This concerns all such Rulers, Priests and People in New-England, who have joyned hand in hand to Persecute the Saints, but especially the Rulers and Priests of Masachu∣sets Bay in New-England; who are become more Bloody and Cruel, Bold and Impudent in their Wickedness, than the rest of their Brethren, who have attempted to make a Bloody Law and Unrighteous Decree, to Banish the Children and People of God, upon Death, out of their Jurisdiction; and by an unrighteous Decree, have made a Law to put the Servants of God to Death, if they re∣turn again into their Patent: Therefore mark the Cruelty which is the fruits of New-England's Professors, all you that Read this Paper.
HEarken and give Ear thou Town of Boston, lend an Ear O ye Rulers, chief Priests, and Inhabitants thereof! Listen all you that dwell therein, Rich and Poor, Small and Great, High and Low, Bond and Free, of what sort so ever, Give Ear; be attentive to the Words of my mouth, which proceed from the Spirit of the Lord, and from the Power of the Almighty within me.
I have often considered your Conditions, and your Actings Page 178 have often come into my remembrance, which hath caused me often to Lament, because of the hardness of your hearts, who do thus slight the Almighty, and requite the Most High; Oh foolish and unwise, ye who do not regard the Lord that made you, who hath often sent to you his Servants, to give you warn∣ing of the mighty day of the Lord of Hosts, of the terrible day of the Lord God Almighty, which draweth near, it hastens apace; the Lord hath said it for His Elects sake, and for His own Names sake, will the Lord arise, and plead with all His Enemies, in this the day of His Eternal Power. Oh ye chil∣dren of Men, who are the Workmanship of His hands; will ye resist the Lord, the Lord God Almighty, the Holy One of Is∣rael, the Strong and Mighty God, who is arising in his Saints, and coming forth in His Strength, to Scatter His Enemies, and to Destroy Pharaoh and all His Hosts and Chariots in the Red Sea, after the Seed is come out of Egypt, and to turn the pride and haughtiness of men backwards, that rises to withstand the Lord? Oh consider ye Potsherds, who are as unstable as the Waves of the Sea, and are as the Wind in His hand, which he turneth and causeth to blow which way it pleaseth Him, who will confound and destroy you in your Imaginations, that you have imagined against Him and His Saints. Oh man! What art thou that standest to resist the Lord, the mighty God of Jacob? Did ever any of your Fathers, the Persecutors of old pros∣per? Did not the Lord consume them with the breath of His nostrils, and with the Word of His mouth? Who will tear you to pieces, that rise up in Rebellion against Him. Consider, was it in vain that one said in a certain place, That Rebellion is as the sin of Witchcraft? Consider O ye that inhabit the Earth, whose dwelling-place is beneath; Doth not the Lord behold all your Actions, and all your unrighteous Doings? Oh ye Rulers and chief Priests, are ye combining together? are ye joyned together? are you in league together, as the Rulers and chief Priests were in former ages? Consider their Ends, and consi∣der what you are doing? Are you so blind that you cannot see you are Persecuting the Saints of the most High? You who are seeking the Life of the Righteous, and that nothing but Blood will satisfie; The Lord will give you blood to drink, you that thirst for it, you shall have enough of it; you who spill and Page 179 drink the Blood of the Saints and Martyrs of Jesus; Are not your Brethren gone before you, in whose steps ye are treading? and the fruits of the Devil you are bringing forth, Ye uncir∣cunicised in hearts and ears, who do thus resist the Lord of Life: As your Fathers did, so do ye resist the holy Ghost and the Spi∣rit of Truth, which is now appeared in the Saints of the most High; who are sent into your borders in love to your Souls, and in tender mercy and compassion to the Captive that is within your gates, and to the Prisoner. Oh why will you strive any longer with the Lord that made you? Who is coming in ten thousand of his Saints to render vengeance in flames of sire, upon all the ungodly: Who hath said, Vengeance is mine, I will