Quaker Heritage Press > Online Texts > Works of James Nayler > A True Discovery of Faith


A True Discovery of Faitha


A Brief Manifestation of the Ground upon which

we stand, to those who desire to know it



Why we cannot repair the Idols' Temples
Nor pay wages to a Clerk

Also an ANSWER to several QUERIES
put forth by one JOHN REYNER

LONDON, Printed for Giles Calvert, at the
Black-Spread-Eagle near the west end of Paul's


To all the Faithless Generation of the World, and to
all who Desire to Know in what Faith and Hope
we Live, and what Hope we Denyb

     That faith which we own and witness is that which stands in Jesus Christ, the everlasting covenant of light, who is "the light of the world" and hath "enlightened every one that comes into the world,"1 and this light we believe and follow,2 and by this we are led out of all the ways, works, and worships of this dark world, and the effects of this light we witness by faith. And by this faith we do deny all who say this light is not sufficient without the help andc teachings of man to lead andd guide in all the ways of God, and all such we deny, for these are they who know not the voice of Christ and therefore hear the stranger and hireling,3 who heap up teachers, having itching ears, who cannot endure sound doctrine,4 and in this Christ we believe, who is our life and salvation, and all them we deny and their faith,e who say they have faith, but their lifef is not the life of Christ, but lives in sin and worldly pleasure, and say they cannot be saved from their sin in this world, but in part; and this faith we deny and them,5 for these are they who deny the end of Christ's coming in the flesh,6 who cannot believe that Christg is able to save to the uttermost all that come unto him,7 and this faith is reprobate, and these deny the Lord that bought them and have made shipwreck of faith and a good conscience, and makes the blood of Christ of none effect to them who are not cleansed by it:8 and all them and their faith we deny, who say they believe and know the will of God but they have not power;h but that Christ in which we <80> believe,i the great power of God unto salvation in all that believe;9 and who hath this Christ hath power, and in him we have power to do the will of God; but these are they that know not Christ nor his power, but runs after menj into notions and forms, but denies the power, and from such we turn away; for such knows not him in them who is greater than he that is in the world; but are willing to serve sin,k to be led captive at the devil's will, not minding the light and power of Christ to be guided by it, and then would seem to cast the fault on God, as though he had given a Christ which isl not able to set themm free till after death; and these are they whichn put him to open shame, whose faith and profession we deny. And we deny all who say they have faith in Christ, and yet their righteousness is not perfect;10 but this faith we witness, that receives the righteousness of God, even the free gift of righteousness by Jesus Christ;11 and this is perfect, which is the righteousness of faith; and all who have not this righteousness are in the self-righteous,name="t.o">12 o which is not perfect; and these comep short of the righteousness of God and would establish their own righteousness.

     And these are the boasters, who would justify themselves13 & despise others; but by the righteousness of faith is boasting excluded: and here is no justifying of self, but denying self and self-righteousness,14 and exalting the righteousness of God, which is perfect, which is in Christ Jesus,15 who is made unto us righteousness and sanctification. And by this faith we deny all who say they have Christ, and have not this righteousness; but whose righteousness is imperfect, and that Christ andq that righteousness we deny, which is not perfect,r and witness that Christ, in which we are made the righteousness of God:s and this Christ is our righteousness and perfection; and this faith we own and witness, which is <81> not a talk of faith, as the world's professors, who say they have faith but are dead in sin16 and cannot witness the work of God in them; but that faith we own which is lively, by which the work of God is witnessed in us working out sin, and by which we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works.17 And this is our faith, by which we overcome the world and the devil:18 and all you we deny, who have a profession in the world, and in whom the works of the devil are brought forth: and their faith and hope we deny, who say they hope to be saved, but live in sin, making a profession. And this is the hope of the hypocrite, which shall perish, and not the hope of Christ; for he that hath this hope of Christ purifies himself, even as he is pure:19 and this faith and hope we own, which purifies the heart, and enters into the place of holiness within the veil;20 but that which is without holiness we deny, which is not in Christ but in a vain mind. And we deny all who say they have faith and Christ, and yet their word and light is without them; fort that word we witness which is nigh in the heart; and this is the word of faith which the apostles preached;21 and he that hath Christ oru faith hath thisv word, which is Christ the light, not in letter, but in Spirit. And all them we deny whose law is without and moral;w and that law we witness which is spiritual, written in the heart;22 and this law is perfect and endures forever; and allx the changeable laws we deny,23 and all whose law is without we see to be in the old covenant of works, which made nothing perfect; and the self-righteousness, which is as filthy rags. And by the light of Christ are we convinced of that righteousness not to be of faith, thereforey whose faith and works stand here, them we deny, and see them all worshipping withoutz the new covenant, in the oldness of the letter, whose law is without, their light without, their word without,aa their church without, their baptism,24 <82> prayers and singing without,25 their Christ without,bb their righteousness without, and so their faith without; all which we witness to be within, and withincc we worship in newness of thedd Spirit,ee andff we see all that are without God and his righteousness to be in the world and strangers to the covenant of grace, and thatgg faith and worship we deny and God denies; for he seeks such worshippers as worship in Spirit and truth.26 And this faith and worship we own, not known to the world, and therefore hated.

