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So to believe in the name of Chrift, and to fly to his name, and truft in his name, and to pray to the Father in his name, and to obey in his name and power; these are great matters, and very few of thofe that make profeffion of them truly know them: for his name is living (he was dead, but is alive) and his prefence, heavenly virtue, and power is in it. They that know his name, know that which is above every name. They know that which hath an authority from God to bring all things under (both in the heart, and alfo in the life and converfation) that God alone may be exalted.

The gospel state is a great ftate, an high ftate, a ftate not of fhadowy things, but of the everlasting kingdom, where the fubitance of the things under the law is given to, and poffeffed by, thofe that are there, as they grow up in the gospel power and covenant. There the gofpel falt is known, the faft which God hath chofen, which is to loofe the bands of wickednes (which bind down the good, even that which is of God in the heart) to take off the heavy burdens, under which, and by which, that which is pure is bowed down, and to let the oppreffed feed go free. This is the faft which God hath chofen under the gofpel; the pure and undefiled faft, even to vifit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep one's felf unfpotted from the world. And to thofe that observe this faft God maketh a feast of fat things; for their light breaketh forth as the morning, and their health groweth up fpeedily; and their righteoufnefs goeth before them, and the glory of the Lord gathereth them up, or is their rereward; and the Lord is nigh unto them, and is ready to anfwer them in all that they call upon him for, as was promised, Ifai. lviii. 8, 9. Now being come to this feast, they are to keep it with unleavened bread, as to the flesh, and as to man's wif dom; but with the bread which is leavened with the Spirit, leavened with life; and with the wine of the kingdom; which Chrift eats and drinks with his redeemed-ones, new in the gospel spirit and power, which is his Father's kingdom: for the kingdom of God ftandeth not in meats or drinks, or any other outward thing, no not in good words concerning the things of the kingdom; but in Spirit, power, and life itself, and in the righteoufness, peace, and joy, which is in the Spirit.

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The Following appears to have been wrote in anfwer to the QUERIES and ANIMADVERSIONS of an Author not named therein. It is fuppofed, our Friend ISAAC PENINGTON might have mentioned him in the Title, or pointed him out by fome fhort introductory Address, which, thro' Accident, was omitted by the Printer.

Concerning the RULE of the NEW COVENANT, or that which
GOD hath appointed to be the Rule to the Children of the
New Covenant.

TH

HE way, the truth, the life; the everlasting way, the everlasting truth, the everlasting life; that is the rule in the new covenant. God fent Chrift his Son, the Word of eternal life, a light into the world; and the meffage and drift of the gospel, is to turn men from the inward darkness to the inward light; and being turned to it, the manifeftation of this light is to be the rule, which manifefts the way of light and truth as immediately in the heart, as ever the darkness did the way of deceit and error.

The promise of the new covenant is, I will put my Spirit within them; and this Spirit hath an inward law and teftimony, which it writeth in the heart; which inward law and teftimony is to be the rule of the heart. And as the outward Jews were to have recourfe to the outward law and teftimony, fo the inward Jews are to have recourse to the inward law and testimony; and to witnefs the law of the Spirit of life in Chrift Jefus revealed in them, and their minds and fpirits fubjected thereto : and this is near, bright, and powerful in those who receive the Spirit, and with him the law and power of the endless life.

The letter killeth: the Jews understood not the way of life by the letter; therefore, the promife was, I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh and because ye are fons, God hath fent forth the Spirit of his Son; and thou fhalt hear a voice behind thee, faying, This is the way, walk in it. And this voice is to be hearkened to; this prophet (which God raifeth up to the foul in the Mmm 2

new

new covenant) is to be heard in all things: and he that hears his voice, and obeys, lives; and he that hears not is in death, even until now, profefs what he will.

In Chrift Jefus, neither circumcifion availeth any thing, nor uncircumcifion, but the new creation; if any man walk according to this rule, peace be upon him, &c. What doth the apoftle call the rule here? Oh! wait on the Lord to read in the Spirit, and rightly to understand.

If a man receive the Spirit, and walk in the newness of the light, and quickenings thereof every day, hath he not a rule which is certain and infallible? If any man be in Christ, there is a new creation; and the limits of that new creation (which is the light and power of the endless life, or of God's Holy Spirit dwelling within) are his rule. And within the bounds of that (within the bounds of his light, his life, his motions, his inftructions) man never errs; but out of it, deceit, and darkness, and error is always at hand.

Yet (though we do own Chrift to be the rule) we do not deny making ufe of the scriptures to try doctrines and forms of religion by; but know, that what is of God, doth and will agree therewith; and what doth not agree therewith, is not of God; and that our fore-fathers in the faith, were led to batter the fuperftitions and idolatries of the Papifts, by the teftimony of the fcriptures. And we have alfo the teftimony of the fcriptures with us, both to the light and Spirit within, and against forms formerly invented, or now practised, out of the life and power. But we believe the Spirit to be a touch-ftone beyond the fcriptures, and to be that which giveth ability to try and difcern, not only words, but fpirits; whereas a man may hold the form of doctrine and godlinefs, and yet want the power: in which cafe, nothing can try such a fpirit, but the Spirit of God, which is in the fpiritual man. And for calling the fcriptures the Word of God, we cannot but look upon it as an improper expreffion, They being Many Words, not the One Word; and Chrift is called in the fcripture, not only the Word God, but the Word of God. And if, in the fear of the Lord, and true fenfe, we keep herein to the expreffions of fcripture, and its form of words, which are found; furely we cannot juftly be blamed for fo doing.

