MANY SELECT EPISTLES TO FRIENDS,
THAT ANCIENT, EMINENT, AND FAITHFUL MINISTER
Volume 2 Contd.
All that feel the life, and power, and spirit of the living God,
who are made alive by Christ Jesus, the living heavenly, and spiritual
and so are come to feed upon the heavenly and spiritual things,
which Christ your shepherd directs you to, according to your capacity,
age, and growth;
and so to know him that God has sent to feed you,
above all the feeders that men have sent.
Therefore, look unto him, who with his net, (which is his power),
has gathered you out of this great sea, the world.
And now, do not build like the fools upon the sand of the seashore;
but upon the rock and foundation, which is Christ the life,
that will stand over death, tempests, winds, and storms;
and so looking unto Jesus, that is your savior,
that has saved you out of the flood of destruction,
who is the author of your faith;
by which faith you may walk upon the world's sea,
looking unto him that will finish it;
and so in truth you can say, faith is your victory;
this is your victory, even your faith, that Jesus has been the author
the heavenly and spiritual man.
And faith comes by hearing of the word, by which all things were made
and by which all things are upheld,
which lives, and abides, and endures forever;
which word was in the beginning with God,
and God was the word;
which word became flesh, and dwelt among us,
who beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten son of God,
who is risen, whom you come now to hear and see,
and not only so, but come to be made partakers of his glory,
and of his resurrection from the dead.
So blessed are they, and you, that come to have part in the first resurrection,
that on you the second death may have no power;
and such as do, they know a dying to sin here, and putting off the body
of sin and death,
and a crucifying the old man, with his affections and
and a putting him off, and to be dead from the rudiments of the world:
and so those who 'die with Christ, shall live with him;'
and those who are risen with Christ,
can never touch, taste, nor handle the doctrines, commandments,
and dead rudiments of men of the world.
But let such put on the new man,
which (after the image of God) is created in righteousness and holiness;
and such come to live in Christ, and walk in him,
and have their part or lot in the first resurrection, in Christ Jesus,
and the second death has no power over them:
but they live in him, that has power over death, hell, and the grave,
(and over the devil, and the power of death),
Christ Jesus, who was before he was, the first and last.
But they that will not believe in Christ the resurrection and the life,
are for condemnation with the devil, hell, and death,
which are to be cast into the lake of fire;
and over such the second death has power.
And therefore, all that come out of death, and partake of the first resurrection,
and know that they have been dead in sins and trespasses,
and are quickened by Christ Jesus, and know a living here in Christ,
and a dying here with Christ, while upon the earth,
(for John spoke it while he was upon the earth),
the 'second death shall have no power over them;'
and those who do not [crucify the sinful nature], the second death has power over them,
which (as I said before) must be cast into the lake of fire,
that burns with brimstone;
and such have not the blessing,
(as they in the first resurrection),
but the curse, woe, and misery.
And therefore all you who are the first-fruits to God, in the resurrection
by Jesus Christ,
and who know him, the resurrection and the life,
and are translated from darkness to light, and into the kingdom of his
that stands in righteousness and holiness, and joy in the holy ghost;
that you may show forth righteous and holy fruits,
so that you may glorify God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ;
and may be as lights to the dark world, and salt to season the unsavory.
for every sacrifice, which was offered up to God, was to be seasoned with
so every sacrifice now that is to be offered up to God,
must be seasoned, and made savory with this heavenly salt of his heavenly
so that all may give a good savor to him,
and be as a sweet smelling sacrifice to the pure holy God, that made all
to his glory.
And you cannot bring forth this holy, righteous, and pure
fruit unto God,
but as you abide in Christ Jesus, the truth,
who did descend and ascend far above all principalities, thrones, and
that he might have the pre-eminence above all and that you in him might live above all unto God.
And so every one of you that has received Christ Jesus the Lord over all,
in him (who is your Lord) walk, who is the amen;
and there all the living can praise God together;
and the living gather in the name of Jesus,
the name of him who was dead, and is alive again, and lives forevermore,
who is the first and last.
And here you all know, that there is no salvation
in any other name under the whole heaven,
but in the name of Jesus;
who is a priest made higher than the heavens.
So in his name keep your meetings, in whom you have salvation;
and these are the true meetings, and true gatherings,
who feel Jesus Christ in the midst of them,
their prophet, their counselor, their leader, their light and life, their
way and their truth,
their shepherd, that laid down his life for them,
who has bought you, his sheep, who feeds you in his pastures of life;
and your heavenly bishop, to oversee you, that you do not go astray again
And so it is through him you overcome,
and he that overcomes shall go no more forth out of his fold, out of his
who shall sit down in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
who is your priest, that offered up himself for you, and sacrifices for
and makes you holy and clean,
that he may present you blameless up to the holy and pure God;
and here you come to witness and know him in his offices,
by his light, spirit, and power;
and all your men's and women's meetings, in the power of God,
which was before the devil and his power was,
in the holy order of the gospel keep them,
you being heirs of the everlasting gospel,
the everlasting power of God, that will last forever;
a joyful gospel, a joyful order, a comfortable gospel,
so a comfortable order, a glorious gospel, and glorious order.
So in this everlasting gospel, the power of God,
in which you have everlasting fellowship
and dominion over all sin and wickedness, unrighteousness, unholiness,
and all that is bad whatsoever, you have dominion over,
in the gospel, the power of God, yes, over the devil.
And this gospel may everyone testify unto, and to the order of it,
that it is not of man, nor by man,
neither is it received but by the revelation of Jesus Christ, sent down
which all the believers, that have part in the first resurrection,
live, walk, and keep in the order of this gospel;
and so have power to admonish, exhort, reprove, and rebuke, with all authority,
such as talk of Christ, and do not walk in him;
such as profess him, and do not possess him;
such as live not in the religion that was set up above sixteen hundred years since;
such as profess Christ the way, and walk not in the way, the truth, and the life;
all such talkers, and not walkers, are dishonorers of God,
and cause his holy name to be blasphemed among such as make no profession.
And therefore, all Friends that know that you are alive to God, by Jesus
and know your translation from death to Christ the life,
and from darkness to Christ the light;
so that you may all come now to be help mates in your restoration by Christ
into the image of God, and his righteousness and holiness,
that man and woman were in before they fell;
for before they fell they were help mates to subdue the earth,
they both had power [dominion] over all that God made, (while they kept in the image
and his righteousness and holiness;
and so all that God made was blessed and good to them;
and so none can renew up into the righteousness and image of God, but
And therefore, I say, in him live and walk, and keep his
gospel-fellowship and order;
so that men and women may be help mates, in the distinct men and women's
one unto another in the gospel, the power of God,
in the restoration, as man and woman was in before they fell.
So if the men have anything to communicate unto the women,
or the women anything to the men,
in the righteousness, and wisdom, and power of God,
in the gospel order, in which the heavenly fellowship, unity, and order
they may, as brethren and sisters.
So here is the foundation of our meetings;
and our men and women's meetings are testified to by the spirit of the
that the foundation of them is Christ,
of the increase of his righteous, glorious, and spiritual government and
there is no end;
nor of the glorious, everlasting, heavenly unity and order of his heavenly
which the spiritual and heavenly minds keep and walk in accordingly,
which is not of man, nor by man;
so man has no glory, but God and Christ alone,
who is almighty, omnipotent, immortal, everlasting, and eternal, and dwells
in the light,
blessed forever, the inexpressible God.
And so all keep the unity of his eternal spirit,
which is the eternal bond of your heavenly and eternal peace,
of your King of kings, Lord of lords, and Prince of princes' peace, Amen.
All Friends be faithful in the Lord's power, and in his spirit,
to the Lord God and his truth, that is over all,
and will keep you over all, as you all do live and walk in it, to the
glory of God,
and bring forth fruits that are heavenly to his praise.
So live in the possession of life eternal, which was before death.
And so in this power of Christ, nothing can get between you and the Lord,
your everlasting home. So with my love.
Swarthmore, the 10th month, 1675.
317.- To all the elect and chosen of God in Christ Jesus,
before the foundation of the world.
Friends and brethren,
It lies upon me from the Lord to write unto you these following lines.
First, I was sent out by the Lord God, in his eternal light and power,
to preach the word of life, which was before the word of death,
and to turn people to the light, which was before darkness and the power
that all might be reconciled to God, by the word;
and that all might believe in the light,
which is the life in Christ the, word,
and so become children of the light,
and to know Christ the author of their faith;
and their faith to stand in him, who is the author and finisher of it;
and to turn people to the spirit,
which they had quenched, vexed, and grieved, and rebelled against
that in that holy spirit, they might see before the spirit of error was;
and that in the spirit they may know God and Christ,
and the scriptures, which were given forth from it;
and that in the same spirit, they might all have fellowship one with another,
and with the Father and son;
and so to preach the everlasting gospel, the power of God,
(which was before the devil was),
that brings life and immortality to light, in all that do receive it,
that they might see over him that had darkened them.
Which gospel I received not of man, nor by man, but of the Lord Jesus
by his holy spirit sent down from heaven.
And so after I had received this, and preached it,
and many thousands had come into it, in several places of the nation,
then by the same power, and spirit, and light,
I was moved to advise, to the setting up the men's Monthly and Quarterly
and the women's meetings.
So that all in the power of God, the gospel, which was before the devil
and in the light, which was before darkness was,
and all in the holy spirit, before the unholy spirit was.
That they might be all in their possessions of the light, spirit, and
power of God;
and therein to keep this heavenly order of the gospel,
being heirs of Christ, and of his government;
of the increase of which
there is no end.
Which gospel order is over all the orders of Adam in
or among the apostates from that gospel the apostles were in,
and will stand, (the power of God, the gospel), when they are gone.
So that all the heirs of life and grace, and heirs of the gospel,
might be in their possession, and keep in the power which was before the
and into this no apostasy can come.
So here in this power of the gospel,
all have their liberty, and all have unity, and all have liberty in the
and unity in the light, and unity in the faith,
that Jesus Christ is the author of.
So that all may see him and his government,
which is over the government of Adam in the fall;
for he was before old Adam was, and will be when he is gone.
And so that all might be in the possession of Christ,
and as they have received him, so to walk in him,
the heavenly and spiritual man;
of the increase of whose government there is no end;
but there will be an end of old Adam's.
Now, friends, whosoever shall come, under whatever pretence,
these meetings, or to deny or speak against the men and women's meetings,
it is the spirit of confusion and opposition,
which would be seeming to do something,
yet its work is to disquiet the simple minds;
and it is the very same spirit with John Perrot's;
and mark his end, and their end, and such as join with it.
