AN EPISTLE OF TENDER LOVE AND Brotherly Advice To All the Churches of Christ Throughout the World.

Who are gathered into the one living Faith and walk in the Light, and therein have their Fellowship one with another.

From a Friend and Brother in the same Fellowship, who hath long Travailed, and still Travails for Zions Prosperity, and for the gathering Zions Children out of Aegypt and Darkness, that they may walk and dwell in the Light of Zions Saviour, which is Christ, the Lord, Whose Outward Name is, Stephen Crisp.

Re-Printed and Sold by William Bradford at Philadelphia in Pennsilvania, in the Year 1692.

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An Epistle of Tender Love and Brotherly Advice to all the Churches of Christ throughout the World, &c.

DEarly Beloved Friends and Brethren, gathered out of the World by the Eternal Arm and Power of the Mighty God, to bear his holy Name in your Generation; My Love and Life in the fellowship of the Universal Spirit, Salutes you all, and my Prayer to God is, you may be kept stedfast and unmove­able in the Grace of God, and in the Communion of his holy Spirit, that ye may bring forth Fruit in abundance, according to the abun­dant Mercy and Grace bestowed upon you, to the Glory of God, and to your mutual Joy, Comfort and Edification.

And that you may so do, let your Eye be kept daily to the Lord, and behold and take notice of the wondrous Works that he hath wrought in you and for you, since the day ye were first quickned by his Immortal Word, and stirred up to seek after him, and to wait upon him; how Good and Gracious he hath been to you, in bringing you from the barren Mountains, where your Souls lan­guished for the heavenly Nourishment, where you knew not the Lord, nor one another, but were without a Comforter, or any to sympathize with you in your Mournings: Oh! how hath he pittied your Groanings, and had Compassion on your Sighings, and brought you into acquaintance with those that were in the like Exercises; and then he taught you to believe on him that was able to help you: And those that were thus taught of the Father, and felt his draw­ing Cords of Love prevailing upon them, these came to Christ their Saviour, and in him beg [...]n to feel a Unity one with another, in the Faith you had received in him, whereby you believed he would give you of his Spirit to teach and guide you in the way of Truth, Righteousness and Peace: And thus was the Foundation of your Holy Communion laid, and a lively Hope raised in each particular Soul, that he that had begun this blessed Work, would carry it on; [Page 4] and this hope made you, that ye were not ashamed to make a publick Profession of his Name before the World, but chearfully to take up his Cross, and deny your selves of your former Pleasures, Friendships and Delights of this World; this hope hath been your suppo [...]t in many sharp Tryals & bitter Combates you have had with the Enemy of your Soul's Peace within, and with the Enemies of God's holy Way and Truth without; and in all your Conflicts you have found him nigh at hand, to put forth his Power on your behalf, as you have depended upon him for his assistance; & by these Experiences of his goodness your Faith hath been strengthned; and by the same Word of Life that quickned you, many more have been reached unto, so that you have seen a daily Addition of strength in the particular, and also an addition to your Number, to your great Comfort and Encourage­ment; and many have come to wait upon the Lord among you, and many are daily enquiring after the way to Sion, with their faces thi­therward: These things are worth your remembrance, and serious considerations, that you may look upon these great Mercies, as Ob­ligations upon your Souls to walk humbly before the Lord, and to be devout and fervent in your Testimony for that God that hath done th [...]s great things for you.

And Friends, consider of the great Works that this mighty Arm of the Lord hath brought to pass in the general, as well as in the particular; how many Contrivances have been framed, and Laws and Decrees made to lay you waste, and to make you cease to be a People, and how have the Wicked rejoyced thereat (for a season) crying, Ah, ha, thus would we have it; they are all now given up to Ba­nishments, to Imprisonments, to Spoils and Ruins; now let us see if that Invisible Arm they trust in can deliver them. Oh Friends! how hath your God been your support in the midst of all these Exercises? and when he pleased, how hath he quieted the sharpest Storms, and turned back the greatest Floods and Torrents of Persecution that ever you met? and how hath he confounded his and your Enemies, and brought Confusion upon the heads of them that sought your hurt? Were not these things wrought by the Power of God? Did your Number, your Policy, your Interest, or any thing that might be called your own, contribute any thing to these your great Pre­servations and Deliverances? If not, then let God have the Glory, and acknowledge to his praise, These have been the Lords doings, and are marvellous in our Eyes.

[Page 5]Again, Dear Friends, Consider how the wicked One hath wrought in a Mystery among your selves, to scatter you, and to lay you waste from being a People, as at this day; how many several wayes hath he tryed, raising up men of perverse Minds, to subvert, and to turn you from the Faith, and from the Simplicity that is in Christ Jesus our Lord, and to sepereate you from that invisible Power that hath been your strength, and to seperate you one from another, and by subtile Wiles to lead into a false Liberty above the Cross of Christ, and sometimes by sowing Seeds of Heresie and Seditions, endeavour­ing to corrupt the Minds of whom they could, with pernicious Prin­ciples; but Oh, how have their Designs been frustrated, and the Authors thereof confounded and brought to nought; and how have you been preserved as a Flock, under the hand of a careful Shepherd, even unto this day, which ministers great cause of Thanks-giving u [...]to all the faithful, who have witnessed the working of his preser­ving Power in their own particulars.

Also, my Friends, it is worth your Considerations, to behold, how tha [...] by this invisible Power, so many faithful Watch-men are raised up upon the Walls of your Zion, that in most of your Meetings the [...]e be Men and Women upon whom God hath laid a concern to be taking care of the good of the whole, and to take the oversight upon them, to see all things kept in good and decent Order, and to make due Provision for the comforting and relieving the Necessities of the Needy and Distressed, that nothing be lacking to make your way comfortable; and these have not been, nor are brought under this Charge by any act of yours, but God hath raised up Pastors and Teachers, Elders and Deacons of his own Election and Choice, and bowed their Spirits to take upon them the Work and Service to which they are appointed, for the Lords sake, and for the Body's sake, which is the Church, to whom it may truly be said, a [...] in the 20th Chap. of Acts, vers. 28. Take ye heed to the Flock of God, over which the holy Ghost hath made you Overseers, &c. And such ought to be hearkned to in the discharge of their Trust, as those that must give an account to him that called them, and gifted them for their several Works and Services in the Church.

And by these ways and means hath the Lord established among you a heavenly Government, and built as it were a Hedge about you, that ye may be preserved from Generation to Generation, a People fitted for the Glory that is, and shall daily more and more be revealed [Page 6] among and upon the faithful, who delight in that Power that called them to be Saints, and to bear a Profession for the holy Name of God, against the many Names and Wayes that men in their changeable Minds have set up, that the Name of the Lord alone may be exalted.

And dear Friends and Brethren, I intreat you, that the Considera­tions of these great and weighty things which God hath wrought for you, and among you, may have that deep and weighty Influence upon your Souls, that ye may find your selves engaged to answer the Love and Mercy of God in your Lives and Conversations, and in all that you have to do in this World, that ye may shew forth the honor of God in all things, that the Light which hath shined in you may shine forth through you, unto others, who sit in Darkness, that all men may know by your innocent and harmless Conversations, and by your close keeping to the Lord, that ye are a People who are as­sisted and helped by a supernatural Power, which governs your Wills, and subjects them to his blessed Will, and that guides and orders your Affections, and sets them upon heavenly and divine Objects, and that gives you power to deny your own private Interests, where they happen to stand in Competition with the Interest of Truth; for these, and these only will be found the true Disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ, who can deny themselves, take up a Cross dai [...]y, and follow him in the Guidance of his Regenerating Power, which brings Death upon self, and crucifies the old Nature, with its Af­fections and Lusts, and raiseth up a Birth in you, that hath a Holy Will and Desire to serve the Lord, and do his Will in the Earth; and such as these are Instruments in the hand of God for him to work by, and to do Works of Righteousness, of Justice, of Charity, and all other the Vertues belonging to a Christian Life, to the honour of God and for the comfort and benefit of his Church and People.

And all you, dear Friends, upon whom the Lord hath laid a care for his Honour, and for the Prosperity of the Truth, and gathered you into the good Order of the Gospel, to meet together to man [...]ge the Affairs thereof; Take heed that you have a single Eye to the Lord, to do the Lords business in the Leadings of his Spirit, which is but one, and brings all (that are given up to be governed by it) to be of one Mind and Heart, at least in the general purpose and Service of those Meetings, although through the diversity of Ex­ercises, and the several Degrees of growth among the Brethren, [Page 7] every one may not see or understand alike in every matter at the first propounding of it; yet this makes no breach of the unity, nor hinders the Brotherly-kindness, but puts you often upon an Exer­cise, and an inward travelling to feel the pure peaceable Wisdom that is from above, to open among you, and every ones Ear is open to it, in whomsoever it speaks, and thereby a sence of Life is given in the Meeting, to whi [...]h all that are of a simple and tender Mind, joyn and agree: But if any among you should be contrary minded in the management of some outward Affair, relating to the Truth, this doth not presently break the Unity that ye have in Christ, nor should weaken the Brotherly Love, so long as he keeps waiting for an Understanding from God, to be gathered into the same sence with you, and walks with you, according to the Law of Charity; such an one ought to be born with, and Cherished, and the Suppli­cations of your Souls will go up to God for him, that God may reveal it to him, if it be his Will, that so no difference may be in Understanding, so far as is necessary, for the good of the Church, no more than there is in matters of Faith and Obedience to God: for my Friends, it is not of absolute necessity that every Member of the Church should have the same measure of Understanding in all things; for then where were the Duty of the strong bearing with the weak? then where were the Brother of low degree? Where would be any submitting to them that are set over others in the Lord? which all tends to the preserving Unity in the Church, notwithstanding the different Measures and different Growths of the Members thereof; for as the Spirit of the Prophets are subject to the Prophets, so are the Spirits of all that are kept in a true Subjection to the Spirit of Life in themselves, kept in the same Subjection to the Sence of Life given by the same Spirit in the Church▪ and by this means we come to know the one Master, even Christ, and have no room for other Masters, in the matter of our Obedience to God; and while every one keeps in this true Subjection, the sweet Concord is known, and the Oyl is not only upon Aaron's Head (though it be poured on there) but it reacheth the Skirts of his Garment also; and things are kept sweet and savoury, and ye love one another from the greatest to the least in sincerity, and (as the Apostle saith) without Dissemulation; and this Love excludes all Whisperings of Evil Things; All Back-biting, Tale-bearing, Grudgings and Murmurings, and keeps Friends Minds clean one towards another, waiting for [Page 8] every Opportunity to do each other good, and to preserve each others Reputation; and their Hearts are comforted at the sight of one another; and in all their Affairs, both relating to the Church, and to the World, they will be watchfull over their own Spirits, and keep in the Lords Power, over that nature and ground in them­selves that would be apt to take an Offence, or construe any Word or Action to a worse sence than the simplicity thereof, or the inten­tion of the other concerned will allow of.

And whereas it may often fall out, that among a great many, som may have a different Apprehention of the matter from the rest of their Brethren, especially in outward or Temporal things, there ought to be a Christian Liberty maintained for such to express their sence with Freedom of Mind, or else they will go away burthened; whereas if they speak their Minds freely, and a Friendly & Christian Conference be admitted thereupon, they may be eased, & often times the different Apprehension of such a one comes to be wholly remo­ved, and his Understanding opened, to see as the rest sees; for the danger in Society doth not lie so much in that, some few may have a differing Apprehension in some things from the general Sence, as it doth in this, namely, when such that so differ do suffer themselves to be led out of the Bond of Charity, and shall labour to impose their private sence upon the rest of their Brethren, and to be offend­ed and angry if it be not received; this is the Seed of Sedition and Strife, that hath grown up in too to many, to their own hurt.

And therefore my dear Friends, beware of it, and seek not to drive a matter on in fierceness, or in anger, nor to take Offence into your Minds at any time, because what seems to be clear to you, is not pre­sently received; but let all things in the Church be propounded with an awful Reverence of him that is the Head and Life of it; who hath said, Where two or three are met in my Name, I will be in the midst of them, and so he is, and may be felt by all who keep in his Spirit, but he that follows his own Spirit, sees nothing, as he ought to see it. Therefore let all beware of their own Spirits and natural Tempers (as they are sometimes call'd) but let all keep in a gracious Temper, then are ye fit for the service of the House of God, whose House ye are, as ye keep upon the Foundation that God hath laid▪ and he will build you up, and teach you how to build up one another in him, and as every Member must feel Life in themselves, and all from one Head, this Life will not hurt it self in any, but be tender o [...] [Page 9] the Life in all; for by this one Life of the Word ye were begotten, and by it ye are nourished & made to grow into your several Services in the Church of God; it is [...]o mans learning nor artificial acquire­ments, its no mans [...] greatness in this World, its no mans eloquence and natural wisdom, that makes him fit for Government in the Church of Christ, unless he with all his endowments be season'd with the heavenly Salt, and his Spirit subjected, and his Gifts pass through the Fire of Gods Altar, a Sacrifice to his Praise and Honour, that so Self be crucified and baptized in Death, and the Gifts made use of in the Power of the Resurrection of the Life of Jesus in him; and when this great Work is wrought in a man, then all his Gifts and Qualifications are sanctified, and they are made use of for the good of the Body, which is the Church, and are as Ornaments and Jewels, which serve for the Joy and Comfort of all, who are par­takers of the same divine Fellowship of Life in Christ Jesus our Lord; and thus comes many to be fitted and furnished to good Words, and to good Works, which are brought forth in their due Seasons, for Edification, and building up the weak, and for repairing the decay'd Places, and also for defence of them that are feeble, that hurtful things may not come near them.

O Friends! great is the Work the Lord hath called you to, and is a fitting you for, who innocently wait upon him; and the Lord hath open'd my heart unto you, and laid it upon me to exhort and beseech you to have a care, that ye quit your selves as ye ought, in what God requires of ye. And for the more particular expressing what lies before me in the matter, I shall set down a few particular Observations for your benefit and advantage; and my Souls desire is, that my Labour of Love may have a good Effect in all your Bo­soms, that God may be honoured thereby. And Friends, ye know the chief Business, to which ye are called in your particular Men and Womens Meetings, is under these two Heads, Justice and Charity; the first to see that every one hath right done him, and the other to take care there be nothing lacking to the Comfort of the Poor that are made partakers of the same Faith with you.

And when ye meet about these things, keep the Lord in your Eye, and wait to feel his Power to guide and direct you, to speak and behave your selves in the Church of God, as becomes the peaceable Gospel: And beware of all brittleness of Spirit, and sharp reflection [Page 10] upon each others words; for that will kindle up heats, and cre­ate a false Fi [...]e; and when one takes a liberty of a sharp word spoken out of the true fear and tenderness, it often times becomes a Temptation to another, and if he have not a great care, it will draw him out also, and then the first is guilty of two Evils, first, being led into a Temptotion, and then secondly, he becomes a Tempter to others; therefore all had need to be upon their Watch, neither to tempt, nor to be tempted; and let none think it sufficient Excuse for them that they were provoked; for we are as answerable to God for every evil Word spoken upon Provocation, as without Provoca­tion; for, for that end hath the Lord revealed his Power to us, to keep and preserve us in his Fear and Counsel in the time of our Pro­vocations; and therefor if any man through want of watchfulness, should be overtaken with Heat or Passion, A soft Answer appeaseth Wrath, saith the Wise Man, and therefore such a time is fit [...]st for a soft Answer, lest the Enemy prevail on any to their hurt, and to the Grief and Trouble of their Brethren; for it is the proper Duty of Watchmen and Overseers to spare the Flock, that is, let nothing come nigh them that will hurt them, and wound and grieve them; nay, the good Apostle was so careful over the Flock of Believers, that if there were any doubtful matter to be disputed of, he would not have them that were weak in the Faith at such Disputes, muchless ought them that are weak, to see those that are strong descend from their strength, and go into the weakness where they are not able to bear, for that is certainly, the Weak that cannot bear: Those that really live in the Strength and Power, they can bear even Burthens for them that cannot bear their own. The Apostle in the place before mentio­ned, when he sent for the Elders of Ephesus to Mil [...], and left a Charge with them, before he said, Take heed to the Flock of God, he said, Take heed to your selves: And indeed, we are none of us like to discharge our selves well towards others, but by taking heed to our selves, to be kept in that sober innocent frame of Spirit, which the Truth calls for.

In the Next place, my dear Friends, when ye are called upon in point of Justice, to give a Sentence of Right between Friend and Friend, Take heed that neither Party get possession of your Spirit afore-hand, by any way or means whatsoever, or obtain any Word or Sentence from you in the absence of the other Party, he not being [Page 11] yet heard: There is nothing more comly among men than Impartial Judgment: Judgment is a Seat where Interest, nor Affection, nor former Kindnesses may come: We may make no difference of the Worthiness or Vnworthiness of Persons in Judgment, as we may in Charity; but in Judgment, if a good man, being mistaken, hath a bad case, or a bad man a good case, according to his case must he have Sentence. It was a good Saying, He that judgeth among Men, judg­eth for the Lord, and he will Repay it. Therefore let all be done as unto the Lord, and as ye are willing to answer it in his presence; and although for a time some may be discontent thereat, yet in time God shall clear up your Innocency as the Sun at Noon-Day; and they that kick at Sound Judgment, will find but hard work of it, they do but kick against that which will prick them; and, however such through their Willfullness, and their abounding in their own Sence, may hurt themselves, yet you will be preserved, and enjoy your Peace and Satisfaction in the Discharge of your Consciences in the sight of God.

And as concerning Practical Charity, ye know, its supported by Liberality, and where Liberality ceaseth, Charity waxeth cold, yea, so far ceaseth; where there is no Contribution, there is no Distribu­tion; where the one i [...] sparing, the other is sparing: And therefore let every one nourish Charity in the Root, that is, keep a Liberal Mind, a Heart that looks upon the Substance that is given him, as really bestowed upon him for the support of Charity, as for the sup­port of his own Body; and where People are of this mind, they will have a care of keeping back any of Gods part, for he hath in all Ages, in a most singular manner espoused the case of the Poor, the Widdow and Fat [...]erless, and hath often signified by his Prophets and Ministers, a special Charge upon Rich m [...]n that had this World's Goods, That they should look to it that they were faithful Stewards of what they possest, and that they might be [...]ound in good Works, and might not suffer their Hearts so to cleave to uncertain Riches, as to neglect the Service God had given them the things of this Life for, either to give them up when called for in a Testimony or his worthy Name, or to com­municate of them to those that were in Necessity.

Now as concerning the Necessities of the Poor, there is great need of Wisdom when we meet together about that Affair; for as I said before, tho' the Worthiness or Vnworthiness of Persons is not to [Page 12] be considered in Judgment, yet in This it is; and you will find some that God hath made Poor, and some that have made themselves Poor, and some that others have made Poor, which must all have their several Considerations, in which you ought to labour to be Unanimous, and not to be taken up with an Affection to one Person more than another, but every one to love every one in the Universal Spirit, and then to deal out that Love in the Outward Manifestations thereof, according to the measure that the Lord in his Wisdom, working in you, shall measure forth to them.

And as to those who by Sickness, Lameness, Age, or other Impo­tency, are brought into Poverty by the Hand of Providence, These are your peculiar Care and Objects, pointed out to you to bestow your Charity upon; for by them the Lord calls for it; for as the Earth is the Lords, and the Fullness of it, he hath by his Soveraign Power commanded in every Dispensation, That a part of what we enjoy from him, should be thus imployed. The Israelites were not to reap the Corners of their Fields, nor to gather the Gleanings of the Corn nor Vintage, it was for the Poor: And in the time of the Gospel, They were to lay apart on the First Day of the Week, a part of what God had blessed them with, for the Relief of those that were in Necessity; Nay, they did not confine themselves in their Charity to th [...]ir [...]wn Mee­tings, but had an Uni [...]ersal Eye through the whole Church of Christ, and upon extraordinary Occasions sent their Benovelence to relieve the Saints at Jerusalem in a time of Need. And all that keep in the Guidance of the same Vniversal Spirit, will m [...]ke it their [...]usiness to be found in the same Practice of Charity and Good Works, to do Good, and to Communicate, forget not, saith the Apostle: So they that forget not this Christian D [...]ty, will find out the Poors part in the Corners and Gleanings of the Profits of their Trades and Merchandizings, as well as the Old Isra [...]lite did the Corners and Gleanings of his Field; and in the Distribution of it, will have a regard to comfort the bowels of such who are by the divine Provi­dence of God put out of a Capacity of enjoying those outward C [...]m­forts of Health, Strength and Plenty, which others do enjoy; [...] while they are Partakers of the same Faith, and walk in the Way of Righteo [...]sness with you, submitting themselves patiently to the D [...]spensation of Gods Providence towards them, they are of your Houshold, and under your Care, both to visit and to relieve, as Member [Page 13] of one Body, of which Christ Jesus is Head; and he that giveth to such Poor, lendeth to the Lord, and he will Repay it.

But there is another sort of Poor, who make themselves poor through their Sloth and Carelesness, and sometimes by their Will­fullness, being Heady and High-minded, and taking things in hand that are more than they can manage, and make a flourish for a season and then through their own Neglects are plunged down into great Pov [...]r [...]y; these are a sort, the primitive Churches began to be trou­bled withal in the early dayes of the Gospel; for the Apostle took notice of some that would not work at all, and sharply reproved them, and said, They that would not work should not eat; and these are commonly a sort of Busie-bodies, and medlers with others matters, while they neglect their own, and run into a worse way than the Unbelievers, while they profess to be Believers, yet do not take a due care for those of their own Houshold.

The Charity that is proper to such, is, To give them Admonition and Reproof, and To convince them of their Sloth and Negligence; and if they submit to your Reproof, and are willing to amend, then care ought to be taken to help them into a way & means to suport them­selves; and sometimes by a little help in this kind, some have been reclaimed from the Snares of the Soul's Enemy: But if they will not receive your wholsome Counsel and Admonitions, but kick against it, either in their Words or Actions, Friends will be clear of such in the sight of God; for its unreasonable to feed them that will not be ruled by you, they break the Obligation of Society by their disor­derly walking; for our Communion doth not stand only in frequent­ing Meetings, and hearing Truth preached, but in answering the blessed Principle of Truth, in Life and Conversation, and therein bo [...]h the Rich and the Poor have fellowship one with another.

There is another sort that are made Poor by the Oppressions and Cruelties of Others: These Oppressed Poor cry aloud in the Ears of the Almighty, and he will in his own time avenge their Cause; but in the mean time there is a Tenderness to he extended to them, not knowing how soon it may be our turn, and if there be need of Coun­sel and Advice, or if any Appli [...]ations can be made to any that are able to deliver them from the Oppress [...]rs in such cases, let all that are capable be ready and willing to advise, believe and help the Distres­sed; and this is an acceptable Work of Charity, and a great Comfort [Page 14] to such in their sharp Afflictions, and their Souls will bless the Instru­ments of their ease and comfort.

And, my dear Friends, as God hath honoured you with so high and holy a Calling, to be his Servants and Workmen in this his great and notable Day, and to work together in his Power, in setting forth his Praise and Glory in the Earth, and gathering together in one the scattered Seed in this and other Nations: Oh! let the Dignity of your Calling provoke and encourage you to be diligent Attenders upon his Work and Service you are called to, and let not your con­cerns in the World draw you from observing the times and seasons appointed to meet together; but you that are Elder set a good Ex­ample to the Younger sort, by a due observation of the hour appoin­ted, that they that come first one time, may not, by their long stay­ing for others be discouraged, so as perhaps they may be last another time; but when the time is come leave your business for the Lords Work, and he will take care your business shall not suffer, but will add a Blessing upon it, which will do more for you than the Time can do, that may be saved out of his Service.

And when ye have to do with Perverse & Froward or Disorderly Persons, whom ye have occasion to Reprove and to Rebuke for the Truths sake, and you find them stout and high, and reflecting upon ye, then is a time for the Lambs Meekness to shine forth, and for you to feel your Authority in the Name of Christ, to deal with such a one, and to wait for the pure and peaceable Wisdom from above, to bring down & confound the earthly Wisdom. And in this frame of mind you labour together to pull the entangled Sheep out of the Thicket, and to restore that which is gone astray, to the Fold again, if ye can; but if you cannot, yet ye save your selves from the Guilt of his Blood; and if such do perish, his Blood will be upon his own head: But on the other hand, if ye suffer these perverse Spirits to enter, and their Provocations to have a place in you, so as to kindle your spirits into a Heat and Passion, then you get a hurt, and are uncapable to do them any good, but words will break out that will need Repentance, and the Wicked will be stiffened and strengthned thereby, and you miss the service that you did really intend. There­fore, dearly Beloved, keep upon your Watch, keep on your spiritual Armour, keep your feet shod with the Preparation of the Gospel of Peace, and the God of Peace will be with you, and crown your [Page 15] endeavours with good Success, to your Joy and Comfort, and will bring up his Power over your Adversaries and Opposers more and more, to which many shall bow and bend in your sight, and will bring shame and confusion upon the Rebellious, who harden their Hearts and stiffen their Necks against the Lord & his Christ, and Kingdom, which he will exalt in the Earth, notwithstanding all that Satan, and all his evil Instruments can do to hinder the growth and progre [...] of his blessed Truth; for of the Increase of the Government, and of the Peace of the Kingdom of Christ there shall be No End.

And now Friends, I having cleared my Conscience of what lay upon me for some time, to write unto you, by way of Remembrance, and as the Exhortation of my Life unto you, I remain travailing in Spirit for the Wellfare of Zion: And although the Outward Man decayes, yet in the inward man I am comforted, in beholding daily the great things that our God hath done, and is still doing for them that have their sole dependance upon him. So committing you to the Grace of God, for your Directer and Preserver, in these and all your several Services unto which God hath called you, that by the Operations of his mighty Power ye may be kept blameless and un­spotted of the World, to his Honour and your Comfort, and to the universal Comfort and Edification of the Church, that so Praises and Thanks-giving may fill your Hearts and Mouthes, your Families and your Meetings; for he is worthy, who is our Tower, our Sup­port, the Lord of Host, the King of Saints, to whom be Glory, Honour and Renown, through this, and all Generations forever and ever; Amen

From your Friend and Brother, in the Communion and Fellowship of the Gospel of Peace and Purity, Stephen Crisp.

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