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A SERIOUS CALL TO THE QUAKERS INVITING THEM TO RETURN TO CHRISTIANITY...TO WHICH IS ADDED, A TRUE COPY OF THE LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT OF THAT GRAND IMPOSTER GEORGE FOX
London: Printed by G. Parker, [1715?].. 16pp. Dbd. Early stab holes in left margin, slightly affecting a few characters of text. Near fine, untrimmed. An unrecorded edition of a significant anti- Quaker polemic by George Keith, including a copy of George Fox's will, with Keith's commentary, not seen in other editions. George Keith (1639?-1716) was an early and important convert to Quakerism, who began an attempt to reform the Friends in the early 1690s during an extended sojourn in America. After a famous controversy in Philadelphia that led to his disownment by the Friends on both sides of the Atlantic, Keith returned to England, entered the Anglican church in 1700, and, following his ordination in 1702 he traveled, worked, and wrote as an Anglican missionary and parish priest for the remainder of his life. In 1700, Keith published a large broadside about the Quakers and their departure from several central Christian doctrines, entitled A SERIOUS CALL TO THE QUAKERS INVITING THEM TO RETURN TO CHRISTIANITY.... The broadside was followed by several editions of the same text, with various additions and corrections, over the next decade, with printings in London, Dublin, and Boston. The present edition, which bears no date, prints the full text of the 1706 edition (reprinted in Boston in 1709) together with the Last Will and Testament of George Fox, the founder of Quakerism. Fox's will, not present in previous editions, is printed here in fraktur and is followed by Keith's comments: "By this Will, This Imposter appears to be the Greatest Cheat that ever was on the foot of Learning; For in his Life Time he pretended to be a great Scholer and to understand 24 Languages...when tis evident hereby that he did not understand his mother tongue...Where tis plain by this Will, he cou'd not write one line of sense, or hardly Spell two words together True..." (p.16). While the last previously recorded edition of the pamphlet was printed in 1709, it is possible that this edition was not printed until 1715, as this copy was discovered bound in contemporary boards with a large number of English parliamentary petitions dating almost exclusively to that year. It may have been resurrected to distribute during the 1715 Parliamentary debate on whether to allow the Quakers to revise the "Solemn Affirmation" the British government had granted them to take in place of an oath. Not listed in Smith's A DESCRIPTIVE CATALOGUE OF FRIENDS' BOOKS..., ESTC, or any other known references. DAB X, pp.289-90. DNB X, pp.1206-9.
      [Bookseller: William Reese Company - Americana]
Last Found On: 2015-08-10           Check availability:      Biblio    

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