The Missing Cross to Purity


Letters 379 - 386

A COLLECTION

OF

MANY SELECT EPISTLES TO FRIENDS,

OF

THAT ANCIENT, EMINENT, AND FAITHFUL MINISTER


OF JESUS CHRIST,

George Fox

Volume 2 Contd.

 

 

379.- To all the household of faith,
which is the church of Christ,
who is the author and finisher of faith;
who are to do good unto all,
but especially to them of the same faith.

389 in Printing

The apostle said to the church of Christ, ‘I wrote to you an epistle,
not to keep company with;
yet not altogether with the people of this world,
nor with the covetous, extortionists, idolaters,
For then you must needs go out of the world.' 1 Cor 5:9-11. 
‘But now I have written unto you, not to keep company;
if any man that is called a brother,
is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater,
or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortionist,
with such an one, no not to eat.'

Therefore you see all such are to be avoided, as knowing,
‘neither fornicators, adulterers, effeminate, and abusers of themselves with mankind,
nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards,
nor revilers, nor extortionists shall inherit the kingdom of God.'

So you may see, all such workers you are not to keep company with,
nor so much as to eat with them,
though they have gone under the presumption of brothers and sisters.
So the camp of God must be kept clean of such;
for the feast must be kept with unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
So the old leaven must be purged out;
'For a little leaven leavens the whole lump.'

And therefore you must be a new lump, as you are leavened by it;
'For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us.'
Therefore, (as I said before), let us keep the feast with sincerity and truth.

And the apostle said,
'Be you not unequally yoked together with unbelievers.
For what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness?
And what communion has light with darkness?
And what concord has Christ with Belial?
And what part has he, who believes, with an infidel? (mark, part),
and what agreement has the temple of God with idols?
Wherefore come out from among them, and be you separate, said the Lord,
and touch no unclean thing;
and I will receive you, and I will be a father unto you,
(that is, take care for you), and you shall be my sons and daughters,
said the Lord God Almighty.'

And therefore if God's sons and daughters,
must be separated from all such things without,
and not to touch them, neither to have an agreement of unity with them,
nor be yoked with such actions and actors without, and not touch such as act such things.
Then, are they not to be separated from all such actions and actors within,
and not to touch such as act such things, though he be called a brother or sister,
seeing such actions make them infidels, and like Belial, and bring them into darkness?
And if there be no fellowship, communion, yoking or agreement with such actions and actors without,
then what yoking, communion, or fellowship and agreement, (mark, agreement),
can there be with such as act such things within,
that is called a brother or sister,
or keep company with such, or eat with such, 
‘that have a form of godliness, but deny the power?'

Therefore such lepers that defy the camp of God ought to be turned out of it,
till they are healed and cleansed from such leprosies;
as knowing that such actions and actors are out of the kingdom of God,
and out of the holy city, new and heavenly Jerusalem.
And no unclean thing comes into the kingdom of God,
nor enters the kingdom, the holy city.

And none come into the holy city, but by repentance,
and being turned and changed from all manner of evil and uncleanness whatsoever.

The adulterer is brought to a morsel of bread, and the slothful goes in rags.
But the virtuous are happy,
and the diligent are rich that serve the Lord.
Therefore have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness,
but rather reprove them
.
For the church of Christ's fellowship, (that are the believers), is in the light,
which is the life in Christ.
And so their fellowship is with the Father and the son
,
and their communion is in the holy ghost,
which proceeds from the Father and the son.
And therefore the church of Christ is to abstain from every appearance of evil.
And if they are to abstain from every appearance of evil,
then they cannot join or have unity with them, where evil appears.          .

And again, the apostle said to the church of the Thessalonians,
that they were to 'study to be quiet, and to do their own business,
and to work with their own hands,
and to walk honestly towards them that are without;
and that you may have lack of nothing.'

So here you may see the diligence in the truth that the apostle exhorted the church to practice.
First they are study to be quiet.
Secondly, they are all to mind their own business,
and work with their own hands, that they may lack nothing.
And thirdly, to walk honestly towards them that are without.
And if they walk honestly towards them that are without,
they must walk honestly to them that are within.
For the apostle had some occasion to write to the Thessalonians upon the matter.
For said he,‘We hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly,
working not at all, but are busy bodies.
Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ,
that with quietness they work and eat their own bread.
And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man,
and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.
Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.'

You may see there were not those gross evils charged upon him as were upon some among the Corinthians.
So you may see the apostle's care in the church of Christ was to keep all things clean and pure,
and all diligent in their places, serving the Lord, and not to be busy bodies, and talkers about other men's business;
but to be quiet, and not idle, but doing their own business, that they may lack nothing;
and so eat their own bread natural and spiritual.

Now the apostle speaks of widows, in his first Epistle to Timothy, Chap. 5.
what sort of widows they were to receive.
And you may see first the decent and lovely practice in the church of Christ:
'Rebuke not an elder, but entreat him as a father,
and younger men as brethren;
and the elder women as mothers,
and the younger women as sisters, with all purity.'

So are these to be entreated;
'and honor widows, that are widows indeed.
And if any widow have children or nephews;
let them learn, (mark, learn), first to show piety at home,
and provide for their parents;
for that is good and acceptable before God.'

So this piety must be learned and showed at home;
and these the widows must learn to look to.
Here these widow women have a service;
and in the first place they must 'learn to show piety at home,
and to provide for their parents and nephews,
and to show it abroad then in the church of Christ.'
So all must learn this lesson,
to show piety to their children and nephews,
and to provide for their parents.
For this practice and service is good and acceptable before God.

Now the state of desolate widows, she that is a widow indeed, and desolate,
trusted in God, and continued in supplications and prayers night and day.
But she that lives in pleasure is dead while she lives.
These things give in charge, that they may be blameless.

But if any provide not for his own, and especially for those of his own house,
he has denied the faith; and is worse than an infidel.
(mark! that is worse than the world.)
For the faith brings every man and every widow to be diligent,
and to provide for their own; that is their children and or kindred and parents, as before.
But the apostle says, especially those of his own house.
And so here is piety to be shown still two ways;
'for his own, and especially to those of his own house or family;'
and here are nephews and parents, as before mentioned.

And the apostle said,
‘Let not a widow be taken into the number under sixty years old,' 
Mark, here was a number that the widow was to be taken into;
and the widow that was to be taken into this number,
see her qualifications before she come into the number.
She must be well reported of for good works:
‘If she has brought up children,
if she has lodged strangers,
if she has washed the saints' feet,
if she has relieved the afflicted,
if she has diligently followed every good work,'

These are the qualified widows that are to be taken into the number.
So here was a great practice, and a diligence in piety for this woman to do,
before she was received into the number of the faithful.
'But,' says the apostle, 'the younger refuse;
for when they begin to wax wanton against Christ,
they cast off their first faith, and withal, they learn to be idle;'
so they forsake to learn and show piety, and to live in that;
and so do not learn to be diligent;
and wander about from house to house,
and not only idle, but tattlers and busy bodies,
speaking things they ought not.

And therefore such things were, and are to be reproved;
such as these were not to be received,
and taken into the number of the faithful, but to be refused.

And again the apostle said,
'I will therefore, that you younger women marry, bear children,
guide the house, give no occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.'

And the apostle says.
'If any man or woman that believes, have widows,
let them relieve them, and let not the church be charged;
that it may relieve those that are widows indeed’.

So here you may see the care, piety, and duty;
'if either man or woman that believes, have widows,
they are to relieve them, and not let the church of Christ be charged with them.
So let men and women learn to show piety to widows, to nephews, and to parents.

And the apostle said to Timothy,
'I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels,
that you observe these things, without preferring one before another;
do nothing by partiality, lay hands suddenly on no man.'

So here you may see the apostle's care in the church of Christ,
who would have all to be exercised in truth and piety,
and be diligent for their service, that truth required of them.

And then again, the apostle speaks of such as are lovers of themselves,
covetous, proud, boasters, disobedient to parents,
unthankful, unholy, without natural affections,
(to wit, to husband, or wife, children, parents, or others),
and likewise, truce-breakers,
which break their covenant or promises in their marriages, with God and with man;
and so likewise, break their truce and covenant with men in outward things;
and also, such as are false accusers, uncontrolled, fierce;
despisers of them that are good,

such are not like to be subject to the good spirit of God in themselves;
and traitors, heady, high minded, lovers of pleasures, more than lovers of God,
having the form of godliness, but denying the power thereof;
from such turn away, says the apostle.

Now if they were to turn away from them,
they were not to be heeded,
though they had the form of godliness, and of christianity;
if they were to turn away from them,
they were not to receive them into the camp;
for such are as lepers are to be turned away from.
And therefore the camp of God must be kept clean.
And Christ has given authority to his church to admonish and exhort,
and to reprove and rebuke all such things with authority.

Now, friends, concerning putting on of apparel.
The apostle in the spirit and power of Christ had a care in the church of God,
that they should adorn themselves as becomes the gospel,
with chaste lives and conversations,
and with the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible,
even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit;
which is in the sight of God of a great price.
This is that which arrays and beautifies God's church;
and not the outward adorning and plaiting the hair,
and every new fashion that comes up into the world. 1 Pet 3:1-4.

And also the apostle writes to Timothy,
and gives him that exhortation to the church,
'That women adorn themselves with modest apparel,
(mark, modest) with shamefacedness, and sobriety, (mark, sobriety)
not with broidered hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array.
For that was the practice of the Jew outward, and is to this day;
but with that which becomes women professing godliness, with good works.

So this is the adorning that all that profess godliness must be arrayed with. 1Tim 2:-10
So that all may be in that good behavior, as becomes godliness and holiness.
And likewise chaste and discreet, teachers of good things;
that the word of God may not be blasphemed, which they profess; as in Titus 2:2-5

And it is desired that all Friends, that have children, families, and servants,
may train them up in the pure and unspotted religion,
and in the nurture and fear of God;
and that frequently they read the holy scriptures,
which is much better than to be gadding abroad.
And exhort and admonish them;
that every family privately may serve and worship the Lord, as well as in public.
And that when they go to meetings, they may take their servants and families with them,
that they may not go wandering up and down in the fields, or to ale houses, as many have done,
to the dishonor of God and to the dishonor of their masters' and mistresses' families,
and to their own ruin and destruction.
And therefore, for Christ's sake and his pure religion, let there be care taken, to prevent all these things.
For such an one as cannot rule well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity,
how can he take care of the church of God. 1 Tim 3:4-5

And now, friends, concerning marriages, of which very many things have been written,
it is desired that all may be careful in that thing, of running hastily together.
And consider it first; that first, as it is God's joining, so it is his ordinance,
and it is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled.
And again, such men as draw out young women's affections, and run from one to another;
and leave them, and run to others.
And such women as draw out men's affections, and then leave them, and draw out other men's affections;
these practices bring many young women, and many young men into trouble;
and are sharply to be reproved.
For this work is not of God's joining, but out of his covenant.
Some of which have gone so far, as to promises, espousals, and contracts and then left them, and gone to others.
This is to be judged and reproved.
For, as we make no contract for marriages, we break none.

And likewise such young people, that trim up themselves in gay apparel,
and make a great show, and hang most on their backs,
that appear what they are not in substance;
which women have sometimes deceived young men;
and men deceived women,
and drawn out their affections and minds by outward show,
and deceived one another and brought one another into trouble.
Such are out of the fear of God and a chaste mind.
And therefore they are not like to expect a blessing in this life,
nor in the life which is to come, without great judgment and repentance.
Therefore such actions are to be reproved,
that they may be brought into chastity, virtue, and piety,
and to the adorning the hidden man of the heart, which is not corruptible,
and the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit;
which ornament or adorning is acceptable with the Lord.
For after this manner, in old time,
the holy women, who trusted in God, adorned themselves.

And likewise such, as after they are married break their covenant in marriage,
such go from the spirit of God, and his joining,
and from the spiritual society of God's people, and their unity and fellowship.
Such are to be reproved by the spirit of God.*
And if they do not return after reproof, Friends cannot have unity or fellowship with them,
but turn away from them; though they may have the form of godliness,
and have been called a sister or a brother, but have denied the power of godliness
.
Therefore all must abide in Christ the vine,
if they bring forth fruit to the glory and praise of God
. Amen.

*Note! The reproof for divorce does not come from someone speaking from their carnal mind; rather, it is the Holy Spirit that must direct somone to confront such a person and it is the Holy Spirit that must supply the words to the person doing the reproving. The person doing the reproving would necessarily be a mature elder, speaking only words supplied by the Holy Spirit because if some person attempts to reprove without words supplied by the Holy Spirit, the reprover's pride will speak, which will be worse than no reproof.

The apostle says, 'Now, we command you, brethren,
in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
that you withdraw yourselves from every brother that walks disorderly,' 2 Thess 3:6

Now, dear friends, consider old Eli's case, who did admonish his children;
but because he did not restrain them from the follies and the evils they run into,
therefore the Lord brought his judgments upon him,
that he lost his children's lives, and his priesthood, and his own life.

And do you think that this was not written for an example,
that others should be warned, hear, and fear?
And was not the gospel and the law given forth to restrain people from sin and evil,
and such things as dishonor God?         

George Fox

 

380.-An epistle to all Fiends everywhere.
390 in Printing

Friends,

This is the word of the Lord unto you all.
All live in the seed, in which all nations are blest;
in which seed you are blessed every way,
in your rising up and lying down;
in your goings out and comings in.

And you have the blessings from above,
and the blessings from beneath,
in this holy seed;

yes, the blessings of him that dwelt in the bush,
that made the very ground holy, that Moses trod upon,

who brings you out of the world,
which is as a bushy, thorny wilderness,
that you might dwell in this blessed seed, in which all nations are blest;
which bruises the serpent's head, who was the first questioner,
and tempter, and liar, and deceiver;
and man and woman by hearkening or giving ear to this questioner, liar,
and tempter, the serpent, they fell
from their habitation in the image of God,
and so went out of their habitation and service,
that God had placed them in, and commanded them to do.

But, the seed of the woman is come,
that bruises the serpent's head,

in which seed Christ, all nations are blest.

And all you who live and walk in this seed,
you live in him who bruises the serpent's head,
that liar, tempter, and questioner;
yes, and everyone by this seed Christ, may be renewed up into the image of God,
as Adam and Eve were in, in the beginning.
Then you are all in your habitations of life and truth, and the image of God;
and in it you know your services, that the Lord God Almighty commands you.
And you living in this holy seed,
you live over all vain unruly talkers, and vain disputers,
men of corrupt minds
, which have the form of godliness, but deny the power thereof.
All you who live in the seed that bruises the serpent's head,
turn away from such, for their work is to destroy;
whose words eat as a canker; who do profess truth in words,
and may have the form of godliness,
but in their works deny the power thereof
,
who are to every good work or service estranged.

And these are as the raging waves of  the sea and tempests,
they are known by their tempestuous spirits,
and its raging, like a raging of the sea,
casting up mire and dirt
; a murdering spirit, like Cain;
an opposing spirit, like Corah;
and erred from the true spirit, like Balaam
.
No rain in their clouds, no water in their wells, nor fruit on their trees;
twice dead; that is once dead, and made alive, and dead again
;    
so they cannot grow in the truth, light, nor the spirit of God, nor his gospel;
but such corrupt the earth, and corrupt people's minds;
are sowers of discord, strife, and contention;
coworkers with the serpent to beguile the unstable minds;
an such the seed of God reigns over.

And therefore in this holy seed Christ, all live and walk,
and shun such evil spirits and their works;
and all be established in this seed Christ Jesus,
so that the serpentine spirit, either by its strife, vain doctrinal arguments, vain disputing,
or its sowing of dissension, tempting and questioning,
or with feigned, fair, flattering, enticing words may not draw you out of your habitation of the seed, Christ Jesus;
and draw you from the image of God,
and your work and service in it,
that God and Christ commands you.

And therefore beware of this serpentine spirit,
that you may not be deceived, as Eve was;
and beware of dogs that will bite and devour you;
and beware of evil workers,

though they have ever such fair words to deceive the hearts of the simple.
Beware of false prophets, which are inwardly ravened from the spirit of God,
and are become wolves,
though they have got the sheep's clothing,
and the words of truth,
of Christ and his apostles,
whose fruits are as thorns and thistles.

But the seed Christ, that discovers all these things,
in him live, grow up, and walk and be established.

And beware of the leaven of the Pharisees,
who make an outward profession of the holy men's words,
but are persecutors of the seed, Christ Jesus,
in whom all nations are blest,
and despisers of his peaceable government;
of the increase of which there is no end
.
And into this blessed seed, the serpent cannot come,
nor any of his instruments nor his angels which are evil spirits.
And all the obsessed  about questions and strife and words,
and the vain arguers, and vain perverse disputers and contenders,
and the sowers of strife and dissension, makers of debate and strife:
all these are out of the blessed peaceable seed;
although they may profess the truth of all the new and old testament in words,
without the power of God,
(that they are turned away from, and therefore they are to be turned away from),
the trumpet of the Lord, his spirit and power is blown against them,
though they have never such high swelling words of vanity,
and have ever so many flattering fair words and good speeches,
and trimmed and decked with the sheep's clothing,
yet they are in the wolf's nature
,
and whored from the lamb and his nature,
and so from the seed Christ,
in whom all the children of the kingdom and the elect are to walk,
that are of his heavenly and spiritual generation,
and grow up in him as trees of righteousness, whose fruits are unto holiness,
and whose end will be everlasting life
.
And the end of that spirit and its fruits, before mentioned,
that are out of Christ and his peaceable truth,
will be destruction in the lake of fire.
And that is the word of the Lord to you all;
therefore be warned what you join to,
and what you lay hands on suddenly.

For I remember, before we were called Quakers,
as I was sitting in a house in Nottinghamshire, (about the year 1648),
the word of the Lord came to me and said,
‘Some of those that should come to be convinced with the light and spirit of God,
and should come so far as Cain to hear God's voice,
and as far as Balaam to hear God's voice,
and to have some opening
,
and to come so far as Corah, Dathan, and Abiram,
these should be the deceivers,
and the troublers of the church of Christ,
and seek to destroy the faithful, and to betray them:
who formerly had some experience to talk of, but did not live in the truth.'
Which I and many others have seen come to pass and fulfilled.

For Christ said to his disciples, that the false prophets and the antichrists,
(which were inwardly the ravened wolves, which the apostles and believers should beware of),
should come to them, to try them;
they had the sheep's clothing, and outward profession of christianity,
but were inwardly ravening wolves to devour them.

Now, these were inwardly ravening from something.
And the apostle John speaks of such as went out from us.
It seems, they were once among them,
‘but’, (said he),‘they were not of us;
for if they had been of us,
they would no doubt have continued with us;
but they went out from the true church,
that they might be manifest that they were not of it.’

And these were the antichrists and false prophets,
that Christ said should come,
which John and the apostles saw were come,
and exhorted the church to beware of,

and to keep to the unction which they had from the Holy One.
And this unction and anointing,
as it abides within the saints, the true church, and they in it,
it will teach them all things, and is truth;

And by it they shall continue in the son and the Father,
and so in the holy seed, rock, and foundation, that cannot be shaken.

And the apostle said,
'there was to be a falling away first, before the man of sin was revealed;
the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself.'
And when the apostle saw the mystery of iniquity already working;
'and his coming is after the working of satan,
with all the ability to be deceived into unrighteousness in them that perish,
because they receive not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.'
And such go into strong delusions,
that they should believe a lie, and not the truth.

And here you may see there is a falling away,
before the son of perdition, or Judas, be revealed;
and they that ran away,
receive not the love of the truth, that they might be saved,
but believe lies, that they shall be damned.
And the Lord will consume him with the spirit of his mouth,
and will destroy him with the brightness of his coming,
the wicked one, and son of perdition,
that is against the righteous
, and is the opposer and betrayer of them.

Therefore all the church of Christ are to stand steadfast and be established in him,
in every good word and work,
who are from the beginning chosen for salvation through Jesus Christ,
through the sanctification of the spirit,
and the belief of the truth,
and are called by the gospel, the power of God,
to the obtaining of the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ,
in whom the glorious rest and peace is.

And you may see how the church of Christ
was troubled by such as went out from them,
and fell away from truth, and inwardly ravened.
Some went like unto the swine into the mire;
and some like the dogs to the vomit
;
and some like wolves that inwardly ravened, and yet kept the sheep's clothing.
Some went into the nature of Cain, sacrificers,
and yet were destroyers of the righteous;

and some went in the nature (or spirit) of Jannes and Jambres, that withstood Moses;
and others in the nature of Judas to betray;
and others in the nature of Corah, Dathan and Abiram, to oppose and resist the truth;
and others in the nature of Jezebel.

And this spirit and nature troubled the church in the old testament,
and troubled the church in the new testament,
and are troubling the church of Christ in this gospel day,
that is come and coming out of the apostasy.
But God's trumpet, spirit, and power,
was and is always sounded against it,
that all people may beware of this evil spirit and nature,
and keep in the seed Christ Jesus, that bruises the head of it,
in whom you have love, rest, salvation, quietness and peace. Hallelujah.

And all dwell in love,
then you dwell in God, who is love;

let that be all your habitations,
which love edifies the body of Christ, and builds you up in him,
and all strive to excel one another in virtue, in patience, courteousness, kindness,
tenderness, meekness, and humility, in temperance, modesty, and chastity;

and whatsoever things are decent and comely, and of good report,
honest, and lovely, those follow
:
for these are the good fruits of the spirit of God, and his heavenly seed;
which fruits are acceptable to God,
and will make you all lovely and comely to him,
and unto one another in his heavenly seed;
in which (as I said before) you are blessed, and all nations are blessed;
which seed (Christ) is your sanctuary,
who destroys the devil the destroyer,
and so is over him, and was before he was,
in whom the true believers live, and have peace,
who clothes them with salvation,
and with his righteousness
, the sanctified one's fine linen.

So all walk worthy of the mercies of God
and his blessings from above, and from below,
to the glory and praise of God.

And they that do not dwell in love and charity are like the sounding brass, and tinkling cymbals;
as you may read. 1 Cor 13:1


This you may read among the children of the light, and of the day.

George Fox
Dolston, the 13th of the l0th month, 1683

 

381.-To the meeting of friends in truth, that are captive in Algiers.
391 in Printing

Now, dear friends,

The Lord having drawn you by his spirit to his son Christ Jesus,
in whose name you come to be gathered,
in whose name you have salvation,
and not in any other name under the whole heaven
:
so that now you come to know Christ your savior
who destroys the destroyer, the devil and his works
;
and it is he, who brings forth everlasting righteousness,
that makes an end of sin, and finishes transgression
.
So that now, you may live and walk in the everlasting righteousness of Christ Jesus,
who is your priest that is made higher than the heaven, Heb 7:26,
and who is your prophet, that God has raised up, and not man,
whom you must hear in all things, Acts 3:22 and 7:37,

who were as lost sheep gone astray;
but are now returned to the chief priest and bishop of your souls;
namely, Christ Jesus. 1 Pet 2:25

And Christ said, he is the true shepherd that has laid down his life for his sheep;
and his sheep know his voice and follow him:
who is the holy and just one,
and never guile was found in his mouth.
And Christ says, no man comes to the Father but by me.
So he is the new and living way;
and God has given him for a leader and counselor, to counsel his people;
who is the holy living rock and foundation,
which is above all the rocks and foundations below;
for he the rock and foundation is from above,
whom all the children of the light,
that believe in his light
, which is the light in him,
and are grafted into him, do build upon.
And so, the Lord God Almighty with his eternal power support you all,
in all your affections and sufferings, trials and temptations,
that you may be built and settled upon this rock and foundation, that cannot be shaken.

And now, dear friends, my desires are, and the desires of Friends here
that you may all walk soberly, honestly, modestly, and civilly,
and lovingly, and gently, and tenderly, to all your patrons, and to all people.

And, that you may walk righteously, justly, and with holiness in all your words, dealings, and doings;
that his name you do profess now, may be honored,
and you may reach, by your righteous godly lives and conversations,
the good in all your patrons, and in all others;
so that you may show forth the fruits or the spirit,
and the fruits of Christianity;

and that you are the possessors of Christ Jesus your mediator,
who has made peace between you and your God
.
And as you have received Christ, so walk in him,
and know him to rule in your hearts by faith
.
For here (as Christ said) is my Father glorified;
that you bring forth much heavenly fruit

and that your spiritual and heavenly light may shine before men,
that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven
.

And now friends, we understand, that some who have come lately among you,
have been under great sufferings and abuses by their patrons,
because they cannot honor them with that honor as other slaves do,
or as they have done before.
Now, if you wait in patience upon the Lord in his truth,
(for you are to buy the truth, and not to sell it;
and truth is what is stronger than all),
the Lord in his time, (though he may try you),
can mollify that nature in them there,
as he has done in other places,
where he has tried his people with such things.
And when they have seen, it is for conscience' sake towards God,
and it is from the principle of truth and the spirit;
in which spirit and truth they worship the Most High God,
who is an eternal, incomprehensible spirit,
who is God in heaven and God in the earth,
and dwells by his spirit in his humble people,
that they have been overcome.

And now, friends, consider, they are blessed that suffer for Christ's sake;
and it is not only given you to believe, but to suffer for his name.
'And they that will live godly in Christ Jesus must suffer persecution.'
But the apostle says of the true christians,
'Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
Shall tribulation, or distresses, or persecution,
or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
As it is written, for thy sake are we killed all the day long:
we are counted as sheep for the slaughter;
in all these things we are more than conquerors
through him that loved us.
I am persuaded that neither death, nor lire,
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' Psa 44:22, Rom 8:35-39.

Now, dear Friends, you may see here was a godly sincerity,
fervency, steadfastness, and resolution in the true christians,
which ought to be in all such now, without boasting.
And the apostle says,
'Rejoice, for as much as you are partakers of Christ's sufferings,
that when his glory shall be revealed,
you may be glad also with exceeding joy:
for if you be reproached 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. 1 Pet 4:13-14

And so, dear friends, be wise,
that you may give no occasion for just accusation
;
and keep low in the humility;
for such learn of Christ, and the meek follow him
.
And so my desire is, that you may all be preserved to the glory of God,
that you may be valiant for the truth upon the earth and spread it abroad,
that all may come to the spirit of God,
that God poured upon all flesh
,
and to serve and worship him.
And so that all flesh may see the glory of God, by his spirit;
and that all might come to the light,
which is the life in Christ the word,
by whom all things were made and created,
with which light he enlightens every man that comes into the world,

to believe in and to love it,
and to try their works,
‘whether they be wrought in God, yes or no.’ John 3:21

And that all might come to the grace of God,
which has appeared to all men, and brings salvation,
which will teach to live godly, righteously, and soberly,
and deny unrighteousness.

This is the true Christian's teacher, which brings salvation,
and teaches to deny that which would lead them into destruction,
into ungodly, ungracious ways and words;
but this grace teaches the saints to walk in gracious ways,
and their words come to be seasoned with grace,
which teaches them, and brings their salvation.
So what is the true Christian's teacher, brings their salvation.

And so every one sit under this teacher, 
As the true church of Christ did; as you may see, Titus 2:11-12

And so, dear friends,
I do commend you to him that has all power to support,
who is God all sufficient to supply you,
and is near unto all that call upon him in truth and righteousness.
Therefore cast your care upon him;
for he cares for you;
and so, as you walk in the truth,
to answer the truth in your patrons and others,
you will see in time, you will reach the good in them,
that they will give more credit to you, and trust you more
than them that disobey the spirit of God in their hearts.
So the Lord preserve you faithful to himself.     

George Fox

Let us hear as often as you can how things are with you.

London, the 4th of the 3d month, 1684.

 

382.- To the Quarterly and Monthly Meetings in England.
392 in Printing

Dear friends and brethren in the Lord Jesus Christ,

Who reigns over all, and has all power in heaven and earth given unto him,
by whose eternal power our meetings this year
have been preserved unto his great glory and honor;
and his living refreshing presence has been lively among us,
for which his people do give him the honor, glory, thanks, and praise,
who is Lord over all, and worthy of all, blessed for forever and ever.
And therefore we desire and entreat all our friends and brethren everywhere,
who are of the seed of the promise,
and the children of the kingdom of God,
and of the new covenant of light and life,
to walk in the same, and worthy of the same,
to the glory of God.
And you that do profess the primitive, pure, and undefiled religion,
which is above all the religions in the world,
show it forth in life and practice.

And you who profess the worship of God in the spirit and truth,
which Christ has set up, which is above the Jews' worship,
and all the worships that the men of the world have set up,
be steadfast in the same;
for all worships out of God’s spirit and his truth, are idolatry.

And now, dear friends and brethren,
who profess and possess that which is above all religions, ways, and worships in the world;
our desire is, that you may always outstrip and exceed the world in virtue, in purity, in chastity, in godliness,
and in holiness, and in modesty, civility, and in righteousness, and in love,
with that you may overcome the evil, 
and with the good overcome the bad
;
so that your moderation and sober life may appear unto all men,
and answer that of God in all,
that so the fruits of the spirit of God may show themselves forth in meekness, and, kindness, and humility,
from the holy understanding, and the pure heavenly wisdom,
and the word of life and patience, by which all things were made,
in that you will be able to bear all things and endure all things through him that strengthens you.
And whatsoever things are lovely, decent, or comely, and honest,
and of a good report
, that answers the truth in all, that mind and practice,
that God Almighty may be glorified through you in the seed, in which all nations are blest,
which bruises the head of the serpent, that brought the curse;
in which seed no enmity nor strife can come;
in which seed, Christ Jesus, your heavenly unity and fellowship is preserved.

And whatsoever storms or tempests should arise in the world,
keep in the seed Christ Jesus, your sanctuary,
who was before the world was,
who is your savior, that destroys the destroyer,
in whom you have all life, peace, rest, safety, and salvation;
in him, who is the Amen, the first and last,
in him farewell,
and from him the blessings of the Lord  rest upon you.

George Fox

 

383.-To Friends in Holland.
393 in Printing

Dear friends in the peaceable truth,

the glory of God all mind, in all your lives and conversations,
and that the heavenly fruits of the holy spirit of God you may all bring forth to his praise,
living in righteousness, godliness, and meekness, lowliness, and humility,

learning of Christ Jesus your savior, who is meek.
For God teaches the humble, 
and they grow up in his grace and favor.
And therefore all take heed of going back again into the world's ways, spirit, and words,
but keep to the holy spirit of God, that leads you in the narrow way; that is to life eternal.
And in the Lord's light, power, and spirit meet together,
and keep your meetings in the name of Jesus Christ,
who has all power in heaven and earth given to him,
that you may feel his living and divine presence among you,
and in his pure, gentle, and heavenly love and wisdom,
you may be valiant for the name of Jesus, and his truth upon the earth,
and not to be ashamed of Christ your teacher and prophet,
that God has raised up in his new covenant and testament,
whom you are to hear.

Neither be ashamed of Christ your shepherd,
who has laid down his life for his sheep,
whose voice you are to hear;

who does feed his sheep, and give them life eternal,
and none is able to pluck his sheep out of his hand, his power.
Neither be ashamed of your high priest, who has offered up himself for you,
and does sanctify you, who is a priest made higher than the heavens.
Neither be you ashamed or your bishop, and the chief shepherd of your souls,
to whom now you are returned
by his grace and truth,
who does oversee you with his heavenly eye,
that you do not go astray from God.
So in him let your faith stand,
who is the author and finisher or it
.
So with my love to you all in the Lord Jesus Christ,
who is your sanctuary, in whom you all have life, peace, rest, and salvation,
who is the Amen.

Greet you one another with a kiss of charity.
Peace be with you all that are in Christ Jesus’.
Amen.
This charity keeps all God's people in the heavenly love and unity.         

George Fox
Amsterdam, the 14th of the 4th month, 1683.

 

384.
394 in Printing

Dear Friends and brethren,
who are elect and chosen in Christ Jesus before the foundation of the world;
in Christ you have peace, and in the world you have trouble.
But ‘be of good cheer, Christ has overcome the world’,

that lies in wickedness, and all the persecutors in it;
and in him you all overcome the devil and his works,
‘and without him you can do nothing;'
but through Christ, and his power and strength,
you will be able to do all things according to the will of God.
And though for a time you may suffer for the name of Jesus, and for his truth,
and be cast into prison, and suffer the spoiling of your goods;
the eternal God knows, and his son Christ Jesus,
it is for him alone, and his truth's sake, we suffer,
and not for any evil doing, or doing wrong to any man.
And so the Lord has given us  ‘not only to believe, but also to suffer for his name and truth's sake;'
and so it is the gift of God, with his eternal spirit and power, that does uphold us in all our sufferings,
which has made so many to finish their testimony for the truth in jails and prisons;
and not to love their lives to the death,
but love God and Christ Jesus above their lives, and all outward things;
as practice and experience have declared it.  

And now, dear friends, be faithful in Christ Jesus to the end,
that you may all have the crown of life
, and that peace from Christ Jesus,
which the world, and all the apostate spirits from the truth, cannot take away from you;
I say, neither the world, with their outward persecutions and spoiling of goods,
nor the apostate spirits from the peaceable truth, with all their lies and defamations,
and their filthy, scandalous books, and evil tongues,
though they be like the raging waves of the sea,
casting up mire and dirt, whose folly is manifest to all that hear and see them;
yet all this cannot disturb the peace of the righteous.
And all the restless, unquiet, unruly murmurers and complainers,
that are filled with false jealousies, and are the wandering stars,
who are wandered from the witness of the Lord in their own hearts;
of such their judgments are not delayed, nor does their damnation slumber,
though they may be allowed for a time to try God's people.

And now, friends, you know envious Cain was a sacrificer as well as Abel,
but out of the faith and righteousness,
who murdered his brother Abel
,
he may be said to have been a type of Judas,
who was a partaker of the ministry, yet betrayed his master
.
And you read that Ishmael and Esau were circumcised as well as Isaac and Jacob;
but Esau hated Jacob, and would have slain him;
and Ishmael scoffed at Isaac,
and so he who is born of the flesh persecutes him who is born of the spirit;
and that birth is not heir with the seed of the promise,
though it may come into the outward form, and outward profession.

And likewise you read of Cora, Dathan, and Abiram, and their company,
and their rebelling against the Lord, and his servants, Moses and Aaron, and of their false liberty;
but what became of them you may see. Num 16
.

And likewise how that the Jews (after the Lord brought them out of Egypt)
made themselves a calf of their jewels and earrings, as in Ex 32:4, Psa 106:19,

The Jews made a calf in Horeb, and worshipped the golden image, and forgot God their savior,
who had done great things in Egypt, and wondrous things in the land of Ham,
and murmured in their tents, and hearkened not to the voice of the Lord.
And therefore God overthrew them in the wilderness
, and they came not into the promised land.

And you read how the Jews ran into false liberty in the days of Balaam,
and joined with Baal-Peor,
and how the anger of the Lord was kindled against them,
and what a destruction he brought upon them,
who had turned against the Lord and his faithful people; as in Num 25:1-9
.

And likewise how often the Jews murmured against Moses and Aaron,
and what a destruction came upon them in the wilderness,
that none of that old stock the Lord brought out of Egypt that dishonored him;
though they had seen glory,
none entered into the land except Caleb and Joshua,
but they perished in the wilderness for their murmuring and rebelling
;
and therefore take heed of murmuring and rebelling against the Lord and his spirit,
but in all things learn to be content.

And also you read in Judges, how often the Jews forsook the Lord, and what judgments came upon them;
and also how the Jews turned against the prophets, and imprisoned and persecuted them:
and in the days of the kings, as in the Chronicles,
how David and many of the prophets, and the righteous suffered;
but what became of them that made them suffer?
And likewise in the days of Christ, and his apostles, how they suffered by the professing Jews!
And there were many comers and goers in the days of Christ that could say,
‘Lord, Lord;’ but such do not enter into the kingdom of God,
except they do the will of God
.

And you read how the apostles and the true church were troubled with false Christians and false brethren;
whom Paul writes against in many of his epistles, and Peter, and John, and Jude;
and John in his Revelation.
And therefore, all Friends, dwell in the seed Christ Jesus, in whom you cannot be deceived,
‘who bruises the head of the serpent’, who is the head of all deceivers;
and the head of all enmity, and false ways, worships, and religions;
and the head of all false liberties:
but in Christ Jesus, in whom all nations are blessed, is the true liberty.
In him all stand fast, so far as he has made you free
;
and in him all walk, as you have received him,
to the praise and glory of God;
in whom you have all eternal life, peace, rest, and salvation;
and in him the Lord God Almighty preserve you all in love, unity, and fellowship.
Who is able to support you, and supply you with his eternal hand and power,
with what you do need in all your sufferings and trials. Amen.

