The Grand Impostor EXAMINED: OR, The Life, Tryal, and Examination OF JAMES NAYLER, The Seduced and Seducing QUAKER WITH The Manner of his Riding into BRISTOL.

JOH. 19. 7.

We have a law, and by our law he ought to die; because he made himself the Son of God.

JOH. 20. 31.

But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing, ye might have life through his Name.

LONDON, Printed for Henry Brome, at the Hand in S. Paul's Church-yard. 1656.


Courteous Reader,

I Do here give thee an ac­count of what passed be­tweene James Nayler and his Judges, as think­ing it a part of my duty towards God and man; that thereby thou mayst see and know there is but one onely God, and one onely Jesus, which is [Page] the Christ, who was crucified by the Jews at Jerusalem: Which who­soever denies, let him be accur­sed.

It hath been the Custome in form­er Times, to Immure, Stone, or other wayes punish with Death such as did falsly stile themselves the onely Sons of the most High God; As thou may'st see in that faithful Chro­nologer, John Speed; who affirm­eth, That in the Reign of King Henry the third, there appeared a Grand Impostor somewhat in wicked­ness resembling this of whom we are to treat: This man (or rather Devil) thinking himself to be some-body, boasted himself to be no-body in the eyes of the World, but as being sent from Heaven; And having a grave [Page] and impudent aspect, pretended him­self to be no less then the Saviour of Mankinde: And to strike a be­lief into the easily-seduced People, he had wounded his hands, and feet, and side; Affirming these to be the wounds which the Jews had given him at Jerusalem. For which blasphe­mous and horrid Doctrine, he was sentenced to be starved to death between the walls of a strong Prison; Where he and his Doctrine died: Even So let all thine enemies perish, O Lord.

Thou wilt in his Examination dis­cover some Difference to be between him and GEORGE FOX: but I sup­pose they are again reconciled.

I shall not trouble thee with all the many Letters which were conveyed [Page] from him to others, or from them to him, lest I make my Relation swell too big: I shall onely give thee two or three of the chiefest; Out of which if thou canst pick but a little sence, and less Truth, thou canst do more then

Thy loving Friend.

James Naylors Examination.


THinking it a very good foundation to my building, to give you the manner of his progresse, before you come to his confession; or before his blasphe­mie aspires to the stoole of Repentance. I shall thus begin: James Naylor of Wake­field in the County of Yorke, a deluded and deluding Quaker and Imposter, rode October last through a Village called Bed­minster, about a mile from Bristol, accom­panied with six more, one whereof a yong man, whose head was bare, leading his horse by the bridle, and another uncove­red before him, thorough the durty way in which the Carts and Horses and none else usually goe. And with them two men [Page 2] on horseback with each of them a woman behind him, and one woman walking on the better way or path. In this posture did they màrch, and in such a case, that one Georse Witherley noting their condi­tion, asked them to come in the better rode, adding that God expected no such extremity: but they continued on their way, not answering in any other notes, but what were musicall, singing Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Sabbath, &c. Thus continued they, till by their wandring they came to the Almsehouse within the Suburbs of Bristol, where one of the women alighted, and she with the other of her own sex lovingly marcht on each side of Naylor's Horse. This Witherley saith, he supposes they could not be lesse deep in the muddy way then to the knees, and he saith they sang, but sometimes with such a buzzing mel-ODIOVS noyse that he could not understand what it was. This the said Wi­therley gave in upon his oath. Thus did they reach Ratcliff-gate, with Timothy [Page 3] Wedlock of Devon bare-headed, and Mar­tha Symonds with the bridle on one side, and Hannah Stranger on the other side of the Horse; this Martha Simonds is the wise of Thomas Simonds of London, Book­binder, and Hannah Stranger is the Wife of John Stranger of London Combmaker, who sung Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Israel. Thus did he ride to the high Crosse in Bristol, and after that to the White-hart in Broadstreet, vvhere there lies two eminent Quakers, by name, Dennis Hollister, and Henry Row; of vvhich the Magistrates hea­rig they vvere apprehended and commit­ted to prison.

