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.