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Text Sermons : George Fox : Epistle 109

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Friends, keep to patience: this is the counsel of the Lord to you. Do not judge one another [Rom 14:13] behind one another's backs, nor speak evil one of another [James 4:11], for that is that which soweth the enmity among brethren. Nor judge one another before the world, for that is that which is in the extremes, passion, and hastiness; and there ye let in the world's spirit to rejoice over you, and that is out of the patience, and love, and wisdom, and fear of God and his truth. And every one dwell in the seed and life of God, and in that know one another, and meeting together in that ye may see the Lord Jesus in the midst ofyou [Mat 18:20]. And, friends, go not into the aggravating part to strive with it, lest ye do hurt to yoursouls, and run into the same nature; for patience must get the victory, and answers to that of God in everyone, which will bring every one from the contrary. So let your moderation, and temperance, and patience be known to all [Phil 4:5], for that which joins to the aggravating part, sets up the aggravating part, and breeds confusion, and reaches not to the witness of God in every one. And Friends, keep out of the worldly wise part, for that will never let people join and unite together (in truth) which enters into the earth, and the apprehensions of words; but let innocency be the garment, and truth and simplicity the covering.Then in the innocency ye will have unity, where there is no evil thought, but love that thinks no evil [1 Cor 13:5].Therefore cover one another's nakedness [Gen 9:23]; let all things be done in love, and that will edify. And let the weight and preciousness of truth be in your eye, and esteemed above all things by you. For here is my grief, when I hear any thing amongst Friends, that hinders their unity, and makes a breach,(whereby the wrong gets ground,) who should live in the seed, which breaks the bond of iniquity [Acts 8:23], and makes up all breaches [Psa 60:2, Isa 58:12]; in which seed shine,answering the witness of God in everyone [Col 4:6/1 Jn 5:9], which bruises the earthly part under that brings forth briars and thorns [Heb 6:8], and spreads over the world, and all the contrary. . . . <110>

G. F.

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