Chapter 19 » 19.11

A gathered people

James Nayler became a leader amongst Friends, but in 1656 was sent to trial on a charge of blasphemy after entering Bristol on horseback whilst his followers spread garments before him and cried out, ‘Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Israel’. He steadily maintained that ‘he denied James Nayler to be Christ, but Christ was in him’. He was severely punished and imprisoned. Reflecting on his experiences he wrote:

The lower God doth bring me, and the nearer to himself, the more doth this Love and Tenderness spring and spread towards the poor, simple and despised ones, who are poor in spirit, meek and lowly Suffering Lambs, and with those I choose to suffer, and do suffer, wherever they are found.

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