denied, but
§ 2. Now let all this be compared with the properties of the Holy Spirit, and their agreement will be very manifest. First, It proceedeth from God, because it is the Spirit of God,
Secondly, It is universal; both from this text, and what the apostle to Titus teacheth: For the grace of God that bringeth salvation, hath appeared to all men. Teaching us, that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world,
§ 4. Obj. But there is little mention made of the Spirit, and none of the Grace, before Christ's coming, and therefore the Spirit, as spoken of in the writings of the New Testament, and especially the Grace, must be another, and a nobler thing than the light within.
Answ. By no means another thing, but another name, from another manifestation or operation, of the same principle. It is called light from the distinction and discerning it gives. Let there be light, and there was light, said God in the beginning of the world; so there is first Light in the beginning of the new creation of God in man. It is called Spirit, because it giveth life, sense, motion and vigour: and it is as often mentioned in the writings of the Old as New Testament; which every reader may see, if he will but please to look into his Scripture Concordance. Thus God's Spirit strove with the old world,
§ 5. But this is most freely, humbly and thankfully acknowledged by us, that the dispensation of the Gospel was the clearest, fullest, and noblest of all other, both with regard to the coming of Christ in the flesh, and being our one holy offering to God for sin, through the eternal Spirit; and the breaking forth of his light, the effusion of his Spirit, and appearance of his grace in, and to man, in a more excellent manner, after his ascension. For though it was not another Light, or Spirit, than that which he had given to man in former ages, yet it was another and greater measure; and that is the privilege of the gospel above former dispensations. What before shined but dimly, shines since with great glory.
§1. An Objection answered: All are not Good, though all are lighted. § 2. Another Objection answered, That Gospel truths were known before Christ's Coming. § 3. Another: The Gentiles had the same Light, though not with those Advantages: Proved by Scripture.
§ 1. But some may yet say, If it be as you declare, how comes it, that all who are enlightened, are not so good as they should be; or, as you say, this would make them?
Answ. Because people don't receive and obey it: all men have reason, but all men are not reasonable. Is it the fault of the grain, in the granary, that it yields no increase, or of the talent in the napkin, that it is not improved? It is plain a talent was given; and as plain that it was improveable; both because the like talents were actually improved by others, and, that the just Judge expected his talent with advantage; which else, to be sure, he would never have done. Now when our objectors will tell us, whose fault it was the talent was not improved, we shall be ready to tell them, why the unprofitable servant was not so good as he should have been. The blind must not blame the sun, nor sinners tax the grace of insufficiency. It is sin that darkens the eye, and hardens the heart, and that hinders good things from the sons of men. If we do his will, we shall know of his divine doctrine, so Christ tells us. Men not living to what they know, cannot blame God, that they know no
§ 2. Obj. But some yet object, If mankind had always this principle, how comes it that gospel-truths were not so fully known before the coming of Christ, to those that were obedient to it.
Answ. Because a child is not a grown man, nor the beginning the end; and yet he that is the beginning, is also the end: the principle is the same, though not the manifestation. As the world has many steps and periods of time towards its end, so hath man to his perfection. They that are faithful to what they know of the dispensation of their own day, shall hear the happy welcome, of Well done, good and faithful servant. And yet many of God's people in those days, had a prospect of the glory of the latter times, the improvement of religion, the happiness of the church of God.
This we see in the prophecy of Jacob and Moses, concerning the restoration of Israel by Christ.
So David, in many of his excellent Psalms, expressing most sensible and extraordinary enjoyments, as well as Prophecies; particularly his 2, 15, 18, 22, 23, 25, 27, 32, 36, 37, 42, 43, 45, 51, 84, &c. The Prophets are full of it, and for that reason have their name; particularly Isaiah, chap. 2, 9, 11, 25, 28, 32, 35, 42, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 59, 60, 61, 63, 65, 66. Jeremiah also, chap. 23, 30, 31, 33. Ezekiel, chap. 20, 34, 36, 37. Daniel, chap. 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. Hosea, chap. 1, 3. Joel, chap. 2, 3. Amos, chap. 9. Micah, chap. 4, 5. Zachariah, chap. 6, 8, 9, 11, 13, 14. Malachi, chap. 3, 4. This was not another principle, though another manifestation of the same principle, nor was it common, but particular and extraordinary in the reason of it.
