HOSANNAH to the Son of DAVID: OR A TESTIMONY to the LORD'S CHRIST. Offering it self, indifferently, to all persons; though more especially intended for the People, who pass under the Name of QUAKERS.

Wherein not so much the detecting of their persons, as the reclaiming the tender-hearted among them from the Error of their way, is modestly endevoured, by a sober and moderate Discourse, Touching the Light and Law in every man; referring to what is held forth by them in their several Books and Papers, herein Examined and Discussed.


Am I become your enemy because I tell you the truth.
The Leaders of this people cause them to erre, and they that are led of them are swallowed up.
And they went in their simplicity—of some have compassion, making a difference —
If God peradventure may give them repentance to the acknowledg­ing the truth, and that they may recover themselves out of the snare—
What knowest thou, ô man, whether—
Out of the mouths of Babes thou hast ordained strength.

LONDON, Printed by William Godbid, 1657.

To the Impartial and Ʋnprejudic'd Reader.

IT is recorded in the Holy Scri­ptures, That many waters cannot Quench Love, nei­ther can the Floods drown it, for love is strong as death: which truth is expe­rimented in him that bears this witness, by whom it hath been said (as in another Case) I will keep my mouth with a (muzzle, or) bridle, I was dumb with silence, I held my peace; I have said, Let days speak and let multitude of years shew wisdome, as for me I am of few dayes, and therefore feared to appear in this matter, saying within my self, I cannot speak, for I am a Child: Nevertheless while I was musing the fire burned, and my heart was hot within me boyling or bubling up, and at length brake forth into this ensuing Tract, touching Zions King, wherein my stammering tongue was un­muzzled, and I was made to say, Thou art fairer than the Children of men, Grace is poured into thy lips; Thy Throne (O God) is for ever and ever, the Scepter of thy kingdome is a right Scep­ter, [Page] and to share with the Children who cry'd Hosan­nah to the Son of David. Though there may be (as there hath been, Mat. 21.15.) some that may be displeased thereat: yet a love to Sions King and to the Children of that kingdome (however distinguish'd in form or appearance) hath drawn it forth.

The subject discovers its nature by its name or Ti­tle; if discouragements of any sort could have stifled it, thou hadst not been troubled with the reading there­of, it hath been as fire raked up in the Embers of a private breast two years and upwards; while it at length is come forth as an untimely birth, or as that, which is born out of due time, labouring under the burthen of being both

  • Ʋnnecessary
  • and Ʋnseasonable.

Th' one because it hath been done already, by other and better hands, th' other because the persons, with whom it chiefly treats, are now come to a settlement in their perswasions, and it is now unseasonable to treat them who are already resolved.

Touching the first of these I have to say; though some others have been in this work, as the Harvest­man reaping the ears with his arm, coming forth in the strength of their might with the arm of a man, to help the Lord against the mighty.

Yet gleaning grapes may be left, as the shaking of an olive tree, two or three berries in the top of the [Page] uppermost bough, four or five in the outmost fruitful branches, the gleanings of Ephraim may well be ad­mitted to follow the vintage of Abiezer: the Babes and Sucklings bear a part in the Chorus; and out of their mouths hath God ordained strength, were it not evident and clear, that the foolish things of this world, the weak things, the base and despised things, were the things chosen of God, to make forth his appearance in and by, and wherein he oft times glorifies himself, it might, and doubtless would have caused these papers to have disappeared, which now are prostrate at his foot, to speak life or death unto at his pleasure.

As touching the seasonableness of the discourse, this also is submitted to him: it's most certain that in some respects, it doth seem to be brought forth un­seasonably.

Yet in season and out of season have their respective blessing from him in whose hands are all issues, and that, which in mans accompt may seem most unseaso­nable, may not so be accompted of by him, who judg­eth of things as they are indeed, not as in appearance only, and this may be (yea I verily beleeve it is) the fittest season in sundry respects.

However or whatever the issue be, 'tis enough that it's witnessed to be the effect of an heart affected with the honour and glory of God, and a sincere desire of the good and welfare of my Countrymen, however named or distinguished, for many of whom in ten­der [Page] bowels I am distressed, though unknown to them by name: if God peradventure may give them to see, that which he would have them see.

I have great reason to beleeve, that there are ma­ny persons dear and precious to the Lord, whose spi­rits are fallen asleep on the Dalilah's lap of this worlds entising pleasures and preferments, whom the most high and blessed father of spirits will awaken in his holy season, and will shew them that they are fallen from their first love, and that it is not with them as ye­sterday and heretofore: but that while their tables are full even to excess, that yet leaness is entered into their soul, and this will be demonstrable enough unto them, when they compare the present with the by-past times, which when they shall see, Oh! what a smiting will it procure, as when a dart strikes thorough the liver, and the soul is made to mourn in secret, and to bleed inwardly, for its backsliding and departure from the living Lord: who knows what a whisper from the Lord may do, whilest this poor despicable peece is in thy hand, and is anointed by the Lord to be thy remem­brancer. Nor have I this perswasion (only) touching some of those now last named: but for those also (or some among them) who have quit their former profes­sion, which they have made before many witnesses, and are moved away from the hope of the Gospel, to the embracing of some other thing in stead thereof, my purpose is not to argue the thing here, but do earnestly [Page] intreat of you to peruse the discourse thoroughout; let not the adversary, the Accuser, disswade you therefrom under any pretence whatsoever, but patiently and so­berly read, and consider, as you would, that either I or any other should do touching any thing of like nature, that hath or may proceed from any of you, neither say 'tis too tedious, nor that 'tis Babel, nor give it any o­ther term of reproach, till you have weighed with due consideration the things proposed, and then I am very well assured 'twill stand in the judgement: how hot or fiery soever it may prove.

