AN ANSWER TO A DECLARATION Put forth by the general Consent of the People called ANABAPTISTS, In and about the CITY of LONDON. Which Declaration doth rather seem a begging of Par­don of the Caveliers, then a Vindication of that Truth and Cause once Contended for. I seeing so much Wickedness, Confusion, Fear and Unbelief in so small a thing in Vindication of themselves publickly to the Nation, it was upon me to Answer something to it; and my end in so doing is rather to In­struct them, then to Shame them.

From a true lover and owner of the People called Quakers, (above all Flatterers) because I see they have not bowed their knee to Baal, nor Worshipped the Power of the Beast under any diverse Colour whatsoever, but walks in that Righteousness which must establish the Nation, RICHARD HUBBERTHORN.

The Baptists in their Postscript for a Confirmation or a Seal to their Confusion, they have subscribed these Names following, viz.

  • Henry Jessey
  • John Tombes
  • Richard Wollaston
  • Henry Tull
  • William Kiffen
  • William Warren
  • John Battee
  • John Clement
  • Edward Cresset
  • George Gospright
  • John Sowden
  • Benj. Hewlin
  • Edward Harrison
  • Samuel Tull
  • Edward Green
  • Edward Grainge
  • Richard Dean
  • Edward Roberts
  • Henry Knollys
  • John Spilsbury
  • John Gosnold
  • Samuel Stanton
  • Thomas Cooper
  • Henry Hills.

London, Printed for Thomas Simmons, near Aldersgate, 1659.

An Answer to a Declaration put forth by the general Consent of the People called Anabaptists, in and about the City of LONDON.

FRiends, called Anabaptists, whereas you say, You are mis­represented to the Nation;

1. As such as are opposite to Magistracy.

2. As such as would destroy the publick Ministry of the Nation, who differ from you in some things about Religion

3. That you do Countenance the People called Quakers in their irregular practice.

4. That you endeavour a Toleration of all miscarriages in things Ecclesiastical and Civil, under pretence of Liberty of Con­science.

5. That ye design to murther and destroy those that differ from you in matters of Religion, thereby endeavouring to make you odious to some people fearing God; And also to incense the rude Multi­tude against you, to provoke them (if possible) to destroy you, &c.

Unto the First of which you say, 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 or 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.

Answ. For you to give up your selves willingly and peace­ably unto whatsoever Government is or shall be established in this Nation, without any limitation, and to submit unto any Power or Magistracy that doth or shall Rule, as the Ordinance of God, without any limitation or qualification, is far below that Spirit which was once in some of you in that Profession, for you have told of having the Lawes regulated according to the Scriptures, and of having Judges as at the first, and Coun­sellors as at the beginning; and then not to submit to what Government soever, but that which is according to Equity [Page 4] and Justice. And what do you bear Arms or Fight for, if not for a Government according to Truth, and that Righteous­ness may establish the Nation? Some have judged this to be the very Design and End of the War and Controversie against many that was Governours and Magistrates, and was by some called The Ordinance of God, and the higher Power; And if now you resolve to live peaceably, and submit to whatever Govern­ment shall be established, then your Fighting is at an end: And if Charles Stuart come, or any other, and Establish Popery, and Govern by Tyranny, you have begged Pardon by Pro­mising willingly to submit and live peaceably under it as the Ordinance of God. And if Jereboam come to Reign and set up Calves to worship, and cause the People to sin, yet you will submit and live peaceably and quietly under it, accounting it the Ordinance of God. And if a Pharaoh come to Rule, he that bears Rule must be counted a Magistrate, and a Magi­stracy must be accounted the Ordinance of God by you, and peaceably submitted unto; and whatsoever Government they set up by their Act will be accounted lawful things, and you must submit to them, else you have proved your selves all Ly­ars; but some did judge that ye had been of another Spi­rit.

To the Second you say, As for the Publick Ministry 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 Conscience 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.

Answ. It seems then that there is not so much difference betwixt them and you as will make them Antichristian and you Christian: and there is a near Complyance when as it is your duty to stand by them, and preserve them, while they are Baptizing Infants; But can you stand by them and pre­serve them, and not tell them that it is Anti-christian, or contrary to the Scriptures? And do you think that they will do as much for you, as to stand by you while you are plunging your Members in the Water? And although you do so as you say, is not this Contradiction to your selves in what you say in the same Paper? For do you not say, That you will not Tole­rate any miscarriages in things Civil or Religious; and whether is [Page 5] not this a miscarriage in things Religious to baptize Infants? and whether do you not Tolerate this miscarriage in them, while you stand by to preserve them in it, as you say from in­jury and violence? but who doth offer any violence to them which you are their guard against? but the Priests will hardly believe you, and if they ever have power, that will not par­don you for so saying, and therefore you had better have been silent, then have shewed your weakness and ignorance for nothing.

To the third you say, Concerning the people called Quakers, it is well known unto 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.

