Afterwards we returned to Heads, Badcow, and Garshore, where the said lady Margaret Hambleton was convinced; who afterwards went to warn Oliver Cromwell and Charles Fleetwood that the day of the Lord was coming upon them.
On First-day we had a great meeting, and several professors came to it. Now the priests had frightened the people with the doctrine of election and reprobation, telling them, 'that God had ordained the greatest part of men and women for hell. And if they were ordained for hell, whatever prayer, preaching, singing and good works, they had, it was all to no purpose. That God had a certain number, which were elected for heaven; and whatever they did, they were still going to heaven,' i.e. David an adulterer, and Paul a persecutor; yet both were elected for heaven. So the fault was not at all in the person, more or less; but God's who had ordained it so. I was led to open to the people the falseness and folly of their priests' doctrines, and to show them that the priests had abused those scriptures, which they had brought and quoted to them! (As in Jude, and other places) For whereas they said, "there was no fault at all in the person;” I showed them that the fault was in Cain, Korah, and Balaam whom Jude says were ordained of old to condemnation. For did not God warn Cain and Balaam, and put the question to Cain, "If you do well, shall you not be accepted?" And did not the Lord bring Korah out of Egypt, and his company? Yet did not he disagree with both God and his law, and his prophet Moses? So there was fault in Cain, Korah, and Balaam, as there is fault in all that depart from the way of God and go their own ways. For if they, who are called Christians: resist the gospel as Korah resisted the law, err from the spirit of God as Balaam did, and do evil as Cain did; is there not fault that has occurred? The fault is in themselves, and is the cause of their reprobation, and it is not God’s fault. Does not Christ say, "Go, preach the gospel of salvation to all nations?" He would not have sent them into all nations, to preach the doctrine of salvation, if the greatest part of men had been ordained for hell. Was not Christ a propitiation for the sins of the whole world, for those that became reprobates [sin still lives in them] , as well as for the saints? He died for all men, the ungodly as well as the godly, as the apostle states in scripture. 2 Cor 5:15 and Rom 5:6. And "he enlightens every man that comes into the world," that through him they might all believe. And Christ bids them believe in the light; but all they that hate the light, which Christ tells all believe in, are reprobated. Again, "The manifestation of the spirit of God is given to every man with which to profit;" but they that vex, quench, and grieve the Spirit, are in the reprobation; and the fault is in them, as it is also in them that hate his light. The apostle said, "The grace of God, which brings salvation, has appeared unto all men, teaching us, that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world." Titus 2:11-12. Now all those that live ungodly, and in the lusts of the world, that turn this grace of God into negligence of restraint, and walk despitefully against it, and so deny God, and the Lord Jesus Christ that bought them, the fault is in all such that turn the grace of God into negligence of restraint, and walk despitefully against what would bring their salvation, and save them out of the reprobation. But it seems the priests can see no fault in such as deny God and the Lord Jesus Christ that bought them, nor fault in such as deny his light; the light which they should believe in, and his grace, which should teach them to live godly, and which should bring them their salvation. Now all that believe in the light of Christ, as he commands, are in the election; and sit under the teaching of the grace of God, which brings their salvation. But such as turn from this grace in rejection of authority are rejected by God (the reprobation); and such as hate the light are in the condemnation. Therefore I exhorted all to believe in the light, as Christ commands, and own the grace of God their free teacher; and it would assuredly bring them their salvation: for it is sufficient. Many other scriptures were opened concerning reprobation, and the eyes of the people were opened; and a spring of life rose up among them.
These things soon came to the priests' ears; for the people that sat under their dark teachings began to see light and to come into the covenant of light. So the noise was spread over Scotland, among the priests, that I had come to their country; and a great cry was heard among them, that all would be spoiled; for they said, ‘I had spoiled all the honest men and women in England already,' (so according to their own account, the worst were left to them). Upon this they gathered great assemblies of priests together, and drew up a number of curses to be read in their several steeple-houses, and that all the people should say Amen to them. Some few I will here set down; the rest may be read in the book before mentioned of 'The Scotch Priests' Principles.'
The first was, 'Cursed is he that said, Every man has a light within him sufficient to lead him to salvation: and let all the people say, Amen.'
The second, ‘Cursed is he that said, faith is without sin: and let all the people say, Amen.'
The third, ‘Cursed is he that denies the Sabbath day: and let all the people say, Amen.'
In this last they make the people curse themselves; for on the biblical Sabbath day, (which is the Seventh-day of the week, which the Jews kept by the command of God to them), these peoples markets and fairs were open; and so the curse returned upon their own heads.
As to the first, concerning the light, Christ said, 'Believe in the light, that you may become children of the light:' and 'he that believeth shall be saved; he that believeth shall have everlasting life: he that believeth passes from death to life, and is grafted into Christ.' 'And you do well,' said the apostle, 'that you take heed unto the light that shines in the dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts.' So the light is sufficient to lead unto the day star.
As concerning faith, it is the gift of God: and every gift of God is pure. The faith, which Christ is the author of, is precious, divine, and without sin. This is the faith which gives victory over sin, and access to God; in which faith they please God. But those are reprobates [sin still lives in them] themselves concerning this faith, and are in their dead faith, who charge sin upon this faith under pain of a curse; which faith gives victory over their curse, and returns it into their own bowels.
After this we returned to Edinburgh, where many thousands were gathered together, with many priests among them, discussing the burning of a witch; and I was moved to declare the day of the Lord among them. When I was finished, I went from there to our meeting, where many rude people and Baptists came. The Baptists began to vaunt with their logic and syllogisms; but, ‘I was moved in the Lord's power, to thresh their chaffy light minds; and showed the people, that, after that fallacious reasoning, they might make white seem black, and black seem white: or, because a chicken has two legs, and because the people each had two legs; therefore they were all chickens. Thus they might turn anything into lightness and vanity; but it was not the way of Christ, or his apostles to teach, speak, or reason after that manner.' At which point the Baptists went their way; and after they were gone, we had a blessed meeting in the Lord's power, which was over all.
I mentioned before, that many of the Scotch priests, having been greatly disturbed at the spreading of truth and the resulting loss of their members, had gone to Edinburgh to petition the council against me. When I came from the meeting to the inn where I lodged, an officer belonging to the council brought me the following order:
When he had delivered me the order, he asked me, 'whether I would appear or not?' I did not tell him whether I would or not; but asked him, ‘If he had not forged the order?' He said, 'No; it was a real order from the council, and he was sent as their messenger with it.' When the time came I appeared, and was taken into a great room, where many people came and looked at me. After awhile the doorkeeper took me into the council chamber; and as I was going in, he took off my hat. I asked him, 'Why he did so, and who was in there that I might not go in with my hat on? I told him, ‘I had been before the protector with my hat on.' But he hung up my hat and took me in before them. When I had stood awhile, and they said nothing to me, I was moved of the Lord to say, 'Peace be among you. Wait in the fear of God, that you may receive his wisdom from above, by which all things were made and created; that by it you may all be ordered, and may order all things under your hands to God's glory.' They asked me, ‘What was the occasion of my coming into that nation?' I told them, I came to visit the seed of God, which had long lain in bondage under corruption; that all in the nation, who professed the scriptures, the words of Christ, of the prophets and apostles, might come to the light, spirit, and power, which they were in who originally spoke them; that in and by the spirit they might understand the scriptures, know Christ and God correctly, have fellowship with them, and one with each other.' They asked me, 'Whether I had any outward business there?' I said, 'No.' Then they asked me: 'How long I intended to stay in that country?' I told them, 'I could say little to that; my time was not to be long; yet in my freedom in the Lord I stood, in the will of him that sent me.' Then they told me to leave; and the doorkeeper took me by the hand, and led me out. In a little time they sent for me in again, and told me, 'I must depart the nation of Scotland by that day seven night.' I asked them, ‘Why? What had I done? What was my transgression that they passed such a sentence upon me to depart out of the nation?' They told me, ‘They would not dispute with me.' I desired them to hear what I had to say to them.' They said, 'They would not hear me.' I told them, 'Pharaoh heard Moses and Aaron, yet he was a heathen; and Herod heard John Baptist; and they should not be worse than these.' But they cried, 'Get out, get out.' So the doorkeeper took me again by the hand and led me out. I returned to my inn, and stayed in Edinburgh; visiting Friends there and in the area, and strengthening them in the Lord. After a little time I wrote a letter to the council, to lay before them their unchristian dealings, in banishing me, an innocent man that sought their salvation and eternal good.
When this was delivered, and read among them, some of them, I heard, were troubled at what they had done; being made sensible that what they had done would not be to their benefit. But it was not long after they had banished me, that they were banished themselves, or glad to get away; who would not do good in the day when they had power, nor allow others that would.
After I had spent some time among Friends at Edinburgh, and the area, I passed from there to Heads again, where Friends had been in great sufferings; for the Presbyterian priests had excommunicated them, and given orders, that none should buy or sell with them, nor eat nor drink with them. So they could neither sell their commodities, nor buy what they wanted; which made it go very hard with some of them; for if they have bought bread or other victuals of any of their neighbors, the priests threatened them so with curses, that they would run and take it back from them. But colonel Ashfield, being a justice of peace in that country, put a stop to the priests' proceedings. This colonel Ashfield was afterwards convinced himself, had a meeting settled at his house, and declared the truth, and lived and died in it.
After I had visited Friends at and about Heads, and encouraged them in the Lord, I went to Glasgow, where a meeting was announced; but not one of the town came to it. As I went into the city, the guard at the gates took me before the governor, who was a moderate man. I had a great deal of discussion with him; but he was too light to receive the truth; yet he set me at liberty, so I passed to the meeting. Since none of the town's people came to the meeting, we declared truth through the town; then passed away, visiting Friends' meetings in the area, and returned towards Badcow. Several Friends declared truth in their steeple-houses, and the Lord's power was with them. One time as I was going with William Osborn to his house, a company of rude fellows were found on the roadside, where they had hidden themselves under the hedges and in the bushes. Seeing them, I asked William, 'Who are these people?' 'Oh' he said, 'they are thieves.' Having been moved to go to speak to a priest, Robert Widders was left behind intending to come to us afterwards; so I said to William Osborn, ‘I will stay here in this valley, and you go find Robert Widders.' But he was unwilling to go because he was afraid to leave me there alone with those fellows; until I told him, 'I did not fear them.' Then I called to them, asking them, 'Why they were hiding there?' I bid them to come out and to me; but they were reluctant to come. I warned them to come out, or else it might be worse with them. Then they came trembling to me; for the dread of the Lord had struck them. I admonished them to be honest, and directed them to the light of Christ in their hearts, that by it they might see how evil it was to commit theft and robbery; and the power of the Lord came over them. I stayed there until William Osborn and Robert Widders came back, and then we went on together. If we both had gone on when we first discovered these thieves, and if Robert Widders had returned to meet us alone, he probably would have robbed because there were three or four thieves.
We went to William Osborn's, where we had a good opportunity to declare the truth to several people that came in. Then we went among the Highlanders, who were so devilish that they almost severely injured us and our horses by running at us with pitchforks; but through the Lord's goodness we escaped them, being preserved by his power.
Leaving Stirling we came to Burnt-Island, where I had two meetings at captain Pool's; one in the morning, the other in the afternoon. While they went to dinner I walked to the seaside, not having the freedom to eat with them. Both he and his wife were convinced, and became good Friends afterward; and several officers of the army came to the meeting and received the truth.
We passed from there through several other places in that country, until we came to Johnston's; where there were several Baptists, who were very bitter, and came in a rage to dispute with us. Vain janglers and disputers indeed they were. When they could not prevail by disputing, they went and informed the governor against us, and the next morning they raised a whole company of foot, and banished me, Alexander Parker, James Lancaster, and Robert Widders, out of the town. As they guarded us through the town, James Lancaster was moved to sing with a melodious sound in the power of God, and I was moved to proclaim the day of the Lord, and preach the everlasting gospel to the people. For the people generally came forth, so that the streets were filled with them; and the soldiers were so ashamed, that they said, 'they would have rather gone to Jamaica than have guarded us so.' But we were put into a boat with our horses, carried over the water, and there left. The Baptists, who were the cause of our being thus put out of this town, were themselves, not long after, turned out of the army; and he who was then governor was discarded also when the king came in.
