The Missing Cross to Purity

Memoir to Edward Burrough


In this year he also wrote the following:


A servant of the Lord and minister of Jesus Christ, thereunto ordained and called through the powerful operation and gift of the Holy Ghost, to all his brethren in the same life, who are born of God, and witnesses of his power; and to all the saints and churches of Christ, who have believed and received the sure and faithful testimony, and are called with the heavenly call, to follow the Lamb wherever He goes; who is given to you, and received of you, a light, a guide, and a teacher in and the ways of God. To you all that are scattered abroad in the world, whether in bonds or at liberty, whether strong men or children in Christ, I send greeting; and above all things desire and pray to the Father, for your increase in the knowledge of Him, and faithfulness in all his ways, and that the increase of his government may abound among you; and that grace, mercy and peace may be plentifully enlarged, that nothing may be lacking to you in anything of what makes perfect; but that in Christ Jesus you may be complete, and through Him you may receive power, and thereby be strengthened to do all things.

My dearly beloved and longed for, in the fellowship of that spirit which has begotten you to be sons and daughters of one Father, and heirs and fellow-members of that inheritance of life, peace and rest, which abides forever. Oh, how I long to meet you all in this, and to find you perfectly settled and established upon the sure foundation, which God has laid among you, beyond all doubts, and fears and stumbles, above the world and all its temptations, and above hell and death, and all the ways thereof; having all the powers of darkness subjected under you, serving the Lord in perfect holiness, walking in his strength and wisdom, showing forth his light in the world, as his redeemed people.

My desire is more and more kindled and enlarged towards you all, that you may perfectly attain to the knowledge of the great mystery of salvation, namely, God dwelling in you! I say, my desire is, that you may know even as you are known, and that you may receive Him as you are received of Him; and that you may be a perfect body, growing up together, and springing forth in all good fruits of truth and righteousness to the Father, who is glorified through your bringing forth much fruit. You very well know, that for this end He has called you, and in this his appointed day caused his glory to shine forth, and has visited and brought us to the knowledge of the hidden mystery of eternal salvation, which mystery has been sealed up for many ages, and is kept secret forever, from the wisdom of this world.

But to us, who have believed in the light of the world, it is as clearly discovered as noon-day; being revealed to us by the spirit which works in us the will and mind of the Father, and is powerful and mighty, and subdues and breaks down the hardness of heart, and through its working every high thought is brought into subjection to Jesus.

This same spirit quickens and makes alive to God, and changes and renews into his image and likeness, and raises up from under the bondage of corruption, to live to God in all things in newness of life, old things being done away, and all things are made new through its working. In this same spirit the Father alone is worshipped, and by it God is known; and his promise is fulfilled, it witnessing in all things to the Father, and is earnest of the inheritance which fades not away. By it know we the deep things of God, which the world by wisdom does not know; and by it we are sealed and bound up in covenant with the Father. This is known to you who are children of the light, by which you have the witness in yourselves, and you are approved by God, and not of men.

All you my brethren, who are called into the work and ministry of the Gospel, in whom the word of the Lord has come, and the Gospel of Christ has been committed to you; dwell in the life of God, and feel his power and authority. Live in the same life of what you minister to others, that you may bring people to God, and may effectually turn them from the dominion of sin to the dominion of Christ Jesus, so that people may be guided out of darkness into the marvelous light. Cry aloud, spare not, proclaim the mighty day of the Lord in all the earth; and fear not, neither be dismayed at the face of any man, but be bold and valiant for the truth upon earth, and give your testimony as you have received it from God.

Preach Christ Jesus, the light of the world, to all people that they may receive Him and be converted and live. For blindness and darkness have covered the whole earth, and all have gone astray from the Lord, as sheep without a shepherd. Therefore awaken those who sleep, and cause the deaf to hear, and the dead to rise, so that those who have strayed may be gathered. For this is the fullness of time; He is now seeking his sheep that have been lost, and bringing them home that have strayed; and you, as instruments in the Lord's hand, He has chosen to this work.

Therefore go on in the strength of the Lord, and preach the gospel of peace, even the power of God, that sinners may he converted, and the wounded healed, and the weak may be strengthened, and those who are ready to die may be restored to life and salvation. This is the work of the Lord, to which you are called; therefore all who are called to it, be faithful to the end, and not only by word, but also by life and conversation, show the way of life. For you must feel that in yourselves, of which you minister to others; and you must show a life to be the same that you minister in words; and by which you will be made manifest to that principle of God in all people, and God's testimony shall answer for you. See that in all things you divide God's word correctly, not crying peace to the wicked, nor healing up the wound falsely; but that true judgment in all things may be brought forth by you to all people; judgment to the fat, and bread to the hungry; those who are naked must be clothed, and those who are falsely covered must he made bare.

Improve the gift which God has given you, to Him only, and not to yourselves. Do not be hasty to utter words before the Lord, but wait for power from on high, that the way of God to salvation, may be faithfully and truly held forth by you to all people. Faint not, though your burdens and trials are many, but bear all things patiently. Do not love your lives, even if death is threatened, so that the good work of the Lord may be accomplished, which He has begun by us, and made prosperous and powerful in our hands to this very day.

Our cause is good. We seek truth and righteousness, that it may be established in the earth, and people may be brought to God. To this God has called us, and has owned us in it, and will never forsake us; for the work is his, and the power is his, and whatever He will, He brings it to pass; and therefore why should we doubt or be weary? For we shall see the travail of our souls. The scattered shall be gathered, and a remnant of the seed shall be brought in, which is scattered in every nation, as dry bones, unable to live. How shall we hide that treasure which God has given us, from those who perish for want thereof? Or, how shall we rest satisfied until the scattered sheep are brought home to the fold? Our hearts are troubled to see so many thousand walking in thick darkness, and to see the seed of Israel devoured by the destroyer.

Therefore my brethren, let us put on strength, the Lord is with us; let us make war in righteousness for the Lord, against all the powers of darkness. Let us continually be armed to do and to suffer all things for the name of the Lord, that people may be instructed in the right way. We know no man can have power over us, but what is given him from above, and all that comes to pass against us is not worthy to be compared with the crown of glory, and the inheritance which we have already received the earnest, and has sealed us with the spirit of promise. The Father's name is written upon us; therefore in all things to which He has called you, be faithful and obedient, that his work may be accomplished.

All you children and babes in Christ, who are begotten of God, and are thirsting and seeking after Him in truth and righteousness; He whom you seek is coming to reign among you, and his dominion shall be set up and enlarged, and the desire of your hearts shall be fulfilled. Righteousness and truth shall meet in one, and judgment and mercy shall be exalted. Wait upon the Lord, and feel his power and his presence continually, that you may grow as plants of righteousness, and may partake of the inheritance with Christ, being crucified to the world, and become dead to all its ways, and no more you to live, but Christ to live in you.

Through the light which He has enlightened you withal, has He given you an entrance into the inheritance of the Father. As you walk in the light, you grow into fellowship with the Father, and with the Son. Abiding in the Son you cannot sin; for He keeps you from the wicked one, and he has no power over you who abide in Christ, who is the power of God, and the salvation of all who believe, and a condemnation of who do not believe. Therefore all you who are convinced everywhere, listen to the voice of the Lord, that your souls may live. Mind the power of God, and the workings thereof in your hearts, which conquers hell and death, and subdues all the powers and ways thereof.

Everyone be obedient to the Lord, as children of one Father, that of his fullness you may receive, and be filled therewith. Meet together in every place; and as the day approaches exhort one another, that you may grow up in unity as members of one head. Mind always the testimony of truth, and walk therein, and you cannot stumble. Have not respect to persons, but to the truth only; for persons may change, but the truth abides forever. So let not an evil eye look at evil, when it comes to pass, to take occasion thereby against the truth; for then you stumble and fall. I say again, have respect only to the pure testimony of truth which is sure, and cannot err or alter, though man may change and err. That is the testimony which is held forth for salvation, even the testimony of God, with whom there is no shadow of turning.

Therefore all take heed to yourselves, that you give not, nor receive, any offence against the Lord, and against your own souls; but know the seed of God in which stands the election, where the covenant of God is sure, and unalterable. A birth you must all know to be brought forth in you, which must inherit, and that is it which is born of the spirit, and obtains the promise. It is not that birth which is of the flesh, which works by willing, and running, and thinking. That birth does not obtain the promise of God, neither is salvation showed to it; but in patience, and in long suffering is the victory received, over all the powers of darkness which make war against the kingdom of God.

So all Friends, dwell in what stops and limits all strife in the mind, and gives you victory over it. None must glory in the flesh, for that glory must be confounded; but let him that glories, glory in the Lord, in the spirit, and not in the flesh. And take heed that none of you abuse your liberty, which is in Christ Jesus, neither turn it into fleshly bondage, and thereby the just come to suffer, and the fleshly part come to rule above the seed of God; but dwell in the cross which suppresses every high thought, and whatever is against God, in the first motion. Thereby you will be preserved from the enemy, which watches for evil against you, and seeks occasion against the way of the Lord. Mind what keeps you pure; for it is the pure in heart that see God, and it is he, who has clean hands and of a pure heart, that inherits God's holy mountain.

