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they had cause, and as they do all wicked wo:kers and works of darkness; which renders him the more inexcusable, in representing them still as Quakers, whose mad pranks no more concern the Quakers, who deny and disown all such wild actions and actors, than they do the Presbyterians, as George Keith in the book aforesaid, and also in his Refutation of Three Opposers of Truth, hath sufficiently manifested: which shows the injustice of our adversaries, and that they want matter against us, to go to rake up such dirty stories to throw at us, that no more concern us than the stories he tells of the Puritans did them.* It is the less to be wondered at that Cotton Mather, a professed adversary, should use us at this rate, and revive such abusive stories, though he had before distinguished them from Quakers, when George Keith himself, a man that once knew better things, and had acquitted the Quakers of them, and cleared the Truth of the reproach cast on it by them, has, since his revolt, shown himself so inconstant and void of shame or honesty as to go to upbraid the Quakers with them again, in the falsehood and enmity of his heart,f though he had cleared them of the said crew before. Such inconstant, uncertain, turn-tongue, turn-coat, weathercock men, that are so unstable in all their ways, I leave to be Cotton Mather's companions and brethren in iniquity, lies, and reproaches against the Truth and people of God, and to his judgment to deal with them. And how many wild stories might we rub up against the Presbyterians, as, to go no farther, the Presbyterian priest that was lately hanged in London for killing a woman, under pretence of the late Queen Mary, (which shows his bloody, murderous spirit, if it had been so,) and another that hanged himself? But would they count this just? Yet much more justly than they do by us.
And for his “entertainment of two or three very well attested stories more, and then he shall ask leave to have done with a generation which it can,” says he, “be no great satisfaction to meddle with.” Answer. It had been better thou hadst never meddled with them at all, at the rate thou hast done; for thou wilt have little satisfaction in meddling with them as thou hast, and abusing . them as thou hast done, but wilt one day find it to be thy burden; for the Lord is making them, like Jerusalem of old, as a “burdensome stone” to “all that burden themselves” with them; and none ever meddled with them in this manner, but to their own hurt. So that it had been much better for thee to have let them alone, except thou hadst treated them better, and with more truth; which would have been more to thy satisfaction in the end, when thou must give an account, not only for every idle word, but for thy hard speeches, which thou hast ungodly uttered against the Truth and people of the Lord. But it is like thou thoughtest thou must say somewhat of them, or else thy History would look bald, they having been so much persecuted and abused in New England; and rather than thou wouldest confess the Truth, as thou oughtest, or speak the Truth of them, thou thoughtest to brave it out with a high hand over them, by abusing them further;” thinking thou wilt “never confess,” as thou sayest, “many a hard-hearted sinner thinks,” but to excuse it, and their persecutors; which will but increase thine and their burden, instead of satisfaction to you, and add to your account in the day of the Lord, which will be great, if thou and they repent not. But dost thou think, Cotton, that thy lies and malice against them, and the Truth they profess, “shall so affect it,” as to heal your wound, and cover the blood of the slain, or to extinguish their testimony, and hinder the prosperity of the Truth for the future? O nay, do not deceive thyself, it will but add to thy account, which is too great already, and tend to further manifest your deceit. And though thou mayest deceive some for the present, and blind their eyes by thy deceit and lies, from seeing the beauty of the Truth as now broken forth, yet thou wilt not be able to blind them, or keep them under thine and your deceit always; but their eyes will be open to see both it and you; and then they will but abhor thee, and their deceivers and blind guides, the more, as I perceive by thy dis* Book VI., chap. ii., page 35.
* Book III., chap. ii., page 1. f In his Third Narration.
f Query, is not that the same spirit that is in the Papists against Protestants?
course in the next chapter, they do begin to slight already, by being so ready to run after impostors, in disesteem to their teachers, and hope in time they will (when they have wearied themselves for very vanity) return, and receive the Truth, and the messengers of it, yet more than they have done, through the deceit of their blind guides; and then they will be esteemed no more, but abhorred, as the former persecutors and opposers of the Truth and people of God are at this day. But I perceive, that as it is in Old England so it is in New, that since the wrath of “the devil is prevented” from raging in persecution, as in times past, and the hand of his instruments bound up, that they cannot act that way now, through the moderation of the government, wherein “kings have been as nursing fathers, and queens as nursing mothers,” for which I hope they have not nor will not go without their reward, but that the blessing of Heaven hath and will be upon them; I say, since he cannot wreak his enmity that way, he is endeavouring to stir up his agents to reproach the Truth, and malign its faithful followers, by tongue and pen, to hinder the progress of it all he can. But I hope and trust in the Lord his mischievous designs will return upon his own head, and be prevented in that as well as in the former, as also whatever engine he may next invent, when he sees this also proves ineffectual, and that the Truth, notwithstanding, prospers; as I doubt not but it will, to the laying waste the kingdom of sin, and the gathering of many to the knowledge of the Truth, that they may be saved. As for his two or three stories more he tells, of one “Denham, with two women, all belonging to Case's crew,” and of a piece with it; these are not worth my while to descend into them, being all answered and confuted with the former, as to anything in relation to us, by George Keith, in answer to Increase Mather as aforesaid; which, seeing Cotton Mather hath the impudence to repeat, and make such ado about it, I shall rehearse some of the said answer, that the reader may see what he gets by it. “The said Increase Mather, in the Eleventh chapter of his “book called An Essay, &c., relateth a long story of three mad “Quakers, called Thomas Case's crew, one of them being a man “called Denham,” and two women, who went down to Southhold, “and they met with Samuel Banks, of Fairfield, the most blasphe“mous villain, as they call him, that ever was known in these “parts, and some other inhabitants of that town on Long Island, “where they fell a dancing and singing after their diabolical “manner; and how at that time they proselyted one, called “Thomas Harris, belonging to Boston, to be of their way, and “how after some short time the said Harris was found dead by “the sea-side, with three holes like stabs in his throat, and no “ tongue in his head. And two other stories he subjoineth, con“cerning these of the same crew, or company, called the “sing“ing and dancing Quakers;’ the last hath in it a relation, how “the said Jonathan Denham (alias Singleterry) and one Mary “Rosse did many frantic and diabolical tricks, and among others, “that he sacrificed a dog at Plymouth Colony in New England. “And all these stories he doth relate, on purpose to abuse that “honest and sober people, called Quakers, without making any “distinction, nor giving the least information to the world, how “that the body of people called Quakers do not in the least own “ these ungodly and wicked people mentioned by him, called “‘Thomas Case's crew,’ nor any others of that sort, but have all “along declared against them, and showed the greatest dislike “and abhorrence of their spirit and ways that is possible, and “all their mad and frantic tricks and freaks of singing and “dancing, or any others of all kinds. And the people called “Quakers have suffered more abuses and insolencies by that un“godly and wicked crew of Thomas Case, and others of that “spirit, than any other people in these countries, whereof many “sober people that do not profess themselves to be Quakers can “bear witness, both in Long Island, and in Rhode Island, and “also at Neersink, in East Jersey, how for many years they have “molested them, frequently at their meetings, and more espe“cially at our Friends' General Meeting, at Oyster Bay, and “Rhode Island, and divers other places. Ard when the said “Jonathan Denham and Mary Rosse were whipped by the order of “the magistrates of Plymouth, there were some of the honest “people called Quakers present, who openly declared before the “ people, that the Quakers did not at all own them to be of their “Society, and did declare their loathing and abhorrence of their “practices, and that they could not own them to be sufferers for “Christ's sake; and though they assume to themselves the name “of Quakers, and call themselves the New Quakers, yet that will “not follow that they are of the Society of that sober and honest “ people. For it is not the name or profession that is the sign “ or mark of distinction owned by that people, who own none to “be of their Society or fellowship, unless they walk in the Truth; “as well as profess it; and the Truth leads into all sobriety and ‘‘gravity in all things, but into none of these mad gestures, and “ungodly singings and dancings, under the pretence of raptures “of heavenly joy. For although we own singing with the Holy “Spirit, and with understanding and direction, and giving thanks “unto God, according to the Scriptures and the example of the “primitive Christians, yet the singing of such ungodly persons “we never did, nor can own; and we believe that weeping and “howling, and bitter mourning, is more proper for them. And “for dancing, it was a thing never owned by that people, nor is “at this day; only Thomas Case and his crew, lately or of late “years, have run into that and other mad practices by Satan's “instigation; nor does that crew or company of Thomas Case, “or himself, agree in professed principles with the people called “Quakers, unless it be in some general things, common to all “sorts: for they are plain ranters and libertines, and upon due “search and examination their chief principle doth agree with “the Presbyterian and Independent Confession of Faith rather “ than with the Quakers. For this ranting crew of Case's fol“lowers, and himself, do say, ‘That whatever they do, they are “constrained to do it, and cannot do otherwise.' And is not “this the same that your Confession of Faith saith, “That God “hath foreordained infallibly and unchangeably whatever cometh
* Presbyterian and Independent Visible Churches in New England, first edition, page 216; second edition, page 214, &c.