Volume 5, The Works of George Fox, Doctrinal Books II, Continued
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TO ALL MAGISTRATES AND PEOPLE IN CHRISTENDOM,
And elsewhere to turn from the persecuting mind, that destroys people's bodies and estates for not conforming to your religion and worship.
And that you may receive the mind of Christ, as the apostles did, who came to save men's lives, and not to destroy them; and to rebuke those who would destroy men's lives and estates.
—By George Fox
You do not read in the old world that either Adam, Seth, Enoch, or any of those famous fathers, that did succeed each other unto Noah, did force or compel any to their religion or way of worshipping God; though it is said, ‘Noah was grieved with the unrighteous conduct of the old world, who grieved God and his spirit which strove with them;’ but it does not say, it strove with them, ‘with carnal weapons, or jails, or imprisonments.’
And though Noah was a preacher of righteousness, we do not read he forced or compelled any, or had any such command from God.
And after the Lord God had destroyed the old ungodly world, for their ungodliness; who grieved him and his spirit.
So their destruction came by resisting the spirit of the Lord, and going from it into ungodliness; and God was just in overthrowing of them, whose spirit had striven with them long, yet he saved just Noah.
And after that he had destroyed the old world, and saved Noah and his family; we do not read that ever either Noah, or any of those who succeeded him, unto Abraham, did force or compel any to their religion, or the worshipping of their God.
Also, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, that did succeed each other; we never read that they did compel or force any to serve or worship God, or compel them to their ways.
And after, when the children of Israel went into Egypt, we do not read that Pharaoh did compel them to his religion, or worship, though he did oppress them several ways.
And when the Lord sent Moses to call them out of Egypt, Pharaoh, and Jannes, and Jambres withstood Moses and Aaron, and resisted Moses; yet we do not read they offered to compel them to their religion, and worship, and the Egyptian church; but they compelled them to work.
And do we not read that Abraham or Isaac, when they went into Egypt, or Abimelech's country, that either Pharaoh, or Abimelech, did compel them to conform to their religion, way, and worship.
And likewise Lot, who sojourned in Sodom, we do not read that he compelled any to his way, or religion, or that the Sodomites compelled him to their way; though he was vexed with their filthy conduct.
And likewise, when the children of Israel came out of Egypt, and received the law of God, they did not compel or force other nations to serve their God; but other nations came to them, and when their males were circumcised, they might eat of their sacrifices.
So look along from Moses to Joshua, and the Judges, and all the prophets, and the kings, wherever you can find that they did compel any nation to serve and worship their God.
Now, the Jews, when they were taken captive, we read that Nebuchadnezzar compelled them;: but the Jews distinguished what sacrifices they were to offer, and what not, and what was called holy, and what unholy.
But you do not read that they forced other nations, to offer a sacrifice to God upon his altar by their law, and imprison them, and spoil their goods if they would not, or that they forced other nations to come and worship in their temple, or did force them to bring in their tithes, or yearly offerings; though they took tax or tribute of them.
We see after the kings in Maccabees, how several of the Jews suffered by the heathen, because they would not conform to their worship; but we do not read that the Jews compelled other nations to come to their worship, after they had conquered them, and made them tributaries.
Neither do we read, that ever any of the high priests or Levites cast any into prison, because they did not bring in their tithes into the storehouses, but it was a curse that remained upon them, as in Malachi, if they did not.
After Christ came and sent forth his disciples among the Jews, and told them not go in the way of the Gentiles, and told them, when he gave them their commission, and sent them out to preach the gospel, ‘freely you have received, freely give.’
But he said unto them, ‘whatsoever they set before you, that eat; for the laborer is worthy of his hire,’ ...
Now, they did not compel any to hear them, nor to give them food.
Christ did not compel any to hear him, or any to communicate to him; who is the Lord and master.
After Christ was risen, who gave a larger commission to his disciples, and bid them go into all nations, and preach the gospel. Christ who had died for all men, and was a propitiation for the sins of the whole world, after he had died and was risen, bids them go into all nations, ‘and preach the gospel to every creature.’
Now, these apostles and ambassadors, were not to compel any to hear them, or to give them maintenance; and if they would not hear them, nor set before them meat. Christ gave them no such commission to cast them in prison, and compel them to give them maintenance; but Christ said unto them, ‘he that believes is saved, and he that does not is condemned already.’ And that was punishment enough to those who would not receive their message.
And those who received them, received him that sent them, and those who received a prophet, received a prophet's reward.
And those who would not receive them, they should shake off the dust of their feet as a witness against them: and that was punishment enough.
And if any would not hear his brother, as concerning practice in the church, he might take one or two more of the church, and if he would not hear them, then they were to tell it to the church; and if he would not hear the church, then he should be to them as a heathen, and as a publican; and so was cut off from being a member of Christ's heavenly body, he being the heavenly head, and that was punishment enough, they did not cast them into prison.
Christ told his disciples, when he sent them forth as sheep among wolves, (so the nations that were settled in their own way and religions, were like wolves to them), Christ told his disciples, ‘they should be brought before kings and rulers, and hauled before magistrates, and put out of their synagogues, and whipped and scourged for his names' sake.’
And you may consider, that these were either heathens or Jews, by whom the disciples were to be whipped, scourged, and persecuted.
So these disciples of Christ were not to study beforehand, what to preach and say to the kings, rulers, and magistrates, when they were brought before them.
Now these heathens and Jews, did whip, scourge, and imprison Christ and his disciples, and they bore it patiently.
But where did ever Christ or his disciples, whip, scourge, or imprison any, or the true church in the apostles' days, for not hearing of them, and not giving them maintenance, or spoil their goods?
But the true christians suffered the spoiling of their goods, as the apostle speaks of to the Hebrews, that were the hearers of Christ, who told them, ‘that God had spoken to their fathers by the prophets,’ but now in these last days, he had spoken unto us by his Son.'
So mark, God had spoken to us, that is, his church, by his Son, who is the head of it.
For God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, who was the first speaker to Adam and Eve in paradise, and was the speaker again to those who heard, and believed in his Son, and is now.
And now these christians that God was their speaker unto by his Son, which suffered the spoiling of their goods joyfully, and were gazing-stocks. Now those who gazed at them, and that had spoiled their goods, were the Jews, and the Gentiles, that followed their old professions, and their ways.
Yet these true christians that heard the Son, we do not read that they spoiled either Jews' or Gentiles' goods, or made them gazing-stocks.
For John the divine, said in his revelations, ‘that the beast compelled all, both small and great to worship him, and to receive his mark.’
So we do not read that Christ, or John, or the apostles compelled any, but the beast.
And he said, ‘that the beast that did compel, received his power from the dragon;’ so did not receive it from God and Christ.
And therefore, let all that go under the name of christians and Jews, consider this; and others that make a profession of God and Christ, consider these things, and lay them to heart, and do unto all men, as you would have them do unto you; for you would not have another man compel you to that religion, which is contrary to yours, and therefore, do not you so unto them; but mind the royal law of liberty, which law is holy, just, pure, good, and righteous, and answers that of God in all, and gives liberty to the spirit of God in all.
And does not the apostle tell you, ‘every man must stand and fall to his own master?’ so the apostle gave liberty here, that everyone must stand or fall to him that was their master; for he that was servant of sin committed it, and the wages of it was death, and he that was the servant of God unto righteousness, and the fruits unto holiness, and their end everlasting life.
And does not the apostle say, ‘that Christ was the author and finisher of faith, and whatsoever was not of faith is sin? And therefore must not all be left to their faith, which Christ is the author of? And the mystery of faith is held in a pure conscience, then must not their consciences be free for Christ, and at liberty for the mystery of faith which is held in it, which faith, Christ the spiritual and heavenly man is the author and finisher of, who was persecuted by the Jews, and they delivered him to the Gentiles.
So, see what liberty he had among them, who suffered the contradictions of sinners.
And Christ was beaten, and spit upon, and struck, and struck, and mocked, and a crown of thorns put on his head, and reviled and blasphemed, yet did he not revenge himself, who had all power in heaven and in earth given unto him; did he or his disciples whip, buffet, scourge or imprison, or crown any with thorns? Instead he preached and proffered unto them the crown of life, and glory.
And so, follow you Christ and the apostles' examples, both in life, practice and doctrine; which is every true Christian’s duty.
And does not the apostle say, ‘that they had not power over any man's faith, but Jesus Christ was the author and finisher of it, and in it they were to have their liberty, and what was not of faith was sin?’
So they did not say, they had power to make them believe this or that, or to force them to a faith; but they were to look unto Jesus the author and finisher of their faith; and God opened Lydia's heart, and she believed.
So the heart must be opened by the Lord, if they are true believers, by his light and spirit.
So in this gospel are not all to have their liberty in the power of God?
And they were not compelled to receive it; for if they did not receive the gospel, nor obey it, the wrath of God was revealed upon them from heaven.
And if the world did not receive the gospel, which Christ sent his disciples into all nations to preach, then God would judge the world by the man Christ Jesus, according to the gospel the power of God, which had been preached to them; and God would render vengeance in flames of fire, unto all those who did not receive and obey the gospel? and that was punishment enough.
And you may read in the Revelation, what John the divine tells you, what became of the dragon, that gave power to the beast, that compelled to worship, and the whore that drank the blood of the saints, and made war with them,’ does not he tell you, ‘that they shall be cast into the lake of fire, that burns with brimstone, and that the whore's flesh shall be burnt? Rev 20:10,17:16.
And does not Christ tell you, that he is the seedman, ‘and after the good seed was sown, the enemy sowed his tares, and those who had that sight as to discern the tares from the wheat, and saw both come up, went to the Lord, and would have had a license from him to go and pluck up the tares, but the Lord's answer was no, for fear that they plucked up the wheat also, but let them both grow together until the harvest and the harvest is the end of the world:’ and then, said Christ, ‘I will send my angels, who shall gather the wheat into the garner, and the tares into bundles, and cast them into the fire to be burnt.’
So you may see Christ gave no commission to men, to gather the wheat or the tares, but it was the angels' work to gather the wheat into the garner, and the tares into bundles for the fire.
And therefore, those who go to gather either, have no commission from Christ; for he gave them a caution, ‘for fear that you also gather the wheat with the tares,' and for fear that their zeal should blind them.
So men are to mind their duty, which is to love mercy and to do justly, and to walk humbly with God: and not to take the angels' work upon them, and go to reaping before the time, which is the end of the world.
And likewise when Christ sent forth some of his disciples to prepare for him, and some would not receive them; ‘Lord, (said they), shall we command fire to come down from heaven to consume them, as Elias the prophet did?’
So you may see here, the disciples of Christ had a zeal, and would have had fire to have come down from heaven, to have consumed those who would not receive Christ. These disciples would have been plucking up tares, but Christ rebuked them, and stopped them; and told them, ‘they did not know of what spirit they were of, that would have commanded fire to come down from heaven, to have consumed those who would not receive him.’
And now do all you who have persecuted, imprisoned, and spoiled the goods of the people of God in Christendom, because they would not conform to your religion, know what spirit you are of yourselves? And those who do not know what spirit they are of themselves, must be in the blind zeal, and will be doing what Christ rebukes; and those who do not know what spirit they are of themselves, are not likely to watch for people's souls.
And people are not like to trust their bodies, much less their souls into the hand of those, who do not know what spirit they are of themselves.
And therefore, consider what spirit you and they have been of, who have persecuted, put to death, spoiled the goods, and imprisoned those who would not conform to your way and worship; and yet call yourselves christians, and ministers of Christ.
I say, Christ who rebuked his disciples, who would have had fire to come down from heaven, upon those who would not receive him, will rebuke you also.
And as Christ told his disciples, ‘they did not know what spirit they were of;’ neither do you know what spirit you have been of; and [mark,] there were more in the apostles' desire, to have fire come down from heaven to consume those who would not receive the substance, the Lord of glory, than for you to force, imprison, persecute, banish, or put to death, or spoil the goods of such as will not receive your way, and worship, and religion, that you have set up. So, how can you but expect a greater rebuke to come upon you, who persecute and destroy those who will not receive your forms of religion and worship, when those were rebuked who would have fire to come down to destroy those who would not receive Christ, the substance and the life?
For they were told by Christ, ‘they did not know what spirit they were of,’ and that ‘he came not to destroy men's lives, but to save them.’
And therefore, consider how many men's lives have been destroyed since the apostles' days, by those who profess themselves christians in Christendom, because they would not conform to their religions and ways; those who have done so, have not known of what spirit they are of, nor followed the mind of Christ, to save men's lives; and do not know what spirit they are of, that would destroy men's lives.
So weigh and consider this, all people in the whole world, who profess God and Christ, now in this the day of your visitation.
For as God's love through Christ has been shed abroad in our hearts, we cannot but in the same love desire the eternal good, and the Salvation of all mankind, and would have them repent, and turn to Jesus Christ, whom God has given in his love to be their Way, Leader and Captain of their Salvation, and has tasted death for every man, and has bought them with a price, therefore, that they all might serve and live to him, and glorify God with their bodies, souls and spirits, which are the Lord's that he has made, and Christ's, who has redeemed and bought them.—
It has often been said, ‘that the people of God in scorn called Quakers, love none but themselves.’
To this I answer, such are mistaken in their judgment, and I fear it is their own conditions, for we love God that created all things, and his Son, by whom all things were made, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of a virgin, who made a good confession before Pontius Pilate, who was crucified without the gates at Jerusalem, and rose the third day, and sits at the right hand of God; by whom God will judge the world according to the gospel, that is, according to the invisible power which is preached to every creature.
Secondly. We love all men and women, simply as they are men and women, and as they are God's workmanship, and so as brethren and children of Adam and Eve by generation.
Thirdly. We love them all as they come to be the sons of God by adoption, and can say, Abba Father, in the heavenly brotherly fellowship, and we are commanded to do good unto all, especially to the household of faith: for Christ commands us to love one another, and not so only, but to love enemies, and it is a mark by which his were known to be his disciples, that is by their loving each other.
And we are to pray for enemies, and our persecutors, by the command of Christ and the apostles.
And the Lord said in Job 31, ‘all under the heavens is mine,’ who has created all to his glory; and the Lord said unto Ezekiel, ‘say unto them, as I live said the Lord God; I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn you, turn you, from your evil ways, for why will you die, oh, you house of Israel. Eze 33:11’ said the Lord; here you may see God's mind, and his love to people, which all his people are to be in, who would have people turn from their wicked ways and live. .
And further, the Lord said, ‘I desire not the death of him that dies; therefore cause one another to turn and live;’ see here the love of God to mankind, who would have them to turn and live. Eze 18:23. And so he would have all that is called Christendom, to turn to the new covenant and live, which is our desire also.
And further he said, ‘have I any desire that the wicked should die, said the Lord God? or shall he not live, if he turn from his ways?’ here you may see what the Lord's desire is, and his goodness to wicked mankind, in the same chapter. And in Isa 1:18-20, ‘come now and let us reason together, (said the Lord), though your sins were as crimson, they shall be made white as snow, though they were as red as scarlet, they shall be as wool, if you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good things of the land, but if you refuse and be rebellious, you shall be devoured with the sword; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken it:’ here you may see the love of God to man and woman, who would reason with man, and have him to obey and consent, and shows him the good in obeying, and shows him the judgments in disobeying.
And in Isa 45:22, ‘look unto me, and you shall be saved, said the Lord, all you ends of the earth, for I am God, and there is no other,’ So all you ends of the earth must look unto the Lord for salvation.
And Isaiah said, ‘cease you from man whose breath is in his nostrils, for wherein is he to be accounted of?’ Isa 2: 22. And therefore, all you ends of the earth must look unto the Lord for salvation, these are the words of the Lord to the ends of the earth, and to all people upon it.
Who is the salvation to the end of the world? Christ Jesus, the covenant of light, which prophecy of Isaiah was fulfilled in Christ, of whom it is said in John 1, ‘in him was life, and the life was the light of men, and the light shined in the darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not, and John said he was not that light, but was sent to bear witness of the light, 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 knew him not,’ (namely), Christ the light, that lights every man that comes into the world, and ‘grace and truth comes by Jesus Christ, as the law came by Moses, for the grace of God which brings salvation unto all men has appeared,’ [mark,] unto all men has appeared this grace of God which brings salvation.
Here is the general love of God to mankind, which teaches us to live soberly, ... said the apostle to the true christians, and that we should deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and live soberly and righteously, and godly in this present world.
So this grace of God, which has appeared unto all men, was their teacher, how to live, and walk to God and man, and what to deny; I say, how to live and walk to God, which brought their salvation, and to look for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of the mighty God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ, ‘who gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.’ So here is the love of God in Christ unto all mankind, Tit 2:14, to the end, which we are witnesses of, and we desire all might obey it, and not turn from it into wantonness.
And John said of Christ, ‘behold the Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world.’ So all the world is to look unto the Lamb of God, which takes away their sins, as you may see in John 1:29, and not to plead for sin to the grave, but for the Lamb that takes it away.
‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life:’ so here God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son into the world, that he that believes in the Son has everlasting life, and he that believes not in the Son of God, shall not have life, but the wrath of God abides on him. Now here is God's love to be seen whether men believe and obey, or not, and the wrath of God abides upon him that does not believe, as in John 3:16-21.
And Jesus Christ said, ‘while you have the light, believe in the light, for I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believes in me should not abide in darkness, but have the light of life:’ now here Christ teaches how men should believe, and what to believe in, namely, the light, as in John 12 which we do, and would have all people to believe in, ‘Christ the light.’
And again, Jesus said, ‘I am the light of the world, he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.’ So he who is the heavenly man, the Son of God, is the light of the world, and enlightens every man that comes into the world, and bids them believe in the light, whom God has given for a light, and to be his salvation to the ends of the earth. And when Christ said, he was the light of the world, the Pharisees were offended at him; as many fair talkers, and bad doers are now offended at the believers in the light, and such as have become the children of it, that bear witness to it. John 8:12.
And in Luke 2:28-31, when Simeon took Jesus in his arms, and said, ‘now, Lord, let your servant depart in peace, for mine eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepare before the face of all people, (mark, all people; here is no sect), a light to be revealed to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people, Israel,’ (mark), a light to be revealed to the Gentiles.
Christ is revealed to the Gentiles, who is their light to enlighten them. By which light people see their sins, and by which light people see their Saviour, Christ, who saves them from their sins, and died for their sins, and rose again for their justification.
And see Christ's own words in John 6:51, ‘I am the living bread which came down from heaven, if any man eat this bread, he shall live forever; and the bread that I will give, is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.’ Mark, his flesh for the life of the world; and they must eat it, if they will live forever; and here is the love of God in Christ Jesus to the world; who gives his flesh for the life of the world, and they must eat him who is the bread of life that came down from heaven, if they live. So it is not only talking, but it is feeding and eating, ( John 6:63 that is required, if you will have life).
Now, Christ does not say, he would give his flesh for the life of some of the world; but Luke 3:6 said, ‘all flesh shall see the salvation of God;’ and those who see their salvation, Christ Jesus, they must come to the light that comes from him, which gives the knowledge; but if they hate this light, it does condemn them, as in John 3:20.
And in Rom 5:6, ‘for (when we were yet without strength), in due time Christ died for the ungodly; for when we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son.’ Rom 5:10. And therefore people should die with Christ to sin, and have their old man crucified with him, that their old man might be destroyed; that henceforth they should not serve sin, and remain enemies. Here you may see Christ died for the ungodly, and for enemies, and not that they should live in ungodliness, but live to him that died for them: ‘for Christ died, and rose again, and ascended that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living:’ therefore, none are to live to themselves, but unto the Lord; and this should be all true Christian's living and dying in the Lord. Rom 14:9.
‘For as in Adam all died, even so in Christ all be made alive.’ 1 Cor 15:22. Here is God's love to all mankind, who are made alive by Christ Jesus; for as it is written, ‘the first Adam was made a living soul, the second Adam a quickening spirit;' the first Adam was of the earth earthly, the second Adam the Lord from heaven.’
And the apostle said, in 2 Cor 5:14-15, ‘for the love of Christ constrains us because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead, and he died for all, (namely, Christ, said the apostle), that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, [mark, not live unto themselves,] but live unto him (namely, Christ), who died for them, and rose again:’ here is the love of God to mankind in Christ Jesus, which we bear witness to, who died for all, for sinners and enemies, that henceforth they should not live unto themselves, but unto Christ, that died for them.
And in Col 1:23, to the end, the apostle said to the saints, ‘if you continue grounded and established in faith, and not be moved away from the hope of the gospel, of which you have heard, which has been preached to every creature under heaven.’ Mark 16:15.
And the apostle said, ‘the gospel of Christ is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek,’ as in Rom 1:16. So mark, this gospel is preached to every creature under heaven, this joyful news and glad tidings. So here the apostle makes no sects; here is God's love in the gospel of Christ Jesus to every creature under heaven, and the apostles preach Christ Jesus and his gospel, ‘admonishing every man, and teaching every man, [mark, every man,] in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus;’ and this we desire all people may come to witness with us.
Now all the imperfection is out of Christ Jesus, in the devil, and Adam in the fall; and the perfection is in Christ Jesus, that never fell. Here was their general ministry in the love of God in Christ Jesus, and so is ours, and to present all perfect in Christ.
For, ‘Christ also has once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us unto God,’ [mark, that he might bring us unto God,] and ‘Christ was put to death concerning the flesh, (not as he was God), but was quickened in the spirit.’ 1 Pet 3:18. ‘And he is the reconciliation for our sins, (namely, Christ), and not for our sins only, but for the sins of the whole world;’ [mark, for the sins of the whole world,] ‘and he that said he abides in Christ, ought even so to walk as he walks.’ 1 John 2:6. For he has left us an example, not only to talk of him, but to walk after him, and follow him [to follow him is to listen, hear, and obey].
And the apostle said, ‘therefore we labor and suffer reproach because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, especially of those that believe; these things, (said he to Timothy), command and teach,’ 1 Tim 4:10-11, which we [the early Quakers] do by the same power and spirit.
And the apostle said, in Heb 2:9, ‘but we see Jesus crowned with glory and honor, which was made a little lower than the angels, for the sufferings of death, that he by God's grace should taste death for every man, that he might destroy through death him that has the power of death, that is the devil.’ Heb 2:14. So here is the love of God in giving his Son, who tasted death for all men, who said, ‘he had power to lay down his life; and power to take it up again.’ And those who say Christ did not taste death for every man, are the sect-makers and sectaries among people, and are contrary to the apostles', Christ's, and his prophets' doctrine.
And in 1 Pet 2:17, Peter said to the christians, ‘honor all men, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king ’ for God has honored all men in giving his Son, a light, and to be his salvation to the ends of the earth, and to enlighten all men; and his grace has appeared to all men, which brings salvation [grace to all men, but not salvation to all], and he has died for all men, and tasted death for all men; and God desires not the death of any man, but would have them to turn to him. If God has so honored all men, in giving his Son to be a Mediator, and a Redeemer, and purchaser with his blood of men and women out of sin and evil, we are to honor all men as men, because they are God's creation and workmanship, who made them in his image, though they lost it; and all those who are renewed into it again, are renewed by Jesus Christ. So we are to have all men in esteem, and honor all men, and not to curse nor hate any man; and we are to love the brotherhood, such as are disciples and learners of Christ Jesus, and followers of him, who are in the brotherly fellowship, which is in the Holy Spirit, which the apostles were in. The fellowship is in the spirit, and the unity, which is the bond of peace, yes, even the bond of the Prince of princes' peace, which is the duty of every true christian to keep, as also to fear God, and honor the king. Now none can honor the king, but who fear God; those who fear God must depart from sin and evil for those who do not depart from sin and evil, do not fear God, who keeps their hearts clean, and is the beginning of God's wisdom from above. Those who do not depart from evil, but live in it, dishonor both God and the king, and their own bodies, which are God's workmanship, and so dishonor God their Creator, and Christ their Saviour and Redeemer.
And the apostle said, in 1 Tim 2:1, ‘I exhort, therefore, that first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions and giving of thanks be made for all men, [mark, for all men.] So here in their prayers, and supplications and intercessions they are to make no sect, but that all men must be prayed for; and prayers, supplications, and intercessions, and thanks must be made for kings and for all who are in authority; [mark, for all who are in authority]. Again, here is no sect made, but a universal, general prayer, ‘that we may lead a quiet and a peaceable life under them in all godliness and honesty;’ [mark, in all godliness and honesty;] for this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour, who wills ‘that all men should be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth,’ and that is by the light of Christ Jesus, that shines in the heart; mark, this is God's will and mind, that ‘all men should be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth; for there is one God, and one Mediator between God and man, which is the man Christ Jesus;’ [mark, the man Christ Jesus,] ‘who gave a ransom for all men, to be testified in due time;’ [mark, for all men, to be testified in due time.] Again, here is no sect made, nor any excluded, therefore as he gave himself a ransom for all men; and the will of God is, that all men should be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth; and therefore, prayers, and supplications, and intercessions, and giving of thanks must be made for all men, and for kings, and all that be in authority, that we may lead a quiet and a peaceable life under them in all godliness and honesty, Amen.
‘And those who have the mind of Christ do this, and know the common faith and the common salvation.’ Jude 1:3. And this common faith and common salvation the saints were earnestly to contend for, which Christ their Saviour is the author of, which we do contend for this day against all opposers.
And all that have the mind of Christ, own this; for the apostle said, ‘we have the mind of Christ, 1 Cor 2:16;’ we the church, disciples and true christians; and also the apostle said, ‘let the same mind be in you as was in Christ Jesus,’ Phil 2:5; and then the same mind will own his words and doctrine, which he spoke, and as the apostles spoke.
But all of you who say that Christ has not tasted death for every man, and has not given himself a ransom for all men; and say, that he has not enlightened every man that comes into the world, the heavenly man with his heavenly light, the spiritual man with his divine and spiritual light; and that his grace has not appeared to all men, which brings salvation, which is the saints' teacher; and that Christ has not died for all men, and is not a propitiation for the sins of the whole world, but for the saints only, or the world of believers, as you call them; you are the makers of sects and schisms, and in your vain thoughts imagine Christ died only for your own sects, and that God has ordained of old the greatest part of mankind for hell. You are of another mind than the apostles, who said, ‘Christ died for all, and tasted death for every man, and would have all men to be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth,’ and therefore, supplications and prayers must be made for all men; and you must love enemies as well as friends; and the Lord desires not the death of the sinner, but rather that he might turn and live; and Christ is the Saviour of all men, especially of those who believe. You are of another mind and spirit than the prophets, and Christ, and the apostles were of, that say, Christ did not die for all men, and tasted death for every man, and gave himself a ransom for all men; and God would have all men to be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth; and the manifestation of the spirit of God is given to every man to profit withal, (1 Cor 12:7) mark, every man; and you who are against this, are the sect-makers, and have not the mind of the apostle; and this doctrine of Christ and the apostles we preach and teach, and bear witness to against all the opposers and sect-makers whatsoever.
And the apostle said, ‘but he that understands according to sobriety, as God has dealt to every man the measure of faith, Rom 12:3;’ [mark, as God has dealt to every man the measure of faith], so he is the dealer; for it is his gift; for faith is the gift of God, which Christ is the author of, and not man, by which every man should walk, by that faith which God has dealt to him by Christ Jesus, the author and finisher. ‘For of him (namely, God), and through him, and for him are all things; to him be glory for ever, Amen.’ Rom 11:36.
So your directory and church-faith, as you call it, may lie and mould, for we understand according to sobriety, that as God has dealt to every man the measure of faith, his gift, so he is to walk by, in which he pleases God through Christ Jesus, whom all christians must look unto, Jesus, who is the author of their faith, and finisher of it, who is the author of ours, glory to God forever; and the wise man's eye is in his head, Christ Jesus, who is the head of all, who bruises the serpent's head, that led men from God, and has been between men and God; and he that does this, leads man again to God (namely, Christ), who is the true baptizer, who baptizes with fire and with the Holy Spirit, whose fan is in his hand, and he will cleanse his floor, the floor of your hearts, and will gather his wheat into his garner, but will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire; and those who know this baptizer, (namely, Christ), are the true christians, and will never plead for the chaff, their body of death and sin to the grave; for when Christ sets fire in your hearts and minds, that never shall be quenched until the chaff is burnt up; such will not plead for the chaff, but for Christ and his baptism, which we own, and would have all people come to. For in the time of the law things were to pass through the fire and water, to be made clean; so you must pass through Christ's fire and water, which purifies and washes, before you will be clean to enter into his holy kingdom, and know his baptism, as in Luke 3:16-17. For Simon Magus may go into the outward water,* and yet not come to Christ's baptism, and think he can buy the gift of God for money, which was judged by the apostle, and by all that be in the same spirit.
And this is the one baptism, ‘for by one spirit we, (the true church), are all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, bond or free, and have been all made to drink into one spirit' 1 Cor 12:13; and for want of this spirit's baptizing of you, and you drinking into it, there are so many bodies and sects in Christendom, and so many baptisms and ways, and so do not drink all into one spirit, in which the unity and fellowship and the bond of the Prince of princes' peace is, which we say all true christians are bound to keep, and then they will seek the good of all men, and the peace of all men; let them be of several sects formerly, yet by one spirit they are all baptized into one body, as they come to the spirit then they drink into one spirit, then here is fellowship in the one spirit.
So all christians are to endeavor to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace.
Here is one body, and one spirit, even as you are called into one hope of your vocation; ‘there is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God, and one Father of all, which is above all, and through all, [mark,] and in you all,’ Eph 4:5-6, know him there searching your hearts, and find him there trying your minds and hearts ; incline your ears, and give ear to him there,* who will render to everyone of you according to your words and works whether they be good or evil.
And therefore, quench not, nor vex, nor grieve his good spirit, nor rebel against the good spirit which God has given to you to instruct you, and to profit withal, nor turn the grace of God into a license for immorality, which grace would teach you, and bring your salvation; neither walk despitefully against the spirit of grace; neither despise prophecy, which is an office in the church; neither hate the light of Christ, (for fear that it be your condemnation), which you should believe in, and become children of.
And in 1 Cor 8:6, ‘unto us, (namely, the christians), there is but one God, which is the Father, of whom are all things, [mark, all things,] and we in him, [mark in him,] (namely, the Father, of whom are all things), and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, [mark by whom are all things,] and we by him, (namely, by Christ), of whom is named the whole family in heaven and earth, and so that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith, and that you may be strengthened by his spirit in your inward man.’ Eph 3:15-16.
And do not resist the Holy Spirit, as the outside professing Jews did, and the stiff-necked and uncircumcised in hearts and ears, as it is to be feared too many of those called christians do now, Acts 7:51, for those who do resist the Holy Spirit, resist that in which they should have fellowship, and pray in; and those who resist the Holy Spirit, resist what Christ sends to lead the saints into all truth by, and shows them things to come, and ‘takes of mine, (says Christ), and gives unto you;’ and those who resist this, resist their leader, and their minister, and their reprover; and this ‘Comforter, the spirit of truth, shall reprove the world of sin, and of their righteousness, which is not Christ's, and of their judgment, which is not of the Holy Spirit, John 14:26,16:7-8, and therefore must the world leave their sin, righteousness and judgment, and turn at the reproof of the Holy Spirit, which Christ prayed unto the Father that he would send, and should abide with his disciples forever; and he did, and has sent him, the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, that leads into all truth, in which Holy Spirit is our fellowship, which fellowship we would have all, that are called christians, to come into with us.
And see what the apostles said to the Colossians, he tells them, Col 2:10-11, ‘they were complete in Christ, the head of all principalities and powers, in whom also you are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the sinful body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ;’ which we are witnesses of, and would have all come to, which they must do, before they go to the grave, or never.
Now this was so among the true christians; but all you who plead for the sinful body of the flesh to the grave, deny the circumcision of Christ.
And further, the apostle said, ‘seeing you have put off the old man with his works, and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him (namely, God), that created him; where is neither Greek, nor Jew, circumcision, or uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond, nor free, but Christ is all, and in all. Col 3:9-11. Mark this, you so-called christians; for this is a high state.
So all those who plead for the old man with his works to the grave, are of another mind and spirit than the apostles were in, and preach another doctrine; and there you may see these true christians had put off the old man before they went to the grave, and put on the new, and were renewed in knowledge after the image of God that created them; and this work must all the true christians know while they are upon the earth, which we witness, and desire all might come to know and do the same.
And the apostle James in his general epistle to the church, speaking of the tongue, that unruly member, which is full of deadly poison, ‘therewith bless we God, even the Father, therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.’ James 3:8-9.
And now all Christendom consider this, if you bless God, and curse men that are made after the similitude of God, or curse his works and his workmanship, and curse what he has made and created after his own similitude; and therefore that evil tongue and unruly member, which is full of poison, you must have power over and bridle, else your religion is vain; for it must not do so, to curse the Creator's workmanship after his own image; for that proceeds from the wisdom below, and not from what is above, as you may see in James 3, and therefore you must love, and honor, and pray for all men, and not curse them; seeing Christ has tasted death for all men, therefore, ‘bless and curse not,' and obey his doctrine who is the Saviour of all men, and especially of those who believe, who would have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth, namely, Christ, who is the way, the truth, and the life.
And as Peter said, ‘I perceive God is no respecter of persons, but in every nation, he who fears God and works righteousness is accepted by him.’ Acts 10:34-35. So God being no respecter of persons, but accepts all that fear him and work righteousness; therefore, all people are to fear God, and depart from evil, and from all unrighteousness, if they are to be accepted by God; and their not fearing God, and not working righteousness, is what makes them unacceptable with him.
And Peter further said, ‘you know the word that God has sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all;’ [mark, of all: ] so there is no peace with God, except by Jesus Christ.
And, ‘the gospel, which is preached to every creature under heaven;’ and Christ's ministers were to go into all nations, to preach the gospel of Christ; then the gospel was preached to the stock of Ham, the stock of Ishmael, and the stock of Esau. For, ‘Christ died for all men, and tasted death for every man;’ and here is God's love, in sending his Son, that died for all men; and God's and Christ's love, in sending his ministers to preach the gospel to all men, that they might know the heavenly riches, and their inheritance of the same by Christ Jesus; for God's heavenly sun has shined upon the just and the unjust, for their eternal good, as the natural Son does for their outward good; and enlightens all, that all might believe in the light, and through it receive God's love and favor, and those who do not are condemned by it; and the wrath of God abides upon those who reject his love. So we, and all who have the mind of Christ, our love is unto all men for their outward and eternal good, though we are hated by them for it, as their forefathers hated the prophets, Christ, and the apostles for their love and good will towards them.
And are not a great part in Christendom saying with Pilate, that crucified Christ, ‘what is truth?’ John 18:38. though they are bred up at schools, and think themselves to be wise men as Pilate was, who understood the Jews' law and the Romans', and had his Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, to set over Christ when he was crucified; but Christ is risen a-top of it, and the truth is Christ, who enlightens you, and you must find it [Christ] in your inward parts. Christ said, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life;' but the wise professing Jews would not receive him, nor believe in him then, though they had the scriptures; and they confessed he was to come, as the professors now, who profess he has come, yet will not believe in the light, but with literal learned Pilate say, ‘what is truth?’ though Christ said, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life, and no man comes to the Father but by me;’ and yet people that call themselves christians, will say, ‘there are so many sects in the world, we do not know which to follow; Oh! that we did know the truth:’ to which we say, have you been learning all this while, and do not yet know the truth? Indeed there are teachers that have the form of godliness, and deny the power, that are always teaching, that they may be always paying of them, and leading people that are never able to come to the knowledge of the truth, (namely, Christ, the way, the truth, and the life.) For, ‘to know God and Jesus Christ, is eternal life;’ but to talk of God and Jesus Christ is not eternal life; and what gives people the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, is the light that shines in their hearts, which Christ has enlightened them withal. Here is the love of God in Christ Jesus to them all, to enlighten them all; and here is our love to all mankind, in desiring and inviting them to turn from the darkness to the light, and to believe in the light, that they may become children of the light, and so to look unto Jesus Christ, the author and finisher of their faith, who has died for their sins, and is risen again for their justification, and sits at the right hand of God. For by him, namely, Christ, all things in heaven and in earth are reconciled in one; and ‘God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself.' So we cannot but in love beseech all to receive Christ Jesus, the light, the life, and truth, that by him you may be reconciled unto God, who will lead you out of old Adam, and destroy the devil and his works, who has separated you from God. As everyone has received Christ Jesus, so walk in him, who is the new and living way, who is over all the old and dead ways, who is the rock of ages, and the foundation of many generations, and is our rock and our foundation in this our age and generation, who bruises the serpent's head, who is the first and last, who is the love of God to mankind; glory to God forever.
[To Those Who Deny Revelation Still Occurs Today] Concerning Revelation, Prophecy, Measure, and Rule; and the Inspiration and Sufficiency of the Spirit.
So the letter-professing and learned Christians and Jews must do God's Will, if they will know Christ's Doctrine; and that must be done by the same Spirit as the Apostles were in, that through it they may mortify the deeds of the flesh, and take up the Cross daily, and follow Christ (and deny themselves), who reveals the Father to them, if they will know Him or his Doctrine, that did the Will of God.
—By G. F.
Now unto all you who cry so much against revelation, that go under the name of christians, hear what Christ Jesus said in Mat 11:27 and in Luke 10:22, ‘all things are given unto me of my Father; no man knows the Son, but the Father; neither does any man know the Father but the Son, and he to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.’
Now here it is clear by Christ's own words, you who deny revelation, do not know the Son nor the Father; for ‘no man knows the Son but the Father, [mark, no man,] neither does any man know the Father, but the Son, and he to whom the Son reveals him.’ So it is clear the Son must reveal himself and his Father to people, if they know them, and they are not known but by revelation; and those who deny revelation, deny what reveals both Son and Father.
And therefore, take heed you wicked ones, that deny revelation; for it is said in Job 20:27, ‘the heaven shall reveal his iniquity, and the earth shall rise up against him.’ And therefore, take heed, for fear that the heaven reveals your iniquity, and the earth rises up against you, who deny revelation.
And it is said in Jer 33:6, ‘Behold, I will bring them health and healing, and I will cure them (namely Jerusalem); and will reveal to them the abundance of peace and truth.’ Now this healing, and this health, and this abundance of peace and truth has been revealed by the Lord and has given unto us, blessed be his name forever; and you will lack it, you who deny revelation.
And you who deny God's revelation, deprive yourselves of this peace and truth, healing and health, though you have the form of godliness and deny the power and spirit that should reveal.
And Nebuchadnezzar, he did not deny revelation, though a heathen; but acknowledges Daniel's revelation, and acknowledged the God of truth, and that He was the revealer of secrets. Are you not darker than Nebuchadnezzar, you who profess yourselves christians, and you deny revelations these days, and you who would limit the Son and God, and say, that ‘there is no revelation to be looked for now these days?’ If so, then there is no looking for the knowledge of God now these days; for there is no knowledge of him, except as the Son reveals him, who is the same today as yesterday, and so forever; and is known by revelation now, as formerly, which we witness.
And the apostle Paul, did not preach Christ until the Son was revealed in him, Gal 1:15-16, where he said, ‘it pleased God to separate him from his mother's womb, and call him by his grace, to reveal his Son in him, that he might preach him.’ So all of you who deny revelation, you are preaching before the Son of God is revealed in you to preach him. And so, ‘he that has not the Son, has not life,’ said the apostle John. And 'Do you not know yourself, that Jesus Christ is in you - unless you are reprobates [tested, rejected]?,’ says Paul; and tells them ‘examine themselves,’ in 2 Cor 13:5, and this revelation we witness.
And whereas, you may object and say, ‘secret things belong to the Lord, but the things revealed belong to us,’ &c.
But you must see what thing is revealed to you, and to your children; for was not the law revealed to Moses? And did not the Jews by the spirit of God understand it, and knew it so? The Lord revealed himself to David, 2 Sam 7:27, and the Lord revealed himself to Samuel, as in 1 Sam3:21, and is not God the same, and does he not change?
And in Isa 40:5, he said, ‘the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, the mouth of the Lord has spoken it.' [Mark,] all flesh shall see this revelation. And you who deny revelation, how can you see this glory of the Lord without revelation, which the mouth of the Lord has spoken? [mark,] ‘the glory of the Lord shall be revealed;’ future tense; and those who see this glory of the Lord, must know it by revelation, as the Lord has spoken, and which we witness.
And in Isa 53:1, ‘who has believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?’ now, can any know the arm of the Lord, and believe that report of him, but as it is revealed; and as it is revealed, they will know the powerful arm of the Lord, which we witness.
And in John 12:38, where was the fulfilling of the prophet Isaiah's prophecy, who said, ‘Lord who has believed our report?’ therefore, it is said, ‘he has blinded their eyes, and hardened their hearts.’ And therefore, are not your hearts hardened, and your eyes blinded, who deny the revelation of the Son of God? And your belief is but like the Pharisees in the letter, who stand against the revelation of the Son of God, who is the foundation, and the rock of this age, as of the former ages.
And in Isa 56:1, ‘thus said the Lord, keep you judgment, and do justice, for my salvation is soon to come, and my righteousness to be revealed;' [mark, to be revealed.] Now, can any know God's salvation, or his righteousness, unless it is by the revelation of the Son? (Christ said, ‘they cannot,’) and those who do know salvation, and the righteousness revealed must keep judgment and do justice; and those who do not, will deny revelation, and true judgment and justice.
And Christ said, in Mat 10:26, ‘there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed, nor hidden that shall not be known.’ Now, are not all things covered and hidden unto you until they be revealed? [mark, revealed.] And how do you know anything, except by revelation? For, are not all things covered and hidden from you, before they are revealed? And in this we witness Christ has the glory, who reveals himself and the Father; and those who deny revelation, know nothing as they ought to know, but follow their own spirits, and see nothing,
And does not the apostle say, in 1 Cor 2:9-10, ‘the things which eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither came it into man's heart, which God has prepared for those who love him; but God has revealed them unto us by his spirit.’ Therefore, can you know anything of the things of God, which God has prepared for those who love him, which can neither be seen nor heard, unless it is by the revelation of God's spirit?
And the apostle (moreover) said, ‘no man knows the things of God, except by the spirit of God.’ [Mark,] no man knows the things of God, but by the spirit of God, which was in the apostles, which revealed the things of God to them, which now also must reveal the things of God to people, if they know them, which we witness.
And are not you the ministers of the letter only, who deny the revelation of the spirit of God, that the apostles were in, to be expected now a-days? therefore, you will never know the things of God, but by his spirit of revelation, no man of you all.
See 1 Cor 2:14, ‘for the natural man perceives not the things of God, they are foolishness to him, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.’ And [mark,] that spiritual discerning must be with the spirit that reveals them, which was that the apostle was in, and we witness; and you say, ‘you have it not, and it must not be looked for these days.’
And Christ said, in Mat 11:25-26, and in Luke 10:21, ‘I thank thee, O Father, Lord God of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise, learned men of understanding, and has revealed them unto babes, even so Father because it so pleases thee.’ Is it not so now? Is not the revelation of the Son hidden from the wise, and the learned, and men of understanding? Don't many of them make a mockery of it? But Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and thanks God for this revelation, as you may see in Luke, which he had revealed to babes, who were the learners of him; and he does the same still, though it is hidden from your eyes; and we and many babes can praise God for this revelation of his Son in us, though many of you make a mockery at it.
And in Mat 16:16-17, Peter said, ‘you are the Christ, the Son of the living God. Jesus answered and said unto him, blessed are you Simon the son of Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.’ [Mark,] flesh and blood had not revealed, that Jesus Christ was the Son of God, unto Peter, but the Father, who is in heaven.
And you who deny revelation these days, can any of you know Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, without the Son or the Father revealing him, who is in heaven? No, and if you say yes, are not you those who are thieves and robbers, and climb up another way than by the door Christ? for Christ tells you, 'no man knows the Father, except by revelation,' and is not all your talking about Christ, only your imagination, and the revelation of flesh and blood, who deny the revelation of the Son of God by his spirit.
And in Luke 2:26, Simeon was a just man, and waited for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him, and the revelation was given him of the Holy Spirit, that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord Jesus Christ, which revelation was fulfilled in the same chapter.
And now can any see the Lord Jesus Christ, except by the revelation of the Holy Spirit? Or can any call him Lord, but by the Holy Spirit.
Now the Pharisees had the scriptures of the Old Testament, as you have of the New Testament. These wise learned men, who had their Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, who made a great talk that Christ was to come then, as you do now, that he has come, but it is clear, as Christ said, neither you nor any others can know him, but by revelation, as Peter, and Paul, and Simeon knew him by revelation, and the rest of the disciples, whom Christ calls babes. No, further, in Luke 2:32, Simeon said, speaking of Christ, that ‘he was a light to be revealed to the Gentiles, and the glory of my people, Israel.’
And now mark, all you who stumble so much about Christ, the light, which lights everyone that comes into the world, who is the glory of Israel; it seems Christ the light is not revealed to you, your darkness cannot comprehend it, which we witness and believe in, and see this glory of Israel, and so have become children of the light. So you are those who stumble at the light at noonday, and at revelation, for all your learning and knowledge of tongues, wisdom, and understanding; this light to be revealed to the Gentiles you stumble at, which is revealed, we witness, blessed be the Lord forever, namely, Christ Jesus, the light, who enlightens every man that comes into the world.
And you may see Christ was revealed to old Hannah the prophetess, when she was eighty-four years old, and she confessed Christ, and spoke of him to all who looked for redemption in Jerusalem.’
And in Luke 17:30, ‘In the day when the Son of man shall be revealed (namely), from heaven.’ And in 2 Thes 1:7-8, ‘when the Lord Jesus Christ shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, rendering vengeance unto those who know not God, and which obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, which shall be punished with everlasting perdition from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power, when he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be made marvelous in all those who believe.’ Now you who deny revelation, and say revelation is ceased, and must not be looked forth these days, consider this: the revelation of Jesus from heaven in flaming fire, rendering vengeance upon all those who know not God, and obey not his gospel, the power of God: and Christ tells you, that you do not know God nor the Son, but by revelation, therefore, consider what a condition you are in; for in the days of Christ in his flesh, he was known by revelation; and after his resurrection and coming again, it is by revelation that he is known, as you may read, 2 Thes 1:7, and Luke 17:30. And the apostle said, in Rom 1:17, ‘the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith, as it is written, the just shall live by faith; for the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, which hold the truth in unrighteousness.’ Now you who deny revelation, and say that revelation is ceased these days, you cannot know the righteousness of God, which is revealed from faith to faith; neither can you know the true faith by which the just lives, but by revelation, then you are not like to preach it, which we witness.
And do not you think you must know the wrath of God, revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness? and what do you hold the truth of the prophets and Christ, and the apostles in, but in unrighteousness? who say, you have not the same power and spirit which the prophets and apostles had, be sure this revelation of his wrath will come upon you.
And in Rom 8:18, ‘I count the afflictions of this present time are not worthy of the glory which shall be revealed in us.’ Now mark, this glory was to be revealed, which was not then revealed, but it shall be revealed; therefore, can you are partakers of any of this glory, but by revelation? For the fervent desire of the creation waits for when the Sons of God should be revealed. Now mark, does anyone know this state of the Son of God, except by the revelation of God? If you say you do, you know it by another spirit and way than the apostles did, which cannot be the true birth, but the birth born of the flesh, which will persecute him that is born of the spirit, of which we have felt sufficiently.
And in 1 Cor 3:13, hear you who deny revelation, what the apostle said, ‘every man's work shall be made manifest; for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire, and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is;’ and do you think you can deny this revelation by fire? That fire will try every man's work of what sort it is: this day and revelation by fire has not yet come to you who deny revelation, (for your works have not been so tried), which day will come.
And 1 Cor 14:29-30, ‘let the prophets speak, two or three, and let the other judge, and if anything be revealed to another that sits by, let the first hold his peace.’ Now this was the order in the church of Christ. Now you who deny revelation, which is an office here in the church, that people should speak, or preach, or prophesy one after another what was revealed unto them, as the apostle did and exhorted to, another should hold his peace, this would be counted disorder among you who deny revelation. So you speak and preach what was revealed to others, and not to yourselves, so are not you as those who used their tongues, and said, ‘thus said the Lord,’ whom the Lord never spoke unto, but reproves such.
And the apostle said, in Gal 3:23, ‘but before faith came, we were kept under the law, and shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.’ Mark, you who deny revelation these days, are not you shut up? Can you have any true faith, but by the revelation of Christ, who is the author and finisher of faith? For does not the apostle say, that they themselves were shut up under the law, and until the faith that should be afterwards revealed; and who reveals this faith? Is it not Christ, who is the author and finisher of it? Therefore has any one any true faith but by revelation, according to the apostle's doctrine? Which faith by revelation, we witness to the glory of Christ.
And the apostle said in Eph 3:3,5, ‘that God by revelation has showed this mystery unto me, which in other ages was not opened unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto the holy apostles and prophets by the spirit.’ Here you may see again, what was revealed to the prophets and apostles by the spirit of God, they declared, which was not opened to the sons of men before, but opened by the revelation of the spirit to them; here the apostle owns Christ's words, that the Father and the Son are known by revelation. And you who deny revelation these days, follow your own spirits, and see nothing, like the false prophets of old, and follow not the spirit that revealed that mystery to the apostles, nor Christ, who does reveal himself and the Father.
And in 2 Thes 2:3-4, it is said, ‘and that man of sin be revealed, even the son of perdition, that exalts himself above all that is called God, and sits in the temple of God: and now you know what withholds, that he might be revealed in his time, and then shall the wicked man be revealed whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming.’ Now here the apostle tells them, this revelation was to come, and this destruction upon this son of perdition, who sat in the temple of God, and exalts himself above all that is called God. What temple of God is this, do you think? Look within where this man of sits. Are not the saints the temples of God, who own revelation? But does he not sit in your temples, and make you deny this revelation? The son of perdition who sits in your temple, and makes you deny the revelation of the son of God there; and exalts himself above all that is called God, and to deny his revelation in you; and tells you revelation is ceased, and you must look for no such thing in your age; and sits enthroned here until he is taken out of the way. And can any one know this man of sin, the son of perdition, (that is exalted above all that is called God, and sits in his temple), but by the revelation of God's spirit, as the apostle was in? for the apostle said, ‘what may be known of God, is manifest in them.’ Rom 1:19.
And the apostle said, then shall the wicked man be revealed, whom God shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall abolish with the brightness of his coming. Do you think that this man of sin in you, will let you own this revelation of God to consume him? No, the apostle said, ‘let no man deceive you by any means; for that day shall not come unless there is first a departing, and that man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition.’
So you who deny any revelation to be these days, do not you deceive people of that day, by denying the revelation of the son of perdition, and the revelation of the Son of God? but that day of revelation has come, blessed be the Lord that he is revealed, and you who deny revelation are discovered. So it is plain, by the apostle's words, that you can neither know the things of God, nor Christ, nor the man of sin, but by revelation; now consider what condition you are in, who say, there is no revelation to be looked for these days.
And Peter said, 1 Pet 1:5, ‘you are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation, which is ready to be revealed in the last time.’ Now, consider, you who deny revelation; do not you deny the faith and salvation to those who are kept by the power of God through faith, which was to be revealed in the last time? Do any know faith or salvation, except by revelation, as it is revealed in this our age, to as many as wait for his appearance? And the apostle, speaking of Christ, and of some searching the scriptures, when or what time the spirit which testified of Christ, which was in them, should declare the sufferings that would come unto Christ, and the glory which should follow, unto whom it was revealed that not unto themselves, but unto us, (namely), the apostles, mark here, this was known by revelation, and can any know it, think you, without revelation of the same spirit, (namely), Christ and his glory, as in 1 Pet 1:5,11, as it was revealed to them.
And in 1 Pet 4:13, ‘but rejoice, inasmuch, as you are partakers of Christ's sufferings, that when his glory shall be revealed, you may be glad and rejoice. Now mark, you who deny revelation, here is the glory of Christ, which should be revealed, which should glad and rejoice the saints, and you who deny revelation, deny that glory of Christ that gladdens and rejoices the saints, that is to be revealed to them.
And in 1 Pet 5:1, ‘the elders which are among you, I beseech, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed,’ [mark,] that shall be revealed, it was not then, so here was a revelation of glory to come. And you who deny revelation to yourselves and others these days, deny the saints of their glory that comes by revelation, which the saints then, and we now, do witness, blessed be the Lord forever. And your denial of revelation is little worth, if you deny God, and Christ, and the scriptures, and the things of God which are not known, but by revelation of that spirit the apostles were in, and this we are witnesses of.
And Amos 3:7, ‘surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he reveals his secrets to his servants the prophets.’ And you who deny revelation these days, what will you deny that God has any servants or prophets these days? It seems that you are not among his servants nor prophets, you who have none of God's secrets revealed unto you and deny revelation. But his servants must tell you, that God is the same that ever he was, and there is a God in heaven who does reveal secrets, as you may see in Daniel's confession, and the apostles.
And the apostle said, Rom 2:5, ‘you after your hardness and impenitent heart heaped up unto yourself wrath against the day of wrath, and revelation of the righteous judgments of God.’ This revelation of the righteous judgments of God, that day you will know that deny revelation; and that day you must know by revelation and judgment.
And the apostle said, in Rom 16:25, ‘now to him 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 who deny revelation, what, will you make people believe that you shall know the mystery of Christ and his gospel, (which has been kept secret since the world began) without revelation? which the apostle Peter said, 1 Pet 1:12, ‘this mystery was known by revelation, which gospel is the power of God, and came down from heaven.’ Rom 1:16, which is according to Christ's words, ‘no man knows the Father but the Son, and he to whom the Son reveals him.’
And you may see in 1 Cor 14:26, ‘when the church came together, such as had a doctrine, a tongue or revelation, or interpretation, let all things be done unto edifying.’ So this was and is the practice and order in the church of Christ, which he is the head of, (namely, revelation), which we witness, though some deny it.
And the apostle said to the Galatians, Gal 1:11-12, ‘now I certify you brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me was not after man, for neither received I it of man, [mark,] neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.’ Now all you who deny revelation these days, do not you deny the same gospel which the apostle preached, which gospel he said, ‘is the power of God.’ Rom 1:16. And then has not your gospel been created by man? And have not you been taught it, and received it from man, that is, you have not been taught it by the revelation of Jesus Christ. Since the gospel is the power of God, can any receive it unless it is by the revelation of Jesus Christ? And do not they preach themselves, and not the gospel, who deny the revelation of the gospel of Jesus Christ these days? The apostle Paul was highly educated as well as any of you before he was converted, but he counted all that as dross and dung to the excellence of Christ, which was revealed in him. So when those who preach Christ's gospel to others, who have it by revelation, it is Christ who has the glory, though they may be persecuted by those who deny revelation, and have what they have from man.
And the apostle said to the Ephesians in Eph 1:17, ‘that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory might give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation, through the knowledge of him, that the eyes of your understandings might be enlightened, that you may know what is the hope of his calling, and what is the riches of his glorious inheritance in his saints.' Now here all you who deny revelation, may see what the apostle prays for, ‘the spirit of wisdom, and of revelation, that their eyes might be opened by this spirit of wisdom and of revelation.’ Are not all your eyes shut, who deny revelation and do not see the hope of Christ's calling, nor what is the riches of his glorious inheritance in his saints; but mark, who might give people this spirit of wisdom and revelation, the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory? To him was the church, and now is to look unto for the spirit of wisdom and revelation, by which their eyes are enlightened, by which they know the hope of their calling, and the riches of Christ's glorious inheritance in his saints. And you who deny the spirit of wisdom and revelation now in your time to yourselves and others, are far off from praying for this spirit of wisdom and revelation, as the apostle was to open your hearers' [the congregation who sits and listens to preachers instead of God] eyes and understandings, and your own. So in denying revelation, you keep both your own eyes and theirs [your audience] shut from that glory the saints did and do enjoy.
