The Missing Cross to Purity


Memoir to Edward Burrough
(Continued)

CHAPTER VII

ROBERT MAYO, the priest of Kingston, on the Thames, about the beginning of the year 1657, sent a message to Edward Burrough, requesting a visit from him. Edward accepted the invitation, and was told by Mayo to speak freely whatever he had against him. The priest also offered to meet him to dispute either in public or private, and challenged him to come to his steeple-house and call him a deceiver if he dare. Edward was not easily frightened, and soon afterwards went to the place of worship where Mayo officiated. The priest, probably because Edward was present, made some assertions which he perhaps deemed as antidotes to Quakerism; one was, "that Paul, as a minister of Christ, exhorted the saints to follow and obey a Light, which was not Christ nor the Light of the Gospel." Another, "that people ought to follow and obey a Light which is not Christ, nor the Light of the Gospel." The third, "That a man may be a righteous man, and not a godly man." The fourth, "that the Light of Christ, which every man is lighted withal, is carnal and darkness."- John 1:9. The fifth, "that Christ was not the Word that David walked by."

After Mayo had finished his discourse, Edward declared these doctrines to be erroneous and damnable, and he who promulgated them was a deceiver. It does not appear that any attempt was made by the priest to defend the assertions he had made, but he commenced a suit against Edward for slander. Edward was arrested and cast into prison, but does not appear to have been detained there very long. The case was not tried until the Fifth Month in the following year, when we shall again advert to it. On the 15th day of the Sixth Month, 1657, Edward Burrough either wrote or finished a testimony concerning London. It contains a close reproof against treachery, flattery, hypocrisy, pride, wantonness and wickedness, as well as a warning to flee from them, and a tender invitation to come to Christ Jesus, that salvation may be experienced.

Attached to this "Testimony concerning London," is the following:

A WARNING TO ALL SORTS OF PEOPLE

You merchants, and traders, and traffickers, and all you who buy and sell, be plain and upright-hearted; and do not lie, swear not, do not be dishonest for gain to yourselves, for that is cursed of the Lord, and so is the gain that is received be that. Speak the truth every man to his neighbor; do not flatter those with whom you deal by feigned words of guile, while secretly deception lodges in your hearts, to make a prey upon your neighbor or brother, for this is evil in the sight of the Lord. But speak the truth in all things, and let your yes be yes, and your no no, in all your common occasions, for whatever is more is evil. What advantage do you gain through deceit, or lying, or multitude of vain words? It shall be a curse to you, and not a blessing to you or to your children. Let the truth guide you in all your dealings with one another, and let the fear of God be in your hearts in all your enterprises both by sea and land. I warn you all, do not seek to enrich yourselves by any evil means, neither oppress one another in anything in which you deal. For you do not know how long your time shall be upon earth, nor how soon the day of account will come, in which every word and every work shall be brought to judgment, yes for every idle word shall you give an account, and all those words are idle which are not spoken in the fear of the Lord; therefore live and act in the fear of God, that you may be blessed in all that you do.

All you whom the Lord has blessed with riches and increase, see that you do not abuse what God has blessed you with, but in all things that it be used to the glory of the Lord, and not wasted in excess upon the lust of your own minds. For the creation is the Lord's, and all things are given by Him, and taken away at his pleasure, and He makes rich, and He makes poor whomever He will. Therefore every man be content with his own, and covet not one another's, nor defraud one another to enrich yourselves, for it is cursed of the Lord.

All you handicraft people, and laboring people, fear the Lord continually and use no deceit, nor craft, nor dishonest policy in what you do. Seek not to blind men's eyes by fair outsides, neither to cheat the simple by negligent work; but let the Truth guide you, and that will teach you to do to others what you would have them do to you, and this is acceptable in the sight of God. Let your commodities be just and right, and let all your labor be with a single heart, and do all things as in the sight of the Lord, and then you cannot do evil, if the fear of God is before your eyes. The evil in all things will be denied, and the corruption that is entered into all callings and trades, will be judged out. Be examples one to another of truth and righteousness; and do not defraud, nor cheat one another, nor use many words, nor vain gestures, but own the Lord to be your teacher, who will teach you truth, to do it, and to speak it in all things.

All you young men and apprentices, learn the fear of the Lord, and take heed of temptations, for fear that you will be destroyed, both soul and body by them. Learn not to misrepresent, nor to defraud, nor take instructions how to deceive and cheat, but first seek the kingdom of God and its righteousness, and then all outward things shall be added to you. Give not yourselves to any evil. Beware of wine and women, which steal away the hearts of many. Do not yield yourselves to vanity, nor fulfill the desire of your own minds in anything. Do not covet riches, neither study how to be proud and vain-glorious. Do not give yourselves to craft and human policies, nor to deceive any people; but fear God and keep his commandments, and be subject to your masters, and obey them in all things that are good, and be dutiful to them in what is just and righteous, but deny them in whatever is evil. Do not learn guile and cunning from them, neither vice, nor drunkenness, nor cheating, nor any other thing which is evil, but rather reprove those things, than follow them in the least. If you do the truth, and speak the truth in all things, and keep yourselves from whatever is evil, then the Lord will bless you outwardly, and inwardly, and the knowledge of God will be your crown in old age. Cease from all games, [gambling] and vain sports, and from all unrestrained behaviors and vain pleasures, and from all the works of the flesh; for those who follow such things shall neither prosper in this world, nor be blessed in the world to come. Therefore take heed to yourselves all you who are young in the world; be not overcome of evil, nor follow evil devices, but stand in awe continually, and offend not God, who gives you life, and health, and all good things.

All you masters and heads of families, this is a warning to you. Be examples of all good in your families to your children and servants. Rule in authority in the fear of God, but not in tyranny nor a severe mind; teach and instruct in fear, and not in cruelty. Give no bad example in pride, vain-glory, drunkenness, hypocrisy, or any other evil thing, but stand as a terror over all evil, and as encouragers of all good. Do not restrict the conscience of any under your power, curb sin only, and reprove not righteousness. Seek to be taught of God, and then you may instruct all under you in his way; be forgiving towards your children and servants, and pass over offences rather than punish them with cruelty. Do not make a prey upon your servants, to serve your own ends only, seeking your own good only, and not theirs; for such things are evil in the sight of God, and are to be condemned. Let no excess, neither let need be in your families, but what is honest and right; love that in all things, and follow it. Do not let your anger and passion be excessive when offence is given you, and do not correct in cruelty, but in a good understanding. Walk in the Truth, and fulfill the will of God, and not your own will; and this is of great price and acceptable in the sight of the Lord.

All you tavern keepers and inn keepers, fear the Lord God, and do not oppress your guest, neither feed the lust of any until they become drunk, for that is cursed of God both in you and them, and what He will be avenged of. Oh, great is that abomination among you. Much of the good creatures are vainly and wickedly spent and abused in your dwellings. [You think] your advantage [gain of money] stands in the abuse of the creatures by excess, and the Lord is grieved with you because of that.

All sorts of people, rich and poor, high and low, masters and servants, parents and children, buyers and sellers, tradesmen and laborers, listen to the counsel of God, and seek to know his will to you in all things, that you may do it, in following all that is good, and denying all that is evil, that your souls may live. Let not the devil lead you, nor his temptations overcome you in anything, but resist him in whatever he would lead you into, which is against God and contrary to Him.

Repent of all evil that ever you have acted, and let the Lord be your guide, that you may not utterly perish, and your city be destroyed for your sakes. The Lord's love is towards you, and He waits to be gracious to you, and desires your return, rather than your destruction, and would heal you if you will wait upon Him, and would bless your city, and make you happy in it, if you do his will, and deny your own will.

I am a friend to all your souls, and a publisher of peace, and of glad tidings to all who thirst for the Lord; and He has given me power to warn you of all your iniquities and abominations, to deny them; and to warn you to follow what is good. Oh, that you knew in this your day the things which belong to your peace, which now you may know, before they are totally hidden from your eyes, and there is no place for repentance, nor time of returning. This day will come upon many, and they cannot escape it, who now harden their hearts against the way of their own peace, and even scorn to be reproved for their transgression. Such my soul pities, who are going in the way of destruction, and run hastily into perdition. I have many times been made sad by reason of such, when I have measured the condition of all people. Upon my bed, I have pondered what abomination was in you, and what would be the end of it and I have desired nothing so much, as that I might faithfully warn you, and free myself and the Lord from the blood of all men. Deep thoughts have been upon me, concerning what the counsel of the Lord is to you all, that I might manifest the Truth, and discover the abominations, and I have not spared to cry repentance to sinners, that sinners might be converted, and turn to the Lord. Thus far I am clear of the blood of all men, and the Lord is clear; and if the wicked perish, it is because of their unbelief and opposing of the Lord. This is the testimony which I give to you, and to all your people.

Oh London, listen and consider! This is the day of your visitation, and there is not another way to life, nor to escape everlasting death and destruction, than what the Lord has showed you. Blessed is he that can receive it, and those who deny it do utterly perish without mercy. I am as a stranger among you, yet well known to the Lord, and the testimony of God concerning you shall stand forever, for it is true, and shall not be confounded, though the wicked reject it to their own destruction.

Edward Burrough

London, the 15th of the Sixth Month, 1657

Edward Burrough appears to have remained in London and neighborhood, most of the summer of 1657, and was as usual industrious, both in his vocal labors and with his pen. In A just and lawful trial of the teachers and professed ministry of this age, he draws a striking contrast between the hireling priests of his day, and the ministers of the apostolic ages.

"The last were made ministers of Christ by the gift of the Holy Ghost, and by power from on high only; and what they ministered to others, they freely received from Christ, and had handled, felt and tasted of the word of life. The former are made ministers by natural learning, education, the knowledge of arts, and by the ordination of men. The ministers of Jesus Christ went up and down through the world, declaring the word of the Lord freely in the market places, in the synagogues, and in the streets. They went from country to country, and were strangers upon earth.