If any person enquire touching the Author, and take offence because he is not named: let such know, that for that very reason, viz. to avoid offence, is the name withheld, considering how common an error it is for persons to judge of bookes by the Author, rather than of the Author by the book: and to like, or dislike the booke (without due consideration of the matter there­of) as they approve, or disapprove of the person, who publisheth it: partly to avoid this (too Common) error in many, and partly to give content to my own genius, who am a lover of retirement and privacy: these are two principal reasons, why it's as it is, as to this enquiry: what entertainment it shall find at the hands of any person, as I know not, so neither am I careful, my heart suggests unto me, that both to the wise and unwise I am exposable, my stammering may offend the one, and my speech may displease the other, never­theless [Page] I am made free to be found a sacrifice to the Censure, both of th'one and th'other, if I may there­in but find acceptance with him, whom I serve in my spirit in this undertaking; making this request un­to thee for thine own Soul's good, that thou wouldest give time to the exercise of thy mind, and under­standing before thou passest sentence: be not too sud­dain either in receiving or rejecting the matter laid be­fore thee, not too rash in Censuring, or too fierce in op­posing but be cloathed in thy right mind.

Put on (as the Elect of God) bowels of mercy, kindness, gentleness, remembring that the wisdome, that is from above, as it's pure, so it's peaceable, full of mercy, and good fruits: if thou art made free to appear thus accomplish'd, to help the stammering and lisping, to speak more plainly: thy work will be re­warded by him, whose it is; and be very acceptable to me, whose soul is made willing to be one with and in the truth, as it is in Jesus.

HOSANNAH to the Son of DAVID: OR A Testimony to the LORD'S CHRIST.

AS God at sundry times, and in divers manners, spake in time past unto the Fathers, by the Prophets; and in these last days hath spoken to us by his Son, making forth the discove­ries of himself, in order to our Salvation: So hath Sathan, that old Serpent the Devil, at sundry times, and in divers manner of wayes, been exercised towards the Sons and Daugh­ters of the living God; and in these last days he hath eminently put forth himself, not onely nibling at the heel, but striking at the head of the heirs of Salvation.

Sometimes he acted under the form of a Serpent, as to Eve, Gen. 3.1, 4. Sometimes as a lying, slanderous, and false Accuser, Job 1.9, 11. Sometimes as a subtil Disputer, Luk. 4.3, 9, 10. If thou be the Son of God, &c. enforcing the Argument with a misquoted and misapplyed sentence of Scripture, It is written, &c. Sometimes as a cunning and subtil Inquisitor, Matth. 22.17. Master, Is it law­ful? &c.

Sometimes he will be a false Apostle, 1 Cor. 11.13, 14, 15. Some­times a false Christ, Matth. 24.24. Sometimes a false Prophet, 1 Joh. 4.1. 1 King. 22.21, 22. Sometimes a false Brother, Gal. 2.4. Sometimes a false Teacher, 2 Pet. 2.1. And all this not in a single, but in a multiplyed capacity: many false Christs, false Prophets, false Apostles, false Teachers; all centring in him, and he in them, either as a Serpent, with secresie and subtilty, or as a roaring Lion and Dragon, with open violence and hostility; either by his wises, Ephes. 6.11. and devices, 2 Cor. 2.11. beguiling, as he beguiled Eve, Gen. 3.13. & 2 Cor. 11.3. or else by his force and violence seeking to devour, 1 Pet. 5.8. or as a great red Dragon, casting some into prison to try them, Rev. 2.10. being wroth with the Woman, and making war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandements of God, and have the Testimony of Jesus.

And this bloody enterprise he carries on, not onely by such Instruments as are his owne, who are led captive by him at his will, and in whom he rules, as the Prince of the power of the Air, and in the hearts of the children of disobedience; but by exciting and stirring up the spirits of the children of peace to divisions, emula­tions, and eminent persecutions one against another; Ephraim to envy Judah, and Judah to vex Ephraim, neither of them remem­bring that they both are the off-spring of him to whom the pro­mise was made, and of them who were heirs together with him of the same promise.

All the envy and enmity centring in him who hath been the Lyer and Murtherer from the beginning, whatever and whoever have been the Instruments made use of by him, winged with fraud, or armed with violence; He, I say, being the All in All of whatever is acted in any Instrument against the Son of God, and against the Sons of God, influencing all his Angels in all their variety of Appea­rances.

Against him in a way of Eminency should every arrow be dire­cted, not so much eyeing Instruments, as he by whom they are influ­enced, and by whom they are acted: that like as He (1 King. 22.31.) said in another case, Fight neither with small nor great, save only with the King of Israel. Or as they in the Prophecy (Ier. 51.3.) were directed touching Babylon, Against him that bendeth let the Archer bend his bow, against him that lifteth up himself in his Brigan­dine; which is also the main scope of this ensuing Tract.

This lying Murderer, as he hath been busied from the Begin­ning to beguile and to destroy, if it were possible, the very Elect; so even at this present time also hath he laid his bait, his snare, his Engine, exercising the part of a crafty Fowler, on purpose to de­ceive, as much as in him lies, the remnant of the seed, by sending abroad certain Instruments under great disguise of purity and piety, clothing them with the titles of Apostles and Messengers sent abroad to preach the everlasting Gospel, whose distinction among men is, that they go under the name of Quakers.

The consideratien of whom, together with their Principles, (though in all faithfulness and tenderness I testifie my soul is drawn forth, not so much against the persons of any, as against him that acts them) is the subject matter of that which follows, as was hin­ted before.

I find it commended in the Church of Ephesus, that her Angel had tryed them which said they were Apostles, and were not. And the Apostle John advised, I Joh. 4.1. Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits, whether they be of God: for many false Prophets are gone out into the world. Which advice he gives unto his beloved: Little children, let no man deceive you.

