General Epistle Given forth by the People of the Lord, called, QVAKERS,

That all may know, we own none to be of our Fellowship, or to be reckoned or numbred with us, but such as fear the Lord and keep faithfully to his heavenly Power, that with a holy Conversation they may adorn that Truth they profess, otherwise, what experience soever they have had of the Truth, and are fallen from it, we account them as so many Judasses or Demasses, and own such no more than the primitive Chri­stians owned them; but we testifie against them, and say, such go into Perdition through Transgression, and fall under Dark­ness into a state of Damnation, twice dead, pluckt up by the Roots, reserv'd in ever­lasting Chains, until the Judgment of the great Day, except it be possible they yet can find a place of Repentance through God's great unlimitted Mercy. Read the general Epistle of Jude.

Printed and Sold by William Bradford at Phila­delphia in Pennsilvania, 1686.


A General Epistle given forth by the People of the Lord, called, Quakers.

CHRIST and his Disciples were the blessed Church in the days of his Flesh, and Judas was one of the twelve, who was Guide to them that took Jesus, and had been number'd with the other Disciples, and obtained part of the same Mi­nistry with them, who fell by Transgression, that he might go to his own place, for he was a Devil, as Christ himself said of him, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a Devil? for he was a Murderer in betray­ing his Lord and Master into the hands of those Murderers who slew him, and causlesly put him to death.

But the wicked Serpent was kept out from entring upon the other eleaven Disci­ples, because they gave ear to Jesus, and abode in his Doctrine, and therefore being faithful, were sent to turn Nations and Peo­ple from Darkness to Light, and from Satans Power unto God, that they might receive [Page 4] forgiveness of sins, and Inheritance among them which were sanctified by Faith in Christ Jesus.

Now these blessed Apostles and Ministers of the everlasting Gospel kept their Habi­tations and Stations in the holy Truth, from which Judas fell by Transgression, and they were good Examples unto others, unto whom they preached in a holy Life and Conversation. They did not converse with Drunkards, Swearers, Lyars, Murderers, false Accusers of the Innocent, Fornicators, Adulterers, Idolators, Blasphemers, malici­ous Back-biters (he added) and proud high minded ones, &c. to joyn or unite with them in the Iniquities their hearts were privy to, but were sound in the faith, and preached the everlasting Gospel with Power from Heaven, to the subjecting and trampling upon Satans Power, to stand over his Deeds of Darkness and Wickedness; and such Majesty and Dominion is with all Christ's Ministers, who live with God in his holy Truth and Power; but they who go from this Power of the living God, and fall by Transgression, as Judas did, become as so many Judasses to betray the Truth into the hands of the wicked Murderers of the Light, Life Spirit and Power of Jesus, by their scandalous walking and wicked acting, fall­ing [Page 5] into presumption with the Angels which kept not their first estate in the Truth, do­ing things contrary to the good Order of it, shewing forth Examples of Lewdness, Vani­ty and Wickedness, and so become twice dead, plucked up by the Roots; and such may come raging against the Truth, foam­ing out their own shame, through the enmi­ty that Satan hath begot in them, being tormented because of Truth, whose Testi­mony stands and arises against all such Ju­dasses who fight against the Light and the Power of God in his faithful Servants, and so Judas-like, for their own base ends, do what they can to insinuate their own wicked Spirits of enmity into the hearts of the in­nocent, to betray them from that simplicity and stability that is in the Truth, to draw and lead them into Confusion, to start back from the Truth, and so to fall with them by Transgression, as Judas did, that Thief and Murderer: To such is reserv'd the blackness of Darkness forever.

And such, whether they be Drunkards, Fornicators, Adulterers, false Accusers, Blas­phemers, or live in any other sort of Wick­ness, though they have been convinced of Truth, as Judas was, and received part of Truth's Ministry, as Judas did, yet being fallen from the Truth by Transgression into [Page 6] Enmity, Wickedness and Mischief, we in the blessed Truth, which is everlastingly pure and precious, do deny them all, who are wickedly bent and set against the Truth, and live in a factious, rebellious, sensual, loose, vain and prophane Condition, to the dishonour of God, and shame to pure Re­ligion, the good Order and Government of it.

