REFLECTIONS Upon a Passage Concerning The Light Within, In a Book Entituled, Primitive Heresie, &c.

HAving most diligently Observed the Principles and Practi­ces of the People called Quakers above Thirty Years, I think it my Duty to Declare to the World, that I have grounds to Believe, that a Multitude of Persons of that Denomination do most Sincerely Adhear to the FOUNDATION of the Chri­stian Religion; i. e. they have a Right Notion of the Divine Es­sence and Attributes, they Believe that the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God, and yet there is but One God; they Believe that God the Son hath Redeemed Them, and All Mankind; that it is Possible for them at any time, through CHRIST Enabling them, to Abstain from any Sin, to which they have the Strongest Temptations from the Devil, the World, and the Flesh; that Ʋsually, or Habitually they are in such a Tem­per of Heart and Mind, that they would rather choose to lay down their Lives, than be Guilty of any KNOWN Sin of Com­mission, or Omission. And upon this Account, I cannot but have a Brotherly Love, or Extraordinary Fervent Affection for Many of them; this being a Truth to me most Evident and Unquestionable, that these People called QUAKERS deserve more Favour than any other Sort of DISSENTERS from All [Page 2] Persons throughout the World, who make their Solemn VO­CAL Confession of the Christian Faith in that Form of Words, which we call the NICENE CREED. What they mean by The Light within is nothing else but what is Imply'd in those most Im­portant Words, LIGHT OF LIGHT; That is to say, The True and Eternal God, The Son of the True and Eternal God: If CHRIST be LIGHT ESSENTIAL, As GOD the Father is LIGHT, His Person, or HE Himself must of Necessity Be in all Rational Souls as the FOUNTAIN of Light; So that nothing in the Soul of Man can be truly and properly called LIGHT, but what is DERIV [...]D from Him. I Rejoyce with Joy Ʋnspeakable, to find a Multitude of Illiterate Persons so clearly Apprehensive of my Meaning, when I Write, or Discourse of this most Profound VE­RITY, of which I perceive this Learned Person, the Author of the Snake in the Grass, has yet but a very Defective Speculation: Some Glimmerings of it I see he has. I do, in the Face of the Sun (not Challenge him to Dispute with me, but) most Earnest­ly Entreat him to Peruse all the Papers that have been Publish'd for me by Tho. Northcott and T. Sowle: And if he shall Dissent from any thing I have Asserted in any of those Papers, I shall with great Importunity Request him to Publish what he takes to be a Reason for his Dissent: I shall here, with all Meekness, shew his great Mistake in one Passage in his late Book, Entituled, Pri­mitive Heresie, &c. p. 13. ‘All this Wild Extravagance is a Natu­ral Consequence of their Common Principle, and Notion of the Light within, as such an Absolute Rule, and Judge, that is not to be Controuled by Scripture, or any Law or Rule whatsoever: Which leaves every Man in such an Unlimited Latitude, that there is no Restraint to whatever the Wildest Imagination (so it be strong enough) can suggest: Nor any Cure (upon their Foundation) but to bid him follow it still on, Listen to that wi [...]hin you. That is all their Advice and all their Rule.

A [...]sw. 'Tis Impossible that what they Declare to be the Light Within should be Contrary to the Holy Scriptures, it being nothing else but CHRIST Himself, and what Comes Immediately from Him into Our Souls for our Sanctification. A Learned Forreigner that Writes Against R. BARCLAY is so Just, as to Recite this Protestation of the said R. B. Se cum Suis Doctrinas, & Mores [Page 3] suos libentissime Examini earum (S. Scripturarum) concedere, & hoc tanquam positivum & certum admittere ex animo Principium, ut quodcun (que) quis praedicans se Spiritu duci contrarium Scriptura perpetret, Delusio & Machinatio Diabolica existimetur. That he, and those of his Religion, are willing their Doctrines and Practices should be tryed by the Holy Scriptures, and to ad­mit, as a positive and certain Maxim, that whatsoever any do, pretending to be led by the Spirit, which is contrary to the Holy Scriptures, should be reputed a Delusion of the Devil.’

They give the Best Advice that can be given, that bid us Hearken to the VOICE of God in our own Hearts; or to Fol­low the Light within. If any, pretending to follow the Light, Walk in Darkness, that is no Proof, that The Light within them was not sufficient to lead them in the Way of Righteousness; but it shews that through the Perversness of their WILL they Avert their UNDERSTANDING from a due Perception of the Light, the Fountain of All Truth and Goodness. I suppose my Honour'd Friend W. P. may Publish an Answer to what this Learned Man Expostulates with him about The Light within; and therefore at present I shall only say, that I am glad so Ingenious a Per­son has Involv'd himself in a kind of Necessity of Contending with me on a Point of so great Importance to all Mankind, which by Others is only Huff'd and Scoff'd at: I Desire he would take particular Notice of my Paper, Entituled, A Let­ter to the Author of a Book, Entituled, An Answer to W. Penn's KEY, about the Quakers LIGHT WITHIN.’

The Good LORD lift up the Light of his Countenance upon Ʋs, that in His Light we may see Light. ἜΡΧΟΥ ΚΎΡΙΕ ἸΗΣΟ.


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