Such considerations as these have (in the power of God) wrought up unto great searchings of heart, and strong inquiries after the pleasure of God, and the knowledge of his truth; which according to the small measure thereof received, hath had its im­provement in the comparing of such things as came to my hands from time to time, endeavouring if by any means I might attain to the knowledge of the principle.

But as the Persons were divers, and their Books and Papers very many; so I found it very hard and difficult to gather up what was scattered here and there, to make out any entire Peece, though some competent progress was made in that endeavour, with a mind very much freed from prejudice; and among other things, I met with these passages:

‘Christ hath enlightned every one that comes into the world, thou that lovest that light which Christ hath enlightned thee withall, thou brings thy works to the light, that thy deeds may be pro­ved, &c.

‘The Light will not let thee take Gods name in vaine, it will draw thee out of the worships of the World, and keep thee in the fear of God.’

‘The first step of peace, is to stand still in the Light, which discovers things contrary to it, for power and strength to stand against that nature which the light discovers, here grace growes, here's God alone glorified.’

‘The light, which hath enlightened every one, that comes into the world; ther's every one of your Condemnation, that hates it, and every one of your teachers that loves it: waiting in it, will guide you to God, it will shew you the way (which is Christ) to the Father. (Fox, way to the Kingdome, p. 1. &c.)

‘Thou that art guided by the Lamb, the light in thy Conscience, Despise not the day of small things, but mind the counsel of the Lord Jesus: the little light which shines in thy darke heart is the powerfull word of Faith, which was in the Beginning, by which all things were created; this light is the word of Faith the Apostles exhorted to take heed unto, Rom. 10.6, 7, 8. the unction of the holy one given of the Father, whereby we need not to teach one another, but as the anointing teacheth us, which is truth and no lie, which is the sure word of prophecy, whereunto ye do well to take heed, 2 Pet. 1.19. (Deusb. Mans Return. p. 12. 27, 28.)’

‘It opens all the Scriptures, and leads man out of the fall up to God; this is the true light, and leads to life eternal. (Farnw. Rant. Discov. p. 13.)’

‘The light is but one in him that loves it, and in him that hates it. The light which Christ Jesus hath enlightened every one with­all, is made manifest, and convinceth of all ungodliness and world­ly lusts.’

‘That which may be known of God, is revealed in man. (Fr. Houg. Common Salv. p. 5. 7, 8.’

‘Oh thou blind Pharisee! a Childe of God needs no repentance. (p. 11.)’

‘The Scripture is not the Saints rule. (Fiery Darts, p. 19.)’

‘Come down all ye high-minded Pharisees, and lay away all your Profession; throw downe all your old building, and lay a new foundation.’

‘Hearken to that in your Consciences, which checks you when you do amisse, and troubles you in Conscience, when you have been drunk, or have done some evil act.’

‘Be willing to be guided by that, and that will lead you to re­pentance? It will be a Teacher to thee, teaching and directing [Page 5] thee in righteousness, purity, holiness, &c. Parnell, tryall of faith, p. 5. 6. 7.

‘Loving the light, it will guide you to God from all men, that you need never look at man more.’ (Farnw. Discov. p. 12.)

‘Being obedient to the light within, it will lead you to purity, to holiness, to uprightness; that light obeying it is your salva­tion, disobeying that light is your Condemnation. (Briefe Discov. p. 4.)’

‘To the al-seeing Eye, that light in your Consciences, I direct you. The wise mans eye is in his head, which eye is the light in your Consciences, being guided by it, it will lead you to Christ, who is your Head.’ (Letters, p. 3. 5.)

‘Hearken to the light in your Consciences, that is your Teacher, if you do not obey, it will be your eternal Condemnation: Hear­ken to it, and your soul shall live.’ A true Discovery, I.C. p. 17. 18.

By all which, as also by much more, which is to be found in many of their Books, under variety of Expressions, it's to be observed:

That a great part; nay, the main Foundation of this their great building, is the Light, wherewith every one that cometh into the world is enlightened; and this is held forth under these two bran­ches; viz.

  • 1. What it is in every one?
  • 2. What it does in every one?

‘It is, That in the Conscience, which checks you, when you have been drunk, or have done some evil act.’

‘It is, The powerful Word of Faith, by which all things were created, and which Paul exhorts to take heed unto, Rom. 10.6, 7.8.’

‘It is, the sure Word of prophecy, vvhereunto you do vvell to take heed, 2 Pet. 1.19.’

‘It doth convince a person of all ungodliness.’

‘It directs in righteousness, purity, and holiness.’

‘It vvill guide you to God from all men, that you need never look at man more.’

‘If you do not obey it, it will be your eternal Condemnation, hearken to it, and your soul shall live.’

‘That light obeying it is your Salvation, disobeying it is your Condemnation: It opens all Scriptures, and leads man out of the fall up to God.’

These things among many other, are naturally included in the Sentences before repeated, which being examined and compared with what the Scriptures testifie touching them, it will evidently appear, that although the Enemy hath made to himselfe a strong hold, yet the Father of lights hath discovered him, and his Cove­ring is found too short and too narrow to hide him; and Wisdom's children will acknowledge it, when the veil is pluckt off, and the disguise discovered and detected.

It may not be unmeet for the more clear and faire discussion, as also for the better satisfaction of some, to lay downe something positively touching this matter, according to the two branches afore­mentioned, rather than to treat them oppositely by way of Contro­versie, at least in this place; reserving the examination of them, and their proofs (if any there be) till afterwards: if God perad­venture may please to give unto any Repentance to the acknow­ledging of the Truth, 2 Tim. 2.25, 26. and that they may be reco­vered, &c.

