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promises, they would have been induced to a more direct and candid treaty.
But as it hath occasioned the publication of this little treatise, so I am credibly informed, through the too busy and malicious inquisition of some concerning it, (which have amounted to no less than positive reports) it is currently discoursed, how that a certain Quaker hath lately espoused the controversy against R. F. and therein has perverted the Christian religion to that degree, as plainly to deny Christ's coming in the flesh; with much more than was fit to be. said, or is fit to be answered.
But, reader, I shall ask no other judge to clear me from that most uncharitable accusation; since first, I am altogether unacquainted with R. F. nor ever did design directly such a thing, being unwilling to seek more adversaries than what more nearly seek the overthrow of truth, although I doubt not but this plain and simple treatise may prove fome confutation of his sentiments.
And lastly, as concerning Christ; although the sander is not new, yet nevertheless falfe: for I declare on the behalf of that despised people, vulgarly called Quakers, the grace, of which we testify, hath never taught us to acknowledge another God than he that is the “ Father of all things, who fills heaven and earth:” neither to confess another Lord Jesus Christ, than he that appeared so many hundred years ago, “ made of
a virgin, like unto us in all things, sin excepted;” or any another doctrine than was by him declared and practised; therefore let every mouth be stopped from ever opening more, in blasphemy against God's innocent heritage, who in principle, life and death, bear an unanimous testimony for the only true God, true Christ, and heavenly doctrine, which in their vindication is openly attested by
All serious and enquiring Persons, particularly the
Inhabitants of the City of London.
BY WILLIAM PENN, jun.
“ He that uttereth slander is a fool.” Prov. x, 18. « A false balance is an abomination to the Lord." Prov. xi. I.
Published in the Year 1668.
ELIGION, although there be nothing of greater
concernment, nor which doth more effentially import the immortal happiness of men; yet such is the calamity of the age, that there is not any thing they are less solicitous about, or serious in the prosecution of, vainly imagining it to consist in the implicit subscription to, and verbal confession of, mens invented traditions and precepts, whilst they neglect that more orthodox definition of the apostle James, viz. “ Pure religion and undefiled, before God, is, to “ visit the fatherless, and to keep himself unspotted “ from the world ;a" and instead thereof, believe they are performing the best of services, in sacrificing the reputation, liberty, estate, if not life itself, of others, to their own tenacious conceptions; because perhaps, • Jam, i. 17.
though though persons of more virtue, they cannot in all punctilios correspond therewith: how much I have been made an instance must needs be too notorious to any that hold the least intelligence with common fame, that scarce ever took more pains to make the proverb good, by proving herself a lyar, than in my concern; who have been most egregiously Nandered, reviled and defamed by pulpit, press, and talk, terming me a blafphemer, seducer, Socinian, denying the divinity of Christ the Saviour, and what not! and all this about my late answer to a disputation with some Presbyterians; but how unjustly, it is the business of this short apology to shew, which had not been thus long retarded, if an expectation first to have been brought upon my examination had not required a suspence; and if I shall acquit myself from the injurious imputations of my adversaries, I hope the cry will have an end; to which purpose, let but my innocency have your hearing in her own defence, who, as she never can detract from her intentions in what she really hath done; fo will she as easily disprove her enemies, in manifesting their accusations to be fictitious: judge not before you read, neither believe any farther than you fee.
I. That which I am credibly informed to be the greatest reason for my imprisonment, and that noise of blasphemy, which hath pierced so many ears of late, is, my denying the divinity of Christ, and divesting him of his eternal God-head, which most busily hath been suggested as well to those in authority, as maliciously infinuated amongst the people; wherefore let me beseech you to be impartial and considerate, in the perusal of my vindication, which being in the fear of the Almighty God, and the simplicity of scripture dialect, presented to you, I hope my innocency will appear beyond a scruple. The Proverbs, which, as most agree, intend Christ, the Saviour, speak in this
By me kings reign, and princes decree “ justice; I (wisdom) lead in the midst of the paths
us of xlix. 6. and chap. lx. 20.
“ of judgment: I was set up from everlasting; which Paul's words allude, “ Unto them which are “ called (we preach) Christ the power of God, and " the wisdom of God;" froin whence I conclude Christ the Saviour to be God; for otherwise God would not be himself; since if Christ be distinct from God, and yet God's power and wisdom, God would be with: out his own power and wisdom; but inasımuch as it is impossible God's power and wisdom should be diftinet or divided froin himself, it reasonably follows, that Christ, who is that power and wisdom, is not dirtinct from God, but entirely that very fame God.
Next, the prophets, David and Ilaiah, speak thus : “ The Lord is my light and my salvation. I will “ give thee for a light unto the Gentiles;” and speaking to the church, “ For the Lord shall be thine ever“ lasting light ;d” to which the evangelist adds, concerning Christ, “ that was the true light, which light“ eth every man that cometh into the world. God is
light, and in him is no darkness at all;e” from whence I assert the unity of God and Christ, because though nominally distinguished, yet effentially the same divine light; for if Christ be that light, and that light be God, then is Christ God; or if God be that light, and that light be Christ, then is God Christ. Again, “ And the city had no need of the sun, for “ the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb " (Christ) is the light thereof;*” by which the Onenels of the nature of those lights plainly appears; for since God is not God without his own glory, and that his glory lightens, (which it could never do if it were not light) and that the Lamb, or Christ, is that very same light, what can follow, but that Christ the light and God the light are One pure and eternal light? Next, from the word Saviour, it is manifeft
, “I ç even I am the Lord, and besides me there is no
\ Prov. viii. 15, 20, 23:
1 Cor. i. 24.
Rev. • John i. 9. 1 John i. 5.