The Missing Cross to Purity


LETTERS AND WRITINGS OF EARLY QUAKERS
(continued)

Text in Light Blue or bold Light Blue can be "clicked" for backup in scripture or detail in writings.

No. XV

JAMES NAYLER TO MARGARET FELL

(Nayler was often spelled Naylor. The authors of this text examined his signature and hand written documents, and they determined it to by Nayler.)

London, 3rd of Ninth month] [Year confirmed by George Fox, 1654.]

MY SISTER dearly loved in the Lord, Yesterday I had a meeting at a house called Lady Darcy's; many were there from the Court, some called lords—as it is said,—many ladies, many officers of the army, some of the leading priests in the city; how many I know not; for they got behind a ceiling, {must mean a screen} and did not come out until I was gone. Though there were some Baptists that asked a question or two after I had done,—tending to plead for sin,—and were silenced; yet not one priest would speak a word, nor stand up for their kingdom. I was moved to call to any that had anything to oppose, to speak to the face; but none would answer.

James Nayler

Two or three of Henry Vane's* brethren were there all the while, and he himself kept behind, {the screen}[but] came after all was ended. He is very loving to Friends, but drunk with imaginations, {presumptions and high notions}. There is a band of them sunk in their imaginations, and harm some others among them, who otherwise would be very tender to the Truth; several are brought to tears when they hear the Truth preached. Peace be with you all.

Gervase Benson is a faithful man, and of much service among the judges and lawyers; he stands above their deceit, and prospers. Great is our God, blessed forevermore !

From the original.

*Vane was a conspicuous character at this period and subsequently :—he was strongly attached to a republican government, and opposed Cromwell in his progress towards assuming the reins of government as Protector. He was said to be one of the leaders of the Independence. Burnet the historian says of him ;—'Though he set up a form of religion in a way of his own, yet it consisted rather in a withdrawing from all other forms, than in any new or particular forms and opinions; from which he and his party were called Seekers, and seemed to wait for some new and clearer manifestations.' He was one of the Committee of Public Safety in Richard Cromwell's time; after the restoration of King Charles, he was hung 1662.

No. XVI

FRANCIS HOWGILL TO MARGARET FELL

London, [presumed to be about first month, 1656.]

IN this city Truth has dominion over all; none will stand now to dispute, but they turn away. We have about twenty meetings in a week* in this city; and ten or twenty miles about, [there] are great desires; and if we can, we go out; but we cannot stay; great is our care. From Launceston we hear this week that the prisoners there are well, and they have pretty liberty. John Crook is in prison with Thomas Stubbs at Northampton.

Edward Burrough salutes you;—he is almost spent; few know our condition.

Francis Howgill

W. Canton's Manuscript Collection.

*{Notice the early Quaker ministers in London are now increased to 20 meeting per week - a huge workload for the few ministers in London.

Edward Burrough was a powerful preacher of Truth, nicknamed "the son of thunder." One of my favorite accounts of Burrough took place soon after his arrival in London:

One summer evening in London he saw a group of working laborers in a field holding wrestling matches after their day's work. Burrough went over to them. When the match was finished, they asked if anyone cared to step into the ring to challenge the winner. Burrough stepped into the ring, , and immediately began preaching the Truth in the midst of these ruffians. The surprised men listened attentively, with many becoming convinced and joining the Quakers. Thus did this fearless minister of Christ preach so convincingly that 10,000 souls were Quakers in London by 1674.

Edward Burrough had many outstanding writings. The one inserted below is one of his best. This is the Preface to George Fox's paper Concerning the Light, available for your full reading on this site.

PREFACE TO - CONCERNING THE LIGHT

O Earth, the testimony is true and everlasting, which God has given of the son, and which the son has given of the Father, and it abides forever; the testimony of life in all that do believe, and the testimony of death to all that believe not, even the light of the world, which enlightens every man that comes into the world; the entrance unto eternal life, or the condemnation into destruction. Whoever turns from the light of the son of God within them, and walks not in it, goes into the error, and into the way of perdition; but whoever walks in the light, stumbles not, because he sees the light of this world, Christ Jesus, the author and the finisher of the faith, and there is no other savior than he which was, is, and is to come, the light of the world. Whoever preaches a Christ to believe in for salvation, who has not enlightened every man with the true light, preaches a false Christ, and not that Christ which the Prophets and John bore witness of, and which the apostles witnessed. So that this is truth from the Lord God, there is no other name given for salvation, but the name of Jesus; nor is there any other Christ Jesus, but he which enlightens every man that comes into the world with the true light; and except this Christ Jesus is revealed by the spirit of the Father within, salvation is not received by him. Therefore, all friends who have received the testimony of the light of the Son of God within you, and have believed the report of the Father, and of the Son, hold fast the word of that testimony, and dwell in it, and walk in it up to the Father of light and life. This is the power of God, in which you will be kept unto the day of salvation. This is the power of God which will keep you from all unrighteousness, and so from condemnation. If any turn from the light, they run into the evil, and backslide from the Truth. Such shall bear their own shame and condemnation, in the sight of God, and all his children. For this is the message which was, and is: that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. All that dwell in the light, their habitation is in God, and they know a hiding place in the day of storm; and those who dwell in the light, are built upon the rock, and cannot be moved, for who are moved or shaken, goes from the light, and so goes from their strength, and from the power of God, and loses the peace and the enjoyment of the presence of god. For the light is the eye by which God's presence is seen and felt. All that ever come to the knowledge of God, must own the light which Christ has enlightened them withal, for there is no other way to the Father of life. This is the testimony, which in the power of the Lord has been born and given through nations by his servants, and the day of your visitation is upon you nations, and peoples. Previously the Father has wrought, and the son has wrought, and the voice of wisdom has been heard, but the night comes when no man can work, and all that have not received the witness which God has given concerning this son, and all who go from the testimony of the light within, and continue not in it unto the end, they shall be given up to fulfill the measure of iniquity, and to run their race in the way to perdition, until they are sealed in the pit of darkness and condemnation, where there is no repentance; and the Lord God Almighty is clear from all their blood, and their blood be upon their own head forever, because they hate the light, and don’t believe in it, nor continue to the end, to walk therein. And this is the testimony which is given to me, to testify, who is not of this world, but a servant to him, whose testimony never changes, which is light.

London, 1st of the 11th month, 1656

Edward Burrough
}

No. XVII

FRANCIS HOWGILL AND EDWARD BURROUGH TO THOMAS ALDAM

London, 19th of Seventh month [ninth mo.] 1656

DEAR BROTHER,—In the love of our God we salute you and all Friends in the Truth.

Blessed be the Lord God of power and glory, who has called us to so high a calling, as to bear witness to his name, and to publish the everlasting Gospel; praises eternal be to our God forever!

Dear brethren, we are with you in your bonds, in your reproaches and imprisonments, and in your rejoicings; your joy is ours, for we eat with you and drink with you at our Father's table, where there is plenteous nourishment for all those who wait in his counsel, and are obedient to his commands.

Dear brethren, our care is great;—the harvest is great; who are sufficient for these things! Here are fields white unto harvest; and much of the power of God has been with us.

Great has been our burden and our work since we came here, and our reward is great. Much have we been drawn out to administer in power and wisdom. We have exceeding great meetings of all sorts, and we labor and travail until Christ is formed in them. Pray for us, that we may be kept in His power, [which] reigns over all.—By the power of the Lord the mouths of lions are stopped, kings are bound in chains;—eternal living praises forevermore to Him, who rides on, conquering in power and great glory! Many are brought under great judgment and true power, and many have learned their own condemnation.

The last first-day, my dear yoke fellow and I went in the morning to two of the highest notionists and the greatest deceivers in the city, at two steeple houses, where the wise of the city come; and I had great liberty, and spoke towards an hour. All were silent, and some confessed they never heard so much truth in power delivered. Many invited me to their houses; but we lay hands on none hastily.

James Lancaster and Miles Halhead are come here, but I believe they will not stay long here. Richard Hubberthorne is in prison at Cambridge. Thomas Holmes is also in prison at Chester, with seven or eight besides. We have received letters from Kendal, there are nine or ten in prison there and at Appleby. From Bristol we have received letters from our dear brethren John Audland and John Camm; the mighty power of the Lord is that way; that is a precious city, and a gallant people. Their net is like to break with fishes, they have caught so much [there] and all the coast thereabout. Mighty is His work and power in this His day! Shout for joy all ye holy ones! for the Lord rides on in power to get himself a name; and let all that know the Lord praise him, for his mercy endures forever!

Captain Amos Stoddart has written to you and Samuel Watson; he has received your letters, but I don’t know how your letters, (addressed to Cromwell or others in power) ,can be delivered. We have three or four more, but we find no moving to deliver them. There is such stirring about Cromwell's power; he carries all with a high hand; 200 of the parliament have gone home. But as for those things, they are nothing to us, we are redeemed from them; praises to the Lord forevermore, who has made us to reign above the world, and to trample upon it!

Dear brother, farewell! Salute us to all that are faithful in their measure received. Our dear love to you and John Killam, and all the rest of the Lord's faithful witnesses; and salute us to the women our dear sisters upon Ouse-bridge [York] if they are still in prison.

Your brethren in the work of the Lord,

Francis Howgill

Edward Burrough

From a Copy

[This appears to be a period in Cromwell's Protectorate, when the republican characters of the day were found too reserved for him. Among the leaders of this party were two persons named in these Letters: Vane and Rich. Cromwell had these men committed to prison because he thought they were not submissive to his authority. From Mackintosh's History of England, vol. vi. p. 217, we learn that "the meeting of Parliament stood until the 17th of September," which was two days before the date of this letter. Cromwell on this occasion "resorted to an exercise of power so arbitrary and sweeping, as to render the summoning of Parliament a mockery." The members, after hearing the Protector's speech “in the Painted Chamber, proceeded to their house. They found the door guarded by soldiers, who admitted none but those provided with a certificate of the approbation of Cromwell's council, signed by the clerk of the Commonwealth. This ticket had been withheld from about 100 members, and they were excluded." This was the Parliament that sat on James Nayler's case.]