Answ. Is not this secret smiting without a cause? what irre­gular practice is that which you accuse them of and will not mention? is this honestly done? what are they worse then the Episcopal Priests you mention to them, wherein they dif­fer from you? and why not to the Quakers? is it enough for any man to believe that they are irregular, because you say so without any proof? or dare you not mention wherein you judge it so, least they should disprove you? but you say, there is not any they have expressed more contradiction to in mat­ters of Religion, then against you. Answ. That is false, for they have more contradicted the common Priests of the Nati­on, as their books and sufferings will witness, although they have according to truth contradicted you, and also have more of your contradictions and confusions to declare concerning you, which is not yet published; but what do you account their irregular practises? is it because their yea is yea, and their nay is nay in all their communications (and yours not so?) or is it because they cannot swear at all? or is it because they cannot have any mans person in admiration because of advantage, or because they cannot respect the person of the rich, nor honour the person of the mighty? is it because they do unto others as they would have others to do unto them, or because they speak the Truth every one to his neighbour with­out partialitie or hypocrisie? or is it any thing relating to these [Page 6] things above named, if not, in your next mention in what, or else the wise in heart will judge you to speak onely from your imaginary conceit? but what is your end in so secret smiting them? do you think to excuse your selves by accusing them? and who is it that doth charge you with countenancing the Quakers in their practises, either Regular or Irregular? I know none that hath any ground so to charge you, but to men of understanding who can see beyond words, you rather appear to be begging a pardon of the Episcopal and Presbyter, and the wilde Boyes and Apprentices of London, by accusing the Quakers as hereafter will appear, and that fearfulness and unbelieving is entered into your hearts, and so your spirits is betrayed into a slavish fear, but if ever you be accepted or owned of God, you must own that for your strength which the Quakers live in, and if ever any Rule for God in this Na­tion, they must own that light, life and spirit which they are guided by, and then they will not despise, but have unitie with the Quakers.

To the fourth you say, Whereas we are further charged with endeavouring an Vniversal Tolleration 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 Tolleration of miscarriage in any, much lesse in our selves. Nor do we desire in matters of Religion that Popery should be Tolerated, the blood of many thousands of the peo­ple of God having been barbarously shed by the Professors 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 err, it is derogating from God, and his Holy Word, and injurious to men to compel any to the Practise thereof.

Answ. What confusion is here, and contradiction both to your selves and to the example of Christ? as to Religion you will not tolerate Popery, because the blood of many of the [Page 7] people of God have been barbarously shed by the Professors thereof, neither will you have any persons tolerated that wor­ship a false God, nor any that speak contemptuously and re­proachfully of the 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 you are not against tolerating of Episcopacy, Presbytery or any stinted form; why will you not tolerate Popery as well as Episcopacie? hath not the Professors of Episcopacie murthered and slain, and do la­bour to murther and slay the people of God as well as the Pa­pists? and why will you tolerate the Common Prayer among the Episcopacie, and not the Mass among the Papists, seeing that the Mass was the substance out of which the Common-Prayer was extracted? hear is nothing but partialitie, to to­lerate one thing and not another of the same kind, and why will you not tolerate the persons of those that worship a false God, nor the persons that deny the Scriptures to be the word of God, nor the persons of those that speak contemptuously nor reproachfully of the Lord Jesus Christ.

