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the sway, to overcome evil and enemies; and let patience oversway passion in all, that all may retain the heavenly reason, and the pure understanding,
-that your moderation in true Christianity may be known to all men. For have you not the Turks, Jews, Tartars, Indians, and atheists' eyes upon you,
and upon Christendom. Therefore be in unity, and let not the name of God and Christ be blasphemed amongst them by means of any that bear the name of Christians. So God may be glorified by all and in all, through Jesus Christ, who is over all, who calls all to peace, and is blessed for ever.
“I would have you to be as noble as the Bereans, and search the Scriptures of Christ and the apostles. Where did he or they give any command to imprison, banish, persecute, or put to death, any that would not receive or conform to them, or that were contrary-minded to them in religion, or differed from them in matters of worship.
" Again, I desire all Christian magistrates to search both Scriptures and Chronicles, and see what was the end of all persecutors, and what judgments came upon them. What came to Cain, who was the first persecutor for matters of faith and sacrifice ? Did not he become a vagabond and a fugitive in the earth ? What became of the old world, that grieved God, and Noah, a preacher of righteousness? What became of Sodom, that vexed just Lot? What became of Pharaoh, that persecuted God's people in Egypt (though the more he persecuted them the more they grew)? What became of Ahab and Jezebel, that persecuted the Lord's prophets ? And what became of Haman, that would have destroyed the Jews ? What became of the Jews and Jerusalem, that persecuted Christ and the apostles ? What was the end of all these ? Are they not become vagabonds in the earth, and driven away from their native country ? Therefore I beseech you in the love and fear of God, be so noble as to search both Scripture and history, and let not your divine understanding be clouded. What will become of the beast and whore spoken of in the Revelations, with their false prophets, that have drunk the blood of the saints, martyrs, and prophets of Jesus ? Must they not all go with the devil, who is a murderer, destroyer, and adversary of mankind, into the lake of fire, that burns with brimstone ? And ye may be sure that spirit that stirs you up to persecution, let it be in whomsoever it will, is not of Christ, and of his lamb-like nature; who takes away the sins of the world, not the lives of men.
“Paul was a persecutor, and a haler to prison, before he was converted to Christianity; but never after. And therefore, are not all in Saul's nature, let them be of what name or profession soever, that are persecutors, and unconverted into Paul's life of Christianity ? He said, the life that he lived after he was converted, was ' by the faith of the Son of God;' and that he lived, yet not he, but ' Christ lived in him,' who came to save men's lives, and not to destroy them. This life should be the life of all Christians now, which Paul in his converted state lived in. And the apostle saith, “The law is good if a man use it lawfully; knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly, and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for men-stealers, for liars, and for perjured persons,' 1 Tim. i. 8–10. So the law, in its place, is good against such. Again the apostle says, 'The law was added because of transgression,' Gal. iii. 19. Here all magistrates may see what the law in its place is good against; what it was made for and against ; and what evils, the apostle says, it takes hold of. He does not say the law should be laid upon men that differed from them in their religion and judgment, nor upon righteous men. So you may see in what condition the law is good, and what it was made against; not against righteous men, against whom ye have nothing in their lives and conversations, only because they differ from you in matters of religion ; letting manslayers, whore. mongers, perjured persons, ungodly, profane persons, liars, &c., go unpunished; such do not use, nor execute the law lawfully, as the apostle says, “The law is good, if a man use it lawfully. Therefore it ought to be used lawfully; which law, the apostle says, 'is for the punishment of evildoers, and a praise for them that do well;' as may be seen, Rom. xii. So, as the apostle said, We do not break the law, nor make it void; but we establish the law,' Rom. ii. 31. " This is from him who desires the eternal good and salvation of you all in Christ Jesus. Amen."
G. F. Kingston-upon-Thames, the 4th of the 1st Month, 1680-1.
After I had finished these services I returned to LONDON, where I stayed about a month, labouring amongst Friends in the work of the Lord, both in public meetings for worship, and in those relating to the outward affairs of the church. Then feeling my spirit drawn to visit Friends about Enfield, I went to WALTHAM ABBEY, where I had a very precious meeting; and another at FLAMSTEAD Heath. Having spent some time among
Friends thereabouts, and had divers good meetings at EDMONTON, ENFIELD, WINCHMORE-HILL, and other places, I came back to LONDON a little before the Yearly Meeting, which was in the 3d month, 1681. It was a very precious time, in which the glorious presence and power of the Lord was eminently felt and enjoyed.
Some time after the Yearly Meeting it came upon me to write the following epistle :“To the Men's and Women's Quarterly Meetings that are gathered in the
namc and power of Jesus. “CHRIST, the second Adam, who is both Head and Husband of his church, the Redeemer, Purchaser, Saviour, Sanctifier, and Reconciler of his sons and daughters (his church) to God, I say, his presence (to wit, Christ's) feel among you, to exercise his prophetical office, in opening you with his light, grace, truth, power, and Spirit; and to exercise his office, as he is a Bishop, to oversee you with his light, grace, power, and Spirit, that ye do not go astray from God. And as Christ is a Shepherd, feel, see, and hear him exercising that office, who laid down his life for his sheep, feeding them in his living pastures of life, and making them to drink of his living, eternal springs. Let Him rule and govern in your hearts, as he is
King, that his heavenly and spiritual government all may live under, as true subjects of his righteous, peaceable kingdom, which stands in righteousness, peace, joy in the Holy Ghost, over Satan and his power, and all unrighteousness. So all ye subjects to Christ's kingdom of peace, if ye want wisdom, or knowledge, life, or salvation, Christ is the treasure; feel Him the treasure among you. And all, as ye have received Christ, walk in him, in whom ye have peace; who bruises the head of the serpent, the author of all strife, distraction, and confusion : yea, you have peace with God, and one with another, though the trouble be from the world and the world's spirit. Therefore, my dear Friends, brethren and sisters, love one another with the love that is of God shed in your hearts; that ye may bear the marks of Christ's disciples, and it may appear that Christ is in you, and ye in Him; so that God Almighty may be glorified among you. Whatever ye do, let it be done in the name of Jesus, to the praise of God the Father, keeping in unity in the Holy Spirit of God, which was before the unholy spirit was : which Holy spirit is your bond of peace, yea, the Holy King of kings and Lord of lords' peace. And in this holy, pure Spirit is your eternal unity and fellowship; in which ye serve and worship the God of Truth, who is over all, blessed for ever, Amen. So the Lord guide you all with his Word of patience, life, power, and wisdom, in all your actions, lives, conversations, and meetings, to God's glory. My love to you all in the Lord Jesus Christ, by whom all things were made, and who is over all, the First and the Last."
G. F. London, the 9th of the 4th Month, 1681.
About this time I had occasion to go to several of the judges' chambers upon a suit about tithes. For my wife and I and several other Friends, were sued in Cartmel-Wapentake Court in Lancashire, for small tithes, and we had demurred to the jurisdiction of that court. Whereupon the plaintiff prosecuted us in the Exchequer Court at Westminster, where they run us up to a writ of rebellion, for not answering the bill upon oath; and got an order of court to the sergeant, to take me and my wife into custody. This was a little before the Yearly Meeting, at which time it was thought they would have taken me up; and according to outward appearance, it was likely, and very easy for bim to have done it, lodging at the places where I used to do, and being very public in meetings. But the Lord's power was over them, and restrained them; so that they did not take me. Yet understanding there was a warrant out against me, as soon as the Yearly Meeting was over, I took William Mead with me, and went to several of the judges' chambers to speak with them about it; and to let them understand both the state of the case, and the ground and reason of our refusing to
pay tithes. The first I went to was Judge Gregory, to whom I tendered mine and my wife's answer to the plaintiff's bill; in which was set forth, that she had lived three and forty years at Swarthmore, and in all that time there had been no tithe paid or demanded : and an old man, who had long been a tithe-gatherer, had made affidavit, that he never gathered tithe at Swarthmore-Hall in Judge Fell's time, or since. There were many particulars in our answer, but it would not be accepted without an oath. I
told the judge that both tithe and swearing among Christians came from the Pope, and it was matter of conscience to us not to pay tithes, nor to swear; for Christ bid his disciples, who had freely received, give freely; and he commanded them “not to swear at all.” The judge said, there was tithe paid in England before Popery was: I asked him by what law or statute they were paid then; but he was silent. Then I told him, there were eight poor men brought up to London out of the North about two hundred miles for small tithes, and one of them had no family but himself and his wife, and kept no living creature but a cat. I asked him also, whether they could take a man and his wife, and imprison them both for small tithes, and so destroy a family; and if they could, I desired to know by what law: he did not answer me, but only said, “that was a hard case.” When I found there was no help to be had there, we left him, and went to Judge Montague's chamber; and with him I had much discourse concerning tithes. Whereupon he sent for our adversary's attorney; and when he came I offered him our answer. He said, if we would pay the charges of the court, and be bound to stand trial, and abide the judgment of the court, we should not have the oath tendered to us. I told him that they had brought those charges upon us, by requiring us to put in our answer upon oath which they knew before we could not do for conscience' sake; and as we could not pay any tithe nor swear, so neither should we pay any of their charges. Upon this he would not receive our answer. So we went from thence to Judge Atkyns's chamber, and he being busy, we gave our answers and our reasons against tithes and swearing to his clerk; but neither could find
any encouragement from him to expect redress there. Wherefore leaving him we went to one of the most noted counsellors, and showed him the state of our case and our answers : he was very civil to us, and said, “this way of proceeding against us was somewhat like an inquisition.” A few days after, those eight poor Friends that were brought up so far out of the North, appeared before the judges; and the Lord was with them, and his power was over the court, so that the Friends were not committed to the Fleet. Our cause was put off till the next term (called Michaelmas), and then it was brought before the four judges again. Then William Mead told the judges that I had engaged not to meddle with my wife's estate. The judges could hardly believe that any man would do so : whereupon he showed them the writing under my hand and seal, at which they wondered. Then two of the judges and some of the lawyers stood up, and pleaded for me, that I was not liable to the titles : but the other two judges and divers lawyers, pressed earnestly to have me sequestered; alleging that I was a public man. At length they prevailed with one of the other two judges to join with them; and then they granted a sequestration against me and my wife together. Thereupon, by advice of counsel, we moved for a limitation, which was granted, and that much defeated our adversary's design in suing out the sequestration ; for this limited the plaintiff to take no more than was proved. One of the judges, Baron Weston, was very bitter, and broke forth in a great rage against me in the open court; but shortly after he died.
After the Yearly Meeting, I tarried about a month in London; and
then went into SUSSEX, to visit Friends there, amongst whom I had many large and very precious meetings in divers parts of that county. Yet I spent not much time now in Sussex, but returned pretty soon to LONDON, whither I felt drawings in spirit ; and had very good service for the Lord there, both in public meetings and amongst Friends. When I had tarried some time in London, I went to EDMONTON; thence into BUCKINGHAMSHIRE, where I visited Friends at several meetings in that county; and then went by HENLEY to READING, where I tarried several meetings. I went no farther westward at this time than to ORE, where I had a very large meeting; after which, striking through the edge of OXFORDSHIRE, I had a large and very precious meeting at WARBOROUGH, in which the glory of the Lord shone over all. Many Friends came to it out of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, and Hampshire. Thence I passed to ILMORE in the vale of Buckinghamshire, where we had a glorious meeting; and the day following I returned to Mary Penington's, visiting the men's and women's monthly meetings at HUNGER-HILL, and some other meetings thereabouts; and then passed to WATFORD, where was a marriage of two Friends, at which I was present. A very large meeting we had on that occasion, and the Lord's power was over all. I went from Watford to LONGFORD in MIDDLESEX, visiting Friends at UXBRIDGE in the way. At Longford we had a large meeting on First-day, and the presence of the Lord was preciously felt amongst us; blessed be his name! I passed from Longford to KINGSTON, visiting Friends as I went, at STAINES and SUNBURY. At Kingston I abode with Friends two meetings, wherein we were sweetly refreshed together in the Lord. Passing thence towards London, I had a very precious meeting at WANDSWORTH : then crossing over to HAMMERSMITH, I had a good meeting there, which was larger on account of a burial; and there being openness in the people, I had a fine opportunity to open the way of truth amongst them.
After I was come to LONDON, I was moved to write the following paper, concerning that spirit which had led some, who professed truth, into strife and division, and to oppose the way and work of the Lord :
“ FRIENDS, “ You that keep your habitations in the truth, that is over all, see that it is the same spirit that leads the backsliders and apostates now, from the spiritual fellowship and unity of God's people, and the church of Christ, that led Adam and Eve from God, and the Jews from God and his law, to rebel against his Spirit. This spirit is the same that was in the world, which got into the Jews, when they were gone from the Spirit of God; and then they turned against God and his prophets, and against Christ and his apostles. This spirit led them to be as bad as Pilate, or worse. The enmity or adversary got within them against the truth, and them that walked in it, and the Spirit of the Lord; so that they killed and destroyed the Just. This was the spirit of the devil, the destroyer, who sought not only to destroy the truth, but the order of it, and them that walked in it, when true Christianity was planted among the possessors of the light, grace, and truth, and the holy gospel faith and Spirit, who enjoyed Christ in their hearts. But when some began to err from the Spirit and faith, to hate the