No. XVIII

[We have now arrived at the period of James Nayler's fall, and of his memorable trial before the House of Commons: for full particulars respecting this lamentable event of his life, his trial, cruel sentence, and subsequent condemnation and penitence, is available in Sewel's History under this date, the account of which occupies many pages. The Diary of Thomas Burton will also afford ample details as to what passed in the House of Commons in regard to his case. Burton was a member of the House, and was mostly present, it seems, during these proceedings.]

{James Nayler was an eloquent preacher. Like all the London Quaker ministers, he was overwhelmed with the thousands of people who were flocking into their meetings. He was so busy, he neglected his time to abide in the light, to be cleansed and renewed by Christ; and when a group of female admirers began to flatter him, he slowly edged to the abyss, ending in a massive fall. But Nayler's fall, (from which he later recovered), was not a crime. He was stubborn, stupid, and silly - but not a criminal. He was tried as a criminal on the charge of blasphemy - but he did nothing blasphemous. He suffered an unjust, horrible punishment, from a Parliament that had already viciously persecuted thousands of Quakers. Parliament used his outrageous behavior as an excuse to crush the Quakers, which attempt fortunately failed.

But Nayler's lapse of judgment, his stubbornness in refusing to heed Fox's three verbal warnings, and two written warnings, and his refusal to disassociate himself from his fawning female admirers, created a catastrophe for the Quakers. See Naylor's Failure for details. His failure continues to plague the hope of the true church of Christ today by:

1) In 2007 there is still an annual festival, with worldwide media coverage, enacting his failure, arrest, and punishment in Bristol. This reflects poorly on the record of early Quakers, 350 years later.

2) Many modern Quakers identify with Nayler, more than Fox. They could understand Nayler, the sinner; but cannot accept Fox and other early Quakers as pure. Ignoring Fox, while focusing on Nayler's failure, makes seeking or attaining purity unrealistic. Several Quaker web sites even tout Nayler as a "better preacher" than Fox, and sympathize with Nayler's failings, while discounting Fox's, Penington's, Penn's, Crisp's, Dewsbury's, Parnell's, Burrough's, Howgill's, et. al., testimonies of regeneration, the baptism of death, and having been translated into the paradise of God's Kingdom, dwelling in the presence of God - thus, speaking the words of God as they received them from God.

The entire Nayler tragedy, including his inspired repentance and recovery, is available for reading on this site.}

[Among the many speeches given in abstract by Burton, during the protracted debates on James Nayler's case, that of Lord Lambert may here be quoted, as almost the only one worthy of notice. The whole picture of the temper and proceedings of the House of Commons on this occasion presents a strange and humiliating view of the character of that assembly, and of the spirit of the age. Lambert was a member of Cromwell's council, a general in his army, and M. P. for the West Riding of York.

Lord Lambert. “It is a matter of sadness to many men's hearts, and sadness to mine also, especially in regard to his [James Nayler's] relation sometime to me. He was two years my Quartermaster, and a very useful person. We parted with him with regret. He was a man of life and conversation without a hint of blame; and a member of a very sweet society of an Independent Church. {Lambert was an Independent Congregationalist, as was Nayler before convincement}. How he came—by pride or otherwise—to be puffed up to this opinion, I cannot determine. But this may be a warning to us all, to work out our salvation with fear and trembling."— Burton's Diary, vol. i. p. 33.]

RICHARD HUBBERTHORNE TO MARGARET FELL

London, 25th of Ninth month, [eleventh mo.] 1656

DEAR SISTER,—My dear love salutes you and the rest of your family, and all the faithful thereabouts.

I have been in the east counties, Essex, Suffolk, and Norfolk; where the service of the Lord is great, and the laborers are few. And as the travail is great, so is the reward; which is, his power and presence to accompany his work.

At present I am come up again to London; but it is like I shall not stay long in the city, but pass into the west to Bristol and South Wales, if the Lord will.

James Nayler is here at London; he and the women are kept as prisoners at an inn, and have been twice called before a Committee of Parliament-men, and examined whether he would own that James Nayler was Christ; but he kept them out of all occasions against him, saying he denied James Nayler to be Christ, but Christ was in him. There has been several times [some] of the Parliament men have come to the place where they are kept prisoners, questioning him about such things as were acted by him and the women, in their witnessing him to be so; but he sometimes put them off without giving them a full answer, and left them unsatisfied. Upon sixth-day last, I was with James. That power of darkness in the women rules over him, as I wrote to you at the first. Many people come daily to them, both of the world, and also such as are convinced and they wonder at the imitations which are acted among them; as they often will kneel before him, etc. James speaks pretty much to Friends as in justifying all their actions to be in innocence. I was moved to speak unto him when I was with him, but he was not willing to hear me open the truth of anything to the people. My heart was made to pity his condition; but all the counsel of the brethren to him is rejected in the present state in which he is, though bowels of tenderness have been extended towards him. Some that are unstable think that there is a great power among them; but though it darkens some at the present as a cloud,—being risen out of the earth,—at the end of the days of limitation, it will fall to the earth again; the sun will shine over it; and the children will receive power of the Son to reign over all deceit. This I have written, to let you understand something of his condition as it is.

Your dear brother,

Richard Hubberthorne

From W. Caton's Manuscript Collection at Swarthmore

Among the Swarthmore collection of letters, was found the following address from George Fox to James Nayler about this time:—it is endorsed by George Fox thus :— ‘g ff to james naler 1656.' and at foot is a memorandum in the same hand-writing as that of the letter, namely.—' This is a copy of the letter that was found in his possession when he was examined.'

GEORGE FOX TO JAMES NAYLER

James, you must bear your own burden and your company's with you; whose iniquity does increase, and by you is not cried against. You have satisfied the world; yes, their desires which they looked for. You and your disciples, and the world [are] joined against the Truth, it is manifest through your willfulness and stubbornness; and this is the word of the Lord God to you. Many did not expect that you would have been an encourager of such, as those who cry against the power and life of Truth; but that you instead would have been one that nourishes the Truth, and would not have trained up a company against it. And what is that which fulfills the world's prophecy and their desires? Therefore consider, and search yourself, if this is innocence. The light of God in you all I own, but this I judge.

George Fox

For James N. these

{George Fox's above letter to Nayler is a very gentle judgment, on a very stubborn individual, refusing Fox's several previous written and verbal warningsl; and Nayler was a damaging individual/ for his actions had generated a plague of persecutions from individuals and governments to the Quakers. Quakers throughout England were then viciously attacked in meetings and in public as dangerous heretics. As a result, many thought the Quakers would fall; but they came together, and continued to prosper. Fox's gentle judgment of Nayler above is characteristic of the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. James 3:17. Jesus told us: You will know them by their fruits. Mat 7:16. The fruit of the holy spirit is gentleness, kindness, patience, love, joy, peace, faithfulness, goodness, self-control.. Gal 5:22-23.}

It would seem that Cromwell was in doubt, as to the tendency of the proceedings and sentence of the House of Commons in the case of James Nayler, by the following letter copied from a volume of Manuscript in the British Museum:

The Lord Protector's letter to the Parliament, touching the sentence by them given against James Nayler.

[Oliver Cromwell was addressed as Oliver Protector, or O. P.]

O. P. Right trusty and well-beloved we greet you well. To our right trusty and well-beloved Sir Thomas Widdington, Knight Speaker of the Parliament.

Having taken notice of a judgment lately given by yourselves against one James Nayler, although we detest and abhor the giving or occasioning the least countenance to persons of such opinions and practices, or who are under the guilt of such crimes, as are commonly imputed to the said persons; yet we being entrusted the present government on behalf of the people of these nations, and not knowing how far such proceeding—wholly without us— may extend in the consequences of it, do desire that the House will let us know the grounds and reasons whereupon they proceeded.

Given at Whitehall the 25th of Dec. 1656

In Burton's Diary, vol. i., p. 246, we have a report of the proceedings of the House on the Speaker's reading the above letter; the narrative is curious ;—not a few of the members seem to confess to the unwarrantable—if not illegal—stretch of the authority of the House in its proceedings and sentence against James Nayler. The debate on the Protector's letter is continued by adjournments from time to time; the House in fact seems unable to give a fair "account of the grounds and reasons whereupon they proceeded to such sentence." Several members urge the appointment of a committee to prepare an answer to the Protector. At length, on the matter being especially adjourned for the order of a future day, "the business of the day, that is, an answer to the letter," becomes,—as Burton writes,—"jostled out; and nobody said a word to it. I hear [he adds] it will never be mentioned again, if it is, I dread the consequences." This interesting parliamentary Diarist then goes on :—"I wrote nothing this day in the House. A friend told me that it would be taken notice of; he heard it much talked on the day before. Colonel_______ told me a week since, that ______had a purpose to take me down." Burton, however, does not drop his note-book in consequence.

No. XIX

RICHARD HUBBERTHORNE TO МARGARET FELL

London, 10th of Twelfth month, 1656 [second mo. 1657]

As for James Nayler he is in Bridewell, and they will allow few to come to him. His women followers, sometimes appoint meetings in the most public places of the city, as in the Exchange, and at the places where James Nayler suffered. From the Exchange they sent some of them to prison at Bridewell. They are a great offence to the way of Truth here for the present; but the Truth will work through it all. Though the waters of strife are up in floods at present, yet sweetly does the water of life flow, and pleasant streams are drunk of by those who keep patient in the will of God; and life, power, and glory, are more manifest than ever from the Father.

Richard Hubberthorne

[In a letter dated London, 22nd of Twelfth month, second month 1657,] he writes thus ;—]

As for James Nayler he remains in Bridewell, and is kept close; they will not allow any Friends to come at him, but his wife gets to him sometimes. He is still in the separation from Truth and from Friends; but the work of God goes on and prospers. Alexander Parker is here; Edward Burrough is in Essex; and Francis Howgill in Kent.

From W. Caton's Manuscript Collection

{Below is George Fox's Letter No. 149 to all friends, to know one another in the light; a spiritual fellowship in the light - But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another. 1 John 1:7

GEORGE FOX TO FRIENDS, to know one another in the light.

