George Fox at a steeple-house in 1648

Posted: July 4, 2014 in ecclesia, Jesus, quotes

I saw the people gathered together in the yard. The old priest would have had me go into the steeple-house. I said, ‘no, it was no matter.’ But it was strange to the people that I would not go into what they called the house of God. I stood up in the steeple-house yard, and declared to the people that I came not to hold up their idol temples, nor their priests, nor their tithes, nor their augmentations, nor their priests’ wages, nor their Jewish and heathenish ceremonies and traditions, (for I denied all these); and I told them, that piece of ground was no more holy than another piece of ground. I showed them; that the apostles going into the Jews’ synagogues and temples, which God had commanded, was to bring people away from that temple, and those synagogues, and from the offerings, tithes, and covetous priests of that time. That those who came to be convinced of the truth, converted to it, and believed in Jesus Christ, whom the apostles preached, met together in dwelling houses; and that all who preach Christ, the word of life, ought to preach freely, as the apostles did, and as he commanded.

So I was sent of the Lord God of heaven and earth to preach freely, and to bring people off from these outward temples made with hands, which God dwells not in; that they might know their bodies to become the temples of God and of Christ; and to draw people off from all their superstitious ceremonies, Jewish and heathenish customs, traditions, and doctrines of men; and from all the world’s hired teachers, that take tithes, and great wages, preaching for hire, and divining for money; whom God and Christ never sent, as themselves confess, when they say, they never heard God’s nor Christ’s voice.

I exhorted the people to come off from all these things, directing them to the spirit and grace of God in themselves, and to the light of Jesus in their own hearts; that they might come to know Christ, their free teacher, to bring them salvation, and to open the scriptures to them. Thus the Lord gave me a good opportunity to open things largely to them. All was quiet, and many were convinced; blessed be the Lord. -George Fox

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Comments
  1. Mickey Merrie says:

    Nice work Jim! A message of freedom on Independence Day!! One that can set the captives free, if they can abide in our Lord, for He is enough!

  2. Are you sure it wasn’t Sean who wrote this?

  3. fleebabylon says:

    On the First-day following, in the forenoon, I had a great meeting in the street at Lancaster, among the soldiers and people, to whom I declared the word of life, and the everlasting truth. I opened unto them, that all the traditions they had lived in, all their worships and religions, and the profession they made of the scriptures, were good for nothing, while they lived out of the life and power which those were in who gave forth the scriptures. And I directed them to the light of Christ, the heavenly man, and to the spirit of God in their own hearts, that they might come to be acquainted with God and Christ, receive him for their teacher, and know his kingdom to be in them.

    In the afternoon I went to the steeple-house at Lancaster, and declared the truth to the priest and people; laying open before them the deceit that they lived in, and directing them to the power and spirit of God which they wanted. But they drug me out, and stoned me along the street until I came to John Lawson’s house.

    On another First-day I went to a steeple-house by the water side, where one Whitehead was priest; to whom and to the people I declared the truth in the dreadful power of God. There came to me a doctor, so full of envy, that he said, ‘he could find it in his heart to run me through with his rapier, though he was hanged for it the next day;’ yet this man came afterwards to be convinced of the truth, so far as to be loving to Friends. Some were convinced in the area, who willingly sat down under the ministry of Christ, their teacher; and a meeting was settled there in the power of God, which has continued to this day.

  4. fleebabylon says:

    But with and by this divine power and Spirit of God, and the Light of Jesus, I was to bring people off from all their own ways, to Christ, the new and living way; and from their churches, which men had made and gathered, to the Church in God, the general assembly written in heaven, of which Christ is the head. And I was to bring them off from the world’s teachers, made by men, to learn of Christ, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, of whom the Father said, “This is my beloved Son, hear ye Him”; and off from all the world’s worships, to know the Spirit of Truth in the inward parts, and to be led thereby; that in it they might worship the Father of spirits, who seeks such to worship Him. And I saw that they that worshipped not in the Spirit of Truth, knew not what they worshipped.

    And I was to bring people off from all the world’s religions, which are vain, that they might know the pure religion; might visit the fatherless, the widows, and the strangers, and keep themselves from the spots of the world. Then there would not be so many beggars, the sight of whom often grieved my heart, as it denoted so much hard-heartedness amongst them that professed the name of Christ.

    I was to bring them off from all the world’s fellowships, and prayings, and singings, which stood in forms without power; that their fellowship might be in the Holy Ghost, and in the Eternal Spirit of God; that they might pray in the Holy Ghost, and sing in the Spirit and with the grace that comes by Jesus; making melody in their hearts to the Lord, who hath sent His beloved Son to be their Saviour, and hath caused His heavenly sun to shine upon all the world, and His heavenly rain to fall upon the just and the unjust, as His outward rain doth fall, and His outward sun doth shine on all.

    I was to bring people off from Jewish ceremonies, and from heathenish fables,[49] and from men’s inventions and worldly doctrines, by which they blew the people about this way and the other, from sect to sect; and from all their beggarly rudiments, with their schools and colleges for making ministers of Christ, — who are indeed ministers of their own making, but not of Christ’s; and from all their images, and crosses, and sprinkling of infants, with all their holy-days (so called), and all their vain traditions, which they had instituted since the Apostles’ days, against all of which the Lord’s power was set: in the dread and authority of which power I was moved to declare against them all, and against all that preached and not freely, as being such as had not received freely from Christ.

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