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He confeffeth, There is too little power; and without it profeffion is little worth.

Anfw. Oh! that the profeffors of this age knew the fcriptures and the power of God, and had that knowledge which comes from, and ftands in, the power! For then that evidence and demonftration of truth would be witneffed which puts an end to the difputes and reafonings of the mind; and then the great care would be to live the life of that which God makes manifeft and requires in the new covenant.

He faith, To pull down the pillars and principles of the gospel, is the work the devil employs his power in.

Anfw. I grant what he faith is true (and with he knew how rightly to apply it); but there is a great error and mistake in his judgment about it. For the Lord is pulling down that which men have built up (which they may, in their mistaken judgments, call principles and fundamentals), and is building up that which men have trampled on, even the tabernacle of David, which hath long been fallen down; and the city of the living God, which hath long been trodden under foot of the falfe Chriftians; and the power of the devil is greatly at work to oppofe this appearance and mighty. work of the Lord in this day. Let him take heed of blafpheming the Lord's power, calling it the devil's, and owning the devil's power for God's.

He concludeth thus: Come to the point. What fingular thing do you more than moding and wording it, fave only that out of you have rifen men that have more audaciously lifted up a standard against the fealed and experienced truths of the gospel than ever I have heard or read of any before you? You talk of words, and boast of perfection: I tell you, an humble fenfe of a man's nothingness, driving him out of himself to live and glory in Chrift alone, is more than all fuch boasted perfections a thousand times. Sir, accept my zeal for your foul.

Anfw. We are a people (many of us) who have gone through great diftress for want of the Lord our God, and exceedingly waited and longed for his living and powerful appearance. And for my own part, this I can fay, that had not this appearance been in power, and in the evidence and demonstration of his Spirit to my foul (reaching to, and anfwering that which was of him in me) I could never have owned it; fo deeply was I jealous of it, and prejudiced against it. And fince my mind hath been turned to the pure Word of life, even the Word which was in the beginning (I fpeak as in the Lord's prefence), it hath had fingular effects on my heart. The light hath fo fearched me as I never was fearched before, under all my former profeffions; and the Lord hath given me a true and pure difcerning of the things of his kingdom, in the light which is true and pure; and fingular quickenings have I met with from his Spirit, and the faith which ftands in his heavenly power, and giveth victory and dominion in him; bleffed be his name. And the love which he hath given me is not notional, but ariseth from his circumcifing my heart, and anfwereth his na


ture; fpringing forth purely and naturally towards him, and those of his image, and all his creatures; yea, towards thofe who are enemies to me for his name's fake.

I might mention the patience alfo, and faithfulness to his truth, with the long-fuffering fpirit, which cannot be worn out; which his Spirit teftifieth in me to be of a fingular nature; with many other things. Nor am I alone, or the chiefeft; but have many equals; yea, there are fuch as far exceed me in the heavenly and divine image of my Father. And the fruits are according to the root of life in us; and fo acknowledged by all who look upon us with the true eye, with the eye of God's of God's giving and opening.

Now the fame that hath wrought thus inwardly in us, the fame hath required fome outward behaviour and expreffions from us, which are foolish and weak to the eye of man's wifdom, but chofen of God to hide the glory of this life from that eye which difcerns it not, but despises the day of small things. And though this be the leaft part of our religion (yet fubjected to, because it is of God, whom we dare not difobey in the leaft), yet the spirit, which is contrary to God, caftéth this upon us, as if this were all, or at least the main, wherein we differ from others. Some call the living words of truth from us (when God, according to his good promife, giveth them us) but canting; and thou calleft all that is fingular in us but moding and wording of it. Alas! it is in the main we differ from you; we holding our religion as we receive it from God, in the light and life of his Spirit: you as you apprehend it from the letter. Chrift is our rock and foundation, as inwardly revealed; yours but as outwardly conceived of. We believe with the faith which is of the nature of him whom we believe in, which faith is mighty through God, and works through all the powers of darkness, giving victory over them all in God's way and time; ye believe with a faith which efteems victory, and a perfect and intire ftate (wanting nothing) as impoffible while in this world. And as our root differs, fo all that grows up in us differs from yours: fo that indeed all is fingular that is in us, and all also is fingular that is brought forth by us, as the Spirit of the Lord, who knoweth the difference of things, witneffeth.

Have we fo long walked in the name and Spirit of our God amongst you, fhewing the fingular virtues of his Spirit daily in our faithful teftimony, fufferings, patience, and conversation? And do ye ftill cry, What fingular thing do ye? Juft like the Jews, who, after all Chrift's mighty works, and demonstrations of his Father's virtue and power outwardly, afked for a fign. Oh! that your eyes and hearts were opened by the Spirit and power of the Lord! for then ye would foon fee otherwife in this refpect than now ye do.

And then as for that expreffion, of audaciously lifting up a standard against the fealed and experienced truths of the gofpel, that is but an over-confident expreffion, through prejudice and miftake of judgment at leaft: for I can

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truly teftify I have never learned, fince the pure heavenly light of the Lord Jefus Chrift hath fhined on my spirit, to deny any one truth that ever was fealed to me, or experienced by me, in the days of my former profeffion; for whatsoever was then of God hath been reftored to me, and that only which was of the flesh pared off. And I have ground alfo to believe, that it is fo with others in this refpect as it hath been with me.

He fpeaks, As if our difference or talk were about words.

Nay, it is about things: for though we own the fame Lord Jefus Chrift to be the foundation of life, yet after a different manner. Ye, as ye notionally apprehend concerning him; we, as we experience him to be the precious ftone and foundation of life in us. And we teftify of juftification and fanctification, as we witness him bestowing it upon us, and working it in us.

But for boafting of perfection, I wonder how he dares speak thus! What! is there no fear of God before his eyes, or in his heart, that he dares charge us with that which is fo utterly falfe? Where is any of us that did ever boaft of perfection? But that God's power and covenant is able to make perfect, and that God's will is our perfect fanctification in foul, body, and spirit; even that we be wholly leavened with the falt of the kingdom, and become a fit temple for him. This we humbly and reverently testify of, and prefs towards, in his holy name and fear.

And as for that humble fenfe, of a man's own nothingness, drawing him out of himself, to live and glory in Chrift alone, this we meet with, and witness in that light which this generation of profeffors defpifeth. But others, tho' they may talk of it, can never come truly to witness it, but in that light wherein God beftoweth and preferveth it.

Well; the profeffors of this age, who defpife the light, fhall one day find, that what they take themselves to be, they are not, in God's fight; nor are we, before him, what we are reproachfully reprefented by them; but we are his workmanship in Christ Jefus, created by him unto good works; and that it is natural to us to bring forth the fruits of righteoufnefs and holiness to our God, however men reproach us.

As for his zeal for my foul, which he defired me to accept, it is ftrange zeal, and would tend to my utter deftruction, had it power over me; but bleffed be my God, who hath called me into the light of his Son, and I am fatisfied that he will preferve me therein, even in that holy Spirit of life which he hath gathered me into, from all deceivable fpirits of darkness whatsoever, in that holy covenant wherein his ftrength appears to me, and is revealed in me. And oh! that he might know what that fpirit is wherein he hath thus appeared against the Lord (though under a pretence as if it were for him), and bring forth no more the fruits of it.

For a close, I fhall add a few words on that fcripture, Phil. iii. 3. For we are the circumcifion, which worship God in the fpirit, and rejoice in Chrift Jefus, and have no confidence in the flesh. It is a precious thing to witnefs

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this fcripture fulfilled in the heart; to experience that there, which inwardly circumcifeth, which cutteth off the forefkin of the heart, which lieth over it and veileth, till it be cut off by the inward appearance of the life and power of the Lord Jefus Chrift inwardly revealed. Then when this is done, I can truly and fenfibly fay, I am a few inward. How fo? How can that be proved? Why I am inwardly circumcifed. I have felt that within which circumcifeth the heart, and have borne the inward pain and cutting thereof, and am circumcised by it. That which stood between me and the Lord is cut off, the veil is taken away, the ftiff-neckedness and unsubjection to God removed, the wall of feparation is inwardly broken down, and now I am in true unity of Spirit and communion with my God, even with the Father, and the Son, in that One Holy Spirit wherein they are One.


Now I can bow before the Father of our Lord Jefus Chrift, and worship him in his own Spirit, even in the new and fresh life thereof day by day. Now my rejoicing is in Chrift Jefus, whom the Father hath fent, both outwardly in a body of flesh to fulfil the holy will, and do what therein the Father had for him to do, and alfo inwardly in his Spirit and power unto my heart, to destroy the works of the devil there, and fo to work me out of the enmity and unreconciled ftate, into the love and reconciliation. And I cannot but rejoice both in what he did in his body of flesh for me, and in what he doth by his Spirit and power in me. And, bleffed be the Lord, I feel him near, his Spirit near, his life near, his power near, his pure virtue near, his holy wifdom near, his righteoufnefs near, his redemption near; for he is my rock, and my strength, and my falvation, day by day. And I have no confidence in the flesh, in what I am, in what I can do after the flesh; but my confidence is in him, who hath weakened me, who hath stripped me, who hath impoverished me, who hath brought me to nothing in myfelf, that I might be all in him, and that I might find him all unto me. He is my peace, he is my life, he is my righteoufnefs, he is my holiness, he is the image wherein I am renewed; in him is my acceptance with the Father; he is my advocate, he is my hope and joy for ever. He hath déftroyed that in me which was contrary to God, and keepeth it down for ever. He is my fhepherd, his arm hath gathered me, and his arm encompaffeth me day by day. I reft under the fhadow of his wings, from whence the healing virtue of his faving health droppeth upon my fpirit day by day. Oh! I cannot tell any man what he is unto me; but, bleffed be the Lord, I feel him near, his righteoufnefs near, his falvation daily revealed before that eye which he hath opened in me, in that true living fenfe wherewith he hath quickened me.

And now, ye that have high notions and rich comprehenfive knowledge concerning these things, but not the thing itfelf, the life itself, the Spirit itself, the new and living covenant, and law of life itself, wherein alone Chrift is livingly revealed. Ah! how poor, miferable, blind, and naked are you, in the midft of all your traditional knowledge and pretended experiences concerning these things!


Come, be quiet a while, and ceafe from bitterness of fpirit, and reviling the work and people of the Lord; for the Lord knoweth, and will make manifeft, both who are his, and who are not his. All the living ftones are his; but the great profeffors of the words of fcripture, without the Spirit and life of the fcriptures, are not his, nor ever were, nor ever will be owned by him.

Come, learn to distinguish from God by his life, by his anointing, by the everlasting infallible rule, and not by words without life, where the great error and miftake hath been in all ages and generations. The great way of deceit hath long been (and ftill is) by a form of godliness, without power: be fure ye be not thus deceived; for if ye mifs of the power which faves, ye cannot but perifh for ever. And what if the And what if the appearance of the Spirit and power of our Lord Jefus Chrift inwardly, which is that which faves, be as ftrange to your fenfe, understanding, and judgment, as his outward appearance was unto the people of the Jews? Take heed of their fpirit, take heed of their judgment, who judged according to the appearance of things to them, which they imagined and conceived from the fcriptures, but judged not the true and righteous judgment, which only the children of the true wisdom can.



HERE are four or five things very precious, which were generally witneffed in the days of the apostles among the true Chriftians, which are all mentioned together, Heb. vi. 4, 5.

First, They were truly enlightened.

The minifters of the gofpel were fent by Chrift, to turn men from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, Acts xxvi. 18. 1 John i. 5. And they were faithful in their miniftry, and did turn men from the darkness and power of Satan to the light of God's holy Spirit; and they were enlightened by it, and received power through it, and fo came to be children of the light, and to walk in the light, as God is in the light.

Secondly, They tafted of the heavenly gift.

What is the heavenly gift which Chrift gives to those who come unto him, and become his fheep? He gives them life, eternal life, John x. 27, 28. He brings them out of death, and gives them a favour and tafte of the life which is eternal. This was it which the apoftles teftified of, even of the life which was manifested in that body of flesh of our Lord Jefus Christ (1 John i. 2.); and they that turn from the darkness to his light, he gives them a tafte of the fame life.

Thirdly, They were made partakers of the Holy Ghoft.

The gofpel is a day of bringing forth the fpiritual feed, and of pouring out the holy Spirit upon them. The law ftate is a state of fervants; the gofpel of fons and because true believers in Chrift are fons, God fent forth the

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