A General Epistle to the People of God, in scorn called QƲAKRES, in England, and elsewhere.

Dear Friends, Brethren and Sisters,

UNto whom the visitation of Life in the Son of the Fa­ther's Love hath reached; when you were as dry bones scatterred upon the Earth here and there, the Com­passionate Eye of a tender Father was towards you, and his Word breathed Life unto you, giving you Knowledge and Un­derstanding: And gathered you together to be his Household of Faith, in this latter Age of the world. The Salutation of my dear and unfeigned, fatherly and brotherly Love at this time ex­tendeth it self freely unto you all, in the heavenly unity of that one Spirit of Life, by which we were first quickned, who were dead in trespasses and sins as well as others: Oh that Grace, Mer­cy, Love and Truth, with all the Fruits of Righteousness may grow, increase, and be abundantly multiplied in and amongst you all, this my Soul daily breaths to the Lord on your behalf, who are heirs together of the Grace of God, being planted into the likeness of his Son, to bear his heavenly Image, and as Li­ving Members, fitly joynted and framed together under one Head, to be a compleat Body in him; you are as Living Epistles written with the Spirit of the Living God in one anothers Hearts, who lives and moves in your Integrity, and continues in your first Love without wavering, here you daily have and receive Mercies and Blessings from above, with a daily increase of Life and Vertue in your Bosoms, whereby your strength is renewed [Page 2] as the Morning, and you need go no more forth: for your Bread is sure in your own Houses, and Springs of Water in your own Wells. My Soul blesseth God in the Remembrance of you, who are made Living Monuments of his Mercy, and are daily waiting for the Consolation of Israels God, who in this his glorious Day is fulfilling his antient Promise in manifesting him, whose Voice is not heard in the Streets, yet ordained of God to bring forth Judgment to the Gentiles, and to be their Light and Glory, and this we are Witnesses of in our day, through the tender mercy of our God in visiting us with his antient Gospel day springing from on high, who sate in darkness as well as others, and were by nature the Children of Wrath; When we thus laid poluted in our Blood, he said unto us, Live, and his Word was an everlasting Covenant. Oh! let all who are made pertakers of so great Love and Mercy, live in the daily Remembrance thereof, and walk worthy of so great Salvation in all Humility and Godly Sincerity, as Lights in the world, that your good Works to them may appear daily, which are the proper effects of that living Faith you have from God received, by this alone your Faith will be seen to live, and you in it, for all the Body without the Spirit is dead, so Faith without Works is dead also; And being planted into the likeness of him who is from above, you may bear his Image, and be cloathed with his Righteousness, for no other Covering will hide your nakedness from the World, nor keep your Beauty and Comliness in the sight of God.

And now my beloved Friends, Brethren and Sisters, who are of the Household of Faith, seeing the Lord hath chosen you to place his great Name in, by the Revelation of his Son, which Ages and Generations before you knew not, as sound and ho­nourable Vessels in the House of the Lord keep your places and station, and let your Chaste Conversation coupled with fear and gravity in every place where you dwell, be seen and known un­to all men, for to this purpose were you called and separated from the Ways, Worships, and evil Customs of this present world, to be the first Fruits in the Lord's Vineyard, which he [Page 3] hath planted with his right hand in a very fruitful Hill; Oh! wait for his watering from on high, which will be known and witnessed as your own Hearts are kept empty and open unto him, for he is waiting to be gratious and bount [...]ful to his chosen Seed, Flock and Family every where, who keep his Word and Covenant, to them he is and will be as the shadow of a mighty Rock, though in a weary and desolate Land.

But he will sift the Nations in the Sieve of his Wrath, who have dispised his Word, Grace, Life and Consolation, which is the Root and moving cause of all true Worship and Service to him; This the Corner-stone which Babel's Builders have reject­ed as useless to them, and thinks to reach Heaven without it, this will bring Confusion upon all Religions on Earth▪ if they continue rejecting this Stone, their buildings, though never so high, will fall, for the Judgment of the great Whore is come, who hath made Nations drunk with her glittering Cup and the fall of Babylon as a Mill-stone into the Sea is at hand, and all her Lovers who have made Merchandize of the Souls of men, shall mourn and be astonished at her destruction.

And now my beloved Friends and Brethren as the Lord hath called us out of her, and hath opened our Eyes to see her Whore­doms and Abominations among all sorts of Professions, whose Hearts and Minds are adulterated from God, though in words they make a large profession of him, yet in Works deny him; This is Atheism in nature, look not back at her again, nor stay with her in her Suburbs, neither let any thing of her Language, Cu­stoms or Nature remain, for that will lead to depart from the living God and his heavenly Jerusalem, to the love of her again, who is the Mother of Harlots and Abomination of the Earth.

Oh! the exceeding Riches of the Father's Love, who hath not called us unto Wrath, but to obtain Mercy, in turning every one of us from our Iniquities, who have loved and obeyed his Truth. Therefore as dear Children of one Father, let us live in all humble subjection unto him, who hath begotten us again unto a living hope by the Word of his Power, to be the first Fruits unto [Page 4] his Glory in these latter Ages of the World, in which he will be glorified, in, by, and thorow us, or without us: For of Stones he can raise up Children unto Abraham, who shall glorifie his Name in the day of their Visitation, by walking in his Light and Covenant. But if we walk in the Light as Children of the day, in watchfulness, sobriety and honesty, we shall keep our holy Ʋnion and Fellowship one with another, without Jar or Strife, Debate or Contention, and the Blood of Jesus Christ his Son, we shall daily witness to cleanse us from our Sin, and then the good purpose of the Lord will be answered in visiting us with his hea­venly Gospel day, which dawned and sprung in our hearts, by which the Seat of Antichrist hath been discovered, and the hid­den things of Esau brought to light, which nothing could mani­fest but the arising and appearance of the Son of Righteousness in the Hearts of the Sons of men, by this Gospel-day with which God hath visited us, is all false Spirits upon the Earth discerned, and every deed of darkness manifested, yea the very Seat of Antichrist discovered. In the first breaking forth of this day God made us a willing People, and put upon us the Helmet of Salvation, and girded us with the Sword of the Spirit, and made us able to War with the Dragon and his Power, and thorow Faith gave us ma­ny and great Victories, yea we were made more then Conquerers.

Oh! the sweet remembrance of this day is now with me, who am warned to warn you, to live in a daily sence and consideration of the height, depth, breath and length of the love of God, and his tender mercy to us ward, who are by Nature Children of Wrath as well as others, and sate in darkness and in the region of the shadow of dea [...]h; And when we recount the vile sort of men, we can say such were some of us, but God hath mercifully washed our Garments in the Blood of his dear Son, and hath put upon us the Garments of Praise for the Spirit of heaviness, which surrounded us in the long and dark night of Apostacy, which hath been over the world for Ages and Generations before we had our beings; but the Darkness is past, and the true Light now shineth. Oh! that the remembrance of that exceeding Riches and kindness which [Page 5] God hath manifested in us, may ever be with us, and that we may walk worthy of so high a Calling in all holy Conversation and Godliness, for to this end were we called and separated from a­mong many, to be the first Fruits unto God in this latter age of the world, and hereby will his Name be renowned through­out the world by us, as we daily walk in a holy Conversation coupled with fear, lowliness, and tenderness, for so is our subjecti­on to him manifested, and the same Witness which we have re­ceived be reached and raised in the Hearts and Consciences of the Sons of men▪ who will not otherwise be reached, and they will bless God on our behalf in the day of their visitation. But if any walk loosely, and let go the Girdle of Truth, and begin to eat and drink with the Drunkards, and to contend with, or beat their fellow Servant, or draw back into a fleshly liberty, whereby the Cross of Christ is thrown aside, neglected and despised, the Lord of that Servant will appear in a day when he is least aware of him, and appoint him his Portion with Hypocrites, where is weeping forever. For God will not now be mocked with any People or Profession; they who sow to the Flesh shall dye, wither and inherit Corruption, but they who sow to the Sperit of Truth, and walk in its Law, shall live and flourish, and reap Life and Vertue daily; For its Ministration is the last and greatest the world shall be visited withal, where­by Life and Immortality shall again appear to all Nations, Kin­dreds, and Tongues upon the face of the Earth; if they receive and walk in it, for it is ordained of God to be the guide of Life to all the Sons and Daughters of Adam, to lead them out of the fall into the way of Peace, and shall fulfil the last and great Pro­phesie, Rev. 21. 24. That the Nations of them that are saved shall walk in the Light of the Lamb, and the Kings of the Earth shall bring their glory and honour unto it, and the Glory and Honour of the Gentiles shall be brought unto it, ver. 26. This is begun to be ful­filled in the Earth, and many are come & coming to the brightness of his rising, whose coming is as the Light which ariseth in the East and shineth to the West, that none may be left unvisited with this glory; but all who shut their Eyes from this glorious Sun shall have no benefit by his appearance, but shall stumble and [Page 6] fall, and rise no more unto Life, Peace, and Salvation, and shall dye in their Sins & perish in their Unrighteousness, for none can have the benefit either of the Death, Passion, or Resurrection of Jesus, purposed of God for all mankind, but who doth believe, receive and follow him, who went before and trod the Wine-press alone. And as the rejecting of him in his outward appearance, was the ru­in of the outward Jews even so the dispising of him in his inward and spiritual appearance will be the ruin and downfall of the out­ward Christians, this Testimony I must leave to the world, and it shall live & be fulfilled when Iam gone hence, no more to be seen.

But you my dearly beloved Friends and Brethren who have accepted of this day, and have opened your Eyes to [...]ehold the glorious Son of Righteousness, which is now risen wi [...]h healing in his Wings, let your moderation appear to all men, and walk honestly as in the day, and keep on your Breast-plate of Faith that the Enemy wound [...]ou not, for your Sincerity is within your Spiritual Armour, in your holy Mountain where no devourer can come.

And though the Lord hath taken Peace from the Earth, where Righte­ousness dwells not, and one Mountain rises against another and beat one another to dust, be not troubled at these things for they must be, and also Famines, Pestilences and Earthquakes in divers places, they are but the beginning of Sorrows, to them who have despised the Mercy and Long-sufferings of the Lord, and hath sleighted and neglected the day of their Visitation, which hath been for many years, in which he hath strove with them by his Spirit, and hath waited to be good and gratious to the worst of men, but they have not known nor considered in this their day, the things which belong to their peace. I pray God it be not hid from their Eyes, but we are commanded to say, whatever befalls the world, it shall go well with the Righteous in it; therefore stand still in your Tent doors, and quietly wait to see the Salvation of God thorow all these Over­turnings which he suffers to be in the Earth.

Often would the Lord have gathered ENGLAND under the shadow of his Wing and Power, but they [I mean the greater part.] have refu­sed to be gathered, and hate to be reformed, of this I am a living Wit­ness, they were invited to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, but they have made several Excuses, yea wilful and obstinate refusals to come, which hath kindled the wrath of the Master of the Feast, to say they shall not taste at my Table. And he will invite other Guests more hungry and [Page 7] willing to come, who shall fill his House: Of this we have, and may yet be more Eye-witnesses, for [...]e is shaking the Earth and Heavens, that that which is to be shaken may be removed, that the Foundation which cannot be shaken may remain sure forever. And he will gather his Sheep out of all Kingdoms, and from all barren Mountains where they have been scattered in this cloudy and dark night, which hath continued for Ages and Generations before us.

Therefore dear Friends, lift up your Heads in the dominion of Gods power, of which you are made partakers, for your deliverance by it (if you continue in it to the end) is determined of God, let none expect deliverance by outward might nor power, that is by the Arm of flesh, for that will fail and wither as the Gras [...]. But in Mount Zion is deli­verance, according to the Word of the Lord, and in the Remnant whom he hath chosen. So mind not the Busles and Hurryings in the world, nor the Overturnings among men, for through all these things will the Lord set up the Kingdom of his beloved Son, which is a Spiritual Kingdom of Peace and Righteousness.

The Earth was filled with Violence before the Flood, and as it was in the days of Noah, so it is at the coming of the Son of man, and had Noah joyned with the violence of the Old World, he had been drown­ed with them, but he loved Righteousness, and walked in it before the Lord in that Generation; and therefore the Lord [...]ad mercy upon him and delivered him from that general destruction which drowned the World of ungodly men.

The Earth is now filled with Violence, and corrupted through Ini­quity, and the Lord hath begun to visit the Nation with his sore displea­sure, therefore to your Habitation in the Lord, Oh! ye his Israel: And power is given to the Devourer, who is without to destroy much flesh; The unbaptized in heart shall fall by the Sword of the Lord, who hath resisted his holy Spirit, as did the uncircumcised in the days of Old; this was, is, and will be the Ruin of all empty Professions upon the Earth, for he is not a Christian that is one outward, neither is that Baptism that is outward in the Flesh, but he is a Christian who is one inward; and Baptism is that of the Heart in the Spirit, whose praise is not of men, but of God. And the saving knowledge of Christ is not after the flesh, 2 Cor. 5 16. For henceforth know w [...] him so no more, that is after the flesh, and n [...] man knows the things of God but the Spirit of God, it must be re­ceived, and knowledge wai [...]ed f [...]r, by and through it, which [...]lone is or­dained of God to give to all mankind, knowledge and understanding in [Page 8] things relating to his Kingdom, it is the Root and Foundation of all true Religion, and without it there is none true in the Earth, the true Worship stands in it now as in times past, which shall end the Temple worship, that stands in bodily exercise; it will be left to be trodden down of the Gentiles, for it is the outward Court, where the glory of God shines not; but the inward Court are the Spiritual Worshippers be­fore the Al [...]ar, where the presence of God opens Life and the treasury of it to the Soul, which they pertake of, who wait to be renewed in Spirit before the Lord.

And now my beloved Friends and Brethren, as we are made a compleat Body in him, our heavenly Head, let an holy and heavenly Harmony he continued amongst us, for Unity is our strength, therefore labour to re­tain and keep it every where, that every Member of the Body may be nou­ri [...]hed and kept alive by vertue of the Life within, and have a tender care of disjoynting any living Member, but let all be edified together in Love, and every Member act in its place to the honour of the Head; and above all, keep the Unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, for so is the Will of God concerning us, that our Sons may be as Plants growing up in their Youth, walking the Steps of their Fathers, and our Daughters as Virgins with their Lamps trimed and burning, waiting for the Bridegroom, and be stedfast in him, and in the Word of his Grace, and keep the holy order of the Gospel without wavering, and let every wholsom Order that is e­stablished among you, [which is Comly and of good Report] be kept up and practised, & keep the Reign of Truth and Power of God over every Evil-doer, with­out partiality, so will the Lord crown you with dominion over the power of darkness eve­ry where, for the true Light of which we have born testimony, is the Seed of the King­dom of God, which must increase till by it the knowledge of the glory of God again cover the Earth as the Waters cover the Sea; therefore cherish this Seed every where, in whomsoever it is arising; for it is the Life and Power of Godliness, not the form, that must in rich the World with Righteousness, and fill the Earth with Blessings.

And if we, or an Angel from Heaven preach any other Gospel, or proclaim any other Name then that which you have received, and in which you have believed and found Sal­vation and deliverance, receive us not into your Houses, for God is one, and his Name one; and there is not another by which any man can be saved, & this name is Jesus the Anointed of God the Father, who is now come to save his People, from [not in,] there Sin, [mark that] for so he was Gods Salvation in the true Gospel Day, and so we have proclaimed him in our day, and many have so received him, to whm he hath given Power to become his Sons and Daughters, Servants and Handmaids in his House, who are his Flock and Family, and hath Bread enough, and living Water in their own Vessels, and none need go no more forth, all holy Praises be given to the Lord, and to the Lamb forever and ever.

Finally, dear Friends and Brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might, and the God of Peace be with you all, strengthen, stablish, settle you upon the Rock of Ages, in full and perfect unity with God, and one with another, in which I bid you all Farewell, and remain

Your true Friend and Brother in the Bond of Love and Peace, AMBROSE RIGGE▪

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