Page images

A few Words concerning the true Christ; how it may be certainly and infallibly known which is he.

This question relates not to his outward appearance, in the days of his flesh; but to his inward and fpiritual appearance, how it may be known. To which the answer on my heart is, Even after the fame way, and by the fame means is he to be known in his inward appearance, as he was known in his outward; which was by the revealing of the Father. For none knows the Son but by the Father, and be to whom the Father reveals him. And when` Simon Peter confeffed him to be Chrift, e Son of the living God, Blessed (faid he) art thou, Simon Bar-Jona; for f, and blood bath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven, Matth. xvi. 16, 17.

And if none could know Chrift in his appearance in the flesh, notwithstanding fo many manifeft and exprefs prophecies concerning him, but fuch only to whom the Father revealed him; how fhall any know his inward and fpiritual appearance, unless they be taught of the Father, and

hear and learn of him fo to do?

But more particularly to fhew how the Father revealed his Son, and how they came to know in that day that he was the Son of the living God, the Holy One, the anointed Saviour; and that the fame way, and by the fame means, people that will truly know him, muft come to the knowledge of him now;

First, They came to know him by the manifeftation of the life that was in him, by the fullness of the grace and truth which dwelt in him, and put itself forth, fo as to be difcerned by the inward and fpiritual eye in them. For the life was manifefted, 1 John i. 2. The life which was in him was manifefted to the spiritual eye which was in them; and thus they came to know him.

Secondly, By his voice and knocks. Thus faid he concerning his sheep in thofe days, that they knew his voice, John x. 4. Oh! he hath fuch a voice, as none hath but he! He speaks in his Father's authority (not as the fcribes, not as earthly-wife, learned men); he speaks in the evidence and demonftration of God's Spirit. The words which he fpeaks are Spirit and life; they that hear his voice live; and when he ftands at the door and knocks, he pierceth deep.

Oh! the beatings of his hand upon the tender and fenfible hearts and confciences! Oh! his fecret reproofs, his fecret inftructions, his fecret quickenings and enlightenings! How did they, and how do they, eternally make him manifeft in the hearts and confciences of his ?

Thirdly, By his baptifm, or by his baptizing into his own Spirit and power. While people were in expectation, and mufed in their hearts of John, whether he were the Chrift or not, John answers the cafe, and tells them how they might difcern and know the true Chrift. It is not I, who


[ocr errors]



Baptize with water; but he that baptizeth with the Holy Ghost, and with
fire; whofe fan is in his hand, &c. Luke iii. 15, 16, 17. Was not this then
and is not this now, the way to know the true Chrift? He that knoweth
him who inwardly and fpiritually baptizeth, him who hath the fan, who
inwardly fanneth and purgeth the floor, gathering in the wheat, and burn-
ing up the chaff, doth not he inwardly, truly, and fpiritually know Chrift?
He that knoweth the word, which is quick and powerful, and fharper than
any two-edged fword, piercing even to the dividing afunder of foul and
fpirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a difcerner of the thoughts
and intents of the heart; doth not he know the word which was in the be-
ginning, which was with God, yea, which was God? For he is the only
searcher of the heart, and trier of the reins.

Fourthly, By his mighty works. The works which the Father bath given
me to finish, the fame works that I do bear witness of me, that the Father bath
fent me, John v. 36. And when John fent two of his difciples to Jefus
with this question: Art thou be that should come, or look we for another?
Chrift bids them go, and tell John what things they had feen and heard;
bow that the blind fee, the lame walk, the lepers are cleanfed, the deaf bear, the
dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached; and blessed is be whosoever shall
not be offended in me, Luke vii. 22, 23. Why berein is a marvellous thing
(faid the blind man) that ye know not from whence he is, and yet he hath opened
my eyes, John ix. 10. He who hath the power, and putteth forth the power
inwardly; who openeth the inward eye, the inward ear, loofeth the in-
ward tongue, caufeth the inward feet to walk in the way of life, and the
inward hands to work the works of God; he is the Meffiah, the Saviour,
the Word of life, the Son of the living God. They that believe in him, in
his Spirit, in his power, in his inward appearance, have the witness in
themselves, the living teftimony, which none can put out, or take away
from them. He hath opened mine eyes, he hath opened my heart, he
hath raised me out of the grave, he hath given me eternal life. He hath
changed me inwardly, created me inwardly, by the working of his mighty,
power; and I daily live, and am preferved, and grow by the fame power.
I feel his life, his virtue, his power, his prefence day by day. He is with
me, he lives in me; and I live not of myfelf, but by feeling him to live
in me, finding life fpring up from him into me, and through me; and
therein lies all my ability and ftrength for evermore.

