Introductory 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.