re∣pay it, saith the Lord God of hosts: Who will recompence into your bosoms, the Reward of your doings. Oh People and In∣habitants hereof, Why will ye die in your sins? And whither Christ goes, thither you cannot come: Oh! Why will ye put the day of the Lord asar off you? who hath waited long to be gracious, and hath born with you, as a man doth with his onely Son that serveth him; So hath the Lord spared you: And do you thus requite the Lord for his loving kindness, to whip, to imprison, and cut off the Ears of his Servants, that are sent unto you? Is this your Preach∣ing forth of Christ? Are these your good Examples to others? Come, let us reason together; Have you not lost natural af∣fection? have you not lost tenderness and compassion? Woe is me, for thee, Oh thou New-England, who hast made such a noise among the Nations: Is thy Religion come to no more than whipping, imprisoning, burning in the hand, and cutting off Ears, and banishing upon death? What will be the next Law that thou wilt make, Oh New-England, against those that thou scornfully callest Quakers? terming them the Cursed Sect of the Quakers. If they were a Cursed Sect, as thou hast termed them, it seems they should be so for thee, and so die for thee; For thou hast made a Law, to put them to Death, if they come the second time within thy borders: But I say, the Lord hath blessed the People called in scorn Quakers, and they are bles∣sed, and shall be blessed for evermore. Oh ye Rulers and chief Priests, will you proceed no further, than putting to Death the Innocent? Is thy Praying, they Preaching, thy ma∣ny Sacrifices, and vain Oblations, come to this? and will not Page 180 thy Sacrifices, and Prayers, and solemn Meetings, become A∣bomination? is it not the greatest Abomination that thou com∣mittest? Dost thou think that this will pacifie the wrath of the Almighty God? who is coming forth against thee, and will o∣vertake thee, and strip thee naked, and uncover thee in that day, and take all thy Ornaments from thee. Oh consider! Hast thou forgot? although thou wouldest cover the Altar with tears, and come before Him with ten thousand of Rams, and with a thou∣sand Rivers of Oyl, and offer-the Fruit of thy Body, for the sin of thy Soul; Would it be accepted, being offered in that nature wherein thou livest? Much more when thou art become so Bloody, and so hard-hearted, that in stead of cover∣ing the Altar with tears, dost thou intend to cover it with blood if thou canst? Blush and be ashamed, hide thy self in the dust for ever, because of the presence of the Almighty, who is now appeared and is coming to set thy sins in order before thee; who will not blot out thy sins, nor cover thy Iniquities which are many, unless thou speedily repent, and forsake thy unrighteousness; for thy Destruction hastens apace, thou art running headlong to Destruction; as the horse rusheth into the Battel, so dost thou into Blood. How dost thou think to expect any thing from the Lord, but a Sore: Destructi∣on, a Famine, and a Plague, which is hastening upon thee, if thou continue still in Rebellion; in Persecuting his Servants. This hath the Lord said, and this will the Almighty perform upon thee in the day of his righteous Judgements, which will overtake all bloody-minded men, and blind Persecutors.
Oh I am full of the Spirit of the Lord, and of the Power os him that made me, who hath said unto me, Fear not man whose breath is in his Nostrils, nor the Son of man that must die; For the Lord hath said unto me, For this end have I called thee, and for this cause I have ordained thee, Fear them not, neither be dismayed at their looks, nor be afraid of their threatning words; I the Lord that created, thee am with thee; Therefore fear not what man shall do unto thee, for I have made thee as a Wall of Brass, whereat the bloody-minded men shall shoot their Arrows; but shall not touch thee as to offend thee; Therefore the Lord hath said un∣to me, Let not thy heart faint because of what I shall suffer them to do unto thee; but let thy hands be strong in the Lord thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; for thy adversaries shall be confounded, Page 181 and the Enemies of the Lord shall be destroyed in that day.
