Samuel Bownas.

This Document is on The Quaker Writings Home Page.

Taken from Friends' Intelligencer, XIV, (1857), pages 210-211.

My dearly beloved Brethren and Sisters:

In that love which in time past we have enjoyed together. do I heartily salute you. having in mind some few things to impart. As counsel and caution to us all, including myself therein.

We who apprehend ourselves called into this public station of preaching ought closely to wait on our Guide to put us forth in the work. And dear friends. I see great need for us to carefully mind our openings. and go on as we are led by the Spirit; for if we overrun our Guide and opening we shall be confused, not knowing where, or how to conclude: But if we being and go on with the spirit we shall conclude so that all who are truly spiritual will sensibly feel that we are right. Thus will our ministry edify them that hear it.

And dear friends. let us be singly and in sincerity devoted to the will of God. whether to preach or be silent; for it we are not sensible of such a resignation, it is doubtful that we may set ourselves at work, when we should be quiet, and so bring an uneasiness upon our friends, and burthen upon ourselves. And this conduct will shut up Friends hearts against our service and ministry. And my dear friends, every time you appear in the ministry, when it is over, examine yourselves narrowly, whether you have kept in your places, and to your Guide; and consider whether you have not used superfluous words that render the matter disagreeable, or such tones or gestures as misbecome the work we are about, always remembering, that the true ministers preach not themselves, but Christ Jesus our Lord. Let us bear this in mind, that neither arts (?), parts, strength of memory, nor former experiences will, without the sanctification of the spirit, do anything for us to depend on. Let us therefore, I entreat you, keep to the living fountain, the spring of eternal life, opened by our Lord Jesus Christ in our hearts.

I also desire, that you would not neglect your day's work, in visiting the dark corners of the counties about you; but be mindful of your service therein, as the Lord shall make way for it.

The things above written have been on my mind to communicate to you, my dear friends, with desires that the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ may be with your spirits, Amen. Hoping, also, that I shall not be forgotten by you, in your nearest supplications to the God of the spirits of all flesh; remembering me, that I may be preserved by sea, and in the wilderness, through the many and various exercises and baptisms that I may be suffered to undergo for the services sake; and that I may be preserved in humility and self-denial, under the power of the cross, the most the most beautiful ornaments a minister can ever be clothed with; that if it please Him we should meet again, and our joy may then be full in the Holy Ghost, which is the fervent prayer of your exercised friend and brother,


This was written in the Second moth 1702, and left with my friends John Tomkins, not to send it until he heard I was gone off.