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that which is holy and acceptable in the eyes of the Lord (as all that proceeds from his own Holy Spirit is) all that is of the new covenant, and performed by the working thereof, and not by the working of the natural part of itself, but by the working of the Spirit of life in the new-birth, and through the natural part as his inftrument. So let none reproach the works that God brings forth in us, who hath created us anew in Chrift Jefus unto good works, left thereby he reproach the Holy Spirit and power of the living God, in which they are wrought, and by which they are brought forth, and could never be brought forth without it.
Then for our fufferings, indeed they are gifts we received from God; fo that we can truly fay, it is given us by the Lord our God not only to believe in his Son, but to suffer for his fake; and that it is only in good conscience to God, and by the affiftance of the Lord, that we fuffer; that the patience and meekness wherewith we fuffer, is not of ourselves, but of him. Whenever the Lord permits afflictions or fufferings to come upon us, our eye is to him, and we enter into them in his fear, knowing our own inability to go through them, and looking up to him for ftrength. And when we are in then, while they continue, we daily look up to him for strength, and have been many times very weak in ourselves, when immediately, or very foon after, we have felt great ftrength in the Lord. Also after our fufferings, when the Lord hath been with us all along, and brought us through our fufferings in the peace and joy of his Spirit, we do not look back boastingly, as if we had been any thing, or done any thing as of ourfelves; but we bow before the Lord, and bless the Lord, when we confider how he hath been with us, and how he hath upheld us by the right-hand of his righteoufnefs; and what he hath done for us when we were very poor, weak, afflicted, and often forely diftreffed. Therefore let none reproach, mifreprefent, or vilify our fufferings, which our God hath helped us through, and for which we (in humility of heart) give him thanks, and cannot but do fo all our days, because the thankful remembrance and fenfe of them is written by the finger of his Spirit upon our hearts. Oh! all forts of people, whom we love and travail for, and ufe our intereft in the Lord our God for, that ye might be truly fenfible of your conditions, know the inward appearance and vifits of the Shepherd and Saviour of the foul, turn to him (looking in true faith unto him) and be faved! I fay unto you, in tenderness of fpirit, oh! do not requite us fo ill for our love and truth of heart towards you, as to caft untrue and unjuft reproaches upon us, and to render that truth vile which God hath made honourable, in fanctifying and redeeming many thereby. Truly our love is from the God of love. We could not fo love you as we do, if our God had not taught us; nor fo feek after you as we do, in tenderness of bowels, if we were not inftruments in the hand of the thepherd of Ifrael. And the light we teftify of, which we feel fhine in us, it is no less than the true fure light of the fun of righteousness, which God hath caused to shine in our hearts; who alfo loveth mankind, M m 2
and causeth it to glance into the darkest corners of the earth. And the life we are quickened by out of fin and tranfgreffion, and the power we have received to become fons of God, it is from him who is the fountain of life, and hath all power in heaven and earth. Oh! that ye could receive the bleffed report! Oh! that the arm of the Lord might be revealed in you! Oh! that ye could feel and witnefs the Saviour working out your falvation in you, binding the ftrong man in you, cafting him out of you, with all his goods after him, that the place of the wicked-one might be found no more in you, nor none of his lufts or vain thoughts lodge in your hearts any more; but ye might witness and experience the new heart, the clean heart, the pure heart, in which God dwells, and the eye that fees him that is invisible. Oh! glory to the Lord for what he hath done in and for a despised people (who were no people before the Lord made them one) who hath brought them to Sion, his holy mountain, where he dwells and reigns, and where he builds up his own house and temple, which he establisheth over all; where the fheep of Ifrael feed, and where the Shepherd of Ifrael reigns and triumphs in glory over the enemies of his kingdom. The little innocent babes taste fomewhat of his holy dominion and power, and of his kingdom of peace and righteoufnefs; but in his antients his light fhines very brightly, and before them he reigneth gloriously; fo that he is praised in the very heights of Sion, and his name renowned there over all for ever. Glory, glory to the pure fpring of life, from whence the living ftreams come which refresh the fouls of the living. Surely his pure praises fhall be founded in the hearts of the living for ever and ever. Amen..
