A STOP TO THE False Characterizers Hue-and-Cry And a Reproof to their Unfruitful Works of Darkness.

Wherein the Folly of B. C. and L. K. is Greatly Manifested AND THEIR Malice & Envy DETECTED.

The Soul of the Wicked desireth Evil; his Neighbour findeth no favour in his Eyes, Prov. 21.10.
Wrath is cruel, and Anger is outragious; but who is able to stand before Envy? Prov. 27.4.
Ʋpright men shall be astonied at this, and the Innocent shall stir up himself against the Hyprocrite. The Righteous also shall hold on his way, and he that hath clean hands shall be stronger and stronger. But as for you all, do you return, and come now, for I cannot find one wise man among you, Job 17.8, 9, 10.

Printed by Andrew Sowle, in the Year 1685.

To Faithful Friends (or others that make a Pro­fession of Truth) unto whose view the Pamphlet, called, The Libeller Characterized, hath or may come.

Friends;

BEfore we give a particular Answer to the several parts of the fore-mentioned Pamphlet, we think it needful to give some Account both why we have for-born to Answer in hitherto, and why we have undertaken to answer it now, and the rather L. Key, (whose Name is to the greater part thereof) doth in his second and third Pages say, That the Observations and Queries made publick, were long since delivered to some of the formal Preachers in Reading, but no Answer given to them. Now as for the Observations he mentions, we saw them not till they were Printed. The Queries we acknowledge were sent to us in Manuscript, inclosed in a Letter from him, bearing date the 7th of the 12th Moneth, 83. On the 5th of the 1st Moneth following, Benjamin Coales (his Confederate in this Work) had finisht his Hue-and-Cry, ready to be made publick, and on the 2d of the 2d Moneth L. K. had concluded his whole Work for the Press, as by the several Dates thereof appears: So that the time his Impatience complains of, as long, was less then two Moneths, and it appears by the date of the Hue-and-Cry, that there was preparation made for Printing soon after the Que­ries were sent to us. And therefore if he urges our not answering his written Queries, as the Ground or Reason of his Printing them, he dissembles, and is not plain. Now the plain Reason [Page]why we did not answer those Queries of his at that time, was the Injustice and unfair dealing we had met with from L. K. and some others that took part with him; for besides his reading a Paper of his own again [...]t some of us, he refusing, with his Company, to suffer an Answer to be read thereto, he had before this sent a Letter to one of us, namely William Lamboll, to which W. L. gave him an Answer in Writing, sealed, which Answer soon after L. K. had received, he tore into pieces sealed as it was, without so much as looking into it, to see or take notice what was written therein: Which rude, unreasonable and unmanly Act of his (the Fruit of a froward peevish Mind, and of a Head-strong ungo­verned Will) made us think it not worth our while to write An­swers to be tore in pieces without being read. This was the Rea­son why we then for-bore to answer his written Queries, which we willingly submit to the Judgment of Truth in every honest Friend, whether he had not thereby given just cause so to do? And we leave it to the Witness of God in every upright Heart, whether L. K's publishing what he hath done to the World, doth not proceed from the Spirit of the World, and savour more of Strife and Envy, than of Peace and true Christian Charity? And whether he hath not hereby added a further proof of Friends Charge against them of the same Spirit with himself, namely, that they are the first Publishers of Differences in Print.—And if any should question, Why we have not answered the Pamphlet sooner after it was printed? Our answer is, (his Impatiency consider­ed) we therein followed them wise man's Counsel, Prov. 26.4. we were not willing to be hasty upon him with an Answer, but to give him time to consider at leisure of that which he had hastily and for­wardly done, desiring (if it would have been) that he and all others concerned with him in Speaking, Writing and Printing against the Truth and People of the Lord, might have received in them­selves that sentence of Condemnation that's due to their evil un­dertaking, that from a sence thereof they might have repented of [Page]what they had done, and of their own accord have called in their envious and naughty Pamphlet; but instead thereof, after we had waited some Moneths, finding the said L. K. to be very busie and forward in spreading his mischievous Pamphlet abroad in City and Country, and observing him to grow more confident, lofty, exalted and conceited than before, and having of late received from him another Paper in Writing (and of like tendency with what he hath Printed, in which he presses earnestly for an Answer) but it being not made publick, shall take no more notice of it here) but say as we said before, observing him still to grow more confident, lofty, &c. We remembred what the Wise Man said, Prov. 26.5. For which cause partl [...], but principally for the sakes of such, who through weakness, and want of due consideration, may upon the first view of his Queries and Observations, according as they are represented by him, be in danger of being misled to think otherwise of things then in truth they really are, or that by our altogether be­ing silent, any should conclude what L. K. hath written is justly charged upon us, the following Answer is now made publick by us,

William Lamboll, John Buy.

THE False Characterizers Hue-and-Cry stopt, &c.

Benjamin Coale and Leonard Key;

VVE have read and examined your railing Pamphlet, which you call The Libeller Characteriz'd, or a Hue-and-Cry sent after him, &c. In the first Page where­of, and in several other parts of it you charge some whom you call An envious Person, or Persons, with abusing several honest men, by send­ing great Packets by Post, thereby. as you say, not only putting them to considerable Charges, but also abusing several with scurrilous Language and Falshood. What have been sent by Post to you or others, of what Contents, or from whom, we neither know, nor think our selves concerned to enquire; sure we are you never received any such from us: And if any such Packets have been sent you by any Body else, it seems (so far as we can gather from your Words) to have been some of your own printed Books, or Papers, that have been written and publisht by your selves, or some of your partakers, and have been returned to you again; for you mention printed Books writ upon between the Lines, and wrapt up in a blank piece of Paper. And surely if it were so, 'tis strange you should send forth a Hue-and Cry after him that helpt you to your Goods again. Men use to send the Hue-and-Cry after him that takes away their Goods, not after him that finding them stragling abroad, sends them home again. And as for scurrilous Language and Falshood, you speak of; if that be it which you have printed in your 5th and 7th Pages, who-ever shall impartially view your Work throughout your Book, may clear­ly see who the envious Person is, and whose the scurrilous Language is. For what Page is there in your whole Pam [...]hlet, that doth not shew forth both your Envy and Scurrilousness? The Person that sent you your Books again, is called in your Pamphlet [formal Apostate] [Page 7]no less than five times in three Pages: envious Person, treacherous Person, Night Wanderer, one that cheats Men, little less than picking th [...]ir Pockets, false Tongue, one that like Lucifer thinks to make his Nest among the Stars. This sort of Language is to be found in your Pamphlet. And whether this be Scurrilous or no, let all that read it judge? And also, whose Tongue hath been most at Liberty? and who have spoken as though their Tongues were their own, without fear and regard? How often do you call that Person you are so angry with, (for sending you Packets written between the Lines of your Book) Libeller? 'Tis the title, and common strain of your Pamphlet, Libeller, Libeller: But who-ever it be that you mean, why do you so often call him Libeller? Is it only because he set not his Name to the Packets, you say he sent you? We can find no other Reason you give in your Pamphlet, but this: And this you seem to give over and over, and call him so often the nameless Author, as if ye feared you should have wanted Matter to fill up your Sheet without it. And when you had thus vented your Enmity in part against him, then you Quarrel about your Money (your fourteen and eighteen Pence for Postage, as you say) and Wrangle about a Name, as though they were the two main things that troubled you. But that will not cover you, for in your 7th Page you say, Observe, so many as have an Eye to him, are zealous for the Form, &c. What! do you know who it is they that are zealous for the Form (as you say) have an Eye unto, and yet do you not know his Name? Is not this an hidden Work of Darkness, thus secretly to smite in the dark? But through all your Coverings, the Light discovers you. You say in Postscript, Here's a short Description of him. (meaning the Person that sent home the Books.) A short Description indeed, but a long Villification, and foul Reproach. In the 2d Page thou sa [...]est, Benjamin, If this Libeller will come forth, and own his Work, he shall have a fair hearing. But we must tell thee, if he have, thou and some others must Repent, and amend first; for it is more then some of us can say we have had from you, since you have gone into such Work as is here discovered. Further thou sayest, This is to give notice, that whosoever (mark the Word, Whosoever; you intended your Pamphlet it seems for all sorts of Peo­ple) can give certain Intelligence of his Name, and place of Residence or Habitation, shall have reasonable satisfaction for his Pains. And yet in Postscript, Leonard thou sayest, It is left to some that have made a [Page 8]great talk of their inward sence, to make a further discovery of this name­less Author. What sh [...]ing and juggeling is here between you? Is this the way you intend to [...]a [...]e (who call your selves honest men) first to say, Whosoever can give certain Intelligence, shall have reason­able satisfaction; and afterwards say, It is left to some that have made a great talk of their inward sence to make a further discovery? What, do you intend your Scoff at last shall be the reasonable satis­faction for your p [...]omise you made at first? Is that reasonable? Is this like honest men, as you are fain to call your selves? Is this like men of understanding, which you are so desirous to be taken for? first to propose it to whosoever, and then say it is left to some: One while to all, without exceptions; and another while to some, and that with a limitation, to such as have an inward sence: What silly contradiction is this; are not you now found to be Libellers, who call the Person you write against, formal Apostate five times over, without any shew of proof thereof? And yet you say, You do not know his Name, nor place of Habitation. Your work is seen by them that keep their Habitation in the Light, to be a Work of Darkness, and the Fruit of Envy, Strife and Contention are in your Hearts, Rage and Anger possesses your Breasts; your Spirits fret, and are disquieted within you; Contradiction is among you, and the line of Confusion stretched over you, for you are fighting against that divine Power that will be too hard for you, and all that rise up against it.

And now having thus far taken notice of the first Part of your Pamphlet, to which thy Name Benjamin is subscribed, we shall go on to Answer the other part also, to which thy Name Leonard is under­writ, or put. But in the way we take notice, that between your two Parts, there is this Scripture set down, Ephes. 5.11, 12. To which we say, that as a Testimony, That we have no fellowship with your unfruitful Works of Darkness, we do reprove them; and because it is indeed a shame to speak, as well as a grief to think of those things, which have been done by some in secret, we do in Modesty forbear to mention them.

Now, Leonard, to being with thy Preamble to thy Queries, thou sayest, Here is the Work of a formal Apostate manifested, and some Ob­servations and Queries made publick, &c. Herein Leonard thou hast said true; thy Work is indeed the work of a formal Apostate, the [Page 9]Observations and Queries, which thou hast made publick, do suffi­ciently manifest it so to be: For hadst thou not apostatiz'd from the Truth, and fallen from the living Power, and inward Vertue of it, into a dry withered lifeless Formality, thou wouldst never have publisht those Queries and Observations which so directly tend to Reproach and Vilifie the People of God, and expose the holy Truth which they profess to the Scorn and Contempt of every pro­phane Reader. By thy self therefore, and out of thy own Mouth, is thine own Work condemned to be the work of a formal Apostate, and therefore to be the less regarded. However, we are willing to look through thy Work, and manifest more particularly of what sort it is; thou joynest thy Observations and queries together, saying, Some Observations and queries made publick, that was long since deliver­ed to some of the formal Preachers in Reading. Now Leonard, we make no question but by formal Preachers, thy flouting Spirit mean­eth us two (for to us two thou knowest thou didst send they Queries) whom in a lofty, but empty conceit of thy self, being a powerful Preacher, thou scornfully callest formal Preachers; we see thy Sting (blessed be God) though we do not feel it; Thy scornful Spirit reaches not our Life, which is above the stroke of Envy. But Leo­nard, thou shouldst have regarded, to have written Truth, which herein thou hast not done, for though it be true, that thy Queries were delivered to us some time before they were made publick, (which how long it was, and why we did not answer them then, we have given the Reader account before) yet that the Observations (which make up a great part of the Pamphlet) were ever delivered to us before they were made publick, is utterly untrue, as thou thy self well knowest. And therefore in saying, Some Observations and Queries made publick, that was long since delivered to some formal Prea­chers in Reading, thou hast publisht a plain Falshood, which per­haps is worse than to be a formal Preacher: So that thy Work has but a bad beginning, and therefore thou canst not well expect it should have a good end.

