Page images

put his hand on the cockatrice's den; and they that are in the power can tread upon serpents, and they cannot hurt, wound, poison, or destroy; for there is safety all over God's holy mountain, and the venom or poison of the wicked fpirit cannot reach thither, to hurt or poison any there: for God's earth is filled with knowledge, with life, with pure living knowledge, which preserves out of the reach of darkness and death.

Nay, here Ephraim doth not envy. Judah, nor Judah vex Ephraim; for the envying, vexing nature and spirit is taken out of them both. And here is turned to the Lord a people of a pure language, who speak the truth as they feel it, as they receive it from the Lord, in the life of it, in the true sense and understanding of it, and not according to their own apprehendings or imaginings concerning it, which are the various and many languages of Babel. For in the feed, and of the feed, is the pure language; but out from the feed are the many voices and languages (even the confusion of Babel); one speaking as he apprehends, thus ; another fpeaking as lie conceives, thus; lo plainly manifesting that they are out from the evidence and demonstration of the Spirit, whose voice is one, and language one, in ali, in the day of the gospel

. And he that speaks otherwise than the law and testimony of life speaks in the heart; it is either because he knoweth not, or is not yet gathered into, the morning-light of the everlasting day of the gospel; for there all are to speak, as the oracles of God, the truth as it is in Jesus. · In this day the anger of God is turned away, and condemnation come to an end (for there is no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit); and the Comforter is come, by whom God comforts the foul; and the soul with joy draweth water out of the wells or springs of the Comforter. Yes, the soul is gathered into the love (or into God, who is love), where the Saviour and salvation is felt, and God found such a present help and strength in time of trouble, that fear is done away, and the Lord trusted and hoped in; yea, and boasted of, in every condition. So that his name is made mention of, and sung of, and exalted over all that can come to oppofe or break down the work of his, power in the heart; insomuch that the inhabitant of Sion cries out and Thours against the enemy, when he appears, because the Holy One of Israel is so great in the midst of her, who breaks the spear and the bow, the shield and the battle, Selah. See Tsai. xii.

Yea, in this day the feast of fat things is made on God's holy mountain; of fat things full of marrow, and wines on the lees well refined. And in this mountain the veil of the covering (spread over the heart) is done away; for in the feed there is no feigned covering ; but an opening of the unveiled eye, to see the unveiled life and power, even the revealed arm of the Redeemer.

Who hath believed our report ; and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? It was said fo in the old covenant, in the law difpenfation; but it is not said


fo in the new covenant, in the gospel dispensation ; for the veil is done away in Christ, and the children there with open face behold (as in a mirror) the glory of the Lord.

And here, where the feed is revealed, and the soul come into the seed, and become one with the seed, that is felt which breaketh the serpent's head; and when his head is broken, death is soon swallowed up in victory, and the tears of sorrow. wiped away (fo that there is no room for any tears now, but tears of joy, tears of melting love and sweetness, before the Lord), and the rebuke because of uncircumcision taken away. For when God circumciseth the heart, to love the Lord with all the heart, then it receiveth life from him, and then the shame and rebuke of the uncircumcised and dead ftate pafseth away.

And then faith the soul, Lo! this is my God I so much wanted, and so long waited for. Ob! be is come, he is come, to judge my beart in righteousness, and to bring under all that hath kept the feed under in me; and I feel him, my soul's salvation, and my heart is glad in him. And now I know the land of Judab (for that land outwardly was but a figure of the inward), and tbe strong city that is therein (which the righteous nation that keepeth the truth enters in at the gates of) where God appointeth salvation for walls and bulwarks. See Ifai. xxv. and chap. xxvi.

And in this day, when the feed is raised, when the gospel power reacheth to the seed, and raiseth up the foul with the feed, and punisheth Leviathan, that crooked serpent, and destroyeth the place where the dragons lay; so that as such a place it can be found no more, because the Lord hath made all things new, and laid waste the old, then shall be sung to her that was afflicted a vineyard of red wine, which the Lord will keep and water every moment, lest any hurt it; yea, the Lord (who is the keeper of Israel, who neither Numbereth nor neepeth) will keep it night and day; and though fury be not in the Lord, yet he will go through the briars and thorns which set themselves in battle against him, to hinder the current of his love and blessings upon his heritage.

