The Missing Cross to Purity




An Eminent Servant of Christ
and Minister of the Gospel in the Society of Friends.

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Edward Burrough, (1634-1662), was a giant in the early Quakers movement. At age twelve, his inner teacher convicted him of following a hollow religion, and he became a seeker. After a complete death of the old man within, being replaced by the Spirit of Christ, Edward Burrough at the age of 18 was appointed by Christ to be one of his ministers to preach the true gospel of experiential salvation. Edward Burrough was generally regarded as one of the principals of the early Quakers. When the Lord raised up the first generation of minster's after Fox's preaching, Edward Burrough was one of the sixty sent (the Valiant Sixty) by Christ throughout England to preach the Word of Life. The fact that he was sent to London, the most populous city with the greatest potential for harvest, is evidence of the Lord's regard of him.

Burrough tells us that he loved the Lord from his cradle, and his writings show a deep love and knowledge of the Lord, conveyed with clarity, brevity, eloquence, power, and authority; his sentences are surely aimed arrows, reaching both the tender hearts of the saints and the hardened hearts of their persecutors. Reading his letters of testimony, a deep longing arises to know this extraordinary servant of the most high God. His writings are exceptionally clear, logical, and carefully constructed.

He served magnificently in Northern England, London, Bristol, and Ireland, being the spiritual father to thousands. Persecuted almost immediately, he was imprisoned several times, the last being unto his death, a martyr of the true Church of Christ. Burrough was nicknamed, Boanerges, or Son of Thunder, the name Jesus gave to John and his younger brother James. Perhaps there are few instances on record, of more full and entire devotion to the cause of Christ and the good of souls, more fervent zeal, more untiring industry, more patient and meek endurance of reproach and persecution, than marked Edward Burrough.

From the day of his espousal to Christ, his course seems to have been straight forward, never looking back or flinching amid all the afflictions and sufferings which besot him for the Gospel's sake. Bold, ardent, and devoted in pursuing the path of Christian duty, he was clothed with a dignity and divine authority which made him a terror to evil doers, while the meekness and gentleness of Christ softened and adorned his whole character, and qualified him to administer the balm of divine consolation to the afflicted and contrite mourner. Cheerfully surrendering every prospect of worldly ease and profit at the call of duty, he devoted the prime and strength of his days to the service of his Lord, laboring night and day for the good of souls and the spread of vital religion, and crowding into the narrow compass of a few years, a greater amount of labor than is often accomplished in a protracted life.

Undaunted by the frowns and cruel persecutions of his enemies, he never flinched from fines, imprisonments, or any species of personal abuse, or violence, but nobly stood as in the forefront of the battle; and, at last, actuated by that Christian sympathy which is ever ready to share the sorrows and sufferings of brethren and sisters in Christ, he moved to London, during a time of extraordinary severity against Friends there, and was seized and drug to jail from one of their meetings. The crowded and diseased atmosphere caused by the crowded state of the prison quarters, soon undermined his health, and he gradually sunk away, in peace with God and man, a martyr for the name and testimony of Jesus, exchanging a prison on earth for an incorruptible crown in heaven.

Edward Burrough was so highly esteemed by the early Quakers, that when he died, there was such sorrow within the Quaker ranks that George Fox wrote:

"His name is chronicled in the Lamb's book of life, a righteous spirit, pure, chaste and clean. Who can tax him with oppressing them, or burdening them, or being chargeable to them, who through suffering has finished his course and testimony; who is now crowned with the crown of life, and reigns with the Lord Christ forever and ever. In his ministry in his life-time he went through sufferings by bad spirits. [He] never turned his back on the Truth, nor his back from any out of the Truth. A valiant warrior; more than a conqueror, who has got the crown through death and sufferings. Who is dead, yet lives among us."

That Edward Burrough was dearly loved with the highest esteem is without question, but for those early Quakers who has advanced to the kingdom, he yet lived among them; and they were able to fellowship with him, even after his death:

But you have come to mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem,
and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of righteous men made perfect. Heb 12:22-23

In addition, his very dear fellow in the truth, Francis Howgill, wrote an incredible eulogy to him, which is also in this memoir available for your reading and to show great respect to such an incredible servant of the Lord.

Thomas Ellwood, the editor George Fox's Journal, and a great Quaker poet, also laments Edward Burrough's death in a rare acrostic, [ a poem in which the first letter in each line, has a message also — which is ELLWOOD'S LAMENTATION FOR HIS ENDEARED EDWARD BURROUGH] which he called A PATHETIC EULOGY ON THE DEATH OF THAT DEAR AND FAITHFUL SERVANT OF GOD, EDWARD BURROUGH.

This memoir is drawn from three sources: 1) The Friends Library, Volume XIV, 1850, with 2) additions from William Sewel's The History of the Rise, Increase and Progress of the Christian People Called Quakers, Vol I, 1844, a republication of the original work of 1695, and 3) The Memorable Works of a Son of Thunder and Consolation: Namely, that True Prophet, and Faithful Servant of God, and Sufferer for the Testimony of Jesus, Edward Burrough, 1663, the original work from Google Books.




EDWARD BURROUGH, (1634-1662), was born in or near Underbarrow, a village in the barony of Kendal, in Westmoreland. His parents were respected for their virtue and honesty; and as they were possessed of a sufficient estate, they gave their son the best education that could be obtained for him in the neighborhood where they resided. He displayed much manliness of character at an early age, abstaining in great measure from the ordinary amusements of youth, and showing a relish for the company and conversation of pious persons of enlarged and mature minds. He was fond of reading the Holy Scriptures, and having a retentive memory, he became well versed in them. His parents were members of the Episcopal church, and brought him up in the practice of the ceremonies which its ritual prescribed. He describes his journey to the truth in the below extract from his volume titled A Warning from the Lord to the inhabitants of Underbarrow, and so to All the Inhabitants of England,

I was brought up by my natural parents in the profession of a religion, according to the generality of this nation, [Church of England], going one day in seven to hear a man preach "the Word," as they said to me, and to be exercised in the formal worship, which was then upheld, to read and sing, and to rabble [rote group reading out loud] over a prayer; but I was wanton and light, and lived in pleasure, without the fear of God, not knowing God, except by hear-say and tradition. But when I grew up toward twelve years of age, something stirred in me and showed me that there was a higher religion than what I was exercised in; and then I inquired where the chiefest of the Presbyterian priests preached, and would have gone some miles of a first day to have heard one of the best of them, which seemed more like truth that the other, [Church of England], and so I got up to be a Presbyterian, followed the highest of the priests and professors of that form, and grew in favor with them. Then some little of my vanity and lightness I left, and pride grew up in me, for wisdom grew up in evil; then some of my former acquaintances began to scorn me, calling me a Roundhead, [ a name for supporters of the Parliament in the English civil war], and the like; and by laboring here, [in the Presbyterian form], I gathered knowledge in things without, [outward knowledge] but was ignorant of the living Truth [taught by revelation from the Spirit].

Then when I was about seventeen years of age, it pleased God to show himself a little to me, and something struck me with terror, and when I had been praying, I often heard the voice, You are ignorant of God, you do not know where he is nor what he is; to what purpose is your prayer? And so much fear and dread came upon me, and broke me off from praying many times, and trouble came thick into my mind, and fearfulness fell many times upon me, and I was struck off my delights that I formerly loved, and what I had gathered in, as of a god, died; and I left off reading the scripture, for something showed me that I was very ignorant, and I knew not the true God, and the beauty of all things vanished. And I went to some, asking, What God was, which was professed? For I said, "I knew him not;" but got no satisfaction from any. And I was much separated from the vain ways of the world, and from vain worldly people, and was made to reprove many often for wickedness, in words and actions, and was much derided, and looked upon scornfully by many; and then the preaching, of those in whom I had formerly delighted greatly, was as withered and decayed.

Yet then it pleased the Lord to show himself a little in love to me, and I had sweet refreshments coming in from him to my soul, and had joy and peace in abundance, and openings of the living truth in me, of which the world did not know, and the mystery of the Scripture was somewhat opened, of which before I knew nothing; and I saw many glorious things in it, which He hid under the letter;* and I was in much rejoicing many times, and sang praise, for I was brought out of the land of darkness, and could say, I was in the Light, and had grown up to know high things.

* The real glory of what is in the scriptures is missed by almost all who search the scriptures. From the Word of the Lord within: "Only those who want to be clean can hear. The entire Bible is a parable." A parable is also translated as a proverb. Parables and proverbs deliberately have hidden meanings.

Apparently, He has left the word "believe" to be ambiguous, so that only those who want to be clean can hear the complete message of the scriptures and this web site. Those who don't want to be clean can interpret "believe" to think all sin is excused, that the Law is dead to them, and they will go to heaven still sinning when they die; they close their eyes and ears to the Bible's many exclusionsrequirements, and qualifying conditions of salvation. Thus the scriptures remains fulfilled:

However, not knowing the Cross of Christ, I ran forth in my wisdom comprehending the mysteries of God, having a light shined in me, and I grew up into notions, to talk of high things, for it was my delight to comprehend in my busy mind. Thus being ignorant of cross to keep low in it, I ran before my guide, up into comprehension, and then I was above many of the priests and professors, and sought only to hear the highest notionists, who preached high things, but the fleshly man was at liberty, and so I became one of them in their discussions, and was looked upon by them to know much. The former terror was gone, and I had gotten up from under the judgment, and now pride grew more than ever, and self-conceitedness and presumption, and fleshly liberty to the carnal mind, and my delight was much in discussions, where I played the harlot and the Prodigal, and gave holy things unto dogs, and cast pearls before swine, (for wisdom was hidden from me), and I lived pleasantly, for I had the true God, and the true Truth in my comprehension, (which by wisdom in the Light I had comprehended), but I had the world in my heart: pride, covetousness, and the earthly spirit ruled, and my delight was grown up to what once I had no delight in, and the beauty of things grew up, which seemed to be vanished. Here I had run from my husband after other lovers, and had left the Lord my Maker, who had so graciously made manifest himself unto me; and I had spent my portion among harlots;* but I became to be darkness, and had lost that which once I had, and only had in memory what I had enjoyed before. I could tell of experiences, but they were dead to me; and something within me began to question how it was with me; for I saw myself to be ignorant more than formerly, and I saw I knew nothing.

Something in me desired to be from where I now was, but I grew to be given to the world to seek after riches, and glory in it; and I fed myself with what I had formerly enjoyed, and said, Whom God loves once, He loves forever: (but that was then head, and ruled in me, which He never loved). I was wanton, and lived in the lustful nature, among heathens, crucifying the Lord of Life; but the blood of that which I had slain cried continually, and the witness which lay slain** would give me no rest, which the earthly made merry over; and I grew to be weary of hearing any of the priests though never so high, for something which shined deep in me showed me ignorant in all profession, and I was put to a stand many times in myself at those things that had come to pass.

[*Burrough did not associate with harlots in a physical sense; he associated with other lovers, (i.e., apparel, toys, cars, wine, women, song, houses, spas, make-up, taste sensations, drugs, exotic vacations, money, power, sports, etc.). Below is part of Francis Howgill's testimony for Edward Burrough, which shows his conduct was exemplary:

"This same Edward Burrough was born in the Barony of Kendall, in the County of Westmoreland, of honest parents, who had a good report among their neighbors for upright and honest dealing among men,who brought up Edward in his youth in learning and as good an education as the country does afford. He was a very understanding boy in his youth, and his knowledge and understanding did far exceed his years. He had the spirit of a man when he was but a child; and I may say, gray hairs were upon him when he was but a youth; for he was clothed with wisdom in his infancy, for I had perfect knowledge of him from a youth. He was inclined from his youth upwards to religion and the best way, always minding the best things, and the best and nearest way or worship to the scriptures of truth, and always did accompany the best men, who walked in godliness and honesty, insomuch I have often admired his discreet carriage, and his great understanding of the things of God. He was never known to be addicted to any vice or malignity, or bad behaviour, neither followed any evil course of life from his childhood but feared the Lord, and walked uprightly according to the light and knowledge received in all things. In his natural disposition he was bold and manly, dexterous and fervent; and what he took in hand, he did it with his might; loving, kind and courteous, merciful and flexible, and easy to be entreated. His whole delight was always among good people; and to be conferring and reading the Scriptures, and little to mind any sports or pastimes, (to which there is an inclination in youth); but his very strength was bended after God, and separated, (I may say), from his Mother's womb, and fitted for the work's sake, to which he was later called."

** Burrough's account is rich with references to the Book of Revelation being a personal experience and within.]

Then it pleased the Lord to send his true and faithful servant and messenger, who is called according to the flesh, G. Fox; he spoke the language which I knew not, not withstanding all my high talking, for it was higher and yet lower. And it pleased the Lord to speak to me by him, that I was in the prodigal state, and above the cross of Christ, and not in the pure fear of the Lord, but full of corruption and the old nature, though I had professed freedom, yet it was such as the Jews professed; for I saw myself to be in bondage to my own will and to my own lusts; and through the Word of the Lord spoken to me by him, began to see myself, (the witness being raised),* where I was, and what I had been doing, and saw I had been making an image to the First Beast, which had the wound by the sword and did live, whose deadly wound was healed, and was full of airy notions and imaginations, and was worshiping the image that I had made;** and then I saw myself to be a child of wrath, and that the son of the bond-woman lived, and harlots had been my companions, and I was not worthy to be called a son.

[* , ** More references to the Book of Revelation being a personal experience and within.]

Then troubles and distress came upon me, such as had not been since the beginning of the world, and I was at my wits end in a day of thick darkness and trouble, a day of weeping, and mourning, and misery; and a day of vengeance and recompense came upon me, such as I had never known: one vial of wrath after another.* The great whore was to be judged and to drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which whore had made me once drunk with the wine of her fornication.**

[* , ** More references to the Book of Revelation being a personal experience and within.]

Then I separated from all the glory of the world and from all my acquaintances and relatives and applied myself to the company of a poor, despised and condemned people called Quakers; and now I am one of that generation, which is, and ever was hated by the world, by the chief priests and Pharisees, and generation of serpents, and has chosen rather to suffer affliction with a poor despised people than to enjoy the pleasures of sin with the great multitude, (though worldly pleasures were not lacking to me); and now do I bear witness against all forms of religion, all false hirelings, and chief priests, who walk in the steps of the scribes and Pharisees, and walk in the steps of the false prophets of Israel that were never sent by God to declare his word. I do freely declare against all outward profession and notion, and I do witness George Fox to be a true minister of God, one who speaks the Word of the Lord from his mouth, one who was sent by God, and who is the servant and messenger of the living God; he is the friend of God and woe unto his persecutors that are the seed of evil doers.

Now I am despised by my neighbors and carnal acquaintance, which is not greater than my Lord who was called a blasphemer and a deceiver, as now I am; but praised, praised be the Lord for evermore, who has separated me from the world and the worldly glories and made me a partaker of his love, in whom my soul has full satisfaction, joy, and content.

Thus I have traveled through [past, or beyond] the world, even unto the end of the world, and now I have come to the beginning of what shall never have end, all which the dark mind of man does not know.

Edward Burrough

(The above was extracted from his volume titled, A Warning from the Lord to the inhabitants of Underbarrow, and so to All the Inhabitants of England, the remainder of which is below in this web page, which is also rich with references to events in Revelation, and show that book to refer to events within: that was, is, and is to come, (click to go directly to it.)

While he was thus made to endure the baptism of the Holy Spirit to prepare him for the Lord's service, he had also a large share of outward trouble and conflict. His parents, having been educated in the belief that religion very much consisted in the observance of the church ritual, were not prepared to tolerate in their son a profession which struck at all mere external rites and ceremonies, as being contrary to the spirituality of the Christian religion. They no doubt regarded the Quakers as heretics, in denying the saving efficacy of those rites, which many deemed to be part of Christianity itself, and obligatory on all. Other dissenters, however they might differ on certain points of doctrine or discipline, clung to what were termed the ordinances, [water baptism, wine and bread]. They considered the administration of outward water as the Christian baptism, and the partaking of bread and wine, after it was supposed to have been consecrated by the priest, as the Lord's supper. The Quakers, therefore, were condemned by all other professors of the Christian name; and Edward Burrough's parents were so incensed against him for joining with such a people, that they refused to permit him to remain in their family. When they had rejected him as a son, he offered to remain and work for them in the capacity of a servant, but in this he was also denied. Having now literally given up father and mother for the Lord's sake and the gospel's, he endeavored to walk in faithful obedience to Him who had called him, and whom he found to be a rich "rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." He who declared, "whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother and sister and mother," was with him in this separation from his kindred, sustaining him under the sacrifice he had made of family endearments.

Having thus given up all for Christ's sake, and passed through various exercises and baptisms to prepare him for the service and station which he was designed to fill in the church, he received a Divine call to the solemn work of the ministry of the Gospel; and engaged therein about two months after his convincement.

In a preface which he subsequently wrote to one of George Fox's book The Great Mystery of the Great Whore Unfolded, and Antichrist's Kingdom Revealed, he thus speaks of this period: (the entire work, from which the below is taken, is also on the site as a separate web page in the Burrough's folder and as the first page in George Fox's book,The Great Mystery of the Great Whore Unfolded, and Antichrist's Kingdom Revealed.)

It is now about seven years since the Lord raised us up in the north of England, and opened our mouths (to preach the gospel) in his Spirit. What we were before, in our religious profession and practice, is well known to that part of the country; how generally we were men of the strictest sect, and of the greatest zeal in the performance of outward righteousness. We went through and tried all sorts of teachers, and ran from mountain to mountain, and from man to man, and from one form to another, as many do at this day, and remain not gathered to the Lord. Such we were that sought the Lord, and desired the knowledge of his ways more than anything else. For one, I may speak, who had from a child, even a few years old, set his face to seek and find the Saviour, and more than life, treasure or any crown, sought after with all his heart the one thing that is needful, namely, the knowledge of God.

