Donald R. Sutherland
Volume 34 (1990)
Gorden-Conwell Theological Seminary
On 16 April 1649 Henry Sanders sent an alarming letter to the Council of State reporting that several individuals had begun to plant vegetables on St. Georges Hill in Surrey. Sanders reported they had invited “all to come in and help them, and promise them meat, drink, and clothes.” They intended to pull down all enclosures and force the people there to come and work with them, and they claimed their number would be several thousand within ten days. “It is feared they have some design in hand.” The Council of State sent the letter to Lord Fairfax, lord general of the army, along with a dispatch stating:
By the narrative enclosed your Lordship will be informed of what hath been made to this Council of a disorderly and tumultuous sort of people assembling themselves together not far from Oatlands, at a place called St. Georges Hill; and although the pretence of their being there by them avowed may seem very ridiculous, yet that conflux of people may be a beginning whence things of a greater and more dangerous consequence may grow.1
Fairfax was then ordered to disperse the group and prevent a repetition of the event.
Three days later Fairfax received a letter from the officer charged with dispersing the group. The officer reported his meeting with a “Mr. Winstanlie and Mr. Everard,” the “chief men that have persuaded these people to do what they have done.” He wrote that Winstanley and Everard wanted to meet with Fairfax and that the general would “be glad to be rid of them again, especially Everard, who is no other than a mad man.” After reporting his intentions to pursuade the group to leave, the officer casually remarked that “the business is not worth the writing nor yet taking notice of.”2
Bulstrode Whitelocke recorded of Winstanley and Everards interview with Fairfax i his Memorials. Everard, the apparent spokesman, said he was of the race of the Jews and that God would restore his peoples freedom to enjoy the fruits of the Earth. He spoke of receiving a vision telling him to plough the earth as an attempt to “restore the Creation to its former condition.” They did not intend to knock down enclosures or touch other mens property, but simply to till the commons until all men should join them. During the entire interview Winstanley and Everard refused to remove their hats, for, to them, Fairfax was “but their fellow creature.”3
William Everard, however, soon left this group, known as the Diggers, and thereafter Gerrard Winstanley was their chief spokesman.4 Winstanley defended the movement and complained about the mistreatment its members received in the year that they cultivated the commons. Examples of this mistreatment were numerous. Some of Fairfaxs soldiers beat a man and boy and set fire to one of the groups houses.5 In the same month two freeholders, William Starr and John Taylor, with some men in womens clothing, assaulted four Diggers. In July Winstanley and several other Diggers were arrested on the charge of trespassing on St. Georges Hill.6 In January 1650 Winstanley listed the many insults which the Diggers had suffered, including: being shut up in Walton church twice; having their houses, tools, and carts repeatedly damaged; their tools broken and carts cut to pieces; their crops destroyed; and their persons beaten and arrested.7
In February, Winstanley wrote to defend the Diggers against charges labelling them as Ranters, a group of sexual revolutionaries. In a postscript to this defense, Winstanley recorded that imposters were going about the country soliciting funds for the Diggers by showing a letter purportedly bearing his signature. The document was a forgery, Winstanley insisted: “we desire if any are willing to cast a gift in . . . that they would send it to our owne hands by some trustie friend of their owne.”8
The Digger movement in Surrey ebbed in early 1650 and in March members were driven off St. Georges Hill. Yet, in the spring they continued their work on a nearby heath in Cobham, despite harassment. In April the movement collapsed when a Parson Platt, the lord of the manor, and several others destroyed the Diggers houses, burned their furniture, and scattered their belongings. Platt threatened the Diggers with death if they continued their activity and hired several guards to prevent their return to the heath. Winstanley recorded these events as well as a final defense of the Digger movement.9
Very little is known about Winstanleys life prior to the Digger movement, other than what can be gathered from his own writings. He was born in Lancashire, probably in 1609, and raised to be a tradesman. At the beginning of the Civil War he was engaged in the cloth trade and a member of one of the City Companies of London. Probably as a result of the war, Winstanley suffered bankruptcy, and in 1649 he apparently earned his living by tending his neighbors cattle.10 More, yet only a little, is known of Winstanleys life after the Diggers dispersal in 1650. In particular, funds from his father-in-law greatly improved his social status in the late 1650s. After the death of his first wife and subsequent remarriage he cut his ties to the Digger community and moved to London in 1665. Apparently he died on 10 September 1676.11 Neither the pre-1649 nor the post-1650 period need detain us, however, for in this paper I will concentrate on Winstanleys association with the Digger movement and on his religious arguments in support of the movement.
There are essentially two schools of thought regarding Winstanleys religion and its relationship to the Digger movement. One school considers Winstanleys early mystical writings as largely unimportant as a basis for Digging. Its proponents place great emphasis on a shift from the mystical and millenarian to the rational in Winstanleys thought.12 Winstanleys writing was “couhed in somewhat mystical phraseology, which manifestly serves as a cloak to conceal the revolutionary designs.”13 His vision was a “sudden mental clarification”14 or “his sub-conscious self, clarifying, it may be, the confused discussions he had with the Levellers.”15
The other school holds that Winstanleys primary justification for the Digging experiment was religious. His aim was “to declare the divine desire, intention, and purpose, and thereby warn the wicked and bring assurance to the righteous.” The Diggers activity would usher in the millennium and fulfill the will of God. Winstanleys visions were a major reason for his activity. Even if he only thought he heard directly from God, his visions were still quite important to him.16
The best arguments for the first school of thought have been expressed by Christopher Hill, who formulated the issues as follows: whether Winstanleys God was transcendent or immanent; whether the “millennium” was to be introduced by Christs reappearance or by mans own initiative; whether Winstanley heard a divine voice or not; and, for Winstanley, was private property the cause or consequence of mans Fall?17
On the issue of the transcendent or immanent God, Hill has argued that Winstanley believed God was impersonal and immanent. Hill has pointed out that Winstanley made “Reason” synonymous with “God.” For Winstanley, the creation was ex deo, instead of the orthodox position, ex nihilo. God was not transcendent; Winstanley believed the idea that God existed beyond man was a deception and idolatry.18
Related to this issue was Winstanleys conception of Christs resurrection. J. G. A. Pocock has pointed out that, for Winstanley, the “community of ownership in the earth and the resurrection of Christ are interchangable concepts.” Pocock related this to James Harringtons equating the republic with the “soul of man” and “image of God”; the republic, not the Church, was the “Bride of Christ.” Hill delineated Winstanleys view that Christ would not personally return. Winstanley equated the Resurrection and the Second Coming. For Winstanley, “Jesus Christ . . . is not a single man at a distance from you”; “[Christs] Second Coming in the flesh . . . is justice and judgement ruling in man.” The Second Coming was not a descent of Christ at a later date; it was a continual experience in the hearts of men.
