A1r

A
Declaration
and an
Information
From us the People of God called
Quakers,

To the present Governors, the
King
and Both Houses of
Parliament,
And all whom it may Concern.

This was Delivered into the Kings hand, the 1660-04-2222. day of the Fourth
Moneth
by M.F

London,
Printed for Thomas Simmons and Robert Wilson, 16601660.

A1v 2

We who are the People of God called Quakers, who are
hated and despised, and every where spoken against,
as people not fit to live, as they were that went before
us, 1 Cor.Corinthians
4, 9, 10, 11,
12, 13.
who were of the same spirit, power, & Life
and were as we are, in that they were accounted as the off-scouring
of all things, by that Spirit and Nature that is of the world,
and so the Scripture is fulfilled, Gal.Galatians 4. “he that is born of the flesh persecuteth
him that is born of the Spirit”
; We have been a suffering people,
under every Power & Change, and under every profession of Religion
that hath been, & born the outward power in the Nation these 12
years
, since we were a People, and being that throw the old Enemy
which hath continually appeared against us, not only in the
profane people of the Nation, but also in the highest profession of sorts
and sects of Religion, we have suffered under, and been persecuted
by them all; Even some persecuted & prisoned till death; others
their bodies bruised till death, stigmatized, bored thorow the tongue,
gagged in the mouth, stockt
, and whipt thorow Towns & Cities, our goods
spoiled
, our bodies two or three years imprisoned, with much more
that might be said, which is well known to the Actors thereof; and
this done not for the wronging of any man, nor for the breach of
any just Law of the Nation, nor for evil doing, nor desiring any evil,
or wishing any hurt to any man, but for Conscience sake towards God,
because we could not bow to their worship, and because we could
not maintain a Ministry, which Ministry we could not joyn with nor
own; So we look upon it to be unjust to maintain them, we receive
nothing from, nor cannot trust our Souls under their Teaching,
who Teach for hire, and Divine for money, which the Prophets of the
Lord cryed wo against; And Christ said a hireling was a Thief and
a Robber, Joh.John
10. 12, 13.
“and would fly because he was an hireling”
; And they are
maintained by Tithes, contrary to Christ and the Apostles Doctrine,
Heb.Hebrews 7.
12.
who said “the Priesthood was changed that took Tithes, and the
Law also that gave them”
, and who witnessed Christ Jesus
to be the Everlasting Offering once for all, who saith, such an HighPriest
hath become us which is holy, harmlesse, undefiled, separate from
sinners, and made higher then the Heavens, who in the dayes of his flesh,
when he had offered up prayers and supplications, with strong cryes
and Tears, unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard A2r3
heard in that he feared, though he was a Son yet learned he obedience,
by the things which he suffered, Heb.Hebrews
7, 8, 9.
and being made perfect became the
Author of Eternal Salvation unto all them that obey him
. And for obedience
to him and his commands (do we suffer who hath said swear
not at all
, Mat.Matthew
34, 35.
Jam.James 5. 1
Jam.James 2. 1
And he said Call no man Master upon earth, for ye have one
Master in Heaven
; and who hath said How can you believe that seek
Honour one of another, and not the Honour that comes from God onely
,
and who hath said, let your Yea be Yea, and your Nay, Nay, for
whatsoever is more then this cometh of evil
; And because we cannot
respect persons, which is contrary to the Apostles Doctrine and practise,
who hath said, Act.Acts
24.
Mat.Matthew 22.
of a Truth God is no respecter of Persons, but in every
Notion he that feareth God, and worketh Righteousnesse is accepted of
him
; And the Apostle James exhorted his Brethren not to have the
Faith of our Lord Jesus Christ with respect of persons, for if you respect
persons you commit sin, and are convinced of the Law as Transgressors
,
and contrary to this Faith and Doctrine we are made Transgressors
by the Powers of the Earth, because we cannot respect persons, and
commit sin, and be made Transgressors of the Law of God: And this
hath been the onely ground and cause of our sufferings, because
we obeyed the Command of Christ, the Author of our Eternal salvation,
and observed the Apostles Doctrine and practise, and not for
any other cause or end have our sufferings been, but for Conscience
sake
, because we cannot bow to mens wills and worships contrary
to the Command of Christ Jesus our Everlasting Priest, King and
Prophet, whom we serve with our spirits, and worship in that, which
the World calls Heresie Act.Acts
14.

And now because that several of you, who are most concerned
in this Government are not acquainted with our principles and practices,
neither have known our Innocency and sufferings, and the Old
Enemy
by whom we have suffered, at this time being ready to incense
and instigate, and infuse secretly into the minds of them, who
are strangers to us, against whom we have not transgressed, neither
do we desire to give any just occasion of offence to these present
Governors, who yet have not done us much wrong, in making any
Law against us
, that we know of; And we do believe would
not, if ye did rightly understand our Innocency and Integrity,
nakedness and singleness
in our carriage towards all men upon the
face of the earth, and if ye would but examine and search out
our carriage and behaviour towards all mens persons, Souls
and Estates, if these things were searched out and Examined A2thorow A2v4 thorow the Nations, and that no prejudice were let into
your minds from others words, which proceed from secret envy
malice
and hatred, & not from any just ground they have against us,
but as it is from a contrary spirit and mind, as it was in the Jews
against Christ, and in all others against the Apostles, so it is the same
now against us, but this we commit to the Lord who will plead our
cause
, and clear our Innocency, who hath said vengeance is Mine, and
I will repay it
; And now that they know we cannot swear, nor
take an Oath for Conscience sake, but have suffered because we could
not take them; Now do the Magistrates of several Countyes of
the Nation, through the suggestion of the Priests envy, which is
inveterate against us, Tender us an Oath, which they call the Oath of
Allegiance
, with several other Engagements, what their own wils can
invent, on purpose to ensnare us, that upon the denial thereof they
may cast us into prison, & have already cast several of us into prison at
their own pleasure.

We do therefore declare to take of all
Jealousies, Fears and Suspitions of our Truth and Fidelity to the King, and
these present Governours
, that our intentions & Endeavours are and
shall be Good, True, Honest and Peaceable towards them, and that
we do Love, Own, and Honour the King and these present Governours, so
far as they do rule for God and his Truth, and do not impose any thing
upon Peoples Consciences, but let the Gospel have its free passage
through the consciences of men, which we do not know
that they have (by any Law) as yet imposed; And if they grant
liberty of Conscience towards God and towards Man, then we know
that God will blesse them: For want of which hath been the
overthrow of all that went before them: We do not desire any liberty
that may justly offend any ones Conscience, but the Liberty
we do desire is, that we may keep our Consciences clear and void of
offence
towards God and towards men, and that we may enjoy our
civil Rights
and Liberties of Subjects, as freeborn English men And
this we do in the presence of the Lord declare, not in flattering
Titles, but in reality and truth of our hearts, and shall manifest the
same; Now that we may be clear in the presence of the living
God, and of all just and moderate men, that they may not
have their hands in Blood and Persecution, as those have had that are
gone before
, and that they may not be ignorant of us, and of our
principles and practice, & so receive information against us from
others envy, which may be contrary to our very principles, and
the truth as it is in Jesus; Therefore that we may be free from the A3r5 the blood of all men, Act.Acts 20,
26.
& that they may not have a hand in Persecuting
and Oppressing the Innocent, whose cause God hath pleaded
and will plead
. We do therefore inform the Governors of this
Nation high and low; That we are a People that desire the
good of all People
and their peace, and desire that all may be saved
and come to the knowledge of the Truth 1 Tim.Timothy
2. 4.
Act.Acts 13. 47.
Rev.revelation 21. 24
2 Cor.Corinthians 4. 6.
the Way and the
Life
, which is Christ Jesus, the Everlasting Covenant, which is given
for a Light to the Gentiles, and to be the Salvation to the ends of
the Earth, and all the Nations that are saved must walk in this
Light of the Glorious Gospel, which hath shined in our hearts, and given
us the light of the Knowledge of the Glory of God in the Face of Jesus
Christ
. And to this Light we direct Peoples minds, that every one
in particular may have a Teacher and Testimony according to the
Righteousnesse of Faith which speaketh on this wise; “The word
is very nigh in the heart and in the mouth”
. Rom.Romans
10. 8.
And if every one would
come to this, there would be a feeling of Gods Justice and Righteousnesse,
and our intents to be just Innocent and Righteous,
who hath said, “I will come neer to Judgement, and be a swift witnesse
against the Sorcerer and Adulterer, and false swearer”
. Mal.Malachi 3.
5.

Now if every one would turn to this witnesse in their own Consciences,
this would keep from oppressing and persecuting of others
without cause, for God is coming to teach his People himself, by his
own Light and Spirit, who hath said, “it is written in your law, you
shall be all taught of God”
, Joh.John 6.
45.
which many of us now do witnesse;
for which cause are we persecuted, the children of the Lord are taught
of the Lord, and are established in Righteousnesse, and are far from
Oppression
. Isa.Isaiah 54.
13, 14.

The Testimony that we have born, hath been chiefly against the
Priests, Teachers and Professors of these Nations, that are out of the
Life & power; for when it pleased the Lord to reveal his Son in us,
we saw them to be absolute deceivers of the People and betrayers of
their souls, for they lead them wholly from that of God in them
to the letter of the Scripture without them, and to their own Inventions
and Immaginations and meanings which they speak, who are
not taught of God themselves For, for all their high profession,
there is scarce one of them that dares say they have the infallible
Spirit of God
, the same as the Apostles had, that gave forth the
Scripture
; The Apostle saith that which may be known of God is
manifested in them, for God shews it unto them
. No People can retain
God in their knowledge and worship him as God, but first they must A3v 6
must come to that of God in them; But these Teachers deny this Doctrine,
and have manifested themselves several wayes to all sober
minded People, to be men not fearing God, and are not true to their
Principles; for who have minded them, and seen their Carriage
and Behaviour in all these Changes that have been these 8. years
(which have been many; as may be further manifest,) for there
have been Changes of Governments, of Parliaments, and Protectors
several in these Eight years, and all these have been warned not
to uphold these Priests contrary to Peoples Consciences, but that
every one might have their Liberty, that they that would have
them might maintain them, and they that could not receive their
Doctrine, might not be forced to maintain them; but this would not
satisfie their Covetous Practice, but they went on in the way of
Cruelty, Persecuting and Oppressing the Innocent, and casting into Prison,
and took trebble Dammages, and spoiled their Goods, and made
Havock of poor Peoples Encrease 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 euvery Power,
and every Government, as it turned; and made Petitions, and
Addresses, and Acknowledgements to every Change of Government,
and Conformed to every Power, and shewed 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 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 endeavors
to cause Persecution to continue upon us: But, the Lord
hath seen it, and we commit all to him, & can freely say, “The Lord
forgive them for what they have done to us”
, Act.Acts 7.
60.
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
,”
Mat.Matthew 15
14.
We cannot but in pitty and love to Peoples Souls bear
our Testimony against them, Therefore have our Sufferings been becausecause A4r 7
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
. Heb.Hebrews 8.
11.

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 beare our Testimony against all
Strife, and Wars, and Contentions that come from the Lusts that
warr in the members, that warr 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
Transgressers,
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, Joh.John 18
36.
then would my Servants fight, but my
Kingdom is not from hence”
; This is he “that comes to save mens lives, and
not to destroy them”
, Luk.Luke 9.
56.
and this is he that is our Lord & Master, whose
Testimony we must seal with our blood, if it be required of us; And
our Weapons are not Carnal but Spiritual, 2 Cor.Corinthians
10. 4.
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 undergon 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 Mica.Micah
6. 8.
whereby the violence of the wicked
might be stopt, 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 outward 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 prophane envious People and Priests
which we have born our Testimony against their corruptions,
who thirst not onely after our Estates & Liberties, but our blood also,
who have already begun to search our Houses and to apprehend our
Members, & cast them into Prison
, there to be kept without bail or mainprize,
under pretence as if we were Thieves Murderers or Traytors,
who are Enemies to no mans 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 A4v8
or plotting against any Creature upon the Face of the Earth,
and speak the truth in plainnesse and singlenesse 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 onely to
believe, but to suffer
, but only that the blood of the Innocent may
not come upon your selves through false informations.

Given forth the 1660-04-055th of the
4th Month, 1660
.

Margret Fell.

We in the Unity of the Spirit, and Members of Christ, do Subscribe,
and Witnesse to the Truth of this, and in the behalf of
those in the same Unity,

  • George Fox.
  • Richard Hubberthorne,
  • Samuel Fisher,
  • Joseph Fuce,
  • Gobert Sikes,
  • Amos Stodert,
  • William Caton,
  • INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that cb is unmatched.
  • Gerrard Roberts,
  • John Stubbs,
  • Thomas Coveny,
  • Thomas Harte,
  • James Strut,
  • Ellis Hookes.

And now I am here to Answer what can be Objected against us on the
behalf of many Thousands, who are Baptized with one Spirit into
one Body, to bear my Testimony, and to be offered up for the Service
of the Faith, and to give an Account of the Hope, that is in
me, to every one that Asketh according to the Scripture, who was
moved of the Lord to leave my House and Family, and to come
Two Hundred Miles to lay these Things before you; Who to the
Will of the Lord is Committed.

M.F.

The End.