After our long seeking, the Lord appeared to us, and revealed his glory in us, and gave us of his spirit, and of his wisdom to guide us, by which we saw all the world, the true state of things, and the true condition of the church. First, the Lord brought us to see that God had given everyone of us a light from himself shining in our hearts and consciences, with which light, Christ, the Saviour of the world, had lighted every man. This light we found sufficient to reprove and convince us of every evil deed, word and thought. By it we came to know good from evil, and whatsoever is of God from what is of the devil. This light gave us to discern between truth and error, and between every false and right way. We thereby came to know what man was before transgression, how he was deceived and overcome by the devil; how he is driven from the presence of the Lord, and the sorrow and anguish which he is to undergo. By this light we came to know the way and means of restoration, and the state of man come out of the transgression and restored. These things were revealed in us by the light that Christ had given us and enlightened us with.

We found this light to be the sufficient teacher to lead us to Christ, from whom it came; and it gave us to receive Christ, and to witness [experience] Him to dwell in us. Through it we came to enter into the new Covenant, to be made heirs of life and salvation. In all things we found the Light, which is Christ, which we and all mankind were enlightened with, to be sufficient to bring to life and eternal salvation; and that all who owned this light in them, needed no man to teach them, but the Lord was their teacher, by his light in their consciences, and they received the holy anointing. So we ceased from all the teachings of men, their worships, temples and baptisms, and from our own words, professions, and practices of religion, in times before zealously performed by us, and became fools for Christ's sake, that we might become truly wise.

By this light of Christ in us we were led out of all false ways, false preachings and false ministry, and met together often and waited upon the Lord in pure silence. We hearkened to the voice of the Lord, and felt his word in our hearts to burn up and to beat down all that was contrary to God, and we obeyed the light of Christ, and followed the motions of the Lord's pure spirit took up the cross to all earthly glories, crowns and ways, and denied ourselves, our relations, and all that stood in the way between us and the Lord. We chose to suffer with and for the name of Christ, rather than enjoy all the pleasures upon earth, or all our former professions and practices in religion, without the power and spirit of God.

While waiting upon the Lord in silence, as we often did for many hours together, with our hearts towards Him, being stayed in the light of Christ from all fleshy motions and desires, we often received the pouring down of his spirit upon us, and our hearts were very glad, and our tongues loosened, and our mouths opened, and we spoke with new tongues, as the Lord gave us utterance, and his spirit led us, which was poured upon sons and daughters. By this, things unutterable were made manifest, and the glory of the Father was revealed. Then we began to sing praises to the Lord God Almighty, and to the Lamb, who had redeemed us to God, and brought us out of the bondage of the world, and put an end to sin and death.

All this was by and through the light of Christ within us; and much more might be declared of this (which could not be believed), of the manifestation of the everlasting spirit that was given us. But this is the sum: life and immortality were brought to light, power from on high, and wisdom were made manifest, and the day everlasting appeared to us. The joyful Sun of righteousness arose and shone forth to us and in us, and the holy anointing, the everlasting Comforter we received. The heir of the promise was brought forth to reign over the earth, and over hell and death, by which we entered into everlasting union, and fellowship, and covenant with the Lord God, whose mercies are sure and his promise never fails. We were raised from death to life, and are changed from satan's power to God, and gathered from all the dumb shepherds, and off all the barren mountains, into the fold of eternal peace and rest; and mighty and wonderful things has the Lord wrought for us, and by us, by his own outstretched arm.

Being prepared by the Lord, and having received power from on high, we went forth as commanded of the Lord, leaving all relations, and all things of the world behind us, that we might fulfill the work of the Lord, to which He called us. With flesh and blood, or any creature we consulted not, nor took counsel of men, but of the Lord alone, who lifted up our heads above the world and all fears and doubts, and was with us in power and dominion over all that opposed us, which was great and mighty. We sounded the word of the Lord, and did not spare; and caused the deaf to hear, the blind to see, and the heart that was hardened to be awakened; and the dread of the Lord went before us and behind us, and took hold of our enemies.

We first journeyed out of Westmoreland through Cumberland, Northumberland and into some parts of Scotland and Durham, Yorkshire, Lancashire, Cheshire, etc., and in all these counties we had much opposition, sufferings and cruel dealings from men of all sorts. Every jail may witness, how seldom any of them were without some of us imprisoned these six years; and scarcely one steeple-house or market but may witness what beatings, bruises, halings and perils we have sustained. Let the witness of God in all men's consciences, give testimony what cruelty we suffered, and also our patience and innocence under all that they have done to us.

Others beside Edward Burrough had been convinced of the Truth in the Northern counties of England, through the ministry of George Fox; and these frequently met together to worship the Lord. Being redeemed from all dependence on man and convinced that the solemn act of Divine worship must be performed immediately between the soul and its Almighty Creator, through the help of the spirit of Christ Jesus, the one great Mediator, through whom alone we have access to the Father, they were often engaged to sit down together in silence and wait on Him. Thus reverently seeking after the divine presence and power to be manifested among them for the renewal of their spiritual strength, the Lord was pleased at seasons marvelously to break in upon them and crown their assemblies with his living, heart tendering virtue, even when no words were spoken.

Francis Howgill tells us, that in joy of heart at this favor, they often said to one another, "What! is the kingdom of God come to be with men? Will He take up his abode among the sons of men, as He did of old? And shall we, that were reckoned as the outcasts of Israel, have the honor communicated among us, who were but men of small parts, and of little ability in respect of many others as among men ?"

Many were the afflictions which these honest hearted people were called to partake of; but having turned their backs upon the world with all its friendships, honors, ways, religions and worships, they nobly persevered amid all their sufferings, taking up the cross and following Christ Jesus, the Lamb of God, wherever He led them. In this patient waiting state, seeking to know and "to do the will of God," they grew in religious understanding, and divine knowledge of the things pertaining to the kingdom of heaven, and many of them were deeply instructed in the mysteries of salvation. Abiding under the teachings of the Spirit of Christ, they knew Him to sanctify and prepare them for the ministry of the gospel, and in his time felt themselves called of Him, to declare to others what they had seen and felt, and tasted and handled of the good word of life. Thus they were made living and able ministers of the New Testament, not of the letter, but of the Spirit, and in its power and authority were sent forth to gather souls to Christ.

We have already seen that Edward Burrough had been driven from his father's house, in consequence of his religious profession; and having thus early begun to taste of that cup of persecution, which in those intolerant times was poured out in such large measure for the people called Quakers, he shrunk not from the bitter draught, but with Christian meekness and patience, continued to bear the allotted portion of suffering, until at length he sealed his testimony with his life.

At an early period the storm of persecution broke forth in the north, and Edward Burrough in common with his brethren felt its effects, but this did not deter him from endeavoring faithfully to occupy the gift committed to his trust. He soon began to travel through his native county, and also went into Cumberland, Northumberland and some parts of Scotland, holding meetings and preaching to the people, many of whom were awakened by his ministry, and brought to join in religious fellowship with the Society of Friends.

In the Sixth Month 1652, Miles Halhead was committed to prison in Kendal, near Edward Burrough's native place, for reproving a priest. He informs us that the first night he lay in prison, the word of the Lord came to him saying, "Fear not, for I will be with you according to my promise, and will make you a burdensome stone to the town of Kendal, and to your persecutors. I will send my servants, my sons and my daughters, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south, to bear witness to the same truth that you suffer for; yes, against the justice that committed you. Therefore be faithful, for I have chosen you to be the first that shall suffer for my name's sake in the town of Kendal." This promise, Miles informs us, was made good. He was confined three months, during which period the same justice committed Francis Howgill, Thomas Holme and thirty others, "brethren and sisters," for bearing testimony to the Truth. At the expiration of the three months, the justice set him at liberty. Soon after, for riding through this town of Kendal, and exhorting the inhabitants to repentance, he was committed to prison by the mayor. He tells us that this officer "had little peace from the Lord for what he had done, until he had released me. Then I returned to my house again, and had great peace with the Lord." About the Ninth Month of this same year, Miles went to the house of justice Fell, at Swarthmore; he says; "I found the Lord's people gathered together to wait upon his name. The Lord was very good to that family, in feeding them with the dew of heaven, and with the sweet incomes of his love, according to his promise. Glory and honor, and living eternal praises, be given to the Lord God for evermore."

An anecdote will illustrate the unreasonable enmity against Friends, which at that time prevailed in the north of England. As Miles was going towards Swarthmore, a woman whom he passed without uncovering his head to her, ordered her servant to follow and beat him. This unreasonable abuse Miles patiently submitted to. Towards the close of the year, feeling a concern to visit the woman, he went to her house. She came to the door, and knowing him, and being desirous to avoid hearing what he had to say, feigned herself to be someone else. Miles, though unacquainted with her person, from a secret impression upon his mind, was convinced that she was the one whom he had come to see. After reproving her falsehood on the present occasion, he delivered a solemn warning to her, ending with this exhortation, "Fear the Lord God of heaven and earth, that you may end your days in peace." Three years afterwards the servant, who at the command of his mistress had beaten Miles, came to him and requested forgiveness, desiring he would pray to the Lord for him, that he might obtain peace of mind. To these requests he made this Christian answer, "Truly, friend, from that time to this day, I never had anything in my heart against you or your mistress, but love. The Lord forgive you both. I desire it may never be laid to your charge, for you knew not what you did." Miles adds to his account of the occurrence, "So I parted with him; my heart being exceedingly broken with the true love of God, who had pleaded my cause in the hearts of my persecutors."

In the latter part of the year 1652, or in the beginning of 1653, Edward Burrough accompanied his fellow laborer in the gospel, John Audland, in one of his earliest, if not in his very first, journey on a religious account. Of the success of their gospel labors, John Audland thus writes: "Praises and honor to our God forever, who is worthy, for all is falling before Him, My dear Friends, the harvest here is great; even all the fields are white, and all the dumb dogs and idol shepherds [shepherds of false gods], drones and loiterers run, quake, tremble and flee before us. The sword of the Lord is in the hands of the saints, and this sword divides, hews and cuts down, and a way is made for the pure seed to arise and reign above all, which conquers all. Praises be to the Lord forevermore." Dear Friends the work of the Lord is great, and many are convinced of the living truth, and I really see the Lord will raise up to himself a pure and large people, to serve and worship Him in spirit and in truth. My dear brother and fellow laborer, Edward Burrough, salutes you in the Lord."

Edward Burrough at this time could scarcely have been older than in his nineteenth year, yet he was accounted an able minister of the gospel, being zealous in his Master's cause, and wise in spiritual things, understanding the way of life and salvation; and was withal earnest in his manner, and fluent in the delivery of those important doctrines which he was commissioned to preach. How long he continued traveling with John Audland, we have no means for ascertaining. He appears, however, to have been much engaged at this early period in laboring in his own county, and elsewhere, in the markets, the streets, in places of public worship, and wherever his Master sent him with the message of life and authority to proclaim it. He had a remarkable gift in discerning the states and conditions of those among whom he was sent; and the exercise of the wisdom bestowed on him, no less than his zeal, was often called for.

About the close of the year 1653, or in the beginning of 1654, Edward Burrough was imprisoned for writing a letter of Christian reproof to one who was living in gross wickedness. During this confinement he prepared for publication the manuscript below:

(The Site Editor's comments and clarifications are within brackets[ ]).


Warning from the Lord

to the inhabitants of Underbarrow, and so to All the

Inhabitants of England,

With the manner of my passage through the dark world,
(wherein the simple ones see the deceits of the man of sin in his acts that imitate the true spirit),
to warn all to follow the true light within, which leads unto God,
and to beware of the voice, "lo here," and "lo there."

To all you the inhabitants, (those profane and those who profess belief), of Underbarrow, [the childhood village of Edward Burrough in County of Westmoreland, England], you my neighbors and countrymen according to the flesh, (but strangers as to the Spirit), to you all who are in the customary, formal, traditional worship of heathen, and under the barren, dry, and empty ministry of man, which stands in the will of man, and have proceeded from the carnal intentions and imaginations of fallen man, which are not according to God nor to the practice of the saints in former ages and generations; to you all do I clear my conscience in the presence of God by declaring to you in writing since I cannot have freedom, (through the subtlety of the serpent, who always works to prevent the living truth from being declared, whose deceits are to be discovered and made manifest), to declare in word among you: I have been sent by the Lord, moved by him to come, and to declare to you the word of the Lord, to the directing of your minds where to wait to attain the true knowledge of the Lord and to that one thing needed [that is necessary] for the eternal welfare of your souls; and to lay open the deceits of the serpent, who works in the accursed deceitful ministry that is upheld by you, by which your souls are kept in death, and your dark minds are only fed and nourished by the painted and serpent-like expressions and declarations that come from the carnal wisdom and brain knowledge of your hireling [paid priest or minister], who walks in the way of the false prophets of Israel, which the true prophet called greedy dumb dogs. Several times has the Lord, by his eternal spirit working in me, moved me to come into your congregations and assemblies; He himself is the witness that I come not of man, nor by the will of man, but contrary to the will and desires of man. I came in that which stands the true ministry of God, now as it ever was, which the true prophets, Jeremiah and Jonah, witness the same, and as the apostle Paul [came]; (as it is known to you under whom I speak), I could not have liberty to declare to you the truth from God, who came not to you with enticing words, neither with what I had gathered out of the Scriptures from without me, neither to speak my own imaginations and conceivings, (as do your false hirelings), but to declare the word of the Lord to the convincing of your dark understandings so that you might see the deceits by which you are, and have been, led; and that your souls might be redeemed up to God, out of the imagined worships of the world, to worship in spirit and in truth. Hear the word of the Lord you people, all your carnal traditional ordinances and observances are an abomination to the Lord, all your praying and praising is odious in his sight, for all your worship is an imitation and an imagination of the dark mind of man, and was never commanded by God; therefore consider all you people what you are doing, and do not reject the Lord [His words that I write to you], nor his everlasting truth, but prize your time, and now seek the Lord while he may be found, and call upon his name while he is near.

Your souls are kept in the death under your dead minister, and under his dead doctrines, dead reasons, points, and uses, which he speaks by taking from the scriptures that describe the saints' conditions and experiences, but he is an enemy to the substance [Christ], and to those in whom the same conditions are made manifest in the power of truth; and he shows himself to be in the same generation as those who had the form of godliness but denied the power thereof; having the letter as the Pharisees had, but persecuting the substance [Christ] as they did. All people consider whether he [your minister of death] is not in the generation professing God and truth like the scribes and Pharisees did, while persecuting the Son of God, who is the substance of truth wherever He is born and made manifest; he [your minister of death] is in the generation of those who professed they had Abraham's freedom and that God was their Father, but were of their father the devil because they did his works; they talked but failed to practice what they preached, as it is shown he [your minister of death] is a white washed wall, a painted sepulcher, which Christ, the Son of God, cried woe against, who was and is the light by which all deceivers, hirelings, and false teachers were discovered and cried out against.

[This letter, along with several of Burrough's writings, is significantly stronger than most other early Quaker writings, (though George Fox also wrote some strong letters). I was a little concerned that it might be too strong in calling the ministers, “deceivers” and more; but then I heard the Word of the Lord within say, “there are thousands of deceivers.” I know there are millions of teachers and preachers, so I began thinking that a “deceiver” must be a preacher or teacher that knows they are lying, which to me is almost inconceivable; but then I realized that the preachers’ income and prestige are dependent on their position, and if some of them came to the realization that what they preached was contradictory to the scriptures, as countless scriptures clearly state, then to admit the truth would be a significant risk; thus they choose to deliberately deceive the people in order to protect their income and status.

Do not discount Edward Burrough; in the Quakers' darkest hour, when four Quakers had been hung by Boston Puritans, he was the one sent to appeal to the king; and he secured an immediate order from King Charles to release twenty-seven Quaker prisoners in Boston that were scheduled to be shortly hung. So if you are ever ordered by the Lord to speak similar, condemning words of reproof to a minister of Babylon, at least you will recall that a true giant of the early Quakers courageously spoke such strong words in the past, (and don't forget that the Lord had very harsh words to say to the Pharisees too).

Babylon has sinned, all you that bend the bow, shoot at her;
spare no arrows, for she has sinned, Jer 50:14

Francis Howgill summed up the forcefulness of Edward Burrough with these below words:

The sword of the Lord, (words spoken by the mouth of the Lord), was very sharp in his hand; and whoever he met with, who walked after this sort, they were sure to feel the weight of his weapon and the force of his blow, by which many have been so deeply wounded that they have snarled like dogs on him, as greedy dogs indeed, because of their present wound and blow that he gave them; and though he was but young in years, yet he was full of fortitude and true valor. The Lord oftentimes, when he exercised him in such war as this, has filled his quiver full of polished shafts, and made his bow to abide in strength, and he was as dexterous and ready-handed, as any that I knew in his day, against the dragon and his power, against the beast and his followers; and indeed he was very evenhanded, and had a specially good arm, and seldom missed the mark. God had filled his mouth with arguments, so that he was often successful in the face of many opposers.]

