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preferment, endeavoured both by words and blows to deter him from ; but finding those methods ineffectual, he was at length so incensed, that he turned him out of doors.
Patience surmounted this difficulty, till his father's affection had fubdued his anger, who then sent him to France, in company with fome persons of quality, that were making a tour thither. He continued there a considerable time, till a quite different conversation had diverted his mind from the serious thoughts of religion: and upon his return, his father finding him not only a good proficient in the French tongue, but also perfectly accomplished with a polite and courtly behaviour, joyfully received him, hoping his point was gained, and indeed for sometime after his return from France, his carriage was such as justly intitled him to the character of a complete young gentleman.
Great, about this time, was his spiritual conflict: his natural inclination, his lively and active disposition, his acquired accomplishments, his father's favour, the respect of his friends and acquaintance, did strongly press him to embrace the glory and pleasures of this world, then, as it were, courting and caressing him, in the bloom of youth, to accept them. Such a combined force might seem almost invincible ; but the earneft fupplication of his soul being to the Lord for prefervation, he was pleased to grant him such a portion of his holy power and spirit, as enabled him in due time to overcome all opposition, and with an holy resolution to follow Christ whatsoever reproaches or perfecutions might attend him.
About the year 1666, and the 22d of his age, his father committed to his care and management a considerable estate in Ireland, which occasioned his residence in that country. Being at Cork, he was informed by one of the people called Quakers, that Thomas Loe, whom we mentioned before, was to be. shortly at a meeting in that city; he went to hear him, who bea
gan his declaration with these words, " There is a « faith that overcomes the world, and there is a faith " that is overcome by the world ;” upon which subject he enlarged with much clearness and energy. By the living and powerful testimony of this man, which had made some impression upon his spirit ten years before, he was now thoroughly and effectually convinced, and afterwards constantly attended the meetings of that people, even through the heat of persecution.
On the third of the gth month, 1667, being again at a meeting in Cork, he, with many others, were api prehended and carried before the mayor, who observing that his dress discovered not the Quaker, would have set him at liberty, upon bond for his good behaviour; which he refusing, was, with about eighteen others, committed to prison. He had, during his abode in Ireland, contracted an intimate acquaintance with many of the nobility and gentry, and, being now a prisoner, wrote the following letter.
te refusing, mabond for hisaker, would
in lets, comich hend
To the Earl of Orrery, Lord President of Munster.
THE occasion may seem as strange, as my cause r 1 is juft; but your lordship will no less express
your charity in the one, than your justice in the « other.'
Religion, which is at once my crime and mine innocence, makes me a prisoner to a mayor's malice,
but mine own free-man; for being in the assembly i of the people called Quakers, there came several ( constables, backed with foldiers, rudely and arbistrarily requiring every man's appearance before the ( mayor, and amongst others, violently haled me with s them: upon my coming before him, he charged me < for being present at a tumultuous and riotous assem
bly; and unless I would give bond for my good bes haviour, who challenge the world to accuse me justsly with the contrary, he would commit me. I asked
for his authority; for I humbly conceive without an - act of parliament, or an act of state, it might be
called Quakd, have
sjuftly termed too much officiousness : his answer was, " A proclamation in the year 1660, and new instruc« tions to revive that dead and antiquated order.” “I " leave your lordship to be judge, if that proclaination ' relates to this concernment; that only was designed
to suppress fifth-monarchy killing spirits; and since the king's lord-lieutenant and yourself, being fully persuaded the intention of these called Quakers, by
their meetings, was really the service of God, have ' therefore manifested a repeal, by a long continuance
of freedom, I hope your lordship will not now begin ( an unusual severity, by indulging so much malice in ( one, whose actions favour ill with his nearest neigh
bours, but that there may be a speedy releasement to all, for attending their honest callings, with the enjoyment of their families, and not to be longer separated from both.'
And though to dissent from a national system, im(posed by authority, renders men hereticks, yet I dare • believe your lordship is better read in reason and ( theology, than to subscribe a maxim so vulgar and runtrue ; for imagining most visible constitutions
of religious government suited to the nature and
genius of a civil empire, it cannot be esteemed ? heresy, but to scare a multitude from such enquiries
as may create divisions, fatal to a civil policy, and
therefore at worst deserves only the name of difļ turbers.'
.! But I presume, my lord, the acquaintance you < have had with other countries, must needs have fur" nished you with this infallible observation, That di(versities of faith and worship contribute not to the (disturbance of any place, where moral uniformity
is barely requisite to preserve the peace. It is not " long since you were a good sollicitor for the liberty "I now crave, and concluded no way so effectual to • improve or advantage this country, as to dispense ' with freedom in things relating to conscience; and,
I suppose, were it riotous or tumultuary, as by some “ vainly imagined, your lordship's inclination, as well
é as duty, would entertain a very remote opinion,
My humble supplication therefore to you is, that i so malicious and injurious a practice to innocent · Englishmen, may not receive any countenance or
encouragement from your lordship; for as it is con
trary to the practice elsewhere, and a bad argument ? to invite English hither, so, with submission, will it ( not resemble that clemency and English spirit that ? hath hitherto made you honourable.' .
? If in this case I may have used too great a liberty, it is my subject; nor shall I doubt your parrdon, since by your authority I expect a favour, (which never will be used unworthy an honest man, rand - Your Lordship’s faithful, &c.
His request in the letter, so far as related to himself, was quickly granted, for the earl forthwith ordered his discharge.
His late imprisonment was so far from terrifying him, that it strengthened him in his resolution of a closer union with that people, whose religious innocence was the only crime they suffered for.
And now his more open joining with the Quakers, brought him under that reproachful naine : his companions wonted compliments and caresses, were changed into scoffs and derision : he was made a by-word, scorn, and contempt, both to professors and profane; to the latter, for being religious, and to the former, for haying a better than theirs.
His father being informed by letter from a nobleman of his acquaintance, what danger his son was in of being proselyted to Quakerism, remanded him home, and he readily obeyed. Upon his return, although there was no great alteration in his dress, yet his manner of deportment, and the solid concern of mind he appeared to be under, were manifest indications of the truth of the information his father had received, who thereupon attacked him afresh : and here my pen is diffident
of of her abilities to describe that most pathetick and moving contest which was betwixt his father and him.' His father, actuated by natural love, principally aiming at his son's temporal honour; he, guided by a divine impulse, having chiefly in view his own eternal welfare : his father, grieved to see the well-accomplished son of his hopes, now ripe for worldly promotion, voluntarily turn his back on it; he, no less afflicted, to think that a compliance with his earthly father's pleasure, was inconfiftent with an obedience to his heavenly one : his father, pressing his conformity to the customs and fashions of the times; he, modestly craving leave to refrain from what would hurt his conscience: his father earnestly intreating him, and almost on his knees beseeching him, to yield to his desire; he, of a loving and tender disposition, in an extreme agony of spirit, to behold his father's concern and trouble : his father threatening to difinherit him; he, humbly submitting to his father's will therein : his father turning his back on him in anger; he, lifting up his heart to God, for strength to support him in that time of trial. :
And here we may not omit to give our reader a particular and observable instance of his sincerity. His father finding hiin too fixt to be brought to a general compliance with the customary compliments of the times, seemed inclinable to have borne with him in other respects, provided he would be uncovered in the presence of the king, the duke, and himself: this being proposed, he desired time to consider of, which his father fuppofing to be with an intention of consulting his friends, the Quakers, about it, he assured him that he would see the face of none of them, but retire to his chamber till he should return him an answer. ACcordingly he withdrew, and having humbled himself before God, with fafting and fupplication, to know his heavenly mind and will, he became so strengthened in his resolution, that returning to his father, he humbly signified, that he could not comply with his desire therein.