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that it was vocal, but it was as plain as one. From these expressions I had to observe to the people, the happy state and privilege of those who live and believe in Christ, and that such must not live in sin.
During the time of our yearly-meeting, some rude people came up the river in a small sloop, provided by them for that purpose, and spent their time in drinking, carousing, and firing of guns, to the grief and concern of friends, who were religiously discharging their duty in serving and worshipping the Almighty; and it is observa able, that one of these disorderly persons had his hand shot off at that time, and that the chief promoters and actors in this riotous company were soon after cut off by death, in the prime of their days.
After the general-meeting was over, which ended well, friends in the love of God departed in peace for their several habitations, praising and glorifying God.
In the beginning of the Eighth month, having some business at Cape-May, I ferried over to Gloucester, and went the first night to James Lord's, lodged there, got up before day, it being First-day morning, and rode near thirty miles to Salem, where we had a good meeting, and so went to Alloway's Creek, Cohansey, and through a barren wilderness to Cape-May, where we had one meeting, and returned by way of Egg-Harbour home ; in which journey I travelled upwards
of two hundred miles. At Cape-May I was concerned to write a few lines concerning swearing, as follows:
6 Christians ought not to swear in any case, for these reasons, ist. Because Christ, their Lord, forbad it; unto whom the angels in heaven must be subject, and, doubtless, so must mortal man, to whom he gave the precept.
We must and ought to be subject to Christ, who is Lord of lords, and King of kings, and the judge of the quick and the dead. To him all mortală must be accountable for their disobedience. He says, in his sermon on the mount, thus : I not at all; Mat. v. 34. Wherefore, how can Christians, or such who are his friends, swear, since he says also, 'Ye are my friends, if ye do what
1 command you,' John xv. 14. sequently those who disobey his commands, must be his enemies. To this command it is objected, that Christ only spoke against common or profane swearing: but this must needs be a great mistake, because Christ says, “It was said in old time, thou shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths,' Mat. v. 33. alluding to the law of Moses, which oaths were solemn and religious; therefore Christ did not only prohibit vain and profane swearing, but all swearing. If we understand the word all, and what all signifies, then all and any swearing whatsoever, is not lawful for a Christian, according to Christ's law and command, which is positive to his followers.
2dly. James, the holy apostle of Christ, our lawgiver and our king, says, 'Above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath,' James v. 12. Christ says, Swear not at all; and James, his disciple and apostle, says, Swear not by any oath ; wherefore, if swearing on the bible be any oath, or is swearing at all, it is contrary to the express doctrine of Christ, and his apostle James, as is plain from the above cited texts.
3dly. The primitive Christians did not swear at all in the first ages of Christianity. Query, Whether our modern swearing Christians are better than the primitive ones, who for Christ, and conscience-sake, could not swear at all, even before a magistrate, though legally called?
Athly. Many Christians have suffered death, because they for conscience-sake could not swear, and so break the command of Christ their Lord; and do not our modern Christians trample upon their testimony and sufferings? Some of whom suffered death for not swearing before the heathen magistrates, and some were martyred by the Papists. Judge then whether the persecuted or persecutors were in the right.
5thly. Many of our worthy friends and forefathers (since the former) have suffered to death in gaols for not swearing, when required by persecuting Protestants, because for Christ's sake and sayings, as above, they could not swear at all. And this hath been a testimony which our society
hath constantly borne ever since we have been a people ; for the reasons above, and more also, if there were occasion, which might be given.'
The 23d of the Eighth month, I was at the morning meeting at Philadelphia, on a First-day of the week, which was large; and I was concerned therein to exhort friends to labour to purge and cleanse our society of such under our profession who live in open profaneness, and are riotous in their conversations. I was at the Bank meeting in the afternoon, where we had a comfortable time. And the next sixth-day of the week I was at our monthly-meeting, where it was unanimously agreed, in consideration of some late indecent conduct of some persons pretending to be of our profession, that a testimony from that meeting should go forth against such disorderly doings, and unchristian practices; and that all such persons, who were irregular in their conversations, be disowned to be of our community, until they by repentance manifest their reformation : which was accordingly soon after published, and, read in our First-day morning-meeting, and in our youth's meeting. And about this time our Go. vernor issued a seasonable proclamation against drinking to excess, gaming, swearing profanely, revelling, night-walking, and disturbing the peace, and other immoralities; which afforded some satisfaction to sober and well-inclined friends and others: yet there remained a great exercise and concern upon my mind, that some young people,
whose parents had been careful in training them up, were grown so wicked, that by their extravagant conduct, they not only disturbed our religious meetings, but likewise became obnoxious to the peaceable government we live under.
In the Ninth month I was at divers meetings, at Merion, German-Town, Fair-hill, Abington, and Philadelphia ; in which were several marriages solemnized in a religious manner. And in the Tenth month, I went into the county of Salem about my affairs. It happened to be at the time of the quarterly-meeting for Salem and Gloucester counties ; but I did not know of it, until I came to Salem, where friends were glad to see me, as also I was to see them; there were some of us whose hearts were knit and united together as Jonathan's and David's, the Divine love of God being much shed abroad in our hearts at that meeting. When it was over, and I had finished my business, I could not be clear in my mind without having some meetings in the said counties of Salem and Gloucester; and though it was a sickly time, and people died pretty much in those parts where we were going, James Lord and I, in the love of Christ, visited the meetings at Alloway's Creek, Cohansey, Pile's Grove, Woodbury, Newton, and Haddonfield, having meetings every day in the week, except the last; and sometimes riding near twenty miles after meeting; the days being at the shortest, and the weather very cold ;