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A few Words to ENGLAND, my Native Country.
Oh! Land of my Nativity! Oh! my dear Countrymen !
HE pure power of the Lord is upon me, and the fprings of life open in me; and among many other things, I am melted in love and defires after your welfare. And this is in my heart to fay to you: if I now testify to you in truth of a pearl, a heavenly pearl, an everlafting pearl, will ye not hear me? If I tell you your heart is the field, or earth, wherein it is hid, will ye not confider of it? If the everlasting gofpel be preached again, which contains true tidings of redemption from fin, will ye not listen after it? If the kingdom of God, and righteousness of Christ, be to be revealed within, would ye not willingly learn to wait for it there, and beg of God that the eye may be opened in you, which alone can fee, it when it doth appear. Indeed God's vifitation is upon this nation in an especial manner; his light and power is breaking forth in it, against the darkness and power of the fpirit of Satan, which hath captivated and still captivateth many. Ye defire outward liberty, and the enjoyment of your outward rights; would ye not be free inwardly? Free from the bafe, earthly, selfish nature and spirit, which man, fallen from God, and the glory wherein he created him, is degenerated into? Oh! is not the power of God, and life of Chrift, able to restore man to this? He that created man at first so glorious in his own image, is he not able to create him anew? Oh! hear, my dear countrymen! the power is revealed which createth anew; and they that receive it, and are as clay in the hands of the great potter, given up to be formed by it, are daily created (by the operation of it) anew, into an holy, heavenly, innocent, living, tender, righteous frame day by day; and are made willing, daily more and more, to be the Lord's, in this day of his power; and do receive power to become fons, and ftrength against their foul's enemies: and the glorious work of redemption which God hath begun in them, the arm of his ftrength mightily carrieth on in them, to their comfort and his everlasting praise.
There is a fpiritual Egypt and Sodom, as well as there was an outward; and there is a fpiritual wilderness, and Canaan alfo; and the arm of God's power inwardly and spiritually hath been revealed in this fpiritual Egypt, wilderness, and Canaan, as really as ever it was in the outward. Do ye not read of a Jew inward, and a circumcifion inward, and the leaven inward, and keeping the feaft of unleavened-bread, even of bread that is not leavened with fin? And he that eats of the unleavened bread, it unleavens him of sin, and leavens him with life and holiness: for it is an holy bread,
and a living bread. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, which they that feed upon live, and they that live feed upon. And though they be many, yet feeding upon this bread, they become one bread, one living body, confifting of a living head, and living members; for the same life and pure heavenly nature which is in the head, is communicated by him to the members.
But how fhall we find this? may fome fay.
I will tell you how we found it, and how none can mifs of it, that fweep the house, and make a diligent and faithful fearch after it. That in the heart of man which turns against fin, discovers fin, draws from fin, wherein God minifters help against fin, that is it. That is the pearl hid; that is the kingdom hid; in that is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith, in all that receive and give up to this holy leaven. This is of the nature of God and Chrift; this is a meafure of his light, of his pure life; this is the law and commandment everlasting, which God writes in the hearts of his fpiritual Ifrael. For the inward Jew hath inward tables, where the inward law is written, for the inward eye to read. Oh! how nigh is God inwardly, to the inward people, in this our day! Oh! the pure glory is broke forth! But alas! men are in their feveral forts of dreams, and take no notice of it. What fhall the Lord do to awaken this nation? In what way fhall his power appear, to bring down unrighteousness, and to bring up righteousness, in the fpirits of people? Do ye not think the Lord hath been at work? How could deceit be fo wafted inwardly, and truth fo grown inwardly, and overfpread more and more, and gain ground in the nation, if the hand and power of the Lord were not with it, bleffing it. Oh! take notice of the handy-work of the Lord, ye children of men, and wait to feel truth near, and to partake of the living virtue and power of it, that ye may feel your hearts creating anew, and the old heavens and earth may inwardly pass away, wherein dwells unrighteoufnefs; and the new heavens and the new earth may be inwardly witnessed, wherein dwells righteousness. Oh! that this nation might become a paradife of God! Oh! that every one might be fenfible of his prefence, and power, and kingdom, and righteous government inwardly in the heart, from the king that fits on the throne, to the beggar on the dunghill! Surely man was not made for himself! Surely he was not made fuch a creature as now he is! but in the holy image of God, with love in his heart to God above all, and to his neighbour as to himfelf. Oh! what are the religions and profeffions of feveral forts where this love is not found! The Lord is reftoring his image, and bringing forth the true pure religion again. The pearl, the truth, contains and comprehends it. Oh! buy the pearl! oh! buy the precious truth! fell all that is contrary to it for it; take up the cross to all that is evil in thee, as the light in thee maketh it manifeft, and thou fhalt have the free poffeffion of it in thy heart, and feel it a root of life, a treasure of life, a well of life, out of which the living water will be daily fpringing up in thee unto life everlasting. Amen. The 22d of the 7th month, 1676.
THREE VERSES of the XLVIth PSALM.
HERE is a river, the ftreams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the Moft High. Query 1. Which is the river, and what are the streams thereof, which make glad the city of God? And which is the city of God which they make glad? which are the tabernacles of the Moft High? and which is the holy place of those tabernacles? Oh! my dear countrymen, that every one in this nation did understand and enjoy these things! For the Lord is ready to beget a will, to beget a thirst in the hearts of the children of men; and whofoever thirsteth, whofoever will, is called to the waters, and may come to the waters, and take of the water of life freely (Ifai. lv. 1. Rev. xxii. 17.) yea, to the full fatisfaction of their fouls. For indeed this is the day of God's power, wherein he doth make his people willing to come to him, and to abide with him in the fountain of living waters; and thofe that do come to him, and abide with him, he abundantly fatisfieth with the fatness of his house, and giveth them to drink of the river of his pleasures, Pfal. xxxvi. 8, 9. Mark, God is the fountain of living waters, with him is the fountain of life, a river of pleasures, a river whofe ftreams make glad the whole city, even the holy place of all the tabernacles of the Moft High; and he giveth his citizens to drink of it; and whofoever drinketh of it, it maketh them glad, it refrefheth their life. Oh! that more knew what this means!
Verfe 5. God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; God fhall help her, and that right early; or when the morning appeareth, or from the morning appearing. Query 2. How is God in the midft of this city? Is it not more gloriously in an inward way, than ever he was in the temple in the outward Jerufalem, in an outward way? How is the built? How is fhe founded and fituated? How comes it about that fhe fhall not be moved? How is God her refuge and strength, and prefent help in the time of trouble? After what manner doth God arife inwardly, and fcatter his enemies? How doth the morning-light help her? After what manner, when the enemy cometh in like a flood, doth the Spirit of the Lord lift up a standard against him? Ah! bleffed are they that know and experience, and live in the enjoyment Pp
of these things! Oh! that this whole nation did fo! Were it not worth the fuffering of much, the denying of much, and the bearing of much judg ment, to come to this?
Verse 10. Be fill, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among (or in) the heathen: I will be exalted in the earth.
Query 3. What is that ftillnefs wherein God is known to be God, not outwardly in notion, but inwardly in the heart? Where is that filence of mind, wherein God teacheth his Ifrael in the new covenant, to know him as he is; even all of them, from the greatest to the leaft? How will God come to be exalted in the heathen, and in the earth? Is it not by the light of his day, breaking forth and fhining in them? Where this day breaks forth in any heart, doth it not break down and deftroy the kingdom of darknefs inwardly? And doth not the King of Glory confume the man of fin, the wicked one that was exalted in the temple before (which temple belonged of right to God) with the Spirit of his mouth, and destroy him with the brightness of his coming or appearing? Ifaiah xi. 4. 2 Thess. ii. 8. Then is the day known wherein the Lord alone is exalted. Oh! that this day were more known; and the Lord, who is indeed worthy, were more exalted, and all flesh become his footstool for ever!
Concerning the true Church and Ministry under the
Gofpel, and the Maintenance thereof; fome few Questions answered in Truth and Plainnefs of Heart, and left to the Witness and Teftimony of GOD in other Mens Confciences.
HICH is the true church, or the gospel-church, or the church according to the new covenant? For there was an old covenant, and a church according to that, under the law: and there is a new covenant, and a church according to that, under the gospel.
Anfw. For the clearing of this to the hearts and confciences of people, let us enquire and confider what the new covenant is, and then it will more eafily appear which is the church according to the new covenant.
The new covenant, according to plain fcripture, and according to manifeft experience in this bleffed day of the fhining of the gofpel-light in mens hearts, is a covenant of God's putting his law in the inward parts of people, and writing it in their hearts, and of his becoming their God and making them his people, and of teaching them all to know him (inwardly and experimentally) from the leaft to the greateft, and of being merciful to their
unrighteousness, and remembering their fins and iniquities no more, Jer. xxxi. 33, 34. Heb. viii. 10, 11, 12.
Now if this be the new covenant, the covenant of the gospel-church, then they are the gofpel-church who are the people of God according to this covenant, who have the law put by God into their inward parts, and writ in their hearts; and fo according to this law and covenant, have God to be their God, and are his people, and are taught by him to know him (as it is written, All thy children shall be taught of the Lord, Ifaiah liv. 13. and John vi. 45.) and whofe unrighteoufnefs God hath been merciful to, and whofe fins and iniquities he remembereth no more, being washed away from their confciences by the blood of the everlasting covenant, which the blood of bulls and goats could never do: fo that this is the New Teftamentchurch (or gospel-church); a church of Jews inward, as the law-church was a church of Jews outward: a church of inward worshippers, of worshippers in Spirit and in truth, John iv. 23. as the law-church was a church of wor-. shippers outward: a church of inwardly circumcifed ones, as the law-church was a church of outwardly circumcifed ones, Rom. ii. 29. A church of fuch as are inwardly holy, as the law-church was to be a church of fuch as were outwardly holy: a church of fuch as offer inward incenfe and facrifices, as the law-church was a church of fuch as offered outward incenfe and facrifices: a church of inwardly-redeemed ones, from the inward Egypt, from the inward darkness and power of Satan, as the law-church was a church of fuch as were redeemed from the outward Egypt, and the power of Pharaoh outward: a church that hath the inward ark (Rev. xi. 19.) the inward prefence, the inward manna, &c. as the outward church of the Jews had the outward.
Queft. 2. Which is the true gospel ministry, and who are the true gospel minifters?
Anfw. Those whom Chrift fends forth, in the Spirit and power of his Father, to gather and build up this church. Chrift had all power in heaven and earth given him, even to this very end, to gather, defend, and build up his church: and he bid his apostles wait for the fame power; and fends forth his minifters in the fame power, that they may be able minifters of the gofpel, which is not words but power, even the power of God unto falvation, Rom. i. 16. The new covenant ftands not in the letter, but in Spirit and power; and they that are the minifters of it, must receive life, Spirit,. and power from Chrift (the head) and minifter in that Spirit, life, and power to the members, or they cannot nourish and build them up; yea, they must preach and minifter to the world in it, or they are not able to gather out of the world into it. Chrift, the Lord of his church, the foundation of life in his church, the everlafting rock, is a living stone; and his church is built of lively ftones: and how can any minifter life unto them, or build them up in the life, Spirit, and power, but who are in the life, Spirit and power, and who receive life, Spirit, and power from the head, to Pp 2