The Missing Cross to Purity


Letters 356 - 369

A COLLECTION

OF

MANY SELECT EPISTLES TO FRIENDS,

OF

THAT ANCIENT, EMINENT, AND FAITHFUL MINISTER


OF JESUS CHRIST,

George Fox

Volume 2 Contd.

 

356.-A letter to the captives who meet together to worship God in Algiers.
366 in Printing

Dear friends,

I understand by a letter from a Friend, a captive among you,
dated the 20th of the l0th month, 1681,
that you have a meeting there in Algiers of about twenty.
I am glad to hear you meet;
and it is very well, that you have so much liberty from your patrons;
and my desire is, that the Lord may preserve you all,
that do meet in the name of Jesus,
that in your lives, and conversations, and words, you may preach righteousness,
and holiness, and godliness, and the life of truth;
so that you may answer the spirit of God,
both in the Turks and Moors, and the rest of the captives;
that God's city may be set upon the holy hill there, which cannot be hid;
but that all may see it with the light,

by which Christ has enlightened every man that comes into the world.
And that Christ's ensign may be set up in those parts;
that with his light in all men, they may all see it, and flock to it;
and Christ the ensign furnishes all that come to him,
with heavenly armor and spiritual weapons.
Now Christ enlightens every man that comes into the world,
that everyone may believe in the light, and may become a child of the light,

and have eternal life, and be saved.
And so the gospel of salvation, the power of God,
is to be preached to every creature under heaven
.
And he that believes, is saved, and has the salvation;
for Christ by the grace of God, has tasted death for every man.
And the grace of God that brings salvation, has appeared to all men.
And therefore all men, if they will have salvation,
it must be by believing, receiving, and walking in the grace of God, which brings it.
And the Lord pours out of his spirit upon all flesh;
and therefore, all men and women must come to this holy spirit of God,
by which the spirit of enmity may be slain and crucified in them;
that in this holy spirit of God, they may all be in love and unity;
and with the spirit of God, they may all come to know the eternal, immortal God,
and serve and worship him in his holy spirit of truth,
which he has poured upon them.
And in this, all will honor God, and glorify him through Jesus Christ
in his new covenant of light and grace.
And so, my dear friends, be faithful and valiant for God's truth upon earth,
and do not deny the name of Jesus, in whom you have salvation;
whose name is above every name under the whole heaven;

that with his light you may all be built upon him,
your rock and foundation that stands sure
.
And now, my dear friends, though you remain as captives,
yet if you be Christ's and God's freemen, who leads the devil into captivity,
that led you captive into his prison of death, darkness, and corruption:
if Christ, I say, has led you out of that prison and captivity,
into the glorious liberty of the sons of God,
stand fast in the liberty with which Christ has made you free;
and be not entangled with any yoke of bondage,

to bring you out of that heavenly, spiritual liberty.
For in this you are free, notwithstanding the prisons and captivity of men;
and they are but small matters to it.
And therefore trust in the arm of the Lord's power, who can lay the mountains low,
and remove the hills out of their places, and make his lambs to skip over all
.
And therefore mind the Lord and his power,
that is over all which makes you to suffer.
Now your sorrows and afflictions may bring many to call upon the name of the Lord,
when he has brought you low;
for God is merciful and gracious to the righteous!
and his mercies endure forever.
And though you hunger, and thirst, and cold,
many times you are in and many distresses,
yet the Lord is able to support you.
And now, that you may mind the Lord in your poverty and prize his mercies;
and consider how he brought them down
that did not enough prize his mercies, and liberty, and plenty.
And you may read the l07th Psalm throughout;
there you may see how the Lord brought down such as disdained his counsel,
and rebelled against his words
.
Well, what can you tell but that this may be the day of the Lord with you,
in your captivity, to bring down your hearts and spirits,
that with the spirit of the Lord you may turn to him, who is a God at hand;
and that you may call upon the Lord in truth and righteousness,
that all your sufferings, afflictions, and captivity may be sanctified to you.
So that you may say, 'all things shall work together for good, to those who love God.'
And so with Job you may bless God, 'who gives and takes away,'
and that you may glorify God in whatsoever condition you may be;
that no trouble may move you;
and that you may rejoice in afflictions, persecutions, and tribulations in the Lord,
through his spirit that does uphold you.
And as you do walk in the light, grace, spirit, and gospel, you may turn others to it.
That you may have unity with them in it;
and that they may come out of the spiritual prison of death,
darkness, and corruption, and captivity,
into the liberty of the sons of God in Christ Jesus. Amen.

So with my love to you all in the holy seed Christ Jesus,
that reigns over all from everlasting to everlasting.
The Lord preserve you all as tender vines in him. Amen.

George Fox

London, the 17th of the 1st month, 1682

 

357.-To Friends in Burlington, West Jersey.
367 in Printing

Dear friends,

The Lord by his mighty hand and power having brought you to that place,
and now you are settled there,
my desire is that your lives and conversations
may preach righteousness and holiness;
for without holiness none shall see God.
Going into unholiness is the cause that none see God;
and the cause of why there is no peace among a nation or people is,
they do not live and walk in righteousness;
but walk and follow the unrighteous spirit, which is out of the truth.
And again, Christ says, 'Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.'
For it is the defiled and impure hearts that do not see God.
And therefore, keep in the pure spirit of God,
that mortifies all impurity and unholiness
,
which blind people from the sight of the pure God.
And now, my dear friends, the eyes of other nations will be upon you;
and now you profess truth beyond them all;
but if you do not exceed them in truth, in righteousness, in holiness,
justice and equity, and in the wisdom of God is pure and peaceable,
by which you may answer the good in your government,
and all government about you likewise,
(which is my desire that you may, that they may not see any nakedness among you),
if you do not, you will bring both the judgment of God upon you,
and the judgment of truth that you and we profess.

For you know how that Friends in England, and other places,
have admonished the governors and rulers to do what is just and right;
and therefore now you have come into place,
have a care that you do what is just and right,
for fear that you come under the same reproof by others.

And therefore, have an eye to the Lord in all your actions.
For David said in 2 Sam 23:3-4,
'The God of Israel said, the rock of Israel spoke to me,
he that rules over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God;
and he shall be as the light of the morning (that does so) when the sun rises,
even as a morning without clouds;
as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain.'

Here you may see, it must not be unjust men, or men who do not fear God,
that are rulers, for they do not receive his wisdom to rule with;
and such will be as clouds without water, as in Jude 1:12,
and then they are not like to refresh the tender grass, but hurt it.
And Solomon said, 'As the roaring lion, and the raging bear, so is a wicked ruler over the poor people.'
And therefore with the spirit of God keep down the wicked spirit in you,
and then you will keep down the roaring lion and the raging bear,
with the spirit of meekness, and patience, and wisdom, and understanding. Prov 28:15

And the apostle says, 'Rulers are not a terror to good work, but to the evil.'
Therefore both rulers and ruled must be out of the evil works.
And the rulers cannot be a terror to evil works, if they live in evil works themselves.
Therefore all ought to live in the power of God,
which brings them out of the evil to do that which is good;
and then they will be an honor to God,
and a praise one to another, both ruler and ruled.

Now the Lord said unto Moses,
'Appoint judges and officers in all your gates,
(so they were not to be made in corners),
which the Lord gives you in all the tribes;
and they shall judge the people with just judgment. (Mark! just judgment.)
You shall not pervert judgment, you shall show partiality to persons, you shall take no gift. Exo 23:6,8, Deu 16:18-19.
For the gift blinds the eyes of the wise, and perverts the words of the righteous.

You shall not twist the judgment of the poor in any case.
Keep you far from a false matter.
Don't punish the innocent and righteous, for I will not justify the wicked.

That which is altogether just, shall you follow,
that you may live and inherit the land which the Lord your God has given you.'

Now a people following and doing that which is not just,
is the cause they do not live and inherit the land.
And therefore do that which is just, that you may inherit Christ and your spiritual land.
'You shall not oppress a stranger, seeing you were strangers; nor vex the widows and fatherless.'
And the Lord said, 'You shall be holy men unto me.'
Again, the Lord says, 'you shall not raise a false report.
Put not thy hand with the wicked to an unrighteous witness.
You shall not follow a multitude to do evil;
neither shall you speak in a cause, to decline after many, to wrest judgment.' Ex 23:1-2

Again, the, Lord said, 'You shall not do unrighteousness in judgment;
you shall not respect the person of the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty.
But in righteousness you shall judge your neighbor.'
Lev 19:15 and Deut 1:16-17

'I charged your judges,' (says Moses), saying,
'Hear the causes between your brethren,
judge righteously between every man and his brother,
and the stranger that is with him.'

So let all the strangers that are with you have righteous judgment,
as well as those among yourselves.
And again he said, 'You shall not respect persons in judgment;
but you shall hear the small as well as the great.
You shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgment is God's.'

So long as you judge righteously.

And therefore friends, my desire is that you all may be
kept in the power and spirit of God and Christ in humility,
and in that you will have a sense of all things,
that whatever you act, it may be done in the spirit and power of Jesus Christ,
to the praise of God the Father, who is over all, from everlasting to everlasting,
who beholds and sees all your words and actions;
that you may behold and see with his spirit,
his and his son's divine majesty among you. Amen.

George Fox

Read this in your assemblies, and in your meetings.

358.- To suffering Friends at Horsham in Sussex
368 in Printing

Dear friends, who suffer for your testimony, and to all the rest in your county,
I am glad to hear of your faithfulness,
and of your standing for the church which Christ is the head of,
which is in God, and are become his living members;
and therefore where ever you are in prison, or out of prison,
where two or three are gathered in his name, there is a church,
and Christ the living head in the midst of them
;
a prophet, to open to his church the things of his kingdom;
and a bishop, to oversee his living members,
that they be preserved in his light, grace, truth, spirit, and gospel;
and he is a shepherd to feed them with heavenly food,
who gives life eternal to his sheep, which he has purchased with his own blood;
and a priest who has offered up himself a sacrifice for the sins of the whole world,
who cleanses, and washes, and purifies his church, his people;
a high priest, made higher than the heavens. Heb 7 :26
And no priest made below the heavens will be in Christ's church;
and therefore feel and see Christ exercising his prophetical, priestly,
and kingly offices, and his ruling in your hearts.
And all that will, know the right way, or highway, or path to the church in God,
must walk in the light, which is the life in Christ,
and that will guide them to Christ, the way to God, the head of the church,
the rock and foundation of God that stands sure.
And now, dear friends, my desires are, that you may all live in the love of God,
and in the unity of his spirit, which is the bond of peace,
in which you will be all kind and courteous one to another;
and so the God of all peace and power support you, and strengthen you,
and uphold you, throughout all your trials and sufferings,
that he may be glorified in you all,
who is over all, from everlasting to everlasting, blessed forever;
from whom you have blessing and life.

George Fox

London, the 20th of the 12th month, 1681

359.- To the flock of Jesus Christ everywhere, to be read in their assemblies
369 in Printing

Grace, mercy, and peace be multiplied among you all from God the Father,
and the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the fountain of all;
and God, who has called you by his grace,
and gathered you to be a people by his power and spirit,
to his son Christ Jesus, your holy, heavenly, spiritual head, life, rock, and foundation.
Now that you may all walk in Christ Jesus, and abide in him your vine,
and in him you will all bring forth heavenly fruit to the praise and glory of God
.
Christ said, "In me you have peace, in the world you have trouble;"
and therefore keep out of the spirit of the world;
let not the spirit of the world come into you;
for if you do, you go into trouble both inwardly and outwardly:
but if you keep in Christ, who is not of the world,
you keep in your heavenly place and region:
for, 'He that has the son of God, has life;' and therefore keep in the life in Christ;
and he that has not the son of God, is in old Adam, in death, without life.

And, 'without me (says Christ) you can do nothing;'
without his grace, his light, his truth, his gospel, his power, his spirit, his faith;
you can do nothing;
and, 'if Christ is not in you, you are reprobates;'
and if he is in you, and you in him, you are in the election, and in the seed, in which all nations are blessed.

And therefore, my friends and brethren, both males and females,
keep and walk in the seed, in which all nations are blessed,
which bruises the head of the serpent, and destroys the devil and his works,
which brought misery and the curse upon all nations.
So that in this holy seed, you all may be the children of the kingdom of God
that stands in righteousness, and power, and joy in the holy ghost:

I say, in the righteousness of Christ, which was before unrighteousness was;
and in the power of God, which was before the power of satan and dragon were;
and in the peace of God, that passes all the understanding of the world,
and was before the god of the world was;
and in the holy ghost, which was before the unclean ghost got into man and woman.

And so that you may all come to walk in the new covenant of light,
which was before the prince of darkness was, and life,
that is over death, and was before death was.
Here in this you will have your heavenly religion to walk in,
which will keep you out of all the world's unruly ways and actions,
and ungracious words and languages.
That all your words be seasoned with the grace of God, that has brought you salvation,
that you may edify the hearers, and your citizenship may be in heaven.

And keep in the cross of Christ, the power of God,
that keeps you crucified to the world;
that is, dead to the world, and the world dead and crucified to you
:
for if you do not keep in this power of God,
to keep you crucified to the world,
but let in the spirit of the world, you let in its god,
which will crucify the good in you,
and you will come to crucify to yourselves the son of God afresh, and put him to open shame.
Therefore keep that crucified with the power of God, the cross of Christ,
which did and would crucify the just;
and then you will keep alive in the power of God,
and live in Christ Jesus, and he is alive in you, and you in him.

And now, all friends and brethren, let your meekness, your temperance,
and your gentleness and sobriety, and tenderness and moderation appear to all men,
"that your light may so shine, that they may see your good works,
and glorify your Father which is in heaven."

And you being the salt of the earth,
you will make all savory;
therefore take heed of losing your salt,
for fear that you be trodden under the feet of men
.

And keep out of the restless, discontented, disquieted spirit of the world about the government:
for you know it as been always our way to seek the good of all,
and to live peaceably under the government,
and to seek their eternal good, peace,
and happiness in the Lord Jesus Christ,
and to lay our innocent sufferings before them,
who have suffered as lambs and sheep, and made no resistance,
but have "prayed for them that persecuted us, and despitefully used us, and hated us,"
according to the command of Christ.
"For you were as sheep gone astray,
but are now returned unto the shepherd and bishop of your souls:
for to this place you are called;
because Christ has suffered for us, leaving us an example,
that you should follow his steps, who did no sin,
neither was guile found in his mouth:
who when he was reviled, reviled not again;
when he suffered, he threatened not;
but committed himself to him that judges righteously.

And he that will love life, and see good days,
let him refrain his tongue from speaking evil,
and his lips that he speak no guile." 1 Pet 3:10

George Fox

The 21st of the 9th month, 1681


360.-To suffering Friends in Leicester.
370 in Printing

Dear friends, that are in prison, and all Friends and sufferers that are in the county;
to whom is my love in the Lord's eternal power, and seed of life, that reigns over all,
in whom you have peace with God, and riches that are everlasting.

Now, dear friends, your sufferings have been long in that county,
and great have been your trials, and spoiling of your goods,
through your adversaries' and persecutors' rage against you;
but the Lord's secret hand and power is that which has upheld you through all to himself;
and therefore we may say,
'What shall separate us from the love of God that we have in Christ Jesus?
Shall tribulations, persecutions, powers, or principalities thrones or dominions?
No, there is nothing able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus,'

whom you have chosen:
a priest that is from above, not from below,
who has offered up himself to God for you,
who is not like the Jews' priests,
that had the tithes of the people

for offering up their outward offerings, and such like services.
So you have a priest from heaven,
that is made higher than the heavens,

and is the prophet that God has raised up like Moses,
whom you are to hear
in his light, grace, and truth.
And he is your shepherd from heaven,
who has laid down his life for his sheep
,
who is above all the earthly shepherds below;
and this shepherd will feed you with that which is heavenly.
And he is your bishop from heaven, to oversee you,
that you may be kept from sitting down in any earthly place with your minds, spirits, and souls;
but only to sit down in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
who is the heavenly and spiritual bishop, who lives forevermore, the first and last,
the beginning and ending
who is the first-born of every creature,
and the first begotten from the dead, who does quicken, and makes alive, and begets from the death,
and makes them to sit together (whom he has made alive) in the heavenly places in himself.

And now, dear friends, I do feel the Lord's eternal power present with you in all your sufferings,
how it has and does support you;
and therefore let your faith be steadfast in the power of God,
which will keep you all unto the day of salvation.
And that you may all be valiant and faithful for God's truth upon the earth
in this day of trial and persecution,
from both teachers, professors, and profane, which are below,
whose persecuting spirit will have but a time.
And therefore be of good faith;
for a sparrow shall not fall to the ground without the will of the Father;
and you are of more value than many sparrows.

And Blessed are they which suffer persecution for righteousness' sake,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
And blessed are you when men shall revile you, and persecute you,
and say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake.
'Rejoice, and be exceeding glad, for great is your reward in heaven.'
For so the old persecutors persecuted the prophets and apostles before you.

But rejoice inasmuch as you are partakers of Christ's sufferings;
for the spirit of glory, and of God, rests upon you
who are railed upon,
and suffer for his name's sake.
And though he is evil spoken of by your persecutors,
but on your part he is glorified
, that suffer for his name.
And therefore let none be ashamed to suffer as a Christian,
but let him glorify God
in his sufferings, who does support him.

And so, dear friends, live in love and unity,
and be kind, and courteous, and tender hearted one towards another;
yes, and to all your persecutors,
that you may heap coals of fire upon their heads;
and so overcome evil with good
.
And so the God of all peace establish you all upon his heavenly rock and foundation of life, (Christ Jesus),
which stands sure, and cannot be moved
.
And so with my love to you all in the holy seed, in which all nations are blest.
And in this seed, the Lord God Almighty keep and preserve you,
which bruises the head of the evil seed, that makes you to suffer.
And the Lord God Almighty arm you with his armor, and strengthen you,
that you may be able to stand to his glory,
and that he may be glorified in and among you. Amen.
So fare you well in the Lord.

George Fox

London, the 18th of the 12th month, 1681


361.- To Friends in Carolina.
371 in Printing

Dear friends,

With my love to all the faithful and tender Friends in Christ, the holy seed,
that bruises the head of the serpent,
(the cause of enmity),
in which seed no enmity is, nor can come;
for in this seed are all nations blessed,
which destroys the evil seed that brought the curse,
and his cursed works
and workers.
So let this seed Christ rule in all your hearts,
who was promised and prophesied of to come,
who is come, and reigns,
in whom is wisdom, salvation, life, and glory over all, the first and last;
this seed lives and reigns over all that changes and will have an end.
Now in this holy seed you enjoy the blessings,
and your election in it, which was before the world began.
Now in this holy seed is the treasure of wisdom and knowledge,
and as you all live and walk in this seed,
you will have wisdom and knowledge that is heavenly from this treasure;
with which wisdom and knowledge you will have understanding,
that all your conversations may be ordered by it aright,
and to preach righteousness, and holiness, and godliness,
so that you may glorify God in your lives and conversations,
and all your words may be gracious, and seasoned with grace;
and whatever promises you may make to any man, you may consider before,
that you may perform them
;
that so your words may preach righteousness and truth;
so that you may be the lights of the world, and the salt of the earth,
that by your light shining, you may answer the light in all men;
and by the grace, and by the salt, you may savor that which is unsavory;
and so by your good works, and keeping to the salt, and to the light shining,
you may be instrumental to open the eyes of others,
to know your Father which is in heaven, that they may glorify him.

And my desire is, that all Friends may keep low, and meek, and humble,
that he that does inhabit eternity may dwell with you
;
and that you may take up Christ's yoke,
that you may draw with his heavenly plough,
that with it the earth may be turned up,
that has oppressed and grieved the tender seed, and God's holy spirit;
so that God's plantations may be minded above the outward,
that his lilies and vines may grow,
and bring forth fruit to his praise, who gives the increase.

And now, dear friends, keep in the love of God, which edifies the body of Christ and bears all things.
And be gentle, and courteous, and kind one to another in the fear of the Lord;
for there is no danger in keeping low;
for the danger is to such that are high and lofty, and puffed up.
Such will swell; and though they may have good words, and a form of godliness,
yet such that do so swell, will break out into bitter fruits, strife, and contention;
and such go out from the power of God and his spirit, and so out of the camp of God,
and then out of the unity of the spirit, which is the bond of peace;
and therefore all must keep in the holy spirit of God,
if they will keep in fellowship with the saints in light,
and so keep the bond of peace.
For they that go from the spirit of God in themselves,
though they have the whole form of godliness,
they break the bond of peace;
and such run into vain disputes, strife, and contention.
But there is no such custom in the church of Christ,
which keeps the unity in the spirit, which is the bond of peace.
And now, dear friends, in the name and power of the Lord Jesus Christ, and his spirit,
keep all your meetings for worship, and your meetings for business,
that you may see that all that profess the light of Christ, and his truth, and have received it,
that they do walk according to truth, and as becomes the gospel,
that the name of God may not be blasphemed among you.
And if you of Ashly Cooper River, and that area, and Albemarle River, and that area,
had once a year, or once in a half year, a meeting together, it might do very well,
somewhere in the middle of the country, as you determine, meet,
as they have in Maryland and Rhode Island.
And if you had sometimes some meetings with the Indian kings and their people,
to preach the gospel of peace, of life, and of salvation to them;
for the gospel is to be preached to every creature;
and Christ has tasted, death for every man, and died for their sins,
that they might come out of death and sin,
and live to Christ, that died for them;
who has enlightened them, with the light, which is the life in himself;
and God pours out of this spirit upon all flesh; that is, upon all men and women.
And the grace and favor of God appears unto all men;
so that all may believe in his light, and walk in his holy spirit, and receive his grace,
which will teach them to live godly, and bring them salvation;
so that you may come to see the light of Christ's glorious gospel set up in those parts.
And God has promised he will lift up an ensign unto the nations.
And again, 'There shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign to the people; to it the Gentiles shall seek.'
And again, he said, 'For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.'
So, I desire that that part of the earth may be filled with the knowledge of the Lord.

