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Query 6. If Christ's fulfilling the law of Moses, the law of the first coves nant, were imputed to us as our righteousness, and we justified in the sight of God thereby, were not then our righteousness the righteousness of the first covenant in nature, and our justification a justification by the righteousness of the first covenant ? For Christ was made under the law, made under the first covenant, and fulfilled the righteousness of the firlt. covenant; so that if that be imputed to us for righteousness, then the righteousness of the first covenant is imputed to us for righteousness, and is our righteousness.
Query 7: Was not faith imputed to Abraham for righteousness? What was his righteousness? Was it not the faith which he had from Chrift, whereby and wherewith he believed God? Is not faith of the nature of Chrift? is not true faith justified for ever, and doth it not justify him in whom it is found? And doth not gospel-obedience flow. from faith? and hath it not of the nature of faith in it? Oh! how pure and precious was it in the eye of God, that Abraham reasoned not, consulted not with felh and blood, but retired into faith in the pure power! He believed God, fay the scriptures, and it was accounted to him for righteousness: and fhall it not be imputed to us also, if we have the same faith, and believe in the fame power ?
W and are
VII. Some Queries about being under the Law, and being under Grace. Query 1. HETHER they that have received tlie Spirit of grace,
and are under the Spirit of grace; I say, whether they are under the law also, or witness freedom therefrom?
Query 2. What is the law ? Is it not a ministration of death, of bondage, of condemnation? What is the Spirit of the Lord, the Spirit of grace? Is it not a Spirit of life, a Spirit of liberty, a Spirit that frees from bondage? They that have received it, and are in subjection to it, do they not partake of its liberty, and through it come into dominion over sin and death?
Query 3. Is the law to the righteous or unrighteous ? Whom was it made for? He that cometh into the holy and righteous nature of the feed, doth he not come from under the law ? Doth he not come into the nature, state and Spirit, which is free from the law ?
Query 4. What is it to come through the law into the liberty and redemption of fons ? What is it to know the feed free in the particular, and to come into the freedom of the feed? Doth not the Son make free, the Truth of God make free, all that come to it and dwell in it? and are not they that are made free by it, free indeed? O Sion! thy children are all freeborn! Jerusalem which is above, is free, which is the mother of us all; and the bringeth forth none but free children. They that dwell in the height
of notion, they are not free; but they that dwell in the power of life, know that which makes free, and witnefs freedom by it.
VIII. Some Queries for the Professors of Christianity to consider of, and try their States by. For it is good for every one to know and understand bis Eftate. aright (what it is in the sight of the Lord) and not to
be mistaken in a Matter of fo great Concernment. Query 1.
S thy fpirit, heart, mind, foul and body, a temple for God to
dwell in? Who dwells in thy heart? Doth the Holy Spirit or the unclean spirit? Is that dislodged and purged out of thee, with which God will not dwell? Is that discovered and taken away, in which the wicked one dwelleth? O Jerusalem ! walh thine heart from wickedness; how long fhall thy vain thoughts lodge within thee! Jerufalem! wilt thou not be made clean? When shall it once be ? Is not forbearing to touch every unclean thing, and cleansing from all filthiness of Aesh and spirit, more neceffary to the state of a son and daughter of the Most High than most people are aware of ? Read 2 Cor. vi. 16, 17. and chap. vii. 1.
Query 2. Is Christ revealed in thee? Doth God dwell any-where, in any heart, but where Christ is, but where he is inwardly and spiritually revealed? Know ye not that Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? And can any know Christ in them, who have not had him revealed there by the Father ? Almost all sorts of pretenders to Christ own him as spoken of without; but the true Christian witnesseth him 'revealed within : for it pleaseth the Father to reveal the Son in fuch; and none can be truly ingrafted into Christ, but as Christ is in some measure made manifeft within.
Query 3. How dost thou confess Jefus to be the Lord? Is it by notions from the letter, or by feeling his Spirit and power revealed within, and thy heart made subject to his Spirit and power inwardly revealed ? For there is a confeffing Christ in and by the Spirit, and a confessing him without the Spirit, according as men can read, conceive, and apprehend of him from the letter. Consider which of these thine is.
Query 4. Art thou come out of the apostasy and spirit of darkness, into the light and Spirit of Chrift? What was the apostaly from? Was it not from the Spirit, from the anointing? Wherein did it consift ? Did it consist in holding a knowledge of Christ, and form of godliness out of the power ? Art thou returned to the anointing? To the Holy Spirit of the Father ? Haft thou received it? Doft thou live and walk in it, and not fulfill the lufts of the Aeth?
Query 5. Dost thou know the tree of righteousness, and the tree of unrighteousness, inwardly? Hast thou felt the axe laid to the root of the corrupt tree, and it cut down, and the holy plant of God (the plant of his
renown) planted in thy heart, and bringing forth fruit to him? Can the fruit ever become good in thee till the tree be made good ? Can the corrupt tree ever bring forth the holy fruit of righteousness to the Lord? Oh! mind thy growth! I mean, from what thou growest, and from what thy fruit proceedeth : for all the knowledge, faith, love, zeal, practice's, &c. which proceed not from the renewed Spirit and nature, is not the good fruit which God calls for and accepts ; but the denying the least custom or fashion of this world, from a renewed nature, and from the drawings and teachings of God's Spirit, is good fruit, and accepted by him.
Query 6. Can any be redeemed to God, but by his judgment and righteousness revealed in them? Is the foul redeemed from its enemies, while its enemies remain in ftrength, and have the dominion over it? Where grace is received, and the foul taught by it and subject to it, doth it not break the dominion of fin? As the spirit of judgment and burning is felt in any heart,, doth it not cut down and burn up fin there? And as the righteous. Spirit is turned to, is not, his righteous nature received,, and doth not the holy and righteous seed spring up in the heart ? and as it springeth up, doth it not redeem and deliver that which is joined to it ? Can any be redeemed by a righteousness at a distance, without partaking of the new, and holy, and righteous image of the Son? And he that is righteous in measure, he may do righteousness :, but no man can do righteousness, until he become righteous, by being joined to, changed by, and in some measure brought forth a new plant to God, in the new, righteous, and holy feed. See 1 John iii. 7. Query 7. Do
indeed know the new covenant? Was it ever inwardly revealed in you? Do ye know the difference between reading the holy directions given forth in the scriptures, and so getting them into your minds and practising them, as well as you can; I say, do ye know the difference between this and God's writing them in your hearts, and causing you to walk in his ways? Do ye know the difference between reading in the letter and in the Spirit; and between walking according to the oldness of the letter, and according to the newness of the Spirit ? Oh! that ye might not be deceived about these things, but might know the truth, as it is in Jesus, and come into fellowship with us therein! For truly our fellowship is with the Father and the Son, in that which changeth not, but is one and the same for ever : yea, the Lord our God hath redeemed us out of all the changeable ways, religions and worships, into the one pure way of life, and into the worlhip in the one Spirit and truth, which changeth not, but is fill what it was, even one and the same before the law of Moses, or writings of the prophets, all the time of the law, while Christ was in the Aesh, afterwards when he was revealed in Spirit, and all the time of the apoftasy, and after the apoftasy, and so for ever.
IX. A Question anfwered about Preaching the Gospel after the Apostasy,
HY dotb God after the apostasy send an angel to preach the
everlasting gospel, after a manner different from what it was preached before the apostasy? How was it preached before the apostasy? Was it not preached thus, That in Chrift alone is remiffion of sins, and salvation through faith in his blood ? How is it to be preached after the apostasy? Is not an angel from God sent to preach it thus; Fear God, and give glory to bim; for the hour of his judgment is come ; and worship him that made heaven and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters? Is this the same gospel that was preached before? How different is the found thereof ! Surely this would seem rot the fame, but rather another gospel, to any man who is not taught of God, and bath not received of bim the true understanding to observe and discern the nature of things.
