Volume 4, The Works of George Fox, Doctrinal Books I, Continued
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A WARNING TO ALL THE MERCHANTS IN LONDON, AND SUCH AS BUY AND SELL.
With advice to them to lay aside their superfluity, and with it to nourish the poor.
—By G. F.
All should keep to yes and no to all people in their common occasions, for whatsoever is more than these, comes of evil. All take heed of deceitful merchandize, and deceiving, and cheating, and defrauding one another, and pretending one with another. All take heed of deceitful merchandize in all their buying and selling, and in all their exchange; away with all deceitful merchandize, for as a swift witness has the Lord come to plead with you, and against you that use deceitfulness in your merchandize, and use it in your buying and selling. Away with your flattering titles of "sir," and bowing the hat, and scraping the foot, and making the curtsy, and titles of master and mistress, with statements such as at your service, and forsooth [right you are] - this is your vain custom along with setting a price for some people that is often double the worth of the thing.* and under this complimenting way, and in it, lies the deceit and over-reaching, and lurks to cozen and cheat, telling a falsehood, a flattery; so by fair speaking and flattering words, often times the simple is deceived Therefore this is a charge from the living God to you all, be true, be faithful to God, be just, be innocent, and ask no more for the thing than you would have; be at a word, so say, and so do; when you ask more than you will have, or almost double, and say you will not take it except you have so much, and then send your boys after them, and so take it, you are not here at so say, and so do; and here are you judged with the law of liberty to be out of it, far off from the life of christians, like heathens in life and practice; therefore be at a word, and then you will be a good savor, for the Lord is come near to judgment among you; for while you are not at so say, and so do, you are not in the law of liberty, you are not in the prophets, you are not in the gospel, you are found out of them all.
Again, you merchants, great men and rich men, what a dishonor is it to you to go in your gold and silver, and gold chains about your necks, and your costly attire, and your poor, blind women and children, and cripples, crying and making a noise up and down your streets, a dishonor to your city, showing that you are not under the law, nor under the gospel; for under the law they had tithes and tenths to feed all the fatherless and strangers, for tithes were partly for that work and end. How can you go up and down in your superfluity, and abounding in your riches, and see the poor, blind, and cripples go about your streets? Above all others, the blind should be taken care of; therefore let these things be kept in mind and considered. Fear God and do that which may be an honor to you, and to christianity, and your city; and in all your shops, and warehouses, and exchanges, keep to your words, and so say, and so do, and that you may not cozen and cheat one another, nor any people. For some have a name and a bad report of deceitful merchandize, which deceives the country people that deal with you. O therefore blot it out, and do it no more; but judge one another in these things. Be a good savor and commend yourselves to the innocent and simple, so that a child may come among you and not be wronged; that will be pleasing to God that you do righteously, and to the just God, that you do justly. Then you will be a good savor to the righteous just God, and to the country people, when you are turned from the bad to the good, so that you may be trusted for faithfulness and honesty, for the contrary dealings, is dishonesty. You that scrape your foot, and pull off your caps, and courtesy, and say sir, and master, and mistress, and flatter one another with the deceitful titles, and ask more for more than your commodity is worth, and are not at a word, so say, and so do. But you tell people that you will not will not take their offer, and then have your boys and lasses to run after them to come back again; this is the way to make the simple fear you, and the innocent to avoid you, and to keep up a bad savor, and a bad name. Therefore this is the word of the Lord God, and a charge to you in the presence of the Lord God, and to you all, that you charge your servants not to deceive and cheat any, nor to ask more for your things than you will take, and to keep to yes and no in your common occasions, and to keep to a word, and that will be pleasing to God, and a good savor to all sober people.
All you merchants whatsoever, and shop-keepers, take heed of deceiving and cheating of people with your dark back-windows; for truth is risen, that will keep out all deceit; therefore be sober, and take it patiently, and live in it, for truth will make you free; and if you wish to be made free by truth, give up your deceitful merchandize, and give up your many words, and keep to yes and no. [Mark,] you must be judged by the law. All your profession and crying up ordinances, and your notions and experiences, while you live in deceitful merchandize, and above yes and no in your common occasions; you are in the evil, and are not at so say, and so do. You are all judged by the law of liberty, who are deceitful in your merchandize, in your buying and selling, and deceiving and cheating poor country people in your merchandize; you are not to name the name of Christ, unless you depart from iniquity; and the truth has not made you free, who are found in the evil, judged by the law of liberty in all your deceitful merchandize. Therefore come to a word, come to yes and no, all you young and old whatsoever, so that you will be received by the Lord into his kingdom; for fear that you are turned out with the rich glutton, and the poor Lazarus taken into Abraham's bosom. Therefore take in the blind, halt and lame, and obey the things that Christ commands you, you who call him Lord; take in the blind and the cripples that cry up and down your streets, and invite them to your feasts; for the rich feast the rich, and not the poor that cannot feast them again. See now if you will take up the cross of Christ, and obey his commands, then you will become like unto them, when you obey Christ's command, and show that you have his spirit and mind in you, and are christians; for while you are not made free by truth, all your religion and profession of Christ and the apostles' words is vain, and your conduct is below in the earth, and not with Christ in heaven.
Again, all the while your poor, and blind, and lame cripples, and women, and children, are crying up and down your streets, and steeple-house-doors, and alleys, and corners, after you that call yourselves christians, and yet they are christians as well as you, and so members of the same body; so you may say, be clothed, be filled, be warmed, and be such a people the apostle speaks of, yet let them be crying up and down the streets not provided for. So this is to hang gold on one arm, and let the other go bare; or hang gold on the back, and let the leg go bare; for all are members of one body, the poor as well as the rich, and this declares that you are out of the law. For the Lord took the tithes and gave them to the strangers, and fatherless, and widows, and gave all enough, that there was not a beggar in Israel among them. Now judge yourselves, and see how short you come of them in life and practice, who say you are christians, and profess the gospel. These things are a grief to many sober people in the city, to see that magistrates have no more feeling of these things, and yet so much profession of religion and preaching among them, and so much riches that men never knew want of. By this many come to be hardened, and one might think, if it were only to keep the honor of their city, they would not let above all things, blind men, and cripples, and lame people, and poor fatherless children make a noise up and down the streets, and steeple-house-doors; but out of their abundance they would lay a little aside, and have a place provided that all the poor, blind, lame cripples should be put into, and nurses set over them, and looked to, cherished, and seen unto that they do not want. Thus those who could work, to work; and this would be a good savor of the city, and of the magistrates, aldermen, and merchants of the city, and to the sober people, and to the Lord God, that there should not be seen a beggar walk up and down the streets, but that there might be a place where they might be maintained with a little out of their superfluity [their unneeded excess]. Yes, before there should be such a noise with the poor, the blind, the lame, and the fatherless, everyone lay by a little out of their abundance, and spare some off their backs in gold and silver lace, or their chains and rings; for who considers not the cry of the poor, but turns his ear from them, them their Maker will not regard. All who do not visit the fatherless, and the poor, and the sick, and feed the hungry, and clothe naked, and are of a profession of religion, and makes a talk of Christ's words, and the prophets', and Moses’; such are in the wisdom below, which is earthly, sensual, and devilish, not preservers of the creation, not in the wisdom that is from above, which is gentle, easy to be entreated, by which the creation is to be preserved, by which it must be ordered again to the glory of God. You going in your gold and silver, yes in your very shoes laced [with gold], while the poor lack bread, lack stockings and shoes. You with your many dishes, changes of dishes, which you call novelties, while the poor cannot get bread. Spare one of your dishes, and let it be carried to the place for the poor, and do not make them to come begging for it either, but let them have a place where they may be kept, and that will be for your honor and renown. For consider what abundance of riches is in this city, and what good you might do with it, or how soon you may be taken from it, or it from you, by fire, or sea; and yet for all this you will not consider your poor brethren, which are made of the same blood and mould, to dwell upon the face of the earth. Therefore practice truth, which frees from deceit, and from all deceiving and pretending; this will bring you to a word in all your common occasions, and to so say, and so do, and to worship God in the truth, and to worship God in the spirit, that the devil is out of, and come to the pure religion, which is, to visit the fatherless, to visit the sick, and relieve the hungry, and clothe naked, that brings you to practice and to do the will of God. Give up your living in words, and your hearts afar off, surfeiting in riches, iniquity and deceit; but come to honesty and plain dealing, and mercy, and take heed of pride, and loftiness, and wantonness, and haughtiness, and walk humbly before the Lord, that you may come to the life the saints, the prophets, Christ, and the apostles were in. For the mighty day of the Lord is coming, wherein everyone of you must give account of his deeds done in the body, and every man's work must be tried by fire, and every man's work shall be brought to the light, and made manifest by it. So your day is not past, while you have time, prize it.
This is for the poor, distressed, scattered ones in foreign nations. From the royal seed of God, and heirs of salvation, called Quakers, who are the Church of the Living God, built up together of living stones in England. A visitation and uniting to the pearl of God, which is hidden in all the world, that everyone may turn into himself, and there feel it, and find it.
—By George Fox
Friends,—The pearl is hidden in the field, and the field is the world, and the world is in your hearts, and there you must dig deep to find it. When you have dug deep and found it, you must sell all to purchase and redeem this field, and there you shall know the merchant-man that makes the exchange, and there shall you know Christ, in you the hope of glory, to save you, and redeem you, the Immanuel, God with us. There shall you know the woman that lost the piece of silver, and was seeking it without; but when the candle was lit and the house swept, she found it in her own house, and then she knew the joy, and went and told her neighbors; and then she knew the day-star rise in her heart, and the day dawning, whereby the light shall be known, that shines from the east to the west, and the word of faith in the mouth and heart, and the oil is in your lamp if you enter in with the bridegroom. The light shines in your own heart to give you the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, from where it comes, and the anointing which abides in you will teach you, and as it does teach you, you shall continue in the Father and the Son, from where this holy anointing comes, and you have received it, and here you shall know that you need no man to teach you, but as the same anointing does teach you, and the engrafted word, able to save your souls, is in your hearts, and the hidden man of the heart, which is renewed day by day is found there, and the meek and quiet spirit, which is with the Lord of great price, is found in you. The covenant of grace that brings salvation is in your heart, and in your mouth, to season it and your words, and to teach you to deny all ungodliness and worldly lusts, and the heap of teachers set up by men's lusts in the world, that turn this grace into wantonness, and live wildly, and it will teach you to live soberly.
The devil went from the truth, and deceived the nations, and abode not in it, and he rules in all the hearts of the children of disobedience, that obey not the truth; he that went out of the truth, and so they become synagogues of Satan, and murderers. Cain went from the truth, the Jews went from the truth, and so were of the devil, the false prophets, antichrists, inwardly ravened from the truth, and so all these turned against the just, and became murderers. But those who are come to the just that they ravened from, over all these they reign, and bring people to God, to reign over all this that is out of the truth, and contrary to it. All you high gazing professors, and hypocrites, the kingdom of heaven is within you (like unto a grain of mustard-seed, like unto leaven), that comes not by observation, who are and have been gazing for it without you.