To those who are called Papists (and others) who
Desires to know our Ground.

     The ground on which we are is that upon which the prophets and apostles and all the holy men of God ever were; and on that foundation are we builded, Jesus Christ himself, who is the light of the world, which hath enlightened everyone that cometh into the world, being the chief cornerstone: which light of Christ is one in all consciences, by which we are led out of all the ways of darkness into the light of life; which life is in the Spirit, contrary to all the former lusts and pleasures which we lived in while we walked in the flesh, after the course of this world, following the corrupt practices and precepts of men. And in this light, which leads us out of all our own ways and wills, is the cross of Christ revealed, who came not to do his own will but the will of him that sent him; which cross is not carnal but spiritual, contrary to that nature which makes carnal crosses, who are out of the light and doctrine of Christ, in their own wills and imaginations, whose life is in the world, & their worship in these carnal things and rudiments. But by this cross are we crucified unto the world and all carnal worships, and they to us; so we being dead to that wherein we were held, viz., the rudiments of the world, by this light and <83> power of Christ are we raised up to serve the Lord in newness of life and Spirit, not in the oldness of the letter. And this light of Christ, by which we are led into this spiritual knowledge and worship of God, is the condemnation of the world, who walk contrary to it, notwithstanding all their carnal worships; and this light is that in all your consciences which shows your evil deeds.

Concerning the Repair of Idols' Temples

     Is this your reformation, you that rule in this nation, who say you have denied the pope and put down the bishops? And are you repairing the idols' temples, which your fathersii have consecrated to their idol gods? and not only so, but are you forcing your brethren, whom God hath called out of them, to return back with you, to repair what God is about to destroy? and if they cannot join with you herein, you take the spoil of their goods by force: and yet you say you are reforming, and the Scripture is your rule. But what command or example have you in Scripture for these things? When the Lord commanded a temple in the old covenant to be built, were any forced to that work but whose hearts he stirred up freely to offer themselves?27 And will you force the believers in the new covenant to repair your high places, which God never commanded? Here you are out of the rule of the Scripture and saints' practice, which never did such a thing; nay, which of the heathen did ever force the believers, after they were come out from their worships, to repair their idols' temples? & herein you exceed the heathen in your will-worships; nay, do you act herein as men of reason? Is it not reason that Baal's worshippers should repair Baal's temple? Or would reason compel them to repair with you, who cannot worship with you?28 And is this your zeal to your God, to offer a sacrifice to him of other men's cost? This the worshippers of the living God would never do; for he hates robbing for burnt-offerings and accepts nothing but what's of faith, and not of force. Is he a God you worship herein? And hath he no way to uphold his house but by a carnal law, and taking men's goods by force? Let <84> your God plead for himself against Jerubbaal, who hath thrown down his altars and will not repair his temples:29 for we that worship the living God are brought to worship him in temples made without hands, whose maker, builder, and upholder is God and not man: and here they that freely receive, freely offer.

     And now you that say you are Christians, honestly consider these things: first, as Christians, have not other as good ground both from Scripture and in conscience, to force you to repair the houses they meet in, as you have to force them to repair your high places, which God hath forbidden? Secondly, do you as you would be done unto by others, when you spoil their goods to repair your idols' temples, which they cannot do; nor worship therein, but sin against God? Thirdly, do you deal like Christians, to force them to repair your idols' temples, when you will not allow to speak a word of truth therein from God, but beat, shamefully entreat, and hale them to prison? Fourthly, did ever any believers, after they were called out of the Jewish synagogues and temples, return back again to repair them or worship in them because of conveniency? Fifthly, if Jeroboam the son of Nebat made Israel to sin in drawing them from the temple at Jerusalem, which was but the figure, to worship at his high places,30 then how far do you exceed him, who draw people from the spiritual substance, the temple made without hands,31 to worship in your high places, which Christ hath forbidden?

