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and abide in the mouth of this Seed's seed, in which they are blessed, Isa. lix. 21. So it is not the first-birth's talking of the words of Christ, the Seed, in whose mouth the word of God doth not abide; that makes an outward profession, like the Jews who killed and persecuted the prophets, and crucified Christ, the Seed, and substance of the law and prophets, which the Jews professed in words, but they denied Christ, the Seed and Life. And all Christians (so called) that profess the Scriptures in words, and are not in the Seed, Christ, are in the confusion, and are like the Jews; and so, neither Jews nor Christians are blessed, except they be in Christ, the Seed of Life.
“But though Christ is said to be of the Seed of David, and of Abraham, as his generation is declared by Matthew and Luke; yet Christ was not born of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. For he was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin, and supposed to be son of Joseph, but was the Son of God. His name was called Jesus, because he should 'save his people from their sins;' and Emmanuel, God with us. Christ took not upon him the nature of angels, but the seed of Abraham (as I said before) and so 'was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; and declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead,' Rom. i. 4. So the generation of Christ is a mystery. Christ saw his Seed or Word grow up in his disciples; and Christ. in you, the hope of glory,' tho apostle calls · The mystery, which hath been hid from ages and generations ; but now is made manifest to the saints,' or sanctified ones, Col. i. 26, 27. •Whom we preach; warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus,' ver. 28. For in Christ, the second Adam, all are made perfect and complete; and in Adam in the fall, all are deformed and made imperfect; so out of Christ all mankind are imperfect and deformed: let them paint, and dress themselves with the sheep's clothing, and with the form of godliness, of the prophets', and Christ's, and his apostles' words ever so much; yet if Christ be not in them, they are incomplete, imperfect, deformed, reprobates. But the apostle tells the church of Christ, ‘Ye are complete in Christ, which is the head of all principality and power,' Col. ii. 10 (for he hath all power in heaven and in earth given to him, Matt. xxviii. 18). So all the saints are made perfect and complete in Christ Jesus; blessed be the Lord God over all for ever, through Jesus Christ. Amen, Amen." G. F.
Kingston, the 15th of the 1st Month, 1686–7.
Quickly after this I returned to LONDON, and continued there a month in the service of the Lord; being daily exercised either in public meetings, or more particular services relating to the church of Christ; as visiting such as were sick or afflicted, and writing books or papers for the spreading of truth, or refuting of error. As it was a time of general liberty, the Papists appeared more open in their worship than formerly : and many unsettled people going to view them at it, a great talk there was of their praying to saints, and by beads, &c., whereupon I wrote a short paper concerning prayer; as follows:
“CHRIST JESUS, when he taught his disciples to pray, said unto them, •When ye pray, say, Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name," &c. Christ doth not say, that they should pray to Mary, the mother of Christ; nor doth he say, that they should pray to angels, or to saints, that were dead. Christ did not teach them to pray to the dead, nor for the dead : neither did Christ or his apostles teach the believers to pray by beads, nor to sing by outward organs; but the apostle said he would sing and pray in the Spirit; 'for the Spirit itself maketh intercession; and the Lord, that searcheth the heart, knoweth the mind of the Spirit.
“To take counsel of the dead, was forbidden by the law of God; they were to take counsel of the Lord. And he hath given Christ in the new covenant, in his gospel-day, to be a counsellor and a leader to all believers in his light. Men are not to run to the dead for the living; for the law and testimony of God forbids it. Those Jews that refused the running waters of Shiloh, the floods and waters of the Assyrians and Babylonians came over them, and carried them into captivity; and they that refuse the waters of Christ, are overflowed with the flood of the world, that lieth in wickedness. They that asked counsel of stocks and stones, were in the spirit of error and whoredom; they were gone a whoring from God. Hos. iv. 12. And they that joined themselves to Baal-Peor, and ate the sacri. fices of the dead, provoked the Lord's anger, and brought the Lord's displeasure upon them, Psal. cvi. 28, 29. So here ye may see, the sacrifices of the dead were forbidden. The living know that they shall die, but the dead know not anything, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten, Eccl. ix. 5. Woe to the rebellious chil. dren, saith the Lord, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my Spirit, that they may add sin to sin,'” Isa. xxx. 1.
