[XXI. (21) — To Friends at Kendal.]
O Friends! keep close to the light in you, and do not look forth at words that proceed from a vain and light mind; but at the power of words. For the words of God, that proceed from him, are powerful and mighty in operation, to the throwing down of all the strong holds [Mic 5:11, 2 Cor 10:4] of the man of sin [2 Th 2:3]. The Lord is coming in power, to gather his chosen ones to himself, and to judge and condemn the wicked one for evermore. He will plague the beast [Rev 16:10?], and burn the whore [Rev 17:16], and plague and torment the disobedient, and rebellious, and backsliders very sore. Therefore, ye that know the voice of the Lord, hearken to it, and see how ye stand in his fear, and how ye are brought into the obedience of the truth. And take heed of looking forth at man; but keep close to the light in you, and see that your minds be kept close to that, and guided by that; and being guided by that, it will keep you clear and pure to receive the teaching of the Lord. Have salt in yourselves [Mark 9:50], and let your words be few [Eccl 5:2] and seasoned [Col 4:6], that they may be savoury. And watch over one another in love, and walk in wisdom, and sobriety, and gravity, and sincerity, in purity, and cleanness. And keep free from deceit, and have no fellowship with the unfruitful words of darkness, but rather reprove <30> them [Eph 5:11]. And be faithful to the Lord; walk so that the world may be confounded and ashamed, when they speak evil of you, as evil doers [1 Pet 3:16]; walking in humbleness, lowliness, and uprightness before them, it will take away all just occasion of speaking evil against the truth. And be bold and valiant for the truth [Jer 9:3], and press forward, towards the mark of the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus [Phil 3:14], and let no man take your crown [Rev 3:11].
Dear Friends, watch over one another in love, and stir up that which is pure in one another, and exhort one another daily [Heb 3:13. And the Lord keep you all in his fear, and in his obedience now and evermore!
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Friends,—Fear not the powers of darkness, but keep your meetings, and meet in that which keeps you over them; and in the power of God ye will have unity.
And dwell in love [1 Jn 4:16] and unity one with another, and know one another in the power of an endless life [Heb 7:16], which doth not change. And know the second Adam, the Lord from heaven, which is above the first Adam, the earthly [1 Cor 15:47], where all strife and transgression is. And all Friends every where, be faithful in the life and power of God, and keep your meetings (above all the world) in that which changes not, that nothing but Christ may reign among you, the power of God, and wisdom of God [1 Cor 1:24], the sanctification and redemption; that the just over all may reign, and the seed of God may have the dominion in you all; that with that ye may all be ordered to the glory of God, and kept in the bond of peace [Eph 4:3], and reign in the love of God, (which is out of the iniquity, and rejoiceth not in it,) which thinks no evil [1 Cor 13:5f]. And have this love shed abroad in all your hearts [Rom 5:5], and feel it abiding in you; which love of God edifies the body [Eph 4:16]. And know the word of God abiding in you, which was in the beginning [John 1:1], and brings to the beginning; which word being ingrafted [Jas 1:21], it saves the soul, and hammers down, and throws down, and burns up [Jer 23:29] that which wars against it.
