A JOURNAL OR Historical Account OF THE Life, Travels, Sufferings, Christian Experiences and Labour of Love in the Work of the Ministry. OF THAT Ancient, Eminent and Faithful Servant of JESUS CHRIST, George Fox; Who departed this Life in great Peace with the LORD, the 13th of the 11th Month, 1690.

The First Volume.

Dan. 12.3.

And they that turn many to Righteousness, shall shine as the Stars for ever and ever.

Verse 4.

Many shall run to and fro; and Knowledge shall be En­creased.

2 Tim. 2.12.

If we suffer, we shall also reign with him; (i. e. with Christ.)

LONDON, Printed for Thomas Northcott, in George-Yard, in Lombard-Street. MDCXCIV.

THE TESTIMONY OF Margaret Fox Concerning her Late Husband GEORGE FOX;
TOGETHER With a brief Account of some of his Travels, Suf­ferings and Hardships endured for the Truth's sake.

IT having pleased Almighty God to take away my Dear Husband out of this Evil, Troublesome World, who was not a Man thereof; being Chosen out of it, and had his Life and Being in another Region, and his Testimony was a­gainst the World, that the Deeds thereof were evil, and therefore the World hated him: So I am now to give in my Account and Testimony for my Dear Husband, whom the Lord hath taken unto his blessed Kingdom and Glory. And it is before me from the Lord, and in my View, to give a Relation, and leave upon Record the Dealings of the Lord with us from the Beginning.

He was the Instrument in the Hand of the Lord in this pre­sent Age, which he made use of to send forth into the World, to preach the Everlasting Gospel, which had been hid from many Ages and Generations; the Lord Revealed it unto him, and made him open that New and Living Way, that Leads to Life Eternal, when he was but a Youth, and a Stripling. And when he De­clared it in his own Country of Leicestershire, and in Darbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Warwickshire, and his Declaration being a­gainst the Hireling-Priests and their Practices, it raised a Great Fury and Opposition amongst the Priests and People against him: yet there was always some, that owned him in several places; but very few, that stood firm to him, when Persecution came on him. There was he and one other put in Prison at Darby, His first Imprison­ment. but the other declined, and left him in Prison there; where he con­tinued almost a whole Year, and then he was Released out of Pri­son: And went on with his Testimony abroad,Second Imprison­ment. and was put in Prison again at Nottingham; and there he continued a while, and after was Released again.

And then he Travelled on into Yorkshire, and passed up and down that Great County, and several received him; as William Dewsbury, Richard Farnsworth, Thomas Aldam and others, who all came to be faithful Ministers of the Spirit for the Lord. And he continued in that Country, and Travelled thorow Holderness and the Wowlds, and abundance were Convinced; and several were brought to Prison at York for their Testimony to the Truth, both Men and Women: So that we heard of such a People that were Risen, and we did very much inquire after them. And after a while he Travelled up farther towards the Dales in Yorkshire, as Wensdale, and Sedbur; and amongst the Hills, Dales and Mountains he came on, and Convinced many of the Eternal Truth.

And in the Year 1652. it pleased the Lord to draw him to­wards us; so he came on from Sedbur, and so to Westmorland, as Firbank-Chappel, where John Blaykling came with him: and so on to Preston, and to Grarig, and Kendal, and Ʋnder-barrow, and Poobank, and Cartmel, and Staveley; and so on to Swarth­more, my Dwelling-House, whither he brought the blessed Tide­ings of the Everlasting Gospel, which I, and many Hundreds in these parts, have cause to praise the Lord for. My then Hus­band, Thomas Fell, was not at home at that time, but gone the Welch Circuit, being one of the Judges of Assize: And our House being a Place open to entertain Ministers and Religious People at, one of George Fox his Friends brought him hither; where he stay­ed all Night. And the next day, being a Lecture, or a Fast-day, he went to Ulverston-Steeple-house, but came not in, till People were gathered; I and my Children had been a long time there before. And when they were singing before the Sermon, he came in; and when they had done singing, he stood up upon a Seat or Form, and desired, That he might have liberty to speak: And he that was in the Pulpit, said he might. And the first words, that he spoke, were as followeth: He is not a Jew, that is one outward; neither is that Circumcision, which is outward: But he is a Jew, that is one inward; and that is Circumcision, which is of the heart. And so he went on, and said, How that Christ was the Light of the World, and ligheth every Man that cometh into the World; and that by this Light they might be gathered to God, &c. And I stood up in my Pew, and I wondered at his Doctrine; for I had never heard such before. And then he went on, and opened the Scriptures, and said; The Scriptures were the Prophets words, and Christ's and the Apostle's words, and what, as they spoke, they enjoyed and possessed, and had it from the Lord: And said, Then what had any to do with the Scriptures, but as they came to the Spirit, that gave them forth. You will say, Christ saith this, and the A­postles say this; but what canst thou say? Art thou a Child of Light, and hast walked in the Light, and what thou speakest, is it inwardly from God? &c. This opened me so, that it cut me to the Heart; and then I saw clearly, we were all wrong. So I sat me down in my Pew again, and cried bitterly: And I cried in my Spirit to the Lord, We are all Thieves, we are all Thieves; we have taken the [Page iii] Scriptures in Words, and know nothing of them in our selves. So that served me, that I cannot well tell, what he spake after­wards; but he went on in declaring against the false Prophets, and Priests, and Deceivers of the People. And there was one John Sawrey, a Justice of Peace, and a Professor, that bid the Churchwarden, Take him away: And he laid his hands on him several times, and took them off again, and let him alone; and then after a while he gave over, and came to our House again that night. And he spoke in the Family amongst the Servants, and they were all generally Convinced; as William Caton, Tho­mas Salthouse, Mary Askew, Anne Clayton and several other Ser­vants. And I was stricken into such a sadness, I knew not what to do; my Husband being from home. I saw, it was the Truth, and I could not deny it; and I did, as the Apostle saith, I Re­ceived the Truth in the Love of it: And it was opened to me so clear, that I had never a Tittle in my Heart against it; but I desired the Lord, that I might be kept in it, and then I desired no greater Portion.

And then he went on to Dalton, Aldingham, Dendrum and Ram­syde-Chappels and Steeple-houses, and places several up and down, and the People followed him mightily; and abundance were Con­vinced, and saw, that which he spoke, was Truth: But the Priests were all in a Rage. And about two Weeks after James Naylor and Richard Farnsworth followed him, and enquired him out, till they came to Swarthmore, and there stayed a while with me at our House, and did me much Good; for I was under great Hea­viness and Judgment. But the Power of the Lord entred upon me, within about two Weeks, that he came; and about three Weeks-end my Husband came home: And many were in a migh­ty Rage. And a deal of the Captains and Great Ones of the Country went to meet my then Husband, as he was coming home, and informed him, That a Great Disaster was befallen a­mongst his Family, and that they were Witches; and that they had taken us out of our Religion: and that he might either set them a­way, or all the Country would be undone. But no Weapons form­ed against the Lord, shall prosper; as you may see hereaf­ter.

So my Husband came home greatly offended: And any may think, what a Condition I was like to be in, that either I might displease my Husband, or offend God; for he was very much troubled with us all in the House and Family, they had so pre­possest him against us. But James Naylor and Richard Farns­worth were both then at our House, and I desired them to come and speak to him; and so they did, very moderately and wise­ly: But he was at first displeased with them; but they told him, They came in Love, and good Will to his House. And after that he had heard them speak a while, he was bet­ter satisfied; and they offered, as if they would go away: but I desired them to stay, and not to go away yet; for George Fox will come this Evening. And I would have had my Hus­band to have heard them all, and satisfied himself farther a­bout [Page iv] them; because they had so prepossest him against them of such dangerous, fearful things in his coming first home. And then was he pretty moderate and quiet: and his Dinner being ready, he went to it; and I went in, and sate me down by him. And whilst I was sitting, the Power of the Lord seized upon me: and he was stricken with Amazement, and knew not what to think; but was quiet and still. And the Children were all quiet and still, and grown Sober, and could not play on their Musick, that they were learning: and all these things made him quiet and still.

And then at Night George Fox came: And after Supper my Husband was sitting in the Parlour, and I asked him, If George Fox might come in? and he said, Yes. So George came in with­out any Complement, and walked into the Room, and began to speak presently; and the Family, and James Naylor, and Richard Farnsworth came all in: and he spoke very excellently, as ever I heard him; and opened Christ and the Apostles Practices, which they were in, in their Day. And he opened the Night of Apo­stacy since the Apostles Days, and laid open the Priests and their Practices in the Apostacy; that if all in England had been there, I thought, they could not have denied the Truth of those things. And so my Husband came to see clearly the Truth, of what he spoke, and was very quiet that Night, and said no more; and went to Bed. And next Morning came Lampit, Priest of Ul­version, and got my Husband into the Garden; and spake much to him there: But my Husband had seen so much the Night be­fore, that the Priest got little Entrance upon him. And when the Priest Lampit was come into the House, George spoke sharp­ly to him, and asked him; When God spake to him, and called him to go, and preach to the People? But after a while the Priest went away: This was on a Sixth-day of the Week about the Fifth Month, 1652. And at our House divers Friends were speaking one to another, how there was several Convinced here aways; and we could not tell, where to get a Meeting: My Husband al­so being present, he over-heard, and said of his own Ac­cord; You may Meet here, if you will: And that was the First Meeting we had, that he offered of his own Accord. And then Notice was given that Day and the next to Friends; and there was a good large Meeting the First-day, which was the First Meeting, that was at Swarthmore: and so continued there a Meet­ing from 1652, till 1690. And my Husband went that Day to the Steeple-house, and none with him, but his Clerk and his Groom, that rid with him; and the Priest and People were all fearfully troubled: But praised be the Lord, they never got their Wills up­on us to this day.

And then after a few Weeks, George went to Ulverston-Steeple-house again, and the said Justice Sawrey, with others, set the Rude Rabble upon him; and they beat him so, that he fell down as in a Swoon, and was sore bruised and black'ned in his Body, and on his Head and Arms. Then my Husband was not at home: but when he came home, he was displeased, that they should do so; [Page v] and spoke to Justice Sawrey, and said, It was against Law to make Riots. And after that he was sore beat and stoned at Walney, till he fell down: And also at Dalton was he sore beat and abu­sed; so that he had very hard Usage in divers places in these parts. And then when a Meeting was settled here, he went a­gain into Westmorland, and settled Meetings there; and there was a great Convincement, and abundance of brave Ministers came out there-aways, as John Camm, John Audland, Francis Howgil, Ed­ward Burrough, Miles Halhead, and John Blaykling with divers o­thers. He also went over Sands to Lancaster, and Yelland, and Kellet, where Robert Widders, Richard Hubberthorn and John Lawson, with many others were Convinced. And about that time he was in those parts, many Priests and Professors rose up, and falsly accused him for Blasphemy, and did endeavour to take away his Life; and got People to swear at a Sessions at Lancaster, that he had spoken Blasphemy. But my then Husband and Colonel West, having had some Sight and Knowledge of the Truth, with­stood the two Persecuting Justices, John Sawrey and Thompson; and brought him off, and cleared him: for indeed he was Inno­cent. And after the Sessions there was a great Meeting in the Town of Lancaster; and many of the Towns People came in, and many were Convinced. And thus he was up and down about Lancaster, Yelland, Westmorland and some parts of Yorkshire, and our parts above one Year; in which time there was above Twen­ty and four Ministers brought forth, that were ready to go with their Testimony of the Eternal Truth unto the World: And soon after Francis Howgil and John Camm went to speak to Oliver Crom­wel.

And in the Year 1653. George's drawings was into Cumberland by Milholm, Lampley, Embleton and Brigham, Pardsey and Cocker­mouth, where at or near Embleton he had a Dispute with some Priests, as Larkham and Benson, but chiefly with John Wilkin­son, a Preacher at Embleton and Brigham; who after was Convinced, and owned the Truth, and was a serviceable Minister both in England, Ireland and Scotland. And then he went to Coldbeck and several places, till he came to Carlisle, and went to their Steeple-house: And they beat and abused him, and had him be­fore the Magistrates; who Examined him,The third Imprison­ment. and put him in Pri­son there in the Common-Goal among the Thieves. And at the Assizes one Anthony Pearson, who had been a Justice of Peace, and was Convinced at Appleby (when he was upon the Bench) by James Naylor and Francis Howgil, who were then Prisoners there, and brought before him; so Anthony Pearson spake to the Justices at Carlisle, he being acquainted with them, having mar­ried his Wife out of Cumberland; and after a while they Re­leased him. And after he went into several parts in Cumberland, and many were Convinced, and owned the Truth: and he ga­thered and settled Meetings there amongst them, and up and down in several Parts there in the North.

And in the Year 1654. he went Southward to his own Coun­try of Leicestershire, visiting Friends. And then Colonel Hacker sent him to Oliver Cromwel: The fourth Imprison­ment. and after his being kept Prisoner a while, he was brought before Oliver, and was Released. And then he stayed a while, visiting Friends in London, and the Meetings therein; and so passed Westward to Bristol, and visited Friends there: and after went into Cornwal, where they put him in Prison at Launceston, The fifth Imprison­ment. and one Edward Pyot with him; where he had a bad, long Imprisonment. And when he was Released, he passed into many parts in that County of Cornwal, and settled Meetings there. And then he Travelled thorow many Counties, visiting Friends and settling Meetings all along; and so came in­to the North, and to Swarthmore, and to Cumberland.

And so for Scotland he passed in the Year 1657. and there went with him Robert Widders, James Lancaster, John Grave and o­thers. And he Travelled thorow many places in that Nation, as Douglas, Heads, Hambleton, Glascow, and to Edenborough, where they took him, and carried him before General Monk, and the Council, and Examined him, and asked him his Business into that Nation: who Answered; He came to visit the Seed of God. And after they had threatned him, and charged him to depart their Nation of Scotland, they let him go. And then he went to Lin­lithgow, and Sterling, and Johnstons and many places, visiting the People; and several were Convinced. And after he had stayed a pretty while, and settled some Meetings, he returned into Nor­thumberland, and into the Bishoprick of Durham, visiting Friends and settling Meetings, as he went; and then returned back again to Swarthmore, and stayed amongst Friends a while, and so re­turned South again. And in 1658. Judge Fell died.

And in 1660. he came out of the South into the North, and had a Great General Meeting about Balby in Yorkshire; and so came on visiting Friends in many places, till he came to Swarth­more again. And King Charles then being come in, the Justices sent out Warrants, The sixth Imprison­ment. and took him at Swarthmore, charging him in their Warrants, That he drew away the King's Liege People, to the endangering the embruing the Nation in Blood; and sent him Prisoner to Lancaster-Castle. And I having a Great Family, and he being taken in my House, I was moved of the Lord to go to the King at Whitehall; and took with me a Declaration, and an Information of our Principles: And a long time, and much ado I had, to get to him. But at last, when I got to him, I told him; If he was Guilty of those things, I was Guilty, for he was taken in my House: And I gave him the Paper of our Principles, and desi­red, that he would set him at Liberty; as he had promised, That none should suffer for tender Consciences: and we were of tender Con­sciences, and desired nothing, but the Liberty of our Consciences. And then with much ado, after he had been kept Prisoner near half a Year at Lancaster, we got a Habeas Corpus, and Removed him to the King's Bench; where he was Released. And then would I gladly have come home to my great Family; but was bound in my Spirit, and could not have Freedom to get away for a whole [Page vii] Year. And the King had promised me several times, that we should have our Liberty: And then the Monarchy-Men rose; and then came the Great and General Imprisonment of Friends the Na­tion thorow: And so could I not have Freedom nor Liberty to come home, till we had got a General Proclamation for all our Friends Liberty; and then I had Freedom and Peace to come home.

And in 1663. he came North again, and to Swarthmore: And then they sent out Warrants, and took him again, and had him to Holcrof before the Justices, and tendered him the Oath of Al­legiance; and sent him Prisoner to Lancaster-Castle. The se­venth Im­prison­ment. And about a Month after, the Justices sent for me also out of my House, and tendered me the Oath; and sent me Prisoner to Lancaster. And the next Assizes they tendered the Oath of Allegiance and Su­premacy to us again both, and Premunired me: But they had mis­sed the Date, and other things in his Indictment, and so it was quasht; but they tendered him the Oath again, and kept him Prisoner a Year and an half at Lancaster-Castle. And then they sent him to Scarborough-Castle in Yorkshire, where they kept him Prisoner close under the Soldiers much of a Year and an half; so that a Friend could scarcely have spoken to him: yet after that it pleased the Lord, that he was Released. But I continued in Prison, and a Prisoner four years at that time: And an Order was procured from the Council, whereby I was set at Liberty. And in that time I went down into Cornwall with my Son and Daugh­ter Lower, and came back by London to the Yearly Meeting; and there I met with him again: And then he told me, The time was drawing on towards our Marriage; but he might first go into Ire­land.The eithth Imprison­ment. And a little before this time was he Prisoner in his own Country at Leicester for a while; and then Released. And so in­to Ireland he went: and I went into Kent and Suffex; and came back to London again: And afterward I went to the West, to­wards Bristol, in 1669. and there I stay'd, till he came over from Ireland. And then it was Eleven years after my former Husband's Decease. And in Ireland he had had a great Service for the Lord and his Eternal Truth, amongst Friends and many People there, but escaped many Dangers, and Times of being ta­ken Prisoner; they having laid in Wait afore-hand for him in many places. And then he being return'd, at Bristol, he declared his Intentions of Marriage: and there also was our Marriage solemni­zed. And then within ten Days after I came homewards; and my Husband stayed up and down in the Countries amongst Friends, visiting them.

And soon after I came home, there came another Order from the Council to cast me into Prison again; and the Sheriff of Lan­cashire sent his Bailiff, and pulled me out of my own House, and had me Prisoner to Lancaster-Castle (upon the Old Premunire;) where I continued a whole Year: And most part of all that time was I sick and weakly; and also my Husband was weak and sickly at that time. And then after a while he Recovered, and went about to get me out of Prison; and a Discharge at last was got [Page viii] under the Great Seal: and so I was set at Liberty. And then I was to go up to London again, for my Husband was intending for America: And he was full two years away, before he came back again into England; and then he arrived at Bristol, and then came to London: and he intended to have come to the middle of the Nation with me. But when we came into some parts of Worcestershire, they got there Information of him; and one Justice Parker by his Warrant sent him and my Son Lower to Worcester-Gaol: The ninth Imprison­ment. and the Justices there tendered him the Oath, and Premunired him, but Released my Son Lower; who stayed with him most of the time he was Prisoner there.

And after some time he fell sick in a long, lingering Sickness, and many times was very ill: so they writ to me from London, That if I would see him alive, I might go to him; which accord­ingly I did. And after I had tarried Seventeen Weeks with him at Worcester, and no Discharge like to be obtained for him, I went up to London, and writ to the King an Account of his long Imprisonment, and how he was taken in his Travel homewards; and how he was weak and sick, and not like to live, if they kept him long there. And I went with it to Whitehall my self; and I met with the King, and gave him the Paper: And he said, I must go to the Chancellour, he could do nothing in it. Then I writ also to the Lord Chancellour, and went to his House, and gave him my Paper, and spoke to him, That the King had left it wholly to him; and if he did not take pity, and Release him out of that Prison, I feared, he would end his days there. And the Lord Chancellour Finch was a very tender Man, and spoke to the Judge; who gave out an Habeas Corpus presently. And when we got it, we sent it down to Worcester; and they would not part with him at first, but said, he was Premunired, and was not to go out on that manner. And then we were forced to go to Judge North, and to the Attorney General, and we got another Order, and sent down from them; and with much ado, and great Labour and Industry of William Mead, and other Friends, we got him up to London, where he Appeared in Westminster-Hall at the King's-Bench, before Judge Hales, who was a very honest, tender Man; and he knew, they had Imprisoned him but in Envy. So that, which they had against him, was Read; and our Counsel pleaded, That he was taken up in his Travel and Journey: And there was but a little said, till he was quitted. And this was the Last Pri­son, that he was in, being freed by the Court of King's-Bench.

And when he was at Liberty, he Recovered again: And then I was very desirous to go home with him, which we did. And this was the first time, that he came to Swarthmore, after we were Married; and so he stayed here much of two years. And then went to London again to the Yearly Meeting; and after a while went into Holland, and some parts of Germany, where he stayed a pretty while: and then Returned to London again at the next Yearly Meeting. And after he had stayed a while in and about Lon­don, he came into the North to Swarthmore again; and stayed [Page ix] that time nigh two years: And then he grew weakly, being troub­led with Pains and Aches, having had many sore and long Tra­vels, Beatings, and hard Imprisonments. But after some time he rid to York: and so passed on thorow Nottinghamshire and seve­ral Counties, visiting Friends; till he came to London to the Yearly-Meeting, and stayed there, and there-aways, till he fi­nished his Course, and laid down his Head in Peace.

And though the Lord had provided an outward Habitation for him, yet he was not willing to stay at it; because it was so remote and far from London, where his Service most lay. And my Concern for God, and his holy, Eternal Truth was then in the North, where God had placed and set me; and likewise for the Ordering and Governing of my Children and Family: so that we were very willing both of us, to live a-part some years up­on God's Account, and his Truth's Service, and to deny our selves of that Comfort, which we might have had in being together, for the sake and Service of the Lord, and his Truth. And if any took Occasion, or Judged hard of us because of that, the Lord will Judge them; for we were Innocent. And for my own part, I was willing to make many long Journies, for ta­king away all Occasion of evil Thoughts: And though I lived Two hundred Miles from London, yet have I been Nine times there, upon the Lord, and his Truth's Account; and of all the times that I was at London, this last time was most Comfortable, that the Lord was pleased to give me Strength and Ability, to travel that great Journey, being Seventy six years of Age, to see my Dear Husband, who was better in his Health and Strength, than many times I had seen him before. I look upon that, that the Lord's special Hand was in it, that I should go then; for he li­ved but about half a Year after I left him: Which makes me admire the Wisdom and Goodness of God in Ordering my Jour­ney at that time.

And now he hath finished his Course, and his Testimony, and is entered into his Eternal Rest and Felicity. I trust in the same powerful God, that his holy Arm and Power will carry me tho­row, whatever he hath yet for me to do; and that he will be my Strength and Support, and the Bearer up of my Head unto the End, and in the End. For I know his Faithfulness and Good­ness, and I have Experience of his Love; To whom be Glory and Powerful Dominion for ever: Amen.

M. F.

The Testimony of some of the AUTHOR'S Relations.

NEither Days, nor Length of Time with us can wear out the Memory of our Dear and Honoured Father George Fox, whom the Lord hath taken to himself. And though his Earthly House of this Tabernacle be dissolved, and Mortality put off; yet we believe, he has a Building with God Eternally in the Hea­vens, and is entred into Rest, as a Reward to those great Labours, hard Sufferings and sore Trials, he patiently endured for God and his Truth. Of which Truth he was made an Able Minister, and One, if not the First Promulgator of it in our Age: who though of no great Literature, nor seeming much Learned, as to the out­ward (being hid from the Wisdom of this World;) yet he had the Tongue of the Learned, and could speak a Word in due Sea­son to the Conditions and Capacities of most, especially to them, that were weary, and wanted Soul's Rest; being deep in the Di­vine Mysteries of the Kingdom of God. And the Word of Life and Salvation through him reached unto many Souls; whereby many were Convinced of their great Duty of inward Retiring to Wait upon God: and as they became diligent in the Performance of that Service, were also raised up to be Preachers of the same E­verlasting Gospel of Peace and Glad Tidings to others; who are as Seals to his Ministry both in this and other Nations, and may possibly give a more full Account thereof. Howbeit we knowing his unwearied Diligence, not Sparing, but Spending himself in the Work and Service, whereunto he was Chosen and Called of God, could not but give this short Testimony of his Faithfulness therein; and likewise of his tender Love and Care towards us: who as a tender Father to Children (in which Capacity we stood, being so Related unto him) he never failed to give us his wholesome Counsel and Advice. And not only so, but as a Father in Christ, he took Care of the whole Family and Houshold of Faith, which the Lord had made him an Eminent Overseer of, and endued him with such an Excellent Spirit of Wisdom and Ʋnderstanding, to propose and direct Helps and Advantages to the Well-ordering and Establishing of Affairs and Government in the Church, as now are found very serviceable thereunto; and have greatly disappointed and prevented the false, loose and libertine Spirit in some, who to their own Confusion have endeavoured (by Separation and Di­vision) to disturb the Church's Peace. And although many of that sort have at sundry times shot their poisonous Darts at him, publickly in Print, and privately other ways; yet he has been always preserved by the Heavenly Power of God, out of the Reach of their Envy, and all Perils and Difficulties, that attend­ed on their Account: Who as a Fixed Star in the Firmament of God's Power, did constantly abide, and held his Integrity to the last, being of a sweet, savoury Life; and as to Conversation kept [Page xi] his Garments clean: And though outwardly dead, yet liveth, and his Memory is right precious unto us; as it is and will be to all, that abide in the Love of Truth, and have not declined the Way of it. For he was one of the Lord's Worthies, Valiant for the Truth upon Earth, not turning his Back in the Day of Battle; but his Bow still abiding in its Strength, he through many Hard­ships brought Gladness and Refreshment to Israel's Camp: being assisted by the Might of that Power, that always put the Armies of Aliens and Enemies to Flight. And now having finished his Course, is removed from us into a Glorious State of Immortality and Bliss; and is gathered unto the Lord, as a Shock of Corn in its full Season, and to that Habitation of Safety, where the Wick­ed cease from troubling, and the Weary be at Rest.

  • John Rous.
  • William Meade.
  • Thomas Lower.
  • William Ingram.
  • Daniel Abraham.
  • Abraham Morrice.
  • Margaret Rous.
  • Sarah Meade.
  • Mary Lower.
  • Susanna Ingram.
  • Rachel Abraham.
  • Isabel Morrice.

An Epistle by Way of Testimony, to Friends and Brethren of the Monthly and Quarterly Meetings in England, Wales, and elsewhere, concerning the Decease of our Faithful Brother GEORGE FOX.

DEar and truly beloved Friends, Brethren and Sisters in Christ Jesus, our Blessed Lord and Saviour, we sincerely and ten­derly salute you all in his free and tender Love, wherewith he hath graciously visited us, and largely shed it abroad in our Hearts and Souls, to our own unspeakable Comfort and Consolation, and towards his whole Heritage, and Royal Off-spring; blessed be his pure and powerful Name for Evermore. And our Souls do truly and fervently desire, and breathe unto the God of all our Mer­cies, that you all may be preserved, and kept truly faithful and diligent in his Work and Service, according to your Heavenly Cal­ling and Endowments with his Light, Grace and Truth, unto the End of your Days; as being livingly engaged thereby, all your appoint­ed Time to serve him, and to wait, till your Change come: That none may neglect that true Improvement of your Times and Talents, that God has afforded you here, for your Eternal Advantage hereafter, in that Inheritance and Life Immortal, that never fades away. And [Page xii] that the whole Flock and Heritage of Christ Jesus, which he has purchased and bought for himself with a Price incorruptible, may always be so preserved in his own pure Love and Life, as to grow, increase, and prosper in the same; and thereby be kept in Love, Ʋnity and Peace with one another, as becomes his true and faithful Follow­ers, is that, which our very Hearts and Souls desire, being often tru­ly comforted and enlarged in the living sense and feeling of the En­crease and Aboundings thereof, among faithful Friends and Brethren.

And Dear Brethren and Sisters, unto this our Tender Salutation, We are concerned in Brotherly Love, and true Tender-heartedness, to add and impart unto you some Account of the Decease of our Dear and Elder Brother in Christ, namely, his and his Church's true and faithful Servant and Minister, George Fox; whom it hath pleased the Lord to take unto himself, as he hath divers others of his faith­ful Servants and Ministers of late Time; who have faithfully served out their Generation, and finished their Testimony and Course with Joy and Peace. Howbeit, O Dear Brethren and Friends! that so many Worthies in Israel, and serviceable Instruments in the Lord's Hand, are of late taken away and removed from us, so soon one after another, appears a Dispensation, that deeply and sorrowfully affects us, and many more, whose Hearts are upright and tender toward God, and one to another in the Truth. The Consideration of the Depth, Weight and Meaning thereof, is very weighty upon our Spi­rits, though their precious Life and Testimony lives with us, as be­ing of that same Body, united to one Head, even Christ Jesus; in which we still, and hope, ever shall have secret Comfort and Union with them, whom the Lord has removed, and taken to himself out of their Earthly Tabernacles and Houses, into their Heavenly and Everlasting Mansions.

This our said Dear Brother, George Fox, was enabled by the Lord's Power, to Preach the Truth fully and effectually, in our Publick Meeting in White-Hart-Court, by Grace-Church-street, Lon­don, on the Eleventh Day of this instant 11th Month, 1690: After which he said, I am glad I was here; now I am clear, I am fully clear. Then he was the same Day taken with some Illness or Indisposition of Body, more than usual; and continued weak in Body for two days after, at our Friend Henry Goldney's House in the same Court, close by the Meeting-House, in much Contentment and Peace, and very sensible to the last. In which time he mentioned divers Friends, and sent for some in particular; to whom he exprest his Mind, for the spreading Friends Books and Truth in the World, and through the Nations thereof; as his Spirit in the Lord's Love and Power was uni­versally set, and bent for Truth and Righteousness, and the making known the Way thereof to the Nations and People afar off: signi­fying also to some Friends, That all is well; and the Seed of God reigns over all, and over Death it self. That though he was weak in Body, yet that the Power of God is over all, and the Seed reigns over all dis­orderly Spirits: which were his wonted sensible Expressions, being in the living Faith and Sense thereof, which he kept to the End. And the Thirteenth Instant, between the Ninth and Tenth Hour in the Night, he quietly departed this Life in Peace; being two days [Page xiii] after the Lord enabled him to Publish and Preach the Blessed Truth in the Meeting, as aforesaid. So that he clearly and evidently ended his days in his faithful Testimony, in perfect Love and Unity with his Brethren, and Peace and Good-will to all Men; being about Sixty and six Years of Age (as we understand) when he departed this Life.

And on the Sixteenth of this Instant, being the day appointed for his Funeral, a very great Concourse of Friends and People assembled at our Meeting-House in White-Hart-Court aforesaid, about the Mid-day, in order to attend his Body to our Burying-place near Bunhill-Fields, to be Interred, as Friends last Office of Love and Respect, due on that Account. The Meeting was held about two Hours, with great and heavenly Solemnity, manifestly attended with the Lord's Blessed Power and Presence; and divers living Testimonies given from a live­ly Remembrance and Sense of this his Dear, Ancient Servant, his Blessed Ministry and Testimony of the breaking forth of this Gospel-day; his Innocent Life, long and great Travels, and Labours of Love in the Everlasting Gospel, for the turning and gathering many Thou­sands from Darkness to the Light of Christ Jesus, the Foundation of true Faith; also of his manifold Sufferings, Afflictions and Oppositions, which he met withal for his faithful Testimony, both from his open Adversaries and false Brethren; and his Preservations, Dominion, and Deliverances out of them all by the Power of God: To whom the Glory and Honour was and is ascribed, in raising up and preserving this his faithful Witness and Minister to the End of his Days; whose blessed Memorial will Everlastingly remain.

He loved Truth and Righteousness, and bore faithful Testimony against Deceit and Falshood, and the Mystery of Iniquity: and often, of late time especially, warned Friends against Covetousness, Earthly-mindedness, against getting into the Earth, and into a brittle Spirit; and the younger sort, against Loosness and Pride of Life, &c.

A few days before he died, he had a great Concern upon his Mind, concerning some, in whom the Lord's Power was working, to lead them into a Ministry and Testimony to his Truth; who through their too much entangling themselves in the things of this World, did make themselves unready to answer the Call and Leadings of the Power of God, and hurt the Gift, that was bestowed upon them, and did not take that regard to their Service and Ministry, as they ought: And mentioned the Apostle's Exhortation to Timothy, To take heed to his Ministry, and to shew himself approved, &c. And exprest his Grief con­cerning such, as preferred their own Business before the Lord's Busi­ness, and sought the advancing worldly Concerns, before the Concerns of Truth: And concluded with a tender and fatherly Exhortation to all, to whom God had imparted of his Heavenly Treasure, that they would improve it faithfully; and be diligent in the Lord's Work, that the Earth might be sown with the Seed of the Kingdom, and God's Harvest might be minded by those, whom he had called and enabled to labour therein: and that such would commit the Care of their outward Concerns to the Lord, who would care for them, and give a Blessing to them. However, this is not mentioned to encourage any to run unsent, or without being called of God.

Many are living Witnesses, that the Lord raised him up by his [Page xiv] Power, to proclaim his mighry Day to the Nations, and made him an Effectual Instrument in our Day, to turn many from Darkness to Light, and from Satan's Power to God; and freely to suffer and bear all Reproaches, and the manifold Persecutions, Buffetings, Halings, Sto­nings, Imprisonments, and Cruelties, that were in the Beginning, and for some time inflicted on him and others, for the Name of Christ Jesus. He was in his Testimony as a fixed Star in the Firmament of God's Power, where all that be truly wise, and that turn many to Righteousness, shall shine as the brightness of the Firmament, and as the Stars for ever and ever. He knew and Preached the Mystery of Christ Revealed, the Life and Substance, and the Power of Godli­ness, above all Shadows and Forms: The Lord endued him with a hidden Wisdom and Life. He loved Peace, and earnestly laboured for universal Love, Unity, Peace, and good Order in the Churches of Christ: And wherever he met with the contrary, it was his great Grief and Burthen. He was greatly for the Encouragement of faith­ful Labourers in the Lord's Work; and it was a great Offence and Grief to him, to have their Testimony weakned, or Labours slighted through Prejudice in any professing Truth.

And inasmuch as the Lord suffered him not to be delivered up to the Will of his Enemies and Persecutors, who often heretofore breath­ed out Cruelty against him, and designed his Destruction; but in his good Pleasure so fairly and quietly took him away in his own time, when his Testimony was so blessedly finished, and his Work accomplish­ed, This is all remarkable, and worthy of serious and due Obser­vation, as being by a special and Divine Providence and Wisdom of God; to whom we ascribe the Glory of all, and not unto Man or Crea­tures. Though we must needs allow, and own that good Report and due Esteem, which faithful Elders, Ministers and Servants of God and Christ have by Faith obtained, to the Praise of that blessed Power, that upheld them in every Age in their day; many whereof are even of late taken away from the Evil to come, and are at Rest in the Lord, out of the Reach of all Envy and Persecution, where the Wicked can­not trouble them any more.

And we must patiently bear our Parting with them, and our Loss and Sorrow on that Account, with respect to their unspeakable Gain: Yet how can we avoid being deeply affected with Sadness of Spirit, and brokenness of Heart, under the sense and consideration of such Loss and Revolutions, which we have cause to believe are Ominous of Calamities to the wicked World, though of good to the Righteous? Did the Death of plain upright Jacob, Gen. 50. namely Israel, (who was as a Prince of God) so deeply affect both his own Children and Kindred, as that they made a great and exceeding sore Lamentation for him; and even the Egyptians also, that they bewailed him seventy days? And the Death of Moses so deeply affect the Children of Israel, Deut. 34. as that they did weep and mourn for him in the Plain of Moab thirty Days? And the Death of Stephen, that faithful Martyr of Jesus, so deeply affect cer­tain Men fearing God,Acts 7. as that they made great Lamentation for him? And the Apostle Paul, when taking his leave of the Elders of the Church of Ephesus, Acts 20. and telling them, They should see his Face no more? If this did so deeply affect them, that they wept all abundantly, sorrow­ing [Page xv] most of all for these Words, That they should see his face no more, (with many more of this kind;) How then can we otherwise chuse, but be deeply affected with Sorrow and Sadness of Heart (though not as those, which have no hope) when so many of our Ancient, Dear and Faithful Brethren (with whom we have had much sweet Society) are removed from us one after another? (We pray, God raise up and increase more such!) Yet must we all contentedly submit to the good Pleasure and Wisdom of the Lord our God in all these things; who taketh away, and none can hinder him, nor may any say unto him, What dost thou? Yet we have cause to bless the Lord, that he hath of late raised, and is raising up more to publish his Name in the Earth: And we that yet remain, have but a short Time to stay after them, that are gone; but we shall be gone to them also. The Lord God of Life keep us all Faithful in his holy Truth, Love, Ʋnity and Life to the End. He hath a great Work still to bring forth in the Earth, and great things to bring to pass, in order to make way for Truth and Righteousness, to take place therein; and that his Seed may come forth, and be gathered, and the Power and Kingdom of our God and of his Christ, made known and exalted in the Earth, unto the Ends thereof.

Dear Friends and Brethren, Be faithful, till Death, that a Crown of Life you may obtain. All dwell in the Love of God in Christ Jesus, in Ʋnion and Peace in him: To whom we tenderly Commit you to keep and strengthen you, bless and preserve you to the End of your Days. In whose dear and tender Love we remain—

Your Dear Friends and Brethren,
  • Stephen Crisp.
  • Geo. Whitehead.
  • Fra. Camfield.
  • James Park.
  • John Elson.
  • Peter Price.
  • John Field.
  • John Edridge.
  • Nicholas Gates.
  • Francis Stamper.
  • John Vaughton.
  • Gilbert Latey.
  • Charles Marshal.
  • Rich. Needham.
  • James Martin.
  • Daniel Monro.
  • John Heywood.
  • George Bowles.
  • William Robinson.
  • William Bingley.
  • John Butcher.
  • Benjamin Antrobus.

These Names are since added, at the desire of the Persons following:

  • Sam. Goodaker.
  • Amb. Rigg.
  • William Fallowfield.

POSTSCRIPT.

BEfore his Death he writ a little Paper, desiring all Friends every where, that use to write to him about the Sufferings and Affairs of Friends in their several Countries, should henceforth write to their seve­ral Correspondents in London, to be Communicated to the Second-Days Meeting, to take Care, that they be answered.

Thomas Ellwood's Account of that Eminent and Honourable Servant of the Lord, George Fox.

