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laam' for reward. But those that were sent out by Christ, counted it their gain to make the gospel without charge; neither ever had they aný set means, but went about, having no certain dwelling place; never were masters, but “servants to all for Christ's sake: nor ever went to law for tithes, or any other earthly thing.
Now all people, try your priests by the scriptures, whether they be of God or of the world, and never think to hear the word of the Lord from their mouths, who walk contrary to the scriptures. For such were never sent of God: for had they been sent of God they would abide in his doctrine; and saith John, such have not God, but he that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, hath both the Father and the son. •And if there come any to you, and bring not this doctrine,' you are forbidden to receive them into your house, or bid them God speed:' for if you do, you are partakers of their evil deeds. And · unto the wicked, God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldst take my covenant into thy mouth? seeing thou hatest instruction, and castest my words behind thy back,' and art a partaker with the thief, the adulterer, evil-speaking, slandering, and deceit; and such as these, think God to be like themselves.'
Divers particulars of the persecutions of James Nayler, by the
priests of Westmoreland.
James being at a meeting at Edward Briggs' on the First-day, where many people met, he was desired by divers Friends to meet the day following at widow Cocks' house, about a mile from Kendal, whereof the priests having notice, raised the town of Kendal against him; but being long in gathering together, the meeting was done. But spies being out upon the steeple top, and other places, notice was given what way James passed from thence; and coming down towards Kendal, two priests, accompanied with a justice of peace, and some other magistrates of the town, with an exceeding great multitude of people following them, met him, one of them saying, Nayler, I have a message from the Lord Jesus Christ to thee, but that there is not a convenient place.'
To which James answered, The Lord Jesus Christ is no respecter of places.' The message that he had to declare, was this: 'I conjure thee that thou tell me by what power thou inflictest such punishment upon
the bodies of creatures. James answered, “Dost thou remember who it was that did adjure Christ to tell if he were the son of God, and asked by what authority he did those things ? for James saw him to be one of that generation. But the priest still conjuring him to tell by
brethren accompanied him; but the priests having intelligence some days before, five of them were gathered together, and many people from all quarters. A Friend in the town desired James to come to his house; and being come into his house, a message was sent from the priests, desiring him to come into the field, under pretence of a more convenient place for the great multitude. To which James answered, It is my desire that all may be edified: and coming into the field the priests came with a great multitude, and asked him by what authority he came thither, and had gathered together so many people to break the peace;' and tempting him, said, “Wilt thou be bound that none here shall break the peace ? To which James answered, “We come not hither to create offences, but if any break the law, let him suffer by the law:' for he perceived they intended violence, as it appeared afterwards.
But seeing they could not prevail in that, another of them desired him to go into the church, as he called it, tempting him, saying, “The people may all sit and hear better.' But James perceiving their deceit, said, “ All places were alike to him; he would abide in the field.' Whereon they pulled out an ordinance of parliament, forbidding any to speak but suchas were authorized to speak either in church or chapel, or any public place; and bade him speak at his peril, as he would answer the contempt of it. To which he answered, saying, “ This is not a public place.”. No,' said one of the priests, is not this a public place, the town field!' and charged the constable of the town to do his office; and examined his authority. James answered, Those that are sent to declare the things of God have not their authority from men.' But they bade him prove that. He said, “ Paul received not his commission from man, nor by man.' To which one of them answered, “That was his gospel, but they would prove that Paul had a call from man to preach ;' and for that end he named that place in Acts xiii. 2. where the holy ghost said, “Separate me Barnabas and Saul;' and the apostles laid their hands upon them,
which,' said one of them,' was the laying on of hands of the presbytery.' But when he had found that place, James asked him if that was Paul's call to the ministry? (three times,) but he answered nothing. Then said James, ' If, that was his call, he had preached long without a call before that;' and instanced to prove it, Gal. i.
Whereupon that business ended; but another pricst stood up, and said, • Thou oughtest to give an account of thy faith to every one that asketh;' whereupon he asked divers questions; whereunto James answered, insomuch that some that stood by, cried out, · Answer not all, but ask him some.' A while after, James asked him, how he would prove himself a minister of the gospel, and live upon tithes ?' To which hc
out his brains against the stones in the wall, and that they would pull down the house, if he would not come out: though the door was never shut against them. But some of them came into the house, and commanded him to come forth, under pretence to dispute with the priest. But James, seeing what they intended, answered, You did not use me 80 civilly the last time I was amongst you; but if any have a mind they may come in, the doors are open. Which answer they told the priests, whereupon they rushed violently in, and took him by the throat, haled him out of the door into a field, where was a man whom they called a justice, and with a pitchfork struck off his hat, and commanded him to answer to such questions as the priests would ask him. Whereupon the priest began to ask many questions, as concerning the resurrection, the humanity of Christ, the scriptures; and divers other
questions, as the sacrament, and such like, to which he answered, and proved by scripture. But at last being asked, if Christ was in him, he said, "he witnessed him in him in measure. The priest asked, “if Christ was in him as man.' James said, Christ is not divided.' But he urged him to tell whether Christ as man was in him or not. He answered, Christ is not divided; for if he be, he is no more Christ; but I witness that Christ in me who is God and man, in measure.' But the priest said, “ Christ is in heaven with a carnal body.' To which said James, 'Christ filleth heaven and earth, and is not carnal but spiritual: for if Christ be in heaven with a carnal body, and the saints with a spiritual body, that is not proportionable; neither was that a carnal body which came in among the disciples, the doors being shut; for Christ is a mystery, and thou knowest him not.'
Then after much jangling and tempting, the priest not having got the advantage he waited for, he cried out unto the people not to receive him into their houses, and alleged that in the second epistle of John v. 10. Now, how suitable that place was for his purpose, all people may see, who have eyes; for there they are forbidden to receive any into their houses but such who “abide in the doctrine of Christ, and confess themselves that they had both the Father and the son, and preach that doctrine: but the priests say that is blasphemy.
Then the priest turned away from him: upon which the armed multitude began to be violent against divers Friends that were there. James hearing Friends cry out, said to the justice, “You will surely set us peaccably into the house again;' but seeing him to go away,
and leave them in the hands of the rude multitude, he gave himself up, saying, “The will of the Lord be done.'
Upon which the justice turned again, saying, "We will see him in the house again:' and going toward the house, many Friends kept close about James, exposing their own bodics to the danger of their weapons, VOL. III.