THE WOFULL CRY OF Unjust Persecutions, and grievous Oppressions of the People of God in England, through the Injustice of some of her Rulers, and wikednesse of Teachers and People, who hasten to fulfil the measure of their forefathers cruelty. WITH A LAMENTATION Over them all who rewards the Lord evill for good, and is a warning to them all for repen­tance; shewing that the coming of the Lord is nigh. AND This may serve for an Answer in full, to all such who have Persecuted by violence, by Word or Writing the innocent people in scorn called QUAKERS. WITH A SHORT ADDITION, Which shewes unto all, the ground of Per­secution; in its first cause, and the enmity which is betwixt the two seeds, is clearly discovered,

By a Friend to the suffering Seed of God, E. B.

LONDON, Printed for Giles Calvert at the Black Spread-Eagle, near the West end of Pauls.



THIS is sent a­broad into the World, that all people may see what is brought forth in this Ge­neration against the Innocent, who suffer cruel things for well doing, and not for e­vil; and the words of Christ are fullfilled, who said, As they have done unto me, so will they doe unto you: And the time comes, that whosoever kills you he [Page] will think that he doth God good service. And this is now come to passe, according as he hath said, to our rejoycing, and to the sorrow of all our enemies. And as any is moved herein, this is to be gi­ven to the hands of the Persecu­ters and of them who have done e­vil against the Lords people, as a gift unto them from

a friend, Who is at present a sufferer un­der Bonds for the testimony of Jesus Christ, through the wick­ednesse of men (but most especi­ally by the supposed Minister of this Town)

The Wofull Cry of unjust Persecutions and grievous Oppressions of the people of God, inEngland, through the Injustice of some of Her Rulers, and wickednesse of Teach­ers and People, who hasten to fullfill the measure of their fore-fathers cruelty.

OF a truth the Lord is arisen, and he hath caused the light of his countenance to shine forth upon his people, his day is dawned, and the brightnesse of his glory is shining forth as the sun at noon day, his everlasting arme is stretched forth to lead out of captivity his own chosen, the days of perfect freedome is approaching, he that brings health, peace & liberty to all Nations is come & coming, who will restore the breaches, and subdue all things under him­self, that he may reign for ever and ever, who alone is wor­thy (for he hath all power in his hand, and he brings to passe whatsoever he will, that all men and Nations may fear be­fore him, and tremble at his dreadfull presence, who hath power in his hand) to change Times and Lawes, Orders, De­crees and Governments, the hearts of all men he can turn what way he listeth, and he pulleth down one and setteth up [Page 2] another, and whatsoever is in his heart to do, his power can bring it to passe: who would not fear before him and reve­rence his Name? Who would not be afraid to offend him? who giveth unto man breath and takes it away in a moment; all Nations are as the drop of a bucket before his eternal eye, he dwells in the high and holy place, and his habitation is high above the world; he inhabits eternity forevermore, and yet abideth, and walketh, and dwelleth with the children of men, that fear his Name and tremble at his Word; he hath been as a stranger, as one not known, for men have been se­perated from him by transgression, and have been ignorant of his wayes; he hath been as one hidden for many ages, and hath been worshipped ignorantly, and hath winked in the time of ignorance, but now he calleth all to repentance e­very where: Blessed are they that wait upon him, that they may know him and their souls may live, and now the purpose of his heart is to bring in his scattered people into the fold of peace, where Christ Jesus is the shepherd, and his people shall dwell in safety, and shall be a free people, to worship him in the Spirit and in the Truth, and every yoake of bon­dage shall be broken, and the oppressed shall be set free, and Christ shall reign, and his Government above shall be e­stablished over all the world, mans honour shall be laid in the dust, and the pride of all flesh shall be stained and the glory thereof shall wither as a flower, the loftinesse of all flesh shall be laid low, and the Lord alone shall be exalted, and his people, which now are oppressed, shall replenish and fill the earth: All corrupt men and Rulers their strength and might shall utterly fail them, and men that fear God and love righteousnesse shall take their place, and all things shall be changed, and the world shall be turned up-side down.

But because of this is all the world troubled, and the Hea­then is on a rage, and the people do imagine vain things, and men of high degree and low degree, and of all sorts, have set themselves against the Lord, that they might stop the pur­pose of the most high, and their hearts within them burn be­cause [Page 3] of envy, and the Devil hath stirred up all sorts of peo­ple to work for him, and to uphold his kingdom and h [...]s power, he is come down in great rage, knowing that his time is but short, and hath filled the hearts of all his servants with despite and ravening envy against the seed of God.

The heads of the people, they have conspired together against the Lord, and against his truth; and have decreed unrighteous decrees, that they might prevent the purpose of the most High. Many of the Rulers and Judges, as mem­bers of the beastly power, rather than of Jesus Christ, hath unjustly judged and falsly imprisoned and trodden under foot the meek and upright, who fear the Lord and walk in his way, even such who have come from under the subjecti­on of the worship and power of the Beast, which all the world had wondered after, hath the Beast raised his force a­gainst. How many hundreds in this Nation have been im­prisoned falsly, and suffered grievous abuses unjustly for righteousnesse sake, and not for evil doing, as a testimony against this generation of Judges and people, and for a te­stimony that they are of God, who have in patience born the sufferings, and the cruelties of the wicked, many have suffered the losse of liberty and riches, and some the losse of life, for the exercise of a pure conscience towards God, and for the Kingdom of Jesus, many have suffered under the po­wer of wicked men, for declaring against sin and iniquity, in Townes, Steeple-houses, or high wayes, and for crying a­gainst pride, and vanity, and idolatry, and coveteousnesse, and the wickednesse of Rulers, Priests, and People, whose deceits and transgressions hath abounded in this generation, and others have deeply suffered grievous cruelties, because they could not swear & respect persons with hat or knee and so were witnesses for the Lord and his Kingdome, which stands in righteousnesse, and against the power and kingdom of the Beast; which stands in iniquity, in fainednesse and flattering titles, and disobedience to the Son of God, and many hundreds are wofull unjust and oppressed sufferers at this day, by false imprisonment and spoiling of goods, be­cause [Page 4] they cannot pay Tithes, that abominable and crying oppression, by which the Beast chiefly maintains his false Prophets, and because the unchangable Priesthood is witnes­ed, and the changable denied, and Christ the light of the World followed, therefore is this suffering laid upon the just, and many are sufferers under hard tasks, because they cannot maintain the Idol temples, and Idol worships, and Idol Priests, which the power of Antichrist upholds against the power of the Son of God, and against the new Cove­nant of life, where God in spirit and in truth is worshipped without respect of places, dayes, or men, or things; and the true worshippers, they worship God in the spirit and in the truth, and cannot be subject to dayes, places, or things, ap­pointed and ordained by the power of men and false pro­phets; and how many unjust fines and false inditements have been most illegally charged upon the innocent, in many Courts and Judicatories through this Nation, and all in the defence of the kingdom of the man of sin; lest his authority should be abated, and the authority of Christ Jesus exalted; many cruelties have been done, and injustice acted both by Rulers and People, against such which no evil could justly be charged against, nor yet the transgression of any just law, by any one of them; O! horrid grievances and cruel oppres­sions hath been brought forth in this Nation, by such who should have eased the oppressed, and set at liberty the cap­tives, such who should have judged justly the cause of the poor, and heard the call of the oppressed, have turned judg­ment backward from the poor, and equity have found no place to enter, but truth hath fallen in the streets, and justice and mercy have perished from among men, and the poor hath been oppressed, and they that have departed from ini­quity have been made a prey to the mouthes of devouring Lions, for some of the Judges have been as ravening Wolves, and as greedy devouring Foxes, the Lambs of Christ have been chased by the wicked, and his power for their life; O how have the oppressed groaned in this Nation, under false judgment? to ages and generations for ever, may it be recor­ded [Page 5] for a witnesse against this generation of cruel hearted men, whom the beast and false prophet hath raised in his de­fence, and against the Kingdom of Christ Jesus and them that follow him, how full have the most part of the prisons in all this land been with guiltlesse sufferers under cruel bon­dage, with unjust dealings and false judgments, have gone forth from some of your mouthes, you that have been set to judge over the people, who should have been a terror to the wicked, but have rather strengthened the hands of evil doers, and been a terror to righteousnesse, so much as is possible, the great whore which sits upon the beast, hath made your Rulers drunk and stagger with envy and hatred and persecu­tion, and works of wickednesse against the upright; Wo is me for you, what have you brought forth? even iniquity by Decrees, and injustice by Ordinances, and false judgment by Lawes; alas, alas, your destruction cometh as an armed man upon you. Was ever the like heard, or any president in any generation before you, for imprisoning just men, for declaring against sin and the abominations of the times, as you have done many, and for imprisoning men because they cannot put off their hat to you and respect your persons, and so transgresse the law of God, and because they cannot swear, and so break Christs command? For this you have imprisoned many, and caused them to suffer because of this, may not you fear and tremble before the Lord God, and your faces gather blacknesse at this, when you consider it? Did ever any that were set to judge in the earth among men so abuse their power, and subvert it so, quite to another end than wherefore it was committed to them? May not shame cover you all, to commit men to prison for the exercise of pure conscience towards God, because they cannot swear, or respect mens persons, or maintain Idol-shepherds, and Idol-temples and worships, which is abomination to the Lord; and for taking peaceable men out of peaceable meet­ings, and out of their travel on the High-wayes, and first whipping them, and sending them to prison, the example of this which you have done, never went before in any age and [Page 6] therefore have you exceeded in oppression, in injustice, in cruelty and false judgment; all your fore-fathers the Pope nor Bishops, hardly ever brought forth such things; but the Lord will reckon with you, and plead the cause of the op­pressed against all you oppressors; yea, and will give unto you a recompence of reward according to your works; ye that have exalted your selves against the innocent, shall be brought down to the dust of misery, and the Saints shall reign and rejoyce over you, when the Kingdom of Christ Jesus the Lamb shall be set up over you all, and your beast­ly power dashed to pieces as a Potters vessel, when he whom you have persecuted and his followers shall rule with a rod of iron, and break you asunder; and this shall shurely come to passe, therefore consider it, ye that thus deal in your an­ger against the Lord and his chosen, for the Lamb shall get the victory over the Beast, and over you all that seek to de­fend him, and that strive under his power; for they that are with the Lamb are Called, and Faithful, and Chosen: O! therefore be awakened, be awakened, ye heads, and Judges, and Rulers of the people, remember and repent, the Lords hand is stretched forth against all oppression and oppressors, and his wrath is kindled against the wicked ones, and his po­wer to overthrow his dominon which long hath reigned in the Nations, and now though he seeks to defend himself a­gainst the Lamb and his followers by injust dealing, yet the out-stretched arme of the Lord shall bring deliverance to his chosen, who hath been made havock upon, in their liberties and in their estates; some cruelly suffering in prison, and o­thers by spoiling of their goods, and none of these for evil doing, but upon false suspitions, and envious jelousies, and secret surmisings, without any ground of occasion given; but by wickednesse have many of you sought occasion to make offenders, by laying snares for the feet of the harm­lesse and innocent; you have made men offenders for a word, and perverted innocent words and actions, that you might make to your self a ground to persecute, and have sought a cloake to cover your cruelty in the sight of men, [Page 7] but naked and bare are your hearts made manifest in the sight of the lord, who hath looked down from heaven, and considered these things, and hath regarded the unjust suf­ferings of his people whose liberties, and estates, and good names have been spoiled through injustice, by grievous bur­thens laid upon some, because they could not pay Tythes (that hainous oppression) to satisfie the unmercifullnesse of cruel men, and many suffers at this day, unjustly in the sight of God, and illegally also in the sight of men; and some suffer the spoiling of their goods, rather by way of robery and theft, than by just execution of judgment in proceeding of just law; this can largely be witnessed, and this is brought forth by subservant Officers to you that are set to judge, and you to them are evil examples, and strengtheners of their malitious hands, some of them are not ashamed to take six­times the value of what is unjustly claimed for the use of a false teacher and deceitful hireling who rides upon the beast, and make you their servants to oppresse the poor, to uphold them and maintain them in their pride and vanities, but the Lord hath considered these things, and he hath numbred the oppressions against you, wherewith the just have been grie­ved and oppressed under you, he hath counted this cruelty and recorded all your unjust dealing, which you have (or suffered to be) brought forth, yea the day of account hasters and the tearm draws near upon you, wherein the just and righteous Judge of heaven and earth will call you to account who will plead the cause of the poor, and of the unjust suf­ferer, and oppressed, against you all, who are oppressors the innocent prosecute against you, and the begging of the poor is heard, which calls for vengeance upon you. In the Re­cord of justice, what account will you give to the Highest­power, who rules over heaven and earth, for imprisoning just men for crying against sin, and declaring against the wickednesse of this age; this shall be proved against you in the day of the Lord; Is your answer ready, or will not your mouthes be stopped and you speechlesse, when righte­ousnesse it self pleads against you? And what can you plead [Page 8] for fining men, and imprisoning them, for not respecting your persons, and bowing with hat and knee, and because they could not swear; this hath some of you done; will you have any thing to say in the cause of these things, when Christ Jesus comes to reign and his Saints with him, unto whom the government and the authority, and rule shall be given: though now they are persecuted, and as the refuse of men accounted by you, unto whom they are become a prey, to act your oppression and cruelty upon; and be­cause they render not evil for evil, therefore is the impuden­cie of some men the more encreased, and their hardnesse of heart enlarged; and because judgment is not speedily exe­cuted, therefore are the hearts of some men set in them to do evil. O! what a sad reckoning in that day, and what large indictments and verdicts for your oppression, will be read against you, and proved to be just in the sight of God and men; a sad thing will it be upon you, when laid to your charge by the Lord, for causing men to suffer because they could not swear, nor respect persons, nor uphold the deceits of false worships and teachers, nor cease to cry a­ga [...]nst sin, in your Townes and Steeple-houses. O! be stir­red up out of your security, you Heads, and Rulers, and Judges, and Officers, even all you be awakened who have turned your sword against the peaceable, and been a terror to righteousnesse as much as you could, which you ought not to have been, and so your power you have abused, and subverted it to another end than wherefore it was commit­ted to you: instead of defending the upright you have of­fended him, and instead of being a terror to the wicked, his hand hath been strengthened through your wicked presi­dents; this is the truth, as the light in all your consciences shall witnesse in the day of the Lord; O! how hath justice and true judgment been neglected, and oppression and cru­elty abounded, the like in generations past hath not been know [...] [...] the Lord is now arisen, and hath said, I will ease [...] enemies, and take vengeance upon my adversaries, [...] done wickedly against him and his people, till the [Page 9] patience of the Lord is near an end, and his longe suffering finished, and his judgments will he make known upon his e­nemies in this generation, that ages to come forever may be warned not to oppresse the innocent, as these have done by false accusations, and unjust judgment, and wicked proceed­ings, and because of it, the wrath of the Lord is kindled, and his viols of indignation shall be poured upon the beast, and upon the false Prophet, and all their power shall be smitten in one day.

