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Text Sermons : George Fox : Epistle 19

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Dear and tender Friends,—My love is to you all in the truth of God; and my prayers and soul's desire are to God, that ye may be kept in the simplicity of the truth in Christ Jesus [2 Cor 11:3], growing up in the power of his resurrection, and be made conformable to his death, and have fellowship with him in his sufferings [Phil 3:10]; and that all your hearts may be knit together in love [Col 2:2], and in one spirit to God, and be kept out of all the world's evil customs, fashions, words, works, manners, ordinances, and commandments, which will all perish [1 Cor 7:31/Col 2:20,22], which the world holdeth up in the carnal mind [Rom 8:7], and the carnal man doth act them. For whatsoever is seen with a carnal eye, is carnal. See, if ye do find something in your understandings made manifest, which is eternal, to guide your minds out of all external things, which wither away, and fade. For the cross is to the carnal mind; your carnal minds going into the carnal and earthly things, or your eyes and lusts into the earth, where lightness, rashness, crossness, bitterness, and presumption are, then the tongue will run at random, and is at liberty; and he that hath not power over his own tongue, his religion is vain [Jas 1:26], and the light mind ruleth. But the light within, which doth convince thee, will show thee, when the mind goeth forth; and show thee the daily cross, which is to crucify that carnal mind; for the carnal mind minds carnal things; and the cross is to the will of man, for it shall never enter.

Therefore give not way to your wills, nor busy yourselvesnor <27> minds with needless and careless words, or such things, for they will veil you, and draw your minds from God. But keep within. And when they shall say, ‘lo here,’ or ‘lo there is Christ,’ [Mat 24:23] go not forth; for Christ is within you. And they are seducers and antichrists, which draw your minds out from the within you. For the measure is within, and the light of God is within, and the pearl [Mat 13:46] is within you , which is hid; and the word of God is within you, and ye are the temples of God (1 Cor 3:16); and God hath said, he will dwell in you, and walk in you (2 Cor 6:16). And then what need ye go to the idols' temples without you? The true church (the saints) is in God; but the imitation of the church is in the world, without God. The seducers are in the world; antichrists and deceivers [2 Jn 1:7] are in the world, and false prophets are in the world; and covetousness is in the world; and all hypocrisy, and all heresy, and dissimulation, and all pride, and looking for honour is in the world; and he that seeketh for it, is of the devil. And all idle, foolish jesting, and all light, vain talking, which are not seemly nor convenient, are in the world.

Therefore lay aside all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness [Jas 1:21], and fear God, and give glory to him [Rev 14:7], and worship not the beast [Rev 14:9,11]; for the beast and the false prophet must be cast into the lake of fire [Rev 19:20]. The true figures and types were outward, and visible to the outward eye and mind; but the carnal mind [Rom 8:6f] is to be taken away, and destroyed. For the figures did type forth the substance; when the substance was come, the figures were taken away, and types were ended [Heb 9, 10:34]. And the (false) imitations of Christ and of God are in the world; and the vain worships of the world are the worships of the beast, and are not of God. For ‘God is a spirit; and he that worships him, must worship him in spirit and truth [John 4:24].’ The beastly nature in man and woman holdeth up the beast, and his customs and worships; and the plagues of God are to be poured upon the beast, and all them that worship the beast and false prophet [Rev 16]. And they that abide in the truth, worship not the beast inwardly, nor outwardly, but deny all the beast's worships and false prophets', and worship God in spirit and truth. And they which do not abide in the truth, hold up the beast's worship, and the false prophets'; and they that do so, shall have their portion together. Plagues will be poured upon such.

And ye that know God, dwell in the truth, and tread upon the deceit; for God will be glorified alone. To whom be glory and honour for ever! Amen.

G. F.

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