SOME Clear TRUTHS PARTICULARLY Demonstrated unto the KING and COUNCIL, and both Houses of PARLIAMENT, with all Judges, Justices, Merchants, and Ship­masters, why the Innocent and Peace­able People, called QUAKERS, ought not to be banished out of their Na­tive Land, or any other way exposed to Sufferings.

ALSO, The LAW described in its Nature and End.

With a Postscript to all honest, sober, and impartial JURORS.

By W. S.

Printed at London, in the Year, 1664.

Some clear Truths particularly demonstrated unto the King and Council, and both Houses of Parliament, with all Judges, Justices, Merchants and Ship-Masters, why the Innocent and Peaceable People, called Quakers, ought not to be Banished out of their Native Land, or any other way be exposed to Sufferings.

1. BEcause they are People that believe in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and are regenerated into the Nature of Chri­stianity, and their life answereth the same in all Godliness and Honesty.

2. Because they worship the Living God in Spirit and Truth, and are of a tender Conscience towards God and all men.

3. Because their Principle and Practice was never proved erro­nious by sound Doctrine, neither doth the late Act disallow it in the ground, for four may meet besides the Family; and the number is but a circumstance, and not the matter: And it is not a Christian practice to Banish men for being in Error, that are really so, muchless such as cannot be proved erronious.

4. Because Nature abhorreth such unkindness, and is afflicted with such hard dealings; for Nature is outwardly friendly to her own ge­neration.

5. Because they have not at any time forfeited their Just Liberty as Englishmen, by contriving any Plots or Insurrections against the present Government, as experience all along hath shewed.

6. Because they have a right in the Kings Word and Promises, concerning Liberty unto tender Consciences, for they have lived peaceably, which was the only Exception to make his Word and Pro­mises void, and that they have kept and not broken.

7. Because they are an Harmless People, and give no just occasion of offence unto any, neither can any true proof be given against them concerning any evil committed or done by them.

8. Because they are a Serviceable People in their places, ready to [Page 4] do good upon all occasions, and unto all persons, and do not abuse the Creation in vanity and excess.

9. Because they are good Examples in Righteousness, and a sweet Savour in their Generation, by following that which is good.

10. Because they do not transgress any Just Law, neither give any Just occasion for any Law to be made, or executed against them, neither can any Law that is for the punishment of Evil-doers justly take hold upon them.

11. Because they never acted nor intended any such things, as in the late Act is expressed, and against which it only provideth; neither can any misdemeanor be justly laid to their charge.

12. Because their outward dealings amongst men are just, and equal, and in all things free from variance and strife.

13. Because they do not wrong any mans Person or Estate, and are Free-born Englishmen, which Magna Charta preserveth in their outward Liberty.

14. Because many Families will be left outwardly distressed, and the Nation distracted and disordered.

15. And chiefly, Because the Lord God of Heaven and Earth is grieved and vexed with it, and the prosecution of it will kindle his Wrath in a high degree.

