« PreviousContinue »
that power which makes willing, and that nature and Spirit whofe delight it is to do the will of the Father? Matt. vii. 21.
Query 24. Who fhall be counted worthy of the kingdom of God? Shall not they who fuffer for it in the holy faith and patience, and fo are willing through the much tribulation (whether outward or inward, or both) to enter into it? Theff. i. 4, 5. Als xiv. 22.
Query 25. What are the keys of the kingdom of heaven? who hath need of them, and whom are they given unto? Were they given only to the apoftles? Or only to the minifters of the church? Are they not given. to every one that hath need of them, to whom God giveth understanding to open the myfteries of the kingdom with them? Matt. xvi. 19. The lawyers were blamed for taking away the key of knowledge, Luke xi. 52. Then they from whom they took it, fhould have had it, that they might have entered into the kingdom of heaven by it, and not have been hindered from entering for want of it; and they taking it away from others lost it themselves; for when Chrift came and preached the kingdom, they could not fee to enter into it, but were blind and oppofed it, Matt. xxiii. 13. And now, under the gofpel, if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his (he is not the Father's child, who hath not the Father's Spirit to lead him, Rom. viii. 4.); and he that hath the Spirit of Chrift, hath he not the key of knowledge? 1 Cor. ii. 10, 11.
Query 26. What is the joyful found, which they that know are blessed? Is it not the teftimony of the kingdom? Is it not the preaching of the gofpel of the kingdom? Which they that repent, and become little children, being begotten and born of the Spirit, believing in the Spirit and power of the Lord Jefus, enter into, and walk in, the light of God's countenance there, Pfa. lxxxix. 15. Gal. iv. 15.
Query 27. Which is the joyful found of the everlasting gospel to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, after the ages of the great apoftaly from the spirit and power of the apoftles? Is it not this, Fear God, and give glory to him, for the hour of his judgment is come; and worship the Great Creator in fpirit and in truth? He that heareth this found, in the evidence and demonstration of God's Spirit, doth he not hear the gofpel? He that indeed knoweth this found, doth he not know the joyful gofpel-found? And he that believeth and obeyeth it, doth he not believe and obey the gofpel, even as God hath appointed it to be preached, and obeyed by all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people? Rev. xiv. 6, 7.
Query 28. What is that kingdom that cometh not with obfervation, but is inward, and to be found within? Where men need not fay, lo here, or lo there, but may find the Meffiah, and his light shining in upon them? Luke xvii. 20, 21. 2 Cor. iv. 6.
Query 29. What is that kingdom which stands not in word, but in power; nor is meat and drink, but righteousness, and peace, and joy, in the Holy Ghoft? I Cor. iv. 20. Rom. xiv. 17.
Query 30. What is it to come unto and vifit the churches of Chrift, in the fullness of the bleffing of the gospel of Chrift? Is it not to come in the fullness of God's Spirit and power, to feed them with the bread of life, to fill their hearts with the ftrength and virtue of life from God, as the Lord fhall please to drop it into their spirits through them, and to build them up in the holy faith, that at length they may be filled with all the fullness of God? John xxi. 15, 16, 17. Rom. xxv. 29. Eph. iii. 19.
Query 31. Whom will the Lord affemble? And whom will he gather to make up his kingdom of, in the days of the gofpel? Will not the Lord affemble her that halteth, and gather her that is driven out, and her that he hath afflicted? And will not he make her that halted, a remnant; and her that was caft off, a ftrong nation? And fhall not the Lord reign over them in Mount Sion, from henceforth, even for ever? (For when Chrift, the inward and spiritual King, comes to fit on the throne of his Father David, inwardly and fpiritually, he fhall reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there fhall be no end, Luke i. 32, 33.) Mic. iv. 6, 7. Ezek. xxxiv. 16.
Query 32. What are the places wherein the sheep of God have been fcattered, in the cloudy and dark day, which the Lord promised to deliver them out of? And what is the good pasture he will feed them in, after he hath delivered them? And what are the high mountains of Ifrael, where their fold and fat paftures fhall be? Are not thofe things to be fulfilled to the spiritual people, in the inward and spiritual kingdom of the Meffiah? Ezek. xxxiv. 12. 14. John x. 3, 4.-9.-27, 28.
A BRIEF TOUCH of my Knowledge, Senfe, Belief, and Experience concerning the Godhead, the Offering up of the LORD JESUS CHRIST in his Body on the Tree, as a Propitiatory Sacrifice to the FATHER, and the Imputation of his Righteousness to those who believe in his Name and Power, is nakedly laid before them; wherein I am not alone, but one with those who have fo learned and experienced the fame in the Leadings and Light of his HOLY SPIRIT.
Written in Love to them (that they might have the better Understanding of us, as to thefe Things, and might not think otherwife either of us, or of the Truth of our GOD, which we bear witness to, than there is Caufe, to their own Hurt and Prejudice),
E PIST LE
All SERIOUS PROFESSORS, &c.
FTER it pleased the Lord to touch my heart with the fenfe of his truth, and to manifeft unto me the principle of his life, in the demonstration and power of his own Spirit, infomuch as I could reafon, difpute, confider about it no longer, but was fully fatisfied concerning it; I fay, after this, the love of God fprang in me towards you, and pure defires and breatheings unto him, that ye alfo might have the way up before you, and might fo walk therein, as to come to partake of the fame mercy and falvation. How I have mourned before the Lord for you, and defired that the ftumbling-blocks might be removed from you, and that ye might fo feek as to obtain (not in that wildom and difputing mind, which still is fhut out; but in that meeknefs, humility, and fear which gives entrance) the Lord God knoweth. Yea, the defires in me after you are ftill living; who knoweth, but the Lord may at length hear, and with his key fo open your hearts, and so anoint your eyes with his eye-falve, that ye may fee, acknowledge, believe in, and receive the beloved of your fouls, even as he now appears (after the long night of darkness) a comforter of the drooping fpirits of his people, with the pure light of life, wherein the redeemed houfe of Jacob (who fat in darkness, and in the valley of the fhadow of death, mourning after him) now in holy rejoicing, and pure joy of spirit, walk before him? Oh! the Lord God vifit you, and break in upon you, as he hath done upon us, and cause you to fet to your feals alfo, as we could not but do, that this is he whom all our days we waited for, and longed after. And now there are two or three things in my heart to open to you,