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I find he has engrossed a large propor tion of this second part of his book, in giving an account of a public meeting of conference, between himself and two of our friends, who justly considered the society calumniated and falsely charged in his pamphlet ; and, therefore, called on him publicly to substantiate or prove those charges which they denied the truth of.
In page 71, in addressing them, he says: "I can frankly assure you, that I feel a "great regard and love for you, and for "the people to which you are united." The sincerity of this profession of love is submitted to the decision of the reader.
Pages 72 and 73, he proceeds: "However "favourable I may think of your motives "in attempting to justify your society, and "exculpate them from the guilt of these "charges, honesty and truth obliges me to "say, as my opinion, that your conduct in "this affair is as contrary to christian can"dour as your society appears to be by the "charges in the pamphlet; and will only 66 serve as another argument to prove the "truth of those charges, though there was "truth enough without it."
The friends whom he names, are well known and esteemed, as being men of ver
acity and candour; for the truth of which, I appeal to all candid persons acquainted with them; yet, not being at the said meeting, I shall attempt no further vindication on their behalf, than the extent of my information.
In page 69, he has these words: "If any " of them" (the Quakers)" can prove one "charge false, they are at liberty to address "their refutation to me : but dont bring up << your say so, or bare denial of the truth "of the charges, as a proof of their false"hood." And in page 81," however, you "said that you had a higher opinion of the "Scripture than of any other writing whatt ever but your say so dont prove it. You "read in one of your authors that he esteem"ed the Scripture above any other book "whatever but his say so, dont prove it."
If I comprehend the true meaning of these passages, they convey an intention not to believe what we say of ourselves, while his own assertions are all the proof he advanses for many of his charges. But, if we are not to believe the account of any religious denomination concerning their principles, how are we to become acquainted with them? Are we to receive them from the representation given by their open opposers,
as this author early requested his readers to do, page 13, in these words? "I desire the "reader to divest himself of prejudice, if "he has any, and read this book with de"sire to know the truth of the real princi"ples of the Quakers." Now, as he is an open opposer of us, and our principles, I apprehend, nothing more is needful in order to show the folly and unfairness of his proceedings, than to ask him whether he would recommend us to apply to the open opposers and accusers of the Methodists, in order to know the truth of their real principles ?
Page 69," I have not charged the Qua"kers with any thing but what I can sub"stantiate; and I defy them to prove one "charge false, or give any good reason why "it is not strictly true.' If the reader has perused the foregoing pages, he has undoubtedly discovered this bold defiance already set at nought.
In page 73, he asserts: "I did not fail "on my part to prove with implicit evi"dence, in the clearest manner, every "charge in the pamphlet."-Not being at the said meeting, I submit to the candid and disinterested, who attended it, to judge of this assertion; but it appears, from his own relation, that much of the time was engros
sed by reading his book, and making his remarks thereon; yet that the proof he asserts was not made, may safely be infered; for, had he been in possession of such clear proof, at that meeting, reason dictates that he would not have witheld it in the edition of his work, printed since that time; wherein he gives a long account of the transactions of that meeting; in which, however, I no where find the proof he asserts: and, I am informed, that as the time of that afternoon was so much of it taken up, in the manner above stated, that sufficient opportunity was not given for investigation; there fore, another meeting was requested, which he utterly refused.
Page 74," You acknowledged before the congregation three times in the course of "the afternoon, that you could not prove "them" (the charges)" false; but still you " insist upon it that they are false. This is "not candid."
This being a statement I doubted the truth of, I was induced to inquire; and I find the fact is, that, on his demanding of the two members of our society, who met him on this occasion, to prove his charges false, it was observed to him, that it lay on him to
prove them true, with some addition, stating the propriety thereof: (but without the acknowledgment as he asserts) and which is perfectly consistent with their premises in the letters previously exchanged between them, as inserted in his book.
An extract from one, page 66, is as follows : "We dont call on thee to read thy "book, nor do we intend to yield to thy "terms as an introduction to the discuss❝ion, but we shall, in the first place, claim "the liberty as our due, and not an indul 66 gence, to state the particular charges one "after another, that we say are not true, in ❝ order that thou may have a fair opportu"nity of proving them, either by Scrip66 ture, or such other authorities as are en"titled to due credit; for the point in ques"tion is, the simple proof of those asser"tions that we shall name to thee out of thy "book.
*This author's demanding of them to prove his charges false, is indeed irrational and inconsistent : for it is evident to all reasonable persons, that proof cannot justly be required of the accused, but of the accuser Cases often occur, wherein it is utterly impossi ble for the accused to prove himself innocent, though perfectly so that in this case, as in many others, his covering is too short and too narrow. But whether they proved any one of his assertions or charges false or not, I trust the reader has ere this discovered many of them to be so.