Friends,—This is the word of the Lord unto you all. All live in the seed, in which all nations are blest [Gen 22:18]; in which seed you are blessed every way, in your rising up and lying down [Deut 6:7?]; in your goings forth and comings in [Psa 121:8?]. And you have the blessings from above, and the blessings from beneath [Gen 49:25], in this holy seed; yea, the blessings of him that dwelt in the bush, that made the very ground holy, that Moses trod upon [Exo 3:2-5], who brings you out of the world, which is as a bushy, thorny wilderness, that ye might dwell in this blessed seed, in which all nations are blest; which bruises the serpent's head [Gen 3:15], who was the first questioner, and tempter, and liar, and deceiver; and man and woman by hearkening or giving ear to this questioner, liar, and tempter, the serpent, they fell [Gen 3:1-6] from their habitation in the image of God [Gen 1:27], and so went out of their habitation and service, that God had placed them in, and commanded them to do. But, the seed of the woman is come, that bruises the serpent's head, in which seed Christ, all nations are blest. And all you who live and walk in this seed, you live in him that bruises the serpent's head, that liar, tempter, and questioner; yea, and every one by this seed Christ, may be renewed up into the image of God [Col 3:10], as Adam and Eve were in, in the beginning. Then you are all in your habitations of life and truth, and the image of God; and in it you know your services, that the Lord God Almighty commands you. And you living in this holy seed, you live over all vain unruly talkers [Tit 1:10], and vain disputers, men of corrupt minds [1 Tim 6:5], which have the form of godliness, but deny the power thereof [2 Tim 3:5]. All you that live in the seed that bruises the serpent's head, turn away from such [2 Tim 3:5], for their work is to destroy; whose words eat as a canker [2 Tim 2:17]; who do profess truth in words, and may have the form of godliness, but in their works deny the power thereof, who are to every good work or service reprobated [Tit 1:16]. And these are as the raging waves of the sea [Jude 1:13] and tempests, they are known by their tempestuous spirits, and its raging, like a raging of the sea, casting up mire and dirt [Isa 57:20]; a murdering spirit, like Cain [1 Jn 3:12]; a gainsaying spirit, like Corah [Jude 1:11]; and erred from the true spirit, like Balaam [Jude 1:11/Isa 29:24]. No <244> rain in their clouds, no water in their wells, nor fruit on their trees; twice dead [Jude 1:12/2 Pet 2:17]; that is once dead, and made alive, and dead again; so they cannot grow in the truth, light, nor the spirit of God, nor his gospel; but such corrupt the earth [Rev 19:2], and corrupt people's minds [2 Cor 11:3]; are sowers of discord, strife, and contention [Prov 6:14/ Hab 1:3]; co-workers with the serpent to beguile the unstable minds [2 Pet 2:14]; all such the seed of God reigns over. . . . And therefore beware of this serpentine spirit, that you may not be deceived, as Eve was; and beware of dogs that will bite and devour you; and beware of evil workers [Phil 3:2], though they have never such fair words to deceive the hearts of the simple [Rom 16:18]. Beware of false prophets, which are inwardly ravened from the spirit of God, and are become wolves, though they have got the sheep's clothing, and the words of truth, of Christ and his apostles, whose fruits are as thorns and thistles [Mat 7:15f]. But the seed Christ, that discovers all these things, in him live, grow up, and walk and be established. And beware of the leaven of the Pharisees [Mat 16:6], who make an outward profession of the holy men's words, but are persecutors of the seed, Christ Jesus, in whom all nations are blest, and despisers of his peaceable government; of the increase of which there is no end [Isa 9:7[. And into this blessed seed, the serpent cannot come, nor any of his instruments nor his angels, which are evil spirits. And all the doters about questions and strife of words [1 Tim 6:4], and the vain janglers [1 Tim 1:6], and vain perverse disputers [1 Tim 6:5] and contenders, and the sowers of strife and dissention, makers of debate and strife: all these are out of the blessed peaceable seed; although they may profess the truth of all the new and old testament in words, without the power of God, (that they are turned away from, and therefore they are to be turned away from,) the trumpet of the Lord, his spirit and power is blown against them [Judg 6:34?], though they have never such high swelling words of vanity [2 Pet 2:18], and have never so many flattering fair words and good speeches [Rom 16:18], and trimmed and decked with the sheep's clothing, yet they are in the wolf's nature, and whored from the lamb and his nature, and so from the seed Christ, in whom all the children of the kingdom [Mat 13:38] and the elect are to walk, that are of his heavenly and spiritual generation, and grow up in him as trees of righteousness [Isa 61:3], whose fruits are unto holiness [Rom 6:22], and whose end will be everlasting life. And the end of that spirit and its fruits, before mentioned, that <245> are out of Christ and his peaceable truth, will be destruction in the lake of fire [Rev 20:14]. And that is the word of the Lord to you all; therefore be warned what you join to, and what you lay hands on suddenly [1 Tim 5:22]. For I remember, before we were called Quakers, as I was sitting in a house in Nottinghamshire, (about the year 1648,) the word of the Lord came to me and said, ‘Some of those that should come to be convinced with the light and spirit of God, and should come so far as Cain to hear God's voice [Gen 4:8], and as far as Balaam to hear God's voice [Num 22 - 24], and to have some openings, and to come so far as Corah, Dathan, and Abiram [Num 16], these should be the deceivers, and the troublers of the church of Christ, and seek to destroy the faithful, and to betray them: who formerly had some experience to talk of, but did not live in the truth.’ Which I and many others have seen come to pass and fulfilled. For Christ said to his disciples, that the false prophets and the antichrists, (which were inwardly the ravened wolves, which the apostles and believers should beware of,) should come to them, to try them [Mat 24:24], they had the sheep's clothing, and outward profession of christianity, but were inwardly ravening wolves to devour them [Mat 7:15]. Now, these were inwardly ravening from something. And the apostle John speaks of such as went out from us. It seems, they were once among them, ‘but,’ (saith he,) ‘they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out from the true church, that they might be manifest that they were not of it [1 Jn 2:19].’ And these were the antichrists and false prophets, that Christ said should come, which John and the apostles saw were come, and exhorted the church to beware of, and to keep to the unction which they had from the Holy One [1 Jn 2:20]. And this unction and anointing, as it abides within the saints, the true church, and they in it, it will teach them all things, and is truth [1 Jn 2:27]; and by it they shall continue in the son and the Father, and so in the holy seed, rock, and foundation, that cannot be shaken [Luke 6:48]. And the apostle said, ‘there was to be a falling away first, before the man of sin was revealed; the son of perdition, who opposeth and exalteth himself [2 Th 2:3f’,’ &c. And when the apostle saw the mystery of iniquity already working [2 Th 2:7]; ‘and his coming is after the working of satan, with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish, because they receive not the love of the truth, that they might be saved [2 Th 9:10].’ And such go into strong delusions, that they should believe a lie, and not the truth [2 Th 9:11f]. And here you may see there is a falling away, before the son of perdition, or Judas, be revealed [John 17:12]; and they that fall away, receive not the love of the truth, that they might be saved, but believe lies, that they shall be damned. And the Lord will consume him with the spirit of his mouth, and will destroy him with the brightness of his <246> coming, the wicked one [2 Th 2:8], and son of perdition, that is against the righteous, and is the opposer and betrayer of them. Therefore all the church of Christ are to stand steadfast and be established in him, in every good word and work [2 Th 2:17], who are from the beginning chosen for salvation through Jesus Christ, through the sanctification of the spirit, and the belief of the truth [2 Th 2:13], and are called by the gospel, the power of God, to the obtaining of the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ [2 Th 2:14], in whom the glorious rest and peace is. And you may see how the church of Christ was troubled by such as went out from them, and fell away from truth, and inwardly ravened. Some went like unto the swine into the mire; and some like the dogs to the vomit [2 Pet 2:22]; and some like wolves that inwardly ravened, and yet kept the sheep's clothing [Mat 7:15]. Some went into the nature of Cain, sacrificers, and yet were destroyers of the righteous [Jude 1:11/Gen 4:3-8]; and some went in the nature (or spirit) of Jannes and Jambres, that withstood Moses [2 Tim 3:8]; and others in the nature of Judas to betray [Mat 10:4, etc]; and others in the nature of Corah, Dathan and Abiram, to gainsay [Jude 1:11] and resist the truth [2 Tim 3:8]; and others in the nature of Jezabel [1 Ki 18, 19, 21; 2 Ki 9]. . . . And all dwell in love, then you dwell in God, who is love [1 Jn 4:16]; let that be all your habitations, which love edifies the body of Christ [Eph 4:16,12], and builds you up in him, and all strive to excel one another in virtue [1 Cor 14:12?], in patience, courteousness, kindness, tenderness, meekness, and humility, in temperance, modesty, and chastity; and whatsoever things are decent and comely, and of good report, honest, and lovely, those follow [Phil 4:8]: for these are the good fruits of the spirit [Gal 5:22] of God, and his heavenly seed; which fruits are acceptable to God, and will make you all lovely and comely to him, and unto one another in his heavenly seed; in which (as I said before) you are blessed, and all nations are blessed [Gen 22:18] ; which seed (Christ) is your sanctuary, who destroys the devil the destroyer, and so is over him, and was before he was, in whom the true believers live, and have peace, who clothes them with salvation, and with his righteousness [Isa 61:10], the sanctified one's fine linen [Rev 19:8]. So all walk worthy of the mercies of God and his blessings from above, and from below [Gen 49:25], to the glory and praise of God. <247> And they that dwell not in love and charity, are like the sounding brass, and tinkling cymbals [1 Cor 13:1]; as you may read, 1 Cor. xiii. 1.8. This you may read amongst the children of the light, and of the day [1 Th 5:5]. G. F.
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