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her, “in whatsoever business she had need of; for she had been a succourer of many, and of him also:” And he said, “Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my helpers in Christ Jesus, who have for my life laid down their necks; unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles.” Now here the dule may see, these were good holy women, whom the apostle did not forbid speaking, Rom. xvi. 1, 2, 3, 4. but commended them, and Priscilla and Aquila “instructed and expounded unto Apollos the way of God more perfectly.” Acts xviii. 26. So here Priscilla was an instructor as well as Aquila, which holy women the apostle doth not forbid. Neither did he forbid Philip's four daughters, who were virgins, to prophesy. Women might pray and prophesy in the church, 1 Cor. xi. 5. The apostles showed to the Jews the fulfilling of Joel's prophecy: “That in the last days God would pour out of his spirit upon all flesh, and their sons and daughters, servants and handmaids, should “prophesy with the spirit of God.” So the apostle encourages daughters and handmaids to prophesy, as well as sons; and if they do prophesy, they must speak to the church or people, Joel ii. 28. Acts xvii. 18. Did not Miriam the prophetess sing unto the Lord, and all the women with her, when the Lord had delivered the children of Israel from Pharaoh ' Did not she praise the Lord, and prophesy in the congregation of the children of Israel? Was not this in the church 2 Erod. xv. 21. Moses and Aaron did not forbid her prophesying or speaking; but Moses said, “Would God all the Lord's people were prophets!” And the Lord's people are women as well as men. Deborah was a judge and a prophetess; and do not you make use of Deborah's and Miriam's words in your service and worship ! See Jud. v. 1. to 31. Deborah's large speech or song. Barak did not forbid her, nor none of the Jewish priests. Did not she make this speech or song in the congregation or church of Israel? In the book of Ruth there are good speeches of those good women, which were not forbidden. Hannah prayed in the temple before Eli, and the Lord answered her prayer. See what a speech Hannah makes, and a praising of God before Eli the high priest, who did not forbid her. 1 Sam. ii. 1. to 10. Josiah the king sent his priest, with several others, to ask counsel of Huldah the prophetess, who dwelt at Jerusalem in the college. 2 Kings xxii. 14. 2 Chron. xxviv. 22. So here the king and his priests did not despise the counsel of this prophetess; and she prophesied to the congregation of Israel, as may be seen in these chapters. In Luke i. 41. to 55. see what a godly speech Elizabeth made to Mary, and what a large godly speech Mary made also. Mary said, “that the Lord did regard the low estate of his handmaid,” &c. And do not you make use in your worship and service of Mary's and Elizabeth's words from Luke ii. 41. to 55. in your churches, and yet forbid women's speaking in your churches, and but to be in silence 2 Yet all sorts of women speak in your churches when they sing, and say Amen. In Luke ii, there was Anna the prophetess, a widow, of about fourscore and four years, who departed not from the temple, but served God with fasting and prayer night and day. Did not she confess Christ Jesus in the temple, and give thanks to the Lord, “and speak of Christ to all that looked for redemption in Jerusalem " Luke ii. 36, 37, 38. So such holy women were not forbidden to speak in the church, neither in the law nor gospel. Was it not Mary Magdalen and other women that first preached Christ's resurrection to the apostles? The women indeed (namely Eve) was first in transgression; so they were women that first preached the resurrection of Christ Jesus; for Christ said to Mary, &c. “Go to my brethren and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father and to your Father, and to my God and to your God.” John xx. 17. And Luke xxiv. 10. It was Mary Magdalen, Johanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women with them, who told the apostles, “Christ was risen from the dead; and their words and these women's words were as idle tales to the apostles, and they believed them not.” ib. 11. ver, 22. “Certain women also of our company made us astonished,” they said. So here it may be seen that the women's preaching the resurrection of Christ did astonish the apostles. Christ sent these women to preach his resurrection; so it is no shame for such women to preach Christ Jesus, neither are they to be silent when Christ sends them. The apostle says, “Every tongue shall confess to God,” Rom. xv. 11. and “Every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philip. ii. 11. So here it is clear that women must confess Christ as well as men, if every tongue must confess. And the apostle saith, “There is neither male nor female, for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” Gal. iii. 28. “And whereas it is said, “women must ask their husbands at home,” &c. the duke knows very well virgins have no husbands, nor widows; for Anna, the prophetess, was a widow; and if Christ be the husband, men must ask counsel of him at home, as well as women, before they teach. And set the case that a Turk's wife should be a christian, or a Papist's wife should be a Lutheran, or a Calvinist, must they ask and learn of their husbands at home before they confess Christ Jesus in the congregation of the Lord? Their counsel will be to them to turn Turks or Papists. ‘I intreat the duke to consider these things, I intreat him to mind God's grace and truth in his heart, that is come by Jesus Christ, that by his spirit of grace and truth he may come to serve and worship God in his spirit and truth; so that he may serve the living eternal God that made him, in his generation, and have his peace in Christ that the world cannot take away. And I do desire his good peace and prosperity in this world, and his eternal comfort and happiness in the world that is everlasting, Amen. G. F. ‘London, the 26th of the 8th month, 1684.’
