The Causeless Ground of Surmises, Jealousies and unjust Offences removed, in a full clearing of faithful Friends, and a sober vindication of my Innocency, and the Friends concerned with me; in relation to the late Religious Differences and Breaches among some of the People called QUAKERS in America.

I Tenderly intreat and desire that none apply, or construe any Words contain­ed in these following, Lines, as intended by me in way of Reflection, Blame or Charge, against either the Body of Friends in general, or any particular Meeting, or Meetings of Friends in particular, or against any singular, faith­ful Friend or Friends whatsoever; being only a full Clearing of Faithful Friends, and a sober Vindication of my Innocency, and Christian Testimony, freely recommended to the tender Consciences of such as may read them.

I Find weighty Concern upon me to publish this following Declara­tion, to silence and remove these evil Surmises, Jealousies and unjust Offences taken both against many faithful Friends in general, and Me in particular, upon the Misconstructions, and Misapplications that some have made of some Passages in my late Printed Books.

And in the first place I cannot but greatly blame them, who have re­printed diverse of my late Books, with other Titles than the Titles first given them, as An account of the Divisions among the Quakers in Pensilva­nia, A further Account of the Divisions among the Quakers in Pensilvania: And to a small Treatise of mine concerning the Resurrection, this new Title is given, The Christian Quaker, or George Kieth's eyes opened, as if the Name Christian Quaker were peculiar to me and some few others cal­led Quakers; or as if I had been formerly Blind till of late days, both which I disown, for whatever I have delivered in any of my late Prin­ted Books, touching either the Resurrection of the Dead, or any other Prin­ciples of Christian Doctrine; it hath been my Faith ever since I came among the people called Quakers, which is upwards of thirty Years past, [Page 2] and it is my charitable sincere Persuasion, that the worthy Name of Chri­stian doth truly belong to very many of that People as well as unto me, having an experimental Proof, through intimate conversation, and fre­quent verbal Communication with many of them, that they are sin­cere in the Christian Faith, and whose Life and Conversation doth Seal unto the sincerity of their Christian Profession.

And whereas it hath been said, that I have Printed several Books against the people called Quakers, charging them with holding and cloa­king more damnable Heresies and Doctrines of Devils, than any Prote­stant Profession would tollerate, I answer, a great search having been made by many into all my Printed Books, it hath not been found; and I say, it is not to be found, that any where in all my Books I have charged the people called Quakers, either in general, or in the plurality, with any such thing. And by a Manuscript given forth by some of them that so charged me, it is made apparent, that I charged but a few, and these few did not at most exceed thirteen when I did so charge them. And that my innocency may appear in this Matter, I need but recite some of the printed Passages in my late Books, where I am so far from charging the People call'd Quakers in general, or the Body of them, that I purposely, and with great care and industry have cleared them; see for this in the Book call'd Some Reasons and Causes of the late Separation, pag. 17. l. 14. where I say, That we remain in dear unity with the Body of our faithful Friends, all of them, in all parts of the World, and p. 23. l. 13. of the same Book, We declare we are one with our faithful Brethren, in all parts of the World, both in Spirit, Doctrine and Practice of true Christianity: And we faithfully believe that our Faith in all things doth well agree to all our faithfull Brethren everywhere, and is the real, sound and upright Faith, as it hath been received, not only by ancient Christians in all Ages of the World, but also by the most sound, ancient, and present Friends of Truth, called in scorn Quakers. Divers other Passages of the like nature might be cited out of my late Books, but these may suffice at present, and it is greatly to be noticed, that notwithstanding the objections and severe Accusati­ons that some have made against my late Books, as being hurtful to Truth and Friends of it, and giving advantage and strength to Adver­saries of Truth; Yet after great search into my Books, and a strict Exa­mination of them, by some that have so complained, there is not any Line or Sentence in any of them, that they have made to appear to con­tain any untruth or falshood in them, either in matter of Doctrine or Fact: And as I have told them, and answered divers times, Generals prove nothing, it is not enough to say my Books have done hurt, unless they can instance particular Untruths or Falshoods in them of Doctrine or matter of Fact, which they have not done. I have also desired them [Page 3] who have so charged me, to distinguish betwixt a proper and accidental Cause of an effect; as even some of them have been put so to distinguish, with respect to some of their own Writings, an evil use being made of them, by some ill minded men. I have granted that some of my late Books might have been an improper and accidental cause of Hurt and Grief to Friends, and of strengthening Adversaries, but unless it can be pro­ved that they are the proper and direct Cause of such Effects, which hath not been proved, it doth not follow, that they are to be blamed; for as they might have been the improper and accidental Cause of Grief to some, so as can well be proved, they have been of great service to many, yea to Hundreds of Friends, which they have acknowledge: and have sig­nified their great satisfaction and joy, that God had raised me up, and some others with me, to appear in a zealous, plain and clear testimony to those great Truths of Christianity, plainly asserted in my late Books, and in opposi­tion to those vile and gross Errours boldly asserted by some, that went under the same outward denomination: And as this hath had a Service to many sincere hearted Friends of the same profession with us, who have blessed God, on our behalf, for his giving us Zeal and Courage to ap­pear in such a publick Testimony to these great Truths of Christ that had been as it were buried in silence by some, and opposed by others; the re­viving and raising up of which, God was pleased to show me in a Hea­venly Vision, and that he would make me an Instrument thereof, with some others concerned, for which, and for all his other great Mercies, I desire for ever to praise him, so it hath had a great Service to many of almost all other Professions who had been jealous of us, and did frequent­ly accuse us in general, as being unsound, touching these great Truths of the Christian Doctrine and Faith, who are now in great measure satisfied, and on that account their Love and Charity is the more extended towards us, which I am well perswaded will, by the Blessing of God, be made a means to many of them to bring them nearer to us, and to open their Hearts to receive our Testimony, in what we have from God, to declare unto them for their good: And many of all sorts that frequent our Meetings, of other Professions, are well affected with our Testimony, to the inward appearance of God and Christ, together with the holy Spirit in Mens hearts, wh [...]le they find us warm and Zealous in our Testimony to the other great Doctrine of the Christian Faith, held in common with them, as particularly, that the Faith of Christ, as he dyed for our sins, and rose again, is necessary to our Christianity and Salvation, that God doth justify us and par­don our Sins for Christs sake, who dyed for us, through our Faith in him, that is, always, [...]ccompanied with sincere Repentance, reformation of Life and new obedien [...], that the Man Christ Iesus, even the same that dyed for our Sins, rose again, and is ascended, and is in Beeing in the true and perfect Na­ture [Page 4] of Man, having the true Soul and Body of man, in Heaven, wonderfully Glorified and Exalted; our High Priest, Mediator and Advocate with the Father, by and through whom God doth give the holy Spirit, and all Spi­ritual Blessings, and Influences of Grace, Peace, Life and Light, and Wisdom, and Power, and every new supply and increase of the same, to true Believers in him, as he is thus glorified and exalted; and by and through whom God doth Graciously accept us, and our Services, Worship, and thanksgiving, and whole obedience; and by this Man Iesus Christ, God will raise the Dead and Judge the World at the last Day: And that the deceased Saints have not yet (generally) received the Resurrection of the Body, but wait for it at Christs last coming and appearance without us in his glorified Body, to Judge the quick and the dead. The plain asserting of these, and other great Truths of Christianity in my late Books, and that with Zeal and fervency of Spirit, in the sincerity of my heart (in which I have had great Peace and Comfort, and still have by the Spirit of God in my heart, notwith­standing the rash and uncharitable Censures of some) have been, and yet will more and more be of great Service, not only to many of the same Profession and Denomination with us, but to many of other Profes­sions in Christendom, for the clearing the Truth, and faithful Friends of it, and for the removing these Jealousies and Dissatisfactions that many of all other Professions have entertained against us, occasioned either by the obscure and unwary Expressions of some of the same Profession with us, or by the ignorance