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and one of them had no family but himself and his wife, and kept no living creature but a cat. I asked him also, whether they could take a man and his wife, and imprison them both for small tithes, and so destroy a family; and if they could, I desired to know by what law : he did not answer me, but only said that was an hard case. So when I found there was no help to be had there, we left him, and went to judge Mountague's chamber; and with him i had a great deal of discourse concerning tithes. Whereupon he sent for our adversary's attorney; and when he came I offered him our answer: he said, if we would the charges of the court, and be bound to stand trial, and abide the judgment of the court, we should not have the oath tendered to us. I told him that they had brought those charges upon us, by requiring us to put in our answer upon oath, which they knew before we could not do for conscience sake; and as we could not pay any tithe nor swear, so neither should we pay any of their charges : upon this he would not receive our answer. So we went from thence to judge Atkyns, his chamber, and he being busy, we gave our answers and our reasons against tithes and swearing to his clerk; but neither could we find any encouragement from him to expect redress there. Wherefore leaving him we went to one of the most noted counsellors, and shewed him the state of our case and our answers : he was very civil to us, and said this way of pro. ceeding against us was somewhat like an inquisition. A few days after, those eight poor friends that were brought up so far out of the north, appeared before the judges, and the Lord was with them, and his power was over the court, so that the friends were not committed to the Fleet. Our cause was put off till the next term (called Michaelmas term) and then it was brought before the four judges again. Then William Mead told the judges that I had engaged myself never to meddle with my wife's estate : the judges could hardly believe that any man would do so : whereupon he shewed them the writing under my hand and seal, at which they wondered. Then two of the judges and some of the lawyers stood up, and pleaded for me, that I was not liable to the tithes: but the other two judges and divers other lawyers, pressed earnestly to have me sequestered; alledging that I was a public man. At length they prevailed with one of the other two judges to join with them; and then they granted a sequestration against me and my wife together. Thereupon, by advice of counsel, we moved for a limitation, which was granted, and that 'much defeated our adversary's design in suing
out the sequestration ; for this limited the plaintiff from taking no more than was proved. One of the judges, who was called baron Weston, was very bitter against me, and brake forth in a great rage against me in the open court; but in a little time after he died.
After the yearly meeting was over, I tarried about a month in London, and then went into Sussex, to visit friends there; amongst whom I had many large and very precious meetings in divers parts of that county. Yet I spent not much time now in Sussex, but returned pretty soon to London, whether I felt drawings in spirit; and had very good service for the Lord there, both in public meetings and amongst friends. And when I had tarried some time in London, I went down to Edmonton ; and from thence into Buckinghamshire, where I visited friends at several meetings in the upper-side of that county: and then went by Henley to Reading, where I tarried several meetings. I went no farther westward at this time than to Ore, where I had a very large meeting ; after which, striking off through the edge of Oxfordshire, I had a large and very precious meeting at Warborow, in which the glory of the Lord shined over all; many friends came to this meeting, some out of Berkshire, some out of Bucking, hamshire, and some out of Hampshire. From thence I passed to Ilmore (which is in the vale of Buckinghamshire) where we had a glorious meeting; and the day following I returned to Mary Penington's. From whence I visited the men's and women's monthly-meetings at Hunger-hill, and some other meetings thereabouts; and then passed to Watford, where was a marriage of two friends, at which I was present; a very large meeting we had on that occasion, and ihe Lord's power was over all. I went from Watford to Longford in Middlesex, visiting friends at Uxbridge in the way. At Longford we had a large meeting, it being on the first-day of the week, and the presence of the Lord was preciously felt amongst us; blessed be his name. I passed from Longford to Kingston, visiting friends as I went, at Staines and Sunbury. At Kingston I abode with friends two meetings, wherein we were sweetly refreshed together in the Lord. And passing on from thence towards London, I had a very precious meeting at Wandsworth: then crossing over to Hammersmith, I had a good meeting there, which was the larger by reason of a burial that was there that time; and there being a pretty openness in the people on that occasion, I had a fine opportunity to open the way of truth amongst them.
After I was come to London, I was moved to write the
following paper, concerning that spirit which had led some, who professed truth, into strife and division, and to oppose the way and work of the Lord :
You that do keep your habitations in the truth, that is over all, do see, that it is the same spirit that doth lead the backsliders and apostates now, from the spiritual fellowship and unity of God's people, and the church of Christ, that led out Ådain and Eve from God, and the Jews from God and his law, to rebel against his Spirit, and so to turn against God and his prophets. And this spirit was the same that was in the world, which was got into the Jews, when they were gone from the Spirit of God; and then they turned against God and his prophets, and against Christ and his apostles : and that spirit led them to be as bad as Pilate, or worse. The enmity or adversary was got within them against the truth, and them that walked in it, and the Spirit of the Lord; so that they killed and destroyed the just. And this was the spirit of the devil, the destroyer, who would seek not only to destroy the truth, but the order of it, and them that walk in it, when true Christianity was planted among the possessors of the light, grace and truth, and the gospel-holy faith and spirit; and they did enjoy Christ in their hearts. But when some did begin to err from the spirit and faith, and hate the light, and disobey the gospel, and to turn the grace of God into wantonness, and walk despitefully against the Spirit of Grace, and turn from the truth, and crucify to themselves Christ afresh, and put bim to open shame; these were they, that let in the spirit of the world; who held the form of godliness, but denied the power thereof; which troubled the churches in the apostles' days. And when the spirit of satan had got into such, they were more troublesome to the church than the open persecutors that were without : and these got into the assemblies to deceive the hearts of the simple, having the good words, and fair speeches, and sheep's clothing. Paul, Peter, John, Jude, and James had much to do with such, and to keep them from troubling the church of Christ : for they are out of the light, power and spirit; and therefore the apostles of Christ did exhort the saints to keep to the word of life within, and to the anointing, and to the grace and truth, and Holy Spirit in their hearts. This foul spirit will profess all the scriptures in words; but by the Spirit of God, which is holy, that spirit is tried and its fruits. And so the apostates went from the power and Spirit of God, and turned against the prophets, and the
martyrs of Jesus, and became the whore, whose cup all nations drunk of And the dragon with his tail threw down many of the stars, and would have devoured the woman with his food; but the woman, the true church, was preserved; and the gates of hell cannot prevail against her; and then the dragon made war with her seed. So the dragon, and the whore, and beast, and false prophets, all made war against the Lamb and the saints; but the Lamb and the saints will overcome them all, and will have the victory. And now the everlasting gospel is preached again to all nations, tongues and peoples; and many are gathered into the gospel, the power of God, and are turned to the light, which is the life in Christ, and are grafted into him, and are come walk in the order of the new covenant of light and life, in the gospel of peace and salvation. The same spirit that opposed the apostles and the churches in their days, opposes now; yea, it is the same that opposed Christ, and disdained him, that disdaineth God's servants now : and the same, that did oppose the prophets, and rebelled against Moses, opposes and rebels against God's servants and people now. And it is the same dark, blind and disobedient, faithless, wilful, jealous spirit, that doth persecute some with the hands, and others with the tongue. And it is the same spirit of enmity, the adversary and destroyer, that tempted Adam and Eve to disobey God, and did deceive them; which deceived the Jews and tempted them, and deceived all those that went from the church in the apostles' days. And it is the same spirit that is now going about sometimes like a roaring lion, sometimes like a twisting serpent to tempt, and to deceive, and to devour ; having the fair speeches, and goed words, and sheep's clothing in a form of godliness, and in pretence of the light and liberty, but denies the power thereof, and inwardly are ravening wolves; and if it were possible, they would deceive the very eleet. But the eleet are in the covenant of light and lite, and in the power of God over them, and in Christ, who will grind them to pieces; and will stay all his enemies with his spiritual sword, who will not bave him to rule over or in them. In Christ all his people have rest and peace, who is their sanetuary over all storms and tempests. And in Christ, the sanctuary, 10 deceiver nor destroyer can come; for he is a place of sweet rest and safety: Hallelujah, praise the Lord for his sanetuary. meu,
G. F. Suttering continuing still hard upon friends at London, I found my service law mostly here: wheretore I went
but a little out of town, and not far; being frequent at the most public meetings, to encourage friends both by word and example, to stand fast in the testimony to which God had called them. And at other times I went about from house to house, visiting those friends that had their goods taken away for their testimony to truth. And because the wicked informers were grown very audacious, by reason that they had too much countenance and encou. ragement from some justices, who, trusting wholly to their information, proceeded against friends without hearing them : whereby many friends were made to suffer, not only contrary to right, but even contrary to law also. I advised with some friends about it; and we drew up a paper, which was afterwards delivered to most of the magistrates in and about the city; which was as followeth:
- Whereas some informers have obtained warrants of some justices of peace, and have convicted many of us without hearing us, or once summoning us to appear before them; by which proceedings many have had their goods seized and taken away, being generally fined ten pounds a piece for an unknown speaker : and some of those persons so fined, have not been that day at the meetings they were fined for, and the speaker notwithstanding hath himself been fined for the same meeting, the same day the others were fined for the unknown speaker. By which the justices may see the wickedness of these informers, by whose false oaths we have been convicted for an unknown preacher, when the preacher hath been both known and fined. And also in their swearing such persons to have been at such a meeting such a day, when indeed they, whom they have so sworn against, have not been at that meeting that day. By which proceedings several families of the king's peaceable subjects are like to be ruined, if there be not a speedy stop put thereunto. Therefore we do both hope and desire, that you, who are the king's justices, for the time to come, when any informers shall come to any of you with an information against any of us, will summon such as are accused to appear before you, and hear us and our accusers face to face ; that so none for the time to come may suffer for that they are not guilty of. For Pilate the governor heard Christ and bis accusers face to face before he condemned him, John xix. And the council and chief priesto heard Stephen and his accusers, with the witnesses that were brought agaiost him, face to face, before they con, demned hiin, Acts vii. The Roman captain heard Paul and his accusers face to face, Acts xxül. And Felix the