« PreviousContinue »
ning out of some, who had opposed the order of the gospel, and had stirred up much strife and contention in Westmorland.” Wherefore I was moved to write a few lines, particularly to Friends there.
“ This is for Friends in Westmorland. ** All live in the power of God, in his Light and Spirit, which first convinced you; that in it ye may keep in the ancient unity, in humility, in the fear of the Lord, and his gentle and peaceable wisdom, which is easy to be entreated ; that in the same Power, Light, and Spirit of God, ye may all be serviceable in your men's and women's meetings, in the possession of the gospel-order; which gospel, the power of God, hath brought life and immortality to light; that in this ye may see over him that hath darkened you. In this power, the glorious gospel, no apostates can come; for the power of God was before apostates were, or the fall of man and woman was, or the devil either, and will be when he is gone. Therefore, praise God in the eternal fellowship of the everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ, which is not of man, nor by man. And the ore, all Friends in Westmorland, keep in the power of God, which will and must preserve and cover you,
if be preserved. Let your faith stand in the power of God, and not in the wisdom of men's words, lest ye fall. In God's power ye have peace, life, and unity; and for want of keeping in God's power, and in his righteousness and Holy Ghost, is all this strife come among you." G. F.
I also wrote the following general epistle to Friends at the Yearly Meeting in London :
“MY DEAR FRIENDS AND BRETHREN, “Whom the Lord hath preserved by his eternal power to this day, over and through many troubles, storms, tempests, and prisons. Let, therefore, every one's faith stand in the power of God, which is over the Devil, and was before him. So your faith standing in the invisible power of God, stands in that which does not change; and the faith, that Christ Jesus, the power of God, is the author of, must stand in the power of God; so then it stands in that which is over all, in which they are established. To this the apostle brought the church, the true Christians; and so now the faith of all true Christians, which Christ is the author of, must stand in the power of God, in which the everlasting kingdom stands. As every one's faith stands in the power of God, it keeps all in the power
For as it was in the days of the apostles, when some were crying up Paul and Apollos, and so forth, he judged them as carnal ; and exhorted and admonished them, that their faith should not stand in men, nor in the words of man's wisdom, but in the power of God. He said he would not know the speech of them, but the power amongst them; for the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.' So it is to be now. Every one's faith must stand in the power of God, and not in men, nor in their speeches or good words. . For we have seen by experience, when any begin to cry up men, and their faith stands in them, such men as would have people's faith stand in them, love popularity, and bring not people's faith to stand
in the power of God. Such cannot exalt Christ; and when such fall, they draw a great company after them. Therefore the apostle would not know such after the flesh, but would know them that were in the power and Spirit ; and struck down every one's faith that stood in the words of man's wisdom, that they might stand in the power of God. So it must be now. They whose faith doth not stand in the power of God, cannot exalt his kingdom that stands in power; therefore every one's faith must stand in the power of God.
The apostle denied popularity, when he judged the Corinthians, for looking at Paul and Apollos, to be carnal; such are carnal still. Therefore all should know one another in the Spirit, life, and power, and look at Christ; this keeps all in humility. They, whose faith stands in men, will make sects; as in the days of J. N. and J. P. and others. The faith of such Christ is not the author of; and if he hath been, they have erred from it, and made shipwreck of it. All that are in the true faith, that stands in the power of God, will judge them as carnal, and judge down that carnal part in them, that cries up Paul or Apollos; that their faith may stand in the power of God, and that they may exalt Christ, the author of it. For every one's eye ought to be to Jesus; and every just man and woman may live by their faith, which Jesus Christ is the author and finisher of. By this faith every man and woman may see God, who is invisible; this faith gives the victory, and by it he hath access to God. So every one's faith and hope standing in the power of God, all therein have unity, victory, and access to God's throne of grace; in which faith they please God. By this faith they are saved ;—by this faith they obtain the good report, and subdue all the mountains that have been betwixt them and God.
This power hath preserved Friends over their persecutors, over the wrath of men, and above the spoilings of their goods, and imprisonments; as seeing God who 'created all —who gives the increase of all, and upholds all by his word and power. Therefore let every one's faith be in his power. In this no schism or sect can come; for it is over them, before they were, and will be when they are gone. But perfect unity is in the truth, in the Spirit, that circumcises the body of death, that puts off the sins of the flesh, and plunges it down with the Spirit. In the Spirit of God, there is perfect fellowship; and Christ is the minister of this circumcision and baptism.
