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Rem. Who denies that God and Christ, and the holy seed, which are one in nature, though not in measure and fullness, as he is in himself, is above the seed of the ferpent? '
He addeth further, Neither bath man's mind been so blinded, that be could not see his fins by the light, P. 8. L. 38. (as corrected by the errata.)
Rem. There is an eye that the God of this world blinds, that it may not see the glorious shinings of the light, 2 Cor. iv. 3, 4. And the eye that is blind cannot fee, till God opens it. The outward eye cannot see the shining of the outward sun, but as it is opened; nor can the inward eye see inward things, but as the Lord opens it. Paul was sent to the Gentiles, to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, Aals xxvi. 18. So that man's eye is blinded, that though the light shine in the darkness, yer he cannot see, nor walk in the way of the light, but as God anoints and opens his eye; anoint thine eyes with eye-falve, that thou mayest see, Rev. iii. 18.
But I beseech him, in the tender bowels of love, to consider where his standing is, and what it is in him that brings forth these things; for I am sure it is not the true light, where-with God hath shined in the hearts of his people, and doth shine at this day. He mistakes the true light in others, and calls it darkness; and also mistakes the darkness in himself, and calls it light: and whither, after this rate, may he wander in his uncertain notions and comprehensions; and while he is thus talking of God, and heaven, and the light within, let him take heed left he be found among them who blafpheme God, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven?
What I have hitherto took notice of, may sufficiently manifest, even to himself, could he retire low enough, where the true understanding and knowledge is given, how he hath erred from the true light, and but pretended to it, and not been led by it, in what he hath now writ.
As for the other part of his book, though I could say much to it, if the Lord did require me; yet finding it chiefly to be matter of notion and criticism, my heart is not engaged to meddle with it; for it is not in me, to bring people into such critical disputes, about an invisible man, or invisible woman, or who was the first invisible man; which one while he seems to call God or Christ, another while the son of perdition, or power of darkness, the first invisible inan, as page 21. for which I am fatisfied, he can produce no fcripture ; which he requires of friends, for what they asfert.
I must confess, I fee no profit in his meddling with such things, but rather a drawing the minds of the people into forbidden knowledge, and airy comprehension about the heavenly things, and feeding that part in them." selves which should not thus be suffered to fly aloft, but be kept under.
And happy were it for him, if he could feel the truth, feed, and life (which is grieved in him), rise above them, trample them down, and reign
over them: but he must experience great humility, and a long travel, before he can come to witness this.
As for his denying himself to be of us ; indeed he hath sufficiently manifelted by this book, and by his strange notions and comprehensions therein, that he is not of us; but a stranger to that life, spirit and power, which hath gathered, guideth, and preserveth us out of such paths as there.
And oh! that he did not hug so many notions (and those very strange ones too, contrary to the truth and holy experience, in the hearts of God's redeemed ones, and the holy scriptures, as hath been already shewed), and ger such comprehensions into his brain, concerning the saving power; but wait to descend, and come down thither, where he may feel it in his heart, and that will preserve him, for the future, from fuch contradictions and confusions, which the other part of his book is also too full of; which, if the Lord please, he may draw forth some other to lay open, for the vindication of truth, and its true testimony, from his spirit and false testimony, uttered in very strange and extravagant expressions ; not at all suitable to the nature of truth, but rather to the nature of that dark spirit from whence it came; which the Lord of his tender mercy manifest to him, and redeem him from, into a tender, living, humble sense of the meek and lowly principle of life in the heart.
P O S T SCRIPT.
CINCE the writing of the former, and my not intending to meddle
with the rest, there hath something lain upon me, as to some few palfages therein also, to write a few words, by way of testimony to one or two particulars therein : but that which mainly lay upon me, was somewhat in relation to his Postscript; he looking upon it as so unanswerable, and yet fo plain and clear an answer arising to it in my heart.
First, As to his main controversy with friends, about the Christ that died at Jerusalem (he affirming, That neither justification nor condemnation is by him; and reproaching friends, as having gone back to the professors Christ and Saviour, who died without the gates of Jerusalem, as page 17. 21. 26.); this is in my heart to say:
Rem. Is Christ divided ? Is there one Christ that died without the gates of Jerusalem, and another that did not die? Or is it not the same Lord Jesus Christ, who died without the gates of Jerusalem, according to the Hesh, and yet was then alive in the Spirit? Do we affirm that the God-head died ? (No, we do not so much as affirm, that his soul died, as he doth, page 19.) but according to the flesh he died; that is, he who was the refurrection, and the life, laid down his life, and took it up again, according to the commandment of his Father.
: Vol. II.
Thus • Thus we have been taught of God to believe, and thus to hold it forth. And we have no other justifier, condemner, Saviour, or interceffor, than he that laid down the life of the body, offering it up a sacrifice to his Father, without the gates of Jerusalem. Who is be that justifietb? Is it not God, in and through him? And, who is he that condemneth? Is it not Christ that died? And where did he die? Was it not without the gates of Jerusalem ? Yea rather, that is risen again, &c. Rom. viii. 33, 34.
Secondly, The next thing that lies upon me to take notice of, is writing against sense, and disowning the exhortation to come to a sense, and to wait in a sense, and abide in a sense, &c. as page 25.
