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tender frame, in the midft of my crying to God for them, thofe queries, from a true fenfe and understanding, fprang up in my heart, even to neceffitate them, if poffible, to fome fenfe of the mystery, which there is an abfolute neceffity of unto true chriftianity and falvation. This was the very intent of my heart in the feveral queries, which generally fpeak of one and the fame thing, under feveral metaphors and figures. And that this was my intent, these words following, in the fecond page of my preface to that book, do plainly exprefs; the words are thefe: Now to draw mens minds to a sense of truth, to a sense of that which is the thing, that they might know the bread indeed, that they might know the living waters, come to them and drink thereof, and find Chrift in them a well of water springing up to eternal life; therefore was it in my heart to give forth this question and the enfuing queries, which he that rightly answers, must know the thing; and he that doth not know the thing, by his inability to anfwer, may find that he doth not, and fo may wait upon God, that he may receive the knowledge of it, and come to it, for the eternal life which it freely giveth.

And that I did mean the mystery, when I fpake of bread, water, the wine, the live coal from the altar, the leaves of the tree of life, the putting on Chrift, the flesh and blood of Chrift, &c. is very plain to him that reads fingly. But to make it manifeft, particularly concerning the flesh and blood of Chrift, I fhall recite one query; it is the 33d query, page 29. The query is thus: Is not the true church flesh of Chrifi's flesh, and bone of his bone? İs not the false or antichriftian church flesh of Antichrist's flesh, and bone of Antichrift's bone? What is the flesh of the fpiritual whore, which is to be stripped naked and burnt with fire? Shall ever the church, which is of Chrift's flesh, be Stripped naked and burnt with fire? Nay, doth not his flesh make able to abide the devouring fire, and to dwell with the everlafting burnings? Can this poffibly be understood of outward flesh and bone? Is it not manifeftly intended of flesh and bone in the mystery? Yea, that it did relate to the mystery, in that very query, out of which he takes the four firft words, and no more, is very manifeft by the following words of the fame query. It is the 17th query, page 25. The query runs thus: Can outward blood cleanfe the confcience? Ye that are fpiritual, confider; can outward water wash the foul clean? Ye that have ever felt the blood of Sprinkling from the Lord upon your confciences, and your confciences cleanfed thereby, did ye ever feel it to be outward? It is one thing what a man apprehends (in the way of notion) from the letter concerning the things of God, and another thing what a man feels in Spirit. Is it not manifeft, by the exprefs words themfelves, that I fpake of the inward feeling of the blood in the myftery?

Fourthly, This query, Can outward blood cleanfe the confcience, &c. doth not neceffarily, nor indeed at all infer, that the blood of Chrift, as to the outward, was but a common thing, or useless. If I had been to answer this query myself, he doth not know what my answer would have been. It was put to the profeffors to answer inwardly in their hearts, who I did believe,


upon serious confideration, could not but confess, in way of answer thereto, that outward blood itself (or of itfelf) could not cleanfe and purge away the filth that was inward; but that must be done by that which is inward, living, and spiritual. Then hereby they had been brought to fee the neceffity of the mystery, the Spirit, the power, the life of the Son, to be inwardly revealed in them; and then I had obtained my end. Nor was I their enemy in defiring or aiming at this for them, or in fetting queries before them, which to my eye (as in the fight of God) feemed proper and conducible in themselves (however they might fail as to them) towards the obtaining of this end. And if they could once come to this, to own the flesh and blood in the mystery, and fo come to partake of its cleanfing and nourishing virtue, and not fix and appropriate that to the outward which chiefly belongs to the mystery; I fay, if they could but go thus far with me, in owning the inward life and power in the fenfible feeling and operation thereof, I could meet them a great way in fpeaking glorious things of, and attributing a cleansing or washing virtue to the outward, in, and through, and with the inward. For I do not feparate the inward and outward in my own mind; but the Lord opened my heart, and taught me thus to diftinguish, according to the fcriptures, in love to them, and for their fakes. For that was not my intent to deny the outward, or make it appear as a common or useless thing. There was never fuch a fenfe in my heart, nor was ever word written or spoken by me to that end; which, to make more manifeft, I shall now plainly open my heart, how it hath been, and is ftill with me in this refpect, fince it pleafed the Lord and Father of mercies to reveal the mystery of himself and of his Son in me.

In the first place, I freely confefs, that I do own and acknowledge, as in God's fight, OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, HIS FLESH AND BLOOD IN THE MYSTERY. The apostle Paul speaks of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Chrift, Coloff. ii. 2. The Son was revealed in him, Gal. i. 16. and fo he knew the mystery of Chrift, and preached the mystery of Chrift, Coloff. iv. 3. He was made an able minifter of the new covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit or mystery; and fo he preached the wisdom of God in the mystery or Spirit, 1 Cor. ii. 7. 2 Cor. iii. 6. Coloff. i. 25, 26, 27. and he had great conflict to bring people to the rich knowledge and acknowledgment of the mystery, chap. ii. 1, 2. He was fent to turn men from darkness, and from the power of Satan (which is a mystery, and works in mens hearts in a mystery) to the light, to the Spirit and power of God, which is a mystery alfo; and remiffion of fins is received in and through this mystery, Alls xxvi. 18. And I defire every serious and tender heart to confider, whether this knowledge of Chrift in the mystery, was not that which he called the excellency of the knowledge of Jefus Chrift his Lord, Phil. iii. 8. Certain I am, that the knowledge of God and Chrift in the mystery, is the moft excellent knowledge, and no less than life eternal, inwardly revealed and felt from God in the heart. And here no legal righ


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teousness, no felf-righteousness can ftand; but the virtue and power of Chrift's death and refurrection, inwardly revealed and felt in the mystery, fubdues and destroys it all. Indeed felf-righteoufnefs may be given up in the way of notion, or feemingly deftroyed as to mens apprehenfions, with out the revealing or working of the mystery; but it cannot be deftroyed in reality but where this is felt: but where the mystery is known, is received, and throughly works, felf-righteoufhiefs can have no place there. Now the apoftle, who was acquainted with the mystery of Chrift, he speaks of his body, flesh, and bones, in the mystery, Eph. v. 30. (and if there be fleth and bones in the myftery, is there not alfo blood in the mystery?) yea, the apoftle John fpeaks of the Spirit, water, and blood, 1 John v. 8. Now confider feriously, are all thefe of one and the fame nature? or are they of a different nature? the Spirit of one nature, and the water and blood of another nature? Bleffed be the Lord, the birth which is born of the Spirit, and is fpiritual, knoweth the nature of the Spirit which begat it, and knoweth water which is inward and heavenly, and blood which is not at all of an inferior nature to it: and Jefus Chrift, our Lord and teacher, fpeaketh of flesh which came down from heaven, which flesh is the bread of life, which he that lives, feeds upon, and none can feed upon but they that live. And by this it is manifeft (to all to whom God hath given understanding in the mystery) that his flesh and blood in the mystery is intended by him, in that he faith, He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me and I in him, John vi. 56. This dwelling in each other is an effect of the mystery, and is witneffed by none that know not the mystery. And to this effect Chrift himfelf exprefsly expoundeth it, ver. 63. It is the Spirit that quickenetb, the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak to you, they are Spirit, and they are life. As if he had faid, I am speaking of the foul's food; I am fpeaking of the heavenly bread; I am speaking of Spirit and life; I am speaking of the mystery, which ye look upon and understand as outwardly intended by me, and fo mifs of the mystery of the Spirit, wherein is the quickening virtue, and look only at the outward body or flesh, which, without the Spirit, profiteth not, nor ever can profit man.

Secondly, I confefs further, that I have the fenfe, experience, and knowledge of this alfo, that in the mystery is the quickening virtue, the cleanfing virtue, the nourishing virtue, unto life eternal. The Spirit, the water, the blood inwardly fprinkled, inwardly poured by God upon the foul, inwardly felt and drunk in by the thirfty earth, do cleanfe, do feed, do nourish, do refresh. Doth not God promife to fprinkle clean water upon his Ifrael in the new covenant, and they fhall be clean? and to pour water on him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry grounds? Is it not by the fpirit of judgment and burning, that God washeth away the filth of the daughter of Sion, &c. Ifai. iv. 4. Doth not the live coal from the altar purify and take away the iniquity? Ifai. vi. Oh! read inwardly! Oh! wait to be taught of God to read inwardly, that ye may know what these things mean!


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Why fhould ye quarrel at the precious and tender openings of truth, in love
to your fouls?

Thirdly, I have likewife this fenfe, and have also had this knowledge and
experience, that the outward without this cannot avail. A man is not
cleanfed by notions or apprehenfions concerning the thing, but by the thing
itself. Let a man believe what he can concerning the blood of Chrift, and
apply to himself what promifes he can, yet this will not do (Oh! how
grievously do men mistake herein!) but he muft feel fomewhat from God,
fomewhat of the new creation in Chrift Jefus, fomewhat of his light (fhining
from him the Son into the heart, fomewhat of his life, fomewhat of his
power, working against the darknets and power of the enemy in him.. Now
a man being turned to this, joined to this, gathered to this standard of the
Lord, tranflated in fome degree out of himfelf into this: here fomewhat of
the mystery is revealed, and found working in him; and fo far he is of God,
and hath fome true understanding from him. And here alfo he hath right
to Chrift's flesh and blood in the outward, and to all the benefits and pre-
cious effects that come thereby. For by owning the mystery, and receiving
the mystery, we are not taught of God to deny any thing of the outward
flesh and blood, or of his obedience and fufferings in the flesh, but rather
are taught and enabled there rightly to understand it, and to reap the be-
nefits and precious fruits of it.

Fourthly, The Lord hath fhewn me this alfo, very manifeftly and clearly,
that in former times (in this nation as well as elsewhere) before profeffors
ran fo into heaps (I mean, into feveral ways and forms of church-fellowship
fo called) they had more inward fenfe of the mystery than now they have;
and were a great deal more tender (both unto the Lord, and one towards
another) than now they are. For then grace in the heart, and the inward
feeling, was the thing that was moft minded among the ftricter fort. They
did not mind fo much bare reading, or hearing, or praying, or any outward
obfervation whatfoever, as what they felt therein. Let men have spoken
ever so many glorious words concerning the things of God; yet, if they
had not been spoken warmly and freshly by him that spoke them, there was
little fatisfaction to the foul that hungered after that which was living, but ra-
ther an inward grief and diffatisfaction felt: fo that in that day there was
an inward fenfe of the mystery (though not a diftinct knowledge of it)
which was precious in the eye of God, and very favoury inwardly in the
heart. But now, in fo long time, by looking fo much outward, and beat-
ing their brains, and difputing about the outward, many have very much
(if not wholly) loft the fenfe of the inward, and are found contending for
the outward, against the very appearance and manifeftation of the inward;
and fo are in danger of being hardened and fealed up in that which is dead
and literal, out of the limits of that which is living and fpiritual. It is
a dreadful thing to fight against the living God, and his living appear-


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ance in the hearts of thofe whom he chufeth, in any age or generation. The Lord hath been pleased to bring us (a poor defpifed remnant) back to that which firft gave us life, in the days of our former profeffion. Oh! that ye were brought thither alfo, that that might remove the veil, hardnefs, darkness, and deep prejudices from you; which can never be removed while ye ftick in literal apprehenfions, without the light and teachings of God's Spirit! Now as touching the outward, which ye fay we deny, becaufe of our teftimony to the inward, I have frequently given a moft folemn teflimony thereto; and God knoweth it to be the truth of my heart; and that the teftifying to the inward (from which the outward came) doth not make the outward void, but rather establish it in its place and fervice. God himfelf, who knew what virtue was in the inward, yet hath pleased to make ufe of the outward; and who may contradict or flight his wisdom and counsel therein? Glorious was the appearance and manifeftation of his Son in flesh; precious his fubjection and holy obedience to his Father; his giving himself up to death for finners was of great efteem in his eye! It was a fpotlefs facrifice of great value, and effectual for the remiffion of fins: and I do acknowledge humbly unto the Lord the remiffion of my fins thereby, and blefs the Lord for it; even for giving up his Son to death for us all, and giving all that believe in his name and power to partake of remiffion through him.

And feeing it is thus with me: feeing the root of the matter is in me, Oh! how can any man, that hopes to be redeemed by my Lord and Saviour, reproach me for fpeaking of the mystery, without the leaft derogation to the outward, or what was done by him in the outward! But if I fhould speak vehemently concerning mens neglecting the mystery, and fetting up that which is outward inftead of it and without it, I fhould not be condemned, but juftified of the Lord in fo doing. Indeed there is a great and weighty charge from God's Spirit upon the profeffors of this age, for departing from the inward (I mean that fweet fenfe, which, in fome meafure, God gave them in former times of the inward) and magnifying and striving to establish that which they apprehend concerning the outward, without it, and against it. Oh! that it were otherwife with them, that God may not have this charge to manage against them, when at the great day they are to appear before him, and be judged by him! When all that have flighted or spoken contemptuously of his Son's appearance in flesh, and have not come to a fenfe thereof, and repentance for it, fhall be condemned; and they that have flighted or fpoken contemptuously of his appearance in Spirit, fhall not be juftified which appearance is now made manifeft in the hearts of many, bleffed be the Lord for it! Oh! what cries have been in my heart many years concerning you, O ye profeffors of all forts who have had any tendernefs towards the Lord! that ye might fee and know the Lord Chrift; and confefs him in Spirit, in the mystery, even in his inward appearance in


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