CC. (200) — The line of righteousness and justice [Isa 28:17] stretched forth over all merchants, &c. And an exhortation unto all Friends and people whatsoever, who are merchants, tradesmen, husbandmen, or seamen, who deal in merchandise, trade in buying and selling by sea or land, or deal in husbandry, that ye all do that which is just, equal, and righteous in the sight of God and man, one to another, and to all men. And that ye use just weights and just measures [Deut 25:15], and speak and do that which is true, just, and right in all things. That so your conversations, lives, practices, and tongues may preach to all people, and answer the good, just, and righteous principle of God in them all. In which ye may be serviceable unto God, and to the creation in your generation, and a blessing both to God and man.
All Friends, every where, live in the seed of God, which is the righteousness itself, and inherits the wisdom and is the wisdom itself; with which wisdom ye may may order, rule, and govern all things which are under your hands (which God hath given you) to his glory. Govern and order with his wisdom all the creatures that ye have under you, and all exchangings, merchandising, husbandry. Do what ye do in the wisdom of God, and with it, which is pure from above, and gentle, and easy to be entreated [James 3:17]. With this wisdom (which is not earthly, sensual, nor devilish [James 3:15]) you do good unto all [Gal 6:10] and hurt no one, nor yourselves; for it is pure and preserves pure. . . .
<192> . . . Then will your words, lives, and conversations preach and manifest, that ye serve God in the new life; and that ye have put off the old man and his deeds, which are unrighteous; <193> and that ye have put on the new man, which is renewed after God in righteousness and holiness, according to his image [Eph 4:24/Col 3:10].
Loathe deceit and all unrighteousness, hard-heartedness, wronging, cozening, cheating, or unjust dealing; but live and reign in the righteous life and power of God, and wisdom, (that presseth all the other down,) and to answer the good and just principle in all people; and that will win people to deal with you, ‘doing truth [John 3:21] to all, without respect to persons [James 2:9]; to high or low whatsoever, young or old, rich or poor. And so here your lives and words will preach wherever ye come.
All husbandmen, and dealers about husbandry whatsoever, cattle, or ground, to you all this is the word of the Lord God: do rightly, holily, justly, honestly, plainly, and truly to all men and people, whomsoever ye have to deal withal; wrong not any in any case, though it be never so much to your advantage. Deny yourselves, and live in the cross [Luke 9:23] of Christ, the power of God [1 Cor 1:24], for that destroys injustice; and ‘without holiness none can ever see the Lord [Heb 12:14]; and out of righteousness there is no true peace.’ Therefore all, of what sort soever, or what calling soever, do justly, (whether ye be masters or servants, fathers or mothers, sons or daughters,) to one another, and to all, do that which is just and righteous, uprightly and holily; in that you will have peace, and see God. . . . For ‘the kingdom of God stands in righteousness, peace, and joy in the holy ghost [Rom 14:17].
So speak the truth, whether merchants or tradesmen, and all sorts of people whatsoever, in all your occasions, and in all your tradings, dealings, and doings, speak the truth, act in the truth, and walk in the truth; and this brings righteousness forth. For it answereth the witness of God in every one [Col 4;6/1Jn 5:9]; which lets every one see all the deeds and actions they have done amiss [2 Chr 6:37], and words which they have spoken amiss. So the witness of God within them ariseth a swift witness against them, for their words which they have spoken amiss, and for <194> their actions which they have done amiss, and brings them to the judgment bar, and to condemnation. Here righteousness goes forth, and here the sweet savour to the Lord God [2 Cor 2:15] begins to ascend; and truth and equity arise both to be acted and spoken.
So all Friends, of what calling soever, that dwell in the power of God, and feel the power of God, and the light of Christ Jesus: . . . ‘Live in the power of truth, and wisdom of God,’ to answer that just principle of God in all people upon the earth; and so ye answering of it, thereby ye come to be as a city set upon a hill [Mat 5:14], which is above that mountain, that is in the whole world, that lies above the just principle of God in every one there, which the power of God goes over. So let your lives preach, let your light shine, that your works may be seen, that your Father may be glorified [Mat 5:16]; that your fruits may be unto holiness [Rom 6:22], and that your end may be everlasting life. . . .And that hath the dominion which doth justly, holily, and righteously speak, act, and think; and this hath the praise of God; and they who do so come to answer that which God requires, ‘to love mercy, do justly, and to walk humbly with God [Micah 6:8].’ And this is more than all the talkers of justice, righteousness, and holiness, whose life denies what their tongues profess and talk of. By that God and Christ is dishonoured [Rom 2:23]. So these are no good examples, neither serviceable in their generation nor creation, nor any but they who live in the power of God, and in his wisdom; in which they have the righteousness, peace, truth, holiness, justice, and equity. These are comely and savoury both to God and man.
And all, of what trade or calling soever, keep out of debts; owe to no man any thing but love [Rom 13:8]. Go not beyond your estates, lest ye bring yourselves to trouble, and cumber, and a snare; keep low and down in all things ye act. For a man that would be great, and goes beyond his estate, lifts himself up, runs into debt, and lives highly of other men's means; he is a waster of other men's, and a destroyer. He is not serviceable <195> to the creation, but a destroyer of the creation and creatures, and cumbereth himself and troubleth others, and is lifted up, who would appear to be somebody; but being from the honest, the just, and good, falls into the shame. Therefore dwell every one of you under your own vine [Micah 4:4], (that know redemption from the earth [Rev 14:3],) and seek not to be great, but in that, and dwell in the truth, justice, righteousness, and holiness; and there is the blessing enlarged.
And no one, (of what calling soever,) run into debt, usury, and exaction; for many people have been wronged thereby; they that have taken of them, who by it have appeared great, and lived above what they were, and so would seem to be. Therefore be true and honest, holy and righteous, every one, in that which ye have. Owe to none any thing but love [Rom 13:8]; and in that ye will feel the blessing, and come to be serviceable in the creation, serving one another in love [Gal 5:13], and not in oppression and taxation. . . . <196> . . .
The wicked and unrighteous owe envy and hatred, and with that they pay their debt; but the righteous, just, and harmless, who owe nothing to any man but love, with that they pay their debt. But drunkards, adulterers, swearers, rioters, [Rom 13:13/Gal 5:19- 21] who eat and drink, and rise up to play [Exo 32:6], and live in pleasures wantonly upon the earth [Jas 5:5], fighters, quarrellers, envious, malicious, unjust, unrighteous; all such actions and practices are judged out of the power of God, and out of his kingdom [Rom 13:13/1 Cor 6:9f/Gal 5:19-21].
And all Friends every where, that are shopkeepers or merchants, or factors, or any other trades, keep low in the power of God, and do not go beyond your capacity, nor reach after things more than ye can justly perform, and answer all men; but all in your places be just and true, that ye may answer all men within and without, and truth and justice in your returns, that ye may keep your words, so say, and so do; which is the royal law of liberty [James 2:8,12] in all your tradings, else ye are a dishonour to christianity. Therefore see your business, that what ye do, and what ye say, ye may perform [Rom 4:21], that ye may not break your words and promises; for if ye do ye go to loss. Neither are ye masters of what ye take in hand; for a master should be atop of things, and be in that which can command things.
And none be negligent in their business, but give an account by words or writings, how things are with them, when others write to them; so that none may wrong one another in these outward things, nor oppress one another, but be serviceable one to another, keeping their words, (their going into things beyond their ability [2 Cor 10:14], makes them break their words,) keeping within their compass with that which they may answer others, lest any should be lifted up [1 Tim 3:6]. For it is a bad thing to be lifted up, and to make a noise and a show for a time with other people's goods, and cannot keep their word, their promise, their day; such may be lifted up for a time, and break, and fall, and go out as a stink, and bring a great dishonour to Christ and true christians. And therefore, keeping your word, your day, and keeping your just measure, your just weight, that keeps down the oppression. And by keeping to that just measure and weight [Deut 25:15], and to your word and day, by the power of God and his spirit in your own hearts, there the blessing is doubled, <197> there ye come to be rich, and ye are a good savour to God, and in the hearts of all people. . . .
