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receive you, &c. 2 Cor. vi. It is true, I feek you for worshippers, and I call you to the gofpel-feaft of fat things, and I will receive you if ye come; but ye muft first come out from among all the falfe ways and falfe worshippers, and depart from (and not fo much as touch) that which is unclean (the unclean fpirit, his unclean ways and worfhippers) and then I will receive you, and own you as my fons and daughters, and be a Father to you; not elfe. Mark now; The Jews outward (in their day) must be feparate from all the Heathen outward, if they would be judged and owned by God for true worshippers according to the law. The primitive Chriftians were to feparate from both Heathen and Jews too (even their temple, priests, and ordinances, which were once of God) if they would be worshippers, true worshippers under the gofpel, worshippers of God's feeking. And the Chriftians, after the antichriftian corruption and darkness, muft come out of Babylon; that is, out of all forms of religion, and buildings out of the life and power (for that is Babylon, the city of confufion, which is built, ftands out of, and practiseth out of, the order and unity of the Spirit), if they will be found worshippers in the day of restoration; after the long darkness of the apoftafy, they muft not worship the beaft (nor worship God, as the beaft teacheth and requireth; for in fo worshipping, God is not worshipped, but the beaft) nor bear his name, nor receive his mark, either on their forehead or right hand, nor be of the number of his name. Now the command is as exprefs to come out of Babylon; that is, to feparate from all antichriftian ways and worships; as ever it was to separate from the Heathen and Jews; and there is no being a true worshipper! in God's fight, but in the true way of feparation from all falfe worshippers, who worship in forms and appearances of godliness, out of the life and power.
Now, oh! how precious it is to feel God's feeking, God's gathering, God's feparating, God's teaching, leading, drawing into the truth, and true way of worship! For there are felf-feparations, which are out of the true Spirit, life and power. Yea, God may begin the feparation, and another wif dom may step in, and carry it on, out of the limits of the fweet, innocent Spirit, life and power. Oh! bleffed is he who is feparated by the Lord from all that is not of him! But he that is but fenfual, and hath not the Spirit, but only by a literal knowledge separateth himself, he differeth from others but in the outward form and appearance of godlinefs; but is one in nature and ground with those whom he feparateth from. Thus the Papifts, and all pretended Chriftians (of the fame fpirit) who feel not the true Spirit, power, and life, are but one in the ground, how great foever their difference outwardly feem. And those that separate further and further (even to the utmost extent outwardly, or in way of appearance) being not feparated by the Lord from that nature and fpirit wherein the enmity lodgeth, they are still inhabitants of one and the fame city (for the city of
Babylon is very large) and daughters of one and the fame mother, even of the wisdom which is from beneath; which wifdom, in its highest exaltation, is far beneath the nature and true excellency of the pure and heavenly wif dom, even in its lowest and most contemptible appearance. Oh! blessed is the religion, the worship, the separation, the fear of the Moft High God, the faith, the knowledge, which begins in the Spirit and power (even in the evidence and demonstration of God's own Spirit), and which stands and abides therein! For herein are the children of light diftinguished, and kept distinct (by God Almighty, who hath made the difference) from all the children of darkness.
About the 12th month.
By ISAAC PENINGTON,
Prisoner for the testimony of truth at
CHRIS T's LA W.
With fome other THINGS of
Particularly mentioned after the PREFACE.
ISAAC PENING TO N.
They alfo that erred in fpirit shall know understanding, and they that murmured fhall learn doctrine. Isa. xxix. 24. Bleffed be the LORD, it is fo. This Prophecy is fenfibly and experimentally fulfilled, and fulfilling daily more and more.
HRIST, who came from the Father, and knew the way of truth and life everlasting, and was to guide men to the Father, being the only way unto him, preached the kingdom, and bid men seek the kingdom; teaching and inftructing them in many parables concerning it, and directing them where and how to find it.
The apoftles likewife (who fucceeded Chrift in the fame Spirit and power wherein he miniftered) preached the fame kingdom, declaring and defcribing what it was, and wherein it confifted; namely, not in word, but in power (even in the power which fhakes all that is to be fhaken, but cannot be fhaken itself, nor the kingdom which is in it, 1 Cor. iii. 20. and Heb. xii. 28.) Nor was the kingdom of God meat and drink (or any outward thing); but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghoft, Rom. xiv. 17.
And they preached not in vain; for the life was inwardly revealed in many, the power inwardly revealed, and the righteousness, peace, and joy thereof felt. For fuch as truly believed and obeyed the gospel, received the kingdom which could never be shaken, and had an entrance miniftered to them thereinto, according to their diligence and carefulness in the truth.
Now afterwards a great darkness came over, and this glorious kingdom was again veiled, and the kingdom of darkness and deceit overspread the profeffors of Chriftianity; and in this time notions and outward knowledges took with men, instead of the life and truth itself, wherein the kingdom and power stands.
But, bleffed be the Lord, the light of life again fhines out of and over the darkness, and the kingdom is again received, and the entrance into it again known; and from what is feen and heard (and in measure enjoyed and poffeffed) is a faithful teftimony given forth. And blessed are they who hear the joyful found; for it is no less than the found of life itself, the power itself, the gofpel itself, the Spirit himself, manifefting himself in, and Ipeaking through, veffels according to his pleasure.