A Just Censure OF Francis Bugg's ADDRESS TO THE Parliament Against the QUAKERS.

Published by, and in behalf of the said People.

By evil Report and good Report: as De­ceivers, and yet True,

2 Cor. 6. 8.

LONDON, Printed and Sold by T. Sowle, in White-Hart-Court in Gracious-street, 1699.


IT is certainly very unreason­able that any should be denied the liberty of Wording their own Belief, since there is nothing more Just than that Peoples Faith should be taken at their own hands; for how else can it be theirs? And yet it is the Disadvantage we lie under, that our Enemies will not let us be­lieve what we do believe, lest they fail of their Ends, which is to make us in the Wrong, whether we are or no.

All other Perswasions have the Happiness of being taken upon their [Page] own Confessions; but we, alas, at our Adversaries Perversions: Tho' where Premises are not agreed, Con­clusions can never be just. The first Question between Us and our Opposers, is not about what is Sound, but what we Believe; and that it seems, must not be of our own giv­ing, but of our Adversaries strain­ing: The most Intolerable of Im­positions, that any one should an­swer for the Faith that is not theirs. Yet so it is where one Man's Com­ments is to go for another Man's Belief, which makes it plain to the Judicious Inquirer, some People will not allow that any Good can come out of our Nazareth, and are much more fearful we should be in the Right than in the Wrong.

[Page] And as they treat our Principles, so they do our Practices; for if we collect Money to relieve the Exi­gencies of our Poor, it shall be ren­dered a Fund for Rebellion: And our Monthly, Quarterly and Year­ly Meetings, constituted for the Promotion of Peace, Piety and Cha­rity, must be interpreted an Impe­rium in Imperio, a Design no less than to supersede the Laws and So­vereignty of the Kingdom. One while we ought to be suppress'd, as a Confused and Immethodical Peo­ple; another time, because we have Meetings of Church Order and Au­thority. In short, rather than fail, our very Virtues must be made our Vices, by the same Figure that our blessed Saviour was said by the en­vious [Page] Jews, to cast out Devils by Beelzebub the Prince of Devils.

And indeed any Candid and Ju­dicious Person, who has read the Books lately published against us, must see so much of this Spirit pre­vail, as to think we might have saved our selves the pains of this, and our other Answers: But lest our Silence should be mistaken for our Guilt, and F. Bug's assurance, in his Address, pass for Truth; we have perswaded our selves once more to bestow an Answer upon him, which we recommend, Rea­der, to thy Impartial Perusal.

A Just Censure, &c.

THE single Consideration that could induce us to take any no­tice of so Scurrilous as well as injurious a Paper, as that which was presented to the Lords and Commons a­gainst us (the People called Quakers) by F. Bugg, is, lest the Confidence and Solemnity of the Address, should give it any Weight with those that know neither him nor us; for to others this Defence would be wholly unnecessary; this troublesome Man being neither ho­nest to his own Conscience, nor just to Us and our Profession, in his At­tempts against us. To know this Satis­factorily, it is only needful to consider the Man, and the Merit of his Paper, equal­ly Confident and Abusive, and then our Reader will be able to determine, if we are that pernicious People to Religion and Civil Society, he would represent us, [Page 2] and He that Convert, Patriot and Refor­mer, he vainly sets up for, in his busie Work against us. But we must premise, lest we should be misunderstood, that we would not be thought to Excuse our selves from ill things, if guilty, be­cause He and his Abettors are Ill Men; for that will not Excuse us, though it ought to rebate their Credit, where a Point depends upon their Veracity. For we will allow, that what an Ill Man alledges, when it is upon good Authori­ty, is Valid, though he be not; yet where a Witness is found false, there is Reason to suspect, if not disbelieve him in all the rest. However, let every thing have its due Weight, and we will abide the Consequence of so fair an Inquiry; Knowing that we are abused where we are made Criminal.

First, Then we say, that this Man acts not upon Principle, but Prejudice; not of Conscience, but Envy and Interest: And if this appear, to be sure it must weigh much against him with all Can­did Spirits. Now, that this is the Case, let it be considered, that after a long and sober Profession of the same Judgment with us, he Revolted from us, as he confesseth, not for any Dissatisfaction [Page 3] with us about our Principles, relating either to Faith or Worship (the usual reason for changing of Communions) on the contrary, he seem'd to Cool to­wards us, because we did not, in his opinion, adhere to them as strictly as in former times; faulting us for quiting (as he alledg'd) in Practice our Characteristick Principle, of directing all Men to the Spirit of Christ in themselves, as a sufficient Guide in Religion, because we, as an orderly People, recommended and press'd Good Order and Discipline as requisite to the preservation of Society. And because we could not gra­tifie him in all points upon a meer per­sonal Difference, with one of our Com­munion, and that about a Money-matter too, He flings off his wonted Respect and Regards, grows Murmuring, Com­plaining and Troublesome; finding Faults, his better Mind and Temper never let him see before, and takes part with those that would not be under any Rules of Society, for Common Or­der and Decency in that Relation, or in things that purely regard Conversa­tion, as Justice, Peace, Charity, &c. and a sincere walking according to their Profession. Here he interested himself as a busie Advocate for those, as mi­staking [Page 4] our usual Plea of every Man's being left to the Light of Christ in the Conscience, as to Matters that concern Sal­vation, would weakly leave every Man in Society to his Freedom, about the External Rules and Orders of that So­ciety, whether he would act in Con­currence or Independently, or act at all: Which naturally dissolves Society, and brings every Member to an Indepen­dency one towards another.