For it is against the power of God, in which the order is established,
and the eternal spirit and light, in which the men and women's meetings
were set up;
in which all things should be established, and are fastened,
in the light which was before darkness was,
and in the power of God, before the devil was,
and in the holy spirit, before the unclean spirit was,
and will stand when he is gone.
Therefore, in it keep your possessions in the power of God,
and in his light and spirit,
that you may know the mountain of the Lord established above all mountains.
And they are none but loose spirits, and such as tend to looseness,
that stand against the men and women's meetings,
though it may come under pretence to set up a better way;
or, under pretence only to alter them to another day,
and, it may be, pretend their fear of the corruption of observing a day.
All this is but from a corrupt spirit of darkness, which God will blast;
for we put no holiness
in the usual and constant days of Monthly and Quarterly Meetings.
For I would have them all to know,
that they who are heirs of the gospel, and of Christ Jesus,
are redeemed out of the vain observation of days,
and out of the Jewish and apostate christians' holy days,
to God by Christ, who made all days, and everything good,
and their eyes are to the supernatural day of Christ;
and they are the
children of this day.
And that is a creeping spirit, that would alter the usual and constant
under pretence to prevent people from the corruptions of observing a constant
or under a pretence of keeping people out of a form,
and so would father their deceit upon God.
For they who are in the possession of the power,
by which all true forms and all things are upheld,
(which word and power gives form and being to all things),
and all they that are in it, are above all such things,
and judge all such dark spirits.
And they that are in the observation of days,
are not heirs of the power, nor of Christ,
who was before days were,
and such cannot sit in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
to do his churches' business.
So, I say, that after people were turned to the light, power, and spirit
and they all come into the light, power, and spirit of God;
all such are to make up the men and women's meetings;
and in it to feel the wisdom of God, by which all things were made and
and with it to be ordered, and to order all things to God's glory;
so that wisdom may be justified of her children.
Now concerning laying all marriages before the men and women's meetings.
Some have darkly objected,
this is not as was in the beginning.
Whereas in the beginning we were but few in number,
and could not presently be so sensible of the service of them,
as when grown more numerous, and a body of people;
but in the beginning there was a care things might be kept clear:
for, in 1653, several Friends came to me, concerning marriage,
and to know what they should do in that case.
And I waited upon the Lord,
and saw in his eternal light,
that all who were to marry, that they should lay it before some faithful Friends,
in the wisdom of God,
that they might see into it.
These were my words then, as in a paper of mine,
given forth that year,
may be seen.
And afterwards I was moved to go round the nation,
to advise to the setting up the men and women's meetings,
and to write to those places where I could not go:
that all the faithful might keep their meetings in the power of God,
and in it be settled, and established:
and that all marriages might be laid before the men and women's meetings,
who were in the wisdom of God, and in the possession of his gospel order,
who had the care of the church of Christ's business,
that they in the wisdom of God might look into it,
and see that they were clear from all other persons, etc.
And therefore now that pretence is generally taken away from all,
they cannot say now,
that they cannot tell where to find a meeting of the faithful,
to lay their marriages before them,
before they declare it in the common public meetings.
Now that the men and women's meetings are settled in the power of God,
to look after the churches' affairs;
for all know where they may be found at certain days, times, and places,
to lay it before them.
And they that go together in the truth and power of God,
will be willing to lay their marriages before them
that are in the same truth and power of God;
so that all things may be done in truth, love, and unity,
and pureness, clearness, and holiness, to the praise and glory of God.
And all, whosoever they be, that oppose this good order,
are loose spirits, out of the power of God;
and their work tends to looseness, and to draw into a loose liberty,
under a deceitful pretence of keeping people out of forms.
So the same power and spirit,
that directed all marriages to be laid before the faithful, at the first,
when there were but few Friends, in many parts of the nations,
and no men's nor women's meetings:
I say the same power of God that did convince Friends at the first,
the same power and spirit directed to the setting up the men's and women's
that they might be in the possession of the gospel, and its
And the same power and spirit of God
set up our order for marriages in our men's and women's meetings:
and that all are to speak first to their parents, and have their consent,
before they engage the affections of the children;
and this order is settled by the power of God, in the men and women's
For some formerly did speak to neither father nor mother,
till they had drawn out and entangled the affections of the daughter;
and that brought great troubles and discontent upon the parents, and among
And therefore this is to be inquired into, in the men and women's
where their marriages are to be spoken of.
So as Friends come to truth, which the devil is out of,
and to the power of God, which was before the devil was;
all being heirs of life, and the gospel, and heirs of Christ;
I say, take your possession of life,
and come into the order of life,
and into the order of the gospel,
and then you will have a witness in yourselves, and will say with me,
our order is not of man, nor by man, but by Jesus Christ, and his gospel;
and of his government, of the increase of which there is no end.
And so all be faithful, keeping in your possessions, and in your inheritance,
in that where no apostasy can come;
for I must tell you, here is the same spirit stirring, if it could prevail,
that would lay waste God's heritage,
and bring you out of your possessions, that it might rule over you;
but if you keep your possessions of the gospel order,
the power of God in Christ Jesus,
you will rule over it,
being in and upon the foundation of God, that stands sure;
though some earthly loose spirits it may draw after them.
But mark the end of it; for the power remains, and will remain,
and the seed reigns over the head of all such false spirits, and orders,
that are not set up by Jesus Christ,
and it will grind them to pieces:
that is the word of the Lord God to you,
let whoever will oppose it;
for the power was before they were, and will stand when they are gone.
For all our men and women's meetings,
which are set up by the power and spirit of God,
these meetings are for the practice of religion,
and to see that all that do profess truth, do practice it and walk in
And all such as are against them
are begetters of people into talking, and not walking, and of saying,
but not doing;
and such always were judged by all them that walked in the truth,
and in the pure religion, that is undefiled before God,
that kept and keeps from the spots of the world.
And all such are never likely to prosper, who are against the practice
of the pure religion.
And therefore, as I said before, live in the possession of the gospel
and its order,
the power of God, which was before the devil was, or the apostasy either;
and know his government, of the increase of which there is no end,
who is set up from everlasting to everlasting, the Amen.
And live in love and unity one with another;
for that edifies the body of Christ,
and that is it, which will bear all things;
and in the patience run the race, and have the crown,
and keep in the meekness of the Lamb, that will have the victory.
And such opposers as cry against forms, and prescriptions, and edicts
they are the most in it themselves this day,
and gather into a separation, by prescriptions and subscriptions;
and under a pretence of crying against such things,
oppose the power, and them that are in the possession of it.
But the power will blast them,
and make them to wither, like the grass and corn on the house-top,
as it did John Perrot and his company;
to whom it was the word of the Lord then,
and so it is to these now;
and the word lives, and abides, and endures forever.
So with my love in the Lord Jesus Christ to you all,
in whom is my labor and travail
for your eternal good and settlement upon the eternal rock.
Let this be read in the men's and women's meetings,
when Friends are assembled together.
Swarthmore, the 12th of the 12th month, 1675.
All dear friends and brethren,
Keep up your testimony in the light, power, and spirit of God,
for the worship, that Christ set up above sixteen hundred years since,
in the spirit and truth,
(which truth the devil is out of, who is an unclean spirit),
which is a worship that cannot be shaken.
And keep up your testimony, against the anti-christian ministry,
that is inwardly ravened from the spirit of God, and the light of Christ,
and his anti-christian tithes, and maintenance,
which he has set up, by that inwardly ravening spirit,
who has ravened from the spirit of Christ,
who said, 'Freely you have received, freely give;'
and Christ's ministers coveted no man's silver, nor gold, nor apparel.
And keep up your testimony in the power of Christ,
for the church that is made of living stones, (which he is the head of),
who are the first born written in heaven,
a spiritual household, a royal priesthood,
that offer up spiritual sacrifices.
So that everyone may have something to offer from the spirit to God,
who are of the church that is in God;
gathered by the power and spirit of Christ to him;
who feed on the bread that comes down from heaven;
and drink of the heavenly wine,
and so become flesh of his flesh, and bone of his bone,
and sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus;
who is the heavenly and spiritual head of his church,
which is written in heaven.
And also keep your testimony, for your pure and undefiled religion,
and for the wisdom that is above.
And keep your testimony for the cross of Christ, which is the power of
by which the world is crucified to you, and you to the world.
And you that were dead, and are risen with Christ,
keep your testimony for those things,
that you have sought, and have found,
and received from above, (those heavenly things),
where Christ sits, at the right hand of God.
And likewise, keep your testimony for the new and living way, Christ
and likewise for the light of Christ,
which you believe in,
and have become children of the light and of the day.
And keep your testimony for your men and women's meetings, in the power
by which you are gathered out of the apostasy, and over it,
into the everlasting gospel order, as was in the apostles' days.
Which gospel order is not of man, nor by man;
but by Christ, the spiritual man.
And all you that are ministers of this gospel,
help and encourage all those women in their meetings that labor
in the gospel;
and the women may in the same power of God (the gospel) help and assist
So that you may be help mates together,
in the restoration by Christ, in his glorious gospel and order,
who never fell, nor changed, nor will change.
So that all the plants that God has planted, may flourish, bud, and spring,
and bring forth fruit, to the praise and glory of God, in his power.
And this gospel of Christ Jesus, is everlasting, and holy, and glorious;
which you all, that feel it, are heirs of;
which has brought life and immortality to light in you;
which gospel, the power of God, was before the devil was, who had darkened
Now, in this power of God, the gospel,
is all your comfort, and glad tidings;
and an everlasting joy, in this everlasting gospel;
and an everlasting possession and comfort, in the everlasting order,
which is the gospel of Christ Jesus,
who is the first and last, the spiritual heavenly man;
his spiritual and heavenly order,
for his spiritual and heavenly ones to keep and walk in.
And, friends, keep your testimony against the world's vain ways,
words, fashions, customs, and worships, as you did at first,
and to your proper, sound, plain language.
And, friends, keep your testimony to the Lord in all your sufferings
for by the testimony of Jesus, and by the blood of the Lamb,
did and do the saints overcome;
and the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy;
by which they see him that gives them their victory;
and they feel him that suffered for them;
and in all their sufferings and afflictions,
he suffers with them, and is afflicted with them;
who is able to save to the uttermost, and to help and succor you in all
who is blessed forever. Amen.
And, friends, keep your testimony
(who are children of the new covenant, and are taught of God;
in whose hearts God has written his law, and put it in your minds),
for your counselor and leader, which God has given you;
and for your prophet, which God has raised up, whom you ought to hear;
and for your shepherd, that God has given, who laid down his life for
who has redeemed you from the world's hireling shepherds,
and leads you in his pasture of life,
and brings you to rest in his fold.
And keep your testimony for Christ, your priest,
who is made higher than
who laid down his life for you, and sanctified you,
and presents you to God, without spot or wrinkle;
who is holy, harmless, and separate from sinners.
And so keep your testimony for your heavenly spiritual bishop, Christ
who is the bishop of your souls,
who oversees you with his light, power, and spirit.
And keep your testimony, for the sufferings and resurrection of Jesus
for those who suffer with him, shall reign with him.
But those who shuffle, and flee in the time of persecution,
and deny him before men, such he will deny,
or be ashamed of, before his heavenly Father.
Who deny him, or are ashamed of him, before earthly men,
such fear the wrath of men, more than the wrath of God;
and such are the stony ground, whose blade is scorched up by the heat
but the good seed sown in the good ground,
that brings forth thirty, sixty, and a hundred fold in this life.
And keep your testimony for your unity in the faith, that gives you victory;
and your fellowship and unity in the spirit,
which is the bond of the Prince of princes, King of kings, and Lord of
319.-To Friends in Nevis, and the Caribbean Islands.
To you all in Nevis, and the Caribbean Islands thereabouts,
I have seen a letter from some of you,
wherein I understand that there has been some scruple concerning watching,
or sending forth watchmen in your own way.
Truly, friends, this I declare to you,
that it is a great mercy of the Lord,
to subject the governor's mind so much by his power and truth,
that he will permit you to watch in your own way, without carrying arms,
which is a very civil thing, and to be taken notice of.
For could Friends obtain the same in Jamaica, and other places,
they would willingly have done it,
and did proffer themselves to do it to the governors.
But because they would not bring swords and guns, and other arms,
to watch against the Spaniards, as they pretended,
their standing fine was about 17s. each man's neglect,
but they took often 30s. worth for it,
and tied some of them neck and heels besides,
till the blood has come forth at their mouth, nose, and ears.
And this I have seen upon record, who freely proffered to watch in their
but it would not be accepted.
And in other places it has been the same.
And now as for watching in itself:
Do not you watch your plantations against thieves in the night ?
And are not common watches set to discover thieves in the towns,
or house-breakers, or such as might wickedly fire houses?
Such civil things we were subject to,
and do submit ourselves, for conscience' sake,
unto every such ordinance of man, which are for the punishment of evil
and for the praise of them that do well.
Now those evil doers that may rob your plantations, or houses,
you complain to the magistrates, for the punishment of them,
though you cannot swear against them;
or if the Indians come to rob your plantations, or houses,
you complain to the magistrates
for the punishment of such evil doers, to stop them,
which magistrates are for the praise of them that do well.
So this watching is for the preventing thieves and murderers,
and stopping burning of houses.
So we do submit to every such ordinance of men for the Lord's sake;
for the apostle exhorted to submission,
whether it be to the king, as supreme,
or governors, as unto them that are sent by him,
for the punishing of the evil doers, and for the praise of them that do
for so it is the will of God,
that with well doing you might put to silence the ignorance of foolish
as free, not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness,
but as servants of God;
so that justice, and truth, and righteousness
may be set upon the unrighteousness, and unjust,
not using this liberty for a cloak of unrighteousness to anyone,
but as servants in the righteousness of the righteous God,
as you may see in I Peter 2:13-16 and in Titus 3:1,
'Put them in mind to obey magistrates, and to be ready to every good work'
Mark,' every good work,' that is against the evil,
as drunkenness, murder, whoredom, these and all manner of uncleanness;
so far we can obey them, in the Lord's power and truth,
as they act against the evil, and that which dishonors God;
and if they act against the good,
or if they would compel us to those things,
which are matter of conscience in us towards God,
we resist not, but suffer under them.
For rulers are not to be a terror to the good workers, but to the evil;
and will you then not be afraid of the power?
Do that which is good, and you shall have praise of the same;
for he is a minister of God to you for good,
for he should keep down the evil.
But if you do that which is evil, be afraid;
for he bears not the sword in vain;
for he is a minister of God to revenge and execute wrath upon him that
So he is the revenger and executioner of the wrath upon the evil doer,
as God has placed him,
upon the adulterer, and him that steals or kills, and bears false witness,
But when the magistrate turns his sword backward upon the just and righteous,
then he abuses his power, and therein the just suffer under him.
And therefore such have been warned by the just,
as you may see through the scriptures.
So you are not to be the revengers, but he is the revenger;
and to that power that executes the revenge, and brings the sword
upon the adulterer, murderer, thief, false witness, and other evil doers,
we must be subject to that power, and own that power,
not only for wrath, but for conscience' sake;
which is for the punishment of the evil doers, and the praise of them
that do well.
For if any should come to burn your house, or rob you
or come to ravish your wives or daughters,
or a company should come to fire a city or town, or come to kill people;
do not you watch against all such actions?
And will you not watch against such evil things in the power of God in
your own way?
You cannot but discover such things to the magistrates,
who are to punish such things;
and therefore the watch is kept and set
to discover such to the magistrate,
that they may be punished;
and if he does it not, he bears his sword in vain.
So if you watch your own plantation against thieves,
in your own way, for the good of yourself and your neighbors,
against such as would burn your plantation, and your neighbor's,
and destroy and rob you, will not, you discover this to the magistrates,
to punish such evil doers,
who are set for the punishing of the evil doers, and executing wrath upon
and for the praise of them that do well? Surely yes.
And for this cause we pay tribute to them,
and give Cesar his due that we may live a godly and peaceable life under
as they are God's ministers attending upon this very thing,
to wit, the punishing of the evil doers, and the praise of them that do
for the law was not made for the righteous,
but for the sinner and disobedient, which is good in its place.
Now if they do not do their duty,
we are clear in giving them their tribute or customs;
I say, if they do not do their duty to keep down evil doers,
and be for the praise of them that do well,
God Almighty will turn against them.
But if the magistrate would have all, both God's due, and Cesar's too,
that we cannot give;
for God must have his worship, his praise, his honor, and his due;
and Cesar must have his due, his earthly custom and tribute;
and so herein, we render unto God the things which are God's,
and unto Cesar the things which are his.
And whereas some may say, that the apostle would not eat flesh,
for fear that he should offend his brother,
that was upon a religious account;
and not to give offence to the magistrate,
who is set for the punishing of the evil doers, and for the praise of
them that do well.
And whereas the apostle said in Col 2:20-22,
'Wherefore if you be dead with Christ, from the rudiments of the world;
why, as though living in the world, are you subject to ordinances,
touch not, taste not, handle not, which all are to perish with the using,
after the commandments and doctrines of men?'
Now these ordinances, these doctrines, these commandments,
were concerning religion and worship;
and that was another thing, where the apostle said,
'Be subject to every ordinance of man, for the Lord's sake;
for the punishment of evil doers.' 1 Pet 2:13-14.
For this was for the Lord's sake,
which was for the praise of them that do well, and for the punishment
of the evil doer.
So he makes a distinction here.
And you know that masters of ships, and Friends,
have their watches all night long,
and they watch to preserve the ship, and to prevent any enemy,
or hurts that might come to the ship, by passengers, or otherwise.
And Christ came in the fourth watch of the night, walking on the sea,
And Peter was in the ship, and his disciples,
as you may see in Mat 14:25 and in Mark 6:48.
And Simon Peter had part of the ship, as you may see in Luke 5:10.
And so it was that James and John, sons of Zebedee, were partners with
And Christ said, (Luke 12:37-39) speaking of his coming, and exhorting
'If he, (to wit, the master), should come in the second or third watch,
and find them watching, blessed are those servants.'
So this watching was for Christ, and against sin and evil in their own
And then he brings a comparison,
'And this know, that if the good man of the house,' said he,
'had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched,
and not allowed his house to be broken up,' etc.
And so here is the good man's watching against sin and evil without,
and the spoiler and thief without, whom the magistrate is to revenge,
and to lay his sword upon.
And here is also a watching against sin and evil within,
and a waiting to receive Christ the Lord at his coming.
And as there is a shutting the outward doors,
to keep out the murderers
and the thieves,
and a bolting and locking of them out.
So there is a shutting up, and locking the door of the heart,
to keep out the adulterer and murderer, and all that is deceitful,
from coming within, into the heart.
And, friends, the priests and professors used to bring this scripture,
"You must be subject to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake;"
to the end that we should pay them their maintenance, and hold up their
And when the magistrates brought that scripture for these ends,
we could not obey them in these things,
nor touch, nor taste their ordinances, doctrines, nor commandments,
But to be subject to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake;
which was for the punishment of evil doers;
as drunkards, thieves, murderers, adulterers, and such like,
and to keep down such evil doers,
and that we might live a godly and peaceable life under them;
which was for the praise of them that do well;
this we always owned, and were subject to,
and watched against, and declared against in our own way,
and laid such actors and actions before the magistrates,
for them to punish, and keep down with their power, which is their sword
but if they would compel us to things that we could not do,
contrary to our conscience,
for the Lord's sake, we suffered for it.
So where Friends have the government, as in Rhode Island, and that province,
Friends were willing to watch, in their own way,
and they made a law, that none should be compelled to take arms.
So Friends have always offered to the magistrates,
though they could not join with them in carrying arms, swords, and pistols;
yet to watch in their own way against the evil doer.
And this they have proffered in Barbados as I have heard,
to discover if negroes should rise up to burn plantations, or steal, or
do any hurt,
or other Indians invading their land.
And so if the foreign Indians should come to steal your goods, or to
For you to be left in your own freedom to watch in your own way ,
and to discover to the magistrate such as would destroy your lives or
plantations or steal,
let them come from at home, or come from abroad,
such evil doers the magistrate is to punish, who is for the praise of
them that do well.
So that you may live and lead a godly and peaceable life under them.
And you that are righteous,
you watching, discovering and declaring against such evil doers, and things,
you clear yourselves, and demonstrate that your testimony is against such
And if the magistrates should be evilly inclined,
and God should bring the evil doers as a rod upon them;
yet you are clear in your testimony,
that knows truth, and are in your duty, and in your obedience.
And for this cause he has his tribute, and his custom, and his due,
and double honor, if he rules well;
and God has his praise, and his honor;
and in that power and truth of God,
which is against untruth, and the power of darkness;
and in the light which is against evil;
and in the life, which is against death,
you discover the bad to him, for him to punish them upon true evidence;
and if he does not do it, it will lie upon him.
And if he be a praise to the evil, and a discouragement to the good,
then the Lord will deal with him;
and though to such, for conscience, and for the Lord's sake,
we cannot be subject to the evil, but rather suffer thereby,
and are subject to that which punishes and keeps down the evil, and are
glad of it.
And we desire that justice were uppermost in all magistrates,
that they would hear Friends at their yes or no,
that do come to them, and discover to them the evil,
and that they might see what they should do, and what they should not
So Friends may discover all that which is evil, which comes to devour
both within and without, both within the island and without,
to them that should keep it down.