For Friends, if ye be not faithful in the outward treasure, and outward mammon, who will trust you with the true treasure? [Luke 16:11] Or who can believe that ye have the true treasure, but that ye speak by hearsay of it? . . . So let every one's conversation be without covetousness; let not that be once named among saints [Eph 5:3]. And do to all men as ye would have them do to you, that is the law and the prophets [Mat 7:12]; if not, ye are judged by them both. For the kingdom stands in righteousness, (mark, stands in it,) and in peace and joy in the holy ghost [Rom 14:17], (mark, in it.)
For holiness becomes the house of God [Psa 93:5]. Whosoever acts unholily, it is that doth dishonour his house, and doth not become it. Whosoever acts unfaithfully in this outward treasure or mammon, or in the true treasure to God, is not justified in the sight of God nor man; for they are justified by faith, through faithfulness both to God and man. For whosoever doth righteousness, is of God; and he that doth not righteousness, is not of God [1 John 3:10]. For God loveth the righteous, and delighteth in them; but not in them that do unrighteousness. For in the righteousness <198> they have peace; but out of righteousness people have trouble. So all God's people, his children, his saints must be holy, as he is holy [Lev 11:44f]; and therefore do that which is holy and just in all your lives and conversations [1 Pet 1:15]. And whatsoever ye do, let it be done to the praise and glory of God [1 Cor 10:31], (mark that,) have God's praise and glory in your eye in all your speakings and doings, then ye will be preserved to his glory, and then ye will honour him; and them that honour him, he will honour and beautify, and clothe with the fine linen, the righteousness of Christ [Rev 19:8], that men may not see your nakedness [Rev 3:18]. For God will have a holy people, to serve him in holiness; a true people, to serve him in truth, and in his spirit, and in his new and living way [Heb 10:20], above all the dead ways that are come by sin and unrighteousness, and transgression of his spirit, and power, and command. So all ye that know his power and spirit, live in it, that ye may glorify God in all your lives, and conversations and words, that ye may answer that of God in all; that ye may glorify God in your bodies, souls, and spirits, which are his, who hath made them, and gives them to you for that end. To whom be glory and honour for ever, who created all for his glory and for his honour. So the Lord God Almighty keep and preserve you faithful in all things to his glory and honour for ever!
'He that walketh in his integrity, is just; and blessed shall be his children after him.’ Prov. xx. 7.
'Unjust weights, and unjust measures, both these are an abomination to the Lord.’ [Prov 20:10] Verse 10.
G. F. Top
Dear Friends,—In the stillness and silence of the power of the Almighty dwell, which never varies , alters, nor changes [James 1:17], but preserveth over and out of, and above all the changeable worships, religions, ministers, churches, teachings, principalities, and powers [various, e.g. Col 2:15], with the power of God, which keepeth over all this, to the kingdom of Christ, that is everlasting, in which there is no changing, who is King of kings, and Lord of lords [Rev 19:16]. All power in heaven and earth is given unto him [Mat 28:18], of whose light, life, power, and wisdom, grace, and riches have ye received [John 1:16f], which comes from him, that doth not change. So in that live, that doth not change, the unchangeable life, the unchangeable mind, the unchangeable spirit and wisdom, and the unchangeable worship and church, of which Christ is the unchangeable head, who remains the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever [Heb 13:8]; in that ye will feel the blessing and presence of the Lord God of life amongst you, as ye all abide in the unchangeable kingdom, dominion, power, and life, who are heirs of it according to your measures, who have received the light, and received <199> the life and grace, and the power of a kingdom and a world that hath no end [Luke 1:33]. So wait all in it, that ye may be possessors and inheritors of the kingdom, and of the life and power which hath no end, and of the promises, that are yea and amen [2 Cor 1:20]; and let nothing, that is of the world, alter you, but keep ye in that which keepeth you in the everlasting kingdom of God [e.g. Dan 4:3].
