Two General Epistles To the Flock of God, where-ever they are dispersed on the Face of the Earth; who are gathered and separated from the World, and its Wayes and VVorships, to bear Testimony for the Lord God against the Deceit and Deceivableness which the VVorships of the VVorld have lain in, in the dark Night of Apostacy. ALSO, Pure CONSOLATION and COMFORT proclaimed from the Spi­rit of Life, to the faithful Followers of the Lamb in this day of his Controversie with the Beast, who now sore rageth, to see the Lamb & his followers prevail and overcome (through their Patience and Suffering) whilst the Beast in his Instru­ments is as pricking Briars and grievous Thorns unto them, which they shall not alwayes be. With an Admonition unto all who are not wholly Redeemed out of the Earth. Written by M. F. and I. P.

And there shall be no more a pricking Briar unto the house of Israel, nor any grieving Thorn of all that are round about them, that despised them; and they shall know that I am the Lord God. Thus saith the Lord God, When I shall have gathered the house of Israel from the People among whom they are scattered, and shall be sanctified in them in the sight of the Heathen, then shall they dwell in their Land that I have given to my servant Iacob, and they shall dwell safely therein, and shall build Houses, and plant Vine­yards; yea, they shall dwell with confidence, when I have executed Iudg­ments upon all those that despise them round about them, and they shall know that I am the Lord their God.

Ezek. 28.24, 25, 26.

Printed at London, in the Year 1664.

An Epistle to the Flock of God where-ever they are disper­sed on the Earth where this may come, who is called, and gathered, and separated from the World, and their Wayes and Worships, to bear Testimony for the Lord God, against their Deceit and Deceivableness, which all the Worships of the World have lain in, in the dark Night of Apostacy.

MY dearly beloved Friends and Brethren in the Everlasting Unity and Fellowship of the Gospel of Peace, which is glad-tydings to all that shall receive it, and which hath been glad-tydings unto you who have received it; of which Gospel not any one need be ashamed, for it is the Power of God unto Salvation unto every one that believeth. In the Unity of this Faith, and Fellowship of this Gospel do I write unto you, as un­to dear and near Members of this Body, whereof Christ Jesus is the Head, and hath given himself for it, that he might make it a glorious Church without spot or wrinkle; who is ascended far above all Hea­vens, and is glorified with the Father before the World began; and hath all power both in Heaven and Earth committed unto him; and who hath trodden down Principalities and Powers, and Angels and Authorities are subject unto him, so that none of you need to fear what men can do, who receive their breath and being from the Lord of Heaven and Earth, who hath all their hearts in his hand, and can turn them at his pleasure. O my dearly beloved Friends, stand fast in that Liberty wherein Christ Jesus hath made you free, and be­ware of being intangled again into bondage. Oh, is it not Liberty unto you to be free from under the yoke of Oppressors, and to be from having your Consciences bound under the wills of men, and to be freed from having your Consciences subject to the beggarly Rudi­ments and carnal Ordinances set up by men, and established by mens Laws, contrary to the Law of God, and contrary to Christ and his Apostles, witnessed forth in the Scriptures, and also contrary to the [Page 4] Light of Christ, the Witness of God in your own Consciences: O prize this Liberty which the Lord Jesus Christ hath manifested unto you, and prize the blessed Visitation of the Lord's Love, in making known unto you his Way and Truth, and opening unto you that which hath been shut in the Night of Apostacy, the Revelation of Jesus being made manifest in your Consciences, and the Law of the New Covenant being written in your Hearts, which you have read in, which Law, Testimony and Book hath been sealed in the dark night of Apostacy, and hath been hidden from Generations past, but hath been revealed unto you by his Spirit, Glory to the Lord for ever. O prize this matchless Love, which is precious Liberty indeed; the whole Creation hath long groaned under the burden of Oppression & Cor­ruption, the Redemption out of which is through the Obedience of the Spirit of God: who are guided by his Spirit are his Sons, and the redemption of the Body is through the Adoption in the Spirit, where­by every member may call God Father, for the Church is in God, and he is the Father of it. And so you that abide in the Spirit, and are gathered in the Spirit, and drink together into the Spirit, and are bap­tized into it, here you are in the precious Liberty of the Children of God, and are taught of him, and are established in his Truth and Righteousness; and the Lord is your Shepherd, and Christ is the everlasting High-Priest of your Profession, and the Bishop of your Souls, and so becomes your Leader, Guider and Ruler; and so the Lord is your King and Law-giver, and your Iudge; and so here is glorious and precious Liberty. You that come hither to be ordered and governed under the power and dominion of Christ, and to be translated into the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ, from under the power and king­dom of Antichrist, this is precious indeed: and what if this be obtained through some Sufferings, Hardships and Tryals? how should it be otherwise, since that the Gentiles exercise Lordship one over ano­ther? how should Babylon part with her Children quietly? It is not like but there should be Oppression and Warrs between these two Kingdoms, the kingdom of Antichrist, Darkness, Oppression and Ty­ranny, and the Kingdom of Christ, which is Light, Power, Righte­ousness and Peace. O consider Him that hath gone before you, He thought it no robbery to be equal with God, and yet made himself of no re­putation, but took upon him the place of a servant, and in that humbled himself to the death of the Cross; for which cause, God gave him a Name [Page 5] better than every Name, to which every knee must bow, and every tongue confess. Now if the same mind be in you, you will think nothing too hard, nor nothing too dear to give up for his Name-sake, which every knee must bow unto, and every tongue confess unto: and so as you are ga­thered now into this Name, bow unto this Name, and confess unto this Name; but bow to no other, nor confess to no other before men, lest Christ Jesus deny you before his Father which is in Heaven, and you be found transgressors against him; then will your condition be sad, and your reward heavy, and your spirit will come into bondage again, which you will find more grievous than any outward persecu­tion or suffer [...]ng can be; for the very Life of the Righteous lies in the spiritual freedom and dominion, to keep out of Disobedience and Transgression, and keeps the Conscience clear; there is the Spirit free, and there is dominion and power in the Truth of the Lord Jesus Christ, over all the powers of Darkness; for as you abide and con­tinue in the Truth, it will make you free; And whom the Son makes free, they are perfectly free indeed: though there may be outward bonds, or outward Laws executed upon them, yet in the Lord they are free, and have peace and dominion in him. And so dear Friends, above all mind your Spiritual Freedom, and your Spiritual Reward, which will be surely received according to every ones deeds done in the body; he that hath done good deeds in the body will receive good; he that hath done evil deeds in the body, he shall receive his reward accordingly: and so it nearly concerns you all, that have given up your names unto the Lord, and are engaged in the Lambs War, to be faithful unto him; for if you be not, you will turn enemies to your own souls, and his Hand and Arm and Power will turn against you, and then whither can you flee from his Presence? therefore keep faithful to the Lord God in his Truth, and make war in Righteous­ness, and give your backs to the smiter and your cheeks to them that pull off the hair; it is but an hour, stand it out, the Lamb shall have the Victory; and mind the Glory and Honour of Christ Jesus your Lord and Master more than your own outward Priviledges▪ and fol­low him whithersoever he goes; follow him through the Regenera­tion and washing, where you will come to be clensed and made clean through the Tribulation, your garments will be made white: and Christ Jesus was made perfect through Sufferings; and whoever comes to Perfection, it must be through the Sufferings: for that which is [Page 6] imperfect will be done away and have an end, but that which is per­fect will remain and endure for ever: so prize this precious Pearl, and sell it not, but rather sell all for it, & keep it as your chiefest trea­sure: your Redemption & Perfection hath been purchased at a dear rate, no corruptible perishing thing could purchase it, but the preci­ous Blood and Life of Jesus which he hath given for the ransoming of you; let this precious Redemption be precious unto you, and value not the Sufferings of this present time with it, for they are not worthy to be compared to it. And now seeing that the Lord Jesus Christ is come that you might have Life, and that you might have it more a­bundantly, O keep unto him, and to the Testimony of him in you, that he hath written in your hearts, and abide there with him, for you are near unto him, and have cost him dear; for he hath not left you comfortless, but he is come to you; believe in him, and ask of him the Living-Water which he gives, and it will be in you a Well springing up to Eternal Life, so that out of your bellies shall flow Rivers of Living-water. Here is the true Treasure, here is the durable Riches, far surpassing all created things.

