The Missing Cross to Purity

Selected Dewsbury Letters of Encouragements

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The following extract from Dewsbury's letters is an outstanding writing describing the workings of the Spirit to teach, convict, and lead to salvation, while waiting on the Lord in silence; he particularly relates the process in precise scriptural language:

All people who desire to know the living God, let the time past suffice in which you have followed men who have deceived you, and cease from them; and turn to the true Prophet, whom Moses the servant of the Lord declared, the Lord God would raise up, Deut 18:15, his elect and chosen servant, to raise up the tribe of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel; whom he has also given for a Light to the Gentiles, and to be his salvation to the ends of the earth. Whom Isaiah the prophet also declared, the Lord would raise up, to open the fountain of life and salvation to all that thirst, Isa 55:1-3, and is now witnessed by all that hearken to his counsel, who calls,' Ho!' to every one that thirsts,' come you to the waters, and he that has no money, come you buy and eat, yes, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which satisfies not? Hearken diligently unto me, and eat that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness: incline your ear and come unto me; hear, and your souls shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.' " All people, look no longer forth; the glad tidings of the gospel of eternal salvation is heard within, in this day of the Lord's mercies, in which he is teaching his people himself, as was declared by the prophet Isaiah 54:13, and is now witnessed by all the children of light, whose minds are turned within to wait on the Lord for his teaching, to establish them in the covenant of life and peace, who is performing his promise, which he declared by his servant the prophet Jeremiah to all that wait on him; namely,' This shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel, in those days, said the Lord; I will put my law into their hearts, and write it in their inward parts, and will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people; and they shall no more teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord, for they shall all know me from the least of them unto the greatest of them, said the Lord; for I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities I will remember no more.'

Therefore, everyone that desires to know the only true God and Jesus Christ whom he has sent, turn your minds within, and examine your hearts, search and try your ways with the light that Christ Jesus has enlightened you withal, that shows you in your hearts what is sin, that pride and covetousness, lying and swearing, dissimulation and cheating, vain and idle communications, foolish jesting and unbelief, are sins. These things you know to be sins in your own consciences, by the righteous law of God in the heart, that reproves you for them in secret. There is your teacher, the Spirit of the Lord within you; which, in this mighty day of his power, he is pouring upon all flesh, according to his promise declared by the prophet Joel 2:28-29, and is now witnessed by his sons and by his daughters, who walk in the light, and are led and guided by his Spirit within them, which keeps the conscience void of offence towards God and towards man. "Hearken, everyone, diligently to the counsel of the Lord, the light that witnesses for God in the conscience; give up to be guided by it; then you will need no more to be taught of men, neither shall your teacher be removed into a corner any more; but your eye shall see your teacher, and 'your ear shall hear a voice behind you, saying, This is the way, walk in it, when you turn to the right hand or to the left,' as was declared by the prophet, Isaiah 30:20-21, which is now witnessed :— and that is the living word of God within you, which has raised desires in you towards God. Everyone in whom such desires are raised, wait in the light and power within, which has raised the desires; and the Lord will then strengthen you, and give you power to wait on him in the way of his judgments, until the carnal, earthly, sensual mind, which has led you to delight in lusts and pleasures, and in created enjoyments, below God, is cut down and slain by the word of God within which is a sharp and two-edged sword, to slay down the first man, which is of the earth, earthy; and then will you come to witness a being 'the slain of the Lord.' The sentence of death will be passed upon the first man that has led you from God, and on all the strength, wisdom, and righteousness you had in him; and in the power of the Spirit, you will be brought, in the true sense of the poverty of your spirits, to hunger and thirst after the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, to prize and love him, and to judge and deny self with his light, and in it to wait for his power to guide you in every word and work."

William Dewsbury

A general Epistle given forth from the Spirit of the Lord, to be read in his fear in the assemblies of the Church of the first-born, gathered in these northern countries, and in all countries and islands where- ever the people of the Lord are scattered over the face of the earth.

Dear Friends,

CALLED in the light of the Lord to stand living witnesses for him upon the earth among the children of men: oh! the bowels of the love of the Lord which is in my heart to you, that when I was near to death, to the sight of all that saw me, as to the outward man, and scarce able to speak, I was constrained to give forth the substance of what is now sent among you, for a perfect discovery of your conditions. Seeing that many are called and few chosen, and many convinced that are not converted; therefore are these lines written, that you may truly know whether you be born again, and redeemed from the earth, yes or no.

And unto that, let every man and woman search their hearts with the light of the Lord, and it will truly manifest whether you are born again, and so feed upon the tree of life, or whether you rest in outward formal conformity to the Truth, having the heart in the earth, for that spirit will turn against Truth, as it has done. Some others are drawn to delight their hearts in the gifts, parts, and knowledge, which the Lord has given them, more than in the Lord, the fountain from where they come; and so abuse the gift, and feed upon the fruit of the tree of knowledge which puffs up, and makes man wise in his own eyes, and to say in his heart,—'I am wise and rich, and see, and want nothing,' when they are blind, miserable, naked, and need all things. Whatever any profess, as to the service of God, that are in this condition, they have an end to themselves in what they do, which grieves the Spirit of the Lord, when men and women in a talkative spirit take upon them to declare the Truth, when the Lord neither calls them, nor speaks by them; so the children born of the royal seed are burdened, (for such have turned against the Truth, and the children born of it), whom the Lord has and will ease in the day determined, when all mouths shall be closed in silence, but those which are opened by him, and not any voice be heard, but his own Spirit speaking in and through his own children, born of him, who alone seek his glory, and not anything for themselves, which must be denied. Therefore, seeing the enemy's wiles are great and many, let all dread the Lord; and those who have been led astray, wait in the heart-searching light, to see where the mystery of iniquity led them forth, and return to the light, to judge down proud exalted self which has turned against the Truth, and to bring into true poverty and abhorring of self; waiting at the throne of grace, for the Lord to raise you up in the resurrection which raised up Jesus from the dead; and in this life, contentious self is buried in death, and the true unity is known, where the Lord alone is exalted in purity, joy, love, and peace in all his, from the least to the highest growth, and all flesh is abased before him, who is worthy of all obedience, praise, and glory forever, Amen.

And all dear Friends and Brethren that love the light, and rejoice in the judgments of the Lord, to have subtle self buried in the true death, that whatsoever gifts of the Spirit the Lord gives unto you, and the enemy tempts you ever so strongly to puff you up in a self-priding spirit, in what you have received of the Lord; yet his fear is so minded by you, which keeps you in a true sense of your nothingness and emptiness in yourselves, which causes you to wait in true self-denial, for the daily assistance, and renewal of your strength in the resurrection of life in the Lord Jesus; and the more he manifests his power with you, the more empty and nothing you appear in your own eyes. And so is the true birth known, which makes self of no reputation, that the Lord may be exalted in his unlimited power, in manifesting himself in the poverty, emptiness, and nothingness of his people who are born of him, that no flesh may glory before him; but that all in truth say,—'The Lord does all in me, and through me, and the Lord shall have the glory; and I will sit in the dust at his feet with all my brethren and sisters, to serve him, (through whom we are raised up to sit in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus), and his people, in what I may, while I have a being among the sons of men, to the glory of his name forever.' And this is the state of the true disciples of Christ that cannot feed on the fruit of the tree of knowledge, although in your journey and travels, dear vessels of the Lord, you see the tree of knowledge to be good, where it stands in its place, but the fruit is not good to eat and feed upon, because knowledge puffs up, but grace makes humble.

Therefore, dear Brethren and Sisters, born of God, who cannot live in any enjoyment, but as you enjoy the life and presence of God, from where every good and perfect gift comes; and, dear lambs, although some of you be, in your own eyes, the poorest among the people of the Lord; yes, sometimes your trials are so great, that you are ready to account yourselves unworthy to be numbered among the people of the Lord, and yet you dare not disobey him, neither can you live without his presence:—Oh, you dear children of God! lift up your heads over all temptations and accusations of the enemy; for your groans and cries are entered into the ears of the Lord God, who in the bowels of his love and mercies does constrain me to proclaim the day of the tender compassion of the Lord, to all you who are truly poor in your spirits. Oh! blessed are you among the children of men, for yours is the kingdom of God:—therefore be not weary of waiting upon the Lord, for in his own time he will turn your sorrows into joy, and give to you the spirit of praises for the spirit of heaviness, as he has done to many who have endured the like temptations, trials, and sufferings, under which you wait this day for deliverance; and the Lord will be the same to you. Therefore be of good comfort; for as the serpent was lifted up in the wilderness, so is the Son of Man lifted up in the light and covenant of life, to heal your wounds, and save you from sin, and to give you victory over the enemy in all his appearances; so that you, through faith in the name of Christ, making war in righteousness, and fighting the good fight in keeping the faith, will be made more than conquerors through his love that he will shed abroad in your hearts, which will cause you to speak of his goodness, and praise his name for all his mercies.

And all dear children of the Lord, who witness in measure that you are truly baptized into his death, and so are made partakers of his resurrection, as is before written, which is the life that worships him according to his own will, and so is truly accepted of him,—watch and pray, that you may be guided in the power of his Spirit in all your ways; and be careful that not any be hasty to utter words before the Lord, neither suffer any sighs or groans, or anything to be heard to pass through you, but as you have the seal of the Spirit of the Lord, that he requires it of you; this I am commanded to lay as a charge upon you, that so all flesh may be truly silent before the Lord, and not any voice be heard, but the living Spirit of the Lord speaking in his people, which, you that wait in the fear of the Lord, and mind his leadings, may truly know; as it is written, so do his children witness,—'He that has my word, said the Lord, let him speak my word faithfully; is not my word like a fire and a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?' Therefore, all mind to feel the word of the Lord speaking in you, that the pure burning life of the Spirit may be tasted and felt in whatsoever you be exercised in, that so you may be fully assured it is not your own work, as man speaking of God, but the Lord alone uttering his own voice in the forcible power of his own Spirit, in what you are exercised in, whether it be to pray in sighs, or groans, or in words, or to speak in exhortation or praises. You are not to quench the Spirit of the Lord in this his day, that he is come and does appear, in giving diverse gifts unto his people, in his appearance, as he did among his disciples who waited at Jerusalem for the pouring forth of his Spirit from on high; but they that were strangers to the work of the Spirit, could not taste the life that spoke in them, but said, they were mad, and full of new wine; but the Lord justified them, it being the work of his own Spirit, and although he gave unto them various gifts, yet all in the unity of himself, in which they sacrificed, in returning to the Lord his own with advantage, to the glory of his great name, as his children do this day. Blessed be his name forever, that out of the mouths of babes his praise is declared, in their measures, as it is with those of higher growth in the Lord; and so do the faithful laborers reap the fruit for which they travail, that all the people of the Lord may be filled with his Spirit, and in the exercise and leadings thereof, become a body of living ministers, and a family of prophets; the strong leading the weak by the hand and in tender love, building up one another in their most holy faith, which gives the victory over the world, to reign in the heavenly dominion, which causes the children of the Most High, in the authority of the Lord, to say to the greatest persecutors,—'0h man! do what you have power, the God whom we serve is able to deliver us out of your hand; but if he will not, we are resolved in his strength to suffer what he permits man to do;' and this is the holy resolution of all that are born again, and cannot hide your heads in the time of persecution, because you are born of the royal seed, and have overcome the beggarly, cowardly, earthly spirit, through the blood of the Lamb, and the word of your testimony, and no more love your lives unto death.

And all dear chosen vessels of the Lord, seeing he has manifested his grace so largely to you, with all diligence be obedient in walking suitably to his love and mercy received; that as living witnesses for God, you may shine forth in the beauty of holiness in all your ways. And be careful in keeping your meetings at the time appointed, every one endeavoring to be the first at the meeting, that so not any give way to a careless spirit, as some have done, and come to meetings when others have been a considerable time together, and so become a burden to the diligent and obedient servants of the Lord; thus, the meetings are not so profitable to your comfort, as when you meet diligently at the time, waiting in the fear of the Lord to feel his sweet presence, which will keep you awake in the life of his own Spirit, to the glory of his name, and the comfort of one another, which will cause you to prize the opportunities God gives to you, not knowing how soon you may be deprived of them. And be tender one over another, and watch over one another with a pure single eye, and every one see the beam cast out of your own eye, before you go to spy a speck in others; and if any brother or sister offend, you that know, speak to them privately, in all tenderness, to restore them; and this know, 'whoever turns a sinner from the error of his ways, saves a soul from death, and hides a multitude of sins.' But if they will not hear, take two or three more, and speak to them again in the spirit of meekness, waiting, and seeking the Lord for their recovery; but if they will not hear, but persist in wickedness, then acquaint the church, whom the Lord in his wisdom will order to deal with them for his own glory.

And in all things you do, I dearly beseech you, do unto others, as you would be done unto yourselves, that so you may all in your measures, stand as saviors upon mount Zion, to the glory of the Lord, in the power of his own Spirit, which will cause the whisperer, backbiter, false accuser, and tale-bearer to be cleansed away, and cast out of the house of the Lord; that so, in the good order of the Holy Spirit of our God, we may all live; that he alone in his dominion may reign in us, and among us, whose government is upon his shoulder, and all the crowns of the glory of man cast down at his feet, that he may be exalted in ordering every member of the body in their place and service, to his everlasting praise and glory.—Even so, dear Father! carry on your work in all the churches of the saints, scattered over the face of the earth, that in the eternal unity they may be established in the Lord, (being one, and his name one), and all the contrary swept away with the breath of your mouth, and brightness of your coming:—so come, Lord Jesus! take to you your great power, and reign in your authority in and among your dear children, to the astonishment of the nations, and all people that are not born again, and to the exaltation of your own name and kingdom over all, who are worthy to reign, blessed forever, and of whose dominion there is no end!

And all you faithful laborers in the gospel of Christ, who in true innocence travail in his strength, and seek not anything for yourselves in what you do, but to glorify the Lord in establishing his people in the living unity in his own Spirit:—Oh! blessed are you among the people; my soul praises the Lord for you, and blesses his name, that ever he raised up such a spirit in you; that in all the greatest riches of the Spirit God gives to you, yet you remain truly poor in yourselves, and in deep humility become servants to his people for the Lord's sake; and being poor, you make many rich in that which will abide fresh and green in the winter storms, and will not fade away in the terrible blasts which will come for the trial of his people, and cause all hearts to fail, but what are born of his own nature. Oh! dearly beloved Brethren, feel my bowels of enlarged love, which flows to you in the love and life received and enjoyed through death, where there is no variableness nor shadow of change.

I remain your brother, in the word of his patience, to endure the suffering, according to his determination, with all that love the Lord better than their lives.

William Dewsbury

Warwick [common jail,]
14th of 10th month, 1668

The following is a letter of encouragement to the flock of Christ.

Dear Friends,

In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ walk, so as to reign over all that is contrary to the light; that, in the light and glory of God, you may all shine forth, living witnesses of the name of the everlasting, holy, pure God, who has looked upon you in his tender love, to gather you to stand against all deceit, in his everlasting power. Blessed are you who are faithful in obeying the light of Christ, who follow him in the cross and the straight way of self-denial, You are my brethren and sisters in the Lord Jesus, our Captain. He will crown you with his mighty power to stand over all [temptations] to follow him in faith and patience, until every tongue that lifts up itself against you, shall fall in judgment, together with all who stumble at Christ Jesus, our light and life, who will gather a large people to himself. In that country, many shall come in, who are yet wandering upon the mountains, where they find no rest. Blessed are all you that abide and walk faithfully with the Lord, whom he has called and chosen to be the first fruits. Whatever arises contrary to the light, within or without, watching in the light, you will discern; stay your hearts upon the Lord, holding fast your confidence in him. He will deliver you out of all that is contrary to the light, and cause you to rejoice in the daily cross, crucifying you to the world and the world to you. Over the world He will cause you to rejoice, and you shall stand over it in the power of God, with all its pomp and glory and the evil therein, to his praise and glory. Even so be it with you all, in the mighty power of God, in which my soul salutes you that faithfully and humbly walk before the Lord, in obedience to his counsel.

Dear lambs, called to lie down in the safe fold of rest, in Christ our life, in tender love beseech you, that you are faithful in meeting together in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ; and diligently watch to know your own measure of grace in Christ, to feel him in you to judge your thoughts, and every vain imagination, that you may reign over them, and delight in the refreshing of his presence. And all take heed of many words; at all times let them be few, and from the savory spirit of life, in Christ. In him, the blessing of the Lord rest on you all forevermore; there to farewell with me in the everlasting love of the Father in Christ, Amen.

William Dewsbury


Let this go abroad among all the afflicted and wounded in spirit. With care send this to them.

Dear child, who cries, over all the world, and beyond all the pleasure, pomp, and vanity therein, for the enjoyment of the light and countenance of God;—fear not, neither be discouraged, because of the violent assaults of the enemy, who seeks to draw you into the carnal reasonings of your spirit, and in it to kindle a fire to yourself, and causes you to walk in the light of the sparks that you have kindled;—and this you have at the hand of the Lord, in going from his counsel, you lie down in sorrow. Few know your great distress; but, to the Lord it is known, and to those who have walked in the same paths. Oh, you dear and afflicted soul, who live in the deep sense of the working of the evil one in your mind, and many times are ready to say,— Never was any like unto me, nor any sorrow like unto my sorrow:—and in this languishing, despairing, mourning of your soul, all things are made bitter to you as the waters of Marah. Thus are you driven from all comfort, as a child without a father, a desolate widow without a husband and as a stranger whom no eye pities, in your apprehension; sometimes saying in your heart, in the heat of the temptation, and the fire you have kindled, Oh, that I had been any creature but what I am! or, if it were the will of the Lord, that he might shorten my days, that I might not be any longer on earth to sin against him! For in your own sense and feeling, you, walking in the sparks you have kindled, in carnal reasonings, discerns not anything but wrath, on every side, horror, misery, and distress, and great languishes; secretly crying out in your heart,—Oh, that I were alone in the wilderness, or in a cave, or den of the earth, that I might never see nor hear any of the sons of men any more, but in secret retire, even roar and mourn out my days until I die. Oh, you child of the morning of the pure eternal day of the God of Israel, hearken no longer to the enemy, who said, there has none traveled where you are [traveling,] neither drunk of the cup that you are drinking. He is a liar, who goes about to destroy your precious soul. In the word of the Lord God, I declare unto you, I drank the same cup, with my faithful friends, who are born of the royal seed, every one in their measure have traveled in the same path, and have endured the same temptations, and walked in the light of the same sparks, and lain down in sorrow, in the sense of the same misery as you mourn under this day. No longer lend an ear unto the enemy, and to the thoughts of your heart. Arise, arise, in the light of the covenant, and stay your heart; and the Lord God, he will throw down the enemy of your peace, destroy the carnal reasonings of your mind, and put out the fire that you have kindled. He will deliver you forth of the horrible pit, and set your feet upon the Rock of Ages. You shall tread down the enemy of your soul, in the sensible feeling of the bowels of the love of the Father, who will manifest himself to be a father to the fatherless in you, and a husband to that mournful widow, and a comfort to that immortal babe that mourned in you, in the uprightness of your heart, to do the will of the living God. So, in the power of his might, stay your heart; and tread upon all doubts, fears, despairing thoughts, questionings, reasonings, musings, imaginations, and consultings. Arise over them all in the light of Christ. He will lead you into the banqueting-house of the pleasure of our God, where you shall sit down with me and all the redeemed of my Father, who are born of the immortal seed, and have passed through great tribulations, and have washed our garments and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore do we now stand before the throne of God, praising him day and night in his holy temple. And this shall be the portion of your cup, if you diligently hearken to the counsel of the Lord, which calls you to trust in him. He will embrace you in the arm of his love, and you shall praise his name forever! God Almighty, in his light and life, raise up your soul, and establish your heart in his counsel, steadfastly to wait for his power to lead you, in the cross, out of all unbelief, and cause you to lie down at rest in obedience to his will: where you shall drink the cup of the salvation of God forever.

William Dewsbury

given forth in York Castle,
the 23rd of 3rd month, 1661


The Foolish Virgins and Wise Virgins

Dear Friends, servants and children of the most high God, whom he has called and chosen out of the world; be faithful, all of you, in his counsel. Wait for his power, to guide you in all your thoughts, words, and works, in his pure fear and in obedience to his will. I charge you in his presence, be valiant for your freedom, in dwelling in the power of the living God; that he may arm you against the fiery darts of the devil, to resist him in his appearances in all his wiles, who goes about like a roaring lion, to draw you every way, seeking to get your minds from that which is pure, into the visible things, there to captivate your affections, to satisfy your wills in created and perishing objects, or in the knowledge of the Truth in the fleshly wisdom. (These) feed with the swine upon the husks, the form and image of what you have enjoyed, or what you see in the vision but do not enjoy in the possession, and speak, in a drunken spirit, words without knowledge. With these, there sits a painted beast, the will at liberty, out of the cross.

You whose condition this is, are the foolish virgin, turned from the pure wisdom of God, the light of Christ that convinced you of sin; and now appears in the outward formality, in the sight of men with a lamp like the wise virgins; but not dwelling in the power of God, lacks the oil of joy and gladness in the power of his love. This, the wise virgins have in their lamps, which exercises their consciences and keeps all their affections in order unto the Spirit of truth, which bridles their tongues not to utter words before the Lord; but in true silence to wait upon him, until his Spirit moves them to declare his mind, from the living power the soul possesses and enjoys in Christ, the husband of the wise virgins. He by his power keeps the lamp of his bride trimmed, the Lamb's wife, she always breathing and thirsting for him to manifest his power to take away sin and renew the image of God; and in Christ Jesus, the soul's life, to witness the perfect man to reign in her forever.

You who hunger and thirst after righteousness are beloved for you are the children of the kingdom of my Father. With you my life is bound up; and to you this is the word of the Lord,—fear not, lift up your heads, and wait in the light with boldness. In it, look up to Christ, your King; he will appear as the lightning from the east unto the west, and you shall behold him subjecting your wild nature to himself. He will heal your infirmities, and satisfy your thirsty souls, and give you the end of your hope, the salvation of your souls. You shall sit down with him in the kingdom of the Father, to rejoice in the power of eternal love and life, which is in his presence forever and ever; and this is the children's bread, that comes down from heaven.

But you foolish virgins, who sit in the outward form and profession of the Truth, your lamps are empty of the power of God, which should cast down your wills and keep them in the daily cross. Thus you are possessed with a dull, sottish, drowsy, earthly, careless spirit, which is weary of waiting on the Lord in silence. You have no oil in your lamps, you are turned from the light that would lead you to the power of God, which would preserve in the true thirsting, to wait for the refreshment that is in his presence. Thus, while you are sitting in a silent meeting among the wise virgins, who feed on the immortal bread which comes down from heaven, the flesh and blood of Jesus, you are imprisoned and starved for lack of food, which daily strengthens them (the wise virgins) in the power of God, and gathers all their hearts together in one, where the union is in the invisible Being, in silence, rejoicing together in the Lord.

To the consciences of you foolish virgins, I speak; you are strangers to the life the wise virgins enjoy. Though you come among them, your life is in beautifying the outside of the lamp in words, being quickly spoken; but the fear of God is not before your eyes, but your wills are out of the cross. A false joy arises in you, speaking what you do not possess, priding and glorying in other men's lines, and contending for the Truth, with that mind that is out of the Truth. So you become as trees, with leaves and blossoms, which bear no fruit. Here your folly is made manifest; while you speak to others, yourselves are under reproof, in that you are strangers to the life of God. I charge and command you, silence flesh. Speak not before the Lord, you foolish ones, while the worker of iniquity reigns in you, whom the Lord will destroy, unless you repent. Therefore, all Friends, who make mention of the name of the living God, examine your hearts, search them, and try your ways with the light that comes from Christ; with it, read your condition in the book of conscience. There, you will see how you stand in the presence of the living, pure, holy God; whether in the state of the foolish virgins, that are turned from the light of Christ, which convinced them of sin, and getting into the form of the Truth, but an enemy to the cross, so make shipwreck of faith and a good conscience; or whether you are in the state of the wise virgins, who love the light, and wait in it to dwell in the power which chastises that nature, which would draw from the light and defile your garments. But in the daily cross your souls are kept pure and chaste, to follow the Lamb wherever he goes; and you enter with him into the rest prepared for the people of God, where the foolish virgins shall not come, until they, from their foolish wisdom, return into true obedience to the Father of light.

Dear children of the Lord God, be valiant, bold, and faithful in your measures; that in the light, life, and power of God, you may stand in the day of great trial, which the Lord will bring upon all you that make mention of his name. For power will be given to the beast to exalt his horn, even to the host of heaven, for the clearing of the sanctuary of the Lord. Then will the foolish virgins and painted beasts, that are enemies to the cross of Christ, who have defiled the sanctuary of the living God, come before him among his saints and children. From among them shall they come, trembling before the power of the beast, when he utters his voice and commands all to worship his image. But then shall all you, children of the most high God, whom he has called to be faithful to him, rejoice in his eternal power; who will keep you at that day in rest and peace, in the Ancient of Days; who will sit to judge in righteousness all who withstand the rising of his glory; and of his dominion there shall be no end. Friends, meet together in the true silence of your spirits; wait in the light for the unlimited Spirit of the Lord, to manifest his power in you, and bruise the serpent's head in all his appearances in you, and put an end to sin and bring in everlasting righteousness. That, in Him you may grow, in the pure nature of the most high God over all, blessed forever, amen. God Almighty keep you all faithful in his eternal power in himself, to bear his name in righteousness. That his name may be written in your foreheads, and all that see you, may witness you to be the righteous seed that the Lord has blessed. His eternal power and presence keep you in the eternal unity of the Spirit and bond of peace, where I am with you in the unchangeable love and life.

William Dewsbury



The word of the Lord to his beloved city, New Jerusalem, come from God, clothed with the excellence of the glory of his love, and is the Bride, the Lamb's wife; in the flowings of the tender compassionate bowels of the Lord Jesus, to all the mourners in Zion; and the afflicted, desolate people, who wait for his coming, as for the morning, and have no satisfaction in anything but in the enjoyment of his sweet and comfortable presence.

Oh Jerusalem! You beloved among the people, who have become the beautiful Bride, the Lamb's wife:—Oh, how did he seek you in the day of your divorcement, when you were weeping in the barren wilderness, as a desolate widow, who had not any to comfort her; then your greatest mournings and breakings of heart were your greatest comfort! The more your tears were shed for want of him, the greater was your satisfaction. Oh, the weary days you had upon the earth because your languishing soul did not know where to meet with your Beloved, neither did you know how to walk in the steps of the flock of your companions; who were comforted with His presence whom your soul lacked. Then, though you knew it not, he was near to you, enlivening the desires that were towards his name. In the accepted time he sent forth whom he had ordained, to declare unto you the glory of his love, in the light of his own life, in which he has covered you this day as with a wedding garment, and in it you appeared comely in his sight, and acceptable in his presence.

For your sake, Oh Jerusalem, you city of the living God, what has been endured? How many innocent lambs have suffered for bringing glad tidings to you of Him whom your soul thirsted after, is hard to be expressed. How, in God's authority, have the striplings run to and fro on the earth, willing to spend and be spent in all services of love, to persuade you to forsake all that has entangled your mind, and hindered you from enjoying the innocent life of your Beloved. Your mighty men, with many of the sons and daughters of glory, have sealed their living testimony with their blood, in the patience and sufferings of the Lamb of God, that you may be affected with the excellence of the glory of Him whom your soul desires.

Now the Lord God requires of every particular son and daughter of Zion, to watch and pray that none enter into temptation; and all that have any stain upon their garments, to come to the fountain which is opened for Judah and Jerusalem to wash in, which is the heart-breaking love of God manifested in the light of his covenant, and sealed up to the soul in the blood of Jesus.

Oh, come away, come away, out of all your thoughts, desires, doubts, and unbelief, which would turn you aside from the enjoyment of the love of God in Christ Jesus. Let none stand afar off because of your littleness, lameness, blindness, weakness, or infirmities, who cannot live at peace until you are healed by the blood of the Lamb.

Arise, arise, you necessitated people, in the light of the Lord. Give up to the drawing spirit of life in the light of Jesus Christ. He will carry you, who cannot go, in the arms of his compassions; he will cause the lame to walk; and you, who are sensible of your blindness, to recover your sight; yes, he will heal you of all your infirmities, who wait in the light, to be ordered and guided as a little child by the washing and sanctifying Spirit of the Lord Jesus; who has become a husband to the desolate widow, a repairer of the breaches, and a restorer of the desolate places; in whom the fatherless have found mercy this day, for his name's sake.

Oh! What shall I say of the unspeakable love of God in Christ Jesus, the Husband of the Bride. Oh! You sons of the glorious day, read, and feel in the deep tastes of the unsearchable love; and you handmaids of glory, drink of the inexhaustible ocean, which in the light flows over all opposition. This is the Son of the Father's love, who has been "a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief." "He was wounded for our transgressions, and by his stripes are we healed;" and this is the work of the Lord.—Let all crowns be thrown down before him, he alone shall have the glory, for besides him there is no other. Therefore in the measure of him, let every son, daughter, and servant of God, watch and diligently hearken to his counsel; and whatever the natural man most inclines to, when the temptation besets you, judge yourselves, look up to the Lord, and resist the devil with boldness in the first assault, and the Lord God will give you dominion over them, and the bond of iniquity shall not have power over you. In his holy authority, every one stand in dominion upon the head of the first man, with all his excellence and glory; that in the perfect freedom every particular individual may reign, in the measure of the light, over every thought and desire that is contrary to the will of God; that, in his eternal will, you sons and daughters of the Most High, you all dwell in the holy faith, which will evidence to you beyond sight, and will arm against all the fiery darts of the devil. You shall break down Satan under your feet, and shall overcome in the triumphing dominion, through the blood of the Lamb and the word of your testimony; and continually drink of the rivers of pleasure, the presence of the Lord Jesus, our Light, Life, and Righteousness forever. For he is become our Husband, and we are as the wife of his bosom, in the delight of his glorious love.

Let the mourners in Zion rejoice, and the afflicted among the people be glad, and fear the Lord. Let not any who desires salvation in uprightness of heart, say, "The Lord regards me not;" for whatever you hunger and thirst for in his life, you are the heir of it, and the Lord will satisfy your hunger with his refreshings for his name's sake. This is the portion of those who are least in their own eyes among the people; the Lord has spoken it.

All you, inhabitants of the city of the great God, whom the Lord has prospered in your living testimony, in what he has called unto,— Blessed be the Lord God for you who retain the sensibility of your nothingness in self, and so become poor with the poorest, and weak with the weakest, and truly make self of no reputation, but humble it to the cross, and do not serve self but God and his people, with all his gifts and ornaments, with which he has adorned you;—because of the savor of this ointment that you have in Christ, the souls of all the upright in heart do praise the Lord for you. Oh! Your steadfast, valiant, unwearied travails, labors, and sufferings for the Lord, cause the hearts of his people to be enlarged with hallelujahs and high praises in the holy assemblies of his saints. You know that your reward is with you; and woe to them that devise mischief against you, whom the Lord has blessed.

Oh, Zion's children, from the least to the greatest, love the Lord Jesus Christ. Let not a thought of the heart have any power to draw from the light, life, and love of the Lord Jesus. Let the day of the resurrection arise upon you, which will set your souls in perfect love, above all infidelity and unbelief. Oh! Drink, drink, drink to the full satisfaction of your souls, of the cup of his salvation, for it is freely handed to all that love him, that thirst for his mercies, and trample and tread down the self-working spirit; so that all is bound down in silence, and kept in the death, that would move in any exercise to utter words rashly before the Lord. But in the resurrection, light, power, life, and innocent birth, enter the kingdom and reign in the dominion thereof.

Oh! Here, my dear Friends, let us comfort and console our souls together for this is our Beloved; we have waited for him, and now he is come with power and great glory to deliver his captives, and to establish them in his glorious freedom, where the evil one shall not prevail against them; and to marry unto himself the soul that has waited for him as for the morning. All, in the marriage union, feel his power to lead into the daily cross abounding in you, and to stand over all that would draw from the sweet unity, that is in the footsteps of the flock of his companions that walk in the light. Stir up the gift of God in you, in all faithful obedience. As your hearts are filled with the heavenly power of the Lord, and broken in the sense of the overcomings of his life, and moved in the forcible strength thereof, in any exercise in your families, or in the assemblies of his people,—quench not the Spirit of the Lord, but be obedient, and keep within the bounds of a broken heart and a contrite spirit, which sacrifice is acceptable in his presence. All feel the love of God enlarging your hearts one to another, that the strong may bear the burdens of the weak, and in the pure life of love all may grow fruitful plants in the vineyard which God's right hand has planted.

As for our little sister, scattered among the people of the nations, who has no breasts of consolation, her broken cisterns have failed her; what shall we do for her? In this day which is come upon us, she shall be spoken for, though at present she cannot draw near, but mourns at a distance, and cries in secret for want of the enjoyment of the God of our salvation. Oh! Let your bowels open to her, and let your hearts breathe unto the Lord, that he may seal his counsel to her, and cause her to walk with us in the light of the Lord; with us, whom he has raised to be the first fruits among many brethren, to bear his glorious testimony over the heads of the children of men and above all their wrath, who withstand the appearance of God; who will cause them to bow before his glory, in the day in which he will clear the innocence of his beloved people. Neither by sword, nor spear, nor by the arm of flesh, but with the breath of his mouth, shall he strike the hearts of them that know him not, and by the brightness of his coming, who shall spread his fame over all nations, to gather our brethren from afar, and sisters from the ends of the earth. Yes, the mighty shall bow to his scepter, and the nations that are saved shall walk in his light, with us, whom he has made as dear unto himself as the apple of his eye. Though a woman may forget her sucking child, yet the Lord will not forget any that fear him. But he will lead them through all tribulations, with joy in his heavenly power, until we have finished our course with gladness, to the glory of his name forever.

This is the portion of the lot of your inheritance, you beautiful Bride, the Lamb's wife, against whom every tongue that is lifted up shall fall in judgment, neither shall the weapons that are formed against you prosper. For the Lord has made you to be a burdensome stone to the nations, and the praise of the whole earth. The desires of the people shall be to the Most High God, who dwells in the midst of you; who has displayed his banner of love over you, and has turned away the fury of his wrath from you. You, who love the light, and bathe your soul in the ocean of his inexpressible mercies, shall never more lack the fresh springs of life. The Lord will keep you in the safety of his power,— and the gates of hell shall not prevail against any of the sons and daughters who walk in the light of your city, O Jerusalem, in whom there is no more curse; but the throne of God and of the Lamb is in you, and his servants do serve you, and they behold his face, and his name is written in their foreheads. There is no night there, neither need of candle, nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light, and they do reign forever,— as the Lord has spoken through your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom of patience in the Lord Jesus.

William Dewsbury

Given forth in York Castle,
the 19th of 1st month, 1663

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