The Digging was not merely symbolic; it was a political act, “part of the rising of Christ in sons and daughters which would establish a just commonwealth on earth.” Hill thinks Winstanley did not distinguish between economic, political, and spiritual freedom; his philosophy was “strictly this worldly.”19
Winstanleys understanding of Christs Resurrection and Second Coming leads to the issue of how the “millennium” would be introduced. Winstanley gave some hints by suggesting there would be no later Second Coming, only Christs repeated Resurrection in men. Hill argues that for Winstanley the antithesis between men transforming the world and Christ reappearing in person to do the job is a false one. Winstanley believed the Second Coming had already begun and that because of this, men had merely to wait until they were filled with Christ, and then take action. An external Messiah would not establish the Kingdom; it would be through the individual spiritual transformation of men and women.20
One of the proofs Winstanley gave for the validity of his message was that he had received it in a vision. On this subject, Hill has much to say and he is consistent.21 Hill does not deny Winstanley believed he had received a divine vision for his instructions. But, Hill thinks it proper to ask if Winstanley actually did receive a vision.22 He describes Winstanleys vision as a “sudden mental clarification,” a message so new that “he attributed it to a divine command.”23 Hill maintains that many seventeenth-century me who were not considered mystics claimed to have had visions.24 Thus, visions and dreams in the seventeenth century may have been the explanations given for “sudden mental clarification” after arduous periods of contemplation over difficult subjects. Hill suggests Winstanley may have had such an experience.25 Since “rational men” do not believe in supernatural visions today, Hill asserts that historians ought to seek alternative explanations for evidence of such occurrences. Supernatural explanations do not convince him.26
Finally, concerning whether Winstanley believed private property the cause or consequence of the Fall, Hill argues Winstanley used the Genesis story as a metaphor for the establishment of private property.27 Hill shows that Winstanley rejected the Genesis myth of the apple as “a cheat imposed by the clergy upon the people.”28 Winstanleys belief ran contrary to the orthodox position, which held the result of the Fall to be a general moral decay following Adam and Eves indulgence in pride. His exclusive association of the Fall with only one vice–private property–led Winstanley to dwell mainly on the evils rising out of that vice and to thereby replace the idea of a universal moral Fall.29
Hill and others assert that concerning the Fall, Winstanleys theology was dialectical.30 “The Fall constitutes the progressive destruction of innocence through the creation of private property.”31 Hill noted that Winstanley ignored the “chicken-egg” question of which came first, private property or the Fall, and that, for Winstanley, the two were inseparable.32 For Winstanley, “no human act is caused by a mere inner compulsion or a simple outer force.”33
The arguments for the second school of thought on Winstanleys religion are represented here by Lotte Mulligan, John K. Graham, and Judith Richards. In this historiographical contretemps, Mulligan, Graham, and Richards fired the first salvo. They engaged Hill in a scholarly debate with their critique of Hills Winstanley: The Law of Freedom and Other Essays.34
Mulligan, Graham, and Richards disagreements with Hill center on what they consider a fundamental error in Hills study of Winstanley. They argue Hills interest in Winstanley arose “from his perception of the seventeenth-century writer as modern.” For them, the “modern” view of Winstanley “misconstrues his intellectual sources and historical significance by minimising the part theology played in his theories of social and moral change.”35 In transforming Winstanley into a modern man, Hill had to “make allowances for the biblical idiom which Winstanley shared with almost all his contemporaries, and try to penetrate through to the thoughts beneath.”36 Mulligan, Graham, and Richards reject this approach, claiming it is impossible to study a “subterranean idea” beneath the language in which that thought is expressed.37
Mulligan, Graham, and Richards agree with Hill that Winstanleys theology was indeed unorthodox, but they argue that this does not mean Winstanley did not have an “alternative theology.” Concerning Gods transcendence or immanence, they assert that for Winstanley God was both.38 From Winstanleys belief in God the Creator, they concluded he believed God to be transcendent. They respond to Hills claim that since Winstanley described the creation as the clothing of God, Winstanley believed that God is the creation and that God does not exist transcendentaly,39 by arguing that, yes, Winstanley did see the creation as Gods raiments, but that did not mean the wearer did not exist.40 Winstanley did not comprehend God and creation as one and the same. Mulligan, Graham, and Richards went one step further by arguing that Winstanley, at least in the pamphlet, Fire in the Bush, believed in a personal God. They have argued that since Winstanley believed God would intervene to establish the millennium, this further proves he believed in a transcedent God.41 In sum, they argued that “the driving force behind Winstanleys thought . . . [was] that moral reformation and freedom both would follow not from changing institutions but through the direct intervention of Christs Second Coming.”42
Mulligan, Graham, and Richards reveal Winstanleys eschatology as dualistic; while “the transformation was to be inward, through God immanently, it was to be brought about by an outward miracle directed by a transcendental God.” Winstanley thought God would transform men internally. He did not anticipate an outward means of bringing about the change in society. On the other hand, Winstanley believed in a literal Second Coming, or, in other words, that Christ would appear in order to affect change in men. Mulligan, Graham, and Richards argue the purpose for digging can be perceived in Winstanleys dualistic eschatology. The digging was the outward symbol of the inward change. It demonstrated Gods power and, it was hoped, would hasten the internal change in mens hearts.43
Another aspect of Winstanleys religion on which Hill and his detractors fundamentally disagree is the nature of Winstanleys voices and visions. As stated above, Hill has not denied the validity of Winstanleys experiences, in as much as Winstanley believed he heard voices or saw visions. But, Mulligan, Graham, and Richards have been relentless in asserting not only that Winstanley believed he heard voices and had visions, but also that the historian should take Winstanleys evidence at face value and not explain it away as “sudden mental clarifications.” The contrast, then, is not over what Winstanley says, but whether it is true or not. Mulligan, Graham, and Richards think that dismissing Winstanleys voices, as Hill does, is to “take unwarrantable liberty with the words [Winstanley] used.”44 Perhaps. But if everyone agree Winstanley believed he heard voices then there is no more dispute over the text and the remaining arguments are over primary assumptions. On this issue Hill is correct; if Mulligan, Graham, and Richards really think Winstanley heard voices the discussion is closed. But Hill has sought alternative explanations.45
