A JOURNAL OF THE LIFE THAT ANCIENT SERVANT OF CHRIST,
Some time ago I was conversing with a person, whom I wish very well, about matters of the greatest weight and moment; and he told me they heard that we [the early Quakers] were preaching up a new light. This made me sorry, and I thought it strange that we were no better known to a person of that note and so near a neighbor; therefore, to clear us of that scandal, and to inform sober, moderate and friendly inquirers, and to satisfy our enemies that falsely accuse us; and above all, for the propagating the holy Light and Truth, which the good man prayed to God of old to send forth, Psa 43:3, are these few lines written; with desires, that God in his great mercy may make them serviceable to all honest, sincere hearted readers of them, to his glory forever.
I testify to all, that we believe in and preach no other light, but that true Light that John preached and bore testimony of; and we know his testimony is true. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not." This is that very light we bear witness of, the light of eternal life that was in the beginning, and therefore is no new doctrine, or new light. The apostle John goes on and tells us what God sent John the Baptist to bear witness of: "There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which enlightens 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." Here are two Johns, one the beloved disciple, the other John the Baptist, a prophet; and both declare of the very same Light, of which the despised and falsely accused Quakers, do now in these days bear testimony. Well may we be bold to bear witness of it, for we know it is the true Light, the same that these men preached in their day; and that it has enlightened us and showed us all that ever we have done, and that it is the Lord's mercy that we see this day; which Abraham rejoiced to see, and saw it, and was glad. Many of the prophets testified of it, as may here be showed; and Christ himself does very fully and plainly speak of it, in various places. But first we will take notice of the prophets; David said, "The Lord is my light and my salvation, the strength of my life;" and, "With you is the fountain of light; in your light shall we see light." What plain evidence is here: he tells what the light is; it is the Lord, his salvation, his life and strength, in whose light we see light, and know it to come from the Fountain of Life; and Psa 43:3, he prays, "O send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me unto your holy hill." What is more desirable or more profitable than what leads and brings the soul into God's holy hill and tabernacle! David did not despise the light, but prayed that God would send it out, to lead him and guide him to his holy hill; he loved it, and so do all the upright in heart. The Lord is God, and changes not; the same to-day, yesterday and forever; and they that are enlightened with the enlightenings of the Lord at this day, do know their earthly nature has been made to tremble; yet has the sincere soul rejoiced with trembling, and has kissed the Son, and been glad to see the light, that is sown for the righteous; and gladness for the upright in heart. As Abraham did, so do all his children, rejoice to see the light of the Lord. But some say, How do we know that David speaks of the light within? Answer, his words are full and plain, and agree with John's. John said, "that Christ is the true Light that enlightens every man, and that in him is life, and the life is the light of men." David said, "The Lord is my light, and my salvation;" so David's Lord is his light and salvation.
And John said, "It enlightens every man that comes into the world ;" so herein is manifested God's universal love and good will to all men. As it is said elsewhere, "God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believed in him should not perish, but have everlasting life;" even that life that is the light of men. So the Lord in mercy causes his sun to shine upon all, and to give light to the whole world.
There are some parts of the earth that have seen the true light of life, and trembled too, who are not called Quakers, because, though they have seen and felt, tasted and handled of the Light or Word of God, yet they have rebelled against it. Those who rebel against the light, do not know not the ways of it, nor abide in the paths of it. And there are some of this sort who walk in the form, but deny the power, and cause the way of Truth to be evilly spoken of. There are some that, though the light shines in them, and lets them see their evil ways, and reproves them, yet they are so in love with the world, and the evils of it, that they turn away from the Lord, and from his light, grace and holy Spirit, that strives with them; so these lie under guilt and condemnation. Their own hearts condemn them, their heart and conscience is defiled; these see it, and confess it, but will not forsake sin, and therefore they lie under condemnation; as in John 3:19-20; This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that does evil, hates the light, neither comes to the light, for fear that his deeds should be reproved. These refuse to come to the light, because they do not love to be reproved, troubled, or disquieted in their minds. They take pleasure in sin, and to live at ease in iniquity, and love not to be parted from the world, or its evil ways; therefore they love darkness rather than light.
Now it is clear, that if a day of visitation had not come, and the Sun of Righteousness had not risen and shined upon the world, and made all things manifest that are reproved; then there might have been some excuse made. But upon whom has not his light shined? Who does not know? The Lord calls for holiness, and lets all men see what is evil, and what is good, that they may love the good and cleave to it, and turn from the evil, and flee all appearance of it. Therefore cease to do evil, and learn to do well, and find mercy with the Lord.
Christ said, "If I had not come, they had not had sin; but now they have no cloak for their sin." And again, "If you were blind, you should have no sin: but now, you say, we see; therefore your sin remains." If it was not day, then it might be more excusable to the world; but seeing it is day, and that the true light now shines, therefore that man who runs in the mire and dirt of sin, and sees it, and yet will do it, it is his own doing, and he must bear his own burden; for he does what he knows he ought not, and leaves undone what he knows he ought to do. Light shines, and with the light he sees it is so, and therefore is condemned in himself justly, because he knows the will of God, but does not do it. God is righteous in all his judgments, and just in all his ways.
Our Lord further says, "He that does truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God." This is the man that loves the light, and is not willing to rest short of being approved by the Lord, and is thankful to God that has showed him light, who has made us able to say, his Word is a lamp unto our feet, and a light unto our path. Oh said this man, "Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun." "Oh house of Jacob! come you and let us walk in the light of the Lord." For the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills, and all nations shall flow unto it, therefore let us trust in the Lord, that will yet choose Jacob; "Cry out and shout, inhabitant of Zion, for great is the holy One of Israel in the midst of you. But woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; and put darkness for light, and light for darkness." This evangelical prophet Isaiah, ably declares of the glorious light, Christ Jesus, Isa 9:2; "The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light; they that dwelt in the region of the shadow of death, upon them has the light shined." Was not this our state who are Gentiles; and now the light of Zion has come, why should she not bear witness of it? For the Light of Israel "shall be for a fire, and his holy One as a flame, and it shall burn;" and, "I the Lord will give you for a covenant of the people; for a light of the Gentiles: to open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house. I will also give you for a light unto the Gentiles, that you may be my salvation unto the ends of the earth." "Arise and shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. And the Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising." "The sun shall be no more your light by day, neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto you, but the Lord shall be unto you an everlasting light, and your God your glory. Your sun shall no more go down, nor your moon withdraw herself; for the Lord shall be yours everlasting light, and the days of your mourning shall be ended." Here is a testimony to the light of the Gentiles, the light of Zion, the light of Israel. This is that true light we now desire all may come to, both high and low, rich and poor; for it is come, blessed be the Lord our God forevermore.
I proceed to the Savior's testimony in John 8:12; Then spoke Jesus unto them, saying, " I am the light of the world; he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." Oh! that people would follow him, and not the traditions of men, the rudiments of the world, the commandments and doctrines of men; for all that do so, are living in darkness, and hating the light, speaking evil of it, because their deeds are reproved by it, and made manifest to be sinful and unrighteous, are enemies to Christ. He said again, "As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world;" and he has promised to be with his people to the end of the world, read Mat 28.
Then said Jesus unto them, "Yet a little while is the light with you: walk while you have the light, lest darkness come upon you; for he that walks in darkness, knows not where he goes. While you have light, believe in the light, that you may be the children of light." And, "I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believes on me should not abide in darkness." Is it not cause for great wonder, that men who own the Scriptures, should blame us for preaching Christ the Light of the world, the true Light, that now shines in the hearts of men, and tell us that the light is conscience? Some say, it is the light of nature, and some call it the Quaker's idol.
But now reader, you may see what Christ said it is: he said, "I am the Light of the world." John said, "He is the true light that enlightens every man that comes into the world:" and the prophet says, "The Lord is my light and my salvation; he is given for a light unto the Gentiles, and for God's salvation to the ends of the earth." And Zachariah said, speaking of his son, [John the Baptist], "You child shall be called the prophet of the highest, for you shall go before the face of the Lord, to prepare his ways; to give knowledge of salvation unto his people, by the remission of their sins, through the tender mercy of our God, by which the dayspring from on high has visited us; to give light to them that sit in darkness, and in the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace." Good old Simeon praised God; "For mine eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared before the face of all people; a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel." So these all preached Christ, the true light; and therefore it is no new doctrine, nor new light, as some say that we preach, but the very same that the Scriptures so largely and plainly testify of.
Our Lord said to Paul—"I am Jesus whom you persecute; I have appeared unto you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness, both of these things which you hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto you; delivering you from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send you, to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God." Now here it is plain, Paul was sent to turn them from darkness to light. Could he do it and not preach it? No, he obeyed the Lord's command; and was Paul a Quaker, or are we who are called Quakers to be blamed for preaching this primitive, ancient doctrine? Surely not; for God has called us to do so, and we fear not man who opposes God, his truth and people; nor did Paul, at whom the high priests and rulers were sorely offended. Yet he "witnessed both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come: that Christ should suffer, and should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should show light unto the people, and to the Gentiles." But still some may say, "Is this light anywhere preached to be within men?" Yes; this apostle said, "For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God, and not of us." Here the apostle preaches the light shining in our hearts. This then is the light within, and God in mercy causes it to be so, and he who does not turn in to behold the shining of it, but is gazing at things without him, is yet in darkness. Though the light shines in his dark heart, yet he knows it not, nor believes in the light, nor follows it; and therefore abides in darkness, and loves so to do. These love the world, and the friendship of it, but the love of God is not in them; but the children of the light are said to be a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people, that they should show forth the praises of him, who has called them out of darkness into his marvelous light. Which, in time past, were not a people, but now are the people of God; which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy; I Pet 2:9-10.
John, the beloved disciple of Christ, in his first epistle, said on this wise; "This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin." Again, "A new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him, and in you; because the darkness is past, and the true light now shines. He that said he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness even until now. He that loves his brother, abides in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hates his brother, is in darkness." Come try all the churches, and see where this love is to be found, and let that church be manifest that abides in the light.
In the Revelation the same apostle says; "And there came unto me one of the seven angels, and talked with me, saying, 'Come here, and I will show you the bride, the Lamb's wife.' And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God; and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal." And he goes on to speak of her, until he said, "I saw no temple therein for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon to shine in it for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it; and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honor into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day; for there shall be no night there. And they shall bring the glory and honor of the nations into it. And there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defiles, neither whatsoever works abomination, or makes a lie; but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life."
Is not here a clear declaration of the state of the true church of Christ, and of her light, that the Lord God gives her, and that this is wholly what the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb freely brings her to, and is to her; so that here is nothing of man, nor of man's wisdom, or of skill, strength or power, or of any creature whatsoever. It is not anything of that kind that can give the soul acceptance with the Lord. He is fitting his church and people, and making her ready for himself, as he gathers her up into his own, and places her in his holy habitation, where no unclean thing can enter. This is the city of God, the new Jerusalem, the free woman, the mother of us all, who are new born babes, born of incorruptible seed by the Word of God, that lives and abides forever.
Now it is clear, this true church of Christ being called the bride, the Lamb's wife, denotes that she is really espoused or joined to the Lord in his own love, life, light, power and spirit, and loves and enjoys his presence, hears his voice, is truly sensible of his love; knows his name to be as ointment poured forth, and also a strong tower; meets in it, is saved in it, and goes to God in it. And as she is refreshed in it, and in true rest and peace with the Lord in him, who has reconciled her unto God by the death of his Son, and saved her by his life. So here it is plain, the Lord is to his people a husband, a father, a fountain of life, light and love; of wisdom, knowledge, understanding, and all good things. And the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God, and they shall live in his life, and walk in his light, even all the nations that are saved, or the saved of all nations shall walk in the light of the Lord God, and of the Lamb. This is the just man's path; "A shining light, that shines more and more unto the perfect day." But some may say, this is the state of the church in heaven, not on earth. Answer; it is clear, the Lord showed John things that must shortly come to pass here on earth, and that this true church came down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband; and then it follows: "And I heard a great voice out of heaven, saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men." So the true church is born of God, born of the Spirit, and is in God the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and has heavenly places in Christ to sit down in, and is redeemed from the earth, and is baptized into Christ, has put him on, and lives in the Spirit, and walks in it, is led, guided and preserved, comforted, and enabled by it and in it, to worship God correctly, and to pray correctly, preach correctly, and praise correctly. So all that she has is come down from God out of heaven, every good and perfect gift. All her fresh springs, all her strength, power, and ability; all her faith, hope, life, light, wisdom, knowledge, joy, great comfort and consolation; all her love and beauty, fairness, comeliness, yes, all that she has is freely given of God, and comes down from God out of heaven. She is the Lord's, and is nothing but what she is in him, nor can do anything without him, who is her light and salvation, her portion, her treasure, her beloved, and she is his. Her glorying is in the Lord, her rejoicing in the God of her salvation, on whom she leans, depends and trusts in the Lord alone, who is her helper, deliverer, redeemer, sanctifier, Saviour and preserver, and all that she has and wants, and is also her rock, fortress, shield, buckler, strong tower, armor, defender, and habitation of safety. In a word, God is all in all to his true children and people, and is over all worthy of praise, honor, glory, worship, thanksgiving and everlasting renown; for it is only due to him, who is Lord of lords, and King of kings over all, to him that sits upon the throne forever and ever more, amen.
I hope it is very clear from plain Scripture in a plentiful manner, that it is no new light, or new doctrine to preach Christ the light of the world, the light of men, the light within, that enlightens the soul, and gives it to see all things that are reproved, and makes all things manifest, as the apostle affirms; "All things that are reproved are made manifest by the light; for whatsoever does make manifest is light;" then follows this advice, "Awake you that sleep, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light." See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Be you not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
When men by the light come to see all things that are reproved, and do turn from those things, and give up to obey the will of God, though they have long lain dead in sin and dead works; yet now they awake out of a sleepy, secure, dead state, arising and fleeing from it to Christ. Then he gives more light, and gives them to know of his doctrine, and the mysteries of his kingdom, when they are given up to do his will. Then, to them that were some time in darkness and very ignorant, it is given to know the things that belong to their peace, and they become light, or lightened in the Lord, and then walk as children of light, and bring forth the fruits of the Spirit, in all righteousness, goodness and truth, "proving what is acceptable to the Lord; having no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reproving them;" so are become one with him that reproved them when they were in darkness.
Therefore, dearly beloved friends and brethren, who make profession of this holy light and day of the Lord, be careful to walk in it, so as to give no occasion of stumbling; for the enemy watches for occasion, and though he can find none in the Lord our light and head, law-giver, and all in all, yet he endeavors to reproach him through us, and by any spot or shortness in us. Those that depart from the Lord and become wicked, "The light of the wicked shall be put out, and the spark of his fire shall not shine. The light shall be dark in his tabernacle; for his candle shall be put out.”
It is sadly experienced even in these days, that men may be enlightened and taste of the heavenly gift, and be made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and taste the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, and yet fall away and crucify unto themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame, or to be openly reproached by wicked men.
As Peter said, "There shall be false teachers among you, who secretly shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord* that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways, by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you." "A heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children, which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam, who loved the wages of unrighteousness," but, "it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them; but it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed, to her wallowing in the mire." John also speaks of these: and my dearly beloved friends, let it be our care to abide in the vine, partaking of its sap, virtue, and fatness, that we may bring forth much fruit to the glory of him that has called us out of darkness into his marvelous light.
Let us walk in the light, that we may have fellowship with God and one with another, and know the blood of Christ to cleanse us from all sin. Then shall we, in the light, love as brethren; yes, love all men, even enemies, and be concerned for the prosperity of the holy light and truth of God, that many may come to the knowledge of it, and be saved.
All sober people of all sorts who may see these lines, to you does the love of God reach, and in my heart at this time is it felt; let me entreat you to turn in your minds to this pure light that shines in your hearts, to give you to discern all things, and to divide between the precious and the vile, between him that serves God, and him that serves him not. Let it be your choice, for it is of God, and will outlive all its opposers; and let not the loud clamors and false accusers of God's truth and people, cause you to reject the light, and embrace darkness, to choose evil and refuse good. But mind this grace or gift that appears in you, for there is no guile in it, nor can you say it ever consented to evil, but reproved it. This is He that none charges justly with any evil, therefore hear him, for God speaks by him; his love is great to all, he died for all, tasted death for every man, and enlightens every man that comes into the world; come and walk in him forever more, amen.
But some are ready to object, and say, You Quakers do mightily preach up the light within, but you say little of the death and sufferings of Christ without the gates of Jerusalem.
Answer: We have many accusers that say all manner of evil against us, which we patiently bear, knowing it is for his sake that suffered for us, who is become not only our light, but also our salvation as we abide in him, as he has commanded us. And we declare, that as he by the grace of God tasted death for every man; so every man has this benefit by it, that he may now come to him, receive him, and in him receive power to become a child of God. Therefore, when he came into the world there was great joy, for the angel that appeared unto the shepherds said unto them, "Fear not, for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people: and there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will to men."
Here is universal love; "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 all the world are put into the ability, by the death and sufferings of Christ, to come to him, and he that comes to Christ, he will in no wise cast out; "For God is no respecter of persons, but in every nation he that fears him, and works righteousness, is accepted of him." So we say, it is Christ that suffered for us, "The just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God; being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit." Yes, "He laid down his life a ransom for all; who himself bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we being dead unto sin, should live unto righteousness; by whose stripes we are healed. While we were sinners, Christ died for us, and by himself purged our sins. Since then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same, that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is the devil, and deliver them who, through fear of death, were all their life-time subject to bondage."
This now I declare, we confess the death and sufferings of Christ according to the holy Scriptures; and he, only, who suffered without the gates of Jerusalem, has been our peace-maker, and is now come by his light and Spirit, to give us the knowledge of God and what he has done for us; so that in his light we see him, who is our light and our salvation. Isaiah said, "He has borne our sorrows, and carried our griefs;" which were the sad effects of our sins, so that now remission of sins that are passed is freely preached unto all men through him, and all mankind are invited to come to him, and all the ends of the earth to look unto him and be saved.
After the prophet Isaiah had largely spoken of his death and sufferings, and the great love and mercy of God which flows forth through Christ to all, and how he is enlarging his habitation, he shows that the Gentiles, who had been barren and desolate, should come to bring forth more children than the married wife; and that they would break out on the right hand and on the left, and that her Maker should be her husband and redeemer. Read Isaiah 54 which is full of precious promises: "All your children shall be taught of the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children; in righteousness shall you be established; you shall be far from oppression." And Isaiah 55, "Ho every one that thirsts, come you to the waters, .. Surely you shall call a nation that you knew not, and nations that did not know you shall run unto you, because of the Lord your God."
Thus it is clear from the prophet in these three chapters:
Secondly: What Christ has suffered for us, and how he appeared in the world, and was rejected and despised of men.
Thirdly: How after his death and sufferings, the good will of God is plentifully seen to flow forth to all people, and an invitation is given to all who are thirsty, to come to the waters, as it is also in John 7:37-39, " If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink; he that believeth on me, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water; but this spoke he of the Spirit, which they that believed on him should receive; for the Holy Ghost was not yet given, because that Jesus was not yet glorified."
But after our Lord Jesus Christ had suffered and risen from the dead, and ascended far above all heavens, that he might fill all things, as the apostle says, he sent the Holy Ghost. Then the fountain opened more plentifully, and men out of all nations were spoken to, and heard in their own language the wonderful works of God declared. Now the day of deliverance dawned, and the Dayspring from on high visited the children of men; the Son of Righteousness was risen with healing in his wings, and his light broke forth in obscurity; they that sat in darkness saw the light of life, and life eternal was risen over death, hell and the grave, shining in the hearts and souls of men; and the Spirit was poured out upon all flesh, according to the Lord's promise, Joel 2:28-29. And whoever desires, is now, by the death and sufferings of Christ, put into a capacity of salvation; and this benefit comes to all, whether they will accept it or not. The Spirit of God is poured forth upon all; the Fountain of living water is open to all; the grace of God that brings salvation appears to all, Tit 2:11-12. And the day of salvation is broken forth, and the true light now shines unto all, even to them that sat in darkness and saw no light, and in the region and shadow of death. And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.
Thus the invitation goes out to all, and whoever desires may receive or take of the Fountain of living water freely, without money or price, or anything to merit or purchase it, for the pardon and remission of sins that are past is freely preached to all in Christ, and for his sake that died for them, and bought them with his precious blood.
But this is not all the benefit that comes to poor souls by his death and sufferings; for now, the true light shines, the hidden things of darkness are manifested, reproved, judged and condemned. For he is also given for a witness to the people, and he does bear witness for them, if they follow him, and live to him who died for them. But if they still live to themselves, and follow the devices and desires of their own hearts, and do those things they ought not, and leave undone those things they ought to do, then he witnesses against them, judges and condemns them, for their evil ways, words, etc.
Let me speak freely, and say, while we were enemies, we were [by the death of Christ] put into a capacity to turn from what made us so, namely: sin, and be joined to the Lord, who stood ready to receive us in him who died for us, and would not impute our trespasses to us, because he had suffered for us, who now unites and reconciles us to God, and by his life we come to be quickened and raised from death to life. And we see in his light, that as we come to him, receive and follow him, we feel his life and power more and more unite us to God, the giver of this unspeakable gift, and he manifests his love to us, who is in Christ reconciling us to himself. And the more we are gathered into the life of him, the more God is with us, and his peace witnessed by us, to his praise and glory, forever more, amen.
So in Christ we reap all the benefits of his death, sufferings, rising again, ascending and being our mediator, who gives peace to our souls, and is our light, leader, teacher, commander, king, law-giver, wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption. Come then to Christ, believe in him, follow him, and you shall not abide in darkness, but shall have the light of life. The Lord complained of the Jews of old, that though they searched the Scriptures, and thought in them to have eternal life, yet they would not come to him, that they might have life This is still the cause of all that death and darkness that people lie in; they will not come to him, nor do they love him or his appearance, or light, which makes all things manifest that are reproved. "How often," said Christ, " would I have gathered you, but you would not come." Here it is plain, God would have all to be saved, but they will not come unto him, nor be gathered by him. Oh! therefore come and let us walk in the light of the Lord; let us walk honestly as in the day-time, that our sanctification may be throughout, for it is Christ that sanctifies, washes and purifies with the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost; for if he wash us not we have no part with him, but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin; 1 John 1:7.
Thus it is clear we need to come to the Lord Jesus Christ, and give up to be saved by him, and in a word, to receive him who has done all this for us, to be all to us, and we to be what we are in Him, who is the way, the truth and the life, and no man comes unto the Father but by him. This is the one thing needful, the good part which Mary chose, the pearl of price, that is better than the whole world.
Therefore let none rest in notions and empty profession, dead forms, dry opinions, and beggarly elements; but come and kiss the Son, for fear that he be angry, and you perish from the way. For in him we have peace; in the world is trouble, and no true peace to be met with but in him; he is the way of peace, Blessed are they who know him, and abide in him unto the end; they will lay down their heads in peace, when time with them here shall be no more.
A few words in true love to all who believe that Christ Jesus, the Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, is come the second time, without sin unto salvation. So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto Him that look for him shall he appear the second time, without sin, unto salvation. Heb 9:28
It is needful for all who believe the holy Scriptures, which testify of Christ, to look for him as he appears the second time without sin unto salvation; that they may know him so to appear in them, as to take away all their sins, that being washed by him, and made clean, they may have a part in him, a part in his life, in his Spirit, in his love, in his light, in his wisdom, and in his power; that they may know experientially he is in them, and they in him, and be truly made new creatures; for if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; and thus by Christ be made heirs of the covenant made with Abraham. God is faithful who has promised; and many are made partakers of his great and precious promises, in Christ Jesus the Seed, in whom all the promises of God are yes and amen, forever. And the promises are and will be fulfilled to those who receive Christ, in his appearance the second time, without sin unto salvation; which is in spirit by the Holy Ghost, as he promised. It was to as many as received him, that power was given to become the sons of God, even to them that believe in his name. To such he said, "He that is with you shall be in you," and without him we can do nothing; we have no strength of our own, nothing at all that is good, but are by nature children of wrath, while we live in the lust of the flesh, and so have need to be delivered. But there is no deliverer besides Christ; no way, no truth, no life; no man can come unto the Father but by him; "He that has him (as Scripture said) has life, but he that has him not, has not life." The law did not give life, nor does the Scripture, by the letter or reading of it, give life; for though it is a testimony of him who is life, light, wisdom, power, God over all, blessed forever, yet it cannot give life; the life is in Him. For as in the beginning all things were made by him, and without him was not anything made, that was made; so no man is sanctified or made new but by him, and they that are sanctified by him, are joined to him; "For both he that sanctifies, and they who are sanctified are all of one, for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren."
