" SOBER reader, if thou hadst rather we should be in the right than in the wrong, and if thou thinkest it but a reasonable thing that we should be heard before we are condemned, and that our belief ought to be taken from our own mouths, and not at theirs that have prejudged our cause, then we entreat thee to read and weigh the following brief account of those things that are chiefly received and professed among us, the people called Quakers, according to the testimony of the Scriptures of truth, and the illumination of the Holy Ghost, which are the double and agreeing record of true religion. Published to inform the moderate inquirer, and reclaim the prejudiced to a better temper; which God grant, to his glory and their peace.
"I. It is our belief that God is, and that he is a rewarder of all them that fear him, with eternal rewards of happiness; and that those that fear him not, shall be turned into hell. Deb. xi. 16; Rev. xxii. 12; Rom. ii. 5-8; Ps. ix. 17.
"II. That there are three that bear record in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Spirit; and these three are really one. 1 John v. 7.
"III. That the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among men, and was and is the only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth—his beloved Son, in whom he is well pleased, and whom we are to hear in all things; who tasted death for every man, and died for sin, that we might die to sin, and by his power and spirit be raised up to newness of life here, and to glory hereafter. John i. 14; Matt. iii. 17; Heb. ii. 9.
" IV. That as we are only justified from the guilt of sin by Christ, the propitiation, and not by works of righteousness that we have done, so there is an absolute necessity that we receive and obey, to unfeigned repentance and amendment of life, the holy light and spirit of Jesus Christ, in order to obtain that remission and justification from sin; since no man can be justified by Christ who walks not after the Spirit, but after the flesh; for whom he sanctifies, them he also justifies. And if we walk in the light as he is light, his precious blood cleanseth us from all sin, as well from the pollution as guilt of sin. Rom. iii. 22-26; chap. viii. 1-4; 1 John v. 7.
"V. That Christ is the great light of the world, that lighteth every man that cometh into the world, and is full of grace and truth, and giveth to all light for light, and grace for grace; and by his light and grace he inwardly appears to man, and teaches such as will be taught by him, 'that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, they should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world.' John vii. 12; chap. i. 9, 14; Tit. ii. 11, 12.
"VI. That this principle of light and grace, which is God's gift, through Christ to man, is that which shows us our sins, reproves us for them, and would lead all out of them that obey it, to serve God in fear and love all their days. And they that turn not at the reproofs thereof, and will not repent, and live and walk according to it, shall die in their sins; and where Christ is gone, they shall never come; who is undefiled and separated from sinners. Eph. v. 13; John xvi. 7; Prov. i. 20-24; John viii. 24.
"VII. This is that principle by which God prepares the heart to worship him aright; and all the duties of religion, as praying, praising, and preaching, ought to be performed through the sanctifying power and assistance of it; other worship being but formal and will-worship, with which we cannot in conscience join, nor can we maintain or uphold it. Rom. viii. 26; 1 Pet. iv. 10, 11.
"VIII. Worship in this gospel-day, is inward and spiritual; for God is a Spirit, as Christ teacheth, and he will now be worshipped in spirit and in truth, being most suitable to his divine nature. Wherefore we wait in our assemblies to feel God's Spirit to open and move upon our hearts, before we dare offer sacrifice to the Lord or preach to others the way of his kingdom; that we may preach in power as well as words, and as God promised, and Christ ordained, without money, and without price. John iv. 23, 24; 1 Thess. i. 5; Isa. lv. 1; Rev. xxii. 17; Matt. x. 8.
" IX. This also leads us to deny all the vain customs and fashions of the world, and to avoid excess in all things, that our moderation may be seen of all men; because the Lord is at hand to see and judge us according to our deeds. Tit. ii. 12; Rom. xii. 2; Phil. iv. 5; Eccl xii. 14; Matt. xvi. 27; Rom. ii. 6; Rev. xx. 12.
"X. We believe the necessity of the one baptism of Christ, as well as of his one supper, which he promised to eat with those that open the door of their hearts to him, being the baptism and supper signified by the outward signs; which, though we disuse, we judge not those that conscientiously practise them. Matt. iii. 11; Eph. iv. 1: 1 Pet. iii. 21, 22; John vi.; Rev. iii. 20.
" XI. We honour government, for we believe it is an ordinance of God; and that we ought in all things to submit, by doing or suffering; but esteem it a great blessing, where the administration is a terror to evildoers, and a praise to them that do well. Rom. xiii. 1-5.
"This hath all along been the general stream and tendency, both of our ministry and writings, as our books will make appear, notwithstanding what ill-minded and prejudiced persons may have strained to misrepresent us and our Christian profession.
"WILLIAM PENN, THOMAS STORY,
"ANTHONY SHARP, GEORGE ROOK.*
"DUBLIN, 3d month, 1698."
* Penn's Select Works, London ed. 1771.