[Page] AN EPISTLE TO Friends of Truth In and about LONDON. Writen by Edward Borroughs, in the Year, 1661. And now is published for the further service of those unto whom it is directed, and whom it doth more particularly concern; And also may be of service unto all (elsewhere) who love the Truth, as it is in Christ Jesus.

London, Printed in the Year, 1667.

To the Friends of Truth in and about London.

DEarly and well-beloved in Christ our Life and Glory, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, and at this time quicken­eth my heart into the lively remembrance of you all, herewith sending the hearty and fervent salutation of my dear and perfect Love, unto all the Faithful amongst you; for the Fathers Love filleth my heart, and hath raised up my spirit into an holy frame and temper of gladness and rejoycing, of great joy and comfort in the remembrance and feeling sence of what the Lord hath wrought and made manifest among his people, and the ful­ness of his Love and rejoycing floweth out in praysing and magni­fying the Lord our God for evermore. Oh what hath the Lord wrought for us in our Day! How hath his out-stretched Arm been made bare again and again for our salvation and deliverance? How many have his mercies been, and how numberless have his loving kindnesses been shewed to us? How hath his power and wis­dom been discovered amongst his People, by which we are quick­ned and revived into the Life of Righteousness and Peace, to be Servants and Heirs of the Everlasting Father, the Lord of Heaven and Earth, being called by him out of Darkness into his marvel­lous Light? And how glorious is the Light that hath appeared upon our Tabernacle, and shined in our hearts, and that hath led us in the way of Peace, and taught us in the path of Righteousness; thus and much more hath the hand of the Lord wrought for us, ha­ving raised us up to be a People, that in times past were not a Peo­ple; but now he hath formed us for himself, and created us for his praise, having gathered us as a Shepherd doth his Flock from our strayed estate, in which we were strangers and afar off, inhabiting in death and darkness, but now raised up to sit together in heaven­ly places, and to feed in the fat pastures of his fulness that filleth all in all.

[Page 4] This hath been effected by the hand and power of the most High, who hath also preserved us unto this day through many tryals and tribulations; and again and again, when our enemies have ri­sen up against us to destroy us, even then hath the Lord been our defence, and confounded our Persecutors, so that we yet live, blessed is the Name of the Lord, the remembrance of which infi­nite tender mercies from the Father, that we have received, have a heavenly influence upon my heart at this time, which causeth me to say, What manner of Love is this! Oh the height, and depth, and infiniteness of the same! the beauty thereof hath ravished my heart, the strength thereof hath overcome me, and the virtue thereof hath overcome me, and the vertue thereof hath filled my soul; and this is the present frame of my spirit; Full of love and good will to the Lord God, and to all his Saints, and particularly unto you, unto whom my spirit desireth in the Lord the increase of peace, and mercies, and blessings, and all hea­venly virtue unto you all, for I am under particular engagements unto you more than unto many.

1. Because my labour and service in the work of the Gospel hath been more amongst you than amongst others; even for divers years have I been conversant among you, in the administration of the gift of the Gospel, by dispensing the Word of Life, to the Con­verting of some, and to the Strengthning and Cofirming of others in the way of the Lord. And let the Just God bear witness of that faithfulness, and integrity and sincerity of heart, in which he hath carried me amongst you, while many pretious dayes I have passed away with you, and have not sought yours but you, nor do I desire ought concerning you, but your faithfulness to the Lord, and your growth and establishment in the wisdom of Christ Jesus, and that blessings and peace may ever rest with you. And seeing it is thus that some of my pretious years in the service of God, have been spent amongst you; Therefore is my heart and spirit engaged to you-wards, even while I live, to advise you, and exhort you, and to pray for you, that you may be sound in the Faith, and established in the Truth, and confirmed in the Possession that never fades away.

2. In respect of that place of your outward Residence, (that great City I mean) where Satans Seat is, and where wickedness abounds, and many temptations and provocations, which may at­tempt to draw you from the Lord. I do know the dangers are many [Page 5] which may easily be met withall in that place. There is both the love, glory and excellency of this world near unto you; and also the terrours, threats, losses and persecutions of this evil world even dwelling with you, all which may work upon some many fears and doubts, and beget temptations to the denying of the Lord; and see­ing the danger is such to you-wards in that place, even more than to some others, therefore is my soul engaged to admonish, and in­struct, and pray for your preservation unto the end, that ye may walk as the Lords, and to his glory.

3. And also my desires are for you, that blessings and peace may be multiplied unto you, and that you may walk in the wisdom and power of the Lord in this respect, that Truth may be honoured, and crown'd with dominion and authority, and good report in that great City, by your faithfulness, and patience, and diligence, and all the fruits of righteousness; for as many temptations do attend you (as I have said before) so also many eyes are upon you, be­holding what you are, and what you do, and what will become of you, and if you walk in faithfulness and righteousness, and be pre­served unto the Lord in boldness and valour for his Names sake, this will magnifie the Truth, and crown it with honour, and strengthen and comfort many that are weak, and be a joy to all the upright, and it will confound your enemies, and put them to shame, and limit the unreasonable spirit of the power of darkness, when our enemies see your just, faithful, righteous and inoffensive man­ner of walking in all things. And therefore for this cause, my heart is engaged to pray for you, seeing the eyes of many are upon you to mark your wayes and doings, and what will be the end.

And now, dearly beloved, as by the free grace and kindness of God ye are called unto this calling, and are renewed and changed into the life of Righteousness; so it is by the same grace and power of the Father, that ye must stand and be preserved unto the end; for by grace and faith we all stand, even through diligence, faith­fulness, and watchfulness in the same grace, being obedient to its teachings, and fruitful in its motions, and walking by its rule, in meekness and lowliness of heart, in sincerity and godly fear, not being or doing any thing of our selves, distinct or divided from this grace, but being and doing all things, through the grace of God dwelling in us, and this is the highest perfection of Saints; [Page 6] every ones highest state admits of watchfulness, and faithfulness, and obedience, and to hearken to the Lord, and do his will in all things; and whatsoever is of our selves, and related to the out­ward world, may be kept in subjection by his power, that he alone may rule and be exalted in Heaven and Earth, and in all things, what we are, and what we do: And wait upon the Lord that ye may be established, and setled in the Truth, and that ye may be confirmed therein for ever, as being natural heirs of the posses­sion of Grace and Truth, to do, and walk, and live according to his will, being so inherited, never to go forth any more, and able to say, Nothing can separate us from the Love of God; not Death, nor Life, nor any other thing: For I would put you in mind, and ye also know it, how that many have been touched in their hearts with the sence of the Lord, and his Love, yea, and many have en­joyed of the good gift of God, and walked with us for a time, that have not remained unto the end, but have started aside from the Lord, and been overcome with the temptations of this world, even to the forsaking of the way of Truth and Righteousness, and such have dishonoured the Lord, and forfeited their peace and inheri­tance in God, and become hardned in their hearts, and dead to God, and the latter end of such hath been worse than their begin­ing; though yet for a time such walked with us, and tasted of the good gifts of God, yet are become reprobate, because their hearts have not been firm, and constant, and sound, and approved to God, but of an evil frame and temper of spirit; ambitious, vain-glori­ous, self-seeking, and such like, which Spirit could not retain the gift of God, but abused it and perverted it from its proper end. And therefore, dearly beloved, it is exceeding pretious to have a heart and spirit, tryed and approved of the Lord; a good and ho­nest heart, an upright and contrite spirit, for that will abide in faithfulness unto God through all tribulations and trials, if the the heart be right in the sight of God, whatsoever the knowledge be, and whether the gifts be little or great, yet the Lords presence is there, and such are blessed; so that its not enough, only to have a touch and taste of the loving kindness of God, but every one must be established therein, in an approved heart and tried Spirit, which can endure all things and not be shaken nor moved, and its only that kind of spirit, which is meek and lowly, sincere and upright, [Page 7] which is established in the Truth, and which only can remain un­movable. And according to the antient Doctrine of Christ, which ye have believed, every one must look to your own particular stand­ing▪ and must feel your own particular joy, peace and comfort, and must receive the assurance of Life in your own souls; for it is an everlasting word, every one must stand by their own, by what they feel and enjoy of eternal Life in their own hearts, that only is eve­ry ones security and assurance in the Kingdom of Peace and Glory; and it is the height of perfection, to have the seal of the Spirit of God in our Consciences; witnessing to us, That we are the Lords: and blessed are they that have this Testimony, even that of the Spirit of the Father, which is the everlasting Comforter against all sorrow, and the perfect Seal against all doubts, and the sure Guide against all opposition. This is the office of the Spirit of the Lord, and its work in the hearts of his Children; therefore my advice is to you as from the beginning, Look to your own, to your own mea­sure of the gift of grace and truth, that only stands, when all wan­drings after men and things fall, and in that is your security, as I have said.

And let your conversations and walkings be such as becometh the Gospel of Christ, in all faithfulness and righteousness, that you may be an honour to the Lord in your generation; for this only have we to do in this world, even to shew forth his praise and glory, who hath created us in Christ Jesus. All things in relation to Truth are well in these Countries; the Dominion of Truth is set up over the heads of the wicked, and it is a terrour to its enemies, and the joy of all good men; and Friends are faithful in the Power of the Lord, and look over this world, to the world that hath no end, and their hope and confidence is in that; and Meetings are generally quiet, and the presence of the Lord is amongst his People. And thus to the Grace, Power and Wisdom of the Lord God are ye committed, who is the only Preserver of all his Children. Grace and peace be with you all.

E. B.

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