Fifty nine Particulars laid down for
the Regulating things, and the
taking away of Oppressing
Laws, and Oppressors,
and to ease the Op-
By George Fox
Printed for Thomas Simmons, at the
Bull and Mouth
near Aldersgate, 1659.
The Quaker Universalist Fellowship is happy to
make available to 21st-century readers a manifesto addressed
by George Fox to the Parliament of England in the year
1659 and not reprinted since that time. We are
particularly grateful to Larry Ingle for supplying an introduction
that explains this long neglect and sets the pamphlet in
The 59 Particulars is no theological treatise, but it
has relevance to Quaker universalism nevertheless.
Especially in the second section, which is here labeled
"Addendum," Fox makes a passionate plea for religious liberty.
History illustrates repeatedly the close relationship between
such liberty and universalism. Persecution itself, Fox insists,
is of this world and denies God. No one should be
punished for belief "in the Light which doth enlighten every man
who cometh into the World." The fact that Fox identified
that Light with Christ does not negate his testimony to
its universality or his demand that it be freed from
institutional and doctrinal blinders.
In addition to contributing an introduction, Larry
Ingle has also given generous help in deciphering some of
the archaic terms that occur in the text and in critiquing
my own efforts to find a balance between readability
and faithfulness to Fox's original words. Like all
popular pamphlets of the time, this one suffered from crude
printing and the lack of any accepted standards for
spelling, punctuation, and grammar. While trying to keep
changes to a minimum, I have added punctuation, justified
grammar, and occasionally rearranged the order of phrases. Spelling
I have corrected only where it seemed to be
I hope readers will be able to follow Fox's meaning
in spite of occasional murkiness and that they will enjoy
the flavor of his 17th-century usage. If one imagines the
words spoken, with the accompaniment of gestures, pauses,
tone, and emphasis, the uncompromising power of his
message becomes apparent.
Rhoda R. Gilman
By H. Larry Ingle
The year 1659 was the most significant year that
George Fox (1624-1691), principal founder and the
about-to-be organizer of the Children of the Light or Friends of the
Truth, had ever had to deal with. It offered external social
challenges the likes of which he had never witnessed, and it took
a tremendous toll on the psyche of a person who tended
toward the manic-depressive. It was a time of transition in the
nation as a whole _ a nation that Fox and his followers,
numbering perhaps as many as 40,000, had hopes of capturing for
the new religious faith he espoused and championed. Put
these two features to gether, and the ingredients for the
pamphlet below become obvious.
This document represented part of the response to
these events by Fox and people who adhered to the new
sect vulgarly known as "Quakers." Fundamentally radical,
the pamphlet amounted to the highwatermark of the
Quaker appeal to the powers-that-were. Its strategy underlay
the leader's hopes that they could rally support for a course
to preserve the results of the revolution that had flowed
through almost all the previous two decades of England's
This last point explains why the present edition is
the first time that the document has been republished in
more than 340 years. The succeeding generation's leaders,
longing for respectability, worried about the reputation for
radicalism that seemed to sully the sect's early history; they wanted
to put such notions behind them. Exercising power after
Fox's death and wishing to honor him, they rushed his
famous "Journal" into print three years after he died, published
a large edition of his epistles, letters, and testimonies
four years later, and then omitted this pamphlet, among
others, from Gospel-Truth Demonstrated, a collection of their
leader's doctrinal books they brought out in 1706. By then _ half
a century later _ Fox's primarily religious radicalism
was apparently acceptable, for his successors included in
Gospel-Truth another 1659 publication, The Lamb's Officer Is
gone forth with the Lamb's Message, which condemned
England's priests repeatedly and in no uncertain terms as
"wolves", "ravens", "beasts", and "antichrist."
Even though known by historians, the 59
Particulars suffered the fate of being passed over by many of
them, especially Quaker historians. Hugh Barbour, whose
book, Quakers in Puritan England (1964), remained a
standard study for better than a generation, simply failed to
mention or cite it. Let such radicalism be out of sight and out
England's governmental system was on the verge
of collapse in 1659. Oliver Cromwell, who became
Lord Protector after King Charles I was beheaded a decade
earlier, died in September 1658. He was succeeded by his
son, Richard, ineffectual and absolutely unable to deal with
the factions vying for power. Parliament, a "rump" it was
called, represented those in the nation who were fearful of the
kind of radical change that groups like the Quakers presaged;
it was casting about for a way to bring stability to the
country and impose order on an unruly people. Royalists wanted
a return to legitimacy, embodied in a restoration of the
Stuart line in the person of the dead monarch's son, who was
living in exile in France and plotting for a way to regain the
throne. Radicals of various stripes added to instability. In
addition to Quakers there were Fifth-Monarchists, who expected
King Jesus to appear and rule; ill-paid New Model Army
soldiers who feared they might never achieve the "Good Old
Cause" they had fought for; and even Baptists who wanted
a decentralized church with no tithes. Most of these
groups were masters at plotting and could call upon supporters
in the army, a group Fox had often targeted for converts
and where Quakers were legion. There were also private
bands with access to weapons. Chaos was truly king in 1659.
Fox's pamphlet was addressed both to those with established power in a position to make the rules _
the Parliament _ and, more broadly, to people of the
Common-wealth, whose very name represented a rival faction
of contenders for power. His Fifty-nine Particulars not
only amounted to a word play on the year 1659 but
also represented a virtual catalogue of the demands that
the Children of the Light and other radicals had
unsuccessfully put forward over the previous decade. These groups
assumed that to "regulate things" would take away the
"oppression" and "oppressors" continuing to exist ten years after the
King, who embodied the old order, had been tried and executed.