Concerning Clerk-Wages

     Whereas we are sued at law for clerk-wages, which they call church-dues, the church of God we own, & what is due unto it we may not deny; but for any such officer in the church as a clerk, to say "Amen" or to learn people to sing David's experiences, prayers & tears, etc. we find no such officer appointed by Christ, ever maintained by his saints in his church; but have been set up since by the pope and bishops, both which we deny, and all their officers set up by the will of man, contrary to the example of Christ and his church: such we dare not maintain. And though we <85> suffer the spoiling of our goods, yet it is not as evildoers, but following the example of Christ and his church herein, denying the pope, bishops, and all their rabble of officers they have set up without Christ and contrary to him in their inventions. And it is not the love of money or riches that moves us to it; the earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof; nor do we it in opposition to any authority, but in obedience to Christ we do it, and dare not maintain such as he never set up; for we find in the Scripture, when he ascended he appointed officers in his church, and he gave some apostles, and some prophets, and some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, and those were for the perfecting of the saints; but we find not that he gave a clerk: and therefore may not own what Christ never gave, nor add officers to his church which he never appointed; but if either the magistrates or ye who calls yourselves ministers, or your clerks can instance in the Scripture any such officer in the church of Christ appointed by him or his apostles, or any that he ever sent, we shall willingly own and maintain them: but not being convinced by the law of Christ or from the Scripture, we choose rather to suffer the violence of men and follow Christ, than to make shipwreck of faith and a pure conscience, and so deny Christ for pleasing of men, and saving our estates.

An Answer to Several Queries

put forth by one John Reyner living about Wakefield

     Friend: To thee a few words in answer to thy paper and queries to the light in thy conscience, that with it thou may see thy confusion and blindness, and read thyself out of the light of God, as thou art made to confess in thy paper, that there are many things in our writings which to thee are dark, wherein thou appears to be a child of darkness, and hast not the spirit of judgment to judge of light and darkness, but art unlearned and so wrests our writings to thy own destruction, as such as thou always did the writings of the saints; and thou slanderer broachest out many high words against the truth, calling it delusion, blasphemy, and many such envious speeches, but doth not make it appear wherein, and here in secret thou smitest, and art manifest whom thou servest, and what seed thou art of, with the light thou art seen, thy compass and race, and wherefore thou art raised up, against whom are <86> you gathered, and why do you rage, you heathen.

     Qu. 1. Thou askest if we disown all the ministry of England, or only the corrupt and scandalous part.

     Ans. We disown all that are called of men masters, love chief places in the assemblies, lay heavy burdens on the people; that say, hear the word of the Lord, when he never spoke to them; that say they have a gift, and take money for it, that are proud and covetous, walk not as Christ and his apostles walked, and all who do not, we judge to be corrupt and scandalous: now who are not blind may see whom we disown.

     Qu. 2. Why do you not distinguish between the precious and the vile? why do you rather interrupt and oppose the godly part of the ministry, than the profane, loose, and scandalous? why do you most oppose those that are most eminent for piety?

     Ans. Precious and godly we own and do not interrupt; but thou which calls those god-like, or precious, who walks in ways forementioned which Christ cried woe against, are blind, and puts evil for good, darkness for light; and the woe is to thee also. Now the reason why we are sent most to discover those who have covered themselves with the finest words & forms is because the day is come, & the brightness of Christ is come in his saints, revealing the man of sin wherever he is hidden; & in these he is most hidden and doth most deceive the simple. For in drunken, swearing priests, & such as are gross in open practice, he is revealed already, and all may see it; but in thee there he acts yet in a mystery, pleading for and upholding a kingdom of sin under the pretense of piety, repentance, and self-denial, wresting that which holy men spoke to lead people out of sin. This they use to make people believe they can never be free from sin, and this is the man of sin and now must be revealed; and therefore all his kingdom rages.

     Qu. 3. Why do you judge and condemn the innocent with the wicked? Many ministers that preach in steeplehouses are far from these calumnies which ye heap upon them. All ministers do not say the steeplehouse is the church of God, or the temple of God; all ministers do not say the letter is the word, or the letter is the light; all ministers do not seek their own things more than the things of Christ; all ministers do not preach merely for hire, &c.

