William Penn

Source: William Penn's Journal of his Travels in Holland and Germany in 1677, in the Service of the Gospel. Volume One of A Select Series, Biographical, Narrative, Epistolary, and Miscellaneous: Chiefly for the Productions of Early Members of the Society of Friends: Intended to Illustrate the Spiritual Character of the Gospel of Christ. Edited by John Barclay. London: Darton and Harvey, 1835.

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William Penn to all suffering Friends in Holland or Germany, particularly in Fredericstadt, and in or near Dantzic.

Rickmansworth, 1st of the 7th month, 1673.

My Dear Friends,

In God's everlasting Truth, and that heavenly power, strength, and dominion that stands therein, doth my soul very dearly salute you all, who have tasted of the invisible and heavenly life, that in made known unto that residue of woman's seed, who have been begotten into the living way of light and righteousness. Oh! pleasant are the outgoings of the Lord to and in his children, whose minds are truly stayed upon him, and are freely resigned up into his all-wise disposal; - such shall abound in the joys of God's salvation, even in sufferings, persecutions, tribulations, yea, death, and every peril that may attend your most holy faith. Therefore, hold up your heads, and be ye comforted, O little flock! your Shepherd will not fly, though the wolf come. Know your Shepherd, and dwell with him, and he will bring you into sweet and green pastures, in the midst of your enemies. Consult not with flesh and blood, to know what may be the cause of your trails, how you may shun them, or which way you may keep mammon and a good conscience too; but eye the Lord, without whose providence, a sparrow falls not to the ground. No new or strange thing can happen unto you: dwell in the faith that works by love, and that will cast out all fear, which begets any staggering form your holy testimony. Remember that many eyes are upon you, and as you acquit yourselves in this exercise that may quickly be suffered to come upon you, so will God's Truth be well or ill spoken of; for people will measure your most holy way by you. The way they see not, you they will behold: what know ye, but the Lord is now preparing and brightening you for further service, both where you live, and in other places. Oh! in the light of Jesus, the just man's path, live and walk, that to the end you may endure; so shall you glorify God, answer their labours, who have travailed among you, and obtain unto yourselves eternal salvation. So, dear heart! be still, quite, and given up in life and death: - God's great work is going on: he always comes upon the world in a storm, and sometimes to his children, that they may be the more weaned from the world, that people may be the more stirred up to mind the, and that Truth may be more effectually manifested through their self-denial, patience, and resolution. Stand, them be valiant, and keep yourminds to the invisible life, which in the light is felt; and them I am persuaded, neither principalities, nor powers, nor life, nor death, nor any other thing, shall be able to separate you from the love of God, that hath been and daily is revealed to you in Christ Jesus, the Lamb of God,and the Light of the world.

The God of all peace keep your minds and spirits in perfect peace,amidst the greatest trials and disquiets from without, that you mayfinish your testimonies with us, to His eternal praise that hathcalled us, who is over every name worthy, even God, blessed forever. Amen, amen!

Your fellow-feeling Brother in the unchangeable Truth,

W. Penn

P.S. Truth greatly prevails in these island, and grows daily famous over the heads of its peevish opposers: and Friend, that have heard lately of you, travail and sympathize with you: you are not alone, and He that is in you, is greater than he that is in the world. Farewell.