NOTE: There is a gap in the numbering sequence between E321 and E332.
My dear friends,—Be valiant for the truth, and the power of it, in the spirit and faith of Jesus, and let no one take your crown [Rev 3:11]; for the saints overcame by the blood of the Lamb and the testimony Jesus [Rev 12:11]. And so fear not the wrath of man, but fear the Lord, and keep your men and women's meetings in the name of Jesus [Mat 18:20]; in whose name you have salvation, life, and peace; so that all may be in the vine, bringing forth heavenly fruit [John 15:5], to the glory of God. And so feel his banner of love over you [Song 2:4], and you sitting under the shadow of the Almighty [Psa 91:1], and look over that which maketh to suffer, to that which was before it was; and know your faith, to stand in the seed that bruiseth the head of it; which seed, Christ, is your rock and foundation, who will raze down the foundation [Psa 137:7] of the world of wickedness, from which foundation the lamb hath been slain [Rev 13:8]. But he is risen, and hath overcome the world [John 16:33], and hath the victory [Rev 17:14]: glory to the Lord God and the Lamb for ever. Amen. And in him you have the victory, and do overcome; and they that do overcome, shall eat of the hidden manna [Rev 2:17], and shall go no more forth into the barren world of wickedness, but feed in the fruitful land of the living [Psa 116:9], and their feet shall be set in a sure place [Psa 40:2]; and beautiful are the feet of those that publish peace and glad tidings , and that say in truth and righteousness to Zion, thy God reigneth [Isa 52:7]. Who is a consuming fire [Deut 4:24] to the wicked; and the joy of the Lord is strength [Neh 8:10] to the righteous. So serve the Lord in the newness of life [Rom 6:4/7:6], for the Lord is dishonoured [Rom 2:23] in the old life of wickedness; and keep the unity of the spirit, which is the bond of peace [Eph 4:3], which no man can take away. So, with my love to you all, in the everlasting seed, that changeth not.
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All my dear friends and brethren, every where, in the name and power of Jesus Christ, your Lord and saviour, life and peace, live and walk, in the Lamb which hath the victory [Rev 17:14]. And so in the humility of Christ, which you have learned of him [Mat 11:29]; and in patience, with which you run the race, and obtain the crown of immortal life [Heb 12:1/1 Cor 9:24f/Jas 1:12]; and in the love of God all dwell, which will warm all your hearts, and knit and unite you together [Col 2:2?], and build you up a holy temple for the Lord [Eph 2:21]. And his love will keep and carry you above all thin gs, to the glory of God. And this love will enable you to bear all things [1 Cor 13:7] what ever wicked men <131> can do unto you; or, what the Lord may try you withal. So, let your faith be in the invisible God and his son [Col 1:13,15] who is able to succour you [Heb 2:18], and save you to the uttermost [Heb 7:25]; who is over all, King immortal, invisible, the only wise God [1 Tim 1:17, blessed for ever. Amen.
So, God Almighty establish you all upon this holy rock and foundation, Christ Jesus, who is the same to-day as yesterday, and so for ever [Heb 13:9], who was all the holy men and women's foundation, who is the first and the last, the beginning and ending [Rev 22:13], the saints' mediator and peacemaker between them and God [1 Tim 2:5]. Their joy and rejoicing is in him, their everlasting joy, the Amen [Rev 3:14], blessed for ever. So, with my love in the Lord Jesus Christ unto you all, in whom I have laboured, (and) among you.
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Swarthmore, the 19th of the 12th month, 1676.
My dear friends, in New Jersey, and you that go to New Jersey, my desire is, that you may all be kept in the fear of God, and that you may have the Lord in your eye, in all your undertakings. For many eyes of other governments or colonies will be upon you; yea, the Indians, to see how you order your lives and conversations. And therefore, let your lives, and words, and conversations be as becomes the gospel [Phil 1:27], that you may adorn the truth, and honour the Lord in all your undertakings. Let that only be in your eye, and then you will have the Lord's blessing and increase, both in basket, and field, and store-house [Deut 28:5]; and at your lyings down you will feel him, and at your goings forth, and comings in [Psa 139:3?]. So that you may answer the light, and the truth, in all people, both by your godly lives and conversations. Serving the Lord, and with a joyful heart, being valiant for his truth, upon the earth [Jer 9:3], and the glorious name, in whom you have salvation.