It was the same Spirit that came upon Moses, which came upon John the Baptist, and it was also the same Spirit that came upon Gideon and Samson, that fell upon Peter and Paul; but it was not the same dispensation of that Spirit. It hath been the way of God, to visit and appear to men, according to their states and conditions, and as they have been prepared to receive him, be it more outwardly or inwardly, sensibly or spiritually. There is no capacity too low, or too high, for this divine principle: for as it made and knows all, so it reaches unto all people. It extends to the meanest, and the highest cannot subsist
§3. Obj. But if the Jews had this light, it does not follow that the Gentiles had it also; but by your doctrine all have it.
Answ. Yes, and it is the glory of this doctrine which we profess, that God's love is therein held forth to all. And besides the texts cited in general, and that are as full and positive as can be expressed, the apostle is very particular in the second chapter of his Epistle to the Romans, verse 7: "To them who, by patient continuance in well doing, seek for glory, and honour, and immortality, eternal life: 8. But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath: 9. Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil; of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile:
10. But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good; to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:
11. For there is no respect of persons with God.
12. For as many as have sinned without law, shall also perish without law; and as many as have sinned in the law, shall be judged by the law;
13. (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.
14. For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
15. Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the meanwhile accusing or else excusing one another;)
16. In the day when God shall judge the secrets
to God, according to the understanding God gives him of his will. And that no ill, but a true and scriptural we may be made of this word conscience, I limit it to duty, and to a virtuous and holy life, as the apostle evidently doth, about which we cannot miss, or dispute; read verses 7, 8 and 9: "To them who by patient continuance in well-doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: but unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil ; of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile." It was to that therefore the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ desired to be made manifest, for they dared to stand the judgment of conscience, in reference to the doctrine they preached and pressed upon men. The beloved disciple also makes it a judge of man's present and future state, under the term heart.
§1. An Objection answered about the various Dispensations of God: The Principle the same. §2. God's Work of a piece, and Truth the same under divers Shapes. §3. The Reason of the Prevalency of Idolatry. §4. The Quaker's Testimony the best Antidote against it, viz. Walking by a divine Principle in Man. §5. It was God's End in all his Manifestations, that Man might be God's Image and Delight.
§ 1. Obj. But it may be said, If it were one principle, why so many modes and shapes of religion, since the world began? For the patriarchal, Mosaical, and Christian, have their great differences; to say nothing of what has befallen the Christian, since the publication of it to the world.
Answ. I know not how properly they may be called divers religions, that assert the true God for the object of worship; the Lord Jesus Christ, for the only Saviour; and the light, or Spirit of Christ, for the *great agent and means of man's conversion, and eternal felicity, any more than infancy, youth, and manhood, make three men, instead of three growths
§ 2. This is of great weight, for our information and encouragement, that God's work, in reference to man, is all of a piece, and, in itself, lies in a narrow compass, and that his eye has ever been upon the same thing in all his dispensations, viz. to make men truly good, by planting his holy awe, and fear in their hearts: though he has condescended, for the hardness and darkness of men's hearts, to approach, and spell out his holy mind, to them, by low and carnal ways, as they may appear to our more enlightened understandings: suffering truth to put on divers sorts of garments, the better to reach to the low state of men, to engage them from false gods, and ill lives; seeing them sunk so much below their nobler part,
§ 3. And if we do but well consider the reason of the prevalency of idolatry, upon the earlier and darker times of the world, of which the Scripture is very particular,
§ 4. Now that which is farthest from idolatry, and the best antidote against it, is the principle we have laid down, and the more people's minds are turned and brought to it, and that they resolve their faith, worship, and obedience into the holy illuminations and power of it, the nearer they grow to the end of their creation, and consequently to their Creator. They are more spiritually qualified, and become better fitted to worship God as he is: who, as we are told, by our Lord Jesus Christ, Is a Spirit, and will be worshipped in spirit and in truth, and that they are such sort of worshippers which God seeketh to worship him, in this gospel-day. "The hour cometh," saith he, "and now is." That is, some now do so, but more shall. A plain assertion in present, and a promise and prophecy of the increase of such worshippers in future. Which shews a change intended from a ceremonial worship, and state of the church of God, to a spiritual one. Thus the text: "But the time cometh, and now is, when true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth." Which is as much as to say, when the worship of God shall be more inward than outward and so more suitable to the nature of God, and the nobler part of man, his inside, or his inward and better man: for so those blessed words import, in "spirit and in truth." In spirit, that is, through the power of the Spirit. In truth, that is, in realities, not in shadows, ceremonies, or formalities, but in sincerity,
