The Missing Cross to Purity




Volume 6, The Works of George Fox, Doctrinal Books III, Continued

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An encouragement for all to trust in the Lord; who has the breath of all mankind, and their souls in his hand. And how that not a sparrow shall fall to the ground without the will of the Father.

—By George Fox

The Lord God breathed into man the breath of life, and man became a living soul.’ Gen 2:7. Job said, ‘In the Lord's hand is the soul of every living thing; and the breath of all mankind;’ Job 12:10, and is not his hand his power? And again Job said, ‘The spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty has given me life,’ Job 33:4. And David said, ‘The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord; by the word of the Lord, were the heavens made, and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth,’ Psa 33:6

And David says, ‘he trusted in the Lord, and his times were in his hand,’ Psa 31:14-15. So you may see how all things were made by the word, Christ Jesus, and who made them, namely, the Lord; and man's time is in the Lord's hand.

And the Lord God, ‘He that created the heavens and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which comes out of it; he gives breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to those who walk therein,’ Isa 42:5. And Job says, ‘God gathers to himself man's spirit and breath,’ Job 34:14. So God, that gives breath and spirit unto man, it is he that gathers his breath and spirit to himself again, who has all in his hand. And ‘the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and he delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down, for the Lord upholds him with his hand,’ Psa 37:23-24.  And David says, ‘O Lord, how manifold are your works! in wisdom hast you made them all; the earth is full of your riches; the great and wide seas, wherein are things creeping innumerable, both small and great beasts; these all wait upon you, that you may give them their food in due season; that you give them, they gather; you open your hand, and they are filled with good,’ Psa 104:24-28. So here you may see the Lord that created all, how he takes care for all, and gives them their meat in due season. And all that keep their mind to the Lord with his spirit, and so with it are acquainted, and his hand, whose breath is in his hand, they can say, ‘The Lord is my strength, and is become my salvation; and the voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tabernacle of the righteous;’ and can say, ‘The right hand of the Lord does valiantly, and is exalted,’ Psa 118:14-15.

So every man and woman's hope must be in the Lord, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all things therein, who keeps truth forever.

And further, David said, ‘Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help; his breath goes forth, he returns to the earth, in that very day his thoughts perish,’ Psa 146:3-4. Therefore, all are to trust in the Lord, in whose hand is their breath and life.

And Solomon, speaking of the Lord, in Pro 3 ‘how by his wisdom the Lord has founded the earth, and by his understanding established the heavens;’ said, ‘The length of days are in her right hand, and in her left hand is riches for evermore.’ Therefore, let this wisdom into your hearts, which cries in the streets, if you will have her riches and pleasure.

And you may see in Isaiah, how the Lord encourages his people that are sensible that they are the work of God's hand. He said, ‘That you may suck and be satisfied with the breasts of her consolations, that you may milk out, and be delighted with the abundance of her (namely Jerusalem's) glory. For thus said the Lord, Behold, I will extend peace unto her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles shall flow like a flowing stream: then shall you suck, you shall be borne and dandled upon her knees; as one whom his mother comforted, so will I comfort you, and you shall be comforted in Jerusalem. And when you see this, your hearts shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like an herb, and the hand of the Lord shall be known to his servants.’ Is not this the heavenly Jerusalem, the mother of all true Christians in the new covenant and new testament?

Now, the breath of all mankind is in the hand of the Lord, who made the world, and all things therein; ‘seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, he dwells not in temples made with hands,’ ... who gives breath and life to all things, as the apostle says, Acts 17:24-28, ‘And who has made of one blood all nations of men that dwell upon the face of the earth, that with his breath and life they should seek the Lord, and feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of them: for in him we live, and move, and have our being,’ as some of the heathen poets could say.

And now God that gives breath and life to all mankind, he commands all men, everywhere, to repent, that they might turn to him, serve and worship him, and praise him, who has created them, and takes care for them, both with his temporal and spiritual blessings; opens with his hand, his power, and fills with his blessings. For ‘God has appointed a day wherein he will judge the world in righteousness by Christ Jesus.

Now, all you that have erred from the spirit of God, and so from God, among the witches or fortune-tellers, that tell people when and how they shall die; such were forbidden, and judged by the Lord in the old testament, and not to be followed or hearkened to. But God, who gives breath and life to all mankind, who has their life and breath in his hand, and the length of their days; he said, ‘Look unto me all you ends of the earth, and be you saved.’ So with his breath and life they must look unto the Lord, from where it comes, and be saved. So he that gives them breath and life, is the Creator, and has their breath and life in his hand, and is the savior, from whom all have salvation; and they are to look unto the Lord for it, all the ends of the earth, through Jesus Christ.

And Christ said in his new testament, when he encourages his disciples, he tells them, ‘Fear God.. and be not afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.’

And again he said, ‘Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing, and not one of them is forgotten before God?’ And Mat 10:29-31 says, ‘Not one of them shall fall on the ground without the will of the Father. Fear you not therefore, you are of more value than many sparrows. For even the hairs of your head are all numbered.’ ‘Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven, and before the angels of God. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I deny before my Father, which is in heaven, and before the angels of God.’

Now here you may see what Christ said, that a sparrow shall not fall to the ground without the will of God; for not one of them is forgotten of God. So that neither with your guns nor nets you can catch a sparrow without the will of God; for not one of them shall fall to the ground without the Father that made them. And therefore mankind, namely, man and woman, which are of more value than many sparrows, are not forgotten of God, neither shall they fall to the ground without the will of the Father. For Christ says, ‘The hairs of your heads are numbered,’ namely, by the Lord that made them. And the Lord who gives them their breath, spirit, and life, by which they become living souls, to live to him, who also has their breath and their souls in his hand, yes, of all mankind, as in Job. And therefore the eternal living God is to be feared by men and women all the days of their lives, that they may discern the times and seasons, that are in the Father's hand, ... This is a discerning beyond the hypocrites looking at the face of the skies for fair weather and foul, Mat 16:3.

And if the sparrows are not forgotten of God, and not one of them shall fall to the ground without the will of the Father, as it is said before; surely men and women are of more value than many sparrows with the Lord, ‘who has numbered all the hairs of their heads,’ and gives them breath and life, by which they become living souls, and has all the breath of mankind, ... in his hand, his power. How can any one of them be forgotten, when the sparrows are not; who sees and knows with his all-seeing eye? Certainly not one of them shall fall to the ground without the will of the Father, who has all in his hand, namely, his power. And God has appointed Christ his son to uphold all things, by whom he made the world, who is the ‘brightness of his glory, and the express image of his substance, and upholds all things by the word of his power,’ Heb 1:3. So he, by whom all things were made, is heir of all things; and he upholding all things with the word of his power, there is no change or fall of anything without his will and word of his power; and therefore every man and woman's faith must be in Christ, in the son of God, the second Adam, the Lord from heaven, by whom all things were made.

For Christ said to the Jews, ‘You are from beneath, and I am from above; you are of this world, and I am not of this world. For if you believe not that I am he, you shall die in your sins,’ John 8:23-24. Now this is a bad dying for people to die in their sins, that do not believe in Christ the son of God, who is the heir of all things, and upholds all things by his word and power, by whom men and women, and all things were made. And such as die in their sins, do not believe in him, who would redeem them out of sin, who bruises the serpent's head, and destroys the devil and his works, and reconciles to God all things in one, both things in heaven and things in earth, and is mediator between God and man, he that is from above, and is not of the world. And they which do not believe in Christ, that die in their sins, they cannot sleep in Christ, when they put off their earthly tabernacle, nor die in the Lord. ‘For blessed are the dead which die in the Lord, ... the spirit said, that they rest from their labors, and their works do follow them,’ Rev 13:14.

Now Christ has taught you how to believe, and what to believe in; he said, ‘While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become the children of the light.’ And John, in his 1st chapter, tells you what this light is, who said, ‘The light is the life in Christ, the word, by which all things were made and created, which enlightens every man that comes into the world.’ Now all mankind being enlightened with the light, which is the life in Christ, the word, (who is heir of all things, and upholds all things by his word and power, by whom all things were made), you that believe in his light, which is the life in him, that is from above, and not of this world, you become children of the light, and not of the world, and are born of God, and do pass from death to life in Christ Jesus; and so are grafted in him your life and foundation, and built upon him your rock; and so Christ your root bears you. Such die in the Lord when they put off their earthly tabernacle; such sleep in Jesus, as the apostle said.

And the apostle said, ‘For we know, that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens,’ 2 Cor 5:1. So this the true christians were sure of, while they were in their earthly tabernacles. ‘For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house, which is from heaven, if so be that we being clothed, we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle, do groan, being burdened, not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up with life.’ This should be every true Christian’s mind.

This is the mind of all the believers in the light, the life in Christ Jesus, by which all things were made and created; and as Christ says, ‘He that believes in the son of God shall not perish, but have everlasting life. And he that believes not the son of God, shall not see life; but the wrath of God abides upon him,’ John 3:26. For how can he see life, if he does not believe in the light, which is the life in Christ, by whom all things were made and created. And therefore Christ said, ‘This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world;’ and this light is the life in Christ, the word, who is not of the world. And men loving darkness rather than this light, because their deeds are evil; then they love the darkness more than the light, the life in Christ, and more than Christ and God.

And Christ said, ‘Every one that does evil, hates the light, neither does he come to the light, for fear that his deeds would be reproved.’ So those who do evil, and hate the light, will not come to the light by which their deeds are made manifest and reproved; and therefore such will not come to the light, which is the life in Christ; and this light is their condemnation, that do evil, and hate it, and will not come to it to have their evil deeds made manifest, and be reproved by it, as before.

So those who do hate the light, and will not have their evil deeds reproved, and love the darkness more than the light, they love the devil, the power of darkness, more than God and Christ, who comes to destroy the devil and his works, and bruise the serpent's head. ‘But he that does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that are worked in God.’

Now this heavenly, divine light, which is the life in Christ the word, who is from above, is the light by which all men see in whom their deeds have been, and are worked; so that Christ might very well say, ‘If you do not believe that I am he (the son of God) you shall die in your sins.’ For how can such, that do not believe in the light, the life in Christ, die in the Lord, or sleep in Christ Jesus? How can they die otherwise but in their sins, (as Christ said), and are condemned, and the wrath of God abides upon them. And those who believe in the light, which is the life in Christ, are grafted into him, and have eternal life. Such are those who pass from death to life, and overcome the world, and shall not come into condemnation. For Christ said, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that hears my word, and believes on him that sent me, has everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life. For, verily I say unto you, the hour is coming, and now is, (mark, now is), when the dead shall hear the voice of the son of God, and those who hear shall live,’ John 5:24-25. And those who will not hear, but love darkness rather than light, and will not come to the light, nor believe in the light that they may become children of the light, how can they but die in their sins, and perish in their vain sayings and corruptions.

And the Lord said in Ezek. ‘I have no pleasure at all that the wicked should die;’ Eze 18:33, again, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of him that dies, said the Lord God; so turn your ways, and live.’ Now the wicked die in their wickedness, who have gone from the spirit of God in themselves, and so from God; and, therefore, the Lord God would have them to turn again by his spirit to him who made them, and gives them breath and life, that they may not die in their sins. And those who are led by the spirit of God, which are the children of the Lord, such die in the Lord, and sleep in Jesus. In such, God, who is a spirit, has pleasure with them in his spirit, that live and walk in his spirit, and die in the Lord. But he has no pleasure in those who hate the light, the life in Christ, whom he sent to enlighten them, and rebel against his spirit, and so against God who gave it them: such die in their sins, and perish in their opposing and arguing; in such, God, who is a spirit, has no pleasure. Those that rebel against his spirit, rebel against him; for his pleasure is with them while they live and walk in his spirit, and his light, and truth, and grace.

Concerning the birth of Jesus Christ, the son of God, he came not into the world with the pomp and glory of the world, neither went he out of the world with the pomp and glory of the world. It is said, when Joseph went from Galilee out of the city of Nazareth into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; Luke 2:4 (because he was of the lineage of David), to be taxed, with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child; and so it was, that while they were there, (namely, in Bethlehem), the days were accomplished, that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her first-born son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, watching over their flocks by night, ... And the angel of the Lord appeared to them, ... and told them, ‘Unto you is born today in the city of David, a savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you, you shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling-clothes, lying in a manger.’ So you do not read here, that Mary had so much as a midwife; and if she had not one, she had the same power, the same holy ghost which came upon her; and the same power of the Highest, which did overshadow her, was able to help her to bring forth her first-born, which is called the son of God.

And if Christ as you do say, was born at Christmas, and Mary wrapped him, and laid him in a manger, it was a cold place, and a cold time in the year; you do not read that Mary had so much as a fire. And again, when Christ was crucified at the time of the passover, which you call Easter, (which is a good while after Christmas), it was cold weather; for Peter warmed himself by the fire, when the high-priests were examining Christ.

Now here you see the son of God, and the Lord of glory, what entertainment he had at his birth, among those who were in the pomp of the world. He that said, he was from above, his cradle was a manger. You know a manger is in a stable, where you feed your horses in. And who were Mary and Christ's visitors, but the country shepherds that watched their flocks by night? There is no talk of scribes, high-priests, or Pharisees. So see what entertainment the Lord of life found at his coming into the world, without the pomp of the world, wrapped in swaddling-clothes, a manger instead of a cradle. Oh! the proud and lofty ones might say, this place was good enough; there was no room within for a carpenter's wife and her son; the innkeepers could find no room for Christ, the savior, and Mary.

