« AnteriorContinuar »
tion will outlast all the habitations of the wicked and
persecutors, though they be never so full of words without life and truth. So the life and the truth will outlast all airy notion, and Christ the Lamb and patient Seed, will overcome the devourer and the unpatient Seed; and they that have the garments, the righteousness of Christ, which is the fine linen, it will outlast all the rags and inventions of men. For Christ saith to his learners, “ Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world, the persecuting world :" and so he said unto his disciples, “ Marvel not, if that the world hate you, for it hated me before you." And therefore let all that profess themselves Christians, lay away persecution about religion, churches or worship, fasting or praying days; for you have no command from Christ and his apostles to persecute any. For Christ, who is the King of kings, and Lord of lords, when they called him a deceiver, and blasphemed him, and said he had a devil; he did not persecute any of them for it, nor force or compel any to hear and believe him, nor the apostles after bim; but he bad them, that would have been plucking up the tares, “ Let the tares and wheat grow together until the harvest." So you have no command from Christ or his apostles to persecute, imprison or banish, or spoil the goods of any, for matter of pure conscience and religion, worship, faith, and church, in the gospel-times.'
G. F. Harlingen in friezland, the lith
of the Sixth month, 1677.
A Warning to the Magistrates, Priests, and People, of the
City of Hambro, to humble themselves before the Lord, and not to be high-minded.
Friends, "You have painted and garnished the inside of your outward houses and high places, but look within your hearts with the light of Christ, which he hath enlightened you and every man that cometh into the world withal, and with it you may see how foul your hearts and insides are with sin and evil, which Christ tells you ye should make clean; who told the pharisees how they painted the sepulchres of the righteous, and they themselves were full of rottenness and corruption. Therefore look into yourselves, and your own hearts, what you are full of: to paint out the sepul. chres of the righteous apostles, and making a trade and a profession of their words, without the same Holy Ghost,
and power, and light, and truth which they were in, will not stand at the day of God's vengeance. And therefore repent while you have time, and turn to the Lord with your whole hearts, and do not think yourselves to be secure, without his immediate, almighty protection. For it is not all your works, nor all your own strength, and power, and defence, that can protect you; and you to look at them, and think yourselves secure, and sit down in your security, and in it let your hearts be merry, and at rest and ease. But then when the Lord brings a scourge upon you, that you are filled with terrors and fears, remember you were warned that you were set down, but not in the true rest : and then all your own strength and force will stand you in no stead; and you will acknowledge that it must be God that must protect you. And therefore take warning; for your priests and people are too high, and are swallowed up too much in this world; and the vanities of it carry your minds away from God, and your care is more for the world than for God, and more after the riches of the world, than after the riches of the world that has no end. For know you not, that all your heaps of outward treasure must have an end, and that you must leave them all behind you? Therefore I am to warn and advise you, both bigh and low, priests and people, to come to the grace, light, and truth, that comes by Jesus Christ; and also to come to the manifestation of the good Spirit of God, which is given to you to profit withal; that with this grace, and truth, and light, and Spirit of Christ, you may turn to Christ Jesus, from whence it comes, who saith, “Learn of me;" and God saith, “This is my beloved Son, hear ye bim." And so all the children of the new covenant, that walk in the new and living way, do hear Christ their prophet, that God has raised up, who is their teacher and priest, whom God hath anointed to preach. And so now, God doth speak to his people by his Son, as he did in the apostles' days. And so the Lord is come to teach his people himself by his grace, light, truth, and spirit, and to bring them off all the world's teachers that are made by men since the aposles' days; who have kept people always learning, that they may always be paying of them: and is come to bring them off all the world's religions, to the religion that he set up in the apostles' days, in the new covenant, which is pure and undefiled before God in his sight, and keeps from the spots of the world, &c. And the Lord is come to bring them off all the world's churches, to the church in God, which Christ the heavenly man is head of: and to bring them off from all the world's worships, to
worship God in Spirit and in Truth, which Christ set up above sixteen hundred years since. So all men and women must come to the spirit and truth in their hearts, by which they must know the God of truth, who is a spirit and then in the spirit and truth they will worship him, and know what and who they worship. And also the Lord is come to bring his people off all the world's temples, that with the spirit they may know that their bodies are the temples of the Holy Ghost. And the Lord is come to bring his people off all the world's crosses, and pictures, and images, and'likenesses, to know that the power of God is the cross of Christ, which crucifies them to the world, and brings them up into the likeness and image of God, as man and woman was in before they fell, and so to Christ that nerer fell. And this work of Christ must all know in their hearts, by the light of Christ Jesus, who is the true light, that lighteth every man that cometh into the world. It is called the light in man and woman, and the life in Christ the Word : and Christ saith, “ Believe in the light, that ye may become children of the light." And the light lets you see all your evil actions, that you have done and committed ; and your ungodly ways you have walked in ; and your ungodly words and thoughts: and now, if you do hate this light, and love the darkness, and the prince of it, more than this light, which is the life in Christ, the Prince of Life, and will not come to it, because your deeds be eyil, and it will reprove you ; Christ tells you, this light is your condemnation. And then what is all your profession good for, when you remain under the condemnation of the true light, in which you should believe; and so become children of light, and out of condemnation? And therefore every one must believe in the light, if they do receive Christ Jesus; and as many as receive him, he gives them power to become the sons of God. So he that hath the Son of God, hath life; and they that have not the Son of God, have not life: and then if you have not life, what good doth all your profession of the scriptures from Genesis to Revelations do you, any more than the Jews, scribes and pharisees, that would not receive Christ the life, upon whom God brought his overflowing scourge. And therefore do you take heed of that, for your strength will be no better than theirs, if you have not God and Christ's supporting power, when God's scourge comes upon you, and you are filled with horrors and fears. But my desires are, that you may all repent, even from the highest to the lowest, and not grieve, nor quench, nor vex, nor rebel against, God's good spirit in you, nor walk
despitefully against the Spirit of Grace, nor turn from it unto wantonness, which would teach you, and bring your salvation. Which if you do, how can you escape the overflowing scourge of the Almighty, and the wrath of the Lamb? But ny desires are, that you may all obey God's good spirit of truth, which will lead you out of all evil into all truth, and reprove you for your righteousness, and for your own judgment and sin, &c. and it will bring you to cleave to that which is good, and forsake that which is evil; and to turn to the Lord, who will receive you in his mercy and kindness: by which means you may escape the over-flowing scourge in the day of vengeance, which dreadful day is coming upon all evil-doers. And this as a warning to you, both for your temporal and eternal good : and for you to read it in your assemblies, and your priests to read it in their churches; so that all people may hear and fear, as you will answer it at the terrible and dreadful day of judgment.'
G. F. Amsterdam, the 19th of the
7th month, 1677.
For the Ambassadors, that are met lo treat for Peace at the
City of Nimmeguen, in the States dominions.
• Christ Jesus saith, “ Blessed are the peace-makers, for they shall be called the children of God," Mattb. v. 9. so all Christian men are to forsake evil, and do good, and seek peace and follow it, if they will love life, and see good days, 1 Pet. iii. 11. for God hath called all true Christians unto Peace, 1 Cor. vii. and therefore all Christians ought to follow this peace, which God calls them to: and they should let the peace of God rule in all their hearts; which is above the peace of tbis world, that is so soon broken. For the apostle commands the Christians to let the peace of God rule in their hearts, to wbich all Christians should be subject : now the practice of this should be among Christians, that profess Christianity; and this peace is above that, which Christ takes from the earth, Rev. vi. which is the peace of the wicked. And the apostle saith to the Christians, “ Be at peace among yourselves," 1 Thess. v. Now all Christians should obey this command, and be at peace among themselves, and not in wars and strife. And further, the apostle exhorts the Christians to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace : so this unity, and this bond of peace, should be kept (and not be VOL. II.
broken) by all that bear that noble name, Christian; and they should keep the unity of the Spirit of Christ in the bond of the Prince of princes, and King of kings, and Lord of lords' peace, which is the duty of all true Christians to keep: in which they may honour Christ, in bringing forth the fruits of peace, which are love and charity. For the apostle tells you, “ The fruit of the good Spirit is love, joy, and peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, &c.” Gal. v.
And the apostle exhorts the Christians, and saith, “ If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men :" and this should be the endeavour of all Christians. For it is no honour to Christ, that Christians should war and destroy one another, that do profess the name of Christ, who saith, “He came to save men's lives, and not to destroy them :" for Christians have enemies enough abroad without them, and therefore they should love one another, as Christ commands, who saith, “ By this
ye shall be known to be my disciples, if ye love one another.” For Christians are commanded to love enemies; therefore much more one another. And Christ saith, “ As the Father hath loved me, so I have loved you: continue ye in my love," John xv. 8. and “ By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye love one another," John xiii. 35. But if Christians do war and destroy one another, this will make both Jews, Turks, Tartars, and heathens, to say, that you are not disciples of Christ. And therefore, as you love God, and Christ, and Christianity, and its peace, all make peace, as far as you have power, among Christians, that you may have the blessing: For you read, that Christians were called the household of faith, the household of God, a holy nation, a peculiar people : and they are commanded to be zealous for good works, not for bad : and Christians are also commanded not to bite and devour one another, lest they be consumed one of another.
And is it not a sad thing for Christians to be biting and consuming one another in the sight of the Turks, Tartars, Jews, and heathens, when they should love one another, and do unto all men, as they would have them do unto them? And such work and devouring as this, will open the mouths of Jews and Turks, Tartars and heathens, to blaspheme the name of Christ, who is the King of kings, and Lord of lords, and cause them to speak evil of Christia anity, for them to see how the unity of the Spirit is broken among such, as profess Christ and Christ's peace. And therefore all Christians are to mind God and Christ's