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affections, but fatisfieth not the foul, or that which is born after the Spirit, but still the cry there goes out (where the foul is awakened) after truth, fubstance, life, virtue from God's Spirit in the fpirit, which it alone can feed upon.
These four things following I am certain of; which he that cometh into the true light, fhall infallibly experience them there.
First, That nothing can fave but the knowledge of Chrift, even of that very Christ, and no other, who took upon him the prepared body, and offered it up at Jerufalem.
Secondly, That no knowledge of Chrift can fave but the living knowledge. Not a knowledge of him after the letter (which the carnal part may get much of, and value itself much by), but'a knowledge of him in the Spirit; which is only given to that which is begotten and born of the Spirit, and only retained by that which abides and remains in the Spirit, and runs not out into the fleshly reasonings, imaginings, and conceivings, about the things mentioned in the fcriptures.
Thirdly, That that man who knoweth not Chrift in fpirit, nor keepeth close to him in fpirit; but (through darkness and mifguidance of the fpirit of deceit) calleth the fhinings of his light (his reproofs, his checks for that which is evil, and his fecret motions to that which is good) natural; this man, though he seem to own Christ ever so much according to the letter, yet in truth denies him.
Fourthly, He that denies Chrift (in his knockings and vifitations of him in his own heart, and before men in the truths which he holds forth by his servants and ministers of his Spirit) him will he deny before his Father in hea
Oh! I beseech you do not trifle about these things (for they are exceeding weighty) left ye perish from the way! For miffing of the Saviour, ye muft needs alfo mifs of the falvation. Oh! that ye knew your ftate, as God knows it to be, and as it is certainly known and felt, in the measure of his life and Holy Spirit, by thofe which God hath gathered thither, and whofe eyes he hath opened, and preferveth open there; glory be to his name therefore: yea, glory, glory, glory, and everlasting praises be fung to bim throughout all the holy land; yea, in the very heights of Sion, by the fouls of the redeemed, from henceforth and for evermore, Amen: whofe mercy, love, grace, wif dom, power, and rich goodness remaineth and endureth for ever; by and in which the redeemed live to his praife, who have overcome by the blood of the Lamb, whofe blood they know what it is, and none else knoweth it, but they who feel the fprinkling and virtue of it. Lo! this is our God, we have waited for him, and how can we but be glad, and rejoice in his falvation! Oh! let all that live by the breath of thy power, and drink of thy ftreams, fing praise unto thee, and exalt thy great and wonderful name for ever and ever.
Some PROPOSITIONS and CONSIDERATIONS concerning the Nature of Church-Worships and Ordinances fince the Days of the Apoftles, for the fake of the Simplicity which hath been long held captive therein.
E that would know the true state of the church, and ordinances thereof, muft wait upon God in fear and humility of heart, who alone is able to give the true knowledge and understanding of these things. And he that cometh to the Spirit, waiteth in the Spirit, and receiveth the true light from the Spirit, he fhall be able to measure ages and generations past as with a span, and fee clearly (in that light) how things were before the apoftafy, how while the church was in the wilderness, and how things fhall be again after the apoftafy, when the church cometh out of the wildernefs. She herself is the fame in all; but her ftate is different, according to the wisdom and good pleasure of him who variously difpofeth of her. One while fhe is cloathed, appearing in the beauty and glorious dress which the Lord had put upon her. Another while fhe is ftripped of her outward garments, and the harlot dreffed therewith, and appearing therein. After which season fhe is adorned again as glorioufly (if not more gloriously) than before; but whether ever she appears more in thofe garments wherein the harlot had been dreffed, and wherein she had long appeared (even all the time of the apoftafy) the Lord would be inquired of, and waited on to know. Now to help the tender and upright hearts towards the true sense of these things, the Propofitions and Confiderations following are given forth, which he that fincerely waiteth on the Lord, from him may receive the true understanding and right acknowledgment of.
1. That upon the coming of Chrift, and the change of that outward covenant, the diftinction between the outward Jew and Gentile fell, they becoming all one, as in relation to Chrift; and then another distinction arose in relation to the faith, believers becoming Jews now, and unbelievers Gentiles.
2. That these true and inward Jews had not only the inward faith, the life, the power, the Spirit; but also a miniftry, ordinances, and gifts of the Spirit relating to their present state.
3. That there was a time, after a long and fharp fight between the true minifters, who appeared in the true light and power of the true Spirit, and the false ministers, who alfo appeared as minifters of righteoufnefs, and as in the power of the Spirit, but were not fuch indeed, but inftructed by Satan to transform themselves into a refemblance and likeneis of minifters of
righteousness: for though they faid they were apoftles, and feemed fo in appearance; yet their spirit (being tried) was found not to be the Spirit of the apoftles: I fay, there was a time, when there was a division (or feparation) made, between the inward temple and the outward court.
4. That when this divifion was made, the outward court was given to the Gentiles; not any longer reserved by God for the true worshippers, who worship in Spirit and truth; but given to the unbelievers, the worshippers out of the true faith, the worshippers out of the Spirit, and out of the life.
5. That henceforward (fince this feparation) the believers, or true Jews, are not to be expected in the outward court (in the worship thereof, wherein they were found before this feparation), but the unbelievers, the Gentiles (who have not the true nature, but at best but the appearance of the Jew) are to be expected there, and the true Jew is to be looked for and found more inward.
6. That therefore which allureth to look for God there, and to wait for him in the ways and worships of this time of the feparation, is not the true Spirit (which rightly guideth the fimple heart to the place where God appears, and where he is to be waited for); but the wrong fpirit, who, when he cannot ftifle the fimplicity, and hinder it from breathing and seeking after God, waits to draw afide and mislead it.
7. That the great way of that fpirit's mifguiding and misleading the honeft heart, in its breathing and longing ftate, is not by a direct taking it off from seeking after God; but rather by pointing it to a way to feek him in, wherein he once appeared, and was enjoyed, but is now withdrawn from.
8. He that will keep clofe to God, and not be withdrawn from him, muft watch to his Spirit, and know the leadings of it, elfe he will not follow the Lamb whitherfoever he goes; but stay behind in fome obfervation or practice which the Lamb is gone out of; and fo mifs of his leader, and meet (instead thereof) with another leader, even the spirit of antichrift, who enters into the outward court, and outward practices, fo foon as ever the Spirit of God hath left them.
9. That God's people, fince his withdrawing inward, and giving the outward court to the Gentiles, have been much deceived by the antichriftian fpirit, and led captive into Babylon; infomuch as God, when he cometh to overthrow antichrift, with the Babylon of his building, finds them there, and calls them out from thence. For the light growing low, and the deceit great, and the fpirit fubtil; how can the poor, weak, innocent babe efpy that fpirit, and escape his fnares, when he tempts to those very paths and ways of worship wherein the faints had walked and met with God, before the Spirit of the Lord departed out of them and gave them up to the Gentiles ?
10. That there is danger to the people of God of not understanding his call out of Babylon, but abiding there, through the fubtil entanglements of
the falfe fpirit, who bewitcheth (with the cup of fornication) to make Babylon appear as Sion, her doctrines as the truths of the gofpel, her ordinances and ways of worship as the true ordinances and ways of worthip. For the deceit is exceeding deep, and the mystery of iniquity very great, following the heart close which the Lord is drawing to depart therefrom; and if the Lord God is not strong and vigilant, who judgeth the whore, fhe would ftill keep her hold of the heart; and if the heart be not kept very close to the Lord in the judgment, it cannot come out of Babylon, but will fill be entangled and held in fome part or other of the mystery of its deceit.
11. Such of the people of God as do not wait to understand and receive the full call, and fo do not follow the Lord perfectly out of that city of abominations; but by her fubtilties, and inward and outward withcrafts, are held captive therein, and found in any part thereof when the Lord cometh to judge her; fuch muft partake of the plagues from the hand of the Lord, who will not spare her, nor the fpirits of his dearest people who are found there, in the day of his vifitation and righteous judgments.
