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and despised people, they went forth weeping and sowed in tears, bearing testimony to the precious seed, the seed of the kingdom, which stands not in words, the finest the highest that man's wit can use, but in power; the power of Christ Jesus, to whom God the Father hath given all power in heaven and in earth, that he might rule angels above, and men below; who empowered them, as their work witnesseth, by the many that were turned through their ministry from darkness to the light, and out of the broad into the narrow way, bringing people to a weighty, serious, and god-like conversation; the practice of that doctrine which they taught.

And as without this secret divine power there is no quickening and regenerating of dead souls, so the want of this generating and begetting power and life is the cause of the little fruit that the many ministries that have been, and are in the world, bring forth. O that both ministers and people were sensible of this! my soul is often troubled for them, and sorrow and mourning compass me about for their sakes. O! that they were wise; O! that they would consider, and lay to heart the things that truly and substantially make for their lasting peace.

Two things are to be briefly touched upon; the doctrine they taught, and the example they led among the people. I have already touched upon their fundamental principle, which is as the corner stone of their fabric: and to speak eminently and properly, their characteristic, or main distinguishing point or principle, viz. the light of Christ within, as God's gift for man's salvation. This I say, is as the root of the goodly tree of doctrines that grew and branched out from it, which I shall now mention in their natural and experimental order.

First, Repentance from dead works to serve the living God; which comprehends three operations: first, a sight of sin; secondly, a sense and godly sorrow for it; thirdly, an amendment for the time to come. This was the repentance they preached and pressed, and a natural result from the principle they turned all people unto. For of light came sight; and of sight came sense and sorrow; and of sense and sorrow, came amendment of life: which doctrine of repentance leads to justification; that is, forgiveness of the sins that are past through Christ the alone propitiation and the sanctification or purgation of the soul from the defiling nature and habits of sin present; which is justification in the complete sense of that word; comprehending both justification from the guilt of the sins that are past, as if they had never been committed, through the love and

mercy of God in Christ Jesus; and the creatures being made inwardly just through the cleansing and sanctifying power and spirit of Christ revealed in the soul, which is commonly called sanctification.

From hence sprang a second doctrine they were led to declare, as the mark of the price of the high calling of all true Christians, viz. perfection from sin, according to the Scriptures of Truth, which testify it to be the end of Christ's coming and the nature of his kingdom, and for which his spirit was given. But they never held a perfection in wisdom and glory in this life, or from natural infirmities or death, as some have with a weak or ill mind, imagined and insinuated against them.

This they called a redeemed state, regeneration, or the new birth: teaching every where, according to their foundation, that without this work were known, there was no inheriting the kingdom of God.

Third, to an acknowledgment of eternal rewards and punishments, as they have good reason; for else of all people, certainly they must be the most miserable; who for about forty years have been exceeding great sufferers for their profession, and in some cases, treated worse than the worst of men, yea, as the refuse and off-scowering of all things.

This was the purport of their doctrine and ministry, which, for the most part, is what other professors of Christianity pretend to hold in words and forms, but not in the power of godliness; that has been long lost by men departing from that principle and seed of life that is in man, and which man has not regarded, but lost the sense of; and in and by which he can only be quickened in his mind to serve the living God in newness of life. For as the life of religion was lost, and the generality lived and worshipped God after their own wills, and not after the will of God, nor the mind of Christ, which stood in the works and fruits of the Holy Spirit; so that which they pressed was not notion, but experience, no formality, but godliness; as being sensible in themselves, through the work of God's righteous judgments, that without holiness no man should ever see the Lord with comfort.

Besides these doctrines, and out of them, as the larger branches, there sprang forth several particular doctrines, that did exemplify and further explain the truth and efficacy of the general doctrine before observed, in their lives and examples. As,

I. Communion and loving one another. This is a noted mark in the mouth of all sorts of people concerning them.

They will meet, they will help and stick one to another. Whence it is common to hear some say, Look how the Quakers love and take care of one another. Others less moderate will say, The Quakers love none but themselves; and if loving one another and having an intimate communion in religion, and constant care to meet to worship God and help one another, be any mark of primitive Christianity, they had it, blessed be the Lord, in an ample man


II. To love enemies. This they both taught and practised for they did not only refuse to be revenged for injuries done them, and condemned it as of an unchristian spirit, but they did freely forgive, yea, help and relieve those that had been cruel to them, when it was in their power to have been even with them, of which many and singular instances might be given; endeavouring, through patience, to overcome all injustice and oppression, and preaching this doctrine as Christian for others to follow.

III. The sufficiency of truth speaking, according to Christ's own form of words, of Yea, Yea, and Nay, Nay, among Christians without swearing, both from Christ's express prohibition to swear at all. Mat. v. And for that

they being under the tie and bond of truth in themselves, there was both no necessity for an oath, and it would be a reproach to their Christian veracity to assure their truth by such an extraordinary way of speaking; but offering at the same time, to be punished to the full, for false speaking, as others for perjury, if ever guilty of it; and hereby they exclude, with all true, all false and profane swearing; for which the land did and doth mourn, and the great God was and is not a little offended with it.

IV. Not fighting but suffering, is another testimony peculiar to this people: they affirm that Christianity teacheth people to beat their swords into plough-shares, and their spears into pruning-hooks, and to learn war no more, so that the wolf may lie down with the lamb, and the lion with the calf, and nothing that destroys be entertained in the hearts of people; exhorting them to employ their zeal against sin, and turn their anger against satan, and no longer war one against another; because, all wars and fightings come of men's own hearts lusts, according to the apostle James, and not of the meek spirit of Christ Jesus who is captain of another warfare, and which is carried on with other weapons. Thus, as truth speaking succeeded swearing, so faith and truth succeeded fighting, in the doctrine and practice of this people. Nor ought they for this to be obnoxious to civil government, since if

they cannot fight for it, neither can they fight against it; which is no mean security to the state: nor is it reasonable that people should be blamed for not doing more for others than they can do for themselves. And Christianity set aside, if the costs and fruits of war were well considered, peace, with its inconveniencies, is generally preferable. But though they were not for fighting, they were for submitting to government; and that, not only for fear, but for conscience sake, where government doth not interfere with conscience: believing it to be an ordinance of God, and where it is justly administered, a great benefit to mankind; though it has been their lot, through blind zeal in some, and interest in others, to have felt the strokes of it with greater weight and rigour than any other persuasion in this age; whilst they, of all others (religion set aside) have given the civil magistrate the least occasion of trouble in the discharge of his office.

V. Another part of the character of this people is, they refuse to pay tithes, or maintenance to a national ministry, and that for two reasons; the one is, that they believe all compelled maintenance, even to gospel ministers, to be unlawful, because expressly contrary to Christ's command, who said, Freely you have received, freely give: at least, that the maintenance of gospel ministers should be free and not forced. The other reason of their refusal is, because those ministers are not gospel ones, in that the Holy Ghost is not their foundation, but human arts and parts: so that it is not matter of humour or sullenness, but pure conscience towards God, that they cannot help to support national ministers where they dwell, which are but too much and too visibly become ways of worldly advantage and preferment.

VI. Not to respect persons, was another of their doctrines and practices, for which they were often buffeted and abused. They affirmed it to be sinful to give flattering titles, or to use vain gestures and compliments of respect; though to virtue and authority they ever made a difference, but after their plain and homely manner, yet sincere and substantial way; well remembering the example of Mordecai and Elihu, but more especially the command of their Lord and Master Jesus Christ, who forbad his followers to call men rabbi, which implies lord and master, also the fashionable greeting and salutations of those times; that so self-love and honour, to which the proud mind of man is incident, in his fallen estate, might not be indulged but rebuked.

They also used the plain language of Thou and Thee to

a single person, whatever was his degree among men. And indeed the wisdom of God was much seen, in bringing forth this people in so plain an appearance; for it was a close and distinguishing test upon the spirit of those they came among; shewing their insides and what predominated, notwithstanding their high and great profession of religion. This, among the rest, sounded so harsh to many of them, and they took it so ill, that they would say, 'Thou me, thou my dog: if thou thouest me, I'll thou thy teeth down thy throat,' forgetting the language they use to God in their own prayers, and the common stile of the Scriptures, and that it is an absolute and essential propriety of speech and what good had their religion done them, who were so sensibly touched with indignation for the use of this plain, honest, and true speech?

VI. They recommended silence by their example, having very few words upon all occasions: they were at a word in dealing; nor could their customers' many words tempt them from it; having more regard for truth than custom, to example than gain, they sought solitude; but when in company, they would neither use nor willingly hear unnecessary as well as unlawful discourses; whereby they preserved their minds pure and undisturbed from unprofitable thoughts and diversions: nor could they humour the custom of Good night, Good morrow, God speed;' for they knew the night was good, and the day was good, without wishing of either; and that in the other expression, the holy name of God was too lightly and unthinkingly used, and therefore taken in vain. Besides, they were words and wishes of course, and are usually as little meant, as are love and service in the custom of cap and knee; and superfluity in those as well as in other things was burthensome to them; and therefore they did not only decline to use them, but found themselves often pressed to reprove the practice.

For the same reason they forebore drinking to people, or pledging of them, as the manner of the world is: a practice that is not only unnecessary, but they thought evil in the tendencies of it; being a provocation to drinking more than did people good, as well as that it was in itself vain and heathenish.

VII. Their way of marriage is peculiar to them; and is a distinguishing practice from all other societies professing Christianity. They say that marriage is an ordinance of God, and that God only can rightly join man and woman in marriage. Therefore they use neither priest nor magistrate, but the man and woman concerned take each other

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