A KEY Opening a way to every Common Understanding,

How to discern the Difference be­twixt the Religion professed by the People called QUAKERS, and the Perversions, Misrepresen­tations and Calumnies of their se­veral Adversaries.

Published in great good Will to all, but more especially for their sakes That are actually under Prejudice from vulgar Abuses.

LONDON, Printed, for Thomas Northcott, in George-yard in Lombard-street. 1693.


  • 1. OF the Light within, what it is, and the Vertue and Benefit of it.
  • 2. Of the Scriptures and their Truth and Service.
  • 3. Of the Spirit of God and its Office, with respect to Man.
  • 4. Of the Holy Three, or Scripture-Trinity.
  • 5. Of the Divinity of Christ.
  • 6. Of the Manhood of Christ.
  • 7. Of Christ Jesus, and his performances for Man's Salvation.
  • 8. Of Good Works, that they are necessary and rewardable, but not Meritorious.
  • 9. Of Water-Baptism and the Supper.
  • 10. Of the Resurrection of the Dead, and Eternal Recompence.
  • 11. Of Civil Honour and Respect.
  • 12. Of Civil Government.

IT is very unfair and indiscreet in any to oppose and calumniate what they do not understand. It has been our unhap­piness, far more than all that our Ad­versaries have been able to say against us, that hitherto we remain unknown by those, who yet stick not to condemn us. We must confess that our Principles, as disguised and misrepresented in the World, may well enough have given Offence to Those That have not thought it worth their while, to take the Pains of enquiring further: Nor indeed can we take it ill that People should be shy to entertain them, under those frightful Vizards some have put upon them; and yet they must be inexcusable that will take our Belief at our Enemies Hands rather than our own, who best know what we believe. But it will be the business of this little Key, to explain the Difficulty, and shew the Difference be­tween [Page] our Principles and the Vulgar Mistakes, and thereby open a way into so clear and plain an Understanding of the Quakers Principles, from their Enemies Perversi­ons, as, we hope, with God's Blessing, all impartial Enquirers will be satisfied of our Holy and Christian Profession: Which we earnestly desire for their Good: Knowing, that as we have been called of God, to be a People to him, through his Grace, none may stumble or be offended at the Truth we testifie of; but seeing the Excellency of it, may im­brace it, and walk in it; the only best way to end Controversy, and obtain the great and true End of Religion, the Salvation of the Soul.

Perver­sion I. THe Quakers hold, that the Natural Light in the Con­science of every Man in the World is sufficient to save all that follow it, and so overthrow Salvation by Christ.

Principle. This is a great Mistake, for their Belief and Assertion is, That Christ, who is the Word, that was with God and was God, (and is so for ever) hath enlightned every Man that cometh into the World, with his own Light, as he is that True Light, or such a Light, as there is no other to be com­pared to him: Which is the meaning of the Emphasis True in the Text; and that such as follow the Reproofs, Convictions and Leadings of that Light, with which he enlightens the Understandings and Con­sciences of Men, shall not walk in Darkness, (that is, in Evil and Ignorance of God) but shall have the Light of Life; which Life is a living Condition towards God, and a state of acceptance and Salvation; and for which end Christ was given of God: See Isa. 49. 6. Jo. 1. 4, 9. 3. 21. 5. 40. 8. 12. 10. 10. So that they assert the Light of Christ, [Page 6] sufficient, and not a Natural Light, other­wise than as all Men, born into the world, have a measure of Christ's Light, and so it may be said to be natural to all Men. For this Light is something else than the bare Understanding Man hath as a rational Creature: For as such, Man cannot be a Light to himself; But has only a capacity of seeing, by means of the Light that Christ the Word enlighteneth him withal. For we can no more be a mental or Intelle­ctual Light to our selves, than we are an External and Corporeal Light to our selves: But as the Sun in the Firmament is the Light of our Bodies, so the Light of the divine Word is the Sun of our Souls; the glorious Luminary of the intellectual World, and they that walk in it and by it will come to Blessedness.

