Resistance to Christianity

Chapter 45: Levelers, Diggers and Ranters

By decapitating King Charles (1649), the English Revolution removed God from public affairs. Cromwell’s instauration of a new republic that was profitable for the interests of the small landowners and the bourgeoisie revived with the breath of freedom the fire of working-class insurrection that had not ceased to smolder since the days of John Ball. More than anywhere else, the legends of Robin Hood and the beloved brigand had, in England, illustrated the idea – widely held, all things considered – that robbing the rich to soften the misfortunes of the poor reestablished the natural obligations of solidarity.

The development of Protestantism as the ideology of emerging modern capitalism broke the old structure of the religious myth, at the same time that the barriers and enclosures created everywhere by feudalism and the predominance of the agrarian economy gave way to the free circulation of commodities. Despite the fact that it remained inflexible in its principle of indenturing [its followers to] the masters of the heavens and the earth, religion proceeded towards the status of an ideology in which it was reduced and marginalized by nationalism, liberalism, socialism, fascism and communism. Opening itself to the bourgeois virtues of formal tolerance, and doing so despite the high and mighty, the Protestant religion increased the diversity of the sects like so many chains enclosed in a single ring, forged in a divine spirit of guilt and repressed pleasures.

Such was the vengeance of the Judeo-Christian religions that, stripped of the weapons of divine justice and theocratic language, they impregnated the ideologies that were the most hostile to their playacting rituals with the odors of sacrifice, sin, mortifying compulsion and voluntary servitude.

Levelers and Diggers

At the moment that, according to the formula of Winstanley, “the old world . . . is running up like parchment in the fire,”[1] the Levelers and the Diggers inscribed themselves less in a religious current than in the framework of social and economic revolution.

The favors given to the small landowners by Cromwell led to increases in the price of land rent, which condemned tenant farmers to hire themselves out as day laborers or shepherds. Starting in 1649, the Levelers, under the leadership of John Lilburne (1614-1657), formed the leftwing of Cromwell’s troops.

“Whilst food prices reached famine levels, the Levelers demanded re-election of Agitators and recall of the General Council of the Army. ‘We were before ruled by King, Lords and Commons, now by a General, a Court Martial and House of Commons; and we pray you what is the difference?’ At the end of March [1649], Lilburne, Overton, Walwyn and Prince were arrested. A Leveler pamphlet, More Light Shining in Buckinghamshire, appealed to the soldiers ‘to stand everyone in his place, to oppose all tyranny whatsoever,’ particularly that of the lawyers, enclosed lords of manors and the Army Grandees who have rejected social reform and have done nothing for the poor.

“Next month mutinies broke out in the Army when men who refused to volunteer for service in Ireland were demobilized without payment of arrears – exactly what had driven the Army to revolt two years earlier, though then with the acquiescence of the generals. In May more serious revolts broke out among troops in Oxfordshire, Wiltshire and Buckinghamshire, and there were rumors of civilian support from the Southwest, the old Clubmen area. Cromwell and Fairfax, acting with great rigor and determination, overwhelmingly defeated the mutinous regiments at Burford on 14 May. The period of crisis for the military regime was over. Frightened conservatives rallied to its support, as the lesser evil. Oxford University and the City of London hastened to honor Fairfax and Cromwell. The sermon preached on the latter occasion appropriately denounced those who aspired to remove their neighbor’s landmark. Leveler conspiracies continued (...): but none of them offered a serious threat to the regime so long as the repeatedly purged Army remained securely under the control of the generals.

“Nevertheless, the early months of 1649 had been a terrifying time for the men of property. It was for some time not so obvious to contemporaries as it is to us that the defeat at Burford had been final and decisive. As late as November 1649 Ralph Josselin tells us that men feared to travel because of danger from robbers, and the rich even felt insecure in their own houses. Poor people, he added the following month, ‘were never more regardless of God than nowadays.’”[2]

Isolated from the political scene, in which they figured less through popular support than through a democratic aspiration that animated their speeches and manifestoes, the Levelers revealed, by withdrawing, the presence of rural agitators who were engaged in struggles against the local powers and who were determined to establish collective ownership of the farm lands. The movement of the Diggers was characterized by a clear rejection of religious obedience.

In April 1649, in Walton-on-Thames, six soldiers invaded the church and announced the suppression en bloc of tithes, ministers of agriculture, magistrates, the Bible and the “Sabbath.”[3] Not far from there, day laborers attempted to dig the fallow lands, thereby signifying their seizure of the commons. They chose Sunday in a deliberate attempt to annul the government of time that the Church had arrogated for itself since the Sixth Century.

With the Diggers, the social revolution rejoined the tradition of the incendiaries who annihilated God in his temples and ministers. Ever since 1630, England had experienced a wave of church destruction that prolonged the iconoclasm of the Netherlands in the preceding century, but with more consequence, since the Bible was quite often also condemned to the fire or execration. As Clement Writer, a draper from Worcester wrote in his Fides divina (1657): “No testimony that is fallible and liable to error can possibly be a divine testimony.”[4]

The number of Diggers grew rapidly around Gerrard Winstanley, a small, ruined merchant who became a salaried farmer at Walton-on-Thames.

A vision enjoined him to spread the news that “the earth should be made a common treasury of livelihood to whole mankind, without respect of persons.”[5] Winstanley’s agitation invaded the south and center of England, where the Diggers dug, added manure to and seeded the communal fallow lands. While Winstanley produced many pamphlets between 1649 and 1650, John Lilburne, the leaders of the Levelers, condemned the “erroneous tenets of the poor Diggers” and “repudiated any idea of abolishing property.”[6]

“For Winstanley, Jesus Christ was the Head Leveler. Winstanley’s thought incorporated many Leveler ideas: it goes beyond them, beyond the vision of the small proprietor, in its hostility to private property as such.

“‘In the beginning of time the great creator, Reason, made the earth to be a common treasury, to preserve beasts, birds, fishes and man, the lord that was to govern this creation. . . . But not one word was spoken in the beginning that one branch of mankind should rule over another. . . . But . . . selfish imaginations . . . did set up one man to teach and rule over another. And thereby . . . man was brought into bondage, and became a greater slave to such of his own kind than the beasts of the field were to him. And hereupon the earth . . . was hedged in to enclosures by the teachers and rulers, and the others were made . . . slaves. And that earth, that is within this Creation made a common storehouse for all, is bought and sold and kept in the hands of a few, whereby the great Creator is mightily dishonored, as if he were a respecter of persons, delighting in the comfortable livelihood of some and rejoicing in the miserable poverty and straits of others. From the beginning it was not so. . . .’

“Winstanley told lords of manors that:

“‘. . . the power of enclosing land and owning property was brought into the Creation by your ancestors by the sword; which first did murder their fellow creatures, men, and after plunder or steal away their land, and left this land successively to you, their children. And therefore, though you did not kill or thieve, yet you hold that cursed thing in your hand by the power of the sword; and so you justify the wicked deeds of your fathers, and that sin of your fathers shall be visited upon the head of you and your children to the third and fourth generation, and longer too, till your bloody and thieving power be rooted out of the land.’

“Winstanley extended the Leveler justification of political democracy to economic democracy:

“‘The poorest man hath as true a title and just right to land as the richest man. . . . True freedom lies in the free enjoyment of the earth. . . . If the common people have no more freedom in England but only to live among their elder brothers and work for them for hire, what freedom then have they in England more than they can have in Turkey or France?’

“Winstanley transcended the Leveler theory of the Norman Yoke, that all we need is to get back to the laws of the free Anglo-Saxons. ‘The best laws that England hath,’ he declared, ‘are yokes and manacles, tying one sort of people to another.’ ‘All laws that are not grounded upon equity and reason, not giving a universal freedom to all but respecting persons, ought . . . to be cut off with the King’s head.’ But the England’s rulers had not completed the Revolution [...].

“Winstanley must have been expressing the opinions of many disappointed radicals when he wrote in 1652:

“‘Therefore, you Army of England’s Commonwealth, look to it! The enemy could not beat you in the field, but they may be too hard for you by policy in counsel if you do not stick close to see common freedom established. For if so be that kingly authority be set up in your laws again, King Charles hath conquered you and your posterity by policy, and won the field of you, though you seemingly have cut off his head.’”[7]

Winstanley went even further when he demanded the suppression of the prisons and emphasized that all laws must be corrective, not punitive. He was, before the philosophers, one of the first to demand that reason be substituted for divine providence (which had been especially profitable for the exploiters) in the government of societies.

“‘What is the reason,’ Winstanley asked, ‘that most people are so ignorant of their freedoms, and so few fit to be chosen commonwealth’s officers? Because,’ he replied, ‘the old kingly clergy . . . are continually distilling their blind principles into the people, and do thereby nurse up ignorance in them.’ Many of them had taught that Charles I was the Lord’s Anointed. Priests ‘lay claim to heaven after they are dead, and yet they require their heaven in this world, too, and grumble mightily against the people that will not give them a large temporal maintenance. And yet they tell the people that they must be content with their poverty, and they shall have their heaven hereafter. But why may not we have our heaven here (that is, a comfortable livelihood in the earth) and heaven hereafter too, as well as you? . . . While men are gazing up to heaven, imagining after a happiness or fearing a hell after they are dead, their eyes are put out, that they see not what is their birthrights, and what is to be done by them here on earth while they are living.’

“A traditional Christian, who ‘thinks God is in the heavens above the skies, and so prays to that God which he imagines to be there and everywhere, . . . worships his own imagination, which is the devil.’ ‘Your Savior must be a power within you, to deliver you from that bondage within; the outward Christ or the outward God are but men Saviors.’ Winstanley himself came to use the word Reason in preference to God, ‘because I have been held under darkness by that word, as I see many people are.’ We must be careful ‘lest we dishonor the Lord in making him the author of the creatures’ misery,’ as hell-fire preachers do. Winstanley spoke of their God in terms which came near to William Blake’s Nobodaddy – unless we are to suppose he held a completely Manichean dualism, which is unlikely. Winstanley told ‘priests and zealous professors’ that they worshipped the devil. He spoke of ‘the God Devil.’ ‘The outward Christ, or the outward God . . . sometimes proves devils.’ He told his opponents in Kingston court that ‘that God whom you serve, and which did entitle you lords, knights, gentlemen and landlords, is covetousness.’ This God gave men a claim to private property in land. He ‘appointed the people to pay tithes to the clergy.’ It is this God-Devil that the state Church worships. ‘We will neither come to church nor serve their God.’”[8]

Close to the partisans of Jakob Böhme who, around 1640, began to appear in England, Winstanley refused to venerate any other Christ than the symbol of the resurrection of man in himself. Eden was humanity seeking to reconstruct the innocent conditions destroyed by covetousness and appropriation. However, if Winstanley believed that sin was a lucrative invention of the clergy, he never adopted the views of the Ranters, who revoked sin in the name of pleasure and the natural liberties that it founded.

During the punitive expeditions against the Diggers, many sects – such as the Seekers and the Quakers – recuperated their popularity and stripped them of their subversive practices, and rapidly acceded to the status of Churches due to their selective tolerance for whoever did not threaten the foundations of religion and the established order.

The Ranters

Luther and Calvin removed from sin the insurance policy that the Roman Church had imposed on it by means of confession and redemption. Sin, which the payment of a licensing fee no longer offset, remained all the more daunting for the creature who was exposed to the libidinous temptations of the Evil One.

In the tradition of the free spirit, the Ranters affirmed the absolute rejection of all guilt through the imprescriptible right to enjoy the benefits of existence.

“At one Ranter meeting of which we have a (hostile) report, the mixed company met at a tavern, sang blasphemous songs to the well-known tunes of metrical psalms and partook of a communal feast. One of them tore off a piece of beef, saying ‘This is the flesh of Christ, take and eat.’(*) Another threw a cup of ale into the chimney corner, saying ‘There is the blood of Christ.’ Clarkson called a tavern the house of God; sack was divinity. Even a Puritan enemy expresses what is almost a grudging admiration for the high spirits of the Ranters’ dionysiac orgies: ‘they are the merriest of all devils for extempore lascivious songs, . . . for health, music, downright bawdry and dancing.’”[9]

(Note that the phrase “This is the flesh of Christ, take and eat” recalled Claushorn and his friends, who were banished from Strasbourg in 1359. Such was the ordinary treatment of God when joy and drink untied language from the religion that had bound it.)

Spontaneously rediscovering the pleasantries that, in 1359, got those three jokers [joyeux drilles] banished from Strasbourg, a Ranter affirmed: “If I should worship the sun or the moon, or that pewter pot on the table, nobody has anything to do with it.”[10] Captain Francis Freeman, a great lover of ribald songs, declared that he saw God in a table and a candlestick.

Captain Underhill restored theological speculations to their terrestrial origins and meanings with as much lucidity as humor when he explained that “the Spirit had sent into him the witness of free grace, while he was in the moderate enjoyment of the creature called tobacco.”[11]

Some Ranters denied the existence of Christ or, affirming themselves to be Christ or God, joyously authorized themselves all forms of license.

If God existed, Jacob Bauthumley proclaimed, he was in himself and every living thing, in ‘man and beast, fish and fowl, every green thing from the highest cedar to the ivy on the wall.’ ‘He does not exist outside the creatures.’ God is in ‘this dog, this tobacco pipe, he is in me and I am in him.’[12] In the Eighteenth Century, a similar spirit animated Christopher Smart’s poetic work Jubilate Agno.[13]

Active between 1649 and 1651, the Ranters were not constituted as organized groups and none of them took the title of leader or master thinker. They contented themselves with leading joyous lives and having clear consciences. It was unfortunate that a Scottish peasant named Jack was hanged in 1656 for denying the existence of heaven, hell, God and the Christ, because the Ranters, in their taste for [the pleasures of] terrestrial existence, made it their duty to avoid martyrdom through prompt retractions.

Abiezer Coppe

Originally from Warwick, a student at Oxford and then a preacher in the army, Coppe was 30 when he gained his reputation as a Ranter. In 1649, he published Some sweet sips of some spirituall wine and, with the same taste for alliteration, A Fiery Flying Roll.

Here, there was no lying prophecy dictated by God. The message emanated from “my most excellent majesty and glory (in me) . . . who am universal love, and whose service is perfect freedom and pure libertinism.” Coppe proclaimed: “Sin and Transgression is finished and ended,” because God, “that mighty Leveler,” prepares to “lay the Mountains low.”[14]

At first, Coppe was among the radical wing of the Levelers. He called for cutting “the neck of horrid pride,” which was the cause of all spilled blood. Bishops, kings, lords and the great ones of this world must disappear so that “parity, equality and community” could assure the reign of “universal love, universal peace and perfect freedom.”

The “betrayal” of the Levelers accentuated for him the feeling of the necessary unity between individual pleasure and the struggle in solidarity against the powerful. He recounted how, in the middle of the street, he hurled his contempt at the men and women of high [social] rank, taking exception to the coaches and their occupants. “Hide not thyself from thine own flesh,” he wrote, “from a cripple, a rogue, a beggar, . . . a whoremonger, a thief, etc., he’s thine own flesh.”[15] Addressing himself to the rich, he threatened them:

“Thou hast many bags of money, and behold I come as a thief in the night, with my sword drawn in my hand, and like a thief as I am, – I say deliver your purse, deliver sirrah! deliver or I’ll cut thy throat!

“I say (once more) deliver, deliver, my money . . . to rogues, thieves, whores and cutpurses, who are flesh of thy flesh, and every whit as good as thyself in mine eye, who are ready to starve in plaguey Gaols and nasty dungeons. . . .

“The plague of God is in your purses, barns, houses, horses, murrain will take your hogs, O (ye fat swine of the earth) who shall shortly go to the knife, and be hung up in the roof except . . .

“Did you not see my hand, this last year, stretched out? You did not see. My hand is stretched out still. . . . Your gold and silver, though you can’t see it, is cankered. . . . The rust of your silver, I say, shall eat your flesh as if it were fire. . . . Have all things in common, or else the plague of God will rot and consume all that you have.”[16]

But at the same time, Coppe perceived in the happiness of serving his pleasures a guarantee of peace and protection against violence: “Not by the sword; we (holily) scorn to fight for any thing; we had as lief be dead drunk every day of the week and lie with whores in the marketplace, and account them as good actions as taking the poor abused, enslaved ploughman’s money from him.”[17]

In 1650, Parliament condemned to the flames A Fiery Flying Roll, judged to be full of “many horrid blasphemies,”[18] and sent Coppe himself to prison in Newgate. In exchange for his release, he drafted a partial retraction, and then another, more complete one whose malicious reservations suggested the action’s lack of sincerity. (Note that Coppe did not deprive himself of the choice to be ironic in the manner of Jacques Gruet or Noël Journet: “God forbids killing but tells Abraham to slay his son; [he forbids] adultery, but tells Hosea to take a wife of whoredom.” He proclaimed that it is “the community which is sinful,” but added, “if the flesh of my flesh be ready to perish, [and] if I have bread, it shall or should be his.” Forced to recognize the notion of sin, he declared “the laying of nets, traps and snares for the feet of our neighbors is a sin, whether men imagine it to be so or no; and so is the not undoing of heavy burdens, the not letting the oppressed go free, the not healing every yoke, and the not dealing of bread to the hungry . . . whether men imagine it to be so or no.”)[19] After the Restoration, prudence enjoined Coppe to change his name. He became a physician and was esteemed in the small town of Barnes, in Surrey. He pushed humor as far as having himself buried at [the cemetery of] the parish church.

Lawrence Clarkson

A wandering preacher, born in Preston, Clarkson – raised as a Puritan – very quickly acquired an equal repugnance for all the sects and the clerical profession: “Thousands better than your parish priests have saluted the gallows. It is more commendable to take a purse by the highway than compel any of the parish to maintain such that seek their ruin, whose doctrine is poisonable to their consciences.”[20]

A Leveler in 1647, he rallied to the Ranters and maintained that – God being in all living things and in matter – all action came from him and nothing was a sin in his eyes, not even the crucifixion of Christ. There is neither heaven nor hell beyond mankind. He publicly declared, “I really believed no Moses, Prophets, Christ or Apostles.” “There is no such act as drunkenness, adultery and theft in God. . . . Sin hath its conception only in the imagination. . . . What act soever is done by thee in light and love, is light and lovely, though it be that act called adultery. . . . No matter what Scripture, saints or churches say, if that within thee do not condemn thee, thou shalt not be condemned.”[21]

“None,” he wrote, “can be free from sin till in purity it can be acted as no sin, for I judged that pure to me which to a dark understanding was impure.”[22]

Clarkson lived joyously in sweetness and love, traveled the country in the company of Mrs. Star, sought adventure with other women, but was “careful for moneys for my wife,” and amused himself in an assembly of Ranters among whom “Dr. Paget’s maid stripped herself naked and skipped.”[23]

Arrested in 1650, he asserted his rights as “a freeborn subject,” was condemned to exile and pardoned, no doubt following a retraction. From then on, he settled down, studied magic and astrology in order to join Muggleton’s sect,[24] which was one of the many groups that has continued to exist in the fog of millenarianism and the apocalypse.

