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the cause, time, and manner of such sufferings; together with the names of their persecutors.
9. Who have died in prison on truth's account; and for what branch of our testimony. And that tithes taken away by force may be recorded as a suffering for truth.
io. Where there hath been any signal living testimony of dying Friends to record them.
11. That the names of them that have been instruments in such persecutions and sufferings, with the names of sufficient witnesses, whether Friends or neighbours, &c. be exactly recorded, to manifest both the fact and the inflictors.
12. If any have apostatized, that their sufferings, whilst owning the truth, be notwithstanding recorded, and their apostasies signified.
13. Where any backsliders or apostates have returned, and any judgments overtaken such in their gainsaying let it be recorded.
These things are mentioned to put Friends in mind to keep them, and such matters, on record, in their respective counties and meetings as aforesaid, to have recourse to the records thereof for the service of truth; and to send copies thereof to London, as there shall be occasion to call for them ; still remembering the former direction, to begin where you left the last returns; and so for the future observe that method, that the same sufferings may not be sent twice over, nor confusedly.
It is also our advice to Friends, as that which hath been and may be serviceable, that in the respective counties they apply themselves to some of the most inoderate swaying or considerable men in authority, as they shall have occasion, for the quieting or hindering of inferior officers that prosecute and persecute Friends. And that likewise, where any such considerable men of interest or power in any county do reside at court or the city of London, that Friends in the country may acquaint some Friends of London of such, and their names, and where to find them, that they may apply themselves to them on extraordinary occasions, or deep sufferings, on the behalf of Friends who are or may be oppressed and suffer in the country by malicious men; in order to stop them if possible.
Also it is advised, that all Friends have a care that they neither openly por secretly consent to the taking away of their tithes, nor to the payment of them by any one whatsoever on their behalf; but keep faithful to their testimony.
That' Friends be careful not to use any indirect ways to free themselves; as by Habeas Corpus, upon a pretended debt. or the like. Yet not to deny removing to London by Habeas Corpus, to reverse an unjust judgment, passed either at the assizes or sessions ; provided that they look to their testimony, and eye their freedom in the Lord's power. And none to wrong truth's testimony, through seeking of ease to the flesh.
That Friends be careful of entangling themselves in the law, because of some small irregularities in proceeding. But if the law be materially transgressed, and the severity of it exceeded by our persecutors, that Friends in God's wisdom use their liberty, upon serious and good advice amongst themselves, so as the truth and its testimony may be kept clear over all. Signified in the name, and on the behalf, of the said Yearly
Charles Marshall, Jasper Batt, George Whitehead,
Stephen Smith, John Blakeling,
Thomas Salthouse, Leonard Fell, William Penn, John Tiffen,
1. Then agreed, that the Yearly Meeting of one or two from each county (as formerly agreed upon at a General Meeting in London, upon the 29th of the Third Month 1672, appointed yearly to meet about the public affairs of Friends some time in the week called Whitsun Week, until further order; and afterwards agreed to be discontinued from the 21st day of the l'hird Month, 1673 till Friends in God's wisdom should see a farther occasion for it) be again revived, and begin this time twelve month ; and then Friends to advise about the continuance thereof, as they in God's counsel shall see occasion. And accordingly this meeting offers it as their advice to the Quarterly Meetings in the respective counties throughout England and Wales, according to the former agreement of the said General Meeting, held as aforesaid the 29th of the Third Month 1672 which was for a General Meeting of Friends to be held at London once a year, in the week called Whitsun Week; to consist of six Friends for the city of London; three for the city of Bristol; two for the town of Colchester; and one or two from each and every of the counties of England and Wales respectively; and that the preceding Quarterly Meetings take care to nominate and appoint the Friends to be present at the General Meeting aforesaid : and that the Friends so chosen be desired to be at London by the Second-day at night, at farthest, in the Whitsun Week so called ; and that a competent number of country Friends meet with the six Friends of the city, to appoint the time and place for the assembling of the said General Meeting, to be holden in the said week for the service of truth. And it is desired, that the Friends who shall come up out of the several counties, be such as understand the sufferings and affairs of their respective counties.
9. That Thomas Rudyard, Ellis Hookes, &c. take a list out of the Exchequer of persons convicted upon the statute against recusants; in order to find out the names of Friends there on, for application to be made to some in power on their bebalf. That the Friends of each county bear the charge respectively, as Friends out of divers counties have undertaken for their respective counties. Which charge the Quarterly Meetings are desired to defray, as it comes before them respectively,
3. That it be recommended to Friends of each Quarterly Meeting to appoint a Friend or two, that is of capacity, in such cases to attend every assize and sessions in the respective counties, to take notice what persons are there presented, indicted, convicted, or otherwise proceeded against; and, as much as in Friends lies, to prevent any inconvenience or damage to Friends thereby. And in case any shall happen to be convicted, that Friends transmit a list of the names of such so convicted, to the Meeting for Sufferings at London.
4. The matter about dispersing a proportion of Friends' books to each county by this meeting: It is agreed, That it remain as it was formerly stated by the Friends appointed to take care in that case, until the General Meeting, when Friends come up out of each county: except any Quarterly Meeting shall in the mean time write to the Friends in London that were appointed, and desire to be eased in that matter; which they may do as they find Signed on the behalf of the said Meeting, by
Dear Friends and Brethren,
We dearly salute you in our Lord Jesus Christ, who is our prince of peace, our head, our life, and lawgiver ; being truly comforted and refreshed in his coutinued presence and blessing with us, and with our meetings and christian care in the affairs and concerns of truth and churches of Christ; truly rejoicing in the living sense and accounts we have at this meeting of truth's prosperity and of the love, peace, and good order, and godly care among Friends and Brethren in most counties throughout England and Wales, and also in other nations and foreign parts. Blessed be our God for ever! In whose continued love, and on the behalf of this our Yearly Meeting, and as the sense and agreement thereof, these following particulars are recommended unto you.
AT A GENERAL MEETING HELD AT DEVONSHIRE-HOUSE,
LONDON, THE 24th DAY OF THE THIRD MONTH, 1681. 1. It is the advice and desire of this meeting, That the Quarterly Meetings in each county appoint one, two, or more Friends to attend at every assizes and quarter sessions in their respective counties, there to make inquiry of the clerks of the assizes and quarter sessions, what Friends are there presented or prosecuted for recusancy, and such like ; and to take copies of all such presentments, prosecutions, and convictions as they find against any Friends; that they may thereby be the better able to take off, prevent, or avoid such prosecutions, as the truth may permit and direct.
2. It is also desired, That when Friends send up their cases of sufferings in general, or any particular case, in order to have Friends here in London to endeavour any redress thereupon, by application to the king, parliament, or other magistrates, that the same be written down (as well with respect to the loss sustained, goods distrained, severe or illegal treatment or usage by justices, or other persons) plain, pertinent, and distinct, as to matter of fact only; without any reflection upon the magistrates or persons by whom Friends have suffered, or against whom any complaint is made. And that such sufferings as are returned to be record ed here, be first perused by the Quarterly Meeting, or such persons as they shall appoint; and the same to be signed by the said persons so appointed.
3. That an account be yearly sent up, of all such Friends as are in prison, or prisoners; that we may know who are detained prisoners, and who are discharged since the Yearly Meeting before; and when discharged : also to signify the time of their commitment, by whom prosecuted, and for what cause.
4. That always care be taken to bring distinct accounts of all such Friends as have died in prison, or prisoners, for their testin mony to the truth, since the foregoing Yearly Meeting; with their names, age, dwelling-place, education, callings, time of convincement, and the places of their service and travel, and time of sufferings and death. It is also desired, that where any accounts of such Friends are already sent up, what are wanting in any of these particulars, care may be taken that they may be completed accordingly.
5. It is again the desire of this meeting, that every Quarterly Meeting enter this, and all such other papers and epistles as they may have bad from the Yearly Meetings, in their book, to be read every Quarterly Meeting; that Friends be reminded of the services therein desired.
6. Agreed, That there be the like General Yearly Meeting this time twelve months, as the Lord gives liberty: and that in each county Friends be reminded to send up persons from their respective counties to the next Yearly Meeting.
Finally, dear Friends and Brethren, we commit you to the Lord God, to be ordered by his divine wisdom and counsel; and therein continue your love and tender care one for another, and for truth's prosperity. All dwell in the love of God, in unity and peace in Christ Jesus, the prince and life of peace; and therein go on in his service, and keep your habitations over all that which is contrary, or would hinder you therein, or disturb your peaceable societies.
So the God of peace be with you, bless and prosper you, in his love, heavenly union, and peace in Christ Jesus. Farewell. Signed on the behalf of the Yearly Meeting, by
Dear Friends and Brethren,
We salute you in the Lord; and recommend unto your godly care and discretion these following particulars, to make use of and practise, as in the counsel of the Lord you see cause ; being agreed on and advised in this our Yearly Meeting, for your help and service of one another in true and brotherly love, whereunto
ye are called.
AT A YEARLY MEETING FOR SUFFERINGS, BEGUN AND HELD
IN LONDON, THE 5th OF THE FOURTH MONTH, 1682. It is the agreement and advice of this meeting, That Friends take care, in all counties and places where they suffer by distress of their goods, or imprisonment of their persons, whether by war