An Expostulatory APPEAL TO THE Professors of Christianity, Joyned in Community with SAMUEL ANSLEY.

IT having pleased the Lord (whose I am, and whom I serve) to call me by his Grace, even in my tender Years; by which Grace he put me upon early seekings after himself, that so I might know him the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent, whom savingly to know is Life Eternal.

Many sore and weary steps hath my Anxious Soul troad in finding out the Path that leadeth thereunto, that so I might come to a certain knowledge of what God is, and how he ought to be Worshipped: and this made me go about from one Watch-man of the Night to another, inquiring after my Souls Beloved, to hear if they could tell where his dwelling was, and where he maketh his Flocks to lie down in Rest.

But oh the uncertain sound which they gave! some said Lo here, and others said, Lo there is he whom thy Soul desireth: but alas! when I went out to seek him there, I could neither see his Shape, nor hear his Voice; then used I to retire into my Chamber to suplicate him in secret, whose Presence I could not meet with in those Publick Assemblies; But yet still I looked for [Page 2] that at a distance (viz.) the Appearance of the Son of God, which was to have been had nearer at hand: sometimes searching over the Records of Scripture, if there I could have found him sub­stantially, whom my Soul greatly desired to see: Oh but there I found him not, although I daily read the Reports which his Ancient Primitive Servants have left there upon record, con­cerning how they witnessed him, by vertue of the effectual wor­king of his mighty Power in them; but what was this to me? whilst I knew him not my self Experimentally working down Sin and Iniquity in me, and removing that that did let, and would let till it was taken out of the way, that so his own Righteous Scepter might bear rule over me.

And thus as I sought him sorrowing, in an acceptable time was he pleased to appear unto me, (magnified be his Name forever) and to cast up a living way for me; though much contrary to the way I walked in formerly; yet by his good Spirit he so instructed me, that I certainly knew this to be the way that leadeth to E­verlasting Felicity: yet I must needs declare, 'tis a Cross Way to the Carnal mind and stubborn will of the fallen Creature; where I now find that I as well others stood by Nature. But now the Lord having pulled my Soul as a Brand out of the Fire, and made me willing in the day of his Power: I can do no less then speak to the praise of his Grace, whose own Arm hath wrought Salvation in and for me thus far.

And now I say, this was the Grace by which I was called, and by which I am in measure saved; even that Grace of which the Apostle speaks, Tit. 2.11, 12, 13, 14. The Grace of God that bringeth Salvation hath appeared (mark) to all men, teaching us that denying Ʋngodliness and worldly Lusts, we should live Sober­ly, Righteously, and Godlily in this present World: looking for that blessed Hope and glorious appearing of the great God, and our Sa­viour Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us (mark) from all Iniquity, and purifie unto himself a peculiar People, zealous of good Works.

And now being taught by this Grace, which is the only Prin­ciple by which every one may learn to know God savingly, which principle God hath raised up in me to publish and declare to o­thers, [Page 3] where they should look for the appearance of this saving Arm and Grace of God, which alone can burst the Bonds of Death and set the Soul at Liberty.

And besides the disposition which this gracious Principle hath wrought in me towards all my Fellow-creatures, that they might partake with me, and with the Remnant whom the Lord hath called out of the World; I say that all might partake with us of the rich Love of God, with which my Soul is refreshed at this very time, that now I am writing unto you, I found the God of all grace, laying a more special Injunction upon me to vi­sit you particularly; to Proclaim his free Grace and rich Mercy, which he is pleased yet to extend towards you: And upon the twentieth day of the eight Moneth, this present Year, 1678. in Obedience to that God which made me, and formed my Spi­rit within me, and by the motion of his good Spirit, did I in fear and much trembling come with a Message from the King of Hea­ven unto you, which was this, viz. To make Proclamation of his universal Love towards you; that so all who had not wilful­ly withstood the tenders of his Mercy and out-slipt the Day of your Visitation (after which the Lord will tary for none of you) ye all might come and be converted from your Iniquities, and he would receive you graciously, so that none should need to fear their Eternal Predestination or Reprobation to Everlasting Misery, as though God had fore ordained some for everlasting Damnation; for God would have all men come to the know­ledge of the Truth and be saved, as saith the holy Apostle, 1 Tim. 2.4. and (saith God) Look unto me all ye ends of the Earth, and be ye saved, Isa. 45.22. Nor may any presume (in hopes of Mercy) that they are in the estate of Election, while they are in the unbelief and disobedience unto the Spirit of Truth, which Convinces the world of Sin, and leads the Saints into all Truth. for so came the Word of the Lord unto me, Go, invite them to the Feast of ingathering, that so they may be allured to turn in unto me, and be gathered by me, in this the Day of the stretchings forth of the Arms of my Mercy, before I come to sift the Nati­ons with the Sieve of Vanity, when such as are found Chaffie shall [Page 4] be blown away with the Whirlwind of my Wrath, and there shall be none to deliver you, Isa. 30.18.

This Word (in the fear and love of God, which he hath shed abroad in my Heart by Jesus Christ abundantly) did I come at that time to Proclaim unto you, with many more such like inviting Expressions, would you have had Patience to hear me, I should by divine Assistance have declared unto you, as I did to such tender-hearted Ones without your Doors, whose Ears the Lord incli­ned to hearken unto me.

And now I find it upon me to write a few words by way of Ap­peal to you, and to expostulate the case a little with you: Whe­ther or no you will all justifie that Action of haling of me, (who came in the Name and Power of the Lord (and my Sister who stood patiently by me) out from amongst you. I confess I heard no publick Command for it given by any of you; but it was not done by a Person unknown to you, but one in Office amongst you; so that had he not had private Commission from some one or more of you, for the former knowledge that he had of our blameless deportment amongst you, I dare believe he would not have used us so Uncharitably, without receiving Reproof from you: Why indeed should he, since none of you can justly say that we gave any Interruption to you? ye are all my witnesses I waited in silence whilst there was a Voice heard amongst you, taking that opportunity to open my Mouth unto you, when your Teacher was perusing such Petitions as used to divert him from so suddain a falling on to Prayers amongst you: But how­ever, though that time was not so long as ordinary, but Pray­ers begun before I could so much as name my Message to you, upon request made me to be silent during Prayer time, and a promise of being heard afterwards, I tarried till your Worship was ended, & then began my Mouth to open unto you; but no sooner had I charged you with being out of the right way, but you made good that charge immediately, by shew­ing that persecuting Spirit, which infallibly marks out and de­ciphers the false Church; who hath ever violently handled and hardl [...] used the Members of the true: And so it became my [Page 5] lot at that time to bear a measure of Sufferings from you; but the Lord upheld me by the right Hand of his Power, so that I feared not the wrath of the Adversary; though one more espe­cially shewed himself mightily inraged against me.

Oh! where was your patient Mind, that you could not hear what I had to say unto you, and have tryed what Spirit I had been of, that so, if in Error, by sound Argument you might have convinced me.

Oh! where was your Christian Moderation that ought to be shewed towards all, whereby you should have manifested the Lord to be at hand.

Oh! where was your Lamb-like Meekness, by which you would have instructed such as should have opposed you, had you been in the Truth? But whilst you profess the Name of Christ (who is Truth it self) you are found in the Spirit of Antichrist, otherwise you would not have so roughly treat­ted the Guiltless; nay, if we had been guilty, we ought to have had a more fair Tryal and Examination before you, ere such hasty Execution should have proceeded from you.

This therefore briefly is written in the Spirit of Love, and sent to you, that all sober Inquirers may have a true Accompt of the Occasion of our coming amongst you that day; And let none be offended that I take not in their Teacher with them, so as to appeal to him as well as them; for the Lord knoweth, 'tis not in any Enmity I bear towards him; but as I formerly have had an high Esteem of him, so I still do retain a kind and friendly Respect for him; but having privately address'd my self unto him, whereby to render the Reason of my turning from him, in answer to which (he himself knows) I received not so much as one word to give me any Satisfaction, but had a hasty Put-by from him, which may very well excuse me in not making a second Application unto him.

However, my Soul desires the real Welfare of all men, and have written this neither in Envy nor Ostentation, but in an­swer to the Requirings of the Lord, before whom my Heart is broken at this time; and now in much godly Compassion have [Page 6] I a Remembrance of such as have sincere Desires amongst you, and I doubt not but that the Lord in tender Mercy, and for his own Seed's sake, that cryeth to him for Deliverance in and a­mongst you, will in due time reach forth his powerful saving Arm unto such of you, whereby you shall be gathered into a place of Safety, before his Over-slowing Scourge be made to pass over you.

Let this therefore be a Provocation unto you speedily to turn into the secret of your own Souls, to the Appearance of his Son, Christ Jesus, who there speaks from Heaven unto you, reproving you for your Sin and Iniquity, and exciting of you to Holiness and Purity; who by his Heavenly Light in your Consciences, if you give up to be led and guided by it, will bring such of you as are now even as Lost Sheep of the House of Israel home to the Fold of Rest.

Which is the hearty Desire and earnest Breathing of
her who is known to many of you by the Name of ELIZABETH BATHURST.

And now having invited you to turn unto the Lord, both by Word and Writing, I am clear concerning you at this time.

UNto you, People, unto whom this Message is sent, a few words doth lie with weight upon my Spirit, to put you in remembrance of dayes past, and that you may call to mind the Promises you did make to the Lord when your Hearts were tendered before him, because of the Judgments that then seem'd to awaken you; but so soon as the Hand of the Lord turned back, and with-held from smiting, Oh! who then amongst you were faithful to those Promises? so that may I not say, that nei­ther the Mercies nor Judgments of the Lord have so awakened you as to turn to him by Unfeigned Repentance? for whose sake the Lord hath put in my Heart to mind you, for the sake of your immortal Souls, that you may be awakened to a speedy turning to the Lord, that you may not provoke the Lord to with-hold his Spirit from striving with you.

Written in Obedience to the Lord, by your Friend ANNE BATHURST.
THE END.

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