An. If you will not tolerate their persons, then you will mur­ther or destroy their persons, and herein you have proved the accusation against you to be true, that you have a design to murther and destroy those that differ from you in matters of Religion; as for instance, those that worship a false God, they differ from you in maters of Religion, and you will not have any of their persons Tolerated, then their per­sons must be destroyed for differing from you in matters of Religion; and they that deny the Scripture (that is the writings) to be the Word of God (that is to be Christ) whose Name is called the Word of God, you will not tolerate their persons, then you will destroy them, because they differ from you in matters of Religion, and those that speak reproach­fully of Jesus Christ, you will not tolerate their persons, then you will destroy their persons, because they differ from you in matters of Religion; and thus having contradicted your selves, you have also contradicted the example of Christ, for he came among those that worshipped false Gods, even Stocks and Stones, and Graven Images, the works of mens hands, and he was not against tolerating their persons, neither came he to destroy mens lives because of such things, [Page 8] but had a Gospel to Preach unto them, whereby they might learn to know the living God, and turn from dumb Idols, and those that spoke Reproachfully against him, and said he had a Devil, yet he was not against Tolerating their Persons, but Preached the Kingdom of God to them, and did bid them seek it and the Righteousness thereof; and told them that the Kingdom of God was within them; and he was among such as denyed that there was a God, or Christ, Resurrection, An­gel or Spirit; and this is more then to deny the Scriptures to be the Word of God, which indeed is words and not the Word. And Christ was not against Tolerating of any of the Persons, as you have express'd your selves to be, and so shewed forth a murthering Spirit; but seeing that you will not have any Person Tolerated that worships a false god, what must be done with their Persons? But what difference is there (in the Ground or Cause of Toleration) between those that Worship a false god, or they which Worship the true God in a false way? and if the Persons of neither of those should be Tole­rated, then the Toleration would but reach a little Com­passe: But who must be Judge of that Blasphemie, Con­tempt, or Reproach spoken against the Lord Jesus Christ? Was it not Blasphemie in the Apostles dayes, for one to say he was a Jew, and was not, Revelations 2. verse 9. And is it not as great Blasphemy now to say that he is a Chri­stian, or a Believer, that is not? And must not any person be tolerated that speak such works? And must not such a Person be tolerated that denies the Scriptures to be the Word of God? then it appears they must not be tolerated that faith, in the be­ginning was the Word, as John 1.4. Nor that say that Christ is the Word, and that the Scriptures are they which testifieth of him, as Joh. 5. And if we search out your toleration to the bottom, it will be reduced into this compasse, That none shall be to­lerated but those that say as you say, and professe what you professe; and you among your selves are as a Kingdom divided that cannot stand, and you are not they which are fit to Rule in the Nation to prescribe Liberty nor give Toleration; but if you had been of Christs Spirit, you would have professed Toleration, and not destruction unto all Persons in matters of Religion, and then they that have the Gospel of Christ may [Page 9] minister it freely among those that worship a false god, and among those that worship the true God ignorantly, and mi­nister it among the Papists, Episcopal & Presbyterie, Heathens, Turks and Pagans, which are all out of the way, and so to con­vince the gain-sayers, so that all the wicked impositions, cruel­ty, Persecution and killing one another about Religion would cease, and then the Gospel of Peace which is the power of God would Rule over deceit, and Truth and Righteousness would increase and spread over the Nations; but you have appeared to be of a Spirit of Confusion and Contradiction; for when you have spoken against Tolerating the Persons before men­tioned; Yet you say (in Contradiction to it) you are not against Tolerating Episcopacie, Presbyterie, or any stinted Form, provided they do not Compel any others to a Com­pliance therewith, or Conformitie thereunto, &c. Now con­sider, and let even your own foolishness correct you; Is not the Papists which ye have excepted against, a stinted Form? And are not those that worship a false god, a stinted Form? And are not the Sadduces that deny that there is either God, Christ, Angel, Resurrection or Spirit, a stinted Form? And is not the Jewes a stinted Form although they speak con­tempteously of the Lord Jesus Christ, which before you have said you will not Tolerate their Persons because they speak contempteously of the Lord Jesus Christ; and now you say you will Tolerate, because they are a stinted Form: How must the Jewes be Converted who have spoken contemp­teously and reproachfully of the Lord Jesus Christ, calling him a Deceiver, a Blasphemer, and that he [...]ad a Devil, see­ing you will not Tolerate their Persons until they be Con­verted? And how shall the Heathens that worship false gods be Converted, seeing their Persons must not be Tolerated? And what must be done with those many hundreds of Congre­gations in England which worship God in the Spirit, and yet do deny the Scriptures (as Words and Writings) of the Old and New Testament to be the Word of God, but do confesse them to be a Testimony of the word, and of him who is the Beginning and End of the Words, in whom, and by whom they all come to be fulfilled to the Saints, What must their Persons be done with, seeing they must not be Tolerated? But you may say, That those things was spoken in your haste, or at [Page 10] least in your fear, whereby you were surprized in the Vproar of the rude Boyes and Apprentices of London; but a little fear entering into the Hypocrisie doth try your Spirits, and cause you to bring forth the intents of your hearts, as in your Paper is ma­nifest.

To the Last you say, Forasmuch as we are Charged to Murder and 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 that 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.

Answ. In what you have before expressed, you have more given then taken away the occasion of this Charge against you, by your instancing the not Tolerating of such persons before mentioned; for if you did (as you say) desire the just Liberty of men as men, then every man without respect to Apprehensions, Perswasions or Worships, as a man and person should be To­lerated, that those who are Christians might inform them of the true God when they worship false gods; and hereby you give great occasion unto those that seek occasion from you, when you with a general Consent cry against Tolerating the Persons of so many sorts of People about Differing from you in Religion; and as for some of them whom ye would accuse as Irregular, many by experience can witnesse, That neither Weapon nor Tongue formed against them can prosper; and the time may come when you may be glad to be upholden with a little of their strength, and not to Reject those whom God hath, doth, and will own for his People in the middest of their Enemies; for God hath made them even as Eyes to behold the Spirits of men, and the Changings of their wayes, and to give them a Reproof in due season when they darken wisdom and confound their matter by words without knowledge, in false fears and haste when they are out of Patience, and out of Faith [Page 11] in God, as the Baptists here have done, and the fearful and un­believing cannot accomplish the Righteousnes of God, neither will he bring forth his intended Work by them; but such as are of a true Spirit, that looks onely at the Glory of God and set­ting up of his truth, who are come to the spiritual weapons, & doth not wrestle with flesh and blood, but with the powers of darkness and with Spiritual wickednesse, and such as are not false Accusers of others, but seeks the good of all men, such will the Lord honour and exalt in his work, and they shall perfect his praise.

So Friends, You have been hasty to utter words before the Lord, for which his Reproof justly comes upon you; There­fore let your words be few, and mind the fear of the Lord God which is the beginning of wisdom, and that will slay your false fears, from which unsavoury & unsound words hath proceed­ed; for your Religion is vain while your tongue is not bridled, for it is better to be still and keep silence, then to utter words from the line of Confusion (that is stretched over you) there­by to get a name in the Earth, which Line all people walk in, but those who are led by the Spirit of God to speak words that cannot be condemned, for it is the Spirit of the Lord God and his Power which must slay the Enmitie in you which is the ground of your prejudice and hard Speeches against the Lambs of Christ, which when that is slain within, then those evil Fruits of the Lips will cease without, and then the foun­tain of life will open in you which brings forth Fruits of ano­ther nature; and when the Fruits of your Lips is Truth, Right­teousness, and Peace, then will you have followship with the Fa­ther and the Son, and with us who walk in his Light.