     Ans. We do not charge the words forementioned upon them all; but it is the thing they are guilty of, though they disown the <87> words; for although all do not say the steeplehouse is the church, the letter is the word, the letter is the light, yet do they not all worship in the idol's temple, which all the believers denied and did not practice? And have they any immediate word or light to hold forth to the people but the letter? But the apostles denied to be ministers of the letter, but of the Spirit. And though they say they do not seek their own things more than the things of Christ, or preach merely for hire, yet are they such, as every one seeks for his gain from his quarter, which the prophet called greedy dogs, and they will either have hire, or they will soon cease their preaching and fly. And thou that canst not see those to be hirelings, but calls them innocent, art contrary to the judgment of Christ, Ezekiel, and all the true prophets, and who is contrary to Christ is antichrist; and thus thou and they are revealed.

     Qu. 4. Why do you judge and cry down the ministry as useless, and take up the same employment yourselves? You allow of meetings public and private for edification, &c., if then there be need for instruction, and exhortation to the people, why may not good ministers be allowed to teach the people out of the Scriptures, as well as your teachers? and why may not we hear good ministers as well as your teachers?

     Ans. That we cry down the ministry is false, or that we take up the same employment ourselves that we cry down in others, that is false also. And here thou art found a liar and false accuser. But to judge and cry woe against hirelings, such as had no word but what they steal from their neighbor, who were proud, envious, and covetous, who had the form, but denied the power, that this was the practice of Christ and all that he sent is plain in Scripture, and that these met together in open fields and private houses, and there exhorted one another to wait on Christ the everlasting teacher, is plain also, and thou that queries this art blind and ignorant of the letter, and calls those good ministers who are found in the evil work, and out of the doctrine of Christ.

     Qu. 5. Why may not godly ministers teach the people in a steeplehouse, as well as your teachers in an abba,jj a private house, or the open field? What difference between a steeplehouse and an abba in the strictest sense, for which the steeplehouse is excepted <88> against, if the one was dedicated to idolatry, so the other also?

     Ans. Godly ministers called out of the idols' temple, and said God did not dwell in temples made with hands, for which ungodly ministers who worshipped in them stoned to death and persecuted as you do, and in these things you count little was the godly and ungodly separated and are at this day; read and understand, here you are seen, and your cloak will not cover you, and for the word "abba" that thou takes but to carp withal, for as it was an abba it is thrown down, and hath been long; and not as an abba but as a dwelling house where a believer abides do we meet there, nor do we meet there more than at other places, as you do in your steeplehouses every First Day, therefore be ashamed, who accuses contrary to that in thy conscience, and there read thy condemnation.

     Qu. 6. What do you mean by forms? Ye cry down forms, and the use of all forms in us, and yet you allow yourselves to walk by the same forms.

     Ans. All forms and likenesses that are without, the same spirit and power that was in them from whom you gather, the forms we cry down, and this need no meanings, but is that which was ever done by the holy men of God, who denied all hypocrites, but that we walk in the same form we cry down in you is false.

     Qu. 7. What do you think of all the godly that lived and died, and some of them gave their lives for the testimony of that truth which we now do profess, this thousand six hundred years late past.

     Ans. Thinking we judge not by, there thou art in thy vain thoughts judging of the people of God, yea God himself to be like thee, but we know & are sure that the god-like are eternally happy, who walked accordingly to the measure of God they then received. But now that light being come which hath been hid from ages, to which you are become enemies, you professing that form, but being enemies to that light and power that led them to suffer will not save you, for did you own that light which led the godly to suffer, it would not lead you to persecute, so by your fruits you are found to be of another generation, who garnished their sepulchers whom your fathers slew, as they did.

     Qu. 8. Why do you judge ministers and Christians for making use of the letter of the word and practice the same things yourselves?

     Ans. That we judge any for making use of the letter, is false; <89> but for taking other men's words who are not fulfilled in them, nor speak to them, and from that speaking a divination of their own brain, calling this the word of the Lord; for this we judge them, and the Scripture judgeth them, and that we practice such things is false. Cease thy lying.

     Qu. 9. Why do you deal corruptly with the word, taking so much of it as is for your purpose, and deny the rest? How do you know this precept, or that promise or prophesy, to be more infallible Scripture than another verse or verses in the same page, or chapter? Why do you make the Scripture herein to contradict itself?

