Friends,—Let all that ye do be done in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ [Col 3:17], by whom all things were made [John 1:3] and created, that ye may do that which ye do in the true dominion; and then what ye do ye do in the power of God. And all Friends, dwell in love [1 Jn 4:16], for that is the mark of a disciple [John 13:35], and the fruits of faith and the spirit [Gal 5:22]; which love out of a pure heart is the end of the commandment [1 Tim 1:5] and fulfils the law [Rom 13:10], and in that is edification [1 Cor 8:1] and building, and the fruits of being passed from death to life [John 5:24]; there is love to God, brethren, and enemies, being in the seed that destroys death [1 Cor 15:26] and the power of it, the devil [Heb 2:14]. . . .
And so, the spirit of truth which gave forth the scriptures [2 Pet 1:21], is our director, guide, leader, and comforter [John 16:13], which reproveth the world for sin [John 16:8]. And this leadeth to see the end of all directories which men invent, <160> who have not the spirit the apostles had; and when they cannot hold it up they cry to the powers of the earth to help them. And these we see are erred from the spirit [Isa 29:24] and without the spirit; with whom we cannot trust our bodies, spirits nor souls, into their hands, but have committed them to the Lord, whose they are.
And we are a people that are redeemed from the earth and world, and need none of your church-made-faith, which ye have framed and made in eleven days' time, and your other three days set apart. For Christ is the author of our faith [Heb 12:2], which is the gift of God [Eph 2:8], which is a mystery held in a pure conscience [1 Tim 3:9]. And we say, that all the priests in Scotland, London, and New England cannot make the gift of God, the mystery, which is the faith which remains, and by which men are justified and saved, neither have they power over it; which brings us to have access to God [Rom 5:2], and giveth us victory [1 Jn 5:4] over that which separated us from God. . . .
Mass for the Papists, common prayer for the Episcopal men; and the directory for the Presbyterians; church-made and framed faith for the Independents, and mixed Baptists and others. And those have had their <161> fellowships in these for which they fought, and about which carnal weapons [2 Cor 10:4] got up since the days of the apostles. But the fellowship in the spirit [Phil 2:1] remains, and doth not change, which hath spiritual weapons [Zech 4:6], and these are known and used to fight withal about religion, in which the seed of God is known, which bruiseth the serpent's head [Gen 3:15] which led man from God, and made a separation betwixt man and God. And the election is known (in him who was) before the world begun [1 Th 1:4, 2 Tim 1:19]; who is the head of our church [Col 1:18], and not they that be head of the mass, head of your directory, head of the common-prayer, and head of the church-made faith, which we see all change and come to nought [Acts 5:38, 1 Cor 2:6], and God confounds [1 Cor 1:27]. And men stand in doubts and questions, and have no assurance in their religion; but that of God stands in them all bound [2 Tim 2:9]. . . .
Our faith, our church, our unity is in the spirit [Eph 4:3], and our word at which we tremble [Isa 66:5], was in the beginning [John 1:1], before the Papists' mass, and your Episcopals' common-prayer, and the Presbyterians' directory, and Independents, Baptists, and other church-made framed faiths were; and our unity, church, and fellowship will stand when they are all ended. By which spirit we judge them all, and deny their works; in which is our unity with God, with the scriptures, and one with another. For they have been to people like so many changeable coverings, but now the spirit is taking them off; by which we are covered [Isa 30:1], and it is our weapon in this day of great battle with them. The scriptures which ye do speak, and show forth in your books, are owned, but your imaginations of them we deny; but they are all owned in themselves and places. So they are all ours, which end in Christ, who is ours, and in him we are that remaineth.
The mass is the Papists' sacrifice, that they kill about.
The common-prayer is the Episcopals' sacrifice, that they persecute and kill about. And—
The directory is the Presbyterians' sacrifice, they persecute and kill about.
The made and framed church-faith is the Independents' and Baptists' sacrifice, which they kill and persecute about.
Which sacrifices the Lord doth not accept, neither hath he respect to [Gen 4:5], which are of them who have erred from the spirit [Isa 29:24] which the apostles were in, with which they offered spiritual sacrifice [1 Pet 2:5] to God the Father of spirits [Heb 12:9], which we are in.
And all my dear hearts, all know the fellowship of the seed in its sufferings, and to be made conformable to his death; that ye in the suffering through it may know the power of the resurrection of the just seed [Phil 3:10]. And this is it which kills all bad spirits that will talk, but not do [Mat 23:3]; such may crucify Christ in themselves afresh [Heb 6:6]. Therefore mind the daily suffering which the seed had, and have unity with that; so ye may rise with that, which destroyeth that which causeth it to suffer. . . .
Are not ye all ashamed? And show ye are naked, out of the power and life the apostles were in; and from their weapons naked? The outward power neither upheld nor separated them from the love of God [Rom 8:38f], which they had in Christ, the end of the law [Rom 10:4]. . . .
Forgive us, as we forgive them, cry Papists, cry Episcopal, cry Presbyterians, and Baptists, and Independents; these cry and say the Lord's Prayer, ‘Forgive us our debts and trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us [Mat 6:12];’ and like a company of senseless men, without understanding, fall a fighting one with another about their trespasses and debts, and never mind what they prayed, as though they never looked for forgiveness, and to receive the things they prayed for. That pray, ‘Forgive us Lord, as we forgive them,’ and fall a persecuting and imprisoning one another, and taking their brethren and fellow servants by the throat about religion, which in their prayers they said, ‘Forgive us, <163> as we forgive them,’ and will not forgive, but say their prayers, as the Pharisees did the scriptures, and did not [Mat 23:3]: this is he, that must be cast into prison, until he pay the utmost farthing [Mat 5:25f], and must not come out. And this hath been their work since the apostles' days, and is not here law? The apostles and Christ did not bid, that any should kill about their words, but that they should love enemies [Mat 5:44]; but ye will kill about their words who were killed for speaking them forth. And so all Friends, dwell in the seed of God, which is heir of the power of the world which is without end; in that dwell and keep your meetings, that ye may all be possessors.
All religions will fight about religions and worships, and kill like the heathen about their gods; Jews, Gentiles, Papists, Protestants of all sects, which are out of the power of the Lord, and the spirit that the apostles were in. And so, they are all out of the royal spirit, that hath the royal, spiritual weapons, and out of the royal seed, which saith, ‘love enemies,’ which is the royal command to the royal priesthood [1 Pet 2:9]. And they confess, they have not the same power and spirit of the apostles; so then it is true for them to say, we are not the spiritual men, we have not spiritual weapons to fight withal; if ye do not help us, higher powers [Rom 13:1], we fall. For we hold our traditions, and that which we have is by tradition, is by the earthly powers. For we are not made ministers, as the apostles were, by the immediate spirit and power, and gifts; therefore the higher powers must help us, and to them go we with our packet of letters, as Saul did [Acts 9:2]; for we are not spiritual weaponed men, as Paul was. For in all these things are the priests guilty.
The Papists, Common-prayer-men, Presbyterians, Independents, Baptists, persecute one another about their inventions, (which they have invented,) their mass, their common-prayer, their directory, church-faith, (which they have made and framed,) their inventions and handiworks, and not for the truth. For they know not what spirit they are of [Luke 9:55], that persecute, and would have men's lives destroyed about their church, worship, and religion; for Christ said, ‘he came not to destroy men's lives, but to save them. [Luke 9:56]’ Now they that know not what spirit they are of, that will persecute and destroy men's lives, and not save them, we cannot trust our bodies, souls, nor spirits into their hands, that know not what spirit they are of themselves; they are not like to be trusted with others, that would destroy by a law, which the disciples would have done by prayer, to command fire to come down from heaven to destroy them that would not receive Christ [Luke 9:54]. Which sort Christ rebuked, and told them, that they did not know what spirit they were of. And now, if they did not know what spirit they were of; do these which have persecuted about church and religion, since the apostles' days, who would compel men's bodies, goods, lives, souls, and estates <164> into their hands by a law, or else make them suffer? These are not the ministers of Christ, (the saviour,) that destroy men's lives, and they know not what spirit they are of; and the lives, bodies, and souls are not to be trusted in their hand. And ye that persecute, shall have no resurrection to life, except ye repent. But they that know what spirit they are of themselves, they are in the unrebukable zeal, and by the spirit of God they offer up their spirits, their souls, and bodies to the Lord, which are his; whose they are, to keep them.