And keep up your meetings for worship, and your men and women's meetings for the affairs of truth, both Monthly and Quarterly. And, after you are settled, you may join together and build a meeting-house. And do not strive about outward things; but dwell in the love of God, for that will unite you together, and make you kind and gentle one towards another; and to seek one another's good and welfare, and to be helpful one to another; and see that nothing be lacking among you [1 Th 4:12], then all will be well. And let temperance, and patience, and kindness, and brotherly love be exercised among you [2 Pet 1:6f], so that you may abound in virtue, and the true humility; living in peace, showing forth the nature of christianity, that you may all live as a family, and the church of God, holding Christ your heavenly head, and he exercising his offices among you, and in you; and hold him, the head, by his light, power, <132> and spirit; and that will keep your minds over the earthly spirit, up to God; for the earth, and the sea, and all things therein, are his [Psa 24:1], and he gives the increase thereof [1 Cor 3:7]. . . .
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Swarthmore, the 4th of the 1st month, 1676.
My friends,—All you that do know God and Christ your teacher, and are come to be the sons and daughters of the Lord God [2 Cor 6:18], and are in his new covenant; in which you all do know the Lord, and need not any man to say unto you, know the Lord [Jer 31:31-34]. And are heirs of the gospel of peace and salvation, that hath brought life and immortality to light [2 Tim 1:10]; and that by the power of God, the gospel [Rom 1:16], you do see over him, the adversary and the destroyer, that hath darkened you. And so do know, that the power of God is the authority of your men's and women's meetings; in it keep them, and all other meetings. And all such as be heirs of grace, and heirs of life [1 Pet 3:7], and heirs of the gospel, keep your men's and women's meetings in the power of God, the authority of them; and they that cry against them, or you, strive not with them, for they will in God's time die of themselves, and wither away; but keep your testimony of the life, and of grace, and of the gospel, and of the order of it, and your faith in him, your teacher, who bruises the head of the serpent [Gen 3:15], the author of all disorder and ill government; even Christ, of the increase of whose government (in his truth, and power, and righteousness) there is no end [Isa 9:7]. Glory to the Lord God for ever.
And so all strive to be of one mind, and heart, and soul [Acts 4:32], and spirit, and faith, living together in unity, and in the love of God, all drinking into one spirit, by which you are baptized into one body [1 Cor 12:13], having one head, who is heavenly and spiritual; and in the one spirit, by which you are circumcised, which putteth off the body of the sins of the flesh [Col 2:11]. So as you do keep to the spirit of Christ [Rom 98:9], it will keep you to be one body, and to him the one head, Christ Jesus, the Amen [Rev 3:14].
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My dear friends and brethren,—That faith, which is the gift of God [Eph 2:8], which all the saints lived in, (and by which they pleased God [Heb 11:6], and had victory [1 Jn 5:4], by which they had access to God [Rom 5:2], and by and in which faith they did walk: and all the just, in all ages and generations, did live by the same faith [Rom 1:17],) do you all live and walk now in your age. I say, walk in that faith by which Enoch (the seventh from Adam) [Jude 1:14] was translated, and by which he had this testimony, that he pleased God [Heb 1:5].
And also keep in that faith by which Noah built his ark, wherein he and his family were preserved [Heb 11:7], when the old world [2 Pet 2:5], that grieved God, and his good spirit, were drowned.
And also walk in that faith by which Abraham forsook his father's house [Gen 12:1], and native country, and their idolatrous religion.
And live in that faith, by which Moses forsook Egypt [Heb 11:27], and refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter [Heb 11:24], and chose rather to suffer ‘affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of the world for a season [Heb 11:25].’ And by this faith (which is the gift of God) he saw God, who is invisible [Heb 11:27].
And by this faith was Rahab the harlot saved, and her family [Heb 11:31]. And by this faith the walls of Jericho fell down [Heb 11:30], without any outward instrument of war.
And by this faith Jacob went down into Egypt, and his children; and by this faith he knew they should return again [Gen 46:2-7]. And the Jews that did not keep in this faith, their carcases fell in the wilderness [Num 14:29]; but they that kept in this faith entered into the land of promise. And by this faith had all the valiants of God the victory, and his holy prophets and prophetesses, as you may read all along in the scriptures. And by this faith were they kept in the fire, and by it the violence of the fire was quenched [Heb 11:34]; and by it the mouths of the lions were stopped [Heb 11:33]. So by this faith they had the victory.
And by this faith was Elijah taken up to heaven [1 Ki 2:11]. And so as Christ Jesus saith, ‘faith saves, and makes whole [Luke 7:50, 8:48].’ And all are to look unto Jesus, the heavenly and the spiritual man, the second Adam, the Lord from heaven [1 Cor 15:45,47], by whom all things were made and created [John 1:3], who is the first and the last [Rev 22:13], to be both the author and finisher of their faith [Heb 12:2].
Now Christ said, ‘When the son of man cometh, shall he find faith in the earth? [Luke 18:8]’ For all, both Jews and Gentiles, were concluded under sin and unbelief [Rom 11:32/Gal 3:22]; so sin and unbelief were over them, and they shut up under it. So whosoever hath this true, saving, and justifying faith, Christ Jesus hath been the author of it, and is the finisher of this divine and precious faith. So all eyes must look unto him, for he is both the <134> author and finisher of this living, precious, and divine faith. And this is the faith of God's elect [Tit 1:1]; by which faith they have access to God [Rom 5:2], and know their election [1 Th 1:4]; by which faith they are translated from death to life [John 5:24], and from the darkness to the light, and from the power of satan unto the power of God [Acts 26:18], and from the corruption to the incorruption [1 Cor 15:42], and from the mortal to the immortal, and from the natural to the spiritual [1 Cor 15:44].
And by this faith, the devil, the destroyer, is resisted [Jas 4:7], who abode not in the truth [John 8:44]; and by this faith the fiery darts are quenched, of satan [Eph 6:16], (the adversary [1 Pet 5:8] of man,) and he thereby is overcome. So by this faith you come to know the partition wall broken down [Eph 2:14], that hath been betwixt you and God. So in this faith are all the household of faith [Gal 6:10] to build upon Christ Jesus, (who bruises the serpent's head,) who is the author and finisher of faith; and this is called the holy faith [Jude 1:20], and the one faith [Eph 4:5], and by this one faith, which Jesus Christ is the author and finisher of, (by whom all things were made and created,) by it we do understand the worlds were made, [by the word of God,] [Heb 11:3] and this is the faith which all the household of faith are to contend for [Jude 1:3], this one faith which Christ Jesus is the author of; which faith is the gift of God [Eph 2:8], and is held in a pure conscience. And it is called the mystery of faith [1 Tim 3:9]; for no natural men, with all the arts, languages, and wisdom upon the earth, can find it out, or know this mystery, nor make it; for Christ Jesus, the heavenly and spiritual man, [1 Cor 15:47] is the author and finisher of it; and no natural man, though he may have all the languages that began at Babel [Gen 11:1-9], and yet he may not know the mystery of this one faith, which Christ Jesus is the author of. For Pilate, that set Hebrew, Greek, and Latin atop of Christ [John 19:18f], who was the author and finisher of faith; he was so ignorant of the mystery of faith, that he asked Christ, ‘what is truth?’ [John 18:38] And the Greeks, that spoke natural Greek, and the Hebrews, that spoke natural Hebrew, the preaching of Christ, the author and finisher of the true faith, was a stumbling block and foolishness to them [1 Cor 1:23].
So I do conclude, that no man or woman hath true faith only by the natural knowledge, reading, or understanding of the original tongue and language of the New Testament, no more than the natural Jews had by the reading or knowing of the natural tongue of the Old Testament; nor can any in the whole world have true faith, except Jesus Christ be the author and finisher of it.
