[Page 1]A LETTER TO Mr. PENN, WITH His Answer.

To the Honorable William Penn, Esq Proprietor and Governor of Pennsylvania.

Honoured Sir,

THO the Friendship, with which you are pleased to honour me, doth afford me sufficient opportunities of Discoursing with you upon any Subject, yet I chuse rather at this time to offer unto you, in Writing, some reflections which have occur'd to my thoughts, in a matter of no common Importance. The Im­portance of it doth primarily and directly respect your self, and your own private Concernments: But it also consequentially and effectually regards the King, His Government, and even the peace and settlement of this whole Nation. I entreat you therefore to bear with me, if I endeavour in this manner, to give somewhat more weight unto my words, than would be in a transient Discourse, and leave them with you as a Subject that requires your retired Consideration.

You are not ignorant that the part you are sup­posed to have had of late Years in publick Affairs, tho without either the Title, or Honour, or Pro­fit of any Publick Office, and that especially your avowed endeavours to introduce amongst us a ge­neral and inviolable Liberty of Conscience in matters of Meer Religion, have occasioned the mistakes of some men, provoked the malice of others, and, in the end, have raised against you a multitude of Enemies, who have unworthily defamed you with such Imputations as I am sure you abhor. This I know you have been sufficiently informed of, tho I doubt you have not made sufficient reflection up­on it. The Consciousness of your own Innocence seems to me to have given you too great a contempt of such unjust and ill grounded Slanders. For however glorious it is, and reasonable, for a truly Vertuous Mind, whose inward Peace is founded upon that Rock of Innocence, to despise the emp­ty noise of popular Reproach, yet even that Subli­mity of Spirit may sometimes swell to a reprovable Excess. To be steady and immovable in the pro­secution of wise and honest Resolutions, by all ho­nest and prudent means, is indeed a Duty that ad­mits of no exception. But nevertheless it ought not to hinder that, at the same time, there be also a due care taken of preserving a fair Reputation. [Page 2] A good Name, says the Wise Man, is better than a precious Oyntment. It is a Persume that recommends the Person whom it accompanies, that procures him every where an easie Acceptance, and that fa­cilitates the Success of all his Enterprises. And for that reason, tho there were no other, I entreat you to observe, that the care of a Man's Reputation is an essential part of that very same Duty that engages him in the pursuit of any worthy Design.

But I must not entertain you with a Declamation upon this general Theme. My business is to repre­sent to you, more particularly, those very Imputa­tions which are cast upon your self, together with some of their evident Consequences; that if possi­ble, I may thereby move you to labour after a Re­medy. The Source of all arises from the ordinary Access you have unto the King, the Credit you are supposed to have with Him, and the deep Jealousie that some People have conceived of His intentions in reference to Religion. Their Jealousie is, that his Aim has been to settle Popery in this Nation, not only in a fair and secure Liberty, but even in a predominating Superiority over all other Professi­ons. And from hence the inference follows, that Whosoever has any part in the Councels of this Reign, must needs be Popishly affected: But, that to have so great a part in them, as you are said to have had, can happen to none but an absolute Pa­pist. That is the direct Charge. But that is not enough. Your Post is too considerable for a Papist of an ordinary form: and therefore you must be a Jesuit. Nay to confirm that Suggestion, it must be accompanied with all the circumstances that may best give it an air of Probability; as that you have been bred at St. Omers, in the Jesuits College; that you have taken Orders at Rome, and there obtain­ed a Dispensation to Marry; and that you have, since then, frequently officiated as a Priest, in the Cele­bration of the Mass, at White-Hall, St. Iames's, and other Places. And this being admitted, nothing can be too black to cast upon you. Whatsoever is thought amiss either in Church or Sta [...]e, tho never so contrary to your Advice, is boldly attributed to it. And if other Proofs fail, the Scripture it self must be brought in to confirm, That whosoever of­fends in one Point (in a Point especially so essential as that of our too-much-affected Uniformity.) is guilty of the Breach of all our Laws. Thus the Charge of Popery draws after it a Tail, like the Et caetera Oath, and by endless Inuendo's, prejudicates you as guilty of whatso ever Malice can invent, or Folly believe. But that Charge therefore being removed the Inferences that are drawn from it will vanish, and your Reputation will easily return to its former Brightness.

Now, that I may the more effectually perswade you to apply some Remedy to this Disease, I be­seech you, Sir, suffer me to lay before you some of its pernitious Consequences. It is no trifling matter for a Person raised as you are, above the common level, to lie under the prejudice of so general a Mistake, in so important a Matter. The general, and the long prevalency of any Opinion gives it a strength, especially amongst the Vulgar, that is not easily shaken. And as it happens that you have al­so Enemies of a higher Rank, who will be ready to improve such popular Mistakes, by all sorts of ma­licious Artifices. It must be taken for granted that those Errors will be thereby still more confirmed, and the inconveniences that may arise from thence no less increased. This, Sir, I assure you, is a me­lancholy prospect to your Friends. For we know you have such Enemies. The Design of so Vniver­sal a Liberty of Conscience, as your principles have lead you to promote, has offended many of those whose interest it is to cross it. I need not tell you how many, and how powerful they are. Nor can I tell you, either how far, or by what waies and means; they may endeavor to execute their Revenge. But this however I must needs tell you, That in your present Circumstances▪ there is sufficient ground for so much Jealousie, at least, as ought to excite you to use the Precaution of some publick Vindication. This the Tenderness of Friendship prompts your Friends to desire of you; And this the just Sense of your Honour, which true Religion does not ex­tinguish, requires you to execute.

Pardon, I entreat you, Sir, the earnestness of these Expressions; nay suffer me, without Of­fence, to expostulate with you yet a little farther. I am fearful lest these personal Considerations, should not have their due weight with you; and therefore I cannot omit to reflect also upon some more general Consequences of your particular Re­proach. I have said it already, That the King, His Honour, His Government, and even the Peace and Settlement of this whole Nation, either are, or have been concerned in this matter, Your Reputation, as you are said to have meddled in publick Affairs, has been of publick Concernment. The promoting a General▪Liberty of Conscience having been your particular Province, The Aspersion of Popery and Iesuitism, that has been cast upon you, has reflected upon His Majesty; for having made use, in that Affair, of so disguised a Personage as you are sup­posed to have been. It has also weakned the force of all your Endeavours, obstructed their Effect, and contributed greatly to disappoint this poor Nation of that inestimable happiness, and secure Establish­ment, [Page 3] which I am perswaded you designed, and which all good and wise men agree that a just and inviolable Liberty of Conscience would infallibly pro­duce. I heartily wish this Consideration had been sooner laid to heart, and that some demonstrative Evidence, of your Sincerity in the Profession you make, had accompanied all your endeavours for Li­berty.

But what do I say, or what do I wish for? I confess that I am now struck with Astonishment, at that abundant Evidence, which I know you have constantly given, of the Opposition of your Princi­ples to those of the Romish Church; and at the lit­tle regard there has been had unto it. If an open Profession of the directest Opposition against Pope­ry, that has ever appeared in the World, since Po­pery was first distinguished from common Christia­nity, would serve the turn, this cannot be denied to all those of that Society, with which you are joyned in the Duties of Religious Worship. If to have maintained the Principle of that Society, by fre­quent and fervent Discourses, by many elaborate Writings, by suffering Ignominy, Imprisonment, and other manifold Disadvantages in defence thereof, can be admitted as any proof of your sincere Adhe­rence thereunto, this, it is evident to the World, you have done already. Nay further, if to have enquired as far as was possible for you, into the par­ticular Stories that have been framed against you, and to have sought all means of rectifying the Mi­stakes upon which they were grounded, could in any measure avail to the setting a true Character of you in mens Judgments, this also I know you have done.Dr. Tillotson. For I have seen under the Hand of a Reverend Dean of our English Church, a full acknowledgment of Satisfaction received from you, in a suspicion he had entertained, upon one of those Stories, and to which his Report had procured too great Credit. And tho I know you are averse to the publishing of his Letter without his express leave, and perhaps may not now think fit to ask it, yet I am so tho­roughly assured of his Sincerity and Candor, that I cannot doubt but he has already vindicated you in that matter, and will (according to his promise) be still ready to do it upon all Occasions. Nay, I have seen also your Justification from another Ca­lumny of common Fame, about your having Kid­napp'd one who had been formerly a Monk; out of your American Province, to deliver him here into the hands of his Enemies; I say, I have seen your Justification from that Story under that Persons own Hand: And his return to Pennsylvania, where he now resides, may be an irrefragable Confutation of it, to any that will take the pains to enquire there­into.

