John Lilburne,
Now a Prisoner in Dover-Castle

The forementioned second Letter, take in these following words.

Dover-Castle the fifth day of the tenth month, 1655.

For my endeared Friend, William Harding (commonly called Mayor) at Weymouth in Dorcetshire, these deliver.
Kind Friend,

Since my arrival here, I have often been desirous in my own spirit, at large to have written to thee, but hitherto by a power above me, I have been hindered, and yet am, as to the particular aforesaid, only now I thought it not only convenient to acquaint thee, but am thereunto compelled to tell thee, that meeting here with one of those precious people called quakers, of which thee and I at the Isle of Jersey had much talk of) and getting into my hands two volumes of their printed papers, amounting to about seventeen hundred pages, I have with serious of discourse, and seriousness reading therein, been knocked down off, or from my former legs, or standing; and giving scope to my true teacher and guide, the light of God speaking in my soul, I am become at present, dead to my fallen, or first nature's reason, wit, wisdom and desires, and also totally become dead to my old busling ways in the flesh, and now in a great degree or measure, am struck down dead to the very earth within me, and by that Light which gloriously within my soul has shined round about my first, or corrupt nature within me, I am like Paul, with astonishment and amazement, Act.9. fallen down flat at the feet of Jesus, and hearing a voice speaking within me, to persuade me for my own good and benefit, to become willing, to be guided and directed by the heavenly wisdom of Jesus my annointed; I have thereupon given up my self wholly to be guided by his Divine teachings shining within me, before which I now stand ready to give ear to what by it shall be told me, being willing and desirous to have the scales fall further from the blind eyes of my soul, that they may further be opened, and that a power therewith may come into my soul from the Holy Ghost, which may enable me in the strength thereof, to redeem my lost, and mispent bypast precious time, and not now to consult with flesh and blood in my daily taking up the Cross of Christ, and following him whither soever he shall by his call, or heavenly Divine voice within me, lead me.

I say, I am compelled from a power within me, at this present time, in brief to tell thee these things, and to require thee from God, to give ear to that true convincing light, that clearly speaks in thy conscience, and by the assistance thereof to strive with the first, or fallen nature yet ruling in thy soul, and lay aside that greatness of wit and earthly wisdom that thou hast attained to, and in that measure of Light that long since thou has received, withdraw into thy private Closet, and seriously meditate upon these brief lines. And being thou in my late conversing with me, told me, thou hadst read, or hadst sent me down from London most of the Quakers' Books; Let me in love to thy soul, earnestly entreat thee, with seriousness to read over (strong and tall in Christ) James Nayler, his sheet of paper, entitled, Something further in answer to John Jacksons book, called, Strength in weakness; (which John Jackson is my endeared friend, and old and long acquaintance, and a greater professor of Religion now, than ever thou thyself in all thy zeal once was, therefore in him thou mayest plainly read thy own condition) and that precious prisoner of the Lord's in Northampton Gaol, William Dewsbury, his two books, the first and excellentest of which is called, The discovery of the great enmity of the serpent against the seed of the women: and his other book is entitled, The discovery of mans Return: and the Lord by his almighty power set them home to thy soul. I heartily desire to return thee my hearty thanks for all they kindness and tenderness manifested to me at Jersey, in our passage from thence, and at thy own house, so with my hearty salutations presented to thee, and all thy friends that were with me at thy house at Weymouth. I desire to let thee know, that by my moral, honest, carefull, and industrious old Nurse Elizabeth Crome (who by reason of shortness of money with me, I am forced and compelled to part with) I have writ thee a few lines in her behalf, entreating thy countenance and favourable respect to the old (and real serviceable to me in my great distress in Jersey) woman; in case in things that are just and righteous before God, she desire thy favour, and what thee, or thy friend and mine, Edward (commonly called Lieutenant) Tucker, in that particular does for her, I shall thankfully look upon as actions done to thy souls.

Faithful, hearty, and real well-wishing friend,

John Lilburn.

From Dover-Castle, being a place wherein God has more clearly than ever before, opened the eyes of my understanding, the 4. day of the 10. month, 1655.

With which fore-mentioned main or principal thing that I have now to say, I thus proceed, and go on with it, and here in the especial presence of the Lord declare, that by that present measure of light now born up in my understanding, and moving in my soul at this very time, I am here compelled to let the Reader (whosoever he be) to know, that as I have long understood from my wife the original of my fore-going Letter to her, she conveyed to the hands of Oliver Cromwell himself, and at his Son-in-Law's desire, Charls Fleetwood (my old, and sometimes much familiar greatly obliged friend) gave him a copy of it,and notwithstanding the clear declarations of a sincere (changed in measure) heart in the said Letter, at the penning of which, I had then lost all manner of ability to consult with one grain of Machivel, or humane deceitful policy, having then the very dreadful, and aweful, immediate, convincing, judging, and burning up power of God upon my soul; yet upon my said writing, and my wife's disposing, as aforesaid, of my said Letter, many and great jealousies arise upon me at White-hall, at the strange politic contrivance of my (largely reputed by them) politic heart in my turning quaker (of which I had several ways exact information) which it seems out of humane fear, took that powerful impression upon my poor weak wife, as that, as I judged by her Letters to me, troubled the poor afflicted Woman at the very heart, and compelled her by writing in a vehement manner, to press me to sign such an engagement as George Fox did, the copy of which I have seen and read) and sent it up to Oliver Cromwell to secure him from his pretended fears of my politick endeavouring to draw the temporal sword against him; unto which for many reasons having then no manner of freedom in the earth to do it (George Fox though even then a precious man in my eyes, his particular actions being no rules for me to walk by, unless I lived in the same life and power of Spiritual enjoyments that he did, and had the very self-same motions in spirit from God, that led him to a freedom and ability to do such, and the like particular actions) I therefore ceased it, and did it now; and if I had then done it for my own particular human ends, as to avoid further persecution, and the like, I had in so doing been an outside pharisaical imitator, and the greatest and basest of hypocrites, which sin alone is the height of God's [a] abhorrance, for although I must before the Lord now truly avow, that the said Letter was a true and faithful (without fraud or guile) declaration of as real and spiritual a power of God in its measure, seizing upon my soul, for my conviction of my spiritual blindness and sinfulness, as ever seized upn Paul, declared in the 9 of the Acts, or any man's that ever breathed upon earth, yet betwixt the Winter-storms and fierce tempests of conviction, (or rather the beginning of it) and the pleasant Sunshine, dews, and springing days of growth into a measure of refreshment, there is a vast difference; and therefore then the true occasion, or real ground of all outward war and humane busling being content being not taken away, or absolutely crucified or subdued at the very Root in my soul, if then I had signed such an engagement, I had clearly gone beyond my soul's then living and real attainments, and thereby ran presumptuously and wickedly beyond my measure and so had tempted the Lord my then present Leader, and spiritual guide, and abominably sinned against him.

But now in my already attained growing up measure, having the experimental witness of God within my [b] self, that I am already truly and really attained, in substantial, and witnessed within me, real truth, with the young men in Christ, spoken of by the Apostle [c] John, to a good measure or degree, in overcoming the wicken one within me, so that now I am able to witness in truth and righteousness, that the true ground or real occasions of all outward wars, and all carnal buslings, and all fleshly strivings within me, is in a very large measure, or degree, become dead or crucified within me, which true ground and real occasions, of all the outward iron and steel sword war in the world, and all the wicked and fleshly forerunners of it and dependents upon it, truly rises from its fountain, the raging power of sin, or lust within, in carnal, and unregenerated, unsanctified, and unjustified (before God) men's hearts, as is plainly and truly witnessed by the apostle [d] James in these words, From whence comes wars and fights among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts, that war in your members? you lust, and have not; you kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain; you fight and war, yet you have not, because you ask not. You ask, and receive not, because you ask amiss that you may consume it upon your lusts. You Adulterers and Adulteresses, know you not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God: whosoever therefore will be a friend to the world (that spiritual Kingdom of Satan in unsanctified men's souls) is the enemy of God.