Hill suggests Winstanleys theology concerning the Fall is his most heretical belief.46 On the other hand, Mulligan, Graham, and Richards think Winstanley held the traditional position that Pride led to mans Fall and that, therefore, private property was a consequence of the Fall. But they agree Winstanley also believed man fell because of buying and selling and that “the inward bondages of the minde, as covetousness, pride, hypocrisie, envy, sorrow, fears, desperation, and madness, are all occasioned by the outward bondage, that one sort of people lay upon another.”47 Mulligan, Graham, and Richards see in this either an inconsistency in Winstanleys thought or a mere reference to society after the Fall.48 They suggest Winstanley believed in a “universal moral fall” with the particular evil of private property as one result. Thus they disagree with Hill, who argues Winstanley did not believe in a “universal moral fall.”49
In spite of their disagreements over Winstanleys religion, Mulligan, Graham, and Richards, generally agree with Hill when they point to inconsistencies in Winstanleys writings. They refer to such as “dualism” or as mere inconsistency. On the other hand, Hill prefers the term “dialectical.” While Hill claims to observe this aspect throughout Winstanleys writings, his opponents see it only in particular places.50
Hill uses the term dialectical according to the Oxford English Dictionarys definition: “pertaining to the process of thought by which contradictions are seen to merge themselves in a higher truth that comprehends them; and the world process which develops similarly.” Whether or not Winstanley was intentionally dialectical is impossible to determine with certainty, but Hills definition and application of the term to Winstanleys thought are workabe and sufficient to explain apparent contradictions in Winstanleys theology. To Hill this dialectic in Winstanleys thought appears to any reader willing to lay aside his “modern prepossessions.” The OED definition which Hill found acceptable, he also described as a “little too Hegelian.” Surely then this is one of those modern prepossessions which Hill wished to see laid aside.51
Actually, Hills recognition of the dialectical nature of Winstanleys thought was preceded by T. Wilson Hayess obfuscating study of Winstanleys rhetoric. Hayes wrote that, for Winstanley, “no human act is caused by a mere inner compulsion or a simple outer force. He combines references to internal and external forces whenever he gives causal explanations, and he holds to this dialectic throughout his writing career.”52 Hill was particularly keen to point out Winstanleys dialectical approach in the discussion of private property and the Fall.53 Here, Hayess definition fits best; his use of the term dialectic probably best applies to causes for sin. The OED definition is broader and can apply to other problems, such as whether Winstanley thought God existed outside nature or not.
The problem is that a search for dialectical aspects in Winstanleys thought may still be driven by modern assumptions, or assumptions at least alien to a seventeenth-century man or woman. What is needed is a fresher examination of Winstanleys theology, an examination largely free from the debate between Hill and his opponents. Perhaps Winstanleys theology was richer than either Hill or Mulligan, Graham, and Richards have been able to show; freed from their debate, Winstanley might appear different.
This is not say, however, that Hill or Mulligan, Graham, and Richards should be ignored, for they have provided valuable insights. Hill in particular has at least provided a set of interpretive assumptions which have made Winstanleys voluminous and occasional writings somewhat coherent. What follows here is an examination of some aspects of Winstanleys theology which have been largely overlooked or not emphasized by Hill, Mulligan, Graham, and Richards in their historiographical fisticuffs.
Concerning his conception of God Winstanley wrote,
whoever worships God by hear-say, as others tels them, knows not what God is from light within himselfe; or that thinks God is in the heavens above the skyes; and so prays to that God which he imagines to be there and every where: but from any testimony within, he knows not how, nor where; this man worships his owne imagination, which is the Devill.54
Winstanley also used the word Reason for God because “I have been held under darknesse by that word [God], as I see many people are.”55 Hill has already pointed this out.56 But there were some other aspects of Winstanleys conception of God which Hill has not discussed.
Winstanley first asserted that God was Reason in The Saints Paradice and later explained his assertion more fully.57 When the first Digger leader, William Everard, was arrested in April 1649 Winstanley penned a defense of Everard and himself. He wrote a vindication in defense against the slanderous charges made by the Kingston parish ministers and others. Apparently both were accused of “blasphemous opinions: as to deny God, and Christ, and Scriptures, and prayer. . . ” Winstanley devoted almost the entire introduction of that work to an explanation of his use of the word Reason for God.58
Winstanley wrote, “Reason is that living power of light that is in all things.” For Winstanley, Reason was an active force guiding love, justice, and wisdom. Without Reason there would be madness and disorder. The end of love, justice, and wisdom was the preservation of the whole creation.59
Winstanley also addressed the relationship between human reason and Reason. He likened mans reasoning to a “creature which flows from that Spirit to this end, to draw up man into himself” or to “a candle lighted by that soul.” But this light, because it shines through flesh, “is darkened by the imagination of flesh.” The “Spirit” to which Winstanley referred was Reason, in which mans reason finds its source. Likewise, Winstanley referred to mans reason as candle light, but the candle was lit by “that soul,” or Reason. Mans reason provided for some illumination of many things, but not of everything because of the flesh. The Spirit Reason, or God, guided every mans reason in order to bind “every creature together into a onenesse; making every creature to be an upholder of his fellow.” Thus Winstanley defined Reason as a moral guide to which man either accommodated or distanced himself.
Winstanley also wrote that Reason was not the only name for the “spirituall power”; according to him, “every one may give him a name according to that spirituall Power that they feel and see rules in them.” Although he contemplated the idea that God was not captured merely by his own definition of Him, Winstanley was dissatisfied with traditional notions of God as “chief maker or Governor.” He chose Reason because he perceived God as “that living powerfull light” and not simply as words. Winstanley encouraged people to “rest no longer upon words without knowledge” and instead “look after that spirituall power; and know what it is that rules them, and which doth rule in and over all, and which they call their God and Governor or preserver.” In other words, Winstanley considered the terms “chief Maker or Governor” too impersonal. He wanted his readers to know the God behind their pastors words, a powerful God pervading everything and sustaining everyone, not just a privileged few.60
Winstanleys vitriolic and extreme anticlericalism contained an element of method. His stress on experience over and above mere knowledge of the words of others laid the foundation for his criticism of the clergy. In an earlier work, Winstanley wrote that “[h]e that preaches from the book and not from the anointing is no true minister but a hireling that preaches only to get a temporal living.”61 In another early work, Winstanley gave fuller expression to his criticism:
Corrupt wisdom is forcibly pressed upon the Saints instead of the free grace of God. Man will not believe that God will now give his spirit to tradesmen, as formerly He gave it to fishermen, but believe that only those who have human ordination may teach. Thus the flesh labors to kill Gods witnesses by getting an authority from magistrates to make ecclesiastical laws. . . . Ecclesiastical power is not ordained of God but is got by crafty men from Kings, to kill the truth and persecute the Saints.
In this tract Winstanley spoke of upheaval leading to reform. One result would be that “[t]radesmen will speak by experience the things they have seen in God, and the learned clergy ill be slighted.” In The Saints Paradice, Winstanley wrote that “the time approaches when the spirit will begin to appear in the flesh . . . and when the ignorant become learned in the experimental knowledge of Christ.”62
Winstanley always laid great stress on individual experience against the presumptions of the clergy and scholars. He desired for everyone to speak “his own words, not another mans as the Preachers do, to make a trade of it.” He railed against collecting tithes while many lived in poverty and accusingly exclaimed that “Priests and zealous professors” worshiped the devil.63 In an introductory letter to Truth Lifting Up its Head, Winstanley asserted that clergy and scholars did not have “the alone priviledge to judge; for the People having the Scriptures, may judge by them as well.” He assumed that although scholars could translate Hebrew and Greek, “to say this is the originall Scripture you cannot: for those very Copies which the Prophets and Apostles writ, are not to be seen in your Universities.” Further, scholars could not compare their copies with the original manuscripts, for “you doe not know that but as your Fathers have told you.” With all the different translations and interpretations, Winstanley wondered which should be trusted. Scholars debates confused the people who generally agreed with Winstanley that scholars could not claim the sole privilege to judge Scriptures by the Spirit, for “the Spirit is not confined to your Universities; but it spreads from East to West, and enlightens sons and daughters in all parts.”64
Winstanleys goal was to reveal the errors of clerics and scholars, to reveal them as blasphemers even as they accused him of blasphemy. Winstanley ended by writing that after the apostolic period passed, “then began false Christs and false Prophets to arise, that speak from tradition of what they had read in Books; expounding those writings from their imaginary thoughts . . . and to punish such as speak from the testimony of Christ within them.”65
Winstanleys criticism of the clergy and scholars, his preference for Reason–a God who was not wholly other–and his stress upon personal experience were woven together with his peculiar biblical hermeneutic. Regarding Winstanley and the Bible, Hill proved that Winstanley was unorthodox. Winstanley was fond of making allegories of such biblical stories as the Fall, Cain and Abel, and the Israelites entering Canaan. A new examination of Winstanleys use of the Bible is needed, not to discount Hill, but to show that much of Winstanleys use of Scriptures was homiletical and probably stemmed largely from his religious individualism.66
In an early work, Winstanley wrote that what was important was not the Apostles writings but the spirit that inspired them. Thus everyone might understand Scripture by possessing the spirit even if they had not been taught by others. Again, in Truth Lifting Up Its Head, Winstanley asserted that “the Spirit within” must prove which copies of Scripture were true and that this spirit was “not confined to your Universities.” He defined the Gospel as “the Spirit that ruled in the Prophets and Apostles, which testified to them. . . . Secondly, then their writings is [sic] not the Spirit; but a report or declaration of that law and testimony which was within them.”67
Winstanley rejected the charges that he denied the Scriptures. He called the writings of the Apostles “reports or declarations” of the Gospel. The writings themselves were not the Gospel. Winstanley seemed to argue that the importance of the written Scripture would pass as each individual experienced “that the Father dwels and rules in him.” The “declaration or report of words out of the mouth or pen of men, shall cease; but the spirit endures for ever; from whence those words were breathed: as when I have the thing promised, the word of the promise ceases.”68
Regarding the assertion that the Scriptures are God because the Word wasGod, Winstanley answered that if God is the written word, then He has been torn to pieces by “the bad interpretations of imaginary flesh.” Winstanley interpreted the spirit as the Word and the Scriptures as the testimony of men about that spirit. He encouraged his readers to “learne to put a difference betweene the Report, and the thing Reported of.”69
Winstanley had little use for biblical scholarship. He warned
whosoever takes those Scriptures, and makes exposition upon them, from their imagination, and tels you that is the word of God, and hath seen nothing: That they are the false Christs and false Prophets. . . . Men must speak their own experienced words, and must not speake thoughts.
When speaking thoughts men spoke from their imaginations, or what was more likely, from the imaginations of others. If his readers must listen to other men on Scripture, then they ought “read the record.” That is to say, they should study the biblical text itself.70
Moreover, Winstanley argued that without the spirit, the Scriptures were worth considerably less. When charged with denying the value of Scripture as a rule to live by, Winstanley responded that the “Law and Testimony to which I must have recourse for my comfort, is not the words or writings of other men without me; But the spirit of the Father in me, teaching me to know him by experience . . . this is the Law and Testimony.”71 For Winstanley, the Scriptures were insufficient because they were not his own words but those of men with similar experience. Yet Winstanley did not deny the truth of Scripture but argued that its truth could be perceived with the spirits witness, “when I look into that record of experimentall testimony, and finde a sutable agreement betweene them, and the feeling of light within my own soule, now my joy is fulfilled.” Scriptures were to be used as records of “pure experience, and teachings of the Father.” However, Winstanley wrote that men may not teach or “passe construction [upon] the meaning, by way of office,” because “no man can safely tell another, this is a positive truth of God, till he have the same testimonial experience within himself as the penmen of Scripture had.” Winstanley knew no other way of expounding upon Scriptures than to demonstrate the personal workings of the spirit within each individual.72
Hill wrote that Winstanley should be read like a poet, that is to say, “concerned not too pedantically with the letter, but with the spiritual content.” Hill also felt Winstanley “drew on Bible stories largely because he thought they would help his contemporaries to understand him.” It was probably true that Winstanleys contemporaries were familiar with biblical imagery. However, Winstanley did not use it as contemporary biblical scholars did.73
In one of his early writings, Winstanley used the story of the Fall to show that all men and women would be saved. The serpent of selfishness found its way into the heart of Adam but, Winstanley argued, God could not destroy Adam, for “God would suffer dishoner because his work is spoiled.” What would be destroyed was the Serpent. When this work was finished, God “will dwell in the whole creation . . . without exception, as he dwelt in Christ.”74 Winstanley repeated this idea in The Breaking of the Day of God. He also noted that the Old Testament law and ceremonies “were types, making known how Christ should come in the flesh.” And he further compared the “sin of the Jews . . to keep to Moses after Christ came” to the “sin of the gentiles to keep to the letter of the Apostles after God has taken up his saints into spiritual enjoyment of Himself.”75
The Breaking of the Day of God is essentially a commentary on the book of Revelation. The particular passage of interest to Winstanley was: “And I will grant my two witnesses power to prophesy for one thousand two hundred and sixty days, cloathed in sackcloth” (Revelation 11:3 Revised Standard Version). Winstanley explained the testimony of the witnesses, who they are, the meaning of the 1260 days, how the witnesses died, and their resurrection.76 He argued that the testimony of these two witnesses is “that Jesus and his Saints make one perfect man.” The two witnesses are “Christ in the flesh and Christ in the spirit or the mystical body of the Saints.” The biblical text says the two witnesses are “the two olive trees and the two lampstands which stand before the Lord of the earth” (Revelation 11:4). Winstanley explained that the olive trees and lampstands “typified” the two witnesses. Out of this he developed explanations of other types. Zerubbabel, “chief of the fathers of Israel,” is a type of Christ and Joshua the type of the “mystical body of Saints before God caused their iniquity to pass away.” The battle of Christ against the beast typifies “the struggle of the Saints against the wisdom of the flesh,” and Heaven “either God or the Church.” The 1260 days calls to mind the time from Christs baptism to his death, and “the battle of Christ against the dragon, and also the struggle between spirit and flesh in every believer.” The death of the witnesses reveals “the struggle of the beast against the Saints.” He also likened the death of the witnesses to the Churchs persecution of the saints.77
Winstanley concluded by asserting that the two dead witnesses would rise again. With a comment on Revelation 9:12 ff, he compared the judgment and destruction described in these verses to his own time. Winstanley thought the “kingdom of Christ” already had begun to appear among the Saints. The earthquake described in chapter eleven of Revelation signified “God shaking down the false forms of pretended divine worship, and also kings, parliaments, universities, and human learning–all that stands in the way of His work.”78 He also interpreted the conflicts described there as typical of the struggle between internal or personal experience and the outward forms of the Church; this was the struggle between the Saints and the ecclesiastical authorities.79
In Truth Lifting Up its Head, Winstanley discussed the stories of the Creation and the Fall, asserting Adam, or the first man, endeavoured “to make himself a Lord over his fellow creatures . . . seeking to advance himself, though it be to others ruine.”80 Hill argues Winstanley did not believe a single man named Adam really existed.81 It is true Winstanley wrote, concerning Adam, the Serpent, the Garden, the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, the Fall, and the promise of redemption, that “wheather there was any such outward things or no, it matters not much, if thou seest all within, this will be thy life.”82 This was generally consistent with his stress upon individual experience over reliance upon the words of others or cold acceptance of the biblical letter. However, Winstanley described Adam in a three-fold sense:
First, Adam, or first man, that went astray from his Maker, which lived upon earth many thousand yeares agoe, which the eyes of every man is upon.
Secondly, Every man and woman that lives upon the objects of the creation, and not in and upon the spirit that made the creation, . . . make up but the one first man: so that we may see Adam every day before our eyes walking up and downe the street.
But Thirdly, I see the two Adams in every man: The first Adam hath his time to rule first in me; when the chiefe powers . . .. lead me forth to looke after objects . . . more then in the spirit . . . till the fulnesse of time come . . . that the second Adam, Christ, shall come . . . and deliver me from his bondage.83
Clearly, Winstanley believed in an historical Adam but found meaning only in the universal Adam who lives in all men and women. The second Adam, or second man, is “the well-beloved Son” and “a mighty man.” The second man contrasts with the first who drew men away from God; the second “draws mankinde back againe to his maker.” Furthermore, just as the first Adam is in every man, so the second man will rule in all men and women.84
Early in 1649, Winstanley wrote his first defense of digging, The New Law of Righteousnes, presenting fuller allegorical explanations of some scriptural passages. Prior to this time he seems to have contented himself with spotlighting certain passages from Genesis and Revelation in order to demonstrate mans internal struggles with the Serpent, the Saints struggles with ecclesiastical power, and the coming of Christ in all men and women.
In an introductory letter, “To the Twelve Tribes of Israel that are Circumcised in Heart, and Scattered Through All the Nations of the Earth,” Winstanley set the tone and established the imagery he would adopt in this work. He said the “seed of Abraham” lay hidden in his readers hearts, an internal blessing which, like Jacob, “is hated, persecuted and despised.” The rising up of Jacob would mean the fall of Esau. Those with Jacobs blessing, “Abrahamites,” were Jews, for “it is Abrahams promised seed that makes a Jew.”85
Winstanley seems to have adopted a certain type of docetism, when he argued
it was not the man of the flesh that was called Abraham, but the Law of righteousnesse and peace, that did rule and govern in that body, he was the Abraham; the flesh is honoured with such a name by him that dwelt therein; the name of the flesh before this righteous power was manifest in it, was Abram.
Accordingly, the “body called Christ, was not the anointing, but the Spirit in that body, was the Christ.” The Spirit Christ, the “spreading power,” is able to fill all with himself. The “new Law of righteousnesse and peace, which is rising up, is David your King.” Winstanley believed the coming of the “New Jerusalem” would not arrive in the future but in his own time, “the glory of the Lord shall be seen and known within the Creation,” and “then shall Jacob rejoyce, and Israel shall be glad.”86
In the main text of The New Law of Righteousnes, Winstanley began by repeating much of what he had written in Truth Lifting Up its Head. He repeated his argument of the first Adam, stressing more the evil of private land ownership. He wrote, “let all men say what they will, so long as such are Rulers as cals the Land theirs, upholding this particular propriety ofMine and Thine; the common-people shall never have their liberty.”87
Winstanley described “the mystery of the Spirit” or the method by which self-interestedness could cease. The Spirit could make man forsake the first Adam and make him “delight in the Spirit Reason.” Winstanley argued the Spirit demonstrated this in three dispensations. God called Moses to reveal in him “types, shadows, sacrifices; that man-kind by them might be led to see his Maker.” The “Apostolical testimony” also witnessed “the Lamb Jesus Christ, that was the substance of Moses.” The third dispensation is by “Divine discovery” where “the Lord takes up all into himself . . . and acts through all.” Winstanley argued that Moses and Jesus are types and that “the same Spirit that filled [Christ], should be sent into whole mankind.” As Moses gave way to Christ, the “Moses administration began to be silent.” Likewise, Christ gave way to “the holy Ghost, or spreading Spirit.” Furthermore, those still living “in dipping, in water and observation of Gospel-forms and types, live yet under the ministration of Jesus Christ after the flesh.” Winstanley called for the cessation of these outward forms to allow the Spirit Christ to rise up “in sons and daughters, which is his second comming.” Winstanley likened those under the “Moses ministration,” to those who “worship Christ at a distance in their severall Congregations and forms,” calling both groups persecuters. The former persecuted Christians, the latter were enemies to the “ministration of Christ in Spirit and in truth.” Winstanley also compared this persecution of the Saints to the Egyptian bondage of Israel.88
