The Missing Cross to Purity




The Life of William Dewsbury
Continued


CHAPTER XVII

1680. William Dewsbury loses his little granddaughter and attendant in prison, Mary Samm— Particulars of her illness and death—Address, suggested by the event—Reflections on his character in reference thereto—William Dewsbury finally discharged from prison—Epistle.

IT was during the time of his imprisonment, early in the year 1680, that this meek and patient servant of the Lord was visited with domestic affliction in the decease of his grand-daughter, Mary Samm, a child of twelve years and four months old, who had come from Bedfordshire, where her parents lived, to reside with her grandfather, while prisoner in Warwick jail. William Dewsbury had two daughters married in that county, one to John Samm, the other to a John Hush. This we learn from George Fox's having in the year 1677, as mentioned in his Journal, met with William Dewsbury, then on a visit to his son-in-law, Rush; on which occasion, they attended several meetings in that neighborhood together. The following is the account which William Dewsbury himself gives of the last hours of his grand-daughter, Mary Samm, "who dwelled with her grandfather, William Dewsbury, at the Sargeant's Ward, in Warwick jail, where he was and is prisoner for the testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ."

On the first day of the second month, 1680, it pleased the Lord to afflict her with a violent fever, that brought her very low in a little time. Great had been her exercise of Spirit, as to her condition and state with God; weeping many times when she was alone. When she had been well Her aunt, Joan Dewsbury, asked her why she walked so often alone in the garden and was so sorrowful?

She answered, "Dear aunt, I am troubled in my conscience for want of a full assurance of my eternal salvation. For, not any one knows my exercise, but the Lord alone, that I have gone through since I came to Warwick. It was begun a little before I came, but it was but a little; but since I came to Warwick, this was my exercise:—I thought I should not live long, and that if I died, I did not know where my soul would go. But, I hope the Lord will give me satisfaction before I die. It is but hope; and though but hope, yet, for this hope my soul shall praise the name of the Lord forever."

And she continued, at that time, praising the name of the Lord, and making melody with joyful sounds, many times in her great affliction.

The next day, some Friends being in the room with her, she was much opened, in declaring how she had observed the dealings of the Lord with her in time past. "I have been twice in my days," said she, "near to death, but the Lord in his tender mercy prolonged my days that I might seek his face in the light of Christ and come to be acquainted with him before I depart from here" Adding, "If this distemper does not abate, I must die; but my soul shall go to eternal joy,—eternal, eternal, and everlasting life and peace with my God forever! Oh! praises, praises to your majesty, O my God! who helps me to go through with patience what I am to endure."

Then, after some time, she said, "Friends, we must all depart from here, one after another, and they that live the longest know and endure the greatest sorrow. Therefore, Oh Lord, if it is your will, take me to yourself, that my soul may rest in peace with you."—" Oh! praises, praises, be to your holy name forever, in your will being done with me, to take me to yourself, where I shall be in heavenly joy, yes, in heavenly joy forever and forevermore."

The day following she desired all to leave the room so she could be alone. After a considerable time, when we heard her groan upon her sick-bed, her mother and grandfather went to her, where she said to them, "I have now received full satisfaction of my eternal salvation; it is now done, it is now done! And, dear mother, when you or any of my sisters die, I desire the Lord may go along with you. For I am very willing to die, that the Lord may glorify his name this day, in his will being done with me."—Many times would she be praying to the Lord, day and night; "O Lord, lay no more upon me than you gives me strength to bear and go through with patience; that your will may be done, that your will may be done;" (many times repeated.) "Oh! help me, help me, O my God! that I may praise your holy name forever." Thus she continued, very often praising the name of the Lord with joyful sounds, and singing high praises to his holy name forever and forevermore. Being much spent with lifting up her voice in high praises to God, through fervency of spirit, and her body being very weak, her grandfather went into the room, and desired her to be as still as she possibly could, and keep her mind inward and stayed upon the Lord, and see if she could have a little rest and sleep.

She answered, "Dear grandfather, I shall die, and I cannot but praise the name of the Lord while I have a being. I do not know what to do but to praise his name enough while I live. But while there is life, there is hope; but I do believe it is better for me to die than live."

Thus she continued speaking of the goodness of the Lord from day to day, which caused many tears to flow from the eyes of those that heard her.

Her grandfather coming to her, asked her how she did; she replied to him and to her mother,—"I have had no rest this night nor today. I did not know but I should have died this night, and very hardly I tugged through it. But I shall die today, and a grave shall be made, and my body put into a hole; and my soul shall go to heavenly joy, yes, to heavenly joy and everlasting peace forevermore!" Then she said, "Dear grandfather, I do believe you will not stay long behind me, when I am gone."

He answered, "Dear granddaughter, I shall come as fast as the Lord orders my way."

Then she praised the name of the Lord with high praises and joyful sounds for a season; and then desired her mother to let her be taken up for a little time, saying, "it may be it will give me some ease."

They then sent for her grandfather, who said to her, "If this is your last day, and in which you are to die, it is not safe for you to be taken out of your bed. Dear Mary, you shall have all attendance that is convenient; as, to set you up in your bed and to lay you down again; but to take you up, we are not willing to do it."

She replied, "Well, grandfather, what you see best for me I am willing to have so." When her mother and aunt set her up in her bed, she said it did refresh her and gave her some ease, and as they were ordering what was to be done about her bed, she said, "Oh! what a deal of ado is here in ordering a bed, for one who is upon her deathbed."

Her aunt said, "Mary, do you think you are upon your deathbed?"

She answered, "Yea, yes, I am upon my deathbed; I shall die today, and I am very willing to die, because I know it is better for me to die than live."

Her aunt replied, "I do believe it is better for you to die than live."

She said, "Yes, it is well for me to die."

Her mother then said to her, "Mary, are you well satisfied in your leaving me and your sisters, and in your coming to Warwick to your grandfather?"

She  answered, "Yea, mother, I am very well satisfied: for I saw my way was made so clear for my coming to Warwick. My grandfather and I have lived so comfortably together, that I am fully satisfied as to my coming to him. I have been very well, as to any matter of sickness, until this sickness came upon me. Dear mother, I would have you remember my love to my dear sisters, relations, and friends; and now I have nothing to do, I have nothing to do."

A Friend  answered, "Nothing, Mary, but to die." She then desired her mother to give her a little clear posset* drink,

*a sweet spiced hot milk curdled with ale or beer

"Then," said she, "I will see if  I can have a little rest and sleep before I die."

