An Epistle from Stephen Crisp, When a Prisoner   Leave a comment

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“O you lambs of the green pasture! you sheep of my Father’s fold! you who by the word of life are made acquainted with the power of regeneration, and are born into the nature of the Lamb’s innocence; and are grown up in the virtue of sincerity. Oh! how glorious is your appearance? My eye beholds, and my heart is ravished; my soul shall praise the God of my life forever and ever on your behalf. From the hill have I viewed you, and from the high tower of my refuge have I looked on you; my eye is opened, and I see you the flock of undefiled lambs in whom my God is glorified. Oh! feed you, and be you nourished; for your pastures are enlarged. and your Shepherd’s care is over you; his arm is able to defend you from every beast of the field. By day will he feed you in his pleasant pastures, and by night will he fold you in a fold of rest. Oh! my beloved Friends, this is the day of which we have spoken, and in which not only the words, but the nature must be manifested. You who bear the Lamb’s image, and grow in his nature, first being proved, shall be preserved and delivered, and in the day of trial feel the word of patience; for that stays the thoughts, and keeps satisfied in the present state. Here is the glory of the saints, who only of all the children of men, can glory in tribulation, and can grow then in patience. Now the glory of Zion’s daughters appears to be within them, and their strength is a continual spring, whereby her sons are armed with power, to tread down change and alterations, and dwell in the dominion over trouble. Glory, glory to the God of our strength, who keeps us, who guards Israel, who arms his chosen ones, and leads them to the battle, and keeps our head covered therein, that the enemy cannot wound it.

“Here, my dearly beloved brethren and sisters, in the generation of our endless posterity, is my unity with you preserved, though by locks and bars I be separated outwardly from you, yet by the invisible flowings of life, do I reach you, and am felt by you, in that eternal Spirit which quickens and gives life to every member of the church of Christ. This present separation, is for trial of our faith, love and patience, that through exercise they may be perfected, and we all may learn the heavenly and internal knowledge, sense and feeling one of another, by sinking into, and waiting in the spirit of the Father, by which the whole body is knit and united together; and who knows us not in this, is not truly of us; for as we have said, declarations and prophecies must cease, but the word which begets and gives life, abides forever, and is the daily bread, which is set before the mercy seat, in the house of our God, of which none may eat, but those who are sanctified, washed and clean, according to the law, and are witnesses of the offering, that makes atonement; and these may now feed together, being nourished, and grow strong, as well as ever; because the enemy cannot rob you of your food, and your water. Therefore eat, O Friends, and drink abundantly of the new wine, well refined; let your hearts be glad, and let your souls rejoice in the promise, for this is the day of the Lamb’s battle, and the day of his victory is near at hand, wherein the carcasses must be buried out of sight, and all dead worship without life put under, and the living worship of the living God, be exalted more and more. Therefore rejoice you, and I say again, rejoice. Let your hearts be strong, O my beloved Friends, and comfort you yourselves therein, and one another, and love one another. Let the spirit of love abound in you, one towards another, in how much you see the enemy seeks to discomfort you. Mark the weak among you in true love and compassion; beware of the wiles of those who are crafty, who seek to lead from the simplicity of the gospel. Keep your testimony alive in all things, wherein you are required by the Lord, and be not terrified at all that is, or may come to pass. The God of peace and power, of eternal love and truth, preserve you all faithful to the end, to the everlasting consolation of your souls, and glory of his great name; for the sake whereof he has saved us, and delivered us, and will yet deliver us; to whom be everlasting praises, and holy thanksgiving forever and ever. Amen.”

–Stephen Crisp

Stephen Crisp Letters
Zion

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