Concerning your afflictions, and sufferings, and trials, and persecutions; and whatever is laid upon you by the Lord, or by men; I say, hear all things patiently, and endure all things in long suffering. These things are but for a moment, and they are not worthy to be compared with the price of God's inheritance; and if you dwell in the counsel of the Lord, all these things will be turned to your good. In all trials and sufferings, the Lord's arm will be revealed, and these things must come to pass, that truth may appear in its beauty, in victory over all that does oppose it. Vengeance is the Lord's, and He will repay; for He does inquire after our blood, though no man lays it to heart, or consider the cause or unjust sufferings of the innocent, who have become a prey to the ungodly and unjust men, until God arise to plead our cause. Afflictions and sufferings are but to try and prove. They are not to confound or destroy the Lord's people, and therefore in patience they must be borne, and the life of God felt, which gives dominion over all these things. Receiving all things as from the hand of the Lord, then in all things your peace will remain, and God's testimony will witness peace and acceptance with God. Of all injustice, and abuses and cruelty acted upon you by any, at any time, keep account of it, and draw up in short and plain words, the occasion and manner of it, and at every quarter sessions let a true declaration of all unjust sufferings be presented in prudence and singleness of heart to the justices, or grand jury, by such as are wise and faithful. Appeal to the witness of God in them in such cases, that that of God in all men may witness for us. Let this be done, as cause is seen, at every sessions, in the wisdom and authority of God, that in all things justice and true judgment may be sought after, and in patience waited for, until the Lord alone, our King, and Judge, and Lawgiver, comes to reign over all his enemies; when all that now suffer for Him, shall reign with Him.

A servant to the churches of Christ,

Edward Burrough

Passing on into Somersetshire, he had a meeting at Glastonbury, at the Market Cross. To this came Samuel Winney, the priest of the parish, accompanied with band of drunken men beating a drum. The priest addressed himself to Edward, and demanded by what authority he came there to preach? He received a prompt answer, couched in the Scripture language: "As every man has received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God."

Edward then returning the query to him who put it forth, asked him to prove his call to the ministry from Scripture. This question Winney was not pleased to hear, and did not feel prepared to answer; so he retired from the field of contest, leaving his drunken followers to dispute for him. This they did after their manner, by beating on the drum, by hallooing with strong lungs, and by knocking the Friends about in a rude and barbarous manner.

Leaving Somersetshire, Edward returned towards the eastern part of England, and soon felt a religious obligation to go over to Dunkirk, on the French coast, a town at that time in possession of the English. For many days he says, it appeared to be his duty to "visit and warn the papists, the Jesuits, friars, and that whole company of idolaters," and "to sound the mighty day of the Lord among them." He went to Dover, and being accompanied by Samuel Fisher, who felt a similar religious concern, took shipping on the 6th of Third Month, and reached Dunkirk on the 7th.

On arriving at this place, at which they were both strangers, "We waited in the will of the Lord," says he, "to be guided by his wisdom what to do, and how to act and speak to his glory." The next day as they were walking the streets, the mayor of the place came to them, and demanded their names, and the business which had brought them there. To these questions the Friends gave "sober answers, and a reasonable account." It was soon known throughout the town, that two Quakers had arrived, and much curiosity was felt by the inhabitants, as to the occasion of their coming. The deputy governor Alsop, with his council of officers sent for them, and conversed with them for some hours. The Friends were treated kindly, but Alsop told them, "he thought there would be danger attending their stay in that place. He was fearful for fear divisions and contentions should arise among the inhabitants, and the safety of the English garrison be brought into jeopardy." This result he probably thought would follow, if the principles and practices of the friars and Jesuits should be openly and honestly assailed by the Friends, in that Roman Catholic city, the inhabitants of which were sunk in gross superstition. Alsop requested them to depart from the place. In reply, they frankly told him, that as they apprehended they had been divinely led there, they could not obey his command to depart, until they felt Him to lead them away, who they believed had sent them there. Some preachers were present at this interview, probably army chaplains. One of them wished to enter into a public dispute with the Friends, on the call to the ministry, but the lack of time, and the challenger's lack of patience, prevented the discussion of the matter, although Edward greatly desired it.

On the 11th of the month, the two visitors addressed a letter to the deputy-governor and his officers, in which they call themselves, "travelers in the labor of the Gospel of Christ Jesus." They say they came to Dunkirk "to be made manifest openly in the sight of all men, in our doctrines, principles and practices, which are of and from the Lord, and fully agreeing in all things with the Scriptures of Truth, which were given forth by the Spirit of Truth, as the holy men of God were moved." They add, that they came there in love to the souls of the people, and principally, as far as the Lord had shown them, "to discourse with the Jesuits, friars and priests, and to discover to them the errors of their ways, and the falseness of their worship; and to testify to them, in the fear and power of the Lord, concerning their church, that it is not a true church of Christ, but a false church, having come up in the apostasy."

They further say, they did not come to cause grief or disturbance to any; but add,

"we dare not promise to you, nor ourselves, what we will do, or what we will not do; only this we say, if the transgression of any just law can be charged upon us, we refuse not to suffer what shall he imposed; and this we do believe, that the Lord will so help us, and order us by his Spirit of Truth, and carry us in meekness and righteousness towards you, while we stay among you, whether it is weeks or months; so that you will have no just occasion against us, by any offence ministered of us. If any offence is taken by the unthinking, without just occasion given, the shame and condemnation will be on those who take the offence.

We give to the Lord, and cannot to men, the exercise of our consciences, to be obedient to the teachings of his Spirit in all things. If He commands to do, or not to do anything, and you the contrary, we must obey Him, though we disobey you, for it is better to obey God than man. When He tells us to speak, in whatever place or season, we may not be silent, for to keep our consciences clear in the sight of God in all things, by obedience to Him, is our care and study. No other promise can we make for ourselves, but to do and speak among you, as the Lord our God shall move us and lead us. And this testimony we do bear for the Lord, He does not move us, nor lead us to do anything, saving to what is just, good, and holy, which may tend to the happiness and peace, and welfare of your souls and bodies also."

In conclusion, the Friends offered to have a public dispute on the true call to the ministry, with the priest who had spoken to them on that subject the evening before.

The same day they went to the convent of the capuchin friars, and in the garden belonging to the establishment, had a discourse with the chief man among them. The subject first spoken of was, the Light of Christ, wherewith all men coming into the world were enlightened. After this, Edward and his companion spoke to him of the mighty day of the Lord, when all would be searched and tried, and all popish idolatrous ways and worships would he destroyed. The next day, the 12th, Edward addressed a few queries to the capuchin friars. He wishes them to tell him:

"whether there was such an order of men and women as themselves, in the primitive church? Whether they can find authority from Jesus Christ for their worships, idleness and practices, unprofitableness to God and to man? Whether they are willing to have their religion tried by the Scriptures? And if they are not, whether any are bound to follow them? Whether the world in your hearts, and the world's nature, even the root of lust, the root of pride, covetousness, and the love of this world and its vanities, and the root of idolatry, are subdued in you. To the light in your consciences I speak. What is the root of all these things? And what is it that subdues it? Is it an outward abstinence by the force of locks and doors, and bolts, or self-separated and secret places, that subdue the world's nature in men and women ? Is it by such means that Christ gives victory over sin, and overcomes it in his people? Or is it not by the power of God in the heart only?

It does not appear to me that you have denied the world as the apostles did. Where had they any such seats in the finest and fattest places of the cities and towns, as you have? Such great, fine houses and gardens and such revenues by the year as you have, staying all their days in a great house, and spending their time in sloth and idleness as you do? They went up and down the world preaching the Gospel, and had no certain dwelling place, but followed the Lamb of God in the spirit, and did not settle themselves in fat places of the earth, continuing all their days as you do. Therefore we judge you are out of the life, and not in the spirit the apostles were in, but in a form of righteousness and holiness, without the power.

He further desires to know of them, whether they have come to Christ Jesus in themselves? Whether they expect to be free from sin in this life? Whether they believe that men may come to be restored by the second Adam, into the same estate that was lost by the first Adam? In concluding he says:

If you are in the perfect truth, and would convert others to your religion, be plain with us and use your best spiritual weapons in your zeal towards us, and defend your cause, and appear for your God. If you doubt of your ways and practices, and are not able to defend your religion, then let your mouths be stopped, and turn from idolatry.

