Waiting upon ane inward light

Anne Blacklyn, a Quakeress, was fined for disturbing the minister at Haverhill Church calling him a hireling priest and deceiver, and to remain in prison till the fine was paid.

John Gilpin listened to a speaker denounce all ministerial teaching and all knowledge gained therein, in order to, ‘lay a new ground work vis. to be taught of God within ourselves by waiting upon ane inward light.’ After the third meeting Gilpin himself was seized, trembled and quaked extermely, fell on his bed, howled and cried to the astonishment of his family. After five meetings he was grabbibng a bass viol and playing on it, dancing (things never before done by him) and finally running through the streets of the town proclaiming, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life’. And the devil as he put it, did not leave him before he had believed two swallows in the chimney to be angels, had nearly knifed himself in the throat, and had fallen on the floor to lick the dust.

Antonia Fraser, Cromwell, pp.570-571

Without the authority of Scripture, a doctrinal standard and only experience to go on – this is the potential consequence.


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