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280. This foolish quality gives a large field; but let what I have faid, ferve for this time.

OF CHARITY.

281. Charity has various fenfes, but is excellent in all of them.

282. It imports, firft, the commiferation of the poor and unhappy of mankind, and extends an helping-hand to mend their condition.

283. They that feel nothing of this, are, at best, not above half akin to human race; fince they must have no bowels, which makes fuch an effential part thereof, who have no more nature.

284. A man! and yet not have the feeling of the wants or needs of his own flesh and blood! A monster rather! And may he never be fuffered to propagate fuch an unnatural stock in the world!

285. Such an uncharitableness spoils the best gains; and two to one but it entails a curfe upon the poffeffors. 286. Nor can we expect to be heard of God in our prayers, that turn the deaf ear to the petitions of the diftreffed amongst our fellow-creatures.

287. God fends the poor to try us; as well as he tries them, by being fuch: and he that refuses them a little, out of the great deal that God has given him, lays up poverty in store for his own pofterity.

288. I will not say these works are meritorious; but I dare fay they are acceptable; and go not without their reward: though, to humble us in our fulness, and liberality too, we only give what is given us to give, as well as ufe for if we ourselves are not our own, lefs is that fo which God has intrufted us with.

289. Next, charity makes the best conftruction of things and perfons; and is fo far from being an evil fpy, a backbiter, or a detractor, that it excufes weakness, extenuates miscarriages, makes the beft of every thing, forgives every-body, ferves all, and hopes to the end. 290. It moderates extremes, is always for expedients, labours to accommodate differences, and had rather

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Suffer

Suffer than revenge: and is fo far from exacting the utmoft farthing, that it had rather lofe, than feek its own violently.

291. As it acts freely, fo zealously too; but it is always to do good, for it hurts nobody.

292. An univerfal remedy against difcord, and an holy cement for mankind.

293. And, laftly, It is LOVE to God and the brethren, which raises the foul above all worldly confiderations: and as it gives a taste of heaven upon earth, so it is heaven, in the fulness of it, to the truly charitable here. 294. This is the nobleft fenfe charity has; after which all fhould prefs, as that more excellent way.

295. Nay, most excellent: for as faith, hope, and charity were the more excellent way that the great apostle discovered to the Chriftians (too apt to stick in outward gifts and church performances) fo, of that better way, he preferred charity as the BEST part, because it would out-laft the reft, and abide for ever.

296. Wherefore a man can never be a true and good Christian without charity, even in the lowest fense of it: and yet he may have that part thereof, and still be none of the apostle's true Chriftian; fince he tells us, "That "though we fhould give all our goods to the poor, " and want charity (in her other and higher fenses) it "would profit us nothing."

297. Nay, "Though we had all tongues, all know"ledge, and even gifts of prophecy, and were preach"ers to others, aye, and had zeal enough to give "our bodies to be burned, yet if we wanted CHARITY, "it would not avail us for falvation."

298. It seems it was his (and indeed ought to be our) unum neceffarium, or the "one thing needful:" which our Saviour attributed to Mary, in preference to her fifter Martha, that seems not to have wanted the lesser parts of charity.

299. Would God this divine virtue were more implanted and diffused among mankind, the pretenders to Christianity especially; and we should certainly mind piety more than controverfy, and exercife love and compalion, inftead of cenfuring and perfecuting one another, in any manner whatsoever, A BRIEF

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HIS following account of the people called Quakers, &c. was writ in the fear and love of God: first, as a standing testimony to that ever-bleffed truth, in the inward parts, with which God, in my youthful time, vifited my foul, and for the fenfe and love of which I was made willing, in no ordinary way, to relinquish the honours and interefts of the world: fecondly, as a teftimony for that defpifed people, that God has, in his great mercy, gathered and united, by his own bleffed Spirit, in the holy profeffion of it; whofe fellowship I value above all worldly greatness : thirdly, in love and honour to the memory of that worthy fervant of God, G. Fox, the first inftrument thereof, and therefore ftiled by me the great and blessed apostle of our day.

As this gave birth to what is here prefented to thy view, in the first edition of it, by way of preface to G. Fox's excellent journal; fo the confideration of the prefent usefulness of the following account of the people called Quakers, (by reason of the unjust reflections of fome adverfaries, that once walked under the profeffion of friends) and the exhortations that conclude it, prevailed with me to confent that it fhould be republished in a smaller volume; knowing al fo full well, that great books, especially in these days, grow burthenfome, both to the pockets and

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