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itself. These He breathes into all creation, and primarily into His highest creature, man. By influx from God they enter the highest heavens, and form the life's love and wise perceptions of the celestial angels. Descending to the middle heavens, they constitute the goodness and intelligence of the spiritual angels. Entering the lowest heavens, they are the guiding affections and truths of the celestial natural and spiritual natural angels; and flowing downwards, both immediately by influx, and mediately by the sacred things of the Divine Word, they influence the souls of men from within, and through the bodies adjoined thereto, by tuition from without surrounding his whole relations. From this source, and by these methods, come the life and spirit which animate the true Church, but they do not terminate their procession there, but expanding outwards, they constitute the materials of all good principles of government, and every jot and tittle of just law, order, and morality, which exists in the total communities of the world.
Without pursuing the matter further, let it be said that all true morality has a spiritual origin, and that morality is wholly dependent upon, and inseparable from purity of heart and a religious life. The external observance of morality may be good for society as a whole, for that in truth is God governing society for its conservation, even as He governs hell by His truth, and mitigates its horrors, but external observance cannot save the individual, and if he practise morality without a radical change of heart, it is impossible for him to attain to heaven. This therefore is what the New Church doctrines teach as distinguished from other Churches :—The truth that a true standard of morality cannot be reached by practising it from worldly motives, but solely by regeneration of the heart and life from within. The external cannot enter the internal, the true order is from within outwards, as the words of the Scriptures declare : "Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.” First, with the weapons of truth derived from the word, fight against the evils of the heart, and let them be cast out and replaced by those pure affections of goodness which the Lord is ever waiting to bestow; and then, with a newly-created and purified heart, and a right spirit, the laws of morality will be seen to be spiritual duties, willingly performed from motives of brotherly affection and justice, and lifted up as the highest standard of conduct to be observed in all our intercourse with the world.
A PRIMITIVE QUAKER.
“ 3rd Jan. 1669.--About this time one of Sir William Penn's sons had published a blasphemous book against the Deity of our blessed Lord.”—EVELYN'S DIARY.
“ Feb. 12, 1668-9.—Home; and there Pelling hath got W. Penn's book against the Trinity. I got my wife to read it to me, and I find it so well writ as, I think, it is too good for him ever to have writ it; and it is a serious sort of book, and not fit for everybody to read.”—PEPYS' DIARY.
The work was “The Sandy Foundation Shaken :" Pepys misjudged the book ; Evelyn misunderstood it. Its author, young William Penn (now turned Quaker), had written the book in order to show how essentially different was Quakerism's idea of God from that of the Baptists and the Presbyterians he had just been in controversy with. “The testimonies of Scripture, both under the Law and since the Gospel Dispensation, declare One to be God and God to be One," he told men; and “if God, as the Scriptures testify, hath never been declared or believed, but as the Holy One ; then will it follow that God is not a Holy Three, nor doth subsist in three distinct and separate Holy Ones." He concluded his proofs and arguments by a piece of information as to the origin of Trinitarian doctrine : “ Know then, my friend, it was born above three hundred years after the ancient Gospel was declared; and that through the nice distinctions and too daring curiosity of the Bishop of Alexandria, who, being as hotly opposed by Arius, their zeal so reciprocally blew the fire of contention, animosity and persecution, till at last they sacrificed each other to their mutual revenge. Thus it was conceived in ignorance and brought forth in cruelty."
Such was William Penn's Antitrinitarianism, as set forth in the book which was to shake the sandy foundation whereon the tripersonalists grounded their faith. The writer was declared a Blasphemer, was arrested and lodged in the Tower of London. “He should either recant or die a prisoner there," was the Bishop of London's resolve. “I value not their threats nor resolutions," said William in his rejoinder ; "they shall know that I can weary out their malice and peevishness; in me they shall all behold a resolution above fear, conscience above cruelty, and a baffle put to all their designs by the Spirit of Patience, the companion of all the tribulated Flock of the
blessed Jesus, who is the author and finisher of the faith that overcometh the world-yea, Death and Hell too."
In prison, Penn sent forth a vindication of his book. It was called “Innocency with her Open Face.” Here the doctrine of the Christhood of the One God—THE FATHER—was clearly stated, and the logical outcome of the whole argument shown to be the fact that “Christ is not distinct from God, but is entirely that very same God." "He that is the everlasting Wisdom, Divine Power, the true Light, the only Saviour, the creating Word of all things, whether visible or invisible—and their upholder by His own power—is without contradiction God: but all these qualifications and divine properties are, by the concurrent testimonies of Scripture, ascribed to the Lord Jesus Christ; therefore, without a scruple, I call and believe Him really to be the mighty God. And for a more ample satisfaction, let but my reply to J. Clapham be perused, in which Christ's divinity and eternity is very fully asserted.” “I sincerely own, and unfeignedly believe (by virtue of the sound knowledge and experience received from the gift of that holy unction and divine grace inspired from on high) in one holy, just, merciful, almighty and eternal God; who is the Father of all things; that appeared to the holy patriarchs and prophets of old, at sundry times and in divers manners; and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the everlasting Wisdom, Divine Power, true Light, only Saviour and Preserver of all; the same one, holy, just, merciful, almighty and eternal God; who, in the fulness of time, took, and was manifested in, the flesh; at which time He preached (and His disciples after Him) the everlasting Gospel of Repentance and promise of remission of sins, and eternal life, to all who heard and obeyed ; who said : ‘he that is with you (in the flesh) shall be in you' by the Spirit. .
