The Missing Cross to Purity


Letters 369-378

A COLLECTION

OF

MANY SELECT EPISTLES TO FRIENDS,

OF

THAT ANCIENT, EMINENT, AND FAITHFUL MINISTER


OF JESUS CHRIST,

George Fox

Volume 2 Contd.

 

 

369.-An epistle to all planters, and men who are transporting themselves
into foreign plantations in America,

379 in Printing

My friends, that are gone, and are going over to plant,
and make outward plantations in America, keep your own plantations in your hearts,
with the spirit and power of God, so that your own vines and lilies are not hurt.
And in all places where you do outwardly live and settle,
invite all the Indians, and their kings, and have meetings with them, or they with you;
so that you may make inward plantations with the light and power of God, (the gospel),
and the grace, and truth, and spirit of Christ;
and with it you may answer the light, and truth, and spirit of God,
in the Indians, their kings and people;
and so by it you may make heavenly plantations in their hearts for the Lord,
and so beget them to God, that they may serve and worship him,
and spread his truth abroad.
And so that you all may be kept warm in God's love, power, and zeal,
for the honor of his name.
That his name may be great among the heathen, or Gentiles;
and you may see over, or be overseers with the holy ghost,
which was before the unclean ghost got into man and woman.
So with this holy ghost you may see, and oversee
that the unclean ghost and his works may be kept out of the camp of God.
So that his camp may be holy, and all the holy may come into it;
and he, who is holy, may walk in the midst of you his camp,
and be glorified in and among you all,
who is over all, and worthy of all glory, from everlasting to everlasting,
blessed and praised forevermore.

'From the rising of the sun, even to the going down of the same,
my name shall be great among the Gentiles.
And in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering;
for my name shall be great among the heathen, said the Lord of hosts.' Mal 1:11

'The Lord reigns, let the earth rejoice, let the multitudes of the isles be glad;
let every thing that has breath praise the Lord, for the Lord takes pleasure in his people.
He will beautify the meek with salvation.' Psa 97:1, Psa 149:4, Psa 150:6

George Fox
London, the 22nd of the 9th month, 1682


370.-To all Christians, to keep to yes, yes, and no, no,
and to fulfill their words and promises.

380 in Printing

All my dearly beloved friends and brethren everywhere,
the Lord God Almighty, with his holy power and spirit,
has gathered, and kept, and preserved you to this day a people to himself.
And now, dear friends and brethren, in all your words,
in all your business and employments,
have a care of breaking your words and promises to any people;
'but that you may, (before you make any promises to any man or woman),
consider before hand, that you may be able to perform and fulfill both your words
and promises to all people, that you make your promises; or give your word unto.
And that your yes be yes, and no be no, in all things,
which Christ has set up instead of an oath;
yes, above an oath and swearing, in his new covenant and testament.
And the apostle James holds forth the same doctrine.
And this yes, yes, and no, no, was set up when they forbid all oaths and swearing.

And therefore everyone's yes should be yes,
and everyone's no should be no; and so to stand.

And therefore all are to consider beforehand,
before they speak their yes, yes, and before they speak their no, no;
in the new covenant of grace, light, and life;
that with the light they may see safely when they speak their yes, yes, and their no, no,
which is the practice of the children of light in the new covenant of light;
by and in which light they see and consider what they are able to perform,
what they speak at yes, yes, and what they are able, to stand to at no, no.
So if you walk in the light, it will preserve you out of all rash and hasty words and promises, which many run into,
that do neither perform their yes, yes, nor their no, no.

Therefore in the new covenant of grace, light, and life,
all are to speak yes, yes, to what they can do and perform;
and what they say no, no to, that in the light, and life, and grace of God
they may likewise stand to their no, what they say no to.

So that none make any promise,
or speak yes, or no, rashly, which they cannot perform;
for such kind of inconsiderate and rash speaking
is not in the everlasting covenant of light, life, and grace.
Take heed, for fear that you be numbered among the covenant breakers,
spoken of Rom 1:31
and such truce breakers, which the apostle speaks of, 2 Tim 3:3-5
'Which have a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof;
from such turn away,'
said the apostle.
And therefore those who deny the power of godliness, will not be faithful to God nor man;
and such cannot exercise a good conscience to God, in obedience to him,
nor to man, to perform that which is just, righteous, and honest.
Therefore the apostle exhorts the christians in the New Testament,
to 'speak the truth in love, and to put away lying,
and to speak every man the truth to his neighbor' Eph 4:25

And David said, 'Who shall abide in thy tabernacle and who shall dwell in thy holy hill?
He that walks uprightly, and works righteousness, and speaks the truth in his heart;

but they that speak vanity, every one to his neighbor,
with flatering lips and a double heart, the Lord shall cut off.'

And Solomon, speaking of wisdom, says, 'My mouth shall speak truth,
and wickedness is an abomination to my lips.'

And James says, in his general epistle, ' So speak you, and so do,'
So see here how certain and steadfast the holy men of God would have God's people to be in their words and doings.
And also James was careful, that the saints in their outward dealings were to be just,
and reproved such for saying, 'Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city,
and continue there a year, and buy, and sell, and get gain;
whereas they did not know what should be on the morrow.
But they ought to say if the Lord will, we shall live, and do this or that.'

