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Spirit of his Son into their hearts to cry, Abba Father. And God cannot deny his own Spirit to his children that afk it of him; he knoweth how abfolutely neceflary it is to the state of a fon; and whofoever truly receiveth Chrift, Chrift doth give him power to become a fon; which power is in, and with, and cannot be feparated from, his Spirit. Yea, the Spirit of Chrift is so neceffary and infeparable from him that is Chrift's, that the apoftle exprefly affirms, that if any man hath not the Spirit of Chrift, he is none of his, Rom. viii. 9.
Fourthly, They tafted of the good Word of God.
Of that Word from which the gift comes; of that Word which was in the beginning of the world, which is ingrafted into the hearts of those that truly believe; which Word is able to fave the foul.
Fifthly, They tafted of the powers of the world to come.
Of the power of the endless life, whereof Chrift is the minifter, and according to which he minifters life, in that holy, true, living, inward, fpiritual temple, which he pitcheth and reareth up for an habitation to God in his own Spirit.
Now in the apoftafy and night of darkness, which hath come over the Christian state, these things have been greatly loft. For there have been none that have been found able to turn people to that light which the apostle directed to. None could tell men where the light is to fhine, and where men were to expect it, and wait for it. None were able to direct men to the feed of the kingdom within, to the Word of faith, the Word of the kingdom, nigh in the heart and mouth; much lefs were they able to instruct men how they might know and distinguish it from all other feeds, and the voice of the fhepherd from all other voices. Here it came to pass, that though at times God vifited and opened mens hearts, a little warming them by the breath which came from himself; yet they not knowing how to turn to the Lord, and wait upon him for prefervation in the gift and measure of his own grace, the good hath foon been stolen away from them, and the building which hath been raised up in them hath not been a building of life according to the Spirit, but a building of wisdom or knowledge concerning the things of God according to the. flesh; and fo the building that hath been raised up in mens fpirits hath been Babylon, instead of Sion.
But the Lord hath had a remnant all along the apoftafy, who felt fome begettings of life, and had in measure some fenfe and tafte of the heavenly things. These mourned after that state which was once enjoyed, and felt their want of it, travelling from mountain to hill, feeking their reftingplace, which none could rightly inform them of. Now, for the fakes of thefe, God hath at length appeared.
How appeared? may fome fay.
Why thus: he who is light hath appeared inwardly, caufing his light to hine inwardly, caufing his life to fpring inwardly; fo that he who is light, who is life, who is truth, is felt and known in his own inward vifits, break
ings-forth, and appearances. For God, who is a Spirit, his appearance is fpiritual, his day is fpiritual, his kingdom is fpiritual, his light is fpiritual, his life is fpiritual, his day-star is fpiritual; and his day dawneth, and his day-ftar arifeth in the heart. Thus the day-fpring from on high did vifit us, who fat in darkness, and in the region of the shadow of death. And here we have met with what the apoftles met with, the very fame light of life, the very fame enlightening Spirit and power, and have been enlightened by it, and tafted of the fame gift.
The very fame grace that appeared to them, and taught them, hath appeared to us, and taught us; and of it we have learned the fame lessons, in the fame covenant of life wherein they learned; and now can we feal to their teftimony in the fame Spirit wherein they gave it forth, and witness to the fame eternal life, and the fame holy oil and anointing, our eyes having been opened and kept open by it. And though there be great difputes about our teftimony in this our day (and the prefent profeffors rife up against us, as the former profeffors did against them); yet let but any man come rightly to diftinguifh in himself between that which God begets in the heart, and all other births, and let that fpeak and judge in them, that will foon confefs that our teftimony is of God, and given forth in the authority and by the commiffion of his own Spirit. True wisdom is juftified by the children that are born of her; it is the other birth that doth not, nor can own her. The other birth can own former difpenfations (according to the letter of them); but not the life and power of the prefent.
I have known the breaking down of much in me by the powerful hand of the Lord, and a parting with much (though not too much) for Chrift's fake. The Lord hath brought the day of diftrefs and inward judgment over my heart; he hath arifen to fhake terribly the earthly part in me (yea, what if I fhould fay that the powers of heaven have been fhaken alfo), that he might make me capable to receive and bring me into that kingdom which cannot be fhaken. And now that which God hath shaken, and removed in me, I fee others build upon, and they think it fhall never be fhaken in them; but fuch know not the day of the Lord, nor the terrible searching of his pure light, nor the operation of his power, which will not spare in one, what he hath reproved, condemned, fhaken, and erturned in another. He that knows the living stone within, and comes to him as to a living ftone, and is built upon the revelation of his Spirit, life, and power (revealed inwardly against the power of darkness) is not deceived. All that otherwise build (I mean upon an outward knowledge concerning Chrift, and not upon his inward life) their building will not be able to ftand in the day of the Lord. I wish they might have a sense of it in time, that they might not perish for ever; but experience that life and power of our Lord Jefus Chrift, which redeemeth and preserveth out of the perishing state for ever and ever. Amen.
