William Evans.

The Friends' library: comprising journals, doctrinal treatieses, & other writings of members of the religious Society of Freinds online

. (page 31 of 104)
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creaseth amongst all the members and branch-
es taken out of the wild olive, and planted into,
and abiding in the vine of life, Christ Jesus^
our head and law-giver; and here the church
of Christ grows up, into a state of being clothed
with the sun, and the moon under her feet :
blessed, sweet and glorious station! But did
it always thus continue in the apostles* days?!

Vol. IV.— No. 4.

Ah ! No: the old serpent^ the enemy of man's
welfiire, wrought powerfully and cunningly,
first to draw forth from the root of life, and
out of the holy love and spiritual subjection
to this glorious power, that had gathered them
to a daily inward walking with God, and to
draw out of a spiritual exercise from under
the spiritual cross and holy watch, as before
has been demonstrated. And then fruit from
another root was brought forth, as the reader
may note in several epistles ; and in John's
testimony to the seven churches of Asia.
Then the power of the Lord that had gath-
ered them, moved to exhort to put away bit-
terness, wrath, anger and clamour; evil speak-
ings and malice. Ephes. 4.

And now, dear Friends, with your lamps
trimmed and burning, look inward, searching
every comer of your hearts, that every one
of your states may appear clear unto your
own understandings, as it is in the sight of the
pure all-seeing God, that so all the enemy's
darkenings and veilings, and turnings aside,
by what way or means soever, may be clearly,
with the light of the Lamb, seen and disco-

And, tender Friends, those that have seen
the sweet, lovely, precious state of unity and
concord, that the excellent power of the Lord
God Almighty gathered into, and was gath-
ering into, in the morning of our day, and the
spiritual advantages, comforts, joys and re-
freshments, that attended the church of Christ
in this true spiritual unity with our Lord Jesus
Christ, and one with another; and also the
anxious exercising consequences of the ene-
my's prevailing to break the unity, and the
lamentable efilects thereof; they cannot but on
the one hand admire and esteem the precious
unity, and on the other, greatly dread the
turning aside, and going out of it. For those
who have kept their habitation, and lived to
God, as they have tasted the sweetness, and
beheld the amiableness of this unity and ami-
ty, so they have felt the sorrows and anguish
of the effects of the contrary; which have
caused them to go many days and months
with mournful souls, crying to Almighty God
night and day, under the inexpressible weight
thereof. And the God of love bowed his ear
to the cry of the poor, and to the sighing of the
needy ; and has arisen in the might of his
power, and his glorious presence haih relieved,
and his holy arm has been made bare, through
which he hath redeemed his darling from the
dog, and his dear ones from the devourer;
and still continues working to brins into this
precious unity, in the holy light of life, with
God in Christ Jesus, and one with another.
And now, dear Friends everywhere, unto you,
and to the generation coming afier, I have this

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warning and tender advice to leave, in the
name of my God, virbo hath been with nie in
my travels, in his power, work and labour of
the Gospel of life and salvation. Keep the
unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace; and
let none give way to a prejudicing spirit, which
leads into secret whisperings, backbitings, and
such like evil and pernicious fruits, the work-
ing of which spirit is like a moth in a gar-
ment, dividing, destroying, spoiling and eat-
ing up; for indeed, Sion is a city at unity with
itself, under the seamless garment of Christ
Jesus, and there all are well and 9afe, grow-
ing, increasing and flourishing; so when the
spirit abovesaid prevails, to draw out of Sion's
gates, and from within her walls of salvation,
Oh I what deplorrable work and havoc will it
make in its growth and progess ; working, as
I said before of the moth, gradually and se-
cretly first ; but as it prevaileth and increas-
eth in strength, it will appear as a roaring, de-
vouring lion, seeking whom it may devour and
swallow up.

Here comes in pride and haughtiness of
spirit, pu^d up with the abundance of enjoy-
ment of outward things, emulations, heart-
risines, evil jealousies, bitter speakings, de-
tractmgs ; and abundance of evil fruits arise
from this root of bitterness, which root and
fruit is to be brought under the judgment of
the Lord. And therefore. Friends, I say unto
you, in the name of the Lord God, let none
give strength, or any encouragement or nour
ishment, in any way, to this spirit in any of its
workings, in any heart, but let it be looked on
as a vagabond and fugitive in the earth ; and,
as it is kept out of the camp of God, and
from Israel's dwellings, by the living power
of God, it will perish under Truth's judgment
set up in every soul, and the nature tl^reof,
as well as its evil rending and dividing fruits,
will be worn out and destroyed. And all
keeping in the first love and pure fear, fearing
to offend our God and Father, persevering in
keeping the holy watch, and abiding in sub-
jection and obedience to the spiritual cross, in
staidness of mind, soundness of judgment, and
clearness in understanding, you will see and
fathom all the enemy's devices, temptations
and snares ; and the Lord God beholding you
steadfast in obedience and spiritual tenderness
before him, his power will descend in an ia
creasing manner, and his glory Will shine, his
river of life will flow ; yea, the spring of the
great deep will be broken up, and the windows
of heaven will be opened, that you may be
abundantly filled with joy and thanksgivings,
and songs of deliverance, and with spiritual
high praises ascending to his throne, which
will be as sweet incense, and a sacrifice ac-
eepUble to our God. And here you shall

spend the reeidue of your days in dominion
over the snares of the enemy, attending pros-
perity and liberty, as well as adversity and
persecution i seeing over all things that have
their rise in mortality and time ; feeling mor-
tality swallowed up of life immortal, and so
gathered to the general assembly, to the
church of the first bom, to the spirits of just
men made perfect ; yea, to the first and last,
God the Judge of att, to whom be immortal
high praises and holy renown, for ever and
for ever more. If the wonderful blessings,
tender mercies, and loving kindnesses that
the Lord extends unto us in this age, be not
duly, reverently and obediently taken notice
of; but instead thereof, any shall forsake
and be unmindful of the Lord's tender mer-
cies, and embrace lying vanities, going into
idleness, through which a spiritual slumber
overtakes, and the lamp thereby be neglected,
the spiritual watch and cross slighted, or not
duly regarded, but the earth and earthly things
take up the exercise of the mind and afiec-
tions; then, instead of enjoying what is
above expressed, tribulation and anguish will
seize upon all such, and the dreadful judgment
of God who lives for ever and ever, will over-
take all such unfaithfulness. A dreadful cup
ye shall drink of, from the hand of God, and
the rebukes of the Lord shall distress you ;
and you shall be numbered amongst the peo-
ple of his indignation, in his approaching day
of signal pleadings with all flesh that have
corrupted its way before him. Therefore
hear, fear, and dread the holy name of the
Lord ; and whilst it is called to-day, bow before
him, and speedily return unto him, lest your
day pass over, and ye sleep the sleep of death,
and be separated for ever from his refreshing
presence, in which is life, and from the glory
of his Divine power.

Dear Friends everywhere, retire inward,
feel and understand the counsel of the Lord
which springs unto you ; all retire in great
humility before the Lord, that you may feel
the blessed work of God begun, perfecting
your inward man, growing in the root of life;
and as you have professed the knowledge of
a spiritual oracle before the nations, you may
approve yourselves in the sight of God, fol-
lowing Its instructions in all things, and go
not without it. Lean upon the Lord, and cry
to him to guide you with his eye, and lead
you by his arm, in the way everlasting ; and
whilst you keep with him, he will be with
you, never leaving nor forsaking you, if you
do not leave and forsake him ; his presence
and glorious arm of salvation shall surround
you, to the renown of his name, and consola-
tion of his people. Amen, Amen.

Charlss Makshall.

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An EfitOe to thejtoek of Chri$t Jenu.

Dbasly Bblovsd Friends,
Whjsm we sat in darkness, and in the re*
gion of the shadow of death, when darkness
covered the earth»and gross darkness the peo-
ple, as welt in this professing nation, as in
others, in this long and tedious night of apoe-
tacy» wherein all flesh had corrupted its way,
we were seeking the living among the dead,
and our bread in desolate places, wounded by
sin and iniquity, and greatly distressed for
want of the knowledge of Sion's way to be
cast up in our day; even then in the dispensa-
tion of iove» did the God of heaven and earth
visit us, with his day spring from on high.
This was a day of love beyond all expression,
which I am moved of the Lord to call into
lemembrance in the ears of his people ; it is
a day never to be forgotten : for if the day of
outward Israel's visitation in Egypt, was to be
kept in continual remembrance, how much
more ought the day of our visitation in spir-
itual Egypt, in thraldom, under the spiritual

You know what maqner of entrance Truth
made in its first appearance, in the day of our
visitation ; how it regarded not the empty pro^
fession of any, but broke in upon us, pricking
us to the heart, bringing us to a true sense of
our states and eonditiotts before the Lord;
where, notwithstanding all the fair shows of
profession^ we .saw our souls in death, buried
in Ihe grave of sin, and the transgressing
nature esalted above all that was called God
in us. We had not only a sight of our ife-
pkMraUe state, but also of him whoBi^ we had
pierced, whoae countenance we saw marred
more than any man's, and his visage more
than the sons of men. Here many knew a
day of BKHirningf tears, and drinking a cup
of trembling from the hand of the Lord ; for
our awakened souU cried unto the Lord, to
be eased from the load of iniquity ; and the
Lord bowed down bi« ear to the cry of these,
and manifested his outstretched arm, which
wrought in us mightily, killing and making
alive, casting down and raising up. And be-
cause of the working of this glorious power,
our bodies tfembled, so that we became as
signs and wondera to people ; yea, to our ac-
quaintance and relations ; for we were as a
people separated from all comforts and de-
lights. And, although it was thus with many,
yet it was a good day ; for the judgments of
the Lord being in the earth, many learned
righteousness. And as this power was bowed
unto and lived in, it broi^ht forth the soul out
of the horrible pit, which was an answer to
the cries of the panting distressed heart.
As the Lord God b^n an eHectnal work

by his glorious power, ^e hath by the same
been carrying it on these many years amongst
us, notwithstanding the great opposition it hath
met with by the power of darkness, in them
that went from us, and from men Without.

Ah 1 how hath Leviathan, that crooked
serpent, wrought? Under how many disguises
hath he appeared, to rend and devour ? How
many false spirits hath he appeared in ? And
what endeavour hatb the old serpent made to
bring the heritage of God into suffering ? But
blessed for ever be the name of the mighty
God, who is laying waste that serpentine spi-
rit's working, and will lay it waste, and tread
it down forever under the feet of bis anointed;
and will make all their skirts bare, who have
called themselves Jews, and are not, but are
of the synagogue of satan, who would have
perverted the right way of the Lord, and
would have risen up in the enmity of the old
serpent against the servants and messengers
of the everlasting God, whom they have caus-
ed to go with bowed souls before the Lord.
Friends, against that spirit, in its root and
branches, I have a certain testimony from
God to bear, and woe to the vessels that are
still polluted with that spirit.

And, not only have we received this mercy
from the hand of the Lord, to wit, the tread-
ing down of the serpentine spirit, which is not
one of the least of the kindnesses of our God;
but as the Lord hath appeared wonderful in
power for our inward deliverance, so bath he
appeared wonderfully for our outward deliv-
erance and preservation,, from lime to time,
ivho bath bound the sea with swadling-bands,
and bath said to the proud waves, " Hitherto
shalt thou come, and no farther :" magnified
be the name of the Lord God fer ever.

On every hand we are an engaged pep|rfe
unto the Lord, who hath been digging, dress-
ing, pruning and watering us his vineyurd,
from day to day, from week to week, from
assembly to assembly; and his power that be-
gan this good work amongst us, in the day pf
our first visitation, hath been carrying the
same on to this day.

And now, dear Friends in every place, this
to you is the message of the Lord, that I have
received and am necessitated, both by word
and writing, to sound in the ears of the people
in this nation, which was the first that was
visited in this his glorious day, that the Lord
our righteousness doth require his people in
every place, to keep stayed in that immortal
light of life, unto which they were directed in
the day of their visitation ; in that to feel the
virtue and power of Truth, to gird up the loins
of every one's mind in the light of righteou»-
ness, daily to wait there to feel the manifesta-
tion and effectual working of the Lord's, power ;

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that 80 thereby that good and holy work,
Which the Lord began in us, and hath been
carrying on to this day, may be perfected ;
tad the nteidue of that nature, against which
his sword hath been furbished, might be ut*
terly destroyed.

This is the work of this day, amongst the

E>ple of the Lord; and for this end doth the
rd spare many, and lengthens out the day
of the tranquillity of this nation, with which
he has a sore controversy, and which he will
assuredly visit for its iniquities. Therefore
Friends, let all prize their time, and the lov-
ing-kindness of the Lord that is now extended
to his people, wherein be is laying his hand
of love upon them, to pull them out of spirit-
ual Sodom fully. And this is the voice to
the unfaithful and disobedient amongst us, as
it was of old, ** Ck>me out of Babylon, my
people ;" come out of all Babylon's abomina-
tions, touch no unclean thing; and be not
partakers with her in her sin, that none may
partake of her plagues. Nothing will now
please the Lord, but a thorough work and real
cleansing, sanctification throughout, in soul,
body and spirit, being really translated out of
the kingdom of satan, into the kingdom of the
dear Son of God.

This perfect salvation is not attained, but
as there is an abiding in the way of it, closing
with and being comprehended into that light
of righteousness, given to us to profit withal.
In this, power is received, and the virtue of life
known, which no mind is capable of, but that
which sits at Jesus' feet, and stoops to the
lowest appearance of Christ Jesus, where the
mind is made low and little. Here is the en-
trance to the power of life that gives domin-
ion ; which many miss who come not down,
so as to be nothing in the love of this world,
nor in any created object ; to be nothing in
thoughts or imaginations that are evil, to have
no beloved lust to be as the right hand, or as
the right eye. Where the mind is in these
things, it finds not the way of life perfectly,
nor ability to stand over every defilement and
temptation, of what nature soever; for the
door of hope is found in the valley where
man comes to be as nothing in his own eyes,
before the Lord ; there the spirit of life hath
its free and perfect operation, to work the
work of Gk>defiectually, until man throughout
be leavened into the lump of life, and brought
into the image of God. Every one must come
to be as a child, yea, as a weaned child ; and
here the work of the Lord in the heart goes
forward daily ; for the Lord is weary of the
outside professions, and they are before him
as the fig-tree that was covered with leaves,
but had no fruit, concerning which Christ Je-
sus said^ ** Never man gather fruit of thee,"

and it withered ; so will it be with the false
afid hypocritical professors ; for none shall be
able to stand in the day of the Lord, that has-
tens, but such as come to stand in th6 posses-
sion of life itself.

So, dear Friends, may every one know the
blood of sprinkling, that sprinkles the con-
science from dead works to serve the living
God in newness of life ; fi>r where the blood
of Jesus is despised and trodden under foot,
there will the destroying angel enter, in the
day of his passing through ; for the whirl-
wind of his wrath will be revealed, to sweep
away the wicked, and the sword of^ the Lord
is bathed in heaven against the ungodly.
Therefore prize your time, waiting daily on
the Lord, that the nature of transgression
may be wholly taken away in us, for which
the mighty God hath a- controversy with the
nations; there will be no hiding-place for any;
but the clean in heart, in the day of the dread-
ful pleadings and rebukes of the Lord God of
heaven and earth.

It is upon me to leave this, as the counsel
of the Lord, to all the families of the Lord's
people through this nation, as may be con-
cerned, that all heads of families, or any that
have the tuition of youth, always in their
families wait to feel the daily arising of God's
immortal power, in that to labour, according
to their power, to keep down all sin and ini-
quity in their families, and in that to feel
ability to reach the witness of God in their
children and servants ; that so no sin may be
in the families of the Lord's people, but that
all be kept pure and savoury before the Lord,
in his fear and awe, out of all needless dis-
courses, vain words «nd foolish jestings. Let
your words be few^ ministering grace to the
hearers ; that so when the people of the world
come to 'your houses^ to have converse or
commerce with you, all being in the fear of
the Lord, in the sweet, savoury, chaste life,
the ^witness of God will arise, and make them
acknowledge, you are the people of the Lord,
and that he is with you. Here every one in
their respective places will be preachers of
righteousness, and in this pure harmless life
we roust overcome; and this doth the Lord
God, in whose hand is the breath of all living,
require of all the families of his people. And
where any walk in a contrary life, he will
visit with the rod of affliction.

It is likewise upon me to warn all, to be
carefijl that neither you nor your families run
into superfluities in meats, or in drinks, or in
apparel ; or into the proud ofiensive garbs of
the world, but in all these things let us all
keep in our first fear, that no provision may
be made for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
I And all beware of trusting to, or having a life

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in, uncertain riches, or In any external thing ;
and keep out of many and needless words, in
dealing, and in all your converse and com-
neroe with the world. For there is a great
hurt sustained in a multitude of words ; the
mind is drawn forth, and the spirit of the
world let in, through which the omtinued
sense of the presence of the Lord is lost, and
our testimony weakened against the world;
and also the opportunity is lost of reaching
the witness of God in their hearts.

And I beseech all in the love of God, that
in your dealings you be equal, just and up-
right; and do not be drawn forth in many
words, in answering that mind that is out of
the iear of the Lord ; but after you have puf
a price on your commodities, which is equal,
and as you can sell them, then if the persons
you are dealing with, multiply words, stand
you silent dn the fear of God, and this will
answer the witness of God in them you are
dealing with. If this should not please peo-
ple at first, yet you will see it will overcome ;
so in your dealings keep out of the spirit of
the world, out of all covetousness, overreach-
ing and crafliness, in the harmless life, 8eek«-
ing the kingdom daily, and let other things
come as additions. So all being diluent in
the pure fear of the Lord, abiding in the love
of God, and seeking the kingdom that is not
of this world, you will see great opportunity
in your dealings of reaching unto people, who
thereby may be convinced and brought to the

And, all Friends, be watchful over your
own hearts, in the fear of the Lord, in the
first moving cause of marriage, and if by
bringing it to the Hght, it be found not wrought
in God, but in the spirit of this world, it is
easily broken ; but if it still continue, and way
is given to it, then the mind is so far drawn
out into the afiectk)nate part, that it becomes
darkened, and the thing seems right in the
coDsideratbn, although it be the working of
the enemy. And here stands the ground of the
running out of the affections of such as pro-
fess tl^ Truth, to marry men and women of
the world; who, for want of keeping the first
motion out, lose the sense of the Truth, and
so persevere therein, to the ruining their
condition in the Truth, displeasing the Lord
and gratifying the world ; of which practice
I warn all in the fear of the Lord God, to be-
ware ; and all such things will be avoided, as
heed is taken to the first thought of any such

If any see that a single condition \a not
best for them, let them wait to be ^raed in
the Truth, in changing their conditions, and
not run as the world's people do many times,
from place to place, and fVom person to per-

son, having their aflections one while on one
object, and another time on another, and it
may be on many ; which is a wrong thing ;
but proceed in the pure fear of the Lord, that
keepeth the heart clean, seeing their way
clear and plain in the sense of Truth, out of
all the world's bargainings and folly, that at*
tend the management of such things.

And masters and mistresses, and heads of
families, are to stand in their places, in the
exercise of a pure, meek spirit, to their ser-
vants and children ; not in the merciless spirit
of the world, which would require of their
servants more than they have ability to per-
form comfortably ; but let all keep out of that
in the love of God, waiting on him for wisdom,
that every one may know their places.

And all servants are to stand in the subject
diligent state, in meekness: and I warn all
servants professing Truth, to keep low in the
fear of the Lord, out of high-mindedness and
pride, and out of all eye-service, waiting on
the Lord to know your places in all things ;
and herein you will adorn the profession of

And also it is upon me, in the fear and
counsel of the Lord, to warn all of that thing
against which Joseph warned his brethren, viz.
Of falling out by the way ; that there be no
way given to the least appearance of that
which would make a rent, schism or division ;
for every person that shall set up that spirit
that thirsteth to envy, that spirit which hurries
into passions^ that will backbite and whisper
in secret, through which breaches come ; the
hand of God Almighty is against every such
instrument. The dread of the Lord of hosts,
as a consuming fire, will break out against all
that continue in any such spirit; for the Spirit
of Truth brings forth the very contrary fruits
where it lives and reigns, and rules. Their
life is peace, and they are peace-makers; such
cannot rest or be contented while any thing
stands between them and a brother or sister,
if they be concerned therein. Such a one,
seeing any iniquity in his brother or sister,
will in tender love, go to his brother or his sis-
ter, and say, my brother, or my sister, do not
ofiend or grieve our tender Father, who hath
dealt so tenderly with us; and so in the heart-
breaking love he will labour with his brother,

Online LibraryWilliam EvansThe Friends' library: comprising journals, doctrinal treatieses, & other writings of members of the religious Society of Freinds → online text (page 31 of 104)