Now let these Truths be well considered, and the heat of Violence stayed, for there is no just cause given by us why it should be so done unto us; and we are very clear in the sight of God, that we have not forfeited our Just Liberty in our Native Land, but have as good Right to continue and abide therein as any People whatsoever, and there is not any thing can be truly said otherwise of us; but things are wrested that are prosecuted against us, and our Cause is presented after ano­ther manner than what it is in it self: And divers things are charged upon us from bare suppositions (and many of you know it) and thereby we are exposed to hard Sentences by men, when we can ap­peal to God, with clear consciences, in those cases wherein men render us Offenders: For we are not a willful, stuborn People, nei­ther do we any way seek the subversion of the Government, or the harm of any mans person upon the Earth; these are only suppositions by our Judges and Accusers; and no supposition is a good ground to proceed against us in a matter of such high concernment: for our not submitting to the Requirings of men in cases of Conscience, is [Page 5] onely in obedience to the Doctrine and Command or Christ Jesus; And our Testimony is in Meekness and Fear, and not in willfulness and stubornness; and we are wronged when such Reproaches are cast upon us, though such as fit to be our Judges, have their liberty to speak, and to interrupt our answers: And what would you have from us that you have not, to give you better assurance of our Allegiance to the King? Can any thing more evidently demonstrate it than our peaceableness? A thousand Oaths imposed (if we could swear at all) would not be so binding unto our Consciences, as the Love of God in which we live, and by which we are constrained to live peaceably; for it bindeth our consciences into peace, and maketh us subject unto Christ as Supream, and unto the King in his Civil Government: for what can more clearly manfest our Subjection to his Kingly Power, than our willingness to render unto him our Tax and Tribute? and having these things rendered by us, you may conclude, that it is enough, and as much as you are reasonably to expect from us, and it doth sufficiently clear us from all supposition concerning our seeking to subvert the Government; and herein we manifest our subjection to the King, in living peaceably, and giving him that which is his due: But the Rule and Government of our Consciences we cannot give into his hand, nor into the hand of any man, for that is peculiar unto Christ Jesus, and he alone hath the preheminence in our Conscien­ces; and no man ought to call his Power in question, nor to punish us for obeying his Doctrine and Commands; for by Faith in his Do­ctrine and Commands, we live, and we dare not make Shipwrack of it, but in his Love are constrained to keep it, and his Reward is our unspeakable Joy. Very much of this nature, hath been published in tenderness of heart for your good, and therefore I shall not at this time be large, for I know, that Love, Patience, and Meekness must prevail: And the Lord God hath abundantly furnished and adorned his Children with the virtues of those heavenly Graces, in which they stand as so many Innocents, that think no ill; and their beha­viour and holy Conversation, may even overcome you, to be pitti­ful and merciful towards them, and also, to be in love with them; which you would assuredly be, if you had a right knowledge of them. Oh it is a Christian, and a Manly-state, to be in Love, for therein was Man created: And though the Fall hath Separated, yet by Christ Jesus every true Believer is again restored, and therein are [Page 6] we disposed towards the whole Creation; And what ever may come to pass concerning us outwardly, yet in Love we shall remain inward­ly, and in Love lye down in Peace, which no man hath power to give us, nor to take away from us. And so it is desired, that every one of you concerned, may seriously consider this short Presentation of our Innocent Cause, and let the Just Witness of God in your con­sciences determine the matter, and then we shall not be deprived of our Just Liberties and Birthrights, nor of the outward comfort of our near Relations; then we shall not be forced from our tender Wives and Children, and leave them mourning and weeping behind us; not thereunto constrained for any evil done by us, but in the kindly af­fectionated nature of unfeigned Love, in which we are bound toge­ther, and ought not by any man to be parted, or put asunder; and it lieth contrary to the nature of Love to part and separate outward Relations after such a manner. And if you will but receive the coun­sel of Gods Witness, that Principle which pleadeth in your consci­ences on our behalf, it will determine the matter equally, and then we shall not be found worthy to be deprived of our Right, Liberty, and outward Comfort, but shall be found worthy to sit in peace with our Families, and follow our honest Callings, and so continue ser­viceable in our Generation, within our Native Land. And that will free your consciences of much vexation and trouble which otherwise will come upon you; for if you proceed to prosecute the matter unto the end, the Cry of the Widows and Fatherless, will so eccho in the Na­tion, as to be a continual Terror unto you; nay, thousands will make a doleful Lamentation on the behalf of their honest Neighbours and Friends. [Oh let not such a Lamentation be taken up in England, as to have a poor destitute Wife, mourning and weeping for want of her Husband, and poor young tender Children mourning and weeping for want of their Parents, and one Neighbour and Friend mourning and weeping for want of another] and you the cause of it; this will be a heavy burden upon you, and a terror in your consciences, if you do occasion it: for there are many tender hearts in England, though some be grown into hardness, and in hardness sit rejoycing, rather than pitying; but the Lord seeth and knoweth the secrets of all hearts, and the hardest of hearts he will break and fill with sorrow. O do not cause these things to come to pass by any of your means, lest you draw upon your selves a burden too heavy to be born; but let Pitty and Mercy stop the violence of [Page 7] Fury and Cruelty, that instead of Mourning there may be Joy, and instead of Heaviness there may be Gladness, and that will give you ease in your own consciences, and peace in the latter end: Which is desired, that ye all may walk worthy to know fulfilled; for the Power of the Lord God will break all that stands against it, and that is his Living WORD.