Come all you wearied souls, who have been long traveling these many years since the days of apostasy from the true apostles and disciples, where darkness and mists have gone over the earth, and blinded and darkened the minds and eyes of the people. The true ministry being lost since the days of apostasy, by which people have run into following reputed teachers, and separations, and sects, and truth among them held in the unrighteousness, the sin and the enmity in everyone's mind; men slaying one another about religion, and for religion, and about worship, which slaying was not the work of the true christians, true ministers, and true apostles. The true apostles brought people into unity, and wrestled against principalities, and powers, and spiritual wickedness, which ruled in the children of disobedience, and brought them to the thing which they disobeyed. So the enmity has been in all minds of believers upon earth, among christians, teachers, people, and rulers, who would slay one another, murder one another about worship, about scriptures, the prophets', Christ's and the apostles' words. Here is the devil, the old adversary of man, gotten in among believers, provoking them to destroy one another, keeping up the form of the saints' words, in the nature of the Jews, that kept up the form of the prophets' and Moses’ words, which Christ said were of their father the devil, among whom the pearl was lost, that has been lost since the days of apostasy from the apostles' life, Christ's life; nations covered with ignorance like unto waters. But the prophets, Christ, and the apostles, were in unity in the spirit, which led them to speak forth the scriptures, which now are professed among christians in Christendom; but the life of Christ, of the prophets and the apostles, they have been out of. They lack the bond of peace, the unity; for the unity is in the spirit, which is the bond of peace, which Christ, the prophets and apostles were in, who gave forth the scriptures. So people have fallen out with one another over words, forms, traditions, inventions, and idols.
But now that is manifest which comprehends the world, which was before the world was made; Christ Jesus the covenant of God, who enlightens every man that comes into the world, that all through the light might believe and feel the witness in themselves, in which people come to have peace with God. Everyone receiving the light, with which they are enlightened, they receive him, who has enlightened them, Christ Jesus in their own particulars. The light shows them their sins and to see the saviour of their souls, and to know the saviour of their souls, Christ Jesus, from whom the light comes. For, said God, I will give him for a covenant, a light to the Gentiles, and a leader to the people, and I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and Judah, them that had the old; I will put my laws in their minds, I will write them in their hearts, and they shall not need to say know the Lord, which covenant thousands in England do witness, that they need not say know the Lord, in which they have unity one with another, and peace with God through Christ Jesus his covenant, and witness the power of it, and feel the covenant of light, the leader, and God's covenant fulfilled, him that Abraham, David, the prophets gave testimony of should come, him that the apostles did give testimony of had come and risen; he is enjoyed, in which people come to have unity one with another, (and the scriptures, and the thing the scriptures speak of), and God. In the light, him by whom the world was made, there is no occasion of stumbling, so the covenant of light that God said he would give by his prophets for a leader of the people, the way to the Father, thousands witness him leading of them out of the first Adam, driven from the Father, who is the end of the prophets, and he is leading of them up to God, and is their teacher, and they have found him in them, and come to him, and found rest for their souls, and their souls have rest, and they have taken on Christ's yoke that is easy, and his burden that is light, and he is become their teacher; and men's yokes, and burdens, and teachings, and doctrines come to be ceased from, and cast off, which have ruled since the days of the apostasy from the apostles.
And the pearl that has been hidden in the earth is found, and the morning star is risen, and the day is dawned, and the true light shines, and wisdom, (which all the knowledge, understanding and wisdom that man has cannot comprehend nor find), cries in the streets to the simple ones, and for all to fear God that they may receive it, the wisdom of God, Christ Jesus, him by whom the world was made, the wisdom by which all things were made and created, and to come out of the sin and transgression that all the world has lived in, which have the form of godliness, but have been in the transgression from the life, and ravened from it, and have been in the sheep's clothing, but have been ready to worry the lambs everywhere; they, who are clothed on the outside, in the form of godliness, but inwardly ravened from the life; the antichrists, whom Christ said would come, and whom John saw had come, which the world has since been wondering after. So there has been the pearl hidden, and the life of Christ, the prophets, and apostles has been lost, and the form they have had, but life and glory is risen that manifests and discovers all things; and churches and teachers that have not been made by the will of God, which has risen up since the days of the apostles. From all such God is bringing his people to teach them himself; and from all their ways, to Christ the way to the Father; and from all their churches to the church in God, the pillar and ground of truth; and over them to the anointing which abides within, to which people have come; which as it teaches them, they continue in the Son of God, and the Father. Such need not that any man teach them, but as the same anointing teaches them, which abides in them, and as it does teach them, they continue in the Son of God, in the wisdom of God. They continue in the life and in the truth. They continue in the covenant of God. They continue in the power of God, and the rock Christ Jesus, him by whom the world was made, and was before it was made. In the power and Christ, people come to have peace with God, and one with another; and the foundation of many generations is found and witnessed that breaks down the bond of iniquity that made the breach between God and man. Christ makes up the breach between God and man, whereby health, and glory, and peace in the inward is felt; and the election is known before the world was made, which has obtained the promise of eternal life, and the power of an endless life is enjoyed, and the world to come.
Therefore come all here you scattered ones over the world, the power of God in you feel, and then you feel Christ Jesus who has enlightened everyone that comes into the world, then you will feel the covenant, which you have with God, which will blot out your sin and transgression, then you will feel the blood of Christ Jesus which cleanses from all sin, which the light discovers as you walk in the light, as he is in the light, and you will have fellowship one with another; the kingdom of heaven is seen, which is as a grain of mustard-seed which is within, and many have received it, and are become as little children, and those who are instructed to the kingdom, bring forth their things new, and their things old. Many are digging in the field, which is the world, which is set in their hearts seeking for the pearl, and many have found it, and many merchant-men are exchanging, glory to the Lord forever. So the pearl is within you, that is found in the nation of England, and all people upon the earth come into yourselves, find the pearl in you, the precious pearl that has lain under the earth, and come out of your talk and profession in words, in which the Jews were, in whom the pearl was hidden, that you may find the pearl in yourselves, and the kingdom there within you, though it is like a grain of mustard-seed, it is like unto leaven, it will leaven you up into a new lump. Teachings, churches, and notions without life shall wither, fade like flowers, wither like grass, and be burnt up like stubble, sticks, and chaff that has cumbered the ground. The wheat is gotten out into the garner, the lambs are leaping, the Father carries them in his hands, the babes born of the immortal seed by the word of God, and are at the breast sucking, living riches is manifested, God the Father is known, and is worshipped in the spirit and in the truth, in that which the devil is out of, the blood of Jesus is witnessed, which flows and cleanses from all sin, the fountain is opened, where is the washing of all sores. God is bringing people into the life that gave forth the scriptures, that the prophets, Christ and the apostles were in, in which life they shall see their words, and have unity with them, and with the Lord God, and one with another. The word of faith is possessed and known in the heart, in the mouth, that divides asunder the precious thoughts from the vile thoughts, and precious desires from vile desires, and precious affections from vile affections; and the word of faith is in the mouth to divide asunder the precious words from the corrupt words, and this word that divides asunder the precious from the vile, is quick and powerful, and sharper than a two-edged sword; for the vile separated from God, the word that divides it, the vile from the precious, hammers it down, burns it up, cuts it down, reconciles to the Father, and separates that which separated.
So the word of God in you all feel, in all your occasions, and then you will have the word of wisdom, that will divide asunder your precious thoughts from your vile thoughts, your precious words from your vile words, and this will teach you in all your occasions; the pearl in you come to know, the seed in you come to know, which seed is Christ, that inherits the promise, which now is risen in thousands, who are come to be heirs of the promise, and heirs of God, and heirs of the world that has no end. Come to know the anointing in you all, which abides in you, and then you need not that any man teach you, but as the same anointing does teach you, and as it does teach you, you shall continue in the Son of God, from where it comes, in him by whom the world was made. The kingdom of heaven in you all, come to know, which is like unto a grain of mustard-seed, and as you all come to receive it, you will all come to be as little children, and there you will come to feel the leaven, which leavens you up into a new lump, and so to know the kingdom of the world, to become the kingdom of the Son of God, and this is the kingdom of heaven, like a grain of mustard-seed in you, which never consented to sin, and receiving that, you come to be as little children, and to know the leaven that will leaven you up into a new lump, which thousands do witness in England. All come to know the light which shines in your hearts, which must give you the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ Jesus, in Christ's face, from whence the light comes, him by whom the world was made, glorified with the Father before the world began. I am the light of the world, and I do enlighten everyone that comes into the world, said Christ the second Adam, who is the way again to God, man being driven from God in the first Adam, Christ the second Adam, the life, the truth, is the way again to God, which everyone that comes into the world, is enlightened withal; for man being driven from God, he is driven from life, and driven from God, he is driven from truth, and driven from God, he is driven from his wisdom, and driven from God, he is driven from his righteousness, and from his power, under the power of Satan. So Christ the power of God through death destroys death; and destroys him that has the power of death, the devil; and was over death before the world was made, the redeemer of mankind out of the fall, who enlightens every man that comes into the world, that all through him might believe; and he that has come into the light which he is enlightened withal, he has come into the wisdom of God, into the righteousness of God, he has come into the way, he has come to Christ the power of God, to the rock, him by whom the world was made, and so comes to the life, and rest, and peace.
He that believes is saved, he that does not is condemned; and he that believes has the witness in himself, and has set to his seal, that God is true, who has performed his promise, and sees the prince of this world is judged, and has come into the righteousness of God, Christ Jesus. So Christ Jesus, he is the righteousness of God, he is the new and living way, and the one way to the Father, and all the many ways are in the first Adam, driven from God, in the transgression; but Christ the second Adam, is the Lord from heaven. As death came by the one, life came by the other, and as darkness came by the one, light comes by the other, who is the righteousness of God, the truth, the life; as unrighteousness by the one, righteousness by the other, as untruth by the one, so truth by the other, as the many ways by one, so the one way to the Father by the other. There is disobedience by one which brings death, there is obedience by the other which brings life; him you must all come to find in you, Christ Jesus, except you are reprobates; then you come to witness the substance, then you come to know the everlasting covenant, then you come to know the prince of peace, the prince of life and comfort of what you do profess in your own particulars, in coming into the covenant of the Father; for death has reigned from Adam until Moses, and the law and the prophets were until John. Moses had the law which went over all transgression, and answered that in all people who was transgressed. The people have had Moses’ words, but they have been out of the life of Moses. The prophets' words they have had, but they have been out of the life of the prophets. John's words they have had, but have been out of the life of John. Christ's words they have had, but the life of Christ they have been out of. The apostles' words they have had but the life of the apostles they have been out of; the apostates since the days of the apostles. Christ said in the 7th, and 24th of Matt that false prophets and antichrists should come, to his disciples before he was offered up, and Christ gave to his disciples the marks by which they should know them, that they should be inwardly ravening, that is, devourers, having sheep's clothing, that is the outside, but wolves inwardly; do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? by their fruits you shall know them. Now before the disciples' decease, Christ said unto them false prophets and antichrists should come, they saw they had come already into the world, as said 1 John 2:18-19,4:1. Little children I write unto you that it is the last time, whereof you have heard say, antichrist should come, whereby you know it is the last time, for there are many antichrists, many false prophets already in the world, and they went forth from us that it might be manifest they were not of us, for had they been of us, no doubt they would have continued with us. But said he, you have an anointing which abides in you (to the saints) and you need not that any man teach you, but as the same anointing does teach you, and as it does teach you, you shall continue in the Son of God and the Father. Christ, who said they should come, told the disciples to not go after them, the false prophets and antichrist which would be inwardly ravenous. John saw they had come ; he told the saints the anointing was in them to teach them, and the false prophets and antichrists, of which they had heard say should come, they were already in the world, and went out from them, and were inwardly raveners, and all that dwelled upon the earth went after, and all the world came to worship the beast and false prophet, and all nations drank of the wine of her fornications, that is, of the whore.