Winstanley described the struggle within each man “for government in him” as a struggle between two powers, Jacob and Esau, “the two Adams in mankind.” The first Adam strove to kill the Spirit Christ through covetousness. He “branches himself forth . . . to fetch peace into himself, from objects without himself.” The second Adam, or “man of Righteousnesse Christ . . . spreads himself as far as the other, to undermine him.” This second Adam was content with poverty and “to live upon providence . . . killing thy discontented covetousnesse.” Winstanley compared the first Adam to Esau, “that stepped before Jacob, and got the birthright, by the Law of Equity was more properly Iacobs.” Jacob, of course, typifies the second Adam.89
Winstanley thought it was time for Jacob to rise and restore the Earth to a common treasury; it was time for David to reign again. He warned “Lord Esau” that “the poor begins to receive the Gospel.” He encouraged the “Tribes of Israel, that are now in sackcloth,” for they would be delivered. Winstanley triumphantly declared that “the voice of the Lord, work together and eat bread together, doth advance the law of Reason and Righteousnesse.” Landowners who refused to submit he compared with Pharoah, “who is their type.” Winstanley called for the release of Israel, so that they might “work all together, Eat bread altogether.”90
Winstanley saw the forbidden fruit causing the Fall in the Garden not as a “single fruit called an Apple” but rather the “objects of Creation,” the fruit of the “Seed . . . that made all things: As riches, honours, pleasures.” This was “the messe of pottage” which Esau craved and preferred over righteousness and exchanged for his birthright. Therefore, man should not blame one man, who died thousands of years ago, “but blame himself, even the powers of his own flesh, which lead him astray.”91
To drive home his argument, Winstanley urged his readers to internalize biblical history. Adam and Christ, Cain and Abel, Abraham, Moses, and Israel were to be seen within. The “Canaanites, Amalekites, Philistines . . . are to be seen within you, making war with Israel, Christ within you,” as well as the land of Canaan, a place of rest. Within, too, lives the traitor Judas, “a treacherous self-loving and covetous spirit.” he stone that covered Christs grave is inward unbelief; its removal, liberty. Internalized, Heaven and Hell appear as the powers of light and darknesss.92 Any glory seen with the eyes is “but the breaking forth of that glorious power that is seated within,” and furthermore, those who look for Heaven “but within your selves, you are deceived.” Moreover, since Hell is in each man and woman, torment and terror do not come from any outward location, thus, man may only be troubled by internal problems. A troubled conscience, “thinking every bush to be a devil to torment him” arises “from the anguish of his tormenting conscience within.” Concerning a physical Hell, Winstanley was agnostic; since no one had returned from the grave to testify, “men ought to speak no more than they know.”93
Winstanley ended this pamphlet with a scathing attack on the clergy, whom he called them the “Scribes and Pharisees” of the universities–“the standing ponds of stinking waters.” The clergy inhabited the houses of opposition; the Churches, the successors of Jewish Synagogues, oppressed the Saints because “out of these despised ones, doth the spirit rise up more and more to clearer light, making them to speak from experience.” The end of the persecution was to hinder Christ; “whereas people should all look up to him for teaching . . . the schollars would have the people to look up to them for teaching.” Winstanley called the clergy “Witches and Deceivers” for they picked the peoples purses by “divination and sorcerie.”94
Hill was right; one reason Winstanley used biblical language was because it was familiar to his readers. However, he used it with a specific purpose in mind. Winstanley wanted to stress the importance of personal experience and to argue for common ownership of the Earth. These very specific goals gave Winstanleys use of Scripture its homiletical quality. Because of his interest in the internal meaning of a passage, Winstanley discounted the bald exegesis of the scholars. The Spirit behind the Scriptures mattered more and sought to inspire all men and women, just as it inspired Moses and the Apostles. Therefore, the Bible should conform or adjust, as it were, to what the Spirit already revealed to each individual to be true.95
The pamphlets Winstanley wrote after the Digger movement began in April 1649, and until the end of that year, were almost all topical and directed at specific audiences.96 Winstanley used much of the same biblical imagery as before in The True Levellers Standard Advanced, a general propagandist address in defense of the Diggers, although he added a play on the two syllables in Adam. Referring to the first Adam as A-dam, because he dammed up “the Spirit of Peace and Liberty,” Winstanley argued that this power in man led to covetousness. He again employed the images of Esau and Jacob as types of “the powers of the Earth” and “the meek Spirit . . . in & among the poor common People.” Winstanley also reasserted his analogy of the Saints as the Israelites in Egyptian bondage. He urged landowners to “Let Israel go Free” and “dis-own this oppressing Murder, Oppression and Thievery of Buying and Selling of Land.”97
In the other pamphlets from this period, Winstanley employed biblical imagery as before. However, early in 1650, near the end of the Digger movement, Winstanley presented his most systematic theology. To explain why Winstanley wrote Fire in the Bush, Hill offers that Winstanley may have wanted to return to religious writing in order to sort out his theology and economics, since he realized the movement was failing and his Digger pamphlets were loaded with historical and legal arguments.98
In Fire in the Bush, Winstanley systematically (and repetitively) explained the Garden of Eden, the Fall, and mans regeneration or salvation.99 Apparently, Winstanley wanted to expand this work, for he listed other chapters proposing to further explain the bondage of Creation, the dispensations of mans history, and th nature of temptation, Heaven, and Hell. In an introduction, dedicated to the churches, Winstanley expressed sorrow and pity for the state of the church. He toned down normally caustic remarks about the clergy, although he continued to argue that they worshipped only an outward Christ. He blamed the churches for helping to maintain private land ownership. He wrote this pamphlet as a plea to know Christ inwardly and to lay open all lands.100
Here, Winstanley expressed his pantheism: the Creation is “the cloathing of God,” all things contain Him and “by him all things consist.” The Garden of Eden represents the earth and mankind in it; the five rivers flowing out of the garden are named after the five senses. The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and the Tree of Life also exist in each man. The Tree of Knowledge, imagination, causes man to fall. This imagination fills men with “feares, doubts, troubles, evill surmisings and grudges.” The Tree of Life, on the other hand, a “restoring power,” causes man to know “sinne and sorrow no more; for all teares now, which blind Imagination brought upon him, are wiped away; And man is in peace.” Winstanley also again referred to this blessing as the seed of Abraham.101
In an expanded chapter on the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, or the “Imaginary power,” Winstanley labelled Imagination the God “which generally every one worships and ownes.” He further described the ones who “know not inwardly, by what spirit or inward power they are ruled.” They live under the curse, driven out of the Garden. That is to say, they are inwardly divided by breaking communion with God, who was in them.
