Dear friends, go not out from your habitation [Jude 1:6], but keep in your heavenly habitation, in the spirit of grace and truth, and the gospel, the power of God [Rom 1:16], and the holy divine faith you will feel in your habitation Christ Jesus; for all storms and tempests, and clouds of darkness, and the tempter with his temptations, you will see without. And therefore keep in your habitation Christ Jesus; there you are safe, and there you have your heavenly weapons and armour, to war with him and his followers, that is out of the truth, to wit, the devil [John 8:44]; whom Christ destroys, and his works [Heb 2:14/1 Jn 3:8]; and Christ reconciles to God all things in heaven and in the earth [Col 1:20]. And so all that are reconciled do feed upon the milk of the word [1 Pet 2:2], by which word all things were made [John 1:3], and by this word all things are upheld [Heb 1:3], and by this word all things do increase, and by it all things have their virtue and their being, and man and woman come to feed upon the virtue of the creatures; and man and woman are sanctified by the word; and by the word all things are sanctified to them [1 Tim 4:4f?]; by which <283> word all things are reconciled [2 Cor 5:19], all things in heaven, and all things in the earth. And so, ‘man liveth not by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God [Deut 8:3].’ And he that reads the scriptures of truth [Dan 10:21], and understands them, he must have Christ Jesus in him, who is the substance of them. For if Christ Jesus be not in you, the apostle saith, you are reprobates [2 Cor 13:5].
And is not Christ the substance or body of divinity [Col 2:17]? And if men that are unlearned in natural language and tongues, have Christ Jesus the substance, do not they come to know the body of divinity? . . .
For the apostle saith, ‘The natural man receiveth not the things of the spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned [1 Cor 2:14] .’ And again the apostle saith, ‘The things of God knoweth no man, but the spirit of God [1 Cor 2:11].’ So it is clear, ‘the things of God are revealed and discerned by the spirit of God.’ 1 Cor. ii. 10, 11.14.
And the apostle saith, ‘The world by wisdom knew not God [1 Cor 1:21],’ nor yet by their wisdom do they know God. Therefore the christian's faith is not to stand in the wisdom of men, &c. by which they do not know God; but in the power of God. And the apostle saith, ‘We speak the wisdom of God in a mystery; even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world to our glory [1 Cor 2:7],’ who receive it. 1 Cor. i. 21. and ii. 7. And so in the wisdom of God, which was before the world and its wisdom was, the living God is known. And the beginning of this wisdom is the fear of God; and the fear of God is to depart from evil [Psa 111:10/Job 28:28].
And so to all the true believers and christians that are called in Christ by his grace and truth, Christ is made unto them, the power of God, and the wisdom of God, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption [1 Cor 1:24/30]; as in 1 Cor. i. 24.30. . . . <284>
The apostle saith, ‘If any man be in Christ Jesus, he is a new creature; old things are past away: behold, all things are become new [2 Cor 5:17].’ And Christ saith, ‘Behold, I make all things new [Rev 21:5].’ 2 Cor. v. 17.Rev. xxi. 5.
Are not the old things in the old testament, and the old covenant, which Christ abolishes and doth away? And is not outward circumcision, and all outward offerings and sacrifices, and the blood of bulls, goats, lambs, and other creatures [Heb 9:12f], and the sprinkling of their blood, and cleansing with it; are not these old things, in the old testament and old covenant, abolished and done away by Christ in his new covenant and new testament?
And is not Aaron's priesthood, with his outward linen garments, and other garments, and bells, and outward precious stones, are not all these old things in the old covenant, abolished and done away by Christ in his new covenant, who is the precious corner stone [Isa 28:16]? And were not all the outward washings, and tabernacles, and sanctuaries, and temples, and all the surplices and fine linen of the priests' garments in the old testament, and old covenant, the old things which are done away and abolished by Christ Jesus?
And are not all the Jews' feasts, and new moons, and sabbaths [1 Chr 23:31; Hos 2:11], and holy days, and Aaron's priest's lips, which were to preserve people's knowledge [Mal 2:7], and the priests receiving tithes, and paying tithes to Aaron [Num 18:28]; are not all these old things, in the old covenant and old testament, held up by the law, which served till the seed Christ came [Gal 3:19], done away and abolished by Christ?
And Christ said to his disciples, ‘Learn of me [Mat 11:29]; freely ye have received, freely give [Mat 10:8],’ in his new testament. And so all these old things, held up by the old covenant and old testament, which old things and old covenant are decayed, and vanish and pass away, being abolished by Christ Jesus in his new covenant and new testament. All that be in Christ are new creatures, and they see old things are past away; and can say, ‘Behold, all things are become new’ to the new creatures in Christ. For to the new creature, Christ is the offering once for all [Heb 10:10]; and his blood giveth life [John 6:54] in the new testament and new covenant; and taking oaths and swearing to the Lord, and performing them to the Lord, this was in the old time, in the old covenant and testament; and Christ hath abolished that law and covenant, and those old things that were in the old time. And in his new covenant and new testament, he <285> saith, ‘Swear not at all; but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay. Whatsoever is more than these, cometh of evil [Mat 5:34,37].’
And in the new covenant and new testament, circumcision is of the spirit [Rom 2:29], and the children of the new covenant, their bodies are the temples of the living God [1 Cor 6:19/2 Cor 6:16]; and none are saved or justified by the works and righteousness of the law in the old covenant, but by the faith of Christ [Gal 2:16] and his righteousness.
And so all the figures, shadows, and types, in the old testament and covenant, Christ the substance is come [Col 2:17], and abolishes them, and doth them away; and he saith, ‘Behold, I make all things new.’ So the new creature in Christ Jesus, seeth the old things are passed away, and all things are become new. So the new creature is the new bottle, that holds the new wine, he hath the new garments; and a piece of new cloth must not be sewed in the old garment [Mat 9:16f]. So the old garments, and old bottles, and old wine, must be kept distinct from the new garments, and new cloth, and new bottles, and new wine. So the new covenant and new testament, is distinct from the old covenant and old testament. The new and living way [Heb 10:20] in the new testament and new covenant, is distinct from the way in the old testament and old covenant; and the new creatures in Christ Jesus, behold all things are become new to them; and see that the old things are past away from them. Here is a distinction betwixt the new creatures and the old creatures, that cry up the old things, and live in them; and the new, that cry up the new, and live in them.
And in the old testament, the outward Jews defended their religion by carnal weapons, and outward armour; but in the new testament, the children of the new covenant, their armour and weapons are spiritual, not carnal [2 Cor 10:4].
And in the old testament, and old covenant, there was a tribe of priests that offered up outward offerings and sacrifices; but in the new testament, the children of the new covenant are called, ‘a spiritual household, and a royal and a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ [1 Pet 2:5/9].’
And in the old testament, and the old covenant, the priesthood was made by the law of a carnal commandment; but Christ, our high priest, in the testament, was made after the power of an endless life [Heb 7:16]. And the high priest in the old testament entered into the outward sanctuary, called, the holy place, made with hands [Ezek 45:3/Heb 9:24]; which priesthood and sanctuary is abolished and done away by Christ. But Christ in his new testament, is entered into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God [Heb 9:24], for the children of the new testament, who do praise God through Jesus Christ their mediator, who makes their peace betwixt them and God [1 Tim 2:5]; for he that sitteth on the throne, maketh all things new and reconciles to God. <286> The temple built by Solomon, was partly a figure of Christ, and partly of his church. For, when Christ suffered the temple of his holy body to be destroyed, and was raised again from the dead [John 2:19], John ii. 19. then Christ raised up us the christian church; which is the true spiritual house and temple wherein God dwelleth [2 Cor 6:16]. 1 Cor. vi. 19.
And Isaiah the prophet, and also the apostle, speaking of Christ's sufferings, say, in Isaiah liii. and Acts viii. 33. how that the Lord should make Christ's soul an offering for sin [Isa 53:10], who poured out his soul unto death [Isa 53:12]; and the prophet saith, ‘who shall declare his generation? [Isa 53:8, Acts 8:33]’ Yet the prophet saith, ‘He shall see his seed [Isa 53:10],’ namely, Christ; and did not Christ see his seed, his faithful apostles and disciples? And the apostle saith, ‘For both he that sanctifieth, (namely, Christ,) and they who are sanctified, are all of one; for which cause Christ is not ashamed to call them brethren [Heb 2:11].’ So then they are of his seed, who can preach Christ, and can declare his heavenly and holy generation.
And again he saith, ‘I will declare thy name among my brethren [Heb 2:12].’ So here Christ calleth his believers his brethren; and again he saith, ‘Behold, I, and the children which God hath given me, are for signs and for wonders in Israel [Isa 8:18];’ so they are now to all outward professors without possession. Isaiah viii. 18. and Heb. ii. 11.
And Isaiah saith, ‘The Lord himself shall give you a sign, (namely, the outward Jews.) Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Emmanuel [Isa 7:14].’ Isaiah vii. 14.Matt. i. 23.
This Christ, the Emmanuel, God with us [Mat 1:23], he was a sign to the Jews, and a wonder, when he came; and he is a sign and a wonder to all outward professors of the scripture, without possession, where he is revealed and manifest in his people; for he saith, ‘Behold, I, and the children whom the Lord hath given me, are for signs and for wonders in Israel.’ So where Christ, the son of God, is revealed in his people, and they come to be of his seed, brethren, and generation, and declare his generation, they are for signs, and for wonders, and for gazing-stocks [Heb 10:33] to all the outward professors of God, and Christ, and the prophets and apostles, without the possession of their life and spirit.
And the apostle saith, ‘That Abraham was called a friend of God [Jas 2:23].’ James ii. 24. And Christ saith to his disciples, ‘Ye are my friends, if ye do whatever I command. Henceforth I call you not servants, for the servant knoweth not what his Lord doth. But I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you [John 15:14f]. Here Christ called his disciples sometimes friends, and sometimes brethren, as before; as in John xv. 19. and Heb. ii. 11, 12.
And as many as received Christ, to them he gave power to become the sons of God; even to them that believe on his name; ‘which were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, <287> but of God [John 1:12f].’ John i. 12, 13. These are they that declared the generations of Christ.
And John saith, ‘Behold, (or take notice,) what manner of love the Father bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God. Beloved, now we are the sons of God; therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not [1 Jn 3:1f].’ 1 John iii. 1, 2. Here you may see the world knoweth not God, nor his sons. So it is no marvel, if the world that lieth in wickedness [1 Jn 5:19], be haters of God and haters of his son, and sons [1 Jn 3:13], but ‘greater is he that is in God's sons and daughters, than he that is in the world [1 Jn 4:4];’ by which they do overcome the world, as in 1 John iv. 4.
And the Lord said to Job, ‘When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy [Job 38:7].’ Job xxxviii. 7. There was cause of joy to hear that heavenly harmony. ‘And God hath anointed Christ with the oil of gladness above his fellows [Psa 45:7].’ Heb. i. 9.
‘Moses was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of these things which were to be spoken after, (namely, the substance, Christ,) but Christ as a son is over his house, whose we are [Heb 3:5f],’ (namely, that are the sons and children of God,) as in Heb. iii. 5, 6. So here is a distinction betwixt the servant's house, Moses; and the son's house, Christ Jesus.
And Christ said, ‘While ye have the light, believe in the light, that ye may become children of the light [John 12:36];’ as in John xii. 36. So the way to become the children of the light, is to believe in the light.
And the apostle saith to the Ephesians, chap. v. 8. ‘Ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord;’ walk as children of the light [Eph 5:8].
And again, the apostle writeth to the Thessalonians, ‘Ye are all children of the light, and children of the day; we are not of the night, nor of darkness [1 Th 5:5].’ 1 Thess. v. 5. These were the believers in the light, that were become children of the light, and day of Christ. And Christ said unto such, ‘Ye are the light of the world, and a city set on a hill, that cannot be hid [Mat 5:14];’ and such are to be blameless and harmless, ‘the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world [Phil 2:15].’ Philip. ii. 15. For as the prophet saith in Isa. liv. 13. and Christ saith in John vi. 45. ‘All thy children shall be taught of the Lord, and great shall be the peace of thy children; in righteousness shall they be established [Isa 54:13f].’
And the apostle saith, ‘As many as are led by the spirit of God, they are the sons of God [Rom 8:14]; the spirit itself beareth witness with our spirits that we are the children of God; and if children, then heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together [Rom 8:16f], namely, with Christ.’ Rom. viii. 14.16, 17.
Here you may see the sons of God are heirs of God, and joint heirs <288> with Christ; such can declare of his generation; for they which are children of the flesh, these are not the children of God, nor cannot in truth declare of Christ's generation; but the children of the promise are counted for the seed [Rom 9:8], as in Rom. ix. 8. For Christ saith to ‘Nicodemus, except a man be born again of water and the spirit, he cannot see the kingdom of God, nor enter into it: that which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the spirit is spirit [John 3:3,5f].’ John iii. 3. 5, 6. ‘For he that is born of the spirit is persecuted by him that is born of the flesh [Gal 4:29];’ and Jerusalem, that is above, is the mother of all [Gal 4:26] them that are born of the spirit; and so are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus [Gal 3:26], as in Gal. iii. 26. and iv. 26. So as the apostle saith to the church of Ephesians, chap. iii. 6. ‘That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel [Eph 3:6], who were built together for a habitation of God through the spirit [Eph 2:22].’ Eph. ii. 22.
‘And God hath chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom, which he hath promised to them that love him [Jas 2:5];’ as in James ii. 5.
Christ said, ‘He that soweth the seed is the son of man, the field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom, but the tares are the children of the wicked one, the enemy that soweth them is the devil [Mat 13:37-39].’ Matt. xiii. 37, 38, 39. Here Christ maketh a distinction betwixt the two seeds and the two sowers; and the good seed are the children of the kingdom of God, but the bad seed must be cast into the fire, which are the children of the wicked one. And Christ said in Luke viii. 11. ‘The seed is the word of God [Luke 8:11].’
And Peter saith, ‘Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth, and abideth, and endureth for ever [1 Pet 1:23];’ such feed upon the milk of the word [1 Pet 2:2], and grow thereby. 1 Pet. i. 23. and ii. 2.
And John saith, ‘Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him, and he cannot sin, because he is born of God; in this the children of God are manifest from the children of the devil [1 Jn 3:9];’ and in this the true birth is manifest, and this seed and birth knows the kingdom of Christ, and declares of his generation, who is built upon him the heavenly rock and foundation; for Jesus Christ our saviour abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light [2 Tim 1:10], through his glorious everlasting gospel, the power of God [Rev 14:6/Rom 1:16]. 2 Tim. i. 10.
And the apostle saith, ‘The law served, and it was added because of transgression, till the seed should come [Gal 3:19],’ namely, Christ. Gal. iii. 19. And now Christ the seedsman is come, who is the end of the law, for righteousness’ sake, to every one that believes [Rom 10:4]; and they that believe are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. <289>
And the Lord said to Abraham, ‘In thy seed shall all the kindreds (or all the families) of the earth be blessed [Gen 12:3].’ Acts iii. 25.Gen. xii. 3. Acts vii. 6. And this is the seed that sojourned in a strange land, and they that did evilly entreat this seed, and bring it into bondage, God did judge [Acts 7:6f]. And the promises of God are sure to all the seed [Rom 4:16], as in Rom. iv. 16. And ‘the children of the promise are counted for the seed; for these are the children of the kingdom [Rom 9:8],’ as in Rom. ix. 8.
‘And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with her seed, which kept the command of God, and had (and have) the testimony of Jesus [Rev 12:17].’ Rev. xii. 17.
Now here you may see it is against the seed, which keeps the command of God, and testimony of Jesus, the dragon maketh war; but Christ, the seed of the woman, bruises the serpent's head [Gen 3:15]; for the Lord saith, ‘I will pour out my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thy offspring [Isa 44:3].’ Isa. xliv. 3. All who are in the seed know God's spirit and blessings. And the Lord said, ‘My words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed's seed [Isa 59:21].’ Now is not this the seed in which all nations are blessed, in whose mouth God's word remains? As in Isaiah lix. 21.
And are not these the children of the seed, which are the children of the kingdom of God.
And the Lord said concerning Christ, ‘Ask of me, and I will give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron, thou shalt dash them to pieces like a potter's vessel [Psa 2:8f].’ Psalm ii. 8, 9.