And now, dear and tender friends,
my tender desire is, that you may in no way abuse,
neither by your words, nor by your lives nor conversations,
the liberty which God or the rulers have given you;
but in all things you may have an eye to God's glory,
that he may be glorified by you all,
who is worthy of all,
who is the Lord of all, both in heaven and earth,
blessed forever.

George Fox


362.-An Epistle concerning the Government of Christ, and his Peace,
of whose kingdom there shall be no end.
372 in Printing

Concerning the government of Christ, and his peace,
'of the increase of which there shall be no end,
upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom,
to order it, and to establish it with judgment, and justice,
from henceforth and forever.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.'

Now Christ Jesus, the second Adam, the Lord from heaven,
it is he who rules, and reigns, and governs in the hearts of his saints,
who are the believers in his light, (the life in him),
who is their governor and counselor, who died for their sins,
and is risen for their justification, and is the captain of salvation.

And Christ's government in the hearts of his people,
is by his grace and truth, that comes from Christ Jesus,
by whom all things were made,
who does enlighten every man that comes into the world,
which light is the life in him;

he said, 'Believe in the light, that you may become the children of the light;'
and such have the light of life,
and by it come under Christ's government and peace,
and his order in his light and life.
Now, they that hate his light,
they hate the life in Christ the heavenly man;
and such will hate Christ by whom all things were made and created;
and hate his order, and his justice, and judgment, and his light and life;
and such are not like to come into his established government and kingdom;
so Christ, who is the governor, the counselor, the orderer,
he orders and governs with his light (his life) in the hearts of all the believers in the light;
and all the believers in the light, have the witness in themselves,
of Christ their ruler, counselor, orderer, heavenly governor,
and of his judgment, justice, and peace;
and that of the increase of his government there is no end.

Now, they that hate the light,
which is the life in Christ the second Adam, the Lord from heaven,
they are those that would not have Christ rule over them nor in them;
therefore it condemns them.
And, what is the matter that all men and women do not see;
but are blind, and are not in unity ?
Is it not because they hate the light, (the life in the second Adam),
and will not come to the light
, nor walk in the light ?
And then, is not the light their condemnation,
who are in transgressing old Adam?
And, how are they like to see or believe, or have faith in Christ,
who hate his light, and will not come to it, which is the life in the second Adam?
And therefore all that hate his light (which is the life in him) are not like to see,
nor receive faith from him, that will not believe in his light, nor come to it, but hate it;
and such will hate both the divine faith and the author of it.
And therefore all that do hate the light (which is the life in Christ)
which he enlightens them withal
,
they hate his order, they hate his government, his rule;
yes, Christ the second Adam, the Lord from heaven;
and all such haters of Christ, his light, life, order, government, and counsel,
are in a false liberty, though they may profess Christ or his government in words,
yet not believing in the light, and walking in the light (the life of Christ)
they have no true fellowship one with another, but are in confusion;
and have no true fellowship with the believers in the light (the life in Christ)
nor with the son, and the Father;

for, how should they?
For until they come to believe in the light, (the life in the second Adam),
they cannot see their own states, they are in a blind state;
for none see, nor enter into the kingdom of God, till they are born again;
and those that are born again, are the believers in the light (the life in Christ)
and so become children of the light, grafted into Christ
;
and such do know and see the true liberty in Christ Jesus, the second Adam;
all such do see, and know, that all false liberty is out of the light,
(the life in the second Adam), in old Adam in the transgression.

And Christ that enlightens every man that comes into the world,
(which is the life in him)
, such come to Christ, and are grafted into him the head,
and so hold Christ their head, by whom all things were made and created;
who is over all, from everlasting to everlasting, the first and the last, the beginning and the ending.
These are they that see his order, his government, and his rule in their hearts,
and receive his law of spirit and life, and live and walk in it,
which makes them free from the law of sin and death.
These see Christ to be the author and finisher of their holy, divine, precious faith.
'And their faith stands in Christ, who is the author of it,
who has all power in heaven and earth given to him.'

And the mystery of this faith they hold in a pure conscience and do know the law of this faith,
and the law of love that God has shed in their hearts through Jesus Christ.
And so in this light, faith, and life,
that they have from Jesus the second Adam, the Lord from heaven,
they come all to be of one faith, of one light, and one life;
and so of one mind, heart, and judgment
, in this new covenant of light and life;
so in it they are under the government, and counsel, and order of Jesus,
that he establishes in his everlasting covenant of light and life in their hearts.

The law came by Moses,
and all the Jews were to be under the law in the old covenant;
and this law served till Christ (the seed) came, in his new covenant.
He is come, and now grace and truth are come by Jesus Christ, the great governor.
And now, this grace and this truth is come from him,
into the hearts of all his believers.

And with and in this grace and truth,
Christ rules in the hearts of them that receive his grace and truth;
and with this grace and truth, and in it,
every believer and saint receives Christ their governor,
and his order, and his counsel, and heavenly judgment,
and justice from the heavenly man, in his established government,
which he establishes with his grace and truth.
Now this grace of God which brings salvation, which has appeared unto all men,
manifests that all men have a day of grace and favor;
Now this has to be the special grace of God, which brings salvation,
which has appeared unto all men.
Now then, not receiving this grace and favor of God,
but turning from this grace into wantonness [unrestrained sin],
and walking despitefully against the spirit of grace;
therein they are hardened, and blind, and turn that into negligence of restraint,
and walk despitefully against it;
which should teach them, and bring their salvation.
And therefore such come to be blind,
and hardened against the grace and favor of God,
that turn it into wantonness [unrestrained sin], as I said before,
and walk despitefully against the spirit of grace and truth;
and such turn against God and Christ, from where grace and truth come,
and turn from and against his people
that are established in the grace of God, that brings their salvation.
Though such may profess God and Christ in words only, of his grace and truth,
their profession will come to nothing,
except they receive his grace and truth into their hearts.
They that do receive Christ in his grace and truth, which come from him;
they know his government in the truth, and in the covenant of grace;
yes, in their hearts,
and know their gracious and true liberty in the grace and truth,
and in Christ from where it comes,
and his holy and heavenly order in his grace,
and his reign in their hearts.
And, all such that walk despitefully against the spirit of grace,
and turn the grace into wantonness [unrestrained sin], though such may profess God and Christ,
their profession will come to nothing,
and all their liberty is false, and in the flesh, in old Adam in transgression.
For true liberty is in the grace and truth that is come by Jesus,
which leads up unto Jesus, from where it comes,
in whom the everlasting true liberty is.

For Christ, who is the truth, holy and pure,
he reigns in the truth, and in his grace.
And therefore every man and woman,
must with this grace and truth in their hearts, (which they have from Christ);
feel and see Christ's reign and rule in their hearts;
and him in his heavenly, eternal, everlasting government.

The Lord spoke by his prophet Joel,
'that it shall come to pass in the last days,
that God will pour out of his spirit upon all flesh,'. Joel 2:28.

And Peter said, 'This is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel,
it shall come to pass in the last days, (said God),
that I will pour out of my spirit upon all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy;
your young men shall see visions,
and your old men shall dream dreams;
and on my servants, and on my handmaids,
I will pour out in those days of my spirit,
and they shall prophesy.' Acts 2:16-18.

Now it is God that pours out of his spirit upon all flesh,
by which sons, daughters, young men, old men,
servants, and handmaids, have their visions, and prophecies, and, dreams.
And these last days are the days of Christ, in his gospel and new covenant.

It is said in the old covenant,
that God did pour out of his spirit upon the house of Israel, and the house of Judah.
But in the days of the new covenant of light and grace,
God poured out of his spirit upon all flesh, both Jews and Gentiles.
Now all flesh must come to the spirit of God, and be led and guided by it,
if they will see Christ's heavenly spiritual government and order;
and with this spirit, to know Christ the spiritual man,
to rule and govern in their hearts.
And all that by this spirit are circumcised,
they eat of the heavenly passover, or their bread from heaven.
And all that are baptized with the spirit, are baptized into one body,
and do all drink into one spirit.

So here they are one, in this spiritual fellowship,
which is the true church-fellowship;
even that church which is in God, the pillar and ground of truth,
which church Christ is the heavenly and spiritual head of;
and well he may, for he is the author of their faith,
and the author of their light, and life, grace, and truth,
and spirit, and gospel of peace and salvation;
by which he rules in the hearts of his living members, the church.
And all those who grieve, vex, quench, and rebel against the spirit,
come to be blind, as the Jews,
and will not see with their eyes, nor hear with their ears,
nor perceive with their hearts;

and such may profess Christ in the new testament, and the apostles' words,
and the government, and order of Christ;
as the Jews did profess the old testament, and Christ to come;
but they would not receive him then, when he was come
.
No more do they now, that profess he is come, who vex and quench his spirit,
and grieve it, and rebel against it, and err from it.

And such are not like to receive Christ into their hearts,
nor come into his heavenly order, and establish peaceable government,
as those who are led by the spirit of God, which are the sons of God,
and keep the unity of the spirit;
which holy spirit is the bond of peace
among all Christ's subjects, lambs, and sheep,
that feed together in the pasture of life.
For it is God that gives the heavenly understanding of Christ's established government and order.
And they that quench, and vex, and rebel against the spirit of God,
will rebel against Christ's established government and order,
and his people that are in it,
that are led by the spirit of wisdom and understanding, and a sound mind.
And such as will not hear the spirit of God in themselves,
will neither hear God nor Christ, nor his sheep, nor such as he sends,
but rebel against them.

Now the gospel being preached to, or in, every creature under heaven;
which gospel is the power of God to salvation, to everyone that believes;
so all that receive this gospel, the power of God unto salvation, in their hearts,
receive Christ, (the power of God), and his government and order in the power.
And Christ reigns in their hearts in his power;
and such come into the gospel order;
and they that come to be heirs of the gospel, the power of God to salvation,
are heirs of Christ's peaceable established government,
and are true subjects to Christ's power, and established peaceable government;
and so this gospel, the power of God to salvation, is peaceable, joyful, and comfortable,
which is the gospel of Christ, the second Adam, the Lord from heaven;
and is not called the gospel of old Adam in transgression.
And this gospel, which is the power of God unto salvation,
keeps all that believe in it, in the everlasting joy, peace, and comfort, and in order;
for it is the everlasting gospel, which brings life and immortality to light,
by which they see over the devil, and before he was,
that has blinded them, and darkened them from life and immortality.
So in this gospel that has brought life and immortality to light in God's people,
both men and women, they are established in the order of it,
in which they do serve the eternal everlasting God of truth.

Now all they that do not receive the gospel of Christ, the power of God to salvation,
which is preached to every, or in every creature under heaven,
life and immortality are not brought to light in them;
and such the God of the world has blinded,
(and so they remain blind under the God of the world),
and such are blind concerning the order of the gospel,
and are ignorant of their salvation,
and of the joy, and comfort, and peace of the gospel;
neither can they serve God in the gospel,
though they may profess Christ, and his gospel in words, yet such have no comfort of it.
And therefore such as disobey the gospel of Christ, the power of God to salvation,
and will not receive it, nor believe in it,
how can they receive the order of the gospel of Christ,
the heavenly man, from where the gospel comes;
or to receive him to reign in their hearts,
when they will not receive his gospel, the power of God to salvation, in their hearts?
And again, how can they receive his people, or believe his people,
that are in the order of the gospel of Christ, and have received it and him in their hearts,
who disobey it, and will not receive it in their own hearts ?
Such are not like to come into the order of the gospel, that disobey it.
Such will disobey Christ, and will not regard his people, in whom he reigns,
who walk in the order of his gospel, the power of God unto salvation.

Now it is Christ the second Adam, that lights every man that comes into the world,
with the light, (which is the life in himself),
and all that believe in the light, and become children of the light,

and walk in it, walk in unity and fellowship,
and in the order of the light and government of Christ; in such Christ lives.
And all those that hate this light, and will not come to it, nor believe in it,
are condemned by it.

Now, 'the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared unto all men;'
and all men that receive this grace and truth, that is come by Jesus,

they receive Christ from where it comes,
in their hearts, to be their teacher and their salvation;
and so come into Christ's government and order,
in the truth, and into the covenant of grace.
And they that hate the truth,
and turn from the grace into wantonness [urestrained sin] ,
and walk despitefully against the spirit of grace,
they turn against Christ, his order and government, and his power also.

And God pouring out of his spirit upon all flesh:
all that are led by the spirit of God, and Christ, are the sons of God;

and such are obedient to Christ's spiritual order and government.
And thsoe who quench the spirit of God, and rebel against it,
rebel against Christ's order and government, and him in his people;
and their spiritual fellowship, and the gospel of salvation,
being preached to every creature under heaven;
which gospel is the power of God.

Every creature under heaven must receive this gospel in their hearts,
if they receive Christ and his government, and his order of the gospel,
and him to rule in their hearts.

And all you that have received it, have received the comfort of it;
and those that disobey and rebel against the gospel, the power of God,
such disobey and rebel against God and Christ, and his government,
and his people who are in the order of the gospel, the power of God.
And as it is said, 'Christ is in you, except you be reprobates;'
and all who receives Christ in them, it is by his light, (which is the life in him),
and the grace and truth that comes by Jesus,
and the faith that he is the author of, and his spirit and gospel.
This they must receive in their hearts, if they receive Christ in them.

And Christ said to his disciples and followers,
that he would send them the spirit of truth, (the comforter),
which should proceed from the Father and the son,
which should lead them into all truth;
and he should reprove the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment.

So that which leads the believers and disciples of Christ into all truth, and is their comforter,
is the reprover of the world of their sin, righteousness, and judgment.
So here that which is the world's reprover,
is the saints' comforter, and leader into all truth,
and so into all true fellowship, and true liberty.
And this holy spirit, and comforter,
does not proceed from old Adam, nor any of his followers,
but from the Father and the son.
And so everyone is to have oil in your own lamps, from the heavenly olive tree,
that your lamps may burn always, both night and day, in your tabernacles,
looking to your high priest who will feed your lamps with heavenly oil.

And everyone have heavenly salt in yourselves to savor withal,
what is earthly, and what is heavenly;
and what is from below, and what is from above;
and what is out of the truth, and what is in the truth.

And that everyone may keep their own vine in their own garden,
and their own lily in their own field, or orchard;
which lily exceeds Solomon in all his glory.
And everyone have the word of faith in their hearts and mouths, to obey and do,
which will sanctify, and make you holy, and reconcile you to God.
And every one have the anointing, or unction, within you,
which you have from the Father, or Holy One;
so that in it you may continue in the Father, and in the son.

And every one continue in the grace of God, which will teach you how to live,
and what to deny, and will bring your salvation,

and establish you upon Christ, the rock and foundation,
from where the grace does come.

And every one abide in the holy, divine, and precious faith,
which you hold in a pure conscience,

by which faith you live, and have victory over that which displeases God;
and in this faith you please God,
which Jesus Christ, the Lord from heaven, is the author and finisher of.

And everyone who has dug deep, and found the pearl of great price;
and has sold all, and purchased the field,
then the field and pearl is your own;
such do know a thorough redemption
.

And all you believers in the light, (which is the life in Christ),
who have become the children of light
, walk in the light,
and in Christ, as you have received him.

And every one mind the heavenly leaven, that will leaven you into a new lump.

And everyone keep the feast of Christ our passover,
with his heavenly unleavened bread, in sincerity and truth.

And every one mind the light, that God has commanded to shine out of darkness,
and has shined into your hearts,
' to give you the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, (your savior),
that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of yourselves;'

in this you are sensible of his heavenly treasure in your earthly vessels;
and every one have water in your own wells and cisterns,
and heavenly fruit on your trees, which God has planted.

Nebuchadnezzar, though his greatness reached to heaven, as a tree,
yet he was to be 'hewn down, until he knew that the Most High rules in the kingdoms of men;
and the God of heaven shall set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed;
and the kingdom shall not be left to other people.' Dan 2:44-45

And the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.' Dan 2:35

'They shall not hurt nor destroy in my holy mountain;
for the earth shall be full or the knowledge of the Lord,
as the waters cover the sea.' Isa 11:9

George Fox

The 27th of the 8th month, 1681


363.To Friends in Jamaica
373 in Printing

Dear friends,

With my love in the Lord to you all;
it has been often in my mind, from a sense of the spirit of the Lord;
which thing I shall lay before you, and commend it to the witness of God in all your consciences.

The thing is this: that if you had (once in a year) a Yearly Meeting,
as they have in Holland, Germany, and Friesland, and at Rhode Island, and in England, and elsewhere,
which is, and has been, of great service;
for Friends to see one another, and know how the affairs of truth prosper,
and how Friends do grow in the truth of God,
to the comfort and joy of one another in it;
in which the Lord Jesus Christ is exalted.
And if there should be any difference among Friends,
it may be ended at the Yearly Meeting,
by some Friends out of the meeting,
which could not be ended at other meetings.
So that all things (by the truth and power of God) may be kept in peace and love,
all dwelling in the wisdom of God, that is from above,
which is pure, and peaceable, and gentle, and easy to be entreated
.
And so for you once in a year to meet together in the Lord's power,
and to wait upon him in his spirit and truth one day,
and then another day you may have a Yearly men and women's meeting in the Lord's power;
which in time you may find and feel a great service in the Lord's spirit and power;
in which you may feel his presence and blessing to flow among you.
And as for place and time, I shall leave it to your best convenience;
and the Lord direct you, that you may do all things, whatever you do, to his glory.
For you know that in other countries, or provinces,
they have either Half-Year Meetings or Yearly Meetings, except in Jamaica,
which several times has been in my mind for you to have one there;
for where they are settled, they see a great service in them;
and the Lord has owned them, and honored them with his presence,
and that keeps all in a sense of a care of his glory, and a care of one another,
that they may be kept and preserved in God's eternal truth,
in meekness, in gentleness, and in tenderness, and in love,
that edifies the body of Christ
, the second Adam, the Lord from heaven.
And so that all of you, in godliness, holiness, and righteousness,
may spend your days to the glory of God;
that your citizenship may be in heaven,
and not below in the earth, among the wicked;
that the Lord God, and his son Christ Jesus, may be glorified in you all,
who is over all, blessed forever. Amen.

And, friends, it would be very well,
if you brought on your case of not swearing, and taking oaths,
which has been lost through that spirit which was unfaithful;
now the same governor is come over again,
in whose time (when he was there formerly) that act was obtained at the assembly,
in which your yes and no was taken instead of an oath and swearing.
Therefore, see if you can prevail with this governor and his assembly, to have the same act renewed again,
and to clear yourselves from that spirit which was the cause that the act was repealed;
So with my love in the Lord Jesus Christ to you all.

And my desires are, that you may all be preserved in God's power, to his glory;
and that you may grow in the truth,
and with the truth answer the truth in everyone's inward parts;
so that you may spread the truth abroad,
and that with it your hearts may be united together.
And walk in it, and in the love of it; for love edifies the body of Christ.
And that you may be good examples in the truth,
and in righteousness and holiness,
and show forth christianity in the possession of it,
above the outside professors.

George Fox

From Dolston, the 24th of the 7th month, 1682


364.- To Friends in Holland.
374 in Printing

Friends and brethren, in the holy seed of life, that reigns over all;
in it walk, and in the power, and spirit, and truth of God,
that you all may be as a city set upon a hill, that cannot be hidhen;
and the salt of the earth, and light of the world,

to answer the light of Christ in all,
and be a good savor in them that are saved, and in them that perish.
And all live in love, that bears all things, and edifies the body of Christ,
and grow up in him, your head and life;
and be kind, and courteous, and tender in affection to one another,
and walk as becomes the gospel of Christ, the power of God.

Dear friends, this Yearly Meeting the Lord's power was over all, and his seed of life;
and the Lord's living refreshing presence was among us in all our meetings.
And your epistle from your Yearly Meeting in Holland was read,
to the refreshing of Friends;
and another from the Half-Year's Meeting in Ireland;
and a testimony from Scotland, that Friends are in love and unity there,
and the truth prospers and spreads;
and by letter from America, that Friends are pretty well there;
and at Algeria, in the Turks' country, Friends have set up a meeting,
about twenty that are captives, among themselves;
and a Friend that is a captive, declared the truth there among them;
and their masters do let them meet, and it may be of great service there.
And the Lord's power is over all,
and in it be valiant for God's truth upon the earth, and spread it abroad;
and that you may all, in humility, exalt the Lord,
and that the presence of God, and his son, may be among you all;
and so the blessing of the Lord be among you all. Amen.

George Fox

London, the 17th of the 4th month, 1682.


365.-To Friends in Barbados.
375 in Printing

Dear friends,

In all your meetings, see that the Lord God be glorified, and have an eye to his glory,
and let all things be done without strife or reflections;
but all to mind the testimony of life, and that which does preserve your unity in it;
and in that you will seek one another's good, and not slight one another;
but to esteem one another in the truth, and keep low in humility,
for such God will exalt.

And be kind and tender hearted one to another,
and dwell in the love of God, that he sheds abroad in your hearts;
for that love which comes from God does edify the body of Christ.
And therefore you must be of a noble spirit, that are of the noble birth, born of the spirit;
and to love the brotherhood in the spirit,
and to esteem all men and women, as they are God's creation;
whose natural sun shines and rain falls upon the just and unjust,

and on their natural fields;
and so does God's eternal son of righteousness shine with his light,
and grace, and spirit, that he enlightens them withal,
and gives his grace and peace to all;
for his spirit is poured out upon all.
Thus he shines through all, and upon all, and over all, and above all;
and therefore let your light shine, that are the believers in the light, that are become the children of the light,
that others may glorify your Father which is in heaven in seeing your good works,

and your good and gracious word, and lives and conversations;
and mind the more excellent way the apostle showed to the Corinthians,
which is the love that will bear all things, and is not puffed up, nor envies not.

This keeps above all brittleness.

And, friends, after your meetings are settled and seasoned by the power of the Lord,
if you do alter them, without the consent of Friends in the power of the Lord,*
that makes and breeds discontent;
and therefore keep them, after they are settled,
in the power of the Lord, (and you settled in it),
upon Christ the holy rock and foundation of God, that stands sure.
And in all your meetings, if there occurs any difference between brother and brother,
do not reflect one upon another in meetings,
but speak one to another between yourselves, as Christ commands;
and then you may preach the gospel of peace freely,
and speak the truth in the love of it, as it is in Christ Jesus.
And this is the best way;
so that nothing may be seen in your meetings but the life, truth, and peace;
so that the serpent, whose meat is dust, may find none in your meetings;
and none to quench nor abuse the power or spirit, nor any to go beyond its motion;
for, if you do, you will both bring trouble and burdens upon yourselves, and others,
and run out, that so you can hardly get in again.
And therefore be wise in the heavenly wisdom of God,
to be ordered in his spirit of understanding,
to the glory of God, and the comfort and edifying of his people;
that you all may know how to behave yourselves in the church of God,
to the glory of God.
And let all your lives and conversations preach virtue,
purity, righteousness, holiness, and godliness,
else you cannot be the lights of the world, nor the salt of the earth.
And when any do badly or wickedly,
they, instead of being lights or salt, are unsavory, and are stumbling blocks;
and when the salt has lost its savor, it is good for nothing,
but to be trodden under the foot of men
;
and therefore keep your savor, and then you will not come under the foot of men;
and in the light, and then you will not go into darkness.

* Friends in the power of the Lord, are mature in Christ. These are the only members who are in unity with the Spirit. These are the only members that should be allowed to make policy. No changes should be made without the concurrence of someone who is in the power of God, grown up into the fullness of Christ, into the head, a perfect man.

And therefore have salt in yourselves, and oil in your own lamps,
and keep in your own houses, (for it is the whore who does not abide in her own house),
with the word of life, and grace, and truth within,
and to the light and purifying faith, and mortifying and baptizing holy spirit of God;
the fruits of which spirit are love, peace, long suffering, gentleness, meekness, temperance.
And bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ;
and forgive one another, as Christ has forgiven you;
and strive to excel one another in holiness, and righteousness, and godliness,
and meekness, and modesty, in virtue, truth, and love,
that you may all live to the praise and glory of God. Amen.
And the Lord said, Isaiah 49:8 speaking of Christ,
'I will give you for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth,
to cause to inherit the desolate heritages.'

So that you may see the fulfilling of this in the promise, and have a care of God's glory;
and all live in the seed Christ, your sanctuary, which is a safe place, over all storms, and destroyers,
who was before they were, and will be when they are gone;
in whom you all have rest and peace;
and by whom you are presented to God, holy in body, soul, and spirit.
And therefore all must be kept clean and holy,
if that they do offer up, or be presented to him that is holy;
and therefore you must be a holy people, and walk in the holy truth,
and obey the holy word of God, and walk godly,
as the grace of God teaches, which brings salvation,

and walk in the light;
if that you do keep in the fellowship, in the heavenly light.
And in this you differ from the world that makes a profession of the scriptures of truth, and dishonors God,
and causes his holy name to be blasphemed,
by their not obeying the word,
nor walking in the light, spirit, grace, and truth,
whose candle is gone out, and now cannot endure to hear talk of the light.
And therefore 'let your light so shine before men,
that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven;'

and then you will have his favor, presence, and blessing;
and the Lord God Almighty preserve you all, and Friends everywhere ,
in his power and seed Christ Jesus. Amen.

George Fox

The 26th day of the 8th month, 1682

366.-To Friends in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
376 in Printing

Dear friends,

With my dear love to you all, in God's holy peaceable truth;
and my desires are, that you may be all kept careful of God's glory.
Now in your settling of plantations and provinces,
and especially in woody countries, as those are,
you may have many trials and troubles;
but if you keep in the wisdom of God,
that will keep you gentle, and kind, and easy to be entreated one of another
,
that will preserve you out of heats, or extremes, or passions;
and that all Friends that come over, be with speed settled in their plantations,
that they may not lie and waste their time, both of themselves and their servants,
and spend that which should help to settle them in their plantations.
And therefore you that are concerned in ordering those things,
have a care that no reproach come upon yourselves, and your countries;
but there may be such care taken in all things,
that there may be no complaints come into England against you.

And I desire that you may be very kind, and courteous, to all in necessity, in the love of God;
for there are many people go over to your countries, some poor and some rich;
and so, many eyes are upon you, and them that come over to you;
and therefore my desire is, that you may all be careful in the love of God,
and in his truth and righteousness, as the family of God;
and be careful and tender to your servants, in all respects,
that there may come no complaints from them or others;
that so in all things you may be ordered by the wisdom of God,
that his blessing may be among you.

And, dear friends, I desire that you would send over an account by the next ship how many meetings you have,
and how many meetings monthly, of men and women,
and how many Quarterly Meetings, and Half-Year Meetings;
and let us know how truth spreads and prospers among you;
which you would do well to write over every year, to the Yearly Meeting at London.
So, with my love in the seed, which reigns over all,
in whom you have all life and salvation, and peace in the Lord God.

George Fox


367.- To Friends that are Prisoners in York.
377 in Printing

Dear friends, with my love to you, and all the rest of the faithful Friends in bonds;
and my desire is to the Lord,
that you all may stand faithful and valiant for his glorious name,
and his holy peaceable truth, now in this day of storm and tempest,
that none may turn their backs on the Lord in this day of trial,
and none may be ashamed of confessing of Christ before the adulterous generation,
as Christ said, for fear that Christ be ashamed of them before his Father, and before his holy angels.
And therefore now is the time and day of your trial;
for the Lord is just; though I know that the faithful and innocent, just, and righteous must stand it out.
And therefore mind the Lord in all your sufferings,
and keep all low, and in the humility of heart,
and there you will feel that he that inhabits eternity, dwells with an humble heart,
and he will be your shield and buckler, and defender in time of trouble.
And the Lord has promised to deliver his people in the six troubles,
yes, in the seventh
, the perfection of troubles;
and therefore do not think time long, and your sufferings long,
for the Lord will lay no more upon you but what you are able to bear;
yes, upon his faithful people.
I know it, and am a witness for God in all my sufferings and imprisonments,
and haling before magistrates about sixty times, about these thirty-six years.
And so, friends, when you are tried,
you may come forth more precious than gold that is tried in the fire;
and keep the word of patience,
and it will keep you from the temptations that come upon the world to try them;
for the word of God was before the world was.
And though you are in outward bonds from your wives, families, houses, and relations,
yet the word of God is not bound, neither can they bind the word of God;
it is at liberty, it abides and endures forever
;
it will make you all rich,
though they think to make you poor with their bonds, and cast you into prisons;
but, I tell you, the word of God will make you rich,
for the word of God was before the wicked and his bonds were;
for in the beginning was the word, but since the beginning was the devil,
who had cast some into prison, spoken of in Revelation:
that ten days might be a longer time than ten natural days.

'For they that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution' by the ungodly;
for it was the just that suffered by the unjust in all ages;
and Christ said to Saul, 'Why do you persecute me?'
So they that stood in Christ, and were in Christ Jesus,
it was Christ who was persecuted, as well as they in whom he reigned.
And do not you understand, and know,
the sufferings and trials the holy men of God went through;
and how by faith they subdued the mountains;
and consider the faith of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,
and the faith of Abel, and Enoch, and Noah, and the faith of Jeremiah, and the rest or the prophets,
and the faith of Daniel, and the three children, and the faith of all the apostles,
what sufferings and imprisonments they went through;
and consider all the martyrs since the apostles' days,
consider what sufferings they have gone through;

and God and Christ is the same to uphold you,
that are given up in his spirit, power, and faith, to stand for his glory;
and be valiant for his truth and name upon the earth.
And therefore keep in your sanctuary, Christ Jesus, who destroys the destroyer,
and bruises the serpent's head;

and so in Christ Jesus, your sanctuary, you all are in safety,
in whom you have all life, and salvation, and peace with God,
in him you may all triumph and rejoice with exceeding great joy, and say,
'What shall separate us from the love of God which we have in Christ Jesus?'
And the apostle said to the saints in their days,
that 'there was not anything able to separate him from the love of God in Christ Jesus;
'
you feeling the same love,
you feeling the same faith to dwell in you, and walk by;
'for the just shall live by faith,' which is his victory,
and has access to God, in which he pleases God.
And so with my love to you all in Christ Jesus,
who was before the devil was, that makes you to suffer, and will be when he is gone.
In Christ you have heavenly peace, that none can take away from you;
in him dwell and live. Amen.

POSTSCRIPT.

And all be faithful in their testimony of life, against riches,
and all those things which have come up in this night of apostasy,
from the light, life, and power of Christ and God;
against all looseness whatsoever,
that the heavenly camp of God may be kept holy, clean, and pure.

And all Friends, look at the Lord above all your sufferings,
and trust in him, who with his eternal power has preserved you to this day;
and the Lord in his glorious power
was with us in all our assemblies, at this Yearly Meeting;
he over all has the dominion,
and over all evil spirits gave dominion to his people.
Glory to his name forever. Amen.

And therefore let your faith be in the gospel, the power of God,
which has brought life and immortality to light in you.

George Fox


368.- To all the elect of God, chosen and faithful,
who have known the work of the Lord,
and his dealings, and his eternal hand,
his spirit and power, in preserving of you to this day,
and in the glorious gospel day of Christ Jesus;
who are built upon him,
the holy rock and foundation of God, that stands sure,
and are fed with the heavenly bread,
and feel the springs of living water,

who daily gives the increase.

378 in Printing


And now, friends, with the eternal power, and heavenly light of Christ,
with it you have seen, and do see, and will see, that which Christ has spoken,
Matt 13 and Luke 8:5, which he taught to the great multitude in parables,
when he sat in a ship;
'Behold,' said Christ, 'a sower went out to sow his seed,
and as he sowed, some fell by the highway side, and it was trodden down,
and the fowls of the air devoured it;
and some fell upon the rocks, or stony places, where they had not much earth,
and as soon as it was sprung up it withered away.'
So he that received the seed into rocky and stony places,
the same is he that received the word with joy, yet has he not root in himself,
but endured for awhile, or for awhile believed,
and in temptations fell away;
for when tribulations or persecutions arise because of the word,
by and by he is offended;
and upon too many such have we seen this parable fulfilled in times of persecutions, and tribulations, and sufferings;
when the heat of persecution is up, they are scorched, and withered away, and so come to nothing.
'And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprung up and choked it.'
And they also that received seed among the thorns,
are they that hear the word, and when they have heard,
go forth, and are choked with the cares of this world, and deceitfulness of riches,
and pleasures of this life, and become unfruitful, and bring no fruit to perfection.
And this is seen to be the condition of too many.
But the other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit,
some thirty, some sixty, and some a hundred fold.'
So they that received the seed into the good ground,
are they who (in an honest and good heart) have heard the word,
and understand it, and keep it,
and bring forth fruit with patience,
some a hundred fold, some sixty, some thirty, as was said before.

These are the honest and good hearts,
upon whom Christ, the son of righteousness, shines, that nourishes his good seed,
who brings forth fruit unto perfection,
who live over the deceitful riches and cares of the word,
and the pleasures of this life that pass away;
who are not offended nor moved at tribulations and persecutions,
but patiently do endure them;
such do bring forth fruit unto perfection,

yes, a hundred, sixty, thirty fold in Christ Jesus,
who bruises the head of the serpent that make men and women's hearts
like the highway, thorny, rocky, and stony ground.
For men and women, whose hearts are like unto the highways,
stony, rocky and thorny ground, the seed has fallen into these grounds,

(as before), and from these grounds all can talk of the seed, and of the word,
but bring forth no fruit unto perfection.
And therefore let all consider what ground you are, and what fruit you bring forth;
and when you hear the word of the kingdom, that you understand it,
which none can, without the light and spirit of Christ, (and walk in it),
but he that shall endure to the end in the light, in the grace, truth, and spirit,
and in Christ, from whom you do receive these, shall be saved.
For the apostle said, 'The just man lives by faith.'
And this is not by any faith which men make,
but by the faith which Christ Jesus is both the author and finisher of,
in your hearts and consciences
;
and in this faith you have access to God, and do please him.
But, 'if any man draw back,' (that is, in not living by this faith),
does not the Lord say, 'My soul shall have no pleasure in him?'

But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition,
(that is a sad drawing back),
but of them that believe, to the saving of our souls.

George Fox

From Kingston upon Thames, the 2nd of the 9th month, 1682


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