Therefore you may see how careful the apostle was,
to keep all true christians in the fear of the Lord, and in the sense of his will.
God is true and faithful to his people in all generations;
and so he would have his people to be true and faithful to him, and to one another,
and to all men in his spirit and truth.
And Christ said, 'He that is faithful in that which is least, is faithful also in much;
and he that is unjust in the least, is unjust also in much.'
And further he said, 'If you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon,
or riches, who will commit unto you the true riches?'

Therefore there must be a justness and faithfulness
in the outward riches between man and man,
if you will have a place in your hearts for the true heavenly riches;
the inward faithfulness to God brings forth faithfulness to men in outward things.
And as the apostle said to the saints,
'Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest,
whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure,
whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report;
if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things:'
which are very good things to be minded,
thought upon, and practiced by the church of Christ.

The Lord said by Zechariah, 'These are the things that you shall do:
speak you every man the truth to his neighbor,
execute the judgment of truth and peace in the gates.'

Again, 'Therefore said the Lord, I am returned unto Zion,
and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem; and Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth,
and the mountain of the Lord of hosts, a holy mountain.'

And if outward Jerusalem was called so in the days of the old testament,
surely much more is heavenly Jerusalem, in the new covenant and testament,
ca1led 'the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem;'
into which nothing that is unclean can enter;
but all the believers in the light, and the children of the light, enter into it,
whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life;

and are to walk in truth and righteousness,
and speak the truth every man to his neighbor, according to the apostle's doctrine.

And so, as everyone has received Christ Jesus, who is the truth,
walk in him the truth, and speak the truth, as it is in Jesus.
'For you are bought with a price,
therefore glorify God in your bodies and in your spirits, which are his.'

And the Lord in mercy grant, that all his people, (who profess his name),
may do so to his praise, to his glory, and to his honor, over all forever. Amen.

And do not slight the form of sound words in truth.
You who have bought the truth, do not sell it.
And 'he that orders his conduct aright shall see the salvation of God.'
And the apostle says to the Philippians,
'Let your conduct be as it becomes the gospel of Christ:'
for the apostle says, 'our citizenship is in heaven,'
where must be the citizenship of all the true followers of Christ,
who are built upon him the rock and foundation, who is from above.
And the Lord God establish all his people
upon this rock and foundation which stands sure,
that upon him they may stand fast with the grace and truth that come from him. Amen.

George Fox
Edmonton, in Middlesex county, the 23d of the 11th month, 1682


371.-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.

381 in Printing

First, all you vintners that sell wine, that keep taverns, or such-like houses;
and all you innkeepers, and you that keep food-houses,
ale-houses, and strong-water shops etc.
see that you never let any man or woman have any more wine, ale,
strong drink, brandy, or strong water, 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,
till they are drunk, or to make them drunk:
1.You destroy the good creatures of God.
2. You destroy them that have not power over their lusts,
no more than a rat or a swine, who will drink till they are drunk.
3. You are a great cause of ruining them in their health, purses, 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 call for music, pipe, and harp, (and it may be their whores also);
and so in this, you that suffer or allow such things, are nursers 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 they are 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 you think that God, with his all-seeing eye, does not see 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 which feeds the destroying lust must needs be destroyed;
and the profit of that will not be gain to you in the end.

For, are not you sensible, how many;
after they have spent their estates, or part or them,
will run into your debts for wine or strong liquors,
yes, such as you served more than did or does them good?
And is not this the cause, that many break by trusting, and other ways, as before said ?
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 man or woman have any more wine or strong liquor,
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, till wine inflame them;
then they call for the harp and the violin the tambourine and the pipe,
But such regard not the work of the Lord, neither consider the operation of his hands:'

A sad state! 'Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine,
and are men of strength to mingle strong drink.'

And therefore all 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 Isa 5:11-12, 22.

And therefore all vintners, and such as sell wine, with ale-houses, inns,
and food houses, who sell ale, brandy, and strong liquors,
never let anyone have more than does them good, and is for their health,
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,
till 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 females 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 keep in the fear of God
;
this is the way to bring the blessing of God upon a land, kingdom, nation, or family.
'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.

George Fox


372.-An epistle to the household of faith.
(OBEDIENCE)

382 in Printing

Friends,

Consider how the blessing of the Lord came upon the obedient and faithful to the Lord, and rested upon them.
The Lord said to Abraham, 'Go out of your country, and from your kindred, and from your father's house.
And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you.
And yours shall be a blessing, and I will bless them that bless you,
and curse them that curse you;
and in you and your seed, shall all the families of the earth be blessed.
'
Abraham obeyed the Lord, and went forth from Ur of the Chaldees,
and so be left all the religions, and worships,
and teachers of the country of the Chaldees behind him and followed the Lord.
And the Lord said unto Abraham, 'Walk before me, and be perfect.' Gen 17:1
And again, the Lord said unto Abraham,
'Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation,
and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him.' Gen18:18

And again, the Lord said unto Abraham, 'That in blessing I will bless you,
and in multiplying I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven,
and as the sand which is upon the sea shore,
and thy seed shall possess the gates of his enemies;
and in your seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed,
because you have obeyed my voice.'

