Page images

his glorious presence, who is able to make the dismalleft prisons so many receptacles of pleasure, and whose heavenly fellowship doth unspeakably replenish our folitary fouls with divine confolation; by whose holy, meek, and harmless spirit I have been taught most freely to forgive, and not less earnestly to folicit the temporal and eternal good of all my adversaries. Farewell.


A questionary PostSCRIPT. W H ERE doth the scripture say, that Christ suf

W fered an eternal death, and infinite vengeance? For did not Christ rise the third day? And is not infinite vengeance and eternal death without end? And doth not God say he was well-pleased with his Son before his death ? And was not his offering acceptable? And did not the apostle say, that the saints were accepted in Christ that was God's beloved ? And this was after Christ died and rose; and God was said to be well-pleased with his Son, both before he suffered, in his suffering, and after he suffered, though displeased with those that caused him to suffer,

[blocks in formation]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]


That Blessed Everlasting Way of Truth and

Now testified unto by the People of the LORD called

QU A K E RS, .

Of what Sex, Age, and Rank foever, in the Nations

of ENGLAND, IRELAND, and SCOTLAND, with the Isles abroad, but more particularly to those of that Great City of London,

Spiritual Refreshments, Holy Courage, and Perfect

Victory from God the Father, and the Lord Jesus

Published in the Year 1669.

My dearly beloved Friends and Brethren, W H O have been called by the Eternal Spirit un

to an holy calling, out of all the pleasures, vanities, customs, profits and cares of this perishing polluted world, unto the pure knowledge of the invisible God, and « Jesus in you, the hope of glory,which, to as many as believe and obey, is life eternal; and who, for that little beginning of your heavenly journey, have met with reproach, lofs, suffering, and bitter trials; as one among you, and a traveller P4


with you, and therefore deeply sensible of your heavy exercise, and bowed-down spirits, I am constrained by the Eternal Unction, which we have received from on high, to visit you in tender bowels of love unfeigned; beseeching you all, in God's most holy fear and counsel, to stand fast, and « make your calling and election « sure:” which is not (my dearest friends) to those external and shadowy services, that could never perfect as concerning the conscience, in which the worship of the Jews did formerly, and of the nations now mostly do, consist, (carnal and beggarly elements indeed) but to that law in the heart, and spirit manifested in the inward parts, which is the substance of


Here God is the teacher of his people, and daily doth replenish his with the immediate virtue of his own life. For God eternal is broken forth, and by the mighty power of his spiritual appearance is come to ftain the beauty of all the inventions of superstitious men, and thereby to summon all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people to judgment for their unrighteousness; that he alone may reign king in the heart, where the devil has hitherto had dominion; that true religion may consist in fearing him, and working righteousness, by the powerful operation of the Spirit of Jesus in them; which, my dearly beloved friends, with all singleness of heart, let us wait to be sensible of; that through the glorious rising of the pure power of the everlasting God, which is felt by all the children of the light, we may be enabled " to work out great salvation with fear and trem" bling.” For great and weighty is the work of the Almighty in this his day of appearance, even to adopt us sons and daughters of the Most High, by a participation of his Divine Nature; “ that as we have " borne the image of the earthly, in pride, vanity, « wantonness, avarice, and all manner of impieties," and that whilst some of us were under great profefsions, and the continual feasting on visible and elementary things; fo that now we may daily experience,


through obedience to that pure light and truth in the inward parts, which leads to all meekness, patience and purity, the quickening of the new man; and sensibly witness a bearing of the heavenly image, that so we may come to feel the “ Peace that passeth the « world's understanding,” and or poor, tossed, tried, and troubled spirits, in good measure fixed and anchored in the immoveable and holy state, over all the glories and pollutions of the world ; that so nothing may ever prevail upon us to return into our former ways and lusts, committed in our ignorance: for the overflowing scourge of the Amighty will be upon the back of the backsider, and his swift wrath will overtake the heart that faints by the way; yea, better were it that such had never been visited with the glorious day-spring from on high, nor been convinced by the powerful persuasions of the Holy Spirit, concerning the pure eternal way of Truth than afterwards to turn from it, and so trample the blood of that most excellent covenant under foot: yea, it will be the most dreadful of all aggravations to their eternal woe and misery.

And therefore, my dear friends, let us not be difcomforted under all our sharp and heavy exercises, whether from within or without. For this I am fully persuaded of, that the same pure principle of light and truth that hath appeared to give a certain discerning of our 'states and conditions, and wrought a convincement upon our understandings, is able to give us that succour and support, if our minds be but feriously stayed thereon, “ as shall fanctify us through" out, in body, foul, and spirit; and so preserve us « clean, to God over all.”

And, my dear brethren, let us not enter into any murmurings against the Lord, but be fingly given up to know his will and work done in us, that we perish, not, as those of old. And in the tender love of Jesus Christ, I earnestly intreat you, let us no more look back upon our ancient pastimes and delights (but with holy resolution prefs on, press on); for they will steal


« PreviousContinue »