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Dispensation of the GOSPEL,
Dispensation of the SON in SPIRIT,
WHICH IS THE
Mystery of GOD, the Mystery of the
Work of Redemption, is finished in the Heart, all created anew inwardly, all subdued that is contrary to God, the Soul brought into, or translated into, the Everlasting Kingdom, and the Kingdom at length delivered up to the Father, and God becomes All in All; where all Names cease, and the Pure Eternal Being is known, united to, and lived in, after an unutterable Manner.
O know the Father (even the God and Father of our Lord Jesus
dom, power, holiness, righteousness, and all spiritual and heavenly blessings :
To know the Son as the way to the Father, as the way to life, peace, and blefledness in the Father :
To know the Son's Spirit, and the Father's also, whereby the Father draws to the Son, and the Son brings to the Father; whereby the Son quickens, begets, renews, fanctifies, destroys, cuts down, burns up that which is drossy, corrupt, and chaffy ; yea, not only the fruits of sin, but the very root itself, yea the very earth in which the root grows, and the heavens that water the earth are consumed and pass away inwardly, and a new heaven and a new earth is inwardly planted and formed, wherein dwells righteousness; so that the cage of unclean birds, the place where the dragons lay, is shaken and removed, and the place of the wicked inwardly known no more; but instead thereof there are new heavens and earth, even of the new creation of God; which earth brings forth the increase of life, the fruits of life, the seeds and trees of righteousness, of God's lowing, planting, grafting, pruning, and causing to grow, that he may be glorified : I say,
Thus to know the Father, thus to know the Son, thus to know the Holy Špirit of light, life, love, and righteousness, &c. not notionally in the brain, or with a comprehensive knowledge of the mind, but livingly in the heart, in the light that shines from the Father and Son, in the life that springs from them, in the love which is of them (for, indeed, it is love that gives the bright, purely sensible and uniting knowledge): this is precious knowledge, and all knowledge of the very fame things, any otherwise than as coming from, and held in, this springing life, is of no comparison with the excellency (for nature and virtue) of this kind of knowledge.
Now there have been two great dispensations of the Father, Son, and Spirit. The one figurative, the other substantial. The one called the law,
the other the gospel. For under the law the Father was made known, the Son made known, the Spirit made known; but all in figures and outward ways of manifestation.' God was to that people of the Jews a fountain of living waters; and when they forfook him, and trusted in lying vanities, they forlook the fountain of their own mercies. They then forlook the fountain of living waters, digging to themselves broken cisterns that could hold no water.
So the Son was made known under the types and figures of the law, as the King of righteousness, as the high-priest of God, as the prophet that God would raise up, as the spiritual rock which yielded the spiritual waters, of which the soul was to drink. And they that were a-thirst were to come to him and buy wine and milk of him, and incline their ear to him, that they might hear and live, and he would make an everlasting covenant with them, even the sure mercies of David.
So the Spirit of God, which was typified under a pillar of cloud and fire in the wilderness, did strive with man before the law, and was given to the Jews to instruct them, and to plough up their fallow ground, and circumcife them inwardly, and to wash their hearts from wickedness and vain thoughts, that they might not lodge in them.
But all this was not properly (in the Spirit and power of it) the dispensation of the law; but hid in a mystery, and running under-ground, as I may so fay. This was from another covenant, and part of another covenant than the covenant of the law, though in the time of the law. For there was another covenant which Mofes declared of, besides the covenant of the law made in Horeb, which was the word of life, or word of faith in the mouth and heart, which teachech the substance of the law, and also gives power to fulfill the righteousness of the law, to them that hear and receive its voice, in the faith which it gives or begets. And so the Father of spirits was known in the time of the law. Christ the redeemer was known to live, yea to live in the heart in the time of the law. The free Spirit, the Spirit of love was received, and the presence of God felt and enjoyed by God's Calebs, Joshuahs, and Davids (by men after God's own heart) in the time of the law. Moses had his meekness and tenderness, and was made faithful in all God's house by the Spirit of Christ, this meek lamb
Now when the shadows came to an end, Christ the substance was to come. . The everlasting King, the everlasting high-priest, the everlasting prophet was to appear. The everlasting rock and holy builder was to appear, and raise up David's tabernacle in Spirit, and minister in the true sanctuary, by his light, by his life, by his power, by his righteous Spirit. There is not another tabernacle to be built, not another temple, not another Jerusalem than the heavenly Jerusalem, not another Mount Sion to be known or come to, than the gospel Mount Sion; not another God, than God the judge of all in the gospel-state ; not another word or law of life, Q9992
than the law which goeth forth out of Sion, and the word that issueth out from this heavenly Jerusalem; not another water to wash the foul with, not another blood to sprinkle the conscience with, not another spirit to enlighten, quicken, keep alive, and comfort, than the Spirit of light, life, and love from God, which reconciles unto God, and brings into the golpel-righteousness, rest, and peace, and establisheth the foul therein.
So now, feeling the Spirit of the Son, and being led by him to the Father, and the Father with the Son, by the Holy Spirit, creating me anew, enlightening me, quickening me, raising me in life, circumcising my heart to love, I am come to life, and at rest in him that lives in me, and works in me, and gives me to live, and work, and rest in him. For there are the fabbath-day's works, even works of love, works of life, works of righteculness and holiness, works that the Lord works in the souls in whom he dwells and reits, and which they in the pure rest, peace, and joy of life, work in the Lord their God, who works all their works in them and for them.
Now in this gospel-dispensation, or in this dispensation of the Son in Spirit, all other dispensations are gathered and wrapped up, and thoroughly experienced by the soul that travels with and is led by Christ, in this his gospel-dispensation.
As first, There is Moses in Spirit known and travelled through. There is the ministration of the law in the Spirit inwardly commanding known, heard, felt, received, before the gospel-power is given to perform. And here is hard travel and fore exercises. Here the Father is known commanding, and the soul consents and would fain obey, but finds the law in the members rebelling against the law which the mind hath a sense of, and defires after.
Then afterwards comes the dispensation of the prophets, wherein there are prophecies of a better state to come, openings of the mercy and love which is to be manifested in the latter days, at the end of these trials and exercises, wherein the foul hath promises from God, that the righteousness shall be revealed, that power to become a fon shall be given, and the enemy's strength broken, and the bowed down soul raised up from under his oppression, and the Lord shall tread him under the feet of the needy, and the hungry and thirsty shall be filled with righteousness, and the meek come to inherit God's earth, and the beggar come from the dunghill, be raised up in the power of life, to sit among princes, even the princes in the heavenly glory of God's everlasting kingdom.
After this fucceeds John's ministry in Spirit, even the levelling the mountains, the raising up the vallies, the preparing the way for the King of glory, that he may come in and reveal his glory inwardly. For not in the time of the law inwardly, nor in the time of the prophecies inwardly; but after the foul is exercised and prepared inwardly (that being wasted which hindered, that raised up which lay low, that made straight which lay crooked,
that made plain that was rough, and so the way is prepared and fitted for the great' appearance of the great God and Saviour, in the pure, bright gospel glory, Spirit, and power), doth the King come suddenly into his temple; not when the foundation is laid, ' but when Sion is built up, doth God appear in his glory therein. Read Ifa. xl. 3, 4, 5. and consider. After John's coming in a body of Aesh, and preparing the way by his outward ministry, Christ came in a body of flesh, and was revealed as the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth, by the life, Spirit, and power that that body was filled with. And after John comes in Spirit, and prepares the way in any heart, by the mighty and effectual operation of his miniftry there, then Christ comes after him in Spirit, in the great power and glory of the Father, and the Father is revealed, and the Son also in the Spirit of light, life, love, and righteousness, and the glory of the Lord is beheld with open face, in the glass of life and righteouiness, and the soul is changed into the same image, and partakes of the heavenly glory, and is married or joined to the Lord, to become one spirit with him, and hath fellowship with the Father and the Son in the light of life ; and this is the gospel-itate and glory, and there is not another.
Now take one fcripture more which sums up all dispensations, and fers up the dispensation of the Son in Spirit as the last, as the dispensation of the last days. It is Heb. i. 1. read but what things are spoken of to be brought to pass in the last days of the great gospel-glory, to be revealed then of the perfect redeeming to God, and centering in him, of being married to him, and becoming one with him, &c. and of the Son's being the minister in the gospel-state, by the Spirit and power of the endless life, to bring it all forth, and accomplish it in the husbandry and building of God. Consider the place ; at sundry times, and in divers manners, God spake in times past by Moses, by the prophets, by John ; but now the last days are come, now the last dispensation is come, now the covenant wherein God himself is the teacher, is come, now the time of building the Sion, the Jerusalem, wherein God himself will dwell for ever, is come; now the light of the city of God is- come, which is an eternal light, an unchangeable light. Now the Spirit of love, which brings up the gospel-life, is come, and edifies the holy gospel-building, in the gospel-love and life. Oh! the light, oh! the life, oh! the love, oh! the righteousness, oh! the divine nature, which is now revealed and partook of in the Son! He is the brightness of the Father's glory; and thither he brings his. What would ye have more ? He destroys antichrist inwardly, by the brightness of his. coming or appearing. Oh! the desolations that he makes inwardly of fin and iniquity in the hearts of his ! He is the express image (or engraving) of his Father's substance, and he makes thee, who art one with him in his. Spirit of life and love, of the same image with him. He tranNateth thee out of Satan's image, into his very image. His light, his life, his love, his righteousness, his divine nature, doch not wax old as a garment, bue