Having made this step himself to­wards Dis-Unity, he halts here a while, and sets up for a strict Walker, accord­ing to the Quakers first Doctrine, and a fervent Advocate for it; charging se­veral of the Elders with too much In­differency about it, if not Declension from their old Fundamental; as if they that had formerly preach'd others from Man, to an inward Principle, were now preaching them to Man again; and who had before decry'd Imposition, were now become Imposers themseves. And what was all this for, but because we distinguished upon the Extent of our Te­stimony, limiting it to things that con­cerned Faith and Worship? But as to what related meerly to the Order and Decency or Society, the Concurrence of [Page 5] the Generality should suffice; of which I have already spoken, to wit, Charity, Justice and Concord, against which Con­science never can be warrantably plead­ed.

Here he became an Advocate for them, (in the Name of Christian-Liberty) that having since seen the Mischief of mak­ing that Plea in the wrong Place, would sooner perish than become One for him in his abusive (and Self-condemning) Practices against us. He then had no Scruple concerning our Belief of the Tri­nity, that it was not full or Express e­nough, nor about our owning or disown­ing either the Divine or Humane Nature of Christ, nor the Vertue and Benefit of his Death and Sufferings to Justification, nor what we hold of the Res [...]ection of the Dead, or about the Use of the Sa­craments; nor lastly of our Judgment about Ministry and Worship: Not one word of these things, as the Pretence or Reason of his Dislike of us, or Separation from us, did he ever object. And he knows very well, it is not one way to define these things in our Ministry or Writings, otherwise, than as they are left in the Scriptures of Truth, that so we may avoid the Dangerous Evil of Cu­riosity, [Page 6] and Supersining upon the Text, which does not only set the Head at Work instead of the Heart unto Rege­neration (the great Requisite in Religi­on) but hardly ever fails to occasion Con­troversie and Division, if not Hatred at Last, even to Persecution it self; as all time witnesseth against that Pra­ctice.

Nor was our dissatisfaction about these things (as he well knows) the Ground of our Separation from the Na­tional or other Churches, but the Work of God's Grace and Spirit in our Hearts, which alone can make the Living and right Christian and Christian Churches. And such as we are sensible, have their Eyes opened, and their Hearts touched and affected with this holy Spirit, we receive and have fellowship with; as we dissent from those, that make not the Work of God's Spirit the Ground of their Ministry, Worship and Com­munion; according to that known and weighty saying of the Apostle, 2 Tim. 3. 5. Having a Form of Godliness, but de­nying (in Practice) the Power thereof, from such turn away. So that notwithstand­ing the Bustle he now makes against us, in reference to the aforementioned [Page 7] Doctrines, they were Unconcerned in the Reason of his Separation. For it is not Credible as well as Reasonable, that he should then palliate his Dissatisfaction with us (if any he had) in reference to them, since he shews himself so rea­dy now to Create Occasions against us. As it is very Probable, that had he been Conscienciously doubtful about any point of Faith, he would often have earnestly endeavoured our better Infor­mation, or his own, by Consciencious Conferences with us to that Purpose; which we can boldly say, he never did. What a Sort of a Convert then must this Man be, and what a kind of Con­science has he Carried to the Church he now embraces? However he carried Pre­judice against us, and has found Indigency; and some of them have Imploy'd the one, and Supply'd the other; and Doubtless while they pay him well, they shall have him a ready and Confi­dent Tool against their Peaceable Neigh­bours.

Nevertheless we find it has fared with him as with Gamesters, sometimes get, and sometimes lose; for his hand has been out a great while, and waste Paper will not pay for Printing. Which we [Page 8] have reason to believe is his Case; since his London-Factors have sadly complained of the Dulness of the Market. For tho his Cargo was large, they could get but 50 Shillings for him. And to give them their Due, they desired him to stop his hand, for they had more al­ready, than they knew what to do with. This (doubtless) put his wits to work for a fresh supply; and we see, with the help of the Bp. of N's Contri­bution, the effect of it: And yet when his new Cloths, Horse and Pocket-Mony for the Expedition are discounted, with the many Books and Papers that were gi­ven away at the Lobbies of both Houses, his Harvest must fall short of his Ex­pectation; as (Thanks be to Almighty God) did the Design some had against us by those endeavours.

So that it may be truly said of him, he hath sold himself to do wickedly, if the most malicious and abusive Treat­ment may be called so. He is indeed in some Respects our Excercise; but it is our greatest Trouble that in the End he will bring upon himself Destruction if he repent not.

[Page 9] We are sorry too, that some Men of note in the Church, (doubtless not altogether of their Own Inclination) should turn Bro­kers for the Books of so Unconscienci­ous a Convert, in Order to supply him in his ill Practices against a Body of So­ber People, and that are by Law indulg­ed. But that the B. of N. should give himself the Trouble of mis-leading Peo­ple with an Apocriphal Story, of this Man's having been Instrumental to turn several Quakers from their Errors, as ap­pears by his Recommendatory Alms-Let­ter to the Clergy of his Diocess, &c. in Favour of this Deserter, seems to us in no wise to become his Better Character. For besides that the Fact is not True, it cannot be Charity, to support and en­courage a Spirit of Envy and Persecuti­on. He that can reconcile F. Bugg's Work with Charity, must read the Gos­pel Backwards, and turn Turk in order to be a Christian. And this sort of busie and vexatious Work in such Church-men, at this time a-day, but too plainly shews they are grown weary of Liberty of Conscience, how much soever they boasted themselves to us of allowing it, at its being settled by Law, to lessen the Kindness and Security of the Liberty we [Page 10] enjoyed before. For they that are as troublesome as the Law will permit them to be, want only more Power to be more troublesome. And we hope we shall take the Aim by it, the thing gives us; since of some Men it may be said, Can a Black-a-moor change his Skin, or a Leopard his Spots? There must be a Miracle in the Case, or it can never be done. But how any Person of that Coat can heartily be Friends to the Present Government, and Spit in the Face of the Liberty that is (as it were) an Article of its Original Contract, is another Dilemma, I will not say Premu­nire, that some of them have of late (at best unadvisedly) run themselves into.

We are very far from Concluding and Condemning all that wear it (as too many treat us) by their Unkindness and plain Violation of our Lawful Quiet, who too palpably encourage some Renegades to roar out their Anger at us, while we are quiet in the Land; and least of all to suspect the Inclinations of the Govern­ment, that has with so much Humanity, as well as Regard to Natural Right, ad­ded Law to Liberty. But at the same time we would willingly believe, these active Incendiaries, that are thus flinging their Bombs among us (which is indeed [Page 11] a plain Disturbance of the Liberty, and at least the Seeds of Persecution) are nei­ther many, nor out of the Observation of our Superiours: We would hope a much better Temper affects the Generality. Yet these Actions are but too lively an Instance of the Warm Work such violent Spirits would renew in these poor King­doms, if their Power did but equal their Will, which (we pray) God prevent and defend us from; for that Day can never happen to England, and a severe Judgment of God not follow it. It were greatly to be wished, that these Zealots would turn their Spleen against Sin, and make Practice more their business than Opinion in Religion, especially where Opi­nion does not hinder Practice. It is a Scandal to the very Profession of it to observe, what fair Quarter all sorts of Enormities meet with from some of them, where a Vertuous Dissent can find little. And truly it is only want of a due Consi­deration in the People, that supports the Credit of such angry Men so much above their Merit: For 'tis plain, and but too common too, that they are upheld by their Character, rather than their Virtue, and are much less lov'd, than fear'd.

[Page 12] Lastly, we pray our Candid Reader to observe, that this troublesome Man, that has thus set his Conscience to Hackney, hath not obliged the World with any thing new and material. For what he alledges, and his three Seconds, hath been said long before them, and by much abler Pens than his or theirs, as T. Tombs, T. Danson, J. Faldo, Steph. Scanderet, Tho. Hicks, Tho. Jenner, &c. In which Controversies large Books have been exchanged between them and some of our Friends, about the very Points wherein we have been lately mis­represented, by these angry People, and which remain in our Vindication Uncon­futed to this Day. Unless any thing be too good for us, and that we are Un­capable of being Injur'd in whatever is said against us; and that the best Answer is none from our Hands; and finally that Accusation, is Evidence; Slander, Proof; and Perversions, Principles for which We must be Accountable. To conclude, we ask no Favour, but Justice, and shall take that for a great One, if we may have it. We hope for it, and are willing to believe we shall not be frustrated of our Reason­able Expectation in our Reader. Thus much of the Man, and his true Motives to Separation from us, and of his and his Abettors Persecution of us.

[Page 13] Next, the Paper: The Title is, An Ad­dress to the Parliament. Of which, whe­ther he was the Author, or Hawker only, it matters little; to be sure it cost a Con­tribution: For it cannot be unreasonable to suppose, that they that do nothing without Money, should have Money for what they do. We shall consider it in the Method of its Paragraphs.

I. His first is a Plea of Priviledges, as an English-Man, to discover to the Govern­ment, what may be Dangerous to Church or State; and this he says, he has done many Years. But while he was an honest Quaker, and followed his Family-Affairs (which seemed better fitted to his Ca­pacity, as well his Duty) both his Fami­ly and Dealers had Reason to entertain a much better Opinion of him. Well, but what said the publick to this mighty Zeal for their Safety? Why, nothing: A sad Disappointment certainly. From whence we must needs suppose the Go­vernment Care-less of their Safety, or that his Work was not worth their Notice. However, it seems he has got Money from some or other for many Years, which was his business, or without doubt he would have Waved his Priviledge long ago. A [Page 14] notable Priviledge indeed! to impose up­on the Government malicious Untruths, in­stead of discovering dangerous Practices, and exposing us to their severe Displea­sure, whom a publick Good would oblige to protect. Certainly, no Man ever read a Word of such Priviledges in Magna Charta, or the Petition of Right; and to be sure, not in the greatest Charter of all, the Bible

II. His second Reason for thus treating us, is this; viz. Because, as in the Quakers an­cient Books, so in their late; they seem to allow of an Excommunication, saying, Blame not before Examination; first understand, and then rebuke.

Answer, But this none can think we would have done, if we were as Tardy as he represents us. What can be fairer than this? Where is the Snake in the Grass now? Is this hiding or disguising our Principles from Peoples understandings? Or is it the Equivocating Art and Affected Obscurities we are charged with, since it seems we challenge a fair Enquiry, by his own Confession.

III. His third Reason is, Because he does not find the three Norfolk-Ministers intend our [Page 15] Persecution, or any Alteration of the Act of Toleration.

Answer, A Tender-hearted Man! What! for no Persecution, nor Alteration of the Indulgence? And yet pray to have our Principles and Practices suppressed? A new sort of Moderation: For nothing less is the very Title and End of his Paper, and their Books.

Fourthly, But if he may be believed, he says, It's morally Impossible to know what the Quakers Principles are.

Answer, If so, how can they be Ex­amined, or rightly Censured? Is not that morally Impossible too? Parliaments certain­ly have other Work to do than to hunt after Impossibilities: Yet that seems to be the Task he has impos'd upon them. But though his Wits have gone a Wooll­gathering by his own Confession, we hope other Men find better Imployment for theirs.

