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Τ Η Ε

CHRISTIAN QUAKER,

AND HIS

DIVINE TESTIMONY

STATED and VINDICATED,

FROM

SCRIPTURE, REASON, and AUTHORITY.

By WILL I A M P EN N.

Veritas fatigari poteft, vinci non poteft. Ether. & Beat. lib. r.

Published in the Year 1669.

P

Τ Η Ε

P R E F A C E.

To the NOBLE BEREANs of this Age.

W

HEN our dear Lord Jesus Christ, the blessed

author of the Christian religion, first sent forth his disciples, to proclaim the happy approach of the heavenly kingdom, among several other things that he gave them in charge, it pleased him to make this one of their instructions; “ Into whatsoever city ór “ town ye shall enter, enquire who in it is worthy;' foreseeing the ill use unworthy persons would make of that message, and with what unweariness the implacable pharisee, and subtle scribe, would endeavour to pervert the right way of the Lord, and thereby prejudice the simple against the reception of that excellent testimony.

This being the case of the people called Quakers, who above every tribe of men are most maliciously represented, bitterly envied, and furiously oppugned by many of the scribes and pharisees of our time, for as impious wretches as those of that time reputed our bleffed Saviour and his constant followers to be; it becometh us, in a condition so desperate, to provide ourselves with some worthy readers, men that dare trust their reason above reports, and be impartial in an age as biassed as this we live in ; whose determinations shall not wait upon the sentence of ignorance nor intereft, but a sincere and punctual examination of the matter.

And since there are none recorded in facred writ, on whom the Holy Ghost conferred so honourable a character, but the Bereans of that age (for that they both searched after truth impartially, and when they found it, embraced it readily, for which they were entitled noble); therefore it is that to you, the offspring of that worthy stock, and noble Bereans of our age, 1, in behalf of the so much calumniated abettors of the cause of truth, chose to dedicate this defence of our holy profession from the injurious practices of a fort of men, who, not unlike to the Jews of Theffalonica, that, envying the prosperity of the gospel among your ancestors, made it their business to ftir up the multitude against the zealous promoters of it. And no matter what it be, provided they can but obtain their end of fixing an odium upon the Quakers: they do not only boldly condemn what they esteem worst in us (how deservedly we will not now say) but insinuate what is best to be criminal.

character,

The fobriety of our lives, they call a cheat for custom; and our incessant preachings and holy living, a decoy to advance our party: if we say nothing to them when they interrogate us, it is sullenness or inability; if we say something to them, it is impertinency, or equivocation. We must not believe as we do believe, but as they would have us believe, which they are sure to make obnoxious enough, that they may the more securely inveigh against us. Nor mult our writings mean what we say we mean by them, but what they will have them to mean, left they should want proofs for their charges. It was our very case that put David upon that complaint, “ Every day " they wrest my words: all their thoughts are against " me for evil." But to David's God we commit our Nandered cause, and to you the Bereans of our age.

Degenerate not from the example of your progenitors; if you do, you are no longer true Bereans, and to fuch we inscribe this work: if you do not, we may assure ourselves of the justice of a fair enquiry and an equal judgment.

The

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