The light, which is Christ, I do witness to be made manifest in me from God the father of light, daily leading me up to him to live in purity and uprightness, praise be to him forever; in which light I see your teacher to be a hireling, a greedy dumb dog, seeking for his gain from his quarter, one that God never sent, but has run and was not sent; therefore he does not profit you at all. From this light, which is Christ, I declare against him, as knowing him that he does not have the word of the Lord, but only the letter [Bible knowledge]. Freely do I declare against him and know him to be a deceiver and an antichrist because I was once deceived by him, but now through the rich love of my father, who has made himself known to me and has shined by his eternal light in my heart, I see him and all such to be antichrist and no minister of Christ. From the mouth of the Lord I do declare it, that you are led blindly by him, your blind guide; and you are ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the living truth by his ministry. He lays heavy burdens upon you. He is the generation of those who had the law and prophets, but persecuted he who came to fulfill the law and who has the substance of the prophets. He has the conditions and experiences of the saints in the letter, (the Scriptures), but [he is not among those] who are brought to witness the same conditions and the same straight way in which they walked. He is an enemy to all people; to you from God I do declare it, he is the one that God never sent to speak his word to you; he calls good evil, and evil good; and puts the light for darkness and darkness for light; and therefore woe is his portion, and woe is the portion of all that uphold him. What will you do in the end thereof? He bewitches you to observe that calling to be an ordinance of God that God never commanded. Poor people! Your souls lie in the death under the power of darkness and corruption, under your dead minister, and under his carnal observances; and your dark minds, your wit and reason is only fed, and so the enemies of the Lord are strengthened by him, and you remain in ignorance and in blindness, and cannot attain the true riches; for Christ only is the way to the father, the light in every man which leads to the father; but this light he denies as having enlightened everyone that comes into the world, as several times he has done to me in argument; his denial makes Christ a liar, and he does not know the first principle of religion nor the light that leads unto God; but he is as a heathen, does not know God, and walks contrary to the truth of God; he is a hypocrite saying and not doing. Yes my countrymen, be not deceived by him; try him by the Scriptures and see how he walks according to the declaration as they did who were ministers of Christ, not by the will of man; but his ministry is by man and according to man, and he had his call from man, as it is known to you all; but they who were true ministers witnessed the contrary, neither did they receive their gospel from man, but by the revelation of Jesus. The true ministers of Christ, sent forth by Christ, witness now the same thing, for Christ is the same that he ever was, which is now made manifest in the saints, and his ministry is the same, which is not by man, but contrary to man; be not deceived, God will not be mocked, for he is terrible, and his day is powerful and dreadful, that shall come upon the heathen, and upon the workers of iniquity, and upon all the dissemblers and hypocrites. All your carnal worship and ordinances and observances are only mocking God and dissembling [hiding your true heart's desires]* with him, and is but an imitation and an imagination of the mind of fallen man, imitated by you and your minister, driven by the imaginations away from the true worship of God, in which the saints in former generations were exercised, who were led not by imagination is you were, but by the spirit of God as all the servants of God are.

[*The impure person's worship is a dissembling: to hide your true thoughts, feelings, and intentions with pretence their lips honor God, but their hearts are far from God, full of pride and lust for the things of the world. What they treasure and desire in the world are their true idols and gods; for covetousness is idolatry, be it bodies, be it houses, be it money, be it cars, be it clothes, be it gadgets, be it entertainment be it anything other than God.]

Now as ever was, the true baptism I own [to acknowledge the truth of], which is by the Holy Spirit and with fire, and the baptism with one spirit into one body do we witness; but that which your chief priest and false hireling holds up, I deny it; it is not of God but is an imitation and is an abomination in the sight of God; and therefore from God do I declare against it and against your hireling that upholds it among you. The true communion of saints I own [to acknowledge the truth of] for we have union in the bread that we break, which is the body of Christ, and the cup which we drink is the blood of Christ, by which we are nourished and fed up to eternal life; for he that does not eat of Christ flesh and drink his blood, he has no life in him; he among you that can hear, let him hear, but I deny your communion because it is heathenish and no more but an imitation, having proceeded out of the imagination of the proud. Your breaking of bread and drinking of the cup is an abomination that God never commanded; and your Pharisee upholds this, sitting in the seat of Christ and of the saints as the Pharisees sat in Moses' seat, saying and not doing. I own [to acknowledge the truth of] true singing with the spirit and with understanding, singing in the spirit, making melody in the heart to the Lord; this singing was and is among the saints in the church of Christ; this is well pleasing to God for it is not an imitation nor by tradition as is your singing, but it is true sacrifice, the song of the redeemed ones, which none can learn but the redeemed ones of the Lord, (who has come and is coming), to sing with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads; but your singing is carnal, traditional, and heathenish, and it is an imitation, and is not with the spirit of Jesus; but it is with the spirit of the world, with the spirit of drunkards, swearers, liars, mockers, scorners, covetous ones, with the spirit of wrath, envy, malice, with the spirit of Cain, and with the spirit of the scribes and Pharisees and chief priests who persecuted the saints that sang in truth in former generations; and now the deceit is turned into the form of singing, and they that live there persecute those that sing in the power. For thus it has ever been that those who live in the profession of the word outwardly persecute those who live in the power of which was professed; and there [in the profession of the word outwardly] are you and your hireling.

But know that the Lord will take an account of you and give unto every man his reward according to his deeds. You and your priest have gotten the form of baptism, and of the communion, and of singing, and of a church; but the power and substance of these ordinances you do not know for they are hidden from all full vulturous eyes and from the generation of the Pharisees and serpents, who are called by men "master," and who have the chief place in the assemblies as your hireling has, and who is called of men master as they were who Christ cried woe against. The true preaching of Jesus Christ crucified we own [to acknowledge the truth of]and we do witness, for this preaching is not in the will of man, not in form and custom, and is foolishness to the wisdom of the world, now, as it ever was; this is not with the enticing words of man's wisdom but is in the demonstration of the spirit and of power; and the preaching of the word of faith, which is near you in your mouth and in your heart, that preaching we do own for faith comes by hearing this word preached. And the prayer with the spirit of truth we do own for that prayer does not come from the mind of man, but we are led to that, not by custom, form, and tradition, but by the eternal spirit that proceeds from God, which has free recourse to God, which God hears and accepts; for iniquity has been purged out of our hearts and is not regarded for he that regards iniquity in his heart, God will not hear his prayer; but the preaching and praying of your hireling I do deny for those are abominations to the Lord because his preaching leads from God, stands in his own will, in his own time, in form, custom and tradition; and your souls are not refreshed by it, neither is true faith known among you; for how can he, being evil, speak good things? A corrupt tree cannot bring forth good fruit, said He who cried woe unto those who preached but did not do likewise, in which generation your hireling is. So how could he teach and direct towards true religion? He denies the cornerstone, the first principle of religion, which is the foundation that no other can lay, the light of God, which has enlightened everyone that comes into the world, but which he denies to have enlightened everyone.

Poor people! I do pity your souls, (God is my witness), to see you lying in darkness, in ignorance, blindness, and deadness under your dead hireling and under his dead, traditional preaching. Only your wisdom, reason, and dark minds are fed and strengthened by his preaching; and you are all only building upon the sand, hearing but not doing; and we who have suffered the loss, and have witnessed the destruction of that building, do now freely declare against it wherever it is standing, for we know the depth, height, and breadth of all your profession and all your carnal worship and observances; and the word of God is as a fire, which will burn up, and as a hammer, which will beat down all your imagined worships and carnal ordinances. His [your hireling] praying is an abomination to the Lord for it is as theirs was, which the son of God cried woe against, who stood praying in the synagogues and made long prayers; and the praying of all such we do deny for their prayers are as the scribes and Pharisees were, who were called of men master's as they now are and who were sayers and not doers as is your hireling. Therefore all you people consider and diligently weigh these things, whether I declare to you the truth, without respect of persons. If I speak a lie, let me be accounted as accursed forever; and all you simple ones that are seeking the living among the dead, who are in the simplicity, seeking after the truth, and yet are bewitched to observe what God never commanded, and to seek God in a way that he was never found, for Christ alone is the way to the father, hallowed in all generations; for your sakes do I lay open the deceits of your hireling and chief priest, who is in the way of Balaam, following the wages of unrighteousness, and I advise you from the mouth of the Lord to cease from man whose breath is in his nostrils and to cease from all your customary carnal observances that God never commanded and what is only an imitation and an imagination; your souls are kept in death under the power of corruption, pride, drunkenness, covetousness, earthly-mindedness, wantonness, and the lustful nature ruling is head in you; and among you are the generation that draws near to God with their smiles, but your hearts go after covetousness and are far from the Lord; you worship an unknown God. Our persecutors of the true God and of his servants as ever it was in all generations by priest in people, as it is now with you and your priest; they that profess truth in word, persecuted those that witnessed the power, the horribly filthy thing is committed among you, and you love to have it so, but what will you do in the end thereof? You are in the generation of your forefathers, who spoke good of the false prophets, but persecuted the true prophets; for it is now among him who has the word of the Lord from the mouth of the Lord to declare unto you; him you revile and mock and scorn and persecute, but he that speaks the imaginations of his own heart, him you own and hear. By this you show yourselves to be those whom Christ spoke of, who would receive those that come in their own name, but will not receive him that comes in the name of his father. Repent and turn to the Lord least his judgments come upon you and destroy you with an utter destruction. The day of the Lord is terrible and dreadful, which will come upon the wicked and upon all the workers of iniquity. Be ashamed you heathens, you maintainers of the greedy dumb dogs, and upholders of the horrible filthy thing, the persecutors of the righteous seed, the condemners of the just, and the generation of serpents who cry out, "let Barabbas go free." You are of the generation hypocrites, who profess God, but persecute the son of God where he is made manifest, of this generation in which you are shall all the righteous blood shed be required even from Abel? Repent and cease from all your former ways and doings, from pride, drunkenness, covetousness, and oppression, from lying, swearing, from revelry, and wantonness, and vain pleasures, for the day of the Lord comes that shall burn as an oven, and the proud, and all who do wickedly, shall be as stubble, fully dry. For the Lord will be avenged of his enemies, and render vengeance in flames of fire upon all that do not know God, and that do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Who can stand when he appears? Who can dwell with everlasting burnings? Even he that does righteously and who has been purged from iniquity. But then woe unto you all hypocrites and professors and to the wicked and profane ones; you shall all partake of the righteous judgment and drink of the cup of the Lord's fury. Indignation for your iniquities are seen, and your transgressions are not hidden from the Lord. All your profession will not hide you from the presence of the Lamb for in your sacrifices are found to be deceit, and in your offerings lodges iniquity; the mouth of the Lord has spoken it. Therefore be ashamed of all your profession and your glorious carnal ordinances for the Lord is coming to uncover you and to make you and your profane hireling seen; for God is pure and holy and no iniquity dwells with him nor none who work wickedness. Therefore stop your mouth you hireling, who preaches for hire, divines for money, leans upon the Lord, and uses your tongue to say, "thus said the Lord," when the Lord never spoke to you. You are in the generation of the scribes and Pharisees; you upholders of him are to be ashamed for now every tree that does not bring forth good fruit must be hewn down; the Lord has said it. His word is as fire, which will burn up all the wicked; his word is sharper than a two-edge sword, which will cut down and wound the head of the wicked; you mockers and scorners, you swearers and liars, you proud and covetous ones, you merry-hearted and wanton ones; dreadful is the day that shall come upon you. The Lord will make his power known and glorify himself in your destruction unless you repent and turn to the Lord. You hardhearted ones and rebellious ones, the plagues of God are to rest upon you; therefore prize your time and repent, and fear the Lord God Almighty, and lay aside your vain wicked ways, and confess your sins, and forsake them, for such shall find mercy.

All you people, mind the light of God within you, and hearken to that which shows you what is sin and evil, which shows you your proud minds, your carnal covetous desires and affections, which checks and reproves you for your ungodly deeds; this light shines in darkness, but the darkness cannot comprehend it. This is the light which has enlightened everyone that comes into the world, which light is Christ, and he that follows this light walks not in darkness but has the light of life; he that hates this light stumbles and walks in darkness, ignorance, and blindness, as you do, turning the grace of God in to a license for immorality, which same grace is the saints teacher, the free grace of God that has appeared to all men, which in all generations taught the saints to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts and led them into purity and holiness. This grace we witness, (praised, praised, be to the Lord), to be led by it, which has always been the saints leader; and by the teaching of this grace, we deny your hireling and all such Pharisees and hypocrites who make a prey upon the poor people; and if you stop putting food into their mouths, they even prepare war against you as the false prophets of Israel did; and daily we were taught by grace in the ways of God to do his service, praises be to the only God of glory forevermore, who has gathered up to himself, to be taught by grace alone, out of the mouth of your hireling, who once made a prey upon us; but eternal praise and glory to our God who in the light has shown to us your hireling's nakedness, his shame, his hypocrisy, and deceit. In the eternal light of God we see him, and all such to be blind guides, who leads the poor blind people in darkness and ignorance; and in his ministry no one is able to come to the true knowledge of the eternal truth for he is no minister of God but an antichrist who denies Christ to have come in the flesh [his flesh] and denies the light to have enlightened everyone, as several times he has done to me; but my father who is light and glory has now made him manifest.

In the light of Christ Jesus do I see him to be one who has run, whom God has not sent; therefore he does not profit you at all. He puts no difference between the precious and the vile in you, nor lead you to discern the clean from the unclean or the pure from the impure in you; but he speaks a divination of his own brain to feed your dark minds; and from the eternal light made manifest in me from God the father, who is overall and above all, do I declare against him and against all hirelings and greedy dumb dogs that seek for their gain from their quarter as he does; knowing them to be deceivers and blind guides freely I declare for the simple ones among you who are snared and kept in ignorance by him under his dead, dry, barren, slothful ministry. Repent you people who lie in the captivity of Babylon under your Babylonish merchant for now the Lord is leading his sons and daughters out of Egypt, out of bondage; and now he who has led captive is led into captivity. Praises and honor be to God of saints for evermore, who has redeemed us out of the mouth of your idol-shepherd, (who feeds himself with the fat), and who [God] has enlightened our dead consciences and has shined in our hearts his eternal light; of this I have received freely, and from this do I set forth freely to laying open the deceits of your hireling.

Now is the day of your visitation, in which the Savior of the world stands at the door and knocks. If any open to Him, He will come in. Therefore prize your time, and hear the word of the Lord, and lay aside the works of darkness, lying, swearing, mocking and scorning, and beating your fellow-servants. Woe unto you, you strikers who harden your hearts against the Lord and against those who declare to you the wickedness of your ways; the Lord will come when you are not aware, and give you your portions with the hypocrites and unbelievers and cast you into outer darkness. Repent and turn to the Lord your God with mourning and lamentation and cease from all your former ways and doings; cease from covetousness and oppression, you older people; and cease from lightness, vanity, and pride, you younger people; and cease from all your priests and steeple houses, for there your lightness, pride, and vain minds are fed and nourished; thus the enemies of the Lord are strengthened. Dear people, there I once had fellowship with you in your pride, lightness, and vanity; and there was once my joy and delight, but now I am chosen by the Lord out of all these things, praised be Him forever, to serve the Lord in declaring against all these abominations and against in whom they are standing. For woe unto the proud and light vain minds, who are tripping upon the mountains, and whose hearts are not subject to the Lord; against all these abominations I do declare as from the Lord, and do advise you as from Him to depart out of these abominations for the day is coming when you must be separated from all your lovers, a day of darkness and misery.

Therefore prize your time and hearken unto the light of God within you, which reprove you for your filthy and ungodly deeds and words; this life will lead you to God out of all the filthiness if you obey it. This light will separate the clean from the unclean in you and will lead you to be taught of God and to have unity with God and with the saints, for it was in the light that the saints had unity. This light will lead you out of your hypocritical and deceitful carnal worships to worship in spirit and truth. This light will lead you to the true baptism out of your deceitful imitation of baptism, which are hireling upholds among you. This light will lead you to the true Church of God, out of your formal imagined church, and to the true communion of saints and true singing to God, out of your heathenish communion and singing.

Therefore all you people mind the light, for the light has enlightened everyone, which is the Savior and Redeemer of him that loves it and brings his deeds to it, but it is the condemnation of him that hates it and walks not in it; therefore all people mind this light which is of God; this will lead you up to God; this is the way to the father, and no one comes to the father but by me, he said, who was, and is the light. Loving this light and walking in it will free you from all the burdens that the Pharisee lays upon you and from all the taxes of Pharaoh's tax-masters, and will lead you into the mysteries of the kingdom of God, to know him who is invisible and is present everywhere, yet hidden from all dark minds that live in the imaginations and imitations as you and your hireling do. If you love this Light, and walk in this Light, it will bring you to be witnesses of the Scriptures, and of the saints' condition, which you are but talkers of. This is the Light from which they spoke, who spoke the truth of God; and from this light did Isaiah, who lived in the obedience of it, cry against the greedy dumb dogs, that sought their gain from their quarter. So did Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Micah and Malachi cry against hirelings, and against those who said, 'The Lord said it,' and He never spoke to them; and against those who preached for hire and divined for money; and taught for the fleece; and yet leaned upon the Lord, as your Pharisee does, saying, "Is not the Lord among us?" From the same light we declare against all such and see them to be an abomination to the Lord as they did then, praised, praised be the Lord forever for now is manifest the abominations of the whole who sits upon many waters and who has made all the nations drunk with the wine of her fornication; and now has the judgment of the poor,, and the day in which she must drink the wine of the wrath of God; and he who wise and is this light cried woe against those that said and did not; and against those that had the cheapest places in the assemblies, and were called of men Masters. This same light I do witness to be made manifest from God the father of light, and I am not ashamed to declare it before men; for he that denies Christ before men, he must be denied by Christ before the father; and this light lived in the saints and spoke from them who were called madmen and deceivers of those that professed truth in words but persecuted those in whom the son was born and made manifest in which generation you and your priest daily show yourselves to be in. Therefore repent and come down you high minds and lifted up spirits for the Lord is against you, and hearken to the light of God in you, and wait in it according to major, and cease from all your formal, customary, traditional worshiping, and from all your dumb teachers, who are antichrists and denied the light is having enlightened everyone. This light is the only way to the father, which all who come to God must follow and walk in; for he that does not walk in this light walks in darkness and stumbles and does not know where he goes; and there are all the priest and people in darkness and ignorance, who walks not in the light. Love the Light and obey it. It will separate you from all filthiness and corruption and lead you into purity and holiness, without which none shall see God. There is your teacher, always present with you, which teaches you to deny ungodliness and the wicked ways of the world.

He who walked in the light, by this light, saw all the world to lie in wickedness, while those in the world were saying they were of God; and all who are of God hear those who dwelling the light; but he that disobeys this light follows blind guides and sets up teachers to themselves having itching years; and that ministry is of man and called to the ministry by the earthly powers, by earthly magistrates, or at Oxford, Cambridge, Newcastle. All such so-called ministries are by man and their gospel is all of man, which the true gospel is not; and he that has the word of God to declare from God, his call is not by man, neither does he go to man to be approved; for he that preaches the true gospel consults not with flesh and blood; and so it is now, the same thing we witness, to be ministers of the everlasting Gospel, called not by man, but by God, praised be the Lord for ever, from generation to generation, who has revealed himself unto babes and has hidden himself from the wise and prudent of this world. Stop your mouths you ministers who are by man, whose gospel is according to man, for now the Lord is arising, whose Angel has gone forth preaching the everlasting gospel. Sing praises to the Lord forever you redeemed ones, who were brought from under the empty, dead, deceitful ministry, which is by man, to be true witnesses of the true ministry which is of God.

