THE FRVITS OF A FAST, Appointed by the Churches gathered against Christ and his Kingdom, who go about to mock God with their outside-Worship, and appointed Fasts, and Dayes of Voluntary Humiliation.

Or, A Declaration of the persecution of a Messenger of the Lord, by a people who go under the name of Independants, in Essex, who have set themselves in the enmity of their Spirits to oppose the Truth of God, calling it a lye, and persecuting his Messengers as Decei­vers, and Wanderers, wherein their persecuting Spirits is made mani­fest, and them to be in Cains Generation, and strangers to the Spirit of Christ, which never persecuted, and so are none of his, Rom. 8.9.

And also, of the unjust dealings of Judge Hills, who sate upon life and death at the last Assizes, at Chansford, which began upon the eleventh day of the sixth month.

And also, Severall queries, that was sent to the Priests and Magi­strates, which may be serviceable for them, or any other to Answer, whom they do concern.

By a VVitness, and sufferer in outward Bonds, for the unchangeable Truth of God, by Cains Generation, who am known to them (by the name) in Colchester Castle, JAMES PARNELL.

LONDON, Printed for Giles Calvert, and are to be sold at his Shop, at the Black-spread-Eagle neer the West-end of Pauls, 1655.

THE FRUITS OF A FAST, appointed by the Chur­ches gathered against Christ and his Kingdome, &c.

FIRST, I shall give unto the Reader, a declaration of the work of God in my Soul, and the conversion of my heart from dark­ness unto his marvelous Light, and from the power of Satan unto God, and out of the path of death into the path of Life, where I now walk in the Light of my God, with the Ranso­med of the Lord, who are travelling towards the Holy City; and also the cause of my coming forth into the World to declare the truth, for which I now suffer Bonds, by the persecuting Generation, wherein I once lived a Child of wrath (as all are by nature) and when I was loved of the world, while I followed the vain courses and wayes of the world, where by nature I was led in imitation of others, being in that nature which is prone unto the same: the time I was sent unto the Schools of humane learning, for to learn the humane wisdome, for which end the Schooles are profitable; but for the attaining of heavenly wisdom and knowledg, they are as far unpro­fitable, and many bookes that are there read, are much for the corrupting of youth, and the nourishing of the wild prophane nature, which then ruled in me, and I was as wild as others, during the time I followed the School; and after I was taken from the School, I stil continued in the same nature, growing and encreasing in sin and iniquity, following the vain courses of the wicked world, & also was trayned up in the customary way of the wor­ship of the world, which is held in the Idols Temple, every first day of the week, but no conversion there was wrought, but all still continued in the old nature, both Priest and people, young and old, and as was the people, so [Page 2]was the Priest, all walking in darkness and blindness, by form, custome▪ and tradition, but ignorant of the pure light, which is the guide and rea­cher of the faithful, which oftentimes did reprove in secret, when I was a lone, but then I knew not what it was, but oftentimes it did strike me into a consideration of my wayes and doings, and set life and death before me, so that I have sometimes promised within my self, never to do the like again, but the promise being▪ in the wil made, it did not stand, but when the temp­tations came, the careless mind got out again, and led me still to delight my heart in the vanity which my eye did see, and my ear did hear, which all passed away with the using thereof, and left me to the judgement which was due unto me, for my iniquity, which did follow me time after time, cal­ling me to repentance, and the more I did incline my mind and draw nigh to it, it also did draw nigh to me, and so the goodness of God led me to re­pentance, and the Grace of God wrought in my heart a Reformation, and so I was found of him when I sought not; and thus he both wrought the will and the deed of his own good pleasure, and plucked me as a brand out of the fire, to make me a vessel of honor to his name; all living eretnal pray­ses, be to his name for ever; my soul shall praise and magnifie his name for ever; For, I may wel say with Paul, Of sinners▪ I was chiefe; for according to my years, J was as perfect in sin and iniquity, as any in the Town where I lived; yea, and exceeded many in the same, so that there was as little hopes of my conversion, as any in the Town; and yet though it is a place of many people, J was the first in all that town which the Lord was pleased to make known his power in, and turn my heart towards him, and truly to seek him, so that J became a wonder to the World, and an astonishment to the hea­then round about, but they was such enemies to goodness, and so given up to idolatry, that as much as before they had loved me in my vain conver­sation, so much the more thdy hated me in my conversion, yea, and my Families came to insnare me, and lay wait for me for to intrap me, but when they could not prevaile,Psal. 41.9. they stood afar of me, and reproached me with lyes, and proved my greatest enemies, yea, and my Relations became my adversaries, and laboured to destroy what God had began in me, because that thereby J came under the reproach and shame of the world, because J could not conform to the world in their invented facious customes and traditions, and their words, wayes, fellowship, and worship, but was made subject to the law of God, and could not respect persons, neither in word nor deed; then the beast which rules in proud flesh was disturbed, who before ruled in peace while he was worshipped; but when I came to see proud Lucifer,Rev. 13.38. the lust in man, to be the beast, which all the world worships and wanders after, but these whose names are writ­ten in the book of life; therefore J could no longer follow the world in blindness, for by the power of God my eye was opened, so that J did be­hold their idolatry, and therefore J could no longer be conformable to them, so that their rage and persecution arose against me, and J became a [Page 3]mock in the streets; yea, and was I accounted as one not worthy to live a­mongst them; yea, and they said, he that killed me would do God ser­vice; but he that had called me out from amongst them unto himself, that I might no longer follow the vain courses of the world, nor set my delight no things below, but that I might serve him in newness of life, that in me his workmanship might appear, to the confounding of the heathen, who know him not; he by his power kept me, and gave me strength to bear his Cross, and despise the shame; so that neither foul words nor faire words, could cause me to deny what God by his grace had wrought in my heart, but by his power he carryed me above the raging waves of the tempestuous sea, so that I knew that he that was in me, was greater than he that is in the world; yea, and out of my kinred and acquaintance I came, and became a stranger to them that loved not the truth; yea, and present­ly I came to see the Priests of the world, by their fruits, and the fruits of their Ministry, which was cursed from God, and therefore profited not the people at all; but when the Lord by his power had changed and converted my heart unto himself, the Priests became mine enemies, and said I was de­luded, whenas before, when I lived in the vain conversation of the world, they took no notice of me, either to reprove me or instruct me, but as they went on in a customary way, for again and lucre, speaking against sin in the generall but not reproving it in particular, but was as deep in it in their lives as others, and so what they preached down with their tongues they upheld in their lives, and countenanced in their conversations, and so from them I turned, whom I saw had gotten a form, but denyed the life and power, and I sought for a people with whom I might have union; and there was a people with whom I found union, a few miles from the Town where I lived, whom the Lord was a gathering out of the dark world, to sit down together and wait upon his name, but we was the objects and re­proach of the countrey, and was accounted as the off-scourings of the world but in all this we saw the Scriptures fulfilled, and that we might thus suf­fer if we would live godly in Christ Jesus,2 Tim. 3.12. and here was our confidence and strength, which carryed us above our sufferings, as knowing it greater riches to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; and about this time I was about 15 years of age, & afterwards I was called forth to visit some friends in the North part of England, with whom I had union in spirit before I saw their faces, and afterwards I retur­ned back to my outward dwelling place, and remained in my outward cal­ling, and the Lord all this time stil more and more perfecting and encrea­sing his work in my heart, which by his power he had begun in me, & by his pure power bringing forth his truth in me, and making known his wil unto me, until by his power he opened my mouth to declare his truth in the world, & stil I continued in my outward calling, and also in the work of the Lord, as not being called far from my dwelling place, and when I was [Page 6]betwixt 17. and 18. years of age, I was moved in my spirit to go to a place about fifteen miles from my outward dwelling place (southward) amongst a people, to whom the Lord was making known his truth, not knowing when I went out of going farther than that place; but when I was there, I was moved of the Lord to come on to Cambridge, and in obedience unto the Lord, I came to see what he had to do for me, not knowing one soot of the way, but as I was directed, neither knowing when I came there where to be received, but had heard before of two of my friends that was there whip­ped, caused by the Mayor that then was, onely for declaring the truth as they past through the town, against the deceipt thereof, neither did I know but it might be my portion also when I came there; but without conferring with flesh and blood, I passed on my journey, and he that called me forth went along with me, and did direct me, and when I came there, I found these that was worthy that received me; and also I found a friend, whom the corrupt Rulers had put in prison for the same testimony which I also was sent to declare; and before I had continued there the space of fourteen nights, VVilliam Pickering the Mayor of Cambridge, committed me to Pri­son for publishing two Papers, the one against the corruption of the Magi­strates, and the other against the corruption of the Priests, at the time of their commencement, as they call it, and there they kept me in Prison the space of two Sessions, and tossed me from Prison to Dungeon, and had no­thing to lay against me, whereby to prove the breach of any Law, but when I came to the last Sessions, they called a Jury to prove the Papers to be scandalous and seditious Papers, and they was nigh two hours about them but could not prove it, but came and said that they found nothing, but that the Papers was mine, which I had before owned in the open Court, and there was my name to them to testifie the same; and so they was cros­sed in their intentions, and their plots came to nought: then they commit­ted me back to Prison again, and after the space of three dayes they sent me away with a Passe, under the name of a Rogue, yet durst not give me the Law which belongs to Rogues, but had me away with Clubs and Staves, and I could not see the Pass until I was three miles out of the town where I lodged that night, and the next day there came a Justice of peace from Cambridge, who knowing me to be innocent of what was laid to my charge, so he witnessed the Passe to be false, and took it back to Cambridge, and so I was set free: And not long after I went to Cambridge, again, and went abroad, preaching and declaring the truth freely in the Countries about, and many I found that received the truth gladly, but more ene­mies; yet nevertheless, Truth spread and conquered over its enemies; & there I continued labouring in the work of the Lord about the space of halfe a year in the Countries about Cambridge, and from thence I was moved of the Lord to come into Essex, where I heard of the people that was seeking the Lord, and when I came there, I found those that were worthy, who received the truth gladly, and there I continued, freely declaring and [Page 5]preaching the truth, from place to place, sometimes in the Synagogues and was haled out by the Priests party, that the Scripture might be fulfil­led upon that Generation; yet nevertheless, I continued in constant prea­ching of the word to the consciences of the people, freely and publickly, in severall plains of the Countrey, notwithstanding much opposition both of Priests, people, and professors, and much did the truth prevail in the hearts of people, to the glory of God the father of truth, which did make glad the hearts of many, who have long expected this day to appear; but the false Prophet begun to utter forth his lyes and Blasphemies against the truth, and the Beast (by whose power the false Prophet stands) began to rage and persecute; and the Ministers of Antichrist stood up for their Kingdome, crying against truth, striving to present it odious in the ears of the people, but when J came to their faces, they fled like hirelings, and left their I lock behind, so that the truth much prevailed, notwithstanding their railing and raging, so that they begun to appoint meetings, purpose­ly to set themselves against the truth, to present it to the people, as error and heresie, so that if by any means they could by their evil incensing and leavening of the minds of the people, turn away their mindes from heark­ning to the truth; and on the other side they had the earthly powers to up­hold them and strengthen them against whomsoever should come to gain­say them, and to lay their Law upon them; so I hearing of a publick Mee­ting that was appointed by the Priests and Professors of these times, to be at a Town, called Great Coggashall upon the 12. day of the 5th. month, cal­led Luly, as was declared in publike by the Priest of the said Town, to Fast and pray against the errors (as they said) of the people called Quakers, and also their intent was to insnare me, and to bring my body into Bonds if that I came amongst them for to defend the truth, which afterward ap­peared, and although I did see their intent towards me, I was made wil­ling not only to be bound, but also to suffer for the pure eternal Truth which I am made a witness of, so I being pressed in my spirit for to go a­mongst them, and in obedience to the same I went, and there was one Priest VVillis, an independant Teacher, who was set up in the seat of the Pharisee, the chiefest place of the Assembly,Mat. 23.6 these speaking a divination of his own Brain, and not from the Mouth of the Lord, and therefore knew not how to divide the Word aright, but cryed against false Prophets, and Deceivers, and he himself one of them; and when the Priest had done, I spoke unto the people, in vindication of the truth of God, which the Priest had before reproached, reviled, and blasphemed, but the Priests and the Rulers interrupted me, and run into many words, which bred much dis­order and confusion; and then another of the Priests got up into the Pulpet, and they bid me put off my hat, and stand with my hat off the time the Priests was praying, which worship I denyed, and therefore could not be conformable to it, and so J said, before J should be subject to their wills, J would passe out of the meeting place, and so J did, and many people [Page 6]came out after me, for I intended to declare the truth in the Town, being I could not have liberty in the publick place; and as I was passing on the way quietly towards my friends house, he that is called Justice VVakering came rushing behind me amongst the people, and suddenly smote me with his hand upon my back, and said, he arrested me in the name of the Lord Protector, and so I turned me about, and looked upon him, (but knew not that he was a Magistrate) so I asked him, where was his writ? and hee said, he had one, but none he shewed me; then they hurried me into a house and there some friends ingaged that I should be forth-coming when their worship was done; and so I went unto my friends house, and there spoke the word of the Lord unto the people that there came together, and was also ready when their worship was done, according to my friends ingage­ment; and when I came before them, there was four men called Justices, and six or seven Priests; yea, there was nigh nine or ten Priests that day, that was gathered together against the truth; and when I was come before them, he that is called Iustice VVakering, came and plucked my hat off my head, and threw it away; then they fel to question me of many things, to which I made answer, and many frivolous questions they asked mee, whereby to insnare me, which was neither just nor honest for men of their profession to do; so when they had satisfied their wills in examining of me, they caused a Mittimus to be made, and committed me to the Com­mon Goal at Colchester, and there was several of the chief Priests in Essex that was actors in this Persecution; Priest VVillis, who is a Teacher of an Independant company at Brantry, and Priest Sammes, a Teacher of an Independant company at Great Coggashal, and Priest Sparrow, a Tea­cher of an Independant company at Halstead, and Priest Stellum a Teacher of an Independant company at T [...]ling, yet are all Parish Priests, and are maintained by those that are not of their Church, and those was the head actors in this persecution; yea, and Priest Stellum spoke to the Rulers in the publike place, thereby to stir up their spirits to persecute; and this was plotted amongst the Priests and their gathered Churches, to appoint mee­tings,Mat. 7.15 16. thereby to insnare the innocent, and raise persecution against the truth; yea, and two of the men called Jusrices, who was my chief persecu­tors, are members of the Independant Church; and thus the Churches garher themselves against Christ and his Kingdome; and now the ravening wolves in sheeps clothing doth appear, yea their fruits makes them▪ mani­fest, and those are they which calls themselves Iews and are not, but the Synagogue of Satan, and those are the builders which have and do reject the Corner-stone, which is now become the head of the Corner, and over their heads is set, and woe unto them on whom it lights. And after I was sent to prison, there I was kept close, and could not have my friends and acquaintance to come to see me with peace and freedome; and so when I was there, I writ an Answer to the Mittimus, whereby I was falsly accused and imprisoned, and sent to the men that committed me, for to clear my [Page 7]conscience unto them, & lay their injustice & cruelty before them, & leave them without excuse in the presence of the almighty; & so when the time came that I was to go to the Assize, they put me on a chain amongst felons and Murderers, and joyned me to one suspected for murder; and thus I was numbred amongst transgressors, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, and thus six of us was hooked together upon a Chain, so that we could not go into a bed, for four of us remained upon the Chain day and night, and thus I was led 18. miles through the Countrey for a gazing-stock unto the world; but truth was preached in all this, and prevailed on the hearts of the people, so that I could rejoyce in all, and triumph over mine enemies: So when we was at the Assize Town, which is called Chansford, the Juge came in upon the seventh day of the week, and upon the second day of the next week I was brought into the Court before Judge Hills, who sate upon life and death, and there I stood for a gazing-stock a while, and then the Judg commanded them to take me away, and did not say any thing to me, for then I was singled from the rest, onely had Irons upon one of my hands, then upon the next day morning the Goaler sent his man to take off my o­ther Irons, and so in the afternoon I was had before the Judge without any Irons, and the Goaler took off my hat and cast it upon the floore, and then the Clerk read a long Indictment full of falsehoods, and asked me if I was guilty, and I told him I denyed all guilt, and called for my accusers, and the Judge said I might see my accusers, and told me I might say guilty or not guilty, and I told him I was not guilty; so they called twelve men to try me, and the Foreman was a drunkard, and they bid me object against any of them, and I told them I owned none out of the doctrine of Christ, and all that swore was out of the Doctrine of Christ, and they had all sworn before my face, and therefore I openly denyed by them to be tryed; yet nevertheless they went on with their work, and Priest VVillis was called and he swore against me, and swore falsly too; and the two men called Ju­stices swore against me, and swore falsly too; and one of the Justices m [...] (so called,) and another man swore against me, and swore falsly too; yet all these false witnesses was heard to the full what they would say against me, and thus the leader of the people caused them to erre, for if the tea­cher be a swearer and a false swearer, what may the people be? for Christ saith, swear not at all, but let your yea, be yea, and your nay be nay, for whatsoever is more is evil: and the Apostle saith,Mat. 5.34.35, 36, 37 Iam. 5.12. 2 Iohn 9. in all things my brethren swear not at all, &c, and he that abides not in the Doctrine of Christ hath not God; and thus like people like Priest, all live without God in the world. And when their false witnesses had spoken what they could against me, they brought in the Letter which I had sent to the men called Justi­ces in Reply to their Mittimus, and it was openly read in the COURT, and I owned it, for my Name was to it, and the rea­ding of it was much satisfaction to many that understood it, [Page 8]and they also brought another Paper that I writ against the Idols Tem­ple, and the deceiver therein; both which shall follow in order afterward; and then when they were both read, Iudge Hilles took them both, and re­peated over unto the Iury all that the could gather by wrong interpretati­on and construction against me, whereby to incense the Jury against me, and told them if they did not find me guilty, the sin would lye upon their heads, and he as it were passed the sentence upon me before the Jury went forth, yea, and told them what they should do, whenas they had sworn be­fore to speak the truth, and nothing but the truth, and I had charged them to take heed what they did, for I told them none could judge betwixt truth and heresie, but by the spirit of the Lord; but when I would have spo­ken somthing to the Jury before they went forth, the Judge interrupted me, and would not suffer me (though one of the Jury desired it) neither would he suffer that the Jury should have the papers that was brought in against me, though I required it, but sought all that he could against me, true or false, although I had sent him a true declaration of the grounds of my imprisonment, with the hands of four Witnesses to it, neither would he suffer that to be read; and that which I would have spoken unto the Ju­ry, was to clear it unto them, that it was no scandalous nor reproachfull words, to call a corrupt Magistrate, a corrupt Magistrate; and to call an unjust Judge and Lawyer, an unjust Judge and Lawyer; or a persecutor, a persecutor; or a deceiver, a deceiver; all which was brought against me, and called railing and scandalous, for by that account they might have taxed all the Prophets for railing and scandaling, for they open and often declared against the corruption of the Priests and Rulers, as you may read in many places in the Prophets Records, Isajah called the Priests, greedy dumb dogs;Isa. 56.11. Ezek. 34. Iohn 10. Lu. 13, 14, 15. Luke 13.31, 32. Ioh. 3.14. and the Prophets called them Idoll-shepheards, and the like, and Christ called them hirelings, and Christ called the Rulers hypocrites, and Herod a Fox: and read the 23. of Matthew, and see if you may not as wel call that railing, and yet in all this they did not raile nor scandalize any, but gave to every nature its name, and due reproofe, whether they would hear or forbear; but this is the condemnation of the world, light is come into the world, and men love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil. So when the Jury came into bring in their evidence; they could charge me with nothing, but the Paper I had writ in reply to my Mittimus after I was imprisoned, which Paper I had before owned in the open Court, with my name to it; but the Indictment they could not charge me with, for it tended to a Riot, which I was far from, or any that owned me, but the Judge and the Clerk, both, dishonestly strove to draw words out of the Fore-man of the Jury, which the rest did not consent to, neither could he speak their minds, but others of the Jury was fain to speak themselves, but nothing was cleared against me, then the Goaler was com­manded to take me away, & when I was gone forth of the Court, they sent for me again, and the Judge imposed two fines upon me to the value of [Page 6]about forty pounds, the one he said was for the contempt of the Magistra­cy, the other for the contempt of the Ministry; for he said, the Lord PROTECTOR had charged him to see to punish such persons, as should contemn either Magistracy or Ministry: But what a Ministry is this, that stands in need of an outward Magistracy, to uphold it against a people that comes with nothing but spiritual weapons, to defend them­selves against spiritual wickedness, which now sits in high places; but this Ministry is contrary to the Ministry of Christ, whose weapons are not carnal but spiritual; and also several of mine accusers stood upon the Bench hard by the Judge, several times whispering of him in the eare,2 Cor. 10.4. and leavening and incensing his minde against me and I reproved one of them in the open Court for so doing, and yet these things was suffered, and also the Judge gave charge unto the Goaler to let no giddy-headed people come to me (as he called them) which I never desired that any such should come, but thereby they take occasion to keep my friends from me, accoun­ting them giddy-headed people, but they are not giddy-headed people that own sound Doctrine, but they are giddy-headed people that cannot indure sound Doctrine, but have itching ears carried about with reports and hear-says, to speak evil of the things they know not. But thus without all honesty they acted in the enmity of their spirits against me, yet in all I was made to rejoyce, for I see their deceit was manifest to the people, and the Truth owned in many hearts, so that my sufferings was not grievous but joyous; but as the Judges dealings was rigorous and unjust towards me, it was so much the more on the contrary to Barrabas, for there was three or four arraigned for suspicion of Murder, and others for Felony, yet he did deliver them, and there was not one that dyed or was bran­ded, neither which I did desire, but onely this I do declare, to shew how the world loves its own, and how the same spirit now rules in both Priest, people, and Rulers, that ruled amongst the Iewes, who estee­med Barrabas above Christ, and numbred him amongst Transgressors; and so in all this the Scripture is fulfilled,Isa. 53.12. and the day further appears to the Glory of God, the Father of Truth, who wil exalt his truth by his own Power, over the heads of all its enemies: So then they brought me back to prison again, where I stil remain in the peace and freedome of my spi­rit, which none can take away, though in the hands of mine Enemies; yet this I know, That the invisible God is working in secret by his power, and with a strong arme, carrying on this great worke which hee hath begun in the Earth; yea, and he will bring down, and overturn all, untill it come into his hand whose owne it is, and hee will exalt his Kingdome in the hearts of his people, and his Son shal rule ovre the earth, yea, and all his Enemies shall be his footstool, and shall bow unto him, and bee glad to lay downe their crownes before him, and acknowledge his power, yea, and he wil dash all the forms and false likenesses and images, which is set up by man in his imaginations, (calling them Churches;) and he will dash them▪ and the [Page 10]Powers of the earth in pieces one against another, like a Potters Vessel, though now they set at nought the Corner-stone, yet then by it shall they be grownd to powder, for our God is a consuming fire, and who is able to stand in the day of his wrath? Therefore it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God, then woe to all his enemies, or he that lifts up his hand against his Maker, to contrary what he hath decreed.

Here followeth a Reply to my Mittimus, which was adjudged a contempt of the Magistracy.

VVHereas I who am of the World called James Par­nell, am committed as prisoner to bee kept in the Common-Goal, by a Mittimus sealed and signed by you four men who are called Justices of the Peace, who write your selves Herbert Pellham, Thomas Cook, Dyonisius Wakering, William Harlackinden, wherein I finde severall Lyes, Slanders, and false Accusations cast upon me, therefore for the Truths sake, and for the satisfaction of the simple, I shall reply to the same, and cleare the truth, and return the venome upon your venomous spirits from whence it comes, that you may bee convinced of your evill, and cease fighting against Christ and his King­dome.

First your own, as followeth.

VVHereas it duly appears unto Us, by our own view, and also by the Examination of James Parnell, who saith, he was borne at Retford, in the [Page 11]County of Nottingham, Labourer, that he the said James Parnell, with very many other persons of his gathering together, did this day in a riotous man­ner enter into the Parish Church at Great Coggashal aforesaid, and there being a great number of Chri­ans met in the said Church, to hold and keep a day of Publike humiliation, and seeking of God, and being in order thereunto then exercised in the Divine Worship and Service of God Almighty, hoe the said James did then and there stand up, and told the Minister blasphemed, and spoke falsly, and used many other reproachfull words against the said Minister, and afterward hee departed the said Church, and went into the Common High­way, in the said Towne of Great Coggashall, with a great number of persons his followers, who kept there unlawfully together, and some of them gave out menacing and threatning speeches, tending to the breach of the Peace, and against the Law; and also the said James cannot give us a very good account where he was last setled, or of his life and conversa­tion, but doth further appear unto us to bee an idle, disorderly person: These are therefore in the Name of his Highness the Lord Protector, to will and re­quire you to convey forthwith the said James Parnell, unto the Common-Goale for this COUNTY, there to remaine untill the next Generall Goale-Delivery to be holden for this COUNTY, and until thence de­livered by due course of Law, unless he the said James shal come before us, or any two of us, or two some o­ther Justices of the Peace for this COUNTY, and shall finde very able and sufficient Sureties to [Page 12]be bound with him by Recognizance for his personal appearance at the said next Goale-Delivery, there to answer what shal bee then objected against him, and not to depart thence without license of the Court, and in the mean time to bee of good behavi­our, and thereof faile not at your peril. Dated at Coggashal aforesaid, the twelfth day of Iuly, 1655. The Keeper of the said Common-Goale is hereby required to receive and keep the said Iames, if hee shall be brought unto him.

  • Herbert Pellham,
  • Thomas Cook,
  • Dyonisius Wakering,
  • William Harlackinden.

A Reply to the aforesaid Mittimus.

WHereas I am hereby accused, that I (who am of the World called IAMES PARNELL) with very many other Persons of my gathering together, did this day in a Riotous manner, enter the Parish Church of Great Coggashall, afore­said.


ARe you not ashamed, who profess your selves Ministers of law, ju­stice and peace, to begin with lyes and make them your refuge a­gainst the innocent, tending to the disturbance of the peace of the faithfull, whom you both ought and would encourage and countenance, if you were faithfull Ministers of peace and justice, standing in the pure coun­sell of God, ruling for God and not for your selves, in all things dischar­ging your consciences unto God without partiallity, or respect of persons, as faithfull Ministers of Law and Justice; but contrary unto this you have acted in your corrupt wills, turning your swords against the messengers of the most High, and wilfully resisting the truth of God, making lyes your refuge, as here doth plainly appear; for upon the day aforesaid, I was at a friends house in Great Coggashall, where severall friends and neighbours was come to see me, and there sate peaceably together, waiting upon the Lord; and I having heard of a publick meeting at the Steeplehouse in the said town, of the Priests and Professors of these times, as it was openly pub­lished by Priest Sammes, and the Priest of the said Town, in the said Stee­plehouse, upon the first day last past, to that end as I heard, and since did understand, for to fast and pray against (and lay open the errors, as they said) of the people called Quakers, for the returning of them who owned them, and the establishing & strengthning those against them that did not own them (to wit) the people called quakers; so I being pressed in my spi­rit for to go amongst them, in the behalf and defence of the truth of God, brought forth in these people whom the world scornfully calls Quakers, I also being made a Minister of the same eternal truth, through the power of God, by which I am made able and carryed on to declare it openly and publickly to the confounding of the heathen, and the reviving of the wit­ness for God in the Conscience, and also to suffer for the same, which I did believe, the Priests did much blaspheme and reproach, striving to present it odious to the people, so in obedience to the Lord I went out from a­mongst my friends, not telling one of them whither I was agoing (as many can witness, and one friend followed me to the dore, and perceiving som­thing [Page 14]of my going, he asked me if he might go with me, and I bid him use his freedome to come after, but I desired to go alone, and so I went on the way single, and when I came at the Steeplehouse dore, which you perse­cutors calls a Church, and also accounts your selves another Church, and thus you set up Churches in your imaginations, yet are strangers to the true Church, which are no persecutors; but when I came there, there was se­veral boys and Children that would have flocked in after me, & I bid them go in before me, rather than to go in disorderly, whereby to occasion any disturbance, and so I went in very orderly, and stood very orderly, not spea­king one word until their peiest had done, and was coming out of his seat, as many can witness, though the priest had been openly reviling & reproaching the people of God in particular, whom he scornfully called quakers, there­fore let all people whose understandings are enlightned, judge in what rio­tous manner I entred the place, which you call a church, & bear witness a­gainst you who are not ashamed to make lyes your refuge against the inno­cent; and also what are the weopons which you make use of, who calls your selves Christians, but makes lyes your refuge, and covers your actions with deceit? But was this the practise & nature of Christ? for a christian is Christ­like, and let all that profess Christ, walk as he walked; but these are the Fruits of your peblick Humiliation, who go about to mock God, but your end shall be according to your works.

2 Accusation.

ANd whereas you say, being in order thereunto, then exercised in the Di­vine worship of God Almighty; he (the said James) did then, and there stand up and told the minister he blasphemed, and spoke falsly, and used many other reproachful words against the said minister.


UNtil him (called Minister) had done the Divination of his own Brain, from whence you derive your Divine VVorship, and was com­ing out of his Seat, I did not speak one word unto him, as hundreds can witness, and the first words that I spoke was not as you accuse me, but this I said,1 Cor. 14.29, 30, 31. this is the order of the true Church, that all may speak one by one, and if any thing be revealed to him that stands by, let the first hold his peace; then I spoke on in the behalf of those people called quakers, whom the Priest had before often and openly reviled, but so soon as I had spoke a few words, the Priest and severall others disorderly ran into many words, and so inter­rupted me in speaking, that it bred much confusion; then the Priest asked me what I would object against him, I told him in that he reviled the peo­ple called quakers, and said they was built upon a sandy foundation, and so called them Shakers and the like, but I told him I would prove their [Page 15]Foundation not to be sandy, and him to be the false Prophet, and so I de­clared of The Stone cut out of the Mountain without hands, which strikes at the Feet of the Image, whose head is Gold, and Brest of Silver, and Thighes of Brass and Legs of Iron, and Feet part Iron and part Clay, and this Stone is become a great Mountain, upon which the Church is built, as a City set on a hill cannot be hid; and this is the Foundation of the people that are called quakers, not all that are called quakers, but the real people whom the world scornfully calls quakers; and this is become a stumbling stone, and a rock of offence to the nations, and so it seems it is unto you, because you are the worshippers of the great Image, which you call the Divine wor­ship of your God, but God almighty you know not, for he abhors all the sacrifices of Cain, and his Generation, which was ever the persecuting ge­neration, upon which must come all the righteous bloodshed, from righte­ous Abell untill now; therefore wo unto you ye Serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? Mat. 23.35. ver. 3 3. Act. 5.7 5 [...]. And now you fill up the measure of your Fathers wrath; ye stiff-necked, and uncircumcised in hearts and ears, ye do al­waies resist the Holy Ghost, as did your fathers so do ye; but think not that you shall be heard for your much babbling, who for a pretence make long pray­ers, but ye shall receive the greater damnation, and the Lord will make your diviners mad, who hav [...] spoke a Divination from their own brain, and not from the mouth of the Lord, but cryed peace, peace, where there is no peace, Isa. 44.25 Ier. 14.14. because ye put into their mouthes, and so heals you slightly, daubing you up with untempred morter, but you shall all fall amongst them, that fall in the day that I visit you, saith the Lord, ye murderers and crucifiers of the just: So when I had clea­red the foundation of the people called quakers, as aforesaid, some of you accused me that I owned no CHURCH, and I said it was false; then some of you asked me what CHURCH I owned, and I answered, the CHURCH in GOD, and more words I spoke about the Church; then VVillis the DIVINER stood up in his Will, and said I spoke nothing but non-sence, and I bid him name one word that was non-sence that I had spoken, and he said, to say the Church in GOD, then I took out my BIBLE, and read unto him the first Chapter of the Thessalonians, and the first verse, where the Apostle writeth to the Church of the Thessalonians, which is God the Father; then paleness struck the face of the Diviner, neither would any of his fellows stand up to justifie what he had taken in hand; and this was it wherein I said he blasphemed, to say the Church in God was non-sence; then there was one Priest Stellum, a Magician of Aegypt, who stood up in the enmity of his spirit, and accused me with severallys, & slanders which hardned Pharoahs heart, so that you corrupt rulers would not suffer me to clear my self from what he had accused me withall, but the Magician got up into the seat of Divination, and was going to his abomination, a [...]d then the RULERS called to me to put off my hat, then I bid you call to the Priest to put of his cap.

[Page 16]And thus may all see the blindness and ignorance of Priests and People, who are offended at a hat, and not at a can; and this is as the vain tra­ditions of the Pharises, who observed the washing of Pots and cups, and such like things, making clean the out-side, which Scripture Priest VVil­lis, (who said, the Church in God was non-sense) brought in reference to the people called Quakers, because they do not put off their hats in respect [or worshipping] of mens persons; but let any who hath un­derstanding, consider which is more Traditional, for a man to keep his hat on his head, for which end it is made, as also his shooe for his foot, his glove for his hand, or the putting off these things, in observation of customes, Mat. 15.7, 8, 9. and reverencing mens person, for all which there is no Scripture; therefore a vain Tradition of Man; and thus they teach for Doctrine the Traditions of Man; therefore in vains do you worship God; who come neer him with your lips, and with your mouths, but your hearts are farre from him, Iohn 5.44. in the unbeliefe, seeking honor one of another, and observing vaine Traditions and customes, as did your forefathers, whom Christ pronounced woe against, who were his Persecutors, and in whose steps yee are found; and therefore read your portion: And thus while you are crying against the Scribes and Pharisees for observing vaine Traditions and customes, and their strictness in their observations, and yet Persecutors of the Iust; you also are found the same, who are set up in the chiefest place of the Assembly, Mat. 23. as they were, and called of men Master, as they were, stand praying in the Synagogues, as they did, teaching for Doctrine the Traditions of men; as they did, and are strict in your Observations, and calling of Assemblies, and in your set-times of VVorship, and appointed Pasts and days of Humiliation, and yet are persecutors of the just, as they were, yea in the very height of your VVorship the bitterness of your spirits appeared; but is this such a Fast as God hath chosen? Nay, it is a­bomination, his Soul loaths it, and hee will judge the cause of the Innocent upon you Hypocrites, and be avenged of you his Adversaries, and give you your portion with Vnbelievers in the Lake that burneth, prepared of old for Cains Generation, in which you are found, by the Eternall Light of God, which cannot lye, which will rise up in Iudgement against you at the last day, though now you stumble at it, and are offen­ded at it; yet then shal you behold him whom you have pierced, though with Lamentation and Sorrow of Minde, when there is none to deli­ver you from the wrath of the Almighty, and this is answered and witnes­sed in your Consciences.

Then the occasion of my passing out of the Steeple-house was this, when I could not have liberty to speak in the vindication of the Truth, a­gainst gain-sayers, ye would have had me have stood with my hat off the time the Priest was praying, which Worship I denied, and therefore could not be conformable to it; and so I said, before I would stay to fulfill your wills, I would pass out of the Steeple-house, and many came out after me, [Page 17]but not of my calling, and many that I knew not, and yet you are not a­shamed to fay my followers.

And again, That I went into the Common High-way, and there kept with the people unlawfully together, as you affirm, is a very abominable Lye, especially for men of your profession to tell, which many can witness against, for I was passing on the way quietly without disturbance towards my friends house from whence I came, not purposing to stop until I came there; but that he that writes himself Dyonisius VVakering came hurrying in amongst the people, and clapped me on the back, and sail, He arrested me in the Name of the Protector, and there stopped me, and the first words that I spoke was, VVhere is thy VVrit? and so the people gathered about, and thronged much, but that any gave out menacing and threatning speeches J cannot say, neither whom they was spoken against, but any that owns me it is wel-known, they are not men of such boystrous spirits, but rather are made willing to to be reviled, then to revile, for from me no other example they have, as hundreds will acknowledge; but VVake­ring if the was true to that of God in his conscience, he would confess how I laboured in his presence to still the people, when he had violently laid hands on me, and given the occasion; and so let all take notice, that there was no disorder nor disturbance until the Magistrate came and laid violent hands on me, tending to the breach of the peace, and against the Law, and this is the fruits of your hypocritical fast and voluntary humili­ation.

3 Accusation.

And also you accuse me, That I could give no good account of my last settle­ment, or of my life and conversation.


As for my life and conversation, let it preach forth it self, and them that can accuse me let them; and as for my settlement it is in the Lord, where I have found a habitation, and so am no vagabond nor wanderer, though I challenge no propriety in the earth, because my Kingdome is not of this world, though you accuse me that I appear unto you to be an i­dle disorderly person, and before you set me down Iames Parnel Labourer; and thus you utter forth your folly with your changeable minds, but I am a Labourer in the Gospel of God, in which work none can tax me with i­dleness, since I came into these parts, but if I had been more idle in the same ye would have been more pleased, for it is my great Labor and Diligence in this work of the free Gospel, and the prosperity thereof, in the overtur­ning and lay open the deceits of deceiving, and deceived men, that tor­ments you, who are the shelterers of the false Prophet, whom you carry in your bosome, because he cries peace unto you, when the Lord cries woe; yet nevertheless it is but for a time, for the hand of the Almighty is against you, and who shal deliver you?

And when you have laid all these lyes, slanders, and false accusations [Page 18]upon my back, you commit me to the Common Goale for this County, as you say, in the name of his Highness the Lord Protector, and so you make his name a cover for your lies, and a Protector of persecution and oppression; but according to his own Declaration, he took not upon him that place and Title, for that end, but by your proceedings in his Name it doth so appear, or else the messengers and servants of Iesus Christ would not be so persecuted, and cast into prisons, and dungeons, and holes, in his Name, as they are; but what a Liberty of Conscience is this? and how wil this stand in the presence of the Almighty God, who will judge him that judgeth, as wel as him that is judged?

That all Sects, Forms, Judgements, and Opinions should be at liberty, and be protected therein, and the dear children of God persecuted and imprisoned, and shamefully intreated as they are, and all this done in the Name of the Lord Protector of England; therefore in the day of the Lords vengeance, he wil be avenged of all his Adversaries from the least to the greatest, and who shal escape his hand in the day that hee will deliver his own, and advance them above all their enemies, though here you his ene­mies have cast me, you say, until I shal be delivered by due course of Law.

Reply. What law or justice can I expect from such unjust Lawyers and Judges as you are? for you that cast me in contrary and without Law, it is likely you wil proceed contrary and without Law, for your owne Law wil bear witness and testifie against you to your shame and confusion of face, though to this Libel you have set your hands and seals, who write yourselves, Herbert Pellham, Thomas Cook, Dyonisius VVakering, VVilliam Harlackinden.

Here let your hands bear witness, and testifie against you, for enemies and per­secutors of the just, who bind heavy burthens, and lay them upon the oppressed, but wil not touch them with one of your fingers, but the greater will be your con­demnation when there is none to deliver you from the hand of the Almighty, nei­ther Rocks nor Mountains to shelter you, but the refuge of lies shal be done away, therefore while you have time prize it, and bring your deeds to the light, and owne your condemnation by the light, that your souls may be saved; now you are warned and the messenger of the Lord discharged, by whom you are warned, and the truth cleared from your lyes and false accusations, which in the enmity of your spirits you have cast upon it; and so in the liberty and peace I rest and stand, wherein Christ hath set me free, which none cat take away, who am a sufferer in outward bonds for the testimony of a pure conscience, at Colchester-Castle, who am known to you my persecutors by the name,

J. Parnel.
[Page 19]

Here followeth a copy of some Quaeres that was sent with the foregoing Letter, to the Iustices so called.

Several Quaeres to all you Magistrates and Officers, and proud and lofty ones, who rage, persecute and despise men, because they cannot put off their hats to you; and call it a contemning of Authority, and mis-beha­viour, and yet say, you are Christian Magistrates, and profess the Scrip­tures to be your rule; now try your selves and prove your practise by the Scripture, and by it answer these quaeries.

1 Quaere. WHat Rule have you in the Scripture for the putting off the hat?

2 What is that in man that would be honoured with the putting off the hat, or bowing the knee?

3. Why is it called curtesie to put off the hat to the poor, and honor, & manners, and due respect, to put off the hat to the rich?

4. Whether is this respect of persons, because of advantage, yea or nay; or what makes this difference.

5. Where is your example for this amongst all the Christians under the Gospel, as you profess.

6. And what is that in man that so swells, and causeth such wrath and rage to appear against another, for not putting off the hat, if the putting of the hat or bowing the knee be such a smal matter as some accounts it.

7. Whether is that right Authority or Justice in man, that commands his fellow-creature to put off the hat before him, and so to stand untill he suffer him to put it on; and if he do not so stand, then to fall into wrath and rage, and say he contemns Authority, yea or nay.

8. Where is there any Law that commands a man to put off his hat to one man more than another.

9. And if there was a Law that did so command,Iames 2.9. whether he that obeys the Law of God that commands no respect of persons, and disobeys the o­ther Law, do contemn Authority, yea or nay.

10. Whether was that Authority in Hamon to be obeyed,East. 3. (who was a chiefe Ruler) and would have had Mordecai to have bowed unto him.

11. And what was that in Hamon that made him full of wrath, so that he would ha [...]e destroyed Mordecai, and all the Jews in the Nation, because Mordecai could not bow unto him; and what difference is there betwixt Hamon and you in this matter, who now are ful of wrath and rage, and imprison those that cannot put off their hats to you.

12. And whether was that mis-behaviour, or a contemning of Autho­rity in Mordecai, in not obeying the Kings command to bow unto Hamon, as you say it is in not putting off the hat, or bowing to you now; and wherein do you see any difference betwixt these men now, and Mordecai in that matter, seeing they suffer imprisonment before they can do it.

[Page 20]13. And what Lordship and authority was that, which they that were accounted to rule over the Gentiles,Mat. 2 [...].25. did exercise upon them which Christ declared against to his Disciples, and wherein do you differ from them in what matter?

14. And what honour was that which the Pharisees received one of a­nother,Ioh. 54.4. for which cause Christ judged them to be in the unbelief, and whe­ther you be not guilty of the same, yea or nay?

15. And what is the honour which commeth from God, which Christ there spoke of; and whether it stands in the putting off a hat, ye a or nay?

16. What is the Beast which all the world worships and wonders after? and what is the worship of that Beast and his image?Rev. 13.3.8. and whether the power and authority of that beast is to be obeyed, yea or nay?

17. How is Justice to be honoured?

18. And whether a man may not put off his hat to a Magistrate, and yet envie him and hate him in his heart? And whether many in these dayes do not so? and whether this be the honour that a Magistrate ought to seek for, yea or nay?

19. And whether a man may not honor Justice and Equity in his heart without putting off a hat to a Magistrate? and he that so doth, Whether is he fit to be called a Magistrate, that calleth such a one a contemner of au­thority, and commits him to Prison for mis-behaviour; and whether this be Justice or Equity, yea or nay?

20. And you that pleads this Scripture, Be subject to every Ordinance of man for the Lords sake; whether is it for the Lords sake that a man would have his Fellow-Creature to stand with his hat off before him or for his selfes sake, and whether then it is to be obeyed, yea or nay?

21. And he that for the Lords sake and for conscience sake cannot so rob God of his Glory and honour, as to bow to, or Worship any creature but God alone who is the Creator: Whether ought he to be imprisoned for misbehaviour, or a contemner of authority, yea or nay, according to the law of equity, and whether this is to be called liberty of conscience, accor­ding to the Law of England, yea or nay?

Now all you that profess your selves christians, and the Scripture to be your Rule, take the Scripture and prove your practise by the Scripture amongst all the christians, or else let the life and practise of the true christians judge you and con­dem you, and own your selves to be in proud Hamons nature, and so liable to Ha­mons judgement; and henceforward look to your Office, to rule for God and not for your selves, and then you will not stand upon such frivolous things, for it is a frivolous thing to look for the putting off the hat, and is no part of true nobility or christianity.

I. P.
[Page 21]

Here followeth a Copy of a Note that was written against the Idolls-Temple, which was iudged a contempt of the Ministry.

THis is the Idols-Temple, where the worship of the Beast is upheld, down with it, down with it, 1 Cor. 8.10. Rev. 13.7, 8. Dut. 12. God that made the world and all things therein, dwels not in Temples made with hands, Act. 7.47, 48, 49. Act. 17.21. neither is he worshipped in Idolls-Temples made with mens hands, Act. 17.24. God is a spirit, and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship him, Iohn 23.24. All the world wonders after and worships the beast, but those who have their name; written in the book of life, Rev. And they that worships the Beast receives his mark in their foreheads, Rev. 13.16. as sprincking Infants, and worshipping the works of their own hands, Isa. 2.8. And following the imagination of their own hearts, such must drink of the wine of the wrath of the Almighty; powred out without mixture, Rev. 14.9, 10, 11.12.

This Idoll-Temple that is made with hands, is a place for N [...]ght-birds, and Skrich Owles to meet each one with his male, Jer. 34.13, 14, 15. to the disho­nour of the only true God, that dwelleth in temples made without hands, at new Ierusalem, where the tabernacle of God is with men, Rev. 21.3. Drunkards and Swearers, Revilers, and Scoffers, and Scorners, proud and wanton ones, Hypocrites and Dissemblers, envious Haters, Backbiters, Persecutors, Iust­full covetous ones, and Earth-worms meets here, the fearful and unbelie­ving, peevish, perverse, contentious ones meets in these Idols-Temples, to satisfie their lusts; and saith the Lord, these people draw neer me with their mouths, and honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; but in vain do they worship me, teaching for Doctrine the traditions of men, Mat. 15.7, 8, 9. But know you not that no unrighteous person shall inherit the Kingdome of God, 1 Cor. 6.9, 10. But must be cut down and cast into the Lake that burneth, Rev. 21.8. Be not deceived, God is not mocked, such as you sow, such must you reap, Gal. 6.7. And to whom you yeild your members servants to obey, his ser­vants you are, Rom. 6.16. For he that commits sin is the servant of sin, and so is of the Devill. Ioh. 6.34. 1. Ioh. 3.

This is a Deceiver that stands up here every first day of the week to de­ceive the people, he is proud and Covetous, and speaketh a divination of his own brain, but not from the mouth of the Lord, and so makes the peo­ple light and vain, Ier. 14.14. But the Lord is against him, hold him not up, for he ran and the Lord never sent him therefore he profits not the people at all, Ier. 23.21, 22.32. but hath stoln the Letter, which is car­nall [Page 22]with it to feed the carnall, for carnall ends and lucre, and so hath a form but denyes the li [...]e and power, and therefore from him turn away, 2 Tim. 3.5. therefore spend not your moneys for that which is not bread, nor your labour for that which profiteth not, Isa. 55.1, 2 for all the children of the Lord are and shall be taught of the Lord, and in righteousness shall they be established, and they shall be far from oppression, Ier. 31.34. Isa. 54 13, 14. 1 John 2.27

He that hath an car to hear let him hear what the spirit saith, and be deceived no longer.

J. P.

Here followeth severall queries that was sent to four of the chiefe Priests in Essex, with some more added, which may be serviceable for them, or any other, to answer, whom they do concern.

SEverall queries unto Priest Sammes, Priest Sparrow, Priest VVillis, and Priest Stellum, and your gathered Churches, by you to be answered ac­cording to Scripture, which you profess to be your rule.

Query 1. How and by what was you called to the Ministry which you profe's.

2. What is the Gospel which you pretend to preach, and how did you receive it, and whether your Gospel be free and without charge; as the A­postles was, yea or nay?

3. What do you Minister from, and what do you Minister to, in the na­turall man, and what is the end of your Ministry?

4. What rule have you in the Scripture, to take a Text of the Apostles words, and speak from it what you have studyed, with your Uses, Points, Tryalls and Motives, and Applications?

5. Whether do you speak by the same infallible spirit as they did that spoke forth the Scripture, yea or nay?

6. And whether he that hath the same infallible spirit, need study how or what to preach?

7. And whether it is not as lawful now for Fisher-men, Plow-men, or Herds-men, to preach, if they be called to it, and fitted for it, by the same power and spirit as they was in the dayes of old, and whether Christ is not the same yesterday, to day and for ever according to Scripture?

8. And whether any now ought to teach and preach in the name of Je­sus, but who are caled to it and fitted for it, the same way as the holy men of God was, spoken of in Scripture?

9. Whether do you own immediate Revelation now, yea or nay?

[Page 23]10. What is a Minister of Christ, and what is a Minister of Antichrist, and do you distinguish the one from the other?

11. What Scripture hast thou to give unto the world Davids conditions to be sung in a Meeter.

12. What rule have you in the Scripture, to abide in a certain place, and to agree with the people for so much a year for preaching, as 40, 60, or 100. or 200. l. as you can get it.

13. How and by what are you gathered and united, who calls your solves a Church.

14. And what is the Church in God, and whether to it you be come, yea or nay?

15. What is the Baptisme into the Church, and whether to it you be come, yea or nay?

16 And Scripture have you to sprinckle children with water, and to what end do you do it?

17. Whether you be of one heart and one mind, as the true Church was yea or nay?

18. Whether you have passed from death to life, yea or nay.

19. What is the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ; and whether to it you be come, yea or nay?

20. Whether he that believes is not born of God; and whether he that is born of God, doth not commit sin, yea or nay?

21. Why do not you maintain your Teacher, but let him rob the world in­stead of robbing other Churches, and so is chargeable unto the world?

22. Whether do you own and hold up the first Priest-hood, that took Tythes, or the second Priest-hood that took no Tythes, and which do you deny, seeing you pay tythes, and your Teacher takes tythes, yea or nay?

23. Why do you own and hold up such that are called of men Master, and have the chiefest place in the Assemblie, and stand praying in the Synagogue, and love greetings in the Markets, which Christ himself cryed wo against.

24. How is Christ the light of the world, and how doth he enlighten every one that cometh into the world, if it be not in the conscience; and whether that Light which comes from him be naturall, yea or nay?

25. How is the light the condemnation of the world, if it be not in the conscience

26. And how is it said, that he that doth evill hateth the light, and wi [...]l not bring his deeds to the Light, lest the Light should reprove him, if it be not in the cons­cience, & whether that be a natural light which reproves for sin, yea or nay.

27. How did Paul turn peoples mindes from darkness to light, if it be not in the conscience, and whether that light was naturall which Paul was sent to turn the mindes of the Gentiles unto.

28. Whether that light which shines in darkness, be not one, and the same, with that which shines out of darkness, yea or nay?

29. And whether the light of the world be not a saving light in the least measure, yea or nay? and how can that be said to be naturall?

[Page 24]30. Whether the Light which Iohn came to beare witness of, was natu­rall or spirituall?

31. How hath the grace of God, which bringeth Salvation, appeared to all men, if it be not in the conscience, and whether it be naturall.

32. How doth it stand with the impartiall God, to give to one man a mea­sure of grace, and not to another, and yet require obedience from all.

33. Whether the slothfull servant hath not a Talent as wel as the faith­ful, though he hide it in the earth, and what is that Talent.

34. What is the account that God wil require of every one in the day of Judgment, and how can he call all justly to an account, and reward them according to their deeds, if he hath not given to every one a Talent.

35. What is that which leads to repentance; and whether that which leads to repentance be not in the conscience, and whether it be naturall yea or nay.

36. And where do you read in the Scripture of a naturall light to be in the conscience.

37. What is the redemption; and what is the end of Christs coming.

38. Whether the redemption by Christ, be not as ful in every in every respect, as the fall by Adam, and what is the fall by Adam.

39. And whether you do not go about to make the commands of Christ unjust, who saith, Be ye perfect, as your heavenly father is perfect; and you say it cannot be while you are upon the earth, then how is it your rule.

40. Will you own a purgatory, or where is the place betwixt heaven and earth where man shall be clensed, if not upon the earth, seeing no unclean thing can inherit the kingdome of God.

41 Whether do they deny Christ come in the flesh, that witness forth perfection from sin here, or they that tel people they can never be perfect, or be wholly set free from sin so long as they are upon the earth, and whe­ther such be not the Ministers of Antichrist, yea or nay.

42. Where had you this Doctrine to tell people the light in the consci­ence is naturall, and that Christ hath not enlightned every one that com­eth into the world.

43. And whether in this you do not bring another Doctrine, in opposi­tion to the Doctrine of Christ, who saith he is the light of the world, and doth enlighten every one that cometh into the world.

44. And where had you this Doctrine, to tel people they could never be wholly clensed, or be set free from sin, so long as they are upon the Earth.

45. And whether this be not in opposition to the Doctrine of Christ, who saith, Be ye perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

46. Whether God justifies any in their sin; and whether sanctification go not before justification, yea or nay.

47. Whether you do not seek justification by works, who put one another upon prayer, and duties, observations, Ordinances, and commands, with­out [Page 25]the Light, in imitation of the Letter, and whether these be not your own works which are done out of the light, yea or nay.

48. What is your own righteousness, and what is the righteousness of Christ, and how do you distinguish betwixt the one and the other?

49. And whether he that is justified by the righteousness of Christ, doth not dwel in it, and it in him, and whether he that dwels in the righteous­ness of Christ doth sin, yea or nay.

50 Whether any can walk according to the Scripture but by the Light of Christ; and whether any that are guided by the Light of Christ, do, or can act contrary to the Scripture; and whether this Light be not a suffici­ent guide, if it be owned and followed?

51. How is the Scripture left unto the world for a rule, who know not the Light, seeing to them it is a parable, and as a book sealed.

52. And what is the word, and whether there be any other word of God then one?

53. What is the death that hath passed over all men, forasmuch as all men have sinned; and whether this death you ever passed, yea or nay.

54. What is that which is lost, which Christ comes to seek; and what is that which was driven away, which Christ comes to bring again; and whether this is not to be witnessed and fulfilled in man, yea or nay.

55. What is the Paradise wherein man was placed; and what was the Image of God wherein man was created.

56. And how was man a living soul; and whether all this is not to be re­stored unto man, and fulfilled and witnessed unto man, while he is upon the earth, yea or nay.

57. What is the Tree of Life, and what is the Tree of Knowledge, and whether upon it you do not feed; and what is the flaming sword that is set to keep from the tree of life, and whether it you ever passed.

58. Whether the naturall man can try and discern false spirits by the Scripture; and by what doth the spirituall man try and judge all things, and whether by the same he did not try and discern spirits.

59. And by what did the holy men of God that gave forth the Scripture try and discern spirits; and whether yours be the same tryer of spirits as theirs was, who say you must try the spirit by the Letter.

60. Whether you are not conformed like unto the world, so long as you follow their fashions and customes.

61. Whether you are not partiall amongst your selves, so long as you respect persons.

These things I do not ask as if I knew them not, but for the satisfaction of the simple, and the clearing of the truth, and manifesting your deceit to the world, by which you have deceived the world, who are the deceivers of the world, there­fore answer by plain Scripture, and your own experience, or else let all flesh keep silence before the Lord, and let guilt stop your mouths, for Rayling, reproaching, [Page 26]and blaspheming the truth of God, which is made manifest in these people, whom you scornfully calls quakers, who by you and your agents are persecuted, but where do you find that the Church of God was ever persecutors, or ever made use of carnall weapons to defend them.

J. P.

Here followeth a Copy of a Letter that I was moved to write to Iudge Hills, after the Assize.

A Few words unto thee that art set in the seat to do justice, and to bear the sword of Justice in thy hand, and hast turned the edg of it against the righteous, and laid it upon the innocent, and thy fair words wil not shelter nor cover thy deceitful actions, but thy deceitful heart is made manifest, and thy hypocrisie doth thee appear, for thou hast hearkned unto the false Prophet,Isai. 5.10. and by his enticing words thou art deceived, and so puts darkness for light, and light for darkness, evill for good, and good for evil, and so art liable to the wo from the Lord, and hast persecuted Christ, and set at liberty Barabas, yea, and I was numbred amongst transgressors, yet could not have the liberty of transgressors, as in many things might be no­minated, but in short I shall declare it; first, that mine accusers should stand in the place as judges over me, and their accusations and false witnesses to be heard to the ful, and also to whisper and buz in thy eares in secret, what they would against me, and also that thou that sate in the seat as a Judge to repeat over unto the Jury all that thou couldst gather by wrong interpretation, and construction against me, but nothing of my defence a­gainst my accusations, but rather to drive out of their minds, by thy evill incensing, what I had before declared in my own defence, but thou, as it were, passed the sentence upon me before the Jury went sorth, but thou thoughtest thou hadst pannelled a Jury wherewith thou wast pleased to try me according to thine own mind and will, for the Foreman was a drunkard, and the rest swearers, out of the Doctrine of Christ, against all which I did object, and denyed by them to be tryed, but it was thy wil and pleasure so to do, and when they come to bring in their evidence, they had so much un­derstanding, that they charged me with nothing, but the papers which I had before confessed to be mine, and owned them, but the Indictment they would not own to be truth against me, though dishonestly both thou and the Clerk, did draw words out of the Foreman of the Jury, which the rest did not consent to, and then in thy wil, with thy fair and deceitful speeches thou imposed a fine upon me, contrary to all law and equity, but where e­quity is not it cannot be expected, for oppression within, oppression without, and he that cannot witness the sword of justice set up in his heart, knows not how to handle it without, for he that rules not by the law of God in his heart rules in his own wil, and is partial & understands not the things of God, but what pleaseth his wil, that he cherisheth, & what crosseth his will that he would curb, and the wil of man is opposite to the wil of God, therefore the Cross of Christ is of use to them that know it, but a stumbling block to the world; but he that rules in his own wil is no minister of God, he that respects [Page 27]persons is not fit to bear rule for God, he that seeks himself is not fit to bear rule for God; all which appeared, and was openly manifest in thee in the open Court, as in those things beforementioned, and many other which are now out of mind; but for the clearing of my conscience unto thee, I was moved to write, that thou might'st see what thou hast done, and be left without excuse of ignorance in the presence of the Almighty; for contrary to the Light of God in thy conscience thou hast acted, by which thou stands accused in the presence of the Almighty, and if thy conscience accuse thee, God is greater; but if thou hadst stood in the place where thou art set, to judge of legal malters, about natural and temporal things, thou hadst had the less to account for, but in medling to judge about spiritual matters, is authority which the Scripture (which thou calls thy rule) doth not allow thee; for the natural man receives not the things of God, because they are spiritually dis­cerned; therefore in this the spiritual man judgeth thee, and thy condemnati­on is great; therefore lay these things to heart, and put them not far from thee, for to the light of God in thy conscience I do speak, which eternally wil witness me and condemn thee in the presence of the Almighty, who hast taken upon thee to judge and condemn those whom God hath justified; therefore consider what advantageth it thee, or what wil it advancage thee when thou comes to give an account before the Lord God of Heaven and Earth, the Iudge of all the quick and the dead, it thou hast now power to keep this body in prison until thou hast the life of the creature, which I am freely made willing to give up, rather then to deny the truth of my God, and if I should pay one penny for the liberty of my body in this cause, would be as much as if I paid the whole fine which thou hast unjustly laid upon me; for therein I should own my self a Transgressor where I am not guilty; and also a bought liberty is bondage to my spirit, but my liberty under thy bonds is bondage to thee, which liberty thou canst not rob me of, with all that thou canst do, for it is the free gift of God, which none can take away, though thou wilt not allow me in thy bonds to have the outward liberty that thou allows to Thieves, and Murderers, and Fornicators, that is, to have my friends and acquaintance to come to seeme, wherein the very heathen wil con­demn thee, who when they had committed Paul to prison, said, Forbid none of his friends and acquaintance to come to fee him, Acts 22.24. Therefore now read how thou exceeds the Heathen in persecution and injustice, though I am a free-born subject in England; therefore let the life of all the Christians con­demn thee who never was persecutors. And this of the Lord I was moved to write, which is the VVord of the Lord unto thee, whether thou wil hear or forbear, in the peace of my conscience I do rest in the VVill of God. Known to thee by the name,

Iames Parnel.

[Page 28]And now a few words unto you who call your selves gathered Churches, who go under by the name of Independants in Essex, you are gathered by the wil of man, and are joyned by the wil of man, and so stands in the will of man, and are upheld by the wil of man, by which you are begotten, but stil alive in the worlds nature, in the worlds customes, fashions, and traditions, in the worlds fellowship, words and waies, and rudiments, only differing from others in judgement, opinion, or profession, wherein is your life in high notions, and feigned apprehensions, and false applications, and glorious expressions, and customary duties, and vain Traditions, which all appertains to the great Image, which all the world worships; by which they are deceived, whose head is gold, and brest of silver, and thighs of brass, and legs of Iron, and feet part Iron and part clay: and in the same nature ye are found with the world, the day doth declare it, and you to be the enemies and strangers to the light, which is not of the world, which is now come into the world, testifying against the world; and the deceit of the world, & the deceivers in the world, and the profession of the world and this is the condemnation of the world, Iob. 3.19. that light is come into the world, and men love dark­ness rather than light, because their deeds are evill; in which evil you are found, despising and sett [...]ng at nought the Corner-stone, and standing in the en­mity of your spirits, and joyning with the powers of the earth, to persecute the life and power which now is manifest in the earth, and is come to dis­cover your empty shadows, forms, and fair shews of godliness, but without life and power, which you have set up in your imaginations, and thereby are deceived, and blinded, and led in blindness, so that you cannot see the light, nor receive the substance, now it is come and made manifest, but stands up in your wills and wisdome to oppose the same, and persecute it in the enmity of your spirits, as if you hoped to kill the heir, that the inheri­tance might be yours; and therefore because you do despise this day of your visitation, and reject & slight the glad tydings which now are come to them that dwel upon the earth, and revile, and reproach, persecute and slander the faithfull messengers of the Gospell, rejoycing your hearts in their suf­ferings, by you and amongst you, therefore the Lord will rayse up a people out of the dust, & gather them from far, to bear testimony unto his name and bear witness against you, yea, and shall sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Iacob, in the kingdome of the Son, and you, and such as you, shall be cast out into Tophit, prepared of old for hypocrites and unbelievers,, there­fore now read your portions ye stiff-necked, and uncircumcised in hearts & cars, who do alwayes resist the Holy Ghost, as did your fathers so do ye, but the greater wil be your condemnation, who go about to mock God with your wil-worship, with your calling of Assemblies, and Solemn Meetings, with your appointed Fasts, and dayes of voluntary Humiliation, with your long Prayers and feigned duties, all which is done out of the Light, and so are your own works, acted by selfe, for selfe But who hath required these things at your hands? it is all abomination to [Page 29]the Lord, his soul loaths it, for your sacrifices are as Cain's, for your are found in Cain's nature, envying and persecuting the righteous, yea the witness lies slain in your streets, therefore wo is unto you who go on in the way of Cain, for upon you shal come all the righteous blood shed from righteous Abel until now; and your professions stinks in the nostrils of the Lord, for you have lift up your hands against him and his Annoynted, & opened your mouths in blasphemy, and false reports against the truth; yea, you are blinde, and stumble at the noon day, you come neer the Lord with your lips, but your hearts runs awhoring after other Lovers, and you know not the only true God, that dwels in Temples made without hands, whose worship is in spi­rit and in truth, but would limit the unlimited under your wils, as if he were not a God of might, but that you could controle him with the arm of flesh, but be not deceived, God is not mocked, such as you sowe, such shall you reap, and your end shal be according to your works;Gal. 6.7. for our God is a God of Judgement and Justice, & wil avenge the cause of the innocent upon you his adversaries, yea and though your Teachers do cry peace, peace un­to you, because you put into their mouths, and so daubs you up with un­tempred morter, that you cannot see your wound, and so heals you slightly, yet you shal know that our God is a God of Truth and his word shal stand for ever, and their sorcery shal appear, and their witchcraft shal be laid o­pen, and the cup of fornication (wherewith they have made drunk and de­luded the Nations) shal be taken from them, and the cup of the wrath of the Almighty given them to drink their reward, and then shal you behold the Harlot with whom you have committed fornication, who now lies in your bosomes, bewitching you with a golden cup, with whom you have de­filed your garments, then to be cast into the bottomless pit, where you shal all be tormented together, who now partake of her pleasures, and thus shal you fal amongst them that fal in the day that I visit you, saith the Lord.

And all you my dear friends, you scattered and despised ones in and a­bout the County of Essex, whom the Lord by his powerful word is now ga­thering out of darkness into his marvellous light, out of the Kingdome of this World, into the Kingdome of his dear Son, whom he is seperating un­to himself to walk before him in holiness, that you might know him, and he might know you in the light of his countenance, whose faces he hath turn­ed to words Sion, to seek after a Land of Rest unto your wearied Souls which hath been tossed to and fro, from mountain to hil in this cloudy and dark day, seeking rest but finding none; but now is the day of beauty broken forth nigh you, even in you, yea & glad tidings is come unto your wearied souls, by which a pure love is begotten in you to the everlasting truth, which hath been freely declared amongst you by the messengers of the most high, who hath reached the witness for God in your consciences, which doth seal the same upon your hearts, which your teacher is, and unto it you hearken, and are abedient, in which light all stand stil, & behold the work which the Lord hath begun amongst you, and you shal have no cause of discouragement, though the sea do rise, and the raging waves do swel as if they would swal­low [Page 30]all up, yet it is limited by the unlimited, & it shal but foam out its own shame. And as I had a time to preach the truth amongst you, to the con­vincement of many, so also now I have a time to seal the same with patient suffering in the bonds of the Gospel, that you may see that it is no other but what we are made able and willing to seal with patient suffering, yea with our blood if we be called to it, as many of us hath done in this Nation, though it be called a Land of Liberty, but it is for Iniquity, but truth and equity are strangers in it, & therefore are persecuted, but you that are found worthy to receive these strangers happy are you; & though the raging So­domites compass you about for to cause you to cast out these strangers, that they may work their wils upon them, yet be faithful and fear them not, but cast out your darlings before them, & stand in the faith of the God of truth, & equity, and you shal see the Sodomites struck with blindness, that they shal not be able to prevail against you, but when they are weary with striving they shal be made to sit down in sorrow, & so shal it be fulfill d which of old was prophesied, that no weapon formed against the faithful shal prosper, but woe unto them that lift up their heel against them; therefore I charge you all in the name of the God of truth, be faithful, valiant, & bold for the truth received, and as you have received it, so walk in it, that you may profess no more in word but what in life you seal, that the light may be preached forth in your lives, & shine forth in your conversations, to the glory of the father of lights and the confounding of the heathen, who profess God in words, but in life denies him, & be willing that self shal suffer for the truth, and not the truth for self; for the truth was ever sealed with persecution since Cains generati­on had a being upon the earth; and so own the Cross, and despise the shame, and give up your selves to suffer for the truth received, all you that would follow the Lamb to the Land of rest, and through many trials you wil wax strong and bold, and confident in your God; for God is not known what a God he is, until the time of tryal; and all keep your meetings in the name and fear of the Lord God, waiting for his power, in the obedience to his Light, which in your consciences doth reprove you when you do amiss, that in it you may wait, and watch over the foes that are of your own house, that you may know the warfare begun in your hearts against your spiritu­al enemies; and so the God of Power manifest himself amongst you by his mighty power, bringing down all that in you which opposes him, & would not that he should reign over it, and exalt his own seed in your hearts, & e­stablish you in righteousness, that his image you may bear, and he shal be your God, and you shal be his people.

And so in the unchangeable Truth, I rest in unity with all the faithful in the glorious liberty of the Sons of God, though in outward bonds for your sakes.

Known to all that can read me in spirit, I.P.

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