§ 5. And if it be duly weighed, it will appear, that God in all his manifestations of himself, hath still come nearer and nearer to the insides of men, that he might reach to their understandings, and open their hearts and give them a plainer and nearer acquaintance with himself in spirit: and then it is that man must seek and find the knowledge of God for his eternal happiness. Indeed, all things that are made shew forth the power and wisdom of God, and his goodness too, to mankind; and therefore many men urge the Creation to silence Atheistical objections: but tho' all those things shew a God, yet man does it, above all the rest. He is the precious stone of the ring, and the most glorious jewel of the globe; to whose reasonable use, service, and satisfaction, the whole seems to be made and dedicated. But God's delight (by whom man was made, we are told by the Holy Ghost) is in the habitable parts of the earth, with the sons of men,
§1. The doctrines of satisfaction and justification owned and worded according to Scripture. §2. What constructions we can't believe of them, and which is an abuse of them. §3. Christ owned a Sacrifice and Mediator. §4. Justification twofold, from the guilt of sin, and from the power and pollution of it. §5. Exhortation to the reader upon the whole.
§ 1. Though there be many good things said, how Christ appears and works in a soul, to awaken, convince and convert it; yet you seem not particular enough about the death and sufferings of Christ: and it is generally rumoured and charged upon you by your adversaries, that you have little reverence to the doctrine of Christ's satisfaction to God for our sins, and that you do not believe, that the active and passive obedience of Christ, when he was in the world, is the alone ground of a sinner's justification before God.
Answ. The doctrines of satisfaction and justification, truly understood, are placed in so strict an union, that the one is a necessary consequence of the other, and what we say of them, is what agrees with the suffrage of Scripture, and for the most part in the terms of it; always believing, that in points where there arises any difficulty, be it from the obscurity of expression, mis-translation, or the dust raised by the heats of partial writers, or nice critics, it is ever best to keep close to the text, and maintain charity in the rest. I shall first speak negatively, what we do not own, which perhaps hath given occasion to those who
§ 2. First, we cannot believe that Christ is the cause, but the effect of God's love, according to the testimony of the beloved disciple John, chap. iii.: God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son into the world, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Secondly, we cannot say, God could not have taken another way to have saved sinners, than by the death and sufferings of his Son, to satisfy his justice, or that Christ's death and sufferings were a strict and rigid satisfaction for that eternal death and misery due to man for sin and transgression: for such a notion were to make God's mercy little concerned in man's salvation; and indeed we are at too great a distance from his infinite wisdom and power, to judge of the liberty or necessity of his actings.
Thirdly, we cannot say Jesus Christ was the greatest sinner in the world, (because he bore our sins on his cross, or because he was made sin for us, who knew no sin,) an expression of great levity and unsoundness, yet often said by great preachers and professors of religion.
Fourthly, we cannot believe that Christ's death and sufferings so satisfies God or justifies men, as that they are thereby accepted of God: they are indeed thereby put into a state capable of being accepted of God, and, through the obedience of faith and sanctification of the Spirit, are in a state of acceptance: for we can never think a man justified before God, while self-condemned: or that any man can be in Christ who is not a new creature; or that God looks upon men
§ 3. We do believe that Jesus Christ was our holy sacrifice, atonement, and propitiation; that he bore our iniquities, and that by his stripes we were healed of the wounds Adam gave us in his fall; and that God is just in forgiving true penitents upon the credit of that holy offering Christ made of himself to God for us; and that what he did and suffered, satisfied and pleased God, and was for the sake of fallen man, that had displeased God; and that through the offering up of himself once for all, through the eternal Spirit, he hath forever perfected those (in all times) that were sanctified, who walked not after the flesh, but after the Spirit,
§ 4. In short, justification consists of two parts, or hath a twofold consideration, viz., justification from the guilt of sin, and justification from the power and pollution of sin, and in this sense justification gives
Such deceive themselves, and at the great and final judgment their sentence will not be, Come, ye blessed, because it cannot be said to them, Well done good and faithful, for they cannot be so esteemed that live and die in a reprovable and condemnable state; but, Go ye cursed, &c.
