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bill-His journey into Kent, and service there-His, and
1722. His consolatory Answer to a Letter from a disconsolate
A GRATEFUL commemoration of the faithful deceased, is a debt survivors owe them: and it were an aggravation of ingratitude not to pay it, when themselves have left wherewith, their own works being the best materials for a monument both durable and useful to posterity.
This collection contains memoirs and manuscripts of a person, whom, from some years' acquaintance and observation, I had reason to think a sincere lover of truth, a man of integrity, and a practitioner of the precepts he delivered.
Men may barter The old man may still what he was.
The intention of this work is to promote purity of heart, not a party in religion. opinions and be never the better. take up a new form, and be They begin at the wrong end, who choose to themselves modes and ways of worship in a polluted and unregenerate estate, wherein no performances
are acceptable to God. The work of religion begins within; the divine light shines in the heart it convinces of, and reproves for sin there; and leads to a detestation and abhorrence of it: and as the soul yields in obedience to the convictions received, power is gradually given to forsake, and overcome those corrupt and evil inclinations, of which it was formerly held in bondage. When a man is thus weaned from his once beloved lusts, and in measure sanctified and regenerated by the operation of the Holy Spirit in himself, he comes to receive a clear discovery and discerning, what that pure and acceptable worship is, which he had before sought in vain among the precepts and traditions of men. Hence it is, that many sincere, judicious, and disinterested persons, who have witnessed the work of God's grace, redeeming them from a vain conversation, have been observed to relinquish the forms and ceremonies of religion, wherein they had been educated, and to frequent the meetings of the people called Quakers; where, as some of them have declared, in an inward retirement and waiting upon God in silence and humility, they have come to experience divine comfort and refreshment, and that solid satisfaction of soul, which they could never attain by their own willings, runnings, and performances: such proselytes as these, come in at the right door, and are a strength and reputation to a religious society.
One of this number was Richard Claridge, the following journal of whose life will present to thy view, not only the several steps of his Christian experience, but the reasons and motives that induced him,-First, To forsake the communion of "The Church of England," wherein he was not only educated from his childhood, but had been a preacher of some account more than twenty years-Secondly, To join in society with the people called Baptists, who gladly embraced a man of his character and abilities; and among whom he also exercised the ministerial office for some years-Thirdly, To desist from preaching among the Baptists, and finally to withdraw from their communion-Fourthly, To frequent in silence the meetings of the people called Quakers; about which time the variety of exercises and temptations he met with, both from the world without, and the grand enemy of souls within, are described-Fifthly, To come forth in a free and public testimony to the sufficiency of the universal grace and light of Christ; and to declare his own experience of its powerful operation unto others.
In all these proceedings, he seems to have acted upon the principles of a conscience gradually illuminated; going on from one degree of grace unto another, till he became enabled, in an humble gratitude, experimentally to say, "I bless the Lord, my heart is fixed in his blessed truth, and I have