An Epistle from John Burnyeat to Friends in Pennsilvania;
To be disperced by them to the neighbouring Provinces, which for convenience and dispatch was thought good to be printed, and so ordered by the Quarterly Meeting of Philadelphia, the 7th of the 4th Month, 1686.

Dear Friends;

IN the universal Spirit of Life and Truth, and of Righteous­ness and Peace, doth the tender Affection and pure Love of my heart flow forth unto you all, who are true Lovers of the Power and Holiness of the same, wherein alone it is that we bear the Image of him whose Name is HOLINESS, and his Nature and Being is PƲRITY, so that in that only we do draw and may draw near unto him, and have fellowship with him, and enjoy his Presence, who is our God, our Life and Salvation; and therefore in the unity of that whereby we have been quicken'd, and through which we live unto him that hath quicken'd us, do I exhort and beseech you all to mind, with reverence, his secret and sweet Visitations by his holy Power upon your Spirits, in your hearts, that you feeling that to appear there, and so through the brightness of its appearing, to destroy him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all Power, &c. and with all de­ceiveableness of Unrighteousness in them that perish, and not only to appear to destroy him and his Works, but also to abide with you, and dwell in you, and to make you his Dwelling-place, and then you being watchful, shall not watch in vain, because the Lord then will be your Keeper, and th [...]n, as one said of old, He keeping the City, the Watch-man watcheth not in vain. Thus you may see it fulfilled in your own Hearts unto your own Souls, and so have [Page 2]comfort and Confidence with holy David, and with him live above the fear of Evil (though you might walk through the shadow of Death, as he said) because of the Lords being with you.

And therefore, Friends, see that you be all mindful of him in his appearing by his Power and Spirit of Grace in your hearts; and let him have room there, and not be straitned, or thronged up, or oppressed; for he delights to dwell alone there, and have the whole heart to himself, and at his own disposing, that he may fill it with that which he takes pleasure in, and in which only he may be glorified and honoured; and therefore doth he require the Heart, saying, My Son, give me thy heart; And Christ doth Com­mand, that we should love him with all our Hearts, &c. So, as I said, let him have room in your hearts, and take heed that with this World, the Spirit of it, Nature of it, and love to the things therein, your hearts be not filled, and so taken up, that there be no room for him, whose coming is with such Glory and Fullness, that he fills all that are rightly poor & empty, with that Fullness, Richness and Glory, that there can be no want to them that have him for their Portion and Inheritance, and so keep single in their hearts before him; but where the heart is filled with delight in, or desires after other things, out of the Covenant of God (which is out of his favour) there the Lord will not have delight to dwell, there is not room; nay, he will not have delight to appear there, because it will be his grief, and an oppression unto him; was it not so of old, when he took up his complaint against both Judah and Israel, as you may see Amos 2. how the Lord pleads with them and threatens them what he would bring upon them for their Sins that he reckons up against them; and withal, to aggra­vate their Crimes (as he might justly do) he also reckons up & tells them what he had done for them, how he had destroy'd the Amorite for their sakes, brought them out of the Land of Aegypt, lead them in the Wilderness, given them the Land of the Amorits to possess, raised of their Sons to be Prophets, and their Young men to be Nazarites, &c. but saith he unto them, Ye gave my Nazarits Wine to drink, and commanded my Prophets, saying, Prophecy not: Behold, I am pressed under you as a Cart is pressed that is full of: heaves, saith he. Hence it may be understood, that when he hath been at work, and [Page 3]hath done good by his glorious Power, who worketh wonderfully for them (and now in them also) that believe in his Power; If there be a going from him, and a letting in of another thing into the Heart, where he should rule and have his dwelling in man, and so with man, it becomes a grief, and an oppression unto him, and so a provocation unto him, that he will not always bear it, nor spare man, though he is long-suffering, as may be seen very fully in that Prophecy of Amos, and more at large through the Scrip­tures, which were written for our learning, that we might be warned, and thereby be stirred up unto diligence, care & watch­fulness, which may tend to our Preservation.

And now, considering these things that were of old, and ob­serving how that in our Age the Lord hath made known his wont­ed Goodness unto us, even that which doth far exceed the out­ward Priviledges of the outward Israel; for that which he bles­seth us withal, is a Possession and enjoyment of a degree of his own Life (who is the Creator) by which he created all things, which is more than the enjoyment of the Creature, the loss of which was the great Penalty laid upon Adam, if he broke the Com­mand, which he having lost, is aga [...]n restored unto us through Christ Jesus the second Adam, the Lord from Heaven, which we having received, do thereby live unto God, and therein serve him.

And so, dear Friends, the thing that is chiefly in my mind unto you, in the reach of the heavenly Bowels, is to intreat and be­seech you all to be tender in your hearts, and careful over your spirits, that you may not let in nor joyn with any thing that will bring grief or oppression upon your Life, or lead you into the Transgression of the Law thereof: Mind the Exhortation of the Apostle, Grieve not the Spirit by which you are sealed, &c. And so, as you are careful, watchful and wise to take heed unto the holy Conduct, and blessed Leadings and Direction of this Spirit, and the Law thereof, your Souls will dwell in Peace, and your Feet will tread in a safe Path, even the Path of Peace, and your steps will not slide, but you will witness what David said of old to be true, The Righteous shall inherit the Land and dwell therein forever; for, saith he, the Mouth of the Righteous speaketh Wisdom, and his Tongue talks of Judgment, the Law of his God is in his heart, none of [Page 4]his steps shall slide. So here you may see what it is that keeps from sliding, the Law of God, which is in the heart, this preserved David, for it was as a Lanthorn to his feet, and a Light unto his Paths.

Oh my dear Friends! you may be happy, yea, we may all be happy, if we be as carerul as we ought, to walk by this Rule: Oh the sweetness, peace and glory, that he fills the hearts of all his People with, that take heed unto his Law! the Spirit is not grieved, the Life of the Soul is not oppressed; the Soul, Life or Spirit of man is at ease, and so in the glorious Liberty of the Sons of God, and so in that state where it can sing unto the Lord and praise him.

And therefore, all of you mind your dwelling and inward Li­berty and spiritual freedom from all the Corruptions of the world and of the flesh, both inwardly in your selves, and all Tempta­tions from without, that you may reign in the Dominion of the Seed Christ Jesus forever, and so with him be Co-heirs of that heavenly Inheritance and Possession which he hath purchased for you.

And so, in the unity of that Life which reigns over all, do I very dearly salute you all who love the Truth, and in that do I desire that the God of Life may bear up your spirits by his Power over and a-top of all that would defile or oppress, that you may be preserved to remain the Sons and Daughters of God without Rebuke, in and among this crooked and perverse Generation, amongst whom do you shine as Lights, to the Glory of him who hath called you out of Darkness into his marvellous Light, who over all is worthy of Glory, Honour and Dominion, World without end.

From your Friend and Brother, in the Truth, John Burnyeat.

Printed and sold by William Bradford near Philadelphia, 1686.

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