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men perfeet holiness in the fear of God, that they might be fully separated from, and not so much as touch, the unclean thing; but enjoy the promiles of God's dwelling in them, and walking in them, whose temple under the gospel is to be pure. And if a man wait upon God in the work of purify ing, and witness the power and virtue of the new covenant, even the fear put into the heart, which keeperh the heart clean, and will not suffer it to depart from the Lord, and witness the powerful law of the endless life giving him dominion over the law of fin and death in the members, and the Spirit of the Lord put within him, causing him to walk in his ways, and to keep his statutes and do them ; surely this man cometh near to perfection, Did Christ cure perfectly outwardly in the days of his flesh; and shall he not cure perfectly inwardly, in the day of his Spirit ? Yes, certainly; the Jame, the deaf, the blind, the dumb, the lepers, waiting upon him in the way of his covenant, shall be cured by him as perfectly inwardly, as ever the others were outwardly. And then is the day of joy, and of reaping the good things which the promises contain, feeding on the feast of fat things on God's holy mountain, in peace of spirit, in security from the soul's enemies, none of them being able to come near to hurt or destroy ; nay, not so much as to make afraid on the mountain of God's holiness: and then the fong of Moses, and the song of the Lamb is fung, and walking in the way of holiness witnessed; which no unclean thing can pass over to, but only the ransomed and redeemed of the Lord.
Now if any man come in truth to witness this from the Lord, and hath found by his consuming fire the drofs burnt up in him, and his soul cleansed from what is corrupt and unrighteous; doth he deceive himself, or is he a Jiar, if he say the Lord hath cleansed me from all my unrighteousness? And did John speak there of his own ftate, or of the state of the other apostles and believers, who were grown up in the life and power of truth, and had overcome the wicked-one, by the strength of Christ in them? Or did he speak condescendingly (as the apostles often did with the weak: becoming as weak, when they were exalted by God to an higher state than that condition signified)? Had he not fellowship with the Father and the Son. And was not his joy full? And is the joy of any full, while sin, while corruption, is near and hath power ; while Satan, while the powers of darkness, are not trodden under foot ? There is a state of righteousness withour Chrift, wherein if a man fay he hath no Qin (and so thinks he hath no need of Christ) he deceives himself. But there is a power in Christ to perfect the work of redemption in the heart; to fanctify the creature wholly, in body, foul, and ípirit; yea, his leaven received will work, and works daily, till it hath wrought all out, and the whole be leavened; and he that truly feeleth it fo, and can say in God's presence, and in the true fear and humility of heart, The old leaven is wholly wrought out, and the new hach wholly leavened me; this is not the voice of deceit, but of truth, in him.
As for that question, Whether Christ hath not reigned in his Spirit all along in the souls of his true people ?
Anw. There hath been little of Christ's reign in Spirit witnesied all along the apoítaly. It is a great matter to come to witness Christ's reign in the heart: yea, there are many who never yet came through the suffering which goes before the reign : but the cross, the power of the cross, and the thorough death thereby of all that stands in the way of Christ's pure reigning, is yet to be taken up, and many journeys to be gone,
before men come to witne's Christ's kingdom, and the reign of his Spirit therein ? There are some other passages which I find in my heart to say somewhat
One is chis: “ That ye know through mercy when ye are well; that ye are satisfied, &c."
There liath been a cloudy and a dark day; which, for its thickness, may well be called night; wherein the people of the Lord have been scattered from mountain to hill, seeking their resting place.
Now it hath pleased the Lord, after this thick night of darkness to gather the scattered sheep, and to become the physician in the miniitration of his Spirit, life, and power) to heal them, and bind them up.
And those that have been fick and distressed, and brought into the true , sense, they feel the need of the physician, and bless his name for the healing which he bringeth with him under his wings.
But there are some that are far and strong, and whole and compleat by an imputed righteousness, according to their own apprehending; and there are well; these are satisfied; they have no need of this visitation, of God, nor of this dispensation of life and power from on high.
There was a church once, before the apostasy took place, that knew the truth better than ye do, that said, She was rich, increased with goods, and had need of nothing; and yet wanted the tried gold, the white raiment, and the eye-salve. And if ye knew how aright to wait on the Lord, and receive counsel and light from him, perhaps ye might therein fee also, that ye are destirure of and want the same things.
Now in that we testify to you that we have been in your fate, and fully experienced it, and seen in the light of the Lord the truth thereof, and the defects thereof; and in love, and in the leadings of God's Spirit, are drawn to testify thereof to you, and have from him received the knowledge of the living way, which was made manifest before the apoftafy, and is now again; and are taught and enabled by the Lord to walk with him therein, the Lord having led us into that, and brought us forth in that, from which all the apostates have erred, and out of which they all are; this should not be a thing Nighted by you; but being a weighty testimony, and of great concernment to you, should be weightily considered of, and determined in you, by that which alone is able to decide it. Now if ye weigh this testimony by scriptures, and have not a true understanding of those scriptures from God, ye will but thereby err the more, and be the more confident and hardened
in your errors, and so go on in a kind of satisfaction and peace in kicking against the pricks.
And as for our confidence, we can truly say in the Spirit of truth, We know that we are of God, gathered unto him by the life and Spirit of his Son revealed in us, and we could eat our bread in secret, and, drink the water of life out of our own cisterns silently, but that the Lord required us, and his love constrainech us, and it is due to the glorious work of his mercy and
power towards us, to declare, in the seasons of his chusing, what the Lord hath done for our poor, distressed, mourning, wandering, undone fouls, Now if others are confident without a cause; that doth not make void our confidence, which is grounded upon the truth; nor the testimony thereof, issuing forth from and in the truth: but that which is of God heareth and ownech it, and feeleth the work of his love and great power, and blefleth his name therefore.
