Sing and rejoice [Zech 2:10], ye children of the day and of the light [1 Th 5:5]; for the Lord is at work in this thick night of darkness that may be felt [Exo 10:21f]. And truth doth flourish as the rose [Isa 35:1], and the lilies do grow among the thorns [Song 2:2], and the plants atop of the hills, and upon them the lambs do skip and play. And never heed the tempests nor the storms, floods nor rains, for the seed Christ is over all, and doth reign. And so be of good faith and valiant for the truth [Jer 9:3]: for the truth can live in the jails. And fear not the loss of the fleece, for it will grow again; and follow the lamb, if it be under the beast's horns, or under the beast's heels; for the lamb shall have the victory [Rev 17:14] over them all. And so all live in the seed Christ [Gal 3:16], your way [John 14:6], that never fell [1 Pet 2:22]; and you do see over all the ways of Adam's and Eve's sons and daughters in the fall. And in the seed Christ, your way, you have life and peace; and there you do see over all the ways of Adam in the fall, in which there is no peace. So in the seed Christ stand and dwell, in whom you have life and peace; the life that was with the Father before the world began.
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The 9th month, 1663.
Dear friends, who have tasted of that which is precious, and have felt the truth convincing of you; and also felt the power of the Lord God: I feel something amongst some of you that is not right; and how that such get up into the wise part, but are out of the power, and out of the life, and with that judge, and are beholding the moats in others eyes, whilst the beam is in their own eyes [Mat 7:3]. Oh! abuse not the power, in which is the gospel fellowship [1 Cor 9:18, Phil 1:5], which will keep all in unity, and grieve not the spirit [Eph 4:30], in which is the true fellowship, and the bond of peace [Eph 4:3]. Keep down high-mindedness, despise not prophecies [1 Th 5:20], and quench not the spirit [1 Th 5:19] in the least; for that is flesh and not spirit in yourselves that doth so. Judge not before the time that the Lord do come, who brings to light all the hidden things of darkness [1 Cor 4:5] in you; run not into outward things, that is the fleshly mind, that will run from one thing, and so be restless, and will not know what seat to sit in; after it hath been in one outward thing it will run into another, and call it, his growth in the truth, and fall a judging others; but that judgment is after the flesh, <242> and their growth is in the flesh; for the fruits of it is strife, backbitings, whisperings, and leads to idleness, busy-bodies from house to house [1 Tim 5:13], slandering, scandalizing, vilifying, and are in lightness, out of the fear of God, in variance and sowing dissention, and these are the seedsmen of the flesh, and not of the spirit; and so feed one another with that which burdens the seed, and quenches the spirit, and destroys the love and unity, which love you should grow in. So the fruits of every birth manifesteth itself; the fruits of the spirit are love, and peace, [Gal 5:22] and truth, and plainness, and righteousness, and godliness. But the fruits of the flesh [Gal 5:19] are backbitings, whisperings [2 Cor 12:20], lyings, slanderings, scandalizings. And therefore mind what this birth hath brought forth, (and shame it,) that hath cried up outward things, and what it hath run into, and what it hath drawn you into, that are in it, and what it hath rent you from, and whether you are not come to a loss, and whether you are not gone into the flesh, and into the air, and lost your first habitations [Jude 1:6] of tenderness and compassion; for every birth knows its own, and is grieved when its own is judged, and that will never love plain dealing and righteous judgment, which are honest and true; but will have the false prophet's cushion and pillow [Ezek 13:20]; and can neither endure sound doctrine [2 Tim 4:3] nor judgment. And therefore mind your first habitation and first love, [Rev 2:4] and that which did convince you, that you may all come into life and power, to sit down in the habitation of it, in love, and life, and unity, and let there not be a backbiter nor slanderous tongue, nor liar, nor whisperer, reproacher, nor a busy-body found amongst you; for if there be, it will leaven one another [1 Cor 5:6], and bring darkness and death upon you.
Therefore, as I said before, dwell in the power of God, in which you may keep unity, life, love, and peace; and in which power of God you may be drawn up out of satan's power, into the power of God, in which is my life, and in it is my habitation and dwelling, where I know the unspotted garment [Jude 1:23] hid from all the unclean beasts' tongues, lips, hands, and eyes; and blessed are all you that keep in the power, and have kept your first habitation; for you grow up as calves in the stall [Mal 4:2]; and such gad not abroad to change their ways; for the birth of the flesh would have some outward thing to feed upon, but the birth of the spirit reigns over it, farewell.
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Lancaster prison the 6th day.
Friends,—Let not your knowledge be after the flesh [2 Cor 5:16], but in the spirit. Let not your fellowship be in the flesh, but let it be in the spirit, and in the gospel. Let not your affections be in the flesh, and on things below, but let them be set on things that are above [Col 3:2], and on things that <243> are heavenly, above the things below. Let not your souls be subject to the lower power of darkness, which is out of the truth, lest you bring destruction upon your own selves [2 Pet 2:1]; but let your souls be subject to the higher power [Rom 13:1], that is above the lower power of darkness. Let your acquaintance and familiarity be in the spirit, over that which would ensnare or entangle you, and bring you into bondage [Gal 2:4]. Let all your minds be heavenly, and not earthly. Let all your minds be spiritual, and kept above all that which is carnal; then they are kept out of death, in life, and in peace [Rom 8:6]. For . . . the true worship in the spirit and in the truth [John 4:24] is above the false, which is out of the spirit and the truth [John 8:44], and the true belief and faith and hope are above the false belief, which is unbelief, and the living faith is above the dead faith [Jas 2:17], and the hope that is the anchor, both sure and steadfast, anchors the soul [Heb 6:13] in the great sea, the world, when the leviathan maketh a storm, among the tongues, peoples, nations, and languages, which are as waters [Rev 17:15]; then the true hope standeth and stayeth, and is sure and steadfast, and keeps the soul up to God, atop of the sea, when the false hope of the hypocrite sinks therein [Job 8:13], which are the waters, and it goes over them, and in it they are swallowed up. The unity in the spirit is the bond of the Prince of princes' peace [Eph 4:3, Dan 8:25], and the fellowship in the gospel [Phil 1:5], and the liberty in it is a perfect one [James 1:25], above the imperfect, where is bondage.
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Friends,—Stand still and see [Exo 14:16], be still and hear, sit at Jesus' feet, and choose the better thing [Luke 10:38-42]; to do the work of God is to believe in his son Jesus Christ [John 6:29] the light; and your hope and faith are to stand in God, and in his son, walk by that faith which he is the author of [Heb 12:2], and walk in the light [1 Jn 1:7], and walk in the spirit [Gal 5:16]. As every one hath received Christ, so walk in him [Col 2:6], and so serve God in the spirit [Rom 7:6], and worship him in the spirit and in the truth [John 4:24]; for God is not worshipped out of the spirit and truth. The babes' milk is from the word [2 Pet 2:2], and their bread is from above [John 6:47f], and there is no true religion but what is pure from above [James 1:27/3:17]; and <244> the stayed, patient people abide in their own house, but the whore is gadding abroad [Prov 7:11f]; and there is no true church but where Christ exercises his offices in and amongst them, and they are asking their husband at home [1 Cor 14:35], and he is their head [Eph 5:23], and the true marriage to Christ the heavenly man is witnessed by such as are flesh of his flesh, and bone of his bone [Gen 2:23]; none come to be children of the light but such as believe in the light [John 12:36]; no sons of God, but by receiving Christ [John 1:12], and by being led by his spirit [Rom 8:14]; no coming into all truth, but by being led by the spirit of truth [John 16:13]; no running the true race [Heb 12:1] in the straight way [Jer 31:9] to get to the glorious crown [1 Pet 5:4], but with patience [Heb 12:1]; no purifying, but by coming to Christ, the hope of glory, the purifier [Col 1:27/1 Jn 3:3]; and no overcoming, but by believing in Christ [1 Jn 5:5] the light, and he that doth so is born of God [1 Jn 5:1]. And there is no true witness within but the light, the life, and spirit of Christ, the true record [John 8:14]; no true faith but that which Christ is the author of [Heb 12:2], which giveth victory [1 Jn 5:4]; no true anchor to the immortal soul [Heb 6:19] but by Christ, the hope of glory [Col 1:27]. So by hope you are saved [Rom 8:24]; no true liberty but in Christ, and in his law of the spirit of life [Rom 8:2], and in his gospel; no true knowledge of God, but by his light and spirit in the heart [2 Cor 4:6]; no salvation, but by the name of Jesus [Acts 4:12]; no true praying, but in the spirit; no true singing, but in the spirit [1 Cor 14:15]; no true fast, but that which breaks the bond of iniquity [Isa 58:6/Acts 8:23]; no true fellowship, but in the pure faith, light, spirit, and gospel [Phil 1:5,2:1] of God and Christ; no true foundation, but Christ [1 Cor 3:11], to build upon; no true way, but Christ [John 14:6]; no true seed, but what Christ hath sown in the heart [Mat 13:19]; no true rest, but in Christ [Mat 11:28]; no true peace, but