And the great image of gold, silver, brass, iron, and clay, spoken of in Daniel, which was broken to pieces by Christ the stone, and became like the chaff of the summer thrashing-floor, and the wind carried them away, and no place was found for them; and the stone that smote this image, ‘became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth [Dan 2:35]:’ (Dan. 2.) is not this Christ Jesus, who hath all power in heaven and earth given to him [Mat 28:18], that he filleth the whole earth with his divinity? to whom God ‘gave the heathen for an inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for his possession; and his seed doth inherit the Gentiles [Isa 54:3].’ Isa. liv. . . . They that are the children of the kingdom see this, and know Christ to rule in their hearts, and sit down <290> in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus [Eph 2:6], who is the first and last, the beginning and ending [Rev 22:13], by whom all things were made [John 1:3].
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Dear friends, in Holland, Friesland, Hamborough, Frederickstadt, Dantzic, Palatinate, and all other places thereaway, where God's truth and ensign are set up [Isa 11:12]; peace, grace, and truth be multiplied [1 Pet 1:2] among you from God the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ, the fountain of all life, peace, grace, and heavenly wisdom, and understanding; and the God of all power and peace, through our Lord Jesus Christ, fill you with it, and his heavenly riches, and that you may all walk worthy of his heavenly calling [Eph 4:1/Phil 3:14], in all holiness, righteousness, and godliness, &c. in life and conversation, and that by the word of life [1 Jn 1:1] and patience [Rev 3:10], you may answer the truth in all both high and low; so that you may be of good savour to God in the hearts of all people.
For you know there is no other way to God but by Christ Jesus [John 14:6]; and you know, that God has raised up Christ to be a prophet in his new testament to be heard in all things [Acts 3:22]; and you know, ‘he opens, and none can shut, and he shuts and none can open [Rev 3:7];’ and you know, that Christ is the bishop of your souls, to oversee, that you do not go astray from God [1 Pet 2:25]. And you know that Christ is the true shepherd, and has laid down his life for his sheep [John 10:15], ‘and they know his voice, and they follow him, and he gives them life eternal [John 10:27f].’ And also you know, that Christ is your high priest, made higher than the heavens [Heb 7:27], by the power of an endless life [Heb 7:16], and by him you are made a spiritual priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices to God [1 Pet 2:5].
And as for our Yearly Meeting, the presence of the eternal God was amongst us, and his glory, which shines over all; and all was quiet and peaceable; and it was the Lord's doing [Psa 118:23], blessed be his name for ever. . . .
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London, the 10th of the 4th month, 1685.
Dear friends,—I am glad to hear of the good Yearly Meeting at Rhode Island, and that the Lord's power and presence were there <291> among you; and it would be very well to visit the generation of the righteous [Psa 14:5], and to see how their seed and vines do grow in their heavenly vineyards and plantations, and what heavenly riches they have laid up in store [Mat 6:20] in God's kingdom, and to see how the wheat is gathered into God's garner [Mat 3:12]; and that all keep in the worship that Christ set up in his spirit and truth [John 4:24]; and that all walk in the new and living way [Heb 10:20], over all the dead ways in the world; and that all walk in the pure, undefiled religion, that keeps from the spots of the world [Jas 1:27]; and to see that all are guided in the pure and gentle wisdom that is easy to be entreated [Jas 3:17], and in the love of God that can bear all things [1 Cor 13:7]; by which all peevish, short, and brittle spirits may be kept down; so that all may have their good conversation in Christ Jesus, all striving for unity in the spirit [Eph 4:3], and the holy faith, that giveth and keepeth victory [1 Jn 5:4] over the enemy. And so that all may have a care of their minds running into the earth and carnal things; ‘for to be carnally-minded is death, but to be spiritually-minded is life and peace [Rom 8:6].’ And let all take heed of neglecting the gift of God [1 Tim 4:14], but stir up the pure mind [2 Pet 3:1] one in another; and the Lord, with his eternal arm and power, preserve you diligent in his heavenly work and service in his vineyard, that it may not grow over with briars, thorns, and thistles, to choak the tender plants [Mat 13:7,22].
And so my desires are, that you may live and walk in Christ Jesus, and that you may answer the truth in all the professors, and the heathen. And prize your liberty, both natural and spiritual, while you have it; and labour in the truth, while it is day [John 9:4]. Remember me to all Friends, as though I named them; and as for the state of Friends here, we are under great sufferings, and spoiling of goods, and imprisonments; and they have of late increased in spoiling of our goods; but God is all-sufficient, who doth support us. Glory to his name for ever. So, with my love in Christ Jesus, to you all, in whom you have all eternal rest and peace with God. Amen.
