The Missing Cross to Purity

The Journal of George Fox - 1657 - 1661 - Back in England - End of Volume 1 <page 1 >

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From Newcastle we traveled, having meetings and visiting Friends, in Northumberland and Bishoprick. We had a very good meeting at lieutenant Dove's, where many were turned to the Lord and his teaching. After which I went to visit a justice of peace, a very sober, loving man, who confessed to the truth.

From there we came to Durham, where a man had come from London to set up a college to make ministers of Christ, as they said. I went with some others to reason with the man and to let him see 'that to teach men Hebrew, Greek, Latin, and the seven arts, which were all only the teachings of the natural man, was not the way to make them ministers of Christ. For the languages began at Babel; and to the Greeks, that spoke Greek as their mother tongue, the preaching of the cross of Christ was foolishness; and to the Jews, that spoke Hebrew as their mother tongue, Christ was a stumbling block. The Romans, who had the Latin, persecuted the Christians; and Pilate, one of the Roman governors, set a sign written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin atop of Christ when he crucified him. We wanted this man to see that the many languages began at Babel, and they set them atop of Christ, the word, when they crucified him. John the divine, who preached the word which was in the beginning said, "that the beast and the whore have power over tongues and languages, and they are as waters." Thus, I told him, he might see the whore and the beast have power over the tongues and the many languages, which are in mystery Babylon; for they began at Babel, and the persecutors of Christ Jesus set them over him, when he was crucified by them; but he is risen over them all, who was before them all. 'Now, (said I to this man), do you think to make ministers of Christ by these natural, confused languages which sprung from Babel, are admired in Babylon, and set atop of Christ, the life, by a persecutor? Oh, no!' The man confessed to many of these things. Then we showed him further, “that Christ made his ministers himself, gave gifts unto them, and told them "Pray to the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers."

And Peter and John, though unlearned and ignorant as to school learning, preached Christ Jesus the Word, which was in the beginning, before Babel was. Paul also was made an apostle, not of man, nor by man, neither received he the gospel from man, but from Jesus Christ; who is the same now, and so is the gospel, as it was at that day.' When he had thus discoursed with him, he became very loving and tender: and after he had considered further of it, declined to set up his college.

{When I was in Bishoprick, Anthony Pearson came to me and had a great desire that I should go with him to see Henry Vane; but I had little upon me to go at that time. He recommended him to me and said that Henry Vane had made a serious inquiry about me. When I went to Henry Draper's home, Henry Vane's chaplain approached me and began to declare to me of the righteousness of man, and the self righteousness, and the righteousness of the law. So I answered him and said that I was in the righteousness of Christ, which righteousness was before self righteousness and the righteousness of man existed. The chaplain answered, "take heed of blasphemy and presumption." I said unto him, was not Christ the end of the law for righteousness' sake, and was he not before self righteousness and man's righteousness, (or the righteousness of the law too),  and will still exist when their righteousness is gone; and Christ's righteousness fulfills the law?" Then I said, "you who calls this blasphemy and presumption don't know what you are saying."

So he asked me whether I would come to Ray Castle, and I told him I little to say about that, [being under instruction of the Lord]. But the next day, I went down there and they brought me up into the chamber with Henry Vane's wife. After awhile, he came up with one of the New England magistrates, asked if I was George Fox. I was suprised at how young he was.

I was moved of the Lord to speak to him of the true light which enlightens every man that comes into the world withal, and that Christ said believe in the light that you may become children of the light; and how Christ had promised the holy ghost and the spirit of truth, which should lead them into all truth, which we witnessed; and how the grace of God, which brought salvation, had appeared unto all men and was the saints' teacher in the apostles' days and also now.

He then said he had experience about all that I had said. So I said, "how did this come about, if you don't believe in the light as Christ commands; and how can you come into truth, if you have not been led by the Spirit of Truth, which led the disciples into all truth, which Christ promised to send to them; and how could you know salvation if it is not by the grace of God which brings it and which taught the saints? And therefore, what is your experience of and in? So he began to tell me how the word became flesh and dwelled among them. 'Yes,' I said, 'that is true among the disciples, but he was now revealed by the light and spirit, so you have climbed up another way than by the door, and you have known something formerly; but now there is a mountain of earth and imaginations up in you, and from that rises a smoke that has darkened your brain, and you are not the man you were formerly." I declared to him that the promise of God was to the seed, and this they might know within themselves; that the word had become flesh, but not corrupt flesh for Christ took not upon himself the nature of angels, but the seed of Abraham. So he [Vane] might know that seed in himself that Christ takes upon him, for who are of faith, are of Abraham, and come to be flesh of Christ's flesh, and bone of his bone.

Then he said that I had said the seed was God, and because he stated that accusation, the New England magistrate with him affirmed it also. But I said that I did not say so, but I has said that Christ took upon himself, not the nature of Angels, but of the seed. He remembered my words and confessed his mistake, but he grew into a great fret and a passion, so that there was no room for the truth in his heart. I was moved by the Lord to set the seed, Christ Jesus, over his head, and how that the seed, which the promise was to, was not to many, but to those who could feel it in their own particular [self].

And so I went away, and he said to some friends afterwards that if Anthony Pearson and some others had not been with me, he would have put me out of his house as a mad man. So Friends that were with me thought it was strange to see his darkness and impatience, but the Lord's power came over all.

I saw this man was vain, high, proud, and conceited; and that the Lord would blast him, and was against him, and he grieved the righteous life. He remained very high until the King came in, and afterwards he was beheaded; but he could hardly tolerate Friends unless they would take off their hats to him.}

From Durham we went to Anthony Pearson's, from there into Cleveland, and passed through Yorkshire to the further end of Holderness, and had mighty meetings, the Lord's power accompanying us.

After we passed from Anthony Pearson's, we went by Hull and Pomfret to George Watkinson's, and visited most of the meetings in these parts, until we came to Scalehouse, and so to Swarthmore; the everlasting power and arm of God carrying us through and preserving us. After I had visited Friends there, I passed into Yorkshire and Cheshire, and so through other countries into Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire; and glorious meetings we had, the Lord's presence being with us.

At Nottingham I sent to Rice Jones, asking him 'to inform his people that I had something to say to them from the Lord. ' He came and told me, ‘Many of them lived in the country, and he did not know how to contact them.' I told him, ‘he might inform those around the town of it and send word to as many in the country as he could.' The next day we met at the castle, there being about fourscore people, to whom I declared the truth for about the space of two hours; and the Lord's power was over them all, so that they had no power to open their mouths in opposition. When I had done, one of them asked me a question, which I was loath to have answered; for I saw it might lead into jangling (doctrinal arguing), and was unwilling to go into arguing, for some of the people there were tender; yet I could not well tell how to escape it. So I answered the question, and I was moved to speak to Rice Jones, and say to him, 'that he had been the man who had scattered such as had been tender; and some that had been convinced and had been led out of the vanities of the world, which he had formerly judged; but now he judged the power of God in them, and they being simple turned to him; so he and they were turned to be vainer than the world; for many of his followers had become the greatest football players and wrestlers in the whole country. I told them it was the serpent in him that had scattered and done hurt to such as were tender towards the Lord. Nevertheless, if he waited in the fear of God for the seed of the woman, Christ Jesus, to bruise the serpent's head in him, that had scattered and done the hurt; he might come to gather them again by this heavenly seed; though it would be a hard work for him, to gather them again out of those vanities he had led them into.' At this Rice Jones said, 'You lie, it is not the seed of the woman that bruises the serpent's head.'  'No!' I said, ‘what is it then?’ ‘I say, it is the law,' said he. 'But,' I said, 'the scripture, speaking of the seed of the woman, said, "It shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel;" now, does the law have a heel,' I said, 'to be bruised?' Then Rice Jones and all his company were stopped; and I was moved in the power of the Lord to say, 'This seed, Christ Jesus, the seed of the woman, which should bruise the serpent's head, shall bruise your head, and break you all in pieces.' Thus I left on the heads of them the seed, Christ; and not long after he and his company scattered to pieces; several of whom came to be Friends, and stand to this day. Many of them had been convinced about eight years before, but had been led aside by this Rice Jones; for they denied the inward cross, the power of God, and so went into vanity. It was about eight years, since I had been formerly among them; in which time I was to pass over them, and by them, seeing they had slighted the Lord's truth and power, and the visitation of his love unto them. But now was the time that I was moved to go to them again, and it was of great service; for many of them were brought to the Lord Jesus Christ, and were settled upon him, sitting down under his teaching and feeding, where they were kept fresh and green; and the others that would not be gathered to him soon after withered. This was that Rice Jones, who had some years before said, 'I was then at the highest, and should fall;' but, the poor man gave the little thought how near his own fall was.

We left Nottingham, and went into Warwickshire, Northamptonshire, and Leicestershire, visiting Friends, and having meetings as we traveled. We came into Bedfordshire, where we had large gatherings in the name of Jesus. After some time we came to John Crook's, where a general Yearly Meeting for the whole nation was appointed to be held. This meeting lasted three days, and many Friends from most parts of the nation came to it; so that the inns and towns around the area were filled, for many thousands of people were at it. And although there was some disturbance by some rude people that had run out from truth; yet the Lord's power came over all, and it was a glorious meeting. The everlasting gospel was preached, and many received it, (for many sorts of professors came to the meeting), which gospel brought life and immortality to light in them, and shined over all.

I was moved by the power and spirit of the Lord to open unto them the 'promise of God, that it was made to the seed, not to seeds, as many, but to one; which seed was Christ: and that all people, both male and female, should feel this seed in them, which was heir of the promise; that so they might all witness Christ in them, the hope of glory, the mystery which had been hidden from ages and generations, which was revealed to the apostles, and is revealed again now, after the long night of apostasy. So that all might come up into this seed, Christ Jesus, walk in it, and sit down together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, who was the foundation of the prophets and apostles, the rock of ages, and is our foundation now. All sitting down in him, sit down in the substance, the first and the last, that changes not, the seed that bruises the serpent's head, which was before he was, who ends all the types, figures, and shadows, and is the substance of them all; in whom there is no shadow.' Now, these things were upon me to open unto all, that they might mind and see what it is they sit down in.

First, they that sit down in Adam in the fall, sit down in misery, in death, in darkness and corruption.

Secondly, they that sit down in the types, figures, and shadows, and under the first priesthood, law, and covenant, sit down in what must have an end, and which made nothing perfect.

Thirdly, they that sit down in the apostasy, that has got up since the apostles' days, sit down in spiritual Sodom and Egypt; and are drinking of the whore's cup, under the beast and dragon's power.

Fourthly, they that sit down in the state in which Adam was before he fell, sit down in what may be fallen from; for he fell from that state, though it was perfect.

Fifthly, they that sit down in the prophets, sit down in what must be fulfilled; and they that sit down in the fellowship of water, bread, and wine, these being temporal things, they sit down in what is short of Christ, and of his baptism.

