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in prosperity, and their years in pleasure: but if they obey him not, they shall perish by the sword, and they shall die without knowledge.” Job xxxvi. 10, 11, 12. So the disobedient, that do not turn from their iniquity, have not this prosperity and pleasure; but die without the knowledge of God; and their ears are shut to this discipline, which God opens to his people. G. F.”
When I had been about two months in London, I was sent for to my son Rouse's at Kingston, to visit a daughter of his, who at that time lay very sick; but recovered. Whilst I staid there, I had several meetings with Friends: and returning by Hammersmith, staid the first-day meeting there, which was large and peaceable. Having visited Friends thereabouts, I came back to London again; being very intent upon the business of getting redress for suffering Friends. In this and other services I continued at London till the latter end of the eleventh month; save that I went to visit an ancient Friend at Bethnal-Green, with whom I tarried three or four days. While I was there, I was much exercised in the sense of the enemies working, to draw from the holy way of truth into a false liberty, and so into the world's ways and worships again. And the example of the backsliding Jews coming before me, I was moved to write the following, as a warning to all such:
‘You may see, when the Jews rebelled against the good spirit of God which he gave to instruct them, they forsook him and his law, way, and worship, went a whoring after Balaam’s ways, and became like the “wild ass's colt, snuffing up the wind.” Jer. ii. 24. In Jer. iii. see how Judah played the harlot under every green tree, and upon every high mountain; therefore the Lord divorced Judah, as he had divorced Israel when she forsook his way, and followed the ways of the heathen. Though the Lord had fed them to the full, yet they “forsook him, committed adultery, and assembled themselves together in harlots' houses.” Jer. v. 7. “And with their whoredom they defiled the land, and committed adultery with stocks and stones.” Jer. iii. 9. Here you may see, when they forsook the living, eternal God, they followed the religions and worships of other nations, whose gods were made of stocks and stones, which the Jews worshipped, and committed adultery withal. When they forsook the living God, and his way and worship, they forsook the worship at Jerusalem at the temple, and followed the heathen's worships in the mountains and fields: so it was called adultery and whoredom, to join with other religions, and forsake God. Jer. xiii. 27.
“And now, if the children of the New Jerusalem that is above would forsake the worship that Christ in his New Testament set up, (which is in spirit and in truth,) and follow the worship of nations, which men have set up; will not they commit adultery with them, in forsaking God's worship, and Christ the new and living way !” “In Jer. xliv, ye may see how the children of Judah provoked the Lord against them by worshipping the works of their own hands, and following the gods of the land of Egypt. In this they committed adultery, forsaking the living God, their husband, and his worship; and there ye may see God's judgments pronounced against them to their destruction. 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, his pure religion, and the worship that he hath set up 7 and they that forsake the Lord's way and his worship, and follow the world's ways and worships, 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 other lovers, (the Assyrians, &c.) and with all their idols were defiled; and how they retained the whoredoms brought from Egypt, and were polluted with the Babylonian's bed: read 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 others, and committed adultery with them.” ‘Ye may see Ezek. xvi. the state of the Jews was likened to that of their sister Sodom, which had played the harlot with the Assyrians, committed fornication with the Egyptians, and increased their whoredoms, in following their abominable idols; therefore the Lord carried away the two tribes, that forsook him, into Babylon; see 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, go into captivity in spiritual Babylon. ‘Hosea ii. You may see how the prophet discovers the whoredoms and idolatry of the Jews who forsook the Lord, and compares them to an harlot. And in chap. iii. 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. This was for forsaking the Lord and his way, and following the ways of their own inventions, and the ways of the heathen. “Doth not Isaiah say, “that the Lord would visit Tyre, and that she should commit fornication with all the kingdoms upon the face of the earth ?” therefore, the Lord threatened destruction upon her, chap. xxiii. In chap. lvii. you may see how the Lord reproved the Jews for their whorish idolatry, saying, “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 lovest their bed where thou sawest it.” This was a joining to the heathen's religions, altars and sacrifices, and 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 it 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, are not like to offer spiritual sacrifices to God; the sacrifice of such God doth not accept, no more than he did that of the heathen or the Jews, who rebelled against his good spirit that he gave them to instruct them. ‘You 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.” There ye may read her judgment and downfall. This whore are they that are whored from the spirit of God, and so from God, from his holy worship in spirit and truth, from the pure undefiled religion that keeps from the spots of the world, from the new and living way of Christ Jesus; these are whored from the spirit of God into false religions, ways, and worships, and so have corrupted the earth with her abominations. But her judgment and downfall are 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. G. F.’
I soon returned to London, but made no long stay there, 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; 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 I heard of a great doctor lately come from Poland, whom I invited to my lodging, and had a great deal of discourse with him. After I had informed myself by him of such things as I had a desire to know, I wrote a letter to the king of Poland on behalf of Friends at Dantzick, who had long been under grievous sufferings. A copy whereof follows:
“To John the third, king of Poland, great duke of Lithuania, Russia, and Prussia, defender of the city of Dantzick, &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.
“Oh King —The magistrates of the city of Dantzick say it is thy order and command that these innocent and afflicted people should suffer such oppression. Now this punishment is inflicted upon them only 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 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 his life for his sheep, and they hear his voice and follow . him; who leads them into his pastures of life.” John x. ‘Now, O King! I understand 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 earth, who rules all nations with a rod of iron. Therefore, O king, it seems hard to us, that any who openly confess Christ Jesus (yea, the magistrates of Dantzick do the same) should inflict those punishments upon an innocent and harmless people, by reason of their tender consciences only, 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. “I beseech that he would consider whether Christ in the New Testament ever gave such a command to his apostles that they should shut up any in prison, and feed them with bread and water, who were not conformable in every particular to their religion, faith, and worship? Where did the apostles exercise such things in the true Church after Christs ascension? Is not this the doctrine of Christ and the apostles, that Christ's followers should “love their enemies, and pray for them that hate, persecute, and despitefully use them 7" Mat. v. “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? They cannot prove that Christ ever gave them such a comWol. II. 37
mand, 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 should 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 1 Did not he tell them, “they did not know what spirit they were of " Have all who have persecuted men, or taken away their lives because they would not receive their religion, known what spirit they were or are of 7 Is it good for all to know by the spirit of Christ what spirit they are of 1 The apostle says, Rom. viii. 9. “If any man have not the spirit of Christ he is none of his.” And 2 Cor. x. 4. “The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but spiritual, &c. We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against spiritual wickedness,” &c. Thus we see, the fight of the first christians and their weapons in the days of the apostles were spiritual. ‘Would not the king and the magistrates of Dantzick think it 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 Dantzick, 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 Dantzick And if they would not be subject thereunto, that they should be banished from their wives and families, and out of their native country, or otherwise be fed with bread and water under strict confinement? “We beseech the king with all christian humility, and the magistrates of Dantzick, 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 the king of Poland and his people, with the magistrates of Dantzick, own the writings of the New Testament as well as of the Old; therefore we beseech the king and the magistrates of Dantzick, 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. “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 Dantzick, that they may have freedom to serve and worship the living God in spirit and in truth, and go home to their 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