in my brother, but it is as yet a day of small things; he sees men as trees, and is under fears, tossings, and questionings, and seems to be exercised about speculative opinions and doctrines of men. That which I like in him, is, his professed plainness and sincerity, and the care and concern that is upon his spirit, that he may not relinquish one error for another, but may be led and guided into all truth. I answered several of his questions, as about the blood of Christ, his outward appearance, the way to come to true peace, and to distinguish between a false and a true motion, and found it with me to advise him to be still, and low in his mind, and to wait upon the Lord in his inward spiritual appearance, and to be content with his measure, and not to go before his guide; not to run before he is sent, not to offer false fire, but to wait for the Lord to prepare himself a sacrifice; and not to open his mouth in meetings, (for I have a fear of some forwardness that way,) until it shall please the Lord to open it; till he find his word to be as a fire in his bosom. And when he asked me, How he should do to know this from a delusion? I told him, If it were a right opening, a motion from the Lord, he would feel it come without his own study or meditation, and free of all self-mixture. I further told him, It would be safest for every one to forbear, while they are in doubt, and to be still, until the cloud be removed off the tabernacle.

"My love is towards him, and my cry is for him, to the God of my life, that he would be pleased to support him, under his exercises and temptations; and to carry him through them, and give him victory over them: and that he may wait the time of the present dispensation with patience, till the Lord is pleased to bring him out of the furnace, as gold refined, and prepared as a vessel, fit for his Master's use.

"Thy invitation into the country, I tenderly acknowledge, as a token of thy love; but my duty is to wait till the Lord be pleased to send me forth; for I do not find as yet that my ser

vice lies that way.

"The censures of some Baptists, about my leaving them, and their ascribing it to some personal offence, that caused me to desert their communion, I regard not, having a witness in myself, that their charge is false. The Lord knows my sincerity in my leaving them; for if I could have found peace and satisfaction to my soul, in their doctrines and practices, I should not

have withdrawn from them. But the Lord by his light and Spirit of truth, in my waiting upon him, in the silence of fleshly reasonings, opened the Holy Scriptures, and made it manifest to me, that their churches were not rightly gathered, their ministers not sent of God, their doctrines many of them erroneous, their ordinances of elementary water and outward bread and wine, human institutions; and that their rest was polluted. That I was to come out from amongst them, and relinquish their erroneous doctrines, their man-made-worship, begun, continued and ended in their own will and time, and their dark and shadowy observations, and to turn my mind to the light and substance, to Christ in his inward spiritual appearance, to the truth itself; that thereby I might be taught, led, and enabled to worship God, who is a Spirit, in spirit and in truth, and so come to know the true rest of the people of God, and witness that peace to my soul, which passes not only the natural man's understanding, but also the understanding of the greatest formalists, under those outward and humanly invented modes and administrations; which peace, through the tender mercy of our God, blessed for ever be his name, I do in my measure enjoy, in humble and faithful waiting upon him: to whom be glory and honour, and majesty and dominion, ascribed for ever and ever!

"My heart is full of tenderness and compassion towards those censurers, my brethren after the flesh, who had a love for me whilst I was in their state; but though theirs is turned into hatred against me, yet mine remains towards them, and I am contented to bear their reproaches, and do pray for them, that God would send out his light and his truth, that it may lead them to his holy hill, and to his heavenly tabernacle, where they may find rest unto their souls.

"My dear friend and brother, having found great freedom upon my spirit, in writing this epistle, I have been somewhat long, but thou wilt have a sense of it, and therefore needest no apology. I dearly salute thee, and all faithful Friends at Abingdon, in the love of God, and remain,

"Thy loving friend and brother,



"the Twelfth Month, 1706."


AFTER about a year's continuance at Edmonton, Richard Claridge removed to Tottenham, in the beginning of the year 1707, where he soon had a considerable school; the number of his boarders increasing, and divers of the town's people also sending their children.

He had not dwelt there long, before he was informed by some of his honest neighbours, that the Lord Colerane and Hugh Smithson, Esq. were offended, that a Quaker should keep a school in that parish, alleging the dangerous consequences that might attend it, as the instilling of erroneous principles (as they pretended) into the minds of the children, whose parents were not Quakers, and thereby to bring them into a dislike of the church service and ceremonies, and to proselyte them to Quakerism.

This, as he was informed, was the pretext of their displeasure, being excited thereto by the persuasions and importunities of the vicar of the parish, and his lecturer, and the master of the free-school there; the two former fearing the growth of heresy, as they insinuated, and the latter, the injury it might do to his school.

Accordingly, some of their party came to his house, and in a show of friendliness, told him, that the Lord Colerane and Justice Smithson would not have him teach any children of Tottenham and the neighbourhood, that were not of his own persuasion; for there was a free-school in the town; adding a menace, that if he did, the said lord and justice would give him trouble.

His answer was, That he had a right to teach school, and was not so much thoughtful about what those persons said, for his design was to do good in his station; and therefore, as the providence of God had placed him in his post, so he should do the best he could for the public good, without respect of persons, or fear of any man's threatenings.

The persons that came, advised him to be cautious, how he displeased those great men, for they would certainly prosecute him, if he taught any but Quakers' children.

He answered, That he could not omit the conscientious discharge of his duty, for fear of giving them offence, which, if taken, would be without just cause; and therefore was resolved, by the grace of God, to proceed in a public manner; and if any suffering came upon him, in the way of his duty, to commit himself and his cause to him that judgeth righteously.

After this, the vicar and his curate went from house to house, to dissuade people from sending their children to him; to effect which, their fiery zeal gave their tongues a licentious scope, even to the using of very foul language, as well as calling him impostor, heretic, Jesuit, perjured, apostate, and what not. Yea, the vicar carried his heat so far against him, as to make him the subject of his harangue to the people, and railed and reviled at him in the pulpit, to the great offence of several of his own hearers, who declared their abhorrence of such uncharitable proceedings.

By these practices, they prevailed with some bigoted, timorous, and ignorant people, not to send their children; but with others, who weighed

things in the balance of moderation and a better judgment, their arguments proved ineffectual.

Under these trials of malignant tongues, it pleased God to support him with faith and patience, and to endue him with Christian strength and resolution, to undergo whatsoever his wise providence should suffer to come upon him.

But now his adversaries having vented the first effluvia of their malice, seemed more quiet; and the Lord Colerane himself spoke kindly to him, inviting him to his house, insomuch, that he began to think their heat abated; when unexpectedly, that lord took very great offence, where none was intended to be given him, on the following occasion.

It happened, in an occasional discourse between them, that Richard Claridge, perceiving him to be aged, and yet very ready, took notice of that to him; and mentioning his age, himself was pleased to say in Latin, that he was Septuagenarius. Whereupon Richard Claridge reminded him of the old customary phrase among the Romans, "De ponte dejiciendus:"—for when men were sexagenarii, that is, sixty years old, they were not allowed to give their suffrage in public elections. R. C. intended no more by this, than that he, being so aged, ought to have his writ of ease, or discharge from public business, without any designed reflection, but in respect to his age. For men of that age, among the Romans, were supposed to have borne the burdens of the commonwealth, and now ought to be discharged in honour to them.

The manner was this:-the Romans had a place in their Campus Martius, where were certain apartments, called septa or ovilia, enclosures in form of

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