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persecuting and oppressing the innocent, and casting into prison, and took treble damages, and spoiled their goods, and made havoc of poor people's increase, and fruits of their labours. Neither would the magistrates hear, but suffered them to go on in their persecution, and upheld them by a law to the oppressing of the innocent, until the Lord, by his mighty power, overturned them, and broke them one after another. And those priests turned to every power, and every government, as it turned; and made petitions, and addresses, and acknowledgments to every change of government, and conformed to every power, and showed much love and zeal to every present power for their own ends. Though many of them were instruments to throw others out, yet through their deceit and subtilties, they have kept themselves in, in all these times and changes.
Now, let any honest hearted people judge, whether these be sound principled men, that can turn, conform, and transform to every change according to the times? Whether these be fit men to teach people? But their fruits are manifest, and God doth discover them more and more, that they cannot proceed much longer. Their folly is so much made manifest, they have used their utmost endeavours to cause persecution to continue upon us: but the Lord hath seen it, and we commit all to him, and can freely say, the Lord forgive them for what they have done to us, but for the bearing our testimony against them for the deceiving and betraying of poor ignorant people that are blind, and led by them that are blind into the ditch, we cannot but, in pity and love to people's souls, bear our testimony against them; therefore have our sufferings been because we desire the good of all people, and the salvation of their souls; and this is all we desire, and suffer for, that all might come to the knowledge of the Lord, who said, they should all know him, from the least to the greatest.
We are a people that follow after those things that make for peace, love, and unity; it is our desire that others' feet may walk in the same, and do deny and bear our testimony against all strife, and wars, and contentions that come from the lusts that war in the members, that war against the soul, which we wait for and watch for in all people
, and love and desire the good of all. For no other cause but love to the souls of all people, have our sufferings been, and therefore have we been “ numbered amongst the transgressors,” and been®“ accounted as sheep for the slaughter,” as our Lord and Master was, who is the captain of our salvation who is gone before us, who, " though he was a son, yet learned he obedience, by the things that he suffered;" who said, “My kingdom is not of this world, if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, but my kingdom is not from hence.” This is he that comes to save, men's lives, and not to destroy them, and this is he that is our Lord and Master, whose testimony we must seal with our blood, if it be required of us. And our weapons are not carnal but spiritual, who have given our backs, our cheeks, and our hair to all professions, out of the life and power, to be smitten; who have done it to purpose, which the Lord hath overturned, who were often warned by us, under whom we have undergone cruel sufferings. And now you are come up into the throne to be tried, we cannot but warn you in your day to do justly, and to love mercy, whereby the violence of the wicked might be stopped; which is for your own good and prosperity. And so we desire and also expect to have the liberty of our consciences and just rights, and out ward liberties, as other people of the nation, which we have promise of from the word of a king, that we may not be made a prey upon by the profane, envious people and priests, against whose corruptions we have borne our testimony, who thirst not only after our estates and liberties, but our blood also; who have already begun to search our houses, and to apprehend our members, and cast them into prison, there to be kept without bail or mainprize, under pretence as if we were thieves, murderers, who are enemies to no man's person upon the earth, which they cannot lay to our charge, whereby they endeavour to take away our lives. Treason, treachery, and false dealing we do utterly deny; false dealing, surmizing, or plotting against any creature upon the face of the earth, and speak the truth in plainness and singleness of heart, and all our desire is your good, and peace, and love, and (unity, and this many thousands will seal with their blood, who are ready not only to believe, but to suffer, but only that the blood of the innocent may not come upon yourselves through false informations.
MARGARET FELL. Given forth the 5th of the 4th month, 1660. We in the unity of the spirit, and members of Christ
, do subscribe, and witness to the truth of this, and in the behalf of those in the same unity, George Fox, Richard Mubberthorne. Sammel Fisher, Joseph Fuce, Gobert Sikes, Amos Stodert, William Caton, Gerrard Robers, John Stubbs, Thomas Coveny, Thomas Harte, Strut, Ellis Hookes.
And now I am here, to answer what can be objected against us, on the behalf of many thousands, who are vaptized with one spirit into one body, to bear my testimony, and to be offered up for the service of the
faith, and moved of the Lord to leave my house and family,
and to come two hundred miles to lay these things before you; wko to the will of the Lord is committed.