Volume 6, The Works of George Fox, Doctrinal Books III, Continued
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To all Government Officials who profess Christianity. Concerning Christian gospel-liberty, against persecution, and one Christian, forcing, persecuting, imprisoning, and spoiling the goods of another, because they will not be of their faith, worship, or religion. By G. F.
Christ said, ‘Let the tares and the wheat grow together until the harvest, which is the end of the world;’ and then Christ's angels shall separate the tares from the wheat. And are not angels spirits, and not men? For Christ commands christian men to ‘love one another, and love their enemies;’ so not to persecute them. And those enemies may be changed by repentance and conversion, from tares to wheat. But if men imprison them, and spoil and destroy them, they do not give them time to repent. So it is clear it is the angels' work to burn the tares, and not men's. Christian men must ‘love one another,’ and their enemies. And Christ rebuked his disciples, that would have had fire to have come down from heaven, to have destroyed those who would not receive him; and told them, ‘He came not to destroy men's lives, but to save them.’ And Christ is the true light, that does ‘enlighten everyone that comes into the world;’ and said, ‘Believe in the light, that you may become children of the light.’ And God pours out his spirit upon all flesh; namely, his sons and daughters, servants, and spirit of God is given to everyone to profit withal; so that in the spirit they may serve and worship the living God that made them. And none are to grieve, nor vex, nor quench the motions of the spirit of God; but to walk in it, and to be led by it, that they may be the sons and daughters of God. And the ‘grace and truth is come by Jesus;’ and this grace of God, which brings salvation, has appeared to all men; which will teach them to deny ungodliness, and to ‘live righteously and soberly.’ So all men that do know their salvation, and come into favor with God, it is by his grace. And this grace and truth is in men and women's hearts, to establish them upon Christ, who is full of grace and truth. And God would have all men to come to the knowledge of the truth, and be saved. And so he would not have men to be destroyed, nor gave any such command, that men should destroy one another about religion. And Christ sent his apostles and disciples to preach the gospel of life and salvation to all nations, and every creature under heaven. He did not say they should imprison, and spoil the goods, and destroy such as would not receive their gospel, nor believe it; but they should ‘shake off the dust of their feet;’ which should be a sufficient witness against them.
‘And Christ, by the grace of God, tasted death for all men; and Christ gave himself a ransom for all men, to be testified of in due time. So, has not Christ in this purchased all, and bought all mankind with a price, namely, with his blood, in ‘tasting death for them all, and giving himself a ransom for all?’ And therefore, are not all men to ‘love one another, and forgive one another,’ in this his gospel-day? For Christ said, ‘Judge not, that you be not judged; and, with what measure you meet, it shall be measured to you again.’ Mat 7:1-2
And the Christians were not to judge nor despise one another about eating of foods, nor observing of days; but ‘let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.’ Rom 14 to the end. Col. 2:16-17. And the apostle Paul said to the church of Christ, ‘Not that we have dominion over your faith; but we are helpers of your joy. For by faith you stand.’ 2 Cor 1:24.
So faith being the gift of God, which Christ is the author and finisher of, the apostles did not claim a dominion over the faith, which is the gift of God in people's consciences. And the apostle said, ‘God has dealt to every man a measure of faith,’ as in Rom 12:3. And this faith, the apostle said, ‘works by love.’ Gal 5:6,22. And again, the apostle said, ‘Whatsoever is not of faith, is sin.’ Rom 24:13. And the righteousness of faith said, ‘The word is in the heart, and in the mouth, to obey it, and to do it.’
And the apostle said, ‘they were not to speak evil one of another, or condemn one another; for he that did, spoke evil of the law, and condemned the law, and did not do it.’ James 4:11. For the law of God commands people to love one another, and not to persecute one another; yes, to love enemies. And the apostle said, ‘Love does no harm to his neighbor.’ And the apostle Peter said, ‘Honor all men, ... and love the brotherhood.’ So if they have honored all men, then they have them all in esteem, as they are the creatures of God, whom Christ has died for, and gave himself a ransom. And the apostle said to the church of Christ, ‘Though we walk in the flesh, yet we do not war after the flesh; for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal,’ 2 Cor 10:3-4. For ‘we wrestle not with flesh and blood,’ said the apostle. Eph 6:12. And in this chapter you may see the saints' spiritual armor, and spiritual weapons. And so it is clear, the christians, in the apostles' days, did not use carnal weapons, and wrestle with flesh and blood; and their warfare was not carnal, in matters of faith and religion, in the church of Christ, and serving and worshipping of God.
And the apostle Peter said, ‘the elders were not to be lord's over God's heritage;' but that they might be examples in good life and conduct, and good doctrine; ‘not by constraint for filthy lucre; but willingly, and of a ready mind.’ 1 Pet 5:1-2.
And the apostle Peter said, ‘Of a truth I perceive, that God is no respecter of persons; but in every nation, he that fears God, and works righteousness, is accepted with him.’ And this the apostle Peter said, when he went among the Gentiles, he by nature being a Jew. So if God does accept, in every nation, all those who fear him and work righteousness, therefore, ought not all that have the mind of Christ, and profess true christianity, to be tender to such as fear God, and work righteousness? And are not all christians, that love Christ, to keep the command of Christ, ‘to love one another, and to love enemies?’ Then they cannot persecute, and spoil the goods, and imprison any, concerning church, faith, religion, and the worship of God.
And God reproves and judges such as build up Zion with blood; for the Lord said, ‘that Zion, that is built up with blood, shall be ploughed up as a field, that is turned upside down.’ Micah 3:10,12. Therefore you may see, such as build with blood and persecution, their work does not prosper. For the body, or church of Christ, is edified, knit, and united, and built up together with the love of God. Eph 4:16. Col 2:19.
Do not all christians that profess christianity, say these words in the Lord's prayer, ‘forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive our trespassers?’ And does not Christ say, ‘If you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you your trespasses; but if you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your heavenly Father forgive your trespasses.’ Mat 6:12,14-15. So here you may see, all christians in Christendom pray to God conditionally, to be forgiven of God their trespasses against him, as they do forgive men their trespasses against them. And therefore, it behooves all christian people to be serious, and consider what they do, when they pray to God, that they do forgive others, as they would have God to forgive them. And if they do forgive, they will not hate nor persecute, but love.
Thus said the Lord to the house of Israel, ‘Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them, for the customs of the people are vain, for they are altogether brutish and foolish. Their stock is a doctrine of vanities. Thus shall you say unto them, the gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens.’ Jer 10:2,11.
‘Pour out your fury upon the heathen, that know you not, and upon the families that call not upon your name; for they have eaten up Jacob, and devoured him, and consumed him, and have made his habitation desolate. But the Lord is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king; at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation.’ Jer10:10,25.
Here you may see those who did follow the vain customs of the heathen, and learn their ways, and follow the doctrine of their vanities, are foolish and brutish, and such worship the gods that are made with hands, which made not the heavens and the earth, and all such gods the Lord said shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens. As you may see these that learned the way of the heathen, and followed their vain customs and doctrines of vanities, and were foolish and brutish, and were dismayed at the signs of heaven; and these are such that eat up Jacob, the second birth, and seek to devour him, and consume him, and to make his habitation desolate. So the Jews, the children of Israel, were not to learn the ways of the heathen, nor their vain customs, nor to follow their doctrine of vanities, for they were foolish and brutish that did so. And the portion of Jacob, the second birth, is not like them, for the Lord is his portion. The Lord said to the children of Israel in the old testament, and old covenant, ‘In all things that I have said unto you be circumspect, and make no mention of the names of other gods, neither let it be heard out of your mouth.’ Exod 23:13.
