The Missing Cross to Purity

Ambrose Rigge's Ehortations and Encouragements

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Concerning the spiritual man, who is begotten of God, through the Spirit, by the immortal word of God, which lives and abides forever, and has received the Spirit of adoption, by which he cries Abba Father.

As there is a natural man who is corrupted after the deceitful lusts, so there is a spiritual man, who is born of the Spirit, and has the promise of eternal life. Through the adoption, namely the redemption of the body, he is made an habitation of God through the Spirit; in whom God dwells and walks, according to his promise of old, 2 Cor 6:16. He walks in the Spirit, and does not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. In him has God great delight, and gives him wisdom, power, strength, and ability to do whatsoever he commands him, and he can do all things through him who is his strength, Phil 4:13. The commandments of God are not grievous, but joyous to him; no they are his only delight, and this keeps him in love and favor with God; so that he withholds no good thing from him, Psa 84:11, but gives him of the abundance of his heavenly treasure. He feeds him with the heritage of Jacob, even with the finest of the wheat, and with honey out of the rock, Psa 81:16, he opens his breasts of consolation to him, out of which delightsome refreshment comes, whereby he grows in the beauty of holiness. In his mouth are the high praises of the Lord, as a two-edged sword in his hand, through which he executes vengeance upon the heathen, and punishment upon the people, Psa 149:7. As the natural man is wise to do evil, [so the regenerated man] is wise to resist evil, so that it does not come near to his house; yes, though evil pursue the wicked, yet to him there is a tree of life, Pro 13:21, upon which he feeds, and lives forever.

He is stout and valorous, even as bold as a lion, Pro 28:1; he fears not the swelling of the sea, he is not afraid of the terror of the heart, nor of the arrow that flies by day, Psa 91:5; the law of truth is in his mouth, Mal 2:6; so that his steps cannot slide. He calls no man father upon earth, nor any man master below the sun, Mat 23:9-10; for he is born of God, and receives his law from his mouth; he is created anew in Christ Jesus unto good works, that he may live in them. He lives by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God, Mat 4:4; over him death or darkness has not power, but he stands in the glorious liberty of the sons of God. A freeborn son and heir of God, and a joint heir with Christ Jesus, Rom 8:17, he grows up in the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, unto a perfect man, as it is written of him, Eph. 4:13, but this is a mystery to the natural man, even as the wind blows where it wishes, and he hears the sound thereof; but knows not from where it comes, nor whither it goes, John 3:8, even so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

Therefore those who are of the flesh, mind the things of the flesh, and they who are of the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. And as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God, Rom 8:14, but the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, 1 Cor 2:14; but the spiritual man judges all things, and he himself is judged of no man, 1 Cor 2:15. This is that noble birth which God has brought forth in many at this day, unto whom we preach perfection and freedom from the law of sin and death, which is the same wisdom which Paul said he preached among them that were perfect, 1 Cor 2:6-7. But this the carnal man cannot endure to hear of, who receives not the things of the Spirit of God, as it is written of him, 1 Cor 2:14. Therefore it is no marvel why he cannot receive this doctrine of perfection, which the holy men of God held forth unto the spiritual man so plentifully throughout the Scriptures of Truth, as I have showed before to all, who with a spiritual eye discern the things of God by which they are only known, 1 Cor2:11 but they are foolishness and madness to the sons of Belial.

Whoever is born of God does not commit sin, for his seed remains in him, and he cannot sin, because he is born of God; then said he, in this are the children of God manifested, and the children of the devil. Whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loves not his brother, 1 John3:9-10. By this a man will soon see whether he is a child of God or of the devil, who would persuade others, that to do good and not to commit sin, is that which none dares challenge upon the earth, and that it would be praise to God to say his commandments cannot be done without sinning or offending; this cannot be paralleled in all the Scripture.

Therefore, oh! you begotten of God, who are born again of the water and of the Spirit, give in your evidence against this unheard of heresy, which God will confound with the breath of his mouth, and with the brightness of his glory. This is arisen and arising to expel all those fogs, mists and vapors with which the man of sin has overspread the earth, in this long night of darkness and apostasy from the life of God, in which [the false church] that has sat upon many waters has made all nations drunk, Rev 17:12, Rev 18:3, and has sat as queen, and seen no sorrow. Her ministers have pampered themselves in the fullness of the earth, and have made merchandize of many through covetousness and feigned words, 2 Pet 2:3, for these sixteen hundred years and upward, ever since antichrist went out into the world, who have continued in the world to this day, 1 John 2:18, deceiving the nations with the multitude of their enchantments. But now is the day of the Lord broken forth in clearness again in this latter age, which has discovered her skirts with all her merchants, who is worse than Balaam the son of Beor, who though he loved the wages of unrighteousness, dared not take it. Num 22:18; Num 24:13. But they love and take it, and persecute all those who will not give it to them, as we have a cloud of witnesses standing upon record against them at this day.

A general epistle to all Friends and brethren, everywhere; to be read among them in the fear of God.

MY dearly beloved friends, brethren and sisters, who are made partakers of that precious faith and word of it, which was once delivered to the saints, and true gospel-believers and witnesses; by and in which they were sanctified, justified and glorified.

My heart and soul do earnestly breathe to the Lord, that grace, mercy, truth and love, may be daily increased, and abundantly multiplied, in and among you all; and that you may be preserved a peculiar people, and royal priesthood, daily increasing in fruits of righteousness, as trees of the Lord's own right hand planting. So shall his worthy name, by which you have been called, be glorified by you, and his high praises be in your mouths, and a two-edged sword in your hands, to wound the dragon and power of darkness, in all his appearances and transformings, which are and have been many and various in our day; so that some stars of heaven have been drawn down to the earth by his power, and have made great noises at their fall. But the foundation of God stands sure, and all who have continued upon it, have been preserved unmovable, not only through all storms which have arisen in the sea, but have escaped the baits and snares which have been laid covertly in the earth: glory and renown ascend to that worthy name, which has been our tower and safe habitation to this day; Amen, Amen forever.

And now, my dear friends, my life salutes you all, in the love of my heavenly Father, which daily abounds and flows towards you, from the least to the greatest, who retain your first love and integrity towards the Lord, as witnesses for his name upon earth, in testimony and conduct. You, has the Lord chosen to be the first fruits to the glory of his eternal and honorable name; keep your vessels sound and clean, that He, who is the fountain of all fullness and goodness, may daily fill your cups, to hand forth to the thirsty, as he has filled ours, who went before you. Oh! my dear brethren and sisters, abide in Him, your heavenly vine; so shall every spring of life and virtue, that opens in and through you, water those plants, which the Lord by the right hand of his power has planted into his likeness, that they might grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ, and may be built up together in him a holy habitation, and spiritual household, to dwell together in unity, as children of one Father. So peace shall possess your habitations, and prosperity attend your undertakings. This I have learned in my day, through many tribulations, which have attended my pilgrimage in this world; in all which, I have been preserved, by the mighty hand of God, through faith, to this day.

This I write for your encouragement, who are coming up in the same life and gift of God, which he has ordained to open life, and the fountain of it, to all nations and kindreds of the earth; that his church may be restored to her ancient glory and beauty, which have been eclipsed and marred, in this long night of darkness and apostasy that has overspread the nations, for many generations. But now she is returning out of the wilderness, clothed with the sun; and her lovers are gathering to her from many corners of the earth; and her glory has eclipsed the wandering stars, and will enrich the world with righteousness; so that peace on earth, and good will to men, shall be perfectly restored in all them who are made living members of her. For so has Christ, her great prince, husband and lawgiver ordained, that all her members should be holy and without blame before him, as becomes his household and family. So walk in him, and follow that path of life, and holy conduct, which your feet have been turned into, by your ancients and elders; many of whom are already gone to their rest, where the wicked cease to trouble, and where the weary are at rest, and the voice of the oppressor is heard no more. And the rest are following after, clothed with spiritual armor, the helmet of salvation, and shield of faith; by which we have all along been able to quench the fiery darts of the devil, which have been many and great.

And you that are coming after, keep within your armor of light; so shall the same power sustain you, and carry you, as on eagles wings, through all difficulties which the Lord will yet allow to be set before you, and will be your rock in the time of storm, and your shadow in the time of heat; for he is become the rock of our age, as he was to ages and generations before us; to all who have heard and obeyed his word, against whom no weapon prior to now has prospered. For God will establish Zion, and build up Jerusalem of living stones, upon the one foundation stone, and many shall flock to her gates with songs of praise in their mouths: for the gathering of the people shall be to Shiloh, the peaceable savior, that his kingdom of righteousness may be established again in the earth, by which she shall again enjoy her Sabbaths.

For the Lord is arisen to awaken the nation, and is putting trumpets in the mouths of many, to sound an alarm in his holy mountain; and many are awakened, and rising out of beds of ease and carnal security, where they have long laid polluted in their blood, and are now putting off their night garments, which have been stained and spotted with the flesh. And He is now fitting many to be clothed with the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord. And many are made to run to and fro, that divine knowledge and spiritual understanding of the divine mysteries of God's eternal kingdom, may again be restored; which have been long hidden from the wise and prudent of this world, but are now revealing and revealed to babes and nursing infants; out of whose mouths the Lord will perfect his praise and glory in the earth, which, in due time, he will replenish with the knowledge of his glory, as the waters do the sea.

And now, my dearly beloved in the Lord, great and small, male and female, my heart and soul daily breathe to the Lord for you all, in the bowels of Jesus Christ, that you may walk worthy of that high and honorable calling, unto which you are called, in all humility and godly sincerity, as lights in the world; so will you who are daily baptized into the death of Christ, and be made partakers of his resurrection; which none can have a part in, but they who are first baptized into his death. Such are arisen with him to newness of life, and are earnestly seeking those things which are above; though they walk on earth, yet their conduct is in heaven, having an eye to the recompense of reward; which no mortal eye has seen, nor can see, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them who love him. But he has revealed, and is revealing them by his Spirit, to all who walk in it; for the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.

But believe not every spirit, but try the spirits, whether they are of God; for some false spirits are already gone out, and have embraced this present world. They went out from us, because they were not of us: for if they had been of us, no doubt they would have continued with us; their end will be answerable to their works. But be you watchful and circumspect, whose eyes the Lord has opened, that you may discern the enemy in all his cunning devices, both within and without. Tried armor has been given you to resist him, if you keep it about you; without which you cannot be safe from the jaws of him, who goes about as a roaring lion, seeking continually whom he may devour. Therefore dwell within that fortress of rocks, with which you are surrounded, and go forth no more; but keep your habitations in the light, where God dwells, that you may enjoy his presence, which will daily be an open fountain of life to your souls. There your bread will be sure, and your water will never fail; and the Lord will spread your tables in the presence of your enemies, and bear up your heads through all difficulties.

This I have known, and many years experienced in my day; by which I was able to give my naked back to the rod of the wicked, and my head to them who tore off my hair, and my body to bonds, and close confinement, with other additional sufferings, which many years were my lot in the world; in and through all which, the Lord carried me with cheerfulness and contentedness, without the least murmuring. But the longer I suffered, the easier it was made to me by the Lord. I was freely given up to suffer all my days, as my enemies said I should; who said, Aha, aha! Thus we would have it. But the Lord disappointed them, and set my feet at liberty over all their heads, when I least looked for it. Glory, honor, and everlasting praises be to his honorable name forevermore; who never fails them, whose dependence is upon him for preservation and deliverance.

And now my dear friends and brethren, seeing this stormy winter is in a great measure over, and the Lord in mercy has influenced the heart of this present government, under which we live, to calmness and tenderness towards us; let us be humbly thankful to him for it, and further engage the government, by our peaceable behavior and deportment, in exercising ourselves, and as much as in us lies, by all honest and lawful means, to provoke others to the like acts of piety, justice and righteousness, which will establish and exalt a nation, and be the greatest glory of the government. Thus shall our thankfulness and service be manifested to them, beyond all the flatteries of wicked and ungodly men, among whom the government is not safe; for such were called, many ages ago, the plague and pests of human society; and entailed vengeance upon the places of their residence; and the greatest enemies the government could have in their bowels. For if righteousness exalts a nation, as the wise king said, then unrighteousness must debase it, and bring contempt and reproach upon it.

So, dear friends, love the government under which God has placed us, and seek the safety of it, by walking uprightly in it. And let prayers, supplications and intercessions be made to God for all men, especially for all who are in authority over us; that under them we may live quiet and peaceable lives, in all godliness and honesty; for this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our savior, who will have all men to be saved, and come to the knowledge of the Truth.

For our savior is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them; not to influence his followers to be unfaithful to whatsoever government he is pleased to set over them; but on the contrary, to be subject to every ordinance of man for his sake; being for the punishment of evil doers, and for the praise of them who do well. To this end, purpose and intent, was government the ordinance of God.

And now, brethren, seeing the Lord has made us members of one body, and of one household of faith, let us walk in love one towards another, and be content, whatsoever station our great Father and Master has placed us in; that he may delight to dwell with us, and give us our daily bread, and nourish our souls with the milk of his word, up to eternal life. This is our interest, this is our all; that righteousness may be established in the earth, and in every house and family; the fruits of which are peace, and the effects thereof quietness and assurance forever.

So shall the true Christian Sabbath be restored in the earth again, which has been lost, in this long and dark night of apostasy, which has been over the nations and families of the earth, where the false church has sat as a queen, and seen no sorrow; being decked on the outside with fine ornaments, pleasing to the fleshly eye, by which thousands have been enticed into her embraces, because of the beauty and riches of her golden cup; having not that eye opened which could see her inside, as it is full of abomination and filthiness; but the day and hour of her judgment is come, and more abundantly coming, when the nations shall buy her merchandize no more; for she has traded in slaves and souls of men, Rev 18. But the day has sprung, which has discovered her skirts, and many see her nakedness, and will trade with her no more.

The true church is returning out of her wilderness condition, whose clothing is the Sun of righteousness, white as snow; she is travailing in pain, for the deliverance of her sons and daughters into the glorious liberty of the sons of God; all changeable elements are under her feet; you that can read, may. She is the true mother of all the faithful, and all her children are free, walking in white linen, which is the saints righteousness; and are inwardly adorned with the ornament of a quiet spirit, which in the sight of God is of great price. Her dwelling is within the fortress of that rock, which the gates of hell cannot prevail against. The streets of her city are pleasant; in the midst of which is the river of life, and all her flocks drink at it, which can never be drawn dry. The bread of her city is of the finest of the wheat; and her wine is well refined from the lees; which all partake of, who dwell within her gates; and none can enter in it, who work abomination, or love and make a lie, though her gates stand open by day. Oh! you my dear friends, who are situated within her walls, you have a sure and quiet habitation, out of the reach of the dragon's power; keep your habitation, and walk in the light of the Lamb; by which every trap and snare which the enemy lays in your way will be seen, and power given to escape.

Go forward in the name and power of the Lord, and keep your station in the holy order of life, which God has placed you in; and with zeal and fervency of spirit, keep your holy assemblies, both first and week-days, that renewed acquaintance you may have with the Lord, and the operation of his divine power; through which we have been often renewed in the spirit of our minds, and preserved through all storms that rose in the winter.

Now many being come to the Sabbath-day, there is as much need to watch, and frequently to pray for the preserving hand of the Lord of the Sabbath to sustain and uphold us, as ever. For the crown is at the end of the race; which none can obtain, but who continue to the end, in faith, patience, and well doing. Oh! look not back at the glory of the world, and covet not the friendship of it, which is enmity with God; and whosoever will be a friend of the world, is an enemy of God.

But endure their hatred with a quiet mind, and have a special care it is for well doing; and then their reproaches will be of no more worth than all their treasures, and as so many seals and witnesses of the day of your redemption. For it is the suffering seed that must inherit glory and immortality with the Son, when days in this world are ended.

Walk inoffensively among the sons and daughters of men, in all gravity and humility, sobriety and temperance; that it may be known that you are taught by the grace of God, and saved by its virtue and power, from the pollutions of the world, and all the defilements of the flesh; for to this end did it appear to you, in an acceptable day.

Let young men and women have a care how they look out at the glory of the world, where is the lust of the eye and the pride of life, which are not of God, for fear that they be ensnared with them; as were the young men of the Hebrews with the daughters of Moab, which brought a plague upon Israel of old, by which twenty-four thousand fell. These things were written for our learning, that we should not tempt God, as some of them tempted him, and were destroyed.

Wait upon the Lord in faith and patience, and he will give you whatsoever is needful for you, in his own due time; and that with a blessing added. This I have learned by long and good experience, and recommend it to you as a brotherly caution, not to seek lawful things by unlawful means; for that is not good in the sight of God. But let the lamp of righteousness go before you, in all outward undertakings, by which all snares which may be laid in the way, may be avoided, and you preserved in the dominion of that faith and power, which subdues all things which are not of God. Be not lifted up into high-mindedness, if the world's riches increase upon you; for it is not always a sign of the favour of God. Be not cast down when they are taken away; for it is not always a sign of his displeasure, but may be for the trial of your faith, patience and constancy in him, whose hand gives and takes away, according to the good pleasure of his heavenly will; unto which all his true-born children truly and patiently submit, and say, “Thy will be done in earth, as it is done in heaven."

Walk in Him, your, heavenly head, you who are elders, fathers and mothers of families, as examples of gravity, temperance and modesty; and be careful and watchful over your children, in their young and tender years; and beware of letting them alone, without due and loving reproof, for the least appearance of evil, in word or deed; for so is the will of God concerning you, to whom he has given power in their younger years, to restrain every appearance of evil in them. For they are of your loins, and you must be accountable for their evils, until they know, and are made sensible of the Spirit of Truth in themselves; which, when they come to the knowledge of, and by you are recommended unto it, if they turn aside from that, either to the right or left hand, you are so far clear, and their miscarriages will lie at their own door; and their reward will be, as those who know the Truth and do it not, to be beaten with many stripes.

There is a great obligation on parents, to bring up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, the next to thankfulness for the gift of them; for they are blessings to parents, when they grow up in the fear and wisdom of God, and a crown of rejoicing to their gray heirs. This I know by experience, glory to God on high! Who has not left me destitute of his mercy in my old age, and has given me to see, in a large measure, the travail of my soul in my young years. He called me by his grace, near the first dawning of the gospel day in our age, from my father's house, and inclined my heart to inquire after and first seek the kingdom of God and his righteousness, with a promise, to add all other things necessary. This I have witnessed to be fulfilled to this day; having neither poverty nor riches, but enough to sustain me, according to my soul's desire; that I might not make my testimony for the Lord chargeable to any; which has been fully answered to this day; praises to his worthy and honorable name forevermore.

And you, brethren, who are called and chosen of God to minister his living word, and made stewards in his house, of his manifold gifts; let your conduct in every respect, be as becomes the gospel of peace; that it be not blamed, nor its glory eclipsed, through any uncomely behavior, either in the sight of friends or enemies; this will crown your ministry with many jewels. Be not chargeable, or difficult, nor more than needs be troublesome to them to whom you minister. So shall your ministry have room in the hearts of many; and you are instruments in the hand of our great Master, to turn many to righteousness; having the promise of God for your reward, to shine as the stars forever and ever. The consideration of this has overbalanced all my sufferings, and made them sweet and pleasant to me, in my long pilgrimage in this world, from the beginning.

Let none be lifted up with their gifts, or appear in any lordliness over the flock and heritage of God; but in love, charity, and brotherly kindness, you who are, strong, bear the infirmities of the weak; considering that our great Lord bare all our infirmities, and took upon him the form of a servan; and his servants are not greater than their Lord.

My dear brethren, a word to the wise is enough. My brotherly love flows, as a fountain, towards you all at this time; earnestly desiring, that our ancient love and unity may be daily increased and renewed among us. So shall we be firm and strong against all opposition, both by the world and false brethren. "For, from among ourselves have men arisen, speaking perverse things, to draw disciples after them;" but they shall not proceed much further, nor their weapons prosper; but their folly shall appear to all whose eyes are kept single.

For God will prosper his work and spread his name in the earth; and many shall yet come to behold the rising of the Sun of righteousness in their hearts; for so shall the gospel day spring to all nations, and the ministration of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus, shall exceed in glory all that ever went before it, and shall enrich the gentiles with righteousness, and be the last and greatest that mankind shall be visited with; by which the knowledge of the power and glory of God, in due time, shall cover the earth, as the waters do the sea.

Site Editor's Comments: the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations....the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. Isaiah 61:11,11:9,2 Pet 3:13. The time is fast approaching. And the spreading of the terror of the Lord, which shall preceed righteousness' spread, shall come from a branch of the Quakers that shall go over the whole earth. From the Word of the Lord within in 2008:

Revelation foretells the future. I am going to thin the earth; whole families will die. Those who have no light, I will destroy. I will put my law into every man's heart. I will betray those who are happy in their sins. I will fill the whole earth with the dead. All those who destroy will be imagined to be my authorities. Whoever does wickedly and unjustly will be punished. Clearly there are some who will be greatly preferred. I will make men more precious than rubies. Your wickedness lies in shame. Every man was his own king.

I will make obedience the fruit of righteousness. The Lord shall establish righteousness throughout the earth. It will be done.

The children have lost the inheritance of God.
I will devour those who do not follow, and snatch the righteous from the fire. O seek the Lord you mighty, while you still have strength.

Stephen Crisp prophesies the same occurrance, as does Isaac Penington, as does Edward Burough.

Therefore, my beloved friends and brethren press forward up to your holy city, without fainting and weariness; and so run, that you may obtain it; and you will always find the Lord an open fountain in the way, who will daily refresh your souls, and make you as a watered garden. The Lord God of all our mercies be with us all, and bless and prosper his work in our hands, to his eternal praise and our mutual joy and comfort forever. With the renewed salutation of my true love to you all, I am

Your ancient friend and brother,

Amrose Rigge

Riegate in Surrey, the 4th of the Fifth month, 1702

To the general assembly of the first-born in the northern coasts of England, who were the first fruits unto God, and had first the joyful sound of the everlasting gospel published in your ears, whereby you were raised from death, to live with the Lord in his holy covenant of life, in which his sure mercies unto you have been fully known and manifested; grace, mercy, love and peace, be multiplied in and among you all, Amen.

RIGHT dearly beloved, and highly esteemed of the Lord, unto whom his everlasting love in Christ Jesus has fully extended, in which he did appear unto you in an acceptable day, even when you were enemies unto him, who chose you from among many, and redeemed you from the kindreds of the earth, that he might manifest, in and through you, his great power and mighty wonders to his own Israel, even as he did by Moses his faithful servant in the days of old, and that you might be a peculiar people unto him, to sound forth his praises and glory in the earth, by the brightness of that glorious light and life, which he has both raised and brought forth in you, to be your director in all the ways of righteousness, never more to stumble nor go astray, but to feed in the fresh pastures of his love, and to lie down in his pavilion now and forever.

My dear friends, brethren and countrymen, who are made sharers of that inestimable love of the Father, the salutation of my dearest love reaches unto you all in the Lord, who am of the same stock and root, having tasted of the same bread of life, by which I am at this day nourished and kept alive in strength and valor, to tread upon the serpents of the earth, which are many and great, and to live with God in the Spirit, over all the perishing glory of this present world. My heart is filled with divine love unto you, daily wishing your prosperous progress towards the city of God, that you may neither fall out by the way, nor your steps slide in the least degree from that holy commandment, which was at first delivered to you to direct your steps, and to be a lamp to your feet, it being both steadfast, sure and immoveable. This has been our instructor from our youth, even to this day, by which we were salted and swaddled before we could either stand or go; in which have been all our fresh springs, as you well know, who have often received of the same, by which your souls have been replenished, and your hearts made glad, and often your strength renewed, so that you have been made to leap for joy of heart, and to sing praises unto the God of your salvation with a pure heart, and faith unfeigned. In this you have stood approved before the Lord willing, ready, fit and able for any service, which he was pleased to call you unto, for the spreading abroad of that incomprehensible love which he had so largely manifested in and unto you; in which service I with you to this day can set my seal, that his blessing, power, protection and life have manifestly gone along with us, to the pulling down of many strong holds, and battering of many high towers, which are too numberless to relate. Yes, when he has led us from one nation to another people, his bow has not failed of its strength, but has wounded the dragon, and rescued many from his devouring jaws, who are coming up towards Mount Zion, with songs of deliverance and everlasting triumph upon their heads; and also to behold that glorious beauty, which is on the head of the fat valleys in which you dwell and lie down at this day, who are of the true tabernacle which God has pitched, and not man; a spiritual household, an habitation of God through the Spirit, to live with God in the Spirit, and to remain in the glory of his power forever; over death, darkness and the grave, and the power of it, and to stand with the Lamb upon Mount Zion, where pleasant hymns and spiritual songs are sung unto God forever.

Now for the full establishing and confirmation of this everlasting righteousness, which God in Christ Jesus has so plentifully manifested unto you in so special a manner, let me, as one of the least among many brethren, stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance. First, that you hold fast the profession of your faith, and steadfastly remain in the exercise thereof towards God and all men; in this will the Lord make you victorious with him and among men, which is his principal blessing at this day to his own heritage. Let the spirit of God and of a sound mind dwell in you all, that the depth of the mysteries of life may be opened in you, and you swallowed up in the enjoyment thereof, so will the showers of his love evermore be distilled upon you, which will keep you fresh and flourishing as the choicest lilies of the Father's garden, among whom he delights to dwell and walk. Let the zeal of the Lord of Hosts be in you in knowledge and long suffering, forgiving one another, as Christ forgave you; for such a people is the Lord seeking and choosing out of all the nations of the earth, as you are witnesses at this day. And when you come together to offer a peace-offering unto the Lord for the atonement made, let it be offered with clean hands, and a pure heart, that the Lord may have respect unto it. Let your holy assemblies be always kept with fear and reverence in all places where you dwell, that you may be a sweet savor unto God, and as lights before men, and in the Spirit worship God with one consent; so will you not lack his presence among you, nor his eternal power to protect you. And let no rents or divisions stand among you in any kind whatsoever, for they are destructive to the whole body, and stop the current of life and love among you; so that instead of being a refreshment one to another, you become burdensome one to another, and that offering is not acceptable with the Lord. Therefore, if any come to the altar of the Lord, and consider that he has anything against his brother, let him first be reconciled to his brother, that he may offer in the unity, and not in the enmity, nor in the strife; for God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all the churches of Christ. Dwell together in perfect love and unity, that you may appear unto all to be the children of the Most High; for some are already turned aside to folly, and have broken this precious cord by which we are all bound in covenant with God, and in unity one with another, which has been our preservation even to this day; in which we stand a complete body, fitly framed together in the Spirit, having one God, and one Lord Jesus as head and ruler over all; and being built, stone upon stone, we are become a holy tabernacle, in which the Most High dwells and walks at this day, according to his promise in years past.

Now we set to our seals that he is true, and all his judgments are according to Truth, and his ways are unsearchable; he kills and makes alive; he casts down, and raises up again; he cleaves the hard rocks, and makes mountains to melt before him; he opens the graves, and makes the dead to arise; he makes the blind to see, and the deaf to hear; he causes the dumb to speak, and to sound forth his loud praises. His word directs the simple, and his hand upholds the weary soul. He is a father to the fatherless, and a present help in the time of need. His hand is not shortened that it cannot save, neither is his ear heavy that it cannot hear. He has become the fountain of living mercies to all who come unto him while he invites them. He is a shield and an helmet in the day of battle; he is our life and length of days, even the same that ever he was to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and all our forefathers who bore testimony of him, unto whose testimony we, through the same Spirit, seal to the truth of all those things; by which Spirit he is alone known and worshipped at this day. Therefore we testify, there is not another that can work redemption for Israel, neither is there another salvation nor ministration than what he has already manifested, in which all who faithfully continue, shall know peace and consolation forever; for there is not another name, or power, or way, or truth, or life, or righteousness, than what God has fully manifested in us as the hope of our glory; neither is there another ministration of that truth and life of righteousness ever more to arise, above or besides this which our eyes have seen; for this is the seventh and last trumpet that ever shall sound to summon all to the judgment seat of Christ, that they may find mercy. Here is the seventh seal opened, and the dead raised and judged according to men in the flesh, that they may be justified according to God in the spirit; yes, all who do not receive the tenders of his love through the leadings of his own spirit, shall be blotted out of his remembrance forever. Blessed are they who hear, receive and hold fast that testimony which has been given of the Father and the Son, without wavering or turning aside from his holy commandment in this hour of temptation and day of trial, in which God will thoroughly purge his floor and refine his gold, and make up his choice jewels, which he will hide in the cabinet of his rich treasures forever. Oh, therefore let none turn to the right hand or to the left, for the mark is before, unto which all who attain shall receive a full reward. But if any draw back or start aside from their steadfastness and integrity, such will lose their reward in this life, and that which is to come, and shall be clothed with contempt and infamy forever. For our God is swift in his goings, and will not always be found or entreated, but only in his own way and time, in which all who have received him, have found his bountifulness and loving kindness, and his manifold mercies over all his works. Therefore my dearly beloved brethren, be all bold and valiant for the Truth, that both we, and the begotten of God in these regions of the nation, who are growing up in his power, may be refreshed in you, in hearing of your stability. So be of one mind, and live in peace, and the God of peace be with you all. Amen.

From the place of my outward restraint for the testimony of the everlasting gospel, being prisoner in the common jail of Horsham in Sussex, by your brother and companion, called

Ambrose Rigge

Let this be read with fear and reverence in all the congregations of God's people in the north country.

An EPISTLE to the people of God, called Quakers, in the north of England, to be read in all their meetings.

BELOVED Friends, brethren and sisters, who are inhabitants of my native country, whom the Lord, in the first breaking forth of his glorious gospel day, in this latter age of the world, visited with the morning thereof, the salutation of my endeared brotherly love flow forth, at this time, to salute you all, with breathing desires to the Lord, for your preservation, in the faith and fellowship of the gospel of peace. And that grace, mercy and truth, with all the fruits of righteousness, may abound in and among you all, that you maybe a royal priesthood, and an holy nation; for God has called you unto this, that you might be made the firstfruits to his praise; for this end he called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. This was the precious seed of his kingdom received by you, by which Christ came to be manifest in male and female, the hope of our glory, who is made a covenant of light to this northern Island of the Gentiles, and who is to be God's salvation to the ends of the earth.

Of this inexpressible riches, I with you, in the beginning of the breakings forth of, received and were made partakers of the like precious faith, in which by a divine hand, I have been preserved to this day, through many tribulations. All holy and living praises be given to the excellent name of our God forever, who has not left us destitute of his mercies, but has carried us by the right hand of his power, as on eagles' wings, through all difficulties, which prior to now he has allowed to be set before us; so that we can say, our lot is fallen in a good land.

And now brethren, this I write to you, that your joy may be full, who keep the word of faith delivered unto you, and stand by faith, in covenant with God, holding fast your confidence in him without wavering, who is the head of our body, as living members fitly joined together in the bond of peace and love. Here we are one another's joy in the Lord, and fellow helpers in the work and service of the Lord in our day, against Babylon the mother of harlots, who has adulterated people's minds and hearts from God; and thus has made the nations drunk with her wine, under every green tree that has sprung up since her reign. She has prevailed, but her judgment has begun, her torment prepared, and the cup of indignation is determined of God for her; for the hour of her judgment has come, and the executioner stands at the door. Therefore all the servants of the Most High, whom the Lord has redeemed by his power, from under the power of the beast, abide in him, who is now come for judgment, that his holy city may be redeemed by this; for the Lamb's wife is returned out of the wilderness, and is adorning herself with the white garments of praise for the spirit of heaviness, which has attended her in the long night of apostasy. She is putting on her beautiful garments of righteousness, and is nourishing her children with the sincere milk of the eternal word of life; and they are grown strong in the Lamb's war, to handle their spiritual weapons against the dragon and his power, that has long reigned in the hearts of the sons and daughters of men. They can no more war with flesh and blood, but bend their bow against spiritual wickedness that has reigned in high places; and this is the very nature and being of that spiritual life of the Son, which the gospel day has brought to light. Thus is the riches of the Gentiles brought, in the better hope and covenant, than that which was made with Israel after the flesh, which did not removed the veil from their hearts, nor the curse from their tents; but the Lord is come, who has taken away the veil which was over our hearts, while Moses was read; this is the Lord's doing, by the finger of his right hand; and it has had a marvelous effect in our day, to the gathering of many sons to glory. He has said to the north, give up, and to the south keep not back; and many have heard his voice, and are come forth of the graves of corruption, and have put on the beautiful garments of righteousness, and are walking in their ranks and order, up to the holy mountain of the house of the Lord, giving heed daily to the instruction of the Almighty, by his grace and Spirit, who now teaches his people to profit, and guides the meek in judgment, and gives wisdom and understanding to the simple soul, who has no helper in the earth; all holy living praises ascend to him from the living, whom he has quickened forever more. And now, dear Friends and brethren, as the Lord has made you of the first fruits to his praise, all be faithful and diligent servants and stewards in your Father's house, and with girded loins attend upon your Lord's motion, word and call, that you may be ready to answer him, in every service he has for you to do. So shall you partake of the fullness and fatness of his house, and he will give you your meat in due season, and fill your treasures, that you may have wherewithal to give to them who are in need. Of this I am a witness, who came from among you in much poverty of spirit; but the Lord filled my basket in all times of need, so that I had bread to administer by him to the hungry, and water to the thirsty traveler, and enough for myself besides; and by faith it was renewed every day, and increased with using. And now I can say, that I have been young, and am now grown old; yet I never saw the righteous forsaken, though I have often seen them cast down for a time, yet has a divine hand been under their head, by which they have been supported under all exercises. The Lord has not allowed any to be tempted beyond what he has given ability to bear, as their faith has stood in his power, and the word of his patience kept to the end. This I write unto you that your joy may be increased, and that you may perfectly trust in the name of the Lord, and go forth in the power of his might, to war with antichrist, and the power of darkness, that reigns in the hearts of the children of disobedience. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, neither do we war with flesh and blood, but against that enemy that has separated men from God, and to bring to the peaceable savior, who is now come to save men's lives from the destroyer. In this peaceable life all live and walk, as you have had us for example; that the divine nature and property of the Truth, may show itself forth in your lives and conducts, following peace with all men, and holiness, without which none shall see God. So shall your lives be pleasant, and your deaths peaceable, though you may suffer reproach from men for a time. Be not angry, or troubled at it, but count it your crown and joy in this life, for the green tree endured greater sufferings, and by these was made perfect; "and the servant is not greater than his Lord," nor more free than his Master from the wounds of the enemy; so with patience bear his yoke, that with honor you may wear the crown.

The times and seasons are in the hand of the Lord, and he disposes of the kingdoms of the world according to the good pleasure of his will, and who shall say, What are you doing? A sparrow shall not fall to the ground without his divine providence. Therefore, dear Friends, trouble not yourselves about the transactions and changes amongst men. For all those things must be; the world is grown old in iniquity, and the workers thereof must be cut off; "The mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken it." Touch not on the right nor on the left with those dissensions that seem to infest the world, for the wrath of man shall never work, nor bring forth the righteousness of God. Neither shall wars with flesh and blood complete true and lasting peace on earth, but righteousness shall deliver from death; the fruit of which is peace, and the effect is quietness and assurance for ever. This is our interest, this is our all, the good old cause which Moses, Abraham, and all the patriarchs, the true prophets and apostles labored for in their day, through the several dispensations of grace and life, in which God appeared to them—the end and tendency of all was to turn many to, and bring forth the righteousness of God, which the world, by their wisdom, never knew, nor does to this day. And that religion is certainly false, which is either set up, or defended by destroying men's lives. Therefore touch not with it, but in the suffering seed of life let your dwellings be, so shall you be fortified with the walls of rocks, into which no destroyer shall enter.

And beware of, and watch against that evil seeds man, who would sow division and contention among you. Crush that in the bud wherever it appears; and let all private interests give way to the public good, peace and tranquility of the church of Christ, and let all strife and contention cease about words, names or things. Every post and pillar which God has not raised up will fall, though it is set by the Lord's post; and every plant which he has not planted, will wither and decay, and come to nothing, before the glorious Sun that is now risen, which only will nourish, comfort and refresh those plants which stand in the good ground. For both the good and bad ground have received the seed of the kingdom of righteousness, and marvel not that it has contrary effects; for all the parables of the ancient gospel must be fulfilled. Also all the promises to the royal chosen seed of God, which brings forth righteousness in all mankind where it grows and prospers, the yes and amen is witnessed; and the spiritual ministration of life, is now to be spread over the whole earth, which will fill it with the knowledge of the glory of God, as he waters cover the sea; the last and greatest that ever the world shall be visited with, in which God only is known and worshipped, in and by his own Spirit, by all who receive the manifestation of it, given them to benefit all. They alone shall know this heavenly treasure, in their earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God, and the glory alone be given to him, who alone is worthy forever.

Here all man's inventions, human traditions, wills and running must be laid in the dust; and he must see himself lost, and not able to move one step towards his eternal joy, by all his acquired parts, wisdom and abilities; so the savior will manifest himself to him, for his redemption. For he is come to gather the lost sheep, scattered abroad in the nations, who have no helper below him in the earth; but the whole need no physician, who never knew a wounded spirit, nor a broken heart. They do not know the savior come to bind up such, nor to save them, but to feed them with judgment, and to give the cup of indignation into their hand; and he will take the cup of trembling out of the hands of his obedient children, and give it into the hand of those who oppress them. Therefore my beloved Friends, live in all holy subjection to the Truth, and follow your leader, Christ, fully and faithfully, in that ancient path of righteousness which he has set before you. So shall the angel of his presence go before you, and be to you a fountain in the way; for all religion without righteousness, is but as chaff which the wind drives to and fro; and in a storm into holes and corners; and none can adorn the Truth further than he walks in the way of righteousness, the ancient path of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and all the true prophets and believers in the gospel day, towards their eternal rest.

And dear Friends and brethren, inasmuch as God has caused his glorious gospel day to dawn in your hearts, walk in the light of the Lamb, that the salvation of God may be as a wall and bulwark about you; and your sons may be as righteous plants, growing up in their youth; and your daughters as polished stones, beautiful to behold, being clothed with the garments of praise, the robes of righteousness, then God himself will be their lover. This will be the glory of our offspring, and will crown their gray hairs with immortal honor, if they continue faithful unto death, and walk in the righteous footsteps of their ancestors; being girded about with the Truth, and their lamps burning. This is the preparation of the gospel of peace and reconciliation in our day, testified to in the mouths of many witnesses; and many virgins are now trimming their lamps, and waiting for the bridegroom, that they may enter with him into his rest, who have come through many tribulations, and have now put on their beautiful garments of praises, and hallelujahs, being made white by the blood of the Lamb, and have received the oil of joy for the spirit of heaviness. But in this state let all be watchful, and rejoice with fear and trembling, that a defense upon all your crowns may be witnessed; for there is danger in the Sabbath day, as well as in the winter; and none can be preserved, but as they abide within the walls of the rock of ages. For strength, help and preservation are in him, who is arisen to fan the nations with the wind of his wrath, who have drank the cup of fornication, and all the chaff he will consume with the fire of his jealousy, and waste the nations with his righteous judgments, that he may "gather the wheat into his barn;" for the earth is filled with violence. But the peaceable savior is arising as a glorious Sun to enlighten the earth with the knowledge of his glory; and he will gather his sheep from the four corners of it, and bring judgment to the Gentiles, for the recovery and redemption of Zion his beloved city. Therefore you travelers, who are coming up to the mountain of holiness where the Lord dwells; look not back, nor downward to Sodom nor Egypt, out of which you are delivered; nor have fellowship with the inhabitants of it, for they are the unfruitful workers of darkness; but keep your holy fellowship and unity in the order of the gospel of peace, in which is your strength, prosperity, growth and increase of life in him, your holy Head, and in whom you have life, peace and rest for ever.

And whatsoever has arisen, or prior to now appeared to break or hinder our unity in the Spirit of life and Truth, God has confounded, and it has withered as untimely figs; and no weapon formed against us here, has or shall ever prosper; for God will make his spiritual Jerusalem the praise of the whole earth. "Blessed are they who keep their habitations within the walls of it."

Dear Friends, though I have not outwardly seen your faces many years, I would not have you therefore think that I am dead; for I bless the Lord, I live by the faith of the Son of God, and my life is hidden with Christ in God. But consider, I have had many years the charge of a considerable family, beyond many of my brethren, which the Truth engaged me to take care of; and I have been in eleven prisons in this county, one of which held me ten years, four months and upward, besides twice premunired, and once whipped, and many other sufferings too long to relate here; but blessed be the Lord, my labor, travels and sufferings have not been in vain, for many have been gathered to the true Shepherd's fold by them, where they are laid down in rest and peace. I could rejoice to see your faces, but cannot bear to travel far by reason of my infirmity. The harvest is great and the laborers are but few with us; yet of late some young ones are raised up to be fellow helpers in the gospel testimony, at which my soul rejoices. I have lived to see the desire of my heart in measure answered, and am greatly satisfied by this, and hope yet to see the beams of the glorious Sun of Righteousness arise and break forth more and more in the hearts of the sons and daughters of men, and the way of holiness opened to them, who yet sit in the solitary places of darkness; this I long for more than my daily food. For the earth can never enjoy her Sabbaths again, till the righteousness of faith is established in it; and nothing short of it can produce peace on earth and good will to men; this the Lord has made us witnesses of in our day. And that the glory and beauty of true Christianity can never be restored to the nations and kingdoms of the world, which is so much now lost and decayed, till they are turned to, and live the life of righteousness and holiness; then they will all see the God who made them. This was the beauty of the ancient gospel Christians, who were baptized into the death of Christ, and so were made partakers of his resurrection. This is the baptism that now saves all the true followers of the Lamb, in the strait way of self denial. Here the unclean cannot walk, nor the defiled enter; it is only open and easy to the redeemed, whose garments are washed in the blood of the Lamb, being come through many and great tribulations. Oh, Friends, walk in the gospel day, and "love one another, as God for Christ's sake has loved you;" and let no rent or schism break in among you; but let the seamless garment cover you all, that your nakedness may not appear to them, who are without. Your unity in the Spirit of Truth, is your strength, which if you keep in the bond of peace, you shall do well. For the great work and design of the adversary is, in this day, to break in upon the heritage of God, and break their ranks; but in vain is the snare laid for them, to whom God has given sight. And now, dear Friends and brethren, I once more salute you with the salutation of my endeared love, which often flows towards you, and commend you to the grace of God, which is sufficient to preserve you blameless until the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom be glory, praise, power and dominion forever.

I am your brother and fellow servant, in the labor of the gospel of peace,

Ambrose Rigge

Rigate, this 16th of the Tenth month, 1692.

Three Letters of Encouragemen and Exhortation Follow

To Friends in the Isle of Wight.

DEAR FRIENDS,—Whom I often remember in the love of God the Father, desiring at the throne of grace, that faith, truth and love may be daily multiplied among you, and that you may grow in the grace of God; from him which you have received, and in the knowledge of his Son Christ Jesus, which you have obtained, by the light of his glorious gospel that has shined in your hearts; so that you need not say to your neighbor, or brother, know the Lord, but from the least of you to the greatest, is the saving knowledge of the mysteries of his kingdom conveyed through the light of his Son. As you walk in the light, your knowledge will increase, and your fellowship with the Father and the Son, and one with another, for the gospel fellowship stands in the light; and now he who said he has fellowship with God and walks in darkness, lies and does not the Truth. Therefore keep your fellowship in the light and life of Jesus, your bishop, pastor, and lawgiver, and walk by faith in him, so will his power go along with you, to support you through all difficulties. Be kindly affectionate to one to another, and love one another, as God for Christ's sake has loved you; and all sitl down at the feet of Jesus, that you may receive his wisdom and counsel, to guide you in all things, so will you know the way of peace, which will lead you to your eternal rest. And as God has shined in you by the light of his Son, so let your light shine forth before men in works of righteousness, by which saving faith is known, which works by love and obtains the victory. The mystery of this faith is held in a pure conscience, void of offence towards God and men; in this is your prosperity and safe standing. And as you have received Christ, so walk in him, all keeping your ranks and order in the body, eyeing your spiritual head, who is given for your leader, governor and commander. Dear Friends, meet often together, and wait at the heavenly altar; and let your offering be a clean mind and heart, for that is the gospel offering, and no offering without it has acceptance with God; neither can any have access to God but by his Spirit, for it searches all things, yes, the deep things of God; and tries all spirits that are gone out into the world, putting a difference between the clean and unclean, the precious and the vile. For many false prophets are abroad in the world, and have been many years, who cry, lo here, and lo there is Christ, but go not out after them, nor believe them, for the hope of true Christians is Christ within, Col 1:27, and they who are without this inward hope, they are without an anchor, tossed like the waves of the sea with every wind of doctrine, through the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness by which they lie in wait to deceive. Such are inwardly ravening wolves, and are every where known by their fruits; but wait you, that Christ may be formed in you. This is my travail and earnest desire for you, that you may be like minded, having your loins girded with the Truth, waiting for the Bridegroom, who is on his way to walk in his garden, that he has enclosed with the walls of salvation. And now, dear Friends, I recommend you to the grace of God which is in you, to be your continual teacher, that by it you may be saved, from the evil of this world; and from the wrath to come. My companion and I were in imminent danger of our lives by sea when we last left you, going over in a little boat with a wicked pilot; but the Lord brought us safely ashore about midnight, and gave us a calm passage, without which we could not have continued, glory to his name forever. And now I bid you all farewell, hoping again to see your faces when the Lord opens my way; to whose inward word I leave you to be guided in all things. Amen.

Ambrose Rigge

Riegate, this 13th day of the Sixth month, 1691

An Epistle from our monthly meeting, held at our public meeting-house in Riegate, in Surrey, the seventh-day of the ninth month, 1692.

WE being assembled with one accord in the unity of the spirit of Truth, have a deep and weighty consideration upon our hearts and spirits, of the important affairs of the church which the Lord has gathered in these parts, out of the ways and works of darkness, to be a people to his praise, and to walk as children of the day, in all godly conduct, and holiness. He who has called us is holy, and he has made us livingly sensible, that without holiness of life and conduct none can be true members of the church of Christ, neither are any the sons and daughters of God, but as they are led and guided by the Spirit of God. All who have continued and walked in him, have been preserved out of the pollutions of the world, and are as lights among their neighbors, showing forth before them their good works, of a godly peaceable and quiet life, to the praise and glory of our Heavenly Father. For the Truth as it is in Jesus, our holy head, leader and governor, is the life of righteousness, and frees all who receive it, from all unrighteousness. In this are the children of God in our day manifested from the children of the Devil, for whoever does not righteousness is not of God, neither he who loves not his brother and neighbor; but he who walks uprightly, walks surely, and there is no occasion of stumbling in him.

Now dearly beloved Friends, whom the Lord has quickened, and raised up out of the grave of sin and corruption, to be monuments of his mercy, walk in the light of the Lamb; so will the salvation of God be as walls and bulwarks round about you, to preserve you from the fear of evil. Stand as witnesses for God in your day, against all ungodliness and worldly lusts, both among yourselves and the world. Be circumspect and watchful, over yourselves and your children, and indulge them not in anything that is evil, but timely reprove and restrain it, for fear that it becomes your sin; and command them to observe the law of God written in their hearts; for if you love the Truth as you should yourselves, you will train up your children in it when they are young. Keep them to the plain and sound language, which the Truth required and led all the faithful into in the beginning; and keep them in plain and modest apparel and behavior, in due subjection to the Truth in all things, in an holy conduct as much as in you lies, that they may grow up in the grace of God as plants of his renown. This is your duty, the Lord requires it of you, even to watch over your children, as those that must give an account to God, while they are under your wings. Eli's not restraining his sons became his sin, because he restrained them not, and brought a curse upon his house forever, 1 Sam 3:13-14. Therefore beware of winking at or neglecting your children's sins, while under your tuition; but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, for fear that they bring shame upon your houses, and a reproach upon your posterity, as some have already done, by departing from the counsel of God, and the word of his grace, which would have kept them in the hour of temptation from the allurements of the evil one, and so have made themselves a scorn to fools, and a derision to them that are round about, and opened the mouths of evil men, to blaspheme the name of the Lord and his holy tabernacle. Better had it been for such not to have known the way of Truth, than thus to turn from the holy commandment, which is the lamp of righteousness to guide our feet in the way of peace.

All young men and maidens, to whom God has given the knowledge of his saving Truth, be sober and watchful, for many and strong are the assaults of the enemy to overcome you, and to bring you back again into Egypt's bondage. Stand steadfast in Him who has called you, being girded with the Truth, that you may be able to encounter the enemy of your souls, whatever way he appears, having upon your heads the helmet of salvation, and the breastplate of righteousness, and shield of faith and sound judgment, and the spiritual sword girded about your loins. If you keep in this armor, the enemy cannot touch you. The saving Truth which God has made known in our day, redeems all who love and obey it, from all evil whatsoever, and out of the gall of bitterness and bond of iniquity, and sets free from every evil deed, word and work, and discovers sin in the seed, bud and root, and gives power to slay it there, before it breaks forth into action. For as it is inward and spiritual, it gives an inward and spiritual sight of the man of sin in all his wiles and temptations in the conception of it and arms all who believe in it against the enemy's power; being greater than the enemy, it is able to subdue his power in all mankind, and redeem them from their vain conduct, making them capable to serve, worship and obey the living God, which none can do while they are in the evil deeds of the world. Neither pride, covetousness, drunkenness, gluttony, theft, murder, adultery, idolatry, hypocrisy, nor any ungodliness whatsoever, can have any power or prevalence over them who keep the word of faith, which is near in their hearts. Such are clothed with the armor of light, and they are able to quench all the fiery darts of the enemy of their souls, and through faith in the Son of God receive victory over death, hell and the grave. These are plants of righteousness in our day, and are daily watered and pruned by the Father's right hand, and grow up as trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, bringing forth fruits in due season to the praise of his name, who has called them out of darkness into his marvelous light.

Now I exhort you brethren and friends, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw yourselves from every brother and sister who walks disorderly, and have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather in the authority of God's power and spirit reprove them. If any that is called a Friend or a brother, be covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortionist, with such a one do not eat; and if any do not obey this gospel precept, note that person, and have no fellowship with him or her, that they may be ashamed. If any have fellowship or society with such before they repent, after Friends, in God's power and wisdom, have given a testimony against them, they are to be reproved and testified against, as out of the order of the gospel and practice of the holy men of God in former ages. For we cannot expect to stand clear as a people before our enemies, until we have faithfully endeavored that all our meetings and camp may be cleansed of all ungodliness whatsoever. For God is pure and holy, and will have a people so, and no unclean thing or person can stand in his court or presence; and in this his glorious gospel day of life, light and glory, the most spiritual ministration, and the last and greatest that ever the world shall be visited withal, which in tender mercy and loving kindness he has caused to dawn in us, he will be glorified in, by and through us, or without us, and against us; for his name he will exalt in righteousness over nations, and he will overturn and overturn, until he come to rule, whose right it is, in the hearts and consciences of the sons of men.

Dear friends, have a care of the love of the world, and the riches thereof; do not choke the good seed of the kingdom of righteousness sown in you, for the enemy lies near many in that respect, their care, labor and industry being more for the meat that perishes, than for that which nourishes to eternal life. Many grow cold in their love, zeal, and affection to those weighty duties which God requires of us, in meeting often together to wait upon him, to feel the operation of his divine power, and his comfortable presence which has often opened life and the treasures of it to our souls. As we have waited upon the Lord, we have renewed our strength, and in meeting often together we have felt the Lord's presence in the midst of us, so that we have not sought his face in vain; all holy praises be returned to him forevermore.

Now beloved friends and brethren, as the Lord in tender mercy has called us out of darkness, to be children of his gospel day, let us not sleep as do others, but with girded loins watch and be sober, casting off all the unfruitful works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, that we may be valiant soldiers in the army of the Lamb, and be able to quench all the fiery darts of the enemy. For of a truth, the Lord is arisen to search his Jerusalem with candles, and he will assuredly find out the hypocrite and the unclean, and him who saved the wedge of gold, and the Babylon garment, though ever so closely hidden in his tent; for all things are naked and bare to his all-seeing eye. Woe to him who is covered, and not with the Spirit of the Lord, for he will be left naked to his own shame to the view of all beholders.

All young friends, both male and female, who have believed in the Truth, and are coming up in the world, beware of a wanton loose spirit, for it will lay you open to many snares and temptations, by which you will be betrayed by the enemy of your souls into many injurious lusts, which will drown you in perdition, if you give way to it. First seek the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, by walking in the Truth that you have believed in, and then all other things needful for you will be given you of God, and the blessing also, which will make you rich, and add no sorrow with it. Take heed of seeking lawful things by unlawful means, for if you obtain them in this way, they will wither under your hands. Make not haste to be rich in this world, nor to lay up great things for your children, for fear that it proves their snare and your sorrow. Some of us have been young, and now are grown old, yet in all our days we never saw the righteous forsaken, nor his seed, who have walked in the way of it to the end, begging their bread. The way to be happy and prosperous in this world and that which is to come, is first to breathe after righteousness, and walk in its way, though for it you drink a bitter cup from the hands of men. If you are willing to drink this for a time, the sweet cup of blessing and consolation will be given you from God, who keeps the best wine until the last, and he will crown your grey hairs with honor and immortality. Let not out your affections after the foolish, vain, and frivolous fashions and customs of this world, for they will wither as the grass, and fade as the flower. God Almighty direct your way, and keep you under the wing of his power, in the pure religion which keeps unspotted of the world, that the honorable name by which you are called, and in which you have been preserved, as you have trusted in it, may be your rock, refuge, and tower to the end of your days. Amen.

Written and signed in behalf of the said meeting, by

Ambrose Rigge

A general epistle to the people of God, in scorn called Quakers, in England and elsewhere.

DEAR friends, brethren and sisters,—Unto whom the visitation of life in the Son of the Father's love has reached. When you were as dry bones scattered upon the earth here and there, the compassionate eye of a tender Father was towards you, and his word breathed life into you, giving you knowledge and understanding, and gathered you together to be his household of faith, in this latter age of the world. The salutation of my dear and unfeigned, fatherly and brotherly love at this time extends itself freely unto you all, in the heavenly unity of that one Spirit of life, by which we were first quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins as well as others. Oh! that grace, mercy, love and truth, with all the fruits of righteousness may grow, increase, and be abundantly multiplied in and among you all. This my soul daily breathes to the Lord on your behalf, who are heirs together of the grace of God, being planted into the likeness of his Son, to bear his heavenly image, and as living members, fitly joined and framed together under one head, to be a complete body in him. You are as living epistles written with the spirit of the living God in one another's hearts, who live and move in your integrity, and continue in your first love without wavering. Here you daily have and receive mercies and blessings from above, with a daily increase of life and virtue in your bosoms, by which your strength is renewed as the morning, and you need go forth no more, for your bread is sure in your own houses, and springs of water in your own wells. My soul blesses God in the remembrance of you, who are made living monuments of his mercy, and are daily waiting for the consolation of Israel's God, who in this his glorious day is fulfilling his ancient promise in manifesting Him, whose voice is not heard in the streets, yet ordained of God to bring forth judgment to the gentiles, and to be their light and glory. This we are witnesses of in our day, through the tender mercy of our God in visiting us with his ancient gospel day springing from on high, who sat in darkness as well as others, and were by nature the children of wrath. When we thus laid polluted in our blood, he said to us, Live, and his word was an everlasting covenant. Oh! let all who are made partakers of so great love and mercy, live in the daily remembrance of it, and walk worthy of so great salvation in all humility and godly sincerity, as lights in the world, that your good works may daily appear to them, which are the proper effects of that living faith you have received from God. By this alone your faith will be seen to live, and you in it; for as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. Being planted into the likeness of Him who is from above, you may bear his image, and be clothed with his righteousness, for no other covering will hide your nakedness from the world, nor keep your beauty and comeliness in the sight of God.

Now my beloved friends, brethren and sisters, who are of the household of faith, seeing the Lord has chosen you to place his great name in, by the revelation of his Son, which ages and generations before you knew not; as sound and honorable vessels in the house of the Lord, keep your places and station, and let your chaste conduct, coupled with fear and gravity in every place where you dwell, be seen and known unto all men. For to this purpose were you called and separated from the ways, worships, and evil customs of this present world, to be the first fruits in the Lord's vineyard, which he has planted with his right hand in a very fruitful hill. Oh! wait for his watering from on high, which will be known and witnessed as your hearts are kept empty and open unto him, for he is waiting to be gracious and bountiful to his chosen seed, flock and family everywhere, who obey his spoken words and covenant; to them he is and will be as the shadow of a mighty rock, though in a weary and desolate land.

But he will sift the nations in the sieve of his wrath, who have despised his word, grace, life and consolation, which are the root and moving cause of all true worship and service to him. The cornerstone which Babel's builders have rejected as useless to them, and think to reach heaven without, will bring confusion upon all religions on earth; if they continue rejecting this stone, their buildings, though never so high, will fall, for the judgment is come, and the fall of Babylon as a mill-stone into the sea is at hand, and all her lovers who have made merchandize of the souls of men, shall mourn and be astonished at her destruction.

Now my beloved friends and brethren, the Lord has called us out of her, and has opened our eyes to see her abominations among all sorts of professions, whose hearts and minds are adulterated from God, though in words they make a large profession of him, yet in works deny him; this is atheism in nature. Look not back at her again, nor stay in her suburbs, neither let anything of her language, customs, or nature remain, for that will lead to depart from the living God and his heavenly Jerusalem, to the love of her again, who is the mother of harlots and abomination of the earth.

Oh! the exceeding riches of the Father's love, who has not called us to wrath, but to obtain mercy, in turning every one of us from our iniquities, who have loved and obeyed his Truth. Therefore as dear children of one Father, let us live in all humble subjection to Him who has begotten us again unto a living hope by the word of his power, to be the first fruits unto his glory in these latter ages of the world, in which he will be glorified, in, by, and through us, or without us. For of stones he can raise up children unto Abraham, who shall glorify his name in the day of their visitation, by walking in his light and covenant. But if we walk in the light as children of the day, in watchfulness , sobriety and honesty, we shall keep our holy union and fellowship one with another, without jar or strife, debate or contention, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son, we shall daily witness to cleanse us from our sin. Then the good purpose of the Lord will be answered in visiting us with his heavenly gospel day, which dawned and sprung in our hearts, by which the seat of antichrist has been discovered, and the hidden things of Esau brought to light, which nothing could manifest but the arising and appearance of the Son of Righteousness in the hearts of the sons of men. In this gospel day with which God has visited us, are all false spirits upon the earth discerned, and every deed of darkness manifested, yes the very seat of antichrist discovered. In the first breaking forth of this day, God made us a willing people, and put upon us the helmet of salvation, and girded us with the sword of the spirit, and made us able to war with the dragon and his power, and through faith gave us many and great victories, yes we were made more than conquerors.

Oh! the sweet remembrance of this day is now with me, who am warned to warn you, to live in a daily sense and consideration of the height, depth, breadth and length of the love of God, and his tender mercy toward us, who were by nature children of wrath as well as others, and sat in darkness and in the region of the shadow of death. And when we recount the vile sort of men, we can say such were some of us; but God has mercifully washed our garments in the blood of his dear Son, and has put upon us the garments of praise for the spirit of heaviness, which surrounded us in the long and dark night of apostasy, which has been over the world for ages and generations before we had our being; but the darkness is past, and the true light now shines. Oh! that the remembrance of the exceeding riches and kindness which God has manifested in us, may ever be with us, and that we may walk worthy of so high a calling in all holy conduct and godliness. For to this end were we called and separated from among many, to be the first fruits unto God in this latter age of the world, and by this will his name be renowned throughout the world by us, as we daily walk in a holy conduct coupled with fear, lowliness, and tenderness; for so is our subjection to him manifested, and the same witness which we have received, [will] be reached and raised in the hearts and consciences of the sons of men, who will not otherwise be reached, and they will bless God on our behalf in the day of their visitation. But if any walk loosely, and let go the girdle of Truth, and begin to eat and drink with the drunkards, and to contend with, or beat their fellow servants, or draw back into a fleshly liberty, by which the cross of Christ is thrown aside, neglected and despised, “the Lord of that servant will appear in a day when he is least aware of him, and appoint him his portion with hypocrites, where is weeping for forever." For God will not now be mocked with any people or profession; they who sow to the flesh shall die, wither and inherit corruption; but they who sow to the Spirit of Truth, and walk in its law, shall live and flourish, and reap life and virtue daily. For its ministration is the last and greatest the world shall be visited with, by which life and immortality shall again appear to all nations, kindreds, and tongues upon the face of the earth; if they receive and walk in. It is ordained of God to be the guide of life to all the sons and daughters of Adam, to lead them out of the fall into the way of peace, and shall fulfill the last and great prophecy, Rev 21:24, “That the nations of them that are saved shall walk in the light of the Lamb, and the kings of the earth shall bring their glory and honor unto it, and the glory and honor of the gentiles shall be brought unto it," verse 26. This is begun to be fulfilled in the earth, and many are come and coming to the brightness of his rising, whose coming is as the light which arises in the east and shines to the west, that none may be left unvisited with his glory. But all who shut their eyes from this glorious Sun shall have no benefit by his appearance, but shall stumble and fall, and rise no more unto life, peace, and salvation, and shall die in their sins, and perish in their unrighteousness. For none can have the benefit either of the death, passion, or resurrection of Jesus, purposed of God for all mankind, but those who believe, receive and follow him, who went before and trod the winepress alone. As the rejecting of him in his outward appearance, was the ruin of the outward Jews, even so the despising of him in his inward and spiritual appearance will be the ruin and downfall of the outward Christians; this testimony I must leave to the world, and it shall live and be fulfilled when I am gone from here, no more to be seen.

But you, my dearly beloved friends and brethren, who have accepted of this day, and have opened your eyes to behold the glorious Sun of righteousness, who is now risen with healing in his wings, let your moderation appear to all men, and walk honestly as in the day, and keep on your breast-plate of faith that the enemy wound you not, for your safety is within your spiritual armor, in your holy mountain where no devourer can come.

Though the Lord has taken peace from the earth, where righteousness does not dwell, and one mountain rises against another and they beat one another to dust, do not be troubled at these things for they must be, and also famines, pestilences and earthquakes in many places. They are but the beginning of sorrows, to them who have despised the mercy and long-suffering of the Lord, and slighted and neglected the day of their visitation, which has been for many years, in which he has striven with them by his spirit, and has waited to be good and gracious to the worst of men; but they have not known or considered in this their day, the things which belong to their peace. I pray God it is not hidden from their eyes. But we are commanded to say, whatever befalls the world, it shall go well with the righteous in it; therefore stand still in your tent doors, and quietly wait to see the salvation of God through all these overturnings which he allows to be in the earth.

Often would the Lord have gathered England under the shadow of his wing and power, but they [I mean the greater part] have refused to be gathered, and hate to be reformed; of this I am a living witness. They were invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb, but they have made excuses, yes willful and obstinate refusals to come, which has kindled the wrath of the Master of the feast, to say they shall not taste at my table. He will invite other guests more hungry and willing to come, who shall fill his house. Of this we have been, and may yet be more eye-witnesses; for he is shaking the earth and heavens, that what is to be shaken may be removed, that the foundation which cannot be shaken may remain sure forever. And he will gather his sheep out of all kingdoms, and from all barren mountains where they have been scattered in this cloudy and dark night, which has continued for ages and generations before us.

Therefore dear friends, lift up your heads in the dominion of God's power, of which you are made partakers, for your deliverance by it, if you continue in it to the end, is determined of God. Let none expect deliverance by outward might or power, that is by the arm of flesh, for that will fail and wither as the grass. But in Mount Zion is deliverance, according to the word of the Lord, and in the remnant whom he has chosen. So mind not the bustles and hurryings in the world, nor the overturnings among men, for through all these things will the Lord set up the kingdom of his beloved Son, which is a spiritual kingdom of peace and righteousness.

The earth was filled with violence before the flood; and as it was in the days of Noah, so it is at the coming of the Son of Man; and had Noah joined with the violence of the old world, he would have been drowned with them, but he loved righteousness, and walked in it before the Lord in that generation; and therefore the Lord had mercy upon him, and delivered him from that general destruction which drowned the world of ungodly men.

The earth is now filled with violence, and corrupted through iniquity, and the Lord has begun to visit the nation with his sore displeasure; therefore to your habitation in the Lord, Oh! you his Israel. Power is given to the devourer, who is without, to destroy much flesh; the unbaptized in heart shall fall by the sword of the Lord, who have resisted his holy Spirit, as did the uncircumcised in the days of old. This was, is, and will be the ruin of all empty professors upon the earth; for he is not a Christian that is one outwardly, neither is that baptism that is outward in the flesh; but he is a Christian who is one inwardly; and baptism is that of the heart in the Spirit, whose praise is not of men, but of God. And the saving knowledge of Christ is not after the flesh, 2 Cor5:16, "For henceforth know we him so no more, that is after the flesh; and no man knows the things of God, but by the Spirit of God. This must be received, and knowledge waited for, by and through this, which alone is ordained of God to give to all mankind knowledge and understanding in things relating to his kingdom; it is the root and foundation of all true religion, and without it there is none true in the earth. The true worship stands in it now as in times past, which shall end the temple worship, that stands in bodily exercise. It will be left to be trodden down of the Gentiles, for it is the outward court, where the glory of God does not shine; but in the inward court are spiritual worshippers before the altar, where the presence of God opens life and the treasury of it to the soul, which they partake of, who wait to be renewed in spirit before the Lord.

Now my beloved friends and brethren, as we are made complete in him, our heavenly Head, let a holy and heavenly harmony be continued among us, for unity is our strength; therefore labor to retain and keep it every where, that every member of the body may be nourished and kept alive by virtue of the life within. Have a tender care of disjoining any living member, but let all be edified together in love, and every member act in its place to the honor of the head. Above all, keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, for so is the will of God concerning us, that our sons may be as plants growing up in their youth, walking in the steps of their fathers, and our daughters as virgins with their lamps trimmed and burning, waiting for the Bridegroom. Be steadfast in him, and in the word of his grace, and keep the holy order of the gospel without wavering; and let every wholesome order that is established among you, which is comely and of good report, be kept up and practiced, and keep the reign of Truth and power of God over every evil-doer, without partiality; so will the Lord crown you with dominion over the power of darkness everywhere. For the true light of which we have borne testimony, is the seed of the kingdom of God, which must increase until by it, the knowledge of the glory of God again covers the earth as the waters cover the sea; therefore cherish this seed everywhere, in whomsoever it is arising; for it is the life and power of godliness, not the form, that must enrich the world with righteousness, and fill the earth with blessings.

If we, or an angel from heaven preach any other gospel, or proclaim any other name than that which you have received, and in which you have believed and found salvation and deliverance, receive us not into your houses; for God is one, and his name one, and there is not another by which any man can be saved. And this name is Jesus the anointed of God the Father, who is now come to save his people from, not in, their sin, [mark that]; for so he was God's salvation in the true gospel day, and so we have proclaimed him in our day, and many have so received him, to whom he has given power to become his sons and daughters, servants and handmaids in his house, who are his flock and family, and have bread enough, and living water in their own vessels, and none need go forth; all holy praises be given to the Lord, and to the Lamb forever and ever.

Finally, dear friends and brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might, and the God of peace be with you all, strengthen, establish, settle you upon the rock of ages, in full and perfect unity with God, and one with another, in which I bid you all farewell; and remain your true friend and brother in the bond of love and peace,

Ambrose Rigge

Riegate in Surrey, the 2nd of the Ninth month, 1693

To all the faithful flock of God in suffering, whether in prison or at liberty, in scorn called Quakers.

THE salutation of my endeared love in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Captain of our salvation, who was made perfect through suffering, reaches and freely flows forth to you all, whom God has counted worthy not only to believe in his Son Christ Jesus, but also to suffer for his name and testimony, and has made you living monuments of his tender mercy. My heart's desire and daily prayers to God for you are, that grace and peace, with faith and love, may be daily multiplied in and among you; which is the reward of the faithful followers of the Lamb through many tribulations. This was the path of the just in all ages; he that was born after the flesh, persecuted him that was born after the spirit; even so it is now. Therefore, dear friends, be not dismayed at the roaring of the sea, or at the swelling of the waves, for they are all limited and cannot pass their bounds, neither can they do more or less, but by the permission of that Divine Hand, by whom all things were made, and are upheld. Stand in the faith which works by love, and this will outlast all the wrath of man, which does not, nor ever did, work God's righteousness, and give you power to bear more than the wicked shall have power to lay upon you; for in your patience you will possess life and peace, which no man can take from you. This I have learned through many trials for many years, in long imprisonments, spoiling of goods and cruel whippings and sore buffetings, and many inward and outward exercises; yet through all has the Lord delivered. Yes, and he will deliver them that trust in his name, and make them as Mount Zion, that cannot be moved; and not a hair of their heads shall fall to the ground without him, who will now try the faith, patience and constancy of his people through many tribulations, that his jewels may appear in their luster, which he will make up, and gather his wheat into his garner, and burn up the chaff; for the reaping and the harvest has been, and the threshing-floors witnessed, in which many have threshed in hope, but until the winnowing day is known, the wheat and chaff are not fully separated. You also know that the kingdom of heaven has been as a net cast into the sea, which has taken the bad as well as the good; which when it is full, the good are gathered into vessels, and the bad are cast away. Even so will it be in this day of the Son of man. Oh! therefore put on your beautiful garments, you jewels of the Lord's house, and have your loins girded with Truth; and wash your hands in innocence, so shall you compass the altar which is within the spiritual temple of the Most High, which he has built of living stones, elect and precious, in which there is no need of the outward Jews candlesticks or lights, or the titular Christians' many candles, but the Lord God and the Lamb is the light of it. I am even constrained to write this to you in the love of the Father of lights, that your joy may be full; for all the suffering of this present world is not worthy to be valued with the glory that is already revealed, and to be revealed in them who believe and are found faithful unto death. There is no summer or harvest without a winter, nor is there any perfection without suffering; and the way to enjoy all with the blessing, is to give up all when required of the Lord. This made the wise man say, "Cast your bread upon the waters, for after many days you shall find it." This has been witnessed in our day; therefore let us trust perfectly in the name of the Lord, who feeds the ravens and clothes the lilies, as in ancient days, for he gives and takes and gives again to the faithful. This Job witnessed in his day, whose fidelity to God was manifested through the loss of all his outward substance, and the affliction of his body; who through faith obtained a good report, and possessed the promise of the life that then was, and that which was to come. So did Abraham and all the faithful, in offering up, when required, receive. This was the way of the flock of God in all ages, in which many are now called to walk, whom the Lord will try as gold is tried in the fire, that they may dwell with everlasting burning, and be crowned with dominion over death, hell, and the grave forever. Dear friends, do not look out at the prosperity of the wicked, for their root is rottenness, and their blossoms shall fly up as the dust; "and the day that comes shall burn as an oven, in which all the proud, and all that do wickedly shall be as stubble, and the day that hastens shall leave them neither root nor branch." The way to have pure dominion over your enemies, and to heap coals of fire upon their heads, is to do good, and to pray for them who spitefully use, and hate and persecute you. This is the very nature of the Truth, which our God in tender mercy, in our day, has manifested. Repay no man evil for evil; nor join with, or countenance any who would; for such know not what spirit they are of. Christ the Truth is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them, and to give life. So commit your innocent cause to him, to whom vengeance belongs, and he will plead your cause with your stoutest adversaries. No weapon prior to now formed against us has ever prospered, neither shall, as we keep in that righteousness which God through Christ Jesus has clearly manifested in us, being the righteousness of faith, which said, as in ancient days, Go not forth. This is the riches of the gentiles which will enrich the whole earth; and all who receive and walk in it, shall be by it established in lasting peace with God, though for it may be reviled, and counted as sheep for the slaughter for a time; for He who is gone before endured the contradiction of sinners, and gave his back to the smiter, and his cheeks to the buffeter; and the servant is not greater than his Lord.

So the God of all mercy possess our souls more and more with quietness and confidence that our strength may be made perfect in him. who has all power in heaven and earth, that we may continue in faith, patience and well doing unto the end.

I am your brother and fellow-sufferer,

Ambrose Rigge

Gatton, this 28th of the Twelfth month, 1682-3

This web site's purpose is to show how to become
free from sin
by benefiting from the changing power of God through the cross,
which leads to union with God in his Kingdom.