Several of them were very loving to us, especially the English, and some came afterwards to be convinced. But there was a soldier that was very envious against us; he hated both us and the truth, spoke evil of the truth, and very despitefully against the light of Christ Jesus, which we bore testimony to. He was a zealous supporter of the priests and their hearers. As this man was holding his hat before his face, while the priest prayed, one of the priest's hearers stabbed him to death. So he, who had rejected the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ, and cried down the servants of the Lord, was murdered among them whom he had so cried up, and by one of them.
I again went from Leith to Edinburgh where they said the warrants from the counsel were out against me. I went to the inn where I had lodged before, and no man interfered with me. After I had visited Friends in the city in the morning, I told those who traveled with me to get their horses ready, and we rode out of town together. With me were Thomas Rawlinson, Alexander Parker, and Robert Widders. When we had gone out of the town, they asked me, ‘Where was I going?' I told them, ‘It was upon me from the Lord to go back again to Johnston, (the town out of which we had been lately expelled), and to set the power of God and his truth over them also.' Alexander Parker said, ‘He would go along with me;' and I wished the other two to stay at a town about three miles from Edinburgh until we returned. Then Alexander Parker and I crossed over the river, which was about three miles away, and rode through the country; but in the afternoon, his horse was weak and not able to keep up with mine. So, I went on and went into Johnston's just as they were drawing up the bridges. The officers and soldiers never questioned me, and I rode up the street to captain Davenport's, from where we had been banished. There were many officers with him; and when I came among them they lifted up their hands, admiring that I should come again; but I told them, 'the Lord God had sent me among them again.' So they went about their business; and the Baptists sent me a letter as a challenge, 'that they would debate with me the next day.' I sent them word, 'I would meet them at an appointed house, about half a mile out of the town, at an appointed hour. For I considered, if I should stay in town to debate with them, they might, under the pretence of debating with me, have raised men to put me out of town again, as they had done before. At the time appointed I went to the place with captain Davenport and his son accompanying me; where I stayed and waited several hours, but not one of them came. While I stayed waiting for them, I saw Alexander Parker coming. The night before he had not been able to reach the town and had lodged outside the town. I was exceedingly glad that we had met up again.
When had arrived at the city, I told Robert Widders to follow me; and in the dread and power of the Lord, we came up to the two first sentries; the Lord's power so overcame them that we passed by without any examination. Then we rode up the street to the marketplace and past the main-guard out at the gate by the third sentry, and so clear out to the suburbs; and there we came to an inn and put up our horses, it being Seventh-day. Now I saw and felt that we had ridden, as it were, against the cannon's mouth or the sword's point; but the Lord's power and immediate hand carried us over the heads of them all. The next day I went to the meeting in the city, Friends having been advised that I would attend it. Many officers and soldiers came to it, and it was a glorious meeting; the everlasting power of God was set over the nation, and his son reigned in his glorious power. All was quiet, and no man tried to interfere with me. When the meeting was over, and after I had visited Friends, I went out of the city back to my inn. The next day, being Second-day, we set forward towards the borders of England.
Leaving Berwick we came to Morpeth, and through the country, visiting Friends, to Newcastle, where I had been once before. The Newcastle priests had written many books against us, and one named Ledger, an alderman of the town, was very envious against truth and Friends. He and the priests had said, 'The Quakers would not come into any great towns, but lived in the fields, like butterflies.' I took Anthony Pearson with me, and went to this man named Ledger, who was with several other aldermen. I told them 'we had arrived in their great town, and seeing that they had written so many books against us, we wished to have a meeting with the people of the town and them.' But they would not allow a meeting; neither would they listen to us, except Ledger and one other alderman. I asked, 'Had they not called Friends butterflies, and said we would not come into any great towns? And now that we were in their town, they would not meet with us, though they printed books against us; who are the butterflies now?' Then Ledger began to plead for the sabbath day. I told him that they kept markets and fairs on the real sabbath day, for the real sabbath day was the seventh day of the week; whereas that day which the professed christians now meet on, and call their sabbath, is the first day of the week.' Since we could not have a public meeting among them, we had a little meeting among Friends and friendly people at the Gate-side; where a meeting is continued to this day in the name of Jesus. As I was passing by the market-place, the power of the Lord rose in me to warn them of the day of the Lord that was coming upon them. And not long after, all those priests of Newcastle and their profession were expelled when the king came in.