While they remained in Dunkirk, they had various interviews with the capuchins, the friars of the recollects and with the Jesuits. They called to visit the nuns, but these, after hearing a few words, interrupted them, to inquire whether they were of the order of those called Quakers. Receiving an affirmative answer, the nuns retreated from them, saying, they must not hear them. The capuchins were light and scornful, and soon growing tired of the Friends and the truths they promulgated, they declined giving them an opportunity of conversing with them. The rector of the Jesuits would not meet them, until Lockhart, the Governor of Dunkirk, who had been absent when the Friends arrived, had returned to that city. Lockhart spoke to the rector, and he then consented to see Edward and Samuel. He was subtle and crafty, and at first very high in spirit, apparently despising his opponents. But the truth in their mouths was too strong for him to contend against successfully; and after a discourse of three hours, he pretended that he had other business to attend to, and making his escape, refused to have any discourse with them afterwards.

On the 20th, Edward addressed to the Jesuits, priests, and friars, a paper containing assertions to this effect:

  • 1st, That the Roman church was not the true church of Christ.

  • 2nd. That the constitution of the church, and the chief part of the forms of its worship and ordinances, were of man,

  • 3rd. That there had been a general declension in the world, from true faith and doctrine,

  • 4th. That anti-christ had reigned for generations.

  • 5th. That the true church was yet in the wilderness.

  • 6th. That compelling persons by outward law to conform to certain religions, and to persecute and kill them for matter of conscience, was a worship of the beast.

  • 7th. That none are members of the true church, but such as are changed and renewed by the power of the Lord God in the heart, and are joined to Christ the head.

  • 8th. That the time is coming, when Babylon shall be thrown down.

Many meetings Edward and his companion had in the town, and much service in the English army, with very little disturbance. Edward says:

"I must commend the spirit of our Englishmen for moderation, more than the men of any other nation. I did many times clear my conscience among them, as they were men, sons of Adam; and in relation to an eternal state, did direct them to the way of happiness, out of sin and wickedness. That as they were sons of Adam in transgression, they might come to be healed, come to Christ the power and wisdom of God, and might be saved."

Understanding that one of the chaplains had spoken against them, when they were not present, they proffered to discourse with him. He evaded the proposition, but told those who if they would state some of their principles in writing, he would answer them in dispute in some public place. In conformity to his request they prepared the following brief propositions:

1st. That Christ has enlightened all men with a light sufficient to bring them to salvation, if they follow it.

2nd. That God has given Christ to be the Savior of ALL men.

3rd. That none are justified by Christ and his righteousness, without them, but as they have received Christ and his righteousness, and witnessed them revealed in themselves.

4th. That the saints of God may be perfectly free from sin in this life, so as no more to commit it.

5th. That the national ministers and churches, not only of Papists, but of the Protestants also, as they now stand, are not true ministers and churches of Christ.

6th. That the Scriptures are a true declaration, given forth from the Spirit of God, by holy men of God, moved by it to write them, and are profitable; but are not the foundation, nor the most perfect rule of faith and life to the saints.

We are willing and desirous to discourse upon, with him and any others in a public place, provided it may be in the spirit of meekness, and moderation, and that all fair and sober dealings may be among us, and the fear of God.

The chaplain, it appears, did not wish to engage in a controversy with them, and endeavored to shift the responsibility of refusing it from his own shoulders, saying, "the governor was not willing."

Soon after the 20th, they took shipping for England, having performed at Dunkirk all the service their Divine Master laid upon them. Before the end of the month, they had a meeting at Sandwich, in Kent, in the parsonage house, where they met with George Fox and Ambrose Rigge, who were at this time holding meetings in that county. Edward and his companion also held one at Dover, in a great house, situated in the market place, belonging to Miles Temple, a captain of the town band. This was a good meeting, but when it was over the rabble set fire to the house in which it was held, intending to do the strangers an injury. The Lord preserved them, but the building was consumed. The two Friends then held a public dispute at the steeple-house, with William Russell, one of the priests. The dispute was principally managed by Edward Burrough, and it was satisfactory to the friends of Truth, who had reason to believe that it was the means of convincing some present. From there Edward Burrough proceeded towards London, which he entered with George Fox on the 16th of Fourth Month.

A priest of Sussex having sent to a member of Parliament, a manuscript containing a number of railing accusations against the Society of Friends, with the design of secretly prejudicing their cause, and the paper coming to the knowledge of Edward Burrough, he wrote a reply, entitled: Satan's design defeated, which is contained in his Works.

Richard Cromwell, in conformity with the wishes of the officers of the army, and against his own judgment, had dissolved the Parliament on the 22nd of the Second Month, and the political horizon in England began to give evident tokens of a change. He felt his power diminishing, and he had no mind through blood to build it up. Edward Burrough had written an address to the Parliament just dissolved, exhorting them not to allow "the exercise of pure consciences to be trodden down, to remember the cause of God and of his people, to remember the groans of the poor, and give ear to the cry of the oppressed, to relieve the guiltless sufferers, and break the bonds of iniquity, and let the oppressed go free. Do this for fear you perish."

In the Fifth Month, Edward Burrough delivered, or caused to be delivered, the following address to Richard Cromwell and his brother Henry, who now felt that their power and influence had departed from them.

To Richard Cromwell and Henry Cromwell

Friends :

Yet once more has the Lord given me somewhat to say to you, in love to your immortal souls. You had a glorious day of visitation, and many precious warnings from the mouth of the Lord, by his servants; but you rejected the counsel of the Lord against your own souls, and made no account of the servants of the Lord, which were sent to you; but caused them, and allowed them to be persecuted by your power, and they were made a spoil and a prey to their enemies all your days.

You sought yourselves and your own honor, and you were exalted in pride and vain glory, and forgot God, who raised you up from a low estate, and you had no respect to the cause of his people. Therefore this is justly come to be placed upon you from the hand of the Lord. Not that I rejoice in it, or glory over you because of it; I only tell you what is justly happened to you, that you may learn the Lord's just judgments in these things, like as formerly I warned you of it.

It could not be otherwise but that the Lord would avenge the cause of his people upon their persecutors, and the injustice done to them, upon you, in whose name and power it was acted. In every generation He had respect to his people's cause, and did avenge their cause in his season. This I well remember, I was once moved to speak in the name of the Lord to your father, that these things that came to pass in his days, the cruelty and oppression of the Lord's people, would be recompensed and repented of in his children's days. I saw the cruelty and injustice that was done in his name upon the people of God, could not escape unpunished in a generation. It has now come to pass; in a measure, and will be more and more, even for his transgressions and your own. All of you had a day and a time, in which you might have done something for the Lord and his people. You had a price put into your hands, that you might have improved to the Lord's glory, and to your own renown, to have been a blessing to yourselves, and to the people of God in these nations. But your day is over, and night is come upon it. Your price is taken from you, and given to others, and you cannot now work or act on the Lord's behalf; as once you might have done. You have sought honor to yourselves, and you have reaped reproach. Because you have despised the counsel of the Lord, therefore the snare has caught you, which was laid for others. These things I say in pity for you, rather than in boasting over you; neither do I commend that spirit which acts in too much severity towards you, which upbraids you, rather than seeks to amend you. That is not my way. As for you, come to the fear of the Lord God, that your iniquities may be pardoned; and seek peace with God, and reconciliation, and seek after the kingdom that endures forever. While you have time, seek after a crown that is immortal, and wait to know what will make you heirs of that inheritance which never fades away. The light in your consciences, which Christ had enlightened yon with, — which lets you see sin, and convinces you of your evil deeds, — that light must you own to be your teacher. You must become subject to it in all things or you have no part in the kingdom of God.

About this time Friends at Sabridgeworth, in Hertfordshire, were suffering much insult and abuse from the rude rabble, who were encouraged in their evil actions by Thomas Hewit, a magistrate known as a favorer of king Charles. The meetings of Friends for religious worship in that place, were much and frequently disturbed, brickbats were thrown among those assembled, to the endangering of life and limb, and filth was frequently cast upon them. The meeting-house was almost destroyed by the mob, and when an account of this outrage was made to the said Hewit, he ordered his servant to turn the complainer out of his house. At one time he came as the captain of a company of volunteer disturbers, determined to stop Friends from entering their meeting-house, and it was not until he had a smart brush with some of the Commonwealth soldiers that he and his party withdrew. The Tories now deemed that the signs of the times were favorable to the coming in of king Charles the Second, and they began to talk and to act boldly in many places. About the close of the sixth month Edward Burrough was in Hertfordshire, attending the meeting at Sabridgeworth.

While going to it, he was much covered with dirt thrown upon him by the mob; and seeing Hewit just then passing in his coach, he went to him and complained to him as a magistrate of the abuse cast upon peaceable people in his jurisdiction. While engaged in laying the matter before the squire, one of the rioters came near and jerked off his hat, and another threw a rotten egg on his bare head. This so pleased Hewit, that he could not forbear smiling, although his coach received some of the unsavory contents. One of the early Friends, after detailing the various acts of outrage committed on Friends, with the sanction and approbation of this magistrate, remarked: "He that disdains to be the servant of Christ, will stoop to a worse office."

From Hertfordshire, Edward returned to London. Here again he was full of business, laboring for the good of the religious society of which he was a member, and of every individual of it, as he found opportunity; preaching the Gospel as his Master gave him the word, and defending the doctrines of Truth with his pen.

The power of the Protector, Richard Cromwell, already declining, he was prevailed upon by the officers of the army to dissolve this parliament, which began to make inquiry how the subsidies were employed; and by the direction of some of the chief republicans, the long parliament was called again. This parliament set up a committee of safety, for apprehending those that disturbed the peace, and for making an alteration among the military officers, either by cashiering them, or otherwise; and, increasing in power, erected also a council of state; and word was sent to Richard Cromwell, who was now deprived of all power, to depart from Whitehall, which at length he did, the parliament allowing him two thousand pounds for the charges of removing, promising to pay his debts contracted for the public; and his brother Henry, who was lord deputy of Ireland, was called back by the parliament. Thus these two brothers were again reduced to the state of private men.

On the 12th of the Seventh Month, Edward Burrough addressed the Parliament then assembled — the Long Parliament having again come into power — in a communication characterized by great plainness.

It commences thus:

"To the Parliament of the Commonwealth of England, the present authority of these nations assembled at Westminster.

A presentation, by a faithful friend to the nation, in the name, and by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, King of righteousness and peace; that you may take off oppression, and free the people from all their cruel bonds, that have been imposed upon their bodies, estates and consciences, in the days of the reign of anti-christ.That truth, justice and righteousness may come near to us, and the kingdom of the Son of God be set up among us; that you and we, may at last be free subjects of Christ's kingdom, where righteousness, truth and peace may run down, and be established for evermore."

He acknowledges that during the long time that Parliament had borne rule in England, many cruel laws had been made void, and the kingdom of anti-christ had received many a wound.

"There have been several times the fair blossoms of the glorious appearance of truth, righteousness and peace. There have been fair promises and pretences made by many of you, as if the kingdom of Jesus had been at our door, ready to have entered our nation, by which many good hopes we had, to have been made a perfectly free people ere this day, from the chains of anti-christ, and the false church, and from every branch thereof. But, alas! the glorious work of reformation has been interrupted before our eyes, and the precious buds and good appearance of glorious fruits have withered and been blasted in our sight. Our good hopes have perished, our freedom has been intercepted through the evil doing of unfaithful men. Anti-christ's kingdom has not been rooted out, nor the oppressive laws of the false church wholly broken down. The cause of this has been from some unfaithful men, who have neglected the good work of the Lord, once entrusted with them; and have sought themselves and their own honor, and interests and have sat down at ease and rest in the flesh, glorying in the spoil of their enemies, and have thereby become unfaithful and unprofitable in carrying on the Lord's work. Some have been of a sincere mind for a season, and made a good progress towards the attaining a kingdom of righteousness, and removing all oppressions; yet, when they have begun to seek themselves in this world, and to take to themselves the honors, and titles, and possessions of their enemies, and so have been guilty of their enemies' sins, the good work of the Lord by them could not prosper."

He then goes on to point out the yoke of tithes, and the forced maintenance of ministers, as some of the oppressions of anti-christ not yet abolished.

About this time there was an insurrection in Cheshire for king Charles, under Sir George Booth; who, having received a commission from that prince, got such a numbers of followers, that he seized the city of Chester. In the meanwhile the parliament sent Edmund Ludlow to Ireland, to be commander in-chief of the army there, instead of Henry Cromwell, and general Lambert was sent with an army against Booth. Now since some rash people that went under the name of Quakers, were for taking up arms under Lambert; and that the committee of safety offered great positions and commands to some of that persuasion, thereby to draw them off from the truth they professed; G. Fox wrote a paper, wherein he showed the unlawfulness of wars and fightings, representing it as a work not at all becoming the followers of Christ; and he exhorted his friends not to join with those that took up arms, but to fight only with spiritual weapons, which took away the occasion of the carnal. This he also recommended in his preaching, for a harmless and inoffensive life, was that which he always asserted and practiced.

As for Booth, he was defeated, and endeavoring to make his escape in women's clothes, was discovered in an inn, and taken into custody; and being carried to London, by an order of the parliament, he was committed to the Tower. The officers of the army, of which George Fleetwood was now commander-in-chief, were very busy to get the upper hand of the parliament; which caused great division and distraction in the nation for it was well known that if the supreme power was offered up to the army, they then could do what they would; and thus the nation would be governed by the sword. It was also fresh in memory, that it was the army by which Cromwell had been advanced so as to become Protector, and supreme ruler of the nation; and therefore many opposed the design on foot.

About this time also the military officers moved the taking off of the burden of tithes, and to settle another maintenance for the national preachers. But being unwilling that the parliament should be masters of the army, they complained of having been deceived by the parliament; and colonel Desborough said, that they had not performed any part of the promises they had made to the army; that they had taken no care to secure a liberty to tender consciences; and that their intention was to remove the principal officers, and place others in their commands, who were of different principles.

Now the council of officers was for calling a new parliament; but this met with no small opposition. In this bustle the council of officers began to insinuate with the clergy, and they agreed with them, that their maintenance by tithes should not be taken away till another revenue as ample and certain should be settled upon them; that some provision should be made for those who differed in faith and worship from the established church; but that the Quakers and some others, whose principles they said tended to the destruction of civil society, should not be tolerated at all. In this distracted state of affairs, when some were for, and others against the parliament, so that it was hardly well known in whom the supreme authority resided, Edward Burrough wrote and published in print a large speech. He signified by way of introduction, that the contents had been upon him to deliver by speech and word of mouth, to the men then in power; but no way being made for him so to do, he had written what was upon him. And then he begins thus with a majestic strain:

A Message to the present rulers of England, whether committee of safety, so called, council of officers, or others whatsoever.


My Master is a high, and mighty, and powerful prince, and very honorable; and fear, reverence, respect and subjection belong to him alone, from you and all mankind. He is wise, and understanding, and of great strength, and his dominion is from everlasting to everlasting; and he can do whatsoever he will in heaven and earth, for he rules with his iron rod over the world, and whatever he said, it is done; for his word is an everlasting command. If he said to a man, live, it is so; if he said to a man, die, it comes to pass; and if he gives peace to a man, or a nation, none can make war; and if he makes war with a person, or in a nation, no man is able to make peace. For why? He has all power in his hand, and to him all judgment and authority is given; he is the Son of the living God, the everlasting Creator. He was, and is, and is to come; his eye beholds all things, and his arm compasses heaven and earth; and what his purpose is, he has always and will ever bring it to pass. If he set up rulers, they must rule; and if he pull them down none can hinder. Whom he will, he honors; and if it is his pleasure, he brings men to shame. If he breaks a nation down, none can build it up; and if he confounds powers and authorities in the kingdoms of men, they all fall as withered grass before him. Behold, you men! He is great and mighty, and of so great authority, that whatever he wills, it is done; and whatsoever he wills, it comes to pass; and none is able to resist him, and overcome his power, when his pleasure is to accomplish a work. By him all things are that be, and all things live that have life, and through him all things move, and of his fullness, every creature in heaven and earth receive. And this, my Master, is altogether honorable in birth, and otherwise, and altogether mighty in all his works; he is just and merciful, full of goodness, righteousness and truth; all virtue dwells in him, and his judgment and mercy, his authority and meekness, and his wrath and his love, they are companions: and what are you before him? Or how shall you be able to resist him, or to turn backward what his purpose is, concerning you and this nation? For you have no being or breath without him. Behold you men! You are verily as the dust before the wind; so are you to him, soon blown away, and your place not found; as the grass before the mower, so are you before him, soon cut down and withered, and your beauty utterly extinguished as a potter's vessel under an iron rod, even so are you to him, he can immediately break you, never to be bound up; as a drop to the fountain, so are you to him, soon dried up and made nothing. Therefore, you men, you mortal creatures, you ignorant persons, sons of a transgressor, you dust and ashes; for thus you are in comparison of him, this mighty prince; hearken to his message, which comes to you from him; hear and fear, and be not stout-hearted against the Lord God, that is about to speak unto you.

As for this little island of England, where your present place and being is, it is an island which the Lord has shown great favor unto in ages past, and in this present time; and I must tell you, he has the purpose of love towards it, and to honor it in the view of the world, though through great tribulations; and he has an intent of great good unto it; — for he has a seed, a precious seed in it scattered abroad, and he has a people that fear his name, and have walked in his ways, and he has made them, and elected them, and what they are, it is by him; that he may dwell among them, and have the whole government over them all; yes, truly he has a speedy purpose concerning this nation, and he will purify it in judgment, and refine its inhabitants through the fire of tribulations, that it may be pleasant to him, and fit to do his will. He has a purpose to work some great thing in it, I must tell you, as he has said unto me so to do. He will have his name, exalted and reverenced in this island, and his terror shall be sent out of it through the world, and his branch from it shall spread over the earth; he does purpose in his season to take it into his own hand, and to sway the government thereof with his own scepter, and to set up righteousness alone, and to overthrow all oppressors and oppressions; and the kingdoms of this world must become the kingdoms of the Lord, and of his Christ. Rev 11:15.

