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Tentbly, Is not the way of the ranfomed, the way of holiness, become clear and pleasant to you? Hath not the Lord removed many ftumblingblocks, that he might make the way plain? And is it not a path wherein there is no erring, wherein a way-farer may walk without fear or danger, the light is fo certain, the guide to faithful, and the path fo eafy and infalli ble to the plain, honeft, fingle, upright heart, who freely giveth up to the Lord, and waiteth to be taught and led by him? Indeed to the wife, reafoning, difputing mind it is not thus, nor to you at any time when that part is up; but as that is brought down, and the fimplicity of Chrift (the innocent birth) raised in you, do ye not ftill feel it thus? Therefore ye had need to watch, and pray, and wait, and believe, that ye may know and enjoy the preciousness of your spiritual eftates and conditions in the Lord, and that that which would corrupt and deftroy, may (by the lifting up and difplaying of the banner of his love and power in you) be beat down and kept out.

Eleventhly, Hath not God given you of the true humility, whereby that which was once exalted in you above his fear and above his feed, is now brought down and laid low, and his pure life and fear in you exalted over it? Do ye not know the feigned humility and fear (which man's wisdom teacheth, and man's wisdom learneth), and abhor them? And is not the true fear and humility which ye have received from God, very precious, and of great use and service to you?

Twelftbly, Have ye not received the true love, whereby ye are taught and enabled to love the Lord your God above all, and the brethren, children, and fathers in him; yea, and your very enemies alfo. How precious is this! Who can witness this, but he who hath received it! But he whole heart the Lord hath circumcised, and from which he hath cut off the enmity and contentious nature, which cannot truly love neither the Lord nor his people, nor his creatures, though it maketh a. fubtil deceitful fhew thereof, to the deluding both of itself and others.

Thirteenthly, Do ye not know the true righteousness, and the true fanctification which is in Chrift Jelus, and which ye receive and abide in in him, which formerly (in a great measure) ye did but talk of, and which many to this day (whom the Lord hath not gathered, as he hath done you, but hath left behind, out of the power, out of the calling, out of the election) have only the words of, and their own apprehenfions upon the words, but know not, nor feel, nor enjoy the thing itself, as ye do this day, blessed be the name of your merciful God and Redeemer.

Fourteenthly, Do ye not know Sion, the holy hill of God, and Jerufalem the holy city which is built thereon, which hath long been hid, even from ages and generations, but now is made manifeft in the Spirit, and many are already come thither, and many more are travelling thither-wards, and some dwell and abide therein, and feel the law going forth out of Sion, and the word of the Lord from Jerufalem, and find their fouls tranflated

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by the mighty power of God from death, and hell, and enmity, into the nature, love, and life of the Lamb; in whofe light thofe that are faved and redeemed by him, walk?

Fifteenthly, Do ye not know the true church and body of Chrift, which is one fpirit with him, which is flesh of his flesh, and bone of his bones? And hath not the Lord in his mercy made you members thereof? And do ye not feel the nourishment, virtue, life, and Spirit of the whole body in your own veffels, and fo are partakers of the true union and fellowship, both with the Lord Jefus Chrift, and one with another? For he that is gathered by, and walks in the true light, is alfo in the true life and fellowfhip, both with that which begets, and with that which is begotten.

Sixteenthly, Do ye not know the kingdom and reign of Chrift already in measure set up, and daily more and more fetting up in your hearts? And is not his government fweet, pure, heavenly, precious, refreshing to that which is of God in you, and an iron hammer and scepter to that which is earthly and fleshly. And is it not your joy to feel him reign and overcome his enemies, exalting his holy name, power, and fcepter over them? And what he hath done, and what he is doing, and what he yet will do in you, of his own tender love, and for his own name's fake; do not your hearts leap within you, when at any time the Lord pleaseth to give you the sense and fight thereof?

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Seventeenthly, Do ye not know the faft which the Lord hath chofen, and hath not the Lord helped you to keep that faft? Have ye not felt his power break the bond of iniquity in you, and the once oppreffed in you coming up in a true measure of the pure freedom, to serve and worship the Lord? And have ye not also had a taste of the fealt which the Lord hath prepared on his holy mountain, even of the fat things, and wines on the lees well refined, which they that inhabit there eat and drink of abundantly in his presence?

Eighteenthly, Do ye not feel God the Lord making an everlasting covenant with you, even of the love and mercies fure to David and his feed forevermore? Is not he near you, yea with you and in you, who is the gatherer into, and the preserver in, this covenant? Yea, do not ye feel him teaching and enabling you to keep covenant with the Lord your God (by the virtue, power, and prefence of his life and Spirit in you), even as he keepeth cove nant with you? Infomuch as ye begin to feel a fettlement and establishment in him that is true, and your calling and election becoming fure, and the danger and fear of falling away or mifcarrying, removing from off your Spirits?

What shall I say to you, what fhall I mention further, or what fhall I inftance in? Have ye not felt the wilderness become a fruitful field, and the fruitful field become a foreft? Have ye not felt the lame walk, the deaf hear, the blind fee, the dumb fpeak, the leper cleansed, the dead raised, &c.? Have ye not witneffed the fore fhaking, and terrible paffing away (in 00002 measure)

measure) of the old heavens and old earth, and the forming, planting, and bringing in (in measure) of the new heavens and the new earth, wherein dwells righteoufnefs, in the ftead thereof? So that in places where dragons lay, is now green grafs, with fweet-fmelling flowers; and in the once parched, dead, dry, barren, defolate heaths, are now springs and flowings of the pure living water?

Friends; There is one, whom the Father hath fealed (and he is but one, yea the very fame in us all), in whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, and all the riches and fubftance of life; and we, through the mercy and goodness of the Lord, partake thereof, as we are gathered into him, found in him, and abide in him.

And now my friends; What hath differenced us from others, or why hath the Lord done this for us more than for others? Search your hearts, fee if any of you can find the cause thereof in yourfelves. Indeed I cannot. From my very heart I cannot but cry grace, grace! mercy, mercy! love, love (deep, tender love)! goodness, goodness! from the very first beginning, all along, throughout the whole carrying on of the work, to this day; and I have nothing elfe to hope in, or plead before my God. Do I believe? It is he gave me faith; yea, he putteth it forth, and caufeth it to act in me, or I eafily fail therein. Do I will that which is good in any kind? My will is of him, yea it is in him, and hath its creation, preferva tion, being, and ftrength from him. Do I obey or do that which is good? No, no, not I; but his life, power, and Spirit in me. Do I fuffer inwardly or outwardly? That is not of me neither, but he that hath given me to believe, he allo giveth me to fuffer, and beareth up my spirit in my fufferings, by his power, and for his name's fake. So that my heart faith (and I confidently believe he will, in his mercy and goodness, preferve me in that fenfe for ever), Not unto me, not unto me, in any one refpect, but to thy name, to thy holy name, to thy tender naine, to thy infinite bowels, and precious love and compaffions in every refpect, be the acknowledgment and praise given of what thou haft done, and yet doft, and wilt do in and for 'my foul, for ever and ever.

And now, my dear friends; As the Lord hath demonftrated the way of life unto you, fo that it is fealed in your fpirits, and ye have walked in it, and always met with, not only the promises of life, but even life itself therein; fo the Lord ftill watch over you, that nothing ever blind that eye in you, which alone can fee this way; and the Lord preferve you in uprightness of heart, that ye may fingly wait on him, for his farther manifefting of it in you and to you; and that he, by his living Spirit, would continually quicken and roufe up your fpirits, to walk diligently and faithfully therein; that fo ye may come to fee what ye have not yet feen, and to defire what ye have not desired, and may find your hearts and inheritances enlarged in the Lord. Ah! what is the world, or any worldly thing or intereft, in comparison of this! The Lord remove every fnare and every

ftumbling

ftumbling-block out of your way, and every weight and burthen from off your fpirits, that ye may run with joyfulness to the end of your courfe, and may enter into the full kingdom and poffeffion of life. Ye have received already that which is all; but ye muft wait for the farther opening and fpreading of it in you, and your farther growth into it. The Lord's foul hath travailed for you, and his faithful meffengers have likewife travailed and fought after your fouls, and your fouls have travailed, and mourned, and waited, and gone through temptations and trials of many kinds, and had a taste of the true peace, the true holiness, the true righteoufness, the true joy, even the joy of the everlafting kingdom. Now the Lord God' preferve you, that nothing may interrupt or come between you and that, wherein ye have felt him, and wherein is his riches and fulness; but that ye may always feel that, and abide faithful to the Lord in that, wherein. the prefervation and growth unto life eternal alone is witneffed.

And friends; Put the Lord in mind, that as he hath pleafed to manifest the way, and fhew that clearly unto you, whereby the heart is joined to him and preserved in him; fo he would pleafe, of his free and tender mercy, to add this also, even to give upright hearts and entire fpirits, to abide with him in that principle of life wherein he hath gathered you, and to watch unto, and be faithful to, all his warnings, drawings, movings, and leadings, that his Spirit may have no matter of grief against you, but it may be the delight of his foul to do you good continually, and to answer the defire of your fouls in every thing that ye breathe unto him for; that: the Lord may not be afhamed to own you to be his people, and ye may feel with joy, and abundant confolation, that he is your God. And this will: be enough in all the tribulations, afflictions, and trials that ye meet with, either inwardly or outwardly. So the God of love and peace preferve you, in that wherein is fellowship with him, and in which his life, love, joy, and peace naturally and delightfully fpring up, and flow into the foul. Amen, Amen.

Written in Aylesbury goal, about the Ninth and Tenth of the, Twelfth Month,, 1666..

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EPISTLE

EPISTLE

IV.

For Friends of our MEETING, and thereabouts.

DEAR FRIENDS,

I
AM deeply fenfible that it is a day of trouble, rebuke, and distress, to
the Ifrael of God. The Lord hath pitched his pure, living tent, and
begun to build up his beloved city; the Lord hath indeed had mercy upon
Sion, and favoured the ruins and defolations thereof. But the malice and
rage of the enemy is great, who feeketh to compass the tent of the holy
and the beloved city, that he may lay waste and deftroy the work and heri-
tage of God. Now all that feel life, all that are of the true birth, all that
know the feed; oh! abide, live, and breathe in the feed, that ye may come
forth in the true life, and in the ftrength of God's holy Spirit (with ftrong
cries and tears, with innocency and righteousness, with meekness and patience,
&c.), to the help of the Lord against the mighty. We have no ftrength
but our God, nor is our expectation from man (whofe breath is in his nof-
trils, who is to be ceased from); but we believe the voice, that not by
ftrength, nor by man's power, but by my Spirit, faith the Lord of hofts,
fhall this work of his be preferved and go on. Therefore every one wait to
feel the feed travail and cry daily to the Father, that fo the fpirit of dark-
nefs may be hindered, and by the power of life withstood, in all its enter-
prizes against the children of light. Oh! let the condition of Jerufalem
be written upon every one's heart; and as members of the living body,
feel the wants, afflictions, and diftreffes of your fellow-members day by
day. And let every one fay in fpirit;

Lord, take care of all thy children. Ob! thou tender Father, confider what they fuffer for the testimony of thy truth, and for thy name's fake, and uphold them, and give them victory, and an boly dominion over all, because it belongs to thy feed into which thou haft gathered them, and in which thou haft united them to thyself. Ob! carry on thy glorious work, which thy own mighty arm bath begun, and cut it short in righteousness for thine Elect's fake, that it may be finished by thee, to thine own everlasting praife. Thy children wait on thee, the cry to thee day and night, that they may be preferved by thee in the well-doing, and in the pure, boly, innocent fufferings for thy truth's fake; until thou fay, It is enough, until thy holy Spirit fay, It is finished: my lambs, ye shall suffer more, but now ye shall reign with me and my Son for ever.

My dear friends, it is now the time of prayer, and of waiting upon, and hoping in, the Lord, who knoweth and confidereth all our conditions. If any be afflicted, let him pray. We are afflicted, we are oppreffed without

cause

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