THE MARROW OF CHRISTIANITY: OR, A spirituall Discoverie of some Principles of Truth, meet to be known of all the Saints; repre­sented in ten Sections.

By T. Collier, Minister of the Gospel.

Whereunto is added an Epistle, Written by M. SALTMARSH.

Isaiah 32 20. Blessed are ye that sow be­sides all waters, &c.

Isay 33.16. He shall dwel on high, his place of defence, shal be the munitions of Rocks, bread shal be given him, his wa­ters shal be sure, vers. 17. and thine eyes shall see the King in his beauty, &c.

London, Printed for Giles Calvert at the Black spread Eagle, neer the West end of Pauls, 1647.

To the Reader.

Christian Reader;

FOr to thee alone, do I commend this small Trea­tise, who alone, art able to judge of spirituall things; for, the spiritual man judgeth all things. I have here in this Treatise, presented unto publike view, some principles of Truth. Although I sup­pose that some particulars herein, may seem some­what strange at the first sight; yet I question not, but the same Spirit of Truth, which is given forth from the Father, through the Son, to the Saints, wil by degrees so gather Vs up into the mysterie of Truth, that we shall all speak the same thing, from our walking in the same light, and acting in the same power. I have in this place only three words to mind thee of, as a preparative to what thou shalt reade in this ensuing Treatise.

First, that the discovery of the first man, Adam, to be but a humane man: a man, indued, with hu­mane perfections; is not a strange, but a glorious truth, and meet to be known: for, the knowledge of this one particular, leades us to the knowledge of the Creatures nothingnesse; the wisdome, power, righteousnesse, &c. of the Creature, it is all but of the Earth, and that it is the proper work of Christ, the second man, to ruine and destroy in thee, all, that is of the first Adam, even those reliques that re­main; [Page] that wisdome is turned into folly, that strength, into weaknesse; that righteousnesse & ho­linesse; into meer filthinesse and pollution: so that Christ doth not where he comes in mercy, restore man to his first condition, as it was in Adam; but de­stroyes those principles, as we are Christians, and so creates a new man in us, which, after God, is created in righteousnesse, and true holinesse, Ephes. 4.24. and he that is in Christ, is a new creature, 2 Cor. 5.17. All old things are done away, behold all things are become new; and as is the earthly, such are they who are earthly; as is the heavenly (that is, Christ) such are they who are heavenly, 1 Cor. 15.48.

Secondly, that the glory of a Christians life is in the knowledge of Christ, living in him: so the Apostle, Gal. 2.20. I am crucified with Christ; Ne­verthelesse, I live, yet n [...]t I, but Christ liveth in me, and Christ in you: the hope of glory, is the great mystery of the Gospel for the Saints to know, Col. 1.27. that is, not to live wholly on the eying of what Christ hath d [...]ne, without us, for us; but likewise to be able to experience the life of that Christ in us, being made partaker of the same spirit, of the same Annointings, &c.

Thirdly, that the knowledge of Antichrist, is the knowledge of a mystery, I mean, a mystery of Iniqui­ [...], which none can know, but those enlightned from [...]bove: that, as the mystery of the Gospel is bid; so [Page] likewise is the mysterie of Iniquitie hid from them that perish.

Lastly, and in a word; My desire is, that, what truth thou findest here written, thy spirit may bee made one, in, and with the same truth; that so, both thou and I, may have communion & fellowship with the Spirit in the same truth; and what informa­tion or consolation thy spirit findeth from what is truth, (letting any Creature-weaknesse, thou findest, passe) let God have the glory, and so, thy poore friend in the unity of truth, and fellowship of the Gospel, hath his utmost end.


A Table of the principall things contained in this Treatise.


  • OF Adams condition before his fall. pag. 1.
  • Adams in a condition of humane per­fection. pag. 1. 2.
  • The Image of God, what in Adam. pag. 2. 3 5.
  • Mans best wisdome, but the remain­der of the first Adam; in it; many too much glory. pag. 3. 4.
  • What the Image of Adam is not. pag. 8.


  • The cause or ground of mans fall. pag. 8.
  • First the mutability of his condition. pag. 8.
  • God not the cause of sin. pag. 10.
  • [Page]The second cause of mans fall. pag. 11.
  • Satans Temptation. pag. 12.
  • Why Satan called a Serpent. pag. 12.
  • The cause of mans fall, disobedience. pag. 13.
  • The Tree of Knowledge of good and evill; why so called. pag. 13.


  • Mans misery by reason of his fall. pag. 14. 15.
  • Mans misery considered under 3. heads. pag. 16.


  • What is the meanes God hath appointed for the recovery of man out of this condition, that is, iesus Christ. pag. 27.
  • The sin and fault is laid upon Christ. pag. 17. 18.
  • Christ bare the sins of all: all are saved, and how not saved, and the reason why. pag. 19. 20. 21.
  • Christ not the efficient cause of love, but rather an effect of love. pag. 22. 23. 25.
  • How Christ delivers from wrath. pag. 23. 24.


  • How persons come to have benefit by this meanes that God hath appointed, as the way of life; which is by Faith. pag. 26.
  • What Faith is. pag. 26. 27.
  • How faith is obtained. pag. 28.
  • Faith, not a condition of the Covenant. pag. 29.
  • Faith a branch of the Covenant. pag. 30.
  • Faith an evidence of the Covenant. pag. 30.
  • [Page]The meanes by which Faith is wrought. pag. 31.
  • The properties and effects of Faith. pag. 32.
  • How faith justifieth. pag. 32. 33.
  • Faith produceth peace with God. pag. 33.
  • Faith puts the soule into the possession, of love, it fills the soule with joy. pag. 34.


  • Wherein the condition of persons restored by Christ, and their union with God, is discovered: which is, first; a free­dome from sin. pag. 35.
  • Second, in being one with, and in Christ. pag. 36.
  • Christ and the Christians relations, one: first, Christ a Son; so the Saints. pag. 36.
  • Secondly, relation of spirituall union. pag. 37.
  • In the Spirit, power, wisdome, righte­ousnesse, love, and glory. pag. 38. to the 49.
  • Saints Communion with the Father, Son, and each other. pag. 50. 51. 52.


  • Wherein is declared what the Law is, and what the Gospel; with the dif­ference between them, both in the Letter, and in the Spirit. pag. 55.
  • First, what the Law is, in the Letter. pag. 55. 56. 57.
  • Secondly, what the Law is, in the Spirit. pag. 56.
  • What the Gospel, in the Letter, is. pag. 61 62.
  • What the Gospel, in the Spirit, is. pag. 64.
  • The Mystery of the Gospel, what. pag. 65.
  • [Page]The life of Faith in the most spirituall pag. 67. 68.
  • The difference between the Law and the Gospel. pag. 70. 71.
  • The glorious effects of the knowledge of God in the Spirits. pag. 63.


  • The Matter of the Church, what. pag. 75.


  • The spirituall Kingdome of Christ in his Church in the latter dayes of the Gospel, discovered. pag. 80.
  • Who are the subjects of Christs Kingdome. pag. 81.
  • The externall glory of the Church of Christ in the latter dayes. pag. 82. 83.
  • The spirituall glory of the Church. pag. 85.
  • The Kingdome of Christ wholly spirituall. pag. 90.
  • Objections answered, concerning the per­sonal reigne of Christ. pag. 93.


  • Of death, resurrection, and Judgment. pag. 108.
    2 Part.
    • A briefe discoverie of Antichrist or the man of sin, both in the History and in the Mystery. pag. 113.

To the Reader.

PErusing this Treatise, I could not but take notice of some pretious truthes in it, and com­mend them abroad.Rom. 14.17. Ephes. 4.3. 1 Cor. The spirituall designe of this Author I finde to be this; to set up the King­dome of God in spirit, and to draw believers by that more into spirit; and that no difference of outward administrations, or Ordinances should divide Christians that are baptised into one spirit; which Truth I did much rejoyce to see from his penn and practice, and should rejoyce to see the like from all the rest. We know, he is not a Iew, who is one outward, Rom. 2. neither is that Circumcisi­on which is outward in the flesh, we are the circumcision saith the Apostle,Phil. 3. who rejoyce in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.

There are some excellent Truthes hinted in this booke which I intend to speake on, (as, of the two Adams, the spirituall Church, the spirituall Liberty, the spirituall, not personall reign of Christ) in a little Treatise of my own.Ephes. 1.17. 1 Cor. 2. The Lord fill us with the Spirit of wisdome and Revelati­on: The spirituall man judgeth all things.

Iohn Saltmarsh.

THE Marrow of Christianity.

SECTION 1. Of Adams Condition before his fall.

THe condition of Adam in his in­nocercy before his fall, war, 1. A condition of humane perfecti­on, an upright and perfect man, this is the conclusion of wisdome, Eccles. 7.29. Loe, this onely have I found that God hath made man upright, but they have sought out many inventions.

Obj. But it is said, Gen. 1.27. that [Page] God created man in his own Image, in the Image of God created he him there­fore it seemes that Adam had more in him then perfect humani [...]y, that he was partaker of the divine nature.

Answ. For the clearing of his Scrip­ture, two things are to be considered. 1. what is meant by the Image of God? 2. 2. what is not mean, by it? 1. what we are to understand by the Image of God in which Adam was crea [...]ed: 1. reason, wisdome and understanding, Adam was made a reasonable wise and understan­ding man: in this particular he was in the Image of God: A wise God; there is no searching of his understanding. Esa. 46.28. Adam had the Image of Gods wisdome, not the wisdome of God, not the thing it selfe, it dwelled in God fully, it was essentiall in him, but imparted to Adam, it was, and is in God essentially, he is wisdome it selfe, Adam was but the Image, God himselfe the substance. That this Image was in man at first, appeares first from Scripture, Gen. 2.19.20. the Lord brought all the creation, to wit, sensitive Creatures before Adam, that he might give names unto them, or to see what he [Page 3] would call them: God would now put him to the imploying of that reason and un­derstanding he had given unto him, a per­fection of reason above all other Crea­tures. 2. It appeares from naturall expe­rience, hence it is, that there is so much enquiring after a perfection of humane reason, so much studying of Arts, as Phi­losophy, Logick, Rhetorick, &c. but from these corrupted reliques, or principles of reason yet remaining in faine man, stri­ving after, and hardly being satisfied, wi [...]hout the perfection of reason, able to give a reason of all things, and this your heathen Philosophers have gone far in, and this is that may be attained in an high measure, and yet be but a reasonable mo­rall man, nay, were it possible to attaine that perfection that was in Adam, yet it would be no more then a morall and hu­mane perfection, and this is that which many who beare the name of Christians too much presse after and glory in, as if without this wisdome there could be no knowledge of the minde of Christ, thus did the Greekes seeke after wisdome. 1 Cor. 1.22. the Greekes being the dee­pest in the knowledge of humane Arts, [Page 4] and of the nature and cause of things, therefore they would judge of the Gospel according to reason, they seeke after natu­rall wisdome: but saith the Apostle, we preach Christ to the Greekes, foolishnesse; so indeed is the Gospel in the ministery of it meer folly to the highest naturall un­derstanding in the world, nay it is that which the wisdome of the Gospel de­stroyes, where it comes in power, he de­stroyes, the wisdome of the wise, and brings to nought the understanding of the prudent, 1 Cor. 1.19. and here lies the great mistery of mistake, I had almost said, of Iniquity, we seeke after the knowledge of God in the wisdome of the first Adam, how many are there that would confine the knowledge of God unto this wisdome who are not ashamed to say that Philoso­phy is the mother of Theologie, and with­out this naturall wisdome men must come short in the knowledge of God? when the truth is, the first Adam was of the earth, earthly, the second is the Lord from hea­ven, and they who have but the first A­dams wisdome are still of the earth, earthly, the wisdome of the first Adam comes in­finitely short of bringing us to the know­ledge [Page 5] of God in the spirit, but it is by the wisdome of the second Adam, who is the Lord from heaven, and the wisdome of the father, we attaine the knowledge of God in the spirit; which wisdome de­stroyes, and brings to nought the wisdome of the first Adam, 1 Cor. 1.19. Chap. and 3 Chap. 18.19.20.

Note that all unbe [...]ievers and car [...]all professors are in the wisdome of the first Ad [...]m, all believers spiritually made alive by Jesus, being delivered from themselves, are in the wisdome of the second Ad [...]m, the Lord Jesus who is the wisd [...]me of the Father, 1 Cor. 1.24.

2. Adam was in the Image of God, that was in a perfect morall pure and sin­lesse condi [...]ion, he was made upright, in­nocent without sin, but he sought out many inventions.

Qu. How may a morall purity and righ­teousnesse be said to be the Image of God?

Answ. 1. God was, and is perfectly, essentially, and spiritually pure, Adam was but the Image or Character of this purity, as it is possible to draw a compleate Image or Caracter of a living man in peece of stone or timber, and we say and speake truly, that it is the [Page 6] Image or likenesse of a living man, yet it is not a living man, nor hath it any part of mans nature in him: even so was A­dam in the Image of God, there was not onely the wisdome of God in creating of him, but the properties of God in some measure imparted to him, yet not parta­ker of the divine nature, righteousnesse, and freedome from sin was morally in him, yet not partaker of that spirituall ho­linesse that is in God.

But secondly and more principally in the first Adam who was earthly, was the Image of the second who was the Lord from heaven, so that all the righte­ousnesse, holinesse, wisdome, &c. of the first Adam, was but an Image of the se­cond Adam, and that morall and humane perfection in the first, and those remain­ing principles that yet remained in his na­ture was at the highest and yet is but an Image, as a drawn Character in a peece of timber or stones: of the second; the spiri [...]uall and divine nature which dwelt in Christ bodily, and is communicated spiritually unto all the spirituall posterity of the Lord Jesus, who in himselfe and in [Page 7] his saints is the substance of that Image which was in the first Adam.

3. Adam was in the Image of God in respect of a power: he had power given him to stand or fall, and in this power he stood till the temptation came: the first temptation he fell, and this power was but an Image of the power of God in which the second A [...]m came, and of which all the Saints are made partakers, they injoy the sub [...]tance of Adams I­mage.

4. Adam was in the Image of God in respect of eternity, he had given him an everlasting being in that morall upright estate, had he not degenerated from it as appeares Gen. 2.17. In dying thou shalt dye, hence a negative must be necessarily included, in obeying thou shal [...] live, but this life in Adam was but a Character or Image of that spirituall and eternall life, soules are made par [...]akers of in the second Adam, Iohn 4.14. thus it appeares that Adam was a man in whom all humane perfections, wisdome, righteousnesse, and purity dwelt, yet secondly, he was in a mutable and changable condition, and so quickly fell from his station, and perfecti­on [Page 8] in which he was created, he sought out many inventions.

A second thing considerable, is; what this Image is not?

1. It is not that wisdome and under­standing which the second Adam was in­dued with, and all believers are made par­takers of in the dayes of the Gospel, Esa. 11.1.2. 1 Iohn 2.27.

2. It is not that purity and righteous­nesse which dwelt in the Lord Jesus the second Adam, and so spiritually in all the saints, 2 Cor. 5.21.

3. Neither was it that power put in the second Adam, who is one in God, and stands while God stands, for he is the Lord from heaven: neither that power saints are made partakers of, who are one with God in Christ, and kept by the same power unto salvation, 1 Pet. 1.5. pre­served in Christ, Iude 1.

4. Neither was his eternity such an eter­nity in which the saints are invested, a spirituall eternity, an eternity in God the Father and in the Son, a glorious, uncon­ceivable eternity, Col. 3.4. Psal. 16.11.

2. As it was a condition of humane profection, not of spirituall perfection, so [Page 9] it was a condition free from payne and sorrow, for he was free from sin, and so, from sorrow; his sin brought in sweat and sorrow.

SECTION 2. The cause or ground of mans falling.

THE cause or ground of mans falling from his first estate, may be consider­ed under three particulars. 1. The muta­bility of his condition. 2. The temptati­on of Sathan. 3. His disobedient acting, contrary to the revealed minde of God.

First, the mutability of his condition, he was created of God, though upright and perfect, yet subject to a change: the power being put in his own hand; the first opportunity presented him, he falles, and (indeed) it could not be otherwise, he could not stand of himselfe unlesse he had bin God.

Obj. If the mutability of Adams con­dition was the first cause of his fall; then it seemes that God himselfe was the first [Page 10] cause of sin, if God made man at first in that condition that he might fall, nay, that he could not but fall, then God him­selfe seemes to be the first cause both of sin and misery.

Answ. It is true, that the first cause of all things is in God, he was before all things, he created all things, and all things live and move in him, and by him, and he worketh all things after the councel of his own will, yet 2. although he be the first cause of all created things, yet not of any evill that through degeneration, and Sa­thans temptation, flowes from those be­ings: man in his first creation was good, but through his degenerating from it, he became evill; so that the evill was not in God, but in man.

