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caufe thou haft shed much blood upon the earth in my figlit." Chron. xxii. 8.
The fame sentiment, concerning spilling of blood, feems also to have been entertained even among the leathens ; for whereas divers of the fathers held fighting unlawful to Christians, particularly Justin Martyr, Tertullian and Origen ; the last of these in his anfwer to Celfus upon this subject, speaks thus, Your own prieits and those who belong to your temples, keep their hands from being defiled with blood, by reason of the facrifices they must offer, with unbloody and unpolluted hands, to those you eiteem your gods; and when ye go to war, ye never take of the priestly order for foldiers.'
If then ye heathens saw thus far, surely we by the help of gospel-light should see farther: for my part I do not see how the method of determining controverlies by fighting is reconcileable to reason; for furely the righteous cause is not always a necessary concomitant of the longest sword; and much less do I see how the reparation of injuries received is, by this method, reconcileable to the following sublime precepts, recommended to the practice of all Christians, viz. See that none render evil for evil to any man, and overcome evil with good, and love your enemies, bless them that curse you, &c. that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven.' Thefl.
Rom. xii. 21. Mat. V. 44, 45. From all which I conclude, that wars and fightings are an effect of the corruption of mankind, another Itrung instance of the deficiency of the reformation, and shall entirely cease among Christians, when they fhall arrive at that standard of purity and perfection which is prescribed to them in the gospel.
I have now but one thing more to take notice of, before I conclude this my introduction to the History of the People called Quakers, and that is the disposition of the age at that juncture of time, when this
people made their first appearance in the world, as being one considerable co-operating means of making way for the reception of their doctrines.
The true church,' in the words* of William Pem, having fled into the wilderness, did at length make many attempts to return, but the waters had yet been too high and her way blocked up, and the last age did make considerable advances to a reformation both as to doctrine, worship, and practice. Bet practice quickly failed, for in a little time wickedness flowed in as well among the reformers as those they reformed from, so that by the fruits of conversation they were not to be distinguifhed. And the children of the reformers, if not the reformers themselves, betook themselves very early to earthly policy and power to uphold and carry on their reformation that had begun by spiritual weapons, which feems to have been one of the greatest reasons why the reformation made no better progress, as to the life and foul of religion. For whilst the reformers were lowly and spiritually minded, and trusted in God, and looked to him, and lived in his fear, and consulted not with flesh and blood, nor sought deliverance in their own way, there were daily added to the church such as. one might reasonably say should be saved: for they were not so careful to be safe from persecution, as to be faithful and inoffensive under it, being more con. cerned to spread the Truth by their faith and patience in tribulation, than to get the worldly power out of their hands that inflicted those sufferings upon them.
• Those before mentioned, owned the spirit, inspiration and revelation indeed, and grounded their separation and reformation upon the sense and understanding they received from it in reading the Scrip
But yet there was too much of human invention, tradition and art that remained both in praying and preaching, and of worldly authority and worldly greatnefs in their ministers.-- They were more strict in preaching, devout in praying, and zealous for keeping the Lord's day, and catechizing of children and servants, and repeating at home in their families what they had heard in public. But even as these grew into power, they were not only for whipping some out, but others into the temple: and they appeared rigid in their fpirits, rather than severe in their lives, and more for a party than for piety: which brought forth another people, that were yet more retired and select.
* Rise and Progress of the People called Quakers,
They would not communicate at large, or in common with others; but formed churches among themselves of such as could give some account of their conversion ; at least, of very promising experiences of the work of God's grace upon their hearts ; and under mutual agreements and covenants of fellowship, they kept together. These people were fomewhat of a softer temper, and seemed to recommend religion by the charms of its love, mercy, and goodness, rather than by the terrors of its judgments and punishment; by which the former party would have awed people into religion.
They also allowed greater liberty to prophecy than those before them ; for they admitted any member to speak or pray, as well as their pastor, whom they always chose, and not the civil magistrate. If such found any thing pressing upon them to either dury, even without the distinction of clergy or laity, persons of any trade had their liberty, be it never fo low and mechanical. But alas ! even these people suffered great lofs : for tasting of worldly empire, and the favour of princes, and the gain that ensued, they degenerated but too much. For though they had cried down national churches and ministry, and maintenance too; some of them, when it was their own turn to be tried, fell under the weight of worldly honour and advantage, got into profitable parsonages too much, and outlived and contradicted their own principles : and, which was yet worse, turned, some of them, absolute persecutors of other men for God's fake, that but so lately came themselves out of the furnace : which drove many a step farther, and that was into the water; another baptism, as believing they were not scripturally baptized; and hoping to find that presence and power of God in submitting to this watery ordinance, which they defired and wanted.
• These people made also profession of neglecting, if not renouncing and censuring, not only the necessity but use of all human learning as to the ministry; and all other qualifications to it, besides the helps and gifts of the Spirit of God, and those natural and common to men. And for a time they seemed like John of old, a burning and a shining light to Other societies.
They were very diligent, plain, and serious ; strong in Scripture, and bold in profession; bearing much reproach and contradiction. But that which others fell by, proved their snare. For worldly power spoiled them too; who had enough of it to iry them what they would do if they had more: and they rested also too much upon their watery dispensation, instead of passing on more fully to that of the fire and Holy Ghost, which was his baptism, who came with a fan in his hand, that he might throughly (and not in part only) purge his floor, and take away the dross and the tin of his people, and make a man fiper than gold. Withal, they grew high, rough, and self-righteous; opposing further attainment: too mach'forgetting the day of their infancy and littlepess, which gave theni something of a rea beauty; insomuch that many left them and all visible churches and societies, and wandered up and down, as sheep without a fhepherd, and as doves without their
mates; seeking their beloved, but could not find him (as their souls desired to know him) whom their soul loved above their chiefest joy.
These people were called Seekers by fome, and the Family of Love by others : because, as they came to the knowledge of one another, they sometimes met together, not formally, to pray or preach at appointed times or places, in their own wills, as in times past they were accustomed to do; but waited together in silence, and as any thing rose, in any one of their minds, that they thought favoured of a Di. vine spring, they sometimes spoke. But, so it was, that some of them not keeping in humility and in the fear of God, after the abundance of revelation, were exalted above measure; and for want of staying their minds, in an humble dependance upon him that opened their understandings, to see great things in his law, they ran out in their own imaginations, and mixing them with those Divine openings, brought forth a monstrous birth, to the scandal of those that feared God, and waited daily in the temple, not made with hands, for the consolation of Israel, the Jew inward, and circumcision in Spirit.'
Thus it appears that the fields were now ripe unto the harvest; and as the same author proceeds, It was about that yery time, as you may see in the annals of George Fox, that the eternal, wise, and good God was pleased, in his infinite love to honour and visit this benighted and bewildered nation with his glorious day-spring from on high; yea with a most sure and certain sound of the word of light and life, through the testimony of a chosen veslel,* to an effectual and
i.e. George Fox, whose character is thus given us by William Penn and Thomas Ellwood, from an intimate acquaintance and conversation with him, viz. He was the first and chief elder in this age; a man though not of elegant speech or learned -fter the way of this world, yet endued with a wonderful depth in Divine' knowledge; and although his expresions might seem uncouth and unfathionable to nice ears, his matter was nevertheless very profound; and as abruptly and brokenly as sometimes his sentences about Divine things would seem to fall from hin, it is well known thcy