Reproclaiming the Everlasting Gospel
[S]o great a sense came upon me of the veil of darkness that was over the priests and professors of christianity, that I was moved to give forth the following, as an awakening warning to them:
BLINDNESS hath happened to the professed christians of the letter now-a-days, as blindness happened to the Jews; who professed the letter, but owned not the life, which the letter speaks of: as the christians now, to whom this blindness hath happened, who profess the scripture, but own not the life which the scripture speaks of. (Works, Vol. 1, 283) Read the whole passage.
This was the opening portion of what we considered this morning in our Fox reading conference call. Then in the next few pages we read:
About this time I was moved to give forth the following exhortation
to Friends in the ministry:
In the power of life and wisdom, and dread of the Lord God of life, and heaven and earth, dwell; that in the wisdom of God over all ye may be preserved, and be a terror to all the adversaries of God, and a dread, answering that of God in them all, spreading the truth abroad, awakening the witness, confounding the deceit, gathering up out of transgression into the life, the covenant of light and peace with God. Let all nations hear the sound by word or writing. Spare no place, spare no tongue, nor pen; but be obedient to the Lord God: go through the work; be valiant for the truth upon earth; tread and trample upon all that is contrary...Therefore this is the word of the Lord to you all, “Keep in the wisdom of God,”...now shall the law go forth from Jerusalem, to answer the principle of God in all; to hew down all inventors and inventions. For all the princes of the earth are but as air to the power of the Lord God, which you are in, and have tasted of; therefore live in it, that is the word of the Lord God to you all; do not abuse it; keep down and low...Bring all into the worship of God. Plough up the fallow ground. Thresh and get out the corn; that the seed, the wheat, may be gathered into the barn: that to the beginning all people may come; to Christ, who was before the world was made...Let them know the living God; for teachings, churches, worships must be thrown down with the power of the Lord God, set up by mans earthly understanding, knowledge, and will. (See Works, Vol. I, 287-289) And much more.
The same plague of blindness still affects all professors of Christianity who have turned from the light of Christ as their only source of life and their only sure guide. Have we lived with this malady for so long that we are indifferent to the consequences? Fox stated: "That eye that is turned from the light is the blind, and leads into the ditch." (Works, Vol. IV, 25) Have we become so respectful of error that we have become mute and dare not stand against it? Have we lost our sense of calling that we have become powerless before the powers of the world? The work of the Lord must go forward, first within us and then in the world. Read and consider the complete passage of Fox's exhortation to Friends in the ministry. There is no other medicine that will combat this plague than our faithfulness to the calling of Christ.
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