OF WHAT SORT SOEVER,
UNTO WHOSE HANDS THESE MAY COME;
BUT MORE PARTICULARLY
To the Doctors, Professors, and Students of Divinity in the Universities and Schools of Great Britain, whether Prelatical, Presbyterian, or any other;
A Servant of the Lord God, and one of those who in derision are called Quakers, wisheth unfeigned Repentance, unto the Acknowledgment of the Truth.
Unto you these following propositions are offered; in which, they being read and considered in the fear of the Lord, you may perceive that simple, naked truth, which man by his wisdom hath rendered so obscure and mysterious, that the world is even burthened with the great and voluminous tractates which are made about it, and by their vain jangling and commentaries, by which it is rendered a hundred-fold more dark and intricate than of itself it is: which great learning, (so accounted of,) to wit, your school-divinity, (which taketh up almost a man's whole life-time to learn,) brings not a whit nearer to God, neither makes any man less wicked, or more righteous than he was. Therefore hath God laid aside the wise and learned, and the disputers of this world; and hath chosen a few despicable and unlearned instruments, (as to letter-learning,) as he did fishermen of old, to publish his pure and naked truth, and to free it of those mists and fogs wherewith the clergy hath clouded it, that the people might admire and maintain them. And among several others, whom God bath chosen to make known these things, (seeing I also have received, in measure, grace to be a dispenser of the same Gospel,) it seemed good unto me, according to my duty, to offer unto you these propositions; which, though short, yet are weighty, comprehending much, and declaring what the true ground of knowledge is, even of that knowledge which leads to Life Eternal; which is here witnessed of, and the testimony thereof left unto the Light of Christ in all your consciences.