Page images
PDF
EPUB

being affected with the testimony of truth in the meeting, he came afterwards to have some discourse with me; and after we had been some time together, and I had opened things further to him, he went away very tender and loving.

While I was at Amsterdam, I spent much of my time in writing books, papers, or epistles on truth's behalf. I wrote several epistles from Amsterdam to Friends in England and elsewhere, on several occasions, as the Lord moved me by his Spirit thereunto. I wrote also from thence, “A Warning to the Inhabitants of the City of Oldenburg, which was lately burnt down;" also, “A Warning to the Inhabitants of the City of Hamburg," both of which were as follows: "A Warning to the Magistrates and People of the City of Oldenburg.

“FRIENDS, "Have you not seen and felt the judgments of God upon your city, the Lord sending lightning from heaven that destroyed and burnt it? As I passed through your city on a First-day of the week, which you call your Sabbath, I saw some drinking, and soldiers playing at shuffleboard, and others with their shops open and trading, when they should have been waiting upon God and worshipping him; and your people were light and vain, without any sense of God's judgments or repentance. O therefore repent, lest the all-seeing God, who sees all your actions and is over all, bring swift judgment upon you in his wrath, fury, and indignation. Repent, and lay aside all manner of evil and wickedness, ungodliness, and unrighteousness; for the day of the Lord will come upon all that do evil, all the workers of iniquity. This mighty day of the Lord will find them all out, and will burn as an oven, and burn up all the proud and wicked, and neither leave them root nor branch. Therefore, all ye magistrates, priests, and people, search in yourselves to find out the cause, and what evil you have committed, that has brought the wrath, vengeance, and judgment of God upon you and your city, in burning it. All return, and come to the light of Christ in your hearts, and to God's Spirit, and to the grace and truth in your hearts, that comes by Jesus Christ; that with it ye may search your hearts. Do not grieve, nor vex, nor quench God's good Spirit in your hearts, and walk not despitefully against the Spirit of grace, nor turn from it into wantonness; and yet make a profession of God and Christ in words, when your hearts are afar off, living in pleasures and wantonly upon the earth, sporting yourselves, killing the just, crucifying to yourselves Christ afresh, and putting him to open shame; and so dishonouring God, and Christ, and Christianity, and making a profession and a trade of the Scriptures, keeping people always learning, that they may be always paying.

“Cease from man, whose breath is in his nostrils, and look unto the Lord, all ye ends of the earth, and be saved; for the Lord God of heaven and carth is come, to teach his people himself by his light, Spirit, grace, and truth, and to bring them off all the world's teachers. God hath raised up Christ Jesus, his Prophet, whom people should hear; and saith, “This is my beloved Son, hear ye Him;' and Christ saith, 'Learn of me, I am

the way, the truth, and the life; and no man comes to the Father, but by me. There is no salvation by any other name under the whole heaven than by the name of Jesus, who saith, 'I am the good Shepherd, and have laid down my life for my sheep; and my sheep hear my voice and follow me, and will not follow the hireling; for Christ feeds them in the pastures of life, that will never wither. God hath anointed Christ Jesus to preach, if you will hear him; and God liath given Christ for a Counsellor and a Leader, if you will be led and counselled by him; and God hath given Christ for a Bishop to oversee you, and a King to rule you, if you will be overseen and ruled by him. You that will not have Christ to rule over you, who never sinned, nor was guile found in his mouth, you may read his sentence in the New Testament upon such. Is not Christ a sufficient teacher, whose blood was shed for you, and who tasted death for every man? Doth not Christ say to his ministers, Freely ye have received, freely give ?' And the apostle saith, “We covet no man's gold, silver, or apparel.' They laboured with their hands, and kept the gospel without charge. Have they that are called ministers amongst you done the same, and kept this command of Christ Jesus ? Let them be examined and examine themselves. Have you not trimmed your outsides? but look within with the light and Spirit of Christ Jesus, and see if your insides be not black and foul. For Christ Jesus, who doth enlighten every man that cometh into the world, with the life in himself, saith, Believe in the light, that ye may become children of the light. With the light ye may see all the evil and ungodly deeds that ye have committed; all your ungodly words you have spoken ; and all your ungodly thoughts ye think; that ye may turn from them to Christ, from whom the light comes; who is your Saviour and Redeemer, who hath given you a light to see your sin, and that you are dead in Adam ; that with the same light you may see Christ, the quickening Spirit, who makes you alive to God, and saves you from your sin. But if you hate the light, which is the life in Christ, the Prince of Life, and love the darkness and the prince of darkness more than the light or the life in Christ, because it will reprove you; Christ tells you, This light will be your condemnation,' John iii.

Therefore be warned now in your day, and while you have time, turn to the Lord. Do not quench the Spirit of the Father, by which he draws to his Son; nor hate the light of Christ; for if you do, you hate the life in Christ, and so remain under condemnation from God and Christ with the light, who now speaks to his people by his Son, as he did in the apostles' days; the same God, that was the speaker by the prophets to the fathers, and speaker to Adam and Eve in Paradise; and happy had Adam and Eve, and the Jews, and all Christians been, if they had kept to this speaker, and not followed the serpent, that false speaker, and his instruments. And now God is the true speaker by his Son, who bruises the head of the serpent, the false teacher, who is the head of all false ways, false prophets, false churches, and false religions and worships. So God in Christ is bringing people to the pure and undefiled religion, that will keep them from the spots of the world, into the new and living way, Christ Jesus; and to the church in God, which Christ is the lead of, as he was in the apostles' days; and to worship God in the Spirit and in truth, which worship Christ set up above sixteen hundred years since. Therefore must ah people come to the grace and Spirit of truth in their own hearts, to know the God of truth, who is a Spirit; and in the Spirit and truth to worship, serve, honour, and glorify the living God, who is over all, and worthy of all, blessed for evermore. Amen.

“Ye inagistrates and officers, read this in all your assemblics, and cause all your priests to read it in their churches; that they and you, and all people may hear and fear the God of heaven, as you will answer it at the great and terrible day of judgment, and vengeance of the Lord God Almighty. This is in love to your souls, and for your temporal and eternal

G. T. Amsterdam, the 19th of the 7th Month, 1077. A Warning to the Magistrates, Priests, and People, of the City of Han

burg, to humble themselves before the Lord, and not be high-minded.

good.

"FRIENDS,

“ You have painted and garnished the inside of your outward houses and high places; but look within your hearts with the light of Christ, which he hath enlightened you and every man that cometh into the world withal, and with it you may see how foul your hearts and insides are with sin and evil, which Christ tells you ye should make clean; who told the Pharisees how they painted the sepulchres of the righteous, and they themselves were full of rottenness and corruption. Therefore look into yourselves, and your own hearts, what you are full of. To paint the sepulchres of the righteous apostles, and make a trade and a profession of their words, without the same Holy Ghost, and power, and light, and truth which they were in, will not stand the day of God's vengeance. Therefore repent while you have time, turn to the Lord with your whole hearts, and do not think yourselves secure, without his immediate, almighty protection. For not all your works, nor all your own strength, and power, and defence, can protect you; it is not for you to look at them, and think yourselves secure, to sit down in your security, and in it let your hearts be merry, and at rest and ease. But when the Lord brings a scourge upon you, that you are filled with terrors and fears, remember you were warned, that you were sct down, but not in the true rest. Then all your own strength and force will stand you in no stead ; and you will acknowledge that it must be God that must protect you. Therefore take warning; for your priests and people are too high, and are swallowed up too much in this world. The vanities of it carry your minds away from God, and your carc is more for the world than for God, and more after the riches of this world, than after the riches of the world that has no end. Know you not, that all your heaps of outward treasure must have an end, and that you must leave them all behind you? Therefore I am to warn and advise you, both high and low, priests and people, to come to the grace, light, and truth, that comes by Jesus Christ; to the manifestation of the good Spirit of God, which is given to you to profit withal; that with this grace, and truth, light, and Spirit of Christ, you may turn to Christ Jesus, from whicnce it comes, who

saitli, 'Learn of mc;' and God saith, “This is my beloved Son, hear ye Him. So all the children of the new covenant, that walk in the new and living way, lear Christ their Prophet, that God has raised up, and anointed to be their Teacher and Priest. So now, God doth speak to his people by his Son, as he did in the apostles' days. The Lord is come to teach his people himself by his grace, light, truth, and Spirit, and to bring them off all the world's teachers that are made by men since the apostles' days; who have kept people always learning, that they may be always paying them. He is come to bring them off all the world's religions, to the religion that he set up in the apostles' days, in the new covenant, which is pure and undefiled before God in his sight, and keeps from the spots of the world, &c. And the Lord is come to bring them off all the world's churches, to the church in God, which Christ the heavenly man is head of; and to bring them off all the world's worships, to worship God iu Spirit and in truth, which Christ set up above sixteen hundred years since. So all men and women must come to the Spirit and trutlı in their hearts, by which they must know the God of truth, who is a Spirit; and then in the Spirit and in truth they will worslıip him, and know what and whom they worship. Also the Lord is come to bring his people off all the world's temples, that with the Spirit they may know their bodies to be the temples of the Holy Ghost. And the Lord is come to bring his people off all the world's crosses, pictures, images, and likenesscs, to know that the power of God is the cross of Christ, which crucifies them to the world, and brings them up into the likeness and image of God, that man and woman were in before tliey fell ; and so to Christ that never fell. This work must all know in their hearts, by the light of Christ Jesus, who is the true light, that ligliteth every man that cometh into the world. It is called the light in man and woman, and the life in Christ the Word : and Christ saith, 'Believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. And the light lets you see all your evil actions, that you have committed; your ungodly ways you liave walked in; and your ungodly words and thoughts. If you hate this light, and love the darkness, and the prince of it, more than this light, which is the life in Christ, the Prince of Life, and will not come to it, because your deeds are evil, it will reprove you ; Christ tells you, this light is your condemnation. Then what is all your profession good for, when you remain under the condemnation of the true light, in which you should believe; and so become children of light, and out of condemnation ? Therefore every one must believe in the light, if they receive Christ Jesus ; and as many as receive him, he gives them power to become the sons of God. He that hath the Son of God, hath life; and they that have not the Son of God, have not life: if then you have not life, what good doth all your profession of the Scriptures from Genesis to Revelations do you, any more than the Jews, Scribes, and Pharisees, that would not receive Christ the life, upon whom God brought his overflowing scourge. Therefore do you take heed, for your strength will be no better than theirs, if you have not God and Christ's supporting power, when God's scourge comes upon you, and you are filled with horrors and fears. My desires are, that you may all repent, even from the highest to the lowest, and not grieve, nor quench, nor vex, nor rebel against, God's good Spirit in you, por 'walk despitefully against the Spirit of Grace,' which would teach you, and bring your salvation; nor turn from it unto wantonness. If you do, how can you escape the overflowing scourge of the Almighty, and the wrath of the Lamb? My desires are, that you may all obey God's good Spirit of truth, which will lead you out of all evil into all truth, and reprove you for your own righteousness, and for your own judgment and sin. It will bring you to cleave to that which is good, to forsake that which is evil, and to turn to the Lord, who will receive you in his mercy and kindness; by which means you may escape the overflowing scourge in the day of vengeance, which dreadful day is coming upon all evil-doers. This is a warning to you, both for your temporal and eternal good; to read in your assemblies, and your priests in their churches, that all people may hear and fear; as you will answer it at the terrible and dreadful day of judgment."

G. F. Amsterdam, the 19th of the 7th Month, 1677.

I wrote also an Epistle to the ambassadors that were treating about a peace at Nimeguen, * as follows: For the Ambassadors, that are met to treat for Peace at the City of

Nimeguen, in the States' dominions. “CHRIST JEsus saith, ‘Blessed are the peace-makers, for they shall be called the children of God;' Matt. v. 9, so all Christian men are to forsake evil, and do good, to seek peace and follow it, if they will love life, and see good days,' 1 Pet. iii. 11. God hath called all true Christians unto peace, 1 Cor. vii., and therefore all Christians ought to follow this peace, which God calls them to. They should let the peace of God rule in all their hearts; which is above the peace of this world, that is so soon broken. For the apostle commands the Christians to let the peace of God rule in their hearts, to which all Christians should be subject. The practice of this should be among all that profess Christianity; and this peace is above that, which . Christ takes from the earth, Rev. vi., which is the peace of the wicked. And the apostle saith to the Christians, Be at peace among yourselves,' 1 Thess. V. Now all Christians should obey this command, and be at peace among themselves; not in wars and strife. And further, the apostle exhorts the Christians to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.' So this unity, this bond of peace, should be kept (and not be broken) by all that bear that noble name, Christian. They should keep the unity of the Spirit of Christ in the bond of the Prince of princes, King

* These ambassadors were deputies from the King of France, the United Nether. lands, and several other potentates of Europe, who met to consult the peace of Christendom. George Fox's Epistle to them was translated and printed in Latin. Robert Barclay also wrote a treatise in Latin, which was addressed and presented to each of the ambassadors, with a copy of his principal work, An Apology for the True Christian Divinity. In the former, Barclay strongly urged them to promote the good work for which they were assembled, pointing out the true causes of war, and its incompatibility with Christian principles. Before the year ended, a peace was concluded.

« PreviousContinue »