« AnteriorContinuar »
to spiritual, and hath Christ himself tha n..
to bow? Is not the reward to him who laid down his glory to take upon him the body of Aesh, and appear in it, that he might honour, glorify and fulfill the will of his Father?
Query 11. Are not the children and he of one? Are not he and they of the same stock? (Both be that sanctifieth, and they who are fanctified, are all of onė, Heb. ii. 11.) Is it not from thence that he is not ashamed to call them brethren, even because he finds the nature, Spirit, and life of his Father in them? What makes a child to God? Is it not the being begotten of the Father, and born of the Spirit ? And that which is born of the Spirit, is Spirit. Now mark: have we the denomination and relation with Christ from that which is spiritual, and hath Christ himself the name from or because of the body of flesh? Nay, nay; the name Christ was from the anointing which was in the body, which ran into and filled the vessel. It is true; the body, in and by the union, partakes with him of his name; but the name belongs chiefly and most properly to the treasure in the vessel.
Query 12. What is it to put on Christ, or what is the putting on of Christ? Is it the putting on of that body of Aesh? Or the putting on a belief concerning him, according to what is said of him in fcripture? Or is it not rather a putting on of his nature, his feed, his Spirit, his life, wherewith the souls of those that are born from above are cloathed, as the body is with a garment ?
Query 13. Who was it that said, I am the resurrection and the life? Was it not Chrift? And what did he say it concerning ? Did he say it concerning the body, or did he say it concerning the power and virtue of the Father which was in the body? Did he not say it concerning that which had the power of life in it before it took up the body, and had also the power of life while it was in the body ? yea, and could raise up not only other bodies, but that also after it had laid it down ? For after it was laid in the grave, he could raise it up, and take it on again, as well as he did at first, when it was first prepared, John X. 17, 18.
Query 14. If I, or any one else, have felt the saving arm of the Lord revealed in us; if we have felt a measure of the same life, power, and anointing revealed in our vessels as was revealed in his, is it not of the same nature ? Is it not the same thing? Is not Christ the seed? And is not this feed fown in the heart ? Now if this feed spring and grow up in me into a spiritual shape or form (though it be but of a babe), is not Christ then formed in me? If I be ingrafted into, and grow up in it, am I not ingrafted into Christ (the true olive-tree, the true vine) and do I not grow up in him? And is not this the same Christ that took upon him the body of Aesh, and offered it without the gates of Jerusalem ? Is there any more than one, or is there any other than he ? Is Christ divided? Is there one Christ within, and another without ? He that knoweth the least measure of the thing, doth he not know the thing in some measure? And he that is in the least ned sure of the thing, is he not in the thing? He that knoweth the Son, doth VOL. II.
he not know the Father? And he that knoweth the Spirit, doth he not also know the Son ? And he that is in the Spirit, is he not in the Son ? For they are one nature and being. A man may have notions of the one, and not of the other, but their nature, their being, their life, their virtue is inseparable. And as Christ said concerning the Father, That he was in the Father, and the Father in him; and that he that saw him, saw the Father ; so may it not be as truly affirmed (in the true sense and understanding of life) concerning Christ, that he is in the Spirit, and the Spirit in him; and that he that feeth the Spirit, feeth him; and he that seeth him seeth the Spirit? For he is the Spirit, according to that scripture, 2 Cor. iii. 17. Now the Lord is that Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. What to do? Why, to see and read within the veil, and to behold the glory of the Lord, which is revealed there ; which they whom the veil was over formerly, or whom the veil is over now, have not liberty to do. Here is confusion and impossibility to man's wisdom; that Christ should be all one with the Spirit ; that Christ should send the Spirit in his name, and also himself be the Spirit whom he sends. (This is an hard saying, who can bear it ?) And yet this confusion to man, is God's wisdom, and precious in their eye who are taught of him. !
For it is one and the same Christ that was signified in types and shadows under the law, revealed in the fulness of time in that prepared body, and afterwards in Spirit. Now after he was ascended, he received the Spirit so as he had not received him before ; and so having received the promise of the Father, he so dispenseth the Spirit to his brethren and disciples, as it had not been dispensed before. Indeed he comforted and refreshed his people under the law by his Holy Spirit, which was their instructor then, Neb. ix. 20. and taught them the things of God under types, shadows, and resemblances. When he came in the body, he chose out disciples, whom he taught the things of the kingdom, and was a refresher and comforter of them therein. And was not this another comforter than those had under the law ? Had the Jews before ever any such comforter, as Christ was to his disciples in his bodily presence ? Now when he ascends, he receives the Spirit from the Father, as the Father had promised him; and having so received him, he sends him to them for their comforter. And may not this justly be termed another comforter than Christ was in his bodily presence ? And yet is it not also the same Spirit of life, that had been with them in that body ? So that it is another in the way of administration, but the same in substance; even the Word which was from the beginning, the Spirit · which was, from everlasting; and to everlasting there is no other..
Now as the Father sent the Son, and yet was with and in the Son; so the Son sending the Spirit, he also is with and in the Spirit. And as it is the Father's will, that the same honour be given to the Son as is given to hịm ; so it is the Son's pleasure, that the same honour be given to his Spirit as is given to him... Yea, as he that will worship the Father, must worship the Son, must come to him in the Son, must appear before him in the Son, must reverence and kiss the Son ; fo he that will come to Christ, will worship him, must come to him in the Spirit, must bow to him in the Spirit. Yea, he that will know and worship Christ in his fulness in the majesty of his glory, dominion, and power), must learn to bow at the lowest appearance of his light and Spirit, even at the very feet of Jesus; for that is the lowest part of the body.
Query 15. Did not the bridegroom go away, as to his appearance in fclhi, that he might come again in Spirit ? Did not the apostles, who knew his appearance in felh, and his tabernacling among them, know also afterwards his appearance in Spirit, and his tabernacling in them? And were not their hearts filled with joy unspeakable, and full of glory, because of the presence of the bridegroom? Did they not know the man-child born and brought forth in Spirit, as really as ever he was born and brought forth in fesh? Yea, did they not travail and help to bring him forth? Were there not many in that day, who could say concerning the spiritual and inward appearance of the bridegroom, We know that the Son of God, the eternal life, the pure power and wisdom of the Father, is come? Did they not receive from him the understanding which he gives in and by his coming ? Yea, were they not in him that is true, even in Jesus Christ the Son, who is the true God, and life eternal ? (1 John v. 20.) Had they not received the kingdom which could not be shaken? And did they never see and converse with the King in the kingdom ? Nay, did not he walk in them and they in him, and he fup with them and they with him, in the kingdom? Oh! that yé could read in Spirit! Oh! that ye did receive that measure of life from Chrift, which the Father hath allotted you, that ye might read therein but the letter (read out of the Spirit) darkeneth and killerh.
Query 16. What is the laver of regeneration, or the water wherewith the foul is washed, and whereof a man is born again? Is it outward or inward ? Is it the water which ran out of the side of the natural body, when it was pierced with a spear? Or the water which springs from the fountain of life, the water which noweth from the Spirit ? What are the waters which corrupt, mud, and defile the mind ? Are they outward waters? And what are the waters which purify and cleanse it? Can they be of a lower nature than fpiritual ? What are the waters which answer the thirst of the soul after life, after purity, after salyation; that refresh and glad the heart of him that drinketh thereof? Are they not from the pure river, clear as chrystal, which runs from the throne? And if the water which cleanseth and nourisheth the foul be spiritual; can the flesh and blood (which falleth not short of the water in its virtues, properties, and operations) be inferior to ir in nature and kind ?
Query 17. Can outward blood cleanse the conscience? Ye that are fpiritual consider. Can outward water wash the soul clean ? Ye that have ever ; felt the blood of sprinkling from the Lord upon your consciences, and your
consciences cleansed thereby; did ye ever feel it to be outward ? It is one thing what a man apprehends (in the way of notion) from the letter concerning the things of God, and another thing what a man feels in Spirit.
Query 18. Seeing the apostle speaks of puritying the heavenly things themselves, Hebr. ix. 23. it would seriously be inquired into, and the Lord waited on, to know what nature these facrifices must be of, which cleanse the heavenly things? Whether they must not of necessity be heavenly? If so, then whether was it the Aesh and blood of the veil, or the flesh and blood within the veil? Whether was it the flesh and blood of the outward earthly nature, or the flesh and blood of the inward spiritual nature? Whether was it the flesh and blood which Christ took of the first Adam's nature, or the fesh and blood of the second Adam's nature?
Query 19. What is that, wherein they that are in the Spirit, behold as in a glass, with open face, the glory of the Lord ? Is it not Christ? And how is Christ so? Is it not as he is made manifest in Spirit ? Doth he know Christ aright, or believe in him aright, that knoweth him according to his bodily appearance (that can relate, and firmly believe, what he did therein) or he that knoweth and believeth in his Spirit and power? Henceforth know we no man after the flesh; no not Christ (saith the apostle), though we have known him so. What meaneth that? The same thing may be known several ways : outwardly, inwardly; according to the files, according to the Spirit. Now, if ye are of the Spirit, live in the Spirit; if ye live in the Spirit, know in the Spirit the things of God after the Spirit, as the Spirit reveals, as that which is born of God receives ; and not as the wisdom, understanding, reason, and Aesh of man can receive ; and then ye will come into fellowship with Christ, both in his death and resurrection, and know indeed the resurrection both of the life and of the body : which to know, and be able to acknowledge in Jesus, is very precious.
Query 20. Hath not Christ made us kings and priests to God, even his Father? What is it that is the king and priest in us? And if we be priests, must we not have somewhat to offer ? What have we to offer? And what makes our sacrifices favoury and acceptable ? Is it not that of his Spirit, that of his life, which is in them? Is it not the faith, the love, the obedience (which are all of him) wherein they are offered ? If we should give our bodies to be burned in the way of testifying to truth), without this would they be accepted ? If we give but a cup of cold water in this, is it not accepted ?
Now, is the life, the faith, the obedience of the Son, the thing which is of value in us? And was it not the same which was of value in him? What did the Father require of the Son, for satisfaction for Adam's disobedience? Was it not the obedience of the second Adam, which weighed down the transgression and disobedience of the first? Doch not this make all righteous (who are of him, and found in his nature), as the transgreffion of the first made all unrighteous ? Rom. v. 19. Sacrifice and offering thou
wouldst wouldst not. Lo I come to do thy will, O God! (He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.) By the which will we are fanctified, thro' the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all, Heb. x. 9, 10. What can be plainer to that which hath truth's ear? So, by truth manifested in the heart, there is nothing denied of what is said concerning Christ in fcripture, but every thing owned, believed, and received in its proper place.
Query 21. Who is the captain of our salvation ? Who is it that girdeth himself with might, riding on conquering and to conquer all the enemies of the soul ? Is it not the Lamb ? Is it not Christ? Is it not he whose name is called the Word of God? And yet how can it be he? Is not he to sit at God's right hand, until his enemies be made his footstool ? .
Query 22. What is the water and Spirit, whereof a man must be born again, or he cannot see the kingdom of God? Is it Christ's flesh and blood or no? His flesh saw no corruption, and incorruptible flesh and blood may enter the kingdom, though corruptible cannot.
Query 23. What did all the types, veils, and shadows under the law signify? Did they signify another veil ? Did they signify or shadow out that which was outward ? Or did they shadow out and signify that inward life, virtue, and faving power, which was the substance of all ? · Query 24. Is not the substance, the life, the' anointing called Christ, where-ever it is found ? Doth not the name belong to the whole body (and every member in the body) as well as to the head? Are they not all of one; yea, all one in the anointing? Was not this the great desire of his heart to the Father, that they all might be one, even as the Father and Christ were one, John xvii. 21. 23. And so being one in the fame Spirit (one in the same life, one in the same divine nature, 2 Pet. i. 4. even partakers of God's holiness, Heb. xii. 10.) Christ is not ashamed to call them brethren, Heb. ii. 11. nor is the apostle ashamed to give them the name Cbrist together with him, I Cor. xii. 12. The body is the same with the . head; one and the same in nature; and doch not the name belong to the nature in the whole? So that the name is not given to the vessel, but to the nature, to the heavenly treasure, to that which is of him in the vessel, to that which the Lord from heaven begets in his own image and likeness, of his own substance, of his own seed, of his own Spirit and pure life.
Query 25. What was that live coal from the altar, whereby the prophet Isaiah's iniquity was taken away, and his sin purged? Ifa. vi. 6, 7. Can any thing purge away sin, but the blood of Christ ?
Query 26. What are the leaves of the tree of life, which are for the healing of the nations ? Is not Christ the tree of life? Is there any other tree of life besides him ? Is there, any other healer? And what do these leaves of the tree of life heal the nations of? Do they not heal them of their sins, and of the sicknesses and difempers of their fouls because of