Dear friends,—Who are gathered in the name of Jesus [Mat 18:20], by whom all things were made and created [John 1:3/Heb 1:2], who upholds all things by his word and power [Heb 1:3], and gives the increase [1 Cor: 3:7] of all things; the earth is his, and the fulness thereof [Psa 24:1]. And therefore let your minds and hearts be with the Lord, and your care cast upon him: and though the Lord is pleased now to try you, and to exercise you in sufferings, and permits your persecutors to spoil your goods, or cast you into prison, to try whether your minds be in him, or in the outward things he gives you: yet let not visible things separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus [Rom 8:38f], nor no persecutions amaze you, nor separate your minds from the love of God. For all things shall work together for good, to them that love God [Rom 8:28]; for the love of God bears all things, and suffers all things [1 Cor 13:7]; and they that spoil the goods of the innocent and cast them into prison, for serving and worshipping of God, the Lord sees it and beholds it; and so leave them to the Lord to deal with them. For that which they get by spoiling you, they will never be the richer for; and when they have done spoiling, the Lord can spoil them and theirs. And all the goods they take from Friends, for serving God, will torment them at last, and be a greater plague to them, more than keeping on your hats, and saying thou to them, was. And you have had experience how the other powers spoiled your goods; but were they either the richer or the fatter? Nay, the more they did eat, destroy, and devour, the more they looked like Pharaoh's lean cattle [Gen 41:17-21]. <123> And did not the christians of old suffer joyfully the spoiling of their goods [Heb 10:34], by professors and profane? So they that are born of the flesh, will persecute them that are born of the spirit [Gal 4:29]; and they that will live godly in Christ Jesus, must suffer persecution [2 Tim 3:12]; and blessed are they that do suffer persecution for Christ and his righteousness' sake [Mat 5:10]. And so never fear the loss of the fleece, for God can make it grow again, as he did poor Job's [Job 42:12]. And it is the way of the enemy and adversary, to set upon the young convinced, to think by that means to make them to yield. For, have you not read, it was the way, how that the enemies of Israel, of old, fell upon the weak and feeble of their camp, and the hindermost of the flock [Deut 25:18]; but they had their reward at the end. And so wait upon the Lord, and he will support you, though he may try you awhile; as he doth all his saints, that the trial of your faith may come forth more pure than gold [1 Pet 1:7]. And so never fear man, nor what they are permitted to do unto you, but the Lord: though the hungry lions may lack, yet they that wait upon the Lord, shall not want any good thing [Psa 34:10]; for his promise is, he will never leave them nor forsake them [Heb 13:5]. And so the Lord God Almighty give you power and courage, to stand against all the wiles of the enemy [Eph 6:11], and to be valiant for his truth upon the earth [Jer 9:3]. And so, with my love in the everlasting seed, Christ Jesus, who is over him that makes to suffer, and will be when he is gone. G. F.
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