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an innocent person to the gallows to be hanged! Well, all this we can bear; the Lord hath brought forth His suffering seed, and through suffering must the Lamb and His saints overcome and get the victory; and the wicked must be destroyed, and such who have been guilty of blood. Was ever the like heard of before, that men professing to have so much of the knowledge of God, and professing to fear God, that such should become so bloody! and become so great persecutors of a people who are despised of the world, but loved of God; and the presence of the Lord is with them, whom ye persecute, and you must fall before them, for the Lord God is with them, and among them that are the sufferers under you. The Lord God of heaven and earth is now among such, which causeth the “heathen to rage, and the people of the earth to imagine a vain thing." For the Lord's presence and power, in some measure, was ever among such as suffered and were persecuted for conscience' sake by the persecutors of old, and suffered with them, and in them, in former ages and generations, as He doth at this day, in His saints and children, for the overthrow of the powers of darkness and kingdom of the devil; who hath had his seat in the sons of men for these many ages and generations; wherein and whereby the beast hath made war against the Lamb and His saints for many generations. But the day doth draw near, and hastens apace, that the Lamb and the saints must get the victory. And the beast and his followers at that day must be consumed and destroyed, because of the presence of the Lord God in His saints.
Oh, what cruelty is acted in these days! that men who profess God, and make such a noise concerning religion, that such should become so hard-hearted, to imprison a child of eleven or twelve years of age! Was ever the like done among the greatest tyrants, or bloody-minded-men, that are mentioned in the Scriptures ? Did they ever imprison a child that was sent unto them to warn them of their unrighteousness ? Oh, what will become of you, do you think, O you heads and rulers of this town of Boston, who are become so brutish, and so dark in your understanding, and so unlike men in your actions? You that cast the innocent into your dens, holes, and prisons, and will not suffer their friends and acquaintances to come to visit them, nor to minister unto them, surely bitter will be your cup, and your portion will be sad. Surely the sober and tender-hearted cannot but grieve and lament, to hear of the cruelty that is acted by you, O ye rulers and chief priests, who are the beginners of mischief, and the leaders of them who are the chief actors of all this cruelty! for well was it spoken by the prophet, “ The leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led by them are destroyed for lack of true knowledge." Well, you shall proceed a little further, to fill up the measure of your iniquities; and then shall you have your reward with the rest of the uncircumcised. For I know it is blood you thirst after, O ye rulers and chief priests. Is it not our lives you thirst for? Come, tell us plainly. Or, have you made this law of yours, only to see if you can make the people called Quakers afraid of you? Well, however, being I am allowed of God, I shall tell you plainly that the Lord God of heaven and earth is now drawing near, and coming upon you speedily, to try you, and whether you will exercise your inhuman laws upon us, who are now sent among you from the Lord, for this very end and purpose. I say, will you put us to death for only coming into your jurisdiction, or patent, as you call it, after we have been once sent away, or commanded by you to go out of it? Now, we say, being the Lord God hath commanded us to the contrary, is it meet to obey God, or man, judge ye? To obey your bloody law, or to obey God's righteous law, which He, hath writ in our hearts, and placed within us; which judges and condemns your unrighteous law, that you have made to banish the righteous ? Well, you that call yourselves Christians, if you do this bloody act to show yourselves so unlike men, I must tell you plainly, for I am constrained by the Lord God to tell you, O ye bloody-minded men, that if you do put us to death, this action of yours will proceed from the devil, who was a murderer from the beginning; who seeks to destroy men's lives, as you do at this day. For, as it was then, so it is now, “He that is born after the flesh persecuteth him that is born after the Spirit.”
Now, you that say you are Christians, come, let us reason together concerning this inhuman law that you have made, to put the people called Quakers to death. Did ever any true Christians make such laws, as you have made against a people whom you in scorn and derision call Quakers, since they came among you? Are you not ashamed that the nations about you should hear of your actions; to hear of the cruel laws that you have made against an innocent and harmless people? What! was not the law that you made at first strong enough, but you must disannul it, and proceed to one more bloody? Come, tell us plainly, if you be not ashamed to speak, of whom did you ask counsel ? Or to whom did you seek for instructions? I am sure the Lord, in whose hand your breath is, did never give you counsel to make these bloody laws, that you have made against the people who are scornfully called Quakers. Come, let us further reason together, that you may appear unto all, that have any moderation left in them, as men; you surely are not true Christians, nor the disciples of Christ, for they used no such weapons to war withal as you do. So that there is a great deal of difference betwixt your practices and theirs, and your weapons and theirs; for their weapons were and are spiritual, and yours are carnal. The difference is great every way, as great as there is betwixt light and darkness. Again, that you may see that in every thing you are altogether unlike them, their war was against spiritual wickedness in high places. The apostles wrestled not with flesh and blood; mark, not with the creatures, nor to destroy men's lives; but made war in righteousness, with spiritual weapons, having on the helmet of salvation, and the breastplate of righteousness, whereby they subdued the powers of darkness, and spiritual wickedness that ruled in high places. Now, you that call yourselves Christians, you war against Aesh and blood; your war is against the creatures, and not against spiritual wickedness. You seek to destroy that which Christ came to save, and seek not to destroy that which Christ came to destroy. He was made manifest to destroy the works of the devil, but you make yourselves manifest, you intend, to destroy the work of God. Mark, and take notice, you unbelievers, the creature is the workmanship of God; the spiritual wickedness is the fruit and work of the devil, which Christ came to destroy, and was made manifest for that end, to destroy the sin, which is the fruit of the devil. Take notice, yet unlike Christians, the fruits and the works of the devil live and remain still among you undestroyed, who seek to destroy the workmanship of God, when Christ came to save men's lives, and not to destroy them, but to destroy the works of the devil; but you seek to destroy that which Christ came to save, and to save alive that which Christ came to destroy. So, see if it doth not appear plainly, by your actions, and by your corrupt fruits, that you are making war against Christ and His saints, whom you seek to destroy from off the face of the earth; as let your actions that you have acted already against God and His servants, bear witness against you, that you are become more bloody and more hard-hearted than Pharaoh of old. See, and search the Scriptures of Truth, and consider whose children you are, and whose works you are doing, and whom it is you are serving, for his servants ye are, to whom ye obey. Did God ever send any of His servants into a country or nation to destroy His workmanship, the creature? Is this your gaining many people into your Church? Is this your converting of others? Is this your way of adding many to your Church? What! by compelling of people to come to your meetings? By fining people, and taking away their goods? What! by imprisoning, whipping, putting in stocks, burning in the hand, and cutting off the ears of those that come to bear witness against your cruelty and idolatry? Is this your way of convincing gainsayers? What! by making a law to banish such upon pain of death? Have you no other weapons to fight withal against the Truth? Have you no other means nor way, ye idol-shepherds, to stop the mouths of them ye call gainsayers, than imprisoning, whipping, burning in the hand, fining, and taking away their goods, and banishment upon pain of death? Have you no other way nor word to convince those you call heretics, and deceivers, but to take away their lives? Surely this was not the way, nor means, nor power, which the apostles used to convince the Gentiles and Jews, unto whom they were sent. This power which you make use of is not the power, neither doth it proceed from the power, which ruled in the saints, prophets, apostles, and people of God, whereby their souls were converted to God, which “turned them from darkness to light.” But the power that rules you, and that you act by, is of another nature than the power the apostles were in; for their power was and is given to save, but yours is to destroy men's lives, which the power of God was given for to save, which must be set above all unrighteous power, from whom all bloody and unrighteous laws do proceed. So, behold what power it is that leads you, and what power ye are under, ye merciless men, that many of you are become past feeling, whose " consciences are seared as with a hot iron;" who have given yourselves over to work wickedness, and are become as great persecutors as any that “worship the beast, who have given their power unto the dragon, who thirst after the blood of the innocent, as the lion doth after his prey," so greedy and hasty are you to spill the blood of the saints, and to take away the life of the upright from the face of the earth. Well, ye rulers and magistrates, so called, take heed, and take warning, I lay it upon you, while you have time, and a day given unto you to consider these things; so before the thing comes to pass, and before you do it, weigh the matter. Come, let us further reason together. Can you convince us of the transgression of any law of God? And if you cannot, which we know you cannot, nor have the least transgression of the righteous law of God to lay to our charge, who are now coming among you in obedience to the Lord God of heaven and earth, for this very end, to try you, ye children of men. And if you put us to death, because we cannot obey your commandment, but choose rather to obey the commandment of the Lord; and for so doing, will you put us to death? Well, this know, and be it known unto the sons of men, and inhabitants within this town of Boston, and elsewhere within your jurisdiction, that the commandments of the Most High must we obey, and your commandment we must disobey, and disannul it, and make it of no effect, because it is against, and contrary to,