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pounds in ready money, besides jewels, plate, and houses richly furnished, was so prodigal, as to consume all his whole estate in three years; and he had a great longing to please all all his five senses at once, and did accomplish it, allowing to every sense a several hundred pound; it would be too tedious to mention all the story; he grew, at last, to all debauchedness that could be named, and was forced, shamefully, to beg of his acquaintance, and was, after, pressed for a common soldier; see the last page of that book above-mentioned. I shall no longer detain the reader from the hermit's relation; these things, I thought, would be most pertinent to impart to thee, hoping thou wilt make this good use of it, by avoiding these two extreams, and walking in the golden mean of true godliness, which hath the promise of this life, and of that which is to come. Vale.
One more remarkable thing he told me: That, when he was in Clerkenwell prison, the seventeenth of this January, lo'54, his keeper, having a prejudice against him, ordered the prisoners not to let him have bread with his water, and shut him down in the hole all night. The next morning, being something hungry, walking in the prisonyard, there came a spaniel, and walked after him three or four turns, with a piece of bread in his mouth. He looked upon him, and wondered why the dog walked, as he thought, with a chip in his mouth; he looked at the dog, and he laid it down, and perceived it was bread; he walked away again, and the dog walked after him with it again; then he stopped, and the dog laid it down to his hand; then he took and wiped it, and eat it.
To Mr. Godbold, preacher at Uxbridge, in Middlesex,
I dedicate this my discourse, because he was my friend to help conquer my old man, by informing my friends of Chesham, that I was a witch, and was run away, and would never come again. You, being a publick preacher, may do me great service, in helping me to dishonour him; for 1 have been almost three years conquering my old man by dishonour. Therefore, if you can stir up any more to forward this work, pray do, if it be not hurtful to yourself, and they that do so. I rest
Your reserved friend,
To the impartial reader.
IN whom malicious envy delights, to be for birds of a feather, draw together But such a constitution is not to be condemned,, lest we should condemn the work of God in the flesh, but rather to be instructed with the light of the Scriptures, that thereby he may know himself, and judge himself to be undone and empty, that love and zeal may take possession, and then he will be more valiant, and bold for God and the scripture, than he that is moderately constituted. Then let us labour for a single eye, which maketh the whole body light; I mean a "single heart in single designs, which cannot stand with lindsey-woolsey garments, nor with double tongues, nor varieties of fancies after meats and drinks; for Christ himself was to eat butter and honey, till he came to knowledge to chuse the good, and refuse the evil, Isa. vii. 15. And if natural Adam had kept to this single natural fruit of God's appointment, namely, fruits and herbs, we had not been corrupted. Thus we see, that, by eating and drinking, we are swallowed up in corruption; for, ever since Noah came out of the ark, the world being drowned, and no fruits nor herbs on the earth, man was ordered to eat the flesh of the creature which came out of the ark; so that, by that means, our desires were made strong after flesh; that, when the herbs and innocent food was come forth, weslighted it, calling it trash in comparison of a beast, or beastly flesh; so that, by that means, the fleshdestroying spirits and angels draw near us, and frequently attend mankind. This you may see by the angels that came to Abraham, to destroy the flesh of the Sodomites. Abraham, knowing their design, killed them a calf, and made them a fleshly feast; so that we may see, God hath all sorts of creatures for all sorts of designs, and for all sorts of food, both in heaven and in earth; innocent creatures for innocent food, and beastly creatures for beastly and fleshly food.
I rest your friend as you please,
Roger Crabb. From my poor cottage near Uxbridge, Jan. l6"54.