THis Holy Man was raised up by God in an Extraordinary Manner, for an Extraordinary Work, even to Awaken the sleeping World, by proclaiming the Mighty Day of the Lord to the Nations, and publishing again the Everlasting Gospel to the Inha­bitants of the Earth, after the long and dismal Night of Apostacy and Darkness. For this Work the Lord began to prepare him by many and various Trials and Exercises from his very Childhood: And having fitted and furnished him for it, he called him into it very Young; and made him Instrumental, by the effectual Working of the Holy Ghost, through his Ministry to call many Others into the same Work, and to turn many Thousands from Darkness to the Light of Christ, and from the Power of Satan unto God. I knew him not, till the Year 1660: from that Time to the Time of his Death I knew him well, Conversed with him often, Observed him much, Loved him dearly, and Honoured him truly; and upon good Experience can say, He was indeed an Heavenly-minded Man, zealous for the Name of the Lord, and preferr'd the Honour of God before all things. He was Valiant for the Truth, Bold in As­serting it, Patient in Suffering for it, Unwearied in Labouring in it, Steady in his Testimony to it; Immoveable as a Rock. Deep he was in Divine Knowledge, Clear in opening heavenly Mysteries, Plain and Powerful in Preaching, Fervent in Prayer. He was richly endued with heavenly Wisdom, Quick in Discerning, Sound in Judgment, Able and ready in Giving, Discreet in Keeping Coun­sel: A Lover of Righteousness, an Encourager of Vertue, Ju­stice, Temperance, Meekness, Purity, Chastity, Modesty, Humility, Charity and Self-Denial in all, both by Word and Example. Grace­ful he was in Countenance, Manly in Personage, Grave in Gesture, Courteous in Conversation, Weighty in Communication, Instructive in Discourse; Free from Affectation in Speech or Carriage. A se­vere Reprover of hard and obstinate Sinners; A mild and gentle Admonisher of such, as were tender, and sensible of their Fail­ings: Not apt to resent personal Wrongs; Easie to forgive Injuries: But zealously Earnest, where the Honour of God, the Prosperity of Truth, the Peace of the Church were concerned. Very Tender, Compassionate and Pitiful he was to all, that were under any sort of Affliction; full of Brotherly Love, full of Fatherly Care: For indeed, the Care of the Churches of Christ was daily upon him, the Prosperity and Peace whereof he studiously sought. Beloved he was of God; Beloved of God's People: and (which was not the least part of his Honour) the Common Butt of all Apostates Envy; whose Good notwithstanding he earnestly sought. He lived to see the Desire of his Soul, The Spreading of that Blessed [Page xvii] Principle of Divine Light, through many of the European Nations, and not a few of the American Islands and Provinces, and the Ga­thering many Thousands into an Establishment therein; which the Lord vouchsafed him the Honour to be the First Effectual Pub­lisher of, in this latter Age of the World. And having fought a good Fight, finished his Course, and kept the Faith, his righteous Soul (freed from the Earthly Tabernacle, in which he had led an Exemplary Life of Holiness) was translated into those Heavenly Mansions, where Christ our Lord went to prepare a Place for His; there to possess that Glorious Crown of Righteousness, which is laid up for, and shall be given by the Lord the Righteous Judge, to all them that love his Appearance. Ages to come, and Peoples yet unborn shall call him Blessed, and bless the Lord for raising of him up: And Blessed shall we also be, if we so walk, as we had him for an Example; for whom this Testimony lives in my Heart, He liv'd and died the SERVANT of the LORD.

T. E.

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FOrasmuch as many other Testimonies from divers Counties and Friends concerning George Fox, and his Great Service for the Truth are sent up to London, which cannot conveniently be printed with the Journal, lest they should swell it too Bigg; and many of them being of the same Import, Therefore they are reserved for fur­ther Consideration, to be disposed of, as a future Service may be seen in the Wisdom of God for them, when Way is made for his Epistles, or any of his other Works to be published.

The Appearance of the Lord's Everlasting Truth, and Breaking forth again in his Eternal Power in this our Day and Age in ENGLAND

WHerein the Lord's mighty Power and Word of Life hath been Richly and Freely preached, to the Gathering of many into Reconciliation with God by it; to the Exaltation and Glory of the great God, through the bringing forth of the Heavenly and Spiritual Fruits, from such as have been Gathered by his Eternal Light, Pow­er, and Spirit unto himself. And by the Sowing to the Spirit in the hearts of People, Life Eternal hath been Reaped; That the Flocks have been Gathered, which have the Milk of the Word plenteously: That the Riches of the Word have flourished, and mightily abound­ed; and God's Heavenly Plow with his Spiritual Men hath gone on chearfully, to the Overturning the Fallow Ground of the Hearts, that had not borne Heavenly Fruit to God. And God's Heavenly Thresh­ers with his Heavenly Flail, have with Joy and Delight Thresht out the Chaff, and the Corruptions, that have been a-Top of God's Seed and Wheat in Man and Woman: And thus have they Thresht in Hope, and are made Partakers of their Hope; through which God's Seed is come into his Garner.

Oh! the Unutterable Glory, and the Unexpressible Excellency of the Everlasting, Glorious Truth, Gospel and Word of Life, that the Infinite, Invisible and Wise God, (who is over all) hath Reveal­ed and Manifested! And how have the Professors, Priests and Powers risen up in Opposition against his Children, that are born of the Immortal Seed by the Word of God! And Oh! how great have the Persecutions, and Reproaches, and Spoiling of Goods been, that have been Executed upon them! But they that have Touched them, and Touches them, which are as Dear to God, as the Apple of his Eye, how hath the Lord Manifested himself to stand by them, in Overthrowing Powers, Priests and States! What Changes have there been since (1644) and 1650, and 1652! How have the Gaols been filled since then in this Nation with the Heirs of Life, God's Chosen Ones, who had no Helper in the Earth, but the Lord and his Christ! So that Truth's Faithful Witnesses were scarcely to be found, but in Gaols and Prisons, where the Righteous were Numbred among the Transgressors; who had neither Staff nor Bag from Man, but the Staff, the Bread of Life, and the Bag that holds the Treasure, that waxes not old. But the Lord Jesus Christ, that sent them forth, was their Exceeding great Supporter and Upholder by his E­ternal Power and Spirit, both then and now.

G. F.

THE PREFACE, BEING A SUMMARY ACCOUNT Of the DIVERS Dispensations of God TO MEN, FROM The Beginning of the World to That of our present Age, by the Ministry and Testimony of his Faithful Servant George Fox, as an Introduction to the en­suing Iournal.

DIVERS have been the Dispensations of God since the Creation of the World unto the Sons of Men; But the Great End of all of them has been the Re­nown of his own Excellent Name in the Creation and Re­stauration of Man: Man, the Emblem of himself, as a God on Earth and the Glory of all his Works. The World began with Innocency: All was then good that the good God had made: And as he blessed the Works of his hands, so their Natures and Har­mony magnified him their Creator. Then the Morning Stars Sang to­gether [Page] for Joy, and all parts of his Works said Amen to his Law. Not a Jarr in the whole Frame, but Man in Paradise, the Beasts in the Field, the Fowl in the Air, the Fish in the Sea, the Lights in the Heavens, the Fruits of the Earth; yea the Air, the Earth, the Water and Fire Worshipped, praised and exalted his Power, Wisdom and Goodness. O Holy Sabbath, O Holy Day to the Lord!

But this Happy State lasted not long: For Man, the Crown and Glory of the Whole, being tempted to aspire above his place, unhappily yielded against Command and Duty, as well as Interest and Felicity; and so fell below it, lost the Divine I­mage, the Wisdom, Power and Purity he was made in. By which, being no longer fit for Paradise, he was expelled that Gar­den of God, his proper Dwelling and Residence, and was dri­ven out, as a poor Vagabond, from the presence of the Lord, to wander in the Earth, the Habitation of Beasts.

Yet God, that made him had pitty on him; for He seeing he was deceived, and that it was not of Malice, or an Original Pre­sumption in him, but through the Subtilty of the Serpent, (that had first fallen from his own State, and by the Mediation of the Wo­man, man's own Nature and Companion, whom the Serpent had first deluded) in his infinite Goodness and Wisdom found out a way to Repair the Breach, Recover the Loss, and Restore fallen Man again by a Nobler and more Excellent Adam, promised to be born of a Woman; that as by means of a Woman the evil one had prevailed upon Man, by a Woman also He should come into the World, who would prevail against him and bruise his Head, and deliver Man from his Power: And which, in a signal manner, by the Dispensation of the Son of God in the Flesh, in the fullness of Time, was personally and fully accomplished by him, and in him, as Man's Saviour and Redeemer.

But his Power was not limitted, in the Manifestation of it, to that time; for both before and since his blessed Manifestation in the Flesh, He has been the Light and Life, the Rock and Strength of all that ever feared God: Present with them in their Tempta­tions, followed them in their Travels and Afflictions, and sup­ported and carried them through and over the Difficulties that have attended them in their Earthly Pilgrimage. By this Abel's heart excelled Cains, and Seth obtained the preheminence, and Enoch walked with God. It was this that strove with the Old World, and which they rebelled against, and which sanctifi­ed and instructed Noah to Salvation.

But the outward Dispensation that followed the benighted State of Man, after his Fall, especially among the Patriarcks, was generally that of Angels; as the Scriptures of the Old Testament do in many places express, as to Abraham, Jacob, &c. The next [Page] was that of the Law by Moses, which was also delivered by Angels, as the Apostle tells us. This Dispensation was much outward, and suited to a low and servil State; called there­fore that of a School-Master, to point out and prepare that People to look and long for the Messiah, who would deliver them from the servitude of a Ceremonious and imperfect Dis­pensation, by knowing the Realities of those Misterious Re­presentations in themselves. In this time the Law was written on Stone, the Temple built with Hands attended with an outward Priest-hood and External Rites, and Ceremonies, that were Shadows of the Good Things that were to come, and were only to serve till the Seed came, or the more excellent and general manifestation of Christ, to whom was the Promise, and to all Men only in him, in whom it was Yea and Amen; even Life from Death, Immortality and Eternal Life.

This the Prophets foresaw, and comforted the believing Jews in the certainty of it; which was the Top of the Mosaical Dispen­sation, and which ended in John's Ministry, the Forerunner of the Messiah, as John's was finished in him, the Fullness of all. And God, that at sundry Times and in divers manners had spoken to the Fathers by his Servants the Prophets, Spoak then by his Son Chr [...]st Jesus, Who is Heir of all things; being the Gospel-Day, which is the Dispensation of Sonship: Bringing in thereby a near­er Testament and a better hope; even the beginning of the Glory of the latter days, and of the Restitution of all things; yea, the Re­storation of the Kingdom unto Israel.

Now the Spirit, that was more sparingly communicated in former Dispensations, began to be Poured forth upon all Flesh, according to the Prophet Joel, and the Light that shined in Darkness, or but dimly before, the most gracious God caused to Shine out of Darkness, and the Day-star began to arise in the Hearts of Believers, giving unto them the knowledge of God in the Face (or Appearance) of his Son Christ Jesus.

Now the Poor in Spirit, the Meek, the true Mourners, the Hun­gry and Thirsty after Righteousness, the Peace-makers, the Pure in Heart, the Merciful and the Persecuted, came more especially in Remembrance before the Lord, and were sought out and blessed by Israel's true Shepherd. Old Jerusalem with her Children grew out of Date, and the New Jerusalem into Request, the Mother of the Sons of the Gospel-Day. Wherefore no more at Old Jerusa­lem, nor at the Mountain of Samaria, will God be worshipped above other places; for, behold, he is declared and preached a Spirit, and he will be known as such, and worshipped in the Spirit and in the Truth. He will come nearer then of old time, and he will write his Law in the Heart, and put his Fear and Spirit in the inward parts, according to his promise. Then Signs, Types and Shadows flew away, the Day having discovered their Insuf­ficiency [Page] in not reaching to the inside of the Cup, to the cleansing of the Conscience; and all Elementary services were expired in and and by him that is the substance of all.

And to this Great and Blessed End of the Dispensation of the Son of God, did the Apostles Testifie, whom he had chosen and anointed by his Spirit, to turn the Jews from their Prejudice and Superstition, and the Gentiles from their Vanity and Idola­try, to Christ's Light and Spirit that shined in them; that they might be quickned from the Sins and Trespasses in which they were Dead, to serve the Living God in the Newness of the Spirit of Life, and walk as Children of the Light, and of the Day, even the Day of Holiness: For such put on Christ, the Light of the World, and make no more Provision for the Flesh, to fulfil the Lusts thereof. So that the Light, Spirit and Grace that comes by Christ, and appears in Man, was what the Apostles mini­stred from, and turned Peoples Minds unto, and in which they gathered and built up the Churches of Christ in their Day. For which cause they advised them not to quench the Spirit, but wait for the Spirit, and Speak by the Spirit, and Pray by the Spirit, and Walk in the Spirit too, as that which approved them the truly begotten Children of God; born, not of Flesh and Blood, or of the will of Man, but of the will of God; by doing his will, and denying their own; by drinking of Christ's Cup, and being Baptized with his Baptism of Self-denial: The Way and Path that all the Heirs of Life have trod to Blessedness. But alas! even in the Apostles Days, (those bright Stars of the first Magnitude of the Gospel Light) some Clouds (foretelling an Eclipse of this Primitive Glory) began to appear, and several of them gave early Caution of it to the Christians of their Time; that even then there was, and yet would be more and more, a falling away from the Power of Godliness and the Purity of that Spiritual Dispensation, by such as sought to make a fair shew in the Flesh, but with whom the offence of the Cross ceased: Yet with this comfortable Conclusion, that they saw beyond it a more glorious Time than ever, to the true Church. Their sight was true, and what they foretold to the Churches, gathered by them in the Name and Power of Jesus, came so to pass: For Christians degenerated a-pace into outsides, as Days and Meats, and divers other Cerimonies. And which was worse, they fell into Strife and Contention about them, separating one from ano­ther, then Envying, and, as they had Power, Persecuting one ano­ther, to the shame and scandal of their common Christianity, and grievous stumbling and offence of the Heathen, among whom the Lord had so long and so marvellously preserved them. And having got at last the Worldly Power into their Hands, by Kings and Emperors embracing the Christian Profession, they changed what they could, the Kingdom of Christ, which is not of this World, into a Worldly Kingdom; or at least stiled the Worldly Kingdom that was in their Hands the Kingdom of Christ, [Page] and so they became Worldly, and not true Christians. Then Humane Inventions and Novelties, both in Doctrine and Worship, crowded fast into the Church; a Door being opened thereunto by the Grossness and Carnality that appeared then among the generality of Christians; who had long since left the Guidance of God's meek and heavenly Spirit, and given themselves up to Superstition, Will-worship, and Voluntary Humility. And as Superstition is Blind, so it is Heady and Furious; for all must stoop to its blind and boundless Zeal or Perish by it: In the Name of the Spirit, persecuting the very appearance of the Spirit of God in o­thers, and opposing that in them which they resisted in them­selves, viz. the Light, Grace and Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ; but always under the Notion of Innovation, Heresie, Schism, or some such plausible Name. Though Christianity allows of no Name or Pretence whatever for persecuting of any Man for matters of meer Religion; Religion being in its very Nature, Meek, Gentle and Forbearing; and consists of Faith, Hope and Charity, which no Persecutor can have, whilst he remains a Persecutor; in that a Man cannot believe well, or hope well, or have a charitable or tender regard to another, whilst he would violate his mind or persecute his Body for matters of Faith or Worship towards his God.

Thus the False Church sprang up, and mounted the Chair. But though she lost her Nature, she would keep her good Name of the Lambs-bride, the True Church and Mother of the Faithful; constraining all to receive her Mark, either in their Forehead or Righthand, publickly or privately: But Indeed and in Truth she was Mystery Babylon, the Mother of Harlots: Mother of those that with all their show and outside of Religi­on, were adulterated and gone from the Spirit, Nature and Life of Christ, and grown Vain, Worldly, Ambitious, Covetous, Cruel, &c. which are the Fruits of the Flesh and not of the Spirit.

Now it was that the True Church fled into the Wilderness, that is, from Superstition and Violence, to a Retired, Solitary and lonely State; hidden and as it were out of Sight of Men, though not out of the World: Which shows that her wonted Visibility was not Essential to the Being of a True Church in the Judgment of the Holy Ghost; she being as True a Church in the Wilderness, though not as Visible and Lustrious, as when she was in her for­mer Splendor of Profession. In this State many Attempts She made to return, but the Waters were yet too High, and her way blocked up, and many of her excellent Children in seve­ral Nations and Centuries fell by the Cruelty of Superstition, because they would not fall from their Faithfulness to the Truth.

The last Age did set some steps towards it, both as to Do­ctrine, Worship and Practice. But Practice quickly failed, for Wickedness flowed in a little time, as well among the Profes­sors of the Reformation as those they reformed from; so that by the Fruits of Conversation they were not to be distinguished. And the Children of the Reformers, if not the Reformers them­selves, betook themselves very early to Earthly Policy and Power to uphold and carry on their Reformation that had been begun with Spiritual Weapons; which I have often thought, has been one of the greatest reasons the Reformation made no better Progress, as to the Life and Soul of Religion: For whilst the Reformers were Lowly and Spiritually Minded, and trusted in God, and lookt to Him, and lived in his Fear, and consulted not with Flesh and Blood, nor sought Deliverance in their own way, there were daily added to the Church such as, one might reasonably say, should be saved. For they were not so care­ful to be safe from Persecution as to be Faithful under it.

Being more concerned to spread the Truth by their Faith and Patience in Tribulation, than to get the worldly Power out of their Hands that inflicted their Sufferings upon them; and it will be well if the Lord suffer them not to fall by the very same way they took to stand. In Doctrine they were in some things short, in other things, to avoid one extream they run into ano­ther: And for Worship, there was for the generality, more of Man than God. They owned the Spirit, Inspiration and Reve­lation indeed, and grounded their Seperation and Reformation upon the Sense and Ʋnderstanding they received from it, in the Reading of the Scriptures of Truth; and this was their Plea, the Scripture was the Text, the Spirit the Interpreter, and that to e­very one for himself. But yet there was too much of humane Invention, Tradition and Art that remained both in Praying and Preaching, and of worldly Authority and worldly Greatness in their Ministers, especially in this Kingdom, Sweden, Denmark and some Parts of Germany. God was therefore pleased among us, to shift from Vessel to Vessel: And the next remove humbled the Ministry, so that they were more Strict in Preaching, De­vout in Praying, and Zealous for keeping the Lords-day, and Ca­techising of Children and Servants, and Repeating at Home in their Families what they had heard in publick.

But even as these grew into Power, they were not only for Whipping some out, but others into the Temple: And they ap­peared Rigid in their Spirits, rather than Severe in their Lives, and more for a Party then for Piety: Which brought forth ano­ther People, that were yet more retired and select. They would not communicate at large, or in common with others; but formed Churches among themselves of such as could give some account of their Conversion, at least, of very promising experiences of the Work of God's Grace upon their Hearts, and under mutual [Page] Agrements and Covenants of fellowship they kept together. These People were somewhat of a Softer Temper, and seemed to recommend Religion by the Charms of its Love, Mercy and Goodness rather than by the Terrours of its Judgments and Pu­nishment; by which the former Party would have terrified Peo­ple into Religion.

They also allowed greater liberty to Prophecy than those be­fore them; for they admitted any Member to Speak or Pray, as well as their Pastor (whom they always Chose, and not the Civil Magistrate). If such found any thing pressing upon them to either Duty, even without the Distinction of Clergy or Lai­ty; Persons of any Trade, be it never so Low and Mechanical. But alas! even these People suffered great loss: For tasting of Worldly Empire, and the favour of Princes, and the gain that en­sued, they degenerated but too much. For though they had cryed down National Churches and Ministry and Maintenance too, some of them, when it was their own turn to be Tryed, fell under the Weight of Worldly Honour and Advantage, got into profitable Parsonages too much, and outlived and contra­dicted their own Principles: And, which was yet worse, turn­ed some of them absolute Persecutors of other Men for God's Sake, that but so lately came themselves out of the Furnace, which drove many a step farther, and that was into the Wa­ter. Another Baptism, as believing they were not Scripturally Baptised; and hoping to find that Presence and Power of God in submitting to that Ordinance, which they desired and wanted.

These People made also Profession of Neglecting, if not Re­nouncing and Censuring, not only the Necessity but use of all Hu­man Learning as to the Ministry; and all other Qualifications to it besides the Helps and Gifts of the Spirit of God, and those na­tural and common to Men; and for a time they seemed like John of Old, a Burning and a Shining Light, to other Societies.

They were very Diligent, Plain and Serious, strong in Scrip­ture, and bold in Profession, bearing much Reproach and Con­tradiction: But that which others fell by, proved their Hurt. For worldly Power spoiled them too; who had enough of it to try them what they would do if they had more; and they rested also too much upon their Watry Dispensation, instead of passing on more fully to the Fire and Holy Ghost, which was his Baptism, who came with a Fan in his Hand, that he might throughly (and not in part only) purge his Floor, and take a­way the Dross and the Tin of his People and make a Man fi­ner than Gold. Withall, they grew High, Rough and Self-righteous, opposing further attainment; too much forgetting the Day of their Infancy and Littleness, which gave them some­thing of a real Beauty; in so much that many left them and all visible Churches and Societies, and Wandred up and down, as [Page] Sheep without a Shepherd, and as Doves without their Mates; seeking their Beloved but could not find Him, as their Souls desired to know Him; whom their Souls loved above their chiefest Joy.

These People were called Seekers by some, and the Family of Love by others; because, as they came to the knowledge of one another, they sometimes met together, not formally to Pray or Preach, at appointed times or Places, in their own Wills, as in times past they were accustomed to do; but waited together in Silence, and as any thing rose in any one of their Minds that they thought Savoured of a Divine Spring, so they sometimes Spoke. But so it was that some of them not keeping in Hu­mility and in the Fear of God, after the Abundance of Revela­tion, were exalted above Measure, and for want of staying their Minds in an humble Dependance upon him that opened their Ʋnderstandings to see great things in his Law; they run out in their own Imaginations, and mixing them with those Divine Openings, brought forth a Monstrous Birth; to the Scandal of those that feared God, and waited daily in the Temple, not made with Hands, for the Consolation of Israel; the Jew inward, and Circumcision in Spirit.

This People obtained the Name of Ranters from their extra­vagant Discourses and Practices. For they interpreted Christ's fullfilling of the Law for us, to be a discharging of us from any Obligation and Duty the Law required, instead of the Con­demnation of the Law for sins past, upon Faith and Repentance, and that now it was no Sin to do that which before it was a Sin to commit; the slavish Fear of the Law being taken off by Christ, and all things good that Man did, if he did but do them with the Mind and Perswasion that it was so. Inso­much that divers fell into Gross and Enormous Practices; pre­tending in excuse thereof that they could, without Evil, com­mit the same Act which was Sin in another to do; thereby distinguishing between the Action and the Evil of it, by the Dire­ction of the Mind and Intention in the doing of it. Which was to make Sin Super-abound by the aboundings of Grace, and to turn from the Grace of God into Wantonness, a securer way of Sinning than before: As if Christ came not to take away Sin, but that we might Sin more freely at his Cost, and with less Danger to our selves. I say, this ensnared Divers, and brought them to an utter and lamentable Loss as to their E­ternal State; and they grew very troublesome to the better sort of People, and furnished the looser with an occasion to Pro­phane.

It was about that very same time, as you may see in the ensuing Annales, that the Eternal, Wise, and Good God was pleased, in his Infinite Love, to Honour and Visit this benigh­ted [Page] and bewildred Nation with his Glorious Day-spring from on High; yea with a most sure and certain sound of the Word of Light and Life, through the Testimony of a Chosen Vessel, to an effectual and blessed purpose, can many thousands say, Glory be to the Name of the Lord for ever.

For as it reached the Conscience and broak the Heart, and brought many to a Sense and Search, so what People had been vainly seeking without, with much Pains and Cost, they by this Ministry found within; where it was they wanted what they sought for, viz. The right way to Peace with God. For they were directed to the Light of Jesus Christ within them, as the Seed and Leven of the Kingdom of God; near All, because in All, and God's Talent to All. A Faithful and True W [...]ness and Just Monitor in every Bosom. The Gift and Grace of God to Life and Salvation that appears to all, though few regard it. This, the Traditional Christian, conceited of himself, and strong in his own Will and Righteousness, and overcome with blind Zeal and Passion, either dispised as a low and common thing, or opposed as a Novelty, un­der many hard Names and opprobrious Terms; denying, in his ignorant and angry Mind, any fresh Manifestation of God's Power and Spirit in Man in these days, though never more needed to make true Christians: Not unlike those Jews of Old that reject­ed the Son of God at the very same time that they blindly profes­sed to wait for the Messiah to come; because, alas, he appeared not among them according to their Carnal Mind and Expectation.

This brought forth many abusive Books, which filled the grea­ter sort with Envy, and lesser with Rage, and made the way and progress of this Blessed Testimony Straight and Narrow in­deed to those that received it. However, God owned his own Work, and this Testimony did effectually Reach, Gather, Com­fort and Establish the Weary and Heavy Leaden, the Hungry and Thirsty, the Poor and Needy, the Mournful and Sick of many Ma­ladys, that had spent all upon Phisitians of no Value, and waited for Relief from Heaven; Help only from above: Seeing upon a serious Tryal of all things, nothing else would do but Christ himself, the Light of his Countenance, a Touch of his Garment and Help from his Hand, who cured the poor Womans Issue, raised the Centurions Servant, the Widows Son, the Rulers Daughter, and Peter's Mother, and like Her, they no sooner felt his Power and Efficacy upon their Souls; but they gave up to obey him in a Testimony to his Power, and with resigned Wills and faithful Hearts, through all Mockings, Contradictions, Beatings, Prisons, and many other Jeopardies that attended them for his Blessed Name Sake.

And truly, they were very many and very Great; so that in all Humane Probabili [...] they must have been swallowed up Quick of the Proud and Bosterous Waves that swelled and beat against [Page] them; but that the God of all their tender Mercies was with them in his Glorious Authority, so that the Hills often Fled and the Mountains melted before the Power that filled them; working mightily for them as well as in them, one ever following the other. By which they saw plainly, to their exceeding great Confirmation and Comfort, that all things were possible with him with whom they had to do. And that the more that which God required seemed to cross Man's Wisdom, and ex­pose them to Man's Wrath, the more God appeared to help and carry them through all to his Glory: Insomuch that if e­ver any People could say in Truth, Thou art our Sun and our Shield, our Rock and Sanctuary, and by thee we have leaped over a Wall, and by thee we have run through a Troop, and by thee we have put the Armies of the Aliens to Flight, these People had Right to say it. And as God had delivered their Souls of the warisom Burthens of Sin and Vanity, and enriched their poverty of Spi­rit, and satisfied their great Hungar and Thirst after Eternal Righteousness, and filled them with the Good Things of his own House, and made them Stewards of his Manifold Gifts; so they went forth to all Quarters of these Nations, to Declare to the Inhabitants thereof, what God had done for them; what they had found, and where and how they had found it; viz. The way to Peace with God: Inviting them to come and see and taste, for themselves, the Truth of what they Declared unto them.

And as their Testimony was to the Principle of God in Man, the precious Pearl and Leven of the Kingdom, as the only bles­sed means appointed of God to Quicken, Convince and Sanctifie Man; so they opened to them what it was in it self, and what it was given to them for: How they might know it from their own Spirit, and that of the Subtil appearance of the Evil one; and what it would do for all those whose minds are turned off from the Vanity of the World and its Lifeless ways and Teach­ers, and ad-hear to this blessed Light in themselves, which dis­covers and condemns Sin in all its appearances, and shows how to overcome it, if minded and obeyed in its holy Manifestati­ons and Convictions: Giving Power to such to Avoid and Re­sist those things that do not please God, and to grow Strong in Love, Faith, and Good Works: That so Man, whom Sin hath made as a Wilderness, over-run with Briers and Thorns, might become as the Garden of God, cultivated by his divine Power, and replenisht with the most Virtuous and Beautiful Plants of God's own Right Hand Planting, to his Eternal Praise.

But these Experimental Preachers of Glad Tydings of God's Truth and Kingdom could not run when they List, or Pray or Preach when they Pleased, But as the Christ their Redeemer pre­pared and moved them by his own Blessed Spirit, for which they waited in their Services and Meetings, and Spoak as that gave [Page] them utterance, and which was as those having Authority, and not like the Dreaming, Dry and formal Pharisees. And so it plainly appeared to the serious Minded, whose Spiritual Eye the Lord Jesus had in any measure opened; so that to one was given the Word of Exhortation, to another the Word of Reproof, to another the Word of Consolation, and all by the same Spirit and in the good Order thereof, to the Convincing and Edifying of many.

And truly, they waxed Strong and Bold through Faithfulness; and by the Power and Spirit of the Lord Jesus became very Fruitful; thousands, in a short time, being turned to the Truth through their Testimony in Ministry and Sufferings, insomuch as in most Counties, and many of the considerable Towns of Eng­land, Meetings were settled, and daily there were added such as should be saved. For they were Diligent to Plant and to Wa­ter, and the Lord blessed their Labours with an Exceeding great Increase; notwithstanding all the opposition made to their blessed Progress, by false Rumors, Calumnies and bitter Persecutions; not only from the Powers of the Earth, but from every one that listed to injure and abuse them: So that they seemed indeed to be as poor Sheep appointed to the Slaughter, and as a People killed all the Day long.

It were fitter for a Volumn than a Preface, but so much as to repeat the Contents of their cruel Sufferings from Professors as well as from Prophaine, and from Magistrates as well as the Rabble, that it may well be said of this abused and despised Peo­ple, they went forth Weeping and sowed in Tears, bearing Testimo­ny to the Precious Seed, the Seed of the Kingdom, which stands not in Words, the Finest the Highest that Man's Wit can use, but in Power; the Power of Christ Jesus, to whom God the Fa­ther hath given all Power in Heaven and in Earth, that he might rule Angels above, and Men below; who impowred them, as their Work witnesseth, by the many that were turned through their Ministry from Darkness to the Light, and out of the Broad into the Narrow Way, bringing People to a Weighty, Serious and God-like Conversation; the Practice of that Doctrine which they Taught.

And as without this Secret Divine Power there is no Quickning and Regenerating of dead Souls, so the want of this Generating and begetting Power and Life, is the Cause of the little Fruit that the many Ministrys that have been, and are in the World bring forth. O that both Ministers and People were sensible of this! My Soul is often troubled for them, and Sorrow and Mourning compass me about for their Sakes. O! that they were Wise, O! that they would consider, and lay to Heart the things that truly and substantially make for their lasting Peace.

Two things are to be briefly toucht upon, the Doctrine they Taught, and the Example they lead among all People. I have already toucht upon their Fundamental Principle, which is as the Corner stone of their Fabrick: And to speak eminently and properly, their Characteristick, or main distinguishing Point or Principle, viz. the Light of Christ within, as God's Gift for Man's Salvation. This I say, is as the Root of the goodly Tree of Doctrines that grew and branched out from it, which I shall now mention in their Natural and Experimental Order.

First, Repentance from dead Works to serve the Living God. Which comprehends three Operations. First, a sight of Sin. Secondly, A Sense and Godly Sorrow for it. Thirdly, An Amend­ment for the Time to come. This was the Repentance they preached and pressed, and a Natural result from the Principle they turned all People unto. For of Light came Sight; and of Sight came Sense and Sorrow; and of Sense and Sorrow, came A­mentment of Life: Which Doctrine of Repentance leads to Justifi­cation; that is, Forgiveness of the Sins that are past through Christ the alone Propitiation and the Sanctification or Purgation of the Soul from the defiling Nature and Habits of sin present; which is justifi­cation in the compleat Sense of that Word; comprehending both justification from the Guilt of the Sins that are past, as if they had never been commited, through the Love and Mercy of God in Christ Jesus; and the Creatures being made inwardly just through the Cleansing and Sanctifying Power and Spirit of Christ revealed in the Soul; which is commonly called Sanctification..

From hence sprang a Second Doctrine they were led to declare, as the Mark of the Price of the High Calling of all true Christians, viz. Perfection from sin, according to the Scriptures of Truth, which testifie it to be the end of Christ's coming and the Nature of his Kingdom, and for which his Spirit was given. But they ne­ver held a Perfection in Wisdom and Glory in this Life, or from Natural Infirmities or Death, as some have with a weak or ill mind, imagined and insinuated against them.

This they called a Redeemed State, Regeneration, or the New-Birth: Teaching every where, according to their Foundation, that without this Work were known, there was no inheriting the Kingdom of God.

Third, To an acknowledgment of Eternal Rewards and Pu­nishment, as they have good Reason; for else of all People, cer­tainly they must be the most Miserable: Who for about Forty Years, have been exceeding great Sufferers for their Profession, and in some Cases, treated worse then the worst of Men; yea, as the Refuge and Off-scowering of all things.

This was the Purport of their Doctrine and Ministry; which, for the most part, is what other Professors of Christianity pretend to hold in Words and Forms, but not in the Power of Godliness; that has been long lost by Mens departing from that Principle and Seed of Life, that is in Man and which Man has not regarded, but lost the Sense of; and in and by which he can only be quickned in his Mind to serve the living God in Newness of Life. For as the Life of Religion was lost, and the generality lived and Worshipped God af­ter their own Wills, and not after the Will of God, nor the mind of Christ, which stood in the Works and Fruits of the Holy Spirit; so that which they prest, was not Notion but Experience, no For­mality but Godliness; as being sensible in themselves, through the Work of God's Righteous Judgments, that without Holiness no Man should ever see the Lord with Comfort.

Besides these Doctrines, and out of them, as the larger Branches, there sprang forth several particular Doctrines, that did exemplifie and further explain the Truth and Efficacy of the General Doctrine before observed, in their Lives and Examples. As,

I. Communion and loving one another. This is a noted Mark in the Mouth of all sorts of People concerning them. They will meet, They will help and stick one to another. Whence it is common to hear some say, Look how the Quakers love and take care of one ano­ther. Others less Moderate will say, The Quakers love none but themselves, and if loving one another and having an Intimate Com­munion in Religion, and constant care to meet to Worship God and help one another, be any Mark of Primitive Christianity, they had it, Blessed be the Lord, in an ample manner.

II. To love Enemies: This they both Taught and Practised: For they did not only refuse to be revenged for Injuries done them, and condemned it as of an Ʋnchristian Spirit, but they did freely For­give, yea, Help and Relieve those that had been Cruel to them, when it was in their Power to have been even with them; of which ma­ny and singular Instances might be given: Endeavouring, through Patience, to overcome all Injustice and Oppression, and Preaching this Doctrine as Christian for others to follow.

III. The Sufficiency of Truth speaking, according to Christ's own form of Words, of Yea, Yea, and Nay, Nay, among Christians without Swearing, both from Christ's express Prohibition to Swear at all. Mat. 5. And for that they being under the Tye and Bond of Truth in themselves, there was both no Necessity for an Oath, and it would be a Reproach to their Christian Veracity to Assure their Truth by such an Extraordinary way of Speaking: But offering at the same time, to be punnisht to the full, for false Speaking, as o­thers for Perjury, if ever guilty of it; and hereby they exclude, with all True, all False and Prophane Swearing; for which the Land did and doth Mourn, and the great God was and is not a little offended with it.

[Page]IV. Not Fighting but Suffering, is another Testimony peculiar to this People: They affirm that Christianity teacheth People To beat their Swords into Plough Shears, and their Spears into Pruning Hooks, and to learn War no more, that so the Wolf may lie down with the Lamb, and the Lyon with the Calf, and nothing that destroys be entertained in the Hearts of People; exhorting them to employ their Zeal against Sin, and turn their Anger against Satan, and no longer War one against another; because, all Wars and Fightings come of Mens own Hearts Lusts, according to the Apostle James, and not of the Meek Spirit of Christ Jesus who is Captain of another Warfare, and which is carried on with other Weapons. Thus, as Truth speaking succeeded Swearing, so Faith and Truth succeed­ed Fighting, in the Doctrine and Practise of this People. Nor ought they for this to be Obnoxious to Civil Government, since if they cannot Fight for it, neither can they Fight against it; which is no mean security to the State: Nor is it reasonable that People should be blamed for not doing more for others than they can do for them­selves. And Christianity set aside, if the Costs and Fruits of War were well considered, Peace, with its Inconveniencies, is generally Preferable. But though they were not for Fighting, they were for submitting to Government; and that, not only for Fear, but for Con­science Sake, where Government doth not interfere with Conscience: Believing it to be an Ordinance of God, and where it is justly ad­ministred, a great Benefit to Minkind: Tho' it has been their Lot, through blind Zeal in some, and Interest in others, to have felt the Strokes of it with greater Weight and Rigour than any other Perswasion in this Age; whilst they, of all others (Religion set a­side) have given the Civil Magistrate the least occasion of Trouble in the Discharge of his Office.

V. Another part of the Character of this People is, They refuse to pay Tythes, or Maintenance to a National Ministry, and that for two Reasons; The one is, that they believe all compelled Mainte­nance, even to Gospel Ministers, to be Ʋnlawful, because expresly contrary to Christ's Command, who said, Freely you have receiv­ed, freely give: At least, that the Maintenance of Gospel Ministers should be free and not forced. The other Reason of their Refu­sal is, Because those Ministers are not Gospel ones, in that the Holy Ghost is not their Foundation, but Humane Arts and Parts: So that it is not matter of Humor or Sullenness, but pure Conscience to­wards God, that they cannot help to support National Ministers where they dwell, which are but too much and too visibly become ways of Worldly Advantage and Preferment.

VI. Not to respect Persons, was another of their Doctrines and Practices, for which they were often Buffeted and Abused. They Affirmed it to be sinful to give Flattering Titles, or to use Vain Gestures and Complements of Respect; tho' to Virtue and Authority they ever made a Difference, but after their Plain and Homely Manner, yet sincere and substantial way; well remembering the [Page] Example of Mordecai and Elihu, but more especially the Command of their Lord and Master Jesus Christ, who forbad his Followers to call Men Rabby, which implies Lord and Master, also the fa­shionable Greetings and Salutations of those Times; that so Self-love and Honour, to which the proud Mind of Man is incident, in his fallen Estate, might not be Indulged but Rebuked.

They also used the Plain Language of Thou and Thee to a sin­gle Person, whatever was his Degree among Men. And indeed the Wisdom of God was much seen, in bringing forth this People in so Plain an Appearance; for it was a Close and Distinguishing Test upon the Spirit of those they came among; shewing their Insides and what predominated, notwithstanding their High and Great Profession of Religion. This, among the rest, sounded so harsh to many of them, and they took it so ill, that they would say, Thou me, Thou my Dog: If thou thouest me, I'le thou thy Teeth down thy Throat, forgetting the Language they use to God in their own Prayers, and the common Stile of the Scriptures, and that it is an absolute and essential Propriety of Speech: And what good had their Religion done them, who were so sensibly toucht with Indignation for the use of this Plain, Honest, and True Speech?

VI. They recommended Silence by their Example, having very few words upon all Occasions: They were at a Word in Dealing; nor could their Customers many Words tempt them from it; having more regard for Truth than Custom, to Example then Gain, they sought Solitude; but when in Company, they would neither use nor willingly hear Ʋnnecessary as well as Ʋnlawful Discourses; whereby they preserved their Minds pure and undisturbed from unprofita­ble Thoughts and Diversions: Nor could they humour the Custom of Good Night, Good Morrow, God Speed; for they knew the Night was Good, and the Day was Good, without wishing of ei­ther; and that in the other Expression, the Holy Name of God was too lightly and unthinkingly used, and therefore taken in Vain. Besides, they were Words and Wishes of Course, and are usually as little meant, as are Love and Service in the Custom of Cap and Knee; and superfluity in those as well as in other things was Bur­thensom to them; and therefore They did not only decline to use them, but found themselves often prest to reprove the Practice.

