My dear friends,—To whom is my love in the everlasting seed, that reigns over all, and will overcome all your persecutors, and the devil, that is the cause thereof, who fighteth against the light, (which is the life in Christ,) [John 1:4] as they did against him in the flesh, above sixteen hundred years ago.
And now, my friends, suffer as lambs in the time of your sufferings; let all your wills be subjected with the patience that hath the victory; and run the race, and obtain the crown of life [Heb 12:1/1 Cor 9:24f]; and be willing to go to suffer for Christ's sake; for the apostle said, ‘It is not only given you to believe, but also to suffer for his name sake [Phil 1:29], in whom you have salvation [Phil 1:28?];’ for ‘they that suffer for righteousness' sake are blessed, and theirs <143> is the kingdom of God [Mat 5:10];’ and by faith the holy men of God had victory [1 Jn 5:4], as you may see at large in Heb. xi [Heb 11]. So nothing is overcome by any man's will, but by faith that giveth access to God [Rom 5:2], in which they do please God [Heb 11:6]. And I do believe that all your sufferings will be for good, for your establishing upon the holy rock of life, which was the rock of all the sufferers, the prophets, and the apostles, who is the anointed saviour, to the answering that of God in all people; for the Lord hath a great work and seed in that place. So live in the spirit [Gal 5:25], that mortifieth all, and circumciseth all, and baptizeth all; so that with the spirit you may sow to the spirit, and of the spirit reap life everlasting [Gal 6:8].
And my desire is, that you may all be kept alive to God, and live in the living unity of the spirit, which is the bond of the heavenly peace, that passeth the knowledge [Eph 4:3/Phil 4:7/Eph 3:19] of the world; which peace brings such joys which transcend all your sufferings, and will carry you above them. And so in love to God, and in love to your persecutors, you can pray for them who persecute you [Mat 5:44]; and this suffering is above all the sufferings in the world, which are without love and charity [1 Cor 13:4], who maketh one another to suffer, when they get the upper hand. But such are not the sufferers for the true Lord Jesus, who suffered; though he was above all, yet he made none to suffer; and when he was reviled, he reviled not again [1 Pet 2:23], but said, ‘Father, forgive them [Luke 23:34];’ and committed himself to him that judgeth righteously [1 Pet 2:23]. So let the same mind be in you as was in Christ Jesus [Phil 2:5]; for the apostle said, that they had the mind of Christ [1 Cor 2:16], and the Lamb overcame, and had the victory [Rev 17:14]; and this his sanctified ones, that follow him, are partakers of. Glory to his name for ever. Amen.
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The 12th of the 5th month, 1677.
My dear friends,—To whom is my love, and to the rest of Friends that aways. And my desire is, that you may all suffer as lambs of Christ; ‘for when he was reviled, he reviled not again; and he gave his back and cheek to the strikers and smiters, and his hair to be plucked off [Isa 50:6] , and was as a ‘lamb led dumb before his shearers, and he opened not his mouth [Isa 53:7];’ though he was the King of kings, and Lord of lords [Rev 19:16]: and so left his followers and believers an example, that they should follow him, like innocent lambs; for the Lamb and the saints have the victory [Rev 17:14/Dan 7:22] over all the tearers, and strikers, and pluckers, and devourers, and persecutors. And so let patience have its perfect work [Jas 1:4] in you and among you, in which you run the race, and do obtain the crown of eternal life [Heb 12:1/1 Cor 9:24f]. And do not strive, but keep down that spirit that would strive, with love, which differeth you from all other sufferers that <144> have not love, which envieth not, neither is provoked, but beareth all things, and endureth all things [1 Cor 13:4f,7], and will wear out all evil doers. And so be faithful, and of the good faith that hath the victory [1 Jn 5:4], and in it suffer joyfully, as the saints did, and leave the gainsayers to the Lord God, who will reward and repay them. And keep in the seed that will out-last all, and bruise the head of the serpent [Gen 3:15]. And so the Lord God preserve you all both in life, word, and conversation to his glory; and that all your words may be gracious. Amen.
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The 8th of the 5th month, 1677.
