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carried you through by his power, the passages and sufferings; and how by the Lord ye have been supported from the first : so that the Lord may be exalted by his power now, and in the ages to come, who hath been the only support, defence, and stay, of his people all along, over all to himself; to whom he all glory and praise for ever and ever, amen : who deserves it in his church throughout all ages, from his living members, who return the praise to the living God, who lives and reigns over all, blessed for ever ; who is the life, and strength, and health, and length of the days of all his people. And therefore let there be no boasting but in the Lord, and in his power and kingdom; and that keeps all in the humility.
And friends, in the Lord's power and truth, what good you can do for friends that be in prison, or sufferers, as to the informing of them, or helping of them, every one bend yourselves to the Lord's power and spirit, to do his will and his business; and in that all will have a fellow feeling of one another's condition, in bonds, or in what trials and tribulations soever: you will have a fellow feeling one of another, having one head, and one Lord, and being one body in him. For God's heavenly fail hath brought out his seed, and his heavenly plough hath turned up the fallow ground, and his heavenly seed is sown by the heavenly man, which brings forth fruits to the heavenly sower in some fifty, sixty, and an hundred fold in this life: and such in the world without end will have life eternal. Oh, therefore all keep within, and let your lights shine, and your lamps burn; and that you all may be the wells full of the living water, and the trees full of the living fruit of God's planting, whose fruit is unto boliness, and end is everlast
And so the Lord God of power preserve you all in his power, and let all your faith stand therein, that you may have both unity in the faith, and in the power; and by this faith and belief you may be all grafted into Christ, the sure root, and rock of ages, where the eternal sun of righteousness shines, in the heavenly and eternal day, upon his plants and grafts. And this sun never sets nor goes down : and the heavenly springs of life and showers are known to water and nourish the grafts, and plants, and buds, that they may always be kept fresh and green, and never wither; bringing forth fresh and green, and living fruit, which is offered up to the living God; and he is glorified in that you bear much fruit. And so, as I said before, the Lord God Almighty keep you, and preserve you all in his power, light, and life, over death and darkness; that in
the light, life, and power of God, you may spread his truth abroad, and be valiant for it upon the earth, answering that of God in all : that with it, the minds of people may be turned to God and Christ, so that with it they may come to know the Lord Christ Jesus in the new covenant, in which the knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth as the waters do the sea; and his life must go over death, and his light must go over darkness, and the power of God must go over the power of Satan.
• And so all ye that be in the light, life, and power, keep the heavenly fellowship in the heavenly power, and the heavenly unity in the heavenly divine faith, and the unity of the spirit, which is the bond of the heavenly Prince of princes' peace; who bruises the head of the enmity and of the adversary, and reconciles man to God, and all things in heaven and in the earth: a blessed reconciliation. And let every one's faith stand in the power of God, which Jesus Christ is the author of, that all may know their crown of life. For all outward things without the substance, the life, the power, is as the husk without the kernel, and doth not nourish the immortal soul, nor the newborn babe; but that which it is nourished by is the milk of the word, by which it is born again, and groweth by it in the heavenly life, strength, and wisdom. And the gospel, which is not of man, nor by man, but is the power of God, and answers the truth in all, all the possessors of it are to see that all walk according to it; which everlasting order is ordained of God already, and all the possessors of him possess their joy, their comfort, and salvation. So with my love unto you all, with him that reigns and is over all, from everlasting to everlasting,
So dwell in the love of God, which passeth knowledge, which love of God doth edify the living members of ihe body of Christ; which love of God you come to be built up in, and in the holy faith which Christ is the author of, that stands in his power. And this love of God it brings you to bear all things, and endure all things, and bope all things. From this love of God which you have in Christ Jesus, nothing will be able to separate you; neither powers nor principalities, heights nor depths, things present nor things to come, prisons, nor spoiling of goods, neither death nor life. So the love of God keeps above all that which would separate from God; and makes you more than conquerors in Christ Jesus : and therefore in this love of God dwell, which you have in Christ Jesus. And that with the same love you may love one another, and all the
workmanship of God, so that you may glorify God with your bodies, souls, and spirits, which are the Lord's. Amen.'
"All friends sit low in the life, and the Lord's power, and keep your place in it, till the Lord and Master of the feast bid you sit higher; lest you take the highest place and be put down with shame. He that hath an ear let him hear.'
And, friends, take heed of speaking the things of God in the words that men's wisdom hath taught; for those words will lift up the foolish, that he erred from the spirit of God: which words and wisdom are for condemnation, and that which is lifted up by them, and they that thereby speak the things of God in them. So that old house with its things must be thrown under the foot of the new birth.
And friends, I desire that you may all keep the holy order, which is in the gospel, the glorious order in the power of God, which the devil is out of; which was before all his orders were, and before they made any in the world.
• In this gospel, the power of God, is the glorious order, this joyful order keeps all hearts pure to God, an everlasting peace, unity and order; feel it, and keep the order of it, both men and women, and come to be heirs of the gospel, which brings life and immortality to light; and to see over that power of darkness, by him, who was before the power of death was : in this is the holy order of love and peace. And so keep in this, that keeps you always pure; and what men and women act in this, they act in that which will stand when the world is gone. This is not received of man, nor by man: every man and woman must feel this power, that bring; life and immortality to light through the gospel; in that feel this, then heirs of this gospel. This is their inheritance and portion, which they have right to, and to membership: every man and woman inherit it, possess it; every one take your possessions of this gospel of salvation, and of its holy orders.
• There hath been some scruple about men and women's meetings; men and women in the gospel are heirs of the power, which was before the devil was; heirs of this, then enter into the possession of it, and do the Lord's business therein : and every one take the care of God's honour, and to keep all things in righteousness and holiness, which becomes God's house. And in that which honours the Lord God, it eased me when those meetings were set up; for men and women, that are heirs of the gospel, have
right to the gospel order, and it belongs to them. Then take your possessions, and practise in it; and be not talkers only, but live and walk in the gospel, the power of God, which is the authority of your meetings.
G. F. Swarthmore, the 28th of the
Third month, 1676. [Read at the Yearly Meeting in London, 1676.]
During this time also I collected together as many as I could, of the epistles I had written in former years to friends. I made a collection too of the several papers that I had written to 0. Cromwell, and his son Richard, in the time of their protectorships; and to the parliaments and magistrates that were in their times. And after I had gathered them together, I collected also the papers I had written to king Charles the Second, since his return, and to his council and parliaments, and the justices or other magistrates under him. I made also another collection of certificates, which I had received from divers governors of places, judges, justices, parliament men, and others, for the clearing of me from many slanders, which the envious priests and professors, both here and beyond the seas, had cast upon me; and this I did for the truth's sake, as knowing that their design in slandering me, was to defame the truth published by me, and hinder thereby (if they could) the spreading thereof amongst the people. Besides these I made two books of collections; the one was a list or catalogue of the names of those friends who went first forth out of the North of England, when truth first brake forth there, to proclaim the day of the Lord through this nation. The other was of the names of those friends that went first forth to preach the gospel in other nations, countries, and places, and in what years, and to what parts they went.
I made also another collection in two books; one of epistles and letters from friends and others, on several occasions, to me: the other of letters of mine to friends and others.
I writ also a book of the types and figures of Christ, with their significations; and many other things, which will be of service to truth and friends in times to come.
I took notice also of those who had run out from truth, and drawn others out after them, and turned against truth and friends at several times since the first breaking forth of truth in this latter age, and what became of them; noting particularly the repentance and return of such of them as came back to truth again. But some ran quite
out, and never returned again, but were cut off in their gainsaying and rebellion; for the word and power of God hath blasted and is blasting them, and the holy seed hath ground, and is grinding them to pieces. And this I have observed, that they who have been convinced, and have not lived and walked in the truth, have been the worst enemies to the truth, and done most hurt amongst friends in the truth, and to others : and in these I have seen fulfilled what the Lord did long since shew me, that such should be greater deceivers than all the priests and professors. For such as came as far as Cain, and Balaam, and Corah, and Dathan, and could preach Christ, and say they had preached in his name; and such as came to be apostles, and had tasted of the power of Christ, and then turned from it; such could yet speak their old experiences, and have the good words, like Corah and Balaam : but not keeping in the life and truth, such deceived the hearts of the simple both then and now; and such come to be of the devil, who abode not in the truth; as Cain, and all the Jews, that abode not in the truth, were. For though Cain did sacrifite to God, and did talk with God, and the Jews could talk of Abraham, Moses, and the prophets, yet Christ told them they were of their father, the devil. In like manner, though they who are called Christians, can talk of Christ, and use his and his apostles' and disciples' words, yet not abiding in the truth, and power, and spirit, that the apostles were in, they are of the devil, out of truth, and do his work. And so are all these that have been convinced of God's eternal truth since it sprang up in this nation, that have not abode in the light, and in the spirit and power of Christ Jesus; but have turned against the power, and have opposed the work thereof; though they may retain their former experiences, and be able to speak many good words, yet not living in the life and power that gave them those experiences, they live in the power of darkness, which is of the devil : and by the light and truth both he and they are condemned; and must own their condemnations if ever they come to truth again. For to resist the heavenly power, and to oppose the workings and divine manifestations thereof through any, is not a light matter. And as I had been moved of the Lord to travel in his power round about this nation, and in other parts, to preach the everlasting gospel, and to declare the word of life, which was in the beginning, through many imprisonments, hardships, sufferings, and trials; so I was afterwards moved to travel in the same heavenly power about the nation again (and to write to such places where I came not)