A few Words in the Bowels of tender Love and Good-will to my
native Country..

It is written, When thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world fhall learn righteousness. Oh! that this might be verified concerning thee, O England! even that thou mighteft learn righteoufnefs, and that the days of thy unrighteoufnefs might come to an end! Have not God's I.i 2.


[ocr errors]

judgments been upon thee? Yea, are not God's judgments ftill upon thee? And can any thing divert them from coming more upon thee, but thy fpeedy returning unto the Lord, in breaking off thy fins by unfeigned repentance? Oh! that thou mighteft be fenfible of the hand of the Lord, and mightest hear the rod, and him who hath appointed it! The Lord hath power over all nations, and can break them in pieces as a potter's veffel. They are but as the drop of a bucket, as the small duft of the balance; they are before him as nothing, and are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity.

Read Ifai. xxiv. fee how God will plead with nations, and confider whe ther he be not dealing thus with thee? Oh! hath not that been found in thee, and is not that found in thee, which provoketh the Lord exceedingly? Oh! that the weighty fenfe of thy fins were upon thee, and that thou mightest truly repent, and turn from them; that thou mighteft reap the benefit of God's judgments, and learn righteoufnefs, and his indignation might be removed from thee, and his tender bowels of compaflion move towards .thee.

But perhaps fome may fay, What is the righteoufnefs we should learn? Anfw. Oh! learn to know God; that is a righteous thing. Learn to fear God; learn to worship him aright. How is that? Why in his own. Spirit and truth, in which he feeks to be worshipped. Learn humility towards God; learn justice and mercy towards men; learn to love thy enemies. If ye will be Chriftians, that is the law of Chrift; but that which is called the Chriftian world, many of them have not yet learned fo much as to love their friends: but hate and perfecute fuch as fear the Lord, and feek their good, and stand in the gap to keep back the wrath of the Lord from breaking in upon them, and are wrestling mightily with him, with strong cries, that he would stay the sharpness thereof, that it might not break forth to their deftruction.

Learn to do to others as ye would be done to. Do not do to any, because of their religion and tender confciences towards the Lord, what ye would not have done to yourselves because of your religion. How long will it be ere ye learn this? How many judgments and diftreffes fhall come upon you, before ye bow in fpirit under the mighty hand of God, and yield yourselves in fubmiffion to him, to learn these things of him?

Queft. But how shall we learn righteousness?

Anfw. Retire inwardly to that, and hearken inwardly to that, which gives the fenfe of judgments, and learn of that; and that will wean you inwardly from all your unrighteoufnefs, and teach you righteousness. There is that inwardly in the unregenerate which hardens and misleads; there is also that inwardly which tenders, melts, teacheth, and leadeth aright, as it is believed in and obeyed.

Oh! that men knew the difference between these two, and how to turt from the one to the other! For out of the heart proceeds all that is evil and

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

vain, and out of the heart are the iffues of life alfo. The well or puddle
of the muddy waters, of the waters of Egypt, of the wine of Sodom, and
waters of Babylon, is there; and the well and cistern of the pure waters is
there alfo.

Oh! my native country, that thou mightest be the first nation in this age of the world that might pafs through the judgments of God, and be cleansed thereby, and be happy! Oh! that thy rulers and governors were : weaned from the fpirit and wisdom of this world, and might receive of God's holy Spirit and wisdom, and judge and govern themfelves and the people thereby! When the Jew outward was chofen to be the people of God, did not he pour out of his Spirit to govern them by? Were the judges, kings, and leaders thereof only anointed with outward oil? Were they not also anointed with God's Spirit? And can any Christian magistrate govern aright any Chriftian nation without the affiftance and guidance of the fame Spirit? And oh! that all the people were anointed alfo, that they might be inwardly kings and priefts to the Lord, and the kingdom of Chrift might be inwardly fet up in all their hearts, and every man might reign, in and through him, over the enemies of his own foul! Oh! that the power and glory of the Lord might cover thy governors and inhabitants, O England! Oh! the prayers that have been long put up in bowels of tenderness for thee! Oh! the befom of the Lord, the befom of his righteous judgments, that it might fweep the hearts of men inwardly, that this nation might be prepared for the glory of the Lord (for the glory which he reveals in his heavenly birth) to break forth outwardly, to the admiration and magnifying of the work of his power in the eyes of all beholders! Amen, Amen.

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »