The Missing Cross to Purity

The Journal of George Fox - 1652 - 1655 - 1st Imprisonment and on to London <page 1 >

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When the sessions were over, James Naylor, who was present, gave a brief account of the proceedings of that in a letter, which soon after he wrote to Friends, and is here added for the reader's further satisfaction:

Dear Friends and brethren in the Lord Jesus Christ, my dear love unto you all, desiring you may be kept steadfast in the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the power of his love, boldly to witness forth the truth, as it is revealed in you by the mighty working of the Father: to him alone be everlasting praise and honor forevermore! Dear Friends, the Lord greatly shows his love and power in these parts. Upon the second day of the last week my brother George and I were at Lancaster. There were many Friends from all parts; and a great many who sided with the priests; who let it be known that they now hoped to see a stop put to us; that great work which had gone on so fast, and with such power, that their kingdom had been much shaken. We were called before judge Fell, colonel West, justice Sawrey, etc. to answer what was charged against George. There were three witnesses to eight particulars, but they were very confused in themselves; which gave much light to the truth; by which the justices plainly saw that it was envy; and they told them so several times. One of the witnesses was a young priest, who confessed that he had not been a participant, and would not have been involved had not another priest sent for him, and told him to do it. The other witnesses were two priests' sons. It was proven there by many who heard one of them say, if he had power, he would make George deny his profession and that he would kill him. There was a single witness to one of the greatest untruths charged against George. The justices told him, they believed that because he could not murder George, he was trying to take away his liberty. There was one priest chosen out of the whole number, as a spokesman, to plead against us; who spared no pains to show his envy against the truth: and when he could not prevail, he went down in a rage; and a number of them came into the room; among whom was Jackus. George was then speaking in the room; (one of the justices having asked him to speak if he had anything to say); at which point, the priest Jackus was in such a rage, that he started speaking about many high expressions against the truth spoken by my dear brother George; one of which was, that the letter and the spirit were inseparable. At which point the justices stood up and told him to prove that before he went any further. Then seeing himself caught, he tried to deny it; and when he could not talk his way out of his error, the rest of the priests tried to help him make sense of his words: but the justices would admit no other meaning than the plain sense of the words and told him that he had laid down a position and it was fit he should prove it; putting a lot of pressure on him. At which point the priests, having been silenced, lost the case with greater rage expressed than before. After they had lost the case, and when asked what they had done, some of them lied and said that they could not get into the room; trying to hide their shame and to keep the people in blindness. The justices, judge Fell, and colonel West, were very convinced of the truth and ruled for justice and equity; their ruling has greatly silenced the rage of the people. Many bitter spirits were at Lancaster to see the event; but they went home crying that the priests had lost the day. Everlasting praises be to him who fought the battle for us, who is our king forever! There were others called, who the witnesses confessed were in the room when the things charged on George were said to have been spoken; but they all, as one man, denied that any such words were spoken, which gave much light to the justices, and they relied on what they witnessed; for they said, they knew many of them to be honest men. There was a warrant granted against us at Appleby; but Justice Benson told them it was not according to law; and so it ceased. I hear he is a faithful man to the truth. The priests began to preach against the justices, and said they were not to meddle in these things, but to end controversy between neighbor and neighbor. They are not pleased with the law, because it is not in the statute to imprison us, as the priest that pleaded against us had said. The justices bid him go put it into the statute, if he could; the priest said he should not have to do it. They are much afraid that they shall lose all. They are much discontented in these parts; and some of them cry, "All is lost."

Dear Friends, dwell in patience, and wait upon the Lord, who will do his own work. Look not at man, in the work; nor at man, who opposed the work: but rest in the will of the Lord, that so you may be furnished with patience both to do and to suffer what you shall be called to; that your end in all things may be his praise. Take up his cross freely, which keeps low the fleshly man; that Christ may be set up and honored in all things, the light advanced in you, and the judgment set up, which must give sentence against all that opposed the truth. That the captivity may be led captive, and the prisoner set free to seek the Lord; that righteousness may rule in you, and peace and joy may dwell in you, where is the kingdom of the Father; to whom be all praise forever! Dear Friends, meet often together, and take heed of what exalts itself above its brother; keep low, and serve one another in love for the Lord's sake. Let all Friends know how it is with us, that God may have the praise of all.

James Naylor

Written from Kellet, the 30th day of the 8th month, 1652.

At this time I was in a fast and was not to eat until this work of God which then lay heavily upon me was accomplished. But the Lord's power was wonderfully exalted, and he gave truth and Friends dominion there over all to his glory; and his gospel was freely preached that day over the heads of about forty hireling priests. I stayed two or three days afterwards in Lancaster, and had some meetings there. The rude and baser sort of people plotted together to have drawn me out of the house, and to have thrown me over Lancaster bridge, but the Lord prevented them. Then they invented another mischief, which was this: after a meeting at Lancaster, they brought down a distracted man, and another with him, having bundles of birchen rods, bound together like a broom, with which they would have whipped me; but I was moved to speak to them in the Lord's mighty power, which chained down the distracted man, and the other also; and the Lord's power being over them, they departed quietly.

But the priests, fretting to see themselves overthrown at the sessions at Lancaster, got some of the envious justices to join with them; and at the following assize at Lancaster informed judge Windham against me. Upon which the judge made a speech against me in open court; and commanded colonel West, who was clerk of the assize, to issue a warrant for arresting me; but colonel West told the judge I was innocent, and spoke boldly in my defense. Yet the judge commanded him again, either to write a warrant, or vacate his clerk position and seat. Then he plainly told the judge that he would not do it; but that he would offer up all his estate and his body also for me. Thus he stopped the judge, and the Lord's power came over all; so that the priests and justices could not get their envy executed. The same night of the assize time I came into Lancaster, and hearing of a warrant to be given out against me, I judged it better to show myself openly, than for my adversaries to seek me. So I went to judge Fell's and colonel West's chambers. As soon as I came in, they smiled at me; and colonel West said, 'What! Have you come into the dragon's mouth?' I stayed until the judge went out of town; and I walked up and down the town, but no one interfered with me or questioned me. Thus the Lord's blessed power, which is over all, carried me through and over this exercise, gave dominion over his enemies, and enabled me to go on in his glorious work and service for his great name's sake. For though the beast makes war against the saints, yet the Lamb has gotten and will get the victory.

From Lancaster I returned to Robert Withers. From there I went to Thomas Leper's for a meeting in the evening; and a very blessed meeting we had there, after which, I walked in the evening to Robert Withers's again. No sooner had I left than a company of disguised men came to Thomas Leper's with swords and pistols. These men suddenly entered the house, put out the candles, and swung their swords around among the people of the house, so that the people in the house were forced to hold up the chairs in front of them as shields to keep from being cut and wounded. At length the disguised men drove all the people out the house and then searched the house for me, who it seems was the only person they were looking for. Before entering the house, they had hidden themselves beside the highway that I would have used if I had ridden to Robert Withers's. When I didn't come by the highway, they thought they would find me in Thomas Leper's house, but the Lord prevented them. Soon after I came to Robert Withers's, some Friends from the town where Thomas Leper lived told us about this wicked attempt. They were afraid that these same people might also come to Robert Withers's house to injure me; but the Lord restrained them because they did not come. These men were in disguise, yet Friends perceived some of them to be Frenchmen, and concluded that they were servants belonging to Sir Robert Bindlas: for some of them had said that in France they used to tie the Protestants to trees and whip and kill them. His servants often abused Friends both in the meetings and going to and from their meetings. They once drug Richard Hubbertborn and several others out of their meeting, carried them a long way into the fields, tied them up, and left them in the fields when it was the winter season. Another time one of his servants came to Francis Flemming's, and thrust his naked rapier in at the door and windows; but a kinsman of Francis Flemming's, not a Friend, came with a short club, and told the servant to put up his rapier. The servant refused and instead threatened him with it and was rude. Francis’s kinsman knocked him down, took his rapier from him, and had it not been for Friends, would have run him through with it. So Friends preserved his life, even though he would have destroyed theirs.

