William Salmon's ANSWER TO Jeremiah Ives's REQUEST.

WHereas one Jeremiah Ives has publickly Challenged the Despised Quakers to a particular Dispute with himself, where­in he promises to prove two things, viz. That the Quakers are no Christians: And that their Ministers are Impostors. I hereby desire the said Jer. Ives to Consider the weight of his Assertions, and to make good his Position in Print (if he can) which I think it much the better way, than to brag and boast of a Victory before the putting on of his Armour; than to begin Disputations in great Assemblies, where there is nothing of Order or Method, but Disorder, Confusion, and Vain Janglings, where a giddy Multitude, who being carried away with sinister Affections and private Interests presume to pro­nounce Judgment from the single Consequences of their Nescience, and represent things not as they are indeed, but as they would have them; flattering themselves onely with the thoughts of a Conquest, whilst they are really Victims: and with a Faith (not so good as that of Devils) promise to remove Mountains, whilst they themselves are carryed away with every wind, speaking evil of those things they know not. This therefore (for the sakes of every simple Soul) is desired of Jeremiah Ives, that he would not say, but do; not Dispute but Prove; not report Lies, but speak the Truth; and Justifie Publickly in Print what he has only affirmed with a Face of Brass to the World: In so doing he avoids a twofold Inconvenience, (to wit) the Interruptions of his Cogitations, and misrepresentations of his Words; the which (if they be not Arguments Cogent enough to perswade) I shall urge the same upon one more, which is the Credit of his Cause wherein he is now engaged. If he essays to answer my Request, I here faithfully promise, not only for my self, but in the Name, or in the Sted of that Despised People, that if he can make good his Assertions, I will really re­nounce the Cause he so much oppuggnes, and publickly declare him and his Abettors, in the Right: But if he cannot justifie his Slanders and Lies (for such they are till he has proved them) or otherwise refuses this so reasonable a Proposal; I shall conclude the said Jeremiah Ives's Charges to be not only the refuse of Lyes, (which God in due season will sweep away) malicious Slanders (of which the Devil himself is the Author) but also the Propugners thereof to be men of Beltal and profest Enemies to Christ and Christianity.

The Inequality and disingenious dealings of the Adversary with the Quakers is worthy to be considered, in their denying of their Charg against T. Hicks to be read, although they not only granted it, but had the same liberty themselves: and then the urging of those things first to be proved, which would have had a clear Demonstration by the Sequel of the Discourse, to put them to the pro­ving of themselves to be Christians, (which they affirm) when it was their part to prove that they were none, (which they denyed) and might have given to all the Auditory a clear proof of the same, would Jeremiah Ives or his Associates have brought forth their Arguments in proof of their Assertions; the not reselling of which had been Witness enough against them, that they had been what the Baptist, affirmed them to be: till when, the Quakers Denyal is Proof and Justification enough against all the Ma­lice and Envy of Jeremiah Ives, and all other Broachers of Falshoods, and they do undenyably remain what they affirm them­selves to be, (even True Christians).

But wherefore desire I these Reasonable things, from the hands of Unreasonable Men? who, (let us say what we can) will always make a Construction of our words to the the opposite of what we mean, and force them to signifie that which is the con­trary, both to their Natural sense and intentions; who make the Confession of Faith, although in the Language of the Holy Scrip­ture, to be but a meer Equivocation, an old art of Deceivers. I should desire of this Adversary to the Form of Sound Words, and Enemy to the Christian Faith, to declare how he would have a Christian to express his Belief, since he likes not the expressi­ons of the Holy and Christian Spirit, nor Language of its Ministers declared in Scripture. If my serious Profession, and Owning of Christ our Lord, be the Denying of him; and constant belief of Salvation in his Name only, and no other under Heaven, be against the Doctrine of Christianity, I would desire of Jeremiah Ives, or his Abettors, what is the Owning of him, and by what manner of expressions we must Confess to his Name?

Whether what I say is may Faith, ought not rather to be taken for my Faith, than what my Adversary says it to be, since I better know what I believe than another do's? if yea, wherefore should Envious Jer. Ives and his Abettors say the contrary? if nay, wherefore should they, or any else, be any more believed in any of their Verbal Confessions, than I, or another man, since there is no reason that their credit should exceed in the least measure ours, or any other persons?

Let Jeremiah Ives out with his Fardle of Slanders and Falshoods as soon as he will, and mustur up all the Power and Forces of his Might in the defence and proof of the same, and Goliah like come forth with his Spear and his Sword, and with the highest of Indignities, and Blasphemies against Heaven, defie the Hosts, and Armies of the Living God: I here promise (through the Assistance of the Divine Power) to encounter him and all his Abettors, and doubt not but by the vertue of the same, in the behalf of God, his Truth, and People to stand in the face of all their Opposites, and smiting the Head of the Adversary with his own Weapon, prove that, at length, upon themselves, which they have with so much Impudence and Falshood charged upon others.

VVilliam Salmon.

London, Printed in the Year. 1674.

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