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LIFE and IMMORTALITY
Brought to Light by the
GO OS P
A true Difcovery of the NATURE and GROUND of the RELIGION and KINGDOM of CHRIST, &c.
Some Queries concerning the State of the Church as it was in the Apoftles Days, and was to be afterwards.
Query 1. W AS not the church exceeding beautiful, and in heavenly
glory, in the days of the apoftles? Did the only travail after life and glory? Did fhe not alfo bring forth? Did fhe not witness the kingdom come, the power come, the eternal life come? And did the not partake thereof, and dwell therein? Was the not a woman cloathed with the fun, and the moon under her feet, and crowned with a crown of twelve ftars? Yea, did fhe not bring forth the man-child, which was to rule all nations with a rod of iron? Who can read this ftate, who is not in fome measure a partaker of the fame glory?
Query 2. Was not this heaven afterwards wrapped up, rolled up; and did not this glory pass away? Did not the great red dragon fight with the woman? And did fhe not fly into the wilderness, and was not the man-child caught up to God? And did not the remnant of her feed (who had the teftimony of Jefus, and who kept his commandments) teftify and prophefy in fackcloth? Read the xith and xiith chapters of the Revelations.
Query 3. Upon the flight of the true church into the wilderness (when fhe was thus gone out of fight) did not the false church start up; which made a glorious and taking appearance in the world, to the eye of man's wisdom? Did not she fit upon a fcarlet-coloured beast (wife and strong) having seven
heads, and ten horns? Was the not arrayed in purple and fcarlet colour, and decked with gold, and precious ftones, and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand, making the kings, nations, and inhabitants of the earth drunk with the wine of her fornication? What do thofe things mean? What did the wisdom of God thus defcribe her for?.
Query 4. What did the true church carry into the wilderness with her, and what did the leave behind her? Did not the temple, the altar, and the true worshippers go along with her? Did not the Gentiles, fuch as were not true Jews, fuch as could not come into the temple (but only into the outward court, and worship there), did not these ftay behind? And had not thefe Gentiles henceforth (from the true church's flight into the wilderness) the outward court given to them, that they might make ufe of it (and worship in it) as much as they would? The virtue, the life, the power, the Spirit being taken away, and removed with the true church, which fled into the wildernefs, what did God regard the outward? Leave it out of my measure, faith the Lord, and give it to the Gentiles, Rev. xi. 2.
Query 5. What is the cup, the golden cup, which this falfe church hath in her hand, wherein are forceries and witchcrafts, wherewith the bewitcheth. people, and maketh them drunk? Is it not a glorious appearance of things without the true life and power? Doctrines concerning God, doctrines concerning Chrift, doctrines concerning worship, doctrines concerning fanctity, &c. Yea; but the Spirit, the life, the power, that was in the apoftleş days, is wanting. What remains of thefe is to be found with the true church. in the wilderness (the blood of whose feed the drinks) not with her.
Query 6. What will become of this great woman in the end; this rich, this glorious church? Shall fhe continue for ever? Shall fhe fit as a queen for ever, and never fee forrow? Shall the true church never come out of the wilderness, to be restored to her beauty and glory again? Nay, nay; in one day fhall her plagues come; death, and mourning, and famine. It is true, fhe is wife and strong (and the beast also, on which the fits and rides, who is able to make war with? faith man's wisdom); but wifer and stronger is the Lord God Almighty, who judgeth her, and who is taking and will take to him his great power, wherewith he will thunder against her, until he hath brought her down, and her flesh be utterly burnt with fire.
Query 7. What fhall become of those who drink of her cup, and who believe and worship as fhe teacheth? Shall they not all drink of the wine of the cup of the wrath of God Almighty, poured out without mixture? Shall they not partake of her dreadful plagues, in the hour of her judgment? Read Rev. xiv. 9, 10, 11. and chap. xviii. For these things are to come to pass as certainly as they were foretold; and when they do come to pafs, bleffed fhall the faints be who have fuffered with patience, keeping the commandments and the faith of Jesus; and woe will be to them who have persecuted them, and drunk their blood. Read the xiiith, xivth, xviith, and xixth chapters of the Revelations, which fignify of, and testify to, these things. A a a
Now whereas many fay, that the book of the Revelations is fuch a mystical book, that it is not to be understood; to what end then was it written? It was the revelation of Jefus Chrift, which God gave unto him, to fhew unto his fervants things which muft shortly come to pafs, chap. i. 1. and would Chrift give them forth in fuch words as could not be understood? Again it is faid, ver. 5. Bleffed is he that readeth, and they that bear the words of this prophecy, and keep thofe things which are written therein; for the time is at band. How can any be bleffed in reading, or how can any keep what is written therein, without understanding the things contained in it? How can any follow the true church into the wilderness, or avoid being taken with the golden cup of fornications of the falfe church, or refufe the mark of the beaft (that he take it neither on his forehead nor hand, nor have the name of the beast upon him, nor fo much as the number of his name) unless he truly and rightly understand these warnings and defcriptions of the Holy Spirit of God, given forth in the book, to preferve in the way of truth, in the way of life (tho' thro' great fufferings and tribulations) out of the way of spiritual whoredom and death? For mystical Babylon, the nations of the earth and great-ones (generally) commit formcation with, Rev. xvii. 2. and xviii. 3. Indeed this book is a mystery to man's wisdom; for it was not given to the wisdom of this world, but is hid from that; but God gave it Chrift to give to his fervants; and it is not a mystery (but opened and revealed by the Father's Spirit) to the children of the true wisdom, who are instructed and taught of God to escape the bed of whoredom and fpiritual fornication, which the earthly wisdom (in the wifeft men of this world) is intangled in.
Some Queries on Chap. xxix, and xxx. of DEUT. compared with
ID not God command Mofes to make a covenant with the children of Ifrael in the Land of Moab, befides the covenant he made with them in Horeb ? Deut. xxix. 1.
Quest. 2. What was this covenant? Was it of the fame nature with the former, or was it of a different nature? Was not the former the covenant of the law? And was not this the covenant of the gofpel? Did not this covenant contain the promife of circumcifing the heart? Deut. xxx. 6. Whereas, under the other covenant, notwithitanding all the temptations, figns, and miracles which they had feen in Egypt, and in the wilderness, about the space of forty years; yet the Lord had not given them an heart to perceive, and eyes to fee, and ears to hear, unto that day. But Mofes and Aaron, with Caleb and Joshua, who knew and partook of the other cove
nant, they were of a better spirit, and understood the leadings and commands of God, and followed after him.
Query 3. Had the Jews minded this covenant, might they not have been able to keep the other alfo? Did any fail in facrifices, or outward obedience to the law, who kept to this covenant? What an holy man was Samuel, who did not fo much as err in government, but could plead with the people, Whose ox or afs have I taken, or whom have I defrauded or oppreffed? Zacharias, and Elizabeth his wife, walked in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. And fo the children of God in the gofpel, who have a new heart, and a new fpirit, and walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit and law of life in Chrift Jefus, they also fulfil the righteoufnefs of the law declared in the Letter, Rom. viii. 4.
Query 4. What is the commandment of this covenant, and where is it written? The commandments of the other covenant are written in the law of Mofes, and in tables of ftone; but where is this commandment written, or where is it to be found? Is it in heaven above, to be fetched down from thence; or is it beyond the fea? &c. Nay, is it not very nigh? Is not the Word of this commandment nigh in the mouth and in the heart? And is it not there placed by the Lord for this very end, that men might hear it and do it?
Query 5. Was not this the Word or commandment of life and good, or of death and evil to the Jews? (See chap. xxx. 14, 15.) And is it not fo alfo to mankind? He that hears and obeys the word of this commandment, doth he not live and partake of good? He that disobeys it, doth he not die, and undergo wrath and evil, tribulation and anguish upon his foul from the hand of the Lord, either poured out upon him at prefent, or treasured up for him against hereafter? Read Rom. ii. 5, 6, &c.
Query 6. Was not this other covenant, this fecond covenant, this new covenant, which God bid Mofes make with them then, the fame which God makes with believers in the days of the gofpel? The old covenant had been made with the Jews before; was not this the new? They had had the law in the letter before, wherein the commandment was afar off; but is not the commandment of the new covenant (the law of the Spirit of life) nigh? And had not the people of the Jews the Spirit of the Lord nigh to inftruct them, by virtue of this covenant? That they had fo, is plain, Nehem. ix. 20. and Ifai. lxiii. 10.; but whether they had the Spirit nigh to them by virtue of the old covenant, or by virtue of the new (which Mofes was appointed by God to make with them, as is afore expreffed) let the wife in heart confider. And whether the tender mercies which God all along expreffed to them (as is mentioned Ifai. Ixiii. 7.) were by virtue of that covenant wherein God had continual advantages and provocations against them, or by virtue of this covenant, from which mercy and redemption is continually fpringing freely towards the Ifrael of God?
Query 7. Whether the Word of faith which the apostles preached, was not the fame Word nigh in the mouth and heart which Mofes preached? Is not the Word of life, the Word of faith, the Word of the new covenant, one and the fame thing in all ages and generations? Indeed there are outward fayings and teftimonies after divers manners; but Chrift is the fame yesterday, to-day, and for ever. And the commandment of life in the mouth and heart changeth not, but is always one and the fame.
Query 8. What is the juftification under this covenant; or what is that which God hath an eye to in justifying any perfon here? Is it not the obedience of faith? What doth God condemn but unbelief? And will he not justify faith? For faith flows from life, and life from Chrift. So that indeed here the holy root makes all that are of it holy, and the righteous root makes all that are of it righteous; and he that doth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous, 1 John iii. 7. And Chrift is here indeed made unto the foul that thus receives him and obeys him as the Word and commandment of life: I fay, he is indeed made unto fuch an one of God wisdom, righteousness, fanctification, and redemption; and bleffed are they that do not mistake about this, but come truly to witnefs it.
Some Queries concerning Destruction and Salvation.
Query 1. HETHER there be not fomewhat which deftroys, which hath the nature of death and deftruction in it, and which leaveneth with death and deftruction, as it is let in and received? Query 2. Whether there be not fomewhat alfo which faves, which hath the nature of life and falvation in it, and which leaveneth with life and falvation, as it is let in and received?
Query 3. Whether that which deftroys be not near, and whether that which faves be not near alfo? (Doth not Chrift ftand at the door and knock? And may not he be heard and let in? See Rev. iii. 20.).
Query 4. Whether this, which is fo near, and fo able to fave, was not that which faved in all ages and generations, even before Chrift appeared in a body of flesh, and the fhedding his blood?
Query 5. Whether, after Chrift appeared in a body of flesh, and shedding his blood, any can be faved thereby, or by any believing on Chrift whatfoever; without letting in or receiving that life and power which faves? Be not deceived; God is not mocked. He that believeth in the power which raised our Lord Jefus Chrift from the dead, and is fubject to the power, fhall be redeemed and faved thereby. For death came by the foul's feparation from the power which gave life, and Chrift faves by bringing to the power again (fo that he that would indeed be faved by Christ, muft believe in God through him, and feel the power which redeems). But let a man