And now cry the professors and teachers of the world, the antichrist is just now coming, and our age is the end times; but did not John say, it was the last time when all nations had drank the cup of fornication, and all that dwelled upon the earth had worshipped the beast. [The whole world marvelled and followed this beast which changed to a beast with horns like a lamb, supporting the false christian church of many names.] Now we say the false prophets and antichrists have come, those which Christ said would come, which John saw had come, which went forth from them, which all people that dwelled upon the earth went after, and all nations came to drink the cup of her fornications, and she sits upon the waters, and the waters are people, and nations, and tongues, and languages, and multitudes, Rev 17:1-5,15, where she sits, tongues are waters, people waters, languages waters, nations waters, multitudes waters, for those have been from the rock, those who Christ said would come, and John saw had come, that had gone forth from them, and so have been as waters, and so the first beast arose out of the sea, and the second out of the earth; and all this Babylon building up and throwing down, and all these crosses and images, pictures and worshipping of names and idols, and all these pulpits, priests, tithes, churches, with crosses in the church-yards, and church-ends, have been of them, and all this making of ministers by the will of men, by their schools and colleges, for covetous ends, and covetous practices, are among the apostates, which are apostatized from Christ's disciples, who went forth freely, sent forth by him, and all these names of blasphemy among people called christians are of the beast, and given by the beast since the days of the apostles in the apostasy; in their days there were not so many names given to christians. So what Christ said would come, John saw had come, who had gone forth from them, which all the world went after, and worshipped the beast and false prophets; except those who had their names written in the Lamb's book of life before the foundation of the world, which kept the testimony of Jesus, against whom the beast and false prophets should make war, and should overcome, and the woman fled into the wilderness, and the man-child was caught up unto God, that which ravened forth, which was the wolf from the life, turned against them that kept the life; the testimony of Jesus which is the spirit.
But now the Lamb and the saints have the victory, for everyone that comes into the world being enlightened, they which go from the light which they are enlightened withal, they were inwardly ravened; and you may see these were those called heathens that got the sheep's clothing, that went forth from the apostles which had been among them, but they who did not continue, ravened from the life, had the sheep's clothing, kept the outside, but made war against those that kept the life, that kept to the spirit, the testimony of Jesus, and killed them. Here the apostasy began. Among these has come up all this trash, when they ravened from the life, and stood not in the counsel of God, but made ministers by their own wills, and apostatized from the true cross, the power of God, and from the true church, the pillar and ground of truth, and from the true apostles, and set up a church with a cross an the top of it, and these are those who have brought up all these pulpits, tithes, temples, schools, colleges, and these are those who despise prophecy, and quench the spirit, and limit the holy one, which sets them in confusion. The order and practice of the church of the apostles is, if anything be revealed to one that sits by, let the first hold his peace, for you may all speak one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. So from all these apostates and apostasy, the beast and the number of his names, and his heads, and horns, and crowns, and his languages, and his crosses, and his churches, pulpits, and his teachers made by the will of man, is God bringing his people, and the Lamb and the saints have the victory; glory forever to the highest. The everlasting gospel shall be preached to them that dwell upon the earth, for all that dwell upon the earth have worshipped the beast, and gone after them that inwardly ravened, that Christ said would come, John saw had come, that had gone out from them; and so all nations have been like a wilderness, that briars, and thorns, and thistles may be gathered of them, and in this may everyone see his fruits; all worshipped the beast, except those who had their names written in the Lamb's book of life, and kept the testimony of Jesus. For all nations have drunk of the cup of her fornications, and this apostasy made war with the saints, and overcame them; but now the Lamb and the saints have gotten the victory over what Christ said would come, and John had come, which all the world went after, and now he is revealing the pure mystery [Babylon]. Now shall the saints and the holy prophets rejoice over her, who have come to what she apostatized from; now shall the holy tabernacle be witnessed with man; now shall the holy city be witnessed, and the heavenly Jerusalem; now cries the spirit come, and he that hears bids come, and the bride said come, for the Lamb and the saints have victory; and now is the marriage of the Lamb, and to everyone that thirsts, he will give of the water of life freely.
So everyone that comes into the world being enlightened, having a light from the Lamb, being turned to the light, that Christ Jesus the Lamb of God has enlightened them withal, and believing in the light which will let you see your sins, with it you will see the Lamb of God which takes away sins, for all these tithes, and pulpits, and temples, and priests, come up since the days of the apostles, are among them that apostatized from them, for the true apostles witnessed against the true temple which Solomon built, and said their bodies were the temples of God, and the apostles witnessed higher than the true priesthood, whose lips were to preserve the people's knowledge, and offered for his own sins, and the sins of the people, and witnessed the everlasting priesthood, and the one offering, Christ the treasure of wisdom and knowledge, which does enlighten every man that comes into the world, and the light that shined in their hearts, which came from him, would give them the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ Jesus, and with that light they saw the glory which was with the Father before the world began, from whom the light comes, him by whom the world was made; and the apostles brought them off the tithes, and said the priesthood was changed, and the law was changed also, and commandment disannulled which gave them tithes, Heb. 7. and Christ Jesus was come, the Son of God, the end of all similarities and likenesses. So as was said before, these priests, tithes, temples, pulpits, were made by the will of man since the days of the apostles in the apostasy, and these churches among whom are all these false names, and several worships and opinions, and judgments, and having the sheep's clothing, but everyone as a wolf ravened from the life, and ready to devour one another, so the form of godliness has been long among people, but the life and power has been wanting, which they were in, that gave forth the scriptures, in which people have unity, from it they have been apostatized, in which spirit the holy men gave forth the scriptures, which is the bond of peace, in it is the unity, and the worship of the Father in the truth, in that which the devil is out of, in which is no enmity, and so all having been inwardly raveners that have been from the life within, they have been wolves in sheep's clothing, ravening one after another, to devour one another, and their fruits have been briars and thorns, so profession of religion has been among people, but the life has been wanting, into which life God is now bringing his people, to that which they all ravened from, with which they shall see all the apostates in the apostasy, and fathom over the heads of them all, with which they shall come to see the rock Christ Jesus, the covenant of light, and life, and peace.
So that which may be known of God is manifest within people, which God has showed unto them, that when they do the things that are not convenient, not righteous or worthy of death, with that of God in them all they can tell, and to that of God in them all they must come, before they do hold the truth in the righteousness, or retain God in their knowledge, or retain his covenant of light, in which is the peace with God, and one with another; for the Jews they held truth, the prophets', and Moses’ and the saints' words, but their minds being reprobated from that which might be known of God made manifest in them, which God had showed unto them, they held it in the unrighteousness, in the sin and enmity, so that was in that age; now the ages since, people have held truth, Christ's words, the prophets' words, apostles' words, but it has been in the unrighteousness, that is in the sin, in the enmity in everyone's mind, and so there is the adversary and the wicked one among people, professors and christians that have that name, and so they become synagogues of Satan, in enmity one against another, giving one another names, gathering together in sects, one against another, cages of unclean spirits, habitations of dragons, yet truth held in the unrighteousness, in the enmity, which makes them to slay one another about it; and so there the devil puts men on to kill one another about religion, wrestle against flesh and blood, while the power of darkness, and spiritual wickedness rules, but those are no true christians, no ministers of Christ that do so, but they are all gone from that which may be known of God made manifest in them, which God has showed to them as the Jews were, outward Jews, not inward, outward christians, not inward; for he is a true christian that has Christ in him, as he was a true Jew who was one inward, so to that which may be known of God, manifest in them, must all people be brought, before they retain God in their knowledge, from whence it comes, or retain his covenant Christ Jesus, (the end of the prophets Abraham and David), whom the apostles preached, who was before the world was made, in which you come to have peace with God, in whom truth must be held, and spoken as it is in Jesus, and then it is held in righteousness, and spoken in peace, the seed of God being brought forth, and the covenant of light and life witnessed, the Lamb being risen which makes the powers of the earth to rage, that be out of the fear of God, and Christ Jesus is come to reign, the same yesterday, today, and forever, which makes all the ministers, teachers, prophets, and antichrist to rage, that have been made by the will of man, and schools, and colleges, that speak a divination of their own brain, and not from the mouth of the Lord, and all ministers, teachers, prophets, pastors, shepherds, guides, and leaders of the people, that have gotten Christ's, the prophets' and apostles' words, and professors of them, being found out of the life of the prophets, Christ and the apostles, with the life of Christ, of the prophets and apostles are they all judged, which makes them rage, which life is now made manifest, glory to the Highest forever.
And the Lord is come to teach his people himself by his spirit, and to gather them from all the world's ways, and teachers, to himself, and so all upon the earth which profess Christ's words, the prophets' and apostles', and not in their life, they are raging against their life, which is now manifest, and be raging against Christ, which is now manifest in his saints, Christ the same today, yesterday, and forever, so the seed of God is risen, glory to the highest forever, which seed is Christ in the male, and in the female, whereby many males and females are come to confess Christ the seed, in them who have the promise, and so are become heirs of the promise, heirs of God, heirs of life, and heirs of the world that has no end . The rulers of the earth take counsel together against the Lord, and against his anointed, and his babes as you may read, and as they may read, that now are taking counsel against him, where the anointing is manifest, such are those who slay him in the particular, and are the builders that reject the corner-stone. But the stone that is cut out of the mountains without hands, shall dash the head of gold to pieces, and the breast of silver, and who have an ear, they may hear. The world is crying out for their honor, and crying out for their bendings and bowings, and doffing their hats, and cry Jacob bowed to Esau; it seems that Esau is lord among you yet, and not servant. It is granted there was a time when Jacob bowed to Esau, and there was a time that Pharaoh and his host was in the sea, the family of Jacob rejoicing over them; there was a time that the house of Esau must be as stubble, and Jacob ride over the high places of the earth, and Nebuchadnezzar brought down among the beasts to eat grass like an ox, until he knew that the most high did rule in the kingdoms of men, and the elder must serve the younger; he that has an ear let him hear. And as for the hat, it is honor among men, is honor below, and not honor from above; while people are seeking for this honor below, they lose the honor which is from above, which Christ commands to seek, and questioned them that were there receiving honor one of another; and seeking honor of men, how could they believe? He said, moreover, I receive not honor of men, I which am the light of the world, by whom the world was made, which enlightens every man that comes into the world. He does not come among the sons of Adam (driven from God) to receive their honor, but to spoil it, deface it, stain their pride, deface their honor, mar their glory, stain their beauty. So the light (which every man that comes into the world is enlightened withal) will not receive the honor below, but will condemn him that receives it, and that is it which brings to seek honor from above, and stains the glory that is below. So the first Adam in the transgression receives honor of the earth, but the second Adam receives it not, nor will the light in them receive it, which comes from the second Adam, so I have a witness in all men's consciences upon the earth, that will not receive honor of men below, but of God, and that comes from above.
