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Navy-Office, 10th of the 5th Month, 1668. FRIEND, It was a true word spoke by Jesus Christ, to undeceive all those careless wanton Jews, among whom he mani. fested his glorious truth, through that body prepared of God for that very end, that the way which leads to everlasting life and rest, was very strait and narrow, My friend, how much may it import the welfare of thy immortal soul, to reflect upon that course of life and way thou now art walking in, before an evident stroke from heaven call thee hence, and send thy so much indulged flesh and blood into the grave; an entertainment for no better than noisonje worms! I beg thee, as ever thou wouldst be saved from that unspeakable anguish, which is reserved for worldlings, and from whence there is no redemption, to keep thyself from those vanities, follies, and pollutions, which unavoidably bring that miserable state. Alas ! how incongruous, or unsuitable, is thy life and practice, with those holy women of old, whose time was mostly spent in heavenly retirements, out of that rattle, noise, and conversation thou art in! And canst thou imagine that those holy men, recorded in scripture, spent their days as do the gallants of these times? Where is the self-denying life of Jesus, the cross, the reproach, the persecution, and loss of all, which he and his suffered, and most willingly supported, having their eyes all fixed upon a more enduring substance? Well, my friend, this know, and by these shalt thou be judged, and in it I am clear, that as without holiness none can see God, so without subjection to that spirit, light, or grace in the heart, which God in love hath made to appear to all, 66 that teacheth to deny all ungodliness and worldly lusts, and to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world;" I say, without subjection hereunto, there is no attaining to that holiness which will give thee an entrance into his presence, in which is joy and pleasure for ever. And examine with thyself, how remote thou art from the guidings and instructions of this spirit of grace, who canst countenance this age in frequenting their

wicked and vain sports, plays and entertainments, conforming thyself to ridiculous customs, and making one at idle talking and rain jesting, wheresoever thou comest, not considering thou shalt account with the dreadful God for every idle word. And let all thy frolic associates know, their day is hastening, in which they shall not abide the presence of him that sits upon the throne. It shall be a time of horror, amazement, and distress: then shall they know there is a righteous holy judge of all. As for thee, with pity is thy condition often in my thoughts; and often is it my desire that thou mayest do well : but whilst I see thee in that spirit which savours of this world's delights, ease, plenty, and esteem, neglecting that one thing necessary, I have but little bopes. How. ever, I could not let this plain admonition pass me; and what place soever it may have in thy thoughts, I am sure it is in true love to that which shall be happy or miserable to all eternity. I have not sought fine words, or chiming expressions; the gravity, the concernment and nature of my subject admits no such butter-flies. In short, be advised, my friend, to be serious, and to ponder that which belongs to thy eternal peace. Retire from the noise and clatter of tempting visibles, to the beholding Him who is invisible, that he may reign in thy soul, God over all, exalted and blessed for ever! Farewell. * I am thy well-wishing, real friend,

"W. P.'

This year was published the first of his printed works, under the title of “ Truth Exalted ;" which is retained in this collection.

About this time", two of the hearers of one Thomas Vincent, a presbyter in the Spittle Yard, came over to the Quakers: their pastor thereat transported with fiery zeal, (a thing fertile of ill language) railing to his auditory, accused the Quakers of holding most erroneous and damnable doctrines. This coming to our author's ears, he, together with George Whitehead, demanded of Vincent an opportunity to defend themselves and friends : a conference was agreed to be held at his own meeting-house, at which several points of doctrine were started and debated, but nothing fairly determined: from hence our author took occasion to write a little book, intituled, “ The Sandy Foundation shaken,” which gave great offence to some then at the helm of the church, who presently took the old method of reforming what they call error, by advancing at once their strongest argument, viz. 'An order for imprisoning him in the Tower of London. There was he under close confinement, and even denied the visits of his friends : but yet his enemies attained not their purpose; for when, after some time, his servant brought him word, that the bishop of London was resolved he should either publickly recant, or die a prisoner, he made this reply : 'All is well: I wish they had told me so before, since the expecting of a release put a stop to some business. Thou mayest tell my father, who I know will ask thee, these words : that my prison shall be my grave, before I will budge a jot; for Î owe my conscience to no mortal man: I have no need to fear, God will make amends for all: they are mistaken in me; I value not their threats and resolutions; for they shall know I can weary out their malice and peevishness; and in me shall they all behold a resolution above fear; conscience above cruelty; and a baffle put to all their designs, by the spirit of patience, the companion of all the tribulated flock of the blessed Jesus, who is the author and finisher of the faith that overcomes the world, yea, death and hell too: neither great nor good things were ever attained without loss and hardships. He that would reap, and not labour, must faint with the wind, and perish in disappointments; but an hair of my head shall not fall, without the providence of my Father that is over all.'

a 1668.

A spirit warmed with the love of God, and devoted to his service, ever pursues its main purpose: our author, restrained from preaching, applied himself to writing : several treatises were the fruits of his solitude, particularly that excellent one, intituled, “No Cross, No Crown ;' a book which tending to promote the general design of religion, was well accepted, and hath passed sundry impressions.

He also writ from the tower the following letter to Lord Arlington.

To the Lord Arlington. "I know none to whom this paper may so properly be directed as thyself: for as thou art principal secretary of state, the person to whom I surrendered niyself, by whose warrant I was committed, and who was pleased to come to this place to take my examination about a note that was by some suspected to have dropt from me the day of my surrender; so the great civility I found, and the candid promises thou wast pleased to give me of thy assistance, as well there as here, are great encouragements not only to present thee with this brief remonstrance, which by the mouth of one of thy attendants may easily be run over, but to expect an answer altogether suitable.

• Truly were I as criminal as my adversaries have been pleased to represent me, it might become me to bear my present sufferings, without the least resentment of injustice done; and to esteem a vindication of my cause, an aggravation of my guilt: but since it is so notorious that common fame hath maliciously belied me, and that, from invisible testimonies, I stand not guilty of what mine adversaries would have so peremptorily fastened on me; confessing that ETERNAL Deity of CHRIST; what better interpretation can be given of their zeal, than meer peevishness, and their great learning, than foul ignorance? Strange, that men esteemed Christians, should seem so indefatigable in writing, preaching, and discoursing down the reputation of an innocent man, by the most foul aspersions, black characters, and exasperating imputations, that spirits most incendiary could invent or collect; in a word,' to banish me the world, forbid me heaven, and furiously denounce me sequestered of all, with the reserve of hell only, and there itself have intituled me to the last and most dismal station! But what is more admirable, those very persons have all this while mistaken the very question, and in reality have been accusing their own shadows, making me suffer their punishment, who least of all, sincerely, am concerned in their heat. Others there be, I know, who

Crimina Rasis

Librant in Antithetiscan insinuate their displeasure under more plausible expressions,

doctas posuisse figuras

Laudantur. and consequently more securely to themselves, though less to me, may obtain their ends : but to indulge those poor pretences, and give reception to those threadbare and hackney phrases of seditious fellow, erroneous person, factious, and troublesome to the state, under the counterfeit of illumination, &c. methinks needs not a jury of twelve to convict them of very great indiscretion; as well as I am persuaded they have no room with thee. However, mine adversaries ammunition hath been worse bestowed than upon woolsacks, who have, alas, got to their old whimsies of fansying enemies in the air, wherein they have been so hotly skirmissing, that hard it is to persuade them they only dream, and make reality of fictions : my common residence is on a more solid bottom. But, as I am willing to believe, had my innocency been well observed, any confinement should not have given so great an approbation of their impostures; 80, on the other hand, since they are unquestionably manifested to be such, and that the more moderate of the authors have given their retractations in public conversation, expressing their great trouble to have so readily entertained and promoted such foul aspersions, to the incensing of the civil magistrate against me; the cause, I say, being thus removed, it is time the undeserved effect should cease, otherwise my liberty seems to be sacrificed to the inordinate passions of the most inveterate part of a faction, or strongly to confirm

those in their conjectures and reports, who confidently have told it up and down, that my restraint is not continued on any religious matter, but for some points deeply concerning the safety of the king, both most unworthy the equity, greatness, and honour of authority. But alas! shall these impudent forgeries, and malicious aggravations, longer prevail against a man that hath broke no law, despised no government, dethroned no deity, subverted no faith, obedience, or good life; but in words and actions, hath incessantly endeavoured the effectual promotion of all.

• What if I differ from some religious apprehensions ? am I therefore incompatible with the being of human societies? Shall it not be remembered with what success kingdoms and common wealths have lived under the balance of diverse parties ? and if the politics of the most judicious and acute inquisitors after these affairs are of any worth, they are not at a stand in delivering their sense with great sharpness, u That it is the securest prop of all monarchcal governments.” Let it not be forgotten, that under the Jewish constitution, the utmost they required from strangers, to entitle them to freedom, was an acknowledgment to the Noachical precepts, (never denied by me); nor was it better with them in latter days, than whilst the Pharisees, Scribes, Esseans, Sadducees, &c. had the free exercise of their con sciences, all differing among themselves. Neither was it otherwise amongst the infidels : who knows not that almost every family and tribe in Rome had its particular Sacra nay, the Egyptian Isis and Serapis obtained a place for public temples, and divine honours, among those wise people. Nor can I omit the great candor of (that otherwise most inhuman) Tiberius to the Christians, who, if Eusebius Pamphilus be to be credited, not only made it death for any to persecute the Christians, but had a rare good opinion of Christ, and the Christian faith, though both were so immediately destructive of his religion and the whole world's. Nay, since the Christian times, who is not a stranger to ecclesiastical story, and doth not know the great variety of opinions that reigned in Egypt, Constantinople, Antioch and Alexandria ; indeed, where not ? nor do I read it ever entered into the hearts of any to molest them. And had not secular power been the Diana and great goddess courted by the Arians and Anti-Arians; they might have lived with great security in their sentiments, and not have troubled the whole world, and perplexed themselves for so many ages. And they who will reflect upon the carriage of both those parties, may find reasons enough to dread the apprehensions of a faction, and palpably

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