G. F. Top
The 3d of the 3d month, 1661.
[CCII. (202) — An answer to a letter sent to G. F. concerning the voluntary contribution to the king.]
What, Friends! Do ye reign as kings [1 Cor 4:8]? Can they pluck never a one (of you) out of the Father's hand [John 10:20]? Are ye put forth? Do ye witness that scripture fulfilled; put forth to follow the King of kings [Rev 19:16), (the shepherd,) who gives life abundantly [John 10:10f]? In that let your joy be still, and your comfort remain; in which ye will feel the endless kingdom and dominion [Psa 145:13, Dan 4:3,34]. In that the Lord be with you, who is your strength, comfort, and fulness for evermore, world without end [Eph 3:21]! And, friends, mind the light, and dwell in it, and it will keep you atop of all the world; and mind the seed of God, and know it, and in it be content.
Dwell in the power of truth [1 Esd 4:40], and be not negligent in that, but diligent, serving the Lord, every one in your measures; that to the Lord God every one of you may be a blessing [Gen 12:2], and a sweet savour [2 Cor 2:15] unto him in your creation and generation, feeling and knowing the Lord's power every one in yourselves, yea, the power of an endless life [Heb 7:16], and of a kingdom that hath no end [Luke 1:33], and of a dominion that is over all dominions. <200>
And in the power of the Lord God everlasting, ye may feel the seed of God in every particular of you raised up, which doth inherit the same; that ye may sit down in your own possession of everlasting life. And in that meet together, waiting upon the Lord [e.g. Isa 40:31], and in it keep your meetings, where ye may feel the chief shepherd leading you into pastures of life [Psa 23:2, Ezek 34:14]. And so the blessing of the Lord be with you!
G. F. Top
Dear friends and brethren,—The seed of God feel all in yourselves, which is the heir of the power of God, that ye may sit down in the possession of the same; inheriting the power, and the promise, and the gospel. In which power of God is the fellowship, being heirs of the same, and members of that fellowship which never hath an end, which brings life and immortality to light [2 Tim 1:10]; which power of God was before that was which darkeneth life and immortality from people. So walk in the truth [e.g. 3 Jn 1:3f], then ye walk with the God of all truth [e.g. Psa 31:5]; and walk in the righteousness, and then ye walk with the righteous God in all peace. Walk in holiness, and then ye walk in that in which ye see God; which they that do not, see him not [Heb 12:14]. Therefore walk in the power of God, which goes over the power of darkness, which was before it was; which power of God is the gospel [Rom 1:16], in which is the mystery of the fellowship [Eph 3:9] a mystery (I say) to all the fellowships that are out of the power of God. Therefore the seed of God know, which is the top-stone, that it may be over all laid in you, which bruiseth the serpent's head [Gen 3:15], which is the fulfilling of the prophets and prophecies; which seed brings to the beginning, where are the pastures of life [Ezek 34:14]. . . .
G. F. Top
London, the 22nd of the 3d month, 1661.
All Friends, live in God's dominion, and power, and life, which was <201> before storms and tempests were, in which ye may feel life and dominion, power, and victory, the Lord's power being lived in, which was before tempests were, in which ye will have the victory. There is a summer religion, which appears when the sun shineth upon them; and in the summer time all the venomous creatures creep out of their holes, corners, and dens, and the flies, wasps, and snakes; but when the winter is come, and the storms and tempests come, then the summer religion is gone, then the venomous, viperous creatures' religion and works are gone. But the religion, that is in the power of God standeth, which was before the devil was, and all his works and children. And so that is the standing religion, that is in the power of God, which was before the power of darkness was. And, friends, ye that know the light of Jesus Christ, and have tasted of his power, by which ye come to be gathered into the name of Jesus [Mat 18:20], do not forsake the assembling of yourselves together; but provoke one another, and exhort one another to love, and to good works [Heb 10:24f], and let not powers, nor principalities, nor prisons, thrones, nor dominions [Rom 8:38/Col 1:16], spoiling your goods, mockings, scoffings, nor reproachings, and pluckers off your hair, and smiters ;Isa 50:6], separate you from the love of God, that ye have in Christ Jesus [Rom 8:39], who conquered death and the devil, the power of it, the adversary, the wicked one, the enmity. Christ is the life, the light, the love of God to mankind; now ye coming to be gathered into him, who destroys the devil and his works [Heb 2:14, 1 Jn 3:8], the life that destroys death, and the light which destroys darkness, and the truth that destroys error and all falsehood, and the power of God that destroys the power of the devil, and being gathered into Christ [2 Th 2:1] and into his name, keep your meetings in the power of God and in his light and life, whose gathering is above all other gatherings in the earth; and Christ's name is above all other names [Phil 2:9] on the earth. And feel the seed of God set over all that which makes to suffer; which was before it was, and will remain when it is gone.
G. F. Top
From a lover of your souls, and your everlasting good.
In the power of God that is everlasting, and doth remain in this your day of trial, in it stand, of which ye are partakers, and are come to be heirs of the same; and in it is your peace and kingdom. And though ye have not a foot of ground to stand upon, yet ye have the power of God to skip and to leap in; standing in that, which is your life, that is everlasting. Who by the power of God are gathered up to the beginning, to the endless life [Heb 7:16], who have your meetings in it, that neither death nor the power of it can separate you from [Rom 8:38f], nor out of the power of God, for it was before death or the power of it was; in that are <202> your living meetings, and joinings, and building up the spiritual household of living stones [1 Pet 2:5], gathered by and through the power of God. In which power of God is the household of faith [Gal 6:10], which faith gives them the victory [1 Jn 5:4]; in which power of God ye being, are gathered over Jews, Gentiles, and the apostate christians' meetings and gatherings, who are in enmity and confusion, and out of the power of God; that put the wheat for the tares [Mat 13:25-30], and so persecute the elect, which election was before the world began [Tit 1:1f], of which ye are made partakers. Stand fast therefore in your confidence, in that which is without end, in that in which the endless life is seen, in the power of God, and light; which rules over powers, thrones, principalities, and dominions [Col 1:16]. The power of God goes over them, and ye living in it, nothing can separate you from the love of God, which ye have in Christ [Rom 8:38f] the seed, which was before the world began, glorified with the Father, who hath all kings and kingdoms in his hand, which is his power; in that let your faith stand. With which immortal power ye may all be clothed, which covers you and preserves you over the mortal. And prisons, fetters, dungeons, and sufferings, the royal seed, and heirs of the promise [Gal 3:29], what are they to you, who are married to the Lamb who was slain from the foundation of the world [Rev 13:8]; against whom they warred [Rev 17:14] and banded themselves, and took counsel together against the Lord, and his anointed, who breaks their bonds asunder [Psa 2:2f]; whom neither death, grave, nor all the powers of the world were able to hold nor contain, but over all he rose, (the seed,) and reigns, till he hath made all his enemies his footstool [Psa 110:1, Heb 10:13]. Honour and praise be to the Lord, the living God, that lives for ever! So all ye who are gathered in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, whose name is called, the power of God [1 Cor 1:4], the word, which was in the beginning [John 1:1], over the powers of darkness, before it was, and compelling worships, ministry, maintenance, and churches were; this gathering, this meeting in the name, the power, the unrighteous world cannot separate you from; for it is over it, and was before it was. In that power have ye the kingdom and dominion, in the power, reigning over all that which hath been out of the power. And ye that partake of the power, have power with God, in that we need not bid you keep your meetings; for ye art met and gathered into the fold of Christ Jesus [John 10:16], and are put forth by him, and are brought from under that, that leads from God, by the power of God. In this gathering by the power into the name of Christ, (which is the power,) with the power he is felt in the midst [Mat 18:20], who is King of kings, and Lord of lords [Rev 19:16], and prince of life and peace [Acts 3:15, Isa 9:6], and prophet to open by his power and light in you all, and a priest for ever [Heb 6:20], that lives to offer up the spiritual sacrifice and praise to God; and he being felt among you, and in you all, ye will have every one of you, in your own particular, joy, peace, comfort, <203> consolation, assurance, confidence, and satisfaction, when all gatherings, meetings, heaven, and earth, types, and figures, and shadows, and prophets, and the prophecies are ended. And swearing before the law and in the law, and all invented oaths since the law, and amongst the heathen, when these are gone, past away and fulfilled, the election, and the seed, and the gathering in the name of Jesus Christ, the Lord of life remain and stand, and his throne and dominion; in which there is no curse, but a blessing. So, happy are ye who are partakers of this, heirs of this blessing [1 Pet 3:9], and heirs of the promise [Gal 3:29], and of the life, and of the world that hath no end: who have your confidence and assurance in him! So all ye that have felt the light, and have been turned to it, in that light ye feel the covenant with God, who is light [Isa 42:6]; which brings to be acquainted with the life of God, and gives the knowledge of Christ your saviour and redeemer, which is the salvation to the ends of the earth [Isa 49:6]. By which light and covenant ye are turned from darkness, and the power of satan [Acts 26:18], that separated you from God, who was the enemy, through whom ye had not peace with God. But now being turned from him, into the light and power, in this covenant of light and power ye have peace with God [Rom 5:1], (that destroys the enmity,) and are come to receive it; and so heirs of the kingdom, that is everlasting. Be at peace one with another, and in love and tenderness, and in the wisdom of God order and preserve, and nourish and cherish all things to his glory; in which ye will feel his blessing, and treasure, and riches, and fulness in you, with you, and amongst you. So, put on the armour of light [Rom 13:12], that with it ye may be able to defend, and see, and walk, and stand against all the arrows and darts that are in the unrighteous world, and before they were, as children of the light, and children of the day [1 Th 5:5], where the darkness is past. Put on your breast-plate of righteousness [Eph 6:14], to save and preserve your hearts and minds, and to keep you from all that which would defile and surfeit it, or cause you to be weary, or think the war or time long. For the power is everlasting, and the righteousness is everlasting, that destroys the works of the devil [1 Jn 3:8], and him both, whereby the seed of God comes to be set on the head of it all; glory and praise be to him for ever! Put on therefore the shield of faith [Eph 6:16], by which faith (your shield) ye have the victory [1 Jn 5:4]. For faith is a mystery held in a pure conscience [1 Tim 3:9], by which ye have access to God [Rom 5:2]; in which faith ye please God [Heb 11:6], in which faith ye have unity [Eph 4:13], which gives you the victory over that which separates from God—the enmity. In that faith be joyful, which is the faith of God's elect [Tit 1:1], that brings them over the world, and to that which was before the foundation of it. And this is the faith the just lives by [Rom 1:17, Hab 2:4], by which he is saved and justified, by which he lives and conquers, and hath the victory over the unjust; glory to the Highest!
Put on the helmet of salvation, and take the sword of the spirit, (the word of God,) [Eph 6:17] your helmet being on, nothing can destroy nor hurt your salvation, Christ Jesus being your helmet and your head, who destroys the devil and his works [Heb 2:14, 1 Jn 3:8], the sword of the spirit that mortifies [Rom 8:13], that crucifies, baptizes [1 Cor 12:13], cuts off, plunges under all corruptions that have gotten up since the transgression; then in the spirit ye will worship God, and have fellowship and spiritual weapons, and come to be spiritual men, and not as the carnal world that rule and wrestle with carnal weapons, and with flesh and blood [2 Cor 10:4/Eph 6:12]. The stone cut out of the mountain without hands, will dash and break into pieces [Dan 2:45] all the cutters with hands, and carnal-weaponed men about religion, church, and worship; and his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion hath no end [Dan 4:34]. This stone is that which laid Nebuchadnezzar's head low, and brought him to eat grass like a beast [Dan 4:33]; who knew not the kingdom of the Most High ruling in men [Dan 4:32]. So ye that know this stone cut out of the mountain without hands, ye all know the kingdom of the most high God ruling in you, and his dominion which is everlasting, and come to be his temple. For there was but one temple in the whole world commanded of God, as a figure of Christ, who would dwell in man, in male and female, who should be the temples of God [1 Cor 3:16], in whom should be his name and power. Blessings, honour, and glory, and praises be given to the Lord God for evermore, by all them who witness this.
So all dear lambs, and babes, and brethren, happy and blessed are ye who know the seed, which is heir of the blessings, and the power, and life, and the kingdom, and the world that is everlasting and without end. Be shod all with the gospel, which is the power of God [Rom 1:16], which hath brought life and immortality to light, and hath and doth abolish death [2 Tim 1:10]; I say, be shod in the power, and then your feet will not slip nor slide, and ye will not fall, and ye will stand steadfast, being shod with the everlasting gospel, in the preparation of it [Eph 6:15]. And standing in the power ye stand over the workers of iniquity [common phrase], and all unrighteousness in the world, and slippery ways [Jer 23:12], standing in the power which was before death, darkness, and the power of darkness and death was, which hath darkened life and immortality from people, so that they could not walk and get forward on their way to the Lord. But in the power of God, (the gospel,) being in it, and with it shod, your feet standing in the power, ye over death, darkness, and the power of it may stand, walk, go, and leap, (which was before it was,) there is faithfulness and steadfastness, and there ye may walk without doubt. And keep the word of patience [Rev 3:10], and take unto you the word of God; and who are born of it, (of the immortal seed [1 Pet 1:23],) nourished by the milk of the same [1 Pet 2:2] up to eternal life, know things as they were in the beginning, they feed upon that which lives, and not upon that which is in the world and in the <205> fall, which is below the word, and below the power, and below the truth, and out of it; who know the shepherd and his crook which plucks you out, he shows you the pastures of life, in which ye must feed [Ezek 34:14]. Every one that knows the power and light, and by it is guided and turned to him, feels and knows this. And so, ye that have the word of patience, ye have the hammer, ye have that which was in the beginning [John 1:1]; ye have that which lives, and abides, and endures for ever [1 Pet 1:23]. Ye know what the hammer is to; and ye know the word is a fire [Jer 23:29], and what the fire is to. So ye that have the word, have the fire, which burns up all that which doth not abide, and doth not endure, and doth not live for ever, as the word doth; which is the word of wisdom [1 Cor 12:8]. So ye that have the word have the wisdom, which was in the beginning, before that which is below was. So ye that have the word have the sword, yea, sharper than a sword with two edges [Heb 4:12]; which will cut down all that which hath gotten up since the beginning, which hath transgressed the just spirit, and burn up that which hath gotten up since the beginning, in the transgression. And this is the word that makes clean [John 15:3], and reconciles to God; and is the word of reconciliation [2 Cor 5:19]. And this is the word of patience to keep you; and ye will be kept in the hour of temptation [Rev 3:10], that comes upon them that dwell upon the earth. For the word of God was before the tempter was, and goes over him and destroys him; in that live, in his life that is eternal, which doth abide. So in that the Lord Jesus Christ preserve you! For in that patience is exercised, in that word, which comprehends all that which hath gotten up since the beginning; for with that ye may be tried. But the word is over all, in that live, which hammers, burns, cuts down, and reconciles, against whom the tempter and temptation cannot come nigh to prevail; it breaks his head. Neither meddle nor mix yourselves with the powers of the world, nor things below; but live in the power of God, which is peaceable.
And forasmuch as we are scandalized as plotters, we in the power of God do comprehend the power of darkness [Col 1:13]; which power was before the powers of darkness were, which destroys darkness and the power of it. And we cannot plot; it is impossible we should, standing in that which destroys darkness, and the devil, the power of it, who is the author of plots, and the enmity in people's minds, bondaging and bringing the creature into thraldom; which we in the power of God would have all persons from under, and would have no man's person in the whole world hurt; but in the power of God would have all men saved [1 Tim 2:4], and seek all men's peace [Heb 12:14]. And so that which manifests all plots, and the author of them, the devil, and that which judges him, and destroys him and them, are we in, and are made partakers of him who redeems and saves, and heals, and sets free, who is the power of God. So all <206> you who are partakers of the power of God, that have been turned to the light, and received the power of God, Christ Jesus [1 Cor 1:24], that hath given you power to become the sons of God [John 1:12]; in which light and power of God, by which ye were turned to him, ye come up into the liberty, the liberty of the sonship [Rom 8:21], into the power of God, that doth redeem and save, and destroy that which leads from God, which doth defile, and destroys it, and gives dominion. That is the power of God in which the saints have liberty, where the sons of God sing together, and praise, glorify, and honour their Father; to whom be glory, praise, and honour for evermore! Who in him triumpheth in glory [Exo 15:1], and can say, Emmanuel [Isa 7:14] is born, and a son is given [Isa 9:6]. So all in the life and power of God's seed and wisdom, which is everlasting, dwell, and know the seed of God in every one of you, in your own particulars, male and female, which seed is the heir of the promise [Gal 3:29], the heir of the wisdom, and heir of the world that hath no end, of an endless life, and the heir of the kingdom that is everlasting, and the heir of the blessing, where there is no curse. And every one an heir of the power, of the blessings of the kingdom, come to inherit, come to possess your own inheritance, and then sit down in your own possession; in which ye may know every one your election [1 Th 1:4], (in the seed,) which was before the world began [2 Tim 1:9], and so be possessors and inheritors of life and substance [Prov 8:21]. The substance is the seed [Isa 6:13], the top-stone, on top of the law, on top of the prophets, on top of the types, figures, shadows, parables, and ends them all, and on top of all heathens' inventions, though it hath been a mystery hid from ages [Col 1:26]. See now, the seed, the seed of the Lamb and his marriage [Rev 19:7] is known, and the Lamb reigns, where there is no curse, but the blessing. The curse is out of his dominion, who destroys the author of the curse, wrath, plagues, and wo, that hath the blessing, the seed, Christ Jesus.
And all Friends, improve your talents, that to you all it may be said, ‘Well done, good and faithful servants;’ for they who do not, their talents are taken away from them, who have been slothful, complainers, and idle. [Mat 25:14-20] Let your lamps be burning, have oil in your own lamps, and salt in yourselves; then ye are the wise virgins that enter in with the bridegroom [Mat 25:1-10, Mark 9:50]. The word of God cannot be bound [2 Tim 2:9], which makes rich, which lives for ever; in which is the life. So, do not quench the spirit [1 Th 5:19], nor add to the prophecy, nor diminish; that keeps you from the plagues, and to see your names written in the Lamb's book of life [Rev 22:18f]: there stands your joy everlasting, through which ye see the white stone [Rev 2:17], through which light, power, and seed, ye overcome that which is gone forth from God. So, ye dwelling in the son of God, ye shall go no more forth, but shall inherit all things. So, farewell!
Keep in the power of the Lord God, that goes over all the world, that none of your flight may be in the winter. And beware, lest any <207> of your flight be on the sabbath day [Mat 24:20], (the signification of which is rest,) but all in the power of the living God abide, in which ye may feel life, peace, and rest, and an abiding place; a secret chamber to turn into, till the indignation and wrath of the Lord be passed, which is to come over all transgressors. And if the judgment begin at the house of God first, and the righteous pass the straight way to salvation, where will the hypocrites and the sinners appear? [1 Pet 4:17f] Over whom the overflowing scourge [Isa 28:15] must come and pass. Therefore in the life, power, and love of God, all dwell. And the apostle saith, ‘Forsake not the assembling of yourselves [Heb 10:25], (as the manner of some is,') but edify one another in the light and the life, as the day doth appear: and to say, that people must not meet together to worship God, they may as well say, ye must not be christians. For persecutors were always blind, and they stopped their ears to the spirit of God in themselves formerly; so were in the blind zeal, and turned against them who were in the true zeal, in the spirit of God.
Let this be carefully copied over, and sent amongst Friends.