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ow I shall consider his postscript, in writing of which
has dipt his pen deep in the gall of bitterness in some rts of it, which I shall touch a little upon, as I shall me to them. But to begin, “ Notwithstanding (saith he) all that I ve said in the preceding discourse concerning maintence : yet as to my own particular, if a temporal mainnance had been my chief aim, I should have discovered eat folly in accepting a call from so small and poor a ople.” Answer. From his words, one may conclude it was s aim, though not his chief aim; and then, as to the lepherd's call, ought it not to be from the great Shep-rd Jesus Christ? and if they will answer this call, he ys, “Go forth.”
Where do we find any example for minister of the gospel, to stay and preach to only one irticular congregation ? Pray let them produce it if they
But now suppose a place should present to Joseph Met. alfe, where the people were richer, and more of them; ould he not leave his poor Aock, to go to the rich ? 'ray let him have a care, as he says, that his own heart o not deceive hin: we but too plainly perceive, by the ractice of those money ministers, that the loudest call, s the most money. Query, upon this great word call, chether the sheep use to call the shepherd, or the shepierd the sheep? Do not they strangely invert the order of nature here, in their pretended call from the people ? Christ the true shepherd 'said, “My sheep hear my voice.” do that he and his servants, or ministers, call the sheep, ind not the sheep them; and those holy shepherds called their sheep freely, though these must have money for their calling, and the sheep call them too: neither will that satisfy some of those shepherds, but they will needs have money from some poor sheep that never called them; and if they cannot give it them freely, they will have it by force. A young shepherd said to one at Salem, in New-England, “That though Paul had power, and did not use it, yet he would use his power.” But that blessed apostle never pretended to any forcible power, except the force and power of love.
He, the said Joseph Metcalfe, complains of his small income for preaching, and of his poverty ; though it is probable he has more than all the twelve apostles, and seventy disciples, when they were sent forth by their great Lord and master; and to be sure he has more money for preaching, than they all had. But he has con fessed his call is not divine, therefore not from Christ; for he says, “If he had a divine call, he could forego every thing in the world.” And so he is but a legal literal preacher, and minister : a minister that forces himself to offer, and would also force those who receive not his offering, to pay him, though against their consciences.
And as for his family's starving, I never heard or read of any christian minister's family starving, especially in a christian country; nor I believe he nor any body else. Certainly there is need to cry out to those men, “0, ye of little faith! whọ clothes the lilies, and feeds the sparrows, shall he not take care of you? O, ye of little faith!" I fear they forget the doctrine of him, whom they sometimes call the Lord.
As to what he writes in the second page of his post. script, if he duly minds what I have written in answer to his, I think he cannot imagine that the faming vengeance there poured out by him upon us, can any way touch us; but let him and them which are concerned in the work (for I understand he had the help of a cunning man in this work) have a care, that it fall not on themselyes : and truly the poor quakers may be very thankful that the faming sword is not in their hands : for if it were, experience, yea, woful experience, has taught us; that we might expect but little mercy from some of them. And pray why cannot they be more patient, since they hold that God hath ordained whatever conies to pass ? For they see it come to pass that we cannot join with them; cannot they let the ordinance of God alone? I remember an expression of Cotton Mather, in one of his scur. rilous pieces, “ That the best way to deal with the qua. kers, was to let them alone.” Then, according to Cotton Mather, this man, and he that helped him, have taken the worst way to deal with us: and truly they lose ground generally when they meddle with us.
As for his foolish pity and bitter lamentation over us, we desire that they would lament over themselves and their children, as our Saviour did over the Jews when they persecuted him; and truly those who justify their forefathers in hanging the quakers, and their other ways, of so bitterly persecuting them as they did, had not only need to lament, but to repent too.
And even now, they prove themselves to be the persecutors (and not we) by forcing a maintenance from us. The presbyterians in Old England, alias Great-Britain, are one with us in this doctrine, that forcing a maintenance for ministers from them that do not hear them, is altogether wrong and unjust: and how comes it to pass, that the same people are otherwise minded in New-England ? Let them resolve this question.
I shall consider these texts of scripture which he has thrown at us (and gently return them unto him again.)
At the end of his postscript he says, “ The judgments of God are a great deep:” (Yes too deep for his legal literal buckets to fetch them up,) Rom. xi. 7. clection hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded."
I hope he will give the Almighty leave to elect whom he pleaseth. Were the election in the power of this priest, let the reader judge whether we might expect any of it.
He cites, 2 Cor. iv. 3. “ If our gospel be hid, it is hid to those that are lost.” Answer.
Now why did this priest hide the fourth and itext verse, was it not for fear the light of the quakers
doctrine should shine upon the people? Which is thus (the fourth verse opening and explaining the third,) "In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them who believe not; lest the light of the glorious gos. pel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” Or as in the 6th verse, “For God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our
hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, in the face of Jesus Christ.” He thought good to hide this gospel, but I think good to make it mani. fest; which puts me in mind of a proverb, “ Who is so blind as those that will not see ?”
He goes on, 2-Thess. ii. 10, 11, 12. “ They received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved; and for this cause, God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie; that they all might be damned, who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” And Jude 8, 10, 11, 12, 13. “These filthy dreamers despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities, but speak evil of these things which they know not; wo unto them, clouds they are without water, raging waves foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.”
To all which I answer, 1st. We have received the truth in the love of it, the Holy Spirit beareth witness with our spirits, that we are the children of God: which holy witness, is stronger for us, than the witness of ten thousand priests can be against us.
2d. “So the cause being taken away, the effect of delusion ceaseth."
And 3d. Pray let them be careful of deluding them. selves and the people, by keeping them in ignorance and darkness : telling them, they cannot be cleansed from sin, while here in this world. For all those that believe this, do believe a lie with a witness, and are strangely and strongly deluded. This is a miserable gospel, con. trary to the doctrine of the holy apostles, who are positively opposite to that evil tenet. “ If (says the apostle) we walk in the light, as he is in the light, then the blood of Jesus Christ, his Son, cleanseth us from all sin.” And
Christ came to destroy the works of the devil, and to save the people from their sin. And pray beware of taking pleasure in pleading for unrighteousness.
4th. As to these filthy dreamers, pray be careful what you dream in your pulpits to the people ; for some of you will not alow of the immediate operation of the Holy Ghost; wherefore beware of filthy dreams, and old wives' fables.
5th. We despise not those who are dignified in the truth, and rule well in the church (not with rigour and persecution), and we account them worthy of double honour; but persecutors are not so much as worthy of single honour, and we should be but hypocrites to give it them.
6th. And what celestial rain, or holy divine water, is there in those cloudy dark preachers, who preach damnation to the greatest part of the world? Let them look to it, and repent in time.
7th. “ Raging waves, foaming out their own shame."
Answer. If persecution is not the fruit of rage and shame, I do not know what is. Pray courteous reader judge.
8th. “Wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever."
Now because many cast this text in our teeth, I shall write a little to it, thus; this must be intended to those who wander from the holy spirit, gift, and grace of God in themselves, by and from which every true minister of Christ ought to exercise his gift, and not to speak when, where, and what he pleases : Oh, happy world! if all professing to be christian ministers did not wander from this gift into the inventions and traditions of men. And further, this cannot be taken in an outward sense, because Christ himself, and his apostles travelled much, and said, * Take us for examples ; follow us, as we have followed Christ." And all that know any thing of letters, know that the word apostle signifies a messenger, which necessarily implies a traveller; and divers of these blessed ones had no certain dwelling place. Our dear Lord him. self had not whereon to lay his head, as himself says;