Volume 5, The Works of George Fox, Doctrinal Books II, Continued
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A testimony of what we believe of Christ, before he was manifest in the flesh; and of his birth and preaching, and what he said he is himself: as also of his sufferings, death, resurrection, and ascension; both as he was God, and as he was man.
And also, the testimony of the Apostles concerning him; with those names which God, the angels, and Holy Ghost has given unto him, and the holy men as they were moved by the Holy Ghost; which we faithfully own and believe.
But all such by-names, which are not found in the scriptures we testify against, though contended for by such, as they say they have not the same Holy Ghost, that gave forth the scriptures: and it is the same spirit that gives Christ those by-names, that in scorn calls us Quakers.
Also, how the believers in the primitive times, and now, did and do possess, and enjoy Christ Jesus: and what is the saints' food, and how they are to walk.
And wherein they may see what a true christian's duty is.—By G. F.
Note: The writings on this site only refer to the early Quakers.
Now, the birth of Jesus Christ was thus: ‘when as his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost, and the angel of the Lord said unto Joseph, the son of David, fear not to take Mary to your wife; for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost, and she shall bring forth a Son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins.’ And this was the fulfilling of the prophecy of Isaiah, ‘behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel, which is by interpretation, God with us.’ And when Jesus was born in Bethlehem, it troubled Herod and all Jerusalem, which was the highest place of worship, though they could tell by the scripture where he was to be born; as in Micah 5:2, and Matt 2:1-6. In Luke 1:27-33, the angel of the Lord appeared to Mary, and said unto her, ‘fear not, Mary, for you have found favour with God; for lo, you shall conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, he shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David, he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there shall be no end.’
‘Then said Mary to the angel, how shall this be, seeing I know not man? And the angel answered and said unto her, the Holy Ghost shall come upon you, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow you, therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of you, shall be called the Son of God.’
In Luke 2:8-12, ‘Unto you is born this day, in a city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord: and she brought forth her first begotten, and wrapped him in a swaddling cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.’ And there the shepherds found him swaddled, lying in a manger.
A poor entertainment for the Saviour of the world, and King of kings, and Lord of lords, like the professors [talkers of Christ] now in their highest place of worship, who slight him, as the Jews did his outward spiritual appearance.
Simeon, that just man, that feared God, a revelation was given him of the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ, which came to pass. For he said, ‘mine eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared before the face of all people, a light to be revealed to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel;’ which he saw before his death. This we are witnesses of, and bear witness to [to witness means to experience by feeling, seeing and hearing].
Now here he knew the Lord's Christ by revelation, (which everyone must see him by, before his death), who was the Son of God.
Christ said himself, Luke10:21-23, ‘I thank you, oh Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and has revealed them to babes, even so, Father, because it so pleased you. Then he turned to his disciples, and said, all things are given unto me of my Father, and no man knoweth who the son is, but the Father, neither who the Father is, save the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him.’ ‘And he turned to his disciples, and said secretly to them, blessed are the eyes, which see that which you see.’
And so it is clear here by Christ's own words and doctrine, all the learned and wise, who deny revelation now days, you know not the Father nor the Son, for Christ said no man knows the Son, nor the Father, but he to whom Christ the son of God will reveal him; and as the apostle Paul said in another place, that it ‘pleased the Father to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him;’ so blessed be God the Father, who has revealed his Son in us, that we might know him and preach him. [Therefore it is impossible to preach correctly, authorized, gifted, and perfected, until the Son is revealed in you.]
And in John 1, ‘In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God, the same was in the beginning with God, and all things were made by it, and without it was made nothing that was made, and in it (namely, the word), was life, and the life was the light of men; and the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not, and that was the true light which lights every man that comes into the world, he was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world did not know him.’ They must know him by revelation, for the world by their wisdom did not know him, nor know God, ‘he came to his own, and his own received him not, but as many as received him, to them he gave power to become the sons of God.
This we witness, ‘and the word was made flesh, and dwelled among us, and we saw the glory thereof, as the glory of the only begotten son of the Father, full of grace and truth, and of his fullness have we received, grace for grace. The law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.’ This grace and truth we witness, which is our teacher, and brings our salvation, and establishes our hearts. This is the prophet like unto Moses, that God has raised up, whom we do hear and see, as Stephen did, and have seen the heavens open, and the Son of man standing at the right hand of God, who was persecuted by the priests and professing Jews. Acts 7:37, 54-58. This is Christ, the rock that followed the Jews in the wilderness, 1 Cor 10:4. This is the Christ Jesus, that wrought signs and miracles among the Jews, the great professors of the letter; that the chief priests bought of Judas for thirty pieces of silver; whom they scourged, and mocked, and crucified, and said he had a devil, and by the prince of devils cast out devils. When they had crucified him, the chief priests gave large money to the soldiers, to say that ‘his disciples had stolen him away by night,’ whom they had crucified without the gates at Jerusalem, who appeared to Mary Magdalene, and to his disciples; and came among them when the doors were shut, Mat 28:11-15, John 20:11-18. And Joseph of Arimathea, a disciple of Jesus, after they had crucified Christ, begged his body, and he laid him in a garden, in his own new tomb, Mat 27:57-60. ‘Now this Jesus is risen, the same that they crucified, whom the high priests and rulers delivered to be condemned to death, and they crucified him,’ Luke 24:20. who said, ‘behold my hands and feet, for it is I myself, handle me, for a spirit has not flesh and bones as you see me have.’ verse 39. And this was after he was risen from the dead; and Christ Jesus said after his resurrection, John 20:21. ‘as my Father sent me, I send you,’ his ministers and his disciples, whom the great letter-professors persecuted, as may be seen in the Acts; and still they do the same unto those who Christ sends forth, where he is manifest. But you men of Israel, and we may say you men of all professions in Christendom, without the possession of Christ, hear the words of Jesus of Nazareth, ‘a man approved of God among you with great works and wonders, and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as you yourselves also know, him I say you have taken by the hands of the wicked, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, and have crucified and slain, whom God has raised up, and loosed the sorrows of death, because it was impossible that he should be holden of it.’ And so ‘God's Holy One did not see corruption, neither was his soul left in the grave, whose heart did rejoice, and his tongue was glad, and his flesh did rest in hope.’
David knew that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, he would raise up Christ concerning the flesh, he knowing this before, speaking of the resurrection of Christ, said that ‘his soul should not be left in the grave, neither his flesh should see corruption:’ this Jesus has God raised up, whereof we are witnesses, and we the people of God, in scorn called Quakers, are witnesses of this Jesus, and of his resurrection, to the men of Israel, and all the men of the world, as Acts 1:21-22. Which Jesus appeared three times to the disciples after he was risen, John 21: 14. Therefore let all the House of Israel know for a surety, that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus I say whom you crucified, he is risen and set down at the right hand of God.
So we (the people of God called Quakers), do say let all the house of the professors of the letter [the words in the Bible], without the possession [of what the words point to - Jesus], whether Jews, Turks, christians, or heathens, know that there is no salvation in any other name under heaven, whereby they must be saved, but ‘in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, who was crucified without the gates of Jerusalem, whom God has raised up from the dead,’ as in Acts 4:10-12.
So the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and the God of our fathers, has glorified his son Jesus, whom the Jews betrayed, and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he had judged him to be delivered, before whom Jesus made a good confession, 1 Tim 6:13, of whom we are witnesses, and are not ashamed to confess him before our persecutors. But the professing Jews denied the Holy One and the just, and desired a murderer to be given them, as many will do now, that crucified him to themselves afresh, (as the Jews that killed) the Lord of life, whom God has raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses, I say we, the people of God, in scorn called Quakers, are witnesses, with the apostles, of him against all such professors now, who desire a murderer rather than the Lord of life.*
But these things God showed by the mouth of his prophets, that Christ would suffer, and he has thus fulfilled it: and so through him have we received remission of sins, and refreshings from the presence of the Lord.
And you that do profess who Christ is come, as the Jews professed he was to come, do not you deny the Holy One and the just in your lives, by your living unholy and unjust; and would not you sooner receive a murderer, than the Saviour, and consent and persecute him where he is now revealed as resurrected in his saints? That which you do unto them, you do unto him; but Christ is risen, whom the heavens must contain, until the time that all things be restored, which God has spoken by the mouths of all his holy prophets, since the world began, Acts 3:19-21. And Moses said unto the fathers, ‘the Lord your God will raise up unto you a prophet of your brethren, like unto me, you shall hear him in all things, whatsoever he shall say unto you. For it shall be that every person that shall not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.’ Now this prophet Christ Jesus we do hear, who does fulfil the prophets that prophesied of him. Now do you not say there is no hearing of his voice now days, and is not this contrary to the apostles, who said, ‘while it is called today hear his voice,’ and was not this after he was risen? ‘And God has spoken to us by his son,’ as in Heb 1:1-2, and did he not speak to his disciples, and to Paul, and to Mary Magdalene after he was risen? And does he not now speak from heaven? See that you do not refuse him that speaks from heaven, for if they escaped not, that refused him that spoke on earth, much less shall you escape, if you turn away from him that speaks from heaven, even Jesus who suffered without the gates of Jerusalem, and sanctifies his people with his blood. Heb 12:25-26. Therefore, you that say there is no hearing of the prophet Christ's voice now days, do not you destroy yourselves and people? To Abraham God said, ‘in your seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed,’ of whose seed Christ came, and so it was said unto the Jews first, ‘unto you has God raised up his Son Jesus, and him has he sent to bless you, in turning everyone of you from your iniquity unto him.’ So [mark,] you are blessed as you are turned everyone of you from your iniquity, not in your iniquity, for he said to the workers of iniquity, ‘depart from me, I know you not.’ For the true witnesses of Jesus Christ and of his resurrection, great grace was upon them all, and so is now, as may be seen, Acts 4:33, where may be seen what work the priests and the elders, the great letter-professors made against those who were the true witnesses of Jesus, his birth, life, death and resurrection, as many of you, who have the form and not the power, have done against us, and therefore are we turned away from you. But we can say as the apostles said to the Jews, and to you that are in their spirit, ‘the God of our fathers has raised up Jesus whom you slew and hung on a tree,’ him has God lifted up with his right hand, to be a ‘Prince and Saviour, to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins;’ and we are witnesses concerning these things, which we say, yes, and the Holy Ghost whom God has given to them that obey him, testifies the same, but you that are disobedient, say, ‘the Holy Ghost is not to be looked for now days, and forbid us to speak in the power of Jesus, though you will use the name of Jesus, but in the form, and deny the power and spirit, and persecute those who are in it, Acts 5:29-32. But remember Gamaliel's counsel, ‘and Stephen being full of the Holy Ghost looked steadfastly into heaven, and said, behold the heavens open, and the Son of man, [mark the Son of man,] standing at the right hand of God;’ so with the Holy Ghost, he could see into heaven, and see Christ Jesus, and so do we, Acts7:55-56; and 1 Cor 12:3, where it is said, that ‘no man speaking by the spirit of God calls Jesus accursed.’ Also no man can say, ‘that Jesus is Lord but by the Holy Ghost,’ [mark,] no man can say it, but by the Holy Ghost.
Now you who say there is no Holy Ghost to be looked for now days, as was among the apostles, and teach so to the people, do you not deny the promise of Christ, and the succession of the true ministers in the Holy Ghost, which shall lead into all truth.
And if no man can call Jesus the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost, and you deny having it yourselves, and teaching it so to others, then you cannot be the faithful witnesses of Jesus Christ the Lord, nor can you truly call him Lord, neither are led into all truth by the Holy Ghost, but by an unclean ghost into error, and so are no true christians.
For this Comforter or Holy Ghost, which Christ has sent, he shall reprove the world of their sin, and righteousness, and judgment, and unbelief: so how are you reproved of your sin, of your righteousness, of your judgment and unbelief, if the Comforter, the Holy Ghost be not come to you, according to Christ's promise, that he would send him after he was risen? As the disciples of Christ then, so now, the spirit of truth, this Comforter, does lead them into all truth, for ‘he shall not speak of himself, but whatsoever he shall hear, he shall speak.’ So are not people to hear this Comforter, this Holy Ghost, that proceeds from the Father and the Son? John 15:26, 16:13. In Acts 9:4-5, 22:8, Paul said, ‘who are you Lord, and the Lord said I am Jesus whom you persecute, and it is hard for you to kick against the pricks.’
So are not all they, that kick against that which pricks them, the persecutors of the life of Jesus, where he is made manifest?
In Acts10:34-43, where Peter opened his mouth and said, ‘of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons, but in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.’ And ‘how God has anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power, who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil, for God was with him; and we are witnesses of all things which he did, both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem, whom they slew, and hanged on a tree, him God raised up the third day, and showed him openly, and we did eat and drink with him after he arose from the dead, and he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he, that is ordained of God, a Judge of quick and dead.’ And to this do we testify, which are the people of God, in scorn called Quakers. ‘And to Him, (namely, Christ), also gave all the prophets witness, that through his name, all that believe in him, shall receive remission of sins.’
Now to believe in Christ, he teaches how to believe, in John 12:46, who said, ‘I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believes in me, shall not abide in darkness;’ and ‘while you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become the children of the light, 12:36. In John 7:37-38, ‘Jesus stood up, and cried, saying, if any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink: and he that believes in me, as the scripture said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of water of life;’ and John 3:16, ‘God so loved the world, that he sent his only begotten Son into the world, that whosoever believes in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life;’ and ‘as many as receive him he gives them power to become the sons of God, yes even to them that believe in his name; and in John 1:12, ‘he that believes in him shall not be condemned, but he that believes not, is condemned already, because he believes not in the name of the only begotten Son of God:’ namely, in the light, as Christ commands. And ‘this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, but men love darkness rather than light, because their works are evil; for every man that does evil hates the light,’ he hates that light which Christ commands to believe in, ‘neither comes to the light, least his deeds should be reproved.’ So he is afraid of his evil deeds being reproved, and therefore does not believe in the light, if he will not come to it. But he that does truth, comes to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God; and ‘he that believes, is born of God,’ as John in his epistle said, ‘and he that is born of God, overcometh the world. And he that believes in the Son of God, has the witness in himself.’ This we witness, who are the true believers in the light; and ‘he that has the Son, has life, and he that has not the Son of God, has not life.’
So all you letter-professors of Christ, if you do not have him, you have no life, for Christ, whom God sent, speaks the word of God, and he that believes in his Son, has eternal life in him, and he that believes not in the Son of God, shall not see life, ‘but the wrath of God abides upon him,’ John 3:34-36. The Son of God who spoke the words of God, how people should believe, said, ‘believe in the light;’ for he was come a light into the world, and in him was life, and this life was the light of men, and that was the true light, ‘which enlightens every man that comes into the world;’ and ‘he was in the world, and the world knew him not.’ So the world knows him not now, though the world was made by him. He is in the world by his light, though they will not believe in it, but love the darkness rather than the light, and will not come to it, least it should reprove them of their evil deeds, as the apostle said, ‘whatsoever does reprove and make manifest, is light.’ So they cannot see Christ Jesus the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, without the light, which is called ‘the life in him, and light in men.’
So the unbelievers now, though they may profess Christ is come, are like the Pharisees who said he was to come, who persecuted Christ in the days of his flesh, but he is risen out of their reach. And now the same spirit persecutes his believers and disciples who believe in the light, which is life in him, and light in them, as John teaches. So now they are persecuting the light and life of Christ, where it is manifest in his members, for every one that does evil, hates the light, and so hates Christ, his light, his life. But we who are the people of God, and in scorn called Quakers by them, are believers in the light, and children of the light, with which we see our life hidden in Christ; and are witnesses of Christ's birth, suffering, death, and resurrection, and of his flesh, and of his divinity, and can say ‘he that has the bride, is the bridegroom.’ John 3:29. Also Acts xiii. 23, ‘of the seed of David has God according to his promise, raised up to Israel a Saviour; and whosoever feareth God, to you is the word of salvation sent, for the inhabitants of Jerusalem and the rulers, because they knew him not, nor the words of the prophets, which were read every Sabbath day among them, they have fulfilled them in condemning him, though they found no cause of death in him, yet desired they Pilate to kill him; and when they had fulfilled all things that were written of him, they took him down from the tree, and put him into a tomb, in which no man was before laid, but God has raised him from the dead, and he was seen many days of them, which came up with him from Galilee unto Jerusalem, and we cannot but speak those things which we have seen and heard,’ Acts 4:20.
And so now consider, you professors, was not this highest place of worship at Jerusalem, where the scriptures and prophets were read every Sabbath day, and they knew not the voice of the prophets, though they read their words, like the professors now, and yet did not they crucify him (namely, the Jews), without the gates of Jerusalem; and the priests and rulers were against him, and knew him not in his birth, sufferings, death and resurrection?
And now, you that read the scriptures with the same persecuting spirit, do not you ‘crucify him afresh to yourselves, and persecute him in his members, and put him to open shame?’ Heb 6:6.
Acts 13:47, ‘I have set you to be a light of the Gentiles, that you may be my salvation to the ends of the earth.’ So Christ, who is the light, is the salvation to the ends of the world, and the Gentiles are glad of this, and glorify the word of the Lord, which none can do except in the light, which is the life in the word. And we declare according to God's promise made to the fathers, which God has fulfilled unto his children, in that he raised up Jesus, as it is written in the 2nd Psalm, ‘you are my son, this day have I begotten you.’
Acts 13:32-39, now as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, no more to turn to the grave, therefore he said in another place, ‘you will not suffer your Holy One to see corruption;’ though David lay with his fathers, and saw corruption, but he whom God raised up, saw no corruption. ‘Be it known unto you, therefore men and brethren,’ said the apostle, and say the people of God, in scorn called Quakers, to all the sons of Adam, ‘that through this man,’ namely, Christ Jesus, ‘whom God has raised up, is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins, and from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.’ By him, namely, Christ, everyone that believes is justified. And what is it to believe? To believe in the light, as Christ said; if not, he is condemned, and then not justified, as you may see, John 3:18-19.
Now ‘the time of ignorance,’ as the apostle said, (who preached Christ's birth, death, and resurrection), ‘the times of ignorance God winked at,’ but now he admonishes all men every where to repent. So if God and Christ do admonish, he does it by his power and spirit, as Acts 17:30-31, ‘because he has appointed a day, in which he will judge the world in righteousness, by that man whom he has appointed, whereof he has given an assurance unto all men, in that he has raised him from the dead.’ Therefore if he would have all men to repent, he would have all men to be saved, and their destruction is of themselves.
And this we the people of God, in scorn called Quakers, do witness, and have the assurance of. As the apostle said: ‘but this I confess unto you, that after that way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, and believe all things, which are written in the law and the prophets, and have hope towards God, that the resurrection of the dead, which they themselves look for also, shall be both just and unjust; and herein I endeavour myself to exercise a good conscience towards God and towards men.’ Acts 24:14-16
This confession the apostle made before Felix and Ananias, the high priests and elders; and this is, and has been our confession among your high priests and elders unto this day.
And the apostle in his confession, Acts 26:18, said he was sent to ‘turn the people from darkness to the light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive the forgiveness of sins, and an inheritance among them that are sanctified, by faith in Christ.’
Now have not many of you separated professors, and priests, and others, scoffed at this light, and called it an idol and darkness? But can any receive the remission and forgiveness of sins, and so have an inheritance among them that are sanctified, but who are turned from the darkness to the light, and from the power of Satan unto God, according to the true minister's doctrine, which we possess and are witnesses of, against those who turn them from this light to darkness, and keep them in Satan's power from God's? Was not this doctrine a wonder among the professing Jews, and before Agrippa, (whose eyes were not open, like yours), of turning people from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they might receive remission of sins, and an inheritance among them that are sanctified? [mark,] are sanctified, that is already done, though the apostle said he had ‘obtained help from God unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying no other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come; that Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should show light unto the people, and unto the Gentiles.’
Also was not this a strange doctrine, think you then, and is it not so now, which we do witness, by this light which Christ has showed unto us what Moses and the prophets did say, that Christ should suffer and rise from the dead, and show light to the Gentiles? This through the help of God are we daily witnesses of, to small and great, who are dead with Christ, and are risen with Chris? ‘For,’ as the apostle said, ‘if you are dead with Christ, and risen with Christ, seek those things which are above,’ Col 3:1, and this we are in the practice of, and cannot seek after your things which are below, though you rage against us, and persecute us with tongue and hand. Rom1,‘God, who had promised before by his prophets, in the holy scriptures, concerning his Son Jesus Christ, our Lord, who was made of the seed of David, according to the flesh, [mark,] and declared to be the Son of God, according to the spirit of holiness by the resurrection from the dead, by whom we have received grace and apostleship, through which we are witnesses, and are called and made to declare and confess to the name of Jesus. For the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith, as it is written, the just live by faith. For we are not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes.’ And therefore we cannot but warn all in the name of Jesus, knowing that ‘God shall judge the secrets of all men's hearts, according to the gospel,’ as the apostle declares, Rom 2:16; and Rom 3:24-25, ‘we are justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God has set forth to be a reconciliation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness, for the forgiveness of sins, that are passed through the patience of God.’ And this we witness, blessed be the Lord God, through Jesus Christ, forever.
Rom 4:25, ‘Christ who was delivered to death for our sins, and is risen for our justification, then being justified by faith we have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom also we have access through faith, unto his grace, wherein we stand, [mark,] and rejoice under the hope of the glory of God, and this hope makes not ashamed, because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, which is given unto us. For Christ, when we were yet of no strength, in due time died for the ungodly, setting out his love towards us, seeing that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us, much more then being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God, through the death of his Son, much more being reconciled we shall be saved by his life, and not only so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the atonement,’ Rom 5:1-11.
This we witness who are in scorn called Quakers, but Christ did not die for sinners, so that they should live all their lifetime in sin, and die in their sins; but that as sin had reigned unto death, so grace might also reign through righteousness unto eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord. ‘For know you not that all we that have been baptized into Jesus Christ, have been baptized into his death. We are buried then with him by baptism into his death, that like as Christ was raised up from the dead, by the glory of the Father, so we also should walk in newness of life, (mark you professors, ‘in newness of life’) for if we are grafted with him into the similitude of his death, even so shall we be of his resurrection, knowing this that our old man is crucified with him, (mark, ‘is crucified,’ then it is done) that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin, for when you were servants of sin, you were free from righteousness:’ and as the apostle said, ‘his servants you are whom you do obey; therefore if we are dead with Christ, we believe also we shall live with him, knowing that Christ being raised from the dead, dies no more, death has no more dominion over him, for in that he died, he died once to sin, but in that he lives, he lives unto God.’ So (mark), people must die with Christ, if they will live with Christ, whom death has no more dominion over. Likewise ‘reckon you also that you are dead to sin, but alive to God in Jesus Christ our Lord.’ [Mark, ‘alive in Christ Jesus,’] so people must be alive in him, not in old Adam.
Now being made free from sin, and made servants unto God, you have your fruits unto holiness, and your end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. For when you were the servants of sin, you were free from righteousness.’ So those who are free from righteousness, and whose darkness cannot comprehend the light, and whose doctrine is, they cannot be made free from sin while they be upon the earth, nor the old man, nor the body of sin. This is another doctrine than the apostle preached, who said ‘the old man is crucified;’ and this is to preach up the old man's life, and not the new man Christ Jesus, as you may see, Rom 6:6. ‘Now if we suffer with Christ, we shall also be glorified with him.’ Rom 8:17. So people must die with Christ, if they will live with Christ, and suffer with him if they will be glorified with Christ.
Now it is an easy matter to make an outward profession of Christ's death, but it is another matter to come to die with Christ, and suffer with him; which they must do, if they will come to live, and be glorified with him. Again, Rom 7:9. ‘I was once alive without the law, (yet he had been a strict professor of the law: so are not you strict professors alive without the gospel?) but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died,’ said the apostle. Can you professors say so, as many of us can, who were alive in a profession without the possession, where we see many of you yet remaining? ‘The law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.’ Now you professors, you are far off from being made free from the law of sin and death, when you plead for it for term of life, and are offended at us that plead for freedom by the law of the spirit of life, which is in Christ Jesus. Rom 8:, ‘God sending his only Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin condemned sin in the flesh, (so, can you witness the sending of the Son of God to condemn the sin in your flesh?) that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, which walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit. For if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin. But the spirit is life for righteousness sake; but if Christ be not in you, your body is alive to sin;’ and so you may call him Lord, and profess him outside you, and say you have preached in his name, but such workers of iniquity he will bid depart, that live in sin, and plead for it to the grave. ‘But if the spirit of him, that raised Jesus from the dead, dwell in you, he that raises up Christ from the dead shall quicken your mortal bodies, because that his spirit dwells in you.’ And this we witness.
Must not people be made like to the image of the Son of God, who ‘is the first born among many brethren.’ ‘For God who spared not his own Son, but gave him to death for us all, how shall he not with him give us all things? For Christ who is dead and risen again, who is at the right hand of God also making request for us.’ Rom 8:34. In Rom 9:33 as it is written, ‘behold I lay in Zion a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence, and everyone that believes in him shall not be ashamed.’ And this is that Christ, that the wise master-builders did reject in their own wisdom (as you may read in the Evangelists), that pretended to build people up unto heaven, as many do now without the life and spirit of the apostles. ‘But Christ is the end of the law for righteousness sake, to everyone that believes, but the righteousness which is of faith speaks on this wise, say not in your heart who shall ascend into heaven, that is to bring Christ from above, or who shall descend into the deep to bring Christ again from the dead. But what said it? the word is near you, even in your mouth, and in your heart. This is the word of faith which we preach.’
Now we are come to this righteousness of faith's speaking, and to this word in our hearts which the apostle preached, ‘and do confess with our mouths the Lord Jesus,’ and believe in our hearts that God raised him from the dead, who is the Saviour. For with the heart man believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confesses unto salvation, Rom 10:9-10. So this belief is beyond a Pharisees' belief, for ‘he that believes is born of God,’1 John 5:1, and he that believes in the light, is born of the light.
It may be said to you professors, as David, and Christ and the apostles said to the professing Jews, ‘let their table be made a snare, and a net and a stumbling-block, even for a recompense unto them, let their backs be bowed down always,’ Rom 11:9-10.
Now the church in the primitive times, which the apostles writes to, ‘I beseech you brethren (said he), by the mercies of God, that you give up your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.’ Rom 12:1. For as it is said, 1 Cor 6:19-20.‘know you not that your bodies are the temples of the Holy Ghost? for you are bought with a price, therefore glorify God in your bodies and in your spirits, for they are God's.
So what price was this they were bought with? Is not this the blood of Christ Jesus? So it is not a puffed-up profession, nor serving God with your lips, but the offering up the body a living sacrifice, and a glorifying God with body, soul and spirit, which are his.
For none of us is to live to himself, nor to die to himself, said the apostle, ‘for whether we live, we live unto the Lord, or whether we die, we die unto the Lord;’ or whether we live or die, we are the Lord's: ‘for Christ Jesus, therefore, died and rose again and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and the quick.’
So no true christians must live to themselves, but to him that died for them. Rom 14:7- 9. And the saints are to ‘receive one another, as Christ also received us,’ said the apostle ‘to the glory of God;’ and to be ‘like-minded one to another according to Christ Jesus,’ and ‘that with one mouth they may praise God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,’ Rom 15:5-7. In verse 18, the apostle said, ‘I dare not speak of anything which Christ has not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient in word and deed.’ Mark this, you professors, if you dare speak no more than Christ works by you or in you, you would have little to say, and you would not find fault with the people of God called Quakers, who speak as Christ has wrought in them.
Rom 16:25, To ‘him now that is of power to establish you, according to my gospel and preaching of Jesus Christ, by the revelation of the mystery which was kept secret since the world began.’ Now you professors cannot know this mystery, nor this secret, but by revelation, which you deny.
1 Cor 1:2, 6, 8-10: there you may see how they were sanctified in Christ Jesus, ‘that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ; and the testimony of Jesus Christ has been confirmed in you; (mark), in you for God is faithful by whom you are called, unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Now I beseech you brethren by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak one thing.’ Then you must come out of the many things, which make divisions. ‘And the Jews,’ said the apostle, ‘require a sign, and the Grecians seek after wisdom.’ And are not you professors of the same spirit, like the Jews and Grecians? Do not you cry for signs and miracles and seek after wisdom? ‘But we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling-block and to the Greeks foolishness.’ 1 Cor 1:22-23. ‘But you are of him in Christ,’ said the apostle, verse 30, ‘who of God is made unto us wisdom and righteousness, and sanctification and redemption,’ which we witness, blessed be God forever. But the natural man, said he, 1 Cor 2:14, ‘perceives not the things of the spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.’ And this we witness, which you professors deny any one having the spirit as the apostles had. So you are not likely to know the things of God, but run into strife and contention about them, with your natural men's perceivings.
The apostle said, ‘I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ and him crucified; for we speak the hidden wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom which God has determined before the world unto our glory, which none of the princes of the world has known, for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory,’ 1 Cor:2, 7-8; and the apostle said, ‘Be you followers of me, as I am of Christ,’ 1 Cor4:26, and 11:1. So we cannot follow you, but as you follow Christ. ‘For the kingdom of God (said he), is not in words, but in power, 1 Cor 4:20; and God has raised up the Lord Jesus, (said he), and shall raise us up by his power, and we do know that our bodies are members of Christ, and he that is joined to the Lord is one spirit.’ 1 Cor 6:14-15,17. The apostle said, ‘neither thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor railers, nor extortioners, nor adulterers, &c. shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you, but you are washed, but you are sanctified, but you are justified in the name of our Lord Jesus, and by the spirit of our God,’ 1 Cor 6:10-11. Mark, ‘are washed, are sanctified, are justified.’ But for covetous ones, adulterers, drunkards, thieves and railers to make a profession of Christ's death and resurrection, and live in their sins; this is to profess him with the lips, but deny him in their works, not being washed. For Christ comes to call sinners to repentance, and he died for their sin, not that they should live in it, and plead it for term of life.
1 Cor 7:23, it is said, ‘You are bought with a price, so come to be the Lord's freemen; and as Christ said, if the truth has made you free, you are free indeed.’ For truth makes free from the devil, who is out of truth. The apostle said, 1 Cor. viii. 6. ‘To us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him. (Mark), we in him, and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.’ This we witness. The apostle said, 1 Cor 10:9, ‘Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted him, and were destroyed of the serpents.’ And therefore you professors, take heed of tempting him in a profession without possession of him, least you are found mockers of him.
Likewise the apostle said, what he ‘received from the Lord, that he delivered unto them.’ 1 Cor 10:23. Now do you not deliver anything to the people, but what you receive from the Lord? Then you must deny your own principle, who say, ‘there is no hearing the voice of God now days.' Does not the apostle tell you, 1 Cor 10:1, ‘that you have nothing if you have not love; if you have faith, and gifts, and prophecies, and tongues, and give your bodies to be burnt, and your goods to the poor, if you have not love, you are but like tinkling cymbals, and sounding brass. Where is all your profession then of God and Christ, and what good does it you, who make but a tinkling as with your cymbals, and sounding as with your brass, while you are out of love, and in a persecuting spirit?
1 Cor 15:1-8, 20-21, 45, the apostle said, ‘first of all I delivered unto you that which I received, [mark,] how that Christ died for our sins, according to the scriptures, and that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve, and after he was seen of more than five hundred brethren. And after that he was seen of James, then of the apostles, and last of all he was seen of me, as one born out of due time. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and is made the first fruits of them that slept. For as in Adam all died, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. The first man is of the earth earthly, the second man, (mark, man), is the Lord from heaven;’ as it is also written, ‘the first Adam was made a living soul, the second Adam a quickening spirit.’
So here is the heavenly man, here is the earthly man, here is the spiritual body, here is the natural body, and ‘as we have borne the image of the earthly, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly.’ So it is the second man, the Lord from heaven, who redeems the earthly man, and the just that suffered for the unjust. ‘And thanks be unto God,’ said the apostle, ‘which gives us victory through Jesus Christ our Lord:’ and thus we declare and witness that which the scripture declares, and can say, ‘the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with all that love him.’ In 2 Cor 1:5, the apostle said, ‘the sufferings of Christ abound in us.’ Have you known this, you professors? ‘And you are our epistles written in our hearts,’2 Cor 3:3, ‘written not with pen and ink, but with the spirit of the living God, in the fleshly tables of the heart, in that you are manifest to be the epistles of Christ.’ Mark, this epistle was written with the spirit of God in the table of the heart, these are manifest to be the epistles of Christ, which you cannot read without the spirit of God, which you have often denied to have as the apostles had. The apostle said, ‘who has made us able ministers of the new testament, not of the letter, [mark,] but of the spirit, for the letter killeth, but the spirit gives life.’ For it is said, Moses put a veil over his face, that the children of Israel should not look unto the end of that, which was to be abolished, which veil in Christ is put away. But a worse veil you have put over your faces, that make a great bustle about the scriptures, and are not in the spirit that gave them forth.
Now the Lord is this spirit, and where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty, and where it is not, there is imprisonment, persecution and bondage. ‘But we all behold as in a glass, the glory of God, with open face, and are changed into the same image from glory to glory, as by the spirit of the Lord,’ and this we possess and witness, ‘who preach not ourselves, but the Lord Jesus Christ, and ourselves your servants for Christ's sake. For God that commanded light to shine out of darkness,’ is he which has ‘shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power might be of God, and not of us, 2 Cor4 :5-7 .
We are afflicted on every side,’ who witness this, ‘and persecuted, but not forsaken, every where we bear about in our bodies, (mark, in our bodies), the dying of our Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus might also be made manifest in our bodies. (Mark, in our bodies.) For we which live are always delivered unto death, for Jesus' sake, that the life of Jesus might be manifest in our mortal flesh,’ 2 Cor 4:8-11; because we have the same spirit of faith, as it is written, ‘I believe, and therefore have I spoken, we also believe, and therefore speak, knowing that he who has raised up the Lord Jesus, shall also raise up by Jesus Christ,’ and with our hearts we believe this, and with our mouths make confession unto salvation.
2 Cor5:, ‘we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that every man may receive the things which he has done in his body, according to that he has done, whether they be good or evil.’ Knowing therefore, the terrors of the Lord we do persuade men to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and to turn from sin and evil, and obey him; ‘for the love of Christ constraineth us, because we thus judge, that if Christ died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live to themselves, but unto him which died for them and rose again.’ So here is a living to Christ, it is not only a mouth-profession, and an outward belief; ‘for the devils believe and tremble,’ for he that believes in the light, becomes a son of the light. The apostle said, ‘therefore, henceforth know we no man after the flesh, yes though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him [so,] no more. Therefore, if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away, behold all things are become new;’ and ‘all things are of God which has reconciled us to God by Jesus Christ: for God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their sins unto them, for he has made Christ to be sin for us, which knew no sin, that we should be made the righteousness of God in him,’ (mark in him), and who are in Christ are new creatures. Now the old creatures and such as are out of Christ, do make a profession without the possession, that is but like the Pharisees' profession, 2 Cor 5:17-21.
So consider all you professors, are you new creatures? are you made the righteousness of God in Christ? Do you begin to cleanse yourselves from the filthiness of your flesh and spirit, and grow up unto perfect holiness in the fear of the Lord? Is your warfare spiritual, and not carnal, casting down the imaginations, and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. 2 Cor 10:4-5. And Paul speaks of the truth of Christ in him, and that he had espoused them to one husband, that he might present the saints as a pure virgin to Christ. Then they must be free from sin, and must not plead for sin, for term of life, as you professors do, for there is ‘no fellowship between light and darkness,’ as 2 Cor 6:14.
2 Cor 13:3-4, ‘you seek a proof of Christ that speaks in me, (mark, a proof of Christ's speaking in the apostle), which towards you (said he), is not weak, but is mighty in you.’ (mark, in you.) And further he said, though ‘he was crucified concerning his infirmities, yet he lived, (namely, to Christ), through the power of God, (mark, Paul that was crucified), and we no doubt are weak in him, but we shall live with him, through the power of God,’ which we witness. Therefore, prove yourselves whether you are in the faith, examine yourselves, know you not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except you are reprobates? Mark, we have proved ourselves, and examined ourselves; and know Christ Jesus in us. And if Christ is in you, as was said before, ‘your body is dead because of sin, and you are alive to God,’and not reprobates.
So it is the duty of all christians to prove and examine themselves, whether they are in that faith that works by love, that Christ is the author of; whether Christ be in them yes or not, that they are not found reprobates; for reprobates may make a profession of Christ, in that birth that will persecute them that are born of the spirit, as we have seen a great deal of, among you professors these twenty years. But the apostle said, 2 Cor 13:14, ‘the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost be with you all, amen.’ This we witness.
Now you who deny that there is any immediate inspiration of the Holy Ghost to be looked for now days, you are out of the communion of the Holy Ghost, and out of the praying in the Holy Ghost, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, which was and is the true church communion and fellowship, that Christ is the spiritual head of. In Gal 1:4, Christ that ‘gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God.’ Now mark, and see whether you are not delivered from this present evil world, you who profess; and therefore it is not for people to profess Christ, and live in the evil of the world, that will serve their turn. And though ‘we, or an angel from heaven preach unto you any other gospel, let him be accursed,’ said the apostle. Paul was an apostle, ‘not of man, nor by man, but by the Revelation of Jesus Christ, and God the Father which has raised him from the dead. And the gospel which he preached was not after man; no more is it now, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. And when the Son of God was revealed in the apostle, he preached him; but do not many of you professors and others preach the Son of God, before he is revealed in you? ‘I live,’ said he, Gal 2:20, ‘yet not I, now, but Christ lives in me, mark, in me, and the life that I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who has loved me, and given himself for me.’
Now this we testify should be every true christian's life. In Gal 3:13-14, 'Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us, that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles through Jesus Christ, that we might receive the promise of the spirit through faith. So then they, that are of faith, are blessed with faithful Abraham, which we witness, blessed be the Lord forever.
But the scripture has concluded all under sin, that the promise by the faith of Jesus Christ should be given to them that believe. The ‘law was the school-master to bring us to Christ, that we might be made righteous by faith, (mark, made righteous by faith), for after that faith is come, we are no longer under a school-master. For you are all the sons of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For all you that are baptized into Christ, have put on Christ, (mark, put him on), and baptized into Christ; this is his baptism with fire and the Holy Ghost, who thoroughly purges the floor, and gathers the wheat into his garner. ‘But when the fullness of time was come, God sent forth his Son made of a woman, and made under the law, that he might redeem them which were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of his sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the spirit of his Son into your hearts, which cries Abba Father,’ Gal 4:4-6.
The apostle tells the Galatians, he ‘travailed in birth again, until Christ is formed in them;’ and in Christ neither ‘circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith that works by love, as Gal 5:6 .
Gal6:15, ‘In Christ neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything but a new creature;’ and Gal 5:18,24 , ‘If you are led by the spirit, you are not under the law. And those who are Christ's, have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts:’ and this we do believe and witness.
But see, you professors, by what spirit you are led, you that talk so much of Christ, and see if your affections and lusts are crucified. But is it not your principle that they shall not be crucified on this side the grave, who plead for sin and imperfection to the grave? In Eph 1:4, ‘God has chosen us in him, (namely, Christ), before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy without blame before him in love, (mark, here is a new life, more than a bare profession), by whom we have redemption through his blood, and the forgiveness of sins, according to his mercies, that in the dispensation of the fullness of time he might gather together in one, all things, both which are in heaven, and which are in earth, even in Christ. Wherein also after that you believed you were sealed by the holy spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance, unto the redemption of the possession purchased, unto the praise of his glory. [Mark,] this seal, this belief and election we witness with the holy spirit, blessed be the Lord, forever. The apostle prayed that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory might give unto them the spirit of wisdom and revelation through the knowledge of him, (now this revelation you professors deny), that the saints might know what is the exceeding greatness of his power towards us that believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his right hand in heavenly places, far above all principalities and powers, might and dominion, and every name that is named, not in this world only, but also in that which is to come; and he has made all things subject under his feet, and has appointed him over all things to be the head of his church, which is his body; even the fullness of him that fills all in all;' which we witness, glory be unto the Lord.
Eph 2:5, ‘Even when we are dead by sins has he quickened us together in Christ, by whose grace we are saved, and raised us up together, and made us to sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: that he might show in the ages to come the exceeding riches of his grace, through his kindness towards us in Christ Jesus. And this we do witness, that these ages are come, and that this loving kindness and riches are seen and felt, who are made to sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus; praised be his name, forever.
‘For by grace you are saved,’ said the apostle, ‘through faith, and not of ourselves, [mark,] it is the gift of God. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works,’ which God has ordained that we should walk in them, who were without God in the world, and had no hope, and without Christ, yet professing him like others. ‘But now in Christ Jesus we, who were once afar off, are made near by the blood of Christ, for he is our peace, which has made of both one, and has broken down the partition wall, in abrogating through his flesh the hatred, the law of commandments which stands in ordinances,’ for to make of two one new man in himself. So making peace, that he might reconcile both unto God in one body, by his cross, and slay the hatred thereby, for through him we have an entrance unto the Father by one spirit; and are ‘built upon the foundation of the prophets and the apostles, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner-stone.’ And to make clear unto all men what the fellowship of the mystery is, (and this is our fellowship which we make clear to all men), which from the beginning of the world has been hidden in God, who has ‘created all things by Jesus Christ,’ Eph 3:9, that ‘Christ might dwell in your hearts by faith, that you being rooted and grounded in love, might know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge,’ be praise in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, who witness this in Christ. Amen.
Eph 4:4-12, ‘There is one body and spirit, even as you are called into one hope of your vocation. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism; there is one God, and Father of all, who is above all and through all, and in you all. And Christ ascended on high, led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. And he that ascended what is it, but that he had also descended first into the lowest parts of the earth; he that descended is even the same that ascended, far above all heavens, that he might fill all things,’ (mark, fill all things), that is he that gives gifts unto men for the work of the ministry, for the edifying the body of Christ, and this we believe and witness.
Let us, therefore, follow the truth in all things, growing up in him, which is the head, even Christ. ‘For you have not so learned Christ, to live wantonly, and in uncleanness and greediness, if so be that you have heard Christ, and have been taught by him, (mark, taught by Jesus himself), as the truth is in Jesus, that you cast off, concerning the conduct in times past, the old man, which is corrupt through the deceitful lusts.’ So then you professors must not plead for them, if they must be cast off; and ‘be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put on the new man, which is after God, created in righteousness and holiness. And grieve not the holy spirit of God by whom you are sealed (said the apostle), unto the day of redemption.’ Now you professors and others may say, how can we grieve it, when we do not look for such a spirit as the apostles had? ‘But let no man deceive you with vain words, for the wrath of God comes upon the children of disobedience. And no unclean person has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.’ The apostle said, ‘be you followers of God as dear children, and walk in love as Christ has loved us, and has given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice of a sweet smelling savor unto God. But fornication, uncleanness, and covetousness, let them not be once named among you as becomes saints; neither filthiness nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are things not comely, but rather giving of thanks.’ Here you see what a christian's life must be, it is not an outward talk, as you may see, Eph 5:1-4.
Eph 4:32, ‘Be you courteous and tenderhearted one unto another, forgiving one another.’ But this has been wanting among you, that have professed yourselves christians, and made a great boast and talk of Christ, but have persecuted the appearance and life of Christ in his people, for the fruits of the spirit are in all goodness, righteousness, and truth and love, and these fruits are wanting among you professors, and others called christians.
The apostle speaks of the great secret and mystery concerning Christ and the church, comparing them to husband and wife; how he sanctifies and cleanses it by the washing of water through the word, that he might make it unto himself a glorious church, without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blame. Mark, all you that call yourselves gathered churches, see who is the head of them, and what spots and wrinkles are in them. But we cannot but give thanks for all things to God, even the Father, in the name of Jesus Christ the holy head, who makes his church holy.
Eph 6:12, ‘for we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.’ And therefore, all true christians are to put on the armour of God, and the spiritual weapons, that they may stand against the assaults of the devil, namely, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God. These weapons we possess; and may not all people see that those weapons have been lacking among you that profess yourselves christians, and not in the possession of the true christian's life? For if you had been in it, you would have stood as the apostles and the rest of the saints and true christians did; not make a profession of Christ when the sun shines, and when the storm comes then to shut up your doors. So how often have you taken leave of your God and Christ? He has had no witness borne by you. Our desire is you may come to see yourselves, and your fallen state; that he that has begun the good work in his saints, will perform it unto the day of Christ: this we know, and the fellowship is in the gospel, that is in the power of God, not in the form without the power.
The apostle said, ‘God is my record how I long after you all from my very heart-root, or bowels in Christ Jesus (mark, ‘in Christ Jesus,’) that Christ may be magnified in my body, whether by life or death.’ Here was a steadfast minister. For, Phil 1:21, 27, 29, ‘Christ is to me both in life and death, advantage. Let your conduct, therefore, be as becomes the gospel of Christ, for unto you it is given not only to believe in Christ, but to suffer for his sake.’ This we do witness, and it is fulfilled among us; but you professors see if your conduct is as becomes the gospel of Christ, you that profess so much of it. Also, ‘let the same mind be in you (said the apostle, Phil 1:27,2:2) that was even in Christ Jesus;’ and 1 Cor 2:16. ‘but we have the mind of Christ,’ which every true Christian should witness.
‘Now Christ, who being in the form of God, thought it no robbery to be equal with God, but he made himself of no reputation, and took on him the form of a servant, and was made like unto men, and was found in the shape as a man, [mark,] he humbled himself and became obedient to the death, even the death of the cross. Therefore, God has highly exalted him, and given him a name above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, both of things in heaven, and things in earth and under the earth, and that every tongue should confess.’ And this we, the people of God, called Quakers, do confess, that Jesus Christ is the Lord to the glory of God the Father. For it is God that works in you and in us, both to will and do of his good pleasure, that you may be blameless and pure, and sons of God, without rebuke in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation; among whom to shine as lights, holding fast the word of life; and this should be every true christian's duty and practice.
The apostle said, ‘for all seek their own things, and not the things of Christ Jesus.’ Are not there too many such in our age, that profess him, as was in the apostle's day, seeking their own things, Phil 2:21, and not the things of Christ Jesus. In Phil 3:7-8, he said, ‘we are the circumcision which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.’ But in things that are ‘advantage unto me, the same I account loss for Christ's sake. Yes, doubtless, I think all things but loss, for the excellent knowledge sake of Jesus Christ my Lord, for whom I have accounted all things loss; [mark,] have counted, and do judge them to be dung, that I may win Christ.’ And this we witness, which should be every true christian's mind and duty. ‘That I may know Christ and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, and be made conformable to his death, that by any means I might attain to the resurrection of the dead.’ Now this should be every true christian's mind, but here is a fellowship in the sufferings or afflictions, and to be made conformable to his death. Who will come into this fellowship, think you now, of the letter-professors, that put confidence in their flesh, and plead for the old man, and the body of death and sin, as long as they live? Such will not follow hard towards the mark of the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus, but rail at us, and persecute us that do. But many walk in their evil ways, that are ‘enemies to the cross of Christ, whose end is damnation, whose God is their belly, whose glory is their shame, who mind earthly things.’ Such then might make a great profession of Christ, as such now do. ‘But our conduct is in heaven,’ said the apostle, (mark, ‘is in heaven,’) from where also we look for the Saviour the Lord Jesus Christ.’ And this we witness, where every true christian's conduct should be.
‘Christ shall change,’ said the apostle, ‘this vile body, that it may be fashioned like his glorious body,’ Phil 3:21, which we believe in Christ, who works this change, who is the resurrection and the life. In Phil 4:7,13, the apostle said, ‘the peace of God which passes all understanding shall preserve your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus; (mark, in Christ Jesus,) and I am able to do all things through the help of Christ, which strengthens me.’ And in another place Christ said, ‘without me you can do nothing.’ Then they must be in the same power and spirit the apostles were in. And the apostle said, ‘salute all the saints in Christ Jesus;’ so all the salutations that are out of him are worth nothing.
‘As everyone has received the Lord Jesus Christ, so walk in him, rooted and built in him, and established in the faith.’ Note, as they had received Christ Jesus, so they were to walk in him. So this is more than a profession of him without him, and a talking of him. In Col 2:8, ‘beware least any man spoil you through philosophy [mark, philosophy,] and vain deceit, and through the traditions of men, according to the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.’ Mark, these are not after Christ; but how did this philosophy and vain deceit come to be set up now?
The apostle exhorts the saints that their hearts might be comforted, and knit together in love, and in all riches of the ‘full assurance of understanding, (observe, ‘full assurance,’ while you professors, contrary to the apostles, say, that none can have any assurance here), ‘and to know the mystery of God even of the Father and of Christ; in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. For in him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. You are complete in him, [mark,] in him, (namely, Christ), which is the head of all principalities and powers; in whom also you are circumcised (namely, in Christ), with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the sinful body of the flesh, (or body of the sins of the flesh) through the circumcision of Christ.’ Mark, ‘putting off the sinful body of the flesh.’ Now you professors are of another belief, who deny the putting off of the sinful body of the flesh, as long as you live; and deny the circumcision of Christ, which we witness, Col 2:10-11.
‘And in that you are buried with him,’ said the apostle, ‘through baptism, (mark, ‘are buried with him’) in whom you are also raised up together, [mark, ‘are raised up’] through the faith of the operation of God, which raised him from the dead,’ namely, Christ. ‘For you which were dead in sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, has he quickened together with him [namely, Christ,] forgiving you all your trespasses.’ And this we witness; but you that plead for your body of sin, while you live, and your uncircumcision, are yet dead in your sins, and the uncircumcision of your flesh, and not quickened, and so may make a profession of God and Christ, like the Pharisees. But Christ had ‘blotted out the handwriting of ordinances, and took them out of the way,’ and so ‘fastened them to the cross, and has spoiled principalities and powers, and triumphed over them in the same cross.’ This is Christ whom we do believe in and witness.
The apostle said, ‘let no man condemn you in meats nor drinks, nor holy days, nor Sabbath-days, nor new moons, which are but shadows of things to come, but the body is of Christ.’ And we are to hold the ‘head Christ, whereof the body is furnished and knit together by joints and bands, and increased with the increase of God.’ And ‘if you are dead with Christ from the ordinances, (or rudiments), of the world, touch not, taste not, handle not, which all perish with the using, after the commandments and doctrines of men.’ So those who are dead with Christ, cannot touch, but those who are not dead with Christ, touch perishing things, as you may read, Col 2:16-22. Also in Col 1:13-20, ‘Who has delivered us,’ speaking of Christ, ‘from the power of darkness, and has translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son, (mark, into the kingdom of his dear Son while on earth alive), in whom we have redemption through his blood, and the forgiveness of sins. Who is the image of the invisible God, the first born of every creature. For by him were all things created, which are in heaven, and which are in earth, things visible, and invisible, whether thrones or dominions, or principalities or powers, all things were created by him and for him,’ namely, Christ, [mark,] ‘and he is before all things, and in him all things consist. He is the head of the body, of the church, he is the beginning and the first born from the dead, that in all things he might have the pre-eminency. For it pleased the Father that in him all fullness should dwell, and by him to reconcile all things unto himself, to set at peace through the blood of his cross both the things in heaven, and the things in earth.’ And this blessed confession and testimony we possess of Christ.
Rom 9:5, the apostle speaking of the fathers, ‘of whom,’ said he, ‘as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is God over all, blessed forever, amen.’ And this was the apostle's doctrine to the church then, who said, ‘I say the truth in Christ and lie not, my conscience bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost.’ [Mark,] in Christ, and in the Holy Ghost; which should be every true confessor of Christ his testimony, which we do witness, both as to his flesh, and as he was God.
Col 1:21, to the end, ‘and you which were in times passed strangers and enemies, because your minds were set in evil works, [mark,] has he now also reconciled in the body of his flesh, through death, to make you holy and unblameable, without fault in his sight;’ for evil works make people strangers to him; so you may see it is not a profession of Christ's death and body only, but you must be made holy and unblameable, and without fault in his sight. ‘For Christ which is the mystery hidden since the world began, from ages, but now is made manifest to his saints,’ glory to God forever, ‘to whom God would make known, what is the riches of this glorious mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you the hope of glory.’ And this mystery we are witnesses of, blessed be the Lord forever.
‘Whom we preach, admonishing every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.’ Mark, perfect in Christ Jesus; this is a contrary doctrine to you that present people with a body of death and sin to the grave, and say there is no perfection to be attained here.
The apostle said to the church, Col 3:2, ‘set your affections on things that are above, [mark,] and not on things which are on the earth,’ this we believe should be the practice of all true christians.
‘For you are dead, and your life is hidden with Christ in God, and when Christ which is our life shall appear, then shall you also appear with him in glory,’ Col 3:3-4. This we are witnesses of, as the apostle was, and it is Jesus Christ who delivers us from the wrath to come, and who is raised from the dead, and our peace is from God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ. For Christ Jesus said, ‘in me you have peace, but in the world trouble.’ And this we do experience, and this all witness who are risen with Christ, who seek those things that are above, where Christ sits at the right hand of God. In 1 Thes 2:12, the apostle exhorts the church: ‘that you walk worthy of God who has called you to his kingdom and glory.’ Now this we declare should be every true christian's walk, and not talk only; and not like the professing Jews, who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and persecuted the apostles, as you professors have, and do us.
1 Thes 3:11, the apostle said, ‘now God himself and our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ guide our journey unto you.’ So here it is seen who was and is the true christian's guide. In 1 Thes 5:5, 9-10, ‘you are all children of the light and of the day, we are not of the night, neither of darkness.’ Mark this testimony, are children of the day, and of the light, and are not of the darkness, nor of the night. ‘For God has not appointed us unto wrath, but to obtain salvation, by the means of our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us. Whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.’ So not only to talk, but to live; which we are witnesses of.
The apostle said, ‘now the very God of peace sanctify you throughout. And I pray God that your whole spirit, and soul, and body may be kept blameless, [mark, blameless,] unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will come in flaming fire, rendering vengeance unto all them that do not know God, and obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ Therefore, the name of our Lord Jesus Christ is to be glorified in all his saints, according to the grace of our God, and our Lord Jesus Christ, as in 2 Thes 1:12 may be seen. 2 Thes 2:13, ‘because that God has from the beginning chosen you to salvation through the sanctification of the spirit, and the faith of truth.’ Mark, from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the spirit, not of the letter. Therefore, take heed, you professors, least that saying come upon you, that ‘God shall send them strong delusions, that they should believe lies;’ that all those might be damned that believe not the truth, but take pleasure in unrighteousness, lies, and false reports, which you have been full of against us, (God's people, called Quakers), as by large experience we witness.
1 Tim 1:15-16, ‘this is a true and faithful saying, and by all means worthy to be received, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief,’ said Paul, ‘notwithstanding for this cause I was received to mercy, that Jesus Christ should first show on me all long suffering, unto the example of them which shall in time to come believe in him unto eternal life.’ This now we the believers do witness, and many can say this in truth, as he did; yes, who have been persecutors of Jesus, as he was in his people, and yet professors: ‘But now unto the king immortal, invisible, unto God only wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen,’ 1 Tim 15:17.
Christ would have ‘all men,’ said the apostle, ‘to be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth.’ (Mark, all men to be saved), 1 Tim 2:1-5, and therefore are ‘prayers and intercessions and giving of thanks to be made for all men, for kings, and all that are in authority, for there is one God and one Mediator between God and man, which is the man Christ Jesus:’ mark, the man Christ Jesus is the Mediator between God and man, Christ, who is the heavenly man. For the apostle does not call him humane, or humane body; he did not give him that by-name, as the professors do, who call him humane body, and humane; as they give us the people of God, the nickname of Quakers. The apostles say, he is the ‘second man, the Lord from heaven, the man Christ Jesus;’ and calls his body ‘a glorious body,’ and not humane, as the professors do, who say the scripture is their rule, and yet give Christ's glorious body a by-name, which they have no rule for. ‘And Christ Jesus who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time, tasted death for all.’ Therefore, all must be prayed for.
So when ‘we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his son, as Rom 5:10; and 1 Tim 2:5-6, ‘Who gave himself a ransom for all to be testified in due time.’ So this due time is witnessed by many, for it was not testified to Paul, until after he was risen [in him], and the Son of God revealed in him, and so it is known now by revelation; and by revelation Christ Jesus and his glorious body is discerned. ‘For,’ said Christ, ‘flesh and blood has not revealed this to you,’ that is, concerning Christ's being the Son of God, ‘but my Father which is in heaven,’ who is known by revelation now, as then. And the ‘church of the living God,’ which Christ is the head of, and the ‘pillar and ground of truth.’ 1 Tim 3:15-16. ‘And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness, which is God manifest in the flesh, justified in the spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, and received up into glory.’ Now we are the believers of this, who believe in his light, in which he is seen and manifest; and are members of this church, of which Christ is the head.
1 Tim 4:9-10, ‘This is a true saying, and by all means worthy to be received; we labor and are rebuked, because we trust in the living God, which is the Saviour of all men, and especially of those that believe.’ And this we have received, and would have all others to do. ‘These things,’ said the apostle, ‘command and teach.’ And this the apostle gave in charge to Timothy, ‘before God and Christ, and the elect angels,’ that he should observe those things, as 1 Tim 5:21; and 2 Tim 1:8-10, ‘be not ashamed of the testimony of our Lord Jesus, who has saved us, and called us to an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus, before the world began; but it is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who has abolished death, and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.’ Mark, this we witness, and are not ashamed of our testimony of this, and of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. ‘For,’ as the apostle said, ‘I am not ashamed, for I know in whom I have believed,’ 2 Tim 1:8-9,12. Also in 2 Tim 2:8: ‘remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised again from the dead, according to my gospel,’ and John 7:42, ‘said not the scripture that Christ shall come of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem?’ And this Christ did fulfil in his coming accordingly, of whom we are witnesses.
The apostle said, ‘everyone that calls on the name of Christ,’ or names his name, ‘let him depart from iniquity,’ 2 Tim 2:19. Also in 2 Tim3:5, he exhorts the church thus: ‘those who have the form of godliness, and not the power, from such turn away.’ For those who have not the power, have not the gospel, nor the cross of Christ, the power of God; neither have they Christ, who is the power of God, though they may have the form of godliness, and the form of the prophets' and apostles' words; yet may be false accusers, fierce despisers of them that are good. ‘And all that will live godly in Christ Jesus, shall suffer persecution,’ (mark, all that in Christ Jesus will live godly, shall suffer persecution), as we have found it by the ungodly professors and talkers of Christ Jesus, that live out of him, though they have the form of godliness, yet deny the power thereof. In Titus 1:4, the apostle said ‘to my own son according to the common faith:’ grace, mercy and peace from God the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour. (Mark), according to the common faith, grace.'
Titus 2:11, ‘for the grace of God that brings salvation unto all men has appeared, (mark, which brings salvation, this grace of God brings salvation), and teaches us (mark, us the church, the saints, and believers, true christians), that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world, looking for the blessed hope, and the appearing of the glory of the mighty God, and of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, [mark,] and purify us to be a peculiar people unto himself, zealous of good works.’ This is our teacher, the grace of God that has brought us salvation, which brings us to believe and we witness these things. But there were those in the apostles' days that professed they knew God, but by their works denied him, and were abominable and disobedient, and ‘unto every good work reprobate.’ Titus 1:6; and have we not many such professors now, that say they know God and Christ, but by their works deny him, and are abominable and disobedient.
‘But when the kindness and love of God our Saviour towards man appeared, not by the works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration.’ This should every professed christian witness; they must know this new birth; so it is not a talk of Christ without, and uncleanliness within, but ‘by the renewing of the Holy Ghost which he has shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour,’ (here is a confession with a witness) ‘that we being justified by grace (that grace that teaches us, and brings us salvation) should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.’ Titus 3:5-7. Also in Heb 1:1-2, ‘At sundry times and after diverse manners God spoke unto the fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken unto us by his Son, whom he has made heir of all things, by whom also he has made the worlds.’ Mark, the worlds were made by the Son of God, and God was Adam's and Eve's teacher in paradise; and now the same has spoken unto us by his Son, by whom the worlds were made. So he is the Quaker's first speaker, and is the last, the Son of God, being the brightness of his Father's glory, and the express image of his substance; ‘and upholding all things by his mighty word and power, has by himself purged our sins, and is set at the right hand of the Majesty in the highest places, and is made more excellent than the angels, having obtained a more excellent name than they. For unto which of his angels said he at any time, you are my Son, this day have I begotten you? and again, I will be his Father, and he shall be my Son. And again when he brings his first begotten Son into the world, let all the angels worship him, but unto the Son he said, O God, your throne is forever, the scepter of your kingdom is a scepter of righteousness, for you have loved righteousness, and hated iniquity. Therefore, to profess Christ, and live in iniquity, this is an abomination to the Lord, and he will bid such depart from him.’
‘Therefore, God, even your God has anointed you with the oil of gladness above your fellows. For you, O Lord, in the beginning has established the heavens, and the earth is the work of your hands. Also in Heb 2:2-15: ‘For if the word spoken by angels was steadfast, (mark, ‘steadfast,’) and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward, how should we escape, if we neglect so great salvation? which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him,’ (namely, Christ), ‘God bearing them witness both with signs and wonders, and divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will,’ (mark, not gifts assumed by the wills of men) for he has not put in subjection unto the angels the world to come, whereof we speak; and ‘you made him a little lower than the angels, and you crowned him with glory and honor, and did set him over the works of your hands.’ But you have put all things in subjection under his feet, and in that he put all things in subjection under him, he left nothing that should not be subject to him; but we see not yet all things subdued unto him, but we see Jesus crowned with glory and honor, who was made a little inferior to the angels, through the suffering of death, that by God's grace he might taste death for all men (mark, ‘for all men:’ so here he makes no sect), and this Jesus we see, who is our Saviour, and the author and finisher of our faith. And it became him for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, seeing that he brought many children to glory, that he should consecrate the prince of their salvation through sufferings and afflictions, for he that sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all of one. Therefore he is not ashamed to call them brethren: for as much then as the children were partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself (namely, Christ), likewise took part with them, that he might destroy through death, him that had the power of death, that is the devil, that he might deliver all them, which for fear of death, were all their lifetime subject to bondage.’ Here is a blessed deliverer, which thousands do now witness; and how dare you professors or others give the apostle and the scripture the lie, and say Christ did not taste death for every man, but for the world of believers only? see Heb 2:9.
‘And he took not upon him the nature of angels, but of the seed of Abraham, therefore in all things it became him (namely, Christ), to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and a faithful high priest, in things concerning God, that he might make reconciliation for the sins of the people.’ For in that he suffered and was tempted, he is able to succor them that are tempted. Now this is the high priest of our profession, Jesus Christ, in whom we do faithfully believe, according as it is written: Heb 2:16-18, 4:14-15.
A testimony of what we believe of Christ continues in the next part of Doctrine Book 5.
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