The apostles heard at Jerusalem, that the Samaritans had received the word of God, and they sent unto them Peter and John [Acts 8:14]. Acts viii. 14. Now Peter and John did not, in opposition, say, we will stay till we have a motion. But as the spirits of the prophets were subject to the prophets [1 Cor 14:32], so the spirits of the apostles were subject to the apostles. And when tidings came to the church at Jerusalem, that the Grecians had believed, they sent forth Barnabas to them, and when he came, he exhorted them; and when Barnabas had found Paul, he brought him to Antioch, (and there the disciples were first called christians,) and the the church sent the collection by the hands of Paul and Barnabas unto the elders [Acts 11:20-30]. Acts xi. 22, 23.30. and ix. 27. Paul and Barnabas took with them John, whose surname was Mark [Acts 12:25]; and Mark did not gainsay, and tell them, I must wait for a motion. Acts xii. 25. It pleased the apostles and elders, with the church, to send chosen men to Antioch, with Paul, and Barnabas, and Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren, and wrote letters by them unto the Gentiles [Acts 15:22f]. Acts xv. 22. saying, ‘Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain that went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, ye must be circumcised and keep the law; unto whom we gave no such commandment. It seemed good unto us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men unto you; men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ [Acts 15:24-26].’ Paul said unto Barnabas, let us go again unto every city, where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they do; and Barnabas determined to take Mark with them [Acts 15:36f]; and Paul chose Silas, being recommended by the brethren unto the grace of God; and they went through Syria and Cilicia [Act15:40f]; and as they went through the cities, they delivered them the decrees for to keep, that were ordained of the apostles and elders which were at Jerusalem; and so were the churches confirmed and established in the faith, and increased in number daily [Acts 16:4f]. Acts xvi. 4. The brethren
<145> exhorted the disciples to receive Apollos [Acts 18:27]. Acts xviii. 27. And Paul sent unto the Ephesians, and called the elders of the church, and exhorted them [Acts 20:17ff]. Acts xx. 17. Paul commends ‘Phebe, a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea,’ and bid them receive her in the Lord, and assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of [Rom 16:1]. Rom. xvi. Now if Timothy come, so that ye receive him without fear, let no man despise him, but conduct him forth in peace, that he might come unto me, for I look for him with the brethren [1 Cor 16:10f]. Paul said to the Corinthians, ‘Did I make a gain of you by any whom I sent unto you?’ 2 Cor. xii. 17. ‘Or did Titus make a gain of you? [2 Cor 12:17f] Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister of the Lord, shall make known unto you all thin gs; whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that you might know our affairs, and comfort your hearts [Eph 6:21f, Col 4:7f].’ Eph. vi. 21, 22. Paul sent to the Colossians, Onesimus with Tychicus, to make known all things unto them that were done with him [Col 4:9]. Col. iv. 9. And when they had read his epistle, they were to cause it to be read at Laodicea [Col 4:16]; and Paul charged the Thessalonians by the Lord, that they did read his epistle amongst all the holy brethren [1 Th 5:27]. 1 Thess. v. 27. And Paul saith, ‘Take Mark, bring him with thee, for he is profitable to me for the ministry; and Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus [2 Tim 4:11f].’ 2 Tim. iv. 11, 12. Paul said to Titus, chap. iii. 12. ‘When I shall send Artemas or Tychicus unto thee, be thou diligent to come unto me to Nicopolis, and bring Zenas the lawyer, and Apollos, on their journey diligently, that nothing be wanting unto them [Tit 3:12f].’ Paul saith to Philemon, ‘Having confidence in thy obedience, I wrote unto thee, knowing that thou wilt also do more than I say [Phm 1:21].’ Philemon 21, 22. John saith, 2 Epist. ‘Look to yourselves, that we lose not these things that we have wrote, but that we may receive a full reward [2 Jn 1:8]. I wrote unto the churches, but Diotrephas, who loveth to have the pre-eminence amongst them, received us not. Wherefore if I come I will remember his deeds which he doth, prating against us with malicious words [3 Jn 9:f],’ 2. and 3. epistle of John. And in Jude, such as go in Balaam, Cain and Corah's way, ‘wandering stars, raging waves of the sea, wells without water, clouds without rain, trees without fruit, twice dead and plucked up by the roots, their mouths speak great swelling words, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever. [Jude 1:11-13/2 Pet 2:17f] These are they that separate themselves, such as have not the spirit. But, beloved, build up yourselves in the most holy faith, praying in the holy ghost; and keep yourselves in the love of God [Jude 1:19-21].’ Jude. ‘Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances as I delivered them unto you [1 Cor 11:2]; and the rest will I set in order when I come. [1 Cor 11:34]’ 1 Cor. ii. 11.34. Paul in his second epistle to the Thessalonians, chap. iii. iv. ‘And we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both do, and will do the things which we command you [2 Th 3:4]. Now we command <146> you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us [2 Th 3:6].’ ‘Now we exhort you, brethren, to warn them that are unruly, and comfort the feeble-minded, and support the weak, and be patient towards all men [1 Th 5:14], for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another [1 Th 4:9]; and that ye study to be quiet [1 Th 4:11], and walk honestly to them that are without; and that ye may have lack of nothing [1 Th 4:12].’ 1 Thess. v. 14. And in 2 Thess. ii. 15. ‘Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which you have been taught, whether by word or our epistle [2 Th 2:15].’
