INHABITANTS OF ENGLAND,
With an invitation of Love unto all People, to call them to Repentance, and Amendment of Life; for by so doing, many have escaped the Judgments that have been to be poured down upon their Heads.
OH England! England! the sense of thy wickedness has been very heavy upon my spirit a long time, even many months, and years, and sometimes hath my mouth been opened in the fear of the Lord, to testify against the proceedings of the inhabitants of this land: many have been my prayers and tears unto the Lord in secret for this land of my nativity: and since it has pleased the Lord of his infinite goodness, that he has been pleased to renew his mercies and favours once more unto this land, Oh! prize it while you have time, and walk worthy of it, left by your unworthiness you may provoke the Lord to anger: therefore hasten to repentance, Oh! you inhabitants of England, and take up a lamentation, and weep bitterly, and let it be for a lamentation indeed; and bewail your former state, and mispending your time that is so far gone over your heads; for your sins have reached unto heaven, as truly as ever the sins of Sodom did, which the Lord destroyed, and repented not: and truly if there had not been a remnant in this land, that the Lord in his infinite mercy and loving kindness has redeemed out of the world, and the wickedness thereof; and not only so, but they retain their integrity, zeal, and faithfulness unto the Lord unto this day, whose souls have mourned in secret night and day unto the great God of heaven and earth, that he would be pleased to bow his ear unto the request of his servants, whose mournful state is well known to the Lord, or else I believe that this nation had been more miserable that it is. And truly I can say, that my heart is, and hath been for a long time, pained within me, and I have been concerned because of the abominations of the times, crying. 'How long, Lord, will it be ere thou wilt arise, and ease thy oppressed seed, that mourneth night and day under the sense of the great wickedness that lodgeth in this nation, which has grieved the souls of the righteous from day to day, as just Lot's was in Sodom: and these have groaned under it with great agony of spirit, and sometimes very earnest with the Lord, concerning this poor nation; and indeed I have been dissatisfied when I saw how things appeared in this land of late years: Oh! out of the bitterness of my spirit have I said again and again, 'Lord, be intreated for this poor land I beseech thee, and take pity upon the innocent ones therein; for, Lord, if thy tender mercies would have spared Sodom for fifty's or ten's sake; surely, Oh Lord! thou wilt spare this poor nation for thy people's sake, for thou art God, and changeth not; therefore am I encouraged to cry unto thee, hoping that thou wilt be intreated by thy servants.' And truly can I say, that I had satisfaction, and the Lord was pleased for to shew me that , that has come to pass in this land, sometime before it came to pass.
And now in the fear of the Lord, I have this to say to professor and prophane, hasten, hasten to repentance and amendment of life, Oh! inhabitants of England, for the Lord has long strove with thee; he has shaken his rod over thee many a time, and he hath sent for this servants early and late, and has endued them with power from on high for to proclaim his dreadful day, and the day of his vengeance: and the everlasting gospel has been preached throughout this land; and he hath shewed his signs and wonders in the earth, as he did over Jerusalem of old: what could the Lord have done more for thee than he has done, to gain thee to repentance? And thou art not fitted for thy latter-end: no, no; thy account is very large that thou hast to give unto the Lord, for thou hast requited the Lord evil for good; and for all his tender mercies and loving-kindness, and his forbearance and tender compassions; notwithstanding all this, thou art in thy sins and abominations, and going on in the broad way which leads unto misery and destruction, and the end thereof will be everlasting torment, world without end; therefore remember it whilst you have a little time lent to you, and how little none knows; therefore consider it, and lay it to heart, and remember that there is a God in heaven that ought to be feared; for he is a just and righteous God, that will do righteously with all people; he is not respecter of persons, he regards the rich no more than the poor, but every one that serveth him, and worketh righteousness is accepted of him, whether poor or rich: and this is that that will be required of you, a true repentance, and that with speed, and amendment of life; true brokenness of heart, and humility of mind, and that in the sense of his abounding goodness: Oh! do but look back a little, and consider, and see whether you can count the mercies of the Lord that he has bestowed upon this land, both spiritual and temporal: no, no, they are past numbering: well then, do you not think that the just and righteous God doth look for something at your hands; yes surely, Oh! inhabitants of England, a sacrifice of a broken heart, and a contrite spirit, and a trembling at his word, will be that which will engage the Lord for to continue his mercies to this land; Oh! wash and make you clean, put away the evil of your doings, cease to do evil, and learn to do well: cleanse your hands, ye sinners, and purify your hearts, ye double-minded ones. For this know, that the day of the Lord draws near, wherein he will be a swift witness against the wicked; and the ungodly must be turned into hell, where there is weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth for ever; therefore look to it, I entreat you, before it be too late; and fear the Lord, and dread his glorious majesty, for he will be a swift witness against the wicked.
And thou, Oh city of London! what shall I say to thy inhabitants, that my spirit may be eased? Oh! fear, dread, and tremble before the great and terrible God, who can dash you in pieces, and lay you as dead men and women before him; he will pull down your crown of pride, and lay your honour in the dust: therefore hasten to repentance before it be too late, for the Lord has long strove with you, therefore look to it before it be too late, I intreat you, and before the Lord pour forth his vials of wrath upon this land, and his long forbearance comes to an end, and his decree be sealed, and the angel of God sware by him that liveth for ever, and ever, that there shall be time no longer. Oh! then it will be too late, and then it may be possible that you may cry and call to the rocks and mountains to fall upon you, for to hide you from the wrath of the lamb, his fury will be so great; and therefore whilst there is a little time afforded unto you, prize it; and prize the everlasting mercies of so great and gracious a God, that has blest this nation with so many spiritual and temporal blessings as he hath done: Oh! let not your unworthiness draw down his vengeance upon your heads, after all these his infinite mercies and favours bestowed upon us; my hearty desire is, that you may receive and embrace the love of God whilst it is proffered unto you, that by it your hearts may be seasoned and made fit to receive his blessings.
And this I have more to say to many of thy inhabitants, Oh England! be true-hearted one to another, and seek the good one of another; and come down to sobriety; let your moderation appear unto all people; and inasmuch as in you lieth, endeavour, you who have power in your hands, to suppress wickedness, that fruits of Christianity may appear, that this nation of England hath made a large profession of ever since I have had a remembrance and understanding of it, and I believe long before. Oh! come now, let fruits of Christianity appear, which will be better than many years talking of it; the Lord hath put a day into your hands again, wherein you may do good; Oh! make a good use of it, whilst you have it, lest you provoke the Lord to take it out of your hands again, and leave you in sorrow to lament; then will your latter-end be worse than your beginning, and your account greater than ever, and your measure more filled up than ever; and by so doing, will be made fit for destruction. Oh! my soul's desire is, that wherever this may come, that it may take place upon the hearts of the people; for surely it is high time for people to be awakened to amendment of life, seeing their time is so far gone, that many have spent in vanity and pleasure, which will add to their sorrow upon their dying beds, when not one day more will be left them for to repent.
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FRIENDS, I do warn and exhort you all in the Presence of the Lord God, to Meet together in the Measure of Life, that with it ye may be guided up to God, and in Unity kept together up to him, the Father of Light and Life; and God Almighty be with you! And that the Dread and Terror of the Lord may among you be, and Deceit confounded; and that with the Measure of Life all your Minds may be guided up to God, that so ye all in Peace and Love may be kept.
And let this be sent among Friends, to be read ...
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