Some of Fox's proposals seem rather superficial,
even insignificant, today, yet cutting the cross out of the
flag, ending the playing of shuffle board, and banning fiddlers
at pubs, demonstrated how thoroughgoing a reformation
of society he sought. Many of the demands, such as
prohibiting punishment for failure to doff one's hat or for refusing
to swear, reflected experiences Quakers had had when
they were hauled into court or faced judicial proceedings.
Others, like confiscation of glebe lands and the royal palace
at Whitehall and distribution of the proceeds to the poor
"so that there may not be a beggar in England," would have
laid the ax at the very root of oppression within the larger society.
Reading Fox's list of particulars, one can
readily understand why Quakers were regarded as
dangerous radicals by those committed to establishing order
and keeping the lower classes in check. At least in 1659,
when there seemed a real chance for fundamental change,
Fox was willing to free the lower orders so the promise of
the revolution might be achieved. The pamphlet thus
exemplified the farthest reach of the radical Quaker tide, propelled
by Fox himself.
A second section of the pamphlet, with little
direct connection to Fox's petition to parliament, may have
been awaiting a vehicle to which it could be tacked on
and published, as was sometimes the case with
Quaker publications. It also may have hinted at Fox's fear that
the time for the tide to sweep all before it had passed. This
section was a plea for tolerance of diverse religious views, a
foretaste of the kind of thing he would write over the next
three decades as Quakers faced the state's heavy hand.
Fox did not want to endow any human being, priest
or parliamentarian, judge or jailer, magistrate or minister,
with dominion or power over another's religious faith.
Such attempts were actions of the false church that would
embrace law, rather than godly example, to promote its ends.
Such false prophets would tell the magistrates that "Revelation
is ceased," with the implication that those who believed
it continued were lawbreakers and deserving of
punishment. With a bit of the assurance that marked the
pamphlet's first half, Fox thundered his conclusion, "the practice of
the true church ... is [to] become disturbers of the false
Church and Ministry" that tries to prevent it from "exhorting
Parliament responded to neither section of the
pamphlet at the time, so its 17 pages were relegated to the
libraries, there to moulder until discovered by occasional
historians, some of whom noted it, most of whom passed by on
the other side. The inattention at the time affected
some contemporaries, including George Fox. At the end of
1659, Fox fell into a deep mental depression, and for ten weeks
he was totally immobilized, staying most of the time in
Reading at the home of two close associates, Thomas and Ann
Curtis. Thomas, a former captain in the New Model Army and
now a commissioner of militia responsible for raising troops,
and Ann were both radicals who a decade and a half later
chose to align themselves with Fox's opponents as he tried
to preserve the movement rather than giving voice to the
kind of radical proposals he penned in 1659.
Hence, failing to elicit a response that might
prevent the Stuart Restoration, the Quaker movement entered a
new phase. Fox led Quakerism into laying aside an
exuberant radical past whose members spoke of capturing the
nation and the world for their version of Christianity. It was
replaced with a staid, sectarian group whose adherents evinced
little interest in challenging the status quo in any
fundamental way. In 1661, the famous Peace Testimony announced
that the state had nothing to fear from Quakers because
they eschewed political maneuvering, and in 1666, the
Testimony of the Brethren tightened controls over individual
Friends to make sure that they did not get out of line.
It is no wonder that the 59 Particulars was
forgotten, and it is to the credit of the Quaker Universalist
Fellowship that the pamphlet now emerges from its long night.
Christopher Hill, The Experience of Defeat: Milton and
Some Contemporaries (New York: Viking Penguin, 1984).
Ronald Hutton, The Restoration: A Political and
Religious History of England and Wales,
1658-1667 (London: Oxford University Press, 1985).
H. Larry Ingle, First Among Friends: George Fox and
the Creation of Quakerism (New York: Oxford
University Press, 1994).
Rosemary Moore, The Light in Their Consciences: The
Early Quakers in Britain, 1646-1666 (University Park,
PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2000).
Barry Reay, The Quakers and the English
Revolution (London: Temple Smith, 1985).
H. Larry Ingle is Professor Emeritus of History at
the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga. His books on
Quaker history include Quakers in Conflict: The Hicksite
Reformation and First Among Friends: George Fox and the Creation
Who are the Parliament of the Common-Wealth, who
are to regulate things for the taking away of oppressing
Lawes, and oppressors, and to stop the oppressors.
1. Let no man be prisoned for Tithes, which have
been set up by the Apostates (the Papists) since the days of
2. Let no man's goods be spoiled, and made Havock
on Treble, by the Priests and their company though the
Priest doth them no work whose goods he spoils.
3. Let no man or woman be summoned up two
hundred miles or upward to the Court at London,
because they cannot give the Priests Tithes, who doth no work for them,
and when they appeared they will prison them, because
they did not appear by an attorney, and swear their answers.
4. Let no man be prisoned for not appearing by
an Attorney, who hath appeared in his own person, who is
not sick or beyond Sea.
5. Let nothing be put in Bills that are more than
the thing is, and let nothing be put in Writs more than the
thing is, and let nothing be put in Indictments more than
the thing is.
6. Let no man speak in an unknown tongue.
7. Let no man be prisoned for not doffing his hat.
Let no man unable, un-man and weaken himself about that.
8. Let no man be prisoned because he swears not
at all, not by Heaven, nor by earth, nor by book, nor any
other oath, but abides in the Doctrine of Christ, and keeps to
yea and nay, and keeps his commands who witnesses the
end of all strife.
9. Let no man be fined, and his goods be spoiled, because for conscience sake towards Christ and
his commands he cannot swear. Let no man be put out of
place or office or service because he cannot swear, because
he doth what he doth faithful to God, at yea and nay to
serve in his place where he is.
10. Let no man be put out of place for saying
thee to a particular, and you to many who acts in the singular
and plural. Let none be put out of place or office for not
doffing their hats, who take not, nor give not the honour below,
but to the higher Power their soul is subject, who receive
the honour that comes down from above. So let no one
be persecuted for wearing their hats, for saying THOU, for
not swearing, who for conscience sake towards God
11. Let none have their goods strained and
spoiled, and made havock on, or be cast into prison for not
paying Clerks wages for turning the hour-glass, and saying
Amen, and such like services.
12. Let no one be put to death for chattel, for money
or any outward thing. Let them restore, and minde the Law
of God which is equity and measurable, agreeable to
the offence, and minde the judges of Old, and Moses,
and their judgement (let the thief live to restore for his theft),
and minde the Apostles' doctrine: let him that stole, steale
no more, but work with his hands the thing that is good.
So that neither Moses nor the Apostles' faith,
13. Let none have their goods spoiled and made
havoc on because they cannot pay to mend the old
Steeple-houses which were the old Mass-houses, who have left their
places, and their seats in those houses. For them that now be in
it, they are uncharitable, though they have their seats
and their house, to make them maintain it that be come out
14. Let all the laws of England be brought into a
known tongue, that every Countryman may plead his own
cause, without Attorney or Counsellor, or for money. Let men
that fear God and hate covetousness decide and end things
among People in all places, and let none do it for money and
reward. Let it never be had in esteem among you, and away with
the cap-men, and coys-men (as they are
called)1 and thirty shillings and twenty shillings, and ten groat fees, and
this oppression, that makes people pay eight pence a sheet,
for not above fifteen lines. So away with all these
Counsellors, that will not tell men the Law, a few words, without
twenty, or ten, or thirty shillings, which is a great oppression.
15. Let all these things be taken away, he that will
not speak a few words to his neighbour without money,
freely without end, or reward, or bribery, and so bring it to a
free Nation, and so a free People by the power of God. This
will be the way to take oppression off the poor people, when
in every place such as fear God, and hate covetousness
decide things among the people, and if they be great things,
let them send them up to you the Parliament, and away
with those lawyers, twenty shilling Counsellors, thirty
shilling Sergeants, ten groat Attournies, that will throw men
into Prison for a thing of nought, for not swearing, for
not appearing by an Attorney, for not doffing their hats. If
this trade were thrown away, and making Merchandize of
the Law, and great soms of money for counselling, and
great rewards and fees, and the Priests making a trade of
the Scriptures, people would soon come to be plain, and
Country people would soon decide their business, being left to all
to do it freely. This would be the way to take off
oppression, and if any would speak concerning law or Scripture to do
it freely; this is the way to bring the Nation like a Garden,
and make a free Nation, a free people.
16. Let no one that is high, proud, or lofty, envious
or scornful bear Office, for he will turn the sword
backward and do the Divel's work, which is to bring the world into
a wilderness, and quench the spirit of God, whereby
everyone should see his way. He will not be like
Moses, who said, would all the Lord's People were Prophets. Moses
said so who comprehended all transgressions, the
first transgression, and what was transgressed, which
sprung forth. For they that are hasty, proud in a mad blind zeal
will turn the sword against the just, and are not a praise
to them that do well. Such are not a terrour to evil-doers,
but let them upon the righteous, and such God will
overturn, as often as they get up. Cain, that Governour who built
a City, he was called vagabond, who killed faithful
Abel, and that he did so, he had not an habitation in God.
17. And let all fines and
amercements2 be given to the poor, and let none be prisoned, and fined, and their
goods spoiled for not going to the Steeple-houses, as many
have been. And let no one be imprisoned as many have been
for speaking a few words to the people, bidding them to
fear God, and repent, and crying up Christ among them,
and speaking as they were moved, as it was revealed to
them, according to the Apostles' doctrine and order, as
2 Cor, 14.30. This was the practice and order in the Church of God,
that if anything was revealed to another, the first was to hold
his peace, but this order is broken amongst the Christians,
and they that practice it are whipt, or stocked, or prisoned
18. Let no law be, but that man may ask a
question, either going to or coming from a Steeple-house. If it be
a free Nation, let it be free; let none have the name of a
Minister, but such as are able to satisfie all doubts, and all
questions, and for to convince, and stop the mouths of all
gainsayers, and opposers, and not let them be such as call to
the Magistrates to send to prison for asking a question, like
the Jewes that cryed out, help men of Israel,
for these are the men that turned the world up-side down.
19. Let all names of people be thrown down,
nick-names that be given for their opinions by men, that all may
be gathered into the Name of the Church.
20. Now if you say, that we call your Ministers
Priests, we do so from your law, your great law book calls them
so, and then their practice shewes it.
21. And let no man be whipped, or stocked, or imprisoned, as many have been, for bidding people
repent in a market, and to lay aside their deceitful
Merchandize, and their couzening and cheating, and swearing,
and cursing, and to keep to yea and nay in all
22. Let no men be prisoned, and their money be
taken away, for going to visit prisoners, and to relieve them
in what they wanted.
23. Let none have their horses and goods spoiled
and taken away, for meeting together in the fear of God, the
first day of the week, traveling to meetings.
24. Let none that meet together in the fear of God,
in several houses, waiting upon the Lord, praying, or
exhorting, & edifying one another in the most holy faith, let them
not have their houses broken, their windows broken, and
they pulled out of their houses, and knockt down and beat,
and houses unthatched, and many pulled down, and
men plucked out, and knocked down, as many have been.
25. Let none be persecuted and prisoned as
vagabonds who are moved of the Lord to speak abroad his Word
freely and faithfully. Let them not be persecuted as
vagabonds, for those are the vagabonds that be envious and
wrathful, that turn against the faithful ones, and though they be
Lords of the Cities, like their old brother
Cain, yet they are in Cain's way that turn against the just, and God hath
no respect to their sacrifice. Though they may build cities,
yet they are vagabonds if they be envious, that hath not
a habitation in God. But Abel, Abraham and Christ who
were as strangers and had no certain dwelling house, were
not vagabonds, and Christ had nowhere to lay his head:
26. And let none be Gaolers that are drunkards,
or swearers or oppressors of people, but such as may be
good patterns to prisoners. And let none lie long in Gaol, for
that is the way to spoil people, and to make more thieves,
for there they learn wickedness together. Let no peevish
man bear any office, or ambitious, for he will be exalted with
the rich, and a shame to the poor, and not hear their
cause. The cap is on as the rich go with the rich, but the cap is
off with the poor, and there is the offence, if it not be to
the rich; so let not that be minded, but let every one justify
his neighbor without respect.
27. Let no swearer, no curser, nor drunkard bear
any office whatsoever, or be put in any place, nor drunkard
nor adulterer, nor covetous Idolater.
28. Let all this money, and stipends, and Tithes,
and hour-glasses for preaching by the hour be taken away
from men, who make a trade of the Scripture. Let them go out
to get vineyards, and plant vineyards, and thresh, and plow
in hope, and then there will be little cause to .call to
the Magistrates to give them maintenance. They will then
all have enough, and every one of them will gather into
the barn, of the wheat and the crop of God. And let
everyone speak freely as they have received.
29. Let all those Abbie-lands,
Glebe-lands3, that are given to the Priests, be given to the poor of the Nation,
and let all the great houses, Abbies, Steeple-houses, and
White-Hall be for Alms-houses (or some other use than what
they are) for all the blind and lame to be there, and not to
go begging up and down the streets.
30. And let all that worship God, worship him in
spirit & in truth & not tyed up to will-worships. Let all
those Schools & Colledges down, who makes Ministers by the
will of man, so that all may come to wait upon God and
Christ Jesus, whereby they are made Ministers by his will
that redeems people out of the earth, and let not the mouth
be stopped which the Lord opens.
31. Let all those crosses upon seals be pulled off,
and off the silver, and the gold, and weights, and off the
Steeple-houses, and chimnies, and Ships, and signs, and
Mayses, and arms, and scucheons, and flags, and Ensignes,
and standards. It is the Pope's Crosse; let it be rooted out of
the Nation, and the Pope and his authority.
32. Let all those Fines that belong to Lords of
Mannors, be given to the poor people, for Lords have enough. Now
the people of the World that come into our meetings, spit on
us, throw stones at us, set and throw dogs at us, speak
all matter of evil upon us, and all manner of slander.
Them that be great Professors and great talkers and pluckers
down practice this, yet if our friend go into the
Steeple-house, and ask but a question, they will hale him out, and
cast him in prison, or if he speak never a word, they will
cast him in prison, and if he do not go, they will cast him
in prison for asking a question.
33. Let all the poor people, blinde and lame, and
creeples be provided for in the Nation, that there may not be a
beggar in England nor England's Dominions, that you may say
you come to be equal with the Jewes, that had the law
that made provision for widows, strangers and fatherless. He
that turns his ears from hearing the poor, turns his ears
from the Law, which says to provide for them, for ye have
read the practice of the Church, the Saints which were in
the Gospel, which doth condemn this Nation's practice.
Where is so many Beggars among them, both the Jews in the
Law, and the Church in the Gospel? And so let all great
gifts given to great men, be given to the poor. Let the
receiver deny it, and the giver return it to the poor; for the rich
may give to the rich, but the poor cannot give it him again,
so minde Christ's Doctrine.
34. Let all those Easter-reckonings,
Midsommer-dues, be taken and thrown aside, and let no one's goods be
spoiled, who for conscience sake cannot give the Priest these
things, and let all the Burying the dead for money, and
Marrying for money, and Christening for money, and Churching
of women for money, let all these things be swept away,
and let the Nation be a free Nation, and what anyone doth,
let them do freely. Let these twenty shilling Sermons, and
ten shilling Sermons, and ten groats the grave for the Priest
be laid aside, and then see whose mouth the Lord will
open, for money choaks, and gifts blindes.
35. And let no man bear the sword that does
violence at any man, or accuse any man falsely.
36. Let all this naming of dayes, those Sundayes,
and Moonsdayes, Tuisdayes, Wodensdayes,
Thorsdayes, Frydayes, Saturdayes, that is after Heathen's manner
(and naming) be put out of your Almanacks, which is contrary
to the Jewes' naming of days and the true Christian's both.
37. Let all this observing of holidayes, and Saint's
days, (which hath been set up by them who were out of the
power of God), as Michalmas, and Candlemas, and
Christmas, Whitsontide, Easter, and many of the Saint's days
which they were killed on, those that sottish people feast on,
let this abomination be taken away.
38. Let no man who is a striker or fighter, and a
wrestler with flesh and blood, and wrestles with the Creatures
of God, go under the name of a Minister of Christ. Let no
one go under the name of Minister, that would have
Creatures to be whipt, stockt and prisoned, for they that fight with
the powers of darkness, and spiritual wickedness, they
must lay aside outward sword and spear, the whip, the
stockings, and the prisonings, and they must come to the
spiritual weapons, the Spirit of God in themselves, to bring
the Creatures into the Liberty of the sons of God. Only
they that fight with Creatures fight with outward weapons.
39. Let no Judge, nor Justice, nor Sherif that is ambitious, Highminded, bear rule, or bear any
Government, for such are out of the fear of God which is the beginning
of wisdom, with which they should order the Creation to
the Glory of God the Creator. They are out of the meek
state and humility, and doing justly, loving mercy, and
walking humbly before God, and they are an ill favour in the
nostrils of God, and to all sober, tender people and sincere.
40. And let the noise of this summoning people up
by writs, into the courts of the Nations and the Sessions
for Priests _ poor people, them the Priest does not work for.
Let that be taken away and stopt, and all those Courts
pulled down that doth oppress and hold up oppression, that
Justice maybe done without oppression, not for money. These
things hath shamed the so-called Ministers of the Gospel, who
sue people up and down, people they do no work for, and so
do not bring glad tidings to the Nations, but trouble, as
their fruits have declared. What trouble are men brought into
by their Courts and Sessions whom they do no work for?
Had the Apostle done so, he might have made the
Gospel loathsom, troublesom, but he kept it without charge.
There hath been but few such since the dayes of the Apostles,
so let the Gospel be kept without charge, and let them
that Minister the Gospel keep it without charge.
41. And away with all these stipend-men and
glebe-land men, augmentation men, gifts, fees and reward, &c.
42. Let no man, Priest nor Lawyer, have Tithes, augmentations, stipends, glebe lands, great fees, gifts
and rewards, but if any one will preach or read the Law, let
him do it freely, for God is a free God, and so are his people,
and Christ is a free Christ, and offered himself freely.
What anyone hath freely received from him, he is to give it
freely (this was Christ's Command to be obeyed). So this will
be the way to set the Spirit of God free, and that the Ox's
mouth shall not be muzzeled that treads out the Corn. This will
be the way to stop all such that makes a trade of the Law
and Scriptures: that if any one will read Law or Scriptures
let him do it freely, and not by this carnal measure, the
hour-glass, by which the Spirit of God is quenched in
others, which reveals something to them for edification
and comforting, according to the Order and Practice of
the Church of God, 1 Corinthians 14.30.
43. And you that are Officers, that have great
estates of your own, and Commanders, and men of Authority,
do that which you do freely, and that will be the way for to
gain the love of God and your Countrey, and the way to take
off this oppression, and it will be the way that the poor
might have the more plenty, and it will be the way whereby
Justice, and the Gospel may run freely without money and
44. Let all these things for money, preaching for
money, and singing for money be laid aside. Let not preaching be
a trade, nor the Word of God made Merchandize of, and
let not the Law be sold nor bought. Let not them handle
the Law that will not do justice without money; for those
will not do justice, but will favour the rich for a fee, a gift
or reward, which eates up the poor, and they will hold
people in long suites, by which the cause of the just suffers and
is often overthrown.
45. Let all Images and Pictures be taken away
and plucked up, and blotted out of all Signes,
Steeple-houses and Gardens, and Houses, and rooted out of the Land.
46. And let none keep Ale-houses or Taverns, but
those who fear God, that are come into the Wisdom of God,
that will not let the Creatures of God be destroyed by Drunkards.
47. Let all Games, Sports be taken away that
please the fleshly mind. Is it not to honour a Magistrate to live in
the Power of God?
48. Let all the Stage-players, May-Games, Shoffel-boards, Dice, Cards, Nineholes, Foot-balls, and
Hand-balls, and Fidlings, and all these vain Musicks be taken
away, which stir up the light vain minds of people that doth
not know what to eat and drink, nor what to put on. Let
these things be taken away that stir up the light minds of
those who make no provision for the flesh, or else they will
lye upon you.
49. Let all those Bul-baitings, Cock-fightings,
and Horse-racings which are destructive to Creatures, and
to please people's vain light minds, and are destructive
to seriousness; let all these things be taken away.
50. Let no one wear a Sword, Dagger, or Pistol,
or weapon, but who is in Office, or Service, or Place, and
this will be the way to stop wickedness, and murderers
51. Let no man keep Ale-houses or Taverns that
keeps Bowls, Shoffleboard-Tables, or Fidlers, or Dice, or Cards.
52. Let neither Beggars nor Blind people,
nor Fatherless, nor Widows, nor Cripples go a Begging up
and down the streets, but that a house may be provided for
them all, and meat, that there be never a Beggar among you;
and let those great Fees of Gaolers and Garnishmoney be
taken away. Through those Fees many have layn long in Prison.
53. Let all the Gaols be in wholesom places, that
the Prisoners may not lye on their own dung, and Piss,
and straw like Chaffe, having never a
House-of-office4 in the Prison; Therefore let there be a House-of-office in all
Gaols, and let these things be mended.
54. And let all these jangling of Bells cease, which
do feed people's pleasures and vain minds.
55. Let all those Ballad-singers, and
Ballad-makers, and Jest-bookmakers which stir up people's vain and
light minds, be taken away.
56. And let all this wearing of gold Lace, and
costly attire, more like Anticks5 than sober men, let this be
ended, and cloath the naked, and feed the hungry with
the superfluity. And turn not your ear from the cry of the
poor, for if you do, you turn away from the Law that provides
57. Let all the Priests restore to the poor people,
who have so excessively taken away their goods, treble and
treble. If you be the men that will do justice, make them to
restore those goods again; and that is but just.
58. And let not the Priests strike (our) Friends, nor
set on their Professors and hearers; but keep the Peace.
