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Yes indeed, I am fatisfied at my very heart. Truly my heart is united to him whom I longed after, in an everlasting covenant of pure life and peace.
Well then, how came this about? will fome fay.
Why thus. The Lord opened my spirit, the Lord gave me the certain and fenfible feeling of the pure feed, which had been with me from the beginning; the Lord caufed his holy power to fall upon me, and gave me fuch an inward demonstration and feeling of the feed of life, that I cried out in my fpirit, This is be, this is he; there is not another, there never was another. He was always near me, though I knew him not (not fo fenfibly, not fo diftinctly, as now he was revealed in me and to me by the Father); Ob! that I might now be joined to him, and be alone might live in me. And fo in the willingness, which God had wrought in me (in this day of his power to my foul), I gave up to be inftructed, exercifed, and led by him, in the waiting for and feeling of his holy feed, that all might be wrought out of me which could not live with the feed, but would be hindering the dwelling and reigning of the feed in me, while it remained and had power. And fo I have gone through a fore travail, and fight of afflictions and temptations, of many kinds; wherein the Lord hath been merciful to me in helping me, and preferving the fpark of life in me, in the midft of many things which had befallen me, whofe nature tended to quench and extinguish it.
Now thus having met with the true way, and walked with the Lord therein, wherein daily certainty, yea and full affurance of faith and of understanding is at length obtained; I cannot be filent (true love and pure life ftirring in me and moving me), but am neceffitated to teftify of it to others; and this is it, To retire inwardly, and wait to feel fomewhat of the Lord, fomewhat of his Holy Spirit and power, difcovering and drawing from that which is contrary to him, and into his holy nature and heavenly image. And then, as the mind is joined to this, fomewhat is received, fome true life, fome true light, fome true difcerning; which the creature not exceeding (but abiding in the measure of) is fafe, but it is eafy erring from this, but hard abiding with it, and not going before its leadings. But he that feels life, and begins in life, doth he not begin fafely? And he that waits, and fears, and goes on no further than his captain goes before him, doth he not proceed fafely? Yea very fafely, even till he cometh to be fo fettled and established in the virtue, demonftration and power of truth, as nothing can prevail to shake him. Now, bleffed be the Lord, there are many at this day, who can truly and faithfully witness, that they have been brought by the Lord to this ftate. And thus have we learned of the Lord; to wit, not by the high, ftriving, aspiring mind; but by lying low, and being contented with a little. If
but a crumb of bread (yet if bread) if but a drop of water (yet if water) we have been contented with it, and alfo thankful to the Lord for it; nor by thoughtfulness, and wife fearching and deep confidering with our own wisdom and reafon have we obtained it; but in the ftill, meek, and humble waiting, have we found that brought into the death, which is not to know the mysteries of God's kingdom, and that which is to live, made alive and increase in life.
Therefore he that would truly know the Lord, let him take heed of his own reason and understanding. I tried this way very far; for I confidered most seriously and uprightly; I prayed, I read the fcriptures, I earnestly defired to understand and find out whether that, which this people, called QuaKERS, testified of, was the only way and truth of God (as they feemed to me but to pretend); but for all this prejudices multiplied upon me, and ftrong reafonings against them, which appeared to me as unanswerable. But when the Lord revealed his feed in me, and touched my heart therewith, which administered true life and virtue to me, I prefently felt them there the children of the Moft High, and fo grown up in his life, power, and holy dominion (as the inward eye, being opened by the Lord, fees) as drew forth from me great reverence of heart, and praises to the Lord, who had fo appeared among men in these latter days. And as God draweth, in any refpect, oh! give up in faithfulness to him! Despise the shame, take up the cross; for indeed it is a way which is very cross to man, and which his wisdom will exceedingly be ashamed of; but that must be denied and turned from, and the fecret fenfible drawings of God's Spirit waited for and given up to. Mind, people: He that will come into the new covenant, must come into the obedience of it. The light of life, which God hath hid in the heart, is the covenant; and from this covenant God doth not give knowledge to fatisfy the vaft, afpiring, comprehending wisdom of man; but living knowledge, to feed that which is quickened by him; which knowledge is given in the obedience, and is very fweet and precious to the state of him that knows how to feed upon it. Yea truly, this is of a very excellent, pure, precious nature, and a little of it weighs down that great vaft knowledge in the comprehending part, which the man's fpirit and nature fo much prizeth and preffeth after. And truly, friends, I witnefs at this day a great difference between the fweetness of comprehending the knowledge of things, as expreffed in the fcriptures (this I fed much on formerly), and tafting the hidden life, the hidden Manna in the heart (which is my food now, bleffed for ever be the Lord my God and Saviour). Oh! that others had a true, certain, and fenfible taste of the life, virtue, and goodness of the Lord, as it is revealed there! Surely, it could not but kindle the true hunger, and inflame the true thirft; which can never be satisfied but by the true bread, and by water from the living
fountain. This the Lord (in the tenderness of his love, and in the riches of his grace and mercy) hath brought us to; and this we earnestly and uprightly defire and endeavour, that others may be brought to alfo; that they may rightly (in the true filence of the flesh, and in the pure ftillness of fpirit) wait for, and in the Lord's due time receive, that which anfwers the defire of the awakened mind and foul, and satisfies it with the true pre cious fubftance for evermore, Amen.
Proposed to the Confideration of the
Concerning the Right Ground of || Concerning Washing away Sin from Certainty therein. the Confcience; and the Garment of Salvation, and what it is that is covered therewith.
Concerning Tenderness of Spirit, and Perfecution.
A QUERY concerning Separation.
Some QUESTIONS and ANSWERS concerning the Church of the New Covenant, the Rock or Foundation whereon it is Built, and its Preservation by and upon the Rock.
Some QUERIES concerning the fcattered and hidden Eftate of the Church; and concerning that Church which got up in the View of the Word, instead thereof; and was acknowledged by the World, as if the had been the True Church; though in Deed and Truth she was not fo.
Whereunto are added,
Some QUERIES to PROFESSORS who fpeak of High
Written by One, whom it hath pleased the LORD (of his great Goodness, and tender Mercy) to lead out of the Darkness, into his marvellous Light; known among Men by the Name of
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HAVE heard that ye are seeking after the excellency of nature and learning. I am not for difcouraging any man, in endeavouring after that which is good, ufeful, and excellent in its kind and place; but it is the advantage of every thing, to know and abide in its place; and to honour and serve him, from whom all good gifts and endowments come. Man hath but a moment in this world, and he is here no more; and then the spirit returneth to God that gave it, to give an account of the talent which he gave it, and its improvement thereof, to the glory of him that gave it, and to the falvation of its own foul. Now, this talent is of an higher kind than nature, and will lead higher than nature; giving a man to partake of that wisdom from which nature came; and teaching him to order all that is natural to its right end. For God is not an enemy to nature, but to the corruption and diforder of nature. I defire ye might know and partake of the true wisdom, and feel union with God in the principle of his own life; and the incorruptible and heavenly feed of God receive dominion over the earthly and corruptible. For this end fingly, in the love springing up in my heart towards you (as it often doth, both towards particular perfons and focieties; for I am a friend to all, and a lover of all; fincerely defiring the good of all, and the right guidance of their fouls to happiness), have I propofed these things following more particularly to your view, though they concern others alfo, that ye thereby might be awakened to fearch after that which is moft excellent in you, and be acquainted with the virtue and precious effects thereof, to the full fatisfaction and compleat joy of your fouls, in that which alone is able fully to fatisfy, and give them ground of durable joy and rejoicing, in that which is not of a perishing nature; but which was, and is, and will be the fame for
From a friend to the everlasting peace of your fouls, and a defirer of