A COLLECTION OF CERTAIN Epistles & Testimonies Of Divine Consolation, Experience and Doctrine, Written by that Faithful, Patient and Long-Suffer­ing Servant of Christ,

William Bennit.

Who Finished his Testimony the 23d day of the 4th Month 1684. In the County Goal at Ipswich in Suffolk.

‘And I heard a voice from Heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the Dead which die in the Lord, from henceforth, yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their Labours, and their Works do follow them.’

LONDON, Printed and Sold by Andrew Sowle at the Crooked-Billet in Holloway-Lane, near Shoreditch, 1685.


  • TO my dear Father and Mother, pag. 25.
  • A Tender and Ʋnfeigned Salutation of Love and Good-Will to Professors: Or a tender Invitation and Call unto all Peo­ple, in whose Hearts there hath been, and still is, some true desiring, and breathing after the Lord God; who hath long been hunting abroad amongst the many Forms and Liknesses, and have been running from one broken Cistern to another, and have been long spending their Money for that which is not Bread, and their Labour for that which hath not rightly satis­fied their Souls: For them to retire inward unto that in their own Hearts, which is the Authour of the desiring in them after God, even the pure spiritual Light of Christ Jesus in their own Consciences, which will lead and bring them (that do it follow and obey) unto the well-spring of Life, the fountain of living Water, (where they may drink abundantly, and be satis­fied) unto the fold of everlasting Rest, unto the fresh pastures of Life, where they may feed and lie down, and enjoy true rest and satisfaction for their Souls, pag. 33.
  • For Friends of Truth in the Town of Yarmouth, pag. 59.
  • God only Exalted in his own Work; or, the Works of God [Page] Praiseth him in Sion. Or, a Song of Deliverance from a great and sore Captivity, Thraldom and Bondage, under the King of Egyptian Darkness, the God of the World, where the Soul was fast bound, as with strong Chains and Fetters; but now Ransomed (by the out-stretched Arm of Gods Al­mighty Power) and art come to Sion with Songs of everlasting Joy upon thy Head, and hast obtained Joy and Gladness, and thy Sighing and Mourning is fled away, pag. 63.
  • To Gods Lambs in Prison Greeting, pag. 75.
  • To Friends in the Love of Truth Greeting pag. 77.
  • To Friends of Truth, pag. 78.
  • To Friends of Truth in Prison, pag. 79.
  • To the Suffering Lambs of the Lords Flock in Prison Greeting, pag. 81.
  • This to go among Friends of Truth, to be read among them when assembled together in the pure fear and dread of the most high God, pag. 84.
  • To Friends, pag. 90.
  • To the Magistrates of Edmonds-Bury pag. 92.
  • To Friends of Truth in the Town of Colchester, Greeting, pag. 100.
  • Som [...] Prison Meditations of an humble Heart, pag. 108.
  • [Page]This to go among Friends, to be read among them when assembled together in the pure Fear and Wisdom of God, pag. 142.
  • A Testimony to the true Light that lightens every man that comes into the World, pag. 150.
  • To Friends in Edmonds-Bury Goal, pag. 157.
  • To Friends Sufferers in Norwich-Castle, pag. 158.
  • To Friends, Brethren and Sisters, &c. pag. 161.
  • The Work and Mercy of God conducing to his Praise; Or a Demonstration of the Visitation of Gods Love to my Soul in the days of my Youth; Being a Testimony of the Light of Christ in the Conscience which discovereth and judgeth Sin; also (if loved and obeyed) saveth from Sin and redeemeth the Soul unto God, pag. 167.
  • To those that are young in Years, &c. pag. 179.
  • To all People that live and delight in Wickedness, pag. 181.
  • To those that are seeking the Living God in the Dead Forms, pag. 191.
  • To those that are backslided from the Truth, pag. 194.
  • To those that profess the Truth, yet walk contrary thereto i [...] Life and Conversation, pag. 197.
  • [Page]To all those that are convinced of the Truth, but still remain in the Worlds ways, pag. 198.
  • To those that are newly convinced of the Truth▪ pag. 200.
  • To the true Mourners in Sion, pag. 203.
  • A General Sal [...]tation of Love to the Children of Light, pag. 207.
  • To Friends, pag. 211.
  • A Loving Exhortation and Warning to Sea-men, and all others whom it doth concern, pag. 214.

Edmond Cross HIS TESTIMONY For his Deceased Friend William Bennit.

THis Testimony lives in my Heart, and is upon me to bear for and concerning my dear and well beloved Friend William Bennit, whom, with many more worthy Ones, God Almighty, in his endless Love unto man­kind, raised up and endued with power from on high, to preach the Everlasting Gospel of Life and Salvation in our Age; and forever blessed be the Lord who hath caused his blessed Work to prosper by them, to the gathering many Thousands to himself, notwithstanding the great opposition they have meet with, both from the Enemy of mankind within, and the Exercises, Hardships and cruel Persecutions from his Instruments without; yet so powerfully did the Lord appear in them, that the Inhabitants of the Earth was awakened, and Trembling took hold of many, Judg­ment was laid to the Li [...]e, and Righteousness to the Plumit; [Page 8] yea, the sound of the Gospel, by these worthy Messengers Preached, went through the Earth, and many of its Inhabi­tance thereby came to learn Righteousness; amongst which worthy Messengers this my dear Friend William Bennit was one, who laboured in the service of the Gospel for the gather­ing in the out-casts of Jacob, and the disperced of Israel.

He was a man wholly given up both in Body and Mind to serve the Lord, and what he did for God, he did it with all his Might; he spared no pains wherein he might serve the Truth, which to do was his whole delight, his care was great over the Church of Christ and whole Family of God, and when in Bonds for the Gospel sake, he visited them with di­vers good Epistle [...], full of heavenly Exhortations and Com­fort, to the great refreshment of God's Children; oh, the sence of the want of him doth often make me sad, knowing how serviceable he was in the Church, though I doubt not but the Lord can raise up some worthy Ones to succeed him in the Work and Service whereunto he was called; oh, the many sweet refreshments which I have had with him cannot be for­gotten, what shall I say for the want of him whose presence hath often times been very comfortable to me? I believe years to come will know the want of him.

I had inward acquaintance with him above many, and can testifie he was endued with many divine Attainments, he had the true qualifications of an Elder and Minister of Christ, and walked in Holiness, Meekness and Godly Fear towards all men, he never exalted himself above any, but as a perfect ex­ample in Humility, Self-Denial and Meekness he behaved himself towards the Meanest; his Zeal for the Truth appear­ed to be very great, for though he was a very weak man, as to his bodily strength, yet in preaching the Gospel he was carried forth with such Fervency and Zeal for the Lord, being by the mighty Power of God upheld, that at such times [Page 9] there appeared no Infirmness of Body in him, and notwith­standing the weakness of his Body, he often Travelled in the service of the Gospel, being freely given up to spend, and to be spent for its sake; his Ministry was plain & prevalent, vvhereof he had a very good Gift, he vvas vvell acquainted vvith the holy Scriptures of Truth, vvhich he made much use of for the opening the Understandings of People, vvhich often proved very Effectual for the convincing of many.

And as he vvas an incessant Labourer in the Gospel vvhere­ever he came, so also, vvas he as Valiant in suffering for the same, vvhen ever called thereunto, as the many grievous Imprisonments, vvhich he hath met vvith for the Gospel's sake doth vvitness, for he hath, for his Testimonies sake, been cast into divers Goals, as Yarmouth, Bliborough, Ipswich: and Melton several times, & also at Edmonds-Bury, vvhere he lay a­mongst the Fellons nigh eight years together; & lastly, he vvas taken from a Meeting at Woodbridge, and committed to Mel­ton Prison, vvhere he lay till the quarter Sessions held at Woodbridg, unto vvhich he vvas brought, and vvas by an or­der of Sessions removed from thence to Ipswich Prison, being then in the Winter season, & though he vvas very vveak at that time and not fit to be carried forth, the Weather being very cold, and at that time it Snovved very much, yet vvas he in the midst of all hurried avvay; I vvas then vvith him, and vvith grief of Heart beheld this cruel Treatment, of this in­nocent Lamb, vvho then said, If it lay in his freedom to go or not, although he might gain much as to the outward, he could not go his weakness was such, yet for the Truths sake he was freely given up, though it proved the dissolution of his Body; as indeed it so happened, for he never got over it, but grew weaker, and weaker, till upon the 23d day of the 4th month 1684, in the Prison House in Ipswich, the place of his Con­finement, he finished his Testimony, and laid down his Head in [Page 10] perfect Peace; thus vvas this good man Persecuted unto Death, who freely forgave them that Persecuted him; and oh, saith my Soul, if it may stand vvith the vvill of God, that they may find Repentance before they go hence, that his Blood may not be required at their hands.

Well, he is now gone beyond the reach of all his Enemies, he hath run the blessed Race, he has fought the good Fight, hath kept the Faith, and is now Crowned with that Eternal weight of Glory which never endeth; and though he be re­moved from us, yet his Life remains with us, and his Name is a sweet memorial unto us; yea, he shall be reckoned a­mongst the Generations of the Righteous, and time shall never blot him out of their Remembrance, who served the Lord withal his Heart, and loved not his Life unto Death for his Name sake.

Oh, the remembrance of this my dear Friend hath often times been a refreshment to me, and the many sweet and precious oppertunities I have had with him are at this time fresh in my remembrance; I cannot forget those heavenly be­dewings, and sweet streams of divine Life, from the God of Life, who is the Fountain of all our well-springs, which often times ran through his Vessel, as through a Conduit Pipe, to the great refreshment of his Children.

Oh, when I consider his service in the Church of Christ, and how ready he was to help the Weak, and encourage the Feeble; yea, to reach forth his helping hand unto all, that none might be left behind, and that now at such a time as this, wherein Tryals and Exercises seem to abound upon us, it should please the Lord to removed him from us; my Spirit is bowed before the Lord in the consideration thereof, & for a ti [...]e my Soul was afflicted within me, being deeply sensible of the great loss of him at this time of day.

But while I was Meditating in the consideration hereof, my Soul was revived in the feeling of the Springs of Life to arise, which sprang up in this wise, God is the same that ever he was, his Arm is not shortned that it cannot Save, neither is his Ear heavy that it cannot hear the crys of his Children; but his care is, and will be, over all those that put their trust in him, and against such no Weapon howsoever formed shall Prosper, and that he hath not removed his Servant from us thereby to weaken us, but rather that we should wholly look unto him only, from whom alone our Salvation comes; who vvill certainly take care of all those who are faithful unto him in their Testimony for his Name, and will supply such with whatsoever he sees is needful for them; yea, the same Power that kept and preserved this our dear Friend through all his Tryals and Exercises, who hath now finished his Course with Joy, will also preserve us, as we are faithful thereunto; in which the Lord keep and preserve all his People, through all their Tryals and Exercises, to the end, is the breathing of my Soul.

OH thou my dear Friend who art now from us gone,
Ʋnto thine everlasting Rest in the Eternal one,
Who now for all thy Labours in which thou didst abound,
Rewarded art with endless Life, and art with Glory Crown'd;
Oh worthy man of God, thy Name for ever shall,
Recorded be amongst the Rightous Gen'rations all,
Thou lovedst not thy Life to Death, but gave up all unto
The service of God▪s Truth most pure, and for it didst forg [...]
The World and all things else that unto thee was near,
That thou mightst be for evermore with thy Redeemer dear;
And though thy Body is gone, and Flesh consumed be,
Thy Spirit with thy God doth live to all Eternitie;
Where from thine Eyes all Tears are wip'd, and Joy for e [...]e is found,
And Cloth'd now art with Garments pure, and Pleasures doth abound;
And from thine Enemies reach, which did thee sore ann [...]y,
Who for the sake of Truth they sought thy Body to destroy;
Thou now exalted art over all Mortallity,
Where neither ravenous Beast, nor yet the voulterus Eye,
[...] ever thee molest, no nor disquiet thy peace,
Which as a River great doth flow, and never more shall cease;
Ah thou Valiant, one indeed, who never turn'd aside,
But to thy God wert faithful found, when ever thou wert tride,
Great is our went of thee, for which my Soul doth cry,
[...]nto the Lord our God who only can supply;
Oh righteous God make up our loss, to thee I only pray,
That thou wouldst please to raise up Children to him this day,
And fill them with thy Grace, and therein make them shine
Forth in thy most glorious Power, both heavenly and divine,
That so thy holy Truth for which he did engage,
May over all exalted be now in this latter age;
And though our loss of him be great, who still do here abide,
Yet in our God we are compleat while we in Truth reside;
In which the living God preserve, and from the World defend
All those that put their trust in him, and keep them to the end,
That in the closur [...] of our Da [...]s our Heads in peace may ly,
And fill▪d our Mouths may be with Pray'rs unto the Lord on hy,
Who over all is worth, and only prais'd be he
That never [...]axeth old, nor ever Changed can be.
Edmond Cross.

Six Verses writ by another Hand.

WAs ever Dust more Dignified
while t'was a House of Clay,
For heavenly Life did there abide
its Vertue to display.
An Humble, Meek and Harmless Soul,
within this Dust did dwell,
Which all the Glory of this World
abundance did excell.
This Dust on Earth it had a Name
whilst it on Earth did move,
But that same Life which mov'd the same
theirs few do know or Love.
The Dust is left, the Soul is gone
in Life for ay to dwell,
From sight of every mortal one,
in Glory to excell.
Thy Dust within the Earth do ly,
my Dust shall ly by thine,
Our Souls in Life shall dwell on high,
our Fellowship divine.
And though by Death we leave our Dust,
our Souls remain forever,
And from the Spirits of the Just
no worldly Power can sever.

William Peart HIS TESTIMONY CONCERNING William Bennit.


MAny has been the faithful Witnesses which God hath raised in his day (blessed be his holy Name) that hath been truly honoured with his Power and living Presence, in which they have gone forth in his Work and Service, in order to the gathering in of his numberless Num­ber, which he is a gathering from the ends of the Earth, to Inhabit in his new Jerusalem, that heavenly City come down from God, the City of the Saints Solemnity, where the living Praises are continually Sung to the God of Zion, the King of Saints, to whom be ascribed all Honour and living Praises, as is due saith my Soul, forever, Amen.

Now Friends, many of these Embassadors and Agents for the King of Heaven, it hath pleased his heavenly Majesty to end their Commission, by calling them home, to that place [Page 16] of rest prepared for the Faithful (where the oppression of the Oppressor ceaseth, and not so much as his voice heard, himself being forever shut out) the Memorial of them is blessed, their Names will be honorable in Ages yet to come, and the Children yet unborn will bless the Lord on their behalfs; much might be writ in a general way, as to those worthy Wit­nesses before mentioned; but that which is before, and chiefly at this time upon me, is to leave a Testimony to Prosterity (that lives in my Heart) concerning that faithful Servant of God, and of his People, and worthy Minister of Christ Jesus, dear William Bennit, a man indeed of a meek Moses like Spirit, in whom the Lord had in a large measure fulfilled his Promise (viz.) to make a man more pure then fine Gold, yea then the golden Wedg of O [...]er; for indeed the Lord had tryed him in the Furnice of Affliction, and had in a large measure purified him from the Oare or earthly mixture, and made him a chosen Vessel, fit for his own use, for saith Solomon. When the Silver is refined from the Dr [...]ss, there is a Vessel for the Refi­ner, as this good man was a Vessel of honour fitted for that use whereunto the Lord had called him, which was, to bear a living Testimony for his Name, in which he was found ve­ry faithful, not in Word and Doctrine only, but i [...] Life and Conversation also, in which he shined as a Light upon a Candlestick, which gives a Light to all which be in the Room; so was the godly Life of this ever blessedman, of which I am Treating, it gave a Light easie to be discerned by all who are of the Family & Houshold of Faith; nay, his and Truth's Ene­mies see it, and were made oft-times to confess it, and say, that he was a man of an Honest, Godly & Upright Life; such a Luster & Brightness did it cast, that Truth was greatly honored by it, not only in the Town of Woodbridg where he dwelt, but where ever he came or was known, his Life preached Truth, his Carriage was Innocent, his Words were very Savoury, [Page 17] savouring of what his Heart and inward parts was filled with, which ministered Grace to his Hearers.

And as to that Testimony that God had given him to bear for his Name in Word and Doctrine, he was very faithful in it, and was oft-times drawn in the Love of God to travel upon the account of it, in great Weakness and Infirmness of Body, which for the most part possessed him, but great was the Strength and Vigor of his inward man, which oft-times, as it were, swallowed up the weakness of the outward man: I have often seen him go into a Meeting when it was thought he had more need have been in Bed; such many times was his Weakness and Illness, but strong was that Love in which he was drawn forth to serve the Lord his God, which oft-times in the Assemblies of God's People flowed from him as sweet streams from a pleasant Fountain, to the great refreshment of the right Seed and nourishment of the true Birth, in the sence of which his Heart was often filled with that strength of Life and heavenly Courage, that he would appear like a Gyant greatly refresht with new VVine, ready to run a Race, where there was no appearance of the bodily weakness as be­fore; but when his Testimony hath been ended, and Service for that time over, he hath been like on [...] ready to give up the Ghost, his before-mentioned weakness again repossessing his earthly House of Clay, by which I have often observed, how in a wonderful manner (as to the outward man) the mighty Power of God attended the blessed Testimony, and acceptable Service of this Servant of Christ; he was a worthy and ho­norable Instrument in the hand of the Lord, and many were turned to the Lord by him; for the Lord of the Vinyard im­ployed him therein, both to Plant and VVater, he being very well accomplished and fitted for both, being thereunto educa­ted by the Power of God in the School of Christ: He de­lightd much in breaking up of untill'd Ground, often having [Page 18] Meetings where there was never any by Friends before, and the Lord very much blessed and prospered his Labour in that very respect in adding to his Church thereby: He was indeed the Father of many Children, who were begotten by him into the Faith of the Lord Jesus Christ; God had given him a ready Utterance, his Tongue was as the Pen of a ready Writer, often minding Friends of the day wherein they first received the Truth, & to remember their first Love, that though they had known much, & experienced much, & had witnessed a large en­crease in the Riches of God's Kingdom, yet to remember that in which God first appeared (viz.) the measure of Gods Gift (or Grace) in their Hearts, there to stay their Minds, often mentioning the command of God to Jacob, who after many Tryals, Travels and Exercises, and after God had given him great encrease of Riches, as Flocks and Herds, VVives and Children, which he devided into three Bands (in order to meet his Brother Esau) admiring the goodness of the God of his Fathers who had given him all that Riches, who only with his Staff (did some time before) travelled over Jordan; yet after all this, God commanded him to go to Bethel, the place where the Lord at first appeared to him, when he fled from his Brother Esau, there to dwell, and erect an Alter, and call up­on his Name: He often had it upon him to put Friends in mind of speaking the true Language, to say thee or thou to a single Person, without respect of Persons, the contrary being false, and so out of the Truth; it was likewise much upon him to exhort Friends to feel the concern of Truth upon their Spirits, that in the true sence thereof they might feel the drawing of the Love of God to Meet and Assemble themselves together in his Name and Fear, and that they might truly know and understand the end of their meeting, and what God therein requires of them, that they might not go to Meetings as many People go to their Church (as they call it) to be a little serious [Page 19] while they are there, and when they are gone thence let their minds out, as if they had left their God behind them, such a coming to meetings would not stand any one in stead in a time of Exercise, or a day of Tryal; much might be writ, as to the good Exhortations, Admonitions, Advice and good-Counsel which oftentimes opened in his Heart in the Meet­ings and Assembles of Friends, but I must refer my friendly Reader to the persual of his Cordial and Soul refreshing E­pistles (as in the Life they are Read, by which they were gi­ven forth) for his or her further satisfaction; only I cannot pass by, as not to mention his frequent wrestlings in Prayer with the Lord for the good of all, but more especially for those of the Houshold of Faith, not forgetting the Sufferers of all sorts, whether in Body or in Mind, particularly such as suffer Imprisonment for the Testimony of a good Conscience; he often prayed that God would be pleased to make the Prison as a Pallace to them, through the incomes of his heavenly Life and blessed Presence in and to their Souls; and such as lay upon a Bed of Sickness, that God would be their Comfort; such as travelled by Sea or Land in the Work or Service of the Lord, that he would be their Support, and by his living Power and Presence them accompany that their Service might be effectu­al, & they enabled with cheerfulness to undergo what it should please God to permit or suffer to befal them for their Testimo­ny sake; he often interceeded with God for his very Enemies, (having learned that Lesson to love Enemies) that it would please the Lord to turn their Hearts, and to open their Eyes, that they may see against whom they are striving, and against whom they are setting themselves in battle aray, as Bayers & Thorns against consuming Fire, that they might behold him whom with their Sins they had Pierced, & whom in his Mem­bers they had Persecuted, that they might mourn over him, and if it were the will of God Repent, Return, be Converted and [Page 20] Healed; he oft remembred this the Land of his Nativity in his Suplications to God, that it would please him, if so it seemed good in his sight, to prevent those impending Judg­ments (that hang over it, ready like a dreadful Tempest to break, and fall upon it) by its speedy Repenting, and breaking off from those great Sins and Evils that abound and super­abound in it (which in Nature seem to Equal, if not Exceed the Sins of Sodom) and that it would please God, if that it seemed good in his sight, to frustrate, confound and bring to nought the devices, contrivances and consultations of that wicked Spirit, and those wicked Instruments that device, con­trive and consult its Overthrow and Destruction. Thus did the Love of God flow from the Heart of this Servant of his, not only to Friends, but to Enemies, having so learned of his Master Christ Jesus, whom he faithfully served in his Genera­tion, and with whom he forever resteth.

Now Friends, having hinted something of the Testimony this good man bore for God in Life and Conversation, and also in Word and Doctrine, having a dispensation of the Word of Life committed to him to declare to others, he being an able Minister of the same; now it remains to speak something of his Testimony he bore for God in Suffering; it was not only given him to Believe, but to Suffer for the Name of Christ, in which, by the permission of God, he had a large share, especi­ally by Imprisonment, which many times was long and tedi­ous, had he not been supported by the Power of God, for whose Cause he Suffered, and in whose Will he was truly contented to undergo what wicked men were permitted to inflict upon him, for his Conscience sake towards God, eying the Will of God in all, in which was his Peace and true lasting Satisfacti­on; the principal places of his Imprisonment were at Yar­ [...]oth, Norwich-Castle, Blibro, Melton, Ipswich and Edmonds-Bury; in the last of which he remained a close Prisoner, scarce [Page 21] setting his Foot over the Threshold in five Years time; he was several times a Prisoner in Melton Goal, as likewise in the Coun­ty Goal at Ipswich, where he breathed his last Breath, in which two places latterward my self, with several of our Friends in and about Woodbridg, were Prisoners with him, as particularly in this Persecution, which began five Years since by Edmond Brume, Priest of Woodbridg, but committed by Justice Bacon, and Justice Bohon, for refusing to take an Oath, where he re­mained Prisoner about half a Year; but after some breath­ing space, our old Persecuting Adversary, Priest Brume, began afresh to breath out his Threatnings, like the Persecutors of old, and getting a Justice for his turn, began to stir up the Town Officers, and disturb our Meeting (who of themselves might be unwilling) and upon the 12th day of the 6th month 1683 there came to our Meeting the aforesaid Officers, wher [...] our dear Friend William Bennit was upon his Knees in Prayer to God, from which he was violently haled away, by one Robert Chapman, a Constable (being put forward thereto by John Firman Church warden) and with several others of us taken out of our peaceable Meeting at Woodbridg, and carried before Edmond Jenny of Bredfeild Justice, who committed us to Melton Goal, for being at a Quaker-Meeting (which is con­trary to Law) as saith the Mittimas; at which this innocent man greatly rejoyced, that the Lord see it meet for him to bear his Testimony in this suffering time, among his Friends & Bre­thren at home (because it was reported he should be sent to Edmonds-Bury Goal) and in the aforesaid Prison at Melton he was kept very close, and the next Sessions at Woodbridg he was brought into the Court, where an Indictment was pre­ferr'd against him for being Riotously and Routously assem­bled, with many others, &c. to which (after many sound Reasons and Arguments to prove our Meetings Innocent, without any other design, but purely to Wait upon, and Wor­ship [Page 22] the Lord, as good experience hath shewn; and therefore no way Hurtful, or Dangerous to the Government, &c.) he pleaded not Guilty; it was demanded whether or no he would give Bail for his appearance the next quarter Sessions, & to be of the good Behaviour, which he refused to do, knowing he had not Mis-behaved himself; so he was again returned to Prison, and kept very close, and when the next Sessions came about, at Woodbridg, he was again brought into the Court, where Christopher Melton of Ipswich was Chairman (as at the Sessions before) where he with some other Friends was put on to Tryal, and after a great deal of arguing between the Pri­soners and the Court, the Jury went out, and after a conside­rable time returned, and being asked whether the Prisoners were Guilty or not Guilty, the Foreman answered not Guilty, at which the Chairman was highly displeased, and perswaded them, at the Bar, to alter their Verdict, that they were guilty of an unlawful Assembly, a practice how just I shall leave to the Judgment of the Impartial Reader; and as if this were not useage hard enough, they devised another piece of Cruelty, which was to remove him to Ipswich to be fined, and in a very cold day in the sharpest of this last Winter (which for excess of Cold, the like cannot be remembered) when it was late, in the latter part of the Day, Snowing very fast all the way he went, so that before he got to the Prison it was late in the Evening, and being many of us there, for want of Beds, and for want of timely notice to have made Provision, among others of us, this tender man was forced to set up all Night in that wet and cold Condition, and then he was called upon at that Sessions in Ispwich, and fined twenty Pound (at which he was no ways dismayed) and so he was returned to Prison till he should pay his Fine, where he meet with hard usage from the Jayler, he not answering his unreasonable demands, & re­mained close Prisoner until the next Sessions at Ipswich, where [Page 23] he was again called into the Court, and nothing of the Fine spoken of, but Thomas Covel Clark of the Peace told him, they had a particular order from the King to deal with him; then he was profferred the Oath of Allegance, which he refusing, he was again returned to Prison; after which, in some short time, it pleased the Lord to visit him with more then ordinary Sick­ness, which more and more encreased upon him, in which time he desired to see several of his dear Friends, as he said, before he dyed, thereby signifying his departure to be at hand; and so upon the twenty third day of the fourth Month 1684; about three in the Morning, like an innocent man, he laid down his Head in peace with God, & dyed a faithful Sufferer for Christ Jesus, in a Testimony against the Persecutors of our Age; and my desire is, that his innocent Blood may not be laid to the charge of them that had a hand in his last Suffering, in which he sealed his Testimony with his Life: And there is one thing yet with me, concerning my deceased Friend, which is worthy of Observation; that is, when even Persecution was stirred up among us, if he had happened to have been from home upon the publick service of Truth, when once he heard of it, he was not satisfied until he got home, to get his Shoulder to the Work; such was his care and respect to his Testimony at home, in a time of Suffering, the which makes our loss and want of him to be very great, especially at such a time as this, when suffering for the Truth abounds, in which he was a good Pattern; and indeed, time will discover the want of him more then at present it is by some perceived (the Lord make up, and restore our loss according to his own good will and pleasure) though his bodily Presence be removed from us, yet his Life is felt to remain, blessed be the Name of the Lord. As at the very hour of his departure, his dear Wife, with several other Friends, sitting by the Corps, the Life newly departed, very sor­rowful for their great loss, though his great gain; I say, as they [Page 24] thus sate, in retiredn [...]ss of Mind, the Love & Life of God broke in upon them, in an abundant manner, to their great Refresh­ment and Satisfaction, which signified thus much, that though he had taken away his Servant from them, yet his Life should remain; and it will remain with them that walk worthy of it, for it is a never failing Treasure.

And thus Friends I have given you a brief account of the Life, Sufferings and End of this Messenger of Christ, who hath delivered his Message, and done the Work of God in his Day; and Friends, that which remains to us is, tha [...] we may be found in our Day working the Work of God, in answering the Requirings of God, that so we may come to finish our Course with Joy, and lay down our Heads in Peace, as this Servant of God did, which is the desire of your Friend.

William Peart.

A COLLECTION OF Certain Epistles OF Divine Consolation, &c.

Dear Father and Mother,

MY Indeared Love abounds towards you, and in that which hath brought me into true obedience to God and Man, do I sa­lute you, and am present with you, as you come to be gathered thereunto; even into the spirit of holiness, in which is the unity of the Faithful, into which Spirit wait to feel your growth, and your obedience therein more and more, which growth standeth not in Words, but in Life and in Power; and wait to feel your increase therein, and decrease in Words which are out of the Power of God; many have grown rich [Page 26] in Words, and accounted that their growth without the Life, and have feed upon the Knowledge more then upon Life, and unto such the Famine is to come; therefore dear Hearts, yea exceeding dear to me, oh keep to the measure of God in your own Particulars, and be obedient to its operation, that you may come to witness your translation into the [...]rth Im [...]ortal▪ which trans [...]ation standeth not in Words, but in Life and Power; therefore feel the operation of the Power of God [...] work out and mortifie that which is reproveable by it; oh, obedience to the operation thereof is required by it of the Creature; for as it is to work upon the Soul, so it worketh not without the Soul's yeil [...]ing obedience thereunto, so far as to work its translation, yet not the Soul's work, but the work of God in and upon the Soul; for though Christ is come a Light into the World, and is the Salvation of God, yet they that believe, not in him he is their Condemnation, and yet sufficient Salvation to them who believe in him, and obey him; for as the Light manifesteth Evil, yet if the Creature yeild not obedience thereunto, he cannot have [...]ower over the Evil; but if he yeild obedience to the Light, it gives him power over Evil, yet not the Creatures Power, but the Power of God, which begetteth th [...] Will and [...]h [...] [...] also; there­fore perfect obedience to the Light the Lord requireth of every one, and daily to Watch and Wrestle [...]gainst that which is condemnable by the Light; for so long as the Creature knowingly lives in that (whether in Words [...] Deed [...] that it seeth to be reprovable by the Light, it cannot injoy perfect peace with God; for the peace of God is enjoyed i [...] the Light; and truely if that Condemn, surely the Lord doth not Justifie, though many believe they are Justified in the sight of God, through Christ, although the Witness of God le [...]s them see that they are yet in their Sins, and condemns them for Sin, and [Page 27] this Faith (or rather Unbelief) which leads them to believe that they, nor none else can be made free from all Sin on this side the Grave, and yet they imagin that they are free from it in the sight of God; but beware of that Faith, for it is accur­sed, and is not the true Faith which is the gift of God, which through Christ saveth from all Sin; for that Faith admits of Sin, but the Faith of Gods Elect sets free from all Sin; for where the Wicked one hath seated this Faith or Perswasion in the Heart, it is hard indeed for such a one to come to Live in the Life of Truth, which is holy; for as the Light doth let the Soul see it is in its Sins, and brings Trouble and Con­demnation upon the Mind for Sin, and begets a desire also in the Heart to be freed from Sin, for it feels it lie as a weighty load upon its Conscience; behold even then the Wicked one, who hath begot this perswasion in the Creature that it cannot be freed from all Sin here, though freed from Sin in the sight of God; and this perswasion causes the Creature to do dispite to the Spirit of Grace, and strive to quench its Reproofs, and so get at ease in that cursed Faith, and in that wrong Believe, and sit down short of the Peace of God; so that which begot desires in the Creature to be freed from Sin, comes to be vailed and slain, and many Thousands are in this State, who are large Boasters, who are boasting that they are Justified by Christ, and that Christ hath done all for them, and if they can believe it, that is sufficient, and yet still in their Sins.

Now the Apostle Paul saith, If while we seek to be Justi [...]ed by Christ, we our selves be found Sinners; Is Christ therefore the Minister of Sin? God forbid; and he saith, Shall we continue in Sin that Grace may abound? God forbid; for how can we who are Dead to Sin Live any longer therein? and he said, They who are Justified by Faith, through the Redemption that is in [Page 28] Christ Jesus, which Redemption is a redeeming out of Sin, and their Faith gave them power over the World, and did not admit of Sin, as the Professors Faith doth, who believe they can never be free from all Sin in this Life.

Oh, in tender Love I beseech you to beware of that Delu­tion and Perswasion of the Wicked one, for it is very dange­rous, and a broad way which the Creature is prone to run into; now there is a great difference betwixt such who with the Light seeth much Sin (which they are addicted unto) yet to be subdued, and it is their sore Burden, and they in the strength of the Light wrestle against it, and so feel it daily decrease; and that Faith bego [...], by which they see and believe that they shall be made Conquerors over all, as they abide faithful to the Light, which lets them see Sin: I say there is a great difference betwixt such as are there in that State (tra­velling out of Sin, out of Egypt, where the Bondage is, to­wards Sion, where the Freedom is) and such as are sate down satisfied, in a false Confidence, and in a wrong Belief, con­tinuing in their Sins, and believe they shall not be free from it here, but you know otherwise; therefore in the Life of what you know abide, for truly it is the Life that must make alive, and keep alive to God, which Life is the Light of men, the true Light which lighteth every one tha [...] cometh into the World, and is the Salvation of God; and therein wait and feel your Minds exercised in its operation for this changeth the Mind, the Thoughts, the Affections and De­sires; for as they have been Earthly, so they become Heavenly, and it becomes the Souls delight to answer the end of the Lord, and to endeavour to walk worthy of his Love, and it becomes its Life to do the Will of God, and to follow the Leadings of his Spirit, which leadeth out of Evil; but be­fore this be witnessed the strait and narrow Way must be [Page 29] known, felt and lived in, and there must be a passing through the Fire, through the Water, through the one Baptizing, which baptiseth into Death, and so translateth into Life, in which Life it will become your Life to do the Will of God.

Oh, dear Father and Mother, keep, I beseech you, to the Gift of God in your own particulars, and be obedient to its Leadings, and therein watch diligently, continually, and with it try your Thoughts, and Words, and Intents, before you bring them forth, and if they be reprovable give the [...] up to the Light, the Fire, to be consumed; dear Hearts, it is in unexpressible Love that I write thus unto you; and be very wary of spaking things by contraries, which you are addicted to, for there is no Lye of the Truth, and he that abideth in the Truth is preserved out of the Lye, he that loveth the Light bringeth his Deeds to the Light to try them, whether they be wrought in God; so be not forward to utter Words, but feel the Light of Christ to guide and lead you, and bring your Thoughts and Words to it, to try them, whe­ther you may speak them yea or nay; now if they be repro­vable by the Light, then they are to dye, and not be brought forth, for if they be, this grieveth the Righteous Spirit of God, and breaks your Peace with the Lord, for if his Wit­ness Condemn, he doth not Justifie; so the Creature keeping low in the pure Fear and Dread of the Lord, it dare not do that, whether in Thought, Word or Deed, which it seeth to be Vain and Evil, if it could gain the whole World by it; but truly the Professors are out of this Condition, though they can talk of the Fear of the Lord, and scarce one of a [...] is come [...]here, into that state, but this is a hard [...] is able to bear it? yet it is a true saying, though [...] believe it; oh, the largest Talkers, and De­clarers, [Page 30] and Knowers, even of the highest sort, are farthest from the Life of Truth, which is holy; for truly such are settled on their Lees, and have been building long, and very high, and have gathered much Riches, and it is hard for these to loose all, and their Building to fall, and not one Stone to be left upon another, but all to be thrown down; oh, the Lord God of Compassion is a gathering many tender Hearts from amongst them, who hunger and breath after him, and is not satisfied with the Husks, the Shadows and Dead Forms, in which they dwell, and poor Hearts, they have been long running from Mountain to Hill, and have sought after the Lord, even fervently, Day after Day, Year after Year, and could not find him whom their Souls longed for; but now such is the Lord a gathering into his Fold where they shall enjoy their Shepherd, and their Souls shall not want.

So once more do I in tender Love direct you to the Gift of God in your own particulars, and therein wait upon the Lord for Power, from the Lord, over that which is contrary to the Lord, and condemnable by his Light in your own Hearts; and keep in the fewness of Words, for too many Words becometh not those who professeth Godliness; but let your Words be few, and let them savour of the Grace of God, which leadeth into a Meek, Sober, Modest, Chast Lif [...], that so your upright sober Conversation may preach Righteousness, even to the convincing of them who have been as Teachers over you, whom ye will come to see, as you keep to the measure of God, and know them to be a People whose Minds are at Liberty, and are at case in the Flesh, and know not a Stay to their Minds, a Stop to their Thoughts, a Bridle to their Tongues, which if they be not come to know, feel and abide therein, let their [Page 31] Knowledge never so large, their Declarations never so high, their Words never so deep, yea and true also; yet I say, and my saying is true, though hard to many to bear (that if such come not, and keep not to that which is to be a Stay to the Mind, a Stop to their Thoughts, a Brible to their Tongues, a Lanthorn to their F [...], a Light [...]o their Steps) their Knowledge, their Declara­tions, their Works and their Suffering, it is all in vain; and a Babe of the Heavenly Birth sees and comprehends them, and their large Coverings are to narrow to hide them from their Eye: Well, into the hand of the Lord do I commit you, for to come to be gathered into, and preserved in the pure Fear of God, Watchful and Dili­gent in the Light, and to War and Wrestle in the strength of it, against that which you see is to be Mor­tified; so be willing to pass through the strait Gate, in­to the narrow Way to walk, which few findeth, and are made willing to walk therein; But the First shall be Last, and the Last First, for many are Called, and but few Chosen.

And dear Ones, one thing more I have to say unto you, beware and take heed of Condemning one another for doing that Evil which you see your selves are addicted unto, but first see it Subdued and Mortified in your selves, whether it be in Word or Action, before you Con­demn others for it, though they be Prophane People; and when you spake a Word of Reproof to any, be­ware of doing it in a light Frothy way, as many do, even in the light Airy Spirit, which bringeth forth the same things in themselves; but let it be done in the Sober, Solled, Seasoned, Savoury, Holy Spirit of the Lord God, that it may reach to the VVitness of God in [Page 31] them unto whom you speak, and then is it profitable; so the Lord God Almighty, Infinite and VVise, preserve me, and you, and all his little Ones, in his holy Awe and Dread, and therein to pass the time of our Pilgrimag [...] here in Fear and Trembling, Farwell.

From your Son, who is come into the Heirship of Eternity, William Bennit.

A tender and unfained Salutation of Love and Good­will to Professors, &c.

THe Lord God Almighty, hath, and is a looking down upon the Sons and Daughters of Men; and hath, and doth behold many of them, even as poor scattered Sheep without a Shepherd, wandering as in the Desarts and waste howling Wilderness, wandering as upon the barren Moun­tains, and dry Heaths; hungry and thirsty, their souls unsa­tisfied, seeking diligently for food upon the barren Moun­tains; running from Mountain to Mountain, and from Hill to Hill, and cannot find that Food that will truly satisfy their hungry Souls; and running from one broken Cistern to ano­ther, and cannot find one drop of water that will truly refresh their thirsty Souls; who are seeking the living God amongst the dead Forms, and seeking Meat among the Shells, and the Substance among the Shadows, and cannot find that which they seek after, nor enjoy him whom their Souls long­eth for; seeking rest and can find no true Rest; desiring to know where the Lord God (the good Shepherd of Israel) feeds his Sheep and Lambs, and where they lie down in qui­etness and rest, free from the fear of Evil.

And this the Lord God of pity hath seen, and in his Infi­nite tender bowels, hath been (and now is) moved with yearnings of pity and compassion towards them, and for his own Seeds sake he hath, and is (in Mercy to them) Ezek. 34. 11, &c stretching forth the Hand of his loving kindness unto them; to gather (in one) the scattered, to gather together (in one) the dispersed, to bring home the wanderer, and the prodigal (that hath long fed upon the [Page 34] husks among the Swine) to the Fathers house of plenty, where there is bread enough, and water faileth not.

Yea, the Lord God Almighty, of Heaven and Earth, hath, and is lifting up an Ensign for the Nations, and hath, and will assemble the out-casts of Jacob, and the dispersed Judah, from the four corners of the Earth, and hath, and will return the Captivity of his People; and then Jacob shall be glad, and Israel shall rejoyce in him (the steam of Psal. 14. 7. Jesse) which doth and shall stand for an Ensign for the people and unto him doth, and shall the Gentiles seek, and his rest is, and shall be sweet and glorious to the poor, for whom he will Judge in Righteousness; and Reprove with Equity, for the meek of the Earth; who will smite the Earth with the Rod of his Mouth, and with the breath of his Lips will he slay the Wicked, and Rule the Nations with his Iron Rod, and break the Heathen to pieces like a Pot­ters Psal. 2. 8. 9. Vessel; who hath Righteousness for the girdle of his Loins, and Faithfulness the girdle of his Reins; who hath on the Brestplate of Righteousness, and a Helmet of Salvation on his Head; who hath put on the Garment of Vengeance for cloathing, and is clad with Zeal as with a Cloak; who with the two-edged sword that proceeds out of his mouth, makes War in Righteousness; who hath on a Vesture dipt in blood, and his Name is called the Word Rev. 19. 13 Isa. 42. 6, 7. & 4 [...]. [...]. Luk. 2. 30, 31 32 Isa. 35. 5, 6, 7. of God. This is he whom the Lord giveth for a Covenant of the people, and for a light of the Gentiles, to be his Salvation to the ends of the Earth, to open the Blind eyes, to unstop the Deaf ears, to cause the tongue of the Dumb to sing, and the Lame to leap as an Heart; to cause water to come forth of the Desert, and streams in the Wilderness; the parched ground to become a pool, and dry heaths springs of water; to make the Wilderness and the solitary place glad, and the Desert to rejoyce, and blossom as a [Page 35] Rose; who is anointed of God to Preach glad Tidings to the poor, to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim Isa. 61. 1, 2, 3. Liberty to the poor Captive, and to comfort the the Mourners in Sion; to give beauty for ashes, the oyl of Joy for Mourning, the garment of Praise for the Spirit of heavi­ness; that they may flourish as Trees of Righteousness of the Lords own planting, bringing forth fruit unto him 1 Sam. 2. 4, 5 6, 7. that he (in and through them) may be glorified. He brake th [...] bowes of the Mighty, and that which is weak and feeble, he girds with Strength and Courage; the Full and Rich, he causes to hire out for bread, and causeth the hunger of the hungry to cease; who causeth the barren to bear seven, and she that hath had many children, to wax barren and feeble; he woundeth and healeth, he killeth and causeth to live; he bringeth down, and raiseth up, even the poor he raiseth out of the dust, and the beggar from the dunghil, to set them among the Princes, and to inherit a Crown of Glory.

This is he, who maketh all things a New, and Rev. 21. 1. 5 Isa. 65. 17. causeth all old things to pass away, who causeth the old Heavens, and the old Earth to pass away, and dry­eth up the Sea; and creates a new Heaven, and a new Earth, wherein dwelleth Righteousness; this is he which worketh the strange work, the marvelous work, which causeth the ears of those that hear thereof to tingle: This is he who is the strong Arm of Gods Mighty Power, which is stretched forth towards the helpless, to deliver the poor and needy out of the hand of him who is too strong for them; Isa. 52 1 [...] The Arm of Gods Salvation, which he is making bare before the eyes of the Captives, that they may see him, and come unto him who is Mighty, upon whom help is laid to deliver them, and to save to the utmost them that come unto him; this (as I said) is the hand of Gods loving kind­ness, [Page 36] which in mercy is stretched forth towards you, who can­not be satisfied with the husks, shells, and shadows, but thirst and desire after him the Substance, the living Bread which the living Soul feeds upon and lives, and grows up thereby into Eternal life.

Ah dear People! this is the Salvation of God whom I de­clare of, and Salvation is not to be had in an­other besides him, who is the Immortal word Luk 2. 29, 30. of Eternal life which abides for ever; which was in the be­ginning before the visibles were, by whom all things were made, whether visible or invisible, and with­out Joh. 1. 1 &c. him was nothing made that was made; and in him (the Word) was life, and this life is the light of men, and he is the true Light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world; and was in the world, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not, but unto them that received him, he gave power to become the Sons of God. Who had a body prepared him, in which he suffered the Will of him that sent him; who was born of the Virgin Mary, whom King Herod sought to destroy, who was circumcised the eighth day, and likewise baptised by John the Baptist, who likewise eat the Passeover with his Disciples, (for he came to fulfil all Righteousness) who was betrayed by Judas, who was judged to die by Ponrius Pilate, who was Crucified without the Gates of Jerusalem, who was laid in a Sepulcher, who rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, who ascended up into Heaven, and sitteth at the Right hand of God who is glorified with the same Glory that he had with the Father before the world began; who came again unto his Disciples according to his promise; who said unto them, I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you: I will send you a Comforter that shall abide with you for ever, even the Spirit of Truth. I am Joh. 14 16, 18, 26. [Page 37] the Truth (saith Christ) whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him; but you know him, for he dwelleth with you, and shall be (Mark) in you; yet a little while and the world sees me no more: (Mark this) you who are so much gazing and looking for his coming without, (but still fail of your expectation) that you know not his coming with­in you to be a Comforter. But you see me, and because I live you shall live also, (saith Christ to his Disciples) and in that day you shall know that I am in the Father, and you in me, and I (Mark) in [...]ou; and he the Spirit of Truth, shall lead you into all Truth, and shall teach you all things, and shall shew you all things to come, and bring all things to your remembrance that I have said unto you, and shall reprove the world of Sin, of Righteousness, and of Judgement: And his Disciples according to his Luk. 24. 29. Acts, 2. 4. command, waited at Jerusalem until they were indued with power from on high, and had received the pro­mise of the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of Truth, which caused them to speak the wonderful things of God, as the Eternal Spirit of Truth gave them utterance; and then they were come to witness his Word fulfilled, when he said, He dewlleth with you, and shall be in [...]ou; and this is the immortal Word which was in the beginning which Paul (who witnessed Christ the Son of God revealed in him, and was Gal. 1 15, 16. by him the eternal Spirit, made an able Minister of him) Preached to wit) Christ within, who said, Rom. 19. 6, 7. 8. None should need to ascend, that is, to bring Christ down from above, or to descend, that is, to bring Christ from beneath, &c. but the word (to wit Christ is nigh thee in the heart, and in the mouth, to be obeyed and done: and this is the Word of Faith that Paul preached nigh in the heart, Even Christ in them [...]he living hope, that was as an Anchor to their Souls, sure and stedfast) the hope of Glory.

And Paul exhorted the Corinthians to examine themselves, [Page 38] and to prove themselves whether they were in the Faith; whether they knew not Christ to be in 2 [...]or 13. 5. them, except they were Reprobates. And John in his writ­ing to the Saints, reminds them of that within, which they had heard from the beginning; and says to them, Let that re­main in you, (to wit, The word which was in the beginning) which you have heard from the beginning, and if it shall remain in you, ye shall continue in the Son and in the Father: and tells them, That they should not need that any man should teach them, but as the anoynting which they had received of God abiding in them, should teach them, which was the Truth, (to wit) Christ the Truth in them, the anoynted, the ano [...]nting: And as he had, and did teach them, so they were to abide in him; so they knew Christ in them, & witnessed the Power of God within, the Truth wit [...]i [...], the Word nigh in their hearts, the Spirit of God in their inward parts, by which they were led, guided, taught an [...] instruct­ed: For so many as are the Sons of God, (saith Paul) are led by the Spirit of God; and he that hath not the Spirit of Christ is none of his: and this gave them an understanding in the things of God, even the Spirit of God; For no man knows the things of God, [saith Paul] but by the Spirit [...]f God, through which he was made anable Minister of the New 1 Cor. 2. 10, 11, 12 Testament, not of the Letter, but of the Spirit which giveth life. And he Preached the everlasting Gospel, Christ the Power of God, the Word nigh in the heart, and said, If our Gospel be hid, it is hid from them that are lost, in whom, [Mark] in whom the God of the world [the Prince of the power of the Air, that wicked spirit, that worketh in the hearts of the children of disobedience] hath blinded their minds, lest the light of the glorious Gospel [Christ Jesus] should shine in, and unto them: But God, who commandeth light to shine out of darkness, hath shined [Mark] in our hearts, to give us the knowledge of the Glory of God in the face of Jesus; and we [Page 39] have this treasure in the Earthen vessel, that the glory may be of God, and not of us: so the Saints Preached up Christ [the Word of Life, the Light, the Truth] within, and Rom 1. 19. 1 Cor. 12. 7. Tit. 2. 11. said, That which is is to be known of God, is manifest in them: and Paul says, That the manifestation of the Spirit, is given to every man to profit withall; and the free Grace of God, saith he [Mark] that bringeth Salvation, hath appeared to all men, teaching us, that we denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.

And the Saints, they witnessed their reconciliation, and were born again; they felt and knew that in them­selves, of which they were born again even Christ 1 Pet. 23 24, 25. in them, the Seed incorruptible the Word of God, which lives and abides for ever, by which they were begot­ten again unto God, and quickened by the Word of life, even they who were once as dead stones, were raised up as living Children unto Abraham; and so they came to taste that the Lord was good and gracious; to taste and handle of the Word of Life, and to seed upon the Bread 1 Cor. 12. 13. of Life, and to drink of the Cup of Blessing, and so by one Spirit were baptised into one body, and were made to drink into one Spirit, wherein they worshipped and served the Lord God, and had Unity with the Lord, in and through the Eter­nal Spirit, and Unity one with another, which united their Souls unto each other, and unto the Lord God over all, blessed for ever.

Ah, dear people! you in whose hearts there is true desires, and secret thirstings after the living God, where-ever ye are scattered among the many Sects and people, towards you doth my soul, yea my tender soul yearn and stream with love and good-will; and for your sakes dear people, doth my Soul travel in the womb of Supplication, that you might [Page 40] come to enjoy that which you are seeking after, and come to possess that you are thristing for, and for your sakes mostly is this written, in tender bowels of unfeigned love and pity to your souls.

And dear people, you that have true desires in you after the Lord, and hath been seeking of him, where you cannot find him; and hath been running from Mountain to Hill and from Hill to Mountain; from one broken Cistern to another, from one dead Form to another, but still are unsatisfied, and are sensible, that you still [notwithstanding your long profe­ssion and confession of God and Christ in words, and notwith­standing your practicing some things that you read of, which the Saints once performed in obedience of the Spirit of Truth which led them thereunto] want the feeling enjoyment of the Love and sweet Peace of God, and go groaning daily under the burden of the bondage of sin and corruption, and desires to be set free therefrom. Oh, dear people! retire, re­tire with your minds inward, you who have been seeking a God a far off, and hunting after the Lord without, retire to within, and wait to know the Lord God near you, to know his pure Truth in your inward parts, his pure Spirit in you, to lead and guide you, to teach and instruct you; for God is a Spirit, and his teachings are spiritual; he must be known in Spirit, worshipped in Spirit and in Joh 4. 21, 22, 23, 24. Truth, not at the Mountain, neither at Jerusalem, not in this set Form, nor in the other Form, As lo here, and lo there, but in the Spirit is the Lord God known and worship­ped aright, by them who are born of the Spirit: And so the spiritualized people, who are born o [...] the Spirit, and lives in the Spirit, and are taught and led by the Spirit of Truth, these are the peculiar people who Worship the God of Truth [who is a Spirit] in the Spirit and in the Truth; and these are acceptable Worshippers with the Lord, who own no [Page 41] Worship but his own which he teacheth his people by his Spirit; and they that is ignorant of the Spirit of God, they are ignorant of the true Worship of God which is in the Spi­rit; and although such may seem to Worship God, yet their Worship is not of God, nor accepted with God. It is the purified Sons of Levy [who have passed through Mal. 3. 1, 2, 3, 4. the fire, that are purged even as gold is purged and tryed, and as silver is tryed by him [the Light of Israel] who is as a Refiners Fire, and like Fullers Sope] that can offer unto God an Offering in Righteousness, and their offer­ings is pleasant unto the Lord; but the polluted Isa. 10 17. Sacrifices, the halt, the blind, and the lame, is abomination unto the pure God of purity, who is Blessed, Blessed for evermore.

And dear People, who have desires in you after the Lord, towards you doth my bowels yearn, where ever you are scat­tered among the many [...]ects and heaps, this is a tender invi­tation unto you that have been spending your mony for that which is not bread, and your labour for that which hath not yet satisfied your Souls, but still you are a thirsty for want of drink, and an hungry for want of food. Oh, dear people! retire inward, retire inward, hunt no longer abroad, run no longer from one broken Cistern to another; wait no longer at the Wells that men have digged, draw no longer at them, for still you thirst again. But oh! retire to within, tur [...] your minds inward, and wait to find and feel that in you, which you so carefully (with sorrow) hath been seeking without you; even to know Jacob's Well in you, which hath been dammed up with Earth by the uncircumcised, whilest you have been hunting abroad; therefore turn your minds inward to feel the gift that Christ gives; the Water that he gives, saith Christ to the Woman of Samaria, The water which I will give thee, shall [Mark] be in thee John 4. 14. [Page 42] a Well of water springing up unto Eternal life. So the Water that Christ gives, it's within; therefore turn inward to his pure gift in your own Hearts, to his pure Light in your own Consciences, for that comes from him, and leads unto him (them that do it love, follow, and obey) the Fountain of living Water, who satisfieth the thirst of the thirsty, and feed­eth the hungry with good things.

Therefore retire inward in your minds, and come unto him, and learn of him who is meek and low in Mae 11. 28, 29, 30. Isa. 55. 2, 3. the heart, to wit, Christ in you, except ye be Repro­bates: hearken diligently unto him, and eat ye that which is good, (no longer feed upon the husks) and let your souls delight themselves in fatness: come unto him, encline your ear, hear and your Soul shall live, and en­ter into Covenant with him who will be your God, and you shall be his people.

And so, dear people, it is not enough for any to have a profession, and a talk of God and Christ in words, without the enjoyment and possession of him: It is not enough to confess and believe that Christ died at Jerusalem for sinners, and he hath done all for you, &c. for the drunkard and the swearer will say as much as this, and make a confession of Christ in words as many professors do, who say, They are justified by Christ, and he hath done all for them; and yet they are still in their sins, in the pride, covetousness, vanity, pomp, and vain glory of the world, in it's vain customs, inventions, and traditions, seeking and loving it's honour and respect, seeking and loving the praise of men more then the praise of God. But, dear people, it is not enough to confess Christ without, and say you believe in him, &c. except you come to know him made manifest in you to destroy the works of the Devil; for your professing and confessing of Christ dying at Jerusalem, &c. doth not cleanse your Hearts, nor sanctifie [Page 43] your Souls, nor purge your Consciences from dead works, to serve the living God in newness of life; but still you see you are Bond-slaves unto sin and corruption, and led captive with the lusts and desires of your own hearts; and it will be so dear people, until you turn your minds inward, to the pur [...] light of Christ in you, that doth discover the sin and corrup­tion of your own hearts; and as you come to believe in that, to love and follow that, you will come to feel and find the working our of the old leaven of sin, iniquity and corrup­tion, and working you into its nature, and so come to see, and feel, and witness, not only atalk of it, but your Regenera­tion wrought by Christ in you, the Immortal Word, to be bor [...] again of it, the Seed incorruptible, which must be known within, to bruise the Serpents head, the god of the world, the wicked spirit that leads man into sin, which hath been ex­alted in the heart of man, and hath been Lord, Head, and King there; and the holy Seed, the pure life, that hath suf­fered, that hath been oppressed, even as a Cart is oppressed with sheaves, that hath been pierced, wounded and cruci­fied, the Just hath suffered for the Unjust; he hath long been a man of sorrows, and largely acquainted with grief; he hath been smitten, and thou hast esteemed him not; but oh! he hath been wounded for, and by thy transgressions; and bruis­ed by, and for thy iniquities; he hath born thy iniquity, whilst thou like a sheep hast gone astray, and followed thy own way.

But oh! now return unto the good Shepherd, who lays down his life for his Sheep, and gathereth the scattered into the fold of Rest, where he feeds them, and causeth them to lie down in the fresh Pastures of life, where none can make them afraid; and feed, and sup with him, who is their daily Bread, their Life, their Rest, their Joy and Delight.

So dear poople, whose desires are after the Lord, but are [Page 44] she King for Salvation, and after a God afar off, I beseech you to return inward (because I fervently desire that your Souls might come to taste of the love and sweet peace of my God, which is that which would satisfie your Souls) and to take heed to that in your hearts, which as light shineth in a dark place, discovering unto you the deeds of darkness, and the works of the night to be evil; and fear not that It will deceive ye, for it is the sure word of Pro­phecy, 2 Pet. 1. 19. unto which you do well to take heed, until the day dawn in your hearts, and light shine out of darkness, and wholly extinguish the night; and give no heed to them who speak evil of the way of the Lord, and count Truth to be error, and Light darkness; even as the professing Jews, they boasted of Moses, and of the Law, and of the Prophets, but when he whom Moses and the Prophets prophesied of, whom the Law did figure out, who fulfills the Law, who was the life of Moses and the Prophets, he came unto them, but they hated him, and said We Know that God spake by Mo­ses, but as for this fellow. we know not whence he is; he Mat. 9 29. the 8. 4, 8. the 12. 24 11 ch. 18, 16. is a Gluttoner, a Wine-bibber, a friend to Publicans and Sinners; he through Beelzebub the Prince of De­vils doth cast out Devils, &c, And truly I may say, (not out of a prejudiced mind of Enmity towards any, for my Soul bears love and good-will towards all men) that it is (as it were) the same now with many of the Professors in this age, who (as the Jews made a large boast and profession of Moses, the Law, and the Prophets, and hated him the life of them) doth make a large boast of Christ in words, and of his dying at Jerusalem, (which I believe he did, according as the Scrip­ture testifie) and that he hath done all for them, and if they can but believe it, that is enough, &c. And yet whilest they are thus professing him in words, behold many of them are enemies to his Life, and so enemies to him whom they boast [Page 45] of, who is the Word that was in the beginning, in whom was life, and his life is the light of men: The true light, saith John, that lighteth every man that cometh John 1 9. into the world; vvhich the Professors say is a natural light; that vvhich convinceth vvicked men of sin in their ovvn hearts, and judgeth them for evil doing; it is a natural light say the Professors, and so call the life of the Word, vvhich is the light of men natural; it's a natural conscience say some, it's an insufficient light, it's a common grace, &c. so common it is indeed, that (as Paul says) it hath appeared unto Titus 2 11. all men, even that grace that brings Salvation: nay, some blasphemously vvill presume to say, it's a spirit of delu­sion, a spirit of errour; and these are under the vvo, vvho call the Truth errour, and the Light Isa. 5. 20 & 23: 36. darkness, and the Good evil; and these one day shall knovv their blasphemy, and their vvords shall become their burden; and these are in great darkness and ignorance indeed, thick darkness fills their habitation, even the dark­ness of Egypt, that may be felt; and it is hard indeed for such to be brought into the pure light and unchangable Truth of God; although vvith the Lord God Almighty nothing is impossible; and these like the Scribes and Pharisees, vvho, although they professed God in vvords, and said Mat. 23. 13. they had one Father even God, sought to shut up the Kingdom of Heaven from men, and vvould neither enter in themselves, nor suffer them that vvould: and so these, vvhile they profess Christ in vvords, they speak evil of his Light and Truth, and vvill neither ovvn it themselves, nor suffer (as much as in them lie) them that vvould; but cryes out, take heed, bevvare of the light the Quakers prate of, it is darkness, say they, it vvill deceive you, and delude you, and lead you into Errour, &c. But let all people knovv, the light (vvhich the people of God, called Quakers, speak of, and in [Page 46] bovvels of love direct peoples minds unto) is the life of the Word, vvhich is Immortal, Eternal, Permanent, Divine, and Immutable, and not Natural. Joh. 1, & 2 3, 9.

Thou, vvhoever thou art, and vvhatever by men thou art accounted of, that doth make a large profession of God, Christ, and the Scriptures of Truth in vvords, and doth hate, and speak evil of the Light, the true Light, that lighteth every man that cometh into the world, thou art a hater of God and of Christ, and art of Antichrist, against Christ; al­though thou professest him in words, and sayst thou art saved by him, and justified by him, &c. yet if thou hatest his light in thy own Conscience, which doth check thee for evil doing, and prick thee for thy sins in secret, thou art in enmity to him, and condemned by the Light, and not justified; and thy confession of Christ in words will not save thee from his Righteous Condemnation, vvhilst thou hatest his pure light in thy Conscience, and thy profession is for the fire, and un­to the Light thou must come before thou canst find true peace with the Lord God. Yea, whatever thou art, who art climed, and a climing up in thy Imaginations, and a soar­ing up aloft with the god of the world, (the Prince of the power of the Air) above the Light (the Door into the fold) striving to enter into the fold, and not by the Door, to wit) the Light, thou art the Thief John 10. 1, 8, 9. and Robber, who runs before Christ, the Light, the Door in­to the Fold, and thou must come down; come down, to that which appears a small thing in thy eye, (who art swell'd big in thy fleshly wisdom, from which the things of Gods Kingdom is hid) even to that which thou counts a foolish thing, a weak, a poor thing, 1 Cor. 1. 27, 28, 29, 30, 31. and 19. 20, 21. not worth the minding or heeding; but this is it (the foolish thing in thy eye that is to con­found thy wisdom, and turn it into foolishness, that so thou [Page 47] beecoming a fool, may be made wise in it: This is the weak thing, in thy eye, which is to confound thy strength, and make thee weak, that thou mayst be strong in it, and the poor thing in thy eye, which is to rob thee of all thy Riches, that thou becoming poor, in it may be made Rich; so where is the Wise, the Rabbi, the Scribe, the Disputer of this world? Hath not God made foolish the Wisdom of this world? for the world by wisdom knows not God; and so the boaster is excluded, that God may have the Glory, and all flesh abased, and silent before him, who of God is made unto his Saints, that love his Light, and are led by his Spirit, Wisdom, Strength, Power, Righteousness, Justification and Redemp­tion, who have the heavenly Treasure in the Earthen vessel, that the glory may be of God, who is worthy of all Glory and Praise for ever.

So heed not (dear people, you who have any desire in you after the Lord) what this man, or the other, saith of the Light; but love the Light, and take heed unto it, for that which judges and condems sin in you, which John 3. 20 is that which seperates you from the Lord, and hinders your peace with the Lord, and is the cause of your burden and sor­row; this you shall not need to fear will delude you; That is a spirit of delusion, that leads into sin and evil, beware of that; but that which reproves you for evil in your own hearts, and manifests the deeds of darkness, take heed unto it, for that is the Light that doth make manifest. Eph. 5. 13, 14. darkness; that which is reprovable is made manifest by the Light; for whatever makes manifest, is Light, and that will not onely make manifest the sin and evil, but as you come to turn your minds in, unto it, and love, and follow it, it will save you from your sins, and redeem your minds and souls unto God; for who receive his Light, his pure Grace in them, they receive power through it to become the Sons of God; [Page 48] for through his Grace doth he manifest his power in them that believe in the Light, to the drawing of their hearts and minds out of the ungodliness and worldly lusts, and to the teaching of them to live soberly, and righteously, and godly in this present world; and thus the free Grace of God bring­eth Salvation to their Souls. And so dear people, thus you, who come to believe in the Light, to love and obey the Light in your own Consciences, will come to feel and witness the work of the Lord God in your hearts, the working and oppe­ration of the Word of Life, to the casting out of the Bond­woman and her Son, which is not to inherit; to the binding of the strong man, and casting of him out; yea, the Old man with his deeds is to be put off, and you renewed in the spirit of your minds, and the new Man is to Eph. 4. 20, 21, 22, 23. be put on, who after God, is created in Righteous­ness and true Holiness, to put him on, and to bring him forth before all men, the only begotten Son of God, who is full of Grace and Truth, Mercy and Love, Pity and Compassion, Purity and Holiness, and Good-will towards all, who loveth Enemies and doth good to them that hate him, &c.

So coming to the Light, Christ Jesus, you come to the Sub­stance, to him, in whom the Figures, Types, and Shad­dows end in, and so come to witness him in you, who fulfils all Righteousness; he who is the end of the Law for [...]ighteous­ness sake, unto them that believe in him; and to be Circumcised in him, with the Circumcision Col. 2. 11, 12. made without hands▪ by the putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the Circumcision of Christ, which the outward Circumcision was a figure of; and to witness the Baptism of Christ, which is with the Holy Ghost and fire, which John's Baptism with water outward, was a true figure of; and he bore Testimony unto Christ, the Light of the world, who said, I must decrease, but he must increase. I indeed baptise you with water, [Page 49] but he (Christ Jesus, who was before me) shall baptise you with the Holy Ghost and with Fire; whose fan is in his hand, and he shall throughly purge his floor; the Wheat he shall gather into his Garner, but the chaff he will burn up with unquenchable fire. So the outward water was but a type, the outward washing a type of the in­ward washing, and inward cleansing, and inward purging, and purifying by the Water of Life, or the Blood of Jesus, that cleanseth from all sin, which is felt thus to work in them who believe in the Light, and walk in the Light; and they come to know that begotten in them, that feeds upon the flesh of Christ, which is the living Bread, upon which the living Soul seeds, and is the Substance which the Bread and Wine out­ward did figure out; which the Manna (that God gave the Israel of old in the Wilderness) was a pure type of the heaven­ly Manna, the living Bread, vvhich the birth that is born of God feeds upon, and lives thereby, and grows up into Eter­nal life.

The day of gathering is come, wherein the Lord God of everlasting bowels of Compassion is a gathering the despersed, and seeking that which was lost, and bringing back that which was driven away, and healing that Ezek. 34. 12 13, 14, 9, 16. which was sick, and binding up that which was broken; but the strong and the fat he is feeding with Judg­ment. The Lord is a gathering people out of the Forms, Shels, and Shadows, wherein many have long stuck, and is bringing of them to the Substance and life it self, out of the many Sects, and heaps, and divers ways, into the one pure path, into the one way of Life, Light, Peace, Truth, and Righteousness, who by the one Spirit, hath, and is baptising them who believe in the Light) 1 Cor. 12. 13 into the one body, wherein the unity, the oneness, and the fellowship is witnessed; blessed be his Name.

The way of the Lord is pure and Righteous, and unchang­able; [Page 50] I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, saith Christ, John 14. 6. Rom. 10. 8 John 12. 46. & 8. 12. the immortal Word, which (saith Paul) is nigh in the heart, to be obeyed and done: This is he, the Light, the Salvation of God, the true Light, that lighteth every man that commeth into the world; who saith, None can come unto the Father, but by me: I am come a Light into the world, (saith Christ) that whosoever believe in me shall not abide in darkness, but shall have the light of life. Therefore, dear peo­ple love the Light, and believe in the Light, while ye have the Light, that so you may become children of the Light, and become heirs of an Inheritance incorruptible, that will never fade away: There is no obtaining the Crown but through the Cross, and this you will come to know, who come to love the Light, and to be taught of him, and to learn of him who is meek and low in heart, Mat 11. 29 and 6. 13. & and 10. 38. and to follow him in the strait and narrow way that leads to life, which few there be that find it, and walk therein: He that will be my Disciple, saith Christ, must deny himself, and take up his dayly Cross and follow me. This you will come to feel and witness, if you be followers of the Light, a dayly denying of self you will know, a denying of your own wills, your own desires, your own thoughts, your own affections, your own words and works, your own wisdom and righteousness, and a daily taking up the Cross, an hour­ly living in the Cross; through which you must come to be crucified to the World, its Vanity, its Pomp, Pas­time and Pleasures, Sins and Iniquities, vain Words, Psal. 6. 14 Works, Fashions Customs, Inventions and Traditions; so coming to be crucified with Christ unto the world, and to be Baptised into death with him unto sin, you will come to live with him unto God in the life of Righteousness; in whom (then) you will find that Rest, Satisfaction, Joy, Comfort and Peace which no man can give unto you.

So, dear people, who are seeking, and desiring after the Lord God, to find peace and comfort to your souls, this I leave with you; flee not from that which doth judg you in your own hearts for sin and evil, and bring trouble upon you, and sorrow upon you, and woundeth and pierceth you in secret, because of Transgression: I say, love that flee not from it; for oh dear people! how many is there, that when they have been judged by Gods pure light in their hearts for their sins, when trouble, and sorrovv, and distress, hath seized on them, because of their sins, vvhich Gods Witness hath set in order before their eyes; then have they run unto vain helps, and run unto man for help, even to those that could not speak a vvord in season to them, but have daubed them up vvith untempered Morter, and have endeavored to heal their vvound deceitfully, and have preached Peace to that vvhich is for judgment, and so thereby they have gotten some kind of satisfaction for a time, until the Lord vvound­ed them again with the Sword of his Righteous Judgments, & then their seeming rest fled away as smack before the wind, and sorrow & trouble took hold on them again, as pain on a Woman in travel; and then they have run again unto that which could not remove the very cause of their trouble and sorrow; they have run to the Scriptures of Truth, and therein have found a promise, and this they have applied to themselves, for to get peace and rest thereby; when, alas poor hearts, they have not been in that state and condition which that promise (which they applied to themselves) was unto, and so not for them; and then they have read what the Saints once did and performed, and they set themselves to do the like, and to imitate them; and so hereby for a time they have gotten some satisfaction, some kind of rest and peace, until the Lord God did thunder again with Dread, and uttered his Voice with Terror, which caused the Earth [Page 52] to tremble, and their habitation to fall, and then dissolation came upon them again, and their Fig-leave garment came to be rent, and their wound greater then ever it was before; and thus they have run from Mountain to Hill, from one Physitian to another for healing, but they were unto them as Physitians of no value; for none of them could rightly heal their wounds, until at last, they said in their hearts, We will seek no more unto man, for vain is the help of man: But we will return unto the Lord God who hath wounded us, and he will heal us; who hath broken us in peices, and he will bind us up; and so returning to the light of Christ Jesus in their own hearts, (with which the Lord hath wounded them for their sins, and brought trouble and sorrow upon them for their iniquities, waiting therein in patience upon the Lord God, in the way of his Righteous Judgments, which was set up in their hearts) they came to feel, through their belie­ving in the Light, and loving the Light by which they were wounded for sin, the cause of their sorrow, and trouble and wounds, taken away by the Blood of Jesus, which is his life, which they came to feel i [...] them, cleansing of them from their sins, and washing of them away; and so the very cause of their wound being taken away, and the corruption purg­ed out; then he, the tender, pitiful compassionate God of Mercy, that in mercy towards them had wounded them, healed them with the sweet Oyl of joy, peace, and gladness; and now these that vvere mourners do rejoyce; and they that vvere heavy hearted are made glad; and beauty is gi­ven them for ashes, and the oyl of joy for mourning; the garment of praise, for the spirit of heaviness; and are become Trees of Righteousness, the Lords own planting, bringing forth fruit to his glory and praise, vvho hath thus set them free from their sorrovv and trouble. These can say, Good it is to wait upon the Lord God in the Isa. 26. 8. & 2 [...]. 9. [Page 53] way of his Judgments. Lo, this is the Lord whom we have waited for, this is our God, we have waited for him; come let us rejoyce in his Salvation wherewith he hath saved us; he hath redeemed us out of the horrible Pit, out of the miry clay hath he brought us, and set our feet upon a Rock, and doth establish our goings; who filleth our Souls with the fatness of his house, and causeth us to drink of the River of his Pleasure, and to suck and be satisfied with the Consolation of the Brest, and to milk out, and be delighted in the abnundance of the sweetness of its vertue. Oh what! what shall we render unto the Lord, unto the Lord our God for his benefits? oh! what shall we render unto him for his Mer­cies? what shall we render unto him for his loving kindness? Oh! let us take the Cup of his Salvation, and drink thereof abundantly; and in the strength of the vigour of its vertue, let us, in the meekness of our hearts, and in the lowli­ness and contriteness of our Souls, praise, praise, the Name of the Lord our God, who is worthy of all Glory and Praise, for ever, and for evermore.

A few words more unto you, dear people, who desire more after the love and peace of God, then the glory and pleasures of the world. Dear people, take heed unto that which dis­covers unto you what are your thoughts, whether they be good or evil; for that is it which must redeem your minds unto God; and wait to come to know it to be a stay to your minds, and a stop to your thoughts, and a bridle to your tongues, and to cause a watch before your mouth, and to raise a holy fear in your hearts of offending the Righteous God of Righteousness, in thought, in word, in deed.

And dear people, who have so much depended and relied upon man for teaching, retire you with your minds inward, to the manifestation of the Spirit of God in your own hearts, and wait in it to come to know the Lord God to be your Teacher; [...]hat if you should be separated from those that have been [Page 54] your Teachers, and put into a Hole, a Dungeon, or Cave of the Earth for your Consciences towards God, and so be sepa­rated from all your teaching outward, you may then feel, find and witness the Lord to teach you, to instruct you, coun­sel and direct you, comfort and refresh you, even by his pure Eternal Spirit in you; for all the children of the Lord, shall be taught of the Lord, and established in Righteousness, and great shall be their peace in the God of their Salvation, unto whom, unto whom be glory, glory, honour and praise for ever, and evermore; for he is vvorthy, he is vvorthy, vvorthy saith my soul, unto whom be glory in the highest. Amen.

So, dear people, for your sakes mostly was these foregoing lines written, in obedience to the tender spirit of love in my heart, vvhich drew me thereunto; and in tender unfeigned love, and pure good-will to your souls, vvho have had, and still have true desires in your hearts after the Lord, and have been, and still are thirsting and hungering after the vvay of Truth and Righteousness, and have been, and still are seek­ing and hunting among the husks, shells, and shadows, for to find the substance, but still fail of your expectation, and can­not find true and perfect satisfaction, but secretly in your hearts are panting and thirsting after the living vvater, and are vveary of feeding upon the husks, and begin to say (with­in your selves) to each other, Come, vve have been long vvandering abroad, hunting after the Lord afar off, seeking of him in this Form, and in the other Form, running from Mountain to Hill, from one Man to another, to enquire for him vvhom our Souls long for; but vve still vvant the true enjoyment of him: And although man hath told us vve should find him there in this Way, and in the other Way; in this Form, and in the other Form; in this Ordinance, and the other Ordinance; wherein we have been tossed about, and [Page 55] turned from one broken Cistern to another, but still w [...] want true satisfaction for our souls, for we want the true enjoy­ment of the assurance of the Love and Peace of God: wherefore, come let us no longer hunt abroad, nor run any longer from one man to another. But oh! come let us retire our minds inward, and in stillness and quietness, in sollid­ness and seriousness let us wait upon the Lord, and he him­self will teach us of his wayes, and lead us into the path of Righteousness, where we shall meet him whom our souls hath long panted after, even as the Hart panteth after the wa­ter Brooks; wherefore let us wait upon the Lord, for the Lord is good to the man that waiteth for him, to the [...]am 3 25 26. Soul that seeketh him. Therefore, come let us both hope, and quietly (without hunting any more abroad) wait to find and feel in our selves the salvation of the Lord, that so we may in truth come to find, and to say, He is come, he is come, and made manifest in us, whom our souls longed after; and behold his reward is with him, even joy, comfort, peace, rest, and satisfaction to our souls. Lo, this is the Lord, we have waited for him: Lo, this is our God whom vve have vvaited for; novv let us rejoyce, and be glad in his salvation, and praise his Eternal Name. I say, dear people, tovvards you is the opening and yearning of my bovvels, in the casting of this my Mite amongst you, in the meekness and humility of my soul, and the God of Heaven (for his ovvn Seed sake) make it a service of good to you.

And then vvill the onely end of my soul herein be ansvvered thereby▪ vvho am your friend, and one vvho desires that you off the barren mountains may be gathered, and brought dovvn into the lovv valley, into the fresh pastures of life, vvhere you may feed vvith Gods Babes and Lambs, and lie dovvn in the sold of rest and peace, that you might find bread in your own houses, and vvater in your cisterns, the oyl in [Page 56] the Cruse that vvill not fail, but vvill satisfie your souls in drought, and make fat your bones, that you might become like a vvatered garden, and like a spring of vvater, whose vvaters fail not.

Take this as a Salutation of the love and good-vvill of my soul to you, vvho am a friend to all people; one that ovvns and desires to tender, nourish & strengthen the least appear­ance of God in any; A lover of honesty and upright­ness in vvhomsoever I find it; but a hater of hypocrisie and deceit: A Traveller in the vvomb of supplication for the restoring and gathering in of the scattered sheep, and bring­ing home the dispierced of the Fold, that all may knovv one sheep-fold, and one shepherd.

From one of the least amongst many of the chosen Gene­ration and peculiar people of God, (called Quakers) vvhose earthen vessel is knovv by this Name,


DEar People, you in whose hearts there is some tenderness and conscienciousness towards the Lord God, if you, because of by-ends, and self-interests, and through letting in (by your reasoning and consulting with flesh and blood) the slavish fear of man (whose breath is in his Nostrils, and can but (if by God per­mitted) kill the body) doth consent, and condescend thereby (for to save your selves from, or out of sufferings, either by body or estate) to do and joyn with that which you are really perswaded in your hearts is quite contrary to the mind and will of God, and so knows it to be evil, and also contrary to your own Consciences; here­by, in so doing, you may engage the Lord God against you, (in your fearing man more then God▪ and come to loose your tenderness and conscienciousness to God-ward, and so hardness of heart may come upon you, and so you wholly die and wither away (as to all ten­derness and conscienciousness towards God) even as grass upon the house top. But you dear people, in whom there is tenderness and conscienciousness towards the Lord God, if you be faithful to the Lord in your not joyning with, nor consenting to do the thing (for any by-ends, or private interests whatsoever, although it be set up and tollerated, and compelled to be done by a Law from man) which you are in your hearts truly and really perswaded is evil, and contrary to the mind and will of God, and also contrary to your own Consciences; but rather are willing to expose your selves to suffer whatever the Lord God of Almighty power, and everlasting strength, (before whose Etern [...]l Almightiness, and Everlasting Powerfulness, all the strength, and power of the Arm of flesh, is even like a puff of smoak before a mighty wind) shall suffer man, who to day is, and to morrow is not) to inflict upon you; you hereby will [Page 58] even engage the Lord God of everlasting bowels, of infinite com­passion, (who is and will be a strength to the poor, feeble, weak and need [...], a shadow unto them from the heat, a refuge unto them from the storm, when the blast of the terrible One come upon them like an overflowing flood) to stand for you, and to help you in your need, and in your greatest straights; when you (as Peter) are ready to cry, Help, Lord, I sink; to appear to and for you in the greatest mea­sure of his love, who right well knows what you have need of, to mi­nister strength unto you proportionable to your tryals: And hereby dear people [...]our tenderness and conscientiousness may dayly increase, and you come to make conscience of that which you have not made conscience of, and then you may come to find and witness that this day of tryals, sufferings and tribulations is a blessed day to you, and turneth ▪through the mercy and loving kindness of the Lord towards you) for your good, so that you may come to bless and praise his name for it, unto whom be praise and glory for evermore; But a woful day to Hypocrites, who hath gotten on a garment of profession of God and Christ, &c▪ for a cloak to cover their unrighteousness and deceit; an unwelcome day to them, a terrible day to them, for it will stain their crowns, and mar their beauty, and subdue their strength, and slay their power, and pull down their strong holds, rip off their sheeps cloathing, pull down their gay Tombs and painted Se­pulchres, and their rottenness stink, and nakedness will appear. So be it, so be it, Amen saith my soul.

For Friends of Truth in the Town of Yar [...]outh.

DEar Friends, whom the Lord God Almighty hath visi­ted in his endless unchangeable Love; even in his making known, and manifesting in and unto your souls his pure pretious Truth, whereof he hath in measure made you pertakers, with his dear Children and Witnesses of, in your measures, blessed be his Name, who hath raised you up to bear a Testimony for him and his Truth which you profess; who also hath inabled you through the power of his Love thereunto, in this the day of your tryal in that great Town. And my dear Friends, my soul earnestly desires that you all may dwell and abide, in the remembrance and living sence of the loving-kindness of the Lord towards you, in his freely making known his Truth unto you, that indeed the sence of his Love, may bind your hearts and souls to be faith­full unto the Lord, and his truth which you profess, in still bearing your Testimony for the same, in this the day of tryal, standing as noble faithfull witnesses for the Truth, every one of you in your measures, amongst that hard hearted and crooked Generation, in the midst of whom my dear friends, you in the Light may shine as Lights, in the blamless Life, and unreproveable Conversation, even to the praise of the Lord God, and to the honour of his truth which you pro­fess.

Now, dear friends, the Lord hath caused you hitherto, to bear a testimony for him, and against that wicked spirit of Persecution, which would limit the Lord in his people; in this particuler fix in your meeting and assembling your selves together in his fear, to wait upon him, and to worship him [Page 60] in spirit and in truth, though it hath been though Sufferings. And dear friends, in the meekness of love unfeigned; I Cry unto you, saying, oh, do not grow faint, nor weary of bearing your testimony still for the truth and worship of God, in your meeting together in his name; for dear Friends, wherein can we (in one particular exercise of the spirit of truth) bear a larger testimony for the truth, then in our meeting and assembling our selves together in the truth, to worship the God of truth, in the spirit of truth, seeing that this is the thing (above many) which the wicked spirit of persecution, doth so eagerly, and so highly oppose, and so eanestly seek, and so greatly indeavour, to deprive us of, and confine us from; wherefore dear Friends, I cannot but in the Love and Zeal of the truth, exhort you all, not to neglect meeting toge­ther in the fear of God, so long as the Lord permit you Li­berty so to do.

And oh, let not the smalness of your number (you little Flock, who are hated and rejected by the world) be any dis­couragement to you in this matter; but oh, rather be you incouraged thereby, in the strength of the Lord, in love to his truth, to bear up your testimony, (in that great Town, in the midst of so many Persecutors) faithfully in your measures, even to the honour of the Lord & his truth. My dear friends, let me say again, neglect not meeting together, through gi­ving way to the sloth [...]ul careless spirit, or through letting in the fear of man into your hearts, for indeed, my dear friends, although you be a poor small Remnant, for whom my soul travelleth with the Lord for your preservation, yet behold, as you keep your meetings in the fear and name of the Lord, you will feel and injoy his living presence in and amongst you, which will make your meetings profitable unto you.

And dear Babes, in stillness, quietness, in peace, pati [...]nce, and contentedness possess your souls, in the dominion of [Page 61] truth to reign over all those thoughts, reasonings and con­sultings, which the Enemy of your souls would infuse into your minds, whereby he would raise trouble and tumult in your hearts, and bring faintness and weakness upon you. And dear Friends, lend not an ear to listen after the rumours and reports of the world, nor heed not the boasting of the wicked, neither regard the threatning of truths Enemies; but dear Babes, continually lend an ear unto the Lord, and hear­ken you unto his Counsel, and have continual regard unto him in your hearts, and wait to feel his presence with you continually, and know your unity with him; and every per­ticular one feel and find in your selves, that the Lord God al­mighty is on your sides; and then, my dear Friends, you need not matter who are against you, if the Lord be for you; so dear Lambs, be faithful to the Lord, and to his truth in your measures; and be not D [...]scouraged nor Danted, (through the sence of the rage, wroth and bitterness of your Enemies, and through the feeling of your own weakness and feebleness) but trust ye in the Lord, and hope ye in his tender bowels, which are opened with groanings of compassion towards his poor afflicted suffering people, who is, and yet will be, a strength to the poor and needy, a refuge unto them from the storm, and a shadow unto them from the heat, a helper in the time of need, a Deliverer out of trouble in the greatest straits; who will appear to help his helpless ones, wh [...] have no other helper but the Lord.

So, the Lord God almighty be with you, and gird up your loins with Courage, Boldness, Strength and Valour, and spread upon you the mantle of faithfulness, and cause you to persevere on in the perpetual patience, and to abide in the continual content, therein to run the race that is set before you, which you have begun: And the Lord almighty of hea­ven and of earth, for his own seeds sake, keep you from faint­ing [Page 62] by the way, and carry you through all whatever either outwardly or inwardly you do, or may meet withal, and keep you, and preserve you unto the end, that in the end, dear Lambs, we may lay down our heads together, in the sweet bosom of the Lord God of everlasting rest, peace and quiet­ness, in whose sweet, meek, heavenly, humbling, melting love, my soul dearly salutes you all, and commits you all unto the Lord God almighty. Farewell, dear Friends, Dwell toge­ther in that love which thinks no evil, therein forgiving and forbearing one another, even as the tender God of bowels hath forgiven you, and born with you day after day, and time after time; and dwell all in the meek spirit of self-denial, keeping the unity in the spirit, in the bond of peace.

Your tender Friend and Brother, WILLIAM BENNIT.

God only Exalted in his own Work; OR, THE Works of God Praiseth him in Sion. OR, A Song of Deliverance from a great and sore Captivity, Thraldom and Bondage, under the King of Egyptian Darkness, the God of the World, where the Soul was fast bound, as with strong Chains and Fetters; but now Ransomed (by the out-stretched Arm of Gods Almighty Power) and art come to Sion with Songs of everlasting Joy upon thy head, and hast obtain'd joy and glad­ness, and thy sighing and mourning is fled away: witnessed unto, and experienced in that Vessel, whose earthly Tabernacle bears the name of William Bennit.

Published in singleness and uprightness of heart (from a constraint of Gods Love) to all those who are yet groaning and panting after the Lord in truth and sincerity, that they may meet with some re­freshment and encouragement in their Journey and Travels towards the Land of Rest and Peace.

OH! oh my soul, my soul, what hath the Lord, even the Lord thy God done for thee? oh! what hath he done for thee, oh my soul! oh my soul, a little while sit down in thy secret Chamber of rest and quietness, and there oh my soul! a little meditate of the most excellent loving-kindness of the Lord, thy tender compassionate God of infi­nite bowels, which he hath manifested to thee, oh my soul! of things past, present, and to come; that so the perfect sence [Page 64] of the love, mercy, pity, kindness, tenderness, and compassi­on of the Lord, thy tender God, may alwayes rest in and upon thee, oh my soul! That oh my soul! through the sence, feeling, and true remembrance thereof, thou mayst be, O bles­sed God, praised, glorified, and magnified, reverenced, and ho­noured, even the holy, powerful, eternal, wonderful, everlast­ing Name of the Lord God Almighty, who inhabiteth E­ternity, who lives for ever and for evermore; and bound thereby to a bountiful, kind, loving, tender, pitiful, merciful, compassionate God towards all souls; in the measure of God, thy God, who hath abounded in loving kindness towards thee, oh my soul!

Oh! oh my soul, my soul, remember thou wert once a prisoner in the prison house of darkness, strongly bound in chains and fetters, a slave and a captive in the Land of Egypt, under the servitude and slavery of the Prince and power of darkness, the god of the world, the king of Egypt: and un­der thy hard bondage, and deplorable thraldom and misera­ble captivity, oh my soul! thou wert made in secret to cry and groan, under thy burdens unto the Lord thy tender God, whose bowels, whose tender bowels of infinite pity and unsa­thomable compassion did (in mercy to thee) hover over thee, even in that thy sad miserable deplorable state; first made thee sensible of thy sad captivity, and so in the sence thereof, and in the sence of thy own helplessness, how dids [...] thou cry, cry unto the Lord God of pity for help, and groan unto him for deliverance, oh my soul! and the Lord who opened thine eye, and gave thee a glimpse of thy sad estate, did hear thy groanings, and thy cries, and (for his own Seeds sake) set himself, by the out-stretched Arm of his power, to deliver thee out of thy sad captivity, in which thou were, without help of thy own, and there must abode, had not the Lord God of everlasting unfathomable bowels of pity had mercy upon thee, oh my soul!

Oh, oh! oh my soul, my soul, the remembrance of the ten­der love, the tender pity, the tender mercy, of thy tender piti­ful God: how can it but even rend thy bowels even from top to bottom, oh my soul; and remember, oh my soul! how the Lord God Almighty, through his sore plagues and righ­teous judgments executed upon Pharaoh the King of Egypt, under whom thou wert a slave, by an out-stretched and a mighty power, by the slaying with the sword of his ven­geance the first-born of Egypt, brought thee out of the prison­house, who broke thy chains in pieces, and snapt thy bonds asunder, and brought thee out of Egypt, and set thy face to­ward Canaan, the good Land that floweth with milk and ho­ney. And remember, oh my soul! how wonderfully the Lord God, who by his mighty power and out-stretched arm brought thee out of Egypt, preserved thee and upheld thee in thy long journey unto Canaan, thy tedious way and passage through the sea and wilde [...]ness, how gently did he lead thee, as a tender nursing Father, and carried thee as in his arms, and bore with thee in his mercy towards thee, when thou sometimes murmured against him, because of the length and straightness of the way that he led thee in, and because of the enemies thou hadst to encounter with by the way, insomuch that thou sometimes backslided in thy heart towards Egypt, and lusted after the flesh-pots thereof, and murmured against the Lord, who so led thee about in such a cross knotty way, to that part, in the which through the cross, straightness and length of the way, was to die, pine, and wither, and be worn away, and fall in the wilderness, and not enter into the holy Land, and yet the Lord thy tende [...] God, who did corre [...] thee through his righteous [...]; and as a tender, hea [...] ­ed Father did chas [...]ise thee fo [...] [...], complain [...]ngs, a [...] murmu [...]ings against him, and [...] ba [...]s [...]iding towar [...] Egypt, did not destroy thee, but bear with thy weaknes [...] [Page 66] and infirmities, and nourished thee and cherished thee day by day, and as a tender hearted Mother nurseth the only tender babe of her womb; who led thee by a pillar of a cloud by day, which was a shadow unto thee from the heat, and a pillar of fire by night, which gave thee light by night, when the Sun was under the earth: who when thou wert an hungry, he gave thee bread from heaven day by day, fresh Manna morn­ing by morning compassed about thy tent, and gave thee wa­ter out of the rock to satisfie thy thirst; yea, oh my soul great, greatly hath the mercy, love, pity and compassion of the Lord thy tender God been manifested towards thee: how did he fight for thee, and subdue thy enemies before thee, and made way for thy passage! yea, remember, remember oh my soul! oh my soul! how that after he had brought thee out of Egypt by his out-strctched arm, and mighty wonderful power, how mightily and wonderfully did he appear for thee, to help thee in thy time of great need, and extream distress, and great trouble, even when Pharaoh and his great host followed hard after thee, and pursued strongly to overtake thee, and bring thee back again into Egypt under his slavery and servitude And when Pharaoh and his host followed so close after thee and the Sea, the great Sea, was before thee, and mountains on each side of thee, how great was the straight thou wert in, and the trouble and sorrow that compassed thee about, oh my soul! that thou wert even at thy wits end.

And oh! oh my soul, my soul, in this time of thy greatest straight and trouble ( [...]ven when thou wert without help of thy own) thou criest unto the Lord thy God, who gave thee some glimpse of comfort, saying, he would fight for thee, and thou shouldst be still, and hold thy peace; and so he by his mighty power made hard things to become easie unto thee, and that which appeared as a thing unpossible unto thee, he (by his power) made it become possible unto thee. Remem­ber, [Page 67] oh my soul, how he made a way for thee to pass through the Sea, and divided the waters thereof hither and thither, and by his mighty power carried thee through the Sea, and Pharoah and his host he utterly destroyed in his wrath, and delivered thee, oh my soul, out of his hand, and destroyed them who would have destroyed thee, and gave thee domi­nion over them that had dominion over thee, and thou sawest them lie dead as by the Sea shore; glory, glory, glory, ah! glory, glory, and pure praises, praises to God, to the Lord God, even thy God, oh my soul! and now, oh my soul, thou canst sing a song of deliverance, a song of victory and triumph, and go into the Sanctuary of God, to the Altar of God, thy God, even God, thy exceeding joy; ah! and upon the Harp thou canst praise God, the Lord thy God, thy delight and joy.

Oh! oh my soul, my soul, thou in the lowly fear and holy dread of the Lord thy tender God, and in truth and righte­ousness livingly and experimentally canst say, the Lord my God is my strength and my song, he also is become my salva­tion, he is my Rock and strong Tower, his work is perfect, a God, the God of truth and righteousness, just and right he is, the holy one whose dwelling is on high, in the holy place, and with him also who is of a poor, and a meek, and a con­trite spirit, and that trembleth before his Holiness, and fears and dreads before his dreadful Name: ah! ah thy right hand O Lord, thy right hand, O Lord God of power, is become glorious in power, is become mighty in power, thy right hand O Lord God Almighty, hath dashed in pieces mine enemies by the greatness, O Lord my God, by the greatness of thy; wonderful excellency, thou hast O Lord confounded them that rose up against me; thou lettest forth thy wrath and consum­ed them as stubble before a mighty fire, thou lettest forth the breath of thy fury, and blew upon them, and scattered them [Page 68] as chaff before a mighty wind: Oh! oh who can stand before thy indignation, thy dreadful indignation? who can abide the extream fierceness of thy anger? thy fury is poured forth like fire, thou breakest the r [...]cks in pieces, the mountains tremble before thee the mighty God; thou utterest thy voice, and the Heathen tremble, thou roarest, and the Kingdoms are moved, and the earth melteth at the appearance of thy pre­sence, who cometh with fire, and thy Chariots like a whirle-wind; thou renderest thy anger with fury, and thy rebukes with flames of fire: thou hast thy way in the whirle-winds, and the Clouds are as the dust of thy feet. Thou art the migh­ty God, who can but fear before thee, and tremble at thy eter­nal presence? thou roarest out of thy Sion, and utterest thy voice from thy Jerusalem, and the Inhabitants of the earth tremble thereat; but still thou art the hope of thy People, and the strength of thy ransomed ones, their strong Tower, their present Helper in the time of trouble.

Wherefore, I'll not fear though the Earth be removed and carried into the midst of the Sea, and though the Sea roar and be terrible, and the Mountains shake with the swellings there­of, and the Hills fly before it; though the tall Cedars of Le­banon fall, and the strong Oaks of Bashan bend before it, yet I will not fear, the Lord is with me, and he will not forsake me, but he will help me, and that right early. Wherefore I will only fear before the Lord, before the Lord my God, the mighty eternal God of mighty eternal Power, who measureth out the Heavens as with a span, and measureth the waters of the Seas in the hollow of his hand; who comprehendeth the dust of the Earth in a measure, & weigheth the Mountains as in scales, and the Hills as in a ballance; who taketh up the Islands as a very little thing; before whose face the Heavens and the Earth flee away, and behold there appeareth no more Sea.

Oh! who can but fear before thee, O Lord my God? the enemy said, I'll pursue, I'll overtake, I'll not spare, my lusts shall be satisfied on him. But O Lord, O Lord God, my God, thou wert my God, near to help in the time of need, and in the time of greatest need appeared, appeared in the greatest power of love. O Lord, thou blew upon them, and the Sea covered them, and they sunk as Lead in the bottom of the mighty Waters. O Lord, O Lord God, who is like unto thee? who amongst the gods is like unto thee the only God, who art dreadful in holiness, fearful in praises, doing won­ders? Oh! let the people hear and be afraid, and the Dukes of Edom be amazed, and let trembling take hold of the migh­ty men of Moab; oh! who can but fear before thee, O Lord my God. Thou hast redeemed me, and led me forth in thy power, and guided me in thy strength, unto thy holy habita­tion; thou wilt bring me in, and plant me in the mountain of thy Inheritance, in thy Sanctuary O Lord, which thy hands have established, wherein I shall live with thee, O Lord my God for ever: Ah, glory, glory, glory unto thee O Lord God my God. The Lord is a man of war, the Lord of Host is his name; Pharaoh and his mighty men hath he drowned in the Sea, but he hath saved thee, oh my soul! So Lord let thine enemies perish, but let them that hope in thy mercy live for ever, to declare thy wonders, and magnifie thy name in the land of the living. Ah! glory, glory, ah glory, glory to God, the mighty God; ah! praises, praises, honour and thanksgiving unto thee, O Lord my God, who lives for ever and for evermore. Amen.

Oh! oh what is this what is this that the Lord thy tender God of infinite bowels of pity hath done for thee, oh my soul? thou wert a slave in the Land of Egypt, and the Lord hath redeemed thee, oh my soul! thou wert in darkness, and the Lord hath given thee light; and thou wert under the region [Page 70] and shadow of death, and he hath brought thee forth in the to Land of life. Thou wert in the prison, shut up in the prison-house, bound up with chains and fetters, in the low dungeon of darkness, and he hath broken thy chains, and snapt thy fetters asunder, and loosed thy bonds, and broke up the pri­son door, and pulled down the prison house, and set thee free oh my soul!

Oh my soul, my soul! thou wert a captive in the Land of Babylon, estranged from the Common-wealth of Israel, and an Alien from Sion, sitting sorrowful and solitary by the Ri­ver of Babylon in the Land of Captivity, mourning when thou thoughst upon Sion, for thou wert a Captive in a strange Land, and sorrow (through the sence of thy woful Captivity and Alienation from thy native Land) compassed thee about, and trouble on every hand; tears was thy drink, daily sorrow thy meat, and groans and sighs thy greatest joy; thou wentest bowed down all the day long with an heart aking, and thine eyes dropping with tears, because of the oppressions of thine enemies, and burdens of thine oppressours; and at the re­membrance of Sion (and in the sence of thy separation from her) thou didst pant, oh my soul! thou didst pant after Sion, the Land of thy nativity; Oh! as the Hart pan [...]eth after the water brooks, crying in the anguish of thy sorrow; how long Lord, how long shall I be a captive in a strange Land? with longing d [...]sires in thy heart after Sion: thinking in thy heart, oh! when shall I walk with the ransomed of the Lord upon the Mountain of Sion, and travel with the Lords re­deemed in the streets of Jerusalem; and in that day, oh my soul! the Lord for his own Seeds sake had regard unto thy cries, and thy tears and sorrows was not hid from the view of his tender pitiful eye, and in tender mercy and bowels of compassion towards thee: he, through his free love unto thee, brought thee forth out of Babilon, the Land of thy captivity, [Page 71] and set thy face towards Sion thy desired rest, oh, my soul.

But oh! oh my soul, how oft wert thou bewildered in thy going, even after thy face was turned towards Sion travelling thitherward; saying in thy heart, oh! I will go joyn my self unto Sion in a perpetual Covenant which shall never be bro­ken, losing thy way, some times wandering as it were in the wilderness, in the deserts and solitary places, hungry and thir­sty, my soul even fainting with weakness, and then didst thou cry unto the Lord in thy distress, and he helpt thee out of all thy troubles, he took thee by the right hand, and brought thee into the right way in which thou mightest come to thy desired rest, oh my soul! And now, oh my soul, thou art come to Sion with songs and everlasting joy upon thy head, and thou hast obtained joy and gladness, and thy sighing and mourning is fled away.

And now, oh my soul! thou that wert in a desert doth rejoyce, and as a wilderness are made glad, and as a solitary Place doth blosom as a Rose, as a dry heath, now as a fruitful valley, as the parched ground, now as the moist mould that drinketh in the rain that comes upon it. Now, oh my soul! thou in truth canst say the wilderness doth rejoyce; and the desert and solitary place is made glad, and blossom as a Rose; water comes forth out of the wilderness, and streams in the desert, the parched ground is become a pool, and the dry heath springs of water; now the mourner rejoyces, and the heavy hearted is made glad, and beauty is giving in stead of ashes, the oyl of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; now, oh my soul! is thy horn ex­alted in the Lord in whom thy mouth is enlarged over thy enemies: ah! the Lord maketh rich, and he maketh poor; he woundeth, and he maketh whole; he killeth, and he maketh alive; he bringeth down, and he raiseth up; he rais­eth up the poor out of the dust, and the beggar from off the [Page 72] dunghil, and setteth them among Princes, and causeth them to inherit the seat of Glory. Yea, the full he emptieth, that they hire themselves out for bread, and they that were hun­gry and empty he filleth with good things: yea, the barren he causeth to bear seven, and she that hath had many chil­dren is waxed feeble: this is the Lords doing, and it is mor­vellous in thy eyes, oh my soul!

Oh! my soul, my soul, thou canst in truth say, thy win­ter is (in measure) over and gone, and the stormy wind is fled away, and the cold parching frosts are dissolved, and the spring and summer is come, and the Sun with its warm beams breaks forth, and the gentle showers descends, and the time of the singing of birds is come, and the turtle is heard in thy land, oh my soul▪ and the vine putteth forth her tender grapes, and the fig-tree with her pleasant figs give a goodly smell. And now oh! my soul, thou canst set under thy vine, and under thy fig-tree with thy beloved: and who shall make thee afraid, with whom thou canst walk into his pleasant garden of delights, among t [...] beds of spices, and feed among the lillies, and there solace thy self in the bosome of his love.

For, oh my soul, oh my soul! there was a time when thou oh my soul! hadst lost thy beloved, and thou soughtst him by night upon thy bed, and in the broad ways, but thou foundst him not; and therefore sorrow compassed thee as a wall about, and mourning covered thee as a garment, and thou couldst have no rest, until thou hadst found thy beloved, crying fiercely in thy heart, saying in thy ardent desires after him, oh▪ oh thou art hid from me as in the clifts of the rocks, and as in the secret places of the stairs: let me see thy coun­tenance, and let me hear thy voice, for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely; and when he did some [...]imes shew himself unto thee behind the wall, or as through a [Page 73] lattice, and put his fingers in by the hole of the door, thy bowels were moved for him. But now, oh my soul! thou dost enjoy his presence, which is sweet and pleasant to thee, he is as a bundle of myrrhe, he is thy joy, thou sits under his shadow with great delight; for he is a bower of spices unto thee, and his fruit is sweet to thy taste, he hath brought thee into his banketting house, where his banner over thee is love, where he comforteth thee with the flaggons of his love, he causeth thee to drink of his spiced wine, which is as the liquor of life, and the juyce of his pomegranates, which is as honey to thy taste.

Oh my soul! he filleth thee with good things, that so thou mightest become as a watered garden, and as a spring of water, whose water fails not; that thy bones might flourish as an herb, and thy kidneys be covered with fatness and thy belly become as an oily Brook: thus hath the Lord thy tender God, thy merciful God, oh my soul! set thee free from the yoak of bondage. And now, oh my soul! rejoyce in fear and trembling, and dread and fear continually in the holy presence of the Lord thy God, and watch, watch, watch, oh my soul! diligently watch in the lowly fear and godly jealousie over thy own heart, trembling in thy bowels, lest thou, oh my soul! in the joy (the great joy) in the sence of what the Lord hath done for thee (and in a sight of thy good state thou art advanced to) should be lifted up above what is meet, and thereby come to lo [...]s and a fall; wherefore, oh my soul, to prevent such mishaps coming unto thee unawares, keep thee watchful and low in fear, and humble and contrite in heart, and meek and chaste in mind, tender and broken in bowels, poor and needy in spirit, waiting and depending upon the meer preserving grace of the merciful hand of thy merciful, piti [...]ul compa [...]onate God of infinite loving kind­ness; that whatever thou dost or suffers (through his strength) [Page 74] for him, thou mayst not be (in the lest degree) exalted above him, but still keeping low in him, dwelling beneath him, at his footstool: and whatever thou receivest from him, when he calls for it, return it back to him; and be nothing without him but what thou art in him alone, knowing that what thou art it is by him, and what thou hast it cometh from him.

Therefore be nothing without him, and return his own to him, for he is worthy that his own should praise him. And in the belly of a humble, lowly, broken, contrite spirit dwell, oh my soul! where thou mayst serve God with thy tears, dwelling in the sence of the freeness of his love and mercy in what he hath done for thee, that the remembrance thereof may rend thy bowels before him, passing thy pilg [...]image here in fear and trembling before the Lord thy God, unto whom, unto whom, unto whom be glory, glory, glory, praises, praises, praises, thanksgiving, honour, and eternal renown, be ren­dered unto his eternal name, who is blessed, blessed, blessed for ever and ever. Amen, Amen. Halelujah in the highest, Amen. glory, glory, ah glory; Halelujah in the highest, Amen, Amen, saith my soul.

Oh my soul! where didst thou begin, but in the sence of Gods dear, tender, precious, most excellent love: stirring in thy heart, and there must thou end, and rest satisfied, and lay thee down quiet in peace with Gods most dear Babes, and tender in­nocent Lambs, unto whom thou cleavest as flesh to their bones, towards whom thy bowels, thy bowels, thy tender bowels do unspeakably yearn, with secret pantings in thy inward parts, through the weight of love that abides in and upon thee, oh my soul, my soul, my soul.

William Bennit.

To Gods Lambs in Prison Greeting.

DEar Friends and suffering Lambs, shut up together in nasty holes; oh you dear Suffering, Tribulated, Con­scientious ones of the tender God of love, life and power; I whom am your dear and tender Friend and Companion, in th [...] pure patience and long suffering of the Seed incorruptible, do most dearly greet you, and intirely salute you, and sweetly imbrace you, in the love of the Lord your God, who hath not only counted you worthy to believe in him the mighty God; but dear ones, he hath also counted you worthy to suffer for his holy name sake, because of your Faithfulness, and for your Obedience unto his most sweet excellent everlasting Truth; ah, dear Lambs, the witness hereof feel in your selves, yea, I believe my dear Friends that you know, and feel the holy witness of the holy God of holiness in your own hearts, bear­ing a true testimony to your own souls; that your such confin­ment and sufferings is because of your obedience to the Lord your compassionate God of infinite bowels; wherefore ye Lambs, ye dear Lambs of the Lord God of power, in him be ye comforted in the middest of your sufferings for him, and be refreshed in the middest of your afflictions, and consolated in the middest of your tribulations, and be you made glad, and rejoyce in the middest of your tryals; even in the middest of all glorifying, praising and honouring your tender God, for his rich mercy towards you, to be partakers of the sufferings of his seed: oh, my dear Friends, my tender bowels, is at this time opened unto you, and my soul streams with streams of love, of dear intire love towards you, which f [...]oweth forth in the true sence and feeling, and simplicity that my soul hath of your sufferings: of which I partake in spirit, and in the sence of [Page 76] your Faithfulness, my soul is refreshed, and bound thereby to praise your God, and my God on your behalf.

Dear Lambs, I believe that the sweet comfortable presence of the Lord God Almighty is with you, and doth so accom­pany you, as that your cup of sufferings is made sweet unto you, so as that you can drink it off with gladness; knowing and seeing; that it is the will of the Lord to permit it to be given unto you, whole will, and not your own, your innocent souls desire to do.

Ah, dearly beloved Friends; what shall I say unto you, that ye might thereby be comforted, that my soul in the sence there of might be made glad; well dear Babes; the fountain and ful­ness of everlasting joy and gladness, is the bosom wherein you are to be wraped up, and to repose together for evermore, if you keep the faith to the end. The streams whereof I know do often refresh your souls, which overcomes you with its sweetness, and lifts you up above all your sufferings, and even make hard things become easie unto you. [...]lory, glory, and pure praises (in spirit) be shouted out unto the mighty God of worm Jacob, the everlasting Jehovah of Israel; unto whom dearly and beloved Friends, I commit you all; most intirely and fervently desiring that he the only Lord, who is your tender God, may for his own seeds sake minister to all your necessities, and supply all your wants, and cause your strength, power, wisdom and love, with pure patience, content and long suffering; in him to abound daily more and more, Amen saith my tender soul. So, dear ones, read and savour my love in the Word, which is more pretious then all words whatso­ever; wherein dear Lambs, repose together, and the milk thereof, dear Babes suck and be refreshed thereby.

Farewell dear Lambs,
I am your dear Friend and Brother in the Lord. WILLIAM BENIT.

To Friends in the Love of Truth Greeting.

MY dear and tender beloved Friends, in the love of God, and in his pure pretious everlasting Truth, whereof he hath (in the freeness of his pure grace and endless love) made us pertakers with the rest of his dear Babes and Chil­dren; and whereof he hath made us witnesses in our mea­sures, in this his blessed day spring from on high; which is come and coming, which is brook and breaking forth in great glory: so that its brightness shall reach unto the utmost dark corners of the Earth, even to the exstinguishing of the Night, and to the expelling the darkness which hath covered the Earth, and the gross darkness which covered the People. Ah, dear hearts, the blessed beams of the brightness of this blessed day spring from on high, hath reached unto our souls, which were once sealed up in the Darkness, under the shadow of the Night; and hath and doth shine in our hearts, giving of us the true knowledg of the true and living God, and there­by hath guided our feet (out of the crooked slippery paths of darkness wherein we once walked stumbling as the blind) into the paths of peace, even into the path of the just, which as a shining light shineth more and more until the perfect day, for which the Lord, our dear and tender God is worthy, worthy to receive pure living praises from the breath of his own life in our souls; who is worthy that his own should praise him, for its sacrifice is acceptable and pleasant unto him, who is God over all blessed for evermore.

Dear hearts, in the true indearedness of the indeared love of the pure seed of life eternal, doth my soul dearly salute you, and imbrace you in the bosom of innocency; in the which [...]he Lord (in measure hath wrapped up my soul with [...]our [Page 78] souls, dear Lambs, and with the rest of his faithful Babes) as in a mantle; wherein we are together, although absent from each other, and herein I rest and repose with you, who am your reall Friend and tender Brother, in the heavenly relation which abides for ever.

William Bennit.

Dear Babes, dwell together in love, even in the pure innocent love of God which thinketh no evil, and therein bear with, and forbear, and forgive one another; even in that which keeps in the lowly fear, and preserves in the true humility, wherein none shall strive, except to be the most humblest and meekest in mind, and herein is the unity of the faith, and the bond of peace known and kept, which is exceeding comly amongst Brethren.

To Friends of Truth.

MY dear Friends, in the pure tender bowels of the end­less [...]ternal fountain of love, doth my soul, dear Lambs, dearly and tendorly salute you all; most indearedly and ferv [...]ntly desiring, that you may stand fast in the pure, precious, everlasting truth of the Lord God; in it so to live, walk and abide, as that you all keep your Garments clean and unspoted of the world, as pure wise Virgins indeed, who follow the Lamb whither-soever he goes. Dear Babes, hold fast your confidence in God, and let yout hope in him be stedfast and constant, and in that Faith stedfastly abide; which hath been, and is, and will yet be your victory for ever, and crown of tryumph eternally, if in it you abide to the end.

Well, dear Lambs, I commend you unto the Lord God of [Page 79] everlasting strength and power, by him to be upheld and sup­ported and carried through whatsoever tryals and sufferings you do or may meet withall, either outwardly or inwardly; and by his power to be preserved sincere, upright and faithful to him in your measures, unto the end of your pilgrimage here; that so a noble, faithful, clear Testimony, you may bear for the Lord in this his day, to the praise of his glorious name, which is blessed for evermore. So the sweet, precious, refreshing, consolating, inlivening, strengthning, quickning, pure presence of the Lord God of Light, of Life, Love and Wisdom, be with you, in you, and among you all; even to the daily glading of your hearts, and refreshing of your souls, and to the girding up of your loines with courage, patience, strength and boldness; in the God of your hope, to stand un­to the end, Amen saith my soul. So dear Babes feel my love, in the innocent life of God; and therein dwell together, and I am with you; and therein I rest and remain, your dear Friend and tender Brother.

William Bennit.

To Friends of Truth in Prison.

Dear Friends.

AH ye dear suffering Lambs, who are in outward bonds for the Lord, his Truth and Name-sake, shut up and separated from your dear Friends and neerest Relations, be­cause of your keeping your Consciences, void of offence to­wards the Lord God: dear Hearts, your cause is good for which you suffer, and the Lord God who is ingaged for you, whom you love, and do manifest it unto the world, through your willingness to suffer for him (rather then to do that which you know is contrary unto his will; or forbear doing of that which he willeth you to do) well he will stand by [Page 80] you, and will not leave you in the time of your need; of his helping upholding power, as you abide Faithful unto him, in whose just cause you are ingaged, and he will fully plead it, with his and your Adversaries, in his own time, to your joy and their torment, except they repent. Dear Lambs, my heart is even made glad, and my soul it doth rejoyce, because of your Faithfulness to the Lord, in bearing your Testimony for his Name: Ah, the Lord God Almighty keep you faithful unto the end, that so you may not faint, nor grow weary, before your Testimony for the Lord be finished; that so you may not fall short of the Crown, which is laid up for you if ye abide to the end, even a full recompence of reward for all your sufferings and afflictions, you do or may meet with for your faithfulness unto him the living God; in whose pure bowels, of most indeared, intire, unfained love, doth my soul very dearly salute you, dear hearts; unto whom I commend you, whose pure, quickning, holy, heavenly presence, I desire may be abundantly with you daily, for the keeping of you all in pure patience and contentedness, and in a true submission to his heavenly will, that his joy, comfort and consolation, and sweet peace may abound in and unto your souls; to the bear­ing of you up above all tryals that you do meet withall, that you may not sink under them, and that over the temptations of your Adversaries within and without, you may Reign and be made more then Conquerers, through the Lord who hath loved you, and counted you worthy to believe in his Name and Truth, and to suffer for the same. Oh, the Lord my God, even your dear and tender God, keep you low in his holy fear, and very watchful and diligent in his pure Light, having your minds exercised therein, and girded thereby unto the Lord; that so indeed, dear Hearts, you may learn much by these your tryals and sufferings, even to your comfort and joy in God, feeling indeed that the Lord doth cause these your suffer­ings [Page 81] to work together for your good, that so you indeed, dear Lambs, may find cause thereby, the more to praise and glorifie the name of the Lord, and to make mention of his goodness and mercies, and to magnifie his name in the land of the living; unto whom be glory and praise for ever and evermore.

Dear Lambs, receive these few lines, as a token of the true love of my soul to you in the Lord; in whom my love is right dear unto all his faithful ones.

Farewell, dear Friends, in the Lord, in whose innocent life, I am your Friend and Companion, in the patience and long suffering of the Lamb.

William Bennit.

To the s [...]ffering Lambs, of the Lords Flock in Prison Greeting.

DEar suffering tribulated Lambs of my Maker; ah dear­ly beloved Friends, the tender unfeigned salutation of my soul reacheth unto you, in the unchangable Love, of the unchangable Truth, of the living unchangable God; whereof he hath made us pertakers, and of which he hath made us witnesses, and for which he hath (through his love his constraining, overcoming, powerful Love) made us willing to suffer, and to part with, and be separated from our dea [...]st F [...]ends and near [...]st Relations; and to be willing to in­dure, and [...]o pass through what ever sufferings the Lord our God shall permit to be infflicted upon us, rather then (for any by [...]ds and self-in [...]st) to condecend to do that thing willingly, which we know [...]ould cause Gods Truth to suffer, [Page 82] his holy Name to be dishonoured, his holy Spirit to be grieved, and our Consciences to be defiled thereby; ah in this frame of spirit & free given up state, the Lord God of power keep us by his power (with the rest of his dear innocent suffering Lambs elsewhere) for his own name-sake, even unto the end, until our Testimony for the Lord, which he in his beloved Son hath counted us worthy to bear, in this his day, be finished to the praise glory and renown of his holy powerful name, and to the everlasting Joy, and eternal Peace of our immortal souls, Amen, saith my soul, which doth fervently desire, dear suffer­ing Lambs, that the holy living presence of my God, may be in, with, and amongst you all, to your Joy and Comfort, and that his power may uphold you, and that his strength may support you, and keep up your heads above all your sufferings and tryals; that so none may grow weary nor faint in your minds, but you may be made strong in the Lord, and be able in the power of his might, to resist, thresh, hammer and beat down every thought, and all carnal reasonings and fleshly consultings, that your Enemy and Adversary in your own hearts would infuse into your minds; which indeed if enter­tained, how soon may they who are strong thereby become weake, and they who witness freedom be brought again in­to bondage, and be again caught in the Serpents snares, ho is exceeding busie within, as well as without seeking daily whom he may devour and betray of the simplicity of truth, and draw back again unto himself? Dear Lambs, you are in measure acquainted with his subtilty, yea, blessed be the Lord who hath open'd your eyes, and you see him and his temptati­ons, and crafty allurements; and not only so, but you know how to escape them, so as not to be overcome by t [...]em, but resist them, & overcome him and his temptations, th [...]ough the strength of the Lord, who hath called and redeemed you from under his power; yet not withstanding, my dear Friends, let [Page 83] me say unto you, in the brotherly love, and tenderness of my soul, watch and keep close unto the Lord in your own hearts, that unto him you may be kept faithful unto the very end; who will make way for your deliverance, in his own time and season, and he will plead your righteous cause with his and your Adversaries, in his season, to your Joy, and their Sorrow.

Wh [...]efore wholely commit your cause unto the Lord your God, who watcheth over you, and careth for you, and will never leave you, but will stand by you, and help you in the needful time; even all you whose trust and hope is in him alone, and can use no other weapon to plead your cause with but the [...]rd of his mouth.

So dear Lambs, in the pure patience and long suffering of the Lamb (our Captain and Leader, and Example, that meek one, who saith, love Enemies) possess your souls, and rest in stilness and peace, and quietness and contentedness in the Ark of safety, wh [...]ch the Lord hath prepared for his Family, to bear them up above the floods, until the waters abate, and dry land appear.

So the Lord be with you all▪ and bundle you up together in his innocent love which thinketh no evil; therein to serve him with your whole hearts, and one an other with all self­denial; none to strive except to be most me [...]k [...]st and low [...]st in mind, so that you all way be tender affectionated one towards another, forgiving and f [...]rbearing one another in love; the st [...]o [...]g bear [...]ng with the infirmities of the weak, that even as dear Children of one Father, you may dwell together in peace, and in pure unity in the spirit of holiness, that a Joy and a Comfort you may [...]e to each other in the Lord, upon whom, dear Lambs, wait [...]ogether very diligently, that of his fulness, you may all receive, who is ready bountifully to mini­ster, that of himself unto all his tender Lambs and breathing [Page 84] Babes, who wait upon him, which he seeth is meet for them even to their daily nourishment joy comfort and re [...]reshment.

So in the pure bowels, and tender everlasting love of the tender God of compassion; doth my soul dearly salute you all, who loveth the Lord uprightly, and who make mention of his name in sincerity and truth, and are willing to suffer for the same, whether you be in bonds or out of bonds, my love reacheth unto all the upright in heart; Farewel dear Lambs.

From your Friend and Companion in the patience and long suffering of the Lamb, who hath, must and shall have the victory over all his Enemies, to Triumph and Reign in Dominion Eternally.

William Bennit.

This to go among Friends of Truth, to be read am [...]ng [...]h [...]m when assembled together in the pure fear and dread of th [...] most H [...]gh God.

DEarly and tenderly beloved Friends, the dear & tender unfeigned salutation of my tender soul, re [...]ch [...]h un­to you all, who loveth the Lord and his T [...]u [...]h with your whole hearts; and who make mention of his holy name in sincerity and truth; even in the meek, render, lowly, holy seed of eternal life, made manifest, quickned, and in measure raised up in my soul, even in this inn [...]cen [...] seed of immortallity doth the love of [...]y soul extend towards you all; and I very dearly desire your prosperity and [...]ranquility therein, even as I do [...]esire for my own soul, and tha [...] this lowly holy seed, and meek innocent life o [...] Jesus may daily spring grow up and flourish in every particular soul of you all; that so, though [Page 5] it was once the lest of all Seeds in you (even as a little grain of Musterd-Seed hid in the Earth) it may become the greatest the highest and strongest of all things in you; over-povver­ing you and over-shadowing you, that so unto you it may become a pleasant Bower of spices, and as a sweet smelling savour, that you may even joy to sit under its shadow, even with great delight, & its fruit be exceeding sweet to your taste.

Ah Babes, therein is Peace to be injoyed, which is Eternal, which passeth all Understanding; therein is Joy unspeakable and full of glory to be injoyned; therein is Blessedness, which is everlasting; Happiness, which is endless, to be injoyed, out of it there is none; Ah Lambs, therein is Power to be recei­ved, whereby to overcome him who hath the power of Death (to wit the Devil) and to break his Head, and withstand all his Temptations, and strong Assaults, and various Alurements, and many Inticements; and power therein to withstand, thresh, hammer and beat down all those Thoughts, Reasonings and Carnal Fleshly Consultations, which he (your greatest Enemy) would infuse into your Minds, and raise up in your Hearts, whereby to disturb and break your Peace, and raise Trouble, and Tumults, and Insurections in your Minds; that so Faintness and Weariness might come upon you, and he (your subtile Enemy) might thereby gain upon you, and get advantage of you, and obtain his purpose and desire, who indeed (as a roaring, raging devouring Lyon) very eagerly seeks (in this day of great tryal) whom he may Devour, and draw back again under his yoke of Bondage, Thraldom, and Slavery.

Wherefore, dear tender Lambs, in the Seed, the Fold, out of which he is shut forever, in which he hath no part, daily dwell, and continually abide; then out of the paw of th [...] Devourer you shall be kept, by him that good Shepherd, who layeth down his Life for his Sheep, and leaveth them not [Page 86] when the Woolf cometh to destroy them; but he preserveth his Sheep and his Lambs, and hideth them as in the hollow of his hand.

Ah how Tender, how Careful, how Pitiful, how Merciful, how Kind, how Loving, how Forbearing, how Forgiving, how Long-Suffering, how Patient, how Meek, how Humble and Compassionate, is the Nature of the tender God of infi­ [...]ite bowels.

Ah dear Babes, let me say unto all, wait to feel and witness the nature of Emanuel, even the meek Life of Jesus to rule and dwell in you daily, and you to dwell and live daily in it.

Ah his pure leaven of Life Eternal, oh how doth it work out the leaven of Death and Darkness, Malice and Enmity, and purgeth out every hard thought, and all evil surmisings, evil back-bitings and whisperings (which doth proceed from the old leaven, and are the fruits of that corrupt tree which is a [...]cursed by the Lord, and is to be hewen down, and with all its fruits cast into the fire forever to be consumed) and pu [...]te [...] out the Eye which would be watching for Evil, and for the halting of others, and to spie out their weakness, and to tel [...] it abroad to their shame; oh how doth it oppose and ham­mer down that mind that would be great, and esteemed of by men, and would exercise Lordship over others.

Oh how doth it baptize self into the Death, and b [...]ing down the Haughty to the Dust, and boweth down the Lofty, and ra [...]s­eth up and bringeth forth a Birth, which striveth not fo [...] ma­stery, except to be most meekest and lowest in Heart and Mind; and to abound in Pity, in Love, in Tenderness, in [...]owels of Compassion, in Patience, in Gentleness, in long-Suffering, in [...]orbearing, and in Brotherly Kindness, yea in all the vertuous Fruits of the nature of him who is meek and low in Heart, who said, love Enemies; this Birth hath a hand ready to stretch forth unto the backward, to draw them for­wards; [Page 87] it hath an arm ready to help to hold up the halting, and bosom open to carry the weak and faint ones in; oh it would, I know, be a help to all who stand in need of help, it would not that any should be left behind the Camp, who are willing to press forwards, although they may linger behind, by reason of their Halting and Lameness; oh how hath it a garment ready to cover an others weakness, it never overcharg­eth any, it judgeth not any thing before the time appointed, it is not Hasty nor Rash, but Patient and Gentle, and it hath a convincing restoring vertu [...] with it in all it doth, so that it both Wounds and Heals, Kill and maks a Live, brings down and raiseth up, lay desolate, build and restore, it is tender and gentle, it breaks not the bruised Reed, neither doth it quench the smoaking Flax, it never renders Evil for Evil, but over­comes the Evil with Good; its Patience overcomes Fury, its Love quencheth Enmity, its Gentleness overcomes Rashness, and its Meekness overcomes Haughtiness; and in all it Suffers it seeketh no Revenge, but beareth all things Patiently; com­mitting its Cause unto him who judgeth Rightly; it loveth Enemies, it beareth love & good-will unto all men, yet it hath no uni [...]y with any Uncleanness, nor fellowship with the un­fruitful works of Darkness in any, but rather reproves them.

