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OD's temple under the gospel is the light of his Son, the Spirit of
his Son, and those fouls which are renewed, and built up an habitation for him in the Spirit of his Son, and those bodies in which renewed minds and spirits dwell. God is light, and he dwelleth in light; God is Spirit, and his building is holy and spiritual; for he dwelleth in nothing that is dark, or corrupt, or unclean.
And that which is sacrificed or offered up to God must be clean and pure. No unclean thought, no unclean desire, nothing that is earthly, or Aeshly, or felfish, must be offered up to God; but the pure breathings of his own Spirit: for whatsoever is of him, and comes from him, is accepted with him; but whatever man can invent, or form, or offer up of his own, or of himself (though it be ever so glorious and taking in man's eye), yet it is but abomination in the light of the Lord.
Thus all the facrifices of the Gentiles (or heathenish nature) are rejected. Thus all the sacrifices of the Jews outward (or of the professing mind and nature, without the true life) are rejected also.
Wherewith shall I come before the Lord (said the prophet of the Lord of old) and bow myself before the bigh God? Shall I come before him with burntofferings, with calves of a year old ? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my first-born for my tranfgreffon; the fruit of my body for the fin of my soul? Mic. vi. 6, 7.
What faith the answer of God? No, no, this is not the way to come to pardon of sin, or to acceptance with the Lord; but come to that which teacheth what is good, and what the Lord requireth of thee, O man; wbich is to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with the Lord. Come thither in the teachings of God's Spirit, and worship there, and there thou shalt witness forgiveness of sins, and acceptance with the Lord, Mic. vi. 7,8. and Ifai. i. 16, 17, 18. For it was not offering facrifices of old (appointed under the law) that would do the thing, nor mens pleading the sacrifice under the gospel; but coming to that Spirit which teacheth holiness, and being subject to thạt Spirit, and offering in that Spirit (to the Father) what proceeds therefrom. So that his building in the Spirit is the only temple, and the sacrifices or offerings in the Spirit are the only offerings of the NewTeftament.
And here every groan or sigh towards the Lord after that which is pure, every supplication in the Spirit, every acknowledgment of the goodness of the Lord in a true and pure sense, are of a sweet
favour in the noftrils of the Lord: yea, using hospitality, relieving the poor, or doing any thing that is good from the good and holy root, are facrifices acceptable to the Vol. II. Ddd
Lord. Read these scriptures following (and if the Lord open thine eyes,
cording to the Testimony of the Scriptures of Truth, and according
to Experience. Queft. 1. HAT is the message which Cbrift fent bis apostles to declare,
whom be sent to preach the gospel ? Answ. This is the message which they heard of him, and which they declared unto others, That God is light, and in bim is no darkness at all.
Quest. 2. What was Christ's intent in sending them with this message ; and for what end were they to declare it to otbers ?
Answ. For the opening of mens eyes and hearts, that men might come to a light and sense of the darkness, and to a sight and sense of the light; and might be turned from darkness to light (and fo from Satan's power to God); and might come out of the one into the other (that is, out of the darkness into the light), and fo might walk in the light, as God is in the light.
Queft. 3. Wbat is the danger of abiding in darkness
Answ. In the darkness is fin, death, condemnation, and destruction of the soul, and feparation from God and Christ for ever.
Quest. 4. What is the benefit of being turned to the light, and of coming inte the light, and walking in the light, as God is in the light?
Answ. The benefits are great and many; three whereof I may now mention, which comprehend and contain in them many more.
First, In the light, remission of fins is received ; for there is the blood of sprinkling, wherewith those are sprinkled that come thither; and indeed none can walk and abide there, but they come to witness the blood of Jesus Chrift, God's Son, cleansing them from all sin; and true, real cleansing is no-where else witnessed.
Secondly, They have fellowship with the Father and the Son, and come also into fellowship with the saints in light; which are great mysteries, and none knows what they mean but such as are in that holy fellowship.
Thirdly, They there receive the earnest of the everlasting inheritance, and the sealing up by God's Holy Spirit unto the day of full redemption.
Quest. 5. Where is the darkness which men are to be turned from?
Answ. It is within, chiefly within ; there is Satan's kingdom; there is the house, which the strong man armed keepeth ; where his goods are in peace, till a stronger than he cometh to trouble and dispossess him.
Queft. 6. How or where is the light to be met with which man is to be turned to?
Answ. It appears within also ; it shines in the darkness: for thither Christ (the stronger) comes, with the light of his Spirit, to overcome and dispossess the strong man of his house and kingdom.
Queft. 7. When doth the light of Christ's Spirit shine in the darkness of man's beari?
Answ. When, and as God pleaseth. For the light is his, and he causeth it to shine in the hearts of the sons and daughters of men) according to his pleasure ; and therefore men are to wait for the shining of his pure heavenly light in their hearts, that with it the darkness may be resisted, overcome, and subdued in them, and scattered and dispelled from them, and their hearts filled with the light and power
of life. Quest. 8. How may a man perceive or know the light when it shines ? Answ. By its shining : for light (both outward and inward)
manifests both itself and other things by its own shining. And as there is no discerning the things of this world but by the light of the world ; so there is no dif cerning the things of the other world but by the light of the other world,
; that is, there is no discerning spiritual things but by the light and Spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ, which God causeth to shine in the heart; which light searcheth the heart, and trieth the reins, and discovereth the most hidden things there.
Object. But the heart is deceitful above all things, and Satan can transform himself into the likeness of an angel of light; so that he shines inwardly too by bis feigned appearances : how then may I know the fhinings of the true light of Christ's Spirit in my heart, from his false shinings and transformings?
Antw. God hath a witness in mens consciences: For as God hath not left himself without witness outwardly, but all his works testify of him (his works of goodness, love, mercy, power, &c. testify of his goodness, love, mercy, power, &c.); so he hath not left himself without witness inwardly; but there is somewhat in men to testify of God, and for God, and against his enemy, and all deceitful appearances; which witness always speaketh faithfully, and testifieth truth.
Therefore he that cometh to discern that, and mind that, shall find that near him which will always witness for God upon every occasion, and against all the appearances and devices of the enemy,
Now no man can come to discern or distinguish in cases of this nature, but as that which is of God, and for God, gives the judgment in him; and he that judgeth thus shall never judge according to the fhews and appearances of things, but shall still judge the true and righteous judgment. Ddd 2
Quest. Quest. 9.
What is the nature and properties of the light of Christ's Spirit; and what will it do in the hearts of those that turn to it, receive it, and walk in it?
Answ. It hath a most excellent nature and properties, and it will work wonderfully in the hearts of those that receive it, and walk in it towards the redeeming and saving them from sin, and the powers of darkness: so that following this light, and abiding and walking in it, they cannot be overcome by the enemy of their souls; but must needs conquer and overcome him. To instance in fome:
First, It hath an enlightening or manifesting property. It will discover all that is of God, and likewise all that is against him. It will discover the very mystery of death, and the most subtil workings of the enemy in the mystery of darkness, and deceivableness of unrighteousness. And it will discover the mystery of life, and the mystery of the way of holiness. So that not only the precepts of holiness, but the way of the precepts, the way of obeying the holy will and Spirit of God in every thing, is here learned.
Secondly, It hath an awakening property. This light will not let a man sleep in sin, or grow heavy and dull (if he hearken to it); but it awakens him that fleeps : and whoever is truly awakened at any time, is awakened by this light; by the shining thereof in his heart; by the manifestation of God to his spirit by it. This testimony Paul gives, Ephes. v. 13, 14Whatsoever doih make manifest is light. Wherefore he faith, Awake, tbou that seepest, &c.
Thirdly, It hath a quickening property. For it is the light of life, the light of Christ's Spirit, which is living and powerful, and it hath life and power in it, and quickeneth and raiseth the man to whom it reacheth, and giveth him ability to arise from the dead.
Fourthly, It hath a cleansing, a fanctifying, a purifying property. Oh! how clean it makes within! The light is pure, and it maketh pure. All the defilement and corruption is in the darkness; none of it is in the light; but the light purgeth it away, where it findeth entertainment.
Fifthly, It hath an uniting and separating property. It unites to God; it unites to that which is pure; and it separates from fin, Satan, darkness, and whatever is impure.
Sixthly, It hath a preserving nature and property. It preserves the man in whom it dwells; and where it hath power, and rules, it keeps out the darkness; so that darkness cannot break in where it hath place, and is kept to: nor can the mind break out from the Lord, which keeps in the sense, savour, and seasoning of the light of his Spirit.
Indeed time would fail me, to speak of the excellent nature, virtues, and properties thereof; but come, taste, and see how sweet the light is, and what a pleasant thing it is to behold the shinings of this Sun.
Quest. 10. Doth God visit all men with this light?
Answ. Yes; as God loveth all men, and would have all men faved, so he visiteth all men (more or less) with that which is able to discover the darkness, to them, and to save them therefrom.
Quest. 11. What is the reason then that all men are not saved by it?
Answ. Because they do not receive it, and join to it against the darkness; but join to the darkness, and hearken to the wisdom and reasonings thereof, against the appearances and discoveries of the light.
Quest. 12. How comes it that men do fo?
Answ. From their love to the darkness and to the deeds of darkness ; which they know they should not love, because they have somewhat near them, which often shews them the evil, both of the darkness that is in them, and of the deeds that come from it. So that this is the condemnation, that men love the darkness, cleave to the darkness, and follow the darkness; but hate the light, and turn from the light, which in the love and mercy of God follows them, to bring them out of love with the darkness, and to bring them into the sense of, and fellowship with him in the light.
Quest. 13. How come fome to love the light?
Answ. God affords a capacity therein to all, and God is Love; and from the flowings of his love, and aboundings of his mercy to all, are men begotten to him; and the obedient are kept by him in subjection to that, which many resisting the strivings of his Spirit with them, are finally given up to hardness of heart, who turn from and hate the light. So that to God and his grace is to be attributed the falvation of all that are faved; and to man, his own destruction and perishing from the way of life, notwithstanding the tender visitations of God, to recover and reconcile man to himself, through the blood of his Son.
Quest. 14. Against whom do they rebel, that rebel against the light?
Answ. They rebel against Christ, from whom the light comes; and will Christ fave such as rebel against him? Oh! that men did aright consider this thing! for it is a greater matter to know, and be subject to the light of Christ's Spirit, as it shines from him in the heart, than men are aware of. Now that which discovers the hidden things of darkness in the heart, and reproves for it, is the light of Christ's Spirit, and not another. Oh! that all that desire to know what and where the true light is, did understand fo! Quest
. 15. What do they miss of, who do not know nor beed the light of Cbrift's Spirit, nor mind the reproofs thereof in their hearts, but look on it as inferior in kind and nature to what it is?
Anfw. They miss of many great and precious privileges, which they that know it and have received it, and so walk in it, and are subject to it, do experience and are acquainted with.
First, They miss of knowing the ways of it: for in this light there are ways or paths of holiness, paths of life, paths of righteousness, paths of