The Missing Cross to Purity


Letters 387 - 388

A COLLECTION

OF

MANY SELECT EPISTLES TO FRIENDS,

OF

THAT ANCIENT, EMINENT, AND FAITHFUL MINISTER


OF JESUS CHRIST,

George Fox

Volume 2 Contd.

 

 

387.-An epistle to Friends, against  pride, haughtiness,
and vain customs and fashions of the world.
397 in Printing


Friends,

Here you may see how the holy men of God testify against pride, haughtiness,
high-mindedness, and the abominable customs and fashions,
and the ungodly lusts of the world, which are not of the Father, but of the world.
And how man and woman came into these things by forsaking the Lord,
and so falling from his image.
And how Christ renews them up into the image of God again, to serve him in humility.
And all who are in the image of God are of one mind.

To all Friends and Brethren everywhere.

Peace from God and the Lord Jesus Christ be multiplied in you,
who by his grace, light, and spirit, are turned towards the Lord,
to receive such peace from him;
and that by it you may grow up in the Lord Jesus Christ,
out of the world's nature and spirit.
For Christ said unto his believers and followers,
‘You are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
I have given them your word, and the world has hated them,
because they are not of the world.’

And therefore, as the apostle said,
'love not the world, nor the things of the world,
for the love of the world is enmity to God.'

And in the beginning God created man in his own image.
So he created him  in  the likeness of God;
them he created male and female, and God blessed them.
And in this state God set them above all things that he made.

But, after man and woman had transgressed the command of God,
they sowed fig leaves together to make them aprons;
for their eyes were opened, and they came to see their shame.

By their transgression and by transgressing the command of God,
the spiritual eye came to be shut,
and man and woman came to fall from the image of God.

And so, after man and woman had transgressed the command of God and fallen from his image,
the Lord God made coats of skins to clothe them withal.
So, you may see, that the first covering which Adam and Eve made after transgression was made of fig leaves;
and the natural sun would soon scorch and dry them to powder.
But those that the Lord made them, was of skins.

So the transgression of the command of God came,
when the ear went out after the serpent,
and the eye went after the fruit of the tree;
which God had forbidden them to eat of.
So here they came to see their outward shame and nakedness;
who had fallen from the image of God that covered them;
and therefore they went to cover the outward shame.

And now man and woman in the fall,
are taking thought what they shall eat and drink, and what they shall put on.
And this came upon them by forsaking the Lord's teaching,
and following the serpent's.

And does not John say,
'Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.
If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.’
And further said,
‘For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh,
the lust of the eye, and the pride of life;
this is not of the Father, but of the world;
and the world passes away, and the lust of it.

Now, all may see, what man and woman have fallen into by transgressing the command of God;
and therefore it is not good for any to live in that which will pass away,
and is not the Father but of the world.

And you may see how pride is cried against throughout the scriptures of truth.
And they that fear the Lord, do hate evil, pride, and arrogance.
'Pride  breeds contention, and a man's pride shall bring him low;
but honor upholds the humble in spirit.' Prov 13:10, 29:23

‘For when pride comes, then comes shame;
and pride goes before destruction, and a haughty mind before a fall;
but with the lowly is wisdom.' Prov 11:2 and 16:18

'And better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.'
And Isaiah said, 'The Lord of hosts has purposed to stain the pride of all glory,
and to bring into contempt all the honorable of the earth.' Isaiah 23:9

And therefore love not that which God will stain.
The Lord said, 'he will spread forth his hands in the midst of them,
as he that swims, and he will bring down their pride.' Isaiah 25:11

And therefore it is good to keep it down in everyone.
And the Lord cries,
‘Woe to the crown of pride, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower;’  
…‘when the crown of pride is trodden under foot,
the Lord of hosts shall be for a crown of glory.’ Isaiah 28:1, 3, 5

And the Lord said,
‘He will mar the pride of Judah, and the great pride of Jerusalem.’ Jer 13:9
And does not Jeremiah say, 'Because of the pride of Moab, he was so exceeding proud,
his loftiness, his arrogance, and the haughtiness of his heart brought him into derision! Jer 48:29

And therefore it is good to keep in the humility;
for pride is that which deceives the heart, and brings the judgments of God. Jer 49:16
And therefore take heed, let not pride bud, for fear that the rod blossom. Ezek 7:10

And the children of Israel, were grown in pride and fullness of bread, like Sodom,
when they transgressed against the Lord, like their father Adam.
And therefore let them that profess themselves Christians take heed,
for fear that they be found in the same steps.

And see in Ezekiel 16:49, what became of Sodom, and the children of Israel.

And when Nebuchadnezzar confessed the kingdom of God,
and praised, and extolled, and honored the king of heaven, and said,
'All his works are truth, and his ways judgments;
and those that walk in pride, God is able to abase.' Dan 4:37

And Hosea said, 'The pride of Israel does testify to his face;
and therefore Israel and Ephraim shall fall in their iniquity.
And Judah shall fall with them.' Hos 5:5

And therefore you may see, and take heed of pride,
for it is the cause of man and woman's fall.

And in Hosea 7:10 you may see that pride has hindered man from seeking after the Lord and turning to him.
And you may see Edom's destruction was for his pride. Obad1:3-4

And you may see the judgments that came upon the Philistines,
and Moab, and Ammon, and Ashur for their pride. Zeph 2:8-10

And in Zechariah 10:11 and 11:3 does not the Lord say,
'The pride of Jordan shall be spoiled,
and the pride of Assyria shall be brought down;
and there shall be a voice of howling of the shepherds,
for their glory is spoiled.'

