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Accordingly, he got up betimes, and though he wrought as privately as he could in his chamber, that he might avoid giving offence to any, yet could he not do it so privately but that an ill-natured neighbour perceived it, who went and informed against him for working on the Sunday. Whereupon he was had before Richard Brown," (one of the city Magistrates, of whom Ellwood writes a few pages before, "Sir Richard Brown, a great master of misrule in the city, and especially over Bridewell,") "who committed him to Bridewell for a certain time, to be kept to hard labour in beating hemp, which is labour hard enough." 66 Straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel," has in all ages characterized the men of whom this "great master of misrule," Sir Richard Brown, may be taken as the type.

Thomas Ellwood and his companions were to dwell in Bridewell, however, a little longer. "But we were still continued prisoners by an arbitrary power;" they had been taken at their meeting, not by a constable with his warrant and staff, but by an officer with his musqueteers, who marched them off to Bridewell as if they had been deserters from the ranks; "not being committed by any civil authority, nor having seen the face of any civil Magistrate, from the day we were thrust in here by soldiers, which was the 26th day of the eighth month, to the 19th of the tenth month following," nearly eight weeks. On the last-named day, they were taken to the OldBailey Sessions; but not being called, they were taken back to Bridewell, and kept there to the 29th of the same mouth, when they were carried to the Sessions again. That day, a singular, and in some respects ludicrous, scene was witnessed at the Old Bailey. The Magistrates in all their power and pomp were fairly outwitted by a simple-minded and conscientious, but intelligent and shrewd, young Quaker.

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"I expected I should have been called the first, because my name was first taken down; but it proved otherwise, so that I was one of the last that was called: which gave me the advantage of hearing the pleas of the other prisoners, and discovering the temper of the Court. The prisoners complained of the illegality of their imprisonment, and desired to know what they had lain so long in prison for. The Court regarded nothing of that, and did not stick to tell them so. For,' said the Recorder to them, if you think you have been wrongfully imprisoned, you have your remedy at law, and may take it, if you think it worth your while. The Court,' said he, may send for any man out of the street, and tender him the oath so we take no notice how you came hither; but finding you here, we tender you the oath of allegiance; which if you refuse to take, we shall commit you, and at length præmunire you.' (By which they would be put out of the King's protection, their property confiscated, and themselves doomed. to perpetual imprisonment.) "Accordingly, as every one refused it, he was set aside, and another called." This was, of course, a mere trap to catch the aggrieved prisoners. Who doubted their allegiance? Nay, as we shall see before we have done, no one doubted their word. We may think their opinion a mistaken one; but their honesty and conscientiousness were beyond all doubt. They are imprisoned by military power, detained without any warrant from the civil Magistrate; they are tauntingly told that they may bring an action for false imprisonment; and then the trap is set to bring them into the power of the Magistrate, to be imprisoned as long as he pleased. No wonder that some years afterward the Parliament insisted on protection from practices which placed every Englishman in danger of the most arbitrary imprisonment, and by the Habeas Corpus Act provided a constitutional shield for personal liberty. But, while his fellow

prisoners have been undergoing the interrogation of these Justices in Session, Thomas Ellwood has been observing all that was passing, and thinking on his own plan of proceeding. What has he resolved to do? Were such a scene again to occur, we should like to "be there to see."