This is not the Birth born of Flesh, nor of Blood, nor of the will of man, but the Birth born of God, and this Birth shall out-live all false Births and likenesses, and unto it must all bow an [...] become subject, this Birth God will crown with Honour and Renown, and beautifie with Glory and Praise; and although it hath been troden under foot and despised by other false Births, yet unto it they must all bow, and throw down their Crowns at thy feet, oh Zion.

Ah the Lord, thy Husband, thy Maker, the God of Host is his Name, hath determined that the days of thy Mourning shall pass away, and the night of thy Sorrow shall for ever [Page 8] vanish, and thou shalt no more be termed Desolate, and For­saken; oh thy Winter shall be over and gone, and thy Sum­mer shall come, and thy Fruitfulness shall appear; Oh Zion, thou shalt appear as a Royal Diadim in the hand of the Lord, and as a Crown of Glory in the hand of thy God; who will make thee the Beauty of Nations, the Joy of Kingdoms, yea the Glory of the whole Earth, and a Praise therein forever, a­men saith my soul. Oh hasten it, hasten it, Lord God Almighty, that so the Mourners in thy Zion may be Comforted, and the Hated be made right glad; that so even her waste places may Rejoyce, and her Desarts blosom as a Rose; that her Wil­derness may become as the Garden of Eden, and her Desarts as the Garden of the Lord; that so Joy and Gladness may a­lone be found in her, Thanksgiving and the voice of Melody; that so even Water may come forth of the Wilderness, and spring in the Desart; that the parched Ground may even be­come a Pool, and dry Heaths streams of Water.

Ah, when the Lord hath wholly gathered together in one the disperced of Judah, and hath brought into one, the scat­tered of Israel, and hath throughly returned the Captivity of his People; oh then surely Jacob shall rejoyce, and Israel be right glad, and glory in his God, who is blessed forever and evermore.

And so, dearly beloved Friends, my soul hath daily a remem­brance of you in and unto the Lord, unto whom I leave you, dear Lambs, very dearly desiring that unto him you all (who hath in measure tasted of his Love, and of his pure pretious Truth are made partakers, and thereunto have born witness, in doing and suffering for the same) may by him be kept faithful unto him, even unto the very end; that so the Testi­mony which he hath given you to bear for his Name & Truth (in this his day of sifting, winowing, purging, purifying, and of separating the Chaff from the Wheat, and of making up [Page 9] his pretious Jewels, and of manifesting the approved in his sight) you may through the strength and mighty power of him the mighty God (who hath c [...]lled you and raised you up to war against Babylon, and no more to touch, but to bear witness against the unclean thing) be inabled to finish your Testimony for him (although it be with your Blood) even to the Praise, Glory and Renown of his eternal powerful Name, and to your endless Joy, and everlasting Peace in him, your tender God, in whose pure, tender & unseigned Love doth my soul kiss you, imbrace you, clasp you about, saying in spirit, Oh the Lord, the mighty God, gird up your Loins with Courage, Strength and Valour daily, and spead over you all the mantle of Faithfulness, & keep you all in the pure patience, and sweet contentedness, and in true submission to his holy heavenly will, which is your Sanctification, whose will may be done in you all; that indeed the Power, the Glory, the Kingdom, and Dominion may be his, and he alone may Reign in you, whose right of due it is, who was Dead, and is a Live, and lives forever and evermore, unto whom be glory in the highest for evermore, Amen

Oh, the holy living presence of the Living God of Holiness, be in, with and among you all; in whose Love, Life and Truth, in my measure, my soul is united, and closely cleaveth to all the Children of the most high God, and they are very dear unto the soul of him, who is your Friend, Brother and Companion, in the innocent Love and Life of God, over all blessed for evermore; farewel dear Lambs.

William Bennit

Dear Friend,

IN that which is Eternal and unchangable, doth the unfeign­ed Salutation and tender Love of my Soul extend towards thee, who art oft in the remembrance of my Soul, which is in some measure sensible of the many Troubles, Crosses and Tryals, which thou hast been in, and now art exercised with; and truly, dear Heart, my soul desireth that th [...] Lord may in­able thee to wade through them all, in the pure Patience and true Contentedness, and that thou mayst find the strong arm of Gods mighty power in the beating down, & keeping [...]nder that part, which would complain and murmur against the Lord, and count him a hard Master, and freet its self because the Wicked Flourish, and the Ungodly spread themselves like a green [...]ay-Tree, and the workers of Iniquity are set up, [...]n [...] [...]e P [...]oud Lord it over the Meek of the Earth, and [...]ea [...] upon the Righteous as Di [...]t in the Streets, & Killed all the day [...] a [...]d Oppressed like a Cart with Sheaves; I say needful it is to feel that part (which would freet it self because of th [...]se things) chained down by the Meek, Lowly, Lamb like, Patient, Peaceable Spirit of the patient, pitiful, long-suffe [...]ing God of Forbearance and Mercy; and to feel it curting and beating all Prejudice and Enmity, that would be springing up from the murmuring fretting part, against those who are [...]stru­ments of Iniquity, and Servants to that Spirit, that Persecutes and Oppress the Innocent, and behold this Spirit of meekness keeps in coolness, gentleness and patience, and gi [...]h domi­nion over that Spirit which in haste (yet as it th [...]n [...]s in a Zeal for God) crys for Fire to come down from Heav [...]n to devour those who are Instruments of Cruelty, Iniquity, and Oppressi­on; and indeed this Spirit of Love inableth to love Enemies, to Bless and Curse not, and seeks no Revenge, but makes [Page 91] willing to leave all to the Lord, unto whom, dear Heart, let us commit our Cause, and sure I am, he will plead it with his and our Enemies, in his own time even to their Destruction and Calamity, and to our Joy and Comfort in the end; in the mean while, the Lord keep us in contentedness, and in domini­on over that Spirit that would limit God to mans time, and counteth that God is slack concerning his Promise, who indeed is not slack, as that Siprit counts slackness, but is a God long suffering, desiring not the Death nor Destruction of a Sinner, but that rather he may repent and Live Oh that all those that profess his Name may be like-minded with him, accord­ing to our measures, and growth in him the Living God, who is blessed forevermore.

My dear tender hearted Friend, my Soul doth likewise de­sire fervently that thee and I, and all the rest of our heavenly Fathers Family, may be kept close unto the measure of the free grace and love of the Lord God in our own hearts, that by it we may continually be kep [...] in the lowly fear, and pure aw of him, who hath called us out of Darkness into his mar­velous Light, wherein let us watch carefully over our Thoughts, Words and Works, lest in haste, through carelesness, for want of watchfulness, we should speak or do any thing that may grieve the holy Seed, and wound the Just one in our selves, and bring a burden and load upon our own Souls; wherefore dear Heart, I cannot but desire, that I with thee, and all who love Righteousness, may be kept watchful in the [...]wly Fear, close unto the grace that keeps humble, out of the many words, in the fewness of words, that so in sweet stil­ness, peace and quietness we may possess our sou [...], and injoy the sweet incomes of the sweet Love, and sweet pure refresh­ing streams of the Fountain of Life according to our measures; that so even in the midst of our Tryals and Sufferings, our he [...]rts may be made glad in the Lord, and our souls may [Page 12] rejoyce in him over all the Rage and Cruelty of the Wicked; that we may keep our standing on the Rock, against which Gog and Magog, and the whole Host of the powers of Dark­ness is not able to prevail; and herein the Lord keep us, saith my soul, for evermore.

So dear Heart, I leave thee unto the Lord, in whom my Love is dear unto thee, and my Soul simpathize with thee in thy Tryals and Sufferings, and desire the Lord may bear thee up above them all, in the bosom of his Love and Patience, and minister daily unto thee what he knoweth is meet for thee, and keep thee in a contentedness with his heavenly will, that so thou mayst say with thy whole heart, Lord, not my will, but thy will be done, and submitted unto in all things, whose will is our Sanctification.

So, dear tender Heart, in the innocent Love which drew me forth to write these lines unto thee, I rest and remain
thy dear Friend in the Truth. William Bennit.

To the Magistrates of Edmonds-Bury. Friends, I hope your Nobillity and Moderation will be so far made manifest, as to read over these following Lines with Patience; and I desire you may Seriously consider of them, and Sollidly to weigh them in that equall Ballance, the Light of Christ in your Consciences, before you Judge of them.

VVE whom the World in scorn call Quakers, are a People that liveth in the pure fear of the Lord God, and without boasting we can tru­ly say, we are a People who are led and guided by a peaceable Principle of Love, which we have received of God, who is the Fountain of Love, by which Principle of Love we are made to live peaceable with all men, as much as in us lies, and fer­venly [Page 93] to desire and seek the good and welfare of all People, even from him who sits upon the earthly Throne, unto the most Inferior in the Kingdom, and by this Principle of Love in our own hearts, which is of God, we are made to bear Love and Good will towards all people, and by it we are taught to loy Enemies, to Bless and Curse not, to Pray for them who De spitefully useth us, and to do Good to them that Beateth us▪ and not in the least to render Evil for Evil, but endeavour to, overcome (in our selves and others) Evil with Good, and by it we are preserved from joyning with the spirit of Envy, and from being led by the spirit of Revenge, which ruleth in many, and leadeth into secret Plottings, and evil Contrivances, by way of Conspiring to raise Tumult and Insurrection, which spirit (with all its fruits) we deny and judge, and all those who are led by it to Contrive and Plot against any, or to seek the Destruction of any people, though our Enemies; such we disown, and their actions we defie, the Lord is our witness.

And by the Principle of Love in our hearts, are our Con­sciences made very tender to God-ward, insomuch as that we would not willingly and knowingly sin against him, and are willing rather to suffer the loss of all External things, yea even Life and all, then to break our peace with God, which we value more then ten thousand Worlds; and because we endeavour (in the strength and power of the principle of love in our hearts) to keep our Consciences void of offence to­wards God; and because we dare not do those things (though they be set up by men, and tollerated and compelled to be done by a Law) which we are perswaded by the unerring spirit of Truth we ought not to do, neither joyn with any therein; and because we dare not forbear doing those things (though prohibited by the Laws of men there from) which we are perswaded by the spirit of Truth is our duty (towards God) to do and perform; therefore are we a suffering People [Page 94] this day, and for no other Cause, the Lord is our witness to the truth hereof.

And ever since the Lord our dear and tender God (who a­lone hath been, and now is our Helper, Strength and Refuge, and hath stood by us, and supported, and preserved us, or else we had not been a People at this day) did raise us up to be a People, for to bear witness to his Way and Truth (and against the false Ways, evil Works, false Worships, Idolatry, Sin and Wickedness of the World) we have been a suffering People, and all along we have suffered by every Power that hath come up to Rule, and all along we have suffered for only our Consci­ences towards God; & if our Enemies have had no Law in force against us, neither could find any thing on our parts, whereby they might take a just occasion against us; then have they (as Daniel's Persecutors did against him, who sought his De­struction without a Cause given them by him) even made Laws on purpose to Insnare us, and Trappan us concerning our Conscience towards God, for which we did suffer by the other Rulers, even many ways, viz. by Stocking, Stoning, cruel Whipping, Rayling, Reviling and cruel Abuses; even Imprisonment until Death, and spoyling of Goods in a more abundant manner then I can relate; and all hath been for our Consciences to God, all which we have born, and waded through in Patience, through the strength of the upholding merciful Arm of our God, and by him have been kept from seeking Revenge upon our Enemies, but have committed our Cause to God, who Judgeth Righteously, and Justifieth those whom men Condemn, unto whom alone Vengence belongs, and he will repay it, who will render unto man according to his Works.

And even at this day, our Sufferings are greater then before, and now are we even as Sheep appointed for the Slaughter▪ and all is because we endeavour to keep our Consciences void of [Page 95] offence towards God; and because we dare not joyn with that Idolatrous Worship which God abhors, but must, as moved of the Lord, rather bear Testimony against Idolatrous Worships and Worshippers, vvhatever vve suffer.

And because vve dare not Svvare at all, knovving if vve should Svvear at all, we should then transgress the Commands of Christ, Matthew Chaper 5. Verse 34, &c. James Chapter 5. Verse 5, &c.

And because vve follovv the practices of the Primitive Christians, and dear not forsake the Assembling of our selves together, but must as vve are taught of the Lord meet toge­ther, in the pure fear and dread of the Name of the Almighty God, even for no other end (the Lord vvho knovveth the secrets of all hearts is our vvitness) but to Wait upon the Lord, and to Pray to the Lord, and to Build up, Strengthen and Edifie one another in the Lord, and to Serve and Worship God in Spirit and in Truth, vvherein God, vvho is a Spirit, is only Worshipped aright, by his Spirituallized people, vvho are born of the Spirit, and guided and led by the Spirit of Truth into all Truth.

And it is not in Rebellion and Contempt to King Charles and his Lavvs, that vve meet together to vvorship God, neither do vve do it in a Cross, Stubborn, Self-vvill, as by some vve are charged, the Lord is our vvitness, but even in a Cross to our ovvn vvills, and in Obedience to the vvill of God; vvhere fore vve have peace in the Lord, for vvhose sake vve suffer and stand justified in the sight of God, though by Men and their Lavvs counted Transgressors.

Novv Friends, as your Moderation in measure hath appear­ed (in this day of hot Persecution and hath been manifested heretofore, tovvards the Lords tender Conscientious people in this Tovvn, vvhich I believe the Lord hath taken notice of, who hath regard unto those vvho have respect to his people; and [Page 96] truly it is my Souls desire, even for your ovvn good, that your Moderation tovvards the people of God called Quakers, or any other people vvhose Consciences are tender to God-vvard, may continue still and increase more and more, so as that ye might not in the lest degree have a hand any more in the Suf­ferings of the Innocent, but might rather chuse, as meek Moses did, to suffer Affliction vvith the Suffering, Abused, Tribulated, Afflicted People of God, then to be found Prose­cutors of any unjust Lavv against them; for indeed, happy (in that particular) is the man that hath no hand in the suffer­ings of the Lords people, for sure I am the Lord God hath regard unto his people, though disregarded by such as know not God nor his People; and though Hated and Persecuted by the World, yet Loved of the Lord, and very dear unto him; and though Contemptible, Ridiculous and Absurd in the eyes of the wisemen of this World, yet Beautiful, Comely, Delecta­ble and Precious in the eyes of the Lord; and what evil any do to them because of their Consciences towards God, the Lord takes it as done unto himself; and if one day it shall be said to those who did not Feed, Cloth and Visit the Lords ten­der ones in Prison, Go ye Cursed into Hell Fire, prepared for the Devil and his Angels; then surely sad will be the Sentence of those who (through their Cruelty) go about to deprive them of Food and Raiment, and instead of visiting them in Prison, doth unjustly cast them into Prison, and hinder them that would visit them.

Oh surely, the Lord God of Pity, of Mercy, of Compassi­on, and endless Love, hath seen the sufferings of his People in this Nation; and hath taken Cognizance of their sore Afflicti­ons, and Tribulations, Burdens, and grievous Oppressions, under which they have long Groaned, whose Groans are come up before the Throne of the most high, and is entred into the Ears of their Compassionate God, and he is moved with in­finite [Page 97] bowels of Love towards his suffering Seed, and he will plead the Cause of his own Elect which have long Cried unto him; whose Cries he the Living God hath heard, whose Cries he the Almighty God will answer, and will revenge their Cause upon the head of their Persecutors, and will Oppress the Op­pressors, and Devour the Devourers of his People, even as Stub­ble before the Fire fully dry; and they shall not be able to escape the stroke of his Righteous Judgement, which he hath now begun to make manifest in the Earth, that the Inhabi­tants thereof might learn Righteousness; and the Beesom of his Wrath is cleansing the Land of Evil Doers; and many of those who desired, and indeavoured, to have Banished the peo­of the Lord from their native Country and lawful Habitations; such the Lord hath [...]anished from their Houses, and they have fled from their Habitations, and run from his Righteous Judgements, but whether can man fly to hide himself from the Lord; and so that measure they meted out to others, is moted to them again, and this is just with the Lord, who is equal in all his Doings, and just in all his Ways, and he will not be mocked by any; but such as People Sow, such must they Reap; and according to their Deeds, they must receive a reward.

Wherefore Friends, so far as ye have a hand in the Suffer­ings of the Innocent, you have cause to Repent thereof, and to ease the Burdened, and to set the Imprisoned and the Op­pressed Free; and as you tender and respect the good of your Souls, and desire to be tendered and respected by the Lord, so tender the Lords tender people, and do not in any wise usurp authority over their Consciences, for that is Christs seat, and the Magistrates Sword is not to rule there, but only Christ the power of God, who maketh the Conscience, he a­lone is to rule in and over the Conscience; and Friends to the Light in your own Consciences, come and be obedient there­unto, [Page 98] and it will cause you to do unto all men as you would be done unto, and in the Light you must come to believe, hearked to it, follow and obey it, before your Souls can injoy true peace with the Lord; and by it be inabled to deny all Ungodliness and Worldly Lust; and by it to be taught to Live Soberly, Righteously and Godly in this present World; and to lay your Sword upon evil doers, and to be a praise to them that do well; and rather to tolerate, such and to defend them in the exercise of their Consciences towards God, in meeting together in his pure fear, to Serve and Worship him, then to suppress them: And to exercise your power in break­ing up their meetings, who meet to Drink, Swear, Rant, Tear and Devour the good Creatures of God upon their filthy un­godly Lust, even to the great dishonour of the Lord, and to the grieving of his holy righteous Spirit; suppress such, for that is the Magistrates work; but as for those who feareth the Lord, and liveth Peaceably and Honestly with all men, let such have free liberty to serve the Lord in his own Way, and worship him in his own Spirit, and not to be compelled to a Dead, Dark, Invented, Superstitious Worship which is not of God; and then will the blessings of the Lord my God, be powered down upon you, and a good savour ye will be unto those that fear the Lord, from whom ye will be worthy of double Honour.

And Friends, I understand that it is the desire, if not the intent of some of ye Rulers in this Town, to proceed against me unto Banishment, who am an innocent man and have done you no wrong, neither have I committed any thing against you, or any just Law worthy of Bounds, much less of B [...] ­nishment; neither have I, in this County, been thrice Con­victed by your Law, as an offender; and I would know whe­ther those Records made by Justices, who are only Commissi­onated, for Norfolk, be good evidence in Suffolk, where [Page 99] those Justices themselves have no power, seeing the Law saith, that all offences (other then Treason) shall be Inquired, Heard and Determined in the Shire, Division, Limit and Liberty where such offences happen, as was Inacted in the third year of King James, see Chapter the fourth. Well I am not careful in this matter, touching my own particular, only I would not have you hasty in what you intend towards me, but seriously to weigh the matter, in that equal balance, the Word of God; and take heed what you do, and hurt not your own Souls, and sin not against the Lord, & then sure I am you cannot hurt me; Wherefore be wise, oh ye Rulers, and be instructed ye Judges of the People; touch not the Lords Anointed, neither do his Prophets any harm; and let not Envy and Prejudice blind your Minds, nor cloud the nobility of your Understandings, and take heed of ingaging the Lord more and more against you and your Town; consider the Lord hath hitherto spared you and your Town, from the Wo, Sorrow, Misery, Distress, and Calamity which is come upon many other places; and if you desire the Lord should still spare you and your Town, then do you spare those who fear the Lord in your Town, and free them from their causeless Imprisonments, and do not Afflict them, lest thereby you hasten the just Judgements of the Lord God upon you and your Town, which is even at hand. Well, my soul in the Lord is at rest and in quietness, free from fearing the threatnings of men, who are not able to Banish me from the presence of my God, who is with me, and with all who feareth his Name, who will work the deliverance of his people from their Sufferings, Burdens and grievous Oppressi­ons in his own time and season, and will so far preserve them as that they shall be a People when the Egyptians shall he dead upon the Sea-shore of his Righteous Judgments; the Lord hath spoken it, in whom is my Joy and Peace, Refreshment and Comfort in the midst of my Sufferings, who will never [Page 100] leave me, if I leave not him, for whose Cause (for which I now suffer by you) I count not my Life too dear to part with, for the Testimony of my God, in whom is my Confidence, Trust and Hope, who hath formed me for his praise, whose I am, & unto you my Conscience I have cleared, and whether ye will hear or forbear I am clear of your Blood, who am a Friend to your Souls and Bodies, and desire the welfare of both, and am one who loveth righteous Government and Go­vernours, who are for the punishment of evil doers and for the praise of them that do well; and such Rulers I truly ho­nour in my heart, though not with the vain custom of the Hat, neither with the deceitful flattering titles of this World.

This is from a true lover of your Souls, who des [...]reth your everlasting welfare and tranquility in the Lord, who is a Sufferer by you, but not for evil doing, but for doing well; the Lord is his witness that this is true, whose Servant he is, what­ever he be (by you or any) accounted of.

William Bennit.

To Friends of Truth in the Town of Colehester Greeting.

DEarly beloved Friends and Brethren, who have tasted of the love and goodness [...]f the Lord, and of the sweetness and pretiousness of his unchangable Truth, the virtuous workings and powerful opperations whereof you have felt in your hearts, whereby you witness and experience in measure your Souls set at liberty from the bondage of Sin and Corruption, to serve the living God in holiness of Life, to the praise of your God, who hath raised you out of the dust by his Power, and quickned you by his Life, and formed you by his own Wisdom, and given you his good Spirit to guide [Page 101] and lead you, teach and counsel you, comfort and refresh you, oh, he hath given you a taste of the Word of Life, and power of the World to come; oh, he hath living Witnesses of his Name and Truth whereof you are made partakers, and that which you have seen and known, felt and tasted of, the same you have through the strength of the Lord born Testimony unto, even by Word, by Deed, by Life and Conversation, and through great Sufferings, manifold Tribulations and Afflictions, all which the Lord your tender God hath inabled you to wade through, and hath kept you from fainting unto this day; who hath been with you in six Troubles, and in the seventh, dear Babes, he hath not left you, but in all your Afflictions for his Name-sake he hath been afflicted with you, and the Angel of his presence hath been your defence on the right hand and on the left; oh, how hath he carried you in his tender Bosome, and born you up in his Arms, and lead you gently when you were Weak, Young and Tender, and made the Crooked strait, and the Rough smooth before you, and thrown down many a high Mountain before you, and re­moved many a lofty Hill out of your way; who hath made a way for you in the Wilderness, and a path through many a Thickit, and hath made the hard things easie; he hath been a Shelter to you from the Heat, and a Refuge to you from the Storm, and many a time hath been unto your Souls as the shadow of a Rook in a weary Land; who hath given you Bread when you were Hungry, and Water to satisfie your Thirst; who Strengthned you when you were Weak, and Inriched you when you were Poor; who Healed you when you were Wounded, and Bound you up when you were broken to Pieces; who Comforted you in the midst of Sorrow, and hath Refreshed you when you have been heavy hearted, and lifted up your heads when they were bowed down because of the Oppression of your Enemies: Oh, how ex­ceeding [Page 102] large is the love of the Lord your tender compassi­onate God of endless bowels of tenderness; oh, your own ex­perience of his Love, his Mercy, his Pity, his Compassion, his Goodness, his Kindness and his Tender Fatherly Care and Dealings towards you is much larger then what I can demon­strate with words; oh, how can you then but still trust in his Name, rely upon his Arm, and depend upon his saving Health, and hope in his tender Bowels, who is the same yesterday to day and for evermore; who hath been with you when Trouble hath compassed you round, to keep you from Dispair; and with you in the midst of Perplexity, to keep you from being Distressed; and with you in the midst of Persecu­tion, to Sucker and Cherish you, and refresh your hearts as with New Wine; and oh surely, dear Babes, he is with you still, to Comfort you still, to Refresh you still, to Feed and Nourish you still, to Strengthen you still, to Uphold and Sup­port you still, to Keep and Defend you; and surely he will never leave you nor forsake you, if you forsake him not, but will cleave unto you, as you cleave unto him, and will still be your God, and you shall be his People still, and rest in him for ever when in this World you shall be no more.

Oh, dear Friends, my soul loveth you, wherefore I cannot forget you, but often remember you, especially since the Lord hath been pleased to visit that place with such fore Affli­ction, and to give it to drink so deeply of the Cup of his Righ­teous Judgments, and oh my soul desires that the Lord may keep and hide your Souls in the hollow of his hand, whatever Affliction he suffers to come upon your Bodies; and oh that he may inable you to wade through all, and to bear all with Patience and Contentedness, and think not any of you the Lord cares not for you, or that he dis-regards you, [...]ecau [...]e he doth or may permit the Beesom of his Righteous Ju [...]gements, (which he hath sent forth to sweep away the W [...]cked) to [Page 103] sweep away many of your Bodies from off the Earth, neither murmur against the Lord, who may do what pleaseth him, and yet all his doings are Equal and Righteous altogether; and how strange soever his doings appear to the carnal reason­ing fleshly part, yet assuredly he intends good in all his deal­lings towards all the honest, simple, innocent upright hearted ones; and it is inwardly well with such whatsoever outward­ly the Lord suffereth to befall them, and it shall be well with their Souls eternally, whatever the Lord permits to come up­on their Bodies; and truly the sence of these things I know doth cause Joy to spring inwardly in the midst of outward Sorrows, and Comfort in the midst of Heaviness, Rest in the time of Trouble, and Content and Satisfaction in the midst of Affliction, and maketh that soul to bear all with patience, without murmuring against the Lord; and makes such to say, The will of God be done; well it is the Lord that suffereth it thus to be, and why should I murmur against him, seeing he knoweth what is best for me, and will not suffer any thing to besal me, but what through his Love and Mercy shall work for my good, as I cleave to him, and am faithful unto him; though my Earthen Vessel may be broken to peices, and be turned to the dust, and be taken away, as the Wicked are, who know not God; yet nevertheless I know it shall not be with my soul as it shall be with the Wicked, for it shall go ill with them that Die and be cut-off in their Sins, but through the love of the Lord it is, and shall be well with my soul, for that shall Live and never Die, whatever comes upon my Earthen Vessel; wherefore I will not say in a murmuring way, Lord why is it thus, that as to outward appearance thou takest away the Righteous with the Wicked, and cu [...]est off them that fear thy Name vvith them that fear thee not, as if thou hadst no re­gard to thy people, nor respect to them that call upon thy Name, nor care over those vvho serve thee vvith an upright Heart; [Page 104] but I vvill be still, and knovv that the Lord he is God, and may do as seemerh good in his Eye, vvhose vvorkings are Mysterious, and his doings very Strange, and his actings ve­ry Marvellous in the eyes of many; vvho is even to vvonder­ful for his people, unto vvhom he intends good altogether, for oh he loveth them, and they are dear unto him as the Apple of his Eye, they are his Portion vvhich he hath chosen, and his Inheritance for ever, vvhich he hath purchased for himself; vvho is God over all blessed for evermore.

Oh, dear Friends Brethren and Sisters, my dear unfeigned Love extends to you all in the Truth of our God, vvherein my soul salutes you vvho Love and Serve the Lord vvith a sin­cere and upright Heart; and in Spirit I am vvith you, though outvvardly separated from you for the Seeds sake; and truly my soul simpathiseth vvith you in your Tryals & Afflictions, both invvardly and outvvardly; and oh that I could help you, saith my soul; but vvell, I can cry unto him vvho is able to help you, unto vvhom, dear Babes, I must leave you, who knoweth how it is with ever one of you all, and is not want­ing in his Love, Mercy, Pity, Tenderness, Compassion and Care towards you who loveth him, and watcheth in his holy fear; whose tender bowels is more largely open towards his tender innocent hearted ones, then their weakness is able to comprehend. Oh the Lord Almighty be with you, and the Arm of his Power incompass you about, and bear you up, and keep you from Fainting and Falling as some have done (to the dishonour of the Lord, and grief of your Souls) and preserve you unto the end of your Daies, that you may finish your Course with Joy, and lay down your Heads in Peace, and rest from all your Troubles, Sorrows, Tryals, Sufferings and Afflictions, and receive the reward laid up for the Faith­ful who abide to the end; this is the desire and breathing o [...] my soul to the Lord for you, who is your Friend and Com­panion [Page 105] in the Faith, Patience and long Suffering of Jesus; and one that wisheth that Grace, Mercy and Peace, Joy, Comfort and everlasting Refreshment, with Strentgh, Wisdom and Might, may be augmented unto you all; and that the love of God may abound and super-abound in all your Souls, and surpass all your Sufferings, that thereby your hearts may be kept open towards God, and one to another, in a large manner, and that you continue tender affectionated one to another in the Truth, and be as meet-helps one to another, both out­wardly and inwardly, to your Comfort, and to the Praise of the Lord God Almighty; into whose hands I commit you, dear Babes, and the Lord be with you, and Comfort the Mourners amongst you, and Refresh the heavy hearted ones, and lift up the bowed down, and heal the Wounded, and comfort the Languishing with love, and lift up the weak Hands, and confirm the feeble Knees, and not suffer that which is Lame to be turned out of the way, but rather heal it, that the Halting may go upright, and the Lame may leap as an Hart, and the Tongue of the Dumb may sing of the good­ness and loving kindness of the Lord, and make mention of his Mercy, and declare of his Doings, and magnifie his Name in the the Land of the Living, Amen Halelujah.

From your Friend and Brother in the Truth, who hath often had you in remembrance, and also longed to visit you with a few Lines, but desirous to wait the Lords time; read and feel my love in that which is more precious and excellent then all Words whatsoever, wherein we are hid together; Farewel dear Lambs. William Bennit

THE original of the foregoing Lines was chiefly write to Friends in the Town of Colchester, but having free­dom in the Lord, and even pressed thereunto by his Love; I thought meet to send Copies thereof to go among Friends in Suffolk, Norfolk, or elsewhere, as Friends have freedom to Communicate them one to another.

And dear Friends, let this signifie unto you that my soul loveth you, and have a remembrance of you, and a Brotherly care and affection towards you in the Truth, wherein I desire your Prosperity, Tranquility and Preservation, in this day of Tryal, in this hour and power of Darkness; even as I desire for my own Soul, the Lord my God even your God is my Witness; desiring that I and you (with all who love the Lord in Sincerity, and that make meation of his Name in Truth and Righteousness) may all be kept close in Heart and Mind unto the Lord, standing upon our watch in the Light, with the loines of our minds girded up unto God, having on the Brest-plate of Righteousness, and the Helmet of Salvation to guide, stear and order us aright, that we may not be Bewil­dred in this day of Storms and Tempests, and especially to have and hold fast the Shield of Faith, by which we may be able to quench and send off all the Fiery Darts of the Wicked, within and without; yea to have on the whole Armour of Light, being fitted for the Fiery Tryals and Tribulat ons, that so nothing may come upon us unawares, before we be fitted for it; oh that it might not be with any of those who profess Righteousness, as i [...] was with the People in the daies of Noah, who were Eating and Drinking, and Sporting themselves, Marrying and giving in Marriage, and knew not till the Flood came and swept them away; but oh that we may all stand upon our Watch-Tower, and all hold fast our Integrity in [Page 107] the Lord, and keep close to our first Love, and none to deale unkindly towards the Wife of his youth, by casting her off, and going after other Lovers, but all be tender over her, and still love her with your whole Hearts, and cleave unto her, for she is a Spotless Virgin, and never was Defiled with the al­luring man of Pleasure, she is very Beautiful, Amiable and Comely in the Eyes of the pure in heart, and the Glory of the Lord God is her Dowry, and blessed for evermore is the soul that is joyned with her in a perpetual Covenant, never to be broken.

We all in this Prison, who suffereth upon Truth account are in a measure of Health at present, through the Love and Goodness of our God, blessed and praised be his Name for evermore; whose tender Compassion faileth not towards them who love him, therefore are his people not Consumed, but preserved as Lambs in the midst of devouring Wolves, by him the good Shepherd of Israel; who stopeth the Mouths of Lyons, and chaineth up the Beast of Prey for his little Flocks sake, whom he so dearly loveth, that they may behold his Po­wer, and admire his Love, and trust in his Name, and return the Praise unto him whose Mercies are over all his Works, glory to God in the highest; my Love salutes you, all fare­well dear Friends.

W. E.

SOME Prison Meditations OF AN Humble Heart:

Given forth from a Child in Israel, whose soul very dearly loveth his Heavenly Fathers Children, much desiring (and travelling in Spirit for) their Prosperity in the Truth, even as for his own soul; and the Author hereof believing and knowing that this following Treatise may (if the Lord will) be of service unto many, of the tender, honest, simple, single, upright-hearted ones, who are following on to know the Lord in the footsteps of Righteousness; and who desireth to pass over on to the end, in the strait way of Holiness; therefore, even for their sakes, is this following Treatise Published from a constraint of Gods love, in singleness and simplicity of Heart.

OH, Oh my Soul, be not unmindful of the large mercy and goodness of the Lord shewed towards thee, nei­ther forget the exceeding loving kindness of the Ho­ly One manifested unto thee, oh my Soul; oh let the sence of what the Lord thy dear, tender, pitiful, compassionate God hath done for thee, continually be fresh in and upon thee, oh my Soul; for the Lord thy God hath freely done that for thee, which none besides him the mighty one could do: Oh my Soul the Lord hath brought thee out of the Pit, even out of [Page 109] the horrible Pit, and out of the Mire and Clay, wherein thou once stuck so fast, as that thou couldst never have been able to have gotten out by all means possible thou couldst have inven­ted, but must have sunkdeeper and deeper therein, and so have perished for ever, had not the Lord God of infinite mercy helped thee, who did cast his eye of pity and compassion up­on thee, and out of his meer mercy, love and free grace, stretched out his hand to help thee, oh my soul, when none besides him could help thee, and by his arm of his loving kind­ness lifted thee up out of the horrible pit, out of the mire and clay, and hath set thy feet upon a Rock which stands sure, and can never be moved, and thereon he establisheth thy go­ings, praises, pure living righteous praises to the Lord thy God be rendered by thee, oh my soul, even forever and for evermore.

Oh my Soul, remember thou wast once even like a poor filly Sheep without a Shepherd, wandering upon the barren Mountains and dry Heaths in the Wilderness and solitary places, full of Trouble, Sorrow and Perplexity, and knew not the way to the Fold of Rest, oftentimes mourning and weep­ing alone, as a Dove without her Mate, when no eye saw thy sorrow but the Lord alone; often saying in thy heart, whose State and Condition is so miserable as mine? who so Poor and Desolate as I? none knowing how it is with me but the Lord alone: And indeed the Lord then saw thee and knew how it was with thee, oh my soul, and he the tender God of unfathomable bowels of Compassion behold thee in that day, when thou didst eat thy bread Weeping, and mingled thy drink with Tears, and he the compassionate one heard thy secret crys, and knew thy secret desires, and thy sighing and groaning entred into his ears, and thy tears which thou drop­ped upon his Alter laid open unto the view of the eye of thy tender merciful God, and his tender bowels was moved with [Page 110] pity towards thee, and for his own Seeds sake he had com­passion upon thee, oh my soul, and helped thee in the day of thy Trouble, and delivered thee out of Distress, who free­ly reached forth his Arm unto thee, and took thee by the Hand, and brought thee out of the Wilderness and desolate Places, and set thy feet in the right way which hath led thee to a City of Habitation, and to the Fold of Rest; and now the Lord (who both sought thee, and found thee out, and brought thee out of the Wilderness, and from off the barren Moun­tains) he is become thy Shepherd, oh my soul, and how canst thou want any good thing, he oftentimes feedeth thee, and even causeth thee to lie down in green Pastures, & leadeth thee by the still Waters, even Shilc's brook, which runs softly, and he spreadeth thy Table in the sight of thy Enemies, and anointeth thy Head with the oyl of Cladness, and causeth thy Cup to overflow with new Wine, and hath brought thee to sit under thy own Vine, and under thy Fig-tree, and none shall make thee afraid, oh my soul: Oh the Goodness of the Lord, oh the Kindness of the Lord, oh the Mercy of the Lord, oh the Pity of the Lord, oh the Compassion of the Lord God of tender Bowels is even Unutterable, Unspeak­able, Unfathomable and Incomprehensible; Oh the Heighth, oh the Depth, oh the Length, oh the Breadth of the Love of the Lord: Oh my soul! truly when thou meditatest of the goodness of the Lord, and considerest of his loving kindness and mercy shewed towards thee; oh, how can but the sence thereof pitch thee even upon a stand of admiration: Oh sure­ly, surely when thou, oh my soul, lookest back into his Works, & considerest how much he hath wrought in thee, and for thee, thou canst see no end of his praises; oh praises, oh living praises, holy righteous praises unto the pure holy righteous Lord God be ascribed by thee, oh my soul, for ever and for evermore.

Oh my Soul as thou art kept in the fresh sence and remem­brance of the great Loving Kindness, the great Mercy, the great Pity and unspeakable Compassion of the Lord thy tender God which he hath, and daily doth manifest unto thee, oh my soul; oh, how canst thou but in the sence of Gods unspeak­able Love abound in Love, in Pity, in Mercy, in Kindness, in Tenderness and Compassion towards all People, but especi­ally towards all Souls who are Seeking, Thirsting, Hungring, Breathing, Crying and Painting after Righteousness, Peace, everlasting Rest and eternal Happiness: Oh, my soul, the Lord thy God knoweth the frame of thy Spirit, the Lord knoweth the tenderness of thy Bowels, and the openness of thy Bo­som towards all the Seekers after Righteousness, towards all the Travellers to Sion, and towards all the Mourners there­in: Oh, my soul, remember how that at sometimes when the great Fountain, the great Deep hath opened, and issued forth of his fulness into thee, oh my soul; and when Joy hath come into thy heart as a River, and Gladness as a mighty Stream, Refreshings as showers in the Spring, and Consolation as due upon the tender Plants, and when thou couldst sing for joy of heart, and shout aloud even Praises and Halelujahs to thy God, that then, even then thou, oh my soul, remem­brest the Poor and Needy in his own Eyes, and think'st thou hearest his cry sounding in thy Ear, and his soul saying in secret; Oh how many is there who Eateth of the largest Loaves, and Drinkest of the largest full Flagons; but oh, alas for me, I have scarce a drop of Refreshment, hardly a crum of Consolation, but my Tears is my Meat and Drink Day and Night, whilest my Enemy saith unto me, where is thy God▪ Oh I go bowed down all the day long, and none knoweh my Sorrow but the Lord alone; Oh, I am even as an Owl in th [...] Desart, and as the Pelican in the Wilderness, I am as the alon [...] Quail in the stubble Fields, and as the Dove mourning for th [...] [Page 112] loss of her Mate, and as the alone Sparrow upon the House top, and as a Woman forsaken and grieved in Spirit; Oh, whose Condition is like mine! is there any amongst the Sons and Daughters of Men like unto me? is there any so Poor as I? oh, is there any so Needy as I? oh, is there any so Weak and Feeble as I? is there any so Foolish as I? oh, is there any so Dry and Barren as I? oh, is there any so Cold and Fruitless to God-ward as I? is there any so Desolate as I? Oh my leanness, oh my leanness, oh how long, how long shall it be thus with me? oh how long, how long shall I sit mourn­ing as by the River of Babylon with my Harp laid aside? oh when, when shall I walk again in Sion, and travel in the Streets of Jerusalem? with a new Song in my Mouth, and everlasting Joy upon my Head, and living Praises in my Heart unto the Lord who dw [...]lleth in his Sion, and his presence is great in his Jerusalem; but oh alass for me, I am as one cast out of his sight, and one who walketh dejected all the day long; Oh when will the Lord cause the days of my Mourn­ing to be over, and the nights of my Sorrow to pass away, and my Sighings and Groanings to vanish, and all Tears to b [...] wiped from mine Eyes? oh when will the Lord give me Beauty instead of Ashes, the Oyl of Joy for Mourning, and the Garment of Praise for the Spirit of Heaviness, that I (a Poor Dry Barren one) might become a Tree of Righteousness, bringing forth Fruit of Holiness abundantly to the praise of the Lord God, that he in and through me might be glorified? Oh when shall my Winter be over, and the terrible Storms be gone? oh when shall the cold nipping Frosts be expelled, & the Darkness and Gloominess be extinguished? oh when will the Sun of Righteousness break forth unto me in his Glory, and his warm Beams refresh and warm my poor cold Soul? oh when will the Spring come, when shall I know a Spring-time [...] the Lord? oh when will Summer come? oh when will the [Page 113] singing of Birds come? oh when shall I hear the voice of the Turtle in my Land? oh when will the Showers from on high fall down upon my Soul? oh when shall I receive the early and latter Rain? oh when shall I come to sit under my own Vine, and under my Fig-tree, and none to make me afraid? Oh how long shall my Beloved be hid from me, as in the clifts of the Rocks, and as in the secret places of the Stairs? some­times indeed he shews himself unto me, as behind the Wall, and as through a Lattis, and then my Bowels, my tender Bowels are moved for him: Oh when, oh when shall I have a full enjoyment of him whom my soul loveth? oh that I could but plainly hear his Voice, and perfectly see his Face; for oh in­deed sweet is his Voice, and his Countenance is very comly; my soul desireth him in the Night season, and in the Morn­ing I seek him early; but oh I cannot find him whom my soul loveth, for he hath with-drawn himself from me, and [...] is the cause of my Leanness, Coldness, Barrenness and Un­fruitfulness to God-ward, which is the cause of my Sorrow, Tears, Sighing, Groaning, Mourning and walking Dejected all the day long.

Oh, indeed there was a time once when my Beloved knock­ed at the Door of my Heart, saying again and again, open, open, unto me; my Head is wet with Dew, and my Locks filled with the Drops of the Night; open, open unto me, and let me in; but oh wo's me, I was gotten into a Bed of false Ease and wrong Security, and was loath to come out; but I made many excuses, and said, I have put off my Coat, how shall I put it on? I have washed my Feet how shall I defile them, &c? and I lingered so long, as that my Beloved vvith­drew himself; and at last I rose (in my own time, not when he called) to open to my Beloved, and he was gone, and then I called him, but he did not answer me, I sought him, but did not find him; and oh, my Bowels, my Bowels is even pained [Page 114] for him, and my Soul panteth after him, even as the Hart painteth after the water Brooks; Oh that I could but find him whom [...]y soul loveth, oh I would hold him, I would hold him fast, I would not let him go; he should lie all night in my Bosom, I would be watchful and diligent that I grieve him not, and very fearful of displeasing of him, and would take heed of giving him any cause whereby to leave me, and thus to hide his Face from me; but oh, alass for me, when shall I find him, when will he come I long for? Oh when, when shall I have my full enjoyment of him? oh, when will he bring me into his Banquetting-House, and his Love be even as a Banner over me, his left hand under my Head, and his right Imbra­sing of me, staying me with Flagons, comforting me with Apples, making me Sick of Love, giving me of his spiced Wine, and of the juce of his Pomgranets? oh, if thus I could come to enjoy him whom my Soul Loveth, then would all Tears be wiped away from mine Eyes, and I forget my Sor­row, because of Joy and Gladness, and then should I look no more Sorrowful, but should Rejoyce, as Hannah did, and say; Oh my Heart rejoyceth in the Lord, and my Horn is exalted in the Lord, and my Mouth is enlarged over my Enemy (who said unto me, I shall be always Barren and Unfruitful) because I rejoyce in his Salvation, who hath regarded my low Estate; oh, now I the Barren shall bear Seven, and she who hath had many Children wax Feeble, now I the parched Ground be­come a Pool, and I the dry Heath Springs of Water, now I the solitary place Rejoyee, and I the Desart blossom as a Rose, I the Poor one made Rich, and I the Weak one made Strong, I the Foolish one made Wise, I the Empty one overflow with Fulness; now the days of my sore Mourning turned into Joy, and the nights of my Sorrow turned into Pleasure, and the sea­sons of my seeking him whom my soul loveth turned into times of sweet reposes with him in his bed of solace▪ But [Page 115] oh, alass for me, I may speak of these things, but oh, when, when will it be thus with me? oh how long shall I wait, how long shall I seek, how long shall I call and utter my voice weeping, saying, oh come away, come away unto me, thou whom I mourn for, whom I long after, whom my soul loveth; oh I have waited so long that I am weary, and begin to be almost without hope of his coming any more unto me: Well what shall I do, and whether shall I go? I will even lay me down in Sorrow, and make it my Bed, and make Grief my Sheets, and Tears my Pillow, and Sighing and Mourning my Sleep, untill he come vvhom my soul loveth; for verily I cannot, I cannot be satisfied vvith another besides him.

Oh, vvho amongst the Son [...] and Daughters of Men shall I make my moan unto? unto vvhom shall I complain and ease my heart unto? vvhere shall I find one vvho is sensible of my condition, that can simpathize vvith me, and that can speak a vvord in season unto my poor soul, oh, is it thus vvith any as it is vvith me? Yes, yes, I believe there is many hath been, and many now are in thy condition: Oh, where may I find one of them, that I might ease my heart unto him, and spread my condition before him? for, oh verily my Bowels is very open to those who be in my condition; well, have patience, be quiet, and be still, and lend an ear unto me, and I may speak a little how it is with me, and it may be (if the Lord will) to thy comfort; for, oh truly my soul loveth thee, oh my heart is moved with compassion towards thee, oh my bowels, my bowels is open unto thee, and my soul greatly simpathizeth with thy soul, and could even wish my soul (for a time) in thy souls stead; oh, though indeed I am but a Child, yet truly I am in some measure sensible of thy condition, and can read it by my own; and oh how willingly would I help thee, ac­cording to my ability; oh, truly methinks I would even be a help unto all who stand in need of help, but especially unto thee [Page 116] thou poor soul; What art thou Poor? so am I; what art thou Weak and Feeble? so am I oftentimes; what art thou Empty? so am I oftentimes; what art thou Cold and Barren? so am I sometimes; what art thou as one Desolate and Destitute? so am I sometimes; what doest thou eat thy Bread Weeping, and mingle thy Drink with thy Tears? it is so with me at sometimes, when I want the enjoyment of him whom my soul loveth, for t [...]uly it is with me sometimes as it is with thee; for sometimes, I have not the enjoyment of my Beloved, as I have at other times, but sometimes he seems to be withd-rawn and to hide his-Face from me; oh then it is with me as it is with thee; oh then Sorrows take hold upon me, and Trouble sur­roundeth me about as a Wall, and Mourning covers me as a Garment, and none seeth my Tears but the Lord; oh then my Leanness, my Leanness, my Coldness and Barrenness is my greatest Burden, which causeth me to go bowed down in Spirit, saying in my heart, Oh, whether is my Beloved gone, and what is the cause he hath with-drawn himself from me? wherefore is it thus with me, what is the matter, what shall I do, what will the Lord leave me, what will my God forsake me, what will the Lord now cast me off who hath done so much for me? oh what is the cause that it is thus with me? wherefore is the Windows of Heaven shut up, and the Shovvers of Refreshment from on high with-held from me? oh once I could say the Lord is my Shepherd, and my soul doth not want; he causeth me to seed, and even to lie down in green Pastures, and leadeth me by the still Waters, and spreadeth my Table with Dainties, and anointeth my Head with the Oyl of Gladness, and causeth my Cup to overslow with new Wine: But oh, alass for me now, I am in a Dry and Thirsty Land where no Water is; Oh, what hath the Lord cast me off for ever? oh my Tears is my Meat and Drink, whilst my Enemy saith unto me, where is thy God, dost thou think [Page 117] he will ever appear again unto thee? why dost thou thus Hunger, Thirst, Cry and Paint after him? alas, it is in vain for thee to wait for him; once indeed thou hadst the enjoy­ment of him, once thou wentst with a Multitude, with them to the House of God, with the voice of Joy and Praise, with a Multitude that keep holy day; but, alas thou must not look for such a day again: And thus the Adversary of my soul endeavoureth to add Sorrow to my Sorrow, and to en­crease the weight of my Burden, that so I might sink and never rise; But, oh the Lord my God is near to help me, even in that time when I can scarce perceive him, and when I am (as Peter was) ready to sink, then his invisible arm of Mercy is ready to save me, and a secret hope the Lord pre­serveth alive in me, which is as an Anchor unto my soul, which keeps me from suffering Shipwrack, a hope that the Lord will appear again to me to my Joy, whereby some encourage­ment I feel stirring in me to wait upon the Lord patiently, and to trust in him, though I do not see him; and to relie upon him and hope in his tender bowels, when he seems to be far o [...]f me, and to roul my self upon him, and surely he will appear again to thy Joy, oh my soul, who canst not be satisfied without his presence, even the presence of the Lord thy God, which thou desirest more then all things else whatsoever; wherefore the Lord seeing it is so with thee, that thou desirest his presence more then all other things; surely, surely he will not cast thee off for ever, surely he will appear again to thy joy, wherefore, why art thou so much cast down, oh my soul, and why art thou thus disquieted within thee? oh hope, hope thou in thy God, for thou shalt yet praise him, the Lord will yet again command his loving kindness in the day time, and in the night season, his song shall be with thee, even prai [...]s to the God of thy Life; oh wait patiently upon the Lord, and trust in the living God, whose compassions fails not towards [Page 118] those vvho love him; oh, he vvill send out his Light and Truth into thee again, and it shall bring thee unto his holy Hill, and to his Tabernacle, and then shalt thou go to the Altar of God, of God thy exceeding joy, and upon thy Harp shalt thou praise the Lord thy God, thy Delight and Joy, oh, it is good for thee both to hope and quietly to vvait upon the Lord, for the Lord is good to the Man that vvaits upon him, unto the Soul vvhich seeketh him, and cannot be satisfied vvithout him; oh, vvait patiently upon him even as a Servant vvaiteth upon his Master, and as a Maiden at the hand of her Mistress, so do thou vvait for the Lord, and even as the Husbandman vvho sovveth his Seed in the Earth, hath long patience for it until he receiveth the early and latter Rain; so do thou vvait pati­ently upon the Lord, vvho vvill be unto thee as the early and latter Rain in due season; wait upon him, he who is to come, will come, and will not tarry, and his reward will be with him, even fulness of Joy, Comfort, Peace, Rest and sweet Satisfaction unto thee; for surely, surely, the Lord will ne­ver leave thee nor forsake thee, if thou forsake him not; indeed he may seem to hide his Face from thee for a time, but without doubt he will appear again to thy Comfort, who cannot live without him? oh my soul, the Lord heareth thee often saying in secret, alass, What is the Glory of the World unto me? what is the Honour and Praise of the World unto me? what is the Favours, Friendship and Estimation of the World to me? what is the Vanities, vain Sports, Delights & Pleasures of the Sons and Daughters of Men to me? oh, surely all these things are but as Drofs and Dung unto me, in comparison of the Lord my God, who is the Fountain of everlasting Joy, Delight and Pleasure; oh, if I enjoy him fully I have enough; he is the joy of my Heart, the rejoycing and glading of my Spirit, the strength of my Reins, the girdle of my Loines; wherefore, how can I live without him? oh my soul, the [Page 119] Lord intends good unto thee by all his dealings with thee, if he withdraw for a time, and hide his Face from thee for a sea­son, it is thereby to let thee see what thou art without him, how Poor, how Weak, how Feeble, how Foolish, how Empty, how Dead, how Dry, how Cold, how Barren and Unfruitful art thou without the Lord? that so thou being made truly sensible of thy own Weakness and Inability, may be the more sensible of the needfulness of the supporting Power, and upholding Arm, and saving Grace of the Lord thy God, and the more to relie and depend upon the Lord; oh my soul, though the Lord withdraw his presence from thee, thou comest the more to know what the want of his pre­sence is, and comest to learn to prize the sweet enjoyment of his presence the more, and to hold him fast and cleave unto him, and to be very vigilent and careful thou dost not grieve him, nor do the thing that may cause him to withdraw him­self from thee, oh my soul. Oh my soul, thou must learn to know how to Want, and how to Abound; how to be Full, and how to be Empty; how to be Rich, and how to be Poor; and in every Condition to be content, and not to murmur against the Lord; the Lord can open and none can shut, and he can shut and none can open; the Lord ean open the windows of Heaven and shower down abundantly upon thee, oh my soul, and even make a Plenty in thy Land, even cause thy Store to abound with Corn, and thy Fats over flow with new Wine; and he can also shut up the windows of Heaven for a time, & make a Famine in thy Land, if he pleaseth and thou must not say un­to him (in a murmuring way) why dealest thou thus with me? for indeed he may do vvhat he vvill do, and yet all his doings are Just & Righteous altogether, and in all his dealings vvith thee, he thy dear, tender nursing Father, intends good unto thee, oh my soul. Oh my soul, vvhen the Fountain openeth, and the great Deep overflovveth, and fills thee vvith [Page 120] plenty of all things needful for thee, even then, oh my soul, dread and fear thou before the Lord, and take heed of being lifted up in Heart, of being puffed up in Mind, of being ex­alted in Spirit, and bevvare of a false Ease, and vvrong Liberty and false Security, vvhich may soon steal upon thee at such a time, if thou do not abide upon the Watch, and dread the Lord, and drink the draughts of Joy in the pure fear and trembling, never departing there-from, in vvhat ever thou enjoy of the Lord, or receive from the Lord, or do and suffer for the Lord, keep lovv in Heart, meek in Mind, humble in Soul, tender in Bovvels, contrite in Spirit, and then, oh my soul, thou art in a safe condition; truly, my soul, vvhen thou appearest Wise, Strong, Rich and Full enough, even then thou art rather in greater danger then vvhen thou appearest Weak, Poor and Empty in thy ovvn eyes, although thou art not then vvithout danger, but hast cause to fear and vvatch in all conditions; oh my soul, vvhen thou appearest Weak, Poor and Feeble in thy ovvn eyes, even then take heed of distrust and doubting, but hold fast thy Trust in the Lord, and let thy Confidence in his Name be firm, and Hope in his tender Bowels be sure, and constantly relie and depend upon him, and honour him in believing in him, and if he kill thee, yet trust thou in him, and never leave him; for, alas whether shouldst thou go, he hath the word of eternal Life, who is worthy to be Glorified, Magnified, Honoured and Praised, Feared, Served, Loved, and Obeyed forever, and for evermore.

Oh my soul, thou dearly lovest thy Fathers Children; oh, the Lord knoweth how near and dear his dear Babes and ten­der Lambs are unto thee, oh my soul; oh, thou knowest them in the Spirit of Love, wherein thou delightest to Imbrace them (even those whom, outwardly, thou never saw) and (in spirit) to clasp them about, and kiss them with a Kiss of Peace, and hug them in the Bosom of Indearedness; ah, thy [Page 121] Bowels, thy Bowels is open unto them, and thy Love is dear indeed towards them, as the Lord thy God knoweth; and oh that love might abound in thee more and more, and in the hearts of all the Children of Light, it may abound one towards another, as in Days past, and Years which are gone, that it may appear to all we are of God who is Love, and that we all are true Disciples of Christ in that we love one another, not only in Shew and in Word, but in Deed and in Truth, loving one another fervently with a pure heart.

Oh my soul, thou defirest to simpathize vvith thy Fathers Children, in their Tryals, Sufferings and Afflictions; and (in spirit) to bear a part vvith them therein; oh, thou desirest even to Mourn vvith them that Mourn, and to Weep vvith them that Weep in secret; and to Rejoyce vvith them that Rejoyce, and to Travel in Spirit vvith and for the Travellers to Sion, and vvith the Travellers in Sion, and to watch with those Watch-men, which the Lord hath set upon the walls of Jerusalem, who for Sions sake cannot be still, and for Jeru­salems sake cannot hold their peace; who cease not to cry day and night to the Lord, and can give him no rest until he esta­blish Jerusalem, and make her a praise in the whole Earth for evermore.

Oh my soul, be watchful and wary that thou dost not in the least degree seek Glory, Honour and Praise to thy self, and to be had in esteem by others; but, oh wait to feel self whol­ly Baptized into Death, and made of no Reputation; and take heed that thy left hand know not what thy right hand doth, and do nothing to be seen of men, or whereby to be accounted of by others; but in all thou dost, appeal unto him who seeth imsecret, and he it is who will reward thee openly▪ seek thou to be only known, and manifested, to the pure u [...] ­erring Witness in all Consciences, and to stand justified and approved by it, and that is enough, no Honour, no Glory, [Page 122] no Praise but to God alone; oh, strive not for Lordship and Mastership over others, but rather strive to be most Meekest, Lowest, Humblest, Tender and Contite in Mind and Spirit, condesending even to the Lowest, and serving the Meanest in love; seeking Peace and Unity amongst Brethren, with all self-denyal, bearing, forbearing and forgiving for the Seeds sake; bearing with the infirmities of the Weak and Feeble, watching for the good in all, without respect of Persons; but not to watch for evil in any, for that is abominable in the eyes of the Lord; and seek thou the glory of God alone, the ho­nour of his Name, exaltation and spreading forth of his Truth, the freedom, growth and reign of the Seed of God in the hearts of all, the prosperity of his tender Lambs; Babes and Children, that they may all stand in this day of Tryal, and be preserved in this hour of Darkness and Temptation, and even to seek the good of all, yea the good of thy greatest Enemies, and have nothing but love and good will towards thy greatest Persecutors, seeking the Salvation of all people, but not the Destruction of any.

And, oh my soul, be circumspect; and vigilent, to walk so as becometh the Gospel, and thee to be an adorning to the Truth of God, and to be as an holy example and righteous pattern unto all people, where-ever I come, that I may be unto the Lord as a sweet smell and delectable savour, that the bles­sing of the Lord my God may be pou [...]ed down upon me yet more and more, that I might become fruitful unto the Lord my God, and be an instrument in his hand amongst the Sons and Daughters of men, to the praise, glory, honour and re­nown of the Lord Almighty, for evermore; oh my soul, watch and fear before the Lord, and take heed thou dost not that thing to please others which thou knowest is not approved by the Lord; keep thy eye unto the Lord, & look not ou [...] at o­thers, to walk by Imitation, and if thou seest him or her, one or [Page 123] another (whatever they be accounted of) do those things which the Lord allows thee not to do, do not thee do them because another doth them, but watch and keep close unto the Lord, and take counsel of him.

Oh my soul, do not judge, or justifie those things which thou hast not a true discerning in, because an other judges or justifies them, but rather be passive in that matter, and stand still and wait upon the Lord for a perfect understanding in all things.

Oh my soul, seek not Liberty to the Flesh, beware of that counted Freedom, which is indeed Bondage, which hath stollen upon many in their latter days; oh my soul, indeavour to put off those things, which in their plac [...] are said to be Law­ful, which are a means to hinder thy growth into the Eternal: And oh, walk wisely before all men, giving no offence to the Jew nor Gentile, nor to the Church in God, knowing that there is that which is Lawful, but not Expedient; there is that which is Lawful, but it Edifies not; wherefore forbare what may be forborn, and yet be not brought under the power of any thing below the life, but seek after those things which make for E­dification, Love, Peace and Unity; for God is the author of Peace, and not the author of Confusion, Strife, Contention and Debate: Oh my soul, thou dost greatly desire that I might not appear, in the sight of any of the Lords Lambs and little ones, to be mor [...] then what I really am in and through the grace of God, by which I am what I am, and his grace which he hath freely bestowed upon me hath nor been in vain, praises to his Name forever; oh, I would not be accounted of by any little one to be more then what [...] am in the Lord, but rather let me be hid, lest honour should be ascribed unto that, unto which it doth not belong; for indeed all honour belongs to God alone; alas all Flesh is as Grass, and what is Man, he is but a Vessel wherein God may [...]ppear or disappear as he [Page 124] pleaseth, and indeed the Lord is jealous of his Glory, and he will not give it unto another; wherefore my soul seek the glory, honour and praise to God alone, unto whom only it is due for ever and evermore. Oh my soul, thou doest not want the love, the dear unfeigned love of the Lords dear Babes, tender Lambs and Children, and oh thou desirest thou mayst not want their prayers for thee, oh my soul, that I may be preserved in this day of trial, and be enabled by the Lord to finish my Testimony for him, to his praise and my comfort, joy and peace for evermore.

Oh my soul, fear thou before the living God, and very dili­gently take heed lest thou vvho stand'st should fall, as several hath done, to their ovvn vvoe, and to the dishonour of God, and to the causing his unchangable Truth to be evil spoken of, and many seekers after Righteousness to stumble, & the hands of Sions Enemies thereby strengthened against the Faithful of the Lord, vvhose hearts are made sad, vvhom the Lord hath not made sad; even in the sence of the sad condition of those vvho once in some measure vvere acquainted vvith the Lord, once tasted of his Goodness and Graciousness, of his svveet unspeakable Love and Peace, and even in some measure, tasted and handled of the vvord of Life, and of the povvers of the World to come; vvho vvere delivered out of spiritual Egypt by an out-stretched Arm and mighty Povver, and by the same Povver carried through the spiritual Sea and Wilderness, and did in measure eat of the spiritual Meat, and drink of the spri­tual Rock, vvhich vvas made unto them as a pillar of Fire by night, and a pillar of a Cloud by day, &c. and yet behold they are drawn back again by the Enemy of their Soul, through their yielding unto his Temptations, and receiving his P [...]o [...]fers, and are turned as the Dog to his Vomit, and as the Sow that was washed to her wallowing again in the mire; and hath even mad [...] Shipwrack of Faith and a good [Page 125] Conscience, and are proved treacherous Children, denying their Father who begat them, and casting off their Mother who travelled in pain to bring them forth, and hating the Womb that bore them, and the Paps which gave them suck, and this hath come upon them through Carelesness and Sloath­fulness, and through Reasoning and Consulting with the E­nemy of their Souls, and through looking at the Trouble, Tryal, Sufferings, Streights and Difficulties which appeared in their way, and through lusting after the Flesh-pots of Egypt, through looking back into the Ease, Pleasure, Riches and Honour of this World, which hath carried them away captive again into Egypt, into the house of Bondage again; wherefore, oh my soul, watch, watch and stand fast in that Liberty which the true Christ the Power of God hath brought thee into, and take heed thou be not intangled again in the yoak of Bondage.

Oh my soul, if there be some who once were in some mea­sure Fresh, Green, Tender, Living and Fruitful unto God, who now have lost their Freshness, Greenness, Tenderness and Fruitfulness towards God, and now Coldness, Deadness and Barrenness is come upon them to God-ward, and their Love and Zeal for the Lord waxed cold; oh my soul, if it hath thus happened unto some, oh, how canst thou but fear before the Lord, least the same should happen unto thee also.

And if some there be whose minds are gotten into a full Liberty, and are at ease in the Flesh, living above the Cross of Christ Jesus, which Crucifies to the World, and grown Care­less and Negligent, spending their time often with vain Talk­ing, foolish Jesting, and needless Communication; how ought all to spend their time in waiting upon the Lord, in meditating and exercising themselves in the things of God, being very watchful over their Thoughts, Words, Works and Actions, having the pure fear of the Righteous God fresh in their [Page 126] hearts, standing in awe of him always, least they should Sin against him in Thought, Word & Deed, lying down & rising up in his pure fear, Eating & Drinking and doing all things in the pure fear of the Lord, knowing a stay to their Minds, a stop to their Thoughts, a bridle to their Tongues, a watch before their Mouth, and a fearing in their Hearts, least they should not be watchful enough over their Lives and Conver­sations, yea even over their very Carriage and Gesture, their words being very few, sober and savoury, even savouring of the grace of God in their hearts, they desiring and endeavou­ring to walk so as that they might in Life, Carriage and Con­versation be as holy Patterns and righteous Examples of Love, of Peace, of Holiness and Purity, of Meekness and Lowli­ness, of Tenderness and Pity, of Mercy and Compassion, of Patience and long Suffering, of Sobriety and Gentleness &c. that so they might walk as becometh Saints, B [...]a [...]eless and Harmless, as Sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse Generation, amongst whom to shine as Lights to the adorning of the Truth of God professed by them, and to the Glory, Honour and [...] of the Lord God, and to the Joy, Comfort, Refreshment, Peace and Consolation of their own Souls: Oh this condition is very sweet, blessed and happy; wherefore [...]leave, cleave, and keep close unto the Lord thy tender compassionate God, and then assuredly the Lord will cleave unto thee, and will not leave thee, oh my soul; wherefore lift up thy head in the strength of the Lord, and look up unto the holy one, whose dwelling is on high in the holy place; and with thee, oh my soul, as thou art kept humble in H [...]art, contrite in Spirit, meek in Mind and trem­bleth at his Word; and look not at thy own Weakness, Fee­bleness and Inability, but keep thy eye unto the Lord and trust in his Name, relie and depend upon his Arm, and hope in his tender Bowels, who maketh the Poor Rich, the Weak [Page 127] Strong, the Simple Wise; wait thou patiently upon him, and look not out at the greatness of others measures, neither look thou at the smalness of thy own, least Faintness, Weariness and Discouragement should thereby come in upon thee, and thou murmur because thy measure is no greater, but be thou contented, and truly satisfied with thy portion, and be faithful unto the Lord in thy measure, and being faithful in the little, thou shalt be made ruler over much, and enter into the joy of the Lord; wait upon him, who hath freely given in thee what thou hast of him, and he can give thee more; there was nothing in thee (that was of thee) which induced the Lord to com­municate that measure of his fulness unto thee, which he hath dispensed to thee, but of his own meer mercy, tender love and free grace, who of his own free will hath begotten thee again unto a living hope, so that thou well knowest, that it is not he that willeth, nor he that runneth, but God who sheweth mer­cy: Oh thou hadst not awakened out of the sleep of Sin and Corruption, had not the mighty God thundred from his dwel­ling place upon thee, and awakened thee; oh my soul, surely thou hadst never been raised out of the dust of Sin, and grave of Iniquity, had not the Lord of his own free will raised thee up, and brought thee forth by his own Almighty power: Oh my soul, surely thou hadst never (as of thy self) turned unto the Lord, had not the Lord of his own free will turned thee, and after thou wast turned thou Repentedst, and after thou wast Afflicted thou smotest upon thy Thigh, yea thou wast consounded, because thou borest the shame of thy youth; and surely, my soul, after the Lord had turned thee in mea­sure to him, thou hadst not followed him in the narrow and strait Way, through the Cross in the Self-denial, had not the Lord thy God drawn thee after him by the cords and woings of his tender Love; and surely thou hadst turned back again from the Lord into the Mire and Durt again, and hadst never [Page 128] Stood untill this Hour, but must have Fainted and Dyed ere this Day, had not the Lord of his own free will Kept thee, Preserved thee, Upheld thee, and Supported thee by his own almighty Power, whose Grace hath been sufficient for thee, both in the day of Prosperity, and in the day of Adversity, in the time of Tryal, in the hour of Temptation; and so let all Flesh be silent in thee, oh my soul, and the Lord only Ex­alted, and the Boaster for ever Excluded, and God alone have the Glory, and self wholly slain, and the Lord alone Honou­red and Praised, and his unspeakable Love and free Grace, Ad­mired, and his holy Name Feared and Obeyed, by whose Grace thou art what thou art, and his Grace bestowed upon thee hath not been in vain; blessed, blessed be the Lord, and pure holy praises to him, and glory and halleujah to him in the highest, Amen saith my soul. Oh, Lord, what was I and what was my Fathers house? I was neither a Prophet nor a Prophets Son; what was I, that the King of Glory should cast his eye upon me, even when I lay as among the Pits? what was I that he should hold forth the Scepter unto me, and I should find favour in his sight? who regarded my low E­state, and raised me out of the Dust, and brought me from off the Dunghill to sit among Princes.

Oh my Soul, the Lord hath done much for thee since the day he formed thee in the Womb, and brought thee forth for his Praise; he hath made the crooked things strait before thee, and rough smooth, and Mountains he hath laid low before thee, and removed many a Hill out of thy way, and he hath made a way for thee in the Wilderness, and a path through many a Thicket, he hath lopt the Bough with ter­rour, and the great one of stature hath been hewn down; he did cut up the Thicket of the Forrest with Iron, and Lebanon did fall by a mighty one; oh, he hath made the hard things easie unto thee; oh, how hath his Love made thee willing to [Page 129] bow thy neck to the Yoak, and to take up the Cross, and to­tally to despise the Shame, and to follow the Lamb through some Tryals and Tribulations, whose love hath drawn thee after him, whose love hath (as it were) made thee to forget thy fathers House? Oh, how hath his love caused me to cast off other lovers, and to love the Lord my God, who is now become my Treasure, and my heart is with him? so that if I be shut up in Prison, if I enjoy him; oh, then Days, Months and Years may pass over my head, and Time is not thought long, nor Sufferings hard, because of the enjoyment of the presence of the Lord my Treasure, whom my soul loveth, for whose sake I am willing to suffer; whose pure sweet re­freshing, comfortable Presence makes a Prison delightsome to me; [...]raises, pure living praises to my God for ever, who hath been with me in six Troubles, and in the seventh he hath not lef [...] me: he is my Buckler, my Shield, my Strength, my Rock, my Safe-Guard, my strong Tower; wherefore I'le not fear the threats of the Wicked, neither regard the cruelty of the ungodly, nor heed the purposes of my Enemy, nor mind the determinations of unrighteous Men; through the strength of my God I will not fear, though the Earth be removed and car­ried into the midst of the Sea; and though the Mountains shake, through the swelling thereof; though the Heathen rage, and the People imagine vain things, and the Rulers take counsel against me, Ile not fear what man can do unto me, for the Lord is with me, and I shall not be moved, and th [...] Lord will help me; and that right early; yet alas for me, poor, poor worm, I am but a Child weak and feeble, but indeed having had great experience of the love of my God, and of his tender Fatherly care over me, how can I but confidently trust, hope, rely and depend upon my God, believing that he, the mighty one, will enable me, the weak one, to wade through and endure those tryals he pleases to exercise me withal; who [Page 130] through his love and mercy hath caused my Tryals to work for my good, praises to his name for evermore, who hath nine times delivered me out of the hands of unreasonable men, out of their Prisons and Holes, where I have suffered for the Testimony of my God, through his enabling of me, without murmuring against him; praises unto him alone, no honour, no glory, but unto God, saith my soul, who hath kept me by his power from bowing to the Beast, or drinking of the Whores Cup; pure praise to my dear God for evermore, who will free me once again from Bonds in his own time. I am willing to wait thy season, oh my God, who art with me; and oh let me never depart from thee, O Lord, and then I know thou wilt never leave me, but thou wilt be my God, to help me still, and to support me still, and to comfort me still, and refresh me still, and quicken me still, and to feed me still with Bread from Heaven, fresh Manna Morning by Morning, and give me to drink of the River of thy Pleasure Daily; who wilt enable me to stand faithful to thee unto the end of my days, that I may finish my Testimony for thee, thy Name and Truth in this thy day, even with Joy, and lay down my Head in Peace, in thy tender Bosom of endless Love, oh my tender God, and therein repose, with thy dear Children for evermore, and have my full satisfaction of love in thee, thou Fountain of Love, and therein fetch my full breath for evermore; oh let it be so, oh let it be so, oh my dear God, for thy own Seed sake, to thy own praise thou holy one, who is worthy, worthy of all glory, glory, honogr and everlasting thanksgiving, and pure living praises for ever, and evermore, Amen, Hallelujah, glory and eternal renown to the almighty one in the highest, Amen.

Oh my soul thou dearly loveth the whole Flock of God where-ever they are scattered upon the face of the Earth; oh, thou greatly desireth their Prosperity and Tranquility, and [Page 131] that the Lord may prosper and bless them withal spiritual Blessings in Christ Jesus: Oh, the Lord God keep all his Chil­dren every where in this hour & power of Darkness, and pre­serve his dear Babes and tender Lambs in this day of great Tryal and manifold Temptation; Oh the Lord keep all those who make mention of his Name in Sincerity and Truth, from bowing in the least degree unto the Beast, and from drinking the least drop of the Whores Cup, although she should be permitted to drink their Blood; Oh, the Lord God Almighty keep his Sheep and Lambs, who were once scattered abroad, in the cloudy dark day, whom he hath sought and found out, and gathered out of the desart Places, and waste howling Wil­derness, whom he hath brought from off the barren Moun­tains and dry Heaths, into the low, low, low fresh green Val­ley, where the pure sweet refreshing consolating springs of Life Eternal encompasseth them about; Oh, the Lord keep them still and quiet, minding their Feeding, and not at all h [...] he raging of the Sea, nor regard the unmerciful Waves thereof, which often looks very high, as if they would quite o [...] flo [...] the Val [...]y of the low Places, and drown all who flee not unto the Mountains for Refuge and Safety; but oh let not the h [...]ep and Lambs, and little ones fear, nor at all flee to the H [...]ll [...] for Refuge, for behold the Lord the high and mighty one, the holy one of Israel is their Shepherd, and he even continually watcheth over them, and greatly careth for them, and he it is who hath giving bounds to the raging Sea, and he limits the proud Waves thereof, and shutteth up her Floods as he pleaseth; he can let forth the Wind, and suffer a Storm, and he can make a Calm when he pleaseth, he can cause the Sea and the Wind to obey him; and therefore the Children of God need not to fear none besides the Lord, who will suffer nothing to besal them, but what shall work for good to all his chosen fai [...]hful ones; wherefore it is good for all the [Page 132] Children of the Lord confidently to trust in the Lord, and not at all fear, though their Enemies pursue hard after them, and say in their hearts, Come, come, we will pursue them, we will o­vertake them, our Lusts shall be satisfied upon them, we will have the desire of our Hearts concerning them, we will draw our Swords, and our Hands shall destroy them, and we will try whether their Gods (in whom they say they trust) be able to deliver them from the stroke of our Hands; Well, let not Israel heed the boasting and threatning of his Enemies, nor regard the p [...]rposes of his Adversaries, though they pursue hard after him, and say, We will bring them back again into Egypt, or else we will totally Destroy them; Yet let not Israel fear, for the Lord his God is between him and his Enemies, and fights for him against his Adversaries, and he in his Anger will look down upon them, and trouble their Host, and take off their Chariot wheels, and will blow in his Wrath upon them, and the Sea of his righte­ous Indignation shall cover them, and they shall sink as Lead in the bottom of his righteous Judgments, and he will get himself a Name through the destruction of Sion [...] Enemies, and Honour and Magnifie himself through the deliverance of his Chosen, who will work wonders for his Redeemed, inso­much as the Dukes of Edom shall be amazed, and even trem­bling▪ shall take hold upon the mighty men of Moab, and all Nations shall shiver and quake before the mighty God of Israel, who is dreadful in Holiness, fearful in Praises, doing Wonders: Oh, let Israel honour his God in believing in him, and in trusting in his Name, in relying and depending upon his Arm of everlasting strength, and patiently without mur­murings to wait upon the Lord, for he that is to come will come, and wil [...] not tarry, whose work is before him, and his reward is with him, even Joy for the Mourners in Sion, and Beauty for Ashes, Gladness for the heavy hearted in Jerusalem, Freedom for Bondage, Freedom from Weights, Burdens and grievous Oppressions.

Oh let all the Children of the Lord wait without fainting, upon the Lord, for yet a little while and the voice will be heard, saying rejoyce, and even sing for joy ye Saints, Ser­vants and Prophets of the most High, and triumph in the Lord Almighty over the Beast and false Prophet, and over the Whore which hath corrupted the Earth, who hath long sat as a Queen, and said in her heart she should never see Sorrow, with whom the Nations of the Earth hath committed For­nication, and she hath made Nations, Kindreds, Tongues and People drunk with the wine of her Fornication, who hath long deceived the Nations with her golden Cup, which hath been filled with Abominations, and in her is found all the Blood of the Martyrs, and Servants of J [...]sus, which hath been shed upon the Earth, and she hath rid upon the Beast that rose out of the Sea, who received his seat, great power and authority from the Dragon, who persecuted the true woman that was clothed with the Sun, and had a Crown of twelve Stars upon her head; who sought to devour her Man­child, and made war against the remnant of her Seed who keep the Commands of God, and have the Testimony of Je­sus; these cannot worship the Beast nor his name, nor receive his mark, but these worship God alone, and are followers of the Lamb through many tribulations, whose garments are made white in his Blood, by whom they are redeemed from amongst men; these the Beast and false Prophet have sought to Kill, Persecute and root out from off the face of the Earth; but wo, wo, wo, to the Beast, false Prophet, and the Whore, for the day of their Judgment is come, & Misery, Cala­mity, Distress & Destruction is coming upon them; & she, the mother of Harlots, the mother of Witchcrafts, the Abomi­nations of the Earth shall utterly be Destroyed, and totally Burnt with Fire; for strong is the Lord God Almighty who Judgeth her; and now sing O Heavens, and rejoyce ye who [Page 134] live therein, over mystery Babylon the great, for it is fallen, it is fallen as a mighty Milstone into the bottom of the Sea, never more to arise again, Amen, Hallelu [...]ah.

And the Lord will thunder from Heaven upon thy Ene­mies, oh Sion, and will break thy Adversaries to peices, and will give strength to thy King, and exhalt the horn of his Anointed, and he shall Reign, and Rule, and Prosper, and execute Justice and true Judgment in the Earth; in his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely, and sit un­der his own Vine, and none shall make him afraid; then shall it be said to Jerusalem fear not, and to Sion let not thy hands be slack, the Lord in the midest of thee is mighty, he hath saved thee, he hath set thee free from thy Trouble he will rejoyce over thee with Joy, he'll joy over thee with Singing, then it shall be said, sing oh Daughter of Sion, and shout oh Israel, and rejoyce withal thy heart, oh Daughter of Jeru­salem, for the Lord hath taken away thy Judgment, he hath cast out thy Enemies, and thy Warfare is acomplished, and thy great Travel is finished, and now thou shalt rest from thy Labour, and they who have Laboured and Mourned with thee, and for thee, shall rejoyce for Joy with thee, and suck and be satisfied with the sweet consolation of thy Breast, and milk out, and be delighted in the abundance of thy Glory; oh the Lord thy Husband, thy maker (the God of hosts is his Name) will extend Peace, Joy, Comfort, & everlasting Refresh­ment as a mighty Stream, and endless Consolations as a Ri­ver; oh then shall they be Comforted in thee after their Sor­row, and be born up upon thy Sides, and dandled upon thy Knees; for as a Woman comforteth her only Son, so will the Lord comfort Jerusalem; in the sence whereof her Chil­dren shall rejoyce, and their Souls be right glad, and flourish as an herb, and their Spirits shall praise and sing glory unto him who is Lord and King of Heaven and Eart [...], who is [Page 135] worthy, worthy of all Glory, Praise and Honour for ever, and for evermore, Amen saith my soul.

The thing which the Lord hath purposed must be accom­plished in his season, and the thing that he hath determined must be fulfilled in despite of all the powers of Darkness; Oh, that all thy Babes and Lambs may willingly wait thy appoin­ted time, O Lord God Almighty; oh dear God, keep all thy people retire in thy Name, that so what ever thou suffers to befal their Bodies, their Souls may be safe bundled up in the bundle of Life, wrapped therein for evermore, for a terrible day is like to be upon all Flesh, and who can be able to abide it? Oh, dear God, increase the Patience of thy People, strengthen the Faith of thy Chosen; oh, support the Weak, and uphold the little Ones, which cannot go alone; oh, that none of thy Flock may faint, nor grow weary; oh, that all thine might stand in the day of Tryal, and be kept in the hour of Temptation, and born up under all Sufferings, that so in the end they may come forth as Gold seven times refined in the Fire, that they may shine as Stars in the Firmament of thy Power, making mention of thy Goodness, Gracious­ness and Kindness, O Lord God Almighty, declaring of thy mighty Acts, and sing of thy Mercies and wonderful doings, and Glorifie, Magnifie, Honour and Praise thee, thou migh­ty everlasting and powerful one, who art from all Eternity to all Eternity, whose Throne is established of old, whose Scepter beareth sway in Righteousness, whose Kingdom is E­verlasting, glory and hallelujah to thee in the highest, for ever and for evermore, yea praises, praises, pure living praises every minute, be rendered unto the Lord Almighty, saith th [...] s [...]ul of

W. B.

OH arise, arise, thou holy righteous Seed of the Covenant of Life Eternal; Arise, arise, thy Light is come, and the Glory of thy God is risen upon thee; Oh thou lovely one, Nations shall come to thy Light, and Kings to the brightness of thy Rising; Ah thou beautiful one, thy Sons shall come from far, and thy Daughters from the ends of the Earth; Arise, arise thou beautiful one, who art altogether lovely: Oh how sweet is thy Love, thou lovely one? oh how excel­lent is thy Love, thou choice one? oh thy love, thy love is more precious then Rubies, more sweeter then Hony, oh thy love is better then Wine; Oh how hath thy love overcome the hearts of many, and won them unto thee? oh thy love draws many after thee; oh how doth thy love cause many to cast off all their other Lovers to follow thee, thou lovely one? oh thou art become unto many Souls (who loveth thee, thou lovely one) even the chiefest of ten thousands, whose eyes are opened to see thy Beauty, and to behold thy Comeli­ness, thou beautiful one; oh thou art hid from the Polluted, neither can the Unclean behold thy excellent Beauty, the Vulture's eye cannot perceive thy Comeliness, nor they who hath eyes full of Adultery, and cannot cease from Sin, and have hearts exercised with coveteous practises, and are gone a whoring after many Lovers; oh from these thou art hid, thou lovely one, even as a Garden inclosed, as a Spring shut up, as a Fountain sealed from them: Oh arise thou choice one, and let thy Beauty appear unto those who have not seen thy Beauty; and let them taste of thy Love, that so they may cast off all other Lovers, and follow thee; cast off all, and cleave unto thee with their whole hearts. Oh arise, arise thou beloved one, and shine forth in thy excellent Glory, that even the Nations may be ravished with thy Beauty, and [Page 137] Kingdoms overcome with thy Love, and be drawn after thee, that a blessing in thee they may obtain; Oh, arise and let thy Fruitfulness appear, thou precious one, and let Joy and Glad­ness fill thy heart, thou lovely one, for the days of thy rejoy­cing is come and coming, and the days of thy mourning, oh Sion, is fleeing away; Oh thou beloved one, thou hast been even as a Woman forsaken and grieved in Spirit, and few or none of the Sons or Daughters of Men hath looked upon thee with an eye of pity; oh thou hast been as the Owle in the Desart, and as the alone Sparrow upon the house top, and as the alone Quail in the stubble fields, and as a Dove mourn­ing alone without her Mate; who hast set solitary alone as in the Wilderness, and none among the Sons of Men to comfort thee; & oh thou beloved anointed one, thou hast been like unto a man of Sorrow, and very deeply acquainted with Grief; often Smitten, often Grieved, often Afflicted, often Wound­ed, often Pierced and Oppressed, even as a Cart that is pressed with Sheaves, and yet the Sons and Daughters of Men hath not esteemed thee; although indeed, thou patient one, thou hast been wounded by their Transgressions, and grieved, smitten and pierced, and bruised by their Iniquities, and hath born the weight of their Sins, and the burden of their Transgressions, even while they like Sheep have gone astray, every one following his own way, & Feasting themselves as for a day of Slaughter, whilst thou hast been Mourning because of the Iniquity of the People; Eating and Drinking and rising up to Play, whilst thou hast been Weeping and Groan­ing in secret, because of the multitude of their Transgressions, who hath heaped Sin upon Sin, and Iniquity upon Iniquity, and hath loaded thee therewith, which hath been as an impress of ten thousands upon thee, thou tender one, and unto thee they had no regard, they took no notice of thy Sorrow and Burdens: But oh thou beloved one, thy God, thy tender [Page 138] God, who hath loved thee with an everlasting Love, took notice of thy Sorrow, and he saw thy Grief, and beheld thy sore Weights and Burdens, and took cognizance of thy grievous Oppressions, and he heard the voice of thy Weeping, and thy Tears which thou droppedst upon his Alter lay in the view of the eye of his pitiful Soul, and he beheld thy great Travel, and thy Sighing and Groaning entered into his Ears, and his tender, tender Bowels of infinite Love, Mercy, Pity and everlasting Compassion, was and is moved towards thee, and he hath determined to comfort thee, with an everlasting Comfort, thou patient suffering one, and the Nights of thy Sorrow, shall vanish away for ever, and the Days of thy Mourning, shall be over.

Oh thou beloved one, lift up thy Head, lift up thy Head, in the strength of thy God, and gird up thy Loines with Cou­rage in the power of his Might, for thy Winter is almost over and gone, and shall no more come, the Storms are va­nishing away and shall no more appear, the nipping Frosts are dissolving by the Sun of Righteousness, who is arisen up­on thee with healing in his wings; Ah, lift up thy voice like the sound of a Trumpet, and shout like the voice of a King, and sing for joy, thou beloved one; for thy Spring is come, thou lovely one; thy Summer is come, thou lovely one; the sing­ing of Birds is come, thou beautiful one; and the voice of the Turtle is heard in thy Land, thou delicate and choice one; let thy heart be filled with Melody, thou blessed one, who art cloathed with Chastity, and keepeth thy Virginity in the Chamber of Purity; oh, thy beloved is come, and into his Banqueting-House he is bringing thee, where his Banner over thee is Love, where he will stay thee with Flaggons, and comfort thee with Apples, and cause thee to drink of his spiced Wine, and of the juice of his Pomgranets; oh Sion, rejoyce thou in his Love, for the days of the glading of thy [Page 139] heart is come, thou tender one, who hast been tossed with tempest & not comforted; thou hast been termed Desolate and Forsaken; thou hast been as one Barren and Unfruitful: but now arise, arise, lengthen thy Cords, and strengthen thy Stakes, and enlarge the Curtains of thy Habitation; for lo thou fruitful one, thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left, and thy Seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and thy Off-spring the People; the North shall give up, and the South shall not keep back; they shall come from the East, and from the West, & flock unto thee as Doves to the Window; thy Sons shall come from far, and thy Daughters be nursed at thy sides, thou shalt cause many wast places to be Builded, and many Buildings to fall, and desolate plaees to be Inhabited, and In­habited places to be laid desolate, and barren Mountains to be­come fruitful Valleys, and fruitful Places to become barren Mountains, and the Wilderness become a Vinyard of sweet Grapes, the Forrest as a City of Habitation, the parched Ground to become a Pool, and dry Heaths springs of Water; oh arise, arise, thou beloved one, and let thy Fruitfulness be manifest­ed to the Nations, break forth in thy excellent Glory, shine forth in thy glorious Beauty as clear as the Morning without Clouds, fair as the Moon, and bright as the Sun, that thou mayst appear as a royal Diadem in the hand of the Lord, and as a Crown of Glory in the hand of thy God, that far off Nations may see thy Beauty, and remote Kings may see thy excellent Glory, and be won by thy Love unto thee, that they who hath Hated thee may Love thee, bccause of thy Love that did extend to them, even whilst they hated and rejected the woings of thy Love; oh, my soul loves thee in thy Love, th [...]u lovely one; oh kiss me, kiss me with the Kisses of thy M [...]uth, for thy Love is better then Wine, oh thou beautiful one, thy Love overcomes my heart, thy Love draweth me after thee; oh thou art ple [...]sant unto me, thy [Page 140] presence is more desirable then all things my heart can desire; oh; if thou hidst thy Face, thou bountiful one, then am I bowed down, for the smiles of thy comely Countenance is the rejoycing of my Heart, and the glading of my Soul, the refreshing of my Spirit, as marrow to my Bones, and strength to my Reins; oh, thou art my Joy in Sorrow, my Comfort in Mourning, my Help in Need, my Strength in Weakness, my Riches in Poverty, my Bread in Hunger, my Water in Thirst, my Refuge from Storms, my Shelter from Heat, and as the shadow of a Rock to me in a weary Land; oh, how can I but love thee in thy Love, thou lovely one; oh, thou art my Mother who hath travelled in great pain to bring me forth, thou art the Womb that bore me, and the Paps that gave me suck, the Cradle of my rest, and the Bed of repose; oh can I forget thee? how can I forget thee who hath done so much for me even that which no man could do? oh, thou lovedst me first before I loved thee, thou lovely one, and with thy Love thou woedst me, and by thy Love thou over­camest my heart, and drew it after thee; and now thou amia­ble one, the desire of my soul is unto thee, and unto the remem­brance of thy Love; oh, my Soul desireth thee in the Night season, and in the Morning I will seek thee early; thou art as a cluster of Campire, and as a bundle of Mirrh unto me, thou shalt lie all Night between my Breasts; oh thou lovely one, let me repose in thy Bosom, and fold me in thy Arms; oh, thy Love, thy Love ovcrcomes my Heart, thy Beauty even makes me sick of Love; oh, let me remember thy Love more then Wine, it is the upright loves thee, and it is the pure in heart who seeth thy Beauty, and beholdeth thy excel­lent Comeliness; oh, let thy Love still draw me after thee, oh, let me never leave thee, oh, that I may never forsake thee, nor be unmindful of thy Love which I have known to be stronger then Death, and him who hath the power of Death; [Page 141] oh, thou art a Tree of Life to those who take hold on thee, and blessed is every Soul that retaineth thee; Oh, thy ways are ways of Pleasantness, and all thy paths are green and de­lightsom to those who love thee; oh in thee is my rest, in thee is my peace, in thee is my joy, in thee is my comfort, in thee obtain I blessing and happiness; thou art my Joy, and the Crown of my Rejoycing for ever and for evermore; Oh, wherefore hold me, hold me with thy Love, thou Lovely Blessed One, and let me never depart from thee, and then I know thou wilt never depart from me; but I shall be thine, and thou shalt be mine in a perpetual Covenant, which ne­ver shall be broken; Oh thou Comely Beautiful Choice One, thy Riches is durable, for the Glory, the glory, the glory of the Lord thy God is thy Dowry for evermore: Unto whom be ascribed all honour and glory, eternal praises and renown, and everlasting dominion for evermore; so be it saith my Soul, and Amen saith my Spirit; Oh come Lord Jesus, come quickly, and take unto thy self thy great power to Reign, for thou art worthy, worthy saith my Soul; glory to thee in the highest for evermore, Amen.

William Bennit.

This to go among Friends to be Read among them when assembled together in the pure Fear and Wisdom of God.

DEarly beloved Friends and Brethren, Sheep of the Lords Pasture, Lambs of the Lords Flock, and Lillies of the Lords Field; the comely beautiful Garment of Innocency, Meekness, Love, Truth and Righteousness which doth cover many of you, even affecteth my Heart, and induceth my Soul dearly to love you, and Spirit to travel for your Wel­fare, Tranquility and Preservation even in every particular respect, desiring the Lord God of Blessings may Bless and Pros­per you in Truth and Righteousness, and that his Grace and Love, Mercy and Peace, with Joy and Consolation, Strength and Wisdom may be augmented and multiplied in and unto all your Souls, that so the encrease of him (the fulness of all durable Riches) to your Souls you may witness, and that the Fountain of Life (with whom is the Treasures of Wisdom and Knowledg) may be inlarged unto you, that of his fulness you daily may receive, whereby your Hearts may be opened and enlarged more and more unto the Lord, and one unto another, and that the sence of his Goodness and loving Kind­ness, Mercy, Pity and Compassion shed abroad and mani­fested towards you, may always be fresh in and upon your hearts▪ that indeed the largness of his endless unchangable, unspeakable Love may be by your Souls admired, and be an engagement and tye upon every particular one to oblige your Hearts, and bind your Souls unto the Lord God, and unto his immutable invinceable Truth; oh dear Friends, much hath the Lord done for us, and let his doings be still marvelous in our eyes, & let his own Works shew forth his Praise, whose Mercies [Page 143] endureth for ever; dear Friends, the Lord God of Compa [...] ­on sought and found us out, in the cloudy, dismal, dark Day, when we were scattered upon the barren Mountains and dry Heaths, wandering as silly Sheep without a Shepherd; but now hath he gathered us together, and even made us a Fami­ly like a Flock, and brought us down into the low Valley, and hath given us fresh and green Pasture to Feed in, and streams of living Water to Drink of; and now the Lord (the Al­mighty Jehovah) is our Shepherd, and his everlasting power­ful Name our Fold, and therefore are we not Consumed, though the Beasts of the Field have come forth against us, to destroy us, and the roaring devouring Lyons have been ve­ry greedy of their Prey, yet are we preserved unto this day, because the Lord hath been our defence on the right hand, and on the left, who hath and doth Fight for mount Sion; and as the Hills are round about Jerusalem, so hath the Lord been, still is, and will be round about his People, as the munition of Rocks for evermore, and their Bread shall not fail, and their Water shall be sure; O let all that fear the Lord trust in him whose Mercies are everlasting.

Oh dear Friends, the Lord once found us in a sollitary Place, and in a waste howling Wilderness, Hungry & Thirsty; Naked and Desolate, our way hedged up as with Bryers and Thorns, and there must we have Perished, had not the tender God of Bowels looked upon us with an eye of Pity and Compassion, and helped us in the day of our Distress; how did he lop the Bough with Terrour, and the strong one of stature he hewed down; he did cut up the Thicket of the Forest, as with Iron, and Lebanon did fall by a strong Arm, and made a way for us in the Wilderness, and a path through the Thickets; he laid low the Mountains before us, and removed away the Hills, and made the crooked Paths strait before us, and was a Refuge to us from the Sto [...]m, and a Shelter to us from the Heat, and [Page 144] as the shadow of a Rock unto us in a weary Land; and now hath he brought us into a right Way, which leads to a City of Habitation, to a quiet dwelling Place, where the Lord feeds his Flock, and causeth them to lie down at Noon-day; oh marvellous are the Works of the Lord, and the Living can sing of his Mercies, his tender Compassion faileth not towards the House of Jacob, he is a Father unto Israel, and Ephraim is his first Born; let Judah shew forth is Praises, whose Mercy endureth for ever.

Oh dear Children of my heavenly Father, remember we once sate as by the Rivers of Babylon, and Weeping we thought upon Sion, Mourning in the sence of our separation from her, even as a Woman Mourneth for her only Son; and then we could not sing▪ the Lords Song in a strange Land, but were as a Dove without her Mate, and the alone Sparrow upon the House top; as the Pelican in the Wilderness, and as the alone Quaile in the stubble Field; as a Woman forsaken and g [...]ieved in Spirit, asking the way to Sion with our Faces thither-ward, saying in our hearts we would be joyned again unto the Lord in a perpetual Covenant never to be broken.

And how graciously hath the Lord returned again our Cap­tivity, as streams in the South, and hath brought us on the way to Sion, with Joy and Gladness, and our Sighing and Mourning is in measure fled away; oh the Lord is worthy to be Feared, and his holy Name is worthy to be Honoured, and Magnified in the Congregation of the Righteous, for his Mercies abids for ever.

Oh dear Babes, we who once did sit in Darkness, have seen a great and glorious Light, and unto us who once sat under the Region and shadow of Death is the Light of Life risen, and the blessed day sprung from on high shineth in our Habitat [...]on, and the Lord is unto us an everlasting Light, and [Page 145] let us for evermore walk in his Light, as becometh Children of Light, shining (in our holy Lives and blameless unspoted Conversations) as Lights in the World, to the Praise and Glory of God whose Goodness and Mercy is without end.

Dear Babes, the Lord hath brought us forth of the Prison House, and lifted us up out of the dark miery Dungeon; h [...] hath raised us out of the Dust, and taken us as from the Dung­hil, to set us among Princes, and to inherit the seat of Re­nown, which is the Chair of Humility.

Oh the Height and Depth, Length and Breadth of the Love, Goodness and Mercy of the Lord, let our hearts be rent and broken before him, and humbled in his Presence, and let us walk before his Holiness, and tremble at his Word, and bow down unto his holy Name, and stand in awe of the Lord, for whom Praises waits in Sion.

Now seeing the Lord hath done so much for our Souls, let us wait upon him for Strength and Power daily, thereby to endure, to answer the largness of his Love in all Obedience and Faithfulness to him, who hath broke our Bands asunder and snapt our Cords in [...]ieces; and now dear Friends, let us stand stedfast in that Liberty whereinto the Lord by his Truth hath brought us, and not be intangled with the Yoke of Bondage as too to many are, who were once made Free by the Lord; oh how have some for fear of Persecution started aside out of the narrow Way, into the broad Way; and some for the Love, Favour and Honour of this World are departed from the Faith, and have made Shipwrack of a good Con­science; and some through the deceitfulness of Riches; and some through the Cares and Cumbrances of this World, the Seed of God is Choked again, and the Earth is come over it again, and the World hath eaten up their Hearts, and their Minds are become carnal again, and the Goodness of the Lord is forgotten by them, and the Spirit of Slumber hath shut [Page 146] them up; and for these doth my Soul mourn in secret, and travel for their Restoration, and in the sence of what is come upon them, how can we but Fear and Dread the Lord, and Watch and Pray, and keep close to the saving preserving power of his Grace which hath kept us unto this day, Praises to his Name for ever.

Oh Babes, we had need continually to stand upon our watch Tower having the Loins of our Minds girded up un­to God, with the Girdle of Truth, having on the Breast-plate of Righteousness and the Shield of Faith, the Helmet of Sal­vation and the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, that we may be able to send off the Fiery Darts of the Ememy within, and be able to shun his Wiles, and to keep out of his Snares, that we may never be betrayed of the simplicity and innocency of Truth as it is in Jesus.

Oh how hath he prevailled over some, and drawn them in­to a self separation, and particularily from the Body which is joyned unto Christ the Head, from whom the Body receiveth Vertue, whereby every Member is Nourished, and all comes to supply its Plaee and Office in the Body, and so is of service to the Body, as it keeps its Order; and so every Member be­ing in unity one with another, are as meet helps one to another; and so the Strong in some things may help the Weak, and the Weak in some things may help the Strong; so that the Hand cannot say unto the Foot, I have no need of thee, but every Member to be as Servants one to another, and all in Subjecti­on to Christ the Head, that the encrease of the Body may be witnessed unto the Edifying of it self in Love.

Dear Friends, if some who under pretence of ceasing from Man, and Words, and Forms, &c. doth absent from the Assemblies of the Righteous, and withdraw from the Meet­ings of the People of God, &c. yet I hope the Lord will pre­serve you from that Spirit, and I hope the Love and Power of [Page 147] his Truth will stir up your Hearts and constrain you to be very diligent and faithful in meeting together in the holy Fear and Name of the Lord God, to wait diligently upon, him in the measure of his Light, Life and Truth received, that so ye may daily receive Teaching, Counsel and Instruction from the Lord, and receive of his heavenly Dew and Vertue, whereby you may daily be Quickned, Warmed and Inlivened in the inward man, and be kept alive unto God, Green and Fresh as the Willow by the Rivers side, as the Lillies in the Vallies, and as a watered Garden, giving a sweet smell and delectable savour, that the Blessings from on high may be showred down upon you more and more, that your Fruit may encrease to the praise of his holy Name.

So dear Babes; I commit you unto the Preservation and Protection of the Lord God, who in this the day of great Tryals hath mightily stopped the raging Sea, and hath limited the proud Waves thereof, and hath shut up her Floods as he hath seen meet; oh let every poor little tender honest hearted one put their trust in the Lord, if they be never so Poor, Weak and Feeble in their own Eyes, let them cast their care upon the Lord, for he careth for them, and rely upon the arm of his Mercy, and hope in his tender Bowels, and he will be Strength to thee who (without him) art Weak; and he will be Riches to thee who (without him) art Poor; believe and trust thou in him, and hearken not to the false Accuser, neither joyn to the Consulter; but be still and know the Lord is God al-sufficient for thee, and all those that lean upon him for Help, and that depend upon him for power, he is able and ready to save in the hour of Temptation, to sup­port in the day of Tryal, to uphold in the greatest Storm, and to keep in Patience until it be over and gone, and a Calm comes again.

Dear Friends and Brothren, in that Love which is unspea [...] ­able [Page 148] doth my Soul dearly salute you and imbrace you, simpa­thising with you in your Tryals, desiring to Mourn with all them that Mourn, and to Rejoyce with them that Rejoyce, and unto him you are left, who is able to Comfort the Mourners among you, and is ready to left up the Light of his refreshing Countenance upon the heavy hearted, and bowed down under the burdens of the Righteous Seed, & to strength­en the feeble Knees and to heal the Wounded, and bind up the broken in heart, that they that hath, or doth sit in the solitary place of Mourning may be filled with the Joy of the Lord, and that they that yet are bowed down with the false Accuser of the Brethren, and lie mourning in the pit of Distrust, Un­belief and Desparation, may mount upon the wings of Faith, unto th [...] holy hill of Zion, thereon to stand with the Lamb, and to sing the new Song which none can sing but the Re­deemed of the Lord, so be it saith my Soul.

From your true Friend and Companion in the Faith and Patience, and long Suffering of Jesus, who is often with you in Spirit, though in Body Separated and Confined from you, being still close shut up in Prison, with several of the Lords Lambs, whose good Pres [...]nce is with us, blessed be h [...]s Name, upon whom we wait for Deliverance, believing that the Almighty God, who delivered Just Lot from the Wicked Sodomits, whose Ungodliness vexed his Righteous Soul from day to day; and who delivered his People of Old out of Egypt, and freed them out of the Hands of oppressing Pharaoh; and who delivered David out of the Paw of the Lyon, out of the Paw of the Bear, and from the hands of the uncircum­cised Philistine; who delivered Jeremiah out of the low miery Dungeon, and Daniel out of the Lyons D [...]n; who delivered the three Children out of the Fiery Furnace, and Paul and Sila [...] out of the Prison-House (he the Living God, who chang­eth not, whose hand is not shortned that it cannot save) will [Page 149] at this day deliver his People out of all their Sufferings, and free them of their Burdens, Weights and grievous Oppressi­ons in his own time, Blessed are all they that durst not look out at time, as some have done to their one hurt, but wait pariently upon the Lord, who can change Times and Seasons as he pleaseth; who dwelleth in the Heavens, and also ruleth over the Kingdoms of men, and setteth up and throweth down as he pleaseth; who seeth all the Works of the Sons of men, and pondereth all their doings; he is a God of Knowledg, and by him actions are weighed; he excelleth in Strength, Power, Wisdom and Mercy, and his Throne is from everlasting, and his Kingdom without end; who is God over all blessed for evermore.

Let none get into a false security because of the present Calm, the Lord can suffer a Storm, and make a Calm again, when he pleaseth; let all Watch and Pray, and Fear before the Lord, and wait upon him to be fitted for-Tryals, that so no Storm may come upon you before you are aware of it, and before you be ready for it.

Dear Babes, Read and Feel my Love in the Truth, and therein let not your Love be wanting one to another, but live in Love, Unity and Peace, and the God of Love and Peace be with you, and his Blessings rest upon you, Farwel dear Friends.
William Bennit.

A Testimony to the True Light that lightens every Man that comes into the World.

The People that did sit in Darkness have seen a great and glorious Light, and unto those that were under the Region and Shadow of Death is the Light of Life arisen, and the Blessed Day sprung from on high, and shineth in their Tabernacles; and that which they have seen, heard, felt and tasted of, the same they have and do bear Testimony unto, though few there be that have recei­ved their Testimony.

For who hath believed our Report, and unto whom is the Arm of the Lord Revealed.

But come ye, O House of Israel, and let us walk in the Light of the Lord.

THE Light revealed within is the (narrow) Way to Life Eternal; and the Door into the Fold of Ever­lasting Rest: The Light-is the Entrance into the fresh and green Pasture wherein the Lord feedeth his Elock, and causeth them to lie down in peace and quietness, out of the reach of the Beasts of prey: The Light leads and draw­eth those that obey it, out of Darkness, and from under the region and shadow of Death into the Land of the Living, there to dwell under the region & shadow of Light and Life: The Light breaks the Bonds of Sin in pieces, and snappeth [...]he Cords of Iniquity asunder, and sets the Soul free from the Bondage of Corruption, to serve the Lo [...]d in the [Page 151] Life of Righteousness: The Light draweth and leadeth those that believe in it, and obey it, out of the Alienation and Separation from God, into the Everlasting Covenant of Life and Love, where the Soul is in unity with the Lord: The Light searcheth the Heart, and operateth in the secrets of the Minds of those that obey it, and like unto Leaven work­eth the Heart and Mind into its own nature, frame and qua­lity: The Light is Pure, Holy and Undefiled, and hath no unity with the least impure Thought, Word or Work, but Judgeth and Condemns it: The Light is Meek, Contrite, Lowly and Humble, & condemns that honour that is corrupt, and is from below, and standeth in respect of Persons; and it seeketh the honour of God only: The Light Baptizeth self into Death, slayes the Boaster, puts Flesh to silence, that God may speak in his Temple, who is not to be denied the Mouth to speak by: The Light is the heavenly Treasure in the ear­then Vessel, that brings honour and glory unto God: The Light hath no fellowship with Darkness; he that saith he is in the Light, and hath unity with the Light, and yet loveth and walketh in Darkness, lyeth, and the Light hath no room, place or entertainment in his heart: The Light teacheth those that love it to love Enemies; its fruit is Love, no Envy, no Malice, no Hatred, no Bitterness, no Enmity, no Prejudice, no Discord, no Backbiting, no Reviling, no evil Whispering proceedeth from the Light; the Light condemns it all, and that ground from whence it springs: The Light hath no unity with any unfruitful works of Darkness, but reproves them: The Light teacheth to render Good for Evil, and to forgive Enemies, and to pray for Persecutors, and to have love and good will to all People, and to seek and desire the Eternal good and wel-fare of all Souls; he that hates and envies his Enemies abideth not in the Light; Envy is of the Evil-one; he that saith he walketh in the Light, and hates [Page 152] his Brother, lyeth, and errs from the Truth: The Light teacheth to love God with thy whole heart, and thy Neigh­bour, or Brother, as thy self; He that saith he loves God and hates his Brother, is a Lyer, he that loveth him that begetteth, doth also love those that are begotten of him; Love thinketh no Ill to Enemies, much less to Brethren: The Light leadeth his Chil­dren into Love, Peace and Unity with God, and one with another in the Life of Righteousness; oh the unity the u­nity of Brethren in the Light, Love and Life of God is exceed­ing precious and comely, its compared like to precious Oyl, poured on the Head, that runs down on the Beard, even Aarons Beard, that went down to the skirts of his Garment, and like the dew of Hermon, and like the dew that descended upon the Mountain of Sion, where the Blessing is, and where the Lord maketh unto his People a Feast of fat things: The Light teacheth, and maketh to be of one Heart, of one Mind, of one Soul, and (in all those that walk in it) begetteth one consent to serve and worship the only wise God, in the one Spirit and one Truth: The Light giveth a good Understand­ing, a clear Discerning, a sound Judgment: The Light leadeth not into strife and contention, nor into rents▪ divisi­ons and parties, nor into a particularity and self-separation from the Body, nor into self-conceitedness, nor into high airy notions, nor into a climing up in imaginations after high dis­coveries; (and so slight the day of small things, and neglect thy obedience to the present gift, through an expectation of something greater to come yet unrevealed; and such, like Lucifer, mounts high in their Conceits and Imaginations, but will fall to the side of the Pit;) but the Light condemns all this, and judges that Spirit that leadeth thereinto; which Spirit soweth Discord among Brethren, which is Abomination; and that Spirit leadeth some to speak evil of Dignities, and to dispise Dominion, and to rebel against the Order and Go­vernment [Page 153] of the Lamb: The Light judgeth that Spirit that setteth up, and keepeth up (out of the comly descent order of Truth) that thing that tends to strife and breaking unity a­mong Brethren: The Light teacheth those that love it, to seek and endeavour for Love, Peace and Unity among Bre­thren, with all Self-denial: The Light teacheth to take a­way the occasion of stumbling in thy Brothers way: The Light teacheth to be very wary and careful of giving Ene­mies advantage to strengthen themselves against Truth, and the Wicked occasion to reproach it, and those that live in it: The Light teaches to live and walk in a holy godly Life, and blameless Conversation, as becometh the Gospel of Truth, and as becometh Saints of the Most High: The Light, in those that love it, crucifieth the Flesh with the lusts and affecti­ons thereof, and teacheth those that love it, how to possess their Vessels in Sanctification and Honour: The Light crucifieth the Heart unto the World and worldly things, and redeemeth the Mind from the Earth and earthly things: and teacheth to use the World as if thou usedst it not: The Light draweth the Mind out of the many things (where all offend) into the one thing needful, which giveth not, nor receiveth an offence, but judges the offences, and that ground from whence they come: The Light is Supernatural, and is to over-rule the Naturals, and to keep them within the bonds of the Go­vernment of Truth, and to limit the affectionate part from leading and drawing the Heart and Mind into things below, into created Objects, and into Bondage to the cares of this Life, and troubles and cumbrances of this World, which doth not profit but hinder to God-ward: The Light is the Girdle of the Loins, of the Mind, of those that love it, to gird up their Hearts and Minds unto God, that in him their peace may be perfect: The Light is a stop to those Thoughts which are reproveable by it: The Light is a Bridle to the [Page 154] Tongue, and they that know it so to be, dare not say (in a self-will) our Tongues are our own, and we will speak: The Light ruleth over the Souls and Bodies of those that believe in, love, follow and obey it, and teacheth and enableth such to yield their Members Servants of Righteousness unto God, even as they have (when they were Servants to Sin) yeilded their Members Servants to Unrighteousness, and of Iniquity unto Iniquity: The Light is the Author of the true and living Faith, which giveth victory over the World, and is a shield unto the Soul to fend off the fiery darts of the Devil, and worketh by Love to the purifying of the Heart: The Light is the Author to the true Hope, which is an Anchor unto the Soul, sure and stedfast, and is held in a pure Conscience void of Offence towards God and Man: The Light is the Author of true Patience, long Suffering, Forbearance, Forgiveness and Contentedness; it teacheth to be patient in all Tryals, Tribulations, Troubles Straits and Difficulties, and teacheth in all conditions to be contented, and not to murmur against the Lord whatsoever he permit to come to pass: The Light teacheth his Children to love one another fervently, with a clean heart; oh, how good is God to Israel, to them that are of a clean heart: The Light teacheth to endeavour to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of Peace: The Light teacheth the Younger to yield and submit themselves to the Elder, in the Lord, and to hearken unto Counsel, Instructi­on and Reproof; he teacheth all his Children to be subject one to another; he cloathes them with Humility, ado [...]neth them with Meekness, and beautifies them with lowliness of Spirit: The Light teacheth the Strongest to condesend to the Weak­est, and to serve the Meanest in Love, to bear with the in­firmities of the Feeble, to help and hold up the Halting, and to draw forward the backward with the Cords of Love, and to cast a Garment over thy Brothers Nakedness: The Light [Page 155] in those that love it, puts out the eye that watcheth for evil, and condemneth that part that boasteth it self, and rejoyceth at anothers fall, and strengthens it self with prejudice against another through his failing, which thing is as most abomina­ble filth in the pure eye of the Light: The Light doth not countenance evil in any, but judges and discovers it, though hid under a profession of Truth The Light is like unto the Touchstone that trys Silver from Tin, it tryeth and discover­eth the Good from the Bad; it tryeth Motions, Thoughts, Words, Works and Spirits: The Light is a Stone which God hath laid in Sion, Elect and Precious, which they that believe, shall not be ashamed, and unto those that believe he is very Precious; but unto them that believe not, he is as a Stone of stumbling, and a Rock of offence, at whom the seem­ing wise Master-Builders have, and do stumble; and he whom t [...] [...]ise Professors of this Age, and great Rabbies, and Lear­ned Orators set at nought, the same is become the Head and Chief Corner Stone in Gods House; by the vertue of which Stone they that b [...]ieve in him are quickened, and made living Stones; meet to be joyned unto him (the Light) in whom the Building being fitly framed together, groweth up unto an holy Temple in the Lord: The Light was in the beginning before the Darkness was, and is now made manifest to extin­guish the Darkness, and to fill the dark corners of the Earth with the bright beams of his Glory; he is the First and the Last; he was before Time, and will remain when that which in time is passed away: The Light is the Beginning and the End, the Foundation and Top-stone, the Root and Off-spring of David, and the Bright Morning-Star, whose blessed Day Abraham saw, and was glad; he dwelt among the seven golden Candlesticks, and was with the Church in the Wilder­ness, in the days of old: He is the Light of the holy City, New-Jerusalem, which John (in the Lords Day) saw coming [Page 156] down from God, prepared as a Bride adorned for her Husband: The Light giveth the Churches to know, that it is he that searcheth the Heart, and tryeth the Reins, from whom no Hypocrite in Sio [...] can be hid; who said, I come quickly, and my Reward is with me, to give unto every one according as his Work But who shall abide the Day of his Coming, (in which the Heavens pass away with a great noise, and the Elements melt with fervent heat) and who shall stand when he appeareth, who is like Refiners Fire, and like Fullers Soap, purifying his Sanctuary, and cleansing his Temple in which he delights to dwell? He is the Word that was in the beginning, by whom all things were made that was made; and in him there is Life, and his Life is the Light of men; and he is the true L [...]ght that lighteth every man that cometh into the World; he is the Express Image of his Fathers Glory, and is called the Son of God, in whom dwelleth all fulness of Joy, Happi­ness and Eternal Felicity; who is God over all, and above all, blessed, blessed for ever and evermore, Amen.

VV. B.

OH, happy and blessed are the People, who though they once were Darkness, yet now are Light in the Lord; Oh, walk ye, oh, walk ye as Children of the Light bearing the pure Image of the Father of Lights, in whom is no Dark­ness at all, nor variableness or shadow of turning; but is the same yesterday, so to day, and for evermore.

FRiends that are Sufferers upon Truths account in Ed­monds-Bury Goal, are in a measure of health (through the Love, Goodness and Mercy of the Lord, blessed and magni­fied be his Name) this 7th day of the 10th Month 1667. and their dear love in the precious Truth dearly reaches forth unto all faithful Friends every where, and you are often in their remembrance, desiring the Lord may prosper you, and bless you with all spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus our Lord, and keep you with us, and the whole Israel of God, by his Almighty Power through Faith in his Name, unto his Hea­venly Kingdom, and enable us all to finish the work the Lord hath given us (by his Power) to do; that we may glorifie him on Earth, that he may glorifie us with himself, with that glory he had before the World began; even so be it; and Amen faith my Soul.

To Friends, Sufferers in Norwich-Castle.

DEar Suffering Lambs, whom the Wolves seek to Rend and Devour, in the tender Love of the great Shep­herd and Bishop of your Souls, is my heart opened to you, to visit you with a few Lines, and in the name of my God and your God, my Father and your Father, I say unto you, he whom you serve hath seen your Afflictions, and hath beheld your Sufferings, and hath took notice of your Bur­dens, and cognizence of your grievous Oppressions, and hath heard your Groanings, and hath beheld your Tears; he assu­redly will in his own time rebuke your Enemies, and plead your innocent Cause with your Oppressors, and ease you of, and free you from your great Afflictions; therefore, dear suffering Lambs of my heavenly Father, lift up your Heads in the Name of the Lord God, and take Courage and be Strong in his Power and Truth which is in you, and with you, and on your sides, and it is the Truth that shall prevail against all its Enemies, and its Opposers shall be Confound­ed, and the Truth of our God shall Flourish over all; there­fore, dear Hearts, still cleave to the precious Truth of God made known unto you, and let nothing separate you from it; oh, blessed be the Lord that he hath begotten such a Love in you to him and his Truth, that such is your love thereunto, that you are willing to undergo Reproaches, Abuses and spoy­ling of your Goods, Imprisonment, and to be separated from your Friends and Relations for Truths sake; oh, dear Lambs, great is your Reward if you abide to the end, and faint not in well doing; oh, my heart is open to you in the tender Love and Bowels of Emanuel, and my soul is refreshed in your [Page 159] Faithfulness, and though many of your Faces I never saw, yet I am one with you in your Sufferings, wherein my soul simpathiseth with you, and hath unity with your Testimony for the Lord, and my spirit doth praise the Lord, the God of your Salvation, on your behalf, in that he hath so mightily upheld you, and born you up in his Arms, in the midst of your Tryals; though you of your selves are Weak, yet the Lord is Strong, whose Strength you know by experience is manifested in Weakness; therefore trust hope and depend you upon the Lord forever, who is and will be your exceeding great reward; cast your care upon him, for he your God careth for you and yours; he is a Father to the Fatherless, and a Husband to the Widow, he is the Comforter of the Comfort­less, and gladeth the heavy hearted.

Oh, be still, quiet, patient and contented in your Minds; and wait upon the Lord, and be not at all terrifyed by your Adversaries; but in the lowly fear of the Lord God rejoyce in that he hath counted you worthy, not only to believe, but to suffer for his Name sake; oh, your Reward no man can take away, as you continue faithful to the Lord; dear Lambs, my Bowels yearn towards you, and in the Fathers love I salute you, desiring that Grace, Mercy and Peace may rest upon you, and the blessing of the most High distil upon you as dew upon the tender Herbs, that you, ye tender Plants, may grow and be like Willows by the Water Courses, and as Cedars by the Rivers side, that your Leaf may not wither, neither cease bearing Fruit; so dear suffering Lambs, as none is to be (through Joy) Exalted above what is meet, so none (through Sorrow) is to be Dejected, or cast down, but every one, in all Conditions, is to learn to be Contented with the will of the Lord, and none to murmur against the Lord, because of the Prosperity of the Wicked, and Advancement of Sions Ene­mies; for though they seem to Fl [...]u [...]ish like a green Bay-Tree, [Page 160] yet they will become like Grass upon the House top, that wi­thereth before it is grown up.

So unto the Lord God I commit you, who careth for all his, and is a present help in the time of need, and leaveth not his Sheep and Lambs when the Wolves come to Devour; but he the mighty God standeth by his People, and sighteth for mount Sion, and defends the Hills thereof, and will put to flight her Enemies, and with the Breath of his Mouth ex­pel and scatter the Clouds, Fogs and Mists that ariseth out of the bottomless pit of Darkness; that then, oh Sion, thy Glory may appear as the Morning without Clouds, and as the Sun in its Brightness thy Beauty may shine forth, and thy Enemies be Astonished and Confounded forever.

This is the salutation of my Love, who am your Fellow Sufferer and Companion, in the Patience and Tribulation of Jesus, the Lord God be with you, and support the weak and little ones among you, and keep you all Faithful to the end, and preserve you in Love and Unity one with another, Amen, saith my soul.
William Bennit.

Dearly Beloved

FRiends, Brethren and Sisters in the Heavenly Spiritual Relation of the Immortal Incorruptible Seed of Life Eternal, of which you are born again, and become Heirs of an Inheritance that is Everlasting, by Faith in Christ Jesus, in and from whom Joy and Peace, Mercy and Grace be multiplyed in and unto all your Souls, Amen.

Blessed be God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who through his abundant Mercy and free Grace hath called us, and with the Arms of his Everlasting Kindness hath gathered us, and by his Almighty Power hath raised us up, to be unto him a People, to live unto him in his Life, and to walk before him in Truth and Righteousness, and to Serve and Worship him in his own Way and Spirit, and to bear Testimony there­unto, and against the contrary, in Word and Doctrine, in Life and Conversation; and for our Testimonies sake the Na­tions are angry with us, and the Earth is moved, and the Waters troubled, and swell against us, as if we should be swol­lowed up, and wholly over-whelmed with the Floods of the Wrath of the Dragon, who seeks to drown the blessed and glorious appearance of the man Child; who is to rule the Nations in Justice, in Mercy, in Judgment, in Righteous­ness and Truth; well, my dear Friends, though at this day we are a suffering People, and as it were Killed all the day long, and appointed Sheep for the Slaughter, and are set as a prey for the Beast of the Field, and Lyons of the Forrest, and though the Jaws of Death, and Gates of Hell seem to be opened wide against us, as if we should be swallowed up quick, and be extinguished from being a People; yet notwithstanding we can rejoyce in the Lord our God, because [Page 162] our sufferings are infflicted upon us not for evil doing, but for well doing, and our Enemies have found no just Cause given them of us, thus to give us up to the Spoylers, and into the hands of Wicked, Ungodly, Unreasonable men; but alto­gether without a Cause given of us, have they taken an occasion against us (as Daniel's Persecutors did against him) concerning the Law, Commands and Worship of our God, so that at this day our God knows it, Angels and Men know it, and our Enemies one day shall be made to know it to their sorrow, that we are a Suffering Persecuted People, singly for our Conscience towards God, and for our Obedience and Faithfulness to him; therefore, my dearly beloved Ones, rejoyce in the Lord, and lift up your Heads in his Name, over all the Wrath and Cruelty of the Ungodly, and think not strange concerning the Fiery Tryals that are come to try you, and to prove your Love to God his Way and Truth, as though some strange thing had happened unto you; but rejoyce in the lowly fear of the Lord, inasmuch as you are made par­takers of the Sufferings of the Seed, that when its glory shall be more and more revealed in and upon your Souls, you may rejoyce with exceeding Joy, in that you suffer on Gods ac­count, not as Murderers and Evil doers; but as true Christians, and Followers of Christ Jesus, and true Worship­ers of the God of Daniel in Spirit and in Truth.

And my dear Friends, if ye suffer the spoyling of your Goods, Bonds, Banishment or Death for meeting together in the Fear and Name of the Lord, to wait upon him, and for performing you Duty and Obedience unto him, and for keep­ing of your Consciences void of offence towards him, truly the Cause is good, and worth the suffering for, it is not our own Cause, but the Lords; therefore let us commit it unto him unto whom we c [...]n make our Appeal, and spread our Com­plaint before him, and pour forth our Cries unto him who [Page 163] se [...]th our Troubles, and beholdeth the grievous Oppression, and manifold Burdens, Afflictions and Sufferings of his Poor, Abused, Tribulated, Persecuted People, whose innocent Cause he the Almighty Jevovah, of worm Jacob, will assuredly plead for them, against their Enemies, and wo will be to the Oppressors and Spoylers of Gods Heritage. Dear suffering Lambs, cast your Care upon the Lord, he careth for you, and for your little ones, and hold fast Faith and a good Conscience, whatever you suffer, hold fast the Truth you have received that none may take your Crown of Joy, Comfort, Peace and Blessing from you, and keep in the meekness, patience and long suffering of Jesus, suffering the spoyling of your Goods Joyfully, glorify­ing the Lord in suffering, according to his will, giving him Thanks and Praise, instead of Murmuring, that he hath counted you worthy not only to Believe, but also to Suffer for his blessed Name sake, knowing in your selves you have in Heaven a far better induring substance; therefore cast not away your Faith, Hope and Confidence which hath such great Recompence of Reward; but truly Friends you have need to abide in the patient long suffering Spirit of Jesus, that after you have done the will of God, and suffered for the same, you may receive the Promise; if any man faint, and turn back, he looses his reward of his sufferings; but I hope, my dear Friends, you are not of the number of those that turn back unto Perdition, but of them that believe, and receive the end of your hope, even the Salvation of your Souls.

And dear Friends; take Courage, and put on Strength, and lift up your Heads in the Name of the Lord, who is with his People, and from them he will not go, he is on our side, and taketh our part, we know it, and our Enemies will feel it to their sorrow, he will fight for us, let us hold our peace, and be still from reasoning with Flesh and Blood, though he suffer us to be tryed, as Gold is tryed in the Fire, yet not wholly to be [Page 164] Destroyed, after he hath done such great things for us, and ap­peared on our behalf, and hath manifested himself to be our God, and we to be his People, and after he hath Blessed us, and Prospered us, and Preserved us through all the Wrath and Cruelty of men hitherto, and now hath made us a Family like a Flock, and put his Jewels upon us, and Cloathed us with the Garment of Salvation, and Arayed us with the Robe of Righteousness, and Beautified us with his Comliness, and Betrothed us unto Himself, in Mercy, in Judgment, in Righteousness and in Truth; will he now suffer us wholly to be extinguished from being a People? shall our Enemies have their full desires of us, to root us out wholly from amongst them, that they may blaspheme our God, and say he was not able to Deliver them out of our hand? surely no, remember what Balack King of Moab had Consulted, & what Balaam Son of Beor answered him, even from Shittim unto Gilgal, that you may know the Righteousness of the Lord, who keepeth Covenant with his People, neither doth his tender Compassi­ons fail unto the House of Jacob; therefore let us trust in the God of our hope; who delivered Just Lot from the vexation of the wicked Sodomits, and his Poor Oppressed Israel out of the hand of cruel Pharaoh; who delivered David from the paw of the Bear, and the paw of the Lyon, and from the hand of the uncircumcised Philistine; who delivered Daniel out of the Lyons-Den, and the three Children out of the Fiery Furnace; good Jeremiah out of the low miery Dungeon, and [...]ul and Silas out of the Prison-House; he the Living God, whose Arm is not shortned, nor abated in Strength, Power and Might, will assuredly deliver his oppressed People at this day, in his own time, when he hath tryed them throughly, and hath Purged his Gold, and refined his Silver, and separa­ted the Chaff from his Wheat, and made up his precious Jewels, and manifested the approved in his sight, then will [Page 165] he arise, as in Mount Paron, and be wrath, as in the Valley of Gideon; to bring to pass his Work, his strange Work, at the hearing thereof, the Ears of many doth and shall Tingle, and the Heathen be Astonished and Confounded, and fall be­fore the glorious Majesty of the God of worm Jacob; then shall [...]ion Rejoyce, and Israel be right Glad, and the Mourn­ers be Comforted, and the heavy Hearts be Refreshed, and the Oppressed Delivered from the Yoak. The Lord God Al­mighty hasten the Accomplishment of his own Work, in his own time, to his own Glory and Renown, Amen.

So my dearly beloved Friends, my heart is open to you, and my Soul simpathises with you in your Sufferings, and my Crys and Prayers are to the Lord for you, knowing that great and many are your Tryals that doth att [...]nd many of you; poor hearts, how willingly could I help you. But unto the Lord the Great Shepherd and Bishop of your Souls, the Keeper of the Flock of Israel, I must commit you, and resign you up to him who careth for you, and watch­eth over you, and intends good unto you; for he loveth you, though he suffers hard things to befall you, which will work for your good, and bring many of you more neerer to the Lord, and make you more and more like him; that though the Hills shall be removed, and the Mountains depart, yet his Everlasting Kindness shall not be removed, neither the Co­venant of his Peace be taken from you his People, that keep Covenant with him your God; so the Almighty be with you, in all your Tryals and Temptations, and his Arms of tender mercy bear up all the Weak and Little Ones among you, whose desires are Upright before him, that none such may fall through the Fury of the Adversary, and Temptations of the Enemy; but that you all may be kept by the power of your God, through Faith in his Everlasting Name, to the end, to finish your Testimony in Faithfulness, with Joy, to his Glory, and [Page 166] your Endless Peace, Happiness and Filicity in him the God of your Hope, Amen.

The God of Peace be with you, and Comfort you with his Love; oh, Lord God Everlasting, keep all thy dear People in this hour and power of Darkness, hide them in the hollow of thy Hand, and let the Banner of thy Love be over them, dis­pose of them, O Lord, as seemeth good unto thee; only let not thy Faithfulness to them, and their Faith to thee be wanting, and let them be tendered by thee, as the first Fruits unto thee, after the long Night of Apostacy, that eclipsed thy Glory from the face of the Earth: My dear love remains with you; Farwel dear Friends.

From your true Friend and Brother, in the Patient Suffering for the Testimony of Jesus. William Bennit.

THE VVork and Mercy of GOD Conducing to his Praise;

Or a Demonstration of the Visitation of God's Love to my Soul in the days of my Youth;

Being a Testimony of the Light of Christ in the Conscience, which discovereth and judgeth Sin; also (if loved and obey [...]d) saveth from Sin, and redemeeth the Soul unto God.

Published in bowels of pity and love to all those that have desires after the Way of Truth, and are yet seeking it abroad in their Imaginations, and are mourning and groaning under the burden and weight of Sin; hoping and de­siring (that if the Lord will) such may meet with some incouragement and direction hereby, for them to turn their minds into the Light of Christ in themselves, and in it to believe, and wait for power over, and freedom from Sin, that true lasting peace in God they may come to wit­ness, to the true and full satisfaction of their Souls.

All thiags that are reproved, are made manifest by the Light; for whatso­ever doth make manifest is Light, &c. That which may be known of God is manifest in them, &c. Wherewith shall a Young man cleanse hi [...] way? by taking he [...]d thereunto according to thy Word; thy Word I have hid in my Heart, &c. Eph. 5. 13, &c. Rom. 1. 16. Psal. 1. 19. 9, 11.

VVHen I was but young in Years, the Lord God (of Light, Life and Power, of tender Love, of infinite Compassion and everlasting bowels of Mercy) was pleased then (in some measure) to visit me by or with his pure Light in my own Conscience, which many a [Page 168] time did check and reprove me for my Sins, and brought my Evil-doings to my remembrance, and judged me in my own Heart for Evil, and sometimes brought trouble upon my Mind for my Sins, but I was not then sensible that it was the Light of Christ Jesus (who is the true Light that lighteth every man that cometh into the World) which then in my own Con­science did check, reprove and judge me for Evil, and some­times broke my false ease and rest in Sin; insomuch as I could not go on in Sin, Wildness and Vanity, without being some­what troubled, terrified and reproved for my Sin at one time or other; though when I was among idle Children, voic of the fear of God, I ran into Sin and Wickedness with them; and for the present time, I acted in Sin with great Delight and Joy; but when I came to be still, quiet and alone in the Fields, or elsewhere; then would the pure Witness of God arise in me with its reproofs, and set my Sins in order before me, and brought my Evil Doings to my remembrance, which I had acted out of the pure fear of the Lord God, and then Trouble for a time took hold on me, and Sin became my burden; but I soon got from under that Burden, at Ease and Liberty again, and ran into Sin and Vanity again; and thus year after year I went on in rebellion against the Witness of God in my own Conscience, taking delight and pleasure in those things I knew were Evil; yet the Lord God (whose tender Bowels of Pity and Compassion did then in Mercy hover over me for good to me in that day) did sometimes stop me from speaking and acting that Evil I intended to speak or do, & preserved me out of many gross Evils, which many others were addicted unto, and overcome with. And in those days when I was alone in the Fields I cryed and prayed unto the Lord, and desires were stirring in me after the knowledge of him, his Way and Truth; but I prayed to a God I knew not; I imagined a God afar off; and did not then know it was the Lord that did [Page 169] search my Heart, and discovered unto me my Thoughts, and judged me for Sin; I then knew not that that was the Light, Way and Truth of God in my own Heart, which sometimes begot desires in me to know the Truth, and to walk therein; but my mind was abroad (as it is with many at this day, who have desires after Truth and Righteousness, but are seeking abroad in Carnal Ordinances, Forms, Likenesses, Beggarly Elements, Rudiments of the World, Ceremonies and Tra­ditions of men) and knew not that that in me was Truth, which sometimes stopt me from Lying and Swearing; and when I knowingly told a Lye, it would accuse me, when no man could accuse me for it; and as I grew in years, for I may truly say, there was something stirring in me (at times) after the Lord ever since I was 6 or 7 years of Age, and when I came to be about 14 years old, and to be a Prentize, and in outward Thraldom and Bondage, it pleased the God of infinite loving­kindness, to visit me more then formerly, by his pure Light and Spirit, which encreased in striving with me daily, that I scarce knowingly committed any Evil, but the Light would soon judge me for it; yea, the Lord God with his pure Light and Gift did persue me hard, and followed me close, calling to me in my Heart, with his still Voice, to come out of Sin, out of evil Words and Works; but I (like Samuel when he was a Child) knew not that it was the Lord that did call; for he was (though near me) as a Stranger to me; and I knew not his Voice, but went ast [...]ay as a wandering Sheep, yet had I desires to know the way to the [...]old, and to know where the Lord feedeth his Flook, and causeth them to lie down in Peace, Quietness & Rest, where none can make afraid; for indeed it was Rest my Soul wanted, and true Peace in God my Soul many a time longed for, and panted after; for, oh, I was oftentimes wounded, wounded, wounded be­cause of Sin, and for want of the enjoyment of the Love and [Page 170] Peace of God, I went many a time bowed down in Spirit day after day, with an a king Mind, grieved Soul and wound­ed Conscience, with my Eyes full of Tears, and my Heart full of Sighing, thinking in my Heart there was few (if any) in my State and Condition; sometimes wishing, and saying in my Heart, Oh, that I were in a desert solitary place outwardly (for so was my condition inwardly) where no man inhabits, where I might have Mourned and Wept out my fill, and have poured out my Tears unto the tender God of tender Bowels of Mercy, and have spread my Complaints before him whom my Soul did then sometimes, in measure, long, thirst and pant after, even as the Hart panteth after the water Brooks: And many a time I did get into a solitary place to ease my Heart a little, in pouring out my Tears and Complaints to the Lord; for in those daies many were my Prayers and Tears, for great was the burden and load which I oftentimes went under day after day, which made me cry Night and Day to the Lord for Peace and Rest; yet I then, not knowing that it was the Light of Christ in my Conscience, that did break my Rest and Peace in Sin, neither knew it to be a stay to the Mind, and a bri­dle to my Tongue; I many a time got into a false ease and liberty, in idleness and wildness of Youth, but it was broke again, and Sorrow and Trouble would take hold on my Mind, and true Desires would again be Renewed in me after the Lord, and breathing and thirsting after Righteousness; and oh, my Heart and Soul was many a time made tender and soft; and oh, pity, pity and tender bowels of compassion was in me towards any that I thought was in my condition, and a tender love was hid in my Heart towards those that I then thought were the People of God; and I can truly say, my Bowels and Heart is open still, and oftentimes Pity, Love, Compassion and Tenderness issues forth in me towards those that now are in that condition I then was in; oh, my Soul, [Page 171] my Soul cannot but in some measure simpathize with them, and in Spirit bear a part of their Burdens and Sorrows in my Bosom, & that not without some secret cries in my Heart unto the tender God of Bowels of Pity on their behalf; and part­ly for their sakes is this published, hoping (that if the Lord will) it may be of service unto some of them, and if the Lord order it so to be to them, or any, then will my end here­in be answered thereby.

And in those daies I frequented the Meetings of the People called Independants (viz.) William Bredges's Congrega­tion in great Yarmouth, whom I then thought were the Peo­ple of God, and yet I then saw that many of their Lives and Conversations, even some of the chief of them were not con­sistant with what they professed in words; and when I have been amongst them in the time of their singing Psalms, the pure Witness of God in my own Heart hath (as it were) stoped my Mouth that I could not Sing with them; but my Heart in the time of their singing was broken into tender­ness, and many were the tears of my Eyes; and verily my outward [...]an, or earthen Vessel, hath quaked and trembled (this was before I was by Scorners called a Quaker, or had seen any of those People) and shaken like a Leaf that is shaken with the Wind (which might be a sign of that shaking, which since the Lord hath suffered to come upon them, which hath almost shattered and scattered them, who will shake all sandy Foundations, and blast all Professions that are out of the Light and Power of God) by the working of the Light and Power of God in my Heart, though I then knew not that it was the Power of God that brought such a trembling upon me, and that did in some measure let me see, that it was not then a time of singing for me; for I was the [...] in a strange Land, in the Land of Captivity, and could not sing the Song of Sion, which I may truly say (not in the [Page 172] least enmity towards the People; for my Soul beareth love and good will towards all men, and desire to tender and own the least true appearance of God in any) they were ignorant of, who were then singing what others had prescribed and made ready for them; I then wanted the enjoyment of the Love, Joy, Peace and sweet Presence of God, which ma­keth glad the Hearts of the Righteous, and causeth the lowly, meek and upright to sing (in the Spirit with understanding) for joy; not that Song, or Songs, or Psalms which men have invented by their human Wisdom, (from which Wisdom the Mysteries of God's Kingdom is obscured and concealed) but the new and living Song, which the Dead cannot sing, but the Living that are raised and redeemed out of, and from the Earth, and from amongst men, even the ransomed of the Lord, that are returned from Babylon unto Mount Sion, where­on they stand with the Lamb, whom they have followed through many Tribulations; and have not loved their Lives unto Death; and have washed their Garments, and made them white in his Blood, in and by whom they are become Vir­gins; and have cast of all old Lovers, and are not defiled with the Woman Jezabel; but through the Lamb have gotten Vic­tory over the Whore, Beast and false Prophet, and in the Heavenly Dominion of the Lamb (by whom they are made more then Conquerors) do they stand on the Sea of Glass min­gled with Fire, with the Harps of God, and can sing a new Song of praise and thanksgiving unto him that was dead, but is alive, and lives for evermore.

And in all the times of my trouble of mind, and travel of Spirit I never made known how it was with me, nor declared my condition to any Creature, though never so intimate with them, but kept it secret in my Heart, pouring out my com­plaints to God, but not unto any man, yet I could gladly have had some to have known how it was with me; but I [Page 173] was straitned in my self, and kept it in obscurity; and in those dayes I knew not what it was that wrought and strove with me, and did so frequently judge and reprove me for Sin, and gave me power over many Evils which others were over­come withal, and raised strong desires in me after the Lord, and discovered unto me the thoughts of my Heart, I say, I knew not then what it was, I was then not sencible that it was the Light of Christ Jesus, or a measure of the Spirit of Truth; neither did I then know I should have taken heed thereunto, as unto a Light shining in a dark place, untill the Day had more and more dawned; and until Christ the Day-Star had ari­sen in my Heart, over all my Enemies; but my mind was still gazing abroad, and imagining a God afar off, and he was very nigh me, but I knew him not, but was hunting abroad in my Imaginations for that which was within me, the Pearl of great Price was hid in my Heart, but I knew it not, the King­dom of God was at hand, but I was gazing for it abroad, whilst it (in measure) was working in my Heart, like Leaven hid in three measures of Meal, &c. the Door into the Fold, the Entrance into Rest was within, but I was seeking it abroad; my Saviour was nigh, but I imagined him afar off, and knew him not nigh; neither did any man in those dayes direct my mind un­to the Light and Gift of Christ in my own Heart: And as for the Teachers of the People, even they in the highest Professi­on of God in words, were ready (they being so ignorant and unsensible of the Gift of God in themselves) to speak Blas­phemy of the pure spiritual Light of Christ within (as many Professors do at this day, yet notwithstanding make a large Profession and Confession of Christ in Words, though in Works deny him) and to say, that which troubles a man for his sins is a temptation of Sathan, and thereby instead of di­recting the mind to the Light, draw away the mind more from the Light, and such are blind, and are under the wo, [Page 174] that call Light Darkness, Good Evil, and are in that Spirit they were, who (though great Professors) said concerning Christ, He is Mad, and hath a Devil, why hear ye him? but as some then replyed, and said, Are these the works of him that hath a Devil? Can the Devil open the Eyes of the Blind? so I may say, Is it the Devils work to discover Sin, and judge, condemn and trouble a man (in the unconverted state) for Sin? or is it not his work to lull People a sleep in Sin, and to cry peace to them in their Iniquities, and to keep them satisfied with a profession of God without the possession of a holy undefiled Life? Is it his work to destroy his own Kingdom, which is Sin? surely, no, that is only and alone the Work of Christ, the Light of the World, made manifest within to destroy the Devil and his works; he brings Trouble upon the Transgressor and ministers Judgement against the Evil doer; he kindles a Fire in the earthly Heart, and raiseth Trouble, Wars and great Tribulation within, before he be known to be the Prince of Peace, the Sabboth, the everlasting Rest for the Soul. And now I know infallibly that that which in those dayes did bring trouble upon me for my Sins, and checked and judged for Evil, and begat good desires in me after the Lord, was the pure Witness of God, the manifestation of his Spirit, the Light of his Son Christ Jesus, a measure of his free Grace and Truth in my own Heart; and if ten Thousand should assert or affirm the contrary, I know their Testimony will be a Lye. But, oh, alas for me! after all this long Visitation of the Love, Goodness and Mercy of the Lord to my Soul; and after all this trouble of Mind, travel of Spirit, desiring and seeking after the Lord; I got, oh, I got into a false ease in the fleshly Nature, and in a wrong liberty and false security, (as it is with many Professors at this day, who once were low, broken and tender in Heart, mourning under the load and burden of of Sin, having sincere desires to serve God in holi­ness [Page 175] of Life, who are now gotten into the form and likeness of that they then hungred and thirsted after, and are there­with satisfied, and feeding themselves with others Words, and without Knowledge, without Life, and so are gotten at ease in the Pride, Fashions and Vanity of the World, and are at liberty in the Flesh, counting it their Freedom to do those things that once was their Burden and Bondage) and I became careless, and by disobedience I quenched the strivings of the Light of Christ in me, insomuch as the Burden, Trouble and Sorrow which once lay heavy upon my Mind, I felt little of, although the Original and real cause which occasioned the Burden, Sorrow and Trouble (which was my sins) was not taken away, but augmented, and I through Rebellion had almost murdered the just and holy one in me, and had so grieved and wounded the Spirit of the Lord, that it had almost ceased striving with me, though at sometimes it would bring former things to my remembrance; and then some trouble and sorrow would seize upon me for a time; but I soon got over it again, and turned from the Grace into Wantonness, and so forgot the Lord, whom I had formerly desired and sought after, and my Heart ran a whoreing after my old Lovers, with my Face turned back again to Egypt (the Land of Darkness, Wicked­ness, the Bondage-House of Sin and Corruption) which be­fore was partly turned towards Canaan, the Land of Light, Life and Rest, and so ran into such Evils as I had formerly been kept out of by a secret Power, which I then knew not, and I grew wanton, careless and wicked, and my Mind and Heart taken off seeking the Lord, and run into, and after the Vanity, Pleasures and Idleness of the World, delighting much in Musick and Dancing, Sporting and Gaming, and so made merry over the pure Witness of God, by sinning and rebelling against it, and by rejecting its reproof and strivings; Oh, oh, the patience and long-suffering of the Lord was large [Page 176] towards me in that day, who long waited to be Gracious to my Soul Day after Day, Year after Year, who in his Justice might have cut me off in my Sins and Rebellion, and even have made me an Example of his Wrath; but oh, his mercy, his mercy and long-suffering was exceeding large to me, which by my Soul is not to be forgotten; but in and by the Spirit of Truth (which brings former things to my remembrance, and sheweth things to come) am I to be kept in a living sence and remembrance of the great mercy, long-patience, long-forbearance and long-suffering of the Lord God of Compassion towards me, and in the sense thereof he is worthy to be praised and honoured by my Soul, who would not that I should perish from his presence forever: For after all this the Lord, the tender God of tender bowels of compassion, was pleased to visit my poor Soul again, even for his pure Seeds sake, which he had not forgotten; but he remembred the Poor and Needy, the Captive exile, to deliver him out of the hand of him that was too strong for him, and to loose him, that he might not wholly die in the Pit, and perish in the miery Clay; and Gods precious Truth, & pure Way of Righteousness, and everlasting Gospel of Light, Life and Peace I heard preached and declared by his precious Servants (who were and are by scoffing Ishmael's Brood, in scorn called Quakers, whom I now ovvn in the Lord) and the pure Witness of God in my own Heart bore Testimony to the Truth declared by them; but long it was after I was in some measure convinced of the Truth, before I steely gave up my Heart to obey the Truth; but the Lord in time did overcome my Heart by the Power of his Love, his inspeakable Love, and made me willing to re­sign up my Heart in obedience to him, and this Truth, and to bow down to the Yoak, and to take up the daily Cross, which I learned by loving and taking heed to the Light, and to di­spise the Shame, and to follow the Lord in that way (viz. the [Page 177] Light which before had judged me for Sin, begat desires in m [...] to know the Way) which I knew not while my mind was abroad, and knew not the Lord nigh, who now teacheth and guideth me by his Light and Spirit in the way of Truth and Righteousness, wherein I have found Peace, Rest and true satisfaction for my Soul, and witness my Teacher nigh, though it hath been my portion, with many other Berthren, sometimes to eat the Bread of Adversity, and to drink the Water of Affliction, yet my Teacher and Comforter can none remove from me; but he is and hath been with me in the Pri­son house, and in the low Dungeon; so that which now keeps me in Peace and Unity with the Lord, and in Fellovv­ship vvith his People, the same thing (and not another) vvas it that did formerly check, reprove and judge me for Evil, and brought trouble upon me for my Sins, and that raised desires in me after the Lord, as I have explicated in the fore-going Lines, though I deny not but that I have novv a greater measure of Light and Grace then I had then; yet the Light (in quality and nature) is the same; for although the Light or Seed of the Kingdom (vvhich consisteth of Joy, Peace and Righteousness in the Holy Ghost) be in the unbeliever and unconverted, even as the least of all other Seeds, yet never­theless, vvhere or in vvhomsoever it be received in the Faith, Love and Obedience of it, in such it grows and increases un­til it become the greatest in them, and under its shadovv they come to sit vvith great delight, and its Fruit becomes svveet to their taste; and as a little Leaven in three measures of Meal, it vvorketh and operateth in the Hearts and Minds of those that believe in the Light, until it hath vvrought out the old leaven of Malice, Sin and Corruption, and leavened the Heart and Soul into its ovvn nature, frame and quality; so the same Light vvhich did condemn me for Sin vvhen I vvas in disobedience to it, the sam [...] hath and doth save me from Sin, [Page 178] and now justifies me as I am kept in the Faith and Obedience of it, and now it ministers Peace and Rest unto me, and be­fore it ministred Trouble and Condemnation: So this I assert and affirm experimentally for an unerrable invincible Truth, (against all the Opposers, Gainsayers, Fighters and Under­valuers of the Light) viz. that the Light of Christ (who is the true Light that lighteth every one that cometh into the World) even in the Conscience of that man or woman that is in Unbelief, and in the Unconverted State, is one in nature and quality with the Light in that man or woman that is in the belief of it, and converted by it; and the Light of Christ in the Conscience of the Drunkard and Swearer, that doth check, judg and reprove him for his Sins, if it be believed in, loved and obeyed, is able to save him from his Sins; but that man or woman that loveth Evil and hateth the Light, and will not come to the Light, but reject it, such do not feel nor witness the saving healing vertue, and restoring redeeming power of the Light, but is only unto them a Judg and Con­demner; but they that receive it in the love and belief there­of, such in, through and by the Light receive power to be­come the Sons of God, and joynt Heirs with Christ of the Kingdom of God which endures forever.

So blessed, blessed be the Lord my tender God, who is worthy, worthy to be praised, praised by my Soul in the sence of his Love, Goodness and Grace, whose Mercy hath been, and is wonderful towards me, unto whom be honour, glory, praise, thanksgiving and obedience for evermore.

And my Soul having obtained mercy of the Lord, and having tasted of his Goodness and Graciousness, and ex­perienced his Tender Fatherly Dealings with and towards my Soul, my Heatt is opened with Love and Good will to all People, Desiring their Good and Eternal Welfare in God.

To those that are young in Years, &c.

Minde thy Creator in the dayes of thy Youth, before the Evil day come, &c. Eccles. 12. 1. &c.

ANd you who are yet young and tender in Years, mind the Light of Christ in your Consciences which check­eth and reproveth for Evil, and idle words and works, and it will learn you (if you love it) to fear and mind the Creator in the daies of your Youth, before the Evil daies come, and the Years when ye shall say, We have no pleasure in them: Oh say not any of you, We are young, and have many Years yet to spend, wherefore we will take the pleas [...]re and de­lights of our Youth, and seek the Lord afterward, and Repent when we are old, &c. But remember the Lord God your Maker giveth unto you Life, Breath and Being, and how soon he may cut the threed of your lives, and take you away from all your delights and vanities, you know not; for many he taketh away in their Youth: Wherefore trifle not away your precious time in Sin and Vanity, in vain Sports and Game­ings, or any Wickedness, lest your Hearts come to be har­dened in Ungodliness, and you grow old in Iniquity, and when it is too late you diligently seek repentance, but you find it not; wherefore take warning, and mind those things in time, before it be too late, that concern the eternal Peace, Rest, and Happiness of your immortal Soul, and first seek the Kingdom of God rather then the Riches, Glory and Ho­nour of this World, which is all passing away, and will not help in the day of Calamity, and hour of Distress and Misery which will overtake the Wicked, and all those that forget [Page 180] God, as a Thief in the Night; therefore mind and fear the Lord your Maker, and take heed unto the Light in all your Consciences, which is pure and holy, and hath no unity with any evil thought, word or work, and love and believe in the Light, that you may become Children of the Light; if you love the Light it will save you from your Sins, and redeem you from a vain Conversation, and learn you to take up a daily Cross to your own Wills, Desires, Lusts and Affections, and to Yoak down the vain, wild, wanton corrupt Nature, that defileth and polluteth your Hearts and Minds, Lives and Conversations; and so you will come to be changed and born again of the Seed incorruptible, of the Word of God which is nigh in the Heart to be obeyed and done; but if you de­light in evil doing, and hate the Light of Christ in your own Consciences, which judgeth you for Sin, and will not come to the Light, but live and abide in Darkness, and will not re­ceive God's Counsel and Warnings, nor hearken unto his Re­proofs, nor have none of his Ways, but will follow your own ways, wills and works, and fulfill the lusts and desires of your own Hearts, and vain devices and imaginations of your own Minds, and will not that the Light should rule over you, to govern you in the pure fear of the Lord, and to lead you into holiness of Life, to guide you into the way of Truth and Righteousness, then will the Light be your Condemnation, and leave you without excuse vvhen the Lord renders unto you according to your Works, and the wages of Sin is Death, but the gift of God is Eternal Life through Jesus Christ: There­fore, dear People, love it and imbrace it vvhilst it is near you, even knocking at the Door of your Hearts; oh, hearken to it, and let it have place in your Hearts, and refuse not the Love and Mercy of the Lord tendered to you in the Light, nor harden not your Hearts against the eternal good, peace and happiness of your ovvn Souls, lest the Day of your Visitation [Page 181] pass over, and the Night of everlasting Darkness, Sorrow, Misery and Calamity overtake you, and shut you up for­ever,

To all People that live and delight in wickedness.

The shew of their Countenance doth witness against them, they de­clare their Sin like Sodom, and hide it not. Because I have called, and ye refused, &c. Ye have set at nought all my Coun­sel, and would have none of my Reproof, &c. I will laugh at your Calamity, and mock when your Fear cometh, &c. Behold the day cometh that shall burn as an Oven, and the Wicked, and they that do wickedly shall be as Stubble, &c. Now consider this all you that forget God, lest I tear you in Pieces, and there be none to deliver, Isa. 3. 9. Prov. 1. 24, 25, 26. Mal. 4. 1. Psal. 50. 22.

AND you, oh People, that are void of the pure fear of the Lord God, and have given up your Hearts to work Wickedness with Greediness, who rush into Sin and Ungodliness, as the Horse rusheth into the Battle, and drinking up Iniquity, as the Ox drinketh in Water, taking pleasure in Unrighteousness, and delighting in Uncleanness, and wallowing in the Mire of your own Filthiness and Cor­ruption, fulfilling the Lusts of your unclean Hearts, in Swearing, Lying, Drunkenness, Whoredom, Pride, Cou­zening, Defrauding, and such like Wi [...]edness, whereby you grieve [...]he Lord day after day, and wound, bruise, bur­den and oppress his righteous Spirit, as a Cart is oppressed with sheaves; oh repent, repent, and cease from the evil of [Page 182] your doings, and leave off your wicked ways, lest the Lord God tear you in Pieces, and there be none to deliver: Oh, tremble ye careless Ones before the Lord Almighty, who can consume you in a Moment; and cut you off in the twinkling of an Eye; oh, dread the Lord God, and fear his great and dreadful Name, for the hour of his Judgment is come; oh, stand in awe of him who made the Heaven and the Earth, the Sea and Fountains of Waters; who giveth the Sun for a Light by Day, and the Ordinances of the Stars and Moon for a Light by Night, who divided the Sea when the Waves thereof did roar, who hath his way in the Whirlwind and in the Storm, and the Clouds are as the dust of his Feet, who meeteth out the Heavens with a span, and measureth the Waters of the Sea in the hollow of his Hand, he comprehendeth the Dust of the Earth▪ as in a Measure, and weigheth the Mountains as in Seales, and the Hills as in a Ballance, in comparison of whom all Nations are but as a drop of the Bucket, and as the small dust of the Ballance. Oh, will you not fear the Lord, and dread his Majesty, and tremble before his Presence, who is a terrible one to the Workers of Iniquity that will not Re­pent; who cometh vvith Fire, and his Chariot, like a Whirl­vvind, to render his Anger (against the Wicked and Ungodly) in Fury, and his Rebukes in flames of Fire; for by his Fire and by his Svvord vvill he cut dovvn the strongest Oakes and tallest Ceders, and vvill plead vvith all Flesh, and the slain of the Lord shall be many; wherefore repent, repent, and trem­ble, tremble before the Lord God; ye Workers of Iniquity, for the day, the mighty, terrible, dreadful day of the Lord God Almighty is come, and yet a coming, and vvo, vvo to the Bryars and Thorns that cumber the Earth, for the day shall burn as an Oven, and the Wicked, and they that do vvicked­ly, and vvill not take vvarning and repent, (but still harden their Hearts against the Lord, and against his precious Servants [Page 183] that vvarn you to repent, vvhose Souls mourn and lament over you in the sence of the Sadness, Wretchedness, Miserable­ness and Deplorableness of your Conditions) shall be as Stub­ble, and the Day vvill burn them up both Root and Branch, and the Fire vvill burn up the Bryars and Thorns, and clense the Earth, that Truth, Righteousness, Justice and Mercy may spring and flourish therein, and the Mouth of Iniquity be stopt forever: And the day of the Lord God vvill be up­on every one that is proud, and lifted up against the Lord and his anointed; and the loftiness of the stoutest in Heart against the Lord shall be laid low, and the haughtiness of Men shall be humbled, and the Lord God (holy, just and true) shall be exalted in that day, when the Wicked shall flee to the Rocks, and hide themselves as in the Caves of the Earth, for the fear of the Lord, and the Glory of his Majesty, when he cometh to shake terribly the Earth, and to overthrow the Seat of Wickedness forever, and to punish the World for their Sins, and the Wicked for their Iniquity, and cause the Arrogancy of the Proud to cease, and to lay low the Haughtiness of the Terrible: Wherefore, oh People, prepare, prepare by true Repentance, with speed, to meet the Lord in the way of his Judgments, before his dreadful Fury break forth against you, as devouring Fire: Oh, bring forth Fruits worthy of Repentance and amendment of Life; oh, why will you die and perish in your Iniquities forever? the Lord desir­eth not the destruction of a Sinner, but rather he should re­turn in time, from his Wickedness, and learn Righteousness and Live; yea, Let the Wicked forsake his Wickedness, and the Ʋngodly man his Thoughts, and turn unto the Lord with his whole Heart, and he will have mercy upon him; for with the Lord there is great Mercy, and plentious Redemption; who also is just in all his Ways, and equal in all his Doings, and righteous in all his Judgments, and he will not be mocked by any, such as People sow [Page 184] such must they [...]ap, and the wages of Sin is Death. Oh, how many have been the War [...]ings of the Lord to the People of this Nation Time after Time, Year after Year, Line upon Line, Precept upon Precept? but how few have ponderously weighed them, received them, and laid them to Heart? And how hath the Lord in part executed his righteous Judgments in and upon this poor Nation? and how few have learned Righteousness thereby? but the greatest part of thy Inhabi­tants, oh England, are still daily adding Sin unto Sin, and heaping of Iniquity upon Iniquity, and so fitting themselves for a day of Slaughter: And instead of being truly humbled under the hand of God, and to mourn in Sack-cloath and Ash [...]s, many are sporting themselves in Musick and Dancing, in ringing of Bells, Camping and Wrestling, and many other Games and Vanities, as Bull-baiting and Bare-baiting, by which the Creatures are oppressed to make them Sport; al­so their wi [...]ked Stage-playes and Games, which are abomina­tion to the Lord, and ashame to a Nation-professing Christi­anity. O! how doth Swearing and Drunkenness abound, and many take pleasure to overcome one another in the Sin of Drunkenness, which is abomination to the Lord. And you that are Tavern and Ale-House-keepers, put not your Guests upon spending the good Creatures of God upon their Lust, for your own Gain and Interest sake; but rather restrain them, lest you become guilty with them of their Sins, and so partake with them of their Plagues. And all your observable Days and Times, in which you take liberty to sport your selves in Games and Vanity, ought to be left off, for your Customs are vain; you that observe a Time (as you pretend) in honour of Christ, which you spend in excess of Eating and Drinking, Musick and Dancing, Gaming and Revelling; in these things you dishonour Christ, and not honour him, but grieve his holy Spirit, and add Sin unto Sin; and the greater [Page 185] will be the condemnation of such, except they Repent; and truly, a great and sore Plague is come upon many People, ev [...]n hardness, hardness of Heart: So that indeed; neither the Warnings nor W [...]ings, Mercies nor Judgments of the Lord will take impression on them, to move them to Repentance; and in the sence of this my Heart is grieved, and my Soul mourneth in secret because of the hardness of their Hearts, which doth signifie the [...] to be as Vessels of wrath fitted for Destruction. Oh, how doth all manner of Wickedness abound, and Ungodliness appear with open Face, and blush not at rebuke? oh, how doth Pride super-abound, and Peo­ples Hearts so puffed up therewith, that many scarc [...] know what to eat, drink or put on? oh, the [...]ields are even white for the Harvest, Sinners grown ripe for Vengance, Iniquity is coming to its-full height, the Fats overflow with Wicked­ness; oh, how are the Proud counted happy, and the Workers of Iniquity set up? but the Meek of the Earth are despised, and the humble and contrite Ones are killed all the day long, and counted as Sheep for the Slaughter, and they that reprove Sin in the Gate are Hated and Persecuted, and he that depart­eth from Iniquity, and learns Righteousness, maketh himself a Prey: Oh, the Lord hath seen it, and it displeaseth and grieveth him, because of the multitudes of the Transgressi­ons and Abominations of the Sons of men, and Viole [...]ce and Cruelty that filleth the Earth; but the Lord will arise as a man of War, and ease himself of his Enemies, and aveng [...] himself of his Adversaries; for because Judgment is not speedily executed against an Evil work, therefore the Heart [...] of the Sons and Daughters of men are set in them to do wick­edly; but what will be the end thereof?

Oh England, oh England, how of [...]n would the Lord in mercy have gathered thy Inhabitants unto himself, as a Hen gathereth her Chickens under [...]e [...] Wings, but thou wouldest [Page 186] not? therefore hath the Lord in Judgment partly made thee desolate: Oh, thy great City, thy great City, whose Abo­minations reached Heaven, and her Sins came up before the Most High; how hath the Lord God (mighty in Power, and righteous in Judgment) layed her Glory in the Dust, covered her Dignity with Ashes, and marr'd her Beauty with Burn­ing! Oh, how hath he made of a City an Heap; of a de­fenced City, a Ruin; of a Palace of Strangers, to become a ruinous Heap! And oh, how few of thy Inhabitants, oh England, have weightily laid it to Heart, or have seriously, and diligently taken notice of the cause of the Destruction thereof! the Lord Could have destroyed the People with their Habitations; but the Lord in Mercy spared them, that his Mercy might move them to Repentance! Oh, England, how hath Judgment after Judgment been executed upon thine Inhabitants? how hath the Lord visited thee with Plague, Fire and Sword, yet their Hearts are still stout against the Lord and his People; their minds haughty, and they will not bow their Hearts to the Lord, nor break off from their evil doings, and wicked wayes; therefore is his Hand stretch­ed forth still, and they that will not take Warning and Re­pent, must feel his heavy stroke. Oh, say not any of you in your Hearts, Tush, the Lord hath done his worst? oh, the Lord he hath begun, and he can make a full end, and who amongst you can stay his Hand, or escape his stroke when he smites? or where can you hide your selves from the Lord? therefore bow, fear and tremble before him, and submit your selves, and meet him by True and Unfeigned Repen­tance, and that is the way for you to escape the Stroke of his Fury.

The Lord is a God full of long-suffering, and full of pa­tience and forbearance; and long woeth Sinners, and waiteth day after day to be Gracious, even to the Rebellious; but his [Page 187] patient forbearing will come to an end, towards those that will by no means repent and be reclaimed from the evil of their wayes, and against such his Anger and Wrath will break forth as Fire, and they like Stubble, ready dry, will be con­sumed therein: Therefore you that have not yet wholy sinned out the day of your Visitation, prize, prize that littletime you have, and make good use thereof, in diligently minding and seeking, after those things that concern your eternal Peace, before you go hence and be no more. Oh, dear People, every where, my love is to you, and pity and tender compassion is in my Heart for you, and your good and welfare eternally I desire, especially you, unto whom I am known in the Fe [...] even you my Neighbours and Countrymen, whose resident is in Kirtly, Peakfield, Layestouff, and those parts: Oh, my Soul tenders your eternal happiness, and desires the Salvation of your Souls, yea, love and good will is in my Heart towards you, and to all People; oh, that you your selves did tender, and seek after the Salvation of your Souls more then you do: Remember when sometimes you have been in great jepardy of your Lives at Sea, and the Lord hath in Mercy delivered you, how little have some of you Eyed the Mercy and de­livering Hand of the Lord therein? but have been ready to ascribe the honour of your deliverance to the Anchor, Cable and Man-hood, &c. More then to the Lord; and when you have been in great danger of your Lives; and saw no way but you must perish; have you not then cryed to the Lord to deliver you (and the Guilt of your Iniquities being hung upon your Consciences) have you not been ready to make Promises, in your distress, to the Lord, that if he spared your Lives you would repent; and return unto him, and fear and serve him, and forsake the Evil wayes; and when the Lord hath answered your desires, and in mercy hath given you your Lives for a Prey, when you came to Land, have [Page 188] you then performed your Vows and Promises to the Lord, or have you not gone on in Sin and Evil still? let Gods witness in every Conscience speak; for unto that I make my appeal: Consider seriously how it stands between God and your own Souls, and how greatly it concerneth you Sea-men (and so it doth all other People) to mind their latter [...]nd, and to be ready for sudden death; it is a blessed thing to be fit to dye, and to feel peace with God. Dear People, your Souls are im­mortal, and must hereafter be in a sence and feeling of Joy, Peace and Rest; or else of Sorrow, Misery and Torment, even to all Eternity; wherefore it concerns every particular one, to mind above all other things, and seek-after the eter­nal peace and happiness of your Souls in time, before it be too late; it is Sin, Wickedness, Unbelief, and Hardness of Heart, that doth separate People from the Lord, and that draws down the wrath and curse of God upon them; where­fore people must first be separated and clensed from that to wit, Sin) which separates them from the Lord, and from his Love, Peace and Blessing, before they can witness their Reconciliation unto God in his Son, and enjoy his Love, Peace and Blessings. Oh, dear People, I beseech you, do not deceive your own Souls, by being satisfied with a talk of being saved and redeemed by Christ, &c, whilst you re­main in your Sins, for whom Christ saves he saveth from their Sins, not in their Sins; and they that witness Christ to be their Redeemer, are redeemed from a vain Conversation, and have their Consciences purged from dead works, and their Hearts clensed and washed in his Blood (which is his Life and Light) from Sin and Corruption, that so they might serve him in newness and holiness of Life: Therefore con­sider, be still, serious and ponderous in Heart, and retire your minds inward to the pure Light of Christ in your own Consciences, that true and faithful Witness of God, which [Page 189] keeps a Record of the deeds done in the Body, and according to his Record must every man be judged according to his works, so take heed unto the Light, & it will shew you your conditi­ons, and how it stands with your poor Souls to Godward; that will deal plainly with you, & will not deceive you; though in­deed, your Teachers (who preach for Hire, & divine for Money) have, & do deceive you, by crying Peace to you, & lulled you a­sleep in your Sins, & have (as it were) daubed you up with un­tempred Morter, and (as it were) sewing Pillows under your Arm-holes, so long as you put into their Mouthes, & give them hire, & help to maintain their God, which is their Belly: But wo to such Teachers that feed with the Fat, and clothe with the Wool; and for filthy Lucre and Gain from their Quarters will cry peace unto the Wicked, unto whom (while they re­main in their wicked state) there is no true peace, saith the Living God; oh, they are Blind Leaders of the Blind, and how ma­ny are faln into the Pit of Perdition, that have been led by them? Therefore, dear People, cease from your Teachers, who have not profitted you at all, but keep you ever learning, but never able to bring you to the knowledg of the Truth, which until you do come to know freedom from the bondage of Sin and Corruption, you cannot witness; therefore to the Light in all your Consciences come, for that is Truth, and love it, and obey it, and you will by it receive power over Sin, and be enabled to cast off the Yoak of Iniquity, and to take up the Yoak of Christ, and embrace that Cross which crucifies to the World, and worldly things unto the Lust and Wickedness thereof, and such are true Disciples of Jesus that learn of him who is meek and low in their Hearts, and that do deny themselves, and take up the daily Cross to their own Wills, Thoughts, Words, Works, Desires and Affections, and follow him through many Tribulations, in the narrow way of Holiness; for it is not he that calls Lord, Lord, but [Page 190] he that doth the Will of God that inheriteth the Kingdom of God; not the Sayers, or Knowers of the Will of God are justified but the Doers of the Will are justified; not they that only confess (with the Mouth, day after day, that they are miserable Sinners, &c. (as both Priest and People do) and yet still Year after Year remain the same, if not grow worse) shall find mercy; but they that (not only confess) but forsake, and turn from the evil (in Heart Life and Conversation) unto that which is good, shall find mercy and forgiveness, and remission of Sins. Oh, mind the good thing in you which is grieved and burdened with the evil, and turn in your minds to it, and it will let you see those things that are reproveable: Drunkard turn in thy mind to the Light in thy own Consci­ence, and it will shew thee, judge and reprove thee for thy Drunkenness; Swearer turn into the Light, and it will judge thee for Swearing, for Lying, Pride, Envy, Malice, Reviling, Cheating, Defrauding, Covetousness, Fornication; yea, All things that are reprovable are made manifest by the Light, and that which maketh manifest is Light; thou that hatest the Light, and lovest thy Evil deeds, and wilt not come to the Light, because it will reprove thee, there thou hast learned thy condemnation; For this is the condemnation of the World, that Light is come into the World, and men love Darkness rather then the Light, because their deeds are evil; but they that do good love the Light, and bring their deeds to the Light, to try them whether they be wrought in God; and such are justified by the Light: So while you have the Light, believe in the Light, that you may become Children of the Light; so unto the Light (in all your Consciences) I am made manifest, and in true un­fained love, and bowels of pity, tenderness and compassion to your immortal Souls have I cleared my Conscience, in giving you warning to Repent and turn from the evil of your own ways unto the Lord, while you have a time, before [Page 191] the door of Mercy be shut against you forever, and time un­to you be no more.

From one that tenders the Eternal happiness and good of your Im­mortal Souls, a Sufferer in Bonds for the Testimony of a good Conscience William Bennit

To those that are seeking the Living God in the Dead Forms.

Having a Form of godliness but deny the Power thereof, from such turn away, &c. Why seek ye the Living among the Dead▪ he is not here, but is risen, &c. Know you not your selves, how that Christ Jesus is in you, except you be Reprobates, 2 Tim. 3. 5. Luke 14. 5, 6. 2 Cor. 13. 5.

AND all dear People that are scatered among the many Sects and Heaps, who have honest sincere desires and thirstings after the Lord; oh, love and compassion is in my Heart towards you, and my Soul pities you; and the more, because you are seeking the Living God among the Dead Forms, Shadows, Carnal Ordinances, Beggerly (in com­parison of the Life of Truth) Elements and Rudiments of the World, but cannot there find true lasting peace, rest, comfort and satisfaction for the immortal Souls: Oh, Christ is risen he is not there, his Appearance is now more hidden, more invisi­ble, more inward; therefore stay not in Shadows, rest not in the Likeness without Life; pitch not your Tent in the Form, without the Power; Come, come away, you thirsty Ones, from the Wells of man's digging, which can hold no Water, [Page 192] that will rightly and kindly satisfie your thirsty Souls, and wait to know the Spring opened in your own Hearts, which cometh from Christ, the Fountain of living Water, and drink thereof, and be satisfied, and go no more forth to the broken Cisterns; but wait within, in the Light, for the Springs of Life to refresh your thirsty Souls.

Oh! come out of the Shadows to the Substance, Christ (the Light) in you, except you be Reprobates: Oh! the Spirit and the Bride says, Come; and he that drinketh says, Come; and let him that is athirst come, and drink of the Water of Life freely; why do you spend your Time for that which is not Bread, and your [...]abour for that which doth not truly satisfie your Souls? Oh! feed no longer upon the Husk, up­on Words without Life, upon Knowledge without Power; for that will puff you up in your own Eyes, and elevate you in your own Conceits, and shut you out from the Tree of Life; and though you may seem to grow Rich and increase with Goods, and want nothing; yet when your Eyes come to be opened, you will see your selves Poor, Blind and Naked; for he that covereth himself with a Covering of Words and Knowledg, and a Profession without Life, his Covering is not the Fine Linnen, whit [...] and clean, which the Wife Virgins that follow the Lamb are cloathed with, who have Oyl in their Vessels, the Light, Life and Substance in themselves; but they that only get Words and Knowledge into the Com­prehension, and grow rich in the Brain, and have their Reli­gion in their Head, and know not the pure undefiled Religion in the Heart, such are Foolish Virgins, that have Oyl only in their Lamps; and though such may blaze, and give a seeming great Light in Words, yet such one day will want Oyl, and their Lights will go out; the Lord will dry up all standing Waters that have no Spring; he will blast all Pro­fessions out of the Light, all Gatherings out of the Name [Page 193] and Power of God, the Lord will scatter; therefore come away (from among them) you Unsatisfied and Thirsty Ones, whose Souls pant after the Lord, and are weary of the Husks, and hunger after the Substance: And deceive not your own Souls by creating to your selves a false Peace, by applying the Promises to your selves, and acting Faith (as you say) up­on a Promise; but seriously consider in the Fear of the Lord, and examine your own Hearts, with the Light of Christ in your own Consciences, whether you be in that State and Con­dition that the Promises of Life Eternal are unto, yea or nay: There is great Difference between man's applying the Promi­ses, forcing him to believe they belong to him; and God's applying them, and sealing them to the Soul by his own Spirit: The Promises of God are Yea and Amen in Christ Jesus, the Covenant of Light and Life; and those that are converted into him, pertake with him of the Promises of Life eternal; but he that is in Christ, is a New Creature, the old things are passed away, and all things become new; and such walk not after the Flesh, but after the Spirit, and so come to be Heirs with Christ of that Kingdom that is with­out End. But for any to set themselves to believe, that they are elected in Christ Jesus unto Life eternal, and so count the Promises of God are theirs, when they are not become New Creatures in Christ, but are in their Sin, such deceive their own Souls; for Ʋnless a man (said Christ) be born again, he cannot enter into God's Kingdom. So all you hungry Souls, turn in your Minds to the Light of Christ Jesus in your Con­sciences, and wait in it, to know Bread in your own Houses, Christ in you, the Bread of Life, which the living Soul feeds on, and lives by, that you may know the fresh and green Pa­sture, and with us feed therein, and drink of the still Waters, and rest with us (in the Light) in the Fold; that so we may all know and have one Shepherd, and be all of one Sheepfold.

To those that are backslided from the Truth.

Remember therefore from whence thou art faln, and Repent, and do thy first works, &c. Return, oh, backsliding Israel, &c. I will heal thy backsliding, &c. But if you will not hear, my Soul shall weep in secret, &c. Because the Lord's Flock is gone into Captivity, Rev. 2. 5. Jer. 3. 12. Hosea 14. 4. Jer 14. 17.

AND you who have tasted of the Power of an End­less Life, and were convinced of the precious im­mutable Truth of God, and had in measure received it in the love and obedience of it, and by it were in part set free from the bondage of Sin and Corruption, and redeemed out of the pollutions of the World, but now are Apostatized from the Lord, and have forsaken his precious Truth and Peo­ple, and like Demas embraced this present World again, and are turned like the Dog to his Vomit, and like the Swine that were washed, to wallow in the Mire again, and have made ship-wrack of Faith and a good Conscience, and have proved treacherous both to God and his People, and have denyed the Womb that bore you, and the Brest that gave you suck, and have turned from the Grace of God into wantonness, and done dispite to the Spirit of Truth, and hath trampled the Blood of the Covenant (wherewith you were in measure sanctified) under your Feet as an unholy thing, and have slain the Just, and crucified the Righteous in your selves. Oh, poor, poor Hearts! my Soul pities you, and mourns in secret over you, and cannot but lament the sadness and deplorableness of your Conditions; oh, better you had never known the Truth, then after you have known it to turn from it to your old [Page 195] Lovers again: Oh, whither will you go you Backsliding ones? where, and in what will you hide your selves from the Lord, now you are departed from him? if you go from Sea to Sea, he will find you out; and what can defend you from his wrath? oh, where and in what can you find true Peace, Rest and happiness for your Souls, seeing you have forsaken him in whom alone it is to be enjoyed? Oh, are you not sensible that you want true Peace? Oh, you that have forsaken the Father's House of plenty, and are gone out among the Swine who feed upon the Husks; oh, poor Hearts! do you not sometimes a little come to your selves, and then remember the Father's House? and do you not then find some inclination and desire to return again? if you do return, how know you but that he will have compassion on you, and receive you in­to his House again? though you have been spending your Portion among Harlots, and have deal so treacherously by him, and so much wounded and grieved him, and his Chil­dren; yet notwithstanding if you can throughly return unto him with your whole Hearts, he can and will receive you, and heal your Backslidings, & blot out your Sins, & forgive you your Transgressions against him, and love you freely. There­fore return, return you backsliding Ones, why, why will you die and perish forever; oh, repent and do the first Works, turn your minds inward to the pure and just One in your selves, which you have grieved, wounded and oppressed, as a Cart is oppressed with Sheaves: Oh that you might look upon him whom you have pierced, and behold him whom you have wounded, and even mourn and lament over him: Oh, to the pure, holy, faithful Witness of God in your own Con­sciences, which you were at first turned unto you must come, and the righteous Judgment of the Lord you must own, and wait in; yea, a dreadful Cup you must drink before you can enjoy true lasting peace in God: Oh that you could be willing [Page 196] to drink it, and to pass again through the Fire and Sword, yea, through Death, to come to eat again of the Tree of Life, and live forever: Oh, that all you that are betrayed (like Sampson) of their strength by the Adulterous mind, so as that the Philistine, the uncircumcised Nature hath prevailed over you, and put out your Eyes, that you are become Blind, and cannot see that beauty and comeliness in the Lord and his Truth which you once saw; oh that the Lord would be plea­sed to visit you again, that (like as the Hair of Sampson grew again, his strength increased; so that he slew more of his Ene­mies at his Death, then he did in all his Life) so the Seed of God may be raised again in your Hearts, and the strength therein and thereby may be renewed and grow, that by your dying again unto that which is contrary to the Will of God, you may witness greater Victory in the Lord over your Ene­mies, and know more of them slain then ever you did. Oh! you that find and are sensible that the Lord hath not wholly given you over, but is yet striving with you by his pure Wit­ness in you to return unto him, his Truth and People again; Oh! return before it be too late, and before the Door of Mer­cy be forever shut against you; for then, if you seek the Blessing with Tears, as Esau did, you will not obtain it; and though you call, Lord, Lord open unto us, we have Eaten and D [...]unk in thy Presence, and in thy Name we have cast out Devils, and have had power over unclean Spirits, and have done many great Works; yet notwithstanding he will say, Depart from me ye Workers of Iniquity, I know you not: Therefore be sober and serious, and ponderously consider, and let these things take deep Impression in your Hearts, which are wrote in true Love, Pity and Bowels of Compassion to your Immortal Souls, by a Mourner over you, and a Travailer in Spirit for your Restoration.

To those that profess the Truth, yet walk contrary to the Truth in Life and Conversation.

For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now I tell you we [...]ping, that they are Enemies to the Cross of Christ, &c.’ Phil. 3. 18, 19.

ANd all you who make a Profession of the Light and Truth in Words, but in Works deny it, whose Conver­sations are loose and vain, and not consistant with your Pro­fession, nor answerable, but repugnant to Truth, you do not conduce to the honour of Truth, but produce a dishonour thereunto by your loofe disorderly walking, whereby you also give the Enemies of Truth advantage against the Truth for them to reproach the Truth, and those that walk and live in the Truth, and also you are a stumbling Block in the way of the simple-hearted, that hath a Love and Desire towards Truth, and a Grief and Burden to the Faithful that love the Truth, and live in it, and seek the Glory and Honour thereof; and also you deceive your own Souls, by being satisfied with a Pro­fession of Truth, without the possession thereof; and you have no true peace where you are, nor unity with the Lord, nor fellowship with his People; for the unity and fellowship of the Saints is in the Light and holy Life of God; and they that are out of the Light (though they profess it) are out of the unity of Faith, and fellowship of the Sons of God, and such are but gotten into the outward Court where the Gentiles, the uncircumcised in Heart can come; but blessed are all they that do the Will of God, and keep his Commandments, and have right to the Tree of Life, and enter through the Gate [Page 198] into the City, where no unclean thing can come: So all you that profess the Truth, and walk contrary to the Truth, come to be faithful and obedient to the Truth, that in the Way of Truth and Righteousness you may walk as becometh Truth; and that in the Light you may shine as Lights in your holy Lives and blameless unspotted Conversations, to the praise and glory of God, and to the peace, rest, comfort and happiness of your own Souls: verily no Hypocrite in Sion can be hid from the Lord, who giveth the Churches to know that it is he that scarcheth the Heart and tryeth the Reins, who saith, I come quickly, and my reward is with me, to give to every one ac­cording as his work shall be.

To all those that are Convinced of the Truth but still remain in the World's Ways.

If you know these things, happy are you if you do them: He that knoweth the Fathers Will, and doth it not, is worthy of many stripes, John 13. 17.

AND all you that are convinced of the Truth & Way of God, but do not resign up your Hearts in obedience to walk therein, but still remain in the broad way of the World, partaking with them of their Sins, Idolatry and falfe Worship; and though you see the Vanity and Evil there­of, yet (for by-ends and carnal self-interests, to save your selves from Reproach and Suffering) you joyn with them therein against the pure Witness of God in your own Con­sciences; and if you continue partaking with them of their Sins, how can you but expect also to partake of their Plagues, except you haste out from among them, and embrace and re­ceive [Page 199] the Truth in the Love and Obedience of it? Oh! come out, come out from amongst them, and be you separated, and touch no more the Unclean Thing, that the Lord may receive you unto himself, and become your God, and you become his People. Oh! you that know the Fathers Will, and do it not, are you not worthy of many Stripes? Oh, poor Hearts! shun not the Cross any longer, neither be ashamed of the Re­proach, nor ashamed of the Lord and his People before Men; but give up your Hearts to obey the Lord and his precious Truth, and take up the daily Cross, that crucifies unto the World and Worldly Things, unto the Sin; Wickedness, For­mal Worships, Vain Customs, Ceremonies, Pride and Vanity thereof, and follow the Lamb in the narrow Way of Holiness; and be willing to Suffer with Christ, and you shall Reign with him; and love not your Lives unto Death, and you shall have a Crown of Life. Oh! how long hath the Lord been woing many of you day after day, if not year after year, and hath long waited (knocking at the Door of your Hearts) in his Grace to be Gracious unto you, who desireth not that you should perish in your Rebellion and Disobedience? Oh! that the sense of his Goodness; Mercy and Patient forbearing towards you might overcome your Hearts, and make you willing to resign up your selves to walk in the Way of Truth, before the Lord cease striving with you (who hath said, His Spirit shall not always strive with Man) lest the Day of your Visitation pass over your Heads. Therefore come forward you that halt and linger behind in the Borders of Baby­lon, and Subburbs of Egypt; and come nigh you that stand afar off gazing to see what will become of us; He that is not with me (said Christ) is against me; he that gathereth not with me, scattereth abroad; none can serve (two Masters) God and Mammon.

To those that are Newly Convinced of the Truth.

Ye were like Sheep going astray, but are now returned unto the Shep­herd and Bishop of your Souls: He shall gather his Lambs in his Arms, and carry them in his Bosom, 1 Peter 2. 25. Isaiah 40 11.

AND all you who are newly convinced of the precious Truth and Way of God, and have in measure received Truth in the love and belief of it, and have and daily do give up your hearts to obey the Truth, and to walk in the Way of Righteousness, and Path of Holiness: Dear Ones, unto you my Heart is open in the tender Bowels of my hea­venly Fathers Love; and happy and blessed of the Lord God are you, if you do not faint, nor grow weary in your Minds, nor turn back again, as some have done, but persevere on to the End. Oh! dear Babes, whom the Lord, mighty in Po­wer, hath by his out stretched Arm brought out of Egypt, the Land of Darkness and House of Bondage, and hath set your Faces towards Canaan, the good Land of Liberty, Light, Rest and Peace: Oh, travail on, travail on ye weak Ones in the strength of the Lord, and drawings of his Light, and look not back to Egypt again, remember Lot's Wife; and fear not (the God of the World, the Prince of the Power of the airy mind, even that wicked Spirit that once had dominion in and over you, and kept you Bond-slaves in darkness to Sin and Corrup­tion) though he (the Enemy of your Souls Liberty, Peace and Rest) may pursue hard after you with his whole Host of Temptations, Snares and Allurements, both inward and [Page 201] outward; and also a Sea of Troubles, Straits, Difficulties and Sufferings may appear in your Way, both within and with­out, and Mountains of Fears, Doubts and carnal Reasonings on every side, and also something in you ready to murmur, complain and say, Oh! that we had tarried still in Egypt, and not set one step towards Canaan; for the Way is so strait, and the Path so narrow, the Sufferings so hard, and the Difficulties and Dangers so great and various, that we fear we shall perish by the way, and not get to our desired Rest; therefore let us turn back again, before we go any further. Oh! fear not, neither turn back, but stand still from reasoning carnally, and look not at the Straits, Tryals, Dangers, Sufferings and Losses that may appear before you; neither look at your own VVeakness, Feebleness and Inability, nor at the Strength and Temptation of your Enemy; but look up (ye little ones) unto the Lord, and trust you in the Strength of his Arm, for he is God all-sufficient for you; therefore cast your care upon him, and he will make a VVay for you through the Sea, and divide the VVaters of the great Deep, and make a VVay for you in the VVilderness, and a Path through the Thickets, and make the Crooked Strait before you, and the Rough Smooth; he will throw down the Mountains, and remove away the Hills, and lead you in a VVay you know not, and in a Path you never before trod in, and will make the hard things easie unto the VVilling and Obedient, that turn not back again to their old Lovers, but love Truth and Righteousness, and follow on to know the Lord in his VVay; all such he will give to drink of the Brook by the VVay, and feed with Bread from Heaven, whereby you shall be refreshed, and your Strength renewed daily, in which Strength you shall be able to travail on without fainting, and to run and not be weary, until you come to your desired Rest, and see the Travail of your Souls, and be satisfied with the Enjoyment of that you have travailed [Page 202] after. So the Lord be with you and keep your Eye single unto himself, that your Hearts may be full of Light, that nothing may cause you to stumble and fall into the Snares of the Enemy, who hath hindred many that once begun to run well; oh! mind and keep to that in your own Hearts which makes you truly sensible of your particular States and Conditions, and in that sense daily wait upon the Lord dili­gently and patiently for the sweet Refreshings from his Pre­sence, and for the distillings of his Heavenly Dew, that so the tender Plants of Righteousness and Lilly of Holiness may grow and spring in all your Hearts; that the little See [...] of Life may become as a great Tree, and every one of you may witness a sitting under your own Vine (Christ in you the Hope of Glory) and none to make you afraid.

And dear Friends, look not out at others, but keep at home in the Light, the Tent; Jacob shall dwell alone, and not be numbred among the Nations; Esau he hunts abroad, and grows weary and faint, and then sells his Birthright for a Mess of Pottage: What if some stumble, and fall from the Truth? let not that shake you; Truth is the same still, and changeth not; and if you see some turn aside from us into a Self sepa­ration from the Body of Friends, and endeavour to draw Disciples after them, let not that cause you to stumble and question the Certainty of Truth; neither be you drawn away and tost about like Children by them; but keep to the Light, and in it follow the Foot-steps of the Flock; but follow not the Foot-steps of the Wandering Sheep, that have left their Flock and are gone astray, who are like to perish by the de­vouring Beast and Enemy of their Souls, except in time they return again to the Fold: And if you see some (amongst our selves) setting or keeping up that thing or practice which is out of the comly desent Order of the Body, and not con­sistant with Truth's Government, let not that beget an Occa­sion [Page 203] of stumbling in your Minds; but be still, and keep your Eye single to the Lord, and walk as you have them for an Example (that are over you in the Lord) who fully follow Christ Jesus: And as for that which is only set up and [...]eld up by Man, out of Truth's Order, it will die and pass away, and Truth will out-live all.

So unto the Lord, who hath called you out of Darkness into his marvellous Light, do I commit you to be preserved unto himself unto the End; For, many are called, but few chosen; he that abides to the End, the same shall be s [...]ved.

To the true Mourner in Sion.

To appoint to them that mourn in Sion, and to give them the Oyl of Joy for Mourning, &c. Blessed are you that mourn, for you shall be comforted. They that sow in Tears shall reap in Joy, &c.’ Isaiah 61. 3. Matth. 5. 4. Psal. 126. 5, 6.

OH, lift up thy head thou bowed down, thou Mour­ner in Sion, who art as one alone in a solitary place, and few seeth thee, or knoweth thy Sorrow, or tru­ly sensible of thy Grief, or behold thy Tears, who art (in thine own Eye) as a Woman forsaken and grieved in Spirit; as a Wife of Youth rejected, who appears in thy own Eyes as it were Miserable and Wretched, mourning in the sence of thy own (as thou thinkest) Unworthiness, Failings, Inabi­lity, Emptiness and Poverty, who art ready to say (with sor­row) Where is there any so Poor, Empty, Barren and Un­fruitful to God as I? Oh, I can do nothing for the Lord ex­cept (like Mary) Weep behind him (thinking my self scarce worthy to see his Face) and wash his Feet with my Tears▪ [Page 204] whilst others sit at the Table with him, and eat of the Fat­ness of his House, and drink of the New-wine of his King­dom; but alas for me! my Tears are my Meat and Drink, because of the oppression of my Enemy, who saith to my Soul, Where is thy God? dost thou think thou snalt ever be worthy to behold his Face, to receive his Love, and to have the Smiles of his Countenance? And thou (O mourning one) by hearkening to, and believing thy Enemy, becometh (in thy own eye) like an alone Sparrow upon the Flouse-top; and as the alone Quail in the Stubble-field; and as a Dove alone, mourning for the loss of her Mate; and so thou layest thee down in Sorrow, and makest it thy Bed, and Grief thy Sheets, Tears thy Pillow, and Sighing and Mourning thy Sleep. whilst thou believest thy Enemy, and entertainest those Fears, Doubtings and Carnal Reasonings (which he infuseth into thy Heart) as thy Companion: But arise I say unto thee (in the Name of my God, and thy God, of my Father, and thy Father) arise out of thy Bed, for thy Belo­ved is at hand, and knocketh at the door of thy Heart; arise out of thy Bed of Sorrow, Fears and Doubtings and by Faith let him in whom thy Soul loveth; say not, I am not worthy of him, but rather say, Lord, I believe, help thou my unbelief, strengthn my Faith, make me more worthy of thee: Oh, shut him out no longer by unbelief and doubtings, and by reasoning with and hearkening unto the Enemy of thy Souls Joy, Peace and Comfort, who would always keep thee from thy Beloved, and would daily add Sorrow to thy Sor­row, and Affliction to thy Grief, and Weight to thy Burden, that he might (if he could) wholly sink thee down into the Pit of Desparation forever: Wherefore hearken no longer unto him, for he was a Lyar from the beginning; entertain him not, nor his false Instigations any longer (n [...]r by unbe­lief keep not him out any longer whom thou lovest and much [Page 205] desirest) but by that small measure of Faith thou sometimes feel'st in God, though it be but as a Grain of Mustard seed, endeavour to thrust and keep out the Enemy, and to remove the Mountains of Fears and Doubtings out of the way, and by Faith embrace him whom thy Soul desires more then Rubies or much fine Gold; that so the N [...]gh [...]s of thy Sorrow and Mourning for him in thy Bed of Fears and Doub­tings may be turned into sweet reposes with him in his Bed of Solace; that thou mayst say with gladness of heart, the False Accuser is cast out, and my Beloved is come, is come, and his reward is with him; he hath taken me from my mourn­ing state into his Banqueting-house of Joy, Peace, Rest and true Satisfaction, and his Banner over me is Love; and now my Sorrow is turned into Joy; and I that once sate mourning in the Pit of doubtings and unbelief, hath the Lord (upon the wings of Faith) raised up to come to sing in the hight of Sion, and to flow to the goodness of my God, who hath ex­alted my Horn in him, and enlarged my Mouth over my Enemy, whose Mouth was enlarged over me in the day I bowed under him through unbelief and doubtings: Oh, then feebleness possessed my Loins, weakness my Knees, and faint­ness my Heart; so that when I rose up to go (towards my Beloved) I fell by doubtings and fears; but now, I that stumbled, am (by Faith in the Power of my God) girt with Strength, and the Bow of the mighty man (that prevailed against me broken in pieces, who so often wounded me with his Darts, that I was like to poor Lazarus, full of Wounds, Bruises and Sores; but the Great Physician of Souls hath healed me with the Oyl of Faith and Salvation; and now I find that it is the Lord that bindeth up the broken in heart, & healeth all their wounds; Oh, blessed be the Lord who hath exalted my low Estate, and brought me from off the Dunghil, and given me a Mansion in the Father's House, and a place at the Table [Page 206] with his Children; though I once, by hearken to my Enemy, said, I was a Dog, and not worthy to eat of the Childrens Bread; and so I kept good things from me by yeilding to my Adversary, who would still have feed me with his food, even the dust of the Earth, that so I might have continued always Weak, Lean, Barren and Feeble, and never to have been able to overcome him; but the Lord my tender God (who thought upon me in the day of my distress, when I was poor and needy) hath rebuked him, and hath put him under my Feet, the mighty the Lord hath brought down from his Seat, and exalted him of low degree, he hath delivered Jacob out of the hand of him that was too strong for him, and though he was a Worm, and no Man, and the cry was, How shall Jacob arise? yet the Arm of his God hath raised him from the Earth, and hath set his Feet upon the Necks of his Enemies, and hath given him power to tread upon the Mighty as the Potter treadeth Clay; and this is the Lord's doings and it is marvelous in the eyes of his Servants, blessed be his name for ever, it is the Lord that lifteth up the weak Hands that hung down, and strengthens the feeble Knees, and m [...]kes strait their Paths, that that which is Lame may not be turned out of the Way, but that rather it may be Healed, that the Hal [...]ing may go upright, and the Lame may leap as an Hart, and the Tongue of the Dumb might sing of the goodness of the Lord and the Mourner rejoyce in him whose Mercy endureth forever. So believe, hope and trust you in the Lord all ye that love him, and mourn and long for him, and in patience and contentedness (without fainting in your minds) wait for him; for the Lord is good to the man that waits upon him, to the Soul that seeketh him; and it is good both to hope and quietly to wait upon the Lord, more then he that wanteth and waiteth for the Morning; for with the Lord there is great Mercy and plentious Redemption, who redeemeth Jacob out of all his Trouble, and is with him in the Fire and in the Water, and in all [Page 207] his Afflictions he forsook him not: Therefore trust you, hope, relie and depend you upon the Lord, all you that love him, and cast your care upon him, for he cares for you, whose tender compassion and faithfulness will never fail to the House of Israel.

A General Salutation of Love to the Children of Light.

AND all dearly beloved Friends, everywhere, who are faithful to the Lord and his Truth in your several measures and places, my very dear and unfained love in the precious Truth of our God extends unto all the honest and upright in Heart, who love and delight in Truth and Righteousness, and seek the Praise, Honour and Glory of God alone, Grace and Love be with you, Mercy and Peace attend you, Joy and Comfort fill you, and the Blessing of the Most High rest upon and remain in & with you Day and Night, and the Lord keep you all in the Faith of the Elect Seed, in which is your Victory over the World, in which stand fast, and keep your Dominion in the Lord over the Earth & earthly things, that the Earth may be the Foot-stool of your Minds, & Heaven your Throne, and you to sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, and to use the World as if you used it not, be­ing loose in heart to that which perisheth with the using; oh, that all Friends that are free from, and void of the Cares of this Life, and Cumbrances of this World may prize (and stand fast in) their Freedom, and not be forward and hasty (in the affectionate part) to run their selves into Bondage to those things that profit not, but hindreth to God-ward, and prove as Bryars and Thorns to the choaking or quenching of the growth of the Seed of Life in the Heart; there is a mind that [Page 208] hunts and desires after (and is ready (if it be not limitted) to form and create unto it self) a Freedom that stands not in the Liberty of the Sons of God; the Liberty of the Sons of God and Children of the Light stands in that which is a Yoke to the World's Liberty, and their Freedom stands in that which is Bondage to the carnal Mind, and crucifies unto the World and wordly things; also there is a mind that is ready to en­deavour and seek to put off, and to keep out of those things (which in their proper place may be said to be lawful) that it seeth it hindreth the growth into the Eternal, and endan­gereth the Souls standing to God-wards; and truly that is the more purer mind that serves (one Master) God alone; Indeed dear Friends, I am ready to desire that this mind (which was in Christ Jesus) may have dominion in our Hearts more and more; that as Strangers and Pilgrims we may be in and to the World and the love thereof, and the Lord [...]lone become object of our Love, and his Truth the covering of our Eyes, that so the desire of our Souls may be unto him, and unto the remembrance of his Name, which is like precious Oyntment pour'd forth, giving a pleasant smell, and a sweet delect [...]ble savour, and therefore do the Virgins love him, and remember his Love more then Wine; yea, more then Father, Mother, Husband, Wife, Children, Silver, Gold, Houses, Lands; yea, he is the chiefest to them of ten thousand, and the Up­right love him, for he is altogether comely.

Oh! dearly beloved Friends, much hath the Lord God of power done for us, since the day he found us laid among the Pits, and raised us up from the Dunghil of our own Corrup­tion, and s [...]id unto us Live, who were dead in Sins and Tres­passes; oh, how greatly hath he blessed and prospered us in despite of the spirit that hath so eagerly sought and endea­voured to devour us, and extinguish us from being a People, and hath even made us a Family like a Flock; and though [Page 209] Balak and Balaam's spirit (the Beast, Jezabel and false Prophets) have sought Inchantments against us, to Curse us, yet the God of blessings has greatly Blest us in our Sufferings, Tribulati­ons and Afflictions, and has made Joseph as a fruitful Bough by the Wall, whose Branches grow over the Wall (that doth and will let until it be taken out of the way) though the Ar­chers of Babylon have shot at him, and grievously wounded him, yet his Bow (notwithstand his great Affliction) hath abode in Strength, and the Hands of his Arms have been made strong by the hand of the mighty God of Jacob, who has blest Joseph, and unto the uttermost bounds of the everlasting Hills shall he be blessed forevermore.

Oh, dear Friends, if any People now in being upon the Earth have cause to speak well of the Lord, and to trust in his holy Name, we are the People; for mightily and won­derfully hath the mighty God done and wrought for us, though the blind World sees it not: Oh! how have we been as Lambs among Lyons, and yet not devoured, but wonderfully preser­ved by the secret Power and invisible Arm of the Lord our Shepherd, who hath been our Defence when the Beasts of the Forrest have come forth to Devour, and the Wolves have been greedy of their Prey, then hath the Lord sought for Mount Sion, and defended the Hill thereof; and though some said, We'll pursue, we'll overtake, our Lust shall be satisfied on them; we'll draw our Swords, and our Hands shall destroy them; yet how hath the Lord blown in his Wrath upon them, the Sea of his Judgment hath covered them, and they are sunk as Lead in the bottom of the mighty Waters, and we yet (through mercy) are alive, and have a being among the Living, to speak well of the Lord, and to make mention of the Good­nes [...] of our Good, and to declare of his Kindness, and to praise him for his Works, which are marvelous in our Eyes: Oh! his Love, his Mercy and tender fatherly care over and [Page 210] towards us, extends beyond the demonstration of Words; and oh let the sense thereof be engraven upon the table of our Hearts, that it may humble us, and keep us low before the Lord, and be an Obligation upon every Soul of us, to bind and engage us unto the Lord and his Truth forever.

How mightily hath the Lord limitted and quieted the rag­ing Sea, and made a Calm! oh, that all Friends might take notice of the great Mercy and Love of the Lord to us in this particular, and mind the end of the Lord therein; and let us all take heed we Sin not, because Grace and Mercy to us a­bounds, lest it provoke the Lord to Anger, and be a moving cause to induce him to let forth the Wind, and suffer a Storm again. Oh, that none might get into a false ease and liberty and wrong security, because of the present Calm; but all to keep retire in that which fitteth and maketh ready for Tryals when they come, in, by and through which we have been up­held & preserved hitherto, even by the secret Power & Arm of the Lord, which is not shortned that it cannot save, but is the same that ever it was; and it hath been our Helper in six Troubles, and in the seventh has not been wanting to us, to help us when there hath been none to help, and to support and uphold us when there hath been none to uphold, but Loads, Burdens and Oppressions have been heaped upon us, and to comfort us, when nothing but Sorrow and Trouble from the World compassed us about, and when we have had no­thing, as from men, but the Bread of Adversity & the Water of Affliction; even then hath the Lord our tender God been the Comforter of our Hearts, the Refresher of our Souls, the Rejoycer of our Spirits, and the Lifter up of our Hands when we have been bowed down with the Oppressions of our Ene­mies; his [...]resence hath been with us in the Prison-house, and in the low Dungeon, and hath not left us to this day, and assuredly never, never, never will leave us, if we leave not [Page 211] him, but will be with us until we have finished our Course and fulfilled the dayes of our appointed Time, and our Change come.

So dear Friends, unto the Lord I commit you, who know­eth how it is with all his Babes and Children, and beholdeth all their Tryals, Straits and Sufferings, inward and outward, and his ear is open to the cry of the Poor, and groanings of the Needy, who is God all-sufficient for all those that trust, hope, relie and depend upon him, and able to keep them by his power through Faith in his Name, unto his heavenly King­dom: So the Lord be with you all, and the Almighty pro­tect and defend you, and keep you from Evil, unspotted from the World, and preserve you in Love, Peace and Unity with himself, and one with another in his innocent unfained Love, in his Light, Life, Power and Truth, and make and keep you all of one Heart, and one Mind, and one Soul; that you all with one consent may still worship and serve the Lord God in the one Spirit and the one Truth, in which I dearly greet, salute and embrace you all, and remain your Friend and Com­panion in the Patience and Tribulation of Jesus; Farwell, dear Friends.

William Bennit.

Dear Friends,

IN the Love which waxeth not Old, neither is subject to Change, which God hath shed abroad in the hearts of those that believe in the Light, through the operation of his Eternal Spirit; in this Love which openeth our Hearts unto the Lord, and one another, doth the unfeigned Sa­lutation of my Soul reach forth unto you, as in which Love Iabide, I cannot forget the Family of Love, and Houshold [Page 212] of Faith, neither can length of Time, nor distance of Place, [...]onds nor Tribulations extinguish the remembrance of you, whom the Lord [...]ath chosen (out of the Elect Seed) from out of the Fa [...]ilies of the Earth, to place his Name among, and to mani [...]est his▪Power and Glory in and through you his People, to the praise of your God, in your Generation: dear Friends, who are called to be made pertakers of the Blessed Everlasting Inheritance of the Saints in Light, and through Faith in the Light of Life you are called and raised up, to bear Testimony unto him whom the Nations Despise; but un­to you that believe in him he is Pretious, and you that have seen his B [...]auty and beheld his Comliness, and have tasted of his Love, and have savoured the sweetness of his pre [...]ious Oyntment, which hath healed your Wounds, and cured your Diseases, and with which your Souls have been Bathed, Warmed and sweetly Refreshed; unto you that have tasted of his Divine Vertues, who is the Light of [...]he World, he is the chiefest of ten Thousand; who hath called and chosen you out of the World, to follow him in the Regeneration, and to bear his Image before the World, and to shew forth his Testi­mony against the World, therefore do the World hate you, and desire and seek your Destruction, and would tempt you, and by cruelty force you from the beloved of you [...] Souls; but dear Hearts, every one cleave in spirit unto the Lord, and hold fast his bless [...]d Tru [...]h, received into your Hearts, that the Enemy within, nor his Instruments without by all their Tempta [...]ons and Cruelty, may never move you to decline, nor degenerate from that blessed Testimony which God hath given you to bear for him, in the midst of a Wicked and U [...] ­godly Generation; who must fill up the measure of their Ini­quity, that Judgment may come upon them to the full, and the measure of your Sufferings must also be fulfilled; therefore, dear Lambs, hold fast Faith and a good Conscience, and p [...]t [Page 213] on Courage and Strength unto the end; and hold fast the Word of Patience, that you may be kept in the hour of Temptation, and the Preservation of your Souls you may come to witness by the Power of God, through all Tryals, Troubles, Losses, Straits, Afflictions and Tribulations, that the Lord suffereth to befal you, trust you in him, and depend upon his everlasting Arm, which is your help, stay and strength, God will restrain the Wrath of our Enemies, and dissipate the Purposes, and confound the Evil Devises of our Adver­saries, so far as it seemeth good unto him; the Lord God Everlasting who keepeth Covenant with his People, and whose tender Mercy, Compassion and Fatherly Care fail­eth not towards the House of Jacob; his blessed soul refreshing strengthening Presence be with all his People, to Feed, Nourish and Strengthen them, and Cherish them, Support and Uphold them, Comfort and Consolate them in all their sufferings for his Names sake, and bear up all his little Ones, for whom my Soul is in Travel, and the Lord keep all his in the Covenant of his everlasting Love, that if our Earthen Vessels be Broken, and turned to the Dust for the Testimony of Jesus, our Souls may rest with the Lord; so whether we Live w [...] may Live to God, or whether we Dye we may Dye unto God, that whether we Live or Dye we may be the Lords, and he be glorified in us either by Life or Death, which is the desire of your Friend and Brother in the love of Truth. Dear Lambs, my love remains with you, though Bonds hold me close, be you bundled up together in Love, Peace and Unity, that you may be a help strength and comfort one to another in the Lord, and let none be careless, but all watch and keep close to the Lord, and keep your meetings, and wait upon God to be fitted for every Tryal yet to come, neither let any be discouraged or surprized with fear through the terror of your Enemies, you know that the Lord hath carried us through [Page 214] much already, his Arm is not shortned, our God is a God of Wonders, let us stand still and see his Salvation, which he will manifest on the behalf of the meek of the Earth, that are ap­pointed as Sheep for the Slaughter, and hath no helper but the Lord; God Almighty hasten it for his own Elects sake, which cryeth Day and Night unto him, Amen saith my Soul, even come Lord Jesus, come quickly, and take unto thee thy great power to Reign, for unto thee belongeth the Dominion, for thou art worthy, let all Nations come and Worship be­fore thee, and give Glory to thy Name, who art Just in all thy Ways, and Righteous in all thy Judgments, thy Counsels of old are Faithfulness and Truth.

William Bennit.

A Loving Exhortation and Warning to SEA-MEN, and all others whom it doth concern.

YOƲ that go down to the Sea in Ships, that do Business in great Waters, where you see the Works of the Lord, and his Wonders in the deep; great Cause have you to fear and love the great God of Heaven and Earth, who giveth you Life and Being, who is the God of all your Mercies, who in Mercy hath oftentimes preserved you in great Danger and Peril, and delivered you when you have been ready to Perish: Oh, forget not his Mercy towards you; but Repent speedily, and Fear and Dread his great Name, and stand in Awe, and Sin no more against him, whose Power is over all, who commands the Winds and the Seas, and they obey him: When sometimes [Page 215] you have been in Great Jeopardy of Your Lives, and the Lord hath in Mercy delivered you, how little have some of You Eyed the Mercy and delivering Hand of the Lord therein; [...]ut have been Ready to ascribe the Honour of your Deliverance to the Anchor, Cable and Manhood, more then to the Lord; and when you have been in Great Danger of your Lives, and saw no Way, but you must Perish, have you not then cryed to the Lord to deliver you? (and the Guilt of your Iniquities be­ing heavy upon your Consciences) have you not been ready to make Promises to the Lord in your Distress, that if he spa­red your Lives, ye would Repent, and turn unto him, and Fear, and Serve him, and forsake your Evil Ways? And when the Lord hath answered your Desires, and in Mercy hath given you your Lives for a Prey, when you came to Land, have you then performed your Vows and Promises to the Lord? or have you not gone on in Sin and Evil still? let God's Witness in every Conscience speak, for unto that I make my Appeal: Consider how greatly it concerneth you Sea-men (and so it do [...]h all other People) to mind their latter End, and to be ready for suddain Death; let every particular One consider seriously how it stands between God and their own Souls: Oh, it is a blessed Thing to be fit to Dye, and to feel Pe [...]ce with God; it is their Sins and Iniquities that make People unfit for God's Kingdom; they that dye in their Sins must perish, as Christ said unto some, Except you repent you shall likewise perish; without Holiness and Purity none can see God: The Soul of Man is Immortal, and can never Dye, but must (when it leaves the Body) be in a feeling Sence of Joy and Peace, or Wo and Misery forever; The Wicked and all that forget God must be turned into Hell: Oh that all People, Young and Old, may repent and return to the Lord with their whole Hearts, and he will shew them Mercy! Prize your time, for it is precious, and you know not how short it is: Oh fear and dread [Page 216] the Eternal God that giveth you Life and Being, and can take it away when he pleaseth; It is not a talking of being Saved and Redeemed by Christ, and of his dying for you, will stand you in any stead, that live in Sin and Vanity; Christ said, A Man must be born again, or else he cannot see the Kingdom of God: So dear People, both Young and Old, mind the Pure Divine Light of Christ Jesus in your own Consciences, that which Checketh and Reproveth you; when you speak or act that which is Evil, and come to Obey it; for it is the Way of Life, and will Lead you, if you obey it, out of all Sin, Ʋngodliness and Worldly Lusts, into the Way of Life, and teach you to live Soberly, Righteously and Godly in this present Evil World; Then Peace with God will be the Portion of your Souls.

Written in Tender Bowels of Ʋnfeigned Love to your Souls, by a Friend to all People, William Bennit.

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