George Fox

 

385.- To Friends at the Yearly Meeting in York.
395 in Printing

Dear friends,

Who are turned to the light, and are the believers in the light,
which is the life in Christ
,
my desires are, that you may all be established upon him,
your eternal rock and foundation,
and grow up in Christ Jesus, the second Adam,
by his light, grace, and truth, that is come from him;
for you know Christ had many enemies,
(as well as did his disciples and followers, and Moses in the time of the law),
such as turned their backs on the Lord,
and erred from his good spirit, and rebelled against it,
they turned against the Lord, and Moses and Aaron,
and they went from the fellowship of the law of God and his spirit,
and then destruction came upon them;
such Jews were those who rebelled against Christ and his apostles,
and yet were great professors of the Old Testament.

And those who were called christians,
who had gotten the form of godliness, and the fair speeches, and good words,
but denied the power thereof
, and so the order thereof;
such as these separated themselves,
and erred from the spirit and the faith,
and so from the unity of the faith,
and the fellowship of the spirit of God.
Such were and are to be turned away from by all them that are in the faith, and the spirit of God;
and all the spiritual witnesses in the tabernacles of God, testify against such,
though they may make a great profession of Christ and the apostles' words,
but deny the power, and err from the spirit, and the peaceable truth;
such cannot be the true worshippers of God in the spirit and truth;
and therefore, friends, you that have been turned to the light, and truth, and grace of Christ,
and know the power and spirit of Jesus, walk in the same,
and in it keep your fellowship, and your dominion,
over all that which is out of the truth, and abides not in the truth;
and that your heavenly light may shine,
and you may all be kept in love and unity
in the same light, power, and spirit,
to the glory of God, and the comfort one of another. Amen.

George Fox
London, the 27th of the 3d month, 1684

386. - To the suffering Friends of Dantzig.
396 in Printing

Friends,

With my love in the Lord Jesus Christ to you, who is your savior and prophet,
that God has raised up for you, to hear in all things
;
your shepherd, that has laid down his life for you, whose voice you must hear,
who will feed you in his living pastures of life
, who is your priest,
that offered himself for you, who sanctifies you, that he might present you to God
;
so is become your high priest, who is made higher than the heavens;
so is a higher priest than the priesthood of Aaron,
and all the priesthoods upon the earth, that are made by men below;
for he is a high priest, made higher than the heavens. Heb 7:26
And so, is the chief shepherd and bishop of your souls, to oversee you,
that you do not go astray from God
, who is your sanctuary,
in whom you are preserved from the destroyer;
who destroys the devil, the great destroyer, and his works, and bruises his head, and breaks his power:
he, namely, Christ, is your savior;
in him you have rest and peace, salvation and life eternal.
Now, dear friends, we do hear and understand,
that the magistrates have cast you into prison again in Dantzig;
and that they have offered you your liberty,
upon condition that you would go away, or forsake your common meeting place,
or divide yourselves into several little meetings.
Truly, friends,
we have had many of these offers made to us within these twenty or thirty years,
but we never  made such bargains or covenants,
to forsake the assembling of ourselves together, as we used to do;
but left our suffering cause wholly to the Lord Christ Jesus,
in whose name we were gathered,
who has all power in heaven and earth given unto him
;
and the Lord at last, did and has,
tendered the hearts of many of our persecutors both in England and other places;
and therefore in the spirit and power of the Lord Jesus Christ, it is good to be faithful.
God all sufficient to support and supply you all in whatever you do,
and strengthen you in all conditions.
For if such a bargain should get a little advantage upon you, and get you into weakness,
it would not rest so, but get more upon you.
And therefore it is good to stand fast in the liberty in Christ Jesus,
the second Adam, the Lord from heaven,
who has made you free out of the snares, and bondage,
and limitations of the wills of the sons of old Adam.

Since some magistrates have argued a case for Christian expulsion based
on Christ departing out of the coasts of the Gadarenes upon their request,
after he had cast the devils out of the possessed men,
and they entered into their swine, and ran into the sea
.
This argument is of no weight, for you to go out of their coasts or city,
who are settled citizens, and have wives and families;
for Christ went up and down from place to place and preached;
as he said, 'The son of man has nowhere to lay his head,
though the subtle foxes had holes, and the high-flown fowls had their nests.'

And would they take it kindly themselves, if the king of Poland, their protector,
who is of a contrary profession, should use the same argument to them,
and say, be gone, or else do not meet at your great public places of worship,
but meet in small companies, or else to depart out of these coasts,
as Christ did out of the coasts of the Gadarenes.
And if you do not, then you are disobedient to Christ's example;
as they do apply it upon you.
And so, let them weigh the matter and their argument with the just law of God,
to do unto you as they would be done unto themselves.


And now, dear friends. I desire, however, that you walk wisely, and gently,
and lovingly, and meekly, and soberly  to all the magistrates, and all people,
that they may have no just occasion in anything against you.
For the good must overcome the bad,
as the apostle says, 'Overcome evil with good,'

and dwell in that love that can bear all things, and endure all things.
And nothing can separate you from this love which you have in God through Jesus Christ.
In this love build up and edify one another, that by it you may answer the good in all people,
and spread his truth abroad, and be valiant for that upon earth.
So in his holy, peaceable truth, and his seed Christ Jesus, in which all nations are blest,
God Almighty preserve and keep you to his glory.
Amen.

And now, dear friends,
you that have stood such hard and cruel sufferings so long,
for the Lord's name and truth, and could not be overcome by cruelty,
take heed now for fear that you are overcome by fair words and flattery;
for in that there is a greater danger.

George Fox

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