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To all Friends every where, dwell in the truth, and walk in the love of the truth, in patience, and every one in your measure keep your habitations [Jude 1:6], and learn that good lesson of Jesus Christ, to be low and meek in heart [Mat 11:29], giving no occasion to the adversary [1 Tim 5:14] by evil doing. But walk all honestly and uprightly; for the upright and meek in heart know God, and God delights in the upright and righteous. And walking in uprighteousness, ye will be bold as lions [Prov 28:1], resisting the wicked with your <31> spiritual weapons, not by bloody hands, as the wicked are tearing and rending the just that dwell in the truth. For the lions want, and hunger, and rage; but ye that fear the Lord, shall want no good thing [Psa 34:10]; and they that wait upon the Lord, he will give them their hearts desire [Psa 21:2]. I witness the words of the Lord to be true, praised be his name! Oh! Friends, dwell in the fear of the Lord, and take heed of presumption, that your minds run not out into vanity and lightness, that the world may not take occasion, and the truth suffer. But every one keep your habitation where God hath called you; and take heed of deceit, and form nothing in your own wills or minds, but grow up in the inner man, (putting off the old man with his deeds, [Col 3:9]) as trees of righteousness, which the Lord hath planted [Isa 61:3], growing in wisdom and understanding to do the will of God, and not your own wills. He that doth the will of God, abideth [1 Jn 2:17] in that which endureth for ever, and seeth all flesh to be as grass, and the glory of the world to pass away [1 Pet 1:24]. Wo unto you proud men, who compass the earth [Mat 23:15], to set your nests on high [Jer 49:16]! all your gods of gold and silver must perish, and that mind that holds them up must perish. But all Friends, mind that which is eternal, which gathers your hearts together up to the Lord, and lets you see that ye are written in one another's hearts [2 Cor 3:2f]; meet together every where, growing up in the spirit to the Lord, the fountain of life [Psa 36:9], the head of all things, God blessed for ever! Let not hard words trouble you, nor fair speeches [Rom 16:18] win you; but dwell in the power of truth, in the mighty God, and have salt in yourselves [Mark 9:50] to savour all words, and to stand against all the wiles of the devil [Eph 6:11], in the mighty power of God.
For God hath raised up his own seed in his saints, which seed, Christ, is but one in all, and spreads over all, and throughout all; and we now are through him come to have dominion and power over the evil one, and to tread upon that which hath been too strong for us, the enemy of our peace, and the enemy of our unity with God and one with another. So in that, which is raised up in us, which trampleth upon the earthly, dark power, have we unity with God, and fellowship with his son [1 Jn 1:3], and unity one with another [1 Jn 1:7]; so are known to one another in that, which none, who are of the world, knoweth [1 Cor 2:8?]. So our life is hid [Col 3:3], and our happiness, joy, and delight hid from all, who are ruled and governed by the prince of the air [Eph 2:2], from under whose dominion and government we are redeemed by the only redeemer Christ Jesus, not with corruptible things [1 Pet 1:18], neither is our redemption of man, nor by man, nor according to the will of man, but contrary to man's will. And so, our unity and fellowship with vain man are lost, and all his evil ways are now turned into enmity; and all his profession is now found to be deceit, and in all his fairest pretences lodgeth cruelty; and the bottom and ground of all his knowledge of God and Christ is found sandy, and cannot endure <32> the tempest [Mat 7:26f]. For being brought off from that foundation, and having suffered the loss of all, which seemed beautiful upon the sand, (which was there builded according to that wisdom which was not eternal, but was earthly, upon which the curse of God was [Gen 3:17], and yet doth remain, where it is standing,) we declare against that bottom and foundation, by the power of God, in that light of Christ, which discovers all false foundations, and makes manifest all sandy bottoms, which man hath builded upon. For where the only true seed takes root, there all man's plants and plantations are plucked up; for there the earth, in which the earthly plants grow, is broken up, ploughed up, and ripped up, and all things made manifest, which have lain hid in it. For in the earth dwell all the noisome creatures, and the evil beasts [Ezek 14:15], which are hurtful to the creation: for in the earth the devil dwells and walks; but the earth being ploughed up, he is made manifest, and the seat of his dwelling is broken up. That mind, which doth speak of God, but lives not, dwells not, nor abides in the fear of God, that mind must suffer, and pass under the judgment of God, for the curse of God is upon that mind: for that mind is earthly, and of the earth, upon which the curse of God is [Gen 3:17]. And that mind may talk of God, and speak of God, but not in union with God, nor from enjoyment of God in the spirit, nor from having purchased the knowledge of him through death and sufferings; but from hear-say of him, and from custom and tradition. But the true fear of God doth destroy that mind, which speaks of him, but doth not live in his fear: and that mind is raised up, which doth abide in his fear; and this is acceptable sacrifice, which is pure, clean, holy, and without spot. Then that which knows God, speaks of him, which hath purchased the true knowledge of him through suffering; and to such there is no condemnation, but joy and peace. And this mind sings true praises to God, the other in hypocrisy; and therefore the wo is unto it. And this mind is stayed upon God [Isa 26:3], the other is gadding after the creatures, committing fornication with other lovers; and speaks of God, but is not subject to God, and must pass through condemnation.
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Friends, the love of God is to you, the springs are opening, and the plants are refreshing with the living waters. Now friends, walk in the truth, as ye have received it; and wait in that which keeps you in the yea and nay, in the pure communication [Mat 5:37], in the good manners [1 Cor 15:33]. In the pure conversation over all the world ye will reign, whose conversation is in heaven [Phil 3:20]; and here the world ye will judge, walking in the life. And ye which turn from the light, which Jesus Christ hath enlightened <33> you withal, here are the corrupt manners, the evil communication [1 Cor 15:33], the filthy conversation, which with the light are all to be condemned. Ye which turn from the light, are in Esau's nature, and choosing the earth, there is profaneness [Heb 12:16] : therefore take heed to the light, and wait to receive power from God, to stand against that which the light discovers to be evil. And ye who are turned from the light, which Jesus Christ hath enlightened you withal [John 1:9], and do turn to the hireling priests who are changeable, from the priest who never changes [Heb 13:8], ye walk in Judas' steps, and wo will be your end; ye had better never have been born, ye are betrayers of the just [Mark 14:21, Acts 7:52]. Ye that turn from the light, ye turn from Christ, as Judas did; and ye that walk in the light, ye walk after Christ, and he is your way [John 14:6]; but ye that turn from it to the hireling priests, Judas is your way, which is destruction. And ye that turn from the light, turn from the command of God; Cain is your way. And ye that turn from the spirit, Balaam is your way. And ye that get up into presumption, Core is your way, which leads into self-separation [Jude 1:11]. And this fruit will wither [Jude 1:12], which is natural knowledge, which is seen with the light, and is to be condemned with the light [John 3:19], which never withers, which is the condemnation of the world; which all the children of the light [1 Th 5:5] walk in. Walking in which light [1 Jn 1:7], it will bring you to receive Christ, from whence it comes. Here is the way to salvation; and as many as receive him, to them he gives power to become the sons of God [John 1:12]. And the son of God is but one in all, male and female [Gal 3:28]; and the light of God is but one. So all walk in it, to receive the son; in which light is the unity, which brings to fellowship with the Father and the son [1 Jn 1:3]. And the oneness is in the light, as the Father and the son are one, and brings you to where he is, out of the world [John 15:19], from the world, and not to be of the world. Therefore walk in the light, which is all the world's condemnation, even them of the highest religion, who act contrary to the light. And to you this is given forth from the word of the living God. And thou that lovest thy soul, love the light, to wait for Christ, the saviour of thy soul: and ye that hear the word, wait in the light, which comes from the word, which leads up to the word which was in the beginning [John 1:1], which breaks the world to pieces that lies in wickedness, and burns it as with a fire [Jer 23:29; 1 Jn 5:19]; and divides asunder the precious from the vile [Jer 15:19]. This is the word, which makes all clean, which is received into the heart; and this is the word of faith which we preach [Rom 10:8]: and the world preaches the words without, being out of the life, and in the brutish knowledge [Jer 10:14], which is condemned of God, and by all who are of God, that have (and are in) the life of the holy scriptures. Therefore I charge you all in the presence of the living God, to wait in the light which comes from Christ, that with it ye may receive the life; that with the light and life, which are one, ye may come to have the scriptures <34> opened to you, which were given forth from the light. And so all the world, who have not the light guiding their understandings, nor the life, but are strangers to it, there are the sects, there are the many opinions, there is the heresy, which makes a profession of the letter declared from the light, but are out of the life; with the light all this is condemned: and the children of light are in unity, in that which gave forth the holy scriptures. And so to you all this testimony is from the word of God.
This is to be read among all Friends every where; for this was I moved to send among you.
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Friends,—All they who act contrary to the light which comes from Christ Jesus, and hate it, whose deeds are evil [John 3:19f], and live in strife about words, and their minds are in earthly things [Phil 3:19], defrauding and wronging one another, they know when they do so, with the light which comes from Christ Jesus. So this light, which lets them see and know, when they act contrary to it, with this light are they condemned. And all that do act contrary to the light, and do join together in marriage contrary to the light, and are joined with that which is contrary to the light, this is their condemnation, the light, which leads to God. But who are joined together with the light, are joined together in God; and let no man put them asunder [Mat 19:6]. Here is the true joining; and there will be a clear testimony unto them, that God did move and command, and join them with his light, among all the children of light; and this marriage is honourable, and the bed not defiled [Heb 13:4]. And whom God doth move, and command, and join together, it was and is by his power.
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To all my dear Friends and brethren every where. He that hath the son of God, hath life; all that have not the son of God, have not life [1 Jn 5:12]. The son of God is he which makes free from all sin, and is come to destroy the works of the devil [1Jn 3:8], and to make us conformable to his image [Rom 8:29], and the image of the devil to deface and destroy, and the image of God to renew us up in [Col 3:10]; and so to bring us to walk in righteousness. Praises be unto the glorious God for ever, who has sent his son into the world, to take away the sins of the world. The lamb of God [John 1:29], the son of God, is but one in all his males and females, sons and daughters, and they all are one in Christ [Gal 3:28] and Christ one in them all. And all Friends, walk worthy of your calling [2 Th 1:11] in all holiness, for holiness becomes the saints [Psa 93:5, Eph 5:3]; <35> without holiness no man shall see the Lord [Heb 12:14]. And every one improve your talents [Mat 25:14-30], labouring in the vineyard [Mat 20:1], dressing the Lord's vineyard, that ye may be found the faithful servants, who are as good servants, and walking all in love to God, and one to another. And know one another in the spirit which is immortal; for all other knowledge in the flesh veils the pure [2 Cor 3:13-16], and hinders your discerning. There will arise tares out of that ground, whence that love springs.[Mat 13:26] Therefore dwell all in the pure spirit of God, and walking therein, it will teach you every one in particular, to know God the Father of spirits [Heb 12:9], and all to stand naked and bare, and uncovered before the living Lord God. For wo is to every one, that is covered, but not with the spirit of the Lord; and who are covered, and not with his spirit, will not stand in his counsel [Isa 30:1]. But all ye who are uncovered, walking in the spirit of the Lord God, it will keep you all in his counsel to stand uncovered before the Lord, bare and naked, to receive instruction and counsel from him. So God Almighty be with you all! The dew of heaven [Gen 27:28] is falling upon you to water the tender plants; and the blessing of God be amongst you, which showers down amongst you [Ezek 34:26]! The heavenly joy fill your hearts, and comfort you in the inward man in all tribulations. The glorious light is shining, the immortal is bringing forth out of death, the prisoners have hope of their pardon [Isa 42:7? Zech 9:11f?], the debt being paid, and they freely purchased by Christ's blood [Acts 20:28], and he into the prison houses is come, that the prisoners begin to sing [Acts 16:25?] in hope of their eternal freedom, for joy of heart leaping, and the dumb tongue shall sing praises [Isa 35:6]. And the arrows of the Almighty [Job 6:4] are shooting against the wicked. Therefore be bold and valiant for the truth [Jer 9:3], triumph over all the deceivers, and trample upon their deceits.
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Friends,—The counsel of the living God to you all is, that ye may come to discern the ministers of God and Christ from the ministers of <36> the world, that have gotten the scriptures for their cloak, and with them make a colour to deceive, and tell you, ‘that they are the ministers of Jesus Christ, and Christ hath sent them;’ [2 Cor 11:13] who sue you at the law, and hale you before magistrates for tithes and maintenance, when they do you no work, nor have ye hired them. Yet they come and tell you, ‘the workman is worthy of his meat [Mat 10:10], and the labourer is worthy of his hire. [Luke 10:7].’ Here the custom of sin hath taken away the sense; they are so accustomed to it. But praised be the Lord God, who hath given us his light, and with it all such are seen, comprehended, and judged; and to such we cannot give tithes, nor hire, who do us no work, whom we have not hired; for it is contrary to scripture and Christ's doctrine, and to that of God in our consciences. It is not for the saving of the earth (for it is the Lord's, and the fulness of it) [Psa 24:1] that we do not pay the priests' tithes; for if we should, we should uphold the first priesthood, and its office, who had their storehouses, to put the tithes into that were given them; and then all the widows, fatherless, and strangers came, and were to be filled in the priest's gate, and the priests were to minister it out of the storehouse; as ye may read in Malachi [Mal 3:10] and the book of Moses [Deut 14:28], who received a law from God, and gave it forth to the priests to receive tithes. So with the light, which Christ Jesus hath given us, with it we come to witness him, the unchangeable priest [Heb 7:24], and see the change of the first priesthood, and the change of the law also [Heb 7:12], by which the priest received the tithes; as ye may read Heb. vii. So we do witness the new testament, and the new covenant, and the everlasting priest [Heb 7:21], (praised be God!) and do confess Christ Jesus come in the flesh [1 Jn 4:2]. And all ye that would have us to give priests' tithes, and would compel us so to do, ye are they that do oppose Christ's doctrine and commands to his disciples, ‘Freely ye have received, freely give’ [Mat 10:8]; and do not own the unchangeable priest's being come to teach his people: ye are against the unchangeable priest's office; ye are against the new covenant, and new testament. And so we cannot uphold tithes, and such as take tithes, who act against Christ Jesus' commands, and deny him to be come in the flesh, in life, doctrine, and power. So, we that suffer our goods to be spoiled joyfully, it is for Christ's sake, the unchangeable priest, and for the new covenant's sake, and the new testament's sake. As the Hebrews did, who suffered their goods to be spoiled joyfully [Heb 10:34], and were a gazing-stock [Heb 10:33]; and so we suffer now by the changeable priesthood, which takes tithes, as the people of God did then. But if we hire any man, and set him at work, we will give him his wages and his meat; but such dissemblers, as say, the scripture is their rule for it, and we neither hired nor set them at work, all such deceivers are denied, who take the scripture words, and make a cloak of them for their covetous practices [2 Pet 2:14]. Nevertheless, if any minister of <37> Jesus Christ, or son, or daughter, or servant, which Jesus Christ sends forth, (who said, ‘Freely ye have received, freely give,’) comes to our houses, and ministers unto us spiritual things, we will set before him our carnal things; and he that soweth unto us spiritual things, it is the least, that we minister unto him of our carnal things [Rom 15:27]. But he that sueth us at the law for means, and calleth me before courts and sessions, and telleth me, he is a minister of Christ, and Christ sent him, all such evil beasts [Tit 1:12] (as the apostle speaks of) we deny, who mind earthly things, whose god is their belly [Phil 3:19], who serve not the Lord Jesus Christ, but their own bellies [Rom 16:18]. But if any one come into our houses, (as afore-said,) to preach the gospel to us, we shall set before them, and they shall eat freely, as Christ saith, ‘Whatsoever they set before you, that eat.’ [Luke 10:8; 1 Cor 10:27] But to give tithes to such as do not preach to us spiritual things, but deny Christ come in the flesh [1 Jn 4:3, 2 Jn 1:7], and hold up things in the figure, all such we deny; and for the truth's sake do we suffer by such. And ye that have bought tithes to get gain thereby, to you we cannot pay tithes; ye are as bad as the priests to hold up such things, as were acted in the figure, and deny Christ come in the flesh. And though ye may say, give Caesar his due, for a cloak, that cloak we deny. Nevertheless, if we be owing any thing to Caesar, or to any ruler, or magistrate, or minister, he shall have his due. So, Caesar shall have his due in his place; and the figure we own in its place, and Christ in his place [Mat 22:21].
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[XXX. (30) — To a suffering Friend.]
Dear Friends,—Mind the steadfast guide to the Lord, where we do all meet in the eternal spirit, in oneness, all being baptized by it into one body [1 Cor 12:13], having one food, the eternal bread of life [John 6:51], which the immortal feed upon, and all made to drink into one spirit [1 Cor 12:13], which is the cup of the communion of the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ [1 Cor 10:16], which makes perfect, and redeems from all that is vain, fleshly, and earthly, up to God, who is holy, pure, spiritual, and eternal. And let not any of you in your desires wander from that which is pure in you; then your conditions will be kept clear and pure to see all things as they are, and a clear separation will be made from that which is of man, and of your <38> own, and that which is of God; and there will be a growing up in that which is pure. And so, be low in your minds, waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in you all, who is Lord over all, to be Lord over all in you. And so the Lord God of power keep you all! Farewell.
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Friends,—When your minds go forth from the pure spirit of God, and are drawn out from it, there the image of God comes to be lost, in those whose minds go out from the pure, to lust after that which is in the fall, which may appear like truth in the notion; in that nature, out of the truth, lodgeth the enchanter and sorcerer. [Deut 18:10-12, Jer 27:9] To speak of truth, when ye are moved, it is a cross to the will; if ye live in the truth which ye speak, ye live in the cross to your own wills. For that which joins with the earthly will, goes out from God, and that which is pure; and so makes a place for the enchanter and sorcerer [Jer 27:9], and the airy spirit [Eph 2:2], to lodge in; whereby a grave is made for the just, and the partition wall [Eph 2:14] between God and man standing. Death comes to reign [Rom 5:14], and the grave hath the victory [1 Cor 15:55] over such; and in the airy spirit lodgeth the enchanter, which the Lord will rebuke [Jude 1:9]. Dwell in the pure and immortal, and wait upon the living God, to have your hope renewed, and to be renewed again into the image of God [Col 3:10], and the image of the devil defaced, and the prince of the air [Eph 2:2] cast out; for he lodgeth in the mind that doth despair, and in that mind that doth presume.
So, dwell in the light, and wait upon God to have the image of God renewed [Col 3:10]; and all come to witness yourselves to be restored by Christ Jesus into the image of God, and to be made by him like to God, pure, holy, perfect, and righteous. This was witnessed, this is witnessed, and this will be witnessed measurably with thousands, who are growing up out of the fall, and coming up out of the grave. [Mat 27:52f?] Let not the lust go out to any thing which is mortal, to be servant thereto; but mind the joining to the life. Here ye are kept in the image of God. Not but that ye may use the creatures lawfully, but being kept in the image of God, ye are kept as kings over all the creatures, and over the creation [Gen 1:26-28]; here ye will see all things, and by whom they stand. To the pure all things are pure [Tit 1:15], being in the image of God above all the creatures below, not worshipping the host of heaven [Deut 4:19, 17:3; Acts 7:42], nor being in bondage to the creatures, nor minding any thing in comparison of that which is immortal, which joins you unto the Lord [1 Cor 6:17] ; and all that speak here, in that which is immortal, are joining unto the Lord. But that nature keep out, and that judge, which is mortal, which will join to the harlot [1 Cor 6:16], the <39> fleshy; from all that there is to be a separation. And here (as ye are brought by the power of God) the gate is seen that stands open; which gate is shut from all mortal eyes. And all the wonderers are here seen, who inquire after new things and novelties; but the ‘wise man satisfies not the fool.’ [Prov 26:4?] For that part is above the pure, if it be not kept in the cross; which, not being wrought out, will join to the flesh, and so become one with the harlot. And such join together to put Christ to death afresh [Heb 6:6].
So, therefore, dwell in that which is pure and eternal, which guides the mind to God; here is perfect peace to those whose minds are stayed upon the Lord [Isa 26:3]: which, if the mind goeth from, there the peace is lost; and there getteth in the light, airy spirit in that nature. And if the mind go back, to fetch up things again, and speak them forth, there will lodge the airy spirit [Eph 2:2] too, though there may be true experiences; and if the life speak them forth, by which they were opened, it keeps down the airy spirit.
Therefore mind the substance, that keeps you in your present conditions, and that which doth disobey or rebel against the word of the Lord, in that nature lodgeth the airy spirit; and that which hearkens to things that are spoken out of the life, without, that lets in the devil. And so, ye come to be possessed with evil thoughts, and doubts, and carnal reasonings [Rom 8:6f], and bondage, and troubles; these things in you will rest, until the life be risen again within, to cast all that forth, which the earthly ear and mind hath let in. Now, if ye hearken diligently, ye will learn your safeguard, and judge forth that which is not pure, which defiles; that the just may have the dominion. And here ye will see, what stains, and what defiles, and the pure eye and ear will be opened to hear God; and the wizzard, and the enchanter, and the sorcerer, and the soothsayer, all that will be kept out and judged. For none of that must live in Israel [Deut 18:10-12], where there is to be no transgression. For where they live, truth doth not; and where truth doth live, that doth not, but is all judged out.
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All Friends and brethren every where, in the life and power of the Lord wait, and from it none walk; but that to the light of Christ in every one ye may be made manifest, that the fear and dread of the Lord [Isa 8:13] may be in all your hearts, that nothing may reign but life [Rom 5:17] itself. And so, all your meetings in every place keep, waiting in the light, which from Christ doth come, the saviour of your souls; that his presence in the midst ye may all feel, who are gathered together in his name [Mat 18:20] and power in his light, (which is his name,) and from the world's <40> gatherings are turned. And if any be moved (who are turned to the light [Acts 26:18]) with the power which comes from him, to any service for the Lord, to it be obedient; and ye will see Christ with you to the end of the world [Mat 28:20]. But if any go, before they are moved, and so from the light walk, he is a stumbling block, and is to be judged and condemned by the light [John 3:19f]; and is out of the wisdom, and out of the fear, and soweth to the flesh, and reaps corruption [Gal 6:8], and by the light is condemned. For that answereth not the light in every man's conscience, neither doth it reach to the life, the spirit in prison [1Pet 3:19]; but it manifesteth weakness, and foolishness, and nakedness, which is from the light, and contrary to it. And such are stumbling blocks, and do not answer the witness of God in the conscience [Rom 2:15].
Therefore wait all in the light, for to receive the power from him who is not of the world [John 17:14], that ye may be preserved from nakedness and weakness. For that which goes from the light, and is not guided with it, runs into the lust; and there is the slothful, which is to be judged [Mat 25:26-30], and that that will offend, to which the wo is [Mat 18:7]; for it answereth not that of God in the conscience: neither is it honourable, nor of good report; for that which is honourable, and of good report, answereth that which is of God [Col 4:6/Rom 1:19], and answereth the light of Christ in every man in the world [John 1:9] with wisdom, which from the light doth come, even from him by whom the world was made.
Therefore all Friends, this is a charge to you all, and a command to you all in the presence of the living God: ‘In the light, life, and power, and wisdom of God walk,’ that to that of God in every one ye may be manifested in the sight of God, and it may be your witness, that ye are of God, in every man's conscience, which witnesseth against the world, and for him who is not of the world [John 17:14,16]. And wait all in the light for the wisdom by which all things were made [Wis 7:22], with it to use all the Lord's creatures to his glory, (and none to stumble one another about the creatures [Rom 14:21], for that is not from the light, ) for which end they were created, and with the wisdom by which they were made, ye may be kept out of the misuse of them, in the image of God, that ye may come to see, that the ‘earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof,’ [Psa 24:1] and the earth may come to yield her increase [Ezek 34:27], and to enjoy her sabbaths [Lev 26:34]; and all such that walk contrary to the light, may be turned to the light [Acts 26:18], that with the light they may see and condemn that which is contrary to it. So that in the wisdom of God ye may all be kept, and in the fear of the Lord and his righteousness established, which is far from oppression [Isa 54:14]; where all bonds of iniquity [Acts 8:23] are broken, and the prince of darkness judged out, and the Prince of peace [Isa 9:6] reigns, under whose dominion keep and walk. And all that cause strife, are to be condemned and shut out, <41> which have their eye without, and are condemned by the light, the god of the world having blinded [2 Cor 4:4] the eye of the unbeliever.
Therefore, ye believers in the light [John 12:36], wait in the wisdom, that with it and in it ye may be ordered to the glory of God [Wis 8:1], that among you nothing may reign, but light, and life, and wisdom, and power, the dread and fear of the Lord be among you, and truth and righteousness reign; which will answer the light of Christ in every man [Col 4:6]. And all that is contrary, let it be condemned with the light which comes from him by which the world was made [John 1:2], who was before the world was, who ‘lighteth every man, that cometh into the world.’ [John 1:9] Though they believe not in it, yet ye may answer the light in every man, though it be their condemnation [John 3:19f].
So being kept in the light, which cometh from him by whom the world was made, who was before it was made, ye come to receive the wisdom by which all things were made [Wis 7:22], and with it to order and use them to the glory of God [Wis 8:1, 1 Cor 10:31]. For that which is not from the light, nor from the wisdom, is the offender, which is to be condemned with the light which comes from the life; and to it in you all take heed, that your hearts may be joined together to God, and all that is contrary condemned. And so, the Lord God Almighty preserve and keep you all in wisdom!
P. S.—Friends, a warning from the Lord to you all, in wisdom to walk, that ye may adorn every one, what ye profess [Tit 2:10], that the measure of God's spirit in every one ye may answer. And know the Lord to guide your understandings, and let his wisdom be justified by you all [Mat 11:19], and ye in the measure of the spirit of God in unity kept; that ye may see righteousness spring and flourish among you, and no deceit stand, nor nothing that is deceitful; but with the eternal judge it down, and keep it down, that nothing may live that is for the sword, which would defile the land [Num 35:34]. Therefore in that which is eternal, dwell, as a royal priesthood [1 Pet 2:9], in that which comes from him by whom the world was made; who to all your souls is a Friend [John 15:15], from whence the refreshing is received. So the Lord God Almighty preserve and keep you all, that in his life, dread, and power ye may be preserved.
G. F. Top
Friends, I do warn you in the presence of the living God, not to speak the things of God out of the fear of God, at random, in a presumptuous mind; for proud boasters are excluded [Rom 3:27, 2 Tim 3:2] out of the kingdom of God, and with the light of Christ condemned, and with the life, that gave forth the scriptures, are they judged. Therefore to you this is <42> the word of the Lord, in the light, which Christ hath enlightened every one of you withal [John 1:9], wait in it, and love it, and ye shall have the light of life [John 8:12]; and it will bring you to stand in the counsel of God [Jer 23:18], and keep you from all wicked ways. And with it ye will see all the enchanters, false prophets, who speak a divination of their own brain [Jer 27:9/14:14], whose minds are turned from the light of Christ; with this light are they condemned. All whose minds are turned from it, and hate it, whose deeds are evil, with this light are they condemned [John 3:19f]; though they may make a profession of the words which proceeded from the light, from them who lived in it, and walked in it. So they that turn from it, and hate this light, making a profession of their words that dwelt in it, and hate them that walk in the light now, (Oh, high deceit!) all such are to be condemned with the light. And such that hate the light, and deny it, though they may profess the words, that did proceed from the life, and be full of them, they turn no people from their wicked ways [2 Chr 7:14]; for in the counsel of God they stand not. For they were in the counsel of God, who gave forth the scriptures, who were in the life of them, from which the letter did proceed.
Therefore in the life, (every one in your measures,) wait and walk, which gave forth the scriptures, which will open them to you again; else you all I do deny, and ye are to be turned away from, as having the form, but not the power [2 Tim 3:5]. And know the life of God in one another, and the power of God in one another; but that knowledge in the form without the life we deny, though it be never so finely painted, and the harlot be never so beautiful, who is turned from the light, which Christ hath enlightened withal. This is the harlot, who dresseth herself with the words that proceeded from the light, who persecuteth them who dwell in the light, who drinketh the blood of the saints [Rev 17:6], who dwell in the life which gave forth the scriptures. And with the words that proceeded from the light, doth she clothe herself, and is harlotted from the life; and all that she brings forth, is contrary to the light. So she is called the mother of harlots [Rev 17:5]. But if ye love this light, and your minds be guided by it to see the face of Jesus [2 Cor 4:6], and him the head, then with this light ye will see all the harlots, and the mother of harlots, and where she is, and what she is joined to [1 Cor 6:16]. The light is that, by which ye come to see; he that walketh in it, stumbleth not [John 11:9]. But thou stumblest, who art turned from the light among the harlots. I charge you every one in the presence of the living God, to take heed to the light. It is your teacher, loving it; it is your condemnation, hating it.