Site Editor's Comments: the kingdoms of this world must become the kingdoms of the Lord, and of his Christ. Rev 11:15. The Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations....the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. Isaiah 61:11,11:9,2 Pet 3:13. The time is fast approaching. And the spreading of the terror of the Lord, which shall precede righteousness' spread, shall come from a branch of the Quakers that shall go over the whole earth. From the Word of the Lord within in 2008:

Revelation foretells the future. I am going to thin the earth; whole families will die. Those who have no light, I will destroy. I will put my law into every man's heart. I will betray those who are happy in their sins. I will fill the whole earth with the dead. All those who destroy will be imagined to be my authorities. Whoever does wickedly and unjustly will be punished. Clearly there are some who will be greatly preferred. I will make men more precious than rubies. Your wickedness lies in shame. Every man was his own king.

I will make obedience the fruit of righteousness. The Lord shall establish righteousness throughout the earth. It will be done.

The children have lost the inheritance of God.
I will devour those who do not follow, and snatch the righteous from the fire. O seek the Lord you mighty, while you still have strength.

Stephen Crisp prophesies the same occurrence, as does Isaac Penington, as does Ambrose Rigge.

True it is, such has been the coming to pass of time, and of things for many ages by-past, that my Master has been, as it were, banished from the nation, and has not been allowed to enjoy his right; but has been expelled, even, as it were, by the force of Satan and antichrist, who have long usurped authority over the inhabitants of this nation; and in my Master's absence, lamentable injustice, cruelty, merciless, tyranny, and oppression have been exercised upon the inhabitants. The poor creatures have been held in great slavery by their rulers, who have ruled by the dragon's power. They been kept in great blindness and ignorance, and under great oppression, both in body and spirit, by antichristian teachers, for these many years; even while the great King has been absent, and, as it were, gone into a far country; even all this time has antichrist and the devil ruled and reigned, and have made and executed oppression, and tyrannical laws and decrees, both in church and state. All the nation has been out of right order, and laid waste and barren of good fruit, and it has been as a wilderness by reason hereof. Bad men who have ruled for many years, have not ruled singly by my Master's authority, but by another power; though not without the knowledge of my Lord, neither as though he did not have the power to have done otherwise; but for his own pleasure he has allowed it thus to be, and let men go on to rule and govern in their own wills, and after their own lusts; and people have walked wickedly towards him, and towards one another. All this he has allowed; not as if he tolerated it because his messengers now and then, and his witness in people's consciences, have been reproving their ungodly ways; and he has often shown his dislike by many ways, and tokens, and many judgments, and strange overturning, to the way and proceedings of rulers, prophets, and teachers of this nation. Yet they have gone on against his mind, and contrary to his will, despite his reproofs and judgments. Not that did not have the power to have executed his pleasure in wrath upon them, and to have destroyed them altogether, and have made the nation a heap, and as nothing long before this day; for power was in his hand to have done it; but he has been long-suffering and of great patience, and borne all things, and taken the injustice, and cruelty, and wickedness, and idolatry, and all unrighteousness that has abounded in the nation upon himself, and suffered under it, and borne it for its season, while woeful and lamentable oppressions have been practiced in civil state, even hellish laws, and devilish executors of them. Merciless tyrants have borne the scepter and reigned for many years over the inhabitants, and in church and state have been heinous idolatry and superstitious vanities committed in a high nature and measure. Even all men, and states of men, and orders of men of every degree have been abominably corrupted in the sight of my Lord, even from the prince to the beggar, even rulers and subjects, teachers and people, judges and prophets. They have been corrupted both in heart and hand, and they have dealt falsely and wickedly towards him and towards one another; even to the great displeasure and vexation of him, and his blessed spirit, and to the high provocation of him to their own destruction, if his long suffering had not prevailed. All this while he has lain as it were asleep, and at rest in himself; and he has left men to test them, what they will do, and he has given them a day. Many kings and rulers, he has let them have a little time, to see how they would use it, but they have abused it and not ruled for him, nor accomplished his work nor fulfilled his will, but acted even in defiance of him and of his power, and to his great dishonor.

Alas! I must be plain with you. My Lord has been utterly exiled, and greatly dishonored, and highly provoked and vexed by reason of such proceedings, as have been in this nation for these many years, through the corruption of all sorts of men in place and power, who have not ruled for him, but for the devil to their own corrupted ends. Only he has allowed men to go on in their course for a season; some as it were appearing on the stage for a time, and suddenly cast down again for their iniquities' sake; and his hand has been in all these things, though very privately and secretly, not known and discerned by the sons of men. Yet has he ruled over the kingdoms of men, and pulled down one, and set up another. And to tolerate the several actings and proceedings of many by-passed ages, and to come to this generation, and to speak of things that have happened within these few years, and of the changing and overturning that has happened in this nation; such was the cruelty, tyranny, oppression, and idolatry both in church and civil state, that the people of this nation were held under, in the days of papal power; such, I say, was the exceeding height of the cruelty and tyranny of that time, that none who feared or reverenced my Lord, in any measure, could scarcely live, or have a being in the nation. Even against every man that did but incline towards him, and desire the knowledge of his ways, hell’s mouth was opened against them, and they were swallowed, and many of their lives taken from the earth, by the hellish power that had in that day usurped authority in this island; and when thus it was, then he looked down from heaven, and his bowels of compassion were opened, for the sake of the oppressed people that desired after him, insomuch that he broke and threw down the power of their oppressors in some measure, as it stood in papal authority, and when the iniquity of that power was filled up, he took vengeance upon it. I must tell you, it was he who brought it about, even the destroying of that power in this nation, and freeing the nation from it; though the men who were instruments in the cause were not his servants, no different than as Nebuchadnezzar served him; for he has a secret way to have a service from the wicked, and such is his power, that he can turn the wickedness of the wicked to his glory, and he can make a rod to whip his adversaries, and burn it when he has done, and he has often destroyed one wickedness by another.

Well, but to leave that, though he did in some measure, free the nation from much tyranny and cruelty, in the casting out popish authority. Yet alas! The nation in a few years was near as much violated by injustice and cruelty, under the succeeding power, as ever it was once under the papal power; though before, there had been some small reformation and change in outward appearance, though little in ground and nature; yet oppression, and idolatry, and superstition, in church and state, and all profaneness and wickedness among people were grown so high, like as it had been under the papal power before; and all that desired after the Lord, and were weary of iniquity, and of the then present oppression and idolatries, were persecuted, and slain, and destroyed; and injustice and cruelty exercised upon them, even almost to the rooting out of righteousness, and to the grieving of the Lord's spirit. Well then, because of the cry of the people, and the oppression of the nation under that authority, my Lord looked down again; and even for his name's sake, and for his seed's sake, he had compassion on this nation, to set it free, and to break off its oppressions; and in a great measure he did deliver the people of this nation in many things, and there was a part of reformation wrought, and much pretended and looked for; and all this came to pass through him, and my Lord did accomplish it. However the instruments by which he wrought proved deceitful, and became oppressors, as others before them; and though there was in this nation a day of great troubles, and wars, and contention, and great strife, and the wasting of much blood, and earthly treasure, and none of these things, I must tell you, fell without the ordering of my Master's hand. Yet so it was, and came to pass, that after this nation was restored to peace, though much unrighteousness and injustice was removed, yet there was much also left behind; and men that he had used as instruments in his hand, in a good work, and to whom he had given wisdom and understanding, and appeared in much mercy and in great deliverance, yet they even turned to seek themselves, and became corrupted in the spoils of their enemies. When peace and plenty abounded, the Lord was forgotten again; and then the land fell under oppressors, and began again to cry out for freedom, even then other horns of the first beast sprang up, and went on each of them after his fellow. Although one horn has striven to break another, yet after one has been cast down, another has risen, and made an image to the first; and ruled and reigned by the same spirit, and authority, derived from the dragon's power in cruelty and oppression; and made laws and executed them to the dishonor of the Lord, and to the great oppression of his people, and to the filling of this island with injustice and cruelty, even from one generation to another, until this day. Thus up and down have times and seasons been altered, powers and authorities changed and altered; statutes, laws, and decrees, changeable and alterable; for as the iniquity of one power was filled up, that was cast down, and another had its day, till the measure thereof was also filled up, that it might partake of the same judgments. In all these overturnings, breaking-downs, and overthrowings, was the very hand of my Lord, though secretly, and not discerned; yet his power has brought and allowed all these things to come to pass: and who shall charge him with injustice? Or, who shall say, 'What have you done?' Or, 'Why have you done it?' For, as I have said, he is a high and mighty prince, and can do whatever he wills; and he is the supreme power and authority, which rules and reigns in and over all the kingdoms of men. And what, though he has used wicked men as instruments to accomplish his work, and made the wicked his rod; and even brought it to pass, that one wickedness should destroy another, and one oppressor breakdown another, and the kingdom of antichrist confound itself; yet what of all these things? All flesh must be silent before him, and all people, and the whole earth must be subject unto him; for the government and dominion over heaven and earth is his, and all power and dominion belong to him alone, and all judgment is in his hand, to bring to pass whatever he will, and by whomever, as he pleases.