Therefore be ashamed you upholders of the deceitful ministry, which is only the ministry of witchcraft, by which your eyes are darkened, and under which your souls lie in blindness and ignorance under the power of witchcraft and sorceries. Be confounded you backsliders, who once heard the word with joy and received it; who were once among us, yet not of us; who have chosen the glory of this world rather than the everlasting truth, and have sold your birthright of the everlasting inheritance for the satisfying of your earthly minds with the earthly treasures. Hear the word of the Lord you slothful servants, who not abiding to wait upon God, eat and drink with the drunkards, and beat your fellow servants, and have now become haters, mockers, and revilers; suddenly the Lord will come and cut you all asunder, and give you your portions in the lake that burns with fire unless you repent. Repent you backsliders and consider that you have forgotten God, now while you have time, before the Lord swears in his wrath that you shall not enter; hearken to that which convinces you of your filthiness, the light of God within you, which shall eternally witness us to be true, which light shall be your condemnation, because you loved darkness rather than light. You have returned with the dog to his vomit, and with the sow to the wallowing in the mire; your latter end is worse than your beginning and the parable is fulfilled upon you, for lying against the truth will the Lord plead with you, and woe will be your portion forever, for the liars shall not enter into the kingdom of God. Therefore all people fear the living God and prize your time, and see where you are; you are the servants of whom you obey. All must give an account to the living God and must receive according to what they have done in the body. In such an hour will the master come that you are not aware of and will take account of your stewardship; for God has given unto every man a talent. Therefore do not spend your time in wickedness and in deceitful profession of God, feeding your dark minds with the dead, formal preaching of your dead, carnal, blind Pharisee; but hearken to the light of God within you and improve your talent; the good and faithful servant improves his talent to the honor and riches of his master, but the slothful servant hides it in the earth, living in filthiness, saying he has no power. Now see which servant you are and read yourselves within [turn inward], how you stand covered in the presence of the living God, for woe unto him that is covered not with the spirit of the Lord. The servants of God bring forth fruit unto God and bear the image of their father; and the servants of the devil bring forth fruits of darkness and bear the image of the devil, which is glorious to the carnal eye, and feeds the carnal mind. The seed of the woman is but one in all generations, and the seed of the serpent is but one, which ever was and is ruling and reigning in the children of disobedience, who are disobedient to the light of God within them; and between the two seeds is enmity, the one against the other. Each seed is known by its fruit; the old bottle pours out old wine; the new bottle, new wine. Therefore all people sink down to within [turn inward], and call in all your wandering thoughts, imaginations, affections, and desires; and see which seed is head [rules] in you, and see what your desires and affections go out after, for where your hearts are, there is your treasure; see what you profess of God in your souls, and of what you can witness, for he that believes has the witness in himself and faith is the victory over the world; he that can receive it, let him.

Dear people, I have freely declared to you the truth and from the love of God shed abroad in my heart to your souls, and for the sake of the Seed within you, which lies in death, captivated under your wisdom, I have spoken the word of the Lord, which if you own [acknowledge it so] it and abide in it, shall be the favor of Life, and in eternal joy shall you witness me to be true in what I have declared; but if you harden your hearts, and kick against the Truth, and against what I have declared, shall be the favor of death unto death, and in eternal torment and misery shall you witness me in what I say, for I speak to that which should exercise the conscience in every one of you, and to that in you have I cleared my conscience, and have freed my spirit. This is the day of your visitation; the mouth of the Lord has spoken it. Remember that you have been shown the deceits in which you live, and have been warned of the misery and desolation that shall come upon you unless you lay these things to heart and turn to the Lord. Farewell.

By him who is despised, and held in derision among you, who is not greater than his Lord,
and is therefore content to be called a blasphemer and seducer,
as he whom I serve was,
by those of your generation.

To all you my country people of every degree, who are inhabitants of Underbarrow, I have cleared my conscience and freely declared to you the word of the Lord, and have laid open the deceits of your deceitful ministry and minister. I have directed you to that in every one of you, which leads unto God, and which is the way to the father, which is the true light that has enlightened everyone that comes into the world, which light all who loves and follows do not walk in darkness but walk up to God out of the fall from under the curse into the Being; but all who hate the light and follow the imagination of their own brains and the divination of their hirelings and Pharisees, this light shall be their condemnation because they walk not in it; even this light that has come into the world in every man, even the witness in the conscience which is placed by God, shall forever witness against you and against all your false worships and hirelings, and shall bear testimony to what I have declared to be true in this little volume when the book of conscience shall be laid open. For to every man's conscience I am made manifest in what I have declared to you concerning your hireling whom God never sent, but is in the way of the false prophets and Pharisees, for he that does not abide in the doctrine of Christ has not God, 2 John 1:9, but is an antichrist and of the devil. Concerning the light within you, that light will bear witness to itself, that every one of you to whom I speak has this life that shows your sin: your lying, swearing, pride, and wicked ways, covetousness and wantonness to be sin. This is the true light which is, as ever was, foolishness and a stumbling block to the wise ones. This is the light that your Pharisee denies to have enlightened every man, and this light shall forever witness me to be true, and shall witness this poor people among you who are despised and condemned by you, and formally called Quakers, to be the servants of God, which people I do own as my brothers in the sufferings of Jesus and who are my joy in the Lord. Now all people everywhere, to you all, a word from the Lord, (though I have spoken in this small volume as moved by the Lord of heaven and earth to the inhabitants of Underbarrow by declaring against their false teacher and false worships that they uphold), now freely and plainly I do declare against all your teachers, O England, who are one in the same generation with him who sits in the seat of Christ and of his apostles, professing themselves to be sent of God, but walking contrary to his commands in the same footsteps that the scribes and Pharisees walked in, who were persecutors of the son of God, and who he cried woe against. They said but did not, as these your teachers do; who are called by men Masters, as the Pharisees were; and have the chiefest places in the assemblies, as they had; and prayed standing, as these your professed ministers do. Now the same light that ever was, which is Jesus Christ, is born and made manifest and experienced among the saints, in which light I see all your teachers, O England, to be drunk with the wine of her that has deceived the nations, who sits upon a scarlet colored beast, and is arrayed in the purple and scarlet color, and decked with gold and precious stones, and has the golden cup in her hand full of abominations, whose name is written in her forehead, Mystery Babylon the great, the mother of harlots and abomination of the earth. In this light I declare against all those who are in the generation of the false prophets of Israel, who seeks their gain from their quarter, and who steal the word from their neighbor, and have taken the words of the prophets of Christ and of his apostles and sell the imaginations of their own brain about the Scriptures, (which the holy men speak forth freely to the poor blind people), and teach for the fleece; and if you do not put [food] into their mouths, they prepare war against you; and are called of men Master, which Christ forbids. Against all these freely, (as from the Lord), I declare them to not be ministers of Jesus Christ, but are seducers and blind guides, and they are antichrist. They lead the poor blind people in the ways of death and destruction; for they are not ministers of Christ if they do not abide in the doctrine of Christ. They have run, but have not been sent by God, and therefore your souls are not profited by them, but are left in the dark heathenish nature, as your fruits make it manifest; you depend on their imaginations, and not on the counsel of the Lord. So you remain in lying, swearing, drunkenness, covetousness, oppression, and according to the course of this world; these inequities are ruling among the people, priests, and rulers in this nation; from the least of them even to the greatest,everyone is given to covetousness; from the prophet even to the priest, everyone deals falsely. All your hirelings and greedy dumb dogs I deny; all who are of God denies all such. All who are of God are taught by God in the ways of God, and the world has ever derided them. All your teachers, O England, are denied by those who are taught by God, and their teacher is the anointing that needs no man to teach them. By your teachers that are in the way of the Pharisees, you are blindly led in the ways of darkness and ignorance, and led in all your carnal worship that every part of you upholds, which worship is to read, sing, and preach about the saints' conditions, who were witnesses of God.* With the mouth of the Lord, I freely declare and deny against all this to be not a worship of God, but imagination, and an imitation of the worship of God.

[*In this time people commonly sang Psalms of David that had been put to music. To read about, sing about, pray about, preach about, and talk about the saints' conditions and experiences is without profit to the spiritual growth of any; those are only profitless works of the flesh. Only words that you hear spoken to you by the Spirit of God impart spiritual life to you. John 6:63. When you can pray in the Spirit or sing in the Spirit, (by being prompted with the words to sing or pray by the Spirit), that builds you and any hearers up in faith; when you can worship with words from the anointing, supplied by the Spirit, that is the only worship that God accepts and desires, for God must be worshiped in Spirit and Truth.]

The living eternal God of heaven and earth is only mocked by you in your imagined worship; for your reading of another's condition; for singing about conditions you do not live; for preaching what is gathered outward by your imagination; and for conceiving [stating your opinion] on what the prophets prophesied, or what Christ spoke, who was, and is the substance, and what the apostles witnessed. All that is carnal, heathenish, and never commanded by God, nor is it worship of the true God. Against this worship I do from the Lord declare, being in the eternal light of God and feeling it to be deceitful and an abomination to the Lord; being I am redeemed up to God by his eternal spirit, so to worship in spirit and in truth, and not limited to a day, place, or time, neither at Jerusalem, nor at this mount; and freed and redeemed by Him out of this fall and man's invention and tradition, which is only Cain's sacrifice, and which God does not accept, but is an abomination in his sight, praised be the Lord for evermore. O England, I do declare again, against all your teachers and against all your worship, [my declaration] as from the mouth of the Lord, as moved by the Lord to speak this word to you. You have spent your money these many generations for what is not bread, and your labor for what does not satisfy you; all your imagined, formal worships and carnal traditions and ordinances of man has the Lord risen in his servants to declare against. The same light which ever made manifest deceitful worships, and deceitful hirelings, and those that cried peace, peace to the people when the Lord made no peace, is now risen and speaks in your ears. O nation, the same everlasting light that the true prophets lived in, who cried against those that sought for their gain from their quarter, and that cried against the horrible filthy thing which is upheld in you, O England; this same light is made manifest in the despised people called Quakers in this north part of the nation. O people, your teachers have beguiled you, and have taught for the fleece, and fed themselves with the fat, but your souls are hungered by them because they are in the generation of those that said and did not; they love the wages of unrighteousness and follow the error of Balaam for reward. They have devoured souls for dishonest gain, but the only true God is arising to beat the mountains to dust and to cleave the rocks asunder. In you, O land, will the Lord manifest his power and will stretch forth his arm for the deliverance of his chosen, and for the redemption of his two witnesses,* which have lain slain in the great city in this land,** which those who dwell upon the Earth have rejoiced over and made merry, and triumphed in their slaughter; the Lord is arising to require his flock at the hands of the idol shepherd [shepherd of false gods].

[* , ** More references to the Book of Revelation being a personal experience and within.]

O you dumb idol shepherd* [shepherd of false gods], the Lord will be avenged upon you for you have scattered the sheep of his pasture, and have shaken his hand at your dishonest gain, and you shall no longer wear garments to deceive; you have long deceived the simple by your lies, and by your lightness, but now you are discovered and made manifest in the eternal light of God, and now the ministry of witchcraft is not hidden from the saints. Therefore O England, here the word of the Lord: your prophets are light and treacherous persons, your judges judge for reward, and your priests preach for hire, and your officers imprisonment the just, and your rulers are evening wolves [that prey on sheep in the darkness], and the Lord of heaven and earth is grieved with these things; therefore O land, tremble at the presence of the Lord God of Jacob, for Esau shall become a place for dragons, and shall be uninhabited in the day of mourning; and lamentation is coming up on you, for what the Lord has not planted, he will pluck up; and every corrupt tree shall be cast into the fire.

[*in his writing, Concerning the Word, George Fox labeled all the priests and ministers of Christianity in his day the same: "They are Baal's priests, who have forsaken the right way, going after the error of Balaam, running after the way of Cain, who loved the wages of unrighteousness, who always murder the just, despising the birthright in the particular." In Zechariah the Lord labeled these shepherds: foolish shepherds, false shepherds, idol shepherds, and goat leaders.]

All your corrupt judges, and officers, and rulers, the Lord will cut utterly off from the face of the earth, and will restore to his people judges as they were at the first, and counselors as at the beginning; the mouth of the Lord has spoken it. Therefore O land, prepare to meet the Lord your God by true repentance, by putting off the works of darkness; your pride and your oppression, O nation, is seen by the Lord, and the cry of the oppressed through your pride and tyranny is heard in the ears of the Lord of Sabbath, and he will avenge the cause of the poor and needy that are oppressed by priest in their tithes, by lawyers in their fees, and by officers in their unrighteous dealings. The seed of Abraham shall go free, and Israel shall no longer be subject to Pharaoh, nor to his tax-masters. O England, in the north part of you is the light of God arisen, which shines clearly, and which discovers the abomination of your teachers and of your worship, and we are bold to declare against them, and against all your corrupt officers, judges, and rulers; and this light shall shine through the nation, and shall be spread over the kingdoms, and the fire is to be kindled which the Lord has promised, which shall burn as an oven, and the proud and all that do wickedly shall be as stubble. This fire shall proceed out of the mouth of the two witnesses, as it did before they were slain,* and shall devour the enemies of the Lord; the sword of the Lord is drawn in you, and put into the hands of those who are hated and despised by the rulers and officers, who are scornfully called Quakers; but they shall conquer by the sword of the Lord, which the Lord has put into their hands, over countries and dominions. For, O nation, the Lord is with them, and your unjust rulers and officers cannot hurt them, not a hair on their heads shall perish with out my heavenly father. It is for a testimony of their Father's love to them that they suffer shame and reproach, and some of them imprisonment by the unjust rulers, and for a witness against them that some of them are brought before them. The Lord is choosing the weak things of this world, and he is making manifest his councils to babes, and revealing his counsel and eternal truth to children, and keeps his hidden treasures from the eyes of the wise, and vulturous ones, praises, praises be to him forevermore. For the lion of Judah is opening, and has opened the sealed book;** let all his saints rejoice forevermore. This is the day of your visitation, O nation, wherein the Lord speaks to you by the mouth of his servants in word and writing; therefore returned to the Lord your God from where you are fallen. Now the Lord will gather his jewels and chosen ones out of you, and will raise up the dead that lie slain under your teachers and Pharisees, who makes a prey upon the people, who were never sent by God to speak unto you. O land, hear the word of the Lord: depart from all your teachers for the Lord has drawn his sword and lifted it up against the false prophet, and vials of indignation shall be poured upon him and upon all that upholds him in his whoredoms and witchcraft by which he deceived the simple. Therefore, least you are a partaker of their plagues, depart from them; and all people, mind that measure of your light within you that the Lord has enlightened every one of you withal, for the Lord is risen to teach his people himself, and he is fulfilling his prophecy in your ears. O nation, they shall no longer teach every man his neighbor and every man his brother, saying, "know the Lord; for they shall all know me from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord; for I will put my law all in your inward parts, and write it in their hearts," Jeremiah 31:33. The Lord is about his great and wonderful work in you, and all the wars and contentions in you, O land, have only been making a way for this work of the Lord, but has not been the work that the Lord God has purposed. This work is made known to those that fear the Lord and abide in his counsel. The Lord will overturn the nation, and will create a new heaven and new earth, in which shall the righteous dwell, in which all the chosen of the Lord shall rejoice for evermore; and all the kings and nobles shall cast down their crowns before his glory. And all the men of war shall lay down their armor and weapons of war. And nation shall not lift up a sword against nation anymore. For the Lord will establish righteousness and peace; this the Lord will bring to pass in you O England, through the destruction of what now lives, and through the resurrection of that to life which now lies in death. Here, Overland, give ear, O people, for the Lord of heaven and earth is now turning the world upside down; all old things shall pass away; all things shall become new by fire; and by his sword will the Lord plead with all flesh, and the slain by him shall be many. The Lord will sweep away corrupt judges and officers, and their name shall no more be found in the nation; the fire is kindled and the sword is drawn; happy is he that keeps himself from fighting against the Lord in his work, and happy are you, O brethren, that stand faithful to the end to see these things accomplished. Great shall be the battle; it is now begun; many shall see death, and shall yet live to see these things.

[* , ** More references to the Book of Revelation being a personal experience and within.]

At the close of this address, Edward Burrough felt his heart drawn to salute his brethren, commonly called Quakers, who had been brought, through the obedience of faith, into religious fellowship with one another in the Lord:

To all the despised and condemned ones, who are persecuted and shamefully entreated by the generation of the chief priests, and by those who live in the highest profession of the word outwardly, you who are the scorn of the nation, and the derision of all the heathen, and are called Quakers; you are my brethren, children of my father that had been brought forth by the same womb, and have sucked the same breast. You are the chosen out of this world, out of all worldly glories, and earthly excellences, and therefore the world hates you; you are brought out of the broad way of the flesh, and are separated from all the world in their ways, worships, and forms of religion; and you are redeemed out of the miles of all the dumb idol shepherd [shepherd of false gods], and have one Shepherd, and are gathered from all the mountains, and out of the desolate uninhabited places, and have calm into the pleasant sheepfold, where our green pastures and fresh springs of living waters. By faith with Abraham, have you come out of your native country, from your kindred, and out of your father's house: with Moses, have you forsaken the glory of Pharaoh's house, and chosen rather to suffer affliction among the poor despised people, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin. Great shall be your reward, you condemned ones; glory, honor and everlasting happiness is prepared for you if you stand faithful to the end. The Lord is with you as a mighty terrible one; and therefore shall all your persecutors be ashamed and confounded. The sound of a trumpet* is heard among you, which makes all nations come to a stand, and all the heathen to wonder, and all the rulers, nobles, and chief priests are in consultation, combining together to suppress the Army of the Lord of hosts,** which he is gathering together; fear not, nor be dismayed, for the sounding of your trumpet causes an alarm, and makes all the inhabitants of the land to tremble, and all bow before the sound of it, for the sound of it is terrible to the nations, to all kingdoms and dominions. The Lord of heaven is your captain, who rides upon the clouds, and whose glory is above the world; and therefore you shall obtain the conquest in the battle, and all your enemies shall be put to flight, and one of you shall chase one thousand, for he who has all power in his hand is with you; and all your enemies are limited by him.

[* , ** More references to the Book of Revelation being a personal experience and within.]

Therefore do not be discouraged at the raging and swelling words of your adversaries, but be bold and valiant and faithful to him for his is the victory; and by his own right hand will he get himself the victory. You are my fellow soldiers, and fellow members of the same body, and my joy in the Lord. Stand faithful to the Lord, and be bold and valiant for the truth upon the earth, for you the Lord has chosen of all the families of the earth to place his name among you, and he will glorify his name by you, he will accomplish his wonders, and make his power known, and the greatness of his name in the sight of the heathen. Let all flesh be silent before him, and let all the Pharisees, and chief priests, and the wise men of the earth stop their mouths before the Lord, for you have the word of the Lord, and you are made partakers of the everlasting wisdom, and are the beloved of God. For his eternal son is born and brought forth among you, and therefore the wise men and chief priest consult to take his life; but woe unto your persecutors, for they are the seed of evil doers, and it would be better than a millstone was hung about their necks and they cast into the sea, for the Lord has sought you to worship him, and he is worshiped by you in spirit and in truth. Your sacrifice is accepted, and therefore those that are of Cain's generation persecute you, seeking after your blood. You are made partakers of the blessing, and therefore Esau threatens your destruction; but your preserver is the Lord of hosts, and therefore all their consultations shall be disappointed. For woe unto those that dig deep to hide their counsel from the Lord, and that take counsel, but not from the Lord. All you my brethren, be faithful and obedient to him who has chosen and called you out from among the heathen, out of all imagined worships, to worship in truth. Serve the Lord in singleness of heart, and give up all to him freely to be ordered and disposed by him, and do not look back at the glory of Sodom, nor at the riches of Egypt, but follow him who has enlightened your dark understandings, and has gathered you up by his eternal light. Walk in obedience to the law of God, and to the light made manifest, for the kingdom of heaven is as a man traveling into a far country, who has given talents to his servants to improve; now all you my beloved ones, everyone improve your talent so that the Lord may receive his own with interest, that he may be glorified, and that you may all receive a reward. Therefore all be bold and valiant in the truth, and do not fear man, but fear the Lord God Almighty, and walk in the fear of the living God, and do not despise the cross of Christ, but let the cross be your rejoicing, for through the cross is the power of the Lord made manifest. Rejoice forever and be exceedingly glad that you are counted worthy to suffer shame and reproach, and some of you imprisonment for the truth's sake. Thus it ever was, he that was born after the flesh persecutes him that was born after the spirit; but be glad and rejoice in the Lord for he has chosen you and called you even to shine as lights in the dark world, and to be as a burdensome stone to the nations; your fame is gone abroad through the nations, and because of the man-child that is born in the nations troubled, and the chief priest and rulers combined together, but that the Lord may be glorified, and for your sakes will he scattered the proud in their imaginations, and break in pieces the snares which the Pharisees and chief priest have laid for your feet, and they shall be taken in their own craftiness, and fall into the pit which they had dug for you. For the Lord who has called you will set you up on a rock, and will preserve you out of the mouths of the cunning wolves who devour souls for dishonest gain. Sing praises forever to the Lord our God, who has chosen us to show his love and trust unto, and has gathered us up out of the mouths of all the idol shepherds [shepherds of false gods] that made a prey upon us, and from all the mountains and hills where we were scattered in the cloudy and dark day, where we were devoured by the wild beasts, being without shepherd and sheepfold, but praises, glory, and honor for evermore that we are freed out of the cruelty of Pharaoh, and from under his tax-masters, who lay heavy burdens upon the people. Rejoice and be glad in faithfulness and truth unto our King forever, who is the lion of the tribe of Judah, who has opened this book, and loosed the seals, and has led us to himself, and by suffering under all, we are made kings and priests over all forevermore. He alone is worthy to be praised, who hasn't been used us of our adversaries, and has given her to drink of the wine of the wrath of God, who once made us drink of the wine of her fornication. I am with you, you despised ones, and my prayers are for you, and the eternal glorious God of power be with you, and keep you in the midst of this crooked and perverse generation, for this generation seeks the blood of the saints; the beast, which was, is, and now* makes war against the Lamb.

[*Like Jesus, who is, who was, and who is to come, so is His revelation, so is the beast; all are experienced by those past, those present, and those in the future.]

Then he closes his volume letter.

I am a prisoner for the sake of truth and for declaring to man of his wickedness, and of his transgression of the spiritual law of God, which is spiritual, and for writing a letter, which was written from God, to show to man of his wicked ways, and how he stood in the presence of God, as by the spiritual light of God, (which shines in the hearts of his servants), was discovered and made manifest unto me; for who speaks, writes, or declares from the light of God, (which discovers all the dark paths of fallen man, and all his spiritual wickedness), speaks, writes, and declares, not as from man, whose light is only natural and carnal, (which is darkness in the eternal pure light), but as from God, whose light is spiritual, and makes manifest the secret whoredom of fallen man; and from this light did the prophets and ministers of God, who were sent by him to reprove sin and transgressions, speak, write, and declare. In this light did the true prophets, Jeremiah and Hosea, discover Israel to be adulterous, and in the presence of God to be guilty of whoredom, from whose presence they declared. Now all who are sent by God to reprove for sin and iniquity, declares from the same light of God, and by the same Spirit that Jeremiah and Hosea did; for the pure light of God is but one from generation to generations, in all generations, which discovers sin and iniquity, the same light now as in the time of the prophets and apostles. From this light, (which is not carnal, but eternal), did all the holy men of God write and declare. All who are sent by God now witness the same light and speak from the same light now as they did then; for whoever cannot witness this light are not ministers of God, never were sent by God to declare the truth from God, but are deceivers and blind guides that speak from the natural and carnal light, the imagined and supposed light that has not seen the living and spiritual God. By declaring in writing to a man that he is guilty of all manner of wickedness, naming pride, drunkenness, and whoredom, I am imprisoned. I wrote not as a man, whose only light is natural and carnal and only manifests carnal transgressions of a carnal law, but I wrote from the eternal and spiritual light, which manifests spiritual transgressions of spiritual law; and in this light is he to whom I wrote guilty of all manner of wickedness. Now what I declared from God, who is spiritual, is above the reach and comprehension of the carnal and earthly law for by natural light through the earthly law no man is able to judge what is spoken or declared from what is eternal and spiritual, (for darkness cannot comprehend the light), by which light all the servants and ministers of God are guided to act, speak, or write; and therefore I deny having this cause put before the judgment of carnal lawyers, who judge by the natural light through the earthly and carnal law. Yet I am willing before any authority to answer for myself that of which I am accused; but to the judgment of earthly magistrates I do not stand, but to the judgment of the living and eternal judge, who judges not according to the sight of the eyes and hearing of the ears, but who judges with equity and righteousness Thus rather I choose to suffer imprisonment in the body, yet free as to God in the in the truth, waiting to be redeemed, not by the earthly powers with earthly law, but by Him who is eternal, whose law is eternal, who orders all things by his mighty power, to which power I give up myself to be kept in it and ordered by it continually.

Here I have given to all people the ground of my imprisonment in the particular of it though I might in fewer words have declared the thing; for between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent is enmity put, and he in whom the seed of the serpent is ruling, seeks the destruction of him in whom the seed of the woman is raised. Here is the ground of all the saints’ imprisonment now, as ever it was: the envy of the devil working in fallen man against the living truth of God wherever it is made manifest.

By who is a laborer in the vineyard, who is not known to the world, (though named in the world),

Edward Burrough

All the machinations of their opponents, aided by the strong arm of the government, and the relentless power of persecuting priests and magistrates, failed to crush the Society of Friends. The doctrines they promulgated were responded to by the witness for Truth in the hearts of multitudes, who weary of a lifeless profession of religion, cordially embraced what they found to be no cunningly devised fable, but the living substance. Almost every day, some were added to their number, by the power of heartfelt conviction, and in a few years, they grew to be a considerable people.

Their patient consistency and steadfastness in the performance of their religious duties, undaunted by personal abuse and cruel imprisonment, finally wore out persecution; while the meekness and blamelessness of their lives and conversation, won for them the esteem of the moderate, and even extorted commendation from their enemies. The scriptural soundness and excellence of their Christian testimonies, though at first derided, misunderstood and misrepresented, at length attracted the serious attention of many in different religious denominations, and exercised a salutary influence in opposition to the deadening effects of empty forms and stated rituals.


PRIOR to the year 1654, the religious labors of George Fox, and of such of his fellow believers as had received gifts in the ministry of the gospel, and who had been sent forth by the Lord to proclaim the spirituality of the religion of Jesus Christ, had been very much confined to the northern parts-of England. George himself had traveled as far south as Leicestershire; and his earliest female co-laborer in the ministry, Elizabeth Hooton, had preached the gospel and suffered imprisonment therefore in Derbyshire. Towards the close of the year 1653, Elizabeth Williams and Mary Fisher, both from the north, entered Cambridge and having faithfully reproved some of the vain and rude students there, who sought to entrap them in argument, were taken up on a charge of preaching, and publicly whipped by order of the mayor of that city as "vagabonds."

The sight of the blood drawn from the bodies of these innocent women, by the lash of the executioner; their patient endurance of the ignominious and unjust punishment thus inflicted on them; their prayers for their persecutors, together with their meek rejoicing, because they were counted worthy to suffer for the name and testimony of the Lord Jesus, had no doubt prepared the minds of some of the spectators to examine with serious attention, the principles of that religion, for which they so patiently suffered, and which yielded such support and consolation, under the cruel treatment they received. Thus the brief tarrying of these two Friends at Cambridge, opened the way for the spread of the Truth. In most of the southern counties of England, the Society was little known at this period, except through the vague, contradictory and often false reports, which had been put into circulation respecting them.

In the spring of 1654, several ministers left their former field of labor in the north of England, and traveled into the southern counties, publishing the message of life and salvation, to those who were seeking deliverance from sin, and longing for a more pure and spiritual religion, than that held forth by the hireling ministers, and formal professors around them. Among these ministers was Edward Burrough; and as the city of London was the field in which he labored long and abundantly, it may not be amiss to give some account of the rise and progress of the principles of Quakerism in that great metropolis.

It appears that the first person professing the doctrines of Friends, who visited it, was Gervase Benson. He was there in the autumn of 1653; and a letter written by him from that place to George Fox and James Naylor, is preserved, bearing date, Ninth Month 29th, of that year. He [Benson] tells them [Fox and Naylor] that he was brought there by the love of God, and was kept there waiting on the Lord, to do whatever He might require of him; though he found little among the people with which he could have fellowship, except a growing testimony in some against the "carnal acts of magistrates and ministers so called." At that time many public meetings were held, for the purpose of discussing religious subjects. The different fabrics of religious organizations were shaken to their foundations; the minds of the people were in a state of great unsettlement, and many were laboring in their own wills and wisdom, to construct something better than the old hierarchal structure, with its rites, ceremonies and expensive priesthood. To one of these meetings Gervase Benson went, where there were several ministers and members of Parliament. He found them spending their time in debating questions and contending about things which they had not witnessed in themselves. Becoming dissatisfied, he left them, first telling them, however, that their meetings were for the worse, and not for the better.

A spirit of inquiry concerning Friends, had been awakened in many individuals in London, about this time, he had heard of their rise, and of the spread of their principles in the north of' England; with such, Gervase Benson had some service.

It is probable that some person in London had acted for Friends, in superintending in printing of their works, before Gervase Benson’s visit to that city; for of the books mentioned in Whiting's Catalogue, seven were printed in the year 1652, and twenty-five in 1651. Most of these, if not all, bear this imprint, "London, printed for Giles Culvert, and sold at his shop at the Black Spread Eagle, at the west end of Paul's."

Towards the close of 1653, Isabel Buttery,* with a female companion, both of them Friends from the north of England, came to London on a religious visit, where they found a few individuals, who were willing to receive them and their testimony. Robert Dring opened his dwelling, in Watling Street, and Simon Dring his house in Moorsfield, for them to hold meetings. In these meetings, Isabel sometimes spoke a few words; and thus a knowledge of Friends and of their principles, began to find its way into the great city, although this knowledge was confined for a time to very few.

[*William Crouch states:

"in the beginning of 1654, a few tender people in the London area had been convinced.* Among them were Isabel Buttery with another woman companion, who became acquainted with Amos Stoddard, and Simon Dring of Moorfields. Stoddard was a captain in the army, became convinced and left his command. These women handed out prints of Fox's paper titled, That All Should Know the Way to the Kingdom. That letter alone was sufficient to convince several early followers. They had private silent meetings waiting on the Lord at Robert Dring's house in Moorfields; where 'now and then, a few words were spoken.'"

*convinced meant to have become certain of the way of the cross required for salvation, but not to have received salvation itself. The great majority of Quakers did not persist in daily seeking and obedience; they failed to endure to enter kingdom. All of these newly convinced early Quakers had previously been devout readers of the Bible, professed that Jesus was the Son of God, had been baptized, attended sect services, etc.; but they were all still captive to sin, and they knew there had to be a way to become free of even the desire to sin. When they heard the way proclaimed to become pure, to become free of sin, their hearts bore witness to that truth; so they joined with others seeking to become free of sin, by waiting in humble silence to hear from the Teacher within, to obey Him, and to receive his changing grace.

But prior to 1654, there was no one called or equipped by the Lord to preach in London.]

John Camm, who had been traveling through the northern counties, during the latter part of the year 1653, turned his face southward near its close, accompanied by Francis Howgill; and they entered London in the First Month, 1654. A few days before the end of that month, they sought for and obtained an interview with Oliver Cromwell, then recently installed, "Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England." They had no personal advantage or favor to seek from him, but desired rather to admonish him for his own good, and that he might promote the good of all. They exhorted him to look to his own condition, if happily he might be favored to see his standing, in the sight of the Lord God of heaven and earth; that pure and holy being, who is clothed with power to punish sin, and who will not acquit the wicked. They told him to heed to the light of Christ Jesus, in his conscience, which would guide him in the great affairs of the nation, as he abode in the fear of the Lord. Then remembering their brethren who were suffering in various parts of the country, for faithfulness to their religious principles, they exhorted the Protector to use his influence to take off from the necks of the Lord's people the yoke of oppression. They assured him, that if his power was exerted to maintain true liberty of conscience, the Lord would honor him by making him an instrument of good in England.

Cromwell affected to believe that they desired some form of religion to be established by law; but they assured him that they had no such desire, adding, "We witness [that] the coming of Christ in his kingdom, is not by might, nor power, nor pomp, nor glory from without; nor by any law which is in the will of man. Our desires are that there should be no law upon [the subject of] religion, for it needs no law to protect it. Pure religion and undefiled is this; to loose the bands of wickedness, to set the oppressed free, and to take off every yoke. We are none of those who despise government, and defile the flesh; who pull down others to exalt themselves. All unfruitful works of darkness we deny, and seek to advance the government of Jesus Christ alone. We honor all men in the Lord, and have fellowship with those whose conversation is as becomes the gospel of Christ."

Cromwell, then in the fresh enjoyment of that high station which he had long so ardently desired, and which gave him the power his ambition coveted, was not disposed to exercise that power in a way that would give offence to those who had raised him to a kingly height; and to more than kingly authority.

The rights of liberty of conscience were then but imperfectly understood, and so little regarded. Blinded by prejudice and sectarian attachments, many were opposed to all liberty of conscience, except what tolerated their particular notions, and considered it only the exercise of a Christian virtue, to punish men for differing from them, either in doctrine or practice, Cromwell and some of his adherents seem to have had a glimpse of more liberal and Christian sentiments, and even to have desired a larger measure of toleration; but there were others whose good opinion they desired, and perhaps needed, who entertained widely different views, and strenuously opposed every indulgence to dissenting consciences, however sincere and tender.

It is not surprising, therefore, that Cromwell treated the application of John Camm and Francis Howgill on behalf of their friends with much coolness, questioning the authority under which they came to speak with, and advise him. Finding difficulties in the way of a second interview, on the 30th of the First Month, these advocates for liberty of conscience, each addressed a letter to him, setting forth their concern for him, and for the cause of Truth and universal righteousness.

We have but little information respecting the ministerial labors of these two Friends in London, while there on this visit. George Fox tells us, that they went to some meetings, "declaring the day of the Lord, and word of life, and where it might be found." They however very soon returned to the north; but Isabel Buttery and her companion still continued in London, and a few persons who attended their meetings were convinced of the truth under their ministry. From a letter, dated London, Fourth Month, 27th, 1654, written by an apprentice, Alexander Delamain, it appears that those who were newly convinced there, of whom the writer was one, were anxiously looking for and expecting Friends from the north, who might confirm their faith and strengthen their hands in upholding the testimonies of Truth. He mentions that Isabel Buttery had gone to Westminster the preceding First day, "to some to whom her heart was drawn forth;" and that on her way back, she was arrested by order of the mayor, together with Robert Dring's maid, who accompanied her; and that they were committed to Bridewell. The charge against them was for letting people have Friends' books. Such was the situation of things in London, at the close of the Fourth Month. Some of the inhabitants had obtained a little knowledge of Friends, from their writings; the ministers and magistrates had taken one step against the spread of their principles, and there was as yet but few persons so convinced of them, as to make a public profession. For the most part, the inhabitants of that great city knew or cared but little about them, or the great principles of life and salvation, which they were called to proclaim to the world.

The recently convinced, and the seekers after Truth, did not look in vain for the visits of Friends from the north. The Lord soon sent forth his servants into the south of England to labor in the ministry of the gospel of his dear Son. About sixty left their homes during the Fourth and Fifth Months in this year, and passed onward, as they were led from day to day, proclaiming the day of the Lord, and demonstrating with power the spiritual nature of the Christian dispensation. Their general course was south, through the eastern, western, and middle portions of the island. About the beginning of the Fifth Month, several of them drew near to London.