THE Spirit of the Lord doth testifie by the Apostle, 1 John 1.5. that God is light. Who being altogether in himselfe the fountain-light, covering himself therewith, as with a garment; and dwel­ling in the light which no man can approach unto. So none may be said to be light, but God, that is to say, Originally so.

But in subordination to him, there are many derivative lights, lighted up by him, being his Off-spring; and so is he the Father of lights.

1. The Lord Jesus Christ, considered as he is the anointed Sa­viour, the Son in subordination to the Father, as he sustains the office of a Mediator, the Man Christ Jesus, as such, he is a derivative light. But so as that he is the Sun-light, far above all other lights, which it ever pleased the Father of lights to light up: he in whose face the glory of the Lord shines forth. As the Sun (but in much more eminency and transparency) is the Compendium of all light; so is the Lord Jesus Christ the great and glorious Sun of righte­ousnesse, in whom dwels the treasures of wisdome and knowledg, of light and life.

2. There are the Angels, those ministring spirits, those flames of fire, those star-like sparkles of light: These are lighted up by the Father of lights, who also is called the Father of Spirits, Heb. 12.9.

3. There is also another sort of light, which is likewise lighted [Page 7] up by the same Father of Lights and Spirits, and that is the Can­dle-light of Mans spirit, so called by the Lord himself, Prov. 20.27. The spirit of a Man is the Candle of the Lord. It is a light in­deed, yet but a Candle; and though the Candle of the Lord [yet inferiour to other lights, lower than the Angels.] It hath its sub­ordination, its limitation, its bounds are set how far it shall be ex­ercised; and that will appear in the second Branch, when we come to shew, what it doth, or can do.

Q. 1. But first let us consider? What the light in every man is?

Answ. The Light in every man is the Spirit of every man, which is in him, and without which he could not be a man; which Spirit of a man is by the Scripture testified to be the Candle of the Lord: Every mans spirit is derived unto him from the Father of Spirits, and is a Candle of the Lords lighting up, as he is the Father of Lights.

This Spirit of a Man is understood to be the Reason of a man, or the Understanding of a man, that whereby he is adapted to know his Creator, and the end of his Creation; viz. who made him, and why he was made; also how he should answer the end of him that made him, according to that of David, Psal. 95.6. O come, let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker, for he is our God. And Psal. 100.3. Know ye the Lord, he is God, it is he that made us, and not we our selves. And the end of Gods making us is exprest in the 2 vers. Serve the Lord, &c.

We should therefore serve God, who hath made us, because he therefore made us, that we might serve him: And this lies not onely in Reason, but in Nature also, so that the very nature of the thing requires this of all mankind, as appears, Jer. 2.10, 11. by an argument drawn from the Nations, and their false gods. Gods ma­king man, and mans serving God, are terms reciprocal, they look each other in the face, as the winged Cherubims did, which Moses was commanded to make, Exod. 25.20. and answereth each to other, as face doth to face in a glass, Jam. 1.23.

Hence it follows, that as God did make man, that he might serve him, and set up a light in him to see by, both whom he is to serve, and how he is to serve him; together with the Reason there­of, because God had made him: there must needs be together with the light set up a Law implanted in him, which Law is called Light, Prov. 6.23. whereby the will and mind of his Creator was imprest upon him, and made known unto him, and he by his candle-light [Page 8] sufficiently qualified, to see it, and to understand it, together with the Reason and Reasonableness thereof; which became an aggravation of his Transgression, Rom. 1.19, 20, 21, 25, 26. God made Man upright, but they sought out many inventions.

Q. 2. Let us consider, What doth this Light or Candle of the Lord in every Man?

Answ. Solomon by guidance and inspiration of the Spirit of the Lord, saith, It searcheth all the inward parts of the belly, Prov. 20.27. though when it was first lighted up, and set a burning, it was ascen­dant, and moved upward with its torching aspiring flame; while man remained upright (as God at first made him) his light ascen­ded: He could look his God in the face, he could come before his presence with gladness, and singing, and serve him that had made him.

But when the thief had got into his Candle, though it put it not quite out, for then he must have been extinct also himself as Man, for no Candle of the Lord, (i. e.) no Spirit of a Man, no such thing as a Man at all: they stand and fall together, as dry bones without skin and flesh, and these without spirit makes no Man; I say then, when the thief had got the candle, and dim'd the light, and lowred the aspiring ascendant quality, and now it burns down­ward, and discovers the things beneath, searching all the inward parts of the belly, now the fire burns inward; this Candle of the Lord is exercised in discovering the iniquity and transgression; driving man through fear from the presence of God; the Candle shewed Adam his Transgression, which made him through fear hide himself, Gen. 3.10. As it was then; so is it now.

And this is the proper effect of the Candle of the Lord, (the Spirit of every man) that it searcheth all the inward parts of the belly; or as the Apostle saith, It intermedleth with the things of a man, 1 Cor. 2.11. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the Spirit of a man, that is in him? But the deep things of God none knoweth (or searcheth out) but the Spirit of God.

This effect or operation of the Spirit of a man, whereby it looks upon and searches out the things of a man, diving into the inward parts of the belly, is such an act of understanding, as is both direct and reflex. It looks at the thing done, or to be done; and knows when it is done, and that it is done; and this is science or know­ledge performed by a direct act of the understanding. But when the understanding considers what it hath done, or is about to do, and [Page 9] reflects upon some certain rule or law, according to which, his acti­on is done, or not done; this reflex act of the soul is called con­science, (i. e.) knowledge together with something else; and it is much more than bare science, and to the making up of this, there must of necessity be the presence of a law, with which a person must know-together-with-it; and this knowledge-together with ano­ther is conscience.