Long it had not been after their con­finement in the Goale at Exeter, from whence passing through Wells and Glassen­bury this party bestrewed the vvay vvith their garments. But to be short they were searcht, and Letters were found about them, infinitely filled vvith profane non­sensicall language; vvhich Letters I shall not trouble you with, onely some of the [Page 4] chiefe, lest your patience should be too much cloyd. We shall hast now to their examinations; and because Naylor vvas the chiefe actor 'tis fit he have the prehe­minence of leading the vvay in their Exa­minations, we shall therefore give you a full account of vvhat passed betvven the Magistrate and him, vvhich take as fol­lovveth:

The Examination of James Naylor, and others.

BEing asked his name, or whether he was not called James Naylor, he replied: The men of this world call me James Naylor.

Q. Art not thou the man that rid on horse­back into Bristol, a womou leading thy horse, and others singing before thee Holy, holy, holy, Hosannah, &c.

A. I did ride into a Town, but what its name was I know not, and by the Spirit a woman was commanded to hold my horses bridle; and some there were that cast down cloathes, and sang praises to the Lord, such songs as the Lord put into their hearts; and its like it might be the Song of Holy, holy, holy, &c.

Q. Whether or no didst thou reprove those women?

A. Nay, but I bad them take heed that they [Page 6] sang nothing but what they were moved to of the Lord.

Q. Dost thou own this Letter (whereupon a Letter vvas shewed him) which Hannah Strange sent unto thee?

A. Yea, I do own that Letter?

Q. Art thou (according to that Letter) the fairest of ten thousand?

A. As to the visible I deny any such attri­bute to be due unto me; but if as to that which the Father has begotten in me, I shall own it. But now Reader, before I passe further, I hold it not impertient to deliver you the vvords of the same Letter, vvith another, vvhich vvere these:

A Letter to James Naylor at Exeter, by Hannah Strange.

J. N.

IN the pure feare and power of God, my soule salutes thee, Thou everlasting son of righteousnesse and Prince of peace; oh how my soule travelleth to see this day, [Page 7] which Abraham did and was glad, and so shall all that are of faithfull Abraham: O suffer me to speake what the Lord hath moved. There is one temptation neere, the like unto the first, and is like the wis­dome of God, but it is not, and therefore it must be destroyed▪ Oh it desileth and hateth the innocent; I beseech thee wait, my soule travelleth to see a pure Image brought forth, and the enemy strive to de­stroy it, that he may keep me alwaies sor­rowing, and ever seeking, and never satis­fied, nor never rejoycing: But he in whom I have believed will shortly tread satan under our feet, and then shalt thou and thine return to Zion with everlasting re­joycings and praises. But till then better is the house of mourning then rejoycing, for he that was made a perfect example, when he had fasted the appointed time of his father, vvas tempted to eate, and to shew a miracle, to prove himselfe to be the Sonne of God: But man lives not by bread, said he, and now no more by that [Page 8] vvisdom shall he live on vvhich he hath long fed as on bread, and as his food hath been so must his fast be, and then at the end temptation, to as low a thing as a stone, that if it vvere possible the humi­lity and the miracles vvould deceive the elect, innocent, and righteous branch of holiness. But be his vvils never so many, the time comes he shall leave thee, for he is faithfull, vvho hath promised he vvill not leave the Throne of David vvithout a man to sit upon thereon, vvhich shall judge the poore vvith righteousnesse, and the World vvith equity. This shall shortly come to passe, and then shall the vision speak and not lie. O let innocency be thy beloved, and righteousnesse thy Spouse, that thy fathers lambs may rejoyce in thy pure and cleare unspotted image of holi­nesse and purity, vvhich my soul believeth I shall see, and so in the faith rest. I am in patience, vvait, and the power vvill pre­serve from subtilty, though under never so zealous a pretence of innocent vvisdom [Page 9] it be, yet shall the Lord not suffer his holy one to see corruption, nor his soule to lie in Hell, but will cause the mountain to melt at his presence, and the little hills to bring him peace; O I am ready to fear as a servant, and to obey as a child. If I have spoken words too high, love hath constrained me, which is as strong as death, and with the same spirit cover them as they are spoken with, and then shall the spirit of David be witnessed, who refused not words though from his ser­vants mouth; if they were in the fear, I am his servant, and he my Master, whom I love and fear, and trust I shall do unto the end.

