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Now in this body he finished the work which his Father gave him to do; he fulfilled all righteousness (the righteousness of the letter, the righteousness of the Spirit) that he might bring his through the righteousness of the law or letter, into the righteousness of the Spirit and power, into the righteousness of the new life; and here that scripture is read and fulfilled, I through the low am dead to the law, that I might live to God. So his whole life was a doing the will of the Father, which sent him.
When he was but twelve years old, he disputed with the doctors and teachers of the law, hearing and asking them questions (discovering the pure wisdom of the Father which dwelt in him) because it was his Father's business which he was to be about, as he told his mother, Luke ii. 49. And when the Lord led him into the wildernes to be tried, he went and was tempted, that he might fight the battle against his great adversary. And when the Spirit of the Lord was upon him, moving him to preach the gospel, he preached the gospel in the Spirit and power of the Father, and went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil, as his Father's Spirit led and guided him : for he did nothing of himself, or in his own will, or for himself; but all in the will and time of the Father.
Mine bour is not yet come, said he to his mother, when she was hafty to have him do that miracle of turning water into wine, John ii. 4. And fo when his brethren urged him to go up to the feast, John vii. 3, 4. My time, said he, is not yet come ; your time is always ready, ver. 5.
Thus he did always please his Father, and seek the honour of him that fent him; and was obedient unto death, even the death of the cross, being willing to drink of the cup which his Father gave him to drink : and so having finished his work, he returned from whence he came, and sat down, at the right-hand of the majesty on high, being exalted above all principalities, and powers, and dominions, both in this world, and in that which is to come.
Thirdly, Now the third appearance of Christ, which these two outward appearances made way for, was his appearance in Spirit, even his pure, inward, heavenly appearance in the hearts of his children. This he bids his disciples wait for ; telling them, that he would not leave them comfortless, but would come again to them. They had had the appearance of the bridegroom in the flesh, and he was to go away. It could not be helped ; it was necessary for them that he should go away; but (faith he) I will come again. The fame power and presence that is now with you in a body of Hesh, shall visit
you in Spirit, and so abide with you for ever. For he that is now with you shall be in you; till that time ye shall have sorrow, and be like a travailing woman; but the world, in the mean time, shall rejoice ; but I will see you again, and your heart shall rojoice, and your joy no man takes from you. And was it not fo? Did, not Christ fend the Spirit, the Comforter ? Did he not come in the Spirit and power of the Most High, to be with them always to the end of the world? Did he not bid them stay and wait at
Jerusalem for that appearance of him in his Spirit, and not go about his work and message till he came in the power and authority of his father to go along with them? And did not their hearts rejoice when he came with joy unspeakable, and full of glory? Had they not then the joy and peace which passed all the understanding of man ; which joy and peace none could take from them; which.joy they were not promised that they should receive till he came and saw them again ? Yea, truly; in the kingdom, Spirit, and power of our Lord Jesus Christ there is a seeing eye to eye. Yea, it was so, in some measure, with some precious ones in the days of old, which that promise, (Psal. xxxii. 8. I will guide thee with mine eye) intimates ; for the eye of the soul must be upon God's eye, and observe the motion, thereof, if it be guided thereby.
And truly this administration of the Spirit and power of the gospel is exceeding glorious, and they that come into it, come into the glory and heavenly dominion and authority of the Lord Jesus Christ (and so are made kings by. him, and wear crowns in his presence, though they still cast them at his feet) and are changed from glory to glory'; and behold, as in a mirror, the glory of the Lord, which none can do but with the eye which is in some measure changed and glorified.
Now this dispensation of the gospel in Spirit and power, began in the apostles days, and the church was exceeding chaste, pure, and beautiful then, without spot or wrinkle ; though there were some crept into the outward court, which were spots among them; but that did not mar the beauty of the rest, but they could bring victory and dominion to him that fat on the throne, and witnessed that falvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ was come, For the manchild was born, and was among them; and the glorious woman (the church, the spouse of Christ) was cloatbed witb the sun, &c. and had both her husband (her Lord and head) and the man-child (the pure birth of life) with her. But there was a falling away after this, and a thick dark night, and a very great and universal apoftafy, from the Spirit and power of the apostles ; many departing out of the fear into the high-mindedness, and not keeping their standing in the faith, and love, and obedience of the truth; but holding a form of godliness out of the power.
But God, in his tender. mercies, determined to send an angel to preachi his everlasting gospel again; and in due time so did, as is expressed, Rev. xiv. 6, 7. (Mark: none could preach the everlasting gospel after the apoftafy, by any ordination or succession of ministry left amongst men; but there must be a new receiving of the gospel, by a new message and commission from on high). And God likewise fent forth his Spirit of judgment and burning to consume the whore (the false church) which was grown very great, sitting over peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues ; and to bring the true church out of the wilderness into enjoyment of her beauty and glory again. And when she comes again, she comes as a morning without clouds, with
Out any veil, without any outward types or shadows of the glory to be revealed, even in the pure and heavenly glory itself.
He that hath a true eye, let him read this; and he that hath an heart opened by the Lord, let him acknowledge it: for the name of the Lord Jesus Christ is exalted, and the knees of his redeemed-ones bow to him, and acknowledge him the only Anointed One, the only Lord and King over all, to the glory of God the Father. Amen.
from whence was the ministration of the law outward, or in the letter, which gendered to bondage, condemnation, and death? Doth not the apostle Peter say, concerning the law as fo administered, that it was a yoke too heavy for them or their fathers to bear? Acts xv. 10.