All Friends everywhere, Meet together, and in the measure of God's spirit wait, that with it all your minds may be guided up to God, to receive wisdom from God. That you may all come to know how you may walk up to him in his wisdom. That it may be justified of you, and you in it preserved up to God, and be glorified. And Friends meet together, and know one another in that which is eternal, which was before the world was. For knowing one another only in the letter and flesh, differs you little from the beasts of the field; for what they know they know naturally. But all knowing one another in the light which was before the world was, this differs you from the beasts of the field, and from the world's knowledge, and brings you to know one another in the elect seed which was before the world was. And if you turn from this light you grow strange; and so neglecting meetings you grow cold, and your minds run into the earth and grow weary and slothful, and careless, and heavy, and sottish, and dull, and dead. You may speak then of things which were opened once from the light, though now you be turned from it! but with the light in which is the unity, is all that condemned. In which (light) is the fellowship with the son, from where the light comes, which keeps in the liveliness, which keeps from slothfulness, and all those things before mentioned, which are contrary to the light; which who turns from, turns into. Therefore in the light wait and walk, that you may have fellowship one with another. I charge you all, in the presence of the Living God, that none boast yourselves above your measure of light; if you do you will be buffeted. For such run into presumption, and so into reproof. Which reproof that spirit will not take patiently, but gets up into presumption; which is to be condemned with the light, in which is the unity, which keeps from desperation and presumption. They who go from the light, the enemy comes into them, and the envy, and the murderer gets up within and slays the man; and no such one has eternal life abiding in him, for he is turned from the light which comes from Christ Jesus, the life. All who dwell in the light which comes from Christ, come to receive the eternal life. And here the love of God is shed abroad in the heart; and dwelling in love you dwell in God, and from the life the eternal love does flow, which life comes from the Father of life, whose love does not change. And so with the light (you dwelling in it which leads to the life) you will come to witness the faith unfeigned, and the humility unfeigned, and the faith which works by love, which purifies the heart; waiting in the light which comes from Christ Jesus, this is received from him. For with the light man sees himself, which (light) comes from Christ, who is the author and finisher of his faith; which faith gives him the victory over that which he sees to be contrary to the light and to the word. And this is the one faith; and here the first Adam and the second Adam are known and seen.

George Fox

Let this be read among Friends everywhere.}

No. XX

RICHARD HUBBERTHORN TO GEORGE FOX

London, 16th of First month, [third mo.] 1657

DEAR BROTHER,—Friends here are well, and in good order, growing into the love and life of Truth, and feeling the virtue and power of it in them; and the meetings are pretty quiet.

Friends in New England are well, and those who were prisoners at Boston are set free, and are passing several ways,—some to Barbados. William Ames is come out of Holland, and this day is passed towards Bristol; and he intends shortly to come northward to you.

This week the mayor, aldermen, and common councilmen of this city went up to Whitehall, to visit Oliver; and he made a speech among them, concerning the danger of enemies, and of Charles being ready in Flanders to come over with an army into England. In his declaration, he spoke more against Friends than ever before he formerly expressed; saying, that there was a good law made against the Quakers, and they did well to put it in execution, and he would stand by them; for, he said, the Quakers were against both magistracy and ministry. So Cromwell and they are all hardened against the Truth; and all their pretences of setting Friends at liberty, which they were once about, are now ceased; and they are only plotting how to exalt themselves in the earth.

Francis Howgill is yet in Essex or that way. There is great service in and about this city. Friends' love here is dear unto you.

Richard Hubberthorne

From the Original

IT appears from Burton's Diary, that after the passing of the cruel sentence upon James Nayler, the House of Commons proceeded to receive several petitions against the Quakers, presented from various parts of the country; upon which a debate ensued, and the petitions were referred to the same committee which sat on James Nayler's case, to report upon "a Bill to suppress the mischief." In the course of this debate many members urged "some speedy course to be taken against" this people. One says, "the sect is dangerous, their increase numerous, prevention very necessary." Several others inform the House that they are growing very numerous in various parts of the country. The M. P. for Cumberland states, that "they meet in multitudes, and upon moors in terrorem populi," [to the terror of people !] another [the M. P. for Devonshire,] " that they meet in thousands in our county, and certainly will overrun all, both ministers and magistrates. I desire that you will make no delay in this business; before long it will be too late to make a law." There is no doubt, but that in consequence of Nayler's affair, and the grave cognizance taken of it by the House of Commons, a strong public prejudice was unjustly imbibed against the Friends of that day, though in no way implicated in, or answerable for James Nayler's offence.

The Parliament, however, proceeded with a Bill against vagrants, which was so expressed as to be capable of being readily used against Friends. This is probably the law alluded to above by the Protector; which enacted that every idle person "vagrant from his usual place of living or abode," and who "shall not have such good and sufficient cause or business for such his traveling or wandering, as the justices or justice of peace, mayors, etc., before whom such person or persons shall be brought, shall approve of," shall be proceeded against and punished as a rogue,—Scobell's Acts, 1657, cap. 21.—

The first mention of the name of Quakers in the records of Parliament, occurs in the Journal of the House of Commons in the year 1654, from which the following extract is taken :"Saturday, 30th December, 1654. ‘Referred to a committee of several members, or any three of them, to prepare a bill; upon a debate of the House touching on the Quakers; with power to them to receive information from the members of this House or others, touching these persons, the better to enable them to describe them in this Bill.'"

No. XXI

RICHARD FARNSWORTH TO FRIENDS

Warmsworth, 18th of Seventh month. [ninth mo.] l657

--I have received several letters of late from James Nayler, and one I received this day; whereby it appears that he is in a great sense of his condition, and very loving, humble, tender and low. He also expressed that his love is great to all the faithful flock. They brought a high priest to him, as his letter expressed, — and many, who came with him, saw the priest's folly; which silenced many of the people, but enraged the priest. He desires the prayers of the faithful.

God Almighty be with you, bless, and preserve, and keep you and all his beloved ones, firm and faithful to himself, in the day of trial and hour of temptation,-as I hope he will; even so, Amen.

I am yours as you are the Lord's. Farewell.

Richard Farnsworth

No. XXII

RICHARD НUВВЕRTHORNЕ TO MARGARET FELL

London, 5th of Eleventh month 1657, [first mo. 1658]

MY DEAR SISTER M. F.—The Lord is ministering to many an entrance into the everlasting Truth, and is gathering into the life of it; and the Truth is secretly working. I have passed through Essex, Suffolk, and Norfolk, and was about five weeks in them, in great service. Then I was moved to come up to London; and something was upon me for Oliver Cromwell, to whom I have already written. Some sufferings of Friends have been laid before him lately, which are so cruel, that he is much offended with those justices that caused it, and promises to do something.

Here are many in this city daily convinced, and the Truth grows. Last first-day, there were five of Fleetwood's* family at the meeting at Worcester House; and the Truth spreads and gets dominion, and Friends grow into feeling of the power of it.

*Fleetwood was Lord Deputy of Ireland in 1657, and a member of Cromwell's council; he married a daughter of the Protector.

I have been with James Nayler three times since I came; he is loving, and his love does increase; and he feels refreshment from those who are in the life and power of Truth. Salute me dearly to all Friends.

Farewell : your dear brother,

Richard Hubberthorne

From W. Caton's Manuscript Collection

In Nickel's State Papers,—p. 143,—is a letter addressed to Cromwell from a William Malyn, dated August, 1668, from which the following is extracted :—It is not improbable that there was some intention on the part of Cromwell to have discharged James Nayler; but he died on the third of the month following that of the date of this letter. James Nayler was released by Parliament after the death of Cromwell. With regard to J. Nayler's taciturnity, as mentioned in this letter; it is probable it was most to the peace of his own mind to maintain silence towards those 'of the world,' who intruded themselves upon him. The writer of the letter seems not a little mistaken in his opinion of James Nayler's state.

"I went this morning to Bridewell to see James Nayler.—I found him in his bed, and sitting up with his head on a pillow, [having been ill]. I sat by him a good while, and told him upon what account I came to see how he was, and whether he desired anything to be done to him or for him. He would not speak a word, though often pressed thereto by myself and those who stood by. I also withdrew for some time and came to him again, and asked him, if he were free to have any discourse with me, or if he had anything to desire that I should acquaint your Highness with, but by all that I could do, I could not get a word from him. It being near sermon time, I left him, and went to Paul's. [Nayler had been ill]. After sermon I spoke with my lord Packe—my lord Titchbourne and my lord Barkstead being by,—and gave my lord Packe an account of what I had done, and my lord Packe told me that he did intend tomorrow to wait on your Highness, to give your Highness a particular account of James Nayler. Truly, my lord, I look upon him to be under a resolved sullenness, and I doubt in the height of pride.—I hope I should not go about to dissuade your Highness from a work of tenderness and mercy, which is pleasing to God; which we have reasons and objects enough for, without doing what may offend God, through want of zeal for his glory and honor, against such horrible impieties.—Truly, my lord, in this case I conceive there is more want of watchfulness, that we do not offend on that head, I mean through want of zeal.

William Mayln

In another letter of R. Hubberthorne to George Fox, in this year, 1657, he says in a postscript, after speaking of his own services in Kent, " I was twice with John Lilburne; he is zealous and forward for the Truth. He has a sight and comprehension, which is deep. He sees that the Truth comprehends all, and he has a love unto it, and a desire to attain to it."

No. XXIII

[ТHЕ foregoing letters with the two following, which allude to James Nayler, both as regards his fall and his recovery into fellowship with his brethren, and afterwards—as we shall see—his return to gospel service, are very interesting and instructive in several respects. The following observations are taken from a work, published by Joseph Wyeth, in 1699:

"James Nayler was a man who had been highly favored of God, with a good degree of grace, which was sufficient for him, had he kept to its teaching; for while he did so, he was exemplary in godliness and great humility. He was powerful in word and doctrine, and thereby instrumental in the hand of God for turning many from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to the power of God. But he, poor man, became exalted above measure, through the abundance of revelations; and in that exaltation did depart from the grace and holy Spirit of God, which had been his sufficient teacher. Then blindness came over him, and he allowed himself to be accounted of above what he ought. Here he slipped and fell, but not irrecoverably; for it did please God of his infinite mercy, in the day of his affliction, to give him a sight and sense of his out-goings, and also a place of repentance.