And know this, though many may profess in shew to be Christians, and the People of God amongst us, who were in scorn and de­rision first abused and called and nick-named Quakers, Let all know, that since first, through Gods Mercy, we became a People, the Devil hath laboured to bring forth his wicked Instruments to abuse us & the Truth, through the scandalous living of such as have made a profession of Truth, but never owned by such as lived in it, no, not from the beginning, but have been denyed, and testified against, both by word and writing, so that if amongst the twelve Disciples there was one became a Devil, and fell by Trans­gression, so now if amongst every twelve who Profess the same Truth with us called Quakers, one should become a Devil, and fall by Transgression, we cannot help it.

Let such remember Judas his end at the [...] except they can find a place of Re­pentance. [Page 7] Judas his state represents the body of the whole Apostacy and Degenera­tion from the holy Faith, so that Judas is the Father of them all, and they may read their state and Doom in Judas; they all give an occasion for Truth to be evil spoken of, its blessed face to be spit upon, to be reproached and shamed, and evilly intreated, even unto Death and Destruction, as much as in them lies; so that it may have no esteem at all in Peoples hearts, but be ac­counted a base and unworthy thing, that People may slight it through their wicked living who profess it, as if it had no power or vertue in it to save Peoples Souls, and heal their Distempers of Iniquity and Sin.

This is the Devil's Work in such Instru­ments, that he may block up the way of Truth, and cause the simple to stumble, and so discourage their Faith, and keep them in Unbelief and Sin: Thus the Murderer of Souls thinks to have his end by keeping Peo­ple under his dark Power.

But this is our Testimony from the living God, That though many may profess the Truth, who live not in it, but are a scandal to it, yet the Lord hath a living People who fear him, and have kept their Habitations in his Truth, and are good Examples in word and work for others to follow, whose [Page 8] hearts are known to the Lord, and their zeal for the prosperity of his heavenly Jerusalem, who are Wells with Water and Cloud with Rain, to refresh the hearts of many with their Virtue, through the Influence of the Lords heavenly Power, and Showers of pure divine refreshing Bounty, and are the Ser­vants of the living God in their Measures, in the true Faith, and unity with the Dis­ciples and holy Ministers of Jesus Christ, who fell not with Judas by Transgression, but kept the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ to the end, and in the end received a Crown of Glory laid up for them in Christ Jesus; and we testify for God against all dark Souls, who may meet with us as if they were of us, and profess the Truth, yet have not on the Wedding Garment of sincerity and holy mindedness, but are reprobate concerning the Faith, and hold the Truth in Unrigh­teousness.

Such are Spots in our Feasts of Charity, and partake not with us of the refershing sence of the holy Life of the pure God, nei­ther can they eat of the Flesh or drink with us of the Blood of the Lord Jesus, or dis­cern the Lords Body, though we wish all such who come to our Meetings a better Condition, that with us they may truly say, Verily our fellowship is with the Lord's People in Christ Jesus.

[Page 9]So we give forth our general Testimony, That we own none to be of us, or to have unity with us, but such as fear the true and living God, and take up the Cross of Christ which is his eternal Power, that so they may be kept in the Faith that stands in the same Power, to the purifying of their hearts, and giving them victory over the World, the Mystery of which Faith is held in a pure Conscience.

But we dearly cherish and love every ten­der desire that is raised up towards God in all, that their hearts and Souls may be kept hungring and thirsting after Righteousness, earnestly breathing for Mercy from the sence of the weight of Iniquity which hath been upon them, that so they may come to the state of the bruised Reed and smoking Flax, to wait upon the Lord to renew their strength in his Power, and to be Witnesses of his burning day, to the purifying of their hearts, and purging of their Iniquities with a true and pure spirit of Judgment and ever­lasting Burning; let such receive incourage­ment, for in due time, thorow the exercise of Patience and faithfulness to God, they will reap, and not faint, and attain their desired end; but all such as Judas (a traytor) and Demas, who turned from the Truth into the evil World, Hymeneus and Alexander, [Page 10] who made shipwrack of Faith and a good Conscience, we utterly deny, and cannot own, though they may in words and shew profess the Truth, but their Fruits will make all inch manifest, and God's Wisdom will teach all the Lovers of it how to behave themselves towards all men, in all states and conditions whatsoever, and to love Enemies, and false Friends and Brethrens Souls, by wishing for them true Repentance unto Life, that they may escape the danger of the Wrath and Indignation of God, which will suddainly and everlastingly overtake all such as persevere in Unrighteousness, and hold the Truth in it.

For as the Apostle saith, Neither Fornica­tors, nor Idolaters, nor Adulterers, nor Effa­minate, nor Abusers of themselves with MAN­KIND; nor Thieves, nor Covetous, nor Drunkards, nor Revilers, nor Extortioners, shall inherit the Kingdom of God. But if any have been so, but now are sanctified, wash­ed and justified in the Name of the Lord Je­sus, by the Spirit of God, it is well; but all such as live and abide in such things afore­mentioned, without Repentance, will utter­ly perish.

The Apostle Paul in his first Epistle to the Corinthians chap. 6. reproveth the Corin­thian-Believers for going to Law one with [Page 11] another, and that before the Unbelievers, [...] them [...] so doing, asking them [...] not a [...]se man amongst them, [...] one able to judge between is Brethren? telling them, it was utterly a fault amongst them, asking them, Why they did not rather take wrong, or suffer themselves to be defrauded? saying also, Know ye not that we shall judge [...] much more things that pertain to this Life? Nay, says, he you do wrong & defraud, & that your Brethren; Do ye not know that in places of Judicature all sorts of People are ad­mitted to hear matters debated there? And will it not be a shame for such as profess the Truth to be [...]a [...]d there by the vilest of men, to endeavour to the utmost to uncover one anothers Na­kedness, for some worldly end or other; this is worse than Ham's villiany, who un­covered the real Nakedness of his Father to his Brethren only; but these who may be called Quakers endeavour to uncover one anothers Nakedness to all Sects and sorts of People, who will be Spectators thereof, though they may be the vilest of men, who hate the Truth. This is far from Christia­nity, and endeavouring to cover one ano­thers Nakedness, Weaknesse & Infirmities; Let such who are concerned be ashamed of such things.

All false and Unjust Dealing, Fraud and [Page 12] Deceit, Cheating, Over-reaching one ano­ther, which things are Unchristian, we utterly disown; for Truth acteth Righte­ousness, and to do to others as we would they should do to us; but we would not that any through false pretences, & equivocations or [...]cilty should betray any by borrowing, buying, or otherwise, whenas the bottom of the matter being found out, it is found to be an implicite kind of Theft, to get others Goods and things into their hands, under pretence of borrowing or buying, &c. whenas aforehand they have known they have not been in a capacity to perform their Promises or Bargains, which hath been the cause of Contention, and Troubles, and Law-suits, and the Ruin of Families, and casting into Prisons for Debt; but the Truth and fear of God casts out all such things, and introduces plainness and simpli­city, but the Lord helpeth the needy who trust in him, and such have no need to ex­ercise Craft and Fraud to live by, as they fear and reverence the true and living God, without guile, he will bless them and help them, and stir up true hearted Friends to do them good. The poor man's Basket and store is blessed, whose heart is with the Lord, and his morcel of Bread and cup of cold Water, as he stands in the counsel of God, [Page 13] and keeps in to him, and looks not out at others, to murmur at their prosperity, or covet their worldly substance, but are con­tent with their own present need or want, their own Innocence and Righteousness will be felt amongst God's People, who will an­swer their Conditions one way or other; and if it were possible that should fail, which is not, the Lord for their sakes will cause Stones to be made Bread, and the hearts of their Enemies to open and feed them. This is concerning the Lords Poor, who are neither slothful nor idle minded, nor mur­murers, nor look out to repine at others prosperity, but are content to wait upon the Lord only, to be supplied by him what way he sees meet. Thus Innocency and Simplicity never fails of Mercy; but as for Subtilty, sinister false Hypocritical Dealing, which would deceive and get for self, God will confound it all, and such will live mi­serably in the end, and poor every way, and be cast out and separated from the society and fellowship of God's People, and so will be the Worlds, but not the Lords Poor, ex­cept they repent, and shew forth Fruits meet for it, to amendment of Life, and a holy Conversation, in Justice, Truth and Righ­teousness.

[Page 14]


THis Epistle was written, and read on our First Days Meeting at Philadelphia in the sixth Month last past, and seen meet to be now printed for the sakes of the mode­rate Enquirers after Truth, and our Princi­ples, that such may have true satisfaction, and to stop the Mouthes of the Clamorous and Ungodly, who are Blasphemers and Railers against it, especially when they can espy a Jadas amongst us, or any one to fall by Transgression, which Christ the Truth, whose Name we profess, who never fell, is clear of; And when such things happen, let not the Ungodly rejoyce in their Wicked­ness, who love it, and live in it without Repentance; for the Damnation of such numbers not.

From the Church of Philadelphia in Pennsilvania.
[Page 15]

An Epistle to the People of God called Quakers in the Province of Pennsilvania, and the Territories thereunto belonging.

Dear Friends;

THe Salutation of my Love is unto you that make a Profession of the blessed way of Truth in the in­ward parts, desiring both night and day, with tender and fervent Supplication to the God of the Light that hath sprung upon us in a living and powerful Visitation, that we may all answer the Love and Mercy of the Lord to us, so plentiously manifested.

Friends, It is upon me, and long hath been, from the God of Truth and Righ­teousness, to communicate to you a short word of Counsel and Advice: God hath brought us hither, and we are yet among the Living; He hath a Work for us to do here, though the Spiteful and Envious will not believe it: Oh! that we may be faithful to the measure of Grace received, that the Evil minded may be disappointed. Friends, keep in the sense of that which first visited [Page 16] you, and kept you, and he that was with you to bless you in your native Country, will be with you and bless you and yours, and make you a Blessing to them that you are come among, that know him not, in this Wilderness also; for the Earth is the Lords, and his Presence fills it, and his Power upholds it, and it is a precious thing to enjoy and use it in the sense and feeling of the same; truly this honour have all the Saints, to whom he will give it for a quiet Habitation▪ Have a care of Cumber, and the Love and Care of the World: 'Tis the Temptation that lieth nearest to those that are redeemed from Looseness, or not addicted to it. The Moon, the Figure of the changeable World, is under the foot of the true Woman, whose Seed— we ought to approve our selves, God hath ordain'd it for a Foot-stool, and we must not make a Throne of it, nor doth it become them who seek heaven­ly places in Christ Jesus. Oh! show forth a blessed Example, for the Lords sake; and truly, blessed is that Man and Woman, who in the invisible Power rule their Affections about the visible things, and that use the the World as true Travellers and Pilgrims, whose Home is not here below; such do not extort, grind or oppress their Neighbours in their Dealings, but are content with [Page 17] moderate Gain, looking to the Blessing that follows, knowing right well, that they that over-value and over-care, fall into divers Snares and Sorrows, that hurt and pierce the Souls Peace. And in like manner, dear Friends, have a care of Looseness, for it be­cometh us to be watchful, and gird up the Loyns of our Minds, and be sober, and hope to the end. Are we from under outward Sufferings and Tryals that once we knew, and that carry an Humiliation with them upon the Spirits of People? let us be more circumspect that we forget not the Lord nor his tender Mercies to us; for he is God, and he can find us out, and trouble, and vex, and plague the disobedient and careless here, as well as in other Lands. Be zealous there­fore for the Lord, for he is a jealous God, and especially over those that have be­trothed themselves unto him by the Profes­sion of his holy Truth, yea, he will be avenged of the Hypocrite and Rebellious, but the Obedient he will bless, which my Soul prayeth you may be, that so I may never have an occasion to exercise any other Power than that of Love and Brotherly Kindness. And, dear Friends, remember who it was that said to his Children and Followers, Ye are Brethren, have a care of Unnaturalness in the Profession of the Truth: [Page 18] To be without natural Affection to one ano­ther in the Truth, is a Mark of Apostacy, wherefore love one another, and help, and assist, and comfort one another; this was the new and living Commandment of our blessed Lord and Master, which if you keep, then can you not fall out, backbite, slander, go to Law, or hate one another in the sight of the World, and that for the things that perish; verily if any do these things, the Wrath of God will overtake them.

Oh Friends! Let us call to mind the day that hath dawned upon us, and what man­ner of Persons we ought to be: Besides, you know that the Eyes of the Inhabitants of the Lands, and those of neighbouring Countries, yea, the People of remote Re­gions are upon us, and our doings, how we Live, how we Rule, and how we Obey, and joy would it be to some to see us hault, hear evil Tidings of our proceedings, as it would be an heavy, and an unspeakable Grief to those that wish well to our Zion. Friends, God requireth great Watchfulness from you, especially Elders and Teachers in the Church of Christ, that they watch over their own, and others Families, that what­ever appears in any, contrary to the Testi­mony and Mind of Truth, may be brought to Judgment, and disowned, that the Camp [Page 19] of the Lord may be kept clean of the Un­circumcised that resist the Spirit.

My Friends, remember that the Lord hath brought you upon the Stage, he hath now tryed you with Liberty, yea, and with Power too; he hath now put precious O­pertunities into your Hands, have a care of a perverse Spirit, and do not provoke the Lord by doing those things, by which the Inhabitants of the Land grieved his Spirit, that were before you, but sanctifie God, the living God in your Hearts, that his Blessings may fall and rest as the Dew of Heaven up­on you, and your Off-spring, then shall it be seen to the Nations, that there is no In­chantment against Jacob, nor Divination against Israel, but your Tents shall be good­ly, and your Dwellings glorious: Which is the daily humble Supplication of my Soul to my God and your God, and to my Father, and your Father; that am, with unfeigned Love, in that lasting Relation,

Your tender faithful Friend and Brother, William Penn.
[Page 20]

An Epistle to Friends to be read in their Meetings.

Dear Friends;

WHat a blessed thing is it to fear the Lord, and to seek him continu­ally, for his Mercies fail not those that truly wait upon him; he hath been very bountiful to us in our native Land, and hath been very tender and good to us, in bring­ing of us to this Wilderness; he was with us upon the tempestuous Seas, he abides with us still, blessed be his Name forever, and for evermore.

Oh my Friends! let us call to mind the time when the Lord first made his blessed Truth known unto us, surely that was very acceptable; my Soul shall never forget it; what then did we enjoy, that we could not part withal for the Lord? Then did we abase our selves in Dust and Ashes, and I can truly say in that Day, I thought the meanest things I was unworthy of, and I do believe it was so with many more. And now my dear Friends, we are come into this American part, let us above all People not murmer, nor be discontented, for we have [Page 21] good experience of the Mercy of the Lord; for as we fear and obey him, he will make this Wilderness a fruitful Field; the great­est thing we desire here, is, that People may come to fear the Lord, it is that, and that alone will make this a happy Coun­try unto us: Let all that fear the Lord put on Strength and Courage to do his holy Work; for here is much to be done, we must begin it, and carry it on, the Lord is ready to help us, and furnish us with his Wisdom, Advice and Counsel; indeed we can do nothing without it.

Oh my dear Friends! let us not murmur here, for we may read in the Scriptures of Truth, how many fell in the Wilderness of those that murmured; let us be content with our Manna, for here is no liklihood of a Famine, except they famish themselves for want of taking heed to the Lords pure Word, which is daily Bread to his Chil­dren, and they live thereby; and many in this Country have great Families and Ser­vants, and for want of good fore-cast, and a good heavenly Order, they become a bur­then unto their Masters. Come, come, my dear Friends, call your Families together every Family apart, and discharge your Duties, and there you may exhort, examine, and advise, and by that means Gods holy [Page 22] Truth will be over them all; You may find many Difficulties to frustrate such a good and holy Order, and others may find it a great cross to get into it, because they may have Children or Servants that are very wild and they may think they will rather scoff at it, then think it will do them good; but I do advise you in the fear of the Lord, to sit down with them in the Evening, or accord­ing as [...]e see meet, and wait there upon the Lord, for he is ready and willing at all times, and upon all occasions, to assist and help his People and Servants in all things, and by this means your outward Business will be made easier, and you may save a great deal of lost time that is spent amongst Servants in their Masters absence; and by this means may find out some way that they may be helpful to their Neighbours, and it may prevent much time that is spent in Families, after they have done their Labour and Ser­vice, in much Talk and idle Jesting; let every Family that fears the Lord, practise therein this holy Law, and leave the issue to the Lord, and by this means you will find unruly Spirits to be chained: Some have had good experience of these things, but some need not this Advice, who are in the practice of it, and witness the good effect thereof. Also, I do think, that here in these parts, [Page 23] where Ships do arrive, it would do well for some small number of Men and Women Friends, to meet together, that are sollid and weighty, to ta [...]e a little care of the Persons that are brought into this Country, that they may not sit down here, or else­where, and spend that little that some bring with them, but that they may be advised, took care of, and employed; for here comes many Young People, that are single Men and Women, that go about and spend that little they have, and then when it is gone, and see no way how to have more, they it may be take ill Courses, and revile the Country; it would be very well for the time to come, we might use means to prevent these things, and then that little they bring over with them, may do them good, in order to a set­tlement, I mean those that be low, and may need advice. These things I was exercised with, and leave them to your Christian Consideration.

Frances Taylor.

Given forth some small time before she departed this Life, who is eternally with the Lord Jesus forever.


Books sold by W. Bradford.

  • NO Cross, No Crown: Or a discourse shewing the nature and discipline of the holy Cross of Christ.
  • An Address to Protestants upon the present Conjuncture.
  • An Answer to a foolish Libel call'd, the Quakers Opinions▪
  • A brief state and examination of Liberty Spiritual.
  • Truth Exalted, in a short, but sure, Testimony against all those Religions, Faiths and Worships that have been formed and followed in the Darkness of Apostacy▪ and for that glorious Light which is now risen: Presented to Princes, Priests and People, that they may repent, believe and obey.
  • A Perswasive to Moderation to Dissenting Christians, in Prudence and Conscience humbly submitted to the King and his great Council.
  • An Epistle, containing a solemn Farewell to England. All writ by William Penn.
  • The [...] the Martyrs revived in a brief compendious [...] of the most remarkable Passages and living [...] of the true Church, Seed of God and faith­fu [...] [...]rtyrs in all Ages.
  • The [...]fering state & condition of the People call'd Quakers presented to the King and Parliament. Anno 1685.
  • A Lamentation over England, and faithful Warning to the Inhabitants thereof. By William Bingley.
  • The true Christians Faith and Experience briefly declared.
  • A Mirror to distinguish the true Ministers from the false.
  • A Collection of the several Writings of Humphry Smith.
  • A plain Path way opened to the Simple hearted, for the answering all Doubts and Objections. By S. Crisp.
  • A Invitation of Love to all that hunger and thirst after Righteousness. By [...]sabel Yemans.
  • The state of the Birth T [...]mporal and Spiritual, &c.
  • The Principles of Truth, or a declaration of our Faith.
  • Truths Vindication▪ or a stroke to mipe off foul A [...]perti [...].

Also, Primmers for Children, &c.

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