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10.30.2006

Dangerous Quakers Handout 10/25/06

FREEDOM
IN THE WORDS OF EARLY FRIENDS


So as wise in the Light, prove your Freedom, from that nature which is high, and fierce and hasty, or any way above the meekness, for therein stands your perfect Redemption to know that, that you are not servants to that nature; for it's the same that hasteth into the greediness after worldly things, and fears, and distrusts, if it hath not in its sight and possession what it lusts after; which being convinced of an inheritance in heaven, would have that also in all hast by Sight; but not through Faith, Patience and obedience; which if it may not obtain into its own sight, and in its own way and time, it will be ready to faint and distrust, and this will never strip himself of all, in hopes of an inheritance it hath not seen; so this is in Bondage, and not to be Heir; but the just live by Faith, whose Birth is free from this World, & your redemption from the other into the leadings of this, which will bring to the inheritance of the purchased possession. [James Nayler, 1661. Milk For Babes.1]

And this ever mind, That whatever Freedom you obtain through the sufferings and patience of Christ in Spirit, you part not with it to please the flesh, but hold it as your everlasting possession purchased for you, not with corruptible things; so that which is dearly purchased, let not lightly go; but remember Israel, who was redeemed out of Egypt with much hardships, and many signs and sufferings, but soon in hast got up that which said, Let us return back again; and this grieved God above all: And this you will find ready to rise upon every further hardship and want, as it was with them. Wherefore stand fast in that which you have proved to be Liberty indeed, and by no means look back nor hearken to that which is behind, to let it overtake you again: . . . Wherefore stand single in your minds to follow nothing new or old, but what the Holy Spirit leads into; . . . [James Nayler, 1661. Milk For Babes.]

Wherefore dearly beloved in my soul, above what I can write, this I lay upon every one of you in particular, and warn you, That you prove and examine your selves herein, what spirit you are of, and what is your freedom herein; and note that Spirit which steals your minds into earthly things, and wandering thoughts, for that is not of God, but is of this world, & works after the power of the Prince of the Air; and in this Spirit all have fellowship with the world, & are in the Power web works against God and the Lamb; nor can any in that Spirit serve God, nor have fellowship with him in the Light; for it is carnal and devillish, and shut out from God the Father of Light, and so becomes a Vagabond, wandering, chaffing Spirit, not capable of God's Counsel nor Service; nor can you have fellowship with the Brethren in the Light and Power of Truth, so long as this reigns and is followed by you; and so this must be judged in every motion of it, that it may be subdued and put under foot, lest being once enlightened, you become wandering Stars from God's presence for ever. So be you faithful to God who judges you, and gird up the loins of your minds, and wait for stable, heavenly Spirits, that you may be born thereof, and rule therein over your selves, and so overcome the world, that you may walk at liberty in God, and in Christ Jesus whom he hath sent; and herein is life eternal, and rest to your souls, what ever befall you; and only blessed is he that enters thereinto; and it is the faithful that enters, and in faith and obedience is the Covenant kept, which keeps quiet the mind, and in perfect peace in all Conditions, the purchased possession of every redeemed soul, thorough the blood of Jesus. So God cover you all with his Spirit, being buried into his Death; and the Almighty arise among you, and judge every evil root in its first motion, and give you the knowledge of himself in Love, and build you up above all strife and enmity, and fill you with his Grace, and season your hearts therewith, and make himself your delight, and bless you all, . . . [James Nayler, 1661. Milk For Babes.]

For all that are saved, must be led by the saving Power which redeems and brings up the soul of man out of death, and out of captivity. O that I could cry aloud, and so loud that the sons of men may hear the sound of the Glory of the Day of God which is now revealing. O that every soul had a deep sense of the Word of the Eternal Power engraved in his heart by the finger of the Lord God! And unto the Nations that it shall hear, I do proclaim the Day of Free-love , even the Day of Everlasting Mercy from the God of Abraham, who is faithful, just and true, who hath a Remnant yet to gather of the Seed of Abraham the Just, which Seed shall inherit all things; for with it God hath made an Everlasting Covenant: Therefore be ye awakened unto Righteousness, O ye Inhabitants of the Earth; for the Day is come wherein the Lord God is come to Judgment, and all must know the righteous Judgments of the Lord God to be set up within, that the Inhabitants of the Earth thereby may come to learn Righteousness, and Sion through Judgment must be redeemed, and her Converts by Righteousness must be set free for Freedom; in the Name of the Lord God, and in his Authority I do proclaim Liberty and Freedom to the Captives, that the Seed of the house of Jacob may arise unto the Resurrection of Life, and Immortality, and Glory, and Beauty, and Holiness is broken forth, and the Glory of the Day of the Lord God is shining forth, which will cover the whole earth, and the Beams of Brightness shall overshadow the Mountains, and the Sun of Righteousness shall arise in his healing virtue, to heal the Nations that have been long wounded: yea, the Prisoners of hope shall come forth rejoicing in the God of the Tribes of Israel, who sits on the Throne of true Judgment. [Dorothy White, Trumpets of the Lord of Hosts, 16622]
Dear Friends: if the Truth makes you free, then are you free indeed? So then, there are none made free men but by Truth. All that are free men, they are made free by the Truth. They are God’s free men. They are free citizens. They are freeholders of an everlasting inheritance and free [in] an everlasting Kingdom. They are free heirs of salvation. They are free [in] the heavenly city Jerusalem, which is from above. And they are free [in] the Power of an endless Life, which was before Death was.
So, they are not captives. . . . and what has made them free men and free women, but Truth? For, if Truth has made you free, then you are free indeed.
So, free to worship God in Spirit and in Truth . . . to serve the Lord God in the Spirit and in the new Life. . . So stand fast in the Liberty wherewith Christ has made you free; . . . For free men do walk in their freedom . . . all out of the Truth are slaves in old Adam, slaves to sin and to Satan . . And to their own self-righteousness . . serving divers lusts, . . . serving the desires of their own minds. So, as slaves are kept in bondage. All in prison, all in the bonds of death; for [those] who are out of Truth are not free men . . . [George Fox, Epistle 260, 16683]
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