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man (fimply confidered) is not either of thefe; but as he is gathered into, and brought forth in, the root and spirit of either of thefe. Now every man hath a day for the life of his foul; and power and mercy is near him, to help him to travel from death to life. Happy is he, who is taught of God to make use of it.

And let not men puzzle themselves about the mystery of Election and Reprobation; which cannot be understood by fuch as are out of the thing wherein it is made manifeft. Only thus, at prefent: Pharaoh and Ifrael, Efau and Jacob, Ifhmael and Ifaac, &c. were parables, fignifying fomewhat inward. What was Pharaob? Was he not the oppreffor of God's Ifrael? What was Efau? Was he not the first birth, which fold the birth-right and inheritance? What was Ihmael? Was he not the birth after the flesh? Thefe are rejected, and caft off by God for ever; and the fpiritual Ifrael, the fpiritual Jacob, the fpiritual Isaac, are accepted.

Shall I speak out this thing yet more plain? Why thus then: It is not the creature which is rejected by its Maker; but fomewhat in the creature, and the creature in that. Nor is it the creature (fimply) which is elected; but fomewhat in the creature, and the creature in that. And as any man comes into that, the Election is begun in him: and as any man abides in that, he abides in the Election: and as that is made fure to any man, his Calling and Election is made fure to him. But as any man departs from that, he departs from the Election into the Reprobation: and going on in that into the full impenitency and hardness, he will for ever miss of the Election, and the Reprobation, and Sealing up to Condemnation, will be made fure to him. For God is no refpecter of perfons; but every-where, he that receiveth his holy feed, and therein worketh righteousness, is accepted of him. And he that receiveth the wicked feed, and therein worketh wickedness and unrighteousness, is with it rejected.

Object. But (may the honeft heart fay) this may be truth, for aught I know; but indeed I did not apprehend things to be fo: for I thought man and his works had been wholly excluded by the covenant of grace; but this feems to take both him and them in upon a confideration.

Anfw. Man is wholly excluded the covenant of grace, as in himself; as he ftands in himself, and in his own ability, out of the newness of life and ability which is of the new covenant. But he is not excluded as he is renewed, and receiveth a new being, life, virtue, and ability, in the new covenant. But here much is required of him; and whatever he thus doth, is owned, acknowledged, and accepted by God. Here the true Jew hath praife of God. He is commended for his faith, and for his obedience in the faith: For his loving the Lord his God with all his heart, and his neighbour as himself: For his wafhing his garments in the blood of the Lamb, and keeping them clean in the fame blood, while others defile theirs: For his merciful nature and actions to Chrift in his members, while others are rough and cruel: For his watching against fnares and temptations, while

others

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others are running into them: For his crucifying that in himself, which others feed in themselves: Yea, for his denying and turning from all ungodlinefs and worldly lufts, even of the flesh, eyes, and pride of life; all which are not of the Father (whom he is born of, and feeks after) but of the spirit of the world, which the earthly-minded man is born of, and feeks to please. So that (mark) though man is excluded in his corrupt nature and state, yet not the new man, not man in the regeneration. But man must be regenerated; and thus man muft enter into the covenant of life; and thus man must abide and be found in the covenant of life, in the nature, in the righteousness, in the holiness, in the power thereof, if ever God own him.

Object. But this feems to lay difference on man's act, and not wholly on the grace of God. For the grace, in itself, is equally powerful towards all; but it is my receiving of it, which maketh it effectual unto me; which others not receiving, it is not fo to them.

Anfw. The grace, in itself, is of its own nature every-where. This is true. And that it hath power in it every-where, and that this power is over and above fin; this is true also.. But yet there is a greater or leffer proportion of it given, according to the pleasure and good-will of the giver: and according to the measure of it (which is freely given) and the foul's growth therein, fo is the power of it manifested in the heart.

