Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

Answer. It is true, the Truth did break forth in the North of England, as to its perfect manifestation, as the same author says,* “That out of it did the branch spring, and the day-star arise, which gives light to all the regions round about,” viz., that in this latter age, according to the prophecy of Jeremiah, the Lord would bring up His seed out of the North-country.

Cotton Mather, Ibid.Nevertheless, I can tell the world, that the first Quakers that ever were in the world, were certain fanatics here in our town of Salem.” Answer. This is false, for there were Quakers in the world, such as Moses, David, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Habakkuk, and others as aforesaid, who quaked and trembled at the Word of the Lord before either he, they, or their town of Salem were named or known in the world; and he might have found this in Scripture, much better than at the Delphian Oracle, with which he makes a vain comparison, were he not more ready with heathen stories than Christian or Scriptural; and besides, he said, Book III., chap. i., page 75, that “the first out-breaking of Quakerism was at Kirbysteven in Westmoreland," and now he says, “the first was at Salem, in New England.” So, though neither be true, as I have shown before, which of them shall we believe? But he may remember that, according to the old proverb, “a liar hath need of a good memory.".

Cotton Mather, Ibid.-" They did, in the year 1657, find a way into New England.” Answer. False again; they came first to New England in the year 1656, so that here he is as false in his chronology as he was before in matter of fact. Ibid., And were," says he, "for a while, unhappily successful in seducing the people, not only to attend unto the mystical dispensation of the Light within, as having the whole of religion contained therein.” Answer. It is not unhappy or seducing to turn people from darkness to light, as the apostle did, or for people to attend unto it; though thou art so unhappy as to oppose it, and so blasphemous as to call it seducing, to attend unto it; the attending to which is the greatest happiness that people can attain to in this life; inasmuch as they that believe in it become children of it

* E. Burrough's Works, page 66.

and of God, as they are who are led by the Spirit, which is Light, and they who “walk in it, have fellowship with God," &c., as “all that are saved" must do, though thou callest it a mystical dispensation, and it is indeed a mystery to thee and all the world who “hate the Light, and love darkness rather, because their deeds are evil;" yet in it is contained, in a sense, all religion, being the ground and moving cause of all true religion; and therefore the following words, “but also to oppose the good order, both civil and sacred, erected in the colony," are false, and but words of course; for they “opposed no good order," nor anything that was “civil or sacred in the colony," but only the vain customs and will-worships of men, by exhorting them to turn from their vanity and dead works, to serve the living God, that they might come to know His pure Spirit in themselves to be the root and moving cause of all their words and actions, that so they might come to serve Him acceptably; for want of which, it is plain, the Lord hath rejected their sacrifices, as not required at their hands, being in the spirit of “Cain, who slew his brother, because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous;" for which, the hand of the Lord hath been against them ever since.

Cotton Mather, Ibid.--"Those persons in the Massachusetts colony, whose office it was to be watchmen of it, were much alarmed at the approach of so great a plague." Answer. Had they been true watchmen, that watch for the soul, they would not nor need not have been so alarmed at the approach of a few innocent persons, that came only to seek the good of their souls, and not anything they had; nor have been at such a loss how to prevent, or have taken such ways to keep them from coming amongst them; nor were prisons, whips, and gallows, &c., ever used by the “true church” (against whom the gates of hell shall not prevail) to keep any from coming amongst them; these are the weapons of the “ false church, who drank the blood of the saints and martyrs of Jesus," who thereby put the good and blessing from them, and "rendered themselves unworthy of eternal life," and so kept the plague to themselves, as you have done, and which hath followed you one way or another ever since.

Ibid. Although Quakerism “has, by the new turn that such ingenious men as Mr. Penn have given to it, become quite a new thing." Answer. What he terms Quakerisin hath received no new turn, nor any turn, by William Penn or any one else, but is the good old religion mentioned in Scripture, of “trembling at the Word of the Lord,'' and a walking with Him in the Light, where He dwells, and in Christ, as new creatures, to whom “old things have passed away, and all things are become new." Yet, says he, “the old Foxian Quakerism, which then visited New England, was the grossest collection of blasphemies and confusions that was ever heard of." Answer. This is but the gross slander, of him who is himself the blasphemer and in confusion as aforesaid, and proves nothing but his scoffing, railing spirit, which therefore is denied, and returned to him again, with his term, Foxian; but what he calls Quakerism was no other, for substance, than as above expressed.

Cotton Mather, Ibid.-" The Christ then witnessed by the Quaker was a certain heavenly Divine body, constituted of invisible flesh, blood, and bones, in which Christ came from heaven." Answer. Though the term, “divine body," be not found in Scripture, yet, if it be meant of the flesh and blood of Christ that came down from heaven, on which the saints feed and are thereby nourished up unto eternal life, of which the Scripture speaks, Jno. vi., and which we own, as well as that he took of the Virgin, I do not see what error there is in it; if any have used it, viz., as a divine seed or body, and which our old and his new friend, George Keith, used as much as any one; yet, what Quaker ever said (as he pretends) that “He put that body into the other body of our nature, and that outermost body He left behind when He ascended into heaven, nobody knows where," says he, nor who ever said so, say I. All these are but Cotton Mather's bold assertions, without proof, which I return upon him, as also his saying, that “this heavenly and spiritual body the Quakers at length evaporate into a more mystical dispensation," which is denied as before said. And at last, says he, “it is nothing but that excusing and condemning principle in man, which we call the natural conscience," but therein, say I, they call it wrong; it is no more conscience, than the lantern, to which it is sometimes compared, is the candle, or, more properly, “the Spirit of the Lord” that lights it, which the spirit of a man is said to be, viz., “The candle of the Lord," which He “lighteth." And, but a few lines further, he says, “which, indeed, is nothing but some remainder of the Divine image, left by the compassion of God, upon the conscience of man, after his fall.” So that herein he has contradicted himself, and shown his inconsistency and confusion; for, if it is what the Lord hath left upon the conscience, then it is not conscience, neither is it natural, but spiritual, for “ in Him was life, and the life was the light of men;" and that is spiritual, though it shines in the conscience, yea, in darkness also, yet the darkness comprehendeth it not. Herein they show their ignorance of, as well as envy to, the Light of Christ; “and is the man Christ," says he, “a measure of which is in the Quakers.Answer. This we never said was the man Christ, nor denied his manhood, though a measure of that Divine life, which was in him and is the light of men, is in us and in all men; yet that, “upon which account," as he says, “the Quakers made themselves to be Christs, as truly as ever Jesus was the Son of Mary," is a most gross falsehood and calumny, which deserves no other answer than what Michael gave the devil: “The Lord rebuke thee."

Cotton Mather, Ibid., Chap. ii.-“And this principle the Quakers called a measure of the man Christ, the Light, the Word, the Seed,” is true, that is, as He was both God and man, and we own it so to be, and is one of the truest things in his book; but that “they therefore beheld the whole history of the Gospel," as he says, “ acted over again every day as literally as ever it was in Palestine," this is false, and I dare him to prove who ever said so, or that “what befalls this principle in us, they advanced as the Truth of Christ sacrificed for us, dying, rising, sitting at the right hand of God, and coming in clouds to judgment." This is also false, and is but some of George Keith's late calumnies and perversions, in which Cotton Mather is following him, lately answered, as in the book entitled Judas and the Chief Priests, &c., which I dare him to prove, or own himself a liar. And, that “they set themselves hereupon to extinguish our whole Christian religion.” Answer. No such matter, as to the Christian religion, whatever they did as to theirs, that they called Christian, though so unchristian, as appeared by their actions, yet not the true Christian religion set up by Christ and His apostles, viz., To worship God in spirit and in truth, and to visit the fatherless and widows,” which, instead of visiting, the New-England men persecuted; "and to keep unspotted of the world,” which their religion doth not by his own confession, witness Book V., pages 88, 89, 90, &c., of his History, and Book VII., chap. i., where he complains of the sins and abominations that are among them.

Cotton Mather, Ibid." They scoffed at our imagined God beyond the stars, and said our carnal. Christ is utterly denied by the light.” Answer. This is also false, for they deny scoffing, nor never used any such expressions in contempt of the true God and Christ, though not so beyond the stars as not to be in His people; “neither afar off, in heaven, nor beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, who shall go up for us to heaven? or, who shall go over the sea, to bring Christ? But the word is nigh thee, in thy mouth and in thy heart,” &c. Nor “is Christ in heaven with a carnal, but spiritual body, and that the express words in the preachments of those quaking holders-forth, as it is in print, attested by some of themselves, that had so much Christianity as to leave them upon the scandal of it, have been, that it is the work of the devil, to cause people, that have professed the appearance of Christ in the heart, to respect the person of Christ without them; and that it is a delusion to direct the minds of people to respect Christ, as He is now in heaven above the clouds.” Answer. All this I return upon him as lies, till he prove whoever spoke so, or produce his print attested by such as he says, to tell where and in whose preachment it was so held forth, with his scoffing term on it, and then we may also see whether it was not for some other scandal, and not Christianity, that they left them.

Cotton Mather, Ibid.-" They styled those blind beasts,” terms

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »