William Evans.

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

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from the dragon, like unto which this second
beast spake, and caused the earth, and them
that dwelt therein, to worship the first beast,
whose deadly wound was healed; and he
caused all, both small and ^reat, rich and
poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in
their right hand, or in their foreheads. And
here the power and spirit of darkness hath
exalted himself, sitting in the temple of God,
as god and ruler. But, blessed for ever be
the name of God, the great red dragon and
the beast that arose out of the sea, and the
beast that arose out of the earth, and Mystery
Babylon, are and shall be manifest. The
wisdom that is pure and peaceable, numbers
these appearances; and judgment is come and

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coming upon Mystery Babylon ; for now the
QDgel of God's presence is come down from
heaven, having great power, who lightens the
earth with his glory, and the cry is now going
over the earth, " Babylon the great is fallen,
is fallen, and become the habitation of devils."
All nations have drunk of the wine of the
wrath of her abominations, and the merchants
of the earth have waxed rich, through the
abundance of her delicacies ; " Come out of
her, my people, that ye be not partakers of
her sins, and that ye partake not of her
plagues ; for her sins have reached unto hea-
ven, and God has remembered her iniquities.'*
The day is dawning wherein her plagues,
mourning and famine will coitie, and she shall
be burned with the fire of God's jealousy, for
strong is the Lord God who judges her. And
now I prophesy of the perpetual destruction
of the religions, inventions, ways, worships,
prescriptions, orders, decrees and imitations,
that have been setting up these many hundreds
of years, but not by the power of the living
God, nor the directions and leadings of his
quickening spirit, that led and guided the
apostles in their day. The whole fabric of
the Babylonish building shall be consumed,
and all the worshipt^ers 6f the beast and his
image, shall drink of the wine of the wrath
of God, which is poured forth, without mix-
ture, into the cup of his indignation ; and
these worshippers shall be tormented, and
have no rest night nor day, who worship the
beast and his image, and whosoever receive
the mark of his name.

A caU in the Icve qf Qod^ to aU the Btaitered

Heabkisn and give ear, ye scattered ones,
upon the barren mountains of profession, who
having lost the living sense that was on many
of your spirits years ago, are now seeking
the living amongst the dead professions, and
your bread in desolate places : Remember the
years past ; call to mind the days of your
tenderness, when the light of God so shined
on your tabernacle, that by it you saw your-
selves in darkness, and in separation from
the enjoyment of your Creator ; which sense
brought a day of mourning and bitter lamen-
tation on yoii, and was the cause of your
fasting, praying, and earnest seeking after the
Lord, with sighs and tears. This caused you
to set many times to meet together to pour
forth your souls in seeking the living God, for
his breaking forth by his eternal power, and
fbr the revealing of his arm of salvation. In
that day how did many of you retire into
your closets and secret places, to mourn be
fore the Lord ? How did your cries and pant

ings after the Lord, prevent the morning-
watches? And in that day, was it not the
substance itself that you sought after, even
the revealing of the Son of God's love in
your souls? Let me expostulate with you in
the name of the mighty God, even with you,
amongst all professions, that have any tender-
ness or breathings after t6e Lord remaining
in you. ^Vhat was it that stirred up your
hearts, many years since, thus to seek afler
the Lord ? that gave you the sense of your
own inward conditions? and that made sin ap-
pear exceeding sinful? What was it you felt in
your minds that warred against the law of
sin and death in your members? that in some
measure opened the eye of your understand-
ing to see idolatry and superstition? that drew
your hearts out of the world, and made those
things of light esteem, in comparison of that
which your awakened souls soueht after?
What was it that inwardly upheld you in
sufferings? that your minds retired unto,
when the wicked raged as the waves of the
sea, when you were mocked for the plainness
of your apparel, and for your strictness in
your families? Remember your many signal
deliverances. How did the Lord answer you
in the day of your tenderness? What was it
that exercised you, moving on your spirits for
a reformation ? Was it not the free grace of
God ? Was it not that light which shined on
your tabernacle? Did not this shine in your
hearts, and move your spirits Godwards, and
began the work of the Lord in you? Why
did you start aside from following on to know
the Lord in the way of his judgments, when
a little prosperity attended you? Why did
you seek to get from under the judgment, be-
fore it was brought forth into victory? Be
awakened, and come back, you that have
thus turned aside for a thing of nought, and
wandered from one mountain of prof^ion
and of imagination to another, until you have
spent all^our portion, and are in nature re-
turned to Babylon, the city of confusion, out
of which the Lord thus calls you ; " Hasten,
hasten to come forth, and partake no longer
with her in her sins, lest ye partake with her
in her plagues, which are hastening to come
upon her, and upon all that shall be found
within her borders.** Open your eyes, and
behold where you turned aside, through which
your foolish hearts are darkened. For the
enemy that " goes about as a roaring Hon,
seeking whom he may devour,*' wrought in
you to turn you from this Divine principle
that awakened you, and began to work the
work of God in you, into a profession of the
words and conditions whereof the saints wrote,
who attained thereto, through passing from
death to life, in obedience to the grace of God,

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that 19 given to every man to profit withal,
who knew the holy war, and fought the good
fight, aod so obtained the victory. Through
its eiBectuai workings they obtained it, and
not through mere notions, upon the words of
their brethren the prophets; of which victory,
through faith and obedience unto, and in, the
eternal spirit of holiness, they were made par-
takers. Thus it was they came to put off the
old man, which is indeed a work, and to put
on the new man, which is a real change and
translation out of satan's kingdom, and from
under his power, into the kingdom of the dear
Son of the living God, and so to be under his
power. But the enemy of your souls turned
you from this free grace of God, which
wrought in you in your day of tenderness,
by drawing your minds into an airy notional
profession of this grace, and that by it you
were saved ; not considering that the immor-
tal souls of such lie in bondage, whose faith
stands in notions, and not in the power of
God ; or whose fiiith is no other than a belief
of what is done for them without, not coming
experimentally to know the work, of God in
themselves, and the obedience of faith which
purifies the conscience, and makes alive unto
God. And such was the soaring into imagi-
nation, of some called gified men for the min-
istry, that they presumed to teach and hold
forth the free grace of God after such a man-
ner, that the understandings of many were
confounded, and thereby defiled and corrupt-
ed, by admitting; a liberty to the fleshly na-
ture, and avoiding the cross of Christ, con-
trary to that holy liberty, which through the
operation of the grace of God is known. For
though it is true, as the apostle saith, *< By
grace we are saved ;" yet whosoever holds
forth this grace, so as to raise a belief in
any, that they are thereby saved from con-
demnation, while they are found transgressors
against the righteous law of God; such, I say,
divide not the word of God aright, but teach
for doctrine, the conceptions of their own
brain. For it is not a bare belief or assent
of the mind, to the power of the grace, that
can give satisfaction to the immortal soul, or
true assurance of eternal peace with Ood; but
there roust be also a conformity in the inward
man, to the power thereof; and so man comes
to be created in Christ Jesus unto good works,
to be sanctified througbont, both in body, soul
and spirit. And I have found, that instead of
preaching up conformity to the power of the
grace, they have not only preached up free
grace, which indeed is an expression in itself,
proper enoueh to be held forth, for the grace
of God is mely extended unto all, but also
therewith they have preached up a justification

of sinful and unsanctified persons, by imputed
righteousness ; even in such a manner, as
many have, from thence, concluded them-
selves in a state of salvation, while sin has
had its reign in their mortal bodies ; which I
cannot but testify, is as great an error, and
as contrary to the Gospel ministration, and
the end for which Christ was manifost in the
flesh, which was, to save people from their
sins so as to live no longer therein, as the
error of the scribes and pharisees was, when
they were seeking and believing justification
by the works of the law, without the righte-
ousness of faith.

And thus has it been, that many have
turned the grace of God into wantonness, or
turned from the grace of God, into wanton-
ness } so that in a little tlme^ many professors
grew light and vain, and ran with the very
profane info the same excess of riot, and being
lifled up in the flesh, came to be much in
show, but little and light in the balance I And
here, you professors of all sorts, that have
gone from the spiritual appearance of Christ
Jesus within, into a profession of the saints*
conditions and performances, without the lead-
ings of the same Spirit and power, have lost
your way, and gone out from your guide,
which would have led you up to the sub-
stance, Christ Jesus. Thousands of ignorant
people have been led, through the cunning
slights of men, into an empty profession ;
and when the manifestation of the Spirit of
Grod, which is given to every man to profit
withal, hath stirred in the heart to draw the
mind out of the ways, spirit and nature of the
world, then the transforming enemy has lain
near to deceive and betray, directing people
into this profession or the other, or to take up
this outward performance, or the other shadow,
under the specious pretence of the ordinances
of God and Christ. Hereby the subtle enemy,
that will admit of people being in the practice
of outward things, while he can have his
throne in the heart, has led thousands aside
out of the straight way of salvation, by draw-
ing them firom the true inward guide, ^ the
grace of God that brinss salvation, that has
appeared unto all men,^' into outward obser-
vations. And here the fear of thousands to-
wards God, is taught by the precepts of men,
who know not the leadings of the Spirit and
power of God ; and so have healed the hurt
of the daughter of Zion deceitfiilly, and have
daubed with the untempered mortar.

And now, all you scattered ones upon the
barren mountains, hear the counsel and call
of the Lord : turn, you prodigals, who have
spent your portions and lost much of your
sincerity and tenderness, and that secret en*

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joyment you had of the Lord inwardly, years
ago, and who for a loDg season have endea-
voured to fill yourselves with husks, and the
profession of the saints' enjoyments, my heart
yearns towards you, and my soul is oRen
bowed down in the sense of your states ; my
heart is often pained within me, when I be-
hold you wandering up and down, seeking
rest and finding none, but what is polluted,
and your souls are lean for want of the fat-
ness of God's house, and the enjoyment of it.
My soul cries unto him night and day, to visit
you with an outstretched arm: Return, return,
unto that which will show you all that ever
you have done, and will hasten you to the
Father's house, where the bread of life is ;
and no longer spend your money, precious
time and labour, for that which is not the
bread of life, but a profession, a ialk of bread,
and which cannot truly satisfy your souls.

And now behold! I sound the trumpet of
the Lord in your ears ; prepare, prepare, to
meet the Lord Jehovah in the valley of de-
cision ; and all you who have any tenderness
in your hearts, and breathings aflter the Lord,
amongst all professions, Ck>me out, come out
of Babylon, and be you separate; touch not
any longer the unclean, that the Lord may
receive you, who stands ready to receive all
that come in Truth and righteousness unto
him ; who will mark all that mourn because
of the sins of the people, which are great, and
the measure thereof filling up ; and the time
is hastening, of the pouring out of the fury
and indignation of God, who lives for ever
and ever. Therefore flee for your lives, out
of Sodom's nature, and stick not in the mere
profession, the ground of which doth not spring
from the immediate work of God, and daily
operation of his eternal power in thy heart ;
but come down into obedience to the pure still
voice of the Spirit, and gift of God in thy own
heart, which will, as thy inward ear is atten-
tive, direct thee in the narrow way of life
eternal, in which thou shouldest walk. Here
you come to that which moved in the hearts
of many, years since, Godwards, which
wrought many into the tenderness before
spoken of; herein walk and be faithful, and
it will lead to the Fountain of blessedness,
from which it came, and unto the horn of
God's anointed; and to Shiloh shall be the
gathering of thousands through the nations,
tongues and people ; and the mountain of the
Lonl's house shall be exalted, through this
great day of trial, tribulation and anguish,
upon the top of all the mountains.

The Lord God Almighty reach all hearts
that have any breathing desires afler him,
amongst all professions, and pull many as

brands out of the fire. So breathes my soul,
who am a travailer for the universal visitation
and deliverance of the seed of Jacob.

Chaslbs Mabskaix.

A warning to the people of England.

hf the tender love of God, to those whose
ears the misrepresentations or aspersions un-
derwritten, have or may come. Give ear,
you inhabitants of these northern islands.
The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, in
this latter age of the world is arising, and
causing his ancient horn of salvation to be
reveal^; of whom all the holy men, pro-
phets and servants of God gave testimony,
through ages and generations, to be that holy
One, on whom he hath laid help, who is
mighty to save, Christ Jesus the Lord. Of
his spiritual appearance and coming, we
are witnesses this day; and by the arm of
his power are raised up to declare him unto
these islands of the Gentiles, as their light to
lighten them, according to the prophets' testi-
mony of John, old Simeon, Christ Jesus, the
apostles and messengers of God, through ages
and generations, of which many testimonies
in the demonstration of the Spirit and power
of Christ Jesus, have been, and are daily
borne, both by word and writing. Against
these testimonies, men of corrupt minds have
risen up, and by lies, slanders and misrepre-
sentations, have endeavoured to veil this testi-
mony ; which work of theirs, God hath beheld,
and hath determined to blast, because in their
right hand hath been found a lie, and the poi-
son of asps is under their tongues, to vilify
and misrepresent the servants and people of
God, under odious disguises, that they might
thereby, as much as in them lies, efiect such
a work, as the old heathens did on the Chris-
tians ; namely, by putting lion skins and bear
skins on them, that thereby they might cause
the dogs to take hold of them. So hath there
been an endeavour in our day, to misrepre-
sent the servants and people of the Lord, as
denyers of salvation by Jesus Christ ; making
his birth in Bethlehem of Judea, his travails,
sufferings, blood, death, resurrection and as-
cension of no value; denyers of the Scrip-
tures of Truth ; and instead thereof, preach-
ing up salvation by meritorious works of our
own ; and in short, representing us as enemies
to Christianity. Concerning these charges,
in every particular, clear and full answers
have been given, to which I refer all dissatis-
fied persons. That which lies on my spirit at
this time, is, to declare in the presence and
power of God, that these things spoken and
written of us, are as false as the accusations

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of the Pharisees conoeroing Christ Jesus, and
as false as the accusations of the Jews, cod-
cerniog the apostles.

For, first, we declare to all nations, tongues
and languages, that we believe in the one,
holy, everlasting God.

We believe concerning him, that he is a
Spirit ; and concerning his worship, that it is
in spirit and spiritual.

We believe, preach, and publish salvation
in, and by no other name, but by and through
him, of whom all the prophets gave testimony,
the apostles preached, the primitive saints be-
lieved and received, namely, Jisus Christ.

We declare we are so far from denying or
having any light esteem of that holy, honour-
able record, the Scriptures of Truth, that we
are often greatly bowed and tendered in spirit,
in the sense of the great mercy and love of
our God ; that although the wicked have been
sufiered to persecute, revile and evilly to re-
present the way of life and salvation believed
and preached by them, and also have pro-
ceeded to kill the bodies of the prophets of
God, of Christ Jesus our Lord, his apostles
and fiuthful servants ; yet such hath been his
great and inexpressible love, to preserve their
precious testimonies unto our age.

And now in the universal love of the God
of the spirits of all flesh, I warn you, that as
any thing comes to your ears of us, contrary
to this our faith and belief in God, that you
be so noble, as to do that which is just and
equal for you to do, viz : to keep an ear for
the accused, and to hear without partiality.
Let none be like those ignoble people of Thes-
salonica, who being moved with envy, refused
to hear the apostles* doctrine; but be like
those worthy Bereans, whose nobility is re-
corded, because they received the word with
all readiness of mind, and searched the Scrip-
tures daily, to see whether those things were
so or no.

This ye rulers and people, will hinder you
from having groundless prejudices against an
innocent people, and from running on to per-
secute them, having not heard nor known
their principles, but from the misrepresenta-
tion of others. This thing hath brought an
insupportable burthen on some; and I am
glad that the unfruitfulness of coercion is in
any measure seen ; but sorry that some men
should make so ill use of their liberty, as to
improve it to calumniate those who in spirit
are travailing after the Lord.

And this know, that there are thousands in
this land, that are the visited of the Lord
For having bowed down his ear to the cries
of spiritual oppressed Israel, and seen the
thraldom of sin and iniquity, their groanings

for deliverance from the bouse of bondage
and darkness, are come up before him ; and
for the sake of the poor^ and cry of the needy,
that have no helper on the earth, he hath risen,
and is making bare his arm in the sight of the
nations, to carry on his great work of de*
stroying sin and finishing transgression, and
bringing in everlasting righteousness.

Therefore, as you desire to prosper, let
none endeavour to hinder this work of the
Lord ; for all (hat shall presume so to do, his
heavy hand will bcf upon them. Let all the
prejudices and resentments that have been re-
ceived in the minds of any, through the enmi-
ty or ignorance of men, be dispossessed ; and
hear for yourselves, and try all things, and
hold fast thht which is good; for sorrow comes
on many daily^ who have received false re-
ports of an innocent people, and thereby have
been prejudiced, so as to speak evil of that
way they have not known nor proved. As
the apostle said, so can we say, in the way
accounted heresy, by some in our day, as in
ages past, we worship God, believing what is
written in the law and the prophets, and of
Christ Jesus, by the apostles.

So the Lord Almighty in his infinite love,
open the understandings of all that have de>
sires after the knowledge of the Lord, rightly
to discern the stumbling-blocks, and to see
them removed, that the subtle enemy of man*
kind, through his instruments, hath laid in the
way : and may he reach with his hand of love,
to gather those who have some desires after
the Lord, and yet are led by the craftiness of
men, to seek the living among the dead, and
to wander on the barren mountains of profes-
sion; the Lord open their understandings
everywhere, and bring them to the blessed
sheepfoldof^ Christ Jesus, is the desire of him,
who is a travailer in body and spirit for the
outcasts of Israel, and scattered of Jacob, that
they may be gathered.

Charles Marshall.

An exhortation to the Quarterly, Monthly, and
other meeting9, for trantacting the affairt of

Dearly beloved Friends,
This exhortation ariseth in my heart, in
the motion of God's Spirit, unto all concerned
in these meetings, that before you begin to
speak to the matters before you, you all take
time to wait on the Lord, to have your minds
gathered to the heavenly light of righteous-
ness, to feel the pure spring of wisdom, which
is from above, pure and peaceable, in which
every one may see and know their places in

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Ihe body. As every one is here centered,
waiting in contritedness of spirit upon the
Lord, the sensual wisdom being under foot,
and self made of no reputation, but humbled
to the death of the cross, all seek the pros-
perity and welfare of the body, in the univer*
sal spirit of life and love. When a matter is
spoken of, all will weigh the thing in the hea-
venly peaceable wisdom of God; and as things
are opened in the understanding, there will be
a pertinent speaking to the subject, one by
one : and here, in the unity of the Spirit of
life and peace, things will be soon despatched ;
for they will be seen through, as the inward
eye and sense is opened, and attentive to the
heavenly oracle.

And, dear Friends, as your concerns in
SMch meetings are managed in the meek spi-
rit of Christ Jesus, the Saviour of the world,
you will be refreshed, and go away from them
comforted, being seasoned by the grace of God
amongst you ; and as you return to your re
spective places, the savour in which you come
from the meetings, will refresh and encourage
your brethren and sisters.

But where there is not a waiting thus to be
guided, so that all know their places in the
body, for every member is not an eye, a
hcuad, or a foot, there will be confusion. If
the earthly, sensual wisdom, in which is the
ground for rents, contentious passions, haste
and heat, gets up to order there, the fruit will
follow ,* and then the heritage of the Lord is
grieved and burthened ; and this leaven will
leaven others. As the right management of
these meetings would be inexpressibly profita-
ble to the l^dy in the general, so the wrong
management cannot but cause great hurt to
the body. The Lord God of wisdom and
strength, cause this to weigh on all hearts
concerned herein, that so he may have his
honour, and we all the comfort thereof.

And, dear Friends, God is jealous for his
name and honour, and will not give it to an-
other; and nothing must rule amongst his
people, but his Spirit and those who are guided
by it.

Having in some measure cleared myself, in
the counsel of the Lord, and desiring that eye
may be opened in all, and kept open, that will
see the weight of this matter, I remain in a
travail to see Sion perfectly delivered, and
brought into the perfection of the beauty of
holiness, which was the righteous end of the
Lord God in visiting us with his holy glorious
day-spring from on high ;

Your dear brother, in the measure of the grace
of God received.

Charles Marshall.

SattoD-UnderbnleB, the 14ih of the
Eteventh montfa, 1671.

A saluUUion to the men and toameu^s mfieiings
about ihe city of BrietoL

Dear Friends,

Online LibraryWilliam EvansThe Friends' library: comprising journals, doctrinal treatieses, & other writings of members of the religious Society of Freinds → online text (page 35 of 104)