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Bednal-Green, the 10th of the 9th month, 1685.
Dear friends,—With my love to you all, and all the rest of Friends; I was glad to hear from you; but you gave me no account of the increase of truth amongst you, nor what meetings you have had amongst the Indian kings and their people abroad in the countries, and of your visiting Friends in New England, Virginia, and Carolina, nor of your travels and labours in the gospel; who have in all those countries, liberty to serve and worship God, and preach the truth. And I understand many have a desire to live in it, especially in Carolina; and you <292> who travel now from Friends, to Friends thither, it is thought strange that you do not visit them; therefore I desire that you may all improve your gifts and talents, and not hide them in a napkin, lest they be taken from you [Luke 19:20]; and not to put your candle under a bushel [Mat 5:15], lest it go out; and not to be like the foolish virgins, which kept their name of virgins, but neglected having oil in their lamps [Mat 25:3]. Such were not diligent in the work of God, nor in the concerns of the Lord, nor in their own particulars. And therefore my desires are, that you may all be diligent, serving the Lord and minding his glory, and the prosperity of his truth, this little time you have to live [1 Cor 7:29]; and be not like Adam in the earth, but use this world as though you did not use it [1 Cor 7:31]; for they that covet after this world, fall into divers snares and hurtful lusts [1 Tim 6:9]. And therefore consider, that you are but sojourners here [1 Chr 29:15], that you may pass your time in the fear of God; and you being many, and having many of the Friends of the ministry, going over into those parts, you may be a hinderance one unto another, if you do not travel in the life of the universal truth, that would have all men to be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth [1 Tim 2:4]. And if you would have them come to the knowledge of truth, let them know it, and where it is to be found. So I desire that you be valiant for it upon the earth [Jer 9:3], that you may give a good account unto God at the last with joy [Heb 13:17]. So, I desire that all Friends in the ministry may see this in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
And so with my love to you all in the holy seed of life that reigns over all. Amen.
G. F. Top
Enfield, the 30th of the 5th month, 1685.
Dear friends and brethren, in the Lord Jesus Christ, whom he hath gathered by his glorious hand and power to himself, who is the rock of ages, and the foundation of many generations, that cannot be shaken [Heb 12:27, Luke 6:48], in which you have all life, peace, rest, salvation, and eternal happiness.
Your epistle, dated the second of the Second-month, 1685, by order of your Yearly Meeting, signed in behalf of that meeting, was received and publicly read in our Yearly Meeting, and well accepted of in love and unity with the spirit that gave it forth. And Friends are very glad to hear, feel, and see your fellowship and unity in the Lord's blessed truth, and your communion in the holy ghost [2 Cor 13:14], and your care in the concerns of the holy, pure, peaceable truth. And how that you are, and have been preserved over those unruly spirits, that have been as trees without fruit [Jude 1:12[, and wells without water [2 Pet 1:17], inwardly ravening wolves, that have got the form of godliness, and the sheep's clothing [Mat 7:15/2 Tim 3:5], but are out of <293> the spirit, and power, and life of the sheep of Christ. And over such spirits, we praise God, that he hath given you dominion.
And our desire is, that you may all live and walk in Christ, and set down in him, in his grace and truth, and that you may answer the truth of God in all people with the word of life [1 Jn 1:1]; and also answer the good in all, with a godly, and a holy life and conversation.
And likewise all the magistrates and officers that are in power, you may answer the just principle in them all, and live in the spirit of supplication [Zech 12:10], and pray for all, that you may lead a righteous and a godly life under them all. So that God over all, and through you all, and by you all, may have the glory, the thanks, and the praise. To whom all is due, God blessed for ever. . . .
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London, the 10th day of the 7th month, 1685.
[CCCCVII. (407) — To Friends in Dantzic.]
The Lord God who created man and woman in his image [Gen 1:27], and after his likeness, in righteousness and holiness [Eph 4:24], he blessed them, and said unto them, be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over all cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing upon the earth, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth [Gen 1:28]. Gen. i.
Now, here you may see the power and authority that God gave unto man over all the earth, and the sea, and all things therein.
And now when Cain had done wickedly, and killed his brother about religion [Gen 4:3-8], the Lord told him, he was cursed from the earth; and when thou tillest the earth, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength [Gen 4:11f]. And then Cain said, it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me [Gen 4:14]. And then Cain went and built a city in the land of Nod [Gen 4:16f]. Gen. iv.
Now, here you may see what was the cause that the earth should not yield her strength after it was tilled; and of Cain's fear of being killed; and of building the city.
And John saith in his epistle, he that hateth his brother, is a murderer, or a man slayer; and no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him [1 Jn 3:15]. 1 John iii. 15. <295>
Now, here you may see that Cain and such murderers have not eternal life abiding in them; and then they are not like to have dominion, but be in fears and get into cities. But Abraham, who sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelt in tabernacles with Isaiah and Jacob, as heirs with him in the same promise; for he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God [Heb 11:9f].
So they looked above all the cities that were built by men in the land of promise; as in Heb. xi. 9, 10. For Abraham was in the faith, in which he pleased God [Heb 11:6] and had victory [1 Jn 5:4].
And the Lord God blessed Noah and his sons when they came out of the ark, and said unto them, be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth; and the fear of you and the dread of you, shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, and upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fish of the sea, into your hands are they delivered [Gen 9:1f]. Gen. ix.
Here again you may see that faithful Noah had power over all the creatures that God made upon the earth and in the sea, and they were delivered unto Noah and his sons' hands; and the Lord said unto the children of Israel, in Levit. xxvi. if that they were obedient, and kept his commandments, ‘he would give them their rain in due season, and the land should yield her increase, and the trees of the field should yield their fruit, and their thrashing should reach to their vintage, and their vintage unto their sowing time, and you shall eat your bread unto the full, and shall dwell in your land safely, (mark, safely,) and I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid; and I will rid evil beasts out of your land, neither shall the sword go through the land [Lev 26:4-6]: I will set my tabernacle among you, and my soul shall not abhor you; and I will walk among you, and will be your God, and you shall be my people [Lev 26:11f].’ This is to all them that are faithful, and obey and serve the Lord; but if you be disobedient, then see what fears, and judgments, and plagues, and sorrows come upon you. And the curse will come upon you, both in city and field, when thou goest out, and when thou comest in; and the curse will be in thy basket and in thy store, and the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy land, and the increase of thy flocks. And the Lord will send his vexations and rebukes upon all that thou sets thy hands unto; and the Lord will smite with consumptions and fevers, and blastings, and mildews, &c. and the heavens that are over their heads shall be iron; and the earth that is under thee shall be as brass; and the Lord shall make the rain of the land powder and dust [Deut 28:15-24]; thou shalt carry much seed into thy field, and shalt gather little; the locusts shall consume it; and thou shalt plant vineyards, and the worms shall eat them [Deut 28:38f], because thou hearkenest not to the voice of the Lord thy God to keep his commandments [Deut 28:45], &c. And because thou <296> servest not the Lord God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things the Lord thy God giveth thee; and therefore shalt thou serve thine enemies, which the Lord thy God shall send against thee, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all things. And thine enemy shall put a yoke of iron about thy neck [Deut 28:46-48], to yoke thee down: who will not bear the yoke of Christ [Mat 11:29], and doth not hearken to the Lord to serve and obey him. But they that diligently hearken to the Lord their God, and obey and serve him in truth and righteousness, he blesses them in the city, and in the field, and in their basket, and in their store house, and in all they set their hands to; and he blesses the fruit of their body, and the fruit of their ground, and the cattle, and their flocks [Deut 28:1-6]; and the Lord shall open his good treasure, the heavens to give them rain upon their land in his season, and to bless all the works of their hands, that thou mayst lend to other nations, and shalt not borrow [Deut 28:12]. And these are the blessings of them that hearken to the Lord, and serve him, as you may see in Deut. xxviii. the blessings that come upon the faithful, and the judgments upon the disobedient and unfaithful.
‘When God giveth quietness, who then can make trouble? &c. whether it be done against a nation, or against a man only [Job 34:29].’ Job. xxxiv. 29.
The Lord shall save the humble person; he shall deliver the island of the innocent; it is delivered by the pureness of thy hands [Job 22:29f].’ Job xxii. 29, 30.
Read this in all your assemblies, both in Pennsylvania and West Jersey.
Bednal Green, near London, the 4 th month, 1686.