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brake forth through me did reach them; for my life was burthened with their profession without possession, and words without fruit.
Now after I had done my present service in York, and that several were convinced ihere and received the truth of God and were turned to his teaching, I passed out of York, and looked towards Cleaveland. And I saw there was a people that had tasted of the power of God, and I saw then there was a seed in that country, and that God had an humble people there. So I passed onwards that night; and a papist overtook me and talked to me of his religion, and of their meetings; and I let him speak all that was in his mind. That night I stayed at an ale-house, and the next morning I was moved of the Lord to speak the word of the Lord to this papist. So I went to his house, and declared against his religion, and all their superstitious ways; and I told him, that God was come to teach his people himself. This put the papist into such that he could not then endure to stay in his own house.
The next day I came to Burraby, where there was a priest, and several friendly people met together : many of the people were convinced, and have continued faithful ever since; and there is a great meeting of friends in that town. The priest also was forced to confess to truth, though he came not into it.
The day following I passed to Cleaveland amongst those people that had tasted of the power of God; they had formerly had great meetings, but were then all shattered to pieces, and the heads of them turned ranters. I told them, that after they had had such meetings they did not wait upon God to feel his power, to gather their minds inward, that they might feel his presence and power amongst them in their meetings, to sit down therein and wait upon him; for they had spoken themselves dry; they had spent their portions, and not living in that which they spake of, they were now become dry. They had some kind of meetings still; but they took tobacco, and drank ale in their meetings, and were grown light and loose. But my message unto them from the Lord was, that they should all come together again, and wait to feel the Lord's power and spirit in themselves to gather them to Christ, that they might be taught of him who says, Learn of me. For when they had declared that which the Lord had opened to them, then the people were to receive it, and both the speakers and hearers were to live in that themselves. But when these had no more to declare, but went to seek forms without life, that made themselves dry and barren, and the
people also; and from thence came all their loss; for the Lord renews his mercies and his strength to them that wait upon him. The heads of these people came to nothing; but most of the people came to be convinced, and received God's everlasting truth, and continue a meeting to this day, sitting under the teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ their Saviour.
Upon the first-day of the next week the word of the Lord came to me to go to the steeple-house there, which I did : and when the priest had done, I spake the truth to him and the people, and directed them to their teacher within, Christ Jesus, their free teacher, that had bought them. The priest came to me, and I had a little discourse with him; but he was soon stopped, and silent. Then, being clear of the place, I passed away, having bad several meetings amongst those people.
Though at this time the snow was very deep, yet I kept travelling; and going througb the country, came to a market town, where I met with many professors, with whom I had much reasoning; and I asked them many questions which they were not able to answer, but said, they had never had such deep questions put to them in all their lives.
From them I went to another place called Stath, where also I met with many professors, and some ranters. I had great meetings amongst them, and a great convincement there was, and many received the truth, amongst whom one was an ancient man of an hundred years
age; another was a chief constable, and a third was a priest, whose name was Philip Scafe; bim the Lord, hy hís free spirit, did afterwards make a free minister of his free gospel.
The priest of this town was a lofty priest, and did much oppress the people for his tithes : for if they went a fishing many leagues off he would make them pay the tithe-money of what they madle of their fish, though they catched them at a great distance, and carried them as far as Yarmouth to sell. Now I was moved to go to the steeple-house there, to declare the truth, and lay open the priest. And when I had spoken to the priest, and laid his oppressing of the people upon him, he fled away. The chief of the parish were very light and vain ; so after I had spoken the word of life to them, I turned away from them, because they did not receive it, and left them. But the word of the Lord which I had declared amongst them, stuck with some of them; so that at night some of the heads of the parish came to me, and most of them were convinced and satisfied, and confessed to the truth. Thus the truth
began to spread up and down that country, and great meetings we had; at which the priest began to rage, and the ranters began to be stirred; and they sent me word that they would have a dispute with me, both the oppressing priest, and the leader of the ranters. A day was set, and the ranter came with his company; and another priest, a Scotchman, came, but not the oppressing priest of Stath. Philip Scafe, who had been a priest, and was convinced, was with me; and a great number of people were met. When we were settled, the ranter, whose name was T. Bushel, told me, he had had a vision of me, that I was sitting in a great chair, and that he was to come and put off his hat, and bow down to the ground before me; and he did so: and many other flattering words he spake, I told him, it was his own figure, and said unto him, Repent, thou beast. He said it was jealousy in me to say so. Then I asked him the ground of jealousy, and how it came to be bred in man; and the nature of a beast, what made it; and how that was bred in man; for I saw him directly in that nature of the beast, and therefore I would have known of him how that nature came to be bred in him. I told him he should give me an account of the things done in the body, before we came to discourse of things done out of the body. So I stopped up his mouth that he could say no more; and all his fellow-ranters were silenced; for he was the head of them. Then I called for the oppressing priest, but he came not; only the Scotch priest came, but his mouth was soon stopped with a very few words; he being out of the life of what he did profess. Then had I a good opportunity with the people; and I laid open the ranters, ranking them with the old ranters in Sodom. And the priests I manifested to be of the same stamp with their fellow hirelings, the false prophets of old, and the priests that then bore rule over the people by their means, seeking for their gain from their quarter, divining for money, and teaching for filthy lucre; and so I brought all the prophets, and Christ, and the apostles over the heads of the priests, shewing how the prophets, Christ and the apostles had long since discovered them by their marks and fruits. Then I directed people to their inward teacher, Christ Jesus their Saviour ; and I preached up Christ in the hearts of his people, when all these mountains were laid low. The people were all quiet, and the gainsayer's mouths were stopped; for though they broiled in. wardly, yet the power bound them down, that they could not break out.
