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Francis Howgill, (1618-1669), received a university education in preparation for the Episcopalian ministry. He became a minister in the Episcopal church; but afterwards left it, being dissatisfied with the superstition which he saw remaining in it, and joined himself to some Independents, among whom be became a teacher. Still lacking that spiritual comfort after which his soul thirsted, he went among the Anabaptists, thinking that they walked more in accordance with the Gospel of Christ. Still he remained destitute of that peace of mind which he so earnestly longed for; and at length, in about the thirty-fourth year of his age, he joined the persecuted society called Quakers; among whom he became a widely respected member and evangelist. In prison, he died as a noble martyr of truth, after having been an eminent minister for sixteen years, leaving an account of his writings and sufferings. The Memoir on this site details his life and experiences. Written from prison, anticipating his death, is a precious letter to his young daughter, where he details the most outstanding advice for life and conduct that I have ever read, including the following principal action of Christian success:
The below is some of the most instructive, definitive writings of doctrine
AN ABRIDGEMENT OF AN ESSAY
To THE READER:
In times past, in the night of ignorance, since the days of the apostles, many have groped in the dark as blind; and out of thick darkness have spoken darkly of the things of God, and of his kingdom; and have written about the things of God, and his kingdom, and have fed the dark minds of many who are unconverted to God. I see how many people are confused in their minds, and err in judgment, and have lost the key of knowledge, which should give an entrance into the mysteries of God's kingdom, and open their hearts. Therefore in compassion to those who thirst after the Lord, and for the sake of those who have no place to rest in, these things I have written as they were revealed to me, and in me, by his pure Spirit; and if you come out of the world that lies in wickedness, and wait in the manifestation of the Spirit, you will see them to be Truth.
I have not written to please men of corrupt minds, who glory in words and outward appearances, and natural parts and sounds, and have erred from the Life; but I address this to the simple hearted, and for the strengthening of the weak. What you see in the following discourse which you cannot accept, just let it stay as a question in your mind, and judge nothing before the time in the wisdom that is earthly. But wait to judge by that of God in you, in which I desire to be approved, and by nothing else.
I am your friend in Truth, and wish good to all men.
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Some of the Mysteries of God’s Kingdom Declared.
The Lord God of the whole earth, who lives forever, even the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; whose throne is established in righteousness, who rides on the heavens and shines forth in his eternal excellence from the firmament of his power, is manifesting himself as in the days of old, and is revealing his righteousness as in the years past; and is pouring out his Spirit on his sons and daughters, according to his promise; and of the blessing of the everlasting hills. The Lord, who appeared at Sinai in the burning bush unto Moses his servant; who rose up from Mount Seir; and shined forth in his brightness from Mount Paran; and comes in ten thousands of his saints; even he from whose right hand went a fiery law, so that the people could not behold his glory, has now appeared in this day the day of his power, and is appearing; whose brightness shall make dim all the world's glory, and stain its wisdom, and shut it up in utter darkness. The shadow of death shall flee away; and all the haughty and lofty princes of this world shall be horribly afraid; the beasts shall go into their dens when the day appears; and the lambs of the everlasting fold shall come forth, and be fed in the fat valleys, where the springs of life compass about all the banks; and they shall rejoice in their Shepherd, and say: "The Lord is my Shepherd;" which many at this time, who have seen his wonders as in the days of old, and his noble acts which the fathers have told of, who are fallen asleep and are at rest in the Lord, do admire at, and say: " What has God wrought?" God is now bringing many to see what those witnessed to be true; and to have the same fulfilled in themselves. Honor and praise to Him forever, who is the stay and strength of all His people forever. The day of the Lord has dawned, and the light has appeared that manifests all things which are reprovable; and the Day-star has risen in the hearts of many. This day when it appears, discovers all things, and makes all things manifest to those to whom it appears; as is declared by the Spirit of Truth in the Scriptures of Truth; "and every man's work shall be tried of what sort it is.” And this day has appeared to many who have waited for it; praises to the Lord! And now they see everything in its ground and rise; and every tree and fruit is seen according to its kind, whether good or bad; and every man's work is obvious to every one who is in the day, and upon whom the morning of righteousness has appeared, and the Sun of Righteousness has shined, whereby that which is reprovable and condemnable in everyone is seen, and that also which is justifiable and unreprovable.
What the Day of the Lord is,
God is a spirit, his day is spiritual, and is seen with a spiritual eye. It is pure light, pure brightness; the pure shining forth of the Lord in his glorious excellence; holiness shedding itself abroad in its glory — purity spreading itself in its immeasurable excellence. It can only be seen as it is in itself by the children of light, that are born of it. The natural day receives its brightness from the sun; the spiritual day receives its brightness from the Son of Righteousness, by whom it is brought forth, who causes it to spring from on high, who is the Fountain of life, without whom nothing was, or is made. As the natural day receives its clearness from the natural sun, and is discerned by the natural eye of the natural man; and all things natural are seen and discovered by and in the natural day, and are obvious to him that has his sight; even so from the Sun of Righteousness! the Lord of glory, light, and purity, the day of God receives its brightness; and it is discerned by the spiritual eye of the spiritual man, who is in the image of the Father, brought forth in life from God the Father of life, by Christ Jesus the Life of men, the Light of the world. This is the birth which is born from above, which is of the nature of the Father, and of the Son, and of the day. Only he, who is of this birth, comes to behold this day, and discerns all things of the Father's kingdom by it, and likewise the hidden things of dishonesty, and the works of darkness, which are brought forth by the prince of darkness, who is shut up in eternal and utter darkness; which is his residence, and shall be the residence forever, and of all the workers of iniquity that bear his image.
Yet some may say that this day has not appeared to any in this age. But if a man who is naturally blind should say that there is no light in the day nor in the sun, because he sees none; is there then no light in the day, nor in the sun? And what if all things are alike unto him, day and night, so that he can not distinguish between the two; does this then make void the claim of those with a natural eye who can see both the sun and day? And if those who are spiritually blind, and are children of the night, say they see nothing of the day of the Lord, or of the discovery of the things of God, or of his glorious appearance, which many do witness, does this render their sight void, who have seen into the things of God’s kingdom? The unbelief of some does not make the faith of those who do believe void - may God so forbid.
Judas said to him, (not Iscariot),
What the Day of the Lord is,
Though the day of the Lord is pure light and brightness, and mixes not with night, which is of a contrary nature; yet it is a day of blackness and gloominess, and a notable terrible day unto the wicked, who hate its appearance, and hate the light, who are children of falsehood, and of deceit; whose deeds are evil. It shows or manifests them and their deeds; as it is written in Job 24:17: “the morning is unto them as the shadow of death.” The appearance of the Lord frightens them; and they would run from it as a thief that digs through a wall and breaks open a house in the night while deep sleep is upon men; such an evil man is afraid when the day appears that discovers his actions. The day of the Lord will steal upon those who live without restraint upon earth; whose hearts are set to seek after wickedness, as for hidden treasure; and it will come upon them as a thief. They, being children of the night, and bringing forth fruits of darkness, will have their portion in utter darkness. Thus shall the ungodly perish, and have their portion with hypocrites. Think of this all you railers, and revilers of the Light and the appearance of God, and repent. For as with the wild ass that snuffs up the wind at her pleasure, and those who seek her will not weary themselves with her, yet the time comes when she will be found and taken; the same will be with all the ungodly, though they may run as a wild ass, and traverse their way as a swift dromedary, yet the day will come, when they will be overtaken in the midst of their security; and they shall not escape.
And though the children, teachers, and believers of this world, who profess the Scriptures, have prayed for the day of the Lord, yet when it comes, it will be as a burning and devouring fire, and they will fall as stubble before it; for whatever is reprovable is manifested by the day in which God appears; and it shall appear, even to the wicked and to the ungodly. So all you hirelings who preach for hire, and you people who love to have it so, you shall not be hidden; and all opposers of the Truth shall be found out, and shall be convicted of their hard speeches, and ungodly deeds. What makes your deeds manifest is the day, and it will convince you; for even the wicked shall see His appearance, although to condemnation, shame, and, contempt.
2000 years ago, to the Jewish High Priest and the Pharisees at his trial, Jesus said..
"They shall look on Him whom they have pierced." For even in the wicked God has a witness which is pure, which checks often, though they regard it not, because the god of this world has blinded their eyes; but when Christ, the Light shall appear, He will make that to see in the wicked, which the god of this world has blinded; and they shall behold Him in dread; and His pure appearance shall make them horribly afraid. Although they would not see, they will be made to see; and they will be made to hear what they would not hear, when God sounds his trumpet, to give warning to all, that the dead, both small and great may arise, “some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.”
What the Day of the Lord is to the Righteous,
The appearance of God, who is eternal life, in his day, in his immeasurable Light, is a great joy, and source of rejoicing to the righteous. For he is to his people an everlasting light, and in his light they come to see light.
He reveals the secret mysteries of his kingdom in those who see his day appear in their hearts, which makes all things manifest, even the secrets of the Lord, and his hidden treasure, and his durable riches, which never canker or rust, but are fresh, and keep their pure image and impression. By this Light all the righteous, who have waited on God’s appearance, come to see Him. As it is written, “Lo! This is our God, we have waited for Him, and He will save us. This is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice and be glad in his salvation.” Does he indeed come that you have waited for? Yes, come, “and his reward is with Him;” and those who see Him find contentment in Him, and in his reward. And what is his reward? Joy, gladness, peace of conscience, assurance of God’s love sealed in the heart by the pure Spirit of the Lord, the streams of Life flowing forth continually from the great deep, which refresh and keep cool in the greatest extremity and heat of temptation; and this is enjoyed by those who have waited and do wait for it; even in the body they bear witness of Him and his coming. What was the witness of his disciples? "The Son of God has come and has given us an understanding." Of what? Of God, of his day, of his appearance, of his power, of his wisdom, of his kingdom, of hope, of faith, of assurance, of peace, of joy, of comfort and consolation. What? In this life? Yes, a cloud of witnesses I might bring in former ages, and also in this age, blessed be the Lord; but my witness that gives me assurance, is nearer me than all their witnesses, although they are all true. Abraham, the father of the faithful, and of the righteous, who believed in God and was accepted, saw Christ’s day and was glad; that is, by faith; yes, he and all who ever saw Christ’s day, or the Father, saw Him by faith; by faith they saw Him who is invisible: "Behold! God is my salvation." Isaiah 12:2. What! Do you enjoy it already? Yes, He has become my salvation; and Simeon, who waited for the consolation of Israel, said: "Now let your servant depart in peace, for my eyes have seen your salvation." Luke 2:30. And this he said, who knew comfort and consolation: "As the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation abounds by Christ." They were made partakers of his Divine nature, and sat together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Those who are in Him, and enjoy Him, who is the power of God, and the wisdom of God, know rest; and peace, and salvation, both from guilt and acts of sin. The apostle, writing to the Hebrews, said that "When the Son of God had purged away our sins," (speaking of the atonement), "He sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high." Paul looked beyond sin, even to Him who had purged away sin; and this being purged from sin comes to be made manifest unto and in those who believe, by the Spirit of Jesus, who is Christ the Lamb, the arm that brings salvation, who is the author of eternal salvation onto all those who believe. He begins it and perfects it in his day, for He works in the day, as He himself said: "My Father works here in this, and I work." He destroys the work of the devil; this is his work in man, which those who have come to his day feel and see, even the handiwork of God in themselves; and his own works praise Him, for they only can. Those, who have not come to the day, do not know God’s work in themselves; and those, who have not yet heeded that in themselves, which manifests all things reprovable, and which reproves, have not yet come to know the appearance of the glimmering of light or of the day in themselves, which the saints witness in themselves, even all of those who are sanctified.
Where the Day of the Lord Appears,
Those who gaze abroad [looking for a visible, outward appearance] cannot see the Lord’s appearance, or his day. He that does not know where it consists, does not know how to look for it, any more than did the Jews, who were scripture experts and learned men, knew where the Kingdom of God consisted. And the literal believers, whose faith is founded on the letter [Bible/Scriptures], and on what is visible, know no more where the Kingdom of God is to be found. This day of the Lord, which is eternal brightness, appears in the heart; and the dawning and breaking forth of it is to be waited for there; and as it is witnessed, it manifests evil, and brings it to light, and declares against what is contrary to its own nature. Christ, the Covenant of light, the Gift of God, who is sent and anointed of God, to preach and to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God, proclaims it in the heart; for He comes not to bring peace, but a sword, and his sword is the sword of the Spirit. It is what divides, and discerns the thoughts and intents of the heart, and discovers its desperate wickedness. In earthly hearts where He finds no faith, He kindles a fire and executes his vengeance; and his day to those without faith is a day of great perplexity. Their spirits come to be wounded; their hearts become faint, and sorrow fills them, and trouble is known; and in this state He finds all who are unconverted; without faith; without hope; and therefore He takes away peace. Many have talked of the day of the Lord; but when it appears, they will not be able to stand it; but will rather run to anything, [the refuge of continued darkness] than see the Lord of life appear to execute vengeance upon his enemies.
They who have not yet seen this day of the Lords vengeance in themselves, have never seen the day of salvation. The prophet cried out: "Who may abide the day of His coming, and who shall stand when He appears?" And many have been eye-witnesses of the dreadful day-of the Lord, which has appeared in them, wherein all peace has been hidden from their eyes; and all who ever came to see that day of joy and gladness, first knew the terror and the terrible day of the Lord in themselves. Therefore said the apostle: "We, knowing the terror of the Lord, persuade men." Now this day of the Lord comes not with observation, "Lo here, or there;" thus the Pharisees looked that the kingdom of heaven should come, when Christ told them it "as within them." I say, if ever any do behold the bright shining forth of Eternal Life, they must wait in what is of God, through which He will manifest his day and power in them; and as they keep their attention to what manifests evil unto them, and shows them good, they will see how it appears; even as the lightning shines from the east unto the west, so is the coming of the day of the Lord; and the eye which is spiritual sees it. The power and the glory of the Lord, are seen in the day which is pure and spiritual in the heart; and the eye which is pure discovers when it comes, where it comes, and how it comes; while it is hidden from the vultures eye, and is hidden from the eyes which cannot cease from sin.
Now the day of the Lord comes not where the carnal mind might imagine, nor when man wills; neither according to the carnal desire of the carnal heart; neither according to the evil eye that looks out, can it be seen.
And as the day of the Lord is a mystery, the Spirit of the Lord is the only discoverer of it; for none can know the things of God, but by the Spirit of God. The day of the Lord; even his bright shining forth in the heart of man, is one of the glorious things of God, which only the Spirit of God gives the knowledge of to man, and in man. The further men draw from the Light, the darker their hearts become; and their understandings being closed up, they cannot behold the Lord, neither his glory, which is revealed only by God'sHoly Spirit; which Spirit is near man, though he sees it not.
For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power;
What is the Spirit of the God,
Which Discovers the Things of God,
The Spirit of the Lord is one with the Father, and the Son; (the Father, Word, and Spirit are one;) it is life, purity, holiness, power, and strength; and neither mixes with, nor joins to anything, but what is of its own nature. It is an everlasting, living, active power, which changes not, but keeps its holiness forever, and is unsearchable, unfathomable, and undeclarable, except as it makes itself out to those who believe, and opens itself, and sheds itself abroad in those who wait upon it. It is revealed in its own purity, manifest in its own power, received in its own light, and felt in its own virtue. The Living Father himself is manifested by it, and appears in his power, majesty, and excellence, through it to man, to the righteous and unrighteous. It is what searches the heart of man, and sees through all things and makes manifest all things, even the hidden things of God, and also the secret works of darkness, and reproves for all iniquity, and convinces every man; and as the creature joins to it, it rises and shines forth more clearly, making itself known in its power and operation checking, reproving, judging, and condemning actions which are past, and bringing them to remembrance. Now as there is a waiting upon the pure appearance of it, the mind, being still and quiet, the creature comes to feel and sensibly to know his own condition; that he is alive to other things, and not to God, nor the things of his kingdom; and that he is in the fall and transgression; and as this operation of the Spirit is loved and obeyed, it draws towards itself, and converts the heart to the Lord out of unholiness, from under the dark power; and it brings that under, and so arises in its own strength. It is the discoverer of the mind of the Lord to the sons of men; for the Father by it makes known his mind to and in the creature, and discovers to them the things that are eternal in their true nature and property; which things are not seen by the natural eye, neither received by the spirit of the world; which never receives the things of God, nor the testimony of those who are in the life. Now all who receive this Spirit of Truth, must wait in what is pure, unto which it joins; for it joins not to the corrupt man, nor to the will of the creature; but though it joins not to these, yet it is near, even to the natural man, the shining forth of its brightness, making evil manifest to be evil. Thus far it has appeared to all men; but while in the heart of man it taken up with sin, and joined to that which the Light reproves, he has not received the Spirit, nor become a possessor of it; but it stands as at a distance off him, showing him his works of darkness, and letting him see to whom he is joined. Yet so far as a man denies himself, in acting or joining himself to what the manifestation of God'sSpirit in him reproves, so he comes, in some measure, to join to the Holy Spirit, and to receive it; and though working but weakly in him, it is yet purging out those things which it lets him see to be evil. Thus, in some measure, he feels in himself what to wait upon, where, and in what to wait; which is in that which gives every one a feeling of his own condition within, and opens his understanding.
How the Spirit of Truth Operates
Though God, has appeared by the manifestation of his Spirit to all, yet all have not received his Spirit: the evil-doer has not received it; "The morning is to him as the shadow of death;" he is still dead in trespasses and sins, and is that darkness in which the Light shines, which convinces him; for the Light shines in darkness. This may convince all who say that every one is not enlightened, and that the Spirit of God has not appeared to all. Good men have it; it is near bad men, who are in darkness, and are darkness, as the Ephesians were in their unconverted state, Eph 5:8 who, by turning to the Spirit's manifestation, came to be made light in the Lord, who has not left himself without a witness; but those who have not God’s witness for theirs, have no faith in God, nor assurance of salvation, for that which should bring assurance of salvation, assures their condemnation, and reveals sorrow to them. And though for a moment it may not be heard, or, through being disobeyed, may seem as dead; yet if the mind is still, and a man is sober and calm, and minds what he is doing, it appears again to him kindling his torment. Although a man may take up and perform, something which is called religious, and some carnal outward ordinances, and pray in words, and read and talk of the Scriptures, and in that find contentment for himself for a time; yet the witness of God’s Holy Spirit shows him his hypocrisy, and that he seeks a cover to shelter himself under in his disobedience, in order to be at ease in the flesh; which is all in vain for there is no peace within; but the measure of God’s Spirit still shows him that he serves sin and follows his own will, and in this will brings forth a worship which is only will worship, (worship from the carnal mind of man, instead of the Spirit of God). No, if such a man should practice all those things that others who were in the Life performed and were accepted; yet this would not satisfy God any more than if he blessed an idol, or kissed Baal. And though a man should sin so far against the Light of Christ in his own conscience, and in his rebellious will should persist in following the imaginations of his own heart, as to quench the Spirit and its motions, and become senseless to the things of God, and hardened in heart; so that the Light may be unto him as though there were no such thing; nevertheless, woe will be unto such; for though the Spirit strives long, yet being still disobeyed, the long-suffering of God comes to an end; the wrath of God will be kindled against him as a fire, which shall burn to the lowest hell; into which all the rebellious and stiff-necked shall be cast, and have their portion forever; because they have pleasure in unrighteousness, and have sold themselves to do wickedly, crucifying the appearance of God in themselves; which appearance, lives in the Fountain of Life; and though it is crucified by those who are out of the Life, nevertheless lives forever in itself to be their condemnation eternally.
How the Spirit of the Father Works in those Who are Turned To It,
"There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit; there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord and. there are diversities of operations, but the same God who works all in all." Now the Spirit of Truth operates not only to convince and detect him that transgresses against its appearance, and to manifest evil which has been committed; but also, being turned to and waited in, it shows man when temptations and motions to sin arise, and as the creature is still and waits in what manifests, and keeps his mind singly to it, it sheds abroad its power, and subdues those lusts which arise, and condemns the ground from where they arise, and draws the mind after itself. It works secretly, and breathes forth its pure Life in him that waits in patience and stillness, not attending to the vain thoughts and imaginations that arise in his heart; but to the manifestation of the Spirit, which extinguishes vain desires, and creates, within, a hunger after being made a partaker of its purity, and of its nature; for God, through the operation of the Eternal Spirit, lends forth his power which changes the heart, and divides between a man and those lovers to which he has joined; and makes a separation within; and carries him further from those things which the Spirit reproves, and leads him nearer unto God. Thus those who believe in the measure of God’s Spirit, come to feel what repentance from dead works is.
There is nothing passes through the mind of him who quietly waits upon the Spirit in singleness of heart, but what he discerns; yet after the Spirit of Truth and its living testimony is, in some things, and in some measure felt, it may be a long time before there may be a clear discernment in the understanding, so that one can clearly discern its movings from all false motions, and high imaginations; and so hasty and forward minds follow vain motions that deceive them; and then they question all who the Spirit had made manifest to them before, which brings a veil over them; and the enemy lodges in the darkness which has come upon them. As soon as any listen to his voice, he presents motions for them to obey, and they are deceived by him. Therefore, all are to be watchful, that they may sensibly feel the difference between the pure motions and drawings of the Spirit, and the vain thoughts that arise out of the earthly heart; and when anything arises which the Light does not bear witness to, it is not to be followed nor heeded; but a quiet, still waiting is to be observed, that things may be made clear to the understanding. For lack of this many have run out, and have acted forwardly in their own wills, and have brought forth Satan’s work; and so have lost the true sense of what should have guided their minds. Such have followed the spirit of error, and have caused the pure Spirit of the Lord to be evilly spoken of.
But as there is a keeping back, and quietly waiting, and a keeping out of willing or running, and haste, the spirit arises purely and stilly in the heart, and gives perfect evidence and full testimony of itself; so that there needs to be no doubting nor questioning of its motion; for it shows forth itself with full assurance of its own will. And when this is clearly seen and felt, let all reasoning be kept under, and all questioning kept out, and give not way to temptation. What moves of the Lord of life will carry through, by its own operation and power, to accomplish the will of God. So, being obedient, peace will be received, and strength will be renewed; for as any are brought to submit to the will of God, and to obey, by virtue of his own power, whatever is contrary to God’s Spirit in them, loses its strength; but by disobedience to the pure motion of God’s Holy Spirit, after it is known, the enemy is strengthened, and what is of the flesh nourished; and the Spirit which would give strength, if submitted to, is quenched; yet the Spirit in itself never loses its purity but will bear its pure witness. Thus the diversity of the operation of the Spirit is known; and as it is listened to, obeyed, loved, and believed in, it puts forth its pure power, and gives strength, and seals peace to the obedient; but disobeyed and resisted, it judges, reproves, and seals condemnation to the disobedient. It causes the good ground to bring forth fruit unto God; and in the cursed ground it kindles a fire that shall not be quenched; but, as there is a submission to its pure operation, it burns up and destroys that which hinders the growth of the seed; and it purges the hearts of those who have confidence in it, from all filthiness, both of flesh and spirit; and works the creature into its own frame and nature; and fashions and moulds all who are in the faith, into the image of the Father; and so the Father’s love comes to be shed abroad in their hearts. As wrath and condemnation were revealed through the Spirit, so now the peace of God is enjoyed, and his consolation shed abroad largely by it; in which there is pure rejoicing forever.
To Whom the Spirit Bears Witness
None have the witness of God'sSpirit, bearing witness to them and in them, who have not believed in Christ "the true Light, that enlightens every man that comes into the world," whose words are spirit and life; and by whom the new creature is formed in them that believe, and who makes his power manifest unto such. For all power in heaven and in earth is committed unto Him, who is the light of men; and nothing was created without Him, neither is any turned from sin but by Him; without Him is death - in Him is Life. None but those born of the Light can have the Spirit of Christ bear witness to them. Only those who are born of the Spirit and walk after the Spirit are justified by the Spirit of the Lord. For the assurance of His love is not made to his enemies, but only to those born in his image with his own likeness and nature. These are the Holy Seed, which is heir of the promise. This Holy Seed knows the living hope that purifies the heart and brings the answer of a good conscience to those who have witnessed the washing of regeneration; knowing in themselves the clean water poured forth upon them, which has taken away the stains and defilements. Where the stains and defilements have not been washed out, and where the heart has not been cleansed, and where this washing is not believed in, in which God's all-sufficiency is felt, and in which his power is displayed; the assurance of the Father's love in the heart cannot exist, neither does his Spirit assure (testify to) the justification of such a person. On the contrary, where sin remains unsubdued (still exists), the Spirit of the Father condemns the sin and the person in which sin still exists, who is therefore joined to and one with sin. For no sin is brought forth, but there is an assenting to the instigation of the devil. For when a temptation arises, either within or without, and there is a resisting and a striving against it for a time, yet if the heart is not kept close to the Spirit, the enemy will enter and captivate the understanding; then there will be an agreeing with, and a joining to the adversary. And the Spirit will pronounce sentence of condemnation upon him who joins to the wicked one. And he, who has consented to drink his cup, must drink the cup of the indignation of the Lord, and bear the stroke of Divine justice, and lie in patience under it, until that is cut down which has joined in with the deceit; before there can be remission of transgression, or the creature justified in the sight of God. For sin is not blotted out of the book of God's remembrance until it is repented of, and turned from; neither does the creature stand clear in the sight of God, when God condemns in righteous judgment, which the Light in everyone’s conscience shall answer to.