I saw it was in vain for me to insist upon false imprisonment, or ask the cause of my commitment; though I had before furnished myself with some authorities and maxims of law on that subject, to have pleaded, if room had been given; and I had the book, out of which I took them, in my bosom; for, the weather being cold, I wore a gown girt about the middle, and had put the book within it. But I now resolved to wave all that, and insist upon another plea, which just then came into my mind. As soon, therefore, as I was called, I stepped nimbly to the bar, and stood upon the stepping, that I might the better both hear and be heard, and, laying my hands on the bar, stood ready, expecting what they should say to me. I suppose they took me for a very confident young man, for they looked very earnestly upon me; and we faced each other without words for a while." There, on the bench, sit the grave Magistrates, all astonished that this youth had not come up tremblingly, feeling and dreading their power; and here, at the bar, stands the undismayed Englishman and Christian, ready for the encounter, as soon as it shall please his antagonists to begin. It was a sight worth seeing. And so was what followed: "At length, the Recorder, who was called Sir John Howell, asked me if I would take the oath of allegiance; to which I answered, 'I conceive this Court hath not power to tender that oath to me, in the condition wherein I stand.' This so unexpected plea seemed to startle them, so that they looked one upon another, and said something low one to another: What! doth he demur to the jurisdiction of the Court?' And thereupon the Recorder asked me, 'Do you then demur to the jurisdiction of the Court?' 'Not absolutely,' I replied, but conditionally; with respect to my present condition, and the circumstances I am now under.' Why, what is your present condition?' said the Recorder. A prisoner,' replied I. And what is that,' said he, 'to your taking or not taking the oath?' 'Enough,' said I, 'as I conceive, to exempt me from the tender thereof while I am under this condition.' 'Pray, what is your reason for that?' said he. This,' said I, that, if I rightly understand the words of the statute, I am required to say, That I do take this oath freely, and without constraint: which I cannot say; for I am not now a freeman, but in bonds, and under constraint. Wherefore I conceive that, if you would tender that oath to me, ye ought first to set me free from my present imprisonment."" Well done, honest Thomas Ellwood! Thou hast hit the mark: the Recorder, Lawyer as he is, nay, because he is a Lawyer, is taken aback by this sudden and unexpected change of wind. But craft may yet prevail; for he is crafty, thou art honest. Let us, then, pursue this amusing colloquy, thankful that 1662 was succeeded by 1688. "But,' said the Recorder, will you take the oath if you be set free?' Thou shalt see that,' said I, when I am set free. Therefore, set me free first, and then ask the question.' But,' said he again, you know your own mind, sure, and can tell now what you would do, if you were at liberty?' 'Yes,' replied I; that I can; but I do not hold myself obliged to tell it until I am at liberty. Therefore set me at liberty, and ye shall soon hear it.' Thus we fenced a good while." And if there were, which we cannot doubt, any true English hearts among the bystanders, this fencing would be good sport to them; for they would see persecuting might fairly non-plussed by honest right; but Thomas

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Ellwood was a Christian, and, as such, he could not allow it to be a matter of doubt whether he would be obedient to his conscientious convictions. He therefore goes on to say, "Till I was both weary of such trifling, and doubted, also, lest some of the standers-by should suspect I would take it, if I were set at liberty. Wherefore, when the Recorder put it upon me again, I told him plainly, 'No;' though I thought they ought not to tender it to me till I had been set at liberty, yet, if I was set at liberty, I could not take that nor any other oath, because my Lord and Master Christ Jesus had expressly commanded his disciples not to swear at all." Liberty was dear to Thomas Ellwood. At liberty, he could go to "Master John Milton," and read to him such books as he wished to hear, and converse with him, and receive instructions from a man whose fame was to be lasting as the English language; but all this was nothing to a quiet conscience. Mistaken as we think him in his interpretation of the text, who can withhold admiration from his steadfast adherence to principle? Believing the language of Scripture to be universal in its application, had he acted otherwise he would have sinned; for-and this is the proper meaning of that text-" Whatsoever is not of faith, is sin." He would not allow that "his good should be evil spoken of;" and therefore, to preserve his conscience unwounded, he sacrificed his liberty. In spirit, Thomas Ellwood deserves to be placed among "the noble army of martyrs." The result of his honest acknowledgment will be anticipated: "As Christ's command was enough for me, so this confession of mine was enough for them. Take him away,' said they: and away I was taken, and thrust into the Bail-dock to my other friends, who had been called before me. And as soon as the rest of our company were called, and had refused to swear, we were all committed to Newgate, and thrust into the common side."

What befell them, and what they witnessed there, will furnish materials for another paper. We only add now, that Thomas Ellwood and his friends did not suffer in vain. A large debt of grateful respect is owing to them. From them no danger to the state was likely to arise. They were seen to be the victims of a tyranny resolved to trample on the dearest rights of Englishmen; and the conviction gradually spread, till, in a few years, it became the conviction of the country, that under the arbitrary sway of the Romanizing Stuarts there could be no security for liberty and truth; and that a new race must be called to the throne, by whom it might please God to deliver the nation from "Popery and arbitrary power." The gratuitous, wanton persecution of the peaceful and conscientious Quakers powerfully aided in clearing the way for the Revolution, and that "Act of Settlement" which conferred the British imperial crown on the House of Brunswick.

(No. II. in our next.)


I TRUST I have said enough to convince you of the respect you owe to the ordinary course of nature and of providence. Christ has given the sanction of his example to this respect, by the answer wherewith he repelled the second instigation of the tempter. (Luke iv. 12.) He would not cast himself down from the pinnacle of the temple, because he was aware of the law of gravitation; and he felt that a rash presumption on his part, as if

