The Missing Cross to Purity


John Burnyeat's Journal and Letters Continued

A paper of John Burnyeat’s, that came to hand since his works were printed.

THE twenty-seventh of the eighth month, 1667.

—In the morning, as I was laying upon my bed, and my soul greatly afflicted under the view and consideration of the state of things, as it was among Friends in the city of Bristol and some parts adjacent, because of the great contention and opposition; and when I was under the exercise, and my life appeared grieved, even until my soul was brought into sore anguish, at times, and grief, to see how hard some were, and unruly and obstinate In this travail of spirit my heart being bowed, I said within myself, and before the Lord, and unto him; I matter not, what I am, nor how much I am abased, for we must pass through good and bad report, as the faithful in former times did. Then, when I was thus gone down into the grave of self-denial, where I thought I could be and be trodden upon, the Lord God signified into me by his Holy Spirit on this wise:— Though you are willing to be so, yet you will not be trodden under; and further said, there are some of them, that are as dead men before me, because they have lifted up their heel against me, and have rejected my word, and slighted or set at nothing my reproof.

The Lord God further signified unto me, that the spirit of Korah and Balaam had entered, which would shut truth out of doors, and pluck Christ from his throne, and lead away the minds of people after their own inventions, to worship the works of their own hands. He further signified unto me, how that the plague of leprosy and sore judgment of hardness of heart was upon them; and they had lost their beauty, and were not fit to come near the altar of the Lord, nor to be in the Lord's congregation; and that he would decide the matter.

Further he signified to my comfort, there was a Priest to stand between the living and the dead, with a holy censer and pure incense, to make an atonement; and the eyes of all the tender and sensible were to be towards Him, that they might receive the law from his mouth, and that his lips might preserve their knowledge. And further, there was something also of the spirit of Cain, which did appear had entered, even that which did envy Abel's acceptance.

When I had seen these things from the Lord, and it was shown to me that I could speak forth the matter unto the people, my heart was wonderfully broken within me; and I cried and said, Woe is me! Must I be the messenger to carry this message unto this people? And when I was under this exercise the Lord did signify unto me: If I delivered his word faithfully, then should I deliver my own soul; but if not, I should die for it; my life should go for theirs. Then did the dread of the Lord's word, and his majesty strike me down, and made me willing to be given up, without any more reasoning; blessed be the Lord forever, who both gives the word, and power to deliver it!

John Burnyeat

To FRIENDS IN NEW ENGLAND, VIRGINIA, MARYLAND AND BARBADOS.

DEAR AND WELL-BELOVED,—Unto you whom are the called of God in those parts, unto whom the visitation of his day has reached, and upon whose hearts the heavenly light thereof has shined, in its pure spiritual breakings forth, so that you have become the children thereof, and do walk therein. Unto you all does the tender salutation of my soul reach in the love of God, and in the fellowship, which is a mystery, which is held in a pure conscience, and continued, as we walk and abide in the light, in which we have fellowship with the Father, and with the Son, and also one with another; and so are of one family and household, partakers of that one bread, which all the sanctified in all ages did feed upon; which is that which we are to wait for in this day, that we may live thereby unto God, and grow through the divine nourishment thereof up into his nature, and into his strength, in which we may triumph over the adversary, as the ancients did of old, and rejoice in the God of our salvation, who is our strength and tower of safety forever.

Dear Friends, great and large has the love and kindness of our God been unto us, who where strangers, aliens and enemies in our minds unto him, in this, that he has called and chosen us to be his people, and to bear witness unto his appearance, and the shining forth of his light, and of the glory of his presence, whereby he has richly comforted our souls, and lifted up our heads above all sorrow, even when the enemy has thought to sink us down into the pit. Thus has the Lord dealt bountifully with our souls, and been a ready help in the needful time; to him be the honor and glory forever and ever! So that now it behooves all, after so many deliverances, favors and mercies, to stick close unto the Lord, and seek his glory above all, and that with all their strength, that so he who is the good Husbandman, may be glorified through everyone 's bringing forth fruit, according to Christ's command.

Now my Friends, this all observe, that none can bring forth fruit unto God's glory, but as they abide in Christ the living vine; from him is the life received, by which everyone lives unto God; and it is by the virtue of that life, that everyone must act to his praise. And therefore, see that you all retain it in its own purity, and live in subjection thereunto through your whole day; that you may be as fruitful branches, abiding in the right nature, and bearing holy fruit. Then will you feel the holy dew abide upon your spirit, throughout your age, that will preserve you from withering, your leaf from fading. So your fruit shall be ripe in due season, and not be untimely brought forth in that which will not endure. For that in which we have believed, will endure forever. The heavenly power which God has revealed in our hearts, and made manifest for a standing foundation, that is sure forever; upon which, as you all abide steadfast, the gates of hell, with all the power of darkness, shall not prevail against you, but you shall be able to withstand him, and keep your habitations in the dominion thereof, and dwell in peace upon the rock of safety, in the midst of all storms; and sing for joy of heart, when those that forsake this rock, shall howl and lament for vexation of spirit. For the Lord God will bring his day and his power over all, and upon all, that fly to any shelter, or seek any other defense, that have once known his Truth; and he will be unto such as a moth, and as rottenness, and their strength he will waste, and their garment and clothing he will destroy, and their beauty and glory he will cause to fade; though they have been as a beautiful flower in the head of the fat valley, yet will fading come upon them, even dryness at the root, and withering and decaying upon the beauty of their blossoms. Therefore let all keep unto that, and in that, which will not decay, come to nothing, nor ever be turned into darkness, but abide in its virtue and glory, in and by which the Lord has visited you, and through which his day has dawned upon your souls, the morning whereof you have known bright and clear, as without clouds, in which you have seen the Son in his glory to appear unto your souls, with his heavenly healing, warmness and virtue. Now Friends, this is that which forever is to be kept to, that the day may be known to increase in the light and glory of it, in its own clearness, without mixture, not mixing with it your own wisdom, thoughts, or carnal imaginations, which do prove such clouds, where they are allowed to arise, that they bring darkness over the understanding, and make the day cloudy and dark, and so occasion wandering, and to some turn the very eyelids of the morning into the shadow of death. Through such things has the enemy so prevailed over some, that he has brought them again into the night of everlasting darkness and confusion, before they have been aware where he would lead; and thus as a man void of understanding, over whom the adulteress has prevailed, and so led down to the chambers of death, have many followed those steps, that have taken hold on hell, where misery is sure to be met withal.

Dear Friends, that which preserves from these dangers, is that arm and power which God revealed in the beginning, by which, as we are witnesses, he redeemed our souls out of many afflictions. Therefore let it be every one's care, to wait for a clear and sensible feeling of that same power in its own pure nature, to spring in all your hearts every day, and then will your delight be so in it, and your acquaintance, in a clear understanding, will be so with it, that you will never be deceived, so as to take any other for it. Then to your comfort, will your heavenly peace spring under the power and government of him that is the prince of true peace, and so will your hearts be made truly glad, and weighty, and ponderous, and not to be carried about with every wind; for in this is the true and pure establishment of the soul, with grace in the covenant of life forever; and these are they whose peace is of a standing nature, who are not given to change. But this I have always observed, that where there is an uncertain spirit or mind, though in some states into which, at times they may come, they may have peace, and feel some refreshment, yet for want of constancy and steadfastness, which is preserved through a true, watchful and diligent attendance upon that which doesn’t change, which is sure forever, they lose their habitation, and their state of peace, and come to be tossed in their minds, and afflicted in their spirits; and also are the occasion of tossing, affliction and distress unto others, who not being aware, may sometimes be in danger to suffer with them, when they fly from the word, that should uphold, as it was with Jonah in the days of old. Therefore it is good for everyone to have their hearts established with grace, and in the grace wait for a settlement, that under the pure teachings thereof, they may be preserved from going into those things that will procure woe; and so shall everyone's state in that which is good, be more and more constant, and then will there be a growing, and going forward and not backward. For that which does occasion any to linger, or draw back, is carelessness, unbelief, and disobedience; and in such the Lord's soul takes no pleasure. Therefore in that which doesn’t change, all live, by which all changeable and mutable thoughts, and imaginations, and desires will be judged down, and the spring of life over all will flow; and the first will be the last; for in that the beauty and glory does stand forever. All that abide not in it, to grow in the virtue thereof, whatever they have been, at the best will be but as a fading flower in the head of the fat valley, as it was with Ephraim; the Lord will take no delight in them, but reject them, and cast them out, as such whose beauty is gone, whose gold has become dim, and whose wine is mixed with water; and so as reprobate silver shall they be esteemed even of men, because the Lord has rejected them. So the Lord God keep and preserve you all in that which was from the beginning, and will endure unto the end, that in that you may flourish and grow, as the lily of the valley, and the tree by the rivers of water. This is the desire of my soul for you all, who truly loves you in the love of God, in which I remain one with you, and am your brother in the Truth,

John Burnyeat

London, the 10th of the third month, 1667.

Upon the second of the tenth month, 1677, Oliver Morris, an informer, came into a meeting in Mahuntleth in Montgomery in Wales, where John Burnyeat, in the fear of God was speaking to the people, and preaching the gospel of peace and salvation unto them, for their good, as he had received from the Lord. The said informer, with several constables, and many other rude people came twice into the meeting to break it up, and made a great disturbance; but Friends sitting still, only one who reasoned the mutter with him, he at last went out, and all his company to the stable, and there took all the Friends' horses they could find in the town; but after meeting we got them again, they being then taken without any basis of law. But the next day, the said informer went to William Pugh of Mathauern, a justice of peace, so called, who came along with him, and meeting John Burnyeat, and Thomas Ellis upon the road, stopped them both and caused them to turn back to an ale house, where this informer and William Pugh's bailiff swore against them for preaching at the before mentioned meeting, for which the justice fined them and wrote a warrant and sent for a constable, who by the warrant seized upon John Burnyeat's and Thomas Ellis's horses with saddles and bridles; and so they were constrained to travel on their way on foot, until they could get to an ale house to get lodging. This reward the Lord's servants received at their hands, for their love and good will to the souls of people.

My horse died within an hour and an half after seizure; and the other Friend's died in the informer's hands within six months time.

To the Women's meeting in Cumberland.

London, 20th of fourth month 1678.

DEAR and well-beloved in the Lord,—with you my soul has precious unity in the spiritual fellowship, and nearness and heavenly oneness, which stand in that life, by which we were first quickened; in which we live, and in the increase of which we grow into a heavenly understanding and true soundness in discerning and judgment; whereby the faithful come to be more and more accomplished for their places, and fitted for every good work, that so they may answer their office and membership in the true body, whereof Christ Jesus is the head; of which body we are made living members, through his love, who has called us, and in his Son chosen us to be heirs of life.

Dear Friends, yourselves know that he, who through his bounty has blessed us with spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus, so that we are made stewards of his manifold graces, does now require answerable service from us all, according to our gifts received from him; and whoever is found faithful to their gifts and places, shall certainly witness an increase, and grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ; and so come more and more into true soundness, to the spirit of a sound mind. For you know, how richly the power of Christ was manifested in us and among us in the beginning, and how wonderfully it did work for the redeeming of our hearts out of the world, the vanity and pleasures of it; that we might love and affect heavenly things, and delight in the glory of that which comes from heaven. But since that time many have been the exercises, and weighty have been the trials, that have been met with in our spiritual progress, through which the Lord has led us; and many temptations has the Lord delivered us from, and led us out of; and many weaknesses has he passed by, and trespasses has he in his great mercy forgiven; so that to this day we remain, and that in covenant with him. Therefore have we cause to praise him, and to sing unto him.

Oh! my dear Friends, I think I am as if I were talking with you of the Lord's mercies and former loving-kindnesses and dealings with us; and being also under a sense of our present state and capacities, to which he has brought us, my bowels within me are even melted with a holy love and tenderness towards you; and in that love I send these lines, as the salutation of my soul, in that which lives forever, and as a signification of that entire love, which in my heart lives towards you; in which I desire, that both you and I may so mind our present state, and our growth, and the increase of the mercies of our God unto us, as to answer them by a faithful serving of him, and one another in that love which thinks no evil, and is never weary of doing good, and yet will not vaunt itself. Now this is that which lives in my view, the power of Christ; which was so richly manifested in the beginning, and which did then work to the preparing of us to be a people fit to do his will; and so it wrought into a cleansing, washing, and sanctifying of us, that we might he holy vessels fit for his use. Now being prepared, the same power in the faithful works mightily, to the fitting and furnishing of us unto every good work, that we might be to the praise of his grace, who has called us; and if we so be to his praise, we must grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and savior, Jesus Christ. If we grow in the knowledge of Him, as we have known him to save us from sin, and to destroy the evil one, and so to be our sanctification and redemption; even so we must wait to know him to be made of God unto us wisdom, that he may be our wisdom, and that the fountain of it unto us may be the gift of his holy power in our hearts. So then, as it did mightily work in our hearts to prepare us, even so will the same gift be felt to work mightily to furnish us with wisdom, and to enable for every good work; and so you will know him to be made of God wisdom unto you. For the holy dread of the power upon the heart in righteousness being felt, guides in wisdom him or her who speaks; the same holy fear and dread upon the heart guides him in silence, who in silence sits, whose mouth is not opened, and so he is made still; and Christ your head, who is one in the man, and in the woman, is wisdom unto you; and so here all will be kept in your places, as you keep in subjection unto Him who is the Head, the Husband of the true wife.

So dear Friends, mind His heavenly power, and keep under a holy reverence unto it; and that will keep you savory and reverent in your meetings, and clear and in a good understanding, and subject one unto another; and so you will be co-workers together, and helpers one of another, and you will come to have the benefit of one another's gifts; and thus as members, will you supply in a blessed unity everyone your office in the body. Therefore my counsel, as a brother in love, unto you is, let all be subject. Let none, in whom the tender life in a heavenly reverence does move for counsel, advice or otherwise, quench it, or stop the service; for in so doing others may be wronged, as well as the individual, unto whom the Lord intends benefit by the gift; for it is not good to stop. Only let all take heed, that their own spirits may be subject, that Christ may be head in all, and that he may be your wisdom. Be open and ready in your hearts to receive counsel, help and instruction one from another; and keep down the forward, heady and rash spirit, that would run without reverence, and speak without the true fear, from which none will rightly understand, or have a true sense of the weight of the service of this day.

O! it is fresh in my heart, the dread, the reverence, the fear, that our hearts were filled with in the beginning, in which we went about Truth's concerns; this same is still to be felt and minded, and then all will be kept savory; and in this will all your meetings, your care, and labor of love be a sweet smelling sacrifice unto the Lord.

Friends, let your monthly and quarterly meetings be kept orderly for the service determined and aimed at, that you may be retired from the world, and such not concerned in the service proposed for such meetings; so that all who come, may be either capable of doing service in a reverent mind, or learn that which may be for Truth's honor, their own good, and your comfort. Then will all you who are concerned, get into your service without straitness; and so will be a help one unto another in your particular gifts, and the spring of life will be opened among you; and your meetings will be delightful unto you; and you in that will be a delight one to another. Then with one consent, in the pleasant unity you will do the Lord's work together, as his servants and hand-maids, and be a part of his pleasant heritage, which he has chosen, and upon whom he rains down his blessings daily. So the God of peace and love fill your assemblies with his presence, life and love; that you may flourish as the plants of his right hand planting, and be faithful through your whole day, is the desire of my heart and soul, who remains your brother in the Lord Jesus Christ.

John Burnyeat

Epistle to Friends at Bristol in the time of their sufferings.

London, 20th of the Third month, 1682.

DEAR FRIENDS,—The love of my heart and soul is richly extended forth unto you. Surely my heart is affected with the exercise you are under, and endure in this day, in which the Lord seems to be pleased to try you as in a furnace of affliction, and to prove your faith and patience, that you may come to know the value of it, even of that which is more precious than gold that perishes. Truly my heart believes, that the Lord doesn’t allow it to come upon you to destroy you, but to try you; and when his good will is fulfilled in that, and they have filled up their measure, whose hearts are hardened in their cruelty, he will find a way to deliver and bring forth his tried and proved people, whose hearts are right before him, and whose souls are wisely set to seek him. To such shall all things be rightly sanctified, and the blessing, and the peace and glory shall rest upon their inward man, with the richness of that life which comes from heaven, for which you suffer; for it is your innocent suffering for this, as you have the witness thereof in yourselves, that brings the crown and diadem of glory to be put upon the head of your inward man. So that the saying of the apostle comes to be witnessed, the Spirit of God and of glory shall rest upon you. Oh my most dearly beloved Friends! How is my soul melted into tenderness, and my heart broken in the love of God towards you, and in the sense of your long and weighty trials, that you have endured and gone through; and yet for all must they seem, as if they were but beginning. Is the strength of the hard-hearted such, that they are resolved to make a full end, or to try what the Lord can do? Will they prove their arm to the utmost? Well, the Lord in his own time will manifest, that it is but flesh, and not spirit, and therefore that which must decay and wither, and be dried up, and so prove weak at last, when the unseen arm of the Lord, which they know not, shall be revealed, and stretched out, and made bare; which you that look not at things that are seen, have a faith in; which faith is that by which you live, and in which you have your victory, and in which your hope does fasten as an anchor, both sure and steadfast. So that though the winds blow, and the raging waves swell high, yet you are preserved from being overthrown and destroyed.

Dearly beloved, I find a word of sweet exhortation in my heart unto you, whom my soul loves, who may be, or are tried in this exercising day with bonds or imprisonments. In the first place, get into a quiet frame of spirit within yourselves, everyone, and into a resigned state freely to the will of God, out of time, looking as little at that, as you can; for if you do, it will make your exercises worse and harder. For this I have experienced, that when a man is most freely resigned to the will of God, and in a right spirit most given up to suffer for him, he is fittest to have his liberty, and most commonly it is the nearest to him. Dear lambs, I know there is sometimes a travail in spirit, to get into a right place with the inward man, when the outward man is in bonds; but when the heart once gets there, all things are made easy and comfortable, by him who said, "My yoke is easy, and my burden light." Now be all concerned thus to get through in your spirits, and then you will feel that the word of God is not bound, but free; and your souls will be free in it and its holy power, and so be fed by the milk of it, that your souls will draw spiritually from it, by which you have been born again. Being thus in your inward man renewed unto God, and up into his life, where the habitation of peace and quietness is for your souls, that they cannot reach to bring a disturbance to — and there feeling your ease, joy, peace and pleasure to be such, that you can in your prison-house sing joyful praises unto the Lord; then my Friends, be watchful, tender and kind one unto another, and over one another, that love, peace and joy may be maintained among you all, who suffer rightly and innocently for the Truth of our God; that so you may be one another's joy and crown of rejoicing in the Lord Jesus Christ, your life and strength.

Dear Friends, where there is innocence and simplicity, bear one with another, and help one another, that in your sufferings you may have fellowship one with another; and so keep in the fellowship of the sufferings of Jesus Christ, where all may be humble and tender, that so while others are striving to provoke you to come out of your places, and to offend the Lord, you may not provoke one another, nor be an occasion unto any one to go out of their place in the Truth, and so to lose their peace with the Lord and in his Spirit. For I have observed, that there is a care to be [exercised] among Friends, at such times and in such conditions, when they are kept up together, that all things may be kept sweet and pleasant, and that they may even join together in bearing the burden that is laid upon them; and those that are more grown, and deeper in their experience, of what they are called unto, may help the weak, and so fulfil the law of love.

