A Celebration of Women Writers

This Was Given to Major General Harrison and the Rest.
London: Printed for Thomas Simmons, at the Bull and Mouth neare Aldersgate, 1660.

Generall Harrison

Read this in the Fear of the Lord, and in the moderation of Your Spirits, without prejudice.


THIS is the day of your visitation, while ye have time prize it; God hath long holden forth a hand of love unto you, though you have for several years past slighted and rejected his council, and would have none of his wayes, Who is the eternal Light, the way, the truth, and the Life, and there is no other way nor name under Heaven by which any shall be saved, or come to the knowledge of the eternal Truth as it is in Jesus, but by the Light of Christ Jesus in whom is Life, and this Life is the Light of men, and though you have slighted this, and looked upon it as too mean and low, yet this ye must stoop unto, and come to, if ever you find peace and reconciliation with the Lord God, ye must have it in the Light which bears testimony against all the works and deeds of darknesse; and if ever ye come to know or witnesse Life and immortality to be brought to Light thorow the Gospel of Jesus, which is glad tydings to the poor, and liberty to the captive, then must you come to the Light of Jesus that shines in your Consciences, for his Immortality dwells in the Light, and the knowledg of him, and the witnesse that every one can bear of him in the real truth, is in the Light that shines in their Consciences, and in this knowledge is Life eternal to know the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent a Light into the world, who hath said, He that knows me, knows him that sent me; I am come a Light, that he that believes on me should not perish, but have everlasting life; and this is the record that he hath given us of his Son, even eternal life, and this life is in his Son, which is now risen in his brightnesse, and shining in the Consciences of men, and he is purging the Conscience from dead works to serve the living God, which all the types and the figures could not make any thing perfect as pertaining to the conscience, No not the Tabernacle, nor the Golden Pot in which was the Manna, they were but a shaddow of the good things to come, the body and substance is Christ, which makes clean the inside who is King of the Jews, not outward but inward, and the Minister of that Circumcision which is of the heart, which worships him in the Spirit and in the Truth, having not confidence in the flesh; and this is that you must all stoop to, if ever ye know or be partakers of the precious faith, which was once delivered to the Saints, which we are contending for, and are to contend for, even to the giving up our lives, and our desire is that ye might partake with us, and tast of that love which is in Christ Jesus, which neither heigth nor depth, tribulation, nor anguish, Principalityes nor powers, life nor death can separate from, and that you might partake of our life which is hid with Christ in God, is the desire of our soules, though you have long slighted the day of your visitation, and often rejected the council of the Lord, and counted the Light a mean and a contemptible thing, by which the Lord God doth and ever will teach his people; and this testimony I bear unto you in the presence of the Lord God, though you may esteem high of your selves, and of your knowledge, the living and the eternal God ye doe not know as he is, but as ye know him in the light, for his immortality dwells in the light, and if ye know him where he dwells, ye must know him in the Light, and if ye be the Children of the Lord, and taught of the Lord, ye must be taught by the Light of him in your Consciences, and if ye be established in righteousnesse you must be established in the Light, and if ye be far from oppression, ye must be found in the Light, and if you will be where your peace will be great ye must dwell in the Light, and if while ye have the Light ye beleeve in the Light, ye may may be the children of the Light, and this is Christs own words and exhortations whom ye highly profess, & yet slight his own words & exhortation; Oh! Friends, what wil profession of him in words outwardly do for you now in the time of your distresse and sad affliction, when that faith is wanting which stands in the power, and works by love, and is held in the mistery of a pure Conscience, which I know eternally never a one of you can witnesse who denyes the Light of Jesus that cleanseth the Conscience, which every one must walk in; which brings into the fellowship one with another, where the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses from all sin; and what will your justification, in that one act which you speak of, which was offered up at Jerusalem, now do for you when you want your seal and your testimony of your being justified by it in your Consciences? if ye have not your particular assurance, by being purged purifyed, and sanctified, and so justified in your own conscience? what will that Act doe for a defiled Conscience? what will that act do for an unclean and an unsanctified heart being that he which was offered up at Jerusalem once for all, thorow the eternall Spirit, is now risen in his Spirit and Light, in the hearts and Consciences of men, there to cleanse and to purge, and to wash by his own blood, and so to justifie and give assurance, that whosoever believes on him should be saved and have everlasting life, now what will your professing and talking of this act doe for you, while you are slighting and disobeying, and transgressing against the Light (which should give you testimony and true assurance) to your justification, and should purifie your hearts by faith, for it is by the faith of the Son of God, which is Light and Life that the just lives, its not profession, or high notions by which the Just lives, its not brain wisdom nor comprehension in the understanding that raises the dead, it was that that crucified the Just; but it is the voyce of the Son of God that raises the dead, and there's nothing that will avail in this day of the Lord but this new-creature, the image of the invisible God, the first begotten from the dead, and he that doth not witnesse this state will suffer losse, for when his work is tryed by the fire it will be burned; and though men may speak with the tongues of men and Angels, and want that love that passeth knowledge, it is but as the sounding brasse, and tinckling cymball, and so it will passe away and be no more seen; Nay further then that, though there may be prophesies and faith that could remove Mountains, and want this love that gives obedience, and keeps the Commandements of the Lord it is nothing; though they may give their goods to the poor, and their bodies to be burned, it is nothing while they doe not keep the Commandements of the Lord but slights his tenders of love, and his gracious mercies, and is exalted in a notion, in a conceiving or apprehension of a thing, and wants the sound and sure testimony of the thing it self; in this they are utterly betrayd; though they may say or apprehend that their name is written in Heaven, yet if this Heaven be farre off them they may misse of their Name, For Satan falls from Heaven like lightning; He that can receive it let him; There's none that enters into the Holy City, but whose name is written in the Lambs book of Life, slain from the foundation of the world, and this Name is written in Heaven, and here is Joy witnessed and the song of Moses and the Lamb, but this state is redeemed from the earth, and so the offering up of the naturall life in this state is little.

Now the desire of my heart is that you had faith in God, and might see your selves in the condemnation, and feele the hand of his Justice and Judgement, and that you are not come to this condition without the power and providence, and permission of the Lord, that so you may be received into his bosome and mercy; for undoubtedly the same God as brought you to the seat of Justice, formerly has also brought you now to the Judgment, therefore now fall down under the hand of his Justice; whose hand of mercy is holden forth unto you; and consider what great mercy you have abused, and opportunities of doing him service; and how you have betrayed him and his cause into the hands of sinners; and how you have incurred his Just hand of recompence upon your heads; oh consider what yee have done against the Lord, what a great power you have abused, and turned the sword against the Innocent, that should have been for the evill doer, and slighted and contemned his living truth, and held up a rotten deceitfull profession which now will faile you in the day of your troubles and tryalls; one houre of worshipping the Lord God in his Eternall light and Spirit of Eternall life, were of more value to you then all your dayes and nights, that you have spent in prayers, and teares, and cryes, whilest your hearts are corrupted, and your Consciences defiled, and your minds carnall, where the Enmity stands against God and his Truth, which is not sbject to the Law of God, neither indeed can be, but weepes Esaus teares, and so must have Esaus portion; you'l thinke this is hard, but truely you will finde it truth, and you will finde that all your goodnesse will passe away as the Early due, and your righteousnesse as the filthy raggs. But I feele something objecting in your minds, as if this might be a discouragement to you in your Condition; I answer, no; It's the hand of his love is reached out unto you, and his bosome of love stands open unto you, to receive you into his mercy, if you would turne in your minds to the living witnesse of the living God in your Consciences, to which you must stand or fall; This is the word which must Judge every one of you in the last day, and this is the word that reconciles unto God, and this is his name (who had his vesture dipt in blood) to which every knee must bow, and every tongue confesse; and if yee stand committed to this immortall and Eternall ingrafted word, this is able to save your soules; therefore to this word of faith which is nigh in the heart, which faith, Neither ascend nor descend, but preaches righteousnesse very nigh; to this come though it were the last day that yee had to live; the call of this is not in vaine, you will find more comfort in turning in your minds unto this, and joyning your hearts and minds to this living Immortall word in your hearts; I say, you will finde more comfort being with this if it were but one houre, then yee have done with roving and rambling after things without you, and ascending and descending in your Immaginations, apprehensions, and comprehensions all the dayes of your life; and whether yee can believe or no, this you shall finde to be Eternall truth, and it's Gods love unto you, and Gods motion that is the cause of writing this, whether you can receive it or no, whose mercy and long suffering continues unto you; and truely you cannot plead ignorance, nor deny but you have had many gracious invitations and tenders of his love. Oh that you would consider in this your day the things that belongs to your everlasting peace, and that you would turne unto him that hath smitten you, who has brought salvation neere, and is bringing forth righteousnesse as a light, and thither must you come if ever you finde peace with the Lord, yee must come to his swift witnesse that testifies against all your wayes, and all your worships, and your best actions, that have not been acted from the light, is for condemnation with the light; for he is neere that condemnes, and he is neere that justifies, and then who can condemne, for God is greater who is one with him that justifies every one; and if the heart condemne, God is also greater, and so to this Master must you either stand or fall; if this righteous Judge condemne yee are condemned, and if this justifie, then are you justified before the Lord; and if this righteous, just and faithfull witnesse in you plead your Cause, and you come to be tryed and proved, searched and examined by this witnesse, and you freely submit to the Judgement of this, and what this condemns condemne, and what this Justifies Justifie no more, and owne no more to be truth but what this righteous witnesse of God in you presents to be truth; here you will come to a cleare conviction, and this will also worke your conversion, and change your minds, and redeeme you up to God, and there you will see when you are with God, and with his true and faithfull witnesse in you, and that there all things is possible, and so your minds will be changed, out of the visible perishing beggerly rudiments of outward worships, which perishes in the using of them, while they are performed by an unsanctified and an uncircumcised heart; and you will come into the invisible life. And so here I have set before you life and death, light and darknesse, good and evill, the righteous God is separating betwixt the precious and the vile, betwixt him that serveth God and him that serveth him not, by his quicke and living powerfull word, which is sharper then any two edged sword, to the discerning of the secret intents of the heart; and unto this word which will give life unto your soules, which he that believes on, though he were dead, yet shall he live, unto him that is the resurrection, and the life, I commit you and commend you; and consider that this spirit will not alwayes strive with man.

I am a true lover of all your soules, and desires your Eternall peace and comfort of the Lord, who feeles the weight of your sufferings and travells, with the seed of the Covenant, who am knowne by outward name;

Margret Fell.

London; Printed for Thomas Simmons, at the Bull and Mouth neare Aldersgate. 1660.

About This Edition

In adapting the text for on-line presentation, the original page breaks have been indicated by placing the notation [Page x] at the start of each numbered page. The original spelling has been retained, rather than modernized. The exceptions to this are the use of the long s, which has been transposed to a standard s, and use of "W" for "VV".