3. God having made man in such a con­dition, man of himselfe freely, voluntari­ly, and rebelliously falling, God bringeth about his everlasting purpose in raysing up some in the second Adam, to a spiritu­all and everlasting union with himselfe, where they shall be for ever preserved, and be kept by the power of God from falling: and others; (to wit) all unbelievers left in the nature of the first Adam: and there he [Page 11] manifesteth. 2. the cause of mans falling, his justice, the temptation of Sathan, or the Ser­pent, so he is called Gen. 3.1. note first what Sathan is that tempts and overcomes man, 1. he is a spirituall enemy to mankinde, as appeares not onely by his deluding of our first parents, but the whole Scripture dis­covers as much, he goeth about like a roaring Lyon, seeking whom he may de­voure, no sooner was man created of God, but he seekes presently to devoure him, God having given forth Christ as a reme­dy, he presently sets upon him likewise, to devoure him, if he could, and so in him all mankinde for ever▪ Mat. 4. Thus you see Sathan is an adversary to mankinde, 2. Sathan or the divells, or the falne An­gels, the Angels that fell seeme to be ma­ny, Iude 6. the Angels that kept not their first estate are reserved in everlasting Chaines under darknesse, unto the Judg­ment of the great day, so there are many devills or evill spirits, as appeares by the man possessed by the Divell, when Christ asked his name, he answers my name is Legion, for we are many, 3. He is a lying and deluding Spirit, that oft times trans­formes himselfe into an Angel of light: [Page 12] hence it comes to passe, that he so deludes all the Sons and Daughters of disobedi­ence that they looke upon all his workes of darknesse with delight and pleasure: and oft times it comes to passe, that he so farre transformes himselfe into a son of light, that he delivers soules under the name of Christ, and when nothing lesse then the name of a Christian will serve, he will be the Christ, or rather the Antichrist to de­ceive soules, hence it comes to passe, when down-right papacy will not serve, he will turne himselfe into a prelaticall shape, rather then loose his Rule and credit amongst the sons of men: if once prelacy grow out of date, he can change himselfe into other shapes; if ten hornes be too heavy to be borne, he will be content to weare but two like a Lambe, rather then none at all.

Qu. Why is Sathan called a Ser­pent?

Answ. Because in his first prevailing with the woman he did either make use of the Serpent, Gen. 3.1. who was a subtill creature, and so comes in the Serpent un­to the woman, or else secondly transforms himselfe in the shape and forme of the [Page 13] Serpent, and so represents himselfe unto the woman, and so from hence received the denomination of a Serpent, Rev. 12.9. If the first, then learn, that Satan usually makes use of the wisest and subtilest creatures to bring to passe his will in or by them: If the second, learn that Satan can transform himselfe into any shape or form to delude and deceive soules.

A third cause of Mans fall, was, disobe­dient acting, contrary to the mind of God, In the day thou eatest thereof, thou shalt dye, saith the Lord, Adam eateth thereof, and dieth: disobedience was the cause of mans fall, Rom. 5.18, 19.

Quest. What was Adams disobedience?

Ans. Eating the forbidden fruit, Gen. 2.15.

Qu. What was this fruit?

Ans. The fruit of a Tree in the Garden or Paradice of God, Gen. 2.9.16. called the Tree of knowledge of good and evill: good, if a man did not eate of it; evill, if he did eate of it, A Tree, whoso eateth the fruit thereof, shall know the difference be­tween good and evill; so he indeed knew good by the want of it, and evill by the sense and enjoyment of it.

What mystery might be represented by this pleasant fruit, I shall not at present dispute, because it is something dark un­to me; whether sinne, which seemes very pleasant unto a carnall eye; or the world, which much prevailes upon a carnal mind; or honor, or both: All these temptations Satan made use of unto Christ himself, and represented them to his eye, as a deceive­able fruit, if possible he might deceive him: And the Tree of Life representing Christ, that whosoever eateth and drinketh of him, might live for ever, Jo. 4.14. Rev. 22.2.

SECT. III. Mans Misery by reason of his Fall.

MAns misery by the sinne of Adam, was death, In dying thou shalt dye; or thou shalt dye the death, Gen. 2.17. Now under the name of Death, the Scriptures comprehend divers things: A spirituall death in sin; so are all Naturall men dead in trespasses and sins, subject to externall mise­ries, and deadly plagues, Exod. 10.17. Ex­ternall afflictions upon the body, so Paul, [Page 15] 2 Cor. 1.23. the dissolution of mans exter­nall and naturall life, Gen. 35.18. Psal. 146.4. The perdition of body and soule for e­ver: All which miseries come in by the sin of Adam. As the second Adam was the way letting in all good to mankind; so was the first Adam the way or flood-gate letting in all miseries upon soul and body.

Object. Some will object and say, But how could Adam lose a spirituall life, and so come under a spirituall death? seeing he never had a spirituall life in God; how could he lose that which he never had?

Answ. Although Adam had never a spirituall life in God, yet he had a spiritu­all subsisting given him of God, free from sin; and so, capable of defilement: For the truth is, it is the internall part of man that sins, the forme or body of man is acted by the guiding of the internall part; so that Adam now dies in his spirit, he hath nei­ther power, wisdome, nor will to doe that which is well-pleasing to the Lord; he hath not onely lost that wisdome, will, and pow­er of acting in the first Adam; but likewise of beleeving, and so of applying that salva­tion tendered in the second Adam, untill he spiritually and powerfully draw up the soul [Page 16] unto himselfe, John 6.44. and so makes him not onely partaker of all that compleat righteousnesse wrought for him; but like­wise fulfils all righteousnesse in him, Rom. 8.4. Or else mans misery may be conside­red under these three heads: 1. A condi­tion of death, as you have heard, In the day thou eatest thereof, thou shalt dye the death; that is death internall, and death externall, and death eternall; without a meanes, or a remedy preventing it. 2. A condition of en­mity, I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; & all unbeleevers, which so live & remain, are in a state of enmity, God hath not declared himselfe any other unto them; and their nature is still at enmi [...]y with God. 3. A condition of insufficiency to help them­selves: Adam was notable to help himself, all that he could doe, was to hide himselfe, he could not deliver himself out of this con­dition: neither are all the sons and daugh­ters of Adam able to help one soule out of this condition, if God help not. Therefore this should teach soules made alive by Christ, to admire mercy, and to cry Grace, Grace, unto the whole work of God, both in them, and for them.

SECT. IV. What is the meanes God hath apppointed for the recovery of man out of this condition?

THe meanes God hath appointed to de­liver Man out of this condition, is Je­sus Christ; and therefore promiseth Christ immediatly upon the Fall, Gen. 3.15. Here­in is Gods love manifested, that hee leaves not man in his lost estate; but gives forth his son out of his bosome, that he might seek and save that which was lost, and so deliver us from wrath to com, Rom. 5.9. 1 Thess. 1.10. He is Jesus the Saviour, and the alone Saviour of his people from their sins, Mat 1.21. Acts 4.12. that is, he is the a­lone way, through which the Father brings down salvation to sinners, and through which he drawes up soules to himselfe; there is no other way, of God, down to the soul, nor of the soul, up to God, but through Jesus, Joh. 14.6.

Quest. What must Christ Jesus under­take and perform; before the breach is made up, and faln man recovered?

Answ. 1. He must take the sinne and fault upon himselfe, Isai 53.6. 1 Pet. 2.24. [Page 18] He that knew no sinne, was made sinne, for us, that we might bee made the righ­teousnesse of God in him, 2 Cor. 5.21. Ad­mirable mercy, that when man had sinned, and lost himselfe; Jesus Christ, who never knew sin, either in act or thought, must now take upon him the sinners sin, and so be made as it were, a lump of sin! and this he did willingly of himselfe, he bare our sins on his own body on the Crosse; Christ took the whole sin of Adam, and the whole world upon himself, when Adam had sin­ned, and all mankind him, Adam and all must have died, Christ takes the sin upon himselfe; and so taking the sin upon him­selfe, he withall takes the curse, and so un­dergoes the sentence of death The curse was, In the day thou eatest thereof, thou shalt dye the death. Christ he dies the death, that so he might free man from death; and so Christ in bearing the sinne and the con­demnation, recovers man out of this lost and undone condition. Two objectictions here need to be cleared.

Object. 1. Whether Christ Jesus the se­cond Adam bare the sins, and so, the con­demnation of all men?

Ans. First, it is without question, that he [Page 19] took the sin and fault of the first Adam up­on him, and so, the sinne of the world of man, whose nature was in him, and so ta­king the sinne, so the condemnation of the whole upon him; else he could not have effected that work for which he came.

Object. If Christ beare the sin and con­demnation of all, why then are not all saved?

Answ. 1. All are, in one sense, saved, that is, with an externall salvation from the present curse and death pronounced, and so the whole world have a being by Christ, and a redemption, a salvation, a peace, which it enjoyes by him; a mercy that they are not sensible of, Col. 1.20. Having made peace by the blood of his Crosse, by him to reconcile all th [...]ngs to himselfe, whether things in heaven, or things on earth, &c. Note, all things are reconciled. What things? The same that were made by him, verse 16. All things partake of this recon­ciliation and peace.

Secondly, all are not saved with an eter­nall salvation, b [...]cause all doe not beleeve. It is true, that there was a salvation pur­chased from the externall part of the pre­sent curse for that present sin; yet Adams [Page 20] posterity acting other sins, draw on other externall judgements; but there was like­wise, by the taking away of the present judgement, or death threatned, a preven­tion of the present execution of that eter­nall death, included; and so a spirituall and an eternall life by Christ obtained; yet so, as that none partake of it but beleevers: so that, although there be a salvation purcha­sed by Christ, and tendered unto all, yet none are made partakers of this salvation, but beleevers; and none can beleeve saving­ly, but those who are drawn up to the Fa­ther, through the Sonne by a power above themselves, who were known and beloved of God from everlasting, the Father gi­ving forth his Sonn [...] as a publick person, making sa [...]is [...]action to the Law of Trans­gression, rhat all mankind might bee brought under the tender of the Gospel; that so, upon beleeving, they might be de­livered from both the first covenant, and transgression, no man being (indeed) deli­vered from either, but by beleeving; all men remaining in the first Adam, and so un­der the Law of transgression in the Spi­rit, unlesse beleev [...]rs; Christ having pur­chased an eternall salvation; but keeps it in [Page 21] his own hand and dispenseth it in the Spi­rit, to those to whom God gives hearts to receive both him and it: so now, nothing hinders the salvation of any man, with re­lation to Christ, a Saviour or Deliverer, from the transgression and sin of the first Adam: (on Gods part) externally all par­take of it; internally, onely believers: Hee is the Saviour of all, but especially of them that beleeve. And nothing (on Gods part) hinders the eternal salvation of all, with re­lation to the purchase, or price paid, but only on Gods part, his eternall purpose to draw up some into union with himselfe, in [...]is Son; and leaving others to beleeve, if they wou [...]d, or could. And from hence, on the crea ures part, being thus left, onely a Christ tendered, able to save them, if they beleeve, they being left of God, having neither, wi [...]l, skill, nor pow­er to bele [...]ve; perish everlastingly, under the rejecting of the Gospel.

Object. It seemes to be injustice in God to condemne the sin of all upon Christ, and yet to condemne it upon the sinner too.

Answ. 1. It was as easie for Christ, be­ing thereunto appointed of the Father, to make satisfaction to the Law of Trans­gression [Page 22] for the sins of all; as one. Such was his excellent worth.

Secondly, the spiritua [...]l and eternall part of it remains still with God in Christ, and is handed forth to none but beleevers; and so it remaines that there is no injustice in God to put such a worth in the sufferings of his Son, that it is able to satisfie the law of transgression for all, and able to save all that come to God by him; and yet to con­demne sinne, even the sinne of the first, as iwell as the rejecting of the second Adam, n all those that refuse him, seeing his eter­nall purpose in all, was, the setting forth of his Son as a peace-maker, that so there might be a visible ground upon which the beloved of God might accept of peace, and so come to enjoy that invisible union with the Father in the Spirit, which he from e­ternity intended: and likewise, that there might be a visible rule of rejecting all who wilfully con [...]emne their own peace, and so judge themselves unworthy of eternall life.

Quest. Did Christ purchase life and love from the hand of the Father?

Ans. Nay, he did not purchase life and love from the hand of the Father, but was [Page 23] a gift flowing forth from the Fathers love: The death of Christ was not the cause effi­cient either of life or love: but love in God was the efficient cause of the coming forth, and suffering of Christ, John 3.16. God so loved the world, that he gave his Sonne.

Qu. In what sense then may Christ be said, to deliver from wra [...]h, 1 Thess. 1.10. And, to purchase his Church with his blood? Acts 20.28.

Answ. 1. He delivers from wrath in a two-fold consideration: First, from that wrath and justice of God, gone forth in a righteous law; it being broken, wrath is gone forth upon all, because God is Truth, and so in the letter, wrath is gone forth up­on all through Adams trnasgression, and so all unbelievers in that sense, are under wrath, and there remain eternally, if not delivered, John 3. last. 2. They are delive­red from wrath with relation to their ap­prehension: Never any soul comes saving­ly to Christ, but he first makes him sen­sible of an estate of wrath, and so every be­leever may truly say, They were once chil­dren of wrath, that is, in an estate of wrath, under the Law of Transgression, and so are [Page 24] delivered from wrath to come; because if God had not from everlasting received them into the number of those written in heaven, they must likewise have endured wrath to come.

Secondly, He purchased his Church with his blood, and so salvation for them, under two considerations: 1. He purchased his Church from the Law of Transgression, God having said, In the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt dye. Man eates, and so should have died eternally, had not God provided such a remedy; therefore he gives his Son to purchase Man from that condi­tion. 2. He purchaseth His with his blood, from wrath and condemnation in their own apprehensions; Man being sensible of his lost condition, must have something to satisfie his conscience, there­fore likewise the Father gives Christ, and in both these, not as the first and moving cause of any thing in God; but God out of his love gives forth his Son to effect that work. As if a man indebted for more than he is ever able to pay, the Creditor having vowed satisfaction, the debter is cast down and troubled exceedingly: the creditor to satisfie both his own word, and the mind [Page 25] of the debter: sends forth his Sonne, and fully inables him to pay the debt; he brings along the debter with him, payes the debt, cancells the bands and sets him free, and thus it was with the Father, man had sinned, God had said, in the day thou sinnest thou shalt dye, this debt of death must be discharged: the Father, that he might be just, and yet a justifier, and that the conscience of falne man whom he loved might be satisfied, he gives or sends forth his Sonne, he payes the debt, and so satisfies the word of the Father, and the conscience of the sinner, and so (indeed) is not essentially the procuring cause of love, but rather an effect of love to satisfie both the word of the Father, and the conscience of the sinner, and this was Gods way from eter­nity, through which he intended to ma­nifest himselfe to his people.

SECTION 5. How persons come to have benefit by this meanes that God hath appointed as the way of life?

SInners come to have benefit by Jesus Christ, by believing, Iohn 3.16.36. he that believeth on the Son, hath life, and he that believeth not on the Son, shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth in him: Faith as an instrument is the meanes appointed of God, by which, sinners re­ceive, and owne Jesus Christ, and life by him. For clearing this truth, three things will be necessary to be considered.

First, what faith is?

Secondly, how it comes?

Thirdly, the properties and effects of it.

1. What it is; faith is the apprehen­ding and applying Christ, and so the fa­ther, and his everlasting grace in him. 1. It is the apprehending of Christ that is the observing and beholding of him, as he is [Page 27] in himself, the seeing of him in his beauty, and excellency, Esa. 33.17. thine eyes shall see the King in his beauty, it is to see all that worth to be in him that the soule needs, and then 2. to apply him ac­cording to the soules present occasion, a dying Christ, to a dead soule, and this Christ commends unto us to be the faith by which soules come to enjoy salvation, Iohn 6.40. this is the will of him that sent me, that he that seeth the Son and belie­veth on him, may have everlasting life, (note) he that seeth the Son, that is appre­hends that wor [...]h and excellency, that a­bility the Father hath put in him to save sinners, able to save all those to the utmost that come unto God by him, and belie­veth on him, that is applyeth him, recei­veth him as its alone Saviour, and justifier, to them he gives power to become the Sons of God, [...]ohn 1.12. even to as many as believe on his name. 2. this faith doth not onely apply Christ, as given forth of the Father singly, and a part from the Father, but it applyes, that is, ownes the Father in the Son, and that everlasting love of the Father to the Soule, brought downe through the Son; for the Son is [Page 28] but the Fathers way down to sinners, John 24.6. Iohn 12.44. He that believ­eth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me that is, be loveth not a­lone in Christ, but believes & injoyes [...]hat everlasting good will and love of the Fa­ther, to the Soule, and so seeth the Father in Christ, commending love, and so give­ing forth himselfe to the Soule, and so is able to see and say tha it is indeed God that justifies, and that God was in Christ, (as the way) reconciling sinn [...]rs to him­selfe, not imputing their sins; and now the sinner sees that Christ never acted any thing, or brings down any thing to the Soule, bu [...] what was and is the good will and pleasure of the Father, and so faith ownes, not onely Christ, but the Father giving forth the Sonne as the price of their redemption, Ephes. 1.7. Gal. 3.13. and way of their adoption, Gal. 4, 5.

