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his ftirrings and movings, and taught of God to diftinguish them from the evil fpirit, its stirrings and movings; and fo doth not quench the Spirit of God, nor grieve it when it moves; nor give way to the other fpirit, when it moves and allures.
Now the fpirit of deceit allures and guides men not fo much by outward rules, as by an inward evil nature, and by the law of fin and death. Sp the Spirit of truth leads into truth, by the newness and power of its own life revealed in the heart, by the pure inftinct of life within, and by the law of God written in the nature of the new creature, which is nearer than words without. For God blots out of the hearts of his what Satan had written there, and writes by the finger of his Spirit what he would have the newbirth read there; and indeed there is a kingdom of life, of righteousness, of · true peace, and joy (yea, of the holy power and wisdom of the Moft High), for his children (which are born of his Spirit, and fpring up of the immortal feed) to read.
Oh! why should mens eyes be closed, and their hearts hardened against the truth! Why should they cry up Chrift in words, and cry out against his life and power where it is revealed! Is this to kifs the Son? Can fuch chufe (who are guilty of this) but perish in the way of their fouls travels? And how many muft needs perifh in their refifting the power of truth, and precious teftimony of God's Holy Spirit (in this our day) tending to their rescue and falvation from that which captivates and destroys?
Chrift came to deftroy fin, he having received power from his Father fo to do. He knoweth it to be of a destroying nature, and that it will deftroy the foul, where it is not by the power of life confumed and destroyed in the foul. Oh! moft precious to us is that vifitation of truth, light, life, and power, which fearcheth out and discovereth fin to the very root, and alfo deftroys it! Oh! glorious is that axe of the Lord Jefus Chrift which is laid to the root of the corrupt tree, and is daily hewing at and cutting it down, that it might cumber the ground no more; but that the heart might become good earth, fanctified earth, circumcifed by the Lord to bring forth good fruit, good grapes, a good increase of the good feed of life to the good husbandian, who is worthy to reap, even in this world, the grace and mercy, love and goodnefs, wifdom and power, &c. which he plentifully foweth in the fpirits of his daily. Glory to his name over all for ever, who hath exalted, exalteth, and will exalt, that which the feveral forts of high profeffors, in their wisdom, trample upon and despise.
Concerning the perfecting of God's Work in the Heart.
S it not the will of God that his people and children should be fanctiñed throughout, in foul, in body, in fpirit?
Is it not the will of Chrift that his difciples fhould be perfect, as their heavenly Father is perfect?
Did he not bid them pray, Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven? And would he never have them believe and expect that it fhould be done in earth, as it is in heaven?
Doth not he who hath the true, pure, living hope (which anchors within the veil) purify himself, even as He is pure?
Is not this the way to enjoy the promises of God's holy prefence (who tabernacleth in his people that are cleansed and fanctified) to cleanse ourselves from all filthinefs of flesh and fpirit, perfecting holiness in God's fear? Will God dwell in an unholy temple? Will he dwell where fin dwells? He may indeed to fuch, when at any time they are tender, and truly melted before him, be to them as a wayfaring man that tarries for a night; but he will not take up his abode there, walk there, fup there, and give them to sup
Hath not Chrift received all power both in heaven and earth from his Father? Is not this the end of receiving his power, to bring down the foul's enemies, and to purify and fanctify his church, that it may be without fpot, or wrinkle, or any fuch thing? Is he not the captain of our falvation, anointed to fight the battles of the Lord? Where is the fight? Where is the ftrong man to be found, caft out, his goods fpoiled, and the house emptied of him, and all that belongs to him? Is not Chrift the author of faith, the finisher of faith; and doth not he carry on the work of faith with power? And what is the work of faith? Is it not to fight with, and overcome, fin; to be too hard for the enemy at all his weapons? Is there not a whole armour of light, life, and falvation prepared? What is it prepared for? Is it not that the children of light fhould be wholly armed with it? Were there never any wholly armed with it; or can the enemy prevail on thofe that are wholly armed with it? Are thofe that are armed with it afraid of the enemy, his power, his fnares, his wiles? Or are they bold in the faith, following on, in the fpiritual battles, him who rideth before them, conquering, and to conquer?
Oh! that mens eyes were opened by the Lord! then might they see the glory of truth, in the pure light which shines from God's holy mountain; and fuch dark doctrines of the night (which tend to the difhonour of Chrift, his power, and love, and to the upholding of the enemy's kingdom) would pafs away, and prevail no more in the hearts of any that truly fear the
Lord; but they would quietly wait and hope for his falvation, that by the law of the Spirit of life in Chrift Jefus, they might be made free from the law of fin and death, and not always be fubject thereto! For all whom the Son maketh free, they are free indeed; and being made free by him, may ferve God in freedom of Spirit, without fear, in holinefs and righteousness before him, all the days of their lives. And then they know the power and virtue of the new covenant, and the defence which is thereby, where the wing of the Almighty overfhadows, and his falvation (revealed therein) is experienced for a fufficient wall and bulwark against the enemy.
Concerning the true Christ, how it may be certainly and infallibly known which is be.
HILE people were in expectation and mufed in their hearts concerning John, whether he were the Chrift or no, John answers the cafe, and tells them how they might difcern and know the true Christ. It is not he that baptizeth with water, but he that baptizeth with the Holy Ghoft and with fire. He whose fan is in his hand, wherewith he cometh thoroughly to purge his floor, gathering the wheat into his garner, and burning the chaff with fire unquenchable. Now he that knoweth him that doth this work, and experienceth him doing this work in him, doth he not know Chrift? Oh! is it not precious to be baptized by him whom God hath appointed to baptize? Oh! the fan, the precious fan, wherewith Chrift (who is the power and wisdom of God) separates the precious from the vile, fevers the wheat and the chaff, gathers the wheat into the precious treasury, and lets out the unquenchable fire upon the chaff! Our God is a confuming fire, faith the apostle. To what is he a confuming fire? Is it not to the chaffy, earthy, droffy nature in men and women? Why bring the chaff near to the fire, will it not burn it up? And then (as that is burnt up and consumed) that which is pure, that which is upright, that which is tender, that which is born of God, can dwell with, and delight in, the devouring fire, and everlasting burnings. For God is not terrible to the child which is born of him, to him who is brought forth in the image and Spirit of his Son; but to the tranfgreffing nature, to the feed of evil-doers, which are naturally inclined to do evil, and every day doing evil, he is terrible for evermore. Oh! blessed are they who believe in that power, and experience that power near, which raised Chrift from the dead, and are baptized with his baptifm! They have accefs to God: for fo the true Jews have been inwardly cleansed and kept clean; but the unclean, who have only a notion of Chrift's blood, and of his righteoufnefs, but are not washed thereby, nor cloathed therewith, nor ever knew what it was to put off the filthy garment, and to put on the white raiment, they may pray in their own wills and fpirits; but they know not what it is. to draw nigh. to God in the Spirit and life of his
Son, and fo are yet to learn what it is to pray to the Father in the name of Chrift. For none truly know Chrift, but they who truly know and are led by his infallible Spirit. They that have not the Spirit of Chrift are none of his and they that have his Spirit, have that which is infallible. It is one thing to have words fpoken concerning Chrift, or formerly by Chrift; another thing to have the infallible Spirit itself; to be infallibly born of the Spirit, and brought up in the light and life of the Spirit, that he may certainly know the Shepherd's voice from the voice of every ftrange spirit.
Some QUERIES to fuch as affirm the Scriptures to be the only Rule, and deny the Spirit, the Seed of the Kingdom, the new Covenant, the boly Leaven of Life, the Law written in the Heart, to be the Rule of the Children of the new Covenant.
Query 1. OW are the fcriptures the rule; or which of the fcriptures are the rule? Are the whole fcriptures the rule, from the beginning of Genefis to the Revelations? Or are fome parts of them the rule, fome others not? If fome parts of them be the rule, and fome not, which parts are the rule, and which are not the rule? As to inftance, in the book of Job; his friends fpake many words concerning God, which were not fo right as Job's, Job xlii. And alfo Job himself, in fome of his words and speeches, darkened counsel by words without knowledge, as he himself confeffed, Job xlii. 3. Now which of Job's friends words are the rule, and which not; and which of Job's words are the rule, and which not?
Query 2. Mofes was the minifter of the old covenant (for he ministered to the Jews the old covenant, which was glorious in its day); but he was not the minifter of the new covenant. Now the new covenant, and ministration thereof, exceeds the old in glory. The writing of the law inwardly in the tables of the heart, is a more glorious miniftration than the writing of it outwardly in tables of ftone. Now were Mofes's words to the Jews under the old covenant intended by God to be the rule of the children of light under the new covenant? Shall the words of that miniftration, which was to país away, be the rule of the children of that miniftration which is to abide for ever?
Query 3. Did Mofes fay, That when Chrift came, my words which I fpeak or write fhall be your rule, or part of your rule? Or did he not rather fay, When God raiseth up that prophet, him fhall ye bear in all things? Is there any one that is truly a fheep, who is not fo made by him who gives life to the foul? And after he is made alive, and knows the fhepherd's voice, is he not to hear his voice for ever, who gives life eternal, and who leads into the paftures of life, and to the pure ftill waters, all that hear his voice and follow him? Read John xiv. 3, 4. and Als iii. 22. and confider.
Query 4. Was not John as great, if not greater than Mofes? Had ever any the honour befides him to be the immediate forerunner and preparer of the way, and to point to the Lamb of God as he did? And yet was not he to decrease in his miniftry (it being not the gospel miniftration of the Spirit and power, as Chrift's was) and Chrift to increase in his gospel-ministration? Is not the leaft in the kingdom greater than John? And are not all that are quickened by Chrift, and follow him, led by him into the kingdom? And who can give the rule of life in the kingdom but the king thereof? In the last days doth not the Lord speak to his people by his Son? And is not he faithful in all his houfe, as a fon, to give the law and rule of life to them in Chrift?
Query 5. Are not all that are foldiers and fubjects under Chrift to follow him, their Lord and Captain, whitherfoever he goes or rules? How can they know whither he goes or rules, but by an inward eye and ear fixed upon, and open to him? So that when once they know his Spirit (the voice of his Spirit, as his true fheep do), his movings, his drawings, his leadings, his going before, is their rule to follow. And they are not to grieve or quench his Spirit, in drawing back from any thing that he leads and draws
Query 6. Is not Chrift the way, the truth, the life; the living way, the living truth? Is not the living way the rule to them that live? Is not the truth itself the rule of all that are true? What should rule and guide the fpiritual man, that is born of the Spirit, but the wifdom of the Spirit, but the oracle of God manifefted in his temple and fanctuary? That which is born of the Spirit, is Spirit, in which the Spirit is to dwell; and he in whom he dwells is to be ruled by him.
Query 7. What is that which the apoftle calls the rule, Gal. vi. 15, 16. which if a man walk according to, peace will be upon him? Is it not the Word, power and wifdom of God? Doth not he that walketh according to that, walk in the newness of the Spirit? Doth not he that walke:h out of that, walk in the oldness of the letter at the beft? Doth not he that believeth according to that, hopeth according to that, prayeth according to that; I fay, doth not he believe, hope, and pray according to the rule? Doth not he that believeth, hopeth, prayeth otherwife (though ever fo zealously and affectionately), yet, at beft, can any better be faid of it, but that it is but in the oldness of the letter, and fo is not in the right way which God requires in the gospel-covenant?
Query 8. Is not the law of the Spirit of life in Chrift Jefus the law of the new covenant? And is not that the rule to the children of the new covenant? Is not the truth which makes free, the way and rule to them who are made free by it? Is the letter or Spirit the rule under the miniftration of the Spirit? Let that which is fenfible, and which feels and knows the truth and way of life (as it is in Jeflus) anfwer. Men may fearch the fcrip