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I THOUGHT good, while you are busy about the peace of the kingdom, which is a peace without you, to put you in mind of the true peace of the true church, which is a peace within you, and an eternal peace, as the former is but a temporal; for what advantage will it be for you, to have peace among men, and to want peace with God? to do the work of God in the world, and to be destitute of the work of God in your own hearts? to destroy the enemies to worldly peace, and yet to maintain, in your own hearts, the corruptions of unrenewed nature, which are the enemies of heavenly peace? Take heed therefore, that your present employments do not so over-engage you in this world, that you neglect the world to come: take heed, lest by seeking yourselves, you have your reward here but do the work of God, for God; and whilst you act for God, live in him, and let him be your reward, and not the creature.

And now here, in this discourse, shall you see a better peace and agreement than you are striving for, (though your work also be excellent and glorious;) even such a peace and agreement, of which Christ himself is the immediate author and prince, and which he communicates, not to the world, but to them he chooses out of the world, even the peace of God in Jesus Christ, by the Spirit, which hath its foundation in Christ; and its influence into each communion of saints, all the world over: And this peace

can no more he brought about by your sword, than by the magistrate's sceptre; and therefore take heed, lest you now, having power in your hands to another purpose, should so far forget yourselves, as to do that yourselves, which you have condemned in others. Therefore suffer the word only, to be both sceptre and sword in the kingdom of God, and let the true church remain free, in the freedom which Christ hath conferred upon it; or else, the Lord, whose own the church is, will as certainly, in his due time, take the sword out of your hands, as he hath done the sceptre out of the magistrate's, and throw you into one destruction with him. But I am persuaded better things of you, though I speak thus, and even such things as are suitable to the light of the gospel, and to the virtues and graces of Christ and his Spirit, which have been hitherto (and I hope, will yet still be) very manifest in you, who have the chief conduct. And upon such a gathering together of God's people and saints, (let the world, if it please, still laugh at that word) who can but think, he hath some choice and singular work in hand for his own glory? The Lord God Almighty hath already done great and wonderful works by you, and is yet doing greater, if you will continue to believe and obey; and all in these things he only is to be exalted, and not you. For hath not that day of the Lord of hosts dawned? Yea, the morning of it is al ready gone forth, which is upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is liftedup, and he is to be brought low, and the Lord alone is and must be exalted in this day.

Now the Lord cause you to dwell and continue in that church, which is the body of Christ, and habitation of God, and give you peace with those that are reconciled to God by Christ, and to one another in Christ, by the Spirit; in which union and communion, I remain,

Your assured servant,



SUCH are the noises of waters, and thunderings, and earthquakes among us; and so great and continued are our shakings and confusions, through hatred and love, hopes and fears, joys and sorrows, triumphs and indignations, that there is no silence in heaven, for so much as half an hour. Wherefore, though I discourse here, touching so sweet and glorious a thing as peace, and do declare from the very word (or else I had said nothing) wherein the true peace of the true church consists; and also, how the faithful, and churches, may preserve that peace in their communion with one another, which they have in the Son, and in the Father: yet men's heads and hearts are now so full, that it is to be doubted but few will regard it. Notwithstanding, considering that there is among us, who both know, and will hear his voice at any time; I thought good to speak this in their behalf. And though I am very conscious of my rudeness of speech in this discourse, as also of my weakness and infirmity in many things, having not yet attained to a perfect man, and to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ, 2 Cor. xi. 6. and so dare not say, that every jot and tittle here, is of the pure river of the water of life, without any human mixture; yet they that are spiritual, and able to judge, will own all in it that is of the word and spirit of truth, and will not reject silver tried four or five times, because it is not tried seven times. And what is weak and imperfect in it, the true church of Christ, (for whose dear sake and love I have spoken all this) seeing it is, as Luther speaks, “The queen of mercy, whose very bowels, are mere compassions and forgivenesses of sins," will easily pass it by, and forgive it. And as for men, haughty and high in their own spirit, contemning and disdaining any thing that agrees not to

their palate; I do as easily despise their censure, as they lightly pass it. It is enough that I seek the glory of Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, and the welfare of that church, that is his body; and for the rest, let me become as vile as the apostles were made to the world, who were counted the filth and offscouring of all things; well knowing, that the more any thing is of Christ, the more enmity and opposition it will meet with from the world, and from the worldly church; I commit Christ's own word and cause to his own care and protection, who lives and reigns for this very purpose, to uphold his own despised truth, against the glorious, but deceitful doctrines of men; and to make all his enemies his foot-stool. And so, waiting in this assured hope, if thou love Christ, I remain

Thine in him,






HAVING now for a long time together, observed with a sad heart, and troubled spirit, the grievous differences and dissensions among the faithful, and churches of Christ and perceiving also, that there is yet no healing of this error, many or most of them not clearly understanding wherein their true peace and unity ought to consist; and so, are still prosecuting former with latter mistakes, till their wound is become almost incurable; I found my heart inclined and engaged by God, to propound to others that way of peace, which myself have learned from the word. And this I desire to do, not that I might seem to be something, or be accounted of, any more than the meanest of all God's people, being indeed unworthy to minister so much as a cup of cold water to the church, the spouse of Christ, much less so incomparable a treasure as the word of God is, in comparison of which, all the world is not to be mentioned; but merely out of love and compassion to the infirmities of my brethren, whom I see walking in the light of their own fire, and in the sparks which they themselves do kindle, where. by they are in great danger to lie down in sorrow; whilst in the mean time they neglect the true light, which alone is to shine in the kingdom of God, till all ignorance and darkness be done away. And as my end and design is to bring all men from all human doctrines and conceptions

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