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God, and by it we are continued in the unity of the faith, and the bond of peace. No envying, no bitterness, no strife, can have place with us. We shall watch always for good, and not for evil, one over another; and rejoice exceedingly, and not begrudge at one another's increase in the riches of the grace with which God replenisheth his faithful


And, brethren, as to you is committed the dispensation of the oracles of God, which give you frequent opportunities, and great place, with the people among whom you travel, I beseech you that you would not think it sufficient to declare the word of life in their assemblies, however edifying and comfortable such opportunities may be to you and them: but, as was the practice of the man of God before-mentioned, in great measure, when among us, inquire the state of the several churches you visit; who among them are afflicted or sick, who are tempted, and if any are unfaithful or obsti nate; and endeavour to issue those things in the wisdom and power of God, which will be a glorious crown upon your ministry. As that prepares your way in the hearts of the people, to receive you as men of God, so it gives you credit with them to do them good by your advice in other respects; the afflicted will be comforted by you, the tempted strengthened, the sick refreshed, the unfaithful convicted and restored, and such as are obstinate, softened and fitted for reconciliation, which is clinching the nail, and applying and fastening the general testimony, by this particular care of the several branches of it, in reference to them more immediately concerned in it.

For though good and wise men, and elders too, may reside in such places, who are of worth and importance in the general, and in other places; yet it does not always follow, that they may have the room they deserve in the hearts of the people they live among; or some particular occasion may make it unfit for him or them to use that authority. But you that travail as God's messengers, if they receive you in the greater, shall they refuse you in the less? And if they own the general testimony, can they withstand the particular application of it, in their own cases? Thus, ye will show yourselves workmen indeed, and carry your business before you, to the praise of his name, that hath called you from darkness to light, that you might turn others from Satan's power unto God and his kingdom, which is within. And O that there were more of such faithful labourers in the vineyard of the Lord! Never more need, since the day of God.

Wherefore I cannot but cry and call aloud to you, that

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have been long professors of the truth, and know the truth in the convincing power of it, and have had a sober conversation among men, yet content yourselves only to know truth for yourselves, to go to meetings, and exercise an ordinary charity in the church, and an honest behaviour in the world, and limit yourselves within those bounds; feeling little or no concern upon your spirits for the glory of the Lord in the prosperity of his truth in the earth, more than to be glad that others succeed in such service: arise ye, in the name and power of the Lord Jesus! Behold how white the fields are unto harvest, in this and other nations, and how few able and faithful labourers there are to work therein! Your country folks, neighbours, and kindred, want to know the Lord and his truth, and to walk in it. Does nothing lie at your door upon their account? Search and see, and lose no time, I beseech you, for the Lord is at hand.

I do not judge you; there is One that judgeth all men, and his judgment is true. You have mightily increased in your outward substance: may you equally increase in your inward riches, and do good with both, while you have a day to do good. Your enemies would once have taken what you had from you, for his name's sake, in whom you have believed; wherefore he has given you much of the world, in the face of your enemies. But, O, let it be your servant, and not your master! Your diversion, rather than your business! Let the Lord be chiefly in your eye, and ponder your ways, and see if God has nothing more for you to do: and if you find yourself short in your account with him, then wait for his preparation, and be ready to receive the word of command, and be not weary of well-doing, when you have put your hand to the plough; and assuredly you shall reap, if you faint not, the fruit of your heavenly labour in God's everlasting kingdom.

And, you young-convinced ones, be you intreated and exhorted to a diligent and chaste waiting upon God, in the way of his blessed manifestation and appearance of himself to you. Look not out, but within: let not another's liberty be your snare neither act by imitation, but sense and feeling of God's power in yourselves: crush not the tender buddings of it in your souls, nor over-run, in your desires, and warmness of affections, the holy and gentle motions of it. Remember it is a still voice, that speaks to us in this day; and that it is not to be heard in the noises and hurries of the mind; but it is distinctly understood in a retired frame. Jesus loved and chose solitudes; often going to mountains, gardens, and. sea-sides; to avoid crowds and hur

ries, to show his disciples it was good to be solitary, and sit loose to the world. Two enemies lie near your states, imagination and liberty; but the plain, practical, living, holy truth, that has convinced you, will preserve you, if you mind it in yourselves, and bring all thoughts, inclinations, and affections, to the test of it, to see if they are wrought in God, or of the enemy, or your ownselves: so will a true taste, discerning, and judgment, be preserved to you, of what should do and leave undone. And in your diligence and faithfulness in this way you will come to inherit substance; and Christ, the eternal wisdom, will fill your treasury. And when you are converted, as well as convinced, then confirm your brethren; and be ready to every good word and work, that the Lord shall call you to; that you may be to his praise, who has chosen you to be partakers, with the saints in light, of a kingdom that cannot be shaken, an inheritance incorruptible in eternal habitations.

And now, as for you, that are the children of God's people, a great concern is upon my spirit, for your good and often are my knees bowed to the God of your fathers, for you, that you may come to be partakers of the same divine life and power, that have been the glory of this day; that a generation you may be to God," an holy nation, and a peculiar people, zealous of good works," when all our heads are laid in the dust. O you young men and women! Let it not suffice you, that you are the children of the people of the Lord; you must also be born again, if you will inherit the kingdom of God. Your fathers are but such after the flesh, and could but beget you into the likeness of the first Adam; but you must be begotten into the likeness of the second Adam, by aspiritual generation, or you will not, you cannot, be of his children or offspring. And, therefore, look carefully about you, O ye children of the children of God! consider your standing, and see what you are, in relation to this divine kindred, family, and birth! Have you obeyed the light, and received and walked in the Spirit, which is the incorruptible seed of the word and kingdom of God, of which you must be born again. God is no respecter of persons. The father cannot save or answer for the child, or the child for the father; but in the sin thou sinnest thou shalt die; and in the righteousness thou dost, through Christ Jesus, thou shalt live; for it is the willing and obedient that shall eat the good of the land. "Be not deceived, God is not mocked; such as all nations and people sow, such they shall reap at the hand of the just God." And then your many and great privileges, above the children of other people, will add weight in the scale against

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you, if you choose not the way of the Lord. For you have. had "line upon line, precept upon precept," and not only good doctrine, but good example; and, which is more, you have been turned to, and acquainted with, a principle in yourselves, which others have been ignorant of: and you know you may be as good as you please, without the fear of frowns and blows, or being turned out of doors, and forsaken of father and mother, for God's sake, and his holy religion, as has been the case of some of your fathers, in the day they first entered into this holy path. And if you, after hearing and seeing the wonders that God has wrought in the deliverance and preservation of them, through a sea of troubles, and the manifold temporal, as well as spiritual blessings, that he has filled them with, in the sight of their enemies, should neglect and turn their backs upon so great and near a salvation, you would not only be most ungrateful children to God and them, but must expect that God will call the children of those that knew him not, to take the crown out of your hands, and that your lot will be a dreadful judgment at the hand of the Lord: but O that it may never be so with any of you! the Lord forbid! saith my soul.


Wherefore, O ye young men and women, look to the Rock of your fathers: there is no other God but him, no other light but his, no other grace but his, no Spirit but his, to convince you, quicken and comfort you; to lead, guide, and preserve you to God's everlasting kingdom: so will you be possessors, as well as professors, of the truth, embracing it not only by education, but judgment and conviction, from a sense begotten in your souls, through the operation of the eternal Spirit and power of God; by which you may come to be the seed of Abraham, through faith, and the "circumcision not made with hands;" and so heirs of the promise made to the fathers, of an incorruptible crown." That, as I said before, a generation you may be to God, holding up the profession of the blessed truth in the life and power of it. For formality in religion is nauseous to God and good men; and the more so, where any form and appearance has been new and peculiar, and begun and practised, upon a principle, with an uncommon zeal and strictness. Therefore, I say, for you to fall flat and formal, and continue the profession, without that salt and savour, by which it is come to obtain a good report among men, is not to answer God's love, or your parents' care, or the mind of truth in yourselves, or in those that are without: who, though they will not obey the truth, have sight and sense enough to see if they do that make a profession of it. For where the divine virtue of it is not felt in the soul, and VOL. III.

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waited for, and lived in, imperfections will quickly break out, and show themselves, and detect the unfaithfulness of such persons; and that their insides are not seasoned with the nature of that holy principle which they profess. Wherefore, dear children, let me intreat you to shut your eyes at the temptations and allurements of this low and perishing world, and not suffer your affections to be captivated by those lusts and vanities, that your fathers, for the truth's sake, long since turned their backs upon but as you believe it to be the truth, receive it into your hearts, that you may become the children of God: so that it may never be said of you, as the evangelist writes of the Jews in his time, that "Christ," the true light, "came to his own, but his own received him not: but to as many as received him, to them he gave power to become the children of God; which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." A most close and comprehensive passage to this occasion. You exactly, and peculiarly, answer to those professing Jews, in that you bear the name of God's people, by being the children, and wearing the form of God's people: and he, by his light in you, may be very well said to come to his own; and if you obey it not, but turn your back upon it, and walk after the vanities of your minds, you will be of those that received him not; which I pray God may never be your case and judgment. But that you may be thoroughly sensible of the many and great obligations you lie under to the Lord for his love, and to your parents for their care and with all your heart, and all your soul, and all your strength, turn to the Lord, to his gift and Spirit in you, and hear his voice, and obey it, that you may seal to the testimony of your fathers, by the truth and evidence of your own experience; that your children's children may bless you, and the Lord for you, as those that delivered a faithful example, as well as record, of the truth of God unto them. So will the grey hairs of your dear parents, yet alive, "go down to the grave with joy," to see you the posterity of truth, as well as theirs; and that not only their nature, but spirit, shall live in you when they are gone.

I shall conclude this account with a few words to those that are not of our communion, into whose hands this may come especially those of our own nation.

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