But now, my friends, though I would not be tedious to you, yet I must tell you the truth, and faithfully deliver and as concerning this last overturning, there was something of the hand of my Lord in it; and he can, and will bring forth his own work and praise by it, and it shall be for the good of all his people, who wait upon him, though there was much ambition and corrupted ends in the instruments, and neither part were perfectly single to the Lord in their proceedings, but their work was tainted with the false idolatrous spirit of self-seeking. Yet notwithstanding, the Lord may bring forth his government, and his pleasant plant, through and beyond all this, even out of another root, which yet appears not among either of them; and righteousness may arise in the nation, contrary to both of them, out of another stem; and he will set up his kingdom, and in the meantime, leave one potsherd of the earth to break another.

As for you, who now sit on the throne and bear rule, whether committee of safety, so called, chiefly, though it is not without my Master for he has the knowledge of it at least, yet you are not the only men of his choice, truly called of him to the place of government, neither is your government the government of the Lamb, neither must it be forever established by him; its foundation is not blessed, nor can its building be prosperous. For why? Alas, it is only another horn of that fourth beast, that has been made to rule over the world, and upon them for many generations, and it is but now a very little refined from the last, and is of the last, even as the eighth was of the seventh, spoken of by that servant, Rev 21:19, and it may also make war with the Lamb and his followers for a little season, and it may have a small measure of injustice and persecution to bring forth in the land, even till the words of God are fulfilled, and his kingdom is fully come, the way of which is but yet preparing by all these overturnings. This your present government originally is leavened with the spirit of the old dragon, that has killed the saints, and drunk their blood, and how should the Lord establish it? No, your kingdom may prove but small and little, and full of uproars and troubles, and little peace, and satisfaction and establishment in it to yourselves, or the people under you; but confusion will attend it, and fears will compass it about. Though this I must tell you, as you are men, you have your day of trial what you will do, as many others have had before you; and something you may and ought to do, if but to make the whore, (the false church), more naked, and to scourge her, more than some others have done; and indeed my Lord requires something more of you, (as such), to do, than others before you could do; and you have a price put into your hands, which you may improve to the Lord's honor, and to the nation's good, and to your own happiness; which if you will are faithful to the Lord, to do what he requires of you, and if you become meek and humble men, and fear his name, and deny yourselves, and not seek your own honors, nor any earthly advantage to yourselves. If you do thus, then my Lord will show mercy to you, and you shall not suddenly fall before your enemies, though many may rise up against you; but your days shall be lengthened, and the purpose of the Lord may be turned to your longer continuance, and not to your sudden destruction; and if you walk in this way, and rule only for the Lord, then shall you be honored as men if not as an authority, and you and the nation preserved in peace, and the force of the wicked shall be turned backward, and you shall not suddenly fall. The late sundry overturnings in this nation may be examples to you, that you follow not the steps of those that God has cast out, lest you come to the same end of confusion and misery. For, as concerning that assembly of men, who last sat on the throne, something was done by them in their day and time, and in both their assemblies, in some things they served my Lord, and they were a rod in his hand to smite his enemies; yet they were not faithful to the end, till all his enemies were destroyed, but rather joined themselves to fight against the Lord and his people, and were hastening on towards the way of oppression and persecution; and so was time for the Lord to remove them, and to lay them aside as an empty vessel, sometime useful; and to break them as a rod, sometime of service to be a scourge upon his enemies. When the day of their trial was over, which God gave unto them, being any longer, (at present), unfit instruments for his hand, then he cast them into the fire; and this his purpose came to pass upon them; so that they and the whole nation may be contented, and yield themselves subject to what he has done concerning them; for they being entering into the very same spirit of wickedness, of oppression and persecution, which the Lord had once reproved through them, and cast out by them; then was a rod raised up against them, even as they had been against others, and they were dealt with as they had done to others; and this was in the justice of my Lord's hand; and what has mortal man to question his proceedings? And though some of you, (present rulers), be looked upon as great traitors and tyrants in your dealing towards them; and doubtless the men of that part will seek vengeance against you, even by preaching and praying; and they will curse you in the name of their God, and seek continually your destruction, as such as have taken away part of their strength, and cast down their idol; but alas! all this is nothing; for the Lord does not account as men; for these things must thus come to pass, for the furtherance of the kingdom and government of Jesus Christ, that it may arise through all; and if you were but faithful to what the Lord requires of you, in your proceedings, what you have done unto them should not be reckoned on account against you, neither by God, nor good men. But if you of the army are always treacherous and disobedient towards him, and abuse your power, and disregard your price that God has given you, and trifle away your hour about places of honor, and such self-seeking matters, and the cause of God is neglected by you, and his people continued oppressed sufferers under you, as they have long been; even then shall you be cast aside with shameful disgrace, and the heavy hand of the Lord shall be upon you in judgment, and you shall he smitten more than any before you; your estates shall not be spared from the spoiler, nor your souls from the pit, nor your persons from the violence of men, no, nor your necks from the axe. For if you are unfaithful, and continually treacherous to the cause of God, then shall you be left to the will of your enemies, and they shall charge treachery and treason upon you, and your persons and estates shall be given for a prey to your enemies; and you shall not deliver yourselves, neither will the Lord deliver you from the execution of merciless men; for my Lord shall leave the cruel hearted to plead with you. So not the cause of God to fall, nor the cause of his enemies prosper before.

Therefore, that you may be warned, I advise you to be faithful; let it be so with you for there is no other way whereby you can be preserved, nor no other defense shall you ever find from the wrath of the Lord, and from the fury of your devouring enemies, than your faithfulness in God's cause; and therefore relieve the oppressed, and take off all oppressions, break down all unjust laws, and set all people free from unjust burdens, and let all oppression cease, both in church and civil state; and even all oppressive laws, and unjust judges, and evil men in power, let all these be removed, and the nation clean quitted and discharged, even from all men and laws whatsoever, that have held under oppression the persons, estates, and consciences of the good people of this land; and let the nation be corrected, and all orders and places of men, and laws and decrees be purified; for this my Lord, the great King, requires, and he will suddenly have it brought to pass in the nation, if not by you, then contrary to you, and to your utter destruction. This is the very substance of my message to you, that my Master has given me to say unto you; and on his behalf I am come to claim of you my Master's long lost right: let him have his right, from which he has long been banished. I demand it of you, all you whosoever, who seem to bear rule in the nation. I charge you in his name let him have his title and prerogative; let him be Lord and King wholly in his own kingdom; let him have the exercise of his people's consciences by his own Spirit in all things relating to his worship and service; and let him have the full authority by his Spirit in all things pertaining to church and ministry, and faith, and religion. Let his Spirit have the alone authority to persuade and dissuade people from, or to, such or such ministry, worship, and practices of religion. Let all forced maintenance to ministers, and tithes, be speedily taken away. Let all laws and decrees whatsoever, made and practiced in the days of antichrist, upon the bodies, estates, and consciences of the people, in oppression and unjustness about church, and worship, and religion, be utterly repealed, and made void, and never more be in force in this nation. Instead let my Lord be sole ruler and governor, and have the full authority in his own kingdom, in all things whatsoever pertaining thereto. Let no man henceforth hereafter be entrusted with the liberties of the members of Christ's kingdom, as they are such, nor to judge over them in any matters of faith and worship, but those that give that right and privilege wholly unto the Spirit of Jesus Christ; for unto him only it pertains to the whole judge, and to have full power in his own kingdom; and until you give him the right, and deliver up unto him his own kingdom, and be exercise of people's consciences in all things about religion, you shall never prosper, nor none that come after you, that shall in any measure abridge my Master of his proper right, from which he has long been vanished, as I have said; and till his right is given him, in the case before said, he will dash one man against another, and none shall ever be established; but horn after horn shall be broken, and one power after another brought into confusion.