Now those that do say, that the tongues are the original, and that by them the orthodox men and divines (so called) are qualified, (which tongues began at Babel,) and these are the preachers that make faiths for people, who have gotten scriptures in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. But I must tell you, that Pilate, and Herod, and the Jews, and the chief priests, and the Grecians, and others that could speak Latin, and Greek, <135> and Hebrew naturally, knew not Christ, nor this one faith, which is the gift of God, which Christ is the author of. No more can they, with all their natural knowledge of all the tongues, until Christ Jesus, the author of the true and saving faith, give it unto them; by which one faith was Enoch translated [Heb 11:5] before the many languages were; and by which faith Abel's sacrifice was accepted [Heb 11:4], and by which faith Noah built the ark, and by which faith he was saved [Heb 11:7]; and by which faith now all the household of faith [Gal 1:10] are saved from the wrath [Rom 5:9], by which God will destroy the wicked world, which is reserved in store by the same word unto fire, against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men [2 Pet 3:7]; which word will hammer down all, and burn up all [Jer 23:19], and cut down all [Heb 4:12] the ungodly; and by which word all things were made; by which word of life [1 Jn 1:1] and wisdom [1 Cor 1:24] his people are reconciled to God; and therefore they love the word Christ, who doth fulfil the mind of God.
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Friends, in the power and image and truth and wisdom of God, who are come under God and Christ's teaching, (the heavenly and spiritual ma n [1 Cor 15:47],) do not you strive about men, like the carnal Corinthians, that cried, I am of Paul, and I am of Apollos [1 Cor 3:4]. And they that do so, leave them to themselves, after you have admonished them to keep to the light, grace, and faith that comes from Christ; if they will not hear it, nor him, nor you, then I say, they must be left to themselves. And you, whose faith stands not in men [1 Cor 2:5], but in Christ, the author of it [Heb 12:2], and in his gospel of salvation, by which you are saved; which gospel is the power of God, your keeper [1 Pet 1:5]. Keep ye in the order of the gospel, (the power of God,) [Rom 1:16] all ye that are heirs of it; and in this power of God keep your men and women's meetings, the power of God being the author and authority of them; by which power of God, the gospel, you are saved, and have your liberty; and in it you are over him that would destroy you, and darken you, and keep you in bondage. In which power of God, (the gospel,) you see life and immortality brought to light [2 Tim 1:10]. So it is the gospel that hath brought it to light, and keeps life, and immortality, and an understanding up in you, above him that has darkened you from it. Now this is an everlasting and invisible power, in which you are all help-meets in the restoration, by Christ the heavenly and spiritual man, whereby you are brought into the image, likeness, righteousness, holiness , and power of God, that man and woman were in before they fell [Col 3:10, Eph 4:24]. And now the same spirit that drew Adam and Eve from the image and likeness of God, and his power, and righteousness, and holiness, under pretence to feed upon that which God had forbidden them, <136> (for they thought they should have been wiser than God had taught them,) would keep man and woman in the fall. Now they, by hearkening to that spirit, and eating of the forbidden fruit, fell [Gen 3:1-6) and lost the image of God [Gen 1:26f], and righteousness, and holiness, and the power in which they had the dominion [Gen 1:26,28], and were brought into the fall by hearkening to this false spirit, the adversary, who envied their happiness and prosperity. And so by their fall they came under another power, another image, another likeness, and another God, even the God of the world [2 Cor 4:4].
Now this adversary and deceiver appeared against man in paradise; and now men and women are deceived by him, and under his power in the earth; who creeps on his belly, and dust is his meat [Gen 3:16/Isa 65:25]. This same spirit, who is the adversary and destroyer, that led Adam and Eve into the fall, strives to keep men and women in the fall, and in the earth, and opposes them in their conversion, regeneration, and restoration.
And this was the same spirit that rose in Cain against Abel, and envied his acceptable sacrifice [Gen 4:3-8], and his righteous state, as it did Adam and Eve's prosperity in the ruling power, wherein they had dominion over all. . . . And that which led them into the fall, does strive to keep them in the fall, that it might be Lord, and not Christ Lord, who restores them; so the same spirit now would not have men and women to have dominion in the power of God, over all in the restoration, as they were help-meets together in the beginning [Gen 2:18]. And this is the adversary, the serpent, that led into the fall, and would keep in the fall, and there be head. But Christ, who is the head, and gives forth the order of his gospel, (for his people to live and walk in, and under his spiritual and heavenly government,) bruises the head of this adversary [Gen 3:15] to man and woman, and God's order, and government, and teaching; and Christ, (that does bruise his head,) is the head of all his people, that sits under his teaching, and under his order and government, which they are to walk in. So the same spirit is risen, that rose against Noah in the old world; yea, it is seen what the sons of God run into then, even that which grieved God [Gen 6:1-7], by following that spirit which led from God, (which led Adam and Eve also from God.) But Noah was preserved in the ark, over the floods, when the old world was drowned [Gen 7], but all God's people are preserved in Christ Jesus, over the floods of the world; and that spirit that led Adam and Eve into the fall, and to feed upon that which made them think they should be wiser <137> than God had taught them. I say, they are preserved in Christ Jesus, (the ark,) over all the floods of the adversary, and from the judgments that God brings upon him, and them that follow him. And as Noah was preserved in the ark, over the outward floods that drowned the old world, so will God's people be preserved from the fire and brimstone [Rev 20:10], that is prepared for the wicked, and the devil and his angels [Mat 25:41].
And the same spirit is risen now, that led Nimrod to build Babel [Gen 10:10], a city to preserve him and them after the flood, but God did confound them and their work [Gen 11:1-9]. And so he will do all such builders. For you see how God did confound all the Jewish builders, yea, the wise master builders [1 Cor 3:10?], who rejected Christ the corner-stone [Psa 118:22], and his order, and his government, and his counsel.
And the great city Babylon, which this spirit and its followers have built since the apostles, is come into remembrance with God [Rev 16:19], which the same destroying spirit has built, that led Adam and Eve from God, and from the order he placed them in. So this same spirit, which hath led man and woman from the order the apostles were in, strives to lead people from it now, where it is risen.
And the same spirit that led Cain to kill Abel [Gen 4:8], who afterwards built a city [Gen 4:17] , and the same spirit that led Adam and Eve from the command of God in paradise, leads from it now; but God will lay Cain's city waste, and there is no lodging in it for the saints, who seek another city, whose builder and maker is God [Heb 11:10].
And the same spirit is risen now, that arose in Pharaoh, and in Corah, Dathan, and Abiram; in Pharaoh, to oppose the people, and stop them from going out of Egypt, and walking in the law of God, in which they might worship God; which law of God was good, just, and holy [Rom 7:12], and went over all transgression and sin, which led into death, that it might reign; and not the Lord and his law.
And that spirit that led Corah, Dathan, and Abiram, [Num 16] who thought Moses took too much upon him, and busied himself too much, pretending that the people were holy; so would not have them go further, but there to have made a stop, and set down according to its will: but see how they were stopped, and what became of Pharaoh, how he was sunk in the sea [Exo 14:28], and the other into the earth [Num 16:32f].
And what became of them that opposed Aaron in his priesthood, their rods did not bud, yet they would have been teachers and ministers, but had not the fruit in the tabernacle in the morning, that they might see how to deal their bread to the hungry [Isa 58:7]; and therefore they whose rods did not bud, God's fire consumed them; for they have nothing to offer to God, but manifest presumption and rebellion: and see the end of such.
And the same spirit that rose against the prophets in the Jews, who resisted the holy ghost [Acts 7:51], and rebelled against the spirit [Isa 63:10], is risen now, and <138> is the same spirit that deceived Adam and Eve in paradise, which led the people from God, and his law, and his prophets: but what became of these Jews, and what was their end? Some to the fire, some to the sword, and some to captivity; as you may read. And those that rebelled against Moses, and Joshua, and Caleb, wandered in the wilderness till they perished, and came not to the good land [Num 14].
And therefore, keep under Christ Jesus' teaching, who is the prophet God has raised up, like Moses, whom all should hear and obey [Acts 3:22]. And the same spirit is risen now, that rose against Christ and the apostles. And Christ called them serpents [Mat 23:33], and of their father the devil [John 8:44], the destroyer, the adversary [1 Pet 5:8], who had deceived Adam and Eve by his false teaching; and envied their happiness, and led them from God.
So you may see how these Jews, high and low, were gone from God, and his law, and his command, by hearkening to, and obeying this spirit, which had led Adam and Eve to disobey God's command; and therefore they would not receive his son, nor his order, nor doctrine. And what became of all these Jews? was not their city laid waste, and they scattered over all nations, and they destroyed of the destroyer [1 Cor 10:10], who had denied Christ their saviour, that wept over them, and would have saved them from destruction [Luke 19:41-44]?
And such as came to John, and were baptized by him, and rejoiced in his light for a season, and many that followed Christ, and said he was a prophet; yet at last these turned from him that descended and ascended; and he told them that rejoiced in John's burning light for a season [John 5:35], God's mind was not abiding in them [John 5:38?], and that they had not seen his shape, nor heard his voice at any time [John 5:37]; and that they received honour of man, but knew not Christ the heavenly man, that received not honour of the earthly man [John 5:41], who received their favour one of another [John 5:44]: and such as said he was a prophet, when he said, they must eat his flesh, the heavenly bread that came down from heaven [John 6:51], they forsook him [John 6:66]; for their minds turned downward, to feed upon that which was below.
And the same spirit is risen now, that rose against the apostles, as you may see in their epistles, in the Romans, Corinthians, and in Peter, Timothy, Titus, Jude, and John. Some got the form of godliness, and denied the power [2 Tim 3:5]; and some were enemies to the cross of Christ, the power of God [Phil 3:18/1 Cor 1:18]; others were getting another gospel than the power of God, which brought them under the curse [Gal 1:8f]; others were speaking the things of God, in the words that man's wisdom taught them [1 Cor 2:12f]; others their faith was standing in words, and not in the power of God [1 Cor 2:5/4:20]; others their faith was standing in Paul and Apollos, which should have stood in Christ 1 Cor 1:12f]: which grieved the apostles, for their faith should have stood in Christ, whom they preached: others with good words and fair speeches deceived the hearts of the simple [Rom 16:18].
And therefore, all they who preached faith, and made shipwreck of faith [1 Tim 1:19], were, and are still denied: and all such as preach God and Christ, and crucify Christ to themselves afresh [Heb 6:6], and deny God in their works [Tit 1:16], were then, and are denied. And all such as preach the light, and walk in darkness, and preach the spirit, (the fruits of which are love and peace,) [Gal 4:22] and are in strife and enmity, were never owned by God, nor Christ, nor good men, though they may be called christians. And all such as preach liberty, and themselves were servants of corruption [2 Pet 2:19], were, and are still denied. And all such as cry, Lord, Lord, and preach, Christ, Christ, and do not his will, enter not into his kingdom themselves [Mat 7:21]: and into it they can bring none, that do not go into it themselves: which kingdom stands in power, and in joy, and peace in the holy ghost Rom [1 Cor 4:20/14:17].
And all such as preach the word of God, and are not doers of the word, they are deceivers of their own souls, and they may deceive others with the good words [Rom 16:18]: and such cannot be reconciled to God, neither can they bring others to reconciliation with God.
So this spirit is but one; which spirit all along has wrought against the true spirit of God in all his people: and was in strife, and contention, and disquietness against the righteous in all ages; but it wrought its own destruction and the fall of them that followed it; as you may see through all the scriptures.
And therefore, all are to keep the unity of the spirit, the bond of the heavenly man Christ Jesus' peace [Eph 4:3/1 Cor 15:47], who renews man up into the image of God [Col 3:10], as man was in before he fell; and not only into that state, but up into himself, that never fell, where they know both his gospel order and his heavenly government, and are subject to it: he being the head [Eph 4:15], above all principalities, powers, thrones, and dominions [Col 1:16]: who is ascended above all, that he might fill all things [Eph 4:10]: who is over all, the beginning and ending [Rev 22:13], and lives and reigns from everlasting to everlasting, the Amen [Rev 3:14].
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Dear Friends,—My love in the Lord Jesus Christ (to you all) in whom I have laboured, and my desires are, the God of all peace, and the son of peace [Luke 10:6], may fill your hearts with his love, and peace, and wisdom, and knowledge, in all things, to do his heavenly glorious will: in that you will know his son's doctrine; and as you know it, obey it. And my desires are in the Lord, that you may all walk worthy of your vocation [Eph 4:1], and of him that has called you to holiness [1 Th 4:7], and righteousness, and to peace [1 Cor 7:15]; so that his peace may flow as a river [Isa 48:18, 66:12], and righteousness run down as a stream [Amos 5:24], to the gladding of the city of God [Psa 46:4]; the walls of which are his power, and salvation [Isa 26:1], and light, and life.
And now, my friends, keep all your meetings in the name of Jesus [Mat 18:20], in whom you have all salvation; which is above every name [Phil 2:9] under the whole heaven, in which there is no salvation [Acts 4:12].
And also, all your men and women's meetings every where, keep in the power of the Lord Jesus Christ, his gospel, by which he hath brought life and immortality to light [2 Tim 1:10] in you, that you may see over him that hath darkened you, and before he was; which power will preserve you in life and immortality. So that you may now all labour in the gospel, the power of God [Rom 1:16], in his glorious and comfortable gospel, joyfully serving the Lord in his gospel of peace; through which gospel you have peace with God: so that in this gospel, the power of God, there can come nothing between you and God: here is your heavenly order, not of man nor by man [Gal 1:12]. So that all the faithful men and women may, in the Lord's power, be stirred up in their inheritances of the same gospel, and to labour in it, helps-meet [Gen 2:18] in the restoration, as man and woman were before the fall, in the garden of God. All are to work in his righteousness, and in his image, in his power, in his garden, to subdue the earth, and keep the dominion in his power, in the restoration, as man and woman did in the image of God before the fall [Gen 1:27f; Col 3:10]. Whosoever would hinder you in this work, it is the same serpent's spirit that led Adam and Eve into the fall [Gen 3:1-6], from the work of God, which now would keep you in the fall, to do his work and command, and not the Lord's; and therefore over that keep your dominion, authority, and inheritance in the restoration, in the power of God, in which every one of you must give an account to God [Rom 14:12]. And therefore be diligent in the Lord's power, light, life, and spirit, in which you all see your services to God; so that he may be glorified among you all, and in you all, and over you all his glory may shine.
And you all, men and women, in your men and women's meetings be diligent, labouring in the light, life, and the power of God, the gospel, in the garden and church of God; so that righteousness and peace may flow down amongst you, and truth, and godliness, purity, virtue, and holiness, over all that is contrary; and that the weight and care of God's glory [2 Cor 4:17?], and his honour, and his pure holy name, and his truth, religion, and worship, you may all stand up for, against that which would in any wise cause it to be evil spoken of by ill walkers and talkers. And let all things you do, be done in love, and condescend one to another [Rom 12:16] in the power of the Lord, and in his truth have esteem one of another, and let all things be done among you without any strife [Phil 2:3]; for it is love that edifies the body [Eph 4:16], and knits it together [Col 2:2], and unites it to Christ the heavenly and holy head.