When the drink came, she took a little, and desired her mother to give her a little to wash her mouth. After which she asked what time of day it was. It being the latter part of the day, her grandfather said, "The chimes are going four."

She said, "I thought it had been more; I will see if I can have a little rest and sleep before I die."
And so she lay still, and had sweet rest and sleep. Then she awoke without any complaint; and in a quiet peaceable frame of spirit laid down her head in peace, when the clock struck the fifth hour of the ninth day of the second month, 1680.

We whose names are underwritten, were eye and ear witnesses of what is before expressed, as near as could be taken, and it does not vary much from what she declared, as to the substance, though much more sweet and comfortable expressions passed from her, but for brevity sake, we who stood by her when she drew her last breath, are willing to publish this only.

WILLIAM DEWSBURY, her grandfather.
MARY SAMM, her mother.
JOAN DEWSBURY, her aunt.
HANNAH WHITEHEAD, a Friend.

The preceding account had prefixed to it by William Dewsbury, "An exhortation to all people, to prize their time, in making their calling and election sure, before they go from here and be no more." From which it will not be unprofitable to subjoin an extract.

From the deep sense of your own nothingness, and the need of the help of Christ Jesus, the true Light and blessed Savior, to whom you cry and pray continually, that he would perfect his great work of regeneration, in leading you in the footsteps of the companions, who have undergone tribulation, who go weeping and seeking the Lord their God, asking the way to Zion, with their faces aimed there;—let your eyes slumber no more in peace, nor your eyelids have rest, until you are assured that the Lord is your God. That he has blotted out your sins, and done away your iniquities for his name's sake, and has accepted of you in his new and everlasting covenant of mercy in Christ Jesus. So, you that were afar off in your rebellious nature, of which you are now ashamed, through true repentance and obedience to the light, are made near by the blood of Christ; which gives you full assurance of your eternal salvation, and purges your consciences from dead works to serve the living God. Whoever you are, that come to witness this blessed work of regeneration wrought in your hearts, as before written, in your being created to a lively hope in Christ Jesus, (mark), you are to watch and pray, that in the exercise and improvement of this hope, you may receive strength to purify yourselves as he is pure. Thus, all that are worshippers of the Father, come to worship him in spirit and in truth, for the Father seeks such to worship him. These are those, whom he perfects forever through the sanctification of his Spirit. So is this Scripture fulfilled in you, 'He that does truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest that they are wrought in God.' John 3:21. These are his children who walk in the light, and have their fellowship with the Father of light in Christ Jesus, their blessed Savior, and one with another in his humble, meek, pure, and blessed nature: and so become his chosen jewels and citizens of Zion, who walk in the light of the New Jerusalem, as it is written in the Scriptures of Truth, 'The nations of them that are saved shall walk in the light thereof.'

It might not be difficult to draw an affecting picture of the forlorn condition of William Dewsbury at this time, now rendered more so by the decease of his little granddaughter, his prison companion and attendant. Nor is it natural or probable, that she should have been thus removed while filling an office at once so cheering and useful, without a sensible mind like his feeling some pangs of suffering. At the same time, such had long been the habitual piety and resignation of spirit in this real Christian, that we are of necessity bound to contemplate him in his true character. We must view him, then, yielding to this as to other more or less painful dispensations and privations, which in the ordering of unerring wisdom had through life been meted out to him, with that holy submission which breathes the language of "Not my will but yours be done;" and rejoicing in the manifest foretaste of that glorious state, which one so young was thus called to inherit. We may conclude that our Friend by that time reached the age of beyond sixty years old, and that his infirmities were such as to render his own further tarriance here extremely uncertain. He would therefore himself be looking towards a future state, and with feelings in unison with those of the apostle, when he said, he had a desire to depart and to be with Christ, which he assured them was far better than to remain. William Dewsbury with such feelings would regard the early flight of his grandchild as an event of transcendent happiness.

We are informed by himself, that during the nineteen years of his confinement at Warwick, in four of them only was he a close prisoner; and I think we have reason for concluding, that the latter period of his imprisonment there, was rendered less irksome by that extension of liberty, which such information implies. Still it is painful to contemplate the circumstance, (excepting as regards his patient endurance of the wrongs thus heaped upon him), that his bonds were continued to so late a period of his life, and that the king's proclamation, by which he was finally discharged, came when the full enjoyment of his liberty was no longer in his power; being then not only advanced in years, but greatly disabled through the long series of imprisonments and sufferings he had endured for so many years.

In the year 1686, about eighteen months before he died, towards the conclusion of one of his epistles to Friends, we find the following affecting paragraph.

My dear Friends, through the sharp persecutions that were passed through in the heat of the day, and many long imprisonments; being nineteen years a prisoner in this town of Warwick, and four of them being kept a close prisoner, it has pleased God to suffer my health to be impaired, so that many times I am forced to rest two or three times, in going to the meeting in the town, not being of ability to travel as in years past. I do, in the love of God, visit you with this epistle, desiring it may be carefully read in the fear of the Lord, in the assemblies of his people, that peace and eternal unity may be among you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

The following "general epistle to Friends from that ancient servant of Christ, William Dewsbury," may here be introduced.

My dear Friends and Brethren, who are called forth of the world, and plucked as brands out of the fire, by the heavenly power of God, who has convinced you of his everlasting Truth, in the light of Jesus Christ:—My dear Friends, as you have received the Truth in some measure, watch and pray, and believe in the name of Christ; that his power you may feel in the heavenly inspiration of his blessed Spirit, to lay judgment to the line and righteousness to the plummet, that all that is not obedient to the light of Christ, may be kept down, and buried in the heavenly baptism under the sentence of death; as it was and is with all the children of God, who have received the sentence of death in ourselves, that we may have no confidence in ourselves, but trust alone in the living God. This will keep you all in the sweet, seasoned, savory spirit of life, in all your words, commerce, and dealings among the children of men. Then will you, who retain the savor of the heavenly life in the blessed Truth in you, be manifest and known to all people as the salt of the earth; so that everyone according to your measure may be felt, upon all occasions, continually streaming forth, in the savory spirit of life, to the comfort of your own families, and the city of God, who over all is blessed forever!

And, my dear Friends, I desire all to be watchful, that not any come short of what is required of them, both rulers of families and parents of children. While you have a day to be with them, call your families together to wait upon the Lord, in the fear of his name. Certainly, the Lord will answer the end of your endeavors, by causing the savory life to stream through you, to season your servants and children; that the church of God may be in every particular family and habitation of his people.
 
