George Fox’s use of Conscience

Source: A collection of many select and Christian epistles, letters and testimonies, written on sundry occasions, by that ancient, eminent, faithful Friend and minister of Jesus Christ, George Fox Vol. 1

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1. This was given to the king and both houses of parliament, being ' A brief, and plain, and true relation of the late and sad sufferings of the people of God in scorn called Quakers, for worshipping, and exercising a good conscience towards God and man. pg. 13

2. And therefore all mind your gift, mind your measure; mind your calling and your work. Some speak to the conscience ; some plough and break the clods ; some weed out, and some sow ; some wait, that fowls devour not the seed. But wait all for the gathering of the simple-hearted ones ; for ' they that turn many to righteousness, shall shine for ever.' pg. 18

3. Mind the light, that all may be refreshed one in another, and all in one. And the God of power and love keep all Friends in power, in love, that there be no surmisings, but pure refreshings in the unlimited love of God, which makes one another known in the conscience, to read one another's hearts: being comprehended into this love, it is inseparable, and all are here one. pgs. 18,19

4. Friends, — If ye love the light, and walk in it, ye love Christ, and will all walk in unity together. And if ye hate the light, ye hate Christ. Here is your teacher, who love it ; here is your condemnation, who hate the light. And the conscience being seared, there is a returning to teachers without. For the carnal will have its vain invented form ; but the spirit's form stands in the power. Prove yourselves where ye are. pg. 21

5. But if any go, before they are moved, and so from the light walk, he is a stumbling block, and is to be judged and condemned by the light ; and is out of the wisdom, and out of the fear, and soweth to the flesh, and reaps corruption, and by the light is condemned. For that answereth not the light in every man's conscience, neither doth it reach to the life, the spirit in prison ; but it manifesteth weakness, and fool ishness, and nakedness, which is from the light, and contrary to it. And such are stumbling blocks, and do not answer the witness of God in the conscience.

Therefore wait all in the light, for to receive the power from him who is not of the world, that ye may be preserved from nakedness and weakness. For that which goes from the light, and is not guided with it, runs into the lust ; and there is the slothful, which is to be judged, and that that will offend, to which the wo is ; for it answereth not that of God in the conscience: pg. 40

6. Many deceivers are entered into the world. The world hates the light, and deceivers are turned from the light, and the antichrists they are turned from the light, therefore they oppose it, and some of them call it a natural conscience, a natural light ; and such put the let ter for the light. But with the light, which never changes, (which was before the world was,) are these deceivers seen, where they enter into the world. pg 51

7. The seed is sown upon all sorts of ground; upon the highway ground, thorny, and stony ground, and good ground. And Christ hath given to every one a measure, and ability according to his measure ; he that improves not his measure, he hath the eye, and seeth not, and ear, and heareth not, and heart, and doth not understand. And he is the thief, that steals the apostles' words, and Christ's words. And is the drunkard who abides not in the light; gone from his measure, and so abides not in the doctrine of Christ. And this light shall be thy condemnation, when the book of conscience is opened, which should exercise your con science, which will condemn you. And the wrath of God abides upon the children of disobedience. pg. 59

8. Here not a deceiver shall stand, nor a false prophet, nor an antichrist, who oppose the light; but with the light all such are seen and comprehended. Which light is eternal, and was before the world was, which comprehends the world; which light is one in every man's conscience ; which light is the condemnation of all that hate it, and of all that profession that is acted in that nature contrary to the light.  pg. 69

9. And so, according to the light of Christ in them all, speak, that to it their minds may be guided; and declare the truth to them, which is agreeable to that of God in every one's conscience. And bear witness to the sum and sub stance, Christ Jesus, and show forth that to them all. And declare it to the highest judicature in the nation, when ye suffer for the testi mony of Jesus, that ye witness to the substance, Christ Jesus, who is ascended far above all the principalities and powers ; and that ye wit ness to the ministry of life. And show forth the substance to them, (if ye have an opportunity,) showing to them, that ye suffer for conscience sake. And so over the world stand, and over all their evil works, and bring all men's works to the light. pg. 83

10. Nor no one can come in amongst you, which hath such ends, to make a prey upon you ; but ye dwelling in the light which is eternal, he is judged, and his self-ends, with the light which is eternal ; which is one with the light in his conscience, which condemns him. Then if he own his condemna tion, he is to be received amongst you in the light, in which ye all have unity with Christ and with God. pg. 94

11. For they that do evil, go from the witness of God in their own conscience, and then the higher power comes over them. pg 105

12. And the gospel ye shall be shod with. And standing and dwelling in the power of God, there the shield of faith ye will receive, that gives the victory over the world, with which ye have all access to God; which mystery of faith is held in a pure conscience. So, in the power of God ye all living, ye live in the Lamb's authority, in the Lamb's dominion ; and victory through him over all the world ye come to obtain, to answer that of God in all consciences, in cleanness of heart and mind. pg. 106

13. Almighty direct you and bring down all fleshly wills ; that the pure may be raised up. So meet together and wait upon God, if there be not a word, I charge you. Beware of contention, for there ye get above that of God in the conscience, and so go out of the fear of the Lord. pg. 117

14. And also any that suffer for not putting off their hats for conscience sake ... pg. 135

15. Keep down the lustful heart and eye, for that leads from God, and joins with the adulterate in any thing, or with any thing that is evil ; keep truth and a pure conscience, and there ye have an unspotted life, in which ye may see over the spotted life, where no chastity nor purity is. pg. 145

16. For Christ is the author of our faith, which is the gift of God, which is a mystery held in a pure conscience. pg. 160

17. For faith is a mystery held in a pure conscience, by which ye have access to God; in which faith ye please God, in which faith ye have unity, which gives you the victory over that which separates from God — the enmity.  pg. 203

18. and the power of God, (the gospel) expels away that which burdened your spirits, minds, hearts, consciences, and souls ; so that being driven away by the power of God, and the mind set at liberty, the spirit, the conscience, the heart, the soul that is immortal being brought up by the power of God, here the soul hath its pleasure in God; then, by the power of God, man seeth over that which hath burthened his spirit, mind, soul, and conscience, and beyond it, and before it was; where the spirit, soul, mind, and conscience cry glad tidings.' And here is the joyful gospel, and here is the faith in the everlasting gospel, the power of God ; and here is life and immortality come to light through the power of God, (the gospel,) which power of God, the everlasting gospel, was before that was that darkened man from life and immortality, and hath loaded people's minds, hearts, souls, and consciences ; the power of God was before that was, and remains when that is all gone. pg. 227, 228

19. Keep in the faith that works by love, that purifieth your hearts ; the mystery of which is held in a pure conscience ; which faith brings you to have access to God, and gives you victory over that which separates from God. pg 276

20. And so friends, all sufferings of Friends, of what sort soever, for conscience sake to Christ ... pg. 306

21. And all that are out of this faith, they cry, no victory while we are upon the earth ; but they must have a body of sin unto the grave, and a purgatory to cleanse them in; these are all in the error concerning the faith ; these have made shipwreck of faith and and a good conscience ; these are all in the dead faith, and so cannot preach the true and living faith of God's elect. pg. 323

22. And it is desired of all, that before they publicly complain, they wait in the power of God to feel, if there is no more required of them to their brother or sister, before they expose him or her to the church : let this be weightily considered. And further, when the church is told, and the party admonished by the church again and again, and he or they remain still insensible and unreconciled, let not final judgment go forth against him or her, till every one of the meeting have cleared his or her conscience; that if any thing be upon any further to visit such a transgressor, they may clear themselves, that if possible the party may be reached and saved. pg. 339, 340

23. That all  prisoners for the truth be minded, who are in want, and who are not, and the families of such who are in prison, whether they are in want or not ; and such as are decayed any manner of way, and cannot help themselves ; and such as have left a calling, which they cannot for conscience sake follow ; do the best you can to help them, and further them to employment, that they may labour in the thing that is good, and be a blessing in the creation ; that this you may do, that you may be a blessing in your generation. pg. 342