in Christ [Rom 5:1]; no true service to God and Christ, but in the newness of life [Rom 6:4/7:6]; no knowing the things of God, but by the spirit of God [1 Cor 2:11]; no knowing the son nor the Father, but by the revelation of the holy spirit; no knowing the scriptures, but by the same holy ghost that moved the holy men to give them forth [2 Pet 1:21]; no calling Jesus, Lord, but by the holy ghost [1 Cor 12:3], by which he was conceived [Mat 1:20]; no grafting into Christ, but by believing [Rom 11:23] in the light [John 12:36], which is called the light in men, and the life in him [John 1:4]; no true wisdom, but from above [James 3:17]; and no true receiving it, but in the fear of the Lord [Job 28:28]; and no true understanding of spiritual things, but what Christ gives [1 Jn 5:20]; no divine reason, but in the faith that Christ is the author of [Heb 12:2], which giveth victory over that which is unreasonable [2 Th 3:2], and separates from God; and no true love to God, but what he sheddeth abroad in the heart [Rom 5:5]; and to know a fellowship with Christ in his death and sufferings [Phil 3:10], is above the fellowship of bread and wine, which will have an end; but the fellowship in the gospel and holy spirit hath no end.
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My dear friends,—Be faithful to the Lord God every one, in the truth and power of God, and his righteousness, that it may flow over all [Amos 5:24], and walk and live in it, that to the Lord God you may be a good savour [2 Cor 2:15], and a blessing in your generation. Look over all sufferings, and that which makes you to suffer. Dwell in the rock, which is above all storms and tempests [Jer 48:28/Mat 7:24f]; for now is the trial of your faith [1 Pet 1:7], now is the trial of your meetings, (who are gathered in the name of Jesus, [Mat 18:20]) by them that are gathered in the name of Adam in the fall; now is the trial of your worship, which is in the spirit and truth [John 4:24], by such as worship out of the spirit and truth. And now is the trial of your fellowship in the gospel [Phil 1:5], the power of God [Rom 1:16], by such whose fellowship lies in outward things; now is the trial of your church, which is in God [1 Th 1:1], by those that have their church in the fall, unsanctified; and now is the trial of your faith, and your gospel fellowship in it, which is a mystery [Eph 3:9], and Christ the second Adam [1 Cor 15:45,47] is a mystery to fallen Adam, and truth is a mystery to all them that are out of it, and the light is a mystery to all the builders and stumblers at it [John 11:10], and haters of it [John 3:20]; and godliness is a mystery [1 Tim 3:16] to all the ungodly. Therefore may you praise the Lord, and bless his name, who hath revealed these mysteries to you in the day of trial, by which you may withstand the day of darkness, and the hour of it. For those that have oil in their lamps enter in with the bridegroom, who have heard his voice at midnight [Mat 25:6,10]. And so happy and blessed are all you that have laid up in store against this day [1 Tim 6:19], and the time that is now come, whose bread fails not [Isa 51:14], nor water [Isa 58:11], and have found the landmark of your everlasting portion and inheritance in the kingdom, where nothing that defiles can enter [Rev 21:17]. And therefore be valiant for the truth upon the earth [Jer 9:3], and fear no amazement [1 Pet 3:6], but fear the Lord, who upholds all things by his word and power [Heb 1:3], in whom is all your fresh springs of life [John 4:14]. Live and walk in the second Adam, the Lord from heaven [1 Cor 15:47]; and all keep out of Adam in the fall, that is earthly, that you may sit down in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus [Eph 2:6], that never fell [1 Pet 2:22], who is your life, who is your peace and salvation, who redeems you from the earth [Rev 14:3], that you may reign upon the earth, who makes you kings and priests to God [Rev 5:10]; and blessed be the Lord for ever, who reigns, and lives, and rules amongst his flocks and assemblies, gardens, plants, vineyards, babes, children, sons and daughters, servants and prophets, watering them with the water of life [Rev 21:6], giving the increase [1 Cor 3:7] of life to them; glory and praise be to his name for ever. And God accepts you in his son, the second Adam, the seed Christ [Gal 3:16] Jesus, who reigns. But God is displeased with people as they are in Adam in the fall, as they are out of <246> Christ. And so in him be faithful, who is your crown, let no man take your crown [Rev 3:11] from you. Yea, I say, be faithful to him who was the ‘Lamb slain from the foundation of the world [Rev 13:8],’ who reigns and sits down at the right hand of God, till all his enemies be made his footstool [Psa 110:1]; he who was glorified with the Father before the world began [John 17:3], sit down in him, the amen and faithful witness [Rev 3:14].
