An 〈◊〉 from the Twenty Eight JUDGES TO THE Spirit of Truth & true Judgment In all Faithful Friends, called Quakers, that meet at this Yearly Meeting at Burlington, the 7 Month, 1692.
WHereas twenty eight Persons, called Friends of the Mi∣nistry, have publish't a Paper of false Judgment against George Keith, and the rest of his Friends and Brethren, without any Hearing or Tryal, We, in behalf of the rest, do make this our Serious and Solemn Appeal to the Spirit of Truth & true Judgment in you all, that by the help & guidance of the same, ye may enquire and search into the matter, requesting & beseeching you to do Justice in these things, for the Vindication of the Truth, the honour of Christ, the Peace of your Consciences, & the Credit and Repute of our holy Profession, & making up the Breach that is among us, if possible, & ans•ering the expectation of our faith∣ful Brethren in England, and other places of the World, who will be greatly concern'd with us, that Justice and true Judgment may take place impartially, and without respect of Persons.
And Friends, Think it not strang•, that we Appeal to you universally, that by the Spirit of Truth ye may give true Judg∣ment in these matters concerning Us and these Twenty Eight Persons, and others of the Ministry who are joyned with them therein; for tho' upon a pretence of their being Ministers, they claim a Superiority over you the Lords Heritage & People, as if ye were not capable nor qualified to judge them, but that they have Authority to judge you, & on this pretended Authority (too like the Roman-Hierarchy) they have sent their Paper of Judg∣ment Page 2 against us to you, tho' they wer• Yearly Meeting •or any true Representative of the Body 〈…〉 these three Provinces, but a Party or Faction of 〈…〉 against the Truth (and us the defamed Witnesses of it) many of whom we can prove guilty of great Ignorance and Error in Doctrine, as well as some of them are guilty of evil and scandalous Practice, repugnant to our holy Profession; and some that have been too busie to comply with their usurped Authority over you, have re•d the said Judgment in divers Monthly. Quarterly and other Meetings, without the consent of the said Meetings, or so much as asking it: All which we Appeal to you, Whether it be not a manifest Usurpation over you, and seeking to bring you into Bondage? And when we have at several Meetings, requested the Friends of the said Meetings, to enquire & examine the matter of Difference between these twenty eight men & us, some of the said 28 have still refused to suffer the thing to come to any further Examination or Judgment, pretending, None have Power to judge in th•se Matters but Friends of the Ministry, whereof these 28 are the far greatest part in these 3 Provinces, and most of the rest of the Preachers are joyned with them, to uphold and defend them in their Tyrannical Usurpation over your Consciences, as if ye were only to see with their Eyes, and hear with their Ears, and not with your own, and that ye were to take all things without all due Examination and Tryal, by an implicit Faith, Papist-like, from them. But if there remain that Nobility in you, and sence of your Christian-Liberty and Freedom, where-withall Christ hath made you Free, as we hope there doth, ye will not suffer your selves to be so imposed upon, nor to be thus Ass-rid by them, as to take things by a ba•e implicit Faith from them, but every one of you to see with your own spirituall Eyes, and hear with your Spiritual Ear• of Gods opening, and to bring these weighty things of Difference to the true Touch-stone, the Spirit of Truth and true Judgment in your selves, which ye have; as well as t•ey, and which many of you are better taught by and acquainted with than they; even as formerly it was, Page 3 that many of the 〈◊〉 say beyond the Priests and Teachers, in the dayes of the •••hets and of Christ in the Flesh, and the Apo•les; all of late, many Thousands of the People have seen beyond the Priest and Teachers, and have been made able by the Spirit of Truth to judge them for their great Igno∣rance and Error. And that ye may have the better Opportunity to examine these matters, and impartially and throughly to search into them, and judge of them, we have procured to be printed their three Papers of Judgment, viz. the first given forth by their Monethly Meeting at Philadelphia, the 26 of 3d Month 1692. wherein they clear Tho. Fitzwater, and condemn G. K. for saying, The Light is not sufficient without something else, which something else, Thomas Lloyd, as the Mouth of the said Monthly Meeting, acknowledged, They knew G. K. held to be the Man Christ Jesus, and what he did and suffered for us on Earth, and what he now doth for us in Heaven: The 2d Judgment is given forth by them called Friends of the Ministry, concerning W. Stockdale, signed by Sam. Jenings, as Clark of the said Meeting, the 4 of 4 Month, 1692. The 3d signed by 28 of them of the Ministry, against G. K. and his Friends, &c. Which said Judgments we desire you to compare with our Printed Answer, called, The Plea of the Innocent, &c and another Paper called. An Expostulation with Thomas Lloyd, Samuel Jenings, &c. and another by way of Epistle, in answer to their three false Judgments.
And we earnestly request and desire of you, to procure of these 28 men, that we may have a publick Hearing with these men before you all, at a place and time mutually appointed by them and us, before the People he gone from the Yearly Meeting; and that an orderly Method be agreed upon betwixt them and us, to prevent all Confusion, and especially that none but one speak at once, and that every one that speaketh, who is concerned, may have full Liberty, without Interruption, in order to which we are most willing that one or two Impartial and Judicious men may be c••sesby both them and us, to preside, and 〈…〉 Power to command and enjoin Silence to any of them 〈…〉Page 4 they shall see occasion; and whoever of them or us yieldeth not obedience to the said Command, shall • and declared un∣worthy & uncapable of further speaking at • said publick Con∣ference. And also, we demand that Justice of these 28 men, that they will give us the said Publick Hearing and Tryal before you.
And let these particular things be discoursed of, and come to a publick Hearing and Tryal at the said Meeting, and what other things they and we shall agree to, viz.
1. Whether George Keith hath been proved guilty by these 28 men (his Accusers) of Reviling, Vngodly Speeches and false Accusa∣tions? Or whether he hath given Names to any of them (as al∣ledged in their Paper) that they did not deserve, & did not belong to them? And whether it be not false that they say, This Meeting having Tenderly and Orderly dealt with him?
2. Whether they who have signed that Paper against him, are not guilty of giving him Names that did not belong to him, but may be justly accounted Names of Reviling, Vngodly Speeches and false Accusations? And whether Samuell Jenings particularly is not greatly to be blamed for calling G. K. Worse than Prophane, and Apostate, seeing we know not wherein G. K. is in any one parti∣cular gone from Friends Doctrine or Practice, or what thing or things he is guilty of, so as to be worthy of having his Ministry denyed?
3. Whether it cannot be proved, that that Faction (which have sufficiently shown their Opposition and Prejudice against G. K. and have signed to that Paper against him) are guilty of Cloaking more Damnable Heresies and Errors, than any Protestant Society in Christendom, while it can be proved against them, that they have not only cloaked W. Stockdale for above 18 Months, in saying, To preach Faith in Christ within, and in Christ without, it to preach Two Christs; and Tho. Witzwater, in saying, The Light in sufficient without any thing else, and That he owned no man Christ Jesus as Me∣diator is Heaven, but the Grate of God within him, and saying in his Prayer, O God that dy•d in us, and laid down thy Life in us, &c. and saying, That he had not learned that Lesson, whether the God head Page 5 was crucified on the Tree of the Cross or some-what that he took of the Virgin, &c. but they have cloaked divers other Persons in their vile and gross Errors, as can be sufficiently proved, & particularly Sam. Jenings, in saying, To do our own business, as men, we needed not a super-natural Power; and Tho. Lloyd in arguing some hours, That we might be Christians good enough without the Faith of Christ as he dyed for our sins, and rose again without us; and Arthur Cook & John Simcock in their charging G. K. for imposing Novelties upon them, when he affirmed, Christ was in Heaven in the same Body for being, in which he suffered; and J. Simcock denyed that Christ rose in the same Body in which he suffered; and Robert Young in saying, That he read not in all the Scriptures of Christ without, and Christ within, and that Christ was seperated from his Body in the Cloud; and Rob. Owen & William Southbe, in denying any general Day of Judgment, and the Resurrection of the Dead, but only what every one witnessed within here: Whether these, with many more that can be proved, were not cause enough for G. K. to say, More Damnable Heresies & Errors were cloaked among the Quakers here, than in any Protestant Society in Christendom?
4. Seeing their Paper, signed by the 28 mentioneth a main matter of Controversie betwixt G. K. and them, which (they say) they proffered to refer to one of his own Books, or to the Yearly Meeting here, or to the Yearly Meeting at London; Let them show what that main Matter of Controversie is, and wherein his present Doctrine doth contradict any of his former Books, which he saith they can never prove.
5. Whether the Act of the Monthly Meeting at Philad•lphia▪ the 26 of 3d Month, 1692. is according to Christian Doctrine, That the Light is sufficient without any thing else, thereby excluding the Man Christ Jesus without u•, and his Death & Sufferings, Resur∣rection, Ascention, Mediation & Intercession for us in Heaven, from having any part or share in our Salvation; and thereby making him only a Titular, but no real Saviour, as one zealous for that side, lately called the Difference betwixt them and us concerning Christ. An empty Barrel, and another great Zealot said, He did not believe to be saved by that which dyed at Jerusalem?
Page 6 6. Whether it be necessary to our salvation, to believe, That Christ dyed for our sins without us, & rest again, and is gone into Hea∣ven without us and there doth make Intercession for us? And whether it doth not belong to sound Christian Doctrine to believe, That Christ will come without us in his glorified Body to judge the quick and the dead and that there shall be a general Day of Judgment, and that there is a Resurrection of the Dead to be, that the deceased Saints have not yet attained generally, but wait for it until Christs Coming? And whether there is not to be a Resurrection of the Body, that is not the Resurrection or quickening of the Soul only, as some falsly imagine: Let them clear themselves in these things, they haviug given us just cause to suspect them Unbelievers therein.
7. Whether every true Christian is not taught & led to believe in the Power and Spirit of Christ, & his Eight and Life inwardly revealed, and by the help of the said measure to believe in him who hath the Fullness, even the Man Christ Jesus without us, glorified in Heaven? And whether by True Faith in the Man Christ Jesus without us, as it is wrought by the measure of the Spirit and Light of Christ in us, we receive not a daily supply and increase of more Grace, Light & Life, and a further measure of the Spirit from the Man Christ Jesus? And whether they who have not this Faith in the Man Christ Jesus without them, are worthy to bear the honourable Name of Christians?
8. Whether it is not a great and necessary part of Christian Doctrine, necessary to be preached, in order to bring People to an inward knowledge & enjoyment of God and Christ, and the holy Spirit, to preach Faith in Christ without us even the Man Christ Jesus, as he dyed for our sins, and rose again, & is ascended into Hea∣ven, and there maketh Intercession for us, as well as Faith in Christ in us. as he doth inwardly enlighten us? And whether it can be said that the Man Christ Jesus is in us, otherwise than by a figurative Speech, of giving the Name of the whole to the measure or part, as when th• Sun is said to be in such a House, the fullness of the Sun's light is only in the Body of the Sun, and but a stream of, Light cometh from the Sun into the House?
Page 7 9. Whether the said 28 Persons had not done much better to have passed Judgment against som of their Brethren at Philadelphia (some of themselves being guilty) for countenancing & allowing some call'd Quakers, and owning them in so doing, to hire men to fight (& giving them a Commission so to do, signed by 3 Justices of the Peace, one whereof being a Preacher among them) as ac∣cordingly they did, and recover'd a Sloop, & took some Privateers by Force of Arms?
10. Whether hiring men thus to fight, & also to provide the Indans with Powder & Lead to fight against other Indians, be not a manifest Transgression of our Principle against all use of the carnal Sword, & other carnal Weapons? And whether these call'd Quakers, in their so doing, have not greatly weakened the Testi∣mony of Friends in England, Barbadoes, &c. who have suffered much for the is refusing to contribute to uphold the Militia, or any Military force? And whether is not their Practice here an evil President, if any change of Government happen in this place, to bring Sufferings on faithful Friends, that for Conscience sake refuse to contribute to the Militia? And how can they justly refuse to do that under another's Government, which they have done, or allowed to be done under their own. But in these & other things we stand up Witnesses against them, with all faithful Friends every where.
11. Whether it be according to the Gospel, that Ministers should pass Sentence of Death on Malefactors, as some pretended Ministers here have done, preaching one day, Not to take an Eye for an Eye Mat. 5. 38 and another day to contradict it, by taking Life for Life?
12. Whether there is any Example or President for it Scripture, or in all Christendom that Ministers should engross the Worldly Government, as they do here? which hath proved of a very evil Tendency.
Signed by us, in Behalf of many Friends, who are one with us herein.
- George Keith,
- Thomas Budd,
- Richard Dungworth,
- George Hutcheson,
- John Hart,
- Abraham Opdegraves.
BY a Warrant signed by Sam. Richardson & Rob. Ewer, Justices, the She∣riff and Constable entered the Shop of Wiliam Bradford, & took away all the above written Papers, they could find, call'd, An Appeal, &c. and carried the said W. Bradford before the said justices, and also sent for 〈◊〉 M'Comb, who (as they were informed) had disposed of two of said papers, and they not giving an account where they had them, were both commit∣ted to Prison: also, they sent Robert Ewer, and the said Officer, to search the said W. Bradford's House again for more Papers, &c. but found none, yet took away a parcell of Letters, being his Utensels, which were worth about ten Pound. Now the said Papers being seized, and a great Rumor spread abroad of Sedition, Disturban••, o• the Peace and, Subversion of the Government, &c. we have, though with some difficulty, procured the said Appeal to be Reprinted, that every one that defined might have the Op∣portunity to read & judge of the matter contained in the said Appeal, and also to signifie, that we did not nor do not intend any thing against the present Government, or Magistracy, but own them in Commission to be Magistrates, and account it our Duty to obey them, 〈◊〉 actively or passively, but knowing that it is contrary to the Quaker Principles to use the carnal Sword, & finding by experience, that it is impossible to uphold Magistracy without it, therefore we proposed it to be duely considered and discoursed of among all Friends at this Yearly Meeting at Burlington.
A Copy of the Mittimus.
VVHereas William Bradford Printer, and John M' Comb Taylor be∣ing brought before us, upon Information of Publishing, Ut∣tering and Spreading a Malicious & Seditious Paper, entituled, An Appeal from the Twenty Eight Judges, to the Spirit of Truth, &c. Tending to the Disturbance of the Peace, & Subversion of the present Government; and the said Persons being required to give Security to answer it at the next Court, but they refusing so to do, These are therefore by the King and Queen's Authority, and in our Proprietary's Name to require you to take into your Custody the Bodyes of William Bradford and John M' Comb, and them safely keep till they shall be dsicharg'd by due Course of Law; where∣of fail not, at your Peril, and for your so doing, this shall be your sufficient Warrant. Given under our Hands and Seals this 24th of August▪ 1602.
- Arthur Cook,
- Samuell Jenings,
- Samuell Richardson,
- Humphery Murrey,
- Robert Ewer.