and unsoundness of some others, which yet ought not to be charged upon the whole, nor upon any that are innocent, as touch­ing these things. But if any should go about to cover, cloak or excuse these Errours, or any Guilty of them, and neglect to pass a due censure upon them, after due notice given them, they are in so far chargeable with them. And therefore, that I and others joined with me in our late Printed Testimonies, might be clear of the Guilt of these Errours, and of such as did hold them, we did find our selves weightily concerned to ap­pear in such a publick Testimony, to the Honour of God and his dear Son Iesus Christ, and the peace of our Consciences, and also to the clearing of faithful Friends every where, and for the credit of our Profes­sion, which was our sincere intention to remove all offences and Stum­bling-Blocks out of the way, as we have plainly declared in our Printed Treatise, called Some Reasons and Causes of the late Separati­on, pag. 24. line 24. where we say, to prevent Truth and faithful Friends be­ing defamed by Adversaries, we are weightily concerned in this Testimony. It was therefore a great surprisal to us, and remaineth so to be, to find some so to misconstrue our real and sincere intention, and so greatly to misunderstand us, as to charge it upon us, that our late Printed Books have tended to give great occasion of Offence, and stumbling to ma­ny. [Page 5] &c. opening the mouths of our Adversaries, Professors and others, to reproach the Truth and Friends thereof. But it is strange to us, that our faithful and zealous witnessing for the Truth, and against Errour, should be construed to be to the reproach of Truth and Friends of it: doth one contrary produce naturally another, or doth Truth produce Errour? if nay, no more can our zealous Testimony to Truth, produce the bring­ing reproach upon Truth and the Friends of it; or rather, is it not more apparent, that to pass by in silence, without any censure or publick Te­stimony, gross and vile Errours (some of which not only no Protestant Profession would tollerate, but even the Church of Rome would not tol­lerate, but publickly Judge and Condemn) doth bring a Reproach up­on Truth and Friends thereof, and doth open the Mouths of Adversa­ries to reproach us, as being guilty of cloaking such gross Errours amongst us, for if we are guilty of blame for exposing these mens gross Errours (after due Gospel order used towards them, as hath been suffici­ently proved out of our late Printed Books, and great endeavours used to reclaim them, convince them, and better inform them, which they have rejected, and notwithstanding their Scripture Confessions still per­sisted in their Errours, as I have made appear out of their own Papers and Manuscripts, signed with their own hands, since their pretended Scripture Confession,) what is the Consequence that many will make from this, but that to pass by in silence, cover and cloak such vile and gross Errours among us, and to lessen and extenuate them, with the smooth names of Weakness, is esteemed a Virtue by us, but let it be far from us, to give any such occasion of Argument against us. But as we have impartially in Print as well as other ways, witnessed against that Judged by us gross Errours in other Professions, not covering them with the smooth name of Weakness, so that we may approve our selves indued with that wisdom from above, that is without partiality and respect of Persons, let the gross Errours, or any other defaults and Immoralities that any among us are guilty of, be impartially witnessed against in Print or other­wise, after due Gospel Order and Discipline hath been exercised towards them, as is the present case, for we Printed not a Line against them, until by Christs established Discipline in his Church professed by all Friends, they had made themselves to us as Heathens and Publicans, by their re­jecting and denying the sound and seasonable Judgement of the Month­ly Meeting, whereof they were Members, and denying that Meeting to be a Meeting, tho it was the only Monthly Meeting that then was in Phila­delphia, and the only Representative of the Church in that place at that time; and also until they had rejected all our Endeavours and Proposals unto them, in order to Reconciliation. See a Copy of the said Judgement in the Printed Treatise, called Some Reasons and Causes of the late Separa­tion, [Page 6] p. 10. And if that particular Meeting or Assembly that they belong un­to, pass no due censure against them, the Errours and defaults of the parti­culars are justly imputed to the particular Meeting or Assembly they belong unto, as we have largely proved both from Scripture and large Citations out of R. Barclays Book called The Anarchy of the Ranters, &c. well appro­ved by Friends, as particularly pag. 32.33, 34, 48, 49, 51, 52▪ to which I refer.

