THE NEW Non-conformist; Who having obtained help of GOD, doth persist unto this very day; WITNESSING, Both to Small and GREAT, Some of those Glorious Things WHICH The Apostles, the Prophets, & Moses, did say should come to pass.

OR, The VOICE of A Careful Shepherd, Crying,

  • From his Watch-tower at W.C.
  • Unto his Little Flock at W.L.

With a loud Voice.

Matth. 10.17. Matth. 7.15. Philip. 3.2. Tit. 1.12.

BEWARE of Men: Beware of Dogs: Beware of Wolves, and of other evil Beasts.

Joh. 10.11, 12, 13.

The GOOD SHEPHERD giveth his life for the sheep. But He that is an HIRELING, and not the Shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth; and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The Hireling fleeth, because he is an Hire­ling, and careth not for the sheep.

Printed at London, for Livewel Chapman, at the Crown in Popes-head-Alley. 1654.

A PREFACE To every Honest and Intelligent READER.

IT seemed good unto the Apo­stles, and Elders, Act. 15.23, [...]. and Brethren at Jerusalem, when they wrote to the brethren of the Gentiles in Antioch, and Syria and Cilicia, to recommend their beloved Barnabas and Paul, with this short choice Character; They are men which have hazarded their lives for the Name of our Lord Iesus Christ. [...]. Tradi­derunt animas. Bez. exposue­runt.

And verily they must not love the Lord Jesus at that ordinary rate, which even the Bishops and the Deacons of the Churches generally content them­selves withal at this day, who do intend to adven­ture their lives in his Cause, and for his Name, a­gainst the present refined policies and practices of [Page]the Whorish Woman and her lovers, the Kings of the earth, with their Retinue.

It is a sad Symptome, Mat. 24.12. when the love of many grows colder and colder, at that point of time, when the Lord expects (as well he may, if you knew all, Christian friends) it should grow hotter and hotter, till it amounts to that degree, and per­fection of operation which is mentioned Rev. 11.5. If any One will hurt them, who stand before the Lord of the whole earth, fire proceedeth of out their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if ANY ONE will hurt them, he must in this maner be killed.

I humbly conceive, the Word of JEHOVAH is not in any of his servants hearts as A BURNING FIRE, but they are also at the same time enflamed with love and zeal: this multiplication of heat, as I may so say, causeth them, like Ieremiah, to be weary of forbearing, Jer. 20.9. so that they cannot stay and contain themselves within those bounds of Me­diocrity and Moderation, which used to be cried up by the luke-warm generation of Preachers and Professors in all ages hitherto.

But the Scriptures must be fulfilled; and there­fore, it's not to be admired, that there should be such an universal Apostacy, and that those who had a Name to live, Rev. 3.1.are now dead. Wonder not, I say, Oh Little Remnant! that there are so many fallen a­sleep, but rather ponder the true reason, why there are any kept awake.

For, that most excellent old Doctrine, which our Lord taught his Disciples, in the daies of his flesh (and accordingly, after his ascension was very much practised) hath been of late, if you observe [Page]it, almost utterly out of date, I mean the Doctrine of self-denial, and of forsaking all (Relations, Mat. 16.24. Luke. 9.23. Liber­ty, Goods, good Name, yea, life it self,) for his sake and the Gospels; How little is it preached now? how much less is it practised? But the rea­son is ready, and upon record: These are the last days; and the Spirit speaketh plainly, 2 Tim. 3.1, &c. and without a Pa­rable, That in those days men shall be lovers of their own selves, cevetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, &c. lovers of pleasures more then lovers of God, (yet) having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof. Observe, whether very many, in stead of denying themselves, as Christ hath taught, do not deny the power of godliness, 2 Pet. 2.1. and the Lord that bought them, as the world and lust perswade.

But hearken, dear hearts, and be cheerful; yea, be ye very joyful in believing, that the Spirit of life and power from God, shall ere it be long, en­ter into a choice company, Rev. 11. Ezek. 37.10. and they shall stand upon their feet; and fear shall fall upon all those who see them: for I know and am perswaded, that there is at this present time, a remnant according to the election of grace reserved by God to himself, Rom. 11.4, 5. (not­withstanding the present Apostacy) who have not bowed the knee either to the Beast or to his Image. I wait to see this reserved remnant call'd out of their several holes and caves, where they are hid from the world, and from one another, and so brought together, even as so many dry bones, bone to his bone, &c. to make a standing Army for the King of Saints, in the time appointed of the Fa­ther.

Mine heart, Judg. 5.9. (a Deborah's was) is towards the Go­vernours of Israel, that offer themselves willingly among the people: bless ye the Lord. Oh! keep your garments clean, and close about you, and you shall walk with Christ in white, for such are worthy. How do I rejoyce in Spirit, that I can in Spirit go thorow the grates of my Prison, and pass thorow all the guards, which are set to shut and keep me up from the society of the Saints, and converse sweetly in a mystery, with those be­loved Brethren of mine, whose faces I never saw in the flesh!

Methinks I hear, A mystical Con­ference, betwixt the prisoner and his Brethren, who are one spirit with him, in the present truth and work of God in the world. Dan. 8.13. with Daniel, one Saint speaking and another Saint saying unto that certain Saint which spake, How long shall be the vision con­cerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the Sanctuary & the Host to be troden under foot? Then methinks I hear a sweet voice from another Believer, saying, The Sanctuary shall be cleansed, it shall be cleansed. Amen, say I, from my watch-Tower: the Lords Sanctuary hath need of cleansing.

Quest. But where are the Instruments, say others, and who shall be imployed in this glorious work? we thought the Son of David had had such Worthies come from New-England & from Holland, at the begin­ning of the late great revolution, as would not one­ly have helped to maintain their own & their Bre­threns attainments; but would also have advanced valiantly, like undaunted Leaders of the Lords vo­luntiers, 2 Tim. 2.3. upon the old carnal Church and its Cler­gie: and, as becomes good Souldiers of Jesus Christ, would have endured any hardness, rather [Page]then have given place by retreat or subjection, though but for an hour, Gal. 2.5. that so the truth of the Gospel of the Kingdom might have prevailed in the World.

We had these honorable thoughts of them; but alas, where are they? and what is become of these reputed Champions, for the Lamb against the Beast? are not most of them even revolted and gone? 2 Tim. 2.4. are they not entangled in the affairs of this life? yea, are not some of them busie in building again the Things they have destroy­ed?

Answ. Be not doubtful of minde, Oh little Flock! live not in careful suspence, [...]. Luke 12.30. carried like Meteors be­twixt Heaven and Earth. The zeal of the Lord of Hosts shall perform this great Thing whereof we speak: and if need be, Jehovah will create a Spirit of judgement, and a Spirit of burning, for the ac­complishing that honourable Enterprize for his Son, which the hearts of the choicest Saints are so much upon.

Again, It's probable, 1 Cor. 1.27. God will take some foolish Thing or other, some weak, some despised Thing, to perfect his praise, in the midst of all his ene­mies.

For oftentimes of old, the Instruments have been too Many, sometimes too Mighty, sometimes too Wise for God to use. Wherefore let us re­member, It's thy part and mine, to believe, that notwithstanding the Retrograde motions, both of per­sons and Things, as we suppose, yet certainly, the Main Designe is carried on with an High hand; but, in paths so secret, that the most sharp-sighted Po­liticians [Page]in the Kingdom of the Beast, cannot well tell how and where to obviate or countermine.

And, which is the most confounding Consideration of all the rest, such is the nature of this great Contri­vance, (which you through mercy are privie to) that if there be at any time a Discovery made, of its mighty Eruptions, as now and then there is; yet, the Souldiers weapons, with the Counsellors and States-mens wits in conjunction, dare not sudden­ly grapple with it: but if they, at any juncture of time, are found so hardy, as to make this bold adventure, it's with utmost hazard of being ground to powder.

As for me, (a reproached Outcast, an exile Ca­ptive) it is upon my heart to desire Two Things of you my brethren and companions in tribulation, and in the Kingdom and Patience of Jesus Christ.

1 Pour out prayer, and then lift up prayer for the prisoner. Eph. 6.18 Jude 20. verseOh! let there be a Continuation of prayers and requests on my behalf, in the Spirit, I say, in the holy Spirit: for certainly, the Lord hath heard your supplications for me, as I shall, I hope, de­monstrate in due season. Oh pray! and pray again, ye close followers of the Lamb, That, if this Close prisoner be delivered up again to the Councils for Christs Name sake, Mat. 10.17. and his Kingdoms sake, he may be made Mighty in the Scriptures, Acts 18.24. and elo­quent with that eloquence and elocution onely, which the Spirit of Christ was wont to administer to the suffering Saints in all ages. And, That I may be of a very high, and of a mighty spirit for our dear Lord Jesus; yea, of a lofty and a daring spirit, according to the glorious Ministration of the New Testament, and not otherwise in the least: [Page]which yet will never be, unless, He be dearer to me then my life, whom my soul loves, and unless I am kept under the constraining power of divine love. 2 Cor. 5.14.

Oh Brethren! this Divine love will make bitter Things sweet, and turn a strait Prison into a state­ly Palace.

Do I say, Will do these things? yea, it hath performed greater works then I can possibly, after much meditation, compass to express. Where­fore, I intreat you to remember my bonds, my strait bonds, as you do; and I am perswaded, your brotherly love herein will turn to good account for each of you also, when with diligent observation you ponder what improvements you have made in the industrious prosecutions of so good a trade.

And let men beware, how they impute it to proud presumption in me, thus to hope, Luke 21.28. to look up, and to lift up my head with such boldness in this Cause, even before the faces of the Highest and most Majestical Potentates in the World, if call'd before them: for hath not my God asked me many times, Wilt thou in such a Cause as this (though most perfidiously forsaken by very many) be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man that shall be made as grass?

Did not Stephen, Acts 7. that renowned Deacon of the Church of Christ, carry it sweetly, and yet stout­ly for his Lord, when he was brought before the High Priest and the Council? His Highness did not affright him in the least; Stephen was protected and incouraged by One who was infinitely higher then He and all the Lords of the Council: before I had tasted of Stephen's Cordial, I often wondred [Page]how he did dare to speak at so high a rate, before and unto the High-Priest, as you read Act. 7.51, 52. Ye stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do alwayes resist the holy Ghost; as your fathers did, so do ye. Which of the Prophets have not your fa­thers persecuted? and they have slain them, which shewed before of the coming of the Just One, of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murtherers, &c.

Again, was not Luther, in the presence of Charles the fifth, and the many illustrious Princes of Ger­many, inab [...]ed by the most High, to bear up with in­vincible courage, so that they could not prevail to terrifie or affright him from his Faith and Do­ctrine which he had taught the people from the holy Oracles? and then, it's easie to conjecture how improbable it was, that all the Monks and Friers, all the Prelates and Parish Priests should afterward be able to resist the Wisdom and the Spirit by which he sp [...]ke.

Oh! how sweet hath that word been made to my soul? 1 Iohn 4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome Them, because, Greater is He that is in you, then he that is in the world.

2 Offer up praise for the prisoner.I beseech you also let there be m [...]intained a con­stant conjunction in praising the Name of our God and Father. Le [...] us agree to meet every day, many times in the day, for the performing this Ce­lestial, this Angelical service.

O! Psal. 34.3. magnifie the Lord with me, and let us exalt his Name together in the Spirit [...] and though our outward man be not capable during my restraint of local fellowship in this spiritual [...]acrifice of praise, yet it will refresh me much, to recount [Page]the mercies, which are our proper portion and in­heritance, in distinction from the world.

1. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly things, in Christ: as,

That he hath chosen us in him, and that b [...]fo [...]e the foundation of the world, &c.

That he hath predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, &c.

That he hath made us accepted in the Beloved.

That we have redemption through the Beloved, and this in his blood; which redemption is the for­giveness of sins, &c.

That he hath abounded in the riches of his grace towards us, and this in all wisdom and prudence.

That he hath made known to us the mystery of his will.

That in Christ we have obtained an inheritance, &c. and such an inheritance.

That after we believed, we were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise.

2. But beside those blessings and other glorious priviledges, which I partake of with all Saints, the Lord hath enriched me with many precious Jewels in this present condition, which I desire may be so used by me, as to adorn the Gospel, and to improve those new talents which are vouch­safed to me, in this House of Bondage, from day to day.

The mercy of contentation in this close impri­sonment, Phil. 4.11. I value at a very high rate before the Lord, in mine acknowledgements of his loving kindness toward me.

The liberty and cheerfulness of my Spirit: though the flesh be weak, I am able to say, with great joy, Heb. 13.5. through rich grace, That the Lord hath not left me nor forsaken me, but hath given me Liberty in Bonds, and Inlargement in Prison. I can tell you in the power of an holy Triumph, Al­though the Souldiers have attach'd my body, and keep my outside in chains, though they have bar­ricado'd the way whereby the Saints were wont at first to come to visit me, for the mutual comfort both of them and me; yet blessed be my God and Father, my spirit is out of their reach, and the new and living way into the Holiest is kept open, Heb. 10.20. and by the blood of Jesus I have boldness to enter in­to that within the veil. Heb. 6.19. I cannot express the com­fort of the visitations of the Father and the Son, who according to Christ's engagement, Ioh. 14.23. Do graciously, gloriously come unto me, and make their a­bode with me, who am less then the least of all these mer­cies.

What shall I say? I have a longing desire, (but it is not an inordinate lust after outward liberty) to come and declare what God hath done for my soul, and to teach and preach Jesus Christ publick­ly and from house to house. Acts 5. last. Let us therefore in the Name of the Lord, joyne our forces, and strive to­gether in prayer, that when I come, I may come in the fulness of the blessing of the Gospel. Rom. 15.29, 32.

That I may come unto you with joy by the will of God, and may with you be refreshed, even with you, who through love in the Spirit have endea­voured to let loose and break in sunder those bonds wherewith I have been tied so many months. And [Page]I am perswaded, (for I will not dissemble,) that this shutting and tying me up, will render me, by the power of God with me, more fierce, more fell and furious against the Kingdom of the Beast, then I was before; but it's probable, The Lord by his Spirit hath taught my hands to war, and my fingers to fight the battels of the Lamb, more skilfully then I did before.

I bless the Lord also, and let his people say, A­men, Rom. 12.2. that I am still a Non-conformist to the world, and the world-like-Church; but am through the grace of God made more conformable to the image of his Son: Rom. 8.29. and when Christ who is my life shall appear, I also together with others shall appear with him in glory. Colos. 3.4.

It often comes into my minde, how David com­plains, Reproach hath broken mine heart. Indeed, Psal. 69.20. to be stigmatiz'd, and set as upon a Theatre for a specta­cle, [...], Gal. 6.17. [...], 1 Cor. 4.9. and set as upon a Theatre for a specta­cle, and to be gazed at, is a very unwelcome condi­tion to the nature of man: but herein I am con­formed to my Head also, Heb. 6.6.

It was reported during my first close imprison­ment, that I had forsaken (Christ) the Head, and was under the ministration of evil Angles, That I had a spirit of delusion, &c. Sometimes by some men, I am a fool; by others, that I am a madman: since my close confinement here, I am against Ma­gistracy as Magistracy; poor fellow, I cannot de­fine what faith is. But blessed, for ever blessed be the Name of the Lord, I can say, in Paul's spirit, None of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto my self, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministery which I have received of the Lord Jesus, [Page]to testifie the Gospel of the grace of God.

By the ensuing Letters, to that little Flock, which I am over in the Lord, my spirit and my designe may be discerned: they are the Index of my very heart. When Epistles are the true and ge­nuine issue of the soul, (as these are of mine) there is no difficulty in making an estimate of the Au­thor of them, especially, when there's no oppor­tunity for the polishing and artificial adorning of them, as in the writing of these there neither was, nor well could be.

The first was written from neer the Council-chamber-door, in the midst of company, and in hast, because I expected every moment to be fetcht in; and I was willing to salute the Church from my bonds, they being to meet in the afternoon of that day.

The next, and all the others, were according to the constant frame of my spirit at other times, no artifice, no premeditation or study. I had no thought of this kinde of publication of them. Soundness in the faith, the power of godliness, and the promoting of the present truth and work of Christ, are those things which have lain next my heart for many yeers; and if I speak or write to the Saints, those things will certainly flow forth: for that saying of Christ is truth, Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh, (and so the pen wri­teth, if he be an honest-minded-man that guides it.)

I should not have thus far appeared, but for the manifestation of the truth: and what error so­ever any one espies, in those Letters, I am ready [Page]to retract and correct, upon any the least advertise­ment with light from the Oracles of God; 2 Tim. 3.16, 17 [...]. for the Scripture being divinely inspired, is profitable for correction, that the man of God may be perfect, per­fected to every good work.

I have great need of patience, that after I have done and suffered the will of God, I may inherit the promise. Moreover, to conclude, I must not cast away my confidence; for that also hath great recompence of reward.

We poor oppressed prisoners, are fools, for Christ's sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honorable, but we are despised. This word I write to the dissatisfied Saints, who are so apt to censure, and to speak evil of the things they know not; but yet I write not these last words to shame you; but because I in my ve­ry soul desire, you may not stumble and fall, and shew your shame, and break your bones. Therefore again I warn you, not to believe reports. When I am brought before Councils of State, or Courts of Justice, and there be found any evil in me why I should be thus dealt with, (even worse then blas­phemers, and felons, and other malefactors, are dealt with in Prison, and that, in several respects) then it will be time enough for you to censure, and judge, and condemn: but to this day, after seven moneths imprisonment, I have not been brought to the place of hearing, neither accusets not witnesses have passed upon me. My heart doth not condemn me, nor the Lord, who is greater then my heart, and knoweth all thin [...]s; I have boldness before him, and should I fear what man can do unto me?

Therefore judge nothing before time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hid­den things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsel of all mens hearts; and his judgement will be according to truth, Amen. Come Lord Iesus, come quickly.

Your servant for Christ's sake, willing to do or to suffer according to the will of God, Christopher Feake.

To all that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, cal­led to be Saints, who have fellowship with the Father and his son Jesus Christ, and with one another.

Precious Souls!

HAving tasted, in some measure, the sweetness of communion with God, and also of fellowship one with another; we cannot but commend the same to all Saints, as a thing worthy to be desired, coveted, embraced, and promoted by them to the utmost in their generation. And when other ways of Communion one with another are denied them, then this of writing with Ink and Paper each to other, hath been ever found of singular use and comfort to them, and been practised by the Saints in all ages, even from the Apostles times down to these of ours wherein we now live; whereby they do still encourage, com­fort, counsel, exhort, stir up, quicken, and provoke one another to love, and to good works; and to a holy, humble, heavenly, sincere, upright, and unblameable conversation, in the midst of a crooked, perverse, corrupt, deceitful, and adulterous generation. And we amongst others having sound no small refreshment by these Letters, which were occasionally written unto us by our dear Pastor, (when he was through the malice and instigation of Satan, the old uccu­sor of the brethren, rent and torn from his Congregation, and from his other dear relations; we know not for what cause, unless it were for his faithfulness, cordialness, and constancie to the Lord Jesus and his Saints, and unto their Cause and Interest; or for bearing his testimony against the sins and evils of Apostates, Back­sliders, [Page]and Treacherous dealers, that so ignobly deserted their Co­lours, and are revolted and gone; or for witnessing to the Truths of the kingdom and coming of the Lord Jesus, the king of Saints, and the king of Nations, to rule and to raign in righteousness, and in judgement in the earth, according as he hath spoken thereof, by the mouth of his holy Prophets which have been since the world began:) we have often earnestly desired, for our own farther com­fort and edifying, and for the like benefit and refreshing to other Saints, that these his Letters to us (with many others which he hath written) might be made publike; to the end, that as the Lord hath and doth comfort us in all our tribulations; so we might hereby be a means (under him) of comforting others with the same comfort [...] wherewith we our selves are comforted of God; and that those who have the gift of discerning of spirits in any measure, may judge whether these things that are written, (being no other in effect, then such as from time to time have been spoken and preached to us, by this faithful (though despised) servant of Christ) be the breathings of the holy Spirit of God, or the inspirations and suggestions of the devil, and of evil angels, as unreasonable men have calumniated and aspersed him. Say we not well, that thou art a Samaritane, and hast a devil? said they of Christ. Now if they call the Master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his houshold? Yet, saith Christ, Be not deceived; God is not mocked: the Blasphemy and the words spoken against the holy Spirit, they shall never be forgiven unto men, neither in this world, nor in that which is to come. However, saith he to his disciples, Beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the Councils, and ye shall be brought before governours and kings for my sake, FOR A TESTIMONY AGAINST THEM. But when they shall de­liver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in the same hour what ye shall speak. For IT IS NOT YE THAT SPEAK, but THE SPIRIT OF YOUR FATHER WHICH SPEAKETH IN YOU: Matth. 10.20. &c. It is the Spirit of your Father (saith Chrisst) which speaketh in you. For the blessed return of which Spirit of the Father from on high, and for the glorious ef­fusion [Page] of it upon all flesh, let the sons and daughters, and servants and handmaids of the Lord (to whom it is promised) ever pray, and they shall finde every day more and more, that it will break forth mightily, to the confounding of that spirit of the World, that is risen up in opposition and contradiction to it: for this spirit must fall, but the Spirit of Christ must arise; and the Priests and Soul­diers can no more suppress it, or keep it under, then they could the body of Jesus from its resurrection. In the mean time, let it suf­fice unto us, that Christ knows the blasphemy of those, who say they are Jews, and are not; Christians, and are not; for Christ, and are not; for the Ministers of Christ, and are not; for the Spirit of Christ, and are not; but are the Synagogue of Sa­tan, Rev. 2.9. and are of their father the devil, and the lusts of their father they will do, who was a murderer from the be­ginning, and ABODE NOT IN THE TRUTH; who is also a lyer, and the father of lyes, Joh. 8.44.

Signed by appointment and in behalf of divers others of the Congregation, who have subscribed the Original copie.
  • Thomas Allen.
  • John Luxford.
  • Robert Davie.
  • Stephen Rookeby.



TAke notice, that the two last Letters to the Church are placed out of order, because they could not be obtained in due time; and therefore are to be read as the two first Letters from Windsor, though printed last.

A short WORD To the faithful REMNANT, who are of one SPIRIT in the present Truth, and Cause of Christ.

I Alwayes, since I understood the nature of the controversie betwixt Antichrist and the Lord Jesus, in the light of his own Spirit, found it a blessed imployment to be inquiring and hearkning, where the signe of Gods presence was, and, upon which of the Congregations or assemblies, I could finde the most glorious demonstrations of the power of godliness, and where the Lord was pitching his Tents, and revealing himself to his Beloved Ones. This is also my work, at this day, to con­template and consider what posture the Saints are now in, and to watch that I may know, where the glory of the Lord is reveal­ed, and where or from whence it will break forth, at the ap­proaching revolution.

In time past, before the New Model was in being, or extant in the world, it was in the scattered Saints, yet gathered toge­ther in several meetings, (kept in the City, Army and Countries) to finde out a right way from Babylon to Sion. You remem­ber what distress the Lords people were in at that time, when that Tyrant had the North and West at his devotion, when Essex his Army was beaten and degenerate, when we were betrayed and forsaken by the old Souldiers of Fortune, when the King and his Princes were victorious and rampant, after the sacking of Leicester.

And when the new Model was despised in almost all mens eyes, It was com­monly called in reproach and scorn, both by the King's and Es­sex his souldi­ers, The New Model. save a small remnant of praying and believing Saints, where was the presence of God then? who could declare before whom the pillar of fire did shew it self, as the token of Jehovah's presence?

It must not be forgotten, but remembred with renewed thank­fulness even at this day, That it did break forth and manifest it self, most gloriously, from Nazeby-field, even every day more and more.

Then the Lord began to use the new Army, as One of the weak, foolish, despised Things of the world.

Then the Council of War used to aske counsel of God, and God was with them, wonderfully to direct them, to bless them with victorious success abundantly.

Then the Head-quarters were famous and amiable, even as the Tabernacles of the Lord of Hosts: Then the Spirit of Glory and of God rested upon them, and marched before them, everywhere; yea, it was as a wall of fire round about them, and the glory in the midst of them, Zech. 2.5.

And so it continued from year to yeer, to the astonishment of the wicked, and to the triumphant rejoycing of the righteous.

At length, after some dangerous Temptations were over­come, (as the Armies trinkling and tampering with and for the King, Queen, and their Issue, which afterward in their straits, they bewailed in Windsor Castle) the presence and Spirit of the Lord ingaged them also to execute judgement and justice upon the grand murtherer and persecutor of the Saints, (not to mention other strange and great enterprizes) so, as that the whore of Babylon and the Kings of the earth had cause to be exceedingly afraid.

Ireland was reduced also with a high hand, especially at the beginning; and the Lord was gloriously present still with the Ge­neral and his Army: onely some intelligent self-denying souls did discern plainly, that divers Officers began betimes, even too too early, to minde the prey, even before the work was done: and it cost many of them very dear.

Let us remember also the expedition into Scotland, and the [Page]high Appeal made by our Presbyterian-Brethren, and the Ar­my, with their friends: nights and dayes were spent in earnest prayer on both sides: the Lord appeared in terrible Majesty at Dunbar.

About that time, the Cause of Christ, the Interest of Christ, the work of God, the downfal of Babylon, and such-like language, sounded from the Head-Quarters, from the great Officers of the Army. My soul was ravished to see and observe the spirit of prayer at White-Hall in those dayes among many of the chief Commanders, as if they had loved none but Christ, as if they cared for none but Christ and his Interest, as if they would never have endured any King but the Lord Jesus, or any Laws but his, or any Ministers but his. We (who through grace were plain-hearted) thought there were not such another people upon the face of the earth, (for love to Christ, to the glory of Christ, that he might be magnified and exalted) as were the conducting and commanding part of the Army.

But Oh! Oh my Bowels, my Bowels! The gradual de­clension and defection since Worcester, with what words shall I bewail it? how have all the things of Christ been neglected? how hath that most noble and glorious Cause of the Lord Jesus been forsaken, by those, who ought by manifold obligations, to have promoted it to the utmost? there was a price put into their hands, and power was in their hands. Oh this spirit of Baruch to seek great things for our selves, when Jehovah saith, Seek them not. Behold, that which is built, God will pull down; and that which is planted, He will pluck up. The Lord Jesus is making great hast, to break in pieces all these Kingdoms both new and old; and yet men are busie in seeking their own things, and not the things of Jesus Christ. I cannot but speak, I must open my heart to some, who love the Lord Jesus in sincerity: my lise is not dear to me in this Cause. If the Powers of the world and Rulers of the people have a minde to take away my Life, as they have done my Liberty, behold, here it is in a readiness: If the Lord give the word, I am willing through grace not onely to be bound, but to die for the Name of the Lord Jesus, and for the Gospel of the Kingdom. I am free to give di­rections [Page]to my worst enemies, were they may make inquiry after all my wayes from my childhood to this day; and if they finde I have committed any thing worthy of death, or of bonds, let them take their advantage: but to keep me a Prisoner seven or eight moneths, and not bring me to the place of hearing, that I may know what my crime is, and who are my accusers, and the witnesses; this is not fair dealing. I am loth to aggravate things; but the manner of the Romans was more according to justice, expressed in Acts 25.

Brethren, I desire to keep in memory the Cause of our dear Lord, so do you, and know them who are of this Spirit through the Nation: provoke one the other to wrestle with God, to cry unto our Father. If his children cry unto him, he will not, he cannot long forbear; he will return, and have compassion on the Remnant of his Heritage: for mercy pleaseth him.

The Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with all your Spirits, in the glorious ministration of Grace, Mercy, and Peace con­tinually, Amen.

Yours for the Lord's sake, to do, or to suffer on your behalf, Christopher Feake.

For the well-beloved CHURCH of Christ, meeting in Colemanstreet, Swan Alley.

My dearly beloved Brethren in the Lord, my Joy, and my Crown,

INdeed and in truth, The high and glorious mysteries of the New Testament, and the most sweet ministrations thereof, are little understood by any of the Saints in this day: Therefore we are so exceeding low in our Spirits, in our Ex­periences, in our Affections and Resolutions for our dear Lord Jesus. But in the appointed season, the return of our King from a far Country, will amaze all those that would not have him to reign over them. This salutation now is sent unto you, to signifie to you that you are in my heart (through rich grace) to live and to die with you, in this most noble and most honourable Cause of the Lord Jesus Christ, both yours and mine. Blessed be the Father of our Lord Jesus, that ever he revealed his Son in such a poor, silly, inconsiderable worm as I am. Oh the riches of his grace! to intrust me with the preaching of the glorious Gospel of the blessed God. I would not exchange mine imployment, so sweet, so comforta­ble, for all the riches, glory, authority and pompous excel­lencies, which the fourth kingdom can tempt the sons of the earth withal.

God is gloriously gracious in these dispensations of suffer­ings: What a sweet night have I had! Why should the Lord condescend to refresh the Spirit of a poor, sinful, very sinful creature, in so transcendent a manner? Be of good cheer, wait on the Lord, believe more, pray more, praise more, do more, love more, abound in every good work more and [Page 2]more, The God of Peace, of Grace, of Truth shall be with you. Undoubtedly, as I lately told you, the Spirit of the Lord is rising: he cannot be kept down by the Princes, Powers, Soul­diers, Politicians of the Earth. Oh what confusions in Counsels! What concussions in Kingdomes and Common­wealths! what contestations among the professors in this City, are at hand! Great is Gospel-truth, and shall, and must pre­vail. How can we forbear triumphing in the expectations of the downfal of mystical-Babylon? If the Lord crucifie us unto the world, and the world unto us, (as I know he will) and pour out his Spirit richly, What may we not attempt for the interest of our dear Lord? Remember, The Lord is our Judge, the Lord is our Law-giver, (in the Hebrew, Statute­maker) the Lord is our King, He will save us.

Your eminent growth in Grace, and in the Knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, is that rich blessing which living and dying I bequeath unto you, and request for you. A rise and shine, O ye precious sons and daughters of Sion, in the midst of this dark world, as the stars in the firmament, each of you in the families, neighbourhood, and companies, where the Lord hath or shall dispose of you.

Believe it, my dear hearts, the Lord is coming: keep close together, love as brethren; above all, be exceeding careful to maintain on your part, holy, heavenly, spiritual, intimate communion with the Father, with the Lord Jesus, and with the Saints of the most High: the fruits whereof will be joy in the Holy Ghost unspeakeable, and most full of glory. A­mer, and Amen. Hallelujah.

Yours in the most sweet fellowship of the Gospel, and at liberty whilst in bonds, (for they are easie ones hitherto) CHRISTOPHER FEAKE.

My Fellow-prisoner for Christ, Mr. Powel, saluteth the Con­gregation with dear affection.

For the well-beloved CHURCH of Christ meeting in Colemanstreet Swan-Ally.

My very dear hearts, [...]he sons and daughters of despised Sion,

THe most spiritual blessings in heavenly things in Christ, be your portion; yea, the Lord Jesus him­self, with all his fulness and glory, be still the lot of your inheritance: and when the streams are at any time cut off, the Lord shew you the Fountain, which is Himself, God blessed for ever. Although my heavenly Father hath given me a Writ of ease, for the present; yet I am with you in Spirit, and signifie to you my love in the Lord: my time is not yet come, & it may be it must be the fruit of your fervent pray­ers. I am cleerly convinced from a power invisible and invin­cible, that this imprisonment is not unto death, But for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby. See John 11.4. I allude to that saying of Christ concerning La­zarus his sickness: saith Christ, This sickness is not unto death; and yet afterward Jesus said plainly, vers. 14. Lazarus is dead: did Christ speak untruth before, when he said, This sickness is not unto death? No, in no wise. So, although this im­prisonment should be unto death, (which blessed be my Lord, my God & my Father, I do nothing fear, in the vulgar sence, yet in a spiritual sence it is not, but for the glory of God; yea, undoubtedly, if I should be gathered to my Fathers by the Souldiers & the Priests means in an unusual way, I rejoyce in Spirit, in the apprehensions of faith, which the Lord vouch­safeth to me, that out of my blood shall spring forth such a no­table Spirit, as will be the utter ruine of that cursed whore, with all the powers on earth new and old, that take her part, paint her face, and do her work.

Wherefore rouze up, my dearest hearts, in the might of your God, and go on in the Name of your Captain-General, [Page 4]and by your secret, inward, in [...]isible weapons, wound this base, upstart, [...]rivate interest, under the fifth rib. But in the midst of all your h [...]y [...]eal for the service of your dear Lord, forget no [...], I charge you, and every of you, before him that quickneth all things, and witnessed a good confession before Pont [...]us Pilate, that you do principally, constantly, zealously minde the inward work, the intimate communion which the Saints use to have with the Father and the Son, as being their present paradise on this side heaven. Oh for the Lords sake, e­very one of you, Parents, Children, Masters, Servants, Young men, Old Disciples, Weak, Strong, Rich, Poor, Married, Un­married; Oh! I say, Be holy, be humble, be spiritual, live in love, walk in sweet peace. Blessed be God, I have such satis­faction of you generally, that you are a holy people, wholly separate to God: and if there should be any close hypocrite among you, pray the maske and vizard off, that it may he known who hath not loved the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity, but their own lusts secretly traded in.

A godly jealousie over you, causeth me thus in true Gospel-affection to write unto you, watching over you at this distance with thoughtfulness and carefulness in some small measure night and day, that I might present you to Christ, and He to his Father, as beautiful and glorious a part of his spiritual kingdom, as any other in this generation. Oh! that it might be so; Oh! that it might be so,

The Lord Jesus Christ be with your Spirit, especially in your holy Assemblies. Brethren (all of you) pray, pray for me.

An unworthy worm, de­sirous to serve the Lord Jesus and all his Saints, Christoph. Feake.
[Page 5]

I and my yoke-fellow salute every Saint in the Lord. My Wife, a dear comfort to me, desires the prayers of the Church particular­ly for her; and we both desire you to bless the Lord joyntly for his wonderful goodness to us: he is verily a God hearing prayer.

For the well-beloved CHURCH of Christ meeting in Colemanstreet, Swan-Alley.

My dearly beloved in the Lord,

WHo in the Lord Jesus are builded together for an Habitation of God by the Spirit: This is the fourth time I have in much affection written to you, saluting you again in the Lord, as a holy people peculi­ar to Christ our Head; in the light and power of whose glo­rious Spirit, you every one walking, shall certainly come up to those attainments and enjoyments, which will render you truly honorable in the eyes of your very adversaries. Blessed be the name of our God for ever, who hath translated us from death to life some time since; who is also transforming us from glory to glory, as by the Spirit of the Lord. Brethren, know, That the Messengers of the Church, together with the loving Epistle which they brought with them, were exceeding wel­come, and acceptable to the Lords Prisoner, who was and is still filled with comfort from the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort: yea, I do not know of any one mi­nute, wherein dejectedness of Spirit hath been my portion; yea, on the contrary, a cheerful, lightsome frame and tem­per is my lot, from my tender Father night and day. My care for you (which is my greatest exercise) ending in faith and joyful confidence, that the Lord is doing good to you, as unto me: and those that are approved, will be made ma­nifest [Page 6]in these tr [...]ing times and seasons. Wherefore I be­feech you all again and again, by the mercies of God, by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, that you walk very cir­cumspectly in these evil daies, that you set the Lord alwaies before you, resolving (in the sense and remembrance of those first loves that were mutually between the Lord and each of your souls at your first conversion and believing, and when you were first sealed (after that you believed) by the holy Spirit of promise) out of faithfulness and love to Christ, to follow the Lamb on Mount Sion whithersoever he goeth, first, in paths of holiness; then upon the Mountains of Israel, in fresn green Pastures, where He, I say, He leads you; then to Prison, through Fire, through Water, anywhere, every­where, the Lord being in the midst of you, and with you. Ah my dear brethren! the Lord Jesus being with us, bonds are not bonds, reproach is not reproach, enemies are no e­nemies, death it self is not death. My heart is inlarged: I could wish my self among you, that I might pour out my soul before you. The Lord is good, his mercy endureth for ever. The brethren you sent to me, have reported the presence of the Lord in the midst of you, your purpose of heart to cleave to the Lord and to one another. My counsel for the present is as followeth: though they be the same things that I write o­ver again now as before, yet consider them; Paul did so.

1. Now that ye are come together in the name of the Lord Jesus, let every member of the Congregation consider what they are obliged to; Is it not to continue together with the Church, walking in all the waies and Ordinances of Jesus Christ? Did they not consent, in the hearing of Angels and men, to do their duties, which are Commands of Christ, as well as to receive of the priviledges of the Gospel? Those that from respects of their particular spiritual profit, do omit their duty, as in the publick capacity of the members of the body of Christ, without the consent of the whole, upon Scripture-grounds, will finde themselves in a snare ere they are aware.

2. Being all together before the Lord, as His peculiar [Page 7]people, desire earnestly to know of him, whether or no there be not some of your number whom he intends to set apart as a Teacher in the Congregation, for the carrying on the work of the Lord in the Congregation; and then, if so, to beg to know who he is: if not, to intreat him to furnish you with helps this way, as it were from heaven; that so, you may not onely be edified among your selves, but be [...]eet, like a golden Candlestick with burning and shining lights in it, to give light to the dark world, and so serve the Lord in your generation upon the best account.

3. I desire you to consider, that the more my coming a­mong you, is, and shall be a fruit of your prayers in faith, the more we shall all rejoyce together when we meet. And therefore I desire you to spread my condition before the Lord, that I am sent hither by an arbitrary power, no ac­cusers brought face to face, no witnesses produced; but in a private Juncto, determined to commit me and Brother Simpson to this Castle, In Order to the preservation of the peace and safety of the Nation: these are the words of the Mittimus; no crime laid to our charge; their own fears and jealousies are the cause of this unrighteous dealing with us, to rend and rear us violently from our Congregations; and here not to suffer us to preach the Gospel to the poor people, that they may be saved, while they are eating, and drinking, and rising up to play. Mr. Jenkins when he was banished by the old Par­liament from London, had free liberty to preach as often as he would. The Lord beholds all these things, and I write not this by way of complaint, the Lord knoweth; for my life is comfortable without intermission; and the Lord hath sent me hither for some glorious end, I am verily per­swaded.

4. I intreat you, looking upon each other as the sons and daughters of the living God, to grow in love, in brotherly love, in love in the Spirit; to abound in love, as the Apostle speaks, toward each other, and toward all men, as by the rich grace of God I finde I do towards you: and this you will finde, that loving the Lord Jesus more dearly, you will [Page 8]be the more tenderly affectioned each toward other. This is the distin [...]uishing character of the Disciples of Christ: this is the primitive Spirit; and Philadelphia, of all the Churches in Asia, (which signifieth brotherly love) was not reproved, but incouraged by Jesus Christ: Oh! be you that Churches Sister.

5. Beg, in stead of all, the rich, glorious effusions of the Spirit of Christ; that would render you a happy, holy, heaven­ly people; a spiritual, zealous, faithful, fruitful people. I finde, I finde, Brethren, that the excellent Spirit is rising, re­turning, revealing it self in the world, though the world cannot, will not receive it. Walk in the Spirit, live in the Spirit, speak in the Spirit, pray in the holy Spirit, rule in the Spirit, come together in the Spirit, continue together in the Spirit, conclude in the Spirit all your meetings: reserve the Brethren that are fullest of the holy Spirit, for the last in ex­ercises, that you may go home with a sweet relish of the presence of Christ, with warmed refreshed hearts, with an appetite to come again the next opportunity, because you found Jehovah so graciously present the last time. Oh! when, Brethren, dearly beloved, and longed for, shall I see your faces again in the great Congregation? In the Lords best time, in the time appointed of the Father, my Father, your Father: to Him, with the Lord Jesus and the holy Spi­rit, be glory for ever, Amen. Salute every Saint in Christ Jesus. The Lord, the eternal God, be with you, and keep you every one in his bosome for ever, Amen.

Yours in the Lord, to serve and love you unfeignedly, Christopher Feake.

For the Saints and faithful Brethren in CHRIST meeting in Warwick-lane, LONDON.

My dear Brethren in Christ,

THe prosperity of whose souls I ardently desire more and more. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ for all those spiritual blessings in heavenly things in Christ, wherewith he hath and doth bless us the unworthiest of his sons and daughters. Let me now write a few words unto you by way of exhortation, to press forward toward the mark, for the price of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus; for I perceive that in the neglect of this duty, Satan takes great advantage to keep up his totter­ing and sinking kingdom at this day.

If the Angels of all the Churches had been zealous in the prosecuting of those things of which they made a fair shew in the flesh, and in face or appearance, Undoubtedly the se­veral Congregations had been the glory of the Nation in the midst of it, as God was willing to be their glory in the midst of the Nation; then had not the faces of the most intelligent and spiritual Saints waxed pale with grief, to behold the apostacy of the most eminent leaders; then had not the forceries and witchcrafts of this present world, beguiled them ere they were aware; then had not Satan filled their hearts, and the hearts of so many of the Brethren, to deal treacherously with the Lord Jesus and this glorious Cause, which is in great danger to be deserted utterly, as a thing of no value. But they are the last times, and therefore it is the less wonder to see men to be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, — — truce-breakers, false accusers, inconti­nent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high­minded, [Page 10]lovers of pleasures, (hunting, feasting, musick, worldly pompe and pastime) more then lovers of God, having a form of godliness, and denying the power of it; from such those who are contrary minded must and will turn away, namely, such Christians as being full of the Spirit, 1. Are not lovers of their own selves, but of the Lord Jesus and of all the Saints. 2. Not covetous, but liberal, laying aside as God hath pros­pered them, honouring the Lord with their substance, and with the first-fruits of all their increase; doing good, rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate. 3. Not arrogant, boasters; but lowly and meek, self-denying, resigning up all to the wise disposal of their Father. 4. Not promise-breakers, or covenant-breakers, but faithful; not changing a good resolution or word, though it be to their hurt. 5. Not traitors to the Saints, to Christs Interest, to Gods Glory; but zealous promoters of common justice, of righteous laws. 6. Not heady, or rash, wilful, vio­lent advancers of their own forms; but praying, waiting, de­liberating. 7. Not lovers of pleasures more then lovers of God; but lovers of God, of Christ, of the Saints, of the Common-wealth, and publick-good, more then of all the pleasures, delights, honours, powers and glory, which the world can by any means administer to her admirers. Oh take heed of mingling with backsliders and revolters! you will gain nothing by acquaintance with them, or dependence on them: be contented with such things as you have, if it be possible, (yea, if you have but food and raiment:) be not sollicitous, do not make a busling for places and preferments, as do others, lest you be brought into the temptations of serving proud imperious mens lusts and humours. The word of command from our Captain-general, by this his unworthy leader of one of his Companies, is, To your close order, to your close guard; and the watch-word is, The Lord is coming, watch and pray; the Lord is coming, watch and pray. Give the word, fellow-Souldiers, throughout the Lords Host, which is armed with invisible, invincible, spiritual weapons; it will become in due time terrible as an Army with Banners, Amen.

Finally, my Brethren, the time being short, Oh! beg of the Lord, that you may go forward towards Gospel-perfecti­on, that you may be full of spiritual knowledge, experiences, and acquaintance with God, even the Father, and with the Lord Jesus Christ. Now let the word of Christ dwell richly in you. As for faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ, and love to all the Saints, if your souls flourish and prosper therein, all will flourish; then you will press onward, you will be zealous, not luke-warm; you will admonish one another, watch over each the other, advise, help one the other; you will glorifie the Lord, adorn the Gospel, shine like lights in the dark world, and put formal, worldly, hypocritical pro­fessors and Church-members to shame, at the coming of Jesus Christ. Salute every Saint, especially those who are most helpful, exemplary, and diligent to promote the communion of Saints. If there be any that will not obey the Law of Christ upon admonition in love, note that man or woman by letter, that I my help to heal them at this distance; for I am with you in Spirit. The Lord, even the Lord that fanctifies and saves you, be your portion for ever.

Yours in the Lord with all I am, Christoph. Feake.
My Beloved in the Lord,

I Do again salute you, as those, to whom the Father of glory hath appeared in the face of Jesus Christ, and to whom the holy Spirit hath already come, as the Comforter, to satiate the soul of the hungry and thirsty ones, more or less. My soul is still waiting upon the Lord for your good, as knowing that all your fresh springs are in him, as mine are; otherwise we should soon lie down in sorrow. But blessed for ever be the glorious Name of our Jehovah, who in the superabundant riches of his grace, hath made most precious provision in the [Page 12]Lord Jesus Christ for us, and for all the Saints. Verily, Bre­thren, the consideration of the willingness and large heart­edness of our heavenly Father, is enough to overwhelme our poor weak Spirits; our frail hearts are not in any wise able to bear up under that weight of glory, which breaks in upon us: when the most High condescends to visit any of our souls from the throne of his glory, Oh! how are we even filled with wonderment at those enjoyments and attainments! especially when we remember what we were in time past, enemies in our mindes by wicked works, full of unrighteousness, or self­righteousness, very vain, foolish & disobedient, serving divers base lusts and pleasures. Now for such wretches, and vile, base creatures as we were, to be so graciously dealt withal, to be ad­mitted into the presence of the great Jehovah, to partake of exceeding great & precious promises of the divine nature, of the holy Spirit, to be sealed with it to the day of redemption, and a thousand such priviledges; what maner of love is this? Oh! all ye Saints, break forth in secret and open admirations; wonder at these things, as at the most rare and excellent ob­jects that are in all the world. What? what are the pleasures and honours, and pomp, and powers of the children of men, to that joy and peace, which is in believing, to those ravishing delights that are in the presence of the Lord, and at his right hand for evermore? Assuredly, if the holy Spirit were fallen upon any of us in that spiritual glory that is expected, we should indeed shine like lights in the world, and hold forth the word of life most affectionately and effectually to the Saints, and to the sinful sons of men; we should be a blessing each of us in every place where we come: Parents would a­dorn the Gospel, Children would adorn the Gospel, Pastors, People would be Ornaments to the way of Christ; and the want of that Spirit, and the non-resting thereof upon us, is the ground of all that unevenness in our walking, of our un­fruitfulness and barrenness in the Lords Orchard, of our un­usefulness in our generation.

As for my present condition, I tell you again, and I tell you rejoycing, The Lord is good, exceeding good; I am filled [Page 13]with his company, I am satisfied as with marrow and fatness, I must praise him with joyful lips: when I meditate in the night watches, my meditations are very sweet. It is best for me to be with God, with his people; and I shall be much with the Lord, that I may again, once more, be with his hid­den ones, and his holy ones, that rejoyce in his Highness. I am departed for a season, that I may return for a great space of time: goodness and mercy shall follow me all the dayes of my life; and I would gladly be a pillar in the house of my God, and would go no more out. And let me tell you, I earnestly (and I desire your help also) beg and intreat, that the Lord Jesus, that the name of the city of my God, which is the new Jerusalem which cometh down out of heaven from my God, and Christs new name, may be written upon me: I am looking out for my right to enter into that City, which shall be called, The Lord is There.

Brethren, beloved of the Lord, how is it with you, and the daughters of Sion? are you like the chariots of Aminadab, a living lively people, a zealous active people? Tell me at this local distance, how is it with you? do you fear the Lord above many? do you thrive and prosper, as the primi­tive Saints used to prosper, that were Saints indeed? do you wrestle for me in good earnest? for I trust this imprisonment shall turn to a good account, through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ: to that dear Saviour of yours and mine, be excellent glory for ever. His glorious grace be with every faithful heart, Amen.

Your Shepherd in bonds, Christoph. Feake.
My dear friends and companions in the fellowship of the Gospel,

SEeing the good pleasure of the Lords goodness, and the work of Faith, is fulfilling in me the Lords unworthy pri­soner, & the time appointed of the Father is not yet come; I do not finde my spirit willing to accept of deliverance, before the one and the other be fulfilled with power, that the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in me, and I in him, according to the grace of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ. Oh dear hearts! it is given to me a poor silly worm, despised of the people, through the wonderful free grace of my God, Not onely to believe (which is no small token of the favour of God in Christ) but also to suffer for his sake; which seems to be an addition of his favour, to those that have first believed. Oh! who knows what it is to be sealed with the holy Spirit of promise, but those that have a spiritual feeling of the mighty power thereof! how good is it to draw nigh to God! I have often spoken of it, and felt it; but now it is glorious indeed, to keep company with the Lord himself in his own holy place, even the Holy of Holies. My hearts desire for you all, and every one, is, That you might be filled with all wisdom and spiritual understanding, and by degrees come to all riches of full assurance of understanding, to the ac­knowledgement of the mystery of God even the Father, and of Christ; for verily that is such a condition as makes a hea­ven on this side heaven. Oh! the excellent glory, sweetness, and fulness of that estate! but never (I am perswaded) did any of the Saints enjoy themselves and their God, so richly and abundantly, as the sincere Martyrs and sufferers for the Name of Christ and the Gospel; because none have occasion so much as they; all the world hate them, and their perse­cutors especially: therefore if the Lord also hid himself from them, poor wretches, they would be of all men most misera­ble. Therefore, further, Christ is bound by the duty of his [Page 15]Office to look after Them, to stand by Them, to cherish and to nourish Them, to countenance and incourage Them, to fill them with his own fulness, when the world hath emptied them, and scorned them, and imprisoned them, and buffeted them, and put them into the forms of traitors, of hereticks, of seditious ones, &c. If the Lord should not reveal his love; yea, if he should not crown them with loving kindness and tender mercies, then That Temptation would rational­ly prevail, It is in vain to serve God, it is better to serve the lusts of men, and our own: It will urge further, What profit is it that we have kept his Ordinances? Is it not better to observe the Ordinances of the Kings of the earth, of the Princes, of the States and Protectors of the earth, then otherwise, and do as the most do, as those do who are lovers of pleasures more then lovers of God?

But blessed be the Lord Jehovah, my rock, for ever; I have no ground to be dissatisfied with my condition in this respect, as if the Lord did keep at a distance, as well as man; yea, on the other side, I am full, I am rich, I abound, the Lord is with me most graciously, most gloriously. Friends, if you knew what it is to lose all, or to be willing to lose all for Christ, in the light and power of the Spirit of Christ, you would be more couragious, forward and zealous in this no­ble Cause, in danger to be starved (but it shall not miscarry) by the policy and private interest of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the Truth, and of the Spirit.

Brethren, I must break off: I am as much imployed, as when I was in London, for the most part, and am put to it, to write my Letters to you while company is in my cham­ber; and so swiftly write what the Lord dictates, without study: for I want opportunity; and the messenger now staies. Therefore, remember what I have taught you publickly and privately from house to house; it is, for the substance of it, such Doctrine as I dare through Grace, and the assistance thereof, seal with my blood. I can boldly say, The Lord is my helper, I will not fear what man can do unto me: be ye strong, quit your selves like men; fear not the power, pride, [Page 16]lusts, threatnings of man, walk as becometh the Saints; let brotherly love continue, be not ashamed of my bonds, nor of my keeper. Expect glorious revolutions, to make way for the desire of all Nations. Blessed are they, even all those that wait for him, and love his appearing. My heart is in­larged: surely prayer is made for me, I finde so much incoms from heaven. The Lord be your exceeding great reward, who wrestle for me. Salute every Saint, especially those who are most full of the Spirit, and most useful for Christ and his people. Eternal grace and glory be every ones portion, henceforth and for ever, Amen.

Your faithful Shepherd, although absent and in bonds, Christopher Feake.
My dearly beloved Brethen in the Lord,

ACcording to that talent which I have received from the Lord, I desire to be found fruitful and faithful to the Lord Jesus and his people; for it would be a most sad thing, for my Master to finde his servants either idle, or ill-em­ployed. And seeing, dear Brethren, that ye look for such things as the Apostle Peter doth speak of, in 2 Epist. 3 chap. Be diligent, that ye also may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. Questionless, when he comes that shall come, he will finde but little faith on the earth; and if he finde it so, you and I may readily conjecture, how all other graces will be wanting; insomuch, that the righteous will scarcely be saved, and the wise Virgins will do no more then enter in. I fear there will not be an entrance administred unto [Page 17]them abundantly, into that everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, because but even then, they will be slumbering and sleeping, and so cannot have their sences exercised, and in a meet posture to keep him company, as those who have watched with the Bridegroom, and come a­long with him.

You see I am careful to stir up your pure mindes by way of remembrance, at this distance; it is altogether from love, and for your edifying. It may be some of you may be willing I should receive advertisements of your best things, of your faith, and hope, and love, and humility, &c. but not of your weaknesses, of any omissions or neglects, of any whisperings or evil surmisings, or such-like unseemliness; but let such remem­ber, that the whole Scripture being given by divine inspirati­on, it is not onely profitable for doctrine, but for reproof, and for correction and instruction in righteousness. Therefore if any of you finde any discontents or swellings in your own Spirits, which you indeavour to hide, but yet they are clear­ly discerned by experienced Saints; (for one word is enough to the wise:) let such an one know and remember, that it is not a Gospel-frame of heart: the Corinthians indeed were puffed up for one against another; but the Apostle reckons it a great uncomliness in that body of Christ. I write not these things to shame you; but (as those who are dear to me) I admonish you, lest Satan should get an advantage of you, and so occasion your adversaries, and his instruments, to blas­pheme the people and waies of God.

Oh! Brethren, make it each of you (for the Lord Jesus Christs sake) your business, that your love, your holiness, your meekness, moderation or evenness of Spirit, be known unto one another, and unto all men, that you may rejoyce exceed­ingly, and I may rejoyce exceedingly when we shall meet to­gether again, not on [...]ly in this world, but in that which is to come; when all the faithful shepherds with their flocks shall be gathered together before the great Shepherd of the sheep, and receive from him a crown of glory that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for us, who are kept by the [Page 18]power of God through faith unto salvation.

Finally, Oh ye dwellers upon mount Sion! take heed to your steps, to your goings out and your comings in; let your words be seasoned with salt, which may minister grace to the hearers, and not grief. The bridling of the tongue is an heavenly art and faculty: we count him a perfect man, who is very skilful this way. Be swift to hear, and slow to speak; and be sure to remember, That our adversary the devil goes up and down like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may de­vour: like as the Lord said of Behemoth, He trusteth that he can draw up Jordan into his mouth; so, this crooked and pier­cing serpent hopes to swallow up whole Churches into the gulph of his belly, which is this present evil world. Oh therefore! let your eyes be in your forehead, to foresee the dangers of the present juncture of time. The Lord fill your souls with Himself, and Son, and Spirit, that there may be no room nor place in your hearts for any sublunary interest whatsoever. The time is short; the path is untroden; snares are multipli­ed; the service is hot; the victory is impossible to flesh and blood, but easie to faith. Wherefore, my beloved in the Lord, be ye stedfast and unmoveable, alwaies abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as you know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord, in whom I salute every Saint in Christ Jesus throughout the whole Congregation, both those that were in Christ before me, and those whom the Lord hath revealed himself to, of later yeers; the weak and the strong, the rich and the poor, great and small, who are be­loved of Christ: to him be glory and dominion in this, and in the world to come, Amen.

Your careful shepherd in bonds, for the testimony of the king­dom of the Lord Jesus, Christopher Feake.
Dearly beloved in the Lord,

HOw far, and to what degrees my Letters have been ac­ceptable unto you, the Lords people, and a part of the lot of his inheritance, is best known to him whose eyes are in the midst of the golden Candlesticks, as a flame of fire, and whose prerogative it is to search the hearts and try the reins of the children of men. But blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, who hath put me in the Ministery of the new Testament, that he hath vouchsafed to his poor unworthy servant, This grace of bearing testimony to his coming and his kingdom, and hath super­added and heaped up incouragement upon incouragement; so, as that I shall not be left nor forsaken in this honourable Cause of his Son Jesus Christ, and of his Gospel. And I do further praise his glorious Name by this Epistle in this Congregati­on of his Saints, for that he hath given me a room in his own bosome, and in his holy place, even in the holy of ho­lies, the place where his Honour dwelleth, and where his glory shineth; as also, hath let me into the hearts and pray­ers of many of his choicest people, who have received a good measure of that holy and divine unction, whereby gra­dually they may come to know all things: although I am al­so sensible of that dissatisfaction concerning me and my Cause, which is upon the Spirits of divers godly people. But do not we know that they are generally such as are content­ed to sit down on this side Jordan with the two Tribes and a half? and their attainments and enjoyments are no higher then they were seven yeers since, if so high, neither do they desire they should be; but my soul pities them. I see, those that were first, are in danger of being the last; and the last, are in probability of being first. And blessed are they who are not offended in Christ, and at the Gospel of the kingdom. As for you, Brethren, beloved, and longed for, great is my care for you, great is my rejoycing over you; I can say, Through grace the Lord [Page 20]hath given me to have a natural [...]re of your state, and of your affairs; and what I have written hitherto, I have writ­ten with much seriousness of Spirit, as in the sight of God; and in sincerity, as knowing that I am what I am, through free mercy, for your edifying. Information is for your edify­ing, exhortation is for your edifying, reproof is for edifying: if there be no matter for reproof to work upon, if it finde no­thing in you, or any of you, bless the Lord who hath kept you; and that joy in uprightness and innocencie, will be for your e­difying. If there be any among you conscious to any unworthy walking before the Lord, his people, and the world, (as who is not? I am sure, I am guilty of unworthy walking and miscar­riages every day) then let every such one lay his or her hand upon their heart, and humble themselves secretly before the Lord, and look to their steps. Our God is a jealous God, and a consuming fire, and he searcheth Jerusalem with candles, and espies and knows all your thoughts, all your works, and waies, and words, and walks. Look to your hearts, and spi­rits, and affections, and dispositions, and ends, and principles, with all diligence. Believe it, Christ will make work among you, if all be not found at the bottom: my office and ministery which I have received in the Lord, will bear me out in being instant in season & out of season, in representing what I judge to be the minde of Christ unto you from the oracles of God, they being profitable for doctrine, and for reproof, correction and instruction in righteousness; & happy are the people, who have the Lord Jehovah so neer unto them in all matters, for their God, as he is even unto you; though I am nothing, and desire to be accounted so, so that Christ may be all, & in all; so that you may make up the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

As for that fruit of righteousness and love, which you have lately shewed forth in the presence of the Lord Jesus, and his elect Angels, for, and in consideration of my sufferings for­merly at Newgate-market, and at the present, and of all those necessary expences incident thereunto; I do here testifie, to the glory of the Lord, and declaration of your readiness of minde, that it was administred in sea [...]on; and so hath not onely made a supply of that which should have been admi­nistred [Page]by others, and was not, but also is abundant, by many thanksgivings unto God: and as he that soweth spa­ringly, shall reap sparingly; so he that soweth bountifully, shall reap bountifully: for as you abound in this grace and other graces towards others; so God is able to make all grace abound towards you. Therefore, my Beloved, as ye have al­waies obeyed, not as in my presence onely, but now much more in my absence, Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; yet let not the hope & assurance of salvation, eat up and devour your holy fear and trembling frame of spirit before the Lord; but like the true inward circumcision, wor­ship God in spirit, rejoyce in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. Further, I exhort you and urge you, as from the Lord, in whose name I write, to do all things without murmurings and disputings: let all your things be done in brotherly love; let all passages be managed with meekness of spirit, that con­cern a private interest; but with holy zeal, that concern the publick interest of our Lord and Law-giver: and to this end, the Lord give you all, from the greatest to the least, a spi­rit of wisdom, to try things that differ; and particularly, to di­stinguish betwixt the glory of Christ, and the honor of men; that you may approve accordingly of that (alwaies in all con­ferences) which is most excellent; for I tell you, or rather the Lord, That his glory must not now be given to another; and they that follow the Lamb whithersoever he goes, must have also a constant disposition to leave all, to lose all, at an hours warning, for his sake & the Gospels. With many other words I could write unto you, for my heart is inlarged; but I must break off, and commend you to the grace of that God who brought again from the dead that great Shepherd of the sheep by the blood of the everlasting Covenant; and to the word of the Gospel, which is able to build you up further, and to give you an inheritance among them that are sanctified through faith in Christ Jesus: to whom with the holy Spirit be glory for ever. Brethren, pray for me and mine, when you pray for your own souls.

Yours in bonds, for yours and the service of all the Saints, CHRISTOPHER FEAKE.
[Page 22]

Brother Simpson salutes the Church in the Lord, and desires continuation of prayers, thanking you all for your kinde remem­brance.

Dearly beloved Brethren,

MY hearts desire and prayer to God for you all, is, that as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so you may walk in him, rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving; for otherwise, Satan will get an advantage a­gainst you, and prevail upon you, so as to put you to shame, and me also, in the sight of this present, evil, old world. Oh! how will it tend to the glory of our God and Father, and of our Lord Jesus Christ, for you to remain unmoveable and un­shaken in the midst of all the present temptations, both on the right hand and on the left? considering, that the subtil old Serpent hath, doubtless, a most mischievous designe against you, as you are the Temple and Habitation of the living God. Oh! how shall we rejoyce together, when we meet to bless and to praise the Lord for preserving us unto his heavenly kingdom? notwithstanding the strong endeavours of all adversaries, to keep us asunder, to scatter us, and so to rejoyce and glory in our desolation. But our God will come, and will not keep silence; yea, he will come with vengeance, and make a most wonderful discovery of that notorious falsehood and hypocrisie, of that prodigious perfidiousness, whereof this a­dulterous generation is so deeply guilty before the Lord and his people. In the interim, possess your souls with pa­tience; watch and pray, lest you also enter into temptation, lest you also being led away with the error of the wicked, fall [Page 23]from your own stedfastness. Remember, it is Jeho [...]ah your righteousness, who is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy.

Great are my hopes, many are my fears concerning you, and especially concerning those among you, who shall think within themselves, when they hear this, You are more fearful, or he is more fearful then he needs to be; we shall do well e­nough: let such an one think (if any such there be) that such thoughts nourished and cherished in his heart, are certain symptomes of an uncertain Spirit, and of a treacherous heart. Oh consider, consider what relicks of unbelief! what remainders of lusts! what members of the old man, are yet unmortified in the best of us! Who made us to differ from the World? Oh lean, lean upon your Beloved, that hath made a difference between you and those poor creatures, that are yet in their blood, yet in their sins. Are you not believers? are you not Disciples of the Lord? are you not Saints by calling? have not you every one seen the Lord? have not you as others beheld as in a glass, with a face unveiled, the glory of the Lord? then, Brethren, why are we not trans­formed from glory to glory? why are our hearts narrow, cold, heavy? why are our Spirits carnal, earthly and stagger­ing? why do not our souls mount aloft? Great is my bold­ness in writing, as it used to be in speaking to you. (I have a great interest in you, and among you: I have a great part, a large share in the good or evil that befals you: your com­forts, are my comforts also; your discomforts, are my dis­comforts also.) Oh that I might warm your hearts at this distance, by the power of God! setting these expressions of love and truth, strongly and effectually upon all your hearts. How doth the inward pulse of your hidden man beat? what secret workings, walkings and communications in the in­most holy place? Do you, can you set your feet upon the necks of your wost enemies, the cursed corruptions of your nature? Verily, Christians, if you do not grow into inti­mate acquaintance with the Almighty; if you attain not [Page 24]to holy familiar communion with the Father and his Son Jesus Christ, you will be of little use in the publick service of the Lambe against the Dragon, the Beast and the false Pro­phet. Beg with ardent supplication, to live and to be kept under the glorious ministration of the Spirit. Do not so minde the work within doors, as to neglect the work abroad. Do not give up your strength, and the might of your Spirits, for the carrying on the publick work of Christ abroad, to the disadvantage of the concern­ments of your souls: but as I have formerly advised you, touching the graces and the gifts of the Spirit; so I perswade as to this matter, carry on the great affairs within and with­out, In conjunction and in proportion: But remember, (as I have told you often) Therefore doth the Lord dispatch the business of your salvation and particular happiness, giving you a full assurance of eternal life, that so, his people having their own inheritance secured to them for ever, they may be ca­pable of serving the Lord Jesus in their generation, upon the most noble account. Now, my Beloved, I shall conclude with a few words unto you, as you are assembled together in the Name of the Lord: ponder your paths, study the duty of your relations. Consider what families you live in, and what eyes are upon you; let the believing Husband endea­vour to gain the unbelieving wife; and the believing wife, the unbelieving husband, by a holy, wise, loving, dutiful con­versation both in word and deed; let parents and children that fear the Lord, carry themselves as becometh the Gospel; so masters and servants: that was the great care of the A­postles in the primitive Churches. Study the Epistles that were sent to all the Congregations. You have lately testi­fied your love to me, beyond my expectation; accept of this and such-like tokens of my love to you. Oh that I might finde you, when my God brings me among you, a people mightily improved in holiness and purity, in brotherly kindeness and love, in self-denial and heavenly mindedness, in zeal and spi­ritual magnanimity, in every grace, in every gift, walking in the most excellent waies of truth and peace; that God in all things might be glorified by us, through Jesus Christ, to whom [Page 25]be glory for ever, Amen. This Epistle and Salutation is sent in much affection unto you,

From your faithful shepherd, through grace, still in bonds for Christ. Christoph. Feake.

My fellow-prisoner and my yoke-fellow salute you; and we ear­nestly desire a continual mention in prayers and supplications before the Lord; withal, desiring, that the Lord may be magnified in the Congregation, for all the loving kindnesses and tender mercies, wherewith he hath crowned us, since we were made the prisoners of Jesus.

My dearly Beloved,

BEhold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the Sons of God! If the Lord Jesus will confess us to be such before his Father and the holy Angels, yea, and before the faces of our prou­dest adversaries, What ground of joy unspeakable and full of glory will be hereby administred unto us, even in the midst of all those reproaches and slanderous reports, that the men of the world (who minde earthly things) do indeavour so industriously to heap upon us? The truth is, The world knoweth us not, because it knew not him; it hateth us, because it hated him. And the news of his second coming is as trouble­some to the Kings of the earth, now in being, whether they are the sons of ancient Kings, (as the Prophet speaks) or late [Page 26]Usurpers and Tyrants, as ever Herod was troubled at his first coming, (Mat. 2.3.) and all Jerusalem with him. Oh, Be­loved! those appearances which are acceptable to the Saints, are no waies welcome to the earthly powers; those truths which are milk and honey to the children of Sion, are gall and wormwood to the inhabitants of Babylon. It's no mar­vel, nor urange at all, that it is but a little, little flock, which will be found to remain faithful to that inward, invisible, pure, spiritual interest of our dearest Lord, which is now breaking forth through all these thick and tempestuous clouds.

Verily, my Spirit is more and more heightned and quick­ned to look for most glorious and admirable vicissitudes: Methinks my heart rejoyceth, as if a cordial from heaven were conveyed to it, to incourage me now in prison for this good old Cause. Oh! what a pleasant sight, to see the Whore of Babylon, with the Kings of the earth, with all her drunken Princes, and her Wise men, and her Captains, and her Rulers, and her Mighty men, wearying themselves in new Counsels, tiring out their Spirits in obviating the feared and suspected designes of the praying awakened Saints, both in Cities and Coun­tries. Come, dear Brethren, this is not a season for you to be wearied, and to faint in your mindes; but let us look unto our Jesus the Author and the Finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, and despi­sed the shame, and is now set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Brethren, now it is a fit time for us to consider, I say, to consider the Apostle and high-Priest of our profession, and to hold fast our profession; let no man or devil get our Crown; our very confidence hath great recompence of reward. What shall I render to the Lord for all his benefits unto me? espe­cially those blessings of the New-Testament-Ministration. And what thanks can you render unto him, who hath hitherto kept you by his mighty power, from the present abominable apostacie? Have you every one on a garment of fine linen, white and clean, which is the righteousness of the Saints? [Page 27]And doth the Lord help you to keep your garments about you, that no man see your nakedness? then you shall walk with Christ in white, when he comes; for you are wor­thy.

But, if on the contrary there should be a declining and departing from the living God in any degree, through un­belief; if there be a decay of love to the Father, and a warm affection to the world, and the great and the sweet things thereof, in any of you, in any among you; what a sad con­sequence were that? after all the open and professed decla­rations, which have been observed by Angels and Men. But I hope better things, though I thus write, from that principle of Pastoral-love and care, which the Lord hath put into me. What shall I say? methinks I am present with you, in the midst of you, observing what love, peace, gentleness, sweetness of brotherly communion there is among you, from the greatest to the least. What inward spiritual joy, manifest zeal, what beauty of holiness, what mutual edifying, what pray­ing in the holy Spirit, what warm exhortations, what gracious admonitions, are stirring among you? Yea, but, Brethren, what if the Lord himself should suddenly come, and stand in the midst where you are assembled together, and view the posture of that little flock, from which I am violently re­moved for a season, for their tryal? should he finde all things managed after his own heart? would you be glad to see the Lord, as the Disciples were? John 20.19, 20. read the place. Might he not upbraid you with unbelief and hardness of heart? should he finde nothing in you, and among you, worthy of admonition or reproof? Tell me at this distance, how could you behold him, if you should see him in his glory, and in his Fathers glory? are you able to abide the day of his coming? I fear there are very few Congregations of Saints in all the world, that are tolerably prepared for the Bridegrooms coming.

Finally, Beloved, remember what I have spoken to you while I was among you, from the word of the Lord: the searcher of hearts knoweth, I did, and endeavoured to do, [Page 28]all things for your edifying, for the best advantage of your precious souls: I was alwaies willing to bring forth out of my poor treasury, things both new and old; even such Truthes, and Principles, and Rules, as I received of the Lord, by the teachings of that holy unction, and de­livered unto you; I kept back nothing that I could judge by the light of the Word and Spirit, that it was profitable unto you; and it was and is your part, to search the Scriptures daily, whether those things were and are so or not. If I should see your faces no more, if I were to be offered up, I should not repent of what I have taught you, and the poor sinful children of men; whatever the Rulers of the darkness of this world do judge or say: my heart doth not condemn me in the least, all this time of banishments from the courts of the Lords house.

And blessed for ever be my Shield and Buckler, I have great and sweet confidence towards him; and the Lord being my Helper and Protector, I do not (for I have no cause to) fear what man can do unto me. The Lord make you and me faithful unto the death, and fill us, that are his in good earnest, with joy and peace in believing; onely let your conversation be, as becometh the Gospel of Christ, that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one Spirit, with one minde, striving toge­ther for the faith of the Gospel. My fellow-prisoner saluteth you: Brethren, pray for us, strive in prayer for us, that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men, in the time appointed of the Father. Salute most, the most holy, lively, heavenly, active Saints in this crooked generation. The Lord be with you.

Yours, as, and because your are Christs, Christopher Feake.
Brethren, Beloved and longed for in the Lord,

THe High and Mighty One, (whose name is Jehovah our righte­ousness) be your Protector for ever. O! that he would look down from the Habitation of his Holiness, and of his Glory, and smile, and shine upon every one of you in the Beloved, The Lord Jesus, who loved us, and gave himself for us, when we were yet sinners and ungodly, when we were yet enemies in our mindes by wicked works: to whom be glory for ever, Amen.

Verily, it is good to be writing and hearing of the sweet and precious Name of the Lord Jesus. It is most pleasant to ponder and to meditate upon the mystery of God, even the Father, and of Christ. When once we have crucified the flesh, with the affections and lusts thereof; when we are by means of walking with the holy One, become spiritually minded, then, Oh then! we suck sweetness out of bit­terness, and can turn water into wine; then we finde meat in the eater, then we enjoy liberty in bonds, and life in death; then we feel the Lord blessing, when men are cur­sing. Christianity is a mystery throughout; yea, the managing of the most easie and obvious affairs in the Churches of the Saints, is to be in a mystery. All your things are to be spiritually ordered. It's a most glorious sight to me, to see every debate, every consultation, every resolution, all your ordinary matters, beautified and adorned with that holy gravity, and serious­ness of language, gesture, method, with that sweetness of love, humility, mutual condescention; with that meekness of wis­dom in the Elders, of attention, and reception, and consent in the Brethren, that may render you amiable to the Lord Jesus and his elect Angels, being in the midst of you; formidable to wicked men, and the evil Angels, that observe you, and watch for your halting, and would rejoyce to espie among you any uncomliness or absurdity: this would be an excel­lent [Page 30]means to help you to set the Lord alwaies before you, to have fresh and new thoughts of Gods Omnipresence, of Christs walking in the midst of the golden Candlesticks: this used to over-awe my disorderly Spirit, when I was a­mong you. I hope I shall learn, as Timothy, how to behave my self in the House of God, which is the Church of the living God, in this short time of banishment, better then for­merly. I believe the Lord intends a manifold benefit by my absence, to you and many others, as well as to my own soul. I rejoyce exceedingly in spirit, to consider, We do not live in the declining age of the Church; but in that season, when the Lord will adde abundantly more of his Spirit, then in many gene­rations formerly. Wherefore, let me beseech you to gird up the loyns of your minde, put on your sandals, walk, climbe up to the top of Pisgah, look over Jordan, behold the Land of promise, the Land of rest, the Land flowing with milk and honey; look beyond the downfal of Babylon, the marriage-supper of the Lambe, the great battel of Arma­geddon; look beyond the victory over the Dragon, the Beast and the false Prophet, to the binding of Satan; look be­yond the binding of Satan, to the coming down of the new Jerusalem, to the spiritual glory of the City, whose name is Jehovah-Shammah, to the peaceable reign of our Solomon: there remaineth a rest for the people of God. Believe, and live to en­ter into that rest. Let the word of Christ dwell richly in you: the Lord make you all mighty in the Scriptures, wiser then your teachers, wiser then your enemies; and then, neverthe­less, the more humble, and lowly, and lovely in the posses­sion of your attainments. The Lord fill the great vessels, and the small vessels brim-ful of grace, and peace, and truth, and love, and spiritual understanding; in a word, fill you with his Spirit, as with new wine: the Lord make you drunk with his Spirit. Oh that every one in the Congregation had a high Spirit for Christ, a mighty Spirit for Christ. I would to the Lord you had each of you the Spirit of David's Worthies, in a spiritual sence, that a few of you, even two or three of you, were able to break through the host of the [Page 31] Philistines, for our Davids sake. Be of good comfort, There is work to do for the Lords young Disciples, that are in their first love; and their love to their Saviour and his interest, will be tried. There is business also for the Lords old Disciples, that have been tried already, and have overcome: let them continue faithful to the death, and they shall receive a crown of life, a crown of righteousness, which the Lord is preparing for them that love his appearing.

Brethren, I have received your Messengers with gladness, and we do mutually refresh each other: the Lord be with your Spirit. I shall further enlarge my thoughts the next op­portunity: pray, and strive in prayer, for a poor worthless creature: the Lord is good to me in abundance: I long to appear with joy in the great Congregation.

Your faithful Shep­herd in bonds, Christoph. Feake.
Dearly Beloved in the Lord Jesus,

THe desire of my Soul on your behalf, is this, That the Lord would so communicate himself to you, that ye might be (like the Saints at Rome in Pauls time) full of good­ness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another; and in that case, I should rejoyce with you all a­bundantly; for my chains and bonds would be lighter and easier to me by many degrees. Whereas now I must ingenu­ously confess before the Lord, and unto you, that the care that cometh upon me daily, because of you, is more unto me, then all the cruel mockings and scourgings with the [Page 32]tongue; yea, even then my bonds and imprisonment which I indure at this day. The honour of our dear Lord is so much concerned in your walking, and comunion together, in your sweet, gentle, meek and holy behaviour, in the ordering and managing of the affairs of Christs spiritual Kingdom, through him set up by you, that still, at every turn, you come into my thoughts: How do they walk? do they walk orderly? do they please God? do they edifie one another in love? have the adversaries no cause to speak reproachfully? hath their adversary the Devil no advantage to speak against them? do they pray in the holy Spirit? Is there a high and a mighty Spirit for God, and for Christ, and for his Cause, in the midst of them? Ah! Brethren, I think with my self, how shall I finde you when I come unto you again? Have you increased with the increasings of God? are you more and more strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man? do you live by the faith of the Son of God? I would to God I might finde you less luke-warm, and more zealous for the Lord, then when I left you, more in the Spirit, and less in the flesh, and in self, and in this world. Do none of your eyes begin to daz­zle at the glory and splendor of the Court? as do the eyes of others. Come, Brethren, a day in the Lords Courts, is better then a thousand, in any Princes Court upon the face of the Earth; and for my part, I had rather be a door­keeper, or sit at the threshold of the Lords House, then to dwell in the Tents or Palaces of wickedness. It may be the Lord hath called me aside for a short space, for this very purpose, to tempt you, and to prove you, and to see what is in each of you, and what the workings of your Spirits are; and to let you know by experience, that the wis­dom of God, in appointing guides and leaders to your use and edifying, is that which cannot but be acceptable to the so­ber, serious and stedfast Saints.

As for mine own condition, I desire to deal plainly with you. Blessed be my God, and my gracious Father, my lot is falsen to me in a pleasant place, and I have a goodly heri­tage: as for personal contentment, it is very great. I am [Page 33]doing my Fathers work and will; I am suffering for the Go­spel of the Kingdom; I am learning to be more conformable to Christ my Head, in learning obedience by the things that I suffer. It is absolutely the best estate for the present, that my heavenly Father can put me into. The words of Mano­ah's wife to him, are sweet unto me: If the Lord were pleased to kill us, he would not have received a burnt-offer­ing, and a meat-offering at our hands, neither would he have shewed us all these things, nor would, as at this time, have told us such things as these: so I say, If the Lord were not pleased with our sufferings in this Cause; if this service for Christ-were not acceptable (but unacceptable) unto him, he would never have revealed himself so graciously and so gloriously unto us, as he hath done; he would never have filled us with so sweet peace and joy in believing; but our hearts would have condemned us, if he had left us: so that through rich mercy, I am not careful, what men think of us, what their opinions are, how they carry [...]hemselves, in speaking evil of things they know not. It is sufficient, and abundantly sufficient to us, that our comforts abound and increase, they diminish not. I tell you, Brethren, the very confidence that God hath put into us by his Word and Spi­rit, hath great recompence of reward. There are two things, that do, I am perswaded, work for our good. 1. The malice of our enemies, that scorn us, and backbite us, and judge us busie-bodies, and evil doers, and disturbers of the peace, &c. saith the Lord to us, Your enemies speak falsly, and the more they curse, the more I bless, and will bless. Verily, this is sweeter then honey. And then secondly, There are a company of faithful souls, who in the light of God, do understand the present Cause of Christ, and that we are suf­ferers upon that acount; and so they wrestle, and will not let the Lord go, unless he bless us, poor prisoners, with special and sutable blessings. Verily, I bless the Lord night and day in remembrance of the prayers of the Saints, who understand the times, next unto my blessing his name for the glorious intercession of our faithful and merciful High-Priest.

Finally, Brethren, farewel; live in love, follow those things that make for peace, and, whereby one may edifie another: do not grieve one anothers Spirits by any uncom­ly expressions, in words or behaviour. Grieve not the Spi­rit of Christ; but study the happiness of the whole body, and glorifie the Lord by an holy, sweet, meek and gentle, profitable conversation. I salute you every one once more in our dear Redeemer. Imitate those who walk most like Jesus Christ, and we shall meet again with joy, and our joy shall no man take from us, Amen.

Yours, next unto my being Christs, desirous of your best good, Christoph. Feake.
Dear Brethren,

THe superabounding satisfaction, wherewith the Lord hath condescended to inrich a poor, empty creature, calls aloud upon me, to magnifie his Goodness toward me. If I should tell you a feigned story of That which I have not seen, nor felt, nor experienced in my self, the Lord would finde me out, and make me an example (to those that should come after) of his severity and strict dealing with me; but in very deed, I do plainly perceive that the Lord hath pur­posed to shew me more of his glory.

Indeed, a great part of my care will be concerning You, to whom I am as neerly related in the fellowship and service of the Gospel, as ever, notwitstanding this distance; and therefore, shall not cease praying for you, as I have begun, that you may every one adorn the glorious Gospel of the blessed God, and walk worthy of the Lord who hath called you [Page 35]unto his Kingdom and Glory. And I would that you should understand, Brethren, and believe, that the things which have befallen me, have come to pass rather for the further­ance of the Gospel, then otherwise; and I hope some, if not many of the Brethren in the Lord Jesus, will grow confi­dent by my bonds, and will be much more bold to speak the word without fear, considering especially, that the Lord hath made a most sweet addition to my former joy and comfort in the Holy Spirit; so that I may say boldly, The Lord is my Helper, I will not fear what man can do unto me.

I know I shall ere long come again, and continue with you all, for your furtherance, and the joy of your faith, that your rejoycing in Christ Jesus may be more abundant for me, by my coming to you again.

Dear Brethren, Innocency and Independency make the highest and the mightiest Spirits; and let the Princes, the Priests, the Captains (who are so busie in bolstring up the cursed whore of Babylon) know it for a Truth, that the Lords Hidden, Ho­ly Ones, will in the might of the Spirit of Jehovah, shout down the walls of the Babylonish Jericho: though they are as high as Heaven, they shall come tumbling down. Amen. Hallelujah. Oh! that I might be one of the teeth of that sharp threshing instrument, which the worm Jacob shall ere long be trans­formed into; and so help to thresh the High and Mighty Moun­tains of the Earth, and to beat them small, and to make the Hills as chaff.

I do very much hope, when I come again, I shall come in the fulness of the blessing of the Gospel, more then ever. Where­fore I beseech you to be at peace among your selves, to ad­monish the disorderly in abundance of tenderness in love, to comfort the feeble-minded, to support the weak, to visit the fatherless and widows, that are widows indeed.

I thought to have spoken with some, concerning whom it was needful to look into their condition; but the wise God prevents me for the present, that I may hereafter have more light from his word to guide me in difficult affairs. Pray forme, that in this retirement, I may attain better to [Page 36]understand, then ever hitherto, how to behave my self in the Church of God, in the house of the living God. Oh! it's sweet to be sensible of a growth in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; to whom be glory and dominion, now and for ever, Amen.

Your faithful remembrancer at the glorious Throne of Grace. CHRISTOPH. FEAKE.
Dear Brethren, Beloved in the Lord,

FOr whose best good and greatest happiness I would be content to endure (through the strength of Christ) whatever the Lord should be pleased to permit man to do unto me. It may be the Lord is but beginning to accustome me to the yoake, having hotter service yet behinde for me to be engaged in. I confess, I suffer trouble as an evil doer, even unto bonds, 2 Tim. 2.9. but (my comfort is, as was Paul's) the word of God is not bound; and (Oh that I could speak the Apostles following words in his Spirit) there­fore I endure all things for the Elects sake, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

As for my self, I have no cause to complain, but rather to magnifie the wisdom, power and goodness of my God, who in the riches of his Grace, hath in some measure inabled me, and counted me faithful, putting me into the Ministery; who naturally, and from mine own inclination, am very apt to slothfulness and negligence, to dulness and luke-warm­ness; insomuch that I wonder to consider, how the Spirit [Page 37]of Christ hath from time to time over-powered my natural temper, causing me, with much effectualness of Grace, to be in some degree laborious in his harvest-field: the remembrance whereof is (among other particulars) a most sweet refresh­ment to my soul in this my banishment from his House and Temple for a time: what his intent is in ordering me such a portion for the present, will in time appear. But in the mean season, my care and sollicitousness for the Church is abundantly above the care of my self: I am not sollicitous for mine own concernments; being fully satisfied in the light of God, that it is unspeakably for my good to be thus dealt withal by these men. The great thoughtfulness of my heart is for you all, who have in good earnest given your selves up to the Lord, that you might, in this curi­ous juncture of time, have your conversation as it becometh the Gospel: And a true report of your holy, loving, stedfast walking with the Lord, and one with another, will be my great joy and rejoycing before the Lord Jesus, both now, and at his appearing. Wherefore, if it were the good will of God to give you all, fresh and further discoveries of his minde, how you ought to walk, and to please him, [...]hile I am thus by force kept from among you, what blessed occa­sions should I have to break forth here, in blessing and prai­sing the Lord abundantly in this behalf?

I desire exceedingly to rejoyce in the beholding your Or­der, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ: for I much fear lest by some means the Tempter should tempt you, or some of you, and so my labour be so far in vain, as the temptation doth prevail: And some of you may remember, I forewarned you of this hour of temptation long before; which I told you would try the strongest Christians, so reputed; but now plainly see, if Ancient Professors among you be not ve­ry circumspect, you may see that Scripture further fulfilled every day; [...]he first shall be last, and the last shall be first.

Now by way of faithful advice, in reference to Order, and orderly walking, I take it for a truth granted, (as which cannot with any colour be denied) That those Saints, who [Page 38]are come out of Babylon, and brought to Sion, and are become a peculiar people to the Lord, and a particular body or cor­poration to Christ, I say, they ought to continue together in prayer & supplication with one accord; so they did, Act. 1.14. and it is said, Peter stood up in the midst of the Disciples: & see Act. 2.42. And they continued stedfastly in the Apostles doctrine, and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers: they that believed were together, vers. 44. and the Apostle, Heb. 10.25. not forsaking the assembling of our selves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another; and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. These things are n [...]t proved to you; but you are put in minde of this foundation-Truth in reference to discipline and worship; for those things are to be transacted in the assemblings of the Saints, as being for the glory of God, and the edi­fuing of the Body. But the thing wherein I would be helpful at this point of time, is, to propound waies for the practising of this rule of continuing and walking together.

1. First, Let the Elders and Brethren agree with one ac­cord, that the whole Church be gathered together in the na [...]e of Christ, to consider, after earnest prayer to that purpose, how they may be kept together: for this Hour of temptation will endanger the sca [...]tering of many. Against that day which is appointed, I shall prepare somewhat for di­rection.

2. Let those that are unacquainted with their duty, (judging it to be their liberty, without further waiting, to provide for their spiritual feeding elsewhere) let them, I say, know, that if all should be of their minde, what would become of the Churches of Christ? Let them not have more respect to their particular private benefit, though spiritual, then to the glory, work and business of Christ; at least, let them attend upon the Lord with the Church, to obtain their desire with consent of the whole body; and brotherly love requires this: and let them give in their Ar [...]uments distinctly, that they may be weighed by Scripture. It is the opinion indeed and practice of some, if the Officer be absent, to wander hither and thither, and so fall into suares ere they are aware: [Page 39]and there have been woful instances of this.

3. Let not any debate proceed so far, as to hinder edify­ing, and engender strife; but let there be care taken to prevent strife, as men are careful to prevent the breaking in of waters. The Lord hath blessed my endeavours this way hitherto, and I have much comfort herein at this day.

4. In debating any thing or case, that is stated according to Scripture, let the Brethren speak first, that so if there be any light among them, it may be noted: and this will be looked upon, as the enjoyment of that liberty that Christ hath given; But if any man speak, let him speak as the Oracles of God, and briefly and distinctly to the point.

5. Covet the best gifts: those Brethren in whom most of the power and glory of the Spirit of Christ doth appear, who are mighty in the Scriptures, who are most lively, spiritual and warming, are to be desired and called upon; and if there were none to speak to you from the word, yet it were worth while to come together to pray in the Holy Ghost, which is one blessed means for the quickning of our dull and sluggish hearts.

6. If there be a desire to joyne with any of the Churches in the Ordinance of the Lords-supper, consider with whom, and when, &c. let there be mutual consent in brotherly love.

Oh! that the Spirit might lead you into all truth! My great desire is, That you may so walk, as to glorifie the Lord a­bundantly.

Yours to love you, to serve you, to suffer for you, CHRISTOPHER FEAKE.

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