AND whereas to the said Declaration of the Baptists, something was Written in Answer to part of it in short by another hand, not knowing the one of the other, but being found to be both of service as to return their wickednesse upon themselves, it is thought meet that the same also be hereunto annexed; And here is also something in Answer to some particular Positions drawn up by the Independants, so called, wherein their folly and weaknesse is also discovered, and all may see what enmity lodges in the hearts of all men against the despised people called QUAKERS.

An Answer to a Declaration of the People called Anabap­tists, in and about the City of London, wherein their weakness and ignorance is discovered under their own Hands to the City and Nation, as hereby may appear.

FRiends, Whereas your Declaration consisteth of Five Par­ticulars, four, of which is not or so much concernment to me to Answer; but as for one of them, for the Nati­ons sake, and for the Truths sake, and that you may be repro­ved even you the heads and Principal men of your congrega­tions, and because you are such under whose hands your De­claration passeth, therefore in that consideration with many others, this I return as an Answer to you, and to the City and Nation, in pursuit of yours that hath proceeded from a heart of Unbelief, and unto evil and malicious intents against a de­spised People whom the Lord hath owned, and will own though you and the whole world do reject them.

And whereas you say, You are mis-represented to the Nation, that you do countenance the People called Quakers in their Irregular Practice; And to clear yourselves you say, It is well known to all there are none more opposite to their Irregular Practises then we are, (say you) nor are there any that they have exprest more contradiction to then against us, though their provocation therein hath not put us on a desire (say you) of depriving them of their just Liberty while they live Morally honest and peaceable in the Nation, &c.

Answ. Oh ye Heads and principal men, and ye chief Pastors, Elders, and Members (so called) of Churches, What have ye done? and wherefore have you thus proceeded, why have ye renounced an innocent People that never did you harm, nor ever gave any offence unto you, saving in crying against the deadnesse of your forms and traditions, and seeming Religious practises, and reproving evil in you; Alas for you (ye accoun­ted wise men) do you judge an advantage will be unto your selves in this thing? Or do you think to work a disadvantage unto us by your Renouncing and denial of us? I must tell you, we are not troubled hereat for our own sakes, neither is [Page 13] any part of our hope or confidence concerning you made void, for we never looked upon some of you to be otherwise then our enemies in your hearts.

Oh ye Hipocrites whom God will judge because of your hy­pocrisie, who now so much as in you lies (if it were in your power) you would leave us to the mercilesness of cruel men, you would save your selves, and leave us to the mercy of the Devil; but though you renounce us, yet the Lord hath own­ed us, and will own us to your grief; and what are you be­come our accusers? are you become chargers of us with irre­gular practise? are you endeavouring to make us more odious in the eyes of wicked men then we are for righteousness sake? but wherefore have ye done this? Is it to save your selves from reproaches? Have you therefore reproached us, and have you sought to make us vile that your selves might appear free? and have you thought to gain the favour of the wicked, & to make a peace with your Enemies by reviling of us unto them? Is this your end, O ye Dissemblers, to reproach us to the Nation and City behind our backs? You Church Members so called) and Teachers, and Pastors, and Principal men that would save your selves and gratifie the Devil and joyn in union with the wicked, and make your selves friends with them by slan­dering and renouncing the peaceable people, who are more so then your selves, and none of them guilty of [...]rregularitie as much as some of you; though you would fawn upon the Na­tion and City by renouncing of us, as if we were irregular and so and so; But do you think the Nation and City have not taken notice? or however hereby they may. What if I say un­to them and you, that none of the Quakers ever were so in­strumental by illegal opposition, for the turning out of Par­liaments and changing the Government of this Nation into confusion, like as some of you Anabaptists have been; and this the City and Nation may take notice of the irregularitie of some of your selves, who have been instrumental even by ille­gal Opposition, and perfect Tyrannie in mens account, and Treacherie also to the turning out Parliaments, and thereby wronging the Nation for their own advantages; so that the practise of some of you hath been more unlawful and con [...] ­rie to Law then ours hath been, and the City and Nation may take notice of it; as your Declaration is to them, so is [Page 14] this my Answer; never any Quaker (so called) in War-like posture hath stood in Defiance, and been instruments to turn out peoples lawful Representatives; Did not some of your bre­thren, even of the Anabaptists, take Commission from the late Parliament, and no lesse then vowing Fidelity to them, and yet presently rising in opposition to them, and turning them out of Doors? and was not this treachery and hypocrisie, and irregularitie? And can the Nation charge any of them called Quakers with any such work? no they cannot; but some of the Anabaptists they may, even with this and other the like illegal dealing; And more I might instance, and not only charge behind your backs falsly as you have done of us, but I may affirm to your faces, and justly prove these and such things upon you; but why have not you named what irregular pra­ctise the Quakers are guilty of? I charge you you subscribers against us, and accusers of us to prove your accusation, I say I charge you before the Lord and this whole Nation and City to prove your accusation, and to instance what particular pra­ctises performed and owned amongst us, either in Relation to just Government in Church or State that are irregular, and you shall have a Reply, though you say, There are none more Op­posite to our irregular practice then you are.