And what could the poor country shepherds present unto him, that watched all night the sheep? But such God made instruments to come to visit Christ the Lord and savior; yes, and declare him abroad. And did not the Jews in a despising way, say, ‘Is not this the carpenter's son? Mat 13:55. Is not his mother called Mary?’ And in Mark, did not the Jews deride him, and say, ‘Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary?’ Mark 6:3. So they called Christ the carpenter; but they did not know that he was to build up the fallen house of Adam with his power and spirit. For the apostle Peter says, ‘You are built up a spiritual household;’ 1 Pet 2:5 , and the author to the Hebrews; ‘He that built all things is God,’ Heb 3:4. And again, ‘For he (Abraham) looked for a city, whose builder and maker is God,’ Heb 11:10. And the apostle Paul says, speaking of God and Christ, 'After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up,’ Acts 15:16. And who is this builder but Christ Jesus with his power and spirit? Again, ‘And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified,’ Acts 20:32. And the Lord spoke by the prophet Isaiah concerning Christ, and said, ‘Is it a light thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel? I will also give you for a light to the Gentiles, that you may be my salvation to the ends of the earth.’ Isa 46:6 Again: and who is he that shall build up the waste places, and raise up the foundation of many generations, and is called the ‘repairer of the breach, and the restorer of paths to dwell in?’ Isa 58:12. And when the devil tempted Christ, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them, he said to him, ‘All these things will I give you, if you will fall down and worship me,’ Mat 4:6. But Christ said unto the devil, ‘Get you hence Satan.’ It seems he showed him the glory of the world, which he would have given Christ, if he would have fallen down and worshipped the devil, in whom there is no truth. But Christ says, ‘The devil was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him; when he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own, and is the father of it,’ John 8:44. So it was not like for Christ, the truth, to bow to and worship him, in whom there is no truth.

Now, what is the glory of the world? John said, ‘Love not the world, nor the things that are in the world; if any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but of the world. And the world passes away, and the lusts thereof; but he that does the will of God, abides forever,’ 1 John 2:15-17.

Now, you see here, what is of the world, and what is its glory, which the devil who overcame Adam and Eve by his lies, in telling them they should be as gods, if they would eat what God had forbidden. He set upon Christ, who the truth; but as Christ says, ‘He found no truth in him." Now the glory of the world, which is the lusts of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life, with the pomps and vanities of the world which are not of God the Father, but of the devil, which he had begotten in the kingdoms of the world, and which was their glory, who disobeyed God; this glory of the world the devil would have given to Christ, who is the life and the truth, if he would have fallen down and worshipped him, namely, the devil, in whom there is no truth. But Christ the truth bruises the serpent's head, and destroys the devil and his works.

And Christ set up a worship in the holy spirit of God, and in the truth which the devil is out of; for there is no truth in him, as Christ said. So those who worship God in his spirit and truth, worship in that which the devil is out of, and is not in him, neither can he get into it. And therefore, that which is of the devil, who is out of the truth, the glory of the world, which the devil said he would give to Christ, if he would have worshipped him, is that, which is not of the Father, but of himself, 'the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life,’ which pass away. For God Almighty created all things; ‘and the earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof;’ and he gives the increase. So the glory of all the creatures, and the glory of all the creation is the Lord's, and he beautifies them. For the devil could not give Christ the glory of a thistle, the glory of a nettle, no, not the glory of any weed; for these are the Lord's, with the earth, and the fullness thereof; and the glory of all his creation is the Lord's, who is God in heaven, and in the earth, to be served and worshipped above all.

And Christ said, ‘For I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory, was not arrayed like one of these lilies,’ Luke 12:27-28. So it is God that arrays the lilies with glory, that does exceed Solomon in all his glory. And Jesus Christ, who is a greater than Solomon, has spoken it, by whom all things were made and created, who is greater than Solomon, and whose glory exceeds all the glory of the creatures in the creation; ‘who is the brightness of God's glory, and the express image of his substance, upholding all things by the word of his power,’ Heb 1:3, by whom all things were made; who is glorified with the Father with the same glory that he had with him before the world began, and before the creatures were made, and their glory.

So here you see the glory of Christ, and the glory of Solomon, and the glory of the arrayed lily, which was beyond all Solomon's glory, for the lily was arrayed by the Lord. But the glory of Christ is beyond the glory of the lily, and the glory of the whole creation, as is said before.

And likewise here you may see the glory of the kingdoms of the world, which the devil would have given to Christ; which he had begotten in the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve, who disobeyed God; which he would have given to Christ, if he would have fallen down and worshipped him: which pomp and glory of the world is the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life, which is not of God the Father that sent Christ. Therefore Christ came not into the world with any of the pomps and glory, neither would he have any of them, when the devil proffered them to him; for he came to destroy and bruise his head; and testified against the world, that their works were evil; and therefore he was not like to receive what was not of his Father, (nor none of the devil's works, for that he testified against), but of the god of this world, which lies in wickedness, and of his works, that Christ came to destroy. And so he was not like to take that which he was come to destroy, and which was not of his Father. Nor are his followers to receive what is not of the Father, lest they worship the devil, and go from God's holy spirit and truth, and love that which will keep the love of the Father out of them. And those who walk in the truth, walk in Christ Jesus.

Now after the Lord Jesus had gone through all his temptations, and all the revilings and evil speeches from the Jews, priests, scribes, and Pharisees; and even his preaching and manifesting himself to be the son of God by his signs and miracles; and when they by their wicked tongues desired the murderer, and by wicked hands had crucified the Lord of life, (who were in the murdering spirit, and lusts and pomps of the world), Joseph of Arimethea, a counselor, (a good man, and just, who had not consented to the counsel and deeds of the Jews, who also himself waited for the kingdom of God), went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus, which they had crucified between two thieves. And Joseph took it down, and wrapped it in a linen cloth, and laid it in a sepulcher, that was hewn in stone, where never man lay before. So you don't read here, that Christ had so much as a coffin, as Joseph, Jacob's son, had, Gen 50:26.

So you see what entertainment the Lord of glory had, when he came into the world, a manger instead of a cradle. And when he went out of the world, the scripture does not say, he had so much as a coffin. Joseph of Arimethea wrapped his body in linen, and laid it in a sepulcher in a garden. And you may see in John what outcries were among the Jews and the priests, crying, 'Crucify him, crucify him,' John 19:6. And though Nicodemus, and some of the women, did come, and brought their myrrh and other spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury; yet when out of the world, he was buried by Joseph of Arimethea, a counselor, to fulfill the scripture, which says, he made his grave with the rich; but does not say, that he had so much as a coffin with a white and a black cloth upon it.

So you may see here, our Lord and savior, the son of God, the King of kings, and Lord of lords, who has all power in heaven and earth given unto him, he was not carried to his sepulcher with a gilded coffin, with a great white and black cloth over it, with arms or escutcheons upon it, and many priests and people following in black clothes, and black scarves on their hats, pretending mourning, and have golden rings given to them, and twigs of rosemary in their hands, and ringing of bells, which is more like going to a wedding than to a burial in the pomp and glory of the world. But instead of that, Christ had a company of mockers; yes, the chief priests, scribes, and elders mocked him, saying, ‘If he be the son of God, let him come down from the cross, and we will believe him: he trusted in God, let him deliver him now, if he will have him; for he said, I am the son of God. He saved others, himself he cannot save,’ Mat 27:40-42. See what blasphemy is here against God and his son, by the Jews and the priests, who in words profess God, and the Messiah to come; but in life and works denied them both. ‘For he that denies the son, has not the Father; but he that acknowledges the son, has the Father also. Let that therefore abide in you, which you have heard from the beginning: if that which you have heard from the beginning, shall remain in you, you also shall continue in the son, and in the Father,’ … 1 John 2:23-24.

And all you that say, that we [Quakers] bury [our people] like dogs because that we have not superfluous and needless things upon our coffins, and a white and black cloth with escutcheons, and do not go in black, and hang scarves upon our hats, and white scarves over our shoulders, and give gold rings, and have sprigs of rosemary in our hands, and ring the bells. How dare you say that we bury our people like dogs, because we cannot bury them after the vain pomps and glory of the world? Whereas, you do not read, that Christ, the prince of life, our Lord and savior, had none of these things, either when he came into the world, or when he went out of the world; and refused the pomp and glory of the world, when the devil tempted him with it.

Now, all people, come to learn of Christ, who has enlightened you with the life in himself, and believe in it, that you may become children of the light; for grace and truth is come by Jesus into your hearts and inward parts, that with his grace and truth you may learn of Christ, who is meek and low in the heart, and follow him, who is not of this world, and hear his voice, and he will lead you into the pastures of life. He that came into the world not with any pomp, nor lust, nor glory of the world, neither did he go out of the world with the glory, pomp, or lust of the world, (as is said before), who was not of the world, who is the prince of life and peace. And therefore follow not the pomps or glory of the world at your children's coming into the world; nor breed them up in the pomps and glory of the world the time while they live, nor use them at going forth out of the world; but follow Christ Jesus, who is not of the world; who is your redeemer, your savior, your way, your truth, and life, your bishop, your shepherd, your priest, your prophet; and let him rule in your hearts by faith, who will give you life abundantly, who is from above and not from below, that you may be built upon him the living rock, and foundation of God that stands sure. Amen, Amen, said my soul.

George Fox

An epistle to all Christians, Jews, and Gentiles,
showing how that God dwells not in temples made with hands.

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Thus said the Lord, heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: where is the house that you will build unto me, and where is the place of my rest?’ This the Lord said unto the Jews that built the temple. Isaiah 66:1.

And Solomon said, ‘The heaven of heavens cannot contain God,’ how much less the house that he built? 1 Kings 8:27, 2 Chr 6:18.

And again, Steven said to the Jews' high-priest, when he was examining him, ‘Though Solomon built an house for the Lord; however the Most High dwells not in temples made with hands; for heaven is God's throne, and earth is his footstool; what house will you build me, said the Lord, or where is the place of my rest? Has not my hands made all these things? You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in hearts and ears, you do always resist the holy ghost; as your forefathers did, so do you.’

Now here all may see, that it was the stiff-necked and uncircumcised in hearts and ears, that were the persecutors, as in the next verse, that did resist the holy ghost; and therefore their bodies, in that state, were not like to be temples of the holy ghost; as in 1 Cor 6:19. And, therefore, these persecutors that did resist the holy ghost, which comes from the Father and the son, were the criers up of the outward temple; they were not like to see God, as Steven did, who dwells not in the temples made with hands, and heaven to be his throne, and earth his footstool, who resists his holy spirit that proceeds from him, by which God is seen and known.

And the apostle Paul said, ‘God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwells not in temples made with hands, neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed anything, seeing he gives to all, life, and breath, and all things, and has made of one blood all nations of men, for to dwell on the face of the earth. That they should seek the Lord, if happily they might feel after him, and find him, though he is not far from every one of us; for in him we live, and move, and have our being,’  Acts 17:24-28.

So you may see, here are many witnesses before-mentioned, that God that made the world, and all things therein, who is Lord of heaven and earth, dwells not in temples made with hands, but as the prophets, Christ, and the apostles say, ‘heaven is God's throne, and the earth is his footstool.’ Mat 5:34-35.

So, all come to know God, who has made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on the face of the earth; he gives to you all life and breath, and all things; I say, all to know him by his spirit which he pours upon all flesh, heaven to be his throne, and earth to be his footstool; yes, all that dwell upon the face of the earth, know the earth that you dwell upon, and walk upon, to be God's footstool, and heaven to be his throne, who is Lord of heaven and earth, who gives you breath and life, and pours his spirit upon you, or in you, Joel 2, Acts 2. That with his spirit you may know the day has come that Joel spoke of; and that with his spirit you may all know that God has poured his spirit upon you, or in you, that with it you may live in God, and move in God, and have your being in God, who is Lord of heaven and earth; and heaven is his throne, and earth is his footstool, upon which face of the earth you dwell, and walk. So all to see and know that you are the temples of the living God, as God has said, ‘I will dwell in them, and walk in them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.’ 2 Cor 6:16, Lev 26:12.

And thus said the Lord, who dwells not in temples made with hands, but the saints that are lead by the holy ghost are the temples of God and the holy ghost; for the Lord said, ‘the children of Israel and Judah had provoked him to anger with the works of their hands.’ The Lord said, ‘For this city, (Jerusalem, and the temple,) has been to me a provocation of my anger, and of my fury, from the day that they built it, even unto this day, (Jerusalem, and the temple,) that I should remove it from before my face, (said the Lord,) and destroy it,’   Jer 32:30-31.

So you may see here, that such as resisted the holy ghost, were crying up outward Jerusalem, and the outward temple, who were the stiff-necked persecutors, and uncircumcised in hearts and ears, as you may see in the prophet's time, and in Isaiah's time, and in Christ's, Steven's, and the apostle Paul's time; and such uncircumcised in hearts and ears, that are persecutors, that did and do resist the holy ghost now, are crying up outward temples, and imprisoning, and persecuting, and seizing property of people now, because they will not give money to mend their temples or churches, though they make no use of them; and yet they say, the gates of hell shall not prevail against their church; and yet daily want repairing, either by reason of weather, storms, or thunder!

And though the Lord tells them by his prophet, and Steven, and his apostles, ‘that God that made the world, and all things therein, dwells not in temples made with hands, but heaven is his throne, and earth is his footstool, and he is the Lord of heaven and earth.’ And said of his people in these words, ‘What? do you not know that your bodies are the temples of the holy ghost, which is in you, which you have of God.’ And again, ‘For you are the temples of the living God, as God has said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people, and I will be a Father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, said God Almighty.’ Jer 31:33. And, therefore, all that receive the holy ghost, know your bodies to be the temples of the living God, and this holy ghost, and heaven to be God's throne, and earth his footstool, and that you dwell and walk upon his footstool, and that you do live and move, and have your everlasting being in God, who dwells not in temples made with hands; but God dwells and walks in you his temple, and he is your God and Father, and you are his people, and the sons and daughters of God Almighty. So that every one may truly say, I live, and move, and have my being in God; heaven is his throne, and earth is his footstool, which I naturally dwell and walk upon, and, spiritually, in God I live, and move, and have my being, to his praise and glory, who is the Lord of all, both in heaven and earth, from everlasting to everlasting, blessed and praised forever. Amen.

One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. Eph 4:6. May all people know [witness by seeing] God the Father so to be.

George  Fox

The 4th of the 7th Month, 1682

And From George Fox's Journal:

As I went towards Nottingham on a First-day in the morning, with Friends to a meeting there, when I came on the top of a hill in sight of the town, I saw the great steeple-house: and the Lord said unto me, ‘You must go cry against that distant great idol,* and against the worshippers inside.’ I said nothing of this to the Friends, but went with them to the meeting, where the mighty power of the Lord God was among us; in which I left Friends sitting in the meeting, and went to the steeple-house.

[*The Lord has referred to the church building, the steeple-house, as a great idol. An idol is something people venerate; something they take pride in; something they worship. The temple in Jerusalem was the only temple God ever wanted or commanded. Church buildings, cathedrals, and such monuments to man's pride are not wanted by God and contemptible in his sight, for the Most High does not dwell in houses and temples made with hands, Acts 7:48-9. He wishes to dwell in you with Christ in his glorious Kingdom - after you are purified.]

When I came there all the people looked like fallow ground, and the priest, like a great lump of earth, stood in his pulpit above: he took for his text these words of Peter, 'We have also a more sure word of prophecy, which you do well to heed, as unto a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day-star arise in your hearts.' He told the people this was the scriptures, by which they were to try all doctrines, religions, and opinions. Now the Lord's power was so mighty upon me, and so strong in me, that I could not hold; but was made to cry out, 'Oh! no, it is not the scriptures;' and told them what it was, namely, the holy spirit, by which the holy men of God gave forth the scriptures, whereby opinions, religions, and judgments were to be tried; for it led into all truth, and so gave the knowledge of all truth. For the Jews had the scriptures, yet resisted the holy ghost, and rejected Christ, the bright morning-star, and persecuted Christ and his apostles, and took upon them to try their doctrines by the scriptures, but erred in judgment, and did not try them aright, because they tried them without the holy ghost.

Concerning persecution in all ages to this day. How he that was born after the flesh, persecuted him that was born of the Spirit; and even so it is now: yes, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus, shall suffer persecution, 2 Tim 3:12. Mark, all those who will live godly; not those who will live ungodly, out of Christ Jesus. For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake, Phil 1:29.

—By George Fox

The spirit itself bears witness with our spirits, that we are the children of God; if children, then heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ. And if so, should we suffer with Christ, that we may be also glorified together; for I reckon, that the present sufferings of this time, are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? as it is written, ‘For Christ's sake we are killed all the day long, we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter; no, in all these things we are more than conquerors, through Christ that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’

Here is and ought to be the noble resolution of the true and faithful christians in Christ Jesus; and as the apostle said to the Corinthians, We are made a spectacle unto the world, and angels, and men, &c. And we are counted fools for Christ's sake, and we are buffeted, and have no certain dwelling place; and being reviled, we bless; and being persecuted, we suffer it; being defamed, we entreat. We are made as the filth of the world, and as the offscouring of all things; but the Lord comforts us in all our tribulations; for as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds with Christ,' 1 Cor 4:8-18, 2 Cor 1:4-5.

And so it is no new thing for the christians now, to be troubled on every side, yet not distressed; perplexed, but not in despair, for our light afflictions which are but for a moment, works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; ‘and though our outward man perish, yet our inward man is renewed day by day.’ Blessed be the Lord forever.

And as the apostle said, ‘I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake.’ And here the apostle triumphed over all, which should be every true Christian’s practice.

And you may read how Paul said, ‘How that beyond measure he persecuted the church of God, and wasted it; but when he was converted and became a member of Christ's church, then he preached that faith which he sought to destroy; so you may see, as it is written, ‘he that's born after the flesh, persecutes him that is born after the spirit;’ even so it is now. Therefore, whatever Christendom professes and talk about, the birth must be minded, of what birth you are; if it be the birth of the flesh, he will persecute him that is born after the spirit, the true believers in Christ; for ‘unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.’ So this gift is not only to believe, but also to suffer for his sake, and so count all things but loss for the excellence of the knowledge of the Lord Jesus, ‘for whom I suffer the loss of all things, and count them but dung that I may win Christ, and be found in him, that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.’ To this all should mind to be conformable, and know the fellowship in his sufferings.

And the apostle encourages the Thessalonians, who said, ‘We ourselves glory in you, ... for your patience, and faith in all your persecutions, and tribulations, that you endure, which is a manifest token of the righteous judgments of God, that you may be worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer, seeing it is righteous with God to recompense to those who trouble you; and so you that are troubled, rest with us, (said the apostle), therefore brethren, we are comforted over you in all your afflictions and distresses for your faith. Stand fast in the Lord, that no man should be moved by these afflictions, for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto, (said the apostle), for we told you before that we should suffer tribulations, even as it is come to pass.’ For Christ has suffered; and being tempted, he is able to succor those who are tempted, in all their sufferings. And though Christ were a son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered, and being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation, to all them which obey him; and so if we suffer with him, we shall reign with him. And remember those who are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body, in bonds. Here is a sensible feeling of one another that are born of the spirit, and a fellowship in sufferings, who are persecuted by that spirit born of the flesh.

And the apostle said to the Hebrews, ‘Call to remembrance the former days, in which after you were illuminated, you endured a great fight of afflictions, partly while you were gazing-stocks, both by reproaches and afflictions, and partly while you became companions of those who were so used; for you had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that you have in heaven a better and enduring substance. Cast not away your confidence, which has great recompense of reward, for you have need of patience, that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise; but if any draw back, (namely, in the time of sufferings), the Lord's soul has no pleasure in them.’

Moses, by faith, chose rather to ‘suffer afflictions with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season, esteeming the reproaches of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he had respect unto the recompense of reward, and by faith forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible.’ And you may see what cruel trials of mockings, scourges, bonds, and imprisonments, and afflictions, and torments, the saints went through, in Heb 11.

And said Peter, 1 Pet 2:20-21. ‘If when you do well, and suffer for it, you take it patiently; this is acceptable with God, for even hereunto were you called.' If a man for conscience sake towards God suffer grief; this is thank-worthy, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that we should follow his steps, who when he was reviled, he reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not, but committed himself to God who judges righteously; for Christ has once suffered for sin, the just suffering for the unjust, that he might bring us to God. Forasmuch then as Christ has suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind; for he that has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin. But the God of all grace who has called us into his eternal glory, (said the apostle), by Christ Jesus, after that you have suffered awhile, make you perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you; cast all your care upon God, for he cares for you; and rejoice, inasmuch as you are made partakers of Christ's sufferings, ... and think it not strange concerning the fiery trials, which are to try you, as though some strange thing had happened unto you; for if you be reproached and suffer for the name of Christ, happy are you, for the spirit of glory and of God rests upon you: on their part, he is evil spoken of, but on your part, he is glorified.’ If any man suffer as a christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God on this behalf. Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God, commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as to a faithful Creator; and if you suffer for righteousness sake, happy are you. And ‘be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled, having a good conscience, that whereas they speak evil of you, as evil doers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conduct; for it is better if the will of God so be, that you suffer for well-doing, than for evil-doing; for we both labor and suffer reproach because we trust in the living God, who is the savior of all men, especially of those who believe.’

And the apostle said, ‘He was appointed a teacher of the Gentiles, for the which cause he also suffered,’ but he was not ashamed, for he knew in whom he believed; and said, though he suffered as an evildoer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound; no, the eternal word of God that lives, and abides, and endures for ever, by which all things were made and created, this word of God cannot be bound by that which was created by it, and does not live and endure for ever; therefore, said the apostle, ‘I endure all things for the elect's sake, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory. It is a faithful saying, if we be dead with Christ, we shall also live with him; and if we suffer with Christ, we shall also reign with him; and if we deny him, he also will deny us,’ ...

And you may see what persecutions and afflictions came upon the apostle at Antioch, and at Iconium, and at Listra, what persecutions he endured; but out of them all the Lord delivered him; yes, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus, shall suffer persecution. Mark, shall, if they live godly. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived; therefore he exhorts Timothy, to ‘watch in all things, and endure afflictions,’ ... for he was ready to be offered up, for the time of his departure was at hand, and he had fought the good fight, and finished his course, and kept the faith, and there was a crown of righteousness laid up for him, which the Lord, the righteous Judge will give him at the last day, and not to him only, but unto all them also that love his appearing; for God has not given to us a spirit of fear, but of power, of love, and of a sound mind.: Therefore the apostle said unto Timothy, ‘Be not you therefore ashamed of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but be you a partaker of the affliction for the gospel, according to the power of God, who has saved us, and called us by a holy calling,’ ... And John said [quoting Jesus], ‘I know your works, tribulations, and poverty; but you are rich; fear none of those things which you shall suffer. Behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that you may be tried, and you shall have tribulation ten days; but be you faithful to death, and I will give you a crown of life:’ this was spoken to the church in Smyrna. And you may see in Revelation 11, how the witnesses of Christ suffered, and when they had taken away their lives, and the dead bodies lay in the streets of the great city, which is spiritually called Sodom and Egypt, (so not naturally called so), where Christ our Lord and savior was crucified; that was the great professors of the letter, the Jews, before the witness was slain; but after three days and a half, the spirit of life from God entered into the witnesses, and they stood upon their feet, which frightened their enemies; and the witnesses were called up to heaven, and the same hour there was a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and was shaken down; so here was the reward upon the city and the persecuting citizens.

And again, you may see how the dragon persecuted the woman, the true church, which brought forth the man child, after he was cast out of heaven by Michael and his angels; but the woman (or true church) was nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, in the wilderness; and the earth helped the woman; and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood, which the dragon cast out of his mouth after her; and the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which kept the commands of God, and have the testimony of Jesus.

Now you may see how the devil, the dragon, and all his followers persecute, and what his wrath is against, the true church, the woman, that brought forth the man child, and those who kept the commands of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. And then the dragon he gave his wicked persecuting power to the beast, and he also was to continue forty-two months; and he got up in such a rage in the devil's power, that he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven; not those who dwell upon the earth, for all that dwell in the earth worship him, but those whose names are written in the book of life of the Lamb, slain from the foundation of the world, namely, they do not worship him. He that has an ear to hear, let him hear.

But what became of the great city, and the whore, or the false church, and the beast, and the dragon, with all his false prophets? are not they at the end burned, and cast into the lake of fire, and the Lamb and the saints have the victory?

And David declares, how he was persecuted, and said, ‘Let them be confounded and put to shame that seek after my soul; let them be as chaff before the wind, ... Let their way be darkness, and slippery,... False witnesses rise up, and lay to my charge things that I knew not; they rewarded him evil for good, to the spoiling of his soul; and his adversaries gathered themselves together against him, with hypocritical mockery in feasts; they gnash upon me with their teeth, yes, they open their mouths wide against me, and say, Aha, Aha, ... but God will save his afflicted people, and bring down the high looks of those who afflict them.’ Psalm 18:27.

And David mourned by reason of affliction, and said, ‘I am afflicted, and ready to die from my youth upward,’ ... and said, ‘Lord remember David in all his afflictions;’ and he said, ‘The wicked in his pride persecutes the poor: my times are in your hand; O Lord! deliver me from the hand of my enemies, and those who persecute me.’ And also David cried to the Lord, and said, ‘How many are the days of your servant? Will you execute judgment on those who persecute me? They persecute me wrongfully; help me; the proud have dug a pit for me, which are not after your law;’ (and those who do so now are not after your gospel.) And David said, ‘O Lord my God! in you I put my trust; save me and deliver me from all those who persecute me; for the Lord hears the poor, and despises not his prisoners; let the heaven and earth praise him, the sea, and everything that moves therein.’ And David said, ‘those who sat in the gate spoke against me, and I was the song of the drunkards;’ and do not the drunkards make songs of God's people now?

[Consider all the above abuses David is complaining about and realize he was the king with power to excecute anyone who abused him as he describes. Therefore, David is speaking of the demons persecuting him, whom God allows to persecuted his elect, so they will be through with sin; just as God allowed Satan to severely persecute Job: destroying his house and children, all his cattle, and covering him from head to foot with boils.]

And you may see the sufferings and afflictions of Job by the Chaldeans, and Sabeans, and the trials and temptations of his wife, and his pretended friends; and also he said in his afflictions, ‘those who are younger than I, have me in derision, whose fathers I would have disdained to have set with the dogs of my flocks, the children of fools, children of base men; now am I their song, yes, I am their by-word, they abhor me, &c. and spare not to spit in my face; upon my right hand rise the youth, they put away my feet, they rise up against me, .. they mar my path, and set forward my calamity,’ ... But you may see how the Lord delivered Job out of all his afflictions and miseries; for it was always the wicked that abused the righteous, in their sufferings and afflictions.

And Jeremiah said, ‘O Lord! my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction!' The Lord is the fortress, and refuge, and strength of all his people in the day of their afflictions, and persecutions; and did not the Lord confound all Jeremiah's persecutors? Did not Jeremiah tell his persecutors, ‘The Lord is with me as a terrible one, therefore my persecutors shall stumble; and they shall not prevail, they shall be greatly ashamed, for they shall not prosper; and their everlasting confusion shall never be forgotten? Jer 20:11.’ And did not this come upon the persecutors that put Jeremiah in prison, and dungeon? Was not Jeremiah delivered? and his persecutors went into captivity, and he set at liberty from his prison. You may see what became of his persecutors, whether they did not go into captivity, and into prison.

And Isaiah, speaking by prophecy of Christ, how he was oppressed and afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; and was not he brought as a lamb to Pilate's, and to the Jews' slaughter, and as a sheep before the shearers; and he was taken from prison, and from judgment; who shall declare the generation of the suffering lamb, slain from the foundation of the world; for the transgression of his people was he stricken. The smiters, and the afflicters, and the opposers, and imprisoners, despisers, and rejecters, cannot declare the generation of Christ the Lamb of God. And Isaiah said, ‘If you loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burden, and let the oppressed go free, &c. if you draw out your soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul, then shall your light rise in obscurity.’ But what will become of such that do oppress and lay their burdens, and afflict the just? Their light will be darkness. And the Lord said, speaking of the children of Israel, ‘in all their afflictions, he was afflicted; and the angel of his presence saved them; Isa 63:9, in his love, and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bore them, and carried them all the days of old;’ and God said, ‘I sent my angel before you to keep you in the way,’ Exod 23:20. And when the children of Israel cried unto the Lord, he heard their voice, and delivered them from their persecutors, and afflictions. And the Lord said, ‘I have surely seen the afflictions of my people, which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry, by reason of their task masters; for I know their sorrows.’ So here you may see the Lord does hear their cries, and is sensible of the afflictions and sorrows of his people, therefore commands his people, ‘not to afflict the widow, nor the fatherless, nor the stranger; for if they did, they would cry unto the Lord, and he would make their wives widows, and their children fatherless.’

And Amos cried, ‘Woe unto such that chant to the sound of the viol, and invent to themselves instruments of music like unto David, that drink wine in bowls, and anoint themselves with chief ointments; but they are not grieved for the afflictions of Joseph; for I know your manifold transgressions, and your mighty sin, they afflict the just;’ and that is it that afflicts the just in our age, and are not sensible of the afflictions of Joseph, nor of the afflictions of the righteous in our age. And Christ said, ‘And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cried day and night unto him, [though he bears long with them]?’ And did not Christ tell the Jews, ‘how they had slain and persecuted the prophets?’ And he said, how that ‘they should persecute his apostles and prophets?’ And what are become of those persecuting Jews? And Christ said to his disciples, ‘They shall lay hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the councils, and scourge you in the synagogues, and cast you into prison, being brought before kings and rulers for my name sake; and it shall turn to you for a testimony. Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what you shall answer, for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, (said Christ), which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay or resist.’ Therefore it is good for all to look unto Jesus, both for wisdom and for strength in all their trials, and sufferings, and persecutions; for without him they can do nothing.

And Christ said, ‘Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven; blessed are you when men shall revile and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake; rejoice and be exceeding glad, for great is your reward in heaven; for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. But I say unto you, love your enemies; bless those who curse you; do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who despitefully use you, and persecute you.’ And Christ said to his disciples, ‘You shall be hated of all men for my name sake: but he that endures to the end shall be saved; but when they persecute you in this city, flee you to another; for verily I say unto you, you shall not have gone over all the cities of Israel until the son of man come. But when they deliver you up, take no thought, how or what you shall speak; for it shall be given you in that same hour, what you shall speak; for it is not you that speak, but the spirit of the Father that speaks in you.’ And further, Christ said to the Jews, ‘Behold I send unto you prophets and wise men, and some of them you shall kill and crucify; and some of them you shall scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city, that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth,’ ...

And also you may see how John Baptist was cast in prison, for reproving of Herod: and his wife's daughter pleased Herod with her dancing, and Herod promised with an oath, to give her whatever she would ask, and her mother advised her to ask John Baptist's head, and she had it given her. Now this was the fruit of transgressing the law of God, and of her dancing, and oaths, and swearing, contrary to the command of Christ, who said, swear not at all.

And also, Christ said, ‘I was hungry, and you gave me no food; I was thirsty, and you gave me no drink; I was naked, and you clothed me not; in prison, and you came not unto me; I was a stranger, and you took me not in; and sick, and you visited me not,’ ... And Christ said, ‘Inasmuch as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not unto me; and such shall go into everlasting punishment, and the righteous into life eternal.’

Is it not the practice of the professors these days, instead of clothing the naked, to take away their clothes? And take away their food and drink, instead of giving them food and drink? And cast into prison, instead of visiting them in prison? Yes, such as pretend to be preachers of the gospel, though they do not hear them; but such are transgressors of his command, who said, ‘Freely you have received, freely give.’

And Ahab the king, said, ‘Take Micah, the prophet and put this fellow in the prison, and feed him with bread of afflictions until I come in peace;’ and Micah said unto Ahab, ‘If you return at all in peace, the Lord has not spoken by me.’ So Ahab was slain, according to Micah's prophecy. 2 Chron 18:25-27.

And did not the prophet Hananii reprove Asa the king? And the king was in a great rage, and put the prophet in prison, because he reproved the king, who relied on the king of Asyria, and not on the Lord God? 2 Chron 16:7-10.

And you may see in the Acts, how the priests and the rulers cast the apostles into prison, and charged those who ‘they should preach no more in the name of Jesus.’ And Stephen said to the chief priest and the rulers, ‘Which of the prophets have not your forefathers persecuted, and slain them which showed before the coming of the Just One, of whom you have been now the betrayers and murderers, who received the law, ... and have not kept it? When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and gnashed on him with their teeth, and stoned Stephen to death, Stephen calling upon God, saying, Lord Jesus receive my spirit.’

And Paul said, ‘I have persecuted this way, (which was the way of true christianity), unto death, binding and delivering into prison both men and women; the high priest does bear me witness, and all the state of the elders, from whom also I received letters, and went unto Damascus to bring them which were there, bound unto Jerusalem for to be punished.’ This was Paul's confession when he was converted, and persecuted for Christ's sake, by the old persecuting professing Jews.

And Herod persecuted the Christians, and killed James, and imprisoned Peter, whom an angel delivered through the prayers of the saints, and the angel of God struck Herod that he died miserably.

And you may see, in the 16th of the Acts, how Paul and Silas were cast into prison, and how the Lord worked a wonderful deliverance to his glory for them! And how often you see the Jews sought the life of Paul after he was converted; and the heathen Romans had more tenderness, who let him have liberty to dwell two full years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him, preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concerned the Lord Jesus; and no man forbade him.

And the Jews persecuted Jesus, because he had done good on the Sabbath day, who was Lord of the Sabbath. And Christ said to his disciples, the servant is not greater than his Lord; if they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you, ... All these things will they do unto you for my name sake.’

And this persecution and imprisonment the apostles and the saints came to witness after Christ was risen; and therefore you may see in Paul’s epistles he salutes his fellow prisoners, and the apostle said, ‘He that is born of the flesh, persecutes him that is born of the spirit, even it is now;’ each birth manifests both their works and fruits.

And the apostle said to the Corinthians, ‘Give no offence in anything, that the ministry be not blamed; but in all things approving ourselves, as the ministers of God, in much patience, in affliction, in necessities, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in watchings, in fasts, by pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the holy ghost, by love unfeigned, by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness, on the right hand and on the left; by honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report; as deceivers, and yet true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying and behold we live; as chastised, and not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing all things.’ 2 Cor 6:3-10. These are good examples for the true christians to follow.

And do not you read what became of Jezebel, that persecutor of the Lord's prophets? And what is become of all the persecutors of God's people since the beginning? That birth born after the flesh, will it not have the same portion to the end of the world? Is it not recorded to be the birth of the flesh; and is not to inherit with the heir of the promise; but is shut out from that inheritance?

George Fox

London, the 8th month, 1682

 

A way to prevent the indignation and judgments of God from coming on a kingdom, nation, or family. Commended to the consciences of all concerned.

First, all you vintners that sell wine, that keep taverns or such like houses; and all you innkeepers, and you that keep restaurants, ale-houses, pubs, etc., see that you never let any man or woman have any more wine, ale, strong drink, brandy, or strong waters, or other strong liquors, than what is for their health and their good; in that they may praise God for his good creatures. For every creature of God is good, and ought to be received with thanksgiving.

But if you do give or let men or women have so much wine, brandy, strong liquors, strong beer, or ale, until they are drunk, or to make them drunk:

  1. You destroy the good creatures of God.

  2. You destroy those who have not power over their lusts, no more than a rat or a swine, who will drink until they are drunk.

  3. You are a great cause of ruining them their health, finances, and estates, (their children and families), in feeding of them in their lusts, by letting them have more than does them good; which also tends to bring God's judgments upon you, to your own ruin and destruction.

For many, when they are full of wine, beer, or strong liquors, then they will cry for music, pipe, and harp, and it may be, their whores also. And so in this, you that allow such things, are nurses of debauchery, and corrupters of them, and of your own families also.

And also such men, when they are full of wine or strong liquors, and have destroyed the creatures, by taking more than does them good, then they are got to that height that they are ready to quarrel and abuse, or kill or destroy one another; and sometimes kill other people, (who do them no harm), as they are walking or traveling in the streets or highways. For when they are overcome by strong liquors, then are they fit and do lie open to all manner of wickedness.

And though you think by selling or letting people have wine or strong liquors more than does them good, or is for their health, ‘the more they drink, the more gain you think it brings you; and the more you vend your goods, the more profit you get.’ Ah poor sellers! Do not you think, that God with his all-seeing eye does behold you and your actions? And cannot the Lord soon bring a blasting upon all your undertakings, and such ungodly gain and profits, and whatsoever you have gained by your covetousness, and from the lusts of others, through which they do destroy their estates, children, and families? Will not this bring destruction upon you and your unrighteous gain, which you have gotten by feeding their lusts? For that spirit which feeds the destroying lusts, must needs be the destroyer; and the profits of that will not be gain to you in the end.

For are not you sensible, how that many, after they have spent their estates, or part of them, will run into your debt for wine or strong liquors, yes, such as you let have more than did or does them good?

And is not this the cause that many break, by trusting, and other ways as before mentioned? Trust should be with that which is trusty, which does not waste or destroy, and such God will bless. And therefore take heed of letting any man or woman have any more wine or strong liquors, than what is for their nourishment, health, and good.

See what a dreadful woe the Lord pronounced against them, ‘that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink, that continue until night, until wine inflame them. Then they call for the harp and the viol, the taberet and the pipe, &c. But such regard not the work of the Lord, neither consider the operation of his hands.’ A sad state! ‘ Woe unto those who are mighty to drink wine, and are men of strength to mingle strong drink.’ And therefore all are to shun such things; all are to be sober, and to mind and fear God, that they may escape these woes; as you may see in Isaiah, chap. 5.

And therefore all vintners, and such as sell wine, with ale-houses, inns, and restaurants, who sell ale, brandy, and strong liquors, never let any one have any more than does them good, and is for their health, (as is said before), so that all may eat and drink the good creatures of God to his praise and glory; which drunkards and gluttons cannot, nor they who let them have the creatures of God in excess, or immoderately until they are drunk and surfeited, for such do feed themselves without the fear of God.

Secondly, let all who go under the name of Christian families, train up their children in the fear of God, and keep themselves in the fear of God, that they may keep all their servants and families in the fear of God; out of all looseness and wantonness, and vanities and excess, and from all drunkenness, fornication, whoredom, or uncleanness, and unrighteousness, and all ungodliness; that they may keep out of all those things that displease or dishonor the Lord God. And do not nourish up the lust of the eye, nor the pride of life, nor the lust of the flesh; for if you do, you nourish up that which is not of God the Father And therefore to shun all these evils, and to depart from them, and keeping in the fear of God; this is the way to bring the blessing of God upon a land, kingdom, nation, or family.

George Fox

God will destroy them which destroy the earth. Rev 11:18.

Drunkenness makes a man worse than a beast, and makes a strong man weak, and a wise man a fool.

This testimony and warning was, and is owned and subscribed by many vintners and others, concerned in the trades and callings before mentioned, who were present at the reading of the manuscript.

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