§ 5. Wherefore, O my reader! rest not thyself wholly satisfied with what Christ has done for thee in his blessed person without thee, but press to know his power and kingdom within thee, that the strong man, that has too long kept thy house, may be bound, and his goods spoiled, his works destroyed, and sin ended, according to
§1. A confession to Christ and his work, both in doing and suffering. §2. That ought not to make void our belief and testimony of his inward and spiritual appearance in the soul. §3. What our testimony is in the latter respect: that it is impossible to be saved by Christ without us, while we reject his work and power within us. §4 The dispensation of grace, in its nature and extent. §5. A further acknowledgment to the death and sufferings of Christ. §6. The conclusion, showing our adversaries' unreasonableness.
§ 1. And lest any should say we are equivocal in our expressions, and allegorize away Christ's appearance in the flesh; meaning only thereby, our own flesh; and that as often as we mention Him, we mean only a mystery or a mystical sense of Him, be it as to his coming, birth, miracles, sufferings, death, resurrection, ascension, mediation and judgment; I would yet add, to preserve the well-disposed from being staggered by such suggestions, and to inform and reclaim such as are under the power and prejudice of them, that, we do, we bless God, religiously believe
§ 2. But because we so believe, must we not believe what Christ said, "He that is with you shall be in you"?
§ 3. Yet we are very ready to declare to the whole world, that we cannot think men and women can be
§ 4. And this is the dispensation of grace, which we declare has appeared to all, more or less; teaching those that will receive it, "to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world; looking for (which none else can justly do) the blessed hope, and glorious appearing of the great God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ," &c.:
§ 5. But let my reader take this along with him, that we do acknowledge that Christ, through his holy doing and suffering, (for being a Son he learned obedience) has obtained mercy of God his Father for mankind, and that his obedience has an influence to our salvation, in all the parts and branches of it, since thereby he became a conqueror, and led captivity captive, and obtained gifts for men, with divers great and precious promises, that thereby we might be partakers of the divine nature, having (first) escaped the corruption that is in the world, through lust. I say, we do believe and confess, that the active and
"2. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
"3. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.
"4. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
"5. That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
"6. Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:
"7. But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory;
"8. Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
"9. But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
"10. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit; for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
"11. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
"12. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
"13. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
"14. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
"15. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.
"16. For who hath known the mind of the Lord,
Flesh and blood cannot do it, Oxford and Cambridge cannot do it, tongues and philosophy cannot do it: for they that by wisdom knew not God, had these things for their wisdom. They were strong, deep and accurate in them; but, alas! they were clouded, puffed up, and set further off from the inward and saving knowledge of God, because they sought for it in them, and thought to find God there. But the Key of David is another thing, which shuts and no man opens, and opens and no man shuts; and this key have all they that receive the gift of God into their hearts, and it opens to them the knowledge of God and themselves, and gives them a quite other sight, taste and judgment of things than their educational or traditional knowledge afforded them. This is the beginning of the new creation of God, and thus it is we come to be new creatures.
And we are bold to declare, there is no other way like this, by which people can come into Christ, or be true Christians, or receive the advantage that comes by the death and sufferings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Wherefore we say, and upon good authority, even that our own experience, as well as that of the Scriptures of truth, Christ will prove no saving sacrifice for them, that refuse to obey him for their example. They that reject the gift, deny the giver instead of themselves for the giver's sake. Oh that people were wise, that they would consider their latter end, and the things that make for the peace thereof! Why should they perish in a vain hope of life, while death reigns? Of living with God, who live not to him, nor walk with him?
Awake, thou that sleepest in thy sin, or at best, in thy self-righteousness! Awake, I say, and Christ shall give thee life! For he is the Lord from heaven, the quickening Spirit, that quickens us, by his Spirit, if we do not resist it and quench it by our disobedience, but receive, love and obey it, in all the holy leadings and teachings of it.
"15. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
"16. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are children of God:"
To which Holy Spirit I commend my reader, that he may the better see where he is, and also come to the true belief and advantage of the doings and sufferings of our dear and blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who saves from the power and pollution, as well as guilt of sin, all those that hear his knocks, and open the door of their hearts to him, that he may come in and work a real and thorough reformation in and for them; and so the benefit, virtue and efficacy of his doings and sufferings without us, will come to be livingly and effectually applied and felt, and fellowship with Christ in his death and sufferings known, according to the doctrine of the apostle; which, those that live in that which made him suffer, know not, though they profess to be saved by his death and sufferings. Much more might be said as to this matter, but I must be brief.