Therefore come out of her, come out of her, O ye that love your fouls, and the pure prefence and fresh light of God's countenance! Ye that know what it is to provoke him to jealoufy, and fear the weight of his hand upon your spirits, ye that love the holy land, the holy city, and temple of the living God, oh! come out of that impure building, that flefhly building, thofe fleshly ways and worships which that fpirit adorneth, to make them appear as if they were spiritual. Oh! depart ye, depart ye, out of your new removes; for they are alfo polluted, and not your reft; but short of that wherein the reft, the peace, the presence of the Lord of life is felt by others, and to be found by you.
And confider this, if ever ye will come to the holy city, which was once built in the days of the apostles, but (fince the divifion of it from the outward court) hath been trodden down, and trampled under the feet of the unbelievers, even while they have been worshipping in the outward court (which God once built and chofe, but afterwards withdrew his Spirit from, and gave up to the unbelievers; I fay, if ever you will come to this holy city, the holy land wherein it is built, and the holy hill whereon it was founded, ye muft pafs through the wilderness, be exercised in the wildernefs, even till ye are fitted for it; and not strive to raise up a building yourfelves in the likeness of it; but wait till God hath hewn and prepared the stones by his Spirit, and then (by the skill of the Spirit) build up his Sion again.
Therefore, in the fear of the Lord, confider seriously, meekly, humbly, and brokenly, that the Lord may manifeft your prefent ftate and condition unto you, whether ye have not erred in thefe things as well as others, and have not cause to repent of your forwardness herein, and to acknowledge that your buildings have been raised in the forwardness of your own fpirits, and in the confidence of your reasonings upon fcripture-words, without feel
ing the prefence (guidance and holy power) of God's Spirit raifing up the foundation of many generations, and rearing his own pure house upon his own holy mountain.
In the Lord's hand is the time and season of building his own house. David, though his defire was approved, yet might not build the outward temple in the time of his choice; but God's time and season was to be waited for, both for the firft building, and for the rebuilding of it. There is likewise a season for the rebuilding of fpiritual Sion, after the long captivity it in mystery Babylon. Now he that is forward, building before the time and feafon of the Spirit, buildeth without the Spirit, and his building is not of the Spirit, but of the nature of Babylon, which is wholly to be departed from, and left behind, in the foul's travels and progrefs towards Sion: and whatever is of the nature of Babylon, muft at length fall with Babylon (in the day of her terrible judgment) if the Lord in mercy do not shake it, and cause it to fall before.
Therefore, O all profeffors! awake out of the flesh and all flefhly reafonings, into the Spirit of life; and examine there both your inward and outward buildings, that your lofs be not great, and your anguish unutterable in the day of the Lord, when all those buildings, which are raised and preserved in the pure life and power, fhall fhine in the beauty and glory of God's Spirit, and the greatest glory of flesh and fleshly buildings fade and wither.
The Sounding of Bowels towards thee, O ENGLAND!
on the 26th of the Sixth Month,
E this, in the freshnefs and quick fenfe of life, fprang up in my heart
again and again. O England, England, England! how good had it been for thee, that thou hadst known and walked in the way of peace!
There is a way of peace for perfons and nations to know and walk in; but every person and nation doth not know and walk in this way, but rather in the way of trouble.
Quest. What is the way of peace?
Anfw. It is the way of the pure wifdom, the way of the light and guidance of God's Spirit, from whom the creature came, and by whom alone it can be rightly ordered. He that waiteth on him for counsel, he that fubjecteth to, and walketh in his counsel, he walketh in the way of peace.
Queft. What is the way of trouble?
Anfw. The way of a man's own wisdom and counsel. For a man or nation
to do that which is right in their own eyes.
This is the way of man, wherean end to his troubles; but he his woe.