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to fin; but continue in taking part with the good, holy, and spiritual law of life against it.
From CHAP. viii.
Query 1. What is that state wherein there is no condemnation? Is not that the ftate of the redeemed fouls in Chrift? Doth not condemnation follow, where there is fin and difabedience? See Heb. ii. 1, &c. Doth not God condemn fin, and the foul because of fin, till it be driven from fin by the law unto Chrift, and learn of him to walk as he walked, even not after the flesh, but after the Spirit? For to the Spirit, to the Seed, to the heavenly man, there is no condemnation; nor to them that walk after the Spirit.
Query 2. How come any to walk after the Spirit? Can any walk after the Spirit, but as they are made free, by the power of Chrift revealed in their hearts against the power of Satan, from the law of fin and death? Will not fin and death captivate a man, and entangle him in lufts, evil motions and works, till their strength be broken in him, and his foul delivered and fet free therefrom?
Query 3. How doth the law of the Spirit of life in Chrift Jefus make free from the law of fin and death? Is it not thus? Did not God condemn fin in Christ's flesh? and doth not the fame Spirit and law of life condemn it in ours alfo, and bring the judgment and justice of the holy law of life over it? And fo bringing the foul off from that which is unholy, unto the holy. and righteous Spirit and nature of Chrift; and bringing it to walk out of the deadness of fin, in the newness of life; it is removed from thence where the condemnation is, thither where the condemnation cannot come for in Christ, in the new nature, in the heavenly image, in the newness of the Spirit, there never was, nor ever can be, any condemnation.
Query 4. Would God have the righteoufnefs of the law fulfilled in his children? Would he have them walk exactly with him in the new covenant, which both comprehends and exceeds the righteousness of the old covenant? Confider whether Chrift fulfilling the old covenant be their righteoufnefs, or his fulfilling the new in them and for them: for he both doth away their unrighteoufnefs, and alfo brings in the righteoufnefs into them, which is of his own pure, heavenly and everlasting nature. Is not he the image of. God? Is not he righteoufnefs? And when he is in them, and they changed into his nature and Spirit, is not he their righteousness? Oh! wait to determine this thing, all that defire to know and partake of the righteousness of our Lord Jefus Chrift, in the true and pure fenfe of life, and in the evidence and demonftration of God's Holy Spirit.
Query 5. Do not all men act according to the principle, whether of flesh or Spirit, to which their minds are joined? Do not they which are of the flesh mind, favour, approve, defire after, and delight in that which is fleshly? But they that are after the Spirit, do not they-mind, favour, defire after,
approve, and delight in the things of the Spirit? Therefore is not this of great concern to all to confider, not fo much what their profeffion and appearance is outwardly, as what their root is inwardly, and what nature, Spirit and growth, they and their religion are of?
Query 6. What doth it produce to have the mind exercised by the flesh? Doth it not produce death? Is not the nature, spirit, and wisdom of the flesh separated from God's nature, who is Life? and can it bring forth any thing in the heart but corruption and death? But the minding of the other principle, and being exercifed by the other principle, that produceth life and peace; doth it not? Let all that have inwardly experienced these things, affent and teftify in fpirit before the Lord to his praife.
Query 7. Is not the flesh enmity against God? Can any thing which is enmity against God, who is the quickening life, do any thing but deaden and kill where it finds entrance? Life and peace is witneffed in fubjection to God, who gives it to them that obey the law of his Spirit. Is that which is in the enmity, and ftands in the enmity, fubject (or can it be fubject) to the holy law of God? Nay; there must be a new creation felt in the heart, before there can be a fubjection to that which is pure and living.
Query 8. Can any men that are in the flesh, that are not truly and inwardly changed by the Spirit and power of the gofpel; I fay, can they please God in any thing they do? Can they believe, or pray, or read the fcriptures, or practife any thing they obferve from the fcriptures, fo as to please God thereby? Nay furely, without changing the principle, without having the heart changed by God's power, there is no right believing, praying, or doing any thing to pleafe God. This makes moft mens religion and performances unfavoury, because they know not, nor are turned to, and guided by, that principle and feed of life, which feasons and makes favoury.
Query 9. How may a man know whether he be in the flesh, or in the Spirit? If he be in the Spirit, doth not the Spirit dwell in him? For the Spirit createth anew, and the Spirit dwelleth in that which he new-createth. It is the ftrong man armed who keeps and dwells in the old house; but the Spirit of Chrift keeps and dwells in the new houfe: and if any man have not the Spirit of Chrift (notwithstanding all his religion, knowledge, faith, prayers, &c.) he is none of his.
Query 10. If Chrift, the quickening Spirit (the living power) be in a man, doth he not kill fin there? Is not the body dead there because of fin? Can fin live there, where Chrift dwells? and is not his Spirit life there, to quicken in and unto righteoufnefs? Yea, is it poffible that Chrift fhould dwell in any man's heart by his Spirit, and his Spirit not be quickening the mortal body in which he dwells? Oh! how precious is it to feel the quickening life and power! This is a daily feal of the true religion; and the daily operation of God's Spirit in the hearts of his children, fhews who dwells
Query 11. To which are we debtors, who are redeemed to God by his Spirit and power? Are we debtors to the flesh, to live after the flesh, which brings into bondage to fin and death? Or are we debtors to that Spirit and power of life, which hath made us alive to God, and preferveth us in life, and quickeneth us unto life, day by day?
Query 12. Is it poffible that any one should come to life, but by the mortifying, denying, and destroying of that which nourisheth fin, and leads into death? and what can do that but the power of God's Spirit?
Query 13. Are not all the fons of God led by his Spirit! Oh! how neceffary then is it for every man to be fure, both that he hath received God's Spirit, and that he be led by it?
Query 14. What is the spirit of bondage, which begetteth fear when God awakeneth the foul? and what is the Spirit of adoption, whereby the foul can cry Abba, Father? Can any cry Abba, Father, but thofe that are begotten of God's Spirit? Many men put up requests, and are able to make long prayers (perhaps fuch as may be taking to the eye of man's wifdom), and yet know not that Spirit which begetteth life in the heart, and teacheth to cry Abba, Father,
Query 15. Is it not a precious thing for people truly to feel the Spirit of God bearing witnefs, with their fpirits, that they are God's children; heirs of God, and co-heirs with Chrift; and fo leading them through the fufferings, that they may come to partake with him of his glory? But do any come to partake of his glory, who do not firft come through the fufferings?
A further Teftimony in brief concerning the Work of GOD upon our Hearts, who are called QUAKERS.
T hath been with us, and fo we have felt it from the Lord, just as is exbut according to his mercy he faved us, by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghoft.
We are a people who have been greatly diftreffed (many of us) for want of that life and power which was revealed in the apoftles days. We are a race of travellers, who have been travelling out of the nature, wisdom, fpirit, and course of this world (which is vain and paffeth away) towards our refting-place. We have wandered from mountain to hill, from one way of religion to another, feeking after him whom our fouls dearly loved. Indeed the watchmen have often laughed at us and mocked us, wishing us to return to them; but that would not ftill the cry of our fouls, which were fick with earnest defire, not after formal ways of religion, but after life and immortality, that it might be again brought to light (as it had been in the apostles days), and our fouls made partakers thereof. Now, after
many a weary step and deep fick nefs of heart, when we were come even near to defpair of ever finding and enjoying what our fouls fo forely longed after, it pleased the Lord at length in his tender mercy to appear among us, and by the directions of his Holy Spirit to turn our minds inwards; fhewing us, that that which we fought without, was to be found within: telling us, that there was the kingdom, which was not to be found by obfervations without, but by meeting with, and fubjecting to, the light and power of life within. And when we were follicitous how to know it from the darknefs and deceit within, this anfwer was given us from the Lord; its nature will discover itself, it will turn against all darkness and deceit in the heart; it will find out and reprove whatever is reproveable, and furnish the foul with ftrength againft it. Oh! bleffed found from the Lord God of Life, who thus drew our hearts to wait upon him; and fhewed us how to wait, and what to wait for, and where we might meet with that which our hearts fo exceedingly defired and panted after! And truly as our minds were thus turned inwards, the holy light did fhine upon us from the Sun of righteoufnefs, and the pure life and nature from the Son of God did fpring up in us; and we felt the power of God revealed in our hearts, and the old image of fin and unrighteousness daily defacing, and our fouls creating anew (in Christ Jefus) into the holy and heavenly image. So that here we felt the mercy of God, which faved his people in all ages, reaching to us alfo; and his Spirit regenerating, renewing, and washing us, with the water and blood which cleanfeth: and as we were regenerated and renewed more and more, fo we were ftill washed more and more, and came more into fellowship with Chrift in his death; and were alfo raised up by him more and more into his life, and taught to set our affections more on things above, and lefs on things below; which are of an enfnaring and entangling nature, in which the minds of the fons of men are held captive, until they meet with that royal, excellent, noble Spirit and power, which breaks the chains and fetters of darkness, and redeems out of them. And now we can teftify (in true sense, and in the evidence and demonstration of God's Spirit) that not by working, willing, or running of ourselves; not by any works of righteoufnefs, which we had done or could do; but by the tender mercy of God vifiting, and by the operation of his Holy Spirit upon us (in and through regenerating, renewing, and washing us from that which defiled and stained our fouls, and made them guilty in his fight, and liable to his wrath), were we faved from the wrath to come, and from the ways of tranfgreffion wherein we walked, before our God thus vifited us.
Now it is the fincere defire of our fouls, that this tender mercy of God might take effect on others alfo; and that they might likewife be lighted by him to the place where wisdom teacheth her children, and where the true redemption of the foul is witneffed, and the true knowledge of the Father and of Chrift (which is life eternal), given and received; that people might not be hardened to deftruction, and deceived of their fouls, by a foolish and L112 vain
vain religion, wherein is not the substance and kernel (which alone can nourish up to life eternal), but only fome fhew and appearance thereof, which cannot really fatisfy that which is indeed begotten and born of God's Spirit,
A brief Account of the Ground of our Worship, and how it cometh
to pass that we cannot conform to the Spirit of this World, or to the Wills of Men therein, but only to the Spirit and Will of our God.
E fear God, who made heaven and earth, whofe power is over all, who hath caufed the light of his Holy Spirit to fhine in our hearts, thereby teaching us how to worship him acceptably in Spirit and truth; which worship he hath required of us, that we meet together fo to do in thofe affemblies, which he hath gathered by his power, and ordereth by his Spirit, either in filence or found of words, according to his pleasure.
And God, who hath appointed us thus to worship him, hath power over our bodies and fouls, and can destroy and cast both into hell, if we should deny the truth and way of worship which he hath taught us. Yea, if we fhould deny this way of worship, we should deny Chrift, and be denied by him before his Father in heaven. For he himself hath faid, that neither at the mountain of Samaria, nor at Jerufalem, fhould men worship; but they that worship the Father, muft worship him in Spirit and in Truth. Now men cannot worship in Spirit and in Truth as they please, or in the ways of their own inventing and fetting up; but he that worshippeth in Spirit and Truth must first be made spiritual; and then must wait in filence of the flesh for God's Spirit to quicken him unto fpiritual worship. For they that worship otherwise than thus, worship at beft but after the oldness of the letter, and not in the newness of the Spirit, which is the only worship God feeketh, and requireth, under the New Testament.
Befides, we have found God's prefence with us, and bleffing upon us, in this way of worship; and our hearts greatly melted and warmed therein, and power given us over our paffions and corruptions inwardly, and to order our lives and converfations holily, righteously, and innocently outwardly which prefence of God, and holy power over fin and vanity, affections and lufts, we would not lofe for ten thousand worlds. And what an unjust and unthankful thing were it in us to turn from this way of worfhip which God hath called us to, where we have met with these things, to that way of worship where we did not meet with these things, and where others do not, nor can, meet with them? For these things are only to be met with in that way of worship which God hath appointed and blessed, and not in that way of worship which man hath invented and fet up, which every profane and wicked person can cry up and enjoy his lufts under; but they that are otherwife taught of God can by no means fubmit to, without grievously sinning against him. And