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priests and professors, and some great persons of her kindred were exasperated, and wrote letters to her. She being a wise and tender woman, and fearing to give them any advantage, sent their letters to me; and I answered them, and returned them to her again, for her to answer. Which she did: till growing in the power, and Spirit, and wisdom of God, she came herself to be able to answer the wisest priest and professor of them all; and had a dominion over them in the truth, through the power of the Lord, by which she was kept faithful to her death.
While I was in prison here, the Baptists and Fifth-monarchy-men prophesied, “That this year Christ should come, and reign upon earth a thousand years."
And they looked upon this reign to be outward; when he was come inwardly in the hearts of his people, to reign and rule there, and these professors would not thus receive him. So they failed in their prophecy and expectation, and had not the possession of him. But Christ is come, and doth dwell in the hearts of his people, and reign there. Thousands, at the door of whose hearts he hath been knocking, have opened to him; and he is coine in, and doth sup with them and they with him; the heavenly supper with the heavenly and spiritual man. So many of these Baptist and Monarchy-people turned the greatest enemies to the professors of Christ; but he reigns in the hearts of his saints over all their envy.
At the assize divers justices came to us and were pretty civil, and reasoned of the things of God soberly, expressing a pity towards us. Captain Fox, governor of Pendennis Castle, came and looked me in the face, and said not a word; but went to his company, and told them, “he never saw a simpler man in his life.” I called after him, and said, “Stay, we will see who is the simpler man. But he went his way; a light chaffy man.
Thomas Lower * also came to visit us, and offered us money, which we refused ; accepting his love nevertheless. He asked us many questions concerning our denying the Scriptures to be the word of God; and concerning the sacraments, and such like; to all which he received satisfaction. I spoke particularly to him, and he afterwards said, “my words were as a flash of lightning, they ran so through him.” He said, “he never met with such men in his life; for they knew the thoughts of his heart, and were as the wise master-builders of the assemblies, that fastened their words like nails." He came to be convinced of the truth, and remains a Friend to this day. When he came home to his aunt Hambley's, where he then lived, and made report to her concerning us, she, with her sister Grace Billing, hearing the report of truth, came to visit us in prison, and was convinced also. Great sufferings and spoiling of goods both he and his aunt have undergone for the truth's sake.
About this time I was moved to give forth the following exhortation to Friends in the ministry:
“FRIENDS, "In the power of life and wisdom, and dread of the Lord God of life, and heaven, and earth, dwell; that in the wisdom of God over all ye may
* Thomas Lower was son-in-law to Judge Fell, having married his daughter Mary,
be preserved, and be a terror to all the adversaries of God, and a dread, answering that of God in them all, spreading the truth, awakening the witness, confounding deceit, gathering out of transgression into the life, the covenant of light and peace with God. Let all nations hear the sound by word or writing. Spare no place, spare no tongue, nor pen; but be obedient to the Lord God; go through the work; be valiant for the truth upon earth; and tread and trample upon all that is contrary. Ye have the power, do not abuse it; and strength and presence of the Lord, eye it, and the wisdom; that with it you may all be ordered to the glory of the Lord God. Keep in the dominion; keep in the power over all deceit; tread over them in that which lets you see to the world's end, and the uttermost parts of the earth. Reign and rule with Christ, whose sceptre and throne are now set up, whose dominion is over all to the ends of the earth ; whose dominion is an everlasting dominion; whose throne is an everlasting throne; whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom; and whose power is above all powers. Therefore this is the word of the Lord God to you all : keep in the wisdom of God, that spreads over all the earth; the wisdom of the creation, that is pure, from above, not destructive. For now shall salvation go out of Zion, to judge the mount of Esau : and now shall the law go forth from Jerusalem, to answer the principle of God in all; to hew down all inventors and inventions. For all the princes of the earth are but as air to the power of the Lord God, which you are in, and have tasted of: therefore live in it; this is the word of the Lord God to you all, do not abuse it; keep down and low; and take heed of false joys, that will change.
“Bring all into the worship of God. Flough up the fallow ground. Thrash and get out the corn; that the seed, the wheat, may be gathered into the barn; that to the beginning all people may come—to Christ, who was, before the world was made. For the chaff is come upon the wheat by transgression; he that treads it out, is out of transgression, and fathoms transgression; puts a difference between the precious and the vile ; and can pick out the wheat from the tares, and gather into the garner: so brings to the lively hope, the immortal soul into God, out of which it came. None worship God but who come to the principle of God, which they have transgressed. None are ploughed up but he who comes to the principle of God in him, that he hath transgressed. Then he doth service to God; then is the planting and the watering; and the increase from God cometh. So the ministers of the Spirit must minister to the Spirit that is in prison, which hath been in captivity in every one; that with the Spirit of Christ, people may be led out of captivity up to God, the Father of Spirits, do service to him, and have unity with him, with the Scriptures, and one with another. This is the word of the Lord God to you all, and a charge to you all in the presence of the living God; be patterns, be examples in all your countries, places, islands, nations, wherever you come; that your carriage and life may preach among all sorts of people, and to them: then you will come to walk cheerfully over the world, answering that of God in every one; whereby in them ye may be a blessing, and make the witness of God in them to bless you: then to the Lord God you will be a sweet savour, and a blessing.
“Spare no deceit. Lay the sword upon it; go over it: keep yourselves clear of the blood of all men, either by word, or writing; and keep your. selves clean, that you may stand in your throne, and every one have his lot, and stand in the lot in the Ancient of Days. The blessing of the Lord be with you, and keep you over all the idolatrous worships and worshippers. Let them know the living God; for teachings, churches, worships, set up by man's earthly understanding, knowledge, and will, must be thrown down by the power of the Lord God. All this must be overthrown by that which gave forth Scripture; and who are in that, reign over it all: that is the word of the Lord God to you all. In that is God worshipped, that brings to declare his will; and brings to the church in God, the ground and pillar of truth: for now has the mighty day of the Lord appeared, and the arrows of the Almighty are gone forth, which shall stick in the hearts of the wicked. Now will I arise, saith the Lord God Almighty, to trample and thunder down deceit, which hath long reigned, and stained the earth: now will I have my glory out of every one.
The Lord God Almighty over all in his strength and power keep you, to his glory, that you may come to answer that of God in every one. Proclaim the mighty day of the Lord of fire and sword, who will be worshipped in spirit and in truth; and keep in the life and power of the Lord God, that the inhabitants of the earth may tremble before you; that the Lord's power and majesty may be admired among the hypocrites and heathens, and ye in the wisdom, dread, life, terror, and dominion preserved to his glory: that nothing may rule or reign, but power and life itself; and in the wisdom of God ye may be preserved in it. This is the word of the Lord God to you all. The call is now out of transgression; the Spirit bids, come. The call is now from all false worships and gods, and from all inventions and dead works, to serve the living God. The call is to repentance, to amendment of life, whereby righteousness may be brought forth ; which shall go throughout the earth. Therefore
that are chosen and faithful, who are with the Lamb, go through your work faithfully, and in the strength and power of the Lord: and be obedient to the power; for that will save you out of the hands of unreasonable men, and preserve you over the world to himself. Hereby you may live in the kingdom, that stands in power, which hath no end ; where glory and life is."
After the assizes, the sheriff, with some soldiers, came to guard a woman to execution, that was sentenced to die; and we had much discourse with them. One of them wickedly said, that “Christ was as passionate a man as any that lived upon the earth ;" for which we rebuked him. An. other time we asked the jailer what doings there were at the sessions ; and he said, “Small matters; only about thirty for bastardy." We thought it very strange, that they who professed themselves Christians should make small matters of such things. But this jailer was very bad himself; I often admonished him to sobriety; but he abused people that came to visit us.
Edward Pyot had a cheese sent him from Bristol by his wife; and the jailer took it from him, and carried it to the mayor, to search it for treasonable letters, as he said; and though they found no treason in the him;
cheese, they kept it from us. This jailer might have been rich if he had carried himself civilly; but he sought his own ruin; which soon after came upon for the next year he was turned out of his place, and for some wickedness cast into the jail himself; and there begged of our Friends. And for some unruliness in his conduct, he was, by the succeeding jailer, put into Doomsdale, locked in irons, and beaten; and bid to “remember how he had abused those good men, whom he had wickedly, without any cause, cast into that nasty dungeon;" and told, " that now he deservedly should suffer for his wickedness; and the same measure he had meted to others, should be meted out to himself.” He became very poor, and died in prison; and his wife and family came to misery.
While I was in prison in Launceston, a friend went to Oliver Cromwell, and offered himself, body for body, to lie in Doomsdale in
stead; if he would take him, and let me have liberty. Which thing so struck him, that he said to his great men and council
, “Which of you would do so much for me if I were in the same condition?” And though he did not accept of the Friend's offer, but said, “ he could not do it, for that it was contrary to law;" yet the truth thereby came mightily over him. A good while after this he sent down Major-General Desborough, pretending to set us at liberty. When he came, he offered us our liberty, if we would say,
go home, and preach no more ;" but we could not promise him. Then he urged, that we should promise “to go home, if the Lord permitted ;" whereupon Edward Pyot wrote him the following letter:
“ To Major-General Desborough. “FRIEND, “Though much might be said as to the liberty of Englishmen to travel in any part of the nation of England, it being as the Englishman's house by the law, and he to be protected in any part of it; and if he transgress the law, the penalty upon the transgressor is to be inflicted. And as to liberty of conscience, which is a natural right, and a fundamental; the exercise of it, by those who profess faith in God by Jesus Christ, is to be protected; as by the instrument of government appears, though they differ in doctrine, worship, and discipline; provided the liberty extend not to Popery, to prelacy, nor to licentiousness. Where these rights, which are the price of much blood and treasure in the late wars, are denied us, our liberty is infringed. Yet in the power of God over all, by which all are to be ruled, are we, and in it dwell
, and by it alone are guided to do the will of God; whose will is free; and we, in the freedom of his will, walk by the power, either as it commands or permits, without any
condition or enforcement thereunto by men; but as the power moves either by command or permission. And although we cannot covenant or condition to go forth of these parts, or to do this or that thing, if the Lord permit (for that were to do the will of man by God's permission), yet it is probable we may pass forth from these parts in the liberty of the will of God, as we may be severally moved, guided by the pure power, and not of necessity. We, who were first committed, were passing homewards when we were apprehended; and, as far as I know, we might pass, if the prison doors were commanded to be opened, and we freed of our bonds. Should we stay, if the Lord commands us to go; or should we go, if the Lord commands us to stay; or having no command to stay, but being permitted to pass from hence, the pure power moving thereto, and yet we stay; or go, when as before commanded to stay; we should then be wanderers
for such are wanderers, who wander out from the will and power of God, abroad, at large, in their own wills and earthly minds. And so, in the fear of the Lord God, well weigh and consider, with the just weight and just balance, that justice thou mayest do to the just and innocent in prison."
Some time having elapsed after the foregoing was delivered him, and he not giving any order for our discharge, I also wrote to him, as follows:
“ To Major-General Desborough. “FRIEND, “ We who are in the power God, the ruler and upholder of all things, who know and dwell in his power, to it we must be obedient; which brings us to stand out of all men's wills, unlimited. To say, 'we will, if the Lord permit,' in a case of buying and selling to get gain, if the intent be so to do, may be done; but we standing in the power of God to do his will, and to stand out of man's will, if man propose, we shall have our liberty if we will say we will go to our outward home, if the Lord permit, or if it be the will of God;' and because we cannot say these words in this case, shall not have our liberty, when we know that the will of God is, we shall 'go to speak at some other place;' here we cannot say these words truly. For to say, 'we will go to our outward habitation, if it be according to the will of God,' when we know the will of God is otherwise, we cannot speak so truly and clearly. Neither can any man say so to him, that requires it of him; who stands in the power, and knows the power of God to lead him, according to God's will, when it leads him to another place than his outward home. But the Son of God, who came to do, and did, the will of God, had no place whereon to lay his head; and the apostles, and many of the followers of Christ, had no certain dwellingplace. Now, if these should have been restrained, because they could not say, they would go to their outward homes, if it were the will of God, when they knew it was the will of God they should not; and they could not do the will of God in doing so; and therefore could not speak those words to satisfy man's mind and will, would not such restraint have been evil ? Abraham could not do the will of God, but in going from his native country; and who are of faith are of Abraham, of whom Christ came according to the flesh. Now, if you allege, “this is to let all loose, and at liberty to idleness,' I say, no; such as are in the power of God, who do the will of God, come to receive his wisdom, by which all bis creatures were created; and by which they are used to his glory. This I shall say; whoever are moved by the Lord God of glory and power, to go to their outward habitations, such of us may go to our outward homes, and there be diligent in serving the Lord, that they may be a blessing from the Lord