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above eleven hundred years, ever-since the Saxons conquered the Britons.
When this book was published, the priests in the country began to rage, especially the priests of Wolverhampton ; who had a great hand in the several troubles I underwent. In short, they never ceased 'till they had procured a large indictment against me at Stafford aflizes ; where I felt the power of God, enabling me to speak before a great number of people ; being accused of heresy, &c. But I truly answered, as my beloved brother Paul did in his day, viz. In that way which some call herefy, so chufe I to serve the God of my fathers, believing all that is written in the law and the prophets.
Afterthe long indi&ment was read, I was asked if I pleaded guilty, or not guilty. I said I was not guilty of any evil, that I knew of, in writing that book ; but if they meant whether I wrote the book or not (for they had quoted many pages of the book in that indictment) I owned I did write it; and that if I might have liberty to speak, I believed I should make it manifest to be the plain truth of God.
Then the judge stood up, and said, “ Mr. Elwall, 6. I suppose you have had a copy of your indict66 ment?” I told him I had not had any copy of it. Upon which he turned towards the priests, and told them that I ought to have had a copy of it. But they not answering he turned to me, and said,
That if I would give bail, and be bound to appear at the next assizes, he would defer my trial 'till then, But I told him, I would not give bail, neither should any man be bound for me; that if the prince of Wales himself would, he should not ; for, said I, I have an innocent breast, and I have injured no man; and therefore I desire no other favour, but that I may have liberty to plead to the indi&tment myself.
Upon which he said, very courteously, You may. The judge having given me liberty of pleading to the indictment, I began my speeeh with the sacred first commandment of God, viz. Thou shalt have no other gods but Me. I infifted upon the word Me being a fingular; and that it was plain and certain, that God spake of himself, as one single person or being, and not three distinct persons. And that it was manifest, that all the church of God, which then heard those words, understood it in the fame plain obvious fenfe as I do; as is most evident from the words of the prophet Moses: who said to Ifrael thus; Unto thee it was jewed, that thou mightest know, that the Lord he is God, there is none else besides him; out of heaven he made thee hear his voice, & c. I told them, that from the words he, and him, and bis, it was certain God was but one single person, one fingle he, or him, or his. I told them that all the patriarchs from the beginning of the world did always address themselves to God, as one single
being. O thou Most High God, posessor of heavert and earth; and Abraham said to the king of Sodom, I have lift up my hand unto the Lord, the Most High God, the polesor of heaven and earth, &c. They knew nothing of a trinity, nor of God's being a plurality of persons; that monstrous doctrine was not then born, nor of two thoumnd years after, 'till the apostacy and popery began to put up its filthy head.
Then I told them, that all the prophets witnessed to the truth of the same pure uncorrupted unitariap doctrine of ore God, and no other but he : Have we not all one Father, hath not one God created us? Then I told them the words of God to Abraham, I am God Almighty, walk before me, and be thou perfekt ; and by the prophet Isaiah, To whom will ye likenome, er hall I be equal, faith the holy One, not the holy Three. I told them that the words Me and One did utterly exclude any other person's being God, but that One single Me; and that God himself often testifies the fame truth, by saying, Is there kny God besides Me? And then tells us plainly, There is no God, I know not any : I am the Lord, and there is none else; there is no God besides me. Isaiah xlv. 5. . , Now, said I, let God be true, but every man a liar, that is, every man that contradicteth him ; for he is the God of truth; he says, I lift up my hand ta "heaven, I say, I live for ever.
After I had pleaded many texts in the Old Teftament, I began to enter the New; and told them, that our Lord Jesus Christ, the prophet, like unto Mofes, held forth the same doctrine that Mofes had done ; for when a certain ruler came to ask him which was the first and great commandment, (or how he expounded it,) he told him the same words that Mofes had faid. Hear, o Ifrael, the Lord thy God is one Lord, not three, and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, &c. And the scribe faid, Thou hast answered right, for there is but one God, and there is no other but he, &c. Then I mentioned the words of Christ in the xviith of John and ver. 3. as very remarkable, and worthy of all their observation : This is life eternal to know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou haft fent. And then I turned my face directly towards the priests (my prosecutors, who all stood on the right side of the judge) Now, said I, since the lips of the blessed Jesus, which always spake the truth, say his father is the only true God; who is he, and who are they that dare set up another, in contradiction to my blessed Lord, who fays, his Father is the only true God?
And I stopped here, to fee if any of them would answer; but the power of God came over them, fo that all their mouths were shut up, and not one of them fpake a word. So that I turned about over my left shoulder, and warned the people, in the fear of
God, not to take their religious sentiments from men, but from God : not from the pope, but from Christ; not from prelates nor priests, but from the. prophets and apostles.
And then I turned towards the judge, and told him, that I was the more convinced of the truth of what I had said from the words of my blessed Lord; who faid, Call no man Father here upon earth; for one is your Father, even God. And call no man Masters for one is your Master, even Chrift. From hence, faid I, I deduce this natural inference, that in all things that are of a spiritual nature, we ought to take our religion from God and his prophets, from Christ and his apostles. It will be too long to mention all the texts and proofs that I made use of; I will only add one or two, as that of Paul, 1. Cor. yiii. 4, 5, 6. where the apostle tells us, There is no other God but one ; for though there be that are called gods (as there be gods many, and lords many) both in heaven and earth; but to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things; so that I told them, here was a plain demonstration ; for he says, there is but one God: and he tells us who that one God is, that is, the Father. And therefore no other person could be God but the Father only; and what I had wrote in my book was the plain truth, and founded on God's own words, Thou malt have no other Gods but me.