Now, "whoever is born of God does not commit sin; for his Seed remains in him,” which is Life; and as the creature joins to that seed which is heir of the kingdom, and of the crown Immortal, be comes to be made partaker of its virtue and operation; which Seed is Christ, to whom all power is committed; and who, by his power, as, it is believed in, limits the seed of the serpent, and weakens his strength in the creature, and disannuls the covenant which he has made with death. As the creature comes to be delivered from corruption, and the new man comes to live, the new creature, which is born of God, comes to be framed and fashioned in the image of the Father; and the Father’s love is manifested to him and in him, and he has the assurance in himself. He that is begotten of the Father in Christ the Seed, through the Spirit, he, and he alone, comes to feel the Father's love made manifest in him, and is justified in the sight of the Father; and has His assurance and evidence near him and in him. And when the adversary comes to tempt and assault, and would raise up doubts in the mind of him that has this evidence, it is near to assure him that he is in the love of God.
Blessed and happy are all those who have waited for, and have felt these things, and who are witnesses of them; for flesh and blood has not revealed them.
Now let every man that reads this prove himself and try himself, whether he is in the faith or not, and whether he has the evidence that he is born of the Spirit or not, and knows a birth that sins not; because the Seed remains in, him who is kept by the Power, that the evil one touches him not; and so he is kept alive unto Him who has brought him to life, and has given him to drink of the cup of salvation; which nourishes up, unto eternal life, all those who continue in the faith.
What the Free Grace of God is;
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,
The Grace of God is his free gift; it is the appearance of Christ; it is that through which God makes known his will, and by which He teaches us. He reveals his saving health through it to those who are taught by it; and those who are taught by it, are built up in the Truth through it, and become a habitation for God. No man can do anything to purchase it; none need say, where can I get it, or how may I know its teachings? It is near all, it is in all, it has appeared to all; it shows ungodliness in the heart of man by its brightness; yes, it shows all men the motions to sin; it draws the hearts of men from them; it shows the lusts of the heart and mind, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life; it never joins to sin; nothing can alter its purity or property; and though some that turned to it, have again turned from it, and may turn in themselves to wantonness; yet it still keeps its purity and reproves their wantonness. Many have been talkers of grace in this professing age, who have neither known of what they spoke, nor have informed the minds of men where grace was to be waited for, nor how grace might be known, nor how, nor what the operation of grace was; but have cried up, in their own imaginations: "We are justified by His free grace from all sin, past, present, and to come;" and, in this conceit, thousands have been led into the pit of darkness; imagining that they were justified by the free grace of Christ, while they were out of the fear of God, which it would have taught them; and while they heeded not this grace, but got into conceit, carelessness, and presumption; and so pretended justification while they were the servants of sin and bond-slaves to corruption - that is, all of you who have been preaching free grace in words. Now when God has given those who have waited upon Him, an understanding to declare the thing itself, that you have spoken of, which you now cry is not a sufficient teacher, let me ask you a question: Is that which teaches to deny ungodliness not a sufficient Teacher? If it is not, why did the apostles commend the believers to the word of His grace, which was able to save their souls? Acts 20:32, James 1:21. Is not what is able to save the soul a sufficient Teacher?
Seeing then that God’s free grace, which is his pure appearance, has thus manifested itself; or that God through it, shows sin, and leads from it; and that God has so loved the world as that He sent his Son into the world, who was and is the Light of the world, and has shed abroad his grace and made it appear to all; and all who wait upon it, come to be taught by it and feel its assurance, therefore all are without excuse. Wait therefore in that which has appeared in you; for that which shows the lust and thoughts and motions to sin is God’s gift, God’s grace, and is sufficient; and though all men in the world should say it is not, yet this would not make your faith void. Neither mind such statements, you who have received it; because we have the witness of our faith in ourselves, which gives pure and perfect feeling of the operation of the Spirit of the Lord; which saves all those who believe in it from out of all sin, and gives them dominion over it.
Whether there is a Distinction in Grace or Not.
Peoples minds have been confounded by distinctions, made by those whose wisdom is below the wisdom of God; and who say that there is a twofold grace: first, what they call common, which they say has appeared to all; and secondly, what they call special and saving, which they say has appeared to the saints.
By giving heed to these distinctions, many years ago, I went from the appearance of the Light in myself, to listen to something at a distance from me; and not heeding that which was at home and near, because it was called common and insufficient, I lost myself and my guide. Yet after many years profession, I was made to go back again to what was called common and insufficient, before I found favor with the Lord, or felt his living power again. The First, (called common), they ground upon the scripture where it is said: “He causes the sun to rise on the evil and on the good; and sends rain on the just and on the unjust" and "In Him we live and move and have our being;" and they say that by this we discover gross sins.
The Second, which they call special, they say, is that by which the saints are saved and, established in righteousness, and receive remission of sins.
Now He who causes the sun to rise, and the rain to fall; and gives health and strength to all things in the outward and visible creation; who discovers to man his gross sins, is the same who is the Life of the soul, who sanctifies, purifies and saves those who believe. The same Power that upholds the natural man, upholds the spiritual man. The same Power, (I do not say the same measure of it), by which all things visible subsist in their stations, preserves all who believe and are quickened by Him, who is the Power of God. The same Power that discovers the dark places of the horrible pit, leads all who believe in it unto the land of the living. The same Grace which discovers open sins, discovers also secret and hidden ones; yet it shines less in those who are in unbelief, because the veil is thick and the clouds are many upon them; but in those who believe in this Grace, it rends the veil, and scatters the clouds, and breaks forth in its brightness.
That this grace has in some measure appeared to all men, is a truth which shall be witnessed to by the whole earth in the day of the Lords appearing and is now witnessed to by all the children of Light, who believe; therefore all are left without excuse. Within this is the wonderful love of God to all mankind made manifest, and all who turn to his grace will see that He has long waited to be gracious, so that all mankind might be made partakers of his bounty, love, mercy, favor and free grace. Therefore, in dear love unto all upon the face of the earth where this may come, I write this, that they also may be partakers with me of the free love and grace of God, by which I am saved, and know the walls that are salvation, and the gates that are praise; in which the saints are entered in at, and with which they are compassed about.
When I speak of the sufficiency of Grace, and say that it is a sufficient Teacher, I do not speak of it as distinct from Christ; nor as of a thing separate from the Power of God, but as one with it and with Him from where it comes. For He is salvation itself, in the grace of God, by which He manifests Himself, and His salvation, to those who believe, are of the same nature. For where the appearance and presence of Christ is manifest, there is his power manifest, either to condemnation or salvation. And though his appearance is one in itself, yet to those who have marred his countenance and pierced him, his presence always has been, and will be very dreadful and terrible; but to those who have longed for Him, and believe in Him, and have continued with Him, and suffered with Him; his appearance will be sweet and glorious. O! That all who long after Him, may wait for Him in patience, in that which He will appear; and they shall see Him, the sight of whom will be a recompense for all their longing, thirsting, desiring, and waiting; which will be taken away when He appears, who makes glad the heart; who lifts up the Light of his countenance, and makes whole those whose hearts have been broken for Him. Therefore, all wait, and think not the time long; keep your mind to his grace, which is his appearance, and you will feel and see Him, and be satisfied, and enabled to say: "This is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us. This is the Lord; we have waited for Him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation." But, though God in his everlasting love to the sons of men, has followed them, and called to them to return; yet that nature which is in man, which has transgressed against the Life, always resists the drawing of the Lord; and is not subject to the law of God, nor to the grace of God which teaches to deny all ungodliness and worldly lusts, that have compassed the creature about as a thick cloud, until there is a listening to what shows ungodliness, which has power in itself; for none have power, neither dominion, of themselves, over what leads into transgression. Therefore, though God has appeared in his pure and perfect grace unto all men, yet all men have not received grace. For though the Lord offers his gift that the creature may receive it, and partake of its virtue and operation; yet while that has preeminence in man which is contrary to grace, that will never receive it; because grace is contrary to that which opposes, which it mortifies, and takes its life away, and slays the enmity. Therefore all must be still and quiet, that they may feel what receives grace, raised above the corruptible thoughts and desires of the carnal mind.
Many who talk of free grace, put no difference between the precious and the vile; but set people upon doing and working, who are in the enmity, and curse, and in death; and thus they have brought forth dead works, notwithstanding all their performances. Since they are dead to the life of God, another acts in them; even he who has the power of death, which is the devil. And not knowing what is precious in themselves, they cannot minister unto that which is precious in others, but are ministers of death.
Now though all have not received grace, so as to he saved from the committing of sin, the fault is not in God; neither is the fault in grace, "which has appeared to all men;" neither is it because of its imbecility and weakness; but because it is not listened to, and waited on and believed in, received, and obeyed. For this is an eternal truth, which shall stand forever: the least measure of the grace of God has power in itself, to save man from committing that evil or sin, which it shows him; and as it is received, the power is more and more manifested, in which all who believe come to be preserved out of evil.
There is no variation or change in the gift of God, but as it works upon different objects. Faith and unbelief are two different things, as light and darkness are different. Therefore, the word of God’s grace is the savor of life unto life, to those who believe; and is the savor of death unto death, to those who are in unbelief; who indeed are dead while they live. Here is the same grace but difference of operation. The Lord kills and makes alive; yet it is the same Lord. The Spirit convinces of sin, and reproves for sin; and also consoles and comforts; here is diversity of operations, yet the same Spirit.
And though the careless and those who believe not, say: "We feel no power nor sufficiency in grace to save us from sin;" this does not void the confidence of those who have received it and know its power, which has given them power to do the will of God. Though unbelievers, who are in the alienation, say: "there is no beauty, neither form nor comeliness, in Christ;" this does not void his glory, who is the express image of the Father, full of grace and truth. The disciples, who were in the faith saw his glory, and bore record of Him; and the Pharisees, who were in unbelief, said: "He has a devil."
Paul, who was a minister of the word of reconciliation, was buffeted by the messenger of Satan; and he prayed to God three times for this cause; and this answer was given him: "My grace is sufficient for thee." So this is evident to all understandings, which are opened by the Lord; that what showed him the buffeting of Satan’s messenger was sufficient to preserve him. And so it is, for all who keep singly to it, sufficient to show ungodliness by its purity; and to lead from worldly lusts, and to teach the will of God, and to live godly in this present world by its power. This testimony I bear to it, and of it; even of what I have felt, tasted, and bandied of its sufficiency and virtue, and of the power of its operation, for the information of those who thirst after the Lord; and for the opposition of the arguers and opposers of it; which testimony I commend to that of God in every man; and that will bear me witness in the day of God, when all hearts shall be opened, and all falsehood and truth shall be made manifest.
A Word to the Wise Men of the World,
God is shedding abroad his power and glory, and making it to flow forth to his little ones, by which you are all weighed - all your parts, tongues, languages, interpretations, significations, and wisdom; which are only natural. For although there are many languages, and each has an interpretation, and signification, they are all too short to declare the life, the immeasurable being of eternal life: your tongues, and the signification of all tongues, cannot know the mind of the Spirit; neither can you know the origin of eternal salvation by all these. But not knowing the signification of the living, eternal Spirit in yourselves, you invent, study, devise, form, and frame things in your carnal minds; and have filled the world with your dark, muddy conceptions; and have led people from seeking after the wisdom of the living God, which is from above; which was before your tongues and languages were; and they have locked in your conceptions, and distinctions, and your devised fables, and your imagined worship; in that many have lost the sense of anything of God in themselves to guide them. It is lamentable to see how people are gone out of the pure simplicity which is in Christ, into subtlety and deceit; and have become full of that, which must be all poured out as water, before they come to the least measure of God'strue and saving knowledge. O! a dreadful day has come upon many ; and it lingers not, but will come quickly as a thief upon you, who have taken away the key of knowledge, and given people what will not open: you, and those who follow you, will be shut out together as fools, though you count yourselves wise; your wisdom will perish, and your honor will be laid in the dust.
And you, literal professors, who have got the Scripture into your heads, and into your carnal minds to talk of; you have taken up, and are exalting a visible shadowy practice, and you neglect the Life, and are making idols of those things which were but a figure and representation. In their purest time; you, like the Pharisees, are limiting the Lord; that if He will not appear to you in those things which you have prescribed to yourselves from the letter, you cannot receive Him. May the Lord open your understandings, that you may see yourselves; and how frothy, vain, and light you are: one with the world in the very ground; pretending liberty in Christ, when you may see that you are servants to corruption, and to many noisome lusts.
Again, what are all outward appearances, but as a curtain, or veil, or shadow, in respect to Christ, God’s righteousness within; but you are filled so full of your apprehensions of His righteousness at a distance, that you have forgotten all at home; his righteousness will not be a cloak for your self-righteousness and unrighteousness. And if Christ is not formed in you, and does not live in you, and act in you, and work his work in you, you are in self-righteousness. A talk of imputation will not save you, while you are not in that capacity, nature, and faith, unto which his righteousness is imputed. Do you not see your land grown barren, your profession dry, and your worship dead? When will you seek after that which endures forever? I pity you who have had breathing after God, and have set down at ease in what is not eternal. Be warned, return home, consider, see what corruption you now have power over, which once had power over you. Do you rest in that faith that you shall never be cleansed here? It is rather unbelief; it is not the faith of God'select, by which they are sanctified, and overcome the wicked one in themselves, by the power of Christ; and are redeemed from the bondage of corruption to serve Him in the Spirit of God, in which the sons are made free from sin, from the act and guilt, and become the temples of the Holy Ghost. Consider how far you are from this, who are yet temples of uncleanness. Repent, and mind that which empties you of your thoughts and conceitedness, that you may know poverty of spirit; that the kingdom of God may come into you, and be yours in possession.
This is the true state of many of you; own it and repent; that if it is possible you may find a door of mercy opened to you; and that you may enter in through it. For it is not setting up and conforming to a visible practice without, that will justify; while what is in the transgression, and has disobeyed the Light in the conscience is a head in you; that will not recommend you to God; neither can you have any access to God, or acceptance with Him in that state. You must come to the Rock before you know anything that will endure; "which Rock is Christ." This you must all come to before you can know God'ssalvation, or redemption in yourselves, or have the witness of God'sHoly Spirit; without which there is neither true zeal, nor evidence, nor assurance of the love of God enjoyed.
The time of restoration is come, and many are restored again into God'scovenant; and are delivered out of the jaws of death; and feel Him who is the healer of breaches, to be the restorer of desolate places. But all must come to see the place made desolate, wherein the wild nature lodges, before they come to have a share in the restoration. Come then off these barren mountains where you are feeding, to Christ the Life of men, who has enlightened you, that you may feel His mind in yourselves; or you will still err for lack of knowledge, and perish for want of understanding, and so lay down your head in sorrow.
The Kingdom of God and Christ Declared.
The Lord has prepared his throne in the heavens ; and his kingdom rules over all. His dominion, is an everlasting dominion. He is a spirit; his kingdom is spiritual. He is immortal; his kingdom is so. He is Light; his dwelling-place is so. In the Kingdom is no uncleanness, nor shall there ever be. It is eternally glorious; a quiet habitation. It is unsearchable and undeclarable. In it all who believe come to enjoy Him, who is the fullness of all things; whether visible or invisible; who is, eternally, blessedness itself; who makes all who believe in Him to partake of his kingdom, grace, power, dignity, dominion, and celestial glory. But these things are hidden from the world; from those who are not redeemed from the earth. When Christ taught his followers, He exhorted them to "Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness," Mat 6:33, even, while they were in the body. He said to the Pharisees: "The kingdom of God is within you." Some may say: Then do we need to seek what is already in us? Yes, it is like treasure hidden in a field. It is like a grain of mustard seed among many great seeds, which is not easily found. It is like a piece of silver lost in the house among much rubbish; until all the rubbish is swept away it will not be found. Everyone must dig deeply, search narrowly, and sweep cleanly before they find it; for although Christ said to the Pharisees: "The kingdom of God is within you,” He did not say that they were possessors of it. To the disciples whom He taught to pray in faith, "Thy kingdom come," He said: "Blessed are the poor for yours is the kingdom of God." Luke 6:20. They had seen it and were possessors of it. And He also said unto them: “There are some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, until they have seen the kingdom of God come with power." Mark 9:1. And his words were fulfilled; and they declared what they had experienced, and said: "The kingdom of God is not in word but in power." And Paul, writing to the Romans, who were made partakers of the same power and kingdom said: "The kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness, and peace, and joy, in the Holy Ghost." Rom 14:17. And to the Colossians, who had waited for and believed in it, he said: "The Father has made us qualified to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in Light, who has delivered us from the power of darkness, and has translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son." And to the Hebrews He said: "We who have believed do enter into rest." These things were witnessed while in the body, and felt within by the seed immortal, by those who witnessed the birth immortal to live in them. And all who ever come to see the kingdom of God, which is spiritual, must wait in the Spirit, that so God and his kingdom, and the things of his kingdom, may be felt and seen, and enjoyed, which is glorious.
The saints looked not after another glory, but what stood in eternal life. And the city they sought after, was what God was the maker and builder of; and they looked for and waited to receive of his power, in which the kingdom stands in this life; and, to know and enjoy his eternal dominion and authority. I do not say the full weight of glory, which is what all his saints in measure witness, and in due time come to enjoy through faith. For by faith they came to see Him who is invisible; and the things of his kingdom which is invisible, spiritual, and eternal.
The kingdom of God has come near to many; and his power and the salvation of Christ is seen by many. Honor and praise unto Him everlastingly, who is the only potentate; that puts all authority under his feet, that God may be all in all! But everyone must come to feel the kingdom first in Himself, which is as a little grain; and believe in it before he can know where it consists. After it is in some measure known, this is still far short of the eternal weight of glory. Yet he that believes has entered into rest, and made partaker of the heavenly gift, power, and grace, which is glorious, and witnesses a heavenly place in Christ Jesus; but there nevertheless remain many enemies to be subdued, and much of the heavenly habitation, which they see not, to be revealed; as there is an abiding in the power of God, in which the kingdom stands. For Israel, the true type, after they had passed over Jordan, and had taken Jericho and Ai, and had made an entrance into the land, had many enemies remaining to be subdued; and there was much of the land that they were not made possessors of for long after. Even so, after there is an entrance made into the true rest, and some possession of it enjoyed, there are yet many enemies to be subdued; and much more of the heavenly inheritance to be enjoyed by those who stand in the Power, which gives dominion over sin and the devil, hell and the grave; and these come to be made partakers of God, and receive, in due time, the crown immortal.
And so to conclude, I say unto all who are longing after God, and waiting to feel his power: Keep in your minds to the pure measure of God'sHoly Spirit, and therein wait to see his kingdom, and his dominion, and to be made partakers of it, and of Him, who is glorified with the Father, in his kingdom, with the glory He had with the Father before the world began; for whoever comes to enjoy the kingdom of glory, which fades not away, is eternally happy.
ABRIDGED SELECTIONS FROM A WORK ENTITLED:
TO THE READER,
But soon after the mystery of godliness was revealed, the mystery of iniquity began to work, and opposed the work of the Lord; yet it transformed itself into the similitude, outward appearance, and form of righteousness, and lived in the flesh; and there began to be an apostasy and deviation from that glory and power which once was; and antichrist wrought with signs and lying wonders, and got the words of the righteous, but hated the life and power of godliness, and those who appeared in it. Then those who were under the government of antichrist hated the reign of Christ, and said in their hearts: "we will not have Him to rule over us," though in words they confessed Him. They persecuted the true Church, and drove it into the wilderness; and set up imitations, inventions, traditions, and vain customs, which they called apostolic and holy institutions; but which are contrary to the primitive institutions and ordinances of Christianity.
I have thus led you briefly through several ages and times, to single out the origin and beginning of those things, which are now accounted as holy institutions; and to show who were the first ordainers of them, between the days of the apostles and the present day. You may see, in the following treatise, the state and glory of the true Church before the apostasy, and her state during the apostasy; how she fled into the wilderness; and how mystery Babylon was raised, and the false church called herself visible. Many of her doctrines and practices, which are contrary to the primitive Church, are also here discovered, whereby you may come to see a difference between the ordinances of the true Church, and the traditions and inventions of the false church; which are too much contended for in this day, by those who say they [the Protestants] have come to the true reformation, according to the primitive times; but whose practices, as you compare them with those of the primitive times, you will see to be quite contrary, and to be but as the smoke, and what darkened the air, and clouded peoples understandings, and led them into ignorance and darkness, and prevented their discovering the way of Truth. But the Lord is arisen; and what has gotten up in the apostasy is seen and laid open to the view of all, that they may depart out of the things which are but the inventions and traditions of men; and in which eternal Life is not to be had.
Read with meekness, and in what is spiritual in yourself, through which the things of God are made manifest; for with that I have unity: and, as you live and walk in it, I bid you farewell.
The State of the True Church,
God, according to his determinate will and everlasting counsel, in the fullness of time, sent his only begotten Son into the world, to be the Light of the world, a Leader to the people, and a propitiation for the aid of the whole world. He obeyed the will of the Father in all things, according as it was testified of Him by Moses and the prophets, and as it was said by David concerning Him: "In the volume of the book it is written of Me, I come to do your, will, O God!" Heb 10:7. He fulfilled all righteousness, and ended all the types, figures, shadows, and worship of the first covenant, as the apostle testifies of Him, Heb 7:18. The law and the priesthood were changed, which were but figures and shadows of good things to come, and were faulty, and did not make those who came into the covenant perfect in conscience. But he brought in a better hope and covenant did, namely, the covenant of life and peace; which the prophets, by the spirit, had testified of, from Moses to Samuel, and until John. John likewise bore testimony of Him who is "the Lamb of God" and "takes away the sins of the world." John 1:29, 36.
Since He has now come, who was not made “after the law of a carnal commandment," as were Aaron and the rest of the priests under the law, but after "the power of an endless life," and "having offered up Himself once for all," for the perfecting of those who are sanctified. He put all end to all the offerings of the first covenant. Heb 10:14. He fulfilled all things which the prophets foretold of Him; and his works testified that He was the Son of God. He preached the word of the Kingdom, and declared against and reproved those who stuck behind in the figures, types, and shadows; [searching the Scriptures hoping to find eternal life], and said: "You will not come unto Me that you may have life," "I am the bread of life." He came to fulfill the law and all righteousness, and to publish the word of faith, which did not make void, but established the Law.
He said: "While ye have the Light, believe in the Light; that ye may become children of the Light." This He spoke to the Pharisees, who had the law and the prophets, and were acting in the types and figures, which are shadows of the thing itself, but not the very thing; but He preached the very thing, the word of the kingdom, of power, and of life; and many who heard his voice, who could not be made alive by exercising themselves in the ordinances, were quickened by it in their hearts and minds, and so came to live; and He chose unto Himself disciples, and sent them to preach repentance; and charged them to begin at Jerusalem. Afterwards He also sent out his disciples and gave them a commandment to preach unto all nations, and disciple or make converts of all in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. He gave power unto them to cast out devils, and work miracles. These, after a season, prophesied the word of the kingdom, and received gifts from the Holy Ghost for the work of the ministry. They did not preach up the ordinances of the first covenant, but Christ the everlasting Covenant, the power of God, and the wisdom of God, for the remission of sins; and they declared the Word of faith in the mouth and in the heart, to bring people to believe in Him who is the Light of the world, and enlightens every man that Comes into the world; and many both of the Jews and gentiles believed; and they met together at certain places. And the several congregations were all one body, of which Christ, the life, was the head; of whose power they had tasted. When they met together, they exhorted and admonished one another; and administered to the edification, building up, and comforting one of another in the most holy faith, which gave them victory over sin; which faith was wrought in them by hearing the Word that was near them, in the mouth and in the heart, which was the Word of consolation that was in the beginning. Those who believed the Gospel, grew up into great enjoyments and attainments in the righteous life of Christ. And though they first knew the ministration of condemnation, and sentence of death, yet afterwards they came to know the ministration of the Spirit, bearing witness that they were the sons of God. They were made heirs according to the promise, and joint-heirs with Christ, in the kingdom that is immortal.
Those who were sent out, who had received freely of the Father, of Christ, and of the Spirit, ministered freely, without making any covenant or inquiries after worldly revenues, but went from city to city preaching the Gospel. So that we read of no compulsion, or forcing maintenance from any of the cities, whether they believed or not. The Father took care of such harvestmen; and what they received was given freely, and there was no complaint; but their care was not to make the Gospel of Christ burdensome or chargeable, but rather that their hands should minister unto their necessities. Acts 18:3.
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