And so, in the Lord's everlasting power, in which freedom is and dominion,
the Lord God Almighty keep you in his power and life,
in the gospel, which brings life and immortality to light in you
that you may see over the devil that had darkened you,
and kept you in a separation from God;
so that by his gospel, the power of God,
which was before the devil was, and will be when he is gone,
who was the author of strife;
that in that power you may all freely approach to God,
and in it feel nothing between you and the Lord of hindering your passage
So that in this gospel, the power of God,
in which life and immortality are brought to light,
you may keep and feel your everlasting fellowship and order of the gospel;
which is not of man, nor by man.
So my love to all Friends in all those parts, as though I named them;
and be at peace one with another;
neither judge one another about such things, but live in love, which does
And in the power of God,
that your hearts, and souls, and minds, may unite together in it;
and all to walk as becomes the gospel;
and let your lives and conversations preach,
that with a measure of the spirit of God you may reach to that of God
so that his name may be glorified, and he honored,
in your bringing forth much heavenly spiritual fruit, from the heavenly
that Christ the heavenly seeds-man has sown in your hearts;
that so a hundred fold of holiness, righteousness, godliness, virtue,
from this heavenly seed, you may bring forth and increase in this life-time,
and in the world to come reap life everlasting.
And give no occasion to your adversaries, neither in your lives nor words;
but that you may all serve God in the new life,
showing forth that you are new men, and that you are renewed in the image
and that you are born again of the immortal heavenly seed,
by the eternal everlasting word, that lives, and abides, and endures forever.
And that you do feed upon the heavenly milk and bread from above,
and that your conversation is in heaven,
and that you are clothed with the fine heavenly linen,
which is the righteousness of saints,
which is Christ's (the heavenly and spiritual man's) livery;
by which his servants are known by his badge of righteousness,
and distinguished from all the servants of old Adam, Egypt, Sodom, and
with their badge of unrighteousness.
And so be valiant for God's truth upon the earth, and spread it abroad;
preach Christ and his kingdom, his light, his grace, his truth to men;
that all should walk in it;
and his dreadful day upon all the talkers of God,
and Christ, his prophets, and apostles' words,
that do not walk in the same power, spirit and life, grace and truth;
as they walked in.
I say, preach this to the magistrates, and among the heathen men,
and show yourselves to be quickened (by Christ)
who have been dead in sins and trespasses;
but that you are now made alive by him;
and so show forth his light, life, and truth, and that you are awakened
and therefore show it forth to them that are asleep
in the unrighteousness:
so that the Lord's glory, and righteous power, truth, light, and life,
may flow over all, to his glory over all, forever. Amen.
And much I could write to you concerning these things
but I have not been very well;
but, blessed be the Lord God, his everlasting seed is over all,
which reigns from everlasting to everlasting, and my life is in it.
And therefore, stand and live in the Lord's name and power,
which is against all manner of unrighteousness;
and in the light, which is against darkness, and all the works thereof;
and in the life, which is against death, and over death, and all the actors
and in the truth, that is over all evil,
and against all the doers thereof, within and without.
And so, that in the light, life, power, and truth of God,
and in his holy spirit, you may live in fellowship,
and in the unity of the spirit, which is your bond of peace;
yea, even of the Prince of princes' peace;
which the world cannot take away from you.
Swarthmore, the 5th of the 9th month.
to all the faithful women's meetings in the
who assemble together in the fear of God,
for the service of the
Wherein they may see how the holy men
encouraged the holy women,
holy in the time of the law, and in the time of the gospel;
and unholy men may seek to discourage them.
But go on in the name and
power of Christ, and prosper.
You may read in the old world,
how one family after another, till Noah's time, served the Lord God.
And then from Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and their wives,
and after Moses and Aaron had brought the children of Israel out of Egypt,
and that they were come to be a great people,
Moses said, 'I would all the Lord's people were prophets.'
And when a young man said unto Moses, 'Eldad and Medad do prophesy in
and he would have had Moses to forbid them;
but Moses answered and said unto him again,
'Would to God all the Lord's people were prophets,
and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them.'
So Moses here, (who was captain, governor, and judge over Israel),
was far from restraining any from prophesying in the camp,
but reproved his envy that would have had him forbid them;
and did moreover encourage them,
by saying, 'I would to God all the Lord's people were prophets:'
and surely all the Lord's people are made up of both men and women.
And the Lord having given his law to the children of Israel,
which was holy, just and good,
the Lord said, 'I have poured out my spirit ,upon the house of Israel:'
so that by this spirit, they might understand his law, which was spiritual.
Now in the time of the law, there were the assemblies of the women;
for all the women that were wise of heart,
did work with their hands about those holy things which God had commanded.
And all the women whose hearts stirred them up in wisdom,
these women wrought about those holy things
that belonged to the tabernacle and sanctuary; as you may see in Exodus
And likewise the assemblies of the women, in the 38th chapter,
and of the women', assembling at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation;
and in the margin it is said, they assembled by troops.
Now, here you may see, that the women
were in the work and service of God, as well as the men;
and they had their assemblies.
For God had poured out his spirit upon the house of Israel,
to give them an understanding, both men and women,
to do that, and make those things which God had commanded,
which were called holy things;
which were but figures and shadows of the substance, Christ Jesus, the
Now Moses and Aaron, and the seventy elders,
did not say to those assemblies of the women, we can do our work ourselves,
and you are more fit to be at home to wash the dishes; or such-like expressions;
but they did encourage them in the work and service of God,
in those things which God had commanded them in the time of the law.
For God having poured his spirit on the house of Israel,
to give them an understanding,
to do those things which God had commanded them;
by which spirit their hearts were stirred up to do God's work, both males
And in the time of the law, the women were to offer up sacrifices and
as well as the men, upon God's altar;
as you may see, Hannah when she brought Samuel, and offered him up to
she brought him to the house of the Lord in Shiloh,
and when she brought him, she took up with her three bullocks, besides
flour and wine;
so see how she paid her vows to the Lord,
and offered up her sacrifices upon Gael's altar.
And other places might be shown of the women's offerings and sacrifices.
And you may see Hannah's fervent zeal to God,
and what a large speech she made in magnifying and exalting the Lord,
in 1 Sam2:1.
And so you may see, the offerings and sacrifices of the women
were accepted upon God's altar, as well as the men's.
But the hire of a whore was not to be brought into the house of God for
for it was an abomination to the Lord.
Now Hannah's husband, and the other women's husbands,
that offered up their offerings upon God's altar, were not offended at
nor did they say, their offerings were enough for them both;
but every one was to offer up their peace-offerings
and thanksgiving-offerings themselves, and other offerings.
So here you may see the service and work of the women,
and how serviceable the women were in their assemblies in the time of
about the tabernacle and holy things,
and how the women offered upon God's altar, as well as the men;
they had their liberty.
But the hire of the whore was to be kept out of God's house,
and not to be offered up upon God's altar.
So you may see man and woman were help mates in paradise, before the
and death reigned from Adam till Moses,
and after Moses received the law from God,
which went over death, (and sin that brought it),
who saw the state of man and woman in paradise.
Men and women in the time of the law were help mates again to one another,
in the work and service of the holy things about the tabernacle and sanctuary,
and the women had their assemblies.
And it is said, in Joel 2:28-29 and in Acts 2:17-18
'that the Lord would pour out of his spirit upon all flesh in the last
days or times.'
So this spirit being poured upon all flesh in the Christian times,
sons and daughters, handmaids and servants, old men and young men,
that by the spirit of God, all these might have his visions, prophecies
and this is his spirit, by which all should profit in the things that
and to serve God in the spirit,
both men and women, sons and daughters,
old men and young, handmaids and servants;
all offer up to God his spiritual sacrifices.
For all being dead in old earthly Adam,
Christ, the heavenly Adam has tasted death for them all,
and is a propitiation for the sins of the whole world,
and he enlightens all, and his grace has appeared unto all,
and his spirit is poured upon all flesh,
and his gospel, which is the power of God, is preached to every creature
And now, must not all receive the grace, and believe in the light,
and receive this gospel, and walk and labor in it;
both men and women, sons and daughters, old men and young, servants and
Yes, I say, the gospel being preached to all nations, and to every creature
old men and young, servants and handmaids, sons and daughters;
I say, then must not all these receive this gospel, and the light and
and are they not all to walk in it?
and to offer up their spiritual sacrifices upon the heavenly altar, in
the new covenant,
and to walk in the new and living way;
and all to receive the light of Christ, which enlightens all;
and to become children of light,
and to feel the blood of Christ to cleanse them from all sin,
which they have in old Adam.
So as the women were to offer, in the old covenant, and in the time of
upon the outward altar, their offerings;
and God poured out his spirit upon the house of Israel,
that they might understand, and do what he commanded them;
at which time they had the assemblies of the women, which were not forbidden.
So now, in the time of the gospel, and the day of Christ, which enlightens
and in the time of his grace, which has appeared unto all men to teach
and to bring their salvation;
and in the time of his gospel preached to every creature,
and in the time of his pouring out of his spirit upon all flesh,
that they might understand, and walk, and live in his gospel,
and by his spirit offer up their spiritual sacrifices.
So, in this the time and day of Christ, the captain of our salvation,
must not all these labor in the gospel, and in the word, and in the grace,
and in the light,
and know and do God and Christ's work
and service about his heavenly tabernacle and sanctuary?
Has not every one their service that are enlightened?
And his grace, that has appeared unto them, are they not stewards of it?
And must not they have their assemblies of the women in the time of the
and of the new covenant, and in the time of grace, and light, and life,
as well as in the time of the law, and of the old covenant?
And are not all to labor in that which tends to God's glory, and praise,
For which end he has made them all, and for which end he has redeemed
and converted them,
and translated and sanctified them
to make them vessels of his honor, and of his grace and mercies.
And so now the end of an our men's and women's meetings in the time of
(the power of Christ being the authority of them),
is, that they might all labor in his power, and in his grace,
and in his spirit, and in his light,
to do his service, and his business in truth and righteousness.
So the women in the time of the gospel, light, and grace,
are to look into their own selves and families,
and to look to the training up of their children;
for they are oft-times more among them than the men,
and may prevent many things that may fall out,
and many times they may make or mar their children in their education.
So now they come to be exercised in the grace of God,
and to admonish and exhort, reprove and rebuke,
and to keep all their families modest, honest, virtuous, sober, and civil,
and not to give liberty, nor indulge that which tends to vice, or lasciviousness,
or any evil, or idleness, or slothfulness, or the fashions of the world,
which pass away;
and to stop all vain words, and idle talking, and stories,
which are unprofitable;
but rather to turn their ears to godliness,
which they should be trained up and exercised in,
and not to fulfill the lust of the eye;
for that being satisfied, brings the pride of life,
and then comes the lust of the flesh;
and this is not of the Father, but of the world.
And if either men or women allow such things,
they allow that which defiles their children and families;
and therefore such things are to be reproved in families,
and their children to be stopped from going into such things.
And therefore they are to have an esteem of truth and virtue above all
and not to indulge any such things as will draw out their minds from virtue
Now when the women are met together in the light,
and in the gospel, the power of God;
some are of a more large capacity and understanding than other women,
and are able to inform, and instruct, and stir up others into diligence,
and righteousness, and godliness, and in the love and wisdom of God,
to inform and reform their families,
and to help them that are of weaker capacities and understandings in the
wisdom of God,
that they may be fruitful in every good work, and word.
So that they may see that all their families are ordered to God's glory;
and that which tends to looseness or evil,
either in words, ways, or actions, that would corrupt them,
either in their lives or manners, may be kept down and reproved.
So that all their children and servants may be trained up in the fear
in the new covenant;
for among the Jews in the old covenant,
they that sojourned among them were to keep the sabbath,
and if they did eat of their sacrifice, they were to be circumcised.
And the women had their assemblies in the days of the judges and the
and old Ely's sons abused them, and old Ely did admonish his sons,
but he did not restrain them from their wickedness;
and therefore God cut off his sons,
and he lost the ark of God, and the priesthood, and his own life also.
So many of you may admonish your children,
but if you do not restrain them by the help of the spirit of God,
which God has given to you,
you will quench the spirit of God in you, by indulging them;
so by that you will lose your spiritual offering, and your priesthood
and take heed if you do not lose your own lives, and your children's also;
therefore mind old Ely for your example.
Now old Ely was not against the assemblies of the women,
who assembled by troops, as (in the margin of the bible) you may see in1 Sam 2:22-23.
though some men may be against women's meetings or assemblies
in the gospel-times,
and against women's speaking or prophesying,
but they are ignorant of the universal spirit,
and of their service and labor to God, in his grace and gospel;
and are of a narrow spirit, and are not the true servers of God themselves;
for if they were, they would have all people to serve God in his power,
and to keep the true religion, which is to visit the fatherless and the
and to keep themselves from the spots of the world.
And some there have been, that would not have the women to meet without
and some of them say, the women must not speak in the church,
and if they must not speak, what should they meet with them for?
But what spirit is this, that would exercise lordship over the faith
And what a spirit is this, that will neither allow the women to speak
among the men,
nor to meet among themselves to speak?
But all this is for judgment,
with that spirit that gives liberty unto all that labor in the gospel,
in the light, and in the grace.
And some men and women there are that suggest,
if women should meet (by themselves)
in the order of the gospel, the power of God,
they would be too high;
but such men and women, as so suggest, are too high already,
and would be ruling over men and women possessions, and waste their own;
for if they were in the power and spirit of God,
they need not fear anyone's getting over them.
For the power and spirit of God gives liberty to all;
for women are heirs of life as well as the men, and heirs of grace,
and of the light of Christ Jesus, as well as the men,
and so stewards of the manifold grace of God.
And they must all give an account of their stewardship,
and are to be possessors of life, and light, and grace, and the gospel
and to labor in it; and to keep their liberty and freedom in it, as well
as the men.
And they are believers in the light, as well as the men,
and so children of the light and of the day, as well as the men.
And so the assemblies of the women, whom God has poured out his spirit
are to be in the time of the gospel, as well as in the time of the law,
that they may be help mates to the men in the time of the gospel,
in the restoration, as they were in the beginning, and time of the law.
So all the women, (in all their assemblies in the time of the gospel,
and of the new covenant of light, life, and grace),
are to be encouraged, as they were in the time of the law,
and to be stirred up in the wisdom of God
to their diligence and service of God and Christ,
in his new covenant, in his gospel time,
to do the Lord's business about the heavenly tabernacle, and heavenly
as the women were about the figure in the time of the law.
And now, you that stumble at women's meetings,
did not your women have many vain meetings before they were convinced,
and you were not then offended at them, when they met to satisfy the flesh,
and had meetings of pleasure excursions to themselves;
did you reprove them for such meetings?
And why should they not now meet in their conversion,
in the Lord's power and spirit, to do his business,
and to visit the fatherless and widows,
and to keep themselves from the spots of the world,
which is the practice of the pure religion,
wherein the men and women may be help mates in the religion that is not
of the world,
that keeps from the spots of the world.
But some have said,
that such meetings must not be, but as business requires or occasions
As much as to say, you must not make hedges
till the beasts have devoured your corn;
and then the parish overseers must meet together to compute the damage.
And here their wisdom is seen,
as if it were not more their duty to meet,
to prevent bad actions that
may fall out,
and with the power of God to stop up gaps to prevent evil, or weak places;
for when the evil is entered into, it is too late to meet then,
which rather brings scandal than remedy;
and therefore the laborers in the gospel, men and women, (being help mates),
are to see that all walk and live in the order of the gospel,
and to see that nothing is lacking, then all is well.
For the women in their assemblies
may inform one another of the poor widows and fatherless,
and in the wisdom of God may find the best way for the setting forth of
and to see that their children are preserved in truth,
and to instruct them in the fear of the Lord.
And you may see the care of Abraham, about Isaac taking his wife;
and the care of Sarah, that the son of the bondwoman should not be heir
with her son,
and how that he sent his servant, that spoke to the parents,
before he spoke to Rebecca the daughter,
concerning the message of his master Abraham,
and they confessed it did proceed from the Lord, as in Gen 24:33-51.
And also you may see the care of Rebecca concerning Jacob, who said,
'If Jacob take a wife of the daughters of Heth, what good will my life
And here you may see Isaac and Rebecca were help mates;
and Isaac did not say, hold your tongue, you foolish woman.
For Isaac exhorted Jacob, and charged him,
not to take a wife of the daughters of Canaan; as you may see in Gen 28:1.
And when Rebecca was with child, the children struggled in her womb,
and she said,
If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to the Lord to inquire,
and the Lord said unto her, 'Two nations are in your womb, and two manner
and the elder shall serve the younger,' as in Gen 25:23.
So you may see, that she had recourse to the Lord, and inquired of the
and he heard her and spoke to her, and she heard the Lord's voice.
She is an example to all women in that condition, to ask counsel of the
Lord, as she did.
And when Sarah said to Abraham, 'Cast forth the bondwoman and her son;
for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with my son Isaac;'
but this thing was grievous in Abraham's sight, because of his son Ishmael.
But God said unto Abraham, 'Let it not be grievous in your sight,
because of the lad, and because of the bondwoman;
for in all that Sarah has said unto you, hearken unto her voice;
for in Isaac shall your seed be called.'
Here you may see God justified this honorable woman's speaking,
and her husband Abraham did according to her words, as in Gen 21:9-14.
for the church was in Abraham's house at that time; and so Sarah spoke
in the church.
And you may see the counsel of Rebecca to Jacob,
and how she instructed her son, in chapter 27:43-45.
And likewise you may see Rachel and Leah their counsel to Jacob,
who answered Jacob, and said unto him,
'Is there yet any portion or inheritance for us in our father's house?
Are we not counted of him as strangers?
For he has sold us, and has quite devoured also our money;
for all the riches which God has taken from our father,
that is ours, and our children's;
and now therefore, whatsoever God has said unto you, do.'
This was Rachel's and Leah's counsel unto Jacob;
and were not these three a church then?
And did he forbid them from speaking in the church? see Gen 31:14-16.
And in Exodus 1 there you may see the midwives, which feared God,
did not obey king Pharaoh's command, in destroying the male children,
but saved them alive.
And after that the king of Egypt sent for the midwives, and asked them,
'Why they had done so, in saving the male children?'
Yet these midwives, after he had thus examined them, and re-enforced his
yet they still disobeyed his command,
and would not yield to his persecuting, murdering decree;
and therefore it is said, God dealt well with the midwives.
'And it came to pass, because the midwives feared God, that he made them
And here you may see the Lord took care for these honorable women that
And do you think that these honorable women did not meet often together,
and took counsel together, to stand together,
and dedicate their own lives and estates to preserve the lives of those
Would you not say, if this were in your days,
that these were bold women to answer the king after such a manner,
and to disobey the king's commands thus? as in Exod.1:16-20.
And after the children of Israel came out of Egypt,
and saw the destruction of Pharaoh and his host;
after Moses made an end of his song, and praising of the Lord,
then Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron,
took a timbrel in her hand, and all the women went out after her
with timbrels and with dances, (mark, all the women),
and Miriam answered them, and said, 'Sing you unto the Lord;
for he has triumphed gloriously,
the horse and its rider has he overthrown into the sea.'
Now, here you may see what an assembly there was of the women,
that praised the Lord, who were instructed by Miriam the prophetess;
and Moses and Aaron were not offended at them;
for they were sensible of their joy, and were partakers of the deliverance
the women as well as the men; as you may see in Ex 15:20-21.
And Deborah, a prophetess, judged Israel,
and sent to Barak and exhorted and encouraged him;
and she prophesied to him that he should not have the glory of the battle;
but that the Lord should sell Sisera into the hands of a woman;
as you may see in Judges chapter 4.
Then sung Deborah and praised the Lord;
and there you may see her large declaration,
in praising and magnifying the name of the Lord, the whole chapter throughout;
and how she said, 'Blessed be Jael above all women, the wife of Heber;
blessed shall she be in the tent.'
And we do not read that the elders did reprove her, or bid her hold her
for she was filled with the power of the Lord to praise his name. Judges
And you may see how the apostle set forth the honorable women,
and their faithfulness and constancy,
who by faith received the dead, raised to life again.
And Hannah, who prayed in the temple before Ely, as before said,
who was ignorant of her condition, he reproved her, and thought she had
but she convinced him;
so that at last he encouraged her, and desired the Lord to grant her petition;
and when the Lord had granted it to her,
you may see how this honorable woman exalts the Lord, 1 Sam 2:1-10
And Ruth and Naomi, you may see what virtuous women they were,
and how the women blessed the Lord on their behalf,
and how they declared of the goodness of the Lord to them.
And Huldah the prophetess, who dwelt in Jerusalem, in the college,
where the king sent out the priest Hilkiah, and his scribe, and others,
to inquire of her.
Now the Jews here did not despise communication with a woman.
And she instructed the priest and the king's scribe, who came to her.
So neither king nor priest did despise this prophetess's teaching and
but obeyed it, as you may see what a large sermon she preached to them,
in 2 Kings, 22 from 14 to the end.
And you may see Abigail, that honorable woman's wisdom,
how she saved her family and her house from destruction.
Yet she did not go to ask her husband (old churlish Nabal) at home,
but she, who was innocent and wise, took it upon herself;
and you may see what a brave sermon she preached to David, who heard her
and she told David, how that 'he was bound up in the bundle
of life with the Lord God.'
And David blessed the Lord God that she came
and said, 'the Lord God of Israel had sent her that day to meet him;'
and said, 'Blessed be your advice,
and blessed be you who have kept me this day from shedding blood;'
as you may read in 1 Sam25:18-35.
And was not this a noble and honorable act of this woman,
which prevented so much evil and bloodshed,
which her husband had like to have brought upon them?
So David did not despise the counsel of this honorable woman,
who was wiser than her husband Nabal.
And now, must not the virgins, in the time of the gospel,
trim their lamps, and get oil into their own lamps,
by laboring in the grace, light, and power of Christ,
and keep their lamps trimmed and always burning.
In the time of the law it was Aaron the priest's office;
but in the time of the gospel all the virgin minds must trim their own lamps,
that their lamps may burn the clearer;
and to see that they have oil in their lamps from the heavenly olive tree,
And therefore, they that would not have the virgins and women to be diligent,
serving the Lord in his heavenly business and service,
their lamps are going out, and they are become fools,
and would have others to be like themselves.
And the Lord sent Elijah in the time of the famine, and said unto him,
'Behold, I have commanded a widow woman to sustain you;'
and he arose, and went to Zarephath,
and when he came to the gate of the city,
the widow woman was gathering sticks to make a fire, to bake her a cake,
who had but one handful of meal and a little oil in a cruise,
and yet in faith she made the man of God a cake,
though she had no more than this, that she and her son might eat and then
but her meal wasted not, nor her cruise of oil, according to the word
of the Lord;
and so the Lord blessed this woman, as you may see in 1 Kings 17:9-16.
And in the 2nd of Kings, chapter 4, there you may see the faith of the
and how largely she spoke unto the prophet Elisha,
and how the Lord increased her stock of oil through her belief and faithfulness.
And Elisha passed unto Shunnim, where there was a great woman,
and she constrained him to eat bread;
and so it was, that as often as he passed by, he turned in there to eat
and she said unto her husband,
'Behold, now I perceive, that this is a holy man of God,
which passes by us continually;
let us make him a little chamber, I pray
you, on the wall,
and let us set for him there a bed, and a table, and
a stool, and a candlestick,
and it shall be that when he comes to us, that he shall turn in there.'
Now to this good action of this holy woman was her husband subject;
and how she was blest afterwards for her faithfulness, and receiving of
the man of God!
Now the prophet or the Lord did not despise this woman's speaking,
In the time of the law.
Neither did Solomon despise the prophecy his mother taught him.
And David said, 'The Lord gave the word,
and great was the company of those that published it.'
And the king's daughter was among the honorable women.
So there were the honorable women, that feared and served the Lord God,
in the time of the law, and before the law.
But now there should be much more in the time of the gospel,
which is preached to every creature;
which gospel-light has enlightened every man that comes into the world;
and in the time of the covenant of grace,
which has appeared unto all men, to teach them, and bring their salvation.
And so in the time of the gospel, light, and grace,
the honorable women should be help mates,
and fellow-laborers together in the work and service of the Lord,
as man and woman was before they fell, and as they were in the time of
For that honorable Deborah, which was a valiant mother in Israel,
was a judge and a prophetess.
And Jephtha's daughter, was not she a virtuous young woman?
and see what a sermon she preached to her father, and said to him,
'Let me go up to the mountains to bewail my virginity:'
and he said unto her, go;
and she went and her companions, fellow-virgins:
and she said unto her father, as you have opened your mouth unto the Lord,
so do unto me according to what has proceeded out of your mouth,
forasmuch as the Lord has taken vengeance for you of your enemies.
And the daughters of Israel went yearly to lament the daughter of Jephtha.
Judges 11:30-31, 34-40
So here they had a Yearly Meeting upon this occasion;
but the assemblies of the women about the works and services the Lord
was beyond this.
And Manoah, Samson's mother, unto her the angel of the Lord appeared,
and declared unto her great things, which she declared unto her husband,
but her husband did not reprove her;
and when her husband was in fear that they should die,
then his wife encouraged him, saying, 'If the Lord were pleased to kill
he would not have received a burnt offering, and have showed us all these
And here you may see the steadfastness of this woman's faith,
beyond her husband's, as in Judges 13.
And the woman of Tekoah, see what a sermon she preached to king David. 2 Sam 14
And you may see what a large sermon the woman of the city of Abel
preached unto Joab the general;
she told him, she was one of them that were peaceable and faithful in
and you seek to destroy a city and a mother of Israel;
why will you swallow up the inheritance of the Lord?
So she convinced him and preserved the city.
And so these and such women are recorded to posterity for their wisdom,
and their virtue, and zeal, and their faith,
as you may see in chapter 20 of 2 Samuel verses 16-22.
And what think you of Esther?
read her book, and see the behavior of this virtuous, honorable woman,
who by her wisdom, faith, and virtue, preserved her people Israel;
she was a nursing-mother to them;
as you may read in the book of Esther,
who kept a fast with her maidens to the Lord,
and also desired Mordecai to keep a fast in Shushan in Esther 4:16.
Now, all you careless women, that are out of God's service,
and think you have no need to be in the service and work of the Lord,
hear the word of the Lord, what Isaiah says to such:
'Arise up, you women, that are at ease;
hear my voice, you careless daughters,
give ear to my speech;
many days and years shall you be troubled, you careless women;
for the vintage shall fall, and the gathering shall not come.'
Nor you cannot expect it in your ease and carelessness,
that neglect God's voice and speech, and are not diligent;
your heavenly vintage will fall, and of it you will have little gathering.
'Tremble, you women, that are at ease;
be troubled, you careless ones;
strip yourself, make yourself bare, gird sackcloth upon your loins,' etc.
Therefore put off that careless garment, and shake off sloth,
and put on diligence in the service of God.
Now, the Jews had their assemblies of mourning-women;
and therefore the prophet calls for the mourning-women,
and let them bewail, says he, when the Jews went into transgression.
And this was because the men and women were not diligent in his service,
in the power and spirit of God, which he had poured upon them.
And Jeremiah says, 'Hear the word of the Lord, O you women!
and let your ears receive the word of his mouth,
and teach your daughters wailing, and everyone their neighbors lamentation'
So, here the prophet exhorts the women, to hear the word of God first,
and then to teach and exhort their daughters and neighbors,
yes, wailing and lamentation.
And were they not, and are they not,
to teach their families and their neighbors from the word of the Lord,
both in the time of the law and the gospel,
to prevent wailing and lamentation.
And see in Ezekiel, how he exhorted, and what the Lord says there;
I will cause lewdness to cease out of the land,
that all women may be taught not to do after their lewdness.
And then, as they are obedient to this teaching,
they will shun the judgments that came upon the Jews,
which were compared to women; as in Ezek 23.
And the assemblies of the women
did continue among the Jews till they went into captivity.
And when Saul and David had made a great slaughter upon the Philistines,
the women came out of all the cities of Israel
(mark, out of all the cities of Israel;
and surely this was a great assembly
of women) singing and dancing,
with joy, and with instruments
and the women answered one another as they played, and sung praises, unto
And Saul the king was not angry with the women, but at David,
because they ascribed so much honor to him;
for they were partakers of the salvation of the Lord, and of the deliverance,
as well as the men.
And so they are partakers in the gospel,
of the deliverance over the devil, the grand enemy of mankind;
and are exhorted to praise the Lord,
and to make melody in their hearts to the Lord,
for their salvation and deliverance by Christ,
in the time of the gospel,
as well as the men.
And in 2 Chron 35:25 there Jeremiah lamented for Josiah,
and all the singing-men and singing-women spoke of Josiah in their lamentation.
So here were not only singing-men, but singing-women,
which did not only sing but lament for this good man Josiah.
And in the days of Ezra, after the Jews returned from their captivity
to their land,
there were two hundred singing-men and singing-women.
And in Neh 7:67 where the priest stood up with Urim and Thummim,
(that is, light and perfection),
they had two hundred and forty five singing-men
So these were encouraged by the priests, according to David and Solomon's
and these were besides the assemblies of the women,
about works and services in the holy things;
for these sung praises to God.
And in Zeph 3:14-15 he said, 'Sing, you daughters of Zion,
shout and rejoice with all your heart, you daughters of Jerusalem;
the Lord has taken away your judgment.. the Lord is in the midst
you shall see evil no more.'
And in Zech 2:10 he encourages them, to 'sing and rejoice, O daughter
for, lo I come, and I will dwell in the midst of you, says the Lord.'
So here is great cause for the daughter of Zion to rejoice;
and who shall
stop her mouth?
And in Luke 1:38 you may see, how the angel of the Lord
appeared unto Mary the mother of Jesus, and what he said to her,
and what a noble virtuous mind was in her;
and she said unto the angel, 'Behold the handmaid of the Lord,
be it unto me according to your word;'
so her belief was beyond Zachariah's the priest.
And when Mary came unto Elizabeth, what a meeting and salutation was
and how she was filled with the holy ghost, and the babe leaped in her
and she praised the Lord God, and called her the mother of the Lord.
Read from the 40th to the 55th verse,
and see how she extols the Lord, and magnifies Christ Jesus;
for here was a heavenly meeting of these two, which is chronicled to ages.
So you may see her belief was above Zachariah's the priest.
So Mary and Elizabeth were notable preachers of Christ Jesus.
And you may see in Luke 2:7 how Mary wrapped Christ in swaddling-clothes,
and how tender she was of the heavenly birth, conceived by the holy ghost.
And so must all true and tender christians, that receive him in the spirit;
and how she kept all the sayings that were spoken of Christ,
and pondered them in her heart. Luke 2:19
And so should every true christian.
And there was Anna a prophetess, who was eighty-four years old,
who departed not from the temple,
but served God with fasting and prayer night and day,
'and she gave thanks unto the Lord,
and spoke of Christ unto all that looked for redemption in Israel.'
Here was a notable old woman of eighty-four years of age,
a preacher and declarer of Christ.
And you do not read that ever any despised her,
or said, it was forbidden for a woman to speak in the church.
But this woman is set forth for an example to all young and old women,
of her love to Christ her savior;
and not only so, but a preacher of him to all that looked for redemption
And the woman of Canaan that came unto Jesus, and said, 'Lord, help,' but
'it is not meet to take the children's bread and cast it unto dogs;'
and she said, ' truth, Lord, yet the dogs eat of the crumbs
which fall from the master's table.'
Then Jesus answered and said to her, 'O woman! great is your faith,
be it unto you even as you will.'
