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talked of the law, who had never known the law to be their schoolmaster; and many talked of the gospel of Christ, who had never known life and immortality brought to light in them by it. You that have been under that schoolmaster, and the condemnation of it, know these things; for though the Lord in that day opened these things unto me in secret, they have since been published by his eternal Spirit, as on the house top. And as you are brought into the law, and through the law to be dead to it, and witness the righteousness of the law fulfilled in you, ye will afterwards come to know what it is to be brought into the faith, and through faith from under the law; and abiding in the faith, which Christ is the author of, ye will have peace and access to God. But if ye look out from the faith, and from that which would keep you in the victory, and look after fleshly things or words, ye will be brought into bondage to flesh again, and to the law, which takes hold upon the flesh and sin, and worketh wrath, and the works of the flesh will appear again. The law of God takes hold upon the law of sin and death ; but the law of faith, or the law of the Spirit of life, which is the love of God, and which comes by Jesus (who is the end of the law for righteousness' sake), makes free from the law of sin and death. This law of life fleshly-minded men do not know ; yet they will tempt you, to draw you from the Spirit into the flesh, and so into bondage. Therefore ye, who know the love of God, and the law of his Spirit, and the freedom that is in Jesus Christ, stand fast in him, in that divine faith which he is the author of in you; and be not entangled with the yoke of bondage. For the ministry of Christ Jesus, and his teaching, bring into liberty and freedom; but the ministry that is of man, and by man, and which stands in the will of man, bringeth into bondage, and under the shadow of death and darkness. Therefore none can be ministers of Christ Jesus but in the eternal Spirit, which was before the Scriptures were given forth; for if they have not his Spirit, they are none of his. Though they may have his light to condemn them that hate it, yet they can never bring any into unity and fellowship in the Spirit, except they be in it; for the Seed of God is a burthensome stone to the selfish, fleshly, earthly will, which reigns in its own knowledge and understanding that must perish, and in its wisdom that is devilish. And the Spirit of God is grieved, and vexed, and quenched with that which brings into the fleshly bondage ; and that which wars against the Spirit of God, must be mortified by it; for the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary the one to the other. The flesh would have its liberty, and the Spirit wonld have its liberty; but the Spirit is to have its liberty and not the flesh. If therefore ye quench the Spirit, and join to the flesh, and be servants of it, then ye are judged and tormented by the Spirit ; but if ye join to the Spirit and serve God in it, ye have liberty and victory over the flesh and its works. Therefore keep in the daily cross, the power of God, by' which ye may witness all that to be crucified which is contrary to the will of God, and which shall not come into his kingdom. These things are here mentioned and opened for information, exhortation, and comfort to others, as the Lord opened them unto me in that day. In that day I wondered that the children of Israel should murmur for water and victuals,
for I could have fasted long without murmuring or minding victuals. But I was judged at other times, that I was not contented to be sometimes without the water and bread of life, that I might learn to know how to want, and how to abound.
I heard of a woman in LANCASHIRE, that had fasted two and twenty days, and I travelled to see her; but when I came to her I saw that she was under a temptation. When I had spoken to her what I had from the Lord, I left her, her father being one high in profession. Passing on, I went among the professors at DUCKINGFIELD and MANCHESTER, where I stayed a while, and declared truth among them. There were some convinced, who received the Lord's teaching, by which they were confirmed and stood in the truth. But the professors were in a rage, all pleading for sin and imperfection, and could not endure to hear talk of perfection, and of a holy and sinless life. But the Lord's power was over all; though they were chained under darkness and sin, which they pleaded for, and quenched the tender thing in them.
About this time there was a great meeting of the Baptists, at BROUGHTON, in Leicestershire, with some that had separated from them; and people of other notions went thither, and I went also. Not many of the Baptists came, but many others were there. The Lord opened my mouth, and the everlasting truth was declared amongst them, and the power of the Lord was over them all. For in that day the Lord's power began to spring, and I had great openings in the Scriptures. Several were convinced in those parts, and were turned from darkness to light, from the power of Satan unto God; and many were raised up to praise God. When I reasoned with professors and other people, some became convinced.
I was still under great temptations sometimes, and my inward sufferings were heavy; but I could find none to open my condition to but the Lord alone, unto whom I cried night and day. I went back into NOTTINGHAMSHIRE, and there the Lord showed me that the natures of those things, which were hurtful without, were within, in the hearts and minds of wicked men. The natures of dogs, swine, vipers, of Sodom and Egypt, Pharaoh, Cain, Ishmael, Esau, &c.; the natures of these I saw within, though people had been looking without. I cried to the Lord, saying, “Why should I be thus, seeing I was never addicted to commit those evils ? and the Lord answered, “That it was needful I should have a sense of all conditions, how else should I speak to all conditions !” and in this I saw the infinite love of God. I saw also, that there was an ocean of darkness and death; but an infinite ocean of light and love, which flowed over the ocean of darkness. In that also I saw the infinite love of God, and I had great openings. And as I was walking by the steeple-house, * in MANSFIELD,
* The term “steeple-house” occurs not unfrequently in this Journal, and in the early writings and records of Friends. Though it may sound harsh, and appear to savour of the scurrility and intolerance of that zealous age, yet this, or any other mode of speech adopted by Friends, was by no means taken up for the purpose of opprobrium, but rather significantly to discover the little veneration or distinction they could show for these buildings more than others; believing that the Almighty is equally present
the Lord said unto me, “That which people trample upon, must be thy food.” And as the Lord spoke he opened it to me, that people and professors trampled upon the life, even the life of Christ; they fed upon words, and fed one another with words; but they trampled upon the life; trampled underfoot the blood of the Son of God, which blood was my life, and lived in their airy notions, talking of him. It seemed strange to me at first, that I should feed on that which the high professors trampled upon; but the Lord opened it clearly to me by his eternal Spirit and Power.
Then came people from far and near to see me; but I was fearful of being drawn out by them; yet I was made to speak, and open things to them. There was one Brown, who had great prophecies and sights upon his death-bed of me. He spoke only of what I should be made instrumental by the Lord to bring forth. And of others he spoke, that they should come to nothing, which was fulfilled on some, who then were something in show. When this man was buried, a great work of the Lord fell upon me, to the admiration of many, who thought I had been dead; and many came to see me for about fourteen days. I was very much altered in countenance and person, as if my body had been new moulded or changed. While I was in that condition, I had a sense and discerning given me by the Lord, through which I saw plainly, that when many people talked of God and of Christ, &c., the serpent spoke in them; but this was hard to be borne. Yet the work of the Lord went on in some, and my sorrows and troubles began to wear off, and tears of joy dropped from me, so that I could have wept night and day with tears of joy to the Lord, in humility and brokenness of heart. I saw into that which was without end, things which cannot be uttered, and of the greatness and infinitude of the love of God, which cannot be expressed by words. For I had been brought through the very ocean of darkness and death, and through and over the power of Satan, by the eternal, glorious power of Christ; even through that darkness was I brought, which covered over all the world, and which chained down all, and shut up all in death. The same eternal power of God, which brought me through these things, was that which afterwards shook the nations, priests, professors, and people. Then could I say I had been in spiritual Babylon, Sodom, Egypt, and the grave; but by the eternal power of God I was come out of it, and was
everywhere, to bless and to sanctify every place and everything to those that walk uprightly on the earth, his footstool.
One of the chief points of George Fox's ministry was to overturn that insidious reverence for names and things which is too frequently substituted for the worship that is "in spirit and in truth.” Few instances more distinctly exhibit this sort of covert idolatry, than the general notion of sanctity which is attached to the building called a "church.” The word “church” is, in the Holy Scriptures, never applied to an outward temple or building, but to a company of believers, whether generally or particularly. The use of this term appears to have crept in among Christians, and with it a superstitious consecration of those places, as possessing some lateut quality not affecting other works of art or nature. To this Stephen the martyr evidently alluded when he said, “Howbeit the Most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands,” &c., Acts vii. 48. Clemens of Alexandria says, “ Not the place, but the congregation of the elect, I call a church," Stromat, vii., 715 B.
brought over it, and the power of it, into the power of Christ. I saw the harvest white, and the seed of God lying thick in the ground, as ever did wheat that was sown outwardly, and none to gather it; for this I mourned with tears. A report went abroad of me, that I was a young man that had a discerning spirit; whereupon many came to me, from far and near, professors, priests, and people. The Lord's power broke forth; and I had great openings and prophecies; and spoke unto them of the things of God, which they heard with attention and silence, and went away, and spread the fame thereof. Then came the tempter, and set upon me again, charging me, that I had simned against the Holy Ghost; but I could not tell in what. Then Paul's condition came before me, how, after he had been taken
up into the third heavens, and seen things not lawful to be uttered, a messenger of Satan was sent to buffet him. Thus, by the power of Christ, I got over that temptation also.
1648-1649.-Begins to have great meetings--at Mansfield he is moved to pray
the Lord's power so great the house is shaken-cannot pray in his own willa temptation besets him that there is no God, which is dissipated by an inward voice-he afterwards disputes with and confounds some Atheists--goes to courts
and steeple-houses, &c., to warn against oppression and oaths—reproves a notorious ' drunkard, who is reformed-sees who are the greatest deceivers--shows how people read and understand the Scriptures-various mysteries are revealed to him-he is sent to turn people to the Inward Light, Spirit, and Grace, the Divine Spirit which he infallibly knew would not deceive-priests and professors rage at these innovations-he cries for justice in courts and against various wrong things— denounces the trade of preaching-is sent to preach freely.
In the year 1648, as I was sitting in a friend's house in Nottinghamshire (for by this time the power of God had opened the hearts of some to receive the word of life and reconciliation), I saw there was a great crack to go throughout the earth, and a great smoke to go as the crack went; and that after the crack there should be a great shaking : this was the earth in people's hearts, which was to be shaken before the seed of God was raised out of the earth. And it was so; for the Lord's power began to shake them, and great meetings we begun to have, and a mighty power and work of God there was amongst people, to the astonishment of both people and priests.
And there was a meeting of priests and professors at a justice's house, and I went among them. Here they discoursed how Paul said, "He had not known sin, but by the law, which said, Thou shalt not lust:" and they held that to be spoken of the outward law. But I told them, Paul spoke that after he was convinced; for he had the outward law before, and was brought up in it, when he was in the lust of persecution; but this was the law of God in his mind, which he served, and which the law in his members warred against; for that which he thought had been life to him, proved death. So the more sober of the priests and professors yielded, and consented that it was not the outward law, but the inward, which showed the inward lust which Paul spoke of after he was convinced: for the outward law took hold upon the outward action; but the inward law upon the inward lust.
After this I went again to MANSFIELD, where was a great meeting of professors and people; here I was moved to pray; and the Lord's power was so great, that the house seemed to be shaken. When I had done, some of the professors said it was now as in the days of the apostles, when the house was shaken where they were. After I had prayed, one of the professors would pray, which brought deadness and a veil over them: and others of the professors were grieved at him and told him, it was a temptation
upon him. Then he came to me, and desired that I would pray again; but I could not pray in man's will.