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Excerpt from The Gentle Boy relating to Quakers

Excerpts from Margaret Fell's Letter to the King on Persecution, 1660

This spirited letter posted on http://www.qhpress.org/quakerpages/qwhp/mf2king.htm was instrumental in putting the executions of Quakers in Massachusetts to an end. It did not, however, stop the persecution of Quakers in general.

[Appended to the end of William Shewen, The True Christian's Faith and Experience, etc. Philadelphia: M.T.C. Gould, 1830.]

We who are the people of God called Quakers, who are hated and despised, and every where spoken against, as people not fit to live, as they were that went before us, who were of the same spirit, power, and life, and were as we are, in that they were accounted as the off-scouring of all things, by that spirit and nature that is of the world; and so the scripture is fulfilled, "He that is born of the flesh persecuteth him that is born of the spirit." We have been a suffering people, under every power and change, and under every profession of religion that hath been, and borne the outward power in the nation these twelve years, since we were a people, and being that, through the old enemy which hath continually appeared against us, not only in the profane people of the nation, but also in the highest profession of sorts and sects of religion, we have suffered under, and been persecuted by them all: some even persecuted and imprisoned till death; others their bodies bruised till death, stigmatized, bored through the tongue, gagged in the mouth, stocked, and whipped through towns and cities; our goods spoiled, our bodies two or three years imprisoned; with much more that might be said, which is well known to the actors thereof. And this done not for the wronging of any man, nor for the breach of any just law of the nation, nor for evil doing, nor desiring any evil, or wishing any hurt to any man, but for conscience sake towards God, because we could not bow to their worship, and because we could not maintain a ministry, which ministry we could not join with nor own.

And this hath been the only ground and cause of our sufferings, because we obeyed the command of Christ, the author of our eternal salvation, and observed the apostles' doctrine and practice; and not for any other cause or end have our sufferings been, but for conscience sake, because we cannot bow to men's wills and worships contrary to the command of Christ Jesus our everlasting priest, king, and prophet, whom we serve with our spirits, and worship in that which the world calls heresy.
(courtesy of http://www.qhpress.org/quakerpages/qwhp/mf2king.htm)




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