Really it afflicts me very much to consider that all this does not suffice. If I had not that particular respect for you, which I sincerely profess, yet I could not but be much affected, that any man who had deservedly acquired so fair a Reputation as you have formerly had, whose integrity and Veracity had alwaies been reputed spotless, and whose Cha­rity had been continually exercised in serving others, at the dear expence of his Time, his Strength, and his Estate, without any other Recompence than what results from the consciousness of doing good, I say, I could not but be much affected to see any such Person fall, innocently and undeservedly, under such unjust Reproaches as you have done. It is a hard case, and I th [...]nk no man, that has any Bowels of Humanity, can reflect upon it without great Re­lentings.

Since therefore it is so, and that something re­mains yet to be done, something more express, and especially more publick, than has yet been done for your Vindication, I beg of you, Dear Sir, by all the tender Efficacy that Friendship, either mine, or that of all your Friends and Relations together, can have upon you: by the due Regard which Hu­manity and even Christianity obliges you to have to your Reputation; by the Duty you owe unto the King; by your Love unto the Land of your Nativi­ty; and by the Cause of Universal Religion and Eternal Truth; Let not the scandal of Insincerity, that I have hinted at, lie any longer upon you; but let the Sense of all these Obligations perswade you to gratifie your Friends and Relations, and to serve your King, your Country, and your Religion, by such a publick Vindication of your Honour as your own Prudence, upon these Suggestions, will now shew you to be most necessary and most expe­dient, I am, with unfeigned and most respectful Affection,

Honoured Sir, Your most humble and most obedient Servant.

Mr. Penn's Answer to the foregoing Letter.

Worthy Friend,

IT is now above twenty Years, I thank God, that I have not been very solicitous what the World thought of me. For since I have had the Knowledge of Religion from a Principle in my Self, the first and main Point with me, has been to approve my Self in the sight of God, through Patience and Well-doing: So that the World has not had weight enough with me, to suf­fer its good Opinion to raise me, or its ill Opinion to deject me. And if that had been the only Mo­tive or Consideration, and not the desire of a good Friend in the name of many others, I had been as silent to thy Letter as I use to be to the Idle and Malitious Shams of the Times. But as the Laws of Friendship are sacred with those that value that Re­lation, so I confess this to be a Principle One with me, not to deny a Friend the satisfaction he de­sires, when it may be done without offence to a good Conscience.

The Business chiefly insisted upon, is my Pope­ry, and endeavours to promote it, I do say then, and that with all Sincerity, that I am not only no Iesuit, but no Papist. And which is more, I never had any Temptation upon me to be it, either from doubts in my own mind about the way I profess, or from the discourses or writings of any of that Religi­on. And in the Presence of Almghty God, I do de­clare, that the King did never once, directly or indirectly, attack me, or tempt me upon that Sub­ject, the many years that I have had the Advantage of a free Access to him; so unjust, as well as sor­didly false, are all those Stories of the Town.

The only Reason, that I can apprehend, they have to repute me a Roman Catholick; is my fre­quent going to White-Hall; a place no more forbid to me than the rest of the World, who yet, it seems, find much fairer Quarter. I have almost continually had one Business or other there for our Friends, whom I ever served with a steady Solicita­tion, thro all times since I was of their Communion.

