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William Evans.

The Friends' library: comprising journals, doctrinal treatieses, & other writings of members of the religious Society of Freinds online

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not being easy in their consciences to decline
this duty, although they were exposed to great
injury, and even the loss of life. On the
6th of the tenth month, 1662, a troop of
horse, armed with swords and pistols, rode fu-
riously amongst them, beating with drawn
swords old and young, male and female, by
which many were much injured. They re-
turned the following week, having provided
themselves with clubs, in addition to their for-
mer weapons, and with these knocked down
many, some of whom lay for a time as dead ;
and many were so disabled, thai they could
not take oflT their clothes, nor feed themselves
for several days. These outrages were re-
peated for several weeks, in which time a
number of aged persons were disabled. Solo-
mon Fromanlel was so beaten, that he last
much blood, and his wife fearing the troopers
would kill him, threw herself upon him to de-
fend him from their blows, many of which she
received. Her father was knocked down and
survived the blow but a few days. Among
these valiant sufferers for the truth and the
testimony of a good conscience, was Giles
Barnardiston, who undauntedly hazarded his
life in the hottest times of this persecution.
He suflfered affliction with the people of God,
in preference to the enjoyment of the pleasures
of sin ; and esteeming the reproaches of Christ,
greater riches than the treasures and friend-
ships of the world — he never turned his back
in the evil day, but by the meekness of his
spirit and patient endurance of their rage, he
overcame his persecutors, so that many of
them aflerwards loved him ; verifying the
Scripture testimony, that " when a man's
ways please the Lord, he maketh his enemies
to be at peace with him."

Having now entered into connexion with
the Society of Friends, and participated in
their afflictions, he was established in their
principles and took part in the discipline of
the church. As he grew in grace, he was
furnished with wisdom and discernment, and
became zealous for the cause of Truth, that
the government thereof might be established
in the churches which were gathered into the



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MEMOIR OP GILES BARNARDISTON-



name of the Lord Jesus. It was his joy to
see men and women serve the Lord in their
generation, and that there might be a care in
them to watch over the heritage of God for
good everywhere. He encouraged such daily,
and his estate and lime were given up to serve
the Lord and his people ; he was very little
employed in temporal business ; but his heart
and hands were open to do good wherever he
saw need. The care of the churches came
upon him, and that purity and righteousness
might prevail, he laboured night and day. He
would oAen say to those who were rightly
concerned for the testimonies of Truth, '' Go
on in the name and fear of the Lord ; heed
not the opposition of such as would be at
liberty to do things which tend not to the
glory of God; but mind God's fear, and keep
in that spirit which judges down all ungodli-
ness, and every appearance of evil, so shall
you prosper, and be as instruments in the
hand of the Lord, to beat down all ungodli-
ness.'' And the last time I saw his face, says
one of his friends, his eyes were filled with
tears, and he was in a deep travail and exer-
cise, for one who had gone aside from the
truth.

When he met with any who were preju-
diced against the good order of the Society,
and would destroy all government, under the
pretext of leaving all to their liberty and free-
dom, while they were in bondage to a sloth-
ful, unfaithful spirit, he would in great love
and tenderness speak to such, and labour with
them for their recovery out of the snare which
the enemy had laid for them, to hinder them
from being serviceable in their day.

In the year 1669, he removed his residence
to Clare, in Suffolk, the place of his nativity,
and with his brethren there, was subjected to
another course of persecution. Upon the pub-
lication of the Conventicle act, the parish offi-
cer and an informer came to the meeting of
Haverill, where Giles Barnardiston attended,
and taking the names of the Friends, reported
them to a justice of the peace, who issued his
warrants for distress so o(\en, that all the es-
tates of the members there, were thought too
little to satisfy them. The warrants were exe-
cuted with the utmost ngour — the parish officer
urging the informer and others, saying, ** Come,
sirs, let us do what we do quickly, for this
trade will not last long." Afler taking all the
goods out of one Friend's house, and the wood
from his yard, a neighbour desired them to
leave a few old hoop-poles to boil milk for the
children, but they refused. From another they
took the team of horses from his plough ; and
when they had made a spoil of a weaver's
goods, they broke his loom in pieces with the
work in it, which was his only means to get



bread for himself, a sick wife and young child.
Prom twelve persons, of whom Giles Barnar-
diston was one, they distrained goods valued
at two hundred and sixty-one pounds sterling.
Friends were not only compelled to endure great
loss of property, but in some cases were even
reduced to want ; yet they bore it with the meek-
ness and constancy of Christians. They could
not forsake the assembling of themselves to*
gether, but manifested their love and allegiance
to their Lord and Master, by publicly offering
that worship, which is due to Him, of whom
and by whom are all things, and to whom we
owe the dedication of our time and talents,
and the right occupancy of those spiritual
gills, which he dispenses for the edification of
the church and the work of our own souls
salvation.

AAer all this spoiling of goods, the Friends
were kept out of their meeting-house six
months together, in winter, when they met in
the open street, as constantly as before, and
underwent much abuse. Two watchmen with
halberts, pushed them up and down the streets,
frequently striking and threatening to kill them,
asserting that the justices told them the law
could not punish them if they did kill the
Friends. One of the watchmen falling sick,
was relieved by some of those whom he had
l3een engaged in abusing. Their charity and
Christian kindness in rendering good for evil,
so wrought upon his comrade, that he re-
fused to continue his outrageous treatment
any longer; and one day meeting a Friend
whom he had abused, he said, ^* I desire you
to forgive me — ^the blessing of God is among
you." Although they employed another to
pursue the same course, the patience and
mildness of Friends overpowered him, and
he finally took his seat on the threshold of
the meeting-house during the time of their
worship.

John Cornwell, who removed to Clare with
Giles Barnardiston, beare testimony to the ex-
ercise of mind which he was brought under,
that the Lord would raise up a people in that
town who should become servants of the liv*
ing God ; and when through the power of the
Holy Spirit they triumphed over their ene-
mies, for which this devoted servant of Christ
oflen praised and magnified the name of the
Lord in commemoration thereof, it pleased his
Divine Master to confer upon him a gift in the
ministry of the Gospel of life and salvation.
He was made an instrument in his hand to
turn many from darkness to light, and from
the power of satan unto God, that they might
receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance
amongst them that are sanctified; and he lived
to see many of his children in the faith of
Christ, some of whose mouths the Lord also



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MEMOIR OF GILES BARNARDISTON.



opened to declare his everlasting Gospel, to
his great rejoicing whilst he remained among
them. Giles Barnardiston was an able minis-
ter, not of the letter but of the Spirit, endued
with a boldness and utterance which carried
conviction to the hearts of many; he could
speak a word in season to them that were
weary, and from his own experience could
show them where true rest and peace to the
soul was to be obtained ; in the dread and au-
thority of the Lord he threshed the mount of
Esau, the habitations of wickedness ; and at
other times spoke comfortably to the wrestling
seed, binding up that which was bruised,
strengthening and confirming the weak and
feeble, and comforting the dejected with the
same comfort wherewith, in the day of his
deep conflicts, he had been comforted of God.
His doctrine was sound, delivered in the sim-
plicity of the Truth, without reliance on his
literary acquirements ; and conveying divine
life and refreshment to those he ministered
unto. — He preached the free Gospel of Jesus
Christ, ** seeking nothing for himself, but that
in all thidgs he might have a conscience void
of ofifence in the sight of God ; and that the
heavenly work which the Lord had begun in
that age might- be carried on and prospered in
the earth, until- it should be filled with the
knowledge of the Lord as the waters fill the
sea." He was a man of a meek, humble,
peaceable and tender spirit; and sought the
glory of God, and the good q£ souls in all he
did. Self was baptized into death, and made
of no reputation to him ; he greatly loved and
honoured his elder brethren in the Lord, and
was willing to serve the meanest and poorest
among the flock of Christ. He greatly sought
for love, peace and unity amongst brethren ;
and that spirit which would divide and sow
discord, and lead into a separation, he stood
firmly against.

