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God will be glorified through our sufferings, and his name will be exalted in the patience, and long-suffering of his chosen. When I heard that thou wast called into this trial, with the servants of the most High, to give thy testimo. ny to the truth of what we have believed, it came into my heart to write unto thee, and to greet thee with the embraces of the power of an endless life ; where our faith stands, and unity is felt with the saints for ever. Well, my dear friend, let us live in the pure council of the Lord, and dwell in his srtength; which gives us power, and sufficiency to endure all things, for his name's sake; and then our crown and re. ward will be with the Lord for ever; and the blessings of his heavenly kingdom will be our portion. Oh, dear heart, let us give up all free. ly into the will of God, that God may be glori. fied by us, and we comforted together in the Lord Jesus; which is the desire of my soul, who am thy dear and loving friend in the eternal truth.
We are more than forty here, which suf. fer innocently, for the testimony of a good conscience, because we cannot swear, and break Christ's commands; and we are all well, and the blessings and presence of God is with us. Friends here salute thee. Farewell.
The power and the wisdom of the Lord God be with thee, amen.
Greatly was my spirits refreshed, and my heart gladed, at the reading of this consolating letter from my friend ; and my soul blessed the Lord for his love, and tender goodness to me, in moving his servant to write thus un. to me.
But I had cause soon after to double, and redouble my thankful acknowledgement to the Lord my God, who put it into the heart of my dear friend Isaac Penington, also, to visit me with some encouraging lines, from Alesbury. gaol, where he was then a prisoner; and from whence, having heard that I was carried pri. soner to Oxford, he thus saluted me.
Great hath been the Lord's goodness to thee, in calling thee out of that path of vanity and death, wherein thou wast running towards de. struction, to give thee a living nane, and an inheritance of life among his people ; which certainly will be the end of thy faith in him, and obedience to him. And let it not be a light thing in thine eyes, that he now accounteth thee worthy to suffer among his choice lambs, that He might make thy crown weightier, and thy inheritance the fuller. O that, that eye and heart may be kept open in thee, which knoweth the value of these things! And that thou mayest be kept close to the feeling of the life, that thou mayest be fresh in thy spirit in the midst of thy suffering, and mayest reap the benefit of them ; finding that pared off
thereby, which hindereth the bubblings of the everlasting springs, and maketh unfit for the breaking forth, and enjoyment of the pure power! This is the brief salutation of my dear love to thee, which desireth thy strength and settlement in the power; and the utter weakening of thee as to self. My dear love is to thee, with dear Thomas Goudyare, and the rest of imprisoned friends.
I remain thine in the truth, to which the Lord my God preserve me single and faithful.
I, P. ALESBURY GAOL, . 14th of 12th mo. 1660.
1661. Though these epistolary visits in the love of God, were very comfortable and con. firming to me, and my heart was thankful to the Lord for them, yet I honed after personal conversation with friends, and it was hard, I thought, that there should be so many faithful servants of God so near me, yet I should not be permitted to come at them, to enjoy their company, and reap both the pleasure and benefit of their sweet society.
For although my marshal-keeper was very kind to me, and allowed me the liberty of his house, yet he was not willing I should be seen abroad; the rather perhaps, because he understood I had been pretty well known in that city. Yet once the friendly baker got him to let me step over to his house ; and once, and
but once, I prevailed with him to let me visit my friends in the castle, but it was with these conditions, that I should not go forth till it was dark; that I would muffle myself up in my cloak; and that I would not stay out late. All which I punctually observed.
When I came thither, though there were many friends prisoners, I scarce knew one of them by face, except Thomas Loe; whom I had once seen at Isaac Penington's; nor did any of them know me, though they had generally heard, that such a young man as I, was convinced of the truth, and come among Friends.
Our salutation to each other was very grave and solemn; nor did we entertain one another with much talk, or with common discourses ; but most of the little time I had with them, was spent in a silent retiredness of spirit, waiting upon the Lord." Yet before we parted, we imparted one to another some of the exer. cises we had gone through ; and they seeming willing to understand the ground and manner of my commitment, I gave them a brief account thereof; letting Thomas Loe more particularly know, that I had directed a letter to him, which having fallen into the. hand of the lord-lieutenant, was, so far as I could learn, the immediate cause of my being
Having staid with them as long as my limited time would permit, which I thought was
but very short, that I might keep touch with my keeper, and come home in due time, I took leave of my friends there, and with mutual embraces parting, returned to my (in some sense more easy, but in others less easy) prison, where, after this, I staid not long, before I was bought back to my father's house.
For after my father was come home, who, as I observed before was from home when I was taken, he applied himself to those justices that had committed me, and not having disobliged them when he was in office, easily obtained leave to have me sent home; which between him and them was thus contrived.
There was about this time a general muster and training of the militia forces at Oxford ; whither, on that occasion came the lord-lieutenant, and the deputy-lieutenants of the county; of which number they who committed me were two.
When they had been awhile together, and the marshal with them, he stept suddenly in, and in haste told me I must get ready quickly to go out of town; and that a soldier would come by and by to go with me. This said, he hastened to them again ; not giving me any intimation how I was to go, or whither.
I needed not much time to get ready in ; but I was uneasy in thinking what the Friends of the town would think of this my sudden, and private removal ; and I feared, lest any report should be raised, that I had purchased my liberty by an unfaithful compliance.