Jacob Bauthumley

A shoemaker like Böhme, Bauthumley fell into the hands of the authorities in 1650 for having published The Light and Dark Sides of God. Accused of blasphemy, he was punished by having his tongue pierced by a red-hot poker. Milton admired him and shared many of ideas.

[According to Bauthumley,] the light of God manifested itself in its presence in every creature and every thing: “Not the least flower or herb in the field but there is the divine being by which it is that which it is; and as that departs out of it, so it comes to nothing, and so it is today clothed by God, and tomorrow cast into the oven.” “All the creatures of the world . . . are but one entire being.” “Nothing that partakes of the divine nature, or is of God, but is God.” God does not love one man more than another: all are the same in his eyes. God “as really and substantially dwells in the flesh of other men and creatures as well as in the man Christ.” There where God dwells is “all the heaven I look ever to enjoy.”[25]

Sin belongs to the dark side of God. It is an absence of light. “The reason why we call some men wicked and some godly is not any thing in the man, but as the divine being appears more gloriously in them. . . . . God is no more provoked by sin to wrath than he is allured to blessing by any holiness.” And Bauthumley specified, “according to the counsel of his will, they did no more that crucified Christ, than they that did embrace him.”[26]

Bauthumley denied the existence of hell and the personification of the Demon. The resurrection was a purely inward act and did not take place in the beyond.

[Like Coppe,] he also ended up a respectable citizen of his native town, Leicestershire, where he was a bookseller.

Thomas Webbe

The Rector of Langley Burhill, Webbe seems to have solemnly promised not to receive tithes from his parishioners. His popularity, already assured by a measure that no Church tolerated, found itself greatly increased when he proclaimed from the pulpit that he hoped to live quite a long time in order to see “no such thing as a parsonage or minister in England.”[27] Before he’d propagated similar remarks, the French parish-priest [Jean] Meslier had taken the useful precaution of dying first.

During the 1650s, Webbe was accused of having constituted “a Babel of profaneness and community.”[28] An admirer of Coppe, he said a remarkable thing in a letter to Joseph Salmon: “The Lord grant that we may know the worth of hell, that we may for ever scorn heaven.”

In 1650, the notables – looking to get rid of him – charged him with adultery, then a crime punishable by execution on the gallows. He was acquitted. He claimed [according to a witness] to “live above ordinances and that it was lawful for him to lie with any woman.” One attributed this witticism to him: “There is no heaven but women, nor no hell save marriage.” His enemies managed to get him banished.

Coppin, Pordage and Tany

Richard Coppin was part of the moderate wing of the Ranters; he was satisfied with a pantheism in which theology had the upper hand over the refusal of social and moral imperatives. “God is all in one, and so is in everyone,” he wrote in Divine Teachings. “The same all which is in me, is in thee; the same God dwells in one dwells in another, even in all; and in the same fullness as he is in one, he is in everyone.” Resurrection consisted of leaving the grave, which was in us and in the Scriptures, in order to be reborn as “the new man [who] sinneth not.”[29]

Coppin refused the Church in the name of his own experiences of the Lord. Referring to the decree of 1650, which abolished the obligatory nature of Sunday services, he spoke of “the antichristian law of compelling men to church.”[30] Arrested in 1655, Coppin was condemned to six months in prison.