Great is the concern that is upon my spirit for the children of all that profess the blessed Truth of God, that all parents may stand in their places, and bring up their children in the fear of the Lord while in their minority and tender years, and under their tuition, not to be too indulgent to them in allowing the spirit of the world to rule in them, to have their own wills, and to do those things which are not according to the truth of God; and assent to it, instead of reproving their children, and crossing the spirit of the world in them, and causing them to be content with such things as are according to the Truth of our God. For want of this carefulness in parents, the spirit of this world is strengthened in children, when it should be kept down by the heavenly authority and power that the Lord has given to parents, to rule over them. All walk in the wisdom of God, with such moderation in all things, as well as clothed in modest apparel, laying by all superfluity, so that your good examples may raise up the witness of God in your children. But for lack of this care in some parents, and being too indulgent and full of lenience to their children, they grow rude, stubborn, self-willed and disobedient to parents, to the wounding of their hearts who have thus neglected their duty.

Therefore I desire and beseech you, that you slight not the opportunity God gives you in this weighty concern, to be in all things good examples to all that live with you, both children and servants, that by your godly conduct and heavenly exhortations, you raise up the witness for God in them; exercising the power God has given you, to cross and keep down the evil nature, while they live with you.

When your children grow up, take them to meetings; and keep your eyes over them, that they behave themselves soberly according to your exhortations. Then encourage them in well-doing; so will the Lord bless your sweet and heavenly behavior in your families; that servants will bless God that ever it was their lot to come into your families, in that their spirits were sweetly seasoned with the Truth, by your heavenly care over them. Your children, also, will magnify the name of the Lord for your blessed care, heavenly instructions, and godly endeavors, every way for their good in this world, and their eternal happiness in the world to come. This will crown the hoary heads of parents with joy, to see their endeavors sanctified to their children, and their offspring made the offspring and children of God. Blessed be his name forever, who hears the prayers of his people, who are exercised daily in the heavenly inspiration of his Holy Spirit, to call upon his holy name, not only for enemies but for a blessing upon their families, and for all that love the Truth of our God. These are the families that are a sweet savor unto the Lord, whom he guards with the angel of his presence, and will make them manifest and known to all people, that they are his chosen jewels, whom he will preserve in the day when he will pour forth his vengeance upon the heathen that know him not, and upon the families that call not upon his name.

If any of these children of the heavenly minded parents, when removed from under their tuition, for want of watchfulness, grow careless, and turn their backs on the blessed Truth of God, and trample all the care and good counsel of their parents under their feet, to satisfy their own wills in the pride and vanity of this evil world, to the wounding of the hearts of their careful and loving parents, they will be clear of their blood; when they [such children] shall reap the fruits of their doings except they repent.

All you, young and tender people, with others that come among Friends, through the education of your careful parents, masters or mistresses, I have a concern upon my spirit to write to you, that you do not rest in an outward profession of the Truth, received by education, but watch unto the heart-searching light of Christ in you, which will let you see you must be regenerated and born again, and so be made real and faithful Friends, by the heavenly inspiration of the powerful Spirit of God in you. If you are careful on your watch, you will see judgment on all in you that is not obedient to the light of Christ, in whose light you will see more light, even your great necessity for the enjoyment of the life that is hidden with Christ in God. This will cause you to pray without ceasing, that the Lord would enable you to loathe and abhor the pride, pomp, and pleasure of this evil world, and give you assurance of God's love to your souls. Until you enjoy it, in all places of your retirement you will pour forth your supplications with tears to the Lord, as the blessed and heavenly travelers and companions did and do, who could not find the kingdom of God in outward observations, though none more careful in observing what is made known to them to be the will of God. But the kingdom of God not consisting in outward observations, you, in the light, press forward, according to your spiritual hunger and thirst, in true poverty of spirit, weeping and seeking the Lord your God, asking- the way to Zion, facing that way, so that you may enjoy salvation for walls and bulwarks.

Oh, you blessed children of the Lord! lift up your heads, and stay your minds upon the Lord, waiting patiently upon him. He will turn your sorrows into everlasting rejoicing, and seal you up with his holy Spirit of promise, and in the marriage union with himself; and will give you assurance of your eternal salvation. Then will you certainly know the kingdom of God to be within you, and the anointing to teach you, which will enable you to delight in taking up the cross daily, in true obedience to the Light of Christ, all the days you have a being among the children of men. Then will you in the name of the Lord trample upon all pride, pomp, pleasures, and vanity of this evil world; to the great comfort of your dear and careful parents, masters and mistresses, whose tuition you were under in your minority and tender years, and of all that walk in the precious Truth of our God over all blessed forever. Amen.

All dear Friends and Brethren, seeing the Lord, who turns the hearts of men as the rivers of waters, and in his loving kindness so orders those in authority, that the prison doors were opened once more in our day, and we enjoy peace and quietness according to his blessed will, praises be to his holy name forever. I have a concern upon my spirit that all Friends and brethren have their hearts affected as mine is, to live in the sense of the mercies of the Lord. And, for the time to come, every one endeavor to prevent the enemy making disunion among Friends and brethren, as of late years he has been doing, by public opposition in some, and others, not patiently keeping in their places, have also separated. The difference being so public, has caused many a sorrowful heart, and given cause to the enemies of God to rejoice. This has been a greater exercise and trouble to me, than all the sharp persecutions and imprisonments I have endured, for the word of God and testimony of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Therefore in the love of God, I beseech and entreat you all, who have been or are concerned in what is before written, to let the love of God so abound, that in it all labor for peace and unity in Christ the Prince of peace, who in love laid down his life for us, when we were enemies; and in our age he has called many of his children to give up their lives in the heat of the day, weeks, months, and years, to gather enemies to the knowledge of God and union with him. Therefore wait for the heavenly wisdom, to bear one with another; that if any, who are conscientious to God, and blameless in their conversations, having a concern upon their spirits to edify the people, do declare the Truth in public assemblies, I beseech you in the love of God, that not any through disaffection show at least any public opposition. But rather, if there is reason for the party to be spoken to, speak to him in private. So the enemy will be prevented from casting stumbling blocks in the way of tender-spirited people, who come in love to be comforted in the meeting. In so doing it will cause love and unity to abound among Friends, and in the love of God all be restored and brought into unity again who have been scattered; and to meet all together in the everlasting Truth, to feel the healer of breaches, who is the restorer of the desolate, exalted to reign in his kingdom in all your hearts; and to offer up a peace-offering, in passing by all offences, that have caused disunion; and to bind you all up in the unity of the Spirit and bond of everlasting peace.

Meet all together, you who profess God's blessed Truth, to praise his holy name, all as one and one as all, while we are in these mortal bodies, and forever when time here shall be no more. Even so be it with you all, said my soul, in the name of the Lord, to whom are my prayers, that all may be accomplished as above written. Until it is so with you, I shall remain your exercised brother in the kingdom of patience and tribulation of our Lord Jesus Christ.

William Dewsbury

Given forth in the movings of the peaceable spirit and word of reconciliation, in the Lord Jesus Christ; to whom are my prayers, that all convinced may wait to be made of the number of the slain of the Lord, and conformable to Christ in his death. That they may witness his quickening power to raise them up in the resurrection of life, to enter into the gates of Zion, to dwell in the city of new Jerusalem, where peace is within her gates and quietness among all that have their habitation therein, having salvation for walls and bulwarks; and [such] are blessed of the Lord, preserved by him, to the honor of his name forever, Amen.

William Dewsbury

Warwick Jail,
4th of 10th month, 1686

CHAPTER XVIII

1688. William Dewsbury visits London—Attends Gracechurch-street Meeting—Born Again Sermon and Prayer.

NOTWITHSTANDING William Dewsbury's age, declining state of health, and great infirmities, feeling himself a little strengthened, and having an ardent desire once more to visit the great city and to labor among Friends there, he had faith to venture from home, arriving in London in the 3rd month of the year 1688. He also entertained the hope of attending the Yearly Meeting of Friends, which was to be held there on the 4th of the following month. Soon after his arrival in the metropolis, namely, on the 6th of the 3rd month, he attended a meeting for worship at Gracechurch Street, where he preached the following powerful and impressive Sermon, the only one of his which has been preserved. It is taken from Sewel's History,

My Friends,

'Except you are regenerated and born again, you cannot inherit the kingdom of God.'

This is the word of the Lord God to all people this day;
this lies not in lofty words, and in vain imagination, and whatever else it is that you deck yourselves with;
you must every particular man and woman be born again,
else you cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven.
This was the doctrine of Christ, in that prepared body in which he appeared in the world,
and preached to Nicodemus that standing doctrine to this moment of time,
and will be so while any man breathes upon the earth;
there is no other way, no other gate to enter into life,
but by this great work of regeneration.
Now, to enforce people to come to this great work,
and to set forward from earth to heaven,
all having been driven out of paradise by the cherubim set with a flaming sword,
there is no returning to that blessed life,
but by the loss of that life that grieved the Spirit of God,
and what caused man to be driven out;
there is no other way of return again, but by this new birth.
Just as you are all driven and forced out of paradise,
and the flaming sword and the cherubims are set to guard the way of the tree of life,
so you must return into the favor of God again, by the light of Christ;
and you have line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, and there a little,
to direct your minds to the light of Christ Jesus.
As the first Adam was made a living soul, so the second Adam is a quickening spirit.
Know this for certain, no man or woman can be quickened,
and raised up into the life of the second Adam,
until the life of the first Adam is taken away from them.

So now, let every one of you deal plainly with your own hearts,
how you came to be a slain people to the life of the first Adam,
in which life there was a working of the mystery of iniquity in every part of man.
One cries "Lo, here is Christ;" another, "Lo, there is Christ;"
and every one is following his own imagination about the letter of the Scripture;
this is still but the vain spirit of man, running and striving to recover himself;
and this is the cause there is so much profession of God,
and so little of his nature appearing among the sons and daughters of men. (profession without possession)
Now, all of you that come to be regenerated,
you must come to the light of Christ; there is no other way to it.
He will search your hearts, and try your reins,
and set your sins in order before you,
and trace out the iniquities that compass you about.
Therefore you must see yourselves a lost people, a sinful people,
and so come to feel the weight of your sins upon your consciences;
there is no other way to come to life.

You will never complain of sin until you are burdened with it,
until you have a trumpet sounding in your ears, to awaken you,
that you may arise from the dead, that Christ may give you light.
There is no other way, dear people.
You must bring your deeds to the light of Christ, and abide in the sentence of condemnation;
if you save your lives, you lose them;
if you will lose your lives for Christ's sake, there is no danger of your eternal life.

John the Baptist, Christ's forerunner declared, 'I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance,
but he that comes after me is mightier than I,
the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy  to unloose,
he shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire;
whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor,
and will gather his wheat into his garner, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.'

What is the good of you reading Scriptures, if you don’t know this fiery baptism,
which all must know that are regenerated.
Do not deceive not yourselves. Christ will appear in flaming fire,
and take vengeance on all those that do not know God,
and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

I stand here as a witness of the Lord of life this day.
There is no way for people to come to salvation,
but they must know Christ revealed in all their hearts.

What is he doing, but rendering vengeance upon the carnal mind,
self-pleasing, and all inordinate affections;—
he comes with vengeance to take away your life;
he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit, and with fire.
If you have not experienced this, you are not a true Christian,
you will never look death in the face with joy, nor go down to the grave with triumph.
If you live at home in the body, and flee for your life,
and are not willing to lose your life for Christ, if you are called to it;
and if you will not have Christ to wash you,
(some for shyness, and some for self-love will refuse this),
if Christ does not wash you, you have no part in him.
You must come to Christ, to purify you in the fiery furnace.
The day of the Lord shall burn as an oven, as the prophet speaks;
this is a dreadful day, a day of vengeance,
the day of the Lord Jesus Christ, who redeems his people from their sins.
Zion is redeemed with judgment, and established with righteousness.
Do not make the way to heaven easier in your minds and imaginations than indeed it is;
and think it sufficient to live in an outward observance of the ways of God.
If your own wills are alive, and your corruptions remain un-mortified,
the judgment of God will be your portion.
Therefore, in the Lord's name, come along with me,
I have come to declare what I have heard and seen of the Father.
Come and examine your conscience. Have you brought your deeds to the light?
Then you have received condemnation upon yourself, and your haughtiness is bowed down,
and laid low, and you see yourself a poor miserable wretch, before the eternal God.
Whatever you know of the mind of God, have you reformed your ways?
Come along with me, and tell me what is the ground of your faith, and your confidence.
Is it your obedience and qualifications?
Because if your obedience is right, and your qualifications right, what use do you make of them?
Read the book of conscience; have you no ground for your faith?
You have put on the reformed faith, and live an unreformed life.
Search and try yourself, man or woman.
Do you watch over yourself, and keep in a sense of your separation from God,
despite all your qualifications and partial reformation?
Do you strive to enter in at the strait gate, and the narrow way?
Here is the lost sheep you seek, the life of your will, the life of the first Adam.
The justice of God will not allow you to make a savior of your duties and qualifications;
and to take God's jewels, and to deck yourself with them.
You cannot be saved without the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.
What did your conscience say, have you been brought to this change of your mind, and of your conversation?
Are you all willing to part with your sins, with your pride and haughtiness?
Are you willing to part with your vile affections? This is the work of God's grace upon you.
Do you place your confidence in your duties and qualifications,
and take God's jewels and ornaments, and deck yourself with them?
You took my jewels, said the Lord, and did play the harlot;
if you return to the Lord, and humble yourself, and get through this difficulty, you will be happy forever.
This judgment of God, this flaming sword that turns every way,
will keep you from returning to sin, and bring you to Christ,
and cut you off from all hope of salvation but by him,
and make you to see the absolute need of a Savior,
and that your life is hidden with Christ in God.

It is God's infinite goodness to men, that he will take their pride from them, and humble them under his mighty hand.
This is the condition of poor persons that are slain by the hands of the Most High.
How can I know, when I have been slain and baptized,
and possess this death and baptism with sincerity?
They that have this baptism, enter into the heavenly life;
if you love the light of Christ Jesus, it will be the same with you.
God will make short work in the earth.
He will set your sins in order before you, and make you watchful unto prayer,
and lead you to holiness of life and conversation, and make you abhor yourself,
and despise all the pomp and pleasures and vanities of this world.
When he has adorned you with his graces, then watch for the light,
and in the light of Christ you shall see light,
and that all you have done to please God, and can do to please God, is only your duty.
All this you ought to do; you are God's creature,
and all this will not justify you in order to your eternal salvation, for these services you owe unto God.
If you diligently wait, you shall see more light;
then the sword that proceeds out of the mouth of Christ, who is called "the Word of God,"
will cut you off from all your hopes of salvation from anything you have done,
from any of your qualifications, from anything that you can do;
so that you will be a hopeless soul, nothing in your own sense and apprehension;
the power of the first Adam must die before him,
and you will cry out, "I am a dead, lost, and undone creature;"
but there is a life hidden with Christ in God for me,
but I can never have it, until I am slain into the will of God,
and have become as a little child, and be stripped of all my own excellence that I have attained;
and I must come to a sense of my own misery, and fall down at the foot of God;
when I have become as a little child, humbled and slain as to my own will, and confidence in my own righteousness,
I will not then question but I shall live a holy life,
but I will give all that life I had, for that life which is hidden with Christ in God:
Oh!—there is none that come so far, that ever miss of eternal life.
All shuffling people, that would have salvation by Christ,
and will not let him exercise his heavenly power, his princely, glorious power to baptize them into his death,
it is they that come short of salvation;
but all those that yield themselves up to Christ to be redeemed through judgment,
and are become as little children, these are in a happy state.
You know that our Lord Jesus Christ took a little child in his arms,
and said, "Whoever does not come as a little child, cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven:"
you must all of you become as little children, and depend upon the mercy and free grace of God;
you must all come to a holy resignation of your wills to God's disposal;
if you come to Christ as little children, and depend upon him, you cannot miss of salvation;
it is bestowed upon such souls that hear the voice of Christ,
"they that hear the voice of the Son of God shall live."

I stand here as a witness for the God of heaven,
I never heard the voice of Christ (in the intensity as only a perfected follower can hear)
until I was slain and baptized, and lay as a little child under his heavenly chastisements;
as soon as ever my soul was brought to this, in my humiliation,
Oh! then, the dreadful judgment was taken away, and the book of life was opened unto me,
and the Lord spoke comfortably to me, 'I have loved you with an everlasting love;"
and I was made a Christian through a day of vengeance, and of burning as an oven;
and the haughtiness and pride of man in me was brought low.
Now in this conformity to Christ's death, people may die into life,
and blessed are the dead that die in the Lord, for they rest from their labors, and their works do follow them.
Away with all your own wills, and your pride, and haughtiness;
and your hypocrisy and deceit, and all dependence upon any qualifications of your own;
you must come to have your life separated from you, else you will all perish.
Those that will die with Christ, and be willing to die for him, he is revealed as a Savior to them.
He was before us in the days of his flesh, and complied with his Father's will; he was nailed to the cross.
The Son of God, when he had come to the depth of his sufferings, what
was his cry, 'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me!'
This was for your sake, and my sake, and every man's and woman's sake that believe in him;
he drank the cup which his Father gave him to drink.
If it was done thus to the green tree, what shall be done unto the dry?
He went before us, and when he comes again, he will take us to himself,
and take us from the filth of sin, that we may be made new creatures."
Now except we are born again, we cannot enter into the kingdom of God,
and there is no becoming new creatures, until we are slain to the old man.
You must be slain to your pride, and haughtiness, and the corruption of your own will,
and all selfishness, you must have God to burn it up in you.
The Holy Spirit will destroy, and burn up nothing in you,
but that which will bring an eternal fire upon your soul.

Show me, you whom my soul loves,
where is the path of life, the footsteps of the flock of your companions?

Why should I be as one that goes aside?'
Now every one that lives at home in the bosom of self, take this with you,
though you profess the Truth, and live in an outward conformity to it,
yet if you secretly indulge your corrupt wills, and live a flesh-pleasing life,
and consult with flesh and blood, and are not torn away from your lusts,
you cannot enjoy the Lord of Life;
'while I am at home in the body, I am absent from the Lord.'

The body of sin is a loadstone to draw you from the life of God, and from glorying in the cross of Christ:
this is flesh and blood, and flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.
For the Lord's sake, for your soul's sake, and for the sake of your eternal happiness,
do not put off this work, but pursue it, and it will be perfected.
See how Christ is revealed in you by the Holy Ghost, and with fire.
God will redeem you by the Spirit of judgment and burning: it is not ranging abroad in your minds,
but you must "know Christ is in you except you be reprobates:"
if he has set your eyes and hearts upon himself, and made you to water your couch with your tears;
if he has broken your sleep, so as you have cried out,
"I shall be damned, and never come to salvation;" (this will be your cry, it was once my cry;)

O let not your eyes slumber, nor your eyelids take any rest, until you are sure the Lord is your God.
if you find these qualifications, your are on your way,
otherwise you will be like a deceitful bow, and never abide in judgment;
if you reject the counsel of God against yourselves, and refuse to be crucified with Christ,
and to be baptized with his baptism, you will never have life;
but only by his baptism, and through the heavenly operation of his Spirit,
if you have faith in Christ's name, you shall be married to him in everlasting righteousness;
salvation shall be brought to us, and eternal life be bestowed upon us;
even that life which is hidden with Christ in God,
he will give to every poor mournful soul that submits to his blessed will, and believes in the Lord Jesus Christ.
This is not a faith of our own making, nor a garment of our own embroidery, but that which the Lord has given to us.
Oh happy man or woman, that obtains this gift of God!
Oh, who will not lose their lives for this everlasting life?
Who will not die for this eternal life?
Now, the matter lies in the death of your own wills;
when you have done the will of God, then — watch that your own wills are slain,
and that your cursed self takes not the jewels of God, and his bracelets and ornaments,
and bestows them upon self, to paint and deck the cursed self;
and take not the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot.
If you are dead to your own wills, you are risen with Christ, and shall receive a resurrection to eternal life.
Crucify self, and set the world at nothing, and trample upon it,
and all the things of it, and count them as dross and dung in comparison of Christ,

whom the Father has revealed to be our life, in the days of our sorrow and mourning,
in the day of our calamity, in the day when we cried, 'Our hope is lost!'

Thus it has been with the holiest people on earth;
it is not by works of righteousness of your own that you can be saved;
Christ comes to cut all these down, that you may be engrafted into him, and justified by his grace.
Do not make this a matter of talk, and say, I have heard this and that;
but look into your own hearts, and see what heavenly workings are there.
What is there that is of the power of the Lord Jesus,
that has made you to loathe this world, and the inordinate love of the man,
that you may enjoy all these things as if you enjoyed them not.
We cannot, when we are slain and crucified to this world, but say,
'My life is in Christ,’ when we come to ascribe nothing to ourselves, and all to Christ.
Here is a blessed harmony, broken hearts, melted spirits, and yet joyful souls;
poor creatures, that were mourning, and sighing, and crying before the Lord in retired places,
and yet rejoicing in Christ Jesus, 'I am risen with Christ;'
I said, 'My hope is cut off, I will lie down in your will, O God; do what you will with me,
it is in your sovereign pleasure and free gift, whether you give me life or deny it to me.'
There must be a resignation of ourselves to the will of God.
It was so with the Lord Jesus and it is so with every true saint of God.
You must be humbled as little children, before the judgment is taken away,
and the loving kindness of God sealed upon your souls.
If you seek this work of God, you will find it;
if you seek it upon your beds, in all your labors and concerns, in all your stations and relations;
if you press after the new birth, you must use this world as if you used it not,
and live a married life as if you were unmarried,
for the fashion of this world passes away.
This is not high notions, (lofty imaginings).

But, let me tell you, a new world comes by regeneration.
A man is not lifted up in his own mind, but laid low in his own eyes,
he waits for the wisdom of God to govern him,
and he is as a steward of the grace of God, to give to them that stand in need.
When a man is regenerated and born again,
he is as contented with bread and water, as with all the enjoyments of this world:— what is the difference?
His own will is gone, and put down under his feet,
and whatever it is that gives life to all his vain desires and affections;
there is a harmony of all within, a man praising of God, and blessing his holy name.
There are no entanglements to draw away the heart from serving of God, and seeking his glory;
and if God shall call the husband from the wife, or the wife from the husband, for the glory of his name,
there is no whining and complaining, and crying out, but giving them up,
and a praising and blessing God, when they are called to such an exercise;
and if they are not called to that, then they set their hearts to glorify God in their several places and stations;
then they have a full content in a blessed resignation.
Here their wills are slain, but they praise God they have no desire,
but, 'Lord, your will be done!' always praising God, always having the fear and the glory of God before their eyes.
All the mischief is hatched in pleasing men's own wills;
that is, the counsel of every heart that Christ does not govern.
Will you live as the Quakers? Then you must live contemptibly,
the mistress and the maid are 'hail fellows well met.'
Every one must walk in humility, and live in acquaintance with the God of heaven;
she that is wrought upon by the same Spirit, must with all diligence behave herself as becomes a servant of the Lord.
Here is now a new world, and the fashions of the old world are gone;
pride, haughtiness, crossness, and trampling upon one another are all gone,
all slain through the operation of Christ.

What remains now,—Christ is in me, and we are all one in him;
Christ laid down his life for you and me; now he reigns in me,
and he has prepared my body to die for the Truth,
as his prepared body was laid down for my sin.
It is a kind of foolish profession, to make profession of Christ,
and live in covetousness, profaneness, sensuality, and the like;
they that have come to this heavenly birth, seek the things that are above, you can do nothing else.
Make the tree good, and the fruit will be good.
You must be engrafted into the vine of God's righteousness:
Oh slight not the day of your visitation.
What was it to me to read of any being born again, until I was slain,
and knew the heavenly baptism of Christ Jesus?
Till I saw the flaming sword ready to slay me in every way, in every turning.
The light of Christ convinced me of sin, and his righteousness justified me,
and those works were abominable to me, that hindered my soul's passage to Christ;
Christ Jesus in marrying my soul to himself seized upon me, and did work effectually in me.
There is the testimony of Christ in me, he has sealed up my soul to the day of my redemption.
Here is a certain passage, and a certain way which never any miss of, that lose their lives for Christ.
If you are not ready and willing to lose your lives for Christ, you shall never come here;
the gate is strait, and the way is narrow, none come here but those that die into a heavenly oneness with Christ.
O Friends, let us empty ourselves, that Christ may fill us;
let us be nothing in our own eyes, that we may be all in him, and receive of his fullness.

Now I commend you to God's witness, that you may remember what has been spoken among you.
But consider, if you do not listen to it, it will follow you, and be a plague to you to all eternity.
If you will not yield up yourselves to Christ, this day that burns like an oven,
this fire you must dwell with when out of the body, there will be no quenching of this fire forever;
but if you are so wise for your souls, as to resign yourselves up to Christ,
and come to him as little children, this will not hinder your earthly concerns;
though the world may account you a fool, yet you have that part of heavenly wisdom to do what you do as unto God.
You conduct yourself to your wife, as in the sight of God, that she may be sanctified to you, and you to her;
and you conduct yourself becomingly to your children and servants,
and you will abound in grace, and in every good work, which will be for your eternal welfare.

O, I beseech you, people, for the Lord's sake,
wait for the light of Christ to guide you;
learn of him to be meek and lowly, then you are happy;
for he dwells with the humble, but he beholds the proud from far away.
This new birth, which is a true work, a sincere and heavenly work,
which will make you [happy] forever.
Oh make room for Christ in your hearts, or else he is never likely to dwell with you;
he loves to dwell with the poor and humble and contrite spirit,
he abhors the proud; he will empty your souls, that he may fill them.

And so I commend you to God.
I have been long held in imprisonment under great weakness;
and I was restless, until I could come up to this great city of London,
to preach the everlasting gospel among you, and you see I am among you here.
Pray, every one of you, turn inward;
let not these words, passing through a dishonorable vessel, be as a bare empty discourse of Truth to you,
which you only hear, and take no further care of your salvation.
Take heed of despising the light that shines in the midst of you,
and be pressing forward to the heavenly work that is laid in the power of Christ Jesus,
even through judgment into death, and then he will give eternal life;
the Lord confirm this, that it may rest upon your hearts, that you may be dead to the things of the world.
"We have not to come to Mount Sinai, that genders to bondage,
but we have come to Mount Zion, the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem,
and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the first born which are written in heaven,
and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
and to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant,
and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaks better things than that of Abel.
"
This is the inheritance of the redeemed of the Most High, blessed be the name of the Lord!
Let us rest in hope, until he bring us to humility and lowliness of mind,
that he may clothe us with heavenly glory, according to his promise,
'I will beautify my house with glory,' said the Lord.
This is the portion of a poor people, that cast down themselves before the Lord,
that he may lift them up
, and be all in all to them,
in whose blessed presence they shall have joy, and rivers of pleasures at his right hand forevermore!

The following is the prayer, which he offered up after the preceding testimony.

Blessed and glorious God! Your presence and power is with your people everywhere, and you are stretching forth your almighty arm, for the salvation of your chosen ones; and you are influencing their souls with your grace and Spirit in their solemn meetings and assemblies; we desire to extol and magnify your great and excellent name for all your mercies and blessings. We pray you, bow down your heavenly ear, and hearken unto the cries and supplications of your people, who are breathing forth the desire of their souls unto you. You are a God hearing prayers; supply their wants and establish their spirits, and uphold them with your free Spirit. Crown all your chosen ones with your loving-kindness and tender mercy, rend the cloud of darkness that hangs over us and take away the veil, and bow the heavens among us, and visit us with your salvation, and reveal the mysteries of your Truth unto us; and in all our ways let us acknowledge you, as you lead us in the way everlasting.

Righteous God of love! While we live on earth, let our conduct be in heaven, where Christ our Mediator sits at your right hand; let us follow his example, who was holy, harmless, and undefiled, that we may sit in heavenly places with him. Be a sun and shield to us in our earthly pilgrimage. Whom do we have in heaven, but you? There is nothing on earth that we desire besides you. Let us walk before you in sincerity and truth, and conduct us in the way of truth and righteousness by your blessed Spirit. Blessed is your name for the light of your saving Truth, which has shined in our minds; and the light of your countenance that has been lifted up upon us in our meetings; you have furnished a table for your people as in the days of old. We cannot but admire your great love and condescension towards us, and extol and bless your holy name for your abounding mercies and the riches of your goodness to us. We desire to give you honor and renown, and praise and thanksgiving for your renewed mercies and spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus, for whom we bless you, and in whom we desire to be found, not having our own righteousness. To Him, with yourself, and your holy eternal Spirit, be glory forever. Amen!"

CHAPTER XIX

1688. William Dewsbury is taken ill in London— Addresses a letter to the Yearly Meeting—Returns home—His last hours—Address previous to the close—His death and character—Testimony of his Friends respecting him.

WILLIAM DEWSBURY continued in London until the 30th of the 3rd month, desirous of attending the approaching Yearly Meeting; but having been taken ill soon after the meeting, at which he had been so largely engaged, and his disorder continuing to increase, he addressed the following letter to his Friends; and then proceeded homewards.

Dear Friends and Brethren;

I did not know until this last night, but that I should have been with you at the Yearly Meeting. But it pleased the Lord to visit me with my ancient distemper, which has accompanied me many years in prison, and since I was released. The distemper was so sharp upon me this last night, that I did not know I should have lived to see another day; but crying to the Lord, he ordered and cleared my way to go into the country. So I cannot be with you at the Yearly Meeting, but I desire the Lord to assist you with his blessed power and heavenly Life, to bring in the scattered ones to their everlasting comfort and his glory forever, Amen!  

And that it may be so with you, is the prayer of your loving brother,

William Dewsbury

London, 30th of 3rd month, 1688

Although he was favored with strength to reach home, by short and easy journeys, he only lived seventeen days after the date of the above letter. About a week before he died, a few Friends being met in his chamber, rising from his bed in great weakness of body, he addressed them as follows:

My God has yet put it into my heart to bear a testimony in his name and blessed Truth; and I can never forget the day of his great power and blessed appearance, when he first sent me to preach his everlasting gospel, and to proclaim the day of the Lord to all the people. He confirmed the same by signs and wonders;—and particularly by a lame woman who went on crutches, where I with my dear brethren, George Fox and Richard Farnsworth were cast; and as I cried mightily unto the Lord in secret, that he would signally manifest himself at that time among us, and give witness of his power and presence with us, Richard Farnsworth in the name of the Lord took her by the hand, and George Fox after, spoke to her in the power of God, and told her to stand up, and she did, and immediately walked straight, having no need of crutches any more. Therefore, Friends, be faithful, and trust in the Lord your God. For this I can say, I never since played the coward; but joyfully entered prisons as palaces, telling my enemies to hold me there as long as they could. In the prison-house I sang praises to my God, and esteemed the bolts and locks put upon me as jewels; and in the name of the eternal God I always got the victory. For they could keep me no longer than the determined time of my God.

