« VorigeDoorgaan »
all own and believe in; him whom the high-priest raged against, and said he had spoken blasphemy, whom the priests and the elders of the Jews took coupsel together against, and put to death; the same whom Judas betrayed for thirty pieces of silver, which the priests gave him as a reward for his treason, who also gave large money to the soldiers to broach an horrible lie, namely, that his disciples came and stole him away by night, whilst they slept. And after he was risen from the dead, the history of the acts of the apostles sets forth, how the chief priests and elders persecuted the disciples of this Jesus for preaching Christ and his resurrection. This, we say, is that Lord Jesus Christ, whom we own to be our life and salvation.
' And as concerning the holy scriptures, we do believe that they were given forth by the Holy Spirit of God, through the holy men of God, who, (as the scripture itself declares, 2 Pet. i. 21.) spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. We believe they are to be read, believed, and fulfilled (he that fulfils them, is Christ); and they are profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works, 2 Tim. iii. 16.; and are able to make wise unto salvation, through faith in Christ Jesus. And we do believe that the holy scriptures are the words of God, for it is said in Exodus xx. 1. God spake all these words, saying, &c. meaning the ten commandments given forth upon Mount Sinai. And in Rev. xxii, 18. saith John, I testify to every man that beareth the words of the prophecy of this book : if any man addeth unto these, and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy (not the word) &c. So in Luke i. 20. Because thou believest not my words. And so in John v. 47. and John xv. 7. John xiv. 23. John xii. 47. So that we call the holy scriptures as Christ and the apostles called them, and holy men of God called them, viz. the words of God.
6 Another slander and lie they have cast upon us, namely, that we should teach the negroes to rebel; a thing we utterly abhor and detest in our hearts, the Lord knows it, who is the searcher of all hearts, and knows all things, and so can witness and testify for us, that this is a most abominable untruth. For that which we have spoken and declared to them is, to exhort and admonish them to be sober, and to fear God, and to love their masters and mistresses, and to be faithful and diligent in their masters' service and business; and then their masters and overseers would love thein, and deal kindly and gently with them.
And that they should not beat their wives, nor the wives their husbands, neither should the men have many wives. And that they should not steal, nor be drunk, nor commit adultery, nor fornication, nor curse, nor swear, nor lie, nor give bad words to one another, nor to any one else : for there is something in them that tells them, they should not practise those nor any other evils. But if they notwithstanding should do them, then we let them know there are but two ways, the one tbat leads to heaven, where the righ, teous go, and the other that leads to hell, where the wicked and debauched, whoremongers and adulterers, murderers and liars go. To the one the Lord will say, “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world;" but to the other he will say, " Depart, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels :” so the wicked go into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into life eternal, Matt. xxv. Now consider, friends,-it is no transgression for a master of a family to instruct his family himself, or for some others to do it in his behalf, but rather it is a very great duty incumbent upon them. Abraham and Joshua did so; of the first we read, the Lord said (Gen. xviii. 19), “I know that Abraham will command his chil. dren and his household after him; and they shall keep the way of the Lord to do justice and judgment, that the Lord may bring upon Abraham the things that he hath spoken of him.” And the latter, we read, said (Joshua xxiv. 15.) “Chuse ye this day, whom ye will serve; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” We do declare that we do esteem it a duty incumbent on us to pray with and for, to teach, instruct, and admonish those, in and belonging to our families, this being a command of the Lord, the disobedience whereunto wilì provoke the Lord's displeasure, as may be seen in Jer. x. 25. “Pour out thy fury upon the heathen, that know thee not, and upon the families that call not upon thy name.” Now negroes, tawnies, indians, make up a very great part of the families in this island, for whom an account will be required by him who comes to judge both quick and dead, at the great day of judgment, when every one shall be rewarded according to the deeds done in the body, whether they be good or whether they be evil: at that day, I say, of the resurrection both of the good and of the bad, of the just and the un, just, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, who shall be punished with everlasting
destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power, when he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and admired in all them that believe in that day. 2 Thess. i. 8. &c. See also 2 Pet. ii. 3. &c.
"This wicked slander (of our endeavouring to make the negroes rebel) our adversaries took occasion to raise from our having had some meetings with and amongst the negroes; for both I and other friends had several meetings with them in several plantations, wherein we exhorted them to justice, sobriety, temperance, chastity, and piety, and to be subject to their masters and governors, which was altogether contrary to what our envious adversaries maliciously suggested against us.'
As I had been to visit the governor as soon as I was well able after I came thither; so sometime after, when I was at Tbomas Rouse's, the governor came thither to see me, carrying himself very courteously.
Having now been three months or more in Barbadoes, and in that time having visited friends, thoroughly settled meetings, and dispatched that service for which the Lord brought me thither; I felt my spirit clear of that island, and drawings to Jamaica; which when I had communicated to friends, I acquainted the governor also, and divers of his council, that I intended shortly to leave the island and go to Jamaica; which I did, that as my coming thither was open and public, so my departure also might be. But before I left the island I writ the following letter to my wife, that she might understand both how it was with me, and how I proceeded in my travels :
My dear Heart, ! To whom is my love, and to all the children in the Seed of Life that changeth not, but is over all; blessed be the Lord for ever. I have gone under great sufferings in my body and spirit, beyond words; but the God of heaven be praised, his truth is over all. I am now well; and if the Lord permit, within a few days I pass from Barbadoes towards Jamaica, and I do think to stay but little there. I desire that ye may be all kept free in the Seed of Life, out of all cumbrances. Friends are generally well. Remember me to friends that enquire after me. So no more, but my love in the Seed and Life that changeth not.”
Barbadoes, the 6th of the 11th Month, 1671.
I set sail from Barbadoes to Jamaica on the eighth day of the 11th month, 1671; Robert Widders, William Ed. mundson, Solomon Eccles, and Elizabeth Hooton, going with me. James Lancaster, John Cartwright, and George Pattison were gone thither some time before : and Thomas Briggs and John Stubbs remained yet longer in Barbadoes; with whom were John Rouse and William Baily. We had a quick and easy passage to Jamaica, where we met with our friends James Lancaster, John Cartwright, and George Pattison again, who had been labouring there in the service of truth; into which we forthwith entered with them, travelling up and down through the Island, which is large ; and a brave country, it is, though the people are many of them debauched and wicked. We had much service there, for there was a great convincement, and many received the truth, some of which were people of account in the world. We had many meetings there, which were large, and very quiet; for indeed the people were civil to us, so that not a mouth was opened against us. I was twice with the governor and some other of the magistrates, who all carried themselves lovingly towards me,
About a week after we landed in Jamaica, Elizabeth Hooton, who went with us from England to Barbadoes, and from Barbadoes thither, being a woman of a great age, and who bad travelled much in truth's service, and suffered much for it, departed this life. She was well the day be. fore she died; and departed in peace, like a lamb, bearing testimony to truth at her departure.
When we had been about seven weeks in Jamaica, and had brought friends into pretty good order, and settled se. veral meetings amongst them, we left Solomon Eccles there; the rest of us embarked for Maryland, leaving friends and truth prosperous in Jamaica, the Lord's power being over all, and his blessed Seed reigning.
But before I left Jamaica I writ another letter to my wife, as followeth:
My dear Heart, • To whom is my love, and to the children, in that which changeth not, but is over all, and to all friends in those parts. I have been at Jamaica about five weeks, and friends here are generally well; and here is a convincement: but things would be too large to write of. Sufferings in every place attend me, but the blessed Seed is over all; the great Lord be praised, who is Lord of sea and land, and of all things therein. We intend to pass away from hence about the beginning of the next month, and we shall pass towards
Maryland if the Lord please. Dwell all of you in the seed of God; in his truth I rest in love to you all.'
G. F. Jamaica, 23rd of the 12th month, 1671.
We went on board on the 8th of the first month, 1671; and having contrary winds, were a full week sailing forwards and backwards, before we could get out of sight of Jamaica. A difficult' voyage this proved and pretty dangerous, especially in our passing through the Gulf of Florida, where we met with many trials by winds and storms. But the great God, who is Lord of the seas and of the land, and who rideth upon the wings of the wind, did by his power preserve us through many and great dangers, when by extreme stress of weather our vessel was divers times like to be overset, and much of her tackling broken. And indeed we were sensible that the Lord was a God at hand, and that his ear was open to the supplica: tions of his people. For when the winds were so strong and boisterous, and the storms and tempests so great, that the sailors knew not what to do, but were fain to let the ship go which way she would; then did we pray unto the Lord, and the Lord did graciously hear and accept us, and did calm the winds and the seas, and gave us season. able weather, and made us to rejoice in his salvation; blessed and praised be the holy name of the Lord, whose power hath dominion over all, and whom the winds and the seas obey,
We were at sea betwixt six and seven weeks in this passage from Jamaica to Maryland. But some days be. fore we came to land, after we had entered the bay of Potuxan River, a great storm arose, which cast a boat upon us for shelter, in which were divers persons, both men and women, people of account outwardly in the world. We took them in, but the boat was lost, with five hundred pounds worth of goods in it, as they said. They continued on board us several days, not having any means to get off; and we had a very good meeting with them in the ship: but provision grew short, for they brought none in with them, and ours, by reason of the length of our voyage, was well nigh spent when they came to us; so that with their living upon it too, we had now little or none left. Whereupon George Pattison took a boat and ventured his life to get to shore; the hazard whereof was so great, that all but friends concluded he would be cast away; yet it pleased the Lord to bring him safe to land; and in a short time after the friends of the place came to