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Soliderable his father's winis return
When all endeavours proved ineffectual to shake his constancy, and his father saw himself utterly disappointed of his hopes, he could no longer endure him in his fight, but turned him out of doors the second time. Thus exposed to the charity of his friends, having no other subsistence, (except what his mother privately sent him he endured the cross with a christian patience and magnanimity, comforting himself with the promise of Christ, “ Verily, I say unto you, there is « no man that hath left house, or parents, or bre« thren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of “ God's sake, who shall not receive manifold more in: “ this present time, and in the world to come life “ everlasting.” Luke xviii. 29, 30.
.. After a considerable time, his steady perseverance evincing his integrity, his father's wrath becaine fomewhat mollified, so that he winked at his return to, and continuance in, his family, and though he did not publickly seem to countenance him, yet when imprisoned for being at meetings, he would privately use his interest to get him released.
About the year 1668, being the 24th of his age, he first came forth in the work of the ministry, rightly called to, and qualified for, that office; being sent of God to teach others what himself had learned of him : commissioned from on high, to preach to others that holy self-denial himself had practised: to recommend to all that serenity and peace of conscience himself had felt: walking in the Light, to call others out of darkness: having drank of the water of life, to direct others to the same fountain : having tasted of the heavenly bread, to invite all men to partake of the same banquet : being redeemed by the power of Christ, he was sent to call others from under the dominion of Satan, into the glorious liberty of the sons of God, that they might receive remission of sins, and an inheritance among them that are fanctified, through faith in Jesus Christ.
About this time he writ to a young person of his acquaintance, by way of caution, against the follies and vanities of the world, the following letter, viz.
Navy-Office, 10th of the 5th Month, 1668.
OTT was a true word spoke by Jesus Christ, to un<| deceive all those careless wanton Jews, among
whom he manifested his glorious truth, through that < body prepared of God for that very end, that the way < which leads to everlasting life and rest, was very • strait and narrow. My friend, how much may it im
port the welfare of thy immortal foul, to reflect • upon that course of life and way thou now art ( walking in, before an evident stroke from heaven I call thee hence, and send thy so much indulged Aesh r and blood into the grave; an entertainment for no « better than noisome worms! I beg thee, as ever thou ( wouldst be saved from that unspeakable anguish, ( which is reserved for worldlings, and from whence ( there is no redemption, to keep thyself from those ( vanities, follies, and pollutions, which unavoidably < bring that miserable state. Alas! How incongrui ous, or unsuitable, is thy life and practice, with
those holy women of old, whose time was mostly <spent in heavenly retirements, out of that rattle, s noise, and conversation thou art in! And canst thou < imagine that those holy men, recorded in scripture, < spent their days as 'do the gallants of these times? "Where is the self-denying life of Jesus, the cross, ( the reproach, the perfecution, and loss of all, which r he and his suffered, and most willingly supported,
having their eyes all fixed upon a more enduring < substance? Well, my friend, this know, and by " these shalt thou be judged, and in it I am clear, that ras without holiness none can see God, so without < subjection to that spirit, light, or grace in the « heart, which God in love hath made to appear to all,
" that teacheth to deny all ungodliness and worldly " lufts, and to live soberly, righteously, and godly in « this present world ;" I say, without subjection heresunto, there is no attaining to that holiness which ? will give thee an entrance into his presence, in which
is joy and pleasure for ever. And examine with thy"self, how remote thou art from the guidings and in<structions of this spirit of grace, who canít counte(nance this age in frequencing their wicked and vain
sports, plays and entertainments, conforming thyself s to ridiculous customs, and making one at idle talksing and vain jesting, wherefoever thou comeft, not ( considering thou shalt account with the dreadful God i for every idle word. And let all thy frolick assosciates know, their day is haftening, in which they s shall not abide the presence of him that fits upon " the throne. It shall be a time of horror, amazement, " and distress: then shall they know there is a righ( teous holy judge of all. As for thee, with pity is ( thy condition often in my thoughts; and often is it " my desire that thou mayest do well : but whilft I
see thee in that fpirit which favours of this world's
delights, ease, plenty, and esteem, neglecting that ! one thing necessary, I have but little hopes. How
ever, I could not let this plain admonition pass me; « and what place foever it may have in thy thoughts, . I am sure it is in true love to that which shall be
happy or miserable to all eternity. I have not <fought fine words, or chiming expreffions; the gra
vity, the concernment and nature of my subject admits no such butter-flies. In short, be advised, r my friend, to be serious, and to ponder that which I belongs to thy eternal peace. Retire from the noise ( and clatter of tempting visibles, to the beholding
Him who is invisible, that he may reign in thy soul, God over all, exalted and bleffed for ever! Farewel,
Les to thy tempting hat he
I am thy well-wishing, real friend,
This year was published the first of his printed works, under the title of " Truth Exalted;” which is retained in this Collection.
About this time, two of the hearers of one Thomas Vincent, a presbyter in the Spittle-Yard, came over to the Quakers: their pastor thereat transported with fiery zeal, (a thing fertile of ill language) railing to his auditory, accused the Quakers of holding most erroneous and damnable doctrines. This coming to our author's ears, he, together with George Whitehead, demanded of Vincent an opportunity to defend themfelves and friends: a conference was agreed to be held at his own meeting-house, at which several points of doctrine were started and debated, but nothing fairly deterinined : from hence our author took occasion to · write a little book, intituled, “The Sandy Foundation “ fhaken,” which gave great offence to some then at the helm of the church, who presently took the old method of reforming what they call error, by advancing at once their strongest argument, viz. An
order for imprisoning him in the Tower of London,' There was he under close confinement, and even denied the visits of his friends: but yer his enemies attained not their purpose; for when, after some time, his fervant brought him word, that the bishop of London was resolved he should either publickly recant, or die a prisoner, he made this reply : “ All is well: I wish ? they had told me so before, since the expecting of a
release put a stop to some business. Thou mayest tell ( my father, who I know will ask thee, these words : " that my prison shall be my grave, before I will budge ( ajot ; for I owe my conscience to no mortal man : "I have no need to fear, God will make amends for « all: they are mistaken in me; I value not their
threats and resolutions; for they shall know I can < weary out their malice and peevishness; and in me < fhall they all behold a resolution above fear; conscisence above cruelty; and a baffle put to all their de
signs, by the spirit of patience, the companion of all " the tribulated Aock of the blessed Jesus, who is the
author and finisher of the faith that overcomes the ( world, yea, death and hell tco: neither great nor
good things were ever attained without loss and hard
ships. He that would reap, and not labour, must (faint with the wind, and perish in disappointments;
but an hair of my head shall not fall, without the pro'vidence of my Father that is over all,
A spirit warmed with the love of God, and devoted to his service, ever pursues its main purpose: our author, restrained from preaching, applied himself to writing: several treatises were the fruits of his folitude, particularly that excellent one, intituled, “No Cross, i No Crown; ” a book which tending to promote the general design of religion, was well accepted, and hath
general undry impreffions:ower the follo
He also writ from the tower the following Letter to Lord Arlington.
To the Lord ARLINGTON.
"I Know none to whom this paper may so properly o be directed as thyself: for as thou art principal
secretary of state, the person to whom I surrendered I myself, by whose warrant I was committed, and who I was pleased to come to this place to take my examiI nation about a note that was by some suspected to « have dropt from me the day of my surrender; i fo the great civility I found, and the candid promises " thou wast pleased to give me of thy assistance, as
well there as here, are great encouragements not I only to present thee with this brief remonftrance, ( which by the mouth of one of thy attendants may
easily be run over, but to expect an answer altoge"ther suitable.
< Truly were I as criminal as my adversaries have s been pleased to represent me, it might become me I to bear my present sufferings, without the least resentment of injustice done; and to eíteem a vindi