A Sermon Preached at the Quaker's Meeting House, in Gracechurch-Street, London, Eighth Month 12th, 1694.

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The perusal of the first numbers of a series of tracts, containingextracts from the writings of "early Friends," and published for theavowed purpose of lowering the estimation in which those writings areheld by the Society, and even of proving "that many of them wouldreflect discredit upon a private library, and ought truly to beaccounted dangerous books," has given rise to the presentre-publication. As an humble, but sincere admirer of those principles ofGospel Truth, which the early Friends sought to promulgate, as well bytheir writings as by eminently devoted lives, and a constant and oftproved willingness to suffer for Christ's sake, I must protest (whetherto any purpose or not) against the illiberal, and unjust mode of conductresorted to by the publishers of the "Extracts," in selecting short andpartial sentences, and thus, as I conceive, grossly misrepresenting someof the views of those Worthies long since removed from the world onwhich they walked as strangers and as pilgrims, and long since, I doubtnot, permitted, through the mercy of their God and Saviour, to enterinto that "better country," where they are no more exposed to the trialsof time, no more exposed to the scoffs and persecutions of men, and nomore affected by the calumnies of "false Brethren."Whilst, however, expressing a sincere and affectionate regard for thememories of those who have preceded me in religious professions, I wouldadd that I consider them worthy to be followed only as they followedChrist, and that if I go forth by the footsteps of this flock of mySaviour's companions, it is that I may feed beside that good Shepherd'stents, where, I believe, they found plentiful pasture.I would most explicitly state, the present publication is no party act,or an act originating in party feeling, for though I must take aheartfelt interest in the present proceedings in our Society, yet Ideeply feel that, even if I see, or think I see, the Ark of the Covenantof our God unsteadily placed as upon a new cart, there is a danger ofputting forth, like Uzza of old, uncalled and unprepared hands for itssupport. --This text refers to the Kindle Edition edition.
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