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Part One

My Dear Children:

Not knowing how long it may please God to continue me amongst you, I am willing to embrace this opportunity of leaving you my advice and counsel with respect to your Christian and civil capacity and duty in this world. And I both beseech you and charge you, by the relation you have to me, and the affection I have always shown to you, and indeed received from you, that you lay up the same in your hearts, as well as your heads, with a wise and religious care.

I will begin with that which is the beginning of all true wisdom and happiness - the holy fear of God.

Children, Fear God; that is to say, have an holy awe upon your minds to avoid that which is evil, and a strict care to embrace and do that which is good. The measure and standard of which knowledge and duty is the light of Christ in your consciences, by which, as in John 3: 2O, 21, you may clearly see if your deeds - aye, and your words and thoughts, too, are wrought in God or not; (for they are the deeds of the mind, and for which you must be judged); I say, with this divine light of Christ in your consciences, you may bring your thoughts, words, and works to judgment in yourselves, and have a right, true, sound, and unerring sense of your duty towards God and man. And as you come to obey this blessed light in its holy convictions, it will lead you out of the world's dark and degenerate ways and works, and bring you unto Christ's way and life, and to be of the number of his true, self-denying followers, to take up your cross for his sake, that bore his for yours, and to become the children of the Light, putting it on as your Holy armor, by which you may see and resist the fiery darts of Satan's temptations, and overcome him in all his assaults.

I would a little explain this principle to you: It is called Light (John 1: 9; 3: 19, 20, 21, and 8:12; Ephes. 5. 8, 13, 14; 1 Thess. 5: 5; 1 Epistle of John 1: 5, 6, 7 ; Rev, 21: 23) because it gives man a sight of his sin; and it is also called the Quickening Spirit, for so he is called; and the Lord from heaven (as 1 Cor. 15: 45, 57) who is called and calls himself the Light of the world (John 8: 12); and why is he called the Spirit? Because He gives man spiritual life. And (John 16: 8) Christ promised to send his spirit to convince the world of their sins. Wherefore, that which convinces you and all people of their sins is the spirit of Christ: This is highly prized (Rom. 8), as you may read in that great and sweet chapter, for the children of God are led by it. This reveals the things of God that appertain to man's salvation and happiness (1 Cor. 2: 10, 11, 12). It is the earnest God gives His people (2 Cor. 5: 5). It is the great end, and benefit, and blessing of the coming of Christ, viz.: The shining forth of this Light, and pouring forth of this Spirit. Yea Christ is not received by them that resist his light and spirit in their hearts; nor can they have the benefit of his birth, life, death, resurrection, intercession, etc.., who rebel against the Light. God sent his Son to bless us, in turning us from the evil of our ways: Therefore have a care of evil, for that turns you away from God; and wherein you have done evil, do so no more: But be ye turned, my dear children, from that evil in thought, as well as in word or deed, or that will turn you from God your Creator, and Christ whom he has given you for your redeemer; who redeems and saves his people from their sins (Tit. 2: 14), not in their sins; read Acts 2 and Heb. 8, and the Christian dispensation will appear to be that of the spirit, which sin quencheth, hardens the heart against, and bolts the door upon. This holy, divine principle is called grace, too (1 Tim.2:11,12); there you will see the nature and office of it, and its blessed effects upon those that were taught of it in the primitive days. And why Grace? Because it is God's love, and not our desert, his good will, his kindness, For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3: 16). And it is this holy Son, that in John 1:14, 16, is declared to be full of grace and truth, and that of his grace we receive grace for grace; that is, we receive of him the fullness, what measure of grace we need. And the Lord told Paul in his great trials, when ready to stagger about the sufficiency of the grace he had received to deliver him: My grace is sufficient for thee (2 Cor. 12: 9). Oh, children! love the grace, hearken to this grace; it will teach you, it will sanctify you, it will lead you to the rest and kingdom of God; as it taught the saints of old, first, what to deny, viz.: To deny ungodliness and worldly lusts; and then what to do, viz.: To live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world (Tit. 2: 11, 12 ). And he that is full of grace is full of light; and he that is full of light is the quickening spirit that gives a manifestation of his spirit to every one to profit with (1 Cor. 12: 7). And he that is the quickening spirit is the truth. I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, said he to his poor followers (John 14: 6); and if the truth make you free, said he to the Jews, then are you free indeed (John 8: 32, 36). And this truth sheds abroad itself in man, and begets truth in the inward parts, and makes false, rebellious, hypocritical man a true man to God again. Truth in the inward parts is of great price with the Lord. And why called Truth? Because it tells man the truth of his spiritual state; it shows him this state, deals plainly with him, and sets his sins in order before him. So that, my dear children, the light, spirit, grace, and truth are not divers principles, but divers words or denominations given to one eternal power and heavenly principle in you, though not of you, but of God, according to the manifestationor operation thereof in the servants of God of old time: Light, to discover and give discerning; Spirit, to quicken and enliven; Grace, to wit: the love of God; Truth, because it tells man the truth of his condition, and redeems him from the errors of his ways; so that as darkness, death, sin, and error are the same, light, spirit, grace, and truth are the same.

This is that which is come by Christ; and a measure of this light, spirit, grace, and truth is given to every man and woman to see their way to go by. This is that which distinguishes Friends from all other societies, as they are found walking in the same, which leads out of vain honors, compliments ments, lusts, and pleasures of the world.

O, my dear children! this is the pearl of price; part with all for it, but never part with it for all the world. This is the gospel leaven to leaven you; that is, sanctify and season you in body, soul, and spirit, to God your heavenly Father's use and service, and your own lasting comfort. Yea, this is the divine incorruptible seed of the kingdom, of which all truly regenerate men, and women, Christians of Christ's making are born.