For the same reason they forbore Drinking to People, or Pledging of them, as the manner of the World is: A Practice that is not only Unnecessary, but they thought Evil in the Tendencies of it; being a Provocation to Drinking more than did People Good, as well as that it was in it self Vain and Heathenish.

VII. Their way of Marriage is peculiar to them; and is a di­stinguishing Practice from all other Societies professing Christianity. They say that Marriage is an Ordinance of God, and that God only can rightly join Man and Woman in Marriage. Therefore they use [Page] neither Priest nor Magistrate, but the Man and Woman concern'd take each other as Husband and Wife in the presence of divers Credible Witnesses, promising unto each other with God's Assistance, to be Loving and Faithful in that Relation till Death shall separate them. But, antecedent to all this, They first present themselves to the Monthly Meeting for the Affairs of the Church, where they reside, There declaring their Intentions to take one another as Man and Wife, if the said Meeting have nothing material to ob­ject against it. They are constantly askt the necessary Questions, as in Case of Parents, or Guardians if they have acquainted them with their Intention, and have their Consent, &c. The Method of the Meeting is to take a Minute thereof, and to appoint Proper Per­sons to enquire of their Conversation and Clearness from all others, and whether they have discharged their Duty to their Parents or Guardians; and make report thereof the next Monthly Meeting; where the same Parties are desired to give their Attendance. In case it appears they proceeded Orderly, the Meeting passes their Proposal, and so Records it in their Meeting Book; and in Case the Woman be a Widow and hath Children, due care is there taken, that Provision also be made by her for the Orphans be­fore the said Marriage; advising the Parties concerned to appoint a convenient Time and place, and to give fitting Notice to their Relations, and such Friends and Neighbours, as they desire should be the Witnesses of their Marriage: Where they take one ano­ther by the Hand, and by Name promising Reciprocally af­ter the Manner before expressed. Of all which Proceedings, a Narative, in a way of Certificate, is made, to which the said Par­ties first set their Hands, thereby making it their Act and Deed; and then divers of the Relations, Spectators and Auditors set their Names as Witnesses of what they Said and Signed. Which Certi­ficate, is afterward Registred in the Record belonging to the Meet­ing, where the Marriage is Solemnized. Which Regular Me­thod has been, as it deserves, adjudged in Courts of Law a good Marriage, where it has been Disputed and Contested, for want of the accustomed Formality of Priest and Ring, &c. which Ce­remonies they have Refused, not out of Humour, but Conscience reasonably grounded, in as much as no Scripture Example tells us, that the Priest had any other part of Old Time, than that of a Witness among the rest, before whom the Jews used to take one another: And therefore this People look upon it as an Imposi­on, to advance the Power and Profits of the Clergy. And for the use of the Ring, it is enough to say that it was an Heathen and vain Custom. and never in Practice among the People of God, Jews or Primitive Christans. The words of the Usual form, as With my Body I thee Worship, &c. are hardly defensible: In short, they are more Careful, Exact and Regular than any Form now used, and it is Free of the inconveniencies other Methods are attended with. Their Care and Checks being so many, and such, as no Clandestine Marriages can be perform'd among them.

[Page]VIII. It may not be unfit to say something here of their Births and Burials, which make up so much of the Pomp and Solemnity of too many called Christians. For Births, the Parents Name their own Children, which is usually some days after they are Born, in the presence of the Midwife (if she can be there) and those that were at the Birth, &c. who afterward sign a Certificate, for that purpose prepared, of the Birth and Name of the Child, or Children, which is Recorded in a proper Book, in the Monthly Meeting, to which the Parents belong; avoiding the accustomed Cerimonies and Feastivals.

IX. Their Burials are performed with the same Simplicity. If the Corps of the Deceased be near any publick Meeting Place, it is usually carried thither, for the more convenient Reception of those that Accompany it to the Ground they Bury in, and it so falls out sometimes, that while the Meeting is gathering for the Bu­rial, some or other have a Word of Exhortation, for the sake of the People there met together: After which, the Body is borne away by the Young Men, or those that are of their Neighbourhood, or that were most of the Intimacy of the Deceased Party: The Corps being in a plain Coffin, without any Covering or Furniture upon it. At the Ground, they pause some time before they put the Body into its Grave, that if any one there should have any thing upon them to exhort the People, they may not be dissappointed, and that the Relations may the more Retiredly and Solemnly take their last leave of the Corps of their departed Kindred, and the Spectators have a Sense of Mortality, by the occasion then given them to re­flect upon their own Latter End. Otherways, they have no set Rites or Ceremonies on those Occasions; neither do the Kindred of the Deceased ever wear Mourning; they looking upon it as a Wordly Ceremony and piece of Pomp, and that what Mourning is fit for a Christian to have at the Departure of a beloved Relation or Friend, should be worn in the Mind which is only sensible of the Loss, and the Love they had to them, and Remembrance of them, to be outwardly exprest by a respect to their Advice, and care of those they have left behind them, and their Love of that they Loved. Which Conduct of theirs, though unmodish or un­fashionable, leaves nothing of the Substance of things neglect­ed or undone; and as they aim at no more, so that simplicity of Life is what they observe with great Satisfaction, though it sometimes happens not to be without the Mockeries of the vain World they live in.

These things gave them a Rough and Disagreeable Appearance with the Generality; who thought them Turners of the World upside down, as indeed, in some Sense they were; but in no o­ther than that wherein Paul was so charged, viz. To bring things back into their Primitive and right Order again. For these and such like Practices of theirs were not the Result of Humour, as some have fancied, but a Fruit of Inward Sense, which God, [Page] through his Fear, had begotten in them. They did not consider how to contradict the World, or distinguish themselves; being none of their Business, as it was not their Interest, no, it was not the Result of Consultation, or a framed design to declare or re­commend Schism or Novelty. But God having given them a sight of themselves, they saw the whole World in the same Glass of Truth; and sensibly discerned the Affections and Passions of Men, and the Rise and Tendency of Things. What gratified the Lust of the Flesh, the Lust of the Eye and the Pride of Life which are not of the Father, but of the World; and from thence Sprang in that Night of Darkness and Apostacy, which hath been over People, through their Degeneration from the Light and Spirit of God, these and many other vain Customs; which are seen by the Heavenly day of Christ which dawns in the Soul, to be, ei­ther wrong in their Original, or, by Time and Abuse, Hurtful in their Practice. And though these things seemed Trivial to some, and rendered this People Stingy and conceited in such Persons Opinions; there was and is more in them than they were aware of. It was not very easie to our Primitive Friends, to make themselves Sights and Spectacles, and the Scorn and Derision of the World; which they easily foresaw must be the Consequence of so Ʋnfashionable a Conversation in it. But herein was the Wis­dom of God seen in the Foolishness of these things; First, That they discovered the Satisfaction and Concern that People had in and for the Fashions of this World, notwithstanding their Pre­tences to another; in that any disappointment about them came so very near them; that the greatest Honesty, Virtue, Wisdom and Ability, were unwelcom without them. Secondly, It seasonably and profitably divided Conversation; for making their Society uneasie to their Relations and Acquaintance, it gave them the op­portunity of more Retirement and Solitude, wherein they met with better Company, even the Lord, God their Redeemer, and grew strong in his Love, Power and Wisdom, and were thereby better qualified for his Service; and the success abundantly show'd it: Blessed be the Name of the Lord.

And though they were not Great and Learned in the Esteem of this World (for then they had not wanted Followers upon their own Credit and Authority) yet they were generally of the most Sober of the several Perswasions they were in, and of the most Repute for Religion; and many of them of good Capacity, Sub­stance and Account among Men.

And also some among them neither wanted for Parts, Learn­ing nor Estate; though then, as of Old, not many Wise, nor No­ble, &c. were called, or at least received the Heavenly Call; be­cause of the Cross that attended the Profession of it in Sincerity: But neither do Parts or Learning make Men the better Christi­ans, though the better Orators and Disputants; and it is the Ig­norance of People about the Divine Gift that causes that vulgar [Page] and mischievous mistake. Theory and Practice, Expression and Enjoyment; Words, and Life; are two things. Oh! 'tis the Pe­nitent, the Reformed, the Lowly, the Watchful, the Self-denying and Holy Soul that is the Christian; and that Frame is the Fruit and Work of the Spirit, which is the Life of Jesus; whose Life, though hid in God the Father, is shed abroad in the Hearts of them that truly Believe. Oh! that People did but know this to cleanse them, to circumcise them, to quicken them, and to make them New Creatures indeed; Re-created or Regenerated after Christ Jesus unto good Works. That they might live to God and not to themselves; and offer up living Prayers and living Praises, to the living God, through his own living Spirit, in which he is only to be Worshipped in this Gospel Day. Oh! that they that read me could but feel me; for my Heart is affected with this Merciful Visitation of the Father of Lights and Spirits, to this poor Na­tion, and the whole World through the same Testimony. Why should the Inhabitants thereof reject it? Why should they loose the Blessed Benefit of it? Why should they not turn to the Lord with all their Hearts, and say from the Heart, Speak Lord, for now thy poor Servants hear. Oh! that thy will may be done, thy Great, thy Good and Holy will in Earth as it is in Heaven: Do it in us, do it upon us, do what thou wilt with us, for we are thine and desire to glorifie thee our Creator, both for that, and be­cause thou art our Redeemer; for thou art redeeming us from the Earth; from the Vanities and Pollutions of it, to be a Peculiar People unto thee. Oh! this were a Brave Day for England, if so she could say in Truth. But alas, the Case is otherwise, for which some of thine Inhabitants, O Land of my Nativity! have mourned over thee with bitter Wailing and Lamentation. Their Heads have been indeed as Waters, and their Eyes as Fountains of Tears, because of thy Transgression and Stiffneckedness; becuse thou wilt not Hear, and Fear and Return to the Rock, even thy Rock, O England! from whence thou wert Hewen. But be thou warned, O Land of great Profession, to receive him into thy Heart; Behold at that Door it is, he hath stood so long Knock­ing, but thou wilt yet have none of him. Oh! be thou awak­ned, least Jerusalem's Judgments do swiftly overtake thee, be­cause of Jerusalems Sins that abound in thee. For she abounded in Formality, but made void the Weighty things of God's Law as thou daily doest.

She withstood the Son of God in the Flesh, and thou resisteth the Son of God in the Spirit. He would have gathered her as an Hen gathereth her Chickens under her Wings, and she would not; so would he have gathered thee out of thy Life-less Profession, and have brought thee to inherit Substance, to have known his Pow­er and Kingdom, for which he often knockt within, by his Grace and Spirit, and without by his Servants and Witnesses; but thou wouldest not be gathered: But on the Contrary, as Jerusalem of old persecuted the Manifestation of the Son of God in the [Page] Flesh, and Crucified him and Whipt and Imprisoned his Servants; so hast thou, O Land, Crucified to thy self afresh the Lord of Life and Glory, and done dispite to his Spirit of Grace; slighting the Fatherly Visitation, and persecuting the blessed Dispensers of it by thy Laws and Magistrates; though they have Early and Late pleaded with thee in the Power and Spirit of the Lord; in Love and Meekness, that thou mightest know the Lord and serve him, and become the Glory of all Lands.

But thou hast Evilly entreated and requited them. Thou hast set at naught all their Counsel, and would have none of their Reproof, as thou shouldest have done. Their appearance was too Straight, and their qualifications were to Mean for thee to receive them; who like the Jews of Old, that cryed, Is not this the Car­penters Son, and are not his Brethren among us; which of the Scribes, of the Learned (the Orthodox) believe in him? Prophesying their fall in a year or two, and making and executing of severe Laws to bring it to pass; by endeavouring to terrifie them out of their Holy way, or distroying them for abiding Faithful to it. But thou hast seen how many Governments that rise against them, and determined their Downfal, have been overturned and extin­guished, and that they are still preserved, and become a great and a considerable People, among the Middle sort of thy nume­rous Inhabitants. And notwithstanding the many difficulties without and within, which they have Laboured under, since the Lord God Eternal first gathered them, they are an encreasing Peo­ple, the Lord still adding unto them, in divers Parts, such as shall be saved, if they persevere to the End. And to thee; were they and are they lifted up as a Standard, and as a City set upon a Hill, and to the Nations round about thee, that in their Light, thou may'st come to see Light, even in Christ Jesus, the Light of the World; and therefore thy Light, and Life too, if thou wouldst but turn from thy many evil ways, and receive and obey it. For in the Light of the Lamb, must the Nations of them that are saved walk, as the Scriptures Testify.

Remember, O Nation of great Profession! How the Lord has waited upon thee since the Days of Reformation, and the many Mercies and Judgments with which he has pleaded with Thee; and awake and arise out of thy deep Sleep, and yet hear (his Word in thy Heart) that thou may'st live.

Let not this thy day of Visitation pass over thy Head, nor neglect thou so great Salvation as is this which is come to thy House, Oh England! For why should'st thou die, Oh Land that God desires to Bless? Be assured it is he that has been in the mid'st of this People, in the mid'st of thee; and no Delusion, as thy mistaken Teachers have made thee believe. And this thou shalt find by their Marks and Fruits, if thou wilt consider them in the Spirit of Moderation. For,

[Page]I. They were changed Men themselves before they went about to change others. Their Hearts were rent as well as their Gar­ments; and they knew the Power and Work of God upon them. And this was seen by the great Alteration it made, and their stricter Course of Life, and more Godly Conversation, that im­mediately followed upon it.

II. They went not forth or Preached in their own Time or Will, but in the Will of God, and Spoke not their own studdied Matter, but as they were opened and moved of his Spirit, with which they were well acquainted in their own Conversion; which cannot be exprest to Carnal Men so as to give them any intelligible account; for to such it is as Christ said, like the blow­ing of the Wind, which no Man knows whence it cometh, or whether it goeth: Yet this Proof and Seal went along with their Ministry, that many were turned from their Life-less Professions, and the E­vil of their Ways, to the knowledge of God, and an Holy Life, as thousands can witness. And as they Freely received what they had to say from the Lord, so they Freely administred it to others.

III. The Bent and Stress of their Ministry was Conversion to God, Regeneration and Holiness; not Schemes of Doctrines and Verbal Creeds, or new Forms of Worship; but a leaving off in Religion the Superfluous, and reducing the Ceremonious and For­mal part, and pressing earnestly the Substantial, the Necessary and Proffitable part; as all upon a serious Reflection must and do accknowledge.

IV. They directed People to a Principle, by which all that they asserted, Preached and Exhorted others to, might be wrought in them and known, through Experience, to them to be true; which is a high and distinguishing Mark of the Truth of their Ministry; both that they knew what they said, and were not afraid of coming to the Test. For as they were bold from Cer­tainty, so they required Conformity upon no Humane Authority, but upon Conviction, and the Conviction of this Principle, which they asserted was in them that they Preached unto, and unto that directed them, that they might examine and prove the Rea­ality of those things which they had affirmed of it, and its Mani­festation and Work in Man. And this is more than the many Ministries in the World pretend to. They declare of Religion, say many things true; in words of God, Christ, and the Spirit; of Holiness and Heaven; that all Men should Repent and mend their Lives, or they will go to Hell, &c. but which of them all pretend to speak of their own Knowledge and Experience? Or ever directed Men to a Divine Principle, or Agent, placed of God in Man, to help him; and how to know it, and wait to feel its Power to work that good and accceptable Will of God in them.

Some of them indeed have Spoke of the Spirit, and the Ope­rations of it to Sanctification, and Performance of Worship to God; but where and how to find it and wait in it to perform, was yet as a Mistery reserved for this further degree of Refor­mation. So that this People did not only in words, more than equally press Repentance, Conversion and Holiness, but did it knowingly and experimentally; and directed those to whom they preach'd, to a sufficient Principle, and told them where it is, and by what Tokens they might know it, and which way they might experience the Power and Efficacy of it to their Soul's Happiness. Which is more then Theory and Speculations, upon which most other Ministries depend; for here is certainly, a bottom upon which Man may boldly appear before God in the great Day of Account.

V. They reached to the Inward State and Condition of Peo­ple, which is an Evidence of the Virtue of their Principle, and of their Ministring from it, and not their own Imaginations, Glos­ses or Comments upon Scripture. For nothing reaches the Heart, but what is from the Heart, or pierces the Conscience, but what comes from a living Conscience. Insomuch as it hath often happened, where People have under Secrecy revealed their State or Condition to some choice Friends, for Advice or Ease, they have been so particularly directed in the Ministry of this People, that they have challenged their Friends with discovering their Secrets, and telling the Preachers their Cases. Yea, the very Thoughts and Purposes of the hearts of many have been so plainly detected; that they have (like Nathaniel) cryed out of this inward ap­pearance of Christ, Thou art the Son of God, thou art the King of Israel. And those that have embraced this Divine Principle, have found this Mark of its Truth and Divinity (that the Woman of Samaria did of Christ when in the Flesh, to be the Messiah,) viz. It had told them all that ever they did; showed them their insides, the most inward secrets of their Hearts, and laid Judgment to the Line, and Righteousness to the Plummet; of which Thousands can, at this day give in their Witness. So that nothing has been affirmed by this People, of the Power and Virtue of this Heavenly Principle, that such as have turned to it have not found true, and more; and that one half had not been told to them of what they have seen of the Power, Pu­rity, Wisdom, Mercy and Goodness of God herein.

VI. The Accomplishments with which this Principle fitted, even some of the meanest of this People, for their Work and Service: Furnishing some of them with an Extraordinary Ʋnder­standing in Divine Things, and an admirable Fluency and Taking way of expression, which gave occasion to some to wonder, saying of them, as of their Master, is not this such a Mechanick's Son, how came he by this Learning? As from thence others took occasion to suspect and insinuate they were Jesuites in Dis­guise; [Page] who have had the Reputation of learned Men for an Age past; though there was not the least ground of Truth for any such Reflection.

VII. That they rise Low, and Dispised and Hated, as the Pri­mitive Christians did, and not by the help of Worldly Wisdom or Power, as former Reformations, in part did: But in all things it may be said, this People were brought forth in the Cross, in a Contradiction to the Ways, Worship, Fashion and Customs of this World; yea, against Wind and Tide, that so no Flesh might Glory before God.

They could have no design to themselves in this Work, thus to expose themselves to Scorn and Abuse; to spend and be spent: Leaving Wife and Children, House and Land, and all that can be accounted dear to Men, with their lives in their Hands, being daily in Jeopardy, to declare this Primitive Message, 1 Jo. 1.5. revived in their Spirits, by the good Spirit and Power of God. viz. That God is Light, and in him is no dark­ness at all; and that he has sent his Son a Light into the World to enlighten all Men in order to Salvation; and that they that say they have Fellowship with God and are his Children and People, and yet walk in Darkness, viz. in Disobedience to the Light in their Consciences, and after the Vanity of this World, they lie and do not the Truth. But that all such as love the Light and bring their Deeds to it, and walk in the Light, as God is Light, the blood of Jesus Christ his Son should cleanse them from all Sin.

VIII. Their known great Constancy and Patience in Suffering for their Testimony, in all the Branches of it, and that, sometimes unto Death, by Beatings, Bruisings, long and crowded Imprison­ments, and Noisom Dungeons. Four of them in New England Dying by the Hands of the Executioner, purely for Preaching amongst that People; besides Banishments and Excessive Plun­ders and Sequestrations of their Goods and Estates, almost in all parts; not easily to be expressed, and less to be endured, but by those that have the support of a good and glorious Cause; refusing Deliverance by any indirect ways or means, as often as it was offered to them.

IX. That they did not only, not show any disposition to Re­venge, when it was at any time in their Power; but forgave their cruel Enemies; shewing Mercy to those that had none for them.

X. Their Plainness with those in Authority: not unlike the Antient Prophets, not fearing to tell them to their Faces of their Private and Publick Sins, and their Prophecies to them of their Afflictions and Downfall, when in the Top of their Glory; also of some National Judgments, as of the Plague, and Fire [Page] of London, in express Terms, and likewise particular ones to divers Persecutions, which accordingly overtook them; and which were very remarkable in the Places where they dwelt, and in time they may be made publick for the Glory of God.

Thus Reader, thou seest this People in their Rise, Principles, Ministry and Progress, both their General and Particular Testi­mony, by which thou maist be informed how and upon what foot they Sprung and became so considerable a People. It re­mains next that I shew also their Care, Conduct and Discipline, as a Christian and Reformed Society, that they might be found living up to their own Principles and Profession. And this, the rather, because they have hardly suffered more in their Character from the Ʋnjust Charge of Error, than by the false Imputation of Disorder: Which Calumny indeed has not failed to follow all the true steps that were ever made to Reformation, and under which Reproach none suffered more than the Pri­mitive Christians themselves, that were the Honour of Christi­anity, and the great Lights and Examples of their own and succeeding Ages.

This People encreasing daily both in Town and Country, an Holy Care fell upon some of the Elders among them, for the Benefit and Service of the Church. And the first Business in their View, after the Example of the Primitive Saints, was the Exercise of Charity, to supply the Necessities of the Poor, and answer the like Occasions: Wherefore Collections were early and liberally made for that, and divers other Services in the Church, and intrusted with Faithful Men, fearing God, and of good Report, who were not weary in well-doing; adding often of their own, in large Proportions, which they never brought to account, or desired should be known, much less re­stored to them, that none might want, nor any Service be re­tarded or disappointed.

They were also very careful, that every one that belonged to them, answered their Profession in their Behaviour among Men, upon all Occasions; that they lived Peaceably, and were in all things good Examples. They found themselves engaged to re­cord their Sufferings and Services; and in case of Marriage, which they could not perform in the usual Methods of the Nation, but among themselves; they took care that all things were clear be­tween the Parties and all others, and it was then rare that any one entertain'd such Inclination to a Person on that account, till he or she had communicated it secretly to some very Weighty and Eminent Friends among them, that they might have a sense of the Matter; looking to the Council and Unity of their Bre­thren, as of great Moment to them. But because the Charge of the Poor, the Number of Orphans, Marriages, Sufferings and other Matters multiplied, and that it was good that the [Page] Churches were in some way and Method, of proceeding in such Affairs among them, to the end they might the better corres­pond upon occasion, where a Member of one Meeting, might have to do with one of another: It pleased the Lord in his Wisdom and Goodness, to open the Understanding of the first Instrument of this Dispensation of Life, about a Good and Or­derly way of Proceeding; and he felt an Holy Concern to visit the Churches in Person throughout this Nation, to begin and establish it among them; and by his Epistles the like was done in other Nations and Provinces abroad; which he also after­wards Visited, and helped in that Service, as shall be observed when I come to speak of him.

Now the Care, Conduct and Discipline, I have been speaking of, and which is now practised among this People, is as fol­loweth.

III. This Godly Elder, in every County where he travelled, exhorted them, that some out of every Meeting of Worship, should meet together once in the Month, to confer about the Wants and Occasions of the Church. And as the Case requi­red, so those Monthly Meetings were fewer or more in number in every respective County; Four or Six Meetings of Worship, usually making one Monthly Meeting of Business. And according­ly the Brethren met him from place to place, and began the said Meetings, viz. For the Poor, Orphans orderly Walking, Inte­grity to their Profession, Births, Marriages, Burials, Sufferings &c. And that these Monthly Meetings should, in each County make up one Quarterly Meeting, where the most Zealous and Eminent Friends of the County should assemble to Communicate, Advise and Help one another, especially when any Business seem­ed difficult, or a Monthly Meeting was tender of determining a Matter.

Also these Quarterly Meetings should digest the Reports of the Monthly Meetings, and prepare one for the County, against the Yearly Meeting; in which the Quarterly Meetings resolve, which is held Yearly in London; where the Churches in this Nation, and other Nations, and Provinces Meet, by chosen Members of their Respective Counties, both mutually to com­municate their Church Affairs, and to advise and be advised in any depending Case to Edification. Also to provide a requisite Stock, for the discharge of general Expences for general Services in the Church, not needful to be here particularized.

At these Meetings any of the Members of the Churches may come if they please, and speak their Minds freely, in the Fear of God, to any matter; but the Mind of each Meeting therein represented is chiefly understood, as to perticuler Cases, in the Sense delivered by the Persons deputed or chosen for that Ser­vice.

During their Yearly Meeting, to which their other Meetings referr in their Order and Resolve themselves; care is taken by a Select Number, for that service chosen by the General Assembly, to draw up the Minutes of the said Meeting, upon the several matters that have been under Consideration therein, to the end that the Respective Quarterly and Monthly Meetings may be in­formed of all Proceedings, together with a general Exhortation to Holiness, Ʋnity and Charity: Of all which Proceedings in Yearly, Quarterly and Monthly Meetings, due Record is kept by some One appointed for that Service, or that hath voluntarily undertaken it. These Meetings are opened, and usually con­cluded in their Solemn waiting upon God, who is sometimes graciously pleased to answer them with as signal Evidences of his Love and Presence, as in any other their Meetings of Wor­ship.

It is further to be Noted, that in these Solemn Assemblies, for the Church's Service, there is no one presides among them after the manner of the Assemblies of other People; Christ only be­ing their President, as he is pleased to appear in Life and Wis­dom in any one or more of them, to whom, whatever be their Capacity or Degree, the rest adhere with a Firm Ʋnity, not of Authority but Conviction, which is the Divine Authority and way of Christ's Power and Spirit in his People: Making good his blessed Promise, That he would be in the Midst of his, where and whenever they were met together in his Name, even to the End of the World. So be it.

Now it may be expected, I should here set down what sort of Authority is exercised by this People, upon such Members of their Society, as correspond not in their Lives with their Pro­fession, and that are Refractory to this good and wholesom Or­der settled among them; and the rather because they have not wanted their Reproach and Suffering from some Tongues, upon this occasion in a plentiful manner.

The Power they exercise is such as Christ has given to his own People, to the End of the World, in the Persons of his Dis­ciples, viz. To Oversee, Exhort, Reprove, and after long Suffer­ing and Waiting upon the Disobedient and Refractory, to disown them, as any more of their Communion, or that they will any longer stand Charged in the Sight and Judgment of God or Men, with their Conversation or Behaviour as one of them, untill they Repent. The subject matter about which this Authority, in any of the fore­going Branches of it, is Exercised; is First, in Relation to com­mon and general Practice, and Secondly, about those things that more strictly referr to their own Character and Profession, and distinguish them from all other Professors of Christianity; avoid­ing two Extreams upon which many Split, viz. Persecution and Libertinism. A Coercive Power to Whip People into the Temple, [Page] that such as will not Conform, though against Faith and Con­science, shall be punisht in their Persons or Estates; or leaving all loose and at large, as to Practice, unaccountable to all but God and the Magistrate. To which hurtful Extream, nothing has more contributed than the Abuse of Church Power, by such as suffer their Passions and private Interests to prevail with them to carry it to outward Force and Corporal Punishment. A Pra­ctice they have been taught to dislike, by their extream Suf­ferings, as well as their known Principle for an universal Liberty of Conscience.

On the other hand, they equally dislike an Independency in So­ciety. An unaccountableness in Practice and Conversation to the Terms of their own Communion, and to those that are the Members of it. They distinguish between Imposing any Practice that immediately regards Faith or Worship, (which is never to be done nor suffered or submitted unto) and requiring Christian Compliance with those Methods that only respect Church Business in its more Civil part and Concern, and that regard the Discreet and Orderly Maintenance of the Character of the Society as a Sober and Religious Community. In short, what is for the Pro­motion of Holiness and Charity, that Men may Practice what they profess, live up to their own Principles, and not be at Li­berty to give the Lie to their own Profession, without Rebuke. They compell none to them, but oblige those that are of them to walk Suitably, or they are denyed by them: That is all the Mark they set upon them, and the Power they Exercise, or Judge a Christian Society, can Exercise upon those that are the Members of it.

The way of their Proceedings against such as have Lapst or Transgrest, is this. He is visited by some of them, and the matter of Fact laid Home to him, be it any evil Practice against known and general Virtue, or any Branch of their Particular Testimony, which he, in Common, professeth with them. They labour with him in much Love and Zeal for the good of his Soul, the Honour of God, and Reputation of their Profession, to own his Fault and condemn it, in as ample a Manner as the Evil or Scandal was given by him; which for the most part, is performed by some Written Testimony under the Partys Hand; and if it so happen that the Party prove Refractory, and is not willing to clear the Truth they profess, from the Reproach of his or her evil doing or Unfaithfulness, they, after repeated Entrea­ties and due waiting for a Token of Repentance, give forth a Paper to disown such a Fact, and the Party offending; recording the same as a Testimony of their care for the Honour of the Truth they profess.

And if he or she shall clear their Profession and themselves, by sincere Acknowledgment of their Fault, and Godly sorrow [Page] for so doing, they are received and looked upon again as Mem­bers of their Communion. For as God, so his true People up­braid no Man after Repentance.

This is the account I had to give of the People of God called Quakers, as to their Rise, Appearance, Principles and Practices, in this Age of the World, both with Respect to their Faith and Worship, Discipline and Conversation. And I Judge it very pro­per in this place, because it is to Preface the Journal of the first Blessed and Glorious Instrument of this Work, and for a Testimony to him in his singular Qualifications and Services, in which he abundantly excelled in this day, and are worthy to be set forth as an Example to all succeeding Times; to the Glory of the Most High God, and for a just Memorial to that Worthy and Excellent Man, his Faithful Servant and Apostle to this Generation of the World.

I am now come to the Third Head or Branch of my Preface, viz. The Instrumental Author. For it is Natural for some to say, Well, here is the People and Work, but where and who was the Man, the Instrument; he that in this Age was sent to begin this Work and People. I shall, as God shall enable me, declare who and what he was, not only by report of others, but from my own long and most inward Converse and intimate know­ledge of him; for which my Soul blesseth God, as it hath often done; and I doubt not, but by that time I have discharged my self of this part of my Preface, my serious Readers will be­lieve I had good Cause so to do.

The Blessed Instrument of and in this day of God, and of whom I am now about to Write, was George Fox, distin­guished from another of that Name, by that Other's addition of Younger to his Name in all his Writings; not that he was so in Years, but that he was so in the Truth, but he was also a Worthy Man, Witness and Servant of God in his time.

But this George Fox was Born in Leicestershire, about the Year 1624. He descended of Honest and Sufficient Parents, who endeavoured to bring him up, as they did the rest of their Children, in the Way and Worship of the Nation; especially his Mother, who was a Woman accomplisht above most of her De­gree in the place where she lived. But from a Child he ap­peared of another Frame of Mind than the rest of his Bre­thren; being more Religious, Inward, Still, Solid and Observing beyond his Years, as the Answers he would give, and the Que­stions he would put upon occasion, manifested to the Astonish­ment of those that heard him, especially in Divine Things.

His Mother taking Notice of his Singular Temper, and the Gravity, Wisdom and Piety that very early shined through him, [Page] refusing Childish and Vain Sports and Company, when very Young; she was Tender and Indulgent over him, so that from her he met with little Difficulty. As to his Employment he was brought up in Country Business, and as he took most de­light in Sheep, so he was very skillful in them, an Employ­ment that very well suited his mind in several Respects, both for its Innocency and Solitude; and was a just Figure of his af­ter Ministry and Service.

I shall not break in upon his own Account, which is by much the best that can be given, and therefore desire, what I can, to avoid saying any thing of what is said already, as to the per­ticular Passages of his coming forth; but, in general, when he was somewhat above Twenty, he left his Friends, and visited the most Retired and Religious People in those Parts; and some there were short of few, if any, in this Nation, who waited for the Consolation of Israel Night and Day; as Zache­rias, Anna and good Old Simeon did of Old Time. To these he was sent, and these he sought out in the Neighbouring Countrys, and among them he Sojourned till his more ample Ministry came upon him. At this time he taught and was an Example of Silence, endeavouring to bring them from Self-per­formances, Testifying and turning to the Light of Christ within them, and encouraging them to wait in Patience to feel the Pow­er of it to stir in their Hearts, that their Knowledge and Wor­ship of God might stand in the Power of an Endless Life, which was to be found in the Light, as it was obeyed in the Mani­festation of it in Man. For in the Word was Life, and that Life is the Light Men. Life in the Word, Light in Men, and Life in Men as the Light is obeyed; the Children of the Light living by the Life of the Word, by which the word begets them a­gain to God, which is the Regeneration and New Birth, without which there is no coming unto the Kingdom of God; and which, whoever comes to, is greater than John, that is, than John's Dispensation, which was not that of the Kingdom, but the Consummation of the Legal, and Forerunning of the Gospel Times. Accordingly, several Meetings were gather­ed in those Parts, and thus his Time was employed for some Years.

In 1652. He being in his usual Retirement to the Lord upon a very High Mountain, in some of the hither parts of Yorkshire, as I take it, his Mind exercised towards the Lord, he had a Vi­sion of the great Work of God in the Earth, and of the way that he was to go forth to begin it. He saw People as thick as Motes in the Sun, that should in time, be brought Home to the Lord; that there might be but one Shepherd and one Sheepfold in all the Earth. There his Eye was directed Northward, behold­ing a great People that should receive him and his Message in those Parts. Upon this Mountain he was moved of the Lord [Page] to sound out his Great and notable Day, as if he had been in a great Auditory, and from thence went North, as the Lord had shown him; and in every place where he came, if not before he came to it, he had his particular Exercise and Service shown to him, so that the Lord was his Leader indeed; for it was not in vain that he Travailled, God in most places sealing his Com­mission with the Convincement of some of all sorts, as well Pub­licans as sober Professors of Religion. Some of the first and most Eminent of them, which are at Rest, were Richard Farnsworth, James Nayler, William Dewsberry, Francis Howgil, Edward Burroughs, John Camm, John Audland, Richard Hub­berthorn, T. Taylor, John Aldam, T. Holmes, Alexander Parker, William Simpson, William Caton, John Stubbs, Robert Widders, John Burnyeat, Robert Lodge, Thomas Salthouse, and many more Worthies, that cannot be well here Named, together with di­vers yet living of the first and great Convincement, who after the knowledge of God's purging Judgments in themselves, and some time of waiting in silence upon him, to feel and receive Power from on High to speak in his Name, (which none else rightly can, though they may use the same Words.) They felt the Divine Motions, and were frequently drawn forth, e­specially to visit the Publick Assemblies, to reprove, inform and exhort them, sometimes in Markets, Fairs, Streets, and by the High-way-side, calling People to Repentance, and to turn to the Lord with their Hearts as well as their Mouths; directing them to the Light of Christ within them, to see and examine and consider their ways by, and to eschew the Evil and do the Good and Acceptable Will of God. And they suffered great Hardships for this their Love, and Good-will, being often Stockt, Stoned, Beaten, Whipt and Imprisoned, though Honest Men and of Good Report where they lived, that had left Wives and Chil­dren, and Houses and Lands to visit them with a living Call to Repentance. And though the Priests generally set themselves to oppose them, and write against them, and insinuated most False and Scandalous Stories to Defame them, stirring up the Ma­gistrates to suppress them, especially in those Northern Parts; yet God was pleased so to fill them with his living Power, and give them such an open Door of utterance in his Service, that there was a mighty Convincement over those Parts.

And through the tender and singular Indulgence of Judge Bradshaw and Judge Fell, who were wont to go that Circuit, in the Infancy of things, the Priests were never able to gain the point they laboured for, which was to have proceeded to Blood, and if possible, Herod like, by a Cruel exercise of the Civil Pow­er, to have cut them off and rooted them out of the Country. Especially Judge Fell, who was not only a Check to their Rage in the Course of Legal Proceedings, but otherwise upon occasion, and finally countenanced this People; for his Wife receiving the Truth with the First, it had that Influence upon his Spirit, [Page] being a Just and Wise Man, and seeing in his own Wife and Family, a full Confutation to all the popular Clamours against the Way of Truth, that he covered them what he could, and freely opened his Doors, and gave up his House to his Wife and her Friends, not valuing the Reproach of Ignorant or E­vil Minded People, which I here mention, to His and her Ho­nour, and which will be I believe, an Honour and a Blessing to such of their Name and Family, as shall be found in that Ten­derness, Humility, Love and Zeal for the Truth and People of the Lord.

That House was for some Years at first, till the Truth had opened its way in the Southern parts of this Island, an Emi­nent Receptacle of this People. Others of good Note and Sub­stance in those Northern Countrys, had also opened their Houses with their Hearts, to the many Publishers, that in a short time the Lord had raised to declare his Salvation to the People, and where Meetings of the Lord's Messengers were fre­quently held, to communicate their Services and Exercises, and Comfort and Edify one another in their Blessed Ministry.

But least this may be thought a Digression, having touch­ed upon this before, I return to this Excellent Man: And for his Personal Qualities, both Natural, Moral and Divine as they appeared in his Converse with Brethren and in the Church of God; take as follows.

I. He was a Man that God endued with a Clear and Won­derful Depth, a discerner of others Spirits, and very much a Master of his own. And though the side of his Ʋnderstanding which lay next to the World, and especially the Expression of it might sound Ʋncouth and Ʋnfashionable to Nice Ears, his matter was nevertheless very profound; and would not only bear to be often considered, but the more it was so, the more Weighty and Instructing it appeared. And as abruptly and bro­kenly as sometimes his Sentences would fall from him, about Divine Things, it is well known they were often as Texts to many fairer Declarations. And indeed it showed beyond all Contradiction that God sent him, that no Arts or Parts had a­ny share in his matter or manner of his Ministry; and that so many Great, Excellent and Necessary Truths as he came forth to Preach to Mankind, had therefore nothing of Man's Wit or Wisdom to recommend them. So that as to Man he was an Original, being no Man's Copy. And his Ministry and Writ­ings show they are from one that was not Taught of Man, nor had Learned what he said by Study. Nor were they No­tional or Speculative, but sensible and Practical Truths, tend­ing to Conversion and Regeneration, and the setting up the King­dom of God in the Hearts of Men, and the way of it was his Work. So that I have many times been overcome in my self, [Page] and been made to say, with my Lord and Master upon the like Occasion; I thank thee O Father Lord of Heaven and Earth, that thou hast hid these things from the Wise and Prudent of this World, and revealed them to Babes, For many times hath my Soul bowed in an Humble Thankfulness to the Lord, that he did not choose any of the Wise and Learned of this World to be the first Messenger in our Age, of his blessed Truth to Men; but that he took one that was not of High Degree, or Elegant Speech, or learned after the way of this World, that his Mes­sage and Work he sent him to do, might come with less Suspi­cion or Jealousie of Humane Wisdom and Interest, and with more Force and Clearness upon the Consciences of those, that sincerely Sought the way of Truth in the Love of it. I say, beholding with the Eye of my mind which the God of Heaven had opened in me, the Marks of God's Finger and Hand visibly in this Te­stimony, from the Clearness of the Principle, the Power and Ef­ficacy of it in the Exemplary Sobriety, Plainness, Zeal, Steadi­ness, Humility, Gravity, Punctuality, Charity and Circumspect care in the Government of Church Affairs, which shined in his and their Life and Testimony that God employed in this Work, it greatly confirmed me that it was of God, and engaged my Soul in a Deep Love, Fear, Reverence and Thankfulness for his Love and Mercy therein to Mankind; in which Mind I remain, and shall, I hope, to the end of my Daies.

