A Prayer by William Penn at Wheeler Street 1694

Most Glorious and infinite God of Heaven and Earth, in Thy great and Unspeakable Mercy, thou visitest the Children of Men, and extendest Thy Love from one Generation to another, and yet in this Age in which we live, Thy Day of Grace and Mercy reaches unto our Souls, and we have been called by thee unto Righteousness and holiness, that so it might be well with us, when we shall be removed, out of this World, and be no more seen of Men —— Everlasting God if we consider aright Thy dealing towards us, the Exceeding Riches of Thy Grace in Christ Jesus, it many Provoke us, and constrain us to Love Thee and fear Thee, And serve thee in our Generation. —— Lord thy Visitation hath been effectual upon the Hearts of many of the Children of Men, who are devoted to thy Fear and Service and give up themselves to Worship Thee in the Beauty of Holiness — Lord thou hast gathered a People to Thyself, and thou hast brought them Through many Trials and Exercises, and refined them by a Spirit of Judgement, and they have been Baptized with the Holy Ghost and with Fire —— O’ Lord God of Life, Thy Mercy is exceeding great and Thy Love unspeakable in all the Displays of it, we pray that Thou wilt be pleased to grant according to the Riches of Thy Glory, that we all may be Strengthened with Might by the Spirit in our inner Man — That Christ may dwell in our Hearts by Faith, that we being rooted and grounded in Love, may be able to Comprehend with all Saints, what is the Breadth, and Depth, & Height, and Length, and to know the Love of Christ, which passeth Knowledge, that we may be filled with all the fullness of God — Blessed Father of Mercies, deliver us from this present evil World, and the Corruptions and Pollutions that are in it, let us not live as the Children of this World, as those that are of it, but as those that are hastening out of it, to the coming of the Day of God, and help us to grow in Grace.  And in the Knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ – Who hath Redeemed us from all iniquity, not with corruptible Things as Silver and Gold, but with his own Precious Blood, as of a Lamb without Blemish, and without Spot.  That we might Live to him that died for us, and be holy in all Manner of conversation —— O’ let the Lyon of the Tribe of Judah deliver us from that soaring Lyon of Hell that goes about seeking to devour us.  Make it our Delight O’ God to do Thy Will, and let Thy Law be written in our Hearts, that by a Patient Continuance in Well doing, we may seek for Honour, Glory, Immortality and Eternal Life, and that while we are engaged in the Christian Warfare we may take unto us the whole Armour of God, and resist the Devil, and Overcome the World and be more than Conquerors thro’ Christ that hath loved us,, that having Fought the good Fight of Faith, we may lay hold on Eternal Life ——— And blessed and Heavenly Father, for all thy abounding Mercies & Blessings Vouchsafed to us and all thy People, and for the Refreshing we have had from thy Presence in our present Meeting we desire to render, Praise, Honour, Renown and Thanksgiving to thy great and Excellent Name for thou alone art Worthy, who art God over all, Blessed for ever and ever Amen ——



Something that was Spoken by way of Prophecy (in the several Places hereafter Mentioned by Mary Ellerton, a noted Friend in the Ministry who came from Yorkshire in Old England, in Obedience to the Lord, and Visited the American Parts —————

At a certain Meeting held at Rowland Ellis’s Barn in Merion, in the County of Philadelphia, she spoke to the Effect —— Altho’ God hath blessed you with Plenty and fulness, and you have enjoyed abundance of Blessings from God, yet think not it shall be so always.  I wish I could have been clear to omit speaking of it in This Meeting —— God will blast the Increase of your Labours, and the Earth shall not always bring forth as hitherto, God shall cause the Staff of Bread to fail, and notwithstanding you are letting your Hearts into the Earth and building great Houses.  The Lord shall shake the Earth, and it shall tremble, paleness of Face shall be on many in that Day, God shall bring it to pass because of Peoples Unfaithfulness, and although the Faithful may suffer with the Unfaithful, Yet God shall keep them.  They shall not be afraid —— This she had to Declare with more to The same Purpose, also at Haverford Meeting the Day following to this Effect.  The Time is nigh at Hand that the Earth under you shall be shaken That some are setting their Hearts upon, the Lord shall cause it to tremble because of Peoples Unfaithfulness, many shall be afraid when the Earth shall be opened to swallow them up.  God shall blast the Plants and the Trees they shall not yield their Fruit as hitherto.  God shall blast the Fruit of your Labour, and the Staff of Bread shall fail and Nothing shall be able to appease the Wrath of God but a returning to him with speedy Repentance”  And the next Day at Radnor Meeting House the 4th Instant to this Effect = speaking to Them that were eager to heap together the Things of this World, that God was angry with them, he has whet his Sword (continued she) and its with me to say, the Lord in a short time will take the World from you, or you from it, Gods Sword is drawn, and his Fury and Indignation is ready to be poured forth.  The Lord will shake the Earth, and it shall open and Swallow many.  The Storm shall blow, and the Tempest shall beat, and the Natural Trees shall be rooted up.  Many shall be afraid in that terrible Day when the Lords Judgments shall be on the Land.  Then if the Inhabitants thereof will not learn Righteousness, The Lord will cause a Nation to come from a far Country to destroy them that remain with the Edge of the Sword, do not put the Day of the Lord afar off Jonah said, forty Days, and Nineveh shall be Destroyed.  I am not about to prescribe the Time & I am glad it is not required of me, it may be not many Days before the Earth is shaken but if it should be a few Years that is not much —— Nothing.  Nothing will appease the Wrath of God or prevent his Fury and Indignation from being poured forth, but a Speedy & Unfeigned Repentance, by bowing down low and Walking in Humility before him, it is not to be sorrowful for one Day, but a continual bowing before him, there is great Need to Watch and Pray before him” —With more to the same Effect —— and at Merion Meeting House the 5th of the 3rd month following to this Effect, “Some, are concerned about the Things of this World, that they are ready to be swallowed by them & I am afraid are gone over Head and Ears into it, and are setting light by what has been prophetically Spoken.  The Lord will certainly bring it to pass.  Many shall be afraid when the Earth shall open to swallow them.  Horror and Amazement shall be on many that Day, in that Day the Lord will blast the Fruit of the Earth, and Wither the Increase of your Labour, and the Staff of Bread shall fail, and paleness of Face shall be on many in that Day, and although the Faithful may Suffer with the Unfaithful in the common Calamity I feel there is a Remnant that truly fears God and bows before him, and can say the Lord is on our Side,, of whom Shall we be afraid.  And if the Inhabitants do not learn Righteousness and Amendment of Life, the Lord shall cause a Nation to come from a far Country and cut them with the Edge of the Sword” ——— And in her Prayer the last mentioned Day was earnest that the Decree might not be sealed ——




A Letter from Mary Peasley to Ellen Evans —

Dear and Worthy Friend — Philadelphia 3rd mo 10th 1756

                        I received Thy kind and Cordial Epistles of last Month with much Satisfaction, and should have acknowledged the Favour e’er now if Health and Leisure had admitted, tho’ I doubt shall make but very poor Returns, yet there is Honesty in striving to pay our Debts as far as we are able and the Merciful will require no more —— Thy last Letter took more than common hold on my Mind, to Think that I should be so much the Subject of thy Thoughts as to carry me to thy Bed while others Slept, and made me ready to fear that Thou had discovered some Danger about one which might be concealed from myself.  I mean in Regard to the State of my Mind, and if so, I beg Thou may be quite just to me, for I hope I have a Heart that can receive it.  I am far from thinking myself so safe as not to want the Watchful Eyes of my Friends over me for Good, and find but too few that are ready to look that Way, perhaps some may Watch for my halting —— and may their Watching be in vain.  I will acknowledge Thy Thoughts respecting my Bodily Afflictions had been my own, and well know that the most Merciful Father Chastises not his Children for nought, it is in order to Manifest some Christian Virtues to his own Glory & the Good of others or to prevent some greater Evil, and to bring to pass some Secret Purpose of his Unerring Counsel or otherwise for the further Refinement of the Party Afflicted perhaps both the latter had a Share in mine, it has proved however a Season for Retrospection which I doubt not the best have need of after such a Series of Publick Actions as have fallen to my Share, and on the Strictest Scrutiny which I have been capable of making cannot find that I have protracted this trying Scene (to which my Nature is so much averse) beyond the Will of God, I mean that I cannot find myself out of my Place in my Stay in this Part of the World, tho’ am ready to shrink at the Thought of how little Service I am of  While all the tender Connections of Nature are Suspended and as Thou well observes am like a silly Dove without its Mate, when the beloved of my Soul is pleased to Veil his Beautiful Countenance —— We got her last Seventh Day Evening, My Disorder is abated but has left great Weakness in the Parts Affected, and a seeming languidness over the Whole Frame of Nature So as to render me unfit for much Service —— But I Serve a Merciful Master who requires no more of his Servants Than he gives Them Strength to perform — Having little to add that’s worth thy Notice, shall Conclude with the tender of true Love to Thyself Thy Husband and Family with any other worthy Friend to whom it may be acceptable, in which my Companion Joins thy poor Worthless, yet well-wishing Friend

                                                        Mary Peasley




Copy of A Manuscript Wrote by C Wilson 

Whereas I Christopher Wilson of Grey Southern in the County of Cumberland, have been Through Divine Goodness, Mercifully favoured with the Blessed Visitation of the Truth, not only for my own Reconciliation to Almighty God, but he hath opened my Heart at Times largely to Preach the glad Tidings of the Gospel to others and tho’ I had a Sufficiency to live Comfortably upon from my Father with a prudent Industry, yet I have been by little & little drawn into Trading to foreign Parts.  And the Lord hath seen meet to blast my Endeavours, yet in hopes to regain what I had lost, I ventured again with a good Prospect as I thought, but still have been blasted in all my Endeavours until in Distress of Body and Mind —— And I wish it may be a Warning to all Friends not to launch out in such a Manner, those in the Ministry especially —— Food and Raiment is enough, A peaceful Mind is more than all the World without it, for it is better to live in a Cottage eat Bread, and drink Water with a peaceful Mind it is far preferable to large Dealings in Trade, O that the Ministers of Truth may take Warning, and be content with what they have — A Low Station best suits a Minister of Christ, to eat sparingly, cloath decently and have a Mind free from Cumber and open to receive every Impression of Truth, and free to run where Truth draws, he can bless beyond our Expectation, he can open a Way unseen to us, or blast our Endeavours if we intend beyond what’s prudent, or be a bad Example to others.  I now see my Mistake Tho’ I acted with no bad Design, having at first lost a little, I Promised if I could get as much as to leave off where I began, I should be content, having a full Purpose and Resolution to stop There and live quietly, but one Misfortune followed after another, and one Loss added to another, which hath brought me to this Distress of Mind —— and now I conclude it will break my Heart to think that any one should suffer loss by me, or that great Name that I have endeavoured to promote by expence of Body Substance, and all I was capable of, should be evil Spoken of on my Account.  Oh’ this comes so near me, That it rends my very Soul, and weighs me even down to the Grave ~ Would the Almighty Lord whom I desire to serve, if I am stripped like Job Throw something in my Way, and give me Food and Raiment, a Cottage of the meanest kind to live in, and Water to Drink, I should therewith be content, provided that Excellent Name might pass unstained. — I condemn to the World, whosoever sees This, and utterly detest my Proceedings herein, and testifie to all People I have missed my way, Yet have some Faith that Gods Providence will not leave me destitute of the Comforts of his Holy Spirit, Which I value more than all, and if I go to the Grave with Anxiety and Distress of Mind, I have a Comfortable Hope that God will forgive me, and if I can but pay every One what is their due, if it leaves me neither Bed nor Bread I Shall go down to the Grave in Peace, and have Confidence that the Lord will provide for my Offspring —— Oh’, my Poor Wife, and tender Babes, may God be with you, and Bless you with the Increase of his Goodness, Then let Food and Raiment content you, a Cottage, with an easy Mind is a Kings Palace to a virtuous Soul, if my Friends condemn me I shall submit to it, if that can but wipe off the Reproach from the Blessed Truth, I shall conclude with this unfeigned Prayer ———— Good God, bear up my drooping Spirit, be with me in the Night Season, keep me from Despair, I have no Trust but in Thee, I have no Pleasure but in Thy Heavenly Presence A Cloud is come over every Enjoyment and Thick Darkness covers all visible Comforts, Pain, Anxiety, and the gloomiest Prospect appears in every Part of the visible Creation O’ Lord deliver me, Lord have Mercy on me and Appear more for my Help its now the Needful Time Thou delivered Daniel from the Den of Lions, and the Three Children from the fiery Furnace and caused Thy Son to walk with them in the midst of the Flame, so that they escaped unhurt — Is Thy Arm shortened, or has Time worn out the Omnipotence of Thee, thou Deliverer of the Oppressed, Oh, put a hook in the jaws of the great Sea, and disdains all Superiority —— Lord I will submit to thy Work, and follow Thee wheresoever Thou leadest, but Oh, let Thy own Name be honoured by Me, and Thy Truth not stained on my Account == Open a Way for me through the great Depth to get over on firm Ground, that no Deceit nor Counsel, but honesty and Uprightness of Heart may ever be my Companion or Guide, that whenever it may be my Lot to remove to America or whatever way it may please thee, make Way, for thou art as Strong as ever.  Omnipotence stands at thy Right Hand and unconquerable Strength and Majesty at Thy left, O’ that I may yet say by Experience, Thou rules in the Kingdoms of Men, Lord keep me in Patience, in Love and Divine Sweetness to overcome all my Enemies, for Thine is the Kingdom, Power and Glory for ever

Amen                        Christopher Wilson

30th of the 6th month 1759




Copy of a Letter from Christopher Wilson to Ellen Evans

Dear Friend ——          Graysothern 15th 1st mo 1760

                        After Salutation of near Love, I may acquaint thee I am well and yet in the land of the living and having this Opportunity by my Son, Send thee a Transcripts of a Paper I found amongst my Letters wrote at Sea dated at Sea Latt 38, 30” Long 58 17 — 17th Day of the 12th month 1758 ———

Dear Friend

                        Just after we had dined my Friend John Hunt Called me off Deck to shew me some Letters from our good Friends we had left behind.  I took thy kind Letter into my little Apartment and read it over once more, on reading of which, and the Persuasion I had of the Integrity and Sincerity of the Author, my Heart was broken under a Sense of Divine Love, and with Pleasure I vented myself in Tears, which was indeed a Cordial Balsam to my present Situation of Mind, thou well knows the Difference between the Tears that flow from a Sense of the Lords Goodness upon the Soul, and those that Spring from the Agonies of Misfortune or a Distressed Mind, the one leaves Calm and Quiet, the other Stupid, dull & heavy — We have been this Evening seven Days at Sea, tossed with Winds, and the Uneasy Swellings of a Boisterous Ocean,  The parting with so many near Friends all at once, to be made Prisoners in a small Island, where nothing appears but the Heavens above for a Canopy, and the raging Deep under, before and behind — This our little World tossed about by every Wind, and Dashed about on all Sides by the boisterous Ocean, would be a disagreeable Situation, had not we one sure Comfort, One Hope Everlasting, that overbalances the most gloomy Prospects, and makes the most hard Things easy, and bitter Things sweet—  The by past few Days we have been parted from you I have been pretty much under Lowness of Mind, all that I can say, is that I am Calm, I am resigned and given up to Almighty disposing, if its Death its over and there remains a Hope of being Mercifully received And what Difference whether Sea or Land, The Pinch Lies least the great Name be divided amongst the Heathen If its Bonds that is his Pleasure, I am Willing as none of these Things can happen without either his Direction or Permission. —— Thy few lines were such a Cordial to my drooping Mind in the present Situation above set forth that I cannot express it, under which I found a sudden Desire to visit thee if even I was favoured with an Opportunity with my leisure Pen, and express a little my secret Sympathy with Friends in Pennsylvania  It was a Matter of no Small Joy to find that Almighty Goodness was reaching in a near Manner to you and the dear Youth in particular that we were confirmed would come forward, some of them in Truths Service it is a Time (its true) of Mourning to the Faithful amongst you on Account of your present Situation compared with Times past of Church and State as also the Removal of many Worthy Fathers and Mothers, but those last Things must be  They cannot always Stay here we must soon follow —— The best Improvement we can make of those Things, is to be faithful to do our Duty, to be prepared to follow them in the same Lines of Honesty, Integrity, and Purity. That our conclusion may be blessed with that Happy Fruition they are just gone to take possession of a little before us.  That both our hearty Prayers and Labours may be to leave a good Savour to Posterity as they have done to us —— For my Part my unseen deep Travails amongst you from Meeting to Meeting and the painful Dispensations that none know but those who have had the Same, nor even ourselves when not under the present Trials thereof —— Our Passage with you was more Difficult than some others, being obliged to differ in Sentiments with some good Friends, Men of Worth and Integrity.  Tho’ some of them owned Truth was with us, yet their Spirits, we at Times felt was not quite with us (in some particular Travels) but at our parting with Friends at last our Hearts were filled together with Universal Love and Charity, that I believe every Partition Wall was broken down, and our Hearts Humblingly melted with Prayers to the great Author that it might spread throughout the Churches every where — As to the Grounds of that difference of Sentiment, let it stand where it is, until Wisdom from above opens a Way to Manifest it clearly, and Oh’ That Friends would be so wise as to have Love & Charity one for another, and not enforce his, her, or Their Sentiments, or Mind to others or to the Meeting, until Truth goes before and leads in the Paths of True Peace and Quiet, and strongly Evidences that the Salt of the Covenant is upon it, and Gods Everlasting Salvation is sealed in it —— Friends have great Need to be careful and quiet, to Act with Prudence, be wise and keep out heartburnings or setting up a Spirit of Discerning in the Church above their fellow Members —— If Friends Minds were but Leavened with that Sedateness, Love, and Mutual Forbearance that our Holy Head breathes into his Body the Church, and inspires all her Members with there would be a fellow Sympathy one with another, that the Weak, maimed and Infants may not be hurt, and the Whole Flock and Family brought forwards, and not overdone in the Times of Infirmity and Weakness ———

                                        Christopher Wilson


Copy of a Letter from SF to TG

Dear Friend           Warrington 20th 11th mo 1750

                        I received in Dublin a Letter from thee which gave me Satisfaction, and I rejoice in that the Lord of Heaven and Earth is Visiting by his Truth, & Working by his Power to beget into his Heavenly Family, and Bless People with that which conveys all the Happiness Mankind ever did, do now, or hereafter can taste, to many are insensible of it, and others too lazy to be Religious as they ought, but its our Interest to pursue our own Peace, and transmit to others, Examples, how great and excellent a Thing it is to be True Subjects of Christs Kingdom, and Baptised into his Nature and Therein to abide great has been his Mercy in visiting our Souls with his Blessed Truth and it highly behoves us, to watch with all Diligence, least we render it frustrate.  This is our Duty to look to him daily. This comprehends all, here is our Strength and safety, other Things, or temporary Helps will fail and leave us destitute and inwardly lean.  O’ therefore remember often the Dew of thy Youth, the tenderness of thy Heart when first met with, cherish in Thy Soul the fresh instances of Regard, and be it thy Care inwardly to look and live to the Lord, so shall Thy Hands be made Strong and Thy Head kept above the Water ———— There is a Spirit that is gone forth into the Camp, and is Splendidly delusive, it delights in good Words, and feeds upon them, it cries out, help, help, but principally to the Servant, not to the Master.  This Spirit leads into Notions, it snuffs up the Wind, and lives in the Commotions itself raises, all that are led by it are superficial, and know Nothing, and must lay down in Sorrow — That Holy Spirit which was and is the Ground of Truth forever, (which I trust has reached thy Heart) is a Substantial Operative Principle, its Directions are not imaginary loose and Undeterminate, but it is Light and Life to its Possessions, and causes them to inherit Substance, it teaches Access in Heart to that God whose Attributes cannot be Defined fully, but Experience teaches them, it is kind to Men, supplying their Wants, Supporting Their Steps, opening their Understandings into those Divine Truths that are higher than Human Wisdom can trace and deeper than all its Penetrations can explore ————  Dear Friend let us wait for this Wisdom, let this Spirit be leaned upon, above all, this will help us to Stand Upright and walk steadily in the Faith delivered to the Saints ——— Retirement will be pleasant in Meetings and out of Meetings.  The inward feeling after Divine Power to live and act to Gods Honour and our own Preservation will be dear and precious to us, and He that delights to hear the Language of his Children will not be slack in the Performance of his Gracious Promises ——— I found the free Salutation of pure Love in my Heart towards thee, and earnestly desire thee to abide Stedfast in the Truth, feel after it, live in it, hope for its Salvation, and it will never fail —— I Salute thee in the Love and Affection of Christ our Holy and Blessed Helper, and remain thy faithful Friend —

                Samuel Fothergill




Letter from S F to S Brown ———

Dear Friend           Warrington 20th 1st mo 1752

                I doubt not but the same Conveyance that brings this, will bring some account of thy dear and Worthy Father whom I saw at Liverpool, on his way to Ireland a few Weeks ago, in pretty good Health and alive and chearful in his Labour, in which he has been closely concerned and I hope to good Service in divers Respects, doubtless to his own great Peace, and Uniting him in Heart to the Faithful —— In the Freedom we had to each other he imparted to me one or two of thy Affectionate Letters to him, which seemed to breathe Strongly of the Language of tender Affection, to him, and an awful Regard to the Heavenly Father, and has been the Means of thy being often in my very near Remembrance, and some Desire attended to send thee the Salutation of true Love in Christ Jesus our Holy Head, in whom stands the Fellowship of the Family, The World over-Great has been thy Advantage Dear Friend in being Descended from Worthy Parents, who by Precept and Example have sought thy Nurture and Growth in the things of God.  The visitation of Heavenly Light and Life from above has also been extended, and I hope in a great and good Degree embraced, and has pointed out the Means of Help, or the Terms of Happiness, and inclined thy Heart to seek it —— Many are the Besetments and Probations of a Mind awakened to seek an Inheritance among the blessed, and of various kinds they are, but the Mighty Arm is revealed and made bare for all those that refuse to be comforted without it — Many are the low places The Righteous tread, and in the Line of their Experience, Deep answers Deep, some are brought upon us through our In advertency and Negligence, let us then enquire the Cause and remove it— Sometimes the Heavens are made like Brass to us, to teach us how to Want, and like Winter Seasons to Strengthen our Roots, that we grow not top heavy, but in all Things our Heavenly Father deals with us tenderly and for our Good.~ Let therefore thy Attention be steady to him for Counsel and Guidance, and he will not forsake thee in the Time of thy secret Bewailing, but Spread a Table for thee in the Desart — Oh’ that our Youth might thus awfully bow under the Operation of the Lords Hand, that their Minds might be Subject to him, whose we are, and who we ought to Serve in the Spirit of our Minds — I feel in my Mind the Sympathy of the Blessed Covenant and the spreading of the Fathers Wing thee wards, and crave of the Almighty One to have thee in his keeping (and of thee, never to forfeit it by any Means) who is sufficient to abide with thee continually — He is often with his People when they perceive it not.  He dwells in thick Darkness often, and was as certainly the Mighty Help of Israel when they Groaned in Anguish in the Land of Egypt, as when the Glory of the Lord filled the Temple at the Feast of Dedication ——— I commend thee to him, seek him Diligently, serve him honestly, and follow on to know his Requirings, with full Purpose of Heart to be faithful thereto, and no Weapon formed against thee will Prosper, nor any Place be allotted so low in which the Omnipotent Arm will not Sustain ———— My Dear Love attends thy Mother and self tho’ Personally unknown, I salute thee with Gospel Affection, and remain thy Faithful Friend

                                                Samuel Fothergill


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