Let not unprofitable discourse be gone into, for it may lead into a striving, which may hurt the unity that should be kept in the light, and has sometimes grown into a agitation, which has set some spirits against one another, which should have been one, and kept in the unity, where the love and comfort is. So all watching in the light, and waiting to feel the healing power and life in your souls, there will be a sweetness and heavenly oil over your hearts, in which you will have a delight one in another, and in one another's good; and this will help you all, and so the strong will be comforted in the innocent and reverent care of the weak, and the weak comforted in the love, care, gentleness and kindness of such that are strong. This preserves as a pleasant family, to the honor of the great Lord and Father. Then shall you see, how he will delight in you, and appear among you, and enrich you, and bless you everyone with a portion from himself, out of his heavenly bounty, and divine rich treasure, that none will want bread, nor refreshing wine to nourish you in the inward man; but the holy gift in you will be as a well, springing up unto eternal life.

So, you dear suffering children of the Lord God Almighty, my heart and soul most dearly salutes you all, and in the love of God I have unity with you in your blessed testimony, for which you suffer; in which the God of all grace and truth comfort your hearts, and bear up your heads over all your hardships and deep sufferings, which, as I understand, are renewed and increased upon you. That through him, for whom you suffer, who is your God, and the great Lord of heaven and earth, you may be strong to endure and abide to the end, to his glory and honor, who is over all, and worthy of all, blessed forever, Amen.

From your friend and brother, in that which shall outlive all hardship, in which we have believed.

John Burnyeat

London, 1680.

DEAR FRIENDS,—You whom the Lord has visited and reached unto by his own holy arm of heavenly power, for that blessed end for which he has visited many nations, and appeared unto many people, namely, that he might show glory again unto mankind, which through sin they were fallen short of; that so in his visitation he might renew that heavenly image, whereby he might be glorified again among the sons of men; and now in this great day of visitation, which has dawned upon the nations, you in these countries have been visited and reached unto, and graciously saved and delivered from the snares of death, and opened unto the way of life; so that you have both seen into that hidden glory, and tasted of, and been enjoyers of, the power of that life which has no end. Now the care which always ought to dwell upon your hearts, is this, that you may keep in possession that which you have received; that, as was said of old, None may take your crown from you, or none may fall short of that rest, which is prepared for the visited and redeemed of the Lord. The way you have known, God has showed it unto you, and called you to walk therein; and the mark you have seen, the Lord has set that before you, that you might press towards it, as the ancient Christians did, for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. And now, dear Friends, that which I desire all may be concerned in, is, that there may be a pressing forward towards the mark, and a going on in this way, which the Lord has cast up or revealed, and called you to walk in; for it is he that travels on, that shall come to the blessed end, and obtain the crown of glory; and not such as linger or sit down by the way, either to take up a rest, or look for another inheritance besides what God has promised. He that continues unto the end shall be saved; and he that is faithful unto death, shall have the crown of life. Therefore, let a concern be always upon your minds in this weighty matter, that you may see how it is with you, and whether you are still in your journey upon your travel towards the mark for the prize. As you must mind whether you are in your travel pressing forwards or not; even so you must mind also, that you press forwards towards the mark, or else you may come short of the prize the blessed inheritance; and so be such as James speaks of, that ask and receive not, because they ask amiss. For the heavenly wisdom is to be sought after and waited for, which comes down from above, and which teaches and guides in the heavenly way, the heavenly path of life and salvation, where every one's steps will be sure, and their goings will be established, and their understandings will grow. For the just man's path will be as the shining light, that shines more and more unto the perfect day. Here none will be like those that beat the air, or run at an uncertainty; the apostle said, they were not such, yet there may be such, whose pains and travels may be great. Therefore, still I say, let your pressing be towards the mark, in the sense of the Lord's power, which is the true guide, and the true cross, which mortifies and crucifies the flesh with its affections and lusts, and keeps self down in the death, out of reputation, for there is none due unto it. For whosoever gives and seeks reputation to self, which ought to be made of no reputation, such can never rightly seek God's honor, nor work his work, nor obtain he right prize, nor attain the crown, but must fall short at last; for it is in him who crucifies self, and makes it of no reputation, that the election stands, and in whom the inheritance is forever. Therefore, dear Friends, wait to feel his rower in your hearts, and diligently mind the blessed work thereof; that you may feel how to purge your consciences from dead works, and cleanse your hearts from sin; for sin defiles the heart, so that it is not prepared for he Lord, he will not dwell therein. Therefore it must be washed, and dead works must be purged away; for no man can serve the living God therein. It must be the living works in the living power, in which we can be accepted. So let all mind the living power, which is the living guide, which does guide in the living way, and keeps alive unto God; and so you will all be kept a living people, and grow up in the living wisdom that is from above, which is inwardly taught by the living gift, that is received from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variableness, or shadow of turning. And as you grow up in this wisdom, you will be constant; there will be an establishing: and such will show out of a good conversation their works, with meekness and wisdom. But says the apostle, "If there is envying, and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the Truth: this wisdom descends not from above, but is earthly, sensual, and devilish: for where envy and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above, is first pure, and then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated; full of mercy and good fruits, ...: and the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace." So that you may see the fruits brought forth manifest the wisdom from where it comes; the heavenly peaceable wisdom brings forth the peaceable fruits of righteousness, and is full of mercy, is gentle and easy to be entreated, and full of good works; but the earthly brings forth the contrary. Therefore, says the apostle, if there is bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the Truth; say not, you are in the heavenly wisdom, while this lodges in you; for this wisdom descends not from above, but is earthly and sensual, and therefore can never establish, but brings confusion, because he is the author of it, who can never work good.

Therefore dear Friends, let your hearts be always kept in subjection to that power, which bridles your wills and crosses them, and keeps you lowly, humble and gentle, where the daily dying, which the apostle was in, may be witnessed; and so you will see the true pressing forward towards the mark, and the true growing into dominion over him that would hinder. And you know, that he, whom we ought to hear, said, "Learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart." So, as everyone learns of him, and minds the leadings of his power, and the teachings of his Spirit of grace in their hearts, they will grow more and more like him, and come into his nature and healing spirit, and so in his grace and life be as healers and saviors: and therefore was it said by the prophet, they should be as saviors upon Mount Zion. Now Friends, everyone mind this saving, healing power in yourselves, and bow in your hearts unto it, and be still in your minds and calm; and then you shall see how it will sweeten you, level your spirits, and bring down that which is high, and lofty, and hard; and you shall see, how the mountains will melt at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob; and you shall see, how the winds and seas obey your savior, and into what calmness he will bring your spirits; and then when all is still, your ear being opened, which is the first work of his word, you will be swift to hear, and hearing, your souls will live: and you will come down out of all the noise, floating and swelling, into the calmness and stillness, where you will admire your savior, and say, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and seas obey him? You will see, that though Jordan overflow its banks, yet at the leadings on of our Joshua, and at the entrance of the feet of our High Priest, it must be driven back; that the ransomed of the Lord may pass over dry shod. Much of this nature may be read in spirit, as there is a hearkening and keeping low; but the forward, rash and hasty, are often tossed upon the waters, and are very uncertain in their ways and doings; and therefore do produce unto themselves much affliction of soul and spirit; for to them the promise doesn’t belong, where it is said, "He will keep them in perfect peace, whose minds are stayed upon him, because they trusted in him."

Now Friends, I think the way is plain; may everyone be careful to attend upon the power and its openings, and give way thereunto, and be humble; for it is the humble he teaches his ways, and the meek he will guide in judgment, and the willing and obedient he will free; for the promise is, they shall eat of the good of the land. Therefore I do beseech all, be mindful, be you all careful, keep your hearts out of the world, and the drowning, choking cares and pleasures of it, that you may neither be choked, nor choked with the excess thereof, nor be so led up into the worldly pleasures, and liberty out of the Truth, which that draws into, as thereby and therein to forget the Lord, and to overlook your inward state. For if any so do, they lose the glory, the beauty, and the sweetness of their heavenly condition; and then they grow weary of the way of the Lord, and are ready to say, as some of old: "What profit is there in serving God, or in keeping his ordinances?" Therefore may the God of life stir you up, and awaken all unto watchfulness and diligence, that you may grow rich in the inward man, and be replenished with the virtues and graces of God; that you may be a fruitful people in those parts of the world, to the honor and glory of him who has called and visited you; who is worthy of all glory and honor, praise and dominion forever!

And dear Friends, my heart's love reaches unto you all, who love and fear the Lord; and in the love of God I dearly salute you all, and send this as a testimony of that love, which still lives in my heart unto you, and therein I remain, your friend and brother.

John Burnyeat

Hartford, 19th of the Fourth month, 1682

DEAR FRIENDS,—Unto you, whom God has visited in his love and mercy, and unto whom he has showed kindness through his Son our savior, whom he has given for salvation unto the ends of the earth; unto you, I say, does the real love of my heart reach forth, and for you in my heart there dwells a care, that as God in the exceeding riches of his love and mercy has visited you, and called you to be saints, through the sanctification of the word, and purifying through faith, that you being made holy, might become heirs of eternal life through his Son Christ Jesus, and of that eternal kingdom, into which no unholy thing must enter. Now, seeing you are called with this holy calling, thus to be heirs through faith in the Seed, in whom the election and inheritance stands forever; do you all mind the heavenly rule and government of this holy Seed in all your hearts, that your spirits may be kept in their places, in subjection and reverence unto Him, whom the Father has anointed, and whose Spirit the Father has sent forth into your hearts, to lead you into all Truth, even into Him, who said, I am the Truth, in whom the fullness dwells; that you might be in Him that is true, even in the Son, in whom the inheritance is; that so you may be heirs, yes, joint-heirs with Him, that is true and holy forever.

And now my Friends, seeing the Lord in mercy has called you unto this high and honorable calling, to be saints and heirs in Christ, mind your calling, and what you are called unto; and be careful to keep in him, and walk in him, as you have received him, and to sit together in him, in heavenly places, as the saints of old did; for the heavenly places are in him, the safe dwelling, and he is the way, and in him is the safe walking; and therefore did the apostle exhort the saints to walk in him, as they had received him. Now my dear Friends, all learn to know what it is to walk in Christ, the power and righteousness of God, and then your steps will be sure; for he is the light, and day, where there is no occasion of stumbling. You are to mind your sitting together in heavenly places in Christ, not asunder, not out of the unity, but together in him, who is but one in all, and holds all in oneness, in life and fellowship that abide in him. For he cannot be divided, his coat was without seam; that was the figure, and so is his Spirit, that is the covering of his body now, which he has purchased with his own blood; it has no division or seam in it, but is one, although it differs in manifestation or gifts, as to degree or operation, because of the many offices proper to the distinct members of one and the same body, whereof Christ is the head; yet the life through the whole body, by which every member is supplied with ability to answer its place, is but one, and thereby is the body kept in unity. For the life does rule the members of the true body, and therefore that member that goes from under the government of the life, must die; death comes over it, and the power of death rules it; and here come the breach of unity, and the discord, and the strife, and the contention.

Let all your hearts be kept in the sense of the true life and power of God, and in subjection thereunto in true love, lowliness of mind and humility of spirit. In this right frame of spirit you will be ready to serve one another in love, and not to rule over one another in lordship; for that is not proper, no, nor is it natural to the living members of the living body, unto whom Christ is the head, and over whom he rules. So dear Friends, you all keeping in the power, and that ruling in your hearts, that keeps tender and lowly, you will be full of an holy care and the living zeal for the Lord's honor and for the preservation of his people in righteousness, that the Truth may be kept atop, and righteousness lived in by all, who make a profession of that honorable name and Truth, in which we have believed, and through which we have been saved, and sanctified, and made holy. Then will unity, love and peace spring and grow among you, and you will be a joy and comfort one to another, and strengthened and helpers one of another in this great work and day of God. The faithful keeping their places, and their care in every meeting, and minding the order and government of Truth in themselves, to be kept in humility, and the holy tenderness in their own hearts, there will be that sweetness and peaceable reverence, that will be savory and comely in the eyes of all. Living and walking under the government of this peaceable spirit, you may come to be rightly concerned for God's glory, in the blessed order which the Truth has led into, and by the power of God is now set up in the churches of Christ, for the keeping of all out, that are unclean, unruly and unholy, and preserving the camp of God in that purity, that is proper for it; that He who is holy, may delight to dwell in the midst thereof.

Dear Friends, all you that keep your habitations in the Lord's power, neglect not your gifts received from Christ; but be concerned in your places, and according to your abilities for the honor of Truth; that everything that would bring dishonor to that worthy name, by which you have been called, and give occasion of stumbling to the weak, may be removed in the wisdom of God, or at least by the tender power of God judged out from among you; that the camp may be kept clean, and righteousness may run down, and the glory of the Lord break forth upon you, and you therein may shine to His praise and glory forevermore.

I was also willing to let you know, that our meeting this year at London was very quiet and peaceable; blessed unity and comfortable fellowship in the power and love of God were witnessed among us, and in that we were gathered together, into that care and concern, which the state of the churches of Christ in this trying day requires. For many of our Friends, in many places in this nation, are under great sufferings for their testimony; but otherwise the Truth does prevail and gain upon many hearts; and through these trials God will magnify his power in the end, and crown his people with dominion; for through sufferings will the Lamb and his humble and faithful followers have the victory.

We had also account from many countries, of the prosperity of Truth, and the state of Friends, at the yearly meeting now lately over, as Holland, and the country that way, and from Ireland and Scotland; and so had an account in letters to the yearly meeting of the state of things, and the affairs of Truth, to our great comfort. Therefore it is desired, that if the Lord should so order, that we may meet together, as previously we have done, and intend, if he permits to do, that you in America would endeavor to send over against that time from your several countries, an account of the prosperity of Truth, and how it is among you as to the affairs thereof, that at that meeting Friends may have an account from you, as we have from other parts. For this end it was desired by dear George Fox, whom many of you know has a general care upon him for the good of the whole body, that at your half-year's meeting in the latter part of the year, you might draw up an epistle, which might be sent to be at London at the yearly meeting every year, and so from your half-year's meeting in every place, there may be an account given yearly, which will be a refreshment and comfort to Friends. Therefore it is desired, that if this comes in time to your half-year's meeting, you would be mindful of it, and answer the desire of Friends; and let copies of this be sent to Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, and to Long Island, and Rhode Island, and to Sandwich, and where there may be a service, or to Scituate, if the half-year's meeting is there, and to Barbados, or the Leeward Islands.

So with my love to you all, in that in which all the faithful have fellowship, I conclude and remain your friend and brother in the Truth,

John Burnyeat

An Epistle to Friends of Bristol, directed to C. J.

Eaglesfield, Cumberland, 1st of the Sixth month, 1682.

DEAR C. J.—In that everlasting Truth and seed of life, through which the God of Truth has visited us, is the love and true endeared affection of my heart and spirit richly extended unto you, with your dear wife, and your children; as also to the faithful and true hearted to the Lord in that city, who in this trying day are given up to God, both to do and suffer for his name's sake. My soul, I can still say, is deeply affected with your suffering state, and you are many times lively in my remembrance, and that in the near approaches of my spirit unto the Lord; for in that, in which the access unto him is experienced, you are brought very often into my view, with the suffering under which it is the pleasure of your Heavenly Father to prove your faith and confidence, and to let you know the preciousness thereof in the time of need. Now my dearly beloved, see that you keep in the faith that gives the victory, and truly saves and defends; and know that ancient saying true forever. The very hairs of your head are are numbered, and not one shall fall to the ground, without your Father's providence. Therefore let your eyes be unto him, for salvation and preservation, and know that He can and will deliver, when he sees good; for you know him that is the living God, that reigns, and will reign over all, and in due time make all know that he can do whatsoever, he pleases in heaven and in the earth.

Mind your knowledge of him, in that which may be known of him in your hearts, and your unity with his life in your souls, that you may all feel the peace thereof, and the holy spring therein, which man by all his cruelty cannot put a stop to. But when they that seek to destroy you, and to take all comfort from you, have done all they can, this spring being open in your hearts, you have comfort, peace and joy, that they neither know, nor can keep from you. Oh! You dear suffering children and tender babes of the Almighty, who are called to this day of temptation or trial, how is my very heart's love let forth unto you at this time, as at many other times! The Lord, the God of strength, be with you and strengthen and fill your tender souls with the glory of his life, and the sweetness of his presence, that your spirits may praise him with gladness in the midst of all these exercises, with which you are compassed. Now my dear Friends, I think I see the wall with which the God of Israel does compass you about, over which the adversary cannot shoot an arrow; though his boasting may be great what he will do, as it was of old. Oh! happy are they that abide within it, and spread their cause before the Lord, who is the living God. Remember the king of old, who commanded silence, and said, Answer him not a word, and so returned to the temple and to the altar of the Lord, and spread the cause before him, and confessed the weakness of the daughter of Zion to bring forth; and also his faith in the sufficiency of God's power, when he said, You are able to save.

Live up to the Lord in your spirits, and be faithful, and keep your peace with him in the inner man, and mind your unity with his Spirit, and take heed of that which would obstruct your fellowship with his life; let no fair pretences prevail over you, that may have any tendency to bring you into bondage; for that bondage will prove the greatest slavery: and this I believe you know right well. Now my dear Friends, all of you minding your inward freedom, and your spiritual ease, in the freedom and liberty given you of God through Christ your savior; you will have a habitation filled with glory, riches and comfort, over which the enemy's cloud cannot come: and in that you will see through to the end of all, that would either darken, or bring distress. You will see how good it is to trust in the Lord, and to rely upon his power, and be given up freely to his will. My love is truly unto you all, and in the love with which I have anciently loved you, do I salute you all, you tender suffering children; and with my soul and spirit desire, that God in mercy and kindness may bless you with spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus, and enrich your souls with the divine fatness of his house, and pleasure of his life, that you may have joy every day, and delight in your bosoms; that so your strength may be renewed, and your ability so increased, that you may be able to bear what is upon you, until the Lord see good to work your deliverance, and ease you of the yoke and burden that you bear. Which the Lord in mercy take off, if it be his pleasure, is the desire of your friend and brother in the fellowship of the sufferings and tribulation, and also of the consolation, which we are called unto through Christ Jesus our Lord.

John Burnyeat

CHAPTER VII

An abstract of tome of John Burnyeat’s letters to his brother, T. A., of London, in continuation of his travels for the last eight years of his life, being all in his own hand-writing.

DUBLIN, the twenty-eighth of the eighth month, 1682. —I have arrived here safely from Cumberland, and was at all those meetings I had appointed in Westmoreland, namely I had a large meeting at Camsgill on the third-day of the week, it being the general meeting; it was a most pleasant day, the meeting out of doors very large, Friends so generally came in. And indeed the Lord's power was with us; and my heart was greatly enlarged unto Friends. The fourth-day following I was at Sedberg; the meeting was without doors by the meetinghouse, the doors being shut up by the officers, it was quiet and large. The fifth-day I was at Grayrigg; sixth-day at the Height; first-day at Swarthmore; and on the third-day at Hawkshead, and had a blessed meeting; my heart was comforted. The fourth-day we had a great flood, which hindered me from getting home that day; but I got to Keswick in Cumberland; and fifth-day got home to our meeting at Pardsay, and was also there the first-day, where the Lord enlarged my heart to clear myself heartily that day. The third-day I was at the men's meeting, where the Lord was richly with us; everlasting glory be to Him for ever! The fourth-day early I came down to Whitehaven; several Friends came with me, but the ship being ready I could not stay. So I went on board, and the next day in the evening arrived safely here at Dublin; where all is well.

Dublin, the thirteenth of the ninth month, 1682.—It greatly pleases me to hear of Friends in England, and how it is with them in this trying day. For as we love the Truth, and one another therein, we have a concern upon us for one another, and for the Truth in general: and therefore I delight in the Truth's prevailing, and in Friends' prospering therein. The Lord stir up all concerned in their places, to be faithful, that none may shrink in the day of trial.

