A TRUE AND Faithful VVarning UNTO The People and Inhabitants of BRISTOL, AND Unto the Rulers, Priests and People of Eng­land, in general, that they might prepare to meet the Lord, whose Judgments are even pouring out upon the Head of the Transgressour.

Also some QUERIES which deeply concern all who are in Authority in the Nation, to consider of.

With a brief Account of some Tryals and suffer­ings, which the Author hereof hath suffered and sustained at the hands of unreasonable men in his Travel and Pilgri­mage since his youth up, until this day: VVhereunto is ad­ded, a Declaration, briefly treating of his Travels and suffer­ings in Rome, and the Popes Dominions, in and for the Truth of God; which may be both seasonable and profitable unto the unprejudic'd Reader, who simply desireth to know the Truth, from the lies and slanders which are cast upon us who are called Quakers, as having been falsly accused of being Romanists, or popishly affected.

Given forth in Newgate Prison of Bristol, by a sufferer for the Truth of God, called CHARLES BAILY.

LONDON, Printed in the Year 1663.

TO THE Upright-hearted & unprejudic'd READER, In any place where this may come.

FRIEND,

THE occasion of my writing of this which en­sueth is this: I being a man of sufferings, bonds and afflictions attending me on every hand, these several yeares, as one who turneth not his back from the smiter, nor his check from him that plucketh off the haire, having indeed learned of the Father, how to be a Companion and fellow sufferer with the man of sorrow, who was well acquainted with griefs, as being rejected of all (that was and is of this world); I say it being so that the Lord hath sepa­rated me from my mothers womb, & hath made me like minded unto the Son of his love, by revealing him in me, though few there be which know it, which is the very cause why I have been so reproa­ched, and rejected on every side, some saying one thing of me, and some another; and for the most part, the Cry of the blind world­lings and Priests is, that I am a Jesuite, or a Popish Priest, though it is not unknown unto many thousands (in this Nation) how that I have been a deep sufferer in Rome (my self) by the hands of that Idolatrous Crew, who earnestly sought my life, and not only mine, but those also who were of my perswasion; and had not the Lord stopped and limited their bloody minds, and intents, we had never escaped their hands, for as farre as they were suffered to act they did not spare, but did hang one of my Deare Brethren (whose name was called John Luffe), who was a fellow-traveller with John Parrot, whom they also did use very cruelly, not beseeming modesty to utter; the substance of which I know that the King, and and many of the Nobles of this Nation (so called) are not igno­rant of, and of his long Imprisonment, which was neer the space of 3 Yeares, wanting but some few Dayes; for whose sake (in the [Page 2]bowels of Gods Everlasting love) I was drawn from the Indies, where I was a sojourner neer 14 Yeares, and being drawn from thence (as I said) in the bowels of Gods Love, I had not rest in my spirit (night nor day) until I arrived at Rome, where I was made willing to tender my life for his, though I had never seen his face with my natural eyes; for which cause I was (by reason of my importunity in that businesse to the Cardinal) cast into prison in their Inquisition house, where I was securely kept, and strictly exami­ned, concerning the ground and cause of my coming there, and al­so of our Practises and Principles, unto which I did give answer (in great simplicity of heart) which would be too long here to re­peat: They much questioned who was our head, and who was the first that preached our Religion? and whether we had any thing as from Calvin and Luthe? and how long our Religion had been? I answered, nay, we held not, nor had not our Religion from them, but Christ was our only teacher and head, and we are all Brethren: As for the antiquity of our Religion, I said it was since Abel, the first that suffered in innocency; though one of the Jesuites was so blind as to say that Abel was before Christ, (in his answer to me before many witnesses) for which I reproved him. This is but little, as a touch in brief, of what passed between us, for I do believe that it tooke up the writing of several sheets of paper: And when they saw that they could not insnare me, then they went to their old murthering question (about their Sacrament): I told them that in the Scripture there was no such word truely tran­slated: And when they saw how that I saw their deceit in it, they pro­ceeded no further (in that particular): And it being so that this writing may happen to come into the hands of those deluded people, I may here in brief shew their deceit in that thing, it being the thing for which many simple in heart have been barbarously murdered & massacred: And here this bloody generation ground their deceit in this particular thing in the Scripture, Where the word (Mistery) is spoken, they translate it Sacrament; and when I questioned them about it, they said how that Mistery signified a holy thing, which I proved to be false for I told them there was the Mistery of Iniqui­ty, which was neither Sacrament, nor holy. And after they had tryed me many wayes (in that bloody City; in which time I was kept for the most part with so little of their natural sustenance, that [Page 3]much notice was taken of it; for it was so, that after I was remo­ved from the Inquisition to the hospital of mad men, I was put in the publick view of all scorners and Jeerers, as one who was mocked and derided of all, as they said I was a strange kind of man, come out of England, of the Sect of the Tremolantes, that was as much as to say, of the Sect of the Quakers, which people I did with a Cheerful heart there acknowledge to be the only people of the Lord, which thing I can never dissent from, whether in life or death, though reproachfully called by the name of Sectarians (as of old the true Christians were). And after I was thus publickly viewed and known by means of the many people that came to that place to see the distracted men, amongst whom I was also held in Chains, I say, after this the Lord required me to fast, as a witnesse against their murthering of my Brother; for after they had murthered him they said he starved himself to death; for as they themselves said he did, and dyed, even so the Lord caused me to do, and live, which thing for ever stands written in the book of Heaven as a witnesse against them, and all that bloody Generation where-ever they are, and also against their hypocritical Fastings (for whilest they pretend to fast, they feast themselves with the choycest & best of the creation) which in obedience to the Lord, I continued in about 20 dayes, without any natural sustenance (except water), which did so amaze them that they themselves could not but confesse it to be more than a natural thing, seeing I was well and in good health every way at the end of the time, which thing was so taken notice of (amongst them) that they could not endure to detain us longer after, inso­much that the Lord making way for us, we were released, and we took our journey towards France, where, in the Power and Autho­rity of God, I was drawn forth to warn both Rulers, Priests, and People (in Town, City, and Country) until I came through the Na­tion, and being ready to take shipping for England, I spake unto two Priests of the Popish Order, unto whom I declared (as I had done unto many more) destruction and a final end of all Idol Priests, I­dols, and Idolaters, for which Cause I violently was halled away and committed to prison, in a Court called Bucke De Ault, which was between Deap and Abbuilly, about 20 Leagues from Dover, where I continued about the space of 2 Moneths; and after publick Examination and Tryall, the Prison doores were set open, from [Page 4]whence I passed to Callis, continuing still to warn the People, for which Cause I was had before the Magistrates, and being exami­ned by them, they let me pass away toward Graveling, where I was at the English Nunnery, where I warned them, though they would not let me see their face; and after some threatning I had from their Priest, I departed from thence toward Dunkirk, where I was presently taken up (by the Governour's Officers) and by him retained as Prisoner in his own house until the next day he sent me away in a Friggot of the Kings for England, alleadging for his so doing, that it was because he feared I would make a disturbance a­mongst the Papists, saying to this purpose, that there was Articles of agreement betwixt them, and that they were not to be disturbed, which thing he feared I would do; and I being landed at Deale, I passed towards Dover, to visit my friends after this my sore tryal and travel amongst the Papists, and e're I was in that Town 24 houres, I was by the Mayor of the Town taken from a friends house of mine, and committed to prison, for a Jesuite, where I remained about 7 Moneths; and after my release from thence, I took my journey towards London, where I had not been long, but I was ap­prehended by the Magistrates of the City as they were sitting at a Court in the Old Bayly, who espied me only as a beholder of other transactions against my Dear friends (who are called Quakers) for which they sent for me and tendred me the Oath, making that the same snare to ensnare me, as their manner was and is still to doe to the innocent; and from thence I was Committed to New-gate, where I was with many more of my Brethren kept about the space of 4 Moneths, until I was so weak, that I was carried out in a Chaire: And upon my recovery from this weaknesse, I went unto one of our publick Meeting-places (neare Alders-gate in London) where I was taken again, with the Lords innocent People, under the pretence of Plotters, which thing we were wholly cleere of, for the thing then intended or pretended against us, was a plot, which was afterwards found to be intended by a people contrary-minded unto us, both in their lives, practises, and principles, for which some of them suffered death, who were wholly strangers unto us, and woe unto such kind of plotters? Notwithstanding, many of us suffered im­prisonment until death, in, and about London for this Cause, amongst whom I was a deep sufferer, until the last, though the King him­selfe [Page 5]did confesse to mine and our innocency. And all this, as for mine own particular, I could have buried in oblivion, and never have made mention of it more, were it not for the cleering of the innocency of that Truth of God, which I professe and live in, from the scandalous reproaches of Ishmael's stock, at whose hands I have suffered such things, as would be both long and hard to utter, it now being the sixth time I have been committed to Prison by the hands of unreasonable men (since I have returned from Rome); once at Dover, and four times at London: All which sufferings & imprison­ments, nothing was, or ever could be proved against me, as the breach of any Law, save that by which mens Consciences are restrained from worshipping of God, according to the perswasion of his Spirit (in their own Consciences), and also because I would not break Christs Commands, who saith, Swear not at all, to obey the Commands of men (to swear): And though for those two things I have so suffered, I have this day a Conscience void of offence towards all men, who are of honest hearts, and am cleer also in the sight of God concerning them both, and am at this instant Justified in his sight; and he knoweth how that I seek the good of all men, though an open enemy to all deceitful works, hireling Priests, and Deceivers, upon the face of the Earth, whether in Pope or Prelate, or what sort, de­gree, or denomination soever.