• This is upon me from the Lord, to write unto you, that every one of you, whose faith Jesus is the author of, may stand in the power of God. From the Lord I warn you, and all everywhere, of the same. For if a star should fall, which has been a light, either the earth or the sea does receive it; that is, the earthly mind, or the foaming, raging people; though neither the seed, light, power, nor truth ever fell, nor the faith itself, the gift of God; but men going from it, become unsavoury.
“Adam, whilst he kept in truth, and obeyed the command of God, was happy; but when he disobeyed the Lord, he fell under the power of Satan, and became unhappy, though he might talk after of his experiences in Paradise; but he lost his image, his power and dominion, in which God had created him.
“The Jews received the law of God, and as long as they kept the law, which was just, holy, good, and perfect, it kept them good, just, holy, and savoury; but when they turned their backs on the Lord, and forsook his law, then they came under the power of darkness, under the powers of the earth, and were trodden under as unsavoury.
“So the Christians were called a city set on a hill, the light of the world, and the salt of the earth ;' but when they forsook the power of God, and their faith stood in words and men, and not in the power, then their walls fell down, though the power in itself stood; and they lost their hill, their saltness, and their shining. And as Christendom now does confess, they are not in the same power and spirit that the apostles were in; so not in the same salt, nor upon the same hill. So they came to be trodden under; and the beast, the whore, and the false prophet are uppermost, the unsavoury.
Their dead faith is in men, and in words; therefore they are full of sects, and one against another.
" And now the everlasting gospel, the power of God, is preached again, which was before the devil was, that darkened man; and by this power of God, life and immortality are brought to light again. Therefore every one's faith is to stand in this power, that hath brought life and immortality to light in them, that so all may come to be heirs of the power of God, the gospel. Herein all have a right to the power of God, which is the authority of the men's and women's meetings, and of all other meetings set up thereby.
* Now, as the gospel is preached again, if your faith does not stand in the power, but in men, and in the wisdom of words, you will grow carnal; and such are for judgment, who cry up Paul or Apollos, and not Christ, the author of your faith. They who love to be popular, would have people's faith to stand in them; and such do not preach Christ, but themselves. But such as preach Christ and his gospel, would have every man and woman to be in the possession of it, and every man and woman's faith to stand in Christ, the author of it, and in the power of God. And as their faith stands in the power of God, nothing can get between them and God; for if any should fall amongst us, as too many have done, that [love of popularity) leads its followers either into the waters, or into the earth.
to them, and from the power, they may speak their experiences, which the power opened to them formerly. So might Adam and Eve speak of what they saw and enjoyed in Paradise; so might Cain and Balaam of what they saw; and also the Jews, Korah and Dathan, who praised God on the banks, saw the victory over Pharaoh, ate of the manna, drank of the rock, came to Mount Sinai, and saw the glory of the Lord. So also might the false apostles speak of their experiences, and all those false Christians, that turned from the apostles and Christ. And so may those do now, that err from the Spirit, that are come out of Egypt (in spirit) and Sodom, and have known the raging of the Sodomites, as Lot did the outward; and the pursuit of the spiritual Egyptians, as the ontward Jew did of the outward Egyptians; yet if they do not walk in the Spirit of God, in the light, isid
in the grace, which keeps their hearts established, and their words seasoned, and also their faith in the power of God, in which the kingdom stands; they may go forth like the false Christians, like the Jews, like Adam and Eve, Cain, Korah, and Balaam, and be wandering stars, trees without fruit, wells without water, and clouds without rain ; and so come to be unsavoury and trodden down; as Adam who lost Paradise, and the Jews who lost the Holy Land, not walking in the law, and keeping the command of God; and as the Christians who lost the city, the hill, the salt, and the light since the apostle's days, and came to be unsavoury, and to be trodden under foot of men.
“Therefore, let every one's faith stand in the Lord's power, which is over all; through which they may be built upon the Rock, the Foundation of God, the Seed Christ Jesus. So all in Christ may be always fresh and green; for he is the green tree that never withers. All are fresh and green that are grafted into and abide in him, bringing forth heavenly fresh fruits to the praise of God. And though Adam and Eve fell from Paradise, the Jews fell from the law of God, and many of the Christians fell from their prophecies, and erred from the faith, the Spirit, and the grace; and the stars have fallen, as was spoken in the Revelations : yet the Spirit, grace, faith, and power of God remain.