As for those expressions, “ It is enough for thee that Jesus Christ is thine, “ &c." so far as thou feelest union with him, in the principle of life which is of him, thou mayest say so truly. But is it not ftrange, that thou houldst be of it, and not be able to know and own it, in this day of its manifeftation ; but call the light, which is spiritual and eternal (and gives the true and certain knowledge of Christ), natural? What! of God, of Christ (having received the Spirit, the living well) and yet not know the mystery of life within, nor its pure voice in this present day! but limit the unlimited One to a form of words formerly spoken by him! how do these things agree with what thou profeffest ? Surely they are deeply in the mist, who know nou Christ from antichrift; but fight againft Christ and his light, as if it were of antichrist or nature. Now we are one with
Now we are one with any of you (though ye know it not) so far as ye know and are of the truth, and feel true union with whatever is of God in you.
Thus in faithfulness to God, and in love to truth and tenderness to thee, I have given forth that which sprang in me towards thee. And indeed I singly breathe to the Lord in my spirit, that it may be serviceable in the hands of the Lord for chy good, even to shake that knowledge and sense which is not of him in thee (though thou strongly believest it to be of him), and fo to bring thee to the infallible sense and experience of the true foundation, and to a fixed building and establishment in Spirit thereupon, in that light which is of the Father ; that therein thou mayest own and partake of the ministration of the everlasting and pure power in thy present day and generation ; which is now fo dispensed, as it hath not been since the night of the apostasy. Blessed be his name, whose light shines, whose life is made manifest, whose power is risen out of, and reigns over, the darkness; whose love and mercy abounds in the hearts of the redeemed-ones, who abundantly partake of the covenant of life, and of the precious promises of the gospel, to the praise of the riches of the grace and mercy which were to be revealed in the ages to come after the apoitaly, and are lo revealed, and are Ооо 2
yet more to be revealed, to the increase of the glory of his name, and of the joy and consolation of his redeemed-ones; who find that to be God's power and wisdom, and mighty redemption to them, which to others is a Itumbling-block, weakness, and foolishness: and he who ever was, and still is, the life, is once again become a stumbling-stone, and rock of offence to both the houses of Israel ; who though they have longed after him, and breathed for him, and prayed that his kingdom might come ; yet now, when he is come, they know him not, but are wise and strong in resisting and opposing him; which is much to their hurt and great danger, as the Lord God teeth in the light wherein he dwells, and as he hath given his children, who dwell with him in the same light, to fee with his eye. And friend; take heed that thou turn not the edge of thy weapon, even of thy scripture-knowledge, against Christ (there were those that once did fo); nor that thy table become thy snare : for that was the curse which lighted on those who opposed Christ's appearance in flesh; and it may also in the just and most righteous judgment of God) befall those who oppose bis appearance in spirit in this his day.
And as for what I have written unto thee, thou shalt one day witness that I have written to thee in true love, and in the true light and sense of truth : and if thou canst retire into that which is of God in thee, and receive the true fense and understanding there, thou wilt there feel it so now. And oh! that thou couldst distinguish between God's witness in thy heart, and the voice of thy understanding and gathered knowledge that thou mightest receive a being, life, pure sense, and understanding, in that which is pure of God; that the gold might be separated from the dross, and there might come forth a vessel for the refiner!
25th of the 11th month,
I am a lover of fouls, and an earnest defirer after
their welfare; but especially of such as breathe after, and long for, communion with the Lord, in that which is
living and pure,
REPLY to thy A NIMADVERSIONS.
To the First.
in him, obeying his gospel. All these have reference to justification, according to the soul's experience, and according to the scriptures, and none of them are to be excluded. God hath appointed Christ to be a prince and a Saviour, to give repentance, faith, and remission of sins; and in the exercise of that repentance and faith, the righteousness and justification is received. And the Lord condemns the unbeliever, because he believes not ; and the disobedient, because he obeys not the gospel: and he also justifies the believer and the obedient, because of the faith and obedience of his Son which he finds in them. And in this faith, the righteousness, the pure righteousness, flows; the Spirit of the Lord covers; and it is not only the principle, but also the garment, of righteousness and salvation; yea, all that Christ did in the Aesh comes in here, and the soul feels and partakes of the virtue and value of it all, being found here. But out of this are the notions and imaginations of mens minds, upon and about scriptures con-cerning the thing; who indeed and in truth (as it really is) know it not.
TO the Second There are two covenants, and there are works of each, works required by each. In the old covenant, obedience to the law of Moses is required. In the new covenant, believing in Christ (this is the work of God, that ye
believe in him whom he bath sent) and obedience to his gospel and Holy Spirit
, Now these, and the works of the old, are not one and the same, nor have the same acceptance and justification with the Lord. Nay, though a man could perform all the law of Moses exactly, yet would he not be therein so justified in the sight of God as the believer is; his faith and obedience; which he receiveth from Christ, and performeth in the strength of his grace and new life, being of an higher kind, and more excellent nature, than man's fulfilling the law in his own natural capacity and principle can be. I am sorry thou hast no better a knowledge and favour of the things of the kingdom, than to testify a dinike of this distinction. And as for the Papists, we meddle not with them, farther than we are led by the Lord: for my part, I know not what they hold as to this thing: