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BEING A BRIEF BUT FAITHFUL
N ARRAT I V E
Dying Remorse of a late Living ENEMY
People called QUAKERS, and their Faith and
Attested by Eye and Ear-WITNESSES, whereof his“
Widow is one.
Published, in Honour to God, for a Warning to Gainsayers,
and a Confirmation to the Honeft-hearted. With an Apa PENDIX, both to Foes and Friends, on this Occasion.
BY WILLIAM PE N N.
« Surely after that I was turned, I repented ; and after that “ I was instructed, I smote upon my thigh ; I was ashamed,
yea, even confounded.” Jer. xxxi.
Published in the Year 1675.
CHEREAS after near twenty years public
opposition, made by Matthew Hyde, against the People called Quakers, and their principle of the light within, in their public assemblies, chiefly in and about London; it hath pleased the Lord immediately and secretly to smite and awaken him in his consci
ence, and to bring the burden of his iniquity upon him a few days before his death (though he was not the worst of open opposers and disturbers) so that he was necessitated to make a solemn confession thereof, and unto the truth, in the presence of Almighty God, and several of the said people, his wife, and some others, before he could quietly or with satisfaction depart this life: this is given out as a true and faithful narrative of his last and dying words, as a testimony for God's truth and people, against all apostates, gainsayers and opposers thereof, that such may take warning, for whom there yet remains a place of repentance.
N the 19th of the 12th month, 1675, Cotton
Oades, hearing that Matthew Hide was willing to speak to some of our friends, called Quakers, went to him, and told him, if he had any thing to say, to clear himself, he might speak; seeing he had opposed friends in their declarations and prayers.
M. Hide signified thus much, That he was sorry < for what he had done; for they were the people of God.'
C. Oades asked him, if he had any thing in his mind to any particular friends; nominating G. Whitehead, and W. Gibson, or any other; and whether he would be willing any of them should be sent for?
M. Hide replied, “As many as please may come.
Whereupon Cotton Oades presently fent for George Whitehead, who accordingly went with the messenger to visit Matthew Hide after the ninth hour in the night. So the said George Whitehead, Cotton Oades,
and John Ball, near the tenth hour in the night, · visited Matthew Hide on his fick bed, though fo weak, that it was very hard for him to utter words, yet these were understood from him, when spoken to, as followeth: C. O. told him, Here is George r Whitehead come to see thee, Matthew.'.
G. W. "I am come in love and tenderness to see othee.'
M. Hide. I am glad to see you.
G. W. "If thou hast any thing on thy conscience to speak, I would have thee to clear thy conscience.
M. Hide. What I have to say, I speak in the prefence of God: as Paul was a perfecutor of the people of the Lord, so have I been a persecutor of you, his people, as the world are, who persecưte the children of God: (with more words, which then could not be understood.)
G. W. Thy understanding being darkened, when darkness was over thee, thou hast gainsayed the truth and people of the Lord ; and I knew that that LIGHT, which thou opposedft, would rise up in judgment " against thee: I have often, with others, laboured (with thee, to bring thee to a right understanding.'
M. Hide. This I declare, in the presence of God, and of you here, I have done evil in persecuting you, who are the children of God, and I am sorry for it: the Lord Jesus Christ shew mercy unto me, and the Lord increase your number, and be with you!
G, W. (after some pause) I would have thee, if I thou art able to speak, to ease thy conscience as
fully as thou canst: my soul is affected to hear thee
thus confess thy evil, as the Lord hath given thee "a sense of it. In repentance, there is mercy and I forgiveness; in confessing and forsaking sin, there ris mercy to be found with the Lord; who in the
midst of judgment remembers mercy, that he may • be feared. (The said M. H. being then much oppreffed, striving for breath, and lying on his back, so chat it was very hard for him to speak, G. W. got VOL. IV. - P
John Ball to turn him on one side, that he might the better speak.)
M. Hide. I have done evil in opposing you in your prayers: the Lord be merciful unto me! and as I have been an instrument to turn many from God, the Lord raise up many instruments to turn many to him!
G. W. (after some silence) I desire thou mayst find ( mercy and forgiveness at the hand of the Lord. How is it with thy soul? Doft not thou find some ease?'
M. Hide. I hope I do: and if the Lord should lengthen my days, I should be willing to bear a testimony for you, as publickly as I have appeared against you.
(His wife then said, “It is enough; what can be s desired more?')
G. W. "If the Lord should not lengthen out othy days, dost thou desire what thou sayest should o be signified to others ?"
M. Hide. Yes, I do; you may: I have said as much as I can say.
G. W. (after some silence) • If this company be " wearisome unto thee, I think we may withdraw."
M. H. You may use your freedom. G. W. I shall leave thee to the Lord, desiring he may shew mercy and forgiveness unto thee, as I hope he will. M. Hide. The Lord be with your fpirits.
These things were expressed about two hours before his death, in the presence of George Whitehead, John Ball, Cotton Oades, George Browne, and the wife of Matthew Hide, and some others.
Gw. You mause, I think we this common
It is to be observed, before some of the people called Quakers came to him, I, perceiving him to be much troubled in his mind, asked him, . If he would < speak with any of those people ?' He smote his hand upon his breast, and said, “With all my heart.' I aiked him again, “ If he would speak with some of the < Quakers.' And he smote his hand upon his breast, and said, With all my soul ;' so some were invited to come. Again, after they had been with him, he did oftentimes desire, . That he might live till morning ; it
being the first-day of the week, and that he might r bear, on that day, a testimony for the TRUTH, he had con that day so often opposed.' He also said, "He
had since found some ease to his spirit. And I being a silver-spinster, and he understanding that I wrought to people that were great in the world, he took me by the hand, and did press it much upon me, · That I 5 should use the plain language, as thee, and thou; and <if they would not receive it, I should let my trade I go. And after some more words to this purpose spoken by him, in a good understanding, he stretched himself out, and died very quietly.
To the substance of this relation concerning my husband's expressions, on his death-bed, concerning the people called Quakers, I was an ear-witness, and Mary Fooks too.
To all atheistical, persecuting, and contentious op
posers of the universal light of Jesus in the conscience, and particularly those that are disturbers and vilifiers of them that believe in him, at their public meetings to worship God, according to the illumination and motion of that blessed principle.
To you all a warning, in the name and fear of T God, that you leave off your vain thoughts, your chaffy, loose, and unfavoury words, and rebellious practices, against the light of Jesus in your own consciences; and that you dread any more to revile, backbite, disturb, or slander his poor people, that have believed in him, and that follow him according to the shinings of his blessed light in their hearts : speak not evilly of that you do not know; much less go you on to kick against those pricks in your own consciences, as Saul did, left you become entirely hardened in your gain-sayings, and the Lord God cut you off in his fore displeasure. O that you would consider your latter P 2