TO THE Upright in Heart, And FAITHFUL PEOPLE of GOD: BEING AN EPISTLE WRITTEN IN BARBADO'S The 3d. of the 9th. Month, 1662.


LONDON, Printed in the Year, 1662.

TO THE Upright in Heart, And FAITHFUL PEOPLE of GOD:

PEace in God be multiplied to the whole Flock in the Fold of our Lord Jesus, whom I dearly salute in the uncessant flowing Love of Life, being both full and free to the tenderest, lowest and poorest of the living Heritage of the living God, yea, to all, not respecting the Person of any, but greatly prizing the Life of all.

Ah! my dear Brethren and Sisters, I am often filled with a pure remembrance of you, glorifying God in your behalfs, in that you are what the God of Love and Peace hath made you in himself; and also, am frequently prostrated before the Lord in the Spirit of Supplication and Prayer in your behalfs, That as God hath made you to live, so that your Life may be continued in him; and as he hath cast his Love upon you, and given his Peace unto you, so you may live in Love and Peace with all men, even as much as in you it may lie, that it may appear, that you are the Children of the God of Peace, by keeping your Consciences clean and pure, according to the Word of Truth and Righteousness, in all your hearts and souls, [Page 4] that so your Joy may abound and continue with you, through the holy Ghost's living and abiding in you, ever acted in obedience to it, according to all its stirrings and motions in your pure minds.

And my Father's beloved Lambs, I have a few words unto you, which you may (divers of you) at the immediate hear­ing them, witness unto, or in the fulness of appointed time in the Father, be by Him made like-minded in the self-same thing and matter.

Hear ye therefore the sound of the Spirit's voice in me, and let it enter into the ballance of the Sanctuary in you, that all may know its full weight in the more full and clear manifesta­tion of the day, and ascention of the brightness of the Sun in his glory, which hath already blessedly shined into our hearts, and given us to see somewhat of himself; having received in himself a far more amiable Beauty, Resplendency and Glory yet undiscovered, but hath promised shall be revealed in many souls, and therefore we may rest in a living hope, and in our hope believe and obey the voice of his Life in us.

This in brief is the matter of Advice which I have to com­municate unto you. Take heed of judging the tender Con­science of any man, lest you should do the thing which dis­pleaseth the mind of God: For the Conscience is that seat which his Glorious Majesty will rule and reign in, even to the end of all Generations; and whosoever would have a predo­minancy there, him will the Lord humble in his time, and make such mortal flesh to know that He is God, and is not tyed to any thing of man, but can and will appear as he willeth, when, where, how, and in whom he will; and who shall say unto him, I will resist thy Will, and not be confounded by the Infinit and Everlasting Power of his Will?

And, that not any Rashness nor Uncharitableness may inhabit in the heart of any towards his Brother or Friend, Neighbour [Page 5] or Enemy, consider all ye Plants that are already risen up in the Seed, and are growing in the increase of God, that in the increase of Love you may abound in the glory of the most glo­rious Life of your God. I say, let your cogitations be a little exercised, in the consideration of Christ, being the slain Lamb by the power of death, (before the Covenant with Abraham, and reviving of the Law in and by Moses) and yet his spilt Blood had a little living motion in man's body of death, and strove to work through it before Moses, which was one Dis­pensation of the Power and Doctrine of God, and therefore may not be judged by man, neither the Dispensation in man, nor man in the Dispensation.

Again, consider, That Christ was in the Law, as being the sum of the Law in the day that Moses dispensed it to Israel, yet Israel knew not Christ in the Law, but feared God there­in, and so far they were not judged, but justified of him; which may still teach, instruct, and edifie us in his own Cha­rity, that we never go out of it to judge any.

Again, consider, That Christ was the Preachings of the Pro­phets and Life of their Prophecies, which the Tribes of Ja­cob's house had not a Witness of, was wrought in themselves; nor was he so perfectly seen by the Prophets, as to be born in their flesh; yet walked they in the fear of their God, and were not condemned, but justified of their God: Which may teach us all the Charity of our God in every case of judging another man's Conscience to God-wards.

