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hearted bound up? And what hath not the Lord done inwardly and fpiritually for his people, who have been fenfible of his appearance, and gathered by his Spirit and power to the true Shiloh, who is the true Shepherd, the land of the living, the holy city and temple, the light of the city, the life of the city, the gates and wall of the city, the king and kingdom both? For his life, his nature, his Spirit is All, and in All. Ah! what do we defire to have, but Chrift the feed, and this feed fown in our hearts and -abiding in us, and his life, righteoufnefs and glory, his holy power, dominion, and kingdom, fpringing up in it? And as, in the apoftles days, there was the feal to their teftimony in peoples hearts, where their ministry was ordered by the Lord, and was received; even fo it is now. Oh! how doth the witness answer in mens hearts and confciences! And they that keep to the witness, and its teftimony, not hearkening after words to the wisdom of the flesh; how do they become living epiftles, to be feen and read of all men, as the Lord pleaseth to open that eye in any, which can fee and read.
Now, to be often teftifying of this light (which the Lord hath vifited us with, and wherein we experience the knowledge of his Son, and redemption by him), to us it is not grievous; and it is good and fafe for others. Therefore, it arifing in my heart, in the fpringings of life, and lying upon me (as in the fight of the Lord) to give forth this further fhort teftimony, for the fakes of fuch as have any defire to know and experience the truth, as it is in Jefus; I am given up in fpirit to ferve my God therein; and do give it forth in humility, in fear, in tenderness of spirit, in true love, with breathings to my God, that he would please to open the hearts of those that fhall be inclined to read it, that they may feel fomewhat of that in themselves, from which the teftimony came; and fo there-from may hear, in true fenfe and understanding, the true and good report of the found of life and falvation in this our age, and may learn fo to turn inwardly from the darkness to the light, from the power of Satan to God's Spirit and appearance inwardly, that the arm of the Lord may be revealed in them, and powerfully ftretched out for them.
And this is the precious knowledge of Chrift indeed, even to know Chrift the power of God, Chrift the wifdom of God, inwardly revealed and working in the heart, deftroying fin there, and building up the holy building, wherein he himself will dwell and reign. Oh! that all that truly breathe after him, might not be with-held from him (and his living teftimony, and inward appearance) by the power of darkness and deceit, which works fubtilly in the heart against the appearance, power, and work of the Lord there, but might thus come to know him! Amen.
ANCIENT PRINCIPLE of TRUTH;
The LIGHT WITHIN Afferted, &c.
HAT is this Light, which we so earnestly testify of, and whereof we
It is that which fhineth from God in the heart, wherein God is near to men; and wherein and whereby men may, feek after God, and find him.
God is a Spirit; and his Spirit and prefence is near to all men. ther fhall I go from thy Spirit? Or whither fhall I flee from thy prefence? Pfal. cxxxix. 7, &c. It is impoffible for any fo to do. For God, who is a Spirit (and the Father of fpirits), is nigh to every fpirit. Every spirit depends upon him the fountain of fpirits; and hath its being, life, and motion from him, and in him, after a sense; though not after such a sense, as they who are quickened by him experience.
Now God, who is light, being fo near every man, doth he never fhine upon them? They are darkness; but doth he never appear in the darknefs? He who is light, loveth mankind; doth he never vifit them with his love? He knoweth what and how great inward and fpiritual enemies mankind have; doth he never make any difcoveries of their enemies to them? Yes; the light is near all mankind, to discover to them, and help them against the darkness; and the love is near to help them against the enmity which deftroyeth, and fo to fave them. For whofoever joineth to the light of God's Spirit, cannot but witness falvation thereby; for it is of a faving
nature, and bringeth falvation with it to all that receive it. Chrift is in it, and is known by it (inwardly, fpiritually, livingly known), and he is not, nor can be known without it. He that knoweth the light of God's Spirit, knoweth Chrift; and he that believeth in it, believeth in him; and he that knoweth not, nor believeth therein, neither knoweth nor believeth in Christ. So that as the Jews circumcifion outward, and their knowledge and thinking to be juftified by the righteousness and works of the law (which moft of them brake, and were tranfgreffors of; though Paul faid, he was, touching the righteoufnefs which is in the law, blameless); I fay, as this was difowned, and denied by Chrift and his apoftles; and the circumcifion, and work of God on the hearts of the Gentiles fet over it, and exalted above it, as Rom. ii. fo is it now alfo. The knowledge of thofe, and belief of those who own the light, and believe in the light, is owned by God's Spirit (in this our day) for the true believing in the Lord Jefus Chrift, and for that knowledge which is life eternal; and the knowing, and believing on him, as men account it, according to their apprehenfions of the letter, without this, is reckoned with God for ignorance and unbelief.
So that in this is God known, in this is Chrift believed in. Here God draws nigh to every man, and is a God not afar off, but nigh at hand; and his falvation is nigh, and his righteousness ready to be revealed here; and here every man may feek after and obtain the knowledge of him, the faving knowledge, the knowledge of the grace, of the gift of grace which brings falvation. In this is the Son kiffed, in this is he drawn nigh to, and come to by the foul, and not out of it. Here are the drawings of the Father felt. Let any man feel this, he feels that which begets to God; he feels that which comes from the Son, is of the nature of the Son, wherein the Father draws the heart of the child whom he begets, to the Son. And in this as the foul comes, it comes out of the darkness wherein Chrift is not nor dwells, into the light wherein Chrift is with the Father; and fo in this the foul is ever near, and out of it ftill afar off In this is the holy root witnessed, and the ingrafting thereinto; out of this the holy root is not known, nor can men understand what it is to be ingrafted into him, and how he is an olive-tree, a vine, a door, a fhepherd, a leader, a captain, a redeemer. Nor can men poffibly know the voice of the true fhepherd from the voice of a ftranger, till they come hither; nor how the true fhepherd walks before his fheep, and what it is to follow him out of that which deftroys, into that which regenerates, makes new and living, till they come hither.