From Robert Withers's I went to visit justice West with Richard Hubberthorn accompanying me. Not knowing the way or knowing about the danger of the sands, we rode where no man had ever ridden before, so we were afterwards told; and we swam our horses over a very dangerous place. When we had arrived, justice West asked us if we had seen two men riding over the sands?' He said: "Since I am the coroner, I shall have their clothes soon because they cannot escape drowning.' But when we told him we were the men, he was astonished and wondered how we escaped drowning. Based on this incident the envious priests and professors raised a false and slanderous report, that water could not drown me, nor could they draw blood from me; and therefore I was a witch. Actually sometimes when they beat me with great staves, they did not draw much of my blood; though they bruised my body very grievously. I did not care at all about these slanders personally, though I was concerned for the truth's reputation, which by such slanders I saw they were trying to prejudice people against the truth. I considered that their forefathers, the apostate Jews, called the master of the house Beelzebub; and these apostate christians from the life and power of God could do no less to his true followers. But the Lord's power carried me over their slanderous tongues, and their bloody murderous spirits, who had the ground of witchcraft in themselves, which kept them from coming to God and to Christ.

{About this time Richard Hubberthorn was in a great fast and grew weak. People thought he was dead and sent for several Friends, but before they arrived, the Lord's power raised him up. On the way to him, the Friends met him with a bottle going to get water to drink. So the Friends admired the wonderful power of God and his work.}

{About this time, George Fox gave forth a paper concerning the word as follows:

George Fox Concerning the Word, 1652

In the beginning was the word, and none know this word, but those who have come to the beginning. Now all you people and all you ministers, who of you can witness this? Who of you has come to this position? Who of you has come to the beginning? We declare unto you what our hands have handled and what our eyes have seen, what was from the beginning, the word of life. We who know this word are pure, are made clean by the word, are sanctified by the word, are cut to pieces by the word, and are divided asunder by the word. This word is a hammer, beating down everything that the seed of God may raise up [discover], and we have come to the beginning. All who know this word have come into the beginning. It is as a fire, burning up all corruptions; and this is the word that is near you, in your heart.

This is the word by which all the prophets spoke, and this is the word that became flesh and dwelt among us, (said the saints). This is the word of life, which the apostles preached, the substance of all figures, types and shadows. This is the word, which makes all the saints one, that reconciles all their hearts together to the Lord. This is the word by which all things stand and remain and are upheld by his word and power. This is the word which endures forever. All, who are born again of the immortal seed, witness this word along with me. Now the word is made manifest [shown] the same as it ever was, which gathers together the hearts of people, which divides asunder the precious and the vile, and of the two, [destroying the vile] has made one. This is the word that lets you see that all flesh is grass.

This is the word that was before any Letter [scripture] was written. All who do not have this word, put the Letter [Bible] for the word, and are in Cain's nature, envying and murdering, running on swiftly to evil. God does not accept Cain's sacrifice. All your preaching, all your praying, all your reading, all your singing and expounding, all your churches, all your worships, all your teachers, and all your baptisms - these are inventions from the Letter [Bible] as invented and imagined by your carnal minds -  these are all for the fire. Your profession must be gathered together in bundles and cast into the fire for they are all works of the flesh, proceeding from the first nature.

Those of you who live in the first nature, not knowing the word of God, but only the Letter [only have knowledge from the Bible]; you crucify the just, and you get up into the just's place, quenching the light within you, with the deceit transforming into the just's place, as Cain did when he slew his brother Abel. He got up into his brother's place and said, 'Am I my brother's keeper?' So all of you, who crucify the just, you are like Cain, for it is the righteous that God accepts, the second birth. As you read, Cain's sacrifice was not accepted by God, but Abel (the second birth) God did accept, for he was righteous. Cain murdered Able because Abel's works were righteous, and Cain's were evil. Now all of you, who are in the first birth, are Cain, in envy; manslayers, and God does not accept your sacrifice. Now all that come to the word, come to before Cain was.

All the prophets of the Lord spoke from this word, and then the false prophets got the true prophets' form of word, but did not have the word. Then the Lord sent his prophets, who had his word, to cry against the prophets that "speak a divination from their own brain and steal my word from their neighbor." They use their tongues and said, "the Lord said," when the Lord had not spoken to them. As it was then, so it is now. All the [religious] teachers of the world speak a divination of their own brain, and not from the mouth of the Lord. The Lord is against them. Now I witness this by the same word as it ever was. So they draw people to the Letter [Bible], and tell people the Letter [Bible] is the word, and to listen to them, who speak from their vain imaginations what it means. So they bear rule by their means over the poor people, which the Lord was always against.

For God is free and will have his people to be free, and his gospel is free, and his mercies are free, and his grace is free. His gospel is free to every creature, and his grace is free to every creature. His grace is not the Letter [Bible]; the gospel is not the Letter [Bible]; his glad tidings are not the Letter. For many poor troubled souls may be under death and condemnation, while they have the Letter; and there lie wounded with no peace, until Jesus brings the glad tidings of the free gospel. Then you will witness with me that the gospel is a free gospel, and not to be bought and sold for money, and that the grace of God is free. Listen, everyone that thirsts, come to the water of life; he that has no money, come buy wine and milk without money and without price; and listen diligently so that your souls may live, and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David. So all people consider, and see if you can witness your souls raised out of death, and your being brought into this everlasting covenant.

So who can witness their souls brought out of death? Have you come into the beginning?  But you have nothing but the Letter, and you are spending your money and labor without being satisfied; spending your money for what is not bread. You are following greedy, dumb dogs, who can never get enough. They are Baal's priests, who have forsaken the right way, going after the error of Baalam, running after the way of Cain, who loved the wages of unrighteousness, who always murder the just, despising the birthright in the particular. Like Cain, slaying the righteous, who slays it in the particular; the same nature slays in the general, where the righteous seed guides, rules, and is the head. So the generation of Cain is but one, which is the first birth. Now loving the Light, it will guide you from all men, so that you will never have to look to man again for guidance or teaching.

George Fox}

(for more on the true word, see James Parnell's, Does Christ or Scripture Rule? and My Sheep Hear My Voice)

Having visited justice West, I went to Swarthmore, visiting Friends, and the Lord's power was over all the persecutors there. I was moved to write letters to the magistrates, priests, and professors in the area, who had raised persecution before. That to justice Sawrey was after this manner:


You started all of the persecutions in the north. You were the beginner and the one who made the people agitated. You were the first to stir them up against the righteous seed, and against the truth of God; the first who strengthened the hands of evil doers against the innocent and harmless: and you shall not prosper. You were the first to stir up of strikers, stoners, persecutors, stockers, mockers, and imprisoners in the north, and of revilers, slanderers, railers, and false accusers and scandal raisers. This was your work, and you stirred this up. So your fruits declare your spirit. Instead of stirring up the pure mind in people, you have stirred up the wicked, malicious and envious; and partnered with the wicked. You have made the people's minds envious up and down the country: this was your work. But God has shortened your days, limited you, and set your bounds, broken your jaws, exposed your religion to the simple and newborn, and brought your deeds to light. How has your house fallen and become the house of demons! Your beauty is lost, and your glory has withered! How have you shown your evil, that you have only served God with your lips, and your heart is far from him, and you are a hypocrite! How has the form of your teaching discovered itself to be the mark of the false prophets, whose fruit declares itself! For by their fruits are they known. How are the wise men turned backward! View your ways! Take notice with whom you have joined. That of God in your conscience will tell you. The Ancient of Days will reprove you. How has your zeal appeared to be the blind zeal of a persecutor which Christ and his apostles forbade Christians to follow! How have you strengthened the hands of evil doers, and been a praise to them, and not to those that do well! How like a madman and a blind man did you turn your sword backward against the saints, against whom there is no law! How will you be gnawed and burned one day, when you shall feel the flame, and have the plagues of God poured upon you, and you begin to gnaw your tongue for pain, because of the plagues! You shall have your reward according to your works. You can not escape; the Lord’s righteous judgment will find you out, and the witness of God in your conscience shall answer it. How have you caused the heathen to blaspheme, gone with the multitude to do evil, and joined hand in hand with the wicked! How is your latter end worse than your beginning, who has arrived with the dog to bite, and are turned as a wolf to devour the lambs! How have you discovered yourself to be a man more fit to be kept in a place to be nurtured, than to be set in a place to nurture! How were you exalted and puffed up with pride! And now are you fallen down with shame, so that you are covered with what you stirred up and created. Let not John Sawrey take the words of God into his mouth until he is reformed. Let him not take his name into his mouth, until he departs from iniquity. Let not him and his teacher make a profession of the saints' words, except they intend to proclaim themselves hypocrites, whose lives are so contrary to the lives of the saints; whose church has made itself manifest to be a cage of unclean birds. You having a form of godliness, but not the power, have made them that are in the power your derision, your by-word, and your talk at your feasts. Your ill savor, John Sawrey, the country around has smelled, and all that fear God have been ashamed of your unchristian carriage; and to them you have been a grief; in the day of judgment you shall know it, even in the day of your condemnation. You have mounted up and had set your nest on high, but have never gotten higher than the fowls of the air. But now you have run among the beasts of prey, and are fallen into the earth; so that earthliness and covetousness have swallowed you up. Your conceit would not carry you through; the selfish principle in you has blinded your eye. Your back must be bowed down always; for your table has already become your snare.

George Fox

This justice Sawrey, who was the first persecutor in that country, was afterwards drowned. The vengeance of God overtook the other justice Thomson; he was struck with the dead palsy while sitting on the bench and was carried away off his seat and died.

I wrote also to William Lampitt, the priest of Ulverstone, thus:

The word of the Lord to you, 0h Lampitt! You are a deceiver, surfeited and drunk with the earthly spirit, rambling up and down in the scriptures, and blending your spirit among the saints' conditions. You had a prophecy, as your father Balaam had; but you erred from it, as your father did. One whose fruit has withered, (of which I am a witness), and many who have known your fruit have seen the end of it, that it is withered; and do see where you are, in the blind world, a blind leader of the blind; a beast wallowing and tumbling in the earth and in the lust; one that is erred from the spirit of the Lord, of old ordained to condemnation. You are in the seat of the Pharisees, are called master by men, stand praying in the synagogues, and have the chief seat in the assemblies; a right hypocrite in the steps of the Pharisees, and in the ways of your fathers, the hypocrites, which our Lord Jesus Christ cried woe against. Such with the light you are seen to be, and by the light are comprehended; which is your condemnation who hate it, and will be so eternally except you repent. To you this is the word of God; for in Christ's way you are not, but in that of the Pharisees, as you may read in Mat 23. All that own Christ's words can see you in the Pharisees way. Christ, who died at Jerusalem, cried woe against your kind; and Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. The woe remains upon you, and from under it you can never escape, except through judgment, condemnation, and true repentance. To you this is the word of God. To that of God in your conscience I speak, which will witness the truth of what I write, and will condemn you. And when you are in your torment, (though now you swell in your vanity, and live in wickedness), remember you were warned in your lifetime. When the eternal condemnation is stretched over you, you shall witness this to be the word of the Lord God to you; and if ever your eye should see repentance, you would witness me to have been a friend of your soul.

George Fox

Having thus cleared my conscience to the justice and the priest of Ulverstone, who had raised the first persecution in that country, it was upon me to send this warning in writing to the people of Ulverstone in general.

Consider, Oh people, who are within the parish of Ulverstone, I was moved of the Lord to come into your public places to speak among you, being sent of God to direct your minds to him, that you might know where to find your teacher; that your minds might be stayed alone upon God, and you might not rove around without you looking for a teacher; for the Lord God alone will teach his people; he has come to teach them, and to gather his people from idols' temples, and from the customary worships which all the world is trained up in. And God has given to every one of you a measure of his spirit according to your capacity; liars, drunkards, whoremongers, and thieves, and who follow all your pleasures, you all have this measure in you. And this is the measure of the spirit of God that shows you sin, evil, and deceit; which lets you see lying is sin; theft, drunkenness, and uncleanness, to be the works of darkness. Therefore mind your measure, (for nothing that is unclean shall enter into the kingdom of God), and prize your time while you have it, for fear the time will come that you will say with sorrow, we had time, but it is past. Oh! Why will you die? Why will you choose your own ways? Why will you follow the course of the world? Why will you follow envy, malice, drunkenness, and foolish pleasures? Don’t you know in your consciences, that all these are evil and sin? And that such as act these things shall never enter into the kingdom of God! Oh, that you would consider and see how you have spent your time, and mind how you spend your time, and observe whom you serve; for the wages of sin is death. Do not you know, that whatever is more than yes and no comes from evil? Oh you drunkards, who live in drunkenness, do you think to escape the fire, the judgment of God? Though you swell in venom, and live in lust for awhile, yet God will find you out, and bring you to judgment. Therefore love the light which Christ has enlightened you with, who said, I am the light of the world, who enlightens everyone that comes into the world. One loves the light, and brings his works to the light, and there is no occasion at all of stumbling: the other hates the light, because his deeds are evil, and the light will reprove him. You that hate this light, you have it. You know lying is evil, drunkenness is evil, swearing is evil, whoredom, theft, all ungodliness, and unrighteousness, are evil. Christ Jesus has given you light enough to let you see these are evil. This light, if you love it, will teach you holiness and righteousness, without which none shall see God; but if you hate this light it is your condemnation. Thus are Christ's words found to be true, and fulfilled among you. You that hate this light set up hirelings and idols' temples, and such priests as bear rule by their office; such shepherds as hold up such things, such as are called of men masters, and have the principal place in the assemblies, whom Christ cried woe against, Mat 23, such as go in the way of Cain, in envy, and after the error of Balaam for wages, gifts, and rewards. These have been your teachers, and these you have held up. But those who love the light are taught of God, and the Lord is coming to teach his people himself, and to gather them who are his from the those who teach for money, from such as seek gain from their position, and from such as maintain authority by their means. The Lord is opening the eyes of foolish people, so that they shall see who rules over them. But all, whose eyes are shut, are such as the prophet spoke of "that have eyes, and see not; but are foolish, upholding such things." Therefore, poor people, as you love your own souls, consider the love of God to your souls while you have time, and do not turn the grace of God into a license to sin. That which shows you ungodliness and worldly lusts should and would be your teacher, if you would pay attention to it; for the saints of old witnessed the grace of God to be their teacher, which taught them to live soberly and godly in this present world. And you that are not sober, this grace of God has appeared unto you; but you turn it into a license to sin, and so set up teachers without you, who are not sober, not holy, not godly. Here you are left without excuse, when the righteous judgment of God shall be revealed upon all who live ungodly. Therefore to the light in you I speak; and when the book of conscience shall come to be opened, then shall you witness what I say to be true, and you all shall be judged out of it. So God Almighty direct your minds, (such of you especially as love honesty and sincerity), that you may receive mercy in the time of need. Your teacher is within you; don’t look outside for it: it will teach you, both lying in bed and going abroad, to shun all occasion of sin and evil.

