« PoprzedniaDalej »
that of God in all men's consciences; which is of the nature and according to the righteous and royal law of God; therefore we must obey the command of the Lord, because it is according to the righteous and royal law of God, which is according to that of God in every man's conscience, which saith, “It is more just and meet to obey God than man." So, being that your law that you have made is unequal, and contrary to the law of God, which He hath writ in our hearts, which is equal, just, and righteous; for your law, that you have made against the innocent people called Quakers, is unjust and unrighteous, and contrary to that of God in all men's consciences, and contrary to the righteous and royal law of God. Therefore we say, we cannot obey such a law, that doth not agree with the royal law of God; but herein shall we obey the Lord, choosing rather to suffer what you shall be suffered to do unto us, than to fulfil the commandment and unrighteous law of unrighteous men, in flying at your command, when the Lord hath commanded us to stay; whereby that He may show His power in us, that His command and His righteous and royal law is of more power, virtue, and force in us, and with us, than your unrighteous laws and commands can be against us. So know this, that if you put us to death when we return, you will bring innocent blood upon you, by so doing, which shall not depart from your houses, nor from that seed that is guilty thereof. So we speak these things, that you may no more be guilty of innocent blood; for assuredly know that nothing shall fail of what the Lord hath spoken by us, and through us, concerning you, if you go on still in rebellion and stiff-neckedness and refuse to hearken to the voice and counsel of the Lord God. And this know, that you have been warned from the Lord of these things before they came to pass, for this we know, if we disobey the command of the Lord, to fly from you, because you have made a law to put us to death, if we disobey the Lord in this thing, He can cut us off, and take our lives from us in His anger and fury; therefore be it known unto you, that the Lord hath made us willing to lay down our lives among you, if you be suffered to take them from us; and in this thing we know we shall have peace, when you shall have sorrow and torment night and day. And this you shall certainly know one day, that the Lord God of heaven and earth, whom we serve, sent us among you, if you see our faces again, after we have been banished from you; and that which we have spoken you shall know to be Truth, whether you will hear or forbear. Well, if you say we are transgressors of a law, in not obeying your unrighteous law, it is your own, and not God's law; for His law is holy, just, and good, but yours is altogether unholy, unrighteous, unjust, and wicked, and is to be set at nought and condemned by the servants of the Lord. For this law of yours, which you have made, to put the righteous to death, hath not proceeded from the Spirit of the Lord, which is meek, and lowly, and easy to be entreated, which doth judge and condemn you and your law. Now, if you would know from what spirit this wicked and unnatural law of yours hath proceeded, well, we shall speak plainly; it hath proceeded from the murdering spirit which reigned and ruled in the persecutors of old, from whence all such laws did, and do, proceed.
Now, ye rulers, chief priests, and inhabitants of New England, this we shall say unto you, in the fear of the Lord, and Spirit of the Almighty, and in the power of the Lord Jesus Christ, that you nor your law is not to be regarded herein; and your law is to be broken, and must be broken by the power of the Lord God, and you must be judged and condemned by the same power, for making such a law. For the Lord of hosts is coming up against you, and your power must be subdued and taken from you by the Prince of Peace, even by Him who is come, and coming, to rule the nations with a rod of iron; who is come, and coming, whose right it is to rule and subdue all powers and authorities unto Himself, and to take the government into His own hand, unto whom it belongs; who will dash you to pieces, ye rulers, that rebel against His righteous power, and His holy law, that He is establishing in the earth, in the hearts of the sons of men, that obey His voice, and that hearken unto His counsel ; His righteous and holy law must be established, and His righteous government and kingdom must be set up; and your unrighteous and unholy kingdom and government must be overturned and destroyed, by the power of the Everlasting God, in this day of His Eternal Power, who is come, and coming, to make void all your ungodly, inhumane, and bloody laws, and to reward you according to your works. The Lord God hath spoken it, and by Him it shall be accomplished upon you; for the decree of the Most High is gone out against you, ye unmerciful men, whose wickedness and unrighteousness doth exceed the nations about you, for barbarous cruelty and unmanlike actions. Have you not altogether lost your senses, reason, and understanding, that you are become so brutish, and so unlike Christians? You are gone so far in your cruelties and unnatural actions, that you are a stink
ure of uprightness and of the honest principle ruling in them; and they abhor your barbarous and cruel actions and bloody deeds, and your cruelty that you have acted against the people of the Lord, who are by you in scorn called Quakers. Many of the common sort of people do stand amazed and wonder to hear of such cruelty to be acted by such a generation of men, that have made such a noise concerning religion, concerning a church, concerning ministry and magistracy, and church government and ordinances, preaching, praying, singing, morning and evening sacrifices, family duties, as you call them; that such should become so bloody and so cruel, doth astonish many that are called heathens; that all your preaching, praying, singing, making such a noise concerning religion, that it should come to no more, and produce no better fruits, than imprisoning, whipping, stocking, burning in the hand, cutting off ears, banishing upon death, as you have already banished six from their wives and children, and from their outward beings; so that you do not only intend to destroy the souls, but bodies also. Come, let us know what they have done; what law of God have they transgressed, that you should banish them upon pain of death, from their families? What ! was it because their conversations and actions were honest and upright, and yours were evil? What! was it because their practices condemned yours? What! was it because they owned 'a people that are by you in scorn called Quakers, whom you evilly entreat? And such as own them you banish, and despitefully use them.
Surely these things will be remembered. Come, let us ask you, What rule or example have you, that you walk by? Let us hear what you can say for yourselves. What orthodox men were they that counselled you to these barbarous actions? What counsellors were they, that would give counsel to magistrates to do these bloody actions? Of whom did you learn it? Come, let us hear your strong reasons; for the day is drawing near that you must be further tried; for the Almighty God hath put it into the hearts of His servants to try you, whether you will put us to death for disobeying your unrighteous law. We that are free-born Englishmen demand our liberty for the exercise of our pure consciences in this country, as well as other Englishmen. We, being freeborn Englishmen, may, by the law of God, claim our liberty before many other people. We who are not transgressors of the law of God, neither of any law or decree that is according thereunto, what is the reason that we should be banished upon death, out of your jurisdiction, more than any other people? What! is it because we are turners of the world upside down? What! is it because we are termed ringleaders of a people that in scorn are called Quakers? What! is it because the laws of our God, which we obey, are different from all the unrighteous and bloody laws of New England? What! is it because we cannot obey the commandment of the rulers of New England, that have commanded us to bow to the spirit that ruled in Haman, which now rules in these bloody rulers of Boston, and elsewhere in New England? Nay, I say, the Lord our God hath raised, and is raising, the royal seed and spirit that ruled in Mordecai, that could not, nor cannot, stoop nor bow to the spirit that ruleth in proud Haman; I say, see and behold if the same spirit rules not in you, ye rulers, chief priests, and inhabitants of Boston, and elsewhere; mark if the same spirit doth not rule you that ruled in Haman; who sought not only the destruction of Mordecai alone, but sought to destroy all the seed of the Jews. Are you not of Haman's offspring, and ruling in his nature, who was so cruel and so bloody, who did give a sum of money for destroying the seed of the Jews? Mark, what was it for? Because Mordecai could not bow to him, or do him reverence. Mark, it was not for the transgression of any law of God; yet he disobeyed the commandment of king Ahasuerus, who reigned from India even unto Ethiopia, over an hundred and twenty-seven provinces. Or, is your law and commandment of more force than his was, who had commanded that they should reverence Haman? For so had the king commanded. Are you greater than he was ? Read the third chapter of Esther throughout. And yet did not Mordecai transgress his commandment, in not bowing to Haman? At which Haman was full of wrath. Is it not so with you? Are not you mad, and full of wrath against the people called Quakers, because they testify to your faces that your deeds are evil? Are not you now full of wrath and envy, because the Quakers will not obey your unlawful commands and unrighteous decrees? Now, you that are in Haman's nature, and ruled by Haman's spirit in cruelty, seeking and labouring to destroy the royal seed and true Jew from off the earth, in this country of New England, as Haman did labour to destroy the seed of the Jews, the people of Mordecai, within the kingdom of Ahasuerus, so do ye seek to destroy the people of God, called Quakers, that are come, or comes into your jurisdiction ; is it not because they cannot bow to you? Now, did Mordecai, in disobeying the king's commandment, disobey the higher power, yea or nay, unto which every soul is to be subject for conscience' sake? And such as disobey this power disobey the ordinance of God. Give us in your answer, ye rulers and chief priests, you that seek and receive honour from man, how can you believe, that receive honour one of another, and seek not that honour that cometh from God only? Well, is your commandment and decree of more force to us, than the king's was concerning Haman to Mordecai, seeing they are of one nature? We can obey your commandment no more than Mordecai did bow to Haman, though the king had commanded it. Now we say, are not you preparing a gallows to hang us thereon, as Haman