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them to their destruction. And what will become of those that forsake the worship in spirit and truth, which Christ set up, and worship the works of their own hands in spiritual Egypt, and follow spiritual Egypt's will.worship, which they invented ? may not this be called whoredom in them that forsake Christ, the new and living way, and his pure religion, and his worship, that he hath set up? And they that do forsake the Lord's way, and his worship that he set up, and follow the world's ways and worships that they set up, do not they, whose way they follow, become at last their enemies ! as in Lament. i. See how the Jews forsook the Lord's way and worship, and doted on their lovers, (the Assyrians, &c.) and with all their idols they were deliled; and how they did not leave the whoredoms brought from Egypt, and how they were polluted with the Babylonians' bed; as ye may read in Ezek. xxiii. When they forsook the Lord, his way and worship, and followed the way and worship of the heathen; then it was said, they went a whoring after other lovers, and committed adultery with them.
“And ye may see in Ezek. xvi. how the state of the Jews was likened unto that of their sister Sodom, and how that they had played the harlot with the Assyrians, and committed fornication with the Egyptians, and had increased their whoredoms in following their abominable idols. And therefore the Lord carried away the two tribes that forsook him into Babylon; as you may see in Ezek. xvii. 20. And they that forsake Christ, the new and living way, and the worship of God in spirit and truth, which Christ set up in his new testament, they go into captivity in spiritual Babylon.
And in Hosea ii. ye may see how he discovers the whoredoms and idolatry of the Jews, who forsook the Lord, and compares them to an harlot. And in chap. viii. ye may see the destruction threatened against the Jews, for their impiety and idolatry. In chap. ix. also, the distress and captivity of the Jews is threatened for their sins and idolatry. And again they are reproved and threatened for their impiety and idolatry. Hos. x. And this was for forsaking the Lord and his way, and following the ways of their own inventions, and the ways of the heathen.
* And doth not Isaiah say, “ That the Lord would visit Tyre, and that she should commit fornication with all the kingdoms of the world upon the face of the earth ;” and therefore the Lord threatened destruction upon her, chap: xxiii. And in chap. lvii. you may see how the Lord reproved the Jews for their whorish idolatry, and said,
« Upon an high and lofty mountain hast thou set thy bed; even thither wentest thou up to offer sacrifices. Thou hast enlarged thy bed, and made a covenant with them; thou lovedst their bed, where thou sawest it.”
This was a joining to the heathen's religions, altars and sacrifices, and a forsaking the Lord's altar and sacrifices, which he commanded in the law; and therefore that was committing whoredom with the heathen, and a going into their beds from the living God that made them. And now in the new testament God having poured his Spirit upon all flesh, that by his Spirit all might come to be a royal priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices to God' by Jesus Christ; all that err from the Spirit of God and rebel against it, they are not like to offer spiritual sacrifices to God; and such their sacrifice God doth not accept, no more than he did the heathens and the Jews, who rebelled against his good Spirit, that he gave them to instruct them.
And ye may see in the 17th, 18th, and 19th chapters of the Revelation, the punishment of the great whore Babylon, the mother of harlots; and the victory of the Lamb, and how he calleth God's people out of Babylon; for in her was found the blood of the prophets, and of the saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth; but there ye may read her judgment and her downfall. And this whore are they, that are whored from the Spirit of God, and so from God and from his holy worship in spirit and truth, and from the pure undefiled religion, that keeps from the spots of the world, and from the new and living way Christ Jesus ; and so are whored from the Spirit of God into false religions, ways and worships, and so corrupted the earth with her abominations. But her judgment and downfall is seen, over whom Christ hath the victory; and the marriage of the Lamb is come, glory to the Lord for ever! And God's pure religion and pure worship in spirit and truth Christ hath set up, as it was in the apostles? days, Hallelujah!'
I soon returned to London, but made no long stay there at this time, my body not being able to bear the closeness of the city long together. While I was in town, besides the usual services of visiting friends, and taking care about their sufferings to get them eased, I assisted the friends of the city in distributing certain sums of money, which our friends of Ireland had charitably and very liberally raised, and sent over hither for the relief of their brethren, who
suffered for the testimony of a good conscience here; which monies were distributed amongst poor, suffering friends in the several counties, in proportion, according as we understood their need.
Before I left the city also, I heard of a great doctor that was lately come from Poland; whom I invited to my lodge ing, and had a great deal of discourse with him. And after I had informed myself by him of such things as I had a desire to know, I'writ a letter to the king of Poland on behalf of friends at Dantzic (a town belonging to him) who had long been under grievous sufferings. A copy wbereof here follows:
To John the Third, King of Poland, great Duke of Lithuania,
Russia, and Prussia, Defender of the city of Dantzic, &c. Concerning the innocent and afflicted people, in scorn called Quakers, who are now fed with bread and water in bridewell of the aforesaid city under close confinement, where their friends, wives and children, are hardly suffered to come to see them.
King! • The magistrates of the city of Dantzic say, that it is thy order and command, that these innocent and afflicted people should suffer such oppression. Now this punishment is inflicted upon them, only and alone, because they come together in the name of Jesus Christ, their Redeemer and Saviour, who died for their sins, and is risen from the dead for their justification; who is their Prophet, whom God hath raised up like unto Moses; whom they ought to hear in all things in this day of the gospel and the new covenant; who went astray like scattered sheep, but now are returned to the chief Shepherd and Bishop of their souls. 1 Pet. ii. 25. who has given bis life for his sheep, and they hear his voice and follow him; who leads them into his pastures of life. John x.
* And now, O King! I understand, that thou openly professest Christianity, and the great and mighty name of Jesus Christ, who is King of kings, and Lord of lords, to whom is given all power in heaven and in earth, who rules all nations with a rod of iron. Therefore, O King, it seems hard to us that any, that openly confesses Christ Jesus (yea, the magistrates of Dantzic do the same) should inflict those punishments upon an innocent and harmless people, by reason of their tender consciences, only and alone, because they come together to serve and worship
the eternal God, who made them, in spirit and in truth; which worship Christ Jesus has set up sixteen hundred years ago; as we read in John iv. 23, 24.
* Therefore, I beseech the king, that he would consider, whether Christ in the New Testament, ever gave such a conimand to his apostles, that they should shut up any in prison, and feed them with bread and water, who was not conformable in every particular to their religion, faith and worship? Or, where did the apostles exercise such things in the true church after Christ's ascension ? For is not this the doctrine of Christ and the apostles, that Christ's followers should love their enemies, and pray for them that hate them, and persecute and despitefully use them? Matth. v.
And now, is it not a shame to Christendom among the Turks and others, that one Christian should persecute another for the doctrine of faith, worship and religion? And they cannot prove that Christ ever gave them such a command, whom they profess to be their Lord and Master, For Christ says, that his believers and followers should love one another, and by this they shall be known to be his disciples. And did not Christ reprove those, who would have fire to come down from heaven, to destroy them who would not receive him, and did not he tell them they did not know what spirit they were of? And therefore all who have persecuted men, or taken away their lives, because they would not receive their religion, have they known what spirit they were or are of? Therefore is it not good for all to know by the Spirit of Christ, what spirit they are of? For the apostle says, Rom. viii. 9,
If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” And does not the apostle say, 2 Cor. x. 4, “ The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but spiritual, &c.” And we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against spiritual wickedness, &c.” Thus we can see here, that the fight of the first Christians, and their weapons in the days of the apostles, were spiritual in matters of faith, religion, and worship, in the church of Christ.
Now would not the king and the magistrates of Dantzic think, that it was contrary to their consciences, if they should be forced by the Turk to his religion? Would it not in like manner seem hard to the magistrates of Dantzic, and contrary to their consciences, if they should be forced to the religion of the king of Poland ? or the king of Poland if he should be compelled to the religion of the magistrates of Dantzic? And if they would not be subject thereunto, that then they should be banished from their wives and