So you may see, by this woman's faith in Christ Jesus,
this woman's daughter was made whole,
which was an example for all the faithful to look unto Jesus for help,
as you may see in Matt 15:22-28
And Mary, that took a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly,
and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair;
and the whole house was filled with the odor of the ointment.
But when Judas saw it, he had indignation, saying, 'What profit is this
Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pieces of silver,
and given to the poor,' as you may see in Matt 26 and Mark 14 and John
Now this was Judas, who carried the bag, and betrayed Christ;
and many there are that carry the bag now,
that would not have their wives nor the women
bestow any thing upon Christ, nor his poor followers.
But Jesus said, 'Let her alone, why trouble you her?
She has wrought a good work on me;
for the poor you have with you always, and whenever you will, you may
do them good,
but me you have not always;
she has done what she could;
she is come beforehand to anoint my body to my burial.
Verily I say unto
wherever this gospel shall be preached throughout the world,
this also that she has done shall be spoken of, for a memorial of her.'
So Christ did not forbid the woman's practice, but encouraged her,
and so he does still them that obey him.
And the woman that was twelve years troubled with an issue of blood,
who had spent all upon physicians, and grew worse and worse;
her faith was so strong, that she believed,
if she could but touch the hem of his garment, she should be well.
And as soon as she had touched his clothes, virtue went from Christ and
and then the woman came fearing and trembling,
and fell down before Christ, and told him all the truth, what she had
and he said unto her, 'Daughter, your faith has made you whole; go in
peace.' Mark 5
Now Christ, who is the head of the church,
here allowed a woman to speak before him,
from whom she had received the healing virtue.
And you may see when Christ was crucified,
how many women were there,
as Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James,
and many others which came up to Jerusalem,
that were about Jesus at the time of his being crucified, as in Mark 15:40-41.
And Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, came to the sepulcher,
and the angel said unto them, 'Be not afraid: you seek Jesus of Nazareth,
which was crucified:
he is not here, he is arisen: behold the place where
they laid him.
But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter, that he
goes before you into Galilee,
there shall you see him, as he said unto you.'
For Jesus appeared first to Mary Magdalene, as in Mark 16:1-7.
And in John 20:13-17 it is said, the two angels said to Mary,
'Woman, why do you weep?' And she said, 'Because they have taken away
and I know not where they have laid him;'
and when she had thus said, she turned herself, and saw Jesus standing,
and knew not that it was Jesus.
But Jesus said unto her, 'Mary,' and she turned herself,
and said to him, 'Rabbi,' (as much as to say, master).
and Jesus said unto her,
'Touch me not; for I am not ascended yet unto my Father;
but go unto my brethren, and say unto them,
I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.'
And Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples, that she had seen the
and that be had spoken these things unto her.
So here Mary Magdalene was a messenger of Christ Jesus,
who did not despise her speaking before him, who was the head of the church,
nor did he refuse to send her to preach his resurrection to his disciples,
though she was a woman.
And in Luke 24:1-11 it is said, it was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna,
and Mary the mother of James, and other women who were with them,
who told the apostles, that Christ was risen;
and this was said unto them,
'Why seek you the 'living among the dead? He is not here, he is risen.
Remember that he spoke to you, when he was yet in Galilee;
son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men.'
And they remembered these words, and they returned from the sepulcher,
and told all these things unto the eleven disciples, and all the rest.
And mark, as I said before, it was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna,
and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them,
which told these things unto the apostles;
and these words seemed unto them as idle tales, and they believed them
Now mark their message, and to whom it was,
and who they were that were the messengers, the weaker vessels,
and to whom, to the apostles;
and what they preached was, what they remembered Christ had spoken to
specifically, that Christ should suffer, and rise again.
And Christ appeared again to two of his disciples,
and he talked with
them, and asked, 'What communication they had?'
And they said unto him, 'Are you a stranger in Jerusalem,
and know not
the things that have befallen.'
And he said unto them, 'What things?'
And they said unto him, 'Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, that was a great
and mighty in deed and in word, before God and all people,
which the Jews have crucified;
but they trusted he should have redeemed Israel;
and besides all this, today is the third day since these things were
And certain women also of our company made us astonished,
which were early at his sepulcher;
and when they found not his body,
they came, saying, that they had seen a vision of angels, which said,
he was alive.
So here the woman's testimony of the resurrection of Christ astonished
And Jesus said unto them,
'O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken!
Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his
Now here you may see it was Mary, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of
and the other women that were with them,
who declared the resurrection of Christ unto the eleven,
which seemed but as idle tales to the apostles.
And here was a joyful women's meeting indeed,
of messengers and preachers of Christ's resurrection,
which is recorded to posterity to their renown, that all should believe;
though their message and speech were as idle tales to the disciples;
but they were owned by Christ the head of the church, as before said,
though their preaching was slighted by the apostles, and counted as idle
but they came to believe afterwards, as in Luke 24:11.
And the woman of Samaria, that Christ Jesus convinced,
and taught her how God was to be worshipped, that is, in the spirit and
you may see what a large discourse Christ had with her, as in John 4:7-26,
and allowed her to speak before the head of the church.
And Christ's disciples marveled that he talked with a woman;
and the woman left her pitcher of water, and went away into a city of
and said unto the men of the
city,(mark, unto the men),
'Come and see a man that told me all that ever I did, is not this the
And many of the Samaritans believed because of the saying of the woman,
which testified, 'He told me all that ever I did.'
And when they heard Christ, they said unto the woman,
'Now we believe, not because of your saying only, but we have heard him
and know that he is indeed the Christ, the savior of the world.'
So here you may see, there was a woman preacher,
that Christ (the head of the church) allowed;
and through her means many were converted unto Christ.
And when they had crucified Jesus Christ,
there were many women that beheld him afar off,
which followed him from Galilee, ministering unto him,
among which were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James,
and Joses the mother of Zebedee's children.
And here you may see, there was a women's meeting with Christ, in his
which, when he was risen, some of them preached his resurrection,
as you may see in Matt 27:61 and chap 28:1-10,
where you may read the message Christ gave to the women,
to declare to the apostles, as before said,
which is recorded and set forth, that others might believe their message.
And when Christ spoke in reproof to the Jews,
he said, 'I tell you of
many widows were in Israel in the days of Elisha,
but to none of them was Elisha sent,
save to Zarephath, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow.'
And the Jews arose up, and thrust Christ out of their city,
being filled with wrath against him, for this saying, and his reproving
And you may read at large the acts, doings, and sayings of this faithful
in 1 Kings 17:9 and Luke 4.
And in Luke 7:36-50 Christ turned him to the woman, and said unto Simon[the Pharisee, not Peter],
'See this woman? I entered into your house, but you gave me no water for
but she has washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hair of
And you gave me no kiss;
but this woman, since the time I came into the house, has not ceased to
kiss my feet.
My head with oil you did not anoint;
but this woman has anointed my feet with ointment.
Wherefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven;
for she loved much;
but to whom little is forgiven, the same loved little.'
And they that sat at meat with him began to say,
'Who is this that forgives sins?'
and he said unto the woman, 'Your faith has saved you; go in peace.'
So here you may see how Christ justified the woman's actions above Simon,
whose faith saved her; which is chronicled to her renown, and the honor
And in Mat 28:1-10 there you may see this Mary Magdalene,
who was a preacher of Christ,
it was she, out of whom Christ had cast out seven devils;
and with her Joanna, the wife of Chusa, Herod's steward,
and Susanna, who ministered to Christ of their substance.
Now, would not some misers be ready to say
these women picked their husbands' pockets;
and others, with Judas, who carry the bag, may say, we must have but one
and is not our gift and benevolence sufficient? as in Mat 27:55-56, Luke
But this woman loved Christ; and Christ said,
'My mother and my brethren are these, which hear the word of God and do
'And Martha received Christ into her house, and she had a sister called
that sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his words;
but Martha was distracted with much serving;' and Jesus said unto her,
'Martha, you worried and troubled about many things,
but one thing is needful, and Mary has chosen that good thing,
which shall not be taken away from her.'
Which is the duty of every good man and woman to do,
if they will be kept out of the many things.
And you may see how Mary talked with Christ, and Christ with her.
So this is chronicled, that all might choose the good part,
and the one thing, which cannot be taken away from them;
and to be kept out of the many things that distract, as you may see in Luke
And does not Christ say, 'The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven,
which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal,
till all the lump is leavened?'
So, must not every man and woman know this leaven in their hearts,
if they will know the kingdom of Christ.
And the parable of Christ, concerning the woman that lost her piece of
who lit a candle and swept her own house,
and found it in her own house;
and when she had found it, she rejoiced, and told her neighbors.
And must not every woman light her own candle at the light of Christ Jesus,
and sweep her own house with the power of God, before she finds God's
And then for joy that they have found it,
go and declare it to their friends and neighbors?
And do not all those women that have found this,
preach Christ to their friends and neighbors, and call them together?
For may they not be allowed after they have lost an outward treasure,
and found it again, to call their neighbors together to rejoice with them,
which they may find by lighting an outward candle?
But their spirits being the candle of the Lord,
this must be lighted at the heavenly light and fire,
by which their everlasting treasure is found;
and must not they say then to their neighbors and friends,
rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which was lost?
'Likewise, I say unto you,' said Christ, 'there is joy in the presence
of the angels of God,
over one sinner that repents;' as you may see in Luke 15:8-10.
Now, here you may see all these renowned, faithful women,
were encouraged by Christ and his followers;
and are recorded and set forth to encourage all that are faithful to wait
and to light their candle at God's light and fire,
that so they may sweep their house and find their treasure,
that they may declare their joy of it to their friends and neighbors.
And also you may see Dorcas was full of good works,
and alms-deeds which she did:
'and all the widows stood by Peter weeping,
showing the coats and garments which Dorcas made, while she was with them,'
(to wit, the widows:) mark,
and was not there a women's meeting then?
while Dorcas was with them; that is, the widows;
and Dorcas was a disciple of Jesus.
And Paul on the sabbath went out of the city by a river side,
where prayers were made, and spoke to the women who resorted there;
and was not there a women's meeting also, who went there to pray together?
And there was a certain woman named Lydia,
a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, who worshipped God,
whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things spoken
and she sought him to come to her house, and abide there,
if he judged her faithful to the Lord,
and she constrained him and them that were with him.
So you may see the faithfulness of this woman,
and the practice of the other women before they were converted.
And Priscilla, who was a notable faithful woman,
whom Paul often mentions with her husband Aquilla;
and Philip's four daughters, who were prophetesses,
who were set forth to encourage others.
And you may see Phoebe,
whom the apostle Paul sends his epistles to the Romans from Corinth by,
and calls a servant of the church of Cenchrea;
and he saith,
'Greet Mary, which bestowed much labor upon us;
and Priscilla and Aquilla, my fellow-laborers in Christ Jesus.'
So here you may see there were women laborers and helpers in the gospel.
And he farther said, 'I commend unto you our sister Phoebe,
who is a servant unto the church.'
And said, 'Priscilla and Aquilla, my fellow-helpers in Christ Jesus,
which for my life have laid down their necks,
unto whom not only I give thanks,
but also all the churches of the Gentiles.'
So here you may see in what esteem were this man and woman,
and Phoebe, and other women, for their faithfulness to the churches;
as you may read.
And the apostle said, that 'the unbelieving husband is sanctified by
the believing wife,'
else their children were unholy; 'but now
they are clean;
and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the believing husband;'
so here is an equal share in the belief.
And the apostle said, that every woman that prayed or prophesied
with her head uncovered, dishonored her head.'
So women may pray and prophesy here,
according to order, in the church, as well as the man. 1 Cor 11:5, 14:34-35.
And yet the same apostle in the 14th chapter forbids a woman to speak
in the church.
And the apostle said, 'Let the women keep silence in the church;'
and 'if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home.'
But after they have learned of Christ their husband at home,
they are not forbidden by Christ from prophesying or praying;
but to lie babbling and be involved in idle or foolish and irrelevant talk in the church,
such speaking in the church is a shame.
[for more information on this controversy see his letter to the Duke of Holstein.]
Now a widow has no husband to ask but Christ; nor a virgin,
yet she may prophesy;
and a believing woman, who has an unbelieving husband,
he is to be sanctified by her;
so she is not to learn her salvation of him,
but of Christ, and to do his work.
And the same apostle said, 'Let the men keep silence in the church,
if they speak an unknown tongue, and there be not an interpreter.'
So, here the men must keep silence in the church in this case, as well
as the women. 1 Cor 14:27
And the apostle further said, 'I permit not a woman to speak in the church,
but to be under obedience;' as also said the law.
But though the law did not permit their usurping authority in the church,
yet it did permit their prophesying in the church,
in the time of the law, as well as in the time of the gospel;
as you may see by those famous women before mentioned,
in the Old Testament, as well as in the New.
And the same apostle said, 'I beseech you, Euodias, and I beseech Syntyche,
that they may be of the same mind in the Lord;
and I entreat you also, true yokefellow,
help those women which labored with me in the gospel;
with Clement also, and with other my fellow laborers,
whose names are in the book of life.'
So here the apostle entreated his yokefellow to help those women
who labored with him in the gospel, the power of God.
So these women were help mates with the apostle in the labor of the gospel,
(the power of God), as you may see in Phil 4:2-3.
And all that be of his mind in the Lord,
will encourage either women or widows, or virgins,
that have received the gospel, to labor in it;
and all that have not the mind of the apostle in the Lord,
will discourage women's laboring in the gospel, and not entreat others
to help them;
but such will give them liberty to labor in the power of darkness,
and to slothfulness, and carelessness; which the woe is unto, and not
And again, the apostle writes to Timothy,
'that the women should adorn themselves in modest apparel,
and shamefacedness, and sobriety,
not with broidered hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array,
but which becomes women professing godliness, with good works;
and let your women learn in silence with all subjection.
But I do not allow a woman to teach nor to usurp authority over the man;
but learn in silence.
For the woman being deceived, was first in transgression.'
Now for a woman to preach or teach, such a teaching as Eve taught Adam,
such a sermon as she had from the serpent,
that drew herself, and Adam her husband, from God's teaching;
here, in this teaching, she usurped authority over the man;
and therefore God set the man to rule over the woman;
but they were help mates before, while they were under God's teaching.
Now, to usurp authority over the man by such teaching, is out of the
which teaching is forbidden both by law and gospel;
and they are not fit to teach, if they have not learned subjection to
the spirit of God,
and know the silence of all flesh before the Lord,
and have not learned to adorn themselves with that which is modest,
and the lesson of sobriety, which becomes godliness;
and with the good works, the fruits of the spirit.
And such women as have learned this lesson may teach and prophesy;
for the spirit is poured upon them to that end.
And the same apostle said, 1 Tim 5:2.
'that the elder women should be as mothers;'
and a mother is a nurser, and a teacher, and instructor of her children;
'and the younger women as sisters, with all purity;'
and sisters in Christ and in purity, all have but one father;
and a sister is in the unity, in the spirit, in the gospel.
'And if any woman who believes has widows, [in her family] let them relieve them.'
So here was the woman's work, to relieve their widow. 1 Tim 5:16
And again, the apostle writes to Titus, and says to him,
'Speak the things which become sound doctrine.
The aged women, that they be of good behavior, as becomes holiness;
not false accusers, not given to much wine; teachers of good things.'
Now here they must be qualified before they can be teachers of those
And that these aged women teach the younger women;
first, to be sober;
secondly, to love their husbands;
thirdly, to love
fourthly, to be discreet;
fifthly, to be chaste, and keepers
at home, and good,
and obedient to their own husbands,
that the word of God be not blasphemed.
Now here the aged women,
not a woman, but the aged women,
were to teach the younger women these things.
And how could these women be teachers of all these virtues and good things,
if these mothers and holy women did not meet together,
and converse together of holiness and virtue; as in Titus 2:3-5
And in 1 Pet 3:1-6 he encouraged wives and women,
that if their husbands will not be won by the word,
they may without the word be won by the chaste conversation of the wives;
'while they behold your chaste conversation,' he said, coupled with fear;
and whose adorning,' he said, 'let it not be that of the outward,
with plaiting of the hair or wearing of gold, or putting on costly apparel,
but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible,
even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit,
which is in the sight of God of great price.'
And this, he said, was the ornament of the holy women in the old time,
with which they adorned themselves, who trusted in God, as Sarah,
'whose daughters you are, as long as you do well,
and are not afraid with any amazement.'
And likewise the believing husband, and the believing wife,
are heirs together of the grace and life.
And therefore the believing women being heirs of grace and life, as well
as the men,
they may impart of their life, which they do inherit, as well
for an heir of life is beyond an heir of the earth.
And there is no believing husband will hinder his believing wife,
'being heirs of life, to administer some of their temporal things
to them that are in necessity;
he will not have all the earth to himself,
but let her have the disposing of some of it, as well as himself,
while they do enjoy it;
and ministering of outward things, is the least love.
And women many times know the condition of poor families,
and widows, and such as are in distress, more than the men,
because they are most conversant in their families, and about such things.
But there are many idle talkers, and busy bodies, that are out of the sense and service of God,
that will not do good themselves,
nor allow others to do their service of love and charity for the Lord
in the church.
And John writes in his second Epistle unto the elect lady and her children,
'whom I love in the truth,' said he,
'and not only, but also all they that have known the truth, for the truth's
which dwells in us, and shall be with us forever.
I rejoice greatly,' says he, 'that I have found your children walking
in the truth.'
And further said, 'I write no new commandment unto you,
but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another!
And so he trusts to come and see her, and speak face to face unto her;
'the children of your elect sister greet you.' Amen.
So was not this an honorable woman, that had trained up her children
in the truth,
as was commanded by John ?
And he admonished her against such as did transgress,
and did not abide in the doctrine of Christ Jesus,
that they had not the Father nor the son;
but they that did abide in the doctrine of Christ Jesus, had both the
Father and the son.
So is not this an encouragement to all faithful women,
to see that their children do walk in the truth,
and abide in the doctrine of Christ, that they may have both the Father
and the son? '
And farther Solomon said,
'A gracious woman attains honor,
and a virtuous woman is a crown to her husband,
and every wise woman builds her own house.'
Surely then she has a work to do.
He that has ears let him hear.
'But the foolish woman plucked it down with her hands.'
And there are too many of those
that are in the transgression of the spirit and power of God,
with which they must build.
'But a woman that fears God, she shall be praised;
give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the
And then surely she has a work to do, that must praise her in the gates.
'She stretches forth her hands to the poor;
yes, she reaches forth her hands to the needy.' Prov 31:10-28
And must she not then have something of the outward to do it with?
She opens her mouth in wisdom, and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
She looks well to the ways of her household, and eats not the bread of
She is like the merchant's ship, she brings her food from far;
she rises also while it is night,
and gives meat to her household, and portions to her maidens;
she considers a field, and buys it with the fruit of her hands; she plants
she girds her loins with strength, and strengthens her arms;
she perceives that her merchandise is good; her candle goes not out by
And here is an example to all women,
a pattern of virtue, and of fruitfulness,
and faithfulness, and valor, and practice in the Lord's work;
and such their children will rise up, and call her blessed.
'Many daughters have done virtuously, (says he), but this woman excellest
that is, the nurse of them.
And now friends, many of other examples in the scriptures might be showed,
to encourage women's meetings in the service of God and Christ,
both concerning their faithful testimony for the Lord and Christ,
and their encouragement by the faithful in the old and new testament,
how that they had the assemblies and their meetings.
And now they being heirs of life, and of grace, and of the gospel of Christ,
which has brought life and immortality to light,
you may see over him that has darkened you, and before he was.
Therefore this gospel, the power of God, which is the everlasting orderer,
is to keep you in life and immortality,
that you may be help mates in the power and image of God to the men,
as man and woman, were in before they fell.
So, to administer of the heavenly and temporal refreshments, to such
as want it;
and to stand up for your liberty in the light, and life, and grace, and
being heirs of life, and grace, and of the gospel of
salvation, and of Christ Jesus,
as well as the men.
So that all, males and females, are one in Christ Jesus,
who is the first and last, and over all from everlasting to everlasting,
your everlasting joy, peace, and happiness.
And if there was no scripture for our men and women's meetings,
Christ is sufficient, who restores man and woman up into the image of
to be help mates in the righteousness and holiness, as they were in before
So he is our rock and foundation to build upon.
'Wisdom has sent forth her maidens,
she cries upon the high places of the city,
whoever is simple, let him turn in here;
as for him that wants understanding, she said to him, come, eat of my
and drink of my wine, which I have mingled;
forsake the foolish, and live, and grow in the way of understanding.'
Here you may see the wisdom of God sends forth maidens,
(True ministers, who are chaste to Christ)
though the wisdom of the world will not receive them,
(that make ministry their wisdom),
and such as will not receive wisdom, will not receive her maidens. Prov
The Lord said, 'I will pour out upon David, and upon the inhabitants
the spirit of grace and of supplication,
and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and mourn.
In that day there shall be great mourning,
the house of David apart, and their wives apart;
the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart;
the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart;
the family of Shimei apart, and their wives apart;
all the families that remain, every family apart, and their wives apart.'
And this would be madness to all them that are not in that spirit;
but here everyone has the sense of Christ,
whom they have pierced in the spirit, which is poured upon them,
but the hard-hearted are not sensible.
Marshgrainge, the 16th of the 9th month, 1676