Next as to the Separation (which some charge the blame of upon us, and lay at my door, and them joined with me, in our zealous Christian Testimony for these great Truths of Christianity, and against the opposite Errours) as setting up Separate Meetings in Pensilvania, or any where else in America. It hath not been proved against us by any sufficient Evidence, nor can it be proved that either we began it, or continued it; for the first Sepa­rate Meeting at Philadelphia, we began it not, but they of the other side, as I have made to appear before many Witnesses: And there was no other Separation or Separate Meetings amongst us any where in Pensilvania, or elsewhere, until I, and they concerned with me in our Christian Testimony were denyed and disowned by them of the other side, by a publick Judg­ment given out against us, and me in particular, signed by twenty eight Men, called Ministers and that without all Conviction or Tryal: And after this I and other Friends of the Ministry joined with me, proffering to of­fer our Gift among them, were universally rejected, and disowned by a Party in these parts, which many Friends seeing and noticing did oc­casion them to own us and our Testimony, and thus the breach happe­ned in many Meetings. But had we made the Separation, we had been warranted so to do both by Scripture and the express Doctrine of R.B. his Book above mentioned, in pag. 33, 49, &c. to which I refer, and to the particular large Citations quoted, and Observations thereupon in the Printed Treatise, called Some Reasons and Causes of the late Separation. and it had been but reasonable and convenient for such as have so posi­tively blamed me and them concerned with me, both for the Printing and the Separation to have answered our Reasons from Scripture, and R. Barclays Book in our Vindication, and to have shown the Invalidity of them, and also to have given us plain Reasons and Proofs from Scripture, whereby to▪ convince us of Sin, and that we were not acted in Gods Wisdom and Counsel therein, which they have not yet done, and until they so do, we must crave leave to differ in our Judgment from them in this particular Mat­ter, though we desire to remain in Love and Charity towards them, and in unity with the Faithful in the main every where; for they must con­vince us by stronger and better Arguments, than to say, It is their clear and general Sense. (But we do well know it is not the General Sense of [Page 7] Friends to blame us) for we are well perswaded, that no Divine Sense ever will or can contradict, or condemn what plain Scripture Precepts and Te­stimonies do justify, as in the present Case we have, as also the Example of our ancient Friends, who have Printed against lesser Errours in others, who differed from them, and have also Separated from them, though thereby Papists have been gratified, and Gloried over all Protestant Pro­fessions in general, and have strengthened themselves thereby, as much as any have against us by our late Printed Books, and have said, Lo how Hereticks and Schismaticks, since they have left the Mother Church of Rome, have gone into endless Separations, and expose one another, and contend against one another, seeking to destroy one another by their endless Contenti­ons, and thereby concluding, that neither their Printing against others Errours, nor the Separation of one from another, or from the Church of Rome, is of God, or is acted in the Wisdom and Consel of God, as some do so Argue against us. But if they know how to answer the Papists Argu­ments in this Case against themselves, they may know how to answer the like Arguments against us.

And as concerning Ʋnity, we greatly value it, to wit, that Ʋnity that is built on Truth and Righteousness (without which Ʋnity is but an empty name and an Idol,) and when we are agreed in the main, so as to be one in the principal things of Faith and Doctrine, and feel the Spirit of Life and Love in Christ Jesus to knit our hearts together, A difference of Judgement in lesser Matters should not break out Unity, and without breach of Unity we ought to bear and receive the Word of Exhortation, or reproof that any have from the Spirit of Truth to deliver unto us, without gainsaying, strife or alienation of mind.

As to the Charge of some concerning Falshood of Doctrine, or innova­tion of Doctrine brought in by me or others joined with me; they who have so charged us, being mostly convinced of their rashness, proceeding from their own Ignorance and mistakes, I shall not need to say any thing for our Vindication▪ all the more judicious and understanding among us, both of the Ministry and others, being generally satisfied with the Manner of Doctrine held forth by me, either in my late Printed Books, or publick Assemblies of the People called Quakers. And as to the charge of my imposing a Faith upon my Brethren in Pensilvania, or elsewhere, in my own Terms, I have sufficiently cleared my Innocency in that respect, and none have yet sufficiently proved it against me, nor ever will be able so to do. I know no Terms of mine, that I ever used in Faith and Doctrine, I am no Inventor of any new Words, or Terms, be­ing well satisfied with the sound Words used in Scripture, and other Words and Terms used (in the savory Life and Spirit of Christ in Harmony with the Holy Scriptures,) by all sound Christians in all Ages in General [Page 8] and faithful Friends of the same Profession with me in particular. And as for that called An account of our sincere Faith, writ by me, and Prin­ted at Philadelphia, by the general consent and request of Friends joined with me, in these American parts; received by the general consent of some Meetings of the People called Quakers there, and by the general consent of that called our Yearly Meeting, held at Burrlington 7th of Month 7: 1692. I say, I never imposed that Form of Confession, on any there, or elsewhere in the World, but am fully satisfied, that if any here, or there see not fit to declare their Faith, in that form of Words as there declared, they may exercise their Christian Liberty, to use any other terms or words, that the Spirit of Truth furnisheth them withal, or giveth them liberty to make use of out of the Holy Scriptures, for