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striking at the salse liberty and pretences of the separate party, it seems it had lain on their stomachs undigested these ten years, and then came forth an answer to it by J. H. (supposed to be John Hog, one of the sepa. rates about Hull.) This answer our Friend Thomas Ellwood undertakes and replies to, in a pretty large book; in which he shews what is meant by true spiritual liberty, in William Penn's own definition, which he defends ; shews their abuse of it, answers their arguments or rather cavils against it, in behalf of their false libertine spirit and practices, which too many ran into, to their own hurt, and se. paration from the church, the body of Christ, whereof he is head; saying in the preface, • The God of truth knows, I have no other end in this reply, than to defend truth, and the children of it, against the slanderous suggestions, false charges, and wicked insinuation of the adversaries; to lay open their deceitful dealing, and to remove, as the Lord shall ena. ble me, the stumbling blocks, which they have laid in the way of the weak, whereby they have caused some to fall into misapprehensions and hard thoughts of Friends, without cause. And I beseech the God of mercy to open the understandings, and clear the sight of all those, whose simplicity has been betrayed by the others' subtilty, that they may see and escape the enemy's snares, and return to the true fold, from which they have been: led astray.' To which I never heard of any
rejoinder; only some private letters passed be. tween J. H. and Thomas Ellwood about some passages in it. : 1692. His next were two broadsides; the first in 1692, viz. Thomas Ellwood's Answer to so much of Leonard Key's late printed Sheet as relates to him. Which paper of Leonard Key's was intended mostly to excuse their shutting Friends out of their meeting-house at Reading. But therein taking occasion to slant at some passages in Thomas Ellwood's answer to the account from Wiccomb, gave our Friend Thomas an occasion, not only to open that matter further, but also to lay open their deceit in relation to that affair, as well as Leonard Key's, and his party at Reading. To which I refer the reader. · 1693. The second was in 1693, viz. Deceit Discovered, and Malice Manifested, in Leonard Key's late Paper from Reading. Thomas being then at London at the yearly-meeting, met with B. Coal's Expedients for a true Reconciliation among the People of God called Quakers ; which Leonard Key, it seems, promoted. But when Thomas Ellwood came home, he found a letter at his house directed to him, from Leonard Key, with a printed sheet enclosed, so different in terms and tendency from the other, signed by B. Coal and Charles Harris, (that proposing expedients for peace, this renewing the difference) and yet but one day different in the dates, this being dated the 3d, the other the 4th of the 4th
month, 1693, that he could not but admire at it; which therefore he compares, and shew's the difference of, and discovers their deceit in; and not only in that, but also in relation to the difference at Wiccomb, which they were not yet easy under, and yet would not confess the truth ; but instead thereof, John Raunce endeavours to fix a' slander on Thomas Ellwood, about his father's burial, pretending he was not buried in the right ground, but among strangers; he and his party riding twenty miles or more about the country; and John Raunce going bimself to the place where he was buried at Holton, to pick up a stone at the father's grave, to throw at the son, above seven years after his death ; enquiring, examining, yea, provoking some to pretend, as if Thomas Ellwood had been unkind to his father, and that they had shewed him kindness to bring Thomas under obligation of requital, or upbraid him for ingratitude if he did not. In all which John Raunce's malice was mani. fest more than any thing else ; for as to the ground he was buried in, Thomas Ellwood confesses he was not so well acquainted with the grave-yard as to know the difference of places in it, or whether some parts of it be more holy than others; which he thinks, considering their former principles, they should not have quarrelled with him about. However, the place was not of his appointing ; for he was prevented of being at the burial, by a message his father received in his sickness,
that his sister, but which of them he doth not say, lay then sick in London, near unto death. After he had waited on his father until he had finished his life, and given direction for his interment, he hastened up to his sister at London, thinking he might be more serviceable to the living than to the dead, and knew not in what part of the ground his father was buried, till after his return from London, he went thither to defray the charges of his sickness and funeral, as some of them knew, and therefore the more shame to raise such a story. And as to the other of unkindness, they could prove nothing, but shew their envy against him, which we shall have occasion to take fur. ther notice of, ere we have done.
The next and last book he wrote in relation to this controversy with the separates, was, A fair Examination of a foul Paper, called, Observations and Reflections, &c. lately published by John Raunce and Leonard Key; who after their separate bickerings, come now to join their forces together in this paper, which seems to be reflections on Thomas Ellwood's last mentioned paper; and which paper of theirs our Friend answers in this examination, wherein their envy is rebuked, and their folly and falsehood laid open, in endeavouring to excuse Leonard Key's former paper of revival of the difference, at the same time when Benjamin Coal's expedient for reconciliation was" for having it all forgotten and buried, which Thomas Ellwood exposes in its proper colours;
beginning thus, We read among the proverbs of Solomon, that the way of the wicked is as darkness, they know not at what they stumble, Prov. iv. 19. This is verified in John Raunce and Leonard Key, and others of their separate party. Since their turning against the truth, their way is become as darkness; they stumble and know not at what. They fall into many idle absurdities, many gross follies and errors, and into many hurtful evils, and labour to draw others, better than them: selves after them; for whose sake chiefly the following lines are written, that the deceit and hypocrisy of these men, their falsehood and envy being further and further laid open, the more simple and well-meaning ones amongst them, may see them as they are, and be no longer beguiled by them.' So he goes on to answer their cavils, confirming by certificate his former charge of their scandalous practice at Wiccomb; then answers their new slander, (the old proving false) that he suffered his father to want; raking into his ashes when he had been dead above ten years to cast something at his son, (sa restless is en. vy) as if he had been short in his duty to his father, which Thomas Ellwood fairly and clearly wipes off, vindicating himself as to his not being at his father's burial, which John Raunce throws at him, though Thomas in his last had fairly related the occasion ; which was his sister's illness at London, though she recovered; and which one would think might