Again, consider, That Christ was manifest in the flesh, born of the blessed Virgin Mary, and was believed on by Disciples, before the revelation of his Life in the Spirit, and in that state they were not condemned but instructed, until the flesh vanished, and Spirit more gloriously appeared, re­vealing unto man, what he should be in all manner of life, both towards God and towards man: Which may teach us all, that wherein we see any that are in a Dispensation which is of God, [Page 6] whilst yet the Conscience that is of God sees none other thing to be favourable and tender, not imposing the sentence of Re­probation on them because they are not where we are, but ra­ther instruct them by Life or Doctrine of the Spirit in us, or Precept or President of the holy men of God of old, as the Spirit of Charity leadeth us thereunto; the which Charity being the Original and first Life, is likewise the last Dispen­sation of Glory, in which all Glories and Fulness are concea­led, and which ends all other Dispensations of Thunders, Earthquakes, Cursings and Smitings; but notwithstanding al­so that, it is the last and utmost, and as well the Determiner of all other Dispensations; and though a sweet proportion there­of is already revealed, yet there is so much thereof to be fur­ther revealed, that my Faith is such concerning the Fulness thereof that I am waiting for the same, as for another Dispen­sation to break forth in a greater power than yet hath appear­ed; and therefore, I say, if my service is passing over, in one certain labour or travel, to see another rise in the greater Glo­ry that is waited for, I believe I can and shall rejoyce, glo­rifying God in beholding that which my soul longs to see brought forth by the Instruments of his own choice, whoso­ever they may be in the whole Earth; for I see this, that God is not bound unto flesh, nor limited to the son of man, and every man hath his service for an hour of the day until ano­ther cometh. So perfect Patience, and perfect Content, gives perfect Peace in all such conditions. And after the foregoing considerations, concerning Judgment, out of what it should, and in what it ought to be towards every tender Conscience, I have yet to speak forth a word of experience, as one which through sufferings, and great sufferings, have attained to the experience of it; which because I have waded through two Seas of oppressive afflictions, and travelled through two Lands of Tribulations, I may be a little lissened unto by some of the little ones, which are willing and faithful Followers of the Lamb whithersoever he goeth, who through sufferings over­cometh all things; Wherefore to such I say,

[Page 7]I have seen three Brethren of the house and tribes of Israel, of three Judgments concerning one case, and very frequently six of their Families, three of them of one Judgment, and three of them of another Judgment touching one case; and because of the oppositness of their Judgments (both held in a certain strong zeal) have had hard thoughts one of another; and then I have seen a seventh soul that righteously said, that neither of their Judgments were found in God's Eternal Word; and then the said seventh soul uttered words in the Spirit's Life, saying, I see an even plain path between those two, in which is written, (viz.) Patience, Humility, Moderation, and Cha­rity, can judge the case in equity; and the seventh soul also saw the infirmities of the other six in their hard thoughts of the three against three, yet had that charity to pitty them be­cause of infirmity; so that that soul could not therefore judge and condemn any of them for the cause that their beings were (really of God) in several Dispensations, for which there was a Zeal more in the passionate part, than the pure temperate Love; so that though the simple sentence of the case by each of them might be true in themselves, according to the Dispen­sations that they were in, whereby they sinned not, but suffered by the inordinate, or somewhat incomposed Zeal, not being so fully in the Love which gives the soundest knowledge, yet as the case stood in another soul, in another Dispensation, that was weightier, and absolutely true in God the Discoverer of the Good, neither of both the other Judgments could reach unto it righteously to justifie or condemn it, and therefore in such cases I am taught, fear, lest I should err in seeking to wrest other mens Consciences.

I might also stand forth in an enquiry, saying, What is it of God that may appear new, fresh, and living in man? but that Enemies to God, which cannot comprehend it, will give sundry Verdicts concerning it; or, that many Children, being some weak in themselves, others byassed by some certain o­ther mens Opinions, others tinctured with some secret drops of prejudice in the more internal part, but also in the like [Page 8] case, will judge amiss concerning it, and as different and divers, as the others which knew not God; by which (through sufferings) I am taught the fear of God, not to exalt my self as King or Lord in another man's Conscience, but do leave that to God, as his Throne and proper seat to rule in.

And this also makes my Soul tender towards all tender Consciences, because I see a Life in God which (I am sure) is unspeakably beyond that which in me is already wrought by God, and yet I call this good where I am, being what I am made by the pure, everlasting Power of God: and whosoever is in such a Life as is mentioned to be beyond me, I would not that he should judge and condemn me being in the place (though but a low place) where the Lord of his Love and Mercy hath put me, and therefore would not willingly do that to any one, which I would not another should do unto me.

