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to fin; but continue in taking part with the good, holy, and spiritual law of life against it.
From CHAP. viii. Query 1. What is that state wherein there is no condemnation? Is not that the state of the redeemed souls in Chrift? Doth not condemnation follow, where there is sin and disobedience? See Heb. ii. 1, &c. Doth not God condemn (in, and the foul because of fin, till it be driven from sin by the law unto Chrift, and learn of him to walk as he walked, even not after the flesh, but after the Spirit ? For to the Spirit, to the Seed, to the heavenly man, there is no condemnation; nor to them that walk after the Spirit.
Query 2. How come any to walk after the Spirit ? Can any walk after the Spirit, but as they are made free, by the power of Christ revealed in their hearts againft the power of Satan, from the law of fin and death? Will not sin and death captivate a man, and entangle him in lufts, evil motions and works, till their strength be broken in him, and his soul delivered and fet free therefrom?
Query 3. How doth the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus make free from the law of fin and death? Is it not thus? Did not God condemn sin in Christ's Besh ? and doth not the same Spirit and law of life condemn it in ours also, and bring the judgment and justice of the holy law of life over it? And so bringing the soul off from that which is unholy, unto the holy and righteous Spirit and nature of Christ; and bringing it to walk out of the deadness of sin, in the newness of life; it is removed from thence where the condemnation is, thither where the condemnation cannot come, for in Chrift, in the new nature, in the heavenly image, in the newness of the Spirit, there never was, nor ever can be, any condemnation.
Query 4. Would God have the righteousness of the law fulfilled in his children ? Would he have them walk exactly with him in the new covenant, which both comprehends and exceeds the righteousness of the old covenant? Consider whether Christ fulfilling the old covenant be their righteousness, or his fulfilling the new in them and for them: for he both doth away their unrighteousness, and also brings in the righteousness into them, which is of his own pure, heavenly and everlasting nature. Is not he the image of God? Is not he righteousness? And when he is in them, and they changed into his nature and Spirit, is not he their righteousness ? Oh! wait to determine this thing, all that desire to know and partake of the righteousness of our Lord Jesus Christ, in the true and pure fense of life, and in the evidence and demonstration of God's Holy Spirit.
Query 5. Do not all men act according to the principle, whether of flesh or Spirit
, to which their minds are joined ? Do not they which are of the flesh mind, favour, approve, desire after, and delight in that which is fieshly? But they that are after the Spirit, do not chey-mind, favour, defire after,
approve, and delight in the things of the Spirit ? Therefore is not this of great concern to all to consider, not so much what their profession and appearance is outwardly, as what their root is inwardly, and what nature, spirit and growth, they and their religion are of?
Query 6. What doth it produce to have the mind exercised by the Aeth? Doth it not produce death? Is not the nature, spirit, and wisdom of the fesh separated from God's nature, who is Life ? and can it bring forth any thing in the heart but corruption and death? But the minding of the other principle, and being exercised by the other principle, that produceth life and
peace; doth it not? Let all that have inwardly experienced these things, assent and testify in spirit before the Lord to his praise.
Query 7. Is not the flesh enmity against God? Can any thing which is enmity against God, who is the quickening life, do any thing but deaden and kill where it finds entrance ? Life and peace is witnessed in subjection to God, who gives it to them that obey the law of his Spirit. Is that which is in the enmity, and stands in the enmity, subjeet (or can it be subject) to the holy law of God? Nay; there must be a new creation felt in the heart, before there can be a subjection to that which is pure and living.
Query 8. Can any men that are in the flesh, that are not truly and inwardly changed by the Spirit and power of the gospel ; I say, can they please God in any thing they do? Can they believe, or pray, or read the scriptures, or practise any thing they observe from the scriptures, so as to please God thereby ? Nay surely, without changing the principle, without having the heart changed by God's power, there is no right believing, praying, or doing any thing to please God. This makes most mens religion and performances unsavoury, because they know not, nor are turned to, and guided by, that principle and seed of life, which seasons and makes savoury.
