Quaker pacifism
Catalogue reference: C 213/170B

The Ancient Testimony and Principle
Of the People called
Renewed with Respect to the King and Government, and touching the Present Association.
We the said People do solemnly and sincerely declare, That it hath been our Judgment and Principle from the first Day we were called to profess the Light of Christ Jesus manifested in our Consciences, unto this Day, That the setting Up, and putting Down Kings and Governments, is Gods peculiar Prerogative, for Causes best known to himself; and that it is not our Work or Business to have any Hand or Contrivance therein, nor to be Busibodies in matters above our Station; much less to Plot and Contrive the Ruine or Overturn of any of them: But to pray for the King, and for the Safety of our Nation, and good of all Men, that we may live a Peaceable and Quiet Life, in all Godliness and Honesty under the Government which God is pleased to set over us.
And according to this our Antient and Innocent Principle, we often have given forth our Testimony, and now do, against all Plotting, Conspiracies and contriving Insurrections against the King or the Government, and against all Treacherous, Barbarous, and Murtherous Designs whatsoever, as Works of the Devil and Darkness: And we sincerely Bless God, and are heartily Thankful to the King and Government, for the Liberty and Priviledges we Enjoy under them by Law; Esteeming it our Duty to be True and Faithful to Them.
And whereas we the said People are required to sign the said Association, we sincerely declare, That our Refusing so to do, is not out of any Disaffection to the King or Government, nor in Opposition to his being Declared Rightful and Lawful King of these Realms, but purely because we cannot for Conscience-sake Fight, Kill, or Revenge, either for our selves, or any Man else.
And we believe that the Timely Discovery and Prevention of the late Barbarous Design, and Mischievous Plot against the King and Government, and the sad Effects it might have had, is an Eminent Mercy from Almighty God; for which We, the whole Nation, have great cause to be humbly Thankful to Him, and to Pray for the Continuance of his Mercies to Them and Us.
From a Meeting of the said People in London, the 23d of the First Month, called March, 1695/6.
Richd Baker
Jos: Mason;
Thomas: Zachary

close window
back to top of page