The Reason he gives for this moral Impossibility of understanding our Prin­ciples is, Because our Books carry two Faces, and are fitted for the compass of all Occasions; which he proves thus, That some of our Books are directed only to our Friends; others more at large, both to Teachers and People of [Page 16] other Persuasions: And that in one sort we seem to own Jesus of Nazareth to be the Son of God, and that in the other sort we deny him to be such.

Answer, But if it be as he says, it can­not be morally Impossible to understand our Writings, while he cites such plain Contradictions from them. And as we think it no Crime to entitule or direct our Papers according to the Subject Mat­ter of them; so we cannot but think it a great Contradiction in him to make us to carry Two Faces, in reference to our Principles; since what he represents in the worst Terms is out of Books, chiefly directed to those that are not of our Communion, which is to be bare-fac'd and candid in the account of our Do­ctrines, as the very Passages he cites (tho' very Partially) evidently prove: So that the Insincerity he would insinuate against us flees in his Face; since, if we were blameable for what we have writ, we can never be blamed for concealing it, which yet is the drift of this 4th Pa­ragraph; the particular Citations injuri­ously made crouded by him together, are considered at large by G. W. in his An­swer to two Books lately delivered to the Parliment, by the three Norfolk-Clergy-Men [Page 17] and F. B. abhorred by us, as by them and him perverted and applied, yet owned by us, the true Scope of the Context, and Intention of the Author con­sidered.

V. His fith Reason for the Suppression of our Principles and Practices, is, That W. Penn, in his Defence against the Bishop of Cork, p. 38. and 79. means by these words, That where the Quakers seem to dif­fer least from the Church of England, they differ most, viz. touching the English Go­vernment; thereby representing us Ene­mies, and consequently exposing us to it: Whereas it is very plain, that not only the Drift, but the very Words of W. Penn shew quite another thing; for as he had explained himself, as to what he meant, where he said, As to what we are thought to differ most, we differ least, viz. about the Fundamental Doctrines of Christianity. So when he says, Where we are thought to differ least, we most of all differ. He plainly expresses his meaning in those words, to wit, about the Nature and Quality of a true Gospel Ministry and Worship. Civil Government of any sort or kind, not so much as being express'd or meant by him upon that Subject. An [Page 18] Abuse not only gross, but aggravated by his Impudence; and which is such a mea­sure of the Man, that no Person with whom Honesty or Charity have any Re­putation, can Patronize his Work.

VI. His sixth and last Reason he makes to be an Inconsistency in our Books about Government, that in one sort of our Books we seem to own Love and Honour the King, yea, to pray for all Men, for Kings and all that are in Authority; but in other of our Books, that we tell People, That Kings and Emperors sprang up in the Night, and among Apostate Christians; and that we are against the English Government, &c.

Answer, But he gives us here neither Book nor Author, and unless he can prove, it is our Principle to excite Peo­ple against the Civil Government we live under, of what Form, or in what Country soever it be, he says nothing to the purpose; for that only can render us unfit for Protection, which makes Go­vernments unsafe from our Principles; and such we have ever denied; but these things are fully answered by G. W. in his Truth and Innocency vindicated; and Jos. Wyeth, in his Anguis Flagellatus: Or, A Switch for the Snake in the Grass; and we [Page 19] think, with submission to better Judg­ments, that it no way becomes the pre­sent Profession of this Man, and those that countenance him, to reflect upon us, as Temporizing about Principles of Civil Government. Thus much as to his Reasons for his procedure against us.

The Title of the remaining part of his Sheet, proposed to the Parliament, for our Suppression, is this, Touching the Qua­kers Government within the Government, and opposite to it, as can be proved from Matters of Fact and Practice. And the truth of it is, were he as ready at proving, as at calling Names, he would not only deserve the Consideration, but the Re­ward of the Government; but his per­formance will prove very short of the encouragement he gives; because he founds it upon his Forgery just now de­tected; his words are these, Having ob­tained the Key to open the Mystery of W. P's Mysterium Magnum; that where we are be­lieved to differ least, we most of all differ; I am of W. P's mind, that where they are believed to differ least, there they differ most of all; namely, touching Government.

Answer, His Key must be very Fan­tastical, as is his Mystery; for it is plain [Page 20] there is none in the Pages he quotes of W. Penn's, and his abuse of his Words can be no Mystery, since the Perversion is so plain. But he that has violated the Ties of Conscience for Revenge, can make no scruple of lesser points. Our Destruction is the Mark he aims at; and though our Practice for above Forty Years proves not only our Consistency with, but Usefulness to Civil Government: Yet as if he were in Earnest, and Religious too, he breaks forth in this Expression, If God be not Mer­ciful to us, and Inspire our Governours with a Godly Zeal, to stop the growth of the Qua­kers Government, it may prove like that of Mahomet, who stuck at nothing till he had over-run the Eastern Churches.

Answer, Yet he would be thought no Persecutor; but 'tis well he is not to be believed: For in one place of his Paper, he urges our Suppression, because of the Inconsistency of our unsighting Principles, with the Preservation of the Civil Go­vernment; and here, as well as in other Paragraphs, he presses it from a suppo­sition, That we, like Mahomet, and his fol­lowers, should overthrow the Government by force. So that 'tis plain to such as will give themselves the trouble of observing the Method this Man takes, to render us [Page 21] both odious and dangerous, that he dare give himself the latitude of saying any thing against us, tho it carry the gross­est as well as most absurd Contradiction to it self.

For the Import of what he says is plainly this, Suppress the Quakers lest they beat us and take the Government from us.

Secondly, Suppress them because they will not Fight at all.

We bless the Name of God, the Ex­perience of those to whom he had ad­dressed his Books and Papers, is on our side, and consequently gives the Lie to his unworthy Insinuations against us, and 'tis because Time and our Conversation have worn out the froward and false Impressions, some angry and interested People have made upon them, and that we are less bug-bears to the Vulgar, and more acceptable with the better sort that he and other Persons are set at work by some private Incendiaries against us.

