Dear Friends,—All that feel the life, and power, and spirit of the living God [2 Cor 3:3], who are made alive by Christ Jesus [1 Cor 15:22], the living, heavenly, and spiritual man [1 Cor 15:47]; and so are come to feed upon the heavenly and spiritual things, which Christ your shepherd directs you to, according to your capacity, age, and growth; and so to know him that God has sent to feed you, above all the feeders that men have sent. Therefore, look unto him, who with his net, (which is his power,) hath gathered you out of this great sea [Mat 13:47], the world. And now, do not build like the fools upon the sand of the sea-shore; but upon the rock and foundation, which is Christ the life, that will stand over death, tempests, winds, and storms [Mat 7:24-27]; and so looking unto Jesus, that is your saviour, that has saved you out of the flood of destruction, who is the author of your faith [Heb 12:2]; by which faith you may walk upon the world's sea [Mat 14:25-32], looking unto him that will finish it; and so in truth you can say, faith is your victory [1 Jn 5:4]; this is your victory, even your faith, that Jesus has been the author of, the heavenly and spiritual man. And faith comes by hearing of the word [Rom 10:17], by which all things were made and created [John 1:3], and by which all things are upheld [Heb 1:3], which lives, and abides, and endures for ever [1 Pet 1:23]; which word was in the beginning with God [John 1:1], and God was the word; which word became flesh, and dwelt among us, who beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten son of God [John 1:14], who is risen, whom you come now to hear and see, and not only so, but come to be made partakers of his glory [1 Pet 5:1], and of his resurrection from the dead. So blessed are they, and you, that come to have part in the first resurrection, that on you the second death may have no power [20" class="scriptRef">20.6" class="scriptRef">Rev 20:6]; and such as do, they know a dying to sin [Rom 6:10] here, and putting off the body of sin [Col 2:11] and death [Rom 7:24], and a crucifying the old man [Rom 6:6], with his affections and lusts [Gal 5:24]; and a putting him off [Eph 4:22, Col 3:9], and to be dead from the rudiments of the world [Col 2:8.20]: and so they that ‘die with Christ, shall live with him [Rom 6:8];’ and they that are risen with Christ [Col 3:1], can never touch, taste, nor handle [Col 2:21] the doctrines, commandments, and dead rudiments of men of the world [Col 2:22,20]. But let such put on the new man, which (after the image of God) is created in righteousness and holiness [Eph 4:24/Col 3:10]; and <77> such come to live in Christ [2 Tim 3:12], and walk in him [Col 2:6], and have their part or lot in the first resurrection, in Christ Jesus, and the second death hath no power over them: but they live in him, that hath power over death, hell, and the grave, (and over the devil, and the power of death,) Christ Jesus, who was before he was, the first and last. But they that will not believe in Christ the resurrection and the life [John 11:25], are for condemnation with the devil, hell, and death, which are to be cast into the lake of fire; and over such the second death hath power [Rev 20:14f]. And therefore, all that come out of death, and partake of the first resurrection, and know that they have been dead in sins and trespasses, and are quickened by Christ Jesus [Eph 2:1], and know a living here in Christ, and a dying here with Christ, while upon the earth, (for John spake it whilst he was upon the earth,) the ‘second death shall have no power over them [Rev 20:6];’ and they that do not, the second death hath power over them, which (as I said before) must be cast into the lake of fire, that burns with brimstone [Rev 20:14]; and such have not the blessing, (as they in the first resurrection,) but the curse, wo, and misery. And therefore all you who are the first-fruits to God [Rev 14:4], in the resurrection by Jesus Christ, and who know him, the resurrection and the life, and are translated from darkness to light, and into the kingdom of his dear son [Col 1:13/Acts 26:18], that stands in righteousness and holiness, and joy in the holy ghost [Rom 14:17]; that you may show forth righteous and holy fruits, so that you may glorify God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ; and may be as lights to the dark world [Mat 5:14], and salt to season the unsavoury [Mat 5:13]. For every sacrifice, which was offered up to God, was to be seasoned with salt [Lev 2:13]; so every sacrifice now that is to be offered up to God, must be seasoned, and made savoury with this heavenly salt of his heavenly spirit, so that all may give a good savour to him, and be as a sweet smelling sacrifice to the pure holy God, that made all to his glory. And you cannot bring forth this holy, righteous, and pure fruit unto God, but as you abide in Christ Jesus, the truth, who did descend and ascend far above [Eph 4:10] all principalities, thrones, and dominions [Col 1:16], that he might have the pre-eminence above all [Col 1:18], and that ye in him might live above all unto God. And so every one of you that has received Christ Jesus the Lord over all, in him (who is your Lord) walk, who is the amen [Rev 3:14]; and there all the living can praise God together; and the living gather in the name of Jesus [Mat 18:20], the name of him who was dead, and is alive again, and lives for evermore [Rev 1:18], who is the first and last [Rev 1:17, 22:13]. And here you all know, that there is no salvation in any other name under the whole heaven, but in the name of Jesus [Acts 4:12]; who is a priest made higher than the heavens [Heb 7:26]. So in his name keep your meetings, in whom you have salvation; and these are the true meetings, and true gatherings, who feel Jesus Christ in the midst of them [Mat 18:20], their prophet, their counsellor, their leader, their light and life [John 1:4], their way and their truth [John 14:6], their shepherd, that laid down <78> his life for them [John 10:15], that has bought you, his sheep, who feeds you in his pastures of life [Ezek 34:14]; and your heavenly bishop, to oversee you, that you do not go astray again from God [1 Pet 2:25]. And so it is through him you overcome, and he that overcomes shall go no more forth out of his fold, out of his pastures, who shall sit down in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus [Eph 2:6], who is your priest, that offered up himself for you [Heb 7:27], and sacrifices for you, and makes you holy and clean, that he may present you blameless [Col 1:22] up to the holy and pure God; and here you come to witness and know him in his offices, by his light, spirit, and power; and all your men's and women's meetings, in the power of God, which was before the devil and his power was, in the holy order of the gospel keep them, you being heirs of the everlasting gospel [Rev 14:6], the everlasting power [1 Tim 6:16] of God, that will last for ever; a joyful gospel, a joyful order, a comfortable gospel, so a comfortable order, a glorious gospel [2 Cor 4:4, 1 Tim 1:11], and glorious order. So in this everlasting gospel, the power of God, [Rom 1:16] in which you have everlasting fellowship and dominion over all sin and wickedness, unrighteousness, unholiness, and all that is bad whatsoever, you have dominion over, in the gospel, the power of God, yea, over the devil. And this gospel may every one testify unto, and to the order of it, that it is not of man, nor by man, neither is it received but by the revelation of Jesus Christ [Gal 1:12], sent down from heaven [1 Pet 1:12], which all the believers, that have part in the first resurrection, live, walk, and keep in the order of this gospel; and so have power to admonish, exhort, reprove, and rebuke, with all authority [Tit 2:15], such as talk of Christ, and do not walk in him; such as profess him, and do not possess him; such as live not in the religion that was set up above sixteen hundred years since; such as profess Christ the way, and walk not in the way, the truth, and the life [John 14:6], all such talkers, and not walkers, are dishonourers of God [Rom 2:23], and cause his holy name to be blasphemed among such as make no profession [Rom 2:24]. And therefore, all Friends that know that you are alive to God, by Jesus Christ, and know your translation [Col 1:13] from death to Christ the life [John 5:24], and from darkness to Christ the light [Acts 26:18]; so that you may all come now to be helps-meet [Gen 2:18] in your restoration by Christ Jesus, into the image of God [Col 3:10], and his righteousness and holiness, that man and woman were in before they fell [Eph 4:24]: for before they fell they were meet-helps to subdue the earth, they had both power over all that God made [Gen 1:28], while they kept in the image of God [Gen 1:27], and his righteousness and holiness; and so all that God made was blest and good to them; and so none can renew up into the righteousness and image of God, but Christ Jesus. And therefore, I say, in him live and walk, and keep his gospel-fellowship and order; so that men and women may be meet-helps, in the distinct men and women's meetings, one unto another in the gospel, the power of God, in the restoration, as man and woman was in before they fell: so if the men have any <79> thing to communicate unto the women, or the women any thing to the men, in the righteousness, and wisdom, and power of God, in the gospel order, in which the heavenly fellowship, unity, and order are kept, they may, as brethren and sisters. So here is the foundation of our meetings; and our men and women's meetings are testified unto by the spirit of the everlasting God, that the foundation of them is Christ, of the increase of his righteous, glorious, and spiritual government and peace there is no end [Isa 6:7]; nor of the glorious, everlasting, heavenly unity and order of his heavenly gospel, which the spiritual and heavenly minds keep and walk in accordingly, which is not of man, nor by man; so man has no glory, but God and Christ alone, who is almighty, omnipotent, immortal, everlasting, and eternal, and dwells in the light, blessed for ever, the inexpressible God. And so all keep the unity of his eternal spirit, which is the eternal bond of your heavenly and eternal peace [Eph 4:3], of your King of kings, Lord of lords [Rev 19:16], and Prince of princes' peace [Dan 8:25], Amen. . . . G. F.
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