We learn from Thomas Camm's account of his father, that Edward Burrough and John Camm were fellow-travelers from the north; and that as they journeyed southward, down through the middle of the kingdom, they met with John Audland, to whom John Camm joining himself, turned westward towards Bristol, while Edward Burrough proceeded to London, where he arrived in the Fifth Month. Francis Howgill and Anthony Pearson must have entered the city about the same time. On the next First-day of the week, which was probably the 8th of the month, Francis Howgill and Anthony Pearson attended the meeting of the newly convinced people, which was held at the house of Robert Dring. Edward Burrough the same day was at a meeting of those called Separates, which name was given them, because they had withdrawn themselves from other religious societies. They do not seem to have settled upon any common ground of religious belief; and allowed great liberty in their assemblies to strangers and others, both in preaching and exhortation.

Anthony Pearson, above mentioned, had been a justice of the peace in the north of England, and an opposer of Friends, but was convinced of their principles about 1653. In that year he wrote the following letter, which unfolds the exercises of his mind, and exhibits the thorough work which the religion he had embraced produces in the heart.

He shortly afterwards came forth as a minister among Friends.


I have long professed to serve and worship the true God, and as I thought-above many sects-attained to a high pitch in religion; but now, alas, I find my work will not abide the fire.

My notions were swelling vanities without power or life; what it was to love enemies, to bless those who curse, to render good for evil, to use the world as using it not, to lay down life for the brethren, I never understood; what purity and perfection meant, I never tasted; all my religion was but the hearing of the ear, the believing and talking of a God and Christ in heaven or a place at a distance, I knew not where.

Oh! how gracious was the Lord to me in carrying me to Judge Fell's, to see the wonders of his power and wisdom- a family walking in the fear of the Lord, conversing daily with Him, crucified to the world, and living only to God, I was so confounded, all my knowledge and wisdom became folly; my mouth was stopped, my conscience convinced, and the secrets of my heart were made manifest, and the Lord was discovered to be near, whom I ignorantly worshipped. I could have talked of Christ in the saints, the hope of glory, but it was a riddle to me. And truly, dear friend, I must tell you I have lost all my religion, and am in such distress I have no hope nor foundation left. My justification and assurance have forsaken me, and I am even like a poor shattered vessel tossed to and fro, without a pilot or rudder; as blind, dead, and helpless us you can imagine, I never felt corruption so strong, and temptation so prevailing as now; I have a proud, hard, flinty heart, that cannot be sensible of my misery. When I deeply consider how much precious time I have wasted, and how unprofitably I have lived, my spirit feels u sudden fear; but then I am still fleeing to my old refuge, and there my thoughts are diverted. What it means to wait upon God I cannot apprehend; and the confusions in my own spirit, together with the continual temptations from without, are so great, I cannot understand or perceive the small still voice of the Lord.

What you told me of George Fox, I found true; when you see him or James Naylor they both know my condition better than myself move them if neither of them be drawn this way to help me with their counsel by letter; they are full of pity and compassion; and though I was their enemy, they are my friends; and so is Francis Howgill, from whom I received a letter full of tenderness and wholesome advice. Oh! how welcome would the faces of any of them be to me; truly I think I could scorn the world, to have fellowship with them. But I find my heart is full of deceit, and I exceedingly fear to be beguiled as I have been and to be seduced into a form without power, into a profession before I possess the Truth; which will multiply my misery, and deprive me both of God and the world. Dear friend, there is a carrier comes from Kendal within a mile of my house every fortnight, and he shall call at Peter Huggins to bring any letter that shall be there left for me; it will much refresh me to receive any lines from you; but be you faithful. You may perceive, by my Ashdod language, what countryman I am, even of the low world that lives in darkness. I am afraid for fear the orders we made at Appleby, cause some to suffer, who speak from the mouth of the Lord; I heartily wish they were suppressed or recalled. I have been at Judge Fell's, and have been informed from that precious soul, his wife, in some measure, what those things mean, which before I counted the overflowings of giddy brains. Dear heart, pity and pray for me; and let all obligations of former friendship be discharged in well wishes to the soul of the old family friend, that he may partake with them of your heavenly possessions.

Anthony Pearson

Richard Hubberthorn soon joined the little band of laborers in London; who in that great city found a large field for the exercise of their various gifts. Many public stated meetings for religious controversy, with the freest scope; and many others for religious edification, equally liberal in their character, were held there in those days. To both classes of these meetings Edward Burrough found his mind drawn; sometimes going alone, while at others he was accompanied by one or more of his fellow laborers. They all appear to have been diligently engaged in attending these large public meetings, or the smaller gatherings of those who made profession with them. As they thus were led from one congregation to another, among individuals, many of whom they had never seen before, they were furnished with a word of exhortation, admonition, entreaty or warning, adapted to the various states of those whom they found assembled. Many were reached by their ministry; and not a few were effectually convinced, so that the meetings held at Friends' houses, increased in numbers rapidly; and a great sensation was produced among that portion of the professing religious world, which was seeking after a nearer acquaintance with God, and a more sure way to his kingdom.

John Camm and John Audland, after parting with Edward Burrough, proceeded onward to Bristol, which they entered on the 12th of the Fifth Month. On the 13th they held two meetings in that city, in which they were enabled powerfully to preach the everlasting Gospel, so that through the effectual assistance of the Lord's Holy Spirit, the witness in the hearts of many people was reached. John Audland, in company with Thomas Airey, proceeded to Plymouth, where they left some seals to their ministry. John Camm turned eastward to London, where we soon find him banded in the fellowship and labors of the Gospel, with the faithful workmen who had for some weeks been engaged there.

Although these early preachers of the word of life were generally listened to with respectful attention in London, yet this was not always the case. About the 20th of the month, Edward Burrough and Richard Hubberthorn were at a meeting of the Baptists, held at a place called the Glasshouse, where Edward was permitted to unburden his mind freely. The congregation, however, was not equally courteous to Richard. He may perhaps have given utterance in his communications to some truths, so disagreeable to their pre-conceived opinions or prejudices, that they could not very well bear them. Whatever may have been the cause, they became excited against him, and forcibly expelled him from their place of meeting. They had then a few words of dispute with Edward, who soon after withdrew.

Richard Hubberthorn having been thus ejected from the meeting of the Baptists, joined John Camm, who was that day with a people called Lockers, whose hired preacher had proved himself to be "a hireling," by leaving them in order to obtain promotion. Here our Friends had full liberty to speak, and they were largely opened to declare the Truth among them. The same day Francis Howgill and Anthony Pearson attended the meeting of a religious sect known by the name of Waiters. When they entered the meeting, a man was addressing the company, but he ceased speaking on seeing them come in. Francis soon felt the influence of that anointing which qualifies for labor in the Gospel vineyard, and a large portion of the work fell to his share that day. He opened to them the doctrine of the Light of Christ inwardly revealed, by giving heed to the restraining and directing influence of which, men would be led to Christ Jesus, and enabled to attain salvation. When he had finished the testimony then given him to hear, a man by the name of Colonel Rich made a few remarks. He acknowledged that the Light was a guide, and that it led into innocence; but told those who he looked for a greater guide, which would lead into glory. This sentiment was not satisfactory to Friends.

The Light which they preached is the Spirit of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, revealed in the hearts of all mankind, and being himself the Truth. He leads those who follow Him, out of all error and into all truth, and not only brings these faithful servants of Christ into fellowship here on earth, but through the redemption which is in Him, leads them to a glorious resting place in the Paradise of God. This divine Light, therefore, is not only a guide into innocence and purity of life on earth, but also a guide to that eternal glory of heaven, while on earth, and of course the continuation in the next life in a heavenly body. Anthony Pearson felt himself constrained more fully to elucidate the views of Friends on this very important doctrine, and afterward Francis Howgill and Edward Burrough, who had just joined his friends, severally added their testimonies to the Truth. The opportunity was satisfactory, and at the conclusion they took an affectionate leave of the meeting.

The next point of time at which we can trace these indefatigable laborers in the Lord's vineyard, was the following Sixth-day, when they attended a meeting for religious worship with those who were newly convinced of Friends' principles. There were now many such in London, and the hearts of the faithful ministers and fathers in the Truth, yearned over these with earnest desires that they might not only be established in knowledge but grow in grace, and thus be enabled to walk worthy of their vocation to which they were called. On First-day, the 22nd, Edward Burrough and Francis Howgill were at a meeting held in a large place called Ely-house. A man, who in the account left us of this opportunity, is spoken of as the governor of the house, first spoke to the people assembled. Then a Ranter addressed the company. While he was still speaking, Edward Burrough, whose heart was full of deep religious concern on behalf of those present, rose on his feet. At the sound of his voice the Ranter ceased speaking. Edward, though quite a young man, was clothed with a divine authority which reached the hearts, touched the consciences, and convinced the judgment, of many who heard him. When he ceased, the Ranter again spoke; and then Francis Howgill, in a measure of the same power, which had quickened the ministry of his younger brother, labored among them for about the space of an hour. As he closed, the Ranter being full of that self-sufficiency which is the common attendant of those whose religion is more in word and imagination than in life and power, appealed to the people to decide whether he had not spoken to their consciences as thoroughly as Edward and Francis had done. To this the people with one consent answered, " No." The governor, indignant at the thought that his own reputation, as well as the Ranter's, had suffered in the opinion of those gathered, refused to grant the request made by Friends, for liberty to hold a meeting in the house in the afternoon.

That morning John Camm was with a company of people who were engaged in preparing a new translation of the Scriptures, for the purpose of making it support certain doctrinal views. At mid-day these Friends met together, under feelings, no doubt, of gratitude to the Lord who had strengthened them for their several portions of service during the morning. In the afternoon Richard Hubberthorn attended the meeting of Friends; while Francis Howgill and Anthony Pearson, feeling their minds drawn to sit with those translators of the Scriptures, of whom we have already spoken, went to their meeting, where they had some seasonable service. Before they left, a dispute concerning some point arose, and they mutually agreed that all doctrines should be tested by the Scriptures. Friends were so well furnished by the great Head of the Church with wisdom in argument, and the memory of applicable texts, that their opponents were confounded. Edward Burrough was that afternoon at a place of worship in Lombard Street, at which many of the highest professors of religion in the city attended.

Here he sat in silence, until the priest had gone through his accustomed round of singing, praying, etc., which was the generally accepted form of a worship service, instead of a worship in spirit and truth. Before the priest closed his performance, Edward was joined by Richard Hubberthorn, Francis Howgill and Anthony Pearson. The usual exercises of the meeting being now finished, Edward stepped upon a seat, and in a loud and animated voice addressed the congregation. There was such sensible evidence of the power of the Holy Spirit, accompanying the word preached, that the whole congregation listened to him with quiet attention. He addressed them about an hour, and when he closed, his nearly united friend and companion, Francis Howgill, was also permitted to relieve his mind among them.

In the meantime, John Camm was at a meeting of Baptists, where his mouth was opened to preach the freeness of the grace and gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. In the evening they all met together in sweet unity of spirit, and closed the day in peace, enjoying the communion and fellowship of the saints, and the fresh feeling of the Heavenly Father's love. This is a history of one of the many days of faithful and laborious service, which those ministers of Christ spent in London.

On one occasion they held an appointed meeting on the Fourth-day of the week, in a room in Southwark, which on First-days was occupied by Anabaptists in a place of worship. Many of those who usually attended these meetings were present, and were well pleased with the doctrines which were then preached. But while these were satisfied, some who had not been present, found fault with the principles of Friends, and with their fellow professors, who had permitted the meeting to be held in their room. Their preacher, or as he was termed, Teacher, spread many false reports against Friends, to which those who had heard for themselves gave no credit. Dissatisfaction on this account and dissensions arose among them, which resulted in a secession of many of the flock. On the 23rd of the Fifth Month, Anthony Pearson left his fellow laborers in London, and returned to his family in Westmoreland. Writing to George Fox, at the close of this month, he tells him, that they found many in London, with a true principle of honesty in them. But, he says. “the people of that place, are for the most part so high-flown in wisdom and notions, it is hard to reach them." Trusting in their own strength and attainments, they were apt, if these were called in question, or judgment placed upon them, to become angry. Anthony expressed his conviction that much true wisdom was needful in those who attempted to labor among them. He thinks that the only effectual mode of bringing them to the truth, would be by reaching, through the convicting power of the Holy Spirit, the witness for God in their consciences; and while broken and contrite under its operations, to pass judgment upon them, and keep them out of disputing and questioning. "Thus," he says, "we found the most profitable ministry. Few words must be used, for they have the Truth in notions, and all cry out, ‘What do these men say, more than others have said?' but to bring them to silence, confounds their wisdom." "Oh that none might come to London but those who are raised up into the life of Truth; who dwell in the living power of God, whose words may have authority; for there are so many mighty in wisdom to oppose and argue, that weak ones will suffer the Truth to be trampled on. And there are so many rude, savage apprentices, and young people, and Ranters, that nothing but the power of the Lord can chain them." "Great is the harvest likely to he in that city. Hundreds are convinced, and thousands wait to see the issue, who have the persuasion that it is the Truth." "Many honest hearts are among the ‘Waiters,’ and some that are joined to the Ranters, are a pretty people. The living power of God was made manifest, to the confounding of all, and we were carried above ourselves, to the astonishment both of ourselves and others. We were made to speak tremblingly among them, in dread and much fear."

Edward Burrough in a letter to Margaret Fell, written about this time, informs her, that:

"We were at a meeting of the people called Waiters, where Richard Hubberthorn spoke about an hour in much power and authority. Francis was moved to go to an assembly of people called Seekers, and they were, as all this generation practices, jangling and contending about the meaning of the Scriptures. He stood silent among them a little, and then spoke the word of the Lord, in power with boldness an hour or more, and confounded their wisdom, and crushed their meaning of the Scripture. He said, there were some pretty people among them."

John Audland and Thomas Airey, having fulfilled their visit to Plymouth and the west of England, early in the Sixth Month, came eastward to London. Here John remained for a few weeks, and as ability from on high was given him, entered into that extensive field of labor; which his faithful brethren in religious belief were so zealously and successfully cultivating there. It was now past the middle of summer, the Sixth Month old style, corresponding with the Eighth in the new. At this period of the year, many of the tradesmen and mechanics of' London" were in the habit of assembling in the fields, on the outskirts of the city, near the close of dry and pleasant days, to amuse themselves in wrestling, or in watching others so engaged. One evening as Edward Burrough was passing by, his attention was drawn to a company of people assembled round an athletic man, who had already thrown several competitors, and was then waiting for another. As no one offered to enter the ring with him, he seemed flushed with pride at his success, and full of vain glory, because of that strength and activity of body, which was given him by his Creator for nobler purposes. As the wrestler thus stood in the pride of his strength, with the crowd of admiring spectators around him, Edward Burrough stepped into the ring. The successful champion looked with surprise at this new opponent, whose serious countenance and solid demeanor, seemed so little like the usual light, and unmanly deportment of the competitors, in these trials of strength and agility. If the wrestler was astonished, the idle gazers around him were not less so; and they watched with intense interest, to see the result. But the object of this youthful minister of Christ, was not to wrestle with flesh and blood. The weapons of his warfare were not carnal, though mighty through God to the pulling down of the strong holds of sin and Satan. He had been redeemed by the effectual workings of the grace of God, in his own heart, from the spirit of the world, with all its vain pleasures and pastimes, and he was now enlisted under the banner of the Prince of Peace, the captain of salvation, in making war with the spirit of antichrist, and against all the corruptions which abound in the world. It had become his meat and drink to do his Master's will; and he felt it his pleasure, no less than his duty, to labor to gather souls to Christ-to turn men and women from darkness to light, and from the power of satan to God. Clothed with authority from his Divine Master after standing a few moments, he addressed the bystanders in a powerful and awakening manner, to which they listened with attention and wondering admiration. He told those who their heavenly Father had not left himself without a witness in the heart of man; but had placed in every one a measure of his grace or holy spirit, by which man was at times enlightened to see his fallen condition, and to feel the necessity of regeneration. Many of his hearers were deeply affected by his discourse, for he was very aptly called, "A breaker of stony hearts; a son of thunder, as well as a consoler of the contrite in spirit." The labors thus bestowed, in this strangely gathered meeting, were made, through the Divine blessing qualifying the instrument, and preparing the hearts of the hearers for the reception of the seed sown, effectual in turning the feet of some of them into the way of peace, thus leading them to a knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus. Thus this spiritual wrestler was made victorious in this new arena, and having been faithful to the requirements of duty, in thus publicly wrestling against wickedness, he retired from the ring in peace.

Of the inhabitants of London, it might have been said at that time in truth, "Many were daily added to the church such as should be saved," [a distinction from calling them saved, because salvation only comes after dying to self on the inward cross of self-denial. Acts used the words: And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.] Gilbert Latey, was one of these. He was of an honest, sober life, and had been earnestly engaged in seeking after spiritual good, even durable riches and righteousness. Being informed that some men who had come out of the north, were to have a meeting at the house of Sarah Matthews, a widow who lived in White-cross Street, he went there, and heard Edward Burrough, who was that day led in his ministry to set forth the free gospel of Christ Jesus. Being effectually reached by the power and authority which accompanied the word preached, his heart was opened and prepared to receive with gladness the Truth, in the love of it. He believed in, and turned to the light of Christ Jesus in his conscience, and followed its leadings, "greatly rejoicing that he had found his soul's beloved." He was strengthened to take up the cross to worldly honor, to deny self and the praise of men, and to despise the shame, which the men of the world are ever ready to cast upon the true disciples of Christ. Being thus humbled, and having been made willing to be despised for Christ's sake and the gospel's, he was united to the flock of newly convinced Friends in London; and in due time became eminently useful among them.

The following letter to Margaret Fell, exhibiting a little of the labors of Friends in and about London, during the Sixth Month, was written by Edward Burrough on behalf of himself and Francis Howgill, who also signed it. This will account for the alteration of the singular to the plural pronoun, which is to be found in it,

London, 29th of Sixth Month, 1654.


