I saw the people gathered together in the yard. The old priest would have had me go into the steeple-house. I said, ‘no, it was no matter.’ But it was strange to the people that I would not go into what they called the house of God. I stood up in the steeple-house yard, and declared to the people that I came not to hold up their idol temples, nor their priests, nor their tithes, nor their augmentations, nor their priests’ wages, nor their Jewish and heathenish ceremonies and traditions, (for I denied all these); and I told them, that piece of ground was no more holy than another piece of ground. I showed them; that the apostles going into the Jews’ synagogues and temples, which God had commanded, was to bring people away from that temple, and those synagogues, and from the offerings, tithes, and covetous priests of that time. That those who came to be convinced of the truth, converted to it, and believed in Jesus Christ, whom the apostles preached, met together in dwelling houses; and that all who preach Christ, the word of life, ought to preach freely, as the apostles did, and as he commanded.
So I was sent of the Lord God of heaven and earth to preach freely, and to bring people off from these outward temples made with hands, which God dwells not in; that they might know their bodies to become the temples of God and of Christ; and to draw people off from all their superstitious ceremonies, Jewish and heathenish customs, traditions, and doctrines of men; and from all the world’s hired teachers, that take tithes, and great wages, preaching for hire, and divining for money; whom God and Christ never sent, as themselves confess, when they say, they never heard God’s nor Christ’s voice.
I exhorted the people to come off from all these things, directing them to the spirit and grace of God in themselves, and to the light of Jesus in their own hearts; that they might come to know Christ, their free teacher, to bring them salvation, and to open the scriptures to them. Thus the Lord gave me a good opportunity to open things largely to them. All was quiet, and many were convinced; blessed be the Lord. -George Fox