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Concerning The Pure and Undefiled Religion, That Was Set Up Above Sixteen Hundred Years Ago: Which All That do Own God And Christ Are To Walk In. (1685)
Dear Friends, you who profess the light, faith, grace, and spirit of Christ, and the pure undefiled religion before God the Father, are to keep yourselves unspotted from the world, and to bridle your tongues from evil words, which corrupt good manners; the light of Christ Jesus letteth you see the spots of the world; and the farce of God will teach you to deny the,; and the sprit of truth, if you be led buy it, teacheth you to mortify and subdue them.
And now friends, here is the pure and undefiled religion which the apostle in the primitive times did own, and which now we do own: this is pure religion, and is undefiled before God the Father, and to keep unspotted from the world. first. This religion is pure. Secondly. It is undefiled before God the Father. and that which is pure and undefiled before God the Father, if you live in it and obey it, it will keep you unspotted from the world, and so from the spots of the world: and that which keeps you from the spots of the world, will keep you from the body of death, and sins of the world; which you are made from from, by the circumcision of Christ, by his sprit, and by the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus, are made free from the law of sin and death.
And all such that follow the lust of the eye, the pride of life, and the lust of the flesh, which is not of the Father, but of the God of the world, that abode not in the truth, such are spotted with the spots of the world, and are proud, vain, lofty, scornful, high, and spotted with the world spots, and are void of the pure undefiled religion before God the Father. And take heed of malice, hatred, envy, wrath, rage, and fury; these are the spots of the world, who bear such fruits, contrary to the sprit of meekness, gentleness, kindness, tenderness, sobriety, love and mercifulness, which are the fruits of the pure spirit of God, which leadeth to the pure undefiled religion before God the Father. which is to visit the fatherless, and widows in their affliction and to keep unspotted from the world. This pure and undefiled religion keepeth in the purity of life and conversation; and this is above all, and keeps from all vain religions in the world; which pure and undefiled religion, it is the duty of all true christians walk in, by which they may be kept from the spots of the world, and this is the religion that was set up above sixteen hundred years ago, in the church of Christ; and happy had all Christendom, been, if they had kept to this pure and undefiled religion to this day, and they they would not have made so many religions as they have done. But to this pure undefiled religion they must come again, if ever they come to the true religion; for none can make a better, than the pure undefiled religion, which was set up in the church, (in the apostles' days,) above sixteen hundred years ago; unto which all that profess christianity should be comformable; even to this pure undefiled religion which will keep them from the spots of the world, and then their religion will not be of the world. And this is the one pure undefiled religion that all christians should be of, which is from one God, the creator of all. so there is one God, the creator of all, and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom all things were made and created, who is the one mediator betwixt God and man; even the man Christ Jesus; there is one body, and one spirit, even as you are called to one hope of your calling; and one God and Father of all, who is above you all, and in you all, and through you all; and there is one faith which Christ Jesus is the author and finisher of; and there is one baptism, and by one sprit we are all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, bond or free, must all drink into this one spirit of Christ, and so to keep the unity in the spirit, which is the bond of peace. For the apostle saith, "If any man have not the spirit of Christ, he is non of his," Rom. viii. 9. for Christ saith in his prayer to his Father, "That they be all one, (meaning the true Christians,) as thou Father art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us, that they may be one, even as we are one; I in the, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one;' to wit, the believers and followers of Christ. John xvii, 21,22,23. here you may see, God and Christ are one in them, so he prayeth, (that his people may be one,) in whom they have rest, life, peace, and salvation with God, through Jesus Christ. Amen.
"Let your conversation or practice be without covetousness," etc. Heb. xiii. 5.
"Only let your conversation be as becometh the gospel of Christ." Philip. i. 17.
The 4th of the 2nd month, 1685