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A DECLARATION Of ſeveral Members of the Churches of Chriſt; Being a few of the deſpiſed Remnant in London, and elſewhere, that yet cleave cloſe to the Cauſe and Intereſt of our Lord Jeſus, ſo much diſowned and rejected in theſe times of Apoſtacie, and in this hour of our great tribulation and temptation.

IN the Name of Jehovah-Niſſi, (Exod. 17.15. ) our Lord Chriſt Pro­tector of his people, King of Saints and Nations: To all that are ſan­ctified in Ieſus Chriſt, whether in Churches, or ouT, that partake of the ſame Faith (with us) of our Lord Jeſus, eſpecially the ſealed number now upon their Watch, that have not defiled their Garments, whoſe robes are waſhed with the blood of the Lamb, that are redeemed from among men, and follow the Lamb whitherſoever he goeth, in theſe three Nati­ons or elſewhere: We their unworthy Brethren, one with them in the preſent Sufferings of our Lord Jeſus and his Saints, in the behalf of our ſelves and many others, do from the bottom of our hearts, wiſh like Faith Grace, Light Zeal, Joy and Peace, which we enjoy from God the Father, and Jeſus Chriſt our Lord. Amen.

FOraſmuch as we believe many godly people in theſe three Nations and elſewhere, are deceived (and therefore unſatisfied) concerning us in the matters of our Faith, relating to the moſt precious Cauſe, Interest, and Monarchy of the Lord Chriſt, (which we cleave unto) through miſrepreſentations and falſe reports made of us and our Principles, by Perſons, and Letters poſted about the Nations for that purpoſe, full of errours, miſtakes, unchristian cenſures, uncharitable reproaches and invectives, wherein the Adverſaries have all the advantage againſt us that worldly power can poſſeſs them with: But now, that we may no longer (by a forced ſilence) be a diſſatisfaction to our friends, grievance to the truth, offence to the Saints, a trou­ble to our own conſciences, and advantage to the Adverſaries, or be ſo much the Sub­ject (as we have been) of our Enemies malice, to forge their lyes, jealouſies, or evil reports upon, nor yet be ſuſpicious to many, and for ſignes and wonders to moſt in the Commonwealth, as if we were monſters, and not men; infidels, and not believers, ene­mies to Government, and not Orators for it day and night, as God hath appointed it: We ſhall therefore (in the behalf of thouſands more (we hope) one with us herein) in all faithfulneſs, meekneſs, and clearneſs, declare unto you, (and to all the world) how far we are engaged in this moſt glorious (though crucified) cauſe of Christ, (mau­gre all oppoſition of Men or Devils) in as little room as this ſhort Narrative will al­low us, being awakened thereunto every day. Yet it cannot be expected, that in this Paper we ſhould relate all our grievances, lay down all our grounds, or anſwer all2 Objections, (which we hope to do hereafter) but onely ſo far as may make obvious to any unbyaſſed eye or underſtanding, the juſt riſe of our Diſcontents, Troubles, and Diſſa­tisfactions, and as may exonerate our ſouls in the ſight of Heaven and earth.

O our bowels! our bowels! our hearts even ake, and are pained within us, to hear the doleful and daily groans of Gods people, crying out, O where are our Deliverers and Saviours! The reeds that we leaned upon, have pierced our hands, and we bleed! and after our eyes fail with looking for Freedom, Peace, and Light, behold Darkneſs, Oppreſſion, and Diſtraction, more then ever! and what hope is left us? And all this through the declenſion of the Armies firſt Principles, and former Declarations, extant to the view of the World: Witneſs pag. 14, 15. of the Remonſtr. Albans, and pag. 66. They urge it upon the grounds of Common right, Freedom, and Safety, that Parliaments be by a certain ſucceſſion, Annually, or Biennially. And in their Declar. June 14. 1647. pag. 8, 9. they declare this ſo eſſential and fundamental to Freedom, as that it cannot, nor ought it to be denied or withholden from us: and that arbitrary or abſolute power in any perſon or perſons during life, doth not render that State any better then Tyranny, nor the people ſubjected thereto any better then vaſſals. And therefore they ſay, pag. 9. We are ſo far from deſigning or complying to have an abſolute or arbitrary power ſigned or ſetled for continuance in any perſons whatſoever, as that (if we might be ſure to obtain it) we can­not wiſh to have it ſo in the perſons of any whom we could moſt confide in, or who ſhould appear moſt of our own opinions or principles, or whom we might have moſt perſonal aſſu­rance of, or intereſt in, but that the Authority of this Kingdom in Parliament, may ever ſtand, and have its courſe. Yet for all this, were not the laſt Parliament diſſolved, for that they would rule as Saints, (or part of the fifth Monarchy, for Chriſt?) and for doing that the former Parliament neglected, and therefore were diſſolved? and for doing that which the Army and good people had many yeers declared to be their duty to do? viz. Remonſtr. p. 20. And have not ſome by Printing opprobriouſly and in­juriouſly abuſed thoſe precious Members that ſtood for the Magiſtracy and Miniſtery of the Goſpel or Ʋnction, as if they would have had no Government, no Miniſters, nor pro­priety at all? and, after all their integrity, caſt an Odium upon them, and upon the name of Saints, yea, and upon the Intereſt of Chriſt, againſt which they have opened the mouthes of many thouſands to blaſpheme? O theſe are the ſwords which pierce our hearts! Beſides, doth not this perſonal intereſt now up, look too much alike that which God hath confounded and ſtamped upon before our eyes? in the ſame predica­ment of Pride, Prophaneſs, Perſecution of Saints, and Oppreſſion, with them that went before? Oh! are not the Wicked exalted on every ſide, and ſuch taken up again, (Malignants and others) as not long ſince they moſt declaim'd againſt? and are not the Saints (and them onely, or moſtly) afflicted, caſt out of their Aſſemblies from praying and preaching? and ſome of the faithfulleſt of them in all theſe Wars, now cloſely impriſoned (for their Conſciences, and this Cauſe of Chriſt) from the common air, yea, caſt among malefactors condemned; threatned, reproached, and trampled on? Oh! can we have hearts ſo hard, as to mention theſe, and (many more) ſuch­like effects, without yerning and mourning? Beſides, are not the new Court of Try­ers at White-hall for Miniſters, of like make with the Biſhops High-Commiſſion-Court? The graven image of the worldly power, creating a worldly clergie, for worldly ends, highly ſcandalous, & againſt the rule of the Goſpel and faith of Chriſt, and as much to be exploded as the Pope and Prelate? Notwithſtanding they aſſume the title of Or­thodox and ſoundneſs of opinion to themſelves, and upon that account charge others (that are not one with them in their carnal and Antichristian interest) with Errors and raſhneſs. But, as the Declaration of the Army to Scotland (page 15.) ſaith, This hath been found in all ages of high advantage to them that aſſumed it, that it were ſtrange if3 thoſe (Civil Tryers) ſhould not have uſed it to ſmite them withal, whom they would ren­der odious and deſtroy. And is not this againſt their own Declaration to Scotland, pag. 6. where they ſay, That that Church-Government which is of God, God's own means, viz. his Word, must eſtabliſh, without a buſie medling with, or engaging of the Authorities of the world? And the Lord General CROMWEL in his Letter to the Kirk-Aſſembly from Dunbar, page 11. ſaith, It is worth conſideridg, how thoſe Miniſters take into their hands the inſtruments of a fooliſh ſhepherd, that meddle with worldly Policies, or Earthly Powers, to ſet up that which they call the kingdom of Chriſt, which indeed is neither it, nor if it were, would ſuch means be found effectual for that end, and neglect, and truſt not to the Word of God, the Sword of the Spirit, &c. Is not this all true in the Tryers? And is not this alſo againſt their own Remonſtrance Albans, page 20. where they declare it the Parliaments part, to protect religious men, and take away all the corrupted Forms of outſide-Religion, and (National) Church-ſtate, whether impoſed without Law, or rooted in Law in times of Popiſh Ignorance or Idolatry, or of Goſpels dimmer light; and alſo to take away the dependence of the (National) clergie in Civil Laws and Eccleſiaſti­cal Affairs, which they had upon the King; or that intereſt of the Clergie in Civil Laws and Affairs, which the craft of both in length of time had wrought for each other: But that the King's part was to diſcountenance the Godly, or any conſcience obliging above or a­gainſt humane or outward Conſtitutions, and to uphold and maintain the Civil dependence of the Clergie, and their Church-matters under him. Our bowels are ſo moved at theſe things, that we cannot refrain from bewailing our condition, after ſo vaſt a ſtream and treaſure of the blood, tears, prayers, lives, and ſpoils of our deareſt relations. O did we ever think to ſee ſo many hopeful Inſtruments in the Army, Churches, and elſewhere, to be ſo fully gorged with the fleſh of Kings, Captains, and Nobles? &c. (i. e. with their Lands, Mannors, Eſtates, Parks, and Palaces) ſo as to ſit at eaſe, and comply with Antichriſt, the World, Worldly Church and Clergie: Oh! how hath the Cup of the Whore foxt and inchanted men! viz. with the wine of the wrath of her Fornication, to commit ſin with her daily, (which the ſober bluſh to ſee) and to paint her over afreſh, for New lovers to lie down with, to their utter ruine! O the Myſtery of Iniquity works apace! This ſubtil ſpirit and ſoul of Antichriſtianiſm (in a New body) hath bewitched many of the Common ſort, and is wonderful cunning to deceive; although by this univerſal Falling away amongſt us, the man of ſin is (bleſſed by Jehovah) more diſcovered then ever, who muſt be deſtroyed with the breath of Chriſt's mouth, and brightneſs of his coming. Yet under a ſad ſenſe of ſo many freſh Aſſaults which the Saints meet with daily by outward violence, and Eccle­ſiastical tyranny, and in a clear apprehenſion of that heavie Doom and Precipice hard by (we verily believe) upon all thoſe Powers and Interests of men, which keep warm the Seat of the bloody Beast for the Mother of harlots: And after many ſolemn meet­ings and ſeekings of God for a ſpecial preſence, rolling our ſelves onely on his Arm, having no carnal confidence (bleſſed be our wiſe God) now left us to look upon, we are fully perſwaded in our ſouls, that he who hath hitherto moſt eminently appeared, and plainly owned this bleſſed Cauſe (which the Apoſtates of the times have caſt aſide, and we yet cleave unto) in England, Ireland, Scotland, & elſwhere, according to the faith and prayers of his poor deſpiſed people, that he will yet appear, and that more eminently (and terribly too) to ſave then ever, and witneſs to the righteouſneſs of his own Cauſe, and the innocencie of his ſervants that ſuffer therein, in great mercy & pity, paſſing by the failings and infirmities of us his poor creatures. Therefore though we are ſure that God will vindicate His own Name to purpoſe, ere long, under ſo much reproach yet in the dread of that Name, we appeal unto the Lord, who will be a ſwift witneſs againſt as if we utter theſe things in hypocriſie, or for baſe ends, or for any carnal perſonal intereſt4 whatſoever, if we are not in the ſincerity and ſimplicity of our hearts (ſo far as we have one true grain of grace in us) for Chriſt alone, and his poor rejected Cauſe and People, that we may eaſe and exonerate our ſelves in the ſenſe we have of our duty herein, and be withdrawn (to the eye of all) from partaking in the crying ſins and Apoſtacie of the Times; with all faithfulneſs, holy awe, and humility, we profeſs and declare,

1. For this Cauſe and Kingly intereſt of our Lord Jeſus, in England, Ireland, and Scotland, or elſewhere, according to the ſeveral Declarations of the Army, ſealed to with the blood of thouſands of the precious Saints, the cry of whoſe blood is for Chriſt, accor­ding to the Declaration of the Army to Scotland, pag. 36, 37, 38, 39. who declare, They were ſtirred up by the Lord to aſſist the Parliament againſt the King, for this end, To bring about the deſtruction of Antichrist, and the deliverance of his true Church and people; and upon this ſimple account was it, that they engaged in the Wars of the three Nations, againſt all Oppoſers of this work of Jeſus Chriſt; having theſe things ſingly in their eye, viz. the deſtruction of Antichriſt, and advancement of the Kingdom of Jeſus Chriſt, and deli­verance and reformation of his Church, and the eſtabliſhment of Chriſts Ordinances ac­cording to his Word, and the just Civil Liberties of Engliſh-men. And this they declare, with the loſs of many precious Saints, pag. 38. That they engaged againſt the late King and his Monarchy, as one of the ten horns of the Beaſt, guilty of the blood of the Saints: which act (ſay they) they are confident God will own againſt all Kingdoms or Nations that will oppoſe them, and that will not ſuffer Jeſus Chriſt to be King. So pag. 39. they declare, they value the Churches(b)(b)Then owning the Congregated Churches, as appears by Letters written to Mr. Feak, and Mr. Simpſon, and the Churches that walk in fellowſhip with them, and others, &c. of Christ, who are the lot of Gods inheritance, a thouſand times beyond their own lives; and that it is their duty to per­ſevere therein to the utmoſt hazard of their lives: and that the Lord made them inſtruments to vex all in his ſore diſplea­ſure, that take counſel againſt Christ, whom the Lord hath an­ointed and decreed King: And that they were not meerly the ſervants of man; and that they not onely proclaimed Jeſus Chriſt, King of Saints, to be King, but that they would ſub­mit to him (alone) upon his own terms, and admit him (onely) to the exerciſe of his Royal Authority. Therefore ſay they, in p. 40. We beſeech you, in the fear of God, look about you: for our Lord Jeſus is coming, &c. Now accordingly we have and do declare for this Royal Interest of Chriſt, which ought to be ſet up, (which ſo much blood hath been poured out for like water in the three Nations.) This Cauſe of Chriſt was mag­nified by God, in anſwering the Dunbar-Appeal againſt the King of Scots: The Engliſh Army appealing to God, according to the Act of Parliament, 1648. declaring it High Treaſon to ſet up Charles Stuart, or any Other Perſon, Chief Magiſtrate in England or Ireland, or any of the Dominions thereunto belonging. And as our Appeal was for No King but Jeſus, (by which were the greateſt Victories obtained that we had) the Scots Appeal on the other ſide was for A King, or perſonal interest of Man, &c. Gods An­ſwer was ſo full and wonderful on the No King's ſide but Jeſus, and according to the Act of Parliament, (upon which the Army marched againſt the King of Scots) that all Scotland was given in in few months, and their Armies deſtroyed: And, to uſe the very words of the Act of Parliament, Die Martis, 17 Septemb. 1650. this Anſwer was inriched with ſo many remarkable circumſtances as is to be admired at by ſucceeding Gene­rations; evidencing ſuch a divine preſence, as the Commonwealth can never be thank­ful enough for: And that it was given in as a Seal or Confirmation from heaven, of the juſtneſs of this Cauſe, after ſolemn Appeals made on both ſides to God himſelf, the Righteous Judge in this War between England and Scotland: and that God did ſo5 decide the Controverſie (himſelf) was of ſuch value and high conſequence, that Gene­rations to come may taſte the ſweet of it, &c. Beſides all this, much more we might mention (of their own) for this Cauſe and Kingly intereſt of Chriſt, which we are re­ſolved to adhere to, and (if the Lord will enable us) never to recede from, but to live and die in it. Neither is it a Reſiſting of Government, (as ſome ſay of us) but a Re­forming of it (which our Principles lead us to) according to the Word. And ſeeing the Army and Parliament have often declared, as pag. 7. of Declar. June 14. 1647. No reſiſting of Magiſtracie to ſide with Juſt Principles; upon which Maxime they aſſiſt­ed the Parliament against the King; and that it is one Witneſs of God in the world to carry on a Teſtimony against the Injuſtice and Unrighteouſneſs of men, and a­gainſt the miſcarriages of Governments, when corrupted, or declining from their Primi­tive and Original Glory. We uſe their own words. 'Tis true, Every ſoul muſt be ſubject to the higher Powers; and it is in obedience thereunto, that we are ſubject to Christ, and ſtand by this his Cauſe (as we do) ſo long as the Controverſie is not now (with us) between man and man, (as was wont to be in other Ages) but it is between Christ and man: Which of theſe two then ſhall have the abſolute power of Govern­ment in the Nations? And who are the reſisters of the higher powers which are of God, thoſe that own, or thoſe that oppoſe Chriſt's claim? Judge ye!

2. Becauſe the Boutefeus of the Times are ever blowing up the flames upon us, and incenſing the preſent worldly powers and others againſt us, with their lying accuſations and evil ſurmiſings, as the Adverſaries did, Ezra 4. and Nehem. 6. againſt Judah and Jeruſalem, (to render them odious to Artaxerxes) that they intended to Rebel when they had done their building; and that if he ſuffered them to go on, it would hinder his Revenue, &c. and ſo Sanballat ſent Nehemiah word, that he and the Jews intend­ed to Rebel, when they had done with the walls they were about: and all this, to weaken the hands of them that had a minde to work: Therefore to avoid ſuch jea­louſies and fears, we do freely declare againſt all Carnal Plots, Deviliſh Deſignes, or Ungodly Combinations of Men whatſoever, as inconſiſtent with thoſe gracious Principles which have (we hope) carried us (and yet do daily) into a Spiritual War­fare and hot conteſt for this Cauſe of Chriſt, by the Word, Faith, Prayer, and Solemn Appeals unto our God, the righteous Judge of heaven and earth. And indeed, being (thus) armed with the whole armour of God, we dare (as before) wreſtle with princi­palities and powers; and, through the grace of our God, we are not afraid of their Armies or Numbers, but (although we have not the leaſt Reliance on any arm of fleſh, yet) we can bid defiance unto all the Enemies of this glorious Cauſe of Chriſt contended for by the Saints, with thoſe means that God's Word leads us unto; for which, our dear brethren are impriſoned, and ſuffer perſecution at this day. Therefore in a juſt and neceſſary defence of what is dearer to us then our lives, (bought with price of the Blood of Chriſt, and thouſands of his deareſt Saints) we call Heaven and Earth to witneſs between Us and our Brethren that have denied us and this Cauſe! For in Caſes not clearly or properly under man's judgment, or where it is not eaſie for man to give a certain judgement, the Engaged upon ſure Principles and Pretences do centre in Appeals to God for Judgement: and ſo did the two Tribes and a half, Joſh. 22. for that it is then the proper work of God to bear witneſs, and give righteous judge­ment: which as he hath always done, ſoone or later, clearer or darker, after the Ap­peal is made to him; ſo in this laſt age and part of the world he hath made more haste then formerly to judgement, and given it more quickly, ſpeedily, and terribly, and made his own Arm ſo bare therein, as all men might ſee it: witneſs the foreſaid Ap­peal at Dunbar. In the ſame Cauſe the Appeal is now made (by us) again. All which hath induced us to take up the Word of God, Faith, and Prayer (by Solemn Ap­peals6 to the juſt Judge of heaven and earth) in the like and the ſame Cauſe. A few particulars of the Matter whereof, take as followeth.

1. About their Vows, Declarations, Promiſes, Engagements, made unto God for Christ and his interest,Pſal. 66.13, 14. Deut. 23.21. Eccleſ. 5.3, 4, 5, 6. in time of their great diſtreſs: all which, are they not broken, both as to Magiſtracie, Miniſtery, Churches, Liberty, and the Right of the Saints of the moſt High? We appeal to God.

2. Whether an eſpouſing of the fame, or a like Interest with that which God hath deſtroyed before our eyes, and rejecting this bleſſed Cauſe of Chriſt, King of the Na­tions, for a Perſonal Cauſe of Man, as we now conceive, Jer. 3.1. Mal. 2.11. be not a provocation of God in the higheſt degree, and too full a teſtimony of the fouleſt Hypocriſie and Selfiſhneſs in them, whoſe former Profeſſion and Declarations obli­ged them to the contrary?

3. Whether a perſecuting and impriſoning ſome of the choiceſt and holieſt ſervants of Chriſt, in the preſent light, and work of this Generation, whilſt the Wicked are ex­alted on every ſide, and ſuch as were caſt by, taken up again, Iſai. 49.24, 25. Jer. 13.17. be of God, or no?

4. Whether the violence and force, flattery, or any other ways which are uſed, to compel any of us, againſt our Conſciences, to proſtrate to mens carnal intereſts, and to ſin againſt the light, be according to their former pretended Principles, or the Word of God?

5. Whether their unjust and unchristian accuſations of us in the face of the world, are not full of loathſome and cruel lyes, whiles they ſpread about, That we are againſt Magiſtracie, Miniſtery, Propriety, Ordinances, and the like? Whether it be ſo or no, we appeal to him that judgeth righteouſly.

6. Their vexing and riſing up againſt the Spirit of God, which they call an Impoſtor, and the falſe, deviliſh, fanatick ſpirit of Black-Fryers, or Alhallows-meeting; ſpeak­ing blaſphemouſly againſt it, and that frequently: wherein we appeal to the Lord to judge, Whether that Spirit that is among them, leading to Pride, Pomp, World­lineſs, Carnality, Lying, Perſecution, and Blaſpheming; or that Spirit which leads us day and night to the duty of Faith, Aſſembling, Praying, Preaching, Exhorting, and building up in the preſent Truth conteſted againſt by them, and to Comforting, Counſelling, and Quickning up one another every day to hold faſt our Profeſſion without wavering, to Self-denying and Mortification, that we may not minde the preſent world, nor the vanities thereof: whether this Spirit, our infirmities excepted, or theirs, which acts them, be of God; and which is the devilliſh, worldly, and delu­ding ſpirit. Iſa. 63.10. 2 Pet. 2.7, 8.

7. Is not pomp, pride, and vanity in Court and elſewhere, now up again, (in ſome reſpects more then ever) ſo much conteſted and inveighed againſt for ſo many yeers together, by themſelves and others? Whether by theſe (amongſt other things) they have not opened the mouthes of the Enemies to blaſpheme Chriſt and his Spirit? to reproach his Cauſe, and to harden their hearts? And whether they have not given advantage to Ch. St. or ſome others, to invade us, our lives, our relations, afreſh, by open Wars, inundations of blood and miſchief, ſo as ſeems to make void and uneffe­ctual many yeers Wars, with vaſt treaſure, expence, and blood?

8. Whereas they ſay, we are all for Wars, and would have no Peace with the nations round about; we appeal to God therein, whether we are not for the beſt, ſafeſt, and laſting (godly) Peace? and, were it God's will, could wiſh no more blood might be ſhed! Although we would not willingly ſee a Peace (worſe then War) made with the nations, againſt the Word of God, Safety and Liberties of the good people, (for which ſo7 many have bled both by land and ſea) and upon ſuch terms too, as makes more for the intereſt of ſome men, then for the Publike; or upon ſuch Articles (as might make us bluſh for ſhame, at this time of the Day, and after ſo many out-goings of God in the midſt of us, as have not ſo much as one Article for the Lord Jeſus or his Saints, (that are in the preſent work of this Generation, concerning Chriſts Kingdom or Intereſt, to ſubſcribe unto, Num. 33.52, 53. to the end. Exod. 23.32, 33, & 34. Chap. 12.13.