Pervert. 2. The Quakers hold the Light within them is God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit; so that every Quaker has whole God, Christ and Spirit in him: Which is gross Blasphemy.

Princ. This is also a Mistake of their Belief: They never said that every Illumi­mination [Page 7] in the Hearts of Men, was whole God, Christ, or the Spirit, whereby to be guilty of that gross and blasphemous Ab­surdity they would fasten on them: But that God, who is Light, or the Word Christ, who is Light, the Quickning Spirit, and God over all, blessed for ever, 1 Cor. 15. 45, 47. hath enlightned Mankind with a Measure of Saving Light: So that the Illumination is from God or Christ, the Word, but not therefore whole God or Christ in every Man, no more than the whole Sun or Air is in every House or Chamber. There are no such harsh and unscriptural Words in their Writings: It is only a frightful Perversion of some of their Enemies, to bring a Scandal upon their Holy Faith: Yet in a Sense the Scri­ptures say it, and that is their Sense, in which they say the same thing. He that is with you shall be in you: I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you: I in them and they in me; Christ in us, the hope of Glory. Unless Christ be in you ye are Reprobates. Of whom I travel in Birth again, until Christ be formed in you. Jo. [Page 8] 14. 3, 17. 18. 20. Col. 1. 26, 27. 2 Cor. 13. 5. Gal. 4. 19. Now if they who de­nied his coming in the Flesh, though high professing Jews, were Antichrists, be­cause Enemies to that Appearance and Dispensation of God to Men; what must they be reputed, who as stiffly disown his nearer and more spiritual coming, for­mation and dominion in the Soul? Which is to be sure the higher and nobler Know­ledg of Christ; yea, the Mystery hid from Ages, and now revealed to God's People; the Riches of the Glory of the Mystery which God reserved to be made known to the Gentiles, Col. 1. 27. Certainly though they are called Christians, they must be no whit less Antichrists than those obstinate Jews of old.

Pervert. 3. By the Quakers Doctrine e­very Man must be saved, for every Man, they say, is savingly enlightned.

Prin. Not so: For though the Light or Grace of God hath, and doth more or less appear to all Men, and that it brings Sal­vation to as many as will be taught by it to deny Ungodliness and worldly Lusts, [Page 9] and to live soberly, and righteously, and godlikely in this present evil World; as Jo. 3. 20, 21. Tit. 2. 11, 12. yet it no ways follows that Men must obey, and learn so to do whether they will or not. God ten­ders Saving Light or Grace to all, Gen. 6. 3. Ezek. 18. 21, 22, 23, 24. Mic. 6. 8. 1 Tim. 2. 4. 2 Pet. 3. 9. he strives and pleads with all; but if they will not hearken to his Spirit, Grace or Light, he is clear of their Blood. His Light is saving, that lighteth them, but it saveth them not, if they rebel against it: Job 17. 16. 21. 17. 24. 13. In short, tho Men are lighted or visited with a saving Light or Grace, yet the Quakers never con­cluded, nor is it rightly concludable from their Testimony that such Men must neces­sarily and absolutely be saved, whether they obey or rebel.

Pervers. 4. By the Quakers Light or Spi­rit, they may be moved to Murder, Adultery, Treason, Theft, or any such like Wickedness, because they say that such as are have the Light within them.

Princ. This never was their Doctrine, nor is it consequent of it, though they [Page 10] hold all have Light, they never said all obeyed it, or that evil Men were led by it, much less could the Light be chargable with the Sins of those that refused to be led by it; for herein they know the Spirit of God, and the Motions of it from the Spirit of this World, and its Fruits, That the Spirit of God condemns all Ungodliness, and moves and inclines to purity, mercy, righteousness, which are of God, as Jo. 16. 7, 8, 13. ch. 3. 20, 21. Gal. 5. 16—26. They de­ny and abominate that ranting Spirit, that would charge the Spirit of God with their unholy Liberty. God's Spirit makes free from Sin, and not to sin: Neither do they distinguish, as such loose People wick­edly do, between the Act and the Evil of it: Wherefore they say that as the Tree is known and denominated from the Fruit, so Spirits by their Motions and Inclinations. And the Spirit of God never did incline to evil; and for that cause they renounce that construction of such Ranters, That evil is no evil when they pretend to be led to it by Gods Spirit; for that never was nor can be the way and method of his Spirit, [Page 11] which is pure and holy for ever: And Man's Sin and Destruction are of himself, but his Help is in God alone, through Christ.

