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The Digger Movement in the Days of the Commonwealth As Revealed in the Writings of Gerrard Winstanley, the Digger, Mystic and Rationalist, Communist and Social Reformer   By:

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THE DIGGER MOVEMENT IN THE DAYS OF THE COMMONWEALTH

As Revealed in the Writings of Gerrard Winstanley, the Digger Mystic and Rationalist, Communist and Social Reformer

by

LEWIS H. BERENS Author of "Towards the Light" Etc. Etc.

"Was glänzt ist für den Augenblick geboren; Das Echte bleibt der{1} Nachwelt unverloren." GOETHE.

London Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent, & Co. Ltd. 1906

RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED

TO

THE SOCIETY OF FRIENDS (THE CHILDREN OF LIGHT)

TO WHOM THE WORLD OWES MORE THAN IT YET RECOGNISES AND WHOSE FUNDAMENTAL DOCTRINES THE AUTHOR HAS LEARNED TO LOVE AND ADMIRE WHILST WRITING THIS BOOK

CONTENTS

CHAP. PAGE

I. THE REFORMATION IN GERMANY 1

II. THE REFORMATION IN ENGLAND 12

III. THE GREAT CIVIL WAR 23

IV. THE DIGGERS 34

V. GERRARD WINSTANLEY 41

VI. WINSTANLEY'S EXPOSITION OF THE QUAKER DOCTRINES 52

VII. THE NEW LAW OF RIGHTEOUSNESS 68

VIII. LIGHT SHINING IN BUCKINGHAMSHIRE 79

IX. THE DIGGERS' MANIFESTOES 90

X. A LETTER TO LORD FAIRFAX, ETC. 100

XI. A WATCHWORD TO THE CITY OF LONDON, ETC. 112

XII. A NEW YEAR'S GIFT FOR THE PARLIAMENT AND ARMY 132

XIII. A VINDICATION; A DECLARATION; AND AN APPEAL 146

XIV. GERRARD WINSTANLEY'S UTOPIA: THE LAW OF FREEDOM 162

XV. THE SAME CONTINUED 179

XVI. THE SAME CONTINUED 206

XVII. CONCLUDING REMARKS 228

APPENDIX A. THE TWELVE ARTICLES OF THE GERMAN PEASANTRY, 1525 235

" B. CROMWELL ON TOLERATION 241

" C. WINSTANLEY'S LAWS FOR A FREE COMMONWEALTH 244

BIBLIOGRAPHY 255

INDEX 257

THE DIGGER MOVEMENT

CHAPTER I

THE REFORMATION IN GERMANY

"Whatever the prejudices of some may suggest, it will be admitted by all unbiassed judges, that the Protestant Reformation was neither more nor less than an open rebellion. Indeed, the mere mention of private judgment, on which it was avowedly based, is enough to substantiate this fact. To establish the right of private judgment, was to appeal from the Church to individuals; it was to increase the play of each man's intellect; it was to test the opinion of the priesthood by the opinions of laymen; it was, in fact, a rising of the scholars against their teachers, of the ruled against their rulers." BUCKLE.

What is known in history as the Reformation is one of those monuments in the history of the development of the human mind betokening its entry into new territory. Fundamental conceptions and beliefs, cosmological, physical, ethical or political, once firmly established, change but slowly; the universal tendency is tenaciously to cling to them despite all evidence to the contrary. Still men's views do change with their intellectual development, as newly discovered facts and newly accepted ideas come into conflict with old opinions, and force them to reconsider the evidence on which these latter were based. Prior to the Reformation, many such conceptions and beliefs, at one time holding undisputed dominion over the human mind, had been called into question, their authority challenged, undermined, and weakened, and they had commenced to yield pride of place to others more in accordance with increased knowledge of nature and of life... Continue reading book >>




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