Page images
PDF
EPUB

endure and remain the fame for ever. He is Alpha and Omega. There was nothing before him, nor fhall be after him. There is no other thing appertaining to life and godlinefs, but what he now difpenieth in the goipel; no other kingdom but what ftands in the power of the life and righte oufnefs, which is now revealed in the peace, love, and joy of the Spirit. The gospel-building is his houfe; and he is faithful in all his houfe,“as a Son, having received all power from his Father, to gather fully, to preferve fully, to build up fully, to leaven fully with life and righteousness, even in foul, body, and fpirit, to lead into the Holy Land, and to enable to keep the holy fabbath there, even to ceafe from fin, and every thing that burdens the life, and to reft in God, and not work any thing of ourfelves any more, but to feel the Spirit of life, love, and power work in us. And his yoke of life, his yoke of love, his yoke of the power, is the pure gofpel-liberty comprehended in. The Lord Jefus did appear in flesh; but now he appears in Spirit, and is Spirit, giving himieif to be life and Spirit in his. And where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty; and every thing which is of a fleshly nature, which deceiveth and imbondageth, wherein the pure liberty is not, he difcovereth, and keepeth his out of, that fo they may stand faft in the pure liberty of the light, life, and love of his Holy Spirit, wherewith he maketh his free.

The Eighteenth of the 9th Month, 1678.

I. P.

SOME

EXPERIENCES,

Which it hath pleafed the LORD to give me, concerning his Way, his Truth, his Church and People, against whom the Gates of Hell cannot prevail.

First,

IT

T hath pleased the Lord to manifeft to me, that there is a light wherewith he (in his tender mercy, love, and good-will) enlighteneth mankind. This light I have found my own foul enlightened with, even from my very childhood, though I never took notice of it to be what it is, till the Lord manifefted it to me. But ever since it pleased the Lord

to

to manifeft it to me, and to turn my mind to it, I have found it to fhine. inwardly in my heart, even as the outward light of the fun fhineth outwardly to the outward eye.

Secondly, By this light it hath pleased the Lord to give me the diftinction of things inwardly in my own heart. The Lord hath fhewn me by it evil and good in my own heart, and taught me to chufe the good, and refuse the evil. So that as my eye hath been turned to this light, and kept to this light, I have known and walked in the way of life; for the power which hath appeared in this light, hath created me anew, made me a child of light, and taught and caufed me to walk in this light, as God is in the light. And in this light I have experienced fellowship with the Father who is light, and with his Son who is light alfo, and with all the children of light.

Thirdly, In this light (being gathered out of darkness into it, and abideing in it) I have had remiffion of fins. For no fin is laid to the charge of any foul that abides in this light, but only to fuch as continue in darkness, or go out from it into darkness. This I have had the conftant experience of from my first diftinct knowledge of God's truth; for I never found, at any time, any condemnation, while I abode in the pure light of God's Holy Spirit, and bleffed witnefs; but if at any time I hearkened to the enemy, the prince of darkness, and went by his allurements into darkness, I ftill met with condemnation there.

Fourthly, In this light I have received power to become a Son to God, Oh! it is unutterable to relate what power is here received against the soul's enemies, and to do the will of God! Indeed, in the light there is power; yea, full power, fuitable to every foul's condition. There needs no more power (no not to the higheft condition) than what is laid up, and to be received in this light. All the power of darkness is communicated in the darkness, to the children of darknefs; and all the power of light is communicated in the light, to the children of light. In the light there is an holy will and ability given daily more and more, and the unholy will and ability (which troubleth the holy feed) removed out of the way.

Fifthly, In this light I know the true church, the holy gathering by the gofpel-fpirit and power; for none are the true church in the golpel-days but fuch. The law-church was a company of Jews after the fleth, circumcised in flesh, to keep the outward law of commandments; but the gospelchurch is a company of believers after the Spirit, circumcifed in Spirit, to keep the inward law, even the law of the Spirit of life in Chrift Jefus, which makes free from the law of fin and death. So that all the gospelchurch are children of the true woman, growing up in the holy liberty from. the bondage of fin and corruption, unto the royal law of holiness and righteoufnels. So that being in the light, I fee the children of light, and know that the holy gathering, even the gofpel-church, are fuch, and that none elfe can be of the golpel-church, having (out of the light) nothing

of

of the nature of the gofpel-church or Spirit in them. Ye may as well make a man without the nature of a man, as a Chriftian without the nature of a Chriftian. He was not a Jew outward under the law, without the nature of a Jew outward; nor is he a Jew inward under the gofpel, without the nature of a Jew inward. And as the law-church confifted of Jews outward, fo the gospel-church confifts of Jews inward; which are children of light, and not of darkness, and can be known only by them who are in the true light. So that the Lord having mercifully gathered me into his gospellight, these things (in his gofpel-light) have been clearly feen by me.

Sixthly, In this light I know the gofpel-worship, the worship which lies not in the darknefs of man's apprehenfions, but in the light which fhines from God in the heart. For the children of God are taught in the light, know God their Father in his own pure light, and worship in the light, wherein they are taught by him to know him. They worship in the truth. They are led by the Spirit of light and truth, out of darkness, out of deceit, out of all kind of error and unrighteousness; and they worship in truth, and in the Spirit, into which they are led, and in which there is no deceit nor error. They gather together in the Son's name (in his living name, oh! wait to understand that!). And there the Son is in the midft of them, and his life and Spirit intercedes in them; and in his name they offer up the righteous facrifices, the holy facrifices of life, and the pure incenfe, in which the Father is greatly delighted, and smells a sweet smell and favour of rest.

Seventhly, In this light I have experienced the good confcience, even the confcience which anfwers to truth, and will not answer to unrighteousness. Indeed in this light I have felt my heart fprinkled from an evil conscience (I teftify it in deep humility of fpirit, and in great thankfulness towards the Lord). The darknefs defiles and ftains; but in the pure light the heart is washed, cleanfed, and fanctified, from whence arifeth the anfwer of a good confcience towards God. And in this light the confcience is ftill kept good; but though it hath its habitation in the light, if it keep not its habitation, but go out from thence into the darknefs, it is foon defiled and corrupted again.

Eighthly, I have (and bless the Lord I daily do ftill) experienced faith, the heavenly faith of the new birth, the precious gift of God to his own children, in this pure bleffed light of the Son of God, which shines from the heavenly glory into the hearts of his redeemed ones. Unbelief came at firft from the darkness, and lodgeth in the darkness, iffuing thence into thofe that give ear to the dark spirit; but faith fprings from the holy root of life in the heart. Here I cannot but believe, and also know him in whom I do believe, who is the holy power of life and light, who oppofeth and overcometh the prince of darkness, who hath the power of death. And in the light God carries on the work of faith with power; and unbelief, which ftops it, is not able to enter the minds of those, who are stayed upon the Lord in his pure light.

Ninthly,

[ocr errors]

Ninthly, In the light I tafte and enjoy the pure peace, which paffeth man's understanding. In the darkness is condemnation and trouble, as man's mind comes to be awakened; but in the light is righteousness, justification, and peace, to all that dwell and abide there. Perfect peace the mind here grows up into, which the enemy cannot break or interrupt. Indeed, in the darknefs, out of the light, the peace that is there is easily broken; but never in the light is the true peace broken.

Tentbly, In the light I have experience of the killing or mortifying of that which is contrary to the light. I kill, I make alive, faith the Lord. Indeed he doth fo in and by his light. Doth not light expel darkness in the figure? Much more doth it fo in the fubftance. Light drives away darkness, banifheth darkness, destroyeth darkness, in the mind that is truly enlightened by the Lord, and fingly gives up to his light. Oh! the defolations of darkness (the works of darkness, the power of darkness) that God makes in the hearts of fuch as are fenfible of, and fubject to, the light of his Son fhining there. The Lord there cuts his work fhort in righteoufnefs, making an end of the kingdom of darkness, revealing his own kingdom inftead thereof, and gathering and tranflating the mind thereinto.

Eleventbly, In the light I have experience of the new creation in Chrift Jefus, even the paffing away of the old things, and the new things coming instead thereof. The old heart gone, the hard heart gone, and a new and tender one inftead thereof. The old law of fin and death taken out of the way, and the law of the Spirit of life in Chrift Jefus received in the place thereof. And the fear of the new covenant put into the new heart (in which is the beginning and perfection of the heavenly wifdom), and the Spirit of God put within, to enlighten, enliven, and fill the mind with life and righteoufnefs, and caufe it to walk with God in the new and living way, and to know his ftatutes and judgments, and do them.

Twelfthly, In the light the gofpel-love is known and fprings. In the darkness is enmity; but in the light is love. It is true indeed, that here the whole law is fulfilled, even of loving the Lord God with all the heart, foul, mind, and ftrength, and one's neighbour as one's felf. Yea, here one is not only commanded to love enemies, but taught and enabled fo to do. Yea, keep but here in the light, no enmity can fpring up, but only love to the greatest enemies, whom we have no coals of wrath, but only of love to heap upon.

Thirteenthly, Here I meet with, and partake of, a cool, meek, patient, tender, gentle, quiet, lowly fpirit, which is of the Lord, and of much efteem with him. This is the Lamb's nature, who is light; and this also is their nature who are of the Lamb, and walk in the light of the Lamb. All Efau's roughness, all Ishmael's difdain and fcoffing, all Cain's envy and cruelty towards his brother, is of the darkness, whereof Cain, Ishmael, and Efau are, and wherein they walk, and their offspring; but this is not found in them who are light in the Lord, and who walk in the light, as he Rrrr

VOL. II.

is

is in the light. And in patience to poffefs the foul, and to be tender towards finners, meck, quiet, and humble before the Lord, and of a gende fpirit towards all. Oh! who, befides the children of light, know the precioufnefs of being thus created by the Lord, and of thus walking before him, in the light of the Lord Jefus, in the renewings of the mind by him, in the life and power, wherein he anew createth and changeth, thefe things become natural. For in the light, whatever is of the darkness, whatever is corrupt, whatever is of the devil's kingdom, is difcovered and removed from them that take up the light's yoke; and a contrary nature planted in the mind instead thereof, which brings forth quite other fruits, even of a contrary kind to what the darknefs brought forth before. So that as it was faid of Chrift, Behold the Lamb of God; fo it may be faid of them, behold the lambs of God, who are fweet, meek, gentle, lowly in heart like him, bringing forth fruits like him, and walking like sheep among wolves, as he alfo walked.

- Lastly, (To mention no more) Here, in the light, I meet with certainty, affurance, fatisfaction; yea, infallibility. I meet with the evidence and demonstration of God's Spirit, whith is infallible. I meet with God's witnefs, which is an infallible witnefs. I meet with God's Spirit, which is an infallible Spirit, who infallibly leads into all truth, and infallibly guides in the truth. I meet with an infallible fhepherd, who hath an infallible voice, and gives to his fheep an infallible ear, wherewith they infallibly hear. He opens an infallible eye, and gives to it an infallible fight of God, and the heavenly myfteries of his kingdom. The Spirit breathes infallibly, begets infallibly, leads infallibly, creates a new heart, a right fpirit, which heart, which fpirit, is of God's infallible nature, like him; for that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit. That which is born of man's fallible fpirit and wifdom is fallible; but that which is born of God's Spirit and heavenly wisdom, is of the nature of his Spirit and wifdom; and hence it is that wifdom is juftified of her children. The apostle speaks to the Galatians of having begun in the Spirit, Ch. iii. 3. and did they not begin in that which is infallible? And if they went on in the Spirit, did they not go on in that which is infallible? I never found the light deceive me, nor did I ever find the birth of God's Spirit, the holy elect feed, deceived in me. And the new and living way, wherein this birth walks, is infallible, in which there is no erring by thofe who eye the Lord, and follow his Spirit therein. This is the way caft up (the way of holinefs, life, and peace, for the ranfomed and redeemed of the Lord to walk in in the gospel-days, in which the wayfaring men, though fools, fhall not err, Ifa. xxxv. 8. The Lord, who hath promised, is able to make it good. The Lord make it more and more manifeft, and bring more and more people into it, and keep them in the guidance of his bleffed Spirit of truth, that they may fee his light, and walk therein, and not let in any temptations from the fpirit of darkness, and fo follow him, and mifs of the guide unto, and the preferver in, the new and living way.

POST

« PreviousContinue »