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Let this go among Friends, and dwell in peace and love, forbearing one another [Eph 4:2], and so fulfil the law of Christ [Gal 6:2].
From Lancaster Castle, the 1st month, 1664.
All Friends every where, who are gathered in the name of Jesus Christ, that never fell [1 Pet 2:22] nor changed [Heb 13:8], yea, into him that never fell being gathered ye will see over all the gatherings of Adam and Eve in the fall, from the garden of God, and the blessed state, and from the image of God [Gen 1:27], and the righteousness, and the holiness [Eph 4:24] that he was in before he fell; wherein all is in the confusion in the fall. The sons and daughters of Adam are broken into the many gatherings, being in the fall from righteousness and holiness, and the image of God, and the blessed state that they were in before they fell; and so are from the witness of God [1 John 5:9], the spirit and the light in their own particulars. And so as Jacob's prophecy was on his death-bed to his sons, how that the gathering of all nations should be unto Shiloh [Gen 49:10], unto Christ Jesus, (mark,) to Christ Jesus that never fell, who was with the Father before the world began [John 17:5], in whom is the light, life, and peace, and rest in this gathering, and so the gathering is out of Adam in the fall, up into Christ, that never fell, and in him are safety and peace; and in this gathering you have every one a river, yea, of living water, in your own bellies [John 7:38], which river comes from the fountain; for all nations are blessed in him [Gen 18:18, Gal 3:8], Christ Jesus that takes away the curse that stood over all nations, and destroys the devil [Heb 2:14] the author of it; and spreads over the blessing again, and all are blessed in him, and therefore, bless and curse not [Rom 12:14]. And all they that are saved walk in the light of the Lamb, and so come to the holy city [Rev 21:23f], that comes down from God out of heaven [Rev 3:12], into which there is no unclean thing enters [Rev 21:27]; in which city there is no need of the sun nor moon, the Lord God and the Lamb is the light thereof [Rev 21:23]. Of this city, which fences out all bad, and unclean, and unrighteous, and the adulterer, and idolater, and the liar; and the power of the Lord God goes over all the bad; and they that come into this city are saved, (as <247> I said before,) and walk in the light of the Lamb. And therefore, friends, all know the blessed truth, which the devil is out of [John 8:44], which truth makes you blessed, through which you come every one to have a crown, and so to feed upon the tree of life, through which you come to live for ever; the leaves of which heal the wounded nations [Gen 3:22; Rev 22:2]. So you that have bought the truth, sell it not [Prov 23:23] for trifles, neither give it nor leave it; for that which the tempter will tempt you unto is out of the truth, to outward things; but consider all the faithful all along how they suffered, and by whom, and for what, in all ages since the fall, from the foundation of the world, since the Lamb hath been slain [Rev 13:8]; not joining to men in any thing which the sons of Adam have invented and set up, the sons of God nor the faithful could not join to. They followed the Lord, his counsel, and his word and promises, and went through the great tribulations to the rest, as pilgrims and strangers [Heb 11:13] to all the sons of Adam's evil ways, religions, and worships; them that were in the worship of God, and in the way of God, Christ Jesus that never fell [1 Pet 2:22], saw over them all.
And take heed of the rough garments [Zech 13:4], and rough spirit of Esau's rough nature [Gen 27:11], but mind the plain Jacob [Gen 25:27], that supplants rough Esau [Gen 27:36]; and mind the constant truth, and take heed of the inconstant, and such as are given to changing, which the son gives not himself unto, for he ends the changings, the son Christ doth that never changes, and as every one hath received him, so walk in him that never changes; walk not in the traditions of the Jews that changed, nor the Gentiles, nor the apostate christians, but in him (as I said before, Christ Jesus,) that never changed, and the way, that never fell, nor never changed, nor never will change [Heb 13:8]; and then you will see over all the ways of the priests, the shepherds, the prophets, and the teachers of Adam and Eve's sons and daughters in the fall, that do change, and do fall and stumble, and are turned by every wind [Eph 4:14], you being in Christ Jesus that never fell nor never changed, in whom you have life, and peace, and rest. For to preach Christ the way [John 14:6], the prophet, priest, and shepherd, that never fell, and people to receive him, they come out of all them that do fall, both prophets, and shepherds, and priests' ways; and this is opposite to them all, in which they took counsel against them that preached Christ the word [Acts 5:33], which was in the beginning [John 1:1] before the Jews' ways and traditions were, or the Gentiles', or the apostate christians', and he will be when they are gone. So to preach Christ, is not to preach up the Jews' traditions, nor the Gentiles', nor the apostate christians', nor to follow the traditions of their forefathers, but to follow the word; neither receive them, nor them that preach them, and to follow that which lives, and endures, and remains for ever [1 Pet 1:23]. And this is the word that makes the Jews to grieve, and the Gentiles, and the <248> apostate christians, to preach the word which was before their traditions were, and their inventions; and this is the word which makes wise men and wise women; and the word is the seed, which seed is sown in the field, and the field is the world, and there is stony, thorny, and highway ground, and good ground; [Mat 13:19-23] and so this is universal doctrine, the universal seed hits the stony, thorny, and highway ground, and falls upon all, only it is the good ground that brings forth fifty, sixty, or a hundred fold increase. And such as are the highway ground, they are so full of the fowls, and of the air, that it takes it away; and such as are sown among thorns, they are so full of the cares of the world, and the deceitfulness of richness, that the thorns choke it, and the cares of the world; they are such stony hearts that the seed hath not much earth, that when trials and persecutions come with their heats, it is scorched by the heat of the sun. And therefore be ye all warned of these natures, both of the stony, and of the thorny, and of the highway ground, and of the fowls, and of the air.
And, friends, keep down feigned flattery. Keep in the truth, that brings to plain-heartedness, that all may be the good ground, that you may abound in goodness, and righteousness, and holiness, for peace is sown to the righteous, and gladness to the upright in heart [Psa 97:11]; and see that you walk in the light [1 Jn 1:7], and the life, that it may be your life, that you may have treasure in your vessels [2 Cor 4:7?], that you may enter in with the bridegroom, having the oil in your own lamps [Mat 25:1-10], that you may inherit the life, that is above all the foolish talkers [Eph 5:4] which be out of the peace, (the second Adam [1 Cor 15:45,57,) in whom the peace is, and the life; for they that be in strife about the body of Christ, are in Adam in the fall, and they are neither at peace in themselves with God, nor Christ, nor them that are in Christ; so whatever men or people profess, their end manifests them, and crowns them with death or life.
So, live in the word, which all ends in the seed; this keeps over all pretences in the substance, and over the airy spirits [Eph 2:2] that are out of the life, running up and down sowing dissention, tattling, and backbiting, and whispering [2 Cor 12:20], and setting one against another.
The seed Christ is over that spirit, and he hath little room in their hearts, for they are abroad in the fields, lifting up themselves higher than the world, but are worse to deceive the simple [Rom 16:18]. But truth, and the light, and the life is over all that, in which all keep your habitation [Jude 1:6]; for Adam lost his habitation [Gen 3:23f], and so his sons and daughters, who are in the disobedience, are in the fall; and the Jews lost their habitation from the love of God, and so they lost their authority, and were mingled among the heathen. And the apostate christians lost their habitation from the life and power that the apostles were in. And so have brought all christendom into heaps and sects about outward things, being out of <249> the life and word, which was in the beginning before the apostacy and the fall were. So live in the word, in that you have life, and dominion, and authority over all that which Adam and Eve's sons and daughters invented; and also over all in the fall. In which word you have wisdom, as I said before, and there is a faithful witness, Christ [Rev 1:5], whose name is called the word [Rev 19:13], and he is the first and the last, the beginning and the ending [Rev 22:13], the amen [Rev 3:14].
And, friends, keep over all the bustlings, and wars, and strife, and the talkers of such things among the sons of Adam in the fall; you that be in Christ Jesus that never fell [1 Pet 2:22], in whom is the peace, who makes the first Adam's sons and daughters to break their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks, that they shall not learn war any more [Isa 2:4]; for they that be there, are in the foolish state, but they that are in Christ are in the wise state, and have spiritual weapons [Eph 6:11-17], though accounted by the world foolish; yea, the wisdom of God is so to the wisdom of the world, which is foolishness [1 Cor 1:20, 3:19]. And so you that the Lord hath blessed in outward things for his truth, keep over them and out of them, serving the Lord who hath blessed you, lest you be entangled. So keep above them in the righteous life and conversation, that righteousness may flow to all men in all things; honesty and truth, and that which doth justice, and doing justly, that may flourish; for whose conversation is ordered aright, they shall see the salvation of God [Psa 50:23]; keep out of all heats and passions, and over the tempestuous spirits, the ground of which is uncleanness, all which are up and down, and sudden; which makes a mountain of wickedness and unholiness; and keeps out of the holy mountain, which they that walk in the light of the Lord go to, and they are taught his ways [Isa 2:3,5].
Take heed of a false liberty in any thing to the flesh [Gal 5:13], but keep your first love and habitation in the power and truth of God; for the lowly mind, the humble, and meek, and broken, and contrite spirit and heart the Lord doth not despise [Psa 51:17], but exalt.
Keep out of the many words of the world, and take heed of a liberty of going into them, but keep in the power of the Lord God; over all, which was before all, and is over all, that your lives and conversations may preach to all men, and adorn the truth of God, and speak in the hearts of all men.
Forsake not the assembling of yourselves together [Heb 10:25] as the manner of some was in the beginning of the apostacy, which entered into the reasoning part, and so went from the exhorting daily [Heb 3:13], and the building, and the fellowship, and the communion of the saints in the spirit, and from the flocks, and the garden of God, which he waters with his water of life, and feeds with his bread of life [John 5:35]; and sets open his broad rivers <250> of living water [John 7:38] to drink. And such as forsake the assemblies of the righteous; some for fear of the earth and sufferings, become quarrelling spirits, and so go out of the path of the flock's footsteps, and sit not down with the flock at noon-day [Song 1:7], in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus [Eph 2:6]; for there the flocks meet, and there they have all a fountain, through which they are all of one soul, and mind, and judgment, and heart, and spirit, and come to be gathered out of all the separations, and sects, and fellowships, and gatherings, and meetings of Adam and Eve in the fall, and sit down in Christ Jesus that never fell [1 Pet 2:22], where the fulness is and the life; in whom there is no shadow, no variableness, nor turning [James 1:17], in him that is the way. But, Oh! the poverty, the shadows, the variableness, the turnings, the worships, and traditions, and the sects that are in the world among the sons of Adam in the fall! Oh! the riches that are in him that never fell, the peace and the life that was with the Father before the world began [John 17:5], the amen [Rev 3:14].
And, friends, take heed of the vain inventions and arts of the world, keep out of their rhymes and their verses, for they are the arts of men and stir up the light part, and lift up that that pertains to itself, that is stirred up that will turn in the end to the strife, or the earth. But you that live in the word of God that never fell, changes, nor alters, do not, but as you are moved by it, and that will stand and remain; in whom you may know a dwelling, life over death, and before it was; for the serpent that got into Adam and Eve by disobedience, they had dominion over all things that God had made [Gen 1:26]; yea, over the serpent: and he came and told her, ‘they should be as gods, if they would eat of the fruit that was forbidden [Gen 3:3];’ and they thought to have been as gods, and to be made wise; but the devil came to be god, and they came to be slaves. And so he got into Adam's heart, and Eve's heart, through their disobedience, through which they lost their dominion, and the serpent came to be god of the world [2 Cor 4:4], the deceiver. Now saith the Lord to the serpent, ‘Upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shall be thy meat all the days of thy life [Gen 3:14].’ So you may see how the serpent got into Adam and Eve by disobedience.
Secondly. He ruleth in all Adam's sons' and daughters' hearts that are disobedient to the light, the truth, the power of God in themselves, and he darkens their hearts and minds, and makes them envious; and from him they have their devilish earthly wisdom [James 3:15], and all their invented arts and ways that are bad, that keep up, and stir up the fallen nature that is sometimes puffed up, and sometimes down, through which the earth is brought out of its course [Psa 82:5], and the bonds of civility broken. So here he that rules in the disobedient, and got into Adam and Eve's heart by disobedience, which is called the god of the world, whose meat is dust, goes upon his belly: now if this ruler, and this governor <251> of the hearts of such as are disobedient, who is called the prince of the air [Eph 2:2], and so whirls them up into the air, who got into Adam and Eve's heart by disobedience, and rules in his sons' and daughters' hearts by disobedience, if he goes upon his belly, how go they that he rules? Better than the ruler, think you? Must the ruled go better than the ruler?