And the teachers of the world, and ministers, and pastors, and doctors, and shepherds have told us that the Hebrew and Greek was the original, and they were the orthodox ministers to open the scriptures to us, and they had the original [tongues or languages], when Moses said that all the earth was of one language before Babel, and Nimrod the mighty hunter, whose stock was of Ham, whom God did confound into the many languages, he was the beginner of the building of Babel. Moses said, like unto me will God raise up a prophet, him shall you hear. And when this prophet was come, Christ Jesus, they crucified him, and when they crucified him, they wrote a inscription over him in letters of Hebrew, Greek and Latin; now here stands the world's original over Christ, over the life when they crucified him. The beginning of these many languages was Babel; and Pilate he could not open the scriptures with Hebrew, Greek and Latin, but crucified Christ who is the substance of the scriptures, and when he had done, he set his languages over him. John said in the Revelation, they must be redeemed out of every tongue or language, which they have told us was the original, that which was set over Christ when he was crucified, over the life. But now the life is risen, Christ is risen, who had the languages set a-top of him, Christ is risen who fathoms Babel and Babylon, before Babel or Babylon was, who had the many languages, which is the world's original, so the life is risen a-top of it, which they set a-top of him, and over them that say it is original, and that they must open the scriptures with it, with which they run all into confusion, Babylon, so between Babel and Babylon they may walk and see by plain scriptures how the languages were set over Christ; and Pilate could not open the scriptures with them, nor can they now open the scriptures with their many languages, but break into heaps, heads and parties, for if they could open them, they would satisfy one another, and come all into one, for that which gave them forth is one, which must open them again; so all people, teachers and professors, be all upon heaps, in confusion about the words of the scriptures, saying that is the original, and they are stopped at Babel, for all the earth was of one language before, and the call is out of many languages, out of Babylon, Babylon is the end of them, and the life is risen that stains their pride, defaces their glory, and mars their beauty, for they have a pride, a glory, a beauty in their languages, which they call the original, (the naturals), and the light lets see before Babel or Babylon was, or Pilate either, into the beginning, the covenant of light with God. When people imagined to build Babel, they went out of the life, whom God confounded into many languages, that they might be scattered, and God scattered them, as he will all other gatherings, that are gathered with imaginations, of him, and are the builders, that go from the life of God within them, and so from God. Those who crucified Christ, they were away from the life, and they set the languages above Christ which was the life, and those who were in Babylon, were of them that ravened from the spirit of God in them, and went from the apostles' doctrine into the many languages, which the redemption is from, and so they cannot endure to hear talk of the life, and the spirit of God within, and the light; and these are those who set up languages. But now the life is risen (above the languages) which gathers to God and lets see before Babel or Babylon was, or Pilate either. Exalted Babel shall fall, and become a habitation of devils. But over all the life is risen, that gives to see to the beginning before the world was made, which brings to peace with God, which opens the words of Christ, the prophets, and apostles, and gives to everyone his particular satisfaction concerning the words of the prophets, of Christ, of the apostles, in which life and peace with God is known, which judges all them that have the words, and are out of the life.
I will break into pieces, said the Lord, I will make nations like dirt, I will tread them into mire; I will make religions, professions, teachings, time-servers, callers upon me with their lips, (and hearts afar off), surfeiting in the earth, pride, hypocrisy, and deceitfulness of heart, gathered into a religion that is vain, gatherings on heaps, gatherings of multitudes, gatherings which they call churches, fair shows, fair pretences, hypocritical teachings, self-ends, covetous practices. I will make mire of them, I will make mortar, I will make dirt of them; the wrath of the Lamb is risen upon all apostates, who are gathered in the apostasy, apostatized from the prophets' life, the apostles' life, the life of the Lamb. The Lamb is risen, the scepter is gone out, the throne is set, beware everyone what you profess, what foundations you are laying, you shall be shaken, not being in the possession, being out of the possession of the life of God, of the prophets, of the apostles, of Christ. You diviners, you dreamers, you notionists, in your curiosities in the air, I will whirl you under, hail-stones, vials, plagues, thunders, woes, judgments are come among you, upon your heads, all nations that be out of the life of the Lamb, dread, quakings, fears, shall surprise hypocrites with amazements; the pure life of God is risen, that has been lost, from it you have been apostatized, without it have you been gathered, with it shall your gatherings be broken and scattered; from the life of my apostles, of my prophets have you been all scattered and apostatized, and so true ministry has been lost, true apostles' life lost, true prophets' life lost, false ministers got up, false apostles got up, false prophets got up, and reigned in their stead: my sheep's clothing you have had, wolves you have been, thorns and thistles your earth has brought forth, has lain like a wilderness unploughed up, among whom are so many names, and horns, setting up your inventions, but inwardly ravened, and apostatized, so the witness buried, in you who are whored from it, and in the fornication.
But the rod is over you which must rule nations, trumpets sounding and sounded, the just will rule, the Lamb will have the victory; woes, woes and miseries are out-going upon all the heads of the wicked, the judgments are come upon the world, the day of glory is appearing, and has appeared, the throne and the scepter that is everlasting is come and witnessed, and set over the world, which shall answer that of God in everyone who has ravened from it, and all gatherings upon the earth from that, shall be broken, and it shall answer the just in everyone.
Which is the witness of God in all consciences, to call them up to the judgment bar, the Judgment of the Lamb, in this his day which is come. To all the parish clerks, vicars, curates, and professors in England, Ireland, and Scotland, and elsewhere in the whole Christendom; for you all to come up to the Lamb's bar, in this his day, to see if they can stand before the Lamb to plead their cause: guilty, or not guilty, in this his day, who have had the scriptures, but out of the life, which they were in that gave them forth.
The Lord Jesus Christ is come to reign, and his everlasting kingdom and scepter is set up, and the bar of judgment, and all are called to it, and he calls all up before it. Now Christ said false prophets should come, Mat 7:14-16, and antichrist, which should have the sheep's clothing, but inwardly ravening wolves. This he spoke to his disciples, and before they had died, they had come, 1 John 2 and 4, and they went forth from them. In the Revelation it is written, all that dwelled upon the earth went after them, and the dragon made war with the woman, and she fled into the wilderness, the true church, and the man-child was caught up to God, and the dragon gave his power to the beast, and the beast made war with the saints, and overcame them, and killed them that kept the testimony of Jesus, the spirit of prophecy: so here they killed the true ministry, and the woman fled into the wilderness, the true church, and the man-child caught up to God; and then power was given to the beast over all kindreds, tongues, and nations. [Mark,] And all the orthodox men, the original, the beast had the power to kill the saints, and suffered the original, the tongues to stand; the orthodox men so called, that have the scriptures in three or four languages, that were dressed in sheep’s clothing, these inwardly ravened from the spirit of God, and turned against them that had the spirit of God, and killed them; and then the whore, the woman, the false church got a-top of the beast, who had power over all kindreds, tongues, and nations, who had his names, marks, horns, and images, and they gave their glory and honor to the beast, and the nations drank this whore's cup, this false church, this woman, and she corrupted the earth; and the kings of the earth drank her cup of fornication, and she corrupted the earth, and she made the inhabitants of the earth drunk; and this whore sits upon the waters, and the waters where the whore sits, are peoples, and nations and multitudes, and tongues, and she drinks the blood of the martyrs, prophets, and saints, and so kills the true ministers. This false church, this whore, and false woman, allows the tongues to live under her, the orthodox men so called the original; and John calls them waters, the pillars of her church. Now this whore departed from something; she departed from the spirit of the apostles', got the sheep's clothing, inwardly ravened, and went into the world, (just like the Jews which went from the law of God), among the heathen. They whored, (they committed spiritual adultery with the world), and so all nations drank the cup of fornication; the church adulterated with the kings of the earth and with the nations, being unmarried to Christ. And again, the judgment of this great whore should come; for as Cain, when he had killed the just, he then built a city. This great whore that was on the beast, that had the dragon's power, that killed the saints and killed the just, and killed the prophets, and witnesses; and the true church, when the woman fled into the wilderness, and the man-child was caught up to God; then this great whore, this false woman, false church, became a great built city, and all nations drank of her cup, and the kings of the earth drank her cup of fornication, and all nations have drank her cup of fornication, that have drunk the blood of the saints.
Come now, priests: guilty, or not guilty; the Lamb and the saints shall have the victory, the judgment of this great whore is come, and the bride and the Lamb's wife is witnessed. Priests, as I said before, guilty or not guilty, now that you are before the judgment bar, are not you the tongues that the whore sits upon, which John calls waters, who are the orthodox men, and boast of the original, having the sheep's clothing, which have the scriptures in three or four languages. Have not you been standing, when the martyrs', and prophets', and saints' blood has been drunk? Did not you stand in the day of the beast's power, when he killed the saints, and made war with them, the true ministers? Did not the beast have power over all kindreds, tongues and nations, when the true ministers were killed? Was not your original Hebrew, and Greek, under the beast's power? Does not the beast have power over that original? Were Hebrew and Greek ever called the original among the saints that the beast killed, and that the whore drank the blood of? Did you not shelter under the beast's power, and the whore's, when the martyrs' and the prophets' and the saints' blood was drunk? Did you not proceed from the dragon to the beast, after the beast proceed to the whore? Does the beast not have power over the tongues, orthodox men, and the original? Come, guilty, or not guilty? Do you not say the church of Rome is the whore? From this whore, the church of Rome, have you not gotten tithes, and Easter reckonings, and midsummer dues, and glebe-lands, and mortuaries, and offerings? Have you not drunk from this whore's cup? guilty, or not guilty? Must you not drink the cup of the indignation of the wrath of the Almighty, that have drunk this whore's cup, since the true woman went into the wilderness? Come, priests, did not the whore set up your mass-houses with the cross on top of it, with their pictures and bells, and call it holy ground, where it stands, and name them by St. Paul's, and St. Peter's, and St. Michael's, and St. Gregory's, and St. Austin's? Come, priests, have you not drunk the whore's cup here? Is this not the whore's cup? Guilty or not guilty? If guilty, you must drink the cup of the indignation of the wrath of the Almighty. Come, priests, did not the whore set up your schools, and colleges - this false church, by which you are made ministers, and which you gave them the names of Trinity college, Jesus college, Emanuel college, where you are made ministers, since the true church went into the wilderness? Have you not drunk the whore's cup in this? Guilty, or not guilty? Come, priests, answer. Did the whore not set up all these things, and the beast that killed the true ministers, martyrs, prophets, and saints, by the dragon, and beast, and whore's power, since the true church went into the wilderness, when true ministers were killed, and the man-child was caught up to God? Are not you here found among them in the same power, drinking the whore's cup? Answer, are you guilty, or not guilty? Was not this whore of Rome, the first author of preaching by the hour-glass, funeral sermons: ten shillings a sermon, twenty shillings a sermon, ten groats* at the grave and mortuaries, and a salary of two hundred pounds a year for preaching? Is not this of the whore of Rome's cup? Have you not all drunk it? Do you not drink it daily? Are you guilty, or not guilty? (All of which has been set up since the true church went into the wilderness.) Did not the church of Rome first ordain the Jesuit's tribe, the order of black-coats? You of their colleges, have you not followed their example, and drank of her cup, and gone in the way of the Jesuit's tribe, in black-coats? Are you guilty, or not guilty? Was not the whore of Rome the first inventor of sprinkling a little water upon children's faces for money, and churching of women for money? Have you not drunk this cup? Come, priests, are you guilty, or not guilty? Was not the whore of Rome the first inventor of bells, calling people together, and christening of them, and staging processions, and setting up all your crosses? Was not the whore of Rome, the false church after the woman went into the wilderness, the inventor and setter up of all these things? Have not you priests and professors, and magistrates and rulers, and people, drunk of this whore's cup? Are you guilty, or not guilty?