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Dear friends,—Keep in the Lord's power, that his kingdom stands in [1 Cor 4:20], and in righteousness, and peace, and joy in the holy ghost [Rom 14:17], which the devil and all his instruments of strife and debate, and sowers of discord [Prov 6:14] among brethren, are out of; and keep that spirit out with the power of <148> God, which was before it was; in which gospel (the power of God) [Rom 16:1] is your holy and heavenly order; in the possession of the same labour, walking in the new and living way [Heb 10:20], over all the dead ways in Adam, let them be what sect they will; and in this new and living way you have the life and the truth, which death and darkness cannot get into, which is out of the truth, though they may talk of the words of the truth. But keep in the pure religion that was set up above sixteen hundred years ago; and this pure religion, which is undefiled before God, will keep you from the spots of the world [Jas 1:27], and above all the spotted and dirty religions that are not pure, but are defiled before and in the sight of God. And in this religion, in your men's and women's meetings, that are in the gospel of Christ, and in the order of it, you will see that nothing is lacking [1 Th 4:12], being ordered by the holy, pure, peaceable and gentle wisdom of God from above [Jas 3:17]. And so keep in the worship of God, in the new covenant, in the spirit, and in the truth; which the devil, that foul spirit who is out of the truth [John 8:44], cannot get into, nor his company: and so in the seed of life, which bruiseth the head of the serpent [Gen 3:15], all dwell, and sit down, who is the Amen [Rev 3:14], the first and last [Rev 22:13], in whom you have peace with God; and then nothing can get between you and the Lord God.
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[CCCL. (350) — To the Yearly Meeting in Yorkshire.]
Friends,—Know what the Lord doth require of you, and all have a sense of that in yourselves, that he doth require; which is, ‘to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with God [Mic 6:8].’ Now, the Lord who is merciful and just, holy and righteous, pure and perfect, he doth require, that man and woman should do justly and righteously, and live godlily and holily, by the holy light, and spirit, and truth, and grace, that the Lord hath given every man and woman to profit withal [1 Cor 12:7]. And so, to answer the holy, pure, righteous, just God of truth [Psa 31:5], in all their lives, and words, and conversations; and so, to glorify him upon the earth. And the more the Lord gives, the more he requireth [Luke 12:48]; and the less that he giveth, the less he requireth. But the Lord requireth of every man and woman as he giveth, who will judge the world in righteousness [Psa 96:13], by the man Christ Jesus, according to the gospel, the power of God [Rom 1:16], that is preached to every creature under heaven [Col 1:23]; that is, according to the invisible power; manifesting, that there is something of the invisible power of God in every man and woman. So, here the Lord Jesus Christ doth not judge according to the hearing of the ear, and to the seeing of the eye [Isa 11:3]; for with righteousness shall he judge you, according to the light, which is the life in the word, Christ, with which he doth enlighten every man that cometh into the world [John 1:9], to the salvation of them that believe in it, and the condemnation of them that do hate it [John 3:19f], and that will not receive the gospel, nor the grace, which bringeth salvation, which hath appeared to all men [Tit 2:11], but walk despitefully against the spirit of grace [Heb 10:29], and turn it into wantonness [Jude 1:4]. So, according to his grace, and light, and gospel, will the righteous God judge the world in righteousness, by Christ, the heavenly and spiritual man [1 Cor 15:47], who hath died for the sins of the world [1 Cor 15:3/1Jn 2:2]; though they deny him that bought them [2 Pet 2:1], and tasted death for every man [Heb 2:9]. Such deserve his judgment.