Thirdly. . . . So it is no strange thing for him and his messengers to speak against the light in the heart, for he hath made the world like a wilderness [Isa 14:12,17], all wild and rough; he that got in by disobedience, and rules in the disobedient, it is not like that he would have people to obey the light nor life within them; he that is out of truth [John 8:44], who got into Adam and Eve by disobedience, rules in all them that are disobedient, going roaring up and down, seeking whom he may devour [1 Pet 5:8]. And so Adam came to be lost, and the Lamb came to be slain, from the foundation of the world [Rev 13:9]; and therefore comes Christ, the first and the last [Rev 1:11], to destroy the devil and his works [Heb 2:14, 1 Jn 3:8] in men's hearts, and sanctifies them by his blood [Heb 13:12], his life, which was the sacrifice for the sins of the whole world [1 Jn 2:2], and destroys the devil and his works, through death; and him that hath the power of death [Heb 2:14], and sanctifies and washes men and women, and presents them back again to God perfect [Col 1:28]. But the devil would not have men and women to own perfection, who hath made them imperfect, nor his messengers; but it is Christ that destroys him and his works, and saith, ‘Be perfect [Mat 5:48],’ and presents men and women perfect to God out of the fall, up to Adam before he fell; and not only there, but up to himself that never fell, the royal seed. And in him keep your meetings, and dwell in peace and <252> love, that the fruits of the spirit [Gal 5:22] may abound among you; for the fruits of the flesh [Gal 5:19] are in the fall, where the spirit is grieved [Eph 4:30]; for there they be out of the quietness, and out of the rest and peace. . . . And so Christ comes to be manifest in people's hearts, and the son to be revealed, who casts out the strong man, which hath kept the house, and spoils his goods [Luke 11:21f, Mat 12:29], who got into Adam and Eve by disobedience, and rules in the hearts of Adam and Eve's sons and daughters, who are in disobedience [Eph 2:2]. And so Christ the second Adam must rule in people's hearts, who are in the obedience, as he doth in all that have power, and enjoy life.
And so be valiant and faithful for the truth upon the earth [Jer 9:3], serving the Lord in a new life, that is in Christ Jesus that never fell, out of the old life of Adam in the fall; for the old life is in Adam in the fall, where the spirit is grieved; and the new life is in Adam that never fell, who was born in Bethlehem. Beth is a house, and lathem is bread, where the fulness is, who will dry up the river Euphrates [Rev 16:12] with its froth, which hath run so up and down among the sons of Adam; that people may drink at him the fountain, the water of life [Rev 21:6], through whom you come to know the mighty God of heaven and earth, the upholder of all things [Heb 1:3], and creator of all things, to his glory and honour, being in Christ Jesus, by whom were all things, who is the top and corner-stone [Eph 2:20], in whom you all have life; in him live: and so farewell; that you may have the blessings of the Lord come upon you.
And, dear friends, keep your hands, tongues, feet, bodies, and hearts clean and open, out of all pollutions and uncleanness; for blessed are all you whose feet are guided in the way of peace [Luke 1:79], which is in the way of righteousness, through which the immortal life is lived in. And light words and jesting all avoid, and fables, and foolish talk; but live in the power of the Lord that is over all, through which you follow godliness and holiness, without which none shall see the Lord God [Heb 12:14].
And blessed be God the Father, who hath set Christ over all, who is the first and the last, the beginning and the end [Rev 1:11,18], God's faithful and true <253> witness, the amen [Rev 3:14]; in him have you the book opened, and in him you see all things unsealed [Rev 5:5,9], in him manifest in you, who is your life, who was with the Father before the world began, the amen.
For in this night of apostacy from the spirit and power that the apostles were in, hath all things been sealed up, and no man could open; but now is the lamb come again, that opens the sealed book [Rev 6:1]. And all Friends, keep out of all the vain fashions of the world, and over that unchaste spirit that invents new fashions daily, both in apparel and diet. Therefore keep chaste in the power of God over them all, that your lives and conversations may judge them in such things, who devour those things upon their lusts [James 4:3], which God hath given to the service of man.