Now you are come before the bar of the Lamb, and his throne, and the bride, the Lamb's wife is come, who is the true church which was before and in the days of the apostles. Was not swearing, and oaths set up since the days of the apostles? Christ in the flesh said, swear not at all, for those who swore, came into the condemnation. For the oath in the law ended the sin, and put an end to the strife, and the sin; and Christ, who is the oath of God, blots out the sin and transgression, and ends the strife, and reconciles man unto God, and saves from sin, and redeems from the earth, and brings peace on the earth, and good-will towards men; so he makes an end of sin. Now the man-child, having been caught up unto God, and the woman having fled into the wilderness, and the prophets, and martyrs, and saints having been killed by this beast; and the whore, and the false prophets, beast and antichrist having gotten the sheep's clothing; so has not all this swearing since Christ, been set up by the false church, the church of Rome? Have not you priests, rulers, magistrates and people, drunk this whore's cup, this false church, and forsaken Christ's command, and the true church, which said swear not at all, as in James. Are you guilty, or not guilty? Have you not drunk the whore's cup, and so will fine and imprison them that will not swear? Is not this the whore's cup? Have not you drunk of it? Are you guilty, or not guilty? Now you are come before Christ, who said, swear not at all; the true church was far off of fining and imprisoning people for not swearing. Christ and the true church, on the contrary, gave them a command that they should not swear, and gave them an order what to say; whatsoever was more than your yes being yes, and your no being no, was evil. The apostle follows it, and said, condemnation followed the swearers, saying, above all things, my brethren, swear not at all, so are not you the false brethren, the false church, since the true church fled into the wilderness, and true ministers killed, which has drunk the blood of the martyrs, prophets, saints and apostles, and so swearing is set up by the false church, the church of Rome, not by Christ, and his apostles? Have you not drunk this whore's cup? Are you guilty, or not guilty? (All people, rulers, magistrates, and priests in all nations, that will fine and imprison men that will not swear, and break the command of Christ; are you not guilty?) Will not the tongues say, you must swear, which the beast and the whore has power on, that drank the saints' blood, which has told the world they are orthodox men, that have the original tongues; but in the spirit of God you are all comprehended. Were not all your tithes, oblations, obventions, glebe-lands,* your tithe-herbs and eggs, and mints, and sage, and rue, and beasts, and doves, and tithe-fish and fowls, and tithe-corn and hay, and wool, and pigs, and chickens, and smoke-penny, and plough-penny, gardens and bees, and apples, and plumbs, and all other tithes? Was not this set up by your mother-church at Rome, which you say is the whore?
Why do you rail against your mother from whom you have such an inheritance, and call her a whore? It is true enough, though you are ill-bred children, to clamor against your mother so; for was not she the inventor and setter up of all these things, the whore of Rome? Come priests, impropriators,* answer, are you guilty, or not guilty? who must drink the cup of the indignation of God? the guilty, who have drank the whore's cup; for the true church witnesses the end of the first priesthood, his temple, and tithes, and among the apostles there was none, who was the true church; but since the church fled into the wilderness, you set up these things, and killed the true ministers, and apostatized from the church, and so set up tithes, who have the sheep's clothing, but out of the sheep's life; and now is the judgment of this great whore come, and the Lamb, and the bride is known, and come; and do you not think he will not reward you that have drank her cup? for you all know tithes are of the whore's cup; and have not you all drank it, priests, and impropriators, and others?
No, come, priests, have you not cast many into prisons, and hauled them before your courts, and took treble damages, and almost thrice treble from some, and cast them in prisons until death? and what abundance you have in prison this day, because they will not give you the whore's cup, therefore you will have their lives. Are you not guilty here before the Lamb, and stand guilty before the bar, and to have the judgments and plagues poured forth upon their heads? and was not that the whore of Rome that drinks the blood of the saints, that whips, imprisons, and kills, and banishes, and causes to be hauled out of the synagogues, and imprisoned, and put in the house of correction, and persecutes from city to city? Have not you drunk this whore's cup at large, and drunk the blood of the saints, and imprisoning until death, and bruising, and knocking them down in your steeple-houses? Come, priests, magistrates and people, are you guilty, or not guilty, in this the Lamb's day, that are brought before his throne? Has not this killing and beating been by the dragon, beast, and false prophet, and hauling out of their synagogues and assemblies, and killing true ministers, prophets, and apostles; and the woman fled into the wilderness, and the man-child caught up to God, and the beast had power over tongues, and the whore sat upon the tongues, which are waters, your original, orthodox men? Were not they the inventors of your schools and colleges, and setters of them up; your natural schools of learning, and tell people that is the original? Have not you drunk the whore's cup, and followed the beast in this? Are you guilty, or not guilty? Answer, now you are come before the Lamb's throne, and speak, guilty, or not guilty? Was it not among the apostles, that if anything was revealed to any that stood by, the first should hold his peace; and they might all prophesy one by one, that all might learn, and all be comforted; for God was not the author of confusion, but peace, and the spirit of the prophets were subject to the prophets. Since the true church fled into the wilderness, and true ministers and prophets were slain by the beast, dragon, and great whore, does not the order of the true church set you all in confusion, and cry, he disturbs me, take him away, magistrates; and cry for a law against them that practice the order of the true church; are you not all guilty here? Let your stocks, and prisons, and houses of correction testify to it; and whether or not this has not been the whore's cup which you have drunk, and all the blood which has been shed about religion, church ministry, and worship in the whole Christendom? And whether or not this is not the whore's cup? And whether you have not drunk it? Are you not guilty here? Whether or not the church of Christ did any such thing among the apostles, before she fled into the wilderness, and whether or no all the martyrs and prophets which have been slain, since the church fled into the wilderness, have not been by them which had the sheep's clothing, which are inwardly raveners? Whether or not you have not drunk this cup? Whether or not this was not the whore's cup, the church of Rome, your mother? Whether or not you must not drink the cup of the indignation of the wrath of God Almighty? Are you guilty, or not guilty? Come, answer me before the Lamb's power, throne, and dominion.
When the true woman [true church] had fled into the wilderness, the kings of the earth drank the whore's cup and made all nations to bend and to drink the same cup; so by that means all nations came to drink the whore's cup. Just as the apostles had gone into all nations, the whore's cup also went into all nations; their false prophets, beast, and antichrist, who killed the saints, prophets, and true ministers. Are you not guilty in this thing, you kings of the earth, and of the nations, who took the inwardly ravener's cup, who had the sheep's clothing, worrying and tearing the lambs? Did lamb's and sheep ever tear wolves, and worry beasts? So you that imprison, that whip, that burn, that cut off ears, that banish, that imprison until death; are not you the wolves in sheep's clothing? So you antichrists, and false prophets of the dragon and the beast in his power, with the whore's cup of the beast that drank the blood of the martyrs and saints; are you not guilty all in this, where these actions are found? You, whose fruits are shown in your jails, you are not the sheep, but the wolves in the sheep's clothing, the inwardly raveners. Has not all this hanging men for theft of cattle, money, or any of the creatures, when they should have restored, or been sold for their theft; has not this been set up since the days of the apostles, when you should have let them live to restore what was stolen, or have been sold for their theft, so that they might have labored in the thing that is good? Are you not guilty in this? Do you not act contrary to the law and gospel.
Well, come, priests, are not all you who have been called of men master, (and you love to have it so), and your salutations in the markets, and chief seats in the assemblies, when Christ said to his disciples, do not be like that, but instead to go into all nations, teaching them to observe all things that he commanded them? Have not all these things gotten up since the woman fled into the wilderness, and the slaying of the prophets and saints? Have not all these things been set up by the beast, whore, and dragon? Have you not drunk this whore's cup, and taught people that they should call you masters, contrary to Christ's command? Was not the church of Rome the first to set these up? Have you not drunk her cup? Are you guilty, or not guilty? For where do we read of master Paul, master Timothy, master Peter, master John, master Matthew? Where did Christ or the apostles, or true church, preach by the hour-glass, and no man might ask them a question in the time of the glass's running, or going from the steeple-house, or coming to it, without six months imprisonment, or being whipped? Where did the church of Christ ever do so? Have not you drunk the whore's cup in this? Are you guilty, or not guilty? Are you not guilty here again, who must drink the cup of the indignation of the Almighty, who have limited the holy one, and quenched the spirit, which was not the work of Christ and his apostles. For if anyone asks you a sober question, then to be satisfied you will imprison him for being a wicked malicious disturber, and have him sent to the house of correction, and whipped. Oh! The priest here give little satisfaction to the poor troubled people, who are burdened and discontented! So it is time for them to forsake them, who get means and estates of people for that which is not bread, [the revealed word of God within their hearts], and making a trade of the scriptures. But come, priests, did not the whore of Rome give you the names of vicars, and clerks, and parsons, and curates, and bachelors of art, and bachelors of divinity, and all your orders of your schools? Did not the whore of Rome give you these names? Have you not drunk her cup, and grown up by it? Are you not guilty here again of drinking the whore's cup? Has not the whore, the false church, and false woman, given you these names, since the true church, and true woman, went into the wilderness? For where was there any such names among the apostles? Are you guilty, or not guilty? Answer this, who are come before the Lamb's power, and day, in this his marriage; and where was there any such names among Christ and the apostles?
Come, you clerks, and parsons, and vicars, for the whore has many garments, and decks herself with many colors, as the beast had many names, and likenesses, and colors; so you have many changings. Why do you observe this Michaelmas, Christmas, and Candlemas, and Lammas? Was not this of the whore's cup? and have you not drunk it; let all the nations witness it, how deeply you are immersed in these masses: Christmas, Michaelmas, and Candlemas! Curates, and priests, and clerks, and parsons? Oh, you cry, we will change our names, we will be called ministers of the gospel. No, you can no longer be hidden; now you are discovered; you are ministers made at schools, Oxford and Cambridge, at the colleges. Were the papists not the inventors of colleges, all these things before mentioned, and the whore's cup, which you and all nations have drunk, and still daily drink of them, and hold to them, deceiving your people. All your saints' days, and your holy-days, was not all this the whore's cup, the abomination, which has corrupted the earth, and many so drunk with it that they can hardly endure to have these things cried against, while such sports, plays, drinking, games, and excess occurs on those days. Many of these festive saints' days are the day that they were killed on and died on; but you feast on that day, and rejoice. This is the beast and the whore, which makes merry over the witnesses, and sending their gifts one to another, Rev 11:7-10, over the bodies of the saints, when they have killed them, and make merry over them on the days they were killed; and having the sheep's clothing, and killing, and imprisoning, and whipping, and banishing them that are in the same life that they were in, which they were making merry over, and observing the days they were killed on, with their sports, and their music, and their wassail-pots, and their pie-times, and their Good Friday, and Holy Thursday, and their Shrove Tuesday. How now, vicars, and priests, and curates, and parsons, whose cup have you drunk, and whose are the people drinking now, and the professors, and the rulers of the earth? Is not this of the whore's cup, the church of Rome, that false woman, that false church, and all these things gotten up, since the true woman fled into the wilderness, and the true church? Where was there any such thing among the apostles, before the true church fled into the wilderness? Come, are you guilty, vicars, curates, priests, clerks, and rulers, and magistrates? Is this not of the whore's cup that you drink? Are you guilty, or not guilty? and must not you drink the cup of the indignation of the Almighty? and are not these, and those who follow such things, such whom God spewed out of his mouth, which have deceived the nations? for where was there such Christmas and Candlemas, and Trinity college, and all these holy-days among the apostles? This has been mystery, Babylon, the great city, like Cain's, that has killed the just, and yet observes the days the saints were killed on, (oh, hypocrisy!) and are persecutors of the saints themselves, and gets the sheep's clothing! are you guilty, or not guilty? priests, and professors, parsons, vicars, curates, and clerks, and magistrates, and people; have you not drank this whore's cup now, who stands before the Lamb's power, in this the Lamb's day, whose scepter of righteousness is set up, who will judge you according to your works, whose reward is with him, who will judge the world in righteousness?
