Imatges de pÓgina
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appeared to all men, which brings salvation; so that the Lord's grace, his light, and truth, and spirit and power may have the passage, and the rule in all men and women, that by it he may have the glory, and from it in all, who is blessed for ever and for ever. The Lord hath said, *From the rising of the sun to the going down of the same, my name shall be great among the Gentiles. Now mark, friends, this is a large space, wherein God's name shall be great; and the Lord further saith, “In every place, incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering; for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the Lord of hosts.' Now mark, friends, this heavenly incense, and pure offering, is a spiritual offering, which is to be offered by the spirit to God, who is a spirit; then here none quench the spirit of God in their own hearts, and all such come under the title of the royal priesthood, offering up spiritual sacrifices; which royal priesthood has a priest that lives for ever, Christ Jesus.

And, friends, do not quench the spirit, nor abuse the power; when it moves and stirs in you, be obedient, but do not go beyond, nor do not add to it, nor take from it; for if you do you are reproved, either for going beyond, or taking from it. And when any have spoken forth the things of the Lord, by his power and spirit, let them keep in the power and spirit, and that keeps them in the humility, that when they have spoken forth the things of God, they are neither higher nor lower, but still keep in the power, before and after; and being obedient to the spirit and power of God, it keeps them from deadness, and alive to God, and keeps them in a sense, that they do not go beyond, and run out, as some (you know) have done; and all that hath come for want of living in the power of God, and in his spirit, which keeps all things in subjection and in order, and in the true fear of the Lord, always to feel the presence of the Lord with you.

Come, fishermen, what have you catched with your nets? What can you say for God? Your brethren, Peter and John, fishermen, could say much for God. Read in the Acts and you may see it; I would not have you degenerate from their spirit.

Shepherds and herdsmen, where are you? What can you say now for God, whose abiding is much in the fields ? David, Jacob, and Amos, your fellow shepherds and herdsmen, (do not you see?) they could say, much for God; I would have you to be like them, and not to degenerate from their spirit.

Come, tradesmen, tent-makers, physicians, and custom-men, what can you say for God? Do not you read that your fellow tradesmen in ages past could say much for God? Do not degenerate from their spirit. Do not you remember the accusations of the wise and learned Grecians, when the apostles preached Christ among them, that they were called

poor tradesmen and fishermen? Therefore be faithful. The preachers of Jesus Christ now are the same to the wise of the world as then.

G. F.

CCLXXVI.

Dear friends,-Live in peace, and love, and patience with one another, for that doth edify the body, and strife doth not, but doth eat out the good; for the body doth edify itself in love; in which there is nourishment, and yirtue, and life from the head; so in that meet and build up one another. Dear hearts be faithful, and live in the life, and power, and seed of God, and in love and peace one with another. the God of peace in it preserve you. Peace be among you, and live in

, that which keeps peace; for the peace-makers are blessed. And all strive for that which makes for peace; and they that are lowest, and so keep, receive the most from God.

G. F.

And so

CCLXXVII.

My dear friends,—When you were formerly in a profession, you took your servants, your apprentices, your children along with you to your places of worship. And now, that you are come to truth, and are convinced that the same is the truth of God, through which you come to have a portion and inheritance of life and salvation, and of a kingdom and world which hath no end, and into a possession of that which formerly you did profess in words. Now, therefore, friends, you that are come to this possession, and go into the assemblies of the people of God, that are gathered into his name, (where salvation is,) and in no other name under heaven, but in the name of Jesus Christ. Is it not more reputable for you to take your servants, apprentices, children, and maidens along with you to the meetings, to be partakers of the eternal truth, that they may have a possession with you of the same that you do possess ? For, if you should leave them behind, and be careless of them, they are many of them apt to run into liberty, and to looseness, and to plays, and to tippling-houses, and so into loose company. Such liberty hath been a great hurt to youth, and the truth hath been much dishonoured thereby. And such do not only lose the wisdom of God, and the true understanding given to them by his son, but the reason of men, in these practices. And then after you may come to find fault with your servants, children, &c. and for a small matter put some of them away, when the fault is in yourselves, that you did not take them along with you to the meetings, and govern them in the wisdom of God, and true understanding and knowledge; which is to know the

true God, and his son Jesus Christ, whom he hath sent; whom to know is life eternal. By which liberty such do not keep authority over them; for you should bring them to the meetings with you, to wait upon the Lord. For truly my life hath been often burthened through the want of restraining them of that liberty they run into; wherein you should be more prudent, wise, and careful, and should keep more in your dominion and authority in the life, power, and seed, in which you have the true wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. Therefore, consider of these things in all your families, and remember the time of your former professions, wherein you exercised the reason of men, as to bring your servants, &c. to an outward profession. Now you being come to a possession of life, take heed lest you lose the right reason, wisdom, understanding, and knowledge. Therefore rouse up yourselves, that you may exercise the right wisdom and understanding in that which lives for ever, and is and will remain when all the contrary is gone; into which all must be brought; that in that you may be good patterns and examples in all your families, and bring them forth with you to your meetings, that they may find the substance of that which you did form- ; erly profess in words. And now you enjoying the substance, be more careful, be more diligent and circumspect, that God may be glorified throughout all your families, and his name may be called upon, and honoured, and exalted, who is God over all, blessed for ever.

And, friends, some among you breed up your children not as when you were in a profession only, in such a rude, heady way, that when they grow up, they do not matter you, nor care for you; so they are not a blessing and a comfort to you ; but in many things they are worse than many of the world's, more loose, stubborn, and disobedient; which truth teaches no such things, but brings more into humility, and meekness, and gentleness, and tenderness; so that when they come to be set to prentice, many times they run quite out into the world. And therefore, by the power, and life, and wisdom of God, these things you must take notice of, that all such may be brought into, and kept in subjection by the power of God, that God may be honoured and glorified, through the breaking of the stubborn will in them, and subjecting them to truth; and let them all know their places, and not to give way to that which may get over you; so then you will not know how to rule them at last, but bring a grief, and sorrow, and trouble upon you, as too many examples may be seen. Therefore, while they are young, restrain them from such things, and every one in the life, and power, and seed of truth, keep your authority, and lose not the true wisdom and understanding given you by Christ, nor the true knowledge, nor true reason, which gives to distinguish good from bad; but in all things keep your authority, which is given to you of God, and your places in

it; for they that fear and worship the Lord, shall have a place with him. And in the power, and life, and wisdom of God, you will breed up and govern your sons and daughters, servants and prentices, and cause them to keep in their places, and in the power of God answer the good in them all. For an outward father or mother, over their families, apprentices, and maidens, are to keep all things that are outward, civil, and subject, in their places, with reason and true wisdom: and such as come to be fathers in truth, are to train them up in the truth, and to exercise that wisdom, and that knowledge and understanding, which is beyond the outward. Therefore in it they should train them up in the truth, through which all should be free; not in the eye-service of men, but serving the Lord in righteousness and diligence, in their services: that they may be partakers of the heavenly life, and come to be heirs of salvation, and children of the promise, and sons and daughters of Sion, to whom Christ is elect and precious, and through him their conversations may be brought up into heavenly things, and their minds and affections to be set on things above. So friends, all these things consider of in the life which was before death was, in the truth which the devil is out of, in the wisdom of God, which is pure from above, and in the righteousness, which was before unrighteousness was, that God may be glorified throughout all your families, who is blessed for

G. F.

ever.

CCLXXVIII.

And friends, see that all apprentices that are bound amongst you may serve out their times faithfully, according to covenant, that all may know their places; for youth, if they be let loose, are like wild asses, and wild heifers; and such many times bring a great dishonour to God, by running into looseness; which are more fit to be under rule and order, than to rule; and through a foolish pity of some, they let up a great deal of airiness and wildness in them: all which should be kept under by the power of God, wherein the honour of the Lord may be preserved; and so, that liberty may not be given to youth in those cases ; for the true liberty is in Christ Jesus, which gives authority over that which will dishonour God; for many such things have spoiled several, in letting unbridled youth at liberty, in taking the reins to themselves, and brought trouble upon their parents, masters, and mistresses, and great dishonour upon God. Let care be taken, that truth suffer not about such things, and that none buy out their time without the consent of their parents or guardians; or, in the want of them, to advise with the Monthly Meetings. For do you not see what hurt hath been done in such cases? Wherefore keep all such under the yoke; and

hinder and stop wickedness and looseness that would break forth. So in all such things you should exercise the pure wisdom of God, the pure reason, knowledge, and understanding; and in the authority of it keep, that none under a profession of truth be let into looseness; whereas youth should be kept under a bridle and restraint, and be nurtured and trained up in the fear and wisdom of God, that the power of God and God's truth may have its passage through all, and over all; and all lightness, frothiness, wildness, and looseness, may be kept down: so that the good may be kept up in all, to honour and to glorify the Lord God Almighty, who is blessed for evermore, who reigns among us.

G. F.

CCLXXIX.—The substance of a General Epistle.

out any

All Friends every where, who are friends of Christ the heavenly man, by whom the world was made, and are become friends of God through Christ Jesus, who are quickened by Jesus, and made alive by him, who were dead in old Adam, and are now made alive by the second Adam, and have drunk his blood, through which you have life, and by which you come from among the congregations of the dead, who only talk of his blood and his flesh.

And now being gathered in the name of Jesus, who hath made you alive, in the name of him whose blood you have drunk, yea, even of the heavenly man's, which is his life; and so are come out of your native countries, religions, and worships, and left the old stuff behind, who are gotten atop of the old house, and will not go down again to fetch

of the old stuff. I say, ye that are gathered in the name of Jesus, the heavenly man, out of the old Adam, and are made alive by the heavenly man, keep your meetings in the name of Jesus.

Then it is he that is persecuted, if you be persecuted; and he that suffers; for in all your afflictions and sufferings he is with you, who are made alive by him, and have drunk his blood, and so are come to be faithful witnesses of Christ Jesus, as all that are made alive by him are, and have drunk his blood; for they that have not drunk his blood, and are not made alive by him, are no true witnesses of Christ Jesus. And therefore you that the Lord hath gathered, and sought and searched out, who have been scattered in this cloudy dark day, (since the apostles' days of light,) and have been made a prey upon by the hireling shepherds, and have been left to the wolves by the flying of the hirelings, whom you thought had been true men, and now the Lord hath sought and searched, and found, and gathered you from their mouths, to whose mouths you have been a prey; and the Lord is known to feed you atop of the mountains with his heavenly bread, and he hath set one shepherd over you, (the heavenly man,) who lives for ever, who is VOL. VIII.

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