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Now they that receive this light, which is teftified of, and witnessed to, receive Chrift; but they that despise and reject it, reject him; as will be made manifest in the day of the Lord, whatever men, in their wisdom and comprehensions, judge to the contrary, who know not, nor are able to judge of the appearances of the Lord, or of the glory of this dispensation.
For this dispensation is indeed most precious, glorious, and living, being a dispensation of the feed and power of life itself, whereby God translateth out of darkness, and the regions thereof, into the kingdom of his dear Son, and into his glorious image. Which, reader, not that thou mayeft have only notions concerning, but mayest really come to partake of, is the end of my giving forth these things following; which sweetly, freshly, liv.. ingly, and powerfully sprang up in my heart for thy fake, and are in great love presented to thy view,
By a sufferer for the truth which lives in him, and in which he lives, through the tender mercy of the Lord, and to the glory of
the riches of his grace,
T R E A TI SE
CONCERNING God's Teachings, and Christ's Law, &c.
It is written in the prophets (said Chrift) they shall be all taught of God. Every
one therefore that hath beard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me, John vi. 45. For the prophets indeed bad said, All thy children shall be taught of the Lord, and they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest of them.
TOW whose children are they which shall all be taught of the Lord ?
And which are they which shall all know the Lord by the teachings of his Spirit, from the least to the greatest? Are they not the children of the free woman, the children of the Jerusalem which is from above, which is the mother of all that are truly living? Now all her children the Father of life begets, and taketh care to teach them the true, pure, heavenly, living knowledge; fo that they indeed know the Lord, being taught by the anointing so to do; and they indeed know Christ, the Father revealing him to them: for none knows the Father but the Son, and none knows the Son but the Father, and he to whom the Father reveals him. Flesh and blood bath not revealed it to thee, but my Father which is in heaven (faid Christ to Peter, Matt. xvi. 17.) And it pleased God to reveal his Son in me, faid Paul, Gal., i, 15, 16. And how did Paul preach Christ among the Gentiles? Did he not preach him as a mystery hid from ages and generations, which none but the Father could reveal and make manifest ? And when
he is known and made manifest, is he not known within, revealed within, made manifest within ? Col. i. 26, 27. and 1 John i. 2. Mark: The life was manifested. Thus they came to know Christ; and if they would bring others to the knowledge of Christ, they must bring others to the manifestation of the same life, and shew unto them that eternal life which was with the Father, and was manifested unto them, ver. 2. Now that they might do chus, they were to preach the light to them (even this message, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all, ver. 5.) and to turn them to the light (Afts xxvi. 18.) in which alone men can see and receive the life which is eternal. Men may know or comprehend many things concerning the Messiah from the letter ; but they can only know the Messiah himself in the light which shines into their hearts, and which he sent his apostles to direct and turn their minds to. For they directed them to the Word within, light within, life within, Spirit within; to feel after the manifestation of God within, which was communicated to the very Gentiles, Rom. i. 17. And so Paul directed the Gentiles to seek after and find God nigh, and not afar off, Aets xvii. 27. Oh! this is precious to find and feel God near, Christ near; in his light to see light, in his life to feel and enjoy life! For here in the place of darkness, in the place of fin and death, in the place where dragons lay, Isa. xxxv, 7.) is the redeeming power to be felt, and the deliverance of the soul experienced by those that truly believe.
The Scribes and Pharisees had a knowledge that the Messiah was to come; but how came they by it? Why they had read so in the letter of the scriptures. The professors of this age have a knowledge that Christ is come; how came they by that? Why they have read fo in the writings of the evangelists and apostles. But who hath believed the report of life now, and to whom is the arm of the Lord (which is now stretched forth) revealed ? Who hath heard and learned of the Father to know the Son, and so to come to him, even from the inward revelation of his Spirit, and from the inward living knowledge which is thereby ? Every one therefore (saith Christ) every one of these children, every one that is taught of God (because of what they have heard and learned of the Father) cometh to the Son. Now every one that is thus drawn, and thus cometh, Christ receiveth, and giveth to all such eternal life; and they know him who giveth them eternal life, and who preserveth and maintaineth life in them. Others have but a notional knowledge of him; but do not indeed know him that is true, nor are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ, who is the very God and life eternal, 1 John v. 20.
And so they that are taught of God, learn of him to repent from dead works, and do repent them thereof; whereas others, through hardness of heart, do not so much as discern which are dead works, which not, in matters of worship. Others do not know the true difference between that which is dead and that which is living; but death (unknown to them) lives and reigns in their very knowledge and apprehensions of things; even in Ttt 2
their their faith, in their duties, yea, in all they believe and perform to God. For as Paul was alive without the law once, even when he walked according to the letter of the law blameless; fo all forts are now dead, in the midt of all their knowledges and practices from the letter (how much alive foever they may seem to themselves therein) till they come to the ministration of the Spirit. For the letter killeth; but the Spirit quickeneth, or giveth life, 2 Cor. iii. 6. and ver. 3. This therefore is the work of a true minister, to beget into the Spirit, and into the life; but ah! how little do men know what dead works are, and what it is truly to witness repentance from them! Men out of God's Spirit, light, and power, are so far from repenting for them, that they do not so much as rightly distinguish and difcern them; but take that for living which is dead; kindling a fire of themselves, and compassing themselves about with sparks, thinking the warmth thereof to be the true warnith. Now if men are not come to the true repentance from dead works, much less are they come to the true faith towards God; and so are yet in their fins, yet out of Christ, having never learned of the Father to come to him ; and so are still in Egypt's spirit, in Egypt's wisdom, and in that hold their religion: and whenever God appears in his Spirit and power, he will not be that to them which they expect; but a dreadful stroke from him will come upon all their ways and worships, which are as abominable to God as they are pleasing to them. But alas ! to what end are words to that ear, to that spirit, which is like the deaf adder, which will not hearken to the voice of the charmer, charm he ever so wisely! Could the letterlearned Scribes and Pharisees hear the voice of Christ in the days of his flesh? Nay; they could not, in that gain-faying spirit. Can the letterlearned professors, in the same spirit, hear the voice of Christ's Spirit now? Nay; they cannot. And they that cannot hear the voice of the second Adam, the voice of the quickening Spirit, the voice of him who gives life to the soul, how can they live? And if they first receive not life from Christ, how can they perform any living action to God? How can they worship in the Spirit and in the living truth, who are not gathered into the Spirit and into the living truth? Oh! that men could consider arighe of these things, and wait on the Lord for the true understanding of them! For without the true knowledge of God and Christ (without that knowledge which is life eternal) men must needs perish. It cannot be otherwise ; for the true knowledge only saves, and therefore they which have is not must needs perish.
YITHAT is that law which the illes were and are to wait for? Is it not
W the grace and truth which comes by Jesus Christ, even the grace in the inward parts, the truth in the inward parts? The law outward was given by Moses to the outward Jews; but grace and truth comes by Jesus Christ. That is the law of the Jew inward, which the ines of the Gentiles were to wait for.
The apostle holdeth forth Christ to be the soul's master (he is the Shepherd, Lord, King, and Bishop of the foul), to whom every one must give an account. Now what must men give an account to him of? Is it not of the grace and truth which comes by him? If any man hath received that, obeyed that, believing the found, report, and voice of that, and so loved and followed it, will it not be said unto him, Well done, good and faithful fervant ? But if any one hath neglected and despised the grace (not improving the talent, but improving his own natural abilities, while God's talent lay wrapped up in a napkin, and hid in the earth) will not that person be judged a nothful servant as to improving the talent, whatever he hath been as to improving his own natural parts and abilities?
Now mind: If Chrift be an inward, a spiritual master, what is his law but the inward teachings of his Spirit? A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you like unto me, him shall ye hear in all things; and he that will not hear him, how secure and confident foever he may seem to himself of his state at present; yet it shall come to pass that he shall be cut off and destroyed from among God's people. Are not the words, the voice, the motions, the leadings, the drawings, the commands of his Spirit, the law to all that are spiritual? Doth he not say to one, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; to another, Do this, and he doth it? Here is the glory of the great Lord and King, and of the great Highpriest, over the houshold of God, in that he giveth forth precepts according to his holy will and pleasure, and all his sheep know his voice, and follow him; and all his children and servants observe and obey him.
If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit, said the holy apostle. Here are the limits of the children of the new covenant; here is the law of life (the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus), the law of the new covenant, written in the heart, which none can read but with the new eye. . The children of the flesh inay read the letter, and comprehend concerning the letter, and gather rules and observations out of the letter ; but the children of the new covenant alone can read the law of life in the heart. And