And come up, priests, curates, and parsons; was not the whore of Rome the first setter up of clerks to say amen, and turners of the hour-glass, and readers of mass, as the priest reads his sermons and notes? Are you guilty here, priests? Again, where were these clerks to say amen among the apostles, and seize people's goods, if they will not give them money to say amen? Come, are you guilty, or not guilty? Are not these the fruits of your mother church of Rome, which things have been set up since the days of the apostles, and the true church went into the wilderness? Come up, priests, clerks, and vicars, and parsons, and curates to the bar of judgment; where did you get those names of sacraments, creeds, and abundance of such inventions, which are from the pope of Rome's mass book? Have you not drunk the whore's cup here? Are you guilty, or not guilty? Did not the whore of Rome set up and start the observation of all these days, May-day, and Lady-day, and Whitsuntide, and Christmas, Michaelmas, Lammas, Candlemas? Is not here the pope's order observed, the whore's order observed, his authority established and practiced, tolerated in all your almanacs, and drunk down, swallowed down; which all the vulgar people, and the priests, and magistrates, and the courts called by the saints' days, set up by the authority of the whore of Rome. For retaining them and observing them, have you not all drunk this whore's cup? First, priests, professors, magistrates and common people, are you guilty, or not guilty? Hear, you priests, and vicars, and parsons, are you not yet in the tribe of black-coats? Are you not those who have deceived the nations, who have on the sheep's clothing, and observe the sheep's days that they were killed on? You have brought the people to that, but are of those who have killed the sheep, and not brought people to the sheep's life, nor the spirit, nor the mind of the sheep. Nor have you brought the people to the life of Christ, the apostles, or the prophets, but you have drunk the whore's cup, as your practices and fruits declare throughout the nation; as your calendars and almanacs declare, observing the days that the saints were killed on. This has been the work of the wolves in the sheep's clothing, since the woman fled into the wilderness; so are not you guilty here? Do you not cry guilty here before the Lord's presence, and the throne, and the Lamb? Your whore has been brought to judgment; your whore, that woman, who has brought forth so many harlots, which she has scattered and spread over nations; and now shall the Lamb and saints have victory, as the deceit has had victory.
Now has the marriage of the Lamb come, the bride, the Lamb's wife, the true church known again, and you and your mother judged. Your mother’s flesh must be burnt with fire; and you shall drink the cup of the indignation of the wrath of the Almighty, poured forth upon you without mixture. The man-child is brought forth, which will rule all nations with a rod of iron. The everlasting gospel shall be preached again to all kindreds, tongues and nations; as the deceit has been over all nations. The apostles were to go over all nations before deceit came up, and the deceit trod down the apostles' work, the life, what they had set up, and turned against it, and killed the ministers, and turned against the church; and so deceit got power over all kindreds, tongues, and nations. But now shall the beast, false prophet, great whore, old dragon be taken, which has corrupted the earth, and made the inhabitants of the earth drunk, the kings of the earth, and corrupted the earth, with her fornication. Now shall she be taken and cast alive into the lake of fire, and Babylon shall be confounded, and the everlasting gospel shall be preached again to them who dwell upon the earth, which is the power of God, by which life and immortality shall come to light, in which power of God, the gospel, is the mystery of the fellowship known. This shall go over all the deceit of nations, kindreds, tongues, and people. Over all the nations shall go truth, the power of God, the gospel, as it did in the days of the apostles. This is the same power as was in the apostles, in which there shall be unity with their words, and with their lives, and Christ in whom they end, and the marriage of the Lamb is come, and the Lamb and the saints shall have the victory, who will kill with the sword, and slay with the sword, which are the words of his mouth. The joyful days are coming.
Come up, priests, clerks, vicars, curates and professors to the bar. Are not all your carnal weapons with which you persecute those of the whore's cup of Rome, which has been from the dragon's and beast's power, who has killed the creatures, and wrestled with flesh and blood? And Christ said: he came not to destroy men's lives, but to save them, who was the prince of life. And the apostle said, they wrestled not with flesh and blood, but with principalities, and powers, and spiritual wickedness, and rulers of darkness. And it is said, Christ came to destroy the works of the devil, and the devil and death, where he has his authority, and destroys the sin that was in their flesh; but does not say, he destroyed their flesh, wrestled not with flesh and blood, and so to bring the creature into the liberty of the Son of God, (who is the redemption of mankind) and to destroy you who are a destroying. Now you, since the days of the apostles, and Christ in the flesh, the church fled into the wilderness, who have destroyed and made war against the saints, and killed them, and have wrestled with flesh and blood, and killed the creature, and destroyed their flesh and blood. Is not this the dragon's power, and beast, and the whore's cup, and whipped, and beat, and abused the creatures, and burned, and dismembered them? Have you not drank the whore's cup here, and marred the workmanship of God? instead of saving men's lives, have destroyed them, and instead of wrestling against spiritual wickedness, and powers of darkness, whipped, beat, and imprisoned the creatures. How now, priests and professors, is not this the whore's cup? are you guilty, or not guilty? whom have you been married to? is not this the whore's cup, got up since the woman fled into the wilderness, that drank the blood of prophets, martyrs, and saints, and tells the people, Hebrew and Greek is the original; and has got the sheep's clothing in those languages, and persecutes and kills the sheep, and prisons, and whips them? And where did the apostles say, that Hebrew and Greek was the original, but the church of Rome? Had not Pilate, the murderer, Hebrew, Greek and Latin, and set it a-top of Christ, the life, and crucified him? and has not the whore of Rome set up her schools and colleges, to make her ministers, and there the ministers, the orthodox men so called, have got Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, the naturals, since the true woman fled into the wilderness, and the man-child caught up to God? And has not this been the whore's cup you drank of? and have you not drank the whore's cup? Now the bride and the Lamb's wife is known; now you are come before his judgment bar; are you guilty, or not guilty? and the judgment of the great whore is come, and all her children; and is not the original the word which was in the beginning before Pilate's tongues, who set them a-top of Christ, which the beast and the whore of Rome has set up to be the original, and all nations have drank her cup, but who have their names written in the Lamb's book of life, before the foundation of the world was? (and this is from such.)
And has not all your crying up sin, while men are upon the earth, they must never be made free from sin; and is not this come from the whore's cup, who pleads for a purgatory after death? Come, priests, come up to the bar; are you guilty or not guilty? Is not this doctrine come from the whore of Rome, since the woman fled into the wilderness? The apostle said, he was made free from sin, and they spoke wisdom among them that were perfect; and he that is born of God, does not commit sin; and as he was, so they were in this present world; and the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses from all sin; and the new covenant blots out sin and transgression, and by the one offering perfects forever them that are sanctified; and Christ was made manifest to save his people from their sin; and the church of Christ is without spot, or blemish, or wrinkle, or any such thing; and the work of the ministry was for the perfecting of the saints, until they all come into the unity of the faith, and unto the knowledge of the Son of God, and unto a perfect man, and to the measure and stature of the fullness of Christ: Now since the apostles and martyrs were killed, and true ministry, and the church fled into the wilderness, do not you and your false church say, that people must have sin while they be upon the earth, and so preaches up their sin? and is not this the dragon's power which the beast got, and the whore? and what good does your preaching do, if they must have sin while they are upon the earth? and what is your work to the people? that does not perfect them? and have you not here drank the whore's cup? Come up to the bar, answer, are you guilty, or not guilty? and was not the work of the apostles for the perfecting the saints? and had he not perfected some when he said, he spoke wisdom among them that were perfect? and is not your work to perfect none, that tells them they must have a body of sin, and be in their sin while they are upon the earth? and does not that make them imperfect? and so they can be but imperfect, who never come out, who hear you, who are got up since the true church fled into the wilderness, by that power that killed the prophets, martyrs, and saints, and whipped, and imprisoned, and banished them. Are you guilty, or not guilty? answer it here at the bar; and priests, we will not here bid you hold up your hands, and so you have cried up all the imperfection and sin, and the body of sin while on the earth; was not this the whore's cup which corrupts the earth with her fornication and abominations, who is upon the beast that has the dragon's power? and so what can you cry up but sin; this fenced city, mystery Babylon, mother of harlots, the great whore which has been ruled by the dragon, and fenced by it, and yet killed the martyrs and prophets, and saints, within her compass, since this whorish woman, false church has got up, and has enlarged her city, since the true woman fled into the wilderness? but now the man-child, the Lamb is come to reign, who makes war in righteousness, and rides on the white horse, conquering and to conquer, and the Lamb and the bride his wife is witnessed, who will rule all nations with a rod of iron, he is come to make work with you, and the Lamb, and the saints shall have the victory over the beast, over the false prophet, over this whore, who will kill with his sword, and slay with his sword, which are the words of his mouth, and blessing and honor will be given to the King of kings, and the Lord of lords, who is Lord Omnipotent, and everlasting.
And did not the beast who had the dragon's power after the woman was fled into the wilderness, who made war with the saints, and overcame them, who then had the power over all kindreds, tongues and nations, and they gave their honor to the beast, and the whore is on this beast, and all nations have drank her cup, and the kings of the earth which have drank the blood of the martyrs, prophets and saints, and is not all this hat-honor, and hat-worship, imprisoning and fining, and raging if they had it not, is not this the beast, and whore, and dragon's power, which have been over all kindreds, tongues and nations? was there any such things among the apostles, and Christ and the true church before she went into the wilderness, but by the inwardly raveners, wolves in sheep's clothing, false prophet and antichrist, dragon, beast, and great whore, compelling all to worship, to receive his image, his mark in their forehead, or the hand, all that dwell upon the earth should worship him, but whose names were written in the Lamb's book of life before the foundation of the world; what is this beast, honor and worship? what is the thing he looks for, if it be not the hat, to bend and bow, and stoop to him? was not the beast, the whore, the first author of it? Now here have you not all drank the whore's cup in the whole Christendom? has not she given it you to drink, and have you not all drank it? and will you not fine and prison those that will not do it, and stand bareheaded before you? and is not this the false church, the false woman, and her cup, and the beast and dragon's authority? Come up to the bar, priests; answer, are you guilty, or not guilty? And professors, and teachers, and magistrates, and kings of the earth; has not this been since the true woman fled into the wilderness, since the days of the apostles? and did not the angel and John see her coming up, who when he would have bowed to the angel, did not the angel bid him twice see he did it not, then why should mortals expect such honor? And now in this you may see where you are fallen in your pride and arrogance, and your oaths and swearing was from your mother the pope, whose cup you have drank, and fines and imprisons others that will not drink it. And has not your marrying with rings, and the surplice, and rails, and fonts, and altars, and the sprinkling with rosemary and bays when you bury the dead, has not all this been of the whore's cup? and have not you all drank it? Now if you say you have laid away some of these, how is it that you have not laid away all? Now come, guilty, or not guilty? And must you not drink the cup of the indignation of the wrath of God.
