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Text Sermons : George Fox : Epistle 131

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Friends every where, dwell in the power of the Lord God, which is without end, in which ye may all have unity. And take heed of striving about earthly things, which is the unredeemed part, that is out of the paradise and the garden of God; but that with the wisdom of God ye may come to be ordered [Wis 8:1], and order the creatures by that by which they were made and created, that by it ye may know yourselves to be governed. And after that riches increase, take heed of setting your hearts upon them [Psa 62:10], lest they become a curse and a plague to you. . . .

And all Friends, take heed of jars and strife, for that is it which will eat out the seed in you; therefore let not that harbour in your bosoms, lest it eat out the good in you, and ye come to suffer in your own particulars. Therefore dwell in love and life, and in the power and seed <127> of God, which is the honourable, royal state. And all that speak or preach abroad, see that ye be in the life, and power, and seed of God, which will edify the body, and not in a brittle, peevish, hasty, fretful mind; but dwell in that which keeps down the contrary, that that may speak which edifies the body in love [Eph 4:16]. And all take heed of vain words, and tattling idle words [1 Tim 5:13?], but every where stop such; that love may continue in the body, and that the seed may spread over all, that unity may be kept. And all Friends every where, if Friends be poor, and in want, or in prison, that ye may in wisdom relieve and cherish such. And all Friends every where, stop the deceit, that would devour and destroy, which is out of the truth, and true wisdom; which must be limited, that transgresseth the spirit of God. For since the days of the apostles, the true church hath been in the wilderness [Rev 12:6], and the beast, false prophet [Rev 16:13], antichrist, and false church have ruled and reigned; amongst whom have been the many names and horns [Rev 13:1] amongst the apostate christians, who have professed themselves to be elders. Amongst this eldership have they had outward and earthly rulers, which have got up since the days of the apostles: but who come to Christ, who was and is the true christian's head [Col 1:18], he is their ruler; by whom all things were made [John 1:3]. And when the apostate christians went from the apostles' doctrines into the world, they set up many rulers amongst them, and many heads; when they went from the seed of God in themselves, in the male and in the female [Gal 3:28?], then they forsook their head, Christ Jesus. And so, whosoever go from the seed of God in themselves, and set up other heads, they lose the one head, which is Christ Jesus; and then come to be covered with darkness [Isa 60:2], and the seed comes to be loaden, as a cart with sheaves [Amos 2:13]: and then they break into the many ways, and set up the many heads, when they go from the seed in the male and in the female, which is the one head. And then come up the fightings about earthly things, and warrings with carnal weapons [2 Cor 10:4] about earthly things, and self-interest, and man's honour and titles, and about their churches, and religions, and worships, and ministry, which have been set up since the days of the apostles, and since the fall. The Jews did kill with the outward sword the heathen, and one another; but Christ Jesus, the prince of life [Acts 3:15], fulfils the law [Mat 5:17], and ends the outward Jews' types, figures, and shadows, ordinances and carnal weapons, who is the king of the whole earth, who comes to save men's lives [Luke 9:56], yet slays and ‘kills with the sword of the spirit, which is the word of his mouth [Eph 6:17, Hos 6:5].’ And the apostles, who followed Christ, wrestled not with flesh and blood [Eph 6:12]; so all, who come to witness Christ to reign and to rule, (who is the prince of life, that saves men's lives,) and follow him, do not wrestle with flesh and blood, nor seek to destroy men's lives. And here comes the wisdom to be known, that is from above, that is pure and <128> gentle, and easy to be entreated [James 3:17], that is not sensual, carnal, and devilish [James 3:15]. So in the time of the law among the Jews there was fighting outwardly; but in the time of the gospel of Christ Jesus, who came to end the law, they were to love enemies, and not to kill them; and love them that hate them, and not kill them [Mat 5:44]. But in the times since the days of the apostles, in the apostate christians' time, they are crying up the outward sword again; and this is the dragon's and the beast's power [Rev 13:2,4], the prince of death, which hath reigned since the apostles' days. But who come to follow Christ, they come to reign in spirit, over all these fighters with carnal weapons, that are got up since the days of the apostles. Therefore who are come now into the power of the Lord God, and to the seed that is royal, who was the elected, before the world began, keep your meetings, and dwell in the power of God, in which ye may know his image, and come into it; with which ye may spiritually reign, and have dominion over all the world, and rule in it over them and their vanities, and work them down without a carnal weapon, in the power of God. So keep your meetings, both particular and in the general, in the power of the Lord God, and dwell in the life, and power, and wisdom of the Lord, that all uncleanness whatsoever may by the power of the Lord be brought down and rooted out; and that such have no rule nor authority amongst you, though they be never so fair or excellent of speech [Rom 16:18; Prov 7:21, 17:7?]: but let all such be brought under by the power of the Lord God, who is to reign over it; that in the sweetness and unity ye all may be brought to be a sweet savour to the Lord God [2 Cor 2:15], and in the hearts of one another, and let no uncleanness be amongst you. And all Friends every where, take heed of printing any thing more than ye are required of the Lord God. . . . <129>

G. F

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