I had also a great many personal good Offices to do upon a Principle of Charity, for People of all perswasions; thinking it a Duty to improve the little Interest I had, for the good of those that needed it, especially the Poor. I might add some­thing of my own Affairs too; though I must own (if I may without vanity) that they have ever had the least share of my Thoughts or Pains, or else they would not have still depended as they yet do.

But because some People are so unjust as to render Instances for my Popery (or Hypocrisie rather, for so it would be in me) 'tis fit I contradict them as particularly as they accuse me. I say then so­lemnly, that I am so far from having been bred at St. Omers and having received Orders at Rome, that I never was at either place, nor do I know any body there; nor had I ever a Correspondency with any body in those Places, which is another Story in­vented against me. And as for my Officiating in the King's Chappel, or any other, it is so ridicu­lous as well as untrue, that besides that no body can do it but a Priest, and that I have been mar­ryed to a Woman of some Condition above sixteen Years, which no Priest can be, by any Dispensation whatsoever; I have not so much as lookt into any Chappel of the Roman Religion, and consequently not the Kings; tho a common curiosity warrants it daily to People of all Perswasions.

And once for all, I do say, that I am a Protestant Dissenter, and to that degree such, that I challenge the most celebrated Protestant of the English Church, or any other, upon that Head, be he Lay-man or Cler­gy-man, in Publick or in Private. For I would have such People know, 'tis not impossible for a True Pro­testant Dissenter to be Dutiful, Thankful, and Ser­viceable to the King, though he be of the Roman Catholick Communion. We hold not our Property or Protection from Him by our Perswasion, and therefore His Perswasion should not be the Measure of our Allegiance I am sorry to see so many that seem fond of the Reformed Religion, by their Disaffe­ction to Him, recommend it so ill. Whatever Pra­ctices of Roman Catholicks we might reasonably ob­ject against and (and no doubt but such there are) yet He h [...]s disclaim'd and reprehended those ill things, by His declared Opinion against Persecution; by the Ease in which He actually indulges all Dissenters; and by the Confirmation he offers in Parliament [Page 3] for the Security of the Protestant Religion and Li­berty of Conscience. And in His Honour, as well as in my own Defence, I am obliged in Conscience to say that he has ever declared to me it was His Opinion; and on all occasions, when Duke, he ne­ver refused me the repeated Proofs of it, as often as I had any Poor Sufferers for Conscience sake to sol­licit His help for.

But some may be apt to say, Why not any Body else as well as I? Why must I have the preferable ac­cess to other Dissenters, if not a Papist? I Answer, I know not that it is so. But this I know, that I have made it my Province and Business; I have followed and prest it, I took it for my Calling and Station, and have kept it above these sixteen Years; and which is more, (if I may say it with­out Vanity or Reproach) wholly at my own Charges too. To this let me add the Relation my Father had to this Kings Service; his particular Favour in getting me released out of the Tower of London in 69; my Fathers humble Request to Him upon his Death-bed to protect me from the Inconvenien­cies and Troubles my Perswasion might expose me to; and His Friendly Promise to do it, and exact Performance of it, from the moment I addressed my self to Him; I say, when all this is considered, any Body that has the least pretence to Good Na­ture, Gratitude, or Generosity, must needs know how to interpret my Access to the King.