Hannah Stranger.

Another from the same.

OH thou fairest of ten thousand, thou onely begotten Son of God, how my heart panteth after thee; O stay me with flagons, and comfort me with Wine. My well beloved thou art like a Roe, or young Hart upon the mountains of Spices, where thy beloved Spouse hath long been calling thee to come away, but hath been but lately heard of thee. Now it lies something upon me that thou mindst to see her, for the spirit and power of God is with her; And there is given to her much of excellent and innocent wise­dome arissen and arising in her, which will make all the honest-hearted to praise the Lord alone, and no more set up self. And therefore let not my Lord and Ma­ster have any jealousie again of her, for she is highly beloved of the Lord, and that shall all see who come to know the Lord. And now he doth blesse them that blesse his, and curse them that curse his: for this hath the Lord shewed me, That her por­tion [Page 11] is exceeding large in the Lord; and as her sorrow hath been much, so shall her joy be much more, which rejoyceth my heart, to see her walke so valiantly and faithfully in the work of the Lord, in this time of so great tryals as hath been laid upon her especially.

And I am Hannah Stranger.
The Postscript.

Remember my dear love to thy Master. Thy name is no more to be called James but Jesus.

John Stranger.

This John Stranger, is Husband to this Hannah Stranger; and this was added as a Postscript by him to his Wives Letter, as is acknowledged,

Remember my love to those friends withthee. The seventeenth day of the eighth month su­perscribed this to the hands of James Naylor We shall now return to his examination.

Q. Art thou the only Son of God?

A. I am the Son of God, but I have many Brethren.

Q. Have any called thee by the name of Jesus?

[Page 12] A. Not as unto the visible, but as Jesus, the Christ that is in me.

Q. Dost thou own the name of the King of Israel?

A. Not as a creature, but if they give it Christ within I own it, and have a Kingdom but not of this world, my Kingdome is of another world, of which thou watst not.

Q. Whether or no art thou the Prophet of the most high?

A. Thou hast said, I am a Prophet.

Q. Dost thou own that attribute, the Judge of Israel?

A. The Judge is but one, and is witnessed in me, and is the Christ, there must not be any joyned with him: if they speak of the spirit in me, I own it only as God is manifest in the flesh, according as God dwelleth in me, and judgeth there himself.

Q. By whom were you sent?

A. By him who hath sent the spirit of his Son in me to try, not as to carnal matters, but belonging to the Kingdome of God, by the in­dwelling of the Father and the Son, by judge of all spirits to be guided by none.

[Page 13] Q. Is not the written word of God the guide?

A. The written word declares of it, and what is not according to that is not true.

Q. Whether art thou more sent then others, or whether others be not sent in that measure?

A. As to that I have nothing at present given me of my Father to answer.

Q. Was your birth mortal or immortal?

A. Not according to the Natural birth▪ but according to the Spiritual birth, born of the immortal seed.

Q. Wert thou ever called the Lambe of God?

A. I look not back to things behind, but there might be some such thing in the letter; I am a lamb, and have sought it long before I could witnesse it.

Q. Who the mother, or whether or no is she a virgin?

A. Nay, according to the naturall birth.

Q. Who is thy mother according to thy spirituall birth?

A. No carnall creature.

Q. Who then?

[Page 14] A.—To this he refused to answer.

Q. Is the hope of Israel in thee?

A. The hope is in Christ, and as Christ is in me so far the hope of Israel stands; Christ is in me the hope of glory.

Q. What more hope is there in thee then in others?

A. None can know but them of Israel, and Israel must give an account.

Q. Art thou the everlasting Son of God?

A. Where God is manifest in the flesh, there is the everlasting Son, and I do witness God in the flesh; I am the Son of God, and the Son of God is but one.

Q. Art thou the Prince of peace?

A. The Prince of everlasting peace is be­gotten in me.

Q. Why dost thou not reprove those that give thee these attributes?

A. I have said nothing unto them but such things are written.

Q. Is thy name Jesus?

A.—Here he was silent.

Q. For what space of time hast thou been so called?

[Page 15] A.—And here.

Q. Is there no other Jesus besides thee?

A. These questions he forbore either to con­firm or to contradict them.

Q. Art thou the everlasting Son of God, the King of righteousness?

A. I am, and the everlasting righteousness is wrought in me, if ye were acquainted with the Father, ye would also be acquainted with me.

Q. Did any kisse thy feet?

A. It might be they did, but I minded them not.

Q. When thou wast called the King of Is­rael, didst thou not answer, thou sayest it.

A. Yea.

Q. How dost thou provide for a lively hood.

A. As do the Lillies without care, being maintained by my father.

Q. Who dost thou call thy Father?

A. He whom thou callest God.

Q. What businesse hadst thou at Bristoll or that way?

A. I was guided and directed by my father.

[Page 16] Q. Why wast thou called a Judge to try cause of Israel?

A.—Here he answered nothing.

Q. Are any of these sayings blasphemy or not.

A. What is received of the Lord is truth.

Q. VVhose Letter was that which was writ to thee, signed T. S.

A. It was sent me to Exeter Gaol by one the world calls Tho. Symonds.

Q. Didst thou not say, if ye had known me, ye had known the father?

A. Yea, for the father is my life.

Q. VVhere wert thou born?

A. At Anderslow in Yorkshire▪

Q. VVhere lives thy wife?

A. She whom thou callest my wife, lives in Wakefield.

Q. VVhy dost thou not live with her?

A. I did, till I was called to the Army.

Q. Ʋnder whose command didst thou serve in the Army?

[Page 43] A. First, under him they call Lord Fairfax.

Q. Who then?

A. Afterwards, under that man called Col. Lambert: and then I went into Scotland, where I was a Quartermaster, and returned sick to my earthly habitation, and was called into the North.

Q. What wentst thou for to Exceter?

A. I was to Lawson to see the brethren.

Q. What estate hast thou?

A. I take no care for that.

Q. Doth God in an extraordinary manner sustain thee, without any corporal food?

A. Man doth not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Father: the same life is mine that is in the Father; but not in the same measure.

Q. How art thou cloathed?

A. I know not.

Q. Dost thou live without bread?

A. As long as my heavenly Father will: I have tasted of that bread, of which he that eateth shall never die.

[Page 18] Qu. How long hast thou lived without any corporal sustenance, having perfect health?

A. Some fifteen or sixteen days, sustained without any other food except the Word of God.

Q. Was Dorcas Erbury dead two days in Exce­ter? and didst thou raise her?

A. I can do nothing of my self: the Scripture beareth witness to the power in me which is e­verlasting; it is the same power we read of in the Scripture. The Lord hath made me a signe of his coming: and that honour that belongeth to Christ Jesus, in whom I am revealed, may be given to him, as when on earth at Jerusalem, ac­cording to the measure.

Q. Art thou the unspotted Lamb of God, that taketh away the sins of the world?

A. Were I not a lamb, wolves would not seek to devour me.

Q. Art thou not guilty of horrid blasphemy, by thy own words?

A. Who made thee a Judge over them?

Q. Wherefore camest thou in such an unusual po­sture, as, two women leading thy horse; others singing Holy, holy, &c. with another before thee bare-head­ed, knee-deep in the high-way-mud, when thou mightst have gone in the Causey; and at such a time, that it [Page 19] raining, thy companions received the rain at their necks and vented it at their hose and breeches.

A. It tended to my Fathers praise and glory; and I ought not to slight any thing which the Spirit of the Lord moves.

Q. Dost thou think the Spirit of the Lord moved or commanded them?

A. Yea.

Q. Whom meant they by Holy, holy, holy, &c?

A. Let them answer for themselves , they are at age.

Q. Did not some spread their cloathes on the ground before thee, when thou ridst thorow Glastenbury and Wells?

A. I think they did.

Q. Wherefore didst thou call Martha Simonds another, as George Fox affirms?

A. George Fox is a lyer, and a fire-brand of hell: for neither I, nor any with me, called her so.

Q. Thou hast a wife at this time?

A. A woman I have, whom by the world is called my wife; and some children I have, which according to the flesh are mine.

[Page 42] Q. Those books which thou hast writ, wilt thou main­tain them, and affirm what is therein?

A. Yea, with my dearest blood.


She confesseth, She knew James Nayler formerly; for he is now no more James Nay­ler, but refined to a more excellent substance: and so she saith she came with him from Bristol to Exceter.

Q. WHat made thee lead his Horse into Bristol, and sing, Holy, holy, holy, &c. and to spread thy garments before him?

A. I was forced thereto by the power of the Lord.

[Page 26] Q. He is stiled in Hannah Strangers Letter, the fairest of ten thousand, the hope of Israel, and the onely begotten Son of God: dost thou so esteem him?

A. That James Nayler of whom thou speakest, is buried in me, and he hath promised to come again.

Q. Dost thou like of that Attribute as given to him?

A. I cannot tell, I judge them not.

Q. Whether didst thou kneel before him?

A. What I did, was in obedience to a power above.

Q. Dost thou own him to be the Prince of Peace?

A. He is a perfect man; and he that is a perfect man, is the Prince of Peace.

Q. Hast thou a Husband?

A. I have a Man which thou callest my Hus­band.

Q. What made thee to leave him, and to follow James Nayler in such a manner?

A. It is our life to praise the Lord, and the Lord my strength (who filleth heaven and earth) is manifest in James Nayler.

Q. Oughtest thou to worship James Nayler, as thou didst upon thy knees?

A. Yea, I ought so to do.

Q. Why oughtest thou so to do?

A. He is the Son of Righteousness; and the new Man within him, is the Everlasting Son of [Page 27] Righteousness▪ and James Nayler will be Jesus, when the new life is born in him.

Q. By what name callest thou him?

A. Lord.

Q. Why dost thou call him Lord?

A. Because he is Prince of Peace, and Lord of Righteousness.

Q. What reason canst thou shew for thy calling him King of Israel?

A. He as so anointed.

Q. Who hath anoynted him?

A. A Prophet.

Q. What Prophet was that?

A. I will not tell thee.

Q. Thou confessest that thou didst spread thy cloaths.

A. Yea, I did.

Q. Tell me, Doth that Spirit of Jesus, which thou sayest is in Nayler, make him a sufficient Jesus to o­thers?

A. I tell thee, there is a seed born in him, which above all men I shall (and every one ought to) honour.

Q. Is he King of Israel, as thy Husband saith?

A. If he saith so, thy testimony is double.

Hanna Stranger her Examination.

She saith, She came from Bristol to Exeter with James Nayler; and that she flang her Handker­chief before him, because com­manded so of the Lord; and that she sung Holy, &c. and that the Lord is risen in him.

Q. VVHerefore didst thou sing before James Nayler?

A. I must not be mute when I am commanded of the Lord.

Q. Wherefore didst thou sinḡ to him?

A. My conscience tells me, I have not offended any Law.

Q. Was that Letter thine? and didst thou spread thy garments before him?

A. Yea, and my blood will maintain it.

[Page 29] Q. Dost thou own him for the Prince of Peace?

A. Yea he is so.

Q. What dost thou call his Name?

A. It hath been said already, I have told of his Name.

Q. Dost thou not know it to be blasphemy to give him such and such attributes?

A. If I have offended any Law, &c.

Q. Didst thou send him that Letter wherein he was called the Son of God?

A. Yea, I do own the whole Letter.

Q. Didst thou call him Jesus?

A.—She would not answer.

Q. Didst thou kiss his feet?

A. Yea.

THOMAS STRANGER his Examination.

HE owneth the Postscript of the Letter in which he calleth James Nayler Jesus; but could not be got to answer to any more Questions, any further, than, If I have offended any Law. He con­fesseth he called James Nayler Je­sus, and saith he was thereto mo­ved of the Lord.