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We are of the royal seed, elect and precious [1 Pet 2:6], before the world began, that which (ever) the Sodomites crucified, grieved, and vexed by their unrighteous, ungodly conversation [2 Pet 2:6], who lived in fulness, and pleasures, and abundance of idleness [Ezek 16:49]. And we are of that seed, that cannot serve the wills and lusts of men, and bow and stoop to them; who are a people redeemed out of kindreds, kingdoms, peoples, and nations [Rev 5:9], who are of the household of God [Eph 2:19], built up together a spiritual house [1 Pet 2:5], whose builder and maker is God [Heb 11:10], and do reign upon the earth, as kings and priests unto God [Rev 5:10]; whom we serve day and night [Rev 7:15]. And are of the seed that hath been slain from the foundation of the world [Rev 13:8], which the princes of the world, and counsels, and the great and wise of the earth crucified [1 Cor 2:8]; who lived in the form of godliness [2 Tim 3:5] of the saints' words, but quenched the spirit [1 Th 5:19] in themselves, and being that birth born of the flesh, persecuted that which is born of the spirit [Gal 4:29].
We are of the seed, the anointed, which the powers of the earth combine and take counsel together against, whom God (we see) sitting in heaven, laughs them to scorn [Psa 2:2-4]. We are the royal priesthood [1 Pet 2:9], who offer daily to the Lord the spiritual sacrifice [1 Pet 2:5]; the holy generation [1 Pet 2:9], and the peculiar people, zealous of good works [Tit 2:14], clothed with the zeal [Isa 59:17] of Christ against the bad works, and the workers thereof. Therefore of all nations, peoples, sects, ways, professions, and talkers of religion are we hated, by them that are out of the way and power of God, though they profess scriptures, church, worship, and ministry; yet such have crucified Christ, and the Lord of glory [1 Cor 2:8]. We are they that witness the promise of God fulfilled, and that do witness, that the age is come wherein God would show forth his exceeding riches and kindness [Eph 2:7], which was wrought amongst the apostles. We are the anointed of God, and his prophets, that he saith, ‘touch not [Psa 105:15];’ who are as the apple of his eye [Zech 2:8]; who for our sakes hath reproved powers, and thrones, and dominions [Col 1:16], and rebuked them. We are the preachers of righteousness in the great city Sodom, wherein Christ was crucified [Rev 11:8], where the life of the prophets, and the apostles, and holy men of God lies slain, and cursers, swearers, <165> drunkards, eaters, and drinkers, that rise up to play [Exo 32:6], in all fulness, wantonness, and profaneness, profess their words, and make merry over their lives. And the witnesses since the apostles' days have been slain; the woman in the wilderness [Rev 12:6], the lamb and his wife [Rev 19:7] shall be known, which is come up out of the wilderness. So in this great city Sodom and Gomorrah, the false church and the whore are, where all the abominations are, that made all the nations drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication [Rev 14:8, 17:4, 18:3]; whereby the world is all on heaps about religion, and church worship, and the several ways in Sodom's nature, professing the saints' words, imitating forms, killing and slaying one another about professing the saints' words, but out of their life. Which shows, that they are not of the royal seed, which saith, love enemies [Mat 5:44]; that is the royal seed, and they that follow him, are of the royal priesthood, and holy people and generation, amongst whom is the royal law of love [James 2:8]; whereby we cannot respect men's persons, for he who doth, is convinced of the royal law, to be a transgressor [James 2:9]. So every one of us, that is come to the seed of God, that bruiseth the serpent's head [Gen 3:15], that led man from God, who is the prince of the world [John 12:31], the prince of darkness [Eph 6:12], and the prince of the air [Eph 2:2], the father of lies, a murderer from the beginning [John 8:44], the corrupter of mankind, the author of the separation from God, and the original of sin, the beginning of it, which led man from his dominion over the handiworks of God; which the royal seed Christ [Gal 3:16], destroys, and renews man again in the image of God, and brings him again to his dominion over the handiworks of God. And this hundreds of thousands are now witnessing; by which they come to be kings, and redeemed from the earth [Rev 14:3], and come to be made kings upon the earth [Rev 5:10], in the image of God, over the handiworks of God, in the wisdom by which they were created. So all powers whatever, that are a terror to evil doers, that bear not the sword in vain [Rom 13:3f], to us are a praise, that do well ;1 Pet 2:14]. And all kings upon the earth, that were anointed by God, a figure of our Christ, the king anointed, he ends them all, and makes kings to reign upon the earth. Amongst these Christ is king, which thousands witness; amongst these he is king, and all other kings made by man, and putting on man earthly crowns, earthly man will put them off again, and unking them, if they cross them. This is the state amongst them in whom Christ reigns not, nor the true magistrate obeyed, which is to the evil doers a terror. But since the apostles' days all hath been in confusion about religion, church, and worship, amongst them that have killed the witnesses, and since the true church went into the wilderness [Rev 12:6], and the witnesses have been slain, and the man child caught up to God [Rev 12:5]. So they that have slain the witnesses, and killed the saints, have been in all this confusion; and the witnesses are rising, and the everlasting gospel shall be preached again (amongst them that have had the words, <166> but have slain the life of the prophets and the apostles) unto all nations, kindreds, and tongues of them that dwell upon the earth [Rev 14:6]. So the great professors of the world, (which were the Jews,) could not abide Jesus, the king, that he should reign; and where he is now in the male and in the female [Gal 3:28], he is king, and that makes kings, among whom he is king. All in the name of the mighty King of kings [Rev 19:16] is to be done, and then it is the power.
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My dear friends,—In the order and wisdom of life order all things to God's glory [Wis 8:1, 1 Cor 10:31], and dwell in the love of God [1 Jn 4:16] together, all serving one another <167> in love [Gala 5:13], and in the life of the truth; and ye that ‘give to the poor, lend to the Lord ’ and he will give you again [Prov 19:17] with advantage. And so be fruitful in every good work [Col 1:10], and be subject to one another [1 Pet 5:5] in the fear of the Lord, and do that which ye do in love and peace; and in that keep in the authority and power of God, in kindness. And keep down and be master over all passion, and the hasty and cross spirits, and silence that which is sudden; and let love have the pre-eminence in all and over all. And provoke one another to love and to good works [Heb 10:24], and be diligent in all your places; that ye may be a good savour [2 Cor 2:15] in the hearts of all, and that the truth may flow over all. And let nothing be wanting amongst you, and then all is and will be well. And encourage one another to seek out the poor, and sick, and fatherless, and widow, and imprisoned, and make up their necessities and wants [Mat 25:35f, James 1:27]; then there will be nothing lacking [1 Th 4:12]. And keep in discerning, that ye may not be ensnared, nor made a prey upon; but that in the power and wisdom of God ye may be kept over all such, and to feel through all states and conditions. That the Lord God may be honoured in and by you all, and ye all may be preserved in his power and life to his glory. For your bestowing of outward things to such as stand in need, is the least love, and things of little value in comparison to the things that are above and immortal. And so keep over all in that in which ye have the blessing poured upon you from the Lord God, to clothe and cover you.
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This is for the men's meeting.
Friends, that minister up and down among Friends, be examples [1 Tim 4:12] in wisdom, life, patience, righteousness, holiness, and in godliness and soberness, that your lives and conversations may preach. And keep out and over all vain, youthful ways and childishness, and over all those fallen spirits, that quarrel, jangle, and contend about outward things, and have a life in them; through which they are eaten out from the life and truth of God. And such become as the dross [Ezek 22:29], and they come to be as the untimely figs [Rev 6:13], and as the corn and grass on the house-top [Psa 129:6]. And so ye all that minister abroad to others, first see that ye be in the truth that will never change, and in the word and life that will abide [1 Pet 1:23]; and in the gospel, the power of God [Rom 1:16], which was before meats and drinks, and outward apparel were; that ye may abide in that which never changes, that ye may not be confounded. For when they that are ministers change and alter from that which they went forth first in, and brought the people into, it doth show that they are either gone out of the truth [James 5:19, John 8:44], or else they were never in the truth; and this confounds <168> people. They had better never have gone out at all. Therefore ye that minister abroad, see that ye be in that which will never change, and is over all them that do jangle about changeable things; for that being ministered to people that never changes, and they that minister being in that which never changes, this begets people into an established state. For they are all fallen spirits, and not ministers of the word [Luke 1:2], nor the gospel, nor of Christ that never fell [1 Pet 2:22], (which destroys the devil and his works [1 Jn 3:8] in the fall,) that are quarrelling, and siding, and disputing, and contending, and striving about outward things. . . . And so, friends, all that minister abroad in the everlasting word, which never changes, and the gospel, in it abide, the first and last. For the word keeps down the pride of life, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eye [1 Jn 2:16]; which is of the world, and not of the Father. And so let your liberty be in the word, and spirit, and the power of God, which keeps you out of the liberty of the world, and its vain fashions; and be not fashioned after them. And so take heed of light words, unseasoned talk, and of taking liberty to the flesh [Gal 5:13]; but walk in that which is pure, and keep in that in which ye may have the wisdom, (which is the beauty of gray hairs,) [Wis 4:9/Prov 24:29] that to the Lord God ye may be a good savour [2 Cor 2:15], and in the hearts of all; walking in all comeliness and decency. The word of truth [various] makes you to be seasoned and savoury; and this is comely, keeping in the beauty of holiness [Psa 29:2], in which holiness the Lord is seen, over the beauty of the world, that is vain.
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[CLXXVII. (177)] <169>
Friends and brethren, who are made partakers of the power [1 Cor 9:12?] of the world that is without end, and are partakers of the heavenly gift [Heb 6:4], and feel the power, in which are the unity, peace, and kingdom that hath no end [Luke 1:33], in that feel one another, and know one another, and in the life, in which ye will have peace and unity one with another; that the top-stone may be laid over all, and ye all in the wisdom, life, and seed in your measures may be preserved, spreading the truth abroad, confounding the deceit, answering the witness of God in all [Col 4:6/1 Jn 5:9f]. To which they must be brought before their minds can be turned to God, and be acquainted with his covenant of promise, and his life, and to know God, the Father of spirits [Heb 12:9]. For all Christendom, which hath gotten the words of the prophets, Christ, and the apostles, that are not in the spirit and power that they were in that gave them forth, are all on heaps about them, and not in unity, being out of the spirit, in which is the unity and true fellowship. For there are the heaps, amongst them that are out of the spirit and power of God, having the words in the transgression, in the fall, in the earth, and in the many bodies, names, and heads, churches, religions, and worships, which are in the first birth, born of the flesh, which will persecute him that is born of the spirit [Gal 4:29]; which spirit plungeth down by baptism, and putteth under, and bringeth into the one body, and putteth that under which causeth many heads, and answereth to that which is transgressed against. For all must come to the one baptism with the spirit into the one body [Eph 4:5, 1 Cor 12:13]. And all my dear friends, be faithful, and quench not the spirit [1 Th 5:19], but be obedient to the truth [1 Pet 1:22], and spread it abroad, which must go over all the world, to professors, Jews, christians, and heathen, to the answering the witness of God in them all; that they may come to the truth, which answers the witness in them, to be made free by it [John 8:32]. And, friends, in the wisdom of God dwell, which preserveth in unity in the spirit and power. If any thing be spoken in a meeting which ye cannot bear, speak to them concerned betwixt them and you [Mat 18:15], after the meeting is ended; for if any of the world be there it may give occasion to them to reproach truth. For wisdom preserveth in the peace, and maketh peace [Sir 1:18?], and preserveth out of the contrary, and overcomes with the wisdom and love, and answereth the witness with the life, and so hath unity, and that hath the kingdom.
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Friends—Live in the unchangeable power of God, which will keep you in righteousness, and truth, and love, and unity, and dominion over all the unclean spirits [Mat 10:1], and rough ways, and mountains [Isa 40:4] within and without: that the power of the Lord God may be supreme amongst you, and that ye may in the wisdom of the Lord be preserved. And none abuse it, but all patiently in the power of the Lord wait, that in it ye may be all kept low, in love and unity with God and one with another; <171> that in the seed ye may be kept, which is heir of the power. And all be diligent in your places, serving the Lord, and that your spirits may not be plucked down with earthly things nor limited by them; but that in the power of the Lord God ye may act over them, (the handiworks of God,) out of the entanglements and thraldom of them, and out of the vain inventions of men, but keep in the power of the Lord God over them; in which power is the mystery of the fellowship [Eph 3:9] and the dominion, and let every one's eye behold it and mind it. For that is it which will keep you out of the changeable things, and present your minds, souls, and spirits to the Lord; and there the seed comes up which is heir of the power, and of the wisdom which is pure from above [James 3:17], where the city is known that lets no uncleanness in [Isa 52:1], and the salt is known that savours all things [Job 6:6? Mark 9: 49f]. Therefore feel it in the heart, which is more than in the head or tongue; which many may strive for, but do not obtain the power nor the kingdom. Therefore all be wise in the wisdom of God [1 Cor 1:24], and let every one's eye be unto that wisdom, which the departing from sin and evil is the beginning of [Job 28:28, Prov 14:16]; that with it ye may be ordered [Wis 8:1], and do whatsoever ye have to do with it and by it. In that ye will feel his presence and blessing, that ye may know the seed immortal to have the dominion in you; that there ye may come to know Christ to reign. And your growth in the seed is in the silence, where ye may all find a feeding of the bread of life [John 6:35]. And all Friends, keep in the wisdom of the Lord that is pure and holy from above, by which wisdom ye may be preserved and kept holy and pure, above that which is below, and out of that which is below, the wise part wherein is the strife; that being kept down by the power of the Lord, the seed comes up which is heir of the power. And there innocency, and simplicity, and nakedness of heart and spirit are lived in and life is fed upon.
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[CLXXXII. (182) — To Friends beyond the sea.]
O my dear friends and brethren every where! the power of the Lord God, that is over all, live in, that in that ye may feel unity and fellowship; that in the power of the Lord God ye may all come to be heirs of the power of an endless life [Heb 7:16], through which ye may inherit eternity, and so to feel life eternal abiding in you. Now, the manslayer hath not eternal life abiding in him, that is he that envies his brother [1 Jn 3:15]; so all the persecutors, that envy their brethren, have not eternal life abiding in them: under this all the persecutors about their church and vain religion, false worship, faith, and ministry, are. Therefore all of you, feel this eternal life abiding in you; for he that hath the son of God, hath life eternal [1Jn 5:12]; and so, in this eternal life ye have fellowship with God and his son [1 Jn 1:3], and with one another [1 Jn 1:7]; and in this, the law of life, that is in Jesus Christ, passeth sentence on the law of sin and death [Rom 8:2] in every man and woman, and brings it to the execution. Through which law of life righteousness flows and runs down [Amos 5:24], and also <173> justice and truth; and by this law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus [Rom 8:2], (mark, in Christ Jesus,) ye come to know the Lamb's throne [Rev 22:1,3], and the throne of iniquity [Psa 94:20] thrown down, and all blasphemous mouths stopped, and the chambers of imagery [Ezek 8:12] thrown down, and the household of God [Eph 2:19] raised up, and the fruitless trees [Jude 1:12] thrown down, and the plant of God raised up, which is of his own planting, the tree of righteousness [Isa 61:3], whose fruit is unto holiness, whose end is everlasting life [Rom 6:22]. So mark, here is the fruit of this tree, and the end of this tree, and by this spirit ye do distinguish names and plantings, and pluckings up; and God's building ye will distinguish from man's building [Heb 3:4?]; and man's plucking down, and man's gathering together—ye that are gathered together in the name of Jesus [Mat 18:20], can distinguish men's gathering, and their scattering [Mat 12:30?]. Oh! therefore be valiant for the truth [Jer 9:3], which ye are come to the knowledge of, and worship God in that truth, which the devil is out of, and abode not in [John 8:44]; this makes you free [John 8:32] from the devil and his works, that are out of the truth. Here in this worship, (in the truth and in the spirit,) [John 4:24] the living God, who is a spirit, the God of all truth, he hath his glory and his honour from his spirit in every heart. And so, keep in the spirit and truth, and the power of the everlasting God, who is from everlasting to everlasting [Psa 90:2], that ye may know him Lord of the earth and of the heaven, and of the heaven of heavens [Deut 10:14], ruling and reigning, whose eye is over all his works; that ye may glorify him in his power and spirit, and serve him in the new life [Rom 6:4/7:6], which will keep you over all men's fables and devices, whimsies and imaginations, out of all janglings and vain disputes of men of corrupt minds [1 Tim 6:5]. And so, all to live in that which is the same to-day, as was yesterday [Heb 13:8], Christ Jesus, the power of God [1 Cor 1:24], and the seed of life, and word that was in the beginning [John 1:1]; so, no new thing [Eccl 1:9], but that which was and is to all eternity: let your fellowship be in that, and your unity and communion be in that; for by the spiritual eye the eternal unity with the eternal God is seen. So, hear his voice every where, that speaks from heaven, whose voice shakes the earth, and not the earth only, but heaven also. The heaven signifies joy; so, all the false joys, the lifted up joys, or exalted joy, and joy in vain glory, and joy in the world, or any outward thing or creature, or men or women, his voice, that speaks from heaven, shakes the earth and the heavens, and these must be shaken and removed, both the heaven and the earth, before that doth appear that can never be shaken [Heb 12:25-27], the noble, royal seed, elect and precious [1 Pet 2:6], which was before the world began; being heirs of him, come to inherit him; in him ye shall know that which cannot be shaken. And there is the true joy, the standing joy, in that which is from everlasting to everlasting, who is the beginning and ending; here is not any lifted up, nor cast down. So I say, hear his voice, and harden not your hearts; for through not hearing his voice, <174> ye harden your hearts, then ye provoke God to wrath [Psa 95:7f,11] and sore displeasure. Let him have your ear, that speaks from heaven; that ye may come to observe his counsel, teachings, instructions, and directions. For all the prophets, the holy men of God [2 Pet 1:21], and the apostles, were attentive and obedient to this heavenly voice, who witnessed to the truth, who had a witness in heaven [Job 16:19] also; and such declared forth the glorious truth, which they had from the instruction of the Almighty. . . . And as your ears are attentive to the Lord's voice that is from heaven, iniquity's mouth is stopped [Job 5:16] in you, the throne of iniquity [Psa 94:20] is thrown down in you, (that is, the wicked spirit and power,) wherein iniquity sits, and the chamber of imagery [Ezek 8:12] is thrown down in you, where man's thoughts and imaginations are. . . . And here as ye abide, ye have the savour, and can taste your meat in the power of the Lord God, feeding upon every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God [Deut 8:3], having your ear open, and attentive to his voice; in this ye grow up in the life that is eternal.
G. F. Top
All Friends, be obedient to the power of God, which is the higher power, and is above that which abode not in the truth [John 8:44]. So ye that know the power of God, be obedient to it; for ye have authority from the power of God, which comprehends all the powers of darkness, to answer the witness of God in every one [Gal 4:6/1 Jn 5:9f]; and to trample upon all the power of darkness, and its authority. For ye that feel the power that comprehends the world, and all the powers of darkness, keep in the <175> authority, in the power of God. Mind not words without the power, nor the pleasing of the reason and carnal knowledge, wisdom and understanding [Rom 8:6f], of fancies and thoughts of men; but dwell in the authority, (the power of God,) ye that know it: that over all ye may reign in the seed, who fulfilled the law and the prophets [Mat 5:17]; who spake with authority, and speaks with authority now, more than the scribes and Pharisees [Mat 7:29], the writers of the law and of the prophets, and the speakers of them, who were transgressors against the life that gave forth the words which were written. And so, the authority of the scribes and Pharisees, who wrote Moses and the prophets, is as the authority of the professing christians, who profess Christ and the apostles' writings, but are without the life and from the seed of God; these are one with them who put Christ to death, and knew not the authority of the seed.
G. F. Top
Friends, who have known and tasted of the power of the mighty God of heaven and earth, and of his light and life, be faithful in the power, light, life, and truth, to the spreading of the truth abroad; with which ye may answer the truth in the inward parts [Psa 51:6] in every one. And dwell in that which binds and chains, and gives to see over the world; that life, wisdom, and power may reign among you that are turned to the life, and believe in it, who come to receive the light of life [John 8:12], Christ, the power of God [1 Cor 1:24]. Be faithful, and spread the truth abroad, and walk in the wisdom of God, answering that of God in every one [Col 6:4/Rom 1:19], and write, speak, and send books abroad into the countries, and islands, and nations, or main land, as ye are moved; that the sound of the trumpet of the Lord's host may be heard in the nations and islands. And be faithful and valiant for the truth of God upon the earth [Jer 9:3]; that is the truth, that the devil is out of, and abode not in [John 8:44]; in that dwell and live, in unity and peace one with another. So, the God of love, life, and power, and wisdom be with you! And ye that are turned to the light, and gathered into it, meet together, and keep your meetings, that ye may feel and see the life of God among you, and know that in one another; for that keeps down and lays low all that which is out of the kingdom. So, know the power of God, and keep your peace therein; that ye may all grow up in the increase of God [Col 2:19], (mark, in the increase of God,) and feel his presence among you. For ‘where two or three are gathered together in my name,’ saith Christ, (that is, in the power,) ‘I am there in the midst of them [Mat 18:20].’ In this meeting, in this gathering, Christ is felt in the midst. Who feels the power of Christ, feels Christ, for he is the power of God, and the Emmanuel with <176> them [Isa 7:14]; but who go from God, in the transgression, are in the first Adam [1 Cor 15:45], where death reigns, and darkness; and this is the state that is reprobated. But who are turned to the light, Christ Jesus, to the Emmanuel, they know the interpretation thereof, God with us; who redeems out of transgression, and out of death, darkness, and sin; who being witnessed, the state of fallen man, that was drove from God, and the state of being brought to God again, is witnessed by Jesus Christ, the covenant of light [Isa 42:6]. In which covenant, which is light, the Lord God Almighty preserve you all!
Ye may write, how things are with you in the island.