2. How is this faith obtained?

Answ. It is the free guift of God, as Christ who is its objects and all other good things, or every good and perfect guift comes down from the Father, God, in Christ, is the Prince and Author of our faith, Heb. 12.2. Looking to Jesus the Author and finisher of our faith, Eph. 2.8. [Page 29] ye are faved freely by grace, through faith, & that not of our selves, it is the gift of God; faith is the proper and peculiar guift of God, no man cometh unto me, except the Father which hath sent me, [...]raw him, it is the Father that workes all, the Father first loves, and then gives his Son, and then drawes Soules up unto himselfe in the So [...], [...]lse they never come: No man comes t [...]ne, unlesse the Father draw him, Iohn 6. hence it is that the experienced soule de­sires to be drawn, C [...]n [...]. 1.2. Phil. 1.29. for unto you it is given in the behalfe of Christ, not onely to believe, but to suffer, that is, you who have received this guift of faith, must expect to suffer likewise.

Obj. But is not faith held forth in the Gospel, as the co [...]di [...]ion of the Covenant of grace, he that believeth shall be saved? A. 1. Although it seems in the letter of the Gospel, to be held forth as a condi [...]ion of the Covenant, he tha believeth, shall be saved, yet it is in the spirit or mystery of the Gospel, of conditio [...] on Gods part, it is true, none can be said, & say truly himself, that he is in the C [...]venant of grace, before faith; yet this faith is the guift of God, as you have heard, and if any condition it is on Gods part in the mystery, and it is his [Page 30] promise, Heb. 8.10. this is the Covenant I will make with them, I will write my Lawes in their hearts saith the Lord, that is, I will take them off themse ves, and make them partakers of my spirit, which shall cause them to own love in God, and o live out of themselves, in God, and shall cause them to act spiritually, even as Je­sus Christ himselfe acted, and so faith may be said (indeed) to be rather a b [...]anch, or part of the Covenant of grac [...], than the condition, for God in the Covenant pro­miseth to write his Law, and to give faith and all good unto the soule, he gives Christ a Covenant, and with him he gives all, having given us his Sonne, how shall he not with him, give us all things?

2. Faith is (indeed) an evidence to the Soule, that it is in the Covenant of grace and made one with God, hence it is called Heb. 11.1. The evidence of things not seene, that is, not seene with a carnall eye, the spirit evidenceth it, and faith recei­veth that evidence, & to the soule is satis­fied through faiths believing of the word and spirit of God.

Obj. What is the meanes by which God worketh faith?

Answ. The meanes by which God workes faith is his word and spirit, by the preaching of the Gospel, as the instru­mentall meanes of his spirit working as the principall meanes, Rom. 10.14. Iohn 6.63. now it is true God is not limited in his way of working, (that is) he hath not confined himselfe to a verball preach­ing, although it is true likewise, that he ordinarily and usually, worketh faith by by such meanes: but a Gospel preaching as of necessity in the working of faith: that is a spirituall Gospel desiring of the love of God in Christ, and such a preach­ing may be by the spirit of Christ in read­ing some word: or any other way he pleaseth to worke, and it may truly be called a Gospel-preaching: any spirituall Gospel discoverie to a soule, through which it is brought up into Gospel-injoy­ments, may truly be called a spirituall un­folding or preaching of the Gospel. Hence it is, that the preaching of the letter, or a verball preaching, is no where called a powerfull and prevailing preaching, unls the spirit preach: it is the spirit that must convince the world of sin, Iohn 16. and our Gospel came not onely in word, but [Page 32]in power and in the holy spirit, 1 Thes. 1.5. It is true, God usually worketh by means, but it is as true that he can as well worke spiritually without meanes, if he please, and this he hath done much of late, I do not question but many who are spiritual­ly inlightned, and live in the spirituall in­joyments of God, have had experience of it.

Qu. 3. What are the properties and effects of faith?

Answ. The properties and effects of Faith are many: It justifies the soule from sin, Act. 13.39. by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which they could not be justified by the Law of Moses.

Qu. How may faith be said to ju­stifie?

Answ. 1. Not as the efficient cause of our Justification, that is, God onely in Christ, it is God that justifies who shall condemn?

But 2. Faith justifies, as it receives Christ and applyes him as its justification: so that it is said to justifie, because it satisfies and quiets the soule in Christ who is its justi­fication, Rom. 4.5. he that worketh not, [Page 33] but beleeveth on him that justifieth the un­godly, his faith is counted for righteous­nesse. Note two words: 1. He that be­leeveth on him that justifieth, that is, Christ; all that beleeve, are justified, by him, Acts 13.39. So it is Christ that justifieth; faith onely ownes that justification held forth in Christ. 2. word, His faith is coun­ted for righteousnesse; that is, either first, God never declares a man righteous and just, untill he give him faith to enjoy his righteousnesse in Christ: or else secondly, his faith is counted or called his righteous­nesse, because he never till then enjoyed his righteousnesse. And so that when I say, or the Scripture saith, that Faith justifieth: that is, faith receives and ownes the justi­fication of God in Christ declared, and so the soule by it lives in the enjoyment of justification and freedome from sin.

The 2d property or effect of faith, is, uni­on & peace with God, Rom. 51. Being ju­stified by faith, we have peace with God, chap. 15.13. Now the God of hope fill you with joy and peace through beleeving. This is one glorious effect, that those who once were a-farre off, should now bee made nigh by the blood of Christ, and be brought [Page 34] into the enjoyment of it by beleeving.

The third effect is, it puts the soul into the possession of the love of God, 1 John 4.16. We have known & beleeved the love that God hath to us: and God is love, and he that dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God, and God in him: It acts the soule above it selfe, and causeth it to dwell in God, and so to dwell in his love, and this is an exceeding glori­ous effect, and that which, in the fourth place, fills the soule with joy, 1 Pet. 1.8. Joy unspeakable, and full of glory. What can a soule desire more, than to dwell con­tinually in the love of God; When the soule is satisfied from its union with God, and its dwelling in God, that all the admi­nistrations and makings forth of God, is love unto it! And thus it dwels in love, and from hence is filled with joy, it cau­seth the soule alwayes to dwell at the right hand of God, where is joy and pleasure for evermore.

Fifthly, in a word to conclude, the effect of faith is such, as that God by it workes up the soule to an internall and externall conformity to Christ in some measure, with a spirituall and eternall conformity in perfection in another world, 1 John 3. [Page 35] 1, 2.3. Phil. 3.19. where faith shall cease, and love and unity be made perfect, 1 Cor. 13.13.

SECT. VI. Wherein is the condition of persons restored by Christ, and their union with God, dis­covered?

THe Restauration of persons by Christ may be considered, 1. either exter­nall and generall: or else 2. more speciall and spirituall.

First, externally and generally, and that hath a relation to a [...]l, it is as ye have heard formerly, 1. A condition of being in the world: 2. A condition of possibility of a spirituall and eternall well-being in God, if God in his S [...]nne draw up the soule to himselfe, John 6.44.

But secondly, and that I principally in­tend, is the more speciall and spiritual con­dition of soules thus drawn up to God in Christ; it is not onely a restauration to the condition of the first Adam, with re­lation to a freedome from sin. This every [Page 36] belee­ver enjoyes by Christ a freedome, a justifi­cation from sin: But secondly, every soule drawn up out of it selfe to God, is brought into the condition of the second Adam; which is a condition as far above the first, as the heaven is above the earth: For, the first man is of the earth, earthy; the second Man is the Lord from Heaven: And as all men have born the Image of the earthy, so those who beleeve, beare the Image of the heavenly; & as is the heavenly, such are all they that are heavenly, 1 Cor. 15.47, 48, 49. And wherein Christ exceedes the first A­dam, therein beleevers exceed; for they are as he is, even in this world. 1 Iohn 4.17.

Now the condition of Christ, and so the Saints, exceeds the condition of the first Adam, not onely in their being upheld by God; but principall [...] in these foure parti­culars:

1. In their spirituall relations unto God: Christ, and so all beleevers are related to the Father as Sons, and that not onely by creation, as the first Adam, or naturall ge­neration: but first Christ a Son by a spiri­tuall proceeding and comming forth from the Father, who was eternally one in the Father, and so in him all beleevers are [Page 37] made by the same Spirit, the adopted Sons of God, being made partakers of the same divine Nature. Adams Sonship was in the flesh by creation, or in the Spirit by rege­neration, and the Spirit of adoption; which is indeed a mystery to all naturall men, and worthy to be looked into and known of all the sonnes and daughters of Syon, 1 Iohn 3.1, 2, 3. Behold what manner of love is this, that we sh uld be called the sonnes of God.

2. Relation of Christ, and so of the Saints as of sons, so of a spirituall union with God, not onely a union by way of peace, but a union of Spirit: thus was the Father and the Son, one, Iohn 14.10, 11, Iohn 10.30. I and the Father are one. And thus are all the Saints one in the Father and the Son, and in and with each other in the Spirit, Iohn 17.21. It was a part of the prayer of Christ, who was heard in all things he asked, That they also may be one in us. Now the union of the Father, Sonne and Saints, may be considered, either as first a union of spirits; The Lord powred down of his Spirit abundantly upon the Lord Je­sus, according to that glorious prophesie, Esay 11.2 And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of Wisdome and un­derstanding, [Page 38] the spirit of counsell and might, the spirit of knowledge and the feare of the Lord. And this was fulfilled when Christ was baptized, Matth. 3.16 Iohn 1.22, 23. Of this spirit are the Saints made parta­kers, Iohn 14.16, 17. I, saith Christ, will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, and he shall abide with you for e­ver, even the spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive. This Spirit of Christ, or this spirituall anoynting, is that which every son and daughter of God are made parta­kers of, Rom. 8.9. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. Christ dwels spiritually in all the Saints, Christ is in you, except yee bee reprobates. Therefore it concernes all who professe themselves to bee Christians, to examine themselves: It is much to bee feared that there are exceeding many carnall Christi­ans, I mean, that bear the name of Christi­ans, and that in a more than a common and ordinary way. And if Christ be in you, Rom. 8.10. the body is dead because of sinne, that is, the body is a dead and sinfull body, and cannot act toward God; and if Christ be in you, you shall be sensible of it. Never a soule wherein Christs dwels, but is sensible [Page 39] of its own deadnesse, through the dwel­ling of Christ there, Col. 3.8. ye are dead (saith the Apostle) and your life is hid with God in Christ: but the spirit is life because of righteousnesse, that spirit of Jesus, that adopteth sons to the Father in him, and hath discovered and made the soule partaker of the righteousnesse of God in him: lives and acts continu­ally in the spirituall Christian. Hence it is, the Apostle could say by experience, Gal. 2.20. I live, yet not I, but Christ lives in me: Thus are the Saints made par­takers of the same spirit of life that was in Christ Jesus, 1 Cor. 6.17. he that is joyned to the Lord is one spirit, of the same annoyntings, and the annoyntings that ye have received shall teach you all things, 1 Iohn 2.27.

2. They that are joyned to the Lord, are made partakers of the same power: there is a union with the Father in his power, the spirit of Might was powred upon Jesus Christ, and he stood in the power of the Father: as he came forth in the wisdome of the Father, so he acted by the power of the Father, and this power the first Adam never had, [Page 40] and as Christ the head was upheld in the Fathers power, he was annointed with the holy spirit and with power, Act. 10.38. All power in heaven and earth was given to him, so that he stood in the power and strength of the Almighty (and this did not the first Adam, if he had, then he had not fallen) he is called, Esa. 9. the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace, so that he stands while God stands: So likewise this is the condition of all the Sain [...]s, spiritu­ally made one with God in him, the same power upholds them that upheld Christ, they are kept by the power of God un­to Salvation, Gods power is become the Saints power: A glorious word of com­fort for the Sons and Daughters of Syon, with relation to aff [...]ictions, either exter­nall or internall, they stand not in their own strength, they are not founded up­on their own bottome, they are out of themselves, the power of God is theirs, and they may conclude with comfort, that while God stands, they shall stand, he hath promised to be with his in aff [...]icti­on, to uphold them, to comfort them, to carry them through in his bosome: If the [Page 41] Saynts were but sensible of this truth, that the power of God is for them; it is that would exceedingly helpe them a­gainst the feare of fa [...]ling. 2. Consider this might be a warning to the Saints, to take heede of acting in their own pow­er, but in all undertakings, to see them­selves acted by a power above them­selves.

3. As there is a union of spirits, a u­nion of power; so there is a union in wisdome, the wisdome of God is become the Saints wisdom, and that not as in the first Adam; he was made partaker of wisdome, God imparted wisdome unto him, so as to make him a reasonable man humane wi dōe according to his humane nature; so that here dwelt in him, as you have h [...]a [...]d formerly, a humane perfecti­on in this par icular: but the second A­dam, Christ, was not onely made partaker of the guifts of wisdome; but he was the very wisdome of the Father, he was both the power and the wisdome of God, he had the spirit of wisdome powred down upon him, he dwelt in the Fathers bo­some, and lived in the knowledge of the whole Councel of God, and from hence [Page 42] he never did his own will, but the will of the Father, and as Christ, so all the Saints are made one in this wisdome Christ who is the wisdome of God is made unto us, wisdome, 1 Cor. 1.30. not onely by way of imputation, but by the operation of the same spirit, who dwells as truly in every beleever as in Christ, and as the wisdome of the spirit increaseth, so the wisdome of the flesh decreaseth: that wisdome in the first A­dam was a humane wisdome, this a spi­rituall and heavenly wisdome, this wis­dome destroyes that wisdome: that is, in the things of God, he destroyes the wisdome of the wise, and brings to nought the understanding of the pru­dent: that wisdome sets the creature a-working; this, sets the creature a belee­ving: that wisdome carried on the crea­ture in its own power; this spirituall wisdome sets the creature out of himselfe in the power of God: that wisdome car­ried on the creature to the answering of God in the letter; (and yet in all comes short) this wisdome carries on the soule, where it dwells, not after the oldnesse of the letter, but after the newnesse of the [Page 43] spirit: In a word, that wisdome could not helpe to the knowledge of God in the spirit; this doth, 1 Cor. 1. after that in the wisdome of God, the world (viz. in the wisdome of the first Adam) by wisdome knew not God, but the wis­dome of Christ teacheth the spiritual knowledge of God, 1 Cor. 2.12.14, 15, 16. Hence it is, that those who are taught of God, despise the worlds wisdome, and are content to be fooles to the world, and in the worlds eyes, that they may be wise in God. Hence it is likewise, that so many Ignorants, in the wise and learned mens account, are made partakers of the know­ledge of God in the mystery; which (in­deed) according to the Word of the Apo­stle, 1 Cor. 1.27. Confounds the wise and learned, and mighty things of the world: this being a truth; that Saints are made one in the wisdome of the Father: How should this, in the first place, incourage them to look up to the Lord, for the more full enjoyment of this spirituall wisdome; that as they are made one in the wisdome of God, so they might live in the same wisdome; and from a deep sence of their own folly, to look unto the Lord for con­tinuall [Page 44] teachings, and leadings forth in the Spirit, expecting that promise to be fulfil­led, thou shalt heare a voyce behind thee, saying; This is the way, walk in [...]t, when thou turnest to the right hand or to the left. 2 This might bee a ground of comfort to the Saints, in all their walkings with God; the wisdome of God is theirs, that GOD, with, and in, whom they are made one, is their wisdome; and in the conclusion, they shall be swallowed up in the perfection of it, as Christ himself, 1 Iohn 3.2. 3 This might answer that foolish opinion of the world, who look upon the most Spirituall Saints, as the worst Fooles in the world: It is true, the wisdome of God is folly with men; but if they could looke with a spirituall eye, they should see, that those people, are the only wise people, wise in God; and those who live below upon Creatures, and things that will not, nor cannot satisfie, are (indeed) in Gods ac­count, the only fooles, and they themselves shall bee driven to confesse it one day. 4 Christ and the Saints are made one with God in righteousnesse; Gods righteous­nesse was Christs righteousnesse: for the fulnesse of the God-head dwelt in him bo­dily; [Page 45] He was filled with the spirituall in­dwellings of God, who continually acted him according to the divine pleasure; and as the second man was made one in the righteousnesse of the Father; so are all the Saints made one in the same righteous­nesse: he was made si [...]ne for us, that wee might be made the righteousnesse of God in him, 2 Cor. 5.21.

Quest. How may the Sa [...]nts be said to be the righteousnesse f God, in Christ?

Answ. Either, First in the Letter; or secondly, in the Spirit. First, in the Letter, there is a righteousnesse presented, which is the first thing sinners are made parta­kers of; that is, the righteousnesse of a Christ, dying upon the Crosse, making sa­tisfaction to the letter of the law, and to the Conscience troubled, by reason of that letter, which is (indeed) the cause of sinne; for where no law is, there is no transgres­sion: Now, Christ dying upon the Crosse, satisfies the Law; and likewise upon the sight & applicatiō of him, sati fies the trou­bled Conscience. This is the first righte­ousnesse God discovers to the soules of sinners, and by Faith makes them parta­kers of it, and this is called the righteous­nesse [Page 46] of God, because God gave forth his sonne, inabled him to go through, and by his suffering, to obtaine such a righteous­nesse for his people, that might both satis­fie the law transgressed, and the Consci­ence of man transgressing.

Secondly, in the Spirit, the Saints are made the righteousnesse of God; that is, God, now as in Christ, dwells and acts in his Saints by his Spirit, writes his law in their hearts, makes them partakers of his own nature, and so goes on in fulfilling his own righteousnesse in them: For, the righteousnesse of the law in the Spirit is fulfilled in us, aswell as the law in the let­ter for us who walke not after the flesh; that is, after the law in the letter, but after the Spirit of Christ who dwells in us, and acts according to its own pleasure, and so by degrees drawes up the spirits of his people to himself, untill at last, they are swallowed up in the fulnesse of the righ­teousnesse of God in the Spirit, and bee made wholly and for ever one in the Fa­ther with Christ, 1 Iohn 1.2. A glorious mysterious truth, meet to be known of all spirituall Ones; this is the top of the Saints glory, and their height of spirituall [Page 47] perfection, the knowledge and enjoyment of this spirituall Onenesse in the Father, & in the sonne, 1 John 2.24

5 There is an Onenesse in love and de­light between the Father, Son, and Saints: the Fathers love and delight is in his Son, and Saints, Matth. 3.17. This is my belo­ved Son, in whom I am well pleased; well pleased with his Son, and with his Saints in his Son. Hence the Lord speaking after the manner of men, is said to delight and sing, and rejoyce over his people, even as the Bride-groom rejoyceth over the Bride, Esa 62.5. Zeph. 3.17. to rejoyce even with joy and singing: So likewise it is the de­light and joy of the Saints to live in the Fathers love, the very thoughts of it is precious, and the enjoyment of it, excee­ding glorious: though the soule seemes to come short of the perfection of that en­joyment in this world; yet what it sees and enjoyes, with the expectation of per­fection in another world, fills the soule with joy unspeakable, and full of glory; and now as the soule dwels in the Fathers love, delight, and joy; so likewise, it dwels in the Fathers will, and it delights in, and is well pleased with, the wil of the Father, [Page 48] it can say with Christ, what ever tempta­tion presents it self; yet not my will, but thy will be done, such is the Onenesse betweene the Fa [...]her, Sonne, a [...]d Saints, they de­light & take pleasure in each other.

6. There is a union in g [...]ory like wise; the Fathers glory is the Sonnes glory, and the Sonnes glory is the Saints glory, what this glory shall be is unconceivable and unexpressable: to go about to expresse it either with tongue or pen, would ra­ther darken it than illustrate it: yet, a word by the way; The perfection of the Saints glory shall be the enjoyment of all things in God, who is, and shall be, their everlasting fulnesse in the spirit. Those who dreame of a Kingdome after the flesh, or of any externall pleasures in the highest measure, discover themselves, to have exceeding carnall thoughts of the Saints glory: It is true, they shall have a Kingdome, but a spirituall one, so called, because injoying all spirituall satisfacti­ons in the Fountaine, when the body and all the whole internall and externall part of man shall be turned into spirit, 1 Cor. 15.44. And our vild body shall be chang­ed and made like his glorious body. In a [Page 49] word; Such is the Saints glory, and shall be in the perfection of it, through their u­nion with God in Christ; that wee must conclude with 1 Iohn 3.2. We are already the sons of God; but it doth not yet ap­pear what we shal be. But this we know, when Christ shall appeare, wee shall bee made like unto him; and this is enough for us to know: And as there is an One­nesse between Father, Son, and Saints; so likewise there is a spiritual union between the Saints: This was Christs prayer, who was heard in all things hee prayed for; that the Saints might be one, as he himself was one, in, and with the Father: the uni­on of the Saints, is not a carnal union, but a spirituall: they who are joyned to the Lord, are one spirit.

Vse 1. To incourage all the Saints to presse forward in the power of the Lord, after a farther knowledge, and injoyment of this spirituall union with the Lord, and with the Saints: Truly friends, as this was not only the resolution of the Apo­stle himself, Phil. 3. but his prayer for the Ephesians, 1.16, 17. That the God of our Lord Jesus, the Father of glory, might give unto them the spirit of wisdome, in [Page 50] the Revelation of him, that their eyes be­ing inlightened, they might know what was the hope of their calling, & the riches of his glorious inheritance in the Saints: so is it my desire, not only to presse for­ward in the power of God, after the knowledge of this mystery; but that all the Saints might live in the knowledge of it, that their hearts might bee comfort­ed together, being knit together in the spi­rit of unity and love. The effects of the knowledge of this blessed union will prove exceeding glorious.

1 It is that will produce a glorious spi­rituall communion, and fellowship with the Father, Son, and Saints; union alwayes being that which produceth communion, even a civill union after the flesh; when once the Lord saith, concerning man and woman, they are no more twaine, but one flesh, that produceth fellowship and com­munion after the flesh: so likewise, and much more doth a spirituall union pro­duce a spirituall communion and fellow­ship; a fellowship and communion with the Father and the Son, in all his admini­strations, in all the wayes and acts of his providence, civill or spirituall: the spiri­tuall [Page 51] Christian enjoyes God in all, 1 Iohn 1.3. Our fellowship is with the Father & his son Jesus Christ (Christ and the Saints from their union with each other.)

1 They dwell together in the spirit, they are his house, and he dwels in them; the Temples of the holy spirit, and they dwell in him: they who dwell in God, dwell in love.

2 They enter together in the spirit, eate, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly; the Lord takes as it were spirituall satisfacti­on in his Saints, and they take spiritual sa­tisfaction in the Lord; it is their life to live in the enjoyment of him.

3 They walk together in the spirit, they have their garden and galleries, and plea­sant delights.

4 They talk together, and commune with each other in the spirit, the Lord he makes forth himself in the spiritual disco­veries of his love to his Saints, & thē they are carryed forth to tell him of it, to ad­mire him in it, and to praise him for it: and thus there is many a sweet confe­rence, and heart-discovery betweene the Lord, and a spirituall Christian, which makes the soule to revive within it selfe.

[Page 52]5 Christ and the Saints lye down toge­ther in the spirit, and take their fill of love each with other, they sleep, as it were, in the bosome of each other, and so they rest themselves in love. And this likewise pro­duceth fellowship amongst Saints, a fel­lowship in spirituals, a fellowship in tem­porals, and they continued in the Apostles Doctrine, & fellowship, in breaking bread and prayer, & breaking bread from house to house, being filled with gladnesse and singlenesse of heart, Act. 2. and they who beleeved had all things commune, a com­munity as well as a unity; that is, so far forth, as need is, and cals for it; so in guifts; so in all things. 1 Cor. 3.22. All is yours, Paul, Apollo, & Cephas, And se­condly, the knowledge of this spirituall glorious onenesse which the Father, pro­duceth an exceeding earnest desire in the soule enjoying of it; to live more & more in that glory. What is the reason Profes­sors content themselues to be so low, so carnall in their minds; but because they were never acquainted with, nor enjoyed higher things? but the Apostle who had seen and tasted of that glory, forgets all be­hind, and presseth forward; if so be, that he [Page 53] might obtaine the resurrection of the dead, Phil. 3. and apprehend that for which he was apprehended, that love, that grace, that God who had apprehended him. Certainly, that soule who hath once tasted how good, how gracious the Lord is, in the spirit, can never be satisfied with the knowledge of him, in the Letter. 3 The knowledge of this spiritual union with God produceth an acting more in and af­ter the spirit of God: How doth the crea­ture set it self a-work, and acts it self even in the Letter of the Gospel, aswel as for­merly in the Letter of the Law, for want of knowledge of the union in the spiritual power of the Lord! although without Christ, that is not being acted by Christ; we can do nothing; the Creature being un­acquainted with that spiritual mystical u­nion with God, acts himself in the things of God. 4 The knowledge of this spiritual union with God, produceth the killing & crucifying of that earthly part: nothing kils and destroyes the flesh, but the grow­ing up in the spirit. Oh! how would the soule many times be content to undergoe any thing, so it might bee rid of pride and selfe, and those fleshly corruptions; and [Page 54] why? it is the growing up in the spirit, that destroyes the flesh: the more you live in and after the spirit, the lesse, after the flesh. 5 It is that will help us to know Christ and the Saints, more in and after the spirit, and lesse after the flesh, and so wil produce a more spiritual communion amongst all the spiritual Saints of Jesus. 6 And lastly, it is that wil make the thoughts of a change exceeding sweet, be­cause the soule lives in expectation of a glorious freedome from sinne and sorrow, and a full perfection of spiritual and eter­nal glory, therefore it can be contented to be dissolved, and to be with Christ, which is best of all, where it shal for ever live in the continual admiration of, and glorying in the spiritual enjoyment of God, whose work shal bee everlastingly and fully to enjoy, and freely to sing prayses unto the Lord.

SECTION. VII. Wherein is declared what the Law is, and what the Gospel is; with the difference betwee [...] them both in the Letter, and in the Spirit.

THE Law in the Letter is a rule of life answerable to those moral principles of nature left in man since his fall; the substance of which Law was written in the heart of the first Adam, and was con­tained in that Verbal word; In the day thou eatest, thou shalt dye the death: Man having yet the principles of that Law remaining in him. God having by the promised Mes­siah given a farther being to Mankind in the world; hee gives forth the righteous Law more at large in the Letter, that so his Creatures might have a rule in the let­ter to walk by, and likewise might bee the more sensible of the losse of both; that principle and power they had once in A­dam, given unto them; and likewise with it, gives, though not the same power, yet the same promise of external life in the Land, God gives them. 2 The Law was that by which sin came: that is, by which [Page 56] sin became sinfull: For it is true, had not God given a Law; yet' man would have been acting contrary to the pure mind of God: therefore he giues a Law, that sinne might become out or measure sinful, and it was added, because or transgression; for where no law is, there is no transgression: For, by the Law, was the knowledge of sinne, and so it was an Administration of death, both in the hands of Adam, as wel as Moses, 1 Cor. 3 6, 7.

3 The Law in the Letter was an Image or Character of that spiritual righteous­nesse, God intended to bring in by Jesus Christ: Aas Adam was an Image of that spiritual perfection God intended to make his partakers of in the spirit by Christ; So this Law in the Letter was a rule answe­rable to that moral principle of righteous­nesse in Adam, and a Character likewise of that spiritual righteousnesse that every beleever attaines in Christ: the righteous­nesse of the Law in the Letter, was not that beleevers enjoy in Christ; but that righteousnesse Adam injoyed in his state of innocencie. It was not the righteousnesse of God; but a Character of that righteous­nesse, holinesse, and purity, that all belee­vers [Page 57] are made partakers of in the spirit: It was not that righteousnesse, by which God intended to give life and glory eter­nally; but such a righteousnesse which had external promises annexed unto it: For, if there had been a Law given, that could haue given life; then righteousnesse had been by the Law. Wherefore, I coclude, that the Law in the Letter was but a cha­racter of the spiritual righteousnesse of God, which is the life of the Saints, and that by which God never intended to ju­stifie any to Eternity: For, the Law in the Letter killeth, not justifieth; but the spi­it giveth life, 2 Cor. 3.6. The Law was gi­ven to Adam in th Letter, and Moses was he Minister of the Law in the Letter, but, Christ is the Minister of the Law in the spirit: Therefore Moses saith himselfe, A Prophet shall the Lord your God raise up, unto you, like unto me, him shall you heare in all things, Acts 3.22, 23. Deut. 18.15.

Object. It is said, Rom. 15.8. that Jesus Christ was the Minister of Circumoision.

Answ. True, hee was the Minister of it for the truth of God, to confirme the promises made unto Abraham, he was a Minister of it, so as to fulfill the truth held [Page 58] forth in it: So the word Minister (Diaco­nos) signifies, God having promised Christ to come of the seed of Abraham, he gives forth circumcision, and divers other ordinances, as Types representing him, and he is the Minister of all, to act and fulfill all, and to bee the substance of all those types for the truth of God: Else God had not been true in his promises, neither had salvation been obtained either by the Fa­thers, to whom the promises were made, or the Gentiles who were a-farre off, and likewise included in the promises: There­fore hee was the Minister of circumcision for the truth of God, to confirme the pro­mises unto the Fathers, and likewise that the Gentiles might glorifie God for his mercy: Not so much a Minister in the gi­ving forth of it; but in the fulfilling of it, which gives occasion to the Gentiles to re­joyce and praise the Lord.

Object. Paul applieth the words of Mo­ses in the Law, Deut. 30.12, 13, 14. Rom. 10.6, 7, 8. to be the righteousnesse of faith, The righteousnesse of faith speaketh on this wise.

Answ. It is true, that Christ and the righteousnesse of the Gospel, was included [Page 59] in the Law. There was a literall or externall righteousnesse expressed in the letter, to which were externall promises annexed: but there was a spirituall and internall righteousnesse included, which, onely be­leevers were made partakers of, which was a righteousnesse brought in by Christ, and obtained by faith, which is the law in the Spirit, or that spirituall righteousnesse of God, that beleevers are made partakers of, which is the second thing propounded, what the Law in the spirit, is.

Secondly, the Law in the spirit, or the spirituall righteousnesse contained in the Law, as you have already heard, is the righ­teousnesse of God, which every beleever is made partaker of. Note these two words for the more full clearing of it.

First, that there was a spirituall righte­ousnesse included mystically in the letter of the Law, which none ever saw into; but those spiritually enlightned. Paul had ex­perience of it, Rom. 7.14. For we know that the Law is spirituall, but I am carnall. The Law in the Letter was not spirituall: For the same Apostle could say, that he walked concerning the righteousnesse of the Law in the letter, blamelesse, Phil. 3. yet he call [...] [Page 60] it, a fleshly walking: If any man had cause of glorying in the flesh, I much more. And he saith, he was alive once without the Law; but when the commandement came, sin revi­ved, and I dyed, Rom. 7.9. alive, without the Law, in the spirit; for, he was not with­out the Law, in the letter: by that it was he judged himselfe to be alive; he walked concerning that, blamelesse; but when the commandement came, that is, when the spiritual righteousnesse of the law was un­folded, which was no lesse than the righte­ousnesse of God; then he saw how short he came of that righteousnesse: hee was yet but in the letter, in the flesh, and not in the spirit; Then sin revived, I died

Secondly, that this Law in the spirit, is that spirituall righteousnesse of God, that beleevers are made partakers of, 1 Cor. 3.6. The letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. The letter killeth, the letter requireth an exact and perfect obedience, which none was able to performe; and so, the very let­ter of the Law did kill. So at first it kil­led Adam and all his posterity; and so it killed the Jewes, being given forth in a more large way; for it was the administra­tion of death: but the Spirit giveth life, viz. [Page 61] the Lord Jesus, the spirit and substance of the Law, both morall and ceremoniall; for the first man was made a living soule, to an­swer a morall righteousnesse; the second was made a quickning spirit, to give life to those, dead in the first Adam: And as the Father hath life in himselfe; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himselfe, and hee quickneth whom he will, John 5. The Law, in the letter killeth; the law, in the spirit, quickneth: Therefore Christ saith, I came not to destroy, but to save, Iohn 12.47.

Secondly, what the Gospel is, There is likewise the Gospel in the Letter, and the Gospel in the Spirit: The Gospel in the letter; which properly doth signifie glad tidings: and this Gospel is to goe forth a­mongst all; but none are made partakers of it in the spirit, but beleevers: All are made partakers of it in the letter, it is glad tidings to all; and that in a double sense: 1. It is glad tidings to all; for, all have a Being by it: it is that which hath made peace for all; an external peace, in taking a­way that present curse.

Secondly, it is that wherein internal and external peace is held forth and propoun­ded to all, which is glad tidings; none are [Page 62] exempted in the letter, til they exempt themselves through unbelief, and so judge themselves unworthy of eternal life.

Secondly, there is the Gospel in the let­ter likewise, as it is a Gospel of spiritual peace and reconciliation: And thus every beleever receives it, first in the letter, through the power of the spirit, and this is Christ in the flesh, dying upon the crosse, taking away the condemnation of the Law in the letter. And this is that an­swers the guilt of sin in the natural con­science; a visible satisfaction for a literal transgression: This was Gods way to take away sin, and this is the first discovery God makes of himself to a sinner, because he is pleased to conform himselfe to that way that might best suit with our understan­ding, and so by degrees to draw us up more in the spirit unto himselfe, and this is the Gospel in the letter, answering the Law in the letter, and the conscience trou­bled through the sense of sin, which is the first knowledge of Christ; and is (indeed) but a knowledge after the flesh, and so is in the esteem of the Apostle, but a carnal knowledge (that is) being compared to the spiritual knowledge: therefore the A­postle [Page 63] saith, 1 Cor. 3. I cannot write unto you as unto spirituall, but as unto carnall, even as unto Babes in Christ. Note, I doe not speak thus of the knowledge of Christ upon the Crosse, and the application of it, taking away the guilt of sin, as a low and slight thing in it selfe: For first, it is Gods way to satisfie sinning souls, and so none ever partake of mercy, but by this way. Secondly, it is that, being wrought by the spirit of Christ, brings souls under the de­nomination of children, 1 Iohn 2.12. Thirdly, it is that by which the soule en­joyes much joy and peace; who so hath obtained it from the Lord, hath obtained a good degree, and much boldnesse in the spirit. Yet fourthly, God usually by this way, brings souls up into a spiritual union with himselfe, and in comparison of the souls enjoying of God in Christ, the Scrip­ture calls it a carnall or fleshly knowledge: and doubtlesse many may attain the know­ledge of the Gospel in the letter, and may own a dying Christ upon the Crosse, and yet be but a humane faith, a literal Gospel, and never truly known in the Spirit. But those who are brought to the knowledge of and beleeving in, Christ dying upon the [Page 64] Crosse, by the saving work of the spirit, shall grow up in the more spirituall know­ledge of him.

Secondly, the Gospel in the spirit is the righteousnesse of God imparted in the spi­rit to the beleever: it is the making of the beleever partaker of the same nature, of the same spirit that was in Christ Jesus. The Gospel in the spirit is the same as the Law in the spirit, and represents the spiritual righteousnesse of God, with which he in­tends to cloath his people, and it is cal­led, The righteousnesse of God in Christ, 2 Cor. 5. As there was a literal transgressi­on of the Law; so there is a Gospel in the letter, to answer it; & a Christ dying upon the crosse. As there was a spirituall righte­ousnesse included in the Law; so likewise is there a spiritual righteousnes in the Gos­pel, that is, in Christ, they are both in Christ: the former righteousnes is the knowledge of Christ, without, as dying, and satisfying: the second, is the knowledge of Christ spi­ritually formed in us, which is here done in part, and we shall in the conclusion bee wholly changed, and swallowed up in that spirituall righteousnesse. And indeed here lies the great mystery of the Gospel in these three particulars.

[Page 65]1 God in Christ, 1 Tim. 3.16. 2 Christ spiritually in the Saints, Christ in you the hope of glory, Col. 1.27. 3 That ful spiritual change into the spirit at the last day, 1 Cor. 15.15. So that this is the glad tydings of the Gospel in the spirit, not only that wee are made one with God, but likewise that wee are made one in God; he dwelleth in us, & we dwell in him, and wee now serve no longer in the oldnesse of the letter; that is, with our old nature, in the old letter given forth to Adam, & by Moses to the old end, the obtaining of righteousnesse, but in the newnesse of the Spirit; that is, the renewed mind by the spirit, to a new letter written in the heart, to a new end, to glorifie the name of our Lord Jesus, and to declare our cōformity to him in the spirit. That this is in the Gospel, in the spirit, which the Lord Jesus brings up his unto by degrees; the Scriptures in the spiritual understanding will declare, not onely for confirmation, 2 Cor. 5.16. with Heb. 10.19, 20. In the first, the Apostle saith: Henceforth we know no man after the flesh; yea, though wee have known Christ after the flesh, yet henceforth we know him no more after the flesh. Note first there is a knowledge of Christ after the [Page 66] flesh, even of the Saints; Although we have known Christ after the flesh, yet know we him no more. Why? vers. 17. If any man bee in Christ, he is a new Creature, Christ is for­med in him after the spirit, and hee comes now to know a spiritual Christ within him, as well as a fleshly Christ without him. The second Scripture saith, Wee have boldnesse to enter into the holyest, by the blood of Christ, by a new and a living way, that he hath consecrated for us through the veil; that is to say, his flesh: where likewise note, that the bloud of Christ is but the way in­to the holyest, and the flesh of Christ is the veil, through which we enter into the ho­lyest; that is, into the spiritual and heaven­ly injoyment of God. We come first to the flesh, and secondly to the spirit, the flesh being the way to the spiritual enjoyment of him, where Christ is entred already in the perfection, and will in conclusion draw all his spiritual Ones after him unto the same perfection, into the same glory.

Object. If this be the Gospel in the Spi­rit, to know Christ no more after the flesh, and to live in the spirit, to look upon Christ as the way, in the flesh, into the spi­rit, or holyest where he is; then what need [Page 67] of faith so much spoken of in the Scrip­ture, the just shall live by faith, and We are justifi [...]d by faith? &c.

Answ. 1. Faith may be acted not on­ly on Christ dying upon the Crosse, but in Christ living in the soule: that is, my be­leeving that Christ is spiritually formed in me; as wel as that he hath dyed for me, that I am justified in the spirit, as wel as in the flesh; faith hath the same object in the spirit, as in the flesh, to beleeve that Christ lives spiritually in the soule, and that it shal bee swallowed up in the conclusion wholly in the spirit.

2 There may be often occasions to make use of faith likewise, while we are in this body of flesh: although the soule obtaines a good degree of the enjoyment of the spi­rit, from, and in God; yet there wil bee through the presence of corruption some stirre and trouble: and this God in his wisdome permits for ends best known to himselfe. The Apostle Paul, who lived exceeding highly in the spirit, sometimes in the third heaven, that is, in the highest discovery of God; yet he meets with a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet him, that was, some strong lust in [Page 76] the flesh, that might cause him to look down again: And the reason he renders, Lest he should be exalted above measure, 2 Cor. 12. For, the truth is; if God should cause any one to live alwayes in heaven, that is, above all lusts and corruptions, in the highest discovery and enjoyment of God; he would be ready to be lifted up a­bove measure. Experience teacheth us as much, ready to look upon all knowledge and enjoyment, beleeve it to be nothing but carnal; therefore he brings down Paul, that he might exercise faith, and live upon grace, as well as others, My grace is suffi­cient for thee, My strength shall be perfected in thy weaknesse. So that notwithstanding this life of a Christian in the spirit; yet there will be the use of faith alwayes ei­ther in the Spirit, or in the Letter: some­times God brings a soule to live upon grace, as it was revealed by Christ in the flesh, and brought home and enjoyed by the spirit: when we are at home in the bo­dy, we are absent from the Lord in the spi­irit; but when we are absent from the bo­dy, we are at home in the Lord in the spirit.

3. There is a continuall use of Faith, and [Page 77] that of the most spirituall Christian, with relation to the perfection of our eternall injoyments: for, the Saints do not onely injoy a onenesse with God here, and from hence much spirituall and internall glory; but by faith, believes, and hope, expects that perfection of glory hereaf­ter, wherein it shall be perfectly made like unto Christ, when this vile body shall be changed, and made like unto his glorious body, which at present so acts it selfe even in the Saints, which prevents them even of that perfection of glory, which they by faith expect when the change comes: when Corruption, shall put one Incorrupti­on, and Mortall, shall put on Immortality: When this naturall body shall become spiri­tuall; then shall be fully injoyed what hath been by faith believed, and by hope expected; and of this hath the spi­rituall Christian a taste, in the spirituall injoyment of God here, although not as then so fully swallowed up in that glory.

Obj. But it seemes that Christ in the flesh is the way to Justification and glo­ry, the way into the holyest, which is heaven it selfe, where none shall enter till [Page 70] they are changed, but Christ who is entred already, Heb. 9.24.

Answ. True, Christ is entred into hea­ven it selfe onely in perfection, but be­leevers they enter likewise in part, viz. when they are got within the veil, that is to say, the flesh; then they see into the spirituall mystery and mansions of glory unconceivable, and indeed un-utterable, as the Apostle saith; and desire to live continually within the veil, if it might be, while they are here, yet they are raysed up more and more, in the spirit: and in the conclusion, shall be for ever with Christ within all veiles, which was best of all; as the Law in the Letter was a veil to the Gospel, both in Letter and Spiri [...], 2 Cor. 3.14. So is the Gospel in the flesh a veil to the Gospel in the Spi­rit, a veil through which, and within which all the Saints by degrees shall ful­ly enter.

Qu. What is the difference between the Law and the Gospel?

Answ. The difference is both in the Letter, and in the Spirit, the Gospel in the Spirit is the substance of that righte­ousnesse, spiritually included in the Law, [Page 71] as the Type, Image, or Character of that spirituall substance the Saynts are parta­kers of. Hence, it is often called the Law in the Spirit, the Letter killeth, the Spi­rit giveth life, and I through the Law am dead to the Law, that I might live unto God, Gal. 2.19. that is, I through the Law of the Spirit, that is, the righteousnesse of God in Christ, am dead to the Law in the Letter, that I might live unto God in the Spirit, and not to the Law and selfe in the Letter.

2. Difference is in the Letter of the Law, and so of the Gospel, and this is glorious, for the letter of the law required a righteousnesse that was broken, death ceiseth on all by that meanes, the Gos­pel in the Letter holds forth a righteous­nesse in Christ, fulfilling the Letter of the Law so that what righteousnesse is in the Law required, is obtained by Christ, and every beleever is made partaker of it, and so the difference is, 1. The Law prescribes a Rule, the Gospel fulfills the Rule, Mat. 5.28. The Law requires a righ­teousnesse, The Gospel fulfills that righ­teousnesse. Rom. 10.3. The Law was the [Page 68] administration of death; the Gospel, the administration of life.

Qu. Is not the Law in the Letter, a Rule to beleevers?

Answ. 1. Not as it was handed forth by Moses, from Mount Sinai: so it was a killing Letter; but 2. as it was taken in­to the hand of Christ, and so satisfied and handed forth by Christ being turned into Gospel-Rules; it remaines a Rule, so farre as we are in the flesh, I meane, in the knowledge of Christ after the flesh▪ but as God writes his Lawes in the he [...]ris of his people, and taketh them up in the spirit; so shall they live above the Law in the Letter, even of the Gospel; yet not without: for they have it within them: it is in their hearts; and so they are a Law unto themselves: Then the Rule in the Letter is as a stay in the hand, or as a guide in the way, helping the soule up to the Spirit, and then he walkes not after the flesh, but after the spirit, having the Law of the spirit of life within himselfe, guiding him in the way of holinesse, and so that Scripture is made good, 1 John 3. The annoyntings which you have received shall teach you all things, [Page 69] and ye need not that any man teach you: and The spirituall man judgeth all things, yet he himselfe is judged of no man, 1 Cor. 2.14.

Application: To incourage the Saints in the power and spirit of Jesus to presse forward after this knowledge, and injoy­ment of God in the Spirit: this was Paules resolution, who had tasted of the spiritual discoveries of God (as deeply as any) to presse forward after perfection, Phil. 3. Forgetting things that are behinde, not alwayes living below. The effects of it will prove very glorious. 1. It is that by which you shall be able, with the more evidence of light and truth, to judge of things that differ, the spirituall man judgeth all things. 2. It is that will make the life of a Christian exceeding glorious, carrying him through all difficulties with much spirituall joy. 3. It is that will put a period to all differences and divisions amongst the Saints. Divisions flow from our ignorance, and dwelling so much in the Leter, 1 Cor. 3.3. where­as there are among you divisions and strife; are ye not carnall, and walke as men? Those divisions, and that strife amongst the [Page 74] Saints about things in the Le [...]ter, argue that they are exceeding carnall, but this knowledge of God in the Spirit, will as a mighty Gu [...]e swallow up all those lit­terall differences, and put an end to all strife, both among particular Saints, and in the Nations. Esa. When once the Mountaine of the Lords House (which is his Saints) comes to be established on the topp of all Mountaines and Hills, that is; in the spirituall injoyment of God, a­bove all carnall and fl [...]shly things; then shall all warres and divisions have an end, and not till then.

4. It is that will cause many a glori­ous Starre to fall from heaven: many who have acted much after the Letter, will upon the discoveries of the glory of God in the Spirit; fall from that light they seemed to have.

SECTION VIII. The matter of the Church, what?

THE Church of Christ may be consi­dered either as more generall or more particular. 1. More general, and then it includes the whole body of the Saints in the spirit, this of some is called the invisible Church, but to speake in the Scripture-Language, it may be rather called the general or universal Church, the whole body of Saints in the Spirit, called the mysticall body of Christ, be­cause of their spiritual union with and in Christ their head: This Church or as­sembly (for so the Greek Ecclesia pro­perly signifieth) we shall read of Heb. 12.22.23. ye are com [...] to Mount Sion, and unto the City of the living God, the heavenly Ierusalem, and to an innumera­ble company of Angels, and to the gene­rall assembly or Church of the first borne, and written in heaven, and to the spirits of just men made p [...]rfect; this is the Church that shall be made one in glory; he generall assembly of Saints, the spi­its of just men, and it is that might be [Page 72] desired at present, that Saints Commu­nion might flow more from their union in the spirit, and not altogether from the union in the letter: this is the glorious Church of Christ; and the knowledge of it in the spirit, will cause Saints to own each other more in the spirit. 2. The Church of Christ may be considered more particular, or a particular body, or company of Saints in the visible pro­fession of the Gospel, walking in the in­joyment of Ordinances; taking particu­lar care of each other, and building up each other in the faith: & of this Church we shall reade, frequent in the new Te­stament; and this Church is likewise called the body of Christ, 1 Cor. 12.27. and it is not to be questioned, but that this practise is very commendable a­mongst Saints: and the knowledge of God in the Spirit, and of Saints in the Spirit, will not breake or lessen the fel­lowship of particular Churches; but in­crease it, and make it to be more spiritu­all: for, questionles that which tends to the breach of communion and fellowships a­mongst Saints, is not of God, for God is love, & they who dwell in God, dwell in [Page 73] [...]ove: it is that will increase love, and this is the more excellent way, and that which in conclusion will swallow up all differences: yet one thing is much to be desired, that is, that there might be a generall union amongst the Saints; that those who are spirituall might not be di­vided in spiritual Communion, because of some litterall differences about the use of ordinances and the like. Oh that the Lord would helpe us to beare with each other in such things! why cannot Saints in matters of difference beare with each other according to the Apostles rule? seeing he that observeth a day, observeth it to the Lord; and he that observeth not a day, observeth it not to the Lord, and both give God thankes.

Obj. But our difference is in matters of Ordinances for the most part which God commands, and hath given them to us as priviledges;

Answ. True, yet they are such com­mands and priviledges as God hath given to his Servants to leade them up to him­selfe in the Spirit: and what if some in­joy God gloriously in the Spirit with­out these, and we finde them spiritual, [Page 78] and walking answerable to the spirit of Christ: why should my conscience judge another mans Liberty? and why should not we hold Communion with such in the Spirit, and in the letter too, in those things wherein there is a union? but the truth is there is too-too much err­ing at present upon both hands; the one judging it too carnal for any Saints to walke in the use of ordinances, which is not a truth at present; the other judging it inconsistent with the Gospel, and the state of a Christian to live without the practise and use of Ordinances; a third sort there are that would submit to Or­dinances, but want Administrators, and this is more carnal than ether of the for­mer, because they expect that to be in a creature which is onely in God; but here should be a learning and forbearing, where the spirit of Christ is.

A fourth sort there are who put Ordi­nances upon those not capable of them without any word at all in the letters and this is the most carnal work of all, and savours much of the earth, and of an old Testament-spirit, from whence usu­ally, the ground is brought, and it were [Page 79] much to be desired that the Lord would be pleased to enlighten their eyes, that they might have more spirituall appre­hension of the Gospel, and the end of Gospel-Ordinances: yet it should be the wisdome of those taught from a­bove, to own any thing of God where­ever they finde it: and although, it is true, there cannot be a Communion with and in things never of God prescribed; yet the spirit of lov [...] should so temper [...]u [...] spirits, as that we should not bite and devoure each other; but, let as many as are spiri­tual, though differing in some circum­stantial things in the letter, yet own each other in [...]he spiri [...], impu [...]ing those diffe­rences to the flesh: a [...]d this union in the spirit, the knowledge of it, will in con­clusion bring all the Saints into one spi­ritual way, Esa. 35.9. And so they shall worship God in the Spirit with one heart, Z [...]ph. 3. and so pu an end to di­visions, and dividing principles which flow meerly from the flesh.

SECTION IX. The spirituall Kingdome of Christ in his Church in the latter dayes of the Gos­pel, discovered.

THE Kingdome of Christ hath al­wayes been, and still is, spiritual, but in the latter dayes of the Gospel, it shall be much more spiritual and glorious than formerly with relation to the sub­jects of it. For the clearing of this truth in hand, note these 4. particulars.

1. That Christ is a King.

2. Who are the subjects of his King­dome.

3. That his Kingdome shall increase in glory and spirituallnesse in the latter dayes.

4. That his Kingdome is spiritual, and not of this world.

First, that Christ is King; I suppose it is unquestionable: all who own the Gospel but in the letter, confesse as much in word; see a Scripture or two to con­firme it, Psal. 2.6. The Lord speaking of Christ, saith, Yet have I set my King upon the holy hill of Sion, notwithstan­ding the rage of men, yet Christ is [Page 81] King, and will reign so likewise, Psal 45. with Heb. 1.8. but unto the Son he saith, thy Throne, O God, is for ever, and ever; a Scepter of righteousnesse is the Scepter of thy Kingdome: he hath a Kingdome and a Scepter by which he rules; he is the Prince of the Kings of the earth, a King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.

2. Who are the subjects of his King­dome; it is true, he is King over all, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, he will rule over his enemies with his Iron rod, and dash them in peeces like a Potters vessell; but he is in a more spe­cial manner King over the Saints, and in them he lives; and so rules: in them as wel as over them: he is not only King of nations, but king of Saints, Rev. 15.3. It is part of the Saints song of joy, Just & true are thy wayes O thou King of Saints: and in the Saints he reigns spiritually & pow­erfully; for in the day of his power he maketh them a willing people: the sub­jects of Christs Kingdome are a free people: the manner how Christ reignes in and over his people, and what are his Lawes, I passe it in this place, and referr you to the Kingly Office of Christ in my [Page 82] booke intituled, the exaltation of Christ in his Offices: and, and so come to the 3. thing propounded; That is, that the Kingdome of Christ shall increase in glo­ry and spiritualnesse in the latter dayes: the glory of the Church in the latter dayes shall increase, and the manifestati­on of Christs Kingly power shall increase, Esa. 9. of the increase of his Govern­ment and Peace; there shall be no end. The Churches glory shall consist of 2. particulars, that is external and in­ternall.

1. External, the Church shall injoy much external glory, liberty, and peace, even in the world in the latter dayes.

Qu. Wherein shall the external glo­ry of the Church consist?

Answ. 1. In the abundance of peace and quiet, even from the men of the world, Esa. 66.12. I will extend peace to her, like a River, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing streame: peace shall be extended not onely in the Spi­rit, but in the letter likewise; for the ground of this peace is rendred in, verses 15.16. for behold the Lord will come with fire, &c. Esa. 65.25. the [Page 83] Wolfe and the Lamb shall feed together, &c. they shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy Mountain, saith the Lord: God will take away the Wolvish disposi­tion of men, that they shall live peaceably amongst the Saints, they shall not hurt nor destroy, &c.

2. God wil take off the spirits of evil men, he will make them stoop and fall before the Saints, Mich. 7.16.17. The Nations shall see and be confounded at all their might, they shal lay their hand upon their mouth, their eares shall be deaf, they shall licke the dust like a Serpent, they shall move out of their holes like wormes of the earth, they shall be afraid of the Lord our God, and shall feare because of thee. Thus will the Lord deale with his enemies in the latter dayes, he will take a­way their Chariot-wheels, and cause them to drive heavily.

3. God wil give the Saints a good name, even amongst their enemies: they shall be high even in the thoughts of bad men, Isa. 65.15. And yee (to wit the Lords ene­mies) shall leave your name for a curse to my chosen: for the Lord will slay thee, and call his servants by another name. Formerly, the Saints had a name of reproach amongst the [Page 84] wicked: if a man departed from iniquity, he made himselfe a prey; but the Lord wil give his servants another name, even a­mongst their enemies, that men shall not blesse themselves in their evill wayes; but whoso blesseth himselfe in the earth, shall blesse himselfe in the God of truth.

4. God will make his enemies in stead of persecuting, to serve the Saints, Isai. 60.12. For the Nation and kingdome that will not serve thee, shall perish; yea, those Nati­ons shall be utterly wasted. Vers. 14. The sonnes of them that afflicted thee, shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised th [...]e, shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet, and shal call thee the Citie of the Lord. Thus you see the Churches enemies shall not only acknowledge the Saints, and confesse them to be the Lords Citie; but bow down unto them, and do them service.

5. The Saints shall be exceeding many, and that will adde to their externall glo­ry: Times have been, that to be a Christi­an indeed, would have been a wonder, and he that departed from iniquity, made him­selfe a prey, and so were counted the off­scouring of all things; but now a little-one shall become a thousand, and a small [Page 85] one a strong Nation, yea, the Lord will hasten it in his time▪ Isa. 60.22. and vers. 5. Then shalt thou see and flow together, and thy heart shall feare and be enlarged; because the abundance of the Sea shall bee converted unto thee, the forces of the Gen­tiles shall come unto thee. This, with much more, shall be the eternall glory of the Church.

Secondly, the Church shall enjoy abun­dance of internall glory in the latter dayes: both is coming on apace.

Quest. Wherein shall the Churches in­ternall glory consist?

Answ. 1. In the abundance of spiritu­all light and knowledge: Much ignorance hath possessed the soules, even of Saints, a long time; a veil hath been spread over all Nations, both Gentile as well as Jew; but the veil shall be taken away, Isai. 25. And I will, saith the Lord, destroy or swallow up in [...]his mountaine, (that is, in the Church) the face of the covering cast over all people, and the veile spread over all Nations. Such hath been the ignorance that hath over­spread all People, and Nations, through the spiritual operation of the man of sinne; that, the mystery of the Gospell hath been [Page 86] hid, as it were, from us, and sealed up even with seven seales, a perfection of dark­nesse, that none was found worthy to open it: Humane Arts, and Creature-wisdome being set a-work, did but so much the more darken it, and cast a veile upon it, till at last the Lord Jesus begins to open it himselfe, and will unseale it by degrees, and cause the veile to vanish away, to the great glory of his spirituall Ones; but to the great terror of all humanists, who were left without this spirituall knowledge of Christ. See the further confirmation of this truth, Isa. 11.9. The earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. As ignorance hath, as a veil, been spread over all Nations: so shall the knowledge of the Lord goe forth abun­dantly throughout all Nations, Isa. 60.17, 19, 20. Rev. 21.22, 23.

Secondly, that which shall make for the Churches spirituall glory, shall be the en­joyment of a full freedome from the guilt of sinne; that which much troubles many a pretious soule: and it was that the Apo­stle Paul was freed from, Rom. 8. We have not received the spirit of bondage to feare a­gain; but the spirit of adoption whereby we [Page 87] cry, Abba, Father. And this is that the Lord hath promised to his people in the latter day, Isa. 33.24. And the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick, the people that dwell therein, shall be forgiven their iniquity. Sin is the cause of spirituall sicknesse: This cause shall be taken away; for, they shall be forgiven their iniquity; i. e. they shall live in the knowledge and enjoyment of it. And from henceforth they shall not say, I am sicke, and the voyce of crying and wee­ping shall be no more heard in her, for, the for­mer things are passed away: there shall bee no more sin nor sorrow, but everlasting joy shall be upon her head and sorrow and sighing shall passe away, Isai. 35.10.

A third thing that shall make for the Saints spiritual glory, is the knowledge of, and enjoyment of, a spiritual Onenesse with God in Christ, and each with other: al­though this be a glorious spiritual truth: yet it is that the Saints have lived excee­ding short in the knowledge of it; the knowledge and enjoyment of it will be exceeding glorious to the spiritual Christi­an. What this union is, and wherein it consists, I referre it to what hath been said formerly in the glorious condition of [Page 88] persons in the second Adam, above the first.

A fourth thing that will make for the Saints spirituall glory, is, a living above creatures and things, in the spirituall en­joyment of God, whom to enjoy is life; when all things below, shal bee nothing; when the soule shall be content to suffer the losse of all things, that Christ may bee all, and in all; the glorious Lord will bee unto us a place of broad rivers & streams, wherin shal go no Gally with Oares, nor shall gallant Ships passe thereby, Isai. 33.24. no need of rowing in creatures or things, no need of gallant ships, of any thing to carry the soul up unto God, or to bring God in Christ down to the soule; but the glorious Lord will be all, and in all, and the spiritual Christian shal live in the enjoyment of him. verse 23. Then shal the tacklings be forsaken, or loosed, they could not strengthen their Mast, they shal not be able, who desire it, to saile any further or longer in ordinances, duties, creatures; but the great spoyle shal be divided, and the lame take the spoyle, the lame contemp­tible ones, they are the people that are like to enjoy this spiritual glory.

A fifth thing that wil make for the Saints spiritual glory, is a spiritual and in­ternal conformity unto God: they shal live up in the spirit, and walk after the spi­rit, Christ will manifest himselfe spiritual­ly in them: the light of the Moone shall be as the light of the Sunne; and the light of the Sunne shall be seuen-fold as the light of seven dayes; the light of the Moon, that is, of the Church, shal be as the light of the sun, that is, Christ the sonne of Righteous­nesse, who is both a Sun and a shield; and the light of the sunne shall be seven-fold, that is, Christ shal appeare in the spirit to his, conforming them to himself in the spi­rit, which wil appear seven times more glo­rious, than formerly when we knew him after the flesh. Zach. 12.8. He that is weak and feeble amongst them, shal be as David; that is, Christ; David shal be as God, even as the Angels of God before him: This is the glorious conformity that all the Saints shal have unto Jesus Christ in the spirit, & this glorious unity and conformity unto the Law of Righteousnesse is that wil ap­pear at the first sight of it very terrible and dreadful to the sons of men. Cant. 6.10. Who is She that looketh forth as the morning, [Page 90] faire at the Moon, cleare as the Sun, terrible as an Army with Banners: such wil bee the strangenesse of this glorious truth, that it wil not only appear terrible and dread­ful to the men of this world, but even Christ sets it forth himself with a note of admiration, not as if it were strange to him, but rather to discover her excellent glory; and (indeed) the Church will bee worth a looking on, & her glory a seeking-after, of all spiritual ones.

4 Particular propounded for the clea­ring of the truth in hand, is; that the king­dome of Christ is wholly spiritual, and not of this world, that as formerly, so in the latter dayes, the glory of his Kingdom shal be in the spirit, and not in the flesh; it wil be spiritual, and not personal: for clearing of it, I shal first prove it from testimony of Scripture. 2ly. By spiritual Arguments grounded upon Scripture. 3ly Answer such Questions and Scripture-grounds, which seeme to hold it forth.

1 By testimony from Scripture, it is the word of Christ himself. My Kingdom is not of this world; that is, not a fleshly, and ex­ternal Kingdome over the bodies of men; but a spiritual and internal one; the kingdom [Page 91] of heaven is within you: So likewise, 1 Cor. 5.16. There is no more knowledge of Christ after the flesh, they are too fleshly thoughts for a spiritual Christian. Secondly, it wil appear by spiritual Arguments like­wise.

1 Argument. The spiritual presence of Christ with his Saints, is the most glorious presence. Christ wil be most gloriously pre­sent with his people in the latter dayes, er­go, his presence, and so his Kingdome, will be a spiritual presence, and not a personal, The major Proposition is evident from Scripture, that the spiritual presence of Christ, is the most glorious presence: This Christ tels his Disciples when he was per­sonally with them, Iohn 16.7. Neverthelesse it is expedient that I go away, for if I goe not away, the Comforter wil not come unto you: And therefore, Christ tels his Disciples, Ioh. 14.26. That if they loved him, they would not reason, because he said, he would goe away; because his spiritual presence was the most glorious presence: and we see it by experi­ence, that the Disciples of Christ were most spiritual, and had most spiritual en­joyment of God, when Christ was gone from them in person, and they enjoyed him [Page 92] in the spirit. That the presence of Christ in the latter dayes will be most glorious; ap­peares by all that have been formerly spo­ken, and I think none of light, deny it: then the conclusion holds true, that the pre­sence of Christ with his people in the lat­ter dayes, wherein they shal enjoy most light and glory; wil be a spiritual presence.

2 Argument. If Jesus Christ be known of the Saints no more after the flesh, but after the spirit; then his reigne in the latter dayes of the Gospel wil not be personal, but spiritual: but, hee is no more to be knowne of the Saints after the flesh, as you have formerly heard, 1 Cor. 5.16. Therefore his presence, and so his Kingdome will not bee a fleshly or personal presence and kingdome; but a spiritual.

3 Arg. Spiritual glory, and spiritual en­joyment, is that which most of all suites with the majesty and glory of God. Ioh. 4.22, 23, 24. Col. 3.1. 1 Cor. 2.9, 10, 14 The glory of the Saints shall be spiritual, and their enjoyment spiritual in the latter dayes; spiri­tual knowledge, Esa 11. and spiritual confor­mity unto Christ, Zach. 12.8. and spirituall joy and rejoycing, Isa 35, 10. Ergo, the pre­sence and Kingdome of Christ, in, and with [Page 93] his Saints, will be a spiritual Kingdome, and not a personal.

4 Arg. Christs Kingdom and presence shal bee with all his people, filling them with spiritual glory, Isa 25.7. He will take away the veil spread over all Nations, & v. 9. And they stall say, Loe, this is the Lord, wee have waited for him. Christs personal pre­sence can [...]ot be with all his at once: there­fore his presence and kingdome wil be spi­ritual, and not personal.

Objections answered concerning the personal reign of Christ.

Obj. 1. That Christ was promised to the Jewes to come as a King, and they to this day expect him to come a King, to deliver them from their captivity;

Ans. 1. It is true, hee was promised to come as a King, Isa 9.7. and so he came a King, although not in outward appearance, Matth. 2.2. Where is he that is born King of the Jewes? we have seen his Star in the East, and are come to worship him. He was the King of the Jewes, when He was born, he was a Child, and yet a King. 2 He is King of all spiritual Jewes, for he is not a Jew, that is one outwardly, but he is a Jew, that is one inwardly: and Christ reignes spiritually in [Page 94] all his people, the Kingdome of Heaven is within you. 3 Christ will appear a spiritual glorious King to the Jewes, the naturall seed of Abraham, in the latter dayes, gathe­ring them from among the Heathen to him­self in the spirit, & so will raign in & over them in the spirit gloriously, Ezek. 37. throughout. See vers. 24, 25. That they shall be gathered in with all the beloved of God, by the spiritual working of Christ, and not by his personal appearing; is cleere from this ground: They shal be gathered unto Christ, from the beholding of Christ cruci­fied, and not from the beholding of his glo­rious personal appearing: Therfore, Christ shal come a King, in the spirit, to his peo­ple, and not in the flesh: see Zach. 12.10: They shall looke upon him whom they have pierced, and mourn over him, &c. The eying of a pierced Christ, shal bee the way of bringing in Jew, as wel as Gentile.

Obj. 2. Christ suffered reproach & shame in the flesh from his enemies: therefore, it is likely he shall be glorified in the flesh be­fore his adversaries.

Answ. Christ shal without question bee glorified in the presence of his adversaries, and all Nations shal be gathered together [Page 95] before him, when he shal appear from hea­ven in flaming fire, to render vengeance to them that know not God, and obey not his Gospel; but, whether Christ shal appeare personally, or in any personal forme, wil bee a great question: but with much spiritual power manifesting himself to the salvation of his people, and to the confusiō of al his, and his Churches enemies, Matth. 5.25.

Obj. 3. It is said Rev. 20.4. That those that had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus, and for the Word of God, that had not worshipped the Beast, nor his Image, nor received his marke in their fore-heads, and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand yeares, and the rest of the dead lived not again.

Answ. For clearing the mystery of this Scripture, it wil bee requisite, first to set down the things asserted frō hence. 2ly To unfold the mystery intended, which will answer the things asserted: the things as­serted hence are these: 1 That Christ shal raign a thousand yeares personally. 2 That all the Saints departed from the beginning of the world, shal be raised, and come and reign with him. 3 That the wicked shal not be raised till after the thousand yeares bee finished,

For answer unto, and clearing of the truth.

1 I conceive it to be a glorious truth, that Christ shal come & reign a thousand years, along time, spiritually in his people; but not personally amongst his people: that Christ shal reign thus gloriously, see not only this Scripture, but Rev. 11.15. And the seventh Angel sounded, and there were great voyces in Heaven, saying, the Kingdomes of this world are become the Kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ, and he shall reign for ever. Thus, you see, Christ shal have a Kingdom, and for the time of it, it is said Revel. 20. to be 1000. yeares, and in Isa 60, to be many Generations, I will make thee an eternal ex­cellencie, a joy of many Generations.

Obj. But its said, Rev. 11.15. That the Nations and Kingdomes of the world, are be­come the Nations of Christ, and he shall reign for ever: therefore, it seemes that his king­dome shal be personal.

Answ. The Nations and Kingdomes of the world may be said to be the Nations & Kingdomes of Christ, in a twofold respect, and yet Christ not reign personally; & this the Scripture clearly holds forth.

1 In respect of the abundance shall bee [Page 97] converted unto Christ in all nations, that in comparison of what hath been formerly: the Nations and Kingdoms shal become the Kingdoms of Christ, Esa. Chap. from 5. to 12. verse. 2. Christ may be said to be the King of Nations, in respect of the ruling of his Saints over their enemies; for in this Kingdome of Christ shall the enemies of Christ be subjected and shall serve the Saints, the Nations that wil not serve thee shall perish, and Christ reigning in his Saints over them, may be said truly to reigne over them, Psal. Rev. 2.26.27. Rev. 5.10. Thus the first assertion in part is truth, Christ shal reign 1000. yeares, that is many Generations; but it wil be spiritual, and not personal.

2. Assertion from thence is, that all the Saints from the begining of the world shal be raised and come, and reign with Christ.

Answ. For the clearing of the truth in this Scripture, which wil answer this assertion, consider, 1. what is meant by the beheading for the witnesse of Jesus, 2. What is meant by not receiving the marke of the beast. 3. What is meant by [Page 98] being raised, living and raigning with Christ. 4. What is meant by the not liv­ing of the rest of the dead until the 1000. yeares were finished. 1. What is meant by being beheaded for the witnesse of Jesus: It is a spiritual beheading; such a beheading are all the Saints who shake off Antichrists badge and yoake like to meete withal. Christ is said to be the head of the Church, and the head of every man, that is, of every Saint, is Christ now, when the Lord discovers the evil of Antichri­stian wayes to his people, and they for­sake it, they durst not receive either the Image, name, or marke of the beast, they shal [...] presently be beheaded by the beast, that is, they wil condemn them as those that forsake Christ, and cry out on them, that they are revolted, that they are Sectaries, Hypocrites, Hereticks, &c.

And thus they behead the Saints spiri­tually, and that for the testimony of Je­sus, because they cannot but declare the things that they have seene, and heard from him, which wil overthrow and ru­ine all things contrary to himselfe in the end. 2. What is meant by a receiving of the Image or marke of the beast?

Answ. By the Image of the beast is meant that likenesse that it hath unto the first beast, who seemes to receive a deadly wound being compared with Chap. 13.11. to 16. that is, this beast seems to make a change, he speaks great words, his looke is more stout than his fellows; he thinks to change times and Lawes, yet when all is done, it is but the Image of the first beast, the exercise of the same power, the same wisdome in the things of God, the same worship for substance, it is all the same in substance, and it is but the number of a man all of the flesh, it is from below, yet such must the worth and the excellency of it be for a time that whosoever wil not receive the Image of the first beast, and account it somthing too, is likewise to be beheaded, and not to be suffered either to buy or sel amongst them, and many a Saint is like to be giv­en into his hand, and he shal prevaile o­ver them, but it shal be but for a time, times, and the dividing of a time, and then the Kingdome shal become the Saints. Dan. 7. 2ly. The Image is that in­ternal spiritual principle from which the beast acts, for none can truly follow the [Page 100] beast, but those who have received this Image, that is who act from the same prin­ciple, those are acted, who act for and from the man of sin, and it is called an I­mage, because it resembles Christ both in the internal as wel as the ex [...]ernal part; yet acts from his own wisdome by its own power, according to its own mind, to its own end, and this in all resembles Christ.

Now these who refuse this Image in the spirit, and cannot be contented with a wisdome like Christ, a selfe acting in the roome of Christ, a rule short of Christ; an end besides Christ: from hence casting off this Image, is carried on in another track then before: they come to be be­headed for Christ, because they cannot receive the Image, who is the Antichrist in the Spirit and not Christ, so that here is not onely the Image of the first beast, with relation to patern and power, but likewise in relation to holinesse, the first wil be for Christ, and so the second, yet are both but Antichrist, 2. What is meant by the marke of the beast in the forehead, and in the right hand; by the marke in the forehead, is meant the visible pro­fession of Antichrist in the external part those that would not visibly professe the [Page 101] wayes of Antichrist: or in the right hand; that is, to act for him, these were denyed to buy or sel, Chap. 13.17. to sel, that is to preach the Gospel; for Antichrist un­der the notion of preaching the Gospel, sels his wares, but a time is coming that none wil buy their wares anymore, so they deny any who own not the Image name, or marke, to sell; hence they may examine those who preach upon such and such in­tergatories, and if it appear that they de­ny the Image, name, or marke; they may not sel, that is, give forth freely what God communicates unto them, when others sell or buy, that is, partake of any spiritual good amongst them if they could prevent it, & those were beheaded for the witnesse of Jesus, but they were at last raised, and lived with Christ 1000. yeers, that is raised up from their low condition, taken up into heaven in the sight of their adversaries, and lived with Christ in the Spirit, reigning trium­phantly over all spiritual enemies, selfe, sathan, world, and those Merchants that sel all (yea the soules of men too) shal be weeping, and crying alas, alas, Rev. 18. when the Lord shal make good that word of truth, Es [...]. 66.5. heare the word of the [Page 102] Lord ye that tremble at his word, your brethren that hated you, that beheaded you, that cast you out for my name sake, said, let the Lord be glorified, that is, (it tends to the Honor of God to behead and to cast out these men) but he shal ap­peare to your joy, you shal be raised up with Christ, and I wil give you a new name, but they shal be ashamed.

Obj. John saith, the Saints that had not worshipped the Beast (he speakes in the Preterpluperfectence therefore it seemes not to be the Saints raised who at pre­sent were beheaded in the mystical sence, but the Saints that had been beheaded in the litteral sense.)

Answ. First it is the use of the Spirit, or the spirits Language, to deliver it selfe in darke and mystical termes, so the A­postle saith in another case, 1 Thes. 4.5. that we which are alive and remaine til the coming of the Lord, &c. the Apostle speakes of, we, as if he had intended the Thessalonians and himself, which was least intended; but the Saints, who being all one in the spirit, and but one mysticall bo­dy in Christ, while there are any Saints in the world, the Apostle makes it to bee all [Page 103] one, as if Hee and the Thessalonians were them, & so delivers it in the present tense; when he might haue said rather, to speake after the manner of men, then they which shal be alive at his coming, &c. as in Revel. the word might have run thus; and so questionlesse, it is to be understood: then they that were beheaded for the witnesse of Jesus, were raised or lived, & reigned with Christ, as the sence of the former; then they that shall bee alive at the comming of the Lord, shal not prevent them which are a­sleep: so that the spirit of God, might as wel deliver a truth, which is in the Present tense, in the Preterpluperfect tense; as, a truth in the Present tense, which was in the Future; and yet is, all to exercise the mind of him that readeth, and to let us know, there is mystery in the Gospel.

Secondly, very few Saints have been be­headed in the litteral sence: those that have dyed for Christ, have dyed other deaths, & not beheaded; therefore, we cannot under­stand it in the letter, but in the spirit.

The fourth particular propounded, was, what was meant, in that the rest of the dead were not raised, until the 1000. yeares were finished; that is, none that had beene [Page 104] bodily dead, Saints, or wicked, good or bad, were raised, till after the 1000, years were finished, and then you shall see the resurre­ction of all, which is called the second re­surrection: The first, is called a resurre­ction, and the first resurrection; because it shall be a resurrection from shame & dis­grace in the world. And secondly, it shal be a glorious resurrection in the spirit: this first, all the Saints have in some measure been partakers of it. Thus it appeares, that Christ shall have a Kingdome, a glorious, a spiritual One.

Quest. But when shal this Kingdom be?

Answ. 1. It is already begun in the spirits of Saints; the Kingdome of Heaven is with­in you. 2 I beleeve that the time of the 1000 years, which is a more glorious estate in the spirit is not yet begun: but the begin­ning of that time shal be when the 7 seales are fully opened, and the 7 trumpets fully founded, and the 7 vials powred forth, they being but effects of each other; the opening of the seales, occasions the sound of the trumpets; the sound of the trumpets occa­sion the vials, the opening of the seales, the unfolding of the mysteries of the Gospel, (which have been hid, Rev. 5.1, 2.) As light [Page 105] breakes forth, the trumpets sound, the ser­vants of Jesus preach forth the mystery of the Gospel: the preaching of the myste­ries of the Gospel, in the power and puritie of it, occasions the vials of wrath to fal up­on the Antichristian estate, both in the spirit, and in the letter; which work is now a doing. (Wait the Lords time, and it wil come on apace.) But first, we are yet like to be given into the hands of the little horn, who changes times & lawes; the two witnesses are yet like to be slain, & to sydead 3 dayes & a half; and the woman cloathed with the Sun, to be driven into the wilder­nesse for a little space, a time, times, & halfe a time; the Beast with two hornes like a Lambe, hath yet a little time to make use of his power; perswading them that dwel in the Earth, to make an Image to the first Beast; and that none but those who own it, shal buy or sel with them: the Saints be­headed under the Altar to wait a little time, before they be raised up to live with Christ 1000. years: but it is not long, the vision is for an appointed time: in the end, it wil speak, and not ly; it wil come, and not tar­ry: The first 1000. is almost past the se­cond and third, are coming on apace; & all [Page 106] the Nations and Kingdomes in the world wil come apace to be the Kingdoms of the Lord, & of his Christ, and he shall reign for ever; their lives shal be prolonged for a sea­son, & a time; and other Scriptures are al­ledged for the personal reign of Christ; as the stone cut out of the Mountain, without hands, Dan. 2. that is, the glorious power of Christ, by weak meanes, subduing all Anti­christian enemies, without his Saints, & all Antichristian things, by his spirit, within them: So that in Dan. 7.10. the glorious company of Saints attending on Christ in the spirit, which shal be fulfilled at the rai­sing of the two witnesses up into heaven, in the sight of their enemies, Rev. 5.10, 11. This is the first glorious work of the Lord Jesus, in, and amongst the Saints: the Lord reigneth, let the Saints rejoyce: the Lord reigneth, let the world tremble. See Zach. 14.5. The Lord our God wil come, and all the Saints with him; that is, Christ will come in the spirit, and all the Saints shall appear gloriously in him.

A word of Application: First, if this bee truth, that the Kingdome of Christ is a spi­ritual kingdome, & not of this world; this may inform us how far, besides the Gospel [Page 107] in the spirit and truth of it; those men are, who make the Kingdome of Christ to bee meerly political and a state Kingdom, who turne the world by a humane power into the Church and Kingdome of Christ (as they say) & Christ must have a worldly carnal Kingdome, no better than the Kings of the earth enjoy; or else he shal have none at all: it savors exceedingly of the earth, & ere long, thither it must return.

Secondly, this should incourage the Saints to presse forward after the knowledge of God in the spirit; that as the kingdome of Christ is spiritual, and not of this world; so may the Saints Kingdom likewise be in the spirit, and so all their enjoyments may be spiritual enjoyments: this is that will make the soule fat, and wel-liking in the Lord, fill the soule with joy & peace, which the world is not acquainted with; their eyes never saw it, nor their hearts concei­ved it; neither are they like to see it, un­lesse the Lord make them spiritual.

SECT. X. Of Death, Resurrection, Judgement, and the state of the Saints, after judgment, eter­nally with God.

FIrst, of death: It is appointed for all men once to dye; Dust we are, and to dust we must return; and therefore, it behoves us to expect it: All the dayes of mine ap­pointed time, wil I waite, till my change come: Death is certain, although the time be uncertain: it is, that none are in a com­mon and ordinary way exempted from, unlesse those Saints who are alive at the last coming of Christ; they shal be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, 1 Cor. 15.51, 52. and so shall bee caught up in the spirit, to meet the Lord in the Ayre, 1 Thes. 4.17. Secondly, of the resurrection.

That there shal be a resurrection of the body at the last day, is evident, Iohn 5, 28, 29. Iohn 11.24. with 1 Cor. 15. throughout, Rev. 20.12, 13. although this truth is by some, denyed, and by others, too carnally [Page 109] looked upon; some thinking, that our bo­dies of flesh shall bee raised in the same forme, in which it dyed; others, that it shal be spiritual, yet question, whether it shall he of the same substance: therefore, it wil be necessary, to consider two particulars, for the clearing of it. First, by what power we shal be raised. Secondly, with what bo­dies.

1. By what power.

Answ. 1. By the same power, by which Jesus Christ was raised; which was by the power and spirit of God: he was declared to be the sonne of God with power by his resurrection from the dead, Rom. 1, 4. Se­condly, by the same power and spirit the Saints are enlightned, and raised from the spiritual death of sinne, and selfe, which is the same power, by which the body of Christ was raised: so that when we say, we are raised by the resurrection of Christ in the spirit; that is, by the same power, by which Christ was raised: therefore, the Apostle desireth to know the power of the death, and resurrection of Christ, Phil. 3.10. by the same power and Spirit shall [Page 110] our bodies be raised at the last day, Rom. 8.11. 1 Cor. 15 13, 14, 15, 16. this being a truth that they shal be raised by the same power: it may somwhat direct us to the form in which they shal be raised, which is the second particular, that is in a spiritual forme, not in a fleshly, for as the spirit of Christ raiseth us up in the spirit while we are here, so shal it raise up our bodies in the spirit at the last day, it is sowne a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body, our vile bodies shal be changed and made like his glorious body, he tooke upon him our forme that so we might be brought into his forme, for when he shal appeare we shal be made like unto him, the substance of our natu­ral body raised in spirit.

Of Judgment, It is appointed to all men once to dy, but after this the Judgment; when all men shal be called to an ac­count before him (to wit the Lord Jesus) there to give an accompt for all things done in their bodies, whether good or bad, Mat. 25. and so God in this way wil acquit his Saints and cleare them [Page 111] before the world, although this is not their life; neither that in which they ap­peare, Mat. 25.36. to 40

Fourthly, of the estate of the Saints af­ter Judgment, it is first ever to be with the Lord, beholding his glory, 1 Thes. 4.17. Iohn 17.24. and in his presence wil be fulnesse of joy, and 2. at his right hand everlastingly to be compleated in the same glory, Col. 3.3. when Christ who is our life shal appeare, we shal ap­peare with him in glory, all flesh shal be swallowed up in Spirit, and our bodies shall be changed and made like his glo­rious body, all things that offend shal be done away, and we shal be made eter­nally one in the Father and in the Sonne, & in the spirit one in eternity, one in in­joyment, and one in glory, this for the Saints is enough to know, besides, what shal be, we do not know, it is an height, and depth, a length and breadth un­searchable. Oh the unsearchable riches of Christ! what the Saints do injoy, what they shal injoy, swallowes up the spiritual Christian in the beholding of it▪ hence let us continue searching after an higher measure of the height, depth, [Page 112] bredth, and length of his love, which passeth knowledge: and there shall we be able to see and say that his wisdome is unsearchable, and his wayes past finding out.


A briefe Discovery of An­tichrist, both in the Mystery, and in the Historie.

For my more cleare proceeding in the dis­covery or the Man of Sinne, five things are considerable.

  • 1 What Antichrist, or the Man of Sin is.
  • 2 What his Reigne.
  • 3 What shall be his discovery.
  • 4 What his ruine.
  • 5 When his ruine shall be.

SECTION I. What Antichrist, or the Man of Sin is.

ANtichrist or the Man of Sin, is to be considered, either in the Spirit, or [Page 114] in the Letter. 1 In the Spirit, Antichrist signifies one seemingly for Christ, yet in deed is against [...]m, and so is but a Man of sin, a son of perdition, and this hee will ap­peare to be, both in the Mystery, and in the History.

1 In the mystery, or spirit, and in this he hath taken hold of every man, especially in these latter dayes; yet tis true, much time hath been spent by many, to find out this Man of sinne, who he is, and for the most part ascribe it to some particular man ne­ver looking at the mystery, or root of ini­quity, which is not in the first place, a man, but a wicked thing in man; and this, for want of a spirit of discerning, we have not seen Antichrist in our selves, but have cast him upon others, and so misse of the thing, or at least, most strike at the top-boughes, and are ignorant of the root: Now Anti­christ in the mystery, or spirituall and in­ternal part; It is a confederacie betweene Sathan, & the deceitful heart of man, trans­forming himself into an Angel of light; nay into the Son of light: and while nothing lesse than Christ, and Christian wil satisfie; he wil be the Christ, or at least the Anti­christ, instead of Christ to deceive soules. [Page 115] For this was and is the last, the greatest and most deceiving stratagem that ever Sathan made use of to rui [...]e s [...]u [...]s; that, where he cannot content soules but they must be Christians, he can be content with that, so he may be the Ch [...]ist: hence he is called the man of sin, the Son of perdition, that wicked deceiver, 2 Thes. 2. It is not Sathan acting in a carnal and fifthly forme of the flesh, but in the most refined part of the first Adam, so he keepe the creature in the first Adam still, he cares not.

1. There must be a reformation that it shall injoy, provided it be legally in the Letter, it must believe or else it can­not be satisfied, and b [...]lieve it doth; but the ground must be built upon that first reformation, qualification, &c, wisdome is required to walke in Gods wayes, and to the knowledge of the mi [...]de of God: wisdome must and may be obtained; pro­vided it be humane, the wisdome of the first Adam, that is en [...]ugh: power of acting must likewise of necessity be ob­tained: a power shall be obtained, but it must be a creature-power, [...]nd a creature-acting under the name and no [...]ion of the[Page 116] power of God; that is indeed and in­truth condemned though in none owned there must now somtimes be a spiritual minde, and that it injoyes likewise in its own apprehension, although hardly ob­tained, and indeed the highest pitch of spiritualnesse is but carnal to the spiritual mans injoyment: this is a high pitch of spirituall mindednesse where Sathan dwells; to have selfe thoughts of Refor­mation, thoughts to pray more, to walke more exactly, and to please God better; never, thoughts of living out of its selfe more, and of living in the injoyment of God in the Spirit more; and spiritual joy it must have s [...]mtimes too: why? that it shall have likewise, but it must arise from inlargement in duties, humiliati­ons, selfe-actings, reformation, & all from selfe, and thus Sathan and the deceitful heart joynes together, to the delusion of many a soule, and this is Antichrist in the Mystery; the man of sin spoken of in Scripture, that comes with all deceiv­ablenesse of unrighteousnesse: and wel may he be called a man of sin an Anti­c [...]rist, a mystery of iniquity; for in this shape he deceives soules, and they are [Page 117] never sencible of it, drawn in and never know it, until everlastingly undone, and he hath his diversities of formes in this kinde.

1. If the name of Christian wil serve, and yet live loose and prophane; that they shall have, and there he wil hold them. If there must be a conformity to Christ, and a more zealous and conscionable walking; to quiet the Conscience, it shall have it: he will go as neere unto Christ with the soule as may be, provided it rest it selfe below: and thus, Christ saith, ma­ny shall come under this delusion, ex­pecting life from duty, and it wil appear to be but workes of iniquity of sin, (why) because acted by the man of sin, acted not from a right principle, nor by a right power, neither to a right end; acting there must be, but not Christ-acting. Hence it is, that though he wil be a Christian, and so talkes much of Christ, yet; he denyes Christ to be come in the flesh, that is in the flesh of his Saints, the spirit of Christ acting and working all things in the Saints (and they are sensible of it) and thus this de­ceivable man of sin carries on hood­winkt [Page 118] to perdition many and many a soule, And now it is more wicked and deceivable, than when in its proper place, acting after the lusts of the flesh, Gal. then every one al­most is sencible of it. Hence it is, that Christ saith, Mat. 12.45. The uncleane spirit being cast out, that is out in its un­cleane forme; it can no longer be owned: he is now content to come in, when it is swept and garnished, prophanesse and filthynesse is gone, and now he comes in a more refined forme, perhaps legall reformation, as the present Phari­sees to whom Christ spake, or else the name of Christian, or the knowledge of Christ, after the flesh; but Christ saith, the latter end of the man thus deceived is seven times worse than the begining: he comes in this refined forme with se­ven worse spirits than himselfe, and so makes him seven times more, the Child of perdition than before. Oh then, how doth it concern every one bearing the name of Christian to looke about them­selves, if they are not deceived and delu­ded, with this Antichrist under the name of Christ! seeing it is the high-way [Page 119] of soules ruine, now in the dayes of the Gospel; for herein doth Sathan declare himselfe to be the Master of Arts in trans­forming himselfe into the son of light, and under the name of Christ, and Chri­stian, to ruine soules.

2. There is Antichrist in the History or in the Letter, and this flowes from Antichrist in the Spirit: now the soule being possessed with Antichrist, he growes up into some forme, and now not onely in the spirit invisibly, but in the letter: more visible he appeares sit­ting in the seate of God, and he may be descryed principally under these 3 heads, as sitting in the seate of Christ, and acting those things which properly belong to Christ.

1. In making Christians by a hu­mane power, it being the proper worke of God in Christ to make Christians, Iohn 6.37.44. but now here is an Antichrist will undertake the businesse, and so turns the world into Christians or rather An­tichristians, and pretend that they do the worke of Christ too: when, if he did the worke of Christ, he would rather keep off all carnal ignorant ones, and ac­cept [Page 120] of none, until made willing and spi­ritual by Jesus Christ; for Christ doth not onely owne soules, when they come; but first gives them a will to come, and that by a spiritual, and not a humane power. Hence it comes to passe, that there are so many carnal profane ones under the name of Christian, because made Christian not by Jesus Christ but by men.

Oh that the Lord would be please to inlighten the understandings of these men betymes, that they might not walke in a way so directly opposite to the Gos­pel, and destructive to their own & milli­ons of soules.

2. In prescribing rules of worship which is proper onely to Jesus Christ to prescribe rules, and to carry through the soule in acting according to these rules.

1. To prescribe rules; this belongs unto Christ, and who ever undertakes it, puts themselves in the roome of Christ, and is the Antichrist: this is to exercise creature-wisdome in the things of Jesus Christ, and (indeed) to sit in the seate of God. It is the worke of Christ in the Spirit to helpe; in prayer or any duty; we [Page 121] know not what we pray for as we ought, but the spirit helpeth our infir­mities, Rom. 8. It is Christ that helpeth both to see our wants, and formeth by his spirit, words within accordingly. Therefore those who prescribe formes and rules of worship, put themselves in the roome of Christ.

2. It belongs to Christ to give in pow­er to act according to those rules, but Antichrist gives the command, and so carries on an external acting, not accor­ding to Christ; but his own minde.

3. Antichrist may be discovered as sitting in the seate of God not onely 1. In making Christians. 2. In prescri­bing rules, but 3. In compelling all un­to those rules whatever Christ saith, that matters not; he himselfe will be the Christ, and must be obeyed, let Christ say what he will, and all that question his power must be the Antichrist, for he exalteth himselfe above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he, as God, sitteth in the Temple of God, shew­ing himselfe that he is God, and in all these particulars there is a mystery lyeth, a myste [...]y of iniquity, that is iniquity [Page 122] hid under the name and notion of Christ; therefore, so much the more to be dreaded. To be a Christian, is accounted a gallant thing: and therfore, not only himself; but o­thers likewise look upō it to be a matter of much piety, to make men Christians, and cause them to own Christ.

Oh! but here lyes a mystery of iniquity, many soules made Christians by a humane power, are but Antichristians, and so under the name of Christian, are likely to be un­done for ever, if the Lord prevent it not: An excellent thing accounted in the world to make creatures Christians, as soone as they are born, by sprinkling a little water upon them, & so in bearing them in hand, that they are so ever after: but here lyeth a mystery of iniquity, & one of the soule ruiningst mysteries of iniquity as ever came from Hel: Speak England, speake all Na­tions called Christian; whether (almost all people of all sorts, devoutly slain in the spi­rit under this mystery of iniquity) to have formes of worships prescribed, that all Priests and People may walk in one forme and way of worship, and all compelled un­to it, is accounted an excellent part of Christianity? but here lyeth a mystery of [Page 123] iniqui [...]y under it. First, it brings all sorts of people to be acting in something, though worse than nothing, and so de ude them­selves in all their actings; it causeth them to look to men, and not to Christ Secondly, it causeth them to blesse themselvs in their unity, in formes and worships, never que­stioning their Onenesse with Christ in the Spirit, they are as strangers unto it. Hence it is, that uniformity in the Letter, is so much called for amongst all sorts of peo­ple, being wholly ignorant of unity in spi­rit.

I could instance in divers other particu­lars as Ministry, Guifts, Church, Ordinan­ces all have something like Christ in them; but it is al but the number of a man, meer­ly humane, carnal Ministry, humane guifts, and annointings in stead of the spirit, car­nall Church, invented Ordinances: but I passe it at present.

SECT. II. What is his Reigne.

ANtichrists reigne is likewise in the spirit, and in the letter; Antichrist or the Man of sinne, is as high in his reign, as confident of his good estate.

First, his reign in the spirit in the myste­ry, he sheweth himself, that he is God; he perswades soules, that he is the Christ, his wisdome and his righteousnesse, his rules & his Ordinances, they are of God; and they must stand, although it hath neither Scri­pture nor reason, I mean in the spirit for it: and thus this mystery of iniquity hath reig­ned a long time; it began to work in the Apostles dayes.

Secondly, the reign of Antichrist in the Letter: he also visibly sheweth himselfe, that he is God, and must be submitted un­to, under penalties, fines, and imprison­ments, better speaking against the Ordi­nances of Christ, than his Ordinances. And thus he reignes with power, and likewise with much confidence; for, She sitteth as QVEENE, and saith, she shall see no [Page 125] sorrow; but her sorrowes will come in one day, &c.

SECT. III. The discovery of Antichrist.

THE Revelation of Antichrist may bee considered, either first, as he openly and publicly reveales himselfe to bee the Anti­christ by his confidence, and powerful act­ing, as the Christ, or above Christ: of this, the Apostle speakes, 2 Thes. 2.3.

2 It may be considered, as a mystery of iniquity, and so revealed by the spirit of Christ unto his servants; and so the revela­tion or discovery of Antichrist unto the Saints, shal be by the spirit of Christ in the preaching of the Gospel: as it is a mystery of iniquity in it self; so it must be that hid­den wisdome in a mystery, 1 Cor. 2. that must discover it. Now where the Lord worketh for his discovery, hee first disco­vers him to be the Antichrist; hee helpes the soule to find him out: And then second­ly, he discovers the evill, the iniquity of him he lets the soule see; that it is, the greatest, [Page 126] and the subtlest adversary that ever it had to deal withall; the most dangerous, be­cause cloathed under so faire and Christ­like a Garbe, and the hardest to be discove­red; such an Adversary, as bears soules in hand, that they are going to heaven, when they are in the broad and rode-way to ru­ine, like a cunning Hocas-Pocas, that jug­leth away a mans estate, before he is aware of it, and all the while pretends friendship: & thus it is the spirit o God in the Gospel, that must discover and reveal Antichrist in the mystery; that same spirit who revealed it to the Apostle Paul, and the same who revealed both his rising and falling, to John in the Revelations; those who thinke to attain the discovery of him by humane in­dustry, historicall readings, &c. are excee­ding low in their apprehensions, and come short of the discovery of him: he may bee strongly working in a man, while hee is discovering of him.

SECT. IV. What shall be the ruine of Antichrist?

THe consummation of Antichrist shall be by the same meanes that discovers him, the bright goings forth of Jesus Christ in the Gospel: for, as the kingdom of Jesus Christ goes up in the spirit; (for the kingdō of heaven is within you &c.) so the kingdom of Antichrist must go down: this is the meanes fore-told and prescribed by the Apostle, who fore-saw him in his rising, 2 Thes. 2.8. The Lord will consume him with the breath of his mouth, and destroy him with the brightnesse of his coming, the preaching of the Gospel, and the bright comings forth of Jesus Christ in the spirits of his people shall both consume and de­stroy him: As it is not a humane wisdom that shal discover him, so neither is it a humane power that must destroy him: for all humanity in the things of God, whe [...]her wisdome or power, it is Antichristian: Therefore, not that which shall destroy Antichrist; but that which will uphold him untill he be destroyed: the ruine of Antichrist is farther held forth, Rev. 14.6. [Page 128] The Angel flyeth through the midst of hea­ven, preaching the everlasting Gospell; and vers. 8. Another Angel followeth, saying, That Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great City, &c. The preaching of the Gospel, is the meanes, you see, of Antichrists ru­ine; and the Sermon is, Feare God, and give glory to him. This Sermon, is that wil ruine Antichrist, both in the letter, and in the spirit; give glory to God, that is, let God be all, and in all: let God bee your enjoy­ment in the spirit; see you live upon no­thing below him; give not glory to crea­tures, duties, actings, any thing either of the first Adam, or Antichrist: give glory to God in the letter, give not glory to Man, set not up Man in the roome of God; doe not cry the voyce of Man, and not of God, in any of the things of God; and this is the Sermon that shal ruine Antichrist.

See likewise, Rev. 12.9. The Divel and Sathan, the mystical Antichrist, was cast forth of heaven, to the Earth; that is, he shal not bee suffered any more to delude soules, in a heavenly shape: the Divel is now turned Christian, and he makes warre with the Saints, under the name of Christ, both in the Spirit, as wel as in the Letter: [Page 129] And hence the great warre is betweene Christ and Sathan in Heaven; that is, be­tween the Heaven of Christ, and the Hea­ven of Sathan, under the name of Christ. But now John saith, he saw Sathan cast out of Heaven; that is, he shal deceive soules no more, in a Heavenly forme; neither perse­cute the Saints any more under the name of Christ: (A glorious word, and it is com­ming on apace) for, the most part of soules in that part of the world, called Christians, are ruined in the Divels Heaven; and be­leeve it, this is the great work Christ hath to doe, in these latter dayes, the consumma­tion of Antichrist; that is, First of all, Antichrists spiritual delusions, by which he hath deceived soules. 2 And all Anti­christs deluding formes and ordinances, by which the common sort of people are ge­nerally deluded: the worke of Christ is to powre downe Vials of wrath upon the head of the Man of sinne, both in the spi­rit, and in the letter: Looke about you therefore, all you, whose spiritual life con­sists in nothing, but spiritual and Antichri­stian delusions, with invented and Anti­christian formes and ordinances. A Vial of Wrath is coming on you, which wil shat­ter [Page 130] to pieces al your confidence: and then, if mercy prevent not, you may stand looking on, and crying; alas, alas, in one houre is so great riches come to nought? and then, when this is fulfilled, there shal be no more warre in Heaven, or spiritual delusion un­der the name of Christ.

A glorious word for those that dwel in Heaven, and that which wil cause joy to the Saints.

For, first they shal bee without, and a­bove, all danger of delusions, in the spirit, or in the letter,

And secondly, they shal from the same ground, be for ever freed from fellowship with Hypocrites, and literal Christians; for their communion shal bee more, in the spirit, and lesse, in the letter: and there shal in no wise enter into it, any thing that de­fileth; neither whatsoever worketh abho­mination; that is, lives earthly, carnal, and prophane, or maketh a lye; that is, Hypo­criticall, that seemes to be what he is not; But they which are written in the Lambs book of life: and there shal be no more a Cananite in the house of the Lord for e­ver. This is the great work Christ hath to do in these latter dayes; the consumma­tion [Page 131] of the Kingdome of Antichrist, who hath a long time sate in his seate, with the exaltation of his owne Kingdome in the spirit.

SECT. V. Quest. When he shall be ruined.

Answ. FIrst, in the mystery and spi­rits of the Saints, as Jesus Christ comes in, and shiues gloriously in the spirit; so shal Antichrist bee discovered, and destroyed: and so hee hath received a great blow already in this Nation, through the shinings in of Jesus Christ in the spi­rit amongst many of his Saints: so that this is the time of Antichrists ruine: when Je­sus Christ comes in, and takes place in the spirit of his people; as the Kingdome of Christ increaseth, so the Kingdome of An­tichrist decayeth and consumeth.

Secondly, Antichrist shal bee destroyed when the everlasting Gospel shal be prea­ched; that is, when the Angel flyeth through the middest of Heaven, preaching the ever­lasting Gospel; that is, when the Ministers [Page 132] of the Gospel shal come forth with their ful, and heavenly discoveries of God in the spirit, being permitted to preach the Go­spel, by the Earthly power in all places with liberty: For, much hath beene done already by the witnesses professing in sack­cloth: that is, almost always in danger of a civil persecution; and much ignorance of the mystery of the Gospel, which hath cau­sed them to prophesie in sack-cloth; yet they have had power, to cause fire to come from Heaven, as oft as they please, burning up all Antichristian formes, and invented delusions: And then, what wil be done, think you, when the Ministers of the Go­spel shal come forth in the full and bright discoveries of the Gospel, with liberties here below for the publishing of it?

Thirdly, Antichrist shal bee destroyed, when the witnesses have beene slaine, and laine dead three dayes; (that is a short space) then a tenth part of the City shal fal, and the rest shal have their time pro­longed; but, for a time and a season. The first woe is almost past; behold, a second, and third woe cometh quickly: waite, and it wil come apace.

Thus have I from the Light of Truth, with as much brevity as may be, in some measure, hinted at this Man of sinne, this Mystery of Iniquitie, with his reign, ruine, with the meanes and time.



PAge 4. line 5. for ministry, read mystery, p. 5. l. 29. for in peece, r. in a peece, p. 11. l. 1. for ma­nifesteth. 2. The cause of mans falling, his Justice, &c. r. manifesteth his Justice, the second cause of mans falling, is the temptation of Satan, p. 12. l. 7. for he delivers, r. h. deludes, p. 18 l. 13. for all man­kind him, r. in him, p. 22. l. 3. for and eternal, r. and internal, p. 28. l. 2. for John 24. r. Iohn 14.6. p. 28. l. 25. f. or, r. for, p. 29. l. 24. f. of, r. a, p 30. l. 10. for blanch, r. branch, p. 31. l. 12. for as, r. is, p. 30. l. 13. for desiring, r. discovering, p. 37. l. 4. f. or, r ours, p. 51. l. 9. for enter, r. eate, p. 66. l. 11. f. beleeve, r. below it, p. 66. l. 11. f. ever of, r. the present enjoyment of, p. 78. l. 20. f. learning, r. bearing, p. 85. l. 8. for eternal r. external, p. 93. l. 7. f. stall, r. shall.

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