And now, you women, though you have been under reproach, because Eve was first in transgression; the promise was, ‘The seed of <141> the woman should bruise the serpents head [Gen 3:15].’ And this promise of God is fulfilled, ‘A virgin should have a child, and they should call his name Emmanuel, God with us, again [Isa 7:14].’ For man and woman was driven from God out of paradise, and the serpent became their head, and god of the world [2 Cor 4:4]; but Christ is come according to the promise of God and his prophets, who was born of a virgin; and therefore saith Mary, ‘My spirit doth rejoice in God my saviour: my soul doth magnify the Lord, for he hath regard to the low estate of his handmaid; for behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed [Luke 1:46-48].’ Now, here comes the reproach to be taken off from women, which were first in transgression, who are not suffered to speak in the church [1 Tim 2:12]; but here Mary did speak, and believe that which was spoken to her: and also the reproach and transgression taken off men, that believe in the seed Christ Jesus, who bruises the head of the serpent, that has brought man and woman into his image, and his works; but Christ destroys both him and his works [Heb 2:14/1 Jn 3:8], and renews man and woman up into the image of God [Col 3:10], as they were in before they fell, and into the power, to have dominion, to work in his garden, to subdue the earth, &c [Gen 1:27f]. So that all are now to labour in the garden of God, that are in the power and image of God, being brought into it by Christ Jesus, that bruises the serpent's head, that has been head in them all. So that Christ Jesus may be head in all men and women, and every man and woman may act from him their holy head, their life, and salvation, and keep his heavenly peace in his church, and every living member (believing in the light, which is the life in Christ) may be grafted into him the fountain of life [Rom 11:17/Psa 36:9], and receive from him the water of life [Rev 21:6], that they may feel the living springs, and the rivers springing up in them to eternal life [John 4:14]: these are living stones, the spiritual household [1 Pet 2:5], of which Christ is both head, rock, and foundation.
And Christ is called the green tree [Luke 23:31 GM], which green tree never withers [Psa 1:2], into whom they are grafted [Rom 11:24] by belief in the light, which is the life in him, from whom they all receive their heavenly living nourishment, through which every graft is nourished; then it comes to bud and bring forth fruit [John 15:5] to the praise of the eternal God. Now every one of these living believers are members of the living church in God, which Christ is the head of, and every member in the church hath an office [Rom 12:4]; and so every member is serviceable in the body in his office, in the light, which is over darkness, and was before it was; and in the life which is over death, and was before it was; and in the power of God, which was before the power of the serpent was. And so they are in this light, life, and power to execute their offices: I say, in this divine light, life, power, and spirit of God for God's glory, in truth, purity, virtue, holiness, and righteousness, they are to stand up for the honour of his <142> son, and receive him, who hath all power in heaven and earth given to him [Mat 28:28]; and all that receive him, he gives them power to become the sons and daughters of God [Jn 1:12]; then in his power all are to act and walk, and to serve God in their generation, and in it to serve him in the new creation, in righteousness and holiness, and to stand up in his power for his glory, in his power, righteousness, and holiness, that Christ brings into them, and renews them in, and so into the restoration; that they may labour in the church and garden of God in his power, to his everlasting praise and glory. Amen.
And all Friends, stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made you free [Gal 5:1], and in the liberty in the faith, which Christ is the author and finisher of [Heb 12:2]; which faith purifies the heart [Acts 15:9], and gives victory [1 Jn 5:4], in which you have access to God [Rom 5:2], the mystery of which is held in a pure conscience [1 Tim 3:9]; in which faith it hath its true liberty. And keep in the liberty of the everlasting glorious gospel of peace, which is not of man, nor by man [Gal 1:12], but from heaven; which gospel bringeth (and hath brought) life and immortality to light [2 Tim 1:10], and will preserve you in life and immortality, over him that hath darkened you; and in this gospel you have everlasting liberty and peace, and in the truth, which maketh you free [John 8:32] from him that is out of the truth [John 8:44]. This free state all are to keep in; and also in the pure holy spirit of God and Christ, that doth mortify all that is to be mortified and crucified; and doth baptize you into one body [1 Cor 12:13]. In this holy spirit you are to walk, which leadeth you into all truth [John 16:13], in which is your unity and fellowship; and giveth liberty from that which hath grieved it [Eph 4:30], and quenched [1 Th 5:19], and vexed it [Isa 63:10]. And so in the liberty, and fellowship, and unity of the holy, pure, and peaceable spirit, you are all to dwell and walk, which is the bond of the Prince of princes' peace [Eph 4:3/Dan 8:25], which the world cannot take away.
London, the 13th of the 9th month, 1677.