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Historical texts  >  Fox's epistle (later numbered #131)


"And all take heed of going up and down to minister, but as ye are moved of the Lord God, or to speak in meetings, or any other places; for travelling to such is dangerous to lift them up, going amongst settled meetings, that are settled."


Friends every where, dwell in the power of the Lord God, which is without end, in which ye may all have unity. And take heed of striving about earthly things, which is the unredeemed part, that is out of the paradise and the garden of God; but that with the wisdom of God ye may come to be ordered, and order the creatures by that by which they were made and created, that by it ye may know yourselves to be governed.

[...]

So keep your meetings, both particular and in the general, in the power of the Lord God, and dwell in the life, and power, and wisdom of the Lord God, that all uncleanness whatsoever may by the power of the Lord be brought down and rooted out; and that such have no rule nor authority amongst you, though they be never so fair or excellent of speech: but let all such be brought under by the power of the Lord God, who is to reign over it; that in the sweetness and unity ye all may be brought to a sweet savour to the Lord God, and in the hearts of one another, and let no uncleanness be amongst you.

And all Friends every where, take heed of printing any thing more than ye are required of the Lord God.

And all Friends every where, take heed of wandering up and down about needless occasions, for there is danger of getting into the careless words, out of seriousness, weightiness, and savouriness.

And all Friends every where, take heed of wronging the world, or any one, in bargains, or overreaching them; but dwell in the cool, sweet, and holy power of the Lord God, and in righteousness, that it may run down amongst you; and that will keep you low.

And all Friends every where, take heed of slothfulness and sleeping in your meetings; for in so doing ye will be bad examples to others, and hurt yourselves and them.

And all take heed of going up and down to minister, but as ye are moved of the Lord God, or to speak in meetings, or any other places; for travelling to such is dangerous to lift them up, going amongst settled meetings, that are settled. For there is difference betwixt Friends going into the world, and of coming among them that are come to silent meetings, and to feed there; for that which may be seasonable to the world may not be to them.

Therefore let all live in the seed, and wisdom, and fear, and consider, before they utter, that the light be up, whereby all may be settled, and they themselves be washed. And dwell in the seed, that ye all may know Christ come to reign in you; so that all may be done and spoken by and in the power of the Lord God, that is done and spoken, and not out of it: and in that ye will all have unity in the record of life, whereby the power of God and the seed of God may come up, which is heir of the blessing and of the promise; that ye may come to know the place where there is no curse, and the Lamb's power, throne, life, and dominion. And in the wisdom of God all dwell, that to him ye may be a sweet savour, and a blessing in the hearts of all people; that nothing may rule nor reign amongst you, but the seed itself, and the life of God.

Let this be read in your meetings. -- G. F.


Epistle CXXXI, written in late 1656/early 1657, by George Fox for the early Quakers (later the Religious Society of Friends). Excerpted from pages 126-29 of:

A Collection
of
Many Select and Christian

Epistles,

Letters and Testimonies,

Written on Sundry Occasions,
by that
Ancient, eminent, faithful Friend, and minister of Christ Jesus,

George Fox,

In two volumes.

-----
Vol. I.
-----

(Philadelphia: Marcus T. C. Gould, 1831. Reprint edition, New York: AMS, 1975.)


A full set of Fox's Epistles, from the 1698 compilation by George Whitehead, republished in 1831, is posted as part of Earlham School of Religion's Digital Quaker Collection, in two volumes: 1 and 2.