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urged, will yet proceed ; why is it, but that
they have so involved themselves and their
affections in them, that it is hardly possible to
reform them ; and that, for all their many
protestations against their fondness to such
fopperies, they really love them more than
Christ and his cross ? Such cannot seek the
good of others, who so little respect their
own. For, after a serious consideration, what
vanity, pride, idleness, expense of time and
estates, have been, and yet are? How many
persons debauched from their first sobriety,
and women from their natural sweetness and
innocency, to loose, airy, wanton, and many
times more enormous practices ? How many
plentiful estates have been ovei'-run by nume-
rous debts, chastity ensnared by accursed
lustful intrigues, youthful health overtaken by

the hasty seizure of unnatural distempers, and
the remaining days of such spent upon a rack
procured by their vices, and so made slaves
to the unmerciful but necessary effects of their
own inordinate pleasures ? in which agony
they vow the greatest temperance, but are
no sooner out of it, than in their vice again.
7. That these things are so, and almost
innumerably more, I am persuaded no ingenu-
ous person of any experience will deny : how
then, upon a serious reflection, any that pre-
tend conscience, or the fear of God Almighty,
can longer continue in the garb, livery, and
conversation of those whose life tends to little
else than what I have repeated, much less
join with them in their abominable excess, I
leave to the spirit of Truth in themselves to
judge. No, surely ! this is not to obey the
voice of God, who in all ages did loudly cry
to all, " Come out (of what ?) of the ways,
fashions, converse and spirit of Babylon?"
What is that? the great city of all these vain,
foolish, wanton, superfluous, and wicked prac-
tices, against which the Scriptures denounce
most dreadful judgments; ascribing all the in-
temperance of men and women to the cup of
wickedness she hath given them to drink ;
whose are the things indifferent, if they must
be so. And for witness, hear what the Reve-
lations say in her description : " How much
she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously,
so much torment and sorrow give her. And
the kings of the earth, who have lived deli-
ciously with her, shall bewail and lament for
her; and the merchants of the earth shall weep
over her; for no man buyeth their merchandize
anymore; the merchandize of gold and silver,
and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine
linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and
all manner of vessels of ivory, and all man-
ner of vessels of most precious wood ; and
cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and
frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour,
and beasts, and slaves, and souls of men."
Behold the character and judgment of luxury;
and though I know it hath a farther significa-
tion than what is literal, yet there is enough
to show the pomp, plenty, fulness, idleness,
ease, wantonness, vanity, lust, and excess of
luxury that reign in her. But at the terrible
day who will go to her exchange any more ?
who to her plays ? who will follow her fash-
ions then? and who shall traffic in her delicate
inventions? Not one; for she shall be judged.
No plea shall excuse, or rescue her from the
wrath of the Judge ; for strong is the Lord
who will perform it. If yet these reasonable
pleas will not prevail, I shall caution such, by
the repetition of part of Babylon's miserable
doom. Mind, my friends, more heavenly
things ; hasten to obey that righteous Spirit,



v^hich would exercise and delight you in that
which is eternal ; or else with Babylon, the
mother of lust and vanity, the fruits which your
souls lust after shall depart from you, and all
things which are dainty and goodly shall depart
from you, and you shall find them no more !
Lay your treasures therefore up in heaven, O
ye inhabitants of the earth, where nothing can
break through to harm them; but where time
shall shoi'tly be swallowed up of eternity.

8. But my arguments against these things
end not here ; for the contrary most of all
conduces to good, namely, " temperance in
food, plainness in apparel ; with a meek,
shame-faced, and quiet spirit, and that con-
versation which expresses the same in all
godly honesty ;" as the apostle saith, " Let
no corrupt communication proceed out of your
mouth, but that which is good to the use of
edifying, that it may administer gi'ace to the
hearers ; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking,
nor jesting, but rather giving of thanks : for
let no man deceive you with vain words, be-
cause of these things cometh the wrath of
God upon the children of disobedience." And
if men and women were but thus adorned,
after this truly Christian manner, impudence
would soon receive a check, and lust, pride,
vanity, and wantonness, find a rebuke. They
would not be able to attempt such universal
chastity, or encounter such godly austerity :
virtue would be in credit, and vice afraid and
ashamed, and excess not dare to show its face.
There would be an end of gluttony, and gau-
diness of cipparel, flattering titles, and a luxu-
rious life ; and then primitive innocency and
plainness would come back again, and that
plain-hearted, downright, harmless life would
be restored, of not much caring what we
should eat, drink, or put on, as Christ tells us
the Gentiles did, and as we know this age
daily does, under all its talk of religion : but
as the ancients, who with moderate care for
necessaries and conveniencies of life, devoted
themselves to the concernments of a celestial
kingdom, more minded their improvement in
righteousness, than their increase in riches ;
for they laid their treasure up in heaven, and
endured tribulation for an inheritance that
cannot be taken away.

9. The temperance I plead for, is not only
religiously, but politically good : it is the in-
terest of good government to curb and rebuke
excesses ; for it prevents many mischiefs.
Luxury brings effeminacy, laziness, poverty,
and misery ; but temperance preserves the
land. It keeps out foreign vanities, and im-
proves our own commodities : Now we are
their debtors, then they would be debtors to
us for our native manufactures. By this
means, such persons, who by their excess,

not charity, have deeply engaged their estates,
may in a short space be enabled to clear them
from those incumbrances, which otherwise,
like moths, soon eat out plentiful revenues.
It helps persons of mean substance to improve
their small stocks, that they may not expend
their dear earnings and hard -got wages upon
superfluous apparel, foolish may-games, plays,
dancing, shows, taverns, ale-houses, and the
like folly and intemperance ; with which this
land is more infested, and by which it is ren-
dered more ridiculous, than any kingdom in
the world. None that I know of is so infested
with cheating mountebanks, savage morrice-
dancers, pick-pockets, and profane players,
and stagers ; to the slight of religion, the
shame of government, and the great idleness,
expense, and debauchery of the people : for
which the spirit of the Lord is grieved, and
the sentence ready to be pronounced, " Let
him that is unjust, be unjust still." Wherefore
it is, that we cannot but loudly call upon the
people, and testify, both by our life and doc-
trine, against the like vanities and abuses^ if
possibly any may be weaned from their folly,
and choose the good old path of temperance,
wisdom, gravity, and holiness, the only way
to inherit the blessings of peace and plenty
here, and eternal happiness hereafter.

10. Lastly, supposing we had none of these
foregoing reasons justly to reprove the practice
of the land in these particulars ; let it be suffi-
cient for us to say, that when people have first
learned to fear, worship and obey their Crea-
tor, to pay their numerous vicious debts, to
alleviate and abate their oppressed tenants ;
when the pale faces are more commiserated,
the starved relieved, and naked clothed; when
the famished poor, the distressed widow, and
helpless orphan (God's works, and your fellow-
creatures) are provided for! then, I say, it will
be time enough for you to plead the indifferency
of your pleasure. But that the sweat and tedi-
ous labour of the husbandmen, early and late,
cold and hot, wet and dry, should be converted
into the pleasure, ease, and pastime of a small
number of men ; that the cart, the plough,
the thresh, should be in continual severity
laid upon nineteen parts of the land to feed
the inordinate lusts and delicious appetites of
the twentieth, is so far from the appointment
of the great Governor of the world, and God
of the spirits of all flesh, that to imagine such
horrible injustice as the effects of his determi-
nations, and not the intemperance of men,
were wretched and blasphemous. On the
other side, it would be to deserve no pity, no
help, no relief from God Almighty, for people
to continue that expense in vanity and pleasure,
whilst the great necessities of such objects go
unanswered: especially, since God hath made



the sons of men but stewards to each other's
exigencies and relief. Yea, so strictly is it
enjoined, that on the omission of these things,
we find this dreadful sentence partly to be
grounded, " Depart from me, ye cursed, into
everlasting fire," &c. On the contrary, to
visit the sick, see the imprisoned, relieve the
needy, &c. are such excellent properties in
Christ's account, that thereupon he will pro-
nounce such blessed, saying, " Come ye
blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom
prepared for you," &c. So that the great
are not, with the leviathan in the deep, to
prey upon the small, much less to make sport
of the lives and labours of the lesser ones, to
gratify their inordinate senses.

11. I therefore humbly offer an address to
the serious consideration of the civil magis-
trate, That if the money which is expended in
every parish in such vain fashions, as wearing
of laces, jewels, embroideries, unnecessary
ribbons, trimming, costly furniture and atten-
dance, together with what is commonly con-
sumed in taverns, feasts, gaming, &c. could
be collected into a public stock, or something
in lieu of this extravagant and fruitless ex-
pense, there might be reparation to the broken
tenants, work-houses for the able, and alms-
houses for the aged and impotent. Then
should we have no beggars in the land, the
cry of the widow and the orphan would cease,
and charitable reliefs might easily be afforded
towards the redemption of poor captives, and
refreshment of such distressed Protestants as
labour under the miseries of persecution in
other countries : nay, the exchequer's needs,
on just emergencies, might be supplied by
such a bank. This sacrifice and service would
please the just and merciful God ; it would be
a noble example of gravity and temperance
to foreign states, and an unspeakable benefit
to ourselves at home.

Alas ! why should men need persuasion to
what their own felicity so necessarily leads
them to ? Had those vitiosos of the times but
a sense of heathen Cato's generosity, they
would rather deny their carnal appetites, than
leave such noble enterprises unattempted. But
that they should eat, drink, play, game and
sport away their health, estates, and, above
all, their irrevocable precious time, which
should be dedicated to the Lord, as a neces-
sary introduction to a blessed eternity, and
than which, did they but know it, no worldly
solace could come in competition ; I say, that
they should be continually employed about
these poor, low things, is to have the heathens
judge them in God's day, as well as Christian
precepts and examples condemn them. And
their final doom will prove the more astonish-
ing, in that this vanity and excess are acted

Vol. I. — No. 7. [end of

under a profession of the self-denying reUgion
of Jesus, whose life and doctrine are a per-
petual reproach to the most of Christians.
For he, blessed Man, was humble, but they
proud ; he forgiving, they revengeful ; he
meek, they fierce ; he plain, they gaudy ; he
abstemious, they luxurious ; he chaste, they
lascivious; he a pilgrim on earth, they citizens
of the world : in fine, he was meanly born,
poorly attended, and obscurely brought up :
he lived despised, and died hated of the men
of his own nation. O you pretended follow-
ers of this crucified Jesus ! examine your-
selves, try yourselves; know you not your
own selves, if he dwell not, if he rule not, in
you, that you ai'e reprobates 1 be ye not de-
ceived, for God will not be mocked, at last
with forced repentances, such as you sow,
such you must reap in God's day. I beseech
you, hear me, and remember you were invited
and entreated to the salvation of God. As
you sow, you reap : if you are enemies to the
cross of Christ, and you are so, if you will
not bear it, but do as you list, and not as you
ought ; if you are uncircumcised in heart and
ear, and you are so, if you will not hear and
open to him that knocks at the door within,
and if you resist and quench the spirit in
yourselves, that strives with you to bring you
to God, and that you certainly do, who rebel
against its motions, reproofs, and instructions,
then " you sow to the flesh, to fulfil the lusts
thereof, and of the flesh will you reap the
fruits of corruption, woe, anguish, and tribu-
lation, from God the judge of the quick and
dead, by Jesus Christ." But if you will daily
bear the holy cross of Christ, and sow to the
spirit ; if you will listen to the light and grace
that comes by Jesus, and which he has given
to all people for salvation, and square your
thoughts, words, and deeds thereby, which
leads and teaches the lovers of it to deny all
ungodliness, and the world's lusts, and to live
soberly, righteously, and godly in this present
evil world ; then may you, with confidence,
look for the "blessed hope, and joyful coming,
and glorious appearance of the great God, and
our Saviour Jesus Christ !" Let it be so, O
you Christians, and escape the wrath to come !
why will you die? let the time past suffice:
remember, that No Ci'oss, No Crown. Re-
deem then the time, for the days are evil,
and yours but very few. Therefore gird up
the loins of your minds, be sober, fear, watch,
pray, and endure to the end ; calling to mind,
for your encouragement and consolation, that
all such, as " through patience and well-doino-
wait for immortality, shall reap glory, honour,
and eternal life, in the kingdom of the Father;
whose is the kingdom, the power, and the glory
for ever." Amen.









The design of William Penn in adducing
the examples of the most virtuous heathen in
favour of the self-denial and temperance which
he was recommending in the work, appears to
have been to show that even with the light
which shone dimly upon them, some were
enabled to see the advantages of such a life
as he enforced. The period at which he
wrote his work, was one of great licentious-
ness of manners at court and among the
nobility ; from whence it soon found its way
to the inferior classes of society. His aim
seems to be to check the evil at the fountain,
and to convince the great of this world by
the testimony of men and women of rank and
dignity, equal with their own, how much more
honourable, useful and happy they would be
by pursuing the path of self-denial and virtue.
Some might listen to the sentiments of a
Socrates, Solon, Alexander, or Plato, on
whom the precepts of Paul or Peter would
be urged in vain. If men, who were sur-
rounded with the darkness, and vice, and cor-
ruption of paganism, that sink of iniquity and
degradation, were yet sufficiently enUghtened
to inculcate such degrees of moral rectitude
as we find in some of the following quotations.

in how much stronger relief does it place the
responsibility of Christians who are blessed
with the pure morality and holy religion of
Christ's Gospel. When we read the senti-
ments of some of the heathen characters
given in this work, and observe how far they
exceed the morality of too many professed
Christians, we cannot but lament that they
had not the preeminent advantages of Christi-
anity to enlighten and adorn their examples,
and that those who have them, should so
shamefully misuse or neglect them.

It is thus to magnify the Gospel and enforce
on its professors the solemn obligation of
obeying its pure and holy precepts, that the
testimony of heathen and Christian examples
is adduced — and surely if professing Christen-
dom falls short in her morality, her self-denial,
her holiness, after all the unspeakable privi-
leges bestowed on her, such heathen will rise
up in the day of judgment and condemn her :
it will be more tolerable for them than for her,
for judging from the evidence they here give,
if the mighty works which have been done in
her, had been done in their day and before
their eyes, they had greatly exceeded her in
Christian virtues. Editors.




No Cross, No Crown, should have ended
here; but that the power, which examples and
authorities have upon the minds of people,
above the most reasonable and pressing argu-
ments, inclined me to present my readers with
some of those many instances that might be
given, in favour of the vii'tuous life recom-
mended in our discourse. I chose to cast them
into three sorts of testimonies, not after the
threefold subject of the book, but suitable to
the times, qualities, and circumstances of the
persons that gave them forth; whose excellen-
cies and stations have transmitted their names
with reputation to our own times. The first
testimony comes from those called heathens,
the second from professed Christians, and the
last from retired, aged, and dying men; being
their last and serious reflections, to which no
ostentation or worldly interest could induce
them. Where it will be easy for the conside-
rate reader to observe how much the pride,
avarice, and luxury of the world, stood repre-
hended in the judgments of persons of great
credit amongt men ; and what that life and
conduct was, that in their most retired medita-
tions, when their sight was clearest, and judg-
ment most free and disabused, they thought
would give peace here, and lay a foundation
for eternal blessedness.



I. Among the Greeks, viz. 1. Of Cyrus. 2.
Artaxerxes, 3. Agathocles. 4. Philip. 5.
Alexander. 6. Ptolemy. 7. Xenophanes. 8.
Antigonus. 9. Themistocles. 10. Aristides.
11. Pericles. 12. Phocion. 1.3. Clitomachus.
14. Epaminondas. 15. Demosthenes. 16. Aga-
sicles. 17. Agesilaus. 18. Agis. 19. Alca-
menes. 20. Alexandridas. 21. Anaxilas. 22.
Ariston. 2.3. Archidamus. 24. Cleomenes.
25. Dersyllidas. 26. Hippodamus. 27. Leoni-
das. 28. Lysander. 29. Pausanias. 30. Theo-
pompus, &c. 31. The manner of life and
government of the Lacedsemonians in general.
32. Lycurgus their lawgiver. II. Among the
Romans, viz. 33. Of Cato. 34. Scipio Afri-
canus. 35. Augustus. 36. Tiberius. 37. Ves-
pasian. 38. Trajan. 39. Adrian. 40. Marcus
Aurelius Antoninus. 41. Pertinax. 42. Pes-

