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THE YEARLY-MEETING abserving, that
1 in many of the TESTIMONIES, received from the different Quarterly - meetings, much useful and profitable Matter was contained, tending to promote and encourage the Practice of Virtue, and of that Obedience and Selfdenial, which the Gospel of Christ requires of his Servants ; together with several short, but full Relations of the bright Examples, and folid and tender Expressions of many who have had the Happiness to finish well, and
their Belief of the Truth, and Excellency of the Christian RELIGION, by giving a clear Evidence, of its genuine Fruits and Effects, in their Lives and Conversations; and, in the Conclusion, by being divinely favoured with an Assurance of that Life and Immortality, for which, above all, they had desired and laboured.
Under Under these Considerations, the YEARLYMEETING directed the Collecting and Printing of such of these TESTIMONIES as were judged most likely to be of general Benefit ; which COLLECTION is here presented to the Reader. But we must acknowledge we greatly regret, frequently to find the solid and weighty Expressions of our dying Friends omitted, under the Excuse of Brevity ; when oftentimes they are the most important, and would be the most likely to be of Advantage to those to whom they are communicated ; but, so it is in too many Instances : To avoid which, in future, Friends are desired not to be negligent at such Opportunities, but to make as full and authentick a Collection of the last Words, and Death-bed Expressions, of our worthy departing Friends, as they are capable ; as these are generally the most lively and affecting, and have a stronger Tendency to stir up the pure Mind in the confiderate Readers, and make them to defire and endeavour so to walk, in the Counsel of God, as to obtain the like precious Experience : In order to promote which, these TESTIMONIES are earnestly recommended to the Perusal and serious Attention of Friends in general, but especially to the Youth of both Sexes ; for in them they may see a Cloud of Witnesses to the happy Fruits of an early Devotion, and the unspeakable Advantages resulting to those who embrace the Visitation of the Most High, and follow the Discoveries and Requirings of his holy Spirit, in the Way of Regeneration and the daily Cross ; Advantages which fo far surpass every Thing, which hath been or can be exchanged for them, that, when put in the Scale, they all appear lighter than Vanity.
There are two Phrases (in the following Collection) that frequently occur, which, to a Reader not of our Perswafion, may be misunderstood, and by being misunderstood, may give Offence ; they are, He, or she, was descended from believing Parents; or, was convinced of the Truth. To obviate which, it may be observed, that it is not thereby intended to circumscribe the Belief of the Truth, in the general Acceptation of that Phrase, to curselves ; or to infinuate, that other Societies do not believe the Truths of Christianity: But, as the Words of Christ are, I AM THE TRUTH. This I AM, the essential, everlasting, faving Truth, is that of which they were convinced, and in which they believed : Convinced of him by his own immediate, self-evident Operation upon their
Minds ; convinced, that this was the Spirit of Truth, of whom it was said, when he came, he should convince the World of Sin, of Righteousness, and of Judgment.
And being brought to this Rock and sure Foundation of living Faith, they became convinced, that as the Holy God is an omnipresent Spirit, so in Spirit and in Truth must he be acceptably worshiped ; that as he is in himself infinite, and incomprehensible, dwelling in the Light, which no Man can approach unto, whom no Man bath seen or can fee ; so, through this Spirit of Truth, this Holy Mediator, Access only could be had, and true Worship performed, to the Father of Spirits. They were convinced, that as he is perfectly holy, fo, except they were made in degree holy, their Prayers could never ascend with Acceptance, as the Incense of Saints, before the Throne of Glory. And altho' the Command and Declation to Abram is plainly exhibited in Scripture, viz. I am the Almighty God, walk before me, and be thou perfect ; it leemed to them an impossible Attainment, till opened by him who hath the Key of David : They then faw, that Perfection arose from the Relation Abram Nood in to an Almighty Creator ; and were
convinced that this Call extended to the Seed of Abram through all Generations. And,
Being convinced of the Purity, so they were of the Peaceableness of this Gospel Dispensation. They not only read, but felt it breath, Peace on Earth, and Goodwill to Men ; that there was to be no hurting nor destroying in all God's holy Mountain.
These are some of the important Truths, of which they were convinced ; Truths which, we trust, will spread and prevail in the Nations of the World, till, in the Lord's Time, the Accomplishment of that memorable Prophecy, and Proclamation of the evangelical Prophet, be fully known, viz. And it mall come to pass in the last Days, that the Mountain of the Lord's House Mall be established in the Top of the Mountains, and Mall be exalted above the Hills; and all Nations shall flow unto it : And many People Jhall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the Mountain of the Lord, to the House of the God of Jacob, and he will teach us of bis Ways, and we will walk in bis Paths ; for out of Zion Mall go forth the Law, and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He mall judge among the Nations, and shall rebuke many people :