     Ans. Thou wicked slanderer, what part of the Scripture is it we deny? Prove thy accusation; and do we deal corruptly with the word, we instance not all the letter at once; here all may see thy folly, and how in this thou condemns Christ and all the apostles to deal corruptly, who instanced but so much of the letter as might prove what they said, or disprove the enemy or gainsayers, and they did not make the Scripture to contradict itself.

     Qu. 10. Who shall expound the Scripture where it is hard to be understood, whether will you allow of the Scripture to be the interpreter of itself?

     Ans. The same Spirit that gave it forth, the same must open it, and to that it is not hard to be understood, which Spirit thou knows not who wants an interpreter to the Scripture or else thou canst not understand it; for that Spirit see it as it speaks, without any other meanings, but all other spirits wrests and gives meanings to it.

     Qu. 11. The apostles bid try the spirits, there is a false spirit and a true Spirit, whether will you be willing to be tried by the Scriptures, whether ye be of God or no.

     Ans. He that bid try the spirits set down in the following words an infallible rule to try all false spirits that are in the world by, and were thou not blind thou would see it. But thou that would have us tried by the letter, who must read it, hirelings, chief priests, and persecutors, then should we come to such a trial amongst you carnal priests and people as Christ and all the holy men of God came to amongst the chief priests and Pharisees, who by their carnal meanings of the letter of the law, condemned him who was the sum of the law, and they themselves did not walk answerably to the law, no more do you to the letter now, but by it are judged in all your worships.

<90>     Qu. 12. Where do you find bodily worship and spiritual worship separated as if we had no bodies to serve God withal? How is it possible to have the power of the word without the letter of the word, or the power of godliness without the form of godliness?

     Ans. There was a people drew near to God in the outward, and with their lips they honored him in outward form like you, but the heart was far from him; these he denied, who contended about places and times of worship, and a people he taught to worship him in Spirit and truth, who denied these forms they contended about and were separate from them in their outward worships, and such said, "Bodily exercise profits little"; here was a separation of spiritual worships and worshippers from carnals, and thou that knows not how one can have the power of the word without the letter are not of the seed of Abraham, who had the power of the word, that brought him out of his kindred, but had no letter; and there thy seed is manifest, who pleads for the form but denies the power that should bring thee out of the world.

     Qu. 13. Why do you cry out against some sins and allow of others? that which the Scripture saith is sin, you say is no sin; what is sin, and what is not?

     Ans. Thou liar, what sins do we allow on? And what is it that the Scripture saith is sin, which we say is no sin? And thou which knows not yet what sin is, makes it appear thou art out of the teachings of Christ, the new covenant, which whosoever knows, sees the law of God written in the heart, which law is pure and condemns the least sin that transgresseth it.

     Qu. 14. How do you know there is a God, a Spirit, a conscience, a Word, how do you know sin to be sin?

     Ans. As Noah, Abraham, Jacob, and the holy men of God ever did, which none of them knew him by the letter, but by revelation, and thou that knows him not so, knows him not at all, but by hearsay, as the heathen do, and if there had not been a letter, thou had never talked of a God, who knows him not but in the letter; and thy knowledge I deny, and by the same Spirit do we know all the rest, which to the serpent is hid.

     Qu. 15. What do you think of the ten commandments, or moral law, whether is it a rule of life to a Christian, yea or no?

     Ans. Here thou art manifest in thy thinkings, who art in the old covenant, and thy own righteousness, but my covenant is the <91> new one, and the law in the heart, and here Christ is the rule of life to me forever, and my law is spiritual and not moral.

     Qu. 16. What do you mean by the light within? Ye bid all people hearken to the light within, but ye do not tell us what it is, that men may know what to take heed unto.

     Ans. Here thou askest a question to manifest thy darkness, and thyself to be of the world; for he was in the world, who was the light, and the world knew him not; now of all the people of God who were exhorted to wait on the light and to abide in the light, which of them did ever ask such a question? And here thou art manifest a child of darkness, above all thou canst read of, and thou who stumbles at the light, by the light that comes from Christ art to be condemned; to that in thy conscience which is the light I speak, that with it thou may see thyself a child of darkness; and that is the light which shows thee thy evil deeds.

     Qu. 17. What is Christ? whether God equal with the Father, perfect God and perfect man, or only the new and regenerate part of man?