By a True Friend unto all Native Englishmen. The 13th day of the 8th month, 1664. W. S.

The LAW described in its Nature and End.

THat which may be properly and truly called Law, is that which standeth in Mercy, Justice and Equity; and by its Power and Force preserveth People in safety, as to their Life, Liberty and Estate; that where any Wrong or Injury is offered or done by one man unto another, there Justice and Right may be done in Mercy and Equity, for relief of the Grieved: For every thing that is instituted in its proper place, hath also its proper Object unto which it pointeth, as to the End for which it is instituted: and divers Cases and Sentences might be asserted out of the old Law, which answereth this very End, which being Law in its self, as being instituted for the preservation and well-being of all Free-born English-men, and its power yet stan­ding and continuing in force, and also being counted the Foundation upon which all ensuing Acts ought to stand, and so to be compleat and perfect in one Body; if any thing be Enacted that cannot be settled upon this Foundation, or united to this Body, which is counted the Body of the Law, it cannot properly and truly be called Law, but is rather holden for Error; so that the Foundation, or Body of the Law, standeth as a Rule unto all future and succeeding Ages, that they may be directed in their Acts and Institutions, wherein they are con­cerned: For if it was not so, there could be no Error; but it appear­eth that there may be an Error, and so consequently a Rule that is er­red from, when an Error is committed; and the Error must needs be this, When any thing is enacted or executed that cannot be united to [Page 8] the Foundation, or Body of the Law: For if the Body of the Law stand in Mercy, Justice and Equity, to the preservation and safety of Life, Liberty and Estate; and future Ages do enact against such as do not wrong any man in Life, Liberty, or Estate, such an Act cannot be united to the Foundation, or Body of the Law: And it appeareth that the Body of the Law is so intirely composed in Mer­cy, Justice and Equity, that no future Age could yet find it defective, but have allowed it to be good and right in its Institution; so that it standeth and remaineth in its power and force, and is generally ac­counted the Rule to walk by, for the good Government of all Peo­ple: And as it remaineth in force, so there is nothing to be enacted and counted for Law, but that which will clearly unite to its Body, in Mercy, Justice and Equity, whereby all People may have their outward Rights and Priviledges preserved unto them; and that is al­so agreeable to the Rational Part in Man, because it answereth that which would not be exposed unto danger: for it is a thing generally concluded, That Reason is the Mother of Law; forasmuch as no un­reasonable Act or Deed should be done by one man against another; and so the Law is powerful to keep the unreasonable part in subje­ction, and when it is transgressed, to inflict equal Punishment upon Offenders; and hereby it becomes a terrour to evil-doers, and a praise to them that do well; because it sheweth Mercy, Justice and Equity un­to the Wronged, by righting their Wrongs, and therein is the Terrour unto the One, and the Praise unto the Other. Now if any Act be in­stituted that doth not answer this End, then it is not reasonable in the ground, and consequently no Law; for it is improper to call that Law which is unreasonable, being that Reason is generally accounted the Mother of Law; and whatsoever Act doth erre from the Foundation of Law, it doth not unite with the Body of the Law: And it is very clear and plain, that if there be no Wrong-Doers, as the Object of the Law, that then the Law in it self is silent, as having nothing to operate upon that offends it; and if there be no matter for the Law to operate upon, then no punishment to be inflicted.

Now as the Lord God of Heaven and Earth created all things in good Order, and every individual stood in its place and service with­out Offence in that day, but through the Fall is gone into Disorder, which remaineth unto this day; so the highest degree wherein men are concerned in the Institution of any Act, is but to reduce into that [Page 9] comely outward Order again, that so no man may be grieved of offen­ded by the wrong that another may do unto him, but that he may walk safely in his Person, Liberty and Estate; and this is the furthest End which the Law serveth unto, and that which is enacted in such a ser­vice uniteth with the Body of the Law, and is in it self properly Law, because it operateth upon a proper Object, and reacheth with Power and Force to suppress it; and by this Rule he that doth wrong suffers for it, and he that is wrongnd comes to be righted; and so good Or­der is kept amongst men, by the Power and Force of the Law; and that is a reasonable thing, unto which the Law only serveth; and so the Law is merciful, just and equitable in every point, forasmuch as the Institution of it tendeth to the preservation and well-being of Men; for that which is ordained and instituted for the preservation of Man, is merciful towards him, it standeth as an outward Defence to his Life, Liberty and Estate: For the Law would not that any man should suffer wrong, and therefore it sheweth Mercy to the grieved, by doing Justice and Right, and that is properly the nature of Law; forasmuch as it is unreasonable in such as do the wrong, and rea­sonable to right such as are wronged: And Reason being the Mother of Law, it strengtheneth the Law to operate upon all unreasonable things, as the proper object which it is to take notice of, and there­by the end of the Law is answered in Mercy, Justice and Equity, which is agreeable to its nature. And the case may be put thus for more clearness; What would there be to punish according to Law, if all men lived peaceably, soberly, and righteously? if nothing (as cer­tainly there would not) then is there any other end in the Law, but only to punish such as live vainly, frowardly, and unrighteously? If a man be a Freeborn Englishman, and pay his Taxes and Tribute as a Subject, and neither Plot, Contrive, nor Conspire against the person of the King, or subversion of the Government, What Law is there against him in that case? the Mother of the Law, saith, None at all, forasmuch as he hath done no wrong to the King any way, but is a peaceable Subject. Again, If a man do not offer any violence to his Neigh­bour, or any way do him wrong, What Law is there against him in that case? he is not an object which the Law takes notice of for pu­nishment, forasmuch as he hath not wronged his Neighbour, but is a Sober man. Again, If a man be wholly disposed in Righteousness, What Law is there against him in that case? Righteousness is not an [Page 10] offence against the Law, for the Law is not destructive to the Righ­teous; and so in all other things, which are peaceable, sober and righteous, the power of the Law doth not operate upon such for pu­nishment, neither will any rational man affirm it, therefore the object of the Law, must needs be the wrong doers; and the power and force of it doth only extend to suppress them, because they are injurious to the well-being of peaceable, sober, and righteous People; and the Law in Mercy, Justice and Equity protecteth them from injuries, and doth them Right when they are wronged, and this is properly Law, and the end of its institution. Now these things being grant­ed, which indeed are so really true, as not to be disputed or denied, then it must of necessity follow, that when any Act is instituted, that maketh peaceable, sober, and righteous People the object of its power and force, That cannot properly be called Law, forasmuch as it doth not unite with the Foundation and Body of the Law; for it is not a reasonable thing, that peaceable, sober and righteous People should be disinherited, or exiled, or any other way destroyed or pu­nished, there is neither Mercy, Justice, or Equity in it, which are the only qualifications that the Law is setled upon: Therefore it is fully concluded, that the peaceable, sober, and righteous People, cal­led Quakers, are under the protection of the Law in every point, forasmuch as they neither wrong nor injure any man, which draws the Mercy, Justice and Equity of the Law over them; and so what­soever Act is, or may be made against that People, or however it lieth as to titles and terms for preventing and suppressing their Godly Meetings, or any other matter or thing which pertains to their Con­sciences, yet it cannot make them Transgressors of the Law, though they continue their Meetings or other Godly Exercises, contrary unto such an Act; because their Meetings and Godly Exercises are in tenderness of Conscience towards God, and not to wrong or injure any man; neither can any Experiences demonstrate that the practice of those People have at any time, or in any place, been any way hurtful to the Life, Liberty or Estate of any Peo­ple; Therefore the Mercy, Justice and Equity of the Law is on their side, and standeth in it self for their protection, and not for their destruction; and whatsoever is enacted against them cannot unite with the body of the Law, because it doth evidently appear that they answer the Law, when they meet together, as meeting peace­ably, [Page 11] soberly and righteously, which wholly tendeth to the well-being of all People; and therefore by the Law they are to be defended from injury and wrong, and not to be disinherited, exiled, destroyed, or any other way punished, by any Act whatsoever; for as they give no just occasion for any Act to be made against them, so none in Power is to make any Act to punish them, but to extend the Mercy, Justice and Equity of the Law towards them, who in all things answer the Law in their ho­ly and peaceable life, wherein they walk in all Godliness and honesty, as becometh Christianity. Thus in obedience to the Lord God of Heaven and Earth, I have given forth my Testimony concerning these weigh­ty matters, that none may endeavour to promote any thing against those dearly and welbeloved People of the Most High God, who re­proachfully, and scornefully, are called Quakers, but in the Power of God are truly Christians, with whom I am united in the Bond of Peace, and therein rest, a true Lover of all mankind.

W. S.

A Postscript to all Honest, Sober and Impartial Jurors.


I Have much tenderness in my heart towards you, forasmuch as I believe, that many of you are of a grave and sollid disposition, and desire to perform your places of Trust in honesty and sobriety as becometh men; and you it is, that I desire may well consider the whole matter, and chiefly these particulars following. (1.) Whe­ther the Prisoner stands upon his Tryal according to Law, that is, whether it be properly and truly Law, that he is tryed by. (2.) Whe­ther the Law and the Witness agree together in every point, as to the matter in question. (3.) Whether the thing done, be really an offence against the Law, and so a Fact punishable by the Law; for there may be some Acts that will not unite with the Body of the Law, as before is mentioned; and also there may be several interpreta­tions of the Law, and the Judges may wrest the Law by such in­terpretations; as for instance, there is an Act to prevent and suppress [Page 12] Seditious Conventicles: Now according to these express words, this Act will unite with the Body of the Law, and in that sence may pro­perly be called, Law, because it is to prevent and suppress such acti­ons and practices as tend to discord, strife, and ill things, and there­by tendeth to the preservation of peaceable People. Now mark, If any be tryed by this Act, because they onely meet together to Worship God in his Fear, and the Evidence can prove nothing farther, than onely a Meeting, and the Judge tell you, that such proof is sufficient to make such guilty of an Offence, that are taken at a Meeting, though it be not apparently Seditious; such an interpretation makes the Law to be no Law, because it will not unite with the Body of the Law, according to the sence of the Judges interpretation; for the Interpre­tation quite altereth the matter, and so maketh such to be the objects of their Interpretation, that are not proper objects of the Law; and whosoever are found guilty, as Offenders, from any such interpre­tation, they are wronged and injured according to the Law: for where the Institutors of Laws do signify their minds in express words, if their minds and words will unite with the Body of the Law, then no Interpretation is to wrest their minds and words from their proper sence and signification, for so the Judges may interpret the Law to answer the Witness, and thereby make an Innocent man to appear guilty of an offence, when the Witness is to answer the Law, by proving the Fact to be an offence against the Law it self, or otherwise the Law in it self, doth not operate upon any man to Con­demnation.

Weigh and ballance these things in the just Principle of God, in which is the pure Wisdom that gives to discern the Precious from the Vile, and so put a difference between those that serve God, and those that serve him not; and let each condition be answered with a just measure, and therein you will find your peace and happiness both present and to come: And the Lord give you Wisdome and Understanding, that with boldness and courage you may stand in Mercy, Justice and Equity over all the fear of men.

W. S.

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