Abraham obeying God's voice, brought this blessing upon him, as in Gen 22:17-18
'And the Lord said, I know Abraham that he will command his children
and his household after him, that they shall help the way of the Lord,
to do justice and judgment,
that the Lord may bring upon Abraham all that which he has spoken of him.'

Now you may see here what it is that brings the blessing,
and kept the blessing upon Abraham and his seed, etc.
Now if you are of the true faith, you are of Abraham,
and are blessed with faithful Abraham.
Gal 3:9
And in this seed and faith of Abraham,
you will command your children and your household after you, to keep to way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment,
that the Lord may bring the blessing upon you and your household and children;
keeping in the same faith and seed of Abraham,
and you and your children and your household,
keeping in the way of the Lord to do justice and judgment,
then, I say, the blessing which came upon Abraham will come upon you,
and upon your children and your household,
and then you will know the promise of God fulfilled;
'Cursed is he that curses you, and blessed is he that blesses you;'
and therefore live and walk in the seed, 'which bruises the head of the serpent,'
in which seed all nations are blessed,
yes, all families, households, and children,
in which faith and seed you command (mark, command)
'your children and your household after you, to keep the way of the Lord,'
As Abraham did, to do justice and judgment.' Gen 18:19.

Now you that have not this authority to command over your children and households,
you are not in the faith and seed of Abraham, that is,
'to command your children, and household after you, to keep the way of the Lord,
and to do justice and judgment.'

Now the Lord had a confidence in Abraham,
and so he has in all them that are of his seed and faith now,
that they will command their children and household
to keep the way of the Lord, as he did,
and walk before the Lord, and to do justice and judgment;
and that Abraham's family and children should not go back again into those country's religions or ways,
which the seed and faith of Abraham had and had led them out of.
For they that are commanded to come out of them,
into God's way, into the way of the Lord,
are commanded to keep in the way of the Lord,
and they are to command their children and their household to keep the way of the Lord,
and to keep out of all the ways of the world,
and out of all the ungodly, unjust ways, in the seed, which bruises the head of the serpent.
And the Lord said to Isaac, 'I will make your seed to multiply as the stars of heaven,
And in your seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.' Gen 26:4.

Now here you may see that Isaac inherited his father's inheritance in the seed,
and in the faith and way of the Lord; in which seed all nations are blessed.
And so do all they that are of the faith and seed of Abraham,
that walk in the steps of faithful Abraham, in the way of the Lord,
and obey his voice, inherit the blessing of Abraham,
for you may see it was not the only care, that their children might inherit a little earth after them,
but that they might inherit the seed and the faith, which had the blessing.

And Isaac said to Jacob, 'God Almighty bless you,
and give the blessing of Abraham to you, and to your seed with you.' Gen 28:3-4.

And this Isaac spoke to Jacob before Jacob had any children;
and here you may see Isaac's care,
that Jacob and his seed might inherit the faith and blessing of Abraham and Isaac;
and this should be their first inheritance, and then they should inherit the outward land.
And this should be the care of all them that walk in the steps of the faith of Abraham,
to see that their children and household do inherit the faith, seed, and blessing of Abraham, in the first place,
by keeping in the way of the Lord.
And they are to command their children
to walk in the way of the Lord, that they may so do;
and you may see, that Jacob did inherit the blessing of Abraham and Isaac,
in Abraham and Isaac's seed and faith.

When the Lord said unto Jacob, 'Your seed shall be as the dust of the earth,
and you shall spread abroad to the west, and to the east,
and to the north, and to the south'
and in you, and in your seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.'
So here you may see Jacob's possession,
who did inherit the blessing of Abraham and Isaac;
and they that are of the seed and faith, which keep the way of the Lord,
they do inherit this blessing in the seed, in which all nations are blessed'.
And this is according to Christ's doctrine, 'seek you first the kingdom of God
and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you,'

namely, 'what you shall eat, or what you shall drink, or with which shall you be clothed;
for after all these things do the Gentiles seek.
For your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things.'

And here Christ, (who was of the seed of Abraham, and of David, according to the flesh),
would have people to seek their inheritance in the kingdom of heaven, and its righteousness, before they seek outward things.
And they were to lay up for themselves treasure in heaven.
And to know that portion for them and their children. Mat 6
And the apostle said, 'The children of the promise are counted for the seed." Rom 9:8
'For in Isaac shall thy seed be called.' Gen 21:12
And Christ said, 'The good seed are the children of the kingdom.' Mat 13:38
And this is the seed in which all nations are blest, who keep the way of the Lord, and justice, and judgment,
such the Almighty has blessed with 'the blessings from above,
the blessings of the deep, the blessing of the breast, and of the womb.' Gen 49:25

And 'he will also bless the fruit of the land your corn, and your wine, and your oil,
and the increase of your kine, and the flocks of your sheep.' Deut 7:13

And they that serve the Lord their God; he will bless their bread, and their water. Exo 23:25
And 'a faithful man shall abound with blessings.' Prov 28:20
So you may see, they that are in the faith, and in the holy seed,
which keeps in the way of the Lord, and command their children and household to do the same;
they have the blessings from heaven above, and the blessings below,
yes, the blessings of the eternal inheritance, and of the kingdom of God.
And that was their chief inheritance,
that all the faithful seed of Abraham sought to possess their household and their children in,
who did command their children and household to keep the way of God,
that they might inherit the blessing.
David said, 'Blessed is the man that walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful.