II. In his Testimony or Ministry, he much laboured to open Truth, to the Peoples Ʋnderstandings, and to bottom them up­on the Principle, and Principal, Christ Jesus, the Light of the World, that by bringing them to something that was of God in themselves, they might the better know and judge of him and themselves.

He had an Extraordinary Gift in opening the Scriptures. He would go to the Marrow of things, and show the Mind, Har­mony and Fullfilling of them with much Plainness, and to great Comfort and Edification.

The Mistery of the first and second Adam, of the Fall and Restoration, of the Law and Gospel, of Shadows and Substance, of the Servant and Sons State, and the fullfiling of the Scrip­tures in Christ, and by Christ the True Light, in all that are his, through the Obedience of Faith, were much of the Sub­stance and Drift of his Testimonies. In all which he was wit­nessed to be of God, being sensibly felt to speak that which he had received of Christ, and was his own Experience, in that which never Ers nor Fails.

But above all, he excelled in Prayer. The Inwardness and Weight of his Spirit, the Reverence and Solemnity of his Address and Behaviour, and the Fewness and Fulness of his Words, have [Page] often struck, even Strangers, with Admiration, as they used to reach others with Consolation. The most Awfull, Living, Re­verent Frame I ever Felt or Beheld, I must say was his in Prayer. And truly it was a Testimony he knew and lived neer­er to the Lord than other Men; for they that know him most will see most reason to approach him with Reverence and Fear.

He was of an Innocent Life, no Busie Body, nor Self Seeker, neither Touchy, nor Critical: What fell from him was very In­offensive, if not very Edifying. So Meek, Contented, Modest, Ea­sie, Steady, Tender, it was a pleasure to be in his Company. He exercised no Authority but over Evil, and that every where and in all; but with Love, Compassion and Long Suffering. A most Merciful Man, as ready to Forgive as unapt to take or give an Offence. Thousands can truly say, he was of an Excellent Spirit and Savour among them, and because thereof, the most Excel­lent Spirits loved him with an unfained and unfading Love.

He was an Incessant Labourer; for in his Younger time, be­fore his many great and deep Sufferings and Travels had enfee­bled his Body for Itinerant Services, he laboured much in the Word, and Doctrine and Discipline in England, Scotland and Ire­land, turning many to God, and confirming those that were convinced of the Truth, and setling Good Order as to Church Affairs among them. And towards the Conclusion of his Tra­velling Services, between the Years Seventy One, and Seventy Seven, he Visited the Churches of Christ in the Plantations in America, and in the Ʋnited Provinces, and Germany as his fol­lowing Journal Relates, to the Convincement and Consolation of many. After that time he chiefly resided in and about the City of London, and besides the Services of his Ministry which were Frequent and Serviceable, he writ much both to them that are within, and those that are without the Communion. But the care he took of the Affairs of the Church in General was very great.

He was often where the Records of the Affairs of the Church are kept, and the Letters from the many Meetings of God's People over all the World where settled, come upon Occasions, which Letters he had read to him, and Communicated them to the Meeting that is Weekly held there for such Services, he would be sure to stir them up to discharge them, especially in Suf­fering Cases. Showing great Sympathy and Compassion upon all such Occasions, carefully looking into the Respective Cases, and endeavouring Speedy Relief according to the Nature of them. So that the Churches and any of the Suffering Members there­of, were sure not to be forgotten or delayed in their Desires if he were there.

As he was Ʋnwearied, so he was Ʋndaunted in his Services for God and his People, he was no more to be moved to Fear than to Wrath. His Behaviour at Darby, Litchfield, Appleby, before Oliver Cromwell at Launston, Scarborough, Worcester and Westminster-Hall, with many other Places and Exercises, did abundantly evidence it to his Enemies as well as his Friends.

But as in the Primitive Times, some rise up against the bles­sed Apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, even from among those that they had turned to the Hope of the Gospel, and who be­came their greatest Trouble; so this Man of God had his share of Suffering from some that were convinced by him, who through prejudice or mistake run against him, as one that sought Dominion over Conscience; because he prest by his Pre­sence or Epistles, a ready and zealous compliance with such good and wholesome things, as tended to an Orderly Conversation a­bout the Affairs of the Church, and in their walking before Men. That which contributed much to this ill Work, was in some a begrudging of this Meek Man, the love and esteem he had and deserved in the Hearts of the People, and weakness in others, that were taken with their groundless Suggestions of Imposition and blind Obedience.

They would have had every Man Independent, that as he had the Principle in himself, he should only stand and fall to that and no Body else; not considering that the Principle is One in all; and though the Measure of Light or Grace might dif­fer, yet the Nature of it was the same, and being so, they struck at the Spiritual Ʋnity, which a People, guided by the same Principle, are naturally led into: So that what is an evil to One, is so to All, and what is Vertuous, Honest and of good Re­port to One, is so to All, from the Sense and Savour of the one Ʋniversal Principle which is common to all, (and which the disaffected profess to be) the Root of all True Christian Fel­lowship, and that Spirit into which the People of God drink and come to be Spiritually Minded, and of one Heart and one Soul.

Some weakly mistook good Order in the Government of Church Affairs, for Discipline in Worship, and that it was so prest or recommended by Him and other Brethren: And they were rea­dy to reflect the same things that Dissenters had very reason­ably objected upon the National Churches, that have coercively pressed Conformity to their Respective Creeds and Worships: Whereas these things related wholly to Conversation, and the Outward (and as I may say) Civil part of the Church, that Men should walk up to the Principles of their Belief, and not be wanting in Care and Charity. But though some have stum­bled and fallen through Mistakes, and an unreasonable Obstinan­cy, even to a Prejudice; yet blessed be God, the Generality have returned to their First Love, and seen the Work of the Enemy, [Page] that looses no Opportunity or Advantage by which he may check or hinder the Work of God, and disquiet the Peace of his Church, and chill the Love of his People to the Truth and one to ano­ther; and there is hope of divers that are yet at a Distance.

In all these Occasions, though there was no Person the Dis­contented struck so sharply at, as this Good Man, he bore all their Weakness and Prejudice, and returned not Reflection for Reflection; but forgave them their weak and bitter Speeches, praying for them that they might have a Sense of their hurt, and see the Subtilty of the Enemy to Rend and Devide, and re­turn into their First Love, that thought no Ill.

And truly, I must say, that though God had visibly cloath­ed him with a Divine Preference and Authority, and indeed his very Presence exprest a Religious Majesty; yet he never abused it, but held his Place in the Church of God with great Meak­ness and a most engaging Humility and Moderation. For upon all Occasions, like his blessed Master, he was a Servant to all; holding and exercising his Eldership, in the Invisible Power that had gathered them, with Reverence to the Head and Care o­ver the Body: And was received only in that Spirit and Pow­er of Christ as the First and Chief Elder in this Age; who, as he was therefore worthy of double Honour, so for the same Reason it was given by the Faithful of this day; because his Authority was inward and not outward, and that he got it and kept it by the Love of God and Power of an Endless Life. I write my Knowledge and not Report, and my Witness is True, having been with him for Weeks and Months together on di­vers Occasions, and those of the nearest and most exercising Na­ture, and that by Night and by Day, by Sea and by Land; in this and in Foreign Countrys: And I can say, I never saw him out of his Place, or not a Match for every Service or Occa­sion.

For in all things he acquitted himself like a Man, yea a strong Man, a New and Heavenly minded Man. A Divine and a Naturalist, and all of God Almighty's making. I have been surprised at his Questions and Answers in Natural things; that whilst he was Ignorant of useless and Sophistical Science, he had in him the Foundation of useful and commendable Know­ledge, and cherisht it every where. Civil beyond all Forms of Breeding, in his Behaviour. Very Temperate, eating Little, and sleeping Less, though a Bulky Person.

Thus he Lived and Sojourned among us, and as he lived, so he died; feeling the same Eternal Power that had raised and preserved him in his last Moments. So full of assurance was he, that he Triumpht over Death; and so even to the last, as if Death were hardly worth Notice or a Mention: Recommend­ing [Page] to some with him, the Dispatch and Dispersion of an Epistle, just before Written to the Churches of Christ, throughout the World, and his own Books; but above all, Friends, and of all Friends, those in Ireland and America, twice over. Saying, mind poor Friends in Ireland and America.

And to some that came in and enquired how he found him­self, he answered, Never heed, the Lord's Power is over all Weakness and Death, the Seed reigns, Blessed be the Lord: Which was about Four or Five Hours before his Departure out of this World. He was at the great Meeting near Lombard-street on the First day of the Week, and it was the Third follow­ing about Ten at Night when he left us; being at the House of H. Goldney in the same Court. In a good Old Age he went, after having lived to see his Childrens Children to many Genera­tions in the Truth. He had the Comfort of a short Illness, and the Blessing of a clear Sense to the last; and we may truly say, with a Man of God of Old, that being Dead, he yet Speaketh; and though absent in Body, he is Present in Spirit; neither Time nor Place being able to interrupt the Communion of Saints, or dissolve the Fellowships of the Spirits of the Just. His Works praise him, because they are to the Praise of him that worked by him; for which his Memorial is, and shall be Blessed. I have done, as to this part of my Preface, when I have left this short Epitaph to his Name. Many Sons have done virtuously in this Day, but Dear George thou Excellest them All.

And now, Friends, you that profess to walk in the way, this Blessed Man was sent of God to turn us into, suffer I be­seech you the word of Exhortation, as well Fathers as Children, and Elders as Young Men. The Glory of this Day and Foun­dation of the Hope that has not made us ashamed since we were a People, you know is that Blessed Principle of Light and Life of Christ which we Profess, and Direct all People to, as the great Instrument and Agent of Man's Conversion to God: It was by this we were first Touched, and effectually enlight­ned as to our Inward State, which put us upon the Considera­tion of our Latter End, causing us to set the Lord before our Eyes, and to Number our Days, that we might apply our Hearts to Wisdom. In that Day we judged not after the Sight of the Eye, or after the Hearing of the Ear, but according to the Light and Sense this Blessed Principle gave us; we judged and acted in reference to Things and Persons, our selves and others, yea, towards God our Maker. For being quickned by it in our Inward Man, we could easily discern the difference of things, and feel what was Right, and what was Wrong, and what was Fit and what not, both in reference to Religion and Civil Concerns. That being the ground of the Fellowship of all Saints, it was in that our Fellowship stood. In this we de­sired [Page] to have a Sense one of another, acted towards one ano­ther, and all Men, in Love, Faithfulness and Fear.

In the feeling of the Motions of this Principle we drew near to the Lord, and waited to be prepared by it, that we might feel those Drawings and Movings, before we approached the Lord in Prayer, or open'd our Mouths in Ministry. And in our Be­ginning and Ending with this, stood our Comfort, Service and Edification. And as we run faster, or fell short we made Bur­thens for our selves to bear; our Services finding in our selves a Rebuke instead of an Acceptance, and in lieu of Well done, who has required this at your Hands? In that day we were an Ex­ercised People, our very Countenances and Deportment declared it.

Care for others was then much upon us, as well as for our selves, especially the Young Convinced. Often had we the Bur­then of the Word of the Lord to our Neighbours, Relations and Acquaintance; and sometimes Strangers also, We were in Tra­vail for one anothers Preservation: Not seeking, but shunning Occasions of any Coldness or Misunderstanding, treating one ano­ther as those that believed and felt God present. Which kept our Conversation Innocent, Serious and Weighty, guarding our selves against the Cares and Friendships of the World. We held the Truth in the Spirit of it, and not in our own Spirits, or after our own Wills and Affections.

They were bowed and brought into Subjection, in so much that it was visible to them that knew us, we did not think our selves at our own Dispose, to go where we List, or say or do what we List, or when we List. Our Liberty stood in the Liberty of the Spirit of Truth, and no Pleasure, no Profit, no Fear no Favour could draw us from this retired, strict and watch­ful Frame. We were so far from seeking occasions of Com­pany, that we avoided them what we could; persuing our own Business with Moderation, instead of medling with other Peo­ples Ʋnnecessarily.

Our Words were Few and Savoury, our Looks Composed and Weighty, and our whole Deportment very Observable. True it is, that this Retired and strict sort of Life from the Liberty of the Conversation of the World, exposed us to the Censures of many, as Humourists, Conceited and Self-righteous Persons, &c. But it was our Preservation from many Snares, to which others were continually exposed by the Prevalency of the lust of the Eye, the lust of the Flesh, and the Pride of Life, that wanted no Occasions or Temptations to excite them abroad in the Con­verse of the World.

I cannot forget the Humility and Chast Zeal of that Day. Oh! how Constant at Meetings, how Retired in them, how firm to Truth's Life, as well as Truth's Principles; and how Entire and Ʋnited in our Communion, as indeed became those that profess One Head, even Christ Jesus the Lord.

This being the Testimony and Example the Man of God, before mentioned, was sent to Declare and Leave amongst us, and we having Embraced the same as the Merciful Visitation of God to us, the Word of Exhortation at this time is, that we continue to be found in the Way of this Testimony with all Zeal and Integrity, and so much the more, by how much the Day draweth near.

And First, as to you, my Beloved and much Honoured Bre­thren in Christ, that are in the Exercise of the Ministry: Oh, feel Life in the Ministry! Let Life be your Commission, your Well-spring and Treasury in all such Occasions, else you well know, there can be no begetting to God, since nothing can quicken or make People alive to God, but the life of God: And it must be a Ministry in and from Life, that enlivens any People to God. We have seen the Fruit of all other Ministrys by the few that are turned from the Evil of their Ways. It is not our Parts, or Memory, the repetition of former Openings in our own will and time, that will do God's Work. A dry Do­ctrinal Ministry, however sound in Words, can reach but the Ear, and is but a Dream at the Best: There is another Sound­ness, that is soundest of all, viz. Christ the power of God. This is the Key of David, that Opens and none Shuts, and Shuts, and none can Open; as the Oil to the Lamp, and the Soul to the Body, so is that to the best of Words. Which made Christ to say, My Words they are Spirit, and they are Life; that is, they are from Life, and therefore they make you alive, that receive them. If the Disciples that had lived with Jesus, were to stay at Jerusalem till they received it; so must we wait to receive, before we Minister, if we will turn People from Darkness to Light, and from Satan's power to God.

I fervently bow my Knees to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you may always be like minded, that you may ever wait Reverently for the coming and opening of the Word of Life, and tend upon it in your Ministry and Service, that you may serve God in his Spirit. And be it little, or be it much, it is well; for much is not too much, and the least is enough, if from the motion of God's Spirit; and with­out it, verily, never so little is too much, because to no pro­fit.

For it is the Spirit of the Lord immediately, or through the Ministry of his Servants, that teacheth his People to profit; and [Page] to be sure, so far as we take him, along with us in our Ser­vices, so far we are profitable and no farther. For if it be the Lord that must work all things in us and for our selves; much more is it the Lord, that must work in us for the Con­version of others. If therefore it was once a Cross to us to Speak, though the Lord required it at our Hands; let it never be so to be silent, when he does not.

It is one of the most dreadful Sayings in the Book of God, That he that adds to the Words of the Prophecy of this Book, God will add the Plagues written in this Book. To keep back the Counsel of God, is as Terrible; for he that takes away from the Words of the Prophecy of this Book, God shall take a­way his part out of the Book of Life. And truly, it has great Caution in it to those, that use the Name of the Lord, to be well assured, the Lord Speaks, that they may not be found of the Number of those, that add to the Words of the Testimony of Prophecy, which the Lord giveth them to bear; nor yet to mince or diminish the same, both being so very offensive to God.

Wherefore, Brethren, let us be careful neither to out-go our Guide, nor yet loiter behind him; since he that makes Haste, may miss his Way, and he that stays behind, loose his Guide: For even those, that have Received the Word of the Lord, had need wait for Wisdom, that they may see how to divide the Word aright; which plainly implieth that it is possible for one, that hath received the Word of the Lord, to miss in the Di­vision and Application of it, which must come from an Impati­ency of Spirit, and a Self-working, which makes an unsound and dangerous Mixture; and will hardly beget a right minded li­ving People to God.

I am earnest in this, above all other Considerations, as to publick Brethren, well knowing how much it concerns the present and future State, and preservation of the Church of Christ Jesus, that has been gathered and built up by a Living and Powerful Ministry, that the Ministry be held, preserved and continued in the Manifestations, Motions and Supplies of the same Life and Power from time to time.

And where ever it is observed, that any one does Minister more from Gifts and Parts, than Life and Power, though they have an Inlightned and Doctrinal Ʋnderstanding; let them in time be advised and admonished for their Preservation, because insensibly such will come to depend upon a Self-sufficiency; to forsake Christ the living Fountain, and to hew out unto them­selves Cisterns that will hold no living Waters; and by degrees draw others from waiting upon the Gift of God in themselves, and to feel it in others, in order to their Strength and Refresh­ment [Page] to wait upon them, and to turn from God to Man again, and so to make Shipwrack of the Faith once delivered to the Saints, and of a good Conscience towards God; which are on­ly kept by that Divine Gift of life, that begat the one and a­waken'd and sanctified the other in the Beginning.

Nor is it enough that we have known the Divine Gift, and in it have reached to the Spirits in Prison, and been the Instruments of the Convincing of others of the way of God, if we keep not as low and poor in our selves, and as depend­ing upon the Lord as ever; since no Memory, no Repetitions of former Openings, Revelations or Enjoyments will bring a Soul to God, or afford Bread to the Hungry, or Water to the Thir­sty, unless Life go, with what we say, and that must be wait­ed for.

O that we may have no other Fountain, Treasury or Depen­dence! that none may presume at any rate to Act of themselves for God! Because they have long acted from God, that we may not supply want of waiting with our own Wisdom, or think that we may take less Care, and more liberty in speak­ing, than formerly; and that where we do not feel the Lord by his Power to open us and enlarge us, whatever be the Expe­ctation of the People, or has been our Customary Supply and Cha­racter, we may not exceed or fill up the time with our own.

I hope, we shall ever Remember, who it was that said, Of your selves you can do nothing, our sufficiency is in Him: And if we are not to speak our own Words, or take Thought what we should say to Men in our Defence, when exposed for our Testimony, surely, we ought to speak none of our own Words, or take Thought what we shall say in our Testimony and Mi­nistry in the Name of the Lord to the Souls of the People; for then of all Times, and of all other Occasions should it be ful­filled in us; for it is not you that speak, but the Spirit of my Fa­ther that speaketh in you.

And indeed, the Ministry of the Spirit must and does keep its Analogy and Agreement with the Birth of the Spirit; that as no Man can Inherit the Kingdom of God, unless he be born of the Spirit; so no Ministery can beget a Soul to God, but that which is from the Spirit. For this, as I said before, the Disci­ples waited before they went forth; and in this our Elder Bre­thren, and Messengers of God in our Day, waited, visited and reached to us. And having begun in the Spirit, let none ever hope or seek to be made perfect in the Flesh: For what is the Flesh to the Spirit, or the Chaff to the Wheat? And if we keep in the Spirit, we shall keep in the Ʋnity of it, which is the ground of true Fellowship. For by Drinking into that one Spi­rit, we are made one People to God, and by it we are con­tinued [Page] in the Ʋnity of the Faith, and the Bond of Peace. No Envying, no Bitterness, no Strife can have place with us. We shall watch always for Good, and not for Evil over one ano­ther, and rejoice exceedingly, and not begrudge at one anothers increase in the Riches of the Grace, with which God replenish­eth his Faithful Servants.

