Né en 1618, mort à Londres le 2 janvier 1682.
Compositeur, il enseigne la viole et le virginal. Vers 1660, devient quaker, et brûle ses livres et ses instruments. Il aurait alors vécu comme tailleur ou cordonnier. En 1671, il accompagne George Fox dans les Indes de l'Ouest, mais ne revient pas avec lui en mai 1673. Il est de nouveau à Londres en octobre 1673, où il se marie une seconde fois. Dans son écrit, il critique violemment la musique de l'église anglicane
A Ground By Mr Solomon Eccles, par Emma Murphy (flûte),Signum Records 2008.
A musick-lector: or, the art of musick (that is so much vindicated in Christendome) discoursed of, by way of dialogue between three men of several judgments: the one a musician and master of that art, and zealous for the Church of England; who calls musick the gift of God. The other a Baptist, who did affirm it to be a decent and harmless pracrice. The other a Quaker (so called) being formely of that art, doth give his judgment and sentence against it; but yet approves of the musick that pleaseth God. Written by Solomon Eccles
Babel's Builders unmasking themselves, as appears by the following paper from Barbadoes, promoted by George Fox his party, and subscribed by eighty two of them. With a letter of G. F's [George Fox's], G. W's [George Whitehead's], &c. in answer thereunto; and observations thereupon. Also, a false prophecy of that lying prophet, Solomon Eccles, etc. London 1681 [4°, 16 p.]
An abstract of the book entitled, The Quaker's challenge at two several weapons, to the Baptists, Presbyters, Papists, and other professors [...] Published [...] John Pennyman [...] London 19 February 1680
Begin. In the yeare 59, in the fourth month, the last day of the month being the 5th day of the week. The presence of the Lord God was felt within me, etc [An account of his persecution as a Quaker, signed: Solomon Eccles.] London, for M. W. 1659 [4°, 4 p.]
Signes are from the Lord to a people or nation, to forewarn them of some eminent Judgment near at hand [...] London 1663
Something that was sent to R. Brown
The Quakers Challeng, at two several weapons. To the Baptists, Presbiters, Papists and other profes-sors. London 1668.
Novembre 1995-5 avril 2008
© Musicologie.org 2019.
Wo to them that are at ease in Sion, to you that put far away the evil day, and cause the seat of violence to come near; to them that lie upon Beds of Ivory, and stretch themselves upon their Couches, and eat the Lambs out of the flock, and the Calves out of the stall: That chant to the sound of the Viol, and invent to themselves Instruments of Musick like David: That drink Wine in Bowls, and anoint themselves with the chief Ointment: but they are not grieved for the Afflictions of Joseph. Amos 6.1,3,4,5,6.
A Musick Lector :
The Art of MUSICK that is so much vindicated in
Christendom, discoursed of by way of Dialogue,
between three men of several judgments.
Musitian. Well Friend, we understand that all men in Christendom generally do acknowledge Musick to be a pleasant and heavenly harmony, which delights the ears of all the Nobility, both Kings, Princes and others, yet all will not do; for there be some men are quite against it. But O how notably did the Gentleman handle the matter in this Musick Lector for the vindication thereof, but all will not do.
Baptist. Why, who are they that can speak against this harmless Calling in the practice of Musick? is there any think you?
Mus. Yes; for yonder goes a man, was once a Master of Musick, and a very honest man once; but now he's turn'd Quaker: Prethee Friend let's know his ground and reason for it, and let's see what principle they hold.
Bap. Friend, beware; for Quakers hold dangerous tenets.
Mus. Pray what dangerous tenets do they hold, that we may beware of them: we must not accuse them before we hear them; pray will you instance.
Bap. Why one of their dangerous tenets is, That a man may be perfect and free from sin on this side the grave: and another is, They deny Ordinances, or the two Sacraments, the Baptism of Water, and Bread and Wine: and another is, That a man may fall away after he believeth. Those are horrid tenets.
Mus. These are strange tenets indeed. However, he's my old Acquaintance, let's venture now we have an opportunity, though I should have been afraid to have ventur'd alone; but you being with me, I do not question but we shall convince him of his error: how think you?
Bap. We shall but trouble our selves with him: for there is nothing but thee and thou; they are the unmannerliest people that ever came.
Mus. Peace a little. Your humble Servant, Sir; I am glad to see you well.
Quaker. Leave off thy deceit, Psal. 10.7.
Mu. Truly Sir, I am very joyful to see you, for I have not seen you of a long time.
Qua. Mind the Witness of God in thee, John 1.5,9.
Mu. You say very well, Sir; but what do you mean by the Witness of God, what is it?
Qua. Something that God hath placed in thee, which bears witness for God; Acts 14.17.
Mu. But what do you call this Witness of God?
Qua. He that witnesseth for God in every man, is Christ; Rev. 1.5.
Mu. But is Christ within a man; how can that be? for he is glorified with the Father in Heaven: what strange doctrine do you preach?
Qua. Search and try thy own self: for, knowest thou not how that Jesus Christ is in thee, except thou be a Reprobate? 2 Cor. 13.5.
Mu. You are right for that indeed. But why do you charge me leave off my deceit; for what deceit can you charge me with?
Qua. Yes: for the first word thou spakest was deceit and vain; for thou saidst, Your humble Servant, Sir, and thou wast never my Servant: for when did I ever set thee at work, and thou wast my humble Servant? Must thou not give an account for every idle word? besides, he that respects mens persons, commits sin; Jam. 2.9.
Mu. But you know it is our custom in England so to do; and you have done so your self to my knowledge.
Qua. I do confess that I was in the dark, and had mens persons in admiration: but now the true Light is come which reproves for those things, glory be to the Lord for ever. And whatsoever makes manifest is Light, Eph. 5.13.
Mu. But methinks you do not speak like other men; for I never heard of the Light within till you Quakers came.
Qua. Turn to it now, and be obedient, and it will bring thee out of the fall, and deliver thee from destruction and perdition; 1 Tim. 6.9.
Mu. Why our Ministers and Fathers of the Church of England, are the true Ministers of Christ no doubt; yet they do not bid men turn to the Light within, as you Quakers do.
Qua. Fathers of the Church of England, we grant they are, and some of them Ministers of the Letter also; but if thou couldst prove them the Ministers of Christ, thou wouldst do them great service; for they cannot prove it themselves: and they dare not for shame say that they are Ministers of Christ, because they receive the wages of unrighteousness; Jude 11.
Mu. Pray good Sir give me a favour; must we not acknowledge them to be the Ministers of Christ who preach the Gospel, and prove their Ministry by Scripture?
Qua. The Scriptures prove no man a Minister of Christ, but he that is called of God, and chosen for that work; Rom. 1.1. 1 Cor. 1.1. 1 Pet. 1.1. 2 Pet. 1.1. These were not of men, nor by men, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, Jam. 1.1. Gal. 1.1.
Mu. Lord bless me! why is not the Scripture the Word of God, and a Rule for men to walk by? and do they not fetch all their Proofs from Scripture? and all their building is on the Scripture; therefore we hear them: For they that are of God do hear God's Word, do they not?
Qua. Yea, they that are of God do hear God's Word: but we cannot hear them, because they preach not God's Word, because they stand not in God's Counsel, as saith the Lord to Jeremiah concerning the priests: For, if they had stood in my Counsel, saith the Lord, they should have taught the people my Word, and have turned them from their evil wayes, and from the evil of their doings. Mark, they that are Ministers of God's Word, do turn people from their evil ways, and from the evil of their doings. Jer. 23.33. And it is my Faith for ever, and I'll give my Voice for it, that they are the true Ministers of Christ, that turn people from darkness to Light, and from the power of Satan to God. Act. 26.18.
Mu. I must confess our Ministers are great Scholars as Oxford and Cambridge can afford, and we look upon such to be the Ministers of the Gospel and none else; but yet I cannot say they turn people from their sins: But pray are there no true Ministers of Christ but they?
Qua. Nay, none can be said to be Ministers of Christ, but such as turn people to the Lord.
Mu. Why who then did send them? came they of themselves? Qua. I never sent them, saith the Lord, yet they run: but they shall not profit the people at all; Jer. 23.22. Mu. Truly I think they have been much better than they are now.
Qua. Yea, they have lost their Courage, their Faith, and their Zeal; and some of them have spued up the Common-Prayer- Book in their Zeal; but now they have (many of them) lickt it up again. See what the Prophet calls such, Isa. 56.10.
Mu. Indeed our Ministers do love their bellies too well to be the Ministers of Christ. Truly Friend, I cannot speak much for them: I see they feed their flock but sparingly, but themselves they feed without fear I think, for they grow in belly amain: but what shall I say, when such men as they go wrong, what shall become of me that am a sinner?
Qua. Believe in the Light that shines in thy heart; for that Teacher will never deceive thee, but will make thee wiser than all thy Teachers; Psal. 119.99,100.
Mu. Your counsel is good: but me-thoughts you were a very honest man and strict before you were a Quaker; if I were so, I should desire no more. Qua. I had a Zeal, but not according to Knowledge; and all that I have given up to the Bats and to the Moles; such as come not forth to look on the Sun, for fear of persecution. Joh. 10.1. 2 Tim. 2.3,12. Isa. 2.20. Mu. 'Tis good to avoid Persecution as near as we can, for the Scriptures advise us so to do. Qua. The Thief and the Robber would climb up some other way; but all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer Persecution. 2 Tim. 3.12. Mu. But Christ sayes, If they persecute you in one City, flee into another. Qua. Before the Holy Ghost was given, which was the promise of the Father, they were more in fear, and in the Childs state, till our Lord and Master was offered up for a pattern to them; then the same Spirit of Christ came into them, and made them of the same mind for holy boldness and courage; and, they loved not their lives to the death; and as Christ suffered in the flesh, they do arm themselves with the same mind. 1 Pet. 4.1. Mu. Well: but my Friend I have something else to say to you, and I will leave these things to my Friend here, who is better able to answer you than I can. But pray let me ask you one question.
Qua. Use thy freedom.
Mu. Why did you forsake and dispise so harmless a Calling and Practice in the Art of Musick as you have done? Besides, you burnt and brake many good Instruments of Musick, and burnt your Books of great price and value? and why did you burn and break them at Tower-Hill? I thought to tell you of it, for it was an injurious thing, to make our Calling contemptible. And it is well known that Musick is the gift of God, and an honourable practice. I wonder you were not ashamed; a man that lived so well and civilly, to go and cast off such a Livelihood, who maintained your Wife and Family very well and in good order; and it is very probable, if you had continued, you had been of great esteem at this day.
Qua. I have found out the true Teacher, who teaches the best Musick that ever any did learn; who for rarity and skill out- strips all that ever had a name; and such Musick as takes in the ears of God himself. Jer. 9.24.
Mu. Lord bless me! is there such a rare Musick-teacher among the Quakers? I have heard indeed, that the Quakers will come together in one place, and sit an hour, two or three, and not speak a word one to another, except sign, groan or weep; do you call this good Musick?
Bap. Pray Friend, what ground of Scripture have you to come together, where some do sign and groan, and some do weep. What Edification is there in this dumb show?
Qua. The Spirit breathes in whom it listeth, and thou mayest hear the sound thereof, but knowest not from whence it comes, nor whither it goes, John 3.
Bap. Did you ever hear such Nonsense as this man speaks? what strange stuff is this? did I not tell you, Sir, what Nonsense we should have?
Qua. Are the Scriptures Nonsense?
Mu. Hold, hold, my Friend, and be not offended at him, for he hath spoke Scripture; only some Translations do much differ.
Bap. All that I grant is true: but what Scripture hath he to prove that Silent-meeting is a Worship of God?
Qua. The three Friends of Job, when they beheld what misery he lay in, they lift up their voice and wept, and rent their cloaths indeed, and sat down on the ground with him, but spake nothing one to another for seven dayes, and seven nights; Job 2.last. yet I do not bring this as a proof.
Mu. Indeed it was a long time for men to keep silence; seven days and seven nights, and not speak a word! there was never such a thing done in our days I must confess; but Job was a patient man.
Qua. I would ask thy Friend one Question, and if he be free to answer me, then the thing will appear more plain.
Mu. I'le warrant hee'l answer you, for he is an able man; and though he and I do differ I must confess in judgement, yet I know he is able to answer you; for he is a baptized person, and stands for the vindication of Baptism and the Lord's Supper, which are the Ordinances of God.
Qua. And I also stand in the defence of the holy Truth of God, which was once delivered to the Saints, Jude 3.
Bap. Well, Friend, what's your Question?
Qua. Who is it that tempts men to sin, and to disobedience?
Bap. That is soon answered: for he that tempts men to sin, is the Devil.
Qua. Thou hast rightly answered; for God tempts no man to sin, neither is he tempted of any: but every man when he is tempted is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed; and when lust hath conceived, it brings forth sin; and sin when it is finished, brings forth death. Jam. 1.14,15.
Bap. All that is true; you have answered your self.
Qua. Then this is the Question: By what means? is it by a vocal voice, or outward sound that he teaches men to sin?
Bap. Nay I do believe that the Devil is a spirit, and doth not teach men to sin by personal appearance, or by a vocal voice that may be heard by the outward ear.
Mu. Then we must all conclude, that he teacheth invisibly and in silence, if not by voice nor personal appearance to the outward eye, nor outward ear; and by this methinks you seem to justifie the Quakers Silent-meetings.
Qua. We ask no favour of him nor thee, nor any man living, to worship our God; neither any mans counsel or approbation whether we are in the right Worship or no, but by way of Argument, because the Worshippers in England do wonder and gaze so much at us in our Silent-meetings. Now if the Devil do teach his to lye and swear by an evil spirit, who is the father of all lyars; how much more may the true God, who is blessed for evermore, teach his and lead his into all Truth? as it is said, and they shall all be taught of God. Isa. 54.13. and in silence, as to the outward ear, the enemy of mans Salvation, teacheth his all ungodliness; may not the Lord, that good Spirit, teach his in silence, to deny all ungodliness and worldly lusts? And as thou hast said, and hast said true, That the Devil is a spirit, and comes not to man to speak to him by personal appearance, or a vocal voice to mens outward ear, but yet he layes baits before the eyes of their minds, and snares, to murder and to commit Adultery, to steal and rob, over-reach, cheat and cozen: and may not the Lord teach his to do to all men as they would be done by? For, where I my self had done wrong before Conversion came; the Spirit of Truth brought it to my remembrance again, where I had over-reacht and cheated, and made me to make restitution again [this teaching I witness] and made me pay back again many a pound, and that with advantage also. Oh! I commend the teaching of the Spirit above all teachings. O glory be to his Name for ever, Exod. 22.3. Numb. 5.7.
Mu. Well, but my Friend I cannot pass you by any longer; pray let me know why you forsook so good a Calling?
Qua. While I was taught of men, I could follow it: (viz.) When the Church of England was govern'd by Episcopal Order, I could follow it, and call'd it the gift of God; and when I became more strict, a Presbyter, I made a trade of it, and never question'd it at all: and after that I became an Independent, I could follow it; and when I came further, and was baptized with water, and eat Bread and Wine with them about the year 1642. they encouraged me in it, and some of them had their Children taught on the Virginals: but I went further, and was an Antinomian (so called) and then I could teach mens Sons and Daughters on the Virginals and on the Viol, and I got the two last years more than an hundred and thirty pounds a year with my own hands, and lived very high, and perceived that the longer I followed it, the greater in-come I had: but when Truth came, I was not able to stand before it, the Lord did thunder grievously against this practice; and I would fain have pleaded the harmlessness of it, but no pleading would serve, it was nothing but vanity, and vexed the good Spirit of God: O it was hard to flesh and blood to give it up, for it was not only my livelihood, but my life was in it: Now the Witness of God did often smite me for it, before I could yeeld to the Lord to give up, so that sometimes it put me to a stand, and then reasonings arose whether it was a lawful Calling; and while I with the wrong thing strove to prove it lawful, that pure thing that was sent of God, it took away my peace from me. O the goodness and forbearance of the Lord to me! for, what was I that the Lord should strive so with me lest I should have gone on to my everlasting destruction? Then was I at a stand what I should do for a livelihood; but the Holy-One caught hold on me, and said, Am not I alsufficient? give up, for I have a great work for thee to do. But my life was so much in the thing, that he made me to feel his sharp Sword, which divided between me and my lovers.
Mu. But Friend, you undervalue Musick too much; 'tis true, that if in case you had been a Fidler, it had been no great matter if you had cast it off: but to teach mens sons and daughters on the Virginals and on the Viol, it is as harmless a Calling as any man can follow: How say you, Sir?
Bap. Truly I do not see but he might have followed it still as he us'd it; and as you say, methinks it is a very harmless Calling; there is sufficient proof of Scripture for the lawfulness thereof: only in this one thing the Quakers must be singular.
Qua. I have heard divers men, and some of all Religions, and almost all people, especially those of the Universities, do highly commend Musick: but O the Truth, the Spirit of Truth, nor the Children of Truth can never bear it; but Truth and her Children do trample it under foot; 'tis Babylons Musick, and down it must and shall for ever. And since I through the good hand of God had an eye open in me to see where I stood, I soon sided with the Truth, and stood off from the reasoning part, and then the Zeal of God rose up as hot as fire, and I greatly loathed my self to see what cursed ground I stood in, and I reckon it a happy day that I was redeemed out of a vain practice; Acts 19.19.
Mu. But prethee thou mad Quaker hold a little, for thou wrests the Scriptures, as many of you do, to your own destructions: for they were Magicians, not Musicians, that burnt their Books of great price.
Qua. That which taught them, taught me to deny ungodliness, and will teach all that will turn to it, To deny ungodliness and curious Arts, and is not Musick a curious Art, wilt thou deny it?
Mu. Tis true, musick is a curious Art, but will you say 'tis ungodliness? take heed what you say, lest you pull an old house upon your head: for we are no Fidlers, but are sober men, and in a sober Calling, and that which delights the ears of Kings and wise men, and grave sage men, and the honourablest men and women in the Nation do highly esteem of Musick.
Qua. That which is highly esteemed amongst men, is abomination to the Lord, read Luke 16.15. And why dost thou make such a difference between those called Fidlers, and you who call your selves Musicians? for my own part, since I came to the Truth it self, I do see indeed that I being a Teacher in Musick, it might have this stile above the other; for I count it was a civil Devil, and the Fidler more prophane, but both are for the Lake that practice it, except they do repent, Mat. 9.23. Rev. 18.22.
Mu. Are they for the Lake! I think you are for the lake more likely. But prethee Friend let me ask thee one Question more.
Qua. Speak on.
Mu. Doth not the Scripture say, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice?
Qua. Yea, and it is a precious saying: happy are they that can receive it and understand what it means.
Mu. Then truly if I had been your Counsellour, you should never have burnt your Books, nor brake and burnt your Instruments: for, if you could not for conscience sake have followed this Calling, then I should have advised you to sell them, and to have given the money to the Poor: How say you, Sir, had not that been better?
Bap. Yes truly in my judgement it had, for then some body would have been the better for it.,
Qua. To obey the Lord, is better than to give all my goods to the poor, and my body to be burned; yet to let thee know the Truth of this thing; when I came to be convinced of this everlasting truth, I saw my Calling would not stand before it; I went, but not in the Counsel of the Lord, and sold most of my instruments; howbeit that would not cover me, for the Lord met with me; and as I was learning to sew, for I had formerly some insight of a Tailors Trade, but I was too high to bow to it, till the Truth came, and that is of power to make the strong man bow, and I sitting alone, with my mind turned in, the Voice of the Lord said, Go thy way, and buy those Instruments again thou lately soldest, and carry them and the rest thou hast in thy house to Tower Hill, and burn them there, as a Testimony against that Calling. So I obeyed the Lord, and bought them again, and carried them, and all I had in my house, to Tower Hill, and burnt them there, according to the uprightness of my heart before the Lord; which Books and Instruments did amount to more than four and twenty pound; and I had great peace. Glory be to God for ever. Amen. Mu. But might it not be a delusion, and false motion? were you never sorry for what you have done in this thing? Qua. Yes, I was very sorry that when I had brought them to Tower Hill, and had begun to set them on fire, and when the fire flamed upon them, the rude multitude would not suffer me to burn them, but put the fire out; so I was forced to stamp upon them, and break them to pieces; for I did it with much indignation, though my Father, and Grandfather, and Great-grandfather were Musitians, yet he that was before sin was, taught me to do as I did; but I was sorry that I could not be avenged on them as I would; but the Lord did accept of it, and I had great peace: And if at this time I had as many as would amount to a thousand pound of Instruments and Books for that purpose, to the fire they should all go; for the same indignation is with me still against that practice, as against lying, and stealing, and committing adultery: yet there is something in Musick, but there is a difference betwen the Harps of God, and the Harps of Men; as there is a difference between the Natural man, and the Spiritual, 1 Cor. 2.14. Mu. Well, but my Friend, I must tell you what the Judgement of wise men hath been in this your perverse proceedings, for you were then distracted sure enough, and it was a very great delusion of the enemy, to perswade you from so good a Calling; and this they say further, That if the truth were known, you have been sufficiently sorry for it since; and some do verily believe, that you will be glad to follow it again, if you can but get an opportunity; and truly as my old acquaintance, I could wish that you would follow it again with all my heart. What say you Sir? Qua. God forbid that ever such a motion should enter my heart, it never did nor never shall; What go back and build again the things I have destroyed? I have had opportunity sufficient to go back again into Egypt: But to answer the thing thou spakest, that if the truth were known, some say, that I have been sufficiently sorry. Well, both thou and they shall know the truth in this thing: Indeed I was sorry at my very heart, and to this hour it troubles me, That ever I should spend so much of my pretious time so idely, in such a cursed practice, Acts 11.17. Mu. But was not David a man after Gods own heart? and he played before the Lord, and danced before the Ark. And in Solomons day there was Musick in the Temple. Qua. What hast thou to do with David, or with Solomon or the Temple? Where are your Burnt-offerings and Sacrifices, you that plead for your Musick & Dancing, and instance David & Solomon? Ye filthy hypocrites, would you have David, and Solomon, and the Temple to cover you! Behold Nebuchadnezzar, that old Idolater, who ordained, That at the sound of the Cornet, Sackbut, Dulcimer, and all his gang of Fidlers, men must bow to his Idol. And for this thousand years, his Brother the Pope hath set up Mass-houses, and Musick, and Organs, and Bells, and Queristers in Idol Temples. For Pauls Church was called, The Temple of Diana. And Peters Church at Westminster, The Temple of Apollo. And in Rome they had the great God Jupiter, and in Florence, The Temple of Mars. And in other places to other Idols. Now Jupiter, Mars, Apollo, and Diana were unclean Spirits and filthy Devils. See Bishop Jewel of Salisbury, in his Treatise of the holy Scriptures, Pag. 30. And in Englands Idol Temples, they sing Davids Lamentations, but never follow his Practice, Psal. 6. Prov. 14.9. Dan. 3.15. Mu. Truly, me thinks when I go to Church, and hear the Organs, and Voyces, and the Discords, and Concords, I am even ravished to hear, and I can praise the Lord with them, and tis to me as the joys of Heaven. Qua. That Heaven will be shaken, and thy Song will be turned into howling; for such Musick and Singing was never set up of God, but of men; and it takes with that part in man that serves not God aright, but is for wrath and judgement, Heb. 12.26. 1 Cor. 2.24. Mu. Marry God forbid Friend, be advised what you say, and take heed; for our most learned Divines and reverend Fathers in God that we have in England, do highly approve of Musick. Qua. Tis never the better for that, nor they are never the better for being called of men Divines, and Reverend Fathers in God; when they Persecute the Saints, God is highly displeased with them and will give them blood to drink. But what effects hath Musick brought forth, that men so highly esteem it? What fruit did Nebuchadnezzars Musick bring forth in his day, was it not to murder? But the three servants of the Lord would not bow to his Image at the sound of his Pipes and his Fiddles, though others did. And how did Musick and Dancing take the heart of the foolish King Herod, by means whereof he committed murder, and caused John Baptists's Head to be cut off, who was a blessed man, approved of God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and was greater than the prophets; and because he reproved him for having his Brothers Wife, rankor lay in the heart of the Damsels Mother, and when the Fidlers did strike up, and the Wench began to dance, his affectionate love began to be enflamed to the Girle, that he killed the Lords servant in coole blood. O ye Fidlers and Dancing- Masters, let this President break you off from your filthy practice; Why do you dance without the Ark? Where is your Ark? What President have you in Scripture for your Danceing? You set up the Devils Kingdom by your proud Calling: You set their Bodies in postures to enflame and take with the lustful Nature in men, and with proud Apparrel, and Spots on their Faces. Wo to the Crown of Pride. What account will ye give to the Lord, ye Dancing- masters, from whence came ye, where is your Ark? David danced before the Ark. O repent ye shamless men, will you not blush at your doings? If my Calling was unlawful, much more is yours; O do not provoke the Lord any more; haste, haste, and leave off your practice before it leave you, for what thank will it be to you then, when you shall break off sinning because you can sin no more? Mu. Truly Friend you make my heart ake, yet I have one question to ask you more: If our Musick and Singing in our Church, is not of the Lord, who brought in these things? Qua. Pope Vitellian was the man, who being a lusty Singer, and fresh couragious Musitian himself, brought into the Church Prick-Song, and Descant, and all kind of sweet and pleasant melody.
And because nothing should hinder the vain idle Ears of fond and fantastical men, he joyned the Organs with the curious musick, in the Year, 653. So 'tis more then a thousand years ago since this Pope set up Piping and Fidling in Churches, (as they Call them) as you may read in a Book called, The Reliques of Rome: and since by Queen Elizabeths Fidlers, Thomas Sternhold, John Hopkins and others, who stile themselves Musitians, these turned the Psalms into Meeter, Hymn and Verse, and set men and women in the Idol Temples to sing, and deride holy David. For one sayes, I am weary of my groaning; all the night long make I my Bed to swim, I water my Couch with my teares. Are these any better than mock verses upon poor lamenting David? for they that do not witness what they say, and also witness such a State, are mockers; such as were said should come in the last dayes. For when did Tho. Sternhold, and John Hopkins, or any of them witness such a State, to water their Couch with tears, and to fast till men might tell their bones? This is no wayes consistant with holy men, who wrote as they were moved by the holy Ghost. And another sayes, O Lord I am not puft in mind, I have no scornful look: But were they not puft in mind to take upon them to turn the holy Scriptures into Poetry? and had they not a scornful look? if not, why did it not content them to read the Scriptures as they were? but they had taken upon them things to wonderful for them, this did not David, Psal. 131.1. Wherefore, Wo to the Pope and his Cardinals, to the Monks, Friars and Jesuites, Bishops, Lord-Bishops, and all false Prophets and Hirelings, with their Organists and Queristers, Musitians and Dancers on Ropes, with their Fidlers and Pipers; Juglers, Cheaters and Gamsters, Hunters and Haukers, Swearers and Lyars, Drunkards and Harlots, for all this is Babylon, her Maskers and Mummers; and against all this is Gods wrath gone forth from the presence of the Lamb: Their Plague is begun.
Mu. But yet I think our Brethren, Thomas Sternhold, John Hopkins and others, did think they did well; and how could the people imagine that it was the Musitians state? but their endeavour was to shew how it was with David, and not themselves. Qua. The People know that it was none of their condition, that's true; but what need had David of their rehearsal, and reading and singing his condition, and to sound out their Pipes, with their Organs and Queristers? all these Songsters despise Davids practice. Then is it not Mockery and Hypocrisie? Who hath required such things at their hands? Isa. 1.12. Mu. But Friend, I have not forgot that you spake of a wonderful Teacher, that doth far excell all that ever had a Name. Qua. He whom I told thee of doth teach such Musick that God himself will listen to: that's more than men; Psal. 69.33. and 72.12,14. Mu. Truly Friend, I could be glad if I could learn that Lesson that might please the Lord; pray what part is that which the Lord is pleased with? Qua. The inward part alone; Jer. 31.33. Psal. 51.6. Mu. How contrary is this to our Musick? for if we should play the inward part alone, there is none would delight in our Musick. Qua. That which men despise, and Nations abhor, the Lord doth highly esteem: and that which men do highly esteem, the Lord abhors; Luke 16.15. Mu. Truly Friend, I would fain learn that Lesson that might please the Lord; for I with others have pleased men, and they have highly rewarded us; but truly since I came to speak with you, I do question whether I have pleased the Lord in so doing.
Qu I was once playing a part with four more, more than 30 years ago; and the parts hit with the Fuige, and came in with the Discords and Concords so very lovely, that it took very much with that part which stands not in unity with the Lord: So that a Master of Musick being in the Room the same time, heard the parts, and took his Hat off his head, and flang it on the ground, and cryed aloud, saying, Now take Body and Soul and all! This he said who never knew what his Soul was, nor what it would cost to redeem it from destruction. So I see, that Musick pleases well that which is for destruction, and grieves that which God doth highly esteem and honour; Isa. 42.21.
Mu. Truly Sir, I am something desirous to know further; Pray where dwels this Musick-Teacher? Qua. Come and see. Mu. I would gladly see him and hear him, and would go far to learn of him; pray tell me where he dwells? Qua. He dwells Invisible. Mu. How can a man learn of him that dwells invisible? you speak as if you did not intend that I should know. Qua. Yes verily, I would have thee know, and do not think it strange because I thus speak, for he that searcheth the heart, and tryeth the reins, is Invisible; and some there be that learn of him, Jer. 17.10. Mu. Tis true, I know that we must all be taught of God, but that is not the question now; but if you will not tell me where he dwells, then tell me his name, that I may find him out. What call you his Name? Qua. His Name is called, The Word of God, Rev. 19.13. Mu. What a strange man are you, what an Answer is this, why do you answer so crosly? I took you for a wise man once, but are you not now turned fool? But I have heard of such a Name; well if his Name be called, The Word of God, it is a far better Name in my opinion, than Solomon the King: but I hope you will not be angry, for Quakers do not use to be angry. Qua. Nay I am not angry with thee one whit, for thou hast spoke the Truth; and there is witness born both in Heaven and in Earth to this Name: for he whose Name is called, The Word of God, is a far more excellent Name then Solomon the King; for every Name and power in heaven and earth, shall bow, and must bow to this Name. Read Acts 4.12. Phil. 2.4,10. Mu. But pray Friend, doth he prick Plain-Song or Intableture? for if he prick Plain-Song, I do not fear but I shall learn it. Qua. He pricks very plain; for every Note is as easily seen as a white Sembrif or Minnom, John 16.15. Mu. Truly I am glad to hear that you Quakers speak comfortably sometimes, though it is but seldom; it joys me much, for now I hope I shall learn that Lesson that God is well pleased with. But where doth he prick his Notes? Qua. He pricks at the Heart, and brings his pure Light into the Conscience, that thou and all the men and women in the world may read; yea, that they that run on in their wickedness may read; because the Book of Conscience is open that all men may see how 'tis with them, and may come to see who they have pierced. And thus men begin to mourn their parts, and their wives apart; and this takes more in the ears of the Lord, than all the Babylonish Worship and Musick in the world, Acts 2.37. Zech. 12.12. Mat. 5.4. Mu. Now wo is me, is it come to this; my hopes are frustrated; Is there no way but I must come in at this door? Well, I do perceive that the Quakers preach not for gold nor silver, for if you did you would never preach after this manner; for who can take any pleasure in this Doctrine? I see now what you drive at; for when Peter preacht to the Jewes, he told them, that they had murdered and betrayed him whom God had made both Lord and King: And when they heard this, they were pricked at their hearts: crying out; Men and Brethren, what shall we do? Truly I do believe there be but few Musitians that ever learnt this lesson. Qua. Mind the gift of God in thy heart; Christ-Jesus the true Teacher; and prize thy pretious time, that it may be blessed to thee; remember how that he hath waited on thee long. O prize the long-suffering of the Lord, for it is high time for thee now to return, Rom. 2.4. Mu. Would to God I were of any other Calling; for I verily believe that God will overthrow all pleasant things, and all false Worship: I am sorry I have lived so vainly.
Bap. I could like the Quakers well, if they did not despise the Ordinances; as Water-Baptisme, and Bread and Wine which are the two Sacraments.
Qua. Who gave you Baptists Commission to Baptize men and women with Water? God never sent you, yet you run; but God sent John to Baptize with Water, and some of his Apostles did it in their freedom; and who gave you Commission to eat Bread and to drink Wine? The Lord Jesus gave it to his Disciples; but whose Disciples are you? Ye please your belly, and your Faith is of things that are seen; but we look not at the things that are seen, for they are Carnal; but the things that are not seen are Eternal: But Bread, Wine and Water are seen. No marvel that you love good Bread and good Wine, and cry them up for Ordinances; but if in its place you would put bread of Affliction, and water of Affliction till he came, and come every First day to eat this bread of affliction, and water of affliction; you would not cry up your Ordinances so much as you do, neither would you have the tenth part of Communicants as you have. Are you not ashamed to intrude into those things you have no Commission for? Poor David would not meddle with things that were too high for him, Psal. 131.1. But when did you Baptists witness David's state? My tears have been my meat day and night, Psal. 42.3. and again, I have eaten ashes like bread, and mingled my drink with weeping, Psal. 102.9. And when did you Baptists fast till men might tell your bones? (as some of the Quakers have done) Are you any better than Queen Elizabeths Fidlers, that turned the holy sayings of David into Meeter, Hymn and Verse? O be ashamed and come to the Light, and that will let you see, how you have lept above the Life of Christ and his Disciples. Come down ye exalted Spirits, to the lowly Seed; and Learn of him that is meek and low in heart.
Bap. Did not the Lord command his Apostles to Baptize all Nations, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Ghost?
Qua. Yea, that he did. But who gave you Commission to Baptize any? Besides, you are blind Guides indeed, to go and Baptize with Water, and bring the Apostles Commission for it; and there was no Water at all in it. And Christ himself Baptized none with Water; for he was not sent to Baptize with Water, but with the Holy Ghost. And Paul was not sent to Baptize with Water, but to Preach the Gospel. But you Baptists were never yet slain; you never yet put on the Lord Jesus Christ. When did you put on his Sufferings and Sorrows? and how are you killed all the day? For, if you were slain with Christ from the Rudiments of the World; why, as living in the World, are ye subject to Ordinances? Surely you do not believe that Christ is come, Gal. 3.27.
Bap. Nay; We do not believe that Christ is come, though we do believe he did once come; but we look for him to come the second time.
Qua. He that believeth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is Antichrist: and thou sayest, thou dost not believe that Christ is come, because thou lookest not where he is manifest in the flesh, but thou lookest for him without. And, Is not Christ in thee, except thou be a Reprobate? 1 John 4.3. Col. 1.27.
Bap. Doth not the Text say, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up to Heaven? this same Jesus which you now see go into Heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye see him.
Qua. Friend, Leave off thy gazing; for they were reproved that gazed: But come thou and learn of that Woman, and go sweep the house, and light the Candle, that thou mayest find the lost Groat, or Pearl, Christ Jesus, in thy heart; and be not faithless, but believe. This is in love to you Baptists, who are loytering away your precious time, for that which never did, nor can make perfect, Acts 1.11. Luke 15.9.
Bap. Perfect; Why it is a very great question to me, whether ever any man was perfect in this Life, saving Christ himself; nay, or ever can be. 'Tis true indeed, you Quakers do hold such Tenets, but I do not believe it; therefore prove it me by Scripture if you can, from Genesis to the end of the Revelations. See, I have given thee the whole Bible to prove it; but you Quakers deny the Scripture.
Qua. Thou hast given me Scripture room sufficient, that's true; but to say the Quakers deny the Scripture, in that thou beliest the Innocent. Job 4.7.
Bap. Well, I have given you Scripture-room enough, but I believe you cannot do it; for I have searched the Scriptures as well as any of you.
Qua. But thou mayest erre, not knowing the Scriptures; nor yet the Power of God. Noah was a Just man, and Perfect in his Generation, Gen. 6.9. Here was a Just and Perfect man, approved of God himself. And again, God gave testimony of Enoch, That he pleased God, for he walked with God, and was not, for God took him: and before his translation he had this testimony, That he pleased God, Gen. 5.24. Heb. 11.5. And again, the Lord justified Abraham, after he had said unto him, Walk before me, and be thou perfect; and Abraham did so; for God bore testimony of him, and said, Abraham obeyed my Voice, and kept my Charge, my Commandments, my Statutes, and my laws, Gen. 26.5. Yea verily, and Abraham was called The Friend of God. And again, God bore testimony of Job, That he was a perfect man, that did fear God, and eschewed evil, Job 1. Now Friend, Here are four men whom God bore witness off; What hast thou against them? And David was a man after Gods own heart, and God bore witness of him that he failed in nothing saving in the matter of Uriah the Hittite, 1 Kings 15.5. And who did ever go beyond him in his repentance? Yet after this he did witness a perfect state; For, said he, God is my strength, he maketh my way perfect; 2 Sam. 22.23. And again, I will walk within my house with a perfect heart, Psal. 101.2. And King Hezekiah said, Lord remember now, I beseech thee, how I have walked before thee in Truth, and with a perfect heart, Isa. 38.3. And said David, Mark the Perfect man, behold the Upright; the End of that man is Peace; Psal. 37.37. And again, The Lord hath not seen Iniquity in Jacob, nor Perversness in Israel; as thou mayest read, Numb. 23.21. And again, They that are in Christ Jesus, are New Creatures. I in them, and they in me, perfect in one; John 17. And, Be you Perfect as your Father which is in Heaven is perfect; Mat. 5. And saith the Apostle, We speak wisdom to them that are Perfect; 1 Cor. 2.6. 2 Cor. 2.11. Who shall lay any thing to the charge of Gods Elect? Rom. 8. And saith Paul, That we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus, Col. 1.28. Ephes. 4.12. 1 Thes. 3.10. 2 Thes. 2.17. Heb. 7.19. Heb. 10.14. Heb. 12.23. Heb. 13.21. Jam. 2.22. Jam. 3.2. 1 Pet. 5.10. 1 John 4.18. Rev. 14.5.
Mu. Truly Friend Baptist, we are all out of the way, we have spoke too much by hearsay of them, that they do deny the Scriptures; I would you had not said so: But I see the poor Quakers put up much wrong, for we have had very hard thoughts of them, and they have been derided, and mocked, and hated of many; insomuch that they have been punished to death, many of them; but for my part I shall be silent hereafter, for I see they have been misrepresented: And although we have said, No man can be Perfect in this Life; yet who is able to withstand these sound Scriptures? and I have heard many say, That a man may come to be as wicked as the Devil himself: but truly I do believe that God is above the Devil; yet I do not excuse my self, for I am a grievous sinner, and never look to come to such a state, as to be Perfect in this Life.
Bap. Why no. For the righteousest man that is sins seven times a day: Yea, John himself said, he was a sinner; or else he would not have said, We; for the word we, implies himself as well as they. But if we say we have no sin, we deceive our selves, and the truth is not in us.
Qua. Do not bely the Scripture, nor the Spirit that gave it forth, for holy men wrote as they were moved by the Holy Ghost: and it no where saith, That the righteousest man that is sins seven times a day. But, Stand in awe, and sin not. And as for John, he was a holy man, a Divine, and could not sin: but he wrote to Children; first, that they might have fellowship with them who were apostles. But they being Children, had not fellowship with them, who had fellowship with the Father, and with the Son Jesus Christ; because they were subject to sin. And besides, Children are apt to sin, and to think themselves better than they are; which made the Apostle say this: If we say, we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness; we lye, and do not the truth. (Mark) For this I do affirm, that if John had said he had been a sinner, he had lyed; for, no sinner hath fellowship with God. For, He that commits sin, is of the Devil; and God hath no fellowship with Devils: But he that is born of God doth not commit sin: and John was born of God, as he said: though he came to his own, yet his own received him not; but to as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the Sons of God: (and John did receive him;) who were born (mark) not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. Yet the apostle did use a condescending word to the Children, in saying We. But let all men take heed, how they call that common, which God hath cleansed. Yet this I say, in the truth of God, That if any shall say, they have no sin, when Gods Witness in them doth condemn them for sin: they then make God a lyar, and we are all sensible, that God will not clear the guilty. But if we confess our sins, he is just, to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. And again, If we shall say that we have not sinned, we lye, and do not the truth. But he that is born of God sinneth not; for his seed remaineth in him, and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. And John said, he should have boldness in the Day of Judgement; because, as he is, so are we, saith he, in this Life.
Bap. But doth not the Apostle say, We and others speak after the same manner?
Qua. Yea; for instance, James said We, as well as John; In many things WE sin all. But James was not in the many things, but in the one Seed, the Anointing, and could sin no more than John. And again he said We; For, saith he, with the tongue we bless God, and with the tongue we curse men, made after the Image of God. But did James Curse men? Mu. God forbid. For I believe that James was a very honest man, and would not Curse men, Jam. 3.9. But pray Friend, why did Paul say, The good that I would do, I do not; and the evil that I would not do, that do I? Qua. Truly Friend, that was a good state, to cry out, being under the sense of a body of sin; and to feel sin exceeding sinful. I verily believe there was such a day with Paul, but the Lord brought him out of that state, as he said; For the Law of the Spirit of Life, in Christ Jesus, hath set me free from the Law of sin and death. 'Tis so, Rom. 7.24. & 8.2.
Bap. Why do you Quakers hold falling away? For once in Christ and ever in Christ; and so sin past, and present, and to come is done away.
Qua. How can Baptists fall away from the Truth, that are not come to it; or fall from Christ, who are not in Christ? For I testifie in the Spirit of Truth, that there is as great a gulfe between you Baptists that are not in Christ, and those that are in the Truth, as there was between Abraham and Dives. But they that are in Christ, and do abide in Christ, are his Disciples: But they that are in him, and do not abide in him, they will be cast forth as a branch, and so it withereth, and men cast it into the fire, saith Christ Jesus, John 15. But if thou couldest make that good, That sin past, present, and to come, is put away; thou wouldest be a friend to the Ranters, and to the old Apostates; and to make the sayings of Christ and the Prophets of none effect: But thou and they will find it otherwise, except ye repent. And I know also, (though I bear you no malice, but wish that you may be delivered from wrath to come; and that you may come to the Righteousness of Christ, by true repentance towards God, and faith through our Lord Jesus Christ) there is an antipathy in you against the truth of God, and Gods friends, called Quakers. For in times past I had been delivered out of Prison, had it not been for a Baptist-Chair-Man: But Paul was in the same condition, when he was Saul; for he thought verily that he must do many things against Jesus of Nazareth; which thing I did in Jerusalem, and many of the Saints did I shut up in Prison; and when they were to be put to death, I gave my voice against them, Acts 26.9,10. And this I say in the fear of the Lord, not sparing any, whoever they are, that are and shall be found workers of Iniquity; they must depart from him, although they may be called Quakers: yet if they go from their stedfastness, and from the Truth, and become such as forsake the assemblings of themselves together, as some do and have done; such are gone from their first Lord, and have damnation: Yea, and if such do not speedily return, and witness repentance, they are in danger to sin against the holy Ghost: for such Crucify unto themselves the Son of God, and put him to open shame: yea, such trample under foot the Son of God, and count the blood of the New Covenant an unholy thing, by which they were sanctified: Notwithstanding such did taste of the heavenly gift, and of the power of the world to come. Such were in the dayes of Old, who were called, The Sons of God. And the Sons of God went in to the Daughters of men, and were drowned with the wicked, Gen. 8.2. Ezek. 18.24. and 34.17. Heb. 6.6. and 10.25,26. Mu. But truly Friend, 'tis pitty that so many good men that are in England, and other parts, who fear God; for I am perswaded that there are some good men among the Baptists, and Independants, the Presbyters and Episcopal, yea and Papists too, that are very strict men, and serve God instantly; and what, are they all cast away because they are not Quakers? Qua. Why call'st thou them good? there is none good but God, and they that are taught of God, and do hear what the Spirit of Truth doth say to them, and obey it; and such, their praise is not of men but of God. But as to the fear of the Lord, that is very precious, God will bring such to the Truth, from out of all the barren places: For, God is no respecter of persons; but in every Nation, he that feares God, and works Righteousness, is accepted of him. I say, such will God bring to his Everlasting Truth, as he did Cornelius. But as for the generality of those men thou spakest of, They have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge; For there is one thing that God doth require, and they despise that one thing; so their prayers cannot be heard, Rom. 10.2,3. Mu. Pray what is that One thing which makes them uncapable of acceptation? for methinks, 'tis great pitty that so many good men, as I call them, should not be accepted. Surely you judge too hardly. Qua. I dare not daube with untempred morter; for where they are, I was; viz. in Performances, in Ordinances, in Family Duties, in Hearing, in Reading, in Prayers, in Fastings in my own Will, and all this was Will-Worship: but when that One thing came which is needful, I became very poor and needy; and I do find, and therefore do testifie for God, that while men are in their natural state, they cannot please God; nay, all men rather are displeased at that of God in their own hearts, though they may think themselves never so Religious. For Paul said, That he thought verily, that he was to do many things contrary to Jesus of Nazareth. Well, but when I came to bend my mind to that of God in me, which is Christ; his pure Law in my heart, shewed sin to be exceeding sinful, and then I began to learn to be a fool; insomuch, that I durst not give thanks for the Victuals that were set before me, Psal. 39.2. Rom. 7.13. Mu. Truly then you were unworthy of it in my judgement; for we must give thanks and praise God for all his Benefits: Lord, what sad people are you Quakers! I did never hear such a word before. Qua. Ah Friend, Gods wayes are not like mans wayes; neither are mans teachings like unto God's teachings: for when the Lord comes, his Commandment is, Silence all flesh; and that Tongue which could Preach, and Pray, and give Thanks, must come to know a Bridle from good words, and bad words: Even as David said, I kept silence even from good words, though sore against my will. For I had often praised God with that tongue that had told Lies before Truth came; and Truth brought its Bridle and tied me up, so I gave up that to the Famine, which was for the Famine: and with my tongue I had often called God, Father, before that was born that should call him Father; as many Professors do this day; but when they shall turn to the One thing that is needful, and part with all for that One things sake; then the broken heart will rise, then no sleep to the eyes, nor slumber to the eyelids, till that be felt born that comes to do the will of God, and before this time, or about this time, men come to sit down and reckon what it will cost them, for all is to be given up within and without; and such come in at the right door: yet were it not for the mercy of the Lord, we could never hold out, Luke 14.28. Now we come to witness the saying of the Lord Jesus, Without me ye can do nothing: For indeed the way is very strait, and the gate narrow, but God hath laid help upon one that is mighty, and he hath met us, to go before us: O blessed be the Lord! Mu. But doth not the Lord say, Buy wine and milk without money and without price? Then why dost thou tell us of cost and charges? Is not the grace of God free? Qua. Yes verily; yea, and the Testimony of the Lord is true, for no gold or silver can buy the Truth; yet it is to be bought; for saith Christ, who is the Wisdom, Buy the Truth, and sell it not, Prov. 23.23. Mu. This is strange Doctrine, and methinks you are a strange People, and your Language is strange, and your Carriage strange; You stand much upon Thee and Thou, and Yea, and Nay. Qua. Come to the Witness of God in thy own particular, and thou shalt know the reason, why we are so fearful to displease the Lord: Oh when the fear is over the heart, lest we should offend with our tongue, we are safe: And as for thee and thou, we had never learnt it except the Lord had taught it us, for I could willingly have spoken the old Language which was from the Pope, You, to a particular; but the Language of the Spirit is thou to one, and you to many, as thou mayest read from the beginning of Genesis, to the end of the Revelations; though I could willingly have gone miles about, than meet my old Companions to speak the plain language to them. And as I was faithful in a little, the Lord made me stronger and stronger. But when I said to one, you, the Lord would smite and judge me for it. And as yea, and nay, are faithfully performed in the power of the Lord, and to stand faithful to it: Men will as soon take our yea, or nay, as others Bonds. But these little things cost me and others very dear; and whoever will be his disciple, he must not despise the day of small things; but must take up the daily Cross and follow him. This is true, Mat. 10.38. Mu. Indeed I have heard in the Gospel, that we must seek the Kingdom of Heaven first, and the Righteousness thereof, and all other things shall be added. That is very plain Scripture; but who is able to do so? Surely but very few. Qua. Many in this day of the Lord have denyed all, and have taken up the daily Cross, and have followed him, and are well satisfied in what they have done: Glory for ever be to the Lord, Mat. 5.20. Mu. O the way to heaven is a very hard, strait, and narrow way, and few there be that find it: What will become of me vile wretch? Qua. That which presents thee vile in thine own eye, and in secret reproves thee for sin; O love that, Rev. 3.9. Mu. Friend, pray for me, for now I begin to hate my self and my Calling, but how shall I love that which reproves me? would you indeed have me do so? how contrary is this to our Religion? Qua. Take heed to Gods Witness, and give up to obey it, and own the indignation of the Lord, as David did, because he had sinned against him; So the Light of Christ will let thee see thy sin. But believe the Light and follow the Light, and look not so much at the sin, as at him who will save thee out of the hands of all thine Enemies: For a mans enemies are they of his own house. But as thou mindest the Light, it will judge and condemn sin, and raise a desire in thee to do the will of God, and thou must have a care not quench that desire. Mu. Truly, I think there is something in me, I cannot be at peace nor at quiet for it; and sometimes I am grievously affrighted. Qua. 'Tis the Witness of God; this was my case once: Give up in obedience to him, and love his Reproofs, for the reproofs of Instruction is the way of Life: 'Tis so, Prov. 3.11,12. Mu. Well Friend, I have strove much to oppose you, though in my self I have been reproved for it: for I do believe that both God and good men love the honest Quakers. But if I and all men do oppose you, yet you go on; surely there is a miraculous hand upholds you, that you so hold your integrity; truly Friend, I have a good mind to hear you, but I would not be seen. Qua. 'Tis meet for thee to try all things, and hold fast that which is good; but thou must not be afraid of men if thou wilt be a follower of Christ. Take heed, and agree with thy Adversary quickly, while thou art in the way with him, and he with thee, Mat. 5.25. Mu. But I have read that the Devil is my Adversary, must I agree with him? Qua. Nay: Thou hast been at agreement with him too long already; but thou must agree with him that reproves thee for thy sin, and look well to thy precious time, while the Spirit yet strives with thee, and let all people take heed of deferring their time. But hearken to his voice, while it is called to day: For now is the acceptable time, now is the day of salvation: for Gods long-suffering waits to be gracious as it did in the days of Noah. Therefore haste, haste, come out of all uncleanness, and of all false Worships: let all men take heed how they withstand their day; for Gods Spirit will not always strive with men, lest it should fail before him, and the souls that he hath made.
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