Now this inward light is abundantly teftified of in the fcriptures.
As first by Mofes, who fpeaking of the other covenant, the new covenant, the covenant of circumcifing the heart, turneth or directeth the mind to this word or commandment nigh, whereby alone it can be done, as
Deut. xxx. And this was the reason why God fo often commanded the Jews to circumcise their hearts, and to wash them and make them clean from their wicked ways and vain thoughts; because Mofes had directed their minds to that, and that was near to them, wherein and whereby it might be done. In another place, he bids them make them a new heart, Ezek. xviii. 31. How could that be done? Why, by turning to God's Spirit which strove with them, his power would effect it in them; and men are faid to purify their hearts, through the Spirit, in loving and obeying the truth which doth it, 1 Peter i. 22. John xvii. 17.
Secondly, By Job, who fpeaks of God's candle fhining upon his head, and of walking through darkness by his light, chap. xxix. 30. He speaks likewife of those that rebel against the light, that know not the ways thereof, nor abide in the paths thereof, chap. xxiv. 13.
Thirdly, By David, who by it faw through the types and shadows to the fubftance, and grew wifer than his teachers, he knowing the word within, and having his candle lighted by it, fo that he knew the inward law which converts the foul, and was led by God's light and truth fhining in his inward parts, Pfal. xliii. 3.
Fourthly, By Solomon, The commandment is a lamp, and the law light, and the reproofs of inftruction the way of life, Prov. vi. 23. Every one that experienceth the light, the law, the commandment within, knoweth it to be thus. Again faith he, The path of the just is a shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day, chap. iv. 18. Juft as a light, which fhines outwardly, is to the outward man, fuch is the inward light to the inward man; yea more: for inwardly the light and the way is all one. Chrift is the way, the truth, and the life, which are three names of one and the fame thing. And he that walks in the light, walks in the way of life and holiness; which he that walks in the darkness walks out of. I fhall mention but one place more, which is very differently rendered, it is chap. XX. 27. The new tranflation renders it thus, The Spirit of man is the candle of the Lord, fearching all the inward parts of the belly. The old thus, The light of the Lord is the breath of man, and fearcheth all the bowels of the belly. The heart of man (the unregenerate mind, the unregenerate fpirit), is deceitful above all things and defperately wicked; that whereby God searcheth it, is his light, his candle, his own Holy Spirit.
Fifthly, By the prophets, as Ifaiah, Jeremy, Ezekiel, Micah, &c. who faid, He bath fhewed thee, O man, what is good. And what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy; and to humble thyself to walk with thy God? chap. vi. 8. How doth God fhew this to mankind, but by the inward light of his Spirit.
Sixthly, By John Baptift, who was the fore-runner, and teftified of Chrift as of the inward and spiritual baptizer, who had his fan in his hand. What is that? What doth Chrift fan with? What doth he fan, and with what? The light within is a fan, the Spirit within is a spirit of judgment and burn
ing; it scatters the darkness; yea, it confumes and burns up the drofs and ftubble there.
Seventhly, By Chrift himself, who faid, This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil, John iii. 19. Mark how Chrift preached the light (the feed, the kingdom, the leaven), and bid men bring their deeds to it, and blamed them that did not, ver. 20, 21. How can there be an inward Jew, an inward circumcifion, without an inward law, inward light, and inward teftimony? And to this inward law and teftimony, muft the inward Jew daily have recourse, and bring his deeds thither, to be judged and fcanned there.
Again, Chrift faith, I am the light of the world: be that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life, chap. viii. 12. How is Chrift the light of the world? Or how was Chrift the light of the world? Was he only fo, as he appeared in that body of flesh? Is he not fo in his inward and spiritual appearance? Is he not the univerfal light, the Sun of righteousness, which enlighteneth the whole dark world? Yet again he faith, Yet a little while is the light with you; walk while ye have the light, left darknefs come upon you; for he that walketh in darkness, knoweth not whither be goeth. While ye have the light believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light, chap. xii. 33, 36. This is Chrift's direction to men how they may become true believers; to wit, by believing in the light. The light fhines in the darkness (ye were darkness), and by believing in it, men become children of it.
Eighthly, By the apostles and evangelifts. They were fent to turn men from darkness to light, As xxvi. 18. and they teftified of the light they were to turn men to; delivered their meffage that God was light, and that in him was no darkness at all. They preached Chrift the light, the life, the way, the truth; they turned men from Satan's spirit which is darkness, to God's Spirit which is light.
John the evangelift teftified of the word which was in the beginning, and faid, In him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light fbineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not, chap. i. 4, 5. And again faith, fpeaking of him, That was the true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world, ver. 9.
Paul faith, Whatfoever doth make manifeft is light, Ephef. v. 3. Wherefore awake thou that fleepest, and arife from the dead, ver. 14. for God hath fent forth the light of his Son to roufe thee. Again, he profeffedly averreth, that the word nigh in the mouth and heart, was that word of faith which he preached, Rom. x. 8. If fo, then that is the word of faith which is to be believed in, if men would believe in Chrift, and be faved by him.
James fpeaketh of God as the Father of Lights, from whom every good and perfect gift proceedeth, chap. i. 17. Then furely from him is the