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“ And, dear maidens, I look upon it, your cross is great, you being two innocent, chaste young women, to give up your names to cross the sea, which I know is a great cross to a chaste woman, 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 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 been coupled with the fear and wisdom of God. When I have gone to sea, I always found a religious and Christian concern upon me, for the poor sailors, the good effects of which, have been much more than I may speak of; but give this little hint for your encouragement and information.
" Well, dear souls, if you go, I believe the Lord will go with you; and sure I am, that my spirit will go along with you, which will not hurt you, if it do you no good. And although my exercises and tribulations of late have been very great, both spiritual and natural, yet my very heart within me affects the cause of Christ, according to the best of my understanding; and I heartily wish well to all my fellow-labourers, who are faithful, painful servants of Christ, and disinterested, except as to the interest which they
desire in Christ and his kingdomn, for the sake of which they love not their lives unto death.
66 I must now take leave, after putting you in mind of remembering 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, through 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 quarterlymeeting 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 wellordering 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 that 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 soncerned to preach the gospel of Christ, but was under great exercise on that occasion.
Frankfort, 24th of the 12th mo. 1724, “ My Friend, 6 Since I last saw thee and conversed with thee, thou hast often been in my mind, and thy exercise has come before me; 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, yet 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, although 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 wise Jews (the Scribes and Pharisees) admired at the apostles, who so wonderfully preached Christ, and were so wonderfully carried forth in their ministry, and yet few of them were men of learning; 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 qualified for this service without either study or premeditation : though it is not denied, that Christ say shew a minister before-hand, what he shall, or is to speak, at such a time or place, as he may see 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 denied; 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 increase 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 'spake as a child, understood as a child, and thought as a 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 child's 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 lost, for want of a patient continuing in well-doing ; and not waiting to feel a growth and increase from above, have gone on in their own strength and will, perhaps against the advice and instruction of a sound and honest Aquila and Priscilla, and have been hurt; and some who had received a gift, have had that same gift taken from them, even by the Lord who gave it them.
“As I take it, a true minister of Christ, is to take no thought what to say, but it will be given him in the same hour that which he should speak to the people; (that is, in a general way;) and if it is not given from above, I believe he or she ought to be silent: for they receive freely, if they do receive any thing from Christ, and so they ought freely to administer; and where little is