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With diffidence I venture to lay this volume before the public. Whatever may be its defects or merits, it certainly owes nothing to the influence of learned ease, or the support of a patron. An American author is not favoured with either the one or the other. It was written under the unceasing pressure of my pastoral and academic labours; and the pleasure and amustment, which every author feels in arranging his materials, were resumed, from time to time, to beguile a sombre hour. I have been anxious to render it, in every respect, worthy of the notice of the public. But, it is, perhaps, prudent to conceal how much pains have been taken, and how many years have been spent, in collecting materials" in the toon of that singulaire an' graite mann Maister William Penn," to render them worthy of patronage, until it be known whether that shall ever be bestowed on it.



Sect. 4. Two sects spring up out of this revolution. 1. The
masters of the scholastic theology-Origen—2. The Mystics
their process in christianizing Plato-they adopt his doctrines

and form of discipline-progress of the Mystics in the fourth

century-Dionysius the Areopagite-the Oriental Mystics-

the Mystics of the West-great difference in their characters

-causes of this—three classes of these Mystics—Cenobites-

Hermits-Anchorites--a fresh impulse given to them in the

fifth century-two causes operating in the sixth century, by

which these opinions were more widely spread—the writings

of John of Scythopolis—the fall of the Platonic schools under

the edict of the emperor Justinian-multitudes of the Plato-

nics thence driven into the bosom of the church-the ninth

century opens a new era to the Mysticstranslation of Dio-

nysius the pretended Areopagite, by John Scot Erigena-

state of things in the dark ages.


Sect. 5. A fresh torrent of the Greek philosophy poured in,

through Italy, in the beginning of the fifteenth century-causes

revival of Greek letters-Pletho-Platonic academy at Flo-

rence--triumph of Plato over Aristotle-Ficino-Leo X.-

Nefo-scholars from all quarters-from England, in this aca-



Sect. 6. The individuals who were most active in christian-

izing Plato—mere men of letters not so dangerous—the theo-

logians became the daring innovators--in the Syrian and Greek

churches, the Novatians and Cathari--the followers of Mon-

tanus-Pepuzians-female bishops—Paulicians in the ninth

century—the progress of these from the East into Europe-

pilgrims of Hungary-Gerard and Dulcimus in England-

their opinions-Lucopetros in the twelfth century-Tanquel-

mus, a first James Naylor-the Amauri in the thirteenth cen-

tury—their opinions—the brethren and sisters of the Free

Spirit—their opinions—the Whippers—their opinions—their

practices—they attract men of all ranks to their standard-

the cardinal of Lorraine and the king of France in their train

-Taulerus, the Mystic, was himself a host-his opinions-

his the fullest system of mysticism-he preached at Cologne

-his sermons published in Dutch-translated into English in

A. D. 1657–Paracelsus-Postello-Wigellius-David George

-Behmen-his opinions and career-curious cause of his first

trance-the English associates of this mystic-Cressy--Sir

Harry Vane-William Law—on the continent of Europe there

were Kotter--Kiel--Labadie the companion of Peon and Bar-

clay--Molinos, the Spanish priest.



. 7. Spread of these in England at an early date--the

invidious question answered, “ Whence came it that the Pro-
testant church has originated so much fanaticism ?"--causes of
the appearance of so many sectaries--all these causes in full
operation in England in the middle of the seventeenth century


--historical view of these causes under James VI. Charles

I.--Cromwell--deplorable state of the clergy from the time of

Queen Elizabeth--their treatment—the depression of their

character by many untoward causes--their usefulness destroy-

ed--thousands of parishes left without a pastor--Brownism--

the manner in which the tenets of this sect operated on the

church, &c.--gifted brethren-extemporaneous harangues--

summit of extravagance in the days of Cromwell--officers-

soldiers--mechanics-females--give vent to their impulses--

the Seekers--the Familists--the Behmenists.


Sect. 8. In this state of general confusion, and wide spread-

ing fanaticism, George Fox appeared--character of this won-

derful man–difficulty in drawing it-his character drawn by

his friends, Eccles, Ellwood, Audland, Coale-by his foes,

Dr. Henry More, &c.—the latest by Clarkson-superficial and

defective his character drawn from his journal and Sewel

with other approved authors of the society-criticism of a very

unguarded apology for George Fox, by Clarkson, note-George

Fox's labours from the year 1644 to the close of his life-he

is indefatigable in health-and in sickness--in bonds, and in

imprisonments-bis early associates—with the exception of

William Penn and Robert Barclay, they are illiterate-that,

however, no barrier in the way of a specific eloquence, or, in

the way of writing folios.


Sect. 9. The manner of declaiming practised by the first

Friends—their effects on the multitude--not marvellous in the

state of things formerly noticed.


Sect. 10. Their success in England and in Ireland-causes

-their zeal in forming a fund for the gratuitous distribution

of their books and tracts-the quantity of these thrown into

the public, almost incredible—they have kept Barclay afloat

by gratuitous distributions—their booksellers labour in the city

(London their distributions in the country, from county to

county, by agents, who transported their books on pack-horses. 73

Sect. 11. Other causes of their success-persecution-exem-

plified in their progress in Wales and Cornwall—the Saxons

managed things in a better style-instance in the sentence on

Behmen by the electoral prince and the divines of Dresden

England slow in opening her eyes on her best interest, in giv-

ing full liberty of conscience--probable effects of mild mea.

sures on George Fox, and his system, and followers.


Sect. 12. Different reception of the Friends in the kingdom

of Scotland-causes-view of the genius and habits of the
Scottish people—not gloomy nor fanatical--they are stern and
severe in their manners-probable causes-the remains of the
moral influence of feudalism—the presbytery-pastoral visits
and instructions-a reading and reflecting people-unlike the
uneducated population of England-bishop Burnet's views on
this subject-his character of the priests who succeeded the

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