I had not been 3 Weekes released out of London Prison of Bride­well before I was committed here: In which Prison I was committed by Richard Brown, only for speaking a few words in the street, because they did hinder me and my friends of going into our hired house, I being committed to the Counter but the Week before, for the same Cause, and released about the middle of the week by Robinson, then Mayor of London, and but 3 dayes before that, I was released out of New-gate upon the death of Deare E. B. with whom I was a prisoner severall Moneths (as both in one Prison) though not in one Roome, but a little time before his death, in which the Lord did Everlastingly Crown him with Glory, Ho­nour, and blessing: For this I shall leave upon record concerning him, that as he was honourable in his life, so he was in death, and his seed shall praise his noble Acts for ever, in which he was Renowned.

And now upon my release in London, I tooke my journey towards [Page 6]this City, where I had been but a short time, to the number of two or three dayes, before I was cast in Bonds here, only for speaking to two Priests of this City, telling them the blind led the blind, and both would fall into the ditch; and as it happened one of them was blind, which was more than I know, for I had never seen their faces be­fore: but these men being guilty inwardly of the Charge, soone pro­ved it by their fruits and actions, who presently caused me by reason of their complaints, to be had before their Rulers, who being willing and ready to satisfie their malicious desires, did soon tender me the Oath, as there being not any seeming just cause in the other to cast me into Prison, where I am at present a sufferer in the patience and good will of God.

And thus with as much brevity as I could, have I declared some­thing of the hard measure which I have sustained and received at the hands of unreasonable men (in, and about 3 yeares time since I Landed at this City), upon my return from Virginia, after my sore Captivity there; and truely had it not been by reason of the many and various reports which are concerning me (amongst ma­ny), I know I should have been still willing to have concealed the grief of all this within my own bowels, yea, and notwithstanding all these things (besides the Lord alone, which might have induced me to this matter) I should certainly have concealed it. And now after all this, in which, & through which the Lord hath tryed my poor soul by the common enemy, if he should try me at or by the hands of dea­rest friends, as Job was, shall I be angry with him, or repine at it? God forbid; in whose good will I rest, until he arise and plead my Cause.

Charles Bayly.

A true and faithfull Relation of some of the sufferings, tryals, sorrows, and travels of the Seed and Spirit of God for the creature, and now of the creature, in with the same Seed and Spirit (manifest through an earthen vessel) known by name C.B.

SUrely had I the Tongue of the Eloquent, and the Pen of a ready Writer, it would be hard for me to de­clare the grievousness of my hard travels and sorrow, which I have undergone, since I was but 12 or 13 years of Age, in which time my deep travell and sor­row began; it being so that in my tender years I had been tenderly brought up (about the Court of England), my natural Parents belonging thereunto, who were Roman Catholiques, in which Religion they carefully brought me up, sparing neither cost nor pains, for any thing which might tend unto my edifica­tion, and bringing me up in that way: But my God intending to make me an instrument in his hand, for his own work, did raise up something in my soul (of a child) which was of himself, which caused a secret dislike (in my heart) of that Idolatrous way of worship, in so much that I could never heartily embrace the same; which thing hath caused tears to be shed for me (by my own friends, then, who dearly and tenderly loved me ac­cording unto the love as Parents bear unto their Children;) and it being so, it raised a great discontent sometimes in them to arise towards me, which was the first ground and original cause of my sorrow, though I did not know what that was in my self, which caused me for to dislike it, both in way and worship, which since I found to be the light and gift of Gods grace in my soul, which was nigh me, and in me, at all times, and places, a sure and living Witnesse against all sin and evill whatsoever.

