I have preserved a Journal of my whole life. There are some things therein, that I am fully persuaded are true in the visions of God; but which many of the wise, even in our Society, cannot receive, so as feelingly to approve and promote. Some think there are journals enough printed. I never had any idea that so many were, or would be published, as to render any more useless. I think I am groundedly certain, I don't wish mine ever printed, from anything I feel but a desire for the good of mankind. If, with proper and sufficient (not too punctilious) corrections, it be really thought likely to promote the cause of truth, let it appear; if not, let it remain among my papers. If I live, I expect and intend to make very considerable alterations, abridgments, and perhaps some additional remarks. I expect to continue the Journal, perhaps as long as I am able to write. I believe all the parts, as I now leave them, will be found to connect, and form somewhat of an unbroken whole; without too much tautology or repetition of the like things.
On the whole, I have believed it my duty to preserve these memoirs; and to the disposal of Divine Providence I freely submit myself and them, with all that is mine, or near and dear to me; little regarding what happens to me in this life, so that my soul may be made and preserved pure in the sight of my God.
The tautology is mostly about daily exercises. As to doctrines, I am not afraid, that treating at different times on nearly the same subject, a little differently illustrated, will do any harm.
I know I have treated some mysteries a little more openly, and handled them a little differently, from what I have seen in any writings; but as I am deeply grounded in them, as being the very life and substance of Christianity, indeed of all true religion, I am very doubtful that a suppression of them would retard, rather than promote, the true knowledge of Christ. I know many Friends are afraid of the objections of professors. No doubt, professors will object, as they always have done, to every unfolding of truth: but, what avail their cavils, or, indeed, what avails their quiet with us, if it is in a way that allows them to live at ease in sin, under a mistaken notion that they are going to heaven by Christ? It is time professors were aroused, and those of our own fold as well as others; for great numbers among us can scarcely bear the true and undisguised doctrines of the gospel.
Truth has rarely been promoted, after a time of stagnation, ease, and superficial profession, but in and through the fresh openings of something that the spirit of the world, however high in profession, could not receive: and I am firm in the faith that the veil will yet further be rent, and the covering more and more removed, that is spread over the face of all nations. Times and seasons will come wherein that which is revealed in the ear must and will be declared on the housetop. The Lord is on his way, gradually unveiling himself to his inquiring, seeking children, and woe, woe, from an all-righteous Judge, to those who dare to lift a hand against the right-timed openings and revelations of his heavenly mysteries!
For my part, I fear not the heathen's rage, nor the people's imagination of vain things: for I know with all the certainty that I know any gospel truth, that in the midst of a high profession of Christ, darkness still covers the earth, and gross darkness the people; and I care not how soon their false rest is disturbed, yea, rather I wish it may be disturbed, and believe it will be so, for the spirit of the Lord is grieved with the lifeless, unsanctified, and unsound profession of Christianity that abounds in the nations.
I would as soon trust my immortal state upon the profession of deism, as upon the common notions of salvation by Christ! Many seem to think, if Christ, in name, be the object of their profession, they are certainly in the true faith; whereas too few have any clear sense either what or where Christ is, and many are ready to quarrel with everything that tends to open the mystery. I am as sure there is no salvation out of Christ, as I am of anything in the world: I am also as sure that the common ideas of salvation are very greatly beside the true doctrine of salvation by Christ. And, moreover, I am as easy to risk my everlasting condition upon the true faith and fellowship of Christ, as inwardly revealed from glory to glory to those who keep a single eye to his holy light within them, as I am in believing that God made the heavens and the earth! For I am indisputably ascertained, in the life and fundamental certainty of the true grounds of salvation by Christ; and that in all ages, it has been a real birth of God in the soul, a substantial union of the human and divine nature; the son of God, and the son of man, which is the true Immanuel state, God and man in an ever blessed oneness and harmonious agreement: and I know Christ must sit at the right hand of eternal power in my soul, till his and my foes be made his footstool, if ever I reign with him in fullness of glory.
He is David's son, and as truly the son of every soul that is ever truly reconciled to God. The reconciliation takes place in none without their becoming his mother; and yet he is David's Lord, and Lord of all in whom he is begotten. I acknowledge him my Lord, even as revealed in me, as he was in Paul: as such he is my hope of glory: and I agree with Paul that "though we have known him" by literal description "after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him so no more"; and with Christ himself, that "it is the spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing." And I do marvel, that after this plain testimony from the Lord's own mouth, people will so rely on a knowledge and profession of him after the flesh, and condemn those whose faith and knowledge are after the spirit, in the holy sonship and newness of life.