Very little record of his labours has been
preserved, but from the accounts of his friends
he was diligently employed during the short
period of his life afler joining the Society, ei-
ther in suffering for and maintaining the testi-
monies of Truth within his own meetings, or
in travelling abroad in the ministry. He vis-
ited many parts of his own nation and was
also on the continent; and in all places where
he went he leA a good report and savour.
John Wilsford speaking of his service, says,
^* We . have had sweet fellowship together in
our travel in the service of Truth, several
times. In a late journey of about six weeks
in Norfolk, Suffolk, some parts of Essex and
Cambridgeshire, and the isle of Ely, we had
a precious time together ; of which my heart
is glad in the Lord. I desire not to forget the
sweet unity and the comfortable and fruitful



seasons we had in that journey, in which our
souls were refreshed in the Lord and with his
children. In almost every meeting we had in
this journey, that faithful servant and minister
of the Gospel, testified that the Lord looked
for fruits from his people ; to whom he had
so largely manifested himself in making
known his precious truth. He also powerfully
exhorted parents to be good examples to their
children, and not to countenance them in the
least appearance of evil, nor in the world's
vain fashions or customs, manners or lan-
guage; but to bring them up in the fear of
God, and to teach them such manners as be-
came Truth, which are good words and civil
behaviour towards all people, and to keep in
their places in the authority of God ; and that
children should obey their parents in the Lord,
and not to answer again when they are re-
proved. To the heads of families and their
servants, he gave the admonition, that they
should all know their places, and keep in them
one towards another ; being good examples in
their respective stations, that the Truth be not
blamed, but adorned by all that profess it;
mentioning the declaration concerning Abra-
ham, when the Lord said, ** Shall I hide from
Abraham that thing which I do, seeing that
he shall surely become a great and mighty
nation, and all the nations of the earth shall
be blessed in him? for I know him that he
will command his children and his household
afler him, and they shall keep the way of the
Lord to do justice and judgment; that the
Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he
hath spoken of him." And he gave it as a
charge to Friends to keep justice and judg-
ment upon the head of the transgressor, both
individually and in general ; for, said he, these
are the people whom the Lord will make great,
and they shall be a blessing in his hand to the
nations.

It appears he also travelled with that emi-
nent minister of Christ, Benjamin Bangs, who
says of him, " His ministry was very effectual
for the gathering of many from darkness to
light ; who are at this day as living epistles
of his apostleship, to the praise and honour of
God. He was greatly endued with the power
of the Lord and a heavenly understanding,
with whose testimony my soul has been
greatly benefitted and consoled. I can do no
less than magnify the Lord in the sense there-
of, which flowed through him as a pleasant
stream from the fountain of divine life; which
the Lord opened to him, whereby he would
greatly encourage all to persevere towards the
habitation of true peace, warning them not to
sit down short of that rest which God had
prepared. Having been with him in his tra-
vels, I cannot forget how he would oAen



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MEMOIR OF GILES BARNARDISTON.



femind such who were convinced of God's
blessed truth, not to forget the day of their
visitation ; their first love and tenderness to-
wards the Lord, and where they wers when
he first made himself known unto them, and
whither he had now brought them by his
blessed power."

To such who had made some progress in
the way of Truth, and for want of faithfulness
to the Lord, had let something of darkness
come over them again, he would say, <^ Friends,
do but remember the days that are past, when
you were first convinced of God's blessed
truth ; what tenderness of heart, and broken-
ness of spirit was there then towards the
Lord, and what a love was begotten and
raised towards one another ! Whither would
we not have gone, a little to have been to-
gether, to have spoken something of our ex-
perience of the goodness of the Lord to us ?
Oh 1 how glad were we but to see the face of
one whom the Lord sent forth to publish the
Grospel of glad tidings in our ears f Come, do
but remember ! How came you to forget these
days ? Make now a narrow search, and see
what is the matter that ye are not so living to
God as you were formerly. Take heed lest
the cumbers, or the delights of a fading, per-
ishing world, steal your affections away from
more durable riches." Thus, with much fer-
vency of spirit and great tenderness, he ex-
horted all to press after holiness, without
which no man can see the Lord.

** This worthy servant of the Lord, continues
Benjamin Bangs, did not only in preaching
the Gospel, adorn the truth of our Lord and
Saviour Jesus Christ, which he professed, but
also in his solid behaviour, both in words and
actions. His countenance was grave and
weighty, his carriage comely, and he was
ever ready to hold forth a helping hand to
the weak, delighting to behold the prosperi-
ty of the Truth, and brethren walking in the
unity."

