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Spirit to inftruct them, but they rebelled against him: but that there are fome glimmerings of light diftinct from the Spirit of Chrift, teaching fallen man to do this, and fome answerable ftrength in him to walk up thereto, I read not.

It is the promife of the new covenant, that God will write his laws in the heart; and whatever of his law is written in any man's heart, it is by virtue thereof; for man is dead unto God's law naturally, and his eye blinded by the God of the world; but that which opens his eye to fee what the law faith, is the light of the Spirit. For that which maketh manifeft is light; and that which may be known of God in the Gentiles, is made manifeit to them by the light of God in them; which fhineth in their darkness, but their darkness cannot comprehend it; but it fathometh and comprehendeth the darkness, and is able to gather the mind out of it, being fubjected to it, in the will which it creates and begets, through the eternal power which vifits by it, and is prefent with it, to work the mind out of, and deliver it from, the darkness. And as this light comes from Chrift (for he is the true light, that enlighteneth every man that cometh into the world) so it discovers and maketh manifeft Chrift, in his nature and Spirit, and leadeth and guideth towards him; and he that is led to him in Spirit, and born of him in Spirit, cannot mifs of the benefit and virtue of what he did in that body of flesh; being gathered into, and found in, that which is of him, to which all belongs. And in and by this is received that nature wherein the law is anfwered; and the work of anfwering the law, is through the renewing of the mind, and an evidence of somewhat of a new nature; every degree of which nature is begotten and maintained by Chrift, the power of God; who is over the fall, and the whole corruption thereof. But by the old corrupt nature or mind, can no man do the things contained in the law; for it is enmity against God, and is not fubject to his holy law; neither indeed can be. But the law is fpiritual, holy, juft, and good, converting the foul, and making wife the fimple; which work it effecteth, where-ever it is written in the heart, by the finger of God's Spirit.

Then again, as touching God's imputing Chrift's active and paffive obedience, &c. we do not lay the ftrefs of juftification in believing a notion, concerning Chrift's active and paffive obedience; but this we know, that Chrift did obey and fuffer, and that it was for our fakes; and that, for his fake, there is a gift given us from the Father, to draw us to Chrift; and that he that is overcome to God, by the gift of his light, is thereby drawn out of the darkness; and that that gift brings every man (that hears the heavenly voice thereof, and follows it) into the Son's light, into the Son's nature, into the Son's life, into the Son's Spirit; in which, the Gentiles might partake of remiffion of fins for his fake, being gathered thereby out of the darkness, into his light and power. For though they had never heard the outward found or name Chrift; yet feeling the thing, and being gathered to God by the thing, the value and virtue of it could not but re

dound

dound to them: for it is not the outward name, but the inward life and power, which is the Saviour.

And whereas the voice of the Spirit faith, Ho, every one that thirfteth, come ye to the waters; what are the waters to which the thirsty are invited to come? Did we not believe in Chrift, and caft ourselves on Chrift in that day, according as thou apprehendeft? And yet the thirst and cry of our fouls was not fatisfied. But the living waters fatisfy the thirft. Nor is it a believing a relation concerning the thing; but a receiving of the thing, of the milk, of the wine, of the living water, which answers the desire of the thirsty foul. And by coming to the living waters, and hearing the living voice, and eating and drinking the living food, the foul lives, and the everlafting covenant is made with it, even the fure mercies of David, which are fure in the covenant of life for ever. And thofe that are living, in and by the true life, cannot defire to reap or enjoy any thing out of the new covenant of life, but only in it.

This is in my heart concerning you: Ye lay the ftrefs upon a notion, and upon an act of the creature from and upon a notion; which they that are out of the life may perform; and who (that hath any fenfe of a man in him) would not perform, to avoid perifhing? That is, who would not thus caft himself upon Chrift, if believing after fuch a manner would fave him? And yet there is alfo a difference, a very great difference, between doing of it now, when Chrift is generally owned as the Saviour, and doing it then, when he was generally dilowned. In them who thus believed, it argued the teachings of the life and power fo to do; but now the form of owning Chrift is far more common than any form or way of difowning him. So that now, not the word, nor the form, nor the outward owning, or the cafting of the foul upon Chrift, is fo much to be confidered or valued; but rather the power, the light, the life, the gift, wherein and whereby this is alone rightly and truly done. And he that owneth Chrift aright, will own that which is of Chrift, the manifeftation and gift of his Spirit, the fhining of his pure light, first in the darkness, and then out of the darkness, to that. mind which it hath gathered and preferveth out of the darkness.

