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them, and of all that great multitude, (some hundreds,) there were not many that opened their mouths against them.
In this year, 1705, the following letter, containing wholesome and instructive admonition, was written for the sake of a young woman, of his acquaintance; and for the general service of other young persons, is here transcribed.
"I have often had it upon my mind, considering thy tender years, and the manifold temptations thou art liable to, and mayst be assaulted with, to communicate something to thee, in the pure love of God, by way of counsel and instruction, that thou mayst know how to order thy thoughts in the fear of the Lord, and direct thy words and actions to his glory; and if thou attainest this blessed end, peace will be thy portion here, and felicity thy inheritance for ever hereafter. And as I have often had thoughts of this nature upon my mind, so I find it with me from the Lord, to take this opportunity of imparting them to thee; which I hope thou wilt be inclined as friendly to receive, and as seriously to improve, as I do tenderly present, and earnestly recommend them to thy consideration and practice.
"First, Consider that God made thee for a purpose of his own glory, and that thou shouldst love, fear, honour, and obey him, all the days of thy life, in order to thy comfortable enjoyment of him in this world, and thy everlasting fruition of him in that which is to come.
"Consider, that of thyself, having sinned, and so fallen short of the glory of God, thou art not able, without the assistance of his grace, and Holy Spirit, to love, fear, honour, and obey
"And therefore, thou art to have thine eye continually to him, and cry unto him for help from his holy habitation, to excite, influence, and assist thee with his grace and Holy Spirit, to do those things which are acceptable to him, and which thou art utterly unable in thy own strength to perform.
"For, he is not wanting unto thee, nor any of the children of men, to minister of his sufficiency to us in this respect. For,
his word is nigh thee, his grace hath appeared to thee, and his light hath enlightened thee, that thou mayst be shown, taught, and enabled, to shun the broad way that leads to destruction, and walk in the narrow way that leads to life.
"I am not ignorant of the enemy's wiles and snares, and what baits he uses to catch and entangle young ones, as well as others; how he tempts them with the lusts of the eye, the lusts of the flesh, the pride of life; nor of the proneness that naturally is in mankind, to comply with his temptations. But if thou mindest the light of Christ within thee, the grace of God teaching thee, and the word that is nigh thee, even in thy heart; thou wilt not only come to see the enemy's snares, but be also taught and enabled to avoid them. For, the light of Christ gives a clear discovery of Satan's wiles, under what shape soever they appear, and the grace of God teacheth to deny all the works of the wicked one, and the word is a word of power to give ability thereunto; yea, not only to deny all the works of the devil, but to do the works of God, to serve him with a perfect heart, and with a willing mind.
"There is one temptation which hath too often prevailed with young ones, and that is, To put off their turning to God, till they are further advanced in years, thinking it may be time enough hereafter. And I fear it is now almost an epidemical distemper. For among the multitudes of young professors, how few are so concerned as they ought to be, about those things that belong to their souls' everlasting welfare. But, to give way to such a temptation is very dangerous; for, if I turn not to the Lord now, either death may seize me at unawares, or I may be hardened in sin, or the day of my visitation may pass over: and how do I know that my life shall be continued till to-morrow? Or if it be, how can I tell, that I, who have slighted the present call of God, shall have another offered me; especially, seeing the call of God runs all along in the present tense, 'Turn ye, even now,'— 'To-day if ye will hear his voice,'- - Behold, now is the accepted time, behold now is the day of salvation.'
"And as it is dangerous to give way to this temptation, to put off our turning to God; so consider the advantage of early obedience for thereby we answer the end of our creation, which is to glorify God. And if we glorify him, he will glorify us. If we honour him, he will make us honourable; we shall be his people, his children, his chosen, his beloved, his peculiar ones:
he will be unto us a sun, and a shield, a rock, and a castle; he will feed us with living bread, refresh us with living water; he will be our salvation from day to day, as we draw nigh unto him, wait upon him, and put our trust and confidence in him. And he will not only keep us in the well-doing, but we shall be also kept from the evil. O consider what a blessed privilege it is to be so kept!
"Among other things that I shall recommend to thee, the reading of the Holy Scriptures is one; a book, that is to be preferred before all books and writings whatsoever be frequent in perusing and meditating in it. Let not a day pass without reading some portion of it, unless prevented by some more than ordinary occasion. And wait upon the Lord, to have thy understanding opened in it, and to come to a witnessing the fulfilling of it in thyself, in thy measure. There thou mayst read of the love and goodness of God to the righteous, in several ages and generations, and of his terrible judgments against the ungodly, that have rebelled against the light, slighted his grace, and disobeyed his voice. There thou mayst read what is thy duty to God, to thy neighbour, and thyself; and what is required of thee in every state and condition of life; on whom help is laid, and from whom wisdom and strength is to be had, to enable thee to deny thyself, take up thy daily cross, and to follow Christ. There thou mayst see an account of young converts, as Josiah, Timothy, and others, who turned to the Lord early, and stand upon record, for example to after generations.
"But above all, turn thy mind inward, where thou wilt meet with the wonderful counsellor, the interpreter, one of a thousand, who will unfold to thee the mysteries of the kingdom of God; who will lead thee to that which is within the vail, and show thee of the glories of the New Jerusalem.
"These few directions, if faithfully minded, will be instrumental to thee, through the Divine blessing, to steer the course of thy pilgrimage safe, through the troubles and trials thou mayst meet with.
"The fear of God will keep thy heart, and preserve thee a chaste spouse to Christ. It will keep thee in the line of obedience, in all thou goest about. It will keep low, and humble, and self-denying. It will teach thee to set thy affections upon things that are above, and to sit loose to all things here below. The fear of the Lord will make thee dutiful to thy father,
loving to thy neighbours, courteous to thy friends, and charitable to the poor. Riches shall not make thee proud, nor prosperity puff thee up; but thou wilt consider whose steward thou art, and to whom thou must give an account. Be much in spiritual solitude and retirement; and choose for thy companions those that are most inward with God, and heavenly-minded. Be sober and grave in thy dress, and apparel, and let not thy table become a snare to thee. Pity the fantastic and extravagant, and let thy example be both reproof and instruction to them. O that thou mayst shine as a light in this generation, and be as a mother in Israel which is the hearty desire of
"Thy truly tender and affectionate Friend,
In the beginning of the year, 1706, he removed from Barking to Edmonton in Middlesex, and soon after published his " Melius Inquirendum," or, An Answer to a Book of Edward Cockson, M. A. and Rector, as he styles himself, of Westcot-barton in the county of Oxon, misentitled, "Rigid Quakers, Cruel Persecutors," in which answer, the Quakers are cleared of the charge of persecution for religion.
On the 17th of the Twelfth Month, John Cook of Abingdon in Berkshire, who married Richard Claridge's wife's half-sister, came with a Friend of Southwark, named Richard Crafton, to visit him at Edmonton. This John Cook had formerly walked with, and preached sometimes among the Baptists; but being then lately convinced of the truth, as professed by the people called Quakers, had left the society of the Baptists, and joined with them. He brought with him a letter from an ancient Friend, named Oliver Sansom, to whom R. C. wrote the following answer.
"To Oliver Sansom of Abingdon."
"On the 17th instant, brother John Cook, with a friend out of Southwark, came hither with thy letter. I had heard of him before, that he had left the Baptists, and went to Friends' meetings; and I was glad to see him, and to sit with him, that I might have a sense of his present state and condition. For, it is not every one that comes amongst us, and professes to own the truth with us in words, and some outward conformities, that is a convert; but he that owns the truth from an inward sense, and real experience of the work of truth upon his soul, as when a man can tell what truth has done for him. For conversion stands not only in the change of one opinion, or profession, or people for another; but in the change of heart, mind, will, affections, life, and conversation, and turning from sin and error, unto God and his truth. As when a man comes to have his blind eyes opened, his hard heart softened, his self-will denied, his filthy lusts, and vile affections crucified and slain; the old man put off, and the new man put on; to be poor in spirit, to become a fool for Christ's sake, to be stript and emptied of his own self-righteousness, self-wisdom, self-pride, self-conceitedness, self-notions, and speculations; that he may be made partaker of the righteousness, wisdom, humility, meekness, and selfdenial which is of God by Jesus Christ. When a man comes thus by the powerful work of truth, to the public profession of it, then he comes right, being first made a witness of it in himself, and then a professor of it to others: such a man can say, 'I know in whom I have believed, for I can tell what the Lord hath done for my soul. I was blind, but the Lord hath opened mine eyes. I was dead, but he hath quickened me; I went astray, but he hath gathered me; I was an enemy, but he hath reconciled me. I had an heart of stone, but he hath taken that away, and given me an heart of flesh, a broken and a contrite spirit, that fears and dreads before him, and trembles at his word.'
"Such an one as this, knows the entrance in at the door, through the strait gate, into the narrow way, that leadeth unto life; knows Christ to be his foundation, elect and precious; his rock against which the gates of hell shall never prevail.
"I hope there is something of this work measurably begun