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man; that thereby, thou mayest see and know, there is but one only God, and one only Jesus, which is the Christ, who was crucified by the Jews at Jerusalem; which whosoever denies, let him be accursed.
It hath been the custom, in former times, to immure, stone, or other. ways punish with death, such as did falsly stile themselves the only sons of the Must High God; as thou mayest see in that faithful chronologer, John Speed; who affirmeth, That in the reign of King Henry the Third, there appeared a grand impostor, somewhat, in wickedness, resembling this, of whom we are to treat. This man (or rather devil) thinking bimself to be soinebudy, boasted himself to be nobody in the eyes of the world, but as being sent from heaven; and, having a grave and impudent aspect, pretended himself to be no less than the Saviour of mankind. And, to strike a belief into the easily seduced people, he had wounded his hands, feet, and side; affirming these to be the wounds, which the Jews had given him at Jerusalem. For which blasphemous and horrid doctrine, he was sentenced to be starved to death, between the walls of a strong prison), where he and bis doctrine died. Even so let all thine enemies perish, O Lord.
Thou wilt, in his examination, di-cover some difference to be between him and George Fox; but I suppose they are again reconciled.
I shall not trouble thee with all the many letters, which were conveyed from him to others, or from them to him, lest I make my relation swell too big; I shall only give thee two or three of the chiefest; out of which if thou canst pick but a little sense, and less truth, thou canst do more than
Thy loving friend. December 16,
Reader, THI THINKING it a very good foundation to my building, to give you
the manner of his progress, before you come to bis confession, or before his blasphemy aspires to the stool of repentance, I shall thus begin : James Nayler of Wakefield, in the county of York, a deluded and deluding Quaker and impostor, rode October last, through a village called Bedminster, about a mile from Bristol, accompanied with six more, one whereof, a young man, whose head was bare, leading his horse by the bridle, and another uncovered before him, through the dirty way, in which the carts and horses, and none else', usually go: and with them, two men on horseback, with each of them a woman behind him, and one woman walking on the better way or path. In this posture, did they march; and in such a case, that one George Witherley, noting their condition, asked them to come in the better road, adding that God expected no such extremity. But they continued on their way, not answering in any other notes, but what were musical, singing, · Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Sabaoth,' &c. Thus continued they, till, by their wandering, they came to the alms-house, within the suburbs of Bristol, where one of the women alighted, and she, with the other of her own sex, lovingly marched on each side of Nayler's horse. This Witherley saith, he supposes, they could not be less deep in the muddy way, than to the knees; and, he saith, they sang, but sometimes with such a buzzing melodious noise, that he could not understand what it was. This the said Witherley gave in, upon his oath. Thus did they reach Ratcliff-gate, with Timothy Wedlock of Devon bare-headed, and Martha Symonds with the bridle on one side, and Hannah Stranger, on the other side of the horse; this Martha Symonds is the wife of Thomas Symonds, of London, bookbinder; and Hannah Stranger is the wife of John Stranger of London, comb-maker, who sung ‘Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Israel. Thus did he ride to the High Cross in Bristol, and after that, to the White Hart in Broad-street, where there lie two eminent Quakers, by name Dennis Hollister and Henry Row; of which the magistrates hearing, they were apprehended and committed to prison.
Long it had not been, after their confinement in the gaol at Exeter, from whence, passing through Wells and Glassenbury, this party bestrewed the way with their garments. But, to be short, they were searched, and letters were found about them, infinitely filled with profane nonsensical language; which letters I shall not trouble you with, only some of the chief, lest your patience should be too much cloyed. We shall haste now to their examinations; and, because Nayler was the chief actor, it is fit he have the pre-eminence of leading the way in their examinations; we shall therefore give you a full account of what passed between the magistrate and him, which take as followeth:
The Eramination of James Nayler, and others. BEING asked his name, or whether he was not called James Nayler, he replied, The men of this world call me James Nayler.
Quest. Art not thou the man that rid on horse-back into Bristol, a woman leading thy horse, and others singing before thee, 'Holy, holy, holy, Hosannah,'&c.?
Answ. I did ride into a town, but what its name was I know yot, and, by the Spirit, a woman was commanded to hold my horse's bridle, and some there were that cast down clothes, and sang praises to the Lord, such songs as the Lord put into their hearts; and it is like it might be the song of Holy, holy, holy,' &c. Quest. Whether or no didst thou
those women? Answ. Nay, but I bade them take heed, that they sang nothing but what they were moved to by the Lord.
Quest. Dost thou own this letter (whereupon a letter was shewed him) which Hannah Stranger sent unto thee?
Answ. Yea, I do own that letter.