And then for being compleat in Christ in a relative way, while the heart is unmortified, and unfubdued to God; it is a dangerous miftaking about thefe things. I do confefs that fins are pardoned upon a true belief, and the foul enters into the covenant of life, and is accepted with the Lord, as it finds entrance thereinto, and walks therein. And there is no condemna tion to them that are in Chrift, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. But if there be an hearkening to the flesh, and walking after the lufts and defires thereof, is there no condemnation then? Is not the juftification in the covenant, and according to the laws of the covenant? Alas! alas! how do men imagine concerning things and fo in their imaginations justify themselves wherein the Lord condemns them; and know not the way of the covenant, and of the justification thereof. For there is a new covenant,

as.

as well as as an old (and the new is not like the old); and a walking with God in the new covenant; and every step in it his life juftifies, and every ftep out of it his life condemns; and the Mediator of the new covenant juftifies it according to the new covenant, and never otherwife. For the way of God is perfect (the way of life, the way of reconciliation, the way of redemption), and the foul is only accepted and juftified of the Lord therein. Yea, juftification is a mystery to man's wisdom and understanding, with all his knowledge he can gather from fcripture: and he only knows it who feels it, and hath the experience of it, in that which is true, and which cannot deceive.

Concerning Juftification.

Τ

HE apoftle James faith exprefly, That by works a man is juftified, and not by faith only; and his words were from God's Spirit, and are true, and the Lord faw an use and service of them. There are works which are excluded the covenant of life, and there are works which are not excluded, no not to juftification. There are works required by the covenant; works wrought in the faith and by the power of God; and when they are brought to the light, it is made manifeft that they were wrought in God; even works that are of his Son, wrought in the life and by the Spirit of his Son, and thefe the Father always juftifieth. Yet we do not fay this is a man's juftification for his fins paft, but they are forgiven for his name's fake nor do they expiate fins afterward committed, &c. but the advocate intercedes, and his blood washes them away. But this we fay, that alone in the faith, in the obedience of the new covenant, the juftification of the new covenant is witneffed: and the new covenant juftifieth no fin, nor the foul in fin; but purgeth away the fin, and juftifieth from it, washing off the venom and defilement of the wicked fpirit from the confcience, which the Lord purgeth by the faith, and by the virtue of the water and blood which the faith brings in.

Now having been led by God into the pure covenant of life, and having there had the true fenfe, knowledge, and experience of things, even of the truth as it is in Jefus, we cannot but speak and teftify of it as we have felt and received it; and here we know and find certainly and infallibly, that it is not the law of works which juftifieth the believer, nor the obedience or righteoufnefs thereof; but there is a righteousness revealed, of an higher nature and kind than the righteousness of that law, which is made the foul's in and by the faith. And this is Chrift's righteousness, the righte oufnefs of his life, the righteousness of his nature, the righteoufnefs of his Spirit, which is revealed in the foul, and which, in the union with Chrift, becomes the foul's, and Chrift thereby is made of God unto us righteoufness. And the works which are wrought in man by this righteous Spirit and holy power, are of far more value in themselves, and of more acceptation with God, than man's obedience to the law could be, could he obey

ever fo exactly;' for thefe are from an higher principle, and of a far more excellent nature, fpirit and kind, than man's nature and fpirit is; and yet the acceptance is not for the works' fake, but for the fake of the worker of thefe works.

Concerning God's Love to Mankind

REAT is the love of God to mankind, who defireth not their de

ftruction, but their redemption and falvation from that which deftroyeth. Now from and according to this love, he fent Chrift as a ransom, a propitiation for the fins of the whole world: and not only fo, but he hath given him as a light to enlighten all the dark parts of the earth, that every foul might believe in his light, and by its guidance and power come out of the darkness: and the free gift is as large and as powerful to fave, as the offence or offences are to deftroy. So that God hath not only faid it, but he hath manifefted that he defireth not the death of a finner; but would have all men to be faved, and come to the knowledge of his truth, and gift of his grace, that they might be faved thereby. And this is the gofpel, even the grace which bringeth falvation, and the power of eternal life, to all mens doors; by and in which the Spirit of the Lord God (who is able to save) strives with them and in them (according to his pleasure) against the

enemy.

Now for men to interpret a fcripture fo as to overturn this, contrary to the very drift of the gofpel, and contrary to the very nature and heart of God, they do not well, nor by the guidance of his Spirit in fo doing. And now in love to thee, though I have not much freedom to open these things, knowing that they are above the state of moft people to understand, and that it is rather proper for them to wait in what is clear and manifeft, than to meddle with things hard to be understood, and deeply myfterious, before the Spirit of the Lord opens them to them: yet I fay, in love I find freedom in the Lord to say a little to thee. Mind the words of the apostle, in fear and reverence towards the Lord. What if God, willing to fhew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much long-fuffering the vessels of his wrath fitted to destruction?

Now confider, how is God willing to fhew his wrath, and to make the power of bis deftroying a veffel known? Is it a thing natural to him? Is it not contrary to his nature to destroy? Any who can teftify any thing of the life of God in their hearts, do they find any thing of a destroying nature in it? Christ, who was the exprefs image of God, did not he come to fave? Did he come to deftroy any? And when any refifted the counsel of God against themselves, was it not grievous to him? O Jerufalem! Jerufalem! how often would I have gathered thee! Here the heart of God towards the fons of men may be read, as in a true glafs. And before the Lord gives them up to destruction, doth he not endure them with much long-fuffering? And is it

not

not the proper intent of the goodnefs, forbearance, and long-fuffering of God to lead men to repentance? Rom. ii. 4. And they that are led by the long-fuffering to repent, do they not witness it falvation? 2 Pet. iii. 15, Ah! wait on God, that thou mayeft understand these things from him as they are; and not according to the imaginations and reafonings of thine own wildom and understanding. It hath been a long night of darkness, wherein many misapprehenfions and falfe conceivings upon fcriptures have been fwallowed down, which the Lord pitied us under, and bare with us in them; but now it is high time to bow down to and receive that light which purgeth the veffel from all fuch misapprehenfions and mifconceivings, which are as really hay and ftubble in the fight of God, as the groffeft darkness of popery is.

Concerning Baptifm.

WE

E own the one baptism; and, bleffed be the Lord, are baptized therewith into one body. That of water was but the forerunner's, but the fhadow of Chrift's baptifm, which is with the Holy Spirit and fire, Now when Chrift fent his apostles to preach and baptize, did he fend them to baptize with the forerunner's baptifm, or with his own baptifm, when he faid, Go teach all nations, baptizing them into the name, &c.? Paul profeffeth openly he was not fent to baptize, but to preach the gospel. Was he not an apoftle? Had he not feen the Lord? Had he not his commiffion from him? Did not the apoftolick commiffion contain baptifm as fully as preaching? Is it not faid, He that believeth, and is baptized, fhall be faved? Yes, without doubt, it did contain Chrift's baptifin (without which there is no falvation) as well as preaching; but the baptifm of water, which was a figure of the thing (which Paul did find freedom to do to fome) Paul faid he was not fent to do. He did it not by commandment, but he might do it by permiffion, as well as circumcife; which was another figure of the fame thing.

Concerning Perfection.

Othe

YHRIST is a perfect physician, and is able to work a perfect cure on the heart that believeth in him, and waiteth upon him: yea, he came to destroy the works of the devil, to cleanfe man's mind of the darkness and power of Satan, and to fill it with the life and power of truth, and he fent forth a miniftry not only for the beginning, but for the perfecting of the work: yea, his Word in the mouth and heart is powerful, fharper than a two-edged fword, and he can caft out the ftrong man, and cut down all that is corrupt and contrary to himself, and break down every strong-hold in the mind, and spoil all the goods of the enemy, Chrift likewife bids his difciples be perfect, as their beavenly Father is perfect; and the apostle bids

men

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