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"to pass, without making any distinction'? And this Increase “ Mathcr hath exactly followed, and intimated the practice and “example of the ancient, malicious, and persecuting heathens, "s who, when any unlucky thing happened to be said or done by “any called Christians, although they were no Christians, but “ only assumed the name on purpose to deceive, these malicious “ heathens did throw it all upon the Christians, without making “any distinction. And the like concerning those rustics that “ rose up in war against their lawful princes in Germany, and the “mad crew that followed John of Leyden. The adversaries of " Truth did impute all this as the proper effect of the Reformation. “And thus also in Old England, the ungodly sayings and prac“ tices of ranters and libertines have been odiously, cast upon “the people called Quakers; whereas it is well known that the “people called Quakers have always, with great zeal, opposed the “ranters and libertines, both in their principles and practices, “ and have showed their zeal against them, both in disputing and “printing against them, more than any people hath done; and “ have been a great occasion and means of suppressing that evil “spirit in them, so that little of it hath for many years openly “ appeared in Old England; and the same ranting spirit is greatly “ decaying of late years, in these American parts, and we hope, “ere long, it shall be quite gone. And let the impartial judge " whether it can be any other thing but malice, as well as rashness, “ in this Increase Mather, to charge the crimes of the guilty upon “the innocent, without distinction, when it is notoriously known, “ both in New England and in all other places where the people “called Quakers live, that they never did own any of these peo“ple, from the first instant that they appeared in any of these “ practices. And seeing ye of the Presbyterian and Independent “ Churches of New England cannot but acknowledge that too “many unlucky and unchristian practices have fallen out, and “ have been committed by your church members, as whoredom, “ drunkenness, and the like, &c., yet if when upon your first “ discovery of these things ye have disowned them, and suff“ciently cleared yourselves of them, we are more men, and more “ reasonable, than to charge these things upon you. And when " Judas betrayed Christ, his Lord and Master, though he was one “ of the twelve, and numbered among them, should therefore this "great crime of Judas be cast upon the eleven that were innocent? “Or should the crime of the incestuous person at Corinth, be“ cause of him, be cast upon all other Christians? If this be not “equal, as all sober men will say it is not equal, it is no more “equal, but abominably unjust, to throw the crimes of Thomas “ Case or his crew upon the honest people called Quakers, of " whose society and spirit. they are not. And the said Increase “ Mather may, with the same impudence, charge all the abomina“ ble heresies of the Manichees, Nicolaitans, Ebionites, and all “others upon the Christians, because all went under that general " name of Christians in these days. And these of Case's crew, “ they call themselves Christians, and so doth Increase Mather; “ doth it therefore follow that their crimes, on that account only, " should be charged upon him? Let him see how he, or any of “his brethren, or kindred for him, can answer to these things in “his absence," &c.; reckoning what had befallen him for his rashness and folly, in some other passages of his life, which occasioned his absconding, as a remarkable judgment of God upon him for his injustice to the Quakers; and he also answers the story Cotton Mather mentions in H. More, but seeing he does not rehearse it, neither will I, and Increase Mather never answered this, or defended himself in it, that ever I heard, as I said, nor made it good by his son Cotton, that is as to their being Quakers, but distinguished as aforesaid, by the name of the “late singing and dancing Quakers," which yet would not excuse his father, inasmuch as he published it as an argument, to “make appear unto all mankind that the Quakers are under the strong delusions of Satan,” as are his words, page 345, when they were no Quakers, but denied by them as Cotton Mather now confesses, and so could make no such thing appear of the Quakers, whatever it did of themselves. By the aforesaid distinction he yields the point, yet brings it up and transcribes it to help fill his History and show his deceit and envy against the said people, of whom he can allege no evil, but falsely; and so set them down as Quakers that are not, to reproach that sincere people so called, though denied by them, as are all evil works and workers as aforesaid ; so that he hath but manifested his deceit and falsehood, in reviving the said stories the more; and should I retaliate, as I could by bringing up all the stories of Presbyterians, &c., that I might mention, how black could I make them look, as well as easily outbalance him, or anything he can allege! But for the present, if the reader is minded to see or read things of that nature, I refer him, for further satisfaction, to The First and Secona Centuries of Scandalous Ministers; Thomas Edward's Gangræna, in three parts; Of Independents, &c., the book of Fighting Priests, in the year 1660; Ralph Wallis, or The Cobbler of Gloucester, his books of The Inormous Lives of Priests, &c., Roger L'Estrange's Dissenters' Sayings, first and second parts; The Grounds and Occasions of the Contempt of the Clergy, and Defence of it; The Scotch Presbyterian Eloquence, and the Answer to it; in which he will find enough, and more than he can desire; and it Cotton Mather, or any of his fraternity, is offended at being mentioned, let him and them blame themselves, and learn more modesty and honesty for time to come, and not charge that on the Quakers which does not belong to them.
Yea, we need go no further than his own History, for scandalous instances enough among themselves; saying, Book VI., chap. i., page 28, “Among all the judgments of God, I know none more “ tremendous, than His leaving here and there some famous “professors and pretenders to religion to some horrible irreligi"ous actions; it is a thing that sometimes does happen among us, “persons that have been exemplary for piety * and charity all “their days, yet have at last grown melancholy, and God hath so " left thein to the possession of some devil, that they have laid “ violent hands upon themselves, they have starved themselves, “hanged themselves, drowned themselves, yea, and had a preter, “natural assistance in their doing of it. Alas! what shall we say “ of those prodigious falls unto sin, which the lives of some that " were counted first-rate Christians have been reproached withal ? “What shall we say of the monstrous crimes which we have seen “ some that have seemed pillars of Christianity among us to fall “into? TẠis I will say, that the burning wrath of a righteous ... and terrible God has never been so much discovered in all our “ losses by sea and land, and in all the bloody depredations of our ." adversaries, as in this one thing, that every now and then some “one or other, that has been much noted for zeal in the ways of “God, has been found in some damnable act of wickedness. “ Infinitely better had it been for those woful men to have died “ with millstones about their necks many years ago, than thus to “ have offended and poisoned the souls of the multitude; and oh, .“woe, woe, unto multitudes of souls that have hence taken an “incurable and an everlasting offence against the blessed ways of “our Lord Jesus Christ !!! : Among other instances, page 38, he tells of “a most unparalleled wretch, at New Haven, one Potter, that was executed for damnable bestialities,” (which I shall not mention,) “although he had been for twenty years a member of the Church in that place, and kept up among the holy people of God there, a reputation for serious Christianity," with several others for murders and adulteries, to the number of about ten, that he sets down, but I shall not rehearse after him, for I love not to rake in such dunghills, but leave it to whom it belongs. To which may be added, the execution of several of their church members as witches,* to the number of nineteen or twenty in all, of which one was a minister so called, and two ministers more were accused, and a hundred witches more in prison in 1663, which broke prison, committed by fifty more of themselves, being witches, and two hundred more accused, some of which had great estates in Boston.t. The most were about Salem, and adjacent towns, “inso
* Note, perhaps those that lo reproaches us with above, wero never so accounted among the Quakers, as worthy of such characters. However, this may stand as a full answer to all such reproaches,
. Book of Witches, page 51.
† Query, were not the governor's wife and Cotton Mather's mother some of them?
much," he says, Book VI., chap. i., page 82, “it was seen at last, that there must be a stop put to the executions, or the generation of the children of God," as he calls them, “would fall under that condemnation.” It came so near home it seems it was time to hold; as also the many impostures that have been among them, by his own confession, and yet he and his father accuse and reproach us with the wild actions of a few extravagant persons, that perhaps at best were never of us nor owned by us. But I have said enough of these things at present, and more than I should have done, if he had not given the occasion; but I have sufficiently unfolded his deceit, in abusing us, when they are so much more chargeable themselves.
He says, chap. i., page 26, " he can foretell what usage he shall find among the Quakers, for this chapter of his Church History." But whatever he deserve, which I leave to the Lord, and his own conscience, I shall not bring any such railing accusation against him, as he pretends, though he seeins to bless himself in his reviling; but rather," being reviled, we bless ;'' having learned of Him “who, when He was reviled, reviled not again ;'' nor doth it deserve the name of a Church History, especially that chapter and some others, but rather a “railing pamphlet," much less of our church history, which is no more so than Appian was of the Jews, or Porphyrus of the Christians, or Baronius of the Protestants, or Allen Cope of the Martyrs, or than the Tory pens of the sons of Bolsecus he tells of (Book III., chap. i., page 1) were of the Puritans; and when he tells in what pages of Samuel Fisher he bestowed such language on Owen, as he sets down, we may consider it further, not thinking it worth my time, which I can bestow much better, than to turn over about eight hundred pages in quarto, and nearly as many in folio, to search after them on his bare say-so, who hath been proved so false in other things; and in the mean time denying that ever one-half of them was ever so spoken directly to Dr. Owen, or any one else, as he sets them down. However, I can tell him where he may find ten times more, and much worse, in a book he lately commended, of his champion, Roger Williams, as collected by George Fox and John Burnyeat,