Now here you may see God's people were to make no mention of the names of other gods, namely, the gods of the heathen that were made with hands, neither were they to be heard out of their mouths; for he said, ‘The gods that did not make the heavens and the earth shall perish from off the earth and from under these heavens.’ Jer 10:11. And God's people were not to learn the way of the heathen, nor follow the vain customs of the people; for they are altogether brutish and foolish, and their stock is a doctrine of vanities. And therefore God's people in the old testament, were wholly forbidden such things; but they were to serve and to fear the Lord God.
The old pagan Saxons, in their idolatry, brought in the names of the days after their gods; and these called christians have retained them to this day. Yet they say the scripture is their rule, for their faith and practice, and yet their practice is quite contrary to the scripture and the command of God. The first day of the week, the idolatrous Saxons worshipped the idol of the sun, from where came Sun's-day or Sunday. The second day of the week they worshipped the moon, from where came Monday or Moon's-day. The third day they worshipped the idol of the planet, which they called Tuisco, from where came Tuesday. And from their idol Woden, came Woden's-day, called Wednesday. And from their idol Thor, came Thursday. And from their idol Friga, came Friday. And from their idol Satur, came Saturday. And the heathen called Mars the god of battle, and from it they called the first month March.* And Venus they called the goddess of love and beauty, and from that they called the second month April. Maja, a heathen goddess, called Flora and Chloris, were called the goddesses of flowers; unto Maja the heathen idolaters used to sacrifice, from this was the third month called May; and upon the first day of May they used to keep Flora's feast to the two goddesses of flowers, namely, Flora and Chloris. Flora was a strumpet [prostitute] in Rome, who on the first day of May used to set up a may-pole at her door to entice her lovers; from where came may-poles to be first observed. From the heathen goddess Juno, is the fourth month called June. In honor to Julius Caesar, a Roman emperor, [designated a Roman god] they called the fifth month July. And the sixth took its name August, in honor to Augustus Caesar [designated a Roman god]. And September, October, November, and December, are called from the Latine. And one Janus, a king of Italy, was for his wisdom pictured with two faces, and whom they honored as a god, and from this name Janus was the eleventh month, called January. And Saturnus, Pluto, Februs, were called the gods of hell, whom the heathens said had the rule of the evil spirits there; and from Pluto, Februs was the twelfth month called February.
Now here you may see how the christians call the days, and many of the months, after the heathen gods and goddesses, and not after the scriptures, which in the beginning called them the first, second, third, fourth, etc. and called the months, first, second, third, ... to the twelfth.
And the Lord commanded the Jews, his people, as is said before, ‘In all things that I have said unto you be circumspect, and make no mention of the names of other gods, neither let it be heard out of your mouth.’ Exod 23:13.
Now all you who profess christianity, how do you obey the Lord, and are circumspect, who make mention of the names of other gods and goddesses, and are so often heard out of the mouths of you and your children. To keep them up in the memory, both in your mouths, and children's mouths, you put them in your Almanacs, lest you should forget them. Yet you say the scripture is your rule, and yet disobey both the command of God, and the holy scriptures of truth, and are often angry with, and deride the people of God, whom you in scorn call Quakers, because they do not call the months and days after the heathens' gods and goddesses, but call them according as the holy men of God in the scripture of truth have first called them, and cannot call them after the idolatrous heathens' gods and goddesses, nor mention their gods' and goddesses' names, as you do, without the breach of the command of God, as in Exod 23:13 and the scriptures of truth.
The Lord said, ‘I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land, and they shall no more be remembered.’ Zach 13:2. And the Lord said, ‘I will take away the names of Baalim, out of her mouth, and they shall no more be remembered by their name.’ Hos 2:17.
Secondly, concerning Christ, the great mountain that fills the whole earth.
Thirdly, how man and woman was created in the image of God, and to be meet-helps one to another.
Fourthly, how everyone ought to improve the talent God gives them, to his glory, and their eternal happiness. By G. F.
The apostle writes to the church of Christ, and said, ‘Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.' All Jerusalem's children are born of the spirit, and led by the spirit of God. ‘And as many as receive Christ, he gives them power to become the sons of God; even to those who believe in his name. And whosoever believes that Jesus is the Christ, is born of God; and those who believe in the light, the life in Christ, do become the children of light, as in John 1:12, 12:36, 1 John 5:1-4.
And now in this heavenly light, power, and spirit, they come to be heavenly Jerusalem's children, that is from above. For such as hate the light, and do evil, are condemned by it, and those who have not the spirit of Christ are none of his; but all the true christians, in the new covenant, and new testament, in Christ Jesus, to whom Christ has given his life, which is his light and his power, those who believe in it, and receive him, do become the children of light, and the sons of God; so they are heavenly Jerusalem's children, born from above, of the spirit and the light.
The apostle said to the converted Hebrews, ‘You are come unto Mount Zion, unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, and to the general assembly and church of the first born, which is written in heaven, and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of the new covenant;’ and to Mount Zion, Jerusalem's children had come then, while they were still upon the earth.
The children of God, that were born of the spirit, and the children of the light, they had come there in the apostles' days, they had come to that heavenly Mount Zion, that looks over the whole world. For natural Zion, the watchtower, looked over into Canaan; but this heavenly Zion, spoke of in the new testament, which is the joy of the whole earth, looks over all the earth, and in this joyful Zion, Christ the elect and precious was laid. 1 Pet 2:6. Christ the deliverer comes out of this Zion. Rom 11:26. The children of heavenly Jerusalem, which is the city of the living God, see the innumerable company of angels. Is not this the city that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob sought for, which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God; is not this heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God, that they sought for? And are not all heavenly Jerusalem's children written in heaven? seeing the apostle said, ‘Jerusalem that is above, is the mother of us all' that believe in Christ, and receive him, and are born of the spirit, and they were come ‘to the General Assembly, the church of the first born, written in heaven, and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect.’ All these were and are born of the spirit that come to heavenly Zion and Jerusalem, and to God and his son, and to the just men's spirits made perfect; for it is the spiritual birth, heavenly Jerusalem's children, that sees these things and knows them; that which is born of the flesh is flesh, and may know fleshly things, and that which is born of the spirit is spirit, and knows spiritual things.
John in the Revelation saw the great holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God, out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband, having the glory of God; and her light was like unto a precious stone, and the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, nor of a candle, for the glory of God does enlighten it, and the lamb is the light thereof. This heavenly Jerusalem is and was the mother of all those who receive Christ, who gives them power to become the sons of God, and those who believe in the light are the children of the light, and walk in the light of their mother, new Jerusalem.
And you may read how this new Jerusalem is garnished with pearls, figuratively, and there is written on the wall the names of the twelve tribes, and twelve apostles, and of the lamb; the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day, for there shall be no night there.
So here you may see there is no night here, but always day, in the holy city, new and heavenly Jerusalem, that is from above. All the children of the light, and that are born of the spirit from above, see it their mother; and the nations of those who are saved shall walk in the light of this city, new Jerusalem, that is from above. And all Jerusalem's children, that have overcome, have right to the tree of life, and drink of the water of life in this new and heavenly Jerusalem. And in this heavenly Jerusalem there shall be no more curse, and none that are defiled enter into it, but those who are written in the lamb's book of life. And he that overcomes said Christ, ‘I will make a pillar in the house of my God, and he shall go no more out, and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from my God; and I will write upon him my new name.’
Here you may see New Jerusalem's children, and the name of God, and the holy city, and the name of Christ written upon them, and their father's name written in their foreheads, that they may know that they are the children of New Jerusalem, and of God and Christ; and they shall see his face, and his name shall be in their foreheads. Rev 22:4, 3:12. ‘He that has an ear, let him hear what the spirit said to the churches,’ heavenly Jerusalem's and Zion's children. And therefore all that are born of the spirit, the children of the light, that believe in Christ, and receive him, their mother is new and heavenly Jerusalem; and this spiritual birth cannot own any mother below this new and heavenly Jerusalem. All heavenly Jerusalem's new born babes are nourished with the sincere milk of the word; and the bondwoman's children, that are born after the flesh, persecute new and heavenly Jerusalem's children, that are born after the spirit. The bondwoman's children are in slavery, but Jerusalem's children, which is from above, are free and give glory to the Lord God over all for evermore.
So new and heavenly Jerusalem brings forth a new and heavenly generation, a spiritual household, heavenly and spiritual citizens, and a royal priesthood, that offer up living and spiritual sacrifices.
And in the apostles' days, before the apostasy, all the true believers and followers of Christ, had Jerusalem that was above for their mother. But since the apostles' days, in the apostasy the outward christians have gone into many sects, and they have got many mothers, and by law they force others to them. But those who are brought out of the night of apostasy, by the light, power, and spirit of Christ Jesus, have come to new and heavenly Jerusalem; these cannot acknowledge any of the outward Christians' mothers, whom have been set up [invented] since the apostles' days. These invented mothers of Christians are below heavenly Jerusalem, which is from above, in whom there is neither sect nor schism, rent nor division, contest nor strife, for no unclean thing comes into it.
And the Lord said, ‘Behold, I create new heavens, and a new earth, and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.’ Isaiah saw this by prophecy. Isa 65:17. And John said, ‘I saw a new heaven and a new earth, and the first earth was passed away, and there was no more sea.’ Rev 21:1. And the Lord said, ‘Behold I create Jerusalem a rejoicing and her people a joy, and I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people, and the voice of weeping and crying shall be heard no more in her.’ Is not this heavenly Jerusalem that Isaiah prophesied of? Isa 65:18-19. And is not this the heavenly Jerusalem that John saw in Revelation? 21:2-4. This new and heavenly Jerusalem that is above, it shines over all the nations, for the nations of those who are saved walk in the light of it, where it is always day, and there is no night there, for the Lord God and the lamb is the light of it, in which light the nations of those who are saved walk.
Natural men may know natural sciences, and the natural tongues and languages, and the natural arts, and natural philosophy; for the natural Jews and Pilate could set their natural tongues, which began at Babel, over Christ, and yet crucify him. The whore of Babylon and confusion,* the mother of harlots, she has power over the natural tongues, which have whored from the spirit of God [to love of the world], and so these natural men, with these natural things, that know nothing, but follow their own spirits, and see not the things of God, they are foolishness to them; but God is pouring his spirit upon all natural men, upon all flesh, that with his spirit they may know the things of God, and serve and worship him in spirit and truth, and know heavenly Jerusalem their mother, with the spirit that God pours upon them.
John saw the mother of harlots drunk with the blood of the saints and martyrs of Jesus, and their blood was found in the mother of harlots, the mystery Babylon, the false church. And were not these saints, martyrs of Jesus, and prophets, of heavenly Jerusalem's children, whose blood was and is found in the mother of harlots, the false church, the mystery Babylon? Rev 17:6,18:24.
He that was born after the flesh, persecuted him that was born after the spirit, even so it is now,Gal 4:29 ; and the children of new Jerusalem, that is above, and is your mother, they and their mother never persecuted any. But the mother of mystery Babylon, and of harlots, she and her harlots were and are the persecutors, in whom is found the blood of the righteous, ‘the free born children of Jerusalem from above.’
Concerning the stone cut out of the mountain without hands, spoken of in Daniel 2 which dashed to pieces the image whose head was fine gold, which was Nebuchadnezzar's and the Babylonian's monarchy, and should dash to pieces the breast and arms of silver, which was the Medes' and Persians' monarchy, and likewise it should dash to pieces the belly and thighs of brass, which was the Grecians' monarchy, and the legs of iron, and his feet part of iron and part of clay, which was the Roman's monarchy.
So all these four monarchies were but one image, the head was gold, and the breast and arms silver, and the belly and thighs brass, and his legs iron, and his feet part of iron and part of clay; and this same stone, cut out of the mountain, brake the image of iron, clay, silver, brass, and gold to pieces, and they became like unto the chaff of the summer threshing floor, and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them. So here was the end of these four monarchies, and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth. Dan 2:31-35.‘And in the days of these kings, (or four monarchies), shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to others, but it shall consume and destroy all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever, and of his kingdom there shall be no end.' Dan 2:44.
Now is not this stone Christ, that becomes a great mountain, and fills the whole earth? And did not he come in the day of these four monarchies, who dashed them to pieces, and set up his kingdom? And did not Christ say, when he was come, ‘My kingdom is not of this world?’ and also did not he say, ‘All power in heaven and earth is given unto me?’
Now Christ's kingdom is an everlasting kingdom that shall never be destroyed, but shall stand forever, and his kingdom stands in righteousness, and power, and peace, and joy in the holy ghost; and Christ said to Nicodemus, ‘Except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God;’ and again, he said to him, ‘Except a man is born again of water, and of the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.’ John 3:3-5. And also the apostle said, ‘that none that is defiled or unclean shall enter into the kingdom of God and Christ; and the natural man knows not the things of God, they are foolishness to him.’
So this everlasting kingdom of God, which was set up above sixteen hundred years ago, shall never have end, for no unclean or defiled person can enter into it, nor none can see it, nor enter into it, except they are born again of water and of the spirit; this everlasting kingdom stands and remains over all, and the unclean and defiled cannot enter into it, and those who are not born again cannot enter into it, nor see it, so they are not like to destroy this everlasting kingdom, it remains firm, and will never have an end; though the unclean and defiled, and those who are not born again do not see it; yet John said in Rev 1:9, he was ‘in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ.’
And the apostles told the saints, ‘That they were delivered from the power of darkness, and translated into the kingdom of his dear son.’ Col 1:13. And was not this while they were upon the earth? So these were born again; and Christ said, ‘The law and the prophets were until John,’ and he was the greatest prophet born of a woman, 'but the least in the kingdom is greater than John;’ and since John Baptist preached, men pressed into the kingdom, and those are those who are born again, and have the spiritual eye that see the end of the prophets and John, that see Christ's everlasting spiritual kingdom, and press into it.
Now Christ is the stone that became the great mountain, and fills the whole earth, (mark, the whole earth), ‘and none shall hurt nor destroy in my holy mountain, said the Lord.’ Isa 65:25. And this is the mountain of the house of the Lord, that is established on the top of all mountains, and exalted above the hills. Isa 2:2, Mic 4:1.
Now Christ this mountain, filling the whole earth; you may say, what, does it fill Asia, Africa, Europe, and America, and the east, west, north, and south? I say yes, Christ this mountain fills the whole earth, and he enlighten everyone that comes into the whole world; ‘for in him was life, and this life was the light of men.' John 1:9.4. This was the true light which enlightens everyone that comes into the world, and that everyone with this true light, the life in Christ, both in Asia, Europe, Africa, and America, both east, west, north, and south, that is come into the world. I say with this divine light, the life in Christ, they may see Christ, the mountain, in their own country, which fills the whole earth, for the light shines in their hearts, to give the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ Jesus. 2 Cor 4:6. And Christ said, ‘Believe in the light, that you may become children of the light.’ John 12:36. So the light, which is the life in Christ, gives the knowledge of him in all places, who is the mountain that fills the whole earth, for the light is the life in Christ, that great glorious mountain, and those who believe in the light, the life in Christ, and are become children of the light, they see this everlasting glorious kingdom, and enter into it, and so are the children of the kingdom of God and Christ.
The Lord said, speaking of Christ, ‘I have set my king upon my holy hill of Zion, or upon Zion, the hill of my holiness. Ask of me, and I will give you the heathen for your inheritance, and the utmost parts of the earth for your possession: you shall break them with a rod of iron, and dash them to pieces like a potter's vessel. Be wise therefore now, O you kings! be you instructed you judges of the earth! serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling; kiss the son least he be angry, and you perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in him.’
How can the kings be wise, and the judges instructed, and kiss the son, and keep in his way, and trust in him, but by believing in his divine light, which is the life in Christ? Now Christ with his divine light, does inherit the heathen, and possess the utmost parts of the earth who receive him; but the wrath of the lamb is turned against those who practice evil, and hate the light, which is his life. Then he dashes them to pieces, like a potter's vessel, and they perish from him the way. Therefore all must believe in the light, which is the life in Christ, the great mountain that fills the whole earth. Here, in this mountain the Lord will teach them his ways; and so the knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth as the waters covers the sea. God's and Christ's everlasting kingdom is over all, and from generation to generation, and the scepter of his kingdom, is a righteous scepter, and he rules in the kingdoms of men; for by him kings rule, and princes decree justice; and his seed I will make endure forever, and his throne as the days of heaven.
Here you may see how male and female were meet-helps in the government, when God made them in his image of righteousness and holiness, and how Christ restores man up into his image again, and how that male and female are all one in him, and of the increase of Christ's government and peace there is no end.
God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness, and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowls of the air, and over all the cattle, and over every living thing that moves upon the earth: so God created man in his own image, in the likeness of God created he him, male and female created he them, and blessed them; and God said unto them, be fruitful, and multiply and replenish the earth, and subdue it, and have dominion over it,’ as before, as in Gen 1:26-28.
Here the female which was the meet-help for Adam, and they both male and female were meet-helps, joined in government, dominion, and rule, being in the likeness and image of God, and they were blessed in it; for God said unto them, (mark, them), ‘Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, subdue it, and have dominion over it. And this was before man and woman fell from his image. So God, who made man and woman in his own image, gave them an understanding to understand what he said to them.
And the apostle said to the Colossians, ‘Seeing you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man which is renewed in knowledge, after the image of God that created him, where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision, nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free, but Christ is all, and in all.’ Col 3:9-11.
Now this old man, in Adam, in the fall, must be put off; and the new man in the image of God, as God originally made and created them in, must be put on, in righteousness and holiness. In such men and women restored to God's image, Christ is all and in all, a ruler and a governor; so that he rules in the male and in the female, in the new man, in the image of God, and they know him to be a ruler and governor. Isaiah said, ‘Unto us a child is born, a son is given, the government shall be upon his shoulders, and his name shall be called the wonderful counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace; of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end,’ Isaiah 9:6-7.
Man was driven from God, for his sin and transgression, but Christ his son makes an end of sin, and finishes transgression; and Christ renews man and woman again up into the image of God, that God had created them in, and so the emanuel, [which means] God with us. So Christ is a ruler and a governor in those who have put on the new man, that he has renewed in the image of God, ‘For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision avails anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.’ Gal 6:16. For the apostle said, ‘As many of you as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ; there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female, for they are all one in Christ Jesus.’ Gal 3:27-28.
So here all are one in Christ, that are baptized into the death of Christ, and have put him on; and such know his rule and government, the increase of which there is no end.
The apostle said to the Ephesians, ‘For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God has prepared, or ordained, that we should walk in them, that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith,’ Eph 2:10, 3:17.
So the new creation in Christ Jesus is God's workmanship in his image, in righteousness and holiness, as man was made in the beginning; and such know Christ to be ruler and governor in male and female, for Christ who is the brightness of God's glory, and in the express image of his substance, who destroys the devil and his work, renews man and woman up into the image of God again, as God made them in the beginning; and such know him to be a ruler, and a governor, and a counselor, and a father. And the work of the apostles, who warned every man, and taught every man in all wisdom, that they might present every man perfect in Christ Jesus, for in Adam in the fall they were imperfect, and so to be members of his body, and the mystery which has been hid from ages and generations, which is now made manifest to the saints, which is Christ in you the hope of glory. Col 1:27-28.
And Christ being in his people the hope of glory, which hope purifies them, even as he is pure; and is not Christ's government upon his shoulders in his people, and a wonderful counselor, and a prince of peace in them? Isaiah 9:6.
And does not the apostle say, God has set some in the church, which is the body of Christ, to be helps in government, (namely), in the image of God, in righteousness and holiness, where Christ is governor and counselor; and such have put on love and love, which is the bond of perfectness, and the peace of God rules in their hearts, by which they are called into one body, which Christ is the holy head of, prince of peace, governor, and counselor; but as there were such in the days of the apostles, that were self-willed, wells without water, and carried about with tempests, that speak great swelling words of vanity, promising themselves liberty, that were presumptuous, and despised government. And was not this the holy pure government of Christ in his male and female, his people, his church which they despised?
Now those who have come so far as a Cain and a Balaam, to hear God's voice, and Korah, Dathan, and Abiram that came out of Egypt, and never came so far as to be baptized into the death of Christ; and to put him on, nor ever came to be created anew in Christ Jesus, and to put off the old man of Adam in the fall, and to be renewed up again into the image of God, in righteousness and holiness, that God Almighty made them in. Therefore such Cains, Korahs, and Balaams never came to know the government of Christ in male and female; but presumptuously despised government, as Korah, Dathan, and Abiram did Moses, and as Balaam, who went forth with Balak to curse Israel; but God restrained him, and reproved him for his error, who was destroyed at last, as well as Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. So will all come to nothing who despise the holy government of Christ in his males and females. Don't you think that Korah, Dathan and Abiram, and Balaam could speak high swelling words of vanity, though they were wells without water, and trees without fruit, and clouds that are carried about with a tempest, as in 2 Pet 2:17 and Jude 11:12-13. Which such presumptuous ones as these now are known by the fruits, as it was in the apostles' days, which despise the righteous government of Christ in his male and female. But Christ the beloved seed, who bruises the serpent's head, in all his followers, and destroys the devil and his works, he will reign whose right it is, in those who are baptized into his death, and have put him on, and have put off the old man in Adam in the fall, and have put on the new man in the image of God, which he has created in righteousness and holiness; in such Christ was and is a wonderful counselor, and a governor, and a prince of peace, the same today as he was yesterday, and so forever, in his church, throughout all ages; who destroys the devil and his works, that would hinder him. So he will reign, rule, and govern, and is a counselor in the hearts of his people, whose right it is. Blessed be the Lord forever. Hallelujah to the Lord, and his Christ reigns.
Now the Lord said, ‘Let us,’ and were not all things made and created by Jesus Christ, whose name is called the word of God? And does not John say, ‘There are three that bear witness or record in heaven, the Father, the word, and the holy ghost, and these three are one?’ So there are three that bear witness and record in heaven. ‘And there are three that bear record or witness in earth, the spirit, the water, and the blood, and these three agree in one.’ And is it not the spirit of God that mortifies the deeds of the flesh, and the water of the word that washes, and the blood of Christ that cleanses? Are not these three that bear witness for God in the earth, for man or against man, are they not God's witnesses in the earth? And the Lord said, ‘Out of the mouth of two or three witnesses, (namely, men witnesses), every word is established among men, but the witness of God is greater' than the witness of men. He that has an ear, let him understand these things. 1 John 5:7-9.
Christ Jesus said, ‘The kingdom of heaven is as a man traveling into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return, who called his own servants, and delivered them his goods, and to one he gave five talents, and to another two, and to another one, and to everyone according to his several ability,’ Mat 25:14-30, Luke 19:12-27. ‘And after a long time the Lord of those servants comes, and reckons with them; and he that had five talents, had gained five more; and he that had two talents, had gained two more. And the Lord commended these servants, and said, well done good and faithful servants, enter into the joy of your Lord; but he that had received the one talent, went and dug in the earth, and hid his Lord's money: the Lord said, take it from him, and give it to him that has ten, and cast the unprofitable servant into utter darkness, and there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
Now these talents that were given to the Lord's servants, and to everyone according to their several abilities, was the Lord's heavenly treasure, and was not their own, but the Lord's; they were, and are to improve this heavenly treasure for the Lord; and to put it forth, and to gain with it for the Lord at his appearing to them, when he calls them to an account, that it may be said, ‘Well done good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of the Lord.’ But the wicked and slothful servant, (he is called a servant too), hid the Lord's talent in his earthly napkin, and did not improve the Lord's heavenly treasure; and he was cast into utter darkness.
And therefore consider all, whom the Lord has given more or less of his heavenly treasure to, how you do, and how you have put the Lord's heavenly treasure forth, and have improved it; I say, the heavenly treasure which you have from the Lord Jesus Christ, who spoke this before he was crucified; and after he was risen, did not he go to the Father to receive a kingdom; who said, ‘All power in heaven and earth is given to me?’ Therefore the Lord's money or treasure of talents ought to be improved, and put to the exchangers, that he may receive it with usury and advantage. So here are exchangers of the heavenly talents or treasure of the Lord, the increasing of them to advantage for the Lord; as there are outward bankers and exchangers, and usuries, where they do put forth their outward money for gain and profit to themselves. But this is a parable that Christ speaks concerning improving of his heavenly treasure of talents, which everyone is to improve, or increase that heavenly talent, or measure which they have received from the Lord, as good and faithful servants, and stewards, if that they intend to enter into the joy of the Lord.
Kingston upon Thames, the 7th of the 10th month, 1687
Concerning the apostate Christians, that think to do miracles by dead men's bones, of praying to the saints that are dead, and asking counsel of the dead, and praying for the dead. Concerning purgatory, and making a God or Christ of the elements of bread and wine. Concerning the traditions the Jews taught, which made the word and commandment of God of none effect, and the traditions the apostate Christians teach people to follow, and set up above the scriptures of truth. How Christ is the true rock, and not Peter. And that he is the head of the true Church, and so to be held by his members. The antiquity of the cross of Christ, which was and is acknowledged to be the power of God by his true Church. By G. F.
The Lord said, ‘Whoever touches the body of a man that is dead, or dies in his tent, and purifies not himself, he defiles the tabernacle of the Lord, and that soul shall be cut off from Israel, because it purifies not itself; and whosoever touches any that are slain with the sword in the open field, or a dead body, or the bone of a man, or a grave, shall be unclean seven days; and if he do not purify himself, he shall be cut off from among the congregation, because he has defiled the sanctuary of the Lord.’ Num 19:11,13,16. And this was the law of God, and a perpetual statute among the Jews.
And now, do you apostate christians imagine to do miracles with dead men's bones, or the dust of the graves, which defiled the Jews, and they were not to come into God's tabernacle or sanctuary, but to be cut off according to the statute and command of God, if they were not purified?
And now if you apostate christians do allege of the Jews burying a man, and casting him into the sepulcher of Elisha, ‘and when the dead man touched the bones of Elisha, he revived and stood upon his feet.’ 2 Kings 13:21. But where was ever such a miracle as this worked by the apostate christians, by burying one in the grave of another? Let them produce one example if they can.
Let all the apostate christians produce one scripture where ever the saints got the bones of the saints to do miracles by.
Let all the apostate christians produce one scripture for their vain tradition of praying for the dead, or to the dead, or asking counsel of the dead; but Saul when he had transgressed the command of God, and disobeyed him, he went to the witch of Endor, pretending to raise up Samuel, to ask counsel of the dead; but what was the end of Saul? You may see in 1 Sam 28:11-20.
And David prayed to God while his child was living; but when the child was dead, he gave over praying to God for it, and fasting, and said, ‘Now the child is dead, I cannot bring him back again; I shall go to him, but he shall not come to me.’ 2 Sam 12:16-23. ‘The grave cannot praise you, death cannot celebrate you, those who go down into the pit cannot hope for your truth.’ Isa 38:18. ‘The dead praise not the Lord.’ Psalm 115:17.
And yet do not you pray to the dead, that cannot praise the Lord? And Solomon said, ‘The dead know not anything.’ Ecc 9:5. And yet do not you pray to those who know not anything? Is not that madness?
Solomon said, ‘All turns to dust again; and who knows the spirit of man that goes upward;’ and ‘the spirit shall return unto God that gave it;’ so then not into purgatory. Eccl 3:20-21, 12:7. And Elisha prayed for the Shunimite's child that was dead, and he was raised up to life; so he does not say he prayed him out of purgatory.
And when Lazarus, that poor man, died, he was carried by angels into Abraham's bosom; and when ‘the rich man died and was buried, in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torment, and seeing Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom, he cried and said, Father Abraham have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son remember that you in your life time received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted, and you are tormented. And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that they which would pass from here to you cannot, neither can they pass to us that would pass from there.’ Luke 16:19-26.
And now here you see, that when Lazarus died, he was carried by angels into Abraham's bosom, not into purgatory, who would have been glad of the rich hard hearted man's crumbs that fell from his table; and the rich man's dogs had more compassion of the poor man, (in licking his sores), than he had. But when this rich man died and was carried into hell, neither Abraham nor Lazarus could go to him, nor help him out, nor he to them; so that neither Abraham nor Lazarus could relieve him there, not with so much water as would hang on the tip of his finger to cool his tongue.
And Christ said to the thief upon the cross that was crucified with him, ‘Verily I say unto you, to day shall you be with me in paradise.’ Luke 23:43. So he does not say, he should go into purgatory, to be purged; but as Abraham said to the rich man that was in hell, ‘If they will not hear Moses and the prophets, they will not be persuaded if one rose from the dead.’ For these were the Jews to whom Christ spoke this parable, who set up their traditions, and made the word of God and his command of none effect, so they were not like to hear Moses and the prophets, who like the apostate christians now, set up their vain traditions above the holy scriptures of truth, and allow the ignorant people to read their traditions, and deny them the reading of the scriptures, contrary to the holy men of God that gave them forth, to be read, believed, fulfilled, and practiced, as in 2 Tim 3:16, John 7:38, Luke 24:25, 1 Thessalonians 5:27.
'Give attendance to reading,’ 1 Tim 4:13. And Christ exhorts his hearers to ask in his name, ‘And whatever you shall ask the Father in my name, he shall give it you,’ as in John 16:23-26. And again Christ teaches his disciples to pray, and say, ‘Our Father who is in heaven.’ So that Christ never taught his believers to pray either to his mother, the virgin Mary, in her name, or to any saint, or in the name of any saint after they were dead, nor his apostles after him. And the apostle James said in his General Epistle to the church of Christ, ‘If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask it of God, that gives to all men liberally.’ James 1:5. And John said in his General Epistle to the church of Christ, ‘If our hearts condemn us not, then we have confidence towards God; and whatever we ask we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things which are pleasing in his sight.’ 1 John 3:21-22. And again John said, ‘This is the confidence that we have in God, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.’ 1 John 5:14-15. And it is said, ‘Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the Lord.’ And also ‘for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, (the witch of Endor), and inquired not of the Lord, and therefore he slew him.’ 1 Chron 10:13-14. And you read of such that set the counsel of the Lord at naught, and would have none of his counsel, and what was their end? Prov 1:25-26. And the Lord said, ‘My people ask counsel at the stocks,’ who were gone a whoring from God. Hos 4:12. Were not these the Jews that followed their own traditions, and made the commands of God of none effect, (, like the apostate christians that pretend to pray to saints that are dead, and for the dead, that set up so many images and kneel down before them; but hear what is said in Isa 30:1. ‘Woe to the rebellious children, said the Lord, that take counsel, but not of me, and cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin.’
So here you may see what is the portion of all such that cover with a covering, but not of God's spirit; and ask counsel, but not of him.
Concerning the apostate Christians' traditions, of making a God or Christ of bread and wine; and of their bowing to him, and worshipping him, and eating him when they have done. We never read that the heathens, nor the apostate Jews, when they had made gods and bowed to them, and worshipped them, to eat them when they were done.
Christ's disciples said unto him, the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed, ‘Where do you want us to go and prepare, that you may eat the passover? ’ Mark 14:12, Luke 22:7. Now Christ, though he is the christian passover, he did not eat himself.
And again the apostle said, ‘In the same night that Christ Jesus was betrayed, he took bread and broke it, and said, do it in remembrance of me,’ and likewise the cup. So Christ's body was whole, and was not crucified when he brake that outward bread; for that which they were to take in remembrance of Christ, and in a show of his death until he came, it was not the Lord Jesus Christ, but outward bread, and wine in an outward cup, and Christ was nowhere called a cup. It is said, 'Christ took the cup when he had supped,’ then he did not take his own blood and give it unto them, but he called it, ‘the fruit of the vine.” Mat 26:29. And Christ took the cup and gave his disciples and said, ‘Drink you all of it; and took the bread and brake it, and gave it to his disciples also.’ Mark 14:22-23, ‘They all drank of the cup, and he broke the bread, and gave it to his disciples,’ (namely, the twelve), as in Luke 22. Then he did not break his own body, for it was then whole; and after he had broken the bread and given it them, and given them the cup, and called it ‘the fruit of the vine'—after Christ had given them this, he said, ‘Drink you all of this.’ Mat 26:25, Luke 22:21. ‘Behold, said Christ, the hand of him that betrays me is with me on the table.’ So it seems here, that Judas did eat of the bread, and drink of the fruit of the vine in the cup, and he did partake of these outward elements in the same night that Christ was betrayed, which elements were taken in a show and remembrance of the Lord's death until he came; but Judas did not stay until he came, for he betrayed him.
Now if this outward bread, had been Christ the living bread that came down from heaven, and his blood, which if any man eat of that bread, and drink his blood, he shall live forever, and not die; as Christ said, ‘Whosoever eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, has eternal life, and dwells in me and I in him; and he that eats me, shall live by me; and he that eats this bread that comes down from heaven shall live forever,’ see John 6:50-59.
Now here you see it is clear, that the cup and the bread of which Judas ate and drank at Christ's last supper was not the flesh of Christ, the bread of life that came down from heaven, nor his blood that gives life everlasting; for Judas did not have eternal life or live forever by eating of that outward bread and drinking of that outward cup, ‘the fruit of the vine.’ And so Judas did not eat Christ, and live by him, and live forever; though Judas did drink of the outward cup, ‘the fruit of the vine,’ and ate of the outward bread, which Christ broke at his last supper, the same night that he betrayed him. Judas did eat and drink outwardly, but he did not eat the bread from heaven, the flesh of the son of man, and drink his blood. Such as Judas do not have life eternal in them, as Christ said, who do not eat his flesh, and drink his blood. For Christ said, ‘Except you eat the flesh of the son of man, and drink his blood, you have no life in you.’ John 6:53. And the Jews murmured at Christ when he said, 'I am the bread that came down from heaven;’ and ‘except you eat my flesh, and drink my blood, you have no life in you;’ and ‘he that eats my flesh, and drinks my blood has eternal life.’
So here is a great difference between the flesh and the blood of Christ, the bread which came down from heaven, which gives life eternal, and the elements of bread and wine, which reprobates and Judas's may take and eat, that have not life eternal, nor know Christ to be in them, as the apostle said. ‘Where the tree falls there it shall be.’ Ecc11:3.
And after Esau had sold his birthright, he sought it carefully with tears, but he found no place of repentance; and therefore, how are any like to repent, and come out of the grave and purgatory, as you call it, after they are dead, when Esau could not find repentance upon the earth?
Christ said to the Pharisees, ‘Why do you transgress the command of God by your traditions? You hypocrites, well did Isaiah prophesy of you: This people draws near me with their mouth, and honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. But in vain do you worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.’ Thus you have made the commandment of God of none effect by your traditions. Mat 15:3-9.
And again Christ said unto the scribes and Pharisees, ‘Laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the traditions of men, and of your elders;’ and again he said unto them, ‘Full well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your own traditions, making the word of God of none effect through your traditions which you have delivered.’ Mark 7:3,8-9,13.
Now is not this the condition of the apostate christians that set up their traditions above the scriptures of truth, like the Jews, and forbid the reading of the scriptures of truth?* No, are not they worse than the Jews, for they must read and pray in an unknown tongue; so are like barbarians, worse than the Jews who read and pray in their mother tongue?
And Paul said to the church of Christ, ‘You have heard of my conduct in times past, in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it, and profited in the Jews' religion above many my equals in my own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers; but when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace, to reveal his son in me, that I might preach him,’ Gal 1:13-16.
Now here you may see while Paul [as unconverted Saul] was zealous of the traditions of his forefathers, he was not separate from traditions, nor called by God's grace, nor the son of God was not revealed in him; therefore he was not likely to preach him, but persecute him.
And now are all the apostate christians in their blind zeal of their forefathers, (like persecuting Saul), separate from the Lord, and not so called by God's grace, as Paul was? And is the son of God revealed in those who have been such persecutors and wasters of God's people, the church of Christ, since the apostles' days? And if not, can they preach Christ in truth, but resist him like the Jews in their traditions, and set traditions above the holy scriptures of truth that testify of Christ?
And after the apostle was converted, he told the church of Christ 'Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the traditions of men, and not after Christ; if you are dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as living in the world, are you subject to ordinances? Touch not, taste not, handle not, which all are to perish with the using, after the commandments and doctrines of men; which if you are risen with Christ seek those things which are above, where Christ sits at the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.’ Col 2:8, 20-22, 3:2.
So you may see that the apostle brought the church of Christ off the traditions, and doctrines, and ordinances of men, and rudiments of the world; and would not have them to be spoiled by any man, through philosophy and vain deceit, for such things as these were not after Christ. But the church of Christ was, and is to seek those things that are above, where Christ sits at the right hand of God, and not those things on the earth, which are below; they are not so much as to touch, taste, nor handle them, all which perish with the using; but the scriptures of truth they are to read, believe, and practice. For the church of Christ then, and now, know that they are not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from their vain conduct, or by the traditions of their forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without spot or blemish. Glory to God forever, through the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the only one mediator between God and man, even the man Christ Jesus, who makes peace between us and God; the same today, yesterday, and forever.