George Fox

As the foregoing was directed to all the inhabitants of Ulverstone in general, so it was upon me to write also to those more particularly that most constantly followed W. Lampitt the priest there. To these I wrote after this manner:

This is the word of the Lord God to all the people that follow priest Lampitt, who is a blind guide: You have turned away from the light of Christ within you, with which he has enlightened you. You are those who followed what Christ cried woe against, that do not go in Christ's way, but in the Pharisees' way, as you may read, Mat 23 which our Lord cried woe against. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever; but you do not own him, while you follow such as he cried woe against, though you have an appearance of belief, and Lampitt, your priest, makes a trade of Christ's and the saints' words, as his fathers, the Pharisees, made a profession of the prophets' and Moses's words. Woe was to them who did not have the life, so woe is to you who do not have the life that gave forth the scriptures, as your fruits have made manifest. For when the Lord moved some to come among you, to preach the truth freely, you knocked them down, beat, punched, and drug them out of your assemblies. Such a people serves you, O Lampitt, to make a prey upon; and these are your fruits. Oh! let shame, shame strike you and you all in the faces, who make a profession of Christ's words, yet are stoners, strikers, mockers, and scoffers. Let all see if this is not a cage of unclean birds, which they who had the life of the scriptures spoke of. Such a company of people you deceive, feed them with your fancies, makes a trade of the scriptures, and take them for your cloak. But you are manifest to all the children of light, for that cloak will not cover you, your skirts are seen, and your nakedness appears. The Lord made one to go naked among you, a figure of your individual nakedness, and of your group nakedness, and as a sign among you, before your destruction comes; that you might see you were naked and not covered with the truth.

To the light in all your consciences I speak, with which Christ Jesus enlightens you. It will show you the time you have spent, and all the evil deeds you have done in that time, who follow such a teacher, that acts contrary to this light, and leads you into the ditch. When you are in the ditch together, both teacher and people, remember you were warned in your lifetime. And if ever your eye comes to see repentance, and you acknowledge the light of Jesus Christ in you, you will witness me to have been a friend of your souls, and that I have sought your eternal good, and written this in dear love to you. Then you will own your condemnation, which you must all own before you can come into the new world, of which there is no end. But you who hate the light, whose deeds are evil, this light is your condemnation, and will be: and when your condemnation comes upon you, remember you were warned. Oh, that you would love this light, and listen to it! It would teach you, as you walk up and down about your occasions, and as you lie upon your beds, and would never let you speak a vain word. In loving it, you love Christ; in hating it, you bring the condemnation of it upon yourselves. To you this is the word of God, from under whom you can never pass, nor ever escape the terror of the Lord in the state you are in, who hate the light.  

George Fox

{The following letter was evidently written to one of the many priests who opposed Fox, this one being particularly evil:

Friend, I speak to that in your conscience, which will let you see that you live as a swine, out of the fear of the living God, and you don't know him. You shall never escape the terror of the Lord, for it will always pursue you, even when you are in your bed. The hand of the Lord is against you, and to you this is the word of the Lord God: you, who puffs in your wickedness and swells in your vanity, blearing out your tongue like a beast or a dog, as you show yourself to be; you, who judges the saints to be vagabonds. From such a tree as yourself, we look for no different fruit, but with the eternal judgment of God, you are judged eternally as an evil beast. So stop your mouth forever in making a profession of God and Christ. I speak to that in your conscience, you who are a profane person. You are a cunning hunter, as your father Esau was, who despised his birthright as you do also; therefore mind his end, for your end and way is his, in the way you are going. He sought [restoration] with tears, and there was no place for repentance, as you may read in Hebrews. I speak to the light in your conscience, which shall witness me eternally. When you are in your terror and torment, remember I warned you in love to your soul and in your lifetime. When you are in the fire with your father Dives, remember that you now boast. I do comprehend you. I speak to that in your conscience, which shall witness me and against you, who are for judgment and condemnation.

George Fox}

Among the chief hearers and followers of priest Lampitt, was one Adam Sands, a very wicked, false man, who would have destroyed the truth and its followers, if he could. To him I was moved to write on this wise:

Adam Sands,

To the light in your conscience I appeal, you child of the devil, you enemy of righteousness; the Lord will strike you down, though now for awhile you may reign in your wickedness. The plagues of God are due to you, who hardens yourself in wickedness against the pure truth of God. With the pure truth of God, which you have resisted and persecuted, you are to be threshed down, which is eternal, and comprehends you. And with the light which you despise you are seen, and it is your condemnation. You as one brutish, your wife as a hypocrite, and both as murderers of the just, in what is eternal are seen and comprehended; and your heart is searched, tried, and condemned by the light. The light in your conscience will witness the truth to you and let you see you are not born of God, but are out of the truth, in the beastly nature. If ever your eye sees repentance, you will witness me a friend of your soul, and a seeker of your eternal good.

George Fox

This Adam Sands afterwards died miserably.

I was moved also to write to priest Tatham.

The word of the Lord to you, priest Tatham, who are found out of the doctrine of Christ; having the highest place in the assembly, being called of men master, and stand praying in the synagogue in the steps of the Pharisees, which our Lord Jesus Christ cried woe against. You are not in his way, but in the way of the scribes and Pharisees; as you may read, Mat 23. There Christ's words judge you, and the scriptures of truth condemn you. For you are such a one as sues men at law for tithes, yet profess yourself to be a minister of Christ; which Christ never empowered his to do: neither did any of his apostles or ministers ever do so. Here I charge you in the presence of the living God to be out of their doctrine, and that you are one of those evil beasts the scripture speaks of, that minds earthly things which the life of the scriptures is against. You are for destruction in the state where you stand; and it will be your portion eternally, if you do not repent. To that of God in your conscience I speak, which will witness the truth of what I say. You are one that goes in Cain's way, in envy, an enemy to God, and from the command of God. You are one that goes in Balaam's way, from the spirit of God, for gifts and rewards, the wages of unrighteousness. You son of Balaam, you are worse than your father: for though he loved the wages of unrighteousness, yet he dared not take it; but you not only take it, but sue men at the law if they will not give it to you: which no true minister of Jesus Christ ever did. Therefore stop your mouth forever, and make no mention of them, nor profess yourself one of them. With the light you are seen and comprehended; you who are light and vain, and speak a divination of your own brain, and deceive the people. What is in your conscience will witness what I say, and will condemn you. You who are one of those that rule by their office, which the Lord sent Jeremiah to cry against, Jer 5:31 and so you support the "horrible and foul thing, that is committed in the land." And they that do not tremble at the word of the Lord are the foolish people that support you; they are dull children without understanding. Those who are deceived by you are wise to do evil but not to do good. You are one of those who seek their gain from their position. Your practice shows a greedy dumb dog that never has enough, as those the Lord sent Isaiah to cry against. Isa 56:11. And you are like the ones the Lord sent Ezekiel to cry against, who feeds of the fat, and is clothed with the wool, and makes a prey of the people. But the Lord is gathering his sheep from your mouth, that to you they will no longer be a prey. The prophecy in Eze 34 is fulfilled by you, one of the enemies of God. I charge the accusations of the prophecy upon you in the presence of the living God. You are a hireling, and you prepare war against those who do not feed you. You hate the good, and love the evil; which the Lord sent Micah to cry against. Micah 3. Cover your lips, and stop your mouth forever, you child of darkness; for with the light you are comprehended, and seen to be among them whom the holy men of God cried woe against; and you are judged by the spirit of the living God. You are comprehended in the light, which is your condemnation. You who are out of the commands of Christ and out of the doctrine and life of the apostles, your spiritual lineage is seen, and your limits known. You are proved and tried. To you this is the word of the Lord; to you it shall be as a hammer, a fire, and a sword; and from under it you shall never come, unless you repent; who are with the light to be condemned, in that state where you stand. And if ever your eye sees repentance, this your condemnation you must own.

George Fox

{The word of the living God, to all people scattered abroad:

To the light in all your consciences, I do speak, by which you are enlightened withal. Christ Jesus said, "I am the light of the world," and the light enlightens every one that comes into the world. If you love the light, which comes from Christ, and walk in the light, with the light you will see Christ, for where the light comes. But if you hate the light, which shows that you have done evil and shows you your evil deeds of: lying, swearing, cursing, cheating, fighting, quarreling, whoring, drunkenness, following pleasures according to the way of the world, scoffing, railing, and backbiting; all these deeds of the flesh will be shown as sin and evil with the light. So, with the light, which comes from Christ, you, who do these evils will be condemned. If you love it and walk in it, you shall have the light of life and come to hear the word, which became flesh; and come to hear the prophet that Moses spoke of, who said in Acts 7, "like unto me will God raise up a prophet; him shall you hear." When this prophet came, a voice came from heaven and said, "this is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased, hear you him." "God, who at sundry times and in diverse manners, spoke in times past to the fathers and the prophets, has in these days spoken to us by his son, whom he has appointed heir of all things, and by whom he also made the world," Heb 1. But you that hate this light, which Christ has enlightened you withal, do not hear the beloved son of God. Instead you are like those, who Christ cried woe against, who are in the steps of the pharisees, (Read Matthew 23), in the chiefest seats of the assemblies, standing praying in the synagogues, and called by men master - in the steps of the pharisees and in their seats, out of Christ's commands, and so not his ministers.

You follow those who seek their gain from their position, greedy dumb dogs that never have enough, Isa 56; and those who bear rule by their status; and hold up the horrible, filthy thing in the land. Take away their status, and they will not rule you through their position. You follow those who are hirelings, and they preach peace to you; but if you fail to put food in their mouths, they will prepare war against you, (as you may read in Micah 3). These are like those whom the Lord sent Micah to cry against, and are senseless children, foolish people, wise in doing evil, but have no understanding of doing good, (as you may read in Jeremiah 4). These seek for the fleece and devour you; people like the Lord sent Ezekiel to cry against, Eze 34. But, "said the Lord, I will gather my sheep from their mouths; they shall be a prey to them no longer." Here, with the holy men of God, you are judged among those who these holy men cried against. With the light you are all seen, who hold up such men before mentioned, and who men call ministers of Christ, which are found to be among them whom the holy men of God cried woe against.  With the light you are all seen, and with the light they are all condemned. So cover your lips and stop your mouths for shame, for ever saying these men are the ministers of Christ; the same type as whom the Lord sent his prophets to cry against. With his son and with the scriptures, they are all proved and seen, and you that support them too; those who receive gifts and rewards, the wages of unrighteousness, which the Lord sent his holy apostles to cry against; those who through covetousness and pretended words have made merchandise of you. Listen. With the light and the life of the scriptures, you and they are seen and condemned by the light, who hate the light, and act contrary to the light, and that profess the scriptures to be your rule. With the light they are all seen to be strangers from the life of God, being among those whom the holy apostles and prophets cried against. You, who follow such men, are like the silly women that are led captive, never able to come to the knowledge of the truth, some still learning twenty, thirty, forty, even sixty years of more; ever learning, but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth, as you may read in Timothy, Peter, and Jude. You that follow such people, do not hear the son of God; here with the light, you are all seen in the light to support and follow those who hate the light; those people who in all ages were cried against and condemned with the light. This is the condemnation of the light of all those evil deeds before mentioned, which are done in the nature that is contrary to the light.

To you, this is the eternal word of God, and here is your teacher. Loving it, the light, which comes from Christ that never changes, shows you your evil deeds, in all your past days and times, and all your actions that you have acted contrary to the light, which never changes. With the light, all are seen and condemned, which light never changes. To the light in you I speak, that with it you may see Christ and come to witness the unchangeable priesthood, and deny the priesthood that takes tithes, as the saints did that witnessed him, as you may read in Hebrews 7. So all who dwell in the light, which comes from the unchangeable priest; this light sees, confesses, and denies the changeable priest as the apostles did, who said the changeable priest is changed, as well as the law changed, as you may read in Hebrews 7. So you who support the changeable priesthood that takes tithes, and you that take tithes are turned from the light, which comes from the unchangeable priest, Christ Jesus. Christ Jesus is not your way, if you are turned from the light, which comes from the unchangeable priest; rather you are turned to the changeable.  Judas is your way to perdition, and you are condemned with the light, which comes from the unchangeable.

To the light, which comes from Christ in you all, I speak; that you may see what way you walk in. I am a friend of your souls and your eternal good; this is the day of your visitation and salvation. Now, while you have the time, prize it. If you love the light, which comes from Christ, here is your way to salvation. If you hate it, here is your way to destruction. And you who hate it, hate Christ from whom it comes.

George Fox

To a Convinced, but not Purified Friend:

Although a friend of the truth, yet your mind goes out from the truth and is strong in the flesh and the deceit. You live in lust, which darkens your understandings, and in that you are out of the fear of the Lord, and are not in the fear of him; but the dark power, who is the prince of the air, is strong in the many strongholds. If you wait [on God] in what is pure in you, you will find and see, because God has given you a measure of his spirit, by which you can comprehend things and see the deceits. Now when the mind goes forth from that pure measure, which lets you see deceits, the simplicity is ensnared, and God is not in your thoughts any more; instead, the son of perdition in you sits in the temple of God, where he ought not to sit. With the birth of the Lord [in you], this son of perdition is discovered, and with the brightness of the Lord's coming [in you], he is consumed; that man of sin is revealed [in you], and so shall you witness the scriptures fulfilled. But you must wait in that which is pure, which will show you when your mind departs into disobedience, setting up Baal's priests (outward) before God, and that brings a distraction in the mind where there is a halting between two (you and God); for all of the troubles are without in the world, but Christ said that "in me you shall have perfect peace." Wait in Christ and mind him in yourself, (there is where you wait for his appearing). Keep focused inward, (stay seeking Christ within yourself), and do not follow the cries of lo Christ is here and lo Christ is there to distract you to outward seeking, you will have peace in a short time. You will later witness [see, experience] Christ, who is the substance of the prophets and apostles. The scriptures are shown to you within you (by Christ) to guide you to the Father, the Lord God of heaven and earth. By waiting for the Spirit of the Lord within you to guide your mind, you will find your strength renewed daily by the one Spirit that gave forth the scriptures. There is no confusion, but instead perfect peace. This Spirit baptizes into the one body, and this Spirit is the unity of the saints, who though absent in body, yet are present in Spirit, all being made to drink into one Spirit. This Spirit circumcises and puts off the body of sin from you, and you are sanctified through your obedience to the Spirit. You will come to witness the scriptures pure and clear, as they are without any mixture [of man's interpretations], as holy men possessed them and gave them forth. So holy men possess them and give them forth again and witness them again.

Oh, do not read these things without, [read them within instead] or look at them to be hard, but focus on the love of God to you in showing you your condition, for all the scriptures were given forth from an inward principle, as the Lord God of power blesses and directs; there is a blessing, if you are faithful and wait.

George Fox

[The following is a letter written to the heads of Parliament and the general of the army, [Cromwell was the general of the Parliamentary army that won the civil war, deposing King Charles I. Cromwell later assumed the title of Lord Protector.] from George Fox in 1652.

To the heads and general of this land to stand in the counsel of God that you may be directed by his wisdom, which orders all things, for by it all things were made. If you make a law with your own wills, which violates the consciences of men, God will throw down you and your laws. For what exercises the conscience is the pure light of God, which leads up to God out of all filthiness, corruptions, and uncleanliness; which the law of God takes hold upon any that are contrary to a pure conscience. Let every soul be subject to the higher powers, for all powers are of God for conscience sake. Now if a law be made that violates the conscience that is pure, that law is against God; and many have suffered by keeping their conscience clear. As God has given to everyone a light and a measure of spirit to benefit all, everyone should mind what is of God in you to teach you how to walk to God and before him. As it teaches you and enlightens your understandings, it will teach you how to direct others, and how to judge of things that are eternal, providing what is eternal is held up in your understandings. As everyone has a measure, so everyone must improve his talent, and not limit God to educated men, (as has long been the case), who have only learned by natural languages. So these educated men's religion is based on the external, their word and light is external, and their gifts of preaching are external gifts; and they go to you magistrates to support them in their external ministries, for your law alters and changes the external.

Now what is external cannot be used to judge eternal things without limiting God, for he that has the first gift of God has what is perfect, and what is perfect is eternal, and such have a discerning to distinguish the gift of God from the gift of man. Whoever is sent to preach the everlasting gospel, has what is eternal, which can discern the everlasting gospel from mere words. The promise was that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent's head. You who can witness the head of the serpent bruised in yourselves, and the seed of the woman's head in you, which is Christ, witness the promise of God fulfilled, which is the glad tidings to your soul. Your soul comes out of death and hears Christ Jesus revealed within yourselves. This ministry is not of man, nor by man, but by the will of God, which the will of man does not know, for the natural man knows nothing of the things of God.

Now every man in his first birth and state may see himself to be natural and not able to judge the things of God. Yet the spiritual man judges all things, yes the deep things of God; but this is the second man. Therefore all friends and fellow creatures, take heed of judging with evil thoughts. It is the carnal part within, who is out of the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ; which is to be without respect or preference to persons. Therefore, as God has given you a measure of light within yourself, let that guide your minds and keep you in the fear of the Lord. If you love the light and walk in it, you love Christ and there is no occasion for stumbling. If you hate the light, then you stumble at noonday, and there is your condemnation. Loving this light and bringing your works to this light, so far as this light has judged you in the particular, so far it may judge you in the general, for the judge is but one. Waiting in the light, which keeps you in the fear of the Lord, waiting on to be made partakers of the precious faith; for the mystery of faith is held in a pure conscience. Walking in this light enlightens your consciences and understandings; walking in it, you have union with one another, for the light is but one, which will discover all imagined light, false worships, ways, and churches. It will draw you up to the church in God, the fountain of light. Their (the church's) faith is but one, which purifies the heart and which stands in God, which is a mystery held in a pure conscience. All, who are in the one faith, are one, if they be ten thousand.

God almighty bless and direct you how to wait upon him and walk before him, and be low and stand in the counsel of God so that whatever you do may prosper. If you go out of the counsel of God, you go into pride, high-mindedness, oppression, and grinding the face of the poor. Now you mind being guided by what is pure, that is a cross to the carnal part that oppresses the pure, particularly if the carnal nature is not crossed [denied], and from the carnal nature rises pride. If the pure spirit of the Lord is your head and guide, and if there is no oppression within, there is not oppression without; for woe is to him who is covered [directed], but not by the Spirit of the Lord. Therefore, all mind by what you are covered [directed].

George Fox}

I wrote also to Burton, the priest of Sedberg, much to the same purpose because he was in the same evil ground, nature, and practice which the other priests were in. As the Lord moved me, I wrote about that time many other epistles and papers, which I sent among the priests, professors, and people of all sorts. My purpose was to expose their evil ways to them that they might see and give them up; and open the way of truth to them that they might come to walk in it. The nature of which are too many and large to be inserted in this place.

After I had cleared my conscience to the priests and people near Swarthmore, I went again into Westmoreland. A company of men with pikes and staves lay waiting for me at a bridge in the way; and they met with some Friends, but missed me. Afterwards they came to the meeting with their pikes and staves; but Justice Benson being there, and many considerable people besides, they were prevented from doing the mischief they intended. So they went away in a great rage, without hurting anybody.

I went from the meeting to Grayrigg and held a meeting at Alexander Dickson's. A Baptist chapel priest came to the meeting to oppose us, but the Lord confounded him by his power. Some of the people knocked down some milk-pails which stood upon the side of the house, (which was very crowded), which was the basis of the priest raising a slander, after he and his company were gone, where he claimed, 'That the devil had frightened him, and took away a side of the house, while he was in the meeting.' Although this was a known falsehood, it served the priests and professors to feed on for awhile; and so shameless they were, that they printed and published it. At another time this priest came to a meeting and fell to doctrinal disputing over words.
First he said, 'The scriptures were the word of God.' I told him, they were the words of God, but not Christ, the word; and told him to prove what he said by scripture. Then he said it was not the scripture that was the word; and setting his foot upon the bible, he said it was only copies bound up together. Many unsavory words came from him, but after he had gone we had a blessed meeting; the Lord's power and presence was preciously manifested and felt among us. Soon after, he challenged me to meet him at Kendal. I sent him word he didn't need to go as far as Kendal for I would meet him in his own parish. Upon agreeing on the hour, we met; and a large number of rude people gathered together, (besides the baptized people who were his own members), with intent to do mischief, but God prevented them. I declared the day of the Lord to them, and directed them to Christ Jesus. Then the priest pulled out his bible, and said it was the word of God. I told him it was the words of God, but not God the word. His answer was that he would prove the scriptures to be the word before all the people. I let him go on, having a man there that could take down in writing both what he and I said. When he could not prove it, (for I kept him to scripture proof, chapter and verse for it), the people gnashed their teeth for anger; and he said that he would show me later. But in trying to prove that one erroneous claim, he made many more errors. And when finally he saw he could not prove it, he said that he would prove it a God. So he started over until he sweated again; but could not prove what he had asserted. And he and his company were full of anger; for I kept him and them all conscious of his assertions and told them that I owned what the scriptures said of themselves, namely, that they were the words of God, but Christ was the word. So the Lord's power came over all and they went away having been put to shame and silenced. The Lord disappointed their mischievous intentions against me; Friends were established in Christ, and many of the priest's followers saw the folly of their teacher.
After this, priest Bennet, of Caremel, sent a challenge to dispute with me. I came to his steeple-house on a First-day, and found him preaching. When he was finished, I spoke to him and his people; yet the priest could not stand the criticism and departed. After he was gone, I had a great deal of discussion with the people; and when I came into the steeple-house yard, discussing further with the professors and declaring truth to them, one of them set his foot behind me, and two of them ran and pushed against my chest, which threw me down backwards against a grave stone, wickedly and maliciously seeking to have hurt me; but I got up again and was moved of the Lord to speak to them. Then I went to the priest's house, and asked him to come out so that I might converse with him, since he had challenged me; but he never appeared. So the Lord's power came over them all, which was greatly manifested at that time. There was among the priest's congregation a Richard Roper, one of the bitterest professors the priest had, who was very fierce and hot in his contention; but afterwards he became convinced of God's eternal truth, became a minister of that eternal truth, and continued faithful to his death.

About the beginning of the year 1653, I returned to Swarthmore, and going to a meeting at Gleaston, a professor challenged me to a dispute. I went to the house where he was, and called him to come out; but the Lord's power was over him, so that he did not interfere. I departed there, visited the meetings of Friends in Lancashire, and came back to Swarthmore. I had great openings from the Lord, not only of divine and spiritual matters, but also of outward things relating to the civil government. Being one day in Swarthmore hall, when judge Fell and justice Benson were talking of the news, in the News Book, and of the parliament then sitting, (called the long parliament), I was moved to tell them, that before two weeks to that day the parliament should be broken up, and the speaker plucked out of his chair; and two weeks to that day, Benson coming there again told judge Fell, that now he saw George was a true prophet; for Oliver had broken up the parliament.

About this time I was in a fast for about ten days, my spirit being greatly exercised on truth's behalf; for James Milner and Richard Myer had left us based on imaginations, and a company followed them. This James Milner and some of his company had true openings at the first; but getting up into pride and exaltation of spirit, they ran out from truth. I was sent to them, and was moved of the Lord to go and show them their out-goings; and they were brought to see their folly, and condemned it, and came into the way of truth again. After some time I went to a meeting at Arnside, where Richard Myer was, who had been long lame in one of his arms. I was moved of the Lord to say unto him among all the people, 'Prophet Myer, stand up upon your legs,' for he was sitting down; and he stood up, and stretched out his arm that had been lame a long time, and said: 'Be it known by all you people that this day I am healed.' But his parents could hardly believe it; and after the meeting was done, took him aside, removed his jacket, and then they saw it was true. He soon came afterwards to the Swarthmore meeting and declared how the Lord had healed him. Yet after this the Lord commanded him to go to York, with a message from him, and he disobeyed the Lord; and the Lord struck him again, so that he died about nine months later.

Now there were great threats coming from Cumberland that if ever I came there again, they would kill me. When I heard it, I was drawn to go into Cumberland; and went to Miles Wennington's, in the same parish from which those threats came; but they had not power to touch me then.

About this time Anthony Pearson was convinced, who had been an opposer of Friends. He came to Swarthmore; and I being then at colonel West's, they sent for me. Colonel West said, 'Go, George, for it may be of great service to the man.' So I went, and 'the Lord's power reached him.’

Note of Interest: The following highly interesting letter from Anthony Pearson was found in the Swarthmore collection; it is headed ' A paper of Anthony Pearson,' and it is dated from Rampshaw, near West Auckland, May 9th, 1653. It does not appear to whom it was addressed.

DEAR FRIEND. — I have long professed to serve and worship the true God, and as I thought—above many sects—attained to a high pitch in religion; but now, alas ! I find my work will not abide the fire. My notions were swelling vanities without power or life. What it was to love enemies, to bless them that curse, to render good for evil, to use the world as using it not, to lay down life for the brethren, I never understood; what purity and perfection meant, I never tasted : all my religion was but the hearing of the ear, the believing and talking of a God and Christ in heaven or a place at a distance, I knew not where.

Oh ! how gracious was the Lord to me in carrying me to judge Fell's, to see the wonders of His power and wisdom,—a family walking in the fear of the Lord, conversing daily with Him, crucified to the world, and living only to God. I was so confounded, all my knowledge and wisdom became folly; my mouth was stopped, my conscience convinced, and the secrets of my heart were made manifest, and that Lord was discovered to be near, whom I ignorantly worshipped. I could have talked of Christ in the saints the hope of glory, but it was a riddle to me. And truly, dear friend, I must tell you I have now lost all my religion, and am in such distress I have no hope nor foundation left. My justification and assurance have forsaken me, and I am even like a poor shattered vessel, tossed to and fro, without a pilot or rudder; as blind, dead, and helpless, as you can imagine. I never felt corruption so strong, and temptation so prevailing, as now; I have a proud, hard, flinty heart, that cannot be sensible of my misery.

When I deeply consider how much precious time I have wasted, and how unprofitably I have lived, my spirit feels a sudden fear; but then I am still flying to my old refuge, and there my thoughts are diverted. What it means to wait upon God, I cannot apprehend; and the confusions in my own spirit, together with the continual temptations from without, are so great, I cannot understand or perceive the small still voice of the Lord.

What you told me of George Fox, I found true. When you see him or James Nayler,— they both know my condition better than myself,—move them—if neither of them are drawn this way,—to help me with their counsel by letter; they are full of pity and compassion; and though I was their enemy, they are my friends : and so is Francis Howgill, from whom I received a letter full of tenderness and wholesome advice. Oh ! How welcome would the faces of any of them be to me; truly I think I could scorn the world, to have fellowship with them. But I find my heart is full of deceit, and I exceedingly fear to be beguiled,—as I have been,—and to be seduced into a form without power, into a profession before I possess the Truth; which will multiply my misery, and deprive me both of God and the world.

Dear friend, there is a carrier comes from Kendal within a mile of my house every fortnight, and he shall call at Peter Huggins' to bring any letter that shall be there left for me; it will much refresh me to receive any lines from you ;—but be you faithful. You may perceive, by my Ashdod language, what a countryman I am—even of the low world that lives in darkness. I am afraid for fear that the orders* we made at Appleby, will cause some to suffer, who speak from the mouth of the Lord;** I heartily wish they were suppressed or recalled. I have been at judge Fell's, and have been informed from that precious soul’s wife {Margaret Fell} in some measure what those things mean, which before I counted as overflows of giddy brains.—

*Orders as  magistrates regarding prison sentences of Quakers to Appleby prison.

**{So here is a former justice, previously sentencing Quakers to prison, stating that the early Quakers, not just Fox alone, spoke by the mouth of the Lord. }

Dear heart, pity and pray for me; and let all obligations of former friendship be discharged in well wishes to the soul of the old family friend, that he may partake with them of your heavenly possessions.

{Notice: he speaks of partaking with this Quaker of his heavenly possessions. This is evidence that the Quaker's measure of Christ was apparent to anyone with an open mind, and Pearson wished to partake with him in this divine nature that the Quaker exhibited to him. Remember, Pearson was a highly conservative, respected Sessions Justice that had sent Quakers to prison, and was convinced while trying Quaker ministers: James Nayler, George Fox, and Francis Howgill for blasphemy, as previously noted above.}