And he, with the prodigal, humbled himself for his transgressions; and besought God with true contrition of soul, to pardon his offences through Jesus Christ. God, I firmly believe, forgave him; for he pardons the truly penitent. His people received him with great joy; for that he, who had gone astray from God, was now returned to the Father's house; and for that he, who had separated himself from them through his iniquity, was now through repentance and forsaking of it, returned into the unity of the faith and their holy fellowship in the gospel of Christ.—Here let none insult, but take heed for fear that they also, in the hour of temptation, may fall away."—Joseph Wyeth, Switch for the Snake]

ALEXANDER PARKER TO MARGARET FELL

London, 15th of Fourth month, [sixth mo.] 1658

MY DEARLY BELOVED SISTER, I have been with James Nayler in the prison three times since I came to this city, and true love and life are springing up in him; he is made willing to lie under all, and would do anything that might in the wisdom of God be seen convenient, for taking off all occasions, as much as in him lies, either by public recantation—which I do not judge serviceable—for exalting the Truth, or any other way; he is made willing to bear all, and to come under all, and has past through true judgment. James has written a few words with much subjection, desiring to be reconciled; and I know that George Fox is dearer to him than ever, as by his words I have heard. My dear sister, as you have been tender and of large compassion unto the sufferers, I beseech you make intercession for him; that in the spirit of meekness, as a brother, he may be restored again. I am plain unto you, having no other thing in my heart, but the glory and advancement of the Truth in this thing, and peace and unity among brethren. I know it lies on George Fox—In patience I shall wait to see the Truth advanced over all; for I have great hopes that all things will be well. Your dear brother in the fellowship of the gospel,

Alexander Parker

From W. Caton's Collection

No. XXIV

JAMES NAYLER TO MARGARET FELL, [Endorsed by George Fox 1658.]

DEARLY BELOVED SISTER,—You are often in my remembrance, and my heart is to see you when God wills; in whose counsel and life I desire to walk, to his praise alone, who has thus far redeemed me out of deep adversity; and does still work with me and for me,—as I abide in his patience and obedience, making my way through many oppositions and trials. In his will alone I desire to rest and be still; who in the needful time has still appeared ;—praises to Him forever! I suppose you may have heard of my going to see our beloved George Fox at Reading, which in tenderness of love I did, as soon as I was got out of prison, hearing he was not well. But I was not permitted to come where he was; which my adversary rejoiced at, that thereby he might add sorrow to affliction. But my spirit was quieted, in that simplicity in which I went, in that to return; and He gave me His peace therein, as though I had had my desire,—blessed be the Lord God of my mercy for this thing; who still becomes my peace, and his presence is with me in what He moves me to, which is my comfort and refreshment,— and so His will is my peace. My dear love to you and to your family, and all faithful Friends with you. I am refreshed when I feel you near me, or hear from you, in that in which we cannot be separated.

[From the original; it has a seal of James Nayler and is addressed 'For Margaret Fell, at Swarthmore, these.
(It is rare to find his name fully written out; initials were common.)]

No. XXV

EDWARD BURROUGH TO FRANCIS HOWGILL

London, 24th of Seventh month, [ninth mo.] 1658

ALL things here are very well, and our meetings of late very quiet and precious, and large always: and now in Westminster we have a great place, as big as the Bull and Mouth,1 near the Abbey where on the first- days [we] have meetings. Truth spreads and grows. The Earl of Pembroke has been with us; there is a principle of God stirring in him. Tonight the Earl of Pembroke attended our meeting at William Woodcock's house,2—he is truly loving to us.

1A curious name, The Bull and Mouth Quaker meeting house was located on Bull and Mouth Street, which is verbal corruption of Boulogne Gate or Mouth, named in honor of King Henry VIII, who took the French Boulogne harbor (mouth) in 1544 . It was originally an ancient great house, or building within Aldersgate; the yard of it having previously been a public inn for carriages and travelers, named the Bull and Mouth.

2In Gilbert Latey's Life, an account is given of the several meeting places in London; among them one is stated to have been held in "William Woodcock's house, who lived in the Strand, between the great gate of Somerset House, and its water gate."

All things as to the outward in the city are very quiet; and the sufferings are laid before this new Protector, [Richard Cromwell*], who carries his affairs fairly; several have been with him. I was moved to write to him a large letter. Something in his council—who are now the chief actors in all things,—is in agitation, as to release all our Friends :—a list of above a hundred is given in.

*Upon the death of Oliver Cromwell, his son Richard Cromwell succeeded him as Protector. His government only lasted for eight months, at which point King Charles II returned to the throne.

William Caton has been here a week, and is gone into Kent. Thomas Roberts was here last week, and is gone into Hampshire. Richard Hubberthorne is now about Newcastle, for Scotland. I remain, in some haste, yours.

Edward Burrough

From the original

No. XXVI

RICHARD HUBBERTHORNE TO MARGARET FELL

London, 22nd of Eighth month, [tenth mo.] 1658

DEAR SISTER,—With my dear brethren and sisters, in the tender love of God I salute you all, who in the measure of the Spirit of Jesus are united, [as] living members of the body unto Christ the head.

Dearly beloved, the work of the Lord goes on in power and in the authority of the Almighty, which reigns over the heads of the wicked. In this city the Lord is gathering many in daily; there are many meetings, full and large, where there is anyone to declare the Truth among them. The power of Truth strives through those who are great in the earth, and is drawing them in daily. The priests confess that there is such a power among us, that none who come to us can escape; and [they] exhort people not to come to us. The last first-day I was at the Bull and Mouth, where there was a great and serviceable meeting. After part of the day I was at Westminster, where there was a large meeting, and many soldiers, who are pretty faithful in their measures. James Nayler was at two meetings; and in the afternoon he had a great meeting, where many were convinced that had not come before, as there is a coming-in daily in every meeting.

This day, if the Lord will, I am to pass out of the city towards Dunstable, to have a meeting tomorrow, where a Baptist teacher has promised to be, and many people intending to be at it. The next day I purpose to be at Justice Crook's, and I expect to meet my brother George Fox this week.

Dearly salute me to all Friends.

Richard Hubberthorne

From Caton's Manuscript Collection

{Here is another inserted letter (169) from George Fox, written while in London, to all the meeting of Friends:

GEORGE FOX TO ALL THE MEETINGS OF FRIENDS

London, the 11th of the 3d month, 1658

To all the elect, chosen and faithful, who are of the royal seed of God, living stones, elect and precious, knit and built up together, and united, the family and household of God, and come to his mountain, that is established upon the top of all mountains, that walk in the light of the Lord, in unity and covenant with God, in the covenant of life and peace with him. Who in this the Lamb's day are the gold tried in the fire. Who have been tried by property seizures, by bonds, by whippings, by mockings, and reproaches in the day of the Lamb's power, and some have been tried unto death; and you have proved to be the pure gold, that has come out brighter and brighter. Who have not feared the waves of the sea, nor the winds; who fear not the storms nor the weather; whose anchor holds, which is the hope, the mystery, which anchor the soul which is immortal, to the immortal God. Among whom the star of Jacob is seen, and the morning star is risen, and the sun of righteousness shines, and the Lamb's voice is known, the church in her glory and beauty is appeared and appearing; the marriage of the lamb, and the bride, and the wedding day is known, in which there is unity; and the virgins sing praises, and follow the Lamb, because of his sweet ointment; and the virgins are upon Mount Zion. And the gospel is going forth unto all nations, kindreds, and tongues; life and immortality are coming to light through the gospel, which is the power of God; and the mystery of the fellowship is known, which is in the power. And for lack of the power, the gospel, in which is the fellowship, has Christendom been on heaps, and the heathen ignorant.

1. And now you who know the power of God, you know the gospel; and you who are in the power of God, you are in the mystery of the fellowship. So mark, the fellowship is a mystery, and the mystery of the fellowship is everlasting. So, if any lacks the power of God, he lacks the mystery, in which is the fellowship, although he may have all the scriptures.

2. And now, friends, if any are moved of the Lord God by his power, be obedient to it, and wait in the life and in the power, and it will direct you to the glory of God, in his wisdom, not to abuse it; that whatever you do, you may do it to his glory, you answering the just principle of God in everyone.

3. If any are moved to go to the steeple-houses, or markets, or to reprove sin in the gate, or to exhort high or low, or to reprove them; reason not with flesh and blond, nor quench the spirit. And when you have done, in the same spirit live; and then you will have peace, and rest and fellowship with God, and one with another. For the unity is in the spirit, and it is the bond of peace.

4. And all Friends, in your meetings do not quench the spirit. And take heed, and do not judge one another in the meetings; but have patience until the meetings is done. So, if any have anything upon him to speak to another, he may speak to him after the meeting is done; that will cover one another's weakness, and not hurt others.

5. And all Friends everywhere, wait to feel the power of God in yourselves in your meetings. And take heed of sleeping, and feel the power of God in one another; that you all may be in the mystery of the fellowship. For woe unto them, that are at ease in Zion! I warn and charge you all in the presence of the living God, that none make their habitation in the earth, or build tabernacles there, for fear that you become vagabonds from the Lord. But let everyone rest in his habitation in God, and here is no vagabond; but there shall everyone know an heirship, a habitation, and an inheritance. And I warn and charge you from the Lord, not to make any of the world's jewels your God; but live all in the power of the Lord God, in which you will be carried over the spirit of the world.

6. And Friends all everywhere, dwell in the love and fear of the Lord God, and in peace one with another, and in the power and life of the Lord God keep your meetings; and live in the mystery of the fellowship of the gospel, which is everlasting.

