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Text Sermons : George Fox : Epistle 369

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Grace, mercy, and peace be multiplied among you [1 Pet 1:2, Jude 1:2] all from God the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the fountain of all: and God, who hath called you by his grace [Gal 1:15], and gathered you to be a people by his power and spirit, to his son Christ Jesus, your holy, heavenly, spiritual head, life, rock, and foundation. Now that you may all walk in Christ Jesus [Col 2:6], and abide in him your vine, and in him you will all bring forth heavenly fruit [John 15:4f] to the praise and glory of God.

Christ saith, ‘In me ye have peace, in the world ye have trouble [John 16:33];’ <198> and therefore keep out of the spirit of the world [1 Cor 2:12]; let not the spirit of the world come into you; for if ye do, ye go into trouble both inwardly and outwardly: but if ye keep in Christ, who is not of the world [John 17:14], you keep in your heavenly place and region: for, ‘He that hath the son of God, hath life [1 Jn 5:12];’ and therefore keep in the life in Christ; and he that hath not the son of God, is in old Adam, in death, without life [1 Jn 5:12].

And, ‘without me (says Christ) ye can do nothing [John 15:5] ;’ without his grace, his light, his truth, his gospel, his power, his spirit, his faith, ye can do nothing; and, ‘if Christ be not in you, ye are reprobates [2 Cor 13:5];’ and if he be in you, and you in him [John 15:5], you are in the election, and in the seed, in which all nations are blessed [Gen 22:18].

And therefore, my friends and brethren, both males and females, keep and walk in the seed, in which all nations are blessed, which bruises the head of the serpent [Gen 3:15], and destroys the devil and his works [Heb 2:14/1 Jn 3:8], which brought misery and the curse upon all nations. So that in this holy seed, you all may be the children of the kingdom of God [Mat 13:38] that stands in righteousness, and power, and joy in the holy ghost [Rom 14:17/1 Cor 4:20]: I say, in the righteousness of Christ, which was before unrighteousness was; and in the power of God, which was before the power of satan and dragon [Acts 26:18/Rev 13:2,4] were; and in the peace of God, that passes all the understanding [Phil 4:7] of the world, and was before the god of the world [2 Cor 4:4] was; and in the holy ghost, which was before the unclean ghost got into man and woman.

And so that you may all come to walk in the new covenant of light [Isa 42:6], which was before the prince of darkness [Eph 6:12] was, and life, that is over death, and was before death was. Here in this you will have your heavenly religion to walk in, which will keep you out of all the world's unruly ways and actions, and ungracious words and languages, that all your words be seasoned with the grace of God, that hath brought you salvation [Col 4:6/Tit 2:11], that you may edify the hearers [Eph 4:29], and your conversation may be in heaven [Phil 3:20].

And keep in the cross of Christ, the power of God [1 Cor 1:18], that keeps you crucified to the world; that is, dead to the world, and the world dead and crucified to you [Gal 6:14]: for if you do not keep in this power of God, which was before the world and its god was, to keep you crucified to the world, but let in the spirit of the world, you let in its god, which will crucify the good in you, and you will come to crucify to yourselves the son of God afresh, and put him to open shame [Heb 6:6]. Therefore keep that crucified with the power of God, the cross of Christ, which did and would crucify the just [Jas 5:6]; and then you will keep alive in the power of God, and live in Christ Jesus, and he is alive in you, and you in him.

And now, all friends and brethren, let your meekness, your temperance, and your gentleness and sobriety, and tenderness and moderation <199> appear to all men [Phil 4:5], ‘that your light may so shine, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven [Mat 5:16].’

And ye being the salt of the earth, you will make all savoury; therefore take heed of losing your salt, lest you be trodden under the feet of men [Mat 5:13].

And keep out of the restless, discontented, disquieted spirit of the world about the government: for you know it has been always our way to seek the good of all, and to live peaceably under the government, and to seek their eternal good, peace, and happiness in the Lord Jesus Christ, and to lay our innocent sufferings before them, who have suffered as lambs and sheep, and made no resistance [Mat 5:39, Jas 5:6], but have ‘prayed for them that persecuted us, and despitefully used us, and hated us [Mat 5:44],’ according to the command of Christ.

‘For ye were as sheep gone astray, but are now returned unto the shepherd and bishop of your souls [1 Pet 2:25]: for hitherto ye are called; because Christ hath suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps, who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: who when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously [1 Pet 2:21-23]. And he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from speaking evil, and his lips that he speak no guile [1 Pet 3:10].’ 2 Pet. ii.

G. F.

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