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Send this abroad among Friends, to be read in their meetings.
Swarthmore, the 11th month, 1678.
All my dear friends and brethren, who are gathered by the light, grace, and truth, and power, and spirit of Jesus Christ, to him, the head over all, by whom were all things created, the first-born of every creature, [Col 1:15] and the first-begotten from the dead [Rev 1:5], know him, and the power of his resurrection, that you all may be partakers of it, and of life everlasting, and may sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus [Eph 2:6], who is over all, the first and last [Rev 22:13]. And in him you have peace, who is not of this world; for in this world there is trouble [John 16:33/8:23]. And the world did and doth hate Christ [John 7:17/15:18], yea, and his light [John 3:20], grace, truth, power, and spirit; and therefore it is no marvel if the world do hate Christ's members [1 Jn 3:13], that do follow him in his light, grace, truth, power, and spirit; and so with it receive him into them, their life and salvation. And so he that hath the son of God hath life [1 Jn 5:12]; who is the fountain that filleth all that wait upon him, with his heavenly blessings and riches of life, from Christ the rock and foundation, that cannot be shaken [Luke 6:48], though the rocks and foundations of the world may be shaken, and cloven in pieces, and the pillars of the earth may reel and stagger [Job 9:6], and all hypocrites and sinners may fear [Isa 33:14]; but they that fear the Lord, and wait upon him, shall be as Mount Sion, that cannot be removed [Psa 125:1]; for the Lord's power is over all, by which he keeps his people to the day of salvation [Isa 49:8, 2 Cor 6:2].
And therefore, all you that have this keeper, the power of the Lord, through faith [1 Pet 1:5] unto the day of life and salvation, need none of the slumbering keepers or watchers; for the Lord was the keeper of Israel, who neither slumbered nor slept [Psa 121:4], till Israel forsook the Lord, and then they set up slumbering and sleepy watchers and keepers; like the apostate christians, who have forsaken the power of God to keep them, and then they are soon forsaken.
And therefore, friends, you that do know the power of God, in which the kingdom of God stands [1 Cor 4:20], you know your keeper, through the faith which Jesus Christ is the author of [Heb 12:2], which stands in his power, and not in words [1 Cor 4:20]; and so your faith standing in his power, it will keep you out of the words of men's wisdom [1 Cor 2:4,13], and above them.
And the golden lamp [Exo 35:21] in your tabernacle, all are to have to burn with the heavenly oil, which you have from Christ your high priest [Heb 6:20, etc], being returned to him, the great shepherd and bishop of your souls [1 Pet 2:25], who will bring you, his sheep, into his safe fold [John 10:16]; who gives unto his sheep eternal life, and his sheep shall not perish, neither shall any pluck them out of his hand [John 10:28]. Though men may pluck hypocrites and apostates one from another; but Christ saith, ‘no man is able to pluck his sheep out of <151> his Father's hand [John 10:29].’ And therefore, all feel the hand that hath brought you out of spiritual Egypt [Rev 11:8], where Christ hath been crucified, to Christ, in his new covenant of light and life, as the Jews were brought out of Egypt in the old covenant, which Christ hath abolished, and makes all things new [Rev 21:5]; so that all may be grounded on him, who was the foundation of all the holy prophets and apostles [Eph 2:20], and of all the holy men of God to this day.
And therefore, consider who it is that abides in the tabernacle of God, and dwells in his holy hill; it is the faithful and the upright [Psa 15:1f], which holy hill is a safe place for all the upright. As the Lord said, ‘in the last days the mountain of the Lord's house should be established on the top of the mountains, and should be exalted above the hills, and all nations should flow unto this established house [Isa 2:2].’ And here the Lord does teach his people that come up to the mountain of the house of the God of Jacob. So all mountains, houses, hills, and teaching will be shaken, but the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the last days, as the prophet said, which are the days of Christ.
Is not this the stone that became a great mountain, and fills the whole earth, which smote and broke to pieces the iron, clay, brass, silver, and gold image, or monarchs, which were as mountains [Dan 2:35]? And this stone which becomes a great mountain, sets up a kingdom which shall never have an end [Luke 1:33]. Is not this the kingdom of Christ, which Christ saith, ‘Except a man be born again he can neither see the kingdom of God, nor enter into it [John 3:3,5].’
And therefore, friends, all you that do know his kingdom that stands in power, in peace, and joy in the holy ghost [1 Cor 4:20/Rom 14:17], over the power of the evil, and all the unclean ghosts, which keeps them in their first birth, and leads them into all evil, as the holy ghost leads them into all truth [John 16:13].
And so, dear friends and brethren, know this rock, this stone, this foundation, the house of God, that is established upon the Lord's mountain, above all other houses, hills, mountains, and teachings in the world, where God doth teach his people, and establish them upon Christ Jesus, the living rock and foundation, and living way. And so though there may be troubles without, and troubles within; yet if you wait upon the Lord, he will renew your strength [Isa 40:31].
And the children of God they are set for signs and wonders; for as it is said, ‘Lo, the children that thou hast given me, they are for signs and wonders [Isa 8:18].’
And therefore, friends, keep your habitation in Christ Jesus, in whom you have peace; for all the rude talkers, and vain disputers, and janglers, which canker and rust, go out of the peaceable truth; and that which is torn, and dies of itself, must not be fed upon [Lev 22:8], but the life must be fed upon, which gives you life eternal.
And the Lord did not build his Zion, and outward Jerusalem, with blood, in the old covenant; for they that did build their Zion and Jerusalem with blood, made their Zion a field, and their Jerusalem a heap [Mic 3:12]; so if this practice was forbidden in the old covenant, much more in the new, who think to build Zion and Jerusalem with blood and iniquity [Mic 3:10]; for such have not been Zion's children, nor Jerusalem's, that is from above, who shed men's blood concerning religion, church, and worship; for Christ rebuked such that would have had men's lives destroyed, and told them, ‘they knew not what spirit they were of [Luke 9:55];’ so they that do not know what spirit they are of, they are not like to build up God's Zion and Jerusalem.
For Christ said, ‘He came to save men's lives, and not to destroy them [Luke 9:56]; for the world's god was the destroyer of men's lives, but Christ came to destroy him and his works [Heb 2:14/1 Jn 3:8], and to save men's lives and souls also.
And so, dear friends, let the love of God, which is shed abroad in your hearts [Rom 5:5], cast out all fear [1 Jn 4:18]. And keep in the name of Jesus, in which you are gathered [Mat 18:20], which is above every name under the whole heaven [Phil 2:9/Acts 4:12], in whom you have life and salvation, and his presence among you; whose name is a strong tower [Prov 18:10]; and Christ is a rock to hide yourselves in, and his spirit to cover you, which is a covering sufficient enough for you; ‘and wo will be to that spirit which is covered, but not with his spirit [Isa 30:1];’ they may fly to the rocks and mountains to cover and hide them, which will not be sufficient; for the rocks will rend, and the mountains will be removed; such may run down into spiritual Egypt [Rev 11:8] for strength, where Christ was crucified, like the Jews in the old covenant, that ran into outward Egypt from his spirit, but all was in vain.
And therefore, trust in the Lord, who has preserved you by his glorious light and power to this day, that you may be settled upon the seed Christ Jesus, which is over all that, within and without, that is contrary to it, and bruiseth the head of the serpent [Gen 3:15], that hath been between you and God. So that in Christ the seed you have peace with the Lord God, life, and dominion, and election, and salvation, who redeems out of the curse, and fear of men, or that makes the arm of flesh his strength [Jer 17:5], and not the arm of God; and therefore the arm of the Lord being your strength, Christ your rock and salvation, then you need not fear what man can do unto you; for all God's children are dear and tender to him, whom he hath begotten again [1 Pet 1:3] by the word of God to be heirs of his kingdom [Jas 2:5]; he feeds them with life eternal, and the milk of his word [1 Pet 2:2], which word lives, and abides, and endures for ever [1 Pet 1:23], and is always full and plenteous of milk, and nourishes all God's children unto eternal life, and to inherit his kingdom, and the world which is everlasting, which Christ is the ruler of, (the heavenly and spiritual <153> man,) and therefore they that are in him, must be new creatures [2 Cor 5:17]; for all the old creatures are in old Adam.
And therefore my desires are, that you may all be settled in Christ Jesus, who was dead and is alive again, and lives for evermore [Rev 1:18], a prophet, counsellor, priest, bishop, and shepherd, a circumciser and baptizer, a living rock and foundation for evermore, the beginning and ending, the first and last [Rev 22:13], the Amen [Rev 3:14]; sit down in him, and he in you, in whom you have peace with God. Amen.
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Swarthmore, the 6th of the 12th month, 1678.
My dear friends, whose faces are set towards Zion [Jer 50:5], from this dunghill world of vanity and vexation of spirit [Eccl 1:14]; the glory, comfort, and pleasures of which pass away; they that have more or less of it, and that enter into it, enter into trouble; and when they are in it, it is a great trouble to come out of it, and to be a fool for Christ's sake [1 Cor 4:10], who is not of this world [John 8:23], but of the world that hath no end. And therefore you must believe in the light [John 12:36], grace, and truth that cometh from him, in the inward parts [Psa 51:6] or heart, which directeth your minds to Christ, from whence this comes, and to unite to him that is heavenly, who saith, ‘seek the kingdom of God first,’ and the righteousness of his kingdom, then all outward things will be added to them [Mat 6:33] that have found the kingdom of God, that stands in righteousness over unrighteousness; and it stands in the power of God, over the power of the devil, and was before he was, and it standeth in peace and joy in the holy ghost [Rom 14:18/1 Cor 4:20], over all the unclean ghosts, or unholy spirits; and the good seed are the children of this kingdom [Mat 13:38], which is everlasting [Dan 4:3].
And take heed of your wills, and give not way to them, but give way to the power and spirit of God, which crucifieth it, and keeps it under the cross of Christ; so that your inward man may be renewed [2 Cor 4:16], and the old Adam put off, so that the daylight of Jesus Christ may be seen, which Abraham rejoiced to see [John 8:56], and so do they that be of the faith of Abraham [Rom 4:16], which faith is the gift of God [Eph 2:8], that see the sun of righteousness [Mal 4:2] shine in their hearts [2 Cor 4:6], to nourish that which God hath there planted, who watereth it with the living water of the word, his living plant. And here is water in your own wells, that you may drink out of your own wells or cisterns [Prov 5:15], and to have grapes off their own vines, from which they may have the new wine in their new bottles [Mat 9:17], to glad and cheer their hearts with the wine from the heavenly branch of the heavenly vine, of which the Lord is the husbandman [John 15:1]; and this must every one of God's people feel.
What is the matter that all the world is of so many ways since the <154> apostles' days? Because they are out of Christ, the way, the new and living way [Heb 10:20], (which is over all the dead ways,) which was set up above sixteen hundred years ago.
And why have they so many religions? Because they are out of the pure and undefiled religion before God, which was set up above sixteen hundred years ago, which religion keeps from the spots of the world [Jas 1:27]; and then this religion must be above the world, that keepeth from the spots of it; and they that are gone from this religion, into those of their own making, and tell people, they must not be perfect here, and must carry a body of death [Rom 7:24] with them to the grave: and others say, that they must have a purgatory when they are dead; this doctrine is contrary to the apostles, who said, that ‘they were cleansed by the blood of Jesus, and washed by the water of the word [1 Jn 1:7/Eph 5:26];’ and this blood and water God's people must feel the effects of within, to wash and cleanse their hearts, souls, minds, and consciences; ‘their hearts and consciences being sprinkled (as the apostle saith) with the blood of Jesus from their dead works, to serve the living God [Heb 9:13f/10:22]:’ for many may talk of the blood of Jesus without them in their dead works, not serving the living God, their hearts and consciences being not sprinkled with the blood of Jesus; and they must feel it within as well as without. And if they have life, they eat his flesh and drink his blood [John 6:54], if they do live by him that is heavenly and spiritual, the second Adam, the Lord from heaven [1 Cor 15:45/47]: for they have drunk long enough into old Adam's unclean spirit, which is the cause that there are so many bodies, that they do vex and quench the good spirit [Isa 63:10/1 Th 5:19/Neh 9:20], and resist the holy ghost [Acts 7:51], which should baptize them all into one body [1 Cor 12:13]; that is to plunge down all sin and evil that is got up by transgression, and burn that up which is chaff [Mat 3:12] or corruption, and so to drink into one spirit [1 Cor 12:13], as the apostles and churches did in the primitive times, and so to have the same fellowship and unity in the holy spirit of Christ, as they had, to wit, in Christ Jesus, who was, and is, the holy head of his church [Col 1:18], his elect in him. And Jerusalem, that is above, is the mother of all such [Gal 4:26]; and such do worship God, as Christ taught above sixteen hundred years ago, in spirit and in truth [John 4:24].
So all must come to the spirit and the truth in their hearts and souls, if they do know the God of truth [Psa 31:5], who is a spirit, and must worship him in spirit and in the truth; into which holy spirit and truth the unclean spirit, and him that is out of truth [John 8:44], cannot come. So all will-worshippers [Col 2:23], and the dragon, and beast, and false worshippers [Rev 13:4], are out of this holy spirit and truth, in which the pure and holy God is worshipped; and as all that did eat of the passover in the old covenant were to be circumcised in the flesh, so are all in the new covenant to be circumcised with the spirit [Rom 2:28f], by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh [Col 2:11], that came upon man by transgression, if they will feed on Christ their <155> heavenly sacrifice. For the old covenant of circumcision was held in the flesh, and then they did feed upon the natural sacrifices; but the new covenant is held in the grace, light, and spirit, by which they are circumcised, and so do feed on their heavenly sacrifice: for in the old covenant they were not to eat the blood of beasts, or any blood [Lev 17:14]; but in the new covenant Christ tells you, ‘Except ye do eat my flesh, and drink my blood, ye have no part in me ‘[John 6:53/13:8]:’ for as by Adam and Eve, their eating that which God forbad, came death; so if Adam and Eve's sons and daughters have life again, it is by eating of that which Christ commands; and as by eating came death, so by eating cometh life, and not by talking; no, not by talking of the son of God; for all reprobates may do so; for the apostle saith, ‘If Christ be not in you, ye are reprobates [2 Cor 13:5];’ and ‘He that hath not the son of God, hath not life;’ and ‘He that hath the son of God, hath life [1 Jn 5:12].’ And the saints did confess the son of God was come, and had given them an understanding, and they were in him, and they were to walk as he walked [1 Jn 2:6], and not only to talk as he talked: for there are too many talkers, and few walkers in Christ; my desire is there may be more.
And the Lord God Almighty strengthen you in your inward man [Eph 3:16], and over all give you dominion in the seed of life, which bruiseth the head of the serpent [Gen 3:15], (that brought death and a curse,) and this seed bringeth the blessings, in which all nations are blessed [Gal 3:8]; and out of this seed they are not blessed, though they may profess all the words of this good seed; and if they are not in it, they have not the blessing in it; and they that be in this, their blessings and peace flow as a river [Isa 48:18, 66;12] from the rock and foundation of life, that standeth sure [2 Tim 2:19], which all the prophets, apostles, and sanctified ones did and do build upon [Eph 2:20], who is their life and salvation.
So feel the stone that is cut out of the mountain without hands, which must become a great mountain, and fill the whole earth [Dan 2:35], which hath a kingdom that is everlasting [Dan 4:3], which, except a man be born again, he neither can see it, nor enter into his kingdom [John 3:3,5].
And my desire is, that you (in your measures) may be preserved to the Lord, and know what he doth require of you, ‘To love mercy, to do justice, and to walk humbly with God [Mic 6:8];’ for the more he giveth, the more he requires [Luke 12:48]; and the less that he gives, the less he requires; who will judge the world in righteousness [Psa 96:13] according to the gospel preached in every creature [Col 1:13], showing that there is something of God in every creature that shall answer his judgment. And therefore my desire is, that all may be faithful to what the Lord hath made known unto them by his grace and truth, light, power, and spirit, and then the Lord will supply them with more; to whom be glory and praise, who is the creator of all, through Jesus Christ, by whom all things were made [John 1:3]. Amen.