And from that time forwards, I was ever seeking for to sepa­rate my self from my natural Parents; and the wars coming on in England, did enlarge my opportunity, for to fulfill my in­tended purpose, it being so that most of the Court Officers were dismissed of their outward beings (in and about London,) where I had my natural birth and bringing up, untill about the Age be­fore mentioned; and it being so, I did begin to wander about, not being kept at School, nor at Board, as formerly I had been: But my Parents being willing to have me to their own natural Countrey (which was France,) I passed thither with one who was Extraordinary Embassador sent from the King of France (called the Prince Deicourt,) who loved me, and kept me by him some time for his Interpreter, whilest he was in England; but still something there was in me, which could not be satisfied to feed at the Table of Princes, nor to be in their love and fa­vour (without the love and favour of God), which made me still in a restlesse condition, which caused me for to return out of France, without the consent and knowledge of my outward friends, or relations: And coming to England, at Graves-end, as I was intending to passe for London, I met with one Brad-street, who was commonly called a Spirit, for he was one of those who did entice Children and People away for Virginia; he fell into discourse with me, and I being tender in years, he did cunningly get me on Board of a Ship, which was then there riding ready for to go to those parts, and I being once on Board, could never get on Shoar, untill I came to America, where I was sold as a bond-slave for seaven years, in which time it would be too hard for me to shew (in every particular) the hardship and misery that I did undergo (in that time of hung­er, cold, and nakednesse, beatings, whippings, and the like;) for many times was I stripped naked, and tied up by the hand, and whipped; and made to go bare-foot, and bare-legged in cold and frosty weather, and hardly cloaths to cover my naked­nesse, besides the soare and grievous labour which I was conti­nually kept at, during which time my poor soul would be often bemoaning it self (every way) concerning my soar captivity and misery; and something I can indeed say did in secret an­swer [Page 9]and refresh my tender soul; in the feeling of which, I could in truth of heart say, I did forgive my then persecutors: And when grief would be ready to swallow me up, I would consider how that that which did then befall me, was surely for my good; and would rather judge my self than others, beleeving that I indeed did deserve it, and much more for my disobedience, though of a truth it was very grievous and hard for me to beat, as to the very natural, what I did, and surely had not the secret hand of Gods love upheld me, I could never have sup­ported my burden, there being such an alteration with me, when I came to eat my bread in the Ash heap, whenas before I had been in the presence of Princes; and also the alteration both of food and every thing else; for instead of a well stringed Lute in my hand, I had hard labour, and my daily exerci e was beyond the common manner of Slaves, for mine was often night and day: I say, had it not been the very hand and love of God which had supported me, my very outward man would have been laid in the dust, as several of my then fellow Labourers were, in a most sad and deplorable condition, which thing I desire may not be laid to their charge, who were the Authors of it; I say, the Lord forgive them for that which they did to them and me, for I am sure the poor creatures had better have been hanged, than to have suffered the death and misery they did; which thing I should not in this place have spoken, were it not so, but that some of these Papers might come to the hands of those who may in like manner be inflictors of such misery upon others, that so if there be but any remorse, or place of re­pentance left in them, that they may yet repent of their evill, for it is very great; for though the man whom I served was ap­proved, and received a Member of an Independant Church, in those parts, yet he was unconverted, as to the Lord; which shewed their light and discerning but little worth; for indeed, I never saw any change or alteration in the man at all. But I shall return unto the thing intended by me, which is to speak of the goodnesse and love of God unto my soul, that so all those who might be like-minded with me, might not come to de­spair in any condition whatsoever they may fall into; if they do but love and fear the Lord, he will bring them out of the sixth [Page 10]trouble, and also the seaventh in the end: For when I was out or this hard servitude, I could not for all that return to, or own that dark and devilish worship, whatever did become of me; for then I was come to a riper understanding, and growth, both in years and knowledge, in which I saw and confessed unto a hand of Divine Justice against that people, and also to a hand of Divine providence in bringing me there, where I heard and understood both outward and inward, that the Sword of the Lord was drawn against the wicked, in this Nation of England; and also I did observe in that day, how that the Parliament party did, and would most of all prevail, because that there was something raised up in them, against the grosse Popery and Idolatry, and wickednesse which was then on soot in the Na­tion, which thing was the cause I did indeed mostly affect them then, beyond any other people, though they were called Puritans in derision. But in a short time the chiefest of those people, who were amongst us, lost their first integrity, soon especially, when the Lords hand had given their Brethren great rest and victory from their enemies, and so soon turned that little liberty they had gotten to a wrong end, and made use of it as an occasion to the flesh, by which means they became as much in bondage as ever, every one seeking his own, and not anothers good; which thing I did in that day observe, though few knew that it was so with me, but outwardly I did in that day frequent, and indeed loved those most who were the most honest amongst men: But it being so in the main, that nothing but rioting, drinking, singing, and dancing was amongst the best of men, I knew not what to do, but to be one of them, which I judged better of the two, than to return unto the Romish stuff, for my very soul did abhor it; therefore I did rather choose to labour with my hands, and so get my bread with pain­fulnesse, than to return or make my self known unto my nearest relations any way, for I said in my heart, their sorrow is over concerning me. But in the midst of all this, my soul in secret did mourn after a holy life of love, but could not see it born up in any living, amongst whom I did converse, or had any thing to do with. And as in relation to my own condition, I [Page 11]did often lament it, in secret, and would often say unto the Lord, Hast thou created me thus to destroy me? for I saw how that I was still ingrievous bondage unto sin, and lead thereunto at the Devils will, and I felt in my self how that the wages of sin was death, because of the terrours of the Lord that came upon my soul, by the reason of it, and whilest that I was in this state, my grief was more than could be uttered, or indeed seen by any; for I would often seem to do away sorrow with laugh­ter, lightnesse and vanity; yet still in the very midst of all this, I continued seeking in my heart a man of love, or a people in whom one might put confidence, which thing I was drawn unto, (by the good, which was of God in my own heart;) and as God did raise it me, so in the end he did answer it to me outwardly, by sending one of his dear servants into those parts, whose name was Elizabeth Harris, who soon answered that which was breathing after God in me; by which means I came with many more, to be informed in the way and truth of God, having a seal in my heart and soul of the truth of her message, which indeed I had long waited for: And then when I had found this beloved life and people, I was like a man over-joyed in my heart; not onely because that I heard that God had raised up such a people in England, but also because I saw the sudden fruits and effects of it, both in my own heart, and in others, insomuch that in a short time we became all to be as one entire family of love, and were drawn together in his life, (which was his light in us) to wait upon him in the still­nesse and quietnesse of our spirits, like so many people which desired nothing but the pure teachings of Gods Spirit, in which we were often refreshed together, and one in another: And when this I had found, and clearly understood, how that that which judged me, and condemned my soul for sin, from my youth up untill that day, I say, when I came to see that this was the very way to God, I was as a man that had found that which his soul loved; and then had I had ten thousand Crowns, I could have laid them all down at the feet of them, who then went forth to declare such good and glad tidings of peace, and good-will, which was freely extended unto all the [Page 12]Sons of men; then happy man was I, if that I could but have served, or have been any way serviceable unto such of those who went forth to declare, who were ministring servants in the hand of the Lord to us, whose pure life I loved and honoured in them above all; and then I was not onely made willing to have forsaken father, or mother, and all outward Inheri­tance and favour of men, but also to have laid down my life for the Lords sake; such was the love that was raised in me, that I had rather have been a Prisoner with the deepest sufferer in the greatest sorrow, and counted it more happinesse so to be, than with the Princes of this world in their greatest joy and dignity: And this was of the Lords own begetting in me, though few saw it then. And this I can tell thee Reader (who­ever thou art) by true experience, that if thou find but such a thing in thee, which bringeth a remorse upon thee by reason of sin, and draweth thy heart into tendernesse and pitty unto the oppression and captivity which is upon all creatures, which they lye under by reason of sin, in which, and by which men are degenerated from God; I say, that if thou find and feel but such a thing in thee, prize it above all, for it is of the very life and restorer of all things, by which Moses was acted in the dayes of old, when he did forsake the pleasure of sin for a season, and chose rather to partake of the suffering and af­flictions of the afflicted, than to be called the son of Pharaohs daughter; for it was that in which he wrought the wonders of God, and will also do the like in thee, if thou obey love and follow it, it will be thy guide, leader, and preserver, and teacher, in all states and conditions whatsoever, through which, and in which thy immortal soul will come to be sa­ved, and so satisfied; for I will tell thee plainly, that except man comes to be acquainted with something in himself, which is more glorious than all visible and transitory things without him, he can never come to forsake all for the Lords sake: For this I have seen and experienced through deep travail and sor­row, how that if I had not had something in my own self, which was more desireable and amiable than all things, I could ne­ver have been made willing to have forsaken all things else be­sides [Page 13]it; but enjoying the life and presence of my Creator, in my own particular, all was well enough without me, though in hunger, in cold, and in nakednesse, or prisons, or bannish­ment, or travails, both by Sea or Land, I did still find satisfa­ction and refreshment in the enjoyment of Gods presence; and this I say not because another hath said it, but because my soul hath found it so in the time of need, even since the time that my God separated me outwardly from my Brethren in Virginia, who were more neer and dear to me than all my outward kind­red, because they were such as did the will of my father; since which time something of my travail may be seen in my follow­ing discourse, very briefly of my travels outward, but of my travels and sorrow inward, in all those travels and prisons, I shall leave it to the upright in heart to feel; for truly I may in the truth of God say, how that the dayes of my sorrow and fast­ings, passed the number of my remembrance: Besides the many assaults which the cursed Popish spirit of Inchantments, Sorcery, Witchcraft, did make against me, to destroy me, cannot be given to be understood by Tongue, Pen, Ink, nor Paper, but by those who have undergone the like tryal with me; for this I testifie in the Lord, and shall leave upon record, under my hand, how that a deeper spirit of Necromancy and deceit, is not upon the face of the whole earth to be found, so deep in work­ing in the mistery of iniquity, as it is amongst them; and this is the testimony which I give for the Lord God of life against them, which shall stand for ever. For as to my very outward, they have sought my death and destruction by this means; and I have been almost strangled in the night and day season, by that cursed spirit of Witchcraft, which hath sought to stop my mouth, thereby to have deprived me of my natural breath, which thing they would certainly have done, had not the Lord pre­served me, and rebuked them; for they have often come into my Prison, with many hundred sorts of shapes and likenesses, and have sought every way of Inchantment against me, and had it been so, that it had been possible for them to have prospe­red against me, to the utter destruction of me; they would have done it; but when the Lord had suffered them [Page 14]every way to try me, then he wholly rebuked them, and sent his ministring Angels to comfort me every way, as those poy­soning spirits had every way assaulted me; in which day of his everlasting love, he sealed up my soul in his everlasting Cove­nant of love for ever, for which cause I cannot forsake the Lord, whatever betides me. Now though tryals remain yet on every hand, yet my God knoweth I can never leave him, nor forsake him, nor decline from his living testimony in my heart, neither in life, nor death, but must and shall say unto all, love, fear, dread, and honour, and obey the Lord above all, who is worthy to have for ever, all the glory, honour, and praise, even him who is God over all, blessed for ever and ever. Amen.

