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canst my soul is affected to hear thee thus confess thy evil, as the Lord hath given thee a sense of it. In repentance, there is mercy and forgiveness; in confessing and forsaking sin, there is mercy to be found with the Lord; who in the midst of judgment remembers mercy, that he may be feared.' (The said M. H. being then much oppressed, striving for breath, and lying on his back, so that it was very hard for him to speak, G. W. got John Ball to turn him on one side, that he might the better speak.)
M. Hide. I have done evil in opposing you in your prayers: the Lord be merciful unto me! and as I have been an instrument to turn many from God, the Lord raise up many instruments to turn many to him!
G. W. (after some silence) I desire thou mayst find mercy and forgiveness at the hand of the Lord. How is it with thy soul? Dost not thou find some ease?'
M. Hide. I hope I do and if the Lord should lengthen my days, I should be willing to bear a testimony for you, as publicly as I have appeared against you.
(His wife then said, It is enough; what can be desired more?')
G. W. If the Lord should not lengthen out thy days, dost thou desire what thou sayest should be signified to others ?'
M. Hide. Yes, I do; you may; I have said as much as I can say.
G. W. (after some silence) If this company be wearisome unto thee, I think we may withdraw.'
M. H. You may use your freedom.
G. W. I shall leave thee to the Lord, desiring he may show mercy and forgiveness unto thee, as I hope he will.'
M. Hide. The Lord be with your spirits.
These things were expressed about two hours before his death, in the presence of George Whitehead, John Ball, Cotton Oades, George Browne, and the wife of Matthew Hide, and some others.
It is to be observed, before some of the people called Quakers came to him, I, perceiving him to be much troubled in his mind, asked him, If he would speak with any of those people?' He smote his hand upon his breast, and said,
With all my heart.' I asked him again, If he would speak with some of the Quakers.' And he smote his hand upon his breast, and said with all my soul; so some were invited to come. Again, after they had been with him, he did oftentimes desire, that he might live till morning; it being the first-day of the week ; and that he might bear, on that day, a
testimony for the truth, he had on that day so often opposed.' He also said, 'He had since found some ease to his spirit.' And I being a silver-spinster, and he understanding that I wrought to people that were great in the world, he took me by the hand, and did press it much upon me, that I should use the plain language, as thee, and thou; and if they would not receive it, I should let my trade go.' And after some more words to this purpose spoken by him, in a good understanding, he stretched himself out, and died very quietly.
To the substance of this relation concerning my husband's expressions, on his death-bed, concerning the people called Quakers, I was an ear-witness, and Mary Fooks too.
To all atheistical, persecuting, and contentious opposers of the universal light of Jesus in the conscience, and particularly those that are disturbers and vilifiers of them that believe in him, at their public meetings to worship God, according to the illumination and motion of that blessed principle.
To you all a warning, in the name and fear of God, that you leave off your vain thoughts, your chaffy, loose, and unsavoury words, and rebellious practices, against the light of Jesus in your own consciences; and that you dread any more to revile, backbite, disturb, or slander his poor people, that have believed in him, and that follow hini according to the shinings of his blessed light in their hearts speak not evilly of that you do not know; much less go you on to kick against those pricks in your own consciences, as Saul did, lest you become entirely hardened in your gainsayings, and the Lord God cut you off in his sore di-pleasure. O that you would consider your latter end, and repent, you vain mortal men! for you know not how soon that dismal trump may overtake any of you, Are ye ready? Are ye prepared? Have you the wedding garment? Are you of them that have suffered with him, being dead and buried to self will, pride, envy, revenge, and the lusts of this ungodly world, and risen with him in the life, glory, and raiment of the resurrection?' If so, where are your fruits? If you are not, (as ye are not, I affirm in God's name) then where is your authority for these evil fruits you bring forth, scoffing, mocking, jangling, disturbing and bawling against us, stirring up the scum of the multitude to abuse us? Consider, before it be too late, who is your master in all these things, and whose servants you are, in whose name and errand you
go, and what spirit sets you thus to work against so glorious a principle, and so harmless a people, who not being contented with lifeless worships, human faiths, and mere traditional religions, cry to the God of heaven to appear and operate in their hearts, and teach them, by his own Holy Spirit, to be his disciples and children, according to his pronise, yea, though it cross the world's life, spirit, customs and fashions; and therefore cannot longer serve God in the oldness of the letter, by mere imitation, or, after the manner of the loose Christians of this world, only with outside performances, but "in the newness of the spirit, in the immediate leading and guidings of the Holy Ghost," according to Rom. viii. 14. though they were never so much made a reproach and by-word, and be encompassed about with loss and danger. I say, have a care of resisting, reviling and disturbing these poor people, these believers, these asserters, these followers and children, of the light of Jesus, begotten again of the everlasting day of righteousness, lest you treasure up wrath against the day of wrath, and the revelation of the righteous fierce judgments of God, and your portion be appointed you in that day with the workers of iniquity for ever.
And as I warn you to forsake your vain, frothy, envious, and contentious courses, so do I exhort you, in God's fear, to unfeigned repentance; and invite you, in love, to the true peace of conscience, even that conscience which is sprinkled from unbelief, hatred, malice, and all ungodliness, which is only obtained by an humble and sincere walking in the light of the Son of God, as I John i. taking heed to, and not despising, this holy and spiritual appearance of Christ within, to dethrone Satan, and destroy sin, and to bring in his own everlasting righteousness, as the Jews did Jesus, whom they only knew after the flesh, crying out, "Is not this the carpenter's son? this fellow; and if thou art the Christ, or Son of God, show us a sign, and tell who smites thee, and come off from the cross, and save thyself." I say, caviĺ not thus at the light of Christ in your consciences; despise not his sufficiency with your carnal mind, neither turn his grace, mercy, and forbearance into a profane presumption, and bold tempting of the living God; for then very woful will your end be. Behold, read, ponder, and meditate on the latter end of this poor man! let his case be both a warning and visitation, to all that oppose the light of Christ within, and the children of it, that you may consider your latter end, find mercy, and be saved. When I read the narrative of his dying condition, O my heart was much broken before the Lord; and I could not but reverently magnify his glorious power, mercy, and truth, that had
wrought so strange, so great, and so blessed a work for his name's defence, his people's vindication, and, I hope, for the poor man's soul too! O let him have the glory for ever; for who is like unto him, in heaven or in earth, whose goings are in the deep, and whose ways are past finding out, but in his own time!
And truly, pity rose in my soul towards all you whose day is not over, and a secret strong groan to God, that you might all see your folly, and repent, before you go hence, and pe
no more seen.
This man I have known many years, being one whom he hath often opposed in public meetings. His main stroke was against the doctrine of" Christ, the true light, enlightening every man that comes into the world, with a divine and saving light:" the sufficiency and universality of this to salvation, he constantly and resolutely withstood; not furiously, madly, and frothily, like outrageous mockers; as some still too evidently and frequently show themselves against us; but with great external sobriety and gravity, as as well as zeal; reasoning, after his manner, and not bawling against us. Nor was his conversation scandalous, but honest and exemplary in worldly things towards men, for aught that I ever heard upon inquiry. So that his present convictions, as they were not the effect of any affrighting discourse, insinuations, or besetments of ours in his sickness, neither could they be interpreted to be any trouble for a dissolute life, in which he might be thought to condemn himself generally and confusedly nor yet did his remorse only arise from the way of his opposing us, as if he still retained his judgment; but the very ground of the whole trouble and exercise of spirit, for which he was willing to see any of us, and utter the foregoing pathetical expressions, was his gainsaying us, the people called Quakers, in the way of our faith and worship; and so much his own words testify. Let all take heed of the reviling thief's state upon the cross, lest they enter not into the paradise of God for ever.
And now, my dearly beloved friends and brethren, who have hearkened to the holy reproofs of this instructing light of Jesus in the conscience, and by it been redeemed from the wickedness of this world, and taught in deep and heavenly things, and made, through your cheerful obedience, to partake in measure of the great salvation of God, though it hath been through very many bitter exercises, and deep tribulations of body and spirit; O! what cause have you to keep covenant with the Lord, to abide in your heavenly habitation, in a living faith, stedfast hope, and constant
patience to the end; casting your care upon him, and committing your cause and concerns to him, who is not only able, but willing and ready, to succour you, and maintain the glory of his own famous and honourable name, deeply concerned in you. O! let us dwell with him for ever, that his Holy Spirit may more and more enliven us, his power strengthen us, and his great wisdom conduct us through the work of our day: it is true," that many are the troubles of the righteous," but, blessed be our God for ever, "he will as certainly deliver out of them all."
And though we want not the evidence of his Holy Spirit, that his own right arm gathered us, and that we are his people, bought by his blood, redeemed by his power, and made partakers of his divine life; yet it ought to be no small evidence of the Lord's goodness, and therefore both matter of comfort and confirmation to us, that he hath constrained a testimony to his own blessed light within, and us his poor despised people, (that have believed in it, and, above all the families of the earth, contended and suffered for it) out of the mouth of an old and constant opposer of both, and that upon his dying-bed too, when no fears nor flatteries, no gains nor temptations from men, justly can be thought to have prevailed upon him, but the powerful workings only of that very light he had so long resisted: this smote him in secret; this made his dying-bed uneasy, and proved its own sufficiency upon him, awakening his conscience, opening his understanding, breaking his heart, and drawing a very plain, tender, and sincere confession from his mouth! O blessed be the name of our God for ever, who is a God glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, working wonders for them that commit their cause to him.
And whatever were his provocations to us, I can say it, in the fear of God, my heart was much more filled with pity than displeasure towards him; and this very repentance is both an effectual answer of my prayers, and a plain accomplishment of my prophecy, with some more of my brethren: for as I often earnestly, and more than ordinarily of late, desired of the Lord this poor man's convincement and repentance, and that with an unusual tenderness of spirit, even when he was strong in his gainsayings; so have I frequently told him, in the name of God, and presence of many people, at our meetings, (when he came on purpose to withstand us) "That God would plead with him, by his righteous judgments; and that the time would come, wherein he should be forced to confess to the sufficiency of that light he then opposed; and to acknowledge that God was with us, of a truth: all which, blessed be the name of the Lord, is ful