My dear friends, who feel the precious truth of God, by which you are made God's free men and women [John 8:32], and have bought the truth, do not sell it [Prov 23:23] for dross or dung, but be valiant for the truth upon the earth [Jer 9:3], you who have received God's seed into the good ground, that in this life some bring forth fifty, sixty, and a hundred fold [Mat 13:8] of fruit from God's seed, to his glory, and that have received the anointing oil in your lamps from the Holy One, that they may burn and shine both night and day in your tabernacles [Lev 24:2], through which you may be lighted into the bridegroom's chamber [Mat 25:1-10]; and the power of God has always been your keeper [1 Pet 1:5], and will be unto the day of salvation [2 Cor 6:2]; which power of God is over all, yea, over the power of the devil, the waster and destroyer [Isa 54:16?], who makes the world like a wilderness [Isa 14:17], and fills it with unrighteousness [Rom 1:29], death, darkness, and cruelty. Therefore let your faith stand in the power of God [1 Cor 2:5], which the kingdom stands in [1 Cor 4:20], which is a cross to the world's power, that causes persecution; which power of God is the gospel [Rom 1:16], which was before the devil was, that brought death and darkness into you; this power of God brings life and immortality to light [2 Tim 1:10] in you, by which power you see over him that has darkened you, and before he was. <58> And you that are heirs of this gospel keep the holy and heavenly order of it; by which power of God you come to dig, and have found the pearl in your own field, of great price; by which power of God you come to sell all, and to purchase the field [Mat 13:44-46], then you have riches enough. And have salt in yourselves, that you may savour withal; and that your salt lose not its savour [Mark 9:50], through which you may be kept from under the feet of men, though they that will live godly in Christ Jesus must suffer [2 Tim 3:12] persecution. And it is not only given you to believe in Christ, but to suffer for his name, whose name is above every name [Phil 2:9]. And there is no salvation by any other name under heaven, but by the name of Jesus [Acts 4:12]; whose name is a strong tower, and the righteous flee unto it, and are safe [Prov 18:10]; by whose name and power (that is over all) you have been upheld through all your tribulations, sufferings, imprisonment, and spoiling of goods. And Christ Jesus, and his power, is the same to-day as he was yesterday, and so for ever [Heb 13:8]. And therefore, as I said before, let your faith stand in his power; for Christ's kingdom stands not in word, but in power [1 Cor 4:20], and in righteousness, and in joy in the holy ghost [Rom 14:17]; whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom [Dan 4:3], and the riches in it are everlasting. Blessed are all they that are heirs and possessors of this, their minds and hearts are kept over all fading things, and the riches that have wings [Prov 23:5], that the spoiler may spoil [Isa 21:2]. And therefore consider all the faithful before you, how they accounted all but as loss, dross, and dung, to the excellency of the knowledge that they had in Christ Jesus [Phil 3:8]; and consider likewise the faith of the martyrs, the faith of the apostles, and primitive christians, that kept the faith and testimony of Jesus; their patience was seen [Rev 2:2f]. And likewise consider all the prophets of God to Enoch, how their faithfulness is made manifest [Heb 11:5]; and all the rest, how they were tried by persecutors, by prisons, and by spoiling of their earthly goods [Heb 10:34] and riches, but never of the heavenly goods and riches; for there the thief and spoiler could not come [Mat 6:20]. And therefore mind that noble seed, that never bowed to sin and iniquity, nor the devil [Mat 4:9f?], but bruises his head [Gen 3:15], and destroys him and his works [Heb 2:14, 1 Jn 3:8], that ye may all be flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone [Gen 2:23], who is your heavenly food and bread that comes down from heaven [John 6:35-52], through whom you may eat, and live by him, as he lives by the Father [John 6:57]; and so by eating this heavenly bread that comes down from heaven, you may have everlasting life. The Lord may try you by persecution, or spoiling your outward goods which he has given you, by permitting the spoilers and persecutors come to try you, that you may come forth like gold seven times tried in the fire [Job 23:10/Psa 12:6], (the perfection of trial,) for many are the troubles of the righteous, but the Lord will deliver out of them all [Psa 34:19]; and happy are they that are tried [James 1:12?], that they may come forth more pure than gold [1 Pet 1:7]. And let none sell their birth-right for a mess of pottage [Gen 25:30-34], <59> and a piece of bread, Esau-like. And let none have their eyes wandering after their carrying away the fleece; nor look back at Sodom's judgments [Gen 19:17,26]; for the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof [Psa 24:1]; and he can make the fleece grow again. And, therefore, consider the riches of Job, and the poverty of Job, and how his friends despised him in his poverty, and how they were reproved; and God increased his prosperity, and lengthened his tranquillity [Dan 4:27]. And as Daniel's windows were opened towards outward Jerusalem [Dan 6:10], in the time of the informers, when he prayed to his God, as he did before in the time when they were not. And therefore should not all your windows and doors be open towards heavenly Jerusalem, your mother [Gal 4:26], that God may come in and help you against the false mother and her children. And therefore keep your meetings in the time of sufferings, as you did before, and preach the word in season, and out of season [2 Tim 4:2]; the word, I say, that commands the clouds [Psa 78:23, Isa 5:6] and storms [Psa 107:25, Mark 4:37-41], and was before they were. And therefore blessed are those eyes that see [Luke 10:23] the sun of righteousness [Mal 4:2] that never sets, the sun of righteousness that changes not; for the prophet speaks of a sun and moon that shall be turned into darkness, before the notable day of the Lord come [Joel 2:31, Acts 2:20]; and where this notable day of the Lord is seen, and by whom it is seen, they see the glorious son of God, the son of righteousness, by whom were all things, who is over all things, who is the head of his people, and dwells in them, who is present with them, and who was, and will be, to all eternity; of whose kingdom there is no end [Luke 1:33], who is God over all, blessed for ever. G. F.
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