SEEING I am become a gazing-stock to the nation, and a wonderment to many friends, in this my reserved life, 1 shall, therefore, indite a few lines, as the Most High shall direct me; wherein I shall give an account of this my undoing, owning Christ and the prophets to be exemplary, both in.prophesying and practising, as far as God shall give power to any man. I having truly examined it, and often disputed it, with all sexes and ministers in most counties in England, and most of them grant me, that the practice of Christ and the prophets is written for our learning; and if this be granted, that we ought to be imitators of their righteousness, hereby the judgment of God may be seen to a Sodomite generation, living now upon English ground. But first I shall begin with myself, who have transgressed the commands of God, and so am found guilty of the whole law; living in pride, drunkenness, and gluttony, which I upheld by dissembling and lying, cheating and cozening my neighbours. But, now, that light which enlighteneth every man that cometh into the world, according to John's writing, hath discovered the love of God to my understanding, which causeth trie to withdraw from what I have done; and, instead of strong drinks and wines, I gave the old man a cup of water; and, instead of roast mutton and rabbets, and other dainty dishes, I gave him broth, thickened with bran, pudding made with bran, and turnep-leaves, chopped together, and grass; at which the old man, (meaning my body) being moved, would know what he had done, that I used him so hardly. Then I shewed him his transgression, as aforesaid; so the wars began, the law of the old man, in my fleshly members, rebelled against the law of my mind, and had a shrewd skirmish; but the mind, being well enlightened, held it, so that the old man grew sick and weak with the flux, like to fall to the dust. But the wonderful love of God, well pleased with the battle, raised him up again, and filled him full of love, peace, and content in mind, and is now become more humble; for now he will eat dock-leaves, mallows, or grass, and yields, that he ought to give God more thanks for it, than, formerly, for roast flesh and wines; and certainly concludes, that this must be of God, if it be done out of love, and not out of self-ends; for, before, the old man fought with his steel sword, with his fleshly power against old men, and that envy in him begat envy in them, and both of the devil, in pretence of liberty and peace, it is easily judged of by the event; for our fighting, to regulate government in the old men, we see it still as bad, if not worse, than it was before. Therefore, let us put off the old man, with his fleshly laws, which reached no farther than the government of earthly bodies; so that every one, for their obedience to God in this fleshly law, receiveth a reward, to uphold his fleshly body here upon earth, and would go no further, than reason could reach, in the organs of flesh. Therefore, this law could never give life in the spiritual Christ, but tha practisers thereof were the greatest enemies to Christ, as you shall see fully in their calling of Christ devil, and putting of him to death, Mat. x. Luk. xxiii. Far worse than bloody butchers, for they destroy their fellow-creatures for gain, and to feed their bodies; but these destroyed that innocent Lamb of God, merely out of devilish zeal and envy against innocency; this moves the butcher to the question, to know why I would forbear eating of flesh: to which I answer,
First, I do it exemplarily from the prophet Daniel, chap. i. who saith, the King's meat defileth his body, and beseecheth, that he might eat pulse, and drink water. This, first, we ought to believe, because the Scripture saith so. 2. I believe it from experience. 3. From reason.
1. I have experience, that God hath enlightened my understanding in a great measure, more than before I took this course, so that all the tithe-mongers and self-ended people, 'professing religion, are afraid to meet me in any publick dispute; but, lest I should judge myself wiser, in my own conceit, than my understanding will bear me out, I am here ready to be tried by any person or persons whatsoever. And so much for experience. Now I shall shew some reasons:
My first reason is, that God never accepted of any creature, for a sacrifice of flesh, that would destroy a body of flesh to feed on; and also forbad his people the Jews to feed on them; for it is a practice of dogs and wolves, bears and lions, hogs and ravens, kites and hawks, and many such like devourers of flesh; and all or any of these have no need to fear their lives, but from or of some of that same kind; no innocent Creature need ever fear his life from an innocent creature. If all birds would take the dove for an example, and all beasts take the lamb for their example, and all men take Christ for their example, then Mars and Saturn, the two chief devils, would be trampled under feet. Such a time is promised, but not yet; but God waiteth with long patience upon the vessels of wrath, whilst they prepare themselves, by thirsting after flesh and blood, which are thereby made fit to destroy each other. Therefore hearken to the doctrine of Christ, in Matth. chap. v. and vi. 'Deny yourselves, humble yourselves, undo yourselves of all righteousness of the flesh; become as little children, like lambs, like doves;' then Christ is ours, and we are his. Few words to the wise are sufficient. I shall return to the reasonable part of the law in this nation, which excludes butchers from being jurymen of life and death. Surely, if they are judged incapable of being of a jury, because they kill the creatures, they, that buy them with their money to devour them, cannot be clear; for we always count the receiver more subtle and worse than the thief; so that the buyer is worse than the butcher. Bnt Mars, being the god of war, is the governor of these destroyers, and, while he can get flesh to feed on, he will increase his desires to destroy flesh; so that Mars, being servant to the Most High God, breeds them up with flesh, until they are full of corruption. Then he raiseth up transgressor against transgressor to destroy each other, as you have it in Isa. xxi. 2, where it saith, A grievous vision was shewed unto me, the transgressor against the transgressor, and the destroyer against the destroyer. Go up, Elam, besiege Media, &c. Had my parents been so innocent, as to have taught me this doctrine in the time of my youth, I had saved my scull from being cloven to the brain in the late war for.the parliament against the King, and also saved myself from the parliament's two years imprisonment, which they gave me for my pains, and from my sentence to death in the field by my Lord Protector; but all those things wrought together for the best to me, and, in my estimation, are of more value, than an office of five hundred pounds a year; for I, in some measure, know myself, and before I neither knew God, nor devil, nor myself; but now, having found out that my body was governed by thcinclination of my constitution from the starry heavens; having tried it with many sorts of food, and with much fasting and praying, according to the Scripture, which gave me light into the constitutions of others, and enabled me to administer physick to others; so that I have had a hundred, or sixscore patients at once; this gave me a great light of the evil that came by eating of flesh. If my patients were any of them wounded, or feverish, I said, eating flesh, or drinking strong beer would inflame their blood, venom their wounds, and increase their disease; so there is no proof like experience. So that eating of flesh is an absolute enemy to pure nature, pure nature being the workmanship of a pure God, and corrupt nature under the custody of the devil. Now for the objection in 1 Tim. iv. 3. where it saith thus: Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received, with giving thanks, of them which believe and know the truth. And, ver. 4. it saith, For every creature of God is good, and nothing ought to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving. This Scripture
is very useful for the purpose, and will give much light to the adherers to this opinion, and confirm them of sound principles within themselves; for whosoever shall forbear marrying, or abstain from meat from the commandment of man, which pretends his commands to be of God, all that are obedient hereunto will serve the devil, and must needs be without the spirit of sanctification; neither are they believers, neither obey the truth; so that, if they should eat of every creature, there would a hundred be poisoned at a meal, for want of the spirit of power and sanctification, which Paul and others had by the promise, which promised them, if they drank any deadly poison, it should not hurt them; and could take away serpents; and, if they laid their hands on the sick, they should recover, as you may see in Mark xvi. 18. Another objection is alledged from that Scripture in Matth. xv. 11. where it saith these words: That which goeth into the mouth defileth not the man, but that which cometh out of the mouth, that defileth the man; which is murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false testimonies, slanders, &c. If this be meant, that any thing put into the mouth cannot defile the body, then no man can be poisoned; but there hath been many a man poisoned, by taking things into the mouth. If so, then nothing ought to be taken, but that which is nourishablc to pure nature, except they have faith and power of sanctification to exclude the venom. So, in short, my judgment is of every place of Scripture, which speaks any thing of this nature, that, to him that believeth, all things are lawful, as in relation to Christ in-the spirit, but some things not expedient. Now to those that will not unlink themselves from the world, as to deny father and mother, wife, children, lands, and livings, and all for Christ's sake in the spiritual essence, but will rather serve him according to the flesh in the ten commandments. Now this is the wonderful and admirable love of God, that he will give them a reward also, according to that dispensation they are under; for he hath promised them a blessing in basket and in store, and their children long life in the land for their obedience to their parents in the flesh; but no more than fleshly rewards can be given for fleshly obedience; for he, that dieth with fleshly desires, fleshly inclinations, and fleshly satisfactions (this being a composure of the spirits of darkness in this body) must rise again in the same nature, and must be taken into the center of Mars, the God of flesh, blood, and fire; so that every man shall receive the things which are done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good, or evil, 2 Cor. v. 10.
Then, how happy are they, that take Christ and the prophets for their example! Christ, being an innocent pattern to the whole world, exposed himself to all danger and difficulty, not for his own ends in the flesh, but for others sakes, even them that persecuted him, and violated him with terms of ignominy, calling him a glutton and a winebibber, blasphemer and a devil, and at length killed him out-right, and hanged him shamefully upon the cross. The persons that did it were the priests, counsellors, lawyers, and the rude multitude instructed by them, filled all with envy against innocency; but all this worketh together for the best to them that fear God in humbleness and meekness, with love and charity; where envy cannot be, but some glimpse of the