fo are thofe Kings (during whofe Appearance upon the Stage of this World, it pleafeth the GREAT KING of Kings fingularly to make known unto Men the wonderful Steps of his USearchable Providence) more fignally obferved, and their Lives and Actions more diligently remarked, and inquired into by Posterity; efpecially, if those Things be fuch, as not only relate to the outward Tranfactions of this World, but alfo are fignalized by the Manifeftation or Revelation of the Knowledge of God in Matters Spiritual and Religious. Thefe are the Things that rendered the Lives of Cyrus, Auguftus Cafar, and Conftantine the Great, in former Times, and of Charles the Fifth, and fome other Modern Princes in thefe laft Ages, fo Confiderable.

But among all thefe Tranfactions, which it hath pleafed God to permit, for the Glory of His Power, and the Manifeftation of His Wifdom and Providence, no Age furnisheth us with Things fo Arange and marvellous, whether with refpect to Matters Civil or Religious, as thefe that have fallen out within the Compafs of Thy Time; who though Thou be not yet arrived at the Fiftieth Year of Thy Age, haft yet been a Witnefs of ftranger Things, than many Ages before produced. So that, whether we refpect thofe yarious Troubles, wherein Thou found'it Thy felf ingaged, while fcarce got out of Thy Infancy; the many different Afflictions, wherewith Men of Thy Circumstances are often unacquainted; the strange and unparallel'd Fortune that befel Thy Father; Thy own narrow Efcape, and Banifhment following thereupon, with the great Improbability of Thy ever Returning, (at leaft without very much Pains, and tedious Combatings;) or finally, the Incapacity thou wert under to accomplish fuch a Defign;


confidering the Strength of those that had poffeffed themselves of Thy Throne, and the Terror they had inflicted upon Foreign States and yet that, after all this, thou fhould't be Restored with out Stroke of Sword, the Help or Affiftance of Foreign States, or the Contrivance and Work of Humane Policy; All thefe do fufficiently declare, that it is the Lord's Doing, which, as it is marvellous in our Eyes, fo it will justly be à Matter of Wonder and Altonishment to Ge nerations to come; and may fufficiently ferve, if rightly obferved, to confute and confound that Atheism, wherewith this Age doth fo much


As the Vindication of the Liberty of Confcience (which Thy Father, by giving way to the importunate Clamours of the Clergy, the anfwering and fulfilling of whofe unrighteous Wills, has often proved hurtful and pernicious to Princes, fought in fome Part to reftrain) was a great Occafion of thofe Troubles and Revolutions; fo the Pretence of Confcience was that which carried it on, and brought it to that Pitch it came to. And though (no doubt) fome that were ingaged in that Work, defigned good Things, at least in the Beginning, (albeit always wrong in the Manner they took to accomplish it, viz. by Carnal Weapons;) yet fo foon as they had tafted of the Sweet of the Poffeffions of them they had turned out, they quickly began to do thofe Things themfelves, for which they had accufed others. For their Hands were found full of Oppreffion, and they hated the Reproof of Inftruction, which is the Way of Life: And they evilly entreated the Meffengers of the Lord, and caufed to beat and imprison His Prophets, and perfecuted His People, whom He had called and gathered out from among them; whom he had


made to beat their Swords into Plow-fbares, and their Spears into Pruning-books, and not to learn Carnal War any more: But he raised them up, and armed them with Spiritual Weapons, even with His own Spirit and Power, whereby they teftified in the Streets and High-ways, and publick Markets and Synagogues, against the Pride, Vanity, Lufts and Hypocrifie of that Generation, who were righteous in their own Eyes; though often cruelly Entreated therefore: And they faithfully prophefied and foretold them of their Judgment and Downfal, which came upon them; as by feveral Warnings and Epiftles, delivered to Oliver and Richard Cromwell, the Parliament, and other then Powers, yet upon Record, doth ap


And after it pleafed God to restore Thee, what Oppreffione, what Banifhments, and Evil Entreatings they have met with, by Men pretending Thy Authority, and cloaking their Mifchief with Thy Name, is known to most Men in this Ifland ; efpecially in England, where there is fearce a Prifon that hath not been filled with them; nor a Judge, before whom they have not been haled: though they could never yet be found Guilty of any Thing that might deferve that Ulage. Therefore the Senfe of their Innocency did, no doubt, greatly contribute to move Thee, Three Years ago, to caufe fome Hundreds of them to be fet at Liberty: For indeed their Sufferings are fingular, and obviously distinguishable from all the rest of fuch as live under Thee, in these two Refpects.


Firft, In that among all the Plots, contrived by others against Thee, fince Thy Return into Britain, there was never any, owned of that People, found or known to be guilty, (though many of them have been taken and imprisoned upon fuch kind of Jealoufies) but were always found Innocent and Harmless, (as became the Followers of Chrift) not coveting after, nor contending for the Kingdoms of this World; but fubject to every Ordinance of Man, for Confcience fake.

Secondly, In that, in the hottest Times of Perfecution, and the meft violent Profecution of thofe Laws, made against Meetings, (being cloath ed with Innocency) they have boldly food to their Teftimony for God, without creeping into Holes or Corners, or once hiding themselves, as all other Diffenters have done; but daily_met, according to their Cuftom, in the publick Places appointed for that End; fo that none of Thy Officers can fay of them, That they have furprized them in a Corner, overtaken them in a pri vate Conventicle, or catched them lurking in their fecret Chambers; nor needed they to send out Spies to get them, whom they were fure daily to find in their open Affemblies, teftifying for God and His Truth.

By which, thofe that have an Eye to fee, may obferve their Chriftian Patience and Courage, Conftancy and Suffering, joined in one, more than in any other People, that differ from them, or oppofe them. And yet in the midst of thofe Troubles, Thou canst bear Witnefs, That as on the one Part, they never fought to detract from Thee, or to render Thee and Thy Government odious to the People, by nameless and fcandalous



Pamphlets and Libels; fo on the other Hand, they have not fpared to Admonish, Exhort and Reprove Thee; and have faithfully discharged their Confciences towards Thee, without flattering Words, as ever the true Prophets in Ancient Times used to do to thofe Kings and Princes, under whofe Power, Violence and Oppreflion was acted.

And albeit it is evident by Experience, to be most agreeable both to Divine Truth and Humane Policy, to allow every one to ferve God according to their Confciences; nevertheless those other Sects, who, for the moft Part, durft not peep out in the Times of Perfecution, while thefe Innocent People ftood bold and faithful, do now combine in a joynt Confederacy (notwithstanding all the former Janglings and Contentions among themselves) to render us odious; feeking unjustly to wreft our Doctrine and Words, as if they were both inconfiftent with Chriftianity and Civil Society: So that to effectuate this their Work of Malice against us, they have not been afhamed to take the Help, and commend the Labours of fome invidious Socinians against us. So do Herod and Pontius Pilate agree to crucifie Christ.

But our Practice, known to Thee by good Experience to be more confiftent with Chriftianity and Civil Society, and the Peace and Welfare of this Ifland, than that of those that thus accufe us, doth fufficiently guard us against this Calumny; that we may indeed appeal to the Teftimony of Thy Confcience, as a Witnefs for us in the Face of the Nations.

Thefe Things moved me to present the World with a Brief, but true Account of this People's


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