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In Testimony to the Present Dispensation of God, through THEM, to the World;


PREJUDICES may be Removed, the SIMPLE Informed, the WELL-INCLINED Encouraged, and the TRUTH and its innocent FRIENDS Rightly Represented.



Published in the Year 1696.





Y this fhort enfuing treatise, thou wilt perceive the fubject of it, viz. The light of Christ in man, as the manifeftation of God's love for man's happinefs. Now, forafmuch as this is the peculiar teftimony and characteristick of the people called Quakers; their great fundamental in religion; that by which they have been diftinguished from other profeffors of Christianity in their time, and to which they refer all people about faith, worship, and practice, both in their miniftry and writings; that as the fingers shoot out of the hand, and the branches from the body of the tree, fo true religion, in all the parts and articles of it, fprings from this divine principle in man. And because the prejudices of fome are very great against this people and their way; and that others, who love their feriousness, and commend their good life, are yet, through mistakes, or want of enquiry, under jealoufy of their unfoundness in fome points of faith; and that there are not a few in all perfuafions, which defire earnestly to know and enjoy God in that fenfible manner this people fpeak of, and who feem to long after a state of holiness and acceptance with God; but are under doubts and defpondings of their attaining it, from the want they find in themselves of inward power to enable them, and are unacquainted with this efficacious agent, which God hath given and appointed for their fupply:

For these reasons and motives, know, reader, I have taken in hand to write this fmall tract,

Of the nature and virtue of the light of Christ within man;' what, and where it is, and for what end, and therein of the religion of the people called Quakers; that, at the fame time, all people may be informed of their true character, and what true religion is, and the way

to it, in this age of high pretences, and as deep irreligion. That fo the merciful vifitation of the God of light and love, (more efpecially to these nations,) both immediately and inftrumentally, for the promotion of piety, (which is religion indeed) may no longer be neglected by the inhabitants thereof, but that they may come to fee, and fay with heart and mouth, This is a difpenfation of love and life from God to the world; and this poor people, that we have fo much defpifed, and fo often trod upon, and treated as the off-fcouring of the earth, are the people of God, and children of the Most High.'

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Bear with me, reader; I know what I fay, and am not high-minded, but fear: for I write with humility towards God, though with confidence towards thee. Not that thou fhouldest believe upon my authority, nothing lefs; for that is not to act upon knowledge, but truft; but that thou fhouldeft try and approve what I. write for that is all I afk, as well as all I need for thy conviction, and my own juftification. The whole, indeed, being but a fpiritual experiment upon the foul, and therefore feeks for no implicit credit, because it is felf-evident to them that will uprightly try it.

And when thou, reader, fhalt come to be acquainted with this principle, and the plain and happy teachings of it, thou wilt, with us, admire thou shouldest live so long a stranger to that which was fo near thee, and as much wonder that other folks fhould be fo blind as not to fee it, as formerly thou thoughteft us fingular for obeying it. The day, I believe, is at hand, that will declare this with an uncontroulable authority, because it will be with an unquestionable evidence.

I have done, reader, with this preface, when I have told thee, First, That I have ftated the principle, and opened, as God has enabled me, the nature and virtue of it in religion; wherein the common doctrines and articles of the Chriftian religion are delivered and improved; and about which, I have endeavoured to exprefs myself in plain and proper terms, and not in figurative, allegorical, or doubtful phrafes; that fo I


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