§ 6. To conclude this chapter, we wonder not that we should be mistaken, misconstrued and misrepresented, in what we believe and do to salvation, since
§1. Of the true worship of God in what it stands. §2. Of the true ministry, that it is by inspiration. §3. The Scripture plain in that case. §4. Christ's ministers, true witnesses, they speak what they know, not by report. §5. Christ's ministers preach freely; it is one of their marks.
§ 1. As the Lord wrought effectually, by his divine grace, in the hearts of this people, so he thereby brought them to a divine worship and ministry: Christ's words they came to experience, viz.: That God was a Spirit, and that he would therefore be worshipped in the Spirit, and in the truth, and that such worshippers the Father would seek to worship him. For, bowing to the convictions of the Spirit in themselves, in their daily course of living, by which they were taught to eschew that which was made manifest to them to be evil, and to do that which was good, they, in their assembling together, sat down, and waited for the preparation of this Holy Spirit, both to let them see their states and conditions before the Lord, and to worship him acceptably; and as they were sensible of wants, or shortness, or infirmities, so in the secret of their own hearts, prayer would spring to God, through Jesus Christ, to help, assist and supply: but they did not dare to awake their Beloved before his time; or approach the throne of the King of Glory, till he held out his sceptre; or take thought what they should say, or after their own or other men's studied words and forms, for this were to offer
And when a coal from his holy altar touches our lips, then can we pray and praise him as we ought to do. And as this is our principle, and that according to Scripture, so it is, blessed be God, our experience and practice: and therefore it is we are separated from the worships of men, under their several forms, because they do not found it in the operation, motion and assistance of the Spirit of Christ, but the appointment, invention and framing of man, both as to the matter, words and time. We do not dissent in our own wills, and we dare not comply against his that has called us, and brought us to his own spiritual worship; in obedience to whom we are what we are, in our separation from the divers ways of worship in the world.
§ 2. And as our worship stands in the operation of the Spirit and Truth in our inward parts, as before expressed, so does our ministry. For as the holy testimonies of the servants of God of old, were from the operation of his blessed Spirit, so must those of his servants be in every age, and that which has not the Spirit of Christ for its spring and source, is of man, and not of Christ. Christian ministers are to minister what they receive: this is Scripture; now
§ 3. This was recommended to the Corinthians by the Apostle Paul,
§ 4. Ministers of Christ are his witnesses, and the credit of a witness is, that he has heard, seen or handled: and thus the beloved disciple states the truth and authority of their mission and ministry;
§ 5. Nor is this all, but as they receive freely, freely they give: they do not teach for hire, divine for money, nor preach for gifts or rewards. It was Christ's holy command to his ministers to give freely, and it is our practice. And truly we cannot but admire that this should be made a fault, and that preaching for hire should not be seen to be one; yea, a mark of false prophets, when it has been so frequently
The Lord touch the hearts of those that are giving money to be made ministers, in order to live by their preaching, that they may see what ground it is they build upon, and repent, and turn to the Lord, that they may find mercy, and become living witnesses of his power and goodness in their own souls; so may they be enabled to tell others what God has done for them, which is the root and ground of the true ministry; and this ministry it is that God does bless. I could say much on this subject, but let what has been said suffice at this time, only I cannot but observe, that where any religion has a strong temptation of gain to induce men to be ministers, there is great danger of their running faster to that calling, than becomes a true gospel minister.
§ 1. Obj. But does not this sort of ministry, and worship, tend to make people careless, and to raise spiritual pride in others, may it not give an occasion to great mischief and irreligion?
Answ. By no means, for when people are of age,
And as it is the way God has taken to call and gather people, so a living and holy ministry is of great advantage to watch over, and build up the young, and comfort and establish the feeble and simple ones. But still I say, the more inward, the less outward; the more people come to be taught immediately of God, by the light of his word and Spirit in their hearts, the less need of outward means, read
I say, this is the truest and highest state of worship; for set days and places, with all the solemnity of them, were most in request in the weakest dispensation. Altars, arks and temples, Sabbaths and festivals, &c., are not to be found in the writings of the New Testament. There every day is alike, and every place is alike; but if there were a dedication, let it be to the Lord.
17th ver. "For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost."
Not that we would be thought to undervalue public and solemn meetings: we have them all over the nation where the Lord hath called us. Yea, though but two or three of us be in a corner of a country, we meet, as the Apostle exhorted the saints of his time, and reproved such as neglected to assemble themselves. But yet show we unto thee, O reader, a more excellent way of worship: for many may come to those meetings, and go away carnal, dead and dry; but the worshippers in spirit and in truth, whose hearts bow, whose minds adore the Eternal God, that is a Spirit, in and by his Spirit, such as conform to his will, and walk with him in a spiritual life, they are the true, constant, living and acceptable worshippers; whether it be in meetings or out of meetings; and as with such, all outward assemblies are greatly comfortable, so also do we meet for a public testimony of religion and worship, and for the edification and encouragement of those that are yet young in the truth, and to call and gather others to the knowledge of it, who are yet going astray; and blessed be God, it is not in vain, since many are thereby added to the church, that we hope and believe shall be saved.
§1. Against tithes. §2. Against all swearing. §3. Against war among Christians. §4. Against the salutations of the times., §6 And for plainness of speech. §6. Against mixt marriages. §7. And for plainness in apparel, &c. No sports and pastimes after the manner of this world. §8. Of observing days. §9. Of care of poor, peace and conversation.
§ 1. And as God has been pleased to call us from an human ministry, so we cannot for conscience' sake support and maintain it, and upon that score, and not out of humour or covetousness, we refuse to pay tithes, or such like pretended dues, concerning which, many books have been writ in our defence: we cannot support what we cannot approve, but have a testimony against; for thereby we should be found inconsistent with ourselves.
§ 2. We dare not swear, because Christ forbids it.
§ 3. We also believe, that war ought to cease, among the followers of the Lamb Christ Jesus, who taught his disciples to forgive and love their enemies, and not to war against them, and kill them; and that therefore the weapons of his true followers are not carnal but spiritual; yea, mighty, through God, to cut down sin and wickedness, and dethrone him that is the author thereof. And as this is the most Christian, so the most rational way; love and persuasion having more force than weapons of war. Nor would the worst of men easily be brought to hurt those that they really think love them. It is that love and patience must in the end have the victory.
§ 4. We dare not give worldly honour, or use the frequent and modish salutations of the times, seeing plainly, that vanity, pride and ostentation, belong to them. Christ also forbade them in his day, and made the love of them a mark of declension from the simplicity of purer times; and his disciples, and their followers, were observed to have obeyed their Master's precept. It is not to distinguish ourselves a party, or out of pride, ill-breeding or humour, but in obedience to the sight and sense we have received from the Spirit of Christ, of the evil rise and tendency thereof.
§ 6. For the same reason we have returned to the first plainness of speech, viz. thou and thee, to a
§ 6. We cannot allow of mixed marriages, that is, to join with such as are not of our society; but oppose and disown them, if at any time any of our profession so grossly err from the rule of their communion; yet restore them upon sincere repentance, but not disjoin them. The book I writ of the rise and progress of the people called Quakers, is more full and express herein.
§ 7. Plainness in apparel and furniture, is another testimony peculiar to us, in the degree we have bore it to the world: as also few words, and being at a word. Likewise temperance in food, and abstinence from the recreations and pastimes of the world: all which we have been taught, by the Spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ, to be according to godliness; and therefore we have long exhorted all, that their moderation may be known unto all men, for that the Lord was at hand, to enter into judgment with us for every intemperance or excess; and herein we hope we have been no ill examples, or scandal unto any that have a due consideration of things.
§ 8. We cannot, in conscience to God, observe holy days (so called) the public fasts and feasts, because of their human institution and ordination, and that
§ 9. Lastly, we have been led by this good Spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ, of which I have treated in this discourse, according to primitive practice, to have a due care over one another, for the preservation of the whole society, in a conversation more suitable to their holy profession.
First. In respect to a strict walking both towards those that are without, and those that are within; that their conversation in the world, and walking in and towards the church, may be blameless. That as they may be strict in the one, so they may he faithful in the other.
Secondly. That collections be made to supply the wants of the poor and that care be taken of widows and orphans, and such as are helpless, as well in counsel, as about substance.
