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iniquity, and puts off the body of death and of the sins of the flesh, that is gotten up by transgressing God's command. And also the liberty of the gospel, which is sent from heaven by the Holy Ghost, which is the power of God, which was, and is again to be, preached to all nations : in this gospel (the power of God, which is over the power of Satan) is the true liberty, and the gospel-fellowship and order. So that the evil spirit or conscience, or false, dead faith, and that which is ungracious and out of truth, and not in the Spirit of God, nor in his gospel, nor in the divine faith, its liberty is in the darkness : for all the true liberty is in the gospel, and in the truth that makes free; in the faith, in the grace, and in Christ Jesus, who destroys the devil and his works, that hath brought all mankind into bondage. So in this heavenly, peaceable Spirit, and truth, and faith, which works by love, and in the gospel of peace, and in Christ Jesus, is all the saints' peace, and pure, true, and holy liberty ; in which they have salt, and sense, feeling, discerning, and savour, yea, unity and fellowship one with another, and with the Son and the Father, heavenly eternal fellowship. So all being subject to the grace, and truth, to the faith, and gospel (the power of God), and to his good Spirit; in this they distinguish all true, pure, and holy liberty, from that which is false. This will bring all to sit low: for patience runs the race, and the Lamb must have the victory; and not the rough, unruly, and vain talkers, unbaptized, uncircumcised, and unsanctified. Such travel not in the way of regeneration, but in the way of unregeneration; neither go they down into death with Christ by baptism; and therefore such are not like to reign with him in his resurrection, who are not buried with him in baptism. Therefore, all must go downward into the death of Christ, and be crucified with him, if they will arise, and follow him in the regeneration, before they come to reign with him.
“And, Friends, many may have precious openings; but I desire all may be comprehended in that thing which doth open to them; and that they may all keep in the daily cross; then they keep in the power, that kills and crucifies that, which would lead them amongst the beasts and goats, to leaven them into their rough, unruly spirit; that through the cross, the power of God, that may be crucified, and they in the power may follow the Lamb. For the power of God keeps all in order, subjection, and humility --in that which is lovely and virtuous, decent, comely, temperate, and moderate; so that their moderation appears to all men. My desire is, that all your lights may shine, as from a city set upon a hill
, that cannot be hid; and that ye may be the salt of the earth, to salt and season it, and make it savoury to God, and you all seasoned with it. Then all your sacrifices will be a sweet savour to the Lord, and ye will be as the lilies and roses, and garden of God, which gives a sweet smell unto him; whose garden is preserved by his power, the hedge, that hedges out all the unruly and unsavoury, and the destroyers and hurters of the vines, buds, and plants, and God's tender blade, which springs up from his Seed of life; who waters it with his heavenly water, and word of life continually, that they may grow and be fruitful; that so he may have a pleasant and fruitful garden. Here all are kept fresh and green, being watered every moment with the everlasting, holy water of life, from the Lord, the fountain.
“My dear Friends, my desire is, that this heavenly Seed, that bruises the head of the serpent, both within and without, may be all your crown and life, and ye in him, one another's crown and joy, to the praise of the Lord God over all, blessed for evermore! This holy Seed will outlast and wear out all that which the evil seed, since the fall of man, has brought forth and set up.
As every one hath received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him in the humility which he teaches; and shun the occasions of strife, vain janglings, and disputings with men of corrupt minds, who are destitute of the truth : for the truth is peaceable, and the gospel is a peaceable habitation in the power of God; his wisdom is peaceable and gentle, and his kingdom stands in peace. O, his glory shines over all his works! and in Christ Jesus, who is not of the world, ye will have peace, yea, a peace that the world cannot take away: for the peace which ye have from him, was before the world was, and will be when it is gone.
This keeps all in that, which is weighty and substantial, over all chaff. Glory to the Lord God over all for ever and ever! Amen. “And now, my dear Friends, the Lord doth require more of you
than he doth of other people; because he hath committed more to you. He requires the fruits of his Spirit, of the Light, of the Gospel, of the Grace, and of the Truth; for herein is he glorified (as Christ said) in your bringing forth much fruit-fruits of righteousness, holiness, godliness, virtue, truth, and purity; so that ye may answer that which is of God in all people. Be valiant for his everlasting, glorious gospel, in God's Holy Spirit and truth; keeping in unity, and in the Holy Spirit, Light, and Life, which is over death and darkness, and was before death and darkness were, In this Spirit ye have the bond of peace, which cannot be broken, except ye go from the Spirit; and then ye lose this unity and bond of peace, which ye have from the Prince of Peace.
“The world also expects more from Friends than from other people ; because you profess more. Therefore
you should be more just than others in your words and dealings, and more righteous, holy, and pure
your lives and conversations; so that your lives and conversations may preach. For the world's tongues and mouths have preached long enough ; but their lives and conversations have denied what their tongues have professed and declared.
And, dear Friends, strive to excel one another in virtue, that ye may grow in love, that excellent way which anites all to Christ and God. Stand up for God's glory, and mind that which concerns the Lord's honour, that in nowise his power may be abused, or his name evil spoken of, by any evil talkers or walkers : but that in all things God may be honoured, and ye may glorify him in your bodies, souls, and spirits, the little time ye have to live. My love to you all in the holy Seed of Life, that reigns over all, and is the First and Last; in whom ye all have life and salvation, and your election and peace with God, through Jesus Christ, who destroys him that hath been between you and God; so that nothing may be between you and the Lord, but Christ Jesus. Amen.
"My life and love is to you all, and amongst you all. The Lord God Almighty by his mighty power, by which he hath preserved all his people unto this day, preserve and keep you all in his power, and peaceable, holy truth, in unity and fellowship one with another, and with the Son and the Father. Amen."
G. F. The 24th of the 3rd Month, 1679.
Divers other epistles and papers I wrote to Friends, during my stay in the North ; one was in a few lines, to encourage Friends to be bold and valiant for the Truth, which the Lord had called them to bear witness to; it was thus :
“ DEAR FRIENDS, “All be valiant for the Lord's Truth upon the earth, which the serpent, Satan, and the devil is out of; and in the truth keep him out, in which you all have peace and life, and unity with God and his Son, and one with another. Let the love of God fill all your hearts, that in it ye may build up and edify one another in the light, life, Holy Spirit, and power of God, the glorious, comfortable gospel of Christ, the heavenly Man, your Lord and Saviour ; who will fill all your vessels with his heavenly wine and water of life; clothe you with his heavenly clothing, his fine linen, that never waxeth old; and arm you with his heavenly weapons and armour, that ye may stand faithful witnesses for God and his Son, who is come, and hath given you an understanding to know Him, and ye are in him. So walk in Him, in whom ye all have life and salvation, and peace with God. My love to you all in the Lord Jesus Christ, in whom I have laboured; and God Almighty, in his eternal power and wisdom, preserve you all to his glory. Amen."
G. F. Swarthmore, the 29th of the 10th Month, 1679.
The next day, having a sense upon me that some who had received the Truth, and had openings thereof, for want of keeping low, had run out therefrom, I was moved to give forth the following epistle, as "a warning and exhortation to all to dwell in humility:"
- MY DEAR FRIENDS, “Whom the Lord in his tender mercies, hath visited with the dayspring from on high, and hath opened you to confess and bow to his name; keep low in your minds, and learn of Christ, who teacheth you humility, to keep in it; so that in nowise, ye that are younger, be exalted, or puffed up, or conceited through your openings, and by that means lose your conditions, by being carried up into presumption; and then fall into despair, and so abuse the power of God. For it was the apostles' care, that none should abuse the power of the Lord God; but in all things their faith was to stand therein, that they all might be comprehended into the truth, which they spoke to others, that they might not be preachers to others, and themSelves cast-aways. Therefore it doth concern you to be comprehended into that, which ye do preach to others, and to keep low in it; then the God of Truth will exalt the humble in his truth, light, grace, power, and Spirit, and in his wisdom to his glory. Here all are kept in their measures of grace, light, faith, and the Spirit of Christ, the heavenly and spiritual Man. So let none quench the Spirit, or its motions, grieve it, or err from it; but be led by it, which keeps all in their tents; which giveth an understanding, how to serve, worship, and please the holy, pure God, the Maker and Creator in Christ Jesus, and how to wait, speak, and answer the Spirit of God in his people; in which Holy Spirit is the holy unity and fellowship. The Holy Spirit teacheth the holy, gentle, meek, and quiet lowly mind to answer the seed, that Christ hath sown upon all grounds; and to answer the light, grace, and Spirit, and the gospel in every creature, though they are gone from the Spirit, grace, light, and gospel in the heart. So by holy walking all may come to do it, as well as by holy preaching, that God in all things may be glorified by you, and that ye may bring forth fruits to his praise. Amen."
G. F. Swarthmore, the 30th of the 10th Month, 1679.
About the latter end of this year I was moved of the Lord to travel into the South again. I set forward in the beginning of the first month, 1679–80; and passing through part of WESTMORLAND and LANCASHIRE, I visited Friends at several meetings, and came into YORKSHIRE. Divers large and weighty meetings I had in Yorkshire, before I came to YORK. When I came there it was the assize time; and there being many Friends in prison for truth's sake, I put those, that were at liberty, upon drawing up the sufferings of Friends in prison, to lay before the judges; and I assisted them therein. There were then in York many Friends from several parts of the county, for the quarterly meeting was at that time; so that I had a brave opportunity among them. Many weighty and serviceable things did the Lord open through me to the meeting, relating to the inward state of man, how man by faith in Christ comes to be grafted into him, and made a member of his spiritual body; and also to the outward state of the church, how each member ought to walk and act, according to his place in the body. I spent several days in York, having divers meetings; and all was peaceable and well. I went also to the castle, to visit Friends that were prisoners; with whom I spent some time, encouraging and strengthcning them in their testimony.
Then leaving York, I travelled southward, having meetings in many places amongst Friends, till I came to BARTON in LINCOLNSHIRE ; where, on First-day, I had a large and precious meeting. Then turning into NOTTINGHAMSHIRE, I travelled through good part of that county, in which I had several good meetings ; and then passed into DERBYSHIRE, LEICESTERSHIRE, and WARWICKSHIRE, having meetings all along as I wer till I came to WARWICK; there William Dewsbury came to me, and several other Friends, and we had a little meeting in that town. Then passing through Southam and Radway, at each of which places I had a very good meeting, I came to Nathaniel Ball's of North Newton in OXFORDSHIRE, and so to BANBURY to a monthly meeting there. And after I had visited Friends in the bordering parts of OxFORDSHIRE, GLOUCESTERSHIRE, and NORTHAMPTONSHIRE, I passed to Richard Baker's* of BIDDLESDON in
* Richard Baker is described as a man of circumspect life, and a pattern of good works. He suffered cheerfully for Christ both the spoiling of his goods and imprisonment of his body; and would often say, “ If people did but know the pleasure of BUCKINGHAMSHIRE ; and next day, being First-day, I had a very large meeting in Biddlesdon, at an old abbey-house, which a Friend rented and dwelt in. Many Friends and people came to it out of Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire, and the parts adjacent; and of good service it was. After this, I visited Friends in those parts, having meetings at LILLINGSTONE, LOVEL, and BUGBROOKE. Then going to STONY-STRATFORD, I went from thence into some parts of BEDFORDSHIRE, till I came to Edward Chester's of DUNSTABLE. Passing on by MARKET STREET, I had a meeting at ALBAN'S; and calling on Friends at Mims and BARNET, I came to the widow Hayley's, at GUTTERSHEDGE, in HENDON, Middlesex, on a Seventhday night, and had a very large and good meeting there the day following
I passed thence to LONDON on the Third-day following, and went directly to the Peel-meeting at John Elson's; and next morning to the meeting at Gracechurch Street, which was very large and quiet; and Friends rejoiced in the Lord to see me. The Yearly Meeting was the week following, to which many Friends came out of most parts of the nation ; and a blessed opportunity the Lord gave us together; wherein the ancient love was sweetly felt, and the heavenly life. flowed abundantly over all. After the Yearly Meeting, I continued a month or five weeks in and about London, labouring in the work of the Lord both and out of meetings; for besides the public testimony which the Lord gave me to bear both to Friends and to the world in meetings, I had much service upon me, with respect to Friends' sufferings, in seeking to get ease and liberty for them in this and other nations. Much pains and time I spent, while in London, in writing letters to Friends in divers parts of England, and in Scotland, Holland, Barbadoes, and several parts of America.
After this I was moved of the Lord to visit Friends in some parts of Surrey and Sussex. I went to KINGSTON by water, and tarried certain days; for while I was there, the Lord laid it upon me to write both to the great Turk, and the Dey of Algiers severally, to warn them, and the people under them, to turn from their wickedness, fear the Lord, and do justly; lest the judgments of God should come upon them, and destroy them with. out remedy. To the Algerines I wrote more particularly, concerning the cruelty they exercised towards Friends and others, whom they held captives in Algiers.* When I had finished that service, and visited Friends in
godliness, they would not live in the earth as they did.” He was a zealous labourer, a vigilant watchman, a sharp reprover of evil, an encourager of the good, and a faithful minister, endeavouring to bring those he ministered to into an inward exercise of spirit towards God, and to a greater acquaintance with, and subjection to, the power of God. Concerning this he wrote a treatise entitled, A Testimony to the Power of God, being Greater than the Power of Satan.
He died in 1697, having often said in his last sickness, “All is well," and testified that the power and strength of God was with him.
* There appear to have been at this time a number of Friends captured at Algiers. In the early times of the Society many of its members were seafaring men; and to such, of whatever religious profession, it was no uncommon thing to be taken at ses by the Algerines or other corsairs, who continually scoured the Mediterranean, and