Oh ye Hypocrits! how can you sing and keep such a noise concerning Religion, when your hands are full of blood and your hearts full of Iniquity? Wash you, make you clean, put away the Evil of your doings, cease to do Evil, learn to do good, cleanse your hands you siuners, and your hearts you Hypoorites, for your Prayers are abomination to me, saith the Lord of Hosts; your singing is as the howling of a Dog in the Streets, such are the Songs you sing in your Temple unto me saith the Lord; my Spirit is weary with bearing, and my Soul is vexed day after day with your abominations. Wo, wo to thee thou Bloody Town of Boston, and the Rest that are Confederate with Thee, and it thou canst not escape; Thou who hast shed the blood of the Innocent Peo∣ple called Quakers, and Imprisoned and Fined them, and taken away their Goods, and they have become a Prey unto thee, for thee to exercise thy Cruelty upon them, and thou boasts in thy wickedness, and thinks thou dost God good Service to hang and put to Death the People called Quakers; Verily this is the Thoughts and Intents of the hearts of many of you in this New England; but especially within thee, and within thy Jurisdiction that belongs unto thee, Oh thou Town of Boston: for these words following did one say (in the Governours House) whose name is Edward Rawson, called Secretary, who did Threaten me with these words following (on the 18th of the 4. Month 1659) That if I came again after I was sent away, or banished, he said, he would write a Warrant with his own hand to send me to the Gallowes to be hanged. Are these your Fruits, your corrupt speeches, to Threaten the Innocent with your Gallowes, to hang them thereon? Oh that ever such words should proceed out of a mans mouth! to say that he would write a Warrnat with his own hand, to send an Innocent Person to the Gallowes to be hanged. Well, all this we can bear, the Lord hath brought forth his Suffering Seed, and through Suffering must the Lamb and his Saints overcome and get the Victory, and the wicked must be destroyed, and such who have been guilty of Blood. Was ever the like heard before, That men Profes∣sing to have so much of the Knowledge of God, and Professing to Fear God, that such should become so Bloody! and become so great Persecutors of a People who are despised of the World, Page 182 but loved of God; and the Presence of the Lord is with them, whom you Persecute, and you must fall before them, for the Lord God is with them and among them that are the Sufferers under you. The Lord God of Heaven and Earth is now a∣mong such, which causeth the Heathen to Rage, and the People of the Earth to Imagine a Vain Thing: For the Lord's Pre∣sence and Power, in some measure, was ever among such as Suffered and were Persecuted for Consoience sake, and Suffered with them, and in them by the Persecutors of Old, in former Ages and Generations, as he doth at this day in his Saints and Children, for the overthrow of the Powers of Darknesse, and Kingdom of the Devil; who hath had his Seat in the sons of men for these many Ages and Generations; Wherein, and whereby the Beast hath made War against the Lamb and His Saints, for many Generations. But the day doth draw near and hastens apace, that the Lamb and the Saints must get the Victory: And the Beast and his Followers, at that day; must be Consumed, and Destroyed, because of the Presence of the Lord God in his Saints.
Oh what cruelty is acted now in these dayes! That men who Professe God, and make such a noise concerning Religion, that such should become so hard-hearted, to Imprison a Child of Eleven or Twelve Years of Age! Was ever the like done among the greatest Tyrants, or Bloody-minded-men, that are mentioned in the Scriptures! Did they ever Imprison a Child that was sent unto them, to Warn them of their unrighteousnesse! Oh what will become of you! Do you think, Oh you Heads and Rulers of this Town of Boston, who are become so Brutish, and so Dark in your Understandings, and so unlike Men in your Actions: You that cast the Innocent into your Dens, Holes, Prisons, and will not suffer their Friends and Acquaintance to come to visit them, not to minister unto them. Surely bitter will your Cup be, and your Portion will be sad to Surely the so∣ber and tender-hearted cannot but grieve and lament, to hear of the Cruelty that is acted by you. Oh ye Rulers and chief Priests, who are the Beginners of Mischief, and the Leaders of them who are the chief Actors of all this Cruelty! For well was it spoken by the Prophet, The Leaders of this People, cause them to Erre; and they that are led by them, are destroyed for lack Page 183 of true knowledge. Well, a little further you shall proceed, to fill up the measure of your Iniquities; and then shall you have your Reward with the rest of the Uncircumcised: For, I know it is Blood you thirst after, O ye Rulers and chief Priests, is it not our Lives ye thirst for, come, tell us plainly? Or, have you made this Law of yours, only to see if you can make the People, called Quakers, afraid of you? Well, however, being I am allowed of God, I shall tell you plainly, that the Lord God of Heaven and Earth is now drawing near and coming upon you speedily to try you, whether you will exer∣cise your inhumane Law upon us, who are now sent among you from the Lord for this very end and purpose; I say, will you put us to death for only coming into your Jurisdiction, or Pa∣tent (as you call it) after we have been once sent away, or commanded by you to go out of it? Now, we say, being the Lord God hath commanded us to the contrary, Is it meet and just to obey God, or man, judge ye? to obey your bloody Law, or to obey God's Righteous Law, which He hath writ in our hearts, and placed within us, which judges and condemns your unrighteous Law, that you have made to banish the Righ∣teous? Well, you that call your selves Christians, if you do this bloody Act, to shew your selves so unlike men, I must tell you plainly, for constrained by the Lord God I am to tell you, O ye bloody-minded men, That if you do put us to death, this Action of yours will proceed from the Devil, who was a Murderer from the beginning, who seeks to destroy mens lives, as you do at this day; For as it was then, so it is now, he that is born after the flesh, persecuteth him that is born after the Spirit.
