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them for the caldron; so these that profess themselves christians now (both priests and professors) and are not in the same power and spirit that Christ and the holy prophets and apostles were in, are in the same nature that the old professing Jews were in, and are men-eaters as well as they. These stirred up persecution, and set the wicked informers on work; so that a Friend could hardly speak a few words in a private family, before they sat down to eat, but some were ready to inform against them. A particular instance of which I have heard, as followeth:
At Droitwich, J. Cartwright came to a Friend's house; and being moved of the Lord to speak a few words before he sat down to supper, there came an informer, and stood hearkening under the window. When he had heard the Friend speak, hoping to get some gain to himself, he went and informed; and got a warrant to distrain the Friend's goods under pretence that there was a meeting at his house: whereas there was none in the house at that time but the Friend, the man of the house, his wife, and their maid-servant. But this evil-minded man, as he came back with his warrant in the night, fell off his horse, and broke his neck. So there was a wretched end of a wicked informer, who hoped to have enriched himself by spoiling Friends: but the Lord prevented him, and cut him off in his wickedness.
Now though it was a cruel, bloody, persecuting time, yet the Lord's power went over all, his everlasting seed prevailed; and Friends were made to stand firm and faithful in the Lord's power. And some of the sober people of the world would say, “if Friends did not stand, the nation would run into debauchery.'
Though by reason of my weakness I could not travel amongst Friends as I used to do; yet in the motion of life I sent the following lines, as an encouraging testimony to them:
‘My DEAR FRIENDs—The seed is above all. In it walk; in which ye all have life. Be not amazed at the weather; for always the just suffered by the unjust, but the just had the dominion. And all along ye may see, by faith the mountains were subdued; and the rage of the wicked with his fiery darts, were quenched. Though the waves and storms be high, yet your faith will keep you, so as to swim above them; for they are but for a time, and the truth is without time. Therefore, keep on the mountain of holiness, ye who are led to it by the light, where nothing shall hurt. Do not think that any thing will outlast the truth, which standeth sure, and is over that which is out of the truth. For the good will overcome the evil, the light darkness, the life death, virtue vice, and righteousness unrighteousness. The false prophet cannot overcome the true; but the true prophet, Christ, will overcome all
the false. So be faithful, and live in that which doth not think the time long. G. F.”
After some time it pleased the Lord to allay the heat of this violent persecution; and I felt in spirit an overcoming of the spirits of those men-eaters that had stirred it up, and carried it on to that height of cruelty though I was outwardly very weak. And I plainly felt, and those Friends that were with me, and that came to visit me, took notice, that, as the persecution ceased, I came from under the travails and suf. serings which had laid with such weight upon me: so that towards the spring I began to recover, and to walk up and down, beyond the expectation of many; who did not think I could ever have gone abroad again, I had been so exceeding weak, through the travail and exercise that were upon my spirit.
Whilst I was under this spiritual travail and suffering, the state of the city New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven, was opened to me; which some carnal-minded people had looked upon to be like an outward city, that had dropped out of the elements. But I saw the beauty and glory of it, the length, the breadth, and the height thereof, all in complete proportion. I saw that all, who are within the light of Christ, in his faith, which he is the author of, in the spirit, the holy ghost, which Christ, the holy prophets, and apostles were in, and within the grace, truth, and power of God, which are the walls of the city, such are within the city, are members of this city, and have right to eat of the tree of life, which yields her fruit every month, and whose leaves are for the healing of the nations. But they that are out of the grace, truth, light, spirit, and power of God, such as resist the holy ghost, quench, vex, and grieve the spirit of God, who hate the light, turn from the grace of God into wantonness, and do despite to the spirit of grace, such as have erred from the faith, made shipwreck of it and of a good conscience, who abuse the power of God, and despise prophesying, revelation, and inspiration, these are the dogs and unbelievers that are without the city. These make up the great city Babylon, confusion, and her cage, the power of darkness; and the evil spirit of error surrounds and covers them over. In this great city Babylon are the false prophets, in the false power and false spirit; the beast in the dragon's power, and the whore that is gone a whoring from the spirit of God, and from Christ her husband. But the Lord's power is over all this power of darkness, cage, whore, beast, dragon, false prophets and their worshippers, who are for the lake which burns with fire. Many things more did I see concerning the heavenly city, the New Jerusalem, which are hard to be uttered, and would be hard to be received. But, in short, this holy city is within the light; and all that are within the light, are within the city; the gates whereof stand open all the day (for there is no night there,) that all may come in. Christ's blood being shed for every man, he tasted death for every man, and enlighteneth every man that cometh into the world; and his grace, that brings salvation, having appeared to all men, there is no place or language where his voice may not be heard. The christians in the primitive times were called by Christ ‘a city set upon a hill; they were also called ‘the light of the world,' and “ the salt of the earth;' but when christians lost the light, salt, and power of God, they came to be trodden under foot, like unsavoury salt. Even as the Jews, who while they kept the law of God were preserved above all nations, but when they turned their backs on God and his law, they were trodden under foot of other nations: so Adam and Eve, while they obeyed God, were kept in his image and in the paradise of God, in dominion over all the works of his hands; but when they disobeyed God, they lost the image of God, the righteousness and holiness in which they were made; they lost their dominion, were driven out of paradise, and so fell under the dark power of satan, and came under the chains of darkness. But the promise of God was, ‘that the seed of the woman, Christ Jesus, should bruise the serpent's head,” should break his power and authority, which had led into captivity, and had held man therein. So Christ, who is the first and last, sets man free, and is the resurrection of the just and unjust, the judge of the quick and dead; and they that are in him are invested with everlasting rest and peace, out of all the labours, travails, and miseries of Adam in the fall. So he is sufficient and of ability to restore man up into the state that he was in before he fell; and not into that state only, but up into that state also that never fell, even to himself. I had also in this time a great exercise and travail of spirit upon me, concerning the powers and rulers of these nations, from the sense I had of the many tender visitations and faithful warnings that had been given them, and of their great abuse thereof, who had refused to hear, and had rejected the counsel of the Lord. And though I knew Friends
would be clear of their blood, yet I could not but mourn over them, and give forth these few lines concerning them:
‘We have given them a visitation, have faithfully warned them, have declared to them our innocency and uprightness, and that we never did any hurt to the king, nor to any of his people. We have nothing in our hearts but love and good-will to him and his people; and desire their eternal welfare. But if they will not hear, the day of judgment, sorrow, torment, misery, and sudden destruction will come from the Lord upon them, that have been the cause of the sufferings of many thousands of simple, innocent, harmless people, that have done them no hurt, nor have had any ill will towards him or them; but have desired their eternal good, for the eternal truth's sake. Destruction will come upon them that turn the sword backward. Therefore, do not blind your eyes, the Lord will bring swift destruction and misery upon you. Surely he will do it, and relieve his innocent people, who have groaned for deliverance from under your oppression, and have also groaned for your deliverance out of wickedness. Blessed be the Lord God, that he hath a people in this nation that seek the good of all men upon the face of the earth; for we have the mind of the Lord Jesus Christ, that desires not the death of a sinner, but the salvation and good of all. Blessed be the name of the Lord our God for ever! G. F.”
While I continued at Enfield, a sense came upon me of a hurt, that sometimes happened by persons coming under the profession of truth out of one country into another, to take a husband or wife amongst Friends, where they were strangers, and it was not known whether they were clear and orderly or no. And it opened in me to recommend the following method to Friends, for preventing such inconveniences.
“All Friends that marry, whether men or women, if they come out of another nation, island, plantation, or county, let them bring a certificate from the men's meeting of that county, nation, island, or plantation from which they come, to the men's meeting where they propose their intention of marriage. For the men's meeting being made up of the faithful, this will stop all bad and raw spirits from roving up and down. When any come with a certificate or letter of recommendation from one men's meeting to another, one is refreshed by another, and can set their hands and hearts to the thing. This will prevent a great deal of trouble. And then, when ye have to say to them in the power of God, in admonishing and instructing them, ye are left to the power and spirit of God to do it, and to let them know the duty of marriage, and what it is; that there may be unity and concord in the spirit, and power, light, and wisdom of God, throughout all the men's meetings in the whole world, in one, in the life. Let copies of this be sent to every county, nation, and island, where Friends are, that all things may be kept holy, pure, and righteous, in unity and peace, and God over all may be glorified among you, his lot, his people, and inheritance, his adopted sons and daughters, and heirs of his life. So no more, but my love in that which changeth not.
G. F. “The 14th of the 1st month, 1670-1.’
When I had recovered, so that I could walk a little up and down, I went from Enfield to Gerard Roberts' again, and from thence to the women's school at Shacklewell, and so to the meeting at Gracechurchstreet, London; where, though I was yet but weak, the Lord's power upheld and enabled me to declare his eternal word of life.
About this time I was moved to pray to the Lord, as followeth:
“O Lord God Almighty! prosper truth, and preserve justice and equity in the land and bring down all injustice, iniquity, oppression, falsehood, cruelty, and unmercifulness in the land, that mercy and righteousness may flourish I
“And O Lord God! set up and establish verity, and preserve it in the land! Bring down in the land all debauchery, vice, whoredoms, fornication, and this raping spirit, which causeth and leadeth people to have no esteem of thee, O God! nor their own souls or bodies, nor of christianity, modesty, or humanity
“O Lord! put it in the magistrates' hearts to bring down all this ungodliness, violence, cruelty, profaneness, cursing and swearing ! and to put down all those whorehouses and playhouses, which corrupt youth and people, and lead them from thy kingdom, where no unclean thing can enter, neither shall come! such works lead people to hell. Lord, in mercy bring down all these things in the nation, to stop thy wrath, O God! from coming on the land! G. F.
‘This prayer was wrote the 17th
of the 2d month, 1671.’
I mentioned before, that, upon notice received of my wife's being had to prison again, I sent two of her daughters to the king, and they procured his order to the sheriff of Lancashire for her discharge. But though I expected she would have been set at liberty thereby, yet this violent storm of persecution coming suddenly on, the persecutors there found means to hold her still in prison. But now the persecution a little ceasing, I was moved to speak to Martha Fisher, and another woman Friend, to go to the king about her liberty. They went in the faith, and in the Lord's power; and he gave them favour with the king, so that he granted a discharge under the broad seal, to clear both her and her estate after she had been ten years a prisoner, and premunired; the like whereof was scarce to be heard in England. I sent down the discharge forthwith by a Friend; by whom also I wrote to her, to inform her how to get it delivered to the justices, and also to acquaint her, that it was upon me from the Lord to go beyond sea, to visit the plantations in America, and therefore desired her to hasten to London, as soon as she could conveniently after she had obtained her liberty, because the ship
Wol. II. 14