George Fox

Let this be read in all the meetings.}

No. XXVII

[For several years previous to this period, the early Quakers had put forth in print many sad narratives of persecutions and sufferings of their members in various parts of the country, on account of their religious testimonies : (See Whiting's Catalogue, under Sufferings.) Warning addresses had also been written by E. Burrough and others, to the Protector Oliver Cromwell; yet it seems they were generally unavailing, for he died, leaving the case of these suffering, innocent people without redress. Further exertions on the part of Friends to obtain relief were made about this time, by application to the new Protector Richard Cromwell, as well as to the Parliament. It appears that on the sixth-day of this month—called April—an address was presented on behalf of Friends to the Speaker of the House of Commons, entitled,

"To the Parliament of the Commonwealth, of England, being a declaration of the names, places, and sufferings of such as are now in prison/or speaking the truth in several places; for not paying tithes—for meeting together in the fear of God—-for not swearing—-for wearing their hats—for being accounted as vagrants—for visiting Friends, and for things of the like nature—in all about 144. —Besides, imprisoned and persecuted until death, twenty - one. Also a brief narrative of their sufferings within the last six years or thereabouts, of about one thousand nine hundred and sixty persons already returned; being but part of many more, whose names and sufferings are not yet returned. All which it is desired may be read and considered of by this Parliament, that right may be done."

Then follows a list of cases of sufferings, arranged under the several counties, and comprised in many pages.

This declaration seems to have laid dormant in the House for a time: at length Friends came forward once more, with the following address to the House of Commons, an appeal calculated—one might suppose—to move the hardest of hearts. This address is printed at large in Besse's Sufferings; it is truly a remarkable document, and is well deserving, the Editor thinks, of a place in these historical records. A considerable number of Friends, probably all whose names are subscribed to the document, attended at the avenues of the House on the occasion.]

From Besse's Sufferings, (Fol.)

Preface

"There was a printed paper presented to the Parliament in 1659, and subscribed by one hundred and sixty-four of this people; wherein they make an offer of their own bodies, person for person, to lie in prison instead of such of their brethren as were then under confinement, and might be in danger of their lives through extreme duration, which paper was as follows:"

Friends,

WHO are called a Parliament of these Nations: we in love to our brethren that lie in prisons, and houses of Correction, and dungeons, and many in fetters and irons, and have been cruelly beat by the cruel jailers, and many have been persecuted to death, and have died in prison, and many lie sick and weak in prison, and on straw; so we in love to our brethren do offer up our bodies and selves to you, for to put us as lambs into the same dungeons, and houses of Correction, and their straw, and nasty holes and prisons; and do stand ready a sacrifice for to go into their places in love to our brethren, that they may go forth, and that they may not die in prison, as many of the brethren are dead already. For we are willing to lay down our lives for our brethren, and to take their sufferings upon us, which you would inflict upon them. For if our brethren suffer, we cannot but feel it; and Christ said, It is he that suffers and was not visited. This is our love towards God and Christ, and our brethren, that we owe to them and to our enemies; we, who are lovers of all your souls and your eternal good. And if you will receive our bodies, which we freely tender to you for our Friends that are now in prison, for speaking the Truth in several places, for not paying tithes—for meeting together in the fear of God—for not swearing— for wearing their hats—for being accounted as vagrants—for visiting Friends, and for things of the like nature, according to a paper entitled, ' A Declaration to the Parliament,' delivered the 6th day of the second month, called April, 1659, to the then Speaker of the said House. We whose names are hereunto subscribed—being a sufficient number to answer for the present sufferers,—are waiting in Westminster-hall for an answer from you to us, to answer our tenders, and to manifest our love to our Friends, and to stop the wrath and judgment from coming upon our enemies.'

Henry Abbott, Alexander Allen, James Allen, John Allington, John Anderson, William Archpool, Henry Ayres, Humphry Bache, John Baddely, Daniel Baker, John Barber, John Burnard, Richard Bax, John Beckett, James Beсche, William Bett, George Bewley, Nicholas Bend, John Blackfan, Edward Bland, Thomas Blatt, Edward Billing, John Bolton, Thomas Braborn, Thames Bradley, Ninion Brockett, Edward Brook, William Brown, Thomas Burchert, Richard Bird, Joseph Bushell, Jacob Carr, Manasseh Casketter, John Chandler, Richard Clipsham, Richard Cockbill, Maximilian Cockerill, Francis Collins, Henry Cocke, Thomas Covency, Richard Crane, Stephen Crisp, John Crook, Edmund Cross, Thomas Curtis, Thomas Davenport, Richard Davis, Richard Demie, William Dike, John Disborow, Thomas Dawn, Rowland Eldridge, John Fawkes, James Kenner, John Fielder, John Faster, John Freeborn, John Furly, Jr., Benjamin Furly, Roger Gaine, Nathaniel Gerrard, William Garrett, John Gayon, William Geering, Edward Giles, Henry Godman, Peter Gass, Richard Greenaway, James Grynier, John Hackleton, Richard Hacker, William Hampshire, Edward Harrison, William Harwood, Cuthbert Harle, Robert Hasle, Richard Hindmarsh, John Hollis, Justinian Holyman, John Hope, William Hownell, Stephen Hubbard, Robert Ingram, Ralph Johns, William Johnson, Joseph Jones, Rice Jones, Richard Jonson, Thomas Kent, Humphry Kirby, George Lamboll, Joseph Langley, John Lawrence, Thomas Lawrence, John Leo, Richard Lewis, John Love, William Marner, Benjamin Matthews, Robert Mildred, Robert Moor, Thomas Moor, William Mullins, John Newton, Richard Newman, Robert Newman, Thomas Norris, Edward Owers, Alexander Parker, Thomas Passenger, William Pennington, John Pennyman, William Pierschouse, William Plumley, Benjamin Pierson, John Price, Richard Quick, John Radley, George Rawlins, Thomas Rawlinson, Thomas Reese, Nicholas Hickman, George Robinson, Simon Robinson, John Scanfield, John Schoren, Thomas Seaman, Edward Shaller, William Showen, Thomas Shortlund, Robert Sikes, Richard Simpson, James Smith, Jonah Smith, James Smither, Robert Sooley, Edward Southwood, William Sparey, John Starkey, John Stavelin, John Steadman, Robert Stedman, Thomas Stedman, Ann Stoddart, John Stevens, William Styles, Arthur Stanbridge, Thomas Tax, James Tenning, Rowland Tichbourn, William Travers, Richard Tidder, John Tyso, Samuel Vause, Robert Wade, Christopher White, Philip Williamson, Stephen Wix, Caleb Woods, William Woodcock, John Woolrich, Henry Woolger, John Yardly.

From the " Mercurius Politicus," a news book of that period, [British Museum] the following public notice of this occurrence is given forth :—

1659. Friday, April 15th.—This day and the following, a great number of a sort of people called Quakers, came up to London from several parts, and assembled themselves in Westminster-hall, with intent to represent somewhat to the house touching the men of their way.

"Saturday, 16th April.—A paper written on the outside thereof with these words, namely, ’For the Speaker of the Commons assembled in Parliament, these are for him to read to the House of Commons,' was this day read. And upon the reading thereof, the same, among other things, referred to another paper entitled A Declaration to the Parliament, delivered the 6th day of the second month called April, 1659, to the then Speaker of the House. The said papers were presented by certain persons commonly called Quakers."

A brief account of what passed in the House on this occasion, drawn up from Burton's Diary, and from the Journals of the House, is subjoined. One of the members opened the business by the following remarks :—

Col. Grosvenor: "I took notice of a great number of people called Quakers in the Hall yesterday and today. I wish you would take some course with the Petition that has laid a long time before you; and that they be dispersed." Another member moved that they be whipped home as vagrants. The petition was at length read. Several members then made a variety of remarks; several are against them, some appear to be in favor of them, or the release of their imprisoned brethren; others were for referring their grievances to a committee; another, that the county members should refer their case to the justices to inquire into their grievances. At length the House resolves, "That the answer to be given to the persons that presented this paper is, that this House has read their paper, and the paper thereby referred to; and does declare their dislike of the scandal thereby cast upon magistracy and ministry; and does therefore order, that they and other persons concerned, do forthwith resort to their respective habitations, and there apply themselves to their callings, and submit themselves to the laws of the nation, and the magistracy they live under." It was moved that two or three of them be called in. From the Journals of the House, "16th April," it appears, " that Thomas Moor, John Crook, and Edward Billing were brought in to the bar," the Sergeant having taken off their hats, and the before said answer was declared to them by the Speaker. The following Letters doubtless allude to this committee.

[Although little or no apparent effect appeared to be produced at the time in the House from the foregoing affecting appeal, we may notice by the Journals of the Commons, that in the month following a committee was appointed, "to consider of the imprisonment of such persons who continue committed for conscience sake, and how and in what manner they are and continue committed, together with the whole cause thereof, and how they may be discharged; and to report the same to the Parliament." (Journals under 10th of May, 1659.) Of this committee the Earl of Pembroke and Vane, (names mentioned in these letters) were members.]

THOMAS RAWLINSON TO MARGARET FELL

London, 11th of Third month, [fifth mo.] 1659

DEAR HEART,—My dear love in the Lord Jesus dearly salutes you, and all the lambs and babes of Christ with you. I believe you have heard what turnings and changes have been here at London : the Parliament began to sit again the last seventh-day, and they sat on the first-day.* There is something expected to be done from them. Friends have this day delivered the paper of sufferings into the House, and it is referred to a committee. The army pretends to put all wicked men out of places and offices; if they do as they say, it is more than is expected. They searched many houses last first-day for recusants and papists, and at night took some prisoners. Your dear brother in the Truth of God,

Thomas Rawlinson

*The following is the entry for this day in the Journal of the House of Commons. "Lord's day, 8th of May, 1659. The House met this morning [eight o'clock ;] and spent it in praying and hearing the word {the Bible being read}, Dr. Owen praying and preaching before them." (This was a Puritan Parliament).

From the Original

---------------------------------------

ROBERT BENBRICK TO MARGARET FELL

London, 21st of Fourth month, [sixth mo.] 1659

FRIENDS' sufferings were yesterday taken into consideration at Westminster, and grievous things were declared against the punishments, and entered into the hearts of some of the committee. We made them shake their leads, and grieved them. They said, they would have some of the priests up to London, and they would examine them about those things.

Robert Benbrick

From the Original

{The early Quakers had repeatedly warned Parliament and Oliver Cromwell of their continued persecution of Friends throughout England. Francis Howgill, when in London, went to court to deliver a very serious warning from the Lord to Oliver Cromwell, the then ruler of England, with many words directly from God. This letter is also testimony to the life in Christ that Francis Howgill enjoyed; for the lengthy statement of the Lord by the hand of Howgill evidences him as a true prophet of God. Howgill repeated his prophecy to Cromwell by the following letter:

‘Friend,

I was moved of the Lord to come to you, to declare the word of the Lord with the Love of the Lord. And when talking to you, I was commanded not to request anything from you; but to declare what the Lord had revealed to me, concerning yourself. When I had delivered what I had been commanded, you questioned it, whether it was the word of the Lord or not, and sought by your reason to ignore it. We have waited some days since, but cannot speak to you. Therefore I was moved to write to you, and clear my conscience, and to leave you. Therefore hear the word of the Lord.

Thus said the Lord: I chose you out of all the nations, when you were little in your own eyes, and threw down the mountains and the powers of the earth before you, which had established wickedness by a law, and I cut them and broke the yokes and bonds of the oppressor, and made them stoop before you, and I made them as a plain before you, that you passed over them, and trod upon their necks. But thus said the Lord, now your heart is not upright before me, but you take counsel, and not of me; and you are establishing peace, and not by me; and you are setting up laws, and not by me; and my name is not feared, nor am I sought after; but your own wisdom you establish. What, said the Lord, have I thrown down all the oppressors, and broken their laws, and you are now going about to establish them again, and are going to build again, that which I have destroyed?

Therefore, thus said the Lord: Will you limit me, and set bounds to me, when, and where, and how, and by whom I shall declare myself and publish my name? Then will I break your cord, and remove your stake, and exalt myself in your overthrow.

Therefore this is the word of the Lord to you, whether you will hear or forbear: If you do not take away all those laws which are made concerning religion, whereby the people which are dear in mine eyes are oppressed, you shall not be established; but as you have trodden down my enemies by my power, so shall you be trodden down by my power, and you shall know that I am the Lord; for my gospel shall not be established by your sword, nor by your law; but by my might, and by my power, and by my Spirit.

To you this is the Word of the Lord: Restrain not the eternal Spirit, by which I will publish my name, when and where, and how I will; for if you do, you shall be as dust before the wind; the mouth of the Lord has spoken it, and he will perform his promise. For this is that I look for at your hands, said the Lord, that you should undo the heavy burdens, and let the oppressed go free. Are not many shut up in prison, and some stocked, some stoned, some shamefully treated? And some are judged blasphemers by those who know not the Lord, and by those laws which have been made by the will of man, and stand not in the will of God. And some suffer now because they cannot hold up the types, and so deny Christ is come in the flesh; and some have been shut up in prison, because they could not swear, and because they abide in the doctrine of Christ; and some, for declaring against sin openly in markets, have suffered as evil-doers. And now, if you let them suffer in this nature by those laws, and count it just; I will visit you for those things, said the Lord, I will break the yoke from off their backs another way, and you shall know that I am the Lord.

Moved of the Lord to declare and write this, by a servant of the Truth for Jesus’ sake, and a lover of your soul, called,

Francis Howgill

How this was received, I am not acquainted; but I am given to understand that some of Cromwell's servants, Theopholius Green, and Mary, after to become wife of Henry Stout, were so reached by Francis' discourse, that afterwards they became members of the Society of Friends.

But because Cromwell ignored this warning and many other Quakers' warning messages from God to him, he son after died in office. After the return of King Charles II to the throne, Cromwell's reputation suffered the indignity of his corpse being dug up, hung on the gallows, and beheaded, with his head displayed on a pike at Westminster Hall. He was warned many, many times by a patient God, whose anger is slow to kindle.}

No. XXVIII

ALEXANDER PARKER TO MARGARET FELL

London, 22nd of Fourth month, [sixth mo.] 1659

EVER DEAR AND TRULY BELOVED SISTER. —Though for sometime I have been silent, yet my dear and true love is unto you, and my heart is knit unto you in an inseparable bond. My love is enlarged towards you all; and though in body I am absent from you, yet in the Lord I am present with you. Oh! how good and precious a thing it is to be kept in the love of Truth; the Lord strengthen and preserve all his, faithful unto the end.

Things in this city generally are well, and Truth is of good dominion; and truly this I may say, that never, since I knew the Truth, was the service greater; a mighty thirst, and desire, and openness are in many people in most places, especially since the change of the government; and the work is very great, and laborers, who are true and faithful, are but few, as you well know. This I see: that the more we labor, the more work we have. But the Lord is our strength, and willing I am to spend and be spent for the Lord's sake.

The committee of Parliament are most of them very moderate, and examine things very fully; and whether they do anything or nothing as to the enlargement of Friends, it is serviceable that the wickedness of greedy and covetous men is brought to light. Much cannot be expected of men in that nature; for though there is a change of name, yet the old nature is still standing,—earth enough there is to make another mountain. But whatever the consequence be, this I know and feel, that Truth has great advantage, and an open door is further made for spreading the Truth abroad. The Lord prosper his work, and carry it on to his own praise and glory.

George Fox and Edward Burrough came to this city on last fifth-day, and they have had much service in Kent and other parts; as for Edward Burrough's service in Dunkirk, I leave it to his own declaration by his letters to Kendal. George Fox is well, as Isabel Rouse can inform you, who went out of this city the last week. It is likely she may be with you before the receipt of this. My love is to her and to Bridget, Sarah [all being daughters of Margaret Fell,] and the rest. My love reaches unto you all, and Friends that way. In dearness of love unto you, I rest and remain your dear brother in the service of the Lord.

Alexander Parker

George Whitehead and Edward Burrough remember their love to you and your family. Here are many Friends out of the country in this city, as Gervase Benson, Anthony Pearson, Thomas Aldam and many others. They deliver the subscription against tithes tomorrow if they can, to Parliament.

From the Original

No. XXIX

RICHARD HUBBERTHORNE TO MARGARET FELL

London, 21st of Ninth month, [eleventh mo.] 1659

DEAR SISTER.—In the unfeigned love of the Truth I salute you; and the dear love from the fountain of my life does freely issue forth unto all the Lord's flock with you; being dearly related unto them all in the spirit of love and life, of which our heavenly Father has made us all partakers; that we may feel and know and be refreshed in one another,—that our joy may be full. The work is here increasing daily, and meetings are now all over the city pretty peaceable from disturbance. As for the officers of the army here, they bring little forth that is good unto any perfection; they talk and debate of things, but that is the most they do. As for tithes they debate about them, sometimes talking of selling them; and they are in great consultation how to provide a maintenance for a ministry. Sometimes they tell of reducing the 9000 parishes in England into 3000, and so to have some certain ministers, who shall be the State's ministers, and the State to pay them; and they spend their time in talking of such things. But some of the heads of them are deceitful in pride and ambition, and seek themselves and not the good of others; though some of the inferiors have honest intents if they could bring them to pass. I have been oftentimes with some of them, as Colonel Rich, Colonel Ashfield, Henry Vane and others; they are pretty open to hear counsel, and do profess to stand for good things. Colonel Rich has been very serviceable for Friends in this late committee, and is bold to speak for truth and righteousness among them; but he and Vane and the rest of those who would do something, are rejected; and the chief leaders among them dare not bring anything to vote because that the general part of the inferior officers would have liberty and honest things. Colonel Rich declared among them how that many of our Friends were in prison again since the Parliament was dissolved; and how that the Parliament had done more for the liberty of tender consciences than they had done; and he did move it to them to appoint a committee for the same purpose, to free those who suffered for conscience sake; and many of them said it was good; but they put it off, and would not do it.

I desire to hear from you as you find freedom in the Lord.

Your dear brother,

Richard Hubberthorne

From W. Canton’s Manuscript Collection

No. XXX

HENRY FELL TO MARGARET FELL (Henry was not related to Margaret)

London, 7th of Twelfth mo. 1659, [second mo. 1660]

M. F. my dearly beloved in the Lord, my soul greets you, and honors you.

George Fox and Friends here are generally well; but General Monk's* soldiers begin to be rude concerning Friends' meetings. John Scafe has come to town, and went yesterday to the meeting in the Palace-yard at Westminster. But soon after he began to speak, they began to drag Friends out of the house violently, and beat them very severely, and would not allow any of them to stay in the house. Yes, they beat and abused Friends exceedingly in the streets. I came there when they had drug almost all Friends out, and then scattered them; and they pulled me out and beat me greatly, knocking me down in the street, and tearing my coat all over. Edward Billing and his wife were very much abused, he especially. I hear he went soon after and wrote to the Parliament, and acquainted some of them with their usage, and that he would endeavor to lay it before General Monk and the rest. As things now stand, great distractions and disaffections there are in people; but to them that fear the Lord and wait upon him, all things will turn to their good.

Your brother,

Henry Fell

From W. Caton’s Manuscript Collection

*{General Monk (actually Monck) had been a major supporter in Scotland of Oliver Cromwell in his civil war to overthrow the monarchy. From George Fox's Journal, we learn of Monk:

I saw that General Monk was a man who had bowed before Oliver Protector, and he had a covering [was just acting], and that when the cover was removed [when he stopped acting] he would resume being the man he had been before Cromwell. Those that banished me, [Fox had been banished from Scotland] would themselves be banished not many years after; for when they had the power, they did not do good, or allow others to do good either.

Monk had served Charles I. When Cromwell replaced the King by revolution, Monk became Cromwell's assistant and Commander-in-Chief in Scotland, where he had numerous Quakers under his command as soldiers. Fox wrote he and the army in Scotland a long letter. Monk received the commission of commander-in-chief of the parliamentary forces on 24 November 1659. He entered the capital on 3 February 1660. In all this his ultimate purpose remained mysterious. At one moment he secretly encouraged the demands of the Royalist City of London, at another he urged submission to the existing parliament, then again he refused to swear an oath abjuring the house of Stuart, and further he hinted to the Rump of the Long Parliament the urgent necessity of a dissolution. He forced the dissolution of the Republican Parliament, while at the same time breaking up, as a matter affecting discipline, the political groups that had formed in his own regiments. He was now master of the situation. Though he protested his adherence to republican principles, it was a matter of common knowledge that the new parliament would have a strong Royalist color. Monk himself, now in communication with Charles II, accepted the latter's Declaration of Breda, which was largely based on Monk's recommendations. The new parliament met on 25 April 1660, and on 1 May voted the restoration of the monarchy.

Soldier though he was, he had played the difficult game of politics in a fluid and uncertain situation with incomparable skill. That he was victor sine sanguine, i.e., "without blood", as the preamble of his patent of nobility stated, was generally applauded as the greatest service of all, especially after the violence of the Civil Wars. Charles II rewarded Monk suitably for his services in restoring him to his throne. He was knighted, invested with the Order of the Garter, and made Master of the Horse in the King's household. Charles also raised him to the peerage with the titles of Baron Monk, Earl of Torrington and Duke of Albemarle, and he received a pension of £700 a year.

Monk did exactly as George Fox had foreseen; he joined the Stuart Royalist cause again, (his second switch of loyalty) showing what an adroit actor he was.}

No. XXXI

ТHЕ following letter is transcribed from an ancient manuscript, probably a copy; it is without date, and is endorsed E.B.’s letter to W. M. the contents of the letter are rather circumstantial, and carry with them all the appearance of authenticity. The Diary of Samuel Pepys seems to fix the date of the letter, and perhaps even the name of its writer to be Edward Billing. "

February 7th, 1660. [the 12th month, 1659]

To the Hall [Westminster;] when in the Palace [yard,] I saw Monk's soldiers abuse Billing and all the Quakers, that were at a meeting place there : and indeed the soldiers did use them very roughly, and were to blame."] Diary of A. Pepys, vol. i. p. 13.

E. B. to W. M.
(probably Edward Billing to William Mead, later to marry Sarah Fell, Margaret Fell’s daughter)

DEAR W. M., Oh! my dear heart, forever blessed be His eternal name, who has called us, and thought us worthy to testify, or in any measure to suffer for his name's sake; who is, and was, and is to come, and is already come, and who is over all. Since general Monk's coming to London with his army, we have been very much abused in our meetings; as in the Palace yard, we were pulled out by the hair of the head, kicked, and knocked down, both men and women, in such a manner not here to be expressed. Many were the knocks, and blows, and kicks, myself and wife received; and this was done by general Monk’s foot soldiers, who came into the meeting with sword and pistol, being, as they said, bound by an oath to leave never a sectarian in England; saying, that they had order from their lord Monk, to pull us out of our meeting; which with inexpressible cruelty they did. The meeting in the Palace yard I suppose you know. Alter they had beaten us in the house with their swords in their scabbards, whips, and such like, out they drug and kicked us into the kennel before the door, where many a blow I received, being in particular knocked and kicked, quite through the Palace yard, even to the Hall door. Having gotten within the Hall, after a little recovery, I was moved of the Lord to write a little note to the Speaker in the House,—Parliament being then sitting. As soon as I got into the lobby, I sent into the House for sergeant Chidleton, who came to me; and I gave him the note, laying it upon him to give it to the Speaker, which he did, and it was forthwith read in the House, publicly; when an enemy stands up and says, the multitude were appeased, etc. I passed through the multitude back again to the meeting house, [when they] again fell upon me the second time, as before; and in my passing back to my own lodging, they spared me not, but fell upon me, crying, 'Kill him.' saying, I was the ringleader and captain of the rogues.

We afterwards met colonel Rich, who was much affected to see and hear of our usage; with whom I passed through the Palace yard again, the soldiers and multitude being just then beating a woman of the house at the door; and plundering the house, notwithstanding [it had been said] that the tumult was appeased. At last I passed to Whitehall, where general Monk was; with whom I had present audience. In a few words, I laid the whole matter before him, and told him that the soldiers said, they had his order for it. He might say, they did not. I answered, that since he and his army had come to town, we could not pass the streets without very much abuse; having been not so much abused these many years, no, I say, never by soldiers.

I do not give you this ample account of my abuse, as if it were greater than others; for several Friends were as badly used as myself.

So Friends in New England are executed; the third upon the ladder bore a precious testimony for the living God.

The Parliament has declared that the priests' maintenance shall be by way of tithes; and that they will govern according to law. Till now, they pretended to regulate the law at the least, and that the priest should have his tithes until another maintenance could be found; but those in the House who had any reasonableness in them, before their interruption, are now become as bad as men can well be; except N. Rich, Henry Smith, F. Pirne, and Pembroke, who was the only person who moved for liberty of conscience; being not seconded by one man, (N. Rich was not there not being there), closing his speech with these words, ' Mr. Speaker, I suppose what I have offered to you, will be but as a cup of cold water.'

General Monk has broken down the gates of London, which—it is like—was beyond his judgment, to which—it is said—he was, as it were, betrayed; for saying merrily at the council one night,—it is said,—that the city would not be conformable until the gates were pulled down, or the like. Haslerig [went] to the House on the next day and informed the House it was general Monk's desire, the council having sent him an order the night before to do it; but upon Arthur Haslerig's report, it was confirmed.—

After all this he marches out of the city to Whitehall, and brings his army back with him. The next day he calls a council of his own officers distinct, and into the city he marches again with his army, without the consent of the Parliament; but they were forced to be quiet, and glad they could be so. The city received him and his with great acclamation,—bells ringing, and bonfires all the night, the like I believe has hardly been seen. But for all this, to this day neither the city nor Parliament are certain of him. He is now no more than one of the commissioners, his commission as general being expired the 11th of this month. Yet he has sent for the Irish brigade by his own order, to march to him; and he still continues in the city.

Writs and qualifications are ready for the filling up of the House, and it is said, they are to go forth tomorrow; but at present it is more like the secluded members will come in, the whole is for them or a free Parliament. Fairfax and the rest of the great ones in York have declared for the free-Parliament or the secluded members; without the one they declare to pay no taxes.

Norfolk and Suffolk are in association with them of Yorkshire, and Wales is in the like posture; their regiments are formed or forming in Yorkshire. Fast will God's hand be upon this Parliament, as it was upon those unclean hypocrites at Wallington House; who did what in them lay against God, and whatsoever might be called [of] God.

Lambert is not yet come in, according to the Parliament's order; but has sent a letter to the Speaker, the purport whereof is,—as it is said—, desiring to have their order to live quietly at home, or a pass to go beyond the seas. Ludlow is impeached in the House; but as yet nothing is done against him, and he sits in the House. Sharp and terrible will the hour of persecution yet be.

As you have freedom, salute me dearly to Friends; and let such as stand, take heed for they fall; for I am confident we shall again be tried, so as by fire. Henry Vane and Salway are secluded the House, and Salway committed to the Tower, but has obtained favor to go to his own house in Oxfordshire. Vane is committed to Raby Castle [his own residence,] and is gone the second time; for he was upon his journey, and came back again; at which general Monk took exceptions; so he was again ordered into the hands of the Sergeant at Arms, who conveyed him out of London some days since. Fleetwood and those worst of men in combination with him: Sydenham, Desborough, Packer, and others, are only dismissed, and at the present connived at; and so is Owen. Friends are in general preciously kept in the life; and I may truly say, are refreshed in this hour of persecution.

No. XXXII

RICHARD HUBBERTHORNE TO MARGARET FELL

London, 20th of First month [third mo.] 1660

DEAR SISTER,—Our meetings at present are peaceable and quiet, though we have had rudeness by some soldiers and disturbance. I was moved to write something to Monk [general] about it, upon which he gave out a few words as an order to the officers and soldiers which did stop them for the present from their rage. I intend to stay in the city about two weeks, and then pass towards Suffolk am Norfolk, and then towards Yorkshire. Francis Howgill Samuel Fisher and Joseph Stubbs, are in the city.

Your dear Brother,

Richard Hubberthorne

From W. Caton's Manuscript Collection

This order of general Monk, is given in Bevel's History; it has been found among the Swarthmore Collection of Manuscript as follows:

St. James, 9th of March

I do require all officers and soldiers to cease to disturb the peaceable meetings of the Quakers, they doing nothing prejudicial to the Parliament or Commonwealth of England.

George Monk

No. XXXIII

RICHARD HUBBERTHORNE TO GEORGE FOX

London, 29th of Third month, [fifth mo.] 1660

DEAR BROTHER.—Since I wrote unto you last week, our meetings have been quiet and very full. George Fox, (the younger, no relation to the older) —was brought up to this city the last week upon the fifth-day, and is prisoner at Lambeth House, and Robert Grassingham, who was brought up with him; they are not yet summoned to court, so they remain imprisoned. I have visited with them twice in prison. I also visited some officers of the army there, with whom I had a good service; as major Brayman, Allen, and Courtney, who are there prisoners. I have been with Colonel Rich. He is at liberty; he is pretty low and sensible, and sees that all will be separated into two; that is, either to join to the truth, or to the profane. He was the last first-day at our meeting in the Strand. Several who have had an honest principle stirring in them, begin to be bowed under towards the Truth; but the wickedness in this city is so great, that it is past expression; and everywhere in the nation it abounds as a flood; and Friends everywhere pass in the hazard of their lives and of great sufferings. Stephen Crisp has passed through much suffering at Peterborough, Norwich, and other places, and is now at Colchester. John Moon and William Alan, have been sorely abused at Cambridge, and William Ames is sore bruised. Josiah Coale is prisoner at Leicester, and put in the marshal's hands, where he is very badly used. He lies upon some stones, and his food is only bread and beer. He desired that you might know of it. Alexander Parker is prisoner at Nantwich in Cheshire, and is in the marshal's hand; he was taken out of a meeting at Northwich; but the marshal is pretty loving to him.

It is only the power of the Lord God, that preserves us here in this city from the rage of the wicked, which is very high. [At] our meeting this day at Westminster in the morning, the people were very rude, and had almost broken up the meeting; but afterwards some soldiers came, and quieted the rude [people] down, setting a guard at the door; and so the meeting was kept quiet, and ended quiet.

King Charles and his two brethren, James and Henry, came into this city this day. Charles is of a pretty sober countenance; but the great pride and vanity of those who brought him in, is inexpressible; and he is in danger to be brought [or wrought] to those things, which he in himself is not inclined unto. The great excess and abomination that has been used this day in this city, is inexpressible.