PRINCIPLE of TRUTH:
The LIGHT WITHIN Afferted,
Held forth according to true Experience, faithful Testimony of the SCRIPTURES:
In the ANSWERS to FOUR QUESTIONS.
I. What this Light is which we tef- || III. How it cometh to be lighted, tify of, and what is the nature of it? fet up, and increased there?
II. What it doth inwardly in the
IV. How it cometh to be diminished or extinguished in any?
A. L S O....
A P P
WITNESS of GOD in all CONSCIENCES,
Which is the MORE SURE WORD of PROPHECY?
The Testimony of the SCRIPTURES without, or the Voice and Teftimony of the Light and Spirit of GOD within, in the Heart.
By one once greatly diftreffed, but now at length, in the tender Mercy of the Lord, effectually Vifited and Redeemed by the Light and Power of Truth,
ISAAC PENING TO N...
HE true, minifters of the gofpel, the minifters of the new covenant, were ordained and appointed by God to be ministers of light, minifters of righteousness, minifters of the Spirit, Matt. v. 14. 2 Cor. xi. 15. chap. iii. 6. And this was their work and fervice, even to preach the light, to deliver their meffage concerning the light, which they heard of Chrift, and were sent by him to preach, as is recorded 1 John i. 5. So that they were to tell men what the light was, and where it was to be found; and to turn men from darkness to light, from fin and unrighteousness to purity and righteousness, from the spirit and power of Satan to the Spirit and power of the living God (Dan. xii. 3. Acts xxvi. 18.) that fo they might come from under Satan's authority, power, and kingdom of darkness, into the light, wherein Chrift reigns as king, prieft, and prophet, unto and over all his; who is faithful in all his house, and Son and Lord of all, distributing life, righteousness, mercy, and peace to his whole family, as they abide in him, and walk in fubjection to his Spirit. So that there is no condemnation to them that are gathered unto Chrift, ingrafted into him, and who abide in him (walking not after the flesh, but after the Spirit), who is the quickener, guide, and rule of all the children of the new covenant. For Chrift is the way, the truth, and the life, in and to them all, and is made by God all in all unto them. He is their fhepherd, their king, their captain, their vine, their olive-tree, their leader, their door, their path, their rule, their righteousness, their holiness, their wisdom, their redemption, their altar, their facrifice, their priest, their prophet, their fabbath, their light, their day-fpring, their bright and morning-ftar, their fun, their shield, their rock, and their high tower.
What fhall I fay? God hath gathered together all things into One, even in him, whofe Spirit, life, and light eternal is the One fubftance, which anfwers all the figures and fhadows of the law, and they are all comprehended, and fulfilled, and end in him. So that he is the end of the aw
or righteousness, to all that believe in him. And he minifters righteousness, he minifters truth, he ministers life, he minifters falvation, he ministers power, he minifters pure heavenly wisdom; and no good thing will he with-hold from them that come unto him in the drawings of his Father, and follow him whitherfoever he leads, and obey his gofpel, which is everlaftingly new and living.
Now, this precious miniftry hath been withdrawn, and hid from ages and generations, in the long night of the great apoftafy and thick darknefs. And how could it be otherwife? For men being in the dark, and having erred from the true Spirit, and let in a wrong fpirit, and built up wrong churches; and having not known the true wilderness (nor being willing to flee into it) whither the true church fled, and was nourished by God with the true food, even with the true living virtue and nourishment, all this dark night of the apoftafy; I fay, how could they come at the true light, the true Spirit, the true power (from which the true miniftry is), which did not vifibly now appear, but was with the true church in the wilderness? So that there hath been a true church all this while, which the gates of hell have not been able to prevail against, as to her inward temple and altar (nor over the worshippers which have worshipped therein), although they have gained the outward court; God having fevered it from his inward building, and given it to the Gentiles in fpirit; who are not true Jews, who are not worshippers in the Spirit, and in the truth, Rev. xxi. 1, 2.
But now, at length, bleffed be the Lord, the long night of darkness draws towards an end; yea, is come to an end in many fpirits; and the true light is broken forth again (and fhineth again inwardly in many), and the true ministry is revived again, and the everlafting gofpel (the everlafting covenant of life, mercy, and falvation, in and through Chrift Jefus, the light and life of men) preached again. For now it is not only outwardly read, that God is light; but the meffage hath been received, and perfons chofen, and fent forth by God to publish it; and to turn men from darkness to light, and from Satan's power to God. And, bleffed be the Lord, the publishing of this precious teftimony (in the power and authority of the Moft High) hath not been in vain. But the captivity of many hath been broken by the power of light, and the power and ftrength of darkness (inwardly) overturned by it. Oh! how hath the strong man, which kept the house, before the stronger than he appeared in the name and authority of his Father; I fay, how hath he trembled at the inward and fpiritual appearance of him that was ftronger than he? And how have the pillars of the old building been shaken? How hath the witnefs of God been reached to in mens fpirits? How have the dead been raised, the blind eye opened, the deaf ear unstopped, the dumb tongue loofed, the lame caufed to leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb to fing, the inward fpiritual leprofy cleansed, and done away for ever, the wounded healed, the broken