To all you PROTESTANT PERSECUTORS, whether Magistrates, Priests or People, this is for you to reade.

GOD Eternal who hath formed us, given us breath, and brought us forth, hath said unto us, Live; He it is we serve, fear and obey: Therefore hear and give heed unto what shal be here said unto you, from us who this day suffer under your cruel hands, in your Pri­sons and nasty holes in and about this City of London.

Known be it unto you, we neither have nor do deserve such cruel and inhu­mane usage at your hands; for not any of you can justly charge us with evil, neither have we wronged any man in his Propriety or Estate, whereby the Crea­tion in any kind hath suffered detriment or loss; neither have we impaired any mans Reputation, or taken his Good-name from him, but have lived in all Godliness and Honesty, and have kept a Conscience void of offence both in the sight of God and man.

And forasmuch as we are persecuted, Imprisoned, and evil-intreated by the men of this Generation, who call themselves Protestants, and cover themselves under that name, to hide their Cruelty; but it is manifest to the World, that Persecution in Jews, Heathens, Turks, Papists and Protestants is one and the same, the Spirit is but one in all which persecute; and the Protestant that banisheth, is one in spirit with the Papist that burns, and the Papist is one with the Heathen that kills, and the Heathen is one with the Jew that crucifies, and all one with Cain that Murtherer. And think ye, that we who are of this Nation born Free, as either your selves, or your seed, must be exposed to vassalage in strange Countries, and there to languish the rest of our dayes we have to spend, and seek our sustenance among strangers? what, is it because there is not graves in England, that we must undergo your cruel penalty of Banishment? and is it a light thing to lacerate, tear and rend whole Families in pieces, without any pity shewn either to Age or Sex? the Husband, from Wife, the Wife from Husband, the Children from Parents, and the Parents from Children. O! pitiless and merciless Generation, was there ever such a thing done in this Nation of England? Search your Records of Persecution, and see, if a president be found in all of them for this. And is any thing so blind as Persecution? What, to cut off a Limb of this Nation of England, for nothing else but for the sake of your National Prayer called Common, and be­cause we cannot for conscience-sake joyn with you in it, we must be destroy­ed; Is this the Charity that your National Religion is grounded upon? and would you have us joyn to that? Nay, nay, in vain is your imposition on Con­science: And think not to work Conformity by coersive means; we who suffer under your will in your cruel Goals, do in God's Dread and Fear, declare, that the True Christians never used any other force, but Perswasion; and we do further declare, that whosoever they are, though they be called or bear the name, Christians, whether a Man, a People, or a Nation, and go about to com­pel Conscience in matters of Religion, they are Antichrist, and out of Christ's, the Apostles and True Christians Order and Practice; for their Force was Per­swasion, and no other.

And as to you who are Ministers of that heterogeneal and unnatural Law, lately made, and put in Execution against us, we say, and declare in God's Fear, well would it be with you in this thing, if moderation both in words and actions did attend your work in hand; and not to lay a heavier load of Suffer­ings upon the Innocent than the severity of the Law inflicts: But behold the Barbarities and inhumane Cruelties, and unparallel'd Actions of Richard Brown's car­riage towards the Peo­ple called Quakers, at the Bull and Mouth. one who is a Chief Minister of our sad af­flictions at our Meeting at the Bull and Mouth, what pulling off the hair! what smiting on the face, kicking and spurning with his feet on the legs and body, and pinching on the arms, besides the many scurilous words, Blaspheming God's Holy Truth in irronical and scoffing terms, do the In­nocent People, called Quakers, suffer by his bloody hands, both Men, Wo­men and Children, to the amazement of the Spectators! and some of the Ma­gistrates have themselves cried out upon his Cruelty: And let all moderate People judge of this mans actions, and whether he be not more fit to minister Conformity to Dogs than men? and whether such Ministers of Justice make not a Government by such actions, loathsome and abominable to Wise Men, and a scorn to Fools, I leave to all that are wise in heart to judge?

And that our Neighbours amongst whom we live and have commerce, must be compelled on pain of Imprisonment, to take us by the throat for our Con­science to God, knowing no evil at all by us: certainly this is deplorable, and to be lamented of all (in whom the Fear of God, and the Sence of his Living Power is not quite extinct) that a Generation of men who never received a greater Their Miraculous Restauration. Mercy, even from Adam to this day, as many of themselves have confessed, should thus requite and retaliate God, infinit for his love in that thing: It is the very grief of our souls to see things thus run retrograde, but we have no helper on Earth, and God Eternal, who beholds our unjust suffer­ings, is our Judge, whom we love, fear and obey; and we do appeal to him for Justice, knowing right well our Persecutors do, neither can do any thing but by his permission, and they have no power over us, except it be given them; and our Integrity in God we hold fast, and we are assured our patience in him shall out-live, and bring to an end all the Cruelties of men whatsoever, though they may be permitted to heat the Furnace yet seven times hotter.

And you that are the primum Mobile, or the first Cause of this cruel Perse­cution, who stir up and whet on the Magistrate to accomplish your intended purposes, and to fulfil your malicious wills, when we certainly and infallibly know they would not intermeddle in such matters, most of them having no inclination thereunto, unless spurred on and stirred up by your selves, hear and give good heed unto this Parable: In a strange Land there was a high way which led from a City, and in that way was seen two The Priest and Magistrate. men tra­velling, and after them followed great numbers of people of all sorts; and in travelling on, these two Companions met a certain poor Travellor, who was journying towards that City, and one of them said unto him, Whither art thou travelling? the poor man answered, Unto the City. Then he said unto him, Thou must go back again with us. The poor man said, I must go on my way unto the City, for there is my Habitation and my Rest; and I have come very far, and have passed through very many Difficulties, Dangers, and Perils both of Waters and wilde Beasts; and now being come within sight of my City of Rest, I never intend to go back again. Then said he that spake unto him, If thou wilt not go back again with us in our way, thou must go no fur­ther on in thy way, but rather than go forward towards the City, thou shalt die: and then he spake to his Companion to slay the poor man, which at first he refused, and said, I know no evil by him. But said the other, If thou dost not, I do; and I should not have asked of thee to have done it, but I am a man devoted to holy Service, therefore I may not imbrew and stain my hands in blood, but I desire thee to do it, and I will bear thee out in it: So with some intreaties, and many threat­nings he caused his Companion to slay the poor Travellor, and would not suffer him to go to his City of Rest: and then he took his Body and hid it, lest them that were tra­velling after should see it, and so enquire the reason. Now he that can reade, let him reade: And know you this, O you Priests, you above all men upon the face of the Earth, have little cause to stir up Persecution against us, knowing how and in what manner we formerly suffered, even in the day of your Proba­tion; and who were most faithful to their Principle then, let God, Angels and men judge; for we hold forth the same Truth now as then, and then as now: But hath it been so with you? let God's just Witness in you speak and answer. And would you have us conform unto that as Truth, your selves durst not publickly own in that day? And know you this, that since your Restoring amongst the many thousands who have been imprisoned in and about this City, did ever your Charity lead to our Prisons, to visit or endeavour to convince us of that, behind our backs, you call Errour? What do you think, will not the Jesuites and Fryars in Queen Mary's dayes rise up in Judgment against you, and condemn you? For, as it stands upon Record, they did often visit them (they falsly called Hereticks) and used many endeavours to reclaim them, and to save their lives; though God's Truth were of more value unto them, than all their proffers of Life, Liberty, and Preferment; and chose rather to seal their Testimonies with their Blood, than to deny the Truth of God, manifest­ed in their Hearts and Consciences: but you, as the Generations of old, do beautifie their Tombs, and garnish their Sepulchers, by your often repeating their Memorials, and cry out, Protestant Martyrs, Protestant Martyrs! We say, it's true, they were so, and we are the very Off-spring of that Seed: But what will it avail you, when by your practice you are found Protestant Persecu­tors? and indeed let no man admire why no more Charity appears amongst you, for this we have learned in God's Wisdom, that the Hawk and Dove fly­eth not in company together; neither doth the Wolf and Sheep pasture toge­ther in one place.

And as for us the Innocent People of God, called Quakers, who deeply suffer for our Consciences to God, and chiefly by your means, we say, The Will of God be done; and though we be enclosed within your Prison walls, yet the Pre­sence of our God is with us, and amongst us, whereby our very Lives and Souls are refreshed in him, and one in another; and in the true sence of that, we have bowels of compassion for our Enemies, yea the very cruelest of them; and for such as are ignorant in what they do, our very souls mourn, pittie, and pray for them: and for those who know what they do, and manifestly sin against the Light of God in their Consciences, as we believe even very many do in this thing, yet we have no evil towards them, neither in word, thought or action, but leave them to the Lord who judgeth righteously.


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