Early Friends suffered greatly, oppressed from all sides. Persecution of the just, after all, has occurred throughout history – and today’s headlines continue that tale. For perspective on their courage, just listen to Elizabeth Bathurst (1655?-1685):
- Wherefore faint not in your Minds, nor be discouraged in your Spirits, at the Tidings you hear abroad, but dwell within your Tent, and serve the Lord with Fear, every one in your Sphere.
- For the righteous God will establish the Just, when bloody and deceitful Men shall not live out half their Days.
- Therefore stand you still, and wait for God’s Arising, so shall all his Enemies be scattered before him.
- And he will surely rise against our spiritual Adversaries, and bring them down in us, that they may not insult over us.
- Renowned be the Lord of Hosts, the Captain of my Salvation, which caused me to march through valiantly, and also given me the Victory.
- For, Friends, let me tell you, here lieth our Strength in these Times of Trial, herein is our Safety in this Day of Danger, in this you’ll be sure and quiet, when Peoples Hands shall be upon their Loins, because of Fear in the Night.
- So that though I speak not boastingly, yet I can say, The Revilings of the Ungodly, do not at all dis-spirit me, for now I can take their Reproaches for Christ’s Sake, and bind them as an Ornament unto me.