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James Nayler

Nayler, James, 1617?–1660, English Quaker leader. He served in the parliamentary army during the English civil war. In 1651 he became a Quaker and a disciple of George Fox, but gradually gathered a band of followers about himself. In 1656 he rode into Bristol, his followers crying "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Israel." Nayler's explanation that his disciples were worshiping the "Christ within him" rather than himself did not prevent a parliamentary trial (1656). He was sentenced to be pilloried, whipped, branded, and imprisoned. Nayler was author of a number of well-written religious pamphlets; his collected works were published in 1716.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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