William Evans.

The Friends' library: comprising journals, doctrinal treatieses, & other writings of members of the religious Society of Freinds online

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was afraid, because I was naked ; and I hid
myself." And the Lord God said, "Who
told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou
eaten of the tre^ whereof I commanded thee
that thou shouldest not eat?" He began to ex-
cuse himself, saying, *'The woman thou gavest
to be with me, she save me of the tree, and I
did eat." And the Lord God said to the wo-
man, "What is this that thou hast done?"
And the woman said, " The serpent beguiled
me, and I did eat." And the Lord God said
unto the serpent, "Because thou hast done
this, cursed art thou above all cattle, and
above every beast of the field ; on thy belly
shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat. And
I will put enmity between thee and the wo-
man, and between thy seed and her seed ; it
shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise
his heel." So the Lord sent man forth from
the garden to till the ground, and placed at
the east of the garden of Eden, cherubims
and a flaming sword, which turned every way
to keep the way of the tree of life.

Oh deplorable change I Oh lamentable, un-

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done conditioD, and inexpressible fall ! He
tbat was in the image of the incorruptible
Being, a living soul, inhabiting the garden of
the Lord, where the tree of life was, and the
glory of the Divine Being was known and
enjoyed, driven from all into the earth, and
not only so but the cherubims and flaming
sword, that turneth every way, placed to keep
the way of the tree of life ! Be astonished oh
heavens at this, and be horribly afraid oh
earth! The Lord God brought up children,
and they rebelled against him.

Now, what was the cause and ground of
this change, that brought man into this de>
plorable state and condition? Was it not diso-
bedience to the righteous law of God 1 Did
not sin enter into the world through disobedi-
ence, and death by sin t And is not sin con-
tinued in the world through disobedience ? Is
there any other way by which sin enters now,
than it did then, and death by sin, which has
reigned, and reigns over all who are in the
fallen estate from God, even over them that
have not sinned according to the similitude of
Adam's transgression? For all have not sinned
according to his similitude, who wqs deceived
with an expectation of an higher estate than
that in which the Lord God had placed him.
But all iniquity, of what kind soever, is one in
the sround, and separates man from his God.
So the ground of all iniquity and transgres*
sion, is man's disobeying the righteous law of
God, disobedience whereunto bringeth death.

But what was that which in Adam died?
and what was the death ; seeing that the Lord
said, ^ In the day thou eatest of the tree, thou
shalt surely die ;" and yet, though he did eat
thereof, he lived outwardly, and had children?

It was the inward man that died, which was
so made by the living breath of the Almighty.
For man going out of the counsel of the Lord,
by his disobedience came to be alienated from
the life of God, and so became insensible of
that life in which he was wholly a right seed,
end a noble plant. In his degeneration he be-
came inwardly dead; the inward senses of the
inward man were lost ; the inward ear was
stopped ; the inward eye was blinded ; the in-
ward sense of tasting how good the Lord is ;
the inward feeling after his Divine virtue, who
is all power, life, love and joy, the inward
sense of smelling, were all lost ; and instead
thereof, an ear opened, that hearkened to the
voice of the strancer ; and an eye opened,
that saw the forbidden fruit pleasant and de-
sirable ; the heavenly clothing of innocency,
meekness and resignation was lost ; and thus
he canoe to be without God in the world. In
this state man was altogether out of a capacity
of abiding in the garden, or partaking of the
heavenly tree of life, that was in the midst

thereof; and in this state are all the uncon«
verted sons and daughters of men, notwith-
standing all fig-leaf coverings of professions.

But as the law of the spirit of life breaketh
forth in its manifestation, and the sons and
daughters of men come with it to be awakened,
they will have the sight and true sense of their
inward state and condition, which will indeed
cause a cry to arise in the soul. Oh wretched
state I Oh miserable condition 1 Here the en-
trance of sin comes to be seen, which hath
brought death ; for the wages of sin is death,
which was the death that came over Adam,
and over all since that have disobeyed th&
righteous spiritual law of God, which is just,
holy and good, and was before transgression,
which law bringeth to Christ, the promised
Seed, the gift of God, which is eternal life. >

Man being thus departed out of that nature,
image and seed in which he had his being be-
fore transgression, is become the degenerate
plant of a strange vine before the Lord God.
And from the sons and daughters of men, as
they stand joined to this nature and seed of
the serpent, which hath defiled man in soul,
body and spirit, proceed the branches and
fruits of iniquity.

Man having fallen into this miserable de-
plorable state, God in his boundless loving-
kindness, hath opened a way by which he
might be restored up to himself again ; which
way is the promised Seed, concerning whom
he said to the serpent, " I will put enmity be-
tween thee and the woman, and between thy
seed and her seed ; it shall bruise thy head,
and thou shalt bruise his heel." Herein was
the tender mercy of God extended unto man-
kind,' in giving the Seed, to wit, Christ Jesus ;
else all would have been as Sodom, and like
unto Gomorrah, which God destroyed with
fire in his wrath. This is that one Seed, on
whom he hath laid help, who is mighty to
save, who is the image of the invisible God,
the first-bom of every creature, in which im-
age man was before the transgression, who
was glorified with the Father before the world
began. This is he of whom I give testimony,
that he is the way of life and salvation ; and
that there is no other name by which any
man can be saved, than by him who was, and
is, and is to come ; who was from everlasting
to everlasting, the Rock of ages, which fol-
lowed Israel, and was in the church in the
wilderness, as Stephen testified before he was
stoned to death. This is he, who is without
beginning of days, or end of life ; who in the
fulness of time was manifest, takins on him
not the nature of angels, but the seed of Abra-
ham, for whom there was a body prepared
to do the will of his Father ; who, after he
had accomplished it, ascended where he was

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before, far above all heavens, that he might
fill all. This is the Emmanuel, God with tis;
Jesus, the Saviour; Christ, the Anointed; who
hath been called by several names, and spoken
of under several appellations, through the
mouths of his servants the prophets and apos-
tles in ages and generations past : this is the
only beloved of the ransomed, and this is our

And now he is arisen and arising, who is
the Aneient of days, in the might of his power,
and is revealing the good old way and path of
life, whose out-goings have been from ever
lasting; in which way Abel, Seth, Enoch,
Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the
servants, prophets, apostles and saints of the
Most High God walked, through all ages and
generations. This way was tefore all the in-
vented ways and worships, which have been
set up in the will and time of man; for all the
holy men of God, and saints of the Most
High, worshipped God in the spirit of holi-
ness, in which they were accepted of bin,
who is the God of the spirits of all flesh ; and
DO outward performance was any farther ac-
ceptable unto the Lord, but as performed in
this spirit.

The way of restoration out of the faU, into the
image of God, in which man was before the

But how salvation comes to be wrought by
him, and how mankind may be brought again
into him, who is the Way, the Truth, and the
Life, and brought from under the power and
dominion of the seed of the serpent, in which
by nature all have been the child/en of wrath,
is indeed the thing that lieth on my spirit
weightily to demonstrate, having obtained
mercy to see this way of life and salvation
revealed and opened ; and not only so, but a
necessity is upon me to preach the Grospel of
Christ Jesus, and declare the way of life and
salvation to my countrymen, through this is-
land of England ; and now a necessity is also
upon my spirit, to leave a testimony of the
same on record.

This is generally confessed, that in the first
Adam all died, and in the second Adam, Christ
the Lord, all come to be made alive again.
But how mankind come out of this state of
death, in the first Adam, into this state of life
in the second Adam, is that which the wisdom
of this world never knew nor comprehended
rightly. Man by that wisdom bath only im-
agined and conceived something in the carnal
mind concerning this great mystery, and there-
in bath set up many inventions of the way of
life and salvation. And into these many ways
q[ man's invention and imagination, set up in

the fallen wisdom of man, there have been the
several calls, Lo here, lo there ; but the day
is dawned, and now breaking forth more and
more ; magnified and praised be the name of
Almighty God, wherein all invented ways, set
up in the will and wisdom of roan, that is
earthly, sensual and devilish, shall come to an

And now, in the name of the mighty God,
all the graven images, the work of men's
hands, and earthly wisdom shall be broken to
pieces and ground to powder ; the mouth of
the Lord of hosts hath spoken it, who will
perform it by the might of his arm.

