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s beasts of the field, and fowls of the air; a land of s judgment, and not of promise; of curses, and not
My friends, whilst the sense of this distress, that is coming as a dreadful visitation from the hand of the displeased God, upon this ungodly land, to stain its glory, bring down its pride, and punish its forgetfulness of the Lord, and his many deliverances, lay so heavy upon my spirit, the Lord presented before me all the truly conscientious and well-inclined people in these nations; and more efpecially YOU, his despised, but chosen generation, for whose fake he would yet have mercy. And, in the midst of his judgments, This I received for you from the Lord, as his holy will and counsel; and it often sprung in my heart, with a very fresh and strong life,
TO THY TENTS, O ISRAEL!
GOD is thy TENT; to thy GOD, O ISRAEL!
Prepare, O friends, to stand in this day before the Lord, (that is in the first place) for ye also shall have your exercise : yea, great is that work which ye have to do for the Lord, by his powerful but very peaceable Spirit; for God will, by all these hurries, confusions, and vexations that are at the door, drive people from their false gods, and bring them home to HIMSELF. He will throw down wickedness, and establish righteousness: he will waste fin, but truth shall grow. He will debase the mountain of empty profession, buc the « mountain of his holiness shall be exalted.” He hath determined to raise up, and renown, the seed of light, life, and truth, in the hearts of people: holy patience, meekness, wisdom, love, faith, purity, and perseverance (so much wanting in the world) shall be seen to dwell in it, and only to come from it. And my witness is, That ye are the people, through whom this beavenly feed of righteousness must clearly and sted
faftly faftly so shine unto others, in these uneven and rough times that are come, and coming, as that your heavenly Father may be glorified by you.
Wherefore, in the name of the Lord, be ye all disencumbered of the world, and discharged of the cares of it: Ay, as for your lives, from the snares therein, and get you into your watch tower, the name of the LORD! Which is not a dead name, or a mere literal name, but a living, Spiritual, and very powerful name ; a strong tower indeed, yea, an invincible fortress; where dwell ye with God, and in him who speaketh peace to his children, and ordains quietness for them that trust in him. He will make you to lie down safely, even then when darkness and confusion shall be thick about you; yea, ye shall live in the fire, that will consume the stubble of the world, and your garments shall not be so much as singed; for the Son of God, whom the . flames, as well as winds and feas, obey, will be in the midst of you.
Next, friends, this know; we are the people, above all others, that must stand in the gap, and pray for the putting away of the wrath, so as that this land be not made an uiter desolation; and God expects it at our hands. Prepare yė therefore to meet and sanctify the Lord in his coming and judginents! Why stand any of you gazing? Let none gaze or look out, I befeech you; that is the enemy's work, to weaken you within ; but be ye retired, be ye centered in the Eternal One: and meditate upon the Lord, and his living pure law, that ye may be wise in heart, and travail in spirit for this poor land, and that for enemies as well as friends. The Lord is ready to hear you for this people, when you are ready to intercede: and I testify, Abraham is amongst you; God's friend, and his just Lot too; yea, Jacob that prevailed; and one that is greater than all, JESUS, the Lamb of God, whose blood speaketh better things than that of Abel, in whom is the mediation and atonement. Be therefore encouraged to wait upon the Lord, and to bow before him, and humbly to mediate, in the life of Jesus,
with him: I know he will put it in your hearts fo to do, if ye wait upon him ; for he will not cast off this land, as he did Sodom; he hath a right seed, a noble people in it, that he hath and yet will gather : many Theep there be, not yet of our fold, whom he will bring in; and the foul weather and the storms will but help to drive them home to Jesus, the living and true witness, and light within ; that he, whom God hath ordained to reign, may be great in them.
And lastly, my dear friends and brethren, by how much this day draws nigh, by so much the more do ye stand loose in your affections to the world, but fast in the faith; and assemble yourselves together, and let God arise in you, and his power and spirit of life among you, that ye may not only wrestle, but in the end prevail, that it may be seen that “ salvation is of rs the Jews,” the Jews inward, in spirit and in truth: and truly the time hastens, that “ ten shall take hold « of the skirt of such a Jew; and they shall be saved.” But wo to the hypocrite in that day, the formalift, the Jew outward, the circumcision in the flesh, and Aeshly Christian, that cannot resist the temptations of this world; the temporizer; one that runs with the tide ; he will be divided: for there will be more tides, more interests on foot at once, than one: 'wherefore perplexity will take hold on him, his policy will be confounded; he will not know what to do to be safe, nor what to join with; this « double-minded man” will be unstable in his counsels and in his actions, his fandy foundation will be shaken. Therefore, as I said, Wo to the hypocrite, and to the covetous man too, for his god will fail him; the thief, the moth and rust will invade his bags, and surprize his treasure : his anguish will be great in this day : but, my dear brethren, as the power and spirit of our Lord God will preserve and establish us, if we sincerely and entirely confide therein, and that above our folicitation, or need of carnal consultation or contrivances, which we have therefore laid aside; fo shall it vindicate us, in due time, in the eyes of all nations, and present us a peo.
ple owned, beloved, and protected of God, in whom we have firmly believed. Nor is this presumption, as some may think; who being not so well acquainted with that entire resignation, and supreme faith (of which Jesus is the Author) that removes mountains into the sea, conclude, from mere natural and human considerations, against us; yet we know him in whom we have believed; and the same that hath cured us of our diseases, the same said unto us, “ Arise, and walk " in this way of FAITH; trust in me, and not in ano" ther.” And truly, this is much of that wonder which men shall have in their minds and mouths about us in those latter days; - In troubles not to be de
jected, and in jeopardies not to be concerned to o make to ourselves defences :' as the lilies, that neither toil nor fpin, yet feed and grow, so we may both be preserved, and become victorious, without worldly force or projections: for we must shew ourselves to be that little city and hill of God, that hath only bis falvation for our walls and bulwarks; by whom he will renown his arm, and magnify his power, above the arts and contrivances of men. Our weapons and our armour is Spiritual; it hath prevailed, and it will prevail, if we keep in the "faith which was first de“ livered to us :" a blessed shield, by which the just
live. i. And therefore, my dear friends, let us be careful
· not to mingle with the crowd, left their spirit enter . us, instead of our spirit entering them, and we thereby
come to fall into the same temptations they are liable to, of fear, and flying to the hills and mountains to protect them, confiding in the arm of Aesh to deliver them: no, no; they must come to us, we must not go to them. Yet can we not be insensible of their infirmities, as well as we shall not be free from some of their sufferings; we must make their cafe as our own, and travail alike in spirit for them as for ourselves. Let us stand in the counsel of our God, and he will make us preachers forth to them of the works of his divine power, and the virtue of that faith which VOL. IV.
comes from heaven; yea, he will make us as saviours to the people, that they may come to know the holy law and word of the Lord, their Creator, in their hearts, and have their minds and souls turned to him, and stayed upon him, that iniquity may no more abound, nor ungodliness find a place; but that in truth, righteousness, and peace, they may be established, and the land keep its sabbath to the Lord for ever! Then shall God lift up the “ light of his coun6 tenance upon us,” and water us from heaven, and bless us with all temporal and spiritual blessings; and we shall be yet called, “ THE ISLAND SAVED BY THE « LORD.” Amen, Amen.
This was upon my soul from God to you: I could not visit you all with a distinct message upon many accounts : besides, the time is short, and the confusion appears to me to be at hand: therefore have I sent it by way of epistle, with the brotherly falutation of unfeigned and unalterable love to you all, in your respective meetings and families. And the Lord God of our visitation and redemption, stir you up to these things, and keep us all in his holy fear, wisdom, love, and patience, through all those travails and exercises, to the end of our days; that having finished our testimonies, our heads may go down to the grave in peace, and our souls be received into the rest which is reserved for the righteous with God, and with his blessed Lamb for ever.
I am :
Your brother and companion through the many tribulations of our day and testimony,
W. PENN. Worminghurst in Sussex, the 4th of the gth month, 1678. I desire that this epistle may be read, in the fear of the Lord, in your several meetings.