Upon theſe (and many other) Grounds, we are induced (and are reſolved, in the ſtrength of Chriſt) to keep up the Altar**Joſh. 22.34. ED, and con­tinue our Appeal, until the Lord doth anſwer in juſtice, and yet in much mercy, to his poor little remnant, (which we are perſwaded will be ſpeedily) as Luke 18.7, 8. And if men will (yet) needs blinde their eyes, and harden their hearts, (we could wiſh it be not to their deſtruction) yet we do bleſs our heavenly Father that hath opened our eyes, and kept our feet from falling, (with them) that we can ſo comfor­tably ſee the things that concern our (beſt) peace, according to the Law and the Te­stimony, in the ſure Word of Prophecie. Bleſſed be JEHOVAH. Amen, Amen.

3. But thirdly and laſtly, for that we finde much Miſunderſtanding among ſome, and Miſrepreſentations among most, of the Fifth Monarchy, or Kingdom of Chriſt in the Nations, which the holy Scriptures, both in the Old and New Teſtament, do clearly and plentifully declare, with a poſitive period to the Worldly, Heatheniſh Laws, Ordi­nances, and Conſtitutions of men, as they are now executed in the Nations of the world: And whereas it is alſo upon the hearts of many of the choice ſervants of God, that in this preſent Age the Lord JEHOVAH is ſetting up the fifth Kingdom, (as Dan. 2.44. & 7.22, 26, 27. Zech. 21.) which ſhall not be left to other people, but ſhall break in pieces all the four kingdoms, and remain for ever and ever; and that (at this time) when as the fourth Monarchy is partly broken in theſe Nations, that Chriſt may be the onely Potentate, the King of kings, and of all Nations, 1 Tim. 6.15. Micah 4.7. Zech. 9.9, 10. Col. 1.16. Heb. 2.8. Rev. 11.15. & 17. Chap. 14. & 19. Chap. 15.16. Now finding this (the preſent Truth) ſo much oppoſed by the National Rulers and their Clergie, yea, and by ſome godly people and Church-members, accounted Orthodox, who cannot endure this day of Chriſts coming; We therefore are reſolved, according to the preſence and aſſiſtance of the Lord with us, to entertain a ſerious Conſideration and Debate for the benefit of all others, touching the premiſes, viz. of the Laws, Subjects, Extent, Riſe, Time, Place, Offices, and Officers of the fifth Monarchy, or Kingdom, whereby the World muſt be governed according to the Word of God, without the mixture (as now is) of Mens Laws and Inventions, whether in reſpect of Magistracie or Miniſtery, Church or Civil affairs: which Debate we intend to hold once a week in this City of London: And we deſire our beloved brethren which are one with us in the pre­ſent Truth and ſufferings, whether in Churches or out, whether in City or Country, (that are enlightned) to take ſpecial notice of it, for this end, that they may enjoy the like freedom with us in thoſe Meetings and Debates, as often as they pleaſe to come. And, if the Lord give us the liberty, we do purpoſe to proceed with the Debate of it from this day onward, until we have taken up a full and clear Narrative thereof (ſo far as ſhall appear to us) out of the Scriptures, fit to publiſh to the view of all men, that our Principles in that point of the fifth Monarchy may be fully known, with deſire to know what any of our Adverſaries (now againſt us) ſhall have to ſay to us or to our Principles therein; who are contented with all our ſouls (the Lord knows) to be convinced of any Errour or Mistakes by the Word of Truth: But we think not impriſoning or perſecuting us, a competent or fit way to convince our conſci­ences, if we were in Errours, as they pretend.


And although we need no Law of men to allow us this Liberty, it being our Birth­right in Chriſt among Chriſtians, and ſo fully warranted by the Word of God, and practice of Primitive Saints, yet if we ſhould condeſcend to the Captious of our times, we could tell them, The Inſtrument intituled, The Government of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland, in the five and twentieth Article declares, That Liberty ſhall be given to diſcover and confute Errour and Hereſie, and whatſoever is con­trary to ſound doctrine: All which the Engager, fol. 46. hath promiſed in the preſence of God to obſerve, and cauſe to be obſerved, to his power; ſubſcribed, O. CROMWEL. In the mean time, men would do well to take heed of blaſpheming, reproaching Chriſt, his Spirit and his Monarchy, as they do daily (for which our hearts are grieved within us) and to ſearch the Scriptures whether theſe things be ſo or no. For as the Lord Cromwel writes, in his own Letter to the Kirk of Scotland, The Word of the Lord may be to ſome a word of judgement, that they may fall backward, and be broken, and ſna­red, and taken; there may be a ſpiritual fulneſs, which the world may call a drunkenneſs, (or giddineſs) Act. 2. O that we might beſeech ſuch in the bleeding bowels of Chriſt, (crucified before our eyes) to think it poſſible they may be miſtaken! Though the Great Ones, and Wiſe Ones, Prieſts and Rulers, Scribes and Phariſees, and Orthodox Profeſſors (ſo accounted of the times) were all on their ſide; yet a little handful of the weak ones may have the Truth (though but the deſpiſed perſecuted truth) on their ſide. And we do in the tenderneſs of our hearts and affections to all that are faith­ful, beg of them in the Name of the Lord Jeſus, (who is coming to raign righteouſly and gloriouſly) that they will have nothing to do with them that are guilty of ſo great ſins, leſt partaking of their ſins, they partake alſo of their Plagues. And we hope the Lord will enable us to undergo the ſharpneſs of this Day, for our dear Chriſt and his Cauſe, through the Reproaches, Impriſonments, Perſecutions, unjuſt Charges, uncivil Raylings, or un-Goſpel Carriages, which〈◊〉have, or are like to meet with, whether leſs or more, ſo we may drink out of Christ's Cup, and pledge our Maſter, who firſt drank to us the bitter Potion.

We ſhall cloſe at preſent with our heartieſt Prayers and Supplications, That God the Father of our Lord Jeſus Chriſt would in his due time caſt down all thoſe carnal, earthly, cruel, and political Combinations of men (of all ſorts) that would not have him to Reign over us, but ſet up themſelves, and their own corrupted Interests, in the room of that Scepter of righteouſneſs which he hath given into the hands of his dear Son; that he would by his Spirit (reſting and abiding upon you and us) keep up all our hearts in a conſtant and patient waiting for his coming till he comes: Even ſo come quickly, Lord Jeſus come quickly.

After this Copie is ſubſcribed, you are deſired to return it with all ſpeed poſſible, to your affectionate friend and brother in our Lord Jeſus,

About this transcription

TextA Declaration of several members of the churches of Christ
Extent Approx. 38 KB of XML-encoded text transcribed from 5 1-bit group-IV TIFF page images.
SeriesEarly English books online.
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(EEBO-TCP ; phase 2, no. A82111)

Transcribed from: (Early English Books Online ; image set 171762)

Images scanned from microfilm: (Early English books, 1641-1700 ; 2590:1)

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Bibliographic informationA Declaration of several members of the churches of Christ 8 p. s.n.,[London :1654]. (Caption title.) (Date and place of publication suggested by Wing.) (Reproduction of original in the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign Campus). Library.)
  • Persecution -- England -- Early works to 1800.

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  • Text Creation Partnership,
ImprintAnn Arbor, MI ; Oxford (UK) : 2013-12 (EEBO-TCP Phase 2).
  • DLPS A82111
  • STC Wing D618A
  • STC ESTC R176607
  • EEBO-CITATION 45504451
  • OCLC ocm 45504451
  • VID 171762

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