Winstanley called the “dark power” a dragon locked in battle with Michael, fighting in heaven, “that is, in mankinde, in the garden of Eden.” This battle continues in mankind, wrote Winstanley, because the imagination cast the fear of poverty into men, tempting them to covet the possessions of others. Imagination, a “Judas Ministry,” also strove to convince men that Adam, the Serpent, and all the other elements of the Garden were merely outward things. To Winstanley it did not really matter whether these things were outward or not because of the primacy of their inward importance.102
In another enlarged chapter, on the Tree of Life, Winstanley further described evil as a four-fold power equated with the four beasts mentioned in the seventh chapter of the book of Daniel. Optimistic that Christ would destroy these beasts, Winstanley wrote that when “Christ comes, and is glorified with thousand thousands attended upon him, they shall not be cloathed with devouring instruments, like Dragons, but be cloathed with Love, Righteousnesse and Peace.” To encourage his followers, or warn his enemies, Winstanley pointed to history to show that no nation ever lasted for long. Christs working through all men and women would destroy all government and religion. Fire in the Bush expressed Winstanleys optimism of change to come; the clergy, government, and private land ownership would be overthrown soon enough. Thus Winstanleys message was one of hope in the face of impending defeat.103
In his last pamphlet, The Law of Freedom in a Platform, Winstanley continued to employ religious imagery, such as equating covetousness with Cain who killed his younger brother Abel. But mostly the pamphlets religious rhetoric gave way to an historical and more secular basis. Winstanley offered biblical narratives as historical examples rather than interpreting the sacred texts allegorically. For instance, he contrasted the way the promised land was divided among the tribes of Israel (and not the army) with the way the duke of Normandy divided a conquered England among his loyal friends. No longer addressing the Diggers with encouraging words or threatening the clergy with acerbic language, Winstanley sought to remind Oliver Cromwell and the common people who fought aside him against oppression that victory contained some new and profound responsibilities.104
Gerrard Winstanleys theology remained consistently unorthodox. His denial of external forms lent itself to mystical pantheism and rationalism.105 He denied the importance of an external Christ returning in person to bring salvation, favoring instead a spiritual rising up in all men and women. By insisting that neither God nor Christ distances themselves from individuals, but are capable of dwelling in each man and woman as Reason or the Spirit Christ, Winstanley may have been able to instill a sense of immediate hope and optimism in his readers. A comparison of his early works, including The New Law of Righteousnes, with Fire in the Bush, his last truly religious pamphlet, reveals a consistent individualism, regardless of whether his rationalism was mystical or secular. The Law of Freedom also expressed his individualism in much more secular terms. In fact it is difficult to tell the difference between Winstanleys individualist mystical thinking and his individualist secular thought.106
The goal of this study has not been to criticize Hill or praise Mulligan, Graham, and Richards. In fact, it is clear that on most points, Hill was correct. Mulligan, Graham, and Richards, in criticizing Hill for turning Winstanley into a “modern,” ended up turning him into a quasi St. Paul. Winstanley was indeed unorthodox, but his theology and social gospel were rich and worth examining for their own sake, not merely as part of a larger historiographical debate between marxist historians and their opponents.
Donald Sutherland received a B.A. from Virginia Commonwealth University, and a M.A. from the University of Virginia. He now attends Gorden-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Massachusetts. This paper (his M.A. thesis) originated in a seminar on early modern England. The author wishes to thank Professors Martin J. Havran and H.C. Eric Midelfort for their guidance.
- Cited by Lewis H. Berens, The Digger Movement in the Days of the Commonwealth(London: Holland Press & Merlin Press, 1961), 34; Calendar of State Papers, Domestic Series, 1649-1650,ed. Mary Anne Everett Green (Vaduz: Kraus, 1965), 95, 335.
- Berens, Digger Movement,36.
- Bulstrode Whitelocke, Memorials of the English affairs from the beginning of the reign of Charles the First to the happy restoration of King Charles the Second(1682; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1853), 18.
- Gerrard Winstanley, “The True Levellers Standard Advanced,” in The Works of Gerrard Winstanley,ed. George H. Sabine (1945; New York: Russell & Russell, 1965), 247-66.
- Winstanley, “A Letter to the Lord Fairfax and his Councell of War,” in Works,284ff.
- Winstanley, “A Declaration of the Bloudie and Unchristian Acting of William Star and John Taylor of Walton,” in Works, 295.
- Winstanley, “A New-Yeers Gift for the Parliament and Armie,” in Works,392, 393.
- Winstanley, “A Vindication of Those Whose Endeavors is Only to Make the Earth a Common Treasury, Called Diggers,” inWorks,399-403.
- Winstanley, “An Humble Request to the Ministers of both Universities and to all Lawyers in every Inn-a-Court,” in Works, 419-37.
- Winstanley, Introduction, in Works,9.
- Paul H. Hardacre, “Gerrard Winstanley in 1650,” The Huntington Library Quarterly22, 4 (1959): 345-49; Richard T. Vann, “The Later Life of Gerrard Winstanley,” Journal of the History of Ideas26 (1965): 133; James Alsop, “Gerrard Winstanleys Later Life” Past & Present 82 (1979): 73-80.
- Eduard Bernstein, Cromwell and Communism, Socialism and Democracy in the Great English Revolution, trans H.J. Stenning (London: Allen & Unwin, 1930), 114; George Jeretic, “Digger No Millenarian: The Revolutionizing of Gerrard Winstanley,” Journal of the History of Ideas36 (1975): 269, 270; C.H. George, “Gerrard Winstanley: A Critical Retrospect,” in The Dissenting Tradition, Essays for Leland H. Carlson,ed. C. Robert Cole and Michael E. Moody (Athens: Ohio University Press, 1975), 194, 208.
- Bernstein, Cromwell,107.
- Christopher Hill, ed., Winstanley: The Law of Freedom and Other Writings(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983), 24; see also Bernstein, Cromwell,107; David W. Petegorsky, Left-Wing Democracy in the English Civil War; A Study of the Social Philosophy of Gerrard Winstanley (New York: Haskell House, 1972), 182, 206; Max J. Patrick, “The Literature of the Diggers,” University of Toronto Quarterly12, 1 (1942): 101; George, “Winstanley,” 212, 24.
- H.N. Brailsford, The Levellers and the English Revolution(Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1961), 662.
- Winthrop S. Hudson, “Economic and Social Thought of Gerrard Winstanley, Was He a Seventeenth-Century Marxist?” Journal of Modern History18, 1 (March 1946): 10; 21; Walter F. Murphy, “The Political Philosophy of Gerrard Winstanley,” Review of Politics19, 2 (1957): 236.
- Hill has made the point, that these crude either/or issues do injustice to the complexity of Winstanleys thought. However, for the sake of showing where the opposing schools of thought differ, this paper, while conceding that Hill was correct, will use them. See “A Rejoinder,” in Lotte Mulligan, John K. Graham, Judith Richards, and Christopher Hill, “Debate: The Religion of Gerrard Winstanley,” Past & Present89 (1980): 151 (herafter cited as MGRH, “Debate”).
- Christopher Hill, The World Turned Upside-Down, Radical Ideas during the English Revolution (New York: Viking, 1972), 111-14, 313-19; Hill, Winstanley,19, 44ff; Hill, “Religion of Gerrard Winstanley,” Past & Present Supplement5 (1978): 3, 8, 46-48; MGRH, “Debate,” 147.
- Hill, “Religion of Gerrard Winstanley,” 6ff; 6; 49; 29; 53; 56; Hill, World Turned Upside-Down,120.
- MGRH, “Debate,” 148; Winstanley, “The New Law of Righteousness,” in Works,182-83.
- Hill, World Turned Upside-Down,103ff; Hill, Winstanley,23ff; Hill, “Religion of Gerrard Winstanley,” 46, 20-28.
- MGRH, “Debate,” 149.
- Hill, Winstanley,24; Hill, World Turned Upside-Down,103.
- MGRH, “Debate,” 149.
- Hill, “Religion of Gerrard Winstanley,” 22.
- MGRH, “Debate,” 149; Hill, “Religion of Gerrard Winstanley,” 21. Even if the historian accepted the possiblity of divine visions or voices as a matter of faith, in any particular case, it would still be difficult to prove.
- MGRH, “Debate,” 150; Hill, World Turned Upside-Down,163.
- Hill, “Religion of Gerrard Winstanley,” 31.
- MGRH, “Debate,” 150.
- Ibid., 151.
- T. Wilson Hayes, Winstanley the Digger: A Literary Analysis of Radical Ideas in the English Revolution(Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1979), 203.
- Hill, “Religion of Gerrard Winstanley,” 32-34.
- Hayes, Winstanley,15.
- Lotte Mullligan, John K. Graham, and Judith Richards, “Winstanley: A Case for the Man as He Said He Was,” Journal of Ecclesiastical History28, 1 (January 1977): 57-75 (hereafter refered to as MGR, “Winstanley”); Hill, “Religion of Gerrard Winstanley”; MGRH, “Debate.”
- MGR, “Winstanely,” 57; 58.
- Hill, Winstanley, 19.
- MGR, “Winstanley,” 63.
- Ibid., 63; 68-72; MGRH, “Debate,” 144.
- Hill, “Religion of Gerrard Winstanley,” 47.
- MGRH, “Debate,” 145.
- MGR, “Winstanley,” 67ff; 65.
- Ibid., 61n.
- Ibid., 68; 68ff.
- Ibid., 65-67; 66.
- MGRH, “Debate,” 151.
- Hill, “Religion of Gerrard Winstanley,” 32-34.
- Sabine, 520, 511; MGR, “Winstanley,” 72-74.
- MGR, “Winstanley,” 73.
- MGRH, “Debate,” 146; 150.
- MGR, “Winstanley,” 65; 73; MGRH, “Debate,” 151.
- MGRH, “Debate,” 151.
- Hayes, Winstanley,15.
- MGRH, “Debate,” 150.
- Winstanley, “Truth Lifting up its Head above Scandals,” in Works, 107.
- Ibid., 105.
- Hill, “Religion of Gerrard Winstanley,” 8; Hill World Turned Upside-Down,113.
- Winstanley, “The Saints Paradice,” (abstract) in Works,96. See also Hill, “Religion of Gerrard Winstanley,” 8.
- Winstanley, “Truth Lifting up its Head,” 103; 104-105.
- Ibid., 104-105.
- Ibid., 104-106.
- Winstanley, “The Mysterie of God concerning the Whole Creation, Mankinde,” (abstract) in Works,82.
- Winstanley, “The Breaking of the Day of God,” (abstract) in Works,89; 90; 93; see also 96.
- Ibid., 224; 409; 168.
- Ibid., 99-102. This was Winstanleys first fully systematic attack on the clergy. he letter was dated 16 October 1648, while the pamphlet was dated 1649. The letter may have been attached to the pamphlet at publication, but Sabine does not say. See also Hayes, Winstanley,50.
- Ibid., 101; 102.
- Hill, Winstanley, 45, 54-59; Hill, World Turned Upside-Down,114-20, 209-215; Hill, “Religion of Gerrard Winstanley,” 9, 30.
- Winstanley, “Saints Paradice,” 94; 100; 101.
- Ibid., 122.
- Ibid., 123, 124.
- Ibid., 125; 126.
- Ibid., 127-29.
- Hill, Winstanley,54-55; see also Hill,World Turned Upside-Down, 115-17.
- Winstanley, “Mysterie of God,” 81.
- Winstanley, “Breaking of the Day,” 87.
- Winstanley, “Saints Paradice,” 95; 88.
- Ibid., 90.
- Hill, Winstanley, 55.
- Winstanley, “Truth Lifting Up Its Head,” 117.
- Hill, Winstanley,54; Hill, World Turned Upside-Down,115.
- Winstanley, “Fire in the Bush,” in Works,462.
- Winstanley, “Truth Lifting up its Head,” 120.
- Ibid., 120-21.
- Winstanley, “New Law of Righteousness,” 149-50.
- Ibid., 151-54.
- Ibid., 158-59.
- Ibid., 159-63, 191.
- Ibid., 173-75, 179.
- Ibid., 188-89, 194-99.
- Ibid., 177.
- Ibid., 215, 227.
- Ibid., 216-19. Here Winstanleys unorthodoxy clearly lapses into Christian heresy.
- Ibid., 238-42.
- Hill, World Turned Upside-Down,115.
- Hill, “Religion of Gerrard Winstanley,” 24.
- Winstanley, “True Levellers Standard Advanced,” 252; 254ff; 264ff.
- Hill, “Religion of Gerrard Winstanley,” 24-25.
- MGR, “Winstanley,” 68.
- Winstanley, “Fire in the Bush,” 445-49.
- Ibid., 451, 462; 452-54.
- Ibid., 456-62.
- Ibid., 463-72; see also Hill, “Religion of Gerrard Winstanley,” 25.
- Winstanley, “The Law of Freedom in a Platform,” in Works,530; 521-24; 501. For the shift in Winstanleys thought, see Petegorsky, Left-Wing Democracy,178; Jeretic, “Digger No Millenarian,” 269; Bernstein, Cromwell, 114; Hill, Winstanley, 24; and MGR, “Winstanley,” 70.
- Ernst Troeltsch, The Social Teachings of the Christian Churches,trans. O. Wyon (New York and Evanston: Harper Torchbooks, 1960), 2:749; and Perez Zagorin, A History of Political Thought in the English Revolution(London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1954), 46-48.
- Zagorin, History of Political Thought,47; Hill, “Religion of Gerrard Winstanley,” 49.