ABSTRACTS OF SOME LETTERS WRITTEN BY Mr. ROBERT RICH, Treating mostly of Spiritual Matters, Are here transmitted to Posterity, and recommended to the sober and serious Enquirer, FOR Promoting of Universal Love amongst all sorts of People, without respect of Persons, Parties, or Sects.

Together with a friendly Letter of Dr. Jer. Taylor, to the said R. R. in Answer to one of his.

Published by a Lover of RIGHTEOUSNES But an utter Enemy to Deceit and Wickedness in whomsoever J. P.

LONDON, Printed for Benjamin Billingsley, at the Printing-Press, near the [...]al-Exchange, in Cornhill. 1680.


I Having had the perusal of divers of Mr. R. Rich's Letters, (by reason of his late Decease) found several things (scattered up and down amongst them) of a sublime and Divine Nature, some of which I picked and culled out, and now expose to publick view, chiefly for the sake of those whose Hearts and Minds are set Sion-wards, to be kept upon Record for their Posterity, even the Generations of all the just and righteous Ones, of what Nation, Kindred, Tongue, or People soever they be. For the sincere, single, and upright-hearted, in whom there is no Guile, (who seek not the Praise of Men, but the Glory of the Lord only) were, are, and for ever will be acted and guided by one and the same Spirit [of Purity, Holiness, and Self-denial] through­out all Ages and Generations. He that can receive the Testimony of this Truth, (as did the Apostle Peter of old, and as do the Servants of the Lord now) let him; but withal let him know, unless his Life and Conversation be harmless and blameless amongst Men, all his No­tion of Truth in words will but add to his greater Condemnation: For he that talks of his Master's Will, and is not a doer of the same, must expect to be beaten with many stripes. Wherefore my Advice is, before any talk of, or intermeddle with the Secrets or Myste­ries of the Great GOD, they first see Justice, Righteousness, and Love to Equity, set up in their own Souls; for till that be resolvedly and fixedly established within, all Knowledg and Profession without will avail little: For what doth the Lord require of thee, O Man, but to do justly, to love Mercy, and to walk humbly before Him? Therefore let these things, in which the Kingdom of God con­sists, (and not in Meats or Drinks, Habits, Times, or Places, which at best were but shadows of good things to come,) be first sought after, and all other things needful will be added; as hath been fully and truly experienced by one who hath learned, not only to forgive Enemies, but can, with delight, reward Evil with Good. Which Lesson, that the Reader may learn, press after, and attain unto, is the desire of him, who seeks the Good and Weal of all Mankind.

J. P.

Mr. Rich's Letter to Doctor Taylor, of the 9th of Feb. 1657. Together with the Doctor's Answer.


BEing in my Heart persuaded, that there are many of late years which have suffered much in their Persons, Estates, and good Names, of those People called Malignants, especially some that were in the Ministry, that were not only put out of their Livings, but by an Act made uncapable of that Emploiment their Education best fit­ted them for, viz. the keeping of Schools. And altho perhaps some might suffer justly for their Offences, yet I do believe many of them did suffer for the Testimony of a good Conscience, not daring to make shipwrack of it, nor to act against that Light or Knowledg, which to them was made mani­fest from the Lord to be just and right. Towards such have I great Love, notwithstanding the different Dispensations, Manifestations, Operations, and Administrations wherein we are cast, knowing the Root and Ground to be from the one Spirit, and that in my Father's House there are many Mansions, in which as every one abides to act and do the things that are just and right, they are accepted with him, of what Nation, Kindred, or Peo­ple soever, whether Jew or Gentile, they are all one in Christ Jesus, God's Talent and Gift to the World, who doth enlighten every one freely by his Grace both to will and to do, of his good pleasure. And therefore as a Testimony of that Love the Lord hath begot in my Heart to all Men, es­pecially to them that improve my Lord's Talent, and who are of his Hous­hold, and abide in the Faith (that keeps clean the Heart) which is held in a pure Conscience, have I by this Bearer sent unto you Ten Pounds to bestow amongst them you know to be in want, under that Form called Episcopal. And this I feel to be well-pleasing to God, (and hath a Reward from him,) altho it should be condemned by Man. So desiring you in this thing to act, as Truth in the inward parts shall direct, I commit you to the Grace and Love of God; where I rest,

Your Friend and Servant, R. R.

The Doctor's Answer.


I Received from you (by the hands of your Nephew) a Letter, and Ten Pounds, to be given to such godly Ministers of the Episcopal Persuasion, who are in want, and suffer for the Testimony of their Consciences. Sir, I do in their behalf return my humble thanks to God, who hath put it in­to your Heart to do so good, so charitable an Action, for the relief of his afflicted Servants. And I return hearty thanks to You also, and do very much rejoice in that Piety and godly Sincerity of your Spirit, by which you endeavour, by your Love unto the Brethren, to testify your Love and Duty to our dearest Lord. I see you are no respecter of Persons, nor Opini­ons, but that you enquire after the Power of Godliness; and I am very much delighted to consider, that you make a charitable Judgment of your Bre­thren, who are under another Dispensation. As long as the Understandings of Men differ, there will be variety of Judgments; but the Work of God, and of Religion, goes forward, while we have but one Heart, and one Spi­rit. Sir, I hope you will have great cause to rejoice, when you shall hear that God is glorified on your behalf, and that you by your liberal Alms cause humble Thanksgivings to be made to God. For my own particular, I shall by God's assistance do the Office of a faithful Steward, in the mini­string of your Liberality; and I pray God to accept it at your hands, and to reward it sevenfold into your Bosom. Sir, I humbly take my leave, and rest,

Your very affectionate Friend and Servant in the Lord Jesus, JER, TAYLOR.

This following is a Preamble of a Letter, R. R. writ to the Earl of Windsor. Jan. 10. 1662.

My Lord,

FOr some time I scrupled, and durst call no Man Lord or Master, which proceeded from Tradition received from Elders, & from the Letter of the Scripture, which saith, Call no Man Master. But having since that in my self felt a more sure Word, viz. the Image or Talent of God, (to wit) Truth in the in­ward parts, by and through which I see and know how to give to God those things which belong to him, and unto Cesar likewise his due. For as with my Soul I own God only to be my Lord and Teacher, so over my outward Humanity (for divers respects) I can as truly call Man my Lord and Master also, &c.

An Abstract of a Letter R. R. wrote to an endeared Friend of his, called a Quaker, 1657.

Dear Heart,

HOw is it that I hear in thee a Voice of weeping, Rachel mourning for her Children? Wottest thou not that I must go about my Father's business? and that for this end I came into the World, to bear witness to the Truth? Was not my self, and many more innocent ones cast out from amongst them, and sold into Egypt? Many dark things laid to our charge, which we never said nor did? I would not have thee one with them in their Work, to fight their Battels, either to justify the wicked, or condemn the innocent, lest thou partake with them in their Judgments, (as Jehosaphat did in siding and making a Confederacy with Ahab) who daily impose upon their Brethren, and will not let them go free, to act what the Lord requi­reth of them. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem! how oft have I sought to find Love in thee towards thy Brethren? and when it fled, how oft have I pur­sued after it?

I believe I might have been received again into fellowship amongst them, but then I must first have turned the Truth of God into a Lie, and spoke evil of those things I knew to be good, denying the Testimony which I knew the Lord gave me to finish, and so have betrayed Jesus: which thing I shall never do, so long as the Breath of the Almighty is in me, nor call any Man Master of my Light and Spirit, save God only. And if now at length the Lord hath seen the Oppression of his People, and is coming to plead their Cause, or hath raised up any to be a Rod or Scourge, to whip out of his Temple those that have bought or sold the Innocent for a thing of nought; what am I, that I should resist, or judg evil of them that do his Will? Or if any be commanded of the Lord to feast Haman, why should Mordecai be offended thereat? For my part, I have long seen where­in the Liberty and Freedom of the Son consisteth, and that this is he that loves his Enemy, that rewards evil with good, and doth not salute a Bro­ther only; this is He that is Heir of all things, and must reign, tho at pre­sent his Face be more marred than any Man's; and blessed is he that is not offended in Him, but is made conformable in all things to Him, he must reign also. But he that judges his Brother in Meats or Drinks, or any other outward thing, that contends more for his own Traditions, than the Commands of God, that will not let his Brother go free to worship God where and how he requireth, I say, this is the Son of the Bondwo­man, which must be cast out, and shall not inherit. I am not troubled to [Page 7]see the Lord coming to plead the Cause of the Innocent, and to make a se­paration betwixt the two Seeds, who have served the Lord, and who have served their own ends; and blessed are they who with joy can stand the Trial.

O dear Heart, enter thou not into their Secrets, nor say a Confederacy with blood-thirsty Men, who have usurped Authority over the measure of God in their Brethren, and with Herod have slain the Man-child begot in many, and would not hear his Testimony, nor suffer his Voice to be utter­ed. As the Lord lives, their Nakedness shall be no longer hid, and what hath long lain secret, must now be preached upon the House-top, and herein the Innocent can and will rejoice.

I am Bone of their Bone, and Flesh of their Flesh, who are innocent, and of an upright Heart with the Lord in what is made manifest; such a one is as my Father and Mother, Sister and Brother.

Another to the same Person, 1658.

O That thou wert not one with them that have condemned their inno­cent Brethren in Meats and Drink, &c. all which are but shadows of good things, and must perish; but the Body is Christ. For my part, my Hat to me is no more than any other part of my Apparel; and I find I may without sin shew the Love I have in my Heart to any by putting off my Hat, and that it is to me all one as if I gave my hand, and signifies the same thing: Yet I would not have all others to follow me in this, but first to examine themselves, and so let them eat and drink, left they eat and drink their own damnation. Neither dare I judg any, that can love his Enemy, or do good to the good and to the bad, or that can become all things (that is not evil in the sight of God) to all Men, to save all; I am persuaded such do well to follow the Lord, when he leads into these things. I dare not judge such to be Men-pleasers, or to be one with the wicked in their evil, but rather judg such an one to be an Example to all the Children of God, as being most like our heavenly Father. For my part I have great reward with the Lord, for bearing my Testimony against this Spirit of Im­position, which hath been as high as Heaven, but my hope is, the Lord will bring it down as low as Hell, and in this Faith have I rest.

An Abstract of a Letter written by R. R. to R. M. a Quaker.

ONe of you being offended at my speaking a few words in your Meet­ing, said, He knew my Spirit to be in opposition: T o whom I replied, If it be so framed, ought not I to be faithful to what it requires? Certainly the Majesty of true Love and Meekness would have born what I had to offer, and not have been offended; truly a little Christian Patience, and some of that Perfection talked of, would have taught you this Lesson. And you might know this, that he that is the Light of the World, is set as well for the Fall as for the Rise of many in Israel. But you have long dwelt here, usurping Authority to condemn those, God hath justified. Through such carnal reasoning, (as you have brought against me) hath the first appearance of Truth, in all Ages been opposed by the Builders and Masters of Assemblies in all Sects, who are so right in their own eyes, that they can hardly acknowledg Truth that comes after them to have been before them, (as John did, John 3.30.) this Self-denial being too great a thing for him to do, that sticks in form, or that is born of a Woman; such, with Rachel, cannot live except they bring forth Children in their own likeness. There are many innocent, meek, and tender-hearted amongst you, that are and shall be willing in the day of his Power, to follow him in his Resurrection, through the fellowship of his sufferings, despising the shame of being cast out of your Synagogues, and of being disown'd of their Mother's Children, who in Patience and great Tribulations will follow the Lamb, and possess his Crown. And these are the true Tribe of Joseph (or Jesus) that are fit to make Princes in all Lands.

And whereas one of you asked me, Whether I would have you one with the World, and turn Drunkards, Cheaters? &c. I replied: Canst thou not see a middle Path to walk in betwixt these two Extremes of open Prophaneness, and close spiritual Wickedness in high places? nor put a difference between the true Christ that filleth all, and is the First-born in every Creature, and the false Christ, that is only here or there, in that Mountain, or in this se­cret Chamber, covered over with appearing righteous before Men, yet in­wardly ravening, and with Simon Magus, in the bitter Spirit, giving Wormwood with Gall to drink, pushing with the side and shoulder, and piercing all those innocent Ones, that can call neither you nor no Man Master of their Spirits, save God only, nor receive your Mark, nor yet the Number of your Name?

[Page 9]And is not this the Abomination that maketh desolate, and standeth in the holy Place (the Heart) where Love and Innocency should dwell? And Proselytes thus begot, and made, tho appearing never so righteous, whe­ther such be not seven-fold more the Children of Hell than before? let the wise in Heart judg. Well, my Friends, when you come to understand how an Habitation may be built for the Devil by your Anger, Wrath, Backbiting, evil Surmises, &c. and by your hearkening to, and follow­ing after Men, observing of Days, and appointed Meetings, together with other Traditions, and outward Observations, which the Power of Love leads not to, but are begotten and continued, either by the Letter, or else Man's vain Philosophy, or Example; in which having once lost your Guide, viz. the pure and single movings of the Lord, as by a great and strong Wind ye are whirled about, and left to your own Thoughts and Imaginations, where the Lord is not felt; so you run again into those outward Observations, where once his presence was, and there are struck blind, as the Assyrians, Egyptians, Israelites, &c. were, and as Saul was, that ye utterly lose the Door and Way that leads to Life. Read that can understand. And here [in this Spirit) is the silly Woman led captive, ever learning and talking of Truth, Light, and Love to Enemies, and brotherly Kindness, Meekness, Gentleness, and of patient bearing and suffering of all things, but never able to come into the things talked of, no nearer than in shew or in self-imagination and outward appearance only. And in Truth I have been oft made to cry out amongst you, how that I saw Christ must suffer, and that he must die (or disappear) and then afterwards rise, and enter into Glory. Which thing I now see you have not rightly understood. And if these my words seem to you as a Dream, yet why are you angry with me for my Dream's sake? But these things I leave to the Judgment of the Great Day near at hand, wherein many will be smitten with Sickness, VVeakness, and the Sleep of Death, because they discerned not Love to be the Lord's Body, and could not patiently wait for the Resurrection thereof, but have set up other Idols in their Hearts instead of him; yet as for the innocent, harmless, merciful, meek, loving and kind hearted amongst you, and of every Nation, such shall obtain and inherit the Bles­sing of Peace, Plenty, and Rest, which none can disturb, but not till the last Enemy (or Enmity, which is the Sting of Death) be destroyed, and put underfoot. Thus by the Life of Love Death loseth its Sting, the Grave its Victory, the Law its Strength, and all resigned to the Conquest of Love unfeigned. Then are the Kingdoms of this VVorld become the Kingdoms of our Lord, and his Christ, and he alone reigneth. Go ye with all Sects, and learn what this meaneth.

[Page 10]Oft-times many amongst you (in much contempt) have asked me, Whom I have coverted? and where the Fruit of my Ministry is? To whom I now answer, That my Work is with the Lord, having delivered up my Kingdom unto him, my self can do nothing; but as Love moveth, so I either go or come, speak or am silent: And I am not sent to call the Righ­teous, or to gather into Sects or Opinions; nor is it the ground of my re­joycing to have a Multitude follow me, or to flock about the outward Court, or that Devils themselves are made subject; no, I know no true Happiness, nor a Kingdom everlasting in these things; neither see I any reason to prefer one Sect above another; only such, whose Names are written in the Book of Love, and by it are gathered into the Life thereof, those to me are most choice and precious. My Ministry is neither, Lo here, nor, Lo there: I am not so sent to preach, but as a Light to the Gentiles, and to open Mysteries, interpret Dreams and hard Sayings, that have lain hid ever since the World (that lies in the Apostacy) began, that so the blind in Heart may see the things that belong to their Souls Peace and VVelfare, that so every one in all Forms may sit under his present Attainment (as his proper Vine) and drink VVaters of Life from his own Cistern, without the least spot or defilemenr of Enmity in their Feasts of Charity, both with the Lord, and with one another. And who will be offended at the foolishness of this Preaching, except it be the Scribes and Fair-sayers in every Sect, that are highly exalted in themselves (and in others) because of their Gifts both in praying and speaking, and in their Zeal, earnestness, and fervent working of their own Spirit, where sits that painted and well-favoured Harlot (upon all Waters or Sects) speaking as with the Tongue of Men and Angels, the Words of Truth, and of the Fame of Life and Love, but from that Principle which leadeth into the Chambers of Death, in all which things (the Good Man not being at home, nor endowing with Power from on high) great Abominations, Murders, and Adulteries are committed in Spirit and Heart, as in the matter of Peor, in the days of Ba­lak and Balaam, Figures of this untoward Generation, whose Ear being once opened, heard the words of God, and with the single eye saw and knew the secret Counsel of the Most High, but afterwards falling into a Trance, (mark) into his own Imaginations, he then opened the double Eye (for he had two) and this saw Evil, and loved the Wages of Unrighteous­ness; yet nevertheless what he had once seen with the single Eye, he could talk of (as you do) and so speak of exceeding high and great Mysteries, (as one having all Knowledg (mark) that puffs up) so could speak of the Seed of God, its beginning and end, and of the Light or Way through which it passeth, and that it should be glorious, and inherit the Blessing, and could wish his last end in it. Mark, O Balak, and Balaam, who are but [Page 11]one, from thy own Mouth and Practice is thy Condemnation. Thus Man's Spirit (the Witch of Endo [...]) being raised to its height, and recei­ved into the Consciences of others, and upheld there, first began the Apostacy; and in this Spirit doth the Apostacy still stand and subsist, even to this very day, in every Sect? and if any one of them could obtain their Will, they would be as great as the Pope, and make all others bow, and come in to them, else neither buy nor sell, nor live in Love and Peace with any. But this bitter envying is not so with the God-like and true Christians, such bless, and not curse. Nothing will be acceptable but what proceeds from the Root of Jesse, and is the Off-spring of the pure Movings of Love, all else is but as the Offering of Cain, and as the Re­pentance of Esau,) which, must be rejected, and cannot inherit the Blessing.

And now Joseph being delivered out of Prison, and the deep Pit where­in his Brethren had put him, where he passed through divers Trials and Temptations, both of Soul and Body; I say, being now risen with Christ, and made Lord over that Earth which held him, can with bold­ness speak what he hath seen and heard. And considering how contrary to my Life, which was Peace and good Will to all, I have been acted in Strife and Contention for near these seven years, (ever since the difference first brake forth betwixt G. F. and J. N.) the which I call my strange Work, as to Man, and to my self. But the Lord, who doth in Heaven and Earth what he pleaseth, in that day shewed me, that was the least able (for this Work of War) of all my Brethren. Many things that began to appear, and to wax strong, which were for destruction, and the one thing needful, viz. Love in Truth, even amongst Brethren, much neglected; so, as the Lord commanded, I sold my Coat of Peace and good Will to all, and bought a Sword, the which I girded upon my Thigh, and in the strength of God's Command drew it, and therewith spared neither small nor great; yet my chief Aim ever were against Agag, the fat and fairest, the King and Head of that bitter Spirit Amalek, which would not suffer them to pass peaceably through his Land whom the Light guided out of their received Traditions; and notwithstanding their Talk of Light and Love, such soon selt and found the Dragon's Power, and Herod, (viz. G, F.) with his Men of War, to stand in the cross Ways, ready to cut off all the Innocent, that would not own him King, and call him Master, receive their Mark, and Number of their Name, against which Spirit the Sword of the Lord hath been sharp, and will most certainly chop the same in pieces, as Herbs for the Pot. And though this was War indeed, yet forasmuch as the ground and root thereof had the Command of God, [Page 12]and Love to Truth, such Weapons are Spiritual, I say, it was a War in Heaven.

Well, Friends, Joseph hath been with the Lord in the Deep, and hath there seen his Wonders, wherefore receive these things kindly and friendly from his Treasury, they may prove a supply to you in this Day of Famine, not of Bread, but of the Loving-kindness of the Lord towards one another. And be not offended at what is spoken, tho it tend to the throwing down of Man into the Dust, yet if God and his Grace be here­by exalted, give up Self to the Death of the Cross. It is good to die with the Lord, tho Flesh and Blood see not this. Neither be you troubled nor offended at him that declares these things, tho he seems sometimes to appear as a Man walking on the Sea, which is rough, foaming, and tem­pestuous.

Joseph is now out of Prison, and hath no more Conscience of an Idol; to him no Idol is anything, neither Paul, nor Apollos, no, nor Christ after the Flesh he knows no more, neither their Circumcision, nor Baptism, nor any outward thing, nothing but Grace that works by Love. I have no de­pendence, nor Worship, nor Fear, nor Care for any thing, save that I worship the only alone true LORD GOD, who is Love; any thing acted out of that, I value not.

And I clearly see, that such a People the Lord will bring forth, as the praise of his new Creation, that in the quietness and stilness of their Spi­rits (which is Jacob's Ladder) do patiently wait for the immediate Mo­vings of Love (which is Joseph's Cup wherein he prophesied) freely re­signed to the Will of God in all things, relying on his Grace for their only Guide, and not so much as lift up a Tool, or make any Noise or Complaint in his Work, nor (with Ʋzzah) hold up a hand of Fear or Care that it should fall, or that his Will should not be accomplished and brought to pass in its due time and season. No, Friends, those that have hitherto attained, are not of them that look back to see what others will do, but have pres­sed on to the Mark, Christ (the Love of God in their Hearts) his Sta­ture and Fulness, where they see their Souls saved, and have learned always to pray, Thy Will be done; whose Will is their Sanctification, Salvation, and Glorification, &c.

An Abstract of some of R. Rich's Letters to G.F. J.C. and several others.

IT is written of Jeroboam, that he set up two Calves, much like Thee, Thou, and the Hat; putting also a necessity of bowing down to them, and worshipping, as ye do, saying, These are thy Gods which brought thee out of Egypt, that so the Kingdom might not return to David, which is the Love of God. I urge not this by way of Censure, as rashly judging any, even the meanest appearances which God draws out the Spirits of his People in, but rather to shew you the Idolatry of such Limitations, which in these outward things you lay upon the boundless variety of that un­speakable Spirit of Truth; for I have heard some of the chief Rulers amongst you say, That if any return to the Hat again (meaning putting it off in Salutation) then all their Profession is lost; as if this, or such like, were the God that redeemed them. And indeed who is there upon the Face of the whole Earth, that fears God, and worketh Righteousness, if he receive not your Mark [of Thee, and Thou, and the Hat,] may be ac­cepted or owned as a Brother amongst you?

And what is your Form of Words in Thee and Thou, but a customary Singularity in Speech, another Mode of speaking than is commonly used, which no way respects the Truth of what is spoken? Pray tell me, is not Truth (where understood) the Language of Canaan, in what Speech or Dialect soever exprest? Or did the Disciples of Christ, in their De­clarations of Truth to every Man in his own Language, refuse the Dialect either of the Medes, Persians, Egyptians, or any other, by which they could only convey the Truth to their Understandings? Or is Thou more acceptable to God than You, in the declaration of Truth? I believe those Words, and that Language which proceeds from the Spirit of Love, is best, and most acceptably received by them that are in the same Spirit.

And what is there in refusing to swear after that manner the Magis­trate commands, while in the mean time you will call God to witness to what you affirm for Truth? Is it any more than to oppose the Magistrates Form by your own? Doth not he that speaks the Truth, and calleth God and Man to witness the same, swear by Christ Jesus, the Truth and Oath of God? Doth true swearing consist in the meer Ceremony of kissing the Book? or standeth it not rather in calling God to record to the Truth, which we declare? And yet this manner of swearing is owned by G. F. and his Friends, and frequently practised by them, both by Word and Writing. And what is all this, but to swallow the Camel, and swear [Page 14]substantially, while you strain at a Gnat of some small Ceremony, which the Magistrate thinks fit to enjoyn? perhaps more to obtain Credit from those, who have Conscience in such a Form of Swearing, rather than to of­fend them that know how to distinguish between the Ceremony and the Substance? And is not Verily, verily, an Asseveration, and kind of Oath, and more than Yea and nay? And doth not St. Paul say (who had Christ in him) that he call'd God to record? &c. And is not this a great Oath? And whether you have any other thing to rule and guide you in not swearing, save theWhich tho it saith Swear not at all, yet no where forbids laving on the hand, or kissing the Book, the only thing you scruple. Letter? And whether that be not more against you than with you? let the wise in Heart, who are acquainted with the Scriptures, judg in this Case.

Thou sayest, That the Gospel of Christ is Yea and Amen, and that it leads not back to what it led from. I say, This hath been a Principle long received and taught by your Teachers, and indeed hath occasioned much Persecution to the Innocent amongst you, to call your outward Observations and Traditions the Gospel (or Truth); for when any have bin carried out of the way of your received Traditions into any new Appearance, how have you upon this ground risen up against them, with Floods of Re­proaches to devour them. To which Principle, or rather Opinion of yours, I answer, and say, That the Gospel, Truth, or Kingdom stands not in any outward Observations; for why may not the Lord do both in Hea­ven and Earth whatsoever he pleaseth? and lead his People howsoever or wheresoever he will? How dare any find fault with him? And who shall say unto him, What dost thou? He leadeth Abraham, Joseph, and all Israel into Egypt, yea, Jesus of Nazareth into the Wilderness, and doth, when he pleaseth, turn the Course of his Dispensation, leading them back again from whence they came. Why may not God command Moses to set up a Brazen Serpent, yea, and give power to it also, and then again withdraw his power from it, and by his Light lead Hezekiah to pull it down, and call it Nebushtan, which is an Idol, or nothing, altho to the very day of its dissolution the Children of Israel burnt Incense to it, sup­posing, it may be, (as you also do) that the Lord would not relinquish that Appearance once established by Himself. The Lord hath had his sun­dry ways of appearing to his People, as in the Mount of Samaria, and at Jerusa;em; and yet she that was limited in her self, was led by the Light from all this, to worship the Father every where, and in all places and things in the Spirit and Truth. Christ appeared in divers Forms, as the Scripture testifies, yet no other (save them only that saw him) would believe the report of him, according to their Testimony, but counted their [Page 15]Words (as Joseph's Brethren did his Dreams) idle Fables, as ye do, while you judg your Brethren, whom the Lord hath visited in a different man­ner from your selves. What if the Lord will so strangely appear, as to leave the Jew, and turn to the Gentile, to call them a People, that were not a People? What if God will make you that have been first and highest in Profession, last and lowest in the Kingdom? What if Capernaum, now exalted to the Heavens, should be brought down to Hell? It will then be manifest, that the Almighty is not confined to either Persons or Appea­rances. But further, why may not the Lord lead Mordecai openly to withstand the Pride and Oppression of Haman, and at the same time lead Hester in a clean contrary work to feast him, hereby overcoming Evil with Good? If one Person should act these two parts, which seem so contrary to each other, as is Light to Darkness, being led thereto by the Light, whether that may not be accepted of God, tho all Men should therefore condemn it? And why may not one abstain from Meats to day, and to morrow see a liberty to eat? or have Conscience of an Idol now, and anon know it to be nothing? VVere not some led to sacrifice, circumcise, and baptize, as being all beautiful, while the Power of God was in them? but that being departed, the Practisers of those things may now tell you, that they avail and profit nothing. Surely did but all Sects knowingly consider, that in my Fathers House are many Mansions, and that his Commands are exceeding broad (and various) that there are diversities of Administrations and Operations, yet the same Spirit work­ing all, and in all: and was the Substance (which is the Grace appearing to all) more minded by Professors, and the Form less; also were the weightier Matters of the Law, as Mercy, Justice, Truth, and Love, more in estimation than the lesser, which only stand in outward Observations, and are but the outside of the Dish and Platter in all Forms, there would not be such tearing one another for the Form's sake. For in the Substance and weightier Matters all People of all sorts do without contro­versy agree, yet every one in and for the House of his Imagery rends and devours his Brother, not equally fashioned and made up in the same proportion of Understanding, as touching our outward Behaviour in the Truth's Profession, by which the Image of the Heavenly is indeed so de­faced, that the pure Love which thinks no ill (amongst all Professors of Godliness) is very rarely and hardly found. These are indeed the bitter VVaters that cause the Curse upon all Sects, Nations, Tongues, and Peoples, as at this day; this devours the Earth, and makes all deso­late; this profanes the Lord's own Sanctuary, and the Princes thereof, and causeth Jacob to be given to the Curse, and Israel to Reproaches. For this kind of Spirit of bitter envying is indeed that City Meroz, which no [Page 16]way helpeth the Lord in his VVork, for it doth not beget to love. And is it not most just that that Name or Form should be left for a Curse, that despiseth the Innocent for these outward things? but I trust, and am as­sured, that the Lord will in his due time free the Earth from this Curse.

Thou askest me, How I could compare or liken thy Friends Actions to the Pope, or to them in New-England, calling them your Forefathers, seeing (as thou sayest) thy Friends bear their Testimony against the Pope's Idolatry and Persecution, and also have suffered Deach for a Testimony against the New-England Oppression? To all which I answer, and say, That the Spirit of Persecution is but one throughout all Generations and Forms, tho never so refined; for he that murders in New-England is the same that imprisons at Rome, yet each bear a Testimony against one anothers Forms. The same Spirit of Persecution have I seen and observed amongst those which thou callest Friends, who for a Song of Zion, or a Shout of inward Glad­ness, or any other thing that suites not with their Traditions or Forms, can with the same Spirit of Persecution cast out of their Synagogues, smite with the Fist of VVickedness, and wound with the venomed Arrow of their Reproaches, those who cannot submit, or join with them in their way. And this is not falsly to accuse the Brethren, as thou chargest me with­al, for any to tell you what they have heard and seen amongst you; but ra­ther a just return of your own Money into your own Sacks, that you may measure your dealings with the Innocent by your own Practices; and when the Witness of God ariseth amongst you, and sheweth you your Transgressi­ons, and wherein you have offended those that have been otherwise acted than our selves, then will you know that these things are Truth, and the Desolation that shall be in your House at that day, shall testify to your Faces that a Prophet hath been amongst you. When (mark what I say) it shall so come to pass, that the same Wrath and Vengeance shall break out upon you from others, which you have heaped upon the Backs of those who were justified in their Hearts and Ways before the Lord, then know (and you shall assuredly) that I have not spoken Lies unto you, or forged a false Divi­nation amongst you. What I have here charged upon some, I would not be understood to lay it upon all that have been called, and are known by the Name of Quakers. I know the Lord hath his People amongst them; as in all Forms, both of Jews and Gentiles, such as love and fear the Lord, doing the thing which is just and right; and such are accepted with me, as Bone of my Bone, and as my Brother Benjamin, that came of the Free-Woman, and are in that Freedom fitted to act in all Forms, as the Lord their Light shall lead them, that they may replenish the Earth. And those who are come to this Freedom, viz. to give the Light its Liberty of leading, ac­cording as it enlightens every Man that comes into the World in all Forms [Page 17]and Appearances, the Curse is taken away, the Enmity is departed, and the Earth become the Lord's, and his Christ's. Let him that can, receive it, as doth

R. R.
‘And when your Work is done, and come to an end, then shall the Stone from Sion you stumbled at, be set up with shouting, crying Grace, Grace unto it. Zech. 4.7.

THere are divers Operations and Dispensations, yet all good, as having their beginning and End in God. And why therefore may not God enjoin that as an Ordinance to day, and give his power to it also, which to morrow he will lay aside as useless? and by his withdrawing his Power from it, leave it no better than an Idol? Such was the Brazen Serpent; such was the Temple and Tabernacle; such were the Legal Offerings, the Jewish Ceremonies and Sacrifice; and such also are many things at this day, (both amongst the Quakers and other Sects) which have been Forms and Figures of good things to come, which were beautiful in their sea­son, whilst the Presence of God filled them, but that being withdrawn, are become dead and cold, as Idols, of no use. Wherefore my advice is, that all Men walk as they see and have received from the Lord, and none to look out at others, or to call any Man, Master, or Father of their Spirits, save God only. And if the Lord commands any to forsake Father or Mo­ther, the Forms and Traditions they were brought up in, ought not all rather to obey God than Man? Consider this, G. F. and whether to for­sake our own Guide, and to follow thee, or any Number of People that call themselves a Church (who take upon them to impose upon their Brethrens Consciences) be not Apostacy? And whether this Usurpation did not at first lead the Church of Rome into the Apostacy? And whether it will not the second time lead the Quakers to apostatize from the true Faith once delivered to them? let the wise in Heart judg.

J. C.

THou accusest me of being fallen, and deeply revolted from the Truth, and of being brutish and uncivil at your Meetings, &c. What thou hast here laid to my Charge, is not so much by far, as thy Generation at sundry times hath also cast on the Innocent and upright-hearted, even all manner of Evil, for bearing record to the Truth as made manifest in the Light, viz. by witnessing to small and great, that the Lord is my Shepherd and Teacher alone, and that I needed no Man to teach me, save him only; and that to those who had received the Anointing, it was sufficient to bring [Page 18]to Peace and Rest with God and Man, and to preserve Union and Com­munion with Him in all his Creation. And for this, and my rejoycing which daily I have in Christ Jesus, my Lord, have I suffered all these things at your hands, and been set at nought by Herod, and his Men of War, even by those amongst you that would be accounted Some-body, who de­sire preheminence, and to have Dominion over the Faith of others; and that glory in making Proselytes, and to have a Multitude to follow them, calling you Masters or Teachers: For by such, and in this manner, have I long and oft received your Arrows, even bitter Words and Writings, which sometimes, as I saw cause, I have returned back again into your own Bosoms; and this you call a wrangling and unruly Spirit. At present I have little more to say, than that I am resolved to be faithful to what is committed unto me, and to declare the same to day, and to morrow, and also the third day, even till the Body be perfected, and Him set upon the Throne, even that Light that is in true Love, whose right it is to reign, (which thing tell Herod, that Fox, your King;) so that all may have Peace and Rest in Him, who is only worthy of Praise, Honour, and Glory alone, even so saith my Spirit, Amen. I might have said much more (in return to thine) but that I see and know that Words and Declarations, tho never so true, unless the Life it self speak them, and go along with them, have but little strength. And I could also tell thee, that to forsake your Form yea, and to speak against it too, were not to forsake Truth, as thou chargest. And is it not strange that you should so complain of my disturbing your Meetings, in a Song, or few words of Truth, when as your selves have gone to others assembled, even with railing Accusations, calling them, Dumb Dogs, Liars, Hirelings, Baal's Priests, &c. yet cannot bear with such as come to admonish you?

O that the time were come, that those who desired Liberty of Consci­ence, would give it to others! I know you cannot believe the Truth when told you, nor cease from reproaching, judging and condemning it; nei­ther will you let the Innocent go free, to serve the Lord according as their Light shall lead them, till the Judgments you have pronounced against the Innocent fall upon your own Heads. For I know that the Lord hath poured out upon you a deep Spirit of Slumber, which hath so blinded your Eyes, and hardened your Hearts, that in seeing you should not see, neither perceive the Truth in things that differ. And there is yet a Treasure, a Dispensation of Grace, where you have as yet (by reason of your Self-exaltation, and bitter Spirit) seen but little into, the which some have seen, felt, and handled. To this you must all stoop and bow, tho never so high, before you find Peace and Rest to your Souls, or be free from vain Contention and Strife.

R. R. toM. B. and other Quakers.

THis I have to say unto thee, or rather to G. F. who hath begot many of you into his Image, That you no longer tempt any of the innocent Lambs of Christ to withdraw from the leading and teaching of the Unction of God, which is Christ, to follow the Letter, or your Teachings or Tra­ditions, wherein you must and shall perish in the dark Wilderness of your own Imaginations: for the Lord hath sworn in his Wrath, that you who call your selves, Good old Friends, and the Israel of God, who have so falsly accused, condemned, and bitterly persecuted your innocent Brethren, (for those things the Lord hath and doth justify) shall never inhabit the good Land.

I know G. F. is raised of God for this very end, to try, refine, and purify many, as Pharaoh was; and tho many fall in the Trial under his Power, yet many will be delivered into the glorious Liberty of the Sons of God.

I likewise see, that daily more and more will fall off from that Body; and that some that separate from them, will with Daniel stand in their Lot, and follow the Lord in the Spirit of the Lamb more fully than they have done; whilst they that oppose, shall stand with Lot's Wife, turned into a Pillar of Salt, continuing their preaching up Truth in Words without Power, whilst others baptize with the Holy-Ghost and with Fire.

Thou writest of my going to the Steeple-house: To which I answer, Blessed are those that have Rest, Peace, and Satisfaction in themselves! for they that look forth, are like to find but little in this the day of God's search­ing Jerusalem with Candles, wherein he will stain the Pride and Glory of all Flesh.

R. R. in Answer to some Friends, not Quakers.

YOu judg me to be a Ranter, and to hold their Principles. I can truly say, I have been but little acquainted with that People, or with their Principles.

I would not be thought to be an Advocate for the loose and licentious Practices of any sort of People, much less for Them, who (from the itch­ing ☜ Notions of Liberty) have run without their Guide into the excess of all Riot and Prophaneness, who while they greedily catch at the Bait, are caught with the Hook, till a Dart strike through their Liver, and they are led with the Fool to the Correction of the Stocks, and there plagued with their own Iniquities.

I desire this may be shewn to Mr. Bacon, as to all others who seem to stum­ble at my Love to this dark Beelzebub, this mad ranting Crew.

[Page 20]THe time is coming, and now is, that we shall not know and own each other, as we are of one Sect or outward way, but as the Grace and Prin­ciple of God appears in each other, the Love of God shed abroad in our Hearts; and where this is witnessed, thither will the Upright resort and gather.

If you see any dividing among the Religious Parties, take you notice of that. I know every one must divide, till all unite in the Word in the Heart.

My Love flows to all that in uprightness of Heart serve the Lord in any Form. For as all Forms are alike to me, so is the Substance, the Power of Godliness also; and altho Uprightness God accepted in all Forms, and suffered all Sects to walk in them, yet now calleth all Men to reject the evil in each Form, and to wait on Him to be their Teacher from henceforth and for ever.

J. N. and J. P. tho dead, yet speak, who declared they were to cease from words even of Truth, spoken from the comprehending part of Man's Understanding, and from [thus] speaking in set Meetings, and so to give way for a greater Glory, viz. the Spirit's teaching, leading, and speaking in the Saints.

Also they declared, that they had received greater Wounds from the House of their Friends, than from the House of their Enemies.

And I can assure you, they who meddle with the Quakers had need be fenced within and without, with the whole Armor of God; Truth, and love to Righteousness, (David [...]s Sling and Stone) and enabled to use both hands, the left as well as the right, the Wisdom of the Serpent, as the Innocency of the Dove.

And truly till the Spirit of Love and Reconciliation be brought forth, wherewith every Christian shall willingly leave each other to the guidance of God's holy Spirit of Grace (in that Form or Way they are persuaded to walk in) the Strife which is occasioned by outward Traditional Obser­vations will never cease.

And I have this further to declare to all the World, to Jew, Gontile, Bar­barian, and Christian, (tho I know it will be an Offence and Stone of stum­bling to G. F. and all Masters of Assemblies in every Sect, who prescribe, impose, and would have Dominion over the Faith of others) that the Eter­nal God (who wills not the death of any Sinner) hath sent his dear Son Emanuel, his Light and Spirit of Grace into the World, his everlasting Covenant, a Divine Law writ in every Man's Heart, that whosoever be­lieveth in Him, and followeth Him, shall have Eternal Life.

And this Divine Law, and Word in the Heart, is the Ensign to gather together all things into Himself, and to present every Man perfect in God, being thereby sanctified, justified, and saved from their Sins. To which [Page 21]Word in the Heart, God's Preacher, his Law, and Covenant of Grace to all the World, do I recommend all Sects and Opinions, as the only Rule of their Souls Progress into everlasting Peace and Rest.

R. R.
G. H.

LAst seventh day I was at the Bridge Town, visiting those Friends in Pri­son; as I parted from them, I spake to H. Fell, to consider wherein I might be serviceable to them, in supplying any of their Wants; and told him, I was very willing in some small proportion to bear a part in their Sufferings: and therefore desire thee to supply them with what may be needful, to the value of 2000 or 3000 Pound of Sugar. For as I then told H. F. altho I have some difference with them as to their Form and Practice, yet notwithstanding, in the Principle of Love and Light I am one with them, yea, and all Men, in suffering for the Testimony of a good Consci­ence towards God, altho that thing for which they suffer (in my Light) be rendred as a meer Idol, which indeed is nothing. For I well know, and have long seen, that Mens Consciences are variously guided; some by the Spirit of Love, under whose Leadings is the truest and most perfect Li­berty; others by the Law or Letter, where (with the outward Jew) they are held in Bondage to Meats, Drinks, set-Days of Meetings, and divers Forms, and other carnal Ordinances. Others may be led barely by the Traditions of their Fathers, in and after the Laws and Customs of Nati­ons, or by the Authority of that Church or Fellowship under which they have been educated, and herein may be zealously devoted to those Rudiments which in themselves are poor and beggarly, nay, such as the Reason of Man (if not captivated) would abhor to be brought under. But in and amongst all these, he that fears God, and doth the thing that is just and right to­wards Man, is accepted with Him, and is one with whom I am in perfect Union. And if any, because he thinks himself wiser and higher than such an one, presume to be his Judg or Law-giver, this is that which exalteth it self above all that is called God, and dishonoureth Christ his Head, that true Light, wherewith every one is enlightned that comes into the World. And indeed if we will not allow the Light (as it is received) to lead every one, we shall never be free from smiting our Fellow-servants, and slaying that innocent and just one in each other, whom the Lord hath set up as a Ruler over the Nations, and for an Ensign of Light in every Man's Consci­ence. Thus indeed and in truth I am for the free Leadings of the Light in all that profess the same, but wherein their Practice falls short of this their Profession, I do confess I stand therein at a distance from them. For I allow not that any creep into Houses, (to wit, the Conciences of others,) and im­pose there; for this is to lead captive silly Women, or to force upon the weak [Page 22]Understanding a Conformity to those things which the Light of Love never moved to, but is rather acted from a Principle of Fear, lest they should be call out of the Synagogue by those who usurp Authority, and are called by them Masters. The consideration of the freeness of thy Mind occasioned me to impart to thee a taste of my Understanding in these things, which thou mayest either accept or refuse, as the Light in thee shall make mani­fest. I am a Friend to thee, and the whole Creation of God, in the Prin­ciple of Light, which is Love unfeigned.

R. R.

To William Lord Willoughby, Governor of the Barbadoes, &c.

My Lord,

YOu were pleased to express a tender regard to the People called Quakers, also to require my advice how best they might be preserved as Subjects, with equal regard to Justice, and the Safety of this Place. Yesterday I ac­quainted one of those People with your Lordship's care of them, and after put several Questions to him touching their Freedom; also urged the Ne­cessity of a Militia to defend and preserve from those that came to rob and to steal. After many Words pro and con, I find them setled in this, viz. That Wars proceed (as St. James, chap. 4.1. saith) from Mens Lusts, the which they would not help to uphold and maintain; that they were to love their Enemies, and to have Peace with all Men. In fine, my Lord, I perceive it is matter of Conscience with them, not to use a carnal Sword in their own De­fence; and do believe that some of them will sooner lose their Estates and Lives than sin against their Consciences. But to answer your Lordship's Com­mands, for advice how this People may be preserv'd in this Island, with equal regard to Justice, and the Safety of this Place; My humble advice is, That seeing for Conscience sake many of them cannot make use of carnal Weapons, your Lordship would nevertheless protect them, they paying for their Pro­tection what is just and equal, that the State and Common-weal be not hin­dred, but rather bettered and advanced by them. This way the States of Hol­land took with the Anabaptists, who held the Scriptures to be their Rule, nei­ther to swear, nor yet to fight. First; As to swearing, the Magistrate accommo­dated them, by taking their Testimony with only declaring the Truth as in God's Presence, with Hands lifted up, as in token thereof; and this was sufficient without further Testimony or Words; and these kind of Wit­nesses (they being conscientious) have been found the best for disco­very of the Truth. And as to the maintaining of Wars, and other Exi­gencies of State, those People paying Scot and Lot as their Neighbours, have quiet and peaceable Protection. And if all that are able in this Island must of necessity bear Arms to defend the same, and Quakers for Consci­ence [Page 23]sake cannot; if the Magistrate cause them to be taxed for their de­fault, so much, and no more than will find Horse and Foot in their room, they paying also the just Charge and Trouble of gathering in the same, I cannot see but such a Course would not only preserve them, but also answer all just ends of Government. All which I humbly presume, under your Lordship's Favour and Command, to present unto your Honour's View and Consideration.

R. R.

These two foregoing Letters shew the Tenderness of his Spirit towards all, even to those that were the most bitter against him.

Abstracts of some Letters to the Lady F. V.

IN the Year 1654 I became a Quaker, which Dispensation of John I was truly Baptiz'd into, Repentance and amendment of Life; which blot­ted out all my former Sins, and for two years time was (in the strength of that Baptism) carried with delight, both to do and to suffer, even above and beyond my equals; all which time I lived after the Mode of that Sect; a severe strict life, a Pharisee of the Pharisees; till in the year 1656, when my dear Brother J. N. suffer'd for confessing to Christ in the Saints; my love to that Testimony made me willing to stand by him in his Suffer­ings, and to bear his Cross: for which Testimony the World (the Powers of darkness then ruling) my Kindred, and my Brethren the Quakers, sold me into Aegypt, by their many false reports; yet there the Lord my God appeared to me, and finding me in my Innocency wherewith he had clo­thed me, hath ever fince become my exceeding great Reward.

Nov. 30. 1678.

BY what I have formerly and now sent for England, you may see how I have bin acted for many years. Lately I have heard a Voice from Hea­ven saying, Turn thy Sword into Plowshares and into Pruning Hooks; stay at home, Dress and keep clean the Garden of Eden [thine own Heart] that no root of bitterness spring up there. I also now begin to feel an inclination to write out fair that which long since I have prepared, and to present each of the seven Churches of Christendom, with an Epistle I formerly intended them. Then will many come to see beyond the Letter of thatViz. the Gift of 210l. to the 7 Churches An. 1666. Action, and not the sound of Words only, nor from Mount Sinai, but from Sion, where it is written, In the Mount of the Lord it shall be seen, and heard by all that have an Ear to hear what the Spirit saith; at whose Voice of Love our Friend Lazarus will awake, and rise out of his sleep.

[Page 24]In truth I thought the Epistles promised, would soon have followed my Gift, but in short time after I came to see, that the day was not for Unity and Amity, but for biting and devouring one another; so that instead of raising our Brother Lazarus, we had our hands every one against his Bro­ther, two against three, and three against two; which work tended to the Crucifying of the Lord of Life afresh: but I hope the day is dawning, that after Ages [or next Dispensation] will speak more reverently of Uni­ty and Amity. I have bin made (contrary to my Nature) a Man of Con­tention and strife to all the World, one that at the command of the Lord hath sold my Coat (made of Love and Good-will to all) and bought a Sword, with which I have fought a long and tedious Battel (of about ten years standing) against all Professors of Moses and of Christ; which War (I believe) will go on throughout the whole World, to the destruction of all Idols in all Religions, and to the setting up of Christ Jesus (God's Word in the Heart, his Priest and Prophet) King over all the Earth. His Fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his Floor, even all the Children of Light, that they may offer to the Lord, in a clean Vessel (of His own) an Offering in Righteousness: Wherefore be ye clean [pure Virgins] that bring forth the Birth of God, and bear the Vessels of the Lord. Thus all that are baptized into this one Spirit of Love to Truth and Righteousness, stand as Saviours on Mount Zion, (with the Trump of God in their Hearts) to judg and save the Mount of Esau, not in a wrathful bitter Spirit, but in the same loving-kindness, wherewith God hath judged and saved us; for so will the Kingdoms of this World become the Kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall and must reign for ever and ever.

I confess formerly (for a long time) I have had Conscience of an Idol, and contended only for one sort of People; but now an Idol to me is nothing, and my present state is, to own that which is of God in any sort of Men, and to become all things to that of God in all Men (that is not of Sin) that so I may reach, save, and unite (in the Love of God) all Men to each other in all Religions, which Love shed abroad in our Hearts is God's Salvation to all Men, even to the ends of the Earth.

I have here sent my Epistle to the Roman Catholicks, that by this you may see the Patern of the rest, which Patern I received some years since from the Mountain of God's Love, not from Mount Sinai, but from Mount Sion, the Habitation of the Blessed, the New Jerusalem, who is Father and Mother, Brother and Sister of all God's Children, who are regenerate, and born again of the Seed and Spirit of Grace, God's Sons and Daugh­ters. At the revelation of which, when I saw and considered the end of the Lord in that my saluting of the seven Churches, my Heart did leap and skip within me, like to a Roe or young Hart upon the Mountain of Spices. [Page 25]I say, in this Mountain of God's Love (the sanctified Heart) stands the Saviour, Christ, our Lord, (the Spirit of the Father) who saves his Peo­ple from their Sins, the which sanctifies and redeems them from all Iniqui­ty; Who is, who was, and who is to come, one and the same through all Generations, from everlasting to everlasting.

An. 1677.

And now I shall settle to write out fair what I have prepared for the remaining seven Churches. That already sent, I think, hath no contention or strife in it; if you see any thing of that Nature, I pray take it out of the way. My Mind is directed in this Testimony of the universal Love of God to the World, to receive and treasure up (as in Joseph's Store-houses) all that which is of God in every Religion, and to hand it forth in this time of Famine (of Love to God and our Neighbour) which is seen to break in (as an overflowing Scourge) over all Christendom, not only in Egypt, amongst the Prophane, but amongst Professors of all sorts, who account themselves the Sons of Jacob: And what I see to be false and reprobate Silver, (the Inventions, Traditions, and Impositions of Men) to return that back again, as their own Money, in their own Sacks. And in so doing I hope none will be offended thereat.

You need not be careful or sollicitous in publishing what I send, only when you feel your Mind in frame, (whether as in a Cloud, or Pillar of Fire) fitting and preparing to such an end, gently follow after it, as it lead­eth; for they that are come into the Faith of God's Elect, the second Cove­nant, do not make haste, but are entred into their Rest, even into God's everlasting Sabbath of Rest, where (in the new Covenant of Grace) in Matters Spiritual, they cease from their own Works, (from labouring and toiling in the first Covenant of Works,) as He did from His.

The Days approaching are evil to all Worshippers in the outward Court, Lo here, and Lo there, where the Potsherds of the Earth will dash one against another, and bring all into Confusion. This is the portion of the Ungodly, that have not the Birth of God in them. In this time of Trouble will God build his Church and Temple, the New Jerusalem, in the sanctified Hearts of his People, wherein he will place his Name for ever. And as for those that worship God in the Spirit of Truth, such he will save and pre­serve as his Jewels in the hollow of his hand. Wherefore to your Tents O Israel, you that are circumcised in Heart (and Ears) enter ye into your Master's Joy, the Love of God shed abroad in your Hearts, the Ark and Tabernacle which God (not Man) hath pitched in all the Sanctified, and be therein at Peace with that of God in all his Creation. So will you come to the everlasting Sabbath of Rest, which God hath prepared for all that love him, and wait for his Appearance.

An. 1678.

More Abstracts of Letters to particular Friends.

I Received yours, which I accepted as an ample Testimony of your endeared Union with the Bridegroom of our Souls, in which I greatly rejoice to meet you one in the footsteps of his Companions, enquiring where He maketh his Flocks to rest at Noon, as not willing to shade your self under any false Rest or Security, but waiting in the Patience and Faith of the Saints, till his Power of Grace from on high more abundantly shines forth, and over­shadows the whole Earth with the Glory of his Immanuel. This Spirit of Love is the Tree of Life, whose Leaves are for the healing of the Nations, and under the infinite spreading Branches thereof, we may all of every Nation, Sect, or People, sit down together (the Wolf with the Lamb) in safety and peace. In the humble expectation and patient waiting of my Spirit, for the full manifestation of this all-saving Grace, I dearly salute you, together with all Saints; in whose Bodies, as in the Clouds, I see the Lord coming to reconcile all things to Himself, through the death of Sin, by nailing the Enmity to his Cross, which is the Power of Love, and by that Life swallow up Death into Victory. As for my self, it hath pleased the Lord to lead me through various Changes and Operations, shewing me the Wonders of his Power. Many years since I heard a Voice in the Wilderness, preaching Repentance for the Remission of Sins, and to prepare a Way for the Lord, by putting off the Old Man, with his deeds; under which Dispensation of the Quakers (as that of Elias and John) I was bap­tized in that Cloud, and there abode, till Judgment was brought forth into Victory. Afterwards being called up higher, by receiving a double measure of the Spirit, sate down in Heavenly Places with Christ Jesus, whence I heard a Voice saying, In whomsoever I saw the Spirit descending like a Dove, and abiding, (viz. the Spirit of Meekness, of Innocency, and of uni­versal Charity.) that this was and is the Son of God, in whom He is always well pleased. And Him (not my self) I preach for Salvation to the ends of the Earth; Him who was before Abraham was, and is now and for ever the same, throughout all Generations. From which root of Jesse did pro­ceed the Salutation of me R. R. to the seven Churches of Christendom, that all of every Form or Sect of People in the World might (cease from Man, and all other Idols) look up unto Him, and be saved. I see the Multitude of all S [...]cts standing at this day with Moses in the Mount, each under their proper Attainments, contending with one another, and con­demning all others (both Persons and Things) that suit not with their Laws, and legal Discoveries of Truth; every one in their Tribes highly [Page 27]pretending to the Glory of God, but in truth only tending to crucify the Son of God afresh, and put him to open shame, &c.

July 2. 1670.

To another Friend.

WHerefore, ye Sons and Daughters of Sion, ye Inhabitants of the New Jerusalem, blow ye the Trumpet of God; say ye, The Lord reigneth; make ye a joyful Noise, that the whole World, and all therein, may ring and sing forth his Praise; whose Name, Worship, and Nature, is one and the same, most excellent; yea, whose Name is also Truth in the inward parts, the Word in the Heart, that whosoever walketh in the Truth and Light manifested in every Conscience (of all or any Religion) shall be saved.

To other Friends.

Dear Hearts,

I Lately saw you sent forth, as Sheep amongst Wolves; therefore be ye as wise as Serpents, and as innocent as the Dove: In the Power that sends you forth, stand, and for it wait; then as any thing is to be done, it will arise. And when you are before those that would rule over your Conscience, take no thought, neither be at all careful what you shall speak, for it shall be given you at that instant. Thus will you come to witness the Lilly, which is more glorious than Solomon. Behold! I go before you into Galilee of the Gentiles, whither our Lord (the Power) is gone to gather all things into Himself; for out of Egypt will he bring his Son. But wait you at Jerusalem, (the Mother of us all) for the Power (which is the Father that begat us of his own good will and pleasure) into which, and by which, the gathering of the People will be and not by Words or Sounds, neither into Sects or Opinions; but whosoever is Servant to the Power, will be accepted, of what Nation, Kindred, or People soever he be. This is a true and faithful Say­ing; blessed is he that can receive it; such an one comes to cease from his own Labours, and hath rest and peace in God, to which I commend you, and in it abide; Your Brother,

R. R.

These are the Days of Vengeance, wherein none can live in Peace, that cannot pass by an Injury, love their Enemies, and reward Evil with Good.

The END.

Pag. 11. lin. 30. for were, read was. P. 16. l. 25. for our, read your.

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