Many such states have I seen within these twenty-eight years ; though there is a state that shall never fall, nor be deceived, in the Elect before the world began. These are come to the end of the prophecies, are in Him where they end, and renewed by Christ into the image of God which man was in before he fell,- in that power where he had dominion over all that God made: and not only so, but they attain to a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ,' who never fell. In him is the sitting down in life eternal, where there feet stand sure and fast in the gospel, his power. Here their bread is sure; and he that eats this bread lives for ever.
“And all Friends and brethren, that declare God's eternal truth, and word of life, live in it; be seasoned with grace, and salted with the heavenly salt, that your lives and conversations may preach wherever you come ;that there be no rawness, no quenching of the Spirit, no despising of prophecy either in men or women. For all must meet in the faith that Jesus is the author of, and in the light that comes from Jesus, and be so grafted into the life, that your knowledge may be there one of another, in Christ; and that there may be none slothful, nor sitting down in earthly things, minding them, like Demas of old ; lest you clothe yourselves with another clothing than you had at first; but all keep chaste; for the chaste follow the Lamb.
“And Friends, that are ministers, possess, as if ye did not; be married, as if ye were not; and be loose to the world in the Lord's power; for God's oil will be above all visible things, which makes his lamps burn, and give light afar off. Let none strive nor covet to be rich in this world, in these changeable things that will pass away; but let your faith stand in the Lord God, who changes not, who created all, and gives the increase of all.
“Now Friends, concerning faithful men's and women's meetings, which were set up in God's counsel; whoever oppose them, oppose the power of God, which is the authority of them. They are no ministers of the gospel, nor of Christ, that oppose his power, which all are to possess. The gospel is to be preached to all nations: as deceit is gone over all nations, and all nations have drunk the whore's cup, and she hath them in ber cage, her unclean power from the beast and dragon, out of the power of God, and out of truth, and the Spirit of God the apostles were in; the power of God must come over all this again ; and all the true ministers that preach the gospel, the power of God, must bring people into the possession of it again. I say, whosoever preaches the gospel of Christ and him to people or nations, those people and nations receiving the gospel, receive the power of God, that brings life and immortality to light in them; they see over the devil that hath darkened them, and over the beast, the whore, and her cage. So, by the power of God, life and immortality are brought to light in them; then these men and women, being heirs of this power, the gospel, are heirs of authority and power over the devil, beast, whore, and dragon.
This is their possession and portion; and they are to labour in their possession and portion, and do God Almighty's business and service in the possession of the power of God, the gospel, which is a joyful, glorious, everlasting order. And here is the authority of our men's and women's meetings, and other meetings in the name of Jesus, the gospel of Christ, the power of God, which is not of man, nor by man. In this are all to meet and to worship God; by this are all to act; and in this all have fellowship, a joyful fellowship, a joyful and comfortable assembly. This is the day when, in the eternal light, all are to take their possession of the gospel and its order, that power of God, which they are heirs of. All faithful men and women in every country, city, and nation, whose faith stands in the power of God, the gospel of Christ, who have received, and are in the possession of, this gospel, the
power of God, have all right to the power in these meetings; for they are heirs of the power, which is the authority of the men's and women's meetings.
“So here is God's choice (and not man's) by his power, of his heirs ; and they have all freedom in this gospel, the power of God, to go to the meetings, the men to the men's, and the women to the women's; for they are heirs of the power, which is received in the Holy Ghost; and they see over enmity, and before it was, by the light, by the life, and immortality, which are brought to light in them.
“The devil, the author of enmity, cannot get into this authority, power, order, nor fellowship of the gospel ; nor into this life, light, nor unity of the faith, which gives victory over him that hath separated man from God. Into the unity of this faith the serpent cannot come, nor into the worship of God in Spirit and truth can the devil come, or any enmity. And they that are in this, are in unity over him. Therefore, let every one's faith stand in the power of God, the glorious gospel; and let all walk as becomes the gospel, and the order of it. As every one hath received Christ Jesus, the Lord, so walk in him, and let him be their Lord and Orderer.