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man, which is created and formed in man? And then God owneth fuch to be his people, Ifa. li. 16.
No man can do that which is righteous, but he that first partakes of God's righteous nature and Spirit. The tree muft first be good, before the fruit can be fo. A man must first be renewed and made righteous, before he can bring forth righteousness. So that he that doth bring forth righteoufnefs, without doubt he is inwardly renewed, without doubt he is inwardly righteous. Did the Gentiles do by nature the things contained in the law? Then, without doubt, they were partakers of another nature than the old corrupt nature, which is not fubject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. Little children, let no man deceive you; be that doth righteousness, is righteous, even as he is righteous, 1 John. iii. 7. This is the true and weighty judgment of God's Spirit; and he that judgeth otherwife is deceived, and erreth in this particular; and fheweth that he doth not yet know God's righteoufnefs, and Chrift's righteoufnefs, which is one and the fame. For, If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him, 1 John ii. 29. Mark; the new birth precedes the doing of righteousness; and the doing of righteousness is a certain evidence of the new birth. He that doth righteousness is born of God; this fruit can arise from no other but the pure, living, heavenly root.
Of the Grace of the Gospel.
HE prophets of old prophefied of the fufferings of Chrift, and the glory that fhould follow, 1 Pet. i. 10, 11. Now what was the glory which should follow? Was it not the fetting up Chrift's inward and invifible kingdom in the hearts of men? Was it not God's abundant pouring out his Spirit, and filling veffels therewith; fo that the Spirit of grace and of glory fhould reft upon believers, as it had done upon Chrift? Was it not God's tabernacling in men, and becoming their God, and making them his people? Was it not the fulfilling the precious promises concerning the gofpel-itate, whereby men fhould be made partakers of the divine nature (of the heavenly image), and be changed from glory to glory, by the renewing Spirit and power? Was it not to have fellowship with Chrift, not only in his fufferings and death, but also in his refurrection and kingdom; where the bread and wine of the kingdom is eaten and drank, and the feast of fat things partaken of? Is it not a glorious ftate to be tranflated out of the kingdom of darkness, into the kingdom of the dear Son? And to dwell with Chrift in the kingdom; and fup there with him, and he with them? To have fellowship (pure fellowship, living fellowship) with the Father and the Son, that the bleffedness and joy of the foul in the gofpel-state may be full?
The law was a miniftration of fhadows; for under it were the various and many fhadows of the good things to come, which were to be poffeffed and enjoyed in the days of the gofpel. In the law there was an outward people (the Jews outward), an outward covenant, an outward land of bleffings, plenty and reft; an outward Sion, outward Jerufalem, outward temple, outward ark, outward table, outward laver, outward candlesticks, outward lamps, outward oil, outward anointing, outward circumcifion and facrifices, outward new moons and fabbaths, outward kings, outward priefts, and outward victories over outward enemies, &c.
But now, in the gospel, there is the fubftance of these things inwardly revealed, and inwardly poffeffed and enjoyed; even the Jew inward (the new man of the heart) an inward covenant of life and peace, an inward land of blessedness, of rest; an inward fabbath or day of gospel-reft (which the true believer keepeth in the faith, not bearing any burden, kindling any fire, nor doing any work of the flesh therein); an inward Sion, an inward Jerufalem or holy city; an inward temple (in which is the Holy of Ho- lies), an inward ark, in which the law of life is treasured up; inward table, inward laver, inward candlestick, inward lamp, inward oil, inward anointing, inward circumcifion and facrifices, and folemn feafons; the inward King of Glory, inward prophet and priest known, even Chrift within, who giveth victories and dominion over the inward enemies, and giveth his to partake of his kingdom and priesthood, Rev. i. 6. Yea, and (by his Spirit poured out upon them) maketh his feers and prophets alfo, as it is written, I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your fons and your daughters Shall prophefy.
Now, was not this fulfilled after the fufferings of Chrift in the flesh? And is it not daily more and more fulfilled, as the fufferings of Chrift, which are yet behind, are filled up in his body the church? Did not the glory. then fucceed? Was not the gofpel-fpirit and power then revealed and bestowed? And did it not bring into the gofpel-ftate? Were not the precious promises fulfilled therein? 2 Peter i. 5, 6. Are they not all yea and amen in Chrift? Is not the veil or covering taken away in him? Is not the glory revealed in him? Is not the Lord one, and his name one in him? Is there not glory then in the higheft, on earth peace, and good-will among men, as well as good-will in God towards men? Where is then the enmity and wars; the lufts and fightings? Where is the envy of Judah or Ephraim, or the vexing one another here? Are not thefe things drowned in the love and in the peace, in the life and in the power which is revealed in the gospelstate, and fprings up in the gofpel-fpirit? They know not what fpirit they are of, who would have fire come down from heaven upon the difobedient and gainfayers. To be fure, they are not of the gospel-fpirit, not of Chrift's Spirit, who came not to destroy mens lives, but to feek and fave that which was loft, and to overcome by the overflowings of his love and tender vifits X X X
of his life. And how do his children make war in this day? Is it not with innocency, with meeknefs, with patience, with bowels of love, with longfuffering, with truth, with righteoufnefs, like the followers of the Lamb, like the children of him who abounds therein? Indeed there is a word given, there is a threshing inftrument, there are darts and arrows to be fhot into the hearts of the King's enemies, Pfa. xlv. 3, 4, 5. But it is not to deftroy the creature, but rather to fmite and wound that fpirit which captivates it, that the creature may witnefs deliverance and freedom therefrom: though it is true, that they who join with that fpirit, muft partake of its judgments and plagues, even to destruction, if they fo continue.
Now this glory is wrapped up in the grace which is miniftered by the gofpel; and where grace is fown, the glory is fown (there is a true feed of the glory); and where grace abounds, the glory abounds. It was faid concerning the first gathering of Chriftians by the apostles, that great grace was upon them all, Acts iv. 33. and indeed, it was a precious and glorious ftate, which they were gathered into and brought forth in. Now the grace is revealed again, the grace is poured forth again, the grace hath appeared, teaching and bringing falvation again; doth it not behove every one to know it and partake of it? Not to be content with words concerning the grace, but to know the grace itself, receiving it from the hand of him that giveth it, and hearing the voice, reproofs, and inftructions of it? Hear, and your fouls fhall live. Whom should they hear? Are they not to hear Chrift, the great prophet? How fhall they hear Chrift? Is there any other way, than by hearing his grace teaching them? Than by hearkening to the measure of the gift of grace, which is by Jefus Chrift? The law was given by Mofes (all his people, all his children, all his family were to come under the law, to be governed by the law). Grace and truth comes by Jefus Chrift (all his children, all his people, all his family are to come under the grace, to be governed by the grace), who is faithful in all his house, difpenfing of his grace and truth to all his, as Mofes did of the law (committed to him) to all under him. So then, all that defire to be truly Chriftians, let them wait to know what the grace and truth which Chrift giveth is, and to partake of it and come under it; under its teachings, under its influences, under its protection, under its government (by being fubject to it; and in every thing guided by it) that they may know what that scripture means, in the true and weighty experience: Sin fhall not bave dominion over you, for ye are not under the law, but under grace, Rom. vi. 14.
A Question answered concerning real Holiness.
RE not perfons to be really holy (really fanctified in Chrift Jefus) who would be received by the Lord, and enjoy fellowship with him as fons and daughters, in the gospel of his Son?.
Anfw. Under the law, that people of the Jews were to be separated from the Heathen, to be outwardly circumcifed and cleanfed by the water and blood of purifying (which fanctified to the purifying of the flesh), and not to touch any dead or unclean thing; for any fuch thing polluted them, and those that were unclean must be kept without the camp, as unfit for the holy communion with God and his people, till cleansed.
Now what did this fignify? Did it not fignify that pure and clean ftate inwardly, which God requireth under the gospel? Did it not fignify the inward circumcifion of the heart and spirit before the Lord, and the cleanfing of the foul, mind, and body, before its appearing to worship in the inward and spiritual temple? Heb. x. 22. Is there not a Jerufalem under the gofpel, into which no uncircumcifed or unclean thing is to enter, or appear before God there? Mark what the apoftle faith, Heb. xii. Ye are not come to the Mount that might be touched, to outward Mount Sinai, or Sion, to the appearance of God there; but ye are come to the inward Sion, and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerufalem, and to fellowship with God and Christ there, ver. 18.-22.
Now what is the way to this holy fellowship and heavenly communion? Doth not God himself prescribe it? 2 Cor. vi. 16, 17. Wherefore come out from among them, and be separated, faith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing, and I will receive you; I will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my fons and daughters, faith the Lord Almighty. For God would have a people reprefentatively holy in the time of the law (yet not deftitute of inward holinefs), and he will have a people really holy in the time of the gofpel. He that defileth the temple of God, him will God destroy: but keep the temple pure, holy, and then the Holy God will dwell and appear there, according to his promife; I will dwell in them, and walk in them. And this is eternally true, and witneffed by certain experience among them that know the Lord that if any thing that is unclean be touched, there is a defilement thereby, and there must be a cleanfing felt, before an admittance into the prefence of the Holy God, and enjoying fellowship with him again.
Concerning the Law of Sin in the Fleshly Mind, and the Law of Life and Holiness in the Renewed Mind; and whence each have their Strength.
HAT is the law of fin? Who writes it in the mind? And what is it when it is writ? When luft hath conceived, it bringeth forth fin: and fin when it is finished, bringeth forth death, James i. 15. So that the first beginning of fin is evil luft; and the whole corruption that is in the world, is through luft, 2 Peter i. 4. Now whence cometh that luft? Is it not begotten in the mind and fpirit by the tempter? And what is the law, both of the lufting, and of the fins committed through the luft? Is it not the luftful nature, the luftful will, the luftful wifdom, the luftful defires and paffions, which the God of this world begetteth in the worldly part? So on the other hand, there is an holy law in the holy and renewed mind. Whence cometh that law? Doth it not come from God? Doth it not come from the Holy One? Is it not he that blots out Satan's law, and then writes his own law in the hearts of his? Now, what is his law? Is it not of a contrary nature to Satan's law? What God writeth in the hearts of his, teaching them holinefs, requiring holiness, enlightening the mind unto holinefs; manifefting the good, perfect, and acceptable will, is not that his law? Under the old covenant the law was at a distance, writ in tables of ftone; but under the new covenant the law is nigh, written in the heart by the Spirit and power of the Lord Jefus Chrift. For he is King, the inward King, the fpiritual King of his people, who cometh to reform, and amend by his covenant, what was amifs under the former. Now, because he found under the old covenant, that laws outwardly written would never bring men into, and keep men in, fubjection to his Father; therefore he writeth inwardly by his Spirit and power, and vifiteth with the inward eternal day, even the day of his power; and fo maketh his people willing to receive the law of his Spirit of life, which maketh free from the law of fin and death. For this law being inward and fpiritual, and more powerful than the other, overcomes the other law, even the law of fin and death (though it be inward and fpiritual, and inwardly written alfo), and fetteth free from it; Rom. vi. 18. and viii. 2.
Now these laws have each their ftrength from him that writes them. The law of fin and death hath its ftrength from the god of this world, the prince of darkness, who ruleth in all that are difobedient to the Spirit and power of Chrift. The law of holiness, the law of life, the law of faith in the power, the law of obedience to God's Holy Spirit, hath its ftrength from the Holy One, from the prince of life and peace; for Satan is near his fubjects, and dwells in them, to act them, and to make his laws of