The hireling priests settle themselves to preach at one place, receiving so much a year for whatever they do. The ministers of Christ sought to make people Christians by bringing them into fellowship with God, through conversion and a knowledge of the truth. Neither did they esteem any who had not experienced repentance and their hearts changed by the Holy Spirit. The hirelings pretend to make Christians by sprinkling them with water while infants.

In this year he also wrote a doctrinal work, entitled A Standard lifted up, and an ensign held forth to all nations; in which he sets forth some of the principles and testimonies of the early Quakers. Some time about the Ninth Month of this year, Christopher Fowler, a priest at Reading, in Berkshire, challenged Edward Burrough to a public dispute. This challenge was accepted, but appears to have been conducted on the part of Christopher with little decency or decorum. Edward says: "many in that town may well remember how he hooted and clapped his hands in the pulpit, as if he had been hunting on a mountain, and also his ungodly speeches, and revilings toward me; calling me dog, villain, and such like names. When some of his own people reproved him for such words, he said: 'the worst words he had in his mouth were too good for me.'"

The principal part of the dispute appears to have been, an attempt on the part of Fowler, to prove the Scriptures to be the Word of God; while Edward endeavored to show that the Scriptures are a declaration and witness of the Word of God, which Word, Christ Jesus, was in the beginning, and endures forever. He says, that the worlds were made holy the Word of God; and the Scriptures did not make the world, neither were they from the beginning; having been commenced by Moses.

To the false charges and unsound doctrines of his opponent, Edward Burrough returned sound and cogent replies, so far as he could procure opportunity, but he complains that liberty of speech was not fairly allowed him, Fowler endeavoring to persuade the mayor that he might insinuate his doctrine into the people. As Edward pressed him about tithes, he became, very uneasy; three times went out of the pulpit, and finally went away.

After the dispute, Edward returned to London, where in the Tenth Month he finished a work entitled The true Christian religion again discovered, after the long and dark night of apostasy. It commences:

Because Oliver Cromwell, called Lord Protector of England, Scotland and Ireland, chief ruler according to man, has bound himself by an oath, and sworn that he will uphold and maintain the true reformed Protestant Christian religion in the purity thereof, as it is contained in the Old and New Testament of the Scriptures; which oath he is bound to perform before the Lord and to all men. Now it remains to be tried and proved, what the Christian religion is, and who they are in these nations that are of the true reformed Protestant Christian religion, in the purity thereof, as it is contained in the Scriptures. There are abundance of sects and diversity of judgments, and many assemblies and gatherings of people, who are diverse in their ways, in their practices, and in their forms of religion in these nations, all whom do all profess the Scriptures, and that their form of religion is according to them. But this cannot be, for the Scriptures, which were given forth by the one spirit of God, bear not witness of many true ways, or to many true religions, but to the one truth, and to one true religion. It is the declaration of one way of life and salvation by one, Jesus Christ. There is no other name under heaven given for salvation, and those who believe on Him, and receive Him, only these are of the true religion. They are guided by the spirit, and changed thereby from death to life; such have unity with the Father, and with the Son, and one with another. They are not of this world, but heirs of the kingdom of God.

Therefore, come all sorts of people, and let us try and prove who it is that is of the true religion, and who it is he is bound to maintain and uphold by his oath. Come, I say, all sects and sorts of people, and appear to trial. Dare you join issue with me in this matter, and try your profession and practice of religion, whether it be according to the Scriptures in the purity thereof, yes or no? The Lord has put in my heart, to lay you all to the line of true judgment, and to prove you, whether you must be upheld and maintained in your religion, yes, or no. Come claim your privilege; if your profession and practice in religion be according to the Scriptures, then you may own your right, and the benefit of the Protector's oath. But if your profession and practice in religion is otherwise, and not according to the Scriptures, then you must stand back, and defend yourselves if you can, for the Protector is not bound to maintain and uphold you in your practice of religion. With this argument I shall try you all: whatever is professed and practiced for religion, for which there is neither command nor precedent in scripture, is not according to the scripture; let this fall where it may, it is truth; and therefore all people come to trial, and receive your judgment by this rule.

First, the true religion is walking with God in purity and holiness; a performing of good to Him, and not doing any evil; a belief in Christ, and receiving of Him, and through the operation of his Spirit to be changed into his image; and the body of sin and death put off; and a living to God in all things, and not a living to this vain world in anything; but in all things to be guided by the Spirit of Christ. This in short, is a description of the true religion; and those who are of this religion shall be saved in the day of the Lord, and in equity and righteousness should be protected according to the oath before mentioned; or else the oath is not performed in justice, but rather broken through transgression. The first error concerns the profession and practice in religion, which is most general in these nations — I mean those who sprinkle infants, and are sprinkled being infants; professing it to be the baptism into the faith of Christ; and that it is a seal of the new covenant, and of remission of sins, and that thereby people are made capable of union with Christ, and that it is a sign of regeneration. This is practiced and professed by many for religion; but this practice and doctrine are not according to the Scriptures. Therefore all of you in all these nations, who have been made Christians, and claim to be Christians, and a right to fellowship with Christ, and that you are joined to the church, and have become members of Christ — all because you were sprinkled when you were infants, and all you who preach this for doctrine and practice it for religion, you are not of the true Christian religion, in the purity thereof; as it is contained in the scriptures; this I do affirm. What you practice and profess has no command or precedent in scripture. If you were required to prove your practice of religion in order to be protected in this commonwealth, you would be lacking protection.

Likewise you who sing and sing David's Psalms in rhyme and meter [or any hymns], professing it is to the glory and honor of God; you practice this as an ordinance of God, as a part of his worship, and as a part of your religion; but this practice and profession are also not to be according to the scriptures; because it was never commanded; neither is there any precedent for this practice in the scriptures, in gospel times. Therefore, in this part of your religion, you cannot justly claim to be protected and maintained; because the Protector's oath reaches not to uphold and maintain any such practices in religion, which are not according to the scriptures.

Likewise all of you, whose ministers preach for hire, and have an income for preaching, so much a year, and so much a sermon at a town, or a parish in a settled place; and who take tithes, and compel people to pay tithes by a law; such are not the ministers of Christ. you who uphold such for the ministers of Christ, are false in judgment, and blind in understanding; and are not of that Christian religion, which is according to the scriptures in the purity thereof; neither ministers, nor people; for the ministers of Christ never did any such thing. Those were the false prophets and false apostles that preached for hire and for gifts and rewards; neither did the saints and churches of Christ look upon those, who did such things, to be ministers of Christ; but to the contrary, declared them to be deceivers. So that all you people, and you professed ministers, that act those things that the false prophets acted; and you people that love to have it so, and give hire to your ministers for preaching, and consent to it; none of you are of the Christian religion, as it is held forth in the scriptures; because this part of your practice in religion is not in accord, but contrary, to the scriptures.

On the 18th of the Eleventh Month, 1657, Edward Burrough had a dispute with Richard Goodgroom, at Drayton, in Middlesex. The principal points in the controversy appear to have been whether the scriptures were properly the Word, and whether Christ justified sinners as sinners; or in other words, while remaining in sin. In the First Month following, another dispute was held at the same place, between the same parties, which appears to have been more public than the first. One point disputed on this last occasion, was the truth of a proposition which Edward had laid down in the first: "Temptations or motions to evil, are not sin to any man who does not consent and obey to serve temptations or evil motions, and they are not sin to the man, except they are consented to by the man." In defending this proposition, Edward appealed to the experience of all sober people who heard him, whether many times there had not been evil motions in their hearts, presenting themselves, which they had not consented; but the Lord had given them power over them, and they were not overcome of them? And whether they were ever accused or condemned for such motions which the Lord gave them power against? Or, whether rather they had not peace and joy in the Lord, who had discovered to them, and given them power over the evil which had presented itself?" Edward says, "I also gave them what I had witnessed concerning the thing, as a testimony, agreeing with the scriptures, to that particular. From ten years old, until many years after, many times I had evil motions arising in my own heart, which sometimes overcame me, and sometimes the Lord gave me to overcome them, so that I consented not to them, nor obeyed, nor followed them. When they overcame me and led me aside, then I was troubled and condemned by the Lord; for they were counted to be my sins, when I consented; and many times the Lord gave me power over them, and I consented not, but resisted them, and denied them, and then I had great peace and joy in the Lord, and no condemnation." On the subject of Sanctification and Justification, Edward said: "Sanctification is a witness of justification, and no man can further know himself to be justified, than he is sanctified; nor justified, than he is restored."