Come, priests, vicars, and curates, do you not buy your gifts at schools and colleges for money, and sell your gifts for money? are you not Simon Magus his brats here? guilty, or not guilty? And do you not make merchandize of people through covetousness, and teach for filthy lucre, and love of money, and have pierced yourselves through many hurtful lusts, and drowned yourselves through your pernicious ways, and have a form of godliness, and deny the power, which has caused the way of truth to be evil spoken of; and the very ignorant people to cry against you, and the sober to be ashamed of you, and made your names stink among the heathen that know not God, or Christ, you that have professed him with your lips, and in your will-worship, and feigned humility? Come up, priests, to the bar, before the throne of the Lamb, are you guilty, or not guilty? Come, priests, and curates, and parsons, and vicars, have you not sold your birthright for a mess of pottage, for a morsel of bread, for a handful of barley, and earthly things? and Esau-like, hunting up and down with his sword, to kill and slay the just Jacob, and get great benefices, and cast him into prison, and would make him to bow, when he is got past him; but now the younger is risen, and the elder shall be servant, who has called you to judgment; and are you guilty, or not guilty of these things that are charged upon you? Come, priests and curates, parsons and vicars, are you not those who will preach peace to the people, if they put in your mouths, and he shall be a good churchman; if not, you will prepare war against him, cast him into prison, haul him before courts, make your names stink before the courts in the nation, you will cast them into prison until death? does not the blood of many lie upon you, as in York jail, Lancaster jail, Gloucester jail, Durham, Appleby, and other places? Come up to the Lamb's bar, and plead your own cause, guilty, or not guilty? and see how you can stand before the throne of the Lamb, you that are not able to stand before the Lord's servants, who are moved of the Lord to speak to you, but call to the magistrates to take them away, and to whip them, to the house of correction with them. Come up, priests and vicars, parsons and curates, are not you those who have borne rule by your means, and take away your means and you will not bear rule over that people? and are you not such greedy dumb dogs that can never have enough, everyone seeking for your gain from your quarter, and all looking for your own way, and not after the ways of the Lord, who have told people you never heard his voice, and so are those who God never sent? Come to the bar of judgment, guilty, or not guilty?
Come, priests, vicars, and curates, and parsons, are you not those who will not go without a money bag, and those which have taken the people's money for that which was not bread, and the messengers of Satan, and his ministers of unrighteousness, which Satan has transformed himself into, that takes and will have money of them, and means, whom you do not work for, and where you have neither plowed nor threshed, and where you never planted, and have made the gospel chargeable? Come up, guilty, or not guilty? Answer for yourselves. Come up, priests, and curates, and vicars, and parsons; are you not such as go in long robes, fashions and lusts of the world, with your ribbons and points, and double cuffs, and wearing of gold rings, in the lusts of the flesh, and pride of life, and the lust of the eyes, which is not of the Father, but of the world, more like your mountebanks, and fiddlers, and stage-players, than like sober men that preach the gospel? Guilty, or not guilty? Let the witness in all your consciences answer it, which is now bringing you before the throne of the Lamb, which is his officer; and come up, priests, and curates, vicars, and parsons, and professors, have you visited Christ in prison, or have you not been those who have caused him in his members to be cast into prison, yes until death? and must they go into everlasting punishment, that does not visit him in prison? and have not you cast him into prison, and taken his means from him instead of visiting of him? have you not taken away the saints' goods? Come to the bar of judgment, are you guilty of these things or not? where must you go to receive your punishment, which you must have according to your desert? are you not come under the judgment of all the lives of the prophets, the life of Christ, the lives of the apostles, in this the day of the Lamb, in whom all the prophets and apostles end, and found among all them that be out of the spirit of the prophets, Christ, and the apostles, that have deceived the world, (but could not the elect?) consider with yourselves, for now are you calling up before the throne, and the bar of judgment, guilty, or not guilty? for now shall the false prophets, beast, and dragon be taken and cast alive into the lake of fire, and the judgment of the great whore come, the false church, and the false woman, and now shall the Lamb and the saints have the victory; glory to the Highest, and the everlasting gospel preached to them that dwell on the earth, and the saints and the Lamb reign, who makes war in righteousness; now is the day of your trial come, the Lamb's throne is set up, and scepter of righteousness held forth, which reaches over the whole world, and comprehends the whole world, and all the state of mankind, and now is the judgment of God come, and the man Christ Jesus, whom he ordained to judge the world in righteousness, according to the gospel.
And are not you them priests, curates, vicars, and parsons, which serve God with your lips, and call upon him with your mouths, and your hearts afar off, being full of ravenousness, murder, and madness, and persecution, and will drink the blood of the saints, who be contrary to you minded, and deface and mar the creatures, which are the workmanship of God, and yet make people believe Christ has sent you, a company of disorderly men to mar the workmanship of God? which is contrary to Christ and the apostles, who saved men's lives, and wrestled not with flesh and blood, but brought the creatures into the liberty of the sons of God, and said, there was a glory of the first body, and a glory of the second; now you that have destroyed creatures, and marred the creatures, whipped and defaced them, and bruised them, have been in the dragon's power, beast, false prophet, antichrist, great whore, and Jews, heathen, and Judas, by your company with swords and staves, to haul before magistrates and high priests; are you now guilty here, or are you not guilty? Answer before the presence of the Lord God, and the Lamb's throne, for now is your time and day wherein judgment is come near to you. For is it like that all sober people should believe that Christ should send forth men to mar the workmanship of God, which pretend themselves to be ministers, and cause them to be marred? or is it like that any will believe that you are christians, that will mar the workmanship of God about religion, church, ministers, worship, and scriptures? and is not the creature the workmanship of God? and did not Christ come to destroy that which would destroy the creature, and to save men's lives, and not to destroy them? and did not the apostles bring creatures into the liberty of the sons of God? and to wrestle with principalities, powers, darkness, and spiritual wickedness, and not with flesh and blood, whose weapons were not carnal but spiritual, and mighty through God.
The world's teachers and professors say, “The Quakers are fools, because they will not wear ribbons; and idiots, and novices, because they will not wear feathers in their caps, and great scarves a-top of their hats, and to hang over their hat-brims and shoulders, and their backs, therefore are they like fools, idiots, and nobody.”
“Yes, but,” says the serious people to these professors and teachers of the world, “you are more like novices, idiots, and fools, with your scarves a-top of the crown of your hats, hanging over their brims upon your backs; and your hearers and people with feathers in their caps, which are no where like christians, but are more like the idiots and the fools and novices, who have lost your sincerity, whose minds are taken up with these foolish things, which destroy your seriousness, and so you are not like the saints, you professors, and teachers, and people, but are like the heathen in your gorgeous apparel.”
The priests, and professors, and the world's table-talk, is, “The Quakers will not wear gold lace, will not wear ribbons in their hats, nor at their knees, nor about their waists, nor a bunch of ribbons before them, nor ribbons at their gloves, nor broad tassels upon their shoes, nor ribbons at their hands, nor a bunch of ribbons at their backs, as big as one's fist, as our women and members of our churches do, and a bunch of ribbons at their bosoms, and down their bosoms, and three or four gold laces upon their coats, and petticoats, and the Quakers, like a company of fools and novices, cry against us, and say we are all daubed about and dressed with pride: how must the poor live, if we must not wear their lace? and gold and silver, and ribbons on our backs?”
“Yes, but,” said the serious people, “are not you burdened with all this garb upon your back, and this vanity? Do not you spend a lot of time in decking yourself? Do you not see yourself ill-favored with all these ribbons, dangling about your hands, and flapping upon your hat, and great bunches as big as a hand flapping at the backs of women like a broom and your great things a-top of your shoes staring; and if you say how should the poor live if you do not wear that; give them all that money which you bestow upon all that gorgeous attire, and needless things, to nourish them, that they may live without making vanities, and needless things, and costly attire for you, and through that you will live, and they will live both; giving the poor all that which you lay out in needless toys, and ribbons; and then you shall not be like fools, and fiddlers, and the dancing light women, with all their bunches of ribbons and toys about them,” said the serious people.
“But,” said the world's teachers and professors; “these Quakers are good for nothing but to cross (oppose) people, and cross (oppose) us.”
Answer. —“Your minds that live in vanities and ribbons, and delight in such fooleries you are so peevish, and so fretful, and so pettish, if the bunch of ribbons are not right, as you would have them upon your backs, and hang right upon your breasts, and your laces set right upon your coats and gloves, and your dressing and ribbons right upon your heads, that through your peevishness, and brittleness of your minds, that live in these earthly things, neither your men, nor your maids, can tell how to please you, nor your tailors to shape your garments right for you. So what the Quakers cross, is only your earthly minds, that live in these earthly toys; and the Quakers are more your friends than you are aware of, said the serious people. We know you, for many of you have lately gotten up with your ribbons on your backs, and knees, and your feathers in your hats, and your bunches of ribbons about your waists, and dabbling of your gloves, and putting on gold and silver, which is contrary to the apostles' doctrine. For we have known the time when many of you did not wear such things, which you have lately adopted, and put on, more like fools than serious people, who are out of the apostles' doctrine; who said it is not the wearing of gold nor costly apparel; and so, through your vanity, you have lost sincerity, and gone from the apostles' doctrine, and so are turned into the lusts of the eye, pride of life, and lusts of the flesh.”
“Away with you,” say the professors and teachers of the world, “you are a company of madmen, you are not fit to live upon the earth.”
“Yes, but,” say the serious people, “you are the madmen that destroy the creation, and the creatures of God upon your lusts, and the lusts of your eye, the lusts of the flesh, and the pride of life, which is not of the Father, but of the world, by which you destroy the Father's works, and the prime of the creatures, which were given forth to be used by the wisdom, by which they were created to the glory of the Creator.”
Priests, and professors, and teachers, say they; “You are not fit to be spoken to. You would have all to be fools like yourselves. We have freedom to plait our hair, and hang it about with ribbons, and lay it over our brows; this is our liberty, and to set spots on our faces of half-moons, and a coach and horses, and curl and powder our hair, and tie it up with ribbons and jewels.”
“Yes, but,” say the serious people, “this is not like the christians' fashions, nor the apostles' doctrine, which said, it is not the plaiting of the hair, and putting on of gold; nor like Christ's doctrine, who said, they should not take thought what to eat and to drink, nor what to put on, for the Gentiles did so. But you are taking thought for your gold lace, and ribbons, and changeable suits, and cannot tell what to eat, nor what to drink, nor what to put on. You are more like the fools, (jesters and clowns), and the heathen, say the serious people, than christians; and you tie up your hair, and your children's hair, as the stable-hands tie up the horse's tails, and manes, and hang ribbons at their ears, as you do, so do the grooms and stable-hands in the wild horses and mares' heads, as you do your men and women, and so are a people that have forgotten God, and all sincerity; and so you are a people that more pleasure in the creatures than in the Creator. And as for your patches and half-moons, and horses and coaches on your faces, you are more like fools, and Jezebel's stock (who betrayed the just) that painted harlot, and so the just have you betrayed in yourselves, and have vexed and grieved the good spirit of God in you, by your vanity, one vanity after another, so you are more like Jezebel, than christians; what a crinkling is here with your feet, and a mincing! how suit you with such as the prophets cried against, who shall be covered with ashes, and, instead of a sweet smell, a stink?”
The priests, and professors of the world say, “These fools, the Quakers, cannot endure to see us with two or three rings on our fingers, nor jewels in our ears, nor bracelets about our necks, nor cuffs, nor double cuffs, nor great dangling band-strings, they cannot endure we should wear a laced cap of twenty shillings price, or less, or more, and a pair of double cuffs up our hands, and double white boot-hose-tops, these novice Quakers cannot endure to see us with this garb upon our backs. And how should poor people live if we should not wear them?”
Say the serious people, “All your gold rings, your cuffs, your great band-strings, your lace, your jewels, your bracelets, your gorgeous apparel, and attire, turn it all into money, and give it to the poor to buy them bread, and I will warrant you, that they and you will have all enough, and there will be no want among you, for you are always wanting rings, or ribbons, gold hat-bands, laces, or bracelets, you are always wanting one thing or another; if you see another fashion, the other is old; and you want to get into it, and you envy others that are gotten into the fashion before you. And here is the devil the king of pride, that murderer, that leads people to consume and destroy the creatures upon their lusts, for his lusts they do; and so you are more like fools, that are slaves to the devil, who is out of the truth, that leads you to destroy the works, and creatures, and creation of God, and all your need is of God, for you need God, and his wisdom to order you.”
The teachers and professors of the world say, “The Quakers are offended at us, because our women have a dress cut down to the middle of their backs, and a great pair of cuffs upon their hands, and how must the poor people live if they should not do so?”
“The makers of these things,” say the serious people, “let them make plain things, and wear plain things, and that money which you lay out on these costly things, give you to them; for who are you like in the scriptures? You are not like the christians, for what service is there in your wearing a bunch of ribbons at your women's back? Do they scare flies away? At their breasts, dangling at their arms, and a great company of ribbons dangling at their hands and their heads, do you wear them to scare flies from your hands? Why do you not wear that great bunch before? What is the service of it, that you are thus dressed? Are you dressed for a sight, and a show, that people should wonder and stare at you, or are you dressed according to the scripture, and the apostles' doctrine, and commands? Give some example for your fruits among the saints; said the serious people, we have seen Bedlam-people, and madmen hang ribbons in their caps, and at their horn's ends, and mad people hung about with kerchiefs. So you are more like fools and mad people than the Quakers. It is a wonder that you professors, and teachers, and people should be so offended at the Quakers, for they see no people who exceed you, except the mountebanks, and stage-players, and French servants. Therefore it is time for you to lay away your ribbons, and your gold, and your rings, and your bracelets, and your lace, and your gold and your silver lace, and your bunch of ribbons, and all your superfluity, and turn it into money, and give it to the poor tradesmen that make these things; so that they may not labor to serve your lusts, and wills, to consume it upon your lusts, and that shall bring more honor to God, in giving that which you waste on superfluity to the poor tradesmen that works for your consuming wills and lusts. Therefore, consider, said the serious people, for God will destroy the world that lies in pride and wickedness, which the devil is the prince of, and that shall come to an end, and it must be destroyed by the word, and the glory of the world will fade away, but the glory of the Lord will not, nor his word, which lives, abides, and remains, and endures forever. Therefore consider, all you children of pride, among whom the devil is, who is your king and ruler, who is called the king of pride, who are always in want, for the murderer and devourer causes you to waste the creation of God, and destroy it, and so your ned is for need of God, and his wisdom. The Lord God of power, and of heaven and earth, who will rule you with his hammer, with his sword, with his word, which is a fire for all children of pride; and the hammer is beating, and the sword is going, and the fire is kindling, which will make all the proud to rage with a burning fire.” “Hark!” cries the priest, and professors, and teachers of the world, “we cannot get a Quaker to the ale-house, nor tavern, nor to feast with us, nor to dance with us, nor to hear our fiddlers, nor music (a company of precise people) there is none knows how to have them.”
“Say you so?” said the serious people, “that is, because they will not to the taverns with you, and have the fiddlers, and pipes, and pots, and your banqueting, and feasting, and your hooting more like madmen out of your wits, than men that fear God, who thus destroy the creation upon your lusts. The Quakers are come into the wisdom of God, by which all things were created, so that if they eat, and drink, it must be to the praise and glory of God; being in his fear, so they cannot have fellowship with the destroyers and marrers of the workmanship of God, and the creation.”
The priests, and professors, and teachers of the world, say, “The Quakers will not doff their hats, nor scrape a leg, nor make a courtesy, (a company of clowns.)”
Said the serious people, “Where do you read in the scripture, that the apostles taught anyone that they should scrape a leg and make a courtesy, or put off their hats, for great men will stand with their hats on one to another, and sometimes they will bow and stir them, but they will seldom bow to the poor, or scrape a leg to a beggar; so if he has got a feather in his hat, and a few ribbons on his breeches, and hair powdered, and if she has gotten a bunch of ribbons on her back, then there is, your servant, madam, your servant, sir, your humble servant, Mr. then scrape, and courtesy, and doff the hat, and you sir, and this pleases proud flesh, but to say ‘you friend,’ makes him or her mad, which is a proper loving word, and scripture order and practice, and a sound word, that cannot be condemned. Therefore such proud ones, that bow not unto poor people, and scrape not unto poor people, and thou's them, and not you them, and yet they must be curtsied to, and scraped to, and capped to, because they have some more of the earth and proud apparel, and their poor brethren must not be scraped, nor bowed unto; is not here respecting persons? and so are judged by the law of liberty.
“And as for your saying it is your liberty to wear cuffs, rings, beads, jewels, powder your hair, gold and silver lace, bunches of ribbons at your backs, great scarves about your hats, feathers and ribbons, great things a-top of your shoes; children's hair tied up, (like horse-manes with ribbons), like horse-tails, lusty great lasses and women, full of paint and patches of horses, and half-moons upon their faces; this is our liberty, say the professors and teachers of the world, and all is ours, and it is the saints' liberty; no, this is the liberty of the flesh, and the king of pride's kingdom, in his dominion in the earth; destroying the creatures, and devouring the creatures, and this liberty is your own bondage who are servants of corruption, and this liberty will be your burden, and your vanity will fly you in the end, though you will not fly it in your life time, and will stand you in no stead, who will be found as Dives, that rich glutton, that fared sumptuously every day, and the poor beggar has a greater share in the kingdom, with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, than you; and sits in his bosom in that kingdom, when the other is in the lake. Therefore, you that live wantonly upon earth, you kill the just, and the devil is your king, (who is unjust), and your law-giver, who teaches you to destroy and devour, and to consume, and you that live in pleasures on the earth, are dead while you live, and have denied the faith, and are turned wanton, that eat and drink, and rise up to play, and go to dancing, and are like the children of Israel that danced before the calf, and like unto Herod's daughter, that danced to please that glutton and gorgeous man, who was reproved, who took off the head of John Baptist that reproved him, to satisfy the lust of the dance; and there is the end of those that live wantonly upon earth, that kill the just, that are sporting themselves, and living in pleasures in the day-time; such are gone out from the power of God, and are as the heathen, and not as the saints, who were redeemed out of the earth, and its vanities and pleasures, to know the election before the world began.
The priests and professors of the world say, “The Quakers, those fools, cannot endure our puppet-plays, nor our stage-plays, nor our May-games, nor our shovel-boards, nor our tables nor dice, nor our sports nor shows, nor that we should make pictures of things in heaven, and things in earth, nor our little babies that we sell, nor our images, these fools, the Quakers, cannot endure these things.” “Are you not ashamed,” said the serious people, “for shame, hold your tongues, do you call yourselves teachers, and professors, and christians, and name the name of Christ, and profess the apostles' words? Why, it is our recreation, say they. Recreation? Away, away, the recreation is in the law of God, the delight is there day and night, and the exercise is there, and the glorying is in the cross of Christ, that crucifies to the world. Are not you ashamed to talk of fiddlers, mountebanks, and stage-players, and images, and pictures, and shows, and your shovel-boards, and plays, and games, and dice? Away, for shame, hold your tongues, for they are works of the flesh, and works of vanity, and delights of fools, that live in their pleasures and lusts of the world, who are enemies to the cross of Christ, that crucifies to the world, and which is the saints' glory, who glory in the Creator. But those that follow their pleasures, glory in the creature more than in the Creator; who are swearing almost at every word, and cursing at every word, that there is such nasty streets, with such nasty unsavory words, and such cursing and swearing, that it is even a shame and loathsome to speak of, a den of dragons, like as hell were broke open; and this is your noise in your streets, taverns, and ale-houses.”
Ha, ha, cry the professors and teachers of the world, “What do the Quakers do? They tell you to mind the light of Christ within you.”
Yes, said the serious people, “If you did mind the light within you, it would never let you swear, nor curse, nor follow pleasures, nor follow the fashions of the world, nor the vanities, nor the fooleries, nor images, nor let you destroy the creation on your lusts, and creatures, and so many in the nation to starve for want of food, it would bring you to put off your gorgeous apparel, gold and silver, and rings, and ribbons: but the light would lead you to Christ, the wisdom of God, from whence it comes, and that would lead you to order the creatures to the glory of God, the creator of them, which checks you, and reproves you, and brings you out of Dives's state, to poor Lazarus's kingdom; but if you hate it, it will be your condemnation. And to you that is the word of the Lord God; for when men are lifted up in pride, they shall not come near them without scraping and bowing the hat four or five times; and this is the honor below to fools, which is like snow in summer, and rain in harvest, unseasonable. Two men and two women of the world meet the one the other, and being much offended the one at the other; ‘For,’ said the one, ‘I bowed three times to him, and he scarce bowed once to me, and scarce stirred his hat, he is not so civil and so courteous as he was wont to be; I wonder what is the matter.’ ‘I curtsied three times, the first almost to the ground, and she scarce bowed to me, she made but half a courtesy, which is not as she used to be, for she used to be more courteous.’”
“Why how now,” said the serious people, “you were finding fault with the Quakers before? Who now cannot please one another with your courtesies, and scrapes, and your hats; some do too little, some too much; for I saw one of the world, a great professor and a teacher, and he came to another that had been a teacher, and they bowed one to the other until they out-bowed one another, and this the one said to the other, away with these compliments. So much of your time is spent, said the serious people, in capping one to the other, and curtsying, and thinking what you shall eat, and what you shall drink, and your compliments and fashions. And this takes you off the service of God; and the civility which is in the truth, that is out of all that; for true civility stands in truth and love, that envies not, but the love of the world will envy, and be envious at others that will not give them their fashion, their compliment, their courtesy, their cap, and their scrape, which they call civility, and that is not civility which will envy; for civility stands out of envy, in truth and love, that envies not.”
Priests and professors of the world say they, “These clownish Quakers will not drink to one, neither say good-morrow, or good-evening, but say 'thou' to everyone; let him be great or small, they will thou him, a company of clowns, and ill-bred people, they are not fit to dwell upon the earth.”
“How now?” said the serious people, “Why do you say so? Why do you thus rage? For it is a temptation in drinking one to another, it is more civility to set down the cup, let everyone take the creatures in their service, and drink as he needs, they stand to serve, and not to tempt one another to drink more than does him good.”
“Yes, yes, we thought you would destroy all good fellowship,” cry the teachers and professors of the world.
“No,” cry the serious people, “the good fellowship is in the spirit, which gives an understanding and a good wisdom, that is pure and gentle, from above; with that to order the creatures to the glory of the Creator, and the morning is good, and the evening is good, for all things that God made were good; but bad people say, the morning is bad, and the evening is bad, when it does not please them. So to such we tell them that it is a good morning, and a good evening, which they call bad; and those who do not know all things that God made to be good, we tell them that they are; and those who say the morning and evening is bad, we tell them it is good, but the night of darkness is bad, where all the works of darkness are done. And the morning of judgment is good, but he will think it is bad, that his works and he must be tried by fire which cannot be quenched. And those are the clowns that do not know the morning good, and the evening good, but must be saying the words to one another all their lifetime. And those who say you to a particular, are not clowns, for it is sound scripture language. David was not a clown, nor the prophets, nor Christ, nor the apostles, that you'd particulars, and you'd many; but those be clowns that be out of the sound speech; and surely these teachers and professors might have known before now, and have taught the world singular and plural numbers, and have learned their accidence and their grammar before now, and not have called them clowns that come into the practice of the singular and plural; a clown is untaught, and one that has learned, and does not practice.”
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