And so my dearly beloved Friends, in the bowels of tender and hearty Love do I desire and beseech you to be true and faithful to the Lord God, and to his Truth and your own Souls, in this his Day, which may be a day of our Tryal; for Satan desires to winnow, and to sift you, but blessed are you whose Faith fails not, but abides the fiery Tryal, which is to try every ones Faith; and the Faith that is tried, is much more precious than Gold which perisheth. So the God of pow­er, Strength and Wisdom, whose Arm is the Strength, Preserver and Deliverer of his People, keep you all, who will be sure to be faith­ful and dear and tender to all those that are true and faithful unto him; and blessed and happy are all you that sit down in the Power with the Lord God, and chuse the better part, and so the Elect Seed may obtain the Inheritance, even the Immortal Crown of Life and Righteousness, and in that you may all have Dominion, being nothing terrified with your Adversaries: and the Apostle saith, It is a faith­ful saying, and worthy of all acceptation: If we suffer with him, we shall also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us: if we believe in him, he is faithful and just, and cannot deny himself.

From your Friend and Sister in the Lord, M. F.

An Epistle to all faithful Friends and Brethren from the Spirit of God for their Comfort and Consolation, in this day of Iacobs troubles; with an Admonion to all who are not wholly redeemed out of the Earth, to follow the Lamb whithersoever he goes, but are tossed and trou­bled with fear to lose the Earth, and so look back again, and take their flight in the Winter.

DEar Friends, Brethren and Sisters, the called of God in Christ Jesus, according to his Purpose, to fulfill his Will, and to finish your Testimony for his Name-sake in your Generati­on with Joy, Consolation and assured Peace, as they did in Generations past, who through the Eternal Power were made par­takers of the like precious Faith, whereby they stood fast, and where­by many now stand, not fearing the rage of the Wicked, nor their ter­rifying threats, revilings, nor reproaches; but in the Power of God that never changes, but is a present help in the time of need, are kept over all the fury of the Oppressors; that take counsel together, and set themselves against the Lord and his Anointed, who now is ma­nifested and in due time perfectly known to be our Rock and sure Refuge to fly unto for safety in every tryal, and in all storms, tem­pests and rain that may arise out of the Sea, and the Waters which cast up mire and dirt: What aileth the Sea that it begins again to rage? what ail the Waves that they thus swell? why do they ima­gine, contrive, and hatch evil against the Innocent and Godly, whom God hath set apart for himself, who are more excellent than their Neighbours, whom God hath blessed, and will bless and preserve them where-ever they go, and defend against all that take crafty counsel against them. Oh ye that know the Heavenly Treasure, awake, awake, stand up from the Earth, every one of you, put on your beautiful Garments, put on your Strength, that none of you may now be without it in this Day of sore Tryals and great Tribula­tions: O stand, stand up every one out of the Earth, and keep out of the Sea, and mingle not with the Heathen, drink not of the Whores [Page 8] Cup again, nor partake of Babylons sins; for plagues, plagues, wo, wo cometh upon Babylon and all the seed of evil-doers.

O ye Believers in the Light and Children of the Day, fret not your selves because of evil-doers, though they seem to prosper and flourish as a green Bay-tree, their root withereth, their expectations and vain hopes shall fail and come to nothing, in their Iniquity they shall pe­rish; for the Lord God is uttering his Voice from Heaven, saying, I will consume, I will make an end, a full end of them that hate me, and evil entreat my Servants; from Heaven I will thunder upon them, mine Angels, my ministring Spirits shall war with them by my Spirit and Power, mine Elect shall confound them; mine An­gels, my ministring Spirits, mine Elect, need no carnal weapons to defend them; for I will be a strong Tower and Rock of sure Defence unto them that trust in me, saith the Lord God Almighty; therefore sing and rejoyce in the Tryals, Prisons and Sufferings, in all the Spoils that are made of your Goods, and in all your Hardships, ye Elect, gathered into Covenant with God, ye Called, Chosen and Faithful Followers of the Lamb, that hate the Whore, and cannot any more drink of her Cup, nor give your power to the Beast, nor bow nor bend to Deceit in any appearance whatsoever, nor conform to the Wills nor Decrees of men, contrary to the Lord's Requirings in your own Consciences; O ye Heirs of the enduring Substance, and Crown, and Kingdom that never shall have end, you are all right dear and near unto me, and God our Father's Care is over you, his peculiar Love is to you, and his refreshing Hand and Presence and blessed Power is with you. What is the Chaff to the Wheat in the time of tryal or winnowing? that is Chaff that's blown away with the wind, the Wheat remains stedfast; these Storms, these fiery Tryals and great Tribulations are but to winnow out the Chaff, and burn up the Chaff, and purge the Floor thorowly, and to gather the pure Seed nearer and nearer unto him, who hath his Fan in his hand, and will thorowly purge away the Dross, and take away all the Tin, and no­thing contrary to God's pure Nature must or will stand: So ye faith­ful Heirs of Life and Salvation, which is as walls and bulwarks unto you, think it not strange concerning this fiery Tryal, if you be hated, rejected, and trod upon, and esteemed not worthy of a being in this Nation to live in; it's for Righteousness-sake, and therein we are happy: For, if we could be unrighteous, and deny what God [Page 9] hath done in us, and for us, and hearken to the counsel of the wicked, they would love us, and not imprison us, nor spoil our goods, nor banish us; but the wickedness of the wicked shall come to an end, and the Righteous Seed must be established over all the seed of evil-doers, and God, even our God, reigns in triumph over his Enemies, and will break them in pieces like a Po [...]ters vessel, and the wicked shall not live out half their dayes.