And therefore Christ, the true Lord of the soul, and the true Headmaster, and King of that heavenly spiritual kingdom (as the Devil or Prince of the air, is the Headmaster, King, or god of the Kingdom of this world, in the hearts of the children of unsanctified, and unjustified, disobedient [e] men) that he has provided for all redeemed, sanctified, justified and righteous [f] souls, declares at his very answer before Pilate for his life, and faith, My Kingdom is not of this world, if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now is my kingdom not from [g] hence; and therefore it was when Judas betrayed this spiritual King, Christ, into the hands of his murdering enemies, and that his servant Simon [h] Peter stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the High Priests, and smote off his ear; that this spiritual King, Lord and Master, cured the wounded man, although he was his [i] enemy, and commanded his servant Peter to put up his sword again in his place, further saying to him For all they that take the Sword [mark it well] shall perish with the [k] Sword: Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve [l] Legions of Angels. And therefore all the whole Laws of his inward and spiritual Kingdom, are made in quite opposition against the Laws of the mere glorious outside kingdoms of the God and Prince of this world, unto which two Masters, or Kings, or Law-givers, it is impossible for any man in the world or upon this globy earth, to be a servant of them both, at one and the same [m] time, but by that commits sin is the servant of sin, and so the servant of the [n] devil, and he that is the servant of sin, is free from Righteousness, and so from being a servant or subject unto [o] Christ: And therefore the Spirit of Christ, this spiritual inside King, dwelling in the Apostle Paul, declares, that there is no fellowship between righteousness and unrighteousness, nor no communion between light and darkness, nor no concord between Christ and Belial, nor no harmony between the true believer (that knows [p] God) and the infidel, (and such are all they that truly know not [q] God) and there be further demands, what agreement has the Temple of God with Idols? for you are (says he to the true knowers of God in Corinth) the temple of the living God, as God has [r] said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people, wherefore come out from among them, and be you [s] separate says the Lord, and touch not (mark it well) the unclean thing, and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto [t] you, and you shall be my Sons and Daughters says the Lord [u] Almighty. And therefore it is, that the very same Divine Spirit that dwells in this Spiritual King Jesus, speaking in the Apostle John, requires all his Spiritual and true Subjects, not to love the world, neither the things that are in the world, for, if any man love the world, (that Kingdom of Satan the Prince of Darkness, as) the lusts of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world; and the world (and the vanities and empty pleasures of it) passes away, and the lusts thereof; but he that does the will of God abides for [w] ever.

Yes, the contrariety is so great between the foresaid two Kings and Masters, that whatsoever in the King, or Ruler in the Kingdom of the world, (or fallen, or unrenewed man) and the Subjects thereof, is esteemed highly or excellent, is an abomination in the sight of [x] God: And therefore this spiritual King having purchased all his Subjects and Servants with a glorious price, (as the greatest demonstration of love) of his own blood, by his spiritual Command requires them not to be the servants of [y] men, but to glorify him both in body and [z] soul; and therefore his grown up servant Paul, declares himself to be no man-pleaser, avowing himself that if he were a man-pleaser, he should, nor could not be the servant of Christ.

And therefore the same apostle, by the infallible spirit of the Lord, requires the spiritual Subjects of this spriritual King Jesus, to present their bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which (says he) is your reasonable service; and do not be conformed to this world (the kingdom of the Prince of darkness, but be you transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable and perfect will of a God; and therefore when any man once becomes a spiritual subject of this spiritual King Christ, and dwells in him, he becomes a new creature, and old things in him are passed away, and all things in him are become [b] new, spiritual and savoury, yes even his very thought and his words are found few and divine, his behaviour righteous and solid, his deeds upright, and free like God from all respect of persons: [c] and although there be such a perfect and absolute contrariety between all the laws and constitutions of these two Kings or Masters, and a continual and perpetual war beteen the Subjects thereof, yet the weapons of the warfare of Christ's Spiritual, Heavenly, and glorious Kingdom, handled and used by his Servants and true Subjects, who although they do walk in the flesh, yet do they not war after the flesh, and therefore their weapons of warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God, to the pulling down of strongholds, casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and brins into captivity every thought to the obedience of [d] Christ: The Armour of Proof of these Spiritual warring Subjects and Soldiers of this spiritual glorious King, is to have their loins girded about with truth, and having on them the breastplate of righteousness, and their feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace; above all, taking the Shield of Faith, wherewith they shall be able to quench the fiery darts of the wicked, and taking the Helmet of Salvation, and the Sword of the Spirit, which is the word of [e] God; which Spiritual Sowrd, or Word of God, is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two edged Sword, piercing, even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart; neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his fight, who is this Spiritual sharp Sword, or eternal and everlasting Word of God that endures forever; but all things are naked and opened to the eyes of him with whom we have to [f] do. With which Spiritual Sword this spiritual conquering Lord and King, pricked and wounded to the very heart three thousand of his enemies at once, by the Ministration of his single Spiritual Soldier, the Apostle Peter, which made them bitterly to cry out for a Plaster, and a Physician to heal and cure [g] them: which spiritual Sword is the only and alone weapon that this glorious, conquering, spiritual King uses to fight withall against all enemies, the powers of the Prince of Darkness of this world, and with which only and alone he conquers and [h] overcomes carnal Weapons of any kind whatsoever, having no place, nor being of no use at all in his spiritual Kingdom, for his Subjects are to love their enemies, to do good unto their haters, and to resist or reuite their evil with [i] good, and to dwell in love towards all men, as the God of love himself dwells in [k] love, and to be holy as God is [l] holy, and perfect as he is [m] perfect, and therefore not in the least to draw temporal weapons against their enemies; for among the true and real Saints of the Lord in the mountain of the Lord, where the Lord himself is the inward and soul-teacher and instructor of his people and Subjects in his own ways, there all the temporal swords are to be beat into plowshares, and their earthly spears into pruning-hooks, and no more using of carnal swords, or so much as learning of earthly war, is to be exercised among [n] them, but they are to walk in the pure, holy, and peaceable light of the Lord, which seal and will lead the sanctified, justified and redeemed soul to advancement, or set up the innocent, harmless, peaceable lamb-like nature, or seed of Christ, to become Lord and King in the heart of, and over the Lion-like warring; devouring, and destroying wicked nature of the serpent, the devil, and satan, within man, yes in the Gospel-mount of God, or the spiritual kingdom of Christ (under the Gospel dispensation) the habitation of the true Saint of God; The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid, and the calf, and the young lion, and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed, their young ones shall lie down together. And the lion shall eat strw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the Cockatrice Den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy [o] mountain, says God; For the earth shall be full of the Knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the Sea. Yes, they shall be far from [p] Oppression: Yes, and violence hall no more be heard in the Land; (of the spiritual Kingdom, inhabited by the spiritual subjects, or true Saints of Christ, nor) wasting, nor destruction within their borders; but they shall call their wall salvation, and their Gates Praise. The Sun (or borrowed humane Lights, or Rudimental Ordinances) shall be no more thy Light (says God) by day, neither for brightness shall the Moon give Light unto thee: but the Lord shall be unto thee everlasting Light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended. They people shall be all Righteous, they shall inherit the Land forever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified. A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation; I the Lord will hasten it in his [q] time.

In all which consideration, I say, I have now the faithful and true witness in my soul, that the Lord himself is become within me, the Teacher of my soul, and enabler of me to walk in a measure of his pure ways and paths; yes, and so clear a teacher within me, is he already become unto me, as that I with confidence believe my inward Teacher shal, never now more be removed into a corner; but it, and shall be as a continual voice speaking in my ears; This is the way, walk in [r] it: By which divine teaching I am now daily taught to die to sin, and led up by it into living power, to be raised up, and enabled to live in a pure measure of Righteousness; and by which inward spiritual teachings, I am, I say again, led up into power in Christ, by which I particularly can, and do hereby witness, that I am already dead, or crucified, to the very occasions, and real grounds of all outward wars, and carnal sword-fightings and fleshly buslings and contests; and that therefore I confidently now believe, I shall never hereafter be a user of a temporal sword more, nor a joiner with those that so do. And this I do ... ... solemnly declare, nor in the least to my old persecution, or for any politic ... of my own or in the least for the satisfaction of the ... wills of any of my great adversaries, or for satisfying the carnal will of my poor weak, afflicted wife, but by the special movings and compulsions of God now upon my soul, am I in truth and righteousness compelled this to declare, that so I may take away from my adversaries all their fig-leaf covers, or pretences of their continuing of my everyway unjust bonds; And thereby, if yet I must be an imprisoned sufferer, it may from this day forward be for the truth, as it is in Jesus: Which truth I witness to be truly professed and practiced by the savouriest of people called quakers: and to this my present declaration, which I exceedingly long and earnestly desire to have in print, and for which I know that I can cheerfully and assuredly lay down my life, if I be called to witness the truth of it, I subscribe my outward name,

the new, or inward
spiritual name, no
man knows but he
that has it.

From my innocent, and every way causeless captivity in Dover-Castle, the place of my soul's delightful and contentful abode, where I have really and substantially found that which my soul many years has fought diligently after, and with unsatisfied longingness, thirsted to enjoy, this present first day of the beek, being the 4th of the 3d. month, 1655.


The End


(a work-in-progress)

[The following marginal citations are in the original text. Biblical text included here is from the New King James Version.]
Mat 24.51
"... and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

Rev. 3.15, 16.

"I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth."

See Mat. 6.5 & 33.13, 14.

I Joh. 5.10.
He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of his Son.
I Joh. 2.13.
James 4.1, 2, 3, 4.
Eph. 2.2, 3, 5, & 16.11.

2 Cor. 4.4.


Jam. 1.13, 14, 15.


Joh. 12.3. and 16.11.


Rom 6.16. 20.


2 Tim. 2.26.


2 Pet. 2.19.


1 Joh. 3.8. 10.



Rom. 6.20, 22, 23. and 16.13, 14.
2 Pet. 2.19.
NOTES and LINKS -- (Hit 'Back' key of browser to return to text above.)


"tenth month"
Actually, tenth month was December. Until the end of the 1600s, the calendar year began in March.
I John 1:6-8

If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive our selves, and the truth is not in us.
John 16:13

However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.
Mark 6:20

for Herod feared John [the Baptist], knowing that he was a just and holy man, and he protected him. And when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly.