The Missing Cross to Purity


The Journal of George Fox - 1656 - 1657 - On to Scotland <page 1 >


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After we had stayed there two or three days, we came to Thomas Mounce's, where we had a general meeting for the whole county; which, being very large, was held in his orchard. Friends from Plymouth were there, and from many other places. The Lord's power was over all, and there was a great convincement in many parts of the county. Their watches were down, and all was unobstructed and open; for the Lord had let me see, before I was at liberty, that he would make all the country unobstructed before us. Thomas and Ann Curtis, with a convinced alderman of Reading, had come to Lanceston to see us while I was prisoner, and when Ann and the other man returned, Thomas Curtis stayed behind in Cornwall, and had good service for the Lord at that time.

From Thomas Mounce's we passed to Lanceston again, and visited the little remnant of Friends that had been raised up there while we were in prison; and the Lord's plants grew finely, and were established on Christ, their rock and foundation. As we were going out of town again, the constable of Lanceston came running to us with the cheese that had been taken from Edward Pyot; which they had kept from us all this while, and were tormented with it. But being now at liberty, we would not receive it.

From Lanceston we came to Okington, and spent the night at an inn, which the mayor of the town kept. He had stopped and taken up several Friends, but was very civil to us; and was convicted in his judgment.

From there, we came through the country-side to Exeter, and on the first day, we went to prison to visit the prisoners, but overnight I sent for James Naylor because I saw he was out [out of the unity of the Spirit]. The next day we went to the prison to hold a meeting. I saw he and his company were wrong and I admonished him.

As the link will show, Naylor had been previously instructed in a letter to deny his group of friends that led to his disturbance. Naylor had failed significantly, before his imprisonment and subsequent scandalous actions.

James Naylor was in prison because shortly before we were set at liberty, James ran out into imaginations with a company of other Friends, and they created a huge cloud of darkness in the nation. He came to Bristol, and made a disturbance there. From there he was coming to Lanceston to see me; but was stopped by the way, and imprisoned at Exeter; as were several others that were coming to see me, one of whom, an honest, tender man, died in prison there; whose blood lies on the heads of his persecutors.

The night that we came to Exeter, I spoke with James Naylor; for I saw he was out, [of the spirit and truth] and wrong, and so was his company. The next day, being First-day, we went to visit the prisoners, and had a meeting with them in the prison; but James Naylor and some of them could not stay at the meeting unless they could keep on their hats while I prayed. He and his friends were the first that made that bad example to Friends. [There was a whole group of Friends, headed by Naylor and John Perrot, who had first separated based on their mistaken belief that it was an outward custom only, and they didn't need to take their hats off to show respect to God. Fox had to write a letter to all the Assemblies, to show how silly it was. But the hat problem was a minor annoyance, when compared to Naylor's subsequence disturbance.] There came a corporal of horse into the meeting, who was convinced, and remained a very good Friend.

The next day I spoke to James Naylor again; and he slighted what I said, and was dark, and much out of the true spirit; yet he would have come and kissed me. But I said, 'since he had turned against the power of God, I could not receive his kindness.'* So the Lord moved me to slight him, and to 'set the power of God over him.' So after I had been warring with the world, there was now a wicked spirit risen up among Friends to war against. I admonished him and his company.

*Site Editor's Comments: It was my foot is in the original Journal, (Cambridge Journal), instead of  I could not receive his kindness. The expression my foot! is an English colloquialism, meaning no way, a dismissive exclamation of denial or rejection. (I grew up using this same expression in the 1960's, and it is documented on the web as an old English colloquialism). Naylor wanted to kiss the man, whose second severe warning he had just ignored; this is like Judas wanting to kiss Jesus on the night he betrayed him. Such a kiss from one who is in the wrong, is only an attempt to smooth over the difference without admission of error, attempting to make the one rebuking them look worse than themselves. Fox was right to slight his kindness. Fox had now warned Naylor once by letter regarding his associates, and twice more in prison that he was out of the Spirit of God. When Naylor was later released from Exeter, the real trouble occurred as Naylor and his friends approached Bristol, in a silly, shameful re-enactment of Christ's entry into Jerusalem. The opponents of the Quaker movement seized on this lapse of judgment of Naylor and used it as an excuse to denigrate and massively persecute the Quakers nationwide.

When Naylor departed for London, he resisted the power of God in me and the truth that I had declared to him; this became one of his greatest burdens.

From Friends Library, Vol. XI, 1847, page 338.  (A very strong warning.)

From W. Caton's Manuscript Collection at Swarthmore

Among the Swarthmore collection of letters, was found the following address from George Fox to James Nayler about this time:—it is endorsed by George Fox thus :— ‘g ff to james naler 1656.' and at foot is a memorandum in the same hand-writing as that of the letter, namely.—' This is a copy of the letter that was found in his possession when he was examined.'

James, you must bear your own burden and your company's with you, whose iniquity does increase; and by you, is not cried against. You have satisfied the world, yes, their desires which they looked for. You and your disciples, and the world [are] joined against the Truth, it is manifest through your willfulness and stubbornness; and this is the word of the Lord God to you. Many did not expect that you would have been an encourager of such, as those who cry against the power and life of Truth; but you would have been a nourisher of Truth, and would not have trained up a company against it. And what is that which does fulfill the world's prophecy and their desires? Therefore consider, and search yourself, if this is innocence. The light of God in you all I own, but this I judge.

George Fox

For James N. these

But he finally came to see his error in going out, and to condemn it; and after some time he repented; as in the printed relation of his repentance, condemnation, and recovery may be more fully seen. (Click for more on Naylor.)

(Back to Fox's Journal)

James Naylor was a monument of human frailty. His gift in the ministry was eminent; his experience in divine things truly great. He fell through dropping his watchful guard against deceitful spirits, but was restored through deep sufferings and unfeigned repentance. His own writings are the most clear and lively description of the various dispensations he underwent; some of them deserve to be transmitted to the latest posterity.

Site Editor's Comments: (The above paragraph does not appear in Fox's handwritten Journal, likely added by Fox in his lengthy discussions with Ellwood, the Editor, at Swarthmore before his death.)

Despite Naylor's actions resulting in massive persecutions of Quakers, thus Fox has recorded his Christian forgiveness of Naylor and even recommends his writings to posterity; yet in 2006 is still heard the false charge from modern Fox critics: "Fox never forgave James Naylor for his error!" Further, Dewsbury reports he arranged and attended a meeting of reconciliation, between Fox and Naylor, along with Edward Burrough and Francis Howgill. Dewsbury writes of the meeting:

The Lord laid it much upon me, that dear George Fox and James Naylor might meet together. My travail was great in spirit, until the Lord answered; which, in the day he determined, was done. Mighty was his [the Lord's] majesty among his people, in the day he healed up the breach, which had been so long to the sadness of the hearts of many. The Lord clothed my dear brethren, George Fox, Edward Burrough, Francis Howgill, with a precious wisdom; his healing Spirit did abound within them, with the rest of the Lord's people there that day, according to their measure of the Lord's Spirit in all, reached to embrace it with gladness of heart.

The death of the early Quaker, James Naylor, appears to be the classic example of protection being removed due to wilful disobedience after reaching the first stage of perfection. James Naylor was an eminent early Quaker preacher who apparently had reached the 1st stage of perfection. However, he sadly dropped his watchfulness and refused the written order of the Society along with written and in-person warnings from George Fox to disassociate himself from a group of fawning admirers that were out of the truth. In writing Fox warned him from the Word of the Lord that he was "against the Truth in willfulness and stubbornness." Shortly afterwards, Naylor precipitated a great scandal, which resulted in him suffering severe punishment and imprisonment; as he was returning home, he was beaten, robbed, left bound and naked in a field, found by a passer-by, and taken to a Quaker doctor where he died a day later at the age of 42. These events are detailed in the web page on James Naylor. As I was reviewing James Naylor's failure in my mind, I heard the Word of the Lord within say: "stunning willfulness."

Visiting friends, we passed from Exeter through Cullumpton and Taunton and had meetings among them. From there we came to Puddimoor, to William Beaton's; where on a First-day we had a very large meeting. For a great convincement had occurred throughout the whole country; we had many meetings, and the Lord's power was over everyone; many were turned by the power and spirit of God to the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for them and came to sit under his free teaching.
 
From there we went to John Dandy's, where we had another precious meeting. The Lord's power was over everyone and many were convinced of God's eternal truth. Some contention was raised in few places by professors and Baptists, but the Lord's power came over them. From there we came to Edward Pyot's, near Bristol. It was the Seventh-day at night that we arrived. It was quickly gossiped all over the town that I had come, for I had never been there before.

On First-day morning I went to the meeting in Broadmead in Bristol, which was large and quiet. Notice was given of a meeting to be held in the orchard that afternoon. There was a rude Baptist at Bristol named Paul Gwin, who had previously made great disturbances in our meetings. It was reported that Paul Gwin was encouraged by the mayor, who would sometimes give him his dinner to encourage him. He would gather such multitudes of rude people with him that you would think there had been ten thousand people at our meeting in the orchard. As I was going into the orchard, the people told me that Paul Gwin, the rude jangling Baptist, was going to the meeting. I told them, 'don't worry, it was nothing to me who went to the meeting.' When I came into the orchard, I stood upon the stone that Friends used to stand on when they spoke; and I was moved of the Lord to take off my hat, and to stand a long while and let the people look at me; for several thousand people were there. While I stood silent, this rude Baptist began to find fault with my hair; but I said nothing to him. Then he ran on into words; and at last said, 'You wise men of Bristol, I am shocked that you would stand here and hear a man speak and affirm what he cannot make good.' Then the Lord opened my mouth, (for as of yet I had not spoken a word), and I asked the people, ‘whether they ever heard me speak, or ever saw me before?' And told them, ‘take notice what kind of man this was that should so impudently say among them, that I spoke and affirmed what I could not make good; and yet neither he or they had ever heard me or seen me before. Therefore that it was a lying, envious, malicious spirit that spoke in him; and it was of the devil, and not of God. I charged him in the dread and power of the Lord to be silent; and the mighty power of God came over him, and all his company. A glorious, peaceable meeting we had; the word of life was divided among them; and they were turned from darkness to light, and to Jesus their savior. The scriptures were largely opened to them; and the traditions, rudiments, ways, and doctrines of men were laid open before the people; and they were turned to the light of Christ, that with it they might see them, and see him to lead them out of them. I opened also to them the types, figures, and shadows of Christ in the time of the law; and showed them, that Christ was come, and had ended the types, shadows, tithes, and oaths, and put down swearing, and had set up yes and no instead of it, and a free ministry; for he was now come to teach people himself, and his heavenly day was springing from on high.' For many hours did I declare the word of life among them in the eternal power of God; that by him they might come up into the beginning and be reconciled to him. And having turned them to the spirit of God in themselves, that would lead into all truth, I was moved to pray in the mighty power of God; and the Lord's, power came over them all. When I had done, Gwin began to babble again; and John Audland was moved to tell him to repent and fear God. Since his own people and followers were ashamed of him, he passed away and never came again to disturb the meeting. The meeting broke up quietly, and the Lord's power and glory shined over all. It was a blessed day, and the Lord had the praise. After awhile this Paul Gwin went beyond sea; and many years after, I met with him again at Barbados; of which I will relate in its chronological place.

From Bristol we returned to Edward Pyot's, where we had a great meeting. The Lord's power was over all, truth was declared and spread abroad, and many were turned to Christ Jesus, their life, their prophet to teach them, their shepherd to feed them, and their bishop to oversee them. After the meeting I had reasoning with some professors, and the Lord's truth and power came over them.

From Edward Pyot's we passed to Slattenford, where we had a very large meeting, (Edward Pyot and another Friend being still with me), and there was a great turning of people to the Lord Jesus their teacher. People were glad that they were brought to know their way, their free teacher, and their savior Christ Jesus.

The First-day following we went to Nathaniel Crips's house, who had been a justice of peace in Wiltshire; where it was estimated to be between two and three thousand people at the meeting and all was quiet. The mighty power of God was shown, and people were turned to the grace and truth in their hearts, which grace and truth came by Jesus Christ, who would teach them to deny all ungodliness and worldly lusts, and to live soberly and godly in this present world. So that every man and woman might know the grace of God, which had appeared to all men; which was saving, and sufficient to bring their salvation. This teacher, the grace of God, would teach them how to live, what to do, and what to deny; it would season their words, and establish their hearts. This was a free teacher to every one of them; so that they might come to be heirs of this grace, and of Christ, by whom it came; who has ended the prophets, and the priests that took tithes, and the Jewish temple. And as for these hireling priests that take tithes now, and their temples, (which priests were made at schools and colleges of man's setting up, and not by Christ), they, with all their inventions, were to be denied. After Christ had put an end to the Levitical priesthood and temple, the apostles denied it. So the scriptures and the truths within it, were largely opened, and the people turned to the spirit of God in their hearts; that by it they might be led into all truth, understand the scriptures, know God and Christ, and come to have unity with them, and one with another in the same spirit.' The people went away generally satisfied, and were glad that they were turned to Christ Jesus, their teacher and savior.
 
The next day we went to Marlborough, where we had a little meeting. The sessions being held that day, they were granting a warrant to send for me; but one of the session's justice named Stooks stopped them, telling them there had a meeting at his house yesterday where several thousands had attended. So the warrant was stopped, and our meeting was quiet; and several received Christ Jesus their teacher, and came into the new covenant and lived in it.

From here we went to Newbury, where we had a large blessed meeting; several were convinced. There we passed to Reading, where we had a large, precious meeting in the Lord's power among the plants of God. Many of other professions came in, were reached, and added to the meeting. All was quiet, and the Lord's power was over all. We went from Reading to Kingston upon Thames, where a few came to us that were turned to the Lord Jesus Christ; but since it is become a large meeting.

Leaving Kingston we rode to London. When we came near Hyde Park, we saw a great concourse of people, and looking towards them, we saw the protector coming in his coach. So I rode to his coach side. Some of his life-guards would have driven me away; but he forbid them. So I rode by his coach side with him, 'declaring what the Lord gave me to say to him, of his condition, and of the sufferings of Friends in the nation; showing him how contrary this persecution was to Christ and his apostles, and to Christianity.' {I told him that those who would put a crown on him would take away his life. He asked me what I had said. I said again that those who would put a crown on his head would take away his life, and I told him to mind the crown that was immortal. He thanked me}. When we came to James's Park Gate, I left him; and at parting he desired me to come to his house. The next day, one of his wife's maids, whose name was Mary Sanders, came to me at my lodging, and told me, her master came to her, and said, he would tell her some good news. When she asked him, what it was? He told her, George Fox was come to town. She replied, that was good news indeed, (for she had received truth), but she said, she could hardly believe him; until he told her how I had met him, and had ridden from Hyde Park to James's Park with him.
 
After a little time Edward Pyot and I went to Whitehall; and when we came before Cromwell, Dr. Owen, vice chancellor of Oxford, was with him. We were moved to speak to Oliver Cromwell, concerning the sufferings of Friends, and laid them before him; and we directed him to the light of Christ, who had enlightened every man that comes into the world. He said, it was a natural light;* but we showed him the contrary; and manifested that it was divine and spiritual, proceeding from Christ the spiritual and heavenly man; and what was called the life in Christ the Word, was called the light in us. The power of the Lord God arose in me, and I was moved in it to tell him ‘to lay down his crown at the feet of Jesus.' Several times I spoke to him to the same effect. I was standing by the table, and he came and sat upon the table's side by me, saying, He would be as high as I was; and so continued speaking against the light of Christ Jesus; and went his way in a light manner. But the Lord's power came over him, so that when he came to his wife and other company, he said, 'I never parted so from them before;' for he was judged in himself.

*Site Editor's Comments: Because Cromwell and the false prophets have never experienced revelation through the light of God, they insist that Bible references to the light refer to a natural light, but the Bible makes a clear distinction between the natural light of the sun and moon, and the light of God or Christ:

I saw no temple in the city. For the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.
And the city had no need of the sun nor of the moon to shine in it; for the glory of God illuminates it, and the Lamb is its light.
And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in the light of it; Rev 21:22-24.

The sun shall no more be your light by day; nor shall the moon give light to you for brightness; but the LORD will be an everlasting light to you, and your God will be your glory. Isa 60:19.

Yes, the darkness does not hide from you, but the night shines as the day; the darkness and the light are both alike to you. Psa 139:12

To receive the revelations of God, through his voice and his light, one must first repent from all evil practices of which they are capable, quit teaching, get quiet with humility, and listen in silence, waiting on God. Whatever commands are heard that are moral, completely and clearly understood must then be obeyed. Reading the Bible and praying are not substitutes for quietly listening for the word of God within your heart to speak to you. Jesus said: this is the one thing needed.

After he had left us, as we were going out, many of his court officials came about us; one of them began to speak against the light, and against the truth; and I was told to slight him, for speaking so lightly of the things of God. Upon which one of them told me he was the major general of Northamptonshire. ' What!' I said, 'our old persecutor who has persecuted and sent so many of our Friends to prison, and is a shame to christianity and religion! I am glad I have met with you.' So I was moved to speak sharply to him of his unchristian carriages; and he slunk away, for he had been a cruel persecutor in Northamptonshire.

After I had visited the meetings of Friends in and about London, I went into Buckinghamshire, and Edward Pyot was with me; and in several places in that county many received the truth. Great meetings we had, and the Lord's power was eminently manifested. I passed through Northamptonshire and Nottinghamshire into Lincolnshire. After several meetings in Lincolnshire, I had at last a meeting, where two knights, one called Sir Richard Wrey, the other Sir John Wrey, with their wives, were at the meeting. One of their wives was convinced, received the truth, and died in it. When the meeting was done, we passed away; and it being in the evening, and dark, a company of wild serving men surrounded us, whom I saw intended to do me some mischief. But I spoke aloud to them, and asked, ‘What, are you, robbers?' About this time some Friends and friendly people behind came up to us, and knew some of them. So I reproved them for their uncivil and rude carriage, exhorted them to fear God, and the Lord's power came over them, and stopped their mischievous design; blessed be his name for ever.

Then I turned into Huntingdonshire. The mayor of Huntingdon came to visit me, and was very loving, and his wife received the truth.

There I passed into Cambridgeshire, and into the Fen country; where I had many meetings, and the Lord's truth spread. Robert Craven, (who had been sheriff of Lincoln), Amor Stoddart, and Alexander Parker were with me. We went to Crowland, a very rude place; for the town's people had gotten together at the inn we went to, and were half drunk, both the priest and people. ‘I reproved them for their drunkenness, and warned them of the day of the Lord that was coming upon all the wicked; exhorting them to leave their drunkenness, and turn to the Lord in time.' While I was speaking to them and showing the priest the fruits of his ministry, the priest and the clerk broke out into a rage, and started swinging the tongs and fire shovel at us; so that had not the Lord's power preserved us, we might have been murdered among them. Yet, for all their rudeness and violence, some received the truth then; and have stood in it ever since.

From there we passed to Boston, where most of the chief of the town came to our inn, and the people seemed to be very satisfied. But there was a raging man in the yard; and Robert Craven was moved to speak to him, and told him he shamed christianity; which, with some few other words, so stopped the man that he went away quiet. Some were convinced there also.
 
Thus we had large meetings all around; for I traveled into Yorkshire, and returned out of Holderness, over Humber, visiting Friends; and then going into Leicestershire, Straffordshire, Worcestershire, and Warwickshire, among Friends. I had a meeting at Edge-hill. Ranters, Baptists, and several sorts of rude people came to it, for I had sent word about three weeks before that there was to to be a meeting there; so that hundreds of people were gathered, and many Friends came from far to it. The Lord's everlasting truth and word of life reached over all; rude and unruly spirits were chained down; and many that day were turned to the Lord Jesus Christ by his power and spirit and came to sit under his blessed free teaching, and to be fed with his eternal, heavenly food. All was peaceable; the people passed quietly away, and some of them said, it was a mighty, powerful meeting; for the presence of the Lord was felt, and his power and spirit among them.

From here I passed to Warwick, and to Bagley; having precious meetings. From there into Gloucestershire, and so to Oxford,* where the scholars were very rude; but the Lord's power came over them, and we had great meetings as we traveled around the area. Then I went to colonel Grimes's, where was a very large meeting; and from there to Nathaniel Crips's, where another justice came to the meeting, who was also convinced. At Cirencester also we had a meeting, which since has increased greatly. So we came to Evesham again, where I met John Camm.

*Site Editor's Comments: The first Quakers who came to Oxford were two women, Elizabeth Heavens and Elizabeth Fletcher, both from the North country. This was in June, 1654. These two women spoke in the streets to the people, and at the college they exhorted the ministerial scholars, who wickedly requiting their zeal, violently pushed Elizabeth Fletcher against a grave-stone, and then threw her into the grave; and their malice grew to that pitch, that they tied these two women together, and drove them under the pump. After they were exceedingly drenched with pumping water upon them, they threw them into a miry ditch, through which they dragged Elizabeth Fletcher, who was a young woman, and so cruelly abused her, that she was in a painful condition till her death, which fell out not long after.   (Sewel's History, v. i.)

For further details of the barbarous ministerial students at Oxford and Cambridge, see Persecutions.

Having thus traveled over the most part of the nation, I returned to London; for I was clear of what lay upon me from the Lord. {Oliver Protector began to harden, and several Friends were turned out of their offices of Justices and other offices, plus many were turned out of the army}. [Note: This lettter excellently states the case for a modern prophet speaking the word of God.]

To Oliver Cromwell and the Parliament, given forth by George Fox:

To you who are chosen by these nations to be the Parliament; to divide, rule, and govern things; this is the word of the Lord God to you. Take heed of acting against Christ, where he is made manifest [shown and revealed]. Take heed of acting of doing anything against those who are in the pure religion, or doing anything against religion. How do you not know that this thing has occurred to test whether or not you will act against Christ, where he is manifest in his members? For it is said, Christ in you; and if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin; and if Christ is in you, may he not speak in righteousness and be confessed there? Now if Christ is not in you, mark, if Christ is not in you, you are reprobates, [sin still lives in you]. And if Jesus Christ is in you, must he not speak? Mark, Jesus Christ, the Immanuel [God with us], the savior; is it an offence for Christ to speak - Jesus to speak where he is within? Now examine yourselves; know you not that Jesus Christ is within you, except if you are reprobates? And if Jesus Christ is in you, must he not speak; in you, is it not he that must speak? For the natural man perceives not the things of God because they are spiritually discerned and they are foolishness to him. Did not the apostle say, "he no longer lived, but Christ lives in me?" It was Christ that lived in him. It was Christ that spoke in him. Mark, if it was Christ that lived in him, and the life that he now lived was Christ that lived in him, then the life he now lived, was by the faith of the Son of God. Mark what a life this was. And did he not say that the Son of God was revealed in him; and if the Son of God is revealed in anyone, must He not speak and declare the Father? Since the days of the apostles, people have had the form of godliness, but have lacked the things things that the apostles were in, who had the Son of God, Christ Jesus. Therefore it is by them that have the form, [of godliness only], who have wondered at and marveled at [Christ in control], and who are not in the power of God; who also wonder and marvel wherever Christ is manifest, speaks, acts, and rules.

Was it not the apostles' doctrine to preach Christ in them, and told them that the hope of glory was Christ in them, which was the ministry hidden for ages and generations? Is not this Christ, the hope of glory, a mystery in this age; as it was in the days of the apostles , and had been to generations before? Since the apostles, has this not been a mystery to the world in those ages past among those that had the form of godliness? But where Christ is within, this mystery and this hope of glory is witnessed; and must He not be allowed to speak without offence? Did not Christ say he would come again to his disciples and make his home with them? And did He not say, 'I in you,' and 'the Spirit of the Father that speaks in you?' Were they not told, to take no thought as to what they were to say, when they were brought before magistrates and rulers, so that it would not be them that spoke, but the Spirit of the Father and the Spirit of Christ that spoke instead? Is not the Spirit of the Father, the Spirit of Christ? Are not those, who don't have the Spirit of Christ, none of His?

Therefore, take heed, I am moved to warn you and charge you in the presence of the Lord God: you rulers and magistrates of this nation, for fear that you are found acting against the Spirit of the Father, where he speaks in those who are brought before you, (you, who have a form of godliness). Do not act against those who witness Christ in them and the Spirit of the Father speaking and the Son of God having come, according to his promise; which those witness this promise fulfilled in them. Does not John in his general epistle say that the Son of God has come, and they were in him; and this was the true God and eternal life? Do not the apostles in their several epistles, which have been read among you, speak that Christ is in you; and of their being the sons of God; and that the Son of God was revealed in them, with the Spirit of the Father in them and Christ - the mystery in them? Have you not heard these things read among yourselves; have not these things been long hidden among them that have the form of godliness: Christ in the male and female; God will dwell in you and walk in you; and the word is in your heart? Is not Christ's name called the word of God? Now do you not think it strange that anyone witness these things, and that these things should be possessed? Since these words were spoken forth, the night of apostasy has been long in which you have had only the form of godliness. The things of which these words spoke, were the things that they [the apostles] enjoyed, but now these things have come to be possessed again.

What was it that spoke the above words, which those in the long night of apostasy have had the form of, since the days of the apostles? If what spoke the above words, was not the Spirit of God or the Spirit of the Father or the Spirit of Christ that speaks in man, then the spirit that spoke the words is natural and devilish; and such a spirit stands against the voice of Christ and the Spirit of God. But if any mere created being says that he is Christ speaking, that is false; for is it not so that all creatures were created by Him and for Him? All things that were made were created for his service by Christ Jesus, the power of God, by which all things were made and created. Where the power of God is, there is Christ; Christ is the power of God. Take notice of the fact that the power of God is everlasting, and where the power of God is received and felt, Christ is received and felt; and where the power of God speaks, Christ speaks; and you, who feel the power of God, feel Christ and will not be offended at the power of God, where it speaks, which is Christ. So Christ is one in all, who are in the power. Where the power of God does not rule and speak, the power of the devil speaks; and that [power of the devil] is what is tormented by the power of God, which is Christ that speaks. If the truth speaks, is it not Christ? Does he not say, "I am the truth," and if the life speaks, is it not Christ; is that not the life? If the unrighteous speak, it is a false thing; but if the power of God speaks, it is true. If it is not the power of God that speaks, (which is the true Christ), then it is the devil, (which is the false Christ).  Examine yourselves; if Christ is in you, then the body is dead because of sin, and there the sin is dead; and is not Christ Jesus in you, unless you are reprobates (and your sin is still alive)? Is not He, the Immanuel [God with us] and the savior; and is He not the Prince of Peace, the prince of life, and the Hosanna; [favorably inclined] and is this not witnessed within, where He is made manifest; or is He separate from these? Is He not the lamb of God, and are not they against Him, (where He is manifest within), those who would not have Him speak and those who would not have Him reign? Here you may see what has been lost since the days of the apostles, which they were in and enjoyed; in this night of the apostasy; until this time, they had the form of godliness, but not the power. But now the power is again coming to be manifested, which power had been lost; which power is the truth, the power of the form, and the life of Christ; and Christ himself, the Immanuel.

Therefore, take heed of persecuting what He has created and made by His power, where the power is received and dwelled in, for the power's sake, which is Christ; and those in which the power speaks through. Wherever the power of God rules, if there is a fault, it is judged. But where the seed is, that is to be admitted and acknowledged. It is unjust that the mouth of that seed should be stopped. In the fear and meekness, weigh and consider these things before you act; and consider what was in the apostles that caused them to suffer.

George Fox

The first day of the ninth month 1656

Postscript

If the seed speaks, which [seed] is Christ, He has no other name. For the seed is Christ Jesus, and it is not blasphemy, [for somone to say that Christ speaks, where he is possessed and in control], but truth. But if the seed of the serpent speaks and says he is Christ, [that speaks] , that is the liar speaking and the blasphemy; and that is the ground of all blasphemies and is not the seed, which is Christ. But the seed of the serpent is to be bruised, which is the cause of all the enmity, strife, and debate with the seed of the woman, which is Christ. }

(Site Editor's Note: Fox has said, the spirit that speaks through you is either Christ or the devil. (There is no in-between spirit that is 99% undevilish; that is like being 99% unpregnant). Scripturally, this backed up by: let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one. Mat 5:37. The state of purification, and subsequent union with Christ, was realized by thousands early Quakers in the 17th Century. They claimed to be in the same Spirit as the apostles, who spoke the Word of God from His controlling Spirit within them. This web site is dedicated to showing you how to access the power of God to change you, so that Christ rules your words, deeds, and even thoughts.)

