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Modest Remarks upon the Bishop of London's Letter Concerning the Late Earthquakes   By:

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By One of the People called QUAKERS.

And now, O ye Priests, this Commandment is for you. If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to Heart, to give Glory unto my Name, saith the Lord of Hosts, I will even send a Curse upon you, and I will curse your Blessings: Yea, I have cursed them already because ye do not lay it to Heart . Therefore I also made you contemptible and base before all the People, as ye have not kept my Way, but have been PARTIAL in the Law .

Malachi, ii. 1 st . 2 d. and 3 d. Verses .


Printed for T. HOWARD, at the Pamphlet Shop in the Temple Exchange Coffee House, Fleet street . 1750.


Friend THOMAS,

Verily I have perused thy Letter Addressed to the Clergy and Inhabitants of the Cities of London and Westminster with great Attention, and must acknowledge to thee with Concern, that I am exceedingly disappointed in the Expectation I had raised to myself from that Work. The Solemnity, Friend, of the Occasion, the Seriousness and Consequence of the Subject treated of, and the Relation thou pretendest to stand in to the Inhabitants of these Cities, made me believe, that Nothing would be omitted, that was Necessary to awaken the Conscience, and inform the Understandings of all Degrees of People, within thy Charge. But how vain is human Wisdom, and how infinitely short sighted are its Researches, when it relies upon itself, and is unassisted by that Spirit, to whom all Events are known, who searcheth the Hearts and tryeth the Reins of the Children of Men!

THY Letter, Friend, instead of awakening the Conscience of the hardened Sinner, or confirming the Faith of the staggering Believer, has confounded their Understandings, and led them into a Labyrinth, out of which it is impossible they should ever extricate themselves by the Strength of the mere natural Man.

THOU hast without any Authority, (for thou disclaimest all Inspiration from the Holy Spirit ) represented the two Shocks of an Earthquake, lately felt, as a supernatural Event; and magisterially pronounced them the Effects of a special Providence, threatning Vengeance upon a wicked and profligate Generation. Who knoweth the Councils of the Almighty? Strange and wonderful are all his Works, and his Ways past finding out. What is Man, that he should dive into the Secrets of his Providence, or the Son of Man, that he should deal out his Judgments according to his vain Imaginations? Verily, Friend, Thou wast under no Temptation to make such an use of that Dispensation of his Providence; and thou mightest have found sufficient Matter from a natural Effect (as those, for aught we know to the contrary, certainly were) to have excited thy Readers to a sincere Repentance, without arrogating to thyself a Knowledge to which thou hast not the smallest Claim, or furnishing the Ungodly, in the first Line of thy Work, with Matter of Prejudice against all that thou couldst say; since they could plainly discover by their natural Understanding, that without the Gift of the Holy Spirit, thou couldst not, and oughtest not to have ascribed to a special Providence, what may be rationally explained by the general Laws that govern Matter and Motion. These Laws are, no doubt, in the Hands of the Almighty: and the sovereign Disposer of all Things may, for the wise Purposes of his Providence, stop, alter, or controul them at his Pleasure. But, because we believe and are assured, that he hath reserved the Power to himself, must we, weak sighted Mortals, have the Arrogance to conclude, that, on every Occurrence, which appears in the least singular and unusual, this special Power is exerted; and that the Order of Nature is inverted, as often as our gloomy Imagination is pleased to think that it ought to be so?

We are taught from Holy Writ, that Cities and whole Nations have been destroyed by the especial Vengeance of God for their heinous Transgressions... Continue reading book >>

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