Sixthly, to sit down in a profession of all the scriptures, from Genesis to the Revelation, and not be in the power and spirit which those were in that gave them forth; that was to be turned away from, by them that came into the power and spirit which those were in that gave forth the scriptures.

Seventhly, they that sit down in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, sit down in him that never fell, nor ever changed. Here is the safe sitting for all his elect, his church, his spiritual members, of which he is the living head, his living stones, the household of faith; of which house he is the cornerstone that stands and abides all weathers. "For," as the apostle said, "he has quickened us, who were dead in sins and trespasses, etc. and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus; that in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace, in his kindness towards us, through Jesus Christ." Now the ages are come, that his kindness and exceeding riches towards us through Jesus Christ is truly manifested in us, as it was in the apostles' days; even in us, who have been dead in sins and trespasses, as they were; but now are quickened, and made to sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, the first and the last, by whom all things were created; who is ascended above all, and is over all, and whose glorious presence is now known. All who sit down here, in Christ Jesus, see where all other people sit, and in what. The promise of God being to the seed, which is one, Christ Jesus; every man and woman must come to witness this seed, Christ in them, so that they may be heirs of the promise; and inheriting that, they will inherit substance. These things were largely declared of; the state of the church, and the state of the false church since the apostles' days, opened; and how the true church fled into the wilderness: and the state of the false prophets, which Christ said should come, and John saw were come, and how all the world wandered after them; and how they had filled the world with false doctrines, ways, worships, and religions: and how the everlasting gospel is now preached again to all nations, kindreds, tongues and people; for all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people had drunk the whore's cup, and she was over them, and sat upon them. In this night of apostasy the pure religion and worship in spirit, which was in the apostles' days, the way of life and living faith, and the power and holy ghost were lost; but now they came to be set up again by Christ Jesus, his messengers and ministers of the gospel, as in the apostles' days. For as Christ sent his disciples to go and preach the gospel into all the world, and after that, the false prophets and antichrists went over the world, and preached their false doctrines and traditions, and heathenish and Jewish rudiments, so now again the everlasting gospel must be preached to all nations, and to every creature, that they may come into the pure religion, to worship God in the spirit and truth, and may know Christ Jesus, their way to God, and him to be the author of their faith, and may receive the gospel from heaven, and not from men; in which gospel, received from heaven, is the heavenly fellowship, which is a mystery to all the fellowships in the world.

After these things had been largely opened, with many others concerning Christ Jesus and his kingdom, and the people were turned to the divine light of Christ and his spirit, by which they might come to know God and Christ, and the scriptures, and to have fellowship with them, and one with another in the same spirit, I was moved to declare and open several other things to those Friends who had received a part of the ministry, concerning the exercise of their spiritual gifts in the church; which, being taken in writing by one present, was after this manner.


Take heed of destroying what you have begotten: for what destroys, goes out, and is the castaway. And though that be true, yes, and may be the pure truth which such a one speaks, yet if he does not remain in that, and live in that in his own particular, but goes out, the same which he is gone out from comes over him. So what calms and cools the spirits, goes over the world, and brings to the Father, to inherit the life eternal; and reaches to the spirits in prison in all. Therefore in the living, immoveable word of the Lord God dwell, and in the renown of that; and remain on the foundation that is pure, and that is sure; for whoever goes out from the pure, and ministers not in and from that, he comes to an end, and does not remain; though he may have had a time, and may have been serviceable for a time, while he lived in the thing.
And take heed of many words; what reaches to the life settles in the life. That which comes from the life, and is received from God, reaches to the life, and settles others in the life; the work is not now as it was at first; the work is now to settle and stay in the life. For as Friends have been led to minister in the power, and the power has gone through, so that there has grown an understanding among both people of the world and Friends, so Friends must be kept in the life which is pure, that with that they may answer the pure life of God in others. For if Friends do not live in the pure life which they speak of, to answer the life in those they speak to, the other part steps in; and so there comes up an outward acquaintance, and he lets that come over him. But as everyone is kept living in the life of God, over all what is contrary, they are in their places; then they do not lay hands on any suddenly, which is the danger now; for if anyone does, he may lose his discerning, may lay hands on the wrong part, so let the deceit come too near him; and the deceit will steal over, so that it will be a hard thing for him to get it down. There is no one who strikes his fellow servants, but first he is gone from the pure in his own particular; for when he goes from the light he is enlightened with, then he strikes; and then he has his reward; the light, which he is gone from, Christ, comes and gives him his reward. This is the state of the evil servants. The boisterous, the hasty and rash, beget nothing to God; but the life, which does reach the life, is what begets to God. When all are settled in the life they are in that which remains for ever; and what is received there, is received from the Lord; and what one receives from the Lord, he keeps; so he sits still, cool, and quiet in his own spirit, and gives it forth as he is moved; but to the harlots, there is judgment.

So Friends, This is the word of the Lord to you all, be watchful and careful in all meetings you come into; for where Friends are sitting together in silence, they are many times gathered into their own measures. Now when a man is come newly out of the world, from ministering to the world's people, he comes out of the dirt; and then had need take heed that he be not rash. For when he comes into a silent meeting, that is another state; then he must come, and feel his own spirit, how it is when he comes to them that sit silent. If he is rash, they will judge him; that having been in the world, and among the world, the heat is not yet off him. For he may come in the heat of his spirit out of the world; whereas the others are still and cool; and his condition in that, not being agreeable to theirs, he may rather do them hurt, by taking them out of the cool state into the heated state; if he is not in what commands his own spirit, and gives him to know it.

There is great danger too in traveling abroad in the world. The same power, that moves any to go forth, is what must keep them. For it is the greatest danger to go abroad, except a man be moved of the Lord, and go in the power of the Lord; for then, he keeping in the power, is kept by it in his journey, and in his work; and it will enable him to answer the transgressed, and keep above the transgressor. Every one feeling the danger to his own particular in traveling abroad, there the pure fear of the Lord will be placed and kept in. Though they that travel may have openings when they are abroad, to minister to others; yet, for their own particular growth, they must dwell in the life which does open; and that will keep down what would boast. For the minister comes into the death, to what is in the death and in prison: and so returns up again into the life, into the power, and into the wisdom, to preserve him clean.

This is the word of the Lord God to you all; feel that you stand in the presence of the Lord; for every man's word shall be his burden; but the word of the Lord is pure, and answers the pure in everyone. The word of the Lord is what was in the beginning, and brings to the beginning. It is a hammer to beat down the transgressor, (not the transgressed), and as a fire to burn up what is contrary to it. So Friends, come into what is over all the spirits of the world, fathoms all the spirits of the world, and stands in the patience; with that you may see where others stand, and reach what is of God in every one. Here is no strife, no contention, out of transgression: for he that goes into the strife, and into the contention, he is from the pure spirit. For where any goes into contention, if anything has been planted by him before, the contentious nature gets over it, spoiling what was planted, and quenching his own prophesying. So if the nature in man which tends to strife is not subjected by the power of God to begin with, strife will arise resulting in a dangerous condition.

If anyone has a moving of the spirit to go any place, having spoken what they were moved of the Lord to say, let them return to their habitation again, and live in the pure life of God, and in the fear of the Lord; so will you be kept in the life, in the solid and seasoned spirit, and preach as well in life as with words, for none must be light or wild. For the seed of God is weighty, brings to be solid, and leads into the wisdom of God, by which the wisdom of the creation is known. But if that part is up which runs into the imaginations, and that part is standing in which the imaginations come up, and the pure spirit is not thoroughly come up to rule and reign, then that will run out that will glory, boast, and expire; and so will such a one spoil what opened to him; and this is for condemnation. Let everyone mind what feels through and commands his spirit, whereby everyone may know what spirit he is of; for he should first try his own spirit, and then he may try others; he should first know his own spirit, and then he may know others. Therefore what does command all these spirits, where the heats and burnings come in and get up, in that wait which chains them down and cools: that is the elect, the heir of the promise of God. For no hasty, rash, brittle spirits, (though they have prophecies), have held out, and gone through, they not being subjected in the prophecy. The earthly will not abide, for it is brittle; and in that state the ministry was another's, not the son's; for the son has life in himself, and the son has the power, which man being obedient to, he may be serviceable; but if he go from the pure power, he falls and abuses it. Therefore let your faith stand in the pure power of the Lord God, and do not abuse it; but let that search through, and work through; and let every one stand in the power of the Lord God, which reaches the seed of God; which is the heir of the promise of life without end. And let none be hasty to speak; for you have time enough, and with an eye you may reach the witness; neither let any be backward when you are moved; for that brings destruction. Truth has an honor in the hearts of people who are not Friends; so that all Friends being kept in the truth, they are kept in the honor, they are honorable, for that will honor them; but if any lose the power, lose the life, they lose their crown, they lose their honor, they lose the cross which should crucify them, and they crucify the just; and by losing the power, the lamb comes to be slain. And as it is here, so will it be in other nations; for all Friends, here and there, are as one family: the seed, the plants, they are as a family. All being kept in what subjects all, and keeps all under, to wit, the seed itself, the life itself, that is the heir of the promise; and that is the bond of peace: for there is the unity in the spirit with God and with one another. He that is kept in the life hears God, and sees man's condition; and with that he answers the life in others that hear God also; thus one Friend that comes into that comprehends the world. But what Friends speak, they must live in; so may they expect that others may come into what they speak, to live in the same.  
For the power of the Lord God has been abused by some, and the worth of truth has not been minded. There has been a trampling on, and marring with the feet, and that abuses the power. But now every Friend is to keep in the power, and to take heed to it; for that must be kept down which would trample and mar with the feet, and the pure life and power of God is to be lived in over that; that none with the feet might foul or mar, but everyone may be kept in the pure power and life of the Lord. Then the water of life comes in; then he that ministers drinks himself, and gives others to drink.

Now when any shall be moved to go to speak in a steeple house or market, turn in to what moves, and be obedient to it; that what would not go may be kept down; for that which does not want go will plead to get control. And take heed on the other hand, that the embellishing part does not get up, for it is a bad savor; therefore that must be kept down and kept subject. So wait in the light of the Lord that you may be all kept in the wisdom of God. For when the seed is up in every particular, there is no danger; but when there is an opening and prophecy, and the power stirs before the seed comes up, there is something that will be apt to run out rashly; there is the danger, and there you must be patient in the fear. For it is a weighty thing to be in the work of the ministry of the Lord God, and to go forth in that. It is not as a customary preaching; it is to bring people to the end of all outward preaching. For when you have declared the truth to the people and they have received it, and are come into what you spoke of; the uttering of many words and long declarations out of the life, may beget them into a form. And if any should run on rashly into words again, without the savor of life, those that are come into the thing he spoke of will judge him; whereby he may hurt again what he had raised up before. So Friends, you must all come into the thing that is spoken in the openings of the heavenly life among you, and walk in the love of God that you may answer the thing spoken to.

And take heed all of running into inordinate affections; for when people come to own you, then there is a danger of the wrong part getting up. There was strife among the disciples of Christ, who should be the greatest? Christ told them, "The heathen exercise lordship, and have dominion over one another; but it shall not be so among you." For Christ the seed was to come up in everyone of them; so then where is the greatest? That part in the disciples, which wanted to be the greatest, was the same that was in the Gentiles. But who comes to live in the word that sanctified him, (having the heart sanctified, the tongue and lips sanctified), living in the word of wisdom, that makes clean the heart, and reconciles to God, all things being upheld by the word and power; as there is an abiding in the word of God that upholds times and seasons, and gives all things increase, here dwelling in the word of wisdom, if there be but two or three agreed in this on earth, it shall be done for them in heaven. So, in this must all things be ordered by the word of wisdom and power, that upholds all things, the times, and the seasons, that are in the Father’s hands, to the glory of God, whereby his blessing may be felt among you; and this brings to the beginning. This is the word of the Lord God to you all: keep down, keep low, that nothing may rule or reign in you, but life itself.

Now the power being lived in, the cross is lived in; and wherever Friends come in this, they draw the power and the life over; they leave a witness behind them, answering the witness of God in others. And where this is lived in, there is no want of wisdom, no want of power, no want of knowledge; but he that ministers in this, sees, with the eye which the Lord opens in him, what is for the fire, and what is for the sword, what must be fed with judgment, and what must be nourished. This brings all down, and to be low, everyone keeping to the power; for if a man gets up ever so high, he must come down again to the power where he left; what he went from, he must come down again to that. So now before all these wicked spirits can be put down, which are rambling abroad, Friends must have patience, and must wait in the patience, in the cool life; and he who is in patience doing the work of the Lord, is he who has the tasting and the feeling of the Lamb's power and authority. Therefore all Friends, keep cool and quiet in the power of the Lord God; and all that is contrary will be subjected; so that the Lamb has the victory, in the seed, through the patience.

If any have been moved to speak, and have quenched what moved them, let none such go forth afterwards into words until they feel the power to arise and move them to go there again; for after the first motion is quenched, the other part will be apt to get up; and if any go forth in that, he goes forth in his own, and the betrayer will come into that. And all Friends, be careful not to meddle with the powers of the earth; but keep out of all such things; and as you keep in the Lamb's authority, you will answer that of God in them, and bring them to do justice, which is the end of the law. Keep out of all arguing; for all that are in the transgression are out from the law of love; but all that are in the law of love come to the Lamb's power, in the Lamb's authority, who is the end of the law outward. For the law being added because of transgression, Christ, who was glorified with the Father before the world began, is the end of the law; bringing them that live in the law of life, to live over all transgression; which every particular must feel in himself.

More was then spoken to many of these particulars; which was not taken at large as delivered.

After this meeting was over and most of the Friends were gone away, as I was walking in John Crook's garden, a party of horse, with a constable, came to seize me. I heard them ask, ‘Who was in the house?' Somebody made answer, ‘I was there.' They said, ‘I was the man they looked for;' and went into the house, where they had many words with John Crook, and some few Friends that were with him. But the Lord's power so confounded them that they did not come into the garden to look for me; but went their way in a rage. When I came into the house, Friends were very glad to see them so confounded and that I had escaped them. Then next day I left there; and after I had visited Friends in several places, came to London, the Lord's power accompanying me and bearing me up in his service.

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

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

During the time I was in London, I had many services required of me; for it was a time of much suffering. I was moved to write to Oliver Cromwell, and lay before him the sufferings of Friends both in this nation and in Ireland. There was also talk about this time of making Cromwell king; whereupon I was moved to go to him, and warn him against accepting it, and of several dangers; which if he did not avoid, I told him, 'he would bring shame and ruin upon himself and his posterity.' He seemed to take well what I said to him, and thanked me; yet afterwards I was moved to write to him more fully concerning that matter.

About this time the lady Claypool, (so called), was sick, and much troubled in mind, and could receive no comfort from any that came to her; which when I heard of, I was moved to write her the following letter:


Be still and cool in your own mind and spirit from your own thoughts, and then you will feel the principle of God to turn your mind to the Lord God, from whom life comes; whereby you may receive his strength and power to allay all blusterings, storms, and tempests. That is it which works up into patience, into innocence, into soberness, into stillness, into staidness, into quietness, up to God, with his power. Therefore mind, that is the word of the Lord to you, that the authority of God you may feel, and your faith in it, to work down what troubles you. For that is it which keeps peace and brings up the witness in you, which has been transgressed, to feel after God with his power and life, who is a God of order and peace. When you are in the transgression of the life of God in your own particular, the mind flies up in the air, the creature is led into the night, nature goes out of its course, an old garment goes on, and an uppermost clothing: and your nature being led out of its course, it comes to be all on fire in the transgression, and that defaces the glory of the first body. Therefore be still awhile from your own thoughts, searching, seeking, desires, and imaginations, and be stayed in the principle of God in you, that it may raise your mind up to God, and stay it upon God, and you will find strength from him, and find him to be a God at hand, a present help in the time of trouble and of need. And you being come to the principle of God, which has been transgressed, it will keep you humble; and the humble God will teach his way, which is peace, and such he does exalt. Now as the principle of God in you has been transgressed, come to it, that it may keep your mind down low to the Lord God; to deny yourself, and from your own will, that is the earthly, from which you must be kept. Then you will feel the power of God, which will bring nature into its course, and let you see the glory of the first body. There the wisdom of God will be received, (which is Christ, by which all things were made and created), and you thereby preserved and ordered to God's glory. There you will come to receive and feel the physician of value, who clothes people in their right mind, whereby they may serve God and do his will. For all distractions, unruliness, and confusion are in the transgression; which transgression must be brought down, before the principle of God, which has been transgressed against, be lifted up; whereby the mind may be seasoned and stilled, and a right understanding of the Lord may be received; whereby his blessings enter, and are felt over all that is contrary in the power of the Lord God, which raises up the principle of God within, gives a feeling after God, and in time gives dominion. Keep in the fear of the Lord God; that is the word of the Lord to you. For all these things happen to you for your good, and for the good of those concerned for you, to make you know yourselves and your own weakness, and that you may know the Lord's strength and power, and may trust in him. Let the time past be sufficient to everyone, who in any thing has been lifted up in transgression out of the power of the Lord; for he can bring down and abase the mighty, and lay them in the dust of the earth. Therefore, all keep low in his fear, that thereby you may receive the secrets of God and his wisdom, may know the shadow of the Almighty, and sit under it in all tempests, storms, and heats. For God is a God at hand, and the Most High rules in the children of men. This is the word of the Lord God to you all: what the light does make manifest and discover, as temptations, distractions, confusions; do not look at the temptations, confusions, corruptions; but at the light which discovers them and makes them manifest; and with the same light you may feel over them, to receive power to stand against them. The same light which lets you see sin and transgression, will let you see the covenant of God, which blots out your sin and transgression, which gives victory and dominion over it, and brings into covenant with God. For looking down at sin, corruption, and distraction, you are swallowed up in it; but looking at the light, which discovers them, you will see over them. That will give victory, and you will find grace and strength; there is the first step to peace. That will bring salvation; and by it you may see to the beginning, and the "Glory that was with the Father before the world began;" and come to know the seed of God; which is the heir of the promise of God, and of the world which has no end; and which bruises the head of the serpent, who stops people from coming to God. That you may feel the power of an endless life, the power of God which is immortal, which brings the immortal soul up to the immortal God, in whom it does rejoice. So in the name and power of the Lord Jesus Christ, God Almighty strengthen you.

George Fox

When the foregoing paper was read to her, she said, 'it stayed her mind for the present.' Afterwards many Friends got copies of it, both in England and Ireland, and read it to people that were troubled in mind; and it was made useful for the settling of the minds of several.

About this time came forth a declaration from O. Cromwell, the protector, for a 'collection towards the relief of various Protestant churches, driven out of Poland, and of twenty Protestant families, driven out of the confines of Bohemia.' And there having been a like declaration published some time before to invite the nation to a day of solemn fasting and humiliation, in order for a contribution to be made for the suffering Protestants of the valleys of Lucerne, Angrona, &c. who were persecuted by the duke of Savoy; I was moved to write to the protector and chief magistrates on this occasion, both to show them the nature of a true fast, (such as God requires and accepts), and to make them sensible of their injustice and self-condemnation in blaming the Papists for persecuting the Protestants abroad, while they, calling themselves Protestants, were at the same time persecuting their Protestant neighbors and Friends at home. That which I wrote to them was after this manner:

To the heads and governors of this nation, who have put forth a declaration for keeping a day of solemn fasting and humiliation, for the persecution (as you say) of various people beyond the seas professing the reformed religion, which, you say, has been transmitted unto them from their ancestors.

A profession of the reformed religion may be transmitted from generation to generations, and so believed only by tradition; and in that where profession and tradition is held, a day of fasting and humiliation is only in the will of man. This is not the fast that the Lord requires, “to bow down the head like a bulrush for a day," and the day following be in the same condition as they were the day before. To the light of Christ Jesus in your consciences do I speak, which testifies for God every day, and witnesses against all sin and persecution; which measure of God, if you be guided by it, does not limit God to a day, but leads to the fast the Lord requires; which is "to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to break every yoke, and to let the oppressed go free."Isa 58:6-7. This is the fast that the Lord requires, and this stands not in the transmission of times, nor in the traditions of men. But this stands in what was before times were, and which leads out of time, and shall be when time shall be no more. These that teach for doctrine the commandments of men, are they that ever persecuted the life and power, when it came. And whereas you mention a decree or edict that was made against the said persecuted Protestants, all such decrees or edicts proceeded from the ground of the pope's religion and supremacy. Therein stands his tyranny and his cruelty, acted in that will which is in that nature which exercises lordship over one another, as you may read, Mark 10:42, and Luke 22:25 as all the heathen do, and ever did. And in the heathenish nature is all the tyranny and persecution exercised by them that are out of the obedience to the light of Christ Jesus in the conscience, which is the guide and leader of all, who are tender of that of God in the conscience. But who are not led by this, know not what it is to suffer for conscience sake. Now, whereas you take into your consideration the sad persecution, tyranny, and cruelty exercised upon them whom you call your Protestant brethren, and contribute and administer to their wants outwardly; this is good in its place, and we own it; and see it good to administer to the necessities of others, and to do good to all; and we, who are sufferers by a law derived from the pope, are willing to join and to contribute with you to their outward necessities. For "the earth is the Lord's, and the fullness of that;" who is good to all, gracious to all, and willing that all should be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth. But in the mean time, while you are doing this, and taking notice of others' cruelty, tyranny, and persecution, turn your eye upon yourselves, and see what you are doing at home. To the light of Christ Jesus in all your consciences I speak which cannot lie, nor err, nor bear false witness; but does bear witness for God, and cries for equality, justice, and righteousness to be executed. See what you are doing who profess the scriptures, which were given forth by the saints in the light, who dwelt in the light and in the life of them. For these who now witness the same light, the same life, and the same power which gave forth the scriptures, which you in words profess, them you persecute, them you hale out of your synagogues and markets; them you beat, stock and imprison. Let that of God in your consciences, which is just, righteous, and equal, examine and try whether you have any example or precedent to exercise this persecution, which many now in this nation suffer under, who are a people harmless and innocent, walking in obedience towards God and man. And though you account the way of truth they walk in heresy, yet therein do they exercise themselves, to have always a "conscience void of offence towards God and man;" as you may read the saints of old did, Acts 24:14-16 not wronging any man, neither giving any just cause of offence, only being obedient to the commands of the Lord, to declare as they are moved by the holy ghost: and standing for the testimony of a good conscience, speaking the truth in Christ, their consciences bearing them witness that they lie not: for this do they suffer under you, who in words profess the same thing for which they suffer. Now see if any age or generation did ever persecute as you do? For you profess Christ Jesus who reveals the Father, and persecute those who witness the revelation of the Father by Christ Jesus unto them. You profess Christ Jesus, who is the light of the world, "that enlightens every one that comes into the world;" yet persecute them that bear witness and give testimony to this light. You profess that the word is become flesh, yet persecute them that witness it so in them. You profess that whosoever confesses not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is an antichrist, yet persecute them that do confess him come in the flesh, and call them antichrists and deceivers. You profess that the kingdom of Christ is come, yet persecute them that witness it come. You profess Christ Jesus the resurrection and the life, yet persecute them that witness him to be so. If you say, "how shall we know that these people, who say they witness these things, do so or not" I answer, turn your minds to the light which Christ Jesus has enlightened you with, which is one in all; and if you walk in the light, you shall have the light of life; then you will know and see what you have done, who have persecuted the Lord of glory, (in his people), in whom is life, and the life is the light of men. To no other touchstone shall we turn you, but into your own consciences; and there shall you find the truth of what we have declared unto you, according to the holy scriptures. When the books of consciences are opened, and all judged out of them, then shall you witness us to be of God, and our testimony to be true. Though now you may stop your ears, and harden your hearts, while it is called today, then you shall know what you have done, and whom you have transgressed against; then you will see that no persecutors, in any age or generation before you, ever transgressed against that light and measure of God made manifest in such manner as you have done. For though Christ and the apostles were persecuted in their time, the Jews for the most part did not know that he was the Christ when he came, notwithstanding they had the scriptures which prophesied of him; neither did they believe that he was risen again when the apostles preached his resurrection. But you say, "You believe he is come, you believe his resurrection;" yet you persecute those that witness him come in the flesh, those that are buried with him in baptism, those that are conformable to his death, and know the power of his resurrection: those you persecute, hale before magistrates, and allow to be beaten in your synagogues; those you cause to be whipped and stocked, shamefully treated, cast into prison, and kept there, as many jails in this nation at this day testify to your faces. Therefore honestly consider what you are doing while you are taking notice of others' cruelties, for fear that you overlook your own. There is some difference in many things between the Popish religion and what you call the Protestant, but in this persecution of yours there is no difference; for you will confess that the foundation of your religion is grounded upon the scriptures, yet you persecute them that are in the same life which they were in who gave forth the scriptures, yourselves being the meanwhile under a profession of the words they spoke; this you shall one day witness. So you have a profession and a form, and persecute those who are in the possession, life, and power. Know assuredly that you must come to judgment; for he is made manifest to whom all judgment is committed. To the light of Christ Jesus in your consciences, which searches and tries you, turn your minds; stand still, and wait there to receive the righteous law, which is according to that of God in the conscience, which is now rising and bearing witness against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men; and they whom you persecute are manifest to God, and that of God in all consciences shall bear witness for us that we are of God; this you shall one day witness, whether you will hear or forbear. Our rejoicing is in the testimony of our consciences, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, (not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God), we have had our conversation in the world, not handling the word of God deceitfully, but in the manifestation of the truth, commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God; and if our gospel is hidden, it is hidden to those who are lost. For witnessing the holding of the mystery of faith in a pure conscience do we suffer, and are subject for conscience sake. This is thankworthy, if a man, for conscience sake, endure griefs and sufferings wrongfully. In this is our joy and rejoicing, having a good conscience, that whereas we are evil spoken of as evil doers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse our good conversation in Christ; which is not only the putting away the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience towards God, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This we witness made manifest, (eternal praises to the living God!) and bear testimony to what spoke it in the apostle in life and power. Therefore do we bear witness and testify against those, who, having gotten into a form and profession of it, do persecute the life and power. To the eternal light of Christ Jesus, the searcher and trier of all hearts, turn your minds, and see what you are doing; for fear that you overturn your foundation, whereon you pretend to stand, while you are professing the scriptures, and persecuting the life, light, and power, which those were in who gave them forth. For the stone cut out of the mountain without hands, is now striking at the feet of the image, the profession which is set up, and stands in the will of man. Now is that made manifest, to which all must answer, and appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that everyone may receive the things done in his body, according to what he has done, whether it is good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God, and shall be made manifest in all your consciences, which you shall witness.

George Fox

Various times, both in the time of the long parliament, and of the protector, (so called), and of the committee of safety, when they proclaimed fasts, I was moved to write to them, and tell them, their fasts were like unto Jezebel's for commonly, when they proclaimed fasts, there was some mischief contrived against us. I knew their fasts were for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness; as the New England professors soon after did; who, before they put our Friends to death, proclaimed a fast also.

{I had great sufferings about this time, and there was great confusion and distraction among the powers and the people. I passed into several places in the countryside, and I had a meeting at Sergeant Bricketts, where there were many people and some of positions in a glorious meeting. The scriptures were opened to them, and Christ was set above all, {so that one man among them was so affected, he said 'this man is a pearl.' }

Now it was a time of great suffering; and many Friends being in prisons, many other Friends were moved to go to the parliament, to offer themselves up to lie in the same prisons where their friends lay, that those in prison might go forth, and not perish in the stinking jails. This we did in love to God and our brethren, that they might not die in prison; and in love to those that cast them in, that they might not bring innocent blood upon their own heads; which we knew would cry to the Lord, and bring his wrath, vengeance, and plagues upon them. But little favor could we find from those professing parliaments; instead, they would rage, and sometimes threaten Friends that attended them, to whip, and send them home. Then soon after the Lord would turn them out, and send them home; who had not a heart to do good in the day of their power. But they went not off without being forewarned for I was moved to write to them, in their several turns, as I did to the long parliament, to whom I declared, before they were broken up, 'that thick darkness was coming over them all, even a day of darkness that should be felt.'

And because the parliament that now sat was made up mostly of high professors, who, pretending to be more religious than others, were indeed greater persecutors of those that were truly religious, I was moved to send them the following lines, as reproof of their hypocrisy:

Oh Friends, do not cloak and cover yourselves: there is a God that knows your hearts, and that will uncover you. He sees your way. "Woe be to him that covers, but not with my spirit, said the Lord." You act contrary to the law, and then put it from you! Mercy and true judgment you neglect. Look, what was spoken against such. My savior spoke against such; "I was sick, and you visited me not: I was hungry, and you fed me not: I was a stranger, and you took me not in: I was in prison, and you visited me not." But they said, "When saw we you in prison, and did not come to you?" “Inasmuch as you did it not unto one of these little ones, you did it not unto me!)." Friends, you imprison them that are in the life and power of truth, and yet profess to be the ministers of Christ; but if Christ had sent you, you would bring out of prison, out of bondage and receive strangers. You have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; you have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter; you have condemned and killed the just, and he does not resist you. 

George Fox

After this, as I was going out of town, having two Friends with me, we were little more than a mile out of the city, when two troopers belonging to colonel Hacker's regiment met us, who took me, and the Friends with me, and brought us back to the Mews, and there kept us prisoners a little while; but the Lord's power was so over them, that they did not bring us before any officer; but after awhile set us at liberty. The same day, taking boat, I went to Kingston and from there to Hampton Court, to speak with the protector about the sufferings of Friends. I met him riding into Hampton Court Park; and before I came to him, as he rode at the head of his life guard, I saw and felt a waft (or apparition) of death go forth against him; and when I came to him, he looked like a dead man. After I had laid the sufferings of Friends before him, and had warned him, as I was moved to speak to him, he bid me come to his house. So I returned to Kingston, and the next day went to Hampton Court, to have spoken further with him. But when I came, he was sick, and -- Harvy, who waited on him, told me, the doctors were not willing I should come in to speak with him. So I passed away, and never saw him more.

From Kingston I went to Isaac Penington's, in Buckinghamshire, where I had appointed a meeting; and the Lord's truth and power were preciously manifested among us. After I had visited Friends in those parts, I returned to London; and soon after went into Essex; where I had not been long, before I heard the protector was dead, and his son Richard made protector in his place. Upon which I came to London again.

Before this time the church faith, (so called) was given forth, which was said to be made at the Savoy in eleven days. I got a copy of it before it was published, and wrote an answer to it; and when their book of church faith was sold up and down the streets, my answer to it was sold also. This displeased some of the parliament men; so that one of them told me, 'They must have me to Smithfield.'* I told him, I was over their fires, and feared them not. Reasoning with him, I wished him to consider, had all people been without a faith these sixteen hundred years, that now the priests must make them one? Did not the apostle say that Jesus was the author and finisher of their faith?' And since Christ Jesus was the author of the apostles' faith, of the church's faith in the primitive times, and of the martyrs' faith, should not all people look unto him to be the author and finisher of their faith, and not to the priests? A great deal of work we had about the priests' made faith. They called us house creepers, leading silly women captive, because we met in houses, and would not hold up their priests and temples which they had made and set up. I told them, it was they that led silly women captive, and crept into houses, who kept people always learning under them, who were covetous, and had got a form of godliness, but denied the power and spirit, which the apostles were in. Such began to creep in the apostles' days; but now they had got the magistrates on their side, who upheld those houses for them, which they had crept into, their temples, with their tithes; whereas the apostles brought people off from even that temple, and those tithes and offerings, which God had for a time commanded. And the apostles met in several private houses, being led to preach the gospel in all nations; which they did freely, as Christ commanded them. Thus do we, who bring people off from these priests, temples, and tithes, (which God never commanded), to meet in houses, or on mountains,** as the saints of old did, who were gathered in the name of Jesus; and Christ was their prophet, priest, and shepherd.

*Smithfield was the place in London where religious heretics, (those who had a different opinion than those in power), were burned at the stake, particularly when the Roman Catholic Queen Mary of England burned 274 Protestants at the stake.

**Quakers often met in barns, private houses, and fields – for many years before they had meeting houses. They were looked down of because of this, as being uncivilized, called “house-meeters;” not meeting in the grand buildings that reflect man's vanity and pride. George Fox has a detailed writing that shows how Christ, the disciples, and apostles often met in homes, or outside. An interesting anecdote: Before Quaker meetings houses, (plain and functional), were built, they met outside. George Whitehead reports meeting outside in the rain and snow for two years in the freezing sleet of winter; despite standing still for several hours, they did not get cold, and never got sick – supernatural care from our loving Father and Son, watching over his sheep.

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