Thirdly. That all such as are intended to marry, if they have parents, or are under the direction of guardians or trustees, are obliged, first, to declare to them their intention, and have their consent before they propose it to one another, and the meeting they relate to, who are also careful to examine their clearness, and being satisfied with it, they are by them allowed to solemnize their marriage in a public select meeting, for that purpose appointed, and not otherwise: whereby all clandestine and indirect marriages are prevented among us.
Fourthly. And to the end that this good order may be observed, for the comfort and edification of the society in the ways of truth and soberness; select meetings (of care and business) are fixed in all parts, where we inhabit, which are held monthly, and which
Thus, reader, thou hast the character of the people called Quakers, in their doctrine, worship, ministry, practice and discipline: compare it with Scripture, and primitive example, and we hope thou wilt find, that this short discourse hath, in good measure, answered the title of it, viz.: —
Primitive Christianity Revived, in the principles and practice of the people called Quakers.
"Sober reader, if thou hadst rather we should be in the right than in the wrong, and if thou thinkest it but a reasonable thing that we should be heard before we are condemned, and that our belief ought to be taken from our own mouths, and not at theirs that have prejudged our cause, then we entreat thee to read and weigh the following brief account of those things that are chiefly received and professed among us, the people called Quakers, according to the testimony of the Scriptures of truth, and the illumination of the Holy Ghost, which are the double and agreeing record of true religion. Published to inform the moderate inquirer, and reclaim the prejudiced to a better temper; which God grant, to his glory and their peace.
"I. It is our belief that God is, and that he is a rewarder of all them that fear him, with eternal rewards of happiness; and that those that fear him not, shall be turned into hell.
"II. That there are three that bear record in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Spirit; and these three are really one.
"III. That the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among men, and was and is the only-begotten of the
"IV. That as we are only justified from the guilt of sin by Christ, the propitiation, and not by works of righteousness that we have done, so there is an absolute necessity that we receive and obey, to unfeigned repentance and amendment of life, the holy light and spirit of Jesus Christ, in order to obtain that remission and justification from sin; since no man can be justified by Christ who walks not after the Spirit, but after the flesh; for whom he sanctifies, them he also justifies. And if we walk in the light as he is light, his precious blood cleanseth us from all sin, as well from the pollution as guilt of sin.
"V. That Christ is the great light of the world, that lighteth every man that cometh into the world, and is full of grace and truth, and giveth to all light for light, and grace for grace; and by his light and grace he inwardly appears to man, and teaches such as will be taught by him, 'that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, they should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world.'
"VI. That this principle of light and grace, which is God's gift, through Christ to man, is that which shows us our sins, reproves us for them, and would lead all out of them that obey it, to serve God in fear and love all their days. And they that turn
"VII. This is that principle by which God prepares the heart to Worship him aright; and all the duties of religion, as praying, praising, and preaching, ought to be performed through the sanctifying power and assistance of it; other worship being but formal and will-worship, with which we cannot in conscience join, nor can we maintain or uphold it.
"VIII. Worship in this gospel-day, is inward and spiritual; for God is a Spirit, as Christ teacheth, and he will now be worshipped in spirit and in truth, being most suitable to his divine nature. Wherefore we wait in our assemblies to feel God's Spirit to open and move upon our hearts, before we dare offer sacrifice to the Lord or preach to others the way of his kingdom; that we may preach in power as well as words, and as God promised and Christ ordained, without money, and without price.
"IX. This also leads us to deny all the vain customs and fashions of the world, and to avoid excess in all things, that our moderation may be seen of all men; because the Lord is at hand to see and judge us according to our deeds.
"X. We believe the necessity of the one baptism of Christ, as well as of his one supper, which he promised to eat with those that open the door of their
"XI. We honour government, for we believe it is an ordinance of God; and that we ought in all things to submit, by doing or suffering; but esteem it a great blessing, where the administration is a terror to evildoers, and a praise to them that do well.
"This hath all along been the general stream and tendency, both of our ministry and writings, as our books will make appear, notwithstanding what ill-minded and prejudiced persons may have strained to misrepresent us and our Christian profession.
"William Penn, Thomas Story,
"Anthony Sharp, George Rook.*
"Dublin, 3d month, 1698."
- Penn's Select Works, London ed. 1771.
stereotyped by l. johnson & co. philadelphia.
(Widener Library stamps)
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