Jesus asked his disciples, ‘Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?’ and the disciples answered and said, ‘Some say you are John Baptist, and some say Elias, and others Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.’
Here you may see there were diverse judgments and opinions of Christ among people that did not know him. And Jesus said to his disciples, 'But whom do you say that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, 'You are Christ, the son of the living God;’ and Jesus answered and said, 'You are blessed Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven; and I say unto you that you are Peter, and upon this rock will I build my church,’ (mark, he said upon this rock, which flesh and blood had not revealed, he does not say upon you Peter), ‘and the gates of hades shall not prevail against it.’ Mat 16:13-18. And Jesus showed to his disciples how he must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders, chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. 'Then Peter took Christ, and began to rebuke him, saying, 'Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!' Then Christ turned and said to Peter, Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.’ Mat 21-23.
Now here you may clearly see that Christ does not build his church upon Peter, as a man of flesh and blood, or that which flesh and blood reveals, but upon that rock* which flesh and blood had not revealed unto Peter, but the Father which is in heaven. And so I say again, it is clear, that Christ does not build his church upon Peter and his outward name, as a man of flesh and blood, nor upon that which flesh and blood may reveal, or did reveal unto Peter; but he builds his church upon that rock which the Father who is in heaven had revealed to Peter, which was, ‘You are Christ the son of the living God.’ This is the rock and foundation that the true church is built upon, Christ who bruises the serpent's head, and destroys the devil and his works; so that the gates of hell cannot, nor shall not prevail against Christ's church, and him the rock and foundation, which his church is built upon. And though Christ blessed Peter in Mat 16:17, after his revelation, yet in the later verse, Mat 16:23, Christ said unto Peter, ‘Get you behind me Satan, you are an offence unto me, for you savor not the things which be of God, but those that be of men.’ So here it is clear, Christ did not build his church upon Peter, nor his outward name Peter, as a man of flesh and blood, nor the revelation of flesh and blood, nor upon Satan, for he bruises Satan the serpent's head; so he was not like to build his church upon him. Therefore, any who are to succeed Peter, must receive what the Father revealed from heaven, (namely), ‘you are Christ the son of the living God,’ ‘upon this rock will I build my church;’ but when Peter rebuked Christ, saying, ‘Let this not be Lord; this must not happen to you,’ (namely, when Christ told him and the rest that he would suffer and be killed, and rise again the third day), Christ called Peter Satan, and told him get him behind him, as before.
And Christ said unto Peter, he was ‘an offence unto him, and savored not those things that are of God, but those that are of men,’ in that which he said to Christ. And what, are any so ignorant as to think that Christ has built his church upon Peter, as he was in this condition? No, surely, they are mistaken who think so; and those who do succeed Peter in that condition, they do not savor the things of God, but of men, and are an offence to Christ, whom Christ calls Satan, and tells Satan [possessing and speaking through Peter] to get behind him; for he was not likely to build his church upon what was an offence unto him, and savored not the things of God, but the things of men. And therefore those who build their church upon such, the gates of hell are likely to prevail against them; and those who succeed Peter in that spiritual revelation, which the Father revealed from heaven, namely, Christ, the son of the living God, upon which rock the true church is built, which the gates of hell shall not prevail against; this is above Satan, and the revelation of flesh and blood, and above what offended [and offends] Christ, and above what savors the things of men, and not the things of God, and above what flesh and blood may reveal. Christ's church is not built upon such things, but the rock which is far above them, which the heavenly Father reveals, and has the glory of it, who is blessed forever. Amen.
David said, ‘The Lord is my rock and my fortress, and my deliverer.’ Psa 18:2. And again, David said, ‘For who is God save the Lord, or who is a rock save our God.’ Psa 18:31. And again, ‘He (God), only is my rock and salvation, he is my defense, I shall not be moved. Psa 62:2,6. And David speaking of Israel, said, ‘They remembered that God was their rock.’ Psa 78:35.
And Isaiah speaking of Christ, said, that ‘he shall be for a sanctuary, a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, to both the houses of Israel.’ And Peter is so far off from looking upon himself to be the rock upon which Christ builds his church, that he tells the church of Christ, in his General Epistle, that Christ was ‘a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence to those who stumble at the word, being disobedient.’ 1 Pet 2:8. For the apostle said to the Romans, the church of Christ, speaking of Christ, ‘Behold I lay in Zion a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence, and whoever believes in him shall not be ashamed;’ this was Christ, and not Peter, Rom 9:33. And the apostle tells the church of Christ, speaking of Israel, how that ‘they all drank the same spiritual drink, for they drank of the same spiritual rock that followed them, and that rock was Christ.’ 1 Cor 10:4. So he did not say it [the rock] was Peter, nor any outward man.And the wise man builds his house upon the rock Christ Jesus; if it is not, the rain and the floods will beat it down, as in Mat 7:25. And the apostle tells the church of Christ, ‘No other foundation can any man lay than that which is already laid, which is Christ Jesus.’ 1 Cor 3:11. And again he said to the Ephesians, ‘You are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the chief corner stone;’ so the rock and foundation of God stands sure, Christ Jesus, who is the same yesterday, and today, and so forever.
The apostle said to the church of Christ, that ‘the preaching of the cross is to those who perish foolishness; but unto us that are saved, it is the power of God.’ 1 Cor 1:18. And such as were and are enemies to the cross of Christ, were and are enemies to the power of God; so all your stone, wooden, brass, silver or gold crosses you have invented and set up since the apostles' days, are not the cross of Christ the power of God.
And the apostle said, ‘God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.’ Gal 6:14. So it was the power of God, the cross of Christ, that the apostle gloried in, by whom the world was crucified unto him, and he unto the world; and this is our cross which was set up above one thousand six hundred years ago; and it is not likely that it was a cross made of wood, stone, iron, brass, silver or gold that the apostle or the church of Christ gloried in, or that such outward temporal and worldly crosses as men make and invent, should crucify people to the world! That which crucifies people to the world, and the world to them, is the cross of Christ, the power of God, which power of God all are to bow down to. They are foolish and dark that think a cross of stone, wood, iron, silver, or gold, which man has made, is the cross of Christ, the power of God; and to bow to such worldly temporal things, and call them the cross of Christ, is contrary to the scriptures that the apostles taught to the church of Christ, in their day. This [power of God, which crucifies the world to a person and that person to the world] was the church of Christ's cross in their days, and is the church of Christ's cross now; but the early church of Christ could not, nor can we bow to any temporal, outward, worldly cross that men have made with their hands, and then to bow down to them; for such as do worship the works of their own hands are enemies to the cross of Christ, the power of God.
There were such in the apostles' days that were vainly puffed up with their fleshly minds, not holding Christ the head, and so there are now, from which head all the body of Christ by joints and bands has nourishment ministered, and by him is knit together, and increases with the increase of God; as in Col 2:18-19.
Now Christ enlightens every man that comes into the world with the light, the life that is in him, the head, by whom the world was made, that with the light they might see Christ, and him the head of the body, his church, by which all the children of the light and of the day may be knit together in him, and have their increase of God ministered through him, and so to have fellowship with the Father and the son, and one with another.
Now all those who are intruding into things they have not seen, puffed up with a fleshly mind, and do not hold Christ their head, but have set up other heads, have broken into sects, schisms, and divisions one against another: this is clearly seen now, as it was in the apostles' days.
The 2nd month, 1688
The speech or declaration of Sultan Mahomet, the Great Turk, which he sent to the emperor of Germany, dated March 25th, 1683, from Adrianople, just after the Baron Saphonara, the Emperor's Ambassador, had his last audience of the Prince Vizier, wherein the said Ambassador could not comply with the extravagant demands of the Turk; which caused the said Grand Seignior to transmit the same to his Imperial Majesty: which is faithfully translated out of High Dutch.
Mahomet the Fourth, son of emperors, and of the famous and renowned God; emperor of the Turks, king of Greece, Macedonia, Moldavia, Samaria, and Hegha; king of great and lesser Egypt; king of all the inhabitants of the earth, and prince of the earthly paradise; acknowledged prince and obedient son of Mahomet; preserver of the cities of Hungaria; possessor of the sepulcher of your God; lord of all the emperors of the world, from the rising of the sun to the going down thereof; king of all kings, lord of the tree of life, conqueror of the Malonian Hegley, and the city Prokenix; the great persecutor of the Christians, and all wicked people; joy of the flourishing world, commander and guardian of your crucified God, lord of the multitude of the heathens. We command you to greet the emperor Leopold, in case he desire it; and you are a friend to our majesty, whose power and will we have extended very far.
You have for some time past acted to our prejudice, and violated our friendship; though we have not offended you either by war or otherwise; yet you have taken secret advice with other kings, and your councils, how to shake off your yoke; in which you have proceeded very indiscreetly; and thereby you have exposed your people to fear and danger, who have nothing to expect now but death, which you have brought upon yourselves: for I declare I will make myself your master, and pursue you from the east to the west, and extend my majesty to the end of the earth. In the procedure of all which, you shall find my power exerted to your extreme prejudice, and shall feel the dreadful effects of my wrath. And since you have put your hope in the strength of some towns and castles, I have given command to overthrow them, and trample under my horses' feet all that is delightful to you, leaving no room hereafter to make friendship with me, or suffer you any fortified place to remain to put your trust in; for I have resolved forthwith to destroy you and your people, and to depose you of the German empire, after my will, leaving in the empire a remembrance of my dreadful sword, that it may publicly appear that I will establish my religion therein, and pursue your crucified God, whose wrath I fear not, nor his coming to defend, or deliver you out of my hands; but will condemn your sacred priests to the plough, and suffer the breasts of your wives to be sucked by dogs and beasts. You will do well to forsake your religion, otherwise I will give order to consume you with fire. This is enough to let you understand my will, if you will be so wise as to know it.
An answer to the speech or declaration of the great Turk, and others
found on a separate page: ../George_Fox_Selections/muslim.html
The priests under the law daily offered sacrifices; but Christ our high priest need not daily, as those priests, offer sacrifice for his own sin, and then for the people's. (Heb 7:16,28) For Christ did once offer up himself, who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life; who is sat down at the right hand of God, and so cannot be offered as an offering and sacrifice any more; who abolished the changeable priesthood, with all its offerings and sacrifices, by the sacrifice and offering of himself once for all.
And so it is said, ‘I am come to do the will of God;’ to take away the first, namely, priesthood and covenant offerings, and establish the second, by the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus. Mark, Christ's body is offered up once for all. Hebrews 10:9.
And so Christ is entered into heaven itself, not that he should offer himself often, as the high priests did, for then must Christ often have suffered; but he has put away sin by the sacrifice of himself once for all. So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many, ‘and unto them that look for him, shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation;’ as in Heb 9:25-26,28.
So here you may see Christ is not often offered up as a sacrifice, or an offering for the sins of the whole world, then had he often suffered. But after Christ had offered up one sacrifice for sins forever, he sat down at the right hand of God. And by this ‘one offering Christ has perfected forever those who are sanctified.’ So here you may see, it is one offering, and one sacrifice once for all, not offering Christ many times, nor often.
And in Hebrews 10:12,14. The priests under the law, they offered offerings; but Christ offered up himself, who had power to lay down his life, and take it again; so it was not priests that offered Christ up; for after Christ had offered up one sacrifice, and one offering for sins, by which offering and sacrifice ‘he perfected forever those who are sanctified,’ and sat down at the right hand of God, who ever lives to make intercession for his people.
And Christ said, ‘Offerings and sacrifices you would not, but a body have you prepared me to do your will; by the which will we are sanctified through the offering up of the body of Jesus Christ once for all,’ as before. And so he did not often offer up his body as a sacrifice for all, for then must he often have suffered, as before; but now once, mark, once, has he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself, and not by offering or sacrificing of himself often; for as it is said, Christ ‘having somewhat to offer,’ that is, he offered up himself, his body, once for all sins, and the daily sacrifice, and made an end of the daily sacrifices; as in Dan 9:27. Wherein you may see he caused the daily sacrifices and oblations to cease, when he was cut off, not for himself, but for the people, who by one offering and sacrifice of himself, ended the daily offerings and sacrifices. And therefore all are to look unto him the one offering and sacrifice once for all.
David said, ‘The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, and a broken and contrite heart,’ and these are the sacrifices ‘that God will not despise,’ as in Psalm 51:17. And David said, ‘Let my prayer be set before you as incense,’ (mark, as incense), ‘and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice,’ (mark, as the evening sacrifice.) Now here you may see, David saw beyond the outward offerings and sacrifices; for he desires that his prayer might be as incense, and his lifting up hands as the evening sacrifice. Psalm 141:2. And Solomon said, ‘that the sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord; but the prayers of the upright hearted are his delight.’ Pro 15:8.
Here you may see, you that are wicked, your prayers and sacrifices are not accepted. ‘And to do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the Lord than outward sacrifices.’ Pro 21:3. So here you may see, it is not offering sacrifices only with a company of words, nor outward things, but a practicing judgment and justice.
And Christ said to the outward Jews, that were in their outward offerings and sacrifices, and their long prayers; Christ said unto them, ‘I will have mercy and not sacrifice,’ and told them go learn what that means. For the Lord said, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God more than burnt-offerings.’ Mat 9:13, Hos 6:6. So here you may see, mercy and the knowledge of God is beyond outward offerings and sacrifices.
For as the apostle said, ‘Christ has loved us, and has given himself an offering and sacrifice for us to God, for a sweet smelling savor.’ Eph 5:2. So you may see Christ has given himself an offering and sacrifice for us to God; and the saints now do not offer up Christ, who has already offered up himself, (mark, himself), but they are to present their bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is their reasonable service. This the apostle wrote to the church of Christ, the Romans, which same is the duty of all christians.
And the apostle said to the church of Christ, the Hebrews, ‘By him, (namely, Christ), let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks unto his name; and do good and communicate, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us;’ 1 Cor 5:7.
And Peter, in his General Epistle, told the church of Christ, that they were built up ‘a spiritual household, a holy royal priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ,’ (mark, by Jesus Christ to God.)
Now all the true christians are a royal priesthood, and a spiritual household, and with the spirit they are to offer up spiritual sacrifices; these are those who are acceptable to God by Jesus Christ in the new testament, and new covenant. So the apostle did not say they should offer up Jesus Christ, but ‘offer sacrifice to God by Jesus Christ;’ for Christ had offered up himself once for all.
And you may see how the Jews, when they forsook the Lord, they joined themselves to Baal-Peor, and did eat the sacrifice of the dead, which was forbidden of the Lord, and provoked him to anger, that his plague broke out upon them; as in Psalm 106:28-29.
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