« PreviousContinue »
Several Things opened from the Spirit of Truth,
touching the Way of Life and Salvation ;
Reach to the Witness in the Hearts of those whose Spirits are
quickened, and whose Ears and Understandings are opened by the Spirit and Power of the LORD.
Written in a deep Sense, and tender Love,
By IS A AC PE NING TO N.
Arise, shine ; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee,
For bebold, the darkness fall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people ; but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and the kings to the brightness of thy
rising. Is A1.. lx. 1, 2, 3. O house of Jacob! come ye, and let us walk in the light of the Lord.
Isal. ii. 5.
T H E
P R E F A C E.
H! how excellent and precious is the name of the Lord, in this our
day, among his people, whom he hath gathered out of the worldly spirit unto himself, and whom he mightily defendeth in that wherein he hath gathered them! Insomuch as it may now be said inwardly, as it was of old outwardly, Psal. lxxvi. “ In Judah is God known; his name is great
in Israel. In Salem also is his tabernacle, and his dwelling-place 6 in Sion. There brake he the arrows of the bow, the shield, and the “ sword, and the battle, Selah." Oh! what mighty things hath the Lord God done in and for the spirits of his people ! How hath he scattered the darkness from about them, broke the chains which held them in captivity! How hath he risen up against all the enemies of their souls, discovered their snares, snapped in sunder the weapons of war, which the spirit of darkness hath formed and lifted up against them! And how hath he preserved them in life, in peace, in purity, in holiness, in his power and dominion (over that spirit and the devices thereof) to this very day! He lives and reigns in power over all; and because he lives, we live allo; and because he reigns, those that are in his life and Spirit partake of his holy reign and dominion (over sin, hell, death, and the powers of darkness) with him. Lo! this is our God; this is he whom we have fought after, and waited for ; and now his power is made manifeft, now his righteousness and salvation is revealed, how can our souls but be glad and rejoice therein! Yea, how can we conceal the good tidings of the day of our God, and of the gospel of his falvation, which hath arisen and broke in upon us ! How can we but defire to awaken the minds of men out of their neep, and call upon them to shake off the drowsiness and blackness of the night, and to lift up their eyes towards the hill and mountain of God's holiness, that they also may behold the beauty of his day in others, and wait for the springing of his life and glory in themselves !
Now there is somewhat revealed of God, of his own nature, power, and Spirit, wherein we have met with him. To this we invite, of this we speak, concerning this we testify, as being that which the Father will honour, and wherein he hath and will appear. It is a poor, weak, low thing to consider of, or behold with the eye and understanding of man; but there is the riches, the glory, the life, the righteousness, the peace, the joy, the everlasting power of the kingdom in it; and to them that receive it in the demonstration of God's Spirit, and in the love of it, it is the wisdom of God and his power to the redemption and falvation of their souls. Indeed of all the wise builders (out of the true sense and power) it is rejected at this day, as it always was of old; but to us who are called of God, taught by him, who have received an understanding from him, &c. we know the value of that which comes from him, being instructed by him not to judge according to the appearance, but to judge the righteous judgment; and in the righteous judgment, in the balance of the sanctuary, we find this little despised light to be elect and precious, even the foundation-stone, the corner-stone, and the top-stone of the building of God. And this we testify to men in true love, and from certain knowledge and experience which we have received from him that is true, and hold in him that is
Now this precious pearl (of which we testify) lies hid deep within ; and thither must men come to know it, to purchase it, to possess it; and thither it is the desire of our hearts to bring men. Nor do we open the things of God before men to this end, that they might get a knowledge thereof into their brains, and feed on it there, but through tender love we bring these things a little into the very view of men (as the Lord enables us); not that they might stick there, but that having a taste of the excellency and beauty of truth, they might be inflamed (with desires after it) to travel thither, where it is to be had. Therefore dwell not in the notion, delight not in the outward knowledge of the thing itself (though the knowledge be ever so sweet, pleasing, fatisfactory, and demonstrative to the mind); but come to the everlasting spring. Feel the measure of life in thy particular, and that will lead thee to the spring of life, from whence the measure comes as a gift from the Father to thee, to bring thee to the Father. And singly for this end have I been drawn to write what follows, in service to the Lord, in faithfulness to him, in dear love to the souls of men, especially of those who have formerly been travellers, and have felt somewhat of the Lord, and yet retain desires and breathings in their hearts after him. Oh! that the Lord would touch their spirits, discover to them the way everlasting, and lead them therein to do that which their souls darkly desire and seek after ; to which there is no other way than that which hath been from the beginning, only there have been various discoveries and manifestations of the one way! But what greater discovery can there be than of the thing or seed itself, which the Lord hath been pleased to make manifest in this day of his glorious mercy, love, and power, whereof he hath raised up many witnesses, whom he hath enabled (by his Spirit and power) to give a living, clear, certain testimony to ? Happy is the ear that hears! for that also must be of God, as the message and messengers are known to be.
