« PreviousContinue »
Query 6. If Chrift's fulfilling the law of Mofes, the law of the firft cove nant, were imputed to us as our righteoufnefs, and we juftified in the fight of God thereby, were not then our righteoufhefs the righteoufnefs of the first covenant in nature, and our juftification a juftification by the righte oufness of the first covenant? For Chrift was made under the law, made under the first covenant, and fulfilled the righteoufnefs of the firit. covenant; fo that if that be imputed to us for righteousness, then the righteousness of the firft covenant is imputed to us for righteoufnefs, and is our righteousness.
Query 7. Was not faith imputed to Abraham for righteoufnefs? What was his righteoufnefs? Was it not the faith which he had from Chrift, whereby and wherewith he believed God? Is not faith of the nature of Chrift? Is not true faith juftified for ever, and doth it not justify him in whom it is found? And doth not gospel-obedience flow from faith? and hath it not of the nature of faith in it? Oh! how pure and precious was it in the eye of God, that Abraham reafoned not, confulted not with flesh and blood, but retired into faith in the pure power! He believed God, fay the fcriptures, and it was accounted to him for righteousness and fhall it not be imputed to us alfo, if we have the fame faith, and believe in the fame power?
Some Queries about being under the Law, and being under Grace.
HETHER they that have received the Spirit of grace, and are under the Spirit of grace; I fay, whether they are under the law alfo, or witness freedom therefrom?
Query 2. What is the law? Is it not a ministration of death, of bondage, of condemnation? What is the Spirit of the Lord, the Spirit of grace? Is it not a Spirit of life, a Spirit of liberty, a Spirit that frees from bondage? They that have received it, and are in fubjection to it, do they not partake of its liberty, and through it come into dominion over fin and death?
Query 3. Is the law to the righteous or unrighteous? Whom was it made for? He that cometh into the holy and righteous nature of the feed, doth he not come from under the law? Doth he not come into the nature, ftate and Spirit, which is free from the law?
Query 4. What is it to come through the law into the liberty and redemp tion of fons? What is it to know the feed free in the particular, and to come into the freedom of the feed? Doth not the Son make free, the Truth of God make free, all that come to it and dwell in it? and are not they that are made free by it, free indeed? O Sion! thy children are all freeborn! Jerufalem which is above, is free, which is the mother of us all; and the bringeth forth none but free children. They that dwell in the height
of notion, they are not free; but they that dwell in the power of life, know that which makes free, and witnefs freedom by it.
Some Queries for the Profeffors of Christianity to confider of, and try
their States by. For it is good for every one to know and understand
bis Eftate aright (what it is in the Sight of the Lord) and not to be mistaken in a Matter of fo great Concernment.
S thy fpirit, heart, mind, foul and body, a temple for God to dwell in? Who dwells in thy heart? Doth the Holy Spirit or the unclean spirit? Is that dislodged and purged out of thee, with which God will not dwell? Is that difcovered and taken away, in which the wicked one dwelleth? O Jerufalem! wash thine heart from wickednefs; how long fhall thy vain thoughts lodge within thee! O Jerufalem! wilt thou not be made clean? When fhall it once be? Is not forbearing to touch every unelean thing, and cleansing from all filthiness of flesh and fpirit, more neceffary to the state of a fon and daughter of the Moft High than most people are aware of? Read 2 Cor. vi. 16, 17. and chap. vii. 1.
Query 2. Is Chrift revealed in thee? Doth God dwell any-where, in any heart, but where Chrift is, but where he is inwardly and fpiritually revealed? Know ye not that Chrift is in you, except ye be reprobates? And can any know Chrift in them, who have not had him revealed there by the Father? Almoft all forts of pretenders to Chrift own him as fpoken of without; but the true Christian witneffeth him revealed within: for it pleafeth the Father to reveal the Son in fuch; and none can be truly ingrafted into Christ, but as Chrift is in fome measure made manifeft within.