And in 1 Pet 1:13, in his general epistle, ‘therefore gird up the loins of your minds, be sober, and trust perfectly in the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ:’ [mark,] this the saints were to do then, and so they are now to do the same, to have the loins of their minds girded up, and to be sober, and to trust perfectly on the grace that is brought unto them by the revelation of Jesus Christ. So all that know this grace, they know how they received it by the revelation of Jesus Christ; for grace and truth comes by Jesus Christ, as the law did by Moses. This is the grace that brings salvation, and which has appeared to all men, and taught the saints, though many there be that turn this grace of God into a license for immorality, and walk despitefully against the spirit of grace, and set up a heap of teachers after their own lusts, from whence wars arise, and then say revelation is ceased in their day and time; but such, the loins of their minds are neither girded up, neither are they sober, nor trust perfectly on the grace that is brought by the revelation of Jesus, which the saints then, and we now do witness, blessed be his name forever. Here you may see by the apostle, that you do not know the grace of Christ and his gospel, but by revelation. And Peter further speaks, that Christ was revealed unto them, and the gospel which they preached by the Holy Spirit, was sent down from heaven, [mark,] was sent down from heaven; and therefore, where have you your gospel now, that deny revelation, and say it is ceased.
And in Rev 1, ‘the revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto John,’ as you may see at large what the revelations are in his book, but you see nothing of those who deny the spirit of revelation now in your days; and Christ said, ‘he opens and no man shuts, and he shuts and no man can open: and no man in heaven, nor in the earth, nor under the earth was able to open the book, neither to look thereon, which made John to weep;’ but it was said unto him, ‘behold the lion which is of the tribe of Judah, the root of David has obtained to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof.’ Therefore, all look unto him who opens the book of the law and the prophets, and the book of conscience, and the book of life; that you may see your names written therein. He reveals grace, faith, the gospel, himself and the Father, and his glory, and the things of God by his spirit. So he is worthy to be waited upon, (who reveals by his spirit), and not upon those who deny revelation; and likewise it is he, who reveals unto you the man of sin, the son of perdition, who sits in the temple of God, above all that is called God, whom he (namely, Christ), will destroy. And also, he reveals his wrath, judgments and indignation upon all the disobedient, and such as hold the truth in unrighteousness, and not in the spirit of revelation that the apostles were in; and such as hold the truth in unrighteousness may plead for the body of sin and death, and the old man with his imperfections to the grave, where there is no repentance, where they and he may be buried in the lake together.
In 1 Sam 3:7, ‘Now Samuel yet did not know the Lord, neither yet was the word of the Lord revealed to him, and the Lord revealed himself to Samuel,’ 1 Sam 3:21. So can you know the word of the Lord, or the Lord, unless it is as the Lord reveals it? Or can you know the Father or the Son, but by revelation. Luke 10:22.
And in Isa 40:5, ‘the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, all flesh shall see it together.’ Now can any see the glory of the Lord, but by revelation? ‘who has believed our report, and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed.’ Now does any know the arm of the Lord, or believe the report of Christ, but by revelation, Isa 53:1, and John 12:38, ‘for my salvation is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed.’ Now does any know God's salvation, and his righteousness, but as it is revealed, Isa 56:1, and Christ said, ‘there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed, nor hidden that shall not be known,’ ... So are not you all covered and the things of God hidden from you who deny revelation? Mat 10:26. And in Luke 2:35, ‘the thoughts of the heart are revealed by Christ.’ And so you neither know God's righteousness nor faith, but by revelation. And in Luke 17:30, ‘when the Son of man shall be revealed.’ And in Rom 8:18, the apostle said, ‘he considered that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which will be revealed in us.’ And in 1 Cor 2:9-10, ‘and what ear has not heard, nor eye has not seen, God has revealed unto the apostles, the deep things of God.’ So the things of God are not known, but as they are revealed by his spirit; and if anything is revealed to another that sits by, let the first hold his peace; likewise the man of sin and the wicked one is not known except as he is revealed; likewise you do not know the word of faith, the light, the glory of the Lord, the arm of the Lord, salvation, the righteousness of God, the things of God, the Son, nor the Father, the wrath of God, your own thoughts, nor the man of sin, the wicked one in your temple, but as they are revealed. You do not know the grace of God, but by revelation, 1 Pet 1:13, nor you do not know the mystery which has been kept secret since the world began, but by revelation, Rom 16:25, neither do you know the righteous judgments of God, but by revelation, Rom 2:5, and though the Jews had the scriptures, yet they did not know Christ the word.
Now can you, or any man know this gospel, the power of God, which brings life and immortality to light, unless by divine revelation? And do not you, who deny revelation, deny the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ for Christ said, ‘when the Son of man shall be revealed, that the world would be doing as in the days of Noah, ... and when Lot went out of Sodom.’ Luke 17:29-30. And said the apostle, ‘when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, taking vengeance upon all those who know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, when he shall come to be glorified in his saints.’ 2 Thes 1:7-10. And here again, you who deny revelation, do not you deny the Lord Jesus, his being revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, and glorified in his saints; and are you not those that do not know God,those who he will take vengeance upon in flaming fire; for how can you know God and Christ, unless by revelation, seeing that Christ must tell you, or you cannot know him or his Father, unless it is by revelation.
Now concerning those who deny prophecies in these days, and say it has ceased today.
Now in the time of the prophets, those who were in the form and not in the power did forbid the prophets to prophesy, who said unto the seers, ‘see not,’ and to the prophets, ‘prophesy not unto us right things,’ Isa 30:10. ‘but speak flattering things unto us:’ and there are too many of those speakers these days, who cannot speak true prophecy, who will run and speak, and the Lord never sent them, as you may see in Jer 14:14, and such as prophesy right things they cannot support.
And in Amos 2:12, ‘you (namely, professing Israel), commanded the prophets not to prophesy;’ but professing christians who are of the same spirit without the profession, say prophecy has ceased. And in Joel 2:28, said the Lord, ‘I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh, (it does not say upon some), and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, [mark, shall, this was to come to pass,] and your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions; and also upon the servants, and upon the hand-maids in those days will I pour out my spirit, said the Lord.’ So mark, here are servants, hand-maids, young men, old men, sons and daughters; the Lord has promised he would pour out of his spirit upon them; and are not all these to enjoy those promises, yes, verily, God is faithful that has promised it for his promises are yes, and amen in Christ. And was not this a fulfilling of (in Acts 2:14-19 ) namely, the prophecy of Joel, where the apostle said, ‘in the last days said the Lord, I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams, and on my servants and hand-maids will I pour out of my spirit in those days, and they shall prophesy.’ Now mark, you who say prophecy has ceased in your days; is not the last days the Christian’s days, (namely), the days of Christ? Is not he the ‘first and the last, the same today as yesterday, and forever.’ God's servants and his hand-maids, who have his spirit poured upon them, they will prophesy; and those who have God's spirit poured upon them, the sons and daughters will prophesy this spiritual prophecy; and the young men and old men who have God's spirit poured upon them, they have their heavenly visions and heavenly dream. This we witness, though neither your young men, nor old men, servants, nor hand-maids, sons, nor daughters, nor yourselves; all who say, prophecy has ceased, and the same spirit is not to be looked for now as the apostles had. You might as well say faith and grace have ceased, nor none of these have visions or dreams, nor prophecies. So do not you keep your people in darkness, being in the darkness yourselves? But the apostle said, ‘they shall prophesy;’ and Philip had four daughters which prophesied, Acts 21:9, who were virgins, though your virgins do not; but those virgins who witness God's spirit, do prophesy, though you may be all amazed, and mock at it like the Jews mocked. Acts 2:11-12.
And the apostle said in Rom 12:6, ‘seeing then, that we have gifts that are differing according to the grace, [mark,] according to the grace that is given unto us, whether we have prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith.’ So here the apostles does not forbid it, and say it has ceased, as you do, but encourages it in the church, ‘on the ministry, let us serve on the office; he who teaches, on teaching,’ that is according to the grace given to them ‘as God has dealt to every man a measure of faith.’
And the apostle said, in 1 Cor 13:9-10, ‘And we prophesy in part, and when what is perfect has come, then what is in part shall be abolished;’ so here he was encouraging the church to grow up unto a further degree, both in knowledge and prophecy; but if there were that love among you, which he speaks of in this chapter, then those things would be owned in their places, and the fulfillment of it waited for, and their prophesying in part owned, which is denied by you in your day; therefore you, who deny that, are not likely to grow up to a perfect state.
And the apostle said, 1 Cor 14:1,24-25. ‘Follow after love, and covet spiritual gifts, but rather that you may prophesy; but if all prophesy, and there come in one that believes not, and unlearned, he is rebuked of all men, and is judged of all, and the secrets of his heart are made manifest, and will fall down and worship God, and say, God is in you of a truth.’ Now see this office of prophecy in the church, the effect of it, ‘Let the prophets speak one or two, and let others judge; for you may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted;’ you who say, prophecy is ceased these days among you, then this learning, and this comforting is ceased among you, and this manifesting the secrets of men's hearts is ceased among you, and this falling down and worshipping God, and saying God is in you of a truth, this is ceased among you who say prophecy is ceased; for this is the work and effect of prophecy in the church of Christ, which is the same to day as yesterday, and so forever; but he that prophesies speaks to men for exhortation, and to edification, and for comfort. Now you who say prophecy has ceased in your church these days, this edifying and speaking to men; and this exhortation and comfort is ceased; ‘but he that prophesies,’ said the apostle, ‘edifies the church; for greater is he that prophesies, than he that speaks with divers tongues, therefore brethren covet to prophesy.’ So you who say prophecy is ceased these days, then you say the edification is ceased; what you say has ceased is greater than speaking with several tongues, etc. and is what the brethren, the church, were to covet after, (namely), prophecy; therefore, how can you say, that you are either the true church or the true ministry, when you say prophecy has ceased, which was for the comforting and edification of the true church?
And you may see in Rev 11:9, how the kindreds and tongues were against the two witnesses that prophesied, and when they had killed them, they made merry over them, and sent their gifts one to another, but they rose again to their torment; and so does not the testimony of Jesus, the spirit of prophecy torment you now? And in 1 Cor 11:4, ‘Every man praying or prophesying with his head covered, dishonors his head, and every woman praying or prophesying with her head uncovered, dishonors her head.’ So you may see, here were men and women prophesying and praying in the church, and Hannah was a prophetess, and Huldah, and Miriam and Debora were prophetesses in the time of the law, therefore the apostle said, 1 Thes 5:20, ‘Despise not prophesying.’ And do not you despise it in others, that say it is ceased? And may you not as well deny prayer as prophecy, and say, prayer is ceased, as you say prophecy is ceased; for the apostle joins them together.
And in Rev 19:10, ‘For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy,’ said John the divine, mark, all you who are called christians in the whole world, and say prophecy is ceased in your day, and none must look for prophecy in your day; (mark well), is not the testimony of Jesus then ceased, the spirit of prophecy? And you do not have the testimony of Jesus because the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy; and so if prophecy is ceased, then the testimony of Jesus is ceased among you, who live in an outside profession of the saints' words. Did not everyone worship the beast, and drink the whore's cup, except those who kept the faith, and testimony of Jesus, whose names were written in the book of the lamb which was slain from the foundation of the world?
And in Hosea 9:7, ‘The prophet is a fool, and the spiritual man is mad.’ Thus did the professing Jews esteem the Lord's prophets, and thus do the professing christians now account the spiritual men mad, and the prophet a fool. And in Prov 31:1-3, ‘The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him; what, my son; what, the son of my womb, and what, the son of my desires; give not your strength unto women, nor your ways which is to destroy kings.’ Here is the prophecy which his mother taught him; and is not this prophecy to be learned of such as can teach it?
And the apostle said, in 1 Tim 4:14, ‘Despise not the gift that is in you, which was given you by prophecy.’ [Mark,] Here was a gift given to him by prophecy. Now you who deny prophecy, and say it has ceased, what then, is the gift ceased to you? Then how can you follow the practice of the holy men of God?
And in 2 Pet 1:19, ‘But we also have a more sure word of prophecy, to which you do well that you take heed, as unto a light that shines in a dark place until the day dawns, and the day-star arises in your hearts. For the prophecy came not in the old time by the will of man; but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.’ So first know this, ‘that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation or motion.’ So now mark, you who say ‘prophecy is ceased,’ then you might as well say that the spirit, which gave forth the scriptures, the Holy Spirit that moved them to speak them forth, has ceased; and you make a profession of the scriptures in the will of man, and your own private opinions of what came not by the will of man; and then you and your people do not know this sure word of prophecy, which they do well that take heed unto, as unto a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day-star arise in their hearts. Now, they do well who take heed unto this light that shines in a dark place, which is the sure word of prophecy. Now you, who say prophecy has ceased, might ask, ‘how long must we take heed unto it?’ The apostle and we tell you, ‘until the day dawns, and the day-star arises in your hearts, that is how long you must take heed unto it.’ Now, you do not do well, who do not take heed to this sure word of prophecy; for those who do heed this sure word of prophecy, do well; and those who do not, do poorly.
And now people consider, though it is the principle of your teachers to say, prophecy has ceased in your days; do you think you will ever come to the day-dawning, and the day-star arising in your hearts, unless you do first take heed to this most sure word of prophecy, as unto a light that shines in the dark place, [mark,] take heed unto it, until the day dawns, and the day-star arises in your hearts.
And it is said in 1 Cor 12:10, speaking of the several gifts in the church, to one the working of miracles, and to another prophesy, and to another the discerning of spirits; but all these gifts were from the one spirit, and the manifestation of the spirit of God was given to every man to profit withal; so no man can profit, but in the same spirit in which the holy men of God gave forth the scriptures, which you have said you have not the same, by which the several gifts flowed from, so not the same gifts, nor gift of prophecy in your church.
Now you may say, the law and the prophets were until John, which is true; but we tell you there were prophets after John, as well as before, as in Acts 19:6, when the Holy Spirit came upon them, they prophesied.
And the apostle said, 1 Tim 1:18, ‘this commandment commit I unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies that went before on you, that you by them should fight a good fight,’ [mark,] should fight a good fight, according to the prophecies which went before on him, having faith and a good conscience, which some have put away, and concerning faith have made shipwreck; and such may say, prophecy is ceased, and a good conscience too; and that faith is ceased that works by love, which purifies the heart, and gives victory over the body of sin, (which they plead for to the grave), among those who were among the apostle. Then you may say, ‘revelation is ceased, and grace is ceased, that brings salvation, and the knowledge of God and Christ (which is by revelation), is ceased.’ But the revelation of the wrath and judgments of God such will feel, which is to be revealed from heaven against all that hold the truth in unrighteousness, and not in the spirit of revelation, that gave it forth.
The prophets, apostles, and Christ himself did not suffer by their persecutors as true prophets, but were persecuted by those who thought they were false prophets; though the persecutors then might get the words of the true prophets, as they have done since the apostles' days, who persecuted those who kept the testimony of Jesus, the spirit of prophecy, and had the true revelation of Jesus. They persecuted them as false prophets, as their forefathers persecuted the prophets, Christ, and the apostles. Likewise today those, who have not been in the life and spirit of the prophets, Christ nor the apostles, nor in their power, persecute today; so they were not in the spirit that gave forth scriptures, who persecuted Christ and his apostles, neither are they now who persecute today.
Those who turned against Moses and the prophets were transgressors of the law of God. So here you may see, that the birth that is born of the flesh persecuted the birth that is born of the spirit, which had the revelation of the Son of God, and kept the testimony of Jesus. And are not you of the same birth, who say, ‘you do not have the same spirit as Christ and the apostles had;’ then are you not, by your own judgment and rule, none of Christ's?
Now you who say, prophecy is ceased, the apostle tells you, ‘that greater is he who prophesies, than he who speaks with tongues.’ So then the greater has ceased among you.
And the apostle tells the church, ‘but he that prophesies, speaks unto men to edification, and to exhortation, and to comfort.’ Now, you who call yourselves apostles and teachers, and say, prophecy is ceased, then edification, exhortation and instruction has ceased among you.
And the apostle said, that ‘prophesying serves not for those who don't believe, but for those who believe.’ So may not you as well say, believing has ceased, as the service of God has ceased.
And again, the apostle said, ‘you may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted.’ So if prophecy be ceased among you, then this learning is ceased, and this comforting is ceased.
And again, the apostle said, ‘therefore brethren, desire to prophesy.’ Now you are of another mind, that say, it is ceased in your church, as you may see in 1 Cor 14, the chapter throughout; for if any man is ignorant let him be ignorant.
And also, the apostle bids the Thessalonians, ‘quench not the spirit,’ and you tell us, ‘that you have not the same spirit as they had in the primitive times:’ then you may say, ‘how can you quench it, when you have it not?’ then with what do you read the scriptures, but follow your own spirits, like the false prophets, and see nothing?
And the apostle bids the Thessalonians, ‘despise not prophesying.’ But you do not only despise it, but you deny it, for any such thing as prophecy to be in your church in your day; so you deny the true edification, and comfort, and learning, which was and is in the church of Christ, as you may see in 1 Thes 5 and in 1 Cor 14.
And now concerning those who deny inspiration today.
In Job 32:8, ‘surely there is a spirit in man, and the inspiration of the Almighty gives understanding.’ [Mark,] the inspiration of the Almighty gives understanding.
Now all you who deny the inspiration of the Almighty, in these your days, to give you understanding; then I ask you, what understanding do you have? Is it not what must come to nothing? For it is written, ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the understanding of the intelligent.’ 1 Cor 1:19.
And in 2 Tim 3:16, ‘for all scriptures is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable,’ ... ‘that the man of God may be made perfect in all good works;’ but not the men of the world, for they deny perfection.
Now if all holy scripture is given forth by inspiration of God, how can you know the scriptures who say, ‘inspiration is ceased?’
‘For the natural man perceives not the things of God; for they are foolishness to him.’ And so was not the prophets' and apostles' words foolishness to the natural men in their natural profession?
And is it not so now to you christians, with all your tongues and languages, who say, inspiration has ceased, and yet, ‘no man knows the things of God but by the spirit of God.’ So as the scriptures were given forth by the inspiration of God, so they are known again by the same spirit. And therefore, Christ said, ‘I will send you the spirit of truth, he shall lead you into all truth, and he shall bring to your memory the things that I have spoken, and he shall show you things to come,’ and so make them prophets; ‘and he shall take of mine, and give unto you.’ So by this the apostles did know the scriptures, though they were unlearned men, many of them, outwardly. The Holy Spirit led them into the truth of the prophets and holy men of God, which spoke forth scriptures as they were moved by the Holy Spirit, and showed the fulfilling of them by Christ; and it brought to their memories what Christ had spoken to them, which afterwards they recorded, as you may see in the four evangelists. So the scriptures, which were given forth by divine inspiration of God, is known again by divine inspiration of God. Those who deny divine inspiration of God these days, do not know the scriptures that were given forth by inspiration. Therefore they are all in heaps about them and are not likely to know them except by that spirit that gave them forth. That key [the spirit] will open them, and the learned of tongues cannot read the book, though they have all the languages upon the earth, but do not have the spirit of inspiration these days, as they confess. So they had better be still, and wait upon the Lord for the spirit; else they will be found of the number of those who run, and the Lord never sent them, and speak when the Lord never spoke unto them, (and come under the reproof of God, and his prophets, and the scriptures), but know none of God's inspiration; for those who have inspiration, have the power and spirit they had which gave forth the scriptures. Those who have the form of godliness, and deny the power and spirit as the apostles were in, are to be turned away from; for the apostle said, turn away from such; for they keep people always learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Seeing the scriptures were given forth by divine inspiration, and are the things of God, they are not known again but by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, which leads into all truth. And the inspiration of the Almighty gives the understanding; and you who deny inspiration, deny this heavenly understanding. And you who have all the scriptures, from Genesis to the Revelation, yet you do not know them [their true meaning] with your natural spirit of understanding, nor by all the tongues and languages since Babel; for none know them, but by the spirit of inspiration that gave them forth.
Now concerning the Measure of the Spirit, as God has dealt to every man.
In Rom 12:3, it is written, ‘For I say, through the grace given to me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God has dealt to every man the measure of faith.’ So you may see here, that the apostle himself would have the church not to presume to understand any further, but as God has dealt to every man the measure of faith; if they did, they presumed above their measure. So, to understand as God has dealt to every man the measure of faith, this keeps every man in the faith and in the grace, in their measure. But you, who do not have the same faith, which works by love, which Christ is the author and finisher of, and walk despitefully against the spirit of grace, and turn from it into wantonness, are in the presumption, who would understand without the faith, and the grace and light. You go against the apostle's doctrine, and the measure of faith, the measure of which God has dealt to every man. So every man must look at the grace and faith that God has dealt to him through Christ Jesus, who is the author of it and finisher, and understand and walk by it, which was the practice of the true church, and exhortation of the true ministers.
And the apostle said, in 2 Cor 10, how the ‘weapons of their warfare were not carnal, but mighty through God to cast down strong holds, casting down the imaginations, and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every high thought, to the obedience of Christ,’ ... Now, here was the spiritual warfare, and the spiritual weapons; ‘for,’ he said, ‘we dare not make ourselves of the number, nor compare ourselves to them who praise themselves; but they understand not that they measure themselves with themselves:’ this was a wrong measure and understanding, which the apostle dared not make himself of the number of such as did so, who kept to his own measure, neither can they who keep to the measure which God has distributed to them. But do not you now measure yourselves by yourselves, and praise yourselves, who do not own the measure, and do not come to the measure that God has distributed? And do not you say, ‘that God does not distribute directly to men now, as he did in the apostles' days?’
And further, the apostle said, ‘but we will not rejoice in things without our measure, but according to the measure of the rule, wherewith God had distributed unto us a measure to reach even unto you.’ So here the apostles kept their joy within the measure of the rule that God had distributed to them: for he said, ‘for we stretch not ourselves beyond our measure.’ So here again he kept within the measure God had distributed to them; and likewise, would have the church to do the same.
And further, the apostle said, ‘not boasting of things which are without our measure, that is, of other men's labors; and we hope when your faith shall increase, to be magnified by you, according to our rule, abundantly.’ Now, see here what was the apostle's rule, which they stretched not beyond, and did not boast out of it, nor did boast of other men's labors; but this measure and this rule was what God had distributed unto them. You who have gone from this rule and measure, are you not boasting of other men's labors; (namely scriptures), of the prophets and apostles, and call that your rule, and praising yourselves and measuring yourselves, and stretching yourselves besides that measure and rule that God has distributed to them, and which the apostle was in, and exhorted others unto. Are you not also boasting of things besides this measure and rule which God distributes to his church and to the apostles. So by this measure and rule they were to walk, which God had distributed to them, then and now, by which measure and rule they knew the scriptures and the things of God, which rule and measure God had distributed to them.
And further, the apostle said, that ‘they did not boast of things beyond our measure, that is, over other men's labors, or in work already done in another elsewhere,’ or prepared already. So here you may see, the apostles kept to the rule and line that God had distributed to them. Now, do not you rejoice and boast in other men's completed work these days; that is, in things made ready to your hands, and prepared already, and say, ‘that is your rule,’ (namely), the prophets', Christ's and the apostles' words [in the scriptures], which are other men's labors and works, for which they suffered, for speaking forth the apostles', prophets' and holy men's labors, which you rejoice and boast in, which are other men's results, prepared already to your hands.
And are not you against the measure of the light, of the grace, of the spirit of the faith now, which we witness, with the apostles? You persecute those to whom God has distributed a measure of the rule, which we rejoice in and walk by, with which we know you are boasting in other men's labors, that are made ready to your hands. But let him who rejoices, rejoice in the Lord, who distributes this measure. He who praises himself, and looks on things after the outward appearance, is not credited; but he whom the Lord praises, who walks according to the measure of the rule, as God has distributed to him; in this God has the glory out of all hearts. The vain rejoicer, boaster, and comparers of themselves with themselves, who are not wise, and will boast of other men's labors and lines, and works made ready to their hands — that is kept down for that boast and joy is not of the Lord, neither he who praises himself. I say, that is kept down by the measure of the rule which God distributes; in which measure and rule God has his praise.
Now here you see the humility the apostle was in; he would have people, or the church, not to think of him above what they see in him, (namely), his measure, though he saw things not fit to be uttered; and when the messenger of Satan was sent to buffet him, and he besought the Lord three times, the Lord's answer was to him, ‘my grace is sufficient for thee, and my power and strength is made perfect in weakness;’ and in this strength, power and grace did the apostle rejoice, and in his infirmities.
And the apostle said in Eph 4:7, ‘but to everyone of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.’ And by this measure of grace, the gift of Christ, they did walk, and so must all true christians, by which they must walk, if they will grow in grace; and if they grow up to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, they must grow in grace.
And in Gal 6:14-16, the apostle said, ‘God forbid I should rejoice, but in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, whereby the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world; for in Christ neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creature; and as many as walk according to this rule, peace be upon them, and mercy upon the Israel of God.’
Now mark, you professors of the letters, that say, ‘the scripture is your rule;’ was not circumcision of the letter of the scripture? And yet the apostle said, ‘it avails nothing, but a new creature; and what the apostle rejoiced in, was the cross of Christ, in which he was crucified to the world, and the world to him. Is not the cross of Christ the power of God? Are not as many as walk according to this rule, and rejoice in it, (namely), the cross of Christ, and the new creature? I say, as many as walk according to this rule, peace be upon them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God. Gal 6:14-16. For the apostle said, ‘the cross of Christ is the power of God;’ so that the rule of the new creature in Christ he sets forth to be the rule. [Christ in the new creature is the rule]. You who have the form of godliness, and deny the power thereof, and the having the spirit that gave it forth now in your days, and call it your rule, and yet walk quite contrary to it, are to be turned away from; yet not turn away from the scriptures, but from you, who walk contrary to them, and the spirit that gave them forth.
And the apostle said in Phil 3:16, ‘nevertheless, in that whereunto we are come, let us proceed by one rule, that we may mind one thing; for he had told them with weeping of such as were enemies to the cross of Christ, whose end is damnation, whose God is their belly, and glory in their shame, who mind earthly things.
Now were not they enemies to the rule then, which was the cross of Christ, the power of God? And what was this rule they were to walk by? Was it not what God had distributed to them, the spirit of God? For these, whose belly was their God, and gloried in their shame, and minded earthly things, whose end was damnation; these were a kind of christians, which it is to be feared there are too many such now, who were enemies to the cross of Christ, which is the power of God, who were to be turned away from. Was not the grace of God, which God said should be sufficient for Paul, and his strength made perfect in his weakness; was not this grace and strength a sufficient rule for Paul?
And does not the apostle say, ‘let the peace of God [Christ] rule in your hearts by faith who shall rule all nations with a rod of iron?’ so is not he a sufficient rule in the heart by faith, and a sufficient rule to rule all nations, Rev 12:5, yes, and sufficient to rule the heathen. Rev 19:15.
Is not this spirit a sufficient rule, that leads into all truth?
And in Neh 9, the Lord gave his good spirit to the people, ‘his good spirit to instruct them, and they rebelled against it.’
And were not they reproved for so doing? and was not that a sufficient rule? Are not they the sons of God who are led by the spirit of God? Rom 8:14. Is not that a sufficient rule to lead and guide?
And the Lord [through John] said, ‘he who has the Son, has life.’
And is not here a sufficient rule?
And John said, ‘these things I have written unto you, concerning those who deceive you; but the anointing which you have received of him, dwells in you; and you need not that any man teach you, but as the same anointing teaches you all things, and is true, and is no lie.’
And is not this a sufficient rule, this teacher, that people might see the deceivers, and shun them?
And the Lord said, ‘I will put my laws in your minds, and write them in your hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people; and they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, know the Lord; for all shall know me, from the least of them to the greatest of them.’ Is not this law and new covenant a sufficient rule to know God by? Was not the Holy Spirit a sufficient rule, which led Moses and the prophets to give forth the scriptures? Was not the Holy Spirit a sufficient rule, which led the disciples and apostles of Jesus Christ into all truth; and to see the fulfilling of the law and prophets in Christ, and brought to their memories the words that Christ spoke, and afterwards to record them? Is not the same Holy Spirit a sufficient rule for all christians now to know God, and Christ, and the scriptures, and lead them all into the truth of them; in which Holy Spirit they must pray and have their fellowship, seeing no man knows the things of God without the spirit of God, which searches all things, and they are spiritually discerned, and the natural man perceives them not, they are foolishness to him; and how can they be his rule, when they are foolishness to him, as in 1 Cor 2:10-14.
And what rule had Abel, and Enoch, and Noah, and Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and Moses, before scriptures were given forth? Did not they walk by faith, which was the gift of God, yes, and to be perfect? Was not Abraham commanded to walk before him, and be perfect, which perfection you cannot attain unto by walking in the oldness of the letter, for you must serve God in the newness of life, and not in the oldness of the letter, Rom 7:6. ‘for the letter kills, but the spirit gives life.’ 2 Cor 3:6. And so, was not that faith a sufficient rule for all the old fathers to walk by? Must not we walk in the steps of the faith of our father Abraham [who obeyed God's voice]? Rom 4:12.
So, is not he a christian who is one within, in the heart (and not in the letter), only, whose praise is of God, and not of men, seeing that many may have the form of godliness, but deny the power thereof, which are to be turned away from; may not those say they are christians, as the Jews said they were Jews, and were not, but were the synagogue of Satan?
And their fellowship stood in the spirit, and they were to know Christ and one another in the spirit, and to keep the unity of the spirit, which is the bond of peace, yes, even of the Prince of princes' peace. But those who deny the having of that spirit the apostles were in, do not know Christ, nor the fellowship of the saints, nor the Prince of princes' peace.
And the apostle said, in Rom 15:18, ‘for I will not dare speak of any thing which Christ has not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient by word and deed.’ Now mark, did not he keep to the measure of the rule which Christ had wrought in him?
Now come, all you priests and professors in Christendom, and try yourselves by the scriptures, which you say is your rule. How dare you speak anything, to make people obedient in word and deed, that Christ has not wrought in you or by you? Are not you boasting of other men's lines and labors, that other men have made ready for your hands? Do not you lack the fear of God in your hearts, as was in the apostles, who dared not speak anything but what Christ had wrought by them to make people obedient by word and deed? Ought not the apostle here to be your example? Then Christ would have the glory of what he works by you in people, and in you; and your own wills would be laid in the dust. Therefore, is not all what you speak to people, what Christ has not wrought in you and by you, like the false prophets, using your tongues, and the false apostles boast of other men's lines.
And in Rom 4:12,16, ‘but unto them also that walk in the steps of the faith of our father Abraham:’ and is not this a rule sufficient?
And in Rom 8:1-2, ‘now there is no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit; for the law of the spirit of life, which is in Christ Jesus, has made me free from the law of sin and death.’
Now, is not this spirit a sufficient rule to walk by? But you who say it is not the rule, do not you remain under condemnation, under the law of sin and death, pleading for it, and not for freedom by the law of the spirit in Christ on this side the grave.
And further, the apostle said, ‘but if you mortify the deeds of the flesh by the spirit, you shall live.’ Therefore is not this spirit a sufficient rule to walk by?
And in 2 Cor 5, the apostle said, ‘for we walk by faith, and not by sight.’ [Mark, not by sight.] The church was not to walk by sight, but by faith, which Christ is the author of; and is not this sufficient? They who walk by faith, walk in the steps of the faith of our father Abraham, his faith, which was before scriptures were written? Is not this a sufficient rule for all the faithful, which is testified to in the scriptures, and was before scripture was written; and which scripture is to be believed, and fulfilled, and practiced, etc.
And Eph 2:8, ‘by grace are you saved, through faith, and not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.’ So is not that sufficient to walk by, which saves?
So is not this light sufficient to preserve the fellowship, by walking in it? Is there any cleansing from all sin by the blood of Jesus Christ, but first they must walk in the light? There may be talk about the blood of Christ, and yet a pleading for the body of sin and death, and imperfections to the grave; so that only talking about the blood of Christ will do them little good, while pleading for their body of sin and death, and imperfections to the grave; that there they may be all buried in the pit together, where there is no repentance; and give a man ten or twenty shillings to preach them a funeral sermon. As it is in Heb 9:27. ‘it is appointed unto men, that they should once die, and after that come to judgment.’ And therefore, consider and mark this, and quench not the spirit which God has given you to profit withal; and do not resist the Holy Spirit, which Christ has sent to lead you into all truth, and to reprove you; and hate not the light which Christ has enlightened you withal, that you may believe in it, and walk in it, that you may become children of the light, for fear that it be your condemnation. For is not the light sufficient to lead you, and guide you, and rule you, and to give you the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ Jesus? Is not that the treasure which the saints had in their earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power might be of God, and not of us. 2 Cor 4:7. And rebel not against the spirit, which God has given you to instruct you, and to know the things of God by, and that in the spirit you may have fellowship with the saints for if you rebel against his good spirit, what are all your fellowships good for? Is not God's spirit sufficient? Does not Christ say, ‘it is the spirit of the Father, who speaks in you?’ Is not that sufficient to rule and to guide, and to serve and worship God in, in spirit and truth?
And did not the apostle say, in Rom 1:9, that he ‘served God in the spirit.’ And is it not the duty of all christians, to serve God in the spirit? Is not that a sufficient rule, which will teach them to know how to serve God, (namely, his holy spirit), by which spirit they may know God, and Christ, and the scriptures, and know one another in the spirit, and in it have fellowship, and so keep the unity of the spirit, in the bond of peace, yes, the bond of the Prince of princes', King of kings', and Lord of lords' peace, which none can take away from them?
And does not Christ say, ‘those who worship the Father, must worship him in spirit and in truth? Is that not a sufficient rule by which worship him; and which is the grace of God, which brings salvation, which teaches the saints? Is this not a sufficient rule to teach and to establish the heart, and season your words, and bring salvation?
And the apostle said, Rom 8:26, ‘likewise the spirit also helps our infirmities.’ So is not this spirit sufficient, that helps people's infirmities? ‘and the spirit itself makes intercession.’
And is not this a sufficient rule for people to walk by?
And the apostle said, in Gal 2:19-20. ‘for I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God; I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ lives in me; and the life that I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.’ [Mark,] This should be every Christian’s life and living.
Worcester-Prison, the 9th day of the 11th month, 1676.
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