Volume 4, The Works of George Fox, Doctrinal Books I, Continued
To all who love the Lord Jesus Christ, mercy and peace be multiplied unto you.
As, first, sprinkling of infants, and telling people they baptize them into the faith, into the church, which there is no scripture for; but the baptism by one spirit into one body, this we own; and the church is in God, as Paul, and Silvanus, and Timothy wrote to the church of the Thessalonians, which was in God. They tell people of a sacrament, for which there is no scripture; that we do deny, and them; but the Supper of the Lord we acknowledge. The bread that we break is the communion of the body of Christ, the cup we drink is the communion of the blood of Christ, all made to drink into one spirit. They speak a divination of their own brain, and not from the mouth of the Lord; and such the Lord sent his prophets to cry out against; all these now who study a divination of their own brain, and speak not from the mouth of the Lord, we do deny. All who are made ministers by Oxford and Cambridge, bred up with learning, and so made ministers by the will of men, and speak natural languages, as Hebrew and Greek, and say that is the original, which a natural man may learn, and the natural man knows not the things of God; all such we do deny. Paul was brought up at the feet of Gamaliel, in the Jewish religion, but that did not make him a minister of Jesus Christ. Paul declares that he was not made a minister by the will of man, nor of man, neither by man, but by the will of God, (also, Gal 1:1), and all such I own, who stand out of the will of man, denying all carnal ends; for this ministry draws up to God out of the world, and does not respect any man's person, but ministers to that which is in prison. But those teachers which are made by man, say, the letter [Bible] is the light, the letter [Bible] is the word; they say that the four books, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, is the gospel, when the Bible says, Christ is the glad tidings which was promised, the Lamb of God which takes away the sins of the world, and this we witness to be fulfilled.
All whose, who are in the light, are in unity; for the light is but one, and who know the light are in unity; all who know the word, which is a mystery, are come to the beginning, are sanctified by the word, and clean through the word; for this word is a fire, burning up all corruption, as an hammer beats down all high minds, high nature, that the pure seed may be raised up; as a sword cuts to pieces, and divides asunder the precious from the vile, and makes a separation inwardly and outwardly from uncleanness; and this is the word of reconciliation, that reconciles together to God, and gathers the hearts of his together, to live in love and unity one with another, and lets them see how they have been strangers and aliens from the life of God; the light and the word draws from under the occasion of all laws outwardly, working out that filthy nature which the outward law takes hold on; so walking in the spirit, there is not a fulfilling the lusts of the flesh; and the spirit is but one, which baptizes into one body, which we do witness to be fulfilled; praise be to the Lord.
Although we are a people accused of raising up a new war [in 1661, Quakers were accused of being allied with the Fifth Monarchy's revolt], it is false; for dwelling in the word, it takes away the occasion of wars, and gathers our hearts together to God, and unto one another, and brings to the beginning, before wars were; for the ministers of God, which had the word of reconciliation to draw them from the occasion of all wars, working out that nature that occasions war, said, where do wars arise? Even from the lusts. Therefore, all dear people, who love the Lord Jesus Christ, and the appearance of Jesus Christ in your souls, do not be talkers of the truth, nor followers of the blind guides, but mind the pure light of God in you, which shows your sin and evil, and how you have spent your time, and shows you how your minds go forth, and every carnal thought. If you love that light, you love Christ, and walking in the light in measure, there will be no occasion of stumbling, for all stumbling is in being disobedient. Wait to find the word in you, as the scripture said; not to fetch it from above, nor from beneath; but what does the scripture say? It is near you, in your mouth and heart, for with the heart man believes, and with the tongue confession is made unto salvation. Abiding inwardly in the light, it will let you see one another, and the unity one with another, and the teachers of the world to be the ministers of the letter, [and not the Spirit].
Although we are accused for going into steeple-houses, it was the practice of the apostles to go into the synagogues, reasoning and disputing about the scriptures, showing them the substance; and they told them that God did not dwell in temples made with hands, neither was he worshipped with men's hands. Stephen said, the most high dwells not in temples made with hands, and for witnessing forth the substance, was stoned to death; but these were types of Jesus Christ. The saints who were made the temples of God, denied the outward temple; but there is a ministry now which does in words profess Jesus Christ, holds up these outward temples, and as Moses, which was a type of Christ, which was a servant, was faithful in his house, so the deceit (after him) got into his place, and was called of men masters, which sat in his seat, which pretended justice, and did it not; and that was the time before Christ was sacrificed up, who came to fulfil the law, and not to break it; but he cried, woe unto them that were called of men masters, and had the highest place in the assemblies, and laid heavy burdens upon the people, and painted themselves with the prophets' words. But when Jesus Christ was sacrificed and risen, and his ministers preached his resurrection, they did not hold up the types and figures then, but held forth the substance, Jesus Christ. All who were gathered together in the substance, were of one heart, one mind, one soul, and met together, and exhorted one another, and built up one another in the most holy faith, and all true building is in that which is holy; (and this faith I witness) which is but one, and all are one that are in it, if ten thousand, which purifies the heart, stands in God; glory and honor to the highest; and whom Jesus Christ made ministers, he made them not masters; but said, be ye not called masters, for ye have one master, even Jesus Christ. But the teachers of the world, who in words profess the Lord Jesus Christ, are called of men masters, and lay heavy burdens upon the people, go in long robes, having the highest place in the assemblies, standing praying in the synagogues; and those who did so, Christ Jesus said, their prayers were heathenish; which shows they were never taught of him, for they abode not in his doctrine; and he that abides not in the truth is of the devil; and here they show themselves neither to follow Jesus Christ the example, nor the apostles as an example, but take the scriptures to earn money, teaching about them.
All those which Jesus Christ, the prophets and apostles do deny, we deny. When the apostles spoke to the saints, he told them to take heed to the light that shined in a dark place, till the day dawned, and the day-star arose in their hearts; and as the light appeared, so they exhorted one another; for there were false prophets, and false teachers among the people, which with pretentious words and covetousness, made merchandize of them, who had forsaken the right way, following the ways of Balaam, going in the way of Cain, whose sacrifice God did not accept. Now all people that love the Lord Jesus Christ, you may see all the teachers of the world there, going after the ways of Balaam; for then that doctrine crept in, which is scattered over the world, and the apostles saw certain creeping into houses, leading silly women captive, laden with sin, and divers lusts, which were ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth, which he describes; they were lovers of their own selves, covetous, proud, heady, high-minded, self-willed, incontinent, truce-breakers, false accusers, fierce, despisers of those that are good, and lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof; as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these; men of corrupt minds, reprobates [sin still lives in them] concerning the faith; but they shall proceed no further, their folly shall appear to all men.
Now the apostle tells them, from such turn away; though once he said, some preach Christ of envy, some of strife and contention, some of good will, though their intention was but to add affliction to his bonds, yet he rejoiced in it; but that was a time when few believed that that was the Christ; so that his name was spread abroad, he did not matter what they were; but when his name was spread abroad, and many got the form, and had not the power, such were antichrists, and were denied by them who had power, and so they are now.
All people consider, (you who have long sat listening and learning), if you are yet to come to the first principle of religion, to that which turns the mind to God; all whose faith does not purify, they are reprobates [sin still lives in them] concerning the faith. So ask any minister or people, whether they shall overcome the body of sin, as long as they are upon the earth? They will say no. Therefore their seeming faith I deny, for faith purifies the heart, and gives the victory over the world; and this I own, and you have put off the body of sin, by the circumcision made without hands; and while we were servants of sin, we were free from righteousness, but God be thanked, who has made us free from sin, to serve God in righteousness, in the newness of the spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter [Bible and law].
Although we are accused for not owning magistracy; justice we own for conscience sake; for that light which is in the conscience, loves equity, and righteousness, and justice, and leads out of all evil, and uncleanness; for let every soul be subject to the higher power, for all power is of God, and the powers of God our souls are subject unto; for he that resists that, resists the ordinance of God; but who lives in drunkenness, in pride, in covetousness, murder, lust and uncleanness, their souls are not subject to the higher power, but resist it, and that nature we do deny, and justify that which cuts it down. We acknowledge honor and set it up; and honor all men in the Lord; but as for respecting persons we deny, for he that respects persons, commits sin, and is a transgressor of the law. For to respect a proud man, because he has a gold ring on his finger, and fine apparel, such respects we deny, for the scriptures deny the same; and to set up a great man which has abundance of earth, joining field to field, and land to land, and respect such above the poor, this is an evil eye; for God cries woe unto such, for God has made all of one mold, and one blood, to dwell upon the face of the earth, and he is no respecter of persons; and who are in the faith of the Lord Jesus Christ, it is without respect of persons, for it is but one, and makes all one, one seed, one soul, one heart, one mind, in one God, father of all, over all, blessed forever. This we do witness (praised be the Lord) to be fulfilled, which all the holy men of God did witness forth, a good conscience, and therefore we have a cloud of witnesses which are recorded in the scriptures.
As for the customs and fashions of the world, bowing and making obeisance with cap and knee, which men and women have done one to another, which lived without the fear of the Lord, we deny; but we honor all men in the Lord with our souls, and with our hearts, and who looks for these things outwardly, there is a fleshly principle, for these things may be done and are practiced, and the heart full of envy; therefore all these fashions we deny. And touching good-even and good-morrow, which are customs of the world, spoken without fear of the Lord, we do deny; but good to all men we wish, and the good day, that they may be brought into it, and that they may see the happy day; but the vain fashions and customs which the fleshly and heathenish nature holds up, and when it is crossed in its ways and customs, rages, and is mad, we deny; and that nature which holds up all these things, we deny.
For the God of power, light, and glory, has raised up a light in his people, and gathered their hearts together to himself, and has discovered unto them the vanity of all things, wherein they have lived, and showed them his way and truth, where they should walk and glorify him, and serve him in holiness and newness of life; and with eternal food, the bread of life, does he feed us, whereby we become wonders to the world, as he has raised his seed to his praise and glory, and is adding daily to his church,and the strong man bows himself, and the keepers of the house tremble, and the powers of the earth shake, and the glory of the Lord is rising, and is risen, which terribly shakes the earth, that the idols of gold and silver are cast away, and God alone loved, who is Lord of heaven and earth; and the works of the Lord are strange and wondrous, as ever were, as the scriptures witness. When Daniel heard the voice, he fell down and trembled, and his strength was gone. And Paul, when he heard the voice, he fell down, and trembled; and Habakkuk, when he heard the voice, his lips quivered, his belly shook, rottenness entered into his bones, that he might rest in the day of trouble. And David when he heard the voice of God in the holy temple, and his prayers came before him, the earth shook, and David his flesh trembled. And work out your salvation with fear and trembling. Now these workings are strange to them, where the strong man keeps the house, and who are in the earth; but who are rising up out of the earth, witness the power of the earth to be shaken; and who are raised up out of the earth, witness these things, and have a cloud of witnesses to witness them, passing through the same door, to the same rest; and so we witness the scriptures, and the power of Christ, and them to be fulfilled, and fulfilling; praises, praises be unto the Lord God Almighty forever. We witness the happy day of the Lord is come, the good and happy day, and glad tidings to souls, the day of Christ; praises, praises, be to him forever. All ye children of the Lord, praise the Lord for ever, sing praises unto the Lord for evermore. This is the day of salvation, and the everlasting gospel, glad tidings are come into our souls, free pardon of sin by Jesus Christ, who is come to take away sin, and to destroy the works of the devil; thus do we witness the scriptures fulfilled by God alone, therefore [we] deny all the ministers of the letter.
(Omitted from the original letter was: 1) a discussion of the honoring men by addressing them in the plural or you instead of thee and thou, which the grammar books of the day taught, and therefore irrelevant to today's language usage; and 2) the condemnation of the widespread practice of the singing David's Psalms, as though they were experiencing the same conditions as David, irrelevant today due to a plethora of hymns since composed and in usage.)
Hear the Lord God, and take heed of pride; woe unto you that are given to vanity, you grieve the spirit of the Lord God in you, you lose seriousness, you lose moderation in your apparel, in your diet; you lose temperance, you are not temperate in your apparel, nor in your diet. Bow to the Lord, you evil-doers; what a bowing and bending make you one to another; bow to the Lord, give him the glory, give him the honor. You who are offended, that you do not have the earthly honor, are the earthly man, earthly Adam, not the spiritual man, the Lord from heaven heavenly, not the spiritual man, the second Adam. Oh! How do you go in your apparel, that you are barely able to make your way in the streets! Oh! The glory of the world has swallowed you up many of you! Oh! You have entered into the great temptation. What would the devil have given Christ to have bowed down to him? Have you not the lusts of the flesh? Have you not the pride of life? And yet you profess scriptures and bow down to him who is out of the truth. Do you not have your hearts' desire in those things? Are you not dressed so in your apparel, that you can scarcely tell how to walk the streets, in gold, silver, jewels. Old men, have you lost gravity? Young men, have you forgotten sincerity? Have young women forsaken modesty, following vanity? Oh what a painting of yourselves you make, young and old people? Oh the spirit is vexed where vanity is! God will not always strive with man. Oh how have you forgotten the Lord, and given yourselves up to your hearts' lusts! Consider all people the days you spend, and have spent in vanity, in wantonness, in fooleries and toys, in superfluities, in haughtiness, in sports, in pleasures and games. Does not something in you all prick you and check you for your unconverted state, for your conduct in the earth, and for delighting in all things in the world , setting your hearts in vanity? Oh old men, how can you help but see and consider, is the fear of God quite gone out of your hearts? Oh who can but speak, who can hold his tongue? Oh how is the spirit grieved and vexed with your vanity and abominations? Oh how is the just trodden under foot? Oh how is everyone carried away with vanity and vexation of spirit, and covered with it? How do men reel in their folly and madness, that they cannot tell how to go, nor what to wear, nor what to eat, nor what to drink, nor what to put on? Is not this the fashion of the heathen, and not like christians? Unsettled minds, that run into every fashion, that invent strange and new fashions! Repent, repent, for fear that God's judgments will come upon you, and sweep you away unawares. Oh how does your inordinate affections appear! you are excessive in apparel, you are excessive in superfluity and diet.
Oh what good does your preaching and teaching do you? How does it profit you at all, while you are so given up to vanity, as though you had never heard talk of God, talk of religion, talk of christians, prophets and apostles! Read their declarations, and see what they declared against. The rod of God must be fed withal, you lofty and full, you haughty and high-minded; Oh how do you eat and drink, and then rise up to play! Is not this your practice you full ones, and fat ones? Do you call this recreation, you idle ones, like the old world? as Sodom and Gomorrah in fullness of bread and idleness, who turned against Noah and Lot, the preachers of righteousness, so it is at this day, and so it was in the days of the prophets, and in the days of the apostles; these were spots in their feasts, that were beginning before the apostles' decease, to eat and to drink, and rise up to play, admiring men's persons because of advantage, of whose root and offspring you are, that make yourselves merry over the just in the particular, and then in the general, and so live wantonly upon the earth, and in pleasure, and nourish your hearts, you are of the flock that kills the just root and offspring; for the people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play, with whom God was not well pleased, of whom God slew thousands at once; there is your example, and there is your stock, and there are your old fathers. Though you profess the saints' words, if you read the scriptures, you may see of whose stock you are, and of whose generation, and whose path you go in; therefore if you love a long life, your souls' happiness and good, come out of vanity, come to seriousness and gravity, come to the Lord, come off all the barren mountains, all people come off the barren mountains, that you may have refreshment of the Lord God; come off vanity that you may be led with the spirit, and not grieve it, and vex it, but that you may have unity in the spirit, with the Father of spirits, and unity one with another; your vanities grieve the spirit, by which you are a burden to the creation; it is a marvel how you can walk up and down the streets, and not be checked and reproved in your own particulars, for your vanity, and not be ashamed. Is the witness stifled in you? Has the custom of the sin taken away the sense, are you past feeling? Know you not that you must come to the dust you high, lofty, wanton, giddy ones? Oh how are you daubed with silver lace, and your jewels, and your spots of your faces, and your feathers, and your wearing of gold, and through the abundance of your vanity and of your superfluity! ambition and pride, loftiness and haughtiness stops the ear from hearing the Lord, his decree and sentence against you, and how he beholds you afar off, and stops up the eye with which you should see yourselves, and stops up your ear from hearing the poor, the blind and the lame, that lay up and down your streets; so that he that regards not the poor, regards not his Maker; and turning his ear from the poor, turns his ear from his Maker.
So all come to soberness and modesty, and shamefacedness, and be ashamed of all your pride and vanity, and delight in the Lord your Creator, more than the creature, the giver of all good, and take pleasure in him alone, and in his judgments; if not, woe and wrath, and his plagues will come upon you. Oh what a tumult is here, what a bowing and bending is here? Bow to the Lord, give glory to Him, give honor to Him, fear Him, dread the Lord, the Creator of all, of heaven and earth, and of power; he will throw down all deceit with his power. Do you not honor the creature more than the Creator? Do you not bow more to the creature than the Creator? Do you not bow oftener with hat and knee to the creature, than to the Creator? Do you not give more honor and worship, and respect to the creature than to the Creator? Oh shameless men and women! God will abase your pride, and bring your honor and glory to the dust, who beholds your vanity. Oh how have you your lackeys and lads to carry your trains after you. Oh you scorners, give over scorning, and Oh you fools learn to be wise, all you that are given to vanity, for shall those who are given to vanity prosper? Hearken to the spirit of God in you, that checks you for vanity, that you may come into the fear of God, by which you may learn wisdom, and may not destroy the creation, and that you may come to know God, whereby you may come to feel eternal life, that which checks you for your sins, and your vanity, and for your going after it, by which you may come to understanding, and know what is vanity, and vexes the spirit, and what does not vex the spirit, that is pleasing to God, that you may learn with that which gives you understanding; while you have time prize it, for fear that your time be past; this is the day of your visitation, love the Lord God above all his creatures, and delight not in vanity, that to the Lord God in your generation, you may be a blessing, for all the destroyers of the creation are accursed; for woe, and misery, and plagues are to come upon all the world.
Do not bow more and oftener with the hat and the knee to one another, than you do unto the Lord? People cannot tell how to please one another in their bowing with the hat, in curtseying one to another, but they will be ready to think, that I bowed with my hat oftener to him than he did to me, and I curtseyed more to her than she did to me; and thus they are offended one at another; and such a one has more ribbons and gold and silver on him than I have, and spots on their faces, and he powders his hair and curls it. So, if anyone differs in another fashion contrary to them, then they envy one another, which is among those whom have lost gravity. Are you not here as the transgressing children of Israel, mincing, tinkling in round attire, among whom must come to the stink? Isaiah 3. Are you not out of the apostle's doctrine, who said, “Not wearing of gold, nor broidered attire, nor plaiting of hair; but the adorning which, is the hidden man of the heart.”
Oh all you rulers of the earth, from the foundation of the world, to this day, who have been in the transgression of the law of God, of the life of God, out of the fear of God, such in all ages have turned the sword against the just, that have transgressed the just principle of God in themselves, and grafted themselves into the wicked root. All such, from the foundation of the world to this day, have turned the sword backward like blind men; so hit their friends that come with love to their souls; and strike at them instead of their enemies; you persecute the just, you kill the saints, the prophets, and the Son, and persecute them that are in the life of the prophets and apostles. These rulers have always strengthened the hands of evildoers; but those who have reproved in your gates, in your streets, have been your prey. You have banished, you have whipped, you have imprisoned, you have persecuted, you have burned my flesh, said the Lord; you have branded, you have marked, you have fire and faggots, and houses of correction, and inquisitions, and sending up and down warrants, mittimuses, banishing the servants of the Lord, persecuting them because they cannot bow with the hat, give you the earthly honor, not honoring the courts, (as it was in the days of the martyrs, for the testifying of the truth,) and say you to one, showing that you are of the earthly old Adam, driven from God into the earth; not of the second Adam, the Lord from heaven, Christ Jesus, who receives not honor of men. None honors the Father and the Son, but who has received honor from God, and that which is of God.
Now men in haste and passion, in rage, and fury, and bitterness, and prejudice, these are unseasoned men to be justices, unseasoned men to have honor, for humility goes before the honor; pride and high-mindedness, and lifting up, that looks for respect of persons, more than for truth, justice and equity. For if men keep down, low and humble, all doing justly, they are honored in the hearts of all people, with the just principle of God, that all people honors the higher power, that honor justice, and exalt the humility which goes before the honor, for God brings down the mighty from his seat, and abases the proud, and beholds him afar off, and brings down the lofty. Where bitterness, and prejudice, and burnings are in the breasts of people, they will side for parties, and be for their own ends. What work have men with these innocent people, which you in scorn call Quakers? Imprisoning, hauling out of steeple-houses, sending them as vagabonds from place to place, those that are able people outwardly, whipping of them; and because they cannot bow with their hat to you. What work are your judges making with them; and fining of them, imprisoning them because they cannot swear; and imprisoning them, and fining them, because they cannot pay the priest tithes; preparing war against them, because they cannot put into their mouths [pay them tithes], such as Micah cried against. If people were not hardened, they would look into these things, and consider these things, and see all along from the foundation of the world, how they persecute out of the fear of God, though they have gotten the form of words, but are out of the life of them. These persecute men because they cannot put into the priest's mouth [pay tithes], and such as hold up such priests as are made by men, and held up in men's wills, and not by the will of God; and persecute them because they cannot break Christ's command, but keep it, which said, “Swear not all;” and imprison and persecute such as cannot receive honor from men, nor give honor to men which is from below. Can the children of God give honor to that which God will abase and throw down?
All that seek or would be honored in the hearts of all people, must answer the principle of God in all people, with justice, with equity, with truth; and they must have patience, and humbleness, and mercy; for you have whipped, you have burned, you have persecuted, and these things lie upon you; you that have acted these things are out of the fear of God. Therefore now you that fear God, whose hands are clear from blood, and from persecuting the innocent, and who have done justly to the wicked; the Lord God will be your reward, you shall have a crown that is immortal, you who have kept yourselves from persecuting the innocent, and put a difference between the precious and the vile. To them that do well, you have been a praise. Those that have reproved sin in your gates, have not been a prey, but you have protected them, you have nourished them; and the evil-doer has not been strengthened. Happy are you, who are honored in the hearts of all people; you are in their hearts who do justly, love truth, are merciful, and humble. Such persons God exalts and honors in the hearts of all his people, with that of himself. Such know the proud and lofty cannot honor them; they will not receive the honor from the proud and lofty ones, for their honor is only a compliment from below and is earthly. For what honors a magistrate, who does justice and equity and honors the power, is from the principle of God in him; that keeps him humble and low which brings him from under the occasion of the law, which is a praise to them that do well, and a terror to the evil-doers.
A lover of all your souls, and your eternal good, and a friend to the creation, and the truth, and them that be in the life of God.
From them whom the Lord has visited from on High, among whom he has performed his Promise made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
To the Jews scattered, who are of the seed of Abraham, to whom the promise belongs, who have long had the words, but missed the promise, which promise is to the seed. From them who are of the seed, who witness the promise, to you this is sent.
From them that are of the seed of Abraham, to all the scattered Jews according to the flesh, who have the law of God, the form of it, but being found out of the life of it, have not possessed that which Moses saw, who received the law from God, which law you have the form of, and your fathers in ages past had, who put Christ to death, and slew him that is the end of the law, God's righteousness, Christ Jesus, the end of God's righteous law, to keep out of all unrighteousness.
And your fathers, that had the form of the law, slew the prophets that showed the coming of this just one, Christ Jesus, the end of his righteous law, God's righteousness; they having the prophets' words, and Moses’ words, but out of the prophets' and Moses’ life, who saw the just one that was to come and suffer, were those that slew the prophets.
David saw the just one, and called him Lord; and Moses saw him which received the law from God, which law was given to your fathers, which you have had the form of, who said, “Like unto me will God raise you up a prophet from among your brethren, and him they should hear, and every one that would not hear that prophet should be cut off.”
Now your fathers that had Moses, who saw this prophet, and received the law from him, who said, God would raise up this prophet, and he came among your fathers, that had the law, and Moses’ words, but not Moses’ life; and the prophet's words, but not the prophet's life. They knew him not, neither heard him, though he was a prophet, raised up from among the brethren; and was made of the seed of Abraham, according to the flesh, but declared to be the Son of God, according to the scriptures, by signs, wonders and miracles, devils being made subject to him, loosing many from their chains, which were kept under bonds; and yet your fathers believed not that prophet which Moses saw, and the prophets saw, who had come to fulfill what was written of him. Neither did they hear him, though it was Moses’ command that they should, and also God's command. So by this they were in the transgression, though they had the law (the words of it), they were found in the transgression, out of the life of the law, and the life of the prophets, and came to be mingled among the heathen which knew not God, who are in the same transgression, though you profess the words declared from the life. Therefore being out of the life of the prophets, being raised up among your fathers, who spoke of this just one, of this prophet; your fathers persecuted the prophets, and put them to death; and at last the Son came.
He spoke a parable to your fathers, which was agreeable to the prophet's words: as a man letting forth a vineyard to husbandmen, and he sent his servants to look for fruits, and they beat one and cast him out, and wounded another, and killed another; and last of all he sent his son; and when they saw the son, the heir of the vineyard, come, said they to the keepers of the vineyard, this is the heir, let us kill him, and cast him out, then the vineyard will be ours. And these things your fathers did fulfill, they killed him, they cast him out, and delivered him up to the Gentiles [Roman soldiers] to be mocked, scourged, and crucified.
Now consider, what has become of you since, of you husbandmen? Have not you been laid waste? Was not the word fulfilled concerning his coming and rising up from among the brethren? When he came among them in Jerusalem, he would have gathered them as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, but your fathers would not listen. He showed them how they had stoned the prophets, and had killed them; and how wise men (scribes and prophets) would be sent among them, and how they would crucify some of them and scourge in their synagogues, because they neither knew the Father, nor the prophet that the Father had raised up, of which Moses spoke.
Therefore, he said to Jerusalem, behold your house is left unto you desolate. Has it not been so? Was he not a true prophet to you in this statement? Are not your houses unto you left desolate?
Have not this prophet’s words been fulfilled on your fathers, and have not you [as a people] been scattered? Moses spoke of this prophet, who went up to Jerusalem, and was betrayed by him that David spoke of, unto the chief priests and scribes, who condemned him to death, and delivered him to the Gentiles to be mocked, scourged and crucified; but the third day he rose again. Christ said: it cannot be that a prophet perishes other than in Jerusalem.
This the prophet spoke to your fathers, of whom you have the form of the law, and the words of the prophets, which killed the prophets, and yet built their sepulchers.
Here you may see your fathers, and as it was with them, so it is with you, being now found in the same transgression, until you come to the life of the prophets, and of Moses; then with the life you see him who is the end of the prophets and Moses, even the Emanuel spoken of, born of a virgin, who is Christ. Now coming to the life the prophets were in, and Moses was in, with that, this you will come to see; and with it you will come to the conversion, and see the everlasting offering.
Christ the Emanuel, this prophet whom Moses speaks of, and the prophets saw, (who said, it could not be that a prophet would perish outside of Jerusalem) was delivered by the chief priests and scribes to be condemned to death, and delivered to the Gentiles to be mocked, scourged and crucified; [now mind,] he was betrayed into the hands of the chief priests and scribes, and was condemned to death, and by them delivered to the Gentiles to be scourged and crucified.
Now said Christ, when you shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Has not Jerusalem been compassed with armies, and has it not been laid waste? Is not your house desolate, and are not your people scattered as the prophet said? Has not Jerusalem been compassed with armies, where the prophets were slain? The prophet said they would fall by the edge of the sword and be led away captive into all nations, and Jerusalem would be trodden down of the Gentiles; the same Gentiles to whom your fathers delivered him to be crucified to death, until the time of the Gentiles was fulfilled. [Now mind,] have not these words been fulfilled, of which the prophets spoke about whom God would raise up? Is not Jerusalem trodden down? Have not you been carried captives into other nations?*
Have not the Gentiles trodden Jerusalem under foot? Has not Jerusalem been compassed with armies? Have not your houses been left desolate? Have not some fallen by the edge of the sword? Have not they come upon you, the Gentiles, to whom you delivered this prophet to be mocked and crucified? Have not the Gentiles laid waste to Jerusalem? Has not the temple been thrown down, and not one stone left upon another, which Solomon was commanded to build; just as Christ foretold, who was a greater than Solomon. So consider, are not the words of this prophet fulfilled on you that had the words of the prophets, but being out of the life, knew not the substance? Being strangers from the life of Moses, who had the life of the law, and strangers from the life of the prophets; you see not God's purpose, nor decree, nor determined counsel, which had showed unto his prophets of the coming of the just one before he came, before whom your fathers being in the transgression, out of the life of the law and the prophets, chose a murderer, Barabbas, and the chief priests persuaded the people to ask release for the murderer, and to crucify the just. Does not this show that they were in the state of the murderer?
And when the just was risen, whom neither death nor bonds could hold, according to the determinate counsel of God, as David who foresaw it, said, he would not leave his soul in hell, nor suffer his holy one to see corruption, Psalm 16:10.
When the news came Christ has risen, the chief priests and those that set a guard on Christ after they had crucified him gave large money to the soldiers to say that his disciples came by night and stole him away. This report was circulated among the Jews, and so blinded you with a lie, for a lie is of the devil; and he it is that is out of the truth and abode not in it, blinds the eye and casts a mist before their eyes so that they should not believe, and so believe the lies before the truth.
For had your fathers known Moses and the prophets in the life; they would have known him, the just one, the holy one, whom God would not suffer to see corruption, though he was numbered among transgressors, and among them he made his grave, whom God highly exalted at his right hand, to whom thrones, powers and dominions must be subject, who is the end of God's righteous law, God's righteousness, which the prophet Isaiah spoke of, who could not hold his peace for Zion's sake, and for Jerusalem's sake he could not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burns. And the Gentiles shall see your righteousness, and kings your glory; and you shall be called by a new name. This righteousness has come forth, and the Gentiles see it, and does burn as a lamp, and the brightness and salvation thereof is witnessed among them, and the vengeance of our God is proclaimed, the acceptable year of the Lord is come, and comfort to all that mourn; the good tidings are preached to the meek, the broken-hearted are bound up; liberty is proclaimed to the captives, and the prison doors are opened, and those who are bound go forth, who sing of his glory; and the Gentiles see his righteousness and profess it, and the Lord is an everlasting light to his people, and God their glory. For we can call salvation our walls, and gates praise. And the sons have come from far, this is witnessed; and behold, said the Lord, Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising, lift up your eyes round about you, and all that gather themselves together, they shall come to you from far; and said the Lord, arise, shine, for your light is come, for the glory of the Lord is risen upon you: behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people, but the Lord shall arise upon you, and his glory shall be seen upon you. This light the prophet saw the Gentiles should come to, and kings to the brightness of your rising. And said the Lord by his prophet, is it a light thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob; take notice, and restore the preserved of Israel, take notice again; I will give you for a light to the Gentiles, that you may be my salvation to the ends of the earth.
Now mind, the light to the Gentiles, and salvation to the end of the earth, which now the Gentiles profess; the prophet who was in the life, saw this. As it is said before, many do witness this light to the Gentiles and salvation to the ends of the earth, the redeemer of Israel, the raiser up of the tribes of Jacob. This is the redeemer of Israel, the holy one, to him whom man despises, to him whom nations abhor, to a servant of rulers, kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship because of the Lord who is faithful, and the holy one of Israel, and he shall choose you.
And thus said the Lord, I will lift my hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people, and the people witness the standard, and the hand is witnessed, which to the Gentiles is lifted up of the Lord God.
Behold my servant whom I uphold, my elect in whom my soul delights; I have put my spirit upon him, he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. The Gentiles now witness this judgment brought forth to them, and this judgment is set in the earth; he shall not fail nor be discouraged, until he has set judgment in the earth, and the isles shall wait for his law. Now many of the isles do witness this law, who have waited for it, which is royal.
Thus said the Lord, he that created the heavens, and searched them out, he that spread forth the earth, and that which comes out of it; he that gives breath to the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein; I the Lord have called you in righteousness, and will hold your hand, and will keep you, and give you for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles. Now this covenant to the people, and this light to the Gentiles that the prophet speaks of, the Gentiles witness now, and the people witness this covenant of God, and God's promise fulfilled. Those who were ministers of this covenant, were sent to turn the Gentiles from darkness to the light; and those Jews and those Gentiles that did believe in the light, did believe the everlasting covenant, and did receive the everlasting covenant, and the glory of Israel; and this brought in the Gentiles to light, which broke down the partition-wall between the Jew and the Gentile, and of two made one new man; which covenant of light the prophet saw before he was come; and when he was come, your fathers owned him not, neither received, though by signs and wonders, and miracles, confirmed he his ministry, and that he came from God. Yet they said blasphemously; they, who had the prophets' words, and Moses’ words, but were out of the life of both. They said that Christ cast out demons by Beelzebub, the prince of the devils.
Although they [the Jews] had the scriptures, but not the life, they knew him not; when he [Christ the prophet], who the scriptures speak of came, those who had the words [of scripture] did not recognize him. But the Gentiles, with their minds being alienated from the life of God, and strangers from the covenant of promise, and commonwealth of Israel, to them the light was promised, and that to it the Gentiles should come; which many did come to, and do now enjoy, and know the unsearchable riches that are hidden in God, Christ Jesus.
The Jews and the Gentiles receiving the light, the covenant of promise, they come to be baptized with the spirit into the one body; and that covenant of light which brings in the Gentiles, lets them to see the end of the first covenant, that decays; and lets them see the everlasting covenant, Christ Jesus (who came to fulfill the law, and not to break it: heaven and earth shall pass away, but not one stroke of the law shall pass away until all be fulfilled.) The law of life is perfect, converting the soul, and brings it from under that which was against it. So at this covenant of God, the light of the Gentiles, the Jews stumble, which covenant the prophets prophesied of, and your fathers in those days stood against; and so here is the saying of the Lord (which is the law of life) fulfilled: the builders rejected the corner-stone; and as David said, their table became a snare, a trap, and a stumbling-block, and a recompense unto them; and has it not been so? I say, then, have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid, but rather through their fall salvation has come unto the Gentiles, in order to provoke them to jealousy; take notice of that. Now if the fall of them is the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them, [mark,] the riches of the Gentiles, how much more their fullness; I speak to you Gentiles.
So here those who have come into the life of Moses and the prophets, witness that which Moses and the prophets said should come to pass, that Christ should suffer, and rise from the dead, and show light to the people and to the Gentiles, in which light Jews and Gentiles are one. I will make an everlasting covenant with you, said the Lord, even the sure mercies of David; behold I will give him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people; behold you shall call a nation that knew you not, and nations that knew you not, shall run unto you. Now this everlasting covenant is witnessed, to which nations run; and the people witness the leader (which you that had the covenant that decayed stood against) and do enjoy the covenant of peace and authority; which you do not, that have not the life, which I will not remove, said the Lord that has mercy on you; and every one that keeps from polluting, takes hold of this covenant; as for me, this is my covenant with them, said the Lord, my spirit that is in you ... So the everlasting covenant is witnessed, which does not decay, with which is seen that which does decay. I will make an everlasting covenant with them, and their seed shall be known among the Gentiles; and said the Lord, my glory shall be declared among the Gentiles, and I will take of them for priests and Levites, said the Lord; and behold, said the Lord, the day is come, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah, not according to the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, which covenant they broke, though I was an husband to them, said the Lord; but this shall be the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel; after those days I will put my law into their inward parts, and write it in their hearts, and will be their God, and they shall be my people, and they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, know the Lord, for they shall all know me, from the greatest to the least, said the Lord, for I will forgive their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more. Mind this, you that have this first covenant, which was given to your fathers when they came out of the land of Egypt; but said the Lord, I will make a new covenant, not according to the covenant I made with your fathers, which was to decay, for there you had a law written in tables of stone; but here in this covenant you shall have the law written in your hearts, with which you shall come to know the Lord, and need not say, know the Lord. Here is the covenant which was everlasting. Now the covenant which was made with your fathers, while that was standing, you were to be taught of the Lord; but this covenant being witnessed and received, the law-written in your hearts, you shall no more every man teach his brother, and his neighbor, saying, know the Lord; for all shall know him, from the greatest to the least.
And now thousands do witness this second covenant, this everlasting covenant, not according to that covenant given to your fathers in tables of stone, but the everlasting covenant written in the heart, where they know the Lord; and these witness the second covenant, where the iniquities are forgiven, and the sins and transgressions the Lord will remember no more.
If these ordinances depart from before me, said the Lord, then shall the seed of Israel cease from being a nation before me forever, and I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them: I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them to do them good, but I will put my fear into their hearts, that they shall not depart from me.
So you that had the covenant given to your fathers when they came out of the land of Egypt, stood against his covenant, though it was witnessed by Moses and the prophets, which you read; so you stand against the promise of God to you, which now thousands of the Gentiles do witness, the covenant of light, which to them was promised, with which they knew God, and so are come unto the life of the law, and covenant of God which reconciles Jews and Gentiles together; which brings to see that he is God of both, and brings them to one; so that which does convert, brings into the life that the prophet spoke of, and Moses spoke of, which God let them see, and the promise, which things is come to pass, and the life of the law and the prophets is witnessed, and he that sits on the throne of David now reigns.
Again, thus said the Lord, if you can break my covenant of the day, [take notice] and my covenant of the light, that there should not be day and night in their season. Mark, this covenant which orders day and night in their season, then may also my covenant be broken with David my servant, that he should not have a son to reign upon his throne; and this is the covenant, and this is the king of the Jews, whom they would not have to reign. This is he who bears his government upon his shoulders, which is without end; and this is the heir, and this is he that is come for judgment into the world, to make them blind that say they see, and to make them see, that see not.
And this is the question that lies upon you to answer, if Jesus was David's son, how did David call him Lord? Now as you come to the light, you will see it, and him that shall, and does reign on the throne of David, with the priests, Levites and ministers; as the host of heaven cannot be numbered, neither the sand of the sea measured, so will I multiply the seed of David my servant, said the Lord.
Now he that sits on the throne of David, his seed witnesses him Lord and king, who is the prince of life, that has dominion over death, and through death has destroyed him that has the power of death; and repentance is preached, and remission of sins through faith in him, from whom comes the refreshing into the soul, who is the bishop of it; and as they cannot break the covenant that keeps day and night in its season (for day and night was made by him who was the covenant) so they cannot break this covenant with David, that he should not have a son to reign on his throne. If they can break that covenant that orders day and night, then they may break this covenant with David my servant, that he should not have a son to reign on his throne. They shall set their faces towards Zion, saying come let us join ourselves to the Lord in a perpetual covenant that shall not be forgotten. Now the everlasting covenant written in the heart, by which you need not say, know the Lord, brings from among the heathen, separates from among the strangers and aliens from the life of God, as the Gentiles were.
And Jesus Christ, the Emanuel that Moses spoke of, the prophet which God raised up, said, “Think not I am come to destroy the law, but to fulfill it; (whom your fathers thought was out of the life of it), said he, it was said in old time, you shall not commit adultery;” [mark, commit it] but I say unto you, he that looks on a woman to lust after her, has in his heart committed adultery already. Now mark, here is the law written in the heart, here is the new covenant that the prophet speaks of, which is agreeable to Moses, and to them all, that which fulfils the law, not breaks it.
And the law said, “You shall not murder;” but your fathers which had garnished the sepulchers of the prophets which their fathers had killed, desired [the release of Barabbas, the a murderer] before the just one, the Emanuel, the Saviour, him whom Moses, the prophets, and Abraham did give testimony of. The Jews said, “His blood be upon us;” and Christ said, “All the righteous blood from Abel to Zachariah, should be required of this generation.” So have you not been driven into other nations, and your houses been desolate since, and Jerusalem trodden under foot, where the prophets perished that showed the coming of the just one; and at last the Son was cast out by you, and the Gentiles have trodden upon you.
But now is the Lord gathering to himself, and his name is great among the Gentiles, and the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many people, (which now is witnessed, and his tent is known,) as the dew from the Lord, as the showers on the grass, that tarries not for man, [take notice,] nor waits for the son of man; and the remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles in the midst of many people, as a lion among the beasts of the forest, as a young lion among the sheep, whom if he goes through, he tears down, and tears in pieces, and none can deliver; now this is seen among many people. And in that day said the Lord, there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people, to it the Gentiles shall seek, and his rest shall be glorious. Now the Gentiles have found this glorious rest, and to this ensign, this root of Jesse they do seek, which this day is fulfilled among them, and witnessed; glory to the Lord God the highest forever; and he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah, from the four corners of the earth.
Now this ensign is set up for the outcasts of Israel, for nations, and to the gathering of the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth; now you owning the light, you own this ensign, (and this ensign now is witnessed,) and we see it, and have that set upon the throne of David; for the Lord will utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea, and there shall be a highway for the remnant of his people, which shall be left from Assyria, [take notice,] like as it was to Israel in the day that he came up out of Egypt.
And where this covenant, (that is everlasting,) of light is received, with it the first covenant is seen that decays; and thus said the Lord, I will hold your hand, I will keep you, and give you for a covenant of the people, and a light to the Gentiles, to open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners out of the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison-house. I am the Lord, that is my name, and my glory I will not give to another; behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things I tell you of, before they spring forth, I tell you of them.
Now, when these things were sprung up among you, and come to pass, that had the first covenant given to you, when you came out of Egypt; these new things, this new covenant you did not receive, though to you it was declared by the prophet before they sprang forth. This covenant of the people, the light of the Gentiles, opens the blind eyes, brings out the prisoners out of the prison-house, and this is he that preaches unto the spirits in prison. Now you and your fathers that have rested in the former things, not beholding nor seeing the new things that are come to pass, and declared to your fathers before they came to pass, shows how you have refused the corner-stone, (which have been builders of the words without life,) the covenant of light, the prince of peace, the Lord of glory, he that sits on David's throne, that comes, (as it is written in the volume of the book,) to do the will of God.
So the new things which were declared by the prophet before they sprang forth, you that remain in the old have rejected, and have you not been rejected, [mark] and provoked by a people that were not a people? Have not the Gentiles which followed not after righteousness, obtained the righteousness, even the righteousness of faith in Christ Jesus, the covenant of light, the light of the Gentiles, among whom his name is great, and their eyes are opened, and the prisoners come out of the prison-house, and in him do the Gentiles trust. And thus said the Lord, in an acceptable time have I heard you, in a day of salvation have I helped you, I will preserve you, and give you for a covenant to the people, to establish the earth. I will give you (said the Lord) a light of the Gentiles, that you may be my salvation to the end of the earth. Now he that establishes the earth, the covenant witnessed, by whom all things were made. What, is he salvation to the end of the earth, the covenant of light? Yes, who gives light to every man that comes into the world, which Isaiah spoke of, which your fathers had their will on. And thus said the Lord, I will preserve you, and give you for a covenant to the people, to establish the earth, to obtain the inheritance of the desolate heritage; [mark] this covenant of the people to establish the earth, which obtains the inheritance of the desolate heritages, and says to the prisoners, go forth, and to them that are in darkness, show yourselves; which is now fulfilled, and being fulfilled; they shall feed in the way, and their pasture shall be on the tops of the hills, and these witness the fresh springs of water, and this is witnessed among them that witness his covenant, and are converted to God, to serve the living God in righteousness, who have come to the life of the prophets, and possess what they spoke of; therefore David gave thanks to the Lord among the heathen, and sang praises to his name; great deliverance gives he to his king, to David and his seed, (whose seed we are forevermore;) and Moses, who received the covenant from the Lord, when your fathers came out of Egypt, said, “Like unto me will the Lord your God raise you up a prophet from the midst of your brethren, him shall you hearken unto:” now this prophet did Stephen witness and hold forth, when he was brought before the council, whom they cast out and stoned. Your fathers had the tabernacle of witness in the wilderness, as he had appointed, speaking unto Moses, that he should make it according to the fashion which he had seen, which also the fathers that came after brought in with Jesus, into the possession of the Gentiles, whom God drove out before the face of our fathers, unto the days of David, who found favour before God, and desired to build a tabernacle for the God of Jacob; but Solomon built him a house, nevertheless the most high dwells not in temples made with hands, as said the prophet, heaven is my throne, and the earth is my foot-stool, what house will you build me, said the Lord, or what is the place of my rest? Now your fathers that held up these outward things, being not in the life that saw beyond them, the end of them, the things which Stephen here witnessed, whom your fathers that had the law and not the life, put to death, which had persecuted the prophets that showed the coming of the just one, of whom they had been the betrayers, and murderers, and that stoned Stephen; these knew not that new thing that must come to pass, before declared, which the Lord by his prophets spoke of, but were disobedient and rebellious against the Lord, and cast his law behind their backs, and slew his prophets which testified against them, to turn them to the Lord, and they wrought great provocations; therefore the Lord delivered them to their enemies, and vexed them in the time of their troubles; and when they cried to him he heard them, and according to his manifold mercies he gave them a Saviour, who saved them from the hand of their enemies. Now you may see the cause why his hand was against them, being rebellious and disobedient, casting the law behind their backs, being out of the life of it; here is the cause of slaying the prophets who witnessed the life of his law, and yet for many years did the Lord tolerate them; and testify against them through the prophets that had the words from the spirit. Therefore now you, having the prophets' words [but without the life], have built their sepulchers; if you were you in the prophets' life, you would see that to which Moses and the prophets testified. You would see him by whom the world was made, the glory of Israel, the light of the Gentiles, the leader of the people; [take notice,] the light is to lead, yes, the light is the leader of the people.
Now you are out of the life of the prophets and Moses, having their words, thinking to have life in the scriptures, searching them which testify of Christ, but not coming to the prophets' life, you do not know the voice of the prophets, though they are read among you every Sabbath-day; nor do you know the voice of Christ, the end of the prophets. So not coming to the prophets' life, you don’t come to Christ the life, of whom the prophets testified , who said unto your fathers, you will not come to me that you might have life, who had that which testified of him. So he of whom the scriptures testify, Christ is now witnessed; Christ, who is the light and life, which light is the life of man, is he by whom the world was made.
And your fathers which had the prophets' words, and Moses’ words, being strangers from the life, were those who said, they saw, but were those that were blind, and saw not Christ the just one, that the prophets showed the coming of, and Moses spoke of. You had your law from Moses, who said, like to him God would raise up a prophet, him you should hear, whom you did not hear but put him away from you, who were out of the life of the prophets, and would not hear him that was the life of them, and said, as for this man you know not from where he had come, and you would not have him to rule over you.
Therefore consider you this, neither your fathers or you ever came to see this prophet of which Moses spoke and of which the prophets testified. Your fathers had the words, but had not come to the life, which life you will never be able to see until you have come to the life of Moses and Abraham; the life of Moses and Abraham saw his glory. The life will let you see Christ the end of them, and that which the prophets spoke of, and wrote of, and gave testimony of, which all his holy apostles witnessed after his resurrection; him, who was the covenant that the prophets and Moses gave testimony of, whom you having the words, but being found out of the life, persecuted.
But now you may come to see in this mighty day of the Lord, his gatherings together, with his covenant of light and his mighty power, which is everlasting and changes not, where the prophecy is opened, and things not declared of are known, which gathers together in one up to God, which leads out of the changeable things up to God who is a spirit; and the hour is now come, wherein they worship him in spirit; and the salvation of the Jews which is to the end of the earth, is believed in, and witnessed, and the time of the Gentiles not believing in the light is seen, and their conduct, wherein was the excess, wantonness, lust, wine, reveling, banqueting, and abominable idolatry; by which light, those who believe in it are turned from them, and come to the honest conduct, and the obtaining of the Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. And the gospel is preached to the Gentiles, which is the power of God to salvation to every one that believes in the light; and him said God I give for a covenant, a light to the Gentiles; and when this covenant of God had come, Christ Jesus the everlasting covenant said, believe in the light, I am come a light into the world, and he that abides in the light, shall not abide in darkness. The ambassadors of this covenant of light, life, and peace, hazarded their lives among the Jews and Gentiles, among all sorts of people, which were out of the life of the law. They preached to them, to the Gentiles, and do still, for the covenant of light is everlasting to bring them to it; but now many have the words declared from this covenant of light, but yet are strangers to it. Those that killed the Lord Jesus Christ, and their own prophets, next persecuted the apostles, and pleased not God, but were contrary to all them; these were of your fathers, who had the words, but were strangers to the life. They forbade speaking to the Gentiles, to whom the covenant had been promised. They [your Jewish fathers] themselves were in the transgression, out of the life of what they professed, and out of the life of the prophets who declared this covenant; but now the riches of the glory of the mystery of the Gentiles is known, which God would make known, which had been hidden from ages and generations, which is now made manifest to his saints, which is Christ in them, the hope of glory, whom we preach, warning every man, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus the light, the everlasting covenant of God.
Now such Gentiles that walk after the vanity of their minds, are strangers yet from the glory of Israel, and the commonwealth and life of God, and the covenant of light; but God is gathering with his covenant of light up to himself both Jews and Gentiles in one. I say his everlasting covenant, not according to the old covenant which he gave to your fathers, when they were brought up out of the land Egypt, which did decay and wax old, for this covenant never does decay or wax old; glory, glory to the Lord God of life forever.
The Gentiles that have not yet come to own the light, are without the true hope, without God in the world. and so the promise being to the seed, he said not unto seeds, as of many, but of one, which is the seed, which is Christ. This I say, that the covenant with Abraham that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul that it should make the promise of none effect, that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ, as it is written, “I will give him to be a light,” to whom he was preached after his resurrection; and this light brings from giving offence to Jew and Gentile that believe, but offends both that are against it. When the Gentiles which had not the law, did the things contained in the law, this showed the work of the law written in their hearts, that judged you Jews that had the law, and were transgressors of it, which caused the Gentiles to blaspheme God, and so your circumcision became uncircumcision, and their uncircumcision became circumcision, and judged you. So the light, which is the life, joins Jews and Gentiles together in one, up to one God, who is light, who is Lord of all, and rich to all, with which spirit they come to be baptized into one body; and you may come to know the salvation that is sent to the Gentiles, the everlasting covenant which among them is witnessed, which God of old promised; and Christ the prophet says, “Go not in the way of the Gentiles, but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
Now when your fathers had delivered him up to be crucified, he sent his apostles to preach to all nations, to the Jews, and to the Gentiles, and when the Jews did not hear, (your fathers that had the words of the prophets and Moses, which spoke of this covenant) they turned to the Gentiles, and the Holy Ghost they witnessed, to whom the apostles were sent, to whom the promise belonged. So Israel, which had the law and the prophets, being out of the life, did not see the glory of Israel, neither did they see the light of the Gentiles, which now is manifested by him whom the apostles and prophets declared.
Now among the Gentiles there is an exercising of lordship, and the great ones exercise authority on them, but it shall not be so with you, said Christ the light, the covenant whom God spoke of, whom Moses said God would raise up. For those who are in the light, are turned from the will of the Gentiles, and their lordship to Christ the Lord, [mark] and so the Gentiles are no more aliens but citizens, and co-heirs, joint-heirs, who believe in the light, in the covenant. So you that hold up that which does decay, stand against the prince of life, the covenant that does not decay, which many of the Gentiles received; and you that stood in the first, that does decay, come to be thrust out now by that which does not decay; and now as you hearken to the light, this you will come to see, and it is the light that does now manifest the counsels of your hearts, your thoughts, your vain imaginations, and covetousness, which is idolatry, and the lusting after those things which you should not.
Now this light gives to see Christ the covenant of light, and brings into the life of the law and the prophets to see Christ who is the light, which light in men, is the life of Christ, who is the end of the law. He is the light of the world, and does enlighten every man that comes into the world, He by whom it was made. If you love the light, and bring your deeds to the light, it will let you see whether they be wrought in God; but if you hate the light, it will be your condemnation. Solomon the king said, (and Christ that was a greater, said, a greater than Solomon was here; and Christ the light said, before Abraham was, I am; which because he said, they took up stones to cast at him,) to do justice and judgment, is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice; mark, this justice and judgment is more acceptable to the Lord than your sacrifice. And said the Lord, I will take no bullock out of your house, nor goat out of your flock; for all the beasts of the forest are mine, the beasts of a thousand hills. I know all the fowls of the mountains, and all the wild beasts of the field are mine: if I am hungry, I will not tell you, for the world is mine, [mark] and all that therein is. Will I eat the flesh of bulls? or drink the blood of goats? offer unto God thanksgiving, and pay your vows to the most high; and (said the Lord by the prophet Hosea) I desire mercy and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God more than burnt offering. Now you may see, many had the burnt offerings, and not the knowledge of God, whereas the knowledge of God, he required more than burnt offerings; and mercy, and not sacrifice; [mind,] mercy and not sacrifice.
And when Christ was come, the covenant of light, he told your fathers (who were in the burnt-offerings and sacrifices, but out of the knowledge and mercy) go and learn what the prophets' words meant, he would have mercy and not sacrifice; such as had the burnt offering, and not the mercy, nor knowledge of God; of such God desired mercy before sacrifice, and the knowledge of God before burnt offerings. So your fathers that had the sacrifice and the burnt offering, were without the mercy and the knowledge of God, who knew not the Son the covenant of light, that Moses and the prophets spoke of, and the blind offered the blind, that which was not accepted of the Lord, who respects not your persons, but allowed you to be trodden under foot of the Gentiles, and to have been scattered. But now the Lord is warning you to turn to him, and to do works appropriate for repentance, that you might come to know the prince of life, the end of the law, the end of the prophets, the end of all outward sacrifices, and come to know the spiritual sacrifice, which is acceptable to God by Jesus Christ, going up from the spiritual household, which is built on the prophets, Christ the corner stone, who is now come to reign on the throne of David, whose seed witness him David's son. God will show mercy to his seed for evermore; which mercy his seed witness, and witness the Son who reigns on the throne of David, the Son of God, who is the seed of Abraham, to whom the promise was when he was in the uncircumcision. We do witness the promise fulfilled, which was made to him when he was in the uncircumcision; glory, glory to the Lord God for evermore.
We are of the promise, which is to all the seed, which was not made to Abraham through the law; rather the promise is through faith, that it might be by grace, that the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us [who witness the fulfillment of the promise] also. He who was of Abraham is now witnessed, that took upon him the seed of Abraham [his flesh descendant], according to the flesh, who [Christ the Light] was before Abraham was; a greater than Solomon; him, who according to the flesh, is of the seed of Abraham, but according to the spirit was declared to be the Son of God, the king of glory. And him David saw, and called him Lord, who said, God would not suffer his holy one to see corruption, nor leave his soul in hell; and said David of him, you have ascended up on high, you have led captivity captive, you have received gifts for men, yes for the rebellious, that the Lord God might dwell among men. [Mark,] He that ascended up on high, led captivity captive, and gives gifts unto men, that the Lord might dwell among them, and he that ascended, [mark] he that led captivity captive, what is it? but he that descended first into the lower parts of the earth, and he is the same that ascended far above all heavens, that he might fill all things, by whom all things were made, to reconcile all things to himself. And he gave some prophets, some evangelists, some apostles and teachers, for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, until all come into the unity of the faith, and the knowledge of the Son of God, (the covenant) unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.
And the prophet Isaiah, speaking of Christ, said, he would proclaim liberty to the captives, [mark] to the captives, and he did proclaim liberty to the captives, and went ministering to the spirits in prison. Now you who have had the words declared forth from the prophets and Moses, but not being guided with that spirit that gave them forth, you cannot see the captives, but are captives yourselves; you cannot see him that brings deliverance, heals the broken hearted, recovers to the blind their sight, and sets at liberty them that are bruised; you cannot see he that leads captivity captive, and gives deliverance to the captives; you cannot know this until you come to the covenant of light. When Ezekiel was among the captives at the river of Chebar, the heavens were opened, and he saw the vision of God; [mark] when he was among (the captives) and he was to go to them of the captivity, and speak to them; and after he was commanded to speak to the captives, the spirit of the Lord took him up, and brought him to them.
So consider now, you that have had the prophets' words, but not knowing him that is on high, that leads captivity captive, being found out of the life, are scattered abroad; and hearken to the light that will discover your iniquity, whereby your captivity may be turned away; whereby you may come to the life of the prophets and Moses, with which you may see Christ. For Jeremiah lamented the falseness of the prophets, which had not discovered their iniquity, which might have turned away their captivity, that you might come to know the voice of the bridegroom, the voice of joy, the voice of gladness, and the voice of them that say, “praise the Lord of hosts, for his mercies endure forever,” and of them that bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the Lord. I will cause to return the captivity of the land, as at first, said the Lord; now know, this captivity led captive, and this captivity turned away.
And was it not often that Jerusalem and the children of Israel were carried into captivity for transgressing of the righteous law of God? And did not the enemy come upon you, which trod down the wall of Jerusalem, which was before Christ was manifest in the flesh, which after came and was manifest in the flesh, according to the saying of the prophet which showed the coming of the just one; and when he was come among you that had the words of Moses and the prophets, but being out of the life, you saw not that which Moses and the prophets saw; though the prophet said, Jerusalem should be laid waste, and compassed with armies; the wall thrown down, and you scattered. Is not the word of this prophet fulfilled among you, and upon you? Had you been in the life as Moses was in, and the prophets, and Abraham, you would have seen the glory of Israel, him whom God raised up to sit on David's throne, the hope that all the fathers hoped for.
Now your fathers being out of the life, though they had the words, knew not the substance when he was come, (but on the contrary) delivered him up to the Gentiles to be crucified, which Gentiles trod your city under foot, and they cried crucify him, crucify him, and desired his blood might be upon their heads. Now Jacob comes to be saved from his captivity, and Israel shall return to his rest, and I will be found of you, said the Lord, and will turn away your captivity, and will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places where I have driven you, and will bring you again to this place, said the Lord, whence I caused you to be carried away captive; when you come to the life of the law, this you shall witness. Now wait in the light, that you may come to witness this promise fulfilled, for the Lord's flock has been carried away captive, but now is the Lord redeeming, and gathering them with his power out of captivity, and leading captivity captive.
And, said the Lord, I will gather the remnant of my sheep out of all the countries where I have driven them, and bring them again to their fold, and they shall grow and increase; and I will set one shepherd over them, which shall feed them; they shall dread no more, nor be afraid, neither shall they lack anything, said the Lord: for the day is come, said the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous branch, and a king shall reign and prosper, and shall execute justice and judgment in the earth.
Now this branch, this king, this shepherd, this fold do we witness, that are his sheep, and are come to witness the life that Moses was in, and the prophets were in, and David was in, from which life the scriptures were given forth to be believed and fulfilled, which we see with the same that gave them forth, and the Son we see to reign; and the Lord is cutting off, according to his promise, Babylon, his name and his remnant, son and nephew, and there shall be a highway for the remnant of his people, which shall be left from Assyria, like as it was unto Israel in the day when he came up out of the land of Egypt [of this take notice.]
In that day shall the remnant of Israel, and such as have escaped of the house of Jacob, stay no more on him that smote them; [mark] on him that smote them, but shall stay upon the Lord, the holy one of Israel in truth; the remnant shall return, even the remnant of Jacob, to the mighty God; for though your people O Israel be as the sand of the sea, yet a remnant of them shall return, and there is a remnant that keeps the commands of God. And did not the Lord speak to Ezekiel; that your fathers should be carried away captive, and the time is come that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved; for in Mount Sion and Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord has said, and a remnant the Lord shall call. And the remnant of the Philistines shall perish: seek good, and not evil, hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate, it may be the Lord of hosts will be merciful to the remnant of Joseph, though the number of Israel be as the sand of the sea, yet a remnant shall be saved. Even so at this present time, there is a remnant through the election of grace; and now is the remnant known, that does give glory to God. And thus said the Lord to your fathers, who changed his judgments into wickedness, and his statutes more than the wicked: I will execute judgment in you; I will do unto you what I never did before, neither will I do any more the like, I will execute judgment in you, the whole remnant of you will I scatter in all the winds.
And these things and many more this prophet does relate, which was done to your fathers, and what they should act and do, who are out of the life of the law; but now such as are in the life of the law, prophets, and Christ, can say, who is a God like unto you, who takes away iniquity, and passes by the transgression of the remnant of your heritage; and said the Lord, I will bring again their captivity, and the captivity of Sodom, and her daughters; and the captivity of Samaria, and her daughters; and will I bring again the captivity of your captives in the midst of them. Now those who are in the life of the prophets, see this, that those who were in the captivity, had despised the oath, in breaking the covenant; yet notwithstanding, said the Lord, I will remember my covenant with you in the day of your youth, and will establish unto you an everlasting covenant, and you shall know that I am the Lord. The Lord will raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen down, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, said the Lord, and build it as in the days of old, that they may possess the remnant of the heathen, which are called by my name, said the Lord.
The dragon was enraged with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ; the dragon is enraged with them that keep the commandments, and them he cannot endure, but is enraged, and makes war against them. And the remnant of the seed of the woman appears now, that have the testimony of Jesus, and keeps the commands of God, over all the world stands, and the dragon and his wrath fears not, but by the testimony of Jesus they overcome, which is the spirit of prophecy, who are his remnant which keeps his commandments, with whom the dragon now is enraged, and makes war against. And now is the Lord made manifest to them that asked not after him, and found of them that sought him not; this prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled in this our days, the Father is made manifest; God has made manifest his covenant to them [the Gentiles] that did not ask after him. [Mark,] Them that asked not after him, to them he is made manifest.
you, who are strangers from the light, the covenant, having the first covenant, this you saw not. Your eyes were blinded, who were from the life of the law and prophets. This [the spiritual gains of the Gentiles] should provoke you to jealousy. All must come to life from the dead, before the riches [spiritual] of the world are known; the life being the covenant of light, the unchangeable, and the conversion, to the life of Moses and the prophets, and the Son of God, who of them is the end; and this you must know when converted, and come to the father of spirits, and know Moses and the prophets that gave forth the scriptures. For the life is what converts, and allows one to see why it was given, and gives a spirit of understanding, by which the prophets spoke, by which spirit they saw the eyes of your fathers blinded, whose ears were dull of hearing, and hearts gross, and are in blindness, not receiving the covenant of light within. So the veil remains over your hearts, who still have the blind eye and cannot hear the Holy Ghost, as well as blind and deaf to him who was born of the spirit, who ever testified. You need to be converted, healed, and judged with the spirit by which the scriptures were given forth. For Moses in the light saw the covenant, and Abraham saw the promise in the light, and we in the light enjoy that promise, which they saw to be fulfilled, the covenant of light. We witness the holy spirit from which the scriptures were given forth, and we see those who have the words of the scriptures, but are not in the spirit that gave them forth; God the father of spirits scatters them, though they gather together. Such are the heathens, who do not know the spirit from which the scriptures were given; these do not know God, the father of spirits, but are all huddled in an association based on words, killing and destroying one another.
From them who are Israel's commonwealth, who are the remnant that keep the command of God, and are of the seed of Abraham, who witness the mighty power of the Lord, in raising his own seed by his own power in this day; and the trumpet is blown in Zion, and the alarm is sounded in his holy mountain, which makes the earth to tremble, and it does tremble at the word of the Lord, (and is by the dark world called Quakers,) at whose voice Moses exceedingly did quake, which power and voice now is known among us, which does not only shake the earth but the heavens, which power removes that which is shaken, that that which cannot be shaken may remain and appear; and before this covenant you come to know, your hearts must be rent, so to come to witness the abolishing of death before life, and immortality be brought to light through the gospel, which is the power of God, which removes, shakes and throws down all the contrary, and so the promise comes to be fulfilled.The Lord said by the prophet, make the heart of this people fat, make their ears heavy, said the Lord, to him that was in the spirit, for fear that they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and be converted, and be healed; these were from the light of the law, the life, for his law is light, said Solomon.
But I said, how long Lord? [mark] and he answered, until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate, [take notice.] those who be in the Holy Ghost see this fulfilled upon you, who have not understood with your hearts, nor seen with your eyes, nor been converted, whose cities are laid waste, and houses without man, and the land come to be desolate without the spirit, that gave forth scriptures. The Lord has removed men far away, and there is a great forsaking in the midst of the land [of this take notice.] But yet in it shall be a tenth [mark] and it shall return, and be eaten as a teil tree, and as an oak, whose substance is in them when they cast their leaves, [of that take notice,] so the holy seed shall be the substance thereof. [Mark,] The holy seed is life from the dead; he that has an ear, let him hear; and this must be known before the riches [spiritual] of the world can be.
Now that which gathers you to the promise, is the light and power of God, and the light will let you see all the evil deeds you have done, all the ungodly actions you have committed, and all your transgressions, that is the light which shows you them, and if you love the light, you will come to see yourselves, and whether your deeds are wrought in God, and if you believe in the light, which manifests all that ever you have done, you will become the children of light, and receive power from Christ, from whom the light comes, him by whom the world was made, to stand against the evil, which he has given you a light to see; and with this light you come to know the Messiah your Saviour, to save you from your sin, which he discovers, and to see the one offering.
But you that do hate this light, and go into the evil, and love the darkness more than that which shows you your evil deeds, and evil ways, when God is not in all your thoughts, when your heart revolts, and when you call on him with your lips, and your hearts afar off. This is the light of Christ that shows you this, and lets you see your covetousness, and idolatry, and if you go on in these things before-mentioned, the light will be your condemnation, said Christ, who enlightens every man that comes into the world. This light of Christ tells you, you should not do unjustly one to another, that you should not be drunk, nor oppress one another, nor wrong one another. It is the light that shows you this, and measures things aright, and this word is near you, in the heart, and in the mouth, to obey and do it.
Now, as you love the light, and bring your deeds to it, you will come to know the light Moses was in, and come to know the prophet, whom he said God would raise up, whom you should hear; and come to know the covenant of light, which brings in the Gentiles from dead idols, to serve the living God, which the prophet spoke of, which is the glory of Israel. As you love this light before-mentioned, you will come to know the law written in your hearts, the new covenant, the everlasting covenant, which the prophet prophesied of, which now thousands do witness, with which light they know God the glory of Israel, Zion's king, and have come to worship him. This light will tell you that you must not bow to any likeness, but unto God alone, nor commit adultery, nor serve graven images, the gods of the heathen, nor follow their customs which are vain, for against that God's hand is turned, who is one with the light, which light the darkness cannot comprehend, though it in darkness shines; and Christ the light came to his own, and his own received him not, even among your fathers that had the oracles of God, and the darkness could not the light comprehend, though the light in darkness shined, neither could the darkness see him, by whom the world was made, the light who is glorified with the Father, with the glory that he had with the Father before the world was. Therefore to the light in you I appeal, that with it you may be turned from darkness, and the power of Satan to God, and receive the covenant of light, and the power of God Christ Jesus, that you may come to life, regeneration, and conversion, and the renewing of your minds, remission of sins, and receive the refreshing into your souls.
And as you love the light that shows you the evil that ever you have done, you love Christ, and that light is it which gives the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ, which shines in the dark heart, and none comes to the knowledge of God but by the light which shines in the heart; and this treasure have we in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power might be of God, and not of man. But if you hate this light, you hate Christ, and remain stumbling, blind, and scattered, refusing the corner stone, whom all the builders stumble at, who are out of the light, and none comes from stumbling, to know the words of the scripture declared from the life, but such as own the light. To the light in you I appeal, if you go on in your evil deeds, and unbelief, not believing in the light, the light is your condemnation; hating the light, you hate Christ, for you do not come to the knowledge of God but by the light; he that comes to the knowledge of God, knows his Son; now none comes to the Son, but who owns and comes to the light, which from the Son does come. This light brings to one heart, one mind, one people, one God, one mediator, between God and man; and this light unites and brings Jew and Gentile together; and he that believes not in the light, does not believe in God, who is light, nor know his Son, who enlightens every man that comes into the world. And to you this is the word of the Lord.
Further Early Quakers Writings Addressed to to the Jews on this Site are:
But are found out of the Life of them that gave them forth, that are stumbling about the words, fighting and contending about them, imprisoning and persecuting them that witness the Life, that gave them forth.
—By George Fox
To all you who are from the life of the law, and the prophets, which is light, and from the spirit of understanding, which gave forth the scripture, and hearing hear not, and seeing see not, having hearts and understand not, whose ears are heavy, whose eyes are shut, and whose hearts are fat; who are in the transgression, out of the law of God, and his covenant first and second, against all such the Lord sent his prophet to declare, and commanded him, go tell this people, hear you indeed, but understand not, and see you indeed, but perceive not, make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes, for fear that they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them, who were from the light, who with that ear could not hear [the Spirit speaking to them within their hearts].
Now the prophet was in the life of the law, the people were here gone from the life of the law, therefore the life turned against them that were from that of God in them; and the life of the law, the life turning against them, being one with that of God in them, which they were gone from, so the life blinded them, and their ears became heavy, and their hearts fat, and their eyes shut, and they could not hear with their ears, nor understand with their hearts, nor be converted, even such as were gone from the life, with which the spirit of God was one, in which the prophet was.
The prophet Isaiah told this people, that were gone from the life of the law, what the Lord would do with his vineyard, he would take away the hedge thereof, and it should be eaten up, and break down the wall thereof, and it should be trodden down; and I will lay it waste, and it shall not be pruned, nor dug; I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it: for the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant, he looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold cry. These were those that were blind, where the judgment was not, but the oppression, and were from the light, such Christ came to make blind, against whom went the woe that drew iniquity with cords of vanity, and sin as it were with a cart-rope, that called good evil, and evil good, such as were from the life of the law, and such as these hearing hear not, and seeing see not, whose hearts are made fat: make them fat, whose eyes are shut for fear that they should see, whose ears are heavy for fear that they should hear. Then said I, Lord how long? and he answered, until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without men, and the land be utterly desolate; [mark and take notice of this] until the cities be without inhabitant, and the houses without men, and the land be utterly desolate. Now such as were here out of the life of the law and the prophets, being in the transgression, the life went against them that were from the life, and blinded them, and stopped that ear, and that heart cannot understand, that against the life is turned, until the city be wasted without inhabitant, and God hides his counsel and secrets from this eye, and from this ear; so he comes to make them blind, that they cannot see, which are in the transgression, but does not blind the eye that the prophet saw withal.
And again the prophet said to them that were out of the life of the law, in the transgression: Stay yourselves and wonder, for the Lord has poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and has closed your eyes, the prophets, and your rulers, and the seers has he covered, the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, read this I pray you, and he said, I cannot; for it is sealed: and the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, read this, I pray you; and he said, I cannot, for I am not learned. Therefore thus said the Lord, forasmuch as this people draw near to me with their mouth, and with their lips do honor me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear towards me is taught by the precepts of men, therefore will I proceed, ... These people were gone from the life of the law, whose hearts were far removed from God, to these the book was sealed, and the vision of all had become unto them as a sealed book, and they could not read it, neither the learned, nor the unlearned, for to both it was sealed. To this people, who could not see or hear, the book was sealed; whose eye was blinded though they were learned or unlearned, such as were without the life of the law, which was the light, the life of the law, the light they had not, and such the prophet saw, who was in the light of the Holy Ghost, and their fear towards the Lord was taught by the precepts of men, (as it is now with them that are blind), these their eyes were closed, upon whom was poured a spirit of deep sleep, who staggered like a drunken man, but not with wine, who sought deep to hide their counsel from the Lord, and worked in the dark, among whom the Lord will do a marvelous work, and a wonder, the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of the prudent shall be hid.
These were them that turned things upside down, who should be esteemed as the potter's clay; for shall the work say to him that made it, he made me not? or, shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, he had no understanding? Yes, he sees [take notice] that has made and framed the world. Mind this, you who call upon God with your lips, but your hearts afar off, who are strangers from the life of his law; he turns things upside down that must be turned upside down, before the life of the law, which is the light, is known, and your eyes opened. Who are in the spirit of slumber, and the spirit of deep sleep, yet [supposedly]have wisdom and a prudent understanding; these were they who the prophet saw erred from the life of the law, and those that God had made blind. For the promise was when God gave forth the law, the blessing, and those who were in the life saw the end of it; a curse was not to them that did abide in the life of the law, the woe was not to them but the blessing; the curse was to them that did not abide in the life of the law, and such came not to see the end of what they professed; and these went from the life of the law to men's precepts, and they were such as called upon God with their lips, but their hearts were afar off; and such owning not the life of the law, they owned not Christ when he came, who was the end of it, but were blind, and so Isaiah's words came to be fulfilled, which were spoken forth from the life, when Christ came, who was the life, those who had the words of the law, and were out of the life, knew him not, but were blinded, and by hearing should not hear, nor understand; and seeing they should see, and not perceive; these which were gone from the life of the law, the light, which Christ was one with.
These could not perceive nor see, though they saw, and though they heard, they could not understand, being in the transgression gone from the life of the law, and such Christ came to make blind; and these eyes must be blinded that they cannot see nor hear; for that which must hear, comes to the life of the law, and to the conversion; and said Christ to them that were gone from the life of the law, which hearing heard not, neither understood, “These people's hearts were waxed gross, their ears were dull of hearing, (their eyes were closed, for fear that at any time, [mark] they were so shut up from the light the life of the law) for fear that they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and be converted, and I should heal them.”
Now you may all come to see what sort of people they were whose hearts were waxed gross, and ears dull of hearing, and could not see with their eyes, nor hear with their ears, for fear that they should be converted, and Christ should heal them; such as were out of the life of the law, and were from that of God in them, in the unconverted estate, against whom Christ cried woe. For how can they hear with their ears, or see with their eyes, that are from the life of the law? How could it be otherwise, but that their hearts will wax fat and gross, and be hardened with the deceit, who go from the life of the law, which life is the eye that God does not blind, who is light; being from the life of the law, they teach men's commandments for doctrines. Those who do not hear the light of the law, are blind, and are those who run into the lust, whose hearts grow fat; and are those that have a wisdom [earthly], and a prudent understanding [earthly]; but as to hearing or seeing the things of God, their eyes are made blind, and ears they have, but hear not, and hearts they have, but understand not. Such cannot understand with their hearts, nor see with their eyes, for fear that any time they would see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and I should convert them, and they should be healed.
Now this ear and eye which is gone from the life of the law, hears not, sees not, and the heart waxes gross, and that eye must be made blind, before Christ comes to heal them, and convert them. “He that has an ear to hear, let him hear.” [They must come to realize they are blind, stop depending on themselves, and turn to the Lord in their broken hopes and trusts – looking for the true hope and not trusting in themselves, but only the Lord].
To such that had gone from the life of the law and prophets, into the transgression, Christ spoke parables; those who were gone from the life of the law, seeing, they saw not; and hearing, they heard not, nor perceived, nor understood; these having the words, but being out of the life, were those who were blinded, gross, and could not hear nor perceive, nor understand the mystery of the kingdom; unto these Christ spoke in parables. The disciples said to Christ, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” and he said unto them, “To you it is given to know the mystery, but to them it is not, who have eyes and see not, ears and hear not; but blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears for they hear; for whosoever has, to him shall be given [mark,] and he shall have more abundance; [mark,] and whosoever has not, from him shall be taken away, even that which he has. He that has an ear to hear let him hear.” So they knew the mystery of the kingdom who were in the light, and those saw not the mystery of the kingdom, which were not in the light, therefore spoke Christ to them in parables, because in seeing, they saw not; and hearing, they heard not, neither did they understand. So in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, which said, “By hearing you shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing you shall see, and not perceive: for this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; for fear that at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.”
Therefore parables were spoken to these which were gone from the life of the law, which did not understand with their heart the mystery of the kingdom, to be converted and healed. For those that understood, came with their heart to the life of the law, the light, to be converted and healed. Others stood against it, and that eye had been blinded, so saw them not, and were not converted; and all dullness of hearing was among them that were from the life of the law, the light; which life of the law gave to see before transgression was; and so these that did not understand with their hearts, not converted, not healed, were those who were gone from the light, the life of the law; such could not see the second covenant, when he was come, and to these Christ opened his mouth in parables, and uttered forth things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world, to the fulfilling of the prophets' words who were in the life. The parables were spoken to those that were out of the light, the life of the law; but blessed, said Christ to his disciples, are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear. The life is manifested that was with the father before the world was, to which all the prophets of God gave testified, while Moses is read, the veil is over the heart, but where the life of Moses is, that [light] sees the end of the first covenant, Christ Jesus. But they who were out of the life of the first, were in the hardness of heart. They had the words of Moses, but were out of the life, whose ears were dull of hearing, and served God with their lips, out of the life, the light, and their hearts afar off. Such were in the days of Isaiah the prophet, and in the days of Christ in the flesh, these Christ plainly told, them he came to make blind who said they saw, but were out of the life of what they professed, the light, and the God of this world blinded the eye of their mind, and for judgment Christ came into the world, to make them to see that saw not, and to make them blind that said they saw, where the God of this world ruled. And John speaks of the fulfilling of Isaiah's words, who saw the glory of the Lord, and spoke of him; he saw them that were from the life of the law, the light and the prophets, that could not see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts, whose serving God was with the lip, but the heart afar off; these could not hear Christ when he came, nor understand with their hearts, nor be converted nor healed; such were for judgment, and such Christ judged and made blind; for these could not understand with their hearts, nor be converted nor healed, who were far from the light, and had it not.
The apostle speaks of the hated and loved, the election and reprobation, that the purpose of God, according to the election, might stand, not of works, but of him who calls, as it was said, the elder shall serve the younger; Esau have I hated, Jacob have I loved [mark,] so it is not of him that runs, but of God that shows mercy; as the scripture said of Pharaoh, for the purpose have I raised you up, that I may show my power in you, and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth [of this take notice.] The power which overthrew Pharaoh, brings the seed out of bondage; therefore has he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardens. But you will say unto me, who has resisted his will? Why does he yet find fault? No, but O man, who are you that replies against God, who is light, you who are from the light? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, why has you made me thus? Has not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump, to make one vessel unto honor, another a vessel to dishonor? [mark,] but what, if God willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endures with much long suffering, the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction, the children of disobedience. [Mark] Jacob is loved, but Esau is hated; Esau was the first, a profane person. Pharaoh was a persecutor of the seed of God, who was hardened. God had mercy on his seed, and made his power known, in overthrowing Pharaoh and delivering Israel.
He that wills, and he that runs, does not obtain the promise of God, but the election obtains it. In Isaac shall your seed be called; and those who are the children of the flesh, are not the children of God. So it is not in him that wills, nor in him that runs, but in God that shows mercy; the election obtains it.
But, O man, who are you that replies against God? [mark] Man, not the election which obtains the promise; shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, why have you made me this way? Has not the potter power over the clay, to make one vessel of honor, another to dishonor? What if God, willing to show his wrath and make his power known, endured with long suffering, the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction; [take notice] endured with much long suffering, the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction.
What if God will make his power known upon such, and will show his wrath upon the vessels thereof, who are in the disobedience from the light? Does not the potter have power over the clay, the vessels of wrath, where the enduring with much long suffering has been. Such are from the life of the law of God, in the disobedience, children of wrath, on whom the wrath of God abides; therefore the thing formed that said, why have you made me this way? Here is the willing, and not the election, which obtains it without the willing and running, which overthrows the vessels of wrath fitted for destruction, and the willing and the running, who has endured with long suffering. Now it is seen, the Lord will have mercy on whom he will have mercy, and the promise is to the seed, and Jacob is loved, and Esau is hated, and Ishmael is driven out; and the power which overthrew Pharaoh, which has raised up the seed; and the vessels of wrath, on whom he does make his power known, and shows his wrath, which he has endured with much long suffering, the vessels of wrath fitted for destruction, and the will that is willing is seen, and the mind which is running, and attains it not; and the man which replies against God, who is saying, why has you made me thus? As if the potter had not power over the clay. Here is the willing and the running, but the promise of God is to the seed, and the election obtains it, and has obtained; that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy whom he has called; so the promise is to the seed, not to seeds, as of many, but as of one, which seed is Christ. And David that was in the life of the law, seeing the second covenant, saw them that had the words of the law, but were out of the life; Rom11 and Paul who was in the life of the law, the light that David was in, saw David's words fulfilled in his generation, among them that were out of the life of the law, though they had the words, and said, according as it is written, God has given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear unto this day; they were such as were from the life of Moses and the prophets, having their minds reprobated; and said David, let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumbling block; and for a recompense, let their eyes be darkened that they may not see, and bow down their neck always. Such as were from the life of the law, have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid; but through their fall, salvation is come to the Gentiles.
Now those who had the outward covenant, the words of the law, and stood for the outward, and were not guided with the inward, their tables became a snare unto them, and a trap, and a stumbling block, and they fell, and through their fall (who were in the outward, from the light. the life of the law) salvation came to the Gentiles, and the riches of the world, the light, which is Christ the salvation, which overthrows the outward, and brings in the inward, the Jews in the spirit. For to such as were in the life of the law, the table did not become a snare, a trap, but they saw the end with the light; but such as were from the life of the law, had the spirit of slumber; so the election has obtained it, and the rest were blinded; [mark,] the rest were blinded, the election is not blinded; read this, who sees this, who is come to the election, which obtains, where this is witnessed, that which is blinded is seen, and the God of this world is judged, and the eye he opens, and that which does blind is judged with the light, with the eye where the conversion and healing is, and the casting away of them is seen, that were out of the life of the law, and the prophets, which had the outward oracles, which brought in the Gentiles, who said, they saw, but were out of the life of what they professed. For, if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead? [mark,] the receiving of them is life from the dead, and that life which came from the dead, unites both Jew and Gentile together, when the converting comes, the healing comes, and the elect; and the life of the law, and the prophets is fulfilled, and the other eye is put out, and the gross heart, and the dull ear, and the spirit of slumber, and all this is by the spirit of truth judged, and the lip-service of God, and all this is judged, which brings the life from the dead, which brings to serve God with the heart, and brings the heart nigh unto God, while they who professed the law, being from the life, that heart perceives not, that eye sees not, which goes from the light, and cannot see the mystery, nor hear Christ the end of the law.
And here is the rebellious people, and the stiff-necked, which hearing hear not, and seeing see not, hearts have they, and understand not, whom God blinds, that his mysteries they see not, those who are gone from the light, which are from the life of the law, the light, which is one with the light of God, in every man, which answers his law, so that which may be known of God is manifest, in them, for God has showed it unto them, with that they know that the judgments of God are upon them, when they act unrighteously. And in the acts the apostles speaking to the Jews which had the words of the law, and the prophets, (but out of the law and the life of Moses, and the prophets who knew not Christ the end of them, which life the apostles were in), when he had spoken with the Jews, and persuaded them concerning Christ out of the law, Moses, and the prophets, showing unto them the fulfilling of Isaiah's words, saying, go unto this people, and say, “hearing you shall hear, and not understand, and seeing you shall see, and not perceive; for the heart of this people is waxed gross, and they are dull of hearing, and their eyes are closed, for fear that they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and should be converted, and I should heal them, to them he said, be it known unto you the salvation of God, is sent to the Gentiles, and they will hear it,” Acts 28:28.
So here the apostle, Christ, and Isaiah saw them that had the words of Moses, and the prophets, but out of the life, the light, such could not hear nor see, being from the life of God, such were blind, and such God's hand often turned against, and carried them into captivity, yes, to the bringing down, and bringing forth of his seed out of captivity; so in bringing them down that were in captivity, they often came to remember God, and so God's promise stands with the seed sure, and his election sure.
All along you may see in the days of the prophets, Christ and his apostles, such as had not the life of the prophets and apostles, being found out of the life of the spirit of God, had the spirit of slumber, had hearts, and could not perceive, eyes they had and could not see, ears they had and could not hear, and such eyes were blind, and ears were made deaf, and knew not the mystery of the kingdom, having their hearts gross, and far from God, and served him but with the lips, and those who were from the life of the law were here; those who were in the life of the law, they saw such as were from the life of the law; here one saw, and the other did not; one saw, and the other's eye was made blind. They who carried God's seed into captivity, should be brought into bondage, and God would judge them, and they had the eye which was blind; so you may all see, that that which was from the life of the law, the life of the prophets, the life of Christ, which is the light, does harden, which is in the deceit, and such as hear the voice of the Son of God are not hardened, but such as hear not the voice of the Son of God, are hardened through the deceit, among these there were wars, one destroying another, and carrying captives.
But who are come to the life of the law, and the end of the law, the end of the first covenant, the everlasting priesthood, from the changeable to the unchangeable, witness that which does not veil, change, nor harden, and makes to see the captive state, and leads out of captivity; while Moses is read, the veil is yet over the heart, which does harden, but takes away that which does harden, and brings the mind out of the changeable, which their mind was in, in the outward, to the life, the light (who were hardened and blinded, having the spirit of slumber) and to the covenant of light, the everlasting covenant, the end of all shadows, types, and figures, to the substance, that old covenant is decayed to them, and so with this that is kept out, which does harden, [mark,] the deceit, which is out of the truth, the life, which is in the transgression, having a pretence of the worship, but out of the life of it; all such are blinded, and can neither hear with their ears, nor see with their eyes, nor be converted, nor healed, and from the life of the law are, whose hearts are afar off from God; so all these that have the words of Moses, and of the prophets, that are from the light, the life, with the life come to have all their wisdom and knowledge, overthrown, such had their eyes blinded, and had a spirit of slumber, and hearts gross, and these the life of the law overthrew, from top to bottom, and all that profession without the life of the law, calling upon God with the lips, but hearts afar off, God overthrows and judges, judges and blinds; he that has an ear to hear, let him hear.
That which overthrows the Jews outward, brings in the Jews inward, in the spirit to Christ the light, which is one in the spirit, and baptizes them both Jew and Gentile into one body, and here he comes to the life of the law, and the prophets, and Christ, and the promise fulfilled, where there is seeing, and hearing, and conversion, the heart being brought to the Lord God to perceive. And to you this is the word of the Lord.
And this eye the Lord does not blind, God does not blind his own eye, but that eye which is out of the life of the law, the prophets, and Christ, and that eye is blinded which receives not the testimony of the prophets, nor the Son, and this the prophet saw with the Holy Ghost, and Christ saw, who by the Holy Ghost was conceived, and the apostle saw with the Holy Ghost such as were blinded, and is to be blinded, and the Holy Ghost was not blinded; that which goes from the life, cannot believe the life, but is hardened, they being from the life could not hear, nor see the life, when the life spoke unto them, to be converted, their eyes were so closed, for fear that Christ the light should heal them, to them woe was from the light, to them which were from it, they went from the life, and the life was against them; so the light cast them away, that held up the outward priests, that had the outward covenant; their eyes they have closed, [mark,] they have closed their eyes, for fear that they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and should be converted, and Christ should heal them; [mark,] they have closed their eyes, for fear that they should see Christ (that own not the light) that lights every man that comes into the world, they have closed their eyes, for fear that they should see it, and hear it, and come to understand with the heart, and should be converted, and Christ should heal them. They closed their eyes, for fear that they should see the light, (who were from it and owned it not), the healing which brings to be converted, and turns the heart from being gross, and the new heart comes to be received; these that have closed their eyes, least they should see the light at any time, saying they see, but are blind; so being from the light the sin remains; these call on God with their lips, but being from the light, the heart is afar off; and these are the unconverted, and understand not with the heart, and are unhealed, and follow the world, which say, they can see, when Christ came to make blind, and for judgment is he come into the world, that those who say they see may be made blind, and those who see not, may see; and the light brings Jews and Gentiles to see one another, and this raises up the tribes of Jacob, and gathers together in the unity in one, and with it does them reconcile up to God, with the covenant of light, which is unchangeable.
And the apostle James, speaking of the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, which is without respect of persons, and showing the law which is royal, said, if you fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, you shall love your neighbor as yourself, you do well; but if you have respect to persons, you commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. So that you that respect persons, commit sin, and would have others to respect persons, and so commit sin, and who cannot, these you cast into prison, and go into the transgression of the law of God, and are against them whose souls are subject to the higher power, and do not respect the ordinances of God (as they do) but respect persons, and do commit sin, and are transgressors, and so bring to yourselves destruction, whose souls are not subject to the higher power; but the ordinance of God is resisted by such, and the royal law, and it convinces them as transgressors; so speak, and so do, as those who would be judged by the law of liberty. For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all [mark,] this one point of not respecting persons, if it is broken makes guilty of all. As for instance; he that said do not commit adultery, said also, do not kill; if you commit not adultery, yet if you kill, you have become a transgressor of the whole law, adulterated from the life, and resist the higher power, to which the soul should be subject.
Query —But deceit will say, if I must not respect persons, I must not honor my father and mother.
Answer. —He honors not father and mother that disobeys God's command, and is out of his law, and lives not in the life of his law, who said, you shall not respect persons; and the same said, obey your parents in the Lord; for the law is the light, and the light is the life, and the life preserves, which light gives to know God and his will in the law, and God's judgments on them that transgress it, and this light keeps from adultery; and where the royal seed Christ is now risen up, (made under the law) brings to know, that marriage is honorable. He that has an ear to hear, let him hear.
Objection. —Said he that is out of the light, may I not respect another woman as well as my wife, seeing I may not respect persons?
Answer. —The light which is the law, teaches you not to commit adultery, and to love your neighbor as yourself, and your wife as your own flesh, and know that marriage is honorable, and the bed undefiled; this light brings parents to train up their children in the fear of the Lord, with which they come to honor them in the Lord. This the law, which is the light, tells you, you must not lust nor covet, which if you do, you have an idol. So that which covets goes from the law, which is the light, and from the light, which is the law, to the idol maker, where is the founder of the image, that hardens, blinds, stops the ear, and makes the heart gross, and there comes in the eye which God blinds, and there is the heart far from God, though there be calling upon him with the lips. To the light in you all I appeal, that you may come to the law written in your hearts, with which you may come all to know the Lord, and Christ his son, his righteousness, the end of God's law, which is righteous, the end of the righteous, God's righteous law.
Let every man be subject to the higher power; [mark,] for there is no power but of God; the powers that be are ordained of God. [Mark,] Put on the whole armor of God, for we wrestle that we may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil: for we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places; therefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand in the evil day, and having done all to stand; having your loins girt about with truth, having the breast-plate of righteousness. So the armor and breast-plate of righteousness, brings to stand against the principalities and powers, against the rulers of darkness, against the spiritual wickedness in high places, whose feet are here shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, and have the shield of faith, whereby they are able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked, and have the helmet of salvation, the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God, and their souls are subject to the higher powers, and wrestle against the principalities, powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. For there is no power but is of God; the powers that be ordained of God, bring to stand against the principalities and powers, against the rulers of the darkness of the world, the spiritual wickedness in high places [mark,] here is the higher power, that which God has ordained, to which the soul must be subject; and here is that which is out of the truth, the which, whose loins are girded with truth stand against.
Whoever therefore resists the powers, which he ordained of God, resists the ordinance of God; and those who resist, shall receive to themselves damnation. The souls of those who go from the light, the truth, and the power of God, are not subject to the higher power; lusts come in, which wars against the power and war against the soul; this is the spiritual wickedness and the ruler of the darkness, which war against those who are in the truth. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Are you afraid of the powers ordained by God? Do that which is good, and you shall have praise of the same; [mark] then you are kept in the truth, and the loins about girded with it; for he is the minister of God to you for good, who has this higher power, which is of God and is above the principalities, powers, rulers of darkness in the world, and spiritual wickedness in high places - all of which are out of the light and out of the truth; such are not the help-governors, but he is the help-government that stands against sin, which is the higher power to which the soul must be subject. But if you do that which is evil, be afraid; then you go from the light, and your soul is not subject to the higher power; you are where there is spiritual wickedness and the ruler of darkness. This is the spiritual wickedness of the high places, which is to be wrestled against. So if you go into the evil, this higher power goes against you, for the magistrate is the minister of God, an avenger to execute wrath on him that does evil, whose soul is not subject to the higher power, but has gone from the truth and the light into the power of wickedness and darkness, which the power of God is above. Therefore you need to be subject to the magistrates, not only for wrath, but for conscience sake; so the light, which turns from the evil, the powers and rulers of darkness, spiritual wickedness in high places, and principalities brings the soul to be subject to the higher power for conscience sake, and to own the magistrate-minister of God, who is for good, which is in the power; whoever resists this power, brings to himself damnation, who to the evil doers is a terror, for the power of God turns against them that go from the light, and this is the power, that no man's person does respect.
So for the Lord's sake submit yourselves to every ordinance of man, whether it be the king, as superior; or to governors, or unto them that are sent by him, for the punishment of evil doers, and for the praise of them that do well. Here the higher power punishes the evil doer, torments the evil, goes against it, and against all the spiritual wickedness, in high places, [take notice of that]. To that ordinance for the Lord's sake, we are to be subject to, for the Lord's sake, for it is the will of God to have the evil doer punished. But with your well-doing, you put to silence the ignorance of foolish men; you are free, not using your liberty as a cloak of maliciousness, but free as the servants of God. [Mark,] Again, Peter who was in the light, and his soul subject to the higher power, and owned every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake, which went against the evil, he said unto the rulers when they commanded him to speak no more in the name of Jesus, whether was it better to obey God, or man? Peter spoke against man's ordinances, which were contrary to the command of God; such commands were not bo be obeyed, when the commands came from those who did not believe in the light and whose souls were not subject to the higher powers. The commands of God are not contrary to his own power, for whose souls are subject to the higher power, they own Christ the light, the power of God, the end of the law. So for the Lord's sake, everyone is to be subject to every ordinance of man, which are for the punishment of evil doers, [mark]; to be subject to that ordinance that punishes the evil, but does not punish the good and does not go against the command of God or Christ; for it is that power the soul must be subject unto.
Peter was subject to the higher power, but was not subject to the rulers, the high-priests, elders, and council, who charged them to speak no more in the name of Christ. He asked them whether was it better to obey God or man, and he was not subject to their ordinances, but preached Christ the light, whose soul was subject to the higher power. Neither were the three children subject to the king's command, who commanded them to bow to the image he set up; neither was Daniel obedient to the king's decree, which was made to prevent him from praying to his God. Neither was Mordecai obedient to the king's command, and he could not bow to Haman, even though by not bowing, he risked that all the Jews might have been destroyed. He, who would have Mordecai to bow, God bowed instead, and overthrew Haman; and brought down Nebuchadnezzar that set up the image and gave forth his commandment, to all nations, people, and languages, that all should bow to it. With his power God caused Nebuchadnezzar to know the most high reigned; which most high made him to bow, and feed with the beasts of the field. Seven times [years] were to pass until he knew the most high to rule in the kingdoms of men, and gives it to whomsoever he will; [mark,] to whomever he will he gives it. Here was a higher power above Nebuchadnezzar's power, which Nebuchadnezzar was out of, which power overthrew him, which power the three children were in. This he knew not by all his might and authority, until seven times passed over him, and that which was to pass over him seven times, was to be fulfilled, before it was known that the most high ruled in the kingdoms of men; [mark,] which thing he did not know, when he was against that power which the three children were in, and to which their souls were subject, though they were cast into the fire, for not bowing to the image, nor hearkening to the king's command. But the image, and the founder of the image, were thrown down, and before he was thrown down, he knew not the most high to rule, as they do not now, and such God with his power breaks down, and the images to which the servants of the Lord could not bow, that were subject to the higher power, that delivered them; which power threw down Nebuchadnezzar that had set up the image, and made him to bow to, and to worship, and to know that the most high reigned. And to you this is the word of the Lord.
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