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[79] if it could indeed be called one, was evidently the result of a clouded intellect, and not of wilful intention of evil. On the other hand, many were in favor of putting him to death as a sort of peace-offering to the clergy, who, as a matter of course, were greatly scandalized by Nayler's blasphemy, and still more by the refusal of his sect to pay tithes, or recognize their divine commission.

Nayler was called into the Parliament-house to receive his sentence. ‘I do not know mine offence,’ he said mildly. ‘You shall know it,’ said Sir Thomas Widrington, ‘by your sentence.’ When the sentence was read, he attempted to speak, but was silenced. ‘I pray God,’ said Nayler, ‘that he may not lay this to your charge.’

The next day, the 18th of the twelfth month, he stood in the pillory two hours, in the chill winter air, and was then stripped and scourged by the hangman at the tail of a cart through the streets. Three hundred and ten stripes were inflicted; his back and arms were horribly cut and mangled, and his feet crushed and bruised by the feet of horses treading on him in the crowd. He bore all with uncomplaining patience; but was so far exhausted by his sufferings, that it was found necessary to postpone the execution of the residue of the sentence for one week. The terrible severity of his sentence, and his meek endurance of it, had in the mean time powerfully affected many of the humane and generous of all classes in the city; and a petition for the remission of the remaining part of the penalty was numerously signed and presented to Parliament. A debate ensued upon it, but its

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James Nayler (3)
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