Besides the foregoing, I wrote also epistles to Friends; one of which the following is a copy of:
* Friends and Brethren in the Lord Jesus Christ,
“In whom you have life, peace, and salvation; walk in him who is your heavenly rock and foundation, that stands sure, who hath all power in heaven and earth given unto him. So his power is over all. Let your faith stand in his power, which is over all from everlasting to everlasting, over the devil and his power; that in the holy heavenly wisdom of God ye may be preserved and kept to God's glory, out of all the snares and temptations; that God's wisdom may be justified of all his children in this day of his power, and they all may be faithful, serving and worshipping God in spirit and truth, and valiant for it upon the earth. For, as the apostle saith, “they that believe are entered into their rest, and have ceased from their own works, as God did from his.” Now this rest is an eternal rest in Christ, the eternal Son of God, in whom every true believer hath everlasting life in Christ Jesus, their rest and everlasting day. For Christ the rest bruiseth the serpent's head, and through death destroyeth death, and the devil, the power of death, and his works. He is the eternal rest, that giveth eternal life to his sheep. Christ fulfilleth the prophets, and all the figures, shadows, and ceremonies, as in the Old Testament; and all the promises are yea and amen in Christ, who was the eternal rest to all true believers in the apostles' days, and ever since, and is so now. Christ is the beginning and the ending, the first and last, ascended above all principalities, powers, thrones, and dominions, that he might fill all things. For by Jesus Christ all things were made and created, whether they be things in heaven or things in the earth;” and he is the eternal rest. They that believe are entered into Christ, their eternal rest, in whom they have eternal life, and peace with God. Wherefore I say again, in him who is your rest live and abide; for in him ye are happy, and his blessings will rest upon you. God Almighty keep and preserve you all, his true believers, in Christ your rest and peace this day, Amen.
G. F. * London, the 18th of the 12th month, 1684-5.”
About a month after I got a little out of London, visiting Friends at South-street, Ford-green, and Enfield, where I had meetings. Afterwards I went to Waltham-abbey, and was at a meeting there on a first-day; which was very large and peaceable. Then returning through Enfield and about Edmonton-side, I came back to London in the third month, to advise with and assist Friends in laying their sufferings before the parliament then sitting; and we drew up a short account of our sufferings, which we caused to be printed and spread amongst the parliament-men. The Yearly Meeting coming on, I was much concerned for Friends that came up to it out of the country, lest they should meet with any trouble or disturbance in their passage up or down; and the rather, because about that time a great bustle arose in the nation about the duke of Monmouth's landing in the west. But the Lord, according to his wonted goodness, was graciously pleased to preserve Friends in safety, and gave us a blessed opportunity to meet together in peace and quietness, and accompanied our meeting with his living, refreshing presence: blessed for ever be his holy name Considering the hurries that were in the nation, it came upon me at the close of this meeting to write a few lines to Friends, “to caution all to keep out of the spirit of the world, in which trouble is, and to dwell in the peaceable truth; as followeth: * ‘DEAR FRIENDS AND BRETHREN,-Whom the Lord hath called and chosen in Christ Jesus, your life and salvation, in whom ye have rest and peace with God; the Lord by his mighty power which is over all, hath preserved and supported you to this day, to be a peculiar holy people to himself, so that by his eternal spirit and power ye might be all kept out of the world, for in the world is trouble. In this great day of the Lord God Almighty, he is shaking the heavens and the earth of outward professions, their elements are in a heat, their sun and their moon are darkened, the stars falling, and the mountains and hills shaking and tottering, as it was among the Jews in the days of Christ's appearing. Therefore, dear friends, and brethren, dwell in the seed, Christ Jesus, the rock and foundation, that cannot be shaken; that ye may see with the light and spirit of Christ, that ye are as fixed stars in the firmament of God's power; and in this his power and light you will see over all the wandering stars, clouds without water, and trees without fruit. That which may be shaken will be shaken, as will all that are wandered from the firmament of God's power. “Dear friends and brethren, you that are redeemed from the death and fall of Adam, by Christ, the second Adam, in him ye have life, rest, and peace; for Christ saith, “in me ye-shall have peace, but in the world trouble.” And the apostle saith, “they that believe are entered into their rest,” namely Christ, who hath overcome the world, bruiseth the serpent's head, destroys the devil and his works, and fulfils the types, figures, and shadows of the Old Testament, and the prophets. In whom the promises are yea and amen; who is the first and last, beginning and ending, the eternal rest. So keep and walk in Christ, your rest, every one that has received him. “Dear friends and brethren, whatever bustlings and trouble, tumults or outrages, quarrels and strife, arise in the world, keep out of them all ; concern not yourselves with them; but keep in the Lord's power and peaceable truth, that is over all such things; in which power ye seek the peace and good of all men. Live in the love which God hath shed abroad in your hearts through Christ Jesus; in which love nothing is able to separate you from God and Christ, neither outward sufferings, persecutions, nor any outward thing that is below and without; nor to hinder or break your heavenly fellowship in the light, gospel, and spirit of Christ, nor your holy communion in the holy ghost, that proceeds from the Father and the Son, which leads you into all truth. In this holy ghost, in which is your holy communion, that proceeds from the Father and the Son, you have fellowship with the Father and the Son, and one with another. This is it which links and joins Christ's church or body together to him the heavenly and spiritual head, and in unity in his spirit, which is the bond of peace to all his church, and living members, in whom they have eternal rest and peace in Christ, and with God everlasting, who is to be blessed and praised for ever, Amen! “Dear friends, forsake not the assembling of yourselves together, who are gathered in the name of Jesus, your prophet, whom God has raised up in the New Testament, to be heard in all things; who opens to you, and no man can shut, who shuts and no man can open; he is your priest, made higher than the heavens by the power of an endless life; by him you are made a royal priesthood, to offer up to God spiritual sacrifice ; He is the bishop of your souls, to oversee you, that you do not go astray from God; he is the good shepherd that hath laid down his life for his sheep, and they hear his voice and follow him, and he gives to them eternal life. “Dear friends and brethren, abide in Christ the vine, that ye may bring forth fruit to the glory of God. As every one hath received Christ, walk in him, who is not of the world that lies in wickedness; so that ye may be preserved out of the vain fashions and customs of the world which satisfy the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life, which are not of the Father, but of the world that passes away. Whoever joins to that which is not of the Father, or encourages it, draws the mind from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore let Christ rule in your hearts, that your minds, souls, and spirits may be kept out of the vanities of the world in their words, ways, and actions, that ye may be a peculiar people, zealous of good works, serving the Lord through Jesus Christ, to the praise and glory of God; that by the word of his grace your words may be gracious, and in your lives