And so dear Friends, as the Lord God by his own Arm and Power brought and redeemed us out of that which is corruptible and perish­eth, every one is to keep out of that, lest by letting the mind after it again, any should weaken themselves, and so be drawn back into the state of perishing, like Stars that fall from Heaven down into the Earth, and minde Earthly things more than the Honour and Glory of God, and the Prosperity of his Truth, which they have born Testimony to, and suffered for, and account it their chiefest Treasure; for if any such should forsake this, and again go to imbrace and trust in uncertain riches, it will cause God's wrath to kindle against them, their mercies, comforts and benefits to blast; so whatever you lose or part with, part not with Truth, lose not Truth, lest again you should be brought into desolation, and lest the Serpent should beguile any of you, or draw any of you into Earthliness; and so out of fear to lose the Earth, which is the Lords and the fulness thereof, to give and take away as he pleaseth, you should withdraw from Meetings, where you have been sweetly refreshed, and tasted of the Powers of the World to come. And dear Friends, the more take heed and be watchful, because the Enemy lyes near, and his Temptations are ma­ny, wherein he lieth in wait to deceive, if it were possible, the Elect; and now he is very busie, going about night and day like a roaring Lion, seeking whom he may devour. And again, I say, Friends, be vigilent and watchful, because many eyes are upon you, looking up­on ye to be Examples to the World; and ye are the Salt of the Earth, by which the World must be salted; and ye are a City set on a Hill that cannot be hid. Now if any of you should be unfaithful, and lend your ear to the wicked, and hearken to, and follow his counsel, and make shipwrack of your Faith, and deny the Lord that bought you, and purchased you with his Blood; then what would they say whose eyes are upon you, and as Examples, look at you? and what will the Heathen say round about you, they will blaspheme the Name [Page 10] of God, in which you have met amongst the Faithful. And so as a Brother and a worker together with the Faithful, and in the measure of the Spirit of Love and Tenderness of heart, I admonish you all that have been unfaithful, and shrunk from Truth to save that which will perish, to take heed what you do; for none that ever did so, did prosper, and they will be marked and punished as the fearful unbe­lieving hypocrites, that forsake Christ (like Demas) to imbrace this present world. And so dear Friends keep in the Power of God, and that redeems out of the Earth, and keeps out of the Earth, and that will make you willing to follow the Lamb whithersoever he goes; and be not weary in well-doing, for in due season you shall reap if you faint not: And the Vision is for an appointed time, and at the end it will speak and not lie; though it tarry, wait for it, it will surely come, it will not tarry: and so let patience possess your souls, let patience have its perfect work in every particular, for you had need of patience, that after you have done the Will of God, you may receive the Promise and the patient abiding the Meek shall inherit, they shall be hid as in a Pavillion most sure; and so every one keep quiet and still, that God's saving health and strength you may feel; and let that mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who being in the form of God, thought it no robbery to be equal with him, yet took upon him the place of a servant, and was made of no reputation; who learned obedience through the things that he suffered, and was made perfect through sufferings, and through death overcame him that had the power of death [the Devil] and he was a man of sor­rows, and acquainted with griefs, and his visage more marr'd than any man's; who was hated and rejected, and despised of the Wise and Learned, yet chosen of God and precious: and so, seeing that Generation that are wise and prudent, and knew him not, but hated him without any just cause; who was and is the Author of Eternal Salvation, marvel not if they know not us, and hate and persecute us without any just cause. So Friends when you are called to suffer for his Name-sake, and though you be accounted as sheep for the slaughter, consider, it was the lot, or that which many of the holy men of God, Prophets, Christ and the holy Apostles met with from that Persecuting Generation; and so mind Christ that went before us, who when he was reviled, reviled not again; who was led as a Lamb dumb before the shearers he opened not his mouth, but gave up willingly [Page 11] to the death, to the shameful death of the Cross, that you may fill up what is behind of the sufferings of Christ, and may suffer with him, and so reign with him.

And so dear Friends, be faithful to the end, and faint not in your minds, but feel and know Iosephs Bow which abides in strength, that you may all be fruitful unto God; and matter not the Archers of Ba­bylon though they shoot at you, and prepare many Arrows against you; for their Bow shall be broken, and their formed weapons con­founded, and not prosper; and all who are kept faithful to the Lord, shall see wonderful things brought to pass, and Deliverance, and a way made through all these present seeming oppositions and Moun­tains that stand before Zerubbabel, and it shall become a Plain; but by the Arm of the Lord, and not by carnal might nor power certain­ly shall this be done.

O dear Friends, let none be slack, nor fearful, nor unbelieving, nor of a doubtful mind concerning the good things promised by the Lord God to the house of Israel, and to the house of Iudah, but feel the hand and power of God that saves, preserves and keeps all them that fear him and trust in him, as a Shepherd doth his Flock, which hath been often stretched out and apparently made known for our Preservation and Protection in this Age and Generation, when there was none to help nor to plead our Cause in the Earth: and as all are kept faithful to the Lord, and bold and valiant for his Truth upon the Earth, their peace will be great, and their joy and refreshment encrease to carry above all the Sufferings of this present life. So in the Faith that worketh by Love, and purifieth the heart, and getteth the Victory over the World, the Lord God of Power keep you all, in his Name and Fear for ever.

VVherein I remain your true and faith­ful Brother to the measure of Light re­ceived, truly sympathizing with you in all your Sufferings, as suffering with you, who are as them of us that in Ge­nerations past were troubled, but not forsaken. Iames Parke.

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