THE SAINTS DUTY, and SAFETY, In a Trying Time, And when they are attended with a Suffering Condition: OR, The Saints Duty in Meeting Together in the Way of God, as Worshippers of him; and their Safety and Happinesse in continuing and abiding with the Lord in that wherein the Lord hath appeared, & doth continue and abide with them, to minister unto them both in a Time of Suffering, and in a Time of Rejoycing.

And also, The Danger of being negligent in Meeting together, to per­perform their Duty and Service to God, through any wile, and crafty mysterious working of Satan, whereby he labours to seduce and deceive them, &c,

Written in the 4. Moneth, 1664. by R. F. To be read amongst Friends at their Meetings, and upon occasins, to such as there may be a Service,

London, Printed in the Year, 1664.

The Saints Duty, and Safety in a Trying time, and when they are attended with a suffering Condition, &c.

IT is a duty to meet together in the way of God as wor­shipers of him, and it is a danger to be negligent in that Respect, therefore let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering, and let us consider one another, to provoke unto Love, and to good works, not forsaking the assembling of our selves together, as the manner of some is, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as ye see the day approaching, for if we sin wilful­ly after we have received the knowledge of the truth, There­remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearfull looking for of judgement, and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. Heb 10.23, 24, 25, 26, 27.

It was the manner of some in the Primative Time to be neg­ligent in assembling and meeting together with the people of God, under the Gospel dispensation, and when they did wil­fully neglect that duty either out of prejudice against them that continued faithfull in a Godly exercise, or to flee the Cross so as to grow secure and careless, or else to avoid a suf­fering condition, It was accounted all one with the sin of presumption, by sinning not ignorantly but wilfully, and that after they had received the knowledge of the Truth, and as it was dangerous, so to do then, it is as unsafe and dangerous to sollow the like example, and be so negligent now.

But perhaps some may think, it will be the way to avoid a great danger, and be for their saftey now to neglect assembling and meeting with the people of God, in a way differing from the worship of the world, to the number of five or above, be­cause they are prohibited by the Law of the Land under great penalties to meet upon the account of Religion, and worship of God, as aforesaid Contrary to the Liturgy or practise of the Church of England.

To such I answer, Art thou truely acquainted with God, hath he appeared in Spirit unto thee, and called the out of the way and worship of the world, & called thee into the way and worship of God, and hast thou obeyed the call of the Lord, art thou departed accordingly out of the way and worship of the world, and art thou admitted of, and entered into the spiri­tual way and worship of God, how was it with thee before thou left the one, and come into the other, was not God an­gry with thee, when thou offered to tarry and stay behind in the way and worship of the world, after he had discovered it unto thee, and called thee to come out of the same, and did not he by his good Spirit, testifie against thee for so do­ing; moreover, did not the Lord pursue thee, and withstand or beat down the carnal reasonings and gainsayings of thy heart, and make thou weary untill thou didst depart and come out thereof; if so, was it not the Lords own doing? and didst not thou own and confesse it so to be, as first to unvail thy vailed heart; and secondly to discover unto thee the spi­rit of errour, and what it had led thee into; and thirdly to advise and perswade thee to come out thereof, and also to forsake the way and worship of the world, That thou might be admitted into the way and worship of God: and did not the Lord in making known himself unto thee, make known his worship, and either answer or beat down the fleshly obje­ctions and gainsayings of thy heart, and call thee and guide thee into his own pure worship in spirit,Iohn. 4.23.24. and afterwards signi­fie unto thee, how he owned the same, and thee as thou didst abide and continue therein; if so, what cause hast thou to desert him, or offer to depart from him and his worship a­gain, for fear of an outward suffering from men, or hast thou any toleration from God so to doe? consider well of it, and let the Lord judge in this case, as doubtlesse he will, for he hath not called thee out of the way and worship of the world, into the way and worship of God, to allow of thee, to forsake him in a suffering time, so as to forsake the Lord and his wor­ship, to comply and joyn with that spirit and worship of the world which he hath called thee from, neither will he tolerate [Page 5]and juflifie thee therein, but rather condemn and severely pu­nish theefor so doing.

To Sin wilfully after the knowledge of the Truth, by forsaking the Assemblies of the people of God when they are forbidden by men,Heb. 10.23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31. to avoid an outward danger or suffering from them, is not the way to safety and happinesse, (in a way that God doth own,) but is the way rather to everlasting mi­sery and ruine, by turning the Lord against them,2 Thes. 1.5, 6, 7, 8, 9. therefore, how doth it concern all that offer to decline from the truth, rightly beforehand to consider what they are doing, and to be advised and take warning in time, so as to mind their con­tinuation, and standing in the Truth, and upon the sure and certain foundation, 2 Tim. 2.19.

And since you received the Truth have you not had many perswasions within and without,2. Tet. 2.4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. Phil. 1.29. 2 Tim. 3.12. to forsake it again because it is attended with a suffering condition; but know this as­suredly, that when you are perswaded either without or within from the way and worship of God in Spirit which he hath called you into, and doth own, to depart and goe back again, into that which God hath called you from, that such perswasions cometh not of God who hath called you, & there­fore you may justly deny them, for there were some in the primative Time, that once did run well, and were afterward hindred, that they should not obey the Truth; but such a perswasion did not come of him that had called them, as by the Scripture is evident and plain, Gal. 5.7, 8.

The Apostle of Christ did account it a kind of witchcraft, to be seduced and drawn from the Truth, and is it any bet­ter now. That it was so then is apparent and evident,Gal. 2.1. for said he, O foolish Galatians who hath bewitched you, that you should not obey the Truth.Gal. 2.3. Are ye so foolish having be­gun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh, it is a kind of witchcrast and great folly indeed, for a people that have begun in the Spirit, to depart and go back again into the flesh, to have known the Truth, and true way of the Lord, and been obedient and subject thereunto;Rom. 3.122. and afterward to disobey the Truth, and depart from the way of the Lord, [Page 6]into the way and worship of the Spirit of the world,2 Tim. 3.3.4. to leave a certain thing for an uncertain, to leave the everlasting Truth, to follow Errour and Fables, to leave the best for the worst, to forsake that which God doth own, to follow that which he hath called from, to leave that which is attended with blessings and happiness from God, to follow that which is attended with misery and wrath, from the Lord, is folly indeed, and below the Spirit and wisdome of God; and in­deed it is no point of true wisdome, or any part of a wise man, indued with the wisdome of God, So to do.

Hast thou not been acquained with the teachings of God, in the way of the Spirit of the Lord, and did not the Spirit of God in its teachings and leadings, both teach thee and lead thee, to the knowledge of a people, both taught and owned of the Lord, to meet with them in point of Religion and wor­ship of God, and give thee many refreshings and testimonies from his own life, to enjoyn and encourage thee therein to abide and continue with the Lord and his people in the way of his teaching and worship as aforesaid.

And as thou hast bin acquainted with the teachings of God, hast thou not also been acquainted with the teachings of the enemy of God, under pretence of a Friend did Satan never yet transforme himself like to an Angel of Light, to labour to bewitch thy mind, by insinuations, and crafty mysterious workings, to seduce and withdraw thy heart from God, and to labour to cause thee to disobey the known truth of the Lord; wherein the Lord appeared unto thee, and gave thee many Testimonies of his Love, and enjoyned thee therein to walk, and didst thou not with purpose of heart, and godly resolution, intend and signifie thy intentions to the Lord, that thou hadst a purpose of heart to continue therein, untill the enemy by insinuation, and crafty mysterious workings, did somewhat change thy purpose of heart, and began to al­tar thy godly resolutions, did not the enemy of thy soul come craftily, and after a mysterious manner, and say, what dost not thou own the teaching of God, and art not thou taught of the Lord, and very sensible thereof: and didst not [Page 7]thou in simplicity answer and say, yes, it is so, I cannot deny it; did not the enemy reply then & say unto thee, seeing thou art taught of the Lord, and art sensible of his Teachings, as thou art alone by thy self, and when thou art on thy bed, and as thou walkest up and down, and art about thy occasions, and hath such sweet refreshings from him, what needst thou to goe hither and thither to Meetings, and to expose thy self to hazards and dangers? and was there not a fleshly easeful part in thee ready to hearken, and be inclineable to the secret Teachings of the Enemy, and account them as Divine Ora­cles, or Sayings of God? and was not thou ready to have changed thy former Purposes, and godly resolutions, and say, what should I goe to Meetings for? seeing I am so ac­quainted with Divine Teachings, at home and abroad, and do find the Lords refreshing presence to attend and accom­pany me as I do, will not my going to Meetings, and conti­nuing faithful to the Lord therein, as I have purposed, make the thing customary and bring it up into a form, by so doing; is it not better therefore for me, and my safety to absent there from, and keep closse with the Lord at home, and not goe to Meetings, did not the Lord Pursue the Enemy, and search out and discover unto thee the depth of that wile and crafty mysterious working of Satan, and teach thee that thou art not to deny thy duty to God, and the continuation and abiding with the Lord, in what he makes known unto thee, and wherein he enjoynes thee to walk, and with him to abide, under the denominations of Formality and Customarinesse as the Enemy under pretence of a Friend would perswade thee, and when thou hast been made sensible of the Love of God, in discovering the wiles of the Enemy, and the danger which he laboured to lead thee into, and were preserved and kept out of the same, how didst thou then prize his Love, and walk humbly before the Lord, and as thou didst continue with him, and abide faithful unto him, didst not thou meet with some or other that the Enemy had possest with that wile, and crafty working of Satan, which God preserved and kept thee out of, as aforesaid; and did not they into whom Satan [Page 8]had so entred and possest with that wile and mysterious work­ing, endeavour to hold it out to thee, as some new discovery, and when thou couldst not own or entertain the same as an Oracle, or saying of God, but withstood the same, and de­clared against it as a delusion of Satan, did not prejudice ap­pear (as a work of the enemy) in such an instrument against thee for so doing, and was not he ready to judge thee to be formal and customary because of thy stedfastness unto the Doctrine of the tryed Truth, and for thy continuation and abiding with the Lord in that wherein he appeareth unto thee, owns thee in, gives thee many Testimonies of his love, and enjoyns thee to walk, as a true subject unto him, and wor­shiper of him.

To continue and abide with the Lord, in that wherein he hath appeared, and whereby he doth accompany the souls of his people, both in the ministration and government of Spirit, for refreshment and preservation to teach and defend them against the power and pollicy of Satan; and for the benefit, and safety of the people of God: so that the continuation and a­biding with God, in the way and worship of God, is not to be looked upon as a customary traditional or formal thing: which the Lord doth not own, for it is the duty of the people of God under the Covenant of grace to continue in the things wherein they have been, and are instructed of God, and are assured of,2 Tim. 3.14. Ioh. 15.4.5. knowing of whom they have learned them, as the Saints did: and according to the Doctrine of Christ.

That wherein God appears and abides is full of life, power, and vertue, and what doth God appear and abide in without forme, either in the inward or outward creation, so that the forme wherein God appears and abides with his people, in the spirit of his Son is full of life, vertue and consolation, the Apostle saith to the Church of God, and Saints in Christ Je­sus which were at Philippie: let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus, who being in the forme of God thought it no Robery to be equal with God, Phillip 2.5, 6. And if God should destroy and make void all forme, wherein he appeareth, then forasmuch as Christ Jesus is in the forme [Page 9]of God, would not that be to destroy Christ Jesus, but God doth not destroy that form, therefore not all form & comliness as the enemy supposeth: And if the Enemy of the soul, can­not beget thee, to be negligent and carelesse in meeting, and continuing with the people of God, under pretence of forma­lity & customariness, would he not, by another of his wiles and craftinesse seek to deceive & seduce thee, & say, consider what sweet refreshments and springings of Love thou hast at home alone by thy self, and what weights and burdens thou ma­ny times meets with at Meetings; and is not thy souls Ene­my under pretence of putting thee in mind of taking that in­to consideration ready to say, thou had better stay at home, and not goe to Meetings, then to goe thither to bear many burthens, or else say thou should not have been at that Meet­ing, and goe no more, unlesse thou have some special motion to go unto Meetings; & under that pretence doth he not my­steriously labour to kill thee, so that thou begins to die to thy love, and faithfulnesse, if thou lend an ear to him, and then thou wilt loose strength and grow weak, and after that when thou shouldest goe to a meeting, he will tell thee, thou either hast no motion to goe, or else it is not strong enough to raise thee above and carry thee through the reasonings and over the oppositions which thou meets withal in thee to hin­der and keep thee from going to meetings, so that the Ene­my is mysteriously destroying of thee, and labours to slay thee in thy Principles and Testimony; and when thou art dead, thou art ready to judge others to be out of the Life, and Power of Truth, through thy mistake, and if he cannot wholly prevail with any to absent from all Meetings, doth he not goe about by another of his slights and cunning devices, and tell thee in secret, that if thou go to meetings, thou should not goe to publick mixt Meetings, to bear Burdens, but should meet with those onely that are nearest unto thee, and the equallest in condition and growth with thee, and so heark­ning unto him he draws out into Parties, and begins to rent and divide thee from the Body, and begets some others into the like subtilty, and self separation with thee, and presents them to thee, and thee unto them, and labours to gather [Page 10]you after that manner into the mystery of Iniquity, and makes Parties, and causeth devisions, and that's the way to Sects and Schisms.

Now when thou art once acquainted with the Lord, both in counsel, direction, instruction, power, vertue, and consola­tion, in a spiritual ministration, and hast tasted of the good word of God, and of the powers of the world to come, which are spiritual and eternal powers which binds under, keeps down, and turns aside the earthly dark powers within thee, and makes way to come to that which is oppressed, and affli­cted within thee, to relieve it, refresh and minister unto it, wherein and whereby it hath many Testimonies, of the Love and Acceptation of God in that ministration, as well as re­freshments and souls consolation; thou art therein to mind thy continuation and abiding with God and his people in that ministration, that thou mayst appear for the Lord in the Assemblies of his Saints, in that Principle and Spirit, where­in the Lord hath appeared unto thee, that in that Spirit and Power, wherein the Lord hath born with thee, thou mayest bear with others, that are under Burdens, Sufferings, Exercises and Tryals, and so by bearing one anothers burden, with the Spirit and Power of God, the Law of Christ is fulfil­led, and thereby thou and others will be eased, refreshed, reached unto, by the power, and filled with the Love and ver­tue of God, to be a sweet savour to the Lord, and one in ano­ther, that he may be honoured and glorified; and if thou be under a burden, at any time in a Meeting, dost thou fetch it in, or is it laid upon thee that thou maist be as a help to ano­ther, to simpathize with such as are burdened, and under a Suffering condition;Gal. 6.2. for it is said, Bear ye one anothers burden, and so fulfill the Law of Christ: hast thou been burdened, and hath not the life and power of truth, joined with that which was burdened and afflicted within thee, to help the op­pressed untill the burden was removed, and the afflicted was relieved, and the oppressed in spirit was eased, and art thou unwilling to bear with others, and be a help to them when they are under burdens, troubles, tryals, and exercises, whe­ther art thou then in the life and power of love, which is wil­ling [Page 11]to help the oppressed, and doth bear and endure under all burdens, tryals, and exercises, untill it rise over all that which oppresseth, and minister to the afflicted for its refresh­ment, doth not many times the strong bear the infirmities or burdens of the weak,Rom. 15.1 2, 3, 4, 5. 1 Cor. 13.4.5, 6, 7. nay is there not a desire ariseth many times in those that are most in the life and power of love which is acquainted with bearing of burdens, and helping the afflicted, when it sees others under afflictions and burdens, that they may be a help to them in that estate, desiring that the burden of the oppressed, may come so much upon them, as the other may be eased, knowing that the power will ease them again, and doth not the oppressed many times both in meetings and when they are visited by a good Friend, feel the burden go so much from them as that they are eased, and when it is so, doth it not go upon some that feels when it comes upon them and are they not so made meet helps in the Lord one to another after a spiritual manner, for if I come freshly, and lively into a meeting and have no burden upon me, if a burden do come when I am there I feel the life bear it, and I know thereby that some or other is eased by it, and I waighting patiently & with contentedness under the burden, the life and power of truth works through it, and riseth over it, so that I am eased and refreshed, and in the power and ver­tue of the life and spirit of God, am made to minister to the afflicted, and to be a simpathizer with the oppressed.

So that we may say (as the servants of God did in former ages) to the Church of God, and Saints in Christ Jesus, bles­sed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort, who comforteh us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we our selves are comforted of God, for as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our Consolation also aboundeth by Christ, and whether we be afflicted it is for your Conso­lation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings, which we also suffer, or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation, and our hope of you is stedfast, knowing that as you are partakers of [Page 12]the sufferings; so shall ye be also of the Consolation, as it is written and left upon Record in Scripture, 2 Cor. 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. It is a pretious, and an excellent thing, to be in that power which measures spirits and lets forth it self in power and ver­tue in a ministration to several estates and conditions, and doth acquaint one another with the way and manner of its working & bearing of burdens, when the soul is in sufferings.

To Simpathize with it therein, as well as to h [...]ve fellow­ship with it in consolation, or else how should we performe that Christian office and duty, both in tribulation and con­solation, which in the spirit of love we are to do, for we are to suffer with them that suffer, as well as to rejoyce, with them that rejoyce, therefore it is good to know one another under sufferings, that we may have fellowship one with ano­ther, both in sufferings and in rejoycings; and so be helps in the Lord one to another, to do good unto all, but not to hurt or destroy any that are weak in the Faith, and attended with many weaknesses, tryals or exercises, so that we may al­wayes upon the account of the Lord, & his service, both appear and be found in that principle & spirit wherein we and our ser­vices may be acceptable, & well pleasing to the Lord, and help­full one to another, through Christ Jesus the Son of his love.

For assuredly God hath appeared & spoken unto us in spirit, and called us out of the way and worship of the spirit of the world, & hath made known that which is certain unto us, that is to say; the tryed known Truth, and true way and worship of God in the spirit, and we are not to leave or forsake it, least it be said who required thee to forsake the way and worship of God, the Lord hath made known the truth and way of his worship unto us, and he hath called us unto it, & required us to continue and Abide with him in it, and therefore it is our duty to meet together as God hath commanded and not to forsake the assemblies of the people of God when man doth forbid us, for we have judged already that if God command us to meet and assemble together to wait upon God and true worshipers of him, and if men do command the contrary, and forbid us to meet under great penalties, in such cases we are to obey God rather then man, and the Lord hath given [Page 13]us this Testimony that he owns and accepts of us in so doing.

For if God command one thing and man command ano­ther thing, It is better to obey God then man in such cases, because the Lords power is absolute, add his commands are righteous and just, and therefore ought to be obeyed, he hath power to pardon or punish as we are obedient or disobedi­ent unto him, and he hath right to teach, order and dispose of us both by Creation and by Redemption, who hath punish­ments for the wicked, and rewards for the righteous: and if he be offended or displeased by denying obedience to his just and righteous commands, whose power is the highest pow­er, to obey the will and commands of men who are contrary minded to him, to avoid a suffering condition, no King nor Potentate upon earth can deliver from the wrath and displea­sure of God for so doing; but if we fall into the wrath and displeasure of men, for denying their commands which are contrary to the commands and requirings of God, to be obe­dient and subject unto him, whose power is absolute, and who hath right both by creation and redemption, to claim our obedience and subjection unto him, he can deliver us from the wrath & displeasure of man; and therefore it is the Saints duty to be obedient to God, and it is for their safety and hap­pinesse to continue in his word and doctrine, and in all con­ditions to abide true and faithful unto him, though we be at­tended with sufferings from men for so doing.

An Epistle to go amongst friends to be read in the fear & wisdom of God.

DEar Friends, Brethren, and Sisters, whom I dearly love in the Lord, my dear love runs forth unto you, hath an entrance within you, and doth rest upon you. It is a precious thing to feel the Lord possessing our hearts and spirits, living, ruling, and reigning within us, and to feel one another in the power of an endlesse life, which is for our refreshment, and great consolation, they who are under the daily administration of the spirit and power of God, do daily partake of the love, vertue and sweetnesse of God; for the power bindeth under or removes all obstructions, oppositions, and inter­positions, and besetments of soul, and reacheth unto it for its relief and refreshment, and carrieth forth unto it of the eternal [Page 14]sweetnesse, that it feeds at the breast, and is nourished with the milk of the Word, which is the vertue of God, and tastes of its sweetnesse: so that it can say as David did, Thy word is sweeter unto my taste then the honey, and the honey-comb. The Lord hath come forth in power unto us, and we are witnesses thereof: so hath he come forth in vertue and sweetnesse within us, and our soules have tasted thereof, he hath been with us in stroms and tempests, so that the flouds of afflictions and waters of persecutions hath not destroyed us, we have been kept in the Ark of the Covenant above the waters, and carried over to the dry land of peace and rest by the arm of the Lord, he hath stood between us and the dangers, and hath kept back the force of the storms, and violence of the enemy from us, so that though he hath often tried us, yet he did not there­by destroy us, but had a way in his wisdome to keep and preserve us, and though troubles and afflictions attend us, yet the Lords re­freshing presence is with us, and his free spirit doth uphold us. We have this testimony that we are a people blessed and beloved of God; and though our troubles have heretofore been many, yet our deliverances have been as many, for many are the troubles of the righteous, but the Lord delivereth out of them all. And as we have had many deliverances wrought and brought to passe for us by the arm and power of the Lord, so we have had many testimonies of his love and refreshings from his presence brought home upon our hearts, and reached into our spirits; and therefore we have had many encouragements from him to continue and abide with the Lord when ever we are afflicted and tried.

The Lord hath given his Word unto us, and we have the pro­mise of the Lord, that he will never fail us nor forsake us. And therefore have we cause to believe in his Word; for though we are brought forth into a trying time, yet it is the Lords own doing, and he who hath begotten us to himself through the Son of his love into a Covenant of Grace, and brought us forth to appear for him in that principle and spirit of Jesus, wherein we and our services are acceptable and well pleasing to the Lord, though opposed and hated by the principle and spirit of the world, he knows how to keep and preserve us to his own praise.

For the Lord hath appeared unto us, and joyned himself with us in a spiritual way, and after a spiritual manner; and he hath si­gnified [Page 15]by his good spirit that we are his people, and he is our God, and we have this testimony that we and our services are ac­ceptable and well pleasing unto him: and therefore we have good cause to continue and abide with the Lord.

Dear friends, be at peace amongst your selves, and let the peace of God rule in your hearts, give way to nothing that would obstruct or hinder it, and let the word of Christ dwell plentifully in you. Be diligent and faithful to the Lord, for he hath been and is faith­ful unto you, you have no just cause of complaint against him; there­fore let him have no just cause of complaint against you. And for as much as he hath chosen you, and manifested his love unto you, and joyned himself with you, deal not unworthily with him, so as to forsake him: break no Covenant with him, neither do you se­parate your selves from him again, but be true and faithfull unto the Lord, and continue with him, notwithstanding all tribulations and afflictions that doth or may attend you in a trying time, and under a suffering condition.

Be tender and loving one to another, as the Lord hath been and is tender and loving to you, do not uncover one anothers naked­nesse to the world, nor to such as do or may seek an occasion a­gainst them and the truth, for the Lord hath not dealt so with you; therefore do unto others as the Lord hath done unto you, and al­wayes appear for the Lord in the principle and spirit of God that you may reach unto, and be answered again by the witnesse of God.

Take heed of judging any appearance of God in one another, but cherish every good thing, and judge this rather, that you lay not a stumbling block in anothers way to offend the weak, or cause them to fall, & turn aside from the truth and way of the Lord.

And be diligent and faithful in meeting together in the way of the Lord, as worshippers of him, and do not forsake the assembling of your selves together for fear of an outward suffering from men; for it is your duty to assemble and meet together in the fear of the Lord, and it is a danger to be negligent in that respect, if men command you to neglect the assembling of your selves together in the way of the Lord, as worshippers of him, in such a case it is better to obey God rather then man; for if you for your obedi­ence and faithfulnesse to God in assembling and meeting together in the way of his worship (wherein he hath enjoyned you to walk) [Page 16]do fall into the hands of men, and be liable to suffer by them for so doing, the Lord knows both how to support you under the suffer­ings, and can also deliver you from them, but if you do forsake the way of the Lord wherein he hath appeared unto you, and wherein he hath for many years owned you, and given you many testimo­nies of his love and acceptation, and fall into the hand and displea­sure of God for so doing, no King nor Potentate upon earth can deliver you therefrom. Therefore it is better and more safe to obey the Lord, and fall into the hands and displeasure of men for the same, then to disobey the Lord, to obey the will of man and fall under the displeasure of God for so doing, because that no man can deliver you from the wrath of the Lord, but the Lord can de­liver from the wrath and displeasure of man, and cause one to re­joyce and be glad under a suffering condition, for tribulation wor­keth patience, and patience experience, and experience hope which makes not ashamed.

You know what the Lord hath been unto you in former trialls, and how he hath taken all slavish fears and faintnesse of heart from you, and hath letten forth his power and virtue within you, and put boldnesse and courage upon you, so that you have been posses­sed with the power of heaven, and made to rejoyce and triumph under a suffering condition, when you have suffered for the Lord and his truth; so that he hath both armed and prepared you for himself, that you may give up into his will to be ordered and dis­posed of by him, for ye are not your own, but are bought with a price. Therefore glorifie God in your bodies, souls, and spirits, which are the Lords, that you may be the people of his praise.

The Lord hath a right to dispose of you both by creation and by redemption, and hath delivered your souls from under the power of the enemy, who sought your destruction, and hath prevented him, and preserved you unto this day, and also been with you in many dangers, and stood betwixt you and the danger, and delivered you therefrom, and kep [...] you to appear at this time for him, and it would be great unkindnesse and unworthinesse in you now to deny the Lord, and give him occasion against you. Oh therefore be strong in the Lord, in the faith, in the love and power of his might, and be bold and valiant for you who is worthy. God blessed for ever.

The End.

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