Answ. As to the visible, I deny any such attribute to be due unto me; but if, as to that which the Father has begotten in me, I shall own it. But now, reader, before I pass further, I hold it not impertinent to deliver
you the words of the same letter, with another, which were these:
A letter to James Nayler at Exeter, by Hannah Stranger. J. N. IN the pure fear and power of God, my soul salutes thee, thou everlasting son of righteousness, and prince of peace. Oh! how my soul travelleth to see this day, which Abraham did, and was glad, and so shall all that are of faithful Abraham. O! suffer me to speak what the Lord hath moved, there is one temptation near, the like unto the first, and is like the wisdom of God, but it is not, and therefore it must be destroyed. Oh! it defileth and hateth the innocent; I beseech thee wait, my soul travelleth to see a pure image brought forth, and the enemy strives to desiroy it, that he may keep me always sorrowing, and ever seeking, and never satisfied, nor never rejoicing. But he in whom I have believed will shortly tread Satan under our feet, and then shalt thou and thine return to Zion with everlasting rejoicings and praises. But, till then, better is the house of mourning than rejoicing, for he that was made a perfect example, when he had fasted the appointed time of his father, was tempted to eat, and to shew a miracle, to prove
himself to be the Son of God. But man lives not by bread, said he, . and now no more by that wisdom shall he live, on which he hath long fed, as on bread; and, as his food hath been, so must his fast be, and then, at the end, temptation, to as low a thing as a stone, that, if it were possible, the humility and the miracles would deceive the elect, innocent, and righteous branch of holiness. But, be his wills never so many, the time comes he shall leave thee, for he is faithful, who hath promised he will not leave the throne of David without a man to sit thereon, which shall judge the poor with righteousness, and the world with equity. This shall shortly come to pass, and then shall the vision speak, and not lye. O! let innocency be thy beloved, and righteousness thy spouse, that thy father's lambs may rejoice in thy pure and clear unspotted image of holiness and purity, which my soul believeth I shall see, and so in the faith rest. I am in patience, wait, and the power will preserve from subtlety; though under never so zealous a pretence of innocent wisdom it be, yet shall the Lord not suffer his Holy One to see corruption, nor his soul to lie in hell, but will cause the mountains to melt at his presence, and the little hills to bring him peace. O! I am ready to fear as a servant, and to obey as a child. If I have spoken words too high, love hath constrained me, which is as strong as death; and with the same spirit cover them as they are spoken with, and then shall the spirit of David be witnessed, who refused not words, though from his servant's mouth; if they were in the fear, I am his servant, and he my master, whom I love and fear, and trust I shall do unto the end.
HANNAH STRANGER, From London, 16th day
of the 7th month.
Another of the same. OH! thou fairest of ten-thousand, thou only begotten Son of God, how my heart panteth after thee? O stay me with flaggons, and comfort me with wine.' My beloved, thou arı like a roe, or young hart, upon the mountains of spices, where thy beloved spouse haih long been calling thee to come away, but haih been but lately heard of thee. Now it lies something upon me, that thou mindest to see her, for the spirit and power of God is with her; and there is given to her much of excellent and innocent wisdom arisen, and arising in her, which will make all the honest-hearted to praise the Lord alone, and no more set up self. And therefore let not my lord and master have any jealousy again of her, for she is bighly beloved of the Lord, and that shall all see who come to know the Lord. And now he doth bless them that bless his, and curse them that curse his; for this hath the Lord shewed me, that her portion is exceeding large in the Lord; and, as her sorrow hath been much, so shall her joy be much more; which rejoiceth my heart, to see her walk so valiantly and so faithfully in the work of the Lord, in this time of so great trials as hath been laid upon her especially.
And I am
The Postscript. Remember my dear love to thy master. Thy name is no more to . be called James but Jesus.
John STRANGER. This John Stranger is husband to this Hannah Stranger; and this was added as a postscript by him to his wife's letter, as is acknowledged. Remember my love to those friends with thee. The seventeenth day
of the eighth month, superscribed this to the hands of James
We shall now return to his examination.
Answ. Not as unto the visible, but as Jesus, the Christ that is in me.
Quest. Dost thou own the name of the King of Israel?
Answ. Not as a creature, but, if they give it Christ within, I own it, and have a kingdom but not of this world; my kingdom is of another world, of which thou wotst not.
Quest. Whether or no art thou the prophet of the Most High?
Answ. The judge is but one, and is witnessed in me, and is the Christ, there must not be any joined with him. If they speak of the spirit in me, I own it only as God is manifest in the flesh, according as God dwelleth in me, and judgeth there himself.
Quest. By whom were you sent?
Answ. By Him who hath sent the spirit of his Son in me to try, not as to carnal matters, but belonging to the kingdom of God, by the
indwelling of the Father and the Son, to judge of all spirits, to be guided by none.
Quest. Is not the written word of God the guide ?
Answ. The written word declares of it, and what is not according to that is not true.
Quest. Whether art thou more sent than others, or whether others be not sent in that measure ?
Answ. As to that I have nothing at present given me of my Father to answer.
Quest. Was your birth mortal or immortal ?
Answ. Not according to the natural birth, but according to the spiritual birth, born of the immortal seed.
Quest. Wert thou ever called the Lamb of God?
Answ. I look not back to things behind, but there might be some such thing in the letter; I am a lamb, and have sought it long before I could witness it.
Quest. Who is thy mother, or whether or no is she a virgin?
To this he refused to answer.
Answ. The hope is in Christ, and, as Christ is in me, so far the hope of Israel stands; Christ is in me the hope of glory.
Quest. What more hope is there in thee than in others?
Answ. None can know but them of Israel, and Israel must give an account,
Quest. Art thou the everlasting Son of God?
Answ. Where God is manifest in the flesh, there is the everlasting son, and I do witness God in the flesh; I am the Son of God, and the Son of God is but one.
Quest. Art thou the prince of peace?
Quest. Why dost thou not reprove those that give thee these attributes ?
Answ. I have said nothing unto them, but such things are written.
Answ. These questions he forbore either to confirm or to contradict them.
Quest. Art thou the everlasting Son of God, the King of righteousness?
Answ. I am, and the everlasting righteousness is wrought in me; if ye were acquainted with the Father, ye would also be acquainted with me