And O what wickednesse hath abounded in the people al­so, to help up the measure of the Rulers sins, that may re­ceive the recompence together; how have the people of all sorts abused the innocent lambs of Christ, whom he hath called? What beatings, and stonings, and bruisings, and o­ther abuses, in Townes, and High-waies, and Steeple-hou­ses, its hard to be expressed and large to be declared: some have been wounded night unto death, others bruised till blood have gushed out, and others cast down in the dirt and punched with feet and troden upon, and many have been in danger of their lives, some have been knocked down with staves and thir cloaths rent, and their hair torne off their heads, and some have been pursued after with throwing stones and dirt at them, and many halled, and tumulted, and lugged, and hurried up and down in cruel manner, to the danger of life and oppression of the creature, and others have been whipped, and lashed, and put into cruel torment of their bodies, by engins framed of purpose to torment the bodies of the harmlesse, as Chester and Carlile may witnesse, and others have been halled before rulers, and falsly slan­dered to the taking away of life if the Lord had not preven­ted, more than mercy of men, and having been unmercifully and unjustly sent to prison, there have they suffered cruel­ties from the Goalers or their servants, by beatings, or pun­nishings, or threatnings, or cruel words, and casting into dungeons, and great abuses shamefully acted upon them, and other prisoners have made a prey upon them, by t [...]king away their cloaths and meat, and beating of them, and a­busing [Page 10] them divers waies, and murtherers have had more priviledge of freedom in prisons and in tryals, than these who are innocent, and these things thus acted contrary to their own law, hath passed without reproofe from many in Authority, though it have been brought to their door, and in this manner have the children of God, the Lamb and his followers been persecuted without cause, or any evil works brought forth by them, and legally proved against them; but for well doing, and not for evil, hath the wicked vented their malice against them, that the more the Beast and his power hath fullfilled wickednesse, the sooner may be his de­struction.

And O what scorning, and reviling, and lying, and slan­dering, and evil speeches, with mockings, and cruel words of envy, and tearms of cruelty against the innocent, hath this generation brought forth in this day, wherein the dragon with his Angells hath joyned battel against the Prince of righteousnesse, and they that follow him, and whole Gog and Magog is gathered together, to compasse the Camp of the Saints about, and to fight against the beloved City, the Judges and Rulers, with their train of subservant officers, as Bayliffs, Clarks, Goalers, Constables, with all that to those belonged, have with a high hand persecuted and laid oppres­sions by hard-heartednesse, upon the backs of the poor and distressed, and the scorners, and liers, and prophane wretch­es have bent their tongue against the just, in uttering lies, slanders, reproaches, back-biting, nick-namings, and false­accusing, and all manner of evil speehes, and false reproach­es, and the just have been burthened by all this; and thus they that have been departed from iniquity have been a prey to Rulers to act their injustice upon, and to the peo­ple to utter their slanders, and to do cruelty against; and the teeth of evil doers have been set on edge, to bite and de­voure, and to satisfie their maliciousnesse upon the suffer­ings of the upright people, and from the Judge upon his throne, to the begger upon the high-way; all have had their hand dipped in this cause of cruel and unjust persecution, and [Page 11] the Lord hath considered and harkened from his holy habi­tation, and numbered up the summe of all your iniquities that he may repay and recompence upon your heads, wo unto you unjust Judges, and corrupt men, who have abused your power. And wo unto all that do oppresse by hard dealing, who have offended the just, and defended the unjust: Wo unto all you scorners, liers, back biters, and reproach­full tongues; the Lord is coming to take an account. Your sins cry for vengeance against you, and though your hands and tongues have been strengthened to speak and act un­godlinesse, by the evil example of your rulers, yet your own iniquity shall you bear in the day of the Lord, and though your rulers and judges have been strengthened in their un­justnesse and mercilessenesse, by the false lying teachers and diviners of false visions, which have seen vanity, yet their own iniquity shall they bear, & every man shall die for his own sin; Wo unto your teachers they have eaten up the sin of rulers and people, and covered iniquity and trans­gression, by flattering and lying words; they have daubed with untempered morter, and healed up the wound deceit­fully, and cryed peace, peace, to the wicked, that have walk­ed in the imaginations of their own hearts, when unto such the Lord never spake peace.

And now whereas the Rulers and people have stretched forth their hands to vex the Lords people, and have through unjust judgment, and grievous oppressions, and unmercifull dealings, troden the innocent under foot, and made them a prey to their mouth, and divers waies have persecuted in cruel manner the followers of the Lamb; yet also have the wise men of this world, even the Priests and Teachers, who have led the people, and have caused them to erre, and have set themselves as in battle array against the Lord and his way and people; How have you hardened your hearts and made your forehead as brasse, against the Word of the Lord, and you have been as the fountain of all this wickednesse acted against the just, and strengtheners of the hands of ungodly men; the Heads and Ruler, you have strengthened in their [Page 12] cruelty, of false judgments by your arguments of strife; in subtiltly you have been as nursers of all this perse­cution and wickednesse, and have interceded for oppression, to cause the just to groan, whom the Lord hath raised to testifie against you; the judges they have given re­gard unto you, and the people they have taken you for ex­amples, who have been cursed presidents to the Rulers and people, who have followed your cruel steps of malice and envy; and from the head to the tail, they have drunk in your poisonus doctrines; and made themselves drunk there­with, and out of reason, in their furious zeal of madnesse, and all have taken council together to slay the harmlesse from off the face of the earth; some by false judgment and oppression, and others by cruel abusings, as beatings, and stonings, unheard of, or unequalized in generations of late. O ye Priests, and Teachers, and wise men, and Scribes! how many of you in this Nation joyned hand in hand to betray the innocent, by your false doctrines and lying divinations, and have filled (and sought to do so) the mind of the peo­ple with slanders and false reproaches, and lying imaginati­ons, and many conceptions and jealousies against the people of God; many of you have made it your study work, to bring forth evil by cunning arguments, to suggest into the hearts of people, that they might not enter the kingdom, and even so have you been shutters of the kingdom of hea­ven against men, and would not enter your selves, nor suffer others that would.