And this is the end why my God separated me from my fathers house, in the time of my infancy, that I should be a true and faithfull witnesse against that spirit of persecution, murder, and envy, in whomsoever it be. And seeing the Lord hath thus long preserved me out of many eminent dangers, I know he will do the like for ever, as he hath spoken it unto my soul, that he will never suffer his faithfulness to fail concerning me; therefore I shall never be moved; and if it were not so, my soul would long ere now have sunk under the floods of deep sorrow, which yet come upon me without ceasing, rowling over my head; the Lord rebuke them, as I know he will do, for his name sake, even he who hath heard me out of the Whales belly, and answered my request once and again in the day of need, for which, I say, my soul magnifie, blesse, and praise his holy name for ever.

Charles Bayly.

AND now the Magistrates of this Nation (through whose hands I have passed thus from Prison to Prison) may see what they have done, if it be so they are not yet quite heart­blind, in the persecuting of a man so unreasonably as they have done, who hath been so far drawn forth as in relation to the very natural part, as to render his life and body for one of their na­turall Countrey men, who had been in long captivity in Rome, out of their Nation (even one, who was not himself a natural English man) though born in it; I say, surely following Generations might well say, the Heathen in America would not have thus rewarded a man, upon the return of such a service as this done for any one of their Nation, I am sure they would not have done it: And what right can any man expect to have at, or of the hands of such men, who are thus lead by a spirit of wrong judgement, as for to persecute in such a nature their friend, in the stead of their enemy, especially such a man as hath in this sort jeoparded his life, to witnesse against the Popish Religion, and not onely so, but hath undergone all and much more than the aforesaid miseries, rather than to em­brace and own it. Of these things, and concerning these things, I shall in the uprightnesse of my heart, leave it and commit it unto God, the judge of all, for to judge of this matter be­tween us.

A true and faithfull Warning unto the In­habitants of Bristol; as a loving visita­tion of Gods tender love unto them, that thereby they may take warning, and turn from the evill of their wayes, and repent with speed.

FOr the Sword of the Lord is already drawn over the City, and is made ready for the shedding of much blood, and for hewing of the mighty in pieces. And this is the Word of the Lord unto you all, both Rulers, Priests, and People, of what sort or degree soever; and if it were so, that Abraham, Lot, Job, and Noah, were in the City, yet should not they deliver it from the fierce stroak of the Almighty, which is ready to come upon it by rea­son of sin and transgression, so much the more, saith the Lord God of vengeance, because my glorious truth hath been so much declared in it, above and beyond any other of its neighbouring places; for thus saith the Lord God of Hosts, the mighty and terrible one, If the mighty works had been done in Sodom and Gomorrah, which have been done in thee, O Bristot, they might surely have repented. But ye have surely slighted it, and coun­ted it as a thing of nought; you are even fled as it were upon Horses into your dark Egyptian bondage, and reliques of idola­try and confusion, and there as it were setled your selves upon the old lees of Popery, which my hand is stretched out against, and shall never more be with-drawn, untill I have cut off, and quite rooted it out of all Nations, both root and branch; and they who go about to hold it up, or any part or parcel there­of, such shall be the object of my fierce anger, that both them and it shall surely fall together, saith the Lord of Hosts. And forasmuch as ye do with out-stretched necks, resist my truth, and say in your heart, we will not that this thing rule over us; [Page 17]therefore shall the sword of my anger bring you down, if you continue still in your gainsayings against me; and whatever is high and exalted in this City, shall be bowed down; the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it, and it shall shortly come to passe, who will not that any thing reign but his son alone, whom all the Angels must worship, and every knee be made to bow, and every tongue to confesse unto him for ever, and own his righ­teous judgements, which shall come upon the high, lofty, and proud, and rebellious, who forget God.

Therefore haste, haste, haste, with speed, and repent, and remember Nineveh, who repented at the preaching of Jonas; and a greater than Jonas is here, and hath been here in many Prophets, to warn thee, and as sure as God lives, if ye take not warning hereby, and repent, ye shall shortly know, unto your sorrow, that a Prophet hath been amongst you sent of the Lord, who sought not yours but you, that your immortal souls might come to be saved from the wrath, tribulation, and anguish, which is ready to come down from the righteous Judge of all, upon you.

O People Consider whilest you have time, what a sad deplo­rable thing will it be, when ye shall be likened to a generation of Vipers and dead Adders, saying, We have piped unto you, and yet have not danced, we have mourned unto you, and you have no lamented; as those who would not hearken to the voyce of the Charmer, though he charms never so wisely: For assuredly, if ye still slight Gods tender visitation of love unto you, many may take up a lamentation for you, but none will be able to help you: As the Lamb of God, who came to lay down his life for the sins of the whole world; yet because his love was rejected, slighted, and not received; the day came that he took up a la­mentation over that place, people and City, which he would have gathered up into his armes of love, whose tender bowels of pity and compassion, was moved for them, saying, O Jerusa­lem, Jerusalem, how often would I have gathered thee, as a Hen gathereth her Chickens under her wings, and ye would not. Be­cause they had slighted the day of small things, and would have none of his reproofs; therefore was the things which belonged [Page 18]to their everlasting peace hid from their eyes: So likewise will it be with you, oh Inhabitants of Bristol; many in thee whose loves are unfained in the lowly life of the Lamb, and desired nothing but thy everlasting peace and welfare; such I say in like manner will come to take up a Lamentation in thee, and for thee, saying, Oh foolish and unwise people, had you but under­stood the things which belonged to your everlasting peace, be­fore they came thus to be hid from your eyes, surely ye would have been a blessed people for ever; but now instead of it, weeping and howling will for ever be your portion. Oh people for ever consider this thing before it come upon you, whilst yet the door of mercy is set open for you, and a hand freely stretch­ed forth out of the tender bosom of God, to gather you up into his bosome, which is ready open to receive you; but if ye refuse his loving kindness and his mercies, then hell fire will open her mouth wide for you, into which you will all be cast with all the workers of iniquity, there to be tormented with the Devill and his Angels for evermore: And this will be your portion on ei­the hand; if ye cleave unto the good which God by his Son hath placed by his own Light in your hearts, then everlastingly happy will ye be, and all those who come to witnesse an inheri­tance with the Saints in light:

But if you hate the good, and love the evill, which the Prince of darkness hath put in you, then ye choose unto your selves death instead of life, and the Prince of the power of the Air will be your God and King, instead of the Prince of peace, and so sad and lamentable will be your condition, who have had as much, if not more of the loving Visitation of Gods love in his dear and precious Servants, than any people or Nation whatso­ever; for have ye not had line upon line, and precept upon precept? the Lord sending his Prophets rising up early; yea it might be said early, forasmuch that the Lords love reached unto you, as it were in the very morning and breaking forth of his glorious Sun of righteousness, after this long and dark woful night of Aposta­sie and confusion, which hath over-shadowed all Nations and people of the earth, which shall never set more until it hath ex­spelled all the darkness forevermore never to rise; and send­ing [Page 19]yet still, and yet for all this you yet remain in your sins, even you who are again turned to your old hireling Priests, which the Land had as it were vomited up long agoe, because of their un­profitableness; for in simplicity of heart consider, were not they unprofitable unto you, and all people over whom they were? and did they not find you in your sins, and did they not leave you there? and now upon their return have they not found you the same still? And what think you of this? is it not high time for you to be awakened and look about you, seeing the day is so far spent of your lives, and you know not how soon the Lord may call for your breath out of your nostrils? and what can ye in righteousness think will become of you, seeing the Scripture saith, As the Tree falls, so it lyes: and There is no Repentance in the Grave: and If ye dye in your sins, where I go ye cannot come, saith Christ? And if ye do but confess him to be a man of truth, and these sayings true, then ye may soon passe the sentence of eternal condemnation in your selves, seeing that tribulation and anguish is to come upon every soul of man that doth evil, even to Jew as well as Gentile. And the Apostle in plain words, without wresting, saith, Nothing that worketh abomination, or maketh a lye, must enter into the holy City. And Paul saith, Let no man deceive you with vain words, for such as ye sow, such shall ye reap. Now see if your Priests be not the very men, who are deceiving you with vain words, who tell you that you can never be freed from sin, yet say, it shall go well with you. They call you good Christians, though ye do bring forth the Devils work: Or which of you in or amongst you, will deny to partake of that which they call the Seal of the Covenant, though they are never so wicked and ungodly in all their words and actions: Surely, surely, the Lord is highly displeased with these things. There­fore is this Warning sent amongst you that you may come away from such a devilish Priesthood, as preacheth up sin unto you for tearm of life, that is till ye can sin no longer: Surely, they who made a Covenant with Hell and Death in the dayes of old, were never more lead into the Mysterie of iniquity, than these.

And thus the Devil hath his Kingdome by consent both of [Page 20]Priests and people. Oh, horrid wickedness is this, that ever men should thus sell themselves unto the Devil for dishonest gain, and filthy lucres sake, to preach up sin unto people; these are they who trample upon the Blood of the Covenant, and say in effect that its uneffectual and unsufficient to purge the crea­ture from all sin and uncleannesse; but such, people, ye must cease from; for they who were real and true Ministers of Christ, said, The wages of sin is death, therefore laboured to bring peo­ple therefrom; whose Ministry was powerful and effectual enough in that work to accomplish the same: For Paul when he writ to the Romans, amongst whom he had laboured to turn them from darknesse to light, and such came to be turned from Satans power to Gods, by whose power they came to be redeemed and made free from sin, and so became Gods children: And this was the fruits and effects of those who were sent of God, and were not hirelings, for such run and are not sent; therefore, saith the Prophet, they profit not the people at all, no more than yours do now; for I say, as you love and prize the salvation and re­demption of your immortal souls, consider these things: Is the wicked man returned from his naughtinesse amongst you? is not a Lyar a Lyar still, a Swearer a Swearer still, and so likewise all others whatsoever? And if any should go to your Priests to be eased of his burden, which come upon him by reason of sin, what ease can he have seeing his Priest is a sinner as well as him­self, if not a worse, and in effect will tell him he cannot be with­out sin while he is in the body of flesh; and so by this means, as you were born and conceived in sin, so ye live, and so ye dye. And this is the fruits of your Ministry, and yet you have the li­berty of the reading of the Scriptures, which saith and sheweth how that the true Christians are to be redeemed from their vain conversations, and did witnesse a purging and redemption there­from, not with the blood of Bulls and Goats, but with the Blood of the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the World: Mark that, people, and see if ye are not wholly strangers to this thing, and to the very end and coming of Christ, who was made mani­fest in flesh, to the end that the righteousnesse of the Law might be fulfilled in all those who walk not after the flesh, but [Page 21]after the Spirit, and to such there is no condemnation: But un­to you who are following your blind guides, and are strangers unto this thing, condemnation from the righteous God the Judg of all, will for evermore be seated upon your heads, except ye repent, even on you who are strangers unto the Spirit of God, and are walking in the flesh, and are fulfilling the lusts thereof, and are resolved so to do until your dying day; in which thing I warn you to repent in Gods pure power and dread, and turn unto the Lord God by forsaking the evil of your wayes; which if you do not, as sure as God hath set Sodom for an example of his eternal wrath and Judgment, so sure will this come upon you if you slight this the day of your visitation, which is now over your heads, I say, repent before it fall upon you, and the night overtake you, in which no man can work. And this is a true and faithfull warning unto you all from the Lord God of love, who desireth not the death of a sinner, but that he would turn from his evil wayes and live; and if you do this, then blessed will you be for ever, but if ye refuse, then will you be left without excuse, and I shall be clear of your blood before the Lord, who required this of me to do, and to say unto you; which in faithfulness I have done without respect unto persons, time or place, as the free Spirit of God hath given me utterance thereunto, with­out hatred or dissimulation at all: Therefore live or dye, my peace is and will be with the Lord for ever.

And now if any should say amongst you, What shall I do to be saved? Why unto such I say in the tender bowels of Gods love, turn unto the Light of Gods own son, which shineth in your dark­nesse, even in your dark hearts, and receive it, love it, follow it, and obey it with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength, and then power will be ministred unto you, whereby ye will become the Sons of God, and to be born of him, which birth sinneth not; but in it there is power over the man of sin, which hath born rule in the first birth, which was according to the flesh, in which none can please God, forasmuch as it lusteth against the Spirit continually, and will do until it be wholly crucified with the lusts and affections thereof: If ye come to receive the Gift of Gods Grace and Spirit in your own hearts, a measure of which [Page 22]is given every one to profit withall; walking in it, and dwelling in it, ye will come to be led into all truth, and will come to deny all that is of the Devil and his works; which is the other of your sad states and conditions, ever saying, as you are indeed, unprofitable servants, leaving undone those things which you ought to have done, and doing those things which you ought not to do; which is a state far different from a true Christian state, even as far as light is from darkness; for the true Christians they fol­lowed Christ, heard his voyce, and kept his Commandments, because they loved him, and not their own lives.

And again, if any should say, I would willingly do this, that my soul might be saved from eternal condemnation, which I do believe will come upon all those who live in their sins and dye in them; but alass I have not power to do it, I am overcome and accustomed un­to evill. Unto such in much tenderness of heart, I say, if thou love the Light, and take up thy daily crosse therein, thou wilt assuredly find power given thee to do the Will of God, in the doing of which thy soul will come to be sanctified, and thy body purified and made fit for the Masters use, who will come in and live with thee, and make his abode there for ever; but if thou take not up the daily crosse, thou canst not be a Dis­ciple of Christ, professe what thou wilt.

But then if thou shouldst not mind the Light of Christ, which condemns thee for sin, and hath so done from thy youth up, and shouldst enter into the reasoning part with flesh and blood, and say, what must I now forsake all my worldly delights, and run the hazard also of forsaking my familiar friends, kinsfolks, and acquaintance, and all my Parish Priests, and be mocked and denyed of all? and such like things as these I know will get into thy fleshly mind, all which I shall in a few words and in simpli­city of heart answer: And first, as concerning thy forsaking of all, which is manifest to be the very way and first step onwards towards thy souls peace and rest, for He that forsakes not all, and hates not all, even to the very life, he can never purchase unto him­self the pearl which Christ speaks of, which was hid in the field. And as for the worldly delights, thereby the innocent (which should give thee life and strength against sin) comes to be cruci­fied; [Page 23]but as I said, if the crosse thou come to know, the world and its delights will come to be crucified unto thee, and thee unto it all, and so the Resurrection of the Just will come to be witnessed, which before in thee was crucified by reason of thy worldly delights, sins, lusts and transgressions. And as for the forsaking of thy Parish Priests, it is high time for thee to forsake them, seeing that little profit thou hast had by them; for if thou comest to the Law of God in thy own heart, then thou wilt come to know the Lord, who will teach thee to profit, and to walk in the way of peace and holinesse, which the hireling Priests know not, seeing they say that men cannot live without sin, and yet say, it shall go well with them, contrary unto the Prophet of God, who said, There is no peace to the wicked.

Finally, I say unto you all who in any measure desire salvation to your immortal souls, & to be disentangled from the Devils snares, father and mother, house and land, wife and children, thou must not at all count losse; for if thou shouldst loose them for the Lords sake, thou shalt come to receive an hundred-fold in this life, and in the world to come life everlasting. And this will be the portion of all those that follow the Lamb through many tribulations, into the everlasting Kingdome, peace, joy, holinesse, and rest for ever; and such know the vanity and emp­tinesse of your water-dippings of Infants, Bels, Organs, and Surplices, and such foolish Popish Inventions, to be but the meer Cheats and Traditions of men; and also such will come to know the true spiritual Faith, Hope, and Baptism of Christ, which washeth, purgeth, and maketh clean the soul, and gives Victory over Sin, Hell, Death, and the Grave, and him to be the only Lord in all, and over all, blessed for ever, in God the Father and Fountain of all good, with a sincere heart to be kept and preser­ved in God, the Life and Father of all good, who is blessed, feared and honoured of all who keep in the word of his pati­ence, and sit down in the Lambs Throne of life and comfort for ever, world without end. Amen.

Charles Baily.

A seasonable Word of Exhortation (by way of Advice) to all the National Priests (in this King­dome of England), but most especially to them in and of Bristol; wherein their unjust proceedings and violence (under a pretence of Ministry of Christ) is sharply reproved, yet in a mild and moderate frame and temper of spirit. Also, That they may come to a further tryal of their standing, they are required to answer those Que­ries following (to Magistrates and People.)

YOU Priests of Bristol and England, the word of the Lord is to you, and his Controversie is against you, and the Rod of his anger shall bring you down; weeping and howling shall be heard in your Assemblies, and Satyrs shall possesse your High Places, and the skreeking of Night birds shall be heard there: Your Prayers and your Oaths are alike unto the Lord; and your Fasts and your Gluttony is all one in his sight; ye cause the people to erre by your lyes, and by your lightnesse; and following your steps, they are led into confu­sion, who like a bird are taken in your crafty snares of deceitful­nesse: The word of the Lord you have not to preach to the people, but the conceptions of your own minds and imaginati­ons, gathered out of that which other men have said; some of which was spoken by the Spirit of the Lord, and some is but the ill-shapen brats of your own minds, and of others who were of your own Generation, who stole the word from their neighbour, and then brought it forth in a confused mixture and wisdome, all which you compound together, and mix with your own deceit, to fill up an hours talk with, and then like a company of Blas­phemers, ye come out into your publick Market-places, where (by the means of your instigations) most of the people are con­strain'd [Page 25]to come, and buy this your ware; and then you say un­to the people, Hear the word of the Lord, whereas ye, nor your hearers do not know him, but have in your vain imaginations limited him above the Skies, like an old man.— O ye de­ceivers, and blasphemers, the Lord will arise like a man of War, and bring you down, and will cast you headlong into Tophet, where the breath of his nostrils shall for ever kindle up the un­quenchable fire of your endlesse torments, except ye repent with speed; the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it, and it shall surely and shortly come to passe, in a time and hour when you shall not be aware of it; for as the lightning comes from the East, and swiftly passeth unto the West, so shall the day of your destructi­on be, except you amend: Amend therefore, and cease preach­ing unto others, until you come your selves to be converted, and changed from that corrupt cursed nature of wickednesse, which lodgeth within you. O ye hypocrites, are you not, or at least may you not be asham'd to get into a high place amongst people, and speak against sin and iniquity, seeing you your selves are not purged from it? May not that saying be justly turned upon you, which the Apostle Paul spake, saying, Ʋnexcusable art thou O man, whosoever thou art, that judgeth, seeing that no man was to judg another, whilst he himself was guilty of the same thing. O ye deceitful workers, first pluck out the beam out of your own eyes, and then may you come for to see the clearer in others conditi­ons: Until then this is a sure and certain warning unto you all, to cease from the evil of your wayes, and repent; for as sure as God lives, if you go on in your stiff-neckednesse, and hard-heartednesse against him, his righteous Judgments will assured­ly overtake you. And this I have written as one that feareth the Lord, and trembleth at his word; in which I cannot respect the persons of any, but must reprove the sins of all, whether in Kings, Princes, Rulers, or Judges, Priests or people, (of what sort or condition soever) that thereby they may take warning, and repent.

O England, England, many have been thy Warnings, and precious have been thy Visitations, to those who have prized them; and glorious hath been the day of Gods love, unto those [Page 26] Who have believed our report, and to whom the Arm of the Lord hath been revealed; which hath led them out of darknesse into his marvelous light, therein to live and to walk safe, out of the snare of the crafty Fowler, hireling Priest, and deceivers, which thou, O England, hast embraced as it were anew (after thy long day of blood, sorrow, and anguish.) O consider this, O ye Heads of the Nation; to what end and purpose did the Lord empty the power of this Nation, from vessel to vessel, and from man to man? was it, think ye, that it should settle again in this bogg and reliques of confused Popery? nay, surely nay, this was not the end of the Lord concerning thee; but his end and purpose concerning thee, was and is, that the Son of his own bosome should be raised over all (in thee to Reign) as he hath appoin­ted and decreed, which decree is impossible to be altered or changed, but shall and must be accomplished, not only in this Nation, but over all Nations; and in all Nations and people of the earth, shall this his glorious work be compleatly finished; for he hath sworn by himself, saying, it shall be so, that he shall reign over all the Kingdomes of the world, forasmuch as I have appointed him to be heir of all things, both in Heaven and Earth; They that have an ear, let them hear; and blessed will be that eye which seeth, and that heart which understandeth the things which belong to their everlasting peace, before they be hid from their eyes, and there be no place found for their Repen­tance.

And this I shall further say (in the Spirit of the Lord) con­cerning thee O England; what the Lord intended should be thy lot, 'twas that thou shouldest be the first fruit unto God in this latter day, that so thou mightst become a glorious example unto other Nations, giving light unto them who yet sat in dark­nesse, and in the Region and shadow of death, that such, I say, might have received light from the glorious Sun of righteous­nesse, which the Lord raised in the midst of thee (in thousands); and this the Lord hath already in measure done, Glory be to him for ever.

O! might not my soul take up a Lamentation over a foolish people, saying, O how are your hearts becom blind, O inhabitants [Page 27]of England? in whom the voyce of the Turtle is plentifully heard, as in the Spring time, after this dry long Winter, which hath been in thee (amongst whom it is on every hand said and confessed, that the Lord liveth, who hath brought his Seed out of the North, and caused the beauty of its life to appear, sur­passing the glory and beauty of this present world): And plen­tifully hath the word of his own life been declared, and is still spoken forth in thee; and yet for all this, like an inchanted peo­ple, ye turn your backs upon it, and fly unto your hireling Priests, whereas thou mightst have received the word of the Lord plen­tifully and freely, at the hands of his precious Servants; then wouldst thou have no need of the teachings of men, nor to have gone into the Idol Masse-houses, there to have taken the words of David and others, to have sung; but in the Spirit of the Lord ye would have all been gathered by it, through which ye would have been ever praising the Lord (in the land of the liv­ing): Neither would you have needed to have gone to your Priests, to have taken bread and wine at their polluted hands, which feedeth but the natural, and will corrupt; but you would have been come to the High-Priest, and Shepherd of your souls, and have received living bread at his hands, as your daily food and nourishment. O England, might not well my soul say, that thou hast changed beauty for ashes, and hast chosen chaff instead of wheat? so that instead of well set hair, thou hast baldnesse, for if it were not so, thou neededst not to have gone to the Idol-houses now, for to hear a compounded parcel of words, called Common Prayer, read by a wicked man; but instead thereof thou hadst been filled with the Spirit of Prayer and Supplicati­on, which the Lord would have showred down upon thee with­out measure, which thing, some few, who are despised in thee, do witnesse, to the everlasting comfort of their immortal souls: And also thou mightst have had a free Ministry, instead of hire­lings; even you who might have fed on living bread at the Ta­ble of the Lord, instead of taking it at your Communion-Tables, which the Popes ordained for you; who might have been bapti­sed with the Holy Ghost, and with fire, by which ye would have been cleansed; who might have walked in the light of the Lord, [Page 28]instead of walking in the dim sparks of your own kindling; who might have been satisfied with Gods presence, instead of being enquiring in your minds, where, and what God is; who might have been purged, washed and made clean from sin by the blood of the Lamb, instead of a vain hope, as you are in now, that ye shall be freed, but you know not when; who might have come to have witnessed your bodies to have been the Temples of God, instead of seeking, as ye do now, in the Temples made with hands. O ye foolish, and unwise people, what might my soul say unto you of these things? Ye have refused the teachings of God, and seek after the teachings of men; ye have slight­ed the true Shepherd, who hath laid down his life for his Sheep, and have followed the false Shepherd, whose the Sheep are not, but an hireling he is, and fleeth (because he is an hireling) when the wolfe and florm cometh.

For hath not this been manifestly seen in thee, O England, that when the forcible powers of the Earth was for them, then they cryed, woe, woe unto us if we preach not the Gospel; and we preach not for hire, as we are falsly accused (by these re­proachful Quakers,) but a necessity is on us, so to do, and if we had not any thing for so doing, yet we could not hold our peace; but seeing the Law of the Nation gives us yearly maintenance, we take it as our due; and though it be a Popish constitution, we take no notice of it, seeing the Property of the thing is chan­ged, as being taken from them, who were no Ministers of the Gospel, and given unto us who are truly so, unto whom not onely the Tenths of all things belongeth, but all things should be laid down at our feet, (as it was in the Primitive time); and this hath been the general cry of your Priests, unto whom you give ear, and not unto us who told you the truth in that day, as we do in this day, saying take away but their compelled main­tenance, and cease putting into their mouths, and they will soon prepare war against you, if the Powers of the earth will but help them, if not, then their God they will trust no longer, and soon their necessity of preaching will be taken off them, and they will fly into their holes, like Dragons, wishing for another nights season, that so they might come out upon their prey afresh. And [Page 29]in this which is here said, there is no wrong done unto them; your by-past Priests have themselves by their words and actions, largely proved the truth of this matter.

And now unto you Priests, unto whom I was made to speak the word of the Lord, woe and misery will assuredly be your Portion, if you slight Gods tender love unto your souls: For that which I now speak, and that which I formerly spoke unto you, is not, God knows, in contempt, nor in any way to divide you, but in tender love to warn you from the evil of your ways, that so by turning from the evil, and cleaving to the good, ye may come to escape the dreadful Judgments of God, which are nigh to overtake you. And that you are, and were manifest to be such as I said you to be, is true, (to wit) That you were blind guides, leaders of the blind, inasmuch as ye are hireling Priests made by the will of men, who forceth a people by a Law, for to take your stuff, which makes you worse than a common hireling; who are far from being Ministers of Christ Jesus, called by him to his own work, for such minister freely as they received freely of their Lord and Master. And so, as Christ said, By their fruits ye shall know them; so do we know you, who have nothing you have, freely given, neither can you freely give; nay you have not so much as the Sheeps cloathing, but you are out wardly and inwardly ravened, and gone into the Wolfs nature (of tearing and devouring, and persecuting, like the Pope, your chief head, and leader in this work); though some of you are ignorantly blind, yet many of you are wilfully blind, which will not serve your turns: Awake, awake, and consider, do you think it shall serve any of your turns, to cry out against Popery in words, and in nature to be found all one, in Persecution, Malice, and Envy? as one of you told me, I should not have liberty to speak (after he had accused me openly before the people); and the other of you told me, he did forgive me, after he had delivered me into the hands of men, and I was to be sent to prison: O shame will come upon you for these things, and the dreadful rod of Gods anger will overtake you for it. And tell me what you have at best to give to the people, (for your yearly maintenance which you have of them,) but [Page 30]what is already made ready to your hands of other mens lines, partly by the Pope and his Adherents, who steal the words of Apostles and holy men of God, and mix them with their own inventions; and this is made a plat-form for you to pray and preach by: and at the best this is your stuff, which you confident­ly force upon the people, to say and to speak after you, for which they must give many hundred pounds unto you and your Gene­rations of hirelings, even for this which profiteth them not at all, but people under your teachings live and die in their sins, whilst their Priests preach unto them for hire, and they love to have it so: This is their very end, and the very end of these things; and while people are giving ear unto you, it will never be otherwise: For its thus; the Papists they steal the words of the Prophets and Apostles, and of Jerome, and Ambrose, Augustine, and the like, and you steal it from them, and the people from you, and so what they have of you, is at the third and fourth hand, though in another misformed and disguised shane, whenas in the ground it is but the Bastard of the same whore, which the Roman Ca­tholicks so dandle upon the lap of the Beast, as though he were the true born heir of the Kingdom of God, whenas he is no more like him, than light is like darknesse, or Christ like Belial: And if people must needs be so in love with this (which you so cry up amongst them), they need not go to the Pope, nor come unto you for it, but at an easier rate than they give unto you, they may have as good of their own; but freely they may have of the Lord that which is quick, living, and powerful, and will abide for ever.

Therefore this is the advice and counsel of the Spirit of God unto all people whatsoever, for to come unto Christ the light of the world, who hath enlightened them with his true light, which makes manifest sin and evil in their own hearts, to the end that thereby they might be taught, led, and directed in the way of God, which is the way of true peace and holinesse, which is none of the hirelings wayes, for they say men cannot tread out of uncleannesse all the dayes of their lives. And so from the Lord, this is a warning and tender Visitation of love unto you all in this City, or elswhere, where this may come, who are not yet [Page 31]disentangled from this cursed yoak of soar bondage, which men of corrupt minds have laid upon your necks, for filthy lucres sake, and dishonest gain, with whom you will suddenly be cut off, if you repent not with speed.

AND now you who are the Magistrates of this City of Bri­stol, is it not a heart-resenting matter unto the upright soul, for to see and seriously consider the sad event, which this imposing of Oaths hath wrought in this Nation, insomuch that few there be in it who have had any considerable name, or re­spect therein, either in Civil or Ecclesiastick affairs, but have been (for the most part of them) perjured men? yea, few there are in this Nation, of one sort or other, but are so, except it be a few people (who are called Quakers) who stand as your on­ly mark to shoot at, and whom you are seeking every way to ensnare in this thing (in matter of swearing) though most of you are not ignorant, how that for conscience sake they cannot swear at all, because they durst not break Christs command, nor the Apostles Doctrine, which was according unto it, who said, above all things, my Brethren, swear not at all, (as well he might, be­cause his Lord and Master forbad it); and though it is so, that both by word and conversation, it hath been shewed often to you by us, yet you cease not daily to seek to ensnare us thereby (so oft as opportunity comes into your hands for that purpose): And now let me tell you concerning this spirit that doth thus unto us, it is but the same which was in the Marian time, in which they were made to suffer death, rather than to defile their consciences, (to the uttermost as to what they knew, and was made manifest in that day unto them); for when their bloody adversaries could answer them no way, or at least, when they would make short work with them, presently they would question them concerning the Sacrament of the Altar, as you do unto us concerning the Oath of Alleginnce and Supremacy, all which, in the ground, is but one and the same spirit (that act­ed against us and them), though under several prerences; for which God did plead with them, and brought them down sud­denly out of their bloody Prelatical Seats; which I desire may [Page 32]be a warning unto you, for I did never see the Lord acquit the guilty and condemn the innocent, for he is just and righteous alto­gether. And surely, I do believe ye cannot be so blind, as not to see the Prelatical Lordly spirit intruding it self amongst you, when your high Priest stands fast in your Hall before you and all the people, laid hold on me with his own hands, and said, I should not have liberty to speak there. You may see by this, whether he that is so devoted to a Surplice, would not also come to wear a Cardinals Cap, and so would turn black into red (if that way were but made for him), let the upright in heart, and unpreju­dic'd Reader judg.

And now I shall in the fear of the Lord propound some few Queries unto you, and shall leave and recommend them to Gods witnesse in you all to judg, and also to answer the truth of them.

1. And first, seeing Christ saith, The Tree may be known by its fruit, whether or no this hath not been an evill fruit, brought forth by an evil Tree, (to wit) the imposing of Oaths upon a people or Nation, seeing that few that be in this Nation did ever keep them; by which means they come to be worse than the Pharisees of old, who are reputed only to be sayers, and not doers; but these swear, and do not, by this means they be­come, not only false sayers, but swearers also, against whom the Lords hand is.

2. Whether this be not another Branch, springing forth of the same cursed Root, That honest upright men should be in danger of losing their Estates, by the Oaths of them, who matter little, where, and what they say or swear? and whether many more have not been wronged by this way of proceeding, than have been righted otherwise, let Gods pure witnesse in all judg, seeing the evidence of such as will but swear, though a common swearer (in Whore-houses and Taverns, and in his familiar communication) will sooner be taken, than the Testimony of him who fears an Oath, because he fears the Lord, and keeps to yea and nay, in all his communication.

[Page 33] 4. And seeing that so many have sworn for and against the King and others in Authority in this Nation, how can you put confidence in such, seeing it hath bound men so little, as this Nation above all other Nations hath seen, to their sad experi­ence?

And it being so, as the Apostle Paul saith, That an Oath was amongst men for the ending of strife, whether then it doth not plainly betoken a people not to be out of strife, who are found in that practise, and so consequently no Christians? for they love him, and keep his Commandments, who saith, Swear not at all; and if any man sue thee at the Law for thy Cloak, give him thy Coat also: And if all were come to live in this Christ-like life, and Doctrine, what need would there be of swearing, see­ing that evil is not to be overcome, but by this good and pati­ent life, in which, if one be smitten on the Cheek, there is readinesse to turn the other also?

And lastly, I query this of you all, Whether or no it be not an evil in all those, who willingly go to ensnare any upon this ac­count, seeing and knowing beforehand that they cannot swear?

To you who are Bishops, Arch-Bishops, Pre­bens, Priests, or others, who are counted as the Heads and Teachers of the people now in England, I shall in the fear of the Lord pro­pound unto you a few Queries for you to an­swer, how, where, and when you can, that so the people might come to understand, how, and by what means you are set to be their Teachers, and your Commission thereunto.
Quest. 1.

FIrst I query of you, why, and wherefore ye seem to make such a difference between the Pope, and his Ministry, and yours, seeing that both your Call and Maintenance are one in the ground, that is to say, made by the will of man, and maintained both by one Law and manner of maintenance? and if it be not so, prove the contrary, and you will put and remove doubts out of the minds of people, and will also satisfie many concerning you.

2. Shew us who are your Authors for these things you now practise in your Churches, if the Pope was not, (to wit) your Childrens Baptisms, Sacraments, Bels, Surplice, Organs, and for your singing Davids Psalms? answer plainly, without any eva­sion, seeing you say, that mens salvation depends thereon; and also concerning your Letany, Collects, and your dividing the Scriptures in pieces & parcels, to be read at such & such times; I say, if they come not from the Romane Catholick, shew us from whence then these distinctions of Parishes, Church-yards, and Churches, shew us, I say, from whence had you your foun­dation, and others, for these things? and if the Popes were not, [Page 35]prove it otherwise, and in so doing you will satisfie many, for many of the people in this Nation are jealous, as well they may, how that the Popes and their Counsels, were the first Coustitu­ters and Ordainers of these things.

3. Whether or no you do own such a thing, as that God will teach his people himself? if so, then why do not you let the peo­ple alone unto the Lord, to be taught of him, and cease taking these great sums of money, under a pretence of doing that which only and properly belongs unto the Lord? Give in your answers in plainness, hat so thereby we may prove whether you are approved Ministers of Christ; but if you cannot prove your selves so to be, then it will be time, yea, and high time for people to draw off from you, and cease giving their money for that which is not bread, and spending their time any longer about you.

4. Seeing that the Scripture saith, Whatsoever is not of faith, is sin, then, whether or no, ye do not sin, and cause the people to sin, by going about to compel them by a Law, to conform unto that, which they are not perswaded in the Faith to be according to the mind of God; for if they were perswaded in their own hearts, (as the Apostle said they should be) then what need would there be of your compelling of them? and whether or no (it being so) it will not be your great sin, thus to go about for to make the people sin by a Law, seeing that it is so, that though one man should be required to do a thing by the express com­mand and movings of God, if another should go about to do the like, and not be required of the Lord to do it, it would be sin unto him? (I speak in relation to the worship of God) and if it be not so, prove the contrary by plain Scripture, with­out wresting, if you can.

5. Whether, according to the Scriptures, ye own, that eve­ry one hath the manifestation of the Spirit given them to profit withall? If you say you do, then tell me, why do ye, or indeed how durst ye go about as ye do, to limit the same in people, and to appoynt them how much they shall hear, and how long you shall pray and speak unto them (as you do by an hour-glass)? and tell me whether there can be blasphemy in a higher nature [Page 36]than this, for to limit the Spirit of God to so many words spo­ken (in such and such a form, time, and place.) O blush and be ashamed for these things, and repent (if you cannot clear your selves from being the very men who are guilty of these things, as I know you cannot at all.)

6. VVhether or no you your selves would not have the free liberty and exercise of your Consciences towards God, freely to do what you in your selves are perswaded for to be of God in your own hearts? why will ye not allow the same liberty unto others, seeing that the Scripture saith, that every one must give an account of themselves to the Lord, and every man must dye for his own iniquity? and whether or no it can truly be said, a man is a Christian indeed, until he come unto this life, (to wit) to do unto all men, as he would all should do unto him? and whether the contrary may not be said unto all who are contrary minded, that is to say, no Christians, whether it be found in you, or any other (whatsoever they profess themselves to be) upon the face of the earth?

7. And if it be so, that you cannot at all clear your selves from the guilt of these things, which are here queryed of you, but are found guilty of them, then, whether or no a man may not in the Spirit of sound judgment (without offence to God, or just men) call you hireling Priests, false Prophets, blind Leaders of the blind, and say, you that are leaders, and those that are led by you, will all fall into the pit of Perdition, if you con­tinue to go on in the pernicious way you are going in: And whe­ther or no one may not justly charge you to be Ministers of the Letter, and not of the Spirit, seeing that ye can limit your selvs to so many words, made ready unto your hands of other mens lines? which was not, nor is not the way or manner of the Mini­sters of the free Spirit of God, which cannot be limited unto times, words, manners, persons, nor places; but in whom he will, when he will, and where he will, he speaketh as long as it pleas­eth him that sends it.

8. An Answer of these things will be exspected from some of you, being I am made an offender by some of you for speaking [Page 37]somthing of these latter queries, and remain still in the Prison of Bristol, a sufferer for the Truth of God, and a witnesse against all false Teachers, and hireling Priests, for ever; and so I shall conclude with this Query, VVhether or no it may not be pro­perly said, that such who take Tythes (under a pretence of a Gospel Ministry) hold neither a Law, nor Gospel, seeing that the Gospel maintenance was to be free; and as under the Law Levy only was to have a maintenance out of it for his service, and the rest was for the maintenance of the father lesse, and wi­dows, and strangers, which you Priests in England are so far from, that you take it all your selves, and much more, where ye can get it, which is a great evil in you, seeing that Tythes properly belonged unto the Lord (in the time when they were re­quired of the Jewes); but the Law being changed, the commandment must needs be disanulled, and I am sure you cannot find a new one for it since, unlesse it be the Popes.

Charles Baily.
THE END.

The Postscript.

THe Servant of the Lord is gentle, and doth not strive and wrestle with flesh and bloud (about outward things, and outward Observations), but hath the wisdome from above, that is first pure, and then peaceable, and easie to be entreated; and when he hath given forth his Testimony for God, he leaves it to the witnesse in all consciences, by that to be believed; and until that be raised in the Conscience for him, he is content to lye down in the suffering life, having learned of the Lamb of God, that pleads not his own cause, but committeth it to God: But men of strife will have Oathes and Protestations to bind and confirm their power and Authority (over the Conscience), because they are wrestling with flesh and bloud, and with carnal wea­pons, and their strength of binding is only by the power of the Law, which Christ, the Oath and Covenant, of God hath put an end to (in them that believe in his name) that was made a Priest by the Oath of God, that could not swear by a greater than him­self (as men verily swear by the greater), and by the word or voyce of the Oath is the blessing confirmed, in him that promised it to Abraham and his Seed, saying, surely blessing I will blesse thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee; which in the change­able Priesthood could not be, in that they could not continue by reason of death; but by the two immutable things (wherein it is impossible for God to lye) the change might rest on him, that was not made a Priest after the Law of a carnal Commandment, but the power of an endlesse life, where the Priesthood being changed, the Law is also changed: therefore saith Christ, Swear not at all, &c. Let him that readeth understand.

R. B.

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