Now the difference in every man is by the grace. Not of himself: for he can do nothing that is good, as of himself: but only by the grace; which is alone able to work that which is good in him, and to caufe him to work in it. Yet thus it is: as the grace reacheth to him, draweth him, quickening and caufing him, in the virtue, life, and obedience of the grace, to answer the grace; fo doth the work thereof go on in him. And there is matter of condemnation to him, who doth not answer the grace; and there is matter of juftification and praise to him; who doth anfwer the grace. Yet this whole ability arifing not from himself, but from the grace; the acknowledgment of what is effected thereby, doth of right and due belong to the grace. And therefore they who are justified, fanctified, and crowned by the grace, do of right and due caft their crowns at the feet of the Lamb, at the throne of grace; giving honour and glory to him who is worthy, and to his grace which hath wrought all in them.

Now if any man would know this thing groundedly and certainly, let him not run into disputes of the mind and brain, but come to heart-experience. Haft thou ever found the work of God's grace in thy heart? Haft thou found thy heart, at any time, believe and obey, in and thro' the ftrength of the grace? Haft thou found thy heart at another time negligent of, or rebellious againft, the grace? When thou wert rebellious, wert not thou condemned, and that juftly too? When thou didft believe and obey, to whom did the honour thereof belong? to thee, or to the grace? Canft thou anfwer this? Why, as it is in thyself, between thee when obeying and dif

obeying;

rate.

obeying; the fame is the ftate of the cafe between godly and wicked men. There was a difference between thee when thou obeyedft the grace, and when thou disobeyedft it: fo is there between the unregenerate and regeneWhen thou obeyedft not, that which called for obedience condemned thee; so it doth them. When thou obeyedft, thou dift fenfibly feel the praise, was not thine, but belonged to the grace which wrought in thee; fo is it alfo in the regenerate, in whom the Lord works by his grace, and who work out their falvation through him, and make their calling and election fure in him. Leave brain-knowledge, and come to true sense (where the mysteries of God are made manifeft) and this will foon be easy and clear to thee. But these things were never intended by God to be found out by man's difputing wifdom: for God (who giveth the knowledge) hideth them from that part, and giveth them to the innocent fimple birth of his own Spirit.

Object. But when the Father draweth, can any man refift or hold off? Doth not the power of the Lord make any man willing, whom he exercifeth his power towards? And is it not thereupon faid, "Thy people fhall be willing in the day of thy power?"

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Anfw. The power of the Lord is great, and hath dominion over all evil fpirits that can tempt, and over all the corruptions, backflidings, and withdrawings of the heart. But the Father doth not fave man by such an abfolute act of his power (for then there would need no more to be done, but an immediate tranflating of a man from death to life; which if the Lord please to do, nothing could come between to hinder); but the power of the Lord works in and according to the way that he hath appointed. And in this way the Devil hath liberty and power to tempt from, oppofe and refift the work of God: and they that hearken to him, and enter into the temptation and snare which he lays, let his power in upon them, and withdraw from the virtue, operation, and ftrength of the power of God. Yet for all this, the Lord not only begins his work, but also carries it on in the day of his power; giving not only to will, but alfo to do what is right and pleafing in his eyes: but still in and according to his own way and cove

nant.

Object. And so whereas fome men say, If God put forth his power to fave, and the Devil interrupt and stop his work; then it feems that the Devil is Stronger than God. Is the Devil ftronger than God, fay they? If he be not, how can be refift and withstand him in the work of his power?

Anfw. Nay; the Devil is not ftronger than God; though he is very strong. But if the heart let in the enemy, grieve the Spirit, beat back his power in the way wherein it hath appointed to work, the Devil may be more prevalent with him than the power of God. But in those that believe, and become obedient and fubject to the power of God, his power is far ftronger in them to defend and carry on his work, than the power of the Devil is to work against and hinder it.

There

There are objections alfo relating to Free-will, and Falling from Grace, which flick much in the fpirits of many, and they cannot get over them; but it hath pleased the Lord to clear up these things to us, and to fatisfy our hearts concerning them, fo that with us there is no difficulty nor doubt about them.

As touching Free-will: We know, from God, that man in his fallen eftate is spiritually dead, and hath no free-will to good; but his understanding and will are both darkened and captivated by the enemy. But in Chrift there is freedom, and in his word there is power and life: and that reaching to the heart, looseneth the bands of the enemy, and begetteth not only a freedom of mind towards good, but an inclination, defires, and breathings after it. Thus the Father draws; and thus the foul (feeling the drawing) anfwers in fome measure: and the foul, thus coming, is welcomed by Chrift, and accepted of the Father. But for all this, the enemy will tempt this foul; and the foul may hearken to, let in, and enter into the temptation, and fo draw back from the plough to which it put its hand. Now if any man draw back, my foul fhall have no pleasure in him, faith the Lord. And he that putteth his hand to the plough, and looketh back, is not fit for the kingdom of heaven.

So concerning Falling away; The Lord fhews us what it is that is apt to fall, and what cannot fall. Chrift cannot fall; and that which is gathered into him, ftands and abides in him (and fo partakes of his prefervation) cannot fall. There is no breaking in upon that power, which preferves in the way that it hath appointed: but there is a running and perishing out of the way. Out of the limits of the covenant, the prefervation and power of the covenant is not witneffed. But in coming to Chrift in the drawings of the Father, in the sense and faith which he begets, and abiding with him that drew, in the sense and faith which he daily and freshly begets anew (for he reneweth covenant and mercy daily, and keepeth covenant and mercy for ever) in this is the power felt, the preservation felt; in this the Father's hand encompaffeth the foul, which none can pluck it out of. Now he that feels and experiences these things every day, that fees and feels daily how he can fall, and how he cannot fall; how he meets with the prefervation, and how he misses of the preservation; how he abides in the pure power (which is the limits of this holy covenant) and how he wanders out of this power, into the limits of another covenant, fpirit, and power; he knows thefe things, how they are indeed; whereas other men (who are not exercised in the thing) do but guess at them; ftriving to comprehend them in that part which God hath fhut out of them.

Now mind a Parable, with which I fhall conclude this:

Tho' the natural and outwardly-vifible Sun be rifen ever fo high upon the earth, yet he that is naturally blind cannot fee it, nor partake of the light.

thereof,

thereof. So alio, though the spiritual Sun, the Sun of righteousness, the Sun of the inward world, be rifen ever fo high, and appear brightly in ever so many clouds; yet they that are fpiritually blind cannot difcern it, nor reap the benefits of its light, nor partake of the healing which is under his wings.

Some

QUERIES

CONCERNING THE

NEW COVENAN T.

is of hell and death, which must of ne

Query 1. W ceffity be broken, before a foul can be gathered into the

covenant of life?

Query 2. What is the covenant of life and peace, into which God gathers the foul?

Query 3. How doth God gather? By a meer act of power, which none can refift? or in a way wherein his power (though much refifted) shall prevail for the falvation of those, who are faithful in the covenant; who come to Christ, abide in Christ, refift and fight (in Chrift) against all that is contrary to his nature and Spirit, and overcome through him?

Query 4. Are there any terms in this covenant? Or can there be any terms in this covenant, fuitable to the nature of the covenant? Is believing in the power, as abfolutely required in this covenant, as obedience to the law was under the covenant of the law?

Query 5. If faith in the power, and obedience to the power that redeems, be required as terms in the new covenant; yet if they be not required of the creature in its own capacity and ability, but as ftrengthened and enabled by the virtue, life and power of the covenant, are they not free terms, noble terms, worthy and becoming a free covenant?

Query 6. Is not this the gospel, or new covenant, That whofoever believeth, and receiveth the baptifm of the Holy Ghoft and fire (fuffering in the flesh, and having his fins and corruptions purged away by the fpirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning, and fo walketh no longer after the flesh, but after the spirit) I fay, is not this the gospel, or new covenant, that he that thus believeth, and is thus baptized, fhall not be condemned with the world, but justified and saved by that Spirit and power which cleanseth him?

Query

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