Thy first Query is, Was not Peoples going from the Light and Spirit in their own particulars many Ages since, the cause why so many forms of Prayers were made to be said by the Church of England?

Answ. This Query most properly concerns the Church of Eng­land: what, and how many forms of Prayers they have, for what [Page 10]cause, and upon what occasion made, the Church of England is fittest to answer: Yet this we say, (and you may do well to take notice of it) that the Form used in the Church of England, of publishing their intentions of Marriage three times, and having a Certificate, if ei­ther party live in another Parish, out-does, and condemns that loose liberty, which some of thy Spirit have contended for, and appear­ed in. But since thou mentionest Peoples going from the Light and Spirit in their own particulars, we tell thee, It was they that went from the Light and Spirit of God in their own particulars, many Ages since, tht went out from the true Apostles and Church of Christ, into vain Janglings, Strife and Opposition, as thou and others of thy Spirit have done. And if thou hadst not first gone from the Light and Spirit in thy own particular, thou hadst never published this your envious dark Pamphlet, the Work of a formal Apostate.

Qu. 2. And did not their Compelling, and using Violence to those that were otherwise minded, proceed from the Spirit that made the Form?

Answ. This Query as well as the former, relates to the Church of England, who may answer for themselves. Thy Snare is therein seen, and we may truly say of thee what B. C. in page 2. suggests of some (as he says) asks Questions to no purpose, except to stander and abuse men. Such is this Query of thine concerning the Church of England's using Violence (which concerns not us more than to suffer it, while others shrink from it.) If thou dost not intend hereby to insinuate, that the Quakers use Violence, then are thy Queries to no purpose: And if thou dost so intend, then are thy Queries to an ill purpose, viz. to accuse, and not prove, to slander, abuse and bespatter, as R. C's words are. Yet we do say, Persecution and Violence proceed from that Spirit that is out of the Truth, which Spirit (as Jude testifies) wrought in some, in the Apostle [...]s, that went in the way of Cain, in Envy (which is the ground of Persecution) as thou and thy Com­pany have done in Printing, and spreading your spiteful envious Books (a means) to raise up Persecution against Friends, and in the way of Korah, to cast stumbling Blocks through your opposition and gait-saying to the Work of Truth, and orderly Proceedings thereof in the Church of Christ, which hath so corrupted the Minds of some that they have appeared in a light airy scoffing Spirit, which is both out of the form of Godliness, and contrary to the true Liberty which is in Christ Jesus.

Qu. 3. Did not the Presbyterians, with their Church-Faith, and Directory that they had made, do like the Church of England, when they had Power, Excommunicate, and cast into Prison such as could not bow to their Image, which they had set up?

Answ. What the Presbyterians have done, hath been manifest, but what thou and thy company have done, & are doing, some simple-hearted do not yet clearly see; but the day hath in a great measure to many, and we believe will more and more discover of what sort your Work is, and what the tendency of it is, and what Spirit you are of, who endeavour to fill weak and unstable Minds with evil Surmizes, jealous Thoughts, which you, with subtilty and craft, insinuate into them, to disaffect them to the work of Truth, and be­get in them, first a slight esteem thereof, and then an open opposition thereunto, in which your Enmity against Goods Truth and faithful People, is no way short of the Presbyterians. However, we observe, you here explain the Violence used by the Church of England, to be Excommunicating and casting into Prison, of which some use may be made hereafter.

Qu. 4. Did not the Baptists with their Form, which they did cry up, do like the former? And hath not all the Lo here's and Lo there's arisen when the People in every Generation have gone from the Spirit's Teaching?

Answ. Whether the Baptists did do like the former, that is, Ex­communicate and cast into Prison, we cannot certainly resolve; but we think thou hast little Reason to reflect upon the Baptists, about their Form, considering how formal and envious thou art thy self; for there was a time when some of them were tender and conscienti­ous to God-ward, in the Practice of their Form; but thou and thy Company are found in the Practice of a part or piece of a form (which one of your company compared to your Marketting) in Strife and Opposition, and whilst you are crying against all Forms; for have not some of your company preached, That the Way of Truth is without Track, like the way of a Ship in the Sea, and like the way of a Young man with a Maiden. Did not one of them say, If there were no impression of Form left behind, he liked in well; And another, That he consented to a Paper tht had some such words in it. And on the contrary, have not some of you preached, That God is a God of Order, (as faith the A­postle) in all the Churches of the Saints? And hath this Order, in all the Churches of the Saints, no form? Had not the Decrees that [Page 12]were sent by the Saints from Jerusalem, (by which the Churches were established. a Form? And were they not of Gods Order? Doth not the Apostle say to Timothy, Hold fast the Form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, 2. Tim. 1.13. And the things that thou hast heard of me among many Witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful Bre­thren, who shall be able to teach others also, 2 Tim. 2.2. Doth not the same Apostle write to the Thessalonians, Therefore Brethren, stand fast, and hold the Traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our Epistle, 2 Thes. 2.15. And again, Now we command you Brethren, in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you with-draw your selves from every Brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the Traditions which he received of us, 2. Thes. 3.6. Come (Leonard) consider seriously of these things: Were these things which the Apostle exhorted to, and commanded, out of the way of Truth, or in it? We think thou wilt not dare to say, it was out of the way of Truth. Well then, if it was in the Way of Truth, was it without Track? Did it leave no Impression of Form behind it? Was it like the way of a Ship in the Sea? How then could it be holden fast? Now you that in words, for Contention sake, cry out against the Lo here's and Lo there's, are not you in the Lo here's and Lo there's, one while saying, God is the God of Order, as in all the Churches of Saints, [There's one of your Lo here's] Another while saying, The way of Truth is with­out Track, or like the way of a Ship in the Sea, which is as the way of an Adultrous Woman that is without Order. [There's one of your Lo there's.] Thus you are unstable, up and down, to and fro, tossed about like the Waves of the Sea, divided between your own Lo here's, and your own Lo there's. The Apostle, who abode in the Doctrine of Christ, which brought People off from the Lo here's and Lo there's (but not from the Form of Godliness, for that he directed Believers to) said, We see Jesus: And Christ said, While you have Light walk in the Light, lest Darkness come upon you. Now had you seen Jesus, and abode with him, who brings off from the Lo here's and Lo there's) and had continued walking in his Light, by which you were enlightned, you had not been found in such Darkness, Con­fusion and Contradiction, as this before-mentioned, which shews you are gone from the Spirit's Teaching.

Qu. 5. And hath it not been so with all other Sects, when they have erred from the Spirit, which was given to be for a Leader, and have runs into the [Page 13]setting up of outward things, which have proved a snare in all Ages; read and set how it was with! rael of Old, when they forsook the Lord, how did their Enemies prevailover them? Let it be a warning to all in our days.

Answ. The beginning of this Query is, Hath it not been so with all other Sects, &c? So! How? So as it was with Baptists, Presbyterians and Church of England, viz to compel and use Violence, by Excommu­nicating and casting into Prison, as the second and third Queries express (for these Queries hang all one upon another, and this thing of using Violence, Excommunicating and Casting into Prison, is the vein that hitherto runs through them all.) Now to this we say, We do not know that it hath been so with all other Sects; There hath been other Sects. besides those thou hast named, which have not used Violence, nor cast into Prison, that ever we heard of; but thou speakest of running into the setting up of outward things, which thou sayst hath proved a Snare in all Ages: They that have erred from the Spirit are in the Snare, though they never set up outward things; but otherwise to them that keep and dwell in the Spirit, the setting up of outward things hath not proved a Snare in all Ages. Thou runnest too fast (Leonard) to see thy way; The Apostle Paul by the Spirit did set up outward things; did he, thinkest thou, set up a Snare? The setting up of outward things in the Error from the Spirit, is denyed; but the setting up of outward things in and by the Spirit, never was a Snare in any Age, whatever the Abuse of it after­ward might prove. Thou biddest us read and see how it was with Israel of old, when they forsook the Lord, but thou dost not [...]irect us where to read and see it. As formal Preachers, as thou repre­sentest us to be, we can both read and see that thou dost not divide the Word aright here: Dost thou make no difference between set­ting of outward things, and forsaking the Lord? Which then wilt thou stick to, that Paul did not set up outward things, or that he there­in forsook the Lord? That he did set up outward things, the Scrip­ture speaks fully. One Instance of many may be given from 1 Cor. 16. And 1st. where speaking concerning the Collection for the poor Saints, he says, As I have given Order to the Churches of Galatia, even so do ye. And then goes on to direct the manner. What wilt thou say to this? Was not this the setting up of an outward thing? Did he forsake the Lord in doing it? We hope thou wilt be more con­siderate, and rather acknowledge thy own Error in confounding [Page 14]things that differ. Thy instancing Israel of Old, to prove the setting up of outward things a Snare in all Ages, is a very unapt comparison; for the Administration and Worship of Israel of old stood most in outward things, set up by Moses, the Servant of the Lord. It is true, when Israel forsook the Lord, their Enemies did prevail over them, as your evil Surmizings against the Work of Truth, and you per­verse Wills (your Enemies) have prevailed over you, since you for­sook the Lord, and have set your selves in Opposition to what he hath set up: And did not he prove an Enemy to Israel, who set up a seperate Altar at Bethel, in subtil Policy to keep the ten Tribes from communion wi [...]h their Brethren, the Children of Judah in Jeru­salem, under a pretence that it was too much for them to go thither, which indeed proved a Snare to them. And the made them a Feast, like unto the Feast that was in Judah, but it was in a time of his own devising. And so by rejecting Gods appointment, by going from that which God had set up, and setting up a Form of their own de­vising, not of the Lords ordering, but in opposition to that which he had set up, they became a Sect, and so were scattered from the Lord and from his gathering. And now read your selves in this, and let it be a warning to all concerned in our day.

Qu. 6. And now it is come to the formal Quakers turn, and are not they, with all th [...]ir strength and might they can get, in most places a setting up the form that they have made, and giving it higher Names than any that hath gone before: And some have had the confidence to say, and preach openly, (that what they had set up) was to keep things sweet and clean, notwithstanding many things have happened amongst them in many places, which is a stink and a shame to mention, yet calling them holy Orders, and such like names, as they, in their Imaginary Minds, could think on, too much like the Golden Image that was set up in the dayes of Daniel, which the Lord did and will confound.

Answ. This being a long Query, had need be answered in several parts. First, thou sayst, Now it is come to the formal Quakers turn. The Formal Quakers are in reality your selves, but we understand thy Speech, and know whom thou meanest by formal Quakers, even the Antient Brethren and Labourers in the Lords Vineyard, with all the faithful Friends, that having held fast their Integrity to the Lord, have stood and do stand VVitnesses in Gods Power, against the de­ceitful creeping Spirit that hath got an entrance and habitation [Page 15]among and in you, and by and through you, endeavours to draw back the Lord's People from the true Order of the Gospel, and from their diligent Care and Watchfulness over themselves, and one ano­ther therein, into a false Liberty, and a licentious Loosness: These are those thou Stigmatizes with the brand of formal Quakers. And now thou sayest, It is come to the formal Quakers turn. What is this [It] that is come to their turn, to use Violence, Excommunicate, east into Prison? This is, and must be the sense of thy Words, if thy Words have any sense in them: This String thou hast harped on all along: This is it thou taxest the Church of England with in thy second Query (Compelling, and using Violence.) In thy third, thou queriest, Whether the Presbyterians did not do like the Church of Eng­land; which thou explainest to be Excommuncating, and cast into Brison. In thy fourth, thou askest, Did not the Baptists do like the former, which was to Excommunicate, and cast into Prison? In thy fifth, thou askest, Hath it not been so with all other Sects? which still relates to the same thing (Excommunicating and casting into Prison) is come to the formal Quakers turn. This is a false suggestion Leo­nard, and of an high Nature: Where's thy proof? Whom have those thou callest the formal Quakers, cast into Prison? Whom have they used Violence to? You and your Company's shutting Friends out of their Meeting houses, and nailing up the Meeting house Door, looks somewhat like an act of Violence on your parts to wards those you call formal Quakers. But what act of Violence have they done to you? Whom of you have they cast into Prison? Is not this suggestion of thine an horrible Slander? Is not this Libelling? What else is this, but as B. C. says in your Pamphlet, to have an un­bridled Tongue, tht will accuse, and not prove, and ask Questions to no purpose, except to slander and abuse men? Besides, we cannot but take notice how slily thou dost link together Excommunicating, and casting into Prison, as if they were alike evil, alike to be avoided and con­demned: This savours of a loose Spirit, that would tolerate all dis­orderly and scandalous Persons in the Church, have none cast out, how corrupt soever, which is the design of the wicked One, against which God's faithful People in all Ages have watched and warred, and at all times under every Dispensation, as occasion hath offered, and need required, have used and exercised that just and necessary Power, which God hath alwayes invested them with, of disowning, [Page 16]and casting out, and testifying against whatsoever was hurtful and scandalous to the Body; and this, how grievous soever it be to you, alwayes will be, as it alwayes has been in the true Church. And whereas thou askest, Are not they (whom thou scornfully ca [...]lest formal Quakers) with all their Strength and Might, &c. setting up the Form that they have made, &c. and giving it higher Names then any that have gone before. —We answer, Nay; there is in these Words of thine, a base Insinuation: For neither have Friends made a Form, nor are they setting up any Form, but what the Power of god leads into; nor do the use Strength and Might outwardly, muchless are they getting all the Strength and Might they can in most places, as thou most falsly and enviously suggests, to set up any other Form but tht the Spirit of the living God in and through his People hath set up, as to his divine Wisdom, seemed most ad­vantagious and serviceable for his Truth and People, and by the strength and might of his own eternal Arms of Power, he hitherto hath maintained, and will maintain and preserve it against all the poysonous Darts of every envious Tongue. Thou sayest, Some have had the Confidence to say, and Preach penly, That what We neither set up nor contend for any Form, but what the Spi­rit and Power of God leads into, and justifies in. THEY had set up, was to keep things sweet and clean: Notwithstanding many things (thou sayest) have happened amongst them in many places, which is a Stink, and a shame to mention, &c. In this we believe thou slanderest those [Some] thou speakest of: Who-ever said or preacht openly, or privately, that what THEY had set up, was to keep things sweet and clean; this sounds like Truth, but like one of thy slanderous Suggestions. We own no Form or Order of Mens setting up, any further then men are or may be Instruments in the Lords hand. The holy God by his holy pure Spirit, hath set up his own holy Order in and among his People, and the end of it is to keep things sweet and clean, and that's the Reason the unclean Spirit in you rages so against it, and them that stand up for it. And it any thing hath hapned, which is a shame to mention thou Leonard, if thou hadst not been past Shame, might have been ashamed to have so much as hinted it, knowing whom it will gratifie, and also considering how it hath been, a [...]d is with many of that Party thou appears an Advocate for. Thou goest on, and [Page 17]sayest, Yet calling them holy Orders, &c. 'Tis thou, and you that in your scoffing flouting Spirit use to talk of holy Orders, &c. We say God is an holy God, and he is the god of Order, and the Order which he is the God of, and hath set up in his Church, is an holy Or­der. They that love Holiness, love it: They tht are for Unho­liness and Looseness, contend against it. And Leonard, had not Envy blinded thy Eye, and strangely clouded thy Understanding, even as a Man, thou wouldst not have publisht thy Weakness and Folly, as thou hast done in this matter. If any thing hath happened amiss among those that profess the Name of the Lord, doth that prove either tht the order of Truth establisht amongst us, is not Holy, or hath not a tendency to keep things sweet and clean? Is the Scripture of Truth, or the Spirit of God e're the less holy, be­cause some unholy Professors of it don't observe it, but walk con­trary to it? Did not the holy Ghost in the Apostles dayes, set up an holy Order in the Church of Christ? Was not the intent of it to keep things sweet and clean, and from running into Disorder? Yet too many things happened among them that bore the Christian Name then, which were a shame to mention: What! then doth it therefore follow, that they fault was in the Order, or in the setting up of the Order? Nay, rather is it not manifest and certain, that the Fault was in those loose disorderly spirits, that like thee and thy Party, would not be subject to Truth's Order, but rejected it, and walkt contrary to it? Thou persuest thy evil suggestion, and sayest, That this which thou hast mentioned of setting up Forms, calling them holy Orders, &c. is too much like the golden Image that was set up in the dayes of Daniel, which the Lord did, and will confound. But Leonard, was that which thou in derison callest the Quakers Form, and Holy Orders, ever set up under the Penalty of being cast into a fiery Furnace (or under any outward Penalty) as the Image was in Daniel's dayes? Hast not thou herein shewed thy self to have too much Ignorance, as well as too much Envy? Besides, they that set up the Image in the dayes of Daniel, were such as had not believed on, nor known the true and living God: But they whom thou abusest under the Name of formal Quakers, do both know him, and are led and ordered by him even in those things that relate to Godliness and Christian Charity among them as a Religious People; So here they Comparison is Lame, as well as Malicious. And it is not thy crying against Forms in gene­ral, [Page 18]and comparing us with others in their Formality, that will co­ver, or excuse thee and thy party in your unbridled liberty. Hast thou forgotten how the same Spirit of Opposition in Truth's Ene­mies, did appear, and strive and work against Truth and Friends in the beginning, much after the same manner as now it appears, works and strives in thee and others, against Truth an the Friends there­of? For after Truth had been declared, and many convinced, and made a Profession of it, then some turned from it again, and run out into a corrupt Liberty, and therein brought forth such things as are indeed a shame to mention, and a grief to the truly Religious to think on: And then the Enemies of Truth appeared against the Work of Truth, bringing up those bad Actions, which had been brought forth by some that had made a Profession of Truth, and stung them at Friends, saying, These are the Fruits of your new Light, &c. just as you have done against the Work of Truth now, by say­ing, where any have gone into bad Actions, These are the Fruits of your new Orders. And thus you have judged and condemned the Or­der, because of the disorderly walkings of some; as those in the beginning condemned the Light, because of the bad Actions of some that professed it: And here with Truth's old Enemies you have joyned, and have set up an imaginary false envious Judgment against Truth, which God confounded in those before, and is also confound­ing in you: And look to it in time, before it be too late, lest you also be confounded in and with it.

Qu. 7. And doth not many of the formal Preachers sit with their Hats on, when many of the Lord's Servants are moved to Pray?

Answ. No; those thou scornfully callest formal Preachers, do not sit with their Hats on when the Lord's Servants are moved to Pray; but it is when such as are not the Servants of the Lord (what-ever they may pretend) but his great Enemies, take upon them to Pray, That those thou callest formal Quakers, sit with their Hats on, as a Testimony against that envious and contentious Spirit, in which such undertake to pray. The Lords Servants are such as are ruled by him, and are found in his Work and Service, which is not a work of Strife and Division, as you have been, and are found in. David saith, If I regard Iniquity in my Heart, the Lord will not hear my Prayer. But have not you regarded that Spirit of opposition and W. Roger's, and other pernicious Books brought forth by it (works of Iniquity) so [Page 19]heeply in your hearts, that you will rather deny us all, than you will give judgment against those work of Iniquity; Nay, have not some of your Company been found in the like practice of keeping on the Hat, which thou so frowardly condemnest others for? And those of you that put off your Hats when such as you call formal Quakers and formal Apostates, Pray, do not you therein act Hypocrisie? Is this the Liberty of Conscience you make such a brawling for, to joyn in Prayer with those you have rendred formal Preachers, formal Apo­states, Setters up of Forms of mens making, &c? Are not you herein found bowing at that which you clamour so loud against? And is not this vile Hypocrisie and base Dissimulation, to seem to own the Fruit to be good, even while you are rendring the Tree so bad?

Qu. 8. And doth not many others imitate them in that ungodly Pra­ctice? so that it maybe said, as it was in times past, like Priest, like People; which is a trouble to many, and a stumbling block to the weak that behold it? And may it not be said, as in times past, The Teachers of the People have caused them to err?

Answ. If the weak sees any imitating an ungodly Practice, they are weak indeed that will hurt themselves with that they see to be Ungodly. And it seems it is those that are in the Imitation, that are a trouble to many, and a stumbling to the weak, not those that are in Reality. And so, thy secret smiting doth not reach us; but if the weak stumble and fall, it will lie at your Doors who have joyn'd to and follow'd that Spirit of Opposition and Contention (and those in it) that hath caused Division, and done Mischief. And you that have falsly and maliciously rendred the Antient and Honourable in the Truth, Apostates, Innovators, and Incliners to Popery; whereby you have corrupted the minds of some, and given an occasion of stum­bling unto many: it is not your telling of Hats, nor your sometimes using good Words, and fair Speeches to beguile the Weak and Un­stable, that will cover you much longer. And canst thou expect Leonard, any should think that thou hast any regard to the Weak, who in your malicious Pamphlet in Print, hast laid so many Stum­bling-Blocks in their way?

Qu. 9. And do not some of the formal Preachers send great Packets by the Post, directed to honest Men in the Country, without any Name to them, on purpose to put them to Charge?

Answ. If any such Packets have been sent, they that sent them [Page 20]best knows the occasion and reason of sending them; we are stran­gers to it. How comest thou to suppose they were sent by formal Preachers, seeing thou dost not know who sent them? Mayest thou not be as much out in being so positive that they were directed to honest men in the Country to put them to charge, as thou art in sup­posing they were sent by some of us whom thou callest formal Preach­ers in Reading (for to us whom thou call'st so mal Preachers in Reading thy Queries were first directed and sent, before they were printed, as thou sayst in pag. 3. And in the written Coppy thou sentest us, they are directed to be answered by any in Reading) so that it seems as if thou hadst thought the Packets had been sent by some of us in Reading. But if so, thou wert out, for we sent no such Packets; nor do we think any body would send Packets by the Post, on purpose to put honest men to charges (as thou B. C. often suggestest) without any other reason. But were not the Packets you speak of, your own Books that you have printed and spread about the Countries? And have not you, and W. R. and others of your Company, expended a great deal of Money in printing and spreading your malicious spight­ful and conceited Books? And although you have been at so much pains and charge to do Mischief, we never heard, you thought much or complain'd of that; so that we may well think, your clamour about the charge of Postage, is rather to vent your bitter Minds against those you call formal Preachers, than for parting with your Money, which at the highest Reckoning you have set down, amounts not to above 3 s. 8 d. But it is most likely, it is your state and con­dition open'd unto you in what was written upon those Books, or in those Packets you speak of, that hath so much disquieted you, tho now you go about to place it upon the charge, it may be, thinking that may have the fairest shew in it, to carry off your work with a shew of Ju­stice in your Complaint; but that Covering is too narrow.

Qu. 10. And are these the Fruits of a Christian Spirit, or from them that are apostatized from it? Let any that have any understanding of the things of God judge.

Answ. We don't think it the fruit of a Christian Spirit for any to send great Packets by Post on purpose to put honest men to charge; neither is it at all likely the Packets you speak of were sent on purpose to put any of you to charge. To us it seems far more probable, that whoever sent the Packets you mention, had a better end and purpose [Page 21]in sending them, than to put honest men to charge. But you should do well to consider what Fruit of a Christian Spirit you have shewed in taking occasion from this 3 s. 8 d. charge to publish your envious and scandalous Pamphlet to the World, thereby, as much as in you lies, making the Truth a Scorn, and the Professors of it a Reproach, and a By-word to the Ungodly and Prophane, whom you have feasted with your own Folly. Is this the Fruit of a Christian Spirit? Let any that have any understanding of the things of God judge, whether you have not preferr'd your 3 s. 8 d. before the honour of god, and the Prosperity of his blessed Truth? Had you been of a Christian Spirit, you would have valued the honour and Reputation of Truth above Three Shillings and Eight Pence. But your opposing the good Order of Truth, your Writing, Printing, Publishing to the World your Malicious Scandalous Books and Pamphlets, your shutting Friends out of their Meeting-house, and denying them their Rights and Properties, are such Fruits as sufficiently demonstrate to all that have an Understanding of the things of God, what Spirit you are of.

Qu 11. And have not you, according to your Power, been like them before mentioned, considering your standing, in giving bad Names, both in your Prayers and also Preaching, calling such, dark Spirits (that could not joyn with you about your Forms) and that they were gone in the way of Cain, &c. when you know in your Consciences that many that you so brand, are blameless, both in Life, Conversation and Doctrine?

Answ. If by [them before mentioned] thou meanest the Church of England, Presbyterians, &c. thou shouldst remember, thou chargest them in thy second and third Queries, with using Vio­lence and casting into Prison, which thou knowest in thy Consci­ence we have not done, and therefore not like them. And whe­ther they give bad Names in their Prayers and Preaching we know not; but we know whom thou art like in thy fly Suggestions of Slander and Falshood. What those Forms are that thou hast so o ten reflected upon us for, thou hast not yet particularly mentioned; so thy general Clamour does but beat the Air: Thou seemest to run against all Forms, without distinction, as some others of thy company have done; one saying, The way of Truth is without Track; and another said, It was like the way of a Young man with a Maiden. And if there be no Impression of Form left behind, [Page 22]one liked it well; though it be contrary to the Scriptures of Truth, where the Apostle bids Timothy, hold fast the form of sound Words, And if such of you as have [...] these things, and the like, be called dark Spirits, we think you have no cause to be offended thereat; for none but dark Spirits would ever have broached or held such dark things as these; nor do we know or believe such to be blame­less in Doctrine (to say nothing of their Conversation) that hold such dark Doctrines as these. Dost thou think him blameless in Doctrine, that holds the Way of Truth to be like the Way of a Ship in the Sea, and the way of a young Man with a Maider, which the Scriptures compare to the way of an Adultrous Woman? Is this blameless Doctrine, or the Doctrine of dark Spirits? Dark Spirits indeed you are, who are gone from the Light of Christ Jesus in your selves, and are joyned to the Spirit of Darkness, which hath prevailed over you. So that what the Apostle said with joy to the Ephesians, Ye were sometimes Darkness, but now are ye Light in the Lord, may with grief be turned backward upon some of you, unto whom it may be as truly said, Ye were sometime in some measure Light in the Lord, but now Darkness is come over you again, and your Spirits are become dark. And though ye retain a Notion of the Light and Spirit to talk of, and deceive by yet the Work thereof you resist, and set your selves, in your dark Minds, to oppose and revile what is brought forth thereby. And the ENVEY you have manifested, plainly shews you are going into the way of Cain. And the calling such Dark Spirits, is not giving bad Names, but giving suitable Names to bad things. But surely if you had in­tended to charge others with giving bad Names, you should have forborn to have given so many bad Names your selves, as your Pam­phlet, in almost every page is stuft with.

Qu 12. And was it not the Elders of Israel in days that are past, that gave unrighteous judgment, and did condemn the Innocent? And hath it not been so in our days? witness the Paper that was signed by sixty six against their Innocent Brethren in the North? And may not the same Cry be sounded in this our day, as it was then in the Ears of many, Return, Return to the place of Judgment, even to the Principle that was first preached, which was the first, and will be the last?

Answ. If the Story of Susanna in the Apocrypha be true, it was the Elders of Israel (but in Babylon, mark that by the way) that [Page 23]in days past gave unrighteous Judgment, and did condemn the In­nocent. But what then? thou askest, Hath it not been so in our days? We answer, No: In our dayes the Youngsters, and many loose raw Lads have taken upon them to give unrighteous Judgment against the Elders, and have condemned the Innocent, witness the West­moreland and Wiltshire Papers, and thine, and others Papers and Books, since your opposition began. Had those thou callest Innocent Brethren in the North, been truly Innocent, they would have com­mitted their cause to the Lord, and to the Judgment of Truth in his People, and not have used such subtil ways and politick means (with the help of others) to cover themselves, as they did, witness the Remonstrance out of Westmoreland, and J. S. and J. W. their fallacious Paper of Condemnation. The which Paper J. S. did seemingly, fully and plainly acknowledge to Friends at London, but when he came into the Country, a Friend of his, (or rather an Enemy) told him (in the hearing of one of us) it lookt as though he had recanted; whereupon he recanted indeed, that is, he denyed again what before he had acknowledged, by devising subtilly to put other meanings to his former words. But how comes it (Leonard) that after you have villified the sixty six as Apostates, and the number of the Beast, and such as have gone in the way of Cain, that now thou countest them Elders of Israel, especially considering how slightingly and scornfully you use to speak concerning Eldership, rendering it as Popery, &c. Hadst thou, and others of you, kept to the first Principle, you might have been preserved out of that evil Spirit which hath led you to do so much Mischief as you have done, for which you must not only re­turn to the place of Judgment, but also feel the weight of Judgment, if ever you come to receive mercy.

Qu. 13. When David kept to the Spirit's Teaching, did he not say, O Lord! thou hast made me wiser thon all my Teachers? and this taught him to order his Conversation aright; and it is the same at this day, and will remain forever.

Answ. Hadst thou kept to the Spirit's Teaching, it would have taught thee to be wiser than to write a Query (or rather an Assertion) to no purpose, except to shew that thou thinkest thy self wiser than all thy Teachers. We could wish thou wert wise enough to see thy self, and some of them that joyn with thee in this thy pernicious Work, which you had never run into, had you kept to the Spirit's [Page 24]Teaching. But being gone from the Spirit's teaching in your selves, and having set up your own Imaginations in the room of it, you are grown heady, high-minded, and hardy, to oppose and speak evil of what the Spirit teaches, and leads others into.

Qu. 14. And is not the Lord God, who hath an All seeing Eye, appear­ed and made known himself in this our day, for this very end, according to his Promise, to gather a People to himself, from all the Lo here's and Lo there's, &c. and all such as they, abide under his teaching, need go no more forth, &c?

Answ. That the Lord God is appeared, and hath made known himself in this our day, according to his Promise, to gather a People to himself, this is certainly true; and hadst thou kept to that which gathers, thou mightst have been gathered, and kept near unto the Lord, and then thou wouldst not have been found going forth in such an unadvised scattering Work as this that thou hast published. But that which hath been a loss to thee, and others that joyn with thee, was, your not waiting singly upon the Lord, to feel his heavenly Motion, that so you might have followed him withersoever he goes, and into whatsoever he leads. But you have run with a Lo here into the Desert, where Dryness and Barrenness hath taken hold of you, and Withering and Death is come and coming upon your, for which our Souls lament over you.

And now (Leonard) having answered all thy Queries, we shall not need to say much to thy Observations, in which there is little but what hath been spoken to already. Yet we cannot but take notice how thou shufflest in thy Answer, about shutting Friends out of their Meeting-houses, which it seems was mentioned in three particulars in some of the Packets thou speakest of.

To the first, of shutting the Quarterly mens Meeting out of the House at Blewbery, thy Answer is, If is were so, the Friends at Blew­bery can give the best Account why it was so. Thou needest not have said, [if it were so] 'twas too notorious to be denyed or doubted; for they kept the Meeting-house door fast lockt, and refused to let Friends have the Key, although two Friends went the Evening before tht if possible they might have prevail'd with them, to have lot Friends meet in the Meeting-house, as formerly, and they to meet with them; but instead of that they shut Friends out, and the most [Page 25]of them went to your seperate Meeting at Reading, the which was wilfully proposed and resolutely carried on by you at the Quarterly Meeting before at Oare, contrary to your usual course, and contrary to the Minds of the most of Friends that were present at the said Meeting. And the best account thou or thy Friends at Blewberry can ever give of so bad an Action, must needs be a bad one. Thou sayst, It is a sign they were a weary of such company, which made it their business to brawl and contend against honest men, &c. Brawling and Contention hath been your chief business in those Meetings for some years, and we have hardly ever found you weary of that; but for them that are gone from the Life and Power of Truth, to be weary of the com­pany of such as keep in it, is no great wonder. 'Tis the next In­stance of A. Eastmed's nailing up their Meeting-house door at Calne, so that Friends were fain to meet in the Street. Thou sayst, Whether it were so, or no, I shall leave it, it being without the compass of my Knowledge; but do wish he had not as much ground for what he did as they had at Blew­bery. This is but a poor simple shift (Leonard) and it is greatly to be questioned whether thou hast not belyed thy own Knowledge, or hast some Equivocation or-mental Reservation in thy Answer. How­ever we observe these Actions are so black, that though you love to do them, you do not love to hear of them, nor are at all able to justifie them. The Lord give you a sight of your selves, and a sence of what you are, and have been doing; for of a Truth, the perse­cuting Spirit is entred you, and these are some of the Fruits of it. Have not Friends of late (if not at this very day) been kept out of their Meeting-houses, and their Meeting-house doors nailed up by the Worlds People? And have not you done the like, and led them the way thereto? See now how you and the World have joyned together in one and the same Spirit, to do one and the same thing against Friends. Thus by your Fruits your Spirit is judged, and found to be the same with the Persecuting Spirit of the World. But (sayest thou) What's all that to B. C's Answer? 'Tis to B. C. and all the rest of you, tht are liked together in that Spirit of PERSECUTION, and have joyned hand in hand, in a Con­federacy against the Righteous. But if thou wouldst have some­thing that more particularly hits him, the other Instance does it; The shutting the Womens half years Meetings out of the Meeting-house [Page 26]at Reading (which several of them had a Right in) which was his Act, and which it seems thou durst undertake to defend him in. But because the Women friends being shut out of the Meeting-house, were fain to meet in a Mault-house, thou scornfully playest upon that, in a frothy jeering Spirit, saying, I confess that was hardly well taken by those that came from London and other place, to help to settle the Government of the Womens Meeting. And again, But he need not be so much offended with the Mault-house, for it is no such inferior place to sit in at [...]ummer. So here is Cain and Ishmael, the Persecutor and the Scoffor found together among you, by which we hope, all Friends will judge what Spirit you are of.—And in the same flouting strain thou goest on, for when upon your shutting Friends out of their Meeting house, it was queried, Is this your Liberty of Conscience? Thou scoffingly answerest, Surely the Women in the Mault-house in Reading, there met and assembled together, might have brought forth as good Edict as they did that met at Barbadoes. Thus, without fear or wit, hast thou run on in a scornful, scoffing, frothy, loose Spirit, uttering many unsavoury light Expressions, without Solidity or Weight, which shews thou art departed from the Fear of the Lord, and (art become Unsavoury Salt, the end of which thou may read, Matthew 5. ver. 13.) hast no Bridle to thy Tongue.

And in many places your Pamphlet abounds with Scurrilous Language, Bad Names, and Reviling Terms, flowing from that Gaul of Bitterness and Rancour of Mind that lodgeth in you against the Innocent. And as this on the one hand shews your Envy, so your straining so often for ocasion to call your selves Honest Men (such of you as pretend to have Packets sent you) which you do at least eight times over, is a plain demonstration of your Folly. The Wise man would have taught you better, Proverbs 27.2.

Now having Answered plainly, without fear (of you) or flattery, the most material Passages in your Pamphlet, and cleared our Consciences to you, we have done with you at present, till further occasion be given. Yet in that Christian Spirit that can [Page 27]pray for Enemies, we heartily desire that God will be pleased, if it stand with his Determination, to give you yet an Eye to see, and an Heart to Repent of the Mischief you have, and are yet doing. This is our sincere desire, who are

Lovers of Truth, Righteousness and good Order, And Friends to all that are found therein, VVilliam Lamboll, John Buy.
THE END.

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