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PUBLISHED BY SAMUEL WOOD & sons,
NO. 261, PEARL-STREET ;
IN GREAT BRITAIN AND ELSEWHERE.
TO FRIENDS AND BRETHREN, BELONGING TO THE QUARTER
LY AND MONTHLY MEETINGS THROUGHOUT ENGLAND AND
These are to signify, that at two sundry meetings in London; one being on the 27th, and the other on the 31st day of the Third Month, 1675, Many Public-Friends and Brethren of the nation being present, these things were considered, and conclud. ed to be intimated to Friends and Brethren in the counties throughout the nation, about the SUFFERINGS of FRIENDS.
First, That Friends of every Quarterly Meeting respectively, for each county where Friends do or may suffer for the truth of Christ Jesus, do appoint and send up a faithful understanding Friend, to meet with Friends at London, the 18th day of the Eighth Month next; that they, together with those Friends appointed here in London, may consider and advise together, for the help, ease, and relief of suci Friends as are or may be in suffering; and to endeavour to stop and prevent the persecu. tors and destroyers, by such lawful and just means as may be found out and made use of, in order to ease the oppressed.
One end of this intended meeting being also that Friends may obtain such a general understanding of proceedings, both in the city and country, about sufferings, as that those Friends who come up may the better inform and advise with those concerned in the respective Monthly and Quarterly Meetings: so that Friends may be the more capable to assist one another in such cases.
Secondly, That the Friends appointed to come up to London, as abovesaid, do bring with them the several cases of those under present sufferings and grievances on truth's account, with copies of the mittimusses, calendars, warrants, and records against the sufferers; as also a list of their names who have died in prison ; with the whole value of goods taken, exactly and briefly stated ; with witnesses' names and hands to the account of such their sufferings, and the cruelties and illegal proceedings of their adversaries; which otherwise would seem incredible to those in power, when they are laid before them.
Thirdly, According to that understanding given us of God (our intention and end being for the help of the distressed, and ease of the oppressed, and for the peace and universal good of the churches of Christ) we do tenderly advise and exhort all who are concerned, that such honest and faithful Friends, who have freedom to move, and endeavour to stop the persecutors and destroyers, and to procure any lawful and just remedy or ease for themselves or others in sufferings (as the truth will allow of, and the law will afford) be not discouraged, or reflected upon, in such their endeavours, by any Friend or Friends professing the truth; but rather, in true love and tenderness, be assisted and encouraged in their respective Monthly and Quarterly Meetings; that the cruelties and oppressions (which also under pretence of law are committed) tending to the ruin of innocent families may not lie hid, but be laid before those in power to redress them. And that the just ends (a christian care of Friends and their meetings about sufferings) may in no-wise be prejudiced or hindered by any professing the name of the Lord amongst us.
Yet this is not in the least to encourage any either to contention, or to take any indirect course at law, to the prejudice of truth, moiling themselves, or giving advantage to the adversary.
Fourthly, That Friends, in the several Monthly and Quarterly Meetings, keep exact and plain accounts and records of all their sufferings, in their books; with the names of the witnesses (Friends or others) to every eminent case where the suffering is great; and especially where it exceeds the severity of the law. And always to note in the margin to know how far they took out copies of them to send to London ; and to begin again where they left off, as sufferings are further added; that they may not for the future be sent up confusedly, nor the same twice over.
So (in true love to all you our faithful Friends and brethren, to
whom the care of these things is committed) written and subscribed, on behalf of the meeting aforesaid, by
Your dear friends and brethren,
G. Whitehead, John Whitehead,
James Batt, Richard Pinder. London, the 4th of the
Fourth Month, 1675.
These hereafter named, or the greater part, are appointed to meet the Friends of the country, when they come up to London, about the sufferings. Gerard Roberts, James Beech, Richard Whitpaine, Arthur Cooke, Thomas Rudyard, William Gibson, William Welsh, Ellis Hookes, Walter Miers. Gilbert Latie, Abraham Shapton,
Then agreed and concluded, that a general collection be made in the counties throughout England and Wales, and the city of London, for the service of truth beyond sea, and other public charges relating to the affairs of truth.
ON THE 18th DAY OF THE THIRD MONTH, THEN AGREED
AS FOLLOWETH; VIZ. 1. That Friends of the Monthly and Quarterly Meetings of each county be reminded to keep an exact account among themselves of those that first brought the message of glad tidings among them.
2. That their sufferings (to wit, of those first niessengers) whether at steeple-houses, market-places, or otherwise, be also recorded.
3. What Friends first received them and their message.
4. To remember to keep a record of the names, and travels, and faithfulness, and unblameable conversations, of all the public labourers that are deceased.
5. What judgments fell upon persecutors.
6. Where any of the hearts of such enemies have been turned to God, let them and their conversations be recorded.
7. What priests and others have written books against Friends ; and who have answered them.
8. Who have suffered the loss of goods, or imprisonment; wilia