A LETTER FROM EDMUND ELLIS A MINISTER of the Church of England TO JOHN NORRIS Another Minister of the same Church In Vindication of the QUAKERS from the Charge of being SOCINIANS.


HAving been lately informed, that a French Mini­ster now in London, being found Guilty of Spreading the Doctrine of the SOCINIANS, is said to pretend to be a Quaker; and having a long time thought it my Duty to do what in me Lies, to take off that harmless sort of Men, that are call'd Quakers from that Popular Odium, which by some Persons they have been most Unjustly exposed unto, I make this Address to you, being known to have Writ against them, but a [Page 2] Person of more Learning and Candor than any other that I have yet known to have Written against them; most earnestly Entreating you by the Love we owe to all Mankind, that you would be pleased to concur with me in my present Endeavours to vindicate these Men, from that unjust Imputation, viz. That they are SOCINIANS. You know R. Barkley, in his Apology, P. 84. says expresly. ‘If (the Doctrine Concerning the Light within contradicts, overturns, and enervates the false Doctrine of the Pelagians, Semi-pelagians, SO­CINIANS and others, who exalt the Light of Nature, [and] the Liberty of Mans Will, in that it wholly excludes the Natural man from having any place, or portion in his own Salvation, by any Acting, Working, or moving of his own, untill he be first quickned, raised up, and acted by Gods Spirit.’

Clement Lake (one of those they call Quakers) in one of his Letters (lately Publisht) to John Flavel an Inde­pendent Preacher has these Words, in Answer to Flavels Charge, That the Quakers lead men to Obedience to the Light within for Salvation: ‘We press Obedience to the Light within, we own who is Jesus Christ the Light of Israel the Light of the World, who is given to be a Covenant to the People, and a Light to the Gentiles, to open the blind eyes Esa 42. 6, 7. This was Davids Light to his Feet, and Lanthorn to his Paths, Ps. 119. 115. And this Word, or Light, or Jesus was in the be­ginning, and in him was life, and the life was the Light of men, John 1. 8.’ Can those Men be SOCINIANS, who acknowledge that Jesus Christ is the True Light In every Man, which he could not be, if he were not In­finite? I must bear my Testimony to this Crooked and Perverse Generation, That Jesus Christ being the True, [Page 3] and Eternal GOD is IN every Man, Converting or Con­vincing him in order to his Conversion, or (in proportion to the Repugnancy he makes against the Divine Illumina­tion) Tormenting him: I say Tormenting him, not Di­rectly but Consequentially, as the Torment or Vexation of a Spirit, or Rational Soul, is the Natural Result of all Re­pugnancy to THE TRUE LIGHT, which is the INFI­NITY of Goodness. I further Testify, and shall be ever ready, by the Grace of God to maintain the Assertion (which I hope by you will not be denied) that 'tis pos­sible for any man (that has not made up the full Measure of Iniquity) at all times, and in all places, by a Sincere Dependance upon the Power and Virtue of the LIGHT WITHIN, MANIFESTING any Action to be Sinful, to conceive an Aversion to it. I desire your Candid Re­flections on the Answer I shall here give to one Passage in your First Treatise Concerning the Divine Light, p. 65. ‘I had no Reason to confine it (as the Quakers do) to Divine and Spiritual Truths, but to extend it to all Truth without Exception, which I suppose to be equal­ly perceivable in this Divine Light, which as being the very Essence of God, must be equally exhibitive of all.’ To this I answer, First that the Quakers speaks of the LIGHT with reference to his being INCARNATE, And so 'tis mani est, whatsoever Influence he has upon the Souls of Men, it is in Order to their Sanctification, it shews nothing else but Sanctifying Truth. Secondly, I assert, that all Truth is Divine, Sanctifying Truth, which being Rightly apprehended, will most certainly carry the Soul to GOD, the PRIME VERITY, the Fountain of all Being. You say, you suppose all Truth to be equally Perceivable in this Divine Light. We grant that all such Truth, the Consideration whereof is for the Pesent Neces­sane [Page 4] to our Sanctification, is Perceivable in this Divine Light. There are many things in your Publisht Writings that deserve the thanks of all Men, particularly your Confu­tation of Mr. Locks Conceit that we have no Innate Idea of God; For whose sake I beseech you to own the Truth, wheresoever your find it, and I shall ever remain

Your Faithful Servant in the love of all Truth, EDMUND ELYS.

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