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James Nayler


"...Come out of the world and worldly cares and pleasures, and return to the Lord in Spirit, He is within you, and there if you wait in Spirit you shall hear Him speak to your spirits, to the directing your minds out of all the works of darkness and sin, up to God, where no sin is, nor unclean thing can come; and if you mind to obey His voice, He will teach you to lay aside all your dissembling and hypocrisy whereby you have deceived yourselves and others, professing godliness in words, but denying it in power, and you will find power given in from the Lord, to become what you profess in reality and truth..."
"...He is not to be found in the world, nor formal worship, nor in human wisdom and learning; but He is only to be found as He reveals Himself freely, to those who patiently wait for Him in Spirit..."

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James Nayler was born in 1617 and died in 1660. Though he was among the early Quakers nevertheless his writings have been neglected among Quaker circles over the last three centuries unlike the writings of other Quakers such as George Fox, Isaac Penington, Robert Barclay, William Penn etc. This may be due to the fact that in 1655 James Nayler had a fall (spiritually) which marred his reputation among the Quakers as well as people outside that fellowship. His fall related to some people bowing to him and worshipping him since he showed forth the holy virtues of Christ so strongly. Unfortunately he did not rebuke those who did that to him. Though he never claimed to be Christ or equal with Christ others treated him that way which caused his fall. As a result he was severely punished (200 lashes on his back, tongue bore through with a hot iron, a letter "B" branded on his forehead for blasphemy). Though he later repented of his error and came back into the truth (See his confession) his writings have nevertheless been neglected and his spiritual fall seems to have been highlighted and remembered. However, I recently found some of his writings on microfilm and was so edified that I am putting a few of them on the internet. In my opinion I feel that his writings are very inspiring (more inspiring than most other Quaker writings which I have read) and it is unfortunate they have been neglected. Anyway, I will only have a few on this site which same few I hope will speak to true Christian believers at large.

One thing James Nayler emphasized about his writings is that they don't be used for intellectual knowledge and discussion but that they be put into practice. About overcoming the nature of sin in us by Christ's power which works in us mightily he wrote:

"...If you rest in the knowledge of this mystery, and bring not forth to life, with that knowledge you commit fornication, and teach others to commit fornication also; this knowledge in the disobedient mind becomes the mother of harlots, and fornications of the earth, with which the kings of the earth are deceived, but none thereby ever joined to God. For it is not the hearing of the truth that purifies the soul, but the obedience of the truth which makes the vessel fit for the Master's use, who in His using, and its obedience, makes it a vessel of honor, and glorifies His Son therein, in your bodies to do the Father's will in the world, whereby the Father is glorified in the Son, in whom He shines forth, as the Father begets Him again in you, and you in Him (who was with the Father before the world was,) of His own nature and good will, which as you receive again by faith and obedience, you will be changed into the same image and nature, and to delight only therein, being born of the same Spirit; as he that is born of the flesh delights in the things of the flesh."

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[ The introduction above was written by a friend. ]