After the meeting was over, this Scottish priest desired
me to walk with him a top of the cliffs ; whereupon I called a brother-in-law of bis, who was in some measure convinced, and desired him to go with me, telling him I was willing to have somebody by to hear what we said, lest the priest, when I was gone, should report any thing of me which I did not say. So we went together; and as we walked, the priest asked me many things concerning the light, and concerning the soul; to all which I answered him fully. When he had done questioning, we parted, and he went his way; and as he went, meeting with the other priest, Philip Scafe, that was convinced, he brake his cane against the ground in madness, and said, if ever he met with me again he would have my life, or I should have his ; adding, that he would give his head if I was not knocked down within a inonth. By this friends suspected, his intent was in desiring me to walk with him alone, either to have thrust me down from off the cliff, or to have done me some other mischief; and that when he saw himself frustrated in that, by my having one with me, that made him rage so. But I feared neither his prophecies nor his threats, for I feared God Almighty. But some friends, through their affection to me, feared much that this priest would do me some mischief, or set on others to do it. Yet after some years this very Scotch priest, and his wife also, came to be convinced of the truth; and about twelve years after this I was at their house.
After this there came another priest to a meeting where I was (one that was in repute above all the priests in the country), and as I was speaking in the meeting, that the gospel was the power of God, and how it brought life and immortality to light in men, and so was turning people from darkness to the light, this high-flown priest said, the gospel was mortal. I told him, the true minister said the gospel was the power of God, and would he make the power of God mortal. Upon that the other priest, Philip Scafe, that was convinced, and had felt the immortal power of God in himself, took him up and reproved him; and so a great dispute arose between them; the convinced priest holding that the gospel was inmortal, and the other priest holding that it was mortal. But the Lord's power was too hard for this opposing priest, and stopped his mouth; and many people were convinced, seeing the darkness that was in the opposing priest, and the light that was in the convinced priest.
Then another priest sent to have a dispute with me, and friends went with me to the house where he was : but when he understood we were come, he slipped out of the
house, and hid himself under an hedge. The people went to seek him, and found him, but could not get him to come to us. Then I went to a steeple-house hard by there, where the priest and people were in a great rage : this priest
had threatened friends what he would do ; but when I came there he would not stand, but fled, for the Lord's power came over him and them ; yea, the Lord's everlasting power was over the world, and did reach to the hearts of people, and made both priests and professors tremble. It shook the earthly and airy spirit, in which they held their profession of religion and worship, so that it was a dreadful thing unto them when it was told them, “The man in leathern breeches is come.' At the hearing thereof the priests in many places would get out of the way; they were so struck with the dread of the eternal power of God, and fear surprised the hypocrites.
From this place we passed to Wbitby and Scarborough, where we had some service for the Lord ; and there are large meetings settled there since. From thence 1 passed over the Wowls to Malton, where we had great meetings; as we had also at the towns thereabouts. At one of those towns there was a priest sent me a challenge to dispute with me; but when I came he would not come forth; so I had a good opportunity with the people, and the Lord's power seized upon them: and one, who had been a wild drunken man, was reached therewith, so that he came to me as lowly as a lamb, though he and his companions had before sent for drink, to make the rude people diunk, on purpose that they might abuse us. So when the priest would not come forth, I was moved to go to the steeplehouse there; and the priest was confounded, and the Lord's power came over all.
On the first-day following there came one of the highest independent professors, a woman, who had let in such a prejudice against me, that she said before she came, she could willingly have gone to see me hanged: but when she came she was convinced, and remains a friend.
Then I turned to Malton again, and very great meetings there were, to which several people more would have come, but durst not for fear of their relations; for it was thought a strange thing then to preach in houses, and not go to the church (as they called it), so that I was much desired to go and speak in the steeple-houses. One of the priests wrote to me, and invited me to preach in his steeple-house, calling me his brother. Another priest, a noted man, kept a lecture there. Now the Lord had shewed me, while I was in Derby prison, that I should spenk in steeple-houses, to gather people from thence ;