Pervers. 5. The Quakers must be all in­fallible and perfect, if they have such an in­fallible Light.

Princ. This is also a great Abuse of their true meaning. They say, the Prin­ciple is pure, perfect, unerrable in it self, or else it were unfit to lead Men to Hea­ven; but they never did assert themselves such, meerly because it was in them; by no means: But that all who are led by it are so far perfect, and so far infallibly in the right way, and no jot further. Who can lay down a more Independent Doctrin upon Self, and a more depending one up­on the Grace or Gift of God? Let them not be Mistaken, nor suffer for such mis­apprehensions, nor be made to hold what they don't, to disrepute them with sober People, or support the mistaken Charges of their Enemies. Yet to shew that a State of Perfection is attainable, they urge, among others, these Scriptures, Gen. 17. 1. [Page 12] Deut. 18. 13. 2 Sam. 23. 33. Job. 1. 1, 8. ch. 2. 3. and 8. 20. Psal. 18. 32. and 119. 1. Prov. 2. 21. Mar. 5. 48. Luke 6. 40. 1 Cor. 2. 6. 2 Cor. 13. 9, 11. Eph. 4. 13. 1 Thess. 3. 10. 1 Tim. 3. 17. Jam. 1. 4. 1 Pet. 5. 10. Heb. 6. 1. 1 J. 4. 13.

Pervers. 6. The Quakers deny the Scri­ptures, for they deny them to be the Word of God.

Princ. They own the Scriptures as they own themselves; viz. A Declaration of those things most truly believed, given forth in all Ages by the Inspiration of the Holy Spirit; consequently that they are pro­fitable for Reading, for Exhortation, for Reproof in Righteousness, that the Man of God may be perfectly furnished: They are the Form of Sound Words: They profess to believe them, read them, and say it is the Work they have to do in this World, and the earnest Desire of their Souls to Almighty God, that they may witness the fulfilling of them; that so God's Will may be done in Earth as it is in Heaven: But to call them the Word of God, which [Page 13] they never called themselves; but which they peculiarly denominate and call Christ by, as Jo. 1. 4, 14. Rev. 19. 13. In re­verence to Christ, and in no slight to them, (which they believe to be of divine Au­thority, and embrace as the best of Books, and allow to be as much the Word of God as a Book can be.) They do, as in Duty and Reason bound, attribute that Title to Christ only: And yet as the Word of God signifies the Command of God, referring to the thing commanded, it may be called the Word of the Lord, or Word of God, as, on particular occasions, the Prophets had the Word of the Lord to Persons and Places, that is to say, that which was commanded them of the Lord. So Christ uses it, Mar. 7. 13. when he tells the Pharisees, That they had made the Word (or Command) of God of none effect, by their Traditions. But because People are so apt to think, if they have the Scriptures, they have all, for that they are the Word of God, and so look no farther; therefore this people have felt themselves constrained, by God's Spirit, [Page 14] to point them to the great Word of Words, Christ Jesus, in whom is Life, and that Life the Light of Men, that they might feel something nearer to them than the Scriptures, even the Word in the Heart, Christ within them, the Hope of their Glory, Deut. 22. 12. Rom. 10. 6, 7, 8. who is the Author and Expounder of Holy Scri­pture, and without whose Light, Spirit or Grace, they are not profitably read by those that read them.

Pervers. 7. They deny them to be any Means whereby to resist Temptation.

Princ. This is a very uncharitable asper­sion. True it is that they deny the Scri­ptures, meerly, or of themselves to be suffi­cient to resist Temptation; for then all that have them and read them, would be pre­served by them against Temptations: But that they should deny them to be any Means or Instrument whereby to do it, when they allow their own Writings may be such, is either great Ignorance or Ma­lice in their Adversaries, God has made use of the Scriptures, and doth and will make use of them for Reproof, Comfort and [Page 15] Edification, through the Spirit: Thus they say they have felt them, and so they are made to them, through the good Spirit of God coming in upon their Spirits, in the reading of them.

Pervers. 8. The Quakers assert the Spi­rit of God to be the immediate Teacher, and that there is no other Means now to be used.

Princ. They never spake such Language: But herein they perceive the great subtilty of Satan, as in other things, to darken the Appearance of Truth, and prepos­sess Peoples Minds against it. For since he cannot hinder the Exaltation of the Spi­rit above all visible Instruments, and the Necessity of its Motions and Operations to be known in the Hearts of Men, and the great suitableness of it to the Gospel Administration; he would spoil all by overdoing: For they never denied the use of Means, but to this Day, from the be­ginning, they have been in the use of them: But then they are such Means as are used in the Life and Power of God, and not in and from Mans meer Wit, Will [Page 16] or Imitation; the thing they strike at. For instance, they cannot own that to be a Gospel Ministry that is without a Gospel Spirit; or that such can be sent of God, that are not taught of God; or that they are fit to teach others what Regeneration and the Way to Heaven are, that have never been born again themselves; or that such can ever bring Souls to God, that are themselves strangers, like those in the Acts, 19. 21. to the Baptism of Fire and the Holy Ghost. This is only the Mi­nistry, and these the Ministers that the People called Quakers cannot own and re­ceive, and therefore cannot maintain. For the Ministry and Ministers that are ac­cording to Scripture, they both own and delight in. Read Jo. 14. 16, 17, 26. ch. 16. 13. Acts 1. 8. Gal. 1. 1, 15, 16. It is strange, because they deny all false Means, or means not used in the Leadings of God's Power and Spirit; that therefore they must deny all means, however right­ly employed. This is an Injustice in their Enemies. Wherefore all are desired to take notice, That Evangelical Means and [Page 17] Order they love and desire to keep; for they diligently assemble themselves toge­ther to worship God; where they both pray in the Spirit and prophesie one by one, as any thing is revealed to them, accord­ing to 1 Cor. 14. 15, 29, 30, 31. Nor are they without Spiritual Songs, making Melody in their Hearts to God their Redeemer, by the same Holy Ghost, as they are com­forted and moved by it, Eph. 5. 19.

Pervers. 9. The Quakers deny the Trinity.

Princ. Nothing less. They believe in the Holy Three or Trinity of Father, Word and Spirit, Jo. 1. 1. ch. 14. 9. Rom. 9. 5. 1 Jo. 5. 7. And that these three are truly and properly one: Of one Nature as well as Will. But they are very ten­der of quitting Scripture Terms and Phra­ses for Schoolmen's, 1 Cor. 1. 18—31. ch. 2. 2—6. Col. 2. 8. as Persons and Substances, &c. are. And they judge that a curious Enquiry into those High and Divine Relations tends not to Godliness and Peace, which should be the Aim of true Christians; and therefore they can­not [Page 18] gratify that Curiosity in themselves or others: Speculative Truths being to be sparingly and tenderly declared, and never to be made the Measures of Christi­anity or Christian Communion. For be­sides that Christ Jesus hath taught them other things, the sad Consequences in all Times of superfining upon Scripture Texts, hath sufficiently forbid them. Men are too apt to let their Heads out-run their Hearts and Notion, Obedience, and with Passion to support their Conceits.

Pervers. 10. The Quakers deny Christ to be God.

Princ. Nothing can well be more un­true and unreasonable; for their great and characteristick Principle being this, That Christ enlightens the Souls of all Men, that come into the World with a Saving Light; which nothing but the Creator of Souls can do: It does sufficiently shew, They believe him to be God. But they truly and expressly own him so, accord­ing to Jo. 1. 1. and Rom. 9. 5. to be God over all, blessed for ever.

[Page 19] Pervers. 11. The Quakers deny the Hu­man Nature of Christ.

Princ. They never taught, or said, or held so gross a thing, if, by Human Na­ture, be understood the Manhood of Christ Jesus. For as they believe him to be God over all blessed for ever so they believe him to be of the Seed of Abraham and David after the Flesh, and therefore truly and properly Man, like us in all things (and once subject to all things for our sakes) Sin only excepted. See Is. 7. 14. Matt. 1. 23. Luke 1. 31.

Pervers. 12. The Quakers deny Christ's Transactions at Jerusalem, and the shedding his Blood to be beneficial to them; for it is the Light within only they expect to be saved by.

Princ. This is untruly charged upon them: They do say that the Appearance of the second Adam, Jo. 1. 14. Heb. 10. 5. the Lord from Heaven, the Quickning Spi­rit, in that holy Body, prepared of the Father for him, was for the Salvation of the World, that had fallen in the first Adam. That whatever Christ then did, both Living and Dying was of great Bene­sit [Page 20] to all that then believed, and is still to all that now do, and hereafter shall, to the end, believe in him, as they receive and obey the manifestation of his Light in their Consciences; which leads Men to believe and value, and not to disown Christ as the common Sacrifice and Mediator. For they do affirm, That to come to that Light, and turn their Minds, and bring all their Deeds and Thoughts to that, is the readiest, nay the only right way to come to have true Faith in Christ, as he appear­ed in the Flesh, and to discern the Lord's Body aright, and to receive any real Bene­fit by him, as their only Sacrifice and Me­diator. And it is not another than that Blessed Word, Light, Power, Wisdom and Eternal Righteousness, who then appeared in that Holy Body, by whom they have received, or can receive any true spiritual Benefit. Light is from him, Forgiveness through him, and Sanctification only by him. So that their ascribing Salvation in this Age to him, who now appears to their Souls, as before expressed, cannot render him no Saviour in that Age, or invalidate [Page 21] the Benefit of his blessed Appearance then on Earth, or Mediation now in Heaven: Whose Doctrine pierced, whose Life preach­ed, whose Miracles astonished, whose Blood attoned, and whose Death, Resurrection and Ascension into Heaven confirmed that Blessed Manifestation to be no less than the Word—God, (who is Life and Light) ma­nifested in the Flesh, 1 Tim. 3. 16. for the Salvation of the World; and therefore pro­perly and truly the Son of Man on Earth, and now the Son of Man in Glory.

Pervers. 13. The Quakers set up Works and Meriting by Works, like the Papists; whereby Justification, by Faith in Christ, is laid aside.

Princ. By no means: They say with the Apostle James, ch. 2. That true Faith in Christ cannot be without Works, no more than a Body can live without a Spirit; and where there is Life there is Motion, and where there is no Divine Life there is no Faith: Nay, by the Comparison, if they were separable, Works being compared to the Spirit, would have the better. The very believing is an Act of the Mind, [Page 22] and therefore a godly Work; and no sooner is true Faith begotten in a Soul, but it falls to working, which is both the Nature, and in some respect the end of it. Nor do we say, that our very best Works, proceeding from the true Faith it self, can merit; no, nor Faith joyned with them. All that Man is capable of believing or performing, can never merit everlasting Blessedness; because there can be no pro­portion (as there must be in case of Merit) between the best Works that can be per­formed in the Life of Man, and an Eter­nal Felicity. Wherefore all that Man can do, even with the Assistance of the Holy Spi­rit, can never be properly said to merit; but that right Faith and good Works (which will follow it) may and do ob­tain the blessed Immortality, which it pleaseth Almighty God to give and privi­ledge the Sons of Men with, who per­form that necessary Condition, is a Gospel and necessary Truth: And this the Qua­kers groundedly, and therefore boldly af­firm. So that they deny all Merit from the best of Works, especially by such as [Page 23] the Papists are wont to conceive Merito­rious. But as they, on the one hand, do deny the meritoriousness of Works, so neither can they joyn with that lazy Faith which works not. Let not good Works make Men Papists, because they make Men Christians: I am sure, believing and not working, and imagining a Salvation from Wrath, where there is no Salvation from Sin, which is the cause of it, is no whit less unscriptural, and abundantly more pernicious to the Soul. Blessed is he that hears Christ's Words and does them. The doer is only accepted; for though Death be the Wages of Sin, yet the Gift of God is Eternal Life to such, Rom. 6. 23. so that as they do not hold that their good Works merit, neither believe they that their good Works justifie: For though none are justified that are not in measure sanctified, yet they are not justified be­cause they are sanctified, but for his sake that sanctifies them, Isa. 26. 12. and works all their good Works in them, and for them; to wit Christ Jesus, who is made unto them as to the Saints of old, [Page 24] Wisdom, Righteosness, Sanctification and Redemption, that he that glorieth let him glory in the Lord, 1 Cor. 1. 30, 31.