Perhaps some will be ready to say this is not all, nor is this yet a fault, but that I have been an Ad­viser in other matters, disgustful to the Kingdom, and which tend to the Overthrow of the Protestant Religion, and the Liberties of the People. A like­ly thing indeed, that a Protestant Dissenter, who from fifteen Years Old has been (at times) a Sufferer, in his Father's Family, in the Vniversity, and by the Government, for being so, should design the De­struction of the Protestant Religion! This is just as probable, as it is true, that I dy'd a Iesuit six years ago in America. Will men still suffer such Stuff to pass upon them? Is any thing more foolish, as well as false, than that because I am often at White-Hall, therefore I must be Author of all that is done there that does not please abroad? But supposing some such things to have been done; pray tell me, if I am bound to oppose any thing that I am not call'd to do? I never was a Member of Council, Cabinet or Committee, where the Affairs of the Kingdom are transacted. I have had no Office or Trust, and con­sequently nothing can be said to be done by me; nor, for that reason, could I lie under any Test or any Obligation to discover my Opinion of Publick Acts of State; and therefore, neither can any such Acts, nor any Silence about them in Justice be made my Crime. Volunteers are Blanks and Cyphers in all Governments. And unless calling at White-Hall once a day, upon many Occasions, or my not being turn'd out of nothing (for that no Office is) be the Evidence of my Compliance in disagreeable things, I know not what else can with any Truth be alledged against me. However, one thing I know that I have every where most religiously observ'd, and endeavour'd in Conversation with Persons of all Ranks and Opinions, to allay Heats, and moderate Extremities, even in the Politicks. 'Tis below me to be more particular. But I am sure it has been my endeavor, that if we could not meet all upon a Religious Bottom, at least we might meet upon a Civil One, the good of England; which is the common interest of King and People: That He might be great by Justice, and we free by Obedience; di­stinguishing rightly on the one hand, between Duty and Slavery; and on the other, between Liberty and Licentiousness.

But, alas, I am not without my Apprehensions of the Cause of this behaviour towards me, and in this I perceive we agree; I mean, my constant Zeal for an Impartial Liberty of Conscience. But if that be it, the Cause is too good to be in pain about it. I ever understood That to be the natural Right of all men; and that he that had a Religion without it, his Religion was one of his own. For what is not the Religion of a man's choice, is the Religion of him that opposes it. So that Liberty of Conscience is the first Step to have a Religion. This is no new Opi­nion with me. I have writ many Apologies within the last twenty years to defend it, and that impar­tially. Yet I have as constantly declared, that Bounds ought to be set to this Freedom, and that Morality was the best; and that as often as That was violated under a pretence of Conscience, it was fit the Civil Power should take place. Nor did I ever once think of promoting any sort of Liberty of Conscience, for any body, which did not preserve the Common Protestancy of the Kingdom, and the Antient Rights of the Government: For to say Truth, the one cannot be maintained without the other.

Upon the whole matter, I must say, I love Eng­land; I ever did so; and that I am not in her Debt. I never valued Time, Money, or Kindred to serve her and do her good. No Party could ever byass me to her Prejudice, nor any Personal interest oblige me in her wrong. For I alwaies abhor'd discounting Private Favours to the Publick Cost.

Would I have made my Market of the Fears and Jealousies of People, when this King came to the Crown, I had put Twenty Thousand Pounds in my [Page 6] Pocket and a Hundred Thousand into my [...]. For mighty numbers of People were then upon the Wing, but I wav'd it all, hop'd for better times; expected the Effect of the Kings Word for Liberty of Conscience, and Happiness by it; and till I saw my own Friends, with the Kingdom, deliver'd from the Legal Bondage, which Penal Laws for Re­ligion had subjected them to. I could with no Sa­tisfaction think of leaving England, though much to my Prejudice beyond Sea, and at my great Ex­pence here, having in all this time, never had either Office or Pension, and always refusing the Rewards or Gratuities of those I have been able to oblige.

If therefore an Vniversal Charity, if the asserting an Impartial Liberty of Conscience, if doing to others as one would be done by, and an open avowing, and steady practising of these things, in all time, to all Parties, will justly lay a Man under the Reflecti­on of being a Iesuit, or Papist of any Rank. I must not only submit to the Character, but imbrace it too; and I care not who knows, that I can wear it with more Pleasure, than it is possible for them with any Justice to give it me. For these are Cor­ner Stones and Principles with me; and I am scan­dalized at all Buildings that have them not for their Foundations. For Religion it self is an empty Name without them; A Whited-Wall, a Painted Se­pulcher; No Life or Vertue to the Soul, No good Example to one Neighbour. Let us not flatter our selves, We can never be the better for our Re­ligion, if our Neighbour be the worse for it. Our fault is, we are apt to be mighty hot upon specula­tive Errors, and break all Bounds in our Resent­ments; but we let practical ones pass without Remark, if not without Repentance: As if a mi­stake about an obscure Proposition of Faith were a greater evil, than the breach of an undoubted Pre­cept. Such a Religion the Devils themselves are not without; for they have both Faith and Know­ledg, but their Faith doth not work by Love, nor their Knowledg by Obedience. And if this be their Judgment, can it be our Blessing?

Let us not then think Religion a litigious thing; nor that Christ came only to make us good Disputants, but that he came also to make us good Livers. Sincerity goes farther than Capa­city. It is Charity that deservedly excels in the Christian Religion; and happy would it be, if where Vnity ends, Charity did begin, instead of Envy and Railing, that almost ever follow. It appears to me to be the way that God has found out and appointed to moderate our Differences, and make them at least harmless to Society; and therefore, I confess, I dare not aggravate them to Wrath and Blood. Our Disagreement lies in our Apprehensi­on, or belief of things; and if the common Ene­my of Mankind had not the governing of our Af­fections and Passions, that Disagreement would not prove such a Canker, as it is, to Love and Peace in Civil Societies.

He that suffers his Difference with his Neighbour, about the other World, to carry him beyond the Line of Moderation, in this, is the worse for his Opi­nion, even tho it be true. It is too little consider­ed by Christians, that men may hold the Truth in Vnrighteousness; that they may be Orthodox and not know what Spirit they are of. So were the Disciples of our Lord, they believed in him, yet let a false Zeal do violence to their Judgment, and their unwarrantable heat contradict the great end of their Saviours coming, Love.

Men may be angry for God's sake, and kill Peo­ple too. Christ said it, and too many have pra­ctised it; But what sort of Christians must they be, I pray, that can hate in his Name who bids us love, and kill for his sake, that forbids killing, and com­mand love, even to Enemies.

Let not Men or Parties think to shift it off from themselves, 'Tis not this Principle, or that Form, to which so great a Defection is owing, but a de­generacy of Mind from God; Christianity is not at Heart, no fear of God in the inward part: no aw of his Divine Omnipresence; Self prevails, and breaks out, more or less, through all Forms, but too plainly: (Pride, Wrath, Lust, Avarice) so that though People say to God, Thy will be done, they do their own, which shews them to be true Heathens under a mask of Christianity, that believe without Works, and repent without forsaking, bu­sie for Forms, and the Temporal Benefits of them; while true Religion, which is to Visit the Fatherless and the Widdow, and to keep our selves unspotted from the World, goes barefoot, and like Lazarus is de­spised. Yet this was the Definition the Holy Ghost gave of Religion before Synods and Councils had the medling with it, and modeling of it. In those days Bowels were a good part of Religion, and that to the Fatherless and Widow at large. We can hardly now extend them to those of our own way.

It was said by him that could not say amiss, Because Iniquity abounds, the Love of many waxes old. What­soever divides mans Heart from God, separates it from his Neighbour; and he that loves self more than God, can never love his Neighbour as himself, For (as the Apostle said) if we do not love him whom we see, how can we love God whom we have not seen?

O that we could see some men as eager to turn People to God, as they are to blow them up, and [Page 7] set them one against another. But indeed those only can have that pure and pious Zeal, who are themselves turned to God, and have tasted the sweetness of that Conversion, which is to Power not Form, to Godliness not Gain. Such as those do bend their thoughts and pains to appease, not in­crease, Heats and Animosities; to exhort People to look at home, sweep their own Houses, and weed their own Gardens. And in no Age or Time was there more need to set men to work in their own Heart, than this we live in; when so busie, wan­dring, unruly, and licentious a Spirit prevails. For whatever some men may think, The Disease of this Kingdom is Sin, Impiety against God, and want of Charity to men. And while this Guilt lies at our Door, Judgment cannot be far off.

Now this being the Disease, I will briefly offer two things for Cure of it. The first is, David's clean Heart and right Spirit, which he ask'd and had of God. Without this we must be a Chaos still. For the Distemper is within; and our Lord said, All Evil comes from thence. Set the inward Man right, and the outward man cannot be wrong. That is the Helm that governs the humane Vessel. And this nothing can do but an inward Principle, the Light and Grace that came by Christ, which the Scri­pture tells us Enlightens every one, and has appeared to all men. It is preposterous to think that he, who made the World, should show least care of the best part of it, our Souls. No, he that gave us an out­ward Luminary for our Bodies, hath given us an inward one for our Minds to act by. We have it: And 'tis our Condemnation that we don't love it, and bring our Deeds to it. 'Tis by this we see our Sins, are made sensible of them, sorry for them, and fi­nally forsake them, And he that thinks to go to Heaven a nearer way will, I fear, belate his Soul, and be irreparably m [...]staken. There are but Goats and Sheep at last; whatever shapes we wear hear.

Let's not therefore, Dear Friend, deceive our selves. Our Souls are at Stake. God won't be mock­ed. What we sow we must expect to reap. There is no Repentance in the Grave; which shows, that if not there, then no where else.

To sum up this Divinity of mine, It is the Light of Jesus in our Souls that gives us a true sight of our selves, and that Sight that leads us to Repen­tance, which Repentance begets Humility, and Hu­mility that true Charity that covers a multitude of Faults; which I call God's Expedient against man's Infirmity.

The second Remedy to our present Distemper is this, Since All of all Parties profess to believe in God, Christ, the Spirit, and Scripture, that the Soul is Im­mortal, that there are Eternal Rewards and Punish­ments, and that the Vertuous shall receive the one, and the Wicked suffer the other; I say, since this is the common Faith of Christendom, let us all resolve in the strength of God to live up to what we agree in, before we fall out so miserably about the rest in which we differ. I am perswaded, the Change and Com­fort which that pious course would bring us to, would go very far to dispose our Natures to com­pound easily for all the rest; and we might hope yet to see happy daies in poor England: for there I would have so good a Work begun. And how it is possible for the Eminent Men of every religious Perswasion (especially the present Ministers of the Parishes of England) to think of giving an Ac­count to God at the last day, without using the ut­most of their Endeavours to moderate the Mem­bers of their respective Communions towards those that differ from them, is a Mystery to me. But this I know, and must lay it at their Doors, as I charge also my own Soul with it, God requires Moderati­on, and Humility from us: For He is at hand who will not spare to Judge our impatiency, if we have no Patience for one another. The Eternal God re­buke (I beseech him) the wrath of man; and humble All under the sense of the Evil of this day; and yet (unworthy as we are) give us Peace, for His holy Names sake.

It is now time to end this Letter; and I will do it without saying any more than this. Thou seest my Defence against popular Calumny; Thou seest what my thoughts are of our Condition, and the way to better it; and thou seest my hearty and humble Prayer to Almighty God to incline us to be wise, if it were but for our own sakes. I shall on­ly add, that I am extreamly sensible of the Kindness and Justice intended me by my Friends on this Oc­sion; and that I am for that and many more rea­sons, with great Truth and Esteem,

Thy obliged and affectionate Friend, W. P.

[Page 8]


ONe thing in reference to my self I forgot to mention, I have been by some people with great art rendred powerful, that I might be made guilty, at least obnoxious; which hath often drawn from me this Expression to my Acquaintance; I have all the Inconvenience of a man of Power and Interest, but nothing of the reality or advantage of that Cha­racter. One thing I will say, and end; I must do as I would be done by, and cannot with fine Distinctions or popular Humor, absolve my self from that Duty; for, I thank God, I am what I was, and will be what I am, with His help, let the World say what it will. Farewel.

W. P.

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