59. Let none have their goods taken away for not
paying the Priests, bread and wine, their Communion (as they
call it) though they do not eat with them, nor hath not for
these many years. Yet the Churchwardens (so-called) distrain
the goods of our Friends, to make them pay for their bread
and wine, their Communion (so-called) which they eat and drink.
Justice and Righteousness exalteth a Nation; But
sin is a shame to both Rulers and people.
Be not high-minded but fear, and be meek and low,
for the fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom, and
before honour goeth humility, Prov. 15.33.
He that persecutes another for his Faith,
maketh shipwreck of his own in himself; he that persecutes and
kills another about Sacrifice is a Vagabond, and is
Cain, and not Abel, though he build a City, and be the Chief Magistrate
in a City, as Cain was, he doth not well, so he hath not
dominion over sin.
He that persecutes another about meats and
drinks, and dayes, is in the wisdom below, and out of Christ,
the substance by whom all things were made, who is the
Wisdom of God. He that is a Lord over another man's Faith, is
a persecutor, and knows not Christ the Lord, the Author
of Faith, and God the giver of it; and he that would bear
rule over another man's Faith is out of the Apostles' Doctrine,
2 Cor. 1.24. And he that would bear rule over their Faith
which Christ is the Author of and so make shipwreck of it,
such doth, as will be the Lord's. And this is but the form
of godliness out of the power which brings the World on
heaps6; and this hath been true in the whole of Christendom
since the day of the Apostles.
Such as would have Dominion over men's Faith were
of the Antichrist doctrine, and false Christ, which would
have been as Christ, who was the author of the true Faith.
These have been making the Faith almost in every age, and
have power over false faith, and are called defenders of the
Faith, and so have wildernessed people, and brought them
into Sects and heaps, and this hath kept people from the
power of God: And comes to receive the end of their Faith, they
in the true Faith received the Salvation of their Souls. And
they that will have the power over men's Faith, they must
needs be the end of their Faith, which is a dead one. Now
they have gotten power over men's Faith, which is but a
dead one, since the days of the Apostles, for they that be in
the living Faith suffereth with Christ, the Author and end of
it, before they yield to others that would have power over
their Faith, which if they get power they make shipwreck, or
if not, they persecute the Creature, till death by
imprisonment or banishment, whipping, stocking, persecuting and
stoning, mocking or reproaching, yea for their own maintenance
such as they do not work for. So those men, Ministers or
Teachers, that would have power over men's Faith, and call
themselves defenders of it, they must be the end of it. And now
with their power they will persecute and Prison Creatures
till death, about their faith.
Them that seek to have preheminence over men's
Faith are the cause and ground of bringing all people on
heaps and sects in the whole of Christendom, for they have
lost the head of Christ, who is the Author of the Faith, which
is the one in whom it ends, who hath the power over it.
Now Christ that hath power over Faith, is the Author of it,
and the end of it. He comes to save men's lives and destroyes
the Devil and his workes, and death wherein he hath
his Authority, and saves men's lives, and can reconcile them
to God. And the Apostles that bid that people believe in
Christ, and look unto him who is the Author of their Faith, and
that they should have Faith in Christ Jesus, they wrestled
not with flesh and blood, but spiritual wickedness, and rulers
of darkness, and brought the Creatures into the liberty of
the Sons of God.
So men that have power over men's Faith, the
dead faith, they destroy the Creatures and mar them, and that
is the power of darkness, that leads them to persecute and
do the works of darkness. But Christ who hath power over
the living Faith, who is the Author of it, the end of it, the
finisher of it, he destroyes the Devil, the power of darkness,
that went out of truth & leads men out of truth into the
darkness, where they devour one another by the power of darkness,
and Christ is the cause of the living Faith, who saves
men's lives and destroys the Author of sin and death and
dead Faith and men destroying one another. The Devil is the
power of death, that went out from truth, and makes the
World like a Wilderness, where death and destruction talkes of
the fame of God, Christ, the Prophets and Apostles, where
the Devil will have power over their Faith that murder
and persecute Creatures. With all his false apostles and
false magistrates, with swords and spears, he fights
with Creatures, with flesh and blood, which true Magistrates
never did with carnal weapons. He that fights with swords
and spears fights with flesh and blood, with the Creatures;
he doth not preach the Gospel to that which is captivated
with the powers of darkness. He that runs against the
Creatures with sword and spear, and defaces and mars them, doth
not go the way to bring them into liberty of the Sons of God,
for he that wrestles with spiritual wickedness and rulers
of darkness, he must be turned from them in his own
particular, and with that eye he sees the Gospel and receives the
Gospel, which is the power of God, and comes to receive the
Covenant of the Light, whereby the prisoners shewe themselves
forth out of the pit wherein there has been no water. He that
fights with the powers of darkness, he must have the shield
of Faith, and spiritual weapons to beat them down, and to
bring the Creatures into the liberty of the Sons of God.
Now they that fight with their spiritual weapons,
they come into the true zeal of Christ, and fight not with the
flesh and blood, to wrestle with Creatures, but fight with
their spiritual weapons, and wrestle against spiritual
wickedness and rulers in darkness.
Now they that say, They are Ministers of Christ
and Ministers of the Gospel, and Christians, and fight with
carnal weapons, swords and spears, about your Church,
Religion and Worship, and Faith and Gospel, those fight
with Creatures, with flesh and blood in mad blind zeal, and
are presumptuous and have usurped authority. But you
cannot fight with outward spear and sword with powers of
darkness and spiritual wickedness. Now they that fight with
spiritual wickedness and Rulers of darkness, they can do no
good with an outward sword and outward spear. They can do
no good with those weapons, for that is Goliah's, but they
must fight with spiritual weapons, and lay aside the
carnal weapons, sword and spear.
He that will be Lord over men's Faith is in
darkness, and out of the power of God, and hath lost the head,
Christ, the Author of Faith, and is in the dead Faith, and doth
not believe he shall overcome sin and the body of sin, while he
is upon the earth.
He that will persecute men about the Worship of
God, he is out of the truth, and out of the Spirit, a
will-worshipper, and in fained humility, for they that Worship God in
the Spirit and the Truth, they are in the Truth that the
Devil, and murderer, and persecutor is out of.
They that will persecute about Religion are in the
vain religion below, among whom the power is not on
their tongues. They will destroy the Creatures, and persecute
to death about their vain religion; but they who are in the
pure Religion which is from above, keep unspotted from the
World. They who visit the fatherless, feed the hungry, cloath
the naked, those be the preservers of Creation; but they
that persecute about their vain religion, be full of the World,
and pleading about their body of sin while they are upon
earth. They cloath not the naked, feed not the hungry, relieve
not the widow and the sick that lye up and down like to
famish. And such men be in the divelish envious prosecuting
nature, and yet they will profess the Scriptures from
Genesis to the Revelation, where they find not their example, that
wilt persecute people about the Gospel. Such men be out of
the Apostles' Doctrine, and Christ's Doctrine, which
contends not with flesh and blood, but with powers of darkness,
and spiritual wickedness. Christ came to save men's lives, not
to destroy them, and to bring the Creatures into the liberty
of the Sons of God, and they that persecute people about
the Gospel, are out of the power of God, in the Devil's
power. God comprehends the World, and all transgression, and
is glad tidings which sets free, through which power, life
and immortality comes to light and doth not persecute. They
that persecute people, and burn people, and Prison people
about their zeal of Christ, the Prophets' and Apostles' words,
they are mad and blind, and out of the life of Christ and
the Apostles, and his zeal that saved men's lives and
brought the Creatures into the liberty of the Sons of God, and
wrestled with the powers of darkness and spiritual wickedness,
and destroyed the Devil and his works, and death where he
has his authority, and reconciled the Creature, and man to
God. This was Christ's zeal, and it did not persecute
Creatures; but blind and mad zeal destroys Creatures and Prisons
and persecutes them to death, instead of reconciling them.
That is the Devil's power.
And they that persecute people about Religion,
persecute Creatures, and fight with them with swords, spears,
staves and bills, Judas guard, Prisons, houses of
Correction, whipping, stocking, with outward weapons. They quench
the Spirit of God in themselves, and throw away
spiritual weapons, and such never begets to God, nor Ministers
to the Spirit, but sowes to the flesh, that of the flesh
corruption may be reaped (and so much of it is to be reaped
in Christendom). That is the fruit of the carnal weaponed
men, which quenches the Spirit, and throwes away the
And those who persecute and Prison people about
their wisdom and knowledge, opinion and judgement that
they have in Christ's, the Apostles' and Prophets' Words,
those who will kill, prison, stock and whip with the wisdom
which they have in Christ's, the Prophets' and Apostles'
Words, such are in wisdom below, which is earthly, sensual
and devilish, and out of the Wisdom which is from above.
Their wisdom is not departed from evil, and is not come to
that which is pure and gentle, and peaceable, and easie to
be intreated, which doth not destroy but preserve, and is
not earthly, sensual, nor divelish for that is destroying.
They that persecute and kill people about their
Church and Ministry be in the Dragon's and Beast's, & great
Whore's authority, and false church compelling, out of Dominion
and Authority of the Church of God (which Christ is the head
of) and whose Ministry saves men's lives. And that Church
which Christ is the head of, who Worship God in Spirit and
truth, the Church which is the Ground and Pillar of truth,
all persecutors are out of, for the Devil and all his guard are
out of this Church.
They who say they are believers that are not born
of God, and do not believe in the Light which doth
enlighten every man who cometh into the World, are not born of
God, by which they overcome the World. Their belief is false,
who say they do believe, yet while they be upon earth, they
must have a body of sin and corruption while they be on this
side of the grave. Their Faith is dead, and so their Conscience
is defiled; for the Mystery of Faith is held in a pure
Conscience, which is a living lively Faith, that gives victory. Through
such Faith the fiery darts of Satan are quenched, and
through such Faith they have access to God that purifies the
heart. The Mystery of this is held in a pure Conscience, by
which the just live, by which they overcome the unjust, the
author of death, and the dead faith.
They that say they are worshippers of God, yet
live outside of truth, they worship as the Devil doth out of
truth; for who worships God in truth is in that which the Devil
is out of, and Worships in that.
And they that say, they are Worshippers of God,
and must have sin and corruption and the body of sin while
they be upon earth, they are will-worshippers, and worship
out of the Spirit, and quench the Spirit of God in
themselves, which mortifies sin and puts off that body of sin
and corruption. Through this Spirit they might have Unity
with God, and with one another, and Scripture, and them
that gave it forth, which was in the Spirit of God.
They that say, they have a hope, and they must not
be pure while upon earth, which doth not purifie them as
God is pure, but they must have sin and corruption, and
the body of sin while this side of the grave, they have the hope
of the Hypocrite which shall perish, though they do profess
all Scripture, from Genesis to the Revelation. For the true
hope, Christ the Mystery, which remains and doth not
perish, perfects and makes pure as God is pure, and this
differs from the false hope which does not purifie, and is to perish.
And they that will persecute about hope, be in
the Hypocrites' hope (like Pharisees), professing Scriptures,
and they will turn against Christ the true hope; and so
they persecute him in the Saints. (Why persecute thou me?)
