Reproclaiming the Everlasting Gospel
There are many ways which this could be continued. But I think that with the previous post and with the material presented below, it is sufficient to get the direction of Fox's insights on what Christendom refers to as the "second coming of Christ."
I searched through the 8 volumes and found only one reference to "second coming" and that was a phrase used by a detractor. See below. Fox did not use that term, at least in the language we have recorded in the 8 volumes or in That Thy Candles May Always Be Burning. Niether is that a term used in the King James Version of the Bible.
P. He saith, Christ hath not appeared unto the saints in his second coming to them, much less in them.'
A. Contrary to the apostle's doctrine, Col. ii. And Christ said, he would dwell in them. And the apostle said, the son of God was come. And Christ said, he would come again to the apostles, which he did, according to his word; and God did dwell in them, and walk in them. And John in his epistle said, the son of God was come.
The following passages come from an 1832 edition of Fox's Journal in one volume, published in Philadelphia. I turned up these references by searching for "dragon." (Note: these passages are from scanned text and may have mistakes generated by the optical character reader software.)
These passages are not a complete listing, only representative of what Fox had to say and how he used the apocalyptic language to describe the experience of coming into the kingdom of God and Christ NOW. For Fox and the early Quakers, the proclamation of "Repent, the kingdom of God is at hand" was not mere rhetoric. It was not something that was to occur sometime in the future, neither was it a gimmick used to scare children into submission. It was fact that they lived daily.
This is from a lover of the truth, of righteousness, and of your souls ; but a witness against all such as make a trade of the prophets', Christ's, and the apostles' words, and are found in the steps of them who persecuted the prophets', Christ's and the apostles' life ; who persecute those that will not hold you up, put into your mouths, and give you means. Tythes were before the law, and tythes were in the law ; but tythes since the days of the apostles have been only since the false church got up. Christ, who is come to end the law, and to end war, redeems men out of the tenths, and out of the nines also. The redeemed of the Lord shall reign upon the earth, and know the election which was before the world began. Since the days of the apostles, tythes have been set up by the papists, and by them that went from the apostles into the world ; set up by the false church that made merchandize of the people, since the true church went into the wilderness. But now is the judgment of the great whore come ; the beast and false prophet (the old dragon) shall be taken and cast into the fire, and the Lamb and his saints shall have the victory. Now is Christ come who will make war in righteousness, and destroy with the sword of his mouth all these inventors and inventions that have been set up since the days of the apostles, and since the true church went into the wilderness. And the everlasting gospel, which is the power of God, shall be preached again to all nations, kindreds, and tongues in this the Lamb's day ; before whom " you shall appear to judgment. You have no way to escape. For he hath appeared who is the First and the Last, the Beginning and the Ending, the Alpha and the Omega : he that was dead is alive again, and lives for evermore !'
The same power now is made manifest, and doth overturn the world, as did then overturn the world, to the exalting of the Lord, and the puffing down of the kingdom of Satan and of this world, and setting up his own kingdom, to his everlasting praise. The Lord is now exalting himself, and throwing down man's self. The proud one's head is aloft, fearing he should lose his pride and his crown. The priests incense the ignorant people, for fear their trade should go down ; and professors shew forth what is in them, being full of rage ; which shows that Jesus Christ the substance is not there; but a stony heart, to stone the precious, where it is risen. The carnal mind feeds upon the outward letter ; earth feeds upon earth; and that vineyard is not dressed, but is full of briers and nettles; and ravenous beasts, swine, dogs, wolves, and lions, and all venomous creatures lodge in that habitation. That house is not swept. These are the persecutors of the just, enemies of the truth, and of Christ. These are blasphemers of God and his truth. These call upon God with their lips, but their hearts are far from him. These feed on lies; priests and people. These incense the people, and stir up envy ; for it begets its own, one like itself. These are as the waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame. These have double eyes ; whose bodies are full of darkness. These paint themselves with the prophets', with Christ's, and with the apostles' words most fair. Whited walls, painted sepulchres, murderers of the just you are. Your eyes are double, your minds are double, your hearts are double. Ye flatterers, repent and turn from your carnal ends, who are full of mischief; pretending God and godliness, taking him for your cloak ; but he will uncover you, and he hath uncovered you to his children. He will make you bare, discover your secrets, take off your crown, take away your mantle and your veil, and strip you of your cloathing ; that your nakedness may appear, and how you sit deceiving the nations. Your abomination and your falsehood is now made manifest to those who are of God ; who in his power triumph over you, rejoice over you, the beast, the dragon, the false prophet, the seducer, the hypocrite, the mother of all harlots. Now thou must have thy cup double. Give it to her double. Sing over her, ye righteous ones, sing over them all, ye saints ; triumph in glory, triumph over the deceit : sing the song of the lamb ; triumph over the world, spread the truth abroad. Come ye captives out of the prison ; rejoice with one accord, for the joyful days are coming. Let us be glad, and rejoice for ever ! Singleness of heart is come ; pureness of heart is come ; joy and gladness is come. The glorious God is exalting himself; truth hath been talked of, but now it is possessed. Christ hath been talked of; but now he is come and possessed. The glory hath been talked of; but now it is possessed, and the glory of man is defacing. The Son of God hath been talked of; but now he is come, and hath given us an understanding. Unity hath been talked of; but now it is come. Virgins have been talked of; but now they are come with oil in their lamps. He will be glorified alone. Where pride is thrown down, earth and the fleshly will is thrown down, and the pure is raised up ; there alone is the Lord exalted. Let the heavens bow down to him, and the earth reel to and fro, and stagger up and down. The Lord is setting up his throne and his crown, and throwing down the crown of man ; he alone will be glorified: to whom be all honour and glory, all praises and all thanks ! He gives his children wisdom and strength, knowledge and virtue, power and riches, blessings and durable substance ; an eye to discern, and an ear to hear things singly ; brings down the pride of man's heart, and turns the wicked out of the kingdom. The righteous inherit righteousness ; the pure, pureness ; the holy, holiness. Praises, praises be to the Lord, whose glory now shines, whose day is broken forth ; which is hid from world, hid from all worldly-wise ones, from all the prudent of this 'world; from the fowls of the air ; from all vultures' eyes, all venomous beasts, all liars, all dogs, and all swine. But to them that fear his name, the secrets of the Lord are made manifest, the treasures of wisdom are 'opened, and the fulness of knowledge : for thou, 0 Lord ! dost make `thyself manifest to thy children. G. F.'
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I thank you for posting the passages. I'm away from home reading your posts today. A second reading is necessary when I'm at home and relaxed. George Fox is such a powerful voice and for me to fully comprehend his words I need to print both posts. I'd also like to respond to your analysis because I believe I share your thoughts. I'm not sure I will understand your question until I read it again in a devoted way.