Query 9. How may a man know whether he be in the flesh, or in the Spirit? If he be in the Spirit, doth not the Spirit dwell in him? For the Spirit createth anew, and the Spirit dwelleth in that which he new-createth. It is the strong man armed who keeps and dwells in the old house ; but the Spirit of Christ keeps and dwells in the new house : and if any man have not the Spirit of Christ (notwithstanding all his religion, knowledge, faith, prayers, &c.) he is none of his.
Query 10. If Christ, the quickening Spirit (the living power) be in a man, doth he not kill sin there? Is not the body dead there because of fin? Can sin live there, where Christ dwells ? and is not his Spirit life there, to quicken in and unto righteousness? Yea, is it possible that Christ Mould dwell in any man's heart by his Spirit, and his Spirit not be quickening the mortal body in which he dwells ? Oh! how precious is it to feel the quickening life and power! This is a daily seal of the true religion; and the daily operation of God's Spirit in the hearts of his children, shews who dwells there. VOL. II.
Query 11. To which are we debtors, who are redeemed to God by his Spirit and power? Are we debtors to the fielh, to live after the fielh, which brings into bondage to fin and death? Or are we debtors to that Spirit and power of life, which hath made us alive to God, and preserveth us in life, and quickeneth us unto life, day by day?
Query 12. Is it possible that any one (hould come to life, but by the mortifying, denying, and destroying of that which nourisheth sin, and leads into death? and what can do that buc the power of God's Spirit ?
Query 13. Are not all the fons of God led by his Spirit! Oh! how neçessary,then is it for every man to be sure, both that he hath received God's Spirit, and that he be led by it?
Query 14. What is the spirit of bondage, which begetteth fear when God awakeneth the foul ? and what is the Spirit of adoption, whereby the soul can cry Abba, Father ? Can any cry Abba, Father, but thote that are begotten of God's Spirit? Many men put up requeits, and are able to make long prayers (perhaps such as may be taking to the eye of man's wisdom), and yet know not that Spirit which begetteth life in the heart, and teacheth to cry Abba, Fatber.
Query 15. Is it not a precious thing for people truly to feel the Spirit of God bearing witness, with their spirits, that they are God's children; heirs of God, and co-heirs with Christ ; and fo leading them through the sufferings, that they may come to partake with him of his glory? But do any come to partake of his glory, who do not first come through the sufferings ?
XXVIII. A further Testimony in brief concerning the Work of GOD upon
our Hearts, who are called QUAKERS.
T hath been with us, and so we have felt it from the Lord, just as is ex
pressed, Tit. ii. 5. Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost.
We are a .people who have been greatly distressed (many of us) for want of that life and power which was revealed in the apostles days. We are a race of travellers, who have been travelling out of the nature, wisdom, fpirit, and course of this world (which is vain and passeth away) towards our refting-place. We have wandered from mountain to hill, from one way of religion to another, seeking after him whom our souls dearly loved. Indeed the watchmen have often laughed at us and mocked us, wishing us to return to them ; but that would not still the cry of our fouls, which were fick with earnest desire, not after formal ways of religion, but after life and immortality, that it might be again brought to light (as it had been in the apostles days), and our souls made partakers thereof. Now, after many a weary step and deep fickness of heart, when we were come even near to despair of ever finding and enjoying what our fouls fo forely longed after, it pleased the Lord at length in his tender mercy to appear among us, and by the directions of his Holy Spirit to turn our minds inwards ; shewing us, that that which we fought without, was to be found within : telling us, that there was the kingdom, which was not to be found by observations without, but by meeting with, and subjecting to, the light and power of life within. And when we were sollicitous how to know it from the darkness and deceit within, this answer was given us from the Lord; its nature will discover itself; it will turn against all darkness and deceit in the heart; it will find out and reprove whatever is reproveable, and furnish the soul with strength against it. Oh! blessed found from the Lord God of Life, who thus drew our hearts to wait upon him; and shewed us how to wait, and what to wait for, and where we might meet with that which our hearts so exceedingly desired and panted after ! And truly as our minds were thus turned inwards, the holy light did shine upon us from the Sun of righteousness, and the pure life and nature from the Son of God did spring up in us; and we felt the power of God revealed in our hearts, and the old image of fin and unrighteousness daily defacing, and our souls creating anew (in Christ Jesus) into the holy and heavenly image. So that here we felt the mercy of God, which saved his people in all ages, reaching to us also; and his Spirit regenerating, renewing, and washing us, with the water and blood which cleanseth :' and as we were regenerated and renewed more and more, so we were still washed more and more, and came more into fellowship with Christ in his death; and were also raised up by him more and more into his life, and taught to set our affections more on things above, and lets on things below; which are of an ensnaring and entangling nature, in which the minds of the sons of men are held captive, until they meet with that royal, excellent, noble Spirit and power, which breaks the chains and fetters of darkness, and redeems out of them. And now we can testify (in true, sense, and in the evidence and demonstration of God's Spirit) that not by working, willing, or running of ourselves; not by any works of righteousness, which we had done or could do; but by the tender
many L11 2
of God visiting, and by the operation of his Holy Spirit upon us (in and through regenerating, renewing, and washing us from that which defiled and stained our souls, and made them guilty in his fight, and liable to his wrath), were we saved from the wrath to come, and from the ways of transgrefsion wherein we walked, before our God thus visited us.
Now it is the sincere defire of our fouls, that this tender mercy of God might take effect on others alfo ; and that they might likewise be lighted by him to the place where wisdom teacheth her children, and where the true redemption of the foul is witnessed, and the true knowledge of the Father and of Christ (which is life eternal), given and received ; that people might not be hardened to destruction, and deceived of their souls, by a foolish and
vam religion, wherein is not the substance and kernel (which alone can nourish up to life eternal), but only fome shew and appearance thereof, which cannot really satisfy that which is indeed begotten and born of God's Spirit.
XXIX. A brief Account of the Ground of our Worship, and how it comerb
to pass that we cannot conform to the Spirit of this World, or to the Wills of Men therein, but only to the Spirit and Will of our God.
E fear God, who made heaven and earth, whose power is over all,
who hath caused the light of his Holy Spirit to shine in our hearts, thereby teaching us how to worship him acceptably in Spirit and truth; which worship he hath required of us, that we meet together so to do in those assemblies, which he hath gathered by his power, and ordereth by his Spirit, either in silence or sound of words, according to his pleasure.
And God, who hath appointed us thus to worship him, hath power over our bodies and souls, and can destroy and cast both into hell, if we should deny the truth and way of worship which he hath taught us. Yea, if we should deny this way of worship, we should deny Christ, and be denied by him before his Father in heaven. For he himself hath said, that neither at the mountain of Samaria, nor at Jerufalem, should men worship; but they that worship the Father, must worship him in Spirit and in Truth. Now men cannot worship in Spirit and in Truth as they please, or in the ways of their own inventing and setting up; but he that worshippeth in Spirit and Truth must first be made fpiritual; and then must wait in silence of the flesh for God's Spirit to quicken him unto fpiritual worship. For they that worship otherwise than thus, worship at best but after the oldness of the letter, and not in the newness of the Spirit, which is the only worship God seeketh, and requireth, under the New Testament.
Besides, we have found God's presence with us, and blessing upon us, in this
way of worship; and our hearts greatly melted and warmed therein, and power given us over our passions and corruptions inwardly, and to order our lives and conversations holily, righteously, and innocently outwardly: which presence of God, and holy power over fin and vanity, affections and lufts, we would not lose for ten thousand worlds. And what an unjust and unthankful thing were it in us to turn from this way of worship which God hath called us to, where we have met with these things, to that way of worship where we did not meet with these things, and where others do not, nor can, meet with them? For these things are only to be met with in that way of worship which God hath appointed and blessed, and not in that way of worship which man hath invented and set up, which every profane and wicked person can cry up and enjoy his lusts under; but they that are otherwise taught of God can by no means submit to, without grievously linning against him.