« PreviousContinue »
have his Spirit put within, causing to walk in his ways, and to keep his statutes, and judgments, and do them; and so to have union and fellowship with the Lord in that which is pure and living of him, in Christ the new and living way, which was before the fall, and leads the obedient out of the fall, even beyond Adam's state, into himself who never fell, in whom is no sin, nor erring, no not for the wayfaring man, though a fool, who often erred and wandered before he came thither ; but there the Father's hand, even the hand of the eternal power, is felt, which none can pluck out of. Oh! that ye knew the infallible leader, and were turned from darkness to the light (and did believe therein) and from the power of Satan unto God, that ye through his Spirit might undeniably witness the mysteries of his kingdom, and partake of and enjoy that which his love, grace, and mercy, plentifully distributes among his children that wait upon him in one way, under the holy ordering of his Spirit; which was long harped at and longed after by many of us; but we could never meet with it, till the Lord in his mercy caused the light of his day to shine into our hearts, which chased away the darkness of the night, and made the things of the day manifest.
Are ye of the house of Jacob? Are ye of the right feed? Are ye of the true breathers after God's holiness, after the life and righteousness of his Sion ? Oh! then come ye, know, acknowledge, receive, and wait to walk in the light of the Lord; and do not join to that in you which is separated from, and knoweth not, the light of the Lord, but opposeth it. And, friends, I beseech you, take heed in this point ; for he that denieth, refuseth, opposeth, speaketh evil, or thinketh hardly of any thing that is indeed of Christ, doth it to Christ himself, in Christ's account (that is, Christ looketh upon it as if he had denied him, refused him, opposed him, spoke evil of him, &c.) and it will be fo laid to his charge in the day of the Lord. And indeed such is my love to you, and fuch my desire after your eternal good and welfare, that I would not have you stumble at the light and power of life, which the Lord hath revealed and stretched out in this day of his mercy) to gather and fave with; but feel the gathering by it from all that scattereth from the Lord, with the prefervation which is thereby, and the effecting of that in your spirits which it is able to effect, as it comes to manifest itself unto you, and to put forth his strength in you. So wait for the gathering unto the light (the light of the everlasting day of God) and into the power which is able to redeem and defend the soul from all that is contrary to God. And when ye are there, be diligent and faithful to the Lord : and feel (oh! daily wait to feel from him) the uncloathing of your fpirits from all their own unrighteousness; yea, from all their own righteousness also (which is but as filthy rags before the Lord, even of the same nature with the unrighteousness), that ye may be cloathed upon with the new and living garment, wherein there is neither spot nor wrinkle, nor any such thing. For they that are of Christ, and in Chrift, do as really put
on the nature, the Spirit, the garment of the second Adam, as ever they did put off the old garment, nature, and spirit.
This is from one, who uprightly and singly desireth your union
with the Lord in his pure Truth and Holy Anointing, and your disunion from all that is contrary to him.
A QUERY added, with its ANSWER. W
HAT is the true confession of Christ, even that confession which ariseth
from the knowledge which is life eternal ? Answ. Friends, I witness it to be this; A confession of his nature, a confesfion of his Spirit, a confession of his life, a confession of his power. To confess the present living appearance of Christ, that is to confess Christ. Behold, faith he, I stand at the door and knock. He that heareth his voice, acknowledgeth him, letteth him in, subjecteth to his truth and Holy Spirit ; he confesseth him. But, though a man should acknowledge and confess all that is recorded in the scriptures concerning him; yet if he know not his knocks, so as to let him in, and become subject to his power, he doth not confefs Christ as he ought to do, and as God requireth of him.. Oh! that ye could learn thus to know Christ, and thus to confess him! For until ye thus know him, ye cannot thus confess him! and your knees must first bow at his name, before your tongues can rightly confess him, to the glory of God the Father! For if ye will indeed glorify the Father, ye must bow to the Son, who is the light wherein God dwells, in the shinings whereof he appears to, and visits the sons of men, And as the Son himself is spiritual ; fo is the light wherewith he visits dark man. His law is fpiritual, able to convert the foul of any man in whose heart it is written, and to make wise (the most simple among men) unto salvation. For the law of God, writ in the heart, is from the covenant of life; and delivers and preserves from the law of sin and death, having the light, power, and Spirit of Christ in andwith it, from whom it comes.