Of all the writing Quakers then living—and their name was legion - not one came forth with a denial of Penn's “Innocency with her Open Face;" and it is satisfactory to learn that the young man himself was soon afterwards liberated, not, however, before he had given to the world that gem of Protestant theological literature “No Cross, no Crown." This book lives as a blessing; the “Sandy Foundation Shaken," on the other hand, has always, since its first publication, existed for division, scepticism, disunion. It is a huge equivocation, and might have been written by a Jew, a Mahometan, or a Hindoo. It is an argument for the sole and absolute unipersonality of Jehovah : His Oneness with Jesus seems at last to come in but by way of afterthought. It justified Unitarianism if it anywhere existed latent in the Flock of the Companions; it favoured, perhaps caused, the theism of Bullock at the close of the seventeenth century, the schism of Irish Quaker theists at the close of the eighteenth century, and the great Hicksite schism in the America of our own time. A New Church philosophy of the Infinite was wanted, a true Doctrine of the Lord. Quakerism had neglected, had even appeared to despise philosophical speculation, and in Penn's plea for Unitarianism pure and simple, it obtained a first foreglimpse of the consequences to come upon it for this neglect of an ennobling faculty and privilege. No wonder Pepys and Evelyn were mistaken !
William Dewsbury was in Warwick gaol when this work of Penn began its negational influences upon Friends. His prison-writings show that the subject never troubled him : he had the Substance and was therewith content; yea, if God willed, that cell should thenceforth be to him a little heaven upon earth, peace and thanksgiving continually within its bounds. Before saying anything further about his prison life, however, we will take another glance at him in the outside world of action and as the peacemaker.
The Society of Friends was never altogether one of long maintained uniformity and harmony. When dogmatists within the fold were not striving to carry members into the commission of acts of bigotry or heresy, there were fussy folk and vain folk oblivious of the power of truth, and anxious to set something in its stead. John Perrot seems to have been of the latter class.
It had been a recognized rule with the Friends, that the men, in worship, should take off their hats in prayer, even if they did not remove them while in silent waiting. Though they paid not honour to men, they would to the Lord, when standing or kneeling to address Him. “The act involves formality and consequently is inconsistent with Friends' principles !” said John Perrot. Quakers of the male sex practised shaving : this act John Perrot also condemned: if a true Friend, by the very fact of his regeneration, had become renewed into the condition of the unfallen Adam-why should the unfallen Adam's completeness be marred? Away, then, with razors and shears, and all other such like inventions of man in the fall and alienation !
John Perrot soon had numerous followers, Thomas Ellwood the 1 The Irish Unitarian Society for the Diffusion of Christian Knowledge bas «lisseminated the book in all directions, prefaced by an introductory defence by the Rev. J. S. Porter. Vide “The Sandy Foundation Shaken." Belfast. 1872.
poetaster being one of them. From the latter's autobiography we gather that Friends' meeting-houses presented a scene of confusion sometimes in consequence of the innovation. The schism widened and the Perrot party continued to increase. Even George Fox at length took alarm, and came near hurling anathemas against the covered section.
Our friend, William Dewsbury, was acutely pained : “the beast gets the deadly wound healed again,” said he, “and instead of giving God glory for their deliverence, they–in this time of some measure of rest—take their flight as on the Sabbath day, upon the mountains of their own high imaginations, and do sacrifice on the high places.”
Perrot, meanwhile, in true Quaker fashion, has rushed into print. His new principles amount to a discovery, and shall be borne on the four winds of heaven and reach unto the uttermost corners of the earth! As in James Nayler's schism, Dewsbury again comes in as the peacemaker. “John,” said he in a letter, “if thou [shalt] propagate what thou hast written in this paper, thou wilt wound more hearts and cause more trouble of spirit among the tender-hearted people of the Lord than when the temptation entered dear James Nayler, who deeply suffered, but the Lord restored him again by true repentance.” A very Quakerly conclusion follows this invitation :-“As to my particular, it is not my nature to be found striving with thee or any upon the earth ; but having declared the truth to thee I will return to my rest in the Lord; and let every birth live out the length of its day, and let time manifest what is born of God : for that spirit which stands up in self-striving will weary itself and die, and end in the earth. This will certainly come to pass upon all those that do not wait diligently in the Light to judge the outgoings of their mindsin true self-denial to be led in the footsteps where the Flocks of the Companions delight to walk, serving one another in love ; and every one with the spirit of love and meekness seeking to restore another forth of what any have done through the violence of temptation or weakness."
Perrot would not yield ; Friends, however, bestirred themselves both in and out of their meeting-houses, and at length gained back most of those who had gone over to the heresiarch. “The Lord's everlasting power was over all,” says George Fox, "and set judgment on the head of that spirit in which they had run out.”
Most of Dewsbury's years of riper manhood were spent in prison.