Anthony Pearson

Ramshaw, near West Auckland, 5 (May) 9th, 1653

About this time also the Lord opened several mouths to declare the truth to priests and people, and many were cast into prison. I went again into Cumberland; and Anthony Pearson and his wife, and several Friends went along with me to Bootel, where Anthony left me, and went to Carlisle sessions; for he was a justice of the peace in three counties. Upon the First-day I went into the steeple-house at Bootel; and when the priest had finished, I began to speak. The people were exceedingly rude, and beat me in the steeple-house yard. One gave me a very great blow over my wrist, so that the people thought he had broken my hand to pieces. The constable was very willing to have kept the peace, and would have set some of those by the heels that struck me, if I would have allowed it. After my service among them was over, I went to Joseph Nicholson's, and the constable accompanied us, to keep off the rude multitude. In the afternoon, I went up again; and this time the priest had gotten another priest, who came from London and was highly thought of, to help him. Before I went into the steeple-house, I sat a little upon the cross, and Friends with me; but they were moved to go into the steeple-house, and I went in after them. The London priest was preaching, who gathered up all the scriptures he could think of, that spoke of false prophets, antichrists, and deceivers, and threw them upon us. When he had done, I recollected all those scriptures, and applied them back upon him. Then the people fell upon me in a rude manner; but the constable charged them to keep the peace, and made them quiet again. Then the priest began to rage; and said, I must not speak there. I told him, he had his hour glass, by which he had preached; and he having done, the time was free for me, as well as for him; for he was but a stranger there himself. So I opened the scriptures to them, and let them see, 'that those scriptures, which spoke of the false prophets, antichrists, and deceivers, described them and their generation, and belonged to those who were found walking in their steps, and bringing forth their fruits; and not to us, who were not guilty of such things.' I manifested to them, that they were out of the steps of the true prophets and apostles; and showed them clearly, by the fruits and marks, that they, and not we, were such as those scriptures spoke of. And I declared the truth and the word of life to the people, and directed them to Christ their teacher. All was quiet while I was speaking; but when I had done, and was come forth, the priests were in such a fret and rage, that they foamed at the mouth for anger against me. The priest of the place made an oration to the people in the steeple-house yard, saying: 'This man has gotten all the honest men and women in Lancashire to him, and now he comes here to do the same.' Then said I to him, 'What will you have left? And what have the priests left them, but such as themselves? For if they are the honest that receive the truth and are turned to Christ, then they must be the dishonest that follow you, and such as you are.' Some also of the priest's people began to plead for their priest, and for tithes. I told them, it were better for them to plead for Christ, who had ended the tithing priesthood with the tithes, and had sent forth his ministers to give freely, as they had received freely. So the Lord's power came over, put to silence, and restrained the rude people so that they could not do the mischief they intended. When I came down again to Joseph Nicholson's house, I saw a great hole in my coat, which was cut with a knife, but it had not cut through my waistcoat, for the Lord had prevented their mischief. The next day there was a rude wicked man who would have done violence to a Friend, but the Lord's power stopped him.
Now was I moved to send James Lancaster to appoint a meeting at one John Wilkinson's steeple-house near Cockermouth; a preacher in great repute, who had three parishes under him; wherefore I stayed at Milholm in Bootel until he came back again. In the meantime some of the gentry of the country had formed a plot against me, and had given a little boy a rapier to do me a mischief with. They came with the boy to Joseph Nicholson's to seek me; but the Lord had so ordered it, that I had gone into the fields. They met with James Lancaster, but did not abuse him much; and not finding me in the house, went away again. So I walked up and down in the fields that night, and did not go to bed, as very often I used to do. We came the next day to the steeple house, where James Lancaster had appointed the meeting. There were at this meeting twelve soldiers and their wives, from Carlisle; and the country people came in, like as it had been to a fair. I lay at a house somewhat short of the place, so that many Friends had arrived before me. When I came, I found James Lancaster speaking under a yew tree, which was so full of people that I was afraid they would break it down. I looked about for a place to stand upon, to speak to the people; for they all lay up and down, like people at a league. After I was discovered, a professor asked, if I would not go into the church? I seeing no place abroad convenient to speak to the people from, told him, yes: whereupon the people rushed in, so that when I came, the house and pulpit were so full, I had much ado to get in. Those that could not get in, stood abroad about the walls. When the people were settled, I stood up on a seat. And the Lord opened my mouth to declare his everlasting truth and his everlasting day; and to lay open their teachers, with the rudiments, traditions, and inventions they had been under in the night of apostasy since the apostles' days. I turned them to Christ the true teacher, and to the true spiritual worship; directing them where to find the spirit and truth, that they might worship God there. I explained Christ's parables unto them, and directed them to the spirit of God in themselves, that would open the scriptures unto them. I showed them, how all might come to know their savior, sit under his teaching, come to be heirs of the kingdom of God, and know God's and Christ's voice, by which they might discover all the false shepherds and teachers they had been under, and be gathered to the true shepherd, priest, bishop, and prophet, Christ Jesus, whom God commanded all to hear.

When I had largely declared the word of life unto them for about the space of three hours, I walked from among the people, who left well satisfied. Among the rest a professor followed me, praising and commending me; but his words were like a thistle to me. At last I turned about, and bid him' fear the Lord;' whereupon priest Larkham, of Cockermouth, (for several priests who came after the meeting was over, had gotten together on the way), said to me, 'Sir, why do you judge so? You must not judge.' I turned to him, and said, 'Friend, do you not discern an exhortation from a judgment? I admonished him to fear God; and do you say I judge him?' So this priest and I fell into discourse, and I manifested him to be among the false prophets and covetous hirelings; and several being moved to speak to them, he and two other of the priests soon left. When they were gone, John Wilkinson, preacher of that parish, and of two other parishes in Cumberland, began to dispute against his own conscience for several hours, until the people generally turned against him for he thought to have tired me out; but the Lord's power tired him out, and the Lord's truth came over him and them all. Many hundreds were convinced that day, who received the Lord Jesus Christ and his free teaching with gladness; of whom some have died in the truth and many stand faithful witnesses of that. The soldiers also were convinced, and their wives, and continued with me until First-day.
On First-day I went to the steeple-house at Cockermouth, where priest Larkham lived. When he had finished, I began to speak, and the people began to be rude; but the soldiers told them we had broken no law, and they became quiet. Then I turned to the priest, and laid him open among the false prophets and hirelings; at which word he went his way saying, 'He calls me hireling;' which was true; all the people knew it. Some great men of the town said, 'Sir, we have no learned men to dispute with you.' I told them, I came not to dispute, but to show the way of salvation to them, the way of everlasting life. I declared largely the way of life and truth to them, and directed them to Christ their teacher, who died for them, and bought them with his blood.

When I was finished, I went about two miles to another great steeple house of John Wilkinson's, called Brigham; where the people, having been at the other meeting, were mightily affected and wanted to put my horse into the steeple-house yard; but I said, ' No, the priest owns the yard; take him to an inn.' When I came into the steeple-house yard, I saw the people arriving in huge groups like the crowds at a fair; and many were already gathered in the lanes and around the steeple-house. I was very thirsty and walked about a quarter of a mile to a brook where I got some water and refreshed myself. As I came up to the yard again, I met Wilkinson; and as I passed by him he said: 'Sir, will you preach today? If you preach today, I will not oppose you in word or thought.' I replied: 'Oppose, if you will; I have something to speak to the people, and you acted foolishly the other day, and spoke against your conscience and reason so greatly that your congregation shouted against you.' So I left him, and went on; for he saw it was useless to oppose me when the people were so affected with the Lord's truth. When I came into the steeple-house yard, a professor asked, if I would not go into the church? And I seeing no convenient place to meet outside, I went in; and after the people were settled, I stood up on a seat. The priest came in also, but did not go up to his pulpit. 'The Lord opened my mouth, and I declared his everlasting truth and word of life to the people; directing them to the spirit of God in themselves, by which they might know God, Christ, and the scriptures, and come to have heavenly fellowship in the spirit. I declared to them, that everyone that comes into the world was enlightened by Christ, the life; by which light they might see their sins and Christ, who had come to save them from their sins, and died for them. And if they came to walk in this light, within it they could see Christ to be the author of their faith, the finisher of their faith, their shepherd to feed them, their priest to teach them, their great prophet to open divine mysteries unto them, and to be always present with them. I explained also to them, in the openings of the Lord, the first covenant, showing them the figures, and the substance of those figures; bringing them on to Christ, [the mediator of] the new covenant. I also manifested to them that there had been a night of apostasy since the apostles' days; but that now the everlasting gospel was preached again, which brought life and immortality to light; and the day of the Lord had come, and Christ had come to teach his people himself by his light, grace, power, and spirit.' A fine opportunity the Lord gave me to preach truth that day for about three hours, and all was quiet. Many hundreds were convinced; and some of them praised God, and said, 'Now we know the first step to peace.' The preacher also said privately to some of his congregation that I had broken them and overthrown them.

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