And, therefore, you men, do not strive with him in this matter, but yield unto him the exercise of your own consciences by his Spirit in you, and let him do so unto all others, even as you hope to prosper, and upon the penalty of his sore displeasure upon you in this world, and in the world to come; and let just men, and righteous men, and meek men, and men that have the fear and wisdom of God in them, without acceptation of birth, or otherwise; let such men have the power and judgment committed to them, to determine in things between man and man. Down with all the false-hearted flatterers, that have ruled for man and not for God, and for themselves, and not for the good of the people; cast all such out from you; for the good among you is choked by them; down with all who judge for rewards; and away with all hireling rulers, who execute the law for money, and will not plead the cause of the poor without great fees; and down with all who will not serve places of trust without so large stipends; away with all these things out of the land, for they are heinous oppressions unto men, and great abominations in the sight of God; and the land has long groaned under the weight and burden of these things, and the earth is weary of them, and my Lord requires their utter dissolution, as being iniquities fully ripe, and having the guilt of so much cruelty, injustice, and oppression lying upon the nation because hereof. Therefore is the Lord's season to destroy them, and remove them out of the land; which if you are the instruments in such a work, it will be your greatest crown, and your perpetual honor. For the Lord's purpose is one way or other to cleanse the land of all these and other oppressions whatsoever, that the people of this land may be a free people from all the heavy yokes of antichrist, which have long sorely pressed them down; and the purpose of the Lord is to break the yokes of oppression and tyranny from off the necks of this people; and therefore it is that he overturns, yes, and will overturn, all men and authorities that shall oppose his work, and none shall be able to stand before him; for the presence of my Lord is more dreadful to a nation, when he shows himself in wrath, than any multitude of armed men; and woe is unto you, if you are found opposing him; and if you seek to stop his work, you shall not cumber the earth very long, nor oppress the nations many days. Therefore consider, cursed you will be, if you are unfaithful in what you have to do on the Lord's behalf; for your hour passes over, that is allotted you; and will be suddenly expired, never to be recalled, and then you cannot work.

Whereas there is a great cry about ministry, for sending forth and maintaining, and encouraging a godly ministry, as you say: 'Now to this I do answer on my Lord's behalf, and I must tell you plainly; as for a true godly ministry, truly called and sent of God, such a ministry, and such ministers you can never be able to hinder; but the Lord will send them out, maintaining them and preserving them, whether you will or not; and while you are troubling yourselves about such a matter, you are only meddling with things above your line, and out of your jurisdiction, while you act in such a case. For it belongs to his government to send out ministers, whom, and as he will, and to maintain them and defend them according to his own pleasure, and all this without you. Such ministers, truly called thereunto, and sent of the Lord, will not seek to you to be sent forth, or maintained by you; they will not be beholden to you in such a case; but even without you, and contrary to you, must they be sent out and maintained; so that the Lord will have a ministry in this nation purely of his own, and not of man, nor by man, and such a ministry you shall not be able to hinder.

I must tell you plainly, as for these men called ministers, in this nation, the way of their setting up, and sending forth, and the way of their maintenance, and the way of their standing and defense, and in every particular of their being such, they are the greatest and most woeful oppression in the nation; even the most abominable and unjust cruelties and tyrannies are acted through them, as any other thing in the nation; and they are, (as such before said), the woeful cause of the nation's groaning under merciless dealing; and there is upon their account, the guilt of blood, injustice, and oppression lying upon this nation; their iniquities, their iniquities, cry for vengeance upon their own heads; for they are full, they are full, and the measure thereof is near finished, and God's eternal vengeance is their next reward from the eternal God. What shall I say of them, but this: The earth is oppressed by them, the inhabitants groan under them, and the righteous God is vexed through them, and they are the very men of high indignation and fierce wrath, and all their practices, (as such), are the fuel of his anger, to be consumed by the fire of his jealousy; the nation is weary, and its inhabitants, and the Lord is weary, because of these men; and is this the ministry cried up by you as godly and pious? Are these the men who the nation must be forced to maintain in their pride and idolatry? Is this the ministry that must be encouraged? Well, if these are the men, and this the ministry which must be established and encouraged by you, in so doing you shall never prosper, but thereby gain the displeasure of the Almighty unto you, to bring a curse upon all your doings, even because hereof; for I must tell you, the hand of my Lord is against them; and whosoever shall seek to defend them, shall not prosper in their doings, because their oppressions, cruelties, deceits, and abominations, are nearly finished and fulfilled. Therefore take heed unto yourselves, for this is my Master's advice to you: let this ministry alone, and join not yourselves to Baal, lest you perish, neither take part with antichrist any longer, neither be fighters against the Lamb and his kingdom; but free the nation, and let all its inhabitants be freed, from the cruel tasks and yokes of such men, and such a ministry as before said; uphold it not against the Lord, for if you do, you shall never be established, and this is from the mouth of my Lord god to you.

And, last of all, my Master has a people in this nation, even a suffering people, that have borne the burden of the cruelty and injustice, and. wickedness, both of rulers and teachers, who have, as it were,:trodden them down, and made them a very prey to their devouring mouths. The very cry of their sufferings has reached unto heaven, and the very sound thereof your ears have heard; and this people are greatly beloved, and my Lord will assuredly honor them, and his hand shall be continued to preserve them and defend them against all their enemies whatsoever; and he reserves them to himself, and for a glorious work that he has to do by them; and he has formed them for himself, and they cannot join with any of the horns of the great beast, neither can a place of honor pervert them from their perfect way; but my Lord, he compasses them about on every side, and has kept them in the midst of trials, reproaches, and sufferings, and covered them in the heat, and in the storm, till his pleasure is to make further use of them. They are his, and not their own; and they must fulfill his will, and none besides; and they lie at rest in him, while mountains are overturned, and while one potsherd of the earth breaks another; and this must be even till the appointed time. To say no more of them, though much more might be said, they are had in remembrance before the Lord, to do with them even for his own glory, and for this nation's perpetual good; and to the authority of the Most High, through them, shall kings of the earth and nations of the world bow and tremble. Therefore, you men, touch them not, neither do you afflict them, even as you hope to prosper; remember their cause, and do not allow it always to be rejected, as it has long been; but keep yourselves free from the injustice and cruelty of those who have gone before you, who have been merciless, and oppressors of that people, even till my Lord has confounded them, and brought them into confusion. For there is the weight of blood, tyranny and oppression, lying upon the nation in that people's cause, and my Lord will revenge them in his season; and though they are not weary of their sufferings, but are in the patience which bears all things, yet the nation can never be happy, nor its government ever blessed, while this people are held in bondage; and their sufferings are deeply considered of the Lord, and the season thereof is expiring towards an end; and when this comes to pass, then woe unto the kingdom of antichrist, and to the whore and false prophet, even when their strength is dried up, by which they have made war against the Lamb and his followers; yes, woe unto them; great fearfulness shall be upon all world when the king of that people reigns upon the earth, and he is at hand. Blessed is the man who waits for it, and blessed is he who is not offended in his coming, but is prepared to receive him in his appearing which suddenly comes upon all the world.

Thus I have told the Lord's present message unto you, which received from him, and thus far I am clear; and whether you accept it, or reject it, my peace and reward is forever with him, a subject of whose kingdom I am, and a friend to this nation, however I am judged by ignorant men.

Edward Burrough

The Ninth month, 1659

How strongly the prophecy addresses what came in the future: Your estates shall not be spared from the spoiler, nor your necks from the axe; your enemies shall charge treason upon you, and if you seek to stop the Lord's work, you shall not cumber the earth very long. Monk was about preparing to move into England with the army from Scotland, and then came the Restoration, with its train of imprisonments, banishments, confiscations, and death.


In the Ninth month, 1659, after writing the address to the rulers given in our last chapter, Edward Burrough had left London. In the same month we find him at East Hamstead, in Berkshire, at a public dispute, which was held on the challenge of the priest, Christopher Fowler, and some of his clerical brethren. Two positions affirmed that day by the priest, were that The Scriptures are the glorious everlasting foundation of foundations; and also, that A man may at one and the same time, be a minister of Christ and a deceiver. Little good appears to have resulted from this meeting, for Fowler hastily withdrew, and Edward unavailingly sought to have another opportunity with him. On the 26th of the Ninth Month, soon after Edward had passed out of that neighborhood, Christopher Fowler drew up a paper against the people called Quakers, consisting of ten particulars. He said he was able to sustain these charges against them; and was willing to let them choose their own time for a public debate, and it might be as soon as they pleased. Edward Burrough received a copy of Fowler's paper, and sent him word that on Fourth-day, the 21st of the Tenth Month, he would meet with him at Reading.

Fowler perhaps did not desire to debate with Edward, at least he declined meeting him at the time and place designated, although in the challenge he had left this to be fixed by the Quakers. He said Reading was not a suitable place, proposed Oakingham in the same county, and suggested another time. Edward came to Reading two days before the time he had appointed for the dispute, and there he received the priest's reply. He had appointed meetings at several places, and he found that he could not be at Oakingham at the time designated. He also considered Reading, the town where Fowler preached, as the most suitable place for the dispute. Accordingly he wrote to Fowler, letting him know that he was at Reading, ready to dispute with him, but could not be at Oakingham at the time he designated. Fowler in reply, said, he would not meet him at Reading, for there was no need of dispute there. Edward finding that the public dispute would fall through, answered the charges in print.

Thomas Curtis was with Edward in his travels through Hertfordshire, and perhaps James Naylor. They passed northward into Buckinghamshire, and in the Tenth Month held a meeting at a place called "The Grove," about a mile from the house of Isaac Penington. This meeting was remarkable as that at which Thomas Ellwood was convinced of the truth of Quakerism. The whole ministerial service of the meeting fell upon Edward. Thomas says the ministry not only convinced his understanding, but warmed his heart with a beat, which until then he had never felt under the ministry of any man.

