To all the Dearly Beloved PEOPLE OF GOD, Mercy and Peace.

THere is nothing dear and precious to me in this World, but God's Truth, and his Life of Righteousness; for which I have for saken all the World, and whatever was dear to me therein, I have hated and counted it as an Enemy, that I might obtain Christ, the Fountain and Spring of that Eternal Life of Truth, the Beauty whereof I cannot express, as I see it and feel it: The Loveliness thereof to my Soul hath so dearly united my Spirit to all that bear the Image and Life of it, that there can be no Separation, but my Life suffers thereby; and I can truly say, that there is no other thing whatsoever that can unite me, as one with any Creature living, but this Image and Life, where I see it born up, or breathing to Life; but in whomsoever it be (without respect of Persons) that I see the least appearance of this Seed of Life is, I can (by that Power of Love the Father hath begotten in me) lay down my Life to serve for the Seed's sake. And wherein I have come short of this formerly, and have respected the High, more than stood only in this Seed, I have been judged of the Lord, and my evil Thoughts therein condemned; yea, and I do condemn them before all the World, to be of that which favours Self, and not the Things of Christ: And the lower God doth bring me, and the nearer to himself, the more doth this Love and Ten­derness spring and spread towards the poor, simple, and de­spised ones, who are poor in Spirit, meek and lowly Suffering Lambs; and with those I choose to suffer, and do suffer, where­ever they are found; and I bear my Testimony against that Spirit by which they suffer, where-ever it is found; and this lies upon me from the Lord: Hearing and feeling a Spirit of Enmity having got head, by what the Lord hath done with me, and now doth exercise its Power against the Peaceable Meetings of the Lord's People, the Burthen where of lies heavy upon me, and I suffer under it, and have long waited with Prayers, and Tears of Sorrow, Night and Day, to receive Counsel from the Lord what to do in it, in that Condition I am now in at present: God knows, I Lye not; for there is nothing [Page 2] of all my Hardships that hath lain and doth lie upon me like this, that any of the Flock of God should be offended, or suffer through me; therefore I have not ceased to warn (as God hath opened to me) such as I could speak to, to live in Peace and Love; to suffer, but not to act Strife and Violence; and have denied that Spirit, not to be of the Lamb, but an Enemy to him, tho' the Creature may not know it, but may think it is doing God service; it being got above the suffering Seed in themselves, would scatter and devour it in others: And this Spirit the Lord hath shewed me, and its end, and hath re­deemed me from it by the Spirit of the Lamb; and I shall never join, as Head or Tail, therewith; but shall earnestly pray to the Father, that a deep Search of Truth may seriously pass through the Hearts and Reins of all Contenders, that all that are guilty herein may speedily come to Repentance, left they be hardned therein, and there come a time when they would give whatever is dear to them for one Hour's Society with the People of God, and cannot obtain it; then with lamentable Wo shall the Wrath of that be known, that is now trampled on, without the true Fear of God, or Life of his Love: And having at length received this Favour of the Lord, I have taken this time, in the tender Bowels of Love, (as one wounded there­with) to warn you hereof: Beseeching you all, for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, that you all search low for the Bowels of him who loved you, and suffered for you, when you were his Enemies, and put them on towards all Men, but especially to­wards one another, who have been called by one Spirit into one Truth; that so the holy Spirit be no more grieved, nor Satan get any more advantage; whose Work is to sow Dissen­tion, even among Brethren.

And the Lord God of Love give us all to see, that whatever our Gifts or Powers be, yet if we have not the Life and Power of Love, it avails not with God, though Men may esteem of us ne­ver so high: For only he that dwells in Love, knows God, and lives in him; the rest knows not what Spirit they are of. And this I feelingly declare, from that dear Love of God in me, be­gotten to all his People; whereby I am so far from taking delight in troubling the People of God, that their growth in Peace and Truth, upon the Foundation laid already, was never so much desired; and my Love to them is daily increased, beyond what [Page 3] I can here express, yet the Lord knows it, and whence it is, whether it be receiv'd by Men or no; yet the Seed snall feel it (in God's time) to which it is, and in whose Peace only I have Peace; and I hope, in the Power of that Love, God will so strengthen me, that nothing of Shame, Loss, or Reproach, shall ever be too hard to take up for the advancement thereof, as God shall shew and lead me therein, without whom I dare do nothing, lest I deny his Work, or confound it with my own.

And concerning you, the tender Plants of my Father, who have suffered through me, or with me, in what the Lord hath done with me, in this time of great Tryal and Temptation; the Almighty God of Love, who hath numbred every Sigh, and put every Tear in his Bottle, Reward it a Thousand-fold into your Bosoms, in the Day of your need, when you shall come to be tryed and tempted; and in the mean time fulfil your Joy with his Love, which you seek after. The Lord knows, it was ne­ver in my Heart to cause you to mourn, whose Sufferings is my greatest Sorrow, that ever yet came upon me, for you are in­nocent herein: But the Envious One hath taken his advantage, which the Lord will turn to his disadvantage, and utter ruine in many Souls; and in this believing, is all my rest, in my great trouble of heart, concerning you or my self; and in Patience I wait to see it, when the Man of Sin hath had his time, to be revealed. For I have seen the good Hand of God all along working in it; whose End is good to all that love him, else had I been destroy'd e're this, such hath been the Violence of the Enemy of my Soul: But he hath numbred my Hairs, and not left me in the Fire or Water; when none else was with me, thou wert my Comforter. O that I may never hide thy Praise, by covering my Sin or Shame! God forbid.

By a way unexpected did the Lord open a way to declare these Words, all other means of writing being taken from me. Blessed be He, on whom I wait further to see his Will, that I may do or suffer it.

The Presence and Peace of the Almighty comfort his People, whom I salute in the Bowels of Love. James Naylor.

I beseech you (all that can) to receive it, even as you would be received of the Lord; and for the rest, the Lord give me Patience to suffer, till the Lord make up the Breach.

A Testimony to Christ Jesus, delivered to the Par­liament, who Persecuted him as a Blasphemer; written in the time of his Imprisonment in Bride­well.

CHrist Jesus, the Immanuel, (of whose Sufferings the Scrip­tures declare) him alone I confess before Men; for whose sake I have denied whatever was dear to me in this World, that I might win him, and be found in him, and not in my self, whose Life and Virtue I find daily manifest in my mortal Body, (which is my Eternal Joy and Hope of Glory) whom alone I seek to serve in Spirit, Soul and Body, Night and Day, (according to the measure of Grace working in me) that in me he may be glorified, whether by Life or Death; and for his sake I suffer all things, that he alone may have the Glory of my Change, whose Work alone it is in me: Even to that Eternal Spirit be Glory, and to the Lamb for ever.

But to ascribe this Name, Power and Virtue to James Nay­lor, (or to that which had a beginning, and must return to Dust) or for that to be exalted or worshipped, to me is great Idolatry, and with the Spirit of Christ Jesus in me it is con­demned; which Spirit leads to Lowliness, Meekness, and Long-suffering.

So having an opportunity given, (with readiness) I am willing in the Fear of God the Father, (in Honour to Christ Jesus, and to take off all Offences from every simple Heart) this to declare to all the World, as the Truth of Christ is in me, without Guile or Deceit, daily finding it to be my Work to seek Peace in Truth with all Men in that Spirit.

James Naylor

J. N's ANSWER to the FINATICK HISTORY, In Relation to himself.

AS for thy Charge against J. N. through the Everlasting Mercy of my God, I have yet a Being amongst the Li­ving, and breathe to answer for myself, though against the Intents of many Bloody Cruel Spirits, who pursued my Soul unto Death (as much as in them lay) in that Day of my Ca­lamity, when my Adversary was above; and wherein I was made as a Sign to a Backsliding Generation, who then would not see nor hear what now is coming upon them, but rejoiced against this piece of Dust, and had little pity towards him that was fallen into their Hands; wherein God was just, in giving me up for my Disobedience for a little moment, as a Father to correct; yet should not they have sought to ag­gravate things against me, as thou dost: For it was a Day of deep Distress, and lay sore upon my Soul; and the piti­ful God saw it, who, though he was a little displeased, yet his Thoughts was not to cast off for ever, [but extend Mercy] as it is at this Day: Glory be to his Name from my deliver'd Soul eternally.

And in that Day there was many Spirits flock'd about me; and some whom, while my Candle shone upon my Head, I ever judged, and kept out from me; who then got up, and acted and spoke several things, not in the Light and Truth of God; by which they who sought occasion against me, then was strengthned to afflict this Body; and he that watches for Evil in thee, and some others, makes use of still, against God's Truth and Innocent People; whose Mouths the God of my Mercy stop, and so finish the Trouble of my Heart, as to that thing. For my Soul hath long dwelt among Lions, even among them that are set on Fire, whose Teeth are Spears and Arrows, and their Tongues a sharp Sword, speaking mischievous things to shed Blood.

But O Man, or Men, whatever you be, whose Work it is to gather together the Failings of God's People in Time of [Page 6] Temptation, or Night of their Tryal, and aggravate them, and add thereto the Wickedness and mischievous Lyes of your own Hearts, as thou hast done in thy Book, and then come out with those against God's Everlasting Holy Truth, it to Reproach! I say, you are set to work by an Evil Spirit; and you do but shew your selves to be Enemies to God and his Children: And it is our Sorrow that any of us should give such Spirits occasion to blaspheme; and it hath been Trouble of Soul to all the People of God, that have ever loved Righteousness, when they have thus occasioned the Joy of the Wicked, or to feed that Man that watches for Ini­quity, and feeds on Mischief. Yet know this, you that are of that Brood, God will not cast off his People, though he be sometimes provoked to correct them, even before their Ad­versaries, (which is a Sign to them;) yet is his Anger but for a moment, and his Favour shall return as Streams of Life. Then shall the Food be taken out of the Mouth of the Viper, and the Prey from between the Teeth of the Devour­ers; and God shall feed them with their own Vomit; and the Poyson, that hath long lain under their Tongues, shall be bitter in their own Bowels. Thus will God certainly plead with Zion's Enemies, as he bends her Sons for himself, and God will make up her Breaches. And this hath my Soul seen, Jacob's Captivity restored, and the Diggers of the Pit are fallen therein: Neither hath he smitten him, as he smote them that smote him; or is he slain, according to the Slaughter of them that are slain by him; but this is all his Fruit, to purge away his Sin.

So he that had long waited for my failing, then got ad­vantage against me; yet had I then Power to bear his ut­most Envy, through Christ Jesus, whom I then confessed before Men, who then was my support in all, and under all, and who is over all, blessed for ever, of all who have proved him in the depth.

But that which was and is the Sorrow of my Heart, is the advantage the Enemy then took against the Name of Christ, his Truth, and his despised People, in that time of Tempta­tion, which is that which thou art now pursuing, with Hatred [Page 7] and Lyes; as that I had a Woman in Bed with me the Night before I suffer'd at Bristol: When there was Six or Seven Persons in the Room that Night, and a Man (to wit, Ro­bert Rich) in Bed with me. But this, and several other false things thou hast written in thy Book, of which I am clear before the Lord, so they touch me not at all; nor shall I here mention them against thee in particular: But to God alone I look, in his time, to be cleared from all Offences in his sight, who only knows my Heart in this thing; in whose Presence I can say, that nothing is more odious and bur­thensome to my Soul, than that any of that Glory or Wor­ship, which belongs to God or to Christ, should be given to Flesh and Blood, in my self or others: And how it was with me at that Day, many talk of, but few knows; so the Judgment of such I bear: Desiring, that none in Judging me, might have Condemned themselves in God's sight, whose Counsels are a great Deep, and the End of his Works past finding out, till he himself reveal them; but in the End he will be justified of all, and in all he doth, that all Flesh may be silent before him.

And however my self, or any others, may be left to themselves, to be tryed in the Night; yea, should any ut­terly fall, or whatever may be acted by any Man or Wo­man, that is not justifiable in God's sight; yet in vain dost thou, or you, gather up Sin, or watch for Iniquity, to cast upon the Light, which Condemns it in every Enlightned Conscience, and there will clear himself to be no Author nor Actor therein: And I know by the Spirit of Jesus, which I have received, and which worketh in me, that this is not his Work, nor his Seed, nor in him that loves thy Enemies, thou art not, but the old Accuser of the Brethren it is that worketh strongly in thee; and in the Light which thou Reproaches, art thou seen to be the Man that makes Lyes, and carries Tales to shed Blood, Ezek. 22. 9, 12.

Another Paper added.

THere is a spirit which I feel, that delights to do no Evil, nor to revenge any Wrong, but delights to en­dure all things, in hope to enjoy its own in the End: Its hope is to outlive all Wrath and Contention, and to weary out all Exaltation and Cruelty, or whatever is of Nature con­trary to its self. It sees to the End of all Temptations: As it bears no Evil in it self, so it conceives none in Thoughts to any other: If it be betrayed, it bears it; for its Ground and Spring is the Mercies and Forgiveness of God. Its Crown is Meekness, its Life is Everlasting Love unfeigned, and takes its Kingdom with Intreaty, and not with Con­tention, and keeps it by Lowliness of Mind. In God alone it can rejoice, though none else regard it, or can own its Life. It's conceived in Sorrow, and brought forth without any to pity it; nor doth it murmur at Grief and Oppres­sion. It never rejoyceth, but through Sufferings; for with the World's Joy it is murthered. I found it alone, being forsaken; I have Fellowship therein, with them who lived in Dens, and desolate Places in the Earth, who through Death obtained this Resurrection and Eternal Holy Life.

J. N.

London, Printed in the Year 1660.

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