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1724. « And indeed, some of our Lives, in our own sense, is hardly worth mentioning, considering the Cause of Christ.
'And, dear Children of our heavenly Father, I may thro* some good Experience, truly inform you, that there is much Openness in many People on that Island, and good Encouragement I have had, from above, in my Visiting the People there; tho', true it is, the Inhabitants, too generally, are Luxurious, and much given to Vanity: Yet I have this Seal in my Heart, that the Lord hath a Seed in that Place who desires to serve him, and that Seed will surely ioin with you in your Exercise, and you will be comforted one in another, and in the Lord. And that there are Differences among them, is also ; true; but they have the more Need of being visited by such, who are, thro' their wise Conduct and healing Disposition, likely to heal those Breaches which are, or may be among them. Some, indeed, have gone among them and have done Hurt,* by a rash and turbulent Way of Management, and by so doing, have rather made the Breaches wider, than, by a meek and loving, as well as lowly Disposition, lessened their Differences, and healed them.
* And, tender Friends, tho' it may seem hard for you in several Considerations, to give up to go to Sea, and also to divers who love you, and are nearly related to you ; know ye, and such so concerned, That the Lord is stronger than the Noise of many Waters, and than the mighty Waves of the Sea. And I really believe that you, as well as my Soul (with the Servants of Christ) have, and will experience it to be so, as David did, whose Words they are.
* I remember the Words of our great Lord and Master Jesus, when he sent forth his Servants to preach his Word and Gospel; I send you forth as Lambs among Wolves. No question but you, like innocent Lambs, before your Return (if it please
God «■ God to give you to us again) may meet with the 1724. 4 Wolves Spirit, or the Spirit of the Beast, in some IXVNJ 4 or others among whom you may travel; then will 4 the Counsel of Christ, added to his Commission, be 'good for you to keep close to j Be ye wise as Serpents, 4 but innocent or harmless as Doves.
* And, dear Maidens, I look upon it as your Cross 4 is great, you being two innocent, chaste young 4 Women, to give up your Names to cross the Sea, 4 which I know is a great cross to a chaste Woman, 4 or Man either, the Seamen, too generally, being
* rude, dissolute People; so your Crown will be 'great also. I have known that by keeping near to
• Christ, and his Truth and Power, there hath been c a wonderful Reformation divers Times in several 'of those rude Seamen ; and some have been so far
• convinced, as to be exceedingly kind, and to speak
'well of Friends and their Conversation, when it has'
4 Well, dear Souls, if you go, I believe the Lord
* my Fellow-Labourers, who are faithful, painful Ser'vants of Christ, and disinterested, except as to the 4 Interest which they desire in Christ and his Kingdom, 'for the Sake of which, they love not their Lives unto 'Death.
K 3 ■ I
« I must now take Leave, after putting you in mind of remembring me, your poor Friend and Brother, when before the Throne you are supplicating the Father of Mercies in secret, even as my Heart is tenderly bowed and broken into Tears on your Behalf at this Time. The Lord be with you, and sanctify the present Exercise and Concern that is upon you, and you to himself, with all the faithful Lovers and Followers of the Lamb, tbro' his Word, whose Word is Truth. I am your Friend and Brother, in the Fellowship of the Gospel of Christ Jesus our great Lord and good Master; and blessed are all those, who by their fearing to offend him, manifest him to be their Master, and by their honouring him, manifest him to be their Lord.'
In the Twelfth Month I went to the Quarterly-meeting of Friends, held at Providence, for Chester County, for Discipline and Worship; which Meeting was large, and a Concern came upon Friends at that Meeting to suppress Excess in Eating and Drinking, and great Entertainments at Marriages and Funerals, and spending Time idly in tippling Houses; as also in several other Things for the well-ordering our Society, in which appeared great Love and Unanimity. The People were reminded of God's Love to them in this Land, and many Favours were recounted to them, which he had favoured the Inhabitants of the Land with, which were very singular, and that he expected they should bring forth Fruits that might be answerable to the Labours of Love, which the Lord had bestowed upon them.
About this Time I had it in my Mind to write to one who was conscientiously concerned to preach the Gospel of Christ, but was under great Exercise on that Occasion.
1724. Frankfort, 24th of the nth Month 1724. lyWJ
My Friend, * ■_
SI N C E I last saw thee and conversed with thee, thou hast often been in my Mind, and thy Exercise has come before me j and not having an Opportunity to converse with thee personally, I take this Way of communicating my Mind, hoping in Christ thou wilt reap some Satisfaction and Advantage thereby. I think I know thou art concerned for Christ's Cause, as also was that eminent Minister Apollos, Tet was instructed more perfectly by good Aquila and Priscilla. The subject on which I have it in my Mind to write to thee, is the Ministry of the Gospel of Christ Jesus, which I believe to be very different from that which it is generally taken for, in most Parts of the World, by many professing Christianity. First, The greatest Part of Christendom, so called, calls and elects their Ministers themselves, and will not call them unless they have School-learning, altho' Christ called and chose unlearned Men, as to that Sort of Learning, and the Apostles were called, Not according to the Will of Man, but by the Revelation of Christ Jesus. And Christ thanked his Father that He had revealed the Mysteries of his Kingdom to Babes and Sucklings. And the wife Jews (the Scribes and Pharisees) admired at the Apostles, who so wonderfully preached Christ, and were so wonderfully carried forth in their Mi; nistry, and yet few of them were Men of Learning i 1 so that the Call, Election, and Wages of Christ's : Ministers, is spiritual, and not carnal, and therefore
• their Ministry is with divine Life and Power, by : which they are qualify'd for this Service without ; either Study or Premeditation: Tho' it is not deni; ed, that Christ may shew a Minister beforehand,
• what he shall, or is to speak, at such a Time or
K 4 ■ Place*
1724. « Place, as he may fee meet; but that studying or writing Sermons, and afterwards preaching, or rather reading them to the People, was, or is, the practice of the true Ministers of Jesus, our great Lord and Master, is deny'd; of which, I do believe, thou hast a real Sense. * I shall impart to thee something of my own Experience for thy Edification in this great Work, viz. As in the Work of Conversion, or Regeneration, there is a Growth and Increase from the State of a Child to that of a Man in Christ, so in the Work of the Ministry, or preaching the Gospel, there is also a Growth from a Babe to an able Minister^ in all which the Power and Grace of the holy Spirit must be our Guide, our Help, and Support, keeping close to which, we shall encrease in divine Wisdom and sound Judgment, and our Hearts and Understandings will be more and more opened and enlarged. The Apostle Paul said, When I was a Child, I sp& as a Child, understood as a Child, and thought os t Child; and yet he was an excellent Child of God, and Minister of Christ, and as he grew in his Gift( and Christ's Grace, he became a wonderful, serviceable Instrument in the Hand of God. Now a Chikft State in the Ministry is too much overlooked by many, some thinking to be Men, as soon as they are brought forth into the Ministry •, and, according to my observation, divers have been at a Loss, and some quite Ios$, for Want of a patient Continuing in Well-doing, and not waiting to feel a Growth
and Increase from above, have
gone on in
own Strength and Will, perhaps against the Advice
and Instruction of a found and honest Jquila and
Priscilla, and have been hurt; and some, who had
received a Gift, have had that fame Gift taken fr0lT1
them, even by the Lord, who gave it them.
« As I take it, a true Minister of Christ, is to_take
t no Thought what to fay, but it will be given him <n ...... o ( jda