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families, and out of their native country, or otherwise be fed with bread and water under a strict confinement ?
" Therefore we beseech the king with all Christian humility, and the magistrates of Dantzic, that they would order their proceedings in this matter according to the royal law of God, which is, to do unto others as they would have others do unto them, and to love their neighbour as themselves. For we have this charity, that we hope and believe, that the king of Poland and his people, with the magistrates of Dantzic, own the writings of the New Testament, as well as of the old; and therefore we beseech the king and the magistrates of Dantzic to take heed, that their work of imprisoning an innocent people, for nothing but their meeting together in tenderness of conscience to serve and worship God, their Creator, may not be contrary and opposite to the royal law of God, and to the glorious and everlasting gospel of truth.
. So we desire the king in Christian love earnestly and weightily to consider these things, and to give order to set the innocent prisoners, our friends called quakers, at liberty from their strict confinement in Dantzic ; that they may have freedom to serve and worship the living God in spirit and in truth, and go home to their outward habitations, and follow their trades and calling, to maintain their wives, children and families. And we believe that the king, in doing such a noble, glorious, yea Christian work, will not go unrewarded from the great God who made him, whom we serve and worship, who has the hearts of kings, and their lives and length of days in his hands. • From him who desires, that the king and all his
ministers may be preserved in the fear of God, and receive his word of wisdom, by which all things were made and created; that by it he may come to order all things to the glory of God, which God has put under his hand : that the king, both he and they, may enjoy the comforts and blessings of the Lord in this life, and in that which is to come, life eternal. Amen.'
G. F. London in England, the 10th of the Third month,
commonly called May, 1684. "Postscripl.-The king may please to consider, that his and all men's consciences are the prerogative of God.'
After this I went to Enfield, where, and in the country thereabouts, several friends had country-houses, not very
far from one another, amongst whom I tarried some time, visiting and being visited by friends, and having meetings with them. Several things I writ in this time, relating to the service of truth; one whereof was concerning judging: for some, who were departed from the truth, were so afraid of truth's judgment, that they made it much of their business to cry out against judging. Wherefore I writ a paper, proving by the scriptures of truth, that the church of Christ bath power and ability to judge those that profess to be of it, not only with respect to outward things relating to this world, but with respect to religious matters also. A copy of which follows:
Concerning Judging. • The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, neither can he kuow them, because they are spiritually discerned ; but he that is spiritual, judgeth all things (mark) all things; yet he himself is judged of no man. I Cor. ii. 14, 15. So here the natural man cannot judge of those things he receives not, for they are foolishness to him ; but he is comprehended by the spiritual man and his foolishness, and is judged, though he cannot judge the spiritual man.
'Do not ye judge them tbat are within ? saith the apostle, (this power the church had and hath) therefore put away from amongst yourselves that wicked person. And did not this wicked person, think you, profess and plead for liberty for his wickedness and his freedom, as he was a Christian, who was looked upon as a member of the church?
And the apostle saith, For I verily, as absent in body, yet present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath done this wicked deed. 1 Cor. v. 3, 12. Here the apostle did judge, though afar off, and set up judgment in the church against false liberty, under what pretence soever it was.
And the apostle saith, Dare any of you, having a matter against a brother, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints. Here the saints, the church, are to judge of things amongst themselves, and not for the unjust to judge of their matters. Do ye not know, the saints shall judge the world? So the saints are to judge the unjust, and not the unjust to judge their matters.
And farther the apostle saith, If the world shall be judged by you, (to wit the saints) are you unworthy to judge The smaller matters amongst you?
So here it is clear, that the saints have a judgment given them of Christ, by his power and spirit, light and wisdom, to judge the world, and not to carry their matters before the unjust, but to judge of them amongst themselves; and if they carry them before the unjust, they shew their unworthiness of the saints' judgment.
• And further the apostle saith, Know ye not, that we shall judge the angels ? (and angels are spirits) how much more the things which pertain to this life?
If ye then have judgment of things pertaining to this life, set them up to judge, who have least esteem in the church. I Cor. vi. So here it is clear, the church of Christ has a judgment in the power and spirit of God, not only to judge in things that pertain to this life; but are also to judge of things betwixt brethren, without brother going to law with brother before unbelievers; which was a fault, and to be judged if they did so.
• But also the saints bave a judgment to judge angels, that kept not their habitations, and the world. And as in Jude; He judged the angels that kept not their habitations, their first state : and did not he judge in divine matters here? and judged the state of Cain, and Balaam, and Core, and such like Christians, that were gotten into their steps, and were gone as far as they were, though they professed themselves Christians ? And here again he judged in divine matters, and of their states and beings, who stood in the divine principle ; and who were fallen from it.
• And the apostle saith, Try the spirits, and believe not every spirit. 1 John iv. And here again was a judgment in divine matters; and he judged such as went out from them; which whilst they were with them, they had sight of things and openings; but when they went from them, they went from the anointing; and therefore he exhorts the saints to keep to the anointing. And such as went from them that had the anointing, came to be the seducers and false prophets, and went into the world.
And John had a judgment to try sacrifices, and distinguished Cains and Åbels; and by the Spirit of God knew which God accepted, and wbich he did not accept : as in 1 John iii. 12. “And the apostle Paul judged and tried such messengers and apostles, and transformers of themselves, like to the apostles of Christ; and would have the church to try such, and have the same judgment as he had. 2 Cor. xi.
• And the apostle Peter judged Ananias and Sapphira, and judged the thoughts of Simon Magus, who would have been a worker of miracles for money: and was not all this
judgment in divine matters? And the apostle Paul judged the preachers of circumcision both in the Romans and in the Galatians. For it was the faith and liberty of those preachers to preach up circumcision, though it was a wrong faith : and here did not the apostle again judge in divine matters?
* And James judged in matters of faith, and manifested the living faith from the dead one. And also he judged in matters of religion, the vain religion from the pure religion, and distinguished them.
And Paul judged of the false brethren, that would spy out the liberty of the true; to whom he would give no place by subjection, no, not for an hour, that the truth of the gospel might continue with the saints; as in Gal. ii. And did not the apostle here judge in divine matters? And he judged concerning the matters of the gospel, when some came to pervert them with another gospel, and said, “ The gospel which I received is not of man, neither was I taught it: but by the revelation of Jesus Christ." Gal. i. 12. So here was a judgment to distinguish the gospel of Christ from all other gospels, which was accursed, which is after man, and received of man, and taught of man, and not by the revelation of Jesus Christ. Gal. i. And he had a judgment to know, who made the gospel chargeable, and who kept it without charge.
And he set up a judgment in the church, that the believers should not be unequally yoked; and to see when men had a communion in the light, and when they had it in the darkness ; and when with Christ, and when with Baal; and with the believer and unbeliever; and with the temple of God, and with idols: as in 2 Cor. 6. And did he not set up a clear judgment here in divine matters in the church?
"And the apostle judged such libertines through their knowledge, that could sit at meat in the idol temple; which caused the weak brother to perish through his knowledge and liberty, for whom Christ died. Now these, it is like, did profess, it was their faith, and their liberty; but did not keep in the unity of the true faith, but went about to destroy it. I Cor. viii.
And Peter, he gives judgment upon the angels that sinned, and were cast down into hell : and the state of the old world and of Sodom, and the state of the false prophets then amongst them, that could speak great swelling words of vanity; and whilst they promised themselves liberty, they themselves were the servants of corruptions. And had not Peter here a judgment in divine matters? These
were such, whose work was to bring into bondage, and these were like the dog and sow that were washed; which shews that they had been washed, but were turned into the mire again. And the apostle Paul had a judgment upon such with their fair words and men's wisdom, that deceived the hearts of the simple ; and upon such as served not the Lord Jesus Christ, but their own bellies, and were enemies to the cross of Christ. And therefore he had a judg. ment and discerning who lived in the cross of Christ, and who did not; and exhorted all to live in the cross of Christ, the righteous power of God, that slew all deceit, and the deeds of the old man : agreeable to Christ's words, “ He that will be my disciple, must take up my cross, and follow me.” And was not here a judgment again in divine matters, and of such as walk in the divine power, and such as did not?
* And Christ sets up a judgment in his seven churches, and commends them that did keep in his judgment, and had tried them which said they were apostles, which might pretend they were sent of God and Christ, and were not: but the church of Christ had found them liars. And Christ commended this judgment of the church of Ephesus, because they had not borne with them that were evil, but had tried those false apostles : and Christ commends this church, for that they had hated the deeds of the Nicholaitaus, which he also hated : and had not these Nicholaitans sprung from Nicholas, one of the deacons ? and were not these become a sect of Christians ? though they might talk and preach of Christ, but Christ hated them.
And likewise Cbrist saith to the church of Smyrna, I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, but are not, but are of the synagogue of satan. So the church is to have a judgment upon these blasphemers, and are to distinguish from the Jews in the spirit, and such as are not, but of the synagogue of satan.
And to the church in Pergamos Christ bad a few things against them, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrines of Balaam, &c. And also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicholaitans, which I hate. Now, these that held the doctrine of Balaam, and the doctrine of the Nicholaitans, were got into the church, and might have looked upon themselves to be high Christians, and took a great liberty to go into Baalam's doctrine, and Nicholas's doctrine, which was hated by Christ : but the church was to keep a spiritual and divine judgment upon the heads of all these,
And to the church of Thyatira, saith Christ, “ I have a