"Ye are called to peace" -- an epistle by George Fox [1658]


All Friends, everywhere, keep out of plots and bustling, and the arm of flesh; for all these are amongst Adam's sons in the fall, where they are destroying men's lives like dogs, beasts, and swine, goring, rending, and biting one another, destroying one another, and wrestling with flesh and blood. From whence arise wars and killing, but from the lusts? Now all this is in [the first] Adam in the fall, out of [Christ, the second] Adam that never fell, in whom there is peace and life.

Ye are called to peace, therefore follow it; that peace is in Christ, not in Adam in the fall. All that pretend to fight for Christ are deceived; for his kingdom is not of this world, therefore his servants do not fight. Fighters are not of Christ's kingdom, but are without Christ's kingdom: for his kingdom stands in peace and righteousness, but fighters are in the lust: and all that would destroy men's lives are not of Christ's mind, who came to save men's lives. Christ's kingdom is not of this world; it is peaceable: and all that are in strife are not of his kingdom. All that pretend to fight for the gospel are deceived; for the gospel is the power of God, which was before the devil or fall of man was: and the gospel of peace was before fighting was. Therefore they that pretend fighting, and talk of fighting so, are ignorant of the gospel. All that talk of fighting for Sion are in darkness: Sion needs no such helpers.

All such as profess themselves ministers of Christ, or christians, and go about to beat down the whore with outward, carnal weapons, the flesh and the whore are got up in themselves, and they are in a blind zeal: for the whore got up by the inward ravening from the spirit of God; and the beating down of the whore must be by the inward stroke of the sword of the spirit within. All such as pretend Christ Jesus, and confess him, yet run into the use of carnal weapons, wrestling with flesh and blood, throw away the spiritual weapons. They that would be wrestlers with flesh and blood, throw away Christ's doctrine; the flesh is got upon them, and they are weary of their sufferings. Such as would revenge themselves are out of Christ's doctrine. Such as being stricken on one cheek would not turn the other are out of Christ's doctrine. Such as do not love one another, nor love enemies, are out of Christ's doctrine.Therefore ye that are heirs of the blessings of God, which were before the curse and the fall was, come to inherit your portions: and ye that are heirs of the gospel of peace, which was before the devil was, live in the gospel of peace, seeking the peace and good of all men: and live in Christ, who came to save men's lives, out of Adam in the fall, where they destroy men's lives and live not in Christ.

The Jews' sword outwardly, by which they cut down the heathen, was a type [that is, a figure or foreshadow] of the spirit of God within, which [spirit] cuts down the heathenish nature within. So live in the peaceable kingdom of Christ Jesus. Live in the peace of God, and not in the lusts from whence wars arise. Live in Christ, the prince of peace, the way of God, the second Adam that never fell. Live not in Adam in the fall, in the destruction, where they destroy one another. Come out of Adam in the fall, into the second Adam that never fell. Live in love and peace with all men; keep out of all the bustlings in the world; meddle not with the powers of the earth; but mind the kingdom, the way of peace. Ye that are heirs of grace, heirs of the kingdom, heirs of the gospel, heirs of salvation, saints of the Most High, and children of God, whose conversation is in heaven, that is above the combustions of the earth; let your conversation preach to all men, and your innocent lives, that those who speak evil of you, beholding your godly conversation, may glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Friends everywhere, this I charge you, which is the word of the Lord God unto you all, "Live in peace, in Christ the way of peace;" therein seek the peace of all men and no man's hurt. In Adam in the fall is no peace; but in Adam out of the fall is the peace: So ye being in [Christ, the] Adam which never fell, it is love that overcomes, not hatred with hatred, nor strife with strife. Therefore live all in the peaceable life, doing good to all men, and seeking the good and welfare of all men.

-- G. F.

Edited by George Amoss Jr.

Source: The Works of George Fox, 1990 reprint of 1831 edition, Vol. 1 (Journal I), pp. 387-389

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