He is the true vine, the root of life; "By him kings reign, and princes decree justice;" but without him men are dead in trespasses and sins, miserable offenders, in whom there is no health, but wounds, bruises and putrefies sores, from the head to the foot, until he heals us, and quickens us by his Spirit in us, which is the Comforter, whom he sends to guide into all truth, and as many as are led by it are the sons of God. By him we can call God Father, for he is all in all to the children of God. And said the Apostle, "All are yours, and you are Christ's, and Christ is God's;" and again, "You are not your own, you are bought with a price, not with corruptible things, as silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a Lamb without spot or blemish."
"Behold," said John, "the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world." And John's disciples beheld him and left John, and followed Jesus Christ, who asked them whom they sought. They said unto him, "Rabbi, where do you dwell?" he said, "Come and see;" and they came and saw where he dwelled, and stayed with him that day. This is very precious; to see him and know his dwelling place, and to abide with him during the time which is given us to live. Let it be your joy to abide with him all your time, and see where he dwells. This is more than to hear of him with the hearing of the ear, to see and hear him yourself, and be taught by him. Oh! he is well pleased with those that sell all, or leave all to follow him, who is the Lamb of God, that is greater than John. "This is he," said John, "that comes after me, but is preferred before me, for he was before me, and I knew him not; but he that sent me to baptize, said unto me, Upon whom you shall see the Holy Ghost descending, and lighting on him like a dove, the same is he that baptizes with the Holy Ghost : and I saw, and bear record, that this is the Son of God."
John was not offended that his disciples left him, and followed Christ, but rejoiced to hear his voice, and to have him made manifest to Israel. "Therefore," he said, "I come baptizing with water; but I must decrease, he must increase;" of the increase of his kingdom and government there shall be no end. For the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of God, and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever; even so, come Lord Jesus! come quickly!
Oh! that all who are upon the earth would follow him, hear him, and obey him; for God speaks in and to men by him, "Whom he appointed heir of all things; by whom also he made the worlds, who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his substance, and upholding all things by the word of his power; when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high."
This is Christ the Son of God; the Word that was in the beginning with God, and was God; the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last; who was dead, but is alive again. But all flesh is as grass, and the glory of man as the flower of the field; the grass withers, and the flower thereof fades away, but the word of the Lord endures forever. Cease therefore from man, whose breath is in his nostrils; for wherein is he to be accounted of? And again it is said, "In vain is the help of man." Oh then remember, God now speaks by his Son, who laid down his life for us, and suffered, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us unto God. And if ever you come to God, it must be by Jesus Christ, the new and living way. He is the Rock of Ages, the foundation of many generations, the offspring of David, and also his Lord.
This is the Foundation of God to men, that stands sure, and the Lord knows them who are his. The whole house or church of God, and every member of it, is built upon this Rock and Foundation; "For other foundation can no man lay, than that which is already laid, which is Christ."
This is the foundation of Christianity, this makes true Christians, which weak and beggarly elements cannot do; for they cannot sanctify men, or make them new creature. There are no true Christians who are not in Christ, and he in them spiritually; for he is the Lord from heaven, a quickening Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. Oh that men would live and walk in the spirit of Christ! for all the children of God are chosen in him, and blessed with all spiritual blessings in him, through whom they obtain the adoption of children. He is our peace, the Prince of peace, and until I knew him in spirit, I never knew true peace with God, nor peace of conscience.
We cannot be heirs with Christ, and members of the church which is in God, but as we come to sit together in heavenly places in Christ, and fitly framed together, become a holy temple to the Lord, in whom you are built together for a habitation of God through the Spirit. God is in the midst of that house, church or assembly, wherever it is, it being gathered in the name of Christ, to whom all power in heaven and earth is given; and those that receive him now into their hearts, receive power to become the sons of God, being born again. "For what is born of the Spirit is spirit, but what is born of the flesh is flesh. He that is in the flesh cannot please God." For such do those things they ought not, leaving undone those things they ought to do, and are miserable offenders, in whom there is no health. But in vain do these worship God, teaching for doctrine the commandments of men, following the rudiments, traditions and ordinances of men, which afford no life to their souls, and being beggarly elements, cannot nourish the soul immortal. Therefore touch not, taste not, handle not, for they all perish with the using, being not after Christ; for in him is life, and he gives life to them that receive him, but nothing which is earthly can give life. "He that is of the earth is earthly, and speaks of the earth; but he that comes from above, is above all." Earthly men are in the wisdom that is from below, that is earthly, sensual, and devilish; not pure, peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated, full of righteousness, goodness, truth and love.
“Thus said the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, to him whom man despises, to him whom the nation abhors, to a servant of rulers, kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship; because of the Lord that is faithful, and the holy One of Israel, and he shall choose you." And Isaiah 49:22-23, Thus said the Lord, Behold I lift up mine hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people; and kings shall be your nursing fathers, and their queens your nursing mothers, and you shall know that I am the Lord; for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me. And Isaiah 50:10, Who is among you that fears the Lord, that obeys the voice of his servant, that walks in darkness and has no light ? Let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God. And chapter 52, Oh captive daughter of Zion! Ye have sold yourselves for naught, and you shall be redeemed without money. Read chapter 55:4-7 and see who is given for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people, and seek the Lord while he may be found, and call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him, and to our God, and he will abundantly pardon. The Lord God, which gathers the outcasts of Israel, said, Yet will I gather others to him, besides those that are gathered unto him, Isaiah 56:8-9. This is Shiloh; the peaceable Saviour, of whom Jacob prophesied, on his death bed, when he was near his end, Gen 49:10. This is He that the holy prophet Isaiah speaks of, in the 53rd chapter. And to him the same prophet invites men to come, saying, Ho every one that thirsts, come, Isa 55. Those therefore who embrace this invitation, and dwell with him, are of that church which God will make an eternal excellence, a joy of many generations, Isaiah 60:15. What is this?
These are redeemed out of the fall; these have received the spirit of adoption, and know grace to reign in righteousness. These are come into the mountain of the Lord's house, into Christ, in whom none hurt or destroy. These know that Jesus is the Lord, the King of kings, the Ruler of princes. These are his sheep, hear his voice and follow him. These will not set up those who know nothing, but what they know naturally as brute beasts, and therein corrupt themselves, and neither know the Scriptures nor the power of God, but are such as the prophet complains of, saying, "His watchmen are blind, they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; yes, they are greedy dogs, which can never have enough; and they are shepherds that cannot understand, they all look to their own way, every one for his gain from his quarter."
"The Word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder the soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow; and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart, neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of him with whom we have to do." Those who do not have this Word of God to preach, they are neither quick nor powerful. Those that put [food] into their mouths please them, but against them that do not, they prepare war. These receive honor one of another, and like the Pharisees of old, walk in long robes, and have the chief places in the synagogues, and the uppermost rooms at feasts, love greeting in the markets, and to be called master; they come with good words and fair speeches, by which they deceive the hearts of the simple; they run when God never sends them. Christ speaking to such said, The Father himself, which has sent me, has borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape; and you have not his Word abiding in you; for whom he has sent, him you believe not. Search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life, and they are they which testify of me, and you will not come to me that you may have life; John 5:37- 40. Read on, and see how these are like those, who had not the love of God in them, but loved the praise of men, and received honor from one another, but did not seek the honor that comes from God only.
But Christ, who is the way, the truth, and the life, is come the second time, namely, in spirit; and tells us all that ever we did, as he did the woman at Jacob's well; who, when she heard him, and believed in him, went into the city and bade them, "Come see a man that told me all that ever I did! Is not this the Christ ?" Many of the Samaritans of the city believed on him, and besought him to tarry with them, and he abode with them two days; and many heard and believed because of his own words, saying, " We have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world." He gave them to see, hear, believe and have everlasting life. Oh that men would look to him, come to him, and learn of him; blessed are they that hear the Word of God, and keep it. "Your Word have I hid in my heart," said David; "the Lord is my light, and my salvation." And he prayed, saying, "Oh send out your light and your truth!" Oh, that all our kings and rulers were of king David's mind, and of the same spirit, who said, "Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers took counsel together against the Lord, and against his anointed. Be wise now, Oh you kings! Be instructed you judges of the earth; serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling; kiss the Son, for fear that he be angry, and you perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him."
Oh! that the kings and rulers, and great men, would hearken and hear the King of kings, and Lord of lords, and remember that it is the meek that shall inherit the earth, and that God gives more grace to the humble; but the proud he beholds afar off; humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God. Seeing you are all enlightened, turn your minds to the light; "For there is a spirit in man, and the inspiration of the Almighty gives them understanding." It is said, "Great men are not always wise, neither do the aged understand judgment." It is hard for rich men to enter into the kingdom of heaven; for they have great possessions on the earth, and stately palaces, and are worshipped and honored like gods, and the women sow pillows to their arm-holes, and kerchiefs upon their heads. The prophet said, "Woe to the women that sow pillows to all arm-holes, and make kerchiefs upon the head of every stature to hunt souls! Will you hunt the souls of my people, and will you save the souls alive that come unto you? And will you pollute me among my people, for handfuls of barley, and for pieces of bread, to slay the souls that should not die, and to save the souls alive that should not live, by your lying to my people that hear your lies ?" These are such as tell people, they must live in sin term of life; and teach them to say, "They stray from the ways of God like lost sheep, and follow the devices of their own hearts, and are miserable offenders." Yet if they put [food] into their mouths, they will speak peace; but if not, they will prepare war against them.
These are the hirelings of the blind people; blind guides that lead the blind, and despise the true prophet, quench the Spirit, and speak evil of the light that shines in the hearts of men, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God and his Truth, that is the sanctifier of men, and the way to God, and the life of every living soul; "For He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. He is the anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, and despised the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. These things God has made known to the weak of this world, whom he has chosen to confound the strong, and foolish things has God chosen to confound the wise; unlearned men, like Peter and John; but they had been with Jesus, and learned of him, and received the things which were freely given them of God: the manifestations, revelations and operations of the Spirit, and the comfort of it, were freely given them from above. They received not faith, wisdom and power from man, or by man, but from Christ, in whom all fullness dwells, and of his fullness, they, with others received, and grace for grace. The law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. By grace they were made what they were, they believed in the light, and walked in it; and did not call it a natural light, as the merchants of Babylon do. Christ said, "This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil."
Christ appears the second time to them that look for him, Heb 9:28; see that you do not refuse him who speaks, [mark, he speaks now in you.] It does not say here, he did speak, he had spoken, or he would speak, but speaks; now hear him, for he speaks from heaven. While it is called today, hear him; for the night comes, and utter darkness will be the portion of all those who reject so great a salvation, such great love, mercy and good will. For Christ speaks very plainly in men, and to men's weak capacities and understanding; so that it need not be said, Who shall ascend.. to bring him to us. But the anointing, which they receive, teaches all things that are needful; so that they need not that any man teach them, but as the same anointing teaches them all things; see 1 John 2:27. This anointing is in them. Оh that men would hear the words of this teacher! How often has he called by his prophets and apostles, and the Scriptures have in them many calls, to come and hear what the Spirit says; and none can be saved but those in all nations who walk in the light of the Lamb. Oh that men would consider, and turn from evil, and cease from man, and gather to Christ, the Word that abides forever, who never failed the prophets or apostles, nor any man that ever believed in him. He is the Rock of Ages, the tried stone, elect and precious, he that believes in him shall never be confounded. This is the foundation of all the righteous generations, which bore them up in all their sufferings; see Heb 11. All power is his in heaven and earth; "And to as many as receive him, he gives power to become the sons of God."
This short testimony I have had in my mind some time, to leave behind me, as an invitation of love, to come to him that is freely given of God to all mankind, and is calling to all to come to him. "Ho, every one that thirsts, come you to the waters, and he that has no money; come you, buy and eat; yes, come, buy wine and milk, without money and without price. Wherefore do you spend money for what is not bread? and your labor for what satisfies not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat you what is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness." And again, "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hears my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." And John 4:14; "Whosoever drinks of the water that I shall give him, shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life."
All you that read these lines, I desire you to take the counsel of God, and come out of Babylon, and partake not of her sins. She is in that wisdom that is from below, that is earthly, sensual and devilish; she is full of blood, and is the abomination of the whole earth, and her plagues will assuredly be poured out upon her, and her great and rich merchants shall partake of her plagues, and her golden cup by which she has made them drunk, shall be seen to be no profit to any soul.
But the wisdom that is from above, is first pure, then peaceable, gentle and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits. This is the true and heavenly wisdom, hear her voice you sons of men! and take her counsel; "Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace."
Truly beloved Friends,
Mahlon Stacy, John Wilford, George Wood, John Blunstone, Francis Davenport, Samuel Jennings, Job Bunting, and all other dear friends as if named, that live near you inwardly or outwardly, my sincere love in the blessed Truth tenderly salutes you all, with your tender loving wives and families, earnestly breathing to the Lord, the fountain of living waters for you, that you may be kept and preserved living, faithful and fruitful in the blessed Truth, in which alone our souls are made capable to rest with God in all times of trouble; praises to him forever.
Dear friends, the weighty sense of how things have been for some time, and still are among you, has bowed me much before the Lord in spirit secretly, having none to ease my mourning soul unto but him alone, who takes notice of all our unutterable sighs and groans. And I hope in his great mercy, love and pity, as he has helped us before, he will still appear for our help, preservation, comfort and consolation, if we carefully keep low and inward, being bowed humbly before him, waiting for his pure appearance in our inward man. Emmanuel, God with us, is known to be wonderful, counselor, the mighty God, and Prince of peace, able to dispossess the man of sin, who opposes, and would exalt himself above all that is called God. But, blessed be the Lord our God! he has enabled us to say in truth, "Greater is he that is in us, than he that is in the world;" so that we witness the apostle's testimony true, "that which is to be known of God is manifest in men, for God makes it known to them." Therefore, dear friends, keep your minds to the appearance of God, who is our Saviour, and there is none else besides him. And rejoice and praise him for his great mercy to us, in making known himself in us; and for those that boast of what they know of God outside themselves, pity them, pray for them, and take heed of being entangled or snared by them. For, according to the tenor of holy Writ, we ought to be thankful for what we know of God in us, if what is to be known of God is manifest in us. Then we ought also to consider the Almighty is free, and dispenses knowledge as it pleases him, and manifests what and how much he pleases to the children of men. And if he please to manifest more to another than to me, I ought to be content, and make a right use of what I have; and not envy my brother for having more, nor exalt him; nor despise my brother that has less than I, but consider that no man has anything but what he receives from above; and that it is God makes men to differ. And he that improves what is freely given, shall have an increase; "For to him that has, it shall be given," said Christ, "and he shall have abundance."
My dear friends, let us look inward, and wait for what the Lord pleases to manifest, and take counsel of him, and abide in him and in his counsel, and strive not at all without him; but see that we do all in the meek and peaceable spirit of the Lamb, for the Lamb shall have the victory, yes, has it and reigns, glory to God forever. So fallen Adam, corrupt self, with all their knowledge, arts, tongues, studies, faith, and trade, must all come down and come to nothing, for the Lord alone is and shall be exalted over all.
Dear friends, as it is said, the Lamb shall have the victory, so it is observed and plainly seen in all places, where his life, light, love, meekness, patience, gentleness, long suffering, purity, wisdom and truth are manifest, and kept in, victory is obtained by the Lamb of God, that takes away the sin of the world, and saves out of it, all that truly receive him, and gives them power to become the sons of God, and to obtain conquest and victory over the evil one. Oh, therefore, friends and brethren, abide in him, and be sure to live in a sensible knowledge that he abides in you, as you may remember he prayed to his Father, that we might be in him and he in us; this is precious, Christ in us the hope of glory, the great mystery of God. Hold this fast, hide him in your hearts, let him be head in you, secretly ruling in your souls, yield obedience unto him, and live in a sensible feeling of his life, light, joy, comfort.
Friends, keep here and you will know enough, you cannot lack anything if you enjoy this; but if you had all knowledge without this, all languages, mysteries, yes, faith to remove mountains, and have not this love, all is worth nothing. This is he whose lips preserve true knowledge, he teaches the way of God; truly, never could any man speak like him. In hearing him, dear friends, he keeps us in communion, unity and fellowship with God and one with another, and in peace that passes the understanding of the wise knowing men of this world. This is the best knowledge, to know God to be our God, Christ Jesus to be our Lord and Master, our head and law-giver, and wonderful counselor. Oh! let us see this to be our knowledge, and wait, watch and pray to grow in it; and flee contention, strife, vain disputes and trival arguments, for the victory is to the Lamb, and all they shall overcome, that abide in him; therefore watch and pray in his name, and suffer with him. His sufferings are very great, yes, wonderful at this day, and many suffer with him, yes, and also shall reign with him forever; such know their overcoming to be through sufferings. Behold the Lamb of God, know his divine nature in your inward man, and be gathered there into and put him on, and be clothed with him, that he may make you comely with his own comeliness; thus shall you know the armor of light, yes the whole armor, though many a sharp arrow and keen dart have been shot at you, yet it still remains armor of proof. Keep it on, dear friends; neither say, nor do, nor think anything contrary to the divine will, but learn in silence and stillness; watch to know what the Lord speaks, for he works the work no other can do, nor can any of the sons of men do what he does. Let him therefore have that pre-eminence that is due to him, and be all in all and then there will be an end of strife, and peace on earth, good will to all men will ensue, and glory to God on high. As we experience this we are redeemed by him out of the earth, and out of the evils thereof, being followers of the Lamb wherever he goes, and whatever rises up against these shall not prevail, for no weapon formed against such shall prosper, neither shall the gates of hell prevail against them. The Lord is known at this day by a remnant, blessed be his name, to be both Lord and Christ, yes, our sure Rock of safety, strength, power, life, righteousness, sanctification and salvation; yes, all that we are to God, we are in him, and him only.
Dear friends, keep close with him in spirit; his tabernacle is here with us, and we find he delights in the sons of men, and to make his abode in the habitable parts of the earth. Therefore, dear friends, come into the temple, and tarry there with him, and look unto him, and if another is said to see more of him than you do, be still and look not at man, but take heed; for Christ said, "Many shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ! or, Lo, he is there! believe them not." But watch and pray, and let nothing separate you from him; and what he shows you plainly of the Father, be thankful for; enjoyment is the best knowledge, and keeps the soul low, humble, meek, patient, gentle, holy, harmless, quiet and peaceable. Whereas the knowledge that is without enjoyment puffs up, exalts, is not gentle, nor holy, nor harmless, but hurtful and dangerous, carrying the mind quite away from God, like the raven that flew from Noah's ark, which did not return again.
What is man out of Christ Jesus the way, the truth and the life, the power of God? Truly nothing, worse than nothing; but in him man comes again to stand up in the image of God. He is the unspeakable gift, stand fast in him, conduct yourselves like men, be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might; remember his noble acts, he made the weak strong who had faith in him, though they were weak, he quenched the violence of fire, stopped lions' mouths, made armies of aliens flee, yes, death and the grave were conquered by him who is the conqueror, and gives victory to all his true disciples and followers, and enables them to overcome, and his promises to such are great and precious. Read them with the Spirit, as follows; "To him that overcomes," he said, "will I give to eat of the tree of Life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God; he shall not be hurt of the second death; to him will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in that stone a new name written, which no man knows, save him that receives it; he shall have power over the nations, and he shall have the Morning Star, he shall be clothed in white raiment, and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels; him will I make a pillar in the temple 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, and I will write upon him my new name. I will grant him to sit with me in my throne, he shall inherit all things, and I will be his God, und he shall be my son," said the Lord.
They that overcame, overcame by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; they loved not their lives unto death, they came through great tribulations, they washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb, they kept before the throne of God, and served him night and day in his temple, and he that sits on the throne dwells among them, they shall hunger nor thirst no more, the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and lead them to living waters, they have their Father's name written in their foreheads, they sing a new song before the throne, they are redeemed from the earth, and are not defiled with sin, but follow the Lamb wherever he goes, they are redeemed from among men, being the first fruits unto God; in their mouth is found no guile, for they are without fault before the throne of God. They have patience, keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, and he overcame; for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings, and they that are with him are called, chosen and faithful. Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of Life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
My dear friends, what sweet encouragement is here. Let us make it our business to know these things experientially, according to our measures, and keep in the love of God, and in it live and love one another; this will cause us earnestly to desire and travail for the good and welfare one of another, and of all mankind. We cannot be truly religious outside of this love; in this it is that we feel one another, as true members of the body, of which Christ is head; herein we love as brothers, and are ready to wash one another's feet. But if a man say, he loves God, and hates his brother, he is a liar. This commandment have we from him, that he that loves God, loves his brother also. "A new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another," said Christ our Lord; " by this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." This is a certain mark of a true disciple. But false apostles cannot love true ones.
Friends, keep your habitation that God has gathered you into, namely: the spirit of meekness, love, gentleness, patience, purity, truth; suffer quietly in this, and with it, for it will overcome all, and then you, as you abide in it, will overcome by it. I am glad you have not appeared in print, and very sorry G. K. and G. H., with others have, by which occasion has been greatly given to the enemies of the blessed Truth, to speak evil of it. I desire you do not meddle in that matter, except the Lord constrain you to it by his holy Spirit, but leave your cause to God, he will plead it. And if in any word, or otherwise, you have done wrong, acknowledge your fault, and seek to preserve the honor of Him, his truth and name, and seek none to yourselves, nor strive together, for you are brethren, if you are as you profess. But be gentle, long-suffering, and wait upon God, and whatever he bids you do, do it and keep in a sense of the love of God, and this will make you fruitful before him and men, and keep in the living faith, which is not without good works, but it works by love to the praise of the Author and Finisher of it; and your Teacher will be with you, and fill you with his merciful goodness, wisdom and strength. If God be with us, who can be against us? Surely none. Therefore, look not out, dear friends, at the tree of knowledge, though it seems pleasant to the eye that is not single, but covets to be something more than God makes it, and seeks its own exaltation and honor. But let it be your care to know a being truly kept in covenant with the Lord.
Dear friends, let those alone who think they fly into the third heavens, and run into high things, great sights, and deep mysteries; yet love them, and seek peace as much as in you lies. And if any are offended at you, because you see not what they pretend to, bear it patiently, for they ought not so to be; the apostle Paul did not so, but became all things to all, seeking to gain all to Christ Jesus; even so do all who abide in the same spirit to this day. They gather to him, namely Christ, the gift of God to all mankind, and in all, according to their measure; the Lord fill many with it, and double our portions of it, if it be his blessed will. This is our treasure indeed, and by it we are led and guided into all truth, and enabled to believe all things that are written in the holy Scriptures of truth, concerning our Lord Jesus Christ, and do know him to be the author of our faith, and not man. No man can give any faith that is true and living; there is no man has any power over it; yet men may be free to give an answer of their faith, if the Lord requires it; but take heed of men that run into needless questions, and doubtful disputations, and vain arguments, in their own will and wisdom. Remember our Lord Christ was sometimes silent to those; therefore, if any friend of God is drawn forth to give a relation of what the Lord of his own free grace has brought them to believe; let him do it in obedience to the Lord, and it is well. But if any friend or friends have not yet come so far as to believe in all respects what he does, let him not be offended with them, because they are weak, but exhort them as Paul did some of old, that unto what they have attained, walk by the same rule, mind the same thing, and wait upon God to be carried on from faith to faith, and from grace to grace, in and by the spirit of the Lord, not by man; "For he cannot add one cubit to his stature," by all he can do; neither is it Christian for any to be offended at his brethren, if they believe not in all respects just as he does; for children must be admitted to have milk, and not be forced upon strong meat until they are able to digest it. And tender fathers are careful to administer such necessary food to their children as is nourishing, and tends to their growth and strengthening, and it is their joy to see them in a thriving condition, and come up to be young men, to have the word of God abiding in them, and dwelling plentifully and richly in them. Oh! that we may all truly travail for this, but to be offended with them, because they do not see, do not know, or believe not all a father does, and disown them for this; Oh, this is unnatural, unkind, inhuman, therefore, surely it is not Christian.
Therefore, my dear friends, keep low and dwell in the meek spirit of the Lamb, that has suffered deeply for us, and passed by many a weakness, and helped us to eye salve, and given us to see the things that make for our peace, opening parables to us. Let us keep close with him, and then by him we shall be fitted and furnished to every good word and work, to his glory, praise and renown forever, amen.
How my love flows secretly to you, from the exercise that my soul has had for you; you are dear and near to me. I should be glad to see you, and be with you a little season, in the will of God; but I think I must never see your faces more, that is to say in the body. But I have hope in the Lord, to meet you in our Father's kingdom of glory, and abide with you forever. This helps to comfort me many a time, when I think of you, though I could wish, if it so pleased the Lord, to see you either here or there. Dear friends, pray for me, and for all the flock of God, everywhere, for we know not what we have yet to meet with. We must be tried, and proved many ways, and those that are approved shall be made manifest, and those that are otherwise will be known. Oh! that we may be approved ones forever.
To the Lord I dearly commit you all, knowing he is able to keep you from falling; and I dearly salute you all, both those whom I know by face, and those I do not, who are true Friends, and abide in that in which they cannot be otherwise. I pray God to be with you all, and all his, everywhere, and keep us all by his own power, fitted and prepared for himself, and in everything enable us to be fruitful, every way to his praise, glory, honor and renown, and our souls' everlasting joy, comfort and consolation; even so, let it be, О Lord! for you only are able to say, Amen to it in truth. So prays your dear friend and brother in the service and sufferings of the blessed Truth, that lives and abides forever.
Written at Monyash, in the Seventh month, 1693.
Beloved friend, in true love I write these lines. It is cause of grief to me, that you being a magistrate, and knowing how men have been harmed in these days by swearing, and it has grieved you that you could not ease your quiet and peaceable neighbors, yet you plead for swearing, though it is so plainly and fully forbidden, both by our Lord Christ and the apostle James, and yes and no set up instead of an oath, saying, "What is more comes of evil."
The law said, "You shall not swear falsely;" so the law forbids false swearing, but Christ Jesus forbids all swearing; and we are commanded to hear him. Is not Christ greater than Moses, and above angels and men? Yes; then surely his commands we ought to obey. Is not all power his, in heaven and in earth? Then ought not the powers of the earth to obey him? Ought not he to rule whose right it is? Is there any command in all the holy Scriptures for swearing, since Christ said, "Swear not at all?" It is plain, Christ was before the law, or sin and transgression were; because of which the law was added, until Christ the Seed came. But he is come, and as many as receive him, receive power to become the sons of God. Must not the children of God be believed without swearing? In the beginning it was not so. Sons of God are true men, their yes is yes; they speak truth to their neighbor; but the sons of Belial are false men, whose oaths cannot be believed.
Christ said, swear not; but you magistrates say, swear. But whether we ought to obey, you judge. Again, Christ said, "I am the light of the world." If so, then this light is divine, and ought to be believed and walked in.
Again, Christ said, "Be you therefore perfect, as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." Does Christ command impossibilities? Read Eph 4:3-14, where the apostle speaks for what service some men were gifted, that is: some apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, until we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man. "There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit;" these have but one Lord, and do not serve two masters; these are clean, for no unclean thing is in Christ. They are told to abide in him; and he said, "Every branch in me that brings forth good fruit, my Father purges, that it may bring forth more fruit."So it is plain, men may be really, perfectly, sincerely, children or branches, yet may grow from strength to strength, faith to faith, in and by the spirit of the Lord, yet be perfect children, and grow to be young men, and overcome the wicked one, and still grow to be fathers, and still press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded. This is the perfection we mean; we do not mean such a perfection as that nothing can be added unto it.
It would be in vain for us to press after and labor to attain unto a heavenly place in Christ Jesus, if it is not attainable; and if it is a heavenly place, it is perfectly so, for heaven admits of no mixture. If we are children of God, we are perfectly so, for we cannot be both children of God and of the devil too, neither can a good tree bring forth bad fruit, nor a corrupt tree good fruit. Yet good trees grow as they are ministered unto from the root, and the root bears them, and not they the root. So children are real, perfect children, partakers of the same nature with young men and elders, but the root, Christ, is all in all.
I ascribe nothing to man in all this, for God is the great Husbandman, who works in us, and for us; for he sows his seed in all grounds, and gives of his talents to all. No man has anything that is good, but what he receives from above, for every good and perfect gift comes from there, and the glory of all belongs to him who is God over all, blessed forever more, amen.
This is written in true love, with desire to be better understood; for our principles are Christian, sound, and agree with holy Writ, but the world hates us, wrongs us, and misrepresents us and our principles too. I wish we and our principles were better known to all men, for we are hated without just cause. I pray God forgive them that do it, and am your true friend in sincerity.
Christ is all, and in all; or a true testimony concerning Jesus Christ, the unsearchable gift of God, who so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believed in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Christ came into the world in the form of a servant, and went about doing good, and healing all manner of diseases; yet the world knew him not, though the world was made by him. He preached the gospel, after he had been baptized by John in Jordan, and the Holy Ghost came down from heaven like a dove upon him, and the Lord, by a voice from heaven, said, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, hear you him." He was led into the wilderness and tempted of Satan, but he overcame him, so that he departed from him, and angels came and ministered unto him. Having thus bruised the serpent's head, he went on conquering and to conquer, and preached the gospel of the kingdom of God, saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent you and believe the gospel." He went about in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healed all manner of sicknesses and diseases among the people; they brought unto him sick people, that were taken with divers diseases, and those that were possessed with devils, and those that were lunatic, and he healed them.
He preached wonderful, good and holy doctrine, as appears by his sermon in the mount, where his counsel was sweet, precious and profitable for all to put in practice. He taught them how to live, how to pray and to please God in all things; so that the people were astonished at his doctrine. He showed infinite love both to body and soul; the blind he made to see, the deaf to hear, the dumb to speak, the lame to walk; he cleansed the lepers, he healed the palsy, he cast out devils, he raised the dead, and had mercy on the very worst of men, turning tax collectors and harlots from their evil ways. He turned water into wine, and fed several thousands with a few loaves and fishes; he spoke wonderful parables, his doctrine was more excellent than man by all his own wisdom can understand. He showed great love and pity to all sorts of people, and great dislike of all evil, hypocrisy and sin; yet encouraged such as repented and turned from it, and came to him to be healed, and obeyed him; not one of these was rejected by him.
But what shall I say? Who can declare the good he did! It is impossible to declare, his goodness surpasses the understanding of all mankind; he fulfilled the law of Moses to a jot or tittle, and was so holy, harmless, righteous, just, and good, that no man could accuse him of sin. He was and is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believes. He suffered for us, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God; he laid down his life a ransom for all, and tasted death for every man. He offered up himself a Lamb without spot to God. He poured out his soul unto death, and became an offering for sin, and was a propitiatory sacrifice, our passover, sacrificed for us, offered up himself once for all, and by one offering has perfected forever them that are sanctified. Those who receive him in the love of God, he works in them and for them, makes them new creatures, and quickens them who were dead in trespasses and sins. He is the resurrection and the life; "He that believes in me," he said, " though he were dead, yet shall he live; and he that lives and believes in me, shall never die."
He is our peace-maker, the Prince of peace, our reconciler to God, the word of reconciliation; he is the true light that enlightens every man that comes into the world; he that believeth in him shall not abide in darkness, but shall have the light of life—he is our wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption, our life, strength and way to God, our all in all.
Oh! the benefits, advantages, favors, blessings and mercies accruing by the coming of Christ into the world, by his living and dying in it and for it, perfecting the work of our salvation, without any merit of mankind; for all had sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. There were none in that state righteous, no, not one; there were none that did good, they were altogether become unprofitable, the way of peace they did not know, there was no fear of God before their eyes; yet when we were without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. God commends his love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Here is the love, not that we loved him, but God so loved us, that he gave his only begotten Son, that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. The love of Christ constrains us, because we thus judge, that if one died for all men, then were all dead, and that he died for all, that they who live, should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him that died for them, and rose again. So all things are of God, and nothing of man in this great work of salvation, but all of God, "Who has reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and has given to us the ministry of reconciliation; to wit, that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them, and has committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us, we pray you in Christ's stead, be you reconciled to God; for he has made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."
It appears very fully by the holy Scriptures, that after Christ had abundantly benefited the world while he lived in it, he also by his death has done much good to all mankind beyond utterance, yes, beyond the understanding of man. What, to all mankind? Yes, to enemies, to sinners, to ungodly men, as is clear from Rom 5:6; For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God, by the death of his Son; much more being reconciled we shall be saved by his life. So now we joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have received the atonement. Here is good will to men, yes to enemies.
Here is great advantage by the coming, suffering and death of Jesus Christ to all men. First: The sacrifice is offered, and acceptably too, a propitiatory sacrifice once for all. Secondly:The atonement is made, and a peace offering, and that freely by Jesus Christ. Thirdly: The law and prophets, and John's baptism are fulfilled; so that Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to all them that believe. So that where Christ reigns, the kingdom is come, the divine will done in earth, and grace reigns through righteousness unto life eternal. Fourthly: The middle wall of partition is broken down between Jew and Gentile, and those who sometime were afar off, are made near by the blood of Christ, "For He is our peace, who has made both one; having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances, for to make in himself, of twain, one new man, so making peace: and that he might reconcile both unto God in one body, by his cross," that is, both Jew and Greek, having slain the enmity by this. And came and preached peace, so that "in Christ Jesus neither circumcision avails anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God." In him we have redemption, through his blood, even the remission of sins. Being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ. Whom God has set forth to be a propitiation, through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; to declare, I say, at this time his righteousness; that he might be just, and the justifier of him who believes in Jesus. Who was delivered for our offences, and raised again for our justification.
Fifthly: When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men; yes, to the rebellious also, according to the measure of the gift of Christ, and they that keep the unity of the Spirit, in the bond of peace, are one body, and one spirit. They have one Lord, one faith, and one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, through all, and in you all; to him be glory. "There are diversity of gifts," said the apostle, " but the same spirit. There are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. There are diversities of operations, but it is the same God, which works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit, is given to every man to profit withal." The same apostle tells us what these gifts were given for, that is: "For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ; until we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, the Head, from whom the whole body, fitly joined together, and compacted by what every joint supplies, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, makes increase of the body, unto the edifying of itself in love."
From all which, it is clear that the Holy Ghost or Spirit, is poured forth or given to all, to every man, to all flesh, according to Joel. Christ is given to all, the Sun of righteousness is risen, and shines upon all, enlightens "every man that comes into the world. For in him is life, and the life is the light of men;" who is the same to-day, yesterday and forever. “Yes, he shines in darkness, though the darkness comprehends it not. The grace of God that brings salvation, appears to all men; and they who receive this grace, and learn of it, "It teaches them to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and to live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world; as we receive the blessed fulfillment of our hope, even the glorious appearing of the great 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." He is God's salvation to the ends of the earth; which he has prepared before the face of all people, as Simeon said, a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of his people Israel.
"God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believed in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life." Here salvation is offered to all, whether Jew or Gentile. "God is no respecter of persons; but in every nation, he that fears him, and works righteousness, is accepted with him." This is good news, glad tidings to all people. Shall it be told abroad? Yes, Christ said, "Go you into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." Here Christ the Lamb of God, who tasted death for every man, shows his universal love, and came that they might have life, and preached himself, the light of the world. God would have all men to be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth. There is good will in him to all men, and mercy for all men with him; he is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. For all are his, both by creation and purchase, and he has laid help upon one that is mighty, who is able to save them to the utmost that come unto God by him; and those that come, he will in no wise cast off. So that it is man's fault if he will not come to Christ, who is come to give life.
The Lord calls, saying, "incline your ear, and come unto me; hear, and your soul shall live." And in the "great day of the feast, Jesus stood up and cried, saying, “If any man thirsts, let him come unto me and drink. He that believeth on me, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water”; but this he spoke the Spirit, which they that believed on him should receive. Here is great encouragement, in much love and mercy, good will and fatherly kindness. None are excluded here; seeing they that have no money are invited. This is surely glad tidings to the poor, to whom the gospel is preached; and without respect of persons, to all people. And whosoever will, may come, for the gift is given to all, not only offered, but freely given. For "the Spirit and the bride say, come, and let him that hears, say, come; and let him that is thirsty come; and whoever will, let him take the water of life freely." The water of life is the flowing of the Spirit of God; for God is the Fountain, and has poured out his Spirit upon all flesh, and given his Son to the world, who invites all to come to him and drink. None need fear any want in this Fountain; for it is a Fountain that can never be drawn dry. It is now unsealed, and the thirsty are invited to come and drink freely, and his beloved to drink abundantly. "Eat, О friends, drink, yes, drink abundantly, О beloved." And Christ invites such as are weary and heavy laden, to come unto him, and take his yoke upon them, for it is easy, and his burden, for it is light, and said, "You shall find rest unto your souls."
It is clear from holy writ, that man's destruction is of himself. "But you will not come unto me," said Christ, "that you may have life." He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: Men hid their faces from him, and saw no beauty or comeliness in him. They who follow him must deny themselves, take up the daily cross, and suffer with him, if they ever reign with him; but he that denies him before men, him will he also deny before his Father which is in heaven.
Oh! that all who read the holy Scriptures, which testify of Christ, would come to him, believe in him, hear and learn of him, and obey him, who is Lord and King over all, and Judge of quick and dead, that they might have life. When Christ comes and works by his spirit in men, and they feel it, then, and not until then, they know the mystery hidden from ages, but now made manifest, which is Christ in us, the hope of glory; the riches of the Gentiles, the Star of Jacob, the bright and Morning Star. He is the Sun of righteousness, the tree of Life, the true Vine that enables every branch to bring forth fruit, as it abides in him. And they who partake of his life, power and spirit, he is in them, and they in him; and they do not walk as other Gentiles in the vanity of their minds.
Come, friends, have you heard him, and been taught by him, or are you past feeling? If you do not feel, taste and handle these things, and hear Christ in you, as he said, "My sheep hear my voice, and they follow me," you do not know the Truth, nor are you sanctified, or made free by it, and then it matters not what you profess [with your lips]. For he that is in Christ is a new creature, and in covenant with God, abides in Christ, and he in him. Oh! therefore, lay hold of, and hold fast eternal life, and if Christ be in you, you will find ability to come to God by him; for he is the way, the truth and the life: no man comes unto the Father but by him. He is the one thing needful; the pearl of price: if ever you find him, it must be in you, giving life to your soul, love in your heart, wisdom beyond man's, and power over all your enemies, yes, over death, hell and the grave, the world, the flesh and the devil; all power in heaven and earth is in him, none else can give you any.
Therefore be persuaded to look unto him, and wait for his appearing in you, or else your faith is dead, and you feel no life in anything.
"Come taste and see," said David, "that the Lord is good:" find him and you find all. How glad were those that found Christ. Andrew to Simon said, "We have found the Messiah;" and Philip said to Nathaniel, "We have found him, of whom Moses and the prophets did write." Nathaniel said unto him, "Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?" "Philip said unto him, Come and see:" so say I unto you, who are apt to ask if any good thing can be found in me? Turn in and see; there [in you] is what reproves you for evil; is not that good?
Oh! then seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his ways, and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and turn unto the Lord, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
Christ prayed for his, to his Father, saying, "Sanctify them through your truth, your word is truth." Truth in the inward parts changes the heart, and enlivens the soul; for it is a quickening Spirit. Christ is the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes unto the Father but by him. This is he that brings to God: this is the bridegroom of the soul, the beloved of the church, and the church is his: this is the glory of the living; the living glory in the Lord; all things else are to them as dross and dung in comparison of Christ.
The apostle speaking to the church, said, "All is yours, and you are Christ's, and Christ is God's :" so the Lord is the portion of his people, and the Lord's portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance, to whom he said, "Fear not, for I am with you; when you passes through the waters I will be with you, and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you."
Oh! that men would trust in God, obey and follow him as dear children, keeping their minds stayed upon the Lord, that they may be kept in perfect peace, and walking in him, they walk in the light; for "God is light, and in him is no darkness at all; and they that walk in the light, have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses them from all sin," and sets them free; "and if the Son make you free, you shall be free indeed." It is clear from what has been said, that Christ is all, in all his people, namely: their wisdom, strength, power, righteousness, light, life, peace, sanctification, justification, consolation, and salvation; with him we have all things, without him we can do nothing. In him all fullness dwells. Though he was rich, yet for our sakes he became poor, that we through his poverty might be rich. And He who is heir of all things, 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. Blessed are they who love his appearance. They are ready to say, "Come Lord Jesus, Come quickly. Arise, О Lord, and let your enemies be scattered;" make haste and come away. "Your kingdom come, your will be done." To the Lord I leave all, and in true love am a friend to all men, and servant for the Truth's sake.
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