Now you that say you are Christians, Come, let us reason together concerning this inhumane Law that you have made, to put the People, called Quakers, to death: Did ever any true Christians make such Laws, as you have made against a People, whom you in scorn and derision call Quakers, since they came among you? Are you not ashamed that the Nations about you should hear of your Actions? to hear of the cruel Laws that you have made against an innocent and harmless People; What, was not the Law that you made at first strong enough, but you must disanul it, and proceed to a more bloo∣dier? Come, tell us plainly (if you be not ashamed to speak) Page 184 of whom did you ask Counsel? or, to whom did you seek for Instruction? I am sure the Lord (in whose hand your breath is) did never give you Counsel to make these bloody Laws, that you have made against the People who are scornfully called Quakers. Come let us further reason together, that you may appear unto all, that have any Moderation in them left, as men; that surely you are not the true Christians, nor Disci∣ples of Christ, for they used no such weapons to War withall as you do: So that a great deal of difference there is betwixt your Practises and theirs, your Weapons and theirs; For their Weapons were and are Spiritual, and yours are Carnal. The difference is great every way, as great as there is betwixtLight and Darknesse. Again, that you may see that in every thing you are altogether unlike them; their War was against Spiri∣tual wickedness in high places. The Apostles wrestled not with flesh and blood; mark, not with the Creatures, not to destroy mens Lives, but made War in Righteousness, with the spiritu∣al Weapons, having on for an helmet, the brest-plate of Righteous∣ness, whereby they subdued the Powers of darkness, and spiritual wickedness that ruled in high places. Now you that call your selves Christians, you war against flesh and blood, your war is a∣gainst the Creatures; and not against spiritual wickedness; you seek to destroy that which Christ came to save, and seek not to destroy that which Christ came to destroy: He was made manifest to destroy the works of the Devil, but you make your selves mani∣fest (you intend) to destroy the work of God. Mark and take notice, you unbelievers; The Creature is the workmanship of God; the spiritual wickedness is the fruit and work of the Devil, which Christ came to destroy, and was made manifest for that end, to de∣stroy the sin which is the fruit of the Devil. Take notice, ye, unlike Christians, the fruits, and works of the Devil, live and remain still among you undestroyed; who seek to destroy the workmanship of God, when Christ came to save mens lives, and not to destroy them, but to destroy the works of the Devil; but you seek to destroy, that which Christ came to save, and to save alive that which Christ came to destroy. So see if it doth not appear plainly by your Actions, and by your corrupt fruits, that you are making war against Christ, and his Saints, whom you seek to destroy from off the face of the Earth; As let your actions Page 185 that you have acted already against God and his Servants, bear witnesse against you, that you are become more Bloody, and more hard-hearted than Pharaoh of old. See, and search the Scriptures of Truth, and consider whose children you are, and whose works you are a doing, and whom it is you are serving: For, his servants you are to whom ye obey. Did ever God send any of his Servants into a Country or Nation, to destroy his workmanship, the Creature? Is this your gaining many Peo∣ple into your Church? Is this your Converting of others? Is this your way of adding many to your Church? What, by compelling of people to come to your Meetings? What, By Fining People, and taking away their Goods? What, by Impri∣soning, Whipping, and Stocking and burning in the hand, and cutting off the Ears of those that come to bear witness against your Cruelty and Idolatry? Is this your way of convincing gain-sayers? What, by making of a Law to bannish such upon pain of Death? have you no other weapons to fight withall a∣gainst the Truth? Have you no other means nor way, ye Idol∣shepherds, to stop the mouthes of them ye call gainsayers, than Imprisoning, Whipping, Burning in the Hand, Fining and taking away their Goods, and Banishment upon pain of Death? Have you no other way, nor word to convince those you call Hereticks, and Deceivers, but to take away their lives? Surely this was not the way, nor means, nor power, which the Apostles used to convince the Gentiles and Jews, unto whom they were sent. This power which you make use of, is not the power, neither doth it proceed from the power which ruled in the Saints, Pro∣phets, Apostles, and People of God, whereby their Souls were converted to God, which turned them from Darkness to Light; But the power that rules you, and that you act by, is of another nature, than the power the Apostles were in; for their power was, and is given to save, but yours is to destroy mens lives, which the power of God was given for to save; which must be set a top of all unrighteous