Great is our care and charge. Pray that we may be kept in faithfulness and boldness in the work of the Lord committed to us, and that wisdom may guide us to handle the sword : that we may clearly discern what to spare and what to destroy. Great is our travail, until Christ be brought forth in this people; and our suffering is ever with and for the pure seed, which lies in bondage. We two are constrained to stay in this city; but we are not alone, for the power of our Father is with us, and it is daily made manifest through weakness, even to the stopping the mouths of lions, and to the confounding of the serpent's wisdom, Eternal praises to Him for evermore !

In this city, iniquity is grown to the height, the serpent's wisdom is grown fully ripe. Here are the subtlest serpents to grapple with and war withal; but in the eternal light, which is our shield and buckler, are they comprehended and their deceits made manifest to us; and by the light they are judged and condemned.

We have three meetings or more every week, very large, more than any place will contain, in which we can conveniently meet. Many of all sorts come to us, and many of all sects are convinced; yes, hundreds do believe; and by the power of the gospel declared among them, the witness of God is raised, which shall never die. There are some brought under the power exceedingly, which strikes terror in the hearts of many; many lie under true judgment; a true life is raised up in many; and the time of redemption is drawing near. As yet we know little of our departing from hence; to all, do we and shall we, clear our consciences, and be free from the blood of all men, and finish our testimony. Many begin to consider of us, and think there is something more in it than a bare notion; at the first they looked upon it as no more; but it sinks deep inward in many, for to that we speak, which brings us in remembrance when they see us not.

The last First-day but one, (Sixth Month 19th), I was at a steeple-house in the forenoon, and had liberty to speak what I was free, and passed away to the meeting in the afternoon. Last First-day, (26th) Richard Hubberthorn and I went twelve miles out of the city to a great meeting of Separatists at a place called Theoholds,* where were many great men, and officers in the army, and such like; and we had pretty liberty to let forth ourselves, but at the end, the heads of them put us violently forth, which many simple minds owned not in them. The Fourth-day of last week (22nd) we had a meeting in Southwark, in a large room, where some Anabaptists meet on the First-days; several of them were there, and many hundreds of people.

*A place near Waltham Abbey. Richard passed on after this meeting to Cambridge, where on the 24th, he was arrested with James Parnell.

Our dear brethren John Audland and John Camm, went from us the last Sixth-day, out of the city towards Oxford, to be there the last First-day, (26th); our hearts were broken in separating one from another, for our lives are bound up in one, and we partake of one another's sufferings, and of one another's joy. We receive letters every week from the prisoners* at Chester. The work of the Lord goes on gloriously in that county. There is precious seed there; and Anthony Pearson writes to us of the like in the county of Bishoprick (Durham). It is ever our reward to hear that the Lord is raising that up in power, which was sown in weakness; to the Lord be glory, be glory for evermore!

*These men were probably Edward Ogden and Richard Costhrope and perhaps others. Richard was fixed in the place of torture, called little easee Besse says, " it was a hole hewed out in a rock, the breadth across from side to side, was seventeen inches; from the back to the inside of the great door at the top, seven inches; at the shoulders eight inches;" at the breast nine inches and a half. From the top to the bottom one yard and a half, with a device to lessen the length, as they minded to torment the person put in, by drawing boards which shot over the two sides to a yard in height, or thereabouts." Many Friends during this year, suffered in this place.

Remember us dearly to all Friends, for we are refreshed in the remembrance of you. Our principal care is, that we may be preserved in obedience, in power and in wisdom; that the Lord may be glorified by us. We rest from writing, but continue to be your dearly beloved brethren in the Lord.

Edward Burrough

Francis Howgill

Edward Burrough and Francis Howgill were still usefully occupied in London. Those who had been co-workers with them there, had all left them, and were now laboring in various parts of England, as the Lord led and qualified them for his work and service. John Camm and John Audland, after visiting Oxfordshire, passed on to Bristol, where a rich harvest awaited them. They held various meetings in that city, the first of which was on the 10th of the Seventh Month; and many were convinced of the Truth under their ministry

From the following letter, written by Francis Howgill to Robert Widders, we may gather some further particulars of the labors of Edward Burrough and himself in London.

London, 23rd of Seventh Month, 1654.


Edward Burrough and I stay still in London. Large is the love of God to us, and the work of the Lord prospers in our hands; eternal, living praises [to Him] for evermore. We are here among this great people in much weakness; and when we see such multitudes, we are often put to a stand where one might get bread to satisfy so many. But the wisdom and power of God has been with us, and there are hundreds convinced; but not many great or noble receive our testimony. Yet there are many put to a stand, and brought into silence; and many are under deep judgment, and a true power. We have had many great giants to encounter, but by the power of the Lord the mouths of lions have been stopped, and our adversaries have been put to flight. We have been in great service continually since we came into this filthy place. Here is the trimmed harlot, the mystery of witchcraft; the devil rules and is head in all sorts.

We have been at the most eminent societies in the city, and we have had strong fightings with them over and over at some steeple-houses; despite them holding us in contempt, they say none speak like us; but the devil cannot stoop so low. We have two or three meetings in the week, but no place large enough; so that we are much put to it. We have been guided in much wisdom, so that all those who hate us have nothing to accuse us of tumult, or disorder in the least. Some want to entrap us, but in wisdom we are guided; praised be the Lord!

Miles Halhead and James Lancaster were here and came to visit us. They stayed one First-day, and so were moved towards Cambridge. We are much refreshed; we receive letters from all quarters; the work goes on steady everywhere. Richard Hubberthorn is yet in prison along with James Parnell at Cambridge. Our dear brethren, John Audland and John Camm, we hear [from], and we write to one another twice in the week. They are near us; they are precious; and the work of the Lord is great about Bristol,

Pray for us, dear brother, that we may be kept in wisdom and power; that the living God may be exalted for evermore, My dear yoke fellow salutes you.

Your dear friend in the work of the Lord,

Francis Howgill

Under date of the 2nd of the Eighth Month, Francis Howgill writes: "Our burden is great, we cannot get any separation [that is of Friends from others], for the multitude, and so Friends do not know one another. We can not conveniently get any place to meet in, that Friends may sit down."

Through the Divine blessing on the labor bestowed, many had been convinced, and several more meetings of Friends were set up about this time in London, and regularly held. On First-day mornings, some of the Friends collected together at the house of Sarah Matthews, widow, residing in White-cross Street; and in the afternoons of that day they met at Simon Dring's in Moorfields. It would seem that there were meetings also at the houses of other Friends, and sometimes at Glazier's Hall. Besides these meetings some were appointed, in almost or quite every week, at such suitable public places as could be procured for the purpose. A great sensation had been made in the minds of the people throughout London. The convincing power that accompanied the ministry of Friends had produced such results, that the priests beheld with dismay, many of their congregations leaving them. The doctrines preached by Friends were not new, they were primitive Christianity revived in its ancient spirituality; and the quickening power which attended their ministry, awakened and aroused the lukewarm, while it met a ready response from the sincere seekers after truth.

Instead of calling the attention of their hearers to curious speculations and outward forms and observances, they directed them to Christ Jesus their Shepherd and Bishop, who had given them a measure of his Light and grace to benefit all, and which, as they obeyed and followed it, would lead them out of all evil, into holiness of life and conversation, and that living faith in Christ Jesus, as the Redeemer and Sanctifier of his people, which is the gift of God and the saints' victory over the world, the flesh and the devil. It is a practical, heart-changing religion, adapted by Infinite Wisdom for the recovery of man out of the fall, and for preparing him, through sanctification of the Spirit and a belief of the truth, for the blessedness of heaven.


JOHN CAMM and John Audland were the first preachers among Friends, who visited the southwest of England. In the Fifth Month 1654, they were in Bristol, at which place they appointed meetings, which were largely attended; many of their hearers were seriously awakened, and not a few were convinced of the Truth.* Their first visit to the city was brief: but they returned in the Seventh Month, after they left London. They held many meetings in Bristol and its vicinity, and the same overshadowing influence of the Divine presence was with them, as attended their first labor there. The newly convinced were confirmed, and the opposing spirit in some was shaken. They left Bristol again about the 22nd of the Seventh Month, and traveling north, were at a meeting at Hereford on the 25th, from whence they proceeded to Bramyard.

* Josiah Cole, Charles Marshall and many besides, who afterwards proved valiant men and women in supporting the doctrines of Friends, were convinced at these meetings.

In the Eighth Month, Edward Burrough and Francis Howgill left London, under a concern to visit Bristol. They reached that place about the middle of the Eighth Month, and on the next First-day, the 21st, they had a meeting in the Castle, which was attended by many hundreds of people. When the meeting was over, in order to obtain a little quiet retirement from the company of interested and inquiring persons, who constantly thronged about them, they retired into the country, to the residence of a captain in the army, about one mile from the city. Their plan to obtain seclusion did not succeed, for many followed them and filled the house. Every day of the succeeding week they had meetings either within or, without the city, largely attended by the citizens, and crowned with the sensible evidence of Divine regard. On the morning of the following First-day (28th), they were in the city, at the house of George Bishop, then a military captain, but afterward a soldier of Christ Jesus the Prince of Peace. His house was large, but it proved altogether inadequate to accommodate those who came. In the afternoon they went out to the fort, and at the meeting held there, it is supposed two thousand persons were present, among whom were many of the great men and women of the city. This large assembly was very quiet, but the multitude was so great, that the preachers could scarcely extend their voices, so that those in the outskirts could hear. When the services of the meeting had closed, Edward and Francis found it difficult to get away from the awakened crowd; and they say in a letter to Margaret Fell that they were obliged to retire into a private chamber.

The priests and magistrates were incensed at the effects produced by the gospel labors of these ministers of Christ, and determined if possible to find some cause of complaint against them. On Second-day they came into the city, and going to the house of a merchant, information was soon spread. The mayor, aldermen, justices of the peace, with some of the priests assembled, and a sergeant was sent to bring the strangers before them. Edward and Francis, conscious of having violated no law, readily obeyed the summons, and were accompanied by many of the military officers and great men of the city, who had been in a measure reached through their ministry. These were not, however, allowed to be present at the examination that took place. After Edward and Francis had informed those before whom they were taken, that they had come according to their desire, the magistrates manifested great wrath because they did not take off their hats. Being informed that it was not out of contempt of authority, but for conscience sake that Friends did not uncover the head to their fellow men, they were asked their names and country. We will give the rest in Francis Howgill's words, contained in a letter to Margaret Fell, which was signed by Edward Burrough.

They asked us, how we came to the city; and we answered them, and told them the commands and motion of the Lord,—that we had to bear witness to his name, and to declare the gospel committed to us.—And it was asked us whether our call was by authority of a secondary authority or directly from God; we answered, directly from God; we denied all other calls, for they were carnal. They said, if we had the same direct call, declare it. Then I declared what I had been, and what I was :— we declared where we had lived, and that on the command of God we had left them. We spoke about a quarter of an hour, and they listened attentively. They asked if we accused all the ministers in England. We said no; there were many ministers of Christ in England, and we had unity with them; but we denied all hirelings [ministers tithes or salaries] and those who sought to profit from their office. They pleaded for hire; and said the light was natural, and denied that every one had the light, and the like; they also said, we dishonored the gospel. After much striving and contending, when they could not ensnare us, they huddled in conference, and said, we had tumultuous meetings; to which one of their own [number] answered, there were many godly honest people without tumult. When they could get nothing against us, they commanded us to leave the city. But we were bold and said that we were free-born men, and we knew of no law that we had transgressed, and therefore we should not be at any man's will; but when He moved us that called us, we should; and come in again as He moved. So we passed away, and all the people were silent, and the priests and magistrates were enraged. We stayed until night, and then went out of the city. The same day we were moved to return again and to walk in the streets.

Bristol has good people and a great harvest awaits. It is likely that we will be imprisoned; but all is one, and in the will of God we stand free out of all. We have not seen John Audland and John Camm yet, but expect their arrival. This is a thirsty land; and truly, the sound of the gospel committed to us has gone through all the surrounding regions. May the living God of life preserve us in his eternal power and wisdom; in the will of the Lord we stand, and none can take away our joy. Salute us dearly to George Fox; one hour with him would be great joy to us. We lack nothing outwardly; the Lord reward you, (and you have your reward), for your care and love over all the church of Christ. Salute us in the Lord to all the saints everywhere; and pray that the living God may be honored, and his name exalted forevermore. The God of life and power be with you, and keep you and all your dear family, in his eternal love and power to himself.

The account of this interview, given in the Sufferings of Friends, relates rather more of their reply to the magistrates; it closes thus: "We are free-born Englishmen, and have served the Commonwealth in faithfulness, being free in the presence of God from the transgression of any law. To your command we cannot be obedient, but if by violence you put us out of the city, and have power to do it, we cannot resist."

They continued in and about Bristol, laboring to fulfill the requiring of their Divine Master, during the Ninth Month, and it would appear without molestation. The magistrates astonished at their innocent boldness, knew not what to do with them, and the priests had not yet matured their plan for stirring up a persecuting spirit in the mob, by whose hands in a few weeks afterward, John Camm and John Audland suffered much abuse. In the meantime, the faith of those who had been convinced of the Truth in that neighborhood, was strengthened by the labors of these faithful Friends, and they grew in grace, so that they were enabled in a remarkable manner by their constancy in sufferings and imprisonments, to hold up a light to the world,

Rumors of the great meetings held by Friends in Bristol, spread far and wide through the country; and twelve Baptists came out of Wiltshire, to have a public dispute with Edward and Francis. A meeting was accordingly held, and their confident challengers being unable, either to defend their own views, or controvert the doctrine of those they had come to overthrow, fled from the contest.

On returning home in order to cover their defeat, they reported that the Quakers had cursed and swore, and denied Christ and the Scriptures. These reports reached the ears of Edward and Francis, who were about leaving Bristol to return to London; the care of Friends there still resting upon them, Edward had also several controversial tracts about passing through the press in that city. It was early in the Tenth Month, that they took leave of their friends at Bristol, and passing into Wilts, came to the town where the discomfited champions had spread those false reports. The people of the place were very fierce towards them, but they obtained liberty for a meeting in the market place to clear themselves. As they went to it, they felt a sense of great inward weakness and insufficiency, which led them to look to the alone source of strength and true wisdom for assistance. A large company gathered, among whom was the mayor of the town, and a justice of the peace. They soon felt the power of the Lord strengthening them; so that for two hours they spoke with irresistible authority, in defense of the Truth. They then had a dispute with two of the Baptists for four hours, at the conclusion of which their opponents laid aside all boasting. The justice of the peace thus expressed his satisfaction, and said he had never heard any who spoke like them, and invited them to his house, where on the following day they went. In the evening, the mayor of the town called on them, confessed that they had spoken the truth, and said if he did not witness to it, his conscience would witness against him.

This dispute opened their say in Wiltshire, and they had many meetings. They stayed two days at the house of Justice Stooker, who with his wife, was convinced of the Truth, as were many others. When they departed for London, the justice sent his van and horses to take them fifteen miles on their way. From this circumstance, it is evident that their travels were much on foot. It would appear from a passage in George Fox's journal, that almost immediately after they reached London, Francis Howgill must have returned to Bristol. Edward Burrough remained a short time in London, but towards the close of the Tenth Month, he met with his friend and former companion, at a general meeting held at Swanington, in Leicestershire.

By whose agency this meeting was called, no information appears to have been preserved. George fox says of it, "many Ranters, Baptists, and other professors came." The Ranters were as usual wild and rude, but the power of Truth was present to confound them. On the second day of the meeting, Jacob Bottommly, a great Ranter, came from Leicester;" but he too was restrained by the Lord's power, as was also a priest, who attempted to oppose. George Fox says, "the priests, Baptists, Ranters, and other professors were very rude, and stirred up rude people against us. We sent to the Ranters to come forth and try their god. Abundance of them came, who sung, whistled and danced; but the Lord's power so prevailed over them, that many of them were convinced."

From Swanington, Edward and Francis returned to London. Among the changes which had taken place in that city, several of the newly convinced had been called and anointed to preach the Gospel of life and salvation.

Let us now examine what Edward Burrough had been doing with his pen this year, in which as we have seen, he had been so abundantly occupied in ministerial labors. Soon after Friends began to hold meetings in London, many Anabaptists, being convinced of the truth of the Gospel, joined them. This stirred up the zeal of some of their late companions, who still considered Quakerism to be a dangerous heresy, and occasioned the publication of a book entitled, The Quaker Principles, dashed in pieces by Enoch Hewitt, an Anabaptist. Edward Burrough was prompt in answering this, and in the strong and quaint language generally adopted for the titles of books in that day, called his tract The walls of Jericho razed down to the ground, or an answer to a lying book, called the Quakery, &c. One of the charges which Hewitt in his tract makes against Friends is, "They oppose the word of Christ to the written word; and will have a word that is a discovery spiritual, to be the word; but whatever it is they call the word, it is perfectly false, and not the truth."

Edward reproves him for allowing his misstatements to be carried up and down the streets of London as ballads, and says:

"We do not oppose Christ to the Scriptures; for Christ is the word, and this the Scriptures does not oppose, but bear witness to Him who is the word; and his name is called the word of God. This word became flesh and dwelled among us, as the Scriptures witness; and the word of the Lord endures forever. You who would set up the letter in the place of God, to try all things, and to search all hearts you make an idol of it, and so oppose God with it, and would bring that to contend against the Lord, which they witnessed through suffering. I tell you and all the world, the word is but one, and all who know God, hear that word. It is a light and a lantern to their paths; but that is invisible and eternal, and what the saints witnessed of his word, they declared, and the Scripture is true, and bears a true record and testimony of the word, and they were witnesses of the word of life that wrote it. It is a true declaration of these things that are certainly believed, of the which they saw, and heard and tasted. Let all that have heard us in the city of London, or elsewhere, speak, if they heard us say the Scriptures were useless, or did disesteem them; but on the contrary we exhorted them to search if the Scriptures did not bear witness to these things we declared; and so let shame cover your face, you false accuser."

To the charge of denying the Lord Jesus, that was crucified for them; Edward Burrough says, "We deny not the Lord that bought us, for by Him can we say we have received the end of his coming, and of his death and ascension; even He has purchased us, and set us free from the power and kingdom of the devil."

Edward Burrough bears a clear testimony to the belief of Friends, in the resurrection and ascension of Christ, and in replying to the charge of denying the ordinances of God, and the Lord who bought them, he says, "The way to God and to everlasting life, which is Christ Jesus, we do not deny, but are true witnesses, that the same Christ alone, who was crucified at Jerusalem, and which God had raised from the dead, and which is ascended, in Him alone is salvation, and by Him also alone are all justified that believe on Him. This we declare freely to all people, that Christ is the ordinance of God, ordained by Him for the salvation of all that believe, and for the condemnation of all that believe not in Him. That the way to this Christ is not any outward visible thing, but even what is manifested from Him, and leans up to Him; even the light, by which He has enlightened everyone that comes into the world, which is spiritual as Christ is spiritual. The one baptism, which is by one spirit into one body, into the death of Christ, we are witnesses of; and the bread which we break, is the communion of the body of Christ; and we being many are one bread; but the beggarly elements of the world we testify against, being witnesses of the substance." After declaring once more Friends' willingness to be judged by the Scriptures, he concludes thus: "If you find any that disown the Scriptures, we also disown such, and do say, they are not spiritual men, but have the spirit of antichrist."

E. Burrough's next work was an answer to certain questions put forth by a priest called Philip Bennet, and a ranting deceiver named, John Reeve. This was followed by a review of a work entitled" Choice Experiences, written by J. Turner, a female." In this review he shows in which the doctrine contained in the" Choice Experiences," is contrary to the truth.

The success attending the ministry of Friends, and the rapid increase of their converts, created at this time great alarm among many of the ministers of other societies. They were stirred up to oppose and vilify the principles and practices of those, who seemed taking away their congregations. Many pamphlets were put forth, the evident design of which was to make Friends appear ridiculous, heretical and dangerous in the eyes of the community. None of these pamphlets appear to have been allowed to go unanswered. One of them written by a John Griffith, entitled A voice from the word of the Lord, to those grand impostors called Quakers, called forth a prompt and spirited reply from Edward Burrough. In this essay, Edward Burrough makes frequent declarations of the full belief in, and regard for the Holy Scriptures, which he and his brethren in religious profession, entertained, as well as many other points of Christian doctrine, some of which we shall quote:

That we reject and despise the Scriptures, and the words which Christ spoke, which you accuse us of, is another false slander for the Scriptures we own in their place, and by the Spirit of God set to our seals, that they are true." "I charge you with a lie in your mouth, who say, 'We would not have men read the Scriptures.' They who have heard us, shall witness that, that we do direct to search the Scriptures, whether our doctrine be true, and by the Scriptures shall our doctrine be tried."

John Griffith says,

"they talk of high enjoyments and great revelations, without, above, and beyond the Scriptures, and of a light, which is besides the Scriptures, but it is deep and thick darkness, And what has such lights led men into? even contempt of God, and of all righteousness,' he also adds, "they call the Scriptures a dead letter."

[For the letter kills, but the spirit gives life. 2 Cor 3:6. The words I speak to you are Spirit, and they are life. John 6:63. Spoken words of the spirit are alive and impart life. Written words of Scripture [the letter] have no life; they are a dead letter.]

Edward Burrough replies:

Here you are an accuser of the brethren; for what we do declare, the Scriptures witness to the same. We speak of nothing but what is declared of in the Scriptures by the holy men of God; and neither without it, nor above, nor beyond it, do we speak. I challenge you to prove what you have asserted, and all the city of London, whether we have spoken or declared anything but what the Scriptures bear witness to. The light which we declare of is the light of Christ; which the Scriptures said, has enlightened everyone that comes into the world. It is not besides the Scriptures, so as [to be] contrary to it, but the Scriptures bear witness of the light; and here I charge you with blasphemy, who says, the light of Christ, which is the light that we declare of, has led them or leads any to condemn God, or his ordinances, or righteousness.' If you know any who cry against the scriptures, and against the doctrine therein contained, we cry and declare against such; for the scriptures we own in its place to a true declaration of God, of Christ, and of the saints' conditions; but they are not the light for Christ is the light as the scriptures bear witness. Nor are they the saint's guide, but the Spirit that gave them forth [is], as they themselves bear testimony. Neither were the scriptures given forth to give your own imaginations and suppositions upon but they themselves are doctrine and are as they speak; he that has the same Spirit which spoke them forth, reads them, and understands them, and none else.


AFTER a few weeks spent in fervent labor in London, Edward Burrough and Francis Howgill went out again in the service of their divine Master. While they were absent, George Fox was brought to the city to be examined by Oliver Cromwell. Although nominally a prisoner, yet he was not restrained from going abroad, and attending the meetings of Friends. He was as yet a stranger to the great body of the young converts there, and kept himself much retired, not mingling among them, except at meetings. The way of this eminent man was soon open among them, and they could but take notice of the respectful deference paid him by the faithful brethren, his fellow laborers in the Gospel of Christ Jesus, who met him in London. Many of these had been effectually reached under his ministry, and having had evidence of the wisdom that had been given him from above, they could not but consider him as a father in the Truth, worthy of double honor. This honor was not manifested in flattering words, which tend to exalt the creature but there was a disposition to hear and observe the remarks he made in social gatherings, as well as in religious meetings; and Alexander Parker informs us, that the London Friends all took notice of one thing: "if George is in the company, all the rest are for the most part silent."

On the 8th-of the First Month 1655, George Fox was set at liberty by the Protector, and about that time, Edward Burrough and Francis Howgill met him in London. There were many other ministers gathered there, and Edward informs Margaret Fell, that on the next First-day, the 10th, George Fox was in private with Friends, that is, he attended the small meetings in private houses, where Friends gathered by themselves. He adds, "we two were in the general meeting place, among the rude world, threshing and ploughing. The rest of our brethren were that day at several meetings, some at one and some at another, and some among the Baptists, and gathered people; and great service there was that day. Then shortly after that First-day, the brethren separated into the field, to reap and to gather in." After describing the field of labor, into which several of these brethren had entered, he continues,

We believe that [George Fox] will return to this city again; we that are too few for this service, for truly it is very great; at present many come in daily to the acknowledgment of the Truth. Friends are so many, that not one place can hold them on the First-days, where we can peaceably meet, for the rude people; for since we came they have been very rude very often to pull us down, when we have been speaking. George was at the great meeting place, two First-days before we came; and his voice and outward man was almost spent among them.

We have thus ordered it since we came: we get Friends on the First-days to meet together in several places out of the rude multitude; and we two go to the great meeting place, which we have, which will hold a thousand people, which is always nearly filled, [there] to thresh among the world; and we stay until twelve or one o'clock, and then pass away, the one to one place, and the other to another place, where Friends are met in private, and stay until four or five o'clock.

Truly, dear hearts, our care is for the whole body, that all things may be ordered in the wisdom of God, to the confounding of all our adversaries, who seek for our halting.

The number of ministering Friends, who were now frequently in London, many of them persons of very small means, and who could in afford to bear their own traveling expenses, furnished an opportunity to their brethren of that city for contributing occasionally to their necessities; yet a care rested on the minds of the travelers, not to be burdensome to any. Alexander Parker writes, "We do not lack anything; here are many precious Friends in this city, who would do anything for us, or let us have anything, but George [Fox] is not very free, but rather keeps clear." It is probable that Friends in other places, particularly Margaret Fell, sent of their abundance to Edward Burrough and Francis Howgill, for their care in furnishing supplies to the faithful travelers, who had not of their own. Alexander Parker says, " If any lack, our friends Francis and Edward supply them. The charge truly is great, but our desire is to make it as easy as possibly we can."

George Fox, who had left London before the middle of the First Month 1655, returned to it again on First-day the 31st of the same month. Alexander Parker thus writes of the services of that day. "We had five meetings, three of Friends that met in silence, and George was at one of them, where many of the world came in, but were sober. Francis and Edward were at the great meeting place, where many came to hear. Gervase Benson and I were at a meeting beyond Westminster, where there are many convinced. In the morning, having such short notice, there were not many; but in the afternoon there came very many, and they were sober, quiet people."

Just before the middle of the Second Month, Edward Burrough left London and went to Edmundbury in Suffolk, where he was soon joined by Francis Howgill. They passed on together to the Isle of Ely, where at the time of the assizes they had a very favored meeting. Here they found James Parnell, who informed them that the Baptists at Cambridge had challenged him to a public dispute. Feeling a willingness to be present, they accompanied him to that place at the time appointed; it was the 20th of the Second Month. The steeple-house had been selected by the Baptists as the most suitable place for accommodating those who might wish to witness the controversy; but when the hour came they found it shut. In the meantime the whole town was in an uproar, and the scholars as usual rude and turbulent. The Baptists, finding that James Parnell had two such able assistants with him, were unwilling to carry on the dispute. Edward and Francis perceiving the commotion to increase about them, with intimations of personal violence, and no present appearance of the dispute being allowed, returned to the house of Justice Blakeling. James continued with the Baptists, who retreated to the house of one of their number, whose wife behaved in a very unchristian manner toward himself and friends, on which James said, that as she was nothing departed from the old nature, it was evident she had not been made better by her baptism in water. Followed by many rude scholars and people, he then returned to a Friend's house, probably the one at which his companions were; and there he preached to the multitude. The Baptists finding that the common people and the rough mob were with them, felt their hands strengthened, and went to the shire-house, in the castle yard, and sent for James Parnell, who quickly came to them. The jailer at first would have refused James Parnell permission to enter, but he at last obtained it. The multitude now became quiet, and Edward and Francis soon joined their friend. The Baptists and the Independents, each chose one to represent them, and the dispute opened.

The Baptists put but one question, which was this, "The writings of the Prophets and Apostles, which are called Scriptures, whether are they the word and sayings of the Most High God? yes or no?" To this James replied, "The word of God, which is God, which dwelled in the Prophets and Apostles, from it they spoke forth the things which are recorded in Scripture." The Baptists declared this was no answer, and finding nothing how they could take hold of it, they after a time departed, enjoining the jailer not to allow James to speak to the multitude. James was hustled and abused by the rude scholars, although the Baptists had been allowed to go away unmolested. On this he remarks, "It appears that the world loves its own."

Edward and Francis returned to the house of a Friend, and sending for their brethren in religious profession and some others, they had a meeting with them in the evening. On Seventh-day the 21st, they had two meetings in the yard of a house in the place, at which many were convinced of the truth, even some of those who had been wild and turbulent. The next day they were at a meeting previously appointed in the Isle of Ely. It was large, there being as was supposed, seven hundred persons present. The father of Cromwell's son-in-law Russel, a colonel in the army, who resided near, sent two priests to the meeting, probably to dispute with them. But so clearly did the two Friends set forth the spirituality of the Gospel and unfold the way of life, that the priests were confounded, and had nothing to say. Their hearts were touched, and on returning to Russel they told him the Quakers were far more advanced than they were. On this the colonel invited Edward and Francis to his house, where they went, and had a kind reception. When the family gathered about them, they were afresh qualified to preach to them, in the demonstration of the spirit and with power. Some of those present were seriously affected, and the colonel's wife wept freely.

The next day the colonel sent them word, if they would go to the house of one of the priests, whom he had sent to dispute with them, who was an Independent, he would send the priest word, and acquaint his congregation. This message they received with gladness, and had a satisfactory meeting, at which were the colonel's family, the public preachers of the parish, and many of the people, The Lord whom they served was near them by the word of his grace, and qualified them to speak the truth, with boldness and convincing power. The priests hung their heads in confusion, but the hearts of the people, being in measure opened by the Lord's good spirit, greeted the Friends in love.

Early in the Third Month, we find them once more in London, laboring with their elder brother George Fox. On Third-day, the 8th of Third Month, Edward and Francis had a dispute with "the chief of the Baptists" in London, and the next day with "two of the chief of the Water Baptists." Of these meetings, Alexander Parker writes, " Many of their hearers who are not satisfied, came, and some of our Friends, and the power of the Lord was over them; though they are a very wise and subtle generation, yet the Lord by his wisdom in weak ones, confounds and overturns them. A great shatter is among all the forms and gathered churches as they are called; and many are inquiring after the truth."

As Edward and Francis were returning from their tour, they addressed from Cambridge a letter to James Parnell, which it would seem recommended him to remember the awakened ones in the Isle of Ely. To this letter he replied under date of Third Month 18th, acknowledging the love which dictated it and the evidence it bore of care and wisdom. Soon after receiving it, he went to the Isle of Ely, and had various meetings. At Ely-town many were convinced. In Littleport in the Isle, he says, "there are about sixty that are brought to meet together, in that town alone." At Soham, he also had an open opportunity of proclaiming the truth to the people, who received the word gladly, and many were convinced. On the 21st of Third Month, Francis Howgill writing to Margaret Fell, says:

Pray for us, for our work is doubled; our care is doubled; but our strength is also renewed. The work is great in this city, but even few are fitted for it. The last First-day (20th), there were ten meetings in the city, and the work lies upon George Fox and us two. A precious people are here; [they] grow up in wisdom and life, and many are added. All the priests and all the gathered congregations in the city preach against us, and are bent in great rage, and print lies, and incense people much. Edward Burrough and I have ordinarily two public disputes with the heads of them.

They lose their members so fast, they don’t know what to do; yet the city is pretty calm and quiet; and wisdom begins to grow among Friends, and several are moved to go forth in the ministry. Two young men and two young women are moved to go to Barbados, out of the city. Many Friends have come here about tithes. There are nearly thirty in the city, and much care lies upon us to order them, and for the brethren abroad that are in the work of the Lord, or in bonds. Our liberty here is of much advantage to all of the churches of Christ everywhere, glory be to Him that preserves us in his bosom, and under the shadow of his wing.

On the 29th of Third Month, these two gospel laborers left London, visiting Friends and holding meetings in various parts of Norfolk and Suffolk. But little account of this journey has been preserved.

Oliver Cromwell, now Protector of England, was conscious that the standing he had assumed could only be maintained by skill and energy. The Presbyterians were dissatisfied with him, as well as the Episcopalians and Roman Catholics; and the Independents themselves were not hearty in his support. They were zealously attached to a republican form of government, and Oliver gave evidence of an intent to assume monarchical powers, even if prudence should deter him from taking on himself a kingly title. In this situation he displayed his customary vigor of the blind. It would be foreign to this work, to trace the manner in which he quelled insurrection, and secured and increased his power. But one of his acts, intended to support his usurpations, caused much suffering to the Society of Friends. With the sanction of his council, he issued a proclamation, directing that an oath, abjuring "Popish supremacy," should be required of the people of England. While George Fox, Edward Burrough, Francis Howgill and other concerned Friends were in London, during the early part of the Third Month, [this year], they prepared a declaration against popery. This was intended to show that though they could take no oaths to evidence their feelings, they were yet opposed to all popery, popish rites and observances, whether found in the church of Rome, or in those called reformed churches. This declaration commences with showing that the people of God, in scorn called Quakers, could not swear, because they observed the doctrine of Christ Jesus and his apostles, who said, "swear not at all, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath; but let your yes be yes, and your no be no, for fear you fall into condemnation." It then stated that they denied and condemned all popish ways and supremacy over the Catholic church, and in confirmation of this condemnation alluded to the many Friends who had suffered in England, under laws made to protect the Jesuits, crucifixes and images, which laws the priests of nominally reformed churches, now kept as their guard. They bear a decided testimony against that power in England, which would force men's consciences either to take oaths, or to conform to their outward established ordinances. "Bread and wine," say they, "are carnal; which our Lord Jesus Christ's body is not, but is precious. He saw no corruption, and is a mystery, which bread and wine are not, regardless of how they consecrate them. We deny the sacrament, for we know there is no Scripture for it. The Lord's supper is not carnal. He will make his abode with us and sup with us. His body is glorious, and not beggarly elements, as outward bread and wine. This is the blood of Jesus, which washes away our sins; and this is the body of Jesus, which makes us free from the law. So we do deny and condemn all that worship, that sacrament of elements of bread and wine, and that supper which stands in those things. We witness Christ to have come, who is the sum and substance, and need not have a remembrance of any element. We which are dead with Christ, live in his life, from [out of] the beggarly elements. Again, we deny that there is any purgatory, and declare against it, knowing the blood of Jesus, which cleanses from sin, and Him who takes away our sin, and destroys the works of the devil. We do deny all their consecrated host, crucifixes and images, and they are not to be worshipped. We declare against the Papists, and those, who say salvation is to be merited by works, for then it is not of faith in Him, who was not born by the will of man. We deny the word merit, and know that man does not attain anything by his will. Who are in Christ, are new creatures. To them there is no condemnation, who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit. So everyone shall have a reward according to his works, whether they be good or evil."

After warning the people of England against persecution, and giving two instances of suffering for not swearing, they sum up the declaration by saying, they deny the Pope, and his supremacy and authority over the Catholic church in general, and over everyone of themselves in particular. And do believe and know that there is not any transubstantiation in the called sacrament of the Lord's supper; or in the element of bread and wine, after consecration thereof by any person whatever. They and every of them, the people of God, called Quakers, do believe and know that there is not any purgatory; and that the consecrated host, crucifixes or images, ought not to be worshipped, neither that any worship is due to any of them. They and every of them also believe and know, that salvation cannot be merited by works, and all doctrines and affirmations of the said points we do renounce and witness against. They do deny all equivocation, mental reservation, and secret evasion whatever; speaking the words of truth in plainness by the help of God; and in so doing are persecuted, stoned, stocked, mocked, reproached and imprisoned, by those who cannot endure plainness of speech; who are equivocators, mental reservers, and secret evaders."

Anthony Pearson, Gervase Benson and Thomas Aldam took a copy of this declaration and presented it to Oliver Cromwell, on the 28th of the Third Month. They told him that though the oath of abjuration was given forth for Baptists to take, yet many corrupt justices, knowing that Friends could not swear, would make a spoil of them by tendering it to them. Oliver replied, "It was never intended for them; I never so intended it." He was very moderate in his demeanor towards the Friends, and promised to read the papers they brought.


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