But whereas ye affirm the fcripture to be the rule; confider feriously, and answer me this question. How is it a rule? Whether it be a rule, as it is literally understood? Or, Whether it must not be interpreted, before it can be understood as a rule? If it must be interpreted, What must be the interpreter ; whether muft it be the Spirit of God, or a man's wisdom?

As to that queftion, Whether the writings of any now be of equal weight with the fcriptures; I have this to say:

The weight of the words which are from God's Spirit, is according to the ftrength of life which he pleaseth to cloathe them with. He fent forth Mofes, the prophets, the Son in that body of flesh, the apoftles, in his name and authority; and the angel that he fends with the everlasting gof

pel,

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pel, after the apoftafy, to preach to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, he fends not without his authority; yea, the meffage that he thus fends in any age, hath a peculiar reference to the state of the world, and the state of the people of God in that age; and none can flight it (whether it be fignified by word or writing) without dashing against God's authority, and defpifing him that fpeaketh in these latter days. Yea, the immediate word of the Lord, spoken and declared at this day, by any man to whom it pleaseth the Lord to commit the fame, is of no lefs authority, nor more to be flighted now, than it was in his fervants in the days past, by whom the fcriptures were given forth.

Concerning Chrift.

C

HRIST is that word of eternal life, which was glorified with the Father before the world was; who in the full appointed time took up the body of flesh, prepared by the Father, to do the will in, and did the will in it, fulfilling all righteousness, to the fatisfaction of the very heart of the Father; for whofe name's fake the fins of believers are pardoned. And this fame word of eternal life, and no other, which took that body of flesh upon him, is alfo manifefted, and dwelleth in the hearts of his faints; who (as they receive him in the faith which is of him) dwells in them richly, manifefting in the veffel the treasures of his divine wisdom and knowledge. Now, this is the precious knowledge of Chrift indeed; and this is it every one is to wait for, to find a measure of the fame life, the fullness whereof dwells in him bodily, dwelling in our mortal bodies, and making us like unto him, in fpirit, nature, and converfation. And he that knoweth not, but oppofeth this (in any of its appearances, or operations), either in himfelf or others, is fo far of the dark antichriftian spirit.

Concerning the Form of Sound Words.

Nh

OT only the form of found words, but also the good knowledge of the heavenly things themfelves, have been miferably loft, and buried in the ruins of the great apoftafy. And though God hath oftentimes touched men's spirits, and given them fome fenfe of the antichriftian state of darkness; yet have they not had that regard thereunto, fo as to be led thereby out of the ftate of darkness, but are found in Babylon, by the Spirit of the Lord, at the very time of his coming to deftroy her. For though the Spirit of the Lord call out of Babylon; yet there is great danger of not obferving and following the call, but of abiding still there, and partaking of her plagues.

Now, though men have had the fcriptures, yet wanting the Spirit of God, and not knowing how to turn their minds thereto, and diftinguifh his voice from the voice of their own fpirits and reafonings (yea, of the enemy

alfo,

alfo, who lieth in wait to fleal into mens ininds falfe apprehenfions from the fcriptures), they have not come into a clear understanding, either of the things or words of scripture; but with that knowledge, and those apprehenfions of things, which they have gathered, they have many times been ready to fight rather against Chrift than antichrift; and fo their confeffions of faith, and expofitions of fcriptures, have been mixed things; rather fuiting to their own beliefs and apprehenfions, than the true nature of the things themselves: yea, by this gathered knowledge, they have been in great danger of a defperate oppofing the pure administration of God's truth, from and in the light and power of his own Spirit. Likewife the churches they have gathered and built up, they have done in a way of imitation of what was done once formerly by the power, and in the authority, of the Spirit; but not in the fame power, life, and, authority. I might fay the fame about their ordinances and duties; wherein the Lord (God knoweth) hath manifefted to others, and can manifeft to them, that they have erred very much.

It is true, ye have rejected fome wood, hay, and stubble; and we acknowledge the Lord's goodness to you, in that ye have gone fo far. Yea, but there is yet more to be rejected; and all imitations, and knowledges, and interpretations of fcripture out of the pure life, are to be laid afide; and the Spirit of the Lord waited upon, in the light which is of him; to which the mind is to be turned from the darknels, and in which it is to abide. Now here ye are very fhort; not fo much as come to the outward owning or understanding of the way; fo far are ye from walking therein.

That ye feek to find the power and operation of Truth in your hearts, I do believe it concerning divers of you; and do bless the Lord in reference to any of you that it is fo with you, and from my heart defire for you, that your hearts may be answered by the Lord therein, and that ye may feel prefervation through that which is of him in you; though distinctly ye know it not, nor how to have your minds turned towards, and to wait upon, the Lord in it.

So to feek to have Chrift formed in you, and to know union with him, and a real implanting into him; to know him as a vine, as head, a living ftone, a root, as meat indeed, and drink indeed, &c. this is precious indeed to defire, but much more precious to witness and oh! that ye alfo knew the way, the living way, wherein God communicateth these things abundantly, to those who once fat in the defolate and barren places, mourning and forely crying out for the want of them; for then ye would not oppofe us for turning people from darkness to light, but be one with us therein !

The integrity which is in any of you, is of God; and though the foul mistake about a duty or ordinance, yet the cry therein after him is not wholly rejected and defpifed by him. But ye would know much more of him, if ye were acquainted with him in his own way, and worshipped him

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