But as for his people, God will be very gracious to them, answering them in all that they call upon him for, and being with them in the fire, and in the water; so that the waters shall not be able to overwhelm them, nor the Aame of the fiercest fire kindle upon them. For the enemies' fire shall not be able to burn up God's heritage, nor their waters to overflow them; but God's fire and waters shall overflow and consume the adversaries, as he pleaseth to let forth his overflowing scourge and fiery indignation upon them.

The gospel is a state of pouring out the Spirit of God upon his seed, and his blessing upon his off-spring; wherein he strengthens that which is weak, and confirms that which is feeble; wherein he comforts worm Jacob, and recompenseth vengeance to that which oppressed him, that which wounded him, that which bowed him down, that which closed his eye,

Ggg 2

stopped stopped his ear, made him dumb and lame, hardened his heart from God's fear, &c. that nature, that wisdom, that spirit, that power, is visited with vengeance. That 'which emptied him of the good, and made him defolate and solitary, is now smitten, diftreffed, and made solitary; and the prisoner of hope loosed, and brought out of the pit; and the blind eye opened, and the deaf ear unstopped, and the lame made to leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb to fing, and the parched ground become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water, and that nature wherein dragons dwelt is now changed, and life dwells there ; and the holy new earth brings forth her increase of life to the Lord, and the way of holiness is made plain; which rough Efau, or conceited Ishmael, or facrificing Cain, (who hath not the true brotherly love in him) cannot come into; but holy Abel, blessed Isaac, plain Jacob, walked therein, and inherited the blessing; and the ranfomed of the Lord return from all their desolations, captivities, and scatterings in the apoftasy, and come to Sion with songs, and everlasting joy upon their heads, where they obtain joy and gladness, and where forrow and fighing flee away. For when the Comforter is come to the soul, when the Spirit from on high is poured out upon it, 'then the wilderness becomes a fruitful field, and the fruitful field is counted for a forest; then judgment dwells in the wilderness, and righteousness remains in the fruitful field ; then righteousness is known, and the work thereof; and the work of righteousness is peace, and the effect of righteousness quietness, and afsurance for ever. And the people of God then dwell (even his holy Ifrael, his spiritual Ifrael, the redeemed ones by his Spirit and power) in a peaceable habitation, and in fure dwellings, and in quiet resting-places, where their God is to them as a munition of rocks, and as broad rivers of love, life, righteousness, peace, joy, and blessedness for ever.

In the gospel ftate, the Lord, the Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, who is the teacher of his people in the new covenant, who teacheth them to profit therein, and leadeth them in the way that they should go : I say, in the gospel state he is known, and his voice hearkened to. My fheep (thote whom I gather and redeem) bear my voice, and follow me, faith Christ; who feed my flock like a shepherd, guiding them by my Spirit into fresh and green pastures, gathering my lambs with my arm, carrying them in my bosom, and gently leading those that are with young. Yea, I bring the blind by a way that they knew not, and lead them in paths they have not known. I make dark things light before them, and crooked things strait. These things do I do unto them, and will not forsake them.. Yea, worm Jacob, which was trampled upon by all

, is now made a sharp threshing instrument having teeth, which thresheth the mountains (beating them small) and makes the hills as chaff, which fans them, and the wind carrieth them away, and the whirlwind scattereth them; but Jacob rejoiceth in his God, and glorieth in the Holy One of Israel; who openeth rivers in highplaces, and fountains in the midst of vallies ; and makes the wilderness a


[ocr errors]

pool of water, and the dry land springs of water. For the Lord bath com-
forted Sion, and had compassion on her waste place, and on her oppressed feed
in Babylon; and hath said to the prisoners, Go forth; and to them that sat in
darkness, Shew yourselves abroad in the light; and he hath made her wilderness
like Eden, and her desart like the garden of the Lord ; so that joy and
gladness is found in her (even the joy of God's Spirit, which is unspeak-
able, and full of glory), with thanksgiving, and the voice of melody: for
the destroyer, and those that made her waste, are gone forth of her, and
great is the the Holy One in the midst of her. So that the barren, that
did not bear, fings; and she cries aloud, and breaks forth into singing, that
did not travail with child; for she travails not now in vain, but also brings
forth abundantly: so that more are the children of the desolate than of the
formerly married wife. And how can it be otherwise ? For the Maker is
the husband, who hath made an everlasting covenant of peace with the soul
in the Son of his love, and keeps and preserves in that covenant, where
the Lord can never be wroth the soul, nor rebuke it : for here all the chil-
dren of the Lord are taught of the Lord, and kept in his holy fear, and in
subjection to his Spirit; and great is their peace, and in righteousness are
they established, and are far from oppression, the terror whereof cannot
come near them.

There are three or four things yet more on my heart to mention con-
cerning the gospel ftate.

Firit, In it the gospel fast is known ; which is not to amict the soul, or hang down the head like a bulrush for a day; but to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, to break every yoke, to deal one's bread to the hungry (to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep one's self unspotted from the worldly spirit and nature, which defiles, and so not to touch the unclean thing).

Then the light of the soul breaks forth as the morning, and its health springs forth ipeedily, and its righteousness goeth before it (for that which judgeth unrighteousness, that is its righteousness; which instead of coming after, to reprove and condemn, now goeth before), and the glory of the Lord is the reward, coming after to preserve and defend all that springs up. Bed in the power. Oh! blessed is he that witnesseth this state !

Secondly, In the gospel ftate the gospel fabbath is kept, and known to be God's holy day, and called a delight (the holy of the Lord, honourable), and the Lord is honoured in it by the foul while it walketh not in its own ways, nor findeth its own pleasures, nor speaketh its own words: and then the foul delighteth itself in the Lord, who then (in this state) causech it to ride on the high-places of the earth, and feedeth it with the heritage of Jacob its father. What is that? What is Jacob's heritage? What is it that Jacob is to be fed with, and inherit? Is it any less than the life and blesfedness of the promised land? Is it any less than the hidden manna ? Is it



any less than the fruit of the living vine ? Is it any other than the sweetness and fatness of the true olive-tree?

Thirdly, In it the garment of salvation is put on, even the Lord Jesus Christ; for here the filthy garments are put off, and the pure garments put on.

For here the Lord hath appointed to them that have mourned ir Sion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, and the garment of praise for the spirit of beaviness, that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified. So that here the soul can truiy say, I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath cloathed me with the garments of salvation ; be bath covered me with the robe of righteousness. For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth, fo the Lord hath caused righteousness and praise to spring forth before the eyes of all that are truly opened by him; and he will not draw back his arm, or put up the sword which he hath drawn, till he hath destroyed his adversaries, and laid waste the mount of Efau, and made his Jerusalem the praise of the whole earth. Amen, ballelujah!

And here is the love which cafteth out fear, and removeth care ; so that they that dwell here are careful in nothing, but in every thing make their requests known to God by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving; the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, guards the heart and mind, through Christ Jesus. So that here God glorifieth the soul, changing it from glory to glory, in and by his Spirit ; and God is praised and glorified in and by the foul, and the heart kept pure and chalte in the eye of the Lord; and the conversation ordered aright by his Spirit and power, in which the foul lives and walks, and his falvation seen and enjoyed daily more and more. So that here is a possession or inheritance of life in the kingdom (in the holy land of the living) of which there is no end. Everlasting endless prayers to the Holy One of Israel (whose tabernacle is with men, and who dwelleth in the midst of his people) for ever and ever.

Now if any one doubt concerning the truth of these things, this word is in my heart to such, Come, and see. Oh! come and see the glory of the Lord, and the power of his life, and righteousness of his kingdom, which is now revealed, after the long night of darkness! Oh! blessed, blessed be his name, who hath caused his light to shine, and opened the eye (which was once blind) to see it!

Quest. But how may I come to see the glory of the gospel state?
Answ. Come to the feed, and wait to feel and receive the

power raiseth the feed in the heart, and bringeth the heart, soul, mind, and spirit into union with the feed.

Quest. But how may I come to the feed; and bow may I wait aright to feel and receive the power which raiseth it?

Answ. Mind that in thee which searcheth the heart, and what it reachech to, and quickeneth in thee; what it draweth thee from, what it drawerb



« PreviousContinue »