Now if ye will know these things clearly, certainly, and infallibly; wait to feel some touches, some drawings, some convictions of God's Spirit upon your hearts. And then dispute not against them ; but immediately become subject, so far as the light and drawings of the Father incline and lead the mind; and then ye ihall fee what he is that draws, and of what nature his drawings are. And if once ye come to feel the preciousness of his ointment; and to partake of it, receiving it and following it, it will
bring you into the pure virginity, which loves and longs after the name that anoints with the pure living oil.
Friends, I was once where ye now are ; and in that day, I also (through error and mistake) called the light wherewith Christ hath enliglrtened man, natural, as ye now do. But the Lord hath since shewed me, that it was not the true birth of life in me which so called it; and it is also manifested to me in his Spirit of truth (which deceives not), that it is not the true birth in you, which so judges of it. Oh! that ye were born of the Spirit, and in it knew the names of the things from their nature, and might be taught of the Father to worship in the Son! which ye can never do, till ye come into the Son's light; and that is the Son's light, even that wherewith he hath enlightened men, that they might believe in the Father through him! The scriptures (or any words spoken or written) are not the light itielf, but testimonies concerning the light. Now that which ye are to come into, and to dwell and abide in, is the light itself; which light was before any words that testify of it, and is the substance of all the shadows, and the end of all the testimonies concerning it. He is Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End of the new creation of God. Oh! that ye to knew him ! That from which the scriptures came, is the thing, the life, the Spirit
, the power itself; which is able to write inwardly, as well as outwardly. And he that knows the thing, and is led to the thing by the inward writing (which is the testimony of Jesus, the Spirit of prophecy), he by the testimony of Jesus, by the Spirit of prophecy, is led to the Holy Power ; which he believing in, it prevails to save him out of the contrary fpirit and power. And this the Gentiles without the law, the Jews under the law, and the believers under Grace, had spiritually all one and the same way and path of life unto salvation; and God will be clear and just in judging them all according thereunto, who had all some manifestation of the gospel and power which sayes, according to the dispensation of the good pleasure of the free giver. And mens perishing in the time of every dispensation, is not for want of light and power from God, but from mens withdrawing and apoftatizing from the light and power, which in every dispensation of life stretched forth its hand and arm sufficiently to gather and save.
There is ONE THING more in my HEART unto You, at this
Time, which is
Concerning applying the PROMISE S. T: THE Promises of God are great and precious, and give to partake of
the divine nature those that wait upon the Lord in the faith and obedience of his truth. Now there are eftates and conditions to which they do belong; and there are estates and conditions to which they do not
belong: belong: and if any one apply any promise to himself, he not being in that estate and condition to which that promise belongs, he deceives his soul, and sucks not in the true sweetness and comfort of the promise, but of his own imaginary apprehensions concerning the promise.
There is a state of wounding, of judging, of God's pleading with the soul, because of fin and transgression. Now he that breaks and wounds, he alone can bind up and heal; and the Lord is to be waited upon in the way of his judgments, until he see meer to bind up and heal. Now the Lord heals by the fame Spirit and power wherewith he wounds ; but it is hard to lie under the judgment, to bear the indignation of the Lord, and so keep the wound (which he makes) open, till he pour in the oil, and heal. For there is that near, which will be offering to heal before the season, and will be bringing in promises and applying promises, otherwise than the Spirit of the Lord intendeth or applieth them. Now this is diligently to be watched against, that the hurt of the foul (judged and wounded by the Spirit of the Lord) be not healed lightly, and peace spoken to it (and an expectation and hope raised in it) which is not of the Lord. But this is the right way, even to give up to feel that which wounds, and to receive the woundings of thy soul's friend, and lie low before him in the wounded state, waiting upon him in the way of his judgments and righteous indignation; till the same that wounded, speak peace. For the same is to speak peace, and not another; I the Lord wound, and I heal; I kill, and I make alive. Judgment is mine, and mercy is mine ; and they both issue from my lips, (See Ija. xii
. 1.) So every one, that would not be deceived about, nor misapply the promises, wait to feel that in you, which leads into the condition to which the promise belongs, and to be led into and kept in the condition by it. And then, the same that leads into the condition, will apply the promise to him who is in the condition, the ear being open to him, hearkening to the Lord, waiting what he will speak, who speaks peace to his people in his seasons; and having the ear shut against the voice of the unrighteous troubler of the souls of God's heritage. Yea, he that applieth the promises to the soul (having brought it into the state to which they belong) he also will lead and bring unto
the fulfilling of the promises, even to the receiving of the good things promised and waited for ; fo that the foul shall witness the gospel to be a glorious state indeed; a state of life, a ftate of liberty, a state of power, a state of dominion, a state of holiness, a kingdom of righteousness and peace, wherein there are everlasting mansions and dwelling-places in Christ Jesus, for the seed of the righteous for evermore. The Lord God of everlasting mercy, life, power, and rich goodness, cause the light of his own Holy Spirit to shine into your hearts, guide you thereby into and in the true way, even in the pure living path (which was and is but one for ever), that ye may come into the true pofs session, and full enjoyment, and infallible witnelling of these things.
23d of the Second Month, 1668.
There is another Query, of great Concernment, which springeth up in my Heart towards
S not the Spirit, or anointing, the great gospel-promise, and the Query great gospel-ordinance ? Is not he truth, and no lie, and the leader out of all lies and deceits into the truth, and the preserver of the mind and fpirit therein ? Little children, said the same apostle, who had directed to the anointing, keep yourselves from idols. Is there any possibility of being kept from images and idols, but by him ? Can any understand the things of the Spirit, or the words spoken by the Spirit concerning spiritual things, but by him ? And then, is not every apprehension, that ye take up from the scriptures concerning spiritual things, which ye have not from him (but comprehend and gather of yourselves), an image, or conceiving of your own, concerning that thing, and not that true knowledge and understanding of the thing which he alone can give ? Oh! that all the chambers of imagery were thrown down in you, and every idol of the heart and mind discovered to you, and broken down by the light and power of the Lord; that ye might come to that which is pure and living, and by its purifying know the pure heart, the pure mind, the pure conscience, and offer up the pure perfect offering; not the lame, blind, imperfect, &c. which were not accepted in the figure) under the law, nor acceptable under the gospel, Mal. i. 11. 13. and chap. iii. 3.
Friends, ye must know that which is pure from God, and ye must come into it (out of that which is impure, into that which is pure). Now that ye may do so, ye must know the purifying; for nothing that is impure, can enter into that which is pure. Yea, ye must become priests to God, and wear the priest's garment, the pure garment, the living garment, the fine linnen, without mixture of the woollen. Ye must be born of the innocency, be cloathed with the innocency. The stony, hard, desperatelywicked heart must be taken away, and the tender heart of Aesh received, the mind renewed to God, the fear put within (which cleanseth and keepeth clean), the law writ within, the Spirit of the Lord put in the inward parts, and felt powerfully operating and changing there. Yea, and the infide must not only be clean, but the outside allo; for ye must be cloathed with the Spirit, cloathed with the Lamb's righteousness and holiness; and thus ye must appear before the Lord in his temple, which is the beauty of holiness, whose house holiness becomes for ever; where ye are never to appear in your own filthy rags, but in the nature, Spirit,' righteousness, and life of Christ. And thus ye are well-pleasing to God, even in that which is of God; being born of that, formed of that, found in that, appearing in that. But in his own, no man can be accepted; for it is determined of