     Ans. Christ is not known to the world, nor by hearsay, but through the obedience to death, and self-denial, and if thou wilt hearken to the light that comes from Christ, to exercise thy conscience there in obedience to it, it will lead thee out of darkness up to Christ, from whom the light comes, to know him and his doctrine; but till then let the serpent be blind, disputing about the body of Christ, as once he did about the body of Moses.

     Qu. 18. Whether will you own the irregular action of particular persons on your part to be of God, such as strip naked, lying in the streets, men and women lying together, fathering it upon the Spirit?

     Ans. The works of the flesh and deeds of darkness we disown, and all lustful actions by whomever they be committed, or whatever they pretend, for the Spirit of God leads to no such things; but you that call stripping naked (being commanded of God) irregular, read Isa. 20 and shame with thy accusations, and lay thy hand upon thy mouth, and confess thy ignorance of the commands of God, yea of the letter itself.

     Qu. 19. What mean ye by perfection? If ye mean that the saints are wholly free from sin and wholly seated in liberty, and cannot sin, as some of your writings express, nor need any more <92> teachings from men, why then do you teach one another?

     Ans. Thou carper, why dost thou not carp at Christ, who sent out his ministers for perfecting the saints, and to bring them up to his measure and fulness, and the apostles who preached and prayed that they might present every man perfect in Christ Jesus, and brought them off the temple and synagogues, and said, how can you who are made free from sin, live any longer therein? and he that is born of God sins not, neither can he sin; and he that abides in Christ sins not; and you have an unction, and know all things, and you need not that any man teach you, but as the anointing which you have received teacheth you of all things that are true, and in it is no lie? Now if you know their meanings, you may know ours to be the same: these taught to bring up to perfection, and so here is no new thing, but to the blind serpent.

     Qu. 20. What ground have you to look for revelations in a different sense from the apostle's, when he said, "the righteousness of Christ is revealed from faith to faith"?

     Ans. Our revelations are no way different from the apostles', who (some of them) had revelations unlooked for, and by those was taught to look for further revelations; and herein we have unity with the apostles, from faith to faith, and by this faith in which we live and have union with them, do we deny thee and thy sense, who is different from the apostles and us, who both witness revelations, but you deny them.

     Qu. 21. Whether have you so repented, as that you need to repent no more, though some of you should fall away from the faith you are now in; do ye not judge it necessary that such a one manifest some repentance or change of his mind to your judgment before you will give him again the right hand of fellowship.

     Ans.That repentance I witness is that which is not to be repented of, my sin being taken away by Christ, my repentance stands sure; but thou who says thou hast repented, and hast committed the sin again, art turned with the dog to the vomit, and has overthrown thy repentance, and none who knows Christ will give the hand of fellowship to any such, till their repentance be established and manifest, and what I say of thee, I say of all, and here the whole is answered.

     Qu. 22.Whether have you all one Spirit, one rule, one light to walk by?

<93>     Ans. We who are one do witness the unity in these things, and hereby are of one soul, heart and mind; and all who are not in this unity we deny and see them to be in the sects, opinions, and the many names; but we which are one, witness one God, and his name one.

     Qu. 23. What do you think of community? there is much talk by some of your friends of dividing men's estates and having all things common, whether do you think the Scriptures gives you any such warrant?

     Ans.Thy thinkings and thy slanders I deny. Which of us hast thou heard talk of dividing other men's estates, or which of us have attempted any such thing as you priests do, who divide men's estates by force, but witness him a thief, who by violence or craft takes any other man's goods. But if the power of the gospel fall upon the rich or poor, and move them to distribute their own, thou that thinks the Scripture warrants not this art blind.

     Qu. 24.What precept or example have you to subscribe your books and papers from the mouth of the Spirit?

     Ans. The holy men of God in all ages writ as they was moved by the Holy Ghost, and we witness the same, and thou that speaks and writes not from the Spirit of Christ, speaks and writes from the spirit of antichrist; and this is the cause of thy rage at the mentioning of the Spirit and power of Christ, which is appeared to bruise thy head.

     And in thy conclusion thou says we cannot expect that thou should sit still and either say as we say or else say nothing at all;I answer, it is true, whoever knows by what spirit thou art acted cannot expect thee to sit still till thy kingdom be overthrown by the seed of the woman, now arisen to bruise thy head; and it is as true that thy rising to contend against the Lamb shall be for thy more great and sudden overthrow. Therefore, woe unto the wicked, it shall be ill with you what way ever you take, who knows not God, whether you arise or sit still. Some other false accusations thou hast cast upon us, but the contrary being so plainly manifest to all that know our practice and way (who are not willfully blind) that I see it needless to mention them, and though they touch not us in the least, yet thy malice is no less; for which thou must account unless thou speedily repent.

James Nayler



1. John 1:9.

2. John 8:12.

3. John 10:4-5.

4. 2 Tim. 4:3.

5. 2 Cor. 4:10-11.

6. 1 John 3:8.

7. Heb, 7:25.

8. 1 Tim. 1:19.

9. Rom. 1:4,16.

10. Rom. 5:17.

11. Rom. 3:22.

12. Rom. 10:3-4.

13. Rom. 3:27.

14. Phil. 3:9.

15. Phil. 1:11.

16. Jas. 2:26.

17. Eph. 2:10.

18. 1 John 5:4; Gal. 1:4.

19. 1 John 3:3.

20. Heb. 6:19.

21. Rom. 10:8.

22. Heb. 8:10-11.

23. Heb. 7:19.

24. 1 Cor. 12:13.

25. 1 Cor. 14:15.

26. John 4:23-24.

27. 1 Chron. 25; Ezra 7:13,16.

28. 1 Chron. 21:22,24.

29. Judg. 6:31-32.

30. 1 Kings 12:29-30.

31. John 4:21.

Editor's Notes

a. The first epistle in this pamphlet had also been published earlier, in 1654, as the first part of a pamphlet with the following title page:

A Word from the Lord

Unto all the faithless generation of the world, who know not the truth but live in their own imaginations; with a true declaration of the true faith, and in what it doth differ from the world's imagination: written in obedience to the Lord, that all may see what faith is owned by the saints, and what faith is denied.

And also a few words unto all professors of the world, who worship not the true God but their own imaginations and conceivings instead of the true God: Also a call from God unto all the world to repentance, that all may turn unto him, lest the Lord destroy both root and branch of them that repent not.

Also a few words unto you that scorn quaking and trembling, which all the holy men of God witness that spake forth the Scripture, and also the holy men of God justified, and all you denied that scorneth such as witness such things now, as ever was in all the generations of the saints.

With a word to those that are called Anabaptists, Independents, Presbyterians, Levellers, and Ranters, that they may turn to the Lord, by yielding obedience to the light in their consciences.

By those whom the world knows by the names of
George Fox & James Nayler
Printed in the year 1654

b. Whitehead renders the title: "A word from the Lord, unto all the faithless generation of the world, and to all who desire to know what faith and hope we live in, and what faith and hope we deny."

     In general, and unless otherwise noted, Whitehead follows the version printed in 1654 (see note, p. 78 above).

c. 1654 omits "help and."

d. 1654 omits "lead and."

e. 1654: "all them and their faith we deny."

f. 1654: "and their lives."

g. 1654: "he."

h. Whitehead inserts "to do it."

i. 1654: "for that Christ in which we believe is"; W: "for is not that Christ in which the saints believe."

j. 1654 omits "after men."

k. 1654: "and."

l. 1654: "that was."

m. 1654 omits "them."

n. 1654 omits "are they which."

o. 1654 "false righteousness."

p. 1654: "are."

q. W. omits "and that Christ and."

r. Whitehead omits "which is not perfect."

s. Whitehead inserts "in him."

t. 1654: "and" instead of "for."

u. W. changes "Christ or" to "this."

v. Whitehead changes "this" to "the."

w. W. changes "without and moral" to "only without."

x. W. omits "all."

y. Whitehead inserts "they."

z. Whitehead changes "without" to "out of."

aa. 1654 omits "their word without."

bb. Whitehead omits "their Christ without."

cc. Whitehead changes "to be within, and within" to "in spirit, in which."

dd. 1654 omits "the."

ee. Whitehead changes "Spirit" to "life."

ff. 1654 add "by this Spirit."

gg. W. changes "and that" to "whose."

hh. Above this subtitle W. prints the following title: "A Brief Manifestation of the ground upon which we stand, to those who desire to know it, with a declaration why we cannot repair the idols' temples nor give day-wages to a clerk."

ii. Whitehead changes "fathers" to "forefathers."

jj. abba = abbey