Powers, from whom all bloody and unrighteous Laws do proceed. So, behold what power it is that leads you, and what power ye are under, ye merciless men; that many of you are become past feeling, whose Consciences are seared as with a hot Iron; who have given your selves over to work wickedness, and are become as great Page 186Persecutors, as any that worship the Beast, who have given their power unto the Dragon, who thirsts after the blood of the Innocent, as the Lion doth after his prey; so greedy, and hasty are you to spil the blood of the Saints, and to take away the Life of the Upright from the face of the Earth. Well, ye Rulers and Magistrates (so called) take heed, and take warning, I lay it upon you, while you have time, and a day given unto you to consider these things; So before the thing come to passe, and before you do it, weigh the matter. Come, let us farther reason to∣gether; Can you convince us of the transgression of any Law of God? and if you cannot, (which we know you cannot) nor have the least transgression of the Righteous Law of God to lay to our charge, who are now coming among you in obedience to the Lord God of Heaven and Earth, for this very end, to try you, O ye children of men: And if you put us to Death, be∣cause we cannot obey your Commandment, but choose rather to obey the Commandment of the Lord; and for so doing will you put us to Death? Well, this know, and be it known unto the Sons of Men, and Inhabitants within this Town of Boston, and elsewhere within your Jurisdiction; That the Command∣ments of the most High must we obey, and your Command∣ment we must disobey, and disanul it, and make it of no effect, because it is against, and contrary to that of God in all mens Consciences; which is of the nature, and according to the Righteous and Royal Law of God; therfore we must obey the Command of the Lord, because it is according to the Righte∣ous and Royal Law of God, which is according to that of God in every man's Conscience; which saith, It is more just and meet, to obey God than man. So being that your Law that you have made, is unequal, and contrary to the Law of God, which he hath writ in our hearts, which is equal, just and righteous; for your Law, that you have made, against the Innocent Peo∣ple called Quakers, is unjust, and unrighteous, and contrary to that of God in all mens Consciences, and contrary to the righ∣teous and Royal Law of God: Therefore we say, we cannot obey such a Law, that doth not agree with the Royal Law of God; but herein shall we obey the Lord, choosing rather to suffer, what you shall be suffered to do unto us, than to fulfil the Commandment and unrighteous Law of unrighteous men, Page 187 in flying at your Command, when the Lord hath Commanded us to stay; Whereby that he may shew his Power in us, that his Command, and his Righteous & Royal Law is of more pow∣er, virtue and force in us, and with us, than your unrighteous Laws and Commands can be against us. So this know, if you put us to death, when we return, that you will bring innocent blood upon you, by so doing, which shall not depart from your houses, nor from that seed that is guilty thereof. So these things we speak, that you may no more be guilty of Innocent blood, for assuredly know, that nothing shall fail of what the Lord hath spoken by us, and through us concerning you, if you go on still in Rebellion and stiff-neckedness, and refuse to hearken to the Voice and Counsel of the Lord God: And this know, that you have been warned from the Lord of these things before they came to passe; For this we know, if we disobey the Command of the Lord, to fly from you, because you have made a Law to put us to Death, if we disobey the Lord in this thing, he can cut us off, and take our Lives from us in his an∣ger and fury; Therefore be it known unto you, that the Lord hath made us willing to lay down our Lives among you, if you be suffered to take them from us; and in this thing we know we shall have peace, when you shall have sorrow and torment night and day: And this shall you certainly know one day, that the Lord God of Heaven and Earth, whom we serve, sent us among you, if you see our faces again, after we have been Banished from you; and that which we have spoken, you shall know to be truth, whether you will hear or forbear. Well, if you say, we are transgressors of a Law, in not obeying your unrigh∣teous Law: It is your own, and not God's Law; For his Law is holy, just, and good; but yours is altogether unholy, unrighte∣ous, unjust, and wicked, and is to be set at nought, and condemn∣ed by the servants of the Lord: For this Law of yours, which you have made, to put the Righteous to death, hath not pro∣ceeded from the Spirit of the Lord, which is meek, and lowly, and easie to be entreated; which doth judge and condemn you, and your Law. Now if you would know from what spirit this wicked and unnatural Law of yours hath proceeded: Well, we shall speak plainly, it hath proceeded from the murdering spirit which raigned and ruled in the Persecutors of Old, from Page 188 whence all such Lawes did and do proceed.
Now ye Rulers, chief Priests and Inhabitants of New-Eng∣land, this we shall say unto you in the fear of the Lord and Spirit of the Almighty, and in the Power of the Lord Jesus Christ, that you nor your Law is not to be regarded herein, and your Law is to be broken, and must be broken by the Power of the Lord God, and you must be judged and condemned by the same Power for making such a Law; For the Lord of Hosts is coming up against you, and your Power must be subdued and taken from you by the Prince of Peace, even by Him who is come, and coming, to rule the Nations with a Rod of Iron; who is come and coming; whose Right it is to Rule, and sub∣due all Powers and Authorities unto Himself, and to take the Go∣vernment into his Own hand, unto whom it belongs; who will dash you to pieces, ye Rulers, that rebel against his Righteous Power and his Holy Law, that He is Establishing in the Earth, in the hearts of the sons of men, that obey his Voice, and that hearken unto his Counsel, his Righteous and Holy Law must be established, and his Righteous Government and Kingdom must be set up; and your Unrighteous and Unholy Kingdom and Government must be overturned and destroyed by the Power of the Everlasting God, in this day of his Eternal Pow∣er; who is come, and coming, to make void all your ungodly, inhumane and bloody Laws, and to reward you according to your works: The Lord God hath spoken it, and by Him it shall be accomplished upon you: for the Decree of the Most High is gone out against you, ye unmerciful men, whose Wic∣kedness and Unrighteousness doth exceed the Nations about you, for barbarous Cruelty and unmanlike Actions: Have you not altogether lost your Senses, Reason and Understanding, that you are become so bruitish and so unlike Christians? You are gone so far in your Cruelties and unnatural Actions, that you are a stink and a loathsom smell to all People, that have the least measure of Uprightness and of the honest Principle ruling in them, and your barbarous and cruel actions and bloody deeds they abhor, and at your Cruelty that you have acted against the People of the Lord (who are by you in scorn called Quakers) many of the common sort of People do stand amazed and wonder to hear of such Cruelty to be acted by such a Ge∣neration Page 189 of men, that have made such a noise concerning Reli∣gion, concerning a Church, concerning Ministry and Magi∣stracy, and Church-Government and Ordinances, Preaching, Praying, Singing, Morning and Evening Sacrifices, Family-Duties (as you call them) that such should become so bloody and so cruel, it doth astonish many that are called Heathens; that all your Preaching, Praying, Singing, making such a noise concerning Religion, that it should come to no more, and to produce no better fruits than Imprisoning, Whipping, Stocking, Burning in the Hand, Cutting off Ears, Banishing upon Death, as you have banished Six already from their Wives and Children, and from their outward beings; So that you do not only in∣tend to destroy the Souls, but Bodies also. Come, let us know what have they done; what Law of God have they transgres∣sed, that you should banish them upon pain of Death from their Families? What, was it because their Conversations and Acti∣ons were honest and upright, and yours are evil? What, was it because their Practices condemed yours? What, was it be∣cause they owned a People that are by you in scorn called Qua∣kers, whom you evilly entreat? and such as owns them you banish and despitefully use them.
Surely these things will be remembred. Come, let us ask you what Rule or Example have you that you walk by? let us hear what you can say for your selves: What Orthodox men were they that counselled you to these barbarous actions? what Counsellors were they, that would give counsel to Magistrates to do these bloudy actions? of whom did you learn it? Come, let us hear your strong Reasons, for the day is drawing near that you must be further tried; for the Almighty God hath put it into the hearts of his Servants to try you, whether you will put us to death for disobeying your unrighteous Law. We that are free-born English-men, we demand our Liberty for the exer∣cise of our pure Consciences in this Country, as well as other English-men; we being free-born English-men, we may by the Law of God claim our Liberty before many other People: We who are not transgressors of the Law of God, neither of any Law or Decree that is according thereunto, what is the Rea∣son that we should be banished upon Death out of your Juris∣diction more than any other people? What, is it because we Page 190 are turners of the World up-side down? What, is it because we are termed Ring-leaders of a People, that are in scorn called Quakers? What, is it because the Laws of our God, which we obey, are different from all the unrighteous and bloudy Laws of New-England? What, is it because we cannot obey the Commandment of the Rulers of New-England, that have com∣manded us to bow to the spirit that ruled in Haman, which now rules in these bloudy Rulers of Boston, and elsewhere in New-England? Nay, I say, the Lord our God hath raised and is raising the Royal Seed and Spirit that ruled in Mordecai, that could not, nor cannot stoop nor bow to the spirit that ru∣led in proud Haman: I say, see and behold if the same spirit rules not in you, ye Rulers, chief Priests and Inhabitants of Boston, and elsewhere; mark, if the same spirit doth not rule you that ruled in Haman; who sought not only the destruction of Mordecai alone, but sought to destroy all the Seed of the Jews: Are you not of Haman's off-spring, and ruling in his nature, who was so cruel and so bloody? who did give a sum of money for destroying the Seed of the Jews: Mark, what was it for? Because Mordecai could not bow to him, nor do him reverence. Mark, it was not for the transgression of any Law of God: yet he disobeyed the Commandment of King Ahasuerus, who raigned from Judea even unto Ethiopia, over an hundred and twenty and seven Provinces. Or, is your Law and Commandment of more force than his was, who had com∣manded that they should reverence Haman? for so had the King commanded. Are you greater than he was? Reade the Third of Esther throughout. And yet did not Mordecai trans∣gress his Commandment, in not bowing to Haman? at which Haman was full of wrath. Is it not so with you? are not you mad and sull of wrath against the People called Quakers, be∣cause they testifie to your faces that your deeds are evil? Are not you now full of wrath and envy, because the Quakers will not obey your unlawful Commands and unrighteous Decrees? Now you that are in Haman's nature, & ruled by Haman's spirit, in Cruelty seeking and labouring to destroy the Royal Seed and True Jew from off the Earth in this Country of New-England; as Haman did labour to destroy the Seed of the Jews, the Peo∣ple of Mordecai, within the Kingdom of Ahasuerus, so do ye Page 191 seek to destroy the People of God, called Quakers, that are come, or comes into your Jurisdiction; Is it not because they cannot bow to you? Now, did Mordecai in disobeying the King's Commandment, disobey the higher Power, yea or nay? unto which every soul is to be subject for Conscience sake: And such as disobey this Power, disobey the Ordinance of God. Give us in your Answer ye Rulers and chief Priests, you that seek and receive Honour from man; How can you believe that receive Honour one of another, and seek not that Honour that cometh from God only? Well, is your Commandment and Decree of more force to us, than the King's was (concerning Haman) to Mor∣decai, seeing they are of one nature? We can obey your Commandment no more than Mordecai did bow to Haman, though the King had commanded it. Now we say, are not you preparing a Gallows to hang us thereon, as Haman did for Mordecai? But take heed, We warn you in the Name of the Lord God, consider what you are going to do; In the Name of the Lord we demand that we may have Liberty for the Ex∣ercise of our pure Consciences within your Jurisdiction, aswel as other English-men, seeing that you cannot lay to our charge the transgression of any Law of God, we being men that fear the Lord God of Heaven and Earth; and we come not for any thing of yours, God is our Witness, it is not for any thing that you have that we come for; for we do not lack any outward thing: for many of us have both Houses and Land of our own, and Silver also in Old England, so that we seek not any thing that you have (God is our Witness, whom we serve in the Spi∣rit of Truth, who hath constrained us to leave all, and to fol∣low Him) that it is not the World (that doth perish with the handling thereof) that we seek or labour for; but the Good and Eternal Welfare of the sons of men, for the Seed's sake which is oppressed in New-England, and other parts of the World, do we labour, and travel, and suffer all manner of hardships; for Christ's sake are we become fools, and do suffer all manner of Evil to be done unto us, as Christ said un∣to his Disciples, they shall do all maaner of Evil to you for my Name sake; but those that did it, and those that do it, know neither God nor his Son Jesus Christ, neither have they the Love of God abiding in them: For such as love not him whom Page 192 they have seen, how can they love God whom they have not seen? and such have not Eternal Life abiding in them, but are of the Devil, as their fruits do make manifest, and are the thorns of which men cannot gather Grapes, except it be such Grapes as Sodom and Gomorrha did bring forth, which provoked the Holy One, the Most High, to arise in his Wrath, and consume them in his Anger.
Come, ye Rulers, let us further ask you a Question: Of whom did you receive, or from whence had you your Rule, to Imprison any for coming to visit one another? did you finde any such Example in the Scripture, which you call Your Rule? did ever any Magistrate do such a thing, to imprison any of the Prisoners Acquaintance or Friends, for onely coming to visit them? Had not Paul's Friends and Acquaintance liberty to come and visit, and to minister unto him? Now you do not only hinder that which the Heathen granted, but exceed such in Cruelty which imprisoned Paul, who did let his Friends and Acquaintance come to him, and minister to him: Now this you hinder, and will not suffer any of our Friends nor Ac∣quaintance to come to visit us, nor to minister unto us; much more when your Cruelty is become so great, to imprison such as come many miles to visit us, as you have done Mary Dyar, who came from Rhoad Island to visit us, and to minister to our Necessities, if we stood in need: Now you do not only hinder any for coming or ministring to us, but shut such up in Prison (to be kept close Prisoners) as remember Joseph's Afflictions, whose bowels are opened to such whom you dispitefully use: Is this your doing as you would be done by? O shameless men! Are you without all natural affection? What Rule is it you walk by? You say that she affirmed, That the Light within her is the Rule: But I say, The Light which enlighteneth every man that cometh into the World, which condemneth the World for evil deeds and unnatural actions, this Light which is the Saints Rule is the Worlds Condemnation; this Light was not your Rule for what you have done; ye took not counsel at this Light which is the Quakers Rule: for this Light which shines in the heart of man, beholding all his actions, this Light doth condemn all blind Persecutors and Judges, such to be worse than they that imprisoned Paul, who would suffer him to speak for himself; Page 193 which many times you are so mad you will not suffer the Qua∣kers to speak for themselves, but you will call to your Officers, to take them away to Prison.
Again, It is written in the Warrant whereby we were com∣mitted to Prison, that we shall be tryed according to Law. We desire no more than to be tried according to Equity, Truth, and true Judgment, to be tried according to the Law of God; but your Law, you unjust men, we deny to be tried by it; for you are both our Accusers and Judges: which is not accord∣ing to the Law of God; for Equity and Truth judgeth and condemneth all unsound Judgment, Unrighteousness, Partiality and respecting of Persons: Therefore all you Magistrates and Rulers (so called) stoop to the Witness of God, and bow to the Light of Jesus Christ, own the Light of the Son of God; for until you own and be led by the Light of Jesus Christ, which leads into Union with God, you cannot judge aright of the things of God. So take heed how you do; for the Line of true Judgment is stretched over you all, with which you are measured, weighed and tried in the just Ballance of Truth, and according to true Judgment you are found want∣ing, and are found, tried and judged by the Spirit of Truth, to be too light: Therefore be awakened all ye Rulers and Inha∣bitants of Boston, and elsewhere within your Jurisdiction, and give over persecuting the Saints of the most high God.
This is a Warning to you all in New-England who have had a hand in persecuting the Saints and Children of the Lord, (who are by you in scorn and contempt called Quakers) Give over your Cruelty, and cease from oppressing the Innocent; for the Lord God hath regard unto their Sufferings, and the Lord God is risen and arising to plead their Cause against all their Enemies, and all their Adversaries must fall before them; for the Lord is with them, and the shout of a mighty Prince is among the Innocent People, called Quakers, and this is the day of their Suffering, and the day of your Cruel∣ties and Persecution upon them within this New-England: but the day of their Deliverance draweth near, and the day wherein they shall rejoyce in the Lord, the God of their Salva∣tion, who is mighty to save and able to deliver them out of Page 194 the hands, and out of the mouthes of Devourers, and from the Jaws of the Ungodly and Cruel men; who will take Vengeance at that day upon all bloudy-minded men and blind Persecutors: And at that day you shall find that the Lord will be too hard for you, though you now boast in your Wic∣kedness. And thus far I am clear, and have cleared my Conscience to you at this time: And whether you will hear, or forbear, I am clear of your Bloud; I who am now a Suf∣ferer under you, with my Brother and Companion; whose Lives are not dear unto us to lay them down as a Witness against such a Bloudy, and Unrighteous and hypocritical Gene∣ration; and this We are ready to seal with our Bloud for the breaking of your Bloudy Law.
The Sixth Moneth, 1659. In the Common Goal in the Bloudy Town of Boston.
From us, who are in scorn called Quakers, who are Sufferers un∣der Zions Op∣pressors.
- William Robinson.
- Marmaduke Stephenson.