God would interpose to suspend this law in his behalf, would be not to trust God, but to tempt God. If there is no requirement calling upon you to make the exposure of yourself to those evils which nature and experience point out to be the consequences of such and such a line of proceeding, then it is a tempting of God to take to that line; and therefore it is that a Christian, anxious to know the path in which he should go, will not only learn diligently the will of God as put down in his word, lest he should transgress against God by an act of disobedience, but he will also gather the indications of God's will concerning him, from the circumstances in which he finds himself placed, and from the general effect of such circumstances, lest he should tempt God by an act of presumption. Whatever be the actual situation of any man among you, you stand upon safe ground when you say, "Here I am by the will of God ;" and should any inducement be held out for you to change your situation; or should you deliberate upon the question, whether it would be right to make such a change, or to adopt such a step,—then it is not merely your prudence, but your duty, to make your experience of the past, your acquaintance with the general course of things, to bear upon the question. For this purpose you take a survey of all the circumstances, and you calculate the effect of such and such measures, and you frame your calculation on your recollections of the ordinary processes of nature and experience. Does what I know of my habits make it advisable for me to change my present line of employment, or to continue it? Does what I know of my talent for usefulness tell me that it would be more productively employed in the present field of my exertions, or in another which the course of things has laid before me? Does what I know of the difficulties of one situation, and the facilities of another, enable me to make up my mind on the question,-whether I ought or ought not to decide upon a transference? These are questions which a man, with no other principle in his bosom but the love of God and the love of men, may sit in deliberation over. They may be the calculations of a wise and reflecting experience; but this does not hinder them from being also the calculations of religious duty. It gives a mighty clearness and command to the question, when he is sitting in judgment over a conjuncture which he did not create himself, but which was brought by the uncontrolled course of events and of circumstances to his door. If he is sure that in no previous step of the affair he has tempted God by any wilful act of his own, then the case that is before him may be taken up as a case presented by God to his notice; and he must have a care, now that it is presented to him, lest he tempt God by deciding the matter in opposition to the light of experience, or the established courses of nature and of providence. My object in all this is, to reconcile you to a language which some hold to be fanatical. You may have read or heard of people trying to find out what were the leadings of Providence in a given case, and to collect the will of God from a deliberate survey of the circumstances by which they were surrounded. I maintain that it is a very high point of Christian wisdom to decide this question; and it is a question upon which the most grave and diligent, and I will also say it, the most judicious, exercises of thought have been bestowed. It is very true that it is a wisdom which the world knoweth not, and into which the men of the world cannot enter; and when they hear of a call, or a leading, of Providence, they conceive the idea of a direct inspiration, and that the man who professes to act upon such a call has dreamed a dream, or seen a vision, or heard the utterance of a voice, or felt an impulse upon his imagination and his heart. There is

nothing of all this in these matters. The man does no more than give God the homage of being the Author of all that actually is; and he ascribes his present circumstances and inducements to the will of God. He knows it his duty to pray for wisdom, and in everything to make his requests known unto God; but he expects no supernatural intimation upon the subject; he only brings all the wisdom he has gotten to bear on the question, whether it will be most for usefulness to take this one step or that other step. In deliberating on this question, so far from overlooking the natural and accustomed tendencies of things, he makes them the groundwork of his calculation. He is not so presumptuous as to expect that God will change the courses or suspend the laws of nature for his special behoof; and so he feels that it would be as much tempting God to act in opposition to any of the known laws, whether of matter or of mind, or to any one of the established connexions between means and their ends, as our Saviour felt that He would have been tempting God, had he been acting in opposition to the known law of the descent of heavy and unsupported bodies. All this he deliberates upon, lest he should throw himself from the pinnacle of safety; and thus it is, that, in attempting to decide what are the leadings of Providence, he who is derided by the world for the weaknesses of a superstitious fancy, may in fact have combined all the intelligence and judgment and respectable accomplishments of a discerning and clear-sighted man, with all the devotedness of a humble and submissive piety.Chalmers's Posthumous Works, Vol. VI.



(To the Editor of the Wesleyan-Methodist Magazine.)


(Continued from page 633.)

FEw are the "incidents of travel" in Kaffraria. After leaving BeechamWood, we prosecuted our journey over an extensive table-land, richly covered with grass, but almost destitute of wood. It was summer, and the rays of the sun were exceedingly oppressive. The air often glowed as doth a furnace, and, as we rode along, we sometimes felt it difficult to breathe. For a considerable period there had been no rain in the country, and many of the brooks and springs were dry. We suffered considerably from thirst. Our waggon, on one occasion, had been sent on before us, and we were pursuing our way on horse-back. The water in our flagons which we carried with us, was gone; and not a drop could be obtained to cool our lips. We came first to one spot, and then to another, hoping to find a pool or stream, but were disappointed again, and yet again. At length, in a retired nook, sheltered from the sun by a clump of trees, we descried a pool, such as it was, to which our horses hastened with impetuous speed, and of which both they and we eagerly drank, thick and muddy as the water was, with as much delight as, under other circumstances, we should have done at the purest crystal spring. When placed in such a situation, how forcible and expressive are many of the promises of Scripture! Never did the memorable words recorded by Isaiah, for example, appear so beautiful as on such

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