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OR, Truth nakedly manifesting itself,
. In Several ParticulARS, For the Removing of Hindrances out of the Way of the SIMPLE-HEARTED,
THAT THEY MAY Come to true Knowledge, Life, Liberty, Peace, and
Joy in the LORD, through the Virtue and Power of his precious Truth revealed and working in them.
Given forth by Way of QUESTION and ANSWER.
Whereunto are added, Some Experiences, with some Scriptures, very sweet, and necessary to be experienced in the Gospel-State.
AS A L SO, A few. Words concerning the True CHRIST;
A N D A few. Words in the Bowels of tender Love and Good-will to my
NATIVE COUNTRY. By a long Mourner and Traveller after, but at length an happy Experiencer:
of, the Truth, as it is in JESUS,. IS A AC PENING TO N.. Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye. See. LUKE X.238
TRUE knowledge and true experience, especially cencerning things of
T necessity, and great concern to the soul, is very precious. As; to know the true foundation, the corner-stone, which God lays in his spiritual Sion; and the heavenly Jerusalem, which is the mother of all that are born of God; and the gathering out of the spirit of this world (with the vanity and fallhood thereof) into God's Spirit, which is truth and no lye; and the building up of the holy temple, in which God appears, and is worshipped; and the heavenly communion with the Father and Son, in the one pure light which shines from them into the heart ; and the one faith, the one circumcision, the one baptism, the one holy mountain, the one feast of fat things made thereon; the one water of life, the one bread, the one cup of salvation, &c.
Now the things of the kingdom are all at the disposal of the king thereof. To him all power is given, in him are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge; he hath life in himself, and he hath life to dispose of, and dispense to his. He gives the true knowledge, which is life eternal; he gives repentance, and remission of sins. He teacheth to believe in the Father, and he giveth faith also. He is the Shepherd of the sheep, who by his voice quickeneth, and maketh alive, and leadeth, and preserveth, and nourisheth up to life eternal. Therefore, whoever will understand aright, must receive understanding from him; and whoever will repent arighi, must receive repentance from him; and whoever will believe aright, must receive faith from him; and whoever will hear and fee aright, must receive an ear and eye from him; and whoever will come unto him, and receive him, must witness that new heart forming or formed in him, wherewith and whereby he is received. Men greatly mistake and err about the gospel knowledge and religion, by beginning therein without the gospelspirit and power.
Therefore that man that would not be deceived, and lose his soul for ever, let him take heed how he begins, how he stands, and how he proceeds in his religion. The Jews stood in the revelation of God's Spirit and power outwardly, and the state of the Christians, the new-covenant state, stands in the revelation of God's Spirit and power inwardly : for none can beget a new-birth to God inwardly, but his own Spirit and power working inwardly in the heart.
Therefore, thou that wouldt live with God for ever, and not perish from the presence and glory of his power, mind these three things :
First, God's inward visiting thee, and making a real change in thee. I do not mean a change in thy niind from one notion to another ; but a change in thy heart from one nature and spirit to another. This is the great work, which nothing but the mighty power of God, which raised Jesus from the dead, can effect in the hearts of the children of men. Now that this may be wrought out in thee, wait for the appearing and working of that power, which (by its appearing and working) doth effect it daily more and more in those that unite to it, and give up to its operations. Oh! wait to feel the power begetting somewhat of its own nature in thee, leavening thee into its nature by the pure heavenly leaven wherewith God waits to leaven thy heart! Thus feel thy beginning from the true root, from the holy principle, from the seed of the kingdom; and then wait to feel that grow up in thee, and to grow up therefrom, that as the beginning is pure, so the growth may be pure also. For after God hath visited thee, and begotten somewhat in thee, and leavened thee in some measure, lo that there is true life, true sense, true hungerings, true breathings after the Lord and his righteousness, after the fountain of living waters, then (in the next place) mind and wait to learn of the true teacher how to come to the true waters, that thou mayest drink thereof, and of no dirty puddle, of thy own or any other's forming. Where are these waters dispensed, and where are they to be found ? Why in the new covenant, which God makes with the hungry and thirsty fouls, as they come to the Shepherd, and hear his voice, and learn of him, and follow him. Therefore thou must wait to distinguish spirits, and the knocks of spirits in thy own heart. Thou must know when the Shepherd knocks, and when the stranger knocks; and let in the Shepherd when he knocks, and not let in the stranger when he knocks. Thus, by knowing him, inclining thine ear to him, and hearing his voice, thou comeft to have the everlasting covenant made with thy soul, even the fure mercies of David, wherein the union with God is sure, the teacher sure, never more to be removed from thee; the fear which God puts into the heart sure; the law of the new life fure, being so written in thy heart by the finger of God's Spirit as none can blot out ; the love of God sure, his preservation sure, the inheritance of life sure. O sweet covenant! O holy covenant ! O blessed covenant! and blessed are all those souls with
whom God makes this covenant, and who are kept by him in the sense and enjoyment of it!
Now, lastly, after God hath made this covenant with thee, and spoken peace to thee, and given thee of the power, righteousness, and joy of the kingdom, and set the holy hedge of his power and wall of salvation about thee, thou must take heed of going forth after any luft, after any desire of the flesh, after any temptation of the enemy; thou must keep within the holy limits, and not touch any dead or unclean thing, left thou be defiled, and so in degree feparated from him who is pure.
The occasion of what follows was briefly thus :
There was a controversy between me and another about many of these things, towards whom my love was in a travail; and having a sense on my heart that the enemy makes use of the wrong apprehensions and mistakes he begets in mens minds about these things, contrary to the true knowledge and experience which God giveth to the children which are born of the heavenly womb, who indeed alone can rightly plead for and justify their mother, in this day of great strife and contention about the kingdom, and the right heir thereof; I say, having this sense on my heart,and these things naturally springing up and opening in me upon this occasion, I was drawn in love, and in the motion of life, thus to give them forth to others, hopeing that the Lord may thereby open the minds of some towards, and confirm the minds of others in, the lenfe and belief of the truth, and the inward manifestation of his Spirit, which discovers and ftrives against the darkness, lufts, and corruptions in them. The Lord give people the sense of the strivings and reproofs of his Holy Spirit inwardly in their hearts, and join their spirits thereto, that they may receive light, life, virtue, and strength from his Holy Spirit, and thereby witness the overcoming and keeping under the enemy of their souls, that they may know what it is to have the feed of the woman bruise the ferpent's head in their own particulars, that fo the holy child Jefus may be exalted (his horn exalted in them) and he may reign, and exercise his government in them, and they may become kings and priests to God, and reign in him over all that his power is ordained to break and keep under, yea, utterly consume and destroy, in the hearts of those that submit themselves willingly to him, and walk in the light and leadings of his Holy Spirit. Amen.
Curally springing Lotion of life, the
minds of some luwih
N A KED TRUT H.
Given forth by Way of
QUESTION and ANS W E R.
I. Concerning understanding the Holy Scriptures truly and aright. Quest. I THETHER the Scriptures can be understood aright, without
the light of God's Holy Spirit shining inwardly in the heart,
and giving the true understanding of them? Answ. No; not possibly. For as the outward eye cannot possibly see without the shining of some outward light, no more can the inward eye see without the shining of the inward light. God, who commanded light to shine out of darkness, causeth the light of his Spirit to shine in the hearts of people according to his holy pleasure, and thereby they come to see. God seeth all things in his own light, in the light of his pure eternal Spirit ; and in his light do the children of light see light. The things of God's kingdom are holy mysteries, and the words which he speaks concerning those holy mysteries none can understand, but as he pleaseth to open and reveal them. He hath given us an understanding to know him that is true, i John V. 20. The inspiration of the Almighty giveth understanding, (Job xxxii. 8.) without which, man is dead, and can neither hear, nor see, nor understand any of the things of God's kingdom.
II. Concerning the illuminating Spirit, and fanétifying Spirit. Quest. Whether the illuminating and fanElifying Spirit be one and the same Spirit or no? because it is affirmed by some (and written by one to me as a sound distinEtion of divines, which distinčtion he faith he hath e mind I Mould learn) that there is a Spirit of sanctification, and that is peculiar to the godly; and Vol. II.