67: Concerning the True Foundation of the True Congregation of God: The Truth

Something came into my mind this day, concerning the foundation of the righteous, which are saints, and the foundation of the unrighteous, to wit: sinners of all [religious] professions.

Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal (Oh blessed seal indeed! Oh holy evidence!) The Lord knoweth them that are his. (His know him and worship him in Spirit and in the Truth, without any sin.)  And let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

He that hath not Christ’s Spirit is none of his, but is an idolater—and his worship is such, preacher or hearer of whatever name.

He that doeth righteousness is righteous, as he (to wit, God) is righteous.

Little children, let no man deceive you . . . . He that committeth sin is of the devil.

All unrighteousness and iniquity are sin, and all sin is the devil’s foundation. So all that are building in sin and living in sin are building on the devil’s foundation, and here the devil’s foundation standeth sure. Likewise in sin his servants and ministers are established in his kingdom in sin, built on his foundation, and have a commission from him too, to preach the doctrine of his government or kingdom. Sin, term of life, [and] no freedom from it, say they, while we are in these bodies; although the Holy Ghost said to the believers, your bodies are his temple.

Now consider my dear fellow creatures of all names, while you are committing of sin and living in sin, you are established in Satan’s government or kingdom, and built and building on his foundation, which is sandy or worse. You may read and pray, sing songs or psalms at home or go to meetings [for worship], carry your Bibles under your arms, make an idol of them, and hear preaching or praying either by form or extempore, or receive the bread and wine, call it communion—but it is with Satan. You may go and be sprinkled, dipped, and plunged a hundred or a thousand times, calling it baptism—yet it is all of Satan.

While in sin, you may go to Quakers’ meeting [for worship] and sit in silence, fall asleep, fall fast asleep. Then wake—first fall a-sighing, spitting, or blowing the nose—[and] stand up pretending to preach, kneel down pretending to pray, or sit or stand to hear preaching and praying—it’s all of Satan, while in sin! The new moons and sabbaths, sabbaths, sabbaths, and most solemn gatherings of assemblies were a cursed abomination to the Lord of old, although of his own appointment, while their hearts were after Satan and their idols. Their offering swine’s blood, cutting off a dog’s neck or slaying of a man was not more offensive to God, because both [were] done in the spirit of Satan.

And so it is now with the nominal Christians. For the plowing of the wicked is sin, though nothing [is] more warrantable scarcely in this world—an offering well accepted in Abel, rejected and cursed in Cain, because his heart was not right in the sight of God. Are not some of us as bad as they were? Read Isaiah 1. And you false ministers, read Jeremiah 23.