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cord withdrew, gave forth a testimony against him, which he hath since" printed, with his answer thereunto. As he hath also, in another pamphlet, a copy of his paper which he read in the meeting; together, with a narrative (of his own making) of the proceedings of the meeting with him, and a list of the errors charged by him on some particular persons. To each of these I intend to speak, now that I have premised this short introduction ; which I thought needful for the information of any such reader, as had not before heard the rise of the difference, nor the course of proceedings thereupon."
This I thought fit to insert, being so material as to the ground of the controversy with George Keith; after which Thomas Ellwood proceeds to answer all his cavils in his said two books or papers. And shews that by his disorderly practices, he had excluded him. self from our society, before Friends disowned him. So leaving him without excuse, and the weight of his iniquity upon his own head ; which he could never get from under, -but waxed worse and worse, as evil men and seducers use to do; so that truth was set over his head, and Friends were clear of him.
1696. But now another occasion offered, viz. a person by the name of Gerard Croese, a Dutchman, publishing a general history (so called) of the Quakers.; containing the lives, tenets, sufferings, trials, speeches and letters, as pretended, of the most eminent of them; first
in Latin ; which was translated and printed in English this year. Wherein, though he had represented some things pretty fairly, yet in others, through inadvertency or ignorance, (I hope not wilfully) he had misrepresented us, and our principles and practices; whereupon our friend Thomas Ellwood, according to an advertisement at the end of the said history, in English, that some remarks on it would be published, wrote some remarks on it in Latin, perhaps before the English edition came out, which would no doubt have been translated into English; intending, doubtless, to publish them, but in the mean time, before they were finished, a book of the same nature, and to the same purpose, in Latin, was published in Hol. land, by way of remarks or observations on the said history, which seemed again to circumvent him in his intended remarks on it, so that he laid them by, and never finished them; and so the world was deprived of this piece also.
But now George Keith being gone out from the fellowship of the faithful, and hardened in his enmity against Friends, he arrived to the top or height of opposition. He had been playing small stakes hitherto, but now came to throw all at once. In order to which, he erected a stage of contention at Turner's-hall, in Philpot-lane, London, where he had held separate meetings for some time before, to oppose Friends in general, under pretence of discovering divers errors out of the Quakers books, that were never in them, and publish
ed an advertisement of a meeting he intended to hold there, in the fourth Month, 1696, to discover the Quakers' errors; though he had been one so long himself, and vindicated them, as to all they could object against, and yet now came to accuse them himself; but Friends slighted him, not thinking it worth their while to follow him, or dance after his pipe to Tur. ner's-hall. Of which contentious meeting he afterwards published a narrative, which our friend Thomas Ellwood answered this year, in a book entitled, an Answer to George Keith's Narrative of his Proceedings at Turner's-hall, &c. wherein his charges against divers of the people called Quakers, (in that and another book of his, called Gross Errors, &c.) are fairly considered, examined and refuted. And he made his title good in a close answer, and entire confutation of all his cavils against our Friends' books; which, because I have given the preambles or introductions of his former, to illustrate the matter, I shall also, in like manner, introduce this with his general account of the controversy, by way of introduction to his answer, being so pertinent to the case in hand, for the reader's better information and satisfaction; which follows, -beginning thus :
It is not, surely, without good reason, that the church of Christ, here on earth, is called the church militant : for, besides the inward and spiritual enemies, which her several members have to encounter with, in their pilgrim
age through this troublesome world, such hath been, and is her lot and portion, that she hath rarely been free from outward enemies of one kind or other; her great adversary, Satan, continually raising up some evil instruments or other to fall upon her; all aiming at her ruin, though after divers ways and manners. Sometimes the civil powers, under which she hath lived, have been stirred up to proclaim, as it were, open war against her, and to inflict severe and heavy penalties upon her, for her faithful adherence to her Lord and master, Christ Jesus. When through faith and patience, she hath overcome, and the wrath and fury of men hath been assuaged, so that she hath had some respite from those outward sufferings, then hath her old adversary, the common enemy of mankind, bestirred himself in another way, to raise up persecution against her of another kind, by instigating some or other, either such as were always avowed enemies to her, or such as for some time appear. ed to be of her, but by the sweep of his tail had been struck off from her, to speak or write against her, falsely to accuse her, and load her with the foulest reproaches, and most in. famous slanders and scandals, that by so misrepresenting her, they might hinder others from joining to, or favouring her, and stir
up the civil magistrate again, to persecute her afresh. This hath been the lot, this the condition of the little flock of Christ in former ages, as ecclesiastical histories declare. As for the present age, and with respect to the peos
ple called Quakers, whom God, by an invi. sible arm of power, hath raised up and held up, and made a peculiar people to himself, experience gives sufficient proof, the matter being yet fresh in memory. For, (not to look back so far as that which was called the commonwealth's time, wherein many of the leading men, in most professions, put forth their utmost strength against us, both in preaching and printing, raising those false re. ports concerning us, and charging many false accusations upon us, with respect both to doctrine and practice, which others of our adversaries, that followed after, have taken upon trust from them) no sooner was that great persecution a little abated, which soon after the restoration of king Charles the second, through the fault of some dissenters, fell upon all, but most heavily upon us, and that a little calm and quiet ensued; but out cane several books against us, written by some of those professors, who either in some measure did suffer, or if they had been faithful to their own principle, should have suffered in the same storm with
By that time the dust, which those books had raised, was laid, by our answers thereunto, a fresh persecution from the government arose, upon the informing act, the main weight of - which, it is well known, fell upon us; they who before and afterwards assaulted us in print, finding ways then to hide and save themselves from suffering. Bu
But when that storm was a little over, out they came again, and in