Though his health and strength were much
impaired by frequent attacks of disease, he
travelled diligently when able to be abroad ;
and Samuel Cater remarks, that when they
were on any hard journey, accompanied with
unusual exercise, Giles Bamardiston would
encourage his friends with the observation,
"this is but for a short time, and we shall
have done in this world. I desire I may be
faithful to the end, that I may enjoy that at
the hand of the Lord, for which I reoeived
(he Truth ; for if it had not been to obtain
peace of conscience, whilst I am in this world
and hopes of everlasting rest with God in the
world to come, I would never have left the
glory and pleasures of this world, which I



had and might have had a share of, with them
who are in it ; neither would \ now leave my
house and home, where I have a loving wife,
with all that a man fearing Grod need to de-
sire, if it was not to obey the Lord, and make
known his blessed truth unto others, that they
may come to be saved. For this cause do I
forsake father and mother, wife and estate ;
and whoever thinks otherwise of me, with my
faithful brethren, whom God hath called into
his work, to declare his name and truth among
the sons of men, they are all mistaken of us,
and I would they knew us better."

He had a great esteem and respect for all
experienced Friends, who abode faithful ; and
in particular for ancient and elder brethren,
who were in Christ before him, and had been
serviceable to him upon his convincement, and
a strength to him in time of weakness ; and
he often expressed his grief to see how un-
grateful some were, to undervalue the testi-
monies and service of such, who bad been
fathers in Christ, to bring them to the know-
ledge of the Truth, and to build them up
therein, while they were young and tender;
of them he would say. The Lord will judge
them for it.

The numerous trials with which Friends
were assailed at the rise of the Society, in-
volved them in deep sufiering for the support
of the Christian testimonies which they pro-
mulgated to the world. Not only the spoiling
of their estates, the violence ofiered to their
persons, which sometimes terminated life, the
malevolence of their opponents in misrepre-
senting their religious principles — but when
some respite was permitted them from their
multiplied grievances, disaffected or aposta-
tized members rose up against their brethren,
who were engaged in administering the disci-
pline and government of the church ; and in
some instances, denied its religious principles
or questioned the soundnes^s of its faith. Jef^
fery Bullock, a member of Haverill Monthly
Meeting, to which Giles Barnarditton belonged,
forsook the Christian doctrines of Friends,
and denied that the Christ, who died at Jeru-
salem, was the Saviour and Judge of the
world. After the requisite labour to reclaim
him from the state of darkness and unbelief
into which he had fallen, the men's meeting
disowned him from membership, and his he*
retical opinions, as ever having been any part
of the creed of the Society, as appears by the
following document, transcribed from the min*.
utes of that meeting.

" For the clearing ef the precious truth of
God, professed by us, his people called Qua-
kers, from the occasion of stumbling and re-
proach given by Jeffery Bullock's pernicious



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6



MEMOIR OP GILES BARNARDISTON,



doctrine, in affirming that he neither expects
justification nor condemnation by that Christ
that died, or was put to death, at Jerusalem.

"These are to certify all Friends and
friendly peojple whom it may concern, that we
testify against this doctrine as stated by him,
as both pernicious and antichristian, and con-
trary to plain Scriptures and the constant tes-
timony faithfully borne amongst us from the
beginning.

" For neither do we profess or preach two
Christs ; nor yet own justification by any
other Christ, or in any other name, but by and
in the name of that one very Christ of God,
[of] whom the holy prophets and apostles
gave witness in the Scriptures of truth, 1 Pet.
iii. 16. ; who was miraculously conceived by
the Holy Ghost overshadowing the virgin
Mary ; and was crucified and put to death in
the flesh, without the gates of Jerusalem, but
quickened by the Spirit, whom God raised
from the dead.

" We must confess with the holy apostles.
Acts xiii. 30. that even by Him, to wit, that
very Christ, all that believe are justified from
all things, from which they could not be justi-
fied by tbs law of Moses : and that remission
of sins, justification and salvation, as then
preached in the name of the same Lord Jesus
Christ aiKi by his eternal power and Spirit of
our God ; so the same is constantly believed
and witnessed amongst us.