Pervers. 14. The Quakers deny the two great Ordinances of the Gospel, Baptism and the Supper.

Princ. Whatever is truly and properly a Gospel Ordinance they desire to own and practise: But they observe no such Lan­guage in the Scriptures as in the Objecti­on. They do confess the Practice of John's Baptism, and the Supper is to be found there; but that is no Institution or sufficient Reason of Continuation. That they were then proper they believe, it be­ing a time of great Infancy, and when the Mysteries of Truth lay yet couched and foulded up in Figures and Shadows, as is acknowledged by Protestants; but it is their Belief, that no Figures or Signs are perpetual, or of Institution, under the Gospel Administration, when Christ, who is the Substance, is come; though their use might have been indulged to young Converts in Primitive Times. It were to overthrow the whole Gospel Dis­pensation, [Page 25] and to make the coming of Christ of none effect, to render Signs of the nature of the Gospel. If it be said, But they were used after the coming of Christ and his Ascension too. They answer, So were many Jewish Ceremonies not easily abolished. If any say, But Christ com­manded that one of them should be done till he come: They say, That he that said so; told his Disciples also, That he would come to them again: That some should not taste of Death till they saw him come in his King­dom: And he that was then with them should be in them: And that he would drink no more of the Fruit of the Vine, till he should drink it new with them in the Kingdom of God, Joh. 14. 1, 2, 3. Mat. 16. 28. Joh. 14. 17. Mat. 26. 29. Mark 14. 25. Which is the new Wine that was to be put into the new Bottles, Luk. 5. 37. and is the Wine of the Kingdom, as he expresseth it in the same place: Which Kingdom is within, as may be read, Luk. 17. 20. He was the heavenly Bread, that they had not yet known, nor his Flesh and Blood, as they were to know them; as [Page 26] may be seen, John 6. 53, to 63. So that though Christ was come to end all Signs; yet till he was known to be the Substance to the Soul, as the great Bread of Life from Heaven, Signs had their Service to shew forth, and keep in hand and re­membrance; especially to the People of that day, whose Religion was attended with a multitude of the like Types, Sha­dows and Signs, of the one good Thing and Substance of all. Hence it is, That the Quakers cannot be said to deny them; that is too hard a word: But they truly witnessing that the very thing, that Water, Bread and Wine do signifie, is come to them, they leave them off, as fulfilled; and henceforth have but one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism, one Bread, and but one Cup of Blessings, which is the new Wine of the Kingdom, Mark 14. 25.

Pervers. 15. They acknowledge no Resur­rection of the Dead, nor Rewards to come.

Princ. In this also they are greatly a­bused. They deny not, but believe the Resurrection, according to Scripture; the one from Sin, the other from Death and [Page 27] the Grave; but are cautious in expressing the manner of the Resurrection intended in the Charge, because 'tis left a Secret in Scripture. Are People angry with them for not believing or asserting what is hid­den, and which is more curious than ne­cessary to be known, and which the Ob­jectors themselves cannot be positive in? Thou Fool, is to the curious Inquirer, as says the Apostle, 1 Cor. 15. 36, 53, 54. which makes the Quakers contented with that Body which God shall please to give them; being assured that their Corrupti­on shall put on Incorruption, and their Mortality Immortality, in such man­ner as pleaseth him. And in the mean time they think it their Duty, as well as Wisdom, to acquiesce in his holy Will. It is enough they believe a Resurrection, and that of a glorious and incorruptible Body, without further Niceties; for to that was the ancient hope. Now as to Eternal Rewards, they not only believe them, but above all People have the great­est reason so to do; for otherwise, who is so miserable? Do they inherit the Re­proach [Page 28] and Suffering of all that have se­parated from time to time, that is, are the Out-cries that have been against the Protestants by the Papists, and those of the Church of England against Puritans, Brownists and other Separatists, fallen up­on them, and shall they hold Principles inconsistent with an Eternal Recompence of Rewards? By no means. It is their Faith, their Hope, and what they press as an Incouragement to Faithfulness; and the contrary therefore, both an unjust and foolish Suggestion of their Adver­saries.

Pervers. 16. The Quakers deny all Civil Honour and Respect but what is relative or equal between Men.

Princ. They Honour all Men in the Lord, but not in the Spirit and Fashions of this World that pass away; and tho' they do not pull off their Hats, or make Curchings, nor give flattering Titles or Complements, because they believe there is no true Honour, but Flattery and Sin in the using of them; yet they treat all Men with Seriousness and Gentleness, and are [Page 29] ready to do them any reasonable Benefit or Service; in which they think real Ho­nour consisteth: Whereas those that thus reproach them, are often Peevish, Snap­pish, Abusive and Oppressive one to ano­ther, tho' at the same time they can give one another the Cap and Knee, which is far from true Civility, or honouring all Men as they are exhorted by the Apo­stle. And as for expressing their respect to their Superiors, they think it best done by obeying all just Laws under their Go­vernment, according to the saying of the Centurion unto Christ, and which Christ so much approved of, Luk. 7. 8, 9.

Pervers. 17. The Quakers are Enemies to all Government, every one acting ac­cording to his own Conceit.

Princ. That this a Calumny, their Lives and Conversations sufficiently shew; for no People give the Magistracy less Trouble, or cause that Charge or Burden to sit lighter on their Shoulders than they do. And for their Principle, They believe Magistracy to be an Ordinance of God. And he that Ruleth well to be [Page 30] worthy of double Honour, and is to be much valued and esteemed; as such cer­tainly do who are a Terror to Evil doers, and a Praise to them that do well. And further to shew that they are a People that love Order and good Government, they carefully practise it among themselves; for if there be twenty Meetings of Wor­ship in a County, they peradventure make three or four Monthly Meetings of Business; and these Monthly Meetings are resolved into a Quarterly Meeting for the County, by such Members as they seve­rally appoint to constitute it: And all the Quarterly Meetings in the Nation, by cho­sen Men out of themselves, do constitute one general Yearly Meeting; unto which the Meetings of those People, in all parts of the World, have their Recourse, by Chosen Messengers or by Epistles. The Bu­siness of all which Meetings, in their se­veral Degrees, being to promote Virtue and Charity, Peace and Unity.

Thus, sober Reader, thou hast an Ac­count of this People, their Principles and [Page 31] Practice; and thereby thou mayst see, if thou pleasest, with how little Reason they are despised by some, and abused by others; which hath been their Lot, in a large Measure, ever since they have been a People. Though the whole bent of their Spirits and Testimony, since God by his Grace hath raised them to be a People, hath been to promote the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ in the World, by turning all People from darkness to the light of Christ in them, as the great and singular Agent and Principle, by which only Man is enlightned and inabled to see and do the Will of God: For till Men are quickned by this divine Principle, they are Hypocrites and not Christians, and Bastards and not Sons. Neither can they have true Faith, whatsoever they pro­fess; nor can they truly worship God whatever they perform. Oh then, let the poor Quakers and their abused Princi­ples have better entertainment with thee, Reader, And do not conclude, because they direct People to the Light of Christ in them, that therefore it is a meer natu­ral, [Page 32] and not a divine Light: Or, because they assert Christ to be the Word of God, and that he is revealed in the Heart, ac­cording to the Scripture, and that the Scripture in that sense is not so; therefore they deny the divine Authority of the Scriptures, and that the Truth thereof is not in any sense the Word of the Lord: Or, because they don't receive the School­mens Trinity, therefore they deny the Scripture Trinity of Father, Word and Spirit: Or, that therefore they deny the Divinity of the Word: Or that they de­ny Christ without them, who was the Son of Man in a suffering state on Earth, and is now the Son of Man in Glory; because they exalt and press the knowledge of Christ within, as the Truth and Excellency of the Hope of the Glory that hereafter shall be revealed, ac­cording to Col. 1. 26, 27, 28, 29. and 2 Cor. 13. 5. as being the Riches of the Glo­ry of the Mysteries revealed, and to be re­vealed in these latter days. Neither say that they hope to be saved by their [Page 33] own works, since they maintain that no Works that are not wrought by the Spirit of God are acceptable to him: Or that they hold even such Works meritorious, be­cause they say good Works are necessary and rewardable: Or, that they deny the use of Means, because they reject Ungo­spel ones; or that they deny Baptism and the Supper, because they say they experi­ence their Accomplishments. Neither say, that they honour no Man, because they forbear Titles and Ceremonies, in which true honour consists not: Or that they are against Government, because they cannot conform to it in Matters relating to Religion and Conscience, in which Christ only is Lord and King.

Since thou seest, Reader, That they believe the Light to be divine, and the Scriptures to be of divine Authority: That they own the Scripture Trinity or holy Three, of Father, Word and Spirit, to be truly and properly one; that Christ is God, and that Christ is Man; that he came in the Flesh, died, rose again, as­cended, [Page 34] and sits on God's right hand, the only Sacrifice and Mediator for Man's happiness: That truly Gospel Means and Ordinances are requisite, and to be reve­rently practised: That good Works are necessary and rewardable: That all Men are to be honoured in the Lord, accord­ing to their Degrees; and that Govern­ment in Church and State is God's Ordi­nance, and both requisite and very bene­ficial. Now Reader, that which re­mains is to recommend thee to this di­vine Principle, They make the Root and Spring of all true sense of God and Religion in Man, even the Light within, which comes from Christ, and is Christ the eternal Word, and brings all that follow the Convictions and Leadings of it to Christ, and to know him in themselves, the hope of their Eternal Glory: Who, as he is of Abraham after the Flesh, so is he God, the true Light, over all blessed forever, that inlightens all in order to Life and Blessedness. Unto whose holy and blessed Light, thou Reader, art recommended: Love it, and walk in it, and thou shalt [Page 35] have Fellowship with God and with his Saints, and the Blood of Jesus Christ his Son shall cleanse thee from all Sin, 1 Jo. 1. 5, 6, 7. which is most earnestly desired on thy Behalf.


Books Printed for Tho. North­cott, in George-yard in Lombard-street, 1693.

TRuth Triumphant, through the Spiritual Warfare, Christian Labours and Wri­tings, of that able and faithful Servant of Je­sus Christ Robert Barclay, price bound 13s.

The Truth Exalted, in the Writings of that eminent and faithful Servant of Christ John Burnyeat, price bound 2s. 6d.

The Presbyterian and Independent visible Churches in New England and elsewhere, brought to the Test, and examined according to the Do­ctrin of the Holy Scriptures, in their Doctrin, Ministry, Worship, Constitution, Govern­ment, Sacraments and Sabbath day: By G. Keith. Price bound 1s. 6d.

The Divine Light of Christ in Man, and his Mediation truly confessed, by the People called Quakers: By G. VVhitehead. Price 2d.

The Fundamental Truths of Christianity, by G. Keith, price bound 8d.

—His Way to the City of God described

Elizabeth Bathurst's Truth's Vindication, price bound 8d.

The Spirit of the Martyrs Revived, pric [...] bound 4s.

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. This Phase I text is available for reuse, according to the terms of Creative Commons 0 1.0 Universal. The text can be copied, modified, distributed and performed, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.