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and peace; for Christ saith, “In me ye shall have peace; but in the world trouble. And the apostle saith, “They that believe, are entered into their Rest,' namely, Christ, who hath overcome the world, who bruiseth the serpent's head, destroys the devil and his works, and fulfils the types, figures, and shadows of the Old Testament and the prophets; in whom the promises are yea and amen; who is the first and the last, the beginning and the ending—the Eternal Rest. So keep and walk in Christ, your Rest, every one that have received him.
"And now, dear Friends and brethren, whatever bustlings and trouble, tumults and outrages, quarrels and strife, arise in the world, keep out of them all; concern not yourselves with them: but keep in the Lord's power and peaceable truth, that is over all such things; in which power ye seek the peace and good of all men. Live in the love which God hath shed abroad in your hearts through Christ Jesus; in which nothing is able to separate you from God and Christ, neither outward sufferings, persecutions, nor any outward thing, that is below and without; nor to hinder or break your heavenly fellowship in the light, gospel, and Spirit of Christ; nor your lioly communion in the Holy Ghost, that proceeds from the Father and the Son, and which leads you into all truth. In this Holy Ghost, in which is your holy communion, that proceeds from the Father and the Son, you havo fellowship with the Father and the Son, and one with another. This is it which links and joins Christ's church or body together, to Him the heavenly and spiritual head, and in unity in his Spirit, which is the bond of peace, to all his church and living members, in whom they have eternal rest and peace in Christ, and with God everlasting, who is to be blessed and praised for ever. Amen.
“Dear Friends, forsake not the assembling of yourselves together, who are gathered in the name of Jesus, who is your Prophet, whom God hath raised up in the New Testament, to be heard in all things; who opens to you, and no man can shut; and shuts, and no man can open; who is your Priest, made higher than the heavens by the power of an endless life, by whom you are made a royal priesthood, to offer up to God spiritual sacrifice; who is the Bishop of your souls, to oversee you, that ye do not go astray from God; who is the good Shepherd, that hath laid down his life for his sheep; and they hear his voice, and follow him, and he gives them eternal life.
“And now, dear Friends and brethren, ahide in Christ, the vine, that ye may bring forth fruit to the glory of God. And as every one hath received Christ, walk in Him, who is not of the world, that lies in wickedness; so that ye may be preserved out of the vain fashions and customs of the world, which satisfy the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life, which are not of the Father, but of the world that passes away. Whoever joins to that which is not of the Father, or encourages it, draws the mind from God the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore let Christ rule in your hearts, that your minds, souls, and spirits may be kept out of the vanities of the world, in their words, ways, and actions, that ye may be a peculiar people, zealous of good works, serving. the Lord through Jesus Christ, to the praise and glory of God; that by
the Word of his grace your words may be gracious, and in your lives and conversations ye may show forth righteousness, holiness, and godliness; that so God Almighty may be glorified in you all, and through you all, who is above all, blessed and praised for ever. Amen."
G. F. London, the 11th of the 4th Month, 1685.
Several other letters also I wrote at this time to Friends in divers foreign countries, from whom I had received letters about the affairs of truth. Which when I had despatched, the Yearly Meeting being over, and country Friends for the most part being gone, I got a little way out of town; being much spent with the heat of the weather, throngs in meetings, and continual business. I went at first to South STREET, where I abode some days. And among other services I had there, a great sense entered me of the growth and increase of pride, vanity, and excess in apparel; and that not only amongst the people of the world, but too much also amongst some that came among us, and seemed to make profession of the truth. In the sense I had of the evil thereof, it came upon me to give forth the following, as a reproof and check thereunto :-*
“The apostle Peter saith in 1 Pet. iii.) of the women's adorning; •Let it not be (mark, let it not be; this is a positive prohibition) that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel ; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price; for after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves.'
“Here ye may see what is the ornament of the holy women, which was in the sight of God of great price, and which the holy women, who trusted in God, adorned themselves with. But the unholy women, that trust not in God, their ornament is not a meek and a quiet spirit; they
* Those Christiaus whose experience enters most deeply into the spiritual nature of the gospel dispensation, will find that it leads them into simplicity as regards their outward appearance. The practice in the primitive church, as regards “outward adorning,” is thus spoken of by Coleman, in his Antiquities of the Christian Church:
"Nothing may appear more purely a matter of indifference than the fashion and colour of dress; and yet, in the circumstances of the primitive Christians, articles of that nature did acquire such an importance that they gradually fell into a style of clothing peculiar to themselves. Not that they affected any singularities in their personal appearance, for their habiliments were made and worn in the ordinary fashion of the time and place; and Christians, whether found in the high, the middle, or the lower ranks, were accustomed to equip themselves in a manner suited to the decencies of the state or profession to which they belonged; but, looking to the moral influence of dress, and desirous of avoiding everything that might minister to vanity, or lead the wearer to forget, in attending to the outward man, the ornament of a 'meek and quiet spirit,' they studiously rejected all finery as unbecoming the humility of their character, and confined themselves to a suit of apparel, remarkable not so much for the plainness of the material as for the absence of all superfluous ornament. Everything gaudy or sumptuous, that partook of the costly stuffs or the crimson dyes that suited the luxurions taste of the times, was discountenanced by the spiritually-minded followers of Christ. The same simplicity reigned throughout their domestic establishments; and even those of their number who were persons of rank and opulence, chose to content themselves with such things as were recommended by their utility rather
adorn themselves with plaiting the hair, putting on of apparel, and wearing of gold; which is forbidden by the apostle in his general epistle to the church of Christ, the true Christians.
"And the apostle saith (1 Tim. ii. 9, 10), 'In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broidered hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array, but (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.
“Here ye may see what the women were not to adorn themselves with, who professed godliness; they were not to adorn themselves with broidered hair, nor gold, nor pearls, nor costly array; for this was not looked upon to be modest apparel for holy women, that professed godliness and good works. But this adorning or apparel is for the immodest, unshamefaced, unsober women, that profess not godliness, neither follow those good works that God commands. Therefore it doth not become men and women who profess true Christianity and godliness, to be adorned with gold, or chains, or pearls, or costly array; or with broidered hair ; for these things are for the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life, which are not of the Father. All holy men and women are to mind that which is more precious than gold; who are 'redeemed not with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a Lamb without blemish and without spot. Therefore as obedient children to God, not fashioning yourselves according to your former lusts in your ignorance; but as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation,' 1 Pet. i. 14, 15.
“Christ saith, “The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment,' Luke xii. 23.
"I read of a wise moral philosopher, who, meeting a woman with her neck and breast bare, laid his hand upon her, and said, 'Woman, wilt thou sell this flesh ?' and she replying, No; Then pray,' said he, 'shut up thy shop ;' (meaning her bare breasts and neck.) So they were looked upon as harlots, that went with their necks, breasts, and backs bare, and not modest people, even among the moral heathens. Therefore they that profess the knowledge of true Christianity, should be ashamed of such things. You may see a book written by the very Papists, and another by Richard Baxter the Presbyterian, against bare breasts and bare backs. They that were but in an outward profession, declared against such things; therefore they who are in the possession of truth and true Christianity, should be ashamed of such things. Read, I pray you, the third of Isaiah, and there
than their elegance, and calculated to answer the purposes of necessity and comfort, rather than to gratify the lust of the eye, and the pride of life.' And however refined or exquisite the taste, which, through education and the habits of society, any of them had acquired, they learned to subject it to the higher principle of denying themselves to everything that tended too much to captivate the senses, and increase their love to a world, the fashion whereof, they thought, was soon to pass away.”
The remarks of John Wesley on simplicity in dress are excellent, but too long to be quoted here. He says that “following the fashions of the world is directly at war with the spirit of the gospel.” See Select Miscellanies, vol. v., p. 288, for Wesley'3 views on this subject ; also of T. A. Kempis, and others.
see how that holy prophet was grieved with the foolish women's vain attire, and how he was sent by the Lord to reprove them. Envious, persecuting Jezebel's attired head and bravery, like a painted harlot out of the truth, did not keep her from the judgments of God, when the Lord stirred up Jehu against her. Doth not pride go before a fall, and a haughty mind before destruction? God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Solomon saith, The Lord will destroy the house of the proud,' Prov. xv. 25. For the day of the Lord shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, &c., and he shall be brought low,' Isa. ii. 12, and Mal. iv. Therefore take heed of calling the proud happy; for 'the Lord will scatter the proud in the imaginations of their own hearts, and exalt them of low degree.' And you may read in the Revelations (chap. xvii. 4, and xviii. 16), of tue false church, how she was outwardly decked, but full of abomination, and came to a downfall at last. Therefore it is good for all that profess the truth, to use this world as not abusing it; for the fashion of this world passeth away ; but the Word of the Lord endureth for ever. • The Lord taketh pleasure in his people, he will beautify the meek with salvation,' Psa. cxlix. 4. All that know the truth as it is in Jesus, are to be beautified and clothed with this salvation, which salvation is a strong wall or a bulwark against that spirit, that would lead you further into the fall from God, into those things which the fallen man and woman delight in, and beautify or adorn themselves with. Therefore, all that profess the truth, be circumspect, sincere, and fervent, following the Lord Jesus Christ, who is not of this world ; in whom ye have life and peace with God.” South-street, the 24th of the 4th Month, 1685.
1685–1686.-George Fox tarries in London, labouring in the service of Truth
removes to Epping on account of his health-writes an epistle to Friends, returns to London--writes a paper concerning order in the Church of God and a warning to backsliders-assists in distributing money raised for sufferers by Friends in Ireland—writes an epistle to the king of Poland, on behalf of Friends of Dantzic, who suffer imprisonment for conscience' sake—a paper concerning judging-looks diligently after Friends' sufferings in London, and obtains a general release of prisoners—writes an epistle to Friends, many having been recently liberated from prison--another on a similar occasion-an epistle to Friends to keep in the unity in the Truth-another to remind them of the evidence and seal they had received of their meetings for discipline having been set up in the power and spirit of God
-a paper concerning the state of the true Church-a paper respecting the “falling away” foretold by the apostle Paul, 2 Thess. ii. 3-a paper showing how the Lord, in all ages, called the righteous out from amongst the wicked, before he destroyed the latter.
AFTER I had been some weeks at South Street and Enfield, in which time I had several meetings with Friends, I returned to LONDON. Amongst other services I found there, one was to assist Friends in drawing up a testimony to clear our Friends from being concerned in the late rebellion in the West, and from all plots against the goverument: which was delivered to the chief justice, who was then going down into the West with commission to try prisoners.
I tarried some time in London, visiting meetings, and labouring among Friends in the service of truth. But finding my health much impaired for want of fresh air, I went to Charles Bathurst's country-house at EPPINGFOREST, where I stayed a few days. While I was there it came upon me to write the following epistle to Friends :
"DEAR FRIENDS, “Who are called, chosen, and faithful in this day of trial, temptations, and sufferings, whom the Lord by his right hand hath upholden in all your sufferings (and some to death) for the Lord and his truth's sake. Christ saith, “Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world; in me ye have peace; but in the world ye bave trouble.' The children of the Seed, who are heirs of the kingdom, know this is true. And though ye have trials by false brethren, Judases and sons of perdition, that are got into the temple of God, and exalted above all that is called God, whom the Lord will destroy with the breath of his mouth, and the brightness of his coming: and though ye be tried by powers or principalities, yet there is nothing able to separate you from the love of God, which ye have in Christ Jesus. In that love dwell, which bears all things and fulfils the law; in which edify one another, and be courteous, kind, and humble ; for to such God givetli his grace plentifully, and such he teacheth. And pray in the Holy Ghost, which proceeds from the Father and the Son; in it keep your holy communion, and unity in the Spirit, the bond of peace, which is the King of