The Vicar of Reading, then the Rector of Bradfield, John Pordage – a disciple of Jakob Böhme – drew the attention of the authorities in 1655 for propagating the Ranters’ opinions. He denied the historical existence of Christ, believed in the presence of God in each person, refused [the notion of] sin, held marriage to be a harmful institution, and announced the imminent disappearance of Parliament, the magistracy, the government of England and all the higher powers, which “he cared no more for . . . than this dust beneath his feet.”[31]

His friend Thomas Tany, called Theaureaujohn, estimated that no man could lose his salvation. But he went further than that and maintained that all religion was “a lie, a fraud, a deceit, for there is but one truth and that is love.” He also demanded that the people’s lands were rendered to the people. In 1654, Tany made an exemplary gesture, one of rare audacity. With a beautiful critical concision, he burned a copy of the Bible at Saint George’s Fields, “because the people say it is the Word of God, and it is not.”[32]

[1] C. Hill, Le Monde a l’envers, Paris, 1977, p. 15. [Translator: this is the French translation of Christopher Hill, The World Turned Upside Down, London, 1972. Rather than translate Hill back into English, I have quoted directly from the original, p. 14]

[2] Ibid., pp. 88 and 89. [Translator: C. Hill, pp. 108-109.]

[3] Ibid., p. 90. [Translator: C. Hill, p. 109.]

[4] Ibid., p. 207. [Translator: C. Hill, p. 265.]

[5] Ibid., p. 91. [Translator: C. Hill, p. 112.]

[6] Translator: C. Hill, p. 119. Note that while Hill attributes the first quote to Lilburne, A Whip for the Present House of Lords (February, 1647-8), which is included in The Leveler Tracts, 1647-1653 (Columbia University Press, 1944), p. 449, the second quote is actually Hill’s own summary.

[7] Ibid., pp. 105-107. [Translator: C. Hill, pp. 132-134.]

[8] Ibid., pp. 112 and 113. [Translator: C. Hill, pp. 140-142.]

[9] Ibid., p. 159. [Translator: C. Hill, pp. 200-201.]

[10] Ibid. [Translator: C. Hill, p. 200: “Quoted by Masson, Life of Milton, III, p. 525.”]

[11] Ibid. [Translator: C. Hill, p. 200.]

[12] J. Bauthumley, The Light and Dark Sides of God, 1650, p.4. [Translator: C. Hill, p. 206. Note that the third quotation is from Edward Hide, A Wonder, Yet No Wonder (1651), pp. 35-41, who was an opponent of the Ranters.]

[13] Translator: Latin for “Rejoice in the Lamb,” written between 1759 and 1763, while Christopher Smart (1722-1771) was in a mental asylum.

[14] C. Hill, pp. 166-168. [Translator: C. Hill, p. 210. See also Abiezer Coppe, Selected Writings, London, 1987, pp. 16 and 20.]

[15] Translator: C. Hill, p. 211.

[16] Translator: C. Hill, p. 211. See also Abiezer Coppe, p. 38.

[17] Translator: C. Hill, p. 211. See also Abiezer Coppe, p. 24.

[18] Translator: C. Hill, p. 212. See also Abiezer Coppe, p. 111.

[19] Translator: C. Hill, pp. 212-213.

[20] Translator: C. Hill, p. 214.

[21] Translator: C. Hill, pp. 214-215.

[22] Translator: C. Hill, p. 216.

[23] Translator: C. Hill, Ibid.

[24] Translator: Lodowicke Muggleton (1609–1698).

[25] Translator: C. Hill, p. 219.

[26] Translator: C. Hill, pp. 219-210.

[27] Translator: All quotes attributed or referring to Thomas Webbe come from C. Hill, p. 227.

[28] Translator: note that the French translation with which Vaneigem is working or, at the very least, the present volume, relays this phrase as une vraie Bible d’impiété et de communisme (“a true Bible of impiety and communism”).

[29] Translator: C. Hill, pp. 220-221.

[30] Translator: C. Hill, p. 222.

[31] Translator: C. Hill, p. 225.

[32] Translator: C. Hill, p. 226.

(Published by Fayard in 1993. Translated from the French by NOT BORED! All footnotes by the author, except where noted. Please note that the six of the author’s footnotes “fell off” their respective pages in the French original. Rather than trying to restore them, I created them from scratch.)

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