Is not the gospel Sion a spiritual mount, an heavenly mount, a mount that cannot be touched by human senses, a mount from whence is the ministration of the Spirit, the ministration of liberty, the ministration of life, the ministration of the glory that excelleth ? Is it not the holy mountain, whereon the holy city (the New Jerusalem) is built, and where the King of Righteousness rules in righteousness and peace over all his subjects; where he makes to them the feast of fat things, and of wines on the lees well refined; where be and bis fup together, eating and drinking the bread and wine of the kingdom, even the living bread, and the fruit of the living vine?
Is not the whole ministration of life, from the beginning to end, from Mount Sion? Is it, any of it, from Mount Sinai ?
Is not Sion to be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness? Doth either the judgment, or the righteousness, wherewith Sion and her converts are to be redeemed, come from. Mount Sinai? Do they not both come from Mount Sion ?
Out of Sion Mall go forth the law, and Word of the Lord from Jerusalem, Isai. ii. He that understandeth this scripture, knoweth the gospel state.
re are not come (said the apostle) to the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire; nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempeft, and the Sound of a trumpat, and the voice of words, &c. ; but ye are come to Mount Sior, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, &c. Heb. xii.
Now they that are come thither, they witness the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, which maketh free from the law of fin and death; and the pure Word of eternal life iffuing thence, even from that Sion and Jerusalem.
Mind that scripture, Gal. iv. 25, 26. For this Agar is Mount Sinai in Ara- · bia, and answereth to Jerusalem, which now is, and is in bondage, with her children; but Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.
We read, Rev. xi, 19. That the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament; and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail. Whence did those lightnings, voices, thunderings, &c. issue; out of Sinai, or out of Sion? Doth not the Lion of the tribe of Judah roar out of Sion against his enemies, and shoot the arrows of his judgments from thence? And if he judge his enemies from thence, doth he not judge his people from thence also ? Is not his fire in Sion, and his furnace in Jerusalem ? And doth not the Spirit of judgment and burning, (by which he washeth and purgeth away the blood and filth of the daughter of Sion) issue forth from thence ? Oh! that men had a true and spiritual understanding of these things, and were taught of God to know and distinguish concerning the things of his kingdom!
OUNT Sinai was that mount of earth which the voice and pre
sence of the Lord fhook at the ministration of the law outward. Now there is an inward earth, which is to be shaken also; even the nature which transgreffed, the nature which was subject to sin, and under the curse, the earth which brings forth briars and thorns. Into the earth the plough of the Lord is to go, to break it up, and overturn it, that there may be a new earth formed, fit to receive the heavenly seed; out of which it may spring, and bring forth fruit to God. Yea, not only the earth, but also the heavens, are to be shaken, yea, and removed too; tho' the shaking of Mount Sinai did not fignify that, but only the shaking of the earth. But yet once more (faith the Lord) I fake not earth only, but also beaven ; which signifieth the removing of those things that may be shaken, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.
There is that which is changeable, and there is that which is unchangeable. The old earth, and the old heavens, are changeable; the new heavens, and the new earth, are unchangeable. There is a changeable mind, a changeable spirit, a changeable nature, a changeable will, a changeable wisdom, a changeable reason and understanding (which one while goeth this way, and another while that way) a changeable knowledge of God; which man learns not of the Spirit of the Lord, but after a traditional way, and by the search of his own hunting mind, and drinks into that part which is old and earthly. There is man's kindling a fire there, a beating out fparks there, with which he compasseth about and warmeth himself, getting unto himself peace and joy, hope and confidence, &c. But when the Lord ap
pears, and his voice is heard (when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth, yea, and the heavens also) all these will be shaken, and fall like untimely figs at the rushing of a mighty wind and terrible tempeft.
For the day of the Lord, the day of his pure appearance, the day of the brightness of his rising, will be upon all that is high and lofty ; upon all that is proud and lifted up above the pure seed. Every cedar of Lebanon, and oak of Balhan, that is high and lifted up; every high mountain and hill that are lifted up; every high tower, and fenced wall; every thip of Tarshish, and pleasant picture, &c. shall all feel the terror of his majesty: and that alone which is of the pure seed, gathered into the seed, and changed into the nature of the seed, that alone shall stand. Nothing else shall be able to dwell with the devouring fire, and everlasting burnings: so that it may be very well said, 'Who may abide the day of his coming ; and who shall stand when be appeareth ? For he is like a refiner's fire, and like fuller's soap; and he cometh with his fan in his hand, to fan away the chaff; and shall fit as wefiner and purifier of silver, to purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness, pleasant to the Lord; which none can do but those that are purified by him.
And happy will they be, whose religion and worship in that day will stand the trial, and bear the fire. And oh! blessed for ever be the Lord, who is come near to judgment, and is a swift witness against all deceit and unrighteousness; but a justifier of them whose consciences he has sprinkled with the blood of Jesus.
But now, as the Lord taketh away the old, fo he bringeth in the new. As he removeth the old earth, and the old heavens, wherein dwelt unrighteousness; fo he formeth and bringeth forth the new heavens, and the new earth, wherein dwells righteousness.
And here the kingdom is known and received, which can never be shaken. Here is the Mount Sion, which shall never be removed; and the Jerusalem, one of whose stakes or cords shall never be plucked up, or broken. Here is the city which hath everlasting foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
Blessed are they that come hither, and dwell here ; who are not come to the mount that may be touched and shaken, and removed (read inwardly); but to the holy mount of God, and whereon all the buildings of life are raised, and whereon they stand form for ever.
And all that are herein built up and established can truly fay, and fing in spirit, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, and blessed by him shall be the babitation of justice, and mountain of holiness, from this time forth for evermore. For Jerusalem is now become a quiet habitation, and the king of glory reigneth therein : for the Lord of Hofts, who hath created the new heavens, and the new earth, hath created Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a
a joy; and they shall be glad, and rejoice, and bless themselves in him, for ever and ever. Amen, Amen.