And, Brethren, as to you is committed the Dispensation of the Oracles of God, which give you frequent Opportunities, and great Place with the People among whom you Travail, I be­seech you that you would not think it sufficient to declare the Word of Life in their Assemblies, however Edifying and Comfortable such opportunities may be to you and them: But as was the Practice of the Man of God before mentioned, in great Measure, when among us, inquire the State of the several Churches you Visit; who among them are Afflicted or Sick, who are Tempted; if any are Ʋnfaithful or Obstinate, and endeavour to Issue those things in the Wisdom and Power of God, which will be a glorious Crown upon your Ministry. As that prepares your way in the Hearts of the People to receive you as Men of God, so it gives you Credit with them to do them good by your Advice in other Respects. The Afflicted will be Com­forted by you, the Tempted Strengthened, the Sick Refreshed, the Ʋnfaithful Convicted and Restored, and such as are Obstinate Softned and fitted for Reconciliation, which is Clenching the Nail, and applying and Fastning the general Testimony by that par­ticular Care of the several Branches of it, in reference to them more immediately concerned in it.

For though Good and Wise Men and Elders too, may reside in such places, who are of Worth and Importance in the general, and in other Places; yet it does not always follow, that they may have the Room they deserve in the hearts of the People they live among; or some particular occasion may make it unfit for him or them to use that Authority. But you that Travail as God's Messengers, if they receive you in the Greater, shall they refuse you in the Less? And if they own the general Testimony, can they withstand the particular Application of it in their own Cases? Thus, ye will shew your selves Workmen indeed, and carry your Business before you, to the praise of his Name that hath called you from Darkness to Light, that you might turn o­thers from Satan's Power unto God and his Kingdom, which is within. And Oh that there were more of such Faithful La­bourers in the Vineyard of the Lord! Never more need since the day of God!

Wherefore I cannot but Cry and Call aloud to you, that have been long Professors of the Truth, and know the Truth in the convincing Power of it, and have had a sober Conversation a­mong Men, yet content your selves only to know Truth for [Page] your selves; to go to Meetings, and Exercise an ordinary Cha­rity in the Church, and an honest Behaviour in the World, and limit your selves within those Bounds, feeling little or no con­cern upon your Spirits for the Glory of the Lord in the pro­spirity of his Truth in the Earth, more than to be glad that o­thers succeed in such Service; Arise ye in the Name and Pow­er of the Lord Jesus! Behold, how white the Fields are unto Harvest in this and other Nations, and how few Able and Faithful Labourers there are to work therein! Your Country Folks, Neighbours and Kindred want to know the Lord and his Truth, and to Walk in it. Does nothing lie at your Door upon their Account? Search and see, and loose no time, I be­seech you, for the Lord is at Hand. I do not Judge you, there is one that Judgeth all Men, and his Judgment is true: You have mightily increased in your outward Substance; may you equally increase in your inward Riches, and do good with both, while you have a day to do Good. Your Enemies would once have taken what you had from you, for his Names Sake, in whom you have believed; wherefore he has given you much of the World in the Face of your Enemies. But Oh let it be your Servant and not your Master, your Diversion rather than your Business! Let the Lord be chiefly in your Eye, and ponder your Ways, and see if God has nothing more for you to do; and if you find your selves short in your Account with him, then wait for his Preparation, and be ready to re­ceive the word of Command, and be not weary of well doing, when you have put your Hand to the Plow; and assuredly you shall Reap (if you faint not) the Fruit of your Heavenly La­bour in God's Everlasting Kingdom.

And you, Young Convinced Ones, be you Entreated and Ex­horted to a Diligent and Chast waiting upon God, in the way of his Blessed Manifestation and appearance of himself to you. Look not out, but within: Let not anothers Liberty be your Snare. Neither Act by Imitation, but Sense and Feeling of God's Power in your selves: Crush not the tender Buddings of it in your Souls, nor over run in your desires, and your warm­ness of Affections the Holy and Gentle Motions of It. Remem­ber it is a still Voice that Speaks to us in this Day, and that it is not to be heard in the Noises and Hurries of the Mind; but is distinctly understood in a retired Frame. Jesus loved and chose out Solitudes; often going to Mountains, to Gardens and Sea-sides to avoid Crowds and Hurries, to shew his Disci­ples it was good to be Solitary, and sit loose to the World. Two Enemies lie near your States, Imagination and Liberty, but the plain, practical, Living, Holy Truth, that has convinced you will preserve you, if you mind it in your selves, and bring all Thoughts, Imaginations and Affections to the Test of it, to see if they are wrought in God, or of the Enemy, or your own selves: So will a true Tast, Discerning and Judgment [Page] be preserved to you, of what you should do and leave un­done: And in your diligence and Faithfulness in this way you will come to inherit Substance; and Christ, the Eternal Wis­dom, will fill your Treasury. And when you are Converted, as well as Convinced, then confirm your Brethren, and be rea­dy to every good Word and Work, that the Lord shall call you to; that you may be to his Praise, who has chosen you to be partakers with the Saints in Light of a Kingdom that cannot be shaken, an Inheritance incorruptible, in Eternal Habitations.

And now, as for you that are the Children of God's People, a Great Concern is upon my Spirit for your good; and often are my Knees Bowed to the God of your Fathers for you, that you may come to be partakers of the same Divine Life and Power, that has been the Glory of this Day; that a Genera­tion you may be to God, an Holy Nation and a Peculiar People, Zealous of Good Works, when all our Heads are laid in the Dust. Oh you Young Men and Women, let it not suffice you, that you are the Children of the People of the Lord! you must also be born again, if you will inherit the Kingdom of God. Your Fathers are but such after the Flesh, and could but beget you into the likeness of the first Adam; but you must be begotten into the likeness of the second Adam by a Spiritual Generation. And therefore look carefully about you, Oh ye Children of the Children of God, Consider your Standing, and see what you are in Relation to this Divine Kindred, Family and Birth! Have you obeyed the Light, and received and walked in the Spirit, that is the incorruptible Seed of the Word and Kingdom of God, of which you must be born again: God is no respecter of Per­sons. The Father cannot save or answer for the Child, the Child for the Father, but in the Sin thou Sinnest, thou shalt die; and in the Righteousness thou doest, through Christ Jesus, thou shalt live; for it is the Willing and Obedient that shall eat the Good of the Land. Be not deceived, God is not mocked, such as all Nations and People Sow, such they shall reap at the hand of the just God. And then your many and great Priviledges, above the Children of other People, will add weight in the scale a­gainst you, if you choose not the way of the Lord. For you have had Line upon Line, and Precept upon Precept, and not only good Doctrine, but good Example; and which is more, you have been turned to and acquainted with a Principle in your selves, which others have been ignorant of; and you know, you may be as Good as you please, without the Fear of Frowns and Blows, or being turned out of doors and forsaken of Father and Mother for God's Sake, and his Holy Religion, as has been the Case of some of your Fathers in the day they first entred into this Holy Path: And if you, after hearing and seeing the Won­ders that God has wrought in the deliverance and perservation of them, through a Sea of Troubles, and the manifold Temporal, as well as spiritual Blessings, that he has filled them with in the [Page] sight of their Enemies, you should neglect and turn your backs upon so great and so near a Salvation, you would not only be most ungreatful Children to God and them, but must expect that God will call the Children of those that knew him not, to take the Crown out of your Hands, and that your lot will be a dreadful Judgment at the hand of the Lord. But Oh that it may never be so with any of you! The Lord forbid, saith my Soul.

Wherefore, Oh ye Young Men and Women, look to the Rock of your Fathers! chuse the God of your Fathers: There is no other God but him; no other Light but his; no other Grace but his, nor Spirit, but his to Convince you, Quicken and Comfort you; to Lead, Guide and Preserve you to God's Everlasting Kingdom: So will you be Possessors, as well as Professors of the Truth; embracing it not only by Education but Judgment and Conviction, from a Sense begotten in your Souls, through the ope­ration of the Eternal Spirit and Power of God in your hearts, by which you may come to be the Seed of Abraham through Faith, and the circumcision not made with Hands, and so heirs of the promise made to the Fathers of an Incorruptible Crown: That (as I said before) a Generation you may be to God, hold­ing up the Profession of the blessed Truth in the Life and Power of it. For Formality in Religion is Nauseous to God and good Men; and the more so, where any Form or Appearance has been new and peculiar, and begun and practised upon a Principle, with an Uncommon Zeal and Strictness. Therefore I say, for you to fall flat and formal, and continue the profession without that Salt and Savour, by which it is come to obtain a good Report among Men, is not to answer God's Love, nor your Parents Care, nor the mind of Truth in your selves, nor in those that are with­out; who tho' they will not obey the Truth, have Sight and Sense enough to see if they do that make a Profession of it. For where the Divine Virtue of it is not felt in the Soul, and waited for, and lived in, imperfections will quickly break out, and shew themselves, and detect the Unfaithfulness of such Per­sons, and that their insides are not seasoned with the Nature of that holy Principle which they profess.

Wherefore, Dear Children, let met intreat you to shut your Eyes at the Temptations and Allurements of this low and pe­rishing World, and not suffer your affections to be captivated by those Lusts and Vanities that your Fathers, for Truths Sake, long since turned their Backs upon: But as you believe it to be the Truth, receive it into your Hearts, that you may become the Children of God: So that it may never be said of you, as the Evangelist Writes of the Jews of his time, That Christ, the true Light, came to his own, but his own received him not; but to as many as received him, to them he gave Power to become the Children of God; which were born, not of Blood, nor of the [Page] Will of the Flesh, nor of the Will of Man, but of God. A most close and comprehensive Passage to this occasion: You exactly and peculiarly answer to those professing Jews, in that you bear the Name of God's People, by being the Children and wear­ing of the Form of God's People: So that he by his Light in you, may be said to come to his own, and if you obey it not, but turn your Back upon it, and walk after the Vanities of your Minds, you will be of those that receive him not, which, I pray God, may never be your Case and Judgment; but that you may be throughly sensible of the many and great Obligations you lie under to the Lord for his Love, and your Parents for their Care: And with all your Heart and all your Soul, and all your Strength turn to the Lord, to his Gift and Spirit in you, and hear his Voice and obey it, that you may Seal to the Testimony of your Fathers, by the Truth and Evidence of your own Experience; that your Childrens Children may bless you, and the Lord for you, as those that delivered a faithful Example, as well as Record of the Truth of God unto them. So will the Gray Hairs of your Dear Parents yet alive, go down to the Grave with Joy, to see you the poste­rity of Truth, as well as theirs, and that not only their Natures but Spirit shall live in you when they are gone.

I shall conclude this Preface with a few Words to those that are not of our Communion, into whose hands this may come, e­specially those of our own Nation.

Friends, As you are the Sons and Daughters of Adam, and my Brethren after the Flesh, often and earnest have been my De­sires and Prayers to God on your behalf, that you may come to know him that has Made you to be your Redeemer and Restorer to the Image that, through Sin, you have lost, by the power and Spirit of his Son Jesus Christ, whom he hath given for the Light and Life of the World. And Oh that you, who are called Christians, would receive him into your Heart! for there it is you want him, and at that Door he stands knocking, that you should let him in, but you do not open to him; You are full of o­ther Guests, so that a Manger is his Lot among you Now, as well as of Old: Yet you are full of Profession, as were the Jews when he came among them, who knew him not, but rejected and evilly intreated him. So that if you come not to the Possession and Experience of what you profess, all your Formality in Reli­gion will stand you in no stead in the Day of God's Judgment.

I beseech you ponder with your selves your Eternal Conditi­on, and see what Title, what Ground and Foundation you have for your Christianity: If more than a Profession, and an Historical Belief of the Gospel. Have you known the Baptism of Fire, and the Holy Ghost, and the Fan of Christ that winnows away the Chaff; The Carnal Lusts and Affections? That Divine Leven of the Kingdom, that being received, Levens the whole Lump of [Page] Man, sanctifying him throughout in Body, Soul and Spirit? If this be not the Ground of your Confidence, you are in a Misera­ble Estate.

You will say perhaps, that though you are Sinners, and live in the daily Commission of Sin, and are not Santified, as I have been Speaking, yet you have Faith in Christ, who has borne the Curse for you, and in him you are Compleat by Faith; his Righ­teousness being imputed to you.

But my Friends, let me intreat you not to deceive your selves, in so Important a Point, as is that of your Immortal Souls. If you have true Faith in Christ, your Faith will make you Clean, it will Sanctifie you; for the Saints Faith was their Victory: By this they over came Sin within, and Sinful Men without. And if thou art in Christ thou walkest not after the Flesh, but after the Spirit, whose Fruits are Manifest. Yea, thou art a New Creature, New Made, New Fashioned after God's Will and Mold: Old things are done away, and behold, all things are become New: New Love, Desires, Will, Affections and Practices. It is not any longer Thou that livest, Thou Disobedient, Carnal, World­ly One; but it is Christ that liveth in thee, and to live is Christ and to die is thy Eternal Gain; because thou art assured, That thy Corruptible shall put on Incorruption, and thy Mortal, Immorta­lity; and that thou hast a Glorious House Eternal in the Heavens that will never wax Old or pass away. All this follows being in Christ, as Heat follows Fire and Light the Sun.

Therefore have a Care how you presume to Rely upon such a Notion, as that you are in Christ, whilst in your old fallen Na­ture. For what Communion hath Light with Darkness, or Christ with Belial? Hear what the beloved Disciple tells you: If we say we have fellowship with God, and walk in Darkness, we lie, and do not the Truth. That is, if we go on in a sinful way, are Captivated by our Carnal Affections, and are not Converted to God, we walk in Darkness, and cannot possibly have any fellowship with God. Christ Cloths them with his Righteousness that receive his Grace in their Hearts, and deny themselves, and take up his Cross daily, and follow him. Christ's Righteousness makes Men inwardly Ho­ly, of Holy Minds, Wills and Practices. It is nevertheless Christs, because we have it; for it is ours, not by Nature, but by Faith and Adoption: It is the Gift of God: But still tho' not ours, as of or from our selves, for in that Sense it is Christ's, for it is of and from him, yet it is ours; and must be ours in Possession, Efficacy and Enjoyment to do us any Good, or Christ's Righteousness will pro­fit us nothing. It was after this manner, That he was made to the primitive Christians, Righteousness, Sanctification, Justifi­cation and Redemption; and if ever you will have the Comfort, Kernel and Marrow of the Christian Religion, thus you must come to learn and obtain it.

Now, my Friends, by what you have Read, and will Read in what Follows, you may perceive, that God has visited a Poor People among you with this saving Knowledge and Testimony; whom he has upheld and encreased to this Day, notwithstand­ing the fierce opposition they have met withal. Despise not the meanness of this Appearance: It was, and yet is (we know) a day of small things, and of small Account with too many; and many hard and ill Names are given to it; but it is of God, it came from him because it leads to him. This we know, but we can­not make another know it, as we know it, unless he will take the same way to know it, that we took. The World talks of God; but what do they do? They pray for Power, but re­ject the Principle in which it is. If you would know God and Worship and serve God, as you should do, you must come to the means he has ordained and given for that purpose. Some seek it in Books, some in Learned Men, but what they look for, is in themselves, but they overlook it. The Voice is too still, the Seed too small, and the Light shineth in Darkness. They are abroad, and so cannot divide the Spoil; but the Woman, that lost her Sil­ver found it at Home, after she had light her Candle and swept her House. Do you so too, and you shall find what Pilate wan­ted to know, viz. Truth.

The light of Christ within, who is the Light of the World, (and so a Light to you, that tells you the Truth of your Con­dition) leads all, that take heed unto it, out of Darkness into God's marvellous Light; for Light grows upon the Obedient. It is sown for the Righteous, and their way is a shining Light, that shines forth more and more to the perfect day.

Wherefore, O Friends, Turn in, Turn in, I beseech you! Where is the Poison, there is the Antidote: There you want Christ, and there you must find him; and blessed be God, there you may find him. Seek and you shall find, I testifie for God: But then you must seek aright, with your whole Heart, as Men that seek for their Lives, yea, for their Eternal Lives: Diligently, Humbly, Patiently, as those that can taste no Pleasure, Comfort or Sa­tisfaction in any thing else, unless you find him whom your Souls want, and desire to know and love above all. O it is a Travail, a Spiritual Travail! Let the Carnal, Profane World think and say as it will. And through this Path you must walk to the City of God, that has Eternal Foundations, if ever you will come there.

Well! And what does this blessed Light do for you? Why, 1. it sets all your sins in order before you: It detects the Spirit of this World in all its Bates and Allurements, and shews how Man came to fall from God, and the fallen Estate he is in. 2. It begets a Sense and Sorrow, in such as believe in it, for this fearful Laps. You will then see him Distinctly, whom you have Pierced him, and all the Blows and Wounds you have given him by your Disobedi­ence; [Page] and how you have made him to serve with your Sins, and you will Weep and Mourn for it, and your Sorrow will be a Godly Sorrow. 3. After this it will bring you to the Holy Watch, to take Care that you do so no more, that the Enemy surprise you not a­gain: Then Thoughts, as well as Words and Works, will come to Judgment, which is the way of Holiness, in which the Redeemed of the Lord do Walk. Here you will come to love God above all, and your Neighbours as your selves. Nothing Hurts, No [...]hing Harms, Nothing makes Afraid on this Holy Mountain: Now you come to be Christ's indeed, for you are his in Nature and Spirit, and not your own. And when you are thus Christ's, then Christ is yours, and not before: And here Communion with the Father and with the Son you will know, and the Efficacy of the Blood of Cleansing, even the Blood of Jesus Christ, that Imma­culate Lamb, which speaketh better things than the Blood of A­bel, and which cleanseth from all Sin the Consciences of those that, through the living Faith, come to be sprinkled with it from dead Works to serve the living God.

To Conclude, Behold the Testimony and Doctrine of the People called Quakers! Behold their Practice and Discipline! And behold the blessed Man and Men that were sent of God in this Excellent Work and Service! All which will be more particularly expressed in the Ensuing Annals of the Man of God; which I do heartily recommend to my Readers most serious Perusal, and beseech Al­mighty God, that his Blessing may go along with it, to the Con­vincing of many, as yet Strangers to this Holy Dispensation, and also to the Edification of the Church of God in General: Who, for his manifold and repeated Mercies and Blessings to his Peo­ple in this day of his great Love, is worthy ever to have the Glory, Honour, Thanksgiving and Renown; and be it rendred and ascribed, with Fear and Reverence, through him in whom he is well pleased, his bloved Son and Lamb, our Light and Life, that fits with him upon the Throne, World without End. Amen, ‘Says One that God has long since Mercifully favoured with his Fatherly Visitation, and who was not Disobedient to the Hea­venly Vision and Call, to whom the Way of Truth is more Lovely and Precious than ever, and that knowing the Beauty and Benefit of it above all Worldly Treasure, has chosen it for his Chiefest Joy, and therefore recommends it to thy Love and Choice, because he is with great Sincerity and Affection thy Souls Friend.’

William Penn.

London, Printed and Sold by T. Sowle, at the Crooked Billet in Holly-well-lane, Shoreditch, and near the Meeting-House in White-hart-court in Grace-church-street, 1694.