An EPISTLE of WILLIAM LEDDRA, to Friends, written by him the day before he was put to Death.
To the Society of the Little Flock of Christ, Grace and Peace be Multiplied.
Most Dear and inwardly Beloved,
THe sweet Influences of the Morning-Star, like a Flood distilling into my Innocent Habitation, hath so filled me with the Joy of the Lord in the Beauty of Holiness, that my Spirit is as it it did not Inhabit a Tabernacle of Clay, but is wholly swallowed up in the bosome of Eternity, from whence it had its being.
Alas, alas! What can the Wrath and Spirit of man that lusteth to Envy, aggravated by the heat and strength of the King of the Locus which came out of the Pit, do unto one that is hid in the Se∣cret Places of the Almighty? or, unto them that are gathered under the healing wings of the Prince of Peace? under whose Armor of Light, they shall be able to stand in the day of trial, having on the breast-plate of Righteousness, and the sword of the Spirit, which is their weapon of war against Spiritual wickedness, Principalities and Powers, and the Rulers of the darkness of this World, both within and without! Oh my Beloved! I have waited as a Dove at the Windows of the Ark, and have stood still in that watch, which the Master (without whom I could do nothing) did at his coming reward with fulness of his Love, wherein my heart did rejoyce, that I might in the Love and Life of God, speak a few words to you, sealed with the Spirit of Promise, that the taste thereof might be a savor of Life to your Life, and a Testimony in you of my Innocent Death: And if I had been altogether silent, and the Lord had not opened my mouth unto you, yet he would have opened your hearts, and there have sealed my Innocency with the streams of Life, by which we are all Bapti∣zed into that body which is in God, with whom and in whose presence there is Life; in which as you abide, you stand upon the pillarPage 194 and ground of Truth: For, the Life being the Truth and the Way, go not one step without it, lest you should compass a Moun∣tain in the Wilderness; for unto every thing there is a season. As the Flowing of the Ocean doth fill every creek and branch thereof, and then retires again towards its own being and fulness, and leaves a savor behind it; so doth the Life and Virtue of God flow into every one of your hearts, whom He hath made partakers of his Divine Nature, and when it withdraws but a little, it leaves a sweet savor behind it, that many can say, they are made clean through the Word that He hath spoken to them: In which Inno∣cent Condition you may see what you are in the presence of God, and what you are without Him. Therefore my Dear hearts, let the enjoyment of the Life alone, be your Hope, your Joy and Consolation, and let the Man of God flee those things that would lead the Mind out of the Crosse, for then the Savor of the Life will be buried: And although some may speak of things that they received in the Life, as experiences, yet the Life being vail∣ed, and the savor that it left behind, washed away by the fresh floods of Temptation, the Condition that they did enjoy in the Life, boasted of by the Aiery Thing, will be like the Manna that was gathered Yesterday, without any good scent or savor: For it was onely well with the Man while he was in the Life of Inno∣cency, but being driven from the Presence of the Lord into the Earth, what can be boast of? And although you know these things, and (many of you) much more than I can say; yet for the Love and Zeal I bear to the Truth and Honour of God, and tender desire of my Soul to those that are young, that they may read me in that from which I write, to strengthen them against the wiles of the subtil Serpent that beguiled Eve; I say, stand in the Watch within, in the Fear of the Lord, which is the ve∣ry Entrance of Wisdom; and the State where you are ready to re∣ceive the Secrets of the Lord: Hunger and Thirst patiently, be not weary, neither doubt; stand still and cease from thy own work∣ing, and in due time thou shalt enter into the Rest, and thy Eyes shall behold thy Salvation, whose Testimonies are sure and righteous altogether: Let them be as a Seal upon thine Arm, and as Jewels about thy Neck, that others may see what the Lord hath done for your Souls: Confesse Him before Men, yea before His greatest Enemies, Fear not what they can do unto you: Greater is He Page 195 that is in you, than he that is in the World: For he will cloath you with Humility, and in the power of His Meckness you shall reign over all the rage of your Enemies in the favour of God; wherein as you stand in Faith, ye are the Salt of the Earth; For many seeing your good works, may glorify God in the day of their Vi∣tation. Take heed of receiving that which you saw not in your Life, lest you give ear to the Enemy; Bring all things to the Life that they may be proved, whether they be wrought in God: The Love of the World, the Lust of the Flesh, and the Lust of the Eye, are without the Light, in the World; therefore possesse your Vessels in all Sanctification and Honour, and let your Eye look at the Mark; He that hath called you is holy: And if there be an Eye that offends, pluck it out, and cast it from you: Let not a Temptation take hold, for if you do, it will keep from the Fa∣vour of God, and that will be a sad state: For without Grace possessed, there is no assurance of Salvation; By Grace you are saved, and the Witnessing of it is sufficient for you; to which I commend you all my Dear Friends, and in it remain,
Boston Goal, the 13 of the first Moneth, 1660. 61.
You Brother, William Leddra.