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come all injustice and oppression, and preaching this doctrine as Christian, for others to follow.

III. Another was the sufficiency of truth-speaking, according to Christ's own form of sound words, of yea, yea, nay, nay, among Christians, without swearing; both from Christ's express prohibition, to swear at all, Mat. v. and for that they being under the tie and bond of truth in themselves, there was no necessity for an oath ; and it would be a reproach to their Christian veracity to assure their truth by such an extraordinary way of speaking: simple and uncompounded answers, as yea and nay, (without asseverations, attestations, or supernatural youchers) being most suitable to evangelical righteousness. But offering, at the same time, to be punished to the full, for false-speaking, as others for perjury, if ever guilty of it: and hereby they exclude, with all true, all false, and profane swearing; for which the land did and doth mourn, and the great God was, and is, not a little offended with it.

IV. Not fighting, but suffering, is another testimony peculiar to this people : they aflirm that Christianity teacheth people, “ to beat their swords into plough-shares, and their spears into pruning-hooks, and to learn war no more; that so the wolf may lie down with the lamb, and the lion with the calf, and nothing that destroys be entertained in the hearts of people;" exhorting them to employ their zeal against sin, and turn their anger against Satan, and no longer war one against another; because, “all wars and fight, ings come of men's own hearts'lusts,” according to the apostle James, and not of the meek Spirit of Christ Jesus, who is captain of another warfare, and which is carried on with other weapons. Thus as truth-speaking succeeded swearing, so faith and patience succeeded fighting, in the doctrine and practice of this people. Nor ought they, for this, to be obnoxious to civil government; since, if they cannot fight for it, neither can they fight against it; which is no mean secu. rity to any state. Nor is it reasonable that people should be blamed for not doing more for others, than they can do for themselves. And, Christianity set aside, if the costs and fruits of war werewell considered, peace, with all its inconveniences, is generally preferable. But though they were not for fight ing, they were for submitting to government; and that, not only for fear, but for conscience-sake, where government doth not interfere with conscience : believing it to be an ordinance of God, and, where it is justly administered, a great benefit to mankind. Though it has been their lot, through blind zeal in some, and interest in others, to have felt the strokes of it with greater weight and rigour, than any other persuasion in this age; whilst they, of all others, religion set aside, have given the civil magistrate the least occasion of trouble in the discharge of his office.

V. Another part of the character of this people, was, and is, they refuse to pay tithes, or maintenance, to a national ministry;

and that for two reasons: the one is, they believe all compelled maintenance, even to gospel-ministers, to be unlawful, because expressly contrary to Christ's command, who said, “Freely you have received, freely give :” at least, that the maintenance of gospel-ministers should be free, and not forced. The other reason of their refusal is, because those ministers are not gospel ones, in that the Holy Ghost is not their foundation, but human arts and parts. So that it is not matter of humour or sullenness, but pure conscience towards God, that they cannot help to support national ministries where they dwell; which are but too much, and too visibly, become ways of worldly advantage and preferment.

VI. Not to respect persons, was, and is, another of their doctrines and practices, for which they were often buffetted and abused. They affirmed it to be sinful to give flattering titles, or to use vain gestures and compliments of respect. Though to virtue and authority they ever made a difference; but after their plain and homely manuer, yet sincere and substantial way: well remembering the examples of Mordecai and Elihu: but, more especially, the command of their Lord and Master Jesus Christ, who forhad his followers to call men Rabbi, which inplies lord or master; also the fastionable greetings and salutations of those times; that so self-love and honour, to which the proud mind of man is incident, in his fallen estate, might not be indulged, but rebuked. And though this rendered their conversation disagreeable, yet they that will remember what Christ said to the Jews, “ Tow can you believe in me, who receive honour one of another,” will abate of their resentment, if his doctrine has any credit with them.

VII. They al:o used the plain language of thee and thou, to a single person, whatever was his degree among men. And, indeed, the wisdom of God was much seer, in bringing forth this people in so plain an appearance : for it was a close and distinguishing test upon the spirits of those they came among; showing their insides, and what predominated, notwithstanding their high and great profession of religion. This, among the rest, sounded so harsh to many of them, and they took it so ill, that they would say, 'Thou me, thou my dog! If thou thou'st me, l'll thou ihy teeth down thy throat :' forgetting the language they use to God in their VOL. III.

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own prayers, and the common style of the scriptures, and that it is an absolute and essential propriety of speech. And what good, alas ! had their religion done them, who were so sensibly touched with indignation, for the use of this plain, honest, and true speech.

VIIÍ. They recommended silence by their example, bav. ing very few words upon all occasions. They were at a word in dealing: nor could their customers, with many words, tempt them from it, having more regard to truth than custom, to example than gain : they sought solitude; but when in company, they would neither use, nor willingly hear, unnecessary, as well as unlawfal discourses: whereby they preserved their minds pure and undisturbed from unprofitable thoughts, and diversions. Nor could they humour the custom of good night, good morrow, God speed ; for they knew the night was good, and the day was good, without wishing of either; and that, in the other expression, the holy name of God was too lightly and unthankfully used, and therefore taken in vain. Besides, they were words and wishes of course, and are usually as little meant, as are love and service in the custom of cap and knee; and superfluity in those, as well as in other things, was burdensome to them; and therefore they did not only decline to use them, but found themselves often pressed to reprove the practice.

IX. For the same reason they forbore drinking to people or pledging of them, as the manner of the world is : a practice that is not only unnecessary, but, they thought, evil in the tendencies of it, being a provocation to drink more than did people good, as well as that it was in itself vaja and heathenish.

X. Their way of marriage is peculiar to them; and shows a distinguishing care, above other societies professing Christianity. They say, 'that marriage is an ordinance of God; and that God only can rightly join man and woman in mar. riage. Therefore they use neither priest nor magistrate; but the man and woman concerned, take each other, as hus·band and wife, in the presence of divers credible witnesses, promising to each other, with God's assistance, to be loving and faithful in that relation, till death shall separate them. But, antecedent to this, they first present themselves to the monthly meeting, for the affairs of the church, where they reside ; there declaring their intentions to take one another as husband and wife, if the said meeting have nothing material to object against it. They are constantly asked the necessary questions, as in case of parents or guardians, if they have acquainted them with their intention, and have their consent, &c. The method of the meeting is, to take a minute thereof, and to appoint proper persons to enquire of their conversation and clearness from all others, and whether they have discharged their duty to their parents or guardians; and to make report thereof to the next monthly meeting, where the same parties are desired to give their attendance. In case it appears they have proceeded orderly, the meeting passes their proposal, and so records it in their meeting-book. And in case the woman be a widow, and hath children, due care is there taken, that provision also be made by her for the orphans, before the meeting pass

the proposals of marriage : advising the parties concerned, to appoint a convenient time and place, and to give fitting notice to their relations, and such friends and neighbours, as they desire should be the witnesses of their marriage : where they take one another by the hand, and, by name, promise reciprocally love and fidelity, after the manner before expressed. Of all which proceedings, a narrative, in way of certificate, is made, to which the said parties first set their hands, thereby making it their act and deed; and then divers relations, spectators, and auditors set their names, as witnesses of what they said and signed. And this certificate is afterwards registered in the record belonging to the meeting where the marriage is solemnized. Which regular method has been, as it deserves, adjudged, in courts of law, a good marriage; where it has been by cross and ill people disputed and contested, for want of the accustomed formalities of priest and ring, &c. Ceremonies they have refused; not out of humour, but conscience reasonably grounded; inasmuch as no scripture-example tells us, that the priest had any other part, of old time, than that of a witness among the rest, before whom the Jews used to take one another : and therefore this people look upon it as an imposition, to advance the powor and profits of the clergy: and for the use of the ring, it is enough to say, that it was an heathenish and vain custom, and never in practice among the people of God, Jews, or primitive Christians: the words of the usual form, as, with my body I thee worship,' &c. are hardly defensible. In short, they are more careful, exact, and reguJar, than any form now used; and it is free of the inconveniences with which other methods are attended : their care and checks being so many, and such, as that no clandestine marriage can be performed among them.

XI. It may not be unfit to say something here of their births and burials, which make up so much of the pomp and solemnity of too many called Christians. For births, the parents name their own children ; which is usually some

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days after they are born, in the presence of the midwife, if she can be there, and those that were at the birth, wbo afterwards sign a certificate, for that purpose prepared, of the birth or name of the child or children ; which is recorded in a proper book, in the monthly meeting to which the parents belong; avoiding the accustomed ceremonies and festivals.

XII. Their burials are performed with the same simplicity. If the body of the deceased be near any public meeting-place, it is usually carried thither ; for the more convenient reception of those that accompany it to the burying ground. And it so falls out sometimes, that while the meeting is gathering for the burial, some or other has a word of exhortation, for the sake of the people there met together. After which, the body is borne away by young men, or else those that are of their neighbourhood, or those that were most of the intimacy of the deceased party : the corpse being in a plain coffin, without any covering or furniture upon it. Ai the ground, they pause some time before they put the body into its grave, that if any there should have any thing upon them to exhort the people, they may not be diappointed, and that the relations may the more retiredly and solemnly take their last leave of the body of their departed kindred, and the spectators have a sense of mortality, by the occasion then given them to reflect upon their own latter end. Otherwise, they have no set rites or ceremonies on those occasions. Neither do the kindred of the deceased ever wear mourning; they looking upon it as a worldly ceremony and piece of pomp; and that what mourning is fit for a Christian to have, at the departure of a beloved relation or friend, should be worn in the mind, which only is sensible of the loss; and the love they had to them, and remembrance of them, to be outwardly expressed by a respect to their advice, and care of those they have left behind them, and their love of that they loved. Which conduct of theirs, though unmodish or unfashionable, leaves nothing of the substance of things neglected or undone: and as they aim at no more. so that simplicity of life is what they observe with great satisfaction; though it sometimes happens not to be without the mockeries of the vain world they live in.

These things, to be sure, gave them a rough and disagreeable appearance with the generality; who thought them “ turners of the world upside down," as indeed, in some sense, they were : but in no other than that wbérein Paal was so charged, viz. To bring things back into their primitive and right order again. For these and such like prac- .

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