An EXHORTATION to true CHRISTIANITY.
It is easy to pretend to CHRIST; but to be a true Chriftian is very precious, and many Tribulations and deep Afflictions are to be paffed through before it be attained unto, as those who are made fo by the Lord experience.
WOW everlasting happiness and falvation depends upon true Chriftia
fuch or fuch Chriftian doctrines; but upon having the nature of Chriftianity, upon being renewed by the Spirit of Chrift, and receiving the Spirit, walking in the Spirit, and bringing forth the fruits of the Spirit. Oh! here is the Chriftian indeed! and it fhould be every one's care not to fall fhort of this. Now because there is a contention about Chriftianity, who is the right Christian, it behoves every man to take care as to himself that he be really
fuch; that he receive that from God, and be that to God, which none but the right Chriftian can be, or can receive. This is the ufe I would make of these things in my own heart, even to be fure I be fuch an one as God hath made, and will accept and own as a Chriftian. And having had fome experience of this thing, and truly understanding what the Chriftian ftate is, and what doth attend it, I fhall fet down fome few things, which he that inwardly knoweth, witneffeth, and enjoyeth, is without all controversy a true Chriftian, whatever man may account of him.
First, He that is a new creature, is without doubt a true Chriftian. He that is regenerated, he that is renewed in the spirit of his mind by Christ Jefus, he that is new-created in the holy and heavenly image, he has felt the power of God's Spirit begetting him anew, forming him anew, out of the old nature and image of the firft Adam, into the nature and image of the fecond Adam, who is the quickening Spirit; and that which is begotten and born of him is Spirit.
Secondly, He that is in the new covenant, is a true Chriftian. He that hath thirst after the living waters, and hath heard the call to the waters of life, hath heard the voice of him who gives life, and hath received life from him, who giveth life to all that come to him, and who maketh the new and everlasting covenant with all that hear his voice, take up his crofs and follow him, he is without doubt one of Chrift's fheep, whom the fhepherd owneth, and taketh care of.
Thirdly, He that is inwardly circumcifed with the circumcifion made without hands, he is a Jew inward, a Chriftian inward (in the fight of God) who hath felt the Spirit and power of Chrift Jefus, and rejoiceth in Chrift Jefus, and is one of thofe worshippers whom God hath fought out and taught to worship him in the life and Spirit of his Son.
Fourthly, He that is inwardly washed with clean water, with the inward water, he is the inward Jew, the inward Chriftian. God promised to 'pour out clean water upon his Ifrael, and they fhould be clean. He who hath the clean water poured upon him inwardly, which inwardly washeth and cleanseth, he is without controverfy one of God's inward Ifrael.
Fifthly, He that feeds on the bread of life within, and drinks the water of life out of his own well or ciftern, he without doubt is living. He that is invited to the marriage-fupper of the Lamb, and comes and fups with the Lamb, he is one of the fame nature and Spirit with him. He with whom Chrift fups, who hath heard Chrift knocking at his door, hath opened to him, and received him in, to purify his heart, and dwell in him, and fup with him, and give him to fup with himself, so that he eats bread in the kingdom, and drinks wine in the kingdom, and partakes of the feast of fat things, which God makes to his Ifrael in his holy mountain, he is without doubt one of Christ's, and partakes of this in and through him.
Sixthly, He that lives the Chriftian life, who walks not after the flesh, but after the Spirit; who doth not fulfil the lufts of the flesh, but hath the
law of God written in his heart, and his fear put within him, and his Holy Spirit given to inftruct him, and to guide him to anfwer the holy law written in his heart, which the carnal mind is not fubject to, nor can be fubject to, without doubt he is fpiritual; without doubt he is a true Christian.
Seventhly, He that lives by faith, who knows the faith which is the gift of God, hath received it, and lives by it; who can do nothing of himfelf, but only by faith in that holy power which doth all in him; fo that he lives, and believes, and obeys from an holy root of life, which caufeth life to fpring up in him, and love to fpring up in him, and the Lamb's meeknefs and patience to fpring up in him, and all grace to fpring up in him; I fay, he that lives thus, without doubt is ingrafted into the true vine, into the true olive-tree; and the root bears him, and minifters fap unto him, and he is a true, fresh, green, living branch of the true vine, of the holy
Many more things might be mentioned, as they are experimentally known and felt amongst us, who are true Chriftians; though the Baptifts and others have reprefented us to the world as if we were no Chriftians: but that touching us not, their faying fo is no more to us than the profeffing Jews of the fame fpirit, who faid Chrift had a devil. But these are to give a tafte; and he that knows and feels thefe, may alfo know and feel the reft, if ever fo many more fhould be mentioned. Now the way to feel thefe, and to become a true Chriftian (and to grow up in the Chriftian life) is to feel the feed of the kingdom, which is the beginning of the kingdom, the beginning of true Chriftianity; and then to feel the feed abiding (the feed which is of the Spirit, and which is Spirit), here is the conftant feal of Chriftianity in my heart; here are true and certain evidences, day by day, of the Chriftian nature and spirit manifefting themselves undeniably inwardly.
And now having the witness in myself, the teftimony of him that begat life in me, teftifying teftifying to his own work, and to his own birth, of what value are any teftimonies of men without, against this? Chriftianity is a mystery, and he only can truly fee who is a Christian indeed, who hath the inward eye opened, and with that inward eye is taught of God to pierce into that wherein Chriftianity confifteth. There have been many Chriftians of mens making; there are alfo fome Chriftians of God's and Chrift's making; which Chriftians God and Chrift will own, but not the other. Oh! let men have a care, that when God cometh to diftinguish between cattle and cattle (between Chriftian and Christian) they be found fuch as God will make up as his jewels, and own as the fheep of his fold; fuch as fhall be able to bear the trial of his fearching judgment, and pure impartial eye; and not fuch as ftill, notwithstanding all their profeffion of religion and Chriftianity, are found workers of iniquity, and fo not created anew in Chrift Jefus unto good works, and therefore not truly of him, nor true Chriftians in his eye.
AND TO THE
JEWS SPIRITU A L;
FEW WORDS TO ENGLAND, my native Country, &c. Some fenfible, weighty QUERIES, concerning fome Things very sweet and neceffary to be experienced in the truly Chriftian State.
Whereunto is added,
A POSTSCRIPT, containing fome Queries on Ifaiah 1. 10, 11. A Scripture of deep Counsel and Concern to the darkened and diftreffed States of fome among those that fear and obey the Lord.
Whereunto are added,
Two or three Queries touching the River and City of God, and the pure Stillness, wherein God is known and exalted.
Some QUESTIONS answered concerning the true Church, Ministry, and Maintenance under the Gospel, and about the Lamb's War.
Written in travailing Bowels, by
Truly God is good to Ifrael, to fuch as are of a clean beart, PSAL. lxxiii. 1. Behold an Ifraelite indeed, in whom is no guile, JOHN i. 47.
For he is not a few that is one outwardly; neither is that circumcifion which is outward in the flefb: but he is a few which is one inwardly; and circumcifion is that of the heart, in the Spirit, and not in the letter; whofe praife is not of men, but of God, Roм. ii. 28, 29.
Behold, the days come, faith the Lord, that I will punish all them which are cir
cumcifed, with the uncircumcifed, Egypt, and Judah, and Edom, and the children of Ammon and Moab, and all that are in the utmost corners that dwell in the wilderness; for all these nations are uncircumcifed, and all the boufe of Ifrael are uncircumcifed in the heart, JER. ix. 25, 26.