DECLARATION Of several of the People called ANABAPTISTS, In and about the CITY of LONDON.

We being mis-represented to the Nation,

  • 1. As such, as are opposite to Magistracy.
  • 2. That we would destroy the Publick Ministry of the Nation, who differ from us in some things about Religion.
  • 3. That we do countenance the people called Quakers, in their irregular Practise.
  • 4. That we endeavour a Toleration of all miscarriages in things Ecclesiastical and Civil, under pretence of Li­berty of Conscience.
  • 5. That we design to murder and destroy those that differ from us in matters of Religion, thereby endeavouring to make us odious to some People fearing God, And also to incense the rude Multitude against us, to provoke them (if possible) to destroy us.

To the first: Though we cannot answer in justification of every individual person that is of our Profession in matters of Religion, yet we can say this, and prove it to all the world, that it hath been our profession, and is our real practise, to be obedient to Magistracy in all things Civil, and willing to live peaceably, under whatever Government is, and shall be esta­blished in this Nation: for we do believe, and declare, Magistracy to be an Ordinance of God, and ought to be obeyed in all lawful things.

To the second: As for the publick Ministers of the Nation, who differ from us in the matter of Baptizing Infants, and some things in Church-Government; We are so far from endeavouring to destroy them, that we judge, they ought to have the Liberty of their Consciences therein; and that it is our duty to stand by them, and preserve them (so much as in us lies) from all injury and violence.

To the third: Concerning the people called Quakers, it is well known to all, (that are not wilfully ignorant) there are none more opposite to their irregular practices then we are: nor are there any, that they have exprest more Contradi­ction to, (in matters of Religion) then against us; though their provocation therein, hath not put us (in the least) on a de­sire, of depriving them of their just Liberty, while they live morally honest, and peaceable in the Nation.

To the fourth: Whereas we are further charged with endeavouring an universal Toleration of all miscarriages, both in things Religious and Civil, under pretence of Liberty of Conscience; it is in both respects notoriously false. And we do be­fore the Lord, that shall judge both quick and dead, yea, before Angels and men, declare our utter detestation of such a To­leration; for in matters Civil, we desire there may not be the least Toleration of miscarriage in any, much less in our selves.

Nor do we desire, in matters of Religion, that Popery should be tolerated, the bloud of many thousands of the people of God, having been barbarously shed, by the Professours thereof; or any persons tolerated, that worship a false god; nor any that speak contemptuously and reproachfully of our Lord Jesus Christ; nor any that deny the holy Scriptures, con­tained in the Books of the Old and New Testament, to be the Word of God: And yet, we are not against tolerating of Episcopacy, Presbytery, or any stinted form, provided they do not compel any others to a compliance therewith, or a conformity thereunto: for whatever Composers of any form of worship, may possibly erre; it is derogating from God, and his holy Word, and injurious to men, to compel any to the practice thereof.

To the last: For as much as we are charged, with designs, to murder or destroy those that differ from us in matters of Religion; We do not only abhor and detest it, as a cursed practice; but we hope, have approved our selves, both in this City and the Nation, to the contrary; notwithstanding the great provocation of some, who have endeavoured our ruine: for all we desire, is just liberty to men, as men; that every man may be preserved in his own just rights, and that Christi­ans may be preserved as Christians, though of different Apprehensions in some things of Religion; in the prosecution whereof, our lives shall not be dear unto us, when we are thereunto lawfully called. The designs of our Adversaries in these Calumnies, are, to mis-represent us to some people fearing God, and also, to incense the rude Multitude against us, purposely to provoke them (if possible) to destroy us.

We hope, hereby, it will appear to them that fear God, that we are no such persons, as our Adversaries have represen­ted us. And for their incensing the rude Multitude against us, it is no more, then some others did to our Master; and it is not do we expect, they should fayour us: it is enough to us, we have his Promise, that if we suffer with him, we shall also reign with him.

This, we think meet to Declare, to undeceive those, who through the unchristian actions and expressions of some persons, have been, and are, prejudiced against us.

LONDON, Printed for Livewel Chapman, at the Crown in Popes-Head-Alley, 1659.

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