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back the beginnings of his life, and the redemption of thy foul, by de-. fpifing and overlooking the day of fmall things. Why may not God chufe. to lead thee in the way that he hath led the rest of his flock? Why shouldst not thou also come to deny the customs and vanities of this world (and come into that which is fimple and plain), and stand in the will and life of God out of them? Are not the ways, customs, and vanities of the world, of the spirit of the world, and not of the Father? Did they not come from the corrupt part? Are they not of the corrupt part? Do they not please the corrupt part? Muft they not be left behind by him that travels into the feed, is one with the feed, and lives in the feed? Why wilt thou stick in these things? Why wilt thou difpute about these things? Oh! feel the Father's drawings, firft out of the world, first out of that which is not of the Father, but of the world; that he may draw thee further and further, even into the kingdom and power everlasting, which are many days journey beyond that which thou ftickeft at..
Now mind and remember this which followeth :
In the days of Christ and his apostles, God chose the foolish things, and the weak things, and things that were not, to hide the path of life, and the mysteries of his kingdom, from the wife searching eye of man in those days. Why may he not chufe the like things now? Why may he not now reveal things to the babes, and not to the wife of this age and generation? Why may it not be to his glory, to have it now faid alfo, Where is the wife? Where is the Scribe (where is the learned man)? Where is the difputer of this world? Can any of them find out that, or any of them discern that, which God revealeth to his little ones? No, no: They are generally got too high above that little, low, tender, meek, sensible principle, in the faith whereof, and in obedience whereto, the teachings of God are received, and his life and power witneffed. And because of their riches, wisdom, and knowledge out of this, therefore is the entrance into the pure living truth (which cleanseth the mind, and keepeth it clean, which quickeneth it, and keepeth it living), to them fo exceeding difficult.
And as the principle is little, the feed of the kingdom little (like a grain of mustard-feed), the leaft of all feeds; fo, why may not its appearance alfo be little, even in low weak things, defpifeable to man's eye and wisdom; which man fees nothing in, and may account of no value? And yet, the power of the cross (which brings down, and flays the corruptible), and the refurrection of the life, may be witnessed and felt in them. The foolishness of God is wifer than men, and the weakness of God is ftronger than men: and he knoweth what he doth in leading his children in this contemptible path, and by these contemptible exercises, which all that is wife, high, lofty, and afpiring, according to the flesh, may eafily overlook and flight, but can hardly ftoop down and fubject to.
God is the fame that ever he was; and he ftill appears in the way of his own wisdom, and out of man's; and he that will partake of God's wisdom muft deny and keep out of his own. His touches, his drawings, his teachings, his bleffings, his love, his peace, his joy, his fweetnefs, &c. are let forth upon, felt, and enjoyed by the foul, in the new creation, in the new sense, in the denial and paffing out of the old.
Touching the GOSPEL-REST, or SABBATH.
WHAT is the gospel-reft? What is the gospel-fabbath? Is it a fhadow, as that of the law was? Or is it the fubftance of that which the law fhadowed out?
The law was given by Mofes. Mofes, by the command of God, gave forth the fhadows of the heavenly things under the law; But grace and truth came by Jefus Chrift. The true fabbath, the true reft, the law of the Spirit of life, in and to the true Jews, comes by him. The law of Mofes had the fhadow of the good things to come; which good things themfelves the gofpel contains, bringing life and immortality to light, and the foul into the enjoyment and poffeffion of the heavenly things themselves.
The apostle difputes the cafe about both these, Heb. iv. both about the feventh day of reft, and about the land of reft; fhewing, that they were neither of them the fubftance; they were but the rests which were to pass away. But befides them, there was a reft remaining, a day of reft remaining, a land of reft remaining; whereof they both (both the outward fabbath of reft, and the land of reft under the law) were figures.
Now, for whom did this reft remain? Why, it remained for the true Jews, for believers, for the fpiritual circumcifion in the times of the gospel. And we (faid he) who have believed, do enter into reft. The faith gives entrance, the Son's faith; the faith which ftands in the power, the faith which is victory, and gives victory over fin and the world, removes the mountains and difficulties which stand in the way, and gives entrance into the gospelreft. Faith, which is from and of the power of the endless life, puts fin under, brings down felf, gathers man into a new principle, brings man forth in a new principle, causeth him to live and act in a new principle, &c. And as man comes thither, and that life rifeth and hath power in him, it caufeth him to reft from his own works, and to wait for and experience God, in and through Chrift, to work all, and be all in him.
The apoftle Peter alfo fpeaks of this reft, and declares how it is attained, even by fuffering in the flesh, He that bath fuffered (faith he) in the fefb,
bath ceafed from fin, 1 Peter iv. 1. It is the fleshly part, the motions in the flesh, from whence fin arifeth.
Luft, when it is conceived, bringeth forth fin. Now Chrift hath prepared and appointed a crofs, a fpiritual yoke, to bring down the flesh, which caufeth great fuffering in the flesh to him that taketh it upon him. To deny all ungodlinefs, and every worldly luft, motion, defire, and delight of the fleshly mind and nature, there is a fore fuffering to the earthly part; but yet this bringeth down the earthly part in all that take it up, and helpeth and causeth to ceafe from fin. And he that hath taken up the cross wholly, and felt the thorough work of it, and fuffered in the flesh the parting with and crucifying all that is of the flesh, that which would cause him to fin is flain in him, and he ceaseth from fin. Then he is in the reft; then he keeps the reft fully; then he knows the yoke and cross, which was once burdenfome to him, to become eafy and delightful, that being worn out in him to which it was painful.
Now he that is in measure delivered, that hath in measure fuffered, findeth fome reft, and may in fome measure'keep the fabbath; yea, in the faith, the weakest babe (abiding there) cannot but keep the fabbath, and offer up the facrifices, and perform the services thereof to the Lord. For the worfhip of the New-Teftament relates not to outward times or days; but is in the Spirit, in the truth, in the name, in the power, in the fubftance, on the day, and in the times and seasons which the Lord hath made, and makes, in the fpirits of his people.
And here that scripture is witneffed to those that are born of the Spirit, and live in the Spirit, and walk after the Spirit: fin shall not have dominion over you; for ye are not under the law, but under grace. Who are not under the law, but under grace? Why they that are gathered by the grace, that hear the voice of God in the grace, drawing and enabling them to follow; they whom the grace overshadows from the power and dominion of fin; they are under it, they are fheltered, faved, and preferved by it.
He that is born of God finneth not, but obeyeth the grace; but he that committeth fin, is the fervant of fin, and not yet made free by the grace and power of the Son from it. Yea, the Son gives that freedom in his day from fin, and the power of Satan, as they that are out of the light of his day cannot fo much as believe; but they that are gathered into, and walk in the light thereof, they witness the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, making them free from the law of fin and death. What! is the stronger than the ftrong-man come, with his law and power of the endless life, and fhall not he manifeft his dominion in the heart over the law of fin and death? Yea, as it is received, and let in, it works out, overcomes, bears down, over-runs the law of fin and death; and that promife is witnessed, fulfilled, O death! I will be thy death.
And if God, by the power and breath of his Holy Spirit, with the living powerful laws thereof, kill fin and death in the heart, what fhall make them
alive again? No, no; then they are dead indeed, and the kingdom and reign of Chrift is witnessed in that soul.
Then the birth of life is witneffed; then the man-child is witneffed, ruleing with a rod of iron, dashing in pieces all motions and temptations to corruption, and all that would defile, fo that they cannot enter the mind; and guarding it in the pure peace, unspeakable joy, and rest of the Son continually. And there it is as truly witneffed inwardly (as ever it was at any time enjoyed or hoped for by the Jews outwardly) that this horn of falvation, which God hath raifed up in the house of his fervant David, breaks all the horns of the oppreffors, and gives reft to the foul from them round about, that, without fear of them any more, it may ferve him in holiness and righteousness before him all the days of its life.
There are fome good defires in many people, for which bleffed be the name of the Lord; but there is great error of judgment, and wandering up and down from the truth, for want of that which is able to stay the mind upon the Lord, and to guide it in the right way. Some run to this mountain, and facrifice there; others to that hill, and offer there; but few know the true refting-place, or the place of the true worship. Now in these their errors they can witness no acceptance with the Lord. Oh! that they knew the acceptable thing, the acceptable way of worship, and might appear before, and be found of the Lord therein! Then might they begin in that which is substantial (in the gofpel Spirit, life, and power) and come to inherit and fit down in that which is fubftantial and everlasting.
As complain of Want of Power to become the LORD'S, and ferve him; and who are not yet fo acquainted with the Truth as to witness the Cleanfing by it, and ceafing from Sin.
AS not Chrift made a king and priest after the power of an endless life? And doth he not communicate of the power of that endless life to all that rightly believe in him, receive the truth as it is in him, and obey his gospel?
Query 2. Was it not the end of Chrift's coming to destroy fin in the heart, and to fet the foul free therefrom, that it might ferve the Lord in the liberty, life, and power of his Spirit?
Query 3. To them that believe in and receive him, doth not Chrift give power to become fons to God? And to them that are fons, doth not the Father give the Spirit of the Son? And hath not the Spirit of the Son power over the contrary spirit?
Query 4. Were not the deliverances of the Jews under the law real deliverances from their outward enemies? And are not Chrift's deliverances as real from the inward enemies? Whom the Son maketh free, are they not free indeed? Free from fin, free from Satan, being under the fhadow of the wing of the Almighty, which preferveth out of the darkness, and guardeth the mind from the evil and danger thereof?
Query 5. Is not Chrift ftronger than the ftrong man, whom he cometh to difpoffefs? Are not his weapons ftronger than the weapons of the enemy? Is not he able to difpoffefs him, to caft him out, to fpoil him of his goods and strength? And when he hath gained the house, is not he able to cleanse it, and garnish, and keep it clean and pure in the way of his covenant, against all the enemy can do?
Query 6. Doth not Christ dwell in the heart by faith? And is not Chrift's nature and Spirit pure, and will he dwell in any thing that is impure? Is not the fpiritual temple under the gospel to be as pure inwardly as ever the outward temple under the law was to be pure outwardly, or by way of reprefentation? Muft not they be cleanfed from all filthinefs of flesh and spirit, who witness the Father dwelling in them, and walking in them?
Query 7. Who offer up the incenfe and the pure offering in the times of the gofpel? Can any do it but the fons of Levi, whom the Lord hath purified? Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? Who can compafs the altar of the Lord, or offer up an acceptable offering there, whose heart and hands are not washed in innocency?
Query 8. Is not the worship of the New-Teftament to be in fpirit and truth? Is not the Spirit pure, the truth pure? Can any unclean thing enter into it? Can any be in it, can any worship in it, but they which be cleansed, purified, and changed by it?
Query 9. How did the apoftle express the right manner of drawing nigh to God in the fpiritual gospel-worship? Was it not to be thus, with the heart cleanfed from an evil confcience, and the body washed with clean water? And is not the prefence, power, and acceptance of God witnessed by them that appear before him and worship him thus ?
Query 10. Had not other lords dominion over the heart, to fubdue it to fin, and defile it, before Chrift was known and received in his Spirit and power? But when Chrift is known and received in his Spirit and power, have the other lords power to do fo ftill? Is not Chrift's law, the law of his Spirit of life, able to bring under, and make the foul free from the law of fin and death? Infomuch as now it may be faid in truth, by the fouls whom he hath fet free, O Lord, our God! other lords befides thee have VOL. II.