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Query 8. What is the houfe of the ftrong man, where he dwells till he be difpoffeffed? Who can difpoffefs him? How doth he difpoffefs him? How doth he fpoil his goods, and then garnish the houfe anew? Oh! what a new creation and change within is witnessed when this is done! And who would not wait, and pray, and believe, and fuffer the judgings and burnings of the Spirit of judgment and burning, that this may be done thoroughly and effectually? Luke xi. 21, 22. Ifai. xxvi. 9. 2 Cor. v. 17.
Query 9. What is that coming to Chrift which none can witnefs but thofe that hear and learn of the Father, and are taught by him, in the drawings of the life and Spirit of the new covenant, to come to the Son? John vi.
Query 10. Who can confefs Jefus to be the Lord by the Holy Ghost? Can any but they that receive the help of his Spirit, and feel fomewhat of his lordship and holy dominion in their hearts? Ifai. xxvi. 13.
Query 11. What is the precious faith, which is the gift of God, which none can obtain but they that are born of God? John i. 12, 13.
Query 12. Can any rightly believe that Jefus is the Chrift, unless they receive this faith, which God gives to his own children, that are born of his Spirit, 1 John v. 1.
Query 13. Doth not this faith give victory over the world? (over the worldly nature and spirit within, over the worldly nature and fpirit without alfo)? Can any other faith give victory? 1 John v. 4.
Query 14. What is the love of God's children? Whence doth it arise? How come they to love? Is it not of an heavenly fpiritual nature? Doth it not arife from God's begetting them, and circumcifing their hearts, and teaching them in the Spirit of the new covenant to love him, and one another, yea, and enemies alfo, 1 John iv. 7. Deut. xxx. 6. 1 Theff. iv. 9.
Query 15. How come the children of God, who are begotten of him, to obey his commandments? Is it not from the conftrainings of his love, which makes them natural and eafy (where the birth and nature is grown up) and not grievous and burdenfome? Matt. xi. 33. 1 John v. 3.
Query 16. What is the fear God puts into the hearts of the children of the new covenant? Is it a fear taught by the precepts of men, or a fear fpringing from the root of life within? Can any who receive this fear from God, and who are preferved in the fense of it (and in the holy awe and reverence which it produceth) depart from the holy, tender, living God and Father? Jer. xxxii. 40.
Query 17. What is the law which God writes in the hearts of the children of the new covenant? Is it not the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jefus? Is it not the law which the ifles wait for? Ifai. xli. 5. And do the ifles wait for it in vain? Oh! bleffed be the Lord, by the once diftreffed and miferable-ones, in this age it hath not been waited for in vain!
Query 18. What is the truth that makes free indeed from the law of fin and death? Is it not the truth as it is in Jefus; the inward truth, which
hath virtue and power in it, to work againft, and work out that which is contrary to truth, and fo deliver and free the mind from it? For the light, which is truth, can expel darkness; the life, which is truth, can overcome death; yea, the truth, which is living, holy, and righteous, can overcome and fubdue the unholy and unrighteous nature, and break down the strongholds, and bring every rebellious and captivated thought into captivity and fubjection, John viii. 32. Rom. viii. 1. Ephef. iv. 20, 21. 2 Cor. x. 4, 5.
Query 19. How doth God caufe the children of the new covenant to walk in his ftatutes, and to keep his judgments, and do them? Is it not by putting his Spirit into them, and by the holy virtue, power, and operation thereof in them? Doth not that make them a willing people in the day of his power? And doth not that give them to do alfo, and ftrengthen them with might in the inner man? So that not grieving that, or quenching that, that is a flame of life in them, and fills their hearts with joy; and the joy of the Lord is in their strength, and in this joy and ftrength they can rejoice, and work righteousness, and remember the Lord and his ways, Ifai. lxiv. 5. Ezek. xxxvi. 27.
Query 20. Can any work righteousness, or do righteousness, but he that is truly righteous, inwardly righteous, in whom the righteoufnefs of God, the righteousness of Chrift, is revealed from faith to faith? Muft not the tree be good, before the fruit can be good? Muft not the heart be changed, be made holy and righteous, before it can bring forth that which is holy and righteous? Can any but the plants of God, the plants of righteousness, bring forth the fruits of righteousness? Ifai. lxi. 3. and I John iii. 7.
Oh! that people, nations, tongues, and languages, could underftandingly, fenfibly, and experimentally, as in God's fight, with the feal of his bleffed Spirit, anfwer every one of these things!
THREE QUERIES more added..
OST thou indeed know the new covenant? Haft thou inwardly felt the fpiritual powerful gathering by the mighty arm and power of the Lord, out of the finful nature and ftate, into it? Doft thou abide with God therein? Art thou daily taught and fed by him there? These are very weighty things. Can any man be fafe or happy without experiencing them? Heb. viii. 8. &c.
Query 2. Haft thou experienced the true hunger and thirst after the living waters? Haft thou been called and led to them? Haft thou eat and drank. the bread, wine, and milk which those waters yield? Haft thou been abundantly fatisfied with the fatnefs of God's houfe, and hath he given thee to drink of the river of his pleasure? Hath the Lord opened an ear in thee to
hear as the learned? And haft thou inclined thine ear, and come unto him. who gives life, and received him who is life, and gives life in that inward, fpiritual, living appearance of his in the heart, wherein and whereby he gives life? Haft thou known his appearance inwardly, as of a living stone? Haft thou heard and learned of the Father how to come to him, as to a living stone? And haft thou been new-created and formed a living ftone by him? And art thou a living ftone, built upon him the living ftone inwardly in fpirit, daily living in him, and daily receiving fpiritual life and virtue from him? If it be thus with thee, then furely thou doft know and enjoy the everlasting covenant, even the fure mercies of David, Isai. lv. 1, 2, 3. Pfal. xxxvi. 8, 9. 1 Pet. ii. 4, 5.
Query 3. Doft thou fenfibly and experimentally know how the Spirit of the Father begets the child-like life, love, and fear in the heart; and how the pure fear of the Lord is the beginning of wifdom, and the living child's treasure? And doft thou know what the womb is wherein the living child is formed? What the Jerufalem above is, which is the mother of all that are truly living? And how Chrift is formed in all that are begotten, and born of, and live in the Spirit? Ifai. xxxiii. 6. Gal. iv. 26. John iii. 6. 8. Gal. iv. 19.
H! how miferable is he who is deceived about these things! Oh! how happy is he who hath received the true understanding from God, which cannot be deceived; wherein he hath the evidence and demonstration of God's Spirit concerning them, and knoweth the truth as it is in Jesus ; as it is in his life, in his Spirit, in his power, who minifters after the power of an endless life, unto all his fheep, who are returned to the shepherd and bishop of the foul, who hear his voice and follow him, where-ever he goes or leads, who is an eternal Shepherd, and eternal Door of life to his, and leads to precious paftures, and fweet ftill ftreams of life, and is giving the fweet food, reft, and pure pleasure of eternal life unto his abundantly; even as it is his will, that after their many fore trials, exercifes, and travels (and faithfulness to him therein) they fhould abundantly poffefs and enjoy it. Glory to the Lord for ever, whofe kingdom is fet up in the hearts of many, and who already reigns in the hearts of many, and will reign in the hearts of more! Oh! that men might hear the found of his everlafting gofpel, and learn to fear him, and give glory to him, and know the hour of his judgment come in their own hearts, that by his judgment against fin and unrighteousness in them, they might come to know and worship him; and then the worship of the dragon and beaft would foon come to an end in their hearts; and they would worship the begetter of holiness, the begetter of life, the king of faints, who dwells and rules in those that are his
own, as the devil the destroyer doth in those that are his! The Lord God of everlasting power break down the kingdom of Satan (the kingdom of unrighteousness and darkness in mens hearts) and exalt the kingdom and scepter of his own Son instead thereof,
Containing fome QUERIES on ISAI. L. 10, II.
Who is among you that feareth the Lord, and obeyeth the voice of his fervant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? It is rendered in another tranflation: And no light shineth upon him (which was Job's cafe in his great affliction, as is fignified by him, chap. xxix. 2, 3.) Let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God. Ver. 10.
Behold, all ye that indle a fire, that compass about with sparks, walk in the light of your own fire, and in the fparks ye have kindled, this ye shall have of mine band: ye fhall lie down in forrow. Ver. 11.
Query 1. OTH not the tender and merciful God many times, in the bowels of his love and mercy, bring darkness and great difmens fpirits, that they might wait for his healing and redemption?
trefs not this befall fome who fear the Lord, and are found in the
Yea, doth holy reverence and obedience to him? And is it not good that it should befall them?
Query 2. Should not men, in fuch a condition of darkness and diftrefs, truft in the name of the Lord, and stay upon him till he cause light to arife out of obfcurity, and comfort them that mourn in Sion; giving them beauty for afhes, the oil of joy for mourning, and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness?
Query 3. Are not perfons very prone and liable, in time of darkness and diftrefs, inftead of waiting upon God for his help and falvation, to be kindling a fire, and compaffing themselves about with sparks?
Query 4. Are there not fome who cannot be content without heat and warmth in their religion and performances, and yet, inftead of waiting for God's kindling the fire, and his caufing the fparks of life to arife, kindle a fire of themselves, and compass themselves about with sparks of their own kindling?
Query 5. May not men, after they have kindled a fire and fparks, walk in the light thereof? And may not God, in his juft judgment and fore difpleasure against them, leave them to themselves, and give them up fo to do?
Query 6. What will God do in the end, or what in the end fhall befall them from God, who kindle a fire and sparks, and have continued walking VOL. II.
in the light thereof, and have been heated and warmed thereby? Will not God cause them at length to lie down in forrow? Oh! that perfons that are ferious in religion, might not thus err, and fo provoke God to give them up to walk in the light of the fire and sparks of their own kindling!
Query 7. When do men kindle a fire and sparks of their own? Do they not firft forget the God of their falvation, and become unmindful of the rock of their ftrength? And do they not then plant pleafant plants, and fet ftrange flips? (And where do they plant and fet them?) But what will the harveft be in the day of inheritance, when they come to reap.. and inherit what they have planted and fown? (For what a man foweth, that must he also reap). Will it not be a heap for the fire of God's jealoufy to take hold on, in the day of their tribulation, anguish, and desperate forrow of heart? Ifai. xvii. 10, II.
Query 3. In what light do men build up a wall inwardly, and daub it with untempered morter, to fecure themselves from the wrath to come? Is it not in the light of the fire and fparks of their own kindling? Will any wall or defence built up in the light of this fire or sparks fecure men? Will not the wrath of God, in the day thereof, break forth upon all the workers of iniquity, whatever their faith or hope be to the contrary? Will any wall defend the foul from the overflowing ftorm of wrath, but the wall of God's falvation? And can any enter within that wall, but the righteous nation that keepeth the truth? Ifai. xxvi. 1, 2. The name of the Lord indeed is a strong tower; but can any run into it, and get shelter in it, but the righteous? Prov. xviii. 10.
Query 9. Who is he, who, when he falleth, fhall arise again; and after he hath fat in darkness, the Lord fhall be a light unto him? Is it not he that feareth the Lord, and obeyeth the voice of his fervant, that in the time of his darkness and diftrefs trufteth in the name of the Lord, and ftays upon his God? Yea, is it not fuch an one as is willing to bear the indignation of the Lord, because he hath finned against him, until he plead his caufe, and execute judgment for him? Will not the Lord bring forth fuch an one to the light, and fhall not fuch an one behold his righteoufnefs? Mic. vii. 8, 9.
Query 10. When fhall perfons light arife in obfcurity, and their darkness be as the noon-day? When fhall their light break forth as the morning, and their health fpring forth fpeedily, and their righteousness go before them, and the glory of the Lord gather them up? And when shall the Lord be their continual guide, and fatisfy their foul in droughts, and make fat their bones, and make them like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not? Are not these promises belonging to the gofpel ftate? And are they not fulfilled in the gospel ftate, as people come to know and keep the gospel faft, and the gospel fabbath? Read Ifai. lviii. 6.