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head and William Penn took part with him against them, though those principles, as he calls them, which he says he was then ques. tioned about, were of the same nature with some of those he now charges upon them as errors. From whence it appears, that he found them then, as well as now, sound and orthodox in those principles. ..
65. That as this controversy lies properly and directly between George Keith and us, and that he being baffled in it, and driven to a ne plus ultra on his own part, hath contrived to carry it on under disguise, by the assist. ance of another (yet without a name,) who under pretence of indifferency, and being un: concerned with or for George Keith, should drop the quotations I had loaded him with, out of his own books against himself, and thereby free him, if he could, from those pinching dilemmas which lay against him, and draw Dun, as the proverb is, out of the mire he was plunged into, so to obviate and disap: point the design. That I may not suffer my. self to be bubbled by such artificial shams, but that the controversy may be kept, as much as may be, upon its first bottom, I have thought fit in this rejoinder so to order the matter, as not to let George Keith slip away, which I perceive he would fain do, while I am contend. ing with, I know not whom in this quarrel. Therefore, as I pass through the several heads of the controversy, I purpose not only to answer the most material cavils of the present
adversary, but withal to repeat, some at least of those passages, that lay so heavy upon George Keith, and settle (not to use his own smithing metaphors of clinching and rivetting) them faster on him; to the end, that both the reader may more plainly see the true reason why George Keith did not himself reply in his own name, to my answer to his narrative, and George Keith may know that I expect it from him, and in the nean time look upon himn but as a baffled, shifting adversary.
"He begins his epistle with telling his read. er, that his reply is short in comparison of the answer. Therein he and I agree, but in words rather than in meaning ; for he means in number of pages, I mean in truth and fair dealing, in which I am confident the indifferent reader will find his reply short indeed; and even as to bulk, upon due consideration, the disproportion is not so great as he would represent it, for his book is rather more than half as big as mine, though he replies not to the tenth part of the matter contained in mine. He makes nothing of skipping over
or fifteen pages at a time, so nimble heeled he is.' [And yet this is the man that cautioned the Quakers, that if they answered his book (Snake, 3d edit. p. 344,) that they would reply distinctly, and not answer a book as rats do, by nibbling at some corners of the leaves, stealing through it like moths, to no other purpose than to deface some words at a venture ; who yet could reply thus slightly
himself.] Nay, in his first page, he throws off no less than twenty-five pages at once, and barely mentioning, in less than nine lines, a few words contained in some of them, with out a syllable of reply thereto, sets in his mar. gin, reply to the first twenty-three pages; and yet he hath the confidence to miscal his book, and that even in the same page, a full reply;; he might better have called it a foul and false reply to Thomas Ellwood's answer. And in his epistle, says, he has omitted nothing that is material. I suppose he means, that he has omitted nothing which he thought might tend to abuse and defame the Quakers and me ; for that he has omitted the most material parts of my book, and thrust in many passages, idle, impertinent, false, and wholly foreign to the subject; only that he might misrepresent, ridi. cule, and slander us, as I shall have occasion liereafter, by plenty of instances, to show.'
I might cite a great deal more to explicate this controversy, and shew their disingenuity in it ; but by this we may judge what a reply this of the Snake's was, and by this taste, (to use his own words at the end of the Snake) the reader may guess what a plentiful meal we might have had, if Thomas Ellwood had pub. lished his rejoinder; but that, as I said, he did not; for what reason I cannot justly assign. For thought our friend George Whitehead, in his answer to the Snake in the Grass, wrole also a brief Examination of some passages in the said book of the Snake's, styled Satan dis
robed, &c. as being concerned therein; yet he referred to a further answer by Thomas Ellwood, p. 186, judging it No fair reply to Thomas Ellwood's answer; and so it appears says he, and I expect will be made further appear, if Thomas Ellwood deems it worth the while to undertake it;' which he did, and wrote twenty-seven sheets in order thereto; and why he should be prevented from publishing it, by George Whitehead's Brief Examination, I do not see, being much larger and fuller ; but perceive he was so modest, that he was apt to be put by of his work, if any other put in be. fore him ; as will further appear on another oc, casion hereafter. And so I shall leave it, hop. ing however one time or other, to see this, and some other of his posthumous works published by themselves, as they well deserve.
And here our friend dropped his pen, till another occasion offered.
And that was next or at least the next he laid hold on, after a vacancy of two or three years, on this occasion.
1698. Some angry priests in Norfolk, on our Friends having a meeting near one of them, and truth spreading to their regret, they chala lenged a dispute with some of our Friends at West-Deerham in that county, the 8th of the 10th mo, 1698, where some of our Friends appearing, and answering them, so disappoint. ed the priests in their envious designs in the said dispute, that they afterwards promoted
two petitions against our Friends to the parlia. ment, one from Norfolk, the other from Suffolk, to stir ur persecution against them, that what they could not do by arguments, they might by force. To which two petitions our friend Thomas Ellwood, having obtained copies of them, wrote a sober reply on behalf of the people called Quakers, to two petitions against them, the one out of Norfolk, and the other from Bury in Suffolk ; being some brief observations upon them, &c. printed 1699, manifesting their mischievous machinations against the truth and Friends; which, with some other discouragements, through the labour and industry of Friends at London, in attending the parliament, and delivering printed papers; particularly, a few considerations humbly offered to the members of parliament, to obviate some evil jealousies and designs against the people called Quakers, so quashed their malicious purposes, that their petitions were never delivered to, or received by the parliament, but fell and came to nothing, and their evil designs were frustrated, Friends were pre: served, and truth prospered over their heads.
1699. About this time also, our friend William Penn being gone to Pennsylvania, in the 7th mo. this year, and George Keith continuing his opposition against truth and Friends, sometimes more general at Turner's-Hall, 'where, as the course of his delirious distem, per returned (as Joseph Wyeth observes, in his answer to his advertisement this year) he