Q. DOst thou own James Nayler to be the onely Son of God?

A. I do own him to be the Son of God.

Q. Wherefore didst thou and the rest sing before him, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Israel?

A. I do own the Songs of Sion.

Q. Thou wilt go through a great rain bare-headed, why then wilt thou not be uncovered to a Magistrate?

A. What I did, was as the Lord commanded.

[Page 32] Q. What is your opinion concerning Religion?

A. I own no Opinions, nor any Judge­ments.

Q. Wherefore didst thou honour him in Towns, and not elsewhere?

A. We did as well in Commons; but in both, as the Spirit of the Lord directed us.

Q. Wherefore didst thou kneel before him?

A. The Truth.

Dorcas Erbury, the Widow of William Erbury, once a Minister, but a seducing Quaker; her Ex­amination.

Q. WHere dost thou live?

A. With Margaret Thomas.

Q. Wherefore didst thou sing, Holy, &c?

A. I did not at that time; but those that sang did it in discharging of their duty.

Q. Dost thou own him that rode on horse-back, to be the holy one of Israel?

A. Yea, I do; and with my blood will seal it.

Q. And dost thou own him for the Son of God?

A. He is the onely begotten Son of God.

Q. Wherefore didst thou pull off his stockings, and lay thy cloaths beneath his feet?

A. He is worthy of it; for he is the holy Lord of Israel.

Q. Knowest thou no other Jesus, the onely begotten Son of God?

A. I know no other Saviour.

[Page 34] Qu. Dost thou believe in James Nayler?

A. Yea, in him whom thou callest so▪ I do.

Q▪ By what name dost thou use to call him?

A. The Son of God: but I am to serve him, and to call him Lord and Master.

Q. Jesus was crucified; but this man you call the Son of God, is alive.

A. He hath shook off his carnal body.

Q. Why, what body hath he then?

A. Say not the Scriptures, Thy natural body I will change, and it shall be spiritual?

Q. Hath a spirit flesh and bones?

A. His flesh and bones are new.

Q. Christ raised those that had been dead: so did not he.

A. He raised me.

Q. In what manner?

A. He laid his hand on my head, after I had been dead two days, and said, Dorcas arise: and I arose, and live as thou seest.

Q. Where did he this?

A. At the Goal in Exceter.

Q. What witness hast thou for this?

A. My mother, who was present.

[Page 35] Q. His power being so much, wherefore opened he not the prison-doors, and escaped?

A. The doors shall open, when the Lords work is done.

Q. What Apostles hath he?

A. They are scattered; but some are here.

Q. Jesus Christ doth sit at the right hand of the Father, where the World shall be judged by him.

A. He whom thou callest Nayler, shall sit at the right hand of the Father, and shall judge the world with equity.

Here followeth a Relation con­cerning one of his Companions.

ONE of James Naylers Disciples ha­ving attained to some knowledge in the French-tongue, went over into France to a City called Burdeaux, where entring into a Congregation of the Pro­testants, he began after his wonted man­ner here in England, to cry out in the open Congregation against the Mini­ster, calling him conjurer, lyer, impo­stor, deceiver; and the elders and peo­ple being astonished at the novelty, and reputing him a mad-man, came and told him, that they had laws in France, to protect the Congregations either of Pa­pists or Protestants from any distur­bance; and thrust him forth of their Church.

[Page 37] Vpon which, he went into the Church-yard, and upon a stone conti­nued his discourse, which drew the whole Congregation out of the Church, after him, and caused the Minister to give over: and the elders coming again to him, told him, that he being a stranger they were willing to favour him; but seeing he did continue his disturbance, they would commit him to justice: he told them, Justice was never in that place until his appearance.

Vpon that, they took him a way to the Governour: where being brought, with his hat on, he asked the Governour what he was; who told him he was the Go­vernour of that place, under the King of France: he said, that he would not an­swer him as Governour, his Government being carnal: and a certain Bishop being with the Governour, who was a Papist, desiring that he might question him, and demanding what he was, he told him he was an English-man, and sent of the Lord to prepare his way: he demanded [Page 38] of the Bishop what he was; who told him, he was a Bishop: whereupon he replied, that against him he was sent, who was one of the locusts that was sent forth of the bottomless pit; and that the wepons he had with him was fitted to de­stroy him and the whole kingdom of An­tichrist, who was held in darkness and blindness; and that he was to pour out Vials of the fathers wrath upon him. The Governor of Burdeaux perceving seve­ral of the people to be infected with his Doctrine, demanded if there was any ship ready to sayl for England; which being informed of, he therein shipt him, being not willing to use extremity to a stranger, but caused some six or seven who had been infected with his doctrine to be whipped through the streets.