A - FURTHER
Some QUERIES concerning CHRIST's Righteousness, how
it justifieth. Whether as inwardly revealed and dwelling in the Heart, or only as imputed, or both.
Query 1. S not Christ the righteousness and justification of the soul with
God? Is not he made of God unto us righteousness, and are
not we made the righteousness of God in him? How is this done? Is it not by being ingrafted into him, covered with him ? Is this a meer imputation? or is it not rather a bringing the soul into the thing itself, and a drawing his nature, life, and Spirit over the soul, which was and is always righteous in itself, and so accounted with God? And he that is found in him, cloathed with him, emptied of himself, and filled with him, is he not really righteous in the sight of God ?
Query 2. Is not the principle of life, which is from Christ, of the fame nature with Christ? is not it also holy and righteous ? yea, is not Christ the fullness in it? And he that receiveth this principle, doth he not receive life, receive Christ, receive righteousness ? Can the righteousness of Christ be separated from the seed of his life, nature, and Spirit? Can a man deny himself, go out of himself, give up to that, and be found in that, and not found in the righteousness ? or can a man come to righteousness by imputation without that?
Query 3. This principle or seed of life being from Christ, of Christ, and one with Christ in nature, though not of the same stature and fullness, yet hath it not the property and virtue of all that is of Christ in it? Do not all the promises belong to this feed, and go along with this feed? Doth not all that is good in man spring up from this feed? He that receives this
, doth he not receive that which is righteous, and which makes him righteous, so far as he is of it, and in it? yea, the facrifice of Christ in the flesh, the virtue thereof, the forgiveness of the Father for the sake of his Son; doth it not go along with this ? and is it not accepted for that man who is found here, and his iniquities (which he committed formerly) freely forgiven him for his name's sake? Yea, are not his sins afterwards also blotted out upon the same terms, he returning to this, abiding in this, and being found in this, and wherein the remission of sin, and the power against sin, is alone to be felt and received for ever? So here is the imputation in its right place, and the right use and pleading of the facrifice of the Son, which here in this its proper place, and in this state) prevails with God, and not otherwise. For the kingdom, the righteousness, the peace, the joy, the power thereof, &c. is placed by God in this feed, which is as a grain of mustard seed: and he that ever finds it, must fo find it; and he that ever joins to it, muft fo join to it; and he that ever receiveth it aright, must so receive it.
Query: 4. Is not he that is born of God, new created in Christ Jesus? and is not the new creature and new creation righteous in the fight of God? When Adam was created at first, he was created in God's image; and was not that image righteous, and he righteous in that image? And when man is regenerated, renewed, brought again into the image, is not the image again holy and righteous, and he in the image ?
Query 5. Is not faith the gift of God? And is it not holy, spiritual, and righteous in its own nature, and in the creature to whom it is given ? And being given to the creature, is it not owned by God as such, and so justified in the creature ? Is not the faith which is of God, as righteous as the unbelief from the root of bitterness is unrighteous ? And doth not God own and justify that as righteous, as well as condemn and reject the other as unrighteous ?
Query 6. Is not the obedience of the foul in Christ, and from the principle of his life in the soul, and through his Spirit, righteous ? nay, as righteous, and justifiable in the sight of God, as the disobedience of the first nature is unrighteous ?
Query 7. Are not all the works which are wrought in God, righteous ? and doth not he that doth truth, bring them to the light, that it may be made manifest that they are wrought in God (John iii. 21.) Now there is no condemnation, but justification, to the deeds that are wrought in God; as there is no justification, but condemnation, to the works that are wrought out of him.
So that here now he that is indeed of God, he that is new created in Christ Jesus, he knows the Father and fountain of righteousness, the Son of righteousness, the righteous seed, the righteous faith and obedience of the feed, and the works which are wrought by the power and in the Spirit, which being brought to the true light, are always justified by.it.