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George Fox
George Fox
(1624-1691)

STUDY ARCHIVE

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EARLY CHURCH

Ambrose
Ambrose, Pseudo
Andreas
Arethas
Aphrahat
Athanasius
Augustine
Barnabus
BarSerapion
Baruch, Pseudo
Bede
Chrysostom
Chrysostom, Pseudo
Clement, Alexandria
Clement, Rome
Clement, Pseudo
Cyprian
Ephraem
Epiphanes
Eusebius
Gregory
Hegesippus
Hippolytus
Ignatius
Irenaeus
Isidore
James
Jerome
King Jesus
Apostle John
Lactantius
Luke
Mark
Justin Martyr
Mathetes
Matthew
Melito
Oecumenius
Origen
Apostle Paul
Apostle Peter
Maurus Rabanus
Remigius
"Solomon"
Severus
St. Symeon
Tertullian
Theophylact
Victorinus

HISTORICAL PRETERISM
(Minor Fulfillment of Matt. 24/25 or Revelation in Past)

Joseph Addison
Oswald T. Allis
Thomas Aquinas
Karl Auberlen
Augustine
Albert Barnes
Karl Barth
G.K. Beale
Beasley-Murray
John Bengel
Wilhelm Bousset
John A. Broadus

David Brown
"Haddington Brown"
F.F. Bruce

Augustin Calmut
John Calvin
B.H. Carroll
Johannes Cocceius
Vern Crisler
Thomas Dekker
Wilhelm De Wette
Philip Doddridge
Isaak Dorner
Dutch Annotators
Alfred Edersheim
Jonathan Edwards

E.B. Elliott
Heinrich Ewald
Patrick Fairbairn
Js. Farquharson
A.R. Fausset
Robert Fleming
Hermann Gebhardt
Geneva Bible
Charles Homer Giblin
John Gill
William Gilpin
W.B. Godbey
Ezra Gould
Hank Hanegraaff
Hengstenberg
Matthew Henry
G.A. Henty
George Holford
Johann von Hug
William Hurte
J, F, and Brown
B.W. Johnson
John Jortin
Benjamin Keach
K.F. Keil
Henry Kett
Richard Knatchbull
Johann Lange

Cornelius Lapide
Nathaniel Lardner
Jean Le Clerc
Peter Leithart
Jack P. Lewis
Abiel Livermore
John Locke
Martin Luther

James MacDonald
James MacKnight
Dave MacPherson
Keith Mathison
Philip Mauro
Thomas Manton
Heinrich Meyer
J.D. Michaelis
Johann Neander
Sir Isaac Newton
Thomas Newton
Stafford North
Dr. John Owen
 Blaise Pascal
William W. Patton
Arthur Pink

Thomas Pyle
Maurus Rabanus
St. Remigius

Anne Rice
Kim Riddlebarger
J.C. Robertson
Edward Robinson
Andrew Sandlin
Johann Schabalie
Philip Schaff
Thomas Scott
C.J. Seraiah
Daniel Smith
Dr. John Smith
C.H. Spurgeon

Rudolph E. Stier
A.H. Strong
St. Symeon
Theophylact
Friedrich Tholuck
George Townsend
James Ussher
Wm. Warburton
Benjamin Warfield

Noah Webster
John Wesley
B.F. Westcott
William Whiston
Herman Witsius
N.T. Wright

John Wycliffe
Richard Wynne
C.F.J. Zullig

MODERN PRETERISTS
(Major Fulfillment of Matt. 24/25 or Revelation in Past)

Firmin Abauzit
Jay Adams
Luis Alcazar
Greg Bahnsen
Beausobre, L'Enfant
Jacques Bousset
John L. Bray
David Brewster
Dr. John Brown
Thomas Brown
Newcombe Cappe
David Chilton
Adam Clarke

Henry Cowles
Ephraim Currier
R.W. Dale
Gary DeMar
P.S. Desprez
Johann Eichhorn
Heneage Elsley
F.W. Farrar
Samuel Frost
Kenneth Gentry
Steve Gregg
Hugo Grotius
Francis X. Gumerlock
Henry Hammond
Hampden-Cook
Friedrich Hartwig
Adolph Hausrath
Thomas Hayne
J.G. Herder
Timothy Kenrick
J. Marcellus Kik
Samuel Lee
Peter Leithart
John Lightfoot
Benjamin Marshall
F.D. Maurice
Marion Morris
Ovid Need, Jr
Wm. Newcombe
N.A. Nisbett
Gary North
Randall Otto
Zachary Pearce
Andrew Perriman
Beilby Porteus
Ernst Renan
Gregory Sharpe
Fr. Spadafora
R.C. Sproul
Moses Stuart
Milton S. Terry
Herbert Thorndike
C. Vanderwaal
Foy Wallace
Israel P. Warren
Chas Wellbeloved
J.J. Wetstein
Richard Weymouth
Daniel Whitby
George Wilkins
E.P. Woodward
 

FUTURISTS
(Virtually No Fulfillment of Matt. 24/25 & Revelation in 1st C. - Types Only ; Also Included are "Higher Critics" Not Associated With Any Particular Eschatology)

Henry Alford
G.C. Berkower
Alan Patrick Boyd
John Bradford
Wm. Burkitt
George Caird
Conybeare/ Howson
John Crossan
John N. Darby
C.H. Dodd
E.B. Elliott
G.S. Faber
Jerry Falwell
Charles G. Finney
J.P. Green Sr.
Murray Harris
Thomas Ice

Benjamin Jowett
John N.D. Kelly

Hal Lindsey
John MacArthur
William Miller
Robert Mounce

Eduard Reuss

J.A.T. Robinson
George Rosenmuller
D.S. Russell
George Sandison
C.I. Scofield
Dr. John Smith

Norman Snaith
"Televangelists"
Thomas Torrance
Jack/Rex VanImpe
John Walvoord

Quakers : George Fox | Margaret Fell (Fox) | Isaac Penington


PRETERIST UNIVERSALISM | MODERN PRETERISM | PRETERIST IDEALISM

George Fox
Founder, Society of Friends (Quakers)

Quakers Study Archive
"By which second coming thou and you understand his outward coming; ..Now we say, he did come according to his promise, in a spiritual and inward way of appearance in their hearts"

George Fox | Margaret Fell (Fox) | Isaac Penington | A Visitation to the Jews | A Call Out of Egypt's Darkness | Axe Laid to the Root of the Old Corrupt Tree | Some Questions And Answers For The Opening Of The Eyes Of The Jews Natural | The Jew Outward as a Glass

"..central to Quaker thought, followers were urged to turn to the light of Christ within themselves: they were `spiritual millenarians'. They relegated the importance of the Scriptures in favour of the pre-eminence of this inner spirit, and so rejected the necessity for an educated clergy to lead and interpret. What mattered was not so much biblical stories about Christ and the past, but one's own present. Heaven was within the believer. Nathaniel Smith turned to Quakerism for this very reason, that `the Kingdom of Heaven was in Man'."

"She withstood the son of God in the flesh, and thou resistest the son of God in the spirit. He would have gathered her, as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and she would not! so would he have gathered thee out of thy lifeless profession, and have brought thee to inherit substance, to have known his power and kingdom, for which he often knocked within, by his grace and spirit, and without, by his servants and witnesses; but thou wouldst not be gathered. But, on the contrary, as Jerusalem of old persecuted the manifestation of the son of God in the flesh, and crucified him, and whipped and imprisoned his servants, so hast thou, O land! crucified to thyself afresh the Lord of life and glory, and done despite to his spirit of grace; slighting the fatherly visitation, and persecuting the blessed dispensers of it by thy laws and magistrates; though they have early and late pleaded with thee in the power and spirit of the Lord, in love and meekness, that thou mightest know the Lord, and serve him, and become the glory of all lands."
"Journal Or Historical Account Of The Life, Travels, Sufferings, Of George Fox"

(On Matthew 21)
And to your fathers spake a parable, which was agreeable to the prophet's words: as a man letting forth a vineyard to husbandmen, and he sent his servants to look for fruits, and they beat him one and cast him out, and wounded another, and killed another; and last of all he sent his son, and when they saw his son, the heir of the vineyard, come, said they to the keepers of the vineyard, this is the heir, let us kill him, and cast him out, then the vineyard will be ours. And these things your fathers did fulfil, they killed him, and cast him out, then the vineyard will be ours. And these things your fathers did fulfil, they killed him, they cast him out, and delivered him up to the gentiles to be mocked, scourged, and crucified.

Now consider, what become of you since, of you husbandmen? have not you been laid waste? and was not the word fulfilled concerning his coming and rising up among the brethren? and when he was come among them, he would have gathered them as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, but your fathers would not. And he shewed them how they stoned the prophets, and killed them; and how wise men should be sent among them, and scribes and prophets, some of them they should crucify and scourge in their synagogues, because they neither knew the Father, nor the prophet that he had raised up, which Moses spoke of. "


(
On the Significance of AD70)
"And was it not often that Jerusalem and the children of Israel were carried into captivity for transgressing of the righteous law of God? And did not the enemy come upon you, which trod down the wall of Jerusalem, which was before Christ was manifest in the flesh, which after came and was manifest in the flesh, according to the saying of the prophet which shewed the coming of the just one; and when he was come among you that had the words of Moses and the prophets, but being out of the life, you saw not that which Moses and the prophets saw; though the prophet said, Jerusalem should be laid waste, and compassed with armies; the wall thrown down, and you scattered: is not the word of this prophet fulfilled among you, and upon you?"

"But now is the Lord warning you to turn to him, and to do works meet for repentance, that you might come to know the prince of life, the end of the law, the end of the prophets, the end of all outward sacrifices, and come to know the spiritual sacrifice, which is acceptable to God by Jesus Christ, going up from the spiritual household, which is built on the prophets, Christ the corner stone, who is now come to reign on the throne of David, whose seed witness him David's son; God will shew mercy to his seed for evermore; which mercy his seed witness, and witness the Son who reigns on the throne of David, the Son of God, who is the seed of Abraham, to whom the promise was when he was in the uncircumcision; and the promise which was made to him when he was in the uncircumcision do we witness fulfilled; glory, glory to the Lord God for evermore. "

"Now he that sits on the throne of David, his seed witness him Lord and king, who is the prince of life, that hath dominion over death, and through death has destroyed him that hath the power of death; and repentance is preached, and remission of sins through faith in him, from whom comes the refreshing into the soul." (A Visitation to the Jews (1670)

‘But even till this day, when Moses is read, the vail is over their hearts,’ saith the apostle, to wit, the Jews and other Jewish minded people; for while Moses is read, and in reading the old testament, it keeps the vail upon them; then what do they that not only read it, but practise many things in the old testament, and yet will be called christians of the new covenant? But doth not the apostle tell you, ‘The vail is over their hearts when Moses is read?’ And the old testament and vail are done away by Christ in his new testament and new covenant of light, life, and grace. And they that do not believe it, the vail is over them, and their glory is no glory; and they are under the ministration of death and condemnation, and not under the ministration of the new testament of life; for the vail remains untaken away in reading of the old testament. ‘And even to this day, whilst Moses is read, the vail is over their hearts,’ as the apostle saith.

For that which made glorious in the old testament, had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory of that which excels it in the new covenant; for if that which was done away was glorious, much more that which remains is glorious. For Moses put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not steadfastly look to the end of that which is abolished, to wit, the old covenant and the vail, which the apostle witnessed were abolished then in his day; but their minds were blinded so that they did not see it. For until this day remains the same vail, untaken away in the reading of the old testament, which vail is done away in Christ. 

So here the new covenant is not according to the old; for the old had an outward temporal day; but they in the new covenant have the substance, Christ, and his eternal day, and enter into his everlasting rest, by belief in his light, which is the life in him. 

So it is clear that the apostle brought the saints to Christ, the substance of the shadows. For the Sabbath, and the new moons, and those outward things amongst the Jews, were but shadows and signs: And when the substance was come, the shadows fly away. Col. ii."

 


A clear Distinction between the Old Covenant, or Old Testament, and the New Covenant, or New Testament; and how that Christ hath abolished and taken away the First Covenant and Testament, and established the Second. By G. F.


For in Jer. xxxi. 31. it is said, ‘Behold the day cometh, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah.’ Mark, this was a prophecy which they were to behold and take notice of; these days were to come, and these are the days of Christ, who came above sixteen hundred years since. 

For the Lord saith, ‘I will give thee for a covenant with the people, and for a light to the Gentiles, to open their blind eyes,’ &c. So this new covenant is to the Gentiles, as well as to the Jews. Isa. xlii.
 

And again, the Lord saith, ‘I will give thee for a covenant to the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritage, that thou mayest say to the prisoners, go forth; to them that are in darkness, show yourselves; and they shall feed in their ways, and in their pastures’. Isa. xlix.
 

‘And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people, and unto it the Gentiles shall seek, and his rest shall be glorious. And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel.’ Isaiah xi.
 

And further, he saith, ‘The Gentiles shall come to his light, and kings to the brightness of his rising.’ &c. Isa. lx.
 

Now it is clear, according to these promises and prophecies, that the new covenant is not only to the Jews, but to the Jews, Gentiles and nations, according to Isa. xlii. ‘Behold, or take notice, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare, before this spring forth, I tell you of them.’ This did Isaiah speak by prophecy concerning the days of Christ; who saith in the same chapter, ‘That he shall set judgment in the earth, and the isles shall wait for his law, and he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.’ 

Now the law from Sinai the Jews had before; but this is the law of life, in the new covenant, which law of life goes from heavenly Sion, and the word from heavenly Jerusalem, in the new covenant. 

So these are new things, which were declared before they came to pass; for the old things of the old covenant they had already, when he declared these new things. 

And therefore the Lord saith by Jeremiah, ‘Behold, the day shall come, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel; not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: But this is the covenant that I will


make with the house of Israel: after these days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws in their inward parts, and write them in their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people: And they shall not need to teach every man his brother, and every man his neighbour, saying, know the Lord; for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.’ 

So this is the new covenant, in which all shall know the Lord, that was promised and prophesied of before it came to pass, which is not according to the old. Jer. xxxi.
 

And in Heb. viii. the apostle showeth the fulfilling of Isaiah's and Jeremiah's, and Ezekiel's prophecy; and how the new covenant was come, and he preached up the new covenant, and preached down the old; and how that all should be taught of God in the new covenant: So in that he saith, the new covenant, he hath made the first old covenant as a thing decayed, and ready to vanish away. 

And in Heb. ix. he saith, how the first covenant had ordinances of divine services, and a worldly sanctuary and tabernacle, and candlestick, and table, and show-bread, and censors, and pot of manna, and Aaron's rod, and many other outward things. 

But in the new covenant Christ hath abolished all these outward things, who will rule all nations with his rod of iron, which is beyond Aaron's rod. 

And so it is clear, that the new covenant is not according to the old: For in the old covenant, the priest's lips were to preserve the people's knowledge. And Ezra had a pulpit of wood to read the law to the people upon: And the law was written in tables of stone. But in the new covenant and testament Christ ends this priesthood, whose lips were to preserve the people's knowledge; and they are to look unto Christ Jesus, who is the treasure of wisdom and knowledge in the new covenant. 

And God writes his laws in their hearts, and puts them in their minds in the new covenant, by which all may know him, from the greatest to the least of them. 

And in the old covenant they had sanctuaries, and tabernacles, and temple, and the high priest was to light the candle and lamps in them. But in the new covenant, Christ who ends the first priesthood, and the old covenant, and abolishes the sanctuary, tabernacle, and outward temple and lamps, enlightens every man's spirit that cometh into the world, in his tabernacle or temple, with his heavenly light, which is the life in himself, Christ Jesus, the high priest, made higher than the heavens. So he was made by the oath of God, and fulfils it; so were not the priests in the law and old covenant.
 

So the new covenant is not according to the old; for the old covenant, and the law, commanded offerings and sacrifices; but Christ in the new covenant, offered up himself once for all the offerings and sacrifices, and ended them all, and the old covenant also. 

And in the old covenant, the blood of the clean beasts, the priest with it made atonement for his own sins, and the sins of the people: But in the new covenant, Christ, with his own blood, hath made atonement for the sins of the whole world; ‘and by the grace of God hath tasted death for every man; which grace of God, that brings salvation, hath appeared to all men, to teach them, and bring their salvation, &c.’ And ‘he hath given himself a ransom for all men, to be testified of in due time,’ in the new covenant; which the days thereof are come above sixteen hundred years since. 

So in the new covenant of light, life and grace, there is no need of offering rams and beasts, and other creatures for sins; nor the blood of bulls and goats, nor the ashes of a heifer to cleanse; nor outward lights nor lamps, in the outward tabernacle; for Christ Jesus hath offered up himself once for all: And he, the one offering, is a sufficient atonement in the new covenant, for the sins of the whole world. And his blood, (the life of him) the clean lamb of God, without blemish, ‘who takes away the sins of the world,’ is sufficient to cleanse from all sin. And his light, that is the life in him, 'the word, by which all things were made, is sufficient to light every man's spirit, that cometh into the world. And the oil from him, the heavenly man, is sufficient for every man's lamp, to keep it burning. 

So the new covenant is not according to the old; nor the New Testament is not as the Old. For the New Testament is in the blood of Christ, which cleanseth from all sin; and in him, the one offering, ‘who offered up himself once for all, who is the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world.’ And the New Testament is in Christ, who is the life and light of men. And the Old Testament, in the old covenant, was for the outward light, and lamps, and temple, tabernacle and sanctuary, and the priest's lips, which preserved the people's knowledge: But the New Testament, in the new covenant is, ‘that Christ is the treasure of wisdom and knowledge; and he is the everlasting high priest, who hath offered up himself for them, and is risen, and is alive again, and lives for evermore;’ and is their light and life. 

And in the Old Testament and old covenant, the priesthood continued after the order of Aaron: But in the new covenant and testament, Christ is after the order of Melchizedec, after the order of Aaron, nor came not of that tribe, but of the tribe of Judah. And in the New Testament and new covenant, all the believers in it, their bodies are the tabernacles and temples of God and Christ, and Christ the high priest dwells in them: 

But in the old covenant and testament the priests had chambers in the temple; which chambers and priesthood Christ hath abolished, and made his chamber in the hearts of his people. 

And in the old covenant and testament there was a covenant of salt, with which the sacrifices were to be salted, and the priests were to salt them: But in the new and everlasting covenant and testament, Christ, the high and everlasting priest, doth salt all the spiritual sacrifices of his people, and makes them savoury, and makes his followers the salt of the earth, and the light of the world; so that they need not have the outward salt, and light, and lamps in the old covenant, which Christ hath abolished. 

And in the old covenant the Jews were to keep their feasts of tabernacles, and the feast of passover, throughout all their generations; and they eat of this passover when they came out of Egypt: but in the new covenant and testament, the Jews in spirit, that pass out of the spiritual Egypt, feed upon Christ, their heavenly passover, and keep the heavenly passover throughout all their generations in the new covenant, and keep their heavenly spiritual feast of tabernacles, dwelling in the green booths of the green tree, Christ Jesus, the heavenly man, the second Adam, whose leaf never withers, fades nor falls, but is always green. And Christ abolishes the feasts and passovers of the old covenant; so the new covenant is not according to the old. 

And the Jews, in the old covenant, brought all their first fruits, and offered them to the priests; so there was a feast of the first fruits. But in the New Testament and covenant of light and grace, they do offer the first fruits of the spirit, that which the spirit inspires them with, or reveals to them; which spirit hath ploughed up the fallow ground of their hearts, and so they sow to the spirit, and of the spirit reap life; which crop goes into God's garner, which the heavenly high priest gathers into his heavenly garner, his heavenly wheat, that is threshed out with his heavenly spiritual flail. For the priests, in the old covenant, had their first fruits brought into the outward garner, which Christ abolishes: So the new covenant is not according to the old. 

And in the old covenant and testament, there was but one tribe of twelve that was made a priesthood, and they were to have no portion nor lot in the land, but tithes and offerings was their portion and salary. But Christ in his new covenant and testament makes ‘all his believers priests,’ as Peter saith, ‘and to offer up spiritual sacrifices:’
And saith in his general epistle, ‘Ye are a holy nation, a royal priesthood, a peculiar people, offering up spiritual sacrifices, having one high priest (Christ Jesus) that lives for ever; who sanctifies his people (his church) and washes and cleanses them with the heavenly water of his word.’ So his people are a nation of priests, of men and women; for all must offer up to the Lord their spiritual sacrifices in his new covenant, both male and female are all one in Christ Jesus. And so he ends the first priesthood, and abolishes him, with all his outward water and washings, and ends all his offices, and changes the law by which he was made, and the commandment that gave him his tithes and offerings. For by the law he was to have no lot of the land: But now that law being changed, he may take up land where he can, as others do. 

And Christ saith in the new covenant and testament to the followers and learners of him, ‘Freely you have received, freely give:’ And bid them, ‘Go without a bag or staff: and into what city or town they came, they were to inquire, Who was worthy? and to eat such things as were set before them: For the workman was worthy of his meat.’ So the new covenant is, ‘Freely you have received, freely give:’ And they need neither bag nor staff: for Christ the great prophet and priest will supply and uphold them. 

And so it is clear, the new covenant and testament is not according to the old, nor the new and living way according to the old way among the Jews; which old covenant and testament, and old law, and old way among the Jews served, until the seed Christ came, who is the new and living way in his new covenant and New Testament; and hath abolished that old way, Old Testament, covenant and law. 

And in the old covenant, their circumcision was in the flesh, and in that they were to obey and serve God; and he that was not circumcised, was not to eat of the sacrifice, but to be cut off; and the priest and levite was to circumcise them. But in the new covenant and testament, Christ, the high priest, is the minister of the circumcision of the spirit; which circumcision of the spirit puts off the body of death, and the sins of the flesh, which is got up in man and woman by transgression. For Adam and Eve had not a body of sin and death before they transgressed. So the christians in the new covenant of grace and light, are the circumcision of the spirit, which serve and worship God in the spirit: And such eat of the heavenly passover and supper (Christ Jesus;) and if they be not circumcised with the spirit, they are cut off from keeping that heavenly feast of the passover (Christ Jesus.) So the new covenant and testament is not according to the old; for Christ hath abolished both the Jewish passover and circumcision of the old covenant. 

And in the old covenant and testament, they that did resist the high priest, and gainsaid Moses, died an outward death by the hands of two or three witnesses. But in the new covenant, they that do neglect to hear the great prophet and high priest (Christ Jesus) whom God hath raised up, like unto Moses, and will not have him to reign over them, nor hear him that speaks from heaven, a more severe punishment comes upon them, than they that died by the hands of two or three witnesses (that did resist Moses;) for that was a natural death in the old covenant, but this is an eternal death in the new covenant. And therefore hear the Son of God in the new covenant, and ye shall live; ‘and whilst it is called to day, hear his voice,’ (for ye may be dead before to-morrow.) I say, hear him that speaks from heaven, whose voice shakes the earth, and so all that appertains to the earth, or is earthly; and not the earth only, but the heavens also, that they may appear, which cannot be shaken, to wit, the seed of life. So people was to hear Moses and the high priest in the old covenant and testament: But now they are to hear Christ, their high priest and prophet, that God hath raised up in the new covenant, in his grace, light and spirit. For the law came by Moses, in the old covenant; and all the people of the Jews was to hear the law in the old covenant, and do it, and live: ‘But grace and truth is come by Jesus Christ,’ in the new covenant and testament of light, life, and grace. And so all the children of the new covenant are to hear Christ in his grace, and to be under the grace, and truth's teaching, which will bring their salvation. 

Now you may object, and say, ‘Do not the scribes and pharisees set in Moses's seat or chair? And all that they bid you do, are ye not to do and observe it?’ 

This Christ spake before he was offered; for before he was offered up, he bid the people, whom he had cleansed, ‘Go and offer a sacrifice to the priest for their cleansing.’ And before he was offered up, he told them, ‘They ought to pay tithe of mint and anise to the priest,’ &c. But when he had offered up himself once for all the offerings, he put down all the priests, and their offerings; and sent his disciples into all nations to preach the gospel: And then he did not bid them go and hear the scribes and pharisees, that sat in Moses's chair, and go to the priests for their cleansing, and give them their tithes: But by the offering up himself once for all, he had ended the priests and their services, and the old covenant, and its works. [Mark, ‘An offering once for all, for the sins of the whole world.’] Then there was no need of the priests in the old law, to offer lambs and rams, and the blood of the creatures, for the cleansing of the sins of the people, &c. But the priests, in the old covenant, his works were finished; and his wages and salary, his tithes and offerings, were taken away also. So he took away the first old covenant, testament and priesthood, and established the second. So tithes in the old covenant and testament to the priests we grant; but Christ hath abolished both it and them. And the new covenant is not according to the old, in which Christ saith, ‘Freely you have received, freely give.’ 

And in the old covenant and testament, the Jews were to appear three times a year at the outward temple, and there to worship the Lord: And there was another place of worship, where Jacob's well was, at the mountain near Samaria. But Christ saith in his new covenant and testament, in John iv. ‘That God is not worshipped, neither at the mountain of Samaria, nor yet at Jerusalem; for the hour cometh, and now is, [Mark, now is] that the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father seeks such to worship him: For God is a spirit, and they that worship him, must worship him in spirit and truth.’ So this worship in the new covenant and testament, is a new worship, which Christ Jesus, the heavenly spiritual man, the second Adam, set up above sixteen hundred years ago; and then put down and abolished the worship at the mountain, and the worship at Jerusalem, when he set up this worship in spirit and in truth. And this spirit and truth must every man and woman feel in their hearts, by which they may know the God of truth, who is a spirit. And so the Jew inward worships in temple, his body being the temple of the Lord. And the Jew outward, in the old covenant and testament; they sung and prayed in the temple, at outward Jerusalem: But the Jew inward, in the spirit, in the new covenant and testament, and new and living way, sings and rejoices, and prays in the Holy Ghost, their bodies being temples of the Holy Ghost. 

And so it is clear, the new covenant and testament, and the new and living way, is not according to the old. And in the old covenant and testament, God poured out of his spirit upon the house of Israel, that by it they might serve God in his law. But in the new covenant of light and grace, and the New Testament, ‘God pours out of his spirit upon all flesh,’ as was prophesied of in Joel ii. And the apostle preached the fulfilling of it, in Acts ii. So that with the spirit all flesh might see the glory of God, and see Christ, ‘who gave himself a ransom for them all, and tasted death for every man.’ 

And so in the new covenant the holy ghost, which proceeds from the Father and the Son, leadeth the servants of God and Christ into all truth, and reproves the world for their unbelief, and their false judgment and unrighteousness. So that they need not have the priest's lips of the old covenant to preserve their knowledge, nor the priest to kill the clean beasts, to offer up for their sins, to cleanse them with the blood of the clean beasts; and they need not have the clean beasts to die for them: For Christ, the lamb without blemish, hath tasted death for every man, and died for the sins of the whole world, and so not only for the Jews. 

And so God pours out his spirit upon the house of Israel, that by it they might understand the law of works, and do it. 

But in the new covenant, as was said before, God pours out of his spirit upon all flesh, that by it they might understand the law of life, which is in Christ Jesus, to make them free from the law of sin and death. 

And as all the outward Jews in the old covenant were to walk in the law of works; so in the new covenant of light and grace, and New Testament, they are to walk in the light and spirit, and the law of life in Christ Jesus, as every one hath received him. 

And as the outward Jews in the old covenant and testament received the law from Mount Sinai; so the inward Jews in the spirit in the new covenant and testament receive the law of life in Christ Jesus, laid in heavenly Zion. 

And so it is clear, the new covenant and testament is not according to the old. 

And the old covenant and testament did forbid the outward Jews the eating of several sorts of creatures; but in the new covenant and testament, and the new and living way, Christ saith, ‘He that made that without, made that within, and that all things are clean; and whatsoever goeth into the mouth, doth not defile the man; for it goeth into the belly, and so into the draught, the purger of all meats.’ 

But Christ Jesus is the purger of the conscience, mind, heart and soul, with his blood, his life, the clean lamb without blemish, and with his baptism with fire and the holy ghost: For he saith, ‘These evils, that come out of a man's heart, defile a man.’ And so these evils came into man by transgression; for Adam and Eve had them not, when God made them. 

And the apostle saith, ‘Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, that eat.’
 

This he speaks to the Corinthians, who were Gentiles before their conversion: And so these things sold, were in the Gentiles' shambles; not in the Jews' shambles, where only the clean beasts and fowls were sold, but at Corinth, or amongst the Corinthian shambles, where both were sold, 1 Cor. x. 25. For the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof; ‘And God saw every thing that he had made, and behold, it was very good:’ Mark, every thing that he had made, he saw it was very good, Genesis i. 31.
 

And the apostle in the new covenant and testament, and in the new and living way, said, ‘Every creature of God was good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by the word of God, and prayer:’ For by the word of God were all things made, and by his word and power were all things upheld: And the apostle saith to Timothy, ‘If thou put the brethren in mind of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Christ Jesus.’ 1 Tim. iv. 4.
 

And moreover the apostle said, ‘The kingdom of God stood not in meats and drinks, but in righteousness, and peace, and joy in the holy ghost.’ 

And when Peter saw in his vision a ‘Sheet let down from heaven, wherein were all manner of four-footed beasts of the earth, and wild beasts and creeping things, and fowls of the air;’ and there came a voice to him in the new covenant and testament, and said, ‘Arise, Peter, kill and eat;’ And Peter having been a Jew of the Old Testament and covenant, his voice was according to it, when he said, ‘But not so, Lord; for I have neither eaten any thing that is common or unclean.’ And the voice spake unto him the second time, and said, ‘What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.’ Now the occasion of this was, when Peter was to go and preach the gospel to Cornelius, a Gentile, as in Acts x.
 

So here it is clear, that the new covenant and testament, and new and living way, is not according to the old covenant and testament, and old way amongst the Jews: For Christ doth reconcile in one, all things both in heaven and in earth. 

And in the old covenant and testament, and the Jews' old way, they did observe days, months, times and years; and this they were commanded by the law. But in the new covenant and testament, and new and living way, the apostle, (that preached the new covenant, and the New Testament, and the new and living way) brought them off from the observing of days, times, months and years: And some after they were come from the observing of them, were turning again to the weak and beggarly elements, wherein they again desired to be in bondage: For saith he, ‘Ye observe days and months, times, and years.’ And the apostle said, ‘I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed my labour in vain upon you.’ So he was afraid of them, who had laboured to bring them out of the observing of them to Christ, and his everlasting kingdom of light, life and grace: And they to go back again into the observing of days, times, months and years, they went into that which he had laboured to bring them out of; for which he was afraid, lest he had bestowed labour upon them in vain. 

So it is clear here, that the new covenant and New Testament, and the new and living way, is not according to the old. 

For in the old covenant and testament, the outward Jew had his days, times, months and years, and feasts. But in the New Testament and new covenant of light, and life and grace, they came to the heavenly feast, and to the day of Christ, and are called children of his day; and so have their bread from heaven, and keep the heavenly and everlasting feast in Christ Jesus, who abolishes the Jews' feasts of the old covenant. 

And in the old covenant and testament, God gave unto the Jews his Sabbath as a sign, after he brought them out of Egypt, though he had not given it to Adam, nor to the old world, nor to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, by command to keep, but to the Jews, and they were to keep it holy: And they were not to do their own work; no, not so much as to make a fire to dress their meat, nor to think their own thoughts; for six days they were to labour, and to do all their works in. And this law that commanded this Sabbath, which God gave unto the Jews as a sign, served till the seed Christ, the substance, came; and when he was come, they accused him and his disciples as being sabbath breakers, because his disciples gathered some ears of corn on the Sabbath day to eat. And he healed on the Sabbath day. 

And Christ said unto his accusers, the Jews, ‘The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath: Therefore the son of man is lord of the Sabbath, the sign, who was the substance of it.’ Mark ii. 23.27, 28.
 

And this saying of Christ troubled the Jews, that professed the old covenant and testament, and had the Sabbath, the outward day, which was the sign in the old covenant. Now that outward day was the sign of the eternal rest and day of Christ, in his new covenant. For Christ in his new covenant doth end all the Jews' signs and shadows, and saith, 'Behold, I make all things new.’ And as it is said before, the apostle's labour was to bring them off the observation of days, &c. And saith to the saints, in the New Testament and new covenant of light and grace, 'Let no man judge you in meats or in drinks, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath, which were shadows of things to come; but the body is of Christ.’ 

So it is clear that the apostle brought the saints to Christ, the substance of the shadows. For the Sabbath, and the new moons, and those outward things amongst the Jews, were but shadows and signs: And when the substance was come, the shadows fly away. Col. ii.
 

So the apostle in another place, speaks of another day than the seventh day, the Jews' Sabbath, which is the day of Christ, and saith, ‘We which have believed, do enter into his rest.’ And again he saith, ‘He that hath entered into his rest, is also ceased from his own works, as God did from his.’ So the believer's rest in the new covenant and New Testament, and new and living way, is Christ Jesus, the substance, Heb. vi.
 

And the Jews were to keep the outward Sabbath day and sign holy, and not to gather their meat, nor kindle a fire, nor bear a burthen, nor do their own work, nor think their own thoughts upon the Sabbath day, (the sign) in the old covenant and testament. 

So the true christians and children in the new covenant of light and grace, that do enter into the rest by belief in the light, which is the life in Christ, do cease from their own works; and in Christ, their Sabbath, their rest, they bear no burthen; and in him they do not think their own thoughts; and in him they are not kindling their own fires; and in Christ they are not gathering their own meat; for he is their bread of life from heaven; so that in him they shall not hunger. And he destroys the devil and his works, which hath burthened man and beast, yea, even the whole creation; and in Christ people are over and above their own thoughts. So all are to keep the eternal Sabbath, the eternal rest, by belief in the light, which is the life in Christ, this holy day, this holy rest and Sabbath, which ends the sign, that was to be kept holy in the old covenant. For if the Jews in the old covenant and testament did not keep the Sabbath holy, they were to be stoned to death with outward stones; but they that do not keep in Christ, by belief in the holy rest, he, the top and corner stone, falls upon them, and grinds them to powder, and stones them to death with the heavenly stone, that keep not in Christ, the holy, eternal, everlasting rest and Sabbath. 

So here the new covenant is not according to the old; for the old had an outward temporal day; but they in the new covenant have the substance, Christ, and his eternal day, and enter into his everlasting rest, by belief in his light, which is the life in him. 

And the Jews in the old covenant and testament, and in their old way, had outward helmets, shields and swords, and carnal weapons, and armour. But Christ, in his new covenant and testament, who is the new and living way, he saith, ‘He came not to destroy men's lives, but to save them.’ Though he was the king of kings, and lord of lords, yet he was far off from giving any precept or command to his disciples to destroy men's lives: When some would have had fire to come down from heaven, to consume them that would not receive him, he turned about and rebuked them, and said, ‘He came not to destroy men's lives, but to save them.’ 

And such men as would have been plucking up the tares, Christ, the king of kings, would give them no commission, no, not so much as a license; but said, ‘Let the wheat and tares grow together till the harvest, which was the end of the world; and then his father would send forth his angels, which should be the reapers, and they should sever the wheat from the tares,’ &c. And Christ gave a reason wherefore he would not give a commission to men to pluck up the tares, lest they in their blind zeal should pluck up the wheat also with the tares.

And so Christ, in his new testament and new covenant, who sent forth his twelve disciples, and after his seventy, to preach the gospel, he did not send them with any carnal weapons or armour, or any carnal set maintenance, or tithes, as was in the old covenant; nay, they were not so much as to take a bag or a staff to defend them. 

So the King of kings was far off from giving them commission or licenses, to beat people into his religion, way, and worship, church, or belief, with carnal weapons: but saith, ‘He that believes, is saved; and he that doth not, is condemned already;’ and that was punishment enough. And therefore the apostle Paul saith, ‘The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but spiritual.’ Mark, spiritual, in the new covenant and new testament, and new and living way; but carnal in the old covenant and old testament, to the outward Jews in the old way. 

And the apostle plainly saith, we in the new covenant and new testament, and new and living way in Christ Jesus, wrestle not with flesh and blood; who came not to destroy men's lives, but to save them; but they wrestled with spiritual wickedness and rulers of darkness, &c. 

And in another place the apostle tells the saints in the new covenant, that their weapons and armour were the shield of faith, which is the gift of God, which Christ is the author and finisher of, that saves men's lives; and the sword of the spirit, the word of God; and the helmet of salvation, that preserved their head; and the breastplate of righteousness, that kept evil out of their breasts and hearts; and their loins were to be girt with truth; and to be shod with the preparation of the everlasting gospel of peace. 

And these are Christ's ministers of the spirit, and believers, and true-christians, that stand in this armour, and have these weapons, and follow Christ, and fight under his banner of love, with his spiritual armour and weapons, in his new and living way, and new testament, and new covenant of grace and light; and follow not the Jews in their carnal armour and weapons, and signs, and shadows; for the substance is come. 

So the new covenant and testament, and new and living way, are not according to the Jews' old covenant and testament, and old way, which served till the seed Christ came. And all those signs and shadows in the old covenant, upheld with their outward weapons and carnal armour, have done their service to hold up their signs and shadows; but Christ is come, and hath abolished them. 

And so it is clear, that the new covenant and new testament, and new and living way, are not according to the old covenant, and old testament, and old way amongst the Jews, as was said before. 

And in the old covenant, and testament, and old way, the Jews were to swear, and to perform their oaths unto the Lord; and not to swear falsely. 

But in the new covenant, and testament, and new and living way, Christ the son of God saith, ‘Swear not at all, but let your yea be yea, and your nay, nay; for whatsoever is more than these, cometh of evil.’ Matt. v.
 

And the apostle James in the new covenant, in his general epistle saith, ‘Above all things, [mark, above all things] my brethren, swear not,’ &c. So these are the brethren in the new covenant, and testament, and new and living way, that are not to swear at all. And further he saith, ‘They were not to swear by heaven, nor by earth, nor any other oath; but let your yea, be yea, and your nay, nay, lest ye fall
into condemnation.’ 

So it is clear, the command in the old covenant and testament, which Christ calls the old time, in which they were not to forswear themselves, but to perform their oath to the Lord; so they did not go into evil and condemnation that did swear truly, and perform their oath to the Lord in the old time, and old covenant; but they go into evil and condemnation, that swear at all in the time of the new covenant and testament: for Christ, who is the oath of God, he fulfils the oaths of the old, and takes away and abolishes the oaths of the old covenant, and sets up yea and nay instead of them. 

And now, if you should object, that Abraham, and Jacob, and Joseph, and Moses, and the prophets, and the angels swore: Christ the son of God is greater than Moses; who said ‘Before Abraham was, I am;’ and he reigns over the house of Joseph and Jacob, and fulfils the prophets; and he saith, ‘Swear not at all:’ and Christ the great prophet, whom God had raised up, is to be heard in all things. 

And as for the angel's swearing, it is said, ‘I bring forth my first begotten into the world, let all the angels worship him,’ to wit, the son of God, who saith, ‘Swear not at all.’ And ‘This is my beloved son,’ saith God, ‘hear ye him.’ 

And in the Old Testament it is said, ‘That unto me every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall swear, saith the Lord,’ in the old covenant and testament. Isa. xlv. 23.
 

But in the new covenant and testament the apostle quotes Isaiah, and saith, ‘Every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess to God.’ Rom. xiv. 10.
 

So here it is clear, that swearing was allowed in the old covenant and old time, but confessing in the new covenant and new time. 

And it is manifest, that Christ hath taken away all swearing in his new testament and covenant: for all swearing hath been since man fell from the image of God; and Christ renews man and woman up into the image of God again, and sets up yea, yea, and nay, nay, instead of an oath. 

And Christ sets up in his new covenant instead of swearing, ‘true witness bearing;’ and that ‘in the mouth of two or three witnesses every thing shall be established.’ He doth not say, that in or by the mouth of two or three swearers every thing shall be established. 

And the apostle saith, ‘Let every man speak the truth to his neighbour;’ which speaking truth is set up by Christ and his apostles instead of swearing, which was commanded in the old time, and under the old covenant and testament, in which the law commanded people to swear, which oath was to end the controversy and strife amongst men; which served until Christ the seed came. But when Christ came, he abolished the law that commanded swearing, and swearing also. 

And so it is clear, that the new covenant, and new testament, and new and living way, is not according to the old covenant and testament, and the Jews' old way. 

And the apostle Paul writes to the Galatians, and to such as were going again into circumcision and the law, and he saith unto them, ‘As many as are for the works of the law, are under the curse: for it is written, cursed is every one that continueth not in all things, which are
written in the book of the law to do them.’ 

And again he saith, ‘That no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident; for the just shall live by faith; and the law is not of faith.’ 

And again he saith, ‘Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us.’ Gal. iv.
 

And here it may be seen, what labour the apostle had, to bring people into the faith in the new covenant and testament, and from under the works of the law in the old covenant and testament, and from under the curse. 

And again the apostle saith, ‘Before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith, which should afterward be revealed; even so when we were children, we were in bondage under the elements of the world. But when the fulness of time was come, God sent forth his son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law.’ Gal. 3d and 4th chapters. 

So they that are redeemed from under the law, are redeemed from under bondage, and outward elements of the world, which elements of the world the law commanded to be observed: for the law commanded the priests' garments to be distinct from others. 

And the law commanded an outward temple and tabernacle, and a worldly sanctuary, and outward altars, and candles, and candlesticks, and outward days, and months, and times, and years, and feasts, and outward trumpets were blown at such times; and sacrifices, and offerings of beasts, and fowls, and other creatures. 

And the law commanded the priests' tithes and offerings, and the store-house: and these outward things with many others, were elements of the world, which kept them in bondage, in the old covenant and old testament, before Christ was revealed. And where faith is revealed by Jesus Christ, who is the author and finisher of it, he is the end of that law to every one that believeth; which law commanded these outward worldly elements; and ‘such are not under the law, but under grace.’ Rom. vi.
 

And here the new covenant and new testament, and the new and living way is not according to the old testament and covenant. 

For the new covenant and new testament is heavenly and spiritual. And the law of life, that is in Christ Jesus, is not according to the law received upon Mount Sinai, which commanded all these outward elementary things to the Jews; and they were to observe and do them. And the law served until the seed came; which the seed Christ is come, and hath abolished them all, and changed the law, and covenant, and priesthood, and the old testament. 

And they that are believers, are come into the new covenant of light, and life, and grace; and do receive the spirit of Christ, and the law of life that is in Christ Jesus, that makes them free from the law of sin and death. 

And so, as I said before, it is clear, that the new covenant and testament, and the law of life are not according to the old covenant, and the old testament, and the law from Mount Sinai, that was written in tables of stone. 

And now also, are not the priests' garments, their surplice, and white sleeves, and their other distinguishing garments, a work of the law, though they do not offer sacrifices and offerings, as the outward old Jews' priests did? 

Likewise, are not tithes, tenths, first-fruits and offerings, which were to be given to the priests, works of the law, though now they do not do all the priests' work under the law? And some of the priests now have lots of the land also, contrary to the law in the old covenant. 

And is not setting up lights and candles in temples, works of the law and the priests under the law, though they do not burn incense like them? 

And is not swearing truly by the Lord a work of the law, which the law commanded, by which they ended the differences amongst men in the old time of the law? And so none of these are works of the gospel, or works of faith, in the time of the new testament and covenant, which prohibiteth all swearing, and saith, ‘Men must not swear at all, or take any oath; but their yea must be yea, and their nay, nay, lest they go into evil,’ and so into condemnation. 

And so the law commanded swearing; but the gospel, and new covenant and testament commands every man to ‘speak truth to his neighbour;’ and ‘in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word should be established.’ 

And the apostles, in the gospel-time and new covenant, (to whom Christ said, ‘Freely you have received, freely give,’) did not go in distinct garments from other people; for Peter had his fisher's coat, after Christ was risen. And Paul bid them bring his cloak, which he had left at Troas, &c. 

So the apostle saith, and tells them plainly, ‘As many as are under the works of the law, are under the curse.’ And if ye do some things of the law, and not continue in all things ‘written in the book of the law, ye are cursed; and no man is justified by the law in the sight of God. And the law is not of faith, which the just do live by; for God doth justify the heathen through faith;’ and they are justified by that faith which Christ is the author of: ‘For by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.’ Gal. ii. 10.
 

And the priests' pulpits is a work of the law; for Ezra had his pulpit to read the law, in the time of the law and old covenant. And the tenths of the increase, with the tithes and offerings, were a work of the law, and not a work of the gospel; for Christ said to his gospel ministers, ‘Freely you have received, freely give.’ 

And to kill blasphemers and sabbath-breakers, and to stone them to death, or put to death with outward weapons about religion, is a work of the law, and not of the new covenant and new testament. For Christ, though his name was blasphemed, and the apostles and their doctrine and teaching blasphemed and evil spoken of; yet, he, the King of kings, and Lord of lords, and his great apostles, did not command, nor put any to death with any carnal weapons. But Christ said, ‘They that blasphemed against the son of man, it might be forgiven; but they that did blaspheme against the Holy Ghost, were not to be forgiven, neither in this world, nor in the world to come;’ which was punishment enough. And further, he said in the new covenant and his gospel-day, ‘He came not to destroy men's lives, but to save them.’ 

So all they that wrestle with flesh and blood, and with carnal weapons about religion, it is a work of the law, and the old testament, and not a work of the new testament and new covenant. 

For the apostle said, ‘Their warfare was spiritual, and their weapons were spiritual, and not carnal;’ and they did not wrestle with flesh and blood, but with spiritual wickedness, and rulers of darkness. 

So the apostles were of faith, in the new covenant and testament, and not of the law, wrestling with their works and weapons of the old testament. And the law was added because of transgression, and served until the seed Christ came, who redeems from under the law, Christ Jesus, by whom the world was made. So he was before man fell into transgression, by reason of which the law was added, which served until the seed came, which seed is Christ, who doth fulfil the promises and the law, and so redeems his people from under the works of the law, and from under the curse. 

And the apostle saith, that ‘the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this, to love thy neighbour as thyself. And if ye be led by the spirit of God, ye are not under the law,’ &c. Gal. v. ‘For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.’ Gal. ii. ‘And they that love one another fulfil the law.’ Rom. xiii.
 

And further the apostle saith, ‘The righteousness of God is without the law, being witnessed by the law and the prophets, even the righteousness of God, which is by the faith of Christ Jesus, unto all and upon all that believe; for there is no difference.’ 

So this righteousness in the new testament is larger than the righteousness of the law, which the Lord gave unto the Jews, which he had not given the like to other nations. So this is larger than the old covenant. 

And therefore the apostle concludes, ‘that a man is justified by faith, without the deeds of the law.’ Rom. iii.
 

