Those who would suffer the Lamb to rise.

I am in the midst of effort to keyboard The Mystery of the Great Whore by George Fox (1659), The Snake in the Grass by Charles Leslie (1697 Second Edition), and A Charge of Error ... by Henry Pickworth (1716). These texts will be integrated and cross-referenced with the texts currently published in the Christonomy Project on In Pickworth's A Charge of Error, I recently keyboarded a chunk of text which is significant to me as further documentation of the ongoing (1660-1700) concern many early quakers had over George Foxes, and those who followed him, move to Institutionalize the Quaker gathering around outward formal prescriptions, rules, creeds, etc. mediated through teachers, leaders, elders, in the gathering. The Vision Pickworth published and his comments (in footnotes) are examples of people in the Quaker gathering who were drawn out of the process (relatively speaking) of being guided and informed by formal mediations through their direct experience of the immanent presence of the Spirit of Christ enthroned in their conscience and consciousness as sufficient in itself to rule their relationships and interactions with others without reference to or respect for outward formal structures and human mediators.

The text follows. Original topography and spelling is retained:

... {Page 102} In order whereto, as our truly worthy Friend George Bishop, &c. forewarn'd them of the Consequence of their imposed Innovation; Whereby says Benjamin Furly, if any Separation happen amongst us, it would be through George Whitehead and his Partners Lording, Ridged, Driving Spirits, in taking upon them to prescribe Rules, and Orders for themselves and all others of the same Body, whether the Lord lead them into them or no; wherein as they persisted, the Lord himself would break them, in turning them one against another, according to their true Friend John Wilkinson's Prediction, as they have since found he hath done, to their shame and Confusion: The Consideration whereof brings to mind another predictive Vision of another true Friend of ours, of the final End of them, entitled, This is what Mary Mitchell saw, who dwelt at Bright Hemston in Suffex, and laid down the Body at Aberdeen in Scotland, in a good Condition, after she had travelled far in that Land, on Truths Account, she having a publick Testimony.

Which Vision is, as related by her self in a certain printed Half-Sheet she published afore her Departure, as follows,

On the 3d of the 12th Month 1694-5.

As I lay on my Bed, I saw spiritually a very rare spacious Building, such a one as I never saw before for Rarity, without-side of it1; and then the inside was brought before me, and there was a brave light large pleasant Room, which was very well furnished with pleasant Things; and I saw till it became a very serviceable House for many Things; but at last, I saw one come and enter into the pleasant Room, and began to lay a Foundation, and went away again, and still as he came he kept Building, till at last he had built a Throne, and began to Reign, and they of the Household {Page 103} began to worship him; and under the Throne I saw a Lamb, which would fain arose; but the great PERSON2, and they of the House together, would not suffer the Lamb to arise, but wounded it, and strove as much as in them lay to slay the Lamb.

And at last there was a PROPHET3 sent to this House to warn it, which said, Oh House, House! Hear the Word of the Lord, This is not the Housholder that Reigns in thee; let the Lamb arise, for this is that which will cast the strong Man out; and much more after this manner: abut this great Man, and they of the House together, were very angry with the Prophet, and with the Lamb, because it stove to arise, and the more it strove to arise, the more it was wounded and oppressed; and the great Man became very great, and was much set by by those if the House.

And when this great Person had reigned long, the pleasant Room became very dark and full of Rubbish, and they of the House began to be afraid; but the GREAT MAN4 perswaded them, All should be well; But there was a Prophet sent several times, but there was no regard taken of him, nor yet of the Lamb, but the more it strove to rise, the more it was smitten and wounded, till at last it was slain; and after the Lamb was slain, under the Throne there arose a Fire, which did burn up this Building in a Moment of Time, and so it ended.

{Page 104} Thus, as we have seen a fair way, we have from hence good Cause to hope, that we shall shortly see a full End of those our depraved Teachers Babylonish Inventions, and not without reason, since as their Imposition hath been the occasion of divers fatal Consequences amongst us, as afore-proved; the consideration thereof finally brings to Declaration of their Friend Michael Russel concerning them some Years since in my Audience, of which having seen some of those evil Effects I had in part notified on the occasion afore-mentioned, he was pleased to tell me, That the Londoners were often busy in erecting very fair Structures to look upon, but for want of fixing them on a solid Foundation, till at length they came rumbling headlong; as I have no Cause to question but their Erectors will also after them; since, as they have proved themselves of those wicked Husbandmen our Lord foretold us of, who cried, This is the Heir, come let us kill him, that his Inhetance may be ours; so I must tell them, That instead of obtaining the possession of it, by their barbarous Murther of the Life of Jesus in his faithful Messengers, the Lord of the Vineyard is nigh to come, who will miserably destroy them, as he in Mat. xxi, &c. hath foretold them.

  1. Note, This was as our Friends stood in their Primitive State, before G. Fox set himself up in the place of Christ, and we as such ador'd him, in imposing his Innovations as the Spirit's Dictates, and exalting him as the Lord's anointed, to set forth Orders to guide our People by; when such as adher'd to him presently apostatiz'd, and turn'd Persecutors of the Lamb and his true Followers, as the Vision shows us.
  2. George Fox in his Life time, and now George Whitehead the Successor in his Popedom, in Conjunction with their Cardinalian Collegues of their Second Days Meeting, London.
  3. Yea, divers true ones, as Robert Rich, John Perrot, George Bishop, Benj. Furley, John Swinton, John Wilkinson, John Story, Widow Whitrow, and John Pennyman, amongst others; all which, instead of adhering to, they stigmatiz'd for dark separate Spirits, betraying Judas's, and cursed Apostates.
  4. George Fox formerly, and now Geo. Whitehead his Successor, of whose deceitful Perswasions of that Nature, as our last Yearly Meeting was Witness, he and they shall feel the Effects with a Vengeance, thro' the Fire now kindled against them, for giving heed to him, in slighting our Christian Travels for their Restoration, unless prevented by their speedy Repentance.

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