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BY WAY OF PREFACE TO THE UNPREJUDICED READER.
The books and treatises in the following collection being perused, we find the doctrine of our blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and those matters, essential to salvation and true christianity, so plainly asserted, and fully demonstrated, according to holy scripture testimony, as may sufficiently obviate our former and present adversaries' objections, and refute their calumnies and aspersions to the contrary. And, though the most eminent reformers and martyrs have been most envied and misrepresented by their adversaries in all ages, as this true servant and minister of Christ was in his day, and since removed, his name and memory most unjustly defamed by envious spirits; yet the good report and fame, through which he, through faith, (and blessed effects of his faithful labours, great travels and sufferings) obtained, will outlive the great envy of his and truth's adversaries. And as he was a true minister and witness for Christ and his kingdom, both in life and doctrine, so he was a plain and true witness against antichrist, and his kingdom; and although he gave preference to the holy spirit, as all true spiritual christians do, yet his true love to, and sincere esteem of, the holy scriptures, (being given by divine inspiration,) was clearly manifest.
1st. In his frequent advice to Friends to keep to scripture language, terms, words and doctrines, as taught by the Holy Ghost, in matters of faith, religion, controversy and conversation, and not to be imposed upon, and drawn into unscriptural terms, invented by men in their hu. man wisdom.
2d. In his great industry in searching the holy scriptures, and fre. quently quoting, reciting, aptly applying and opening the same in his writings, as will appear in the following collection. He truly testified, both in his ministry and writings, for Christ Jesus, his power and coming in the flesh, and in the spirit; he was both for the sacred history and ministry of Christ, revealed according to the holy scripture testimonies of him, respecting his sufferings without, the work of his power within, and his kingdom and glory; under whose conduct, this his minister faithfully warred, against the spirit of antichrist and persecution, and against the mystery of iniquity, mystery Babylon, the false church, the power of darkness, the corruptions of the world, and its deceit and hypocrisy under all professions; and in the Lord's hand and power was instrumental in turning many to righteousness, and from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they might receive remission of sin, through faith in his dear son Christ Jesus.
He gave a thorough stroke in his ministry and writings against the son of perdition, antichrist, Babylon, the beast and false prophet, and therefore was the more hated by those in whom the spirit of enmity and persecution ruled: and we question not, but he has his lot and portion with the holy prophets and apostles in heaven; and a share in their rejoicing, at the downsall of mystery Babylon, the mother of harlots, and the kingdom of antichrist and Satan: therefore rejoice ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them rejoice over her; thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets, for God has avenged you upon her. Rev. xii. 12. and Rev. xvii. 20. which certainly will be fulfilled at her final downfall.
And as this faithful minister and witness of Christ was a man fearing God, hating covetousness, and eschewing evil, and was a deep sufferer, for his testimony to the truth, when on earth; he died in the favour of God, and rests with him in heaven, with his church triumphant over his persecutors, and the persecuting spirit, which blasphemes against God and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven: glory to our God, and to the lamb on the throne for ever, Hallelujah. Signed at our Second-day morning meeting. GEORGE WHITEHEAD,
The substance of some other Brethren's Testimonies concerning G. F.
LUKE HOWARD, together with the rest of the Friends of the quarterly meeting in Kent, testify concerning the Lord's faithful servant, George Fox: That he was an honourable elder in the church and family of God, a man of an excellent spirit, with whom was God's power, council and wisdom, and that it dwelt with him, in doctrine, and overseeing the whole flock of God's pasture: His labour of love was to God's glory, by which many were begotten unto God; he did see the fruits of his travel unto the third generation ; he declared the everlasting gospel amongst us through God's power, to the convincing of many and confirming them in the faith ; and causing many to tremble, and the devil to rage; and afterwards the Lord sent the said G. F. again, to appoint men's and women's meetings, and to see that the whole family was kept in good order, as becomes the house of God: also, that blessed instrument gave forth many good epistles and instructions, both in print, and manuscript, for the edifying of the body, and building of it up in the love of God, who made him shine in the church unto the end of his days. We have often felt the life and love of God in his ministry, and never saw him applaud or set up himself; but in the Lord's name and power, he withstood that spirit that hath risen up to oppose God's work,
Kent, the 5th of the 8th month, 1691.
AMBROSE RIGGE, concerning G. F.—That the Lord visited him early in our age, with his gospel day of life and salvation, and made him his messenger of glad tidings to many, and an able minister of the New Testament (or covenant) not of the letter, but of the spirit, and endued him with power from on high, to proclaim the acceptable day of the Lord, then ready to dawn and spring in the hearts of many, who had long sate in darkness and under the shadow of death: He preached the gospel of peace and salvation, not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in the demonstration of the spirit and power, and an effectual door was opened in the north, and many through his ministry were turned from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, and gathered to the true shepherd and bishop of their souls; for he did not preach himself, but Jesus Christ. Of this I was a witness, that he was a stranger and a pilgrim on earth, and went to and fro, and light, wisdom and understanding began to increase : he laboured in the power of the spirit, to build up a spiritual house for God, and temple for the Holy Ghost to dwell in: he testified of the life of the son of God, that it was the light of men, given to direct them into the way of peace and boliness. He travelled through many sufferings, trials and tribulations; in perils (by sea and land) and at last by false brethren ; but the Lord's power was his shield, and defended him to the end of his days, from all the darts of opposition of the adversary. He was a goodly person, and of an amiable countenance, and lived to a good old age, and was gathered in peace unto his fathers, and rests in eternal glory: and upon his death bed he testified, that the holy life and seed, in which all the families of the earth are blessed, reigned; and this I must say also, that whosoever grieved him, or smote at him, in words or wri. tings, must bear their own burthen in the day of account. This testimony laid upon me to give.
Ryegate in Surrey, the 6th of the 12th month, 1690.
JOHN TAYLOR :- In the name and power of the Lord, I give this short testimony for that worthy and honourable man of God, George Fox; that he was an instrument by whom I was convinced of, and confirmed in the blessed truth, and gathered into the fellowship of the gospel, which he was a true minister of, and a faithful labourer in God's work and service, to the conversion of many. The Lord did very wonderfully appear with him, for the gathering of people to himself, having given him the word of reconciliation to preach to the poor and needy, whereof I am a living witness. When I first went to him, he treated me in meekness like a lamb; he took me by the hand, and said, young man, this is the word of the Lord to thee, there are three scriptures thou must witness to be fulfilled, first, thou must be turned from darkness to light; next, thou must come to the knowledge of the glory of God; and then, thou must be changed from glory to glory; and this had such an impression on me, that I was fully satisfied he was sent of God, and the word of life was with him; and what he then said unto me, was more effectual than all that I had ever heard from all my teachers before, to the settling and confirming me in the faith of Jesus Christ ; and I praise the Lord that sent this his faithful witness, with the gospel of peace and glad tidings to my soul. He devoted himself to the service of God, seeking to gain souls to him, having a constant care upon him, for the settling of the churches of Christ in peace; I am assured that his me