When the meeting was over the three friends went to the house of Isaac Penington, where Thomas Ellwood, with his father and sisters, were on a visit. In conversation with Edward, Thomas's father advanced the Calvinistic doctrine of personal predestination, in opposition to the universal free grace of Christ Jesus, but he soon found himself at a loss for argument to sustain his position. Edward said little in reply to him, but James Naylor took up the subject, and as Thomas says, " handled it with so much perspicuity and clear demonstration, that his reasoning seemed irresistible; and so I suppose my father found it, which made him willing to drop the discourse. As for Edward Burrough, he was a brisk young man, of a ready tongue."

The next morning we prepared to return home, that is, my father, my youngest sister, and myself; when having taken leave of our friends, we went forth; they with Edward Burrough accompanying us to the gate, he there directed his speech in a few words to each of us severally, according to the sense he had of our several conditions. And when we had left, and they gone in again, they asked him what he thought of us? He answered them, as they afterwards told me, to this effect: 'As for the old man, he is settled on his lees; and the young woman is light and airy; but the young man is reached, and may do well if be does not lose it.' Surely what he said to me, or rather that spirit in which he spoke it, took such fast hold on me, that I felt sadness and trouble come over me, though I did not distinctly understand what I was troubled for."

A few weeks after this interview, Thomas Ellwood going with Isaac Penington to a meeting at Wiccomb, again met with Edward Burrough, who had come there from Oxford. It was a Monthly Meeting, consisting of Friends chiefly, who gathered to it from several parts of the country thereabouts; so that it was pretty large." Thomas Ellwood says, "A very good meeting was this in itself and to me. Edward Burrough's ministry came forth among us in life and power, and the assembly was covered therewith. I also, according to my small capacity, had a share in it. For I felt some of that Divine power working my spirit into a great tenderness, and not only confirming me in the course I had already entered, and strengthening me to go on therein; but also rending the veil somewhat further, and clearing my understanding on some other things which I had not seen before.

Edward Burrough going home with Isaac Penington, he invited me to go back with him, which I willingly consented to. For the love I had more particularly to Edward Burrough, through whose ministry I had received the first awakening stroke, 'drew me to desire his company, and so away we rode together. But I was somewhat disappointed of my expectation; for I hoped he would have given me both opportunity and encouragement to have opened myself to him, and to have poured forth my complaints, fears, doubts and questionings into his bosom. But he, being sensible that I was truly reached and that the witness of God was raised, and the work of God rightly begun in me, chose to leave me to the guidance of the good spirit in myself the Counselor that could resolve all doubts, that I might not have any dependence on man. Therefore, although he was naturally of an open and free temper and carriage, and was afterwards always very familiar and affectionately kind to me; yet at this time he kept himself somewhat reserved, and showed only common kindness to me. Next day we parted, he for London and I for home."

This was about the beginning of the Eleventh Month. In that same month, Edward wrote a postscript to Francis Howgill's Heart of New England hardened through wickedness. This contains a sharp reproof to that hardhearted, liberty-loving, as well as liberty-restricting people. It thus concludes: "O, have you forgotten since you were sufferers yourselves? Then it was well with you,- far better than now. You are at ease in the flesh and have forgotten God, and lost that sincerity which once was in you. The very spirit of the old bishops which once persecuted you, has entered into your hearts, and now lives in you and acts in you. In the days of your prosperity you are exalted, and have forgotten the Lord, and you requite Him evil for his love." This is very descriptive of the spirit manifested about the time this letter was written, and for many previous years, by the magistrates and priests of the Massachusetts colony. Edward's feelings were keenly sensitive to the sufferings of his fellow believers, and he labored fervently in various ways to stop the persecution then raging against them in New England. On the 24th of the Eleventh Month, he wrote the following letter to Parliament [now Royalist Episcopalians]:


All these overturnings, and almost wonderful changings, were effected through the justice of the Lord's hand. You are now again at the helm of government, and on the throne; and I dare not but say it is of and by the Lord, and that He has done it contrary to the expectations of many, and what his end is in it, remains with Him. But I am sure one cause is, that you may execute part of his wrath upon that treacherous generation of hypocritical and deceitful men, — some of the army I mean. I need not say to you, how that many of them were raised up from a low estate; and, instead of serving the nation, became their lords and oppressors. They have abused the Lord's mercy to them, and exalted themselves, and became as great oppressors, and as grievous to the nation, as ever they were that went before them. Some of them took the very tithes and estates of their enemies, and followed their evil spirit also, though the Lord was long-suffering to them, and gave them a day, and put opportunity into their hands, in which they might have done good.

But they also neglected to serve God and the nation, to serve themselves; and because of the ambition and pride of some of them, the Lord allowed them to make this last interruption upon you, which was great treachery in man's account, that thereby their measure might be filled up, and that He might give you occasion against them, and allow you to be filled with indignation towards them, to break them to pieces. What you do to some of them, in casting them out, and afflicting them, you are but God's executioners therein; you are the executioners of his anger, in what you do to them; and who shall prevent you, or forbid Him to go on? For they have long enough dissembled with this nation in professing more than others and doing less, and their downfall is now. God has looked upon you to be hard-hearted and cruel enough and very fit executioners of vengeance upon such men as I have mentioned.

But now concerning you and your present state, as you are in present place and power, I have something to say to you. Though they are fallen, and you yet stand, and you have a little time after them; do not glory over their fall, neither glory as though you should stand forever; for they were not greater sinners than you are, neither are you one ounce more righteous than some of them; but you are as sure to fall, as they are fallen, with no less measure of dishonor and affliction than has come upon them; and you are in your last hour. I must say, that God expects much more from you than for the end before said, namely: to be the executioners of justice upon men as sinful as yourselves; so do not glory over those who are fallen.

But know that your time also is but short, and your fall may prove to your destruction, and theirs may prove to make them better and refine them. If God has chosen you to execute some part of his wrath upon them, for their wickedness, He will doubtless find instruments to execute his wrath upon you, else He will do it with his own hands; for He purposes not to spare you; for your sins cry as loud as other people's, and the oppressions are as great under you, as under them whom you condemn. I desire, if there is any good men among you, that such who are wise may consider and mind the hand of the Lord in and through all these things that are come to pass. For God is working as well as you, He is seeking to set up a kingdom as well as you, and his government and yours cannot stand together; and He will make you know that He is stronger, and his government of more force, and your kingdom cannot stand in place with his. Therefore, oh, that you would take heed! Oh, that you would be wise; if it were so, some of you may be spared. Be not too zealous in your way, nor too furious in your proceedings; but do to others as you intend to receive from others and from the Lord. Go not beyond your commission; for a permission at least you have had from God, even to scourge hypocrites, and to be a judgment upon that hypocritical, seeming religious generation of men before said, who have many a time as it were mocked God, and pretended love to Him with their lips, when their hearts have yearned after self-honor and the treasures of this world. I say, your present hour and permission is for this end, but not to persecute the people of the Lord, nor to destroy God's heritage; but if you shall extend your power to such a work, and if you persecute the innocent without cause, and make war against the Lamb and his followers, and make laws and execute them to the oppression of the saints of the Most High, then you go beyond your commission; for God has not called you to this, but to be instruments in another cause.

The children of Zion trust in the living God, and fear not the terror of mighty men, neither can they be afraid at the roaring of the sea, nor at the present threatening of the heathen, for God is with them. I say to you, the servant of the Lord has pondered and considered all these proceedings, and viewed the present state of things at this day, and there is no vision from God to you of peace and comfort, nor of a happy and lasting government, as you stand. If any prophet shall divine this to you, he speaks what he has not from the Lord, but the vision of his own heart, and he deceives you and himself; for you are not established upon a right foundation, neither are you acted by a right spirit, which can truly govern for God; but the spirit of wrath and fury is put into you, for the work to which you are called. I do not know how to warn you, so that you will not persecute the people of God. For why?It may be you must fill up your measure of wickedness thereby, that God may break you perpetually; yet the less will be your judgment, if you do not do it. But if you do it, the Lord will take occasion against you, to wound you, and you shall never be healed, and as you do afflict others, so and much more shall it be done to you from the Lord.

Therefore, consider what I have said; for this is the vision of the Almighty to you, that shall not go unfulfilled. What you do, you must do it quickly; for your time is short and your power will God subdue; and his kingdom and power will He speedily exalt over your heads and make you and the nations know that He is God, and that all power is with Him, and that He can do whatever He will; and it is his right alone to reign, and his children's portion to possess the kingdom with Him. Let the whole earth, and all the powers thereof, bow and tremble before Him; let not your hearts be stout and rebellious against Him, for He can grind you to powder, and sink you into confusion and misery, as a stone into the sea.

Edward Burrough

The 24th of the Eleventh Month, 1659


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