TO THE Suffering SEED OF ROYALTY, Wheresoever Tribulated upon the Face of the whole Earth; THE SALUTATION Of Your BROTHER Under the Oppressive Yoak of BONDS, in ROME—PRISON of Mad-men. JOHN.

LONDON, Printed for Robert Wilson, at [...] of the Black-spread-Eagle and Windmill, in [...] Grand, 1661.

To the Suffering Seed of Royalty, &c.

IN the Everlasting Bowels and Spirit of Love, Unity, Pitty, Compassion and Mercy, I truly set my whole Mind, Soul, and utmost Strength unto the Weight of Your Yoak, bea­ring your Burdens in breathing and burning flames of the Righteous Zeal of the Temple of the Lord God, and for your sakes am a man of sighs, sobs, sorrows, tears, cryes, groans, and of supplications and prayers night and day in my poverty and weakness, pleading and wrestling with the Most Strong and Mighty One for you all, in this the day of your Temptations and sore Tryals, that you may stand on the Foundation of the Heavens, which was before the Earth and the slippery places thereof were created or manifest; that whilst your Enemies watch for your downfal, ye may walk as Mighty men; and whilst they seek for your haltings, you may run seven-fold more swift in the Race; and whilst they seek to cast you down to the ground, you may mount up into the Heaven of the Glory of God, as with the Wings of Eagles and Angels; and whilst they think they have you in woful places, you may live as in Princely Palaces, cloathed with soft Rayment, fed with the Bread of Saints and de­licious Meats of Angels, consolated with the Harmony of Heaven, and crowned with Diadems of Glory: Surely I have cryed aloud, aloud, aloud, even with a lift up voyce unto my God, saying; O my Lord God of all Mercies, is not Israel thy Son, and Je­rusalem thy only Daughter? or, Was Israel of old, in the ancient dayes of Moses, Joshua, and the rest of thy Servants like unto Sion thy Son in this the day that thou hast made him a People? Though they murmured against thee, and repined in the times of their straights; yet thy Mercies failed them not in the time of need: And canst thou forsake or forget this thy Chosen Gene­ration, which trust in thy Power to the utmost, and in the deepest straits are ready to say in their hearts, Our God is the best of thousands, and more amiable and desirable than all besides Him that is in the Earth or Heaven? Can thy Righteous Soul forget [Page 3] to be merciful, and remember no more to be compassionate unto the languishing distresses of thy own poor and tender sucklings, and little ones, which cannot stand without thy help, nor walk without thy assistance? Shall the Enemy say, Lo, they were alwayes as a bruised people, as if the Countenance of God had never been towards them, and now his fury is fallen down flat upon them? Oh Lord, why shall the sluces be alwayes open to the floods, and thy plants to the storms of the winter? If I have found grace or favour in thine eye, O Lord my God accept of me, if it be to be nayled hand and foot on a Crosse, or torn asunder with wild horses. Oh but what could the destruction of my flesh please, satisfie, or give content to the Will of the Holy One in? for thou requirest the heart, which I offer unto thee, with the body and its tears, and the deepest groans of my heavy soul for thy Israel, that Thou in thy Sion mayest be glorified, who art ten thousand times more un­to me than all thine Israel is. And for this cause of thy Glory in Sion and Jerusalem, knowest thou not that I could willingly dye with a heart broken indeed with unspeakable grief and sor­rows? Surely my God, thou seest and knowest it, in whose sight O that I could be accepted to the thing indeed, even for Israels Ransom; for then should my sorrows be joys unto my soul, and with gladness would I flie unto grief, as a shaft that is shot to the mark: But alas, alas, I am a Child and a Fool before the Eter­nal God, and what am I to speak to His Majesty, but that surely He hath Mercy, and His Compassions can in no wise fail.

And behold, the God of Heaven rent me as a Rag with his Power, and tore me as a Paper with his Word, and clove me a­sunder, and even ground me to dust and pouder, and melted me as Wax, and made me run down as a River of water; for He hath power over hearts, and can make contrite as he pleaseth, and broken as his Power moveth; whose Goodness answered me, saying,

I am God, even the Lord God of all Dominion and Supremacy, which holdeth the Covenant of Compassions and Mercies, who changeth not, but am as yesterday, so this day, yea, and for ever and ever, who speaketh unto thee: Israel is my own Seed, he is begotten of mine Eternal Love, and born of my choicest Af­fection: and therefore let Israel, the Son of my bosom, and Love [Page 4] of mine own heart, know, that though a father might cast out the son of the seed of his loyns born in his own image, and though a mother might hate that the fruit of her womb should at all be suckled or nursed; Moreover, though Man and Beast might grow out of all natural kind, and the Earth, Seas and Rivers, and all that in them is, become wholly unnatural in their kinds; yea, if the Heavens, with the Sun, Moon and Stars, could be changed from their glory, and no more be seen as Lights; yet cannot I alter mine Affection, nor turn the tender bowels of my Love from Sion my first-born, and Jerusalem my only daughter; but I who have begotten, formed and created him in the womb, do hold the Treasures of Mercies in store for him, and the Eter­nal Riches of all Compassions to be revealed; Yet a little, and it shall be in mine appointed time (wherein I will magnifie mine Eternal Glory) to his most exceeding and surpassing Joyful­ness, even for ever and ever. And therefore though I, his tender compassionate Father have led him into the Wilderness to be tryed and tempted, that he may be throughly cleansed, san­ctified and purified, yet lo, I am walking in the midst of the Trees of the solitary places among all his Tents, speaking com­fortable things unto Sion my Son, and Ierusalem my Virgin-Daughter; for this is the place wherein I will allure her, and that with the promise of Certainties, and not of Flatteries, for I am the righteous and faithful God of Heaven; whilst I speak unto Sion, O Sion, my Son, and Ierusalem, my Daughter, ap­pear ye as my Off-spring; and as I live, saith the Lord, I will appear as your God. I have born the Iniquities of all Ages, bear ye therefore a little in this Age, that ye may be known to bear my perfect Similitude and Image in your Age. And then behold, I thy God, who can bear all things, but not thy bruises, nor suffer the Oppressions that are on thee (for that thou art tenderer to me than the Apple of mine Eye, because thou art weak and feeble, poor and helpless in thy self, and hast no weapon of vengeance with thee, save that thou castest thy griefs upon me, and thy sorrows, as darts, into my bosom) even I will arise as the she Bear that is robbed of her young, and as a Lionness bereaved of her whelps; yea, I will roar with the voice of ter­rible Thunders from the Heavens, and will rend in the Earth [Page 5] beneath, and make the horns of Cattel to smite against the horns of Cattel, the black against the bloody, and the speckled against the griefled, that the Flock of my Pasture may live. And thus I have decreed the work of my Hand, and by the push of the Horn of an Unicorn, Fortresses shall fall, and the Doors of Dungeons shull be opened, and my Seed sing Psalms of Delive­rance; for I the Faithful One am the Saviour of mine own Remnant, which saith, we will stand still and not move; nay, we will not move hand against our enemies, nor finger against our fiercest foes: but will commit our cause to the Holy One, who marketh the footsteps of our way; and if he suffer us to be a spoyl, then will we be a spoyl indeed, because through our spoyl, He can gain himself a prey of thousands; for He is the Wise One, even the wonderful wise One, whose way is past finding out: Wherefore we will rest and be still, and hold our peace in Content, until He hath perfected our Patience to his praise. This is the Seed to whom I have covenanted Glory, I the Faithful and Holy One have said it; I will cloath them with my Sabbath dayes Robes of Righteousness, and attire them with the Ornaments of mine own perpetual praise: their path shall be as the purest Gold, and their habitation as a Palace artificially cut in a most clear Cristal Rock, and each in his dwelling shall be as the Sun in the Firmament, shining through the Walls of his Habitation, that no flesh living shall be ever able to behold them for Glory: And behold, as their souls have gained hunger after Righteousness in the labouring dayes of their tryals, and thirst after my Glory in the hottest oppressive hours of their Persecutions and Tribulations; and whereas, the more they have been oppressed, the more they loved it for my Name and Righteousness sake: therefore the day cometh that they shall eat no Bread but my Life, nor drink no Wine but the Rivers of my Breath; neither shall they be as the sons of men are, but as the Angels of my Glory in Heaven; And yet at this time I will neither tell thee, nor the train of mine Host in the upper places, what I will do for these tender Lambs of my pleasure; for they shall be mine for ever and ever, saith the Lord God Eternal of Righteousness, and of all Love and Mer­cies.

[Page 6]Ah Children, children, now let me your Brother in the Lord, speak in his grace unto you; Though the Day is as the like hath never been unto you before, shut up in Dens and Holes, in crouds and clusters, Male and Female, old and young, strong and weak, without respect unto the feeble, or any regard unto the infirm and tender of Body; yet, Who is it that waiteth upon his God, but feeleth Mercy taking him by the hand? What Babe a­mong you is it that cryeth unto the Father, in this the Day of the Captivity of your Mother, but hath the openings of the breast of Consolations, and sensibly sucks of the refreshing and reviving Milk of Joyfulness? Verily, I am one with you in your Com­forts and Gladness; feeling, with you, how sweetly your Father swadleth you, and beareth you in his Bosom, and with his own right hand rocketh you in the Cradle of his everlasting Re­pose and Rest; and as you hunger, putteth pap into your mouths; and as you thirst, quencheth the drowth of your desires with the very drops of his own fountain, and so feedeth you to the full, and makes you prosper in the way of his Power; and though your Dens are noysome, and your Dungeons darkness, yet the Breath of your God is a precious Perfume continually in the middest of your dwelling, and his Presence as the light of the Sun in your habitation; and now more than ever you know him to be God indeed, and very gracious and good indeed, a sure shelter and a safe refuge indeed, which will never fail you, as you never fail trusting in him, but stand to the utmost, and say in faithful­ness, and in the countenance of his favour, as my tender Soul hath said, What is Liberty without God? And, What is more pleasant than a Prison with my God? Oh! Oh! my Father's Lambs, I can never tell you the riches, the largeness, the fulness, the vastness, and the everlasting Treasures of his eternal Love wherewith he hath visited my Soul; and therefore my whole heart must ever remain ready to say, Blessed be the Day, yea, thrice blessed be the hour wherein I was born for proof and tryal in the sharpness and severity of Bonds; and yet you know not the weight thereof, neither can I tell you a tenth part thereof: I say, for all these things I must bless the moment for ever, wherein I was born unto them, because never had I such sweet union, fel­lowship, and conversation with my Maker and Husband, as I [Page 7] have had in these most extream times of my tryals; which I tell you the rather, that it may provoke your souls unto a perfect wil­lingness and readiness of submission unto the same pleasant Yoak; for you are the Lord's Cattel, linked with the Chain of his Love, to the Plough, which shall turn up the whole Earth, and make Wildernesses planted places, and solitary Woods and Deserts, Vineyards of Red Wine; yea, barren Hills, Olive Plantations, and parched Mountains, most fruitful Corn fields; that after your labours, you may eat the fruits of encrease, and drink the Wine of your travels. And therefore, O ye tenderest Doves, lift up your heads, and rejoice, and be not afraid nor dismaid at any thing without you, but watch, and fear to hold the Testimony in faithfulness within you, and then shall the Covenant be cer­tainly fulfilled unto you, even as the Faithful One hath sworn it unto you in faithfulness.

And yet a little hearken unto my Experience, as Counsel, because the Lord hath instructed me from on high, and shewed me the works of his Hands in the Deeps, and made me know the Good Fishes of his Love, from the others that chase to devour, and the Beasts of the Prey from the Lambs of his Pasture, and the ravening Fowls from the harmless Birds, and the subtil Ser­pents from the innocent simple Worms; for I have been driven in the Deeps with Whales, and hunted in the Earth by Foxes, Wolves and Lions, and been subtilly wept and lamented for by cruel Crokadiles; yea, Cockatrices have spit venom in my face, and Serpents have followed hard after me, to find out my foot­steps, and Dragons spued out floods to overwhelm me: Be­sides, Oh it cannot be told, the works of the fiery flying Serpent, and his blazing appearances as Torches! Oh the Snares that he hath polished, and Traps that he hath beautified with leaves of gold, which nothing could discover unto me besides Him that search­eth all hearts; in all which I had no safety but in the secret clift of the Rock, making fear my Bread, and trembling my Cup of Wine, and so I bolted my doors with trust, and double-barred them with confidence, and made my bed of patience, and pillow of peace, and covered my self with the cloathing of Content; which I tell you all as Counsel, that you may do the same, and abide in the same Pavillion of safety, and Munitions of the migh­tiest [Page 8] Rocks; and then shall you find your God to be Walls of Fire and Walls of Brasse about you, speaking unto you, as He hath of­ten spoken unto me in the many hours of my trembling, saying; Fear not, worm Iacob, for I am thy God; there is no En­chantment shall prevail against thee, neither shall Weapon formed against thee prosper; yea, He gave me wonderful Signs when I sought them not, and Voyces when I asked not for Answer, but waited in my simplicity, and made it the care of my soul to watch in his pure Content; for I burned with zeal for his Glory, and therefore often and carefully with numberless tears, and a heart melted like Wax, I have prayed and beseeched his Mercy, rather to cut me off; without giving me the sight of the light of another day, than that I should sin against his Grace, to make his Truth a reproach in the mouths of the Thousands which have gaped to swallow me up as a morsel; which I com­municate unto you for all your Encouragements, assuring you, That the Lord God will never fail you in the Humbleness, Con­triteness, Fear, Trembling and Trust, but will be with you to the utmost, saving and preserving you, and magnifying his Name in you; To whom be all Glory, Praise, Honour, and Re­nown, Amen, Amen, Amen; Even for ever and ever, Amen.

THE END.

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