And so they who persecute people about Worship be out of
the truth; for those who be in truth, be in that which the
Devil, the persecutor, is out of.
They that will persecute People about Faith be in
the dead faith, and are out of that Faith which works by
love, and gives victory, and quenches the fiery death of the
wicked. The Devil is the author of persecution.
And they that will persecute their enemies, and
hate enemies, and will call them blasphemers and seducers
they are haters of Creatures and strikers of Creatures,
and hath that power which captivates Creatures. They are
not the Spiritual men in the armour of God, to fight with
spiritual wickedness. Of them remains the curse that comes not
up to fight with spiritual wickedness, against the Mighty,
The Dragon, and all carnal weaponed men, with which he
fights with all about worship. And they that have enemies
have thrown aside the commands of Christ, which is to
love enemies, and they be out of the love of Christ, and of
God that loved the World though it lay in wickedness, and
sent his only begotten son into the World, and gave him for
an offering, and a sacrifice for the sins of the whole World,
and doth enlighten every man that cometh into the World,
that all through him might believe. And he that believes him
and receives him, hath power to become the Son of God, and
he that doth not believe, but hates the light with which he
is enlightened, which comes from Christ, he is an
Anti-christ, and will not come to the light, because it doth reprove
him, and this is his condemnation, who loves darkness,
rather than the light, because his deeds be evil.
And those that call themselves Ministers of Christ,
and Preachers of the Gospel, and will persecute men for
Tithes, Easter-reckonings, Midsummer dues, and for Clerk's
wages for saying Amen, and for not mending the old
Mass-house, they be out of the Apostles' order and Christ. For no
such things were practiced among the Ministers nor Apostles
of Christ, nor had they any such practice, but stood in
the power of God, with which they stopped the mouths of
such evil beasts, and slow-bellies7, who taught for filthy
lucre's sake, whose words were as canker, who admired
men's persons because of the advantage, who are found in
Balaim's way, Corah's and Cain's
way, and persecuting and turning against the just. They who will persecute people about
the Scriptures be out of the life of the Apostles and Christ,
who was the end of the Scripture, and just men's spirits
that gave them forth.
In him they end whose name is called the word of
God, who is come to fulfill the words of God, for the Ministers
of Christ never persecuted any. Neither did Christ give
them any such command, but taught them to love enemies;
and so they that say they are Ministers of Christ and the
Gospel, and teach Magistrates to persecute all who are contrary
to them, have thrown away the commands of Christ and
his Doctrine, and are out of the Apostles' life and Doctrine
both. They that be strikers are out of the mind and spirit, life
and power, of Christ, who came to us to save men's lives,
and judged and rebuked the zeal of them who would have
men's lives destroyed, and told them they should perish
except they repented.
And they that will persecute people for wearing
their hats are in the honour below, out of the honour that
cometh from God above. The hat-honour, worship & humility
hath been set up in the fall, hath been since man transgressed
& was driven from God, and is the worship among them
that is covered, but not with the spirit of God, in whom
the transgression is quenched. And they that will
persecute people about that they call civility & fellowship, and
language and fashions, be out of the fellowship of God, the spirit,
and out of the shape of God, and out of the sound speech
and language that cannot be condemned, and out of the
singular and plural, though they have learned such words
amongst themselves, yet practiseth them not themselves, nor will
have others. And the civility stands not in outward things, but
in that which comprehends outward things, in which there
is love, life, and faith that works by love, which envies not.
So the civility in which there is envy, outward civility,
stands the love of the World, self-love, honours,
self-righteousness, will-worship, fained humility crouching, scraping,
capping, fained love, in which is the envy of those that have it not,
in which is called their civility, which is come up since
the spirit hath been transgressed.
In love and wisdom of God, there is courteousness,
and kindness, and tenderness, and stooping and coming
down to the Prisoned and oppressed, and among the
captivated ones; there is tenderness, and love, and compassion,
and mercy, and the wisdom that is from above. In this
stands the civility that is plain and pure and good in the love
of God, that envies no creature, that would have all
creatures to worship God, and honour Him; this love thinks no
evil, and this is not of the World.
They are the false Church, and false Apostles,
and Ministers of unrighteousness, and false teachers, and
among them is not the order of the true Church, nor exhorting,
nor edifying; that is if anything be revealed to one another
that sits by, the first is to hold his peace. Ye may all
prophecy one by one, that all may learn, and all be comforted,
which was the order of the true Church, and true Ministry; but
the false Church and Ministry gets to the powers of the earth,
to make them a law, if any one speaks, to bid them to
hold their peace that sits by. If there is something revealed
unto them to comfort and edifie the people, the false Church
and the false Ministers tell the Magistrates, Revelation is
ceased; and they have a Law to call them into prison or house
of correction, or getting money when they are going to
the Steeple-house, or in it, or coming from it, as disturbers.
The practice of the true Church, which is to edifie & to
comfort, is become disturbers of the false Church and Ministry,
that has gotten a law to hinder exhorting and comforting.
1. "cap-men and coys-men" colloquial terms that, as
Fox implies, were in use at the time. They may have
referred to legal entrapment, as suggested by the word
"decoy" or the old phrase "to set ones cap" for someone.
2. "amercement" a fine set by a judge rather than
specified in law.
3. "Glebe land" the land belonging to a parish church,
or an ecclessiastical benefice.
4. "House-of-office" a toilet.
5. "Antick" a clown or buffoon.
6. "Heaps" a large number, here probably meaning
crowds or mobs.
7. "Slow-bellies" lazy persons or sluggards.