Quaker Women

To The Reader

It may seem strange to some that women should appear in so publick a manner, in a matter of so great concernment as this of Tithes, and that we also should bring in our testimony even as our brethren against that Anti-christian law and oppression of Tithes, by which many of the Servants of the Lord have suffered in filthy holes and dungeons until death; But let such know, that this is the work of the Lord at this day, even by weak means to bring to pass his mighty work in the earth, that all flesh may be silent, and the Lord alone may be exalted in them, who can truly say, Now I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me, and the life that I now live is by the faith of the Sone of God, which faith overcometh the world, through which faith the Saints and faithful of old subdued Kingdoms, wrought righteousness, claimed the promises; 'Tis true, we have need of patience, that after we have done the will of God we may inherit it, but he that shall come will come and will not tarry; Behold our God is appearing for us, and they that he in the light may see him, choosing the foolish things of the World to confound the wise, weak things to confound the Mighty, vile things, and things that are despised hath God chosen, ye and thing which are not, to bring to nought things which are; . . . and he shall ride on conquering, and to conquer till he hath subdued all our enemies, that God alone may rule and rain, and herein lies our strength, even in the power of our God, in it we can stand still and behold the salvation that he will bring to pass even for us, and here shall we be hid, while all calamities that shall surely come upon the enemies of the truth be overpast. And while we rest under the shadow of his wings we are safe, rejoycing in his will, and in every thing giving thanks, knowing it is his will in Christ Jesus concerning us; and in this let us testifie our Saint-ship to the World, even by our obedience to his will in all things, by living in his fear and to his praise all our dayes; and herein she desires to be found, who is called,
Mary Forster [1659]

To the Parliament of England, who are set in place to do justice, to take off oppression, and to stop the oppressors
We whose hands are hereunder written do testifie and declare against the opression of Tithes, and against the injust of them, which hath come up since the dayes of the Apostles in the Apostacy, and set up by the commands and laws of men, the author of which was the hope; and such as were got up since the dayes of the Apostles, both out of the power of God and Christ; for the Priesthood which was made by the Law of God had a command according to the Law of God to take Tithes, and is disannulled and changed, and God never gave forth a command, after he disannulled the first, ... these Tithes have been set up by the Papists since the Apostles, who witnessed the command of God disannuled, Heb.7. and all the Scriptures proves Tithes to the Jewes, but not to the Christians,....therefore these things are laid before you, that you may consider by what power you act, whether by the power that set up tithes; if so, then we can but look for oppression, prisoning till death, persecution, spoiling of mens goods, haling up and down before Courts, and still an encrease of persecution; But this we say, if you, or whosoever do come into the power of God, you will say, with us, that this commandment of men set up by them the Apostates that be in the form of godliness and denys the power that give Tithes, it must be disannuled...and the Author of it not to be of God nor of Christ, seeing Christ disanul'd the commandment of God that gave tithes,...

That all forced maintenance of the Priests be taken away, for while such a thing is set up, it will spoyle many idle men that will not thresh nor plant, nor dig, nor make Vineyards, and will not Plow nor Sow, that they may Reap, neither will they plant Vineyards, but such as are fat and lazie they will run for forced maintenance to you, and these spoyle a Nation, and keeps it from being a free Nation, and a free Ministry, and keeps the people from being a free people, and these are the filthy beasts that would have the mouth of the Lord stopped, and teaches for filthy lucre, and admires mens persons because of advantage....

...therefore after you have taken away thithes and forced maintenance, which is set up, and is not like the Apostles, but like such as teach for filthy lucre, you enquire what you shall do then, (well) let every one plant that they may reap, and let every one sow spiritual things that they may reap carnal, and let them preach the Gospel, that they may live of it, and that is our hearts desire, and the spolyling of our goods and our brethren that hath been prisoned to death for not paying tithes, is our Testimony to all the world, that it is not for covetousness sake that they suffer, but for conscience, and for truth and

[Home] [17th Century] [18th Century] [19 Century]