The Life of Charles Marshall. In: Evans, William and Evans, Thomas, eds. Friends' Library.
Philadelphia: Printed by Joseph Rakestraw, 1840, Vol. IV, page 161.
This Document is on The Quaker Writings Home Page.
Who in your assemblies sometimes feel a testimony for the Lord to spring to your hearts, keep
your watch in the light, that so none stay behind, nor run before; but let all that open their mouths
in the asembies of the Lord's people, do it as the oracle of God, in the arising of the eternal
power; for nothing can beget to god, but what comes fro the word of life, that lives and abides
forever; and nothing can refresh, strenghten or comfort that which is begotten by the word of life,
but what springs from the same. Therefore, dear Friends, whom this concerns, wait diligently, not
only to know and savour every motion, but also to know the ppoointed time when the motion
should be brought forth; so shall hwat is ministered, if it be but few ords, reach, and do its service.
For this I have learned,, that though there may be a true motion of th powe of the Lod, and a true
operation therof, yet where there is not a waiting for the perfecting of what is to be brought forth,
but instead thereof, com ing forth before the time, there is an untimely birth; which hurts the
vessel through which it comes, and the hearers are burdened; and the life wich firswt moved
comes to be oppressed. As long as nay are found walking in this by-path, although they may find
the power of God moving in them, yet they never com eto be skillful, nor to divide the word
aright; and such do not truly gow, but sometimes bring forth a mixture, sowing the field with two
sorts of grain, and wearing a linen and wollen garment.
Friends, this lieth upon my spirit to all who feel the beginning of a testimony spring in your hearts,
wait diligently in that light, low, in stillness and passiveness of spirit, and you will come to feel the
counsel of the Lord sealed to your understandings, and see the time when to speak, and when to
remain silent, and here will be a right increase of your testimony. When that which is sealed to the
understanding is offered, tetire inward and sink down into stillness, and keep in the valley; and let
all know, that no ministration,save that which comes fro the life itself, fromthe fesh arisings of the
pure power of the Lord, availeth any thing; and all ministering out of this will fade and com eto an
end, in the approaching day of trial.
And, dear Friends, as the will of the Lord is made manifest, yeild sincere obedience thereto; if the
requiring be but a few words; for I have seen it a dangerous thing to resist the motions of God's
power, and have known many hours of sorrow for it. In the befginnig of a testimony for the Lord,
even in the upright heart, greatt will be the opposition of the enemy every way, and where he
cannot lead to an untimely brith, he will endeavour to shut up the heart in disobedeince or
rebellion, or raise up many fears and doubts, if possible to bewilder the soul. Here I had perished,
if it had not been for the love and tender mercy of the Lord. And so, dear Friends, for whose sake
I am moved thus to write, when a motion is felt, and openings are in the heart, sink down in that
in which no vain thought can be hidden,, and stand single and passive. The more still, hubmel and
passive thou art, who art thus exercised, the mtion of life will the more show itself, and the power
will arise and clear thy understanding; and the, in that which warmeth thy heart, and moveth on
thy spirit, enter into thy service; and when that is done, add not, but sit in the still habitation, and
in humilty and pasiveness, and thou wilt feel the reard of obedience, and grow in experience and
knowledge, and be more and mroe furnished to every good word and work.
And may the Lord preserve all who are thus exercised in the even path, in which they will feel
strengthened with might in the inward man, and furnished to serve the Lord.
And, Friends, when any thorugh want of expereince err, in running before the power, be very
tender; and although there may be a savour and judgment in yourselves, and you may be
burthened, yet beware how you speak to ease yourselves, but wiat on the Lord therein, to be
guided by his counsel; for some having such a sense, and not discerning wherein the miscarriage
lay, have run forth in judgment, and have sometimes hurt, and even destroyed, or at least have
become a stumbling-block to such an exercised Friend, and have also much hurt themselves. So
that not having a true discerning, between the first moving cause, which is the power, they have
judged both, andso have brought a hurt over their own souls, through judging the power of the
Lord; and this sometimes may extend to hurt others. Our of which snare God Almighty preserve
all, that so one may be a strength to another, taking one another by the hand, and saying, "Let us
go up to the mountain of the Lord, who will teach us more and more his ways; and here, in God's
holy mountain, is neither hurting nor destroying.
Given forth through your dear brother,