Query 3. How doft thou confefs Jefus to be the Lord? Is it by notions from the letter, or by feeling his Spirit and power revealed within, and thy heart made fubject to his Spirit and power inwardly revealed? For there is a confeffing Chrift in and by the Spirit, and a confeffing him without the Spirit, according as men can read, conceive, and apprehend of him from the letter. Confider which of thefe thine is.
Query 4. Art thou come out of the apoftasy and spirit of darkness, into the light and Spirit of Chrift? What was the apoftafy from? Was it not from the Spirit, from the anointing? Wherein did it confift? Did it confift in holding a knowledge of Chrift, and form of godliness out of the power? Art thou returned to the anointing? To the Holy Spirit of the Father ? Haft thou received it? Doft thou live and walk in it, and not fulfil the lufts of the fleth?
Query 5. Doft thou know the tree of righteoufnefs, and the tree of unrighteousness, inwardly? Haft thou felt the axe laid to the root of the corrupt tree, and it cut down; and the holy plant of God (the plant of his Bbb 2
renown) planted in thy heart, and bringing forth fruit to him? Can the fruit ever become good in thee till the tree be made good? Can the corrupt tree ever bring forth the holy fruit of righteoufnefs to the Lord? Oh! mind thy growth! I mean, from what thou groweft, and from what thy fruit proceedeth for all the knowledge, faith, love, zeal, practices, &c. which proceed not from the renewed Spirit and nature, is not the good fruit which God calls for and accepts; but the denying the leaft cuftom or fafhion of this world, from a renewed nature, and from the drawings and teachings of God's Spirit, is good fruit, and accepted by him.
Query 6. Can any be redeemed to God, but by his judgment and righteousness revealed in them? Is the foul redeemed from its enemies, while its enemies remain in ftrength, and have the dominion over it? Where grace is received, and the foul taught by it and fubject to it, doth it not break the dominion of fin? As the fpirit of judgment and burning is felt in any heart, doth it not cut down and burn up fin there? And as the righteous Spirit is turned to, is not his righteous nature received,, and doth not the holy and righteous feed fpring up in the heart? and as it fpringeth up, doth it not redeem and deliver that which is joined to it? Can any be redeemed by a righteousness at a diftance, without partaking of the new, and holy, and righteous image of the Son? And he that is righteous in measure, he may do righteoufnefs:, but no man can do righteoufness, until he become righteous, by being joined to, changed by, and in fome measure brought forth a new plant to God, in the new, righteous, and holy feed. See 1 John iii. 7.
Query 7. Do ye indeed know the new covenant? Was it ever inwardly revealed in you? Do ye know the difference between reading the holy directions given forth in the scriptures, and fo getting them into your minds and practising them, as well as you can; I fay, do ye know the difference between this and God's writing them in your hearts, and caufing you to walk in his ways? Do ye know the difference between reading in the letter and in the Spirit; and between walking according to the oldness of the letter, and according to the newness of the Spirit? Oh! that ye might not be deceived about these things, but might know the truth, as it is in Jefus, and come into fellowship with us therein! For truly our fellowship is with the Father and the Son, in that which changeth not, but is one and the fame for ever: yea, the Lord our God hath redeemed us out of all the changeable ways, religions and worships, into the one pure way of life, and into the worship in the one Spirit and truth, which changeth not, but is ftill what it was, even one and the fame before the law of Mofes, or writings of the prophets, all the time of the law, while Chrift was in the flesh, afterwards when he was revealed in Spirit, and all the time of the apoftafy, and after the apoftafy, and fo for ever..
A Question answered about Preaching the Gospel after the Apoftafy.
HY doth God after the apoftafy send an angel to preach the everlasting gospel, after a manner different from what it was preached before the apoftafy? How was it preached before the apoftafy? Was it not preached thus, That in Chrift alone is remiffion of fins, and falvation through faith in his blood? How is it to be preached after the apoftafy? Is not an angel from God fent to preach it thus; Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come; and worship him that made heaven and earth, and the fea, and the fountains of waters? Is this the fame gospel that was preached before? How different is the found thereof! Surely this would feem not the fame, but rather another gofpel, to any man who is not taught of God, and bath not received of him the true understanding to observe and difcern the nature of things.
