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The ACCUSER ſham'd: OR, A pair of Bellows To Blow off that Duſt caſt upon JOHN FRY, A Member of PARLIAMENT, by Col: John Downs, likewiſe a Member of Parliament, Who by the Confederacy and Inſtigation of ſome, charged the ſaid JOHN FRY of Blaſphemy & Error To the Honorable Houſe of COMMONS.

Whereunto is annexed,

A word to the Prieſts, Lawyers, Royaliſts, Self-Seekers, and Rigid-Presbyterians.

Alſo a brief Ventilation of that chaffie and abſurd Opinion, of Three Perſons or Subſiſtences in the Godhead.

By the accuſed JOHN FRY.

Rom 10 2.I bear them record, they have a zeal, but not according to know­ledge.
Acts 17. 23, 24, &c.For as I paſſed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an Altar with this inſcription, To the unknown God: whom there­fore ye ignorantly worſhip, him declare I unto you. God that made the world, and all things therein, ſeeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in Temples made with hands.

London, Printed for John Harris, and are to be ſold at his houſe on Addle hill. Febr. 1648.

3

I Do wave any Epiſtle, either Dedica­tory, or to the Reader, for theſe Rea­ſons:

Firſt, To avoid ſuſpition of guilti­neſs of the crimes laid againſt me, as if I needed a protector.

Secondly, To ſhun the thoughts of Cenſoriouſ­neſs, as though I thought that Truth could not walk abroad without a Paſs-Port.

Thirdly, To decline that unworthineſs (which I think ſome men are guilty of) of begging mens ſuf­frages to what I aſſert.

I did not adventure thus to ſtraggle abroad, with­out much oppoſition in my ſelf, which chiefly was the conſciouſneſs of mine inſufficiency to abide the Teſt of judicious mens Cenſures, for method, con­gruity, and aptneſs of words and ſence.

But rather then I would lye under ſuch a charge of Error and Blaſphemy, I choſe to lay open my weak­neſs to the world, in point of art, being ſtirred up too by ſome of my (I am perſwaded) very cordial friends.

What ſatisfaction I ſhall give to the world, I am not much troubled at, becauſe I ſeek not the ſatisfacti­on of al; if by this I may avoid the cenſure of the god­ly, it is the height of my deſire; however, this I am ſure of, mine own conſcience doth not condemn me.

I were a ſingular man, if I had not adverſaries, ſuch a man is certainly very miſerable, according to that in Luke 6. 26. We be to you when all men ſhall ſpeak well4 of you, for ſo did their fathers to the falſe prophets: And therefore the having of adverſaries is rather a com­fort then a trouble.

Upon the beſt inquiry into, and recollection of paſſages for ſome years laſt paſt, I cannot finde that I have gained any Enemies, but either for adhering to the publike intereſt, oppoſing of ſelf-intereſts ac­cording to my truſt, or declaring my opinion in mat­ters of Religion; for the latter, I think advan­tages have been taken of me, more in policy then piety, ſome being glad of ſuch an opportunity (as I have often been credibly informed) to remove me out of the way to their private ends.

I am not diſcouraged a whit, to think that in a time when the Preſs is ſo free, and accute wits ſo much in view, that mine muſt come in the rear of all; if that were the conſideration, I ſhould not have manifeſted ſo much folly as to be in Print; that is proper for his thoughts that writes more to ſhew his parts, then for one that is neceſſitated to vindicate himſelf from ſo foul an aſperſion as is caſt upon me: if any man ſhall ſay, I am too tender of my reputation, I wiſh him to make it his own caſe, and if that will not change his Opinion, he muſt give me leave to doubt whether he be in good earneſt or no.

I am not very greedy to ſolicite ſtrangers to be­come my friends in this particular, my deſires are to confirm my old acquaintance and Chriſtian friends; yet I would not be wanting ſo far as 'tis meet, to ſa­tisfie thoſe that have nothing to lead their judgements but reports. I ſhall therefore give my poſitive denyal to my Charge, together with my opinion in the point, to be put in one ſcale, and but his bold and untrue aſſertion in the other, and if this will not at leaſt ſuſ­pend5 their judgement of me, I appeal to all the world, whether they are upon grounds of equity or no.

I hear that many who have onely heard of me, and had good thoughts of me, are now ſtaggering up­on the report that I deny the God-head of the Son; if by what I have, and ſhall ſay, I cannot regain their good opinions, their uncharitableneſs will more wound themſelves then me, for were it ſo that no man will believe me, mine own conſcience, as to my ſelf, is inſtead of a thouſand witneſſes to acquit me before the Judge of all.

I hear that ſome ſay (upon what grounds I know not) that what I tendred to the Houſe of Com­mons for their ſatisfaction, is ſo covertly expreſſed, that they conclude I have but deceived them, & that I am ſtill, & have been for a twelve moneth paſt of the opinion, that the ſecond in the Trinity, to wit, Jeſus Chriſt is not God; but how groundleſly they conclude this of me, if I have not loſt all reputation amongſt them, will be very evident by what I hold forth.

That I have many Enemies, I doubt not, and ſuch as are not of petty profeſſions and repute, as namely, Prieſts, Lawyers, Cavies, Self-ſeekers, and Rigid-Presbyterians, of all theſe not a few: to ſuch mens ways I profeſs my ſelf an Enemy, but not to their per­ſons; and till I ſee ſome amendment of them in their trades, I ſhall not, I hope, alter my thoughts of them; how the Goſpel, Law, mens Eſtates, and the Liber­ties and Freedoms of the people are bought and ſold, I am not altogether a ſtranger to; and what palpable contradictions there are in theſe mens profeſſions and actions, I ſhall endeavor to clear.

Firſt, let us take a brief ſurvey of the Prieſt, but if6 any ſhall ſay there is too much gall in my pen for uſing this word Prieſt, I ſhall refer him to what the Apoſtle ſaith, Heb. 7. 11. Where there is a change of the Prieſthood, there is of neceſsity a change of the Law; then it will follow, where the Law is not aboliſhed, there the Prieſthood is not aboliſhed; and that the Law is kept on foot, I ſhall inſtance in one particular onely (though I could ſhew their legality in many things) as that of Tythes: Was not the Tythes due under the Law to the Prieſts, as ſuch onely? and do our Tythe and Parſonage-mongers, claim it upon any other ſcore? They like the profit, but not the title the Law giveth them; they would alter the term Prieſt, into the name of a Miniſter of the Goſpel: but how well this becometh them, their preaching and practice conſidered, I profeſs, I think a man of ordi­nary capacity can ſee without a pair of ſpectacles. Our Savior Chriſt in that Commiſſion to the Preachers of the Goſpel, Matth. 10. 7. commands them, Go preach, ſaying, The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. Verſe 8. Freely ye have received, freely give. Verſe 14. Whoſo­ever ſhall not receive you, nor hear your words, when you de­part out of that houſe or City, ſhake off the duſt of your feet. Luke 9. 5. ſaith, Shake off the duſt of your feet for a teſti­mony againſt them: This was practiced by Paul and Barnabas, Acts. 13. 51. They ſhook off the duſt of their feet againſt them, and came to Iconium: But is this the practice of theſe Goſpel-Preachers (would be called?) nay, will they not rather ſhake off the duſt of their feet, and be gone from the Saints, where the mainte­nance is not great, and go among men that ſcorn both them and the Goſpel, for a good fat Parſonage, and there caſt the Goſpel in the beſt maner they can,7 which is the pearl mentioned, Mat. 6. 7. unto a com­pany of Swine, contrary to the command? How eager are many of them for a Gooſe, or a Tythe egg at Eaſter with their Neighbors? if they conceive they have not that which they call their Due, it ſhall make a breach between them, that they will never love one another again: if theſe be Goſpel-Preachers, or if theſe do not ſell the Goſpel, I confeſs I know nothing.

Enter Lawyer.

Who would think that a Gentleman of ſo demure a garb, had ſo much (I had almoſt ſaid knavery) craft under his Sattin-Cap and long Robe? put him what Caſe you will, he wil tell you 'tis good, and perchance he ſpeaks truth; but the ſilly Clyent knoweth not the meaning, he thinks that his Cauſe is good, but there is another meaning in it, which is this, it is good for the Lawyers, for they ſhall get money by it: Doth not too much experience manifeſt this? There is a diſ­eaſe called Caninus-appetitus, let us ſee whether they are not ſick of this, eſpecially thoſe that are any thing eminent, and have the priviledge to plead within the Bar: Do not many finde their appetites are ſo great, that whereas heretofore ten or twenty ſhillings would ſerve their turn, now you muſt give them five or ten pounds, and yet their panches hardly ſatisfied? Nay, do not many of them take a mans money and not do his work? Doth it not many times fall out, that while the Lawyer is pleading in one Court for one Clyent, another of his Clyents Cauſe is hearing in another? And when it is the Lawyers fault to enter­tain ſo many Cauſes, that he cannot give attendance to them all, Do they reſtore the Fees they have taken,8 though the man be undone for depending upon him? if there be any ſuch, for my part, I neither know them, nor have I heard of them, but it may be there are black Swans.

A word to the Cavies.

How theſe have endeavored to ſell their own and their Neighbors Freedoms for a meſs of pottage, I mean the Kings favor, is ſo apparent and obvious in every eye, that I need not uſe arguments to prove it; and therefore I ſhall onely ſay this to them, Sithence what they have reaped of all their labor, is but ſcorn and contempt of all honeſt true-hearted Engliſh men, and a Sequeſtration to boot, I hope they will take warning for the future, by what is paſt.

In the next place comes the Self-ſeeker.

This Gentleman, notwithſtanding his falſe vizard of zeal to the publike intereſt (which mask is like­wiſe put on by all that I have to do with now) is ea­ſily diſcovered: Do they think that thoſe which have raiſed handſome Eſtates out of nothing, and vaſt Eſtates out of mean Eſtates, ſince our general calamity upon the ruine of many, as well friend as foe, can deſerve any other title then Self-ſeekers? and though they bleſs themſelves in their miſ-gotten goods, that any honeſt hearts can but condemn them for their unſeaſonable building their neſts ſo high? let them read what the Prophet Haggai ſaith, ch. 1. v. 4. Is it time for ye, O ye, to dwell in your ceiled houſes, and this houſe lie waſte? So may I ſay, Is it a time for you, O ye Self-ſeekers, to ceil and raiſe up your houſes, when9 the Nation lies waſte? Is not this a prepoſterous way, to raiſe your Eſtates upon your Brethrens ruine? I ſpeak to thoſe chiefly, that contrary to the Self-deny­ing Ordinance, ſtill keep the Offices of the Com­monwealth, the profit of which, eſpecially in ſuch a time as this is, ought (allowing a competent Sallery to thoſe that execute them) to be converted to the publike uſe: And though I ſpeak principally to ſuch, yet I condemn all thoſe new made Officers too, that have enriched themſelves (whiles others, better af­fected to the Nation, have been undone) by the Ex­cize, Sequeſtrations, &c.

In the next place a word to Rigid Sir John Presbyter.

How zealous this Gentleman is in his way, would be needleſs to hold forth, becauſe he is ſo wel known; but the blindeneſs of his zeal is not as generally known, and therefore I ſhall ſay ſomething to that. I ſhall propound two Queſtions:

Firſt, Whether a man may be queſtioned in mat­ters Divine onely?

Secondly, If ſo, How, and upon what grounds he challengeth this Juriſdiction, more then a man of a different judgement?

To the firſt I anſwer, I am altogether unſatisfied, that the Magiſtrate can take Cognizance upon Go­ſpel-Rules which we ought to walk by, or call any man to an account for any thing, but what is really prejudicial to his Neighbor, in his perſon, eſtate or good Name; becauſe it is ſaid, Who art thou that con­demneſt another? he either ſtandeth or falleth to his own maſter. And I challenge any one to ſhew me a Text10 in all the New Teſtament, for ſuch a practice; if they cannot, and yet will practice it, do they not condemn the New Teſtament of imperfection in matters of Rules, or elſe uſurp this authority becauſe they will, and have no other Reaſon but their will for it?

But to the ſecond: Suppoſe ſuch a thing, yet I am not convinced by any thing I ever heard or read, that he hath right to aſſume this power: If Fire and Fag­got be an Argument, or the deſtroving of men in Pri­ſons, what do they leſs then juſtifie all the perſecuti­ons that ever were made upon the Saints? If this Gentleman could but demonſtrate to me his infalli­bility, I ſhould be much ſtaggered; nay, they are ſo far from this, that they dare not ſay ſo much: and if ſo, what is it but the begging of the Queſtion? I wiſh they would remember that ſaying of God, He that toucheth you, toucheth the apple of mine eye; and conſi­der whether that Propheſie in the Goſpel may not concern them, The days ſhall come, when they ſhall put you to death, and think they do God good ſervice. And for that Argument, They that have the power may do it, and the majority of Voyces ought to carry all mat­ters: I ſhall anſwer it with that place of the Evange­liſt, Matth. 7. 13, 14. Wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to deſtruction, and many there be that go there­in: But ſtrait is the gate, and narrow the way that leadeth to life, and few there be that finde it. I could ſay much more, but I ſtudy brevity. There is a ſaying amongſt Phyſitians, That when diſeaſes are diſcovered, they are half cured; and that I may not do my work to halves, I ſhall beſtow the beſt skill I can.

For the Prieſt, I would leave him to the people, ſo as the Diſciples and Apoſtles of Chriſt were; and if11 they are his Meſſengers, he will ſurely pay them their wages though men wil not: certainly, as they have free­ly received, ſo they ought freely to give; and if once I ſaw them of that diſpoſition, I doubt not but God would ſtir up the hearts of men to be as free towards them in their Carnal things, as they are towards the people in Spiritual things: For a Goſpel-people, will be a free-people.

For the Lawyers cure, I would have the Parlia­ment to ſtint him in his Fee, and if he exceeded, or took more Cauſes then he could manage, ſo that any man were undone by it, I would have him ſuſpend­ed from practiſing, and his Gown pulled over his ears.

And for the Cavies, I would take them ſhort enough for ever being able to abuſe themſelves and country­men by any power they ſhould be truſted with: I would never put a Sword into his hands, that had for­merly uſed it to the enſlaving of himſelf and country; and if he will be troubleſom, and not take ſuch fair warning as he hath had, I would ſend him to a New Plantation; for it is pity, and dangerous to have any more of the Breed of him here.

As for the Self-ſeeker, I would be ſure to truſt him ſo far as I could ſee him, and no farther: And to ſtop this Leaprous diſeaſe, I would not onely give him a Vomit, that he might diſgorge thoſe filthy Morſels he hath ſo greedily ſwallowed, to the prejudice of the Body Politique; but alſo have a ſpecial care, and ex­act eye upon all the Money-vangers for the future, and not let paſs more then a moneth, for the calling of thoſe to an account, who weekly, nay almoſt daily re­ceive money in ſome places, as your Treaſurers in12 Counties, who receive money for the Army, and money for Sequeſtred goods, and Rents, and af­ter this proportion of time, according as moneys comes in to all the ſeveral money-takers for the Com­monwealth, I would deal with them.

Rigid Sir John Presbyter is as deſperately ſick as any of the reſt, and therefore it will require more art then mine, I fear; but yet I will do my beſt, and what is wanting, let it be ſupplyed by an abler Artiſt. By my caſting of his ſtate, his diſeaſe ſeems to be ſome­what of kin to Mr. Cavies; and therefore I ſhall pre­ſcribe much of what I did to him. I would almoſt as ſoon put a Sword into the hands of a mad-man, as in­to the hands of a high-flying Presbyter; certainly, the forcing of a mans conſcience by civil Power, is a note beyond the Apoſtles Ela: But what do I ſpeak of the Apoſtles and Diſciples of Chriſt? they were puiſns, and lived in the nonage of time; they never ſaw ſuch an Aſſembly of Divines, and a gallant Book called The Annotations upon the Bible, which coſt them many years travel. Truly, this Book coſt me Twenty five ſhillings, and if any one will give me but twenty for it again, I will give him thanks, though it be not two pence the worſe for my uſing of it; he that can, or will afford time to read it over, hath more leiſure and liking to it then I. Happily the Pen-men of the New Teſtament writ at a venture, as King James did his Book, entituled, Demonalogy; and as old Mr. Allen of New-Inn Hall in Oxford, a reputed Conjurer, underſtood King James his Book better then himſelf; ſo theſe Gentlemen may the New Teſtament, then the writers of it: If theſe Gentlemen will needs be doing, I would make them Maſters over all the Bed­lams13 in England, and if that be not work enough, let them go into America, and try their newfound expe­riment there; in my opinion, it is not fit for Europe, except as afore. We read Heb. 11. 6. That without faith it is impoſsible to pleaſe God, &c. And that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God, Rom. 10. 17. And that faith is a gift, Epheſians 2. 8. 'Tis true, that at Rome where this new firſt diſcovery was made, the Civil Sword hath been uſed to drive men to Heaven whither they would or no, but whether it ever wrought that effect, or was at firſt intended for that end, I very much doubt, whatſoever was pretend­ed: And ſince this Opinion was forged there, I wiſh the Parliament of England would ſend it from whence it came, and quite baniſh it our Land; Theſe diſeaſes are grown Epidemical, otherwiſe I ſhould have ſpared this labor.

About this transcription

TextThe accuser sham'd: or, A pair of bellows to blow off that dust cast upon John Fry, a Member of Parliament, by Col: John Downs, likewise a Member of Parliament, who by the confederacy and instigation of some, charged the said John Fry of blasphemy & error to the Honorable House of Commons. Whereunto is annexed, a word to the priests, lawyers, Royalists, self-seekers, and rigid-Presbyterians. Also a brief ventilation of that chaffie and absurd opinion, of three persons or subsistences in the Godhead. / By the accused John Fry.
AuthorFry, John, 1609-1657..
Extent Approx. 39 KB of XML-encoded text transcribed from 12 1-bit group-IV TIFF page images.
Edition1648
SeriesEarly English books online text creation partnership.
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(EEBO-TCP ; phase 2, no. A84945)

Transcribed from: (Early English Books Online ; image set 165806)

Images scanned from microfilm: (Thomason Tracts ; 84:E544[7], 96:E624[2])

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Bibliographic informationThe accuser sham'd: or, A pair of bellows to blow off that dust cast upon John Fry, a Member of Parliament, by Col: John Downs, likewise a Member of Parliament, who by the confederacy and instigation of some, charged the said John Fry of blasphemy & error to the Honorable House of Commons. Whereunto is annexed, a word to the priests, lawyers, Royalists, self-seekers, and rigid-Presbyterians. Also a brief ventilation of that chaffie and absurd opinion, of three persons or subsistences in the Godhead. / By the accused John Fry. Fry, John, 1609-1657.. 23, [1] p. Printed for John Harris, and are to be sold at his house on Addle hill,London :Febr. 1648.. (The date in the imprint appears to be incorrect. The Thomason catalog dates this item in February 1651 and a reply "Divine Beames of Glorious Light .. 1651" is dated March 1, 1651.) (Annotation on Thomason copy E.624[2]: [illegible].) (Reproduction of the original in the British Library.)
Languageeng
Classification
  • Downes, John, fl. 1666 -- Early works to 1800.
  • England and Wales. -- Parliament. -- House of Commons -- Early works to 1800.
  • Prohibited books -- England -- Early works to 1800.
  • Great Britain -- History -- Commonwealth and Protectorate, 1649-1660 -- Early works to 1800.
  • Great Britain -- Church history -- 17th century -- Early works to 1800.
  • Great Britain -- History -- Civil War, 1642-1649 -- Early works to 1800.

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