When I had stayed about a month in London, I got out of town again; for by reason of the many hardships I had undergone in imprisonments, and other sufferings for truth's sake, my body was grown so infirm and weak, that I could not bear the closeness of the city long together; but was obliged to go a little into the country, for the benefit of the fresh air. At this time I went with my son-in-law William Mead, to his countryhouse called Gooses in Essex, where I stayed about two weeks; and among other services I had there, I wrote the following paper :" A Distinction between the True Offering and Sacrifice, and the False, in the
Old and New Covenant. “The Lord saith, “He that sacrificeth to any God, save unto the Lord only, he shall be utterly destroyed.' Exod. xxii. 20. So no God is to be minded, nor sacrificed to, but the Lord God: it is death to sacrifice to any other God, save the Lord. The Lord saith also, Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leavened bread.' Exod. xxiii. 18. So that sour, heavy leaven, must not be offered with the Lord's sacrifice. Again the Lord saith, Thou shalt not build an altar of hewn stone: for if
thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it,' Exod. xx. 25. Therefore have a care of polluting the altar with your own tools, you that profess to offer the spiritual sacrifice.
“ Jonah said, "he would sacrifice unto the Lord with the voice of thanksgiving,' when he was in the fish's belly; and there he prayed unto the Lord, Jonah ï. For Jonah in the whale's belly had no lambs, nor rams, nor outward sacrifices to offer.
“The Lord forbids his people to sacrifice with harlots, Hos. iv. 14. And the Lord forbids his people to offer sacrifice of the blind, lame, sick, or that which was deformed, or had any blemish; as in Mal. i. and many other places. So they that offer spiritual sacrifice, must not offer the blind, lame, blemished, or deformed sacrifice to God.”
“The scribe saith unto Christ, “To love God with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt-offerings and sacrifices,' Mark xii. 33. And when Jesus saw that he answered disereetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God,' v. 34. To love God, and their neighbour as themselves, was more than whole burnt-offerings and sacrifices in the time of the law; therefore all offerings and sacrifices in the time of the gospel, if there be not love to God, and to their neighbour as themselves, avail nothing.
“David said, 'Let them sacrifice a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing,' Psal. cvii. 22. These are the sacrifices that the Lord requires of his people, more than outward sacrifices. David said, 'Let my prayer be set forth before thee, as incense; and the lifting up of my hands, as the evening sacrifice,' Psal. cxli. 2. Here David looks upon his prayer to the Lord, and the lifting up of his hands to him, to be accepted with the Lord, as much as the outward incense, and the outward evening sacrifice. Again David says, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise,' Psal. li. 17. (See also Isa. lvii. 15; lxvi. 2.) These are the sacrifices that David said God would accept, and not despise; which are beyond the unbroken spirit, and uncontrite heart, with outward offerings and sacrifices.
“The adversaries of the Jews would have joined with them towards the building of the temple, saying unto them, 'Let us build with you, for we seek your God, as ye do; and we do sacrifice unto him. But the Jews refused them, and said, “You have nothing to do with us, to build a house unto our God,' Ezra iv. 2, 3. Here ye may see that God's people refused their building with them, and their sacrifice. Solomon saith, “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, Prov. xv. 8. (See also Isa. i. 11; lxvi. 3.) Solomon also saith, ‘Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than a house full of sacrifices with strife,' Prov. xvii. 1. Now let all people consider, what good your house full of sacrifices doth with strife, when a dry morsel and quietness therewith is better? Consider, all people, if ye live in wickedness, your sacrifice is an abomination to the Lord.
“ Again, Solomon speaking of the sacrifice of fools, saith, They consider not that they do evil,' Eccl. v. l. Fools are such as do not walk in the Spirit of God, or begin in the Spirit, and end in the flesh, like the foolish Galatians; for the Spirit of God is the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, and cannot join with the sacrifices of the dead, nor of the fools, nor of the wicked whose sacrifice is abominable; who grieve and quench the Spirit of God; by which the spiritual and righteous offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
“The apostle Paul said, he was the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost,' Rom. xv. 16. So ye may see, that all the acceptable offerings and sacrifices to God must be sanctified by the Holy Ghost. The same apostle saith to the Corin. thians, ‘Ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's,' 1 Cor. vi. 20. And to the Romans, he saith, “I beseech you, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service,' Rom. xii. 1. This is the duty of all true Christians.
“Peter also saith, in his general epistle to the church of Christ, ‘Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ,' 1 Pet. ii. 5. So every man and woman must come to the Spirit of God in their own hearts, if they offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. For as Christ saith, “Every sacrifice shall be salted with salt,' Mark ix. 49. And in the Old Testament ye may see, all their outward offerings they were to season with salt, Lev. ii. 13, a type and figure of Christ, who gave himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God, for a sweet-smelling savour, Eph. v. 2. Therefore all his people must be baptized with the Holy Ghost and with fire, that they may be salted with fire, and every sacrifice salted with salt, with the Spirit of grace, that is poured upon all; so that they may offer up this spiritual sacrifice, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
“Samuel said to king Saul, `Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt-offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord ? behold, to obey is better than sacrifice; and to hearken, than the fat of rams,' 1 Sam. xv. 22. So ye may see, all offerings and sacrifices are nothing, if there be not a hearkening to the Lord in his Spirit, and an obeying of his voice. Christ told the Jews, that were outward sacrificers, that lie would have mercy, and not sacrifice; and bid them “Go and learn what that meaneth,"” Matt. ix. 13.
G. F. Gooses, the 28th of the 2nd Month, 1687.
The beginning of the 3d month I returned to LONDON, and continued there till after the Yearly Meeting, which began on the 16th of the same, · and was very large, Friends having more freedom to come up out of the
counties to it, by reason of the general toleration and liberty now granted. The meeting lasted several days; and at the close thereof it was upon me to write the following lines, to be dispersed amongst Friends everywhere, as—"A word of counsel and caution to them to walk circumspectly in this time of liberty:"
“ DEAR FRIENDS AND BRETHREN, IN THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, “The Lord, by his eternal arm and power, having supported you in all your sufferings, and great spoiling of goods, and tedious imprisonments, only for serving and worshipping the living God that made you; who gave up wife and children, and goods, and suffered the spoil of them, and imprisonment for his truth and name's sake;—the Lord, by his infinite power and mercy, having been pleased to open the king's heart towards you, by which you are set at liberty from jails, and the spoilers of your goods are stopped, whereby ye may follow your callings, confess Christ Jesus, and call him Lord by the Holy Ghost, in your assemblies and meetings, without being cast into jails, or having your goods spoiled; a great concern lies upon me from the Lord to write unto you, dear brethren, that none may abuse this liberty, nor the mercies of the Lord, but prize them; for there is great danger in time of liberty, of getting up into ease, looseness, and false liberty. And now, seeing that ye have not the outward persecutors to war with in sufferings, with the spiritual weapons keep down that which would not be subject to Christ; that He, the Holy One, may reign in your hearts; that your lives, conversations, and words, may preach righteousness and truth; that ye may all show forth good ensamples of true believers in Christ, in virtue, and holiness, answering that which may be known of God in all people, that ye are the sons and daughters of God; standing fast in that righteous, holy liberty in Christ, the just and holy One, that has made you free, over the loose or false ; shunning vain disputes, and foolish questions of men of corrupt minds; for the serpent was the first questioner of Eve, who drew her and Adam out of the truth. Therefore as ye have received Christ, live and walk in Him, who bruises the serpent's head, who is your safe sanctuary, in whom ye have election, reconciliation, and peace with God. Therefore live in the peace which ye have from Christ, which is not of this world; be at peace one with another, and seek the peace of all men in Christ Jesus; for blessed are the peacemakers. Labour to exercise a good conscience towards God, in obedience to him in what he requires; and in doing to all men the thing that is just and honest; in your conversations and words, giving no offence to Jew or Gentile, nor to the church of God. So ye may be as a city set on God's Sion-hill, which cannot be hid; and may be lights to the dark world, that they may see your good fruits and glorify your Father, which is in heaven; for he is glorified in your bringing forth good fruits, as ye abide in Christ, the vine, in this his day of life, power, and light, that shines over all. Therefore all you that believe in the light, walk in the light, as children of the light, and of Christ's everlasting day; that in the light ye may have fellowship with the Father and the Son, and one with another ; keeping in the unity of his Holy Spirit, in the bond of his holy peace, in his church that he is head of. My desire is, that God's wisdom everywhere may be justified of her children, and that it may be showed forth in meekness, and in the fear of the Lord in this his day. Amen.”
By that time the Yearly Meeting was over, I was very much wearied and spent; wherefore, about a week after the meeting, I got out of town