We find little trace of Edward Burrough after this dispute for several months, but it is probable he spent the time principally in London and Kingston. He doubtless attended the general meeting of Friends held towards the close of the Third Month, 1658, at the house of John Crook, in Bedfordshire. He probably accompanied William Caton there, who says he went with Friends from Kingston. In the Fourth Month he delivered, or caused to be delivered into the hands of the Protector, at Hampton Court, a letter, in which he proposes that Friends might have a public opportunity of answering such objections as he felt, to their doctrines or practices. It was probably in the same month, that in company with George Fox and Nicholas Bond, he had a dispute with a Jesuit at the house of the Earl of Newport, in London. The Jesuit had recently arrived from Spain, in the suite of the ambassador from the court at Madrid, and in the pride of head knowledge, challenged all the Quakers to dispute with him, George Fox hearing of this, let him know that Friends would meet him. The Jesuit then restricted his challenge to twelve of the most learned Quakers. Soon he reduced it to six, and finally sent them word that not more than three must come. A very interesting discussion took place; but the letter-learned Jesuit, with all his subtlety, was altogether unable to stand against the honest straightforward simplicity of George Fox, and he most noticeably failed in the controversy. The following account of this interview is from the Journal of George Fox:

I had not been long in London, before I heard that a Jesuit, who came over with an ambassador from Spain, had challenged all the Quakers to dispute with them at the earl of Newport's house; whereupon some Friends let him know some would meet him. Then he sent us word, ‘he would meet with twelve of the wisest, most learned men we had.' Awhile after he sent us word, 'he would meet with but six:' after that he sent us word again, ‘he would have but three to come.' We hastened what we could; for fear that, for all his great boast, he should cancel it at last. When we had come to the house, I asked Nicholas Bond and Edward Burrough go up and enter the discussion with him; and I would walk awhile in the yard, and then come up after them. I advised them to state this question to him, 'Whether or not the church of Rome, as it now stood, was not degenerated from the true church which was in the primitive times, from the life and doctrine, and from the power and spirit that they were in?' They stated the question accordingly; and the Jesuit affirmed, 'That the church of Rome now was in the virginity and purity of the primitive church.' By this time I had joined them. Then we asked him, ‘Whether they had the holy ghost poured out upon them, as the apostles had?' He said, ‘No.' ‘Then,' I said, ‘if you have not the same holy ghost poured forth upon you, and the same power and spirit that the apostles had, you are degenerated from the power and spirit which the primitive church was in.' There needed little more to be said to that. Then I asked him, ‘What scripture they had for setting up cloisters for nuns, abbeys and monasteries for men; for all their several orders; for their praying by beads and to images; for making crosses; for forbidding of meats and marriages; and for putting people to death for religion? If, (I said), you are in the practice of the primitive church, in its purity and virginity, then let us see by scriptures wherever they practiced any such things?' (For it had been agreed by both parties, that we should make good by scriptures what we said.) Then he told us of a written word, and an unwritten word. I asked him what he called his unwritten word? He said, ‘The written word is the scriptures, and the unwritten word is what the apostles spoke by word of mouth; which, (he said), are all those traditions that we practice.' I bid him prove that by scripture. Then he brought that scripture where the apostle says, 2 Thes 2:5. 'When I was with you, I told you these things. That is,' said he, 'I told you of nunneries and monasteries, and of putting to death for religion, and of praying by beads, and to images, and all the rest of the practices of the church of Rome; which,' he said, ‘was the unwritten word of the apostles, which they told then, and have since been continued down by tradition until these times.' Then I desired him to read that scripture again, that he might see how he had perverted the apostle's words; ‘for what the apostle there tells the Thessalonians, "he had told them before," is not an unwritten word, but is there written down; namely, that the man of sin, the son of perdition, shall be revealed before the great and terrible day of Christ, which he was writing of, should come: so this was not telling them any of those things that the church of Rome practices. In like manner the apostle, in the third chapter of that epistle, tells the church of some disorderly persons, "he heard were among them; busy-bodies, who did not work at all; concerning whom he had commanded them by his unwritten word, when he was among them, that if any would not work, neither should he eat: which now he commands them again in his written word in this epistle.' 2 Thes 3:10. So this scripture afforded no proof for their invented traditions, and he had no other scripture proof to offer. Therefore I told him, ‘This was another degeneration of their church into such inventions and traditions as the apostles and primitive saints never practiced.'

After this he [the Jesuit began speaking about communion] came to his sacrament of the altar, beginning at the paschal lamb, and the show bread, and came to the words of Christ, 'This is my body,' and to what the apostle wrote of it to the Corinthians; concluding, 'that after the priest had consecrated the bread and wine, it was immortal and divine, and he that received it, received the whole Christ.' I followed him through the scriptures he brought, until I came to Christ's words and the apostle's. I showed him, 'that the same apostle told the Corinthians, after they had taken bread and wine in remembrance of Christ's death, that they were reprobates, [sin still lives in them] "if Christ was not in them;" but if the bread they ate was Christ, he must of necessity be in them after they had eaten it. [which if reprobates, is impossible: Proof 1]. Besides, if this bread and this wine, which the Corinthians ate and drank, was Christ's body, then how has Christ a body in heaven?' [Proof 2]. I observed to him also, 'that both the disciples at the supper, and the Corinthians afterwards, were to eat the bread and drink the wine in "remembrance of Christ," and to "show forth his death until he comes;" which plainly proves the bread and wine, which they took, was not his body. For if it had been his real body that they ate, then he had already come, and was then there present, and it had been improper to have done such a thing in remembrance of him, if he had been then present with them, as he must have been, if that bread and wine which they ate and drank had been his real body.' [Proof 3]. As to those words of Christ, 'This is my body,' I told him, 'Christ calls himself a vine, and a door, and is called in scripture a rock. Is Christ therefore an outward rock, door, or vine?’ 'Oh,' said the Jesuit, 'those words are to be interpreted;' 'So,' I said, 'are those words of Christ, “This is my body."' [Proof 4]. Having stopped his mouth as to argument, I made the Jesuit a proposal thus: 'that seeing he said, "the bread and wine was immortal and divine, and the very Christ; and that whosoever received it, received the whole Christ;" let a meeting be appointed between some whom the pope and his cardinals should appoint, and some of us; let a bottle of wine and loaf of bread be brought, and divided each into two parts, and let them consecrate which of those parts they would. Then set the consecrated and the unconsecrated bread and wine in a safe place, with a sure watch upon it; and let trial be thus made, whether the consecrated bread and wine would not lose its goodness, and the bread grow dry and moldy, and the wine turn dead and sour, as well and as soon as what was unconsecrated.' By this means,' I said, 'the truth of this matter may be made manifest. And if the consecrated bread and wine does not change, but retain their savor and goodness, this may be a means to draw many to your church; but if they change, decay, and lose their goodness, then you ought to confess and forsake your error, and shed no more blood about it; for much blood has been shed about these things; as in queen Mary's days.' To this the Jesuit made this reply, 'Take a piece of new cloth, and cut it into two pieces, and make two garments of it, and put one of them upon king David's back, and the other upon a beggar's, and the one garment shall wear away as well as the other.' I asked, 'Is this your answer?' 'Yes,' he said. 'Then,' I said, 'by this the company may all be satisfied that your consecrated bread and wine is not Christ. [Proof 5]. Have you told people so long, that the consecrated bread and wine was immortal and divine, and that it was the very and real body and blood of Christ, and do you now say it will wear away or decay as well as the other? I must tell you,"Christ remains the same today as yesterday," and never decays; but is the saints' heavenly food in all generations, through which they have life.' He replied no more to this, being willing to let it fall; for the people that were present saw his error, and that he could not defend it. Then I asked him, ‘why the church did persecute, and put people to death for religion?' He replied, ‘it was not the church that did it, but the magistrates.' I asked him, ‘whether those magistrates were not counted and called believers and christians?' He said, ‘yes;', why, then,' I said, ‘are they not members of your church?' ‘Yes,' he said. Then I left it to the people to judge from his own concessions, whether the church of Rome does not persecute, and put people to death for religion. Thus we parted, and his subtlety was confuted by simplicity.

On the 31st of the fifth month came on the suit of Parson Mayo, against Edward Burrough, for defamation. Edward demurred to the jurisdiction oft the court to try causes "of a spiritual dependency," and showed as he thought, conclusively, from the laws of England, that those before whom he was brought had no power to try the case. In reply one of the judges told him, they would overrule that, and would try the matter.

On the day of the court, when the jury were to be chosen, Edward told the judges that as it was doctrine which was to be tried, the jurymen should be those who had the gift of the Holy Spirit. The judges however took the ground that the jurymen had nothing to do but to try whether the words charged had been spoken by Edward. When the trial came on, Edward Burrough easily proved that the priest had laid down the before-mentioned propositions, and then offered to show from Scripture, the doctrines therein contained to be unsound. The court directed the jury to give the priest damages, and they brought in a verdict in his favor for £100. At the next court, held Seventh Month, 25th following, Mayo, by his counsel, moved for a judgment on the verdict. Edward being present, was allowed to speak, and so clearly proved the truth of all he had said, and Mayo so lamely defended himself, that the court did not give the judgment. It remained for some time under advisement, but it is believed that Mayo never obtained anything. In the Sixth Month, Edward Burrough once more addressed a letter to Oliver Cromwell. It commences thus:

To THE PROTECTOR

Friend,

Know that there is a God that does whatsoever he wills. All power is in his hand, and he brings to pass the counsel of his own heart, and he rules in the kingdoms of men, and brings down and sets up. He kills and makes alive; and he changes times and seasons, and governments, and brings to naught the counsels of men; for all power in earth and in heaven is in him, and all his doings are right, and his ways are equal, and you and all mankind are as clay in the hand of the potter; he can honor and exalt as he pleases, and he can mar, and break to pieces, and dishonor whenever he will. Therefore be humble, and low in heart before him, for he is the highest power, that subdues all things under his feet. If he wounds, who can heal? And if he kills, there is none can make alive; and know you, it is the Lord God Almighty that does this, in whose hands are the issues of life and death; and he it is who can break you down, and build you up, who can wound you, and restore you; and bring you to destruction, and say unto you, return; and to know him that does this, belongs to your eternal peace.

Fear the Lord God, before whom your heart is naked and bare. He can mould you and change you, and fulfill his pleasure upon you, even according to his own will; and who can say what you do? Now come to consideration and let your heart be more upright before Him. Choose his way and counsel, that He may bless you, and seek his face that your soul may be satisfied by his word, and the milk of the word may nourish you to life immortal. Mind his pure presence, which is life, even God with you, Christ the Emmanuel, to dwell with and walk in you, which is the promise of the Father.

First come to the principle of God, and feel the Word of God in your heart, that will beat down the nature into which temptations enter. The word will bring you to war against and overcome all your enemies that would defile or betray you. It will bring you to know a birth immortal in you, a crown immortal received from God, that dies not nor fades away. Then He who rules over heaven and earth will be your shepherd to feed you, your teacher to guide you; your counselor to direct you in all things. Your immortal soul will be satisfied with the bread that comes down from heaven; the covenant of God and the sure mercies of David, will be revealed and his promise be fulfilled in you.