Wo unto you, you have taken away the key of know­ledge and lost it, and multitudes of false aspersions, and ly­ing assertions have you brought forth without fear, by wick­ed consequence and lying productions, that you might take away the key of knowledge thereby, and hide it from men, and lay stumbling blocks of iniquity before the people, to stop the way of the upright, and you have travelled to seek occasions of evil against the just, and watched for the halt­ing of the innocent, that you might glory and rejoyce in their fall, and without any occasion by words or actions, you [Page 13] have taken offence, and made offences by evil surmisings, to blind the eyes of people, that your Idolatry might not be discovered, nor the way of righteousnesse shine forth. O be ashamed and repent, for to account must you Come, and the sin of Rulers and people, whom you have blindly led, will be charged against you, who have given them wicked examples, of cruelty in your pulpits, you have spent time in rayling, and slandering, and lying, to infuse evil into the minds of men, against the truth, and many books have you given forth and sent abroad from your lying pens, out of your vain studies, of false prophesie, and mens hearts have been filled with your damnable doctrines of Devils, where­with the simple have been poysoned, and the innocent be­trayed; even great numbers of books, and lying scroules have gone through the nation from some of you filled with false divination, and intents of evil, against the way of the Lord and his people, and worse than Balaam, and far exceeding him have you been: you have sought en­chantments to curse the people whom God hath blessed altogether, and some of you have done it to your evill re­ward of your evil work; and you have not known that there is no divination against the holy seed. O! what will become of you when he Lord is arisen to plead with you for these things, the cruelty and oppression of the Rulers shall be added to your account, and the sin of the people which you have swallowed down, it shall be laid to your charge; for you have strengthened the hands of evil doers, so that none could turn from his evil way, but have by you been hardened therein, and from you prophanesse have gone forth to the ends of the earth. Woe, woe, is approaching, what account will you render in the day of the Lord? you will all be speechlesse in that day, when the swift witnesse doth arise; therefore to all you I am moved to write, who have set your selves to gain-say the truth, and to write against the people of the Lord, whom you call Quakers, who walk in the truth, and have received the truth from the Lord, whom you have reproached and slandered in secret, and al­so [Page 14] in open print, in the face of the world, and have laid ma­ny cruel and false charges and accusations against them, and to all that hath, or ever shall hereafter bend your tongues and pens, to utter wickednesse and falshood by writing or otherwise. Repent and cease your wickednesse, for the wrath of the Lord is kindled against you, and take this for an answer in full to all your books, and false reproaches; we are of God, and he that is of God heareth us, and the whole world lyes in wickednesse, and we have the testimony that we please God; and he is our God, and we are his people, and he hath chosen us, and we have chosen him, and the name of the Lord is our strength, and his covenant of life is with us, and among us hath he fullfilled his promise, and his spirit is poured forth, and sons and daughters do Prophesie, and one king reigns upon mount Sion, and the night to us is far spent, and the day is dawned, and the darknesse of the night, which long hath overshadowed the world, in which no man could work, is from us fled, and the marvellous light is risen, and we are them whom God hath gathered according to his promise, Ezek. 34. from the mouthes of Idol-shepherds which once made a prey upon us, and the glory of the Lord is revealed, and the time is come of Restoration, and of bringing back out of the cap­tivity of darknesse, where all have laid, with a vail of dark­nesse spread over all their faces, and we are eye-witnesses of his glory, and it is given us to taste, and feel, and handle the Word of Life, which lives for ever, therefore I say unto you all, it is a little thing to us and not respected to be reproach­ed by you; our life you cannot reach, nor our glory deface, and you we know to be them who God never sent, but must fullfill your measure of wickednesse, till the time of your o­verthrow, which draws near upon you all, and despisable shall you be to all that fear the Lord and love his wayes, for your nakednesse and shame shall be uncovered and them that have loved you shall be filled with the indignation of the Lord against you, all your writings, and books, and lyes, and Senders, and false reproaches uttered in publick and [Page 15] private, shall go into the pit from which they came, and shall return upon your own heads, and when your vail of slanders and false aspersions is taken off, then shall we (as we are) appear, and till then all your evil brought forth a­gainst us we bear in patience, and love your revilings rather than your praise; wherefore with shame put off your ar­mour, and lay down your crownes, and stop your mouthes in the dust, and bow and tremble before the just God, and before the lamb, who is risen to make war against the beast & against you his fals Prophets, whose generation must grow feeble and become weaknesse in this the day of the Lord, your time is at an end, wherein it was given you to reign, and to seduce and deceive the Nations; and now shall the sonne of God be exalted, and the kingdoms of this World shall be­come the Kingdomes of Christ, hear and consider this, all ye that exalt your selves against the Lord and his way, and are established in the throne of unrighteousnesse, under the beastly power, if any man hath an ear to hear let him hear, the light is risen, and these things are made manifest, and with the light of the world, in all men shall they be witness­ed to be truth, and the state of things as they are at this day, and if you can discerne the times, and the signes of times, and the changing of times, here you may read and under­stand, blessed are all that have an ear to hear.

TO all ye Heads and Rulers, Judges and Magistrates, Mayors, Bailiffs, Goalers and Constables, and all others whatsoever, governors Priests and people, who have, and do persecute the children and servants of the Lord, the Saints of the most high God, who feareth the name of the Lord, and walketh in his way, who are not of this world, but redeem­ed out of it, and are despised among men, as all the genera­tion of the just every where; to all you persecuters and vi­olent doers, this is a word from the Lord God: Repent, re­pent, for evil have you done in his sight, and vext his soul, and grieved his spirit, and heaped up wrath against the day of wrath, and multiplyed your transgressions and the measure [Page 16] of your Iniquities are well nigh filled up; ye have set your selves against the Lord, and your hands you have strength­ened against his people, you have rejected the day of your visitation, and you have not regarded the day of your salva­tion, you have plainly made it manifest that you are that generation which killed the just, and that you are of the seed of evil doers, the works that you have brought forth▪ do plainly declare that you will not Christ to reign amongst you, nor his government to rule over you, who have thus persecuted the innocent without cause, by false imprison­ments, and false judgments, and hard dealing, and reproach­ings, and revilings, consider your waies and what you have done, search your hearts, and let it take place in you all, how have you persecuted the just, how have you stretched forth your hands and dealt cruelly and violently with the meek of the earth, how have you troden under foot the poor and needy, and greatly oppressed the upright hearted, who have not rendred evill for evill, but forgiven you and pray­ed for you, and wished well unto you, and born in patience (without complaining) all your injustice and cruelty, and have not sought vengeance against you, even such hath God chosen more than many, and them you have despised and persecuted more than any, and laid heavie bonds of oppres­sion upon them, and doubled their task through your hard­heartednesse, least the seed of God should grow; grieveous yoaks have you laid upon it by false imprisonments, and un­just fines, and illegal proceedings, by beatings, halings, a­busings, reproaches, and revilings, all manner of evil have been acted and spoken against the generation of the just, by you and under you in your judicatories and jurisdictions, in your Corporations, high-waies, Townes, and Goals, and o­ther places.

O! what have you? done consider, and suffered to be done under you, lay it to heart what havock of the people of the Lord in their persons and estates, and what cruelty exercised upon them through your robellious hearts, with­out any evil justly charged upon them, or breach of any law [Page 17] justly proved against them, for well doing and not for evil have you caused them to suffer: For crying against iniquity, and reproving sin in the gate, and for bearing witnesse to the truth, and against all unrighteousnesse which abounds in this generation; such have you falsly judged to be offenders, and cryed a confederacie against them, and strengthened the hands of the wicked, and caused the innocent to groan. O! what will you do in the day of your visitation, when the Lord ariseth to plead with you, to whom will you fly for re­fuge, and to whom will you cry for deliverance? Shall not the Lords soul be avenged upon you, yea from the least of you to the greatest? You shall feel his hand of judgment, even all you who have had your fingers dipped in the unjust sufferings of the dear servants of the Lord, whom he hath called to place his name with for ever, who are his faithful witnesses in this perverse generation, and by your persecut­ing of them have you proved them to be the people of God, in the sight of all Nations, and it is for a testimony unto them, that they are of God, and against you, that you are of the Devil; and Christs words are fullfilled upon them, to their rejoycing, and to your sorrow, who said, The time comes, that they shall speak all manner of evil falsly, and per­secute you, and think they do God service that kills you, and casts you from among them, and the Devil shall cast some of you into prison. And these things you have done, and fullfilled Christs words against your selves, for a witnesse against you, and to shew that you are enemies to Christ and to his king­dom, and that you will not have him to reign (as I have said: Therefore when hee reigneth, hee shall say, bring hether those mine Enimies and slay) them before me.

O! what will the just Judge of true judgment, the God of Heaven and Earth render unto you, when he ariseth to plead the cause of the poor and needy, and to deliver his Inheritance from under your oppression into perfect free­dom? What account will you give in that day, when hee brings swift destruction upon you? And wherewith will [Page 18] you answer him when the secrets of your hearts are made manifest, and when the true witnesse in you all is awakened, which will bring to your remembrance all your cruel and unjust dealing, and all your bitter and hard speeches which in your envy you have brought forth against the Lord and a­gainst his people? What will be done to you his enemies, when Christ Jesus, whom you have persecuted, comes to reign in his Kingdom, and subdues the kingdoms of this World, and changeth them into the Kingdoms of the Lord, and his Christ, and the Saints which you have oppressed, receives the Authority and Dominion? It shall be said, All that would not that Christ should reign, slay them before him; when it shall be given to the Saints to bind Kings in chains and Nobles in fetters of iron, and to execute upon the heathen all the judgments written; for behold all ye stout hearted, the Lord cometh with ten thousand of his Saints to judge the World in righteousnesse, and you shall be con­vinced of all your ungodly deeds; for the Scriptures must be fullfilled, and as you have done, even so will it be done unto you, when the suffering of the righteous is finished, and your wickednesse come to an end; when the Lord shall reign you shall lick the dust off his feet, and all the persecu­ters of Christ shall be trodden down as mire, and the righ­teous shall rejoyce over them, and the Lord shall mock when your fear and calamity comes, which come suddenly, in a day when you expect not, how shall the Lord pardon you for this? you have sinned against knowledge, and gone on after warning, and hardened your hearts after reproof, and the day of your visitation you have greatly slighted, ye Rulers have abused your power, and ye subjects have abu­sed your subjection, and now consider what God did in ge­rations past unto the rebellious children, what he did to Pharaoh and all his Hosts, when his long suffering was fi­nished, how did Pharaoh harden his heart, and his cruel Task masters oppresse the righteous, even as you have done, and they would not let Israel go free to serve the Lord, but they kept them in bondage; and this way you walk, who [Page 19] exercise cruelty as they did, and laid heavy burthens upon the innocent grieveous to be born; cruel task-masters have you been over the heritage of the Lord, and in Pharaohs exam­ple of wickednesse have you walked, fullfilling his measure of cruelty, and Pharaohs example shall you follow in a cur­sed end; remember how the loftinesse of his heart was bow­ed down, and how his proud heart was abased in the day that God pleaded with him in his righteous judgments, he and all his task-masters was confounded in a day, and the bondage of the righteous was broken in a moment, how was his whole strength of tyranie overturned and turned in­to weaknesse, the righteous were delivered, and he and all his train overwhelmed in one day, and thus shall it come to passe upon you: Therefore consider this, all ye that full­fill the measure of iniquity, suddenly will the righteous God be awakened to take vengeance upon you, and the just shall not alwaies groan under your bondage, for he that looketh from the heaven hath pity upon the distressed, for whom now his arme is stretched out to bring deliverance unto them, and all their enemies will he confound, who have this long time ploughed long furrows upon the back of the righ­teous, the oppression, and cruelty, and injustice, brought forth in this Nation, it calls for vengeance from Hea­ven.

Alas, alas, woe is me for you, you Heads, and Rulers, and Judges of England, what have you done and suffered to be done (under you) against the innocent people of God, who is as dear to him as the apple of his eye, for they be written on the palms of his hands, and because of the cry of the poor and the needy will the Lord arise and plead their cause. Oh consider and let it enter into your hearts, the cruelty and injustice that hath been brought forth in this land, and re­member what God did unto all the persecuters of old, how was their strength consumed, and they overturned and de­stroyed, what did he to Pharaoh and all his host, who perse­cuted the seed of God, how was he destroyed and the righ­teous set free; and what was done to Hammon? How was [Page 20] he justly rewarded, who persecuted the innocent seed of God? What did God to Herod and all his people who per­secuted the innocent? and remember what he did unto them that persecuted the three children, and them that persecuted Daniel, how did they fall into the pit which they had dig­ged for another, and how were they destroyed, and the in­nocent delivered, consider and remember these things, ye that suffer the just to groan by you.

Search through the records of old, and search what God hath done unto all them that lifted up their hand against him and his people, and is he not the same at this day, his hand is not shortened that it cannot save his people, and de­stroy his enemies, his ear is not dull of hearing that he should not understand this unjust suffering of his people, though you live carelessely in pleasure upon earth, while the inno­cent mournes, yet doth the Lord regard, though you spend your time in pleasure, and delight your selves in vanities all the day long, yet the Lord hath taken it to heart, and his spirit is grieved that his innocent servants should lye in holes and dungeons to be trodden upon, and be accounted as the off-scouring of all things, hardly thought worthy to have a place on the earth. Oh remember these things, ye that are high minded, and consider what God did to the Bishops and their crew of persecutors in this Nation, your selves are witnesses how the Lord overthrew them, and delivered his people in a few years time, and as little as you did they think that they whom they perseceuted, should so soon come to have reigned over them, the Lords hand was then against oppressors as it is at this day, do you think the Lord hath forgotten or that he takes no notice of what is come to passe, how should he forget his people to save them, or his enemies, that he should not recompence them; but know ye assuredly that the Lord is the same, and all those things are written in a book, and remembred by him, and he will judge justly and righteously in his dreadfull day, Ah let it enter into your hearts, serve not your selves altogether in the pleasures of this world, but serve the Lord, and this he re­quires [Page 21] of you, let the oppressed go free, and break every bond, whereby the innocent doth suffer, and this the Lord requires at your hands; Oh but I feel great hardnesse of heart, and rather a strengthening of cruel bonds, than a breaking of them, and you appear rather to be given up to work wickednesse, and to fullfill the largest measure of them that went before you than otherwise, unrighteous decrees are rather established than dissannulled.

Oh what will be the end of these things, and what will be your judgment when the Lord awakens himself as out of sleep, who hath left you to follow your own spirits to try you, that it might be known unto all what is in your hearts, and behold perversenesse lodges in them, and while the Lord hath looked for justice amongst you, even the cry of oppres­sion hath been heard, even a grieveous cry of unjust persecu­tion and violence against the seed of God, and once you would have been ashamed of those things which now you act without shame, so that which is in your hearts is powred forth in the sight of the World,

Oh ye Rulers of England, the Rulers of the Heathen shall rise up in judgment against you, even they that never professed so much as you have done, they shall be rather ju­stified than you whose wayes have been more equal than yours, and lesse cruelty brought forth by them than by you, unto their subjects, and this makes your sin more great, in that many of you were raised from low estate, and you have exalted your selves more than is meet, and have caused your very equals to groan under you, by the heavy yoak which you have prepared for them; well, but the Lord hath list­ned and heard, and a book ofremembrance is written, and he will repay into your [...], the time is not long when the Lord may scatter you and give you unto the will of your enemies, therefore be awakened and warned, the day of your visitation is upon you all.

[Page 22] OH England that thou hadst known in this thy day, the things that belong to thy peace.

Oh that thy Rulers and people had known how that the Lord hath called unto them.

Oh that they had considered how that his hand hath been stretched forth all the day long, and he would have gathered them as a Shepherd doth his flock, but they have not known, neither have they considered, and therefore that which belongs to their peace will the Lord hide from their eyes, the day of their visitation is spending apace, and the night will come, and no man shall be able to work, and because the Lord hath called and you have not heard, therefore shall you try and the Lord will give no an­swer.

Oh Nation, thou art filled with oppression, and gri­veous iniquities; and from the head to the foot thou bea­rest marks of great abominations; in thee is found lamen­table oppression of the poor; and great and grieveous ido­latries; and Gods righteous soul is vexed in thee day by day, the Just groanes and mournes under the heavy hand of oppressors, many of thy Goales do witnesse it, where many innocent and upright people have suffered unjustly the losse of their freedom, without any ground, or charge of evil laid upon them.

Oh what have thy Rulers done, Judgment and Justice have they turned backward; the cry of the poor hath not been regarded, and equity hath not found a place to enter.

Who would have thought [...], who have been so high in profession of the Scrip [...] should thus have dealt with them who are in the life of the Scriptures, this agra­vates; your sinne, in that none hath been like you in profession of Religion, and in pretences of Righteousnesse; and yet you have exceeded others in persecuting (and suf­fering of it) the servants of the Lord, but it is now made [Page 23] manifest what lodgeth in your hearts; under your faire covers of promises, words and shewes, what deep hypocri­sie is this that you should professe liberty of conscience, and yet have persecuted hundreds for the exercise of their pure Consciences.

Is not this to be taken notice of, that you should professe that which you do not perform; and will not the Lord plead with you because of it, in his dreadful day, which is hastening upon you, as a chief in the night, and the wicked shall not escape; do you think that he whom you persecute in his members and his members shall sure reign over you, do not you know that he is sufficient to a­venge himself of all his enemies; and do not you believe that he could command thousands of thousands to fight for him, and to revenge his Cause? Hath the considerati­on of these things no room in your hearts, or are your hearts wholy shut up from all compassion towards the Lords people? Surely to vengeance will the Lord be a­wakened, and he will tread you down as mire in the streets; and as you have done, and suffered to be done to the Lords people, even so shall it be done unto you.

THere are only two Seeds in the World, and there are but two and no more, to wit, the Seed of God, and the Seed of the Serpent; and these two are contrary one to the other, in their bringing forth, in their time, and in their ends, they differ in their Nature, in their fruits and works, and in their reward; and these two are at continual enmity one against another, and never was, is, or shall be reconciled, the life of one is the death of the other, and where the one doth live, the other doth dye, and where the one rejoyceth, the other is made sor­rowful, and where the one is in freedom, the other is in bondage, and where the one is Ruler, the other is a slave and in captivity, and thus are they contrary, where the [Page 24] one brings forth fruit, the other is barren, and the one is rewarded with the overthrow of the other, and the one of these is ruling in every creature man and woman, and growing and bringing forth fruit from it selfe through the creature; the fruits of the one is blessed for ever, and the fruits of the other is cursed for ever, and betwixt these two there is no concurrence or agreement in any thing what­soever, they differ in likenesse, and their fruits differ in appearance, the fruit of the one is love, and peace, and unity; the fruit of the other is hatred, and envy, and trou­ble, and enmity; the fruit of the seed of God in the crea­ture, is truth, and righteousnesse, and faith, and pati­ence, long-suffering, and temperance, and joy, and peace in the Lord, with all other things which are good, and just, and pure; but the fruits of the seeed of the Serpent are of another nature, as lying, theft, murther, dissimulation, drunkennesse, and whordomes, hypocrisie and all un­righteousnesse, which is not according to God, but contra­ry to him; and by these several fruits proceeding through the creature, do we know every creature, and so judge of him to be the child of God, or the childs of the Devil; in the election, or in the reprobation, for through whom the fruits of the seed of God doth spring forth, we know such are not of the Devil; and through whom the fruits of the seed of the Serpent doth spring forth, we know such are not of God. And these two seeeds are now striving in the earth, the one against the other, and they in whom the seed of God rules, are persecuted by them in whom the seed of the Serpent rules; for they in whom the seed of God rules are born of God [...] of his Spirit, and they in whom the seed of the Serpent rules are born of flesh, and minds the things of the flesh, which shall not endure for e­ver, and so every one that is born of the flesh, is of the seed of the Serpent, or the seed of the Serpent rules in him, and every one that is born of the seed of God, the seed of God rules in him, such are persecuted for righteousnesse sake, by [Page 25] the seed of the Serpent wich is at enmity against the seed of God, which cannot fullfill the will of the Serpents seed, nor be subject to his lawes, for the seed of God cannot be subject to the Serpents seed in any thing, but is subject to God, and not to any thing that is contrary to him; but rather suffers imprisonment, and cruelties, and bonds, under the serpents seed than in the least to bow to it.

So this is the ground of all persecution and enmity, which is betwixt the two seeds, which seeks the overthrow each of other, but who are of the seed of God, knowes that they are of God, and that the whole world lyes in wickednesse, under the government of the seed of the Serpent; and such where the seed of God is brought forth, hath the te­stimony in themselves that they are of God, and have be­lieved in the Sonne of God who is the light of the world, and knowes him to be the foundation and the rock of ages, and the gates of hell cannot prevail against him, nor the enmity of the Serpents seed overcome him, nor they that are builded on him; and this is a testimony for the seed of God, and against the seed of the Serpent in all the World, that it is persecuted of the seed of the Serpent, and spoken all manner of evil of by the World, according to the words of Christ, which are fullfilled upon us to our rejoyc­ing, who are of the seed of God, and to the trouble of all our enemies, who are of the seed of the Serpent. And otherwise it cannot be, but that they who are born of the flesh must persecute them who are born of the spirit; for because of the enmity that is placed between the two seeds, the one cannot love the other, nor have fellowship the one with the other, and which of our fore-fathers the Prophets and Disciples of Christ, which were of the seed of God, were not persecuted, hated, and reviled, and reproached by your fore-fathers who were of the seed of the Serpent, and they, no more than you, could receive the knowledge of God and his waies, but ever despised the path thereof, [Page 26] and counted the wisdom of God foolishnesse, and stood in the enmity against God and his people, and all their wayes, and they that were of the seed of the serpent ever called truth error, and the way thereof heresie and blalphe­mie.

Jeremiah, Amos, and the rest, were called deceivers and mad men, and seducers of the people, and evil was done unto them, Jeremiah was put in the stocks and in the dun­geons, by the Rulers of that generation, who were of the seed of the serpent, even the Prophets of God who were sent of God, and were witnesser of his name in truth and righteousnesse, were acounted and called deceivers, and were persecuted by imprisonments, and some unto death as you may read in the Scripture, Jeremiah 20. Amos 7.

These with others who were sent of the Lord to bear testimony of God and against the Rulers, who executed not true justice and judgment, but were oppressors of the poor, who judged for gifts and rewards, and against the false Prophets and Priests that ran and had not been sent, who used thir tongue, and said the Lord saith, and the Lord had not spoken to them, who prophesied falsly, and preach­ed for hire, and bare rule by their means, and made a prey upon the people, these were of the seed of serpent, and did persecute them that bore witnesse against them, that were of the seed of God.

The Word of the Lord was even a reproach unto Jere­miah daily, and they smote him with the tongue, and the chief governour of the house of the Lord, smote him and put him in the dungeon, and Amos, which had been no Prophet not the son of a Prophet but a herdsman, he was persecuted by the Priest of Bethel, and was commanded not to Prophesie in the Kings Chappel, and Amaziah the Priest complained to Jereboam the King against Amos the Prophet, and Ezekiel the Prophet could not be received of the people, for saith the Lord, they will not hear thee, [Page 27] for they will not hear me, and they were a rebellious house, and impudent, and hardhearted, and would not receive the Prophets words, and thus it was in the time of the Apostles and Christ Jesus, they were persecuted, and some of them put to death for bearing testimony unto the father, whom they were witnesses of and against the World; what re­proaches, slanders, beatings, buffetings, scornings, tu­mults, uproars, and all manner of evil did they suffer in their generation by the seed of the Serpent, from the hands of the Rulers, and Priests, and people; Christ was accoun­ted a deceiver, and called a devil, and a blasphemer; and the Apostles were called heretiques, deceivers, and pesti­lent fellowes, movers of sedition, destroyers of the Law▪ and turners of the World upside down, and such like: All these were of the seed of God that were persecuted, and the persecuters were of the seed of the Serpent, which brought forth violence, and wickednesse, and false judge­ment against the innocent; and some were put to death upon the false account of being deceivers and blasphe­mers.

If you search through the whole Scripture, you may read how the just were persecuted, even from Abel who was of the seed of God, and all that ever were persecuted for righteousnesse sake, were persecuted upon the account of being evil doers, and the persecuters judged themselves to be righteous.

He was the chief Governor of the house of the Lord, that persecuted Jeremiah, and the people that smote him with the tongue, said, They knew the Law should not perish from the Priest, nor Counsel from the Honourable: and it was Amaziah the Kings Priest that persecuted Amos, and it was they that seeemed to be religious that persecuted the Prophets, and it was the wise Scribes and Pharisees, and the chief Priests, that handled the Law, and that offered Sacrifice, that persecuted Christ and the Apostles.

How zealous were the Jewes in their traditions and ob­servations, [Page 28] in their sabboth-keeping, and in the dayes of their humiliation, in their Temple-worship, and in all the Commandments of God? They were zealous according to their own thoughts, yet were they of the seed of the Serpent; and persecuted the seed of God in blind zeal, upon false judgment, and the persecutors had a name to be righteous, and the persecuted were accounted unrighteous, and so darknesse was put for light, and light for darknesse, and them that were well-doers were accounted evil doers, and them that were evil doers were accounted righte­ous.

And such was the blindnesse of Rulers and people, such as prophesied falsly, and came in their own name were recei­ved, for the people loved to have it so when the great a­bomination was committed, but they that came in the fa­thers name could not be received, but were persecuted; the Prophets, Christ, nor his Apostles could not be received of the World, but were persecuted in it, and lawes and de­crees were made against them, whereby they suffered un­justly upon grounds suspitions and jealousies, for that way was called heresie, in which the true God was wor­shiped.

Christ was called a deceiver, and the wisdom of the World could not receive the knowledge of the things of God, and as it was then, so is it now in every particular, if any man hath an ear to hear he may hear, and a heart to understand he may perceive; for now is the seed of God and the seed of the Serpent at enmity, striving one against the other, and the one persecutes the other in this genera­tion as ever it was we are persecuted upon the false ac­count and false judgement of being evil doers, and de­ceivers, and our persecuters accounts themselves righteous and zealous for Gods waies, and such as are false Prophets and deceivers, are accounted true Ministers of Christ, even them that preach for hire, and seek for their gain from their Quarter, and through convetousnesse, by feigned words [Page 29] makes merchandise of soules, such were, and such are de­ceivers and were never sent of God, and yet such in this ge­neration are accounted Ministers of Christ, and such as are Ministers of Christ, who walk in the Doctrin of Christ, as they have received freely, so do they freely give, and seek not advantage themselves, but are persecuted and reviled for righteousnesse sake, such are accounted and falsly judg­ed deceivers, and so true judgment is turned backward, good is called evil, and evill good, deceivers are called Ministers of Christ, and Ministers of Christ are called de­ceivers, and thus people in this generation erres in judg­ment, and persecutes the righteous, who are of the seed of God.

And it was ever the Ministers of Christ that were perse­cuted, and never any of them persecuted any, nor ever any of the deceivers persecuted for righteousnesse sake, but they ever persecuted the just and sought to the Rulers, and to the Elders of the people for violence to be done unto them that feared the Lord, and witnessed against their wickednesse, it was the Chief Priests and them that handled the law, which caused Christ and the Apostles to be perse­cuted.

Amaziah sought to Jereboam to have Amos persecuted and as it was then, so it is now. How doth the Teachers of this Nation seek to the Magistrates to have the innocent persecuted, and yet these men are zealous for their per­formances and duties in the set dayes of humiliation and lectures, and even they think they do God good service in imprisoning the innocent, they have great zeal without knowledge as the Jewes had, and they are strict in their Sabboth keeping, in their singing and praying, &c. But yet is violence done to the just and true judgment and ju­stice neglected, and therefore all that which they perform to God is abomination in his sight.

Oh what complaining is by the Teachers of this N [...]tion to the Magistrates? What crying out for defence, shewing [Page 30] that they want the spiritual armour, and dare not trust the Lord? What plotting and contriving against the seed of God by the seed of the Serpent, who ever was a persecutor and never was persecuted? What lawes and decrees are brought forth against the Lords people, as traps to ensnare their fee, like as it was in the dayes of old, even like unto Artaxerxes the King, who made a Decree and gave com­mandment that the City of God should not be builded, and this was from the information and complaining of Rhe­hum the Chancellor and Shimshai the Scribe, who brought certain accusations to the King against the people of God, and called the holy City, a rebellious and bad City, and that it was hurtfull unto Kings, and danger to endam­mage the revenue of Kings.

Here was a conspiracie by the Scribes and such as han­dled the Law, with the King against the people of God, and thus it is now, he that hath an eye to see may see; how many petitions have they put to the Rulers against the peo­ple of God? What grieveous and false accusations have they laid to the charge of the innocent, saying they be Popishly affected, and disobedient to Government: so that the seed of the Serpent ever doth hatch evil against the seed of God to destroy it from off the face of the earth, and it was the wise, and the learned, and the Rulers, whom the Devil made use of to persecute the righteous: it was such as Rhehum the Chancellor, and Shimshai the Scribe, and Pashur the chief Governor in the house of the Lord, and it was such as the chief Priests and Elders of the people, and the wise men of this world, such as these it was that persecu­ted the righteous, and so it is now, Orthodox men (so called) Justices of Peace, &c. whom the Devil makes use of; to persecute the innocent, against which no occasion can be found but concerning the Law of God, as it was with Daniel, as you may read, Daniel 6, and 5, 6. against him they could find no occasion that they might presecute him, but concerning the Law of his God, and it was the [Page 31] President and Princes, and Counsellors and the Governors which consulted together against Daniel, who was the ser­vant of God.

And as it was then, so it is now in this generation, they can find no occasion against us (the people of God) either by doctrin or conversation, but onely concerning the law and worship of our God, for there is a law against the law of Christ, and all that will not swear contrary to the law of Christ, must be counted evil doers and Popish recusants, and punished, and this is not for any evil in us, but because we cannot transgresse the law of our God, and also another decree, which takes hold upon them that travell to wor­ship God on the first day of the week, whereby the inno­cent doth suffer and are like to suffer; and not for evil do­ing is any occasion against us, but because we will not stay from the worship of our God, but are made to travel that we may meet together to worship him; with such other decree; which sheweth unto all men that they seek occasion against us concerning the law of our God, not having oc­casion by doctrine, or conversation, or any other thing; so for righteousnesse sake are we persecuted, and not for evil doing; some are persecuted because for conscience sake they cannot stay at their own houses but are moved by the Lord to declare the Name of the Lord abroad in the Nati­on, many by a decree are taken and punished as for vaga­bonds, and this is an occasion concerning the law of our God; and Christ was persecuted and put to death by an unrighteous decree, for they had an (unrighteous) law, as they said, aad by it he ought to dye, and unrighteous laws and decrees were made against the Apostles, whereby they were commanded to depart out of their townes, and to preach no more in the Name of Jesus, and by such decrees were the Apostles persecuted. So that this may shew un­to all, that our fore-fathers who were of the seed of God, some were persecuted unto death by unrighteous decrees and statutes, and as it was then, so it is now, he that hath [Page 32] an eye to see may see: the same as ever was is come to passe in the earth, the seed of the Serpent striving against the seed of God and persecuting it where it is brought forth: by unrighteous decrees, how did the late Bishops of England persecute the harmlesse? What Lawes and Ordi­nances were then brought forth, whereby violence was done against such as feared the Lord, and then was the seed of the Serpent striving against the seed of God.

And this is given forth to shew unto all the World the cause of persecution in its first ground, (to wit) the irre­coverable enmity which is betwixt the two seeds, the one continually hating and persecuting the other, and seeking the overthrow each of other, and the enmity betwixt the two seeds, is the cause of strife, the one being innocent, and the other unrighteous, so it is not for the persons sake, or a­ny other thing that the just are persecuted, but it is because of the seed of God, which cannot bow, nor worship the seed of the Serpent, that is the first cause of persecution.

Again, all may see what unrighteous lawes and decrees were and are brought forth to persecute the innocent, whereby they have suffered in all generations for righteous­nesse sake, and not for evil doing; also it may be seen, that it was the wise, the learned, the Presidents and Chancellors and chief Priests, and Scribes, who were and are the very active persons by whom the seed of God is persecuted, and even such as were and are zealous in their observances and Sabboth-keeping, and such like, it was not the poor nor the foolish only, which the Devil made use of to do his work; but it was the wise, and the learned, and the chief in Au­thority, and such like, it was such in whom the seed of the Serpent ruled, who were the active men against the servants of God.

Also it was through the evil counsel of such as were Teachers and Scribes, and handlers of the law, and it was through the false accusations of the chief Priests unto the Governors and Elders of the people, and so it is now at this [Page 33] day, as I have proved; and also the righteous was persecu­ted upon the false judgment of others, and they were falsly adjudged to be deceivers, and blasphemers, and evil doers, and upon this account were they persecuted and as being falsly reputed to be destructive to Government, and reve­nue of Kings, and upon such like, and that they made void the Law of God, and were movers of sedition and upon such accounts as these, was the seed of God persecuted, as it is at this day; and all men that read this with moderation may come to the good understanding, upon what account and by what instruments and by what means the seed of the ser­pent hath persecuted the seed of God, even from Cain unto this day.

And this is to go abroad into this Nation, and into the World, and it is given forth from the suffering seed of God, to clear it self in the sight of all men, that not for evil, but for good are these sufferings laid upon it. But behold the Lord regardeth the cry of the poor and of the unjust suf­ferer, and he will remember his mercy and his covenant with his own seed; and when it passes through the fire, he is with it, and though it be afflicted it cannot be forsaken, though the Lord hide his face from his people, and suffers grievous things to be done against them by the wicked, yet it is but to try them and to prove them, that they may be found faithfull to him, and the seed of God shall reign in the earth, and the seed of the Serpent, and his head shall be bruised, and is bruised already, and it bruiseth its heel by following after with persecution and cruelty, but the seed of God shall arise and is arisen, and praiseth the living God for evermore.

It plainly appears that the suffering of the people of God in this Age, is a greater suffering and more unjust, than in the dayes of Christ, of the Apostles, or in any time since: Queen Maries dayes brought not forth a suffering more cruel, and in many respects, as doth appear; First, What was done to Christ and the Apostles, was chiefly done by a [Page 34] law, and in a great part by the due execution of a law; and also the Martyrs in Queen Maries dayes, had more just ex­amination, and a more just persecution in law, than the peo­ple of God have now, for now it is a matter of conscience among some of the Magistrates in England to cast men into prison, and confine them, and to cause their goods to be spoiled, without any law or the due execution of a law; which is utterly contrary to the Charters of England, and hereby it appears the suffering to be more unjust, because what the persecuters of old did to the people of God, they did by a law, and by the due execution of a law, but now many are caused to suffer deeply; whom the transgression of no law, good or bad, can be charged against; and others suffer without the due execution of a Law.

Again, herein it doth appear to exceed the suffering of the Saints in former ages, in that many suffer now cruel things about trivial foolish matters, as for not putting off a Hat or Theeing men; and for denying the foolish circum­stance of swearing; and we do not read that the worst of Tyrants in the Apostles dayes, or before or since, ever cau­sed any to suffer for such things as these, or ever questioned any upon any such smal accounts, for hundreds have suffered upon suspition, when nothing at all can be charged against them, and this is contrary to Magna-Carta, and in many other respects which might be named; this suffering is grea­ter than hath been in any age, for many have suffered in this Common-wealth, which have been faithful, and hazarded all in time of war for the good of the Common-wealth; and many of them suffer by them who have been enemies and in Armes against the Common-wealth, and herein the suffer­ing appears more intolerable. But doth the Magistrate think to come to account for these things, yea the Lord is just, and his way is righteous; What flesh could but be provo­ked hereby? But the Saints are changed in nature, and are to fullfill the Will of the Lord by suffering: the cruelty of men is become exceeding great against the Lord and his people.

[Page 25] Again, hereby the persecution in this age appears more to exceed former ages, because liberty of conscience in the exercise of Religion, was never so much promised and pro­fessed, as in this Nation at this day; and yet for the exercise of a pure conscience many are wofull sufferers, even by such who in words professe liberty of conscience themselves; and yet persecutes the exercise of it in others, even for not putting off a hat or the like to them; these with many other things, may aggravate the hainousnesse of the sinne of persecution to be great and more unjust than in former Ages.

Alas how is the sword of justice turned backward, and the innocent smitten and persecuted, and that for righteousnesse sake and not for evil doing.


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