For the light simply considered makes not any thing that's done, to be good or evill; but by a reflexion upon the law, & comparing its regularity or irregularity therewith, its conformity or non-con­formity thereunto, thence springs the sentence of the goodnesse or evilnesse of the action; the light manifests the deed done, the Law discovers the quality of the action, according to that of the Apostle, Rom. 3.20. By the Law is the knowledge of sinne; Now according to the conformity or non-conformity, that a mans actions bear to the Law, suitable thereto will be the sentence it will give, and an­swerable to the sentence the Law pronounceth, will be the Excusa­tion, or Accusation of the person, according to Rom. 2.15. Which shew the work of the Law written in their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts meane while excusing or accusing one another.

As the Lamp, Torch, or Candle, which the Lord lighted up in Man, though it is become exceeding dim in comparison of what it was before the theef took it, yet is not annihilated nor ceaseth to be, for then man could not exist, he should also cease to be: So like­wise the Law of God, which at first was plainly to be read, being written in man's heart, is now not so obliterated, or obscured, but that there is yet left sufficient to render God righteous in his pro­ceedings against the sons of men, who hold that measure of the knowledge of God (which is left in them) in unrighteousness, or who like not to retain God in their knowledge, so farre as he is manifest in them, or shewn unto them, viz. in his eternall power and God-head, which they not abiding in the acknowledgement of will render God righteous in his proceeding against them, and leave them inexcusable before him.

Should there not be so much of the Law, as to discover the acti­ons which are done in the flesh to be good or evill, and set the con­science upon the work of accusing or excusing, where else should the Lord have a witness for himself in Men, and how else should God be just in judging the world; stopping every mouth, and declaring [Page 10] his proceedings righteous, in rendring to every man according to his deeds, which time is called the day of the Revelation of the righteous judgement of God, Rom. 2.5, 6.

Seeing then 'tis the property of light to make manifest, or disco­ver, and this at most is but science, the exercise whereof is either direct or reflex, respecting the time past, present, or to come, where­in it hath a most ample latitude to expatiate it self according to the variety of objects, whether within it or without it, even to wonder and admiration, yea, and so farre as to me appears, beyond my ex­pression.

Neverthelesse it looks upon its Objects as it finds them, though it makes manifest every thing within its sphear as to matter of fact, yet it gives being to nothing; its all eye (as I may so say) it sees all that's done, but does nothing; it neither likes nor dislikes, approves nor disapproves, but as its in conjunction with a law, and hath reflection upon it; and thence proceeds the names of good and evill, of lawfull and unlawfull, thence also the arguing, and redarguing, the accusing and excusing, and now science is become conscience.

By all which it doth appear, that the candle of the Lord, or the spirit of a man, is a great light, though but a candle, yet its of the Lords lighting up, and though it fall (beyond all utterance or con­ceiving) short off the virtue, which once it had, having this blot upon its glory, that whereas when it first came forth of the hands of him that formed it, who is the Father of spirits, Heb. 12.9. it was then conversant with him primarily, and immediately, yet since it hath been dimmed, and well nigh extinguished (as it was in the trans­gression) its now exercised mostly, and principally about the things of the belly the things of a man, the things of it self: it hath therein a great ability in point of manifesting and discovery not only as they are obvious and apparent, but as they are occult & hidden, searching out the secret things of the belly: Nor is its ability only (though most here) but it is able to feel and seek after God his Creatour, Acts 17.27, 28. and in a great capacity of knowing much of him (as such) at least his eternall power and God-head, Rom. 1.19, 20.

Yet its excellency is heightned, and much advantaged by its con­comitant the Law of its Creatour, which as a glasse reflects and re­turns face for face, and discovers not onely the face, but the spots also that is in it: Hence there is a necessity of considering somewhat further touching the Nature of the Law in con­junction [Page 11] with the light in every man, by which will appeare, what the light in every man can do, and consequently what it can­not doe.

Forasmuch as together with this Light or Candle of the Lord, there is a law impress'd on mansheart, upon which this light reflects; which doth as truly discover the quality of his actions, as the light discovers the actions themselves. And as Adam gave names to the creatures, and as he named them, so were they called; even so doth the law in man's heart give names to all his actions, according to the proper nature of their agreement, or disagreement with the mind and will of God; and this respects as well the secret thoughts, and intents of the heart, Heb. 4.12. as the outward actions, and in this respect the Law is called light, in like forme of speaking as this is used, Matth. 24.27, 28. the Cup for the wine in the Cup.

This law considered as it is in God is but one, as in the fountain of wisdom and justice: as the light in him is but one, though diversly communicated and distributed, yet he onely is the father of lights: So in him the law is but one, though differently exhibited and made known according to the variety of the subjects, who are to be governed by it (among whom man is chief.)

As man is considered the subject of it, so it is distinguished accord­ing to Scripture phrase into the

  • Law of works,
  • Law of faith,

Rom. 3.27. both these are distinguished again into the Law written & unwritten: the subjects of the law under the first consideration (i. e.) of works, though they have the law written on their hearts, and do by nature things contained in the Law, yet many of them not having the posi­tive or written law, as others had; these are said to be without law: as they indeed were in comparison of those to whom the out­ward positive written Law was added, Gal. 3.19.

Neverthelesse they were not positively without Law, (for then they could not have been guilty in any respect, for its evident, that where there is no law, there is no transgression, Rom. 4.15.) but comparatively they were without a positive declared written Law, according to that divine testimony, Psal. 147.19, 20. He sheweth his word unto Jacob: his statutes and his judgements unto Israel. He hath not dealt so with any nation: and as for his judgements, they have not known them.

These having the law written upon their hearts, and by the Candle of the Lord so farre legible as to evince God his eternall [Page 12] power and God-head, leaving them therein without excuse, Rom. 1.19, 20. Manifesting that this God, whose eternal power, and God-head revealed in them, or shewed unto them, was to be loved with all the heart, and all the minde, and withall the soul (implyed in that word (as before hath been declared) Psal. 95.6. Psal. 100.2, 3. Making and serving being correlatives; his making and our ser­ving being necessary dependents, as the Apostle argues the same case in the point of redemption, saying, Ye are bought with a price, &c. therefore glorifie God with your bodies, and spirits, for they are his, 1 Cor. 6.20. (but of this anon in its place;) this I take to be the summe of the first Table of the Law, and is written on the heart of the na­turall man.

The other Branch or Table of the Law comprehended in these words, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thy self, or whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye likewise unto them; This also is writ­ten on the table of the heart of every man, notwithstanding it be not written in Characters, i. e. letters and syllables, and become a posi­tive law to them, yet its there, and men doing (as the Apostle phraseth it) by nature the things contained in the law (though they be in comparison of others without law) are a law to themselves, and hereby they shew the work of the law written in their hearts, Rom. 2.14, 15. which is a cleere demonstration of the truth hereof.

It is witnessed by our blessed Lord Jesus, Mat. 22.37, 38, 39, 40. that to love the Lord with all the heart, with all the soul, and with all the mind, and to love ones neighbour as ones self, on those two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets; & it is evident that this in its mea­sure is effected by them, who are said, by nature to do the things con­tained in the law; whence else springs all those stumblings upon a Deity, and groping and feeling after a worship, and religion suit­able to what is apprehended of God; and herein, though the candle burn so dimme, that the poor soul feels after this, as they for the door of Lots house; yet in the other part or table of the law they have much more cleerness of discovery of the things of a man, (ac­counted the morall virtues) they declare with a broad day-light (as it were) that these are written there.

The whole amounting to this, that those who live without the law, i. e. the law as it was committed to writing, and delivered by the hand of Moses, according to the appointment of God: yet in these God hath not left himself without witness, but hath written [Page 13] on their hearts the same law for substance, which he afterwards en­larged by the hand and administration of Moses, and added this to the former, because of transgression (either to reduce the transgressor, or to aggravate the transgression) that sinne might be made exceeding sinfull.

And therefore God may justly proceed in judgement against the transgressions which are committed against him, and his law, as the Apostle argues, he having left all men without excuse, by giving them a light or candle in their heart, by which they might see to read the things contained therein.

But if those, who have onely the law of nature, and do not by nature the things contained in the law, be punishable, and Gods proceedings therein justifiable (as indeed it is) as hath been often minded before: of how much sorer punishment think we shall they be thought worthy, who transgress under this additional de­claration of the Will and Law of God committed to writing, with those large annotations, and marginal notes (as it were;) this must needs be a great aggravation, this new edition of the law must needs bring a further addition of guilt to the transgressours thereof.

Man or the children of men thus differenced and thus enlightned by the candle of the Lord in them, are the subjects of the law, in the first sense, as it is called the law of works, Rom. 3.27. or the old co­venant: In which consideration God hath concluded all under sin, Rom. 3.9. and stopped every mouth, and rendred all the world guilty before him by the sentence of the law, considered as afore, Rom. 3.19. forasmuch as the tenour of the law being this, viz. Do and live, and Cursed be every one, that continueth not in all things which are written in the law to do them, finds no man able to perform it in all things, for that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, Rom. 3.23. the Spirit of God testifying, that the law, though in it self, holy, righteous and good, yet was weak through the flesh, Rom. 7.12. Rom. 8.23. So that what could not by it be effected was accomplished by the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus, Rom. 8.2. opposed to the law of sinne and death, as the law of faith is to the law of works, Rom. 3.27.

Touching which Law (as being the next branch in the distincti­on) and the light accompanying it, it will be necessary to speak.

The law of faith (which is the second branch in the distinction) is a law founded in God, as in the fountain: and as the former, that is, the law of works, or of the first covenant, proceeded from the Wisdom and Justice of God, as being a just and equall thing, that he should be served by those whom he made to serve him; so this law of faith ownes it self to the mercifulness, and goodness of the same God towards such as had forfeited all into the hand of justice, for it had been a righteous thing with God, to have taken vengeance upon the forfeiture.

The foundation of which law of Faith, or second Covenant was laid in that word of Grace, or rather on Christ in the promise, that is, the seed of the woman shall break the head of the Serpent, Gen. 3.15. and is of as large extent, as the former of works; if we consider

  • 1. The Object thereof.
  • 2. The Subject of it.

The Object is the Lord Jesus, who is propounded in the promise, as the repairer of the breach, and the restorer of the paths to dwell in, ac­cording to that testimony, Psal. 75.3. The earth and all the inhabi­tants of the earth are dissolved: I beare up the pillars of it. And thus by him all things consist. Col. 1.17. holding forth a ground of return to God, from whom man by the transgression was turned aside, and through fear had hid himself, Gen. 3.10.

The Subject was the first man, and in him all man-kind who were not onely privileged by this promise by being put into a possibility and capacity of being renewed again by repentance (which condi­tion the first covenant had in it, for that left no roome for repen­tance) but they were also hereby obliged to believe in him, who was promised to break the Serpents head to destroy the destroyer, and to lead captivity captive.

How farre the Law of faith may be said to be written on every mans heart (as the former law of works) is not given unto me to understand; only this glimpse I have of it, that it appears to have had an influence on the heart of man (from the proposing of the promise aforesaid) by those sacrifices, which were offered up to God before the publication of the positive law: wherein as well Cain as Abel offered sacrifice Gen. 4.4. I therefore call their offerings sacrifice, because they are so called Heb. 11.4. [...] 1 Cor. 10.18.

Abels sacrifice was mingled with faith, offered up upon the true Altar, witnessed unto by Gods acceptation, and by faith he obtained a good report among the Elders, Heb. 11.4. with whom he had received the same spirit of faith. But with Cain and his sa­crifice [Page 15] it was not so, nor accepted as such: nevertheless it appears to me from hence, that there was the power of a Law of faith, as of works upon them both and they equally obliged thereby; only the one offered a sacrifice as an obedience of faith, the other in form without faith, and as it were by the works of the Law, Rom. 9.32. Nevertheless in obedience to the same law of faith, for as much as he offered sacrifice also (though not in faith) the one had faith in his heart, and Christ in his eye as a redeemer and restorer, the other was wanting at least in faith, which should have seasoned his sa­crifice.

They both had equal obligation from one and the same law of faith, which looked at Christ as its object, as the law of sacrifice did imply, whether propitiatory, Heb. 9.22. or gratulatory, Levit. 7.12, 15. Psal. 107.22. Both yeelded obedience to the law of faith, in what was outward in the Act: only Abel had an eye open to him that was invisible, as the object of his faith carrying him above the Act.

So that the law of faith doubtless respected all the race and generation of mankinde by way of obligation from the giving of the promise; but the children of the promise are counted for the seed: like as it is said, All are not Israel, who are of Israel, Rom. 9.6. though all the family of Abraham were greatly privileged, Rom. 3.2. and 9.4. and obliged: So likewise all the race of man­kinde are greatly privileged by virtue of the promise or promised seed in whom all the nations are blessed, yet not all Nations but the children of the promise are counted for the seed, according to the tenour of that word, 1 Tim. 4.10. Who is Saviour of all men, especially of them which beleeve.

A common Salvation is extended to all Men by Jesus Christ, Jude 3. and all men are bound to beleeve and repent, that they may be sa­ved, Act. 17.30. John 3.16. But the special Salvation is to them on­ly, who have obtained like precious faith, 2 Pet. 1.1. (i.e.) the faith of Gods elect, Tit. 1.1. the faith of the operation of God, Col. 2.12. these are they which are reckoned or counted for the seed, Gal. 3.7, 9, 29. these are they to whom the righteousness of God, which is by faith of Jesus Christ is manifested unto all, and upon all them that be­leeve, Rom, 3.21, 22.

As the law in the first consideration, i. e. of works was Gods first-born, and man was fitted for the work thereof, while his bow abode in strength: God having made him upright, Eccles. 7.29. So the [Page 16] Law in the second consideration, i. e. of faith (whose foundation was laid in that blessed word of promise, Gen. 3.15.) lay in the same womb and bosome of eternity, for they were twins; And though that stept out first, declaring the Majesty of him whose Image it bore, yet this caught its Brother by the heel, declaring the infinite­ness of the Mercy and compassion of him, whose Law it was, pro­claiming the Lord, the Lord, gracious, long-suffering, &c. No sooner is the Transgression detected, but the Redeemer is promi­sed; Oh the heighth, and depth of the riches of mercy, who kissed Ju­stice, and overcame it, Psal. 85. Mercy and Truth met together, Righte­ousness and Peace kissed each other; nor doth this latter destroy the former, nay it establisheth it, Rom. 3.30, 31.

Like as when the Law of the first Covenant was engraven on ta­bles of stone, it did not at all diminish or lesson the glory of that which was written upon the heart, nay it did augment the luster thereof, and made it more legible: so neither doth the Law of faith destroy the Law of works, nor make it void; nay it doth establish it, for as much as it no way dispenseth with its subjects service, nor ac­quits them of their duty, save only of the manner and end of the service: As it was performed in the oldness of the letter, now it must be performed in the newness of the Spirit, Rom. 7.6. but it must be obedience still; Loving the Lord our God, with all the heart, with all the minde, with all the soul, with all the strength, and our neighbour as our selves: this is not diminished or made void by the Law of faith, it only requires Newness of Spirit in lieu of Old­ness of letter.

These two considerations of the Law went hand in hand together all along thorough the old administration.

From righteous Abel to the end of the Catalogue of all the cloud of witnesses, who were subjected to the first dispensation, dying in faith, saluting though not possessing the promises, they seeing him, who was invisible, their faith did not at all lesson their obedience: nay it winged their obedience; It was the salt, that salted every sacrifice, Mark 9.49. For without faith its impossible to please God, Heb. 11.4, 6.

This Law of faith however it ran along as the bloud in the veins, and was that, which led to God through every service, and in every sacrifice, was nevertheless veiled under great obscurity, and under much darkness; The Spirit thereof did testifie of the suffering of Christ, and of the glory, which was to be revealed; but it testified of [Page 17] them, as of things a great way off, the promises whereof they salu­ted, but possessed not; the way into the most holy not being open, or made manifest, while the first Tabernacle was yet standing, Heb. 9.8.

This double kinde of sacrificing ran all along thorough out the whole dispensation in as many as retained the Law of sacrifice, and cast not off utterly the Knowledge of God, which the most part did as the Apostles argument, Rom. 1.21, 26, 28. makes it evident. For as much as all along there was a Remnant having an eye upon the promise, obtained a good report, and the Savour of them in Divine Testimony remains to this day as a Cloud of witnesses.

This Law of faith as it sprung not with mankind in Nature; but was added by occasion of the Transgression (for it succeeded that as a plaster doth the wound,) it was not written in the heart of the na­tural man as a thing just and equal: For God to remake, and to re­deem faln man, into whose heart it could not rationally have en­tred, that there should ever have been a way found out in justice, or equity, or with a due saving of the truth of him, that made the Co­venant, that man should be put into a capacity, or come under a pos­sibility of being preserved (having transgressed) and yet God be righteous, seeing there was no term or condition in the Covenant, which God made with him looking that way (for transgressing and dying were the termes reciprocal) but it was of meere grace, that the promise was made, and was indeed the opening of a dore of hope in a possibility of returning for man, which was run away from God.

This laying the foundation of a better hope by which man might be recovered and encouraged to draw near to God, was as far above the reach of the natural man to know or expect as the heavens are a­bove the earth, yea as the thoughts of God are above the thoughts of man: this Law then is not natural but supernatural; not springing up together with man, as that of workes; but is added through grace, Psal. 75.3. (Ex abundanti) and such as this Law is, such is the light, which accompanies it, and the enlargement of the one 2is the enlargement of the other also, as will evidently appear by what follows.

I say, this Law of faith or word of promise being extended to all mankinde, holding forth a possibility of mans return to God upon terms of faith and repentance, implyed in the first promise, and te­stified in the sacrifice of Abel, the long suffering and patience of God contributing much this way, his goodness and forbearance laying [Page 18] great obligation upon persons, these visible things of God holding forth the invisible or secret purposes and Counsels of his heart to­wards returning sinners, and calling and crying out to man upon that account to return to him by repentance, from whom by trans­gression, he was departed: by which footsteps of God man might trace a possibility of Redemption through beleeving in the promi­sed seed, as by the former, viz. The visible things of the Creation, he might discern, the Eternal power and God-head of him by whom he was made and created: So that in this also, as in the former, God hath not left himself without witness even to the natural man; but hath given him occasion, and opportunity to feel after God, as thus considered.

The print and impressions of mercy being stamp'd upon every out-coming of the Lord, which upon the terms of the first Cove­nant was not discernable, speaking nothing but wrath and terrour and trembling, according to that of the Apostle, Rom. 4.15. The Law worketh wrath, &c. And that justly upon every transgressour, yea for every transgression; for it is written, Cursed be every one, that continueth not in all things written in the Law do them, Gal. 3.10. & Deut. 27.26. So that God hath left man in great measure with­out excuse even in this respect also, holding forth such discove­ries, as whereby he might discern a possibility of the recovery of his forfeited estate, evidenced and manifested in the patience, bounty, long-suffering, goodness, and mercifulness of God to­ward him a sinner, to whom it was at first said, In the day thou eat­est thereof, thou shalt surely dye, or dying, thou shalt dye, in­stead of which severity, Behold goodness, and forbearance in­terposing and leading to repentance, Rom. 2.4. And this in re­lation to man as a man: while he is endued with no other light, than that which is common to him as such, that is, the spirit of a man, which is the Candle of the Lord, by which he may not only see the things of God as his Creatour, that is, his eternal power and God-head, and what hath dependence thereupon in relation to the first Covenant, or Law of works.

But a crevice is opened into the discovery of the Redemption promised as the subject of the second Covenant upon the termes thereof in relation thereunto as to a law of faith evidenced by the promise to as many as the sound thereof ever came. Yea all man­kinde in the forbearance, goodness, and long-suffering of God, though unto them, but as unto natural men: and this discovery shi­ning [Page 19] forth through natural appearances, Act. 14.17. Rom. 2.4. Yet sufficient to leave himself a witness in man from these discoveries, evidencing a reprieve from immediate destruction, which the trans­gressour hath merited: and opening a dore of hope for pardon, and remission through the riches of the goodness and forbearance of God; sufficient to engage the heart of a natural man to seek the Lord, and to feel after him, if possible he might finde him in this ca­pacity as a Redeemer, even as in the former capacity, he might dis­cover God as his Creator and Maker.

And though Mans greater impotency will be found in this, than in the former, yet is it his duty no less here than there: and he no less excusable for not being found exercised in the endea­vour after it. God having left himself a witnesse in one case, as well as in the other, though not so the one as the o­ther.

For in the former not only from without by things seen were the invisible things of God discovered, but also by his Law written in the heart of the natural Man was this discovery made of God as his Creator, and his subjection to him as such under the terms of that Covenant, viz. Do and live.

But touching this latter Covenant or Law of faith, the discovery thereof ariseth from what is without. It had never been known nor ever thought of; nor ever would it or could it rationally have come into the heart of Man, to have conceived such a thing, but from the declaration of God in his promise (which faith made application of in the first beleevers) and from the series of his patience and forbear­ance continued to the race of man-kinde darkely speaking forth the same thing with a silent, yet constant voyce, Psal. 19.1. Rom. 10.18. sufficient to leave man without excuse, and convincing of a possibi­lity of being renewed again through the riches of that goodness, which hereby call'd and led unto repentance, Rom. 2.4.

Nevertheless there was to be another Edition of this Law also, as there was of the former (of which there hath been mention made before) That although God left not himself without witness in those first Beleevers, Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaak, Jacob, Moses, David, Daniel, and the rest, of whom to tell time would fail, who were all enlightned with a light suitable and proportionable to their object: there was communicated to them a Spirit of faith, whereby they were inabled to behold him, who was the object of their faith: So Abraham saw the day of Christ with joy; John 8.56. [Page 20] and Moses saw him, which was invisible, Heb. 11.27. Faith saw Christ through sacrifices, saw remission of sins in shedding of blood, without which there is no remission, Heb. 9.22. Yet notwithstanding God having provided some better thing for those which were to come af­ter, that they without us should not be made perfect, hath in these last dayes spoken to us by his Son revealing the purpose and Coun­sel of his heart by him; bringing Immortality and life to light by the Gospel, which before was hid from ages and generations, Eph. 3.5. and not so made manifest.

But in the fulness of time, the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windowes of heaