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outward sacrificers, that he would have mercy, and not sacrifice : and bid them “Go and learn what that meaneth,” Matth. ix. 13.
G. F. Gooses, the 28th of the
2d month, 1687.
The beginning of the third month I returned to London, and continued there till after the yearly meeting, which began on the sixteenth of the same, and was very large, friends having more freedom to come up out of the coun. tries to it, by reason of the general toleration and liberty now granted. The meeting lasted several days; and at the close thereof it was upon me to write the following lines, to be dispersed amongst friends every where, as A word of counsel and caution to them to walk circumspectly in this time of liberty. 6 Dear friends and brethren in the
Lord Jesus Christ, - The Lord by his eternal arm and power having supported you in all your sufferings, and great spoiling of goods, and tedious imprisonments, only for serving and worshipping the living God that made you; who gave up wife and children, and goods, and suffered the spoil of them, and imprisonment for his truth and name's sake; and now the Lord, by his infinite power and mercy, having been pleased to open the king's heart towards you, by which you are set at liberty from the gaols, and the spoilers of your goods are stopped, whereby ye may follow your callings and husbandry, and confess Christ Jesus, and call him Lord by the Holy Ghost, in your assemblies and meetings, without being cast into jails, or having your goods spoiled. And now, dear brethren, a great concern lies upon me from the Lord to write unto you, that none may abuse this liberty, nor the mercies of the Lord, but prize them; for there is great danger in time of liberty, of getting up and getting into ease, and looseness, and false liberty. And now seeing that ye have not the outward persecutors to war withal in sufferings ; with the spiritual weapons keep down that which would not be subject to Christ; thai he, the Holy One, may reign in your hearts. So that your lives, conversations, and words, may preach righteousness and truth; that ye may all shew forth good ensamples of true believers in Christ, in virtue, and holiness, answering that which may be known of God in all people, that ye are the sons and daughters
of God; standing fast in that righteous holy liberty in Christ, that just and holy one, that has made you free over the loose or false; shunning the occasions of vain disputes, and foolish questions of men of corrupt minds; for the serpent was the first questioner of Eve, who drew her and Adam out of the truth. Therefore as ye have received Christ, all live and walk in him, who bruises the serpent's head, who is your safe sanctuary, in whom ye have election, reconciliation, and peace with God. And therefore live in the peace which ye have from Christ, which is not of this world; and be at peace one with another, and seek the peace of all men in Christ Jesus ; for blessed are the peace-makers. And labour to exercise a good conscience towards God, in obedience to him in what he requires ; and in doing to all men the thing that is just and honest in your conversations and words, giving no offence to Jew nor Gentile, nor to the church of God. So that ye may be as a city set on God's Sion-hill, which cannot be hid; and may be lights to the dark world, that they may see your good fruits and works righteous and holy, and glorify your Father, which is in heaven ; for he is glorified in your bringing forth good fruits, as ye abide in Christ, the vine, in this his day of life, power, and light, that shines over all. And therefore all you that believe in the light, walk in the light, as children of the light, and of Christ's everlasting day; that in the light ye may have fellowship with the Father and the Son, and one with another: keeping in the unity of his holy Spirit, in the bond of his holy peace, in his church that he is head of. And my desire is, ihat God's wisdom every where may be justified of her children, and that it may be shewed forth in meekness, and in the fear of the Lord in this his day. Amen.'
By that time the yearly meeting was over, I was very much wearied and spent; wherefore about a week after the meeting I got out of town to a friend's house a little beyond Edmonton, where, and at South-street, I abode some time, and had meetings amongst friends there, and at Winchmore-hill and Berry-street. And having my mind continually exercised in the things of God, the sense of his infinite goodness and mercy to mankind, in visiting them, after they had transgressed and rebelled against him, and providing a way and means for their return to him again, was very much upon me, and in the opening of the spirit of truth' I writ the following paper on that subject :
God, who made all men and women, though they have transgressed his commands and laws, and rebelled against him, and hated his light, and grieved his spirit, and walked despitefully against his spirit of grace ; yet God, who is merciful, would have all to be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth. And all that come to the knowledge of the truth, must know it in their inward parts; 1 say, the grace and truth, which comes by Jesus, all that do know and find, do know and find it in their hearts and inward parts. And such do find the hidden man of the heart, and the pearl, and the leaven, and the lost piece of silver, and the kingdom of heaven within. For until all come to the light and truth in their hearts, they have been strangers to these things, in Adam in the fall, from the image of God, and his light, power, and spirit, and kingdom. But Christ, that never fell, brings man and woman again, that follow him, to know these things, and to know the truth, him the Saviour, and brings them into his image, and his everlasting kingdom.
· The devil, who is out of the truth, tempted man and woman to disobey God, and so drew them into the fall from the truth. So it is the devil that hath stopped men's eyes, and ears, and hearts, from the truth, who is called the God of the World; who hath blinded the eyes of infidels, or heathen. But Christ, who bruises the serpent's head, and destroys the devil and his works, doth open men's hearts, and eyes, and ears, who is their Saviour and Redeemer, and giveth life eternal to his people, that obey him and his truth. Blessed be the Lord' for ever through Jesus Christ, who hath tasted death for all men, to bring them out of the death of Adam, and is a propitiation for the sins of the whole world, and gave himself a ransome for all, to be testified of in due time. For as by Adam's transgression and disobedience, death and condemnation came upon all men; so by Christ's obedience unto death, justification of life is come upon all men; and he that believeth in Christ hath eternal life ; but he that doth not, is condemned already. But God would have all men to be saved, and come unto the knowledge of the truth, as it is in Jesus, who is their Saviour, and in him there is no condemnation.'
After I had been a while here, I went to a monthly meeting at Enfield, and from thence with some friends to Hertford; where I staid three or four days, visiting friends both at their public meetings on the first-day of the week, and at their quarterly meetings, both of men and women;
and good service for the Lord I had amongst them. Then passing from thence to Waltham Abbey, I had a very good meeting with friends there : and the next day went from thence to another place to compose a difference, which, for want of a right understanding of each other, had happened between some friends. I returned to Waltham that night ; and the next day went with some friends to Gooses, which is William Mead's house in Essex.
Here I staid some weeks, yet was not idle, but often visited the meetings thereabouts; as at Wanstead, Barking, and at John Hardings. And betwixt meeting and meeting I writ many things for spreading of truth, and for the opening people's understandings to receive it. One was a paper, proving from the scriptures, that people must repent before they can receive the gospel and the holy Spirit, and the kingdom of God, or be baptized. And this was it :
John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand,” Matth. iii. 2. And when John the Baptist was cast into prison, Mark says, " That Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand : Repent ye, and believe the gospel,” Mark i. 14, 15. Matthew also says, “ From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand,” Matth. iv. 17. And when Christ sent forth his twelve disciples, two and two, they went out and preached, that men should repent, Mark vi. 12. Christ said to the Jews, “ Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish,” Luke xiii. 3,5. And when the publicans and sinners came to hear Christ, and the Pharisees and Scribes murmured, saying, “ This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them,” Luke xv. 1, 2. Christ reproved them by a parable, and then told them, “ Joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance,” ver. vii. And adds, 1. There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth, ver. x. And Christ, after he was risen, said unto his disciples, “ That repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem,” Luke xxiv. 47. Pefer said unto the Jews, “ Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost," Acts ii. 38.' And Paul said, “ The times of this ignorance
God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent,” Acts xvii. 30. Simon Magus was called to repentance, if he had regarded it, Acts viij. 22. And the apostle Paul did preach at Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judea, and then to the Gentiles (turning them from darkness to the light of Christ, and from the power of satan to God) that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance, Acts xxvi. 20.
• Now here ye may see, that people must repent before they do believe, and are baptized, and before they receive the Holy Ghost, and the kingdom of God; and they must repent of their vain life and conversation before they do receive the gospel; and must be turned from darkness to the light of Christ, and from the power of satan unto God, before they do receive his Holy Spirit, and his gospel of life and salvation. The Lord doth command all men every where to repent, and do works meet for repentance: so they must shew forth that their lives and conversations, and tongues, are changed; and that they do serve God in the newness of life, with new tongues and new hearts.'
G. F. Gooses, the 6th month, 1687.
Another short paper I writ about the same time, shewing, wherein God's people should be like unto him. It was thus :
God is righteous; and he would have his people to be righteous, and to do righteously. And God is holy: and he would have his people holy, and to do holily. And God is just : and he would have his people to be just, and to do justly to all. God is light: and bis children must walk in his light. And God is an eternal, infinite Spirit: and his children must walk in the Spirit. God is merciful: and he would have his people to be merciful. God's sun shines upon the good and the bad, and he causes the rain to fall upon the evil and the good : so should his people do good unto all. God is love: and they that dwell' in love, dwell in God. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law, Rom. xiii. 10. And the apostle saith, “ All the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself,” Gal. v. 14. 1. As the Father hath loved me, so I have loved you : continue ye in my love,” John xv. 9. This should be the practice of all God's people.'
G. F. Gooses, the 6th month, 1687.