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affections, but satisfieth not the foul, or that which is born after the Spirit, but still the cry there goes out (where the soul is awakened) after truth, substance, life, virtue from God's Spirit in the spirit, which it alone can feed upon.
These four things following I am certain of; which he that cometh into the true light, shall infallibly experience them there.
First, That nothing can save but the knowledge of Christ, even of that very Christ, and no other, who took upon him the prepared body, and offered it up at Jerusalem.
Secondly, That no knowledge of Christ can save but the living knowledge. Not a knowledge of him after the letter (which the carnal part may get much of, and value itself much by), but'a knowledge of him in the Spirit ; which is only given to that which is begotten and born of the Spirit, and only retained by that which abides and remains in the Spirit, and runs not out into the fleshly reasonings, imaginings, and conceivings, about the things mentioned in the scriptures.
Thirdly, Thạt that man who knoweth not Christ in spirit, nor keepeth close to him in spirit; but (through darkness and misguidance of the spirit
of deceit) calleth the shinings of his light (his reproofs, his checks for that i which is evil, and his secret motions to that which is good) natural; this
man, though he seem to own Christ ever so much according to the letter, yet in truth denies him.
Fourthly, He that denies Christ (in his knockings and visitations of him in his own heart, and before men in the truths which he holds forth by his servants and ministers of his Spirit) him will he deny before his Father in heaven.
Oh! I beseech you do not trifle about these things (for they are exceeding weighty) left ye perish from the way! For missing of the Saviour, ye must needs also miss of the salvation. Oh! that ye knew your state, as God knows it to be, and as it is certainly known and felt, in the measure of his life and Holy Spirit, by those which God hath gathered thither, and whose eyes he hath opened, and preserveth open there; glory be to his name therefore : yea, glory, glory, glory, and everlasting praises be sung to bim throughout all the boly land ; yea, in the very beights of Șion, by the souls of the redeemed, from henceforth and for evermore, Amen : whose mercy, love, grace, wildom, power, and rich goodness remaineth and endureth for ever ; by and in which the redeemed live to his praise, wbo bave overcome by the blood of the Lamb, whose blood they know what it is, and none else knoweth it, but they who feel the sprinkling and virtue of it. Lo! this is our God, we have waited for bim, and how can we but be glad, and rejoice in his salvation! Oh! let all that live by the breath of thy power, and drink of thy streams, sing praise unto thee, and exalt thy great and wonderful name for ever and ever.
Some PROPOSITIONS and CONSIDERATIONS concerning
the Nature of Church-Worships and Ordinances fince the Days of the Apostles, for the sake of the Simplicity which hath been long held captive therein.
ÍTE that would know the true state of the church, and ordinances
Ūl thereof, must wait upon God in fear and humility of heart, who alone is able to give the true knowledge and understanding of these things. And he that cometh to the Spirit, waiteth in the Spirit, and receiveth the true light from the Spirit, he shall be able to measure ages and generations part as with a span, and see clearly in that light) how things were before the apoftafy, how while the church was in the wilderness, and how things shall be again after the apostasy, when the church cometh out of the wildernefs. She herself is the fame in all; but her state is different, according to the wisdom and good pleasure of him who variously disposeth of her. One while she is cloathed, appearing in the beauty and glorious dress which the Lord had put upon her. Another while she is stripped of her outward garments, and the harlot dressed therewith, and appearing therein. After which season she is adorned again as gloriousy (if not more gloriously) than before ; but whether ever she appears more in those garments wherein the harlot had been dressed, and wherein she had long appeared (even all the time of the apoftasy) the Lord would be inquired of, and waited on to know. Now to help the tender and upright hearts towards the true sense of these things, the Propofitions and Considerations following are given forth, which he that sincerely waiteth on the Lord, from him may receive the true understanding and right acknowledgment of. · 1. That upon the coming of Christ, and the change of that outward covenant, the distinction between the outward Jew and Gentile fell, they becoming all one, as in relation to Christ; and then another distinction arose in relation to the faith, believers becoming Jews now, and unbelievers Gentiles.
2. That these true and inward Jews had not only the inward faith, the life, the power, the Spirit ; but also a ministry, ordinances, and gifts of the Spirit relating to their present state.
3. That there was a time, after a long and sharp fight between the true ministers, who appeared in the true light and power of the true Spirit, and the false ministers, who also appeared as ministers of righteousness, and as in the power of the Spirit, but were not such indeed, but instructed by Satan to transform themselves into a resemblance and likeneis of ministers of
sighteousness : righteousness: for though they faid they were apostles, and seemed fo in appearance ; yet their spirit (being tried) was found not to be the Spirit of the apostles: I say, there was a time, when there was a division (or separation) made, between the inward temple and the outward court.
4. That when this division was made, the outward court was given to the Gentiles; not any longer reserved by God for the true worshippers, who worship in Spirit and truth; but given to the unbelievers, the worshippers out of the true faith, the worshippers out of the Spirit, and out of the life.
5. That henceforward (since this feparation) the believers, or true Jews, are not to be expected in the outward court (in the worship thereof, wherein they were found before this feparation), but the unbelievers, the Gentiles (who have not the true nature, but at best but the appearance of the Jew) are to be expected there, and the true Jew is to be looked for and found more inward.
6. That therefore which allureth to look for God there, and to wait for him in the ways and worships of this time of the separation, is not the true Spirit (which rightly guideth the simple heart to the place where God appears, and where he is to be waited for); but the wrong spirit, who, when he cannot ftifle the simplicity, and hinder it from breathing and seeking af
ter God, waits to draw aside and mislead it. • 7. That the great way of that spirit's misguiding and misleading the ho. : nest heart, in its breathing and longing state, is not by a direct taking it off from seeking after God; but rather by pointing it to a way to seek him in, wherein he once appeared, and was enjoyed, but is now withdrawn from.
8. He that will keep close to God, and not be withdrawn from him, must watch to his Spirit, and know the leadings of it, else he will not follow the Lamb whithersoever he goes; but stay behind in some observation or practice which the Lamb is gone out of; and so miss of his leader, and meet (instead thereof) with another leader, even the spirit of antichrist, who enters into the outward court,, and outward practices, fo.foon as ever the Spirit of God hath left them.
9. That God's people, since his withdrawing inward, and giving the outward court to the Gentiles, have been much deceived by the antichristian spirit, and led captive into Babylon; insomuch as God, when he cometh to overthrow anrichrift, with the Babylon of his building, finds them there, and calls them out from, thence. For the light growing low, and the deceit grear, and the spirit subtil; how can the poor, weak, innocent babe espy that spirit, and escape his snares, when he tempts to those very paths and ways of worship wherein the saints had walked and met with God, before the Spirit of the Lord departed out of them and gave them up to the Gentiles?
10. That there is danger to the people of God of not understanding his call out of Babylon, but abiding there, through the subtil entanglements of
the falle fpirit, who bewitcheth (with the cup of fornication) to make Babylon appear as Sion, her doctrines as the truths of the gospel, her ordinances and ways of worship as the true ordinances and ways of worship. For the deceit is exceeding deep, and the mystery of iniquity very great, following the heart close which the Lord is drawing to depart therefrom; and if the Lord God is not strong and vigilant, who judgech the whore, she would still keep her hold of the heart; and if the heart be nor kept very close to the Lord in the judgment, it cannot come out of Babylon, but will still be entangled and held in some part or other of the mystery of its deceit.
11. Such of the people of God as do not wait to understand and receive the full call, and so do not follow the Lord perfectly out of that city of abominations; but by her subtilties, and inward and outward withcrafts, are held captive therein, and found in any part thereof when the Lord cometh to judge her; such mult partake of the plagues from the hand of the Lord, who will not spare her, nor the spirits of his dearest people who are found there, in the day of his visitation and righteous judgments.
Therefore come out of her, come out of her, ye that love your souls, and the pure presence and fresh light of God's countenance! Ye that know what it is to provoke him to jealousy, and fear the weight of his hand upon your fpirits; ye that love the holy land, the holy city, and temple of the living God, oh! come out of that impure building, that fefhly building, those fleshly ways and worships which that fpirit adorneth, to make them appear as if they were spiritual. Oh! depart ye, depart ye, out of your new removes; for they are also polluted, and not your reft; but short of that wherein the rest, the peace, the presence of the Lord of life is felt by others, and to be found by you.
And consider this, if ever ye will come to the holy city, which was once built in the days of the apostles, but (since the division of it from the outward court) hath been trodden down, and trampled under the feet of the unbelievers, even while they have been worshipping in the outward court (which God once built and chose, but afterwards withdrew his Spirit from, and gave up to the unbelievers ; I say, if ever you will come to this holy city, the holy land wherein it is built, and the holy hill whereon it was founded, ye must pass through the wilderness, be exercised in the wilderness, even till ye are fitted for it, and not strive to raise up a building yourselves in the likeness of it; but wait till God hath hewn and prepared the stones by his Spirit, and then (by the skill of the Spirit) build up his Sion again.
Therefore, in the fear of the Lord, consider seriously, meekly, humbly, and brokenly, that the Lord may manifest your present state and condition unto you, whether ye have not erred in these things as well as others, and have not cause to repent of your forwardness herein, and to acknowledge that your buildings have been raised in the forwardness of your own spirits, and in the confidence of your reasonings upon scripture-words, without feel
ing the presence (guidance and holy power) of God's Spirit raising up the foundation of many generations, and rearing his own pure house upon his
own holy mounta hand is the time anged, yet might nod feason was to be
In the Lord's hand is the time and season of building his own house. David, though his desire was approved, yet might not build the outward temple in the time of his choice ; but God's time and season was to be waited for, both for the first building, and for the rebuilding of it. There is likewise a season for the rebuilding of spiritual Sion, after the long captivity it in mystery Babylon. Now he that is forward, building before the time and season of the Spirit, buildeth without the Spirit, and his building is not of the Spirit, but of the nature of Babylon, which is wholly to be departed from, and left behind, in the foul's travels and progress towards Sion : and whatever is of the nature of Babylon, must at length fall with Babylon (in the day of her terrible judgment) if the Lord in mercy do not shake it, and cause it to fall before.
Therefore, O all professors ! awake out of the flesh and all fleshly reafonings, into the Spirit of life, and examine there both your inward and outward buildings, that your loss be not great, and your anguish unutterable in the day of the Lord, when all those buildings, which are raised and preserved in the pure life and power, shall shine in the beauty and glory of God's Spirit, and the greatest glory of Aelh and Acthly buildings fade and wither.
The Sounding of Bowels towards thee, O ENGLAND!
D ARLY in the morning, on the 26th day of the Sixth Month, 1660,
i this, in the freshness and quick sense of life, sprang up in my heart again and again. O England, England, England! how good had it been for thee, that thou hadft known and walked in the way of peace !
There is a way of peace for persons and nations to know and walk in; but every person and nation doth not know and walk in chis way, but rather in the way of trouble.
Quest. What is the way of peace?
Answ. It is the way of the pure wisdom, the way of the light and guidance of God's Spirit, from whom the creature came, and by whom alone it can be rightly ordered. He that waiteth on him for counsel, he that subjecteth to, and walketh in his counsel, he walketh in the way of peace.
Quest. What is the way of trouble?
Antw. The way of a man's own wisdom and counsel. For a man or nation to do that which is right in their own eyes. This is the way of man, whereby he thinks to establish himself, and put an end to his troubles, but he errs therein, as in the end he still finds to his woe.