" And although the best sense that we can
suppose or gather, as aimed at by the said
Jefiery Bullock, is. That it is not only by the
sufferings and death of Christ, nor by a mere
literal knowledge of Christ as aAer the flesh,
that men can be either completely justified or
saved from sin and death, any more than the
apostles or primitive Christians were, but by
his life. Spirit, and power operating in them,
and so by a living and spiritual knowledge of
Christ as afler the Spirit : Which, though the
truth of this we cannot but own and justify,
yet this cannot excuse the before cited doc-
trine, as laid down, which denies justification
and condemnation by that Christ that died:
£br that supposeth another Christ for that end,
and so two Christs.*

" Whereas, the very Christ, the Son of God,
is but one, though he hath oflen and variously
manifested himself from the beginning, as
both before he came in the flesh, and in the
fulness of time in the flesh, viz. that body that
was prepared for him to do the will of his Fa-
ther in : and since in Spirit, for the everlast-

* " And therefore the said Jeflerv Bullock ought
to see his error and recant, and call back his words
which have given occasion of stumbling in Sud-
bury."



ing salvation and comfort of all them who be-
lieve in his name and power, which by his
divine light within, is Uvingly revealed.

*< And we confess that this Son of God, our
Saviour, Jesus Christ our Lord, was made of
the seed of David according to the flesh, Rom.
i. 3, 4. and declared to be the Son of God with
power according to the Spirit of holiness, by
the resurrection from the dead : and that that
very Christ that came of Israel as concerning
the flesh, is over all, God blessed for ever,
Rom. ix. 6. So that he is truly and insepa-
rably God and man, according to the Scrip-
tures of truth. And even that very Christ
who was crucified and slain, hath God lifled
up with his right hand, to be a Prince and a
Saviour, Acts v. 30, 81.

" So we confess with the apostles, 1 Cor.
viii. 6. that to us, is but one God, the Father,
of whom are all things, and we in him ; and
one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things,
and we by him.f

"And further, we cannot own any such
doctrine or words, by whomsoever spoken, as
tend to undervalue the sufiTerings, death, and
blood of Christ. For not only a reconciliation
was declared and made through his death,
Rom. V. 10. Heb. ii. 17. but all his sufllerings,
and his being the one universal ofllering and
sacrifice, did contribute to man's redemption,
and the salvation of all that truly believe in
his name, Titus iii. 6, 6. Though without the
washing of regeneration and being born again,
John iii. 5. 1 Pet. i. 28. of the living Word
and Spirit of life, none do really partake of
eternal salvation, or that redemption which is
obtained through the blood of Christ, who
gave himself for us that he might redeem us
from all iniquity."

Jeffery Bullock took great oflence at this
decisive testimony of Friends, and wrote a
pamphlet, which he called " Anti-christ's trans-
formations within, discovered by the light with-
in," inveighing against them and the exercise
of that authority with which the church under
the direction of its Divine Head is clothed, to
place the judgment of Truth upon those who
have made shipwreck of faith, and broken the
bonds of its fellowship. To this" pamphlet
Giles Barnardiston wrote a reply, in which he
says, " that Anti-christ's transformations with-
in, is setting itself above the Light within, in
such as have departed from it in themselves ;
amongst whom is this Jefiery Bullock with
some others, who went out from us because
they were not of us, but went out and so are
made manifest. Had they continued in the
Light, they would not have been pushing at



t Acts xvii. 81. And God will judge the world
in righteousness, by that Man he hath ordained.



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MEMOIR OP GILES BARNARDISTON.



us, and it, for such are at unity with the
Light, and in sweet fellowship, peace and
communion one with another ; and there is no
occasion of stumbling in them, because they
walk in the Light* These have been much
opposed since they were a people gathered by
the Light, to walk in it ; the enemy hath la>
boured always to disperse their gatherings,
and to hedge up their path ; and when the na-
tional priests and others of all sorts, could
efiect nothing with their weapons, then have
arisen some amongst ourselves, who have
spoken perverse things to draw others afler
them. This is no new thing, nor would we
have any startled and make a wrong judg-
ment concerning us or the blessed Light, be-
cause thereof, and thus make their bands
strong." With reference to the charge of im-
position, Giles Barnardiston says, *^ Neither
have such forced any, or exercised dominion



Online LibraryWilliam EvansThe Friends' library: comprising journals, doctrinal treatieses, & other writings of members of the religious Society of Freinds → online text (page 2 of 104)