cennius. 43. Alexander Severus. 44. Aure-
lianus. 45. Julian. 46. Theodosius. III. The
lives and doctrines of some of the heathen phi-
losophers among the Greeks and Romans, viz.
47. Thales. 48. Pythagoras. 49. Solon. 50.
Chilon. 51. Periander. 52. Bias. 53. Cleo-
bulus. 54. Pittacus. 5.5. Hippias. 56. The
Gymnosophists. 57. The Bamburacii. 58. The
Gynsecosmi. 59. Anacharsis. 60. Anaxagoras.
61. Heraclitus. 62. Democritus. 63. Socrates.
64. Plato. 65. Antisthenes. 66. Xenocrates.
67. Bion. 68. Demonax. 69. Diogenes. 70.
Crates. 71. Aristotle. 72. Mandanis. 73.
Zeno. 74. Quintilian. 75. Seneca. 76.
Epictetus. IV. Of virtuous heathen women,
viz. 77. Penelope. 78. Hipparchia. 79. Lu-
cretia. 80. Cornelia. 81. Pontia. 82. Arria.
83. Pompeja Plautina. 84. Plotina. 85. Pom-
peja Paulina. 86. A reproof to voluptuous wo-
men of the times.

1. Cyrus, than whom a greater monarch
we hardly find in story, is more famous for
his virtue, than his power ; and indeed it was
that which gave him power. God calls him
his shepherd. Let us see the principles of his
conduct and life. So temperate was he in his
youth, that when Astyages urged him to drink
wine, he answered, I am afraid lest there should
be poison in it ; having seen thee reel and sot-
tish after having drunk thei-eof. So careful
was he to keep the Persians from corruption
of manners, that he would not suffer them to
leave their rude and mountainous country, for
one more pleasant and fruitful, lest, through
plenty and ease, luxury at last might debase
their spirits. So very chaste was he, that
having taken a lady of quality, a most beauti-
ful woman, his prisoner, he refused to see her,
saying, I have no mind to be a captive to my
captive. It seems he shunned even the occa-
sion of evil. The comptroller of his household
asking him one day, what he would please to
have for his dinner? Bread, said he; for I
intend to encamp nigh the water: a short and
easy bill of fare. This shows the power he had
over his appetite, as well as his soldiers ; and
that he was fit to command others, who could
command himself; according to another say in (t
of his, No man is worthy to command, who is
not better than those who are to obey. When
he came to die, he gave this reason of his be-
lief of immoi'tality, I cannot, said he, persuade
myself to think that the soul of man, after
having sustained itself in a mortal body, should
perish when delivered out of it, for want of it:
a saying of perhaps as great weight, as may
be advanced against atheism from more en-
lightened times.

2. Artaxerxes Mnemon, being, upon an



extraordinary occasion, reduced to eat barley
bread and dried figs, and drinl? water; ob-
served. What pleasure have I lost till now,
throush m)^ delicacies and excess !

3. Agathocles, becoming king of Sicily,
from being the son of a potter, in order to
humble his mind to his original, would be
daily served in earthen vessels upon his table :
an example of humihty and plainness.

4. Philip, king of Macedon, upon three
sorts of good news arriving in one day, feared
too much success might transport him im-
moderately ; and therefore prayed for some
disappointments to season his prosperity, and
caution his mind under the enjoyment of it.
He refused to oppress the Greeks with his
garrisons, saying, I had rather retain them by
kindness, than fear ; and be always beloved,
than to be for a while terrible. One of his
minions persuading him to decline hearing a
cause, wherein a particular friend was inte-
rested ; I had much rather, says he, thy
friend should lose his cause, than I my repu-
tation. Seeing his son Alexander endeavour
to gain the hearts of the Macedonians by gifts
and rewards. Canst thou believe, says he, that
a man whom thou hast corrupted to thy inte-
rests will ever be true to them? When his
court would have had him quarrel and correct
the Peloponesians for their ingratitude to him,
he said, By no means; for if they despise and
abuse me, after being kind to them, what will
they do if I do them harm ? A great example
of patience in a king, and wittily said. Like
to this was his reply to the ambassadors of
Athens, whom asking after audience. If he
could do them any service, and one of them
surlily answering, The best thou canst do us
is, to hang thyself; he was nothing disturbed,
though his court murmured ; but calmly said
to the ambassador. Those who suffer injuries,
are better people than those that do them.
Being one day fallen along the ground, and
seeing himself in that posture, he cried out.
What a small spot of earth do we take up '/
and yet the whole world cannot content us.

5. Alexandek was very temperate and
virtuous in his youth: a certain governor

Online LibraryWilliam EvansThe Friends' library : comprising journals, doctrinal treatises, and other writings of members of the religious Society of Friends (Volume 1) → online text (page 60 of 105)