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law of fin and death, and makes free therefrom; and fo they cannot, witness what it is to come from under the law, where fin reigns, into and under grace, where life reigns and hath the dominion.
Who knows the truth which makes free? Could men then say, they fhall never be made free from the body of fin on this fide the grave? Who bath received grace for grace from Chrift Jefus the Lord, and knows the virtue of it? Could men then teftify againft it for fin; as if the grace of Chrift could never deliver from it, and give dominion over it here in this life? who knows the faith which gives victory, the hope which purifies, the love which unites to God, and constrains unto the obedience of the gofpel, and whose strength in the heart is ftronger than the ftrength of death?
Oh! the gospel-religion, the gofpel-fpirit, the gofpel-power, the gofpellove, the gospel-faith, the gofpel-obedience, the gofpel-knowledge, the gofpel-worship, hath been loft for many ages and generations! And now God hath caufed it to fhine forth and appear again, what a flood of reproaches doth the dragon fend forth against it? And how do men strive to uphold their dead knowledge, and their dead buildings, their dead ways, their dead worships, &c. which they think highly of, and magnify; blafpheming that which is living, which came from God, is accompanied with his power, and hath the evidence and demonftration of his Spirit going along with it!
Well, all flesh is grafs, and its beauty fhall fade. Let it paint and make a flourish as long as it can; yet the breath of the Lord hath blown upon it, and it is already withered, and fhall wither daily more and more. But the Word of the Lord, which quickeneth and changeth the heart (which his defpifed fervants have been vifited with, and have teftified, and do teftify of) fhall abide for ever, when that fpirit, wisdom, and religion, which hath opposed, shall vanish like fmoke, and fink under eternal condemnation.
A few Words concerning the old and new Covenant; with fome Queries thereupon.
HE old covenant was that covenant which God made with that people the Jews, when he took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt outward. The new covenant is that covenant which God makes with the foul, when he takes it by the hand to lead it out of Egypt inward, which is the land of darknefs and pollution.
The old covenant was made with the outward people, with the feed of Abraham according to the flesh. The new covenant is made with the inward people, with the feed of Abraham according to the fpirit, according to the faith, according to the promife: for in this covenant, not they that are the children of the flesh are of Abraham; but the children of the promise are accounted for the feed.
The old covenant was made by Mofes, the fervant, who was faithful in all bis boufe as a fervant. The new covenant is made by Chrift, the Lord and king of his church and people, who is faithful in quickening them all, reconciling them all, interceding for them all, according to the tenor and way of
.. The old covenant confifted in laws and directions outward, which that nation and people had fully and exactly given them from God, above all nations and people of the earth. The new covenant confifts in life and Spirit inward, which the holy people, the renewed people, the redeemed people, are vifited with, and made partakers of, above all other people.
Under the old covenant, though the Lord did great things before the eyes of that people in Egypt, and exercited them with figns, miracles, and trials alfo in the wilderness; yet the Lord did not give them an heart to perceive, and eyes to fee, and ears to hear: unto that day, as mentioned in Deut. xxix. 2, 3, 4. the veil was over their hearts. But the other covenant contains the giving of a new heart, the opening of the blind eye, the unstopping of the deaf ear, the writing the law in the beart, the putting the pure fear in the inward parts, the putting God's Spirit within them, and fo caufing them to walk in his ftatutes, and to keep his judgments, and do them. Whereupon these Queries are in my heart:
Query 1. Will not this covenant inwardly reform the heart, foul, mind, and confcience, and amend all in this inward, fpiritual, renewed people, which was amifs in that outward, earthly, unrenewed people?
Query 2. Doth not the foul begin to enter into this covenant fo foon as ever it answers the Lord in the vifits of his love, turning from fin unto him?
Query 3. How precious is that grace of the gospel which brings into this covenant? For the people of the Jews came into the old covenant by the law which was given by Mofes; but the children of the new covenant come thereinto by receiving the grace and truth which comes by Jesus Christ.
Query 4. Can any poffibly enter into the covenant without coming to the Lord Jefus Chrift, and receiving grace from him? Can obferving precepts, and directions from fcripture, bring into this covenant? Or is it the receiving grace, truth, life in the inward parts, from Chrift the Lord, which brings into this covenant? Oh! wait to know the miniftration of the gofpel, and covenant of life, with the entrance thereinto, O all that truly defire the falvation of your fouls!
Query 5. Wherein doth the ministry of this covenant confift; or how is the teaching thereof? Is it by getting a form of knowledge out of the letter, or miniftring the letter? Is it not a miniftration not of the letter, but of the Spirit? The apoftle faid fo, who knew what it was, and was made an able minifter thereof, by God, 2 Cor. iii. 6. Truly none can minifter gofpelly, none can minifter under the new covenant, but those that minister from and in the Spirit.
Queries on ROM. vith, viith, and viiith Chapters.
From CHAP. vi.
HAT is it to be baptized into Chrift? Is it not to be bap
W tized into his death? Are not they that are truly baptized into
Chrift buried with him by baptifm into death? That like as Chrift was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even fo they also should walk in the newness of life. How can they that are dead to fin live any longer therein ?
Query 2. What was the end of Chrift's manifeftation in the flesh, and fending his Spirit? Was it not to deftroy the works of the devil; to crucify the old man, that the body of fin might be destroyed, that henceforth we fhould not ferve fin?
Query 3. Is he that is crucified with Christ, and dead unto fin, freed from fin? Doth the truth of Chrift, the life of Chrift, the Spirit of Chrift, the Power of Chrift, make those that receive and obey it free indeed; fo that fin cannot have dominion over them, to make them do what they hate, or to hinder them from doing what God requires? Did not Chrift himself die to fin once, but now lives to God? And are not believers after this manner to reckon themselves dead indeed unto fin, but alive unto God, through Jefus Christ our Lord?
Query 4. Have believers received power from Chrift (who had all power in heaven and earth given unto him) to become fons? Have they received the Spirit of the Father, which hath dominion over fin? Can they stop or hinder the reign of it in their mortal body, and refuse obeying the lufts thereof, and not yield their members inftruments of unrighteousness unto fin?
Query 5. Are believers alive from the dead? And can they yield their members fervants to righteoufnefs, for God to work in and by them, according to his will and pleafure? Can they ever come to fuch a state, as to do nothing against the truth, but for the truth? to do all things through Christ that strengthens them?
Query 6. Is this true, that to whom people yield themselves fervants to obey, his fervants they are to whom they obey, whether of fin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
Query 7. Do men, or is it poffible for men, in receiving, joining to, and obeying the truth, to be made free from fin, and become the fervants of righteousness?
Query 8. Cannot men have their fruit unto holiness, and at the end everlafting life, without being made free from fin, and becoming fervants to God? Is the wages of fin death after a man hath believed? After a man is
turned from fin to Chrift, if he hearken afterwards to Satan and commit fin, doth he reap death thereby? See alfo Gal. vi. 7, 8.
From CHAP. vii.
Query 1. What law is that which hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth; and what life is that in man which the law hath dominion over?
Query 2. How doth a man become dead to the law, that he might be married to another, even to him who is raifed from the dead, that he should bring forth fruit unto God? Can any be married to the raised living husband, but the quickened, raised and living foul? And can any elfe bring forth fruit to God?
Query 3. What is the ftate of being in the flesh, and of knowing the things of God after the flesh? of receiving directions and practising duties in that state? Do not the motions of fin (which all outward laws and directions do but stir up, but cannot overcome) work in the members there, in that state, to bring forth fruit unto death?
Query 4. How comes a man to be delivered from the law? Is it not by the death of that in him which held him captive unto fin? And why doth God quicken with a new life, and kill in the hearts of his that wherein they were held? Is it not that they should serve him in newnefs of Spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter? For the letter killeth, and the literal fervice and worship is dead, and that worship alone is living and gofpel-worship, which is in the newness of the Spirit; for fuch alone the Father feeketh to worship him, and fuch worship alone he accepteth.
Query 5. Is the law fin because it ftirs up fin? Nay; the law itself is not fin, but that which difcovers and makes it known: for no man can know fin, but by the law or light which discovers it.
Query 6. How is fin dead without the law? And how doth it take occafion by the commandment to work in the heart all manner of concupiscence?
Query 7. How was Paul alive without the law once? Could he facrifice, could he read the fcriptures, could he be knowing, could he be zealous, could he walk according to the law in the letter blameless in that state? See Phil. iii. 4, 5, 6.
Query 8. What commandment was that, upon the coming whereof fin revived, and he died? Was it the law in the letter, or the law in the Spirit? He faith, the commandment which was to life, he found to be unto death. What is the commandment which is to life? Is it not the word nigh in the mouth and heart? See Deut. xxxix.
Query 9. How came fin to take occafion by the commandment (which comes forth holily, and as juft and good from God), to deceive and flay him? What was it which it deceived and flew? Was it not that part which thought it could obey and ferve God, if his will was made manifeft; which now, when the law indeed came, found it could not? Nor can any man
obey the holy law of life, till this nature, wisdom and fpirit, be in fome measure flain in him.
Query 10. Doth then the holy law of God, which God ordains and fends unto life, minifter death to the foul? Or doth fin (being provoked and ftirred up to put forth its ftrength to fave its life, and retain its dominion in the heart, take occafion by the commandment to work death, and fhew the exceeding evil and finfulness of its nature?
Query 1. Is not the law fpiritual? Can fin gain any ftrength or advantage by that which is fpiritual? Surely, nay; but it taketh occafion then to tyrannize over and captivate me (who am carnal and fold under it), till the power of the Lord make a change in my ftate, working me from under the dominion of it.
Query 12. How is it with the foul in the state of captivity, when fin is revived by the law, the foul dead as to its former life and ftrength, and not yet come under the dominion and power of grace? Doth it not do what it allows not, and not do the good it would? Yea, doth not the enemy oftentimes even force it to do what it hates, the foul being as yet weak in the faith, whereby alone ftrength is received to refift him? Is not this ftate experienced in fome measure by every traveller? Doth not every one feel the strength of fin, and his own inability, either to will or do of bimfelf that which is good, &c. before he witness help and deliverance from the Lord?
Query 13. Doth God impute to the foul, or to fin, the effect of this captivity, and work of fin and Satan upon the heart, against the bent and earnest defires and endeavours of the foul?
Query/4. When is the foul in this state of trouble and captivity? Is it not after fome appearance and operation of God's power in the heart? Is it not after the mind is turned from fin, and defireth to be joined to the holy law of life and obey it? Is it not after God hath wrought the will in the mind to do good; fo that the confent is given to the law, and the will is prefent; but how to perform that which is good it findeth not, because faith is yet fo weak, and fin and unbelief fo ftrong in the heart?
Query 15. Is not this the time of bitter warfare, and day of terrible diftrefs in the heart, and of feeling the wickedness of the estate, because of fin; and of crying out, and longing after the falvation and deliverance of the gospel? Oh! woe is me, who shall deliver me, poor captive, faith the foul, in this ftate!
Query 16. Is not God very tender to the foul in this ftate, daily blotting out, and not imputing fin? Oh! if it were not for the exceeding mercy and tender love, and help of the Lord in this ftate, it were impoffible for any ever to come through it! But thanks be to God, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who both upholds in it, and carries through it, fo that a change comes to be witneffed, and a better ftate known by those who confent not