A Relation concerning some others of the same Tribe.

SEven or eight others went over in a vessel to new-England, where being arrived, they began to spread themselves; but the Master having notice, caused them to be clap'd up close in a castle, and would not suffer any to come to see them under penalty of five pounds; in the mean time, he sent for the Master of the ship that brought them, and commanded him immediately to carry them back into old England; which he refusing, was also clapt up close prisoner until he consented and took them aboard again.

Now, Reader, I shall close up all with a word or two of his Life and Actions.

JAmes Nayler is a man of so erroneous and unsanctified a disposition, that it is hard to say whether heresie or im­pudencie beareth the greater rule in him; as will appear,

First, in what he testifieth before suf­ficient witnesses, see the brief Relati­on of the Northern Quakers, pag. 22. that he was as holy, just, and good, as God himself. And

Secondly, That he in a letter to one in Lancaster expresly saith, That he that expected to be saved by Jesus Christ that died at Jerusalem, shall be deceived: see Mr. Billingsly's Defence of the Scrip­tures, pag. [...]6. The perfect Pharisee, pag. 8. And so said another of that sect; He [Page 41] was not such a fool, as to hope to be sav­ed by Jesus Christ that died at Jerusalem sixteen hundred years ago: See Mr. Farmer's Mysterie of Godliness and un­godliness: Thus they glory in their ignorance, and count that foolishness which is the true Wisdom.

Thirdly, in a letter I had in my pos­session, but now lent to a friend, sub­scribed by the Pastor and other mem­bers of that Congregation in the North, whereof Nayler once was a member, till for his apostacy he was excommunicated, It is offered to be proved, and by them testified to be true, that one Mris. Roper, her husband being gon on some occasion from her a long voyage, this Nayler fre­quents her company, and was seen to dan­dle her upon his knee, and kiss her lasci­viously, and in that time of his society with her, she was brought to bed with a child, when her husband had been absent seven and fourty weeks to a day from her; and on a time he was seen to dance her in a private room; and having kist [Page 42] her very often, she took occasion to say, Now James, what would the world say if they should see us in this posture? to which he said somewhat, but he was so low, that it could not be heard. This was objected against him, but he denied to answer it before the said Church; ob­jecting, that he would not speak to them that spoke not immediately by the Spirit.

Fourthly, in that when I had discourse with him concerning perfect perfection, at the Bull and Mouth, he said I was a liar to say he owned it; then I proved it from his own writings, as that he said, they that say they have faith, and their life is not the life of Christ, and them that say they have faith, & yet they cannot be saved from their sins but in part in this world, them & their faith I deny, &c. To which he hypocritically said, that I was a lyer to say that he owned it in himself, though he disowned it in others. And when I had objected any thing against what he said, he would deny it so soon as [Page 43] he had spoke it: which to convince the people of his lying deceits, I desired them that stood by me, to Remember that he said, All that are in the world are of the world, in direct opposition to that saying of Christ, Joh. 17. I pray not holy father that thou shouldst take them out of the world, but preserve them from the evil of the world; which I present­ly accused him with▪ for which he called me lyer; for he said, he said not so; I then desired them that heard him to testifie to the truth, against the lyer and his deceit, which they did, but his sear­ed impudence was such, that he said, Should a thousand say so, they were all lyers, with much more to the like effect.

For his Character.

HE is a man of a ruddy complexion, brown hair, and flank, hanging a little below his jaw-bones; of an indif­ferent height; not very long visaged, nor very round; close shaven; a sad down­look, and melancholy countenance; a little band, close to his coller, with no bandstrings; his hat hanging over his brows; his nose neither high nor low, but rising a little in the middle.

