« PreviousContinue »
name the name of Christ, to depart from such iniquity as shedding blood, even of the saints of the Most High. Therefore, let my request have as much acceptance with you, if you be Christians, as Esther had with Ahasuerus, whose relation is short of that that is between Christians, and my request is the same that hers was; and he said not, that he had made a law, and it would be dishonourable for him to revoke it; but when he understood that these people were so prized by her, and so nearly concerned her, as in truth these are to me, as you may see what he did for her. Therefore I leave these lines with you, appealing to the faithful and true witness of God, which is one in all consciences, before whom we must all appear; with whom I shall eternally rest in everlasting joy and peace, whether you will hear or forbear. With Him is my reward, with whom to live is my joy, and to die is my gain, though I had not had your forty-eight hours' warning for the preparation to the death of Mary Dyer.
And know this also, if through the enmity you shall declare yourselves worse than Ahasuerus, and confirm your law, though it were but by taking away the life of one of us, that the Lord will overthrow both your law and you, by His righteous judg ments and plagues justly poured upon you, who now whilst you are warned thereof, and tenderly sought unto, may avoid the one by removing the other. If you neither hear nor obey the Lord nor His servants, yet will He send more of His servants among you, so that your end shall be frustrated, that think to restrain them you call cursed Quakers from coming among you, by anything you can do to them. Yea, verily, He hath a seed here among you, for whom we have suffered all this while, and yet suffer; whom the Lord of the harvest will send forth more labourers, to gather out of the mouths of the devourers of all sorts, into His fold, where He will lead them into fresh pastures, even the paths of righteousness, for His name's sake. Oh, let none of you put this good day far from you, which verily in the Light of the Lord I see approaching, even to many in and about Boston, which is the bitterest and darkest professing place, and so to continue so long as you have done, that I ever heard of; let the time
past, therefore, suffice for such a profession as brings forth such fruits as these laws are. In love and in the spirit of meekness I again beseech you, for I have no enmity to the persons of any; but you shall know that God will not be mocked, but what you sow, that shall ye reap from Him that will render to every one according to the deeds done in the body, whether good or evil. Even so be it, saith
A Copy of this was given to the General Court after Mary Dyer had received the sentence of death, about the Eighth or Ninth month, 1659.
To Friends in New England, or where this may come, greeting:
In your meeting together and attending at the footstool of the altar, wait to be fed with the bread of life, which, though death to all things that the carnal mind hath fed upon or delighted in, either in corruption or birth, either in thought or action, whether things in heaven, or things in earth; for verily all old things must be dissolved before the Eternal Spirit, which as a devouring fire and everlasting burning is now entered into the regions of the earth, and hath manifested itself unto you, that thereby you might profit, and be had and instructed in the way of holiness; and as an earnest of the glorious inheritance, that never fades away, hath from time to time ministered comfort, joy, and peace in the holy place within the veil, as you have patiently waited, through pangs of death, to the old nature, and in meekness and content, when darkness was over the land, have endured the shaking of the earth, and terrible rending of the veil. I say, as you in any measure have come through these things, even so in measure has every one of you tasted of the bread of life, and hidden manna which within the ark is laid up for all the followers of the Lamb, through great tribulations, which plentifully you will meet withal in the worldly regions, both within and without. And although, my dear friends, the fruits of Sodom and Egypt, as they do outwardly appear in many, as pride, wantonness, revilings, and the like, are done away, yet you will find
many dangerous and hurtful lusts, arising out of the nature of spiritual Sodom within, which will strongly assault you when the light of the sun is but a little withdrawn, and passing under a cloud, through which, if we wait patiently for the next appearance, it will shine more glorious and higher than before. Yet divers ways will the enemy of your soul appear at such a time, to draw you aside from the hope of the Gospel, and expectation of enjoying the righteousness and heavenly treasure, which therein was revealed, when the glorious Light in full power shined in the earthen vessel; and will strive to make void all that you have received as the earnest of the purchased possession, by presenting before you the hardness of the way, and bringing to mind things you were formerly in bondage to; yea, and to tell you, "ye may eat, and not die." These things, and more unutterable, will the spirit, whose progress is to and fro in the earth, present to your view, and feed the carnal withal; yet behold them all in the light eternal, and in their most glorious appearance, they are all but dust, which is his own meat, whom you are to resist steadfastly in the power of the Spirit of Faith, which overcomes the world; and remember how the Lord did deliver you wonderfully in your former journeys, wherein you perfectly saw the naked arm of God's salvation; and He remains the same in Himself yesterday, and to-day, and forever, although the enemy, while the cloud was over the ark, for that is his time to work, 'goeth about, in the airy part, seeking whom he may devour, did strongly tempt to prevail, as if you were in the wilderness of sin, to lead you back again, in your hearts, into spiritual Egypt, for it is within he thus subtly works, and I, well knowing it, cannot forbear to exhort you, in the fear of the Lord God, that you with the eye of your mind, retired out of all things visible, there to wait still and quiet, and ceasing from all self-working, may with meekness receive power, might, dominion, and perfect strength, against all that ever the enemy did appear in; and in this condition of the free saving grace of God, which is appeared for your deliverance and teacher, you may learn to grow from grace to grace, into the knowledge of the wonderful works of God, which
your forefathers saw; and many things happened to them for our examples, and are written for our learning spiritually; and the same way you are to travel, as they did, who were baptized unto Moses; and so proceeding, you will find the same spiritual meat, from the least to the greatest of you; and he that gathereth most, will have none over; and, behold, I testify, as the least among many brethren, that he that gathereth little hath no lack, but in his Father's house feeds on the bread of life; the nourishment and virtue of it will make the least as strong as David, and give power over all spiritual enemies, though every one in their camp were as great as Goliath. And thus to this day hath the Lord preserved me in the power of the endless life, where, like a beacon on a hill, the watchers fired and filled with zeal, to give others warning of the nigh approaching of the enemy, who lies lurking in the nature of transgression, ready upon all opportunities to appear in evil thoughts, lusts, &c., and so to defile the temple, if not resisted in the first motion. And as the creature gives way to the temptation of the destroyer, he will grow cold, and his zeal towards God and love to His people will wither, and sometimes be hardly drawn to their assemblies; and all this while he may walk under cover of an outward profession of Truth, yet grow not at all; for having joined with that in the motion, although not brought forth into the act, that hides from the presence of the Lord, and keeps from sweet nourishment of the vine, which causeth all that abides in it to bring forth fruit,as the heat of the sun causeth the tender herb to spring. And whoever comes into this condition, the single eye discerns him, and the faithful goes about mourning, and saying, "How have such defiled the bed of virginity, who once in a great measure had escaped the corruptions that are in the world, through lust!'' And although I am persuaded better things of you, yet, my beloved friends, who are dear unto me, as you abide in that which crucifies you to the world, wherein I dearly exhort you to abide, as it ariseth in you, and put it on as a garment of righteousness, wherein from faith to faith you may pass on, and so preach righteousness to the old world, and in it you will be preserved, as
in an ark, from the destruction, like a flood, that will assuredly come upon the world of the ungodly. And in all your trials and troubles, look and wait for the power that once delivered you, and again and again it will deliver you from the power of the dog, and work mightily in you; that with willing minds you deny all for its sake, until the image of the Beloved be formed in you, and you in Him, where in love ye will be accepted, and the knowledge of His mystery, manifested in flesh, in every measure of it, is and will be so far above all the glory, treasure, and pleasure of the land of darkness, that it will wholly take the meditations out of them, as if they were not worth the minding, no more than dross or dust; yea, or whatsoever else may attend, or can come upon, those that follow the light, as persecution, distress, affliction, famine, nakedness, perils in the wilderness, in the sea, in the city, yea, or death itself, I am persuaded that God's armour of light as it is lived in and loved, will preserve them. And I further testify, in the fear of the Lord God, and witness, with a pen of trembling, that the noise of the whip on my back, all the imprisonments, and banishing upon pain of death, and, after returning, the loud threatening sound of an halter from their mouths, who, Jezebel-like, sat on the imperious throne of iniquity, did no more affright me, through the strength of the power of God in me, than if they had threatened to have bound a spider's web to my finger, which makes me say, with unfeigned lips, "Wait upon the Lord, O my soul, forever, who hath made known unto me His loving-kindness, when I even thirsted for Him; and kept my feet upon the rock, whilst the raging waves of the sea went over my back; whilst for the Truth and cause of God's people, I have been freely offered up, and am not at all straitened to be baptized for the dead, whether into death, or otherwise; following His example, who laid down His life for His enemies." And herein the record in heaven knows I lie not, and the witness in earth is bearing witness to me, that I yet do not, as I have not hitherto, seeked to withdraw my cheek from the smiter, nor to turn aside my feet from the footsteps of the flock, as witness this chain and log at my leg; but do