A sealed epistle written by George Fox with the inscription “not to be opened before the time” was found among his belongings soon after his death in the winter of 1690/91. The sealed epistle was read at the ensuing London Yearly Meeting, which printed and distributed it for the edification and comfort of Friends worldwide. The sealed epistle has appeared in print several times throughout its three centuries of existence; while based upon the 1694 version, this version follows much of the editing of the 1965 version (primarily changing to modern spelling), but with no impairment of content. This epistle is of special significance because it appears George Fox wanted these words to be his last written public declaration and testimony. The truth of this message has not been diminished by time but speaks to this and all generations.
This is for all the Children of God in all places in the world, who are led by His Spirit and walk in His Light, in which they have life, unity, and fellowship with the Father, the Son, and one with another.
Keep all your meetings in the name of the Lord Jesus, and keep them gathered in His name, by His Light, grace, truth, power and spirit; by which you will feel His blessed and refreshing presence among you and in you to your comfort and God’s glory.
And now all Friends, all your meetings (whether for worship or business) were set up by the power, spirit and wisdom of God; and in them you know that you have felt His power, spirit, wisdom and blessed refreshing presence among you and in you, to His praise and glory, and to your comfort, so that you have been as a city set upon a hill that cannot be hid.
Although many loose and unruly spirits have arisen to oppose you in print and other ways, you have seen how they have come to naught. The Lord has blasted them and brought their deeds to light: made them manifest to be trees without fruit, wells without water, wandering stars from the firmament of God’s power, and like the raging waves of the sea casting up mire and dirt. Many of them are like the dog which turned to his vomit, or the sow that was washed which turned again to the mire. This has been the condition of many; God knows as do His people.
Therefore, let all stand steadfast in Christ Jesus, your Head, in whom you are all one, male and female, and know His government. Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, but there will be an end to the rule of the Devil and all who are not in Christ (and oppose His rule and Him). Their judgment does not linger and their damnation does not slumber. Therefore, live and walk in God’s and Christ’s Light, life, spirit, and power, which is over all (and the seed of it) in love, innocency and simplicity. Dwell in righteousness and holiness, in His power, and in the Holy Ghost (in which God’s kingdom stands). Keep your eyes focused on the new and heavenly Jerusalem, which is from above and is free, with all her holy, spiritual children.
As for this spirit of rebellion and opposition that has arisen formerly and lately, it is not part of the kingdom of God and heavenly Jerusalem and is for judgment and condemnation with all its books, words and works. Therefore, Friends, live and walk in the power and spirit of God that is over the world, and in the seed that will bruise and break the rebellious spirit to pieces (in which seed you have joy and peace with God and power and authority to judge this spirit). Your unity is in the power and spirit of God that judges it. All God’s witnesses in His tabernacle go out against it, always have, and always will.
Jerusalem was the mother of all true Christians before the apostacy. Since the outward Christians are broken into many sects, they have gotten many mothers; but all they that are come out of the apostacy by the power and spirit of Christ have come to Jerusalem that is above to be their mother (and none below her), who nourishes all her spiritual children.
All the children of new Jerusalem that descends from above – the Holy City – of which the Lord and the Lamb is the Light and the temple – in it they are born again of the Spirit. So Jerusalem, that is above, is the mother of them that are born of the Spirit. Those who are coming and have come to the heavenly Jerusalem are those that receive Christ. He gives them power to become Sons of God, born again of the Spirit. So Jerusalem that is above, is their mother. Such come to the heavenly Mount Zion and the innumerable company of angels and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and have come to the Church of the living God written in heaven, and have the name of God and the city of God written upon them. So here is a new mother that brings forth a heavenly and spiritual generation.
There is no schism, nor division, nor contention, nor strife in heavenly Jerusalem nor in the body of Christ; it is a spiritual house, composed of living stones. Christ is not divided, for in Him there is peace. Christ says, “In Me you have peace;” He is from above and not of this world. But in the world below, and in its spirit, there is trouble. Therefore, keep in Christ and walk in Him.
Let no man live to self, but live to the Lord, as you will die in Him. Seek the peace of the Church of Christ and the peace of all men in Him; blessed are the peace makers. Dwell in the pure, peaceable, heavenly wisdom of God, which is gentle, easy to be entreated, and full of mercy; all striving to be of one mind, heart, soul and judgment in Christ, having His mind and spirit dwelling in you. Build up one another in the love of God which edifies the body of Christ – His Church – of which He is the holy Head.
So glory to God through Christ in this age and all other ages, who is the Rock and Foundation, the Immanuel, God with us, Amen. He is over all, the beginning and the end. In Him live and walk. In Him you have life eternal. In Him you will feel me and I you. Amen.