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CLXXXVII. (187) — This is to go among Friends.

My dear friends,—Dwell in the love of God together, for that edifies you all [1 Cor 8:1], and by that ye are built up; and who go from that, pluck down with enmity, and discord, and wrangling, and quarreling, and disputing; and are puffed up with high-swelling words [2 Pet 2:18, Jude 1:16], and are large in their worldly wisdom, and earthly knowledge in a show, to tread upon the simple [Rom 16:18?]; and are of the great comprehension. Therefore keep over that spirit, for that will not stand to the end, although it would be lord; it is scorched, when the heat of persecution comes [Mat 13:6]. And therefore stand faithful. For that which runs into janglings, and disputes, and contentions, and questionings, is the disobedient. That was the devil's work in the beginning, which brought Eve out of her habitation [Gen 3:1-6, 23f]; and that is the work of his servants in the fall, to bring the innocent out of their habitation, to question, reason, and jangle with them, to bring them out of their habitation. They will say, they must not meet together, such as are gathered in the name of Christ Jesus [Mat 18:20], that never fell [1 Pet 2:22], who is above Adam, that fell. And thus the devil would lay all waste, and make the world like a wilderness [Isa 14:17], and break down the bounds of the righteous gardens and plantations [Isa 61:3,11?], and would break them down into his wilderness, and lay them barren and waste. And so, when they are gone from the truth themselves, the devil is got into them, and would keep them from meetings, to draw others into the same, who are gathered into the name of Jesus, and are come to sit down in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus [Eph 2:6], and are found with the flock that lie down at noon-day [Song 1:7]. And so, that fallen spirit would bring the saints to forsake their assemblies [Heb 10:25], and would make them like a wilderness; if he cannot, he will throw dirt upon them, and backbite them, and prejudice them, and slander them, and speak evil of them, and strive to sow discord amongst them, and preach up some outward things amongst them, to bring them into an outward fellowship, from the immortal power and gospel fellowship [Phil 1:5], and fill them with earthly wisdom [James 3:15] and knowledge, and understanding, <177> and carnal policy, with quirks, tricks, turnings, and windings, to over word and ensnare the simple, and to bring them into questioning. And so, this spirit is to destroy, ruin, and lay waste, and to rob and beguile, and would destroy, if it were in its power, the saints' fellowship and worship, and if it were possible deceive the elect [Mat 24:24]. For sometimes it will come in the show of worship and feigned humility [Col 2:23], and other times with Esau's tears [Gen 27:38?]; but all the strength of it is set, to lead the innocent out of his habitation, and to destroy and devour him. And so, being adulterated from the true spirit, the true light, and the fellowship in it, it runs into all the secret evils, inward adultery, and outward adultery, uncleanness, and fornication; and being in the evil, darkness, and uncleanness, judges all like unto itself with it evil thoughts [James 2:4], and casts out its flood of evil speaking and wickedness upon the righteous and just, the saints of the Most High [Dan 7:18], whose garments are clean and pure. And so, this spirit will cry down the saints' fellowship in spirit, and worship in spirit and truth [John 4:24], and their fellowship in the power which was before their forms were, or the devil either; and when it cannot get them down, and break their fellowship, to forsake their assembling together, (which is contrary to the apostle's doctrine, and the churches in the primitive times, before the apostacy,) and when they see they can neither break their fellowship nor worship, then they say, away with your forms; and cry down forms to such as be in the power of godliness [2 Tim 3:5]. And that spirit's work, that doth so, is to bring into such forms in time, which are out of the spirit, and truth, and power of God, in which the saints have fellowship and refreshment; in which God is worshipped in that which is above, and was before time. And that contrary spirit its work is, to bring into the many invented forms in the fall, and sometimes runs out of all right form into confusion, and out of all order of life, in which the saints of the Most High, that walk in the spirit, are, in the fellowship and power of life, having the order of life amongst them. And therefore, all Friends, keep your habitation every where in the truth of God, and let your lights be shining [Mat 5:16], and your lamps burning, and have oil in your lamps [Mat 25:4], and salt in yourselves [Mark 9:50] to savour withal, that he may grow up into Christ Jesus, by whom all things were made, that were made [John 1:3]; that through him ye may know all things [John 15:15, 1 Jn 2:20]. And so, live in him, that destroys the enmity; and in him sit, in Christ Jesus, in whom ye have unity, life, peace, and salvation. . . .

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Friends,—Live in the seed of God that destroys the devil [Heb 2:14], who is the author and cause of wars and strife, and bringing of men and people into the earth, where the war, strife, and pride are; here the outward swordsmen have not learned yet to beat their swords and spears into ploughshares and pruning hooks [Isa 2:4]. Yet ye that are in that seed, see that ye accuse no man falsely [Luke 3:14], that hath the sword of justice, which is to keep the peace, and is a terror to the evil doers [Rom 13:3f], and to keep down the transgressors, and for the praise of them that do well [1 Pet 2:14]; this is owned in its place. But he that killeth with the sword, must perish with the sword [Mat 26:52]. So there was a time the Jews were to fight with outward weapons, with sword, and spear [Neh 4:13-18]; but there is a time, when nations shall not learn war any more, but shall come to that which shall take away the occasion of wars, which was in the beginning before wars were. And Friends take heed of blending yourselves with the outward powers of the earth. . . .

In the seed of God is the stayed state, and in that are the life and peace with God, and the offering that satisfieth God, and that perfecteth for ever them that are sanctified [Heb 10:14]. And the seed bruises and destroys the serpent's head [Gen 3:15], who is the prince of the air [Eph 2:2], the prince of darkness, the tempter [Mat 4:3, 1 Th 3:5] and the troubler; in which seed is peace and life enjoyed, and by the wisdom of it be ordered to God's glory [Wis 8:1, 1 Cor 10:31]. And there the reign of Christ is known, who is come to reign and to rule.

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CLXXXIX. (189) — To Friends in New England and Virginia.

My dear friends, Robert Hodson, William Robinson, Marmaduke Stevenson, Peter Pearson, William Brend, William Leddra, and the rest of Friends in New England and Virginia, be faithful to the Lord in the truth of the Lord God, and in his power and wisdom be valiant for it upon the earth [Jer 9:3], and spread it abroad, and confound deceit. And dwell in the power of God, and stand in it, which comprehends the whole world; that through it ye may answer the witness of God in every one, and be a dread to nations [Deut 2:25]. And go on in peace, and love, and unity, one with another, and keep in the wisdom of the Lord God; that ye may be answerable to the witness in every one to whom ye preach.
And take heed of judging one another [Rom 14:13] in the sight of weak Friends, but dwell in the power of the Lord God, and that will keep that down in every particular, which is to be judged; through which ye may judge the whole world that lies in wickedness [1 Jn 5:19]. Therefore, dwell all, (I warn you from the Lord God of power, of life, of heaven and earth,) dwell in his power, and wisdom, and life, that in that ye may have dominion over the world, and the adversaries in it, and live in it; through which ye will feel the preciousness and weight of truth, which now is going over all the world. And to all nations of mankind the everlasting gospel, the power of God, is to be preached [Rev 14:6, Rom 1:16], through which life and immortality shall come to light [2 Tim 1:10]; in which power is the fellowship. Therefore, this is the word of the Lord God to you all, those that are convinced by the power of the Lord God and the light, let them dwell in it, in which they may have unity. For the Lord hath a seed that ways, if ye in patience all of you wait, and not matter the weather, the storms, the winds, the hail, the rain, when ye are to sow the seed, nor the rough ground that is to be tilled. For the husbandman waits patiently [James 5:7] after the seed is sown; there is a winter before the summer comes. And there must be a great work before the misty heathen be cleared in their understandings, (that are so naturally [Rom 2:14],) and the dark air be driven back, and the prince of life and light [Acts 3:15, John 1:4] be witnessed. Dwell in the life and in the light; for the great professors of spiritual Babylon, the mother of harlots [Rev 17:5], that are full of craft, will be brought down [Job 5:13?]; and that must be witnessed, before ye know the bride made ready for her husband [Rev 21:2]. So live in patience and in peace, and in the weighty wisdom of God, and then ye will see the end of all frothy spirits, that will not abide the trial. Therefore, friends, keep ye in the power of the Lord God, and dwell in love one with another, and in the pure power and life of truth, and the seed of God which ye first kept in; that ye may be kept over all light and airy spirits, that will be up and down like a tempest, comers and goers to the seed [Eph 4:14?]; that ye may stand in the seed which is everlasting. In that the Lord preserve you.

Ye may write over how things are there; for truth is well here, and spreads abroad in the world in other nations, and is of a good report.

G. F.
Reading, the 15 th of the 8 th month, 1659.

The Lord is king over all the earth [Psa 47:2], and Christ hath all power in heaven and in the earth [Mat 28:18]; and he is King of kings and Lord of lords [1 Tim 6:15], let him rule and reign in all your hearts by faith [Eph 3:17], and exalt him in the land, and in your assemblies.

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CXC. (190)

O friends! have an esteem of truth and God's glory! Keep down all inordinate affections [Col 3:5], and have an esteem of truth above your lusts and earthly things, worldly riches, and goods, and mind the example of the old world, when the sons of God saw, the daughters of men were fair, they took unto them wives of all that they liked [Gen 6:2]; and so made no distinction between the righteous and the wicked. Which grieved the Lord God, that he said, his spirit should not always strive with man. And therefore he shortened his days to an hundred and twenty years [Gen 6:3] which before were many hundred years. Though Enoch, Methuselah, and Lamech [Gen 5:21-31], and the holy men of God, their marriages God did not judge; but when the sons of those holy men, which were called the sons of God, went to the world for wives, they slew the spiritual birth in them, and quenched the holy spirit [1 Th 5:19] of God in them, and corrupted the earth, and filled it with cruelty, and followed the imaginations of their own hearts' lusts continually [Gen 6:5]; insomuch that they grieved the Lord, and he repented that he made man [Gen 6:6f]. For he saw, all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth, saving Noah, a just man [Gen 6:9], with his family, who walked with God, and did not join with the wickedness of the world. Therefore God destroyed the old world; and the beginning thereof was these bad marriages, as Jude and Peter saith, ‘They followed strange flesh [Jude 1:7],’ by which they came to be corrupted; and therefore God sent a flood, and destroyed the old world with its ungodly deeds [Gen 6:17]. And there is your example, that marry with the world. Gen. vi.

And doth not the Lord say to the children of Israel, ‘Thou shalt not give thy sons nor thy daughters in marriage with the heathen [Deut 7:3].’ And were not such as did so, reproved by the Lord and his prophets? As ye may see through the scriptures. And doth not the apostle say, ‘Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers; for what fellowship hath light with darkness, or Christ with Belial, or a believer with an infidel? [2 Cor 6:14] For how many thousands of the Jews did the Lord destroy, who went and married with other nations, and pleaded liberty? And did not Phineas run one through, and his heathenish women? [Num 25:6-8] And so, must not all such be run through with the sword of the spirit [Eph 6:17] of God? And the Lord said, ‘Phineas hath turned mine anger away from the children of Israel, [Num 25:11]’ when the Lord had destroyed twenty-four thousand of them [Num 25:9]. And doth not the world call such, bastard and hypocrite Quakers, and not faithful, that go to the world for a wife, and to the priests to be married? Oh! that ye should profess truth, and go from its power and life, and so corrupt yourselves, and to have no more esteem of your bodies, which God hath so honoured, and made them <181> vessels of his mercy [Rom 9:21-23], to put his mercy into! and have no more esteem of God, his truth nor his people, but to esteem your affections and lusts above them all, and to make yourselves a talk and a laughing stock, by going into that, for which ye are judged of God, and of all his people, and of that of God in your own consciences also! And do not Friends buy burying-places, because they cannot give their dead bodies to the world, no more than Abraham could [Gen 23]? And ye that profess yourselves to be quickened by Christ [Eph 2:1], and made alive by him [1 Cor 15:22], to give your bodies to them that are dead in sins and trespasses [Eph 2:1],—Oh, ye make yourselves ridiculous both to God's people and the world, and come under the judgment of both, and of God and the scriptures, to be such as follow strange flesh, and corrupt the earth [Gen 6:12, Rev 19:2], like the old world! Ye bring burthens upon the just. But God will shorten your days, as he did the old world's, except ye repent; as ye may read, Gen. vi. And therefore mind God's ordinance, and then ye will know God's joining by his spirit and by his power. And be not corrupted with them, that follow strange flesh, and corrupt themselves, that creep among you [2 Tim 3:6], and would be called by your name, which the priests and the world call bastard Quakers. And therefore keep the gospel order, which is the power of God [Rom 1:16], (before the devil was,) and the government of Christ Jesus, which destroys the devil and all his works [1 Jn 3:8].

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CXCI. (191)

All Friends every where, that are convinced with truth, and profess it, and own it, keep to the single language [Gen 11:1], the good spirit [Neh 9:20], the light of Christ Jesus leads to it; and that which goes from that, which doth not live in it, is to be judged. And then, if man or woman seek to get gain by speaking the improper, untrue language, and flattering language of the world [1 Th 2:5], which is in confusion [Gen 11:1-9], the Lord may take that gain away from them. For plural and singular was the language of God, and Christ, and all good men, and of the prophets and apostles; but the confused world, that lies in confusion, cannot endure it, who live not in the fear of God, neither follow the example of good men, but are in the double tongue, quenching the spirit [1 Th 5:19], and hating the light [John 3:20] of Christ Jesus, which is single [Mat 6:22]. . . . <182> . . . And therefore keep to the proper, sound, single language. For indeed, I did hear some that were troubled at their apprentices and servants, for saying thee and thou to one, and because they would not say the word you; and such, who have known the language from their childhood. And therefore that selfish, man-pleasing [Col 3:22], and daubing spirit [Ezek 13:10-15, 22:28] must be put down with the spirit, and condemned with the light, else ye will presently be ridiculous to the world, and to all men, and they will say, ye are not so as ye were in the beginning; and so follow the customs of the world, and not the practice of Christ, and all good men. . . . For to say to Friends, thee and thou, and to the world you, that is hypocrisy. And therefore for all hypocrites, and hypocrisy and dissembling to be kept under judgment, for that is a dissembling with the witness of God. For ye see the outward Jews, when they went from the law of God, in process of time spake half Hebrew, and half Ashdod [Neh 13:24]. And therefore, to prevent all dissembling and hypocrisy, keep to the spirit of God and light of Christ Jesus, that the Jews inward may not have a mixed language, no more than the Jews outward, to speak half the confused language of the world, and half the true language. . . . <183> . . .

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CXCII. (192) — A general epistle to Friends.

Friends,—In the fear of the Lord God live, departing from sin and evil [Job 28:28], as it appears in your own particulars, and therein ye will receive the wisdom of God, by which all things were made and created [Wis 7:22]; with which wisdom they may be ordered to the glory of God [Wis 8:1, 1 Cor 10:31], that created all things. And with that wisdom use all things, and order all that are under your hands and dominion, to the glory of him that created them. And in this ye will feel the Lord God going in and out amongst you, and to be with you, and his blessing and presence with you, (in your actings,) and he over all giving you dominion in his wisdom, power, and life; that with that ye may come to answer that of God in every one, with which your minds should be guided up to God. And in that ye will be a good savour to God, and in the hearts of all people that live up to the witness, and are led by the witness of God [1 Jn 5:9] up to God. And such as go from it, upon them the law of God is to be added, and they by it to be stopped and limited; which law is a praise to them that do well [1 Pet 2:14], who come from under the occasion of the law. And in this that eye is opened which beholds God and his law, which answers that of God in every one; which when men go from that of God in themselves, the law takes hold upon them. Which when Adam went from, he transgressed the law of God, when he went from the life and image of God within him; and then the law came upon him, which was not made for the righteous, but for sinners and transgressors [1 Tim 1:9]. And in this stands the covenant of works, the law of works that brings under and yokes the man down; which Christ the covenant of God, and of life, and of peace [Mal 2:5], redeems men from under this law [Gal 4:5]; and the law of the spirit of life makes free from the law of sin and death [Rom 8:2]. So Christ, the covenant of God being felt, the law of life is come and witnessed within man again; and to such, they that are in the wisdom of God, will be a praise, and your moderation will increase, your temperance will increase, your knowledge of God and his <184> son Jesus Christ will increase, whom to know is eternal life [John 17:3]; and this will not be lacking. And so as ye are kept in the wisdom of God, and in his life and power, ye will see the law that goes over all transgressors, which was added because of transgression [Gal 3:19]. Which life lets you see to the higher power, which was before any transgression was; because of which the law was added upon man, when he went from that of God in himself. Which, (as I said before,) every true christian, (which is a christian indeed,) witnesseth the law of life in Christ, which sets free from the law of sin and death; and such come to see and feel him, who was before any transgression was. And so as to the Lord God ye are kept faithful in your generation, and in his fear are preserved in humility and mercy, doing good and justly [Micah 6:8], the jaws of the wicked will be broken [Job 29:17], and ye will feel the Lord's blessing upon you, and come to know the seed in yourselves which inherits, which is the heir of the promise [Gal 3:29] of the world without end. And the power of an endless life [Heb 7:16] you will feel in Christ, the seed, in whom the words of the prophets and apostles are fulfilled; and therein is unity and love, righteousness and peace, even in him who bruiseth the serpent's head, that feeds upon dust [Gen 3:14f]. Here there is nothing fed upon, but life, yea, the life, which was with the Father, before the world began, which is Christ Jesus. And who are in this, are in the thing the scripture testifies of. And this hath been wanting in Christendom. They have had the words of the prophets, Christ, and the apostles, and been on heaps about them, not being in the seed, Christ, who is the end and substance of them; who is the light and life, righteousness, wisdom, and truth, which makes free from the adversary, who is the cause of strife.

From a lover of your souls' eternal good, and of your establishment in righteousness [Isa 54:14] and peace, in this day of the Lamb's power [Psa 110:3]; glory to the highest for ever!

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[CXCIII. (193) — To William Ames.]


CXCIV. (194)

Dear friends, who have found the better part, and chosen the better thing, the one thing [Luke 10:42], which lasteth for ever, which is the ground of all true rejoicing and joy [1 Th 2:19?], in whom ye have all riches and life, and the blessings, and the immortal power, to be your crown and covering. And it may be, there will be a time of shearing and clipping; but the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof [Ps 24:1]. So, mind him to be your portion, and the seed Christ [Gal 3:16] your all, and your life; and fear not losing the fleece, for it will grow again. And keep your meetings in the name of him that never fell [1 Pet 2:22], which is above all the meetings of Adam's sons and daughters in the fall. And keep in the fellowship in the gospel [Phil 1:5], which is the power of God [Rom 1:16], which was before the devil was; and this fellowship is above all the national fellowships in the fall of Adam. And keep in the worship of the Father in the spirit and in the truth [John 4:24], which the devil is out of [John 8:44], and in that ye will live in the truth and spirit in yourselves, and walk in unity in the same; and then ye are over all the will-worships [Col 2:3] in the fall of Adam, where they are in the strife about them. And who are come to the church in God [1 Th 1:1], do see above all the churches of Adam in the fall, drove from God. And as the outward Jews suffered by the outward Egyptians and Babylonians, and they persecuted them and killed their children; so the spiritual Egyptians [Rev 11:8] and mystery Babylon [Rev 17:5] persecute and would kill the Jews in spirit [Rom 2:29], that worship God in the spirit, whose praise is of God, and not of man [Rom 2:29], and such have none from fallen men, but by them are persecuted. But all such go, as dumb before their shearers [Isa 53:7]; for he that gave his back and his cheek to the smiters [Isa 50:6], overcame, and reigns, and hath the victory and the honour, who is Christ, the amen [Rev 3:14], the first and last [Rev 1:11], the top and corner stone [Eph 2:20]; in him sit down [Eph 2:6], in life, and peace, and rest. So no more, but my love in the everlasting seed, the second Adam [1 Cor 15:45,47], that never fell nor changed, whose love is above all the love in Adam's house in the fall.

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CXCV. (195)

Friends,—All that are moved of the Lord by his power, light, and life, to go into other nations, as messengers of his covenant [Mal 3:1] of light [Isa 42:6], to preach the gospel, according to that which shows the secrets of every man's heart [1 Cor 14:25], wherein nations are brought into covenant with God, and redeemed out of tongues, and people, and kindreds [Rev 5:9]: keep your feet upon the top of the mountains, and sound deep to the witness of God [1 Jn 5:9] in every man; then will your feet be beautiful, that publish peace [Isa 52:7]; and to the <186> captives proclaim liberty, with your feet upon the mountains publishing peace, binding up the broken-hearted, [Isa 61:1] having oil of gladness for them that mourn [Isa 61:3]. And this is the word of the Lord God to you, keep ye atop of the heads of all the mountains of sin and opposition, in innocency, meekness, and true humility, in the fear of God; that in his dread and wisdom ye may all be kept, and in the fear of the Lord stayed. And dwell in the ‘light of Christ, that doth enlighten every man that comes into the world, that all through him might believe [John 1:9];’ and bring all to believe in the light, to give them the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ [2 Cor 4:6], from whom the light comes that they are all enlightened with; and that they may come into the covenant of light with God and his people. And so, dwell in the power of the Lord God, that ye may comprehend the world, and see over it all: and keep ye over all the unclean spirits, and execute true judgment, answering to that of God in every man; and here is the saints' honour [Psa 149:9]. And this is the word of the Lord God to you: enter not into consultings with the wrong nature, lest ye consult with the adversary, whose head must be bruised; and lest in the meantime, that blind your eye, and raise up a light spirit in you, and take you captive. But dwell in the power, dread, and fear of the Lord God, that ye may answer that of God in every man, and stop the mouth of that which opposes [Tit 1:11]; that ye may blind the eye that will not see the light, and the ear stop that will not hear it [Isa 6:10], for that must be judged. For that is it that keeps all from conversion, and that is the seed of the serpent, which must be bruised with the seed of the woman, yea, the head of it [Gen 3:15]: and keep atop of the head of it, that ye may answer that of God in every man; and be kept atop of the contrary, and tread it under feet. And so, the Lord God Almighty keep you in his power and wisdom, and by it bind the unruly; and when ye have bound them, then ye may speak to them, and by it fetter them [Job 36:8f?]; then ye may catch them when ye will, when they are fettered. And get the yoke upon the wild heifer [Hos 10:11?]; then will ye save yourselves from a push, and bring them down, and order them with the power, and reach to the witness. And see, that ye keep the bit in the wild horse's mouth [Psa 32:9, James 3:3], whereby his head may be held down: and howsoever, see that he be bridled, then with the power he will be ordered; though he snuffs and snores, the bridle being kept in his mouth, he is held down by it: though he cries aha, aha; that is above the witness. And when this is done, being kept in the power, ye will know him, that rides meekly upon the foal of the ass [Zech 9:9], (the colt, the foal of the ass,) to Jerusalem, the highest place of worship; who brings the prisoner out of the pit, where there is no water [Zech 9:11]. Christ, the same to-day as yesterday, and for ever [Heb 13:8]. And the Lamb gets the victory [Rev 17:14], he that sits meekly upon the colt, the foal of the ass, he it is <187> that gets the victory, he by whom the world was made [John 1:3], who is not of the world [John 8:23], that treads upon the highest worship in the world. Lay hands upon no man suddenly [1 Tim 5:22], I warn and charge you all in the presence of the living God, but touch the witness of God in every one.

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[CXCVI. (196)]
[CXCVII. (197)]

CXCVIII. (198)

Dear friends,—Keep over all that, which tends to strife, in the seed Christ [Gal 3:16], in which is peace and life; for that which tends to strife, and yet is in a feigned flattery, will corrupt you. And, therefore, live in that which is pure and steadfast, and is not changeable; and in that know one another. And lay hands on no man suddenly [1 Tim 5:22]; for that which is fickle and changeable, will bring people into an unsettled state, and bring them out of their own conditions, and bring into a questioning state. And therefore keep in the seed, and light, and power of Christ, in which ye may walk safely [Prov 3:23], and not give away your power; but dwell in it, in love, unity, and peace one with another. And in it keep your meetings, and be quiet; and live, and dwell in the power of truth over all the unruly spirits.

And be faithful, that the seed, Christ Jesus may reign in you, and among you. For the truth is over all, and reigns [1 Esd 4:35, 41]. And so, be valiant for it upon the earth [Jer 9:3].

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Lancaster prison, the 2d of the 5th month, 1660.

CXCIX. (199)

Friends,—The matter concerning not putting off the hat in prayer, and when they give thanks to God, which hath been said by some to <189> be heathenish and Romish, and set up in the time of darkness and ignorance, and in the curse, and in the fall, and cursed. Then they, and ye, who have put off your hats, when ye have prayed, and given thanks to God, must be wrong, according to their judgment, (which is false.) For who have known the power of God, and the motions of it, which power was before hats and coverings were, are out of this judgment. For there was a sect of people amongst the Corinthians, that were jangling about meats, drinks, days [Col 2:16], marriages; and whether they should pray covered, and whether the woman should pray and prophesy uncovered? There was such a strife, before the Papists got up. And therefore the apostle set up a comeliness amongst the churches, and says, it was a dishonour for a woman to pray or prophesy with her head uncovered. And also, a dishonour for a man to pray or prophesy with his head covered [1 Cor 11:4f]. . . .

They say, Christ is the head of the woman [1 Cor 11:3], (spoken of in the Corinthians,) and her head must be covered when she prays and prophesies; and is it not meant of an outward hat. Then Christ, which is the head, must be covered in the woman when she prays and prophesies; and when a man prays and prophesies his head must be uncovered. This also shows a contradiction. For prophecy is in the spirit [Joel 2:28], and praying is in the spirit [Eph 6:18], and by prophecy they see Christ. And if Christ be covered, then they must consider it by what the woman covers him, and whether or nay she can prophesy when he is covered? And so it is that mind which runs into outward things that stumbles; and ever was and ever will be so. . . .

<190> . . . For they that have attained to that state which Adam was in before the fall, it is without hats or coverings. And they that are come to Christ (and abide in him) are in a state beyond Adam before he fell, far before outward coverings were; for Christ was with the Father before the world began, before Adam was made. And when the apostle spake to the Corinthians how that he would have them to know that God was the head of Christ, and Christ was the head of the man, and the man was the head of the woman [1 Cor 11:3]; and the woman was made for the man and not the man for the woman [1 Cor 11:9]; and he is the image and glory of God, and she is the glory of the man [1 Cor 11:7]: this the apostle spake to the Corinthians, who were not come to the state of Adam and Eve before they fell; amongst whom there was a sect about the man being covered, and the woman uncovered. . . . <191> . . .

The church of the Romans fell away by running into outward things from the power and life; also the Corinthians, Galatians, and others of them; and also the Seven Churches of Asia [Rev 1:4], by running into outward things; and what the outward things were they ran into ye may read. And how the apostle reproved them, and what all are gone into since they lost the power of God, and the unity in the spirit. And therefore, all dear friends, keep in the power of God over all outward things, which was before they were; and in that power is the standing unity.

G. F.

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