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Hornchurch, where was a meeting on the first-day, and after the meeting I rode with great uneasiness to Stratford, three miles from London, to a friend's house there whose name was Williams, and who had formerly been a captain. Here I lay exceeding weak, and at last lost both my hear. ing and my sight, so that I could neither hear nor see. Several friends came thither to me from London, and I told them that I should be as a sign to such as would not see, and such as would not hear the truth. In this condi, tion I continued a pretty while, and several people came about me, and though I could not see their persons, yet I felt and discerned their spirits, who of them was honesthearted, and who was not. Divers friends that practised physic came to see me, and would have given me physic, but I was not to meddle with any of their medicines, for I was sensible I had a travail to go through, and therefore spake to friends to let none but solid, weighty friends be about me. And under great sufferings, and groanings, and travails, and sorrows, and oppressions, I lay for several weeks, whereby I was brought so low and weak in body that few thought I could have lived : and some that were with me went away, saying they would not see me die; and it was reported both in London and in the country, that I was deceased, but I felt the Lord's power inwardly supporting me; and when they that were about me had given me up to die, I spake to them to get a coach to carry me to Gerrard Roberts's, about twelve miles off, for i found it was my place to go thither. I had now recovered a little glimmering sight, so that I could discern the people and fields as Į went, and that was all. When I came to Gerrard's he was very weak, and I was moved to speak to him and encourage him: and after I had staid about three weeks there, it was with me to go to Enfield; friends were afraid of my removing, but I told them I might safely go. And when I had taken my leave of Gerrard and was come to Enfield, I went first to visit Amor Stoddart, who lay there very weak and almost speechless. I was moved to tell him, he had been faithful as a man, and faithful to God, and that the immortal seed of life was bis crown. And with many more words I was moved to speak to him, though I myself was then so weak I was hardly able to stand: and within a few days after Amor died. I went to the widow Dry's at Enfield, and there I lay all that win, ter, warring in spirit with the evil spirits of the world, that warred against truth and friends. For there were great persecutions at this time, some meeting houses were plucked down, and many were broken up by soldiers, who
would come, sometimes a troop of horse, or a company of foot, and they would break their swords, carbines, muskets, and pikes, with beating friends, and many friends they wounded, so that their blood lay in the streets. Amongst others that were active in this cruel persecution at London, my old adversary colonel Kirby was one, who with a company of foot went to break up several meetings, and he would often inquire for me at the meetings he brake up. But one time as he went over the water to Horsleydown, there happening some scuffle between some of his soldiers and some of the watermen, he bid bis men fire at them, and they did so, and killed some.
But I was under great sufferings at this time, beyond what I have words to declare. For I was brought into the deep, and saw all the religions of the world, and people that lived in them, and the priests that held them up, who were as a company of men-eaters, eating up the people like bread, and gnawing the fresh from off their bones. But as for true religion and worship, and ministers of God, alack! I saw there was none amongst those of the world that pretended to it. For they that pretended to be the church, were but a company of men-eaters, men of cruel visages, and of long teeth, who, though they had cried against the men-eaters in America, yet I saw they were in the same nature. And as the great professing Jews did eat up God's people like bread, and the false prophets and priests then preached peace to people, so long as they put into their mouths and fed them, but if they fed them not, they prepared war against them, they ate their flesh off their bones, and chopped them for the cauldron, so these that profess themselves Christians now, (both priests and professors) and were not in the same power and spirit that Christ and the holy prophets and apostles were in, were in the same nature that the old professing Jews were in, and were men-eaters as well as they. These stirred up persecution and set the wicked informers on work, so ihat a friend could hardly speak a few words in a private family, before they sate down to eat meat, but some were ready to inform against them. A particular instance of which I have heard as followeth :
At Droitwich John Cartwright came to a friend's house, and being moved of the Lord to speak a few words before he sate down to supper, there came an informer and stood hearkening under the window; and when he had heard the friend speak, hoping to get some gain to himself, he went and informed, and got a warrant to distrain the friend's goods, under pretence that there was a meeting at his house,
whereas there was none in the house at that time, when the friend spoke before supper, but himself, the man of the house and his wife, and their maid servant. But this evil. minded man as he came back with his warrant in the night, fell off of his horse and broke his neck. So there was a wretched end of a wicked informer, who hoped to have enriched himself by spoiling friends; but the Lord pre, vented him, and cut him off in his wickedness and spoiled him.
Now, though it was a cruel, bloody, persecuting time, yet the Lord's power went over all, and his everlasting seed prevailed, and friends were made to stand firm and faithful in the Lord's power; and some of the sober people of the world would say, if friends did not stand, the nation would run into debauchery.
And though by reason of my weakness, I could not travel about amongst friends as I used to do, yet in the motion of life I sent the following lines as an encouraging testimony amongst them :
My dear friends, 'The seed is above all, in it walk, in which ye all have life. Be not amazed at the weather, for always the just suffered by the unjust, but the just had the dominion. And all along ye may see, by faith the mountains were subdued, and the rage of the wicked and his fiery darts were quenched. And though the waves and storms be high, yet your faith will keep you to swim above them; for they are but for a time, and the truth is without time. Therefore keep on the mountain of holiness, ye who are led to it by the light, where nothing shall hurt : and do not think that any thing will outlast the truth, which standeth sure, and is over that which is out of the truth; for the good will overcome the evil, and the light darkness, and the life death, and virtue vice, and righteousness unright, eousness. The false prophet cannot overcome the true ; but the true prophet, Christ, will overcome all the false. So be faithful, and live in that which doth not think the time long.'
But after some time it pleased the Lord to allay the heat of this violent persecution; and I felt in spirit an overcoming of the spirits of those men-eaters, that had stirred it up and carried it on to that height of cruelty, though I was outwardly very weak. And I plainly felt, and those friends that were with me, and that came to visit me, saw
and took notice, that as the persecution ceased I came from under the travails and sufferings, that had lain with such weight upon me; so that towards the spring I began to recover, and to walk up and down beyond the expectation of many, who did not think I could ever have gone abroad again, I had been so exceeding weak through the travail and exercise that was upon my spirit.
Whilst I was under this spiritual travail and suffering, the state of the city, New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven was opened to me, which some carnalminded people had looked upon to be like an outward city or town, that had dropped out of the elements; but I saw the beauty and glory of it, the length, the breadth, and the height thereof, all in complete proportion. And I saw, that all wlo are within the light of Christ and in his faith, which he is the author of, and in the Spirit, the Holy Ghost, which Christ and the holy prophets and apostles were in, and within the grace and truth, and within the power of God (that was before the devil was) which was the walls of the city, such are within the city, such are members of this city, and have right to eat of the tree of life, which yields her fruit every month, and whose leaves are for the healing of the nations. But they that are out of the grace, out of the truth, out of the light, spirit and power of God; such as resist the Holy Ghost, quench, vex, and grieve the Spirit of God, and hate the light, and turn the grace of God into wantonness, and do despight to the Spirit of Grace; such as have erred from the faith and inade shipwreck of it and of a good conscience, and abuse the power of God, and despise prophesying, revelation and inspiration, these are the dogs and unbelievers that are without the city; and these make up the great city Babylon, confusion, and her
power of darkness, and the evil spirit of error_surround and cover them over. And in this great city Babylon are the false prophets, in the false power and false spirit, and the beast in the dragon's power, and the whore that is gone a whoring from the spirit of God, and from Christ her husband; but the Lord's power is over all this power of darkness, cage, whore, beast, dragon, false prophets and their worshippers, who are for the lake which burns with fire. Many things more did I see concerning the heavenly city, the New Jerusalem, which are hard to be uttered, and would be hard to be received. But in short, this holy city is within the light, and all that are within the light are within the city, the gates whereof stand open all the day, (for there is no night there) that all may come in ; and Christ's blood
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