‘For the promise that was to Abraham and his seed, that he should be heir of the world, was not through the law, but through the righteousness of faith,’ before he was circumcised, and before he gave tithes to Melchizedec, as in Gen. xii. where the Lord said to Abraham, ‘I will make of thee a great nation; and I will bless thee, and make thy name great, and thou shalt be blessed; and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee. And in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.’ So before he was circumcised, and before tithes were paid, the promise was to Abraham. And so, who are of faith, are of Abraham, and walk in the steps of our father Abraham, which he had, being yet uncircumcised, yea, and before he gave tithes to Melchizedec. Gen. xii. and Rom. iv. ‘Therefore it is of faith, and by grace, to the end that the promise may be sure to all the seed.’ And therefore the apostle saith, ‘But now are we delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held, that we might serve God in the newness of the spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.’ Rom. vii. ‘For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sendeth forth his own son in likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit. For the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus,’ saith he, ‘hath made me free from the law of sin and death.’ Rom. viii. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness' sake, to every one that believeth. 

Now, this was the law of works, and the law of the old covenant and testament that Christ was the end of, and which the apostle laboured to bring people out of, into the law of faith, and law of love, in the new covenant and testament, and new and living way, and to establish people upon Christ, the substance, who is the end of the law. For the apostle saith, ‘When the fulness of time [mark, the fulness of time] was come, God sent forth his son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that they might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons of God, he hath sent forth the spirit of his son into your hearts, crying, Abba Father.’ So no more servants under the law, and old covenant and testament, but sons in the new covenant and testament, and new and living way, through the redemption in Christ Jesus, and through his spirit that he hath sent into their hearts. 

So here the new covenant and testament, and new and living way, are not according to the old testament and covenant, and the Jews' way in their old time: nor the old law from Mount Sinai is not according to the law of life, which is in Christ Jesus. 

And Moses was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; that is, all these signs, shadows, and figures. But Christ, as a son over his own house, whose house we are, to wit, in the new covenant and testament, and new and living way. So Christ is over his house, the Jews in the spirit, in the new covenant and testament, and new and living way; and they enjoy him, the substance, who makes all things new. 

And Moses was faithful in all his house, in the old covenant and testament, in the old time, over the outward Jews with the outward shadows and signs, which were commanded by the law, and served until Christ the seed came; and when he came, he abolished them. So as Moses was to be heard in his house in the old covenant concerning his shadows, figures, and signs; so Christ is to be heard in his house in the new covenant, who is the substance, and abolishes all the figures and signs of the old covenant. And God saith, ‘This is my beloved son, hear ye him.’ 

And the high priest, in the time of the law and old covenant, once a year went with the blood of the clean beasts into the holy place, which he offered for himself, and the sins of the people. But Christ being come a high priest, by his own blood he hath entered once into the holy place, to wit, heaven itself; and hath obtained eternal redemption for us.
 

So the blood of the beasts cleansed from sin in the time of the old covenant and testament: but in the time of the new covenant and testament the blood of Christ Jesus, the lamb without blemish, cleanses us from all sin. 

‘And Christ is the mediator of the new testament, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, that they which are called, might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.’ Heb. ix.
 

So, as the priest entered into the holy place made with hands, with the blood of bulls and goats, for the cleansing of himself and the people in the old testament and covenant, which were figures. But Christ in the new testament, is entered into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us. 

So all are to look unto Jesus in the new covenant and new testament, which is not according to the old; for in the old the people were to look unto the priest for their cleansing, and to the outward blood and water, by which they were cleansed. But in the new covenant and testament they are to look unto Christ Jesus, his blood, his life, and unto the heavenly water of life, by which they are cleansed. 

So the new covenant and new testament is not according to the old. For Christ, the high priest in his new covenant and testament, and new and living way, and in his new Jerusalem, and he, the offering, and his blood, is not of the building of the old covenant and old testament, and old priesthood, with their offerings of the outward blood of beasts, and their cleansing with the outward water; I say, Christ is of a far greater and more perfect tabernacle, &c. not made with hands, than that outward tabernacle, which is built and made with hands. So he is not of the old covenant and testament building. 

And in the old covenant and testament, it was the old way to anoint the priests, the prophets, and the kings, with outward oil. But in the new covenant and new testament, and new and living way, Christ, the great prophet and high priest, who is made higher than the heavens, and the King of kings, God hath anointed him with the holy ghost, and he doth anoint his Jews in the spirit, and his true believers and followers with his spirit, in his new covenant and new testament. So the anointing in the new covenant and new testament, and new and living way, is not according to the old. 

For the apostle saith, ‘He which establisheth us and you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God.’ 2 Cor. i. 21.
 

And so, the manner of the anointing is also different in the new covenant and testament, and new and living way, from the manner of the anointing in the old covenant; in which the prophets, priests, and levites, did anoint the prophets, and the priests, and the kings. But in the new covenant God and Christ anoints his people with his spirit, which God hath poured out upon all flesh. And so that outward anointing amongst the Jews in the old covenant, Christ hath abolished, which was with outward oil. 

And in the old covenant the Lord bid Moses, ‘Go and lead the outward Jews (which he brought out of Egypt) unto the place which I have spoken of unto thee,’ &c. But in the new covenant and testament the Lord saith, ‘I have given thee for a witness, and for a leader and commander to the people; and thou shalt call nations, that knew not thee; and they shall run unto thee, because of the Lord thy God, the holy One of Israel; for he hath glorified thee.’ Isa. lv.
 

So Moses was the leader of the outward Jews in the old covenant in his day, with his types, figures, signs, and shadows; and the rock Christ followed them. But in the new covenant and testament Christ is the leader and commander of his people; and is the good shepherd, that hath laid down his life for his sheep, and goes before them (who is the substance) and not after them, as he did after the old Israel in their shadows. And his sheep do know his voice in the new covenant, and they do follow him into the pastures of life, that are always green; and to the living springs, that are always fresh. 

And Christ, the commander and leader of his people, his call is larger than Moses's; ‘For he shall call and lead nations, that knew not God, and they shall follow him.’ So he not only calls and leads the Jews, but nations. 

And so it is clear, that the new covenant and testament, new and living way, is not according to the old in this also. 

And in the old covenant they had carnal ordinances, and a worldly sanctuary, though the sanctuary was called holy in its time; and all these meats, and drinks, and sacrifices, and outward washings with outward water, which were imposed upon them by carnal ordinances, until the time of reformation, that is, until the time of Christ in his new covenant. And the priests were made after the law of a carnal commandment, and had their carnal storehouse, and carnal tithes and offerings; and so, the carnal mind is death. And so it is called, ‘The ministration of death in the Old Testament, written and engraven in stone.’ 2 Cor. iii. and Rom. viii. and Heb. vii. 9. But Christ, in his new covenant and testament, ‘is not made after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life.’ Heb. vii. 16.
 

And so his ordinances and commandments are spiritual; and to be spiritually minded is life and peace.’ Rom. viii. 6.
 

So all these carnal worldly things in the old covenant, and carnal ordinances, and worldly sanctuary, and the law, which was after the law of a carnal commandment, served until Christ the seed came, to reform them out of those carnal worldly things, figures, signs, and shadows, into the spiritual things, and to Christ the substance. For when the substance is come, the shadows fly away. And so, the new covenant and new testament is not according to the old. 

And in the old covenant and testament they had an outward ark, and in it they had the pot of manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and outward altars; and in the ark they put the testament. But Christ in his new covenant puts his testament, his spirit, in the hearts of his people; and the altar is spiritual, upon which the saints do offer up their spiritual sacrifices; and they have their heavenly bread in their hearts, which gives them life. For they that eat of the manna, died in the wilderness; but they that eat of this heavenly bread, it gives them life eternal. 

And as Aaron's priesthood was tried by the budding of his rod in the ark, when all the rest of the outward rods, that were laid in the ark with his, did not. So are Christ's ministers, in the new covenant, by the budding of the spiritual rod in their tabernacle, and bringing forth spiritual fruits; which spirit God hath poured upon all flesh; which fruits of the spirit they bring forth, and that which they have profited by the spirit, they come to minister. 

So the new covenant is not according to the old, with its outward rod, testament, and manna, outward tabernable and altar; for all these outward things served but till the time of reformation, till the seed Christ, the heavenly and spiritual man, came, in his new covenant of light, life and grace, who puts the heavenly testimony, and heavenly manna and rod in the heavenly ark, the sanctified hearts, and who offer up the spiritual sacrifices upon the spiritual altar. And Christ abolishes all those outward things, with the old covenant and testament, and establishes the new. 

And in the old covenant the priests, which were made by the law of a carnal commandment, were to burn incense at the outward temple at Jerusalem, and there they were to do it by course, and served in their course. 

But in the new covenant and testament the Lord saith, ‘From the rising of the sun, even to the going down of the same, my name shall be great among the Gentiles, and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering; for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the Lord of hosts.’ Mal. i. 11.
 

So this pure offering and incense, which should be offered unto God in every place, is by and in his pure spirit to the pure God, the Lord of
the hosts of the Jews in the spirit; yea, and the Gentiles also. 

So likewise in this, the new covenant is not according to the old, but is larger. For in the old covenant the priests by turns were to burn outward incense only in one outward temple. But in the new covenant all the believers in Christ Jesus are to offer spiritual incense in every temple and place, in the new covenant and testament, and new and living way; for Christ abolishes and puts out, and to an end, the outward fires of the outward incense, and tabernacle, and temple, and sanctuary, those outward worldly things, which served until the time of reformation by Christ the seed. And so the new covenant is not according to the old; for the one was of natural and outward things, and the other of inward and spiritual. 

And God sent Moses to lead the people out of outward Egypt; and they did not come out from outward Egypt till Pharaoh's first-born was slain. And they had light in Goshen, before they came out, though darkness was over the land of Egypt. But Christ in his new covenant leads his Jews in spirit out of spiritual Egypt and Sodom; and they have light in their Goshen before they come out, though spiritual darkness be in spiritual Egypt. And the first birth of the spiritual Pharaoh must be slain, before the Jew inward comes out of the spiritual house of bondage and darkness within, and to follow Christ, the captain of their salvation, in his new testament and new covenant, and new and living way; and so to worship God in his holy spirit, and in his truth, that the devil is out of. 

So outward Pharaoh oppressed the outward Jews; and spiritual Pharaoh oppresses the spiritual Jews, and will not let them go forth, till the first and spiritual birth of him be slain. 

And the Jews, when they received the law in the old covenant from Mount Sinai, they were to wash their clothes, as they were commanded by the Lord, and Moses was to sanctify them. Exod. xix. But in the new covenant all that receive the law of life, which is in Christ Jesus, from Mount Zion, Christ doth sanctify them, and they are to wash their hearts, souls, spirits, and minds, with the heavenly water of the word; and the blood of Jesus cleanses them. 

And the priests sprinkled the people with the blood, which is the life of the clean beasts, in the old covenant. But Christ in his new covenant and testament sprinkles his precious blood (which is his life) upon the hearts and consciences of his people, by which they are made clean. And the priest made atonement with the blood of the clean beasts, for the sins of himself and the people; but Christ with his blood hath made atonement to God for the sins of his people. So the blood and the priest of the new covenant are contrary to the old, and exceed it. For they offered up the blood of the beasts, and he offered up his own blood, his life, for his people. 

And so the new covenant and testament is not according to the old; for Christ abolisheth all those outward washings and offerings, and the law that commanded them. 

And in the old covenant and testament the priests were to wear the outward fine linen, and the high priest the urim and thummim written upon his breast, which signifies light and perfection: but in the new covenant and testament, Christ is the light himself, and the perfection of all those outward things in the old covenant, and the substance of them all. And the righteousness of Christ is the fine linen, which will never dirt nor wax old; which all Christ's believers in his new covenant and testament wear; and they need not wash this fine linen, which all the believers that wear it, are the royal priesthood, and offer up the spiritual sacrifices. And as the priests in the old covenant were to wash their outward fine linen, which outward fine linen Christ doth abolish, and the priests and their garments, and the wearing of the urim and thummim upon their breasts in the old covenant; and sets up his righteousness in the new covenant, for his royal priesthood to wear, and light and perfection in their hearts. And so, in this, also, the new covenant is not according to the old. 

And all the unclean, in the old covenant, were to be put out of the outward camp, and they were to dwell alone; and without the camp was their habitation to be. Levit. xii. and Deut. xxiii. The unclean were to go out of the camp; and they were to wash themselves with outward water, and to be clean, before they were to come into the camp again; yea, when they did go forth to ease themselves, they were to go forth without the camp, and cover it with a paddle. So the camp of the outward Jews was to be holy, in the old covenant; for the Lord God said, ‘He would walk in the midst of the camp to deliver them.’ Deut. xxii.
 

Therefore, if the Jews, in the old covenant, and in these outward things, were to be so holy, and all uncleanness kept out of it; and their excrements were to be covered without the camp, that the Lord might walk amongst them, in their figures, signs, and shadows, which served till the seed Christ came, the time of reformation, in the new covenant of grace and light, which is not according to the old; then much more the camp of the new covenant and testament must be kept clean; and all their uncleanness must be done away, and buried with a spiritual instrument, without the camp. For the habitation of all the unclean is without the camp of God and Christ, and his new covenant; and they cannot come into his holy camp and city, until they be washed with the pure blood of Christ and the holy water of life. 

And in the time of the old covenant, the Jews were not to offer any thing to the Lord that was blind or lame, or that was blemished, in their sacrifices. Deut. xxv. and Levit. xxii. 21. ‘There shall be no blemish in that which they offer unto the Lord; neither shall it be broken, or blind, or maimed, nor have a wen or scab, &c. or any thing superfluous, or lacking any of his parts, or that was crushed, or bruised, or cut; they were not to offer any such things in all the land to the Lord, but what was whole and clean, and without blemish:’ which was a type of Christ, who was clean and whole, and had all his parts, and not broken, but was a lamb without blemish, who, to establish the new covenant, offered up himself once for all these offerings in the old covenant. So he is both the peace offering and thanksgiving offering, and the offering also for the sins of the whole world, who abolished all the offerings of the old covenant, and ended them; and consumes all the false offerings, with their fat, in his fiery baptism. 

And so, the lame, blind, blemished, broken, scurvy, scabbed offerings, were not accepted of God in the old testament and old covenant; and much less are they accepted in the new covenant of grace, light, and life; for in the new covenant, the children of the covenant of grace offer spiritual sacrifices. 

So it is clear here, the new covenant and testament is not according to the old. 

And whosoever of the seed of Aaron had any blemish, was not to offer the bread of his God in the old covenant and testament; and what man soever hath a blemish, he shall not approach. A man that is blind or lame, or scabbed, crushed, broken foot or hand, or crooked back, or a dwarf, or that hath a blemish in his eye, or scurvy, or hath his stones broken, or any superfluity, or hath any blemish, of the seed of Aaron the priest, he shall not come nigh the offerings of the Lord. Nay, the priests were not to drink wine or strong drink, when they went into the tabernacle to offer. So perfect, whole, clean, and clear, without blemish, they were to be in the old covenant, that offered those outward things, in the outward tabernacle or temple. Then much more perfect, and more clean and clear, is Christ Jesus, the high priest, who offered up himself to God, without spot or blemish, for the sins of the whole world, and gave his holy flesh for the life of the whole world, and who abolished all those offerers and offerings in the old covenant. 

And therefore all his believers, in the new covenant and testament, which are called a royal priesthood, must be much more clean and holy than they were in the old covenant and law of works, they that be in the new covenant of grace, and without blemish. For as Peter saith, ‘Christ, the Lamb of God, who offered up himself, is without spot or blemish;’ and he sanctifies and cleanses, and washes his church, his people, with the water of the word, ‘that he might present to himself a glorious church, without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish.’ Ephes. v.


 

So he cleanses away the inward brokenness, crookedness, scurviness, scabbedness, blindness, deformities, lameness, and blemishes, that all the believers in the light, which is the life in Christ, might offer their spiritual sacrifices unto God. And so the children of the new covenant are called a holy nation, a royal priesthood, and do exalt Christ the substance, who hath abolished the old priesthood, and his offerings in the old covenant, which are not according to the new covenant and testament. 

And there were to be no drinkers of wine nor strong drink, when they were to approach before God in the old covenant; and drunken priests were forbidden in the time of the law and old covenant, much more in the time of the gospel. 

For whatsoever was blemished or evil-favoured, was not to be offered to the Lord in the old covenant. But in the new covenant, which is not according to the old, all that are the followers of Christ, who brings them up into the image of God, and the believers in the light, which is the life in him, and are called the children of light, and are born of God, and have passed from the death that blemishes them, and made them ill-favoured, and crooked, and scabbed, and blind, &c.: all these that are born of God and children of light, are very well favoured, like God, their Father, and he doth accept their spiritual offerings and sacrifices, and them also whom Christ doth present to God in the new covenant and testament, and new and living way, which is not according to the old testament and old covenant, the Jews' old way; for the one was outward, and the other inward; the one was carnal, (viz. in carnal ordinances,) and the other spiritual. 

And the Jews in the old covenant and testament, they were to eat only of the clean fowls and clean beasts; and they were to put a difference between the clean and unclean beasts and fowls; and that which died of itself, or was torn, they were not to eat, nor to defile themselves withal. Levit. xxii. ‘For ye shall be holy unto me, saith the Lord; ye shall not eat flesh that is torn of the beast of the field; ye shall cast it unto the dogs.’ Exod. xxii. And Aaron and his sons, the priests, were to eat part of the sacrifice of the clean beasts in the holy place, Levit. x. that was, in the temple or tabernacle. 

Now all these outward clean creatures, and they that eat of them, were to be clean also; for the priests were to be sanctified and cleansed before they eat of the sacrifice. I say, all these clean meats and offerings were a type of Christ Jesus, the offering, and of the heavenly clean food, that the children of the new covenant feed upon; for they were not to feed upon such outward things, as were torn or died of themselves; for they were dogs' meat in the old covenant. But in the new covenant, which is not according to the old, all the creatures of God are clean unto them, and every creature of God is good, and they cannot feed upon any thing that is torn, nor that which dies of itself. I say, they cannot inwardly feed their souls with it; but their food is that which is living, and from him that is living, who did not die of himself, and is living, and dieth no more; and the spiritual food and things are not torn things, and do not die, which the Jews in the spirit feed upon. 

So the new covenant and testament is not according to the old; for the Jews in the old covenant fed upon outward things, and upon that which was clean; and the priests were to eat part of the sacrifices in a clean place, in the temple. But the Jews in spirit and new covenant, unto them every creature of God is good and clean, and their food is spiritual, and they eat of the sacrifice Christ Jesus, their bread from heaven, all the royal priesthood of God in his new covenant eat of it in the clean temple and tabernacle, their hearts, of the clean heavenly food. So the new testament is not according to the old. 

And the Jews had a high priest over the rest of the priests in the old testament and covenant, which could not continue by reason of death, but when one was deceased, they got another to offer their sacrifice, and he had the tenth of the tenths. 

But Christ is the high priest in the new covenant, who hath offered up himself once for all the offerings of the priests in the old covenant; and so hath tasted death for every man, and is risen, and remains a priest for ever, and dieth no more; and is a high priest in his new testament and new covenant, and makes all his believers priests and kings to reign upon earth, and over the serpent, whose head he hath bruised. Glory to God for ever. 

So our high priest is not according to the old, and his followers are not according to the old priests' followers; for they are all spiritually minded, and the spiritual cannot feed upon that which is torn or dies of itself, nor offer it, but upon that which is living, and holy, and heavenly, and spiritual in the new covenant; for that which dieth of itself, or is torn, is not spiritual, but carnal, and the royal clean priests in the new covenant cannot feed thereon. 

And all the Jews in the old covenant and testament, the Lord said unto them, ‘Ye shall sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy, saith the Lord, and ye shall be holy men unto me.’ Exod. xxii.
 

So they did sanctify themselves, and wash themselves with outward water, and the blood of the outward clean beasts was sprinkled upon them; and Aaron the high priest was to bear the iniquity of the holy things, after that he was sanctified, which the children of Israel had hallowed, and all their holy gifts. Exod. xxviii. 38. And Aaron and his sons were to eat the sin offering, and to bear the iniquity of the congregation, and to make an atonement for them before the Lord. Levit. x.


And the priests' garments were all to be holy, and the temple, and tabernacle, and sanctuary were all called holy in the old covenant. 

But the new covenant is not according to the old; for Christ in the new covenant he bears the iniquity and sins of the whole world, and was wounded for its transgressions, and bruised for iniquities, and the chastisement of our peace was laid upon him; he hath borne our griefs, and with his stripes we are healed, and the Lord hath laid upon him the iniquities of us all; whose soul was made an offering for sin, who saw the travails of his soul, and was satisfied. Isa. lv.
 

So he abolisheth all those outward holy garments, and tabernacle, and temple, and offerings, and gifts, which were called holy in the old covenant, but worldly in the new covenant. 

So it is Christ, ‘whom God the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world,’ John x. that makes an end of sin, and finishes transgression in his new covenant, who through death destroys death, and the devil, who had the power of death, that made man and woman unholy. And it is Christ Jesus that makes all things holy and new, and sanctifies all things by his word, and all his gifts are holy; who changes the first priesthood with all the outward things, which were called holy in the old testament, which were figures of the holy spiritual things in the new testament, and the spiritual sanctuary, temple, and tabernacle, in the new covenant and testament. All the Jews in the spirit feed upon Christ, their sacrifice, which he gives for the life of the world; and so eat the bread from heaven, in the holy and heavenly sanctuary, tabernacle, and temple, that are not of the old covenant's building. 

So Christ in his new covenant and testament, the high priest made higher than the heavens, in offering up himself once for the sins of the whole world, is not according to the Jews' high priests, and their offerings, but doth put an end to them all, and abolisheth them all, and establishes his new testament in the spirit, and new covenant of light, life and grace. I say, Christ, the high priest who was dead, and died for man, to fetch man out of death to life, and to destroy him that kept him in death, is alive again, and lives for evermore, and is a high priest for ever amongst all his royal priesthood, and reigns in his holy sanctuary, tabernacle, and temple of the sanctified hearts. 

And the Jews in the old covenant and testament, they were not to touch any unclean thing, or creature, or unclean fowl, or beast, or creeping things that were outward; no, not to touch any vessel where any of those unclean things were in; if they did, they were to wash themselves with outward water. Levit. xi. And likewise, they were not to come nigh, nor touch the dead; if they did, they were unclean, and they were to sanctify and wash themselves with outward water, &c. 

Now the new covenant is not according to the old, which saith, 'Every creature of God is good.’ And God and Christ hath sanctified every creature; as Peter preached it from a voice he heard from heaven, when he saw four-footed beasts, and wild beasts, and creeping things let down from heaven, in his vision, which he was to kill and eat; and they were not to be called common nor unclean in the new covenant. For every thing that God had made was sanctified by the word, by which all things in the beginning were made good, yea, very good. 

And so in this the new covenant and testament, and new and living way, are not according to the old. 

And as they in the old covenant were not to touch the dead, nor the unclean creatures, so the Jews in the spirit are not to touch the unclean creeping spirits, which are like beasts and ravenous fowls. And those are the unclean spirits which the apostles would not have the saints to touch; for if they did, they must be washed with heavenly water, and the blood of Jesus, before they can be cleansed. And for eating, or touching of outward creatures, he told the saints in the new covenant, that ‘whatsoever was sold in the shambles, that they might eat.’ 

And though it was the doctrine of the law in the old covenant to forbid several sorts of meat to eat; but in the new covenant it is the doctrine of devils to forbid meats and marriages, or to command to abstain from them, which God hath created, to be received with thanksgiving, by them that receive the doctrine of Christ Jesus in his new covenant and testament. ‘For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified
by the word of God, and prayer.’ 1 Tim. iv. 4.
 

So here it is clear, the new covenant and testament is not according to the old. 

And in the old covenant, when the outward Jews went to wars with their carnal weapons, and took any prize, every thing that could abide the fire, must go through the outward fire, and that was to cleanse it and purify it with the outward water and fire; and they were to abide seven days out of the camp, and to wash their clothes, before they came in again into the camp. Numb. xxxi.
 

But in the new covenant, which is not according to the old, every thing must be washed with the water of life, and cleansed by Christ, and come through his fiery baptism, before they can come into his treasure, and camp, and city, and be perfect. For the seven days that were to pass upon them in the old covenant, was the perfection of days. And that was outward fire and water, that was to cleanse and purify he Jews, and those outward things; but all the believers in the light must be washed with the heavenly water, and purified with heavenly fire, and the blood of Jesus Christ, before they can come into his heavenly camp. And in the old covenant and testament, Ruben, Gad, and Asher, Zebulon, Dan, and Naphtali, these were to stand up upon Mount Ebal, and to curse the disobedient; and others were to stand up and bless the obedient. Deut. xxvii.
 

But in the new covenant and new testament, which is not according to the old, Christ saith, ‘Love your enemies, and bless them that curse you, and do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that despitefully use you, and persecute you, that you may be the children of your father that is in heaven: for he makes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends his rain on the unjust, as well as the just.’ Matt. v.
 

And this is Christ's doctrine in the new covenant. And the apostle saith, ‘Being reviled we bless; being persecuted we rejoice.’ 1 Cor. iv.
 

And again the apostle saith, ‘Bless them which persecute you; bless, and curse not.’ So though they were to bless and curse in the old covenant; yet in the new covenant they are to bless, and not curse, as in Rom. xii. 14.
 

And so here it is clear, the practice of the new covenant and testament is not according to the old. 

And in the old covenant it is said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ But Christ in his new covenant and testament saith, ‘Whosoever smites thee on the one cheek, turn to him the other also.’ So here the new covenant's practice is not according to the old. 

And you have heard say in the old covenant and testament, and that old time, ‘Thou shalt not commit adultery.’ But Christ in the new covenant and new testament saith, ‘Whosoever looks after a woman to lust after her, hath committed adultery already in his heart.’ So the righteousness and holiness of the new covenant doth exceed the old. 

And in the old covenant, ‘whosoever put away his wife, was to give her a bill of divorcement,’ &c. But Christ in his new covenant saith, ‘Whosoever putteth away his wife, save for the cause of fornication, and marrieth another, committeth adultery; and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband, committeth adultery also.’ Luke xvi. and Matt. v.
 

So here the new covenant is not according to the old; and the righteousness of the law of life doth exceed the righteousness of works in the old law. 

And in the old time it was said, ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.’ But in the new covenant, which is not according to the old, it is said, ‘Thou shalt love thine enemies, and pray for them, and do good for them that hate you.’


So though the old covenant taught humanity, yet the new covenant teaches not only natural humanity, but heavenly humanity, divinity, and christianity. 

And in the old covenant and testament the Jews were to keep the year of jubilee, which was the fiftieth year; and therein they were to proclaim liberty with trumpets, throughout all the land. And this year of jubilee was to be holy unto all the Jews; and in the year of jubilee the servants went out free, and therein was a redemption of lands and houses, and bondmen, and servants, which were of the children of Israel. Levit. xxv.
 

And now this was an outward freedom and liberty in the old covenant; and this outward year was holy, and it was proclaimed with outward trumpets. But in the new covenant and new testament, the year of jubilee is proclaimed, blown and sounded with the spiritual gospel trumpets, throughout all the world, and unto every creature under heaven, unto bond and free, without respect; yea, eternal liberty in the gospel of Christ Jesus, the heavenly man, the power of God, and in the light, which is the life in him; and in the grace, which hath appeared unto all men, which brings their salvation; and in the spirit which is poured out upon all flesh, that by the spirit all flesh might see the glory of God, and Christ their salvation, who redeems them, and pays all their debts of sin; who was made sin that knew none, and so made it to be his; and so died for the sins of the whole world and the ungodly, to redeem them out of the sin, and ungodliness, and bondage, and captivity, yea, to set all the prisoners and captives at liberty, and to make the blind to see, by opening their eyes; and heals the leper, cripple, and the sick, and looses the tongue of the dumb. Here is the year of jubilee, the everlasting holy year, or day of Christ, who destroys the devil and his works, that hath made man and woman unholy, and kept them in bondage and slavery. And so Christ brings all his believers into his glorious liberty of the sons of God, and to an eternal redemption; yea, he takes off and destroys that which hath brought the oppression upon the creation. So an everlasting jubilee in the new covenant, and new testament, and new and living way, which doth far exceed the Jews' outward year of jubilee, which was only to that particular nation. But Christ's jubilee of his everlasting gospel is to all nations to whom the gospel is preached, and liberty unto every creature under heaven, by his spiritual and gospel trumpets, which are blown and sounded by his light, and power, and spirit, and faith, in all nations, of their spiritual liberty and freedom in the land of the living, yea, a liberty both inwardly and outwardly; and he that believeth in the light, which is the life in Christ, is saved; and he that doth not, is condemned. 

And this gospel trumpet, which sounds into all nations, and into all
countries, for their liberty, and salvation, and freedom, proclaims forgiveness and redemption to men, if they will believe it, and come out of thraldom and captivity; and he that believes it is saved, and hath the comfort of the salvation and liberty; and he that will not believe it is condemned, and lies under condemnation. And so in this, the new covenant and new testament is not according to the old; for this liberty and jubilee is to all nations, but in the old covenant it was but to the particular nation of the Jews. 

And in the old covenant, the sons of Aaron shall blow with the trumpets; and this was an ordinance to the priests; and when they blowed the trumpets, the outward Jews were to assemble themselves before the tabernacle. ‘And when they blew an alarm, then the camp set forward.’ Numb. x. So they did not gather them together to the door of the tabernacle with ringing of bells, in the old covenant, but with the blowing of trumpets. And at the solemn feasts they blew the trumpets; which was a day of blowing the trumpets, which were outward, in their outward feasts, to their outward gathering to their outward tabernacle. But in the new covenant and testament, which is not according to the old, the trumpets are spiritual and heavenly, which are sounded with the power and spirit of God, in the day of Christ; yea, all his believers in his light, the life in him, are a royal priesthood, and blow the trumpet. And at the sound of this heavenly trumpet, they gather to this heavenly tabernacle, not made with hands, and to the heavenly Jerusalem, to his heavenly solemn feast, through the baptism of Christ and circumcision with his spirit, that plunges down and cuts off all corruptions; and so all come to drink into one spirit, that put off the body of death and sins of the flesh, that are gotten up upon man and woman by transgression; for Adam and Eve had it not before they transgressed the command of God. 

And so by these spiritual and heavenly trumpets, ye are gathered to the heavenly feast, and bread, and wine, and honey, from heaven, and the new milk from the living word, that lives and abides, whose heavenly breast is never dry, but is always full of heavenly milk. And so as the heavenly trumpet sounds, the Jews in spirit move and go, and follow the heavenly spiritual Lamb in their fine linen, his righteousness, and keep their feast of the heavenly bread, that cannot be leavened. So the bread, the wine, the milk, the honey, the water, the trumpets, and the tabernacle, are heavenly and spiritual in the new covenant and testament, which are not according to the old, with their outward bread, and water, and trumpets, and outward tabernacle. All those outward things Christ abolished, which served but till the seed came to reform it; and in the time of the reformation of Christ, the heavenly and spiritual man, he reforms his believers and followers out of the natural, outward, and carnal, into the heavenly, inward, and spiritual. And so the new and living way, and the new covenant and testament, and the new time of reformation, are not according to the Jews' old covenant and testament, and old time and way. 

And the outward kingdom among the Jews in the old covenant and testament, Christ, in his everlasting kingdom, in his new covenant and new testament, doth exceed it. And they were commanded to an outward cleanness in that outward kingdom, with the outward cleansing by the blood of beasts, &c. And when they did transgress the outward law of God in their outward kingdoms, they were carried away captives. But Christ's kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and is holy and pure, and none that are defiled enter into it; for it stands in power and joy in the holy ghost. And all must be born again before they can either see the kingdom of Christ, or enter into it. And Christ saith, ‘The law and the prophets were until John, (which was the forerunner of Christ, and the preparer of the way,) but the least in the kingdom of God is greater than John.’ ‘And from the days of John Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence,’ saith Christ, ‘and men press into it.’ And Christ said unto his disciples, ‘it was given unto them to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God,’ &c. And John, when he wrote unto the seven churches, said, he was their ‘brother and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ.’ Rev. i.And Christ sent forth his disciples, and bid them ‘Go, and say, repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand.’ And they preached the kingdom of God; yea, Paul did, at Rome, to all that came unto him. And Christ saith, ‘Not every one that saith Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of God; but he that doth the will of my Father, which is in heaven.’ And they were to seek the kingdom of God, and the righteousness of it, and then all those outward things (which the Gentiles did seek after) should be added unto them. And Christ saith to his followers, in his new covenant and new testament, and new and living way, ‘that except their righteousness do exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees, they shall in nowise enter into the kingdom of heaven.’ And therefore the christians in the new covenant, their inward and outward holiness, and righteousness, and godliness, and virtue, and temperance, and patience, and love, must exceed all the outward righteousness and holiness in the old testament and covenant of the Jews and priests, and Scribes and Pharisees, else they cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 

And so it is clear, that the new covenant and new testament, and the new and living way, and the kingdom of Christ, and his righteousness, exceed the Jews' in the old covenant and testament, and their old way; which kingdom is an everlasting established kingdom, and no unclean thing can come into it; and it stands in power and joy in the holy ghost.


And all the believers in the light, which is the life in Christ, are born
again, and enter into his kingdom, and are heirs of it; so heirs of an everlasting inheritance. 

And Aaron, he and his company, in the old covenant and testament, were to look to the candlesticks, and to look to the seven lamps, a perfect number, as you may see in Numb. viii. and Lev. xxiv. and Exod. xl. and Exod. xxiv. And this they were to do throughout their generations. And so Aaron was to order the lamps, evening and morning, which were to burn continually without the vail of the testimony in the tabernacle of the congregation. Levit. xxiv.
 

And these outward things served till the seed Christ came in his new testament, and in his new covenant, who abolished all those outward candlesticks, lamps, and lights in the outward Jews' generation, and the priesthood also. And in the generation of Christ in the new covenant, his believers, that are gathered in his name, which are passed from death to life, which are his church, doth not he call them candlesticks? For in the revelations he calls the seven churches, or seven congregations, which are a perfect number, ‘seven golden candlesticks.’ And Christ, the high priest, doth enlighten the candle, which is the spirit of man, in the candlestick. And these congregations of people are them that he sanctifieth in body, soul, and spirit. And Christ walks in the midst of these ‘seven golden candlesticks,’ in his heavenly fine linen, and heavenly golden girdle; and his hair as white as wool and snow, and his eyes like a flame of fire, and his feet like fine brass, as if they were burning in a furnace; and out of his mouth went a sharp two edged sword; and his countenance was as the sun shining in his strength. So here Christ, in his new testament and new covenant of light, life, and grace, is not according to the old, but doth exceed in glory. Rev. i.
 

And the Jews, in the old covenant, the priests, before they did offer to God the outward sacrifice, they were to be sanctified; which outward sacrifice was to be holy. But the Jews in spirit, in the new covenant, which is not according to the old, they are sanctified by Christ, and made clean by his blood and heavenly water; and he is their sanctification. And then all the sanctified believers are a royal priesthood, and they offer up spiritual sacrifices, and the spiritual sacrifices are holy. So the sanctifier and offering in the new covenant, and that which doth sanctify, are not according to the old. And therefore, Christ abolisheth the old covenant, and all its ways of sanctifying with the blood of creatures, which was their life; for Christ sanctifies in his new covenant with his own blood, his life, and makes all clean; and destroys him that made man and woman unclean; and renews man and woman up into the image of God, which they were in before they fell; and makes


them as clean again as God made them, and brings them up into himself, who is first and last, that never fell. So that they are built upon him, the living rock and foundation, and grafted into him, and he, the root, bears them. And here they, with their spiritual, heavenly trumpets, sound forth to the praise and glory of God, and bring forth fruits to his praise. 

And the apostle in the new covenant said, ‘that God had made them able ministers of the new testament, not of the letter; for the letter of
the old testament killed, but the spirit of the new testament giveth life.’ And farther he saith, ‘If the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious in its time, so that the children of Israel could not steadfastly behold the face of Moses, for the glory of his countenance; which glory,’ saith the apostle, ‘was to be done away.’ Which is done away by Christ in the new covenant and testament. And therefore, the ministration of the spirit in the new covenant and testament, and new and living way, is more glorious: for if the ministration of condemnation be glorious, which was the ministration of the old testament and covenant, then how much more doth the ministration of righteousness in the new covenant exceed it in glory? For that which made glorious in the old testament, had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory of that which excels it in the new covenant; for if that which was done away was glorious, much more that which remains is glorious. For Moses put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not steadfastly look to the end of that which is abolished, to wit, the old covenant and the vail, which the apostle witnessed were abolished then in his day; but their minds were blinded so that they did not see it. For until this day remains the same vail, untaken away in the reading of the old testament, which vail is done away in Christ. 

‘But even till this day, when Moses is read, the vail is over their hearts,’ saith the apostle, to wit, the Jews and other Jewish minded people; for while Moses is read, and in reading the old testament, it keeps the vail upon them; then what do they that not only read it, but practise many things in the old testament, and yet will be called christians of the new covenant? But doth not the apostle tell you, ‘The vail is over their hearts when Moses is read?’ And the old testament and vail are done away by Christ in his new testament and new covenant of light, life, and grace. And they that do not believe it, the vail is over them, and their glory is no glory; and they are under the ministration of death and condemnation, and not under the ministration of the new testament of life; for the vail remains untaken away in reading of the old testament. ‘And even to this day, whilst Moses is read, the vail is over their hearts,’ as the apostle saith.

And now, you called christians, is not ‘swearing truly by the Lord, and performing the oath unto the Lord, for the ending the strife among men,’ is not this in the ministration of Moses? is not this your practice? and did not Moses command it by the law in the old covenant? And are not outward temples and pulpits, Moses and the old testament? And are not tithes, and offerings, and first fruits, Moses' vail and the old testament? And is not the observing of days and months, and the passover, which you call the time of Easter, and your Pentecost, or Whitsuntide, as you call it, Moses and the old testament? And is not calling of your days, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, &c. and your calling the months by the names of May, June, July, August, &c. which is neither from Moses nor Christ, but from the heathen, which your practice herein is not according to the old covenant nor the new? And are not the sabbath, and the priests' surplice and white sleeves, and the change of garments to differ them from other people, Moses and the old testament, and not the new testament and covenant? And are not outward altars, and candlesticks, and sanctuaries, and outward candles burning in your temples, Moses and the old testament? And whilst ye read and do all these things, doth not the apostle tell you, ‘the vail is over your hearts?’ For doth not the apostle tell you, that Christ hath abolished Moses' old testament, and hath taken off his vail, and made his glory no glory, because the glory of the new covenant and testament hath dimmed it, and done away the glory of the old? 

And therefore, are not you under the vail, with your tenths, and tithes, and offerings, and candles, and candlesticks, in your temples, and
altars, and outward places of worship, with your priests' distinguishing garments, and your feasts, and observing of days and times, and swearing to end strife and controversy amongst you? Is not this Moses and the old testament, and reading the old testament, and not the new testament and new covenant, which saith, ‘Swear not at all, but let your communication be yea, yea, nay, nay?’ And Christ's righteousness is all the believers' fine linen, which are the children of the new covenant, and of the light, and their altar is spiritual; and Christ hath enlightened their candle, their spirits, with the light, which is the life in him; which burns in their temple night and day. And so Christ, in his glorious new testament and new covenant, he hath done away and abolished the first priesthood, with his garments, and offerings, and his outward lights, and altars, and feasts, and days, and carnal sanctuary, and oaths, and tithes. And they are blind as the Jews, that see him not come in his new covenant to abolish all those things of the old; who saith, in his new covenant, to his disciples and followers, “Freely ye have received, freely give.’


And so it is clear, that the new covenant and testament, and new and living way, are not according to the old; and as people do turn to the Lord by his light, grace, and truth, and spirit, and gospel, to Christ in his new testament and covenant of light, life, and grace, the vail will be done away off the old covenant, and Moses from off their hearts, that they may come to read in the new covenant and testament. And such as are in the new covenant and testament, they ‘are manifestly declared to be the epistles of Christ, written not with ink, but with the spirit of the living God; not in the tables of stone,’ as it was in the old testament and covenant, ‘but in the fleshly tables of their hearts.’ ‘Now the Lord is that spirit, and where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all,’ saith the apostle, ‘with open face (to wit, in the new covenant and testament,) beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, (a glorious beholding,) and are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even by the spirit of the Lord.’ A blessed glorious change into a glorious image. 

And this is the glorious happiness and comfort, that all the children of the Lord in the new covenant and testament, and new and living way, did and do enjoy, which doth exceed the old covenant and testament, and old way in its glory, which is done away and abolished by Christ Jesus. So he hath taken away the first and established the second, who walks in the midst of his heavenly golden candlesticks, and is the head of his holy sanctified church, and is alive, and ‘lives for evermore,’ who is ‘worthy to have glory and honour,’ the lamb that hath been slain from the foundation of the world, who is razing down all the world's foundations, and he himself is the only holy, spiritual, safe, sure rock and foundation for his believers, which are living stones to build upon, who was, and is, and will be to all eternity the first and last. Glory to the Lord for ever. Hallelujah, praises to the Lord for ever, and for evermore. 

G. F. 

POSTSCRIPT.

The law showeth its righteousness by its works: and the gospel showeth its righteousness by faith, which doth exceed that of the law. And the law woundeth: but the gospel healeth, and is glad tidings and good news. The law condemneth: and the gospel delivereth. And Moses accuseth: but Christ defendeth. And Moses condemneth: but Christ pardoneth. The law restraineth the hands: but the gospel restraineth the hands and the mind. And the law condemneth: but Christ saveth. Moses, a servant, in his signs, figures, and shadows: but Christ a son, the substance, who takes away the sins, and signs, and makes all things new in his new covenant and new testament.
 


And the law was uttered with thunder from Mount Sinai: but the gospel with joy from heaven, and comfort of salvation. And the law and statutes were to one people, to wit, the outward Jews: but the gospel is to all nations, and to every creature under heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, in the old covenant and testament, even so must Christ, the son of man, be lifted up in his new covenant and new testament. John iii. Moses led the outward Jews to Canaan outward; and they were to conquer and drive out the seven nations before them with outward carnal weapons and armour: but Christ leadeth his Jews in spirit, in his new covenant, into heaven, and they are to conquer the spiritual wickedness and rulers of darkness, through Christ, with spiritual weapons and armour. So the new covenant is not according to the old. The old testament was the ministration of the letter; and ‘the letter killeth:’ but the new testament not of the letter, but of the spirit, which ‘giveth life.’ The ministration
of death in the old testament was engraven in stones, answerable to the outward Jews in the old covenant and testament, their stony hearts: but in the new covenant and testament, the Lord saith, ‘I will give them a new spirit and a new heart, and will take away your stony heart out of your flesh; and I will write my laws in your hearts, and put them in your minds: and they shall all know the Lord,’ the Jews in the spirit, (Jer. xxxi. and Ezek. xxxvi.) in the new covenant and testament, which is not according to the old. And in the old covenant the Jews were to offer unto the Lord all their free-will offerings. Levit. xxii. And in Deut. xii. they were to ‘eat of the free-will offerings before the Lord.’ And in Ezra iii. ‘Every one that offered willingly, offered a free-will offering unto the Lord;’ and in Ezra vii. Now in the old covenant they offered those things, which were a free-will offering. But Christ in the new covenant, which is not according to the old, he saith, ‘I am the good shepherd, that lay down my life for my sheep; and saith, ‘Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I may take it again; and no man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself: I have power to lay it down, and I have power take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.’ Joh-
x. Here Christ the lamb of God, is the free-will offering in his new covenant and testament, which is not according to the offerings in the old testament and old covenant. And Christ, by offering up himself freely once for all, hath abolished all the offerings in the old covenant. No unclean thing was to be offered to God, nor to be eaten in the time of the law and old testament, nor any unclean person was to offer. And in the time of the gospel and new covenant, which is not according to the law and old covenant, much more doth not the Lord accept an unclean person, nor an unclean offering; for it is the spiritual sacrifice that he doth accept; and they are to feed of the clean, holy, heavenly sacrifice.

Christ Jesus, and feed of the clean spiritual food from heaven. And the apostle saith to the saints, ‘that they were not to touch the unclean,’ to wit, the unclean spirits, and its works and actions. And yet the same apostle saith, ‘that every creature of God is good,’ the outward creatures, and ought to be received with thanksgiving; ‘For they are sanctified by the word of God and prayer.’ Therefore, those things may be touched in the time of the gospel and new covenant, which were not to be touched in the old. And so the new covenant is not according to the old.

 


The Quakers
By JAMES WALVIN


George Fox and Friends

George Fox, founder of the Quaker movement, was a tormented man. Convinced of his own inner strength and rectitude, in his public utterances at least, he was privately assailed by doubts and worries. From first to last he is an enigma. In the early 1640s he was a troubled youth, racked by theological and social doubts. In his last years he was domestically contented and had seen his following develop into a nationwide movement despite vicious persecution. But throughout he poses serious problems for the modern reader. Fox was a man who wrote his own history, most notably in his Journal, but he also generated a vast and continuing literature by other people -- friends and enemies. Yet the more we learn about him, the more remote he seems and the more mysterious a figure he retrains. This problem has increased with the passage of time in that he does not fit easily into the lexicon of character-types available to the contemporary biographer and easily understood by all. Resolving such a difficulty is the historian's basic job: to conjure forth images of a remote, disconnected past in terms which make sense to the contemporary reader. But despite all we know about George Fox, he remains elusive.

We are not even sure what he looked like. The few portraits that exist are less lifelike than many of the descriptions of him which accumulated over the years. He was a `bulky person', with long hair `like rats' tails'. He needed little sleep and was capable of enduring extreme hardship and physical privation, at first in his early years when forced to sleep rough, and later when repeatedly exposed to the misery of prison cells. More unusual than his looks or physical strength, however, were his inner qualities. Even as a child he stood out from others -- or at least he said he did: `I had a gravity and stayedness of mind and spirit, not usual in children'.

Fox was born in 1624, the son of a devout Puritan who was a reasonably prosperous weaver and an equally `upright woman' in Leicestershire. He was destined in childhood for the Anglican ministry, but instead he became an apprentice shoemaker to a Nottingham man who also dealt in sheep and wool. In his youth, Fox was conspicuous for his piety and aloofness. (`When rude people and boys would laugh at me, I let them alone.') Famous for his honesty, he proclaimed that `The Lord taught me to be faithful in all things ... and to keep to Yea and Nay in all things.' Then at the age of 19 he underwent a crisis that changed his life. It was prompted by a simple but symptomatic incident.

In the summer of 1643, Fox sat with a cousin and other Puritans at a fair. The young men tried to goad him into joining their drinking round: the proposing of health and the custom that the man who refused to drink should pay for the round. George Fox was shocked. He paid for his own drink, and left. That night he could not sleep, paced his room and called to the Lord for guidance. Divine intercession advised him to abandon his friends and family, and to seek truth and spiritual guidance elsewhere. Over the next four years Fox wandered throughout England, often living rough (trough he clearly left home with cash in his hand), badgering clerics and divines, and seeking guidance in prayer and isolation. His sole attachment was to his bible and to the occasional companionship found among the proliferation of sects and divines that had been spawned by the turmoil of the English Revolution. For Fox it was a period of mysticism and personal doubt, but he found no satisfaction -- no truth -- in the protestations of priests and `professors' of any description. Just when he despaired most, in 1647, `When all my hopes in them and in all men, were gone ... I heard a voice ...' The Lord spoke directly to Fox. Henceforth his path was clear, though rarely straight or untroubled.

George Fox, now in his mid-twenties, embarked on his lifetime's mission. His aim was not to create a sect but to persuade his fellow men and women to worship honestly, not through the intermediary of the priesthood or any religious organisation but from within themselves, directly to the Almighty. He set out to persuade people to be true to themselves and to others, and to be frank in their private dealings with the Lord. Yet we will never fully understand Fox simply by scrutinising his own words. For all his uniqueness he was also a man of his time. Fox and the Quaker movement established in his wake were, first and foremost, creatures of the English Revolution.

Fox was not alone in suffering turmoil in the 1640s. The entire nation was racked by personal and social agitations that had been whipped up by a bloody and vengeful civil war. That decade, and the Interregnum years of the 1650s, formed what Christopher Hill has described as `the greatest upheaval in English history'. Old assumptions and beliefs -- old certainties -- were shattered by the convulsion of religious and political freedoms which had scarred most people in some way or other. The traditional acceptance that all English people belonged to the national Church and must worship as a matter of obligation was destroyed for ever. As the world turned upside-down, religious and political groupings of the most varied (and sometimes most bizarre) kind sprang up across the nation. Unleashed by the collapse of draconian censorship laws, books and tracts flew off the presses in unprecedented numbers, speaking for each and every sect and radical splinter group. The printed word was eagerly devoured by a curious readership that had been previously kept in check.

As the old restraints melted in a new climate of freedom, there was a parallel blossoming of political and religious activity. Men and women found a voice previously denied them. They could be heard everywhere: in homes and alehouses, at crossroads and army camps, on the street corner and inside parish churches. The old order of church and formal worship collapsed before a nationwide spiritual agitation. Authority of all kinds, whether monarchical or priestly, was swept away by an upsurge of secular and theological individualism. Levellers and Diggers, Ranters and Muggletonians, Fifth Monarchists and Millenarians: these and many others flourished in proportion to the discomfort of the old order. King, lords and bishops were mocked and humbled, levelled by those of no previous consequence.

The political tumult after 1642 was unprecedented: civil war, the eventual victory of Parliament, the abolition of lords and bishops, and the trial and execution of the King all followed in quick and disturbing succession. In this confusion of change, anything seemed possible. Even those who proclaimed the imminence of the Second Coming did not appear unduly unrealistic. The 1640s were, in effect, a political and religious free-for-all that heralded a democratic tradition of the most fundamental and varied kind, and which would be bequeathed to later generations. The personal anguish experienced by George Fox in 1643 did not, then, seem out of the ordinary.

Men who later became Quakers played their part in the fighting of the Civil War with no hint of their subsequent squeamishness about bloodshed. Indeed, the Quaker vernacular that emerged from those upheavals was suffused with military imagery, itself forged in the battle for freedom against the royalists in the 1640s. But the years of the Interregnum, between the execution of Charles I in 1649 and the restoration of Charles II in 1660, witnessed a progressive disillusionment with Oliver Cromwell's rule. During the 1650s, when the victories of the preceding decade turned into the dust of Cromwellian compromise and failure, George Fox placed himself at the head of those whose formative memories had been the libertarian experiences and expectations of the 1640s, and who now formed the first shock troops of the Quaker movement.

By 1647 Fox had found his voice, and he began to preach, at first only a `few, but powerful and piercing words'. His reputation soon spread, but his words were not always welcome as he was an uncompromising preacher, hurling disputation and contradiction at the heads of his opponents. In 1649 he experienced his first imprisonment for rising in a crowded church in Nottingham to dispute the resident cleric's biblical views. Not surprisingly, `the officers came and took me away, and put me into prison, a pitiful stinking place'. It was to become the first of many similar experiences. The years of sleeping rough in the mid-1640s now seemed like an apprenticeship for the even starker rigours of detention in various English jails. A year later Fox was back in prison, this time in Derby, committed for six months for blasphemy. The man who convicted him, Justice Bennet, was the first to call Fox's followers Quakers, `because we bid them tremble at the word of God'.

As Fox trekked across the North of England he encountered crowds of people keen to hear his words and anxious to share his thoughts. Many were striving for a new way to express their beliefs in the wake of the fragmentation of religious experience and ideals, much of it related to the splintering of other political groupings. Bands of worshippers had turned their back on other sects, most notably Puritanism, and were therefore ripe for the appropriate message and leadership. For example, Fox found a sympathetic audience among agricultural workers, who by instinct had spurned their betters and clashed with landlords about rents or tithes.

The recruitment to Quakerism was rapid. In the course of the 1650s, numbers swelled to 40,000, perhaps even 60,000, equalling the Catholics and overtaking the older, more famous sects. The movement effectively began and thrived in the poor, backward and remote North-West of England. One contemporary Quaker propagandist compared the North to Bethlehem, in that it was the focus of Quaker strength. It was here, among people who felt ignored or rejected by Church, State and powerful landowners, that Quakerism first took root. And it was from the North-West that the first Quaker ministers, men and women, fanned out to take the message to other regions and towns. These missionaries, sixty-six in total (almost all from Lancashire, Yorkshire and Westmorland, and almost all recruited from older, highly individualistic Seeker communities) travelled southwards in 1654-5 to London and Bristol, later to Scotland, Ireland, Europe and on to America. It seemed as if London had been invaded by `plain North Country ploughmen'.

In the North of England Quakerism quickly assumed a shape which was to survive successive waves of persecution in later years. Quaker organisation, financial structure and headquarters were established in the region. Money for the cause was raised from local sympathisers, administered from Kendal, and spent on sending missionaries to other parts of the country and on providing relief for Quakers in prison. The Monthly Meeting was introduced `to look after the poor and to see that all walked according to the Truth'. Elders from those meetings met other county representatives at the Yearly or General Meeting. It proved an ideal structure for an expansive movement. The location of the headquarters came about more fortuitously, however. In 1652 Fox visited Swarthmore Hall near Ulverston, where he converted Margaret Fell and three of her children. Her husband, Judge Fell, was a powerful local figure whose support ensured protection for the Quaker activity that became centred upon his wife and home. Swarthmore in effect became the headquarters of the movement, and Margaret, the `Quaker matriarch', managed the finances for the missionary activities that spread the cause through the South of England. (In 1669, Fox was to marry the then-widowed Margaret Fell, thereby establishing the first Quaker dynasty.)

In the 1650s, the movement began to establish itself in other parts of the country, with strongholds in London and Bristol, but the richest Quaker seam remained rural. Many of those attracted to Quakerism tended to be traders and artisans, yeomen and husbandmen. They were also likely to be literate. Few were very poor and few came from the ranks of the gentry. As had happened in the North, many turned to Quakerism after rural agitation, mainly against the tithe; others had seen their radical instincts finely honed in the military conflicts and the associated political wrangling of the war years. There was also a sizeable number of women who turned to the cause, where they found a freedom of expression and activity denied them in other spheres.

What Quakers actually believed during their explosive growth of the Interregnum years is less easily described. There was at first no clear outline of principles or tenets. Instead they tended to define their views by rejecting the ideas of others. They proclaimed the prospects of salvation for all, and announced a sense of unity with God. Most important of all, indeed central to Quaker thought, followers were urged to turn to the light of Christ within themselves: they were `spiritual millenarians'. They relegated the importance of the Scriptures in favour of the pre-eminence of this inner spirit, and so rejected the necessity for an educated clergy to lead and interpret. Even the Bible was demoted, to become, in the words of Christopher Hill, `a book like any other'. What mattered was not so much biblical stories about Christ and the past, but one's own feelings of the present. Heaven was within the Quaker believer. Nathaniel Smith turned to Quakerism for this very reason, that `the Kingdom of Heaven was in Man'.

This led certain Quakers to claim miraculous powers. Fox himself claimed to have effected no fewer than 150 cures by the laying on of hands. Naturally they had their failures, the most spectacular of which concerned the Worcester Quaker who dug up a corpse, commanding him `in the name of the living God, to arise and walk'. Quakers formed an ecstatic movement, hence their name, and in their early years were renowned for the frenzy of their responses. That first generation of preachers often provoked shrieks and communal tremblings from the congregation. When Fox spoke at Ulverston in 1652, `the steeplehouse shook'. A year later, when preaching in Carlisle, the effect was even more remarkable: `A dreadful power of the Lord there was amongst them in the steeplehouse, that the people trembled and shook, and they thought the steeplehouse shook and thought it would have fallen down.' Fox seemed able to sway even the doubters. From Tickhill in 1652, he reported that the priest who `scoffed at us, and called us Quakers' was swept along by the power of the spirit and `fell a-trembling himself, so that one said unto him "Look how the priest trembles and shakes, he is turned Quaker also".'

From the first, the Quakers inherited the anti-clericalism of the English Revolution. Fox's Journal records his repeated conflicts with `priests', yet he was only the most prominent of a host who regularly clashed with the authorities. It was perhaps natural that they should dispute with other theologians (a favourite tactic was to bellow objections at a priest in his own `steeplehouse'), but it was equally inevitable that such frictions would spill over. Congregations, parishioners, local townsfolk, government officers and the military all joined in the arguments. What began as a polemical dispute often ended in a brawl, with the Quaker assaulted by a baying mob inside and outside the church, before being expelled from the district or flung into the local jail. And the trouble did not end there. Fox, for example, sought to win over his jailers (sometimes successfully), but most tended to be as cruel and vindictive as the outside rabble. Thus, in those early years, Quakers became familiar with the prisons of England as they found themselves persecuted not only for their actions but also because they refused to bow to demands made of them by the political and ecclesiastical authorities. What made the Quakers so dangerous and troublesome was their resolute refusal to accept authority.

So the Quakers were heirs to an older radical tradition of dissent and vocal opposition that had been forged in the Civil War, and their evolving beliefs engaged in political matters, as much as questions of faith and theology. They were destined, from the first, to clash with authority of all kinds as there was to be no compromise. They had the inner light and were not to be diverted by injunctions to obey, or to accord to the demands of Church and State. The Quakers' first and most obvious enemy was the church and its officers, the priests who were maintained in luxury by the labour of the poor, thanks to the iniquitous tithe. Quakers sought an end to the university-educated clergy, allowing instead the rise of `a ministry of simple men and women'; people who `spoke plaine words, and reached to the consciences of men of the meanest capacity'. But since the church was a pillar of the state, and the tithe was the tax which financed that church at parish level, the Quaker challenges therefore involved matters of fundamental political importance.

Quakers may have lacked a clear philosophy in the early years, but there was an unmistakable emergent Quaker sensibility with a levelling, democratic tone, articulated by a growing band of preachers. They attacked privilege and rank on all hands. Aristocracy and gentry, lawyers and priests, the wealthy and the privileged all found themselves denounced by these preachers and pamphleteers. The rich man, argued Fox, is `the greatest thief' because he acquired his wealth `by cozening and cheating, by lying and defrauding'. At times, Quaker views had uncomfortable echoes of the old Levellers. One Quaker wrote in 1653 that `the earth is the Lords ... he hath given it to the sons of men in general, and not to a few lofty ones which Lord it over their brethren'. They were unequivocal in their support for the winning side in the Civil War, but they also believed that the revolution had not gone far enough. In the course of the 1650s they became progressively disenchanted with Cromwell's regime, disliking the compromises with the old order and hating what had become a rapacious army that seemed interested solely in its own well-being and future.

Quaker demands, backed by the growing strength of their numbers, began to spread alarm among men in authority. `These vipers', said one MP, `are crept into the bowels of your Commonwealth, and the government too ... They grow numerous, and swarm all the nation over; every county, every parish.' Fox submitted to Parliament a series of fundamentally egalitarian reforms involving a massive programme of expropriation. These ideas reminded men of substance everywhere of the wilder fringe groups of the previous decade. There was reason to fear that this increasingly numerous and vocal body of people, who espoused `such principles as will level the foundation of all government into a bog of confusion', would usher in a `social anarchy'. The Quaker refusal to recognise rank seemed corrosive of the very fabric of social life itself. They refused to bow, to remove their hats to superiors, to acknowledge titles, and they spoke to their betters with the common, plain `thee and `thou'. It was a style, a tone, a vernacular of equality which could be interpreted as showing disrespect and disdain; it was a message which could prove utterly seductive to the common people.

Quakers were successful in garrison towns, for example, where their egalitarianism posed a military threat. Their principles, thought Henry Cromwell, `are not verry consistent with civil government, much less with the discipline of an army'. Not surprisingly some regiments were purged of their Quaker soldiers. Quaker successes, however, often depended on local patronage. Where they secured the sympathy or the conversion of a local powerful figure (notably Judge Fell), they could weather the storm of local hostility and persecution which they endured throughout the 1650s; but more common was the banding together of local (especially urban) interests to deny them a platform or even entry to the town. Time and again, their preachers were cruelly dispatched from the area and any sympathisers persecuted. Officials dragged Quakers before the courts on a range of charges, conjuring forth whatever Act or by-law seemed most likely to secure a conviction.

By the late 1650s Cromwell's government felt obliged to heed the voices of provincial alarm and authorised local magistrates to use old vagrancy laws against travelling Quakers. A new Act allowed prosecution for the interruption of Sunday services (a favourite Quaker tactic) and reinstated the obligation to attend these services. Magistrates took full advantage of these measures, continuing to imprison and persecute wherever they could, but even that failed to staunch the rising popularity of Quakerism. By 1659, many felt that only a swift restoration of the monarchy would stop the encroaching tide of egalitarianism and the drift of people to the Quakers and other sects. It was ironic but obvious that the rise of Quakerism emboldened the reactionary forces intent on restoring the King.

The Quakers were set against the restoration of the monarchy in that, whatever its altered form, it would usher in many of the men, ideas and relationships against which they had struggled. The greatest risk to the return of Charles II was the hostility within the Army and the fear that it would go over to the Quakers en masse. Here surely was a remarkable phenomenon: a group which had scarcely existed a mere decade earlier was now feared for its potential influence within the most powerful body in England. But just when Quakers seemed poised for even greater influence, they were subjected to acute persecution by the vengeful forces unleashed by the return of Charles II.

The men who came back to England with the King in 1660 knew very little about the Quakers, who had scarcely existed when the royalists had fled the country in defeat. It was therefore difficult for them to distinguish the Quakers from the other, more overtly revolutionary sects of the previous two decades who had been anxious to turn the nation back to the basics of democracy. The Restoration, notably the Clarendon Code, sought to reimpose loyalty to Church and State. This inevitably spelled persecution for those who refused to obey. Following an uprising of Fifth Monarchists, a wide-ranging clampdown was launched against all those sects thought to be subversive and dangerous. Despite protestations of loyalty, the Quakers were plunged into a spiral of oppression, the scale and depth of which surpassed all previous agonies. By the end of January 1660, jails across the country were filled with them.

From one town to another the story was the same: of Quakers detained in stinking prisons and mouldering detention rooms in appalling, sometimes fatal conditions. More than 4,000 men were incarcerated -- including 500 in London, 400 in Yorkshire and almost 300 in Lancashire -- and women and children were not exempt from these miseries. In Aylesbury, John Whitehead and Isaac Penington joined sixty or seventy others in an old malt-house `so decayed that it was scarce fit for a dog-house'. Quakers in Norwich were housed in a recess in the castle wall; one in Dover was thrown into a hole, `a place very filthy ... overrun with maggots and other insects'. Yet in York, where local Quakers were of `the better sort', unwilling to antagonise their local business associates and neighbours, their community did not suffer as such.

During these years the `Society of Friendst' was `the most vilified of all the sects', denounced and physically attacked by both the propertied and the poor, in town and country alike. Stories from across the country told of frenzied assaults which in retrospect are hard to comprehend. When James Parnell preached in Colchester he was viciously attacked `by a blind zealot who struck him a violent Blow with a great Staff, saying There, take that for Christ's Sake.' The first Quaker preachers to arrive in Cambridge were women who were publicly whipped in the market place `so that their Flesh was miserably cut and torn'. Such acts of parochial violence were often prompted by a dislike of outsiders trying to interfere in local matters. It is easier to understand such feelings in the context of Quakers disrupting church services, burials and the like. Sometimes the offending Quaker seemed to be merely crazy. Solomon Eccles walked through Smithfield in 1663 `with his Body naked, and a Pan of Fire and Brimstone burning on his Head'. He was promptly dispatched to Bridewell.

The growing hatred for Quakers flared up even when they were going about their normal business. When the Huntingdon shopkeeper Robert Raby and others traded on Christmas Day, they had `Dirts and Mire cast upon them'. Quakers were also attacked as they worshipped. In Sawbridgeworth, a local `rabble' threw `Showers of stones, Dirt, rotten Eggs, human Dung and Urine' into the meeting house. Their hats were filled with dirt and placed back on their heads. After the widow Ann Cock disrupted a service in Cambridge, an angry local tailor threw a `piss-pot of Urine' at her.

The animosity against Quakers clearly ran deep, for they were described and considered as less than human -- as cannibals, satanists and the like -- a process which allowed their tormentors to punish them in the most violent and bloody fashion. Men were herded through the streets like cattle, crammed into stinking confinement, beaten, starved and roundly abused. For that first generation of Quakers, these humiliations on a ghastly scale and from all quarters was a regular occurrence.

The severity of these post-1660 persecutions which lasted for more than a decade shaped the course of Quaker history. It was from the violations of these years that their `peace principle' gradually evolved. Fox declared that `The spirit of Christ will never move us to fight a war against any man with carnal weapons.' Thereafter Quakers eventually became wedded to this new concept and practice of non-violence. Indeed, many of the features we today associate with Quakerism emerged from this difficult time. For example, it was necessary to devise and maintain a form of discipline primarily to withstand attacks from others. It was also imperative to present their case to the outside world, and important to exclude those who failed to abide by the movement's basic tenets. Thus, in the climate of persecution, Quaker organisation gradually assumed the recognisable shape of quarterly and national meetings, with an accountable financial system. Those sects who failed to reorganise -- who tried to exist as they had before the Restoration -- simply disappeared. A small number of Quakers, it is true, periodically rose up in opposition over the next generation; others took strident issue with the imposition of tight discipline upon a movement which was highly individualistic in origin and spirit. But these were exceptions. Most quickly accepted the new order of the Society of Friends, thereby ensuring its survival.

This discipline born of necessity attests to the political alertness of the movement's leadership. As the 1660s advanced, the Quakers were clearly led by George Fox. His obvious competitors died out (often from the rigours of imprisonment) or resigned. Fox's leadership was strengthened by his marriage in 1669 to the widowed Margaret Fell and he began the process of rewriting Quaker history. Henceforth all Quaker commentaries and histories had to pass his scrutiny and approval. Not surprisingly in such publications his role in the formative years came to the fore, and the work of other men was relegated or removed entirely. It was through this revised -- purged, even -- historiography that subsequent generations have come to view the original Quakers of the 1640s and 1650s, but the Quakers of the last years of the seventeenth century were very different. This peacable, industrious, plain-speaking, plain-acting second generation stood in sharp contrast to the motley collection of political and religious revolutionaries and anarchists, of whom Quakers were one group, at the heart of the English Revolution. These origins discomforted older Quakers. Who wanted to recall the image of James Nayler in 1656 riding into Bristol on a donkey as a sign of the Second Coming, or the adoration by those followers who believed him to be the true Messiah?

Consequently, the Quakers' response to persecutions after 1660 was stoical, sometimes apocalyptical. They would unnerve their tormentors even in the midst of their sufferings by seeking to convert them. More than that, those on the outside remained undaunted by the imprisonment of fellow Quakers, continuing in their `insolence' to meet in worship. The pattern repeated itself everywhere: no sooner was a prominent member arrested (Fox at Swarthmore in January 1664; Margaret Fell a month later) than even bigger congregations came together. The persecutions were clearly counter-productive. And predictably, whenever a leading Quaker was brought to trial, he or she was effectively given the floor to preach and convert. The despairing judge at Fox's Lancaster trial in 1664 sighed, `I would the laws were otherways.' They endured long months of the harshest of prison regimes, often made worse by the victimisation and cruelty of prison officers and governors. Francis Howgill, for example, festered in misery (but never relented in his faith) at Appleby until his death in 1669, `stuffed up for want of air, and at the mercy of a tyrannous gaoler'.

Quakers were an easy target. Whenever a plot, real or imaginary, was discovered, it was assumed that they (or Catholics) were involved. The prominent Puritan William Prynne was convinced that the Great Fire of London had been started by Catholics, and that Quakers were merely Catholics in disguise. Moreover, the law allowed relatively easy arrest and trial, though proving a case was more difficult. Quakers could be prosecuted for attending their own services, and imprisoned when they refused to take the oath in court. For that simple offence they could also be transported to the West Indies or North America, or heavily fined. Their meeting houses were knocked down in London, so they gathered in the rubble. Even when acquitted, they bounced back for more, inviting authorities to do their worst. Often they did.

Even though national political stability suggested the need for greater toleration, the forces of revenge were spurred on by sharp and durable memories of the troubles of the past twenty years, and endured in Parliament and Church. The immediate impetus to end the persecutions was the changed international and diplomatic climate in the 1670s, and the threat of war with the Dutch. Conflict abroad demanded greater domestic harmony, and from that need emerged the Declaration of Indulgence in 1672. Relief was immediate and Quakers turned their efforts to securing the release of `Friends' languishing in jail. Though Parliament sought to renew the attacks on Quakers in 1673, the high tide of persecution seemed to have receded, hut many of the old hateful memories lived on.

From 1670, the Friends, always swift to record the catalogue of attacks they suffered, now began to record incidents of toleration and sympathy. Non-Quaker neighbours would stand up for them when their goods and possessions were impounded by local officialdom. Sometimes even the officials themselves refused to implement what they knew to be unjust orders against Quakers. Gradually they were accepted into the local way of running things: made executors of wills, for example, or given a role in helping the poor. Non-Quakers even began to attend Quaker funerals. Mutual trust developed and Quakers came to be accepted where once they had been reviled and attacked.

The best remembered political disputes of those years were concerned with more elevated issues: the power of Parliament versus the King, and the right of the King to choose his own faith. In the struggle against the Catholic James II, Parliament found itself locked into a more fundamental battle than it had experienced with Quakers, but in some regions the authorities continued to feel the need to persecute Quakers and others as a means of enforcing and maintaining political power. Meeting houses were pillaged and destroyed (Bristol and London were especially badly hit); Quaker children were not spared. Often the authorities had to dig out old legislation to sanction their actions, so that even in relatively benign times there were hundreds of imprisoned Quakers. When James II ascended the throne in 1685, there were 1,383 in jail (200 of them women) and more than 100 had died in custody over the past eight years. It was owing to these circumstances that the `Meetings for Sufferings' were convened and continued thereafter to record details of Quaker affairs.

Much of this persecution was inspired by high politics in London, but the details, the specific pains and penalties heaped upon Quaker, heads had more to do with local enmities and jealousies. Informers or worried clerics, uncertain landowners or hesitant officials all felt the need to exact social and political reprisals as a means of securing their own position, and perhaps grasping some bounty afforded by the Quakers. The balance sheet of `suffering' -- death, personal endurance, fines, confiscated property, ruined businesses and expropriation -- was long. The Restoration period had witnessed perhaps more than 15,000 such instances. Yet this miserable litany of pain and distress elicited a remarkable display of fortitude and durability from the Quakers. Far from being destroyed, bankrupted or downhearted, they thrived. It was becoming clear that intimidatory Acts of Parliament, punative magistrates and judges, and hateful neighbours were not having the desired effect but quite the contrary. In the late seventeenth century Quakers were flourishing: one Cumberland Friend remarked that `they flock to our meetings like doves to the windows'.

Suspicions on a more national scale continued to come the way of the Quakers whenever a plot or rebellion was uncovered (most spectacularly, Monmouth's rebellion in 1685), but dissenters found themselves largely tolerated and sometimes encouraged. Friends were even invited to take local office. The lesson that a greater degree of toleration was the only way to secure national political stability, whatever the theological bent of the incumbent monarch, was quickly learned by William III when he landed at Torbay on 5 November 1688 to remove James II and protect the Protestant Establishment against the threat of Catholic control.

The new monarch believed that the nation would be best served by harnessing the abilities and talents of its dissenters, men and women of enterprise, initiative and strength; still less could it afford costly and counter-productive persecutions for reasons which seemed increasingly anachronistic. Within months of the accession of William and Mary, the Toleration Act of 1689 had moved quickly through Parliament. It was designed, as the preamble stated, to be `an effectual means to unite Their Majesties' Protestant subjects in interest and affection'; in practice, toleration was to be more liberal than the Act specified. Major discrimination continued, of course (and was not to he legislated against until the early nineteenth century), but the year marked a major turning-point in the history of the Quaker community.

Two years later George Fox died having endured a life of persistent persecution, as had his followers. Yet Fox had lived long enough to see his efforts (allied to others) rewarded by a large, thriving and committed following. From the upheavals of the Civil War, through the factional disputes of the Interregnum and the oppression of the Restoration, they had survived. It was appropriate and typical that when the pall-bearers gathered to carry Fox to his grave in London's Bunhill Fields, `for a considerable time there was nothing but deep sighs, groans and tears and roaring to admiration, and, after that all had vented and eased themselves, and grew quiet in their minds'. One man present thought that the occasion `resembled that day when the apostles were met together and the mighty power of God fell upon them'. At the end of Fox's life it was hard to recall that troubled youth wandering the lanes of the Midlands and the North in search of spiritual satisfaction. Though his leadership was often disputed, by the time of his death the movement he had come to personify had grown to an estimated 50,000 Quakers (quite apart from those thriving in Pennsylvania).

By the last years of the seventeenth century, the Quakers were led and managed from London. Membership had taken root in many other regions and the North was no longer the main centre of activity, though it could still claim to be their spiritual birthplace. But Quakers everywhere were different; different from other religious groups in almost every respect. They had evolved a style of conduct both at worship and in their private lives which stood in sharp contrast to the world at large. The first Quaker organisations emerged, naturally enough, to cater for their parochial needs. Regional meetings had begun to spread in the North in the 1650s, then, prompted by Fox, annual meetings were called in London. In the counties, Quakerism organised itself through the Particular, Monthly and Quarterly Meeting (the last charged with monitoring the overall conduct and well-being of local life). There was an inevitable overlap in the concerns of these various meetings, but they formed a structure of management which allowed the London headquarters to keep in touch with events and developments in the smallest of communities.

Between 1699 and 1798 the Northern Yearly Meeting reflected the origins of the movement, but the Yearly Meeting in London served to co-ordinate business at national and regional level, while the Monthly and Quarterly Meeting channelled business upwards from local meetings. Yet Quaker feeling continued to be characterised by strong individualism; by an element of `religious anarchism'. Reactions against Fox's centralised form of organisation periodically surfaced, especially in the North, where in the 1670s John Story and John Wilkinson threatened separation. Such tensions were partly theological, but they also challenged Fox's authoritarian leadership. Many bridled against his tone and his conviction, which came out repeatedly in the London's meetings, that he alone had a monopoly on truth.

However, the Quakers needed more than an efficient organisation; they also required principled rules and specified conventions which could provide the basic tenets of Quaker conduct and belief: the bedrock of Quaker life and behaviour. Beginning in 1682, the Yearly Meeting asked three simple questions of the various representatives about numbers, imprisonments, and the state of local Quakerism. They were designed to provide the factual information that they required to function properly. By the early eighteenth century, the number of such questions had greatly increased, replies were recorded and the whole exercise had subtly changed `to ensure consistency of conduct among Friends and to obtain information as to the state of the society'. As problems were revealed (a fall in Quaker membership, for example) new strategies were devised, and a more coherent structure of control and discipline evolved. There thus emerged the Queries and Advices which, though changing from time to time, became their guiding rules. In the words of Quaker Elders in Yorkshire in 1652, `these may be fulfilled in the Spirit -- not from the letter, for the letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life'. If we are looking for a written code or constitution for Quakerism, it can be found here in the varied Advices published over the years. These Advices provided the precepts which shaped their personal and communal lives; not only the theological outlook but also the conduct of daily life, including outside businesses.

The London Yearly Meeting dispatched Queries to the Quarterly Meeting, seeking answers and advice. By the end of the eighteenth century such missives going back and forth had become the broad outline of contemporary Quaker philosophy; an accumulating corpus of judgement and suggestions which, though never sanctified as philosophy, in fact acted precisely in that way. They formed, in effect, the ideology and principles of the movement which was paralleled by an ever-tighter control exercised over Quaker life and worship. An ad hoc London committee read and monitored all their publications, excluding unwanted ideas and rejecting those manuscripts which diverged too sharply from Fox's ideas of harmony and organisation. From about 1675 onwards, the key decision-maker had been the `Meeting for Sufferings'. It regulated ministers and meetings, negotiated with the authorities, helped Quakers in distress and acted as a pressure group on behalf of their broader interests. Throughout, the conduct of Quaker business was undertaken in the spirit of worship; none the less it was businesslike, thorough and meticulously minuted from first to last.

As Quaker philosophy evolved, it was inevitable that disciplinary action would be taken against those who transgressed. A much tighter control developed than the early Quakers could ever have imagined, and those who `walked disorderly' could expect at least a reprimand, even exclusion. Individualism was gradually brought to heel and subordinated to what was deemed the broader general good. This evolution took place during years of persecution to defend Quaker interests and individuals, and to deflect external enemies and threats. This self-regulating, self-supporting community thus devised a form of organisation that survived till modern times, the foundations of which were laid as a means of self-preservation and mutual protection in the years from 1650 to 1700.

At the same time there emerged the distinctive physical face of Quakerism. They needed a place of worship and to meet, so local groups consolidated and pooled resources, and they acquired, constructed or converted buildings for their own unique use. In the early years, Quaker preachers had spoken wherever was necessary, preaching in open spaces to large crowds, converting, praying and working from within private homes. Subsequent meeting houses sometimes betrayed their domestic origins: `Sarah Sawyers', `Widow Webbs', and `The Bull and Mouth' revealed their varied sources. Often built by the co-operative help of members, meeting houses developed standard features: the simple benches, the gallery, an upper room (initially used by women). Like Quakers themselves, these houses were simple, unpretentious and functional; early ones were often remote, in part a reflection of Quaker farming roots. A number were pulled down and destroyed in the persecutions; others have decayed and been lost in the intervening years. But a clutch of those early original buildings survive to this day -- some in private hands, some still in use as meeting houses -- where we can catch some sense of their appealing tranquillity.

This tranquillity stood in contrast to the early history of the movement. Conceived in the upheavals of revolution and civil war, by the time of Fox's death in 1691 it had been refined into a national organisation with headquarters in London, committed to active missionary work across the country and alert to the need for self-preservation. The instinct to be mutually helpful was to become of prime importance as Quakerism moved into a new phase. With the age of persecution passed, Quakers were able to flourish in a more tolerant climate. Henceforth they directed their energies to assisting each other, no longer as a defence but for personal and communal self-advancement. The tactics, organisation and ideology which had been fashioned to stave off hostility provided the very basis for a great deal of Quaker success to come in a more benign religious and political world.

(C) 1997 James Walvin All rights reserved. ISBN: 0-7195-5750-X

 

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Date: 03 Nov 2006
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a man could spend his lifetime sorting through thoughts of this and thoughts of that... but with his last gasp of breath Christ and Him crucified will be the most important thought considered throughout his entire lifetime.
jef

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