I do not yet know when I shall depart from this city; for the service is very great.

Richard Huberthorne

From the Original No

No.XXXIV

RICHARD HUBBERTHORNE TO GEORGE FOX

London, 24th of Fifth month [seventh mo.] 1660

DEAR BROTHER,—As concerning what is done here, M. F. [Margaret Fell] has written to you. Our meetings here are very full and quiet, and increase daily; and there is great service. I showed J. Nayler your letter, wherein you mention a former letter concerning his going to Bishoprick; but he has not received it. He remembers his dear love to you, and desires to hear from you by the next post, whether anything of that be upon you concerning him. But at present here is a great service for him, and several great ones have a desire to hear him at Woodeock's; he has been there some first-days, and it is upon him to be there yet more. We have drawn some to that meeting, because it was so full, and many that are great in the outward resort here. There is a meeting at Elizabeth Trott's at Pall Mall, where many come in; where Margaret Fell has been two first-days.

Richard Huberthorne

From the Original

It appears from George Fox's Journal, that Margaret Fell, about this time, went to London, to intercede with the King on behalf of George Fox, who had been taken prisoner at her house, and forcibly carried away to Lancaster Castle. He was, not long afterwards, released by order of the King, having been permitted on his word only, to travel up to London, to appear before the judges. (See George Fox's Journal, 1660.)

Margaret Fell also delivered a letter to the King, with her own hands, in the fifth month of this year, after he had issued a proclamation to bring to trial those who were instrumental in taking away his father's life. In this letter she reminds him, how the Lord had brought him again into this nation, without shedding of blood or revenge; she, therefore, wished him to consider this, and not to look to those who would incense him to revenge, which is not according to the will of God, nor good for the King; whose best way was, to show mercy and forgiveness, and to commit his cause to God; and to be clear of all men's blood, and to let every one enjoy the liberty of their consciences, to that worship they dare trust their souls under." She also addressed other letters to him about this period.—Margaret Fell's Works.

Elizabeth Trott, having received the Truth gave up her house, which was towards the end of Pall Mall, near James's house, for a meeting."—Life of Gilbert Latey.

{The Quakers strongly believed the prophecies of Cromwell's demise came true because he did not heed the warnings of God. Now the King had returned to power. George Fox boldly writes a letter to the King "both to exhort him to exercise mercy and forgiveness towards his enemies, and to warn him to restrain the profaneness and looseness that was up in the nation upon his return."

TO THE KING FROM GEORGE FOX

King Charles,

You did not come into this nation by sword, nor by victory of war, but by the power of the Lord. Now if you do not live in it, you will not prosper. If the Lord has showed you mercy and forgiven you, and you do not show mercy and forgive, the Lord God will not hear your prayers, nor those who pray for you. If you do not stop persecution and persecutors, and take away all laws that hold up persecution about religion; if you persist in them, and uphold persecution, that will make you as blind as those who have gone before you; for persecution has always blinded those who have gone into it. Such God by his power overthrows, does his valiant acts upon, and brings salvation to his oppressed ones. If you bear the sword in vain, and let drunkenness, oaths, plays, May-games, with such like abominations and vanities be encouraged or go unpunished, as setting up of May-poles, with the image of the crown atop of them, etc., the nations will quickly turn like Sodom and Gomorrah, and be as bad as the old world, who grieved the Lord until he overthrew them; and so he will you, if these things are not suppressed. Hardly ever was there s0 much wickedness at liberty as there is in this day; as though there is no terror of, or power of government; which does not grace a government, nor is it praise to those who do well. Our prayers are for those who are in authority, that under them we may live a godly life, in which we have peace, and that we may not be brought into ungodliness by them. Hear and consider, and do good in your time, while you have power; be merciful and forgive; that is the way to overcome and obtain the kingdom of Christ.

George Fox
}

FRОМ HUBBERTHORNE TO GEORGE FOX

London, 31st of Filth month [seventh mo]

DEAR BROTHER,—My dear love is to you. As for that book you mention, which is against us, which was in the news-book, it is answered, and the answer printed twelve days since; some of them are given abroad in Whitehall, and others of them are sold in many shops, and some of the women cry them about the streets. So that the Truth is over it, though it is one of the worst books that has yet been written against the Truth. There is a paper of queries that has come to us from the Papists,— who are now creeping up,—which has been answered.

All things here are pretty well, and our meetings are daily increasing in magnitude, and all quiet.

You write, that one seventh-day you did not receive any letters; but at that time there were several letters sent to you, both from M. F. and me; and also the last week we wrote to you, and have not missed any week, but have written to you.—Edward Burrough is at Bristol; he writes to some of his plans to go to Ireland shortly ;—he has sent two letters to the King privately, but we have not seen them.

Richard Huberthorne

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FROM HUBBERTHORNE TO GEORGE FOX

London, 7th of Sixth month [eighth mo] 1660

DEAR BROTHER,—I received your letters last week, and shall get your letter to the King and Parliament copied shortly; and afterwards it may be printed. All things here concerning the Truth are well, and our meetings are very large in every place here, and quiet. George Whitehead is here, and does remember his dear love to you.

Richard Huberthorne

[Richard Hubberthorne died in Newgate about two years after the date of this letter: the following is a copy of the entry respecting him in the London Register of the burials of Friends:— " Richard Hubberthorne laid down the body in the time of his imprisonment in Newgate, being the 17th day of sixth month, 1662, and by the coroner's inquest was found to die naturally, and was interred in the burial ground before said," [Bunhill Fields.]

In a register book of Yealand meeting in Lancashire, was found a short account respecting Richard Hubberthorne, who was a native of that village; he is there described to be one of the first messengers that declared the Truth in that part. After stating that he was imprisoned some months in Chester jail , the account proceeds to say, that he was sent away from that city by the mayor and justices under warrant, " to be had from constable to constable until he came to Yealand, the place of his birth. The first constable was Richard Sale* of Oule, who was convinced by Richard; he burnt the warrant, and set him at liberty." R. Hubberthorne was afterwards imprisoned at Congleton; also at Cambridge and at Norwich, and there remained several months. Coming then to London he "had much exercise with many great ones, and with the King. So after much labor and travail in England and Wales for nine years, he was imprisoned by Richard Brown, a great persecutor—mayor of the city of London,—in Newgate prison; where he was thronged in the heat of summer. Here he finished his testimony, sealing it with his blood, being a martyr for Jesus, the 17th day of the sixth month, 1662."]

*Richard Sale was the Friend who died in consequent of his torturing confinement in Cheater jail , in a cell called Little-ease. That cell was distinguished from others by its small dimensions. It was not high enough to stand up in nor yet wide enough to lie down in. One had to take on an awkward manner and live on the diagonal; sleep was a collapse and waking a squatting. )

No. XXXV

ELLIS HOOKES TO GEORGE FOX

London, 11th of Sixth month, [eighth mo.] 1660

DEAR George Fox—As concerning the sufferings, they have been all sent up—except Scotland— long since; about eighteen counties have sent up copies, which are done, some in books and some in papers, in good order : most that are come, are [from] Western counties. Now the chief cause of my writing is, to know whether they should be printed, or whether you would have them written in a great book to be kept? Now I am not so busy but that I may settle to write them, if you think fit, which I am free to do; or whether you think Thomas Forster may do them, who I believe would do them better ? yet I am very free, and may take as much care as I can, to do them well; and for the placing of the counties, which shall be put first, it may be as you orders.

There is only Lincolnshire, Derbyshire and Leicestershire, sent up as yet of the Northern counties; so, if you think necessary, they may be sent to, to send them up. My dear love is unto you.

Ellis Hookes

For George Fox in Lancaster

From the Original

Ellis Hookes was employed in London as a recording clerk to the Society. These accounts of sufferings were written into large folio volumes, which are still preserved among the Society's records in London, and are continued down to the present day in forty volumes. They were begun by Ellis Hookes, whose clear and excellent handwriting extends over a large portion of the first of these bulky folios. To the narratives of sufferings and persecutions, were added accounts of what were regarded as judgments upon persecutors; which were doubtless in that day ordered to be recorded, under a sense of the fear of God, and in testimony unto His overruling power.

Since Ellis was the official clerk of the Society, he was often involved in many of the struggles with the King and Parliament, particularly when documentation was required to be presented as part of their pleading, or in legal documentation follow-up to any relief granted. For that reason, you will see many of his letters to Margaret Fell and others in the following.

{Below is another very instructive letter (No. 194) from George Fox:

GEORGE FOX TO ALL FRIENDS

Dear friends,

Who have found the better part, and chosen the better thing, the one thing, which lasts forever, which is the ground of all true rejoicing and joy, in whom you have all riches and life, and the blessings, and the immortal power, to be your crown and covering. It may be, there will be a time of shearing and clipping; but the earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof. So, mind him to be your portion, and the seed Christ your all, and your life; and fear not losing the fleece, for it will grow again. Keep your meetings in the name of him that never fell, which are above all the meetings of Adam's sons and daughters in the fall. Keep in the fellowship in the gospel, which is the power of God, which was before the devil was; and this fellowship is above all the national fellowships in the fall of Adam. Keep in the worship of the Father in the spirit and in the truth, which the devil is out of, and in that you will live in the truth and spirit in ourselves, and walk in unity in the same; and then you are over all the will-worships in the fall of Adam, where they are in the strife about them. Those, who have come to the church in God, see above all the churches of Adam in the fall, driven from God. As the outward Jews suffered by the outward Egyptians and Babylonians, persecuting them and killing their children; so the spiritual Egyptians and mystery Babylon persecute and would kill the Jews in spirit, that worship God in the spirit, whose praise is of God, and not of man; and such need nothing from fallen men, but by them are persecuted. But all those go, as dumb before their shearers; for he that gave his back and his cheek to the smiters, overcame, and reigns, and has the victory and the honor; who is Christ, the amen, the first and last, the top and corner stone. In him sit down, in life, and peace, and rest.

So no more, but my love in the everlasting seed, the second Adam that never fell nor changed, whose love is above all the love in Adam's house in the fall.

George Fox

}

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