Be faithful in what the Lord calls you to, and you shall have your reward; and seek his honor, and he will honor you; and let your mind be to the Lord in all things, and feel his word and power, and presence in you, to quench all that which is contrary, and then you will be blessed in this life, and in the life to come; but if you continue in your oppression, the Lord will suddenly smite you.

By a friend unto you in the Lord.

Edward Burrough

Oliver was too busy with his own schemes of family aggrandizement, to care much what persecution fell upon the Quakers, and the hands of the oppressing magistrates and persecuting priests were not staid. Soon after this he sickened, and great anxiety reigned throughout England as the tidings spread abroad, that it was likely to prove his last illness. Some of the fanatical preachers concluded he should not die, and very absurd petitions and remonstrances to the Most High were made by them. On the 3rd of the seventh month, Oliver Cromwell died, and outward lamentation and inward mourning were that day felt among many, while secret joy was indulged by not a few.

That the Lord, according to this prediction did suddenly smite Cromwell, as time verified; for he lived but about a month after the receipt of the Burrough's previous letter. That Edward Burrough tenderly loved him, appears to me from several circumstances, and the ardent desire he had for his eternal welfare, occasioned this plain language to him, as E. Burrough wrote the following letter to Cromwell’s wife and children:

Friends,

Remember, that by the Lord you were raised from a low state, and when he will he can abase you, and bring you down; he gave you the palace of princes, and threw out them before you.

O, remember this, every one of you, and come to the witness of God in yourselves, and be humble, and meek, and lowly, and let the Lord's fear be in your hearts; and be of a tender spirit, having your minds exercised in purity, in holiness. and in righteousness; and exalt not yourselves, nor be lifted up in your hearts in the pride and vain glories, and honors of this world, lest the Lord cast you down, and make your name and posterity a reproach, as he has done many before you; and if you walk in the same steps, and do the same things, and become guilty of the same abominations, and allow the children and servants of the Lord to be persecuted, (as many are at this day, some unto death), shall the Lord spare you? No, he will cause you to feel his hand of judgment, and bring you down with sorrow, and he will vex you in his wrath, and smite you with his rod more and more, till you learn his fear, and depart from all your iniquities; and the Lord will deface your glory, and pull down your crown; and he will make you know that he is Lord, who does whatsoever he wills.

Therefore humble yourselves under the hand of God, and search your own hearts, and cast out the abominations that vex the Spirit of the Lord; and do not allow the people of the Lord's precious flock to be devoured, and made a prey to the wicked; for because of this the rod of affliction comes upon you, and may suddenly break you to pieces; but mind the seed of God in you, which is oppressed, and wait to know the power of the Lord, which will redeem you out of sin and death, and reconcile you to God, and bring you into fellowship with himself, to enjoy peace and rest for your souls, that you may be made heirs of the inheritance of an endless life. This would make you truly honorable, and will be more satisfaction to you, and joy, and content, and true rejoicing, than all worldly crowns, and worldly glories; which will waste and consume away, and leave you miserable. Remember that you are now warned from the Lord God, by whom I am moved to write this unto you, in dear and tender love to you all; and one day you shall witness it.

As concerning the Quakers, so called, who are accounted as vile in the sight of men, and are cast out of all power and place in the nation, being despised of all; and also are reproached, persecuted, and imprisoned, and all manner of evil and injustice unrighteously done and spoken against them, by wicked and corrupt men in authority; yet they are the children and servants of the living God, and greatly beloved of him, and are as dear to him as the apple of his eye, and his power and presence is with them; and the time is at hand that the Lord will make their persecutors fall, and their enemies bow and tremble, though now they suffer unjustly, and are trodden down, as not deserving a place on the earth; yet it is for righteousness' sake, and because they show forth the image of the Father, and not for evil doing; and will not their sufferings lie upon you? For many hundreds have suffered cruel and great things, and some the loss of life, (though not by, yet in the name of, the Protector); and about a hundred at this present day, lie in holes, and dungeons, and prisons, up and down the nation; and some at this time are sick, near unto death, whose sufferings cry for vengeance, and the Lord hears the cry. Therefore save yourselves, and let the innocent be delivered, and the cruel bonds of oppression broken, and the exercise of a pure conscience go free, without persecution; and then the Lord will turn away his anger, and cease to smite you with his rod, which has been upon you; and he will give you peace, and make you blessed, if you come to be led by his Spirit into all Truth.

Although these innocent lambs of Christ suffer thus under this present power, yet are they not enemies to you, but are friends to your persons and families, and pity you, and love you, and desire well for you in the Lord; that you may repent and be healed, and even that your hearts may be opened to receive refreshments to your souls; and that you may be established in righteousness and truth over all your enemies, and may not be confounded, nor your posterity brought into reproach, which is hastening upon you. Although our love is despised, and we accounted hateful in your sight, and looked upon with derision, yet we bear all things in patience, truly desiring your returning and repentance, and not your destruction. But if these doleful sufferings of the Lord's poor lambs are continued by this present power, it will destroy you, and undo you, and break you, and confound you; and the Lord will not cease to smite you with his rod of sharp rebukes; and he will make you know his people's cause shall not be unpunished. Oh, did you but know how hundreds have and do suffer! How the bodies of some have been tortured by stocks and cruel whippings ! How some lie sick in stinking holes and dungeons, on the ground, or a little straw at best; ten, or often more, in a prison together, and sometimes their own friends not allowed to come to visit them with necessities! Oh, if your eyes did behold, or your hearts perceive, the greatness of the cruelty which some of the Lord's dear servants, and your faithful friends, undergo, it would make your hearts ache, and your spirits to tremble! All this is done in the name and under the authority of— Protector; therefore how should the Lord but lay it to your charge, and afflict him and his family? He will make you know there is a God that can do whatsoever he will, and that life and death are in his hands, and all creatures are as clay in the hand of the potter; and he rules in the kingdoms of men, and puts down one, and sets up another, according to his pleasure; but if the love of God is withheld from you, it is because of disobedience to him, and your transgression. Therefore be obedient to him, and love his ways and judgments, that he may make you more happy with a crown immortal, that never fades away. Remember once more the Lord has warned you, by a friend unto you in the Lord.

Edward Burrough

Written the 1st day of September, 1658

Cromwell was snatched away by death at unawares; however the day before his decease this letter was delivered to his relations. It was but in the last period of his life that he named his son Richard to be his successor. When death looked in his face, remorse did not stay behind; for, according to what Ludlow relates, he seemed above all concerned for the reproaches, (he said), men would cast upon his name, in trampling on his ashes when dead. In this temper of mind he departed this life about two in the afternoon, on the 3d of September, 1658, at the age of about fifty-five years. "The news of his death being brought to those who were met together to pray for him, one Sterry stood up, and said, 'This is good news; because if he was of great use to the people of God when he was among us, now he will be much more so, being ascended to heaven, there to intercede for us.' O horrid flattery ! Thus I call it, if he had been the greatest saint on earth; which he came much short of, though he was once endued with some eminent virtues. His dying day was remarkable by a most grievous tempest, not only in England, but also in the Low Countries, where trees were torn out of the ground by the violence of the wind, and many ships foundered." 'He was,' wrote Edward, quoting Earl of Clarendon, 'one of those persons whom even his enemies could not vilify without praising him.' And I have heard impartial men say, that in the beginning of his achievements, he was indeed an excellent man; but being come to a high station, he soon lost that zeal for the public welfare, by which at first he seemed to be animated."

The body of the deceased was laid in Somerset House, in an apartment enlightened only with wax tapers, the corpse being richly adorned. After his death, Richard, eldest son to Oliver, was proclaimed Protector to the Commonwealth; to whom E. Burrough wrote a letter, addressed to Richard Cromwell, chosen to be Protector and chief magistrate, wherein he gave him some account of the most cruel sufferings of his friends; and speaking of the rulers, he said thus:

To Richard Cromwell, Protector

As for magistracy, it was ordained of God to be a dread and terror, and limit to evil-doers, and to be a defense and praise to all that do well; to condemn the guilty, and to justify the guiltless; but the exercise thereof at this day in these nations is degenerated, and some that are in authority are greatly corrupted, and regard not the just and pure law of God, to judge only thereby; but oppress the poor by injustice, and subvert the good laws of God and men to a wrong end and use, abusing authority, and turning the sword against the just, whereby true judgment is turned backward, and the innocent made unjustly to suffer for righteousness' sake, through the corruption of men in authority; and did you but know what we know in this particular, it would pierce your heart. Why? It is frequent among some of the judges and magistrates, to commit a man to prison, and impose some great fine upon him, and to cast him into a dungeon, or hole, among thieves and murderers, for a long season; for no other offence, or breach of any law, but because he cannot put off his hat to them, and respect their persons, by the hat or bowing the knee: and many others that fear God, and for conscience-sake cannot swear upon a book, by kissing it, and laying hands upon it, because Christ said, " Swear not at all;" though they deny not to speak and do the truth in all things, as in the presence of God and all men: and many others, that because they are moved to cry against sin, and declare against the iniquities of the times, in teachers, rulers, and people, that highly abound; perhaps in a market or steeple-house, or highway, or other places, as they are moved of God: and many others, because for conscience-sake they cannot pay tithes, nor give money and wages to maintain a priest, or false teacher, that they receive no profit by; or to maintain a steeple-house, where the world worships in rain traditions, and not in the spirit and power of God. Many have been taken out of peaceable meetings, where they were waiting upon the Lord; and some out of their inns and friends' houses; and many have been taken on the way, traveling about their lawful occasions; and some from their callings and labors; and for these causes, through the envy of wicked men, and without any just conviction of the breach of any law, or any lawful trial or examination, have hundreds of just men, being wholly innocent, been sent to prison, and lain many months, and some for years; or whipped, or put in the stocks, and grievously abused by cruel executioners of wicked men's envy and injustice. Upon such grounds only, and for such causes mentioned, and without the transgression of any just law, have and do at this day many hundreds of faithful subjects suffer hard and cruel things, long and sore imprisonment, and cruel and sharp whipping, and stocking, and unjust banishment out of towns and cities; yes, friend, it is hard to be expressed, and large to be declared, how many of the Lord's servants do suffer, and have suffered great injustice in these nations, through the abuse of good government, and degeneration of magistracy from its perfect state and place, whereunto it was ordained of God in the beginning.

