Editor's note:

James Nayler, a Quak­er Chris­t­ian leader from the 17th cen­tu­ry (1616- 1660), was a dynam­ic preach­er who even­tu­al­ly suf­fered impris­on­ment for his faith. He was released from prison in Sep­tem­ber of 1659. In Octo­ber 1660 he set off from Lon­don north­wards on foot, intend­ing to vis­it his wife and chil­dren in Wake­field. On the way he was robbed, and found bound in a field. He was tak­en to a Friend’s home where he died. The pas­sage below was spo­ken by him about two hours before his death.

—Richard J. Foster
Renovaré Founder

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 a nature con­trary to itself. It sees to the end of all temp­ta­tions. As it bears no evil in itself, 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 entreaty 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 rejoiceth but through suf­fer­ings: for with the world’s joy it is mur­dered. 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.

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