the Faith may be one and the same received and confessed by many thousands, and yet not the same Forms and Words used by them all, but all these Words and Forms will have the same sense and signification, and be of the same importance, if the Faith be one, and the Spirit be one in them all. But that some Principles and Doctrines, and Points of Faith are neces­sary to be agreed upon, together with the practices necessarily depend­ing thereupon, and to be owned, professed and declared by us, to be as it were, the Terms that draw us together, and the Bond by which we become centred into one Body and Fellowship, and distinguished from others, yet not this so the Bond, but that we have a more inward and invisible, to wit, the Life of Righteousness is the express Doctrine and Testimony of R. Barclay his Book above mentioned, pag. 48. And whether Friends do not make some Principles and Doctrines of Faith, yea, and lesser mat­ters, (called by some, The form of Truth,) as plain Language and plain habit, refusing to Salute with the Hat and Knee, and some Matters belong­ing to Church Discipline, as Mens and Womens Meetings, Terms of their Com­munion, I appeal to all intelligent Friends. And how it is that the grea­test and most necessary Articles of the Christian Faith, professed and owned by us, and declared to be necessary to be owned, professed, and con­fessed by us, (as that Faith in the Man Christ as he dyed for our Sins and rose again, is necessary to our Christianity, Regeneration, Sanctification, Justification, and Eternal Salvation, as well as to believe the Inward Appearance of God and Christ, by his Grace, Light, Life and Spirit in our Hearts, and that therefore none is a true and perfect Christian in kind and Nature, without this Faith, and that we must not place our whole Salvation upon any Light, Gift or Grace within us, so as to say it is sufficient to Salvation, without any thing else, as some have said, thereby to exclude the Man Christ Iesus, in whom the fulness of Grace and Truth dwelleth, and of whose fulness we receive, [Page 9] and Grace for Grace, even every new and fresh Supply and in­crease of more Grace, with many other the greatest and most ne­cessary Articles of the Christian Faith,) must be called Imposition, and refused to be Terms of our Communion, and yet far less Mat­ters, (as these abovementioned, of Plain Language, Habit, Salu­tation, &c. Mens and Womens Meetings) must be made such Terms of Communion, so as to exclude them by such a severe Pe­nalty, as not to own them to be in Unity with us, and yet allow them to be in Unity with us, that may differ from us in great and weighty Matters of the Christian Faith, for ought we know, if they have but the Policy to conceal their unbelief, or if they ex­press it as some have done, to call it but a Weakness, whereas to deny or oppose the other lesser things abovementioned, is not reckoned by many a Weakness, but such a Matter as for which a Man is Worthy to be denyed, for my part, I see not the Con­sistency of these things, and so I Judge, nor do many more. And whereas some have charged me with Imposition, for modestly pre­senting a Paper, called Gospel Order and Discipline improved, &c. some years ago, to the Yearly Meeting at Burlington in West Jersey, delivered only by way of Proposition and Query, being read in the hearing of many Witnesses very lately) I see not why any should call it an Imposition, which is only proposed by way of Query, and was never urged or pressed by me at any time; but the Paper it self is so fair and innocent, and so free of any thing that looks like Imposition, that several Friends that have seen and heard it read, are well affected with it, and do wish that Friends might find it convenient to practice the things therein mentioned, they being generally agreeable to Scripture, and well Warranted by either General or Particular Precepts of Scripture, and there­fore cannot be called Imposition. And whereas some through ig­norance and shortness of understanding, have blamed some of the ten Articles or Heads of Doctrine, having this Title, some of our Principles to which if ye agree (lately read before many Witnes­ses, but no ways contradicted) I have in readiness to Print a Col­lection of Testimonies out of Friends Printed Books, to prove every one of these ten Articles, (as well as I have elsewhere proved them out of the Holy Scriptures) divers of which have been so much opposed by some, and questioned by others; and seing there hath [Page 10] been of late so much querying about Principles by some. Is it not high time that by the general Consent, Advice and approbati­on of the most judicious, wise and understanding of Friends now alive, all the most necessary Principles and Doctrines of our Faith, both common and peculiar, should be published and made known, for the great good, Service and benefit of Men in General, as well as for the Good of Us and our Posterity in particular; that in our universal and harmonious Testimony both with the Scriptures, and with sound Christians in all Ages, and with one another, the Posterity that is to come after us and our Children that are grow­ing up, may have the benefit thereof, and thereby have occasion to bless God on our behalf. And also, that whatever weak and unsound or unjustifiable Expressions, Sayings or Passages are to be found in any Books among us that have happened through humane weakness, or inadvertency, that are offensive and stumbling to other Professions, and hurtful to the Weak among our selves may be Noted, Corrected and amended, without partiality and re­spect of Persons, and in so doing we shall not only show our Love to Truth, but also to those Men, not by cloaking, but by amending what is amiss in them, which is the best way of cover­ing them, (as God covereth us when he amendeth and refor­meth us) after the worthy Example of them that have been the Successors of those called Fathers in the Church, since the Apostles dayes, who having highly esteemed and loved them for their Works sake, yet have corrected their Errours impartially, having in so doing imitated the Example of Blessed Sem and Japhet, who taking a Garment went backward and covered their Fathers Naked­ness.

And as concerning the Advice given me by some to retract the bitter or severe Language that I have given to some of my opposers, in some of the late Printed Books, which advice they gave with telling me, and many others, that I have confessed my human Imperfections and Passions: to this I answer, some who have so advised me, should give me their good Example, by re­tracting their much more bitter Language, and more hard and se­vere Names they have given to some who have differed from them in less Matters. But why do they not give the same advice to [Page 11] my Opposers, who have far exceeded me, as appeareth by their three Judgements, and other their Papers and Manuscripts against me. As also, why do they advise me to call in my Printed Books, and yet give them of the other side no advice to call in their false Judgements given out against me, without all Conviction, Hearing or Tryal. However let them particularly tell me what the hard Words are, that I have given to any that I cannot prove to be due unto them, and I shall yield to their Advice. And as to my confessing my Humane Imperfections, it is not well so to glory over me, and thereby to lessen my Reputation and Christian Te­stimony among Friends, while they are silent wholly of some of their own far greater Imperfections and passionate behaviour used towards me, before many Witnesses. I Judge it is more Chri­stian, and a greater Argument of a Mans grouth towards Perfecti­on to achnowledge his sinful Infirmities in the sight of God or men, and to be humbled under the sense of them, than like the proud Pharisee to justifie ones self, when he may be, and is really guilty of greater Evils. But as I have again and again said unto them, For my inward Defects and Infirmities I am only accountable unto God, whose tender Mercies and Forgiveness for Christs sake, I have hum­bly sought and obtained, and have a firm Faith and Hope in due time to overcome them all, and be made more than a Conquerour through him that hath loved me, but to Men I am only accountable for my Words and Deeds; and as I have not acknowleged unto any (nor seen just cause so to do) so they have not proved me guilty of either Words or Deeds, that the Truth condem­neth in relation to these Matters, whereof some have accused me; and it is not well to misconstrue my sincere and Godly Zeal, in my boldly and sharply reproving gross and vile Errours, as well as wic­ked Practices, and to call it passion, sinful anger and wrath, but it is a small thing for me to be Judged of Men, seeing he that Judgeth me is the Lord, whose Peace, Love, Favour and Approbati­on, as to the main I enjoy, to my unspeakable comfort, strength and supporting, who knoweth the Righteousness of my Cause, and the sincerity of my heart, whatever humane Weaknesses have atten­ded me, which are greater and more in some that do so accuse me, though they have neither the sincerity nor humility to acknow­ledge it.

[Page 12]And lastly as to that advise given me by so me to labour to make up the bleach that is already made among them called Qua­kers in these American parts, I hope I shall endeavour it, but it can never effectually be done but in Truths Way, and on Truths Terms; and they who so advise me should advise and admonish them of the other side, that they call in the many false Judge­ments given out against me, from divers Provinces in America, without all Hearing, Tryal or Conviction, and particularly that of the 28 false Judges from Pensilvania, which is the rotten Ba­sis and Foundation of all the rest, and which was given out against me, without all Hearing, Conviction or Tryal; and also they should advise them to give out a Testimony, aknowleging their Errour, first in giving out a Proclamation against me, signed by S.J. and others of their Ministry and Elders, which they caused to be cry'd against me, by the Common Cryer at the Market place in Philadelphia, without all Conviction or Tryal, contrary to the Fundamental Laws of all Nations, to the danger of my Life, as well as of my Reputation, wherein they charge me with Words in a Printed Sheet called an Appeal having a tendency to Sedition, and distur­bance of the peace and subversion of the (then) present Government in Pensilvania, (but I produced a Certificate signed by the deputy Governour and Consul of Philadelphia, clearing me of all these Charges, and amply declaring my Innocency, and Peaceable Be­haviour towards the Government, and them in Authority at that time, which was Solemnly read before many Witnesses of the People called Quakers, that gave great content) and all this only for asserting, or rather Querying concerning the Inconsistency of the late Practices of some of them, with the professed Princi­ples of the People called in scorn Quakers in these parts, as did suf­ficiently appear, when solemnly read before many Witnesses, with my answer to the said Proclamation. Secondly, in Fining Tho­mas Budd and me, each of us Five Pounds a piece, for Repro­ving S.J. his pride, in our just Defence in answer to his false defamatory Judgment against us, saying concerning him, that He was too high and Imperious both in Friends Meetings and Wordly Courts, and of His being an Ignorant, Presumptuous and Insolent Man, which last Words did no wise respect his Magistracy, but [Page 13] his being a Minister, and by profession, one called a Quaker, which I do declare we did Conscientiously, and have sufficient­ly proved to be true, and is but too well known to be true a­mong the Neighbourhood in that part of the World, and which he did most palpably discover (when going out of the Court, where we were Fined for reproving his Pride) in the high Street, to the observation and hearing of divers honest persons that have attested it, stretching out his hand, he said to some of our Friends that were expostulating the case with him, If I draw forth my hand, I will not pull it in again until I have quelled you all; as also for his Committing to Prison two Friends of truth, for uttering or publishing the said Printed Sheet, called An Appeal; now if this be not impartially censured and judged, and that he, without giving any publick Testimony of his Repentance, and owning his Iniquity in these matters, be permitted or allowed to Preach and Pray in Meetings, after solemn Complaint hath been made a­gainst him in an orderly way; what will the People in New Eng­land say, who have formerly Persecuted our Friends there; and what will others say, that have fresh in Memory the frequent Out­cries and Complaints of Friends against Persecution in former days; and how oft have many Friends both in Print and other­wise reproved the Pride, and Imperious behaviour of Magistrates in former days, and yet we find not, that the Magistrates have Persecuted any, by Fining or Imprisoning them for so saying or Printing, nor do we find it in any Law, either in England, or A­merica; that it is Penal to call a Justice of Peace, High or Impe­rious, especially when he is not in the exercise of his Office, and when our Complaint hath been made in an orderly way, against the said S.J. and the Record of the Court produced and read in their hearing, and signed with the Clarks own hand, the verity of which S.J. denied not; why should any put it off with say­ing the Legality or Illegality of these Proceedings, according to Men, it appeareth not proper for them to meddle with; but since they have greatly medled with the illegality, and arbitrary Pro­ceedings of other Courts, against the People called Quakers h [...]rein England, as Witness their many Printed Books, and divers Printed Tryals to that effect; why will they not meddle with the illegali­ty [Page 14] of the Proceedings of that Court in Pensilvania; and particu­larly S.J. being personally present before them when complain­ed against. If it be said, what they did, they did by a Law, as that Law has not been, nor can be produced, so it will be said, that they in New-England had a Law when they put our Friends to Death, and the Jews said, they had a Law, when they put our Blessed Saviour to Death. But if they do not think it proper to meddle with the illegality of these Proceedings as to Men why do they not at least meddle with the illegality of it, as to God, and Truth and Righteousness, to remove the Scandal and offence out of the Minds and Consciences of Many tender Friends that are greatly wounded and scandalised to hear S.J. Preach and Pray in the Meetings of the People called Quakers, and to be Countenanced and allowed so to do, without his having given the least evidence of his Repentance for those Evils; whereas for much lesser matters men have been disowned, and a Judg­ment in Writ given out, and Recorded against them, and chief­ly in order to make up the Breach in America, and to prevent any hurt here, they ought to pass an express Censure and Judg­ment upon all and every one of these gross and vile Errors that I have proved divers of them guilty of in Pensilvania, by Manu­scripts, and Papers signed with their own hands, and to procure the persons guilty of these Errors, to Condemn them, otherwise not to own them as Friends and Brethren. And whereas some say, wherein G. Keith apprehends himself injur'd or aggreived by any particular persons, he ought to exercise a Spirit of Forgiv­ness, &c. I Answer, And so I hope I do, towards them, and all Men who have wronged me; yet doth, or can my so doing clear S.J. (and his Brethren) who have so apparently Injured me without his and their Repentance? And if this be the Method and way to answer all the Complaints of Injur'd and Oppressed Per­sons who cry and complain against the Injuries and Oppressions done to them, and lay it before Meetings, appointed for the Ex­ercise of Church Discipline, who profess to hear and judg impar­tially in all cases of Complaint, to tell them, they must exercise a Spirit of Forgiveness towards them, whom they apprehend to have wronged them, without requiring the persons that have done [Page 15] the wrong, to clear themselves by some Testimony of their Re­pentance; then why is it, that in all other, or most cases of less Importance, they require them that are Guilty, to Write Papers of Condemnation, that they may be Recorded for the clearing the Truth; yea, what need of any Meetings for Discipline at all, if this method and way take place, to tell them that are wronged, they must exercise a Spirit of forgiveness towards such who have wronged them, without either giving due Judgment against the Guilty, or requiring them to Judg themselves for the same, or if they give any Judgment against them, yet in such a manner, as without any publick Testimony of their Repentance, to allow and coun­tenance them as Brethren, and in unity with them.

But why should any represent me as the provoker, and them as the provoked? Where as the plain Contrary is true, that the Provocation began on their side, and what I said of Samuel Jen­nings, or any of them, was in defence of my Christian Testimo­ny and Innocency.



I Declare my real and sincere Intention to remain in unity with all faithful friends and Brethren every where, and to continue to meet with them, and to exercise my gift of Ministry among them, as God shall be pleased to en­able me in a Spirit of Love and Peace, so long as I can have the free Ex­ercise of my gift among them, without interruption or disturbance, as it is not my purpose, nor hath it been my way, nor I hope shall it be, to use any interrup­tion or disturbance towards any, but to behave my self orderly and peaceably to­wards all; and I would have none to entertain Jealousies and evil thoughts con­cerning me, as if I did design any breach among faithful friends, having so long [Page 16] laboured for 30 years past in the work of the Ministry, by preaching and wri­ting; and God having blest my Labours with great success, in being an Instru­ment to the bringing many into the blessed unity and fellowship with his Spirit, and one with another in the same, and my Love remaining intire towards many, and their Love so remaining towards me; why should any be jealous over me, as if I did intend a breach among the faithful, or to scatter what I have been en­deavouring with many brethren, in much labour of mind and body, and great suf­ferings, to gather; or to destroy what I have by the Grace and help of God been building up: I earnestly request and beseech all faithful friends and brethren e­very where, who have had any former true knowledg of me in the truth, and more especially those who have received any spiritual profiting and edification, and Consolation by my Ministry and Testimony, or Writings to have Charity to­wards me, and keep in that Love that thinks no evil; for I have had great, and still have so great an interest, room and place, in the Christian Love and Esteem of many Friends and Brethren, by my Christian Testimony, and innocent man­ner of Conversation, and spiritual Fellowship with them, in the Life and Spirit of Truth, that I cannot be so easily separated from them, as some may suggest, and I hope I never shall, whatever some may surmise to the contrary; but as I neither intend, nor desire any breach among faithful Friends, so I freely declare, I greatly desire and hope for a greater degree of Reformation to take place among us in general, and for a greater growth and increase in Grace, and in Knowledg and in Holiness, than is yet attained to by us; and it is my belief, and hope with earnest expectations, and desires, and frequent Prayer and Supplication unto God, that he will be pleased more and more to refine us, to make us every way a more Pure People to himself, and to separate and purge out from among us, the many Impurities and Imperfections that cleave to many of us, as well as the many hy­ocrites, & otherwise unqualified persons that are among us, that the many stumbling blocks and offences that are in the way of many, that hinder them from receiving our Testimony, and joyning with us in the same, may be removed, being firmly persuaded in a sincere Faith, that the Lord is about to make a short and speedy work in the Earth, even to refine all professions on Earth, and to gather out of them all a pure and holy seed, and people to himself. Amen.

George Keith.

LONDON, Printed for R. Levis, 1694.

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