But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in his law does meditate day and night.'

Now here is the condition of those who enjoy the blessing,
they must keep from the counsel of the ungodly, and the way of sinners,
and the seat of the scornful.
Now here you may see David's instruction, how people might inherit the blessing.

Lev 10:10-11 'That you may put a difference between the holy and unholy,
and between the clean and unclean,
and that you may teach your children all the statutes,
which the Lord has spoken unto them by the hand of Moses.'

And it was so in the old testament, that they might learn the statutes there.
Surely much more they are to learn the commands of Christ in his new testament.

And in Deut 4:9-10. "they were to teach their sons; and their sons' sons;"
and again, they were to 'teach their children,
that they might learn to fear God all the days that they lived upon the earth;'

This they were to teach their children;
and again, in Deut 11:19 it was the command of God,
that they were to teach their children the commandments of God,
and they were to speak of them, when they sat in their house,
and when they walked by the way, when they lay down, and when they rose up
.
And in Deut 30:14 Moses told them, 'that the word was near them,
in their mouths, and in their hearts, that they might do it.'

And David said, 'Come, you children hearken to me,
and I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
O fear the Lord, you saints; there is no want to them that fear him.' Psa 34:11, 9

'You that fear the Lord, trust in the Lord; he is their help and their shield.' Psa 115:11
And you may see all along in the Old Testament,
they that feared the Lord, were commanded to teach and instruct their children
the way of the Lord, that they might walk in it, and inherit the blessing;
which was a better portion than outward riches which will pass away;
for they make themselves wings and fly away.'
Solomon said, 'Train up a child in the way he should go,
and when he is old be will not depart from it.
Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child,
but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.' Prov 22:6, 15

'He that spares the rod, hates his son; but he that loves him, chestiest him at times.'
'By mercy and truth, iniquity is purged out;
and by the fear of the Lord, they depart from evil.' Provo 13:24 and 16:6

And the apostle's command is, 'for children to obey their parents in the Lord, for this is right.'
Eph 6:1 and Col 3:20, It is well pleasing to the Lord, children to obey their parent.


And the bishops or elders, were to rule well their own houses,
and to have their children in subjection, with all gravity
;
and likewise, the deacons were to rule their own children and their own houses well. 1 Tim 3:12
And likewise you may see the good report of the widows bringing up children, which followed every good work.
And in Titus, such as were elders or overseers, their children were to be faithful, not accused of riot, or unruly;
and the aged women were to be of good behavior, as becomes holiness,
and teachers of good things;
and that they teach the younger women to be sober,...
And that the word of God be not blasphemed.

And Titus was to exhort young men to be sober minded.
'For the grace of God which brings salvation has appeared unto all men,
teaching us, that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts,
we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world;

that being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.'
And Peter said, 'As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to your former lusts, in your ignorance;
but as he who has called you is holy, so you be holy in all manner of conduct
;
and be not like them, feeding themselves without fear,
which are the clouds without rain, and wells without water, and trees without fruit, whom Jude declares against;

'such cannot eat and drink to the praise and glory of God.'
So you see what care, both in the old and new testament, the faithful parents had,
to teach their children the way of the Lord;
and the Lord has a confidence in all them that fear him, and are of the faith and seed of Abraham,
that they will not only admonish their children and household, but command their children and household after them,
to keep the way of the Lord, Gen 18:19.

And to keep out of the wicked ways of the world.
The apostle said, 'They which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.'
For you are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus;'
and if you be Christ's, then are you Abraham's seed,
and heirs according to the promise.' Gal 3:9, 26, 29

And so the children of God are counted for the seed,
which the good seed Christ said, are the children of the kingdom.

And the apostle spoke to the Romans,
that they should walk in the steps of the faith of Abraham.
Again, the apostle said to the Corinthians, concerning Titus,
'Walked we not in the same spirit, walked we not in the same steps?'

And in the first epistle of Peter, 'Christ has suffered for us,
leaving us an example that we should follow his steps, who did not sin,
neither was guile found in his mouth.'

So these were holy steps, and are a religious holy people
that walk in the steps of faithful Abraham, and of Christ and the apostles;
and these have the pure religion,
and do visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction,
and keep themselves unspotted from the world;

and these are they that are circumcised with the spirit,
and baptized with the holy ghost
,
and serve God night and day, and worship him in spirit and truth.
And these are the religious families,
which are of the holy, divine, pure, and precious faith,
which Christ is the author and finisher of
,
which faith purifies their hearts, and is their victory,
by which they have access to God, in which they please him,
in that faith which Christ is the author and finisher of,
which is called the gift of God
;
and they that are of this faith, the same are the children of Abraham,
and are blessed with faithful Abraham.
And Abraham was called the friend of God;
and so are all his children that are of his seed and faith;
they are not friends of the devil, the wicked and unrighteous one,
but him and his works they forsake,
who are friends of God, they are friends of righteousness and holiness,
And such the blessings of God rest upon,

them that are of the seed, and walk in the seed, Christ,
that bruises the serpent's head
, and in that seed are all nations blest;
and out of the mouth of the seed's seed, shall not God's word depart;
but, it shall abide in the mouth of the seed's seed, (this living word of God.)
But the word of God do not abide in them, who make a profession of the scriptures,
but live not in the power and spirit of the holy ghost, that gave forth the scriptures;
such are like the Jews, John 5:39-40,
and such think to have life in the scriptures,
but they will not come unto Christ that they may have life;

for none come to Christ, but by believing in the light, which is the life in him the word.

Now, dear friends and brethren in Christ Jesus,
if you keep in the seed and faith of Abraham,
in it you will command your children and families to walk in the way of the Lord;
for in it you have authority:
that they may keep the pure, holy, and righteous way of the Lord after you,
when you are gone, that they may succeed you in the faith and seed,
and way of the Lord, and in the blessing of God, as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob did. Amen.

George Fox


373.-To the Quarterly Meeting at York.
383 in Printing

Dear friends and brethren in the Lord Jesus Christ, your life and salvation,
your rock and foundation, rest and sanctuary, in all storms, trials, and sufferings.

Now, dear friends, my desire is, that, you may all strive for that which makes for peace.
'For blessed are the peacemakers, they are called the children of God.'
And therefore, whatsoever things are honest, just, pure, lovely, and of good report,
if there be any virtue and praise, think on these things to practice them.

So that in the power of the Lord, that is over the devil and his power,
all may be kept chaste, pure, and holy, to the glory of God;
and all that are in the true faith and knowledge may show it forth in virtue,
temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness
,
and true charity or love, which bears all things.
For they that dwell in love, dwell in God, that is their habitation.
And let all things be done in love, in the name and power of Jesus Christ.
And all to strive in the spirit of the Lord God, and his truth,
to be of one mind and judgment;
so that you may all be baptized with one spirit into one body,
and so all to drink into one spirit.

And keep the unity and fellowship in the holy spirit of God,
which is the bond of peace
among all God's children,
that are led by his holy spirit
,
whose communion and fellowship is in the holy ghost,
by which you are led into all truth.

Now, dear friends, let there be no strife in all your meetings,
nor vain doctrinal arguments nor disputings;
but let all that tends to strife be ended out of your meetings
,
that they may be kept peaceable;
so that you may be at peace among yourselves,
and the God of peace and love may fill all your hearts,
which love edifies his church.
And condescend one to another in the fear of the Lord,
to that which is honest, just, virtuous, and of good report;
and where any weakness has been in anything,
let it he covered and buried in the spirit and love of God, that his spirit
and love may be uppermost in you all, to unite all your hearts together;
and that you may all show forth that you are the children by which the heavenly wisdom is justified,
which is pure, (mark), pure, peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated,
which is above the wisdom that is below
,
that is neither pure, peaceable, nor easy to be entreated.
And in all matters of business, or difference, or controversies,
treat one another in such things kindly and gently,
and be not fierce, or heady, and high minded;
for that spirit will bring men and women to be lovers of themselves,
and to be despisers of others, and that which is good,
which leads nature out of its course, and so loses natural affections,
and at last comes to be without natural affections;
which spirit we see most of christendom is led by.
For, if they were in natural affections,
they would not destroy their fellow creatures about religion;
but being without natural affections,
they have not affections to their fellow creatures;
namely, man and woman, who were made in God's image.
The law and the prophets commanded to 'love their neighbor, as themselves;'
and Christ commands, to 'do unto all men, as they would have men do unto them.'
And the gospel commands, to 'love one another;'
by which they are known to be Christ's disciples
;
and to 'love their enemies, and to pray for them,
and to forgive one another,' as Christ has forgiven them.
So that those, whose conversation is according to the gospel of peace, do establish the law and the prophets.
Those who know the divine nature, and are made partakers of it,
and are not without natural affections,
but have affections to it, to cherish and preserve it.
And this the word of wisdom teaches,
by which all things were made and created good and blessed;
by which all things are upheld,
by which all things are sanctified to God's people,
that God created by his word,
and made them good, and blessed them;
by which word and wisdom all things are sanctified to God's people, (as before),
and are used and ordered by his word of wisdom to his glory and praise.

And now, dear friends,
whereas there have been formerly some discourses by some in your meeting,
of marrying within a year after the decease of the wife or of the husband;
my desire is, in those things,
friends may show forth both chastity, and virtue, and temperance;
for formerly hasty marriages were reckoned among the infamous person,
as for a man or a woman to marry within the year of the death of the wife or husband.
And therefore, for virtue and chastity's sake, and the truth, and good example's sake,
that which is honest, lovely, and of good report, keep, and walk in, and follow;
for we ought, in the power of Christ Jesus,
to outstrip the world in virtue, chastity, modesty, and temperance, and in that which is of good report.
For our heavenly light ought to ‘shine so before men,
that they may see our good works, and glorify our Father which is in heaven.'

And therefore all in the church of Christ ought to live in the spirit and power of Christ,
in which they judge the world and all the fallen angels.
So in this heavenly power,
the virtue, purity, chastity, flows and shines over all;
and those who possess, as though they did not;
and they that marry, as though they married not
;
they are all resigned in the power of Christ,
that gives dominion over the world,
which brings all into one mind,
and to be of one heart and soul
, and to one judgment,
and are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, and holy nation;
a peculiar people, that show forth the praise of Christ,
who has called them out of darkness into his marvelous light,
and as living stones, are built up a spiritual household, a holy priesthood,
to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

And so, my dear friends, my desire is,
that in Jesus Christ you may all live and, walk, who is the seed of the woman,
'that bruises the serpent's head;'

that is, the head of all wickedness and strife;
and in this seed, Christ, all nations are blessed,
as they live and walk in him;
and the blessings from above, and the blessings beneath, rest upon them;
and in this seed Christ all have rest and peace,
who is the first and the last,
over all, blessed forever. Amen.
In him is my love to you all, as though I named you.      

George Fox

Read this in your Quarterly Meeting at York.

 

374.--To the Six Weeks Meeting in Barbados.
384 in Printing

Dear friends,

In Christ in whom we have peace, purity, holiness, and righteousness,
you must be kept holy and righteous to the glory of God,
and righteousness, and holiness, and purity,
must wear and outlive all that is contrary to it;
and patience, and meekness, and humility, and kindness; and sobriety,
must wear out passion, envy, strife,
and wrath, high mindedness, and loftiness, and willfulness.
And therefore consider,
the holy men and women of God must not strive, but be gentle to all;
and in that alone keep their dominion;
for truly, friends, love gathers into love, and edifies the body of Christ.
And let nothing be done with strife, but in love, to the glory of God,
in the name of Christ, and in his power;
so that you may all see and feel Christ among you,
ordering you all to his glory with his wisdom,
which is pure, peaceable, and easy to be entreated;

so that none may be burdened nor oppressed in your meetings,
but that the life and seed may reign in you all;
and so the Lord may have the glory of all,
and you may all have comfort in him your head.
And do not much strive with unruly talkers,
but keep your peace in the spirit and power of Christ,
that will overcome and wear out all that is contrary to it.
So that all may keep their own habitation in Christ Jesus,
who is over all, the first and last
,
and in his power and spirit live and walk,
so that you all may be trees with fruits, and wells with water,
and have bread in your own tabernacles,
and your own lamps trimmed and burning,
and that there may be no strife among you, but dwell in love;
for he that dwells in love, dwells in God;

so, God who is love, is to be your salvation.
And condescend to the meek, and to every appearance of the Lord God,
and make every one's condition in the truth your own;
in that you will deny yourselves, and become all to all in the truth,
so that none may be hurt in the truth, nor made to stumble,
nor the blind caused to wander
, but be directed into the right way,
and all as the tender plants may grow together, as the Lord's planting,
and he watering them, and giving the increase
and growth to his glory;
so that the Lord may have the praise and glory of all his works. Amen.

And be careful in all your meetings,
that they may be kept peaceable in the wisdom of God,
that is pure and peaceable, and easy to be entreated;

so that 'wisdom may be justified of her children.'
That there be no harshness or fierceness,
but meekness and mildness, and gracious language,
which will edify and season the hearers, and be of a good savor.
And this will honor the seed Christ, from where grace and truth comes,
and will be to your comfort, and show forth whose children you are;
for, as Christ said, 'Blessed are the peacemakers, they are children of God.'
And therefore all do this work, that you may have this blessing.
And so, with my love to you all, that are convinced or God's truth,
as though I named you all;
and all to dwell in love; then you all do dwell in God, as I said before;
and so the Lord God Almighty preserve you all in Christ your sanctuary. Amen.            

George Fox

You may read this in your Monthly or Quarterly Meeting.

 Kingston; the 7th of the 9th month, 1683

 

375.- To suffering Friends in prison at Bristol
385 in Printing

Dear friends,

With my love to all the prisoners and the faithful, as though I named them.
It is the time now for all the faithful to keep in Christ their sanctuary,
in whom you have all peace, rest, life, and salvation,
and by the testimony of Jesus, and the blood of the Lamb,
whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life,
before the foundation of the world,

they were they that did overcome,
and did eat of the hidden manna, and had the new name
.
And therefore now is the time to keep the word of patience, and the testimony of Jesus;
for those who keep the word of patience,
the Lord will keep them in the hour of temptation,
which will come upon the whole world, to try them which dwell upon the earth;

for the word was before the world was, and tempter;
for all things were made by the word.
And it is also the word of reconciliation, the word of power, the word of wisdom,
and the word of life, and the word of salvation, [and the word of truth, and word of faith,]
by which people are reconciled to God,
that are born again of the incorruptible seed by the word of God;
and they feed and grow by the milk of the word,
which lives, and abides, and endures for ever,
which strengthens all the faithful, in all ages,
in all their afflictions, imprisonments, and sufferings;
and it is the same to God's people now in this day of trial,
to preserve all his people everywhere, in his spirit and power, faithful to himself;
for, he that endures faithful to the end shall be saved.
And Christ said, ‘He that is ashamed of me before men,
him will I be ashamed of before my Father, and his angels which are in heaven.'

And therefore it is good to confess Christ before men,
to be your priest, prophet, your shepherd,
your bishop
, your way, your mediator,
that makes your peace between God and you
;
and be valiant for his glorious name and truth upon the earth.
And so with my love in the seed,
in which you and all nations are blessed
.           

George Fox

 

376.- To Friends in Charleston, in Carolina.
386 in Printing

Dear friends, of the Monthly Meeting of Charleston,
in Ashley Cooper River, in Carolina,
I received your letter, dated the sixth day of the Eighth-month, 1683.
Wherein you give an account of your meeting,
and of the country, and of your liberty in that province,
which I am glad to hear of, though your meeting is but small;
but, however, stand all faithful in truth and righteousness,
that your fruits may be unto holiness;
and your end will be everlasting life.
And that you may be patterns of virtue, modesty, chastity, and sobriety,
showing forth the fruits and life of Christianity in your lives and conversations,
that they may preach righteousness, truth, and holiness to all people in that dark wilderness,
that you may answer the truth both in them that are called christians, and in the Indians.
And my desire is, that you may prize your liberty,
both natural and spiritual, and the favor that the Lord has given you,
that your yes is taken instead of an oath;
and that you do serve both in assemblies, juries, and other offices, without swearing, according to the doctrine of Christ:
which is a great thing, worth prizing.
And take heed of abusing that liberty,
or losing the savor of the heavenly salt,
which seasons your lives and conversations in truth, holiness, and righteousness.
For you know, when the salt has lost its savor,
it is good for nothing but to be trodden under the foot of men
.
For we here are under great persecution,
between thirteen and fourteen hundred in prison;
an account of which has lately been delivered to the king.
Besides the great spoil and havoc which is made of Friends' goods, by informers;
and besides the great spoil [court seizure] upon the two thirds of our estates,
and upon the twenty pound a month acts, for not going to the steeple-house;
and besides many are imprisoned and premunired for not swearing allegiance,
both men, women, widows, and maids;
and many are fined and cast into prison, as rioters, for meeting to worship God.
And we are kept out of our meetings in streets and highway in many places of the land, and beaten and abused.
And therefore prize the liberty, both natural and spiritual, that you enjoy.
And many are cast into prison because they cannot pay the priests' tithes;
and also many are cast into prison by the bishops' writs, de excommunicato capiendo.
So, that at present we are under great sufferings, persecutions, and imprisonments.
But the Lord's power is over all, and that supports his people.

But in Ireland, Scotland, Holland, Germany and Dantzig,
we hear that Friends are in peace and quietness;
and therefore you that have great liberty, both natural and spiritual, (as before said),
be valiant for God's truth upon the earth, and spread it abroad,
both among them that are called christians and Indians,
turning them from darkness to light, Christ Jesus, the savior,
whom God has set up for an ensign among the Gentiles or heathen,
and to be his salvation unto the ends of the earth.
So seek the good of all, and the profit of all,
and the salvation, and the glory of God above all,
and the exalting of his name and truth in your day and generation;
and live in love, and in the truth, and the love of it;
and overcome evil with good;
and hold fast that which is good, then you can try all things.

And so with my love to you all in the holy seed of life,
Christ Jesus, that reigns over all,
who is your sanctuary,
in whom you have all life, and peace, and salvation,
in him the Lord God Almighty preserve and keep you all,
holy, pure, and clean, to his glory. Amen.         

George Fox

London, the 23d of the 12th month, 1683

 

377.- To the Monthly and Quarterly Meeting in England.
387 in Printing

Friends,

Be all faithful in your testimony against tithes,
and all those things that have come up in the night of apostasy from the light, life, and power of God and Christ,
and against all looseness whatsoever,
that the heavenly camp of God may be kept clean and pure.
And all Friends, look at the Lord above all your sufferings,
and trust in him, who by his eternal power has preserved you to this day.
The Lord in his glorious power was with us in all our assemblies at this Yearly Meeting;
he over all has the dominion,
And he gave dominion to his people over all evil spirits.
Glory to his name forever. Amen.

And therefore let your eye be to the gospel, the power of God,
which has brought life and immortality to light in you,

which is farther than the law to be looked at.    

George Fox

The 9th of the 4th month, 1683.

 

378.-To Friends that are captives at Algiers.
388 in Printing

Dear friends,

Who are captives in Algiers, whom the Lord has enlightened with his day spring from on high,
and visited you with his tender mercies in your slavery and captivity,
that you may know his will, and do it in his light, grace, truth, and spirit,
that you may serve and worship the holy, eternal, and invisible God that made you.

Now, dear friends, to you is my love, and to all the rest that fear God, that meet with you;
my desires are, that you may all keep low in humility, in the fear of God, there is no danger;
for God dwells with the humble, and teaches the humble the way they should walk.
And therefore be careful of God’s glory, you who profess the name of God, and his son,
that your lives, and words, and conversations may preach godliness,
righteousness, holiness, virtue, sobriety, and modesty,
both to Turks, Moors, Jews, and to your patrons, and to the families where you live;
for Christ has enlightened every man that comes into the world,
he has enlightened the Turks, Jews, and Moors, with the light,
(which is the life in him the word),
that all in the light might know God and Christ;
and ‘the grace of God which brings salvation has appeared unto all men;'
so to the Turks, Jews, and Moors, yes, to all nations;
so that with the grace of God they may be taught to deny ungodliness and unrighteousness,
and live righteously and godly
; and therefore all must come to this grace of God in their hearts,
which brings their salvation
, (if they have salvation), and come to the throne of grace;
and this is the covenant of grace, in which is the election;
and God, who made all, pours out of his spirit upon all men and women in the world,
in the days of his new covenant,

yes, upon whites and blacks, Moors, and Turks, and Indians, Christians, Jews, and Gentiles,
that all with the spirit of God, might know God and the things of God,
and serve and worship him in his spirit and truth, that he has given them.
But those who resist the truth, and quench, and vex, and grieve,
and rebel against the spirit
that God has given them,
such are not like to serve and worship God in his spirit and truth;
but he that endures to the end in God's grace, spirit, light, and truth, shall be saved.
And the gospel of salvation is preached to every creature under heaven;
which gospel is the power of God, and the gospel of peace;
and so it is glad tidings to every creature under heaven
,
and to all nations, to the Turks, Jews, Indians, Moors, Christians, and Gentiles,
if they receive and obey the gospel of salvation, it is glad tidings to them all.
Now, this is the day of God's gathering;
and therefore all must come to the light, grace, truth, power, and spirit of God in their own particulars,
which they have from God and Christ, that by it they might be built upon Christ,
their heavenly rock and foundation
, who is their way to God,
who bruises the serpent's head, and through death destroyed death, and the devil the power of death,
and so destroys death, and so destroys the devil and his works
; for sin brought death;
and now Christ, who destroy death that sin brought, and makes an end of sin,
is the sanctuary for all his believers in all storms and tempests,
trials, and troubles, and sufferings, to rest upon, in whom they have peace; yes, life and salvation.

Now there is a common saying among the Turks to the Christians,
‘Your crucified God,’ meaning Christ.
Now this is their mistake; though God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself,
it was not the eternal God that died and was crucified that was in Christ;
for Christ said, when he was suffering, 'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me’?
So Christ suffered in the flesh, and died, and was crucified, as he was man,
not as he was God, the word, which was in the beginning;
but as he was man, who bore the sins and iniquities of all mankind,
and was an offering for the sins of the whole world,
who through death tasted death for every man
; all being in death in Adam.
So that they might have life through Christ the second Adam;
so, I say again, that Christ did not die as he was God, but as man.
‘He was crucified and buried, and rose again the third day,
and ascended, and is at the right hand of God;'
this he did by the power of God, as he was man.
So the Turks are mistaken, to say, or to think, that the eternal God could be crucified or die.

Dear friends, I thought it needful to write a letter to you concerning this their mistake,
which you may be wise in making use of;
and my desires are, that you may be preserved, and exalt God's name in your places of captivity,
and in your lives, words, and conversations, answering God's witness in the Turks, Jews, Moors, and your patrons.
And keep low, and walk wisely that you may be a good savor in the hearts of all there;
and then the blessings of the Lord, and his presence, will rest upon you, and be in you.
I think you have more liberty to meet there than we have here;
for they keep us out of our meeting, and cast us into prison, and spoil our goods.
And therefore prize your liberty in your meetings, and do not abuse it;
and the Lord preserve you all in his grace, fear, and wisdom,
that you may grow up in Christ the head, and walk in him, to the glory of God. Amen.

Read this openly in your meetings;
and I have sent you here some books that you may read them,
and give them to the Turks or English, as you may see fit;
which books are to the Turks, one concerning good conversation;
and another concerning the temple;
and another concerning Abraham instructing his family,
and one to all kings and princes;
and another concerning revelation and inspiration,
with some others, to read among yourselves.

And, friends, it would be very well for you, if you could get the Turks and Moors' language,
that you might be the more enabled to direct them to the grace and spirit of God in them,
which they have from God, in their hearts;
and then getting their language, you would be able to write and translate any papers to them,
which may be serviceable to instruct them, and for the spreading of the truth among the Turks and Moors.
So with my love to you.

George Fox

Gousey in Essex, the 10th of the 2nd month, 1683.

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