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ANCIENT, EMINENT, AND FAITHFUL SERVANT OF JESUS CHRIST,
CORRECTED BY THE FIRST EDITION
IN TWO VOLUMES.
And they that turn many to righteousness shall shine as the stars for ever and ever.-Dan ni 3
J. HARDING, PRINTER
Being a summary account of the divers dispensations of God to
men, from the beginning of the world to that of our present age, by the ministry and testimony of his faithful servant George Fox, as an introduction to the ensuing Journal.
Divers have been the dispensations of God since the creation of the world, unto the sons of men; but the great end of all of them has been the renown of his own excellent name in the creation and restoration of man: man, the emblem of himself, as a god on earth, and the glory of all his works. The world began with innocency: all was then good that the good God had made; and as he blessed the works of his hands, so their natures and harmony magnified him their Creator. Then the morning stars sang together for joy, and all parts of his works said Amen to his law. Not a jar in the whole frame, but man in paradise, the beasts in the field, the fowl in the air, the fish in the sea, the lights in the heavens, the fruits of the earth; yea, the air, the earth, the water, and fire worshipped, praised, and exalted his power, wisdom, and goodness. O holy sabbath! O holy day to the Lord !
But this happy state lasted not long : for man, the crown and glory of the whole, being tempted to aspire above his place, unhappily yielded against command and duty, as well as interest and felicity; and so fell below it, lost the divine image, the wisdom, power, and purity he was made in. By which, being no longer fit for paradise, he was expelled that garden of God, his proper dwelling and residence, and was driven out, as a poor vagabond, from the presence of the Lord, to wander in the earth, the habitation of beasts.
Yet God, that made him, had pity on him; for he seeing man was deceived, and that it was not of malice, or an original presumption in him, but through the subtlety of the serpent, (that had first fallen from his own state, and by the mediation of the woman, man's own nature and companion, whom the serpent had first deluded,) in his infinite goodness and wisdom found out a way to repair the breach, recover the loss, and restore fallen man again by a nobler and more excellent Adam, promised to be born of a woman; that as by means of a woman VOL. I.