As for his first proof, That we are a Government within the Government, and therefore against the Government, which is begging the Question, it is not matter of Fact, but matter of Prophe­cy, [Page 22] viz. That God will overturn, overturn, King, Princes and States of this World, for Sin and Ungodliness, till Righteousness take Place, and prevail with them by the Ruling of Jesus Christ in their Hearts. This he applies to us in respect of our disown­ing of the English Government, where­as it relates to no particular Constitu­tion or Form of Government, which in all Countries to be sure aims at Justice and Virtue in the General, but intends the Evil administration of all sorts of Governours and Magistrates every where. This is so far from being a fault, that it is the Promise of God, and the Expe­ctation of all good Men; and was writ by way of Caution to the then ruling Au­thority.

His Second, Third, Fourth, and so to the end of his Twelfth Instance, which he gives for proof of our being Ene­mies to the Government, are his Remarks upon our proceeding in our Yearly-Meet­ing, which he performs with as ill a Mind, and just as much Truth, as he makes W. P. to mean Civil Government in p. 97. of his Defence against the Bi­shop of Cork, his Key by which he opens that great Mystery of W. P's in saying, Where we are thought to differ least, there we most of all differ.

[Page 23] He says we have a Yearly-Meeting, that this Yearly-Meeting is made up of other In­feriour Meetings, as Monthly and Quarter­ly; That the Authority of it is the Light within, which is the Higher Power, by which they make and constitute certain Laws and Canons Ecclesiastical, contrary to the King's Prerogative, Rights of Parliament, and Fundamental Laws of the Land; And that we virtually repeal such parts and bran­ches of the Laws as do not quadrate with our Light within; and thereby Absolve the King's Subjects from their active Obedience, causing them to adhere to a Superiour Pow­er than that of Kings, Lords and Com­mons.

Ans. Here is the Charge, but where to find the proof we cannot tell, for we think his Authority is too Apocryphal to pass for such.

That we have a Yearly-Meeting is cer­tain; and that it is made up of Persons sent from the Quarterly-Meetings in the respective Counties is also true; but this only relates to our own Society, and refers but to such things as are the com­mon Duty, and fall under the Conside­ration of any Christian Communion: Nor indeed has it more Authority, though it may have a greater Influence; the busi­ness [Page 24] thereof being comprised under these Four Heads, 1st, That we are at Peace among our selves, both in respect to our selves, and in respect to our Persuasion and Commerce; a Justice not only due to every Society, but the Duty of It for its own Preservation. 2dly, Charity, that where there is the greatest need and least ability to answer it, Care be taken to proportion Relief: Thus the Poverty of Ireland after the War, the great Dearth now in Scotland, and the Spoils made on our Friends in some parts of Germany for Conscience sake; as also the Supply and Re­demption of Captives, have and do oblige us to recommend Charity to our Friends, that none among us may suffer want. 3dly, Compassion to our Friends in Suffer­ing, whose cases are there considered in order to consider of suitable Remedies, which perhaps cannot be so well done in the respective places where the Grie­vance arises: But this alas extends no far­ther than an humble Application to our Superiours upon the Cognizance we re­ceive of the Fact, for a seasonable and ef­fectual Redress: We pretend not to com­pel, but intreat, not to make Laws as is suggested, but Supplicate Relief, be it in Relation to any hardship by Law, [Page 25] or a partial Administration of it. Last­ly, That all be careful to walk up to their Profession, as the Apostle exhorted the Primitive Christians.

And this being the Business of our Year­ly Meeting, we take leave to hope, we shall not be mis-interpreted by the King and Parliament, as if we were erecting an Imperium in Imperio; since these things ought to be so far from rendring us dan­gerous and odious to Government, that they must rather recommend us to it; for our Obligations being Voluntary to each other, founded on Love and Choice, where is the Scandal that we are suppo­sed to the Magistrate that we are thus employ'd? Since by these Christian Me­thods he will naturally find his care and work sit the lighter upon his hands? Nor does this justle with the Laws of the Land, since by Law we are allowed our Liberty, as Protestant Dissenters, un­less, we must be notwithstanding esteem­ed Enemies to Government using it; or ha­ving Charity enough to relieve our Friends from Want or Suffering, or maintain and encourage Peace and Piety. It seems our very Virtues are our Crimes with this ill Man, and our Christian care must be matter of Danger to the English Govern­ment. [Page 26] 'Tis true indeed, so far as any Man dissents from Law, be it upon the most religious ground that can be, he may be said to contradict the Law; and according to this Man's way of reading it, his persuading others to be of the same Sentiment, or be true to that he has, is seducing the King's Subjects, and so far, Contradicting or Repealing the Kings Laws: Which, as it is a most unworthy Con­struction of our practice to expose us to the displeasure of Authority, so it com­prehends every Consciencious Person or Party of Men, in this or any other Nati­on; and consequently all Societies of Dis­senters every where must be Rebels to the Government they live under.

But he says, We keep our Doors lock'd, barr'd or bolted, or a Guard of Men to pre­vent Inspection, whereby we have forfeited the benefit of the Act of Toleration.

Answ. This we very well know is what he would be at, but as it happens these are not Meetings intended for Worship, which are Open; nor are these barr'd, lock'd or bolted, or guarded, as he is pleas­ed to phrase it, especially out of any de­sign of Undutifulness to Government, or Prejudice to any Person upon Earth. But as the subject matter of this Meeting, on­ly [Page 27] concerns the help and Comfort of our particular Society, in things Honest and Laudable, so it often happens there are many more present than those immedi­ately concerned: And if our Numbers are less, and Meeting more private, than what is common, it is not for fear or shame, but to do and dispatch such busi­ness as hath been already observed.

Well! but he will have this a general Rendevouz from almost all parts of the World.

Answ. Where is the harm of it, if it were so? Tho 'tis very rare that any are present from other Countries, except In­land, and that of Choice; but they are always welcome when they come, for our Establishment is not of Compulsion but Voluntary: Nor do we make Laws either for Faith or Worship, as he suggests in this his 6th Instance; though we are careful that the Churches every where should walk correspondent to their Profession, to which commonly they receive from this Meeting a general Christian Exhor­tation: In all which we cannot see the least disrespect or insecurity to the Civil Go­vernment.

His 7th Instance is, That we have a Fund, or Common Stock, which this Meeting orders to be raised without the Authority of Parlia­ment, [Page 28] in order to support our Government, and propagate our Principles.

Answ. 'Tis easily seen what this foolish Man would be at, but it will not do. This Meeting orders no such thing: But as it is informed of the State of the whole Society, so it recommends the Wants of it to the Free and Christian Con­tribution of the respective Members there­of; which perhaps in others would be a Mark of a True Church, though in us, of what pleases this Renegado, and his ma­licious Imployers; we wish them Re­pentance and Remission. However, he nei­ther has, nor can tell us what other Go­vernment we have, than that which hath been already express'd and owned by us. And we are sure he can never prove, that we uphold it by Money; since our Services are free, who are the Members of that Assembly, or any other amongst us. We are not of those who have made a Trade of Religion, nor that get by Church Government. He himself is better instructed: And but that he has thrown off all Consideration of Consci­ence or Shame, he could inform the World much better of the Reason and Motive of our Proceedings.

[Page 29] But in his 8th Instance he would have it believed, That when the Nation was actually ingaged in a War with France, even then we took care that our Friends should not be assistant; nay, not so much as to carry Guns in their Ships.

Answ. The Insinuation is plain, as if it were only then our Principle, to serve a Present Turn of Disaffection, and not our former and constant Practice. But all that have known us from the begin­ning, must vindicate us from his Insinua­tion. And for this Story of Pennsilvania, as if our Friends there were of another Mind or Practice, 'tis an effect of Preju­dice, as hath been already made ap­pear.

In his 9th and 10th Heads he sug­gests, Intelligence Foreign and Domestick, to be one part of the business of this Meet­ing.

Answ. He might as well except against the Martyrs upon the Reformation, who cor­responded with the Protestants of France, Switzerland and Germany; and no doubt of it but he would have done it then, as well as Doctor Story, and for the same Motives. Our Correspondence is of Church, and not of State Matters; and though foreign sometimes, yet not Foreign [Page 30] from our Obedience to the Civil Magistrate; intermeddling with nothing, relating to temporal business. We are glad to hear of our Friends Wellfare, and usually do at these Meetings: But unless it be Scot­land, the Low-Countries and Germany, we know no Occasion of Correspondence that is not within this Kingdom and the Dominions thereunto belonging. We would conclude these Instances here but for this extraordinary passage of his, which we will barely repeat, because it doth so exactly shew the Man, both in his Temper, Understanding and Design, viz. ‘I say, when this united Confederacy (viz. out of Maryland, Virginia, Barbadoes, Jamaica, East and West-Jersie, Pensil­vania, New-England, North-Carolina, Road-Island, Long-Island, Antegoa, Me­vis, Ireland, Scotland, Holland, Port-Royal, Dantzick, Hamburgh, Branden­burgh, Saxony, Germany, &c.) I say, says he, when this united Confederacy are moved, either by their Light within, or by a motion of their inspired Prophets to call to their Assistance Two or Three Regiments from each of those places, what will become of poor England? Then, tho too late, we may experi­ence the Truth of W. Penn's words, viz. [Page 31] Where we believed the Quakers differed from us least, there they most of all differed.

This, Reader, is such a Demonstrati­on of the Author, that there seems left no room for us to say any thing upon it.

He concludes by way of Apology for his Undertaking, That tho the Quakers have the Confidence to dictate, in the Name of God, to Kings and Parliaments what they are to do, he hopes he shall not follow their Exam­ple; but when he has discharged his Consci­ence as an English-man and a Christian, he shall submit all to the Wisdom of his Superi­ours, not doubting but to make proof of what he has said, either out of our Books, or by his own Experience.

Answ. We are glad to hear he will sub­mit to any thing, but especially to the Wisdom of his Superiours, and thence hope he will be quiet, provided he re­members what he says; for their Great Wisdom having neglected to take any notice of his Attempts, he is obliged to acquiesce in their Silence. All things do not deserve an express Sentence, and to such silence is ever one: And if he has any respect for that Example, he would do well to follow it. However, we can have no Apprehension of the Consequence [Page 32] of what Evidence he can produce from our Writings, that have so much to shew of his abusing of them. But for his Ex­perience, he must excuse us, if we except against it, since ours has taught us that he is a corrupt one, by clipping our Writings, and Coining other Sense, a Forgery as Obvious as Gross, and most reprovable with Men of Truth.

For his accepting of G. Whitehead's Of­fer, to meet him with Six, Ten or Twelve competent Witnesses, to prove that he hath grosly and wickedly abused and perverted our Wri­tings, and wronged us in Charge, Citation and Observation.

We doubt not, if it proceed to a Con­ference, our Friend G. W. who hath so often detected him of gross Perversions, both by Writing, and Conference in the presence of several Eminent Persons, will not be wanting to make good his Charge, but not for the sake of this virulent De­serter, but those who are or may be im­posed on by him.

We are come now to his Postscript, which begins with a great deal of Rant, at a Pamph­let against him and his Partners, written by a Member of the Church of England, while he hath reason to believe (he says) the Author was a Real Quaker.

[Page 33] Answ. If so, 'twas more than we knew, as it is, that F. B. had any reason to think so; for he hath taken care to give us none, and perhaps it is because he had none to give, unless it should be this, That no Member of the Church of England would shew so much dislike to any of the same Communion for challenging and exposing the Quakers, be it with never so much Heat or Injustice. Tho we hope, and upon very good grounds too, that the generality of the Sober and Discreat of them have better thoughts of us, and that upon Ex­perience too.

But he tells us, Our Teachers are Men of design, and have Ends to serve, being, gene­rally speaking, Men of no Fortunes, as Jour­ney-men Carpenters, Taylors, Shoemakers, Combers, Weavers, &c.

Answ. We would think that such Peo­ple, of all others, should be the most likely to be free from Design, or having Ends to serve. But if that be a good Reason which he alledges, both Jews and Heathens must have been much in the right, in objecting Meanness against Christ and his Followers; as also the Roman Do­ctors, who threw Textores and Sutores in the face of many of the first Reformers; who were just such Mechanicks, as those [Page 34] he intitles us to for our Ministry. And he knows in his Conscience that such Poor Men amongst us, whom God hath qualified by his Spirit, to speak and press their Knowledge and Experience for the Conviction and Edification of others, are conscienciously concerned in the Exercise of those Gifts, and that they labour hard to maintain themselves and Families, after the Example of Primitive Teachers, that they might not be burthensome to the Church. Nothing short of the worst of minds one would think, can make this our fault, and it must be one of the weakest that can reconcile the Talents and Education of these Mechanicks with the Je­suitical Crafts and Ends he supposes against them.

But he says this Pamphlet suggests that F. Bugg is Judas, The Church of England the Jews, and consequently that the Quakers are Jesus.

Answ. We will not believe him, for those that abuse Mens words, may very easily abuse their meanings. However, there is no necessity that the Quakers should be understood to be Jesus, because Judas and the Jews may joyn against them, for that they did formerly against his Followers as well as himself, if by Judas we [Page 35] may understand Apostates from the Chri­stian Churches. But what if that Book supposes F. B. to be a Judas? Has he not been so to the Profession he did once, Conscienciously and Zealously adhere to, and that with the greatest Aggravations? Let his Actions speak, and he knows ve­ry well it is a word usually borrowed to character any Person that has been false to the People or Profession he once was of, and as such, he may not perhaps much mistake the Author of the Pamph­let, in applying that Epithet to himself.

But this he will needs have for a Proof, that the Author is a Real Quaker; to Cre­dit which, he observes to us a Story that he lately heard, of a project proposed and carried on to acquit W. P. of the then ge­neral suspicion of being a J—te, tho' he thinks it rather increased it; for, says he, W. P. and P. E. both juggled together, and P. E. was to be the Gentleman, and as such, to write a Letter thus superscribed, To the Honourable William Penn Esq Pro­prietor and Governour of Pensilvania, and W. P. to answer it. Well! an answer to it was written, and both Printed 1688. No matter whether each wrote their part, or one wrote both, they were then both Quakers, and it was for a Design; and to serve a Turn [Page 36] they can turn their Dialect into any Shape. In like manner I take this subscription of the Ob­scure pretended Member of the Church of Eng­land (by his scandalous Reflections) to be a Real Quaker.

Answ. But why so? Suppose his Story were true, is it impossible for a Church of England Man to dislike a Renegado, dis­abhor his Treachery and Malice, and dis­countenance those that encourage him, tho' they were of his own Communion? Say no, and We believe there are many thou­sands of that Communion of that same Mind. For at this rate the Author of The Contempt of the Clergy must be a Quaker, and every one that writes against any Cler­gy-man of her Communion. But the Rudeness and Falshood of the Story he al­ludes to about W. P. doth very much highten his reckoning. His insinuation is, that the Letter to him, is fictitious, and that W. P. writ both, or if he did not, they were both Quakers, and therefore the same thing. His consequence is, the Quakers will turn their Dialect into any Shape, to serve a Turn.

Now if the Story be false, the Conse­quence must fall to the Ground; and that it is so, not only W. P. denies that he is the Author of the Letter, but, the [Page 37] Person that writ it, hath owned him­self the Author of it to divers Persons, and is well known to have never been of our Profession, but for several Years hath been, and still is, in a publick and eminent Employment under the present Government. And if this ill Man will not believe us, any Man between us shall have that Satisfaction, if what we say be scrupled.

Now for as much as this Paper doth in two or three places of it, malicious­ly reflect upon our Friend W. P. as if he were Popishly affected, though we are satisfied that F. B. believes in his Con­science quite other things of him; our Reader is desired to peruse those very Letters that passed at that time of day (88) and he will not think his time lost, or the worse of W. P. We may add that in 86, and in the same Reign, no less Man than the Arch-Bishop Tillot­son did beg our Friend's pardon for so much as giving Occasion to any to doubt of his being a Protestant, from some cold words dropt upon that sub­ject, which Letter is extant, and writ­ten with his own hand, with a singular Respect as well as Vindication of him from such Reflections.

[Page 38] Upon this subject we shall only add, That he that takes pains to mistake and abuse People, and that at any rate, can­not deserve the Countenance of honest Men, whatever he may of their Frowns. And we should think it Labour very ill bestowed to attempt their Conviction, that can credit him in his Endeavours against us, since they are attended with such horrid Instances of Corruption and Prejudice. It is a common Proverb, that One Renegado is worse than three Turks, which is true in this Man's case, not for his Abilities, but his Abuses. He is the very Reverse of Christianity, for instead of doing good in season and out of season, he seems incessantly mischiev­ous; the worst part of which is this, that though others may be as eager, they are not so culpable in their Op­position; for what may be called Zeal in them, is a Self-condemning Presumption in him: And we believe though God is pleased to suffer him to go on for a time, He will either render his Endea­vours ineffectual, or make him in the Conclusion his own Condemnation and Burden; as hath fared with others less guilty than he hath appeared.

[Page 39] We shall say little of his foolish Ag­gravations and Abuse of a Zealons Pas­sage in a Book of James Parnel's, who observing and blaming the great Pride, Luxury and Forgetfulness of God, among a People of high Profession in their mis­use of their Plenty; This Man would have him say, 'tis Sin to enjoy such Plen­ty, instead of a Sin to abuse it, lest he should want an Occasion to censure us in the careful Enjoyment of what God hath given us. But we cannot be silent under the Injury he commits against the Dead, in robbing that godly Young Man of the Innocency of his Death, and the Re­putation of his Martyrdom, by making him to have starved himself: For his Death was occasioned by the barbarity of the Goaler and those that committed him; as the Leaves F. B. quotes out of the Serious Apology written by G. W. and W. P. de­clare, and some yet alive in Colchester can witness: Whose last words were, Here I dye Innocently, which he could never have done, had he been Accessary to his own Death.

But, says he, some may still object, that they hear nothing against the Quakers from the Presbyterians, Independents and Bap­tists, save only from the Church of Eng­land, [Page 40] &c. to which he answers on the be­half of the Dissenters, that they are one with the Church in this case, and are sorrowfully af­fected, that they are joyned with them in the Act of Toleration; and not only so, but that he has a Testimony well Attested of their abhorrence of our blasphemous Tenents.

Answ. We cannot think the Church of England ever made this Man her Advocate, or that She and the Dissenters have con­curr'd in his Enterprize, we would shew a greater Respect to both, and have a bet­ter Opinion of their Moderation. 'Tis plain he wants the credit of their Autho­rity, having so little of his own. And we are very well satisfied he prevaricates with his Reader, when he boasts of a Testimo­ny so well Attested, that it is no other than what he has Collected out of some of our old Adversaries Books of those Persuasions, which proves no Concurrence with the Church of England, or either of them with him in his Address to the Parliament, to have our Faith and Practice censur'd and suppress'd, but rather a proof of Forgery, to give his Collection the force of a Commission. His enumeration of our Tenents is the Epitome of his Perversions: For as we cannot quit any point of our own; so we abhor every one of them as given by him.

[Page 41] To Conclude, that he may shew him­self all of a piece, he says to the Lords and Commons in the Parliament assembled, Here you have the Unanimous Consent of all Prote­stants, both Conformists and Non-confor­mists, for the Examination or Censuring and Suppressing the Errors of the Quakers: And as this, says he, would tend to the stop­ping of the Gangreen of Quakerism. So 'tis hoped, and earnestly prayed, that the same may be taken into your Serious Consideration.

Answ. We have made Enquiry of the several Classes of Dissenters, and they purge themselves from giving him any such Cre­dentials; and least of all that they ever said, as he expresses it in the tail of his former Paragraph, viz. That they are sor­rowfully affected, that they are joyned with the Quakers in the Act of Toleration: On the contrary they are sorry many of them, to see a Man pretending to Reform, fill'd with so much Prejudice as seems to them to animate him against us; as indeed we are that Envy as well as Untruth should so much predominate. For under all his pre­tences to mean no such thing as Persecuti­on in all he says, he concludes with a fresh breath of severity against us, in an earnest prayer that we may be censured and suppress­ed in Principles and Practice, that is, in our [Page 42] Religion. But thanks be to God, This Man is none of our Judge, and hath sufficiently forfeited the Reputation of a Witness. We appeal to our Books in impartial Mens hands, and our constant Converse among our Neighbours, if they have heard any such Doctrine from our Mouths, or ob­served any such Actions in our Lives, as makes up the heap of this Mans Clamour and Calumny against us.

And now Sober Reader and Inquirer, that thou may'st better acquaint thy self with our real Principles, be pleased to examine them, as laid down by our selves (a Justice never to be denied to any Peo­ple) which thou wilt find in two little Treatises, one entituled, Truths Princi­ples, by John Crook, first printed in 62, and divers times since, the other called a Key, &c. by W. Penn, now in the 10th Edition, and for a larger Account, Ro­bert Barclay's Apology, all Sold by Tacy Sowle in White-Hart-Court in Gracious-Street; which we hope will be Satisfactory, atleast so far as to deliver us from the Frightful and Black Insinuations of our Busie and Angry Adversaries, to whom we wish Repen­tance, and to them that unwittingly encou­rage them, a better understanding of us, and our so much misrepresented Principles.


As for the Government of Pensilvania being guilty of Persecution for Religion as he suggests, 'tis just as true as all the rest: For 'tis not only a Fundamental Law of their Government, that every Person should enjoy a Liberty of Conscience, but it is so fully practised, that even all other Protestant Persuasions share equally with our selves in the Administration of the Government: The present Lieutenant Governour to W. P. being a Member of the Church of England, and many of the Council and Assembly, the Judges and Ju­stices being of that and other dissenting Protestant Communions.

But as we are for Liberty of Conscience every where, so we are no where for ha­ving Government affronted and abused, in the name of Conscience, by Gross and In­solent Behaviour.

And for our Friends there, they have been so far from a Spirit of Persecution, that it is but too plain they have long suf­fered under it, from such Insolent and Abusive Pens as this Man has treated us with.


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