Anfw. The gofpel is the fame in fubftance, though differing in found and manner of appearance; and they that judge not according to appearance, but judge righteous judgment, experience it to be the fame: for whoever receives the gofpel thus preached, receives the power of God unto falvation, which goeth along with his fear, and with the hour of judgment, and with the true worship.
And this is the reason why the Lord fends his angel thus to preach it; that he might shut out the birth of the false wisdom, and convey it to the children of the true wifdom. For in the apoftafy, the doctrines of the knowledge of Chrift had been corrupted, and held in the wrong part; and men had got a wrong knowledge and a dead belief, concerning Chrift and his blood, &c.
Therefore to fhut out thefe, God fo orders his gospel to be preached, as thefe cannot understand it, nor know it to be the gofpel, nor come into this fpiritual miniftration of it; but thofe whom the Lord toucheth, whose hearts he openeth and quickeneth, they (in the demonftration of his Spirit) have the fenfe and obedience of it: for men had got a form of religion, a form of knowledge, a form of doctrine, a form of worship out of the power. Therefore the Lord comes with the light of his Spirit, to fever between that which was known and held out of the power, and that which was received. and held in the power, and fo preached the truth, that none but those that are of the truth, can own and receive it.
Had he fent an angel to preach the birth of Christ, the death of Christ, his refurrection, &c. all the dead would receive this; but to preach thus, Fear God, came to the Spirit of judgment and burning; worship him that made the heaven, the earth, the fea, and fountains of waters; who can understand what this means? Who can know this to be the everlasting gofpel, but he that is taught of God?
This is to preach God the creator, faith the wife profeffor; this is not to preach Chrift the redeemer; this is not to preach the everlasting gospel, will they readily fay. Yes; but God who is wife, and knows what the gofpel is, and fends his angel to preach it after the apostasy, fends it thus to be preached to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people: read Rea. xiv. 6, 7. and confider feriously, and fpurn not against the way of God's preaching his everlasting truth, wherein is wrapped up the eternal falvation and happiness of mankind; yea, more efpecially of this age, who ought to bow to God in this his way of difpenfing his truth, which he himself hath chofen.
Now, confider this one thing; was ever the gospel thus preached before. this age? The fame gofpel was preached from the beginning; but was it ever thus preached before? The feed of the woman shall bruife the Serpent's head; fo it was preached to Adam: In thy feed fhall all the families of the earth be bleffed; fo it was preached to Abraham: To us a child is born, to us a Son is given, &c. fo it was preached in the days of the prophets: By this man, every one that believeth in his name, fhall receive remiffion of fins. So it was preached in the apostles days. 7log anT
And in the reformation from popery, fome of the doctrines about free juftification by grace, and of remiffion of fins by faith in Chrift, &c. were revived; but, was it ever preached thus before our age? Did perfons ever come forth in the power and authority of God, bidding men fear him, and be fenfible of the hour of his judgment, even of his mighty day which was at hand; and come out of all falfe ways and worships, into the worship of him who made heaven and earth, and the fea, and fountains of waters? I fay, did perfons ever come forth thus, and preach the everlafting gofpel thus, preach thefe doctrines to men, as the gofpel of God, before this day? And let men well confider, whether it be not indeed of God, and by his command and power thus preached; and take heed of oppofing his message, left they be found fighters against him.
For mind: was not this always the fum and fubftance in every difpenfation? Could men be faved by believing that the feed of the woman should bruise the Serpent's head? Or that in Abraham's feed all the families of the earth fhould be blessed? Or, that a child should be born, and a Son given? Or that, through Chrift's name, remiffion of fins was to be had, &c.? without coming into the true fear, which teacheth and causeth to depart from evil; and without giving glory to God, in bowing to his Spirit's inftructions and teachings; and without worshipping him, who made heaven and earth, and fea, and fountains of waters? Or could any fear the Lord, and give glory to him, and come under the hour of his judgment, and worship him, who made heaven, and earth, and fea, and fountains of waters; but they muft firft feel the power of the gospel overcoming their spirits, and leading them