And Christ said in Mark, ‘Pride is one of those evils that comes out of the heart,
and defiles the man;'
so take heed of that which defiles.

And as John said,
‘The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life;
this is not of the Father, but of the world;’

all this must be kept down in Christians.

And David said, ‘The wicked in his pride persecutes the poor;
but are they not taken in their devices that they have imagined.’ Psa 10:2

And David said, 'the Lord hid them that feared him, in the secret of his presence,
from the pride of man, and kept them secretly in a pavilion, from the strife of tongues.' Psa 31:20

And also David said, 'that pride compasses the wicked as a chain,
and they speak loftily; and they set their mouths against heaven;
but the Lord casts down such to destruction, and saves the righteous that fear him.'

And so you may see how pride was testified against by Christ and  the prophets, and the holy men of God,
both in the Old and New Testament before man and woman fell from the image of God;
and therefore fear the Lord, and learn of Christ Jesus,
who is gentle and humble in heart.

And you may see that ‘Josiah’s heart was tender,
and he humbled himself before the Lord.’ 2 Chron 34:27

And if my people, which are called by my name,
shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways;
then will I hear from heaven, and forgive them their sins,
and heal the land; and mine eyes shall be open,
and mine ear attentive to their prayer;'

this is the comfort of the humble. 2 Chron 7:14-15
And David said, ‘The Lord forgets not the cry of the humble.’ Psalm 9:12
Again David said, ‘Arise, 0h Lord, lift up your hand, forget not the humble.
Lord, you have heard the desire of the humble,
you will prepare their hearts, and will cause your ear to hear.' Psalm 10:12,17

And the Lord, who inhabits eternity, whose name is holy, said,
‘I dwell in the high and holy place. And also with him that is of contrite and humble spirit;
to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the hearts of the contrite ones.' Isa 57:15

Here are joy and comfort to the humble.
And James said,‘God gives grace to the humble, but he resists the proud.’ James 4:6
'Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God,
that he may exalt you in due time; and be clothed with humility.' 1 Pet 5:5-6

So you may see 'how God resists the proud, and dwells with the humble,'
as is testified, both in the Old Testament and the New.
And Christ said, 'Whosoever shall humble himself as this little child,
the same shall be greatest in the kingdom of heaven.'

So here you may see Christ, and the prophets,
and the apostles taught humility, and judged pride.
And again Christ said, 'He that humbles himself shall be exalted,
and he that exalts himself shall be abased.' Luke 14:11 and 18:14

And therefore learn of Christ, who is meek and low in heart;
for he rules in the hearts of the humble,
who is king, priest, and prophet, and a shepherd to feed them,
and a bishop to oversee them, and an everlasting Father,
who begets man and woman up into the image of God,
and an everlasting Prince of peace.
And so all that are in true humility, are the true subjects of Christ;
and all the children of pride are subject to the prince of the air,
the god of the world, who is the king of pride, in whom there is no truth.

Now concerning vain fashions, deckings, and customs.

The Lord forbids his people, by Jeremiah, to follow them,
or to learn the way of the heathen, for the customs of the people were vain,
and they did not only deck themselves, but they also decked their images and idols.
And God's people were not to be dismayed at the signs of heaven, in the old covenant;
for the heathen were dismayed at them;
much less in the new covenant should the true christians not be dismayed at them. Jer 10:2-4

And again, does not Jeremiah cry against the paintings and deckings of Judah?
And though 'Judah rent her face with painting, yet her lovers would despise her.'
And this was when they forsook God, and followed other lovers;
and therefore God's anger was against them in the old covenant; much more in the new. Jer 4:30
And it is true, God did deck the Jews in the old covenant with outward things;
but when they played the harlot with them, and decked their images with them,
the Lord's anger was against them, as in Ezek 16:10-21, 35-41.           
And Hosea cries out against the Jews 'decorating themselves with earrings and jewels,
and going after other lovers, and forgetting the Lord.' Hosea 2:13

And you may see the attire of the harlot, and the subtlety of her heart,
how she decks herself, and decks her bed, and 'deceives a young man among the youth,' Prov 7
And therefore let all that profess themselves Christians take heed of such.
And you may see how the Lord sent Isaiah to cry against their haughtiness,
and stretched out necks, and wanton eyes, and tinkling, and mincing,
and their discs like the moon, and their chains, and bracelets,
and their rings, and nose jewels, and other vain ornaments;
and told them,they should be desolate, 'for the spoil of the poor was in their houses.' Isa 3:14,16,26

Now if such things were testified against in the old covenant, then surely much more in the new.
And in Revelation 17 and 18 chapters, you may see how the whore decked herself,
'who drank the blood of the martyrs;'
but at her fall God's people sang hallelujah.

And in Lev 18 the Lord commanded the Jews in the old covenant,
'not to defile themselves with the customs of the heathen;'

so much more they should not do it in the new covenant.
And the apostle Paul exhorts the Corinthians, to 'use this world, and not abuse it;
for the fashion of this world passes away.'

And Peter exhorts the saints,
'not to fashion themselves according to their former lusts, in their ignorance;
but as Christ, who had called them, was holy, so be you holy in all manner of conversation.' 1 Pet 1:14-16

So see what a care the apostle had,
for fear that they should go into their former lusts of ignorance.

And the apostle Paul tells the Philippians, ‘their conversations were in heaven,
from where we look for a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall change our vile bodies,
that they may be fashioned like unto his glorious body.' Phil 3:20-21

This is the fashion that all true christians are to look at.

Now concerning wearing and putting on of apparel.

Isaiah testifies against vanity in apparel, and the changeable suit among the Jews.
Isa 3:19-23

And what became of Tyros, with all his broidered works, and chests of  rich apparel,
did not the Lord bring them down in their pride? Ezek 27:24,32

And did not Zephaniah say,
'the Lord would punish all such as were clothed with strange apparel?' Zeph 1:6,8
But first they were clothed inwardly in transgression,
before they clothed outwardly with the strange apparel.

And what became of Dives, with all his sumptuousness and bravery,
who despised poor Lazarus? And also Herod;
and are not people's eyes gazing more after fine apparel than after the image of God? Luke 16:19-23 and Acts 12:21-23

And you may see that the first apparel that Adam made after transgression was of fig leaves,
and then God made them coats of skins;

but now people are so far degenerated from that,
and have gotten so far into the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eye, and the pride of life,
that they don’t know what to put on.

And their life is below the lilies, and the fowls of the air, as Christ said,
'The fowls of the air do not sow, nor reap, nor gather into barns:
and the lilies they toil not, neither do they spin;
but the heavenly Father feeds and clothes them.'

And Christ also said, (speaking to people,)
'that you are much better than the fowls of the air, or the lilies:
and therefore take you no thought what you shall eat,
or what you shall drink, or how you shall be clothed;
for the Gentiles seek these things;
for your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these tings;
but first seek  the kingdom of heaven, and its righteousness,
and all other things shall also be given to you’, Mat 6:28-33

Here you may see how Christ is restoring people up into the image of God,
out of the thoughts and cares of the heathen;
for God took care for man and woman before be made them.

And the apostle exhorted Timothy,
how the 'women should adorn themselves with modest apparel, and with shamefacedness and sobriety,
and not with broidered or plaiting the hair, or gold, pearls, or costly array,
but with that which becomes women professing godliness, with good works.' 1 Tim 2:9-10  

Mark this everyone.

And James reproves and exhorts such,
whose eye and esteem was to the ‘gold ring, and splendid apparel, more than the poor in shabby clothing,’
and tells them they were not ‘to hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ,
together with snobbery, respecting persons;’
much more not with elegant clothing or splendid apparel. James 2:1-3

And Peter, in 1 Pet 3:3-4 exhorts the saints how to adorn themselves:
‘Let not your physical appearance be the outward adorning,
of plaiting the hair, or wearing of gold, and changes of apparel.
But let it be inward adorning and beauty of the hidden man of the heart,
with the incorruptible and unfading charm of a gentle and peaceful spirit,
which is very precious in the sight of God.’

‘For this was how the  pious women of  old, who hoped in God,
were accustomed to beautify themselves.’

And this ought to be the adorning now in  the new covenant,
even though you may say,
the Jews and Hebrews adorned themselves with jewels,
and they adorned the temple.

But in the new covenant these things were forbidden.
And they were to adorn the temple of the heart, and not to defile that,
and to know the hidden man of the heart, which is not corruptible.
And therefore look into all your hearts, and see if you can find anything there,
which is not corruptible, and to put off the old man with his deeds;
with 'the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life;
which are not of the Father, but of the world.'

And this old man delights in the glory of the world, which must be put off.
And all Christians in the new covenant must put on the new man,
that is renewed in knowledge, after the image of God that created him,

which walks and serves God in the new and living way;
who is born again, not of corruptible seed,
but of incorruptible seed, by the word of God
;
and feeds upon the incorruptible milk, and wine, and water, and bread,
and the incorruptible flesh and blood of Christ,
and wears the fine linen, the righteousness of Christ, the incorruptible clothing.
And this is the birth born of the spirit,
that enters into the incorruptible kingdom of God, as in John 3:5 and in 1 Pet 1:23.

And the apostle Paul exhorts the Ephesians,
in chapter 4:22-24 to put off their former conversation,
'the old man, which is corruptible, according to the deceitful lusts;
and be renewed in the spirit of your minds;'
that is out of the fall of Adam.
And that you put on the new man,
which from God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

So here man comes to know his first creation, and his degeneration;
and to see the new man created, which is in righteousness, and holiness;
and the old man put off, with all his vain decorations, trimmings, and clothing;
which are not acceptable, both in the sight of God and his people.

And so all in the new covenant are to be conformable to the image of God. Rom 6:4
For all have been conformed long enough to the image of satan.

And the apostle said, 'We all behold with open face, as in a glass, the glory of the Lord;
and are changed into the same image from glory to glory;
even as by the same spirit of the Lord. 2 Cor 3:18

So everyone is to mind this happy and blessed change.

And the apostle said, 'Put on the Lord Jesus, and make no provision for the flesh,
to fulfill the lust thereof.' Rom 13:14

And as every one has received the Lord Jesus, so walk in him,
and then you will put off the old Adam, and his deeds in transgression;
and not walk in him, but walk in Christ who never sinned,
nor was guile found in his mouth
.

‘And if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature.
Old things have passed away, and all things have become new.'’ 2 Cor5:17

Therefore the apostle exhorts the Colossians 2:8,
that they were not to follow the principles of the world, for they were not after Christ.

And so people are not to follow the world's principles, but Christ’s instead.

And you may see how the children of Israel, that came out of Egypt,
and the mixed multitude, lusted after the flesh pots of Egypt.
And the Lord smote them with a grievous plague. Num 11.

And David said, 'They tempted God in their hearts, by asking meat for their lust.' Psalm 78:17-18

And again David said, 'They lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert.
And he gave them their request, but sent leanness into their souls.' Psalm 106:14,15

And therefore in the new covenant the apostle said,
these things were for our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things;
as they also lusted. 1 Cor 10:6

And Solomon exhorts to ' keep from the evil woman,
from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman.
Lust not after her beauty in your heart, neither let her take thee with her eyelids.
For by means of a harlot a man is brought to a piece of bread.
And the adulteress will stalk and snare the precious life of a man.' Prov 6:24-26

And Christ not only forbids adultery, but lust also. Mat 5:28
And again Christ said,‘The cares of the world, and the love of other things choke the word,
and it becomes unfruitful to them.’ Mark 4:19

And you may see what became of such, as the apostle speaks of in Rom1:21-32,
‘who, when they knew God, glorified him not, as God; neither were thankful.’
How at last ‘God gave them up,’ when they forsook him, through the lust of their hearts.

And there you may see what evils they run into.
And also you may see in Jude 1:16-18 how he declares against murderers,
and complainers, and mockers, who walked after their ungodly lusts.

And in 1 Pet 2:11 the apostle Peter said,
'Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims,
abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.'

And James said, war and fightings came from the lusts,
that warred in their members.
and such asked, but received not, because they asked amiss,
that they might consume it upon their lusts.
Therefore, said he, ‘Know you not that the friendship of this world is enmity to God?
Whosoever therefore will be a friend to the world, is an enemy to God.’ James 4:1-4

And Paul said, ‘that the grace of God, which brings salvation, has appeared unto all men.
Teaching us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts.
That we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world.’

Which is the duty of every true Christian, that to deny, and so to live. Titus 2:11-12

And therefore the apostle exhorts Timothy, to flee youthful lusts,
and to follow righteousness, faith, and charity,
and peace with all them that call on the name of the Lord out of a pure heart.
And such teachers who had the form of godliness, but deny the power,
which the saints were to turn away from;
those were they that led silly people captive,
laden with sin and many lusts. 2 Tim 2:22 and 3:5-6

And such as could not abide sound doctrine,
but after their own lusts, shall heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
they turn away their ears from the truth
and grace that comes by Jesus Christ,
(which should teach them and bring their salvation,)
and from the spirit of God, which they should walk in,
as the apostle said, 'If you walk in the spirit, (mark, in the spirit),
you shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.' Gal5:16

And the apostle further said,
'That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honor,
and not in the passions of lust, even as the Gentiles which know not God.' 1 Thess 4:4-5

'If a man purge himself from these things, he shall be a vessel unto honor,
and sanctified, and meet for his master's use, and prepared for every good work' 2 Tim 2:21

But they that will be rich, fall into temptations and snares, and into many foolish hurtful lusts,
which drown men in destruction and perdition.
‘But the man of God is to flee these things,
and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and meekness' 1 Tim 6:9,11

'And they that are Christ's, have crucified the flesh, with the afflictions and lusts.' Gal 5:24

And haughtiness and high mindedness were forbidden both by God and his people.
And David said, 'The afflicted people the Lord will save:
but his eyes are upon the haughty, to bring them down.' 2 Sam 22:28

And David said, ‘Lord, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty;
and my soul is like a weaned child.’ Psa 131:1-2

Then he was fit for the kingdom of God.
And again David said,' God will save his afflicted people,
but will bring down high looks.' Psa 18:27

And Solomon said, 'Before destruction, the heart of man is haughty,
and before honor, is humility.' Prov 18:12

And Isaiah declared against the haughtiness of the daughters of Zion. Isa 3:16
And how the haughty people of the earth do languish. Isa 24:4-5
because they had transgressed God's laws, and changed his ordinances.

And does not the Lord say by Isaiah 13:11, 2:11
'that Moab should howl for his pride and haughtiness?
And I will punish the world for their evil,
and the wicked for their iniquity.
And I will cause the arrogance of the proud to cease.
And I will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.
The lofty looks of man shall be brought low,
and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down;
and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day.'

And this is a good day;
for 'the day of the Lord of hosts, shall be upon everyone that is proud and lofty,
and upon everyone that is lifted up, and he shall be brought low.' Isa 2:12

And Ezekiel said, that the children of Israel were haughty, and like Sodom,
and committed abominations before the Lord,
and he took them away. Eze16:45-46,50

And Zephaniah said, 'you shall be no more haughty.' Zeph 3:11
'Neither shall you go haughtily.' Mic 2:3
And therefore all are to learn humility,
that they may exalt the Lord their maker.

And the apostle exhorted the Romans, 'not to be high minded, but fear;
for they stood by faith.' Rom 11:20

And the apostle exhorted Timothy, to 'charge those that were rich in this world,
that they be not high minded, nor trust in uncertain riches,
but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.' 1 Tim 6:17

And the apostle again tells Timothy,
'that the heady high minded are lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God.'
And daily experience shows; as you may see at large the fruits of such. 2 Tim 3:4
And therefore all those things the faithful are to shun,
and to be 'kindly affectionate one to another, with brotherly love,
and in honor preferring one another.' Rom 12:10

And the apostle exhorts the Corinthians, to be perfectly joined together,
in the same mind, and in the same judgment;
that they might all speak the same thing.
So that there may be no division among them. 1 Cor 1:10

And again, in 2 Cor 13:11 the apostle said,
'Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace.
And the God of love and peace shall be with you.

For by one spirit we are all baptized into one body,
whether Jews or Gentiles, bond or free.
And have been all made to drink into one spirit,
and the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.
'For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace.' 1 Cor 12:13-14, 14:32-33

And the apostle writes to the Philippians,
that they should be of one accord, and of one mind; and said,
‘Let nothing be done in strife, or vainglory, but in lowliness of mind,’  Phil 2:3
And the apostle said to the Romans, ‘Be of one mind towards one another,
and not mind high things, nor to be wise in their own conceits,
but condescend to men of low estate.’ Rom 12:16

'And the God of patience and consolation grant you to be like minded all towards one another,
according to Christ Jesus.
That you may, with one mind and one mouth, glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Receive you one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.' Romrom 15:5-7

'For God has given to his people the spirit of power, and of love and a sound mind.' 2 Tim 1:7

And Peter in his first general epistle, Chapter 3:8 said,
'Be you all of one mind, and have compassion one of another;
love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous.'

And the apostle Paul said in Acts 20:19 how he served the Lord in all humility of mind.

And it is a mark of Christ's disciples, (as he said) ,‘if they love one another, and love enemies.’
And so all that are believers in him, are to love one another as he has loved us,
who has laid down his life for us.

And therefore all are to deny themselves; yes, and to offer all up for him.

And whatsoever you do, do it in the name of Jesus, to the praise and glory of God.

POSTSCRIPT

A  testimony out of the Old Testament and New,
of the Lord sending his prophets to declare his judgments against the disobedience and pride of the Jews;
and how his judgments were fulfilled upon them that did not repent;
and how the apostle did admonish and reprove such as went into pride and the fashions of the world.

The Lord said, 'Because the daughters of Zion are haughty,
and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes,
walking and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet;
therefore the Lord will smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion;
and the Lord will discover their secret parts;
in that day the Lord will take away the bravery of their tinkling ornaments about their feet,
and their cauls, and their round discs, like the moon,
the chains, (mark, the chains), and the bracelets,
and the mufflers, the bonnets, and the ornaments of the legs,
and the head bands, and the tablets, and the earrings;
the rings, and nose jewels, the changeable suits of apparel,
and the mantles, and the wimbles, and the crisping pins,
and glasses, and the fine linen, and the hoods, and the veils.
And it shall come to pass, that instead of sweet smell, there shall be a stink;
and instead of a girdle, a rent;
and instead of well set hair, baldness;
and instead of a stomacher, a girding of sackcloth;
and burning instead of beauty.
The men shall fall by the sword, and your mighty in the war;
and her gates shall lament and mourn,
and she being desolate shall sit on the ground.' Isa 3:16 to the end.

And you may read in 2 Kings 17:5
how that the children of Israel were carried into captivity in Assyria;
for the king of Assyria besieged Samaria,
and after three years besieging,
he took it and carried away the ten tribes of the children of Israel into the land of Assyria.
And Isaiah, according to the word of the Lord,
went to the prophetess, and she conceived and bore a son, 
And the Lord said,
'Before the child should have the knowledge to cry, my father and my mother,
the riches of Damascus, and the spoil of Samaria,
shall be taken away by the king of Assyria. Isaiah 8:3-4

Now here you may see what a destruction came upon Samaria and the Jews,
because of their rebellion and disobedience,
and their haughtiness and pride, that Isaiah cried against in chapter 3.
And then what became of all their haughtiness and pride,
and their mincing, and their tinkling with their feet,
and their chains, and bracelets, and jewels, and round attire,
with their glasses, and hoods, and veils,
when they were driven away by droves,
by the king of Assyria, into captivity, into Assyria,
out of their own land, houses, and cities?
Then Isaiah's prophecy was fulfilled upon those haughty and proud Jews;
and did not Nebuchadnezzar afterwards carry away the two tribes;
and destroy Jerusalem, because of their disobedience, rebellion, haughtiness,
and pride, who would not regard the Lord nor his prophets;
therefore the Lord suffered them to be led away prisoners,
out of their own houses, cities, and land, into Babylon,
so stripped them of their pride,
and caused them to be carried away into strange countries;
so, was not the prophet's prophecy fulfilled upon them?

The Lord said, 'Behold, the day comes that shall burn as an oven,
and all the proud, yes, all that do wickedly, shall be as stubble;
and the day that comes shall burn them up, said the Lord of hosts,
that it shall leave them neither root nor branch:

but to them that fear my name,
shall the son of righteousness arise with healing in his wings,
and you shall go forth, and grow up as calves in the stalls. Mal 4:-2

Therefore it is good for all to keep out of pride and wickedness,
in humility, for fear that they be burnt up.             
And the apostle commanded, that 'women adorn themselves in modest apparel,
with shamefacedness and sobriety, not with broidered hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array,
but that which becomes women professing godliness, with good works.' 1 Tim 2:9-10

And likewise Peter in his general epistle, said to the women, regarding their appearance,
let it not be that outward adorning, of plaiting the hair,
and of wearing of gold, or of splendid apparel; 
but let it be 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 great price.
For after this manner in the old time, the holy women, who trusted in God,
adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands." 1 Pet 3:3-5

Here you may see both the prophets and apostles declared against the pride and haughtiness of people,
both in the old and new testament.
And the apostle John said in his general epistle to the church of Christ,
‘Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world;
if anyone love the world, the love of the Father is not in him;
for all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life,
is not of the Father, but is of the world;
and the world passes away, and the lust thereof;
but he that does the will of God, abides forever.' 1 John 2:15-17

Now here you may see an express command to the true christians,
(the church of Christ), against the love of the world, and the things of the world,
and the lust of the eye, and the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life;
and they that love the world, the love of the Father is not in them;
and how that the world passes away, and the lust thereof;
and therefore love not the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life,
which is not of the Father.

And does not most of christendom say the Lord's prayer,
Our Father who is in heaven, hallowed is your name,'  etc,
and you that live in the lust of the flesh,
and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of your life,
which is not of the Father which is in heaven,
but of the world that passes away, and the lust thereof.
And is it not said, ‘The devil is the king of pride?'
And therefore do not do his lusts; but ‘he that does the will of God abides forever.'
And therefore consider when you say,
Our Father who is in heaven, hallowed be your name,' etc,
when you live in those things which are not of the Father which is in heaven,
and daily obey and love the lust of your eye, the lust of your flesh,
and the pride of your life, which is not of the Father, but of the world.'
And the apostle John tells you,
‘He who loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him'.    

George Fox



388.-An epistle, to all the prisoners and sufferers
for the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and his worship.

398 in Printing

‘The word of God is not bound.' 2 Tim 2:9

Dear friends,

In the seed of life that is over all, whom the Lord does support,
and has supported by his eternal arm and power to stand for his glory;
be valiant for his truth and his name upon the earth,
who is God all-sufficient and almighty over all to support you all,
and to supply you with all things needful.
Now, dear friends, it is not only given you to believe in the name of Christ,
but also to suffer for his name' sake;

so you see and know, it is a gift given you to believe,
and a gift to suffer for Christ's sake, and his righteousness;
but, however, as Christ said, ‘Be you wise as serpents, and harmless as doves;'
for Christ's' believers are as sheep or lambs among wolves,
he has declared that they shall be brought before counsels,
and before rulers, for his name' sake.
But Christ bids his disciples, ‘take no thought of what they shall speak,
for it shall be given you in that same hour what you shall speak;
for it is not you that speak, but the spirit of your Father that speaks in you;’

and this spirit of the Father is sufficient to trust to,
for it shall answer all, if they have ears to hear,
and comfort his people, his lambs and sheep.
And Christ further said, speaking to his disciples,
‘You shall be hated of all men for my name sake;
but he that endures to the end, the same shall be saved;'

and ‘he that hears you, (that is, Christ's sheep), hears me,' said Christ;
and 'he that despises you, despises me, (namely Christ),
and he that despises me, despises him that sent me,' ( the Father)
. Mat 10, Luke10
‘And the disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord;'
for Christ, the lord and master of the sheep, was despised;
so it is enough for the disciple that he is as his master, and the servant as his lord;
‘for if they call the master of the house (namely Christ) Beelzebub,
how much more shall they call them of his household
?
But the very hairs of your head are all numbered:
fear you not therefore, you are of more value than many sparrows,
and not one of them shall fall to the ground without the heavenly Father.
'
See here Christ encourages his lambs and sheep; therefore stand in his will.
And if the Lord allows your persecution, who are his lambs, and sheep,
and are as doves and chickens, that Christ has gathered under his wings,
remember none are able to pluck you out of his hands,
(his power), who has all power in heaven and earth given to him.
And now if it is the will of the Lord to try you, his lambs and sheep,
by spoiling [court seizure] of your outward goods, remember as he did his servant Job,
and others of his servants and children, in the days of the apostles,
who took joyfully the spoiling of their goods
;
and Moses by faith chose rather to suffer affliction with the people of God,
than to enjoy the pleasures of sin, which are but for a season;
esteeming the reproaches of Christ greater riches than all the treasures of Egypt;
for he had an eye to the recompense of reward; as in Heb 11:25
.

And therefore, consider how Noah, Lot, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,
by faith served the Lord, and went through sufferings and trials
;
and Jeremiah, and the rest of the prophets,
through faith went through great sufferings and imprisonments;
and Daniel, and the three children, passed through great sufferings and trials by faith;
so faith was their victory, which was the gift of God,
which Christ is the author and finisher of.
And you read in the days of the apostles,
what sufferings and imprisonments they were carried through by faith;
and since the apostles' days,
how all the martyrs were carried through great sufferings and imprisonments by their faith,
which was their victory; in which faith they pleased God, and had victory over the devil;
and in which faith they were all in unity.

Now, dear friends and brethren, if it pleases the Lord to try you,
who are the believers in the light, and children of the light and the day of Christ;
I say again, if it please the Lord, and it is his will,
to try you in stinking prisons and dungeons, jails, and houses of correction,
and allows you to be put in such places,
who are his sheep and lambs, plants and branches;
I say, the Lord can sanctify all such places for his people, his children,
his sons and daughters, and make all pleasant to them;
for his sheep and people cannot go anywhere from the Lord,
for the Lord and his presence is with them
,
and the angel of his presence saves them;
and therefore such jails and dungeons, and houses of correction,
which are for evil doers, if the Lord does try,
or suffer his people to be put in such places,
yet his people are all in the hand, and under the wings of Christ,
and he can sanctify all such places to them.
And you, in that state, are to pray for the enemies that put you there;
and if they curse and hate you, you are to bless them, and to do good to them,
and you are to pray for them that despitefully use you, and persecute you,
and love your enemies, that you may be children of your Father which is in heaven;’
for he makes the sun to shine on the evil and on the good,
and causes his rain to fall on the just and on the unjust.'

And the apostle said to the believers,
'Try all things, hold fast that which is good;'
so you holding fast that which is good, with that you can try all things,
whether they be good or bad;
'and be not overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good:' this is the command.
So it is the good that must overcome the evil;
and what has the children of God to overcome the evil withal, but the good ?
Therefore, then, all must hold fast that which is good,
if that with the good they overcome the evil, and can try all things;
but when any do go from the good in themselves,
then they are not likely with it to overcome the evil,
nor with it try all things, without holding fast that which is good;
for without it you cannot try all things, nor overcome the evil,
except you hold fast to what is good,
which was before the bad was, or evil either;
for by the good, evil is overcome,
and with it you can try all things, whether they are good or bad.
And a good man, David said, 'He has dispersed, he has given to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever; his horn shall be exalted with honor.'

'They that choose the things that please the Lord, and keep his covenant,
even them will I give a name in my house, and within my walls,
a place and a name, better than of sons and daughters, said the Lord,
and I will give them an everlasting name, which shall not be cut off.' Isa 56:4-5

So you may see how the Lord does encourage his people to walk in the truth,
in faithfulness to him; for the Lord has loved his people with an everlasting love;
therefore with loving kindness has he, and does he draw them unto himself,
to serve and worship him. Jer 31:3

And Christ said, 'He that believes on him has everlasting life.' Mark, has it, as in John 6:47
And again Christ said,
'He that drinks of the water that I give, shall never thirst;
but the water that I shall give, shall be in him as a well of water
springing up to eternal life.'

So everyone mind this well in you,
who have drunk of the water which Christ has given you.
And the apostle said,
'God will punish them that disobey his gospel with an everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord,
and from the glory of his power.' 2 Thess 1:9

Here you may see everlasting destruction to the wicked, that disobey the gospel;
and everlasting life to them that believe and obey the gospel of Christ.
Now they that disobey the gospel of Christ,
refuse their own comfort and joy of life and salvation;
which gospel is the power of God,
which is preached to every creature under heaven to believe and obey;
therefore happy are  you who have received it, and obeyed it,
which brings life and immortality to light in you;
that you see over the enemy which darkened you,
and are now become heirs of this comfortable and joyful gospel of life and everlasting salvation;
in which everlasting gospel you have an everlasting glorious fellowship;
and in this everlasting gospel, you can praise the everlasting God,
that reigns over all from everlasting to everlasting.
And all that are of the seed and faith of David, can say as David said,
'Blessed be God from everlasting to everlasting;
and let all the people say, Amen. Praise you the Lord.'

And further can say, that 'the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting,
upon all them that fear him, and his righteousness, unto the children of men.'' Psa103:17
For the Lord God he changes not, he is the same that he was,
who inhabits eternity, and dwells in the humble heart;
and therefore you humble ones, fear, and serve, and worship him.
And keep under the wing of Christ, and in him your sanctuary and savior,
who destroys the destroyer, and is over all, the first and last. Amen.

Dear friends, who are under sufferings for the name of the Lord Jesus Christ,
and for his new and living way, and his pure, undefiled religion,
and his worship in the spirit and truth, that Christ who is from above,
and has all power in heaven and earth,
has set up, for all the followers of the Lamb to walk in his new and living way,
and to keep in his pure, undefiled religion and worship, in spirit and in truth.

And now, dear friends and brethren, my desire is,
that you may show forth the nature of the Lamb, and the virtue and the life,
in which the nobility of true Christianity is seen and manifested in your peaceable, modest, and virtuous behavior,
before the powers that you are brought before;
and that none are to question or take thought what they are to say;
for it shall be given you in that same hour what you shall speak, said Christ
;
'whosoever therefore shall confess me before men,
him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.'

'For with the heart man believes unto righteousness,
and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.' Rom 10:10

'And every tongue shall confess to God.' Rom 14:11
And again, the apostle said, that 'every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.' Phil 2:10-11

So we cannot but confess and declare what our eyes have seen,
and our ears have heard, and our hands have handled of the word of life
, Christ Jesus,
by whom all things were made and created.

And Christ and his disciples, who often met on mountains, and in the wilderness,
and on the seaside, and in ships, and sometimes in houses;
we do not read, that the Jews and priests
called Christ and his apostles meetings routs or riots,
though the Jews and the chief priests were bad enough against them.

For all routs and riots are out of the spirit of truth;
and so is misbehavior of all people;
for the truth is peaceable, and brings people into peaceable lives and conversations,
out of routs and riots, and misbehavior;
and in peace they worship God;
and they worship God in the spirit, who is a spirit,
and in this holy, pure spirit is the unity and bond of peace,
and is the bond of good behavior, and of holy walking and talking,
and it is the bond of peaceable lives and conversations
of all that worship God in spirit and truth, and walk in the new and living way,
and keep in the pure, holy, and undefiled religion.

And so, dear friends, be of one mind, and heart, and spirit,
and God Almighty arm you with patience and humility;
who is God all-sufficient, to give you dominion with his power, and to support you.
And so, with my love to you all in the Lord Jesus Christ.
And let your moderation appear unto all men;
for wisdom is justified of her children.

And what anyone of you does lack, God is all-sufficient to supply you;
trust in him, and in fear, walk before him.

George Fox
London, the 3d day of the l0th month, 1684

POSTSCRIPT.

John said, that 'he saw three unclean spirits like frogs,
that came out of the mouth of the dragon,
and out of the mouth of the beast,
and out of the mouth of the false prophet.'

Mark, they do go out of their mouths,
for they are serpents and devils working miracles,
that go out of their mouths,
the foul unclean spirits which go forth
unto the kings of the earth, and of the whole world.
Mark, the whole world, to gather them together.
Mark, to gather them;
so here they are to be gathered
'to the battle of the great day of God Almighty.' Rev16:13-14

And satan the old serpent shall go out to deceive the nations,
which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog,
to gather them together to battle;
the number of whom is as the sand of the sea,
(so here is a gathering together by the devil),
and they went upon the  breadth of the earth,
and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city,
'and fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them;'

so these were gathered together by the devil,
and the destroyer was destroyed by God the savior of his people. Rev 20:7-10

And the Lord scattered Nimrod, that mighty hunter's gathering,
who gathered up people together to build Babel, and confounded them. Gen 11:9

And Isaiah said, ‘All your children shall be taught of the Lord,
and great shall be the peace of your children;
and in righteousness shall they be established.'

‘Behold! they shall surely gather together, but not by me, said the Lord;
and whosoever shall gather together against thee, shall fall for your sake.
No weapon that is formed against you, shall prosper;
and every tongue that shall rise against you in judgment, you shall condemn.
This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord,
and their righteousness is of me, said the Lord.' Isa 54:13-15,17

And Christ Jesus said, 'where two or three are gathered together in my name,
there am I in the midst of them.'

And the apostle said to the Jews, speaking of Christ,
that there is no salvation in any other:
for there is no other name under heaven given among men,
whereby we must be saved,' Acts 4:12 but by Christ Jesus.

So here is the saints' true gathering in the name of Christ Jesus the second Adam;
and none is able to pluck them out of his hand. John 10:28

For Christ, the seed of woman, bruises the serpent's head,
and Christ through death destroys death, and the devil the power of death;
and so reconciles all things, both in heaven and in the earth, into one.

The devil abode not in the truth, and so he became a devil, a destroyer,
and a serpent, and enemy, and a satan,
and adversary to the truth, and to righteousness, and holiness,
and to man and woman, that God made in his image, in righteousness and holiness;
so he became an enemy, and adversary, and destroyer, who is out of the truth,
and abode not in it, in whom there is no truth, and so is called the old serpent,
and satan, and devil, tempter, and false accuser;
and Christ through death destroys death, and the devil, the power of death.

And when the Jews went from the truth, they became enemies and adversaries to it,
and destroyers of the righteous and the just;  
yes, they were adversaries, and accusers,
and enemies to the prophets, and Christ Jesus, and apostles;
and Christ called the Jews vipers and serpents,
and said to them that made a profession of the scriptures of the old testament,
but were gone from the truth of them,
that they were of their father the devil, and his works and lusts they would do.

And here the Jews that went out of the truth,
did not they become as serpents, enemies, satans, adversaries, and Judases, betrayers,
and of the devil, destroyers of the just ?

And when they who are called christians became haters of the light,
and walkers despitefully against the spirit of grace,
despisers of the word in their hearts,
and erred from the truth and the true faith,
and professed the form of godliness, but denied the power thereof,
and so denied the spirit of true Christianity;
these became as serpents, enemies, satan, adversaries to true Christianity,
and of the devil, that seek to destroy it, and Judases,
betrayers of it, and of the righteous and the just,
wherever it appeared to the unjust.
And this has been the work of that spirit, that did not abide in the truth in all ages,
to be as enemies, adversaries, and Judases, betrayers, who seek to destroy the truth;
but Christ the truth, does destroy that destroying spirit, who is the savior.

And Christ said to the Jews, and to the scribes and Pharisees,
who were the greatest outward professors,
and appliers of the prophets and promises of the old testament to themselves upon the earth,
and yet the greatest persecutors of the holy men and women,
and the Lord's prophets upon the earth.

I say, that Christ said to them, '0h Jerusalem, Jerusalem! you that kills the prophets,
and stones them which are sent unto you,
how often would I have gathered your children together,
even as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, and you would not!
Behold, your houses are left unto you desolate.' Mat 23:37-38

Jerusalem was the chief  place of worship, and the principal city among the Jews,
and the greatest place of persecution,
and yet the Lord Jesus Christ wept over this city,
and would have gathered these persecuting professors,

(who were without possessing of the life of what they did profess),
but they would not come to him that they might have life.

And these persecuting Jews, scribes, and Pharisees, Christ said unto them,
'You compass sea and land to make one convert,
and when he is made, he is twofold more the child of hell! Mat 23:15

Here you may see these scribes, Pharisees, and Jews,
the great professors and temple worshippers without life, what they gathered into,
and what disciples they made in their compassing sea and land,
they made them like themselves, and the devil, and satan, and the serpent,
who abode not in the truth, and seek to draw all out of the truth,
and to make them as serpents and satan, adversaries, and of the devil, destroyers;
and so he rules in the heart of the disobedient, and blinds the eyes of the heathen;
and the apostatized christians from the spirit of Christ, and the life of Christianity,
they do seek to draw all from the truth and spirit of Christ,
and the life of Christianity into death, enmity,
and into persecution and destroying, like the devil, Jews and Judas,
both in one spirit, according to their measures that they have from the devil;
but all that live and walk in the truth, and the spirit, of Jesus,
labor to bring and draw, and gather all into the truth,
and to Christ their savior, who destroys the destroyer.

George Fox

'Take heed of pleasures, and prize your time now while you have it;
do not spend it in pleasures nor earthliness.
The time may come that you will say, you had time, when it is past.
Therefore look at the love of God now while you have time;
for it brings you to loathe all vanities and worldly pleasures.
Oh! consider, time is precious;
fear God and rejoice in him who has made heaven and earth.'

(from George Fox’s Journal, Vol 2., page 104)

 

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