Abington, 30th of the Second Month [April], 1738:
This morning, as I was preparing to go to meeting [for worship], it was opened in me that all the nominal Quakers who live in sin—which is hell, the devil’s kingdom and government—are of the same spirit and as bad as other people in and of the world, and some of them much worse. Such as have been enlightened and are sunk into the earth again are more dark and stupid than others.
For publicans and harlots stand more ready and willing to receive the message of the kingdom of heaven—which is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost—than they, according to Christ’s doctrine and the observation of the children of God who dwell in his kingdom of righteousness which is free from all sin and keep their habitation in the Light.
For as dear George Fox writes [in his] Journal [Nickalls ed., pp. 29–30]: he saw concerning the priests that although they acted by a dark power and stood in the deceit which they and the people were kept under, yet they were not the greatest deceivers spoken of in scripture. For they were not come so far as Cain, Corah, Dathan, Balaam, and others: to hear the voice of God and knew it, yet these turned from the Spirit. Such as these were and would be the greatest deceivers, far beyond the priests. Likewise among Christians, such as could preach in Christ’s name, work miracles, cast out devils, etc., and go as far as Cain, Corah, and Balaam in Gospel times: such as these were and would be the greatest deceivers.
Page 117, 118 [Nickalls ed., p. 173?] he advises Friends: that none appear in words beyond what they be in the Life that gave forth the words. Here none shall be as the untimely figs. Let no image or likeness be made, but in the Light wait, which will bring condemnation on that part that would make the images and speaks with the Egyptian tongue.
Page 24, 225, 361. All Friends that speak abroad, see that it be in the Life of God, for that begets to God. The fruits of that shall never wither. And this sows to the Spirit which is in prison, and of the Spirit reaps Life (to you this is the Word of the Lord God), and the other sows in the flesh, and of the flesh reaps corruption. There is that which maketh merry over the witness of God; and there is that which maketh merry in the Lord. Such the Lord doth beautify, whose trust is in his strength. But such as be from the Light, whose Eyes be after their abominations and idols, their eyes are to be blinded, and their beautiful idols and their abominations to be destroyed, that nothing may rule and reign but Power and Life itself.