Last week was our half-year's meeting; many Friends were here, and a blessed season we had, through the enriching virtue of the Lord's power; and in love, peace, and concord, all was carried on among us: and so all was sweet and comfortable. There is a discourse of putting the laws in execution against dissenters; however, if the Lord allows such a thing to be, I believe, it will be for his own glory at last—in manifesting the approved, and trying the faith of his people. But we are yet quiet, save some that are in prison for tithes. Our meetings are large and full in this nation, and Friends tell me, there is an openness in many places. О! that we may be found faithful, that we may work with him in his vineyard and harvest.

Dublin, the sixth of the tenth month, 1682. —The Lord preserve us all in the faith which gives the victory, and faithful to God in this trying day; in which it appears, that the Lord sees it meet to try his people, both in their faith and patience, that the approved may be made manifest. We have large meetings in this city, and an openness in many places in the country. I have been in the counties of Wicklow and Carlow, and the Queen's county, and at the Moate, and Edenderry; and tomorrow I intend, if the Lord will, to go forth again to the province meeting at Rosenallis.

The following lively Epistle is without a specific address.

Cork, the 25th of the Tenth month, 1682.

DEAR FRIENDS,—In the everlasting covenant of life and peace, and in the pure spring of divine love do I remember you, and very dearly salute you all, who in the faith that gives the victory, remain and stand steadfast. Keep your habitations and dwellings in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus your redeemer, who has redeemed you out of the wickedness that is in the world, unto himself, and so into his own power and nature, which is righteous; that you might become the righteousness of God in him, and be restored into the image, nature and state, in which man was created, by him that made all things good and man in his own image, that he might delight in man, and that man might honor and glorify him. Now this work of restoration, you know, God has sent his Son to effect and accomplish in man, and for man, that again man might honor his Creator, and become the delight of his maker, whose delight is to dwell in the habitable parts of the earth, even among the sons of men. Therefore, that you may be his delight, and that he may take pleasure in you, keep in that which has renewed, or does renew and change the heart and spirit, that in the newness thereof you may serve, and honor, and glorify him, from whom the renewing power and word does come, that so the new creation, the new heavens and earth may be known, in which righteousness dwells; and that you may have your conversation there, and shine as lights among this crooked and perverse generation, in whose heaven and earth unrighteousness does dwell. And, as the apostle said, the Lord will not only shake the earth, but the heavens, also, that that which cannot be shaken, may remain. I believe, that the heavens of many will be shaken, before this searching, winnowing, trying day be over, that is growing upon the nations and people; for the heavens of many are covered with darkness and thick clouds, and the glory thereof is gone, and the brightness and steadfastness thereof is lost; not a star to be seen, except a wanderer out of its course, out of the covenant, that has greatly lost its light, and so in the clouds of darkness driven to and fro by the variable, uncertain winds, that are, and may be suffered to blow, to shake that which is shakable; and remove that which will not endure, that what cannot be shaken may remain, and the glory of that may appear which will endure.

Dear Friends, God has manifested that which is sure forever, and will stand, and you have known the power of it; and as you keep in the holy sense thereof, you will be steadfast, constant and firm in your minds, and not soon shaken, nor removed from your habitation and steadfastness in the gospel of Christ Jesus our Lord, which is the power of God, which is above all powers, thrones and dominions, and will stand, and cannot be shaken. For the gospel power and kingdom, is above John's ministration, and he that is least there, is greater than John; and is come to that which is surer than a reed, that may be shaken with the wind; though it be not broken, yet it may be shaken. They that would dwell there, and not come on to Christ the Rock, that cannot be shaken, their dwelling is not safe, their habitation will be thrown down, and their houses made a desolation. I think I see it so in our days, upon such that have sat down short of the eternal substance that ended all shadows, John's, as well as those that were before him.

Therefore, dearly beloved, you that have known the eternal substance, the living power of the Lord Jesus Christ manifested in your hearts, by which you have been quickened raised up, and made alive unto God, keep to the power in your souls, and mind its living in you, that you therein may live unto God, and so abide a living people through your age, God's living witnesses in your day, without alteration; and be such as have not only been hearers of the word, but doers also; whose house is built upon the rock Christ Jesus, which by the storms and winds cannot be thrown down. For the sure foundation being kept to, you will endure, and the Lord will bless you with peace in your souls, and true pleasure in your hearts, and you will enjoy the true riches and heavenly treasure, and learn, as you keep to the power of God in your hearts, to lay up this true treasure in heaven, through the true faith, where the thief cannot come to steal, nor the moth to waste or corrupt. Your riches and treasures, that you trust and delight in, being thus laid up in safety, your hearts will be quiet, and settled in the kingdom, in heaven, where the treasure is; and then Christ's words will be witnessed; where the treasure is, there will the heart be also.

Oh, my dear Friends, how true are these things! Happy are they that grow up into the experience thereof, through the operation and openings of the heavenly power in their hearts; such are kept free from that which would entangle, and their feet at liberty, that they may run cheerfully the race that is set before them. For the riches, the prize that their hearts are upon, being before them, and the mark also that they look at, this draws them to press forward; so that they are not of them that draw back to perdition. Thus Friends, you may see where, and in what, your profitable exercise is through your day, and where the lasting gain, riches and treasure are to be obtained that will endure and be your portion, when the enemy and all his instruments have done what they can. This made David say, he would not fear what man could do unto him, for the Lord was his Shepherd, and the Lord was the portion of his cup, and the lot of his inheritance. Therefore keep your hearts out of the world, and the riches thereof, which are uncertain; and also above delighting in the their glory; and let your delight be in the Lord, and in the sweet and pleasant enjoyment of his righteous, peaceable power all the day long, that you may still feel a habitation in it, and a place of safety to flee unto in every needful time. Wait upon its holy springings in your hearts, that your souls being thereby united unto God, you may dwell in his covenant, and so in unity with him and his blessed Son, and feel the fellowship, which is a mystery, held in a pure conscience. Dearly beloved, live at peace among yourselves, and wait for the spirit of love and concord to spring in all your souls, that the true mark of Christ's disciples may appear among you. Remember what he said unto his of old. "By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you love one another;" and what the apostle said, "He who dwells in God, dwells in love." I entreat you, wait for the power of it in your hearts, that you may therein serve one another, and the whole body may be edified, the weak strengthened, the faint-hearted encouraged, and the lame not turned out of the way, but all helped forward on their way. All being thus in the righteous holy power, exercised for good, which it will lead you unto, will be a strength and comfort, and crown of rejoicing one to another, and helpers forward of one another's joy in the Lord. Surely this is needful in this day, in which Zion has so many enemies; she had need to be as a city that is at peace within herself. So the God of peace keep you all in the dominion of his life, that in it you may reign over every hurtful thing, and dwell in the holy mount of safety, where the destroyer cannot come; upon the holy hill of Zion, about which he has appointed salvation for walls and bulwarks; that you may all witness peace to be within her walls, and prosperity within her palaces. So every day high praises may be in your hearts and mouths unto her King, who is King of kings, and reigns over all, who only has immortality, and dwells in the light; to whom be glory and eternal praises, said my soul for evermore, Amen. Blessed be his name, he is the keeper of Israel, that neither slumbers nor sleeps, but remembers his people, and his eye is open to see their afflictions, and his ear is open to hear their complaints and tender groans. No doubt but he will arise in his own due time, to work deliverance and salvation, and they shall glorify him. Oh! my dear Friends, how is my soul overcome in the weighty love of God at this time unto you all, who suffer, or are given up to suffer, and value your testimony above all things for his name's sake that has loved you; and so are of that number, that love not your lives unto death, but are given up to follow the Lamb, wherever he goes. My heart is afflicted with you in your testimony, and can say, as Deborah of old, my heart is towards you, who offer yourselves willingly among the people, now to suffer in the Lamb's battle, (as they did to war in the outward war), for that is the way the Lamb and his followers do overcome; he was made perfect through suffering; and the promise still is, the Lamb shall have the victory; everlasting glory, and honor and praise to the living God who sits upon the throne, and to the Lamb, who is worthy forever more.