Friends, this I must once again testify to you in the name of the Lord God, that what I saw above thirty years ago still rests as a testimony to leave behind me. That a dreadful terrible day is at hand, and will certainly come to pass, but the time when, I cannot say. But, all put on strength in the name of the Lord, and wait to feel his eternal power to preserve you through the tribulations of those days, that approach very near; in the sense of which I have often been distressed and bowed down in spirit, with cries and tears to my God, for the preservation of his heritage. This I have further to signify, that my departure draws near. Blessed be my God! I am prepared; I have nothing to do but die, and put off this corrupt mortal tabernacle, this flesh that has so many infirmities. But the life that dwells in it transcends above all, out of the reach of death, hell, and the grave; and immortality and eternal life are my crown forever and ever! Therefore, you who are left behind, fear not, nor be discouraged, but go on in the name and power of the Lord; and bear a faithful and living testimony for him in your day. The Lord will prosper his work in your hand, and cause his Truth to flourish and spread abroad. For it shall have the victory, and no weapon formed against it shall prosper. The Lord has determined, it shall possess the gates of its enemies; and the glory and the light thereof shall shine more and more until the perfect day.

He concluded with prayers to the Lord, and with fervent breathings and supplications for all his people every where, but more especially, for his dearly beloved Friends, assembled together at the Yearly Meeting in London; and departed this life about a week afterwards, namely, on the 17th of the 4th month, 1688, at Warwick, and was buried the following day.

If we turn from this last stage of William Dewsbury's pilgrimage, and from its triumphant close, to the earlier periods of his life, we cannot fail to arrive at the conclusion, that he was a man of no ordinary character. Those clear views of divine things, which attended his mind from first to lust, from infancy to old age, and which he undoubtedly received as a heavenly gift, as the revelation of the grace and truth of Jesus Christ essentially,— this inward sense, it was his undeviating concern to obey and follow. He truly received the gospel neither of man, nor by man, neither was he taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. The ardor and sincerity with which William Dewsbury pursued and sought after this divine understanding of divine subjects, these secret impressions and convictions of divine love visiting the mind and instructing it, was very great, (it must be acknowledged), even for many years before his mind received full satisfaction as to his salvation and peace with God, and before he could be said to have arrived at an establishment in religion. His after course was indeed like the conduct of the man who built his house upon the Rock; the very gates of hell could not prevail against him;—his mind was anchored, and every thing that happened to him only served to confirm him in the way cast up before him;—he endured, as seeing Him who is invisible, unchangeable;—he knew that his Redeemer lived, and felt Him to be near that justified him.

How truly may it be said of William Dewsbury, that he walked by faith and not by sight! even that faith by which "the elders obtained a good report," and which was to him as to them, "the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." On what other principle, but the all-sufficiency of this divine faith,—faith in the presence and power of Christ inwardly revealed,—can we account for his so deliberately entering upon that difficult and unbeaten path, persevering through all obstacles in it, meekly and patiently enduring all contradiction, triumphing over all difficulties, and becoming more than conqueror in the end?

Taking this view of William Dewsbury's character, formed as it was on the model of apostolic faith, there is no difficulty in accounting for any portion of his conduct, however irreconcilable it might appear on other grounds. Raised up by the divine power for an especial service, in which he had many a "true yoke-fellow," and having submitted to those deep baptisms indispensable in the great work of regeneration, by which his own nature was changed, his corrupt will subdued, the first Adam slain and the second Adam raised up in him, a quickening Spirit, to bear sway and rule in all things; William Dewsbury appears at no time to have consulted with flesh and blood, nor does it appear that he was at any period left in doubt as to the course that it was right for him to pursue. Having once put his hand to the spiritual plough, he never again looked back. If it was his lot to suffer for the testimony of a good conscience, he never repined; but, following the example of the Great Pattern, "committed himself to him who judges righteously." The afflictions and persecutions he underwent, neither shook his faith, nor wearied, nor offended him, because his foundation was on the Rock; on this he stood. If he triumphed, it was as a servant who rejoices in his master's service and work—"good will to men,"— and thus to increase his master's glory; and self, through the power of redeeming love, having become of no reputation with him, he invariably yielded, for his success, the tribute of thanksgiving and praise to Him unto whom alone he felt that it did belong.

"This our dear deceased brother," say his those who memorialized him, "was a man religiously concerned for the honor of God, and had a great care upon his spirit, that those who had believed and made profession of the Truth, might answer it in a holy and blameless life and conduct: which, he would often say, could never be done by largeness of knowledge nor strength of comprehension, but by a real dying to their wills and affections, by the virtue of the daily cross.

"He was one whom God raised up early in the morning of his glorious day, and made an eminent instrument in his hand for the publication of his mighty day and power; preaching repentance in order to the remission of sins, and bearing a faithful and universal testimony to the free grace of God to mankind. The Lord was with him, and prospered him in his manifold sufferings, travels, labors and exercises in the gospel of Christ and word of his ministry. Many were made sensible of the benefit of his labors, to the good and welfare of their immortal souls. For the Lord our God, in whose dread and zeal he labored, did endue him with faith and courage, and with great boldness for his name and Truth; and he published the same in great plainness and in the simplicity thereof.

To the tender-hearted he was exceedingly tender; but to the stubborn and lofty he was sharp and plain; admonishing them, and declaring the righteous judgment of God against that state; waiting, and endeavoring with much patience and long-suffering, the recovery of such, who through the subtlety of the enemy have fallen from Truth and from unity with the people of God; among whom he was sincerely devoted to maintain love and unity. But when any have made it their work to cause division and discord, and to sow dissension among brethren, he would plainly testify against them and reject them; and, in the dread of the Lord's power, thunder out God's judgment against their deceit and wickedness;—as he did upon his last visit to London, a few days before his departure out of the body, which he then told some of us, was near at hand.

He was fervent and frequent in prayer to God for the good of his church, and for the gathering of people to their true rest; wherein we have had true unity with him. Our souls, with many more, have been often refreshed and comforted with him. His many deep sufferings for the Truth, and his faithful travels and labors are never to be forgotten. Although the envy of wicked and unreasonable men was very great and fierce against him, he neither feared their malice, threats, nor blows; but boldly went forth publishing the Truth, by testifying to that of God in all consciences. The hand of Divine Providence did often deliver him in a wonderful manner out of the hands of the wicked, for his name's sake. Finally, having faithfully served out his generation, and finished his sufferings, testimony, and course with joy, he has now obtained the crown immortal, and is gone into the everlasting rest, from all his labors, and his works follow him, with a blessed reward in the kingdom of glory and peace.

The preceding paragraphs form the greater part of a Testimony borne to his memory soon after his death, to which is attached the names of six Friends, namely, George Whitehead, Francis Camfield, Richard Finder, Stephen Crisp, Richard Richardson, and James Parkes.

<To Appendix of His Additional Letters>>>

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