Oh how fain would you flatter and fawn upon our Ene­mies to make peace with the Devil; how would you creep by craft and joyn into a League with our and your Enemies? And how fain would you be at peace with them and leave us even to their mercilesness if it were in your power? Have we ever dealt thus by you? Have we ever sought to render you Rebels and Traytors to the Nation as you in effect have done to us? have we ever sought occasions against you, and to pre­sent you to the Nation as vile as we could for to save our selves, and leave you to the wil of your Enemies? this have you done to us, and we leave you to be rewarded even by the Lord who will never renounce us, nor cast us out, though you do in such a time as this, a time of confusion and distraction, wherein if the Lord did not appear to be our Defence more then men, we should be swallowed up of our Enemies; and must you, even a Separate People, Members, Pastors and Ministers of Chur­ches (so called) Renounce us at this season, on purpose to have us destroyed so much as you may? Well, we have not dealt so with you, neither do we desire to uncover your naked­ness [Page 15] to the Nation, you had not had thus much if you had not been the occasion of it your selves; and surely what you have done in this particular, some of your own Members will not accept it from you with thanks to you; but I shall say more to you, when I have under all your Hands the particu­lar Practises which you charge to be irregular; and though there hath been and is Contradictions between us and you in matter of Religion, and difference in particular Practises a­bout Church and Ministry, and Orders, &c. Yet what is this? This was amongst our selves, though hereof you have no rea­son to boast, as of any Victory that you have obtained over us in any such Controversie, neither hath the Spirit of God so appeared in that Authority among you, as that you have gain­ed any from us to you, but rather the contrary; but what of these Contentions? we have never so contended with you, as that we have hated your persons, or sought to betray you in­to the hands of devouring mouths, the Lord is our witness in this, though you have done contrary (even sought to betray our persons in this your work) and I must tell you dishonestly and undiscreetly have you done in this matter, who never could unto this day in any contest between us about Religious matters Convince us of Error or Irregular practises, though now you have accused us to the whole Nation, and not as in a way of Debate about Religion, but as in matter of State Irre­gularity; whereby plainly appears that you seek to betray us, even our persons into the hands of our merciless enemies, and you would make peace with them, and deliver us into their merciless hands; and thereby shewed hatred, not unto us as upon the account of Religion only, but even hatred to our persons, and hath accused us as of personal irregularitie; and so hath not shewed love to our persons, but rather sought our destruction: Oh ye wicked men to whose charge God shall lay this iniquity of treachery and unfaithful dealing to us, even as with brethren, which is the most deceitful iniquity.

And alas for you, what are your desires of depriving us of our just Liberty? God shall give us Liberty, and from him we shall enjoy it whether you will or no; and for our just liberty we shall not be beholding to you, though I must tell you, if our Liberty were in your power it is greatly to be doubted, and even your own dealing in this your Declaration gives occasion [Page 16] For it, that our Liberty would be enslaved if it were in your hands, but we bless the Lord it is in his hand & not in yours; for so much of Treachery towards us hath here appeared, even in giving us up (so much as in you is) to the will of our Ene­mies, and the Spirit is in you which would betray Brethren, that for the time to come we can never Trust you; but we do not give our Power to you to enjoy our Liberty from you, nor ever shall; And if we walk Moraly honest and peaceable in the Na­tion, it is more then you do in this matter, for this your pra­ctise is not Morally honest in Accusing of us behind our backs to the Nation, and City, and Authorities thereof of Irregularity, &c. though as I have said never any of us had so great a hand by open opposition tending to make war in the Nation as some of you in some things I might instance, even for their sakes to whom you have accused us, and that we are more peaceable then some of your selves the Nation and City knows; Have we thrust our selves into Arms, and sought Offices and Places, and Commands as some of you? Have ever any of us appeared in Actual Arms against Parliament & Nation as some of you? Have we given the City or the Nation by any visible appearance to fear a war from us, as you have done? Let the Nation & City, & the witness in all mens Consciences judge; so that we are known to be peaceable as much or more then your selves, for we have never sought to you to take up Arms with us, as some among you have sought to others, which may demonstrate that we are as peaceable in the Nation, if not more then you; and so you needed not to have premised such a thing on our behalf. And thus I have in short returned your secret Treachery upon [...] own heads, and Answered that same part of your Declaration wherein I and the Truth, and the whole flock of God was any way concerned; and as for the rest of your Declaration I will not seek Occasions against it, though in some other things al­so therein exprest, I might search out your Hearts, and dis­cover the rottenness of them; and where you say you declare Magistracy to be an Ordinance; &c. might not I tell the Na­tion and City that you are not content with Magistracy, ex­cept of your own Sect; And might not I say, Why were not you contented with that Assembly of men that last Sat? And wherefore was it that you even some of you Anabaptists were the chief Instruments with Swords in your Hands to Dissolve [Page 17] them, and so were Instruments in bringing the Nation into present confusion.