Answ. The gospel is the same in substance, though differing in found and manner of appearance; and they that judge not according to appearance, but judge righteous judgment, experience it to be the fame : for whoever receives the gospel thus preached, receives the power of God unto salvation, which goeth along with his fear, and with the hour of judgment, and with the true worship.
And this is the reason why the Lord sends his angel thus to preach it ; that he might shut out the birth of the false wisdom, and convey it to the children of the true wisdom. For in the apostaly, the doctrines of the knowledge of Christ had been corrupted, and held in the wrong part; and men had got a wrong knowledge and a dead belief, concerning Christ and his blood, &c.
Therefore to shut out these, God so orders. his gospel to be preached, as these cannot understand it, nor know it to be the gospel, nor come into this fpiritual ministration of it; but those whom the Lord toucheth, whose hearts he openech and quickeneth, they (in the demonstration of his Spirit) have the sense and obedience of it: for men had got a form of religion, a form of knowledge, a form of doctrine, a form of worship out of the power. Therefore the Lord comes with the light of his Spirit, to sever between that which was known and held out of the power, and that which was received and held in the power, and so preached the truth, that none but those that are of the truth, can own and receive it.
Had he fent an angel to preach the birth of Christ, the death of Christ, his. resurrection, &c. all the dead would receive this ; but to preach thus, Fear God, come to the Spirit of judgment and burning ; worship him that made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and fountains of waters; who can understand what this means ? Who can know this to be the everlasting gospel, but he that is taught of God?
This is to preach God the creator, faith the wise professor; this is not to preach Chrijt the redeemer ; this is not to preach the everlasting gospel, will they readily fay. Yes'; but God who is wife, and knows what the gospel is, and fends his angel to preach it after the apoftafy, sends it thus to be preached to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people : read Rev. xiv. 6, 7. and confider seriously, and spurn not againft. the way of God's preaching his everlasting truth, wherein is wrapped up the eternal salvation and happiness of mankind; 'yea, more especially of this age, who ought to bow to God in this his way of dispenfing his truth, which he himself hath chosen.
Now, conlider this one thing; was ever the gospel thus preached before this age? The fame gospel was preached from the beginnings but was it ever thus preached before? The feed of the woman fall bruisë.the Serpent's head; so it was preached to Adam: In tby feed shall all the families of the earth be blefled; so it was preached to Abraham : To us a child is born, to us a Son is given, &c. so it was preached in the days of the prophets": By this man, every one that believeth in his name, shall receive remision of sins. So io was preached in the apostles, days.
And in the reformation from popery, fome of the doctrines about free justification by grace, and of remision of fins by faith in Cbrift, &c. were revived; but, was it ever preached thus before our age? Did persons ever come forth in the power and authority of God, bidding men fear him, and be sensible of the hour of his judgment, even of his mighty day which was at band; and come out of all falfe ways and worships, into the worship of him who made heaven and earth, and the fea, and fountains of waters? I fay, did persons ever conie forth thus, and preach the everlasting gospel thus, preach thefe doctrines: to men, as the gospel of God, before this day? And let men well consider, whether it be : not indeed of God, and by his command and power thus preached; and take heed of opposing his message, left they be found fighters against him.
For mind: was not this always the fum and substance in every dispensation ? Çould men be faved by believing that the feed of the woman should bruise the Serpent's head? Or that in Abraham's feed all tbe families of the earth should be blessed? Or, that a child should be born, and a son given ? Or that, through Cbrift's name, remison of jins was to be bad, &c.? without coming into the true fear, which teacheth and causeth to depart from evil; and without giving glory..to God, in bowing to his Spirit's instructions and teachings.; and without worshipping him, who made heaven and earth, and sea, and fountains of waters? Or could any fear the Lord, and give glory to him, and come under the hour of his judgment, and worship him, who made heaven, and earth, and sea, and fountains of waters; but they must first feel the power of the gospel overcoming their spirics, and leading them thither.