of their graves, and live and praise the Lord; that all the dead in the seas, and all the dead in the tombs and sepulchres may hear the sound of the trumpet, and come to judgment, and come to hear the voice of the Son of God and live, in whom there is life.

' Away with all the chaff and the husks, and contentions and strife, that the swine feed upon in the mire and in the fall; and the keepers of them of Adam and Eve's house in the fall, that lies in the mire, out of light and life.'

G. F.

At James Hutchinson's in Ireland there came many great persons, desiring to discourse with me about election and reprobation. I told them, though they judged our principle foolish, it was too high for them, and they could not with their wisdom comprehend it; therefore I would discourse with them according to their capacities. You say (said I) that God hath ordained the greatest part of men for hell, and that they were ordained so before the world began; for which your proof is in Jude. And you say Esau was reprobated, and the Egyptians, and the stock of Ham; but Christ saith to his disciples, Go, teach all nations, and, go into all nations and preach the gospel of life and salvation. Now, if they were to go to all nations, were they not to go to Ham's stock and Esau's stock ? Did not Christ die for all? then for the stock of Ham, and of Esau, and the Egyptians. Doth not the scripture say, God would have all men to be saved ? Mark, all men, then the stock of Esau and of Ham also. And doth not God say, Egpyt, my people? and that he would bave an altar in Egypt? Ísa. xix. Were there not many Christians formerly in Egypt? And doth not history say, that the bishop of Alexandria would formerly have been pope? And had not God a church in Babylon? I confess the word came to Jacob, and the statutes to Israel, the like was not to other nations. For the law of God was given to Israel, but the gospel was to be preached to all nations, and is to be preached. The gospel of peace and glad tidings to all nations, he that believes is saved, but he that doth not believe is condemned already; so the condemnation comes through unbelief. And whereas Jude speaks of some, that were of old ordained (or written of before) to condemnation, he doth not say before the world began ; but written of old may be referred to Moses his writings, who writ of those whom Jude mentions, namely, Cain, Corah, Balaam, and the angels that kept not their first estate. And such Christians as followed thein in their way, and apostatized from the first state of Coristanit Such were and are ordained for condemnauor to ign: ant truit which they are gone from. Ånt tuousi TIH arosti speaks of God's loving Jacob ane maung ial: ve be ielis the believers, we al were pr mature chiarer of fait as well as others : this includes the STOCE O Jacnt of which the apostle himself was anc al. Deleting Jews Fere: and thus both Jews and Genua rere al concluded under sin, and so under condemnatio that God might bare mercy upon al., througe djes Cursi. So the election and choice stands is Chris : anche ina: be pa i sared, and be that believe Do. # condemned alreads: and Jacob is the second birth stuch Goc lored, and both Jews and Gentiles must be bort aran belore they can enter the kingdom of God. And when you are born again, ye will know election and reprobation for the election stands in Christ the seed before the worid beren, but the reprebation lies in the evil seed since ibe world began. After this manner, but somewhat more larges. I discoursed with those great persons about this maiter, and they confest they had never beard so mucb before.

Now after I had traveled oser that Dation of Ireland, and had visited friends in their meetings, as well for busipess as for worship, and had ansvered several papers and writings from monks, friars, and protestant priesis (for they all were in a rage against us, and endearoured to stop the work of the Lord, and some jesuits sware in some of our hearing, that we came to spread our principles in that nation, but we should not do it:) I returned to Dublin in order to take passage there for England. And when I had staid the first-day's meeting there (which was very Jarge and precious) there being a ship ready and the wind serving, we took our leave of friends, parting in much tenderness and brokenness in the sense of the heavenly life and power, that was manifested amongst us. So have ing put our horses and necessaries on board in the mornia ing, we went ourselves in the afternoon, many friends accompanying us to the ship; and divers, both friends and friendly people, coming after us in boats when we were near a league at sea, their love drawing them, though not without danger. A good, weighty, and true people there is in that nation, sensible of the power of the Lord God and tender of his truth; and very good order they live in their meetings, for they stand up for righteousnese and holiness, which dams up the way of wickednes: #pre. cious visitation they had, and there is an excellent spirit in them worthy to be visited Many thing more I could write of that nation and of my travels in it, whicb would be large to mention particularly; but thus much I thought good to signify, that the righteous may rejoice in the prosperity of truth.

James Lancaster, Robert Lodge, and Thomas Briggs came back with me; John Stubbs, having further service there, staid behind. We were two nights at sea ; in one of which a mighty storm arose, that put the vessel in great danger, it rained and blew so hard. ' But I saw the power of God went over the winds and storms, he had them in his hand, and his power bound them. And the same power of the Lord God which carried us over, brought us back again, and in his life gave us dominion over all the evil spirits that opposed us there.

We landed at Liverpool, and went to the mayor's house, it being an inn; and after we had staid about a quarter of an hour in the house, we went to a friend's house about a mile out of the town, where we staid a while, and then went to Richard Johnson's. Whence departing the next day, we passed to William Barnes his house, and so to William Gandy's, visiting friends, and having many precious meetings in Lancashire and Cheshire. We bore towards Bristol; and when we came into Gloucestershire, we met with a report at Nailsworth, which was spread about that country, that George Fox was turned presby: terian; and that they had prepared a pulpit' for him and set it in a yard, and that there would be a thousand people there the next day to hear him. I thought it strange that such a report should be raised of me; yet as we went further on, from one friend's house to another, we met with the same.

We went by the yard where the pulpit was set up, and saw it, and went on to the place where friends' meeting was to be next day, and there we staid that night. Next day, being the first-day of the week, we had a very large meeting, and the Lord's power and presence were amongst us.

Now the occasion of this strange report (according as I was informed) was this ; there was one John Fox, a pres. byterian priest, who used to go about preaching, and some changing his name (as was reported) from John to George, gave out that George Fox had changed his religion, and was turned from a quaker to be a presbyterian, and would preach at such a place such a day. This begat so great a curiosity in the people, that many went thither to hear this quaker turned presbyterian, who would not have gone to have heard John Fox himself. By this means it was reported, they had got together above a thousand people; but when they came there and perceived they had a trick put upon them, and that that was but a counterfeit George Fox, and understood withal that the real George Fox was hard by, at friends' meeting, there came several hundreds of them to our meeting, and were sober and attentive. I directed them to the grace of God in themselves, which would teach them and bring them salvation. And when the meeting was done, some of the people said, they liked George Fox the quaker's preaching better than George Fox the presbyterian's. Thus by my providential coming into those parts at that time was this false report discovered; and shame came over them that were the contrivers of it.

It was not long after this that this same John Fox was complained of in the House of Commons, for having a tumultuous meeting, in which treasonable words were spoken; which (according to the best information I could get of it) was thus. This John Fox had formerly been priest of Mansfield in Wiltshire; and being put out of that place, was afterward permitted by a common-prayer priest to preach sometimes in his steeple-house. At length this presbyterian-priest, presuming too far upon the parishpriest's former grant, began to be more bold than welcome, and would have preached there whether the parish priest would or no. This caused a great bustle and contest in the steeple-house between the two priests, and their hear. ers on either side; in which contest the common prayerbook was cut to pieces, and (as it was said) some treasonable words were then spoken by some of the followers of this John Fox, the presbyterian priest. This was quickly put in the news-book : and some malicious presbyterians caused it to be so worded as if it had proceeded from George Fox the quaker, when as I was above two hun. dred miles from the place when this bustle happened. But when I heard it I soon procured certificates from some of the members of the House of Commons, who knew this John Fox, and gave it under their hands that it was John Fox, who had formerly been parson of Mansfield in Wilt. shire, that was complained of to the House of Commons to be the chief ring-leader in that unlawful assembly. . And indeed this John Fox was an ill man; for when some that had been followers and hearers of him came to be convinced of truth, and received the truth in their inward parts, and thereupon left following him, he coming to some of their bouses to talk with them about it, and they telling him he was in the steps of the false prophets, preaching for hire and filthy lucre, and was like them whom Christ cried wo against, and the apostles declared against, such as served not the Lord Jesus Christ, but their own bellies; and telling him Christ said, freely ye have received, freely give; and therefore he should not take money of people for preaching, especially now times were so hard; he replied, God bless preaching; for that brings in money, let times go how they will. And fill my belly with good victuals, and then call me false prophet, or what you will, and kick me about the house when ye have done, if ye

will. This relation I had from a man and his wife (who had been formerly his hearers) whom this John Fox, with others, caused deeply to suffer. For he and some other presbyterian priests, using co resort to a widowwoman's house, who had the impropriation, and took the tithes of the parish, she told them there was a Quaker in that parish that would not pay her tithes, and asked coun: sel of them what she should do with him. They advised her to send workmen and cut down and carry away his corn; which (according to their counsel) she did, and thereby impoverished the man. But to proceed

After this meeting in Gloucestershire was over, we travelled through that county till we came to Bristol, where I met with Margaret Fell, who was come to visit her daughter Yeomans there. I had seen from the Lord a considerable time before, that I should take Margaret Fell to be my wife. And when I first mentioned it to her, she felt the answer of life from God thereunto. But though the Lord had opened this thing unto me, yet I had not received a command from the Lord for the accomplishing of it then. Wherefore I let the thing rest, and went on in the work and service of the Lord as before, according as the Lord led me, travelling up and down in this nation, and through the nation of Ireland. But now after I was come back from Ireland, and was come to Bristol, and found Margaret Fell there, it opened in me from the Lord that the thing should be now accomplished. And after we had discoursed the thing together, I told her, if she also was satisfied with the accomplishing of it now, she should first send for her children ; which she did. And when the rest of her daughters were come, I asked both them and her sons in law, if they had any thing against it or for it, de. siring them to speak; and they all severally expressed their

satisfaction therein. Then I asked Margaret, if she had fulfilled and performed her husband's will to her children. She replied, the children knew that. Where:

« VorigeDoorgaan »