Now, dear Children, mine eye is looking forwards; for the spurs of Affliction have been stuck in my sides, and the goad of Persecution hath sorely pricked me; in all which I rejoyce in the consolation of God, because through all, I have been and am daily taught; though thereby I cannot justifie any in evil, but bless and praise my God for suffering it all to work for my good; insomuch that I can say, he hath begun his work of Charity in my Soul, having also given me to see, that yesterday I did the thing in righteousness, in which I was then justified of him, which I should be ashamed (be­fore him) to do the like to day; and I am perswaded that I do do this day those things in truth, purity, and righteousness, that to morrow I may be also ashamed to do; and therefore I am taught in Faith to mind only the immediate Justification of the immediate day, and let all the old things vanish and pass away; and so carry the sense of each dayes justification in my heart, that Satan may never dart in unbelief and distrust, or infuse reasonings, which may beget certain suspitions and doubtings; and so alwayes (as I have said) am desirous to [Page 9] look forward, never limiting God's Power, but willing that it should work whatsoever pleaseth him in my Soul, that he may be ever known to be the Soveraign, and I the poor Subject, waiting for his Will, in his strength to do it, in which I desire ye all may be like minded with me, that peace and pretious joy in the Holy Ghost may exceedingly abound in and among you.

And now as a man of sorrows, and one that hath been large­ly acquainted with grief every way, I cannot but signifie to the Mourners in Israel, and Sorrowers in Sion, that in all your griefs for the Lord and his Kingdoms sake, I am willing to be ever found with you, weeping with them that weep, hunger­ing with them that hunger, bruised with them that are bruised, and crushed with those poor, whose faces are ground between the hard Milstones, and can gladly bear of your burthens that you may be a little eased by the little help which my weakness in God's strength, can assist you with; for Oh, Oh! my ten­der Soul is even full, and desireth to be more filled with the tender Spirit of Compassion and Sympathy, and therefore remembring the Poor, I am Spiritually become a Prayer; and having thought of the Grieved, I am become a Groan; and considering the states of the heavily Oppressed, I am a Peti­tion to the God of pities, that they all may be consolated in that Power that hath made them live to suffer, that through the sufferings of the Lamb, they may be all perfected in the glorious Life of the Lamb, that the day may follow and come to pass of the flying swiftly away of all the sighs and sorrows which did deject and oppress them, but shall no more return to discomfort them, but leave a full joy behind them in this respect, That their poor Souls were counted worthy in the Lamb's Life, to travel such a Pilgrimage, that in the end they might in­herit so pleasant a Possession.

Dearly Saluting all Prisoners and Free-men in the Cause of the Free Gospel of our Lord Jesus; this may import to you all, That as concerning Truth in this Island, it is prosperous, [Page 10] many now are become lisseners to it, and its favour is good a­mongst most; and touching the Faithful Friends of it, their Obedience keeps them in Love and Peace together, which I trust also will yet much more encrease and abound among all: And now surely I can say the blessings of God are on Bar­bados, beholding that abundance of simple and single Love which I see, feel, and enjoy in the hearts of the simple, one towards another, which is a great refreshment unto me after many weary dayes, in that I can also say his own right hand brought me hither in blessing, and put me among pretious Plants of Peace, that we might eat of the Grapes of Glad­ness, and ripe Clusters of Joy in the Mansions of our Fathers Mercies together; and here I find not the former need of a Shield and Buckler in my Friends house, for the sharp Weapons of War are not handled within our joynt Habitations, but are reserved for service against the Armies of Aliens; and yet also I can say, that God is making the point of each mans Spear, the Arrow in each mans Quiver, and Sword at each mans side, Love to Enemies, which kills the Enmity, and raiseth Life in Simplicity, to the honour of him, whose bles­sed Work it is, who in all his Works is worthy of Glory and everlasting Praise, even for ever and ever, Amen.

In whose Love I live, Your refreshed Brother, J. P.

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. Searching, reading, printing, or downloading EEBO-TCP texts is reserved for the authorized users of these project partner institutions. Permission must be granted for subsequent distribution, in print or electronically, of this EEBO-TCP Phase II text, in whole or in part.