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that the nations of them that are faved must walk in? Rev. xxi. 24. Yea, this light, this city, and the holy waters of the fanctuary, which flow and ftream from the river of life there, were in meafure known and experienced in the days of old, which David prayed for, and experienced a fenfe of, Pfal. xliii. 3. and xlvi. 4. Yea, he knew alfo the blood of the everlafting covenant, praying and waiting to be fprinkled and cleanfed therewith, Pfal. li. 6. For he looked through the outward figure, to what his foul needed to purge and wash it inwardly; which outward hyffop, or outward water of purification, he knew would not do; for he that faw through the outward facrifices, to the inward, could not chufe but fee through these

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But that power, virtue, and life of God's Spirit, which could create a clean beart, and renew a right Spirit in him, and bring him into God's prefence, where he might feel the upholdings of his free Spirit, and partake of the joy of God's falvation and deliverance from that which had defiled him; this was it he prayed for; knowing affuredly, he fhould here meet with the true hyffop, and water of life, and blood of the covenant, which purgeth the heart and confcience from dead works, and maketh it whiter than the fnow in God's fight, ver. 10, 11, 12. For he that delighted not in facrifice, nor burnt-offerings, neither could he delight in hyffop, or water, or blood, outward or natural; but in that which melteth the heart, and purifieth the conscience, from that which is dead and unclean, in that is God's delight; and in that which is melted, broken, and purified by it, ver. 16, 17.

Obferv. Laftly, That there is a fin unto death, a kind of finning for which there is no facrifice (but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, to deftroy and devour the adverfaries, ver. 26, 27.), which is a wilful defpifing this covenant; which he that doth, muft die without mercy; as he that defpifed Mofes's law did, ver. 28, 29. For the Lord will revenge this fin, wherefoever he finds it; and fuch fhall know, that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God, when he comes to judge them, ver. 30, 31.

XVIII.

A brief Relation of the Eftate or Condition the Lord found many of us in, when he came to vifit us, and make known to us the blessed Mniftration of his Spirit and Power, and of fome of his Dealings with us, in inftructing and nurturing us up therein; with a few Words of Exhortation.

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HERE are chambers of imagery in many people; and strong-holds, and reasonings, and imaginations, and high thoughts, exalted above the pure feed and measure of life in their hearts. For every true Christian,

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every true believer, hath received fomewhat of Chrift's Spirit, fome proportion of grace and truth from the fullness of Chrift, which is as leaven and falt, to leaven the heart, and season the mind and spirit with.

But all do not distinctly know this, nor are all that do know it subject to it; fo that this doth not lead, and command, and rule in all; but there is fomewhat which holds captive, and the enemy of the foul hath the rule and dominion in many mens fpirits, profeffing godliness; whereby the feed is kept under in them, and their fouls kept back from that redemption and deliverance, which they should partake of, in and with the feed. So many talk of the gofpel (and fpeak great words of Chrift, and redemption by him) who know not immortality brought to light, nor the dead raised by it, to live to God and praise his name.

Now in these chambers of imagery, in thefe ftrong-holds, there are many pleasant pictures, many images of the heavenly things, which men form in their minds, from their own apprehendings and conceivings upon the scriptures. For men reading the fcriptures, not in the life, Spirit, and power which gave them forth, but with that which is natural, they come not to the true, pure, heavenly, living knowledge; but only obtain a natural knowledge, according to which they believe and worship; and fo fall down before, and according to, the apprehenfions and imaginations of their own minds; and so one believes and worships one way, and another believes and worships another way. And truly, here men worthip they know not what; but they that are the true Jews, know what they worship; for falvation is of the true Jews, who worship neither at this mountain, nor at the other mountain; but only in Spirit, and in truth, even in the life and power of our Lord Jefus Chrift.

Thus it is with all men in their feveral profeffions of religion in the darkness, in the apoftafy from the true life and power, which all forts have erred and wandered from, but few have returned to. Ah! few have found the pearl of price, which hath been long loft; but have contented themfelves with a literal relation and knowledge concerning the pearl, without knowing and poffeffing the pearl itself. Yea, indeed, this was the ftate of darkness the Lord found us all in, when he came to vifit us; for the ftrong man armed had his ftrong-holds in us, whereby he held us in the bands of death, and kept us captive, and free from that righteous life and power which we thirsted after. But when the stronger than he came, he battered his ftrength, he affaulted and took his ftrong-holds; he brake all his reasonings, knowledge, wisdom, and fubtilty, wherein he trusted, and made spoil of his goods, and delivered the captives from under his hand.

For, indeed, when the mighty day of the Lord came upon us, and his pure heavenly light fhone in our hearts, God fearched Jerufalem as with candles, difcovering the most hidden things of Efau's nature inwardly; and then all the knowledge and wifdom, all the understanding and experiences, which were treasured up in us out of the pure life, out of the truth, which VOL. II. Fff

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lives and abides, they were found dead, and condemned as dead in us, and fo caft forth, as the treafures of Egypt and Babylon, and thrown to the batts and moles; who either creep up and down in the earthly nature, or foar aloft in the dark dreams and imaginations of the night of darkness and apoftafy.;

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For when the true light fhines, it discovers what the day is, and what the night is, and the things which are of the day, and the things alfo which are of the night.

Now when the Lord thus appeared unto us, and caufed the light of his Son to fhine in us, many of us quickly came out of Egypt, turning our backs upon the darkness; and went willingly into the wilderness, to travel along with the Lord, and to be exercifed and fitted there for the good Jand, the land of the redeemed, the land of the living, the land which Hows with milk and honey (which is pure heavenly food), whither they that come, find the excellent vine, which bears the heavenly grapes, of which is the wine of the kingdom, and the true olive, which yields fweet oil; and houfes which they built not, wherein are many manfions of reft and pure glory; and vineyards which they planted not, wherein the living plants grow, and fpring up in the prefence of the Lord, who dwells among his, and walks in the gardens and holy plantations.

But there were others, who were loth to come out of Egypt, or to forfake the idols and way of worship in Egypt and Babylon, whom the enemy long held captive in their thoughts and reafonings, and in the difputings of their minds.

Now thefe fuffered much, and felt many of the ftrokes and dreadful judgments of the Lord, poured out upon that fpirit in them, which held them captive, and upon them for their hearkenings and joinings to the sub-. til twinings, and entangling reafonings and fuggeftions of that fpirit. For the enemy ufeth all his ftrength and fubtilty to the utmoft, to hold his captives in fubjection to him, and under his power, as long as ever he can. He keeps every hold, he ftrengthens every reafoning, and every thought and imagination of the mind againft'God's call, against the appearances of his Spirit in the heart. Do not go yet (faith the enemy); thy way is not yet plain before thee, thy light is not yet clear enough; the reason or confideration which is objected, is not yet fully answered. Thou art to try all things; but there is this, or that, or the other confideration, which thou haft not yet tried, or confidered of fully, and fatisfactorily to thy own heart.

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Thus many pure drawings of the Father (in which there was light fufficient for the foul to follow) have been loft, and the foul thereby hath miffed of the hand which was put forth (in the tender love of the Lord) to help and fave it.

Queft. But fome may fay; What have ye learned of the Lord more than we, or more than ye knew before, when ye walked among us, and practifed the ordinances which we practife? Have not we good directions from the feriptures?

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Do not we practise them? And is not the Spirit of God in the fcriptures? are they not joined together; and fo, having the feriptures, we have the Spirit of God too?

Anfw. It is not in my heart to enter into difpute now, though I am fenfible of the darkness from whence this objection arifeth: and oh! that it were removed from their hearts in whom it is; for truly, we ourselves were once there; and when we were there, we knew not the fcriptures aright, as we ought to know, nor the power of God! But to anfwer plainly and directly to the thing itself:

There are three things I fhall mention (befides many others, which might be mentioned) which the Lord hath taught us, fince his Spirit and power hath appeared to us, and led us out of the darkness, towards, and into, the land of light; which are thefe. He hath taught us to believe, he hathi taught us to obey, and he hath taught us to pray to him in the name of his Son.

Object. Why did ye never learn these before?

Anfw. No, not fo as the Lord hath now taught us. There was indeed. fome true faith from the true feed in us, and fome true obedience, and fome pure breathings to the Father, in the days of our former profeffion; but we knew not the root from whence they came, so as to turn it, and abide in it, and fo the holy defires, and true fenfe in us, were often made a prey of, and we ftill in want and penury in a strange land, and could not enjoy (poffefs or retain) what was freely given us of our God and Father in Chrift; but still a fleshly wifdom, a flefhly comprehenfion, a fleshly nature, mind, and knowledge (which in that day went with us for fpiritual, as well as it doth fo with others now), pecked up over it; and fo Hagar was in the house, and would be miftrefs there, but was not caft out with her feed. Oh! who can read, and truly understand this! But when the Lord turned us to the light of his Spirit, and by the light and power of his Spirit brake the bonds and chains of darknefs in us; then we could believe in him who appeared, and (in the ftrength and virtue received from him) we could obey him, yielding our members inftruments of righteoufnefs to do his will; and in the Spirit of the Son (which we then received in the faith, even the heavenly Spirit, the moft excellent Spirit) we could pray to the Father; firft, fighing and groaning before him, afterwards pouring out our requests and fupplications to him, with giving of thanks.

Queft. How did the Lord teach you to believe? Or what did he teach you to believe now, more than before?

Anfw. It is written in the prophets, all thy children fhall be taught of the Lord; and in the new covenant it is promifed, they fhall all know me, from the leaft to the greatest.

Now, as we were brought by the Lord into the light of this covenant, we were taught thus to know him, and to believe in him; and his Son, as thus made known. So that we knew the Father revealing the Son, and the Fff 2

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Son revealing the Father; and our hearts were drawn to believe in both, as they were both revealed in us, and to us, and the revealing was in the Spirit of both, in the light of both, in the life of both, in the power of both; which Spirit, which light, which life, which power is one; fo that he that indeed knows the Son, knows the Father alfo; and he that indeed knows the Father, knows the Son alfo.

Very deep and weighty was that answer of Chrift to Philip, when Philip faid; fhew us the Father, and it fufficeth. Haft thou not feen me, Philip? faid Chrift. How is it that thou fayeft, fhew us the Father? He that bath seen me, bath feen the Father alfo. Are they not one nature, one wifdom, one power, one pure eternal being? Can the one poffibly be seen, and not the other? Though they may be diftinguished in manifestation, in the hearts where they are received; is it poffible they fhould be divided and separated the one from the other?

Thofe that thus apprehend, plainly manifeft, that they never received the true knowledge of the Father and Son; but have only notions and apprehenfions of man's wifdom concerning them.

So now to us there is but one God and Father, Of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jefus Chrift, by whom are all things, and we by him; and but one Spirit and power of life, which we have received of the Son and Father, through which we believe, and lay hold on the pure eternal power and strength of the Almighty, which redeems and faves the foul; and fo believing on him, who raised up our Lord Jefus Chrift from the dead, here we meet with juftification, and are at peace with our God, laying hold on his strength, and being held by it.

And fo here, in the new covenant, under the teachings of God's Spirit, we witness that scripture fulfilled in our hearts, Ifa. xxvii. 4, 5.

Queft. How did the Lord teach you to obey? Ye do not obey the ten commandments; ye neither learned, nor teach them: but all that ye obey is all light and fpirit within; which may be a spirit of delufion, for aught we know; and we believe it is fo, because we do not find it agreeing with the fcriptures, nor you in the practice of the ordinances of Chrift, according to the fcriptures.

Anfw. That harfh fpirit, which in this manner objecteth, is not very fit nor likely to receive or embrace information, from the meek and tender Spirit of the Lamb; but there are fome, who are broken and tendered, and fit to receive impreffion and information from the Holy Spirit and power of our God; and to them, and for their fakes, are my answers given forth and directed. So, for their fakes, I fhall proceed in plainnefs, and evi dence of truth, anfwering, as the Lord fhall open my heart.

Truly, the Lord hath taught us obedience, fo as we never learned before; putting his laws into our minds, and writing them in our hearts, and giving us his good Spirit to dwell in us, to quicken and help us to obey and perform his holy laws. And those two commandments (on which the whole law and prophets hang); to wit, To love God with all our hearts, and

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