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judgments! Why stand any of you gazing? Let none gaze or look out, I beseech you; that is the enemy's work, to weaken you within; but be ye retired, be ye centered in the Eternal One: and meditate upon the Lord, and his liv. ing pure law, that ye may be wise in heart, and travail in spirit for this poor land, and that for enemies as well as friends. The Lord is ready to hear you for this people, when you are ready to intercede: and I testify, Abraham is amongst you, God's friend, and his just Lot too; yea, Jacob that prevailed; and one that is greater than all, Jesus, the Lamb of God, whose blood speaketh better things than that of Abel, in whom is the mediation and atonement. Be therefore encouraged to wait upon the Lord, and to bow before him, and humbly to mediate, in the life of Jesus, with him: I know he will put it in your hearts so to do, if ye wait upon him; for he will not cast off this land, as he did Sodom; he hath a right seed, a noble people in it, that he hath and yet will gather: many sheep there be, not yet of our fold, whom he will bring in; and the foul weather and the storms will but help to drive them home to Jesus, the living and true witness, and light within; that he, whom God hath ordained to reign, may be great in them.
And lastly, my dear friends and brethren, by how much this day draws nigh, by so much the more do ye stand loose in your affections to the world, but fast in the faith; and assemble yourselves together, and let God arise in you, and his power and spirit of life among you, that ye may not only wrestle, but in the end prevail, that it may be seen that "salvation is of the Jews," the Jews inward, in spirit and in truth and truly the time hastens, that "ten shall take hold of the skirt of such a Jew; and they shall be saved." But wo to the hypocrite in that day, the formalist, the Jew outward, the circumcision in the flesh, and fleshly Christian, that cannot resist the temptations of this world; the temporiser; one that runs with the tide; he will be divided: for there will be more tides, more interests on foot at once, than one: wherefore perplexity will take hold on him, his policy will be confounded; he will not know what to do to be safe, nor what to join with; this "double-minded man” will be unstable in his counsels and in his actions, his sandy foundation will be shaken. Therefore, as I said, Wo to the hypocrite, and to the covetous man too, for his god will fail him; the thief, the moth and rust will invade his bags, and surprize his treasure: his anguish will be great in this day: but, my dear brethren, as the power and spirit of our Lord God will preserve and establish us, if we sincerely and entirely confide therein, and that above our solicitation, or VOL. III.
need of carnal consultation or contrivances, which we have therefore laid aside; so shall it vindicate us, in due time, in the eyes of all nations, and present us a people owned, beloved, and protected of God, iu whom we have firmly believed. Nor is this presumption, as some may think: who being not so well acquainted with that entire resignation, and supreme faith (of which Jesus is the Author) that removes mountains into the sea, conclude, from mere natural and human considerations, against us; yet we know him in whom we have believed; and the same that hath cured us of our diseases, the same said unto us, “Arise, and walk in this way of faith; trust in me, and not in another." And truly, this is much of that wonder which men shall have in their minds and mouths about us in those latter days; In troubles not to be dejected, and in jeopardies not to be concerned to make to ourselves defences:' as the lilies, that neither toil nor spin, yet feed and grow, so we may both be preserved, and become victorious, without worldly force or projections: for we must show ourselves to be that little city and hill of God, that hath only his salvation for our walls and bulwarks; by whom he will renown his arm, and magnify his power, above the arts and contrivances of men. Our weapons and our armour is spiritual; it hath prevailed, and it will prevail, if we keep in the "faith which was first delivered to us:" a blessed shield, by which the just live.
And therefore, my dear friends, let us be careful not to mingle with the crowd, lest their spirit enter us, instead of our spirit entering them, and we thereby come to fall into the same temptations they are liable to, of fear, and flying to the hills and mountains to protect them, confiding in the arm of flesh to deliver them: no, no; they must come to us, we must not go to them. Yet can we not be insensible of their infirmities, as well as we shall not be free from some of their sufferings; we must make their case as our own, and travail alike in spirit for them as for ourselves. Let us stand in the counsel of our God, and he will make us preachers forth to them of the works of his divine power, and the virtue of that faith which comes from heaven; yea, he will make us as saviours to the people, that they may come to know the holy law and word of the Lord, their Creator, in their hearts, and have their minds and souls turned to him, and stayed upon him, that iniquity may no more abound, nor ungodliness find a place; but that in truth, righteousness, and peace, they may be established, and the land keep its sabbath to the Lord for ever! Then shall God lift up the "light of his countenance upon us,'
and water us from heaven, and bless us with all temporal and spiritual blessings; and we shall be yet called, "The island saved by the Lord." Amen, Amen.
This was upon my soul from God to you: I could not visit you all with a distinct message upon many accounts : besides, the time is short, and the confusion appears to me to be at hand: therefore have I sent it by way of epistle, with the brotherly salutation of unfeigned and unalterable love to you all, in your respective meetings and families. And the Lord God of our visitation and redemption, stir you up to these things, and keep us all in his holy fear, wisdom, love and patience, through all those travails and exercises, to the end of our days; that having finished our testimonies, our heads may go down to the grave in peace, and our souls be received into the rest which is reserved for the righteous with God, and with his blessed Lamb for ever.
Your brother and companion through the many tribulations of our day and testimony,
Worminghurst in Sussex, the 4th
of the 9th month, 1678.
I desire that this epistle may be read, in the fear of the Lord, in your several meetings.
ENGLAND'S GREAT INTEREST
Dedicated to all her Freeholders and Electors.
Published in the Year 1679.
SINCE it hath pleased God and the king to begin to revive and restore to us our ancient right of frequent parliaments, it will greatly concern us, as to our present interest, and therein the future happiness of our posterity, to act at this time with all the wisdom, caution, and integrity we can. For besides that it is our own business, and that if, by a neglect of this singular opportunity, we desert ourselves, and forsake our own mercies, we must expect to be left of God, and good men too. It may be there has never happened, not only in the memory of the living, but in the records of the dead, so odd and so strange a conjuncture as this we are under. It is made up of so many unusual and important circumstances (all affecting us to the very heart) that whether we regard the long sitting of the late parliament, or its abrupt and most unexpected dissolution, or the prorogation of the last, and its surprising dissolution, or the strong jealousies of the people, and that universal agitation that is now upon the spirit of the nation, and the reasons and motives thereof (so far as we can reach them) there seems never to have been a time, wherein this kingdom ought to show itself more serious and diligent in the business of its own safety.
To be plain with you, all is at stake: and therefore I must tell you, that the work of this parliament is,
First, To pursue the discovery and punishment of the plot : for that has been the old snake in the grass, the Trojan horse, with an army in the belly of it.
Secondly, To remove, and bring to justice, those evil counsellors, and corrupt and arbitrary ministers of state,