Edward Burrough

This remonstrance, however powerful and large, had not its due effect; but persecution continued, without being stopped by him: for the churchmen fawned upon him, calling him not only their Joshua, but the preachers of Suffolk said in their address to him, 'Though our sun is gone down, yet no night ensued.' Sol occubuit, nox nulla sccuta est. About this time a paper was given forth, called, 'The Church Faith; ' and G. Fox having got a copy of it before it was published, wrote an answer to it; and when the book of the church faith appeared, his answer was also in print. This so incensed some of the parliament-men, that one of them told G. Fox, they must have him to Smithfield. [where many had been burned at the stake].To which Fox answered, that he was over their fires, and feared them not: and further asked, whether all people had been without a faith these sixteen hundred years, that now it was necessary for the priests to make them one? And since Christ Jesus was the author of the apostles' faith, and of the church's faith in the primitive times, and of the martyrs' faith; should not all people look unto him to be the author and finisher of their faith, and not unto the priests? Nothing material was answered to this; but the priests called G. Fox's friends, house-creepers, because they met together in houses, and would not maintain the priests' temples. One major Wiggan, that was present when G. Fox discoursed with the parliament-men, said, Christ had taken away the guilt of sin, but had left the power of sin remaining in us. G. Fox told him that this was strange doctrine; for Christ came to destroy the devil and his works, and the power of sin, and so to cleanse men from sin.

Now there was great persecution, both by imprisonment and breaking up of meetings; and many died in prisons; for the priests speaking evil of the Quakers, it kindled the insolence of the rabble not a little, so that they did not stick to throw squibs into the meetings, to cast rotten eggs on those that were met, to beat on drums and kettles, and so to make a hideous noise, and to abuse people most grievously with blows and violent pushes.

One day at a meeting appointed near London, they beat and abused about eighty persons that came out of the city to meet there, tearing their coats and cloaks from off their backs, and throwing them into ditches and ponds. The next first-day of the week after this, G. Fox, though at that time very weak, went there, and preaching with the bible in his hand, he showed the rude people, theirs’, and their teachers' fruits, and how disagreeable these mad actions were to the doctrine contained in the holy scriptures. Many of his imprisoned friends were now brought up to London to be tried by the committee; where Sir Henry Vane, being chairman, would not allow them to come in, unless they would put off their hats. But since many of them had been imprisoned upon contempts, (as the not putting off hats before the magistrates was called), others signified that it must not be expected that now they should comply; and so through the mediation of some that persuaded Vane, they were at length admitted; where they so well defended their cause, that several were set at liberty.

In this year Edward Burrough wrote a short statement of the principles of the religious society of which he was a member, as follows:

A DECLARATION TO ALL THE WORLD OF
Our Faith, and what we Believe.

This is written that all people upon earth may know by whom, and how we are saved, and hopes for eternal life; and what we believe concerning God, Christ, and the Spirit, and of the things that are eternal, appertaining to all mankind to know and believe.

Concerning God, Christ, and the Spirit, this we believe.

First: That there is only one true God, who is a Spirit, and his presence fills heaven and earth, and he is eternal and everlasting, the creator and preserver of all things, and heaven and earth, and all things therein, by him were framed and brought forth, and all things remain to this day by his Power, and whatsoever, he will in heaven and earth, he brings to pass by his word and power. We believe that this God only is, and ought to be feared, loved, obeyed and worshipped by all creatures, and no other thing besides him in heaven or earth. We believe that his worship, obedience, fear, and love, is to be given in spirit, even in what his own Spirit moves and leads his people to. We believe his true worship, required and accepted of him, is not by the traditions of men, in outward observances, or set days, or places, but is worshipped only in spirit and truth, without respect of time, places, or things; and that none can worship him in righteousness but his children who are born of his spirit, and are led and guided thereby. We believe that this God has given his Son Christ Jesus into the world, a free gift to the whole world, and that every man that comes into the world is enlightened by him, that every man might believe, and be saved. We believe that he is given into the world, and no nation, country, or people excepted, but to all mankind is he given of God, and has enlightened them; and every man through the world, who believes in and receives Christ, who is the wisdom and power of the Father, shall be saved with eternal salvation; and every one that believes not in him, shall be damned, and shall possess everlasting misery.

We believe that salvation, justification, and sanctification, is only in him, and wrought by him, and no other, for there is no other name given under Heaven but him alone, by which salvation is. We believe all who receives him, and believes in him are reconciled to God, and are made alive to God, to live to him in all things, and do receive the forgiveness of sins, and are set free from all unrighteousness, and from the body of sin and death, and has the witness of the Spirit in them; and the Spirit of the Father they have received, and it witnesses in them of the Father and of the Son, and of the things that belong to their peace; and it is the earnest of the inheritance, and the Seal of the promise of eternal life; and by it are the deep things of God revealed to mankind; and by it the Father and the Son dwells in the Saints; and by it have they fellowship one with another; and the Father, Son, and Spirit are one. This we faithfully believe.

Again, Concerning Christ: We believe that he is one with the Father, and was with him before the world was; and what the Father works, it is by the Son, for he is the arm of God’s salvation, and the very power and wisdom of the creator, and was, is, and is to come, without beginning or end. We believe that all the prophets gave testimony of him, and that he was made manifest in Judea and Jerusalem, and did the work of the Father, and was persecuted of the Jews, and was crucified by his enemies, and that he was buried, and rose again, according to the scriptures. We believe he is now ascended on high, and exalted at the right hand of the Father for evermore; and that he is glorified with the same glory that he had before the world was; and that even the same that came down from Heaven, is ascended up to heaven; and the same that descended, is he that ascended.

We believe even he that was dead, is alive, and lives for evermore; and that he comes, and shall come again to judge the whole world with righteousness, and all people with equity, and shall give to every man according to his deeds at the day of judgment, when all shall arise to condemnation or justification, he that has done good shall receive life, and he that has done evil, everlasting condemnation. We believe he is to be waited for in spirit, to be known after the Spirit, as he was before the world was, and that is the knowledge to eternal life; which all that believe in him do receive. He subdues death and destroys him that has the power of it, and restores from death to life, and quickens by his Spirit all that the Father has given him; and we believe such he justifies and sanctifies, and such are taught of him; but he condemns all that believe not, but continues in unbelief, and are not taught of him. This we faithfully believe.

We believe that to all people upon the face of the whole earth, is a time and day of visitation given, that they may return and be saved by Christ Jesus, who is given of the Father to call the worst of men to repentance, and the most ungodly of sinners are convinced by him of their ungodly deeds, that they might believe, and be converted, and saved. We believe herein is the love of God manifested to all mankind, and that none is shut out by him before they were born into the world; but to all men is a visitation given, and those who do perish, it is because they do not believe in Christ. And destruction is of a man’s self, but salvation is of God, through believing in his Son, who takes away sin, and renews into his own image, that they may become heirs with him. We believe that there is a crown of eternal glory, and an inheritance of eternal life to be enjoyed for evermore by all that believe and are chosen of God. And that there is everlasting, misery and destruction to be possessed by all that believe not, but continues in the state of reprobation, and are not changed from the ways of sin and death, but walks after the ways of their own hearts lusts, fulfilling the will of the flesh, in the evil of this world, and follows not Christ the Light of the world, that they may be saved. We believe upon all such the wrath of God abides, and that they have no part in the inheritance of God. We believe that it is only he who is born again of the Spirit, and that walks after the Spirit, who is changed from death to life, and who is redeemed out of the world and all its ways. Such only must inherit the Kingdom of God, and they only have right thereunto, and none besides, except those who are washed and cleansed from all unrighteousness by the blood of Jesus, by which their sins are remitted. For his blood cleanses from all unrighteousness and sin, in they who walk in the light which Christ Jesus has enlightened the world withal.

We believe that the saints upon earth may receive forgiveness of sins, and may be perfectly freed from the body of sin and death, and in Christ may be perfect, and without sin, and may have victory over all temptations by faith in Christ Jesus. We believe every saint that is called of God, ought to press after perfection, and to overcome the devil and all his temptations upon earth; and we believe they who wait for it shall obtain it, and shall be presented without sin in the image of the Father, and these do not walk after the flesh, but after the spirit, and are in covenant with God, and their sins are blotted out and remembered no more, for they cease to commit sin, being born of the seed of God. We believe the gospel of Christ is the Power of God to salvation, and that it ought to be preached freely to all people, and Christ to be held forth to all mankind by the ministry sent of him. We believe this ministry is received by the gift of the Holy Ghost and all those who receive it, are lawfully called to the ministry, and they may preach the gospel of Christ freely, as they have received it freely; and this ministry is not of man, but of God, and is made powerful to the converting of sinners, and to the bringing of people to God, and to the knowledge of his ways. We do not believe that any man is a minister of Christ without the gift of the Holy Ghost, or that the gospel can be received by natural learning or education. We believe any, who preach for a salary, are not the lawful called ministers of the gospel of Christ; but such as are proud, and high minded, and covetous men, who do not profit the people at all. Those who preach for money have run ahead, and were never sent by Christ, who calls by his spirit into the work of the ministry; and as every one has received the gift of that his Spirit, so he may administer to others.

Concerning rulers and governors: We believe that there ought to be rulers and governors in every nation, city, country, or town, and they ought to be men who fear God, and hate every evil way. They should judge for God, and not for man, and will judge righteously, equally, and justly, and will give true and sound judgment to all men, without bribery, or respect of persons, not regarding the rich above the poor, but being a praise to all that do well, and a terror to all evil-doers whatever, having knowledge in the pure Law of God, and themselves continually exercised therein. We believe that every Law of man ought to be grounded upon the Law of God, pure reason and equity being the foundation thereof, that God's witness in every man may answer to it; and the law ought to be known to all people before transgression is charged or punished in any man. We believe that every transgression ought to be punished according to its nature, and that the punishment not exceed the greatness of the transgression; neither ought any transgressor to escape unpunished; neither ought any upon false suspicion or jealousies be allowed without the testimony of true men, or the confession of the party. We believe that the executors of the law ought to be just men, and not given to drunkenness, or any other evil whatsoever, and ought to be chosen every year, or otherwise, by the common consent of all people, and that no man be stopped of his free choice. We believe that all governors and rulers ought to be accountable to the people, and to the next proceeding rulers, for all their actions, which may be inquired into upon occasion; and that the highest of the rulers be subject under the law, and punishable by it if they are transgressors, as well as the poorest of the people. Thus true judgment and justice will be brought forth in the earth, and all that do well will have praise, and live in rest and peace and all evil-doers whatsoever may stand in awe, and be afraid of God, and just men, and the execution of good laws.

Concerning Religion: We believe that it is only the Spirit of the Lord that makes men truly religious, and that no man ought to be compelled to, or from any exercise or practice in religion, by any outward law, or power, but every man ought to be left free, as the Lord shall persuade his own mind in doing, or leaving undone this, or the other practice in religion; and every man of whatever profession in religion ought to be protected in peace, providing he is himself a man of peace, not seeking the wrong of any man’s person or estate.

We believe that to reprove false opinions, and unfound doctrines and principles, seeking to convince those who oppose themselves, by exhortation, or sharp reproof, by word or writing, ought not to be counted a breach of the peace; or to strive about the things of the Kingdom of God, by men of contrary minds or judgments, this ought not to be punishable by the magistrates and their laws; for we believe that the outward Law and Powers of the earth is only to preserve men’s persons and estates, and not to preserve men in opinions; neither ought the law of the nation to be laid upon men’s consciences, to bind them to, or from such a judgment or practice in religion. We believe that Christ is, and ought only to be Lord and exerciser of men’s consciences, and his Spirit only must lead into all truth.

We believe that obedience and subjection in the Lord belongs to superiors and that subjects ought to obey them in the Lord that have rule over them; and that children ought to obey their parents, and wives their husbands, and servants their masters in all things, which is according to God, which stands in the exercise of a pure conscience towards God. But where rulers, parents, or masters, or any other, commands or requires subjection in anything which is contrary to God, or not according to him, in such causes all people are free, and ought to obey God rather then man; and we believe that herein God will justify them, being guided and led by his spirit in all what is good, and out of all what is evil.

Again: We believe concerning election and reprobation, that there is a state of election, and a state of reprobation; a state chosen of God; and a state rejected of God, and that all mankind is in one of these states; all that are elected, are elected in Christ, and all that are out of him are in the state reprobate, bringing forth fruits of death and darkness, being a child of wrath and disobedience, in the alienation and separation from God, in the transgression, not reconciled to God, the enmity ruling in the heart, being in the fall, and not restored to God again, but ignorant of his power, and of his wisdom, having his understanding darkened that he cannot see nor perceive the things that are eternal; and in this condition his best works are sin, and in whatsoever he does, he cannot be accepted with God, for he is dead to God, and alive to all evil, bringing forth all his works out of that ground which is cursed. This is the condition of all mankind upon the face of the Earth, in the first Adam; and this is the state of reprobation, and all that abide herein are rejected of God, and shall never inherit eternal life, but goes into perdition. Yet all have such a day of visitation so that they may return out of the state of reprobation. But hating knowledge, and despising the love of God, they continue in the reprobate state, and the wrath of God abides upon them. But those who are chosen of God are delivered from wrath, for they believe in the light, and become children of the light, and are renewed in mind and heart, and receives the love of the Father, and are planted into Christ the second Adam, and are chosen in him to bring forth fruit to the Father; and all their fruit springs from that ground which is blessed, for they are led by the Spirit of the Father, and such are in the estate of election, who is made heirs with Christ of the everlasting inheritance that never fades away. This we faithfully believe that mercy is not shown to the reprobate, nor judgment to those who are chosen of God.

This is to go to all in the world that all people may understand what we believe, and what we have received of God; and those who believe this shall by the Spirit of the Father be saved; but those who believe not, but are disobedient to the truth, shall be condemned because they do not believe. Much more might be written, but in love, this is provided by one who has believed and received the knowledge of these things from God;

A Friend to all people,

Edward Burrough

London, 1657

On the 22nd of the Ninth Month, Edward Burrough was at Kingston; on the 23rd, as he was entering London, at Charing Cross, he beheld a great multitude of people pressing upon one another exceedingly. Which ever way he looked, the whole streets were filled, every window was crowded, and balconies and house tops were thronged. He could not well pass through such a crowd; and guards of soldiers, both foot and horse were on duty there, who stopped his horse and told him he must not pass that way. Tarrying but a short time he turned about and passed away, wondering what this great stir meant, and what it was which occasioned such excitement in the spirits of the people, as plainly appeared. He says, "I felt the spirits of men, women and children were all on fire." Although living in London, and laboring abundantly in his own vocation there, he appears to have had no notice of these pompous preparations for the funeral of Oliver Cromwell, of whom an image was to be carried along in view of the multitude. This was the day of the funeral, and this crowd was gathered to see it pass.

As Edward went on he turned his mind inward, seeking to know of the Lord "what this thing might be, what might be the end of it, and why was this gathering and running, and thronging of multitudes in this manner. Presently I perceived [says he,] that an image, an invented picture would be carried that way; and that all this pressing and stir, and the gathering of this great multitude, was only to see an image without life or breath. Then my spirit was grieved and my soul was vexed within me; and it ran through me, vanity, folly and madness. What is all this setting of guards, gathering of people in such thronging multitudes, and gazing of men, women and children, high and low, rich and poor, that are come together? Isn't all this just to see a dead invented image of wood or wax arrayed and decked with some foolish inventions?"

The idea of a carved or molded representation of Cromwell being carried at his funeral, reminded Edward of the time when Oliver and his soldiers found pleasant work in the old parish steeple-houses, the rich cathedrals, whenever and wherever they were to be found, in breaking up and destroying carved images, crosses and other relics of popery. At which point Edward began, as he tells us, in "a testimony against a great idolatry committed," to talk to himself on this matter. He said, "I knew the man, when he was living, and had a knowledge of his spirit; and I am persuaded if it had been asked him in his lifetime, if such should be acted about him, such an image made like him, and laid for so long time in a sumptuous place and manner, and then carried by his friends, and children, kindred and army, I think he would have said: 'Say what! make an image of me, and deck it diversely, and visit it; and then carry it up and down from place to place! This will be a shame to my children, a disgrace to my kindred, a reproach to my officers, and the whole army. The nation will mock and be offended, and may say, these are those, who were once enemies to all images and dead idols, and pulled them down and broke them. Are these now making an image, and setting it up, wandering after it from place to place? If this is done, Rome may laugh us to scorn, and the papists may say, ‘we have learned of them, put their persons from among us, banished and killed them, and set up their practices.' Surely he would have said this. I am certain the witness of God in his conscience might truly have said it."

In the Tenth Month Edward addressed the following to Richard Cromwell and his council:

To THE PROTECTOR AND HIS COUNCIL.

The Lord God will shortly make you know that we are his people; though we be accounted as sheep for the slaughter, yet our King of righteousness will break you to pieces, if you harden your hearts, and repent not. Although that love will not draw you, neither the gentle leadings of our God have any place in you, yet judgments shall awaken you, and his heavy hand of indignation shall lie upon your consciences, and you will be scattered and distracted to pieces.

How soon this prediction was fulfilled, we shall see in the next year; for it was but a few months after the delivering of this letter, when Richard laid down the government.

To All Parliaments, and Rulers, and Governors Throughout the Whole Christian World

Burrough wrote a message to all the kings, princes, parliaments, rulers and governors of every degree throughout the whole Christian world, (IN WHICH ARE MANY REFERENCES TO EVENTS AND THINGS IN THE BOOK OF REVELATON):

A
MESSAGE
to all
Kings and Rulers
in
CHRISTENDOM

To all called Christian Kings and Princes, and to all
Parliaments, and Rulers, and Governors of every
degree throughout the whole
Christian World

A CALL unto you all, by a servant of the Lord, in the name of the Lord God, dreadful and mighty, and the highest power over all the world: that you take off oppression, and relieve the oppressed, and cease grinding the face of the poor; and to cease from drinking the whore's cup and from the carrying of her; and cease from all oppressions whatsoever; least the Lord God Almighty execute his fierce indignation upon you if you will not turn at His reproof and hearken to His voice when He calls unto you.

For as much as it has come to pass in the world for many ages, since the glorious appearance of Christ Jesus, and the light of his glorious gospel through his servants, the holy apostles; that antichrist, the man of sin, the enemy of Christ and His kingdom, has ruled in the hearts of people and throughout the entire Christian world; and he has been exalted within and without ever since the falling away from the true faith, which was once delivered to the apostles and true churches; and he has showed himself to be God, and sat in the seat of God, and has exercised lordship over the persons and consciences of men throughout generations ever since the falling away from the true faith. For the true church, the elected spouse the Lamb's wife, which once brought forth Him that was to rule the nations, and was clothed with the sun, and once had great beauty and excellence, has been fled into the wilderness and has been desolate as without husband and issue; but has remained in her place prepared for her by God, where she has dwelt in mourning and been fed with the bread of sorrow, being pursued there by the dragon and his floods of cruelty, who also waited to devour the manchild when he was born. The martyrs' blood has been shed, and war has been made against the holy prophets, apostles, and saints, who have been killed and persecuted for righteousness' sake; and the two witnesses have long laid slain and rejoiced over in the streets of the great city; and the blood of the innocent has been drunk; and war has been made against the Lamb and His followers. The dragon, the devil, and Satan, has deceived the world into [being called by] the name of Christians, but without the true Christian Life for righteousness and truth has stood afar off, and justice and mercy have been missing, and the fear of the Lord with true obedience to Him has been in a great measure expelled from the nations. The beast has had power to kill all who would not worship the beast and his images or receive his mark, and the beast has had power to execute his wrath against those who have followed the Lamb in this time of darkness and apostasy that has overshadowed the Christian-world since the time of the Apostles until now; and, as I have said, all this has been since the falling away from the life, righteousness, and Spirit of Jesus.

The beast that arose out of the sea and out of the earth, (when the true faith was lost), has been great and his power was mighty among men for he received power from the dragon and made war against the true church and sought to devour the manchild; and power was given to him over kindreds, tongues, and nations; and all the world has wondered and followed after the beast, and have been admiring his power and his great authority and saying, "who is able to make war with him?" For he has had a mouth given that has spoken great things, and it has been given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them by his unrighteous laws and decrees. All who dwell upon the earth and whose names are not written in the book of life, have worshiped him. He has had many heads, (even in many sorts and changes of government), and many horns, with which he has pushed the innocent, ruled over the earth and all under his power. He has set up images to worship and likenesses without life. He has caused both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive his mark. He has carried the whore, and she has journeyed up on him from nation to nation through the earth in the sheep's clothing and made all nations to drink her cup of fornications.

The whore, the false church, has sat as a queen in great state and authority upon nations, tongues, multitudes, and peoples; and through the beast's authority, which has carried her, she has ruled in great authority over the consciences, persons, and estates of people. She has drunk the saints blood and the martyrs' blood. In her is found even until this day the blood of the martyrs, and the prophets, and of just men, and of all that have been slain upon the earth. She has exercised cruelty and tyranny over the heritage of God; and she has had the sheep's clothing upon her, even part of the garment of the Lamb's wife; and she has appeared in much beauty with a golden cup in her hand, in which the wine of her fornications and the filthiness thereof has appeared, and which she has caused the nations to drink. By her sorceries and witchcrafts she has deceived the world, and with her false miracles, shows, images, and false ministers that she set up, she has corrupted the earth. All this she has done by the beast's power that has carried her, and she received his authority from the dragon and from the devil. Thus antichrist, the beast, and the whore, have ruled in the world in great authority for many generations; and the world has been as a wilderness by them, wasted and barren of all good fruit; and truth and faith have departed from among men; and love and peace has been faraway; and murders, thefts, wars, strifes, injustices, and wickedness have abounded in the nations. Thus the whole earth has been corrupted through the whore and false church who has deceived kings, rulers, and peoples by her enchantments and sorceries, which she has caused them to receive at her hand and out of her Golden cup of abominations; out of which they have drunk false doctrines and practices to the deceiving of their souls and bodies.

But now the Day of the Lord has come and is coming, and the Lamb's Kingdom is to be set up again; and the kingdoms of this world must be changed and recovered again to become the Kingdoms of the Lord and of His Christ. The marriage of the Lamb has come again with the day of glad tidings unto the poor and distressed. The Lamb's wife shall be adorned for her husband; she shall be clothed with the sun and be covered with her former beauty; and she shall be led out of the wilderness. The earth shall be refreshed and delivered from the oppressions and tyrannies of antichrist and the whore for the hour of her judgments have come.

The darkness and night of woeful apostasy that has clouded the world is passing over. The light of the Lamb is risen, and the daystar has appeared in the hearts of people. The man of sin, who has sat in the temple, showed himself to be God, and falsely exercised the bodies and consciences of deceived people in false ways and worships is being discovered and being destroyed by the Spirit of His [the Lamb's] mouth and the brightness of the coming of Jesus. The beast and false prophet shall be taken alive and cast into the Lake of Fire to be tormented day and night forever. The breath of Life from God has entered the two witnesses, and they shall again prophesy; the Light of the glorious gospel that has long been hidden must again be preached to kindreds, tongues, and nations; and the Kingdom of Christ must be set up. These things the Lord God Almighty is bringing to pass.

He will confound and destroy antichrist and all that have worshipped him. Those who have worshipped the beast, drunk the cup or fornication, and committed idolatry with the great Whore, shall be taken and cast into the bed of torment; they shall weep and howl because of the great destruction of Babylon, the great city that has been the glory of kingdoms and made rich her merchants, (the false ministers), with deceivableness, whom God will overthrow. That fenced city of confusion, (the false church), that great whore, the mother of all abominations; the Lord God is risen against her to inquire for the blood of the martyrs, prophets, and righteous men that are found in her. She shall be rewarded according to her ways; as she has given others to drink the cup of fornication, so in like manner shall she drink the cup of fierce indignation of the Lord's wrath from his saints. She shall no more deceive the nations by her sorceries for the earth shall be delivered from her, and the kingdoms of the Son of God shall be exalted over all. The Light of the Lamb shall be the light of all nations; and all who are saved shall walk in the light of it. Truth shall reign, the fruit of righteousness shall abound, and all people shall glorify God their Maker. The whole earth shall be refreshed with the mercy of Him, the earth's creator.

Therefore all you kings, princes, parliaments, and rulers through the whole of Christendom, this is a request to you all from a lover of your immortal souls, that you cease to commit fornication with the great whore, and you will no longer drink her cup of idolatries, neither will you cause nations to drink it; neither that you will carry great whore in any longer, nor receive her sorceries and enchantments to deceive your souls and bodies. This the Lord God Almighty, (who ought to be fear and dread all nations), requires of you, and it is a charge to you in the presence of the Lord God: that you do not any longer defend the great city Babylon and the false church with your weapons of cruelty and oppression neither that you will ever anymore oppress the persons and consciences of people on her part and on her defense; but that you will wholly cast off the whore and not allow her to sit upon you; and that you will not be servants to her to execute her cruelties upon the bodies and consciences of people. These things you have done, and therefore the Lord is displeased with you; therefore deliver yourselves from the abominations of the false church and do not receive her delusions, neither impose them upon the people under you, for now the judgments of the great whore is come, and the time that the Lord will reward her according to her ways, and she shall have the fruit of her doings. If you will still uphold her, and commit fornication with her, and compel the nations drink of her cup, and cause all people to worship the beast, and to receive his mark, as it has been; then the Lord shall execute his vengeance upon you, and you shall in no way be delivered.

Therefore I say unto you again, arise out of darkness and come to the brightness of the light of the morning, even to the son's appearance, and receive his kingdom, and lay down your crowns at his feet; for the Lamb is risen, whose crown is immortal, and you at all your glory, greatness, honor, and power, are only as dust and ashes before him; he can break you down and never build you up again. Come out of great Babylon and forsake your city for the day of the Lord will suddenly come upon you; great Babylon is come into remembrance before the Lord to reward her with great indignation.

Therefore this is a call to you, lay aside your inquisitions, your jails, and houses of correction, and prisons, and all your torturing and persecuting of the persons and consciences of people about worship, church, and ministry; for these things and by these weapons you have defended the whore; and through the force of your violent laws and cruel impositions, unjustly laid upon the people, the whore, (false church), has been carried by you and defended by you. Lay aside all your cruel weapons and do not persecute, or kill, or shed the blood of the servants of the Lord with unjust laws; do not limit the spirit of God from crying against Babylon reproving her inequities; for these things you have done in defense of the whore. You have been the carriers of her, and [you have been] defenders and preservers of her by your unrighteous laws; and through you, she has sat as a queen thinking she would never see sorrow because you have defended her, taken part with her, and caused nations to drink her cup. You have been the executors of her pleasure, to compel the nations to commit idolatry, and to partake of her fornications; and you give her authority to drink the blood of all that would not drink her cup. It is now time for you to forsake these your ways and to learn wisdom from the Lord that you may rule in righteousness among men, as men; but not to be rulers in Christ's throne, nor his kingdom, by imposing such a worship and such a religion on people's consciences. To destroy and kill everyone that will not thus worship to your image, and now according to your prescription; this you ought not to do, nor did the Lord ever entrust you with this power, nor did he make you rulers in his kingdom, nor to sit in his throne of conscience. While you have done this, your authority has been from the dragon and not from the Lamb. Now the Lord requires from you this: let conscience go free and do not rule over the inward man; for while you take that upon you, to force such a worship in such a religion upon people, contrary to the spirit of God, you are only servants to the great whore.

Therefore be warned for this is an invitation of love, righteousness, truth, just judgment, mercy, and peace unto you, so that you may know what the mind of the Lord is unto you, and to do it; to then rule from God, and not for man, upon which depends the happiness and well-being of a nation, nations, and her rulers; to do the contrary requires their overthrow and destruction, and this will speedily be brought to pass. Therefore, come out of Babylon and deliver yourselves from that bondage by which the false church has found you. She has caused you to drink her cup, and you have been made drunk with her false faith, doctrines, and practices; and you have compelled nations to drink the same cup of abominations; and you have executed cruelty and injustice upon all that would not [drink her cup]; and you have his servants to the great whore. Being in bondage yourselves, your brought everyone in bondage under you; but now the Lord is changing times, things, and powers. You will be happy if you deliver yourselves and let the oppressed go free; in so doing you fulfill this my request and do the will of the Lord herein; then blessings and peace eternal [will follow]. But if you are disobedient and take part continually with the whore, you shall partake of her judgments. This has the Lord spoken to you, and in the day of vengeance you shall confess that you are warned,

By a friend to the whole creation,
who waits for the redemption thereof,

Edward Burrough


About this time also Edward Burrough published a paper, containing a very remarkable prediction of what followed the next year, when king Charles the Second was placed on the throne. In it he said, that as he was traveling in Warwickshire, in the First month, his meditations being upon the Lord, and considering what unjust and woeful sufferings have been inflicted upon the Lord's people within these few years, a cry went through him, "The Lord will be avenged, the Lord will be avenged upon his enemies, and he will avenge the cause of his people." This cry stuck close upon him, and his heart was even broken therewith, and his spirit melted before the Lord, it being as it was said to him.

To the Rulers

Write unto the rulers, and yet once more warn them of that indignation, which is at hand upon them, even a just recompense for all their deeds; and as they have done, even so shall it be done to them; as they have sought to destroy the generation of the righteous, even so shall they be destroyed from off the face of the earth; and as they have unjustly judged and condemned the innocent, so shall they be condemned, and justly judged of the Lord; and as they have cast the bodies of the poor lambs of Christ into prison, and been a snare upon them, even so shall they be ensnared, and into captivity shall they go.

As they have caused the goods and possessions of the innocent to be spoiled, and made a prey, even so in like manner shall the curse of the Lord spoil their substance. As they have done, so shall it be done unto them; and as they have dealt to others, so shall it be dealt to them again.

I saw a great misery and desolation near at hand, even the sword of the Lord; and that it should slay them; and I beheld it was made ready for the slaughter; and in the sense of these things a sadness fell upon my spirit, considering the desolation and the judgment that is at hand, to be executed upon the cruel oppressors.

Therefore all you rulers, and all you who have trodden down the heritage of God, and you who have disregarded these many warnings that you have had; I say unto you all, in the power of the Lord God, in his dominion, and by his Spirit, this is once more a warning to you from the Lord, and that these things must surely come to pass, and be fulfilled in their season, and no man shall be able to deliver his brother; but every man shall bear his own burden, and drink his own cup prepared for him; and though it has been counted a light thing among you, and you have despised the reproof, and gone on without fear; yet inasmuch as the Lord has spared you, and not speedily executed judgment upon you, but rather waited for your return; yet the dealing of the Lord towards you, in sparing of you, you have not accepted; and therefore shall his judgments be the greater upon you. For if you do now come to the witness in your own consciences, what evil has this people done ? Whose ox have they taken, or what have they desired of you? Or what have they sought from you? Or in what have they been a burden to you? Except that they have reproved you for your iniquities, and desired your redemption? Would you but now at last come to consider this, and confess the Truth in your consciences, will not that tell you, that they have patiently suffered all things that you have cruelly imposed upon them? And have not they walked peaceably towards you and humbly, meekly, and justly among their neighbors? Have they not been meek and innocent even as lambs, and as the sheep before the shearers?

Have they created offences towards any? Have they sought the overthrow of the government, or have they sought vengeance against their enemies? Or what injury have they done to any man's person, or estate, saving to Satan and his kingdom? Have they not sought to reform and reclaim the ungodly from their ways? Have they not pitied and prayed for their enemies? Have they not in all things walked in good conscience towards the Lord, and towards all men? Yes, my friends, in the day of the Lord, when the witness in your consciences shall not be limited, but shall speak plainly, and when the impartial judge shall appear upon his throne, then shall you acknowledge these things.

Therefore I say unto you, receive the judgment of the Lord to purify you, otherwise the judgment shall destroy you; and now come to be more wise, that some of you may be as a brand plucked out of the fire, and be reserved from being consumed; for the visitation of the Lord is near an end, when his loving kindness will be shut from you, and his long suffering turned into fury; and he will make you know that we are his people, with whom you have thus dealt. Yes, you shall suddenly know it; the time is not long till he will crown his people in the sight of his enemies; he will crown them with praise and with righteousness, with honor and majesty, and he will keep them in safety, even when sorrow compasses you about. His mercy and loving kindness shall extend towards them, even when his wrath and judgments smite you, and confound you. O! What shall I say to you; for the deep sense of which remains upon my heart; when I consider, how that in all ages the Lord avenged his people's cause, and when the time of their suffering was expired, he broke the bonds of iniquity, and set them free.

Thus did he with his people Israel of old, and many times it was his way with his people, to bring them low by suffering, and then to raise them up again in glory; and he allowed their enemies for a season to glory over them, that he might bring them down. Thus he did in England, in the case between the bishops and their crew of persecutors, and the poor people at that day called Puritans. Did not he confound that persecuting crew, and deliver his people? Is not he the same to effect the same work at this very day? Yes, doubtless, and much more will he do, inasmuch as the manifestation of Truth is more clear than it was in their days; and inasmuch as the rulers and people of this nation have rejected a more clear testimony, than either the Papists in Queen Mary's days, or the bishops and prelates in their days; even so much the more will the Lord God execute his vengeance with more violence, in a more manifest way. All shall know, that it is he that does it, and he will set his people free for he has regarded their sufferings, and he has said it is enough; for he has tried them, and found them faithful; and all this has been allowed to prove them, and not to destroy them. Like as he has preserved them in patience and peace through it all, even so will he give them hearts to walk answerably to their deliverance; and as they have abounded in patience in their sufferings, so shall they abound in praises everlasting in the day of their freedom; and the earth shall be glad, and shall yield the increase and blessing: the heavens and earth shall rejoice, and the hearts of the righteous shall leap for joy; when the Lord has broken the yoke of the oppressed, and set his people free, inwardly and outwardly; and then shall they sing to the Lord over all their enemies, who shall be tormented and vexed in the Lord's sore displeasure; for their reward comes, and their recompense shall be even as their work, and he will give unto them sorrow and anguish, instead of rejoicing.

But again, when I considered the long-suffering, and patience, and forbearance of the Lord's innocent people under all their sufferings; and when I looked at their innocence, and at their righteousness, and spirit of holiness, with which the Lord has blessed them, my heart was made glad in the consideration of this; and the more was my joy, the more I beheld their innocence, and the guiltlessness of their cause; by which the unjustness of their suffering did the more appear. Withal, when I looked, and beheld their increase under all their sufferings, and how that the Lord had turned all these things to their good, and to the overthrow of all their enemies; how that by that way, in which their enemies intended to destroy them from being a people, even thereby did the Lord most wonderfully increase them to be a great people; for through all have they grown in life and power, in strength, and in number, and through it all have they been encouraged to follow the Lord with more zeal and boldness. In the consideration of this I rejoiced, with magnifying the Lord forever, that he had brought forth his praise, even through the wickedness of the wicked, and he had increased his people, and exalted them through the cruelty of all their enemies; and that through all opposition they were attained unto a happy rest, and through all the tempest of great trials, they have arrived into the harbor of renown and great glory. When I consider this, how that the Lord has given them dominion, and brought their life to reign over all their enemies, these things were a joy unto me; and looking back into ages, seeing there was nothing, nor any people for generations, that had grown, and risen through all opposition like unto these. Therefore it is a sign and testimony that we are the Lord's, and that these things are of him, and from him, and by him alone, that he might be praised forever.

Again, when I do consider, how that the Lord had raised his people, even out of the dust; and those who were not a people, have become a people, and the Lord has provoked nations by those who were not a people within these few years; and the Lord has carried on this work among his people, not by anything of man, nor by the arm of flesh; but in pure innocence and simplicity has it been accomplished; not by the wisdom of this world, nor by men in places of honor, and of power in the nations; for all that, has been wanting to them, and what they are, it is through the opposition of all this; for they have had none of the great men of the earth on their side to defend them, and establish them, but all have been against them; and even oppression and tyranny executed upon them, rather than any approbation, or justification from men in outward authority. So that truly it may be said, there has been nothing of man in this work, but all of the Lord, by his own power; and in a contrary way to all the false sects, and false churches, has the beginning and carrying on of these things been. For we know that all the false sects in this nation, have arisen and been established through the countenance of men in place and power; and upon man, and the wisdom of this world, and authority of the powers of the earth, hath the rise and fall of all false churches depended; and as the powers of the earth have sided with them, so have they been set up; and at the displeasure of authority, have been cast down. But as for this people, they are raised of the Lord, and established by him, even contrary to all men; and they have given their power only to God, and they cannot give their power to any mortal men, to stand or fall by any outward authority, and to that they cannot seek; but to the Lord alone, who hears their cry, and will avenge their cause.

Therefore let all the persecutors bow before the Lord, and let all he saints walk humbly in his sight, and let them continue in that innocent life in which they have begun; and let them never forget the mercies of the Lord, and what he has brought to pass, who has manifested great things, and will do more and more to the confounding of all his enemies, and to the praise of his elect people. And all you saints upon the earth, have the Lord in respect continually, and turn not to idols, but let the Lord be your joy for evermore.

Edward Burrough

Burrough continues: "And I saw a great misery and desolation near at hand, even the sword of the Lord; and that it should slay them; and I beheld it was made ready for the slaughter; and in the sense of these things a sadness fell upon my spirit, considering the desolation and the judgment that is at hand, to be executed upon the cruel oppressors."

Site Editor's Comments: I call your attention to the love that Edward Burrough's writings shows to his enemies, Oliver Cromwell, the court, and the Parliament rulers. Love for one's enemies is only made possible through the Spirit of God controlling a person.

Edward Burrough’s prophecy of trouble to the then rulers in England, was amply fulfilled when under Charles the Second, the late persecutors were persecuted in their turn; when Episcopal priests drove Presbyterian and Independent preachers from the parish steeple-houses; this occurred as though in recompense to when the judges of King Charles the First were put to death, and fear and terror caused the chief leaders in the late commonwealth to hide in secret places, or to flee the country.

<Continued>>>>>>

This web site's purpose is to show how to become
free from sin
by benefiting from the changing power of God through the cross,
which leads to union with God in his Kingdom.

 


Top | About Us | Home | ©2006 Hall Worthington