Rem. Though I have given a touch at this already, in the foregoing part, yet there is somewhat more lies upon me. The inward man, the new man, the fpiritual man, hath inward and spiritual senses. Chrift's Theep have spiritual ears to hear his voice with ; and a spiritual eye is given to the spiritual man, to fee him who otherwise is invisible. • There is also a spiritual taste to favour and distinguish between that which is living, and that which is dead; between that which is corrupt and uinwholesome, and that which is wholesome food : and by the exercise of these fenfes, the children of God become more and more skilful in discerning between good and evil, Heb. v. 14. And in this living fense, the elect cry unto God against their enemies, and are heard and preserved by him, and shall in due time be fully delivered, Luke xviii, 7, 8.
The truly living are truly sensible. Indeed, if he could take away the sense of life, and the judgment of life from God's people, it were an easy matter to deceive them with such kind of notions and comprehensions, as he hath brought forth in this his book. But the Lord hath given a living sense or senses to his, and pure living judgment therein ; which their minds being kept to, it is impossible for this spirit, or any such like, with all its inchantments, to prevail upon them, because the sheep's ear knows the found and voice of life, from the sound and voice of death, let antichrift transform in any of his ministers ever so mysteriously.
He saith, God is not a sense, nor is bis Spirit a sense. .Rem. It is not for him, in his notional way, to say what God is; he that made the eye, shall not he fee? He that made the ear, shall not he hear? Doth he beget his children into a living sense, and bestow living lenses upon them? And hath not he the thing in himself much more?
But let me ask him this question ; did God, the holy begetter of life, ever beget him into a living sense ? If not, he was never of us; if the Lord did, let him wait to be begotten so again, and he shall soon be one of us again, and judge in the true Spirit, life, and power, what he hath here writ and published abroad in the wrong; and he shall no longer believe, that this his writing was written from the testimony of Jesus in him (as he expreffeth, page 21.), but shall experience the life of Jesus condemning it in his own heart, as I am sure it hath dane and doch in mine, and cannot
but do in all that have been gathered to, and abide in, that which keepeth livingly sensible.
Thirdly, The third thing, and that which most lies upon me, is that charge of his upon friends, That they do few more homage, reverence, and obedience to the form outwardly, than to the power of God inwardly, and that they worship the form beyond i be power, because they keep their hats on when they wait and worship in silence; but in public prayer, both men and women either Stand up, or else kneel down, and the men all put off their bats : berein (he faith) they worship, reverence, and adore the form outwardly; and the words, more than the word of life in their hearts, &c. This praćtice he would have them vindicate, if they can : Indeed be hath sufficiently condemned it, and more than God bath allowed bim to do, or will justify him in.
Rem. The thing is nakedly and plainly thus; the great God, by the arm of his power, hath gathered a people to himself, and taught them to wore ship him in his own Spirit and truth; yea, he hath taught us to be continually retired, and upon our watch, and in his fear; eyeing and regarding him in all we do.
Besides this, he hath appointed us folemn times of meeting together, to worship him; in which times we do, in a more solemn, and after a more especial manner, retire to feel his presence with us, and holy Spirit and power working in our hearts, and ministering to us. And, bleffed be the Lord, he is still found, according to his promise, in the midst of us; and doth give us pure breatheings after him, and pure sense of him, and pure praises to him ; even praises from, and in, that which is pure. .
Yet, while we are sitting thus waiting, or when breatheings or praises arise, we are not taught or required of the Lord to pull off our hats, or kneel on our knees.
But when the Lord moveth and calleth any forth (for the assembly, or in the name and on the behalf of the assembly) to offer prayer or praises to God; then, to signify our unity in the Spirit, and our joint reverence to our God, we are moved either to kneel, or stand, as the Lord shall incline our hearts, and to uncover our heads before him. And in this we do not adore the form, as our God knoweth and beareth witness; but him who hach taught us the form, and who teacheth us to continue therein, and justifieth us in the use and practice thereof.
And what spirit is this that condemneth us after this vaunting manner, as if he had brought forth such a manifest evidence of our adoring the form, as could not be answered ?
The last thing which lies on me to take notice of, is those words about the close of his postscript; I bave yet another book, that is written in and from the Spirit of God; the tendency of which book is, for the overthrowing of all antichrist's ministers in this nation, &c.
Rem. This testimony lies on my heart concerning him, that he is not in a condition, or capacity, to write or speak in or from God's Spirit. He may
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pretend pretend to have written this, or to write another book, from God's Spirit, but he doth but take the name of the Lord in vain in so doing, and the Spirit of the Lord will without doubt, through some of those that are in him that is true, give a sure and certain sound, and testimony, against his false pretences.
Oh! that he could indeed think, or write, or speak against antichrist's ministers, and against the spirit of antichrift; which if ever he be able from God to do, he must first see how antichrift hath prevailed over him, and darkened him, and how he dwelleth and reigneth in his heart, as if he were God; yea, he must deny his present light and spirit, and call it no more Christ; but feel that which is now little and low in him rise (through his sense of it, and subjection to it) over that which is now fo high, and so exalted above the measure of truth in his own heart ; which, if it were so, or might once be so, how glad would my soul be for his fake, which is now grieved to see him so lifted up, and lo mistaken, and so deeply to err, both concerning himself, and God's people, church, and ministers, and concerning God's light and Spirit; denying, debasing, and casting down that, to exalt himself; that so he might set up the wrong inftead of the right, and be justified and owned by the one, seeing he cannot by the other!
The Lord, if it be his will, in tender mercy to him, bring him down from his high seat, and exalt that holy blood of the covenant, which is now trampled under foot by him, that his soul may be saved, and not perilk for ever in the day that never shall have end) from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power. Amen.