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land of pure and endless peace; in a word, to tabernacle in men : and I also firmly believe, that without repenting and forsaking of past sins, and walking in obedience to this heavenly voice, which would guide into all truth, and establish there, remiffion and eternal life can never be obtained; but unto them that fear his name, and keep his commandments, they, and they only shall have right unto the tree of life 9; for whose name's fake I have been made willing to relinquish and forsake all the vain fashions, enticing pleasures, alluring honours, and glittering glories of this transitory world,' and readily to accept the portion of a fool, from this deriding generation, and become a man of sorrow, and a perpetual reproach to my familiars; yea, and with the greatest chearfulness can obsignate and confirm, (with no lefs feal, than the loss of whatsoever this doting world accounts dear) this faithful confesion; having my eye fixed upon a more enduring substance and lasting inheritance'; and being infallibly assured, that when time shall be no more, I shall (if faithful hereunto) possess the mansions of eternal life, and be received into his everlasting habis tation of rest and glory.
IV. Lastly, it may not be unreasonable to observe, that however industrious some (and those difsenters too) have been to represent me as a person disturbing the civil peace, I have not violated any truly fundamental law which relates to external property and good behaviour, and not to religious apprehensions; it being the constant principle of myself and friends, to maintain good works, and keep our consciences void of offence, paying active or paffive obedience, fuitable to the meek example of our Lord Jesus Christ. Nor would I have any ignorant, how forward I was by messages, letters and visits, to have determined this debate in a sober and select assembly, notwithstanding the rude entertainment we had met with
Rev. xxi. 3. Prov. xxviii. 13. Luke xiv. 33. Rev. xxi. 27.. Chap. xxii, 14. Maf. x. 37, 38, 39.
1 Pet. iv. 14. Vol. I. P
before ; but, contrary to their own appointments, our adversaries failed us, which necessitated me to that defence; and finding the truth so prest with sander, I cannot but say I saw my just call to her relief: but, alas ! how have those two or three extemporary sheets been tost, tumbled, and torn on all hands, yea, aggravated to a monstrous design, even the subversion of the Christian religion, than which there could be nothing more repugnant to my principle and purpose; wherefore how very intemperate as well as unjust have all my adversaries been in their revilings, Nanders and defamations! using the most opprobrious terms of
Seducer, heretick, blasphemer, deceiver, Socinian, Pelagian, Simon Magus, impiously robbing Christ of his divinity, for whom the vengeance of the great day is reserved,!' &c. Nor have these things bee whispered, but, in one book and pulpit after another, have more or less been thundered out against me, as if some bull had lately been arrived from Rome; and all this acted under the foul pretence of zeal and love to Jesus Christ, whose meek and gentle example always taught it for a principal mark of true Chriftianity, to suffer the most outrageous injuries, but never to return any; nay, if my adversaries would but be just and constant to themselves, how can they offer to conspire my destruction upon a religious ground, who either are themselves under a present limitation, or have been formerly by the Papists? tell me, I pray, did Luther, that grand reformer, whoin you so much reverence, juftly demand from the emperor at the diet of Worms (where he was summoned to appear) that none should fit judge upon doctrines but the scripture; and in case they should be cast, that no other sentence should be passed upon him, than what Gamaliel offered to the Jewish council, If it were not of God it would not stand ;u and
See T. Vincent's late railing piece against the Quakers, also T. Danson's and Dr. Owen's. Mat: v. 39, 40. u Coun. Trent. P. 14.
will not censure him who first of all arraigned the Christian world (so called) at the bar of his private judgment, (that had so
years foundly slept, without so much as giving one considerable shrug or turn, during that tedious winternight of dark apostacy) but justify his proceedings, can you so furiously assault others ? But, above all, you, who refuse conformity to others, and that have been writing these eight years for liberty of conscience, and take it at this very season by an indulgent connivance; what pregnant teftimonies do you give of your unwillingness to grant that to others you so earnestly beg for yourselves? Doth it not discover your injustice, and plainly express that only want of power hinders you to act? But of all Protestants in general I demand, do you believe that persecution to be christian in yourselves, that you condemned for antichristian in the Papists? You judged it a weakness in their religion, and is it a cogent argument in yours? Nay, is it not the readiest way to enhance and propagate the reputation of what you would depress? If you were displeased at their assuming an infallibity, will you believe it impossible in yourselves to err? Have Whitaker, Reynolds, Laud, Owen, Baxter, Stillingfeet, Poole, &c. disarmed the Romanists of these inhuman weapons, that you might employ them against your inoffensive countrymen? Let the example and holy precepts of Christ dissuade you, who came not to destroy, but fave; and soberly reflect upon his equal law of doing as you would be done unto. Remember I have not dethroned a divinity, subverted faith, made void obedience, nor frustrated the hope of an eternal recompence; much less have I injured your persons, or in any thing deviated from that Beds èxDetos and ourtipnois, or holy principle, so much infifted on by philosophers and lawyers as the original of good laws, and life: no, your own consciences shall advocate on my behalf. Let it suffice then, that we who are nicknamed Quakers have, under every revolution of power and religion, been the most reP 2
viled, contemned and persecuted, as if God indeed « had set us forth in these last days as a spectacle to “ the world, to angels and to men w;” and treated as if, by being what we are, our common right and interest in human societies were forfeited; neither accept that for a true measure of our life and doctrines, which hath been taken by the ill-will or ignorance of others; but rather make an impartial examination, that what you judge may be from what you know, and not from what you hear at second-hand; and then we shall as little question your juft opinion of our innocency, as we have too much been made sensible of the fad effects that follow an ignorant and unadvised zeal: for fo monstrously fond are some of their persuasions, and doting on the patrons of them, that they seldom have discretion, much less religious defires, to confider how. true or false another religion is, or what may be the consequence of its toleration; but with a fury, not inferior to their ignorance, cry Crucify, crucify; and pharisee-like, out of pretence of honour and service done to God Almighty, and the memory of his holy prophets, stick not to persecute his beloved Son, and righteous servants; fo cruel, blind, and obstinate is persecution : be therefore advised in the words of that meek example Jesus Christ; call not for fire any more: let the tares grow with the wheat; neither employ that sword any more, which was commanded to be sheathed so many hundred years ago; fuppose we were enemies to the true religion ; but have a care you are not upon one of Saul's errands to Damascus, and helping the mighty against God and his anointed; and rather chuse by fair and moderate debates (not penalties ratified by imperial decrees) to determine religious differences ; so will you at least obtain tranquillity, which may be called a civil-unity. But if you are resolved severity shall take its course, in this our cafe can never change, nor happiness abate; for no human edict can possibly deprive us of
his glorious presence, who is able to make the dismallest prisons so many receptacles of pleasure, and whose heavenly fellowship doth unspeakably replenish our folitary fouls with divine confolation; by whose holy, meek, and harmless fpirit I have been taught most freely to forgive, and not less earnestly to folicit the temporal and eternal good of all my adversaries. Farewell.
WILLIAM PENN, jun.
A questionary PostSCRIPT.
fered an eternal death, and infinite vengeance? For did not Christ rise the third day? And is not infinite vengeance and eternal death without end? And doth not God say he was well-pleased with his Son before his death? And was not his offering acceptable? And did not the apostle say, that the saints were accepted in Christ that was God's beloved ? And this was after Christ died and rose; and God was said to be well-pleased with his Son, both before he suffered, in his suffering, and after he suffered, though displeased with those that caused him to suffer,