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evil and sinful. And so he is not to give flat
tering Titles, nor use lying Compliments, nor • vain and costly Apparel, unbecoming his Age • and Sex, or Ability, or his Rank and Condition < in the World; nor to give Religious Worship
to Men. But he is not to be too nice and scrupulous in conforming himself to the Custom of the Place, in all innocent and indifferent
Things, as in his Habit or Garb, in his man? ner of faluting and way of Address, and in • his modes of Speech or Gesture, where there • is nothing in these contrary to Decency and
In all this we gainfay him not; only we claim the reasonable and rightful Liberty of judging for ourselves, what Fasbions are evil and sinful; what Titles are Flattering ; What Compliments are Zying ; And what Apparel is unbecoming : What Modes of Saluting, Speech and Gesture, are innocent and indifferent. A Conscientious use of this just and equal Liberty has led us to a Nonconformity to such Fashions, Customs, and Speeches, of the World, as we judge Evil ; and which are not the less so to us, for onr Adversary's calling them innocent and indifferent.
We affect not Singularity in Habit: Our Garb is like other Men's, only freed from their Superfluities. Which is more than the Vicar can say of his. 'Tis himself and his Brotherhood, the Clergy so called, who practice that Singularity, (tho' not that Plainness) they would without cause condemn in us: Their Singularity of Garb is so contrary to the Praktice of the primitive Christians, that it has not the least Countenance from any of the Writings of the New Testament. Their Desire to walk in long Robes, Luke xx. 46. savours too much of Pride. And their assuming a peculiar Habit to distinguish them from others is in no wile serviceable to Religion itself, but sets up wrong Notions of it, by placing it in things where God never plac'd it. Thefe Observations we were led to make hy our Adversary's objecting an Affectation of Singularity to us, which much more properly appertains to himself and his Brethren.
Thus much for Apparel, we come next to Speech ; The Vicar tells us, p. 168. that, “ It • is proper to say you to a single Person, when • Custom, which gives the signification to « Words, has made You in speaking to one single • Person to signify the same with thou and thee ; « whereas the Word Ye is only or mofly used in speaking to more than one.
The Custom he speaks of is what Erasmus calls, Consuetudo insulji lima, a most infipid or lilly Custom, and as such he exposes it, in his Book De confcribendis Epiftolis.
An improper Custom of speaking (with the Vicar's leave) is no Propriety of Speech. The Word jou, doth still retain its proper Signification, which is only plural; and is therefore, when applied to a single Person, improperly wrested from its true Sense, in compliance with a Cuftom, whose Original was Pride and Flattery, as Johannes Maresius of the French Academy (quoted by ) Robert Barclay) in the Preface to his Clouis teftifies ; Let none wonder, says
be, the Ward Thou is used in this Work, to Princes and Princesses; for we use the same to God: And of Old che fanie was used to A
• lexanders, Cæsars, Queens and Empresses. The • use of the Word You when one Person is spoken
to, was only introduced by these base Flatteries ? of Men of latter Ages, to whom it seemed
good to use the Plural Number to one Person, « that he may imagine himself to be equal to maç ny others in Dignity and Worth ; from whence o at last it came to Persons of lower Quality.'
The Quakers disuse then of an evil Aattering Custom favours as little of Pride or Vanity, as the Clergy's usual passing from one to another the Title of Reverend Sir, and accepting it from other Men, as a distinguishing Badge of their Order, does of Humility.
SE CT XIII.
Of Christian Obedience, &c.
The Vicar's thirteenth Section is chiefly a Recapitulation of several Points already spoken to; and most of the Queries proposed and answered by him are such as he does not pretend an Authority for from any of the Quakers Writings ; we shall therefore be the more brief in our Examination of it.
His first Query and Answer, p. 168, 169. plainly import, that what the Law of God still requires of us as a Duty is not the Measure of Obedience indispensibly required of us under the Gospel. This will seem strange to none, but such as think themselves bound to do their Duty. However, since he does not cite any of us as concerned in what he says, we shall forbear any farther Remark.
His next Query, p. 169. is concerning the Means of Grace ; which he places in several outward Performances of our own, which he fays, i God has appointed us to use for his conveying his Grace to us.'
This seems directly to contradict the thirteenth Article of his own Church, which is in these Words.
« Works done before the Grace of Christ, and • the Inspiration of the Spirit, are not pleasant
to God, forasmuch as they spring not of Faith in Jesus Christ, neither do they make Men
meet to receive Grace, or (as the School Au<thors say) deserve Grace of Congruity: yea
rather, for that they are not done as God hath I willed and commanded them to be done, we • doubt not but they have the Nature of Sin.'
His third Query is thus, . Is every Man bound < to be of the Communion of the Church, that < is established by the Laws of the Land where « he lives?' To which he answers, No, he is • not bound to it, but only when there is nothing • required as a Condition of Communion with it, • that is unlawful, or contrary to the Commands • of God, for we are always to obey God rather than • Man. Acts v. 24.' In this he says well, and if he will but admit, as on Protestant Principles he ought to do, that every Man is to judge for himself, whether the Conditions of Communion required be lawful or not, it will necessarily follow, that no Man, who, after due endeavours to inform himself aright, on a Foundation of Judg
ment, thinks the Conditions of Communion with the national Church unlawful, is obliged to continue therein. Consequently, Separation or Schism in that Man is so far from being a grievous Sin,that it is really none at all.
The Vicar's next Point is concerning the Scriptures being the Word of God, in which some of his Pains might have been spared ; for we deny not that the Holy Scriptures may be called the Word of God in the Sense he expresses, p. 170. viz. A Declaration of the Mind and Will of . God to us, and again, · The written Declara«tion of his Mind and Will to us :' But we must differ from him, when, p. 171. he will have the Word of God, that we are born again and fan&tified by, to be the Scripture ; which Opinion, we think is not warranted by the Texts he cites ; viz. James i. 21. Of his own Will begat be us by the Word of Truth, which we take to be the same Word spoken of in the next Text he quotes, viz. 1 Pet. i. 23: Being born again not of corruptible Seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which liveth and aþideth for ever.
Which cannot be meant of the Scriptures, unless they be incorruptible, and live and abide for ever, which we apprehend, no Man will assert. His third Text, John xvii. 17. Sanétify them through thy Truth, thy Word is Truth, is spoken of Christ himself, as appears ver. 19. where he says, And for their Sakes I fan&tify myself, that they also might be fan&tified through the Truth. Nor does the attributing the Work of Regeneration and Sanctification to the Power of Christ only,in the least exclude the Scripture and outward Teaching from their proper Use and Service, which is to direct to Christ, the eternal Word of God, and the Power of his Spirit, for Sanctification. And that the Power of the Spirit is not the