Something concerning some others of them also.

DIsborough not much inferior to Nayler him­self, attempting to lie with one Rebeccah (who was first seduced to be, and then was of their heresie) she asked him what his wife would say if she should know what he attempt­ed? Disborough replyed, that he gave her the [Page 45] same liberty that he took himself (that was, to be a whore, as he was a whoremaster) but in short, he having obtained his desire of her, she asked him how if she should prove with child, he an­swered, she must be content to be numbered with the transgressors, and to make her grave with the wicked (so that he followed not that light which is pure, but sinned against knowlege) and she the said Rebeccah, as bewailing her sin, confessed unto one Mr. White a Lincolnshire Gentleman, to whom she added that Nayler attempted to defile her al­so; so that in stead of perfect Saints, they are ra­ther perfect Sophisters.

This Relation under the said Gentlemans hand, and the aforementioned letter from the Church, whereof Nayler was once a member, were offered to be proved and made good, in the publick meeting at the Bull and Mouth to Nayler's face, more then once or twice, who was unable to say ought unto it, but left his standing and sate down silent. They that offered it so to publick trial were, one Mr. Persivall, and Mr. John Deacon au­thor of the Publick discovery of their Secret de­ceit.

Some of their Opinions are these:

1. They deny the Scriptures are the Word of God.

2. They esteem their own Speakings to be of as great authority.

3. They hold it unlawful to expound or interpret the Scriptures.

4. They say, that he that preaches by a text of Scripture, is a Conjurer.

5. That the holy letter is carnal.

6. That the Bible ought to be burn­ed.

7. That Jesus Christ inhabits in their flesh as man.

[Page 47] 8. Some have said, that Christ never ascended into heaven.

9. That to pray that their sins may be pardoned, is needless.

10. They believe not that there is another world.

11. Some of them deny the Resurre­ction.

12. That they cannot sin, but that they are perfect.

13. They make no distinction of per­sons.

A Friend of mine being desirous to be resolv­ed of a doubt, as, Whether that which was reported of that Heretical Sect were more then they erred in, or less then they erroneously maintained contrary to the Truth; he went un­to their Meeting within Aldersgate: where he had no sooner entered that Synagogue of Satan, but the then-speaker (namely, George Fox) cried out, (but on what occasion, he knoweth not) Quakers, Quakes, Earth's above God, in the open house before hundreds then present. At which my friend wondered: and pressing forwards a little into the multitude, he saw some disputing upon the same words: who demanding what was the matter, one answered, that George Fox said Earth is above God; and here is one faith, that whatsoever George Fox should or did say, he would maintain: (pointing to a young man then stand­ing by) to whom my friend replyed, he had un­dertaken a harder task then he was able to per­form: for God was the Creator of the earth, and all things else; and therefore above the earth, and not the earth above him that created it, foras­much as the workman is above his work: for al­though [Page 47] an Artificer shall by Art compose any thing that is never so excellent, yet it can claim no equality with the maker, in regard that what is excellent in it, is the makers excellency, and not its own: for, destroy the work, and the workman can make the like; but destroy the workman with the work, and both perish. To which he replied, He did not mean the earth under our feet, but earthly sin in man. To which my friend replyed, that now his blasphemy was worse then it was before: for take the earth simply in it self, it hath no prejudice towards God; but sin is that which seeks Gods destruction, and therefore he was not to be conversed with, being of so diabo­lical an opinion.

ONe Stephens of London being on a time at their Meetings, with an intent to oppose what he should there hear, not agreeing with Truth; which, at his first coming, he did for a short time, till one of them, taking him by the hand, and rubbing his wrest very hard; which put him to very sore pain: and so altered his resolu­tion, that he was so transformed by their in­chantments, that he since confessed, that should any one whatsoever, have dared to oppose or resist them, as he just before did, he would have stab'd them to the heart, whatsoever had come of it.

There is one Stephens, (and 'tis supposed the same) a Quaker, that now lieth stark mad, and hath so been a pretty while, through the distur­bances of that Spirit which ruleth in the old Quakers.

John Deacon.

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