And therefore, tremble all ye image-makers
of all sorts, who have been making likenesses
of the way of life and salvation, in your fallen
wisdom and corrupt wills, and have made
gods thereof, and have bowed down to, and
worshipped them ; so that it may be said of
Christendom, so called, as it was once said
of Israel, "As are thy cities, so are thy gods,
O Israel I"

But now is the fulness of tinne coming,
wherein the ancient way of holiness, in which
the righteous walked, through all ages and
generations, is cast up and manifesting; which
way is Christ Jesus, the gifl of the Father's
love iinto the sons and daughters of men, who
hath, as before-mentioned, been declared of by
his prophets and apostles, under several ap-
pellations, according as he was pleased to
manifest himself to them, and as his Spirit
gave them utterance. Amongst many other
appellations, he hath been declared a Priest
(or ever, after the order of Melchizedeck ; the
Rock that followed Israel, who was in the
church in the wilderness; a King, a Law-
giver, Wonderful, Counsellor, Prince of peace,
a Branch, a Light to lighten the Gentiles; the
Arm of God's salvation ; a Covenant, Mes-
siah, a Leader, a Commander, a Captain ; the
Horn of Grod's anointed ; a Stone of stum-
bling ; a Foundation laid in Sion ; the Corner-
stone ; the Word of God ; the Word that was
in the beginning ; the True Light, that light-
eth every man that cometh into the world; the
Truth, the Way and the Life ; King of kings ;
Lord of lords; Christ; Emmanuel ; Jesus; the
Beginning of the creation of God ; the First-
born of every creature; the First-b^otten
from the dead ; the Faithful Witness ; Alpha
and Omega; Bright and Morning-star; the
Ima^ of the invisible God ; the Ofi&pring of
David. Under these and other names hath
he been spoken of, who still hath a name that
no man knoweth but himself, who is that one
Eternal Fountain of blessedness, and the one
precious Saviour; and there is no other be-
sides him.

And now, by the power of the holy, ever-

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lasting God, is he preached under the deoomi-
nation of Light, in this island of the Gentiles,
according as was prophesied of old, by Isaiah,
who said, << Is it a light thing that thou should-
est be my servant, to raise up the tribes of
Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel?
I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles,
that thou mayest be my salvation unto the
epds of the earth;" which is one with the tes-
timony of John, saying, " In the b^inning
was the Word, and the Word was with God ;
and the Word was God ; the same was in the
banning with God ,* all things were made by
him, and without him was not any thing made
that was made ; In him was life, and the life
[mark] was the light of men ; and the light
shineth in darkness, and the darkness com-
prehendeth it not." " There was a roan sent
from God, whose name was John ; the same
came for a witness, to bear witness of the
light, that all through him might believe. He
was not that light, but was sent to bear wit-
ness of that light: that was the true light,
which ligbteth every man that comes into the
world." And to this agrees the testimony of
just Simeon, who came by the Spirit into the
temple, and took the child Jesus in his arms,
and said, " Lord, now lettest thou thy servant
depart in pence, according to thy word ; for
mioe eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou
bast prepared before the face of all people, a
light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of
thy people Israel." This is he of whom we
testify, whose light is the way to life: "And
this is the con^mnation, that light is come
into the world, and men love darkness rather
than light, because their deeds are evil ; for
every one [mark] that doth evil hateth the
light, neither cometh to the light, lest his
deeds should be reproved; but he that doth
Troth cometh to the light, that his deeds may
be made maniiest that they are wrought in

Now this light, which the servants of the
Most High testified of, is that which hath been
spoken of under several names. For this
manifestation of God in roan is sometimes
called the Word, the Spirit, the Law, the Grace
of Grod ; and the Word, Light, Grace, Law, Spi-
rit, are all one in nature, ahhough diversely
named. Moses called it the Word, and directed
to this Word in the heart and in the moutjb ;
which Paul, that illuminated man, rehearsing,
saith, "Say not in thy heart [mark] who shall
ascend into heaven, that is to bring Christ
down from above, or who shall descend into
the deep, that is, to bring Christ up from the
dead ;" but what saith it? " The word is nigh
thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart;
that is, the word of faith that we preach."
This is the sure word of prophecy unto which

Peter directs to take heed, as unto a light that
shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn,
and the day-star arise in the heart.

This light is the law of the Spirit of life,
wherewith Paul was acquainted, that warred
against the law of sin and death, which was
in his members. It is the law in the heart,
and the spirit in the inward parts, the new
covenant of God Almighty; this is that which
converts the soul, which law Paul delighted
in, according to the inward man ; of which
the Scriptures of Truth plentifully testify.
This is that grace that Paul declared brings
salvation; which hath in measures appeared
to all men, as God's talents, teaching all that
are led and guided by it, to deny all ungodli-
ness and worldly lusts ; and to live soberly,
godly and righteously in this present world.
This is that grace which the Lord, the giver
thereof, said to Paul, was sufficient for him to
deliver him from the temptation, the thorn in
the flesh. The same apostle said unto the
Ephesians, "By grace ye are saved," &c.
And this is the manifestation of the Spirit,
which is given to every man to profit withal.
This is that good SpirJt of the Lord given to
Israel, who rebelled against it, as the old world
did, unto whom the Lord said, " My Spirit
shall not always strive with man;" this is
given to be the leader and guide of mankind
out of sin and death, and darkness, into which
man fell through disobeying the righteous law
of God, as the holy Scriptures give clear and
full testimony. But now, that which is ready
to arise, as an objection in some, whose un-
derstandings are not opened, and whose search-
ings to comprehend, and inquiries afler the
way of man's salvation stand in that wisdom
that is from below, and in the will and reason
of man degenerated from the life of God, is,
whether the preaching up this Spirit and grace
of God manifest within, hath not a tendency
to make Christ Jesus' appearance in the flesh,
his sufferings, death, resurrection and ascen-
sion to be invalid? Unto which I answer, nay;
for no persons ever did, or can truly discern,
or enjoy the benefit of Christ Jesus' manifes-
tation in the flesh, but as their hearts are
opened, and their understandings illuminated
by the liffht, which is a measure of the Divine
fulness Uiat dwelt in him, and is communi-
cated to the immortal soul, as the universal
love of God, extended in the Son of his love
to all the families of the earth, as the revealer
and discoverer of the will of him from whose
Divine fulness it comes; for the Scripture thus
witnesseth, that "No man knoweth the things
of a man, save the spirit of a man which i?
in him ; even so the things of God knows no
man but the Spirit of God."

The hearts of the Jews not being seasoned

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with this grace of God, and ignorant of the
gifl of God, which is eternal life, they neither
discerned, loved nor received Christ Jesus,
when manifested in that outward bodily ap-
pearance, but rejected him; notwithstanding
they professed honour and regard to the pro-
phets, and were in expectation of the fulfilling
of their prophecies of the coming of the Mes-
siah, who in due time came, and yet they did
not receive him, but instead thereof set them-
selves against him, taking counsel from time
to time how they might slay him, though in
words they professed an earnest waiting for
him. So in this day, there are many, who
by their words do profess they believe his
coming in the flesh and his sufferings, death,
resurrection and ascension; but yet, their faith
consisting in outward notions, and having no
inward experience of the end of his coming,
nor of the virtue of his sufferings, death, re-
surrection, &;c., they are enemies in their
minds to his second appearance and coming,
without sin unto salvation. So there is a ne-
cessity for all men to come to, and obey this
Divine spiritual principle, which is placed in
their consciences by the living -God, that
thereby the eye may be opened, which
through disobedience, hath been blinded by
the god of the world ; for, until this in some
measure be effected, the mystery of godliness,
which is great, can neither be seen nor under-
stood. Therefore Christ said, finding the wo-
man of Samaria ignorant of himself, who was
and is that great mystery, and the gifl of the
Father's love, "If thou knewest the gifl of
God, and who it is that saith unto thee, give
me to drink, thou wouldest have asked of him,
and he would have given thee living water."
The travail in spirit of the messengers and
servants of the Most High in ages past, was
the same as it is now, viz : " To turn people
from darkness to light, and from the power of
satan to the power of the living God i" there-
by in no wise invalidating Christ Jesus his
manifestation in that bodily appearance, nei-
ther his sufferings, death, resurrection nor as-
cension; but it brings all people, guided there-
by, unto that which will open the eyes of their
understandings, whereby they come to such a
condition and spiritual understanding, as to
see and know their benefit by that appearance
of the Saviour of the world ; for this we tes-
tify, by that one 06[ering all are perfected that
are sanctified. But here ariseth another ob-
jection by some, who may come so far as to
own and confess that there is a principle or
light in man, that discovereth sin, and teach-
eth man to do justly and equally, which some
call morality, but that this light or principle
in man is of a saving property, and of the
nature and quality of die Divine Being, many

for want of understanding do deny, and so
are found opposers of Truth itself, and stum-
ble at the Corner-stone, which indeed in all
generations hath been to many men a stone of
stumbling and rock of ofience, which thou-
sands, giving themselves up to be guided by
their own wisdom and prudence, reject ; yea,
those accounted the wise master-builders, pro-
fessors of God and Christ, being ignorant of
the root and offspring of David, reject this

Now, for the sake of all who desire the true
and saving knowledge of Christ Jesus, it is on
my spirit yet further to open the nature and
property of this principle and light ; whose
fountain is the Eternal Being and everlasting
ocean of Divine fulness, and its nature and
quality is one with this Fountain from which
it comes. John testified, " In the beginning was
the Word, and the Word was with God,** &c.
" In him was life, and the life was the light of
men.'' He also testified, that he was not that
light, but came for a witness, to bear witness,
that that was the true light, which lighteth
every man that cometh into the world : so the
original of this light, is Christ Jesus, the Word.

But some may query thus, Is Christ the
light in every man ?

To which I answer, Christ doth ap|>ear by
his light in every man ; and the light which
comes from Christ, is in every man: as is
clearly demonstrated from the Scriptures of
Truth. And, though I account it unnecessary
to answer the curious inquiries of such, who
seeking to know much, do not walk answer-
able to what they know ; yet for the sake of
such, whose understandings are not opened,
and yet are inquiring the way to Sion, I add
this similitude: The natural sun is placed by
the Creator to lighten the outward world, and
doth extend from its body a measure of its
light and natural property, shining on the just
and the unjust, and so doth daily give forth of
that virtue which is inherent in itself. When
the sun shineth dn any object whatsoever, we
sometimes say, the sun there appears; and
other times we say, there is the sun ; the pro-
priety of either of which expressions, I sup-
pose none will question ; for light in that ap-
pearance is seen, and virtue is felt, penetrating
to the refreshment of our natural bodies ; and
this light and heat are inseparable from the
fulness ; and notwithstanding it daily shineth
and displays its virtuous life into, and over all
the earth and its inhabitants ; yet its body is
not any way exhausted or altered through
ages and generations. And so, I say, that
Christ, the universal fountain of life, the Sun
of righteousness, the ocean and fulness of
spiritual light, life "and virtue, from whom is
communicated a measure of his nature, pro-

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perty and quality, is given of the Father, to
enlighten all the sons and daughters of men,
who accordingly are all enlightened with his
spiritual appearance; and though this appear-
ance cannot he called the fuiuess, yet being a
measure of that fulness, it is one in nature
and property with, and inseparable from the
fulness. And though through its virtue^ life
is daily communicated unto the sons of men,
who wait for the appearance thereof, as for
the morning light, and cannot live unto God
without it, yet doth he admit of no diminution
or change ; but all fulness of Divine light, life
and glory, doth and shall, through every age
and generation, remain with him. And al-
though the veil of darkness hath overshadow-
ed the hearts of some, so that when we give
testimony to the universal appearance of the
Sun of righteousness in the hearts of all the
sons and daughters of men, they are ready to
say, such a testimony leads to the diminishing
of that glory and honour which belongs unto
him, as he is the fulness, and sitting at the
right hand of the Father; inferring, as if,
whilst we testify to his appearance in our
hearts, we exclude his presence elsewhere.
Yet this inference is as irrational as it would
be for any to conclude, that because we say
of the shining and appearance of the sun,
there is the sun ; or the sun there appears ;
therefore we exclude the being of the sun
elsewhere. For its virtue is communicated to
our natural bodies, every one having in mea-
sure some enjoyment of the virtue or light of
the natural 8un» which is light to the eye of

Online LibraryWilliam EvansThe Friends' library: comprising journals, doctrinal treatieses, & other writings of members of the religious Society of Freinds → online text (page 33 of 104)