And whereas you speak of the publick Ministers of the Na­tion, you are far from endeavouring to destroy them (say you) and it is your duty to stand by them and preserve them from all violence and injury, &c.

To which I answer, What are you about to make a League and a Covenant with Antichrist? Have you for these many years been opposing them in words, and are you now re­canting of what you have done when you are sensible of a dan­ger upon you? and will you now bind your selves to stand by them and preserve them from all injury, and even as they are Ministers too? But let me ask you, Do you look upon them to be Ministers of Christ, or of Antichrist? If true Mini­sters of Christ, wherefore do you oppose them and cry against them in your Pulpits, and hath formerly your selves and some of your Brethren yet do publickly oppose them both by word and writing, Oh! ye hypocrites. But if they are Mi­nisters of Antichrist, then how is it that you will stand by them and preserve them as such, and would bind it upon them as their duty to stand by and preserve you? Is not this a League with Hell and Death? are you turned backwards into love and affection towards them again, and so lost your former Princi­ples? And is your Zeal quite grown cold, or are you now one­ly flattering and dawbing with the Ministers, because you see danger from them, while you seek but greater advantage a­gainst them? they may indeed tell you they look upon you as not destroyers of their wayes and practises, neither to ease the Nation from any burthen which they have laid upon it; for it is manifest though you deny them in some particulars some of you, yet you can cry against that in some of them, and yet uphold the same thing; I may lawfully instance that some of your Brethren, some in this Nation, and some in Ireland takes or have lately taken Tithes for Preaching, and have yearly stipends, and so much by the year out of the States Treasure for Preaching, 100 l. 200 l. and 300 l. a piece by the year, which indeed doth shew that you are not intending to destroy their oppressing and abominable practises, but the rather that you would turn them out of great Places and Benefits, and turn your selves in; Oh! deceit and wickedness which I am forced [Page 18] to lay open upon this occasion of your own just provocation hereunto; and as for their preserving you and you them a­gainst such as do oppose you, they may easily joyn with you in this, if they could hope in your faithfulness, for some of you and your Members have shewed as much enmity, have been o­pen Persecutors, even as they and their Members have been, and your Members have been sending the People of God to Prison, and persecuting them even as the Common Priests of the Nation: and you appear to be guided by the same spirit in many things, and if they be Antichristian in their wayes and practises, its sure that you are not of Christ, because you are like unto them in nature.

And in that you say, you would have none tollerated in their Re­ligion that deny the Scriptures to be the Word of God, but you would tollerate Episcopacy, Presbytery or a stinted form, &c. say you.

To which I say, I know that spirit which you are of, if it had its full Authority would tolerate none but your selves, for your spirit in nature differs not from the spirit of the Church of Rome; And what are you now for tollerating Episcopacy, who were once your selves (in your Zeal for God, when your sincerity was not darkned, nor your hearts so much corrupted through places of honour, and through such things as now they are) Instruments to the pulling down of Episcopacy, and will you now tollerate it again, and help to set it up, and build what you have destroyed, as if you recanted of what you had done, but plainly shewing that you are not of the same Spirit that once you were of, but have lost sincerity, and can embrace Idolatry, for once ye were the men that did oppose it, and did violently help to pluck it down; but now you are for tollera­tion. Oh! unconstant men this is to you, not herein discove­ring my Judgement in the case, and if Episcopacy, why may not Popery be tollerated? seeing they are one and the self same in ground and nature, and not much different in appea­rance, and you may agree to tollerate a stinted form in others, because your selves are in a stinted form also; for what is yours else but a form, crying up your water and bread and wine, and differing from the world onely in these outward things, when as the City and Nation knows you are men as covetous, as worldly minded, as ambitious, as self-seeking of honour and places as any others in the Nation, and your Religion [Page 19] appears to be a [...]tinted form as much as others; Alas poor men, you have discovered your hearts in your Declaration, and ac­cording to the corruption thereof I cannot but answer you; and there are some that deny the Scriptures to be the Word of God, and say they are the Words of God, and a Declaration, and a Treatise of what the Saints believed and enjoyed; and Christ is the Word of God, that may in time to come be tollerated in their Religion in this Nation, though you have renounced them: but while they are owned and regarded of the Lord, they re­spect not your love nor hatred who are mortal men, and your breath in your nostrils, and must fall and perish as the dung in all your beauty, and your profession of Religion, before the coming of the Son of God.

And in your Post-script you say, you have under your hands sent forth your Declaration in behalf of your selves, and others of your Judgement; but I must tell you, I do believe there are some even of those called Anabaptists which will reject your work, and to them my answer is not, for I spare them: but to you fearful hypocrites in a time of danger, that have in this juncture of time renounced us without ground or reason in the sight of God, but for your ends, as if you would gain the fa­vour of the Nation and City by denyal of us, and looking upon your selves to be reproached because of us, when as you are a company of unworthy men, even unworthy of our reproaches, and to escape them have denied us, as seeming to clear your selves, but you are deceived in this matter, and it shall turn to work against you in the Nation, and in the City; for we have a more surer witness in their Consciences, even in the Consciences of all people that we are of God, then you have; for take but away your outward water, and bread and wine, and some few outward practises, & what do you differ from the worst sort of men in the Nation; for doth not pride and hypocrisie, and self-love, and covetousness, and the love of this world abound amongst you, as much as amongst any others? the wit­ness in peoples Consciences knows it, which shall be a witness for us and against you. You may indeed have gained League with the worst sort of men in the Nation, but you have not gained the sincerity in people, and while we have that on our side to witness for us, take you the rude multitude, for we are not discouraged at all concerning this thing, but the rather do glo­ry [Page 20] in the Lord though we be denied of all, for though men forsake us, yet the Lord careth for us; and your own doing shall return upon your own heads: and thus much is sufficient to the substance of your Declaration, and if I receive any re­ply, I shall expect it under the hands of you all, that I may further search and discover you unto your selves, and to the Nation.

And whereas there is a Manuscript goes aboad, consisting of five Particulars, which is said that it was delivered in to the Committee of Safety, as Advice and Councel to them: but who the Authours of it are is something uncertain, but certain it is, that some of the called Independant Ministers and Pastors were the chief Promotors of it, and in the Coppy which was delivered to my hands, it is said, These five Particulars were the result of a little Synod made up of Presbyterians, Independants and Ana­baptists; but whether it is so or no I leave that, and would say something to some of the Particulars, and even to the Com­mittee of Safety and Officers of the Army, and all others of the Nation for their better information, then the same Paper de­scribeth to them.

The third Particular consisteth about the Magistrates Power in matters of Faith and Worship, and the Authours say, Though they greatly prize Christian Liberty, yet they profess utter dislike and abhorrency of an Vniversal toleration, as being contrary to the mind of God in his Word.

Answ. It appears the Authours are lovers of themselves, and prizers of their own Liberty, but not of the Liberty of o­thers, but do utterly dislike and abhor the Toleration of others, which may indeed be more righteous then themselves, and this is no less then the very Principle of the Whore of Rome, which Promotes her own Liberty and makes others slaves, and abhors Toleration to any but themselves; and they plead Scriptures as well as you for proof of their Religion, and they will say all that differs from them are contrary to the Scri­ptures, even as you say, when as there is very little better foun­dation in the Scriptures for your Religion then there is for theirs; and it is doubtful to many what Religion this day ex­tant is perfectly according to the Scriptures; but yet thus much may be said, that Church and that Religion which are not in the same Spirit as gave forth the Scriptures, are not ac­cording [Page 21] unto the Scriptures, and he that can distinguish of this, and who it is that hath the same Spirit that gave forth the Scri­ptures, are onely able to Judge what Religion is according to the Scriptures; But can the Authors shew plainly out of the Scriptures that their Religion is onely according thereunto, and all others the contrary? and until they prove this, why may not the Rulers that are or may be in this Nation, give Tolera­tion unto other sorts of people as well as to the Independants the supposed Authours of this Paper?

The fourth Particular consisteth concerning Tithes, and say they, The taking away of Tithes for Maintenance of Ministers, until as full a Maintenance be as equally secured and as legally setled, tends very much to the distruction of the Ministry, and Preaching of the Gospel in these Nations.

Answ. Alas for you poor ignorant Creatures, ye foolish men, that seems to have no understanding of the Ministry and Gospel of Christ; Do you indeed think that the true Ministry of Christ and the Preaching of the Gospel depends upon Maintenance by Tithes? Oh! ye Robbers of God, who have secretly dishonoured him in your hearts, and publickly disgraced him as much as in you lies to the Nation, as if he were not able to save his Ministrie and the Preaching of his Gospel from destruction if Tithes be taken away; Surely, you err in your Judgements, and have no acquaintance with God, nor with his Ministry nor Gospel; who have thus disho­noured him in setting up that Maintenance by the forcible and unjust oppression of Tithes, to be the preserving of Ministry and Gospel, and as if Tithes were the upholding of Ministry and Gospel; and you have thus falsly and wickedly measured God, his Ministry and Gospel, by the wickedness of your own hearts, who seems to be indeed of those Hirelings that cheats Souls for money, and runs for the gift like Baalam, and for the lucre like the evil beasts and slow bellies; and so I do believe that your false Ministrie indeed and your feined pretence of Preaching the Gospel doth depend upon great sums of money and upon large maintenances, & we believe that indeed is the chief Reason of your Preaching and of your Ministry, and it is very possible that your Ministry and Preaching may fall which is An­tichristian, when Tithes and Hire is taken away, which Ministry dependeth thereupon, but the true Ministry and Preaching of the Gospel will God maintain and uphold [...] [Page 22] of Tithes being vanquished, and I hope some of the Rulers of this Nation and officers of the Army will not believe your ad­vice; But yet you seem to be willing to renounce Tithes if you could have as full a maintenance setled another way, so that however great maintenance comes, you regard not, so you can have that, whether by this way of oppression or the other, its your maintenance you love and followes after, and seekes unto the Powers of the Earth for that end; and how equally and Legally Tithes have been setled which you seem to affirm, let all good People judge; given they were, and setled first in our Nation, by the Popes Authoritie, to be the maintenance of that Whores Ministers, and all the Laws which gave them and setled them have been Antichristian and oppression in the Nation, and there is the guilt of blood and of cruel unjust suf­ferings lying upon this Nation in that very cause of Tithes, and the hand of the Lord is gone out against it, and against all con­tenders for it, and God will redeem the Nation from under it, though you be putting your strength to uphold it through your Hypocritical Prayers and Preaching and flatteries with God and men.

The fifth particular is, these Authors desire that countenance be not given unto nor trust reposed in the hands of Quakers, being persons of such Principles that are destructive to the Gospel and inconsistent with peace and civil society.

Answ. Here your wickedness and the malice of your hearts is let forth against the despised People, for their righteousness sake; & this spirit of yours would not onely discountenance them but destroy them from the face of the earth, if it were in your hands, and you are worse then Baalam ever was, and far more blind then he, for you are as it were seeking inchantments against the People of God for money, and you see not the goodly tents of Jacob as he did, nor the People that are altoge­ther blessed; Oh! ye envious persons that are even a preparing as much as in you is the destruction of a peaceable People, and that would keep them in slaverie under you, and you would have the countenance of the Powers of the earth, but they must not, and you would monopolize all the places of trust for ad­vantage to your selves, and you would hardly allow the People of God a place on the ground; Oh! ye sinful hypocrites and flatterers and slanderers of the just, but what need you [Page 23] have made such preparation against them, do they seek places of honour among you, do they delight in great places among men? do they love to be great in this world? nay their King­dom is from above, and they reject the countenance of the Beasts Authority, and they reject any confidence that the dragon and unjust powers can repose in them, and you need not have been afraid in this matter, and thereupon slandered us, and have back-bited us to the Powers of the earth; what do you fear? Even the thing which you fear will God in a Judgement bring upon you, and there is a Government to be set up in this Nation, even that which is of the Lamb; and your Anti­christian Monarchy the Beast with all his Heads and Horns shall fall to the ground, and the Lord may bring your fear upon you to your utter confusion, though you are making defences all that you can for your selves and your Kingdom, and this seems to be a day wherein every mans heart is tryed, and every man and sort of People is pouring forth the malitiousness of their hearts against the poor People in scorn called Quakers; what say the Papists and Episcopal men? Quakers are a new Sect and de­ceivers, &c. and what say the Presbyterians and the Independants of them? Oh! they are Seducers, they are Witches, they are false prophets, they are Vagabonds not worthy of countenance, &c. nor any place of trust in the Nation, &c. What say the A­nabaptists of them? O they are Blasphemers and Hereticks and irregular Persons and distructive to Gospel, &c. This and such like is the cry of these and all sorts of People against the poor dispised People whom the Eternal God hath made dreadful unto them all, who shall be the Rod in his hand to break them and confound them, and utterly to destroy their Antichristian King­dom; for they are beloved of the Lord though hated of all men, and though the whole body of the Beast and Antichrist and every Horn of his Head do set themselves to War against the Lamb and his followers, and though all these sorts of People mentioned and some others do at this very day pour out their fury and malice against this People, yet shall they not be con­founded, for their trust is in the living God, and as sure as the Lord lives, the fear that People have of the prosperity of this People shall come upon them, and without Weapon or Arm of flesh, or the multitude of an Host of men will their God dash their Enemies to pieces; and all ye Sects whatsoever that are [Page 24] risen in opposition against us, what do we regard your fury and madness against us? What do we fear your revilings, you un­circumcised Philistines, we mock at your terrour, and we reject your strength as the strength of a straw, we dispise your Autho­rity which is not of God, as the Authority of so many Bryars and Thorns, we can glory over you in the Lord, what are you, and from whence did you come, is not Babylon your City? and is not the great Whore your Mother, and the Mother of Har­lots your Nurse? And what is your growth but even like the grass of a Summers growth that's soon cut down and withered, and like the leaf of a Summer tree that utterly perisheth in Win­ter? The mighty day of the Lord is at your door, confusion is begun amongst you, and the sword of one may destroy ano­ther, and the strength of one shall rear another, and the rem­nant that is left shall be destroyed, and we must overcome them without Sword or carnal Weapon, and this shall come to pass in a day; and the eye that is yet blind shall see it, and the child that is yet undelivered shall be a Conquerour over the Beast, and over his Image, and over all you false Sects, and over every Horn that is risen up in envy against the Lamb and his followers, the time of the Lambs Kingdom is at hand, behold, behold ye mountains of the earth, the sentence of Eternal vengeance will pass upon you, ye Hypocritical Professors; ye Pastors, Elders, Members and Ministers of Churches (so called) the Decree of the Almighty is coming out against you, you have provoked him by your wickedness towards him and his People, even to the de­struction of your own selves; wherefore tremble before the Lord, for his dread and the weight of his hand shall be upon your Con­sciences.

Oh Nation, mourn over thy iniquities which have provoked God against thee, and if men turn not unto him, his sore Judg­ment will be upon thee, we are not for this party or the other, neither do we justifie one side in opposition to another, for we see the earth is corrupted, and all sorts of men that are this day striving one sort, against another, are in a wrong way and in a wrong spirit, and we cannot side with any of them, but we ra­ther mourn over the Nation who is torn in pieces by the Ambi­tious spirit of her pretended Rulers, and we desire the repent­ance of all, and not the destruction of any, and we are for Gods part and not for men.


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