From your friend, and one that truly loves you in the Truth.

John Burnyeat

LETTER TO FRIENDS IN PRISON

Castle Salem, in the west of Ireland, the 30th of the Tenth month, 1682

DEAR R. S.,—Unto you with your dear wife, C. H., R. V., and theirs, with the rest of Friends there in prison with you, does the living sincere love of my heart truly reach and lovingly flow forth; for I can say of a truth, that you are often near my soul, and lovingly in my heart, and that in my nearest approach unto the Lord, when my life opens, and my spirit is let forth through the power thereof, and poured forth into his bosom, (as blessed be his name, he gives us access by his own Spirit), even then are you many times fresh in my heart and lovingly before me, as if I were present in body with you; and with great delight do I put up my supplications upon your account, unto the Lord our God, rejoicing to feel the Lord so concerned for you, that by his own Spirit he so often stirs up a remembrance of you in my soul, and that upon such holy occasions.

Therefore dear Friends, look not out, look not back; but to the Lord your rock and strength look for help and for deliverance. For you know, that it is from him that salvation comes, and not from the hills and mountains. For he is the God of the whole earth, and the mountains shall melt at his presence, and before him shall the hills flee; yes the sea also shall flee, and Jordan shall be driven back, that his ransomed may pass on, his redeemed people may enter into their rest. Oh! therefore, let us cleave unto the Lord our savior, and so follow Christ our redeemer, who can cut a passage through the great deep; let us not be dismayed at anything, that may rise up in our way to oppose us, so long as our Leader is with us, and our blessed Rock attends us, and we feel our dwelling within the walls thereof; our bread will be sure, and our water will not fail, and our hearts will not be barren, our souls will not be faint; but we shall grow through the blessings of Israel's God, and live, when with all their cunning, the enemies of the Truth have contrived our overthrow. For there is nothing can hurt us more in the trying day, than a lack of faith in God's power and arm of strength, which never failed them that put their trust therein. Therefore, my dearly beloved, with whom my soul is bound up in the covenant of life, in which I have unity with you, and can say, although you bear the burden, yet my heart is concerned for you, and also with you in your godly concern and testimony, for which you suffer; and therefore you cannot be forgotten by me. For as we love the Truth, and the holy testimony thereof, for which you suffer and are in bonds, in spirit we are often as bound with you, and fellow-feelers of your burdens. Furthermore, we cannot propose to ourselves any other, than before long to be sharers with you, to be partakers of the like sufferings, trials and exercises; and therefore still it is our safety to be prepared in our hearts, and into the will of God to be given up to do or suffer for his name's sake.

For our days do seem to be like the days of old, in which the apostle said, they were killed all the day long, and accounted as sheep for the slaughter. If we look into the Scriptures, we have a cloud of witnesses; and so through what was written before time, which was written for our learning, we may have comfort, and our hope strengthened, and so be encouraged to trust in the Lord our strength, and in whom our hope is. Now it is still to be our care, as lambs or sheep, to live in innocence, and so as lambs to suffer for our innocence, and for our testimony, which we are called unto; and surely, I often consider, what more innocent practice can we ever be found in, than in our peaceable meetings, to wait upon the living God and to worship him, in his peaceable spirit, by which our hearts come to be cleansed of all evil, and our spirits gathered into the peace and love of God, in which we love God again; and not only so, but have our hearts filled with love and goodwill towards all men, in the peace and sweetness of which, we are enabled to pray for the good of all, even our enemies. If this must be misinterpreted, and our righteous and godly intentions counted a transgression of the law, and a breach of the peace, I do not know what such who so do, can call innocence. Surely, every one whose heart is rightly exercised in this godly duty, which the living God calls us unto, must be innocent before God, and in that frame of spirit, in which we cannot, no, dare not, desire the hurt of any; but as the Truth arises, pray for all men, both for rulers and people. Thus I know, under the exercise of the righteous power of Christ in our meetings, are our hearts qualified; and then if we must suffer for well doing, under the name of evil doers, we shall be happy; and may satisfy ourselves, with what Christ of old said, the servant is not greater than his Lord, for if they accounted him a blasphemer, and said, he had a devil, and so persecuted him; we may well look unto him, and comfort ourselves in following such an example.

Be you comforted, you faithful sufferers with Christ and for him, and comfort your hearts in the recompense of reward, which is with God for you; and wait for the Spirit of God, and of glory, that it may rest upon you. Never look out, for your cause is good; it is that which God has called you unto, and you are happy in your nobility and valor; and whosoever shrinks from their innocent testimony in this matter, will suffer loss in their inward condition. For if any draw back, such shall know the Lord will not go with them, nor have any pleasure in them, nor be their comforter, but reprover.

My soul desires that all may be valiant for the Truth, and stand in the power of it, to what the Lord has called unto, that so you may be together as a city set on a hill, that cannot be hidden. For though the foxes have holes, and the fowls of the air have nests, yet remember what Christ said to the man who said he would follow him.

The Lord give you all valor and strength, and enrich you with true patience, which tribulation works into the right exercise, that you may all grow up into the true experience, and into the hope, which makes not ashamed; that the love of God may be shed abroad in your hearts every day, by his Spirit, which he has given you; and then will you all feel a dwelling in his covenant, and in his peace.

And so in this covenant, peace and love, I very dearly salute you all, and in it do I still remain, your friend and brother.

John Burnyeat

<Journal Continued>

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