For after I had been released out of Lanceston jail, I was moved of the Lord to travel over most parts of the nation, (the truth being now spread, and finely planted in most places), that I might answer and remove out of the minds of people some objections, which envious priests and professors had raised and spread concerning us; for the priests said we were the false prophets and antichrists which Christ had said would come in the last days.

Therefore was I moved to open this through the nation, and to show, 'that they, who said we were the false prophets, antichrists, and deceivers, that were to come in the last days, were indeed themselves.' For when Christ told his disciples in Matthew 7:15-20 and Mat 24:24 that false prophets and antichrists should come in the last times, and, if it were possible, should deceive the very elect, he said, "By their fruits you shall know them; for they should be inwardly ravening wolves, having the sheep's clothing." "And," he said, "do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?" as much as to say, their nature and spirit should be like a thorn, or like a thistle; and he told his disciples to not follow them. But before the disciples were deceased, the antichrists, false prophets, and deceivers ha already come. For John in his first epistle said, "Little children, it is the last time; and as you have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists, whereby we know that it is the last time." So here, as Christ said to his disciples, they should come; the disciples saw they had already come: as may be seen at large in Peter, Jude, John, and other places of scripture; "whereby," says 1 John 2:18, "we know it is the last time:" and this last time was above sixteen hundred years ago. John said, "They went out from us;" the false prophets, antichrists, seducers, and deceivers, went out from the church; "But you," he said to the church, "have an anointing which abides in you; and you need not that any man teach you, but as the same anointing teaches you of all things; and as it has taught you, you shall abide in him." Christ said to his disciples, "Go not after them, for they are inwardly ravening wolves;" and John exhorts the saints to the anointing within them; and the rest of the apostles exhort the churches to the grace, the light, the truth, the spirit, the word of faith, and to Christ in their hearts, the hope of glory. Christ told the saints, that the spirit of truth, the holy ghost, should be their leader into all truth; and Jude exhorts the church to "pray in the holy ghost," and "to be built up in their most holy faith which Christ was the author of." Christ, by his servant John, "exhorted the seven churches to hear what the spirit said to the churches;" and this was an inward spiritual hearing. Christ said the inwardly ravening wolves should have the sheep's clothing. Paul speaks of some in his time that had a form of godliness, but denied the power. John said, "They went out from us." Jude said, "They go in Cain's way, and in Balaam's and in Korah's way." By all which it may be clearly seen, that the false prophets and antichrists, which Christ foretold should come, the apostles saw were come; and in their day it was the last time. These went from them into the world, and the world went after them! These were the foremen, the leaders of the world that brought them into a form of godliness, but inwardly ravened from the power and spirit! These have the sheep's clothing, the words of Christ, of the prophets, and of the apostles; but are inwardly ravened from the power and spirit that they were in who gave forth the scriptures. These have made up the beast, and the whore! These have gotten the dragon's power, the murdering, destroying, persecuting power! And these are they that the world wonders after! These have drunk the blood of the martyrs, prophets, and saints, and persecuted the true church into the wilderness! These have set up the false, compelling worships, and have drunk the blood of the saints, that will not drink of their cup! These have made the cage for the unclean birds that have their several unclean notes in their cage; which cage is made up by the power of darkness, and unclean ghost; and the birds of the cage deny the Holy Ghost, and the power of God, which the apostles were in, to be now manifested in the saints! Thus since Christ said, the false prophets and antichrists would come, and the apostle said, they had come, the beast's and the dragon's worship has been set up; the whore is got up with her false prophets, her cage has been made, all nations have drunk of her cup of fornication, the blood of the martyrs and saints they have drunk, and the true church had fled into the wilderness. All this has occurred since the apostles' days. Yet the blind deceivers of all sorts, the antichrists and false prophets of our age, would make us and people believe that the false prophets, antichrists, and deceivers have just come now; though John and other of the apostles tell us, they began to come above sixteen hundred years ago. And you may see what work and confusion they have made in the world; how much blood these Cains have drunk, that went in Cain's way; which blood cries to God for vengeance upon Christendom! And how these Balaams, who have erred from the power and spirit which the apostles were in, have coveted after other men's estates, as the many jails, courts, and spoilings of goods will bear witness. And how these Korahs have denied the life, power, and spirit which the apostles and true church were in, and the free teaching of Christ and of his apostles, and the work of their ministry, which was "to present every man perfect in Christ Jesus."
 
Therefore, in the name and power of the Lord Jesus was I sent to preach again the everlasting gospel, which had been preached before unto Abraham, and in the apostles' days; and was to go over all nations, and to be preached to every creature. For as the apostasy has gone over all nations since the apostles' days, so that the nations are become as waters, unstable, being gone from Christ, the foundation; so must the gospel, the power of God, go over all nations again. We find the false prophets, antichrists, deceivers, whore, false church, beast, and his worship in the dragon's power, have gotten up in the times between the apostles and us. For Christ said, "they would come:" and the apostles saw, “they had come," and coming in their days; and that they went forth from them, and the world went after them. And now the Lord has raised us up beyond them, and set us over them in the everlasting gospel, the power of God: that as all have been darkened by the beast, whore, false prophets, and antichrists, so the everlasting gospel may be preached again by us to all nations, and to every creature, which will bring life and immortality to light in them, that they may see over the devil and his false prophets, antichrists, seducers, and deceivers, and over the whore and beast, and to what was before they were. This message of the glorious, everlasting gospel was I sent forth to declare and publish, and you by it are turned to God, having received it; and are come into subjection to it, and into the holy order of it. And since I have declared this message in this part of the world and in America, and have written books of the same, to spread it universally abroad, the blind prophets, preachers, and deceivers have given over telling us, the false prophets should "come in the last times;" for a great light is sprung up and shines over their heads: so that every child in truth sees the folly of their sayings.
 
Then they got other objections against us, and invented shifts to save themselves from truth's stroke. For when we blamed them for taking tithes, which came from the tribe of Levi, and were set up here by the Roman church, they would plead, “that Christ told the scribes and Pharisees, they ought to pay tithes of mint, anise, and cumin, though they neglected the weightier matters;" and that Christ said, "the scribes and Pharisees sat in Moses' seat, therefore all that they told you do, that do and observe." And when we told them they were envious persecuting priests, they would reply, "that some preached Christ of envy, and some of contention, and some of good will." Now these scriptures and others like them, they would use to confuse their listeners, and to persuade them and us, that we ought to do as they say, though they themselves were like the Pharisees; and that we should rejoice when envious men and men of strife preached Christ; and that we should give them the tithes as the Jews did to the tribe of Levi. These sounded good on the surface, but were a great heap of husks with no core! Now this was their blindness; for the Levitical priesthood Christ has ended, and disannulled the commandment that gave them tithes, and the law by which those priests were made. Christ did not come from the Levitical order, neither did he send forth his ministers after that order; for those of that order were to take tithes for their maintenance, but Christ sent out his ministers freely. And as for hearing the Pharisees and the Jews paying tithes of mint, anise, and cumin, that was before Christ was sacrificed and completed the law; the Jews were then to observe the law, and perform their offerings and sacrifices as Jewish priests had taught. But after Christ was offered up, Christ bid his disciples to "Go into all nations and preach the gospel; and Lo," said he, "I will be with you to the end of the world;" and in another place he  said, "I will be in you."

So he did not tell them go to hear the Pharisees then, and pay tithes of mint, anise, and cumin then; but "go; preach the gospel, and believe in the Lord Jesus and be saved, and receive the gospel," which would bring people off from the Jews, the tithes, the Levitical law, and the offerings of that, to Christ, the one offering, made once for all. Oh, what work had the apostle both with the Galatians and the Romans to bring them off the law to the faith in Christ!
 
And as for the apostle's saying, "Some preached Christ of envy and strife.” That was at the first spreading of Christ's name abroad, when they were in danger not only of being cast out of the synagogues, but to be stoned to death – anyone that confessed to the name of Jesus; as may be seen by the uproars that were among the Jews and Diana's worshipper's at the preaching of Christ. So the apostle might well rejoice if the envious, and men of strife and contention did preach Christ at that time; though they thought thereby to add affliction to his bonds. But afterward, when Christ's name was spread abroad, and many had got a form of godliness, but denied the power of that, "Envious, proud, contentious men, men of strife, covetous men, teachers for filthy lucre," the apostle commanded the saints to turn from, and not to have any fellowship with them. And the deacons and ministers were first to 'be proved, to see if they were in the power of godliness, and the holy ghost made them overseers and preachers. So it may be seen how the priests have abused these scriptures for their own ends, and have wrested them to their own destruction, to justify envious, contentious men, and men of strife. Whereas the apostle says, "The man of God must be patient and apt to teach; and they were to follow Christ, as they had them for their examples.” The apostle indeed was very tender to people, while he saw them walk in simplicity, as in the case of those that were scrupulous about foods and days; but when the apostle saw, that some drew them into the observation of days, and to settle in such things, he then reproves them sharply, and asks them, "Who had bewitched them?" So in the case of marrying he was flexible, so their minds should not be drawn from the Lord's joining; but when they came to forbid marriage, and to set up rules for food and drinks, he called it "a doctrine of devils," and an "erring from the true faith." So also he was tender concerning circumcision, and in tenderness suffered some to be circumcised; but when he saw they went to make a sect of it, and to set up circumcision as a standing practice, he told them plainly, "If they were circumcised, Christ would profit them nothing." In like manner he was tender concerning the baptizing with water; but when he saw they began to make sects about it, some crying up Paul, others Apollo, he judged them, and called them carnal, and thanked God he had baptized no more but few; declaring plainly, that he was sent to preach the gospel, and not to baptize; and brought them to the one baptism by the one spirit, into the one body which Christ, the spiritual man, is the head of; and exhorted the church, "all to drink into that one spirit." For he asserted in the church the one faith, which Christ was the author of; and one baptism, which was that of the spirit into the one body; and one Lord Jesus Christ, who was the spiritual baptizer, who John said should come after him. And further the apostle declared that they, who worshipped and served God in the spirit, were of the circumcision of the spirit, which was "not made with hands;" by which the "body of the sins of the flesh was put off:" which circumcision Christ is the minister of.

Another great objection they had, "That the Quakers denied the sacrament," as they called it, "of bread and wine, which" they said, "they were to take, and do in remembrance of Christ to the end of the world." A great deal of work we had with the priests and professors about this, and about the several modes of receiving it in Christendom, so called: for some of them take it kneeling, some sitting; but none of them all, that ever I could find, take it as, the disciples took it. For they took it in a chamber after supper; but these generally take it before dinner; and some say, after the priest has blessed it, it is "Christ's body." But as to the matter, Christ said, "Do this in remembrance of me." He did not tell them how often they should do it, or how long; neither did he tell them to do it always as long as they lived, or that all believers in him should do it to the world's end. The apostle Paul, who was not converted until after Christ's death, tells the Corinthians, that he had received of the Lord what he delivered unto them concerning this matter, and relates Christ's words concerning the cup thus; "This do you, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me" and himself adds, "For as often as you do eat this bread and drink this cup, you do show forth the Lord's death until he come." So according to what the apostle here delivers, neither Christ nor he did enjoin people to do this always, but leaves it to their liberty, "as often as you drink it," etc. The Jews did use to take a cup, and to break bread and divide it among them in their feasts; as may be seen in the Jewish Antiquities; so that the breaking of bread and drinking of wine were Jewish rites, which were not to last always. They did also baptize with water, which made it not seem a strange thing to them, when John the Baptist came with his decreasing ministration of water baptism. But as to the bread and wine, after the disciples had taken it, some of them questioned whether Jesus was the Christ? For some of them said, after he was crucified, “We trusted that it had been he who should have redeemed Israel,".. And though the Corinthians had the bread and wine, and were baptized in water, the apostle told them they were "reprobates, [sin still lives in them], if Christ was not in them;" and bid them "examine themselves." And as the apostle said, "As often as you do eat this bread, and drink this cup, you do show forth the Lord's death until he comes;" so Christ had said before that he was the "bread of life," which" came down from heaven;" and that "he would come, and dwell in them;" which the apostles did witness fulfilled; and exhorted others to seek for what "comes down from above:" but the outward bread and wine, and water, are not from above, but from below.

Now you that eat and drink this outward bread and wine in remembrance of Christ's death, and have your fellowships in that, will you come no nearer to Christ's death than to take bread and wine in remembrance of it? After you have eaten in remembrance of his death, you must come into his death, and die with him, as the apostles did, if you will live with him. This is a nearer and further advanced state, to be with him in the fellowship of his death, than only to take bread and wine in remembrance of it.

You must have fellowship with Christ in his sufferings; 1 Pet 4:12-13
if you will reign with him, you must suffer with him; 2 Tim 2:12
if you will live with him, you must die with him; 2 Tim 2:11
and if you die with him, you must be buried with him; Col 2:12
and being buried with him in the true baptism, you also rise with him. Col 2:12


Then having suffered with him, died with him, and been buried with him, if you are risen with Christ "seek those things which are above where Christ, sits on the right hand of God." Eat the bread which comes down from above, which is not outward bread; and drink the cup of salvation which he gives in his kingdom, which is not outward wine. And then there will not be a looking at the things that are seen (as outward bread and wine and water are), for the apostle says, "The things that are seen are temporal, but the things that are not seen are eternal." So here are many states and conditions to be gone through before people come to see that, and partake of what "comes down from above:"

For, first, there was "a taking of the outward bread and wine in remembrance of Christ's death." This was temporary, and not of necessity; but at their liberty, "As often as you do it,..".

Secondly, there must be "a coming into his death, a suffering with Christ;"and this is of necessity to salvation; and not temporarily, but continually: there must be a "dying daily."

Thirdly, a "buried with Christ."

Fourthly, "a rising with Christ."

Fifthly, after they are risen with Christ, then "a seeking those things which are above, a seeking the bread that comes down from heaven" and a "feeding on that and having fellowship in that." For outward bread, wine, and water are from below, and are visible and temporal; but, said the apostle, "We look not at things that are seen, for the things that are seen are temporal, but the things that are not seen are eternal."

So the fellowship that stands in the use of bread, wine, water, circumcision, outward temple, and things seen will have an end; but the fellowship which stands in the gospel, the power of God, which was before the devil was, and which brings life and immortality to light, by which people may see over the devil that has darkened them, this fellowship is eternal, and will stand. And all that are in the true fellowship seek what is heavenly and eternal, which comes down from above, and are settled in the eternal mystery of the fellowship of the gospel, which is hidden from all eyes that look only at visible things. The apostle told the Corinthians, who were in disorder about water, bread, and wine, that he "desired to know nothing among them, but Jesus Christ, and him crucified." 

Thus were the objections which the priests and professors had raised against Friends answered, and the stumbling blocks they had laid in the way of the weak removed. And as things were thus opened, people came to see over them and through them, and to have their minds settled upon the Lord Jesus Christ, that their free teacher; which was the service for which I was moved to travel over the nation after my imprisonment in Lanceston jail. In this year the Lord's truth was finely planted over the nation, and many thousands were turned to the Lord; so much so that there were seldom fewer than one thousand Quakers in prison in this nation for truth's testimony; some for tithes, some for going to the steeple-houses, some for contempts, as they called them, some for not swearing, and others for not putting off their hats, etc.
 
After I had visited most parts of the nation, and was come to London again, finding that evil spirit at work which had drawn James Naylor and his followers out from truth, to run Friends into heats about him, I wrote a short epistle to Friends, as follows:

To all the elect seed of God called Quakers, where the death is brought into death, and the elder is servant to the younger, and the elect is known, which cannot be deceived, but obtains victory. This is the word of the Lord God to you all: Go not forth to the aggravating part, to strive with it out of the power of God, for fear that you hurt yourselves, and run into the same nature, out of the life. For patience must get the victory, and to answer that of God in everyone; patience must bring everyone to it in order to bring them from the contrary. So let your moderation, temperance, and patience be known unto all men in the seed of God. For a message without life that reaches to the aggravating part in others, only arouses the aggravating part and breeds confusion; it has a life in outward strife, but does not reach to the witness of God in everyone, through which they might come into peace and covenant with God, and fellowship one with another. Therefore, what reaches this witness of God in yourselves and in others, is the life and light; which will out last all, is over all, and will overcome all. Therefore live in the seed of life which bruises the seed of death.

George Fox

I wrote another short epistle to Friends, to encourage them to keep up their meetings in the Lord's power; which here follows:

Dear Friends,

Keep your meetings in the power of the Lord; which power is over all what lives in the fall and must have an end. Therefore be wise in the wisdom of God, which is from above, by which all things were made and created; that wisdom may be justified among you, and you all kept in the solid life, which was before death was; and in the light which was before darkness was with all its works. In which light and life you all may feel and have heavenly unity and peace, possessing the gospel fellowship that is everlasting; which was before what does not last for ever, and will remain when that is gone. For the gospel being the power of God, is pure and everlasting. Know it to be your portion; in which is stability, life, and immortality, shining over what darkens the mortal. So be faithful everyone to God in your measures of his power and life, that you may answer God's love and mercy to you, as obedient children of the Most High; dwelling in love, unity, peace, and innocence of heart towards one another; that God may be glorified in you, and you kept faithful witnesses for him, and valiant for the truth on earth. God Almighty preserve you all to his glory, that you may feel his blessing among you, and that you may be possessors of it.

George Fox

About this time many mouths had been opened in our meetings to declare the goodness of the Lord; some declarations from those that were young and tender in the truth, who would sometimes utter a few words in thanksgiving and praises to God. So that no disorder might arise from there in our meetings, I was moved to write an epistle to Friends by way of advice in that matter:

ALL my dear friends in the noble seed of God, who have known his power, life, and presence among you, let it be your joy to hear or see the springs of life break forth in any; through which you have all unity in the same, feeling, life, and power. And above all things take heed of judging anyone openly in your meetings, except they be openly profane or rebellious, such as are out of the truth; that by the power, life, and wisdom you may stand over them, and by it answer the witness of God in the world, that such, whom you bear your testimony against, are none of you; so that therein the truth may stand clear and single. But for those who are tender, if they should be moved to bubble forth a few words, and speak in the seed and Lamb's power, suffer and bear that; that is, the tender. And if they should go beyond their measure, bear it in the meeting for peace and order's sake, and that the spirits of the world not be moved against you. But when the meeting is done, then if any are moved to speak to them, between you and them, one or two of you that feel it in the life, do it in the love and wisdom that is pure and gentle from above, for love is what edifies, bears all things, suffers long, and fulfils the law. So in this you have order and edification, you have wisdom to preserve you all wise and in patience; which takes away the occasion of stumbling the weak, and the occasion of the spirits of the world to get up; but in the royal seed, the heavy stone, you keep down all that is wrong, and by it answer that of God in all, and keep down the bad. For you will hear, see, and feel the power of God preaching, as your faith is wholly in it, (when you do not hear words), to bind, to chain; to limit, to frustrate, that nothing shall rise nor come forth but what is in the power; for with that you will hold back, with that you will let up and open every spring, plant, and spark; in which will be your joy and refreshment in the power of God. You that know the power of God and are come to it, which is the cross of Christ, that crucifies you to the state of Adam and Eve in the fall, and so to the world, by this power of God you come to see the state that Adam and Eve were in before they fell: which power of God is the cross, in which stands the everlasting glory, which brings up into righteousness, holiness, and image of God, and crucifies to unrighteousness, unholiness, and image of satan, that Adam and Eve and their sons and daughters are in under the fall. Through this power of God you come to see the state they were in before they fell; yes, and I say, to a higher state, to the seed Christ, the second Adam, by whom all things were made. For man has been driven from God. All Adam and Eve's sons and daughters, being in the state of the fall in the earth, are driven from God. But it is said, "The church is in God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ:" so who come to the church, which is in God the Father of Christ, they must come to God again, and so out of the fallen state of Adam and his children in the fall, out of the image of God, out of righteousness and holiness; and they must come into the righteousness, into the true holiness, the image of God, and so out of the earth where man has been driven, when they come to the church which is in God. The way to this is Christ, the light, the life, the truth, the savior, the redeemer, the sanctification, and the justifier, in and through whose power, light, and life, conversion, regeneration, and translation is known from death to life, from darkness to light, and from the power of satan to God again. These are members of the true church, who know the work of regeneration in the operation and feeling of it; and being come to be members of the church of God, they are indeed members one of another in the power of God, which was before the power of darkness was. So they that come to the church that is in God and Christ, must come out of the state that Adam was in after the fall, driven from God, to know the state that he was in before he fell. But they that live in the state that Adam was in after the fall, and cannot believe it possible to come into the state he was in before he fell. Therefore they don’t come to the church which is in God; but they are far from that, are not passed from death to life, but instead are enemies to the cross of Christ, which is the power of God. For they mind earthly things, and serve not Christ; nor love the power which should bring them up to the state that Adam was in before he fell, and crucify them to the state that man is in after the fall; that through this power they might see to the beginning, the power that man was in before the heavenly image, holiness and righteousness, was lost: by which power they might come up to know the seed, Christ, which brings out of the old things, and makes all things new; in which life eternal is felt. For all the poorness, emptiness, and barrenness is in the state of man in the fall, out of God's power; by which power he is made rich again, and in which power he has strength again: which power is the cross, in which the mystery of the fellowship stands; and in which is the true glorying, which crucifies to all other gloryings. And Friends, though you may have been convinced, and have tasted of the power, and felt the light, yet afterwards you may feel a winter storm, tempest, and hail, frost, and cold, and temptation in the wilderness. Be patient and still in the power and in the light that does convince you, to keep your minds to God; in that be quiet so that you may come to the summer; that your flight be not in the winter. For if you sit still in the patience, which overcomes in the power of God, there will be no fleeing. The husbandman, after he has sown his seed, is patient. And you, being kept in the patience by the power, will come by the light to see through and feel over winter storms, and tempests, and all the coldness, barrenness, and emptiness; and the same light and power will go over the tempter's head; which power and light was before he was. So in the light standing still, you will see your salvation, you will see the Lord's strength, you will feel the small rain, you will feel the fresh springs, your minds being kept low in the power and light; for what is out of the power lifts up. But in the power and light you will feel God, revealing his secrets, inspiring your minds, and his gifts coming in unto you; through which your hearts will be filled with God's love, and praises to him that lives for evermore: for in his light and power his blessing is received. So the eternal power of the Lord Jesus Christ preserve and keep you! And live every one in the power of God that you may all come to be heirs of it ; and know that to be your portion; even the kingdom that has no end, and the endless life which the seed is heir of. So feel that set over all, which has the promise, and blessing of God for ever.

George Fox

About this time I received some lines from a high-flown professor, concerning the way of Christ; to which I returned the following answer:

Friend,

It is not circumstances we contend about; but the way of Christ and his light, which are but one; though the world has imagined many ways, and all out of the light, by which the light are condemned. He who preached this light, said, "He that knows God, hears us; he that is not of God, hears us not: hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error." It is the same now with them that know the truth; though the whole world lies in wickedness. All dispensations and differences that are not one in the light we deny; and by the light that was before separation, do we see them to be self-separations in the sensual, having not the spirit. Their fruits and end are weighed in the even balance, and found to be in the dark, the Lo here, and Lo there you tell of; and the presence of Christ is not with them, though the blind see it not; who see not with the pure eye, which is single; but with the many eyes, which lead into the many ways. Nor are any the people of God, but who are baptized into this principle of light; which all the faithful servants of the Lord were ever guided by in all ages, since the apostasy and before. For the apostasy was and is away from the light; and all that oppose the light are apostates. Who contest again the truth, are enemies to it, and are not actuated by the spirit: but have another way than the light. All such are in the world, its words, fashions, and customs, though of several forms, as to their worship; yet all under the god of this world, opposing the light and appearance of Christ, which should lead out from under his power, of whatever form they are: yet they are all joined against the light. All these are of the world; and fighting against them who are not of the world; but are gathered and gathering out of the world; so it ever was against the people of God, under whatever name. They are only saints by calling, who are called into the light; and sons of Zion, which vary not from the light, to which the spirit is promised, which is not tied to any forms out of the light; wherein all inherit, who are co-heirs with Christ; which many talk of, who inherit the earthly, instead of the heavenly. And whereas you speak of Christ and his apostles clothing themselves with the sayings and words of the prophets; and of their being your example in so doing; I say, wolves will take the sheep's clothing; but the light and life finds them out, and judges, (not by their stolen words, but) by their works. Nor did Christ cover himself with any words, but what were fulfilled in him: neither do any of Christ's boast in other men's lines made ready without them; to which rule if you be obedient, fewer words and more life will be seen among you. Then you will not count it strangeness to silence the flesh, and hear what he said, who speaks peace, "that his people turn no more to folly." If you once know, that what is stolen must be restored fourfold, the mouth of the false prophet will be stopped, which builds up in deceit, but not in righteousness. And where you say, "The spirit of truth affords nothing but endless varieties;" I say, the spirit of truth you  know not: for the spirit of truth said, "There is but one thing needful;" and to speak the same thing again is safe for the hearers; but that spirit which affords nothing but endless varieties, is not the spirit of truth, but is gone out into curious notions; and the number of his names and colors is read nowhere but in the unity or the spirit of truth. All others call truth deceit, and deceit truth, as the blind that opposed the light ever did, who are ever learning endless varieties, but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth, nor to an end of their labors: but when they are out of one form get into another, so long as they can find a green tree without. Thus you are kept at work all your life, and to the grave in sorrow, as the dumb priests, you tell of, have been before you; only you have got a finer image, but less life. And you, whose teaching has no end, are in the horse mill you  speak of. I have read the epistles to Timothy, and to the Hebrews; and there I find, the duty of all believers is to see to the law of the new covenant written in the heart, whereby all may know God, from the least to the greatest. I know the holy scriptures are profitable for the man of God; but what is that to the man of sin, to the first-born, who is out of the light, and being unstable and unlearned, wrest them to their own destruction; but to the life cannot come. And for your two ordinances you speak of, I say, upon the same account you deny the priests of the world therein, we deny you; being both of you not only out of the life, but out of the form too. That command, Matt. 28:19. You never had, nor its power; which was, "to baptize into the name of the Father, son, and holy ghost." And what Paul received of the Lord, that body and that bread, you know as little but what you have read; nor do you, who don’t believe in his light, know anything of the coming of Christ. And whereas you speak of preaching Christ of envy, and plead for it; I say, such preachers we have enough of in these days. What else are you doing, who say, Paul was sent to baptize; though Paul says, he was not: so you would prove him a liar, if any would believe you before him. You also say, "For all you know, he might have baptized thousands." You might as easily have said millions, and as soon have proved it. You may say the same of circumcision also, and on the same ground. As for the signs that followed those that believed, which you say are ceased; I say those who cannot receive the light, cannot see the signs. If they could see them, they would not believe them and probably slander them; just like those who opposed the light in former ages could not believe them. Besides, you can say something has ceased if your knowledge of something is based solely on hearing or reading about it. But where in measure Christ is received in the light, I deny that the power, and signs, and presence of God is not the same as ever it was; and declare it to be false, and from a spirit that knows not God, nor his power. And as for the gospel foundation you speak of, I say, it is to be laid again in all the world. You never were on the true foundation, since the man of sin set up his false foundations (forms) without power. Until you can own the light of Christ that the saints preached, and own their life and practice, for shame; stop talking about their foundation, or glorious work, or quakings and tremblings. These are the saints' experiences, which the world does not know or own; nor can you read of anyone  without these experiences ever declaring how they knew God, or received his word. In your exhortation you command me, "Love Christ, where ever I see him." But have you told me where one might come to see him, or how one might know him, you have shown more of a christian in that statement than in all the rest you have spoken. But it seems, you are not all of one mind. Some of you say, "He is gone, and will be no more seen until doomsday." But if ever you come to see Christ to your comfort, while you oppose his light, then God has not spoken by me. This you shall remember, when your time you have spent.

George Fox

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