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A SALUTATION TO ALL FAITHFUL FRIENDS, A REPROOF TO THE UNFAITHFUL,
A VISITATION TO THE INQUIRING,
Solemn Farewell to them all in the land of my Nativity.
By WILLIAM PENN.
A Salutation to the Faithful.
YE are beloved of me above all the sons and daughters of men, who have received and bowed to the blessed appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ in your hearts, and that have not counted any thing dear for the testimony of his cross and gospel, but have unfeignedly loved and obeyed his light within, and not been afraid to confess it without: you that have not been offended in him, though the world hath not received him, but bitterly mocked and persecuted his saving appearance; to you doth my soul reach, in the love which many waters cannot quench, nor time nor distance wear away, beseeching the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to be with you, and bless you with his abundant goodness and mercy. Oh, Friends! go on, you are called to an high and heavenly calling, the trumpet hath given you a certain sound; follow your captain, be valiant, fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, that you may finish your course with joy; a crown is at the end, a diadem that will never fade away, the reward of the righteous at the end of all his troubles.
Dear Friends, love the truth in your hearts, be inward to the Lord, that you may grow in the life and wisdom of it; and keep all your meetings in the faith and power of God; and love and honour the brethren that labour in word and doctrine be diligent in his work, and that will make you rich in the heavens that will never pass away. Have a godly care over your children and families, and let your conversation be in heaven, and the earth under your feet. Oh!
ye that received the truth for the truth's sake, who have loved it above all, and for it left all, that being tried, fainted not, but endured; and who to this day have not sought yourselves, but the Lord, and have counted nothing dear, that you might lift up his name amongst men who being reviled, have blessed; and being persecuted, have suffered; and being defamed, have yet entreated; and are to this day tempted, buffeted, and accounted by too many as the off scouring of the land; be not discomforted, but gird up the loins of your minds, be sober, watch, pray and hope to the end; for through many tribulations are we to enter the rest and city of God. And yet, what if I should say, that the days of sorrow and sighing will even here have an end: and that the peace, righteousness and glory of the latter days are just at the door! Beloved friends, as clay is in the hands of the potter, so let us be in the hands of our God, so will he manifest himself through us, and confound the wisdom and opposition of this world. Nothing can hurt us but our own unfaithfulness; for the God that hath called us, is all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-present, and hath given to us that believe, the witness in ourselves, which is the unerring way of the Lord; so that our religion is of Emanuel, God with us, who hath the words of eternal life. He that cured the ruler's son by his Divine presence in his bodily absence, he also is present with us in spirit, in the fire, in the water, by sea, and by land, he worketh wonders upon both, who is glorious in holiness, and fearful in praises, in the congregations of his children: in him I love you, in him I salute you, and in him I dearly bid you all farewell. His grace, mercy and peace be with you all, and the blessings of his life and presence for ever rest upon you. Amen.
Your faithful friend and brother,
A Reproof to the Unfaithful.
How long shall the spirit of the Lord strive with you, O ye careless and unfaithful ones! who are convinced of the truth of God, and come to meetings, confess to the testimony, and profess it in the world, and are yet unsanctified and unregenerated, and so have no part nor lot in this blessed matter of life eternal! What can you hope for from the hand of the Lord at the hour of your death and day of your judgment? Will not God remember unto you the day of your visitation, his strivings, his waitings, his long suffering; how often he would have gathered you, that you might have inherited substance? Awake, awake, ye sen
sual, ye earthly-minded professors of the truth, that Christ Jesus may give you life! for I may say with the apostle, and that weeping too, there are too many unworthy of the great favour and mercy of God in this day who under all their pretences to religion, walk in the way of those, whose god is their belly, who glory in their shame, &c. who mind earthly things, pursuing uncertain riches, and trusting in their store; if redeemed from scandalous things, yet abounding too much in more hidden evils, envy, covetousness, high-mindedness, meddling in other folks matters, out of the watch, out of the cross that crucifieth the flesh, yet delivers the spirit to serve God in the newness of life! Oh! as one knowing the terrors of the Lord, let me persuade you, while it is to day, to hear his voice, his living word, that cleanses the young man's way; and believe in the light whilst you have the light, that you also may be the children of the light, in which the nations of them that are saved must walk, lest it pass away from you, and the night overtake you, in which the works of peace cannot be wrought. O friends! your doom will be most dismal, your end the most terrible of all others, that are called, and would not make your calling sure, that knew the Master's will, and. would not do it: will not he make such of the synagogue of Satan, who are not Jews inward, neither of that circumcision that is of the spirit in the heart and ear, whose praise is not of men, but of God? For it is just with God, to give such up to strong delusions, and to commit sin with greediness, who hold the truth in unrighteousness, and profess it in their own spirits, not in the Spirit and power of God; whose tongues are their own, whose wills and affections are their own, and under the profession of truth, can give them their swing. Such as these become the subjects of Satan's devices, and too often by a loose conversation, or highmindedness and unsubjectedness, cause grief, and give great trouble to the churches of Christ: for many may never leave the profession of truth, that yet may be troublers of the peace of Jerusalem here, and vessels of wrath hereafter. Be therefore warned, ye foolish virgins, ye vain professors of the truth! In the fear and dread of God, I send this caution to you, that ye may repent, and do your first works; else be assured, that in the day of his winnowing, you shall go to the chaff, and the wind of his fury shall drive you from the joy of his presence for ever: therefore receive my counsel in the love of God; be faithful to his truth, wait and watch in it, that you may be delivered in the hour of temptation: it will tie your tongues, limit your desires, bound your affections, order all your steps aright: it will
make you humble, so God will teach you; and meek, so will he guide you in judgment, and clothe you with salvation. I have a travail upon my soul, and my spirit is pained for you! I would have nothing lost, but the son of perdition: I would have you all gathered, and nothing cast away that is called of God; yea, a greater than all would have all come to the knowledge of the truth, as it is in Jesus, and be saved. This I send you as a farewell to you, in the name and power of the God of my salvation, and in so doing am I clear of you all.
Your true friend,
A Visitation to the Inquiring.
Ye are the workmanship of God as well as I, and he hath made us for an end of glory to himself; let us see, search and try, how we answer it. Ye have souls as well as I, and you must give an account as well as I; for we must all die and come to judgment. Turn in therefore, and see how it standeth betwixt you and your judge; for by Jesus Christ, the light of the world, will God judge all men. Therefore with the light of Christ, which is within you, judge yourselves, that you may not be judged. Put away the evil of your doings; love the light, come to it, walk in it, and it will give you a sight of the spirit of this world, and the fruits of it, from the Spirit of God, and the fruits thereof; by which you will receive an understanding of him that is true, whom if ye receive, you shall live in him that is true, and he will give you power to become the children of God, born not of flesh and blood, but of the incorruptible seed, word and will of God. Ó hear his voice, that you may be his sheep; let him go before you, and do you follow him, and he will give unto you eternal life. O ye hungry and thirsty ones, that want, seek and cry for eternal life! it is his light within that reveals life and immorta→ lity! And if it should be said, Can any good come out of Nazareth? Can such a day of small things bring salvation? I say, Oh, come and see; for we who have believed, have seen his glory to be that of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace, and full of truth: he is the good Sa maritan, the physician of value; he cureth our diseases, he healeth our breaches, he leads us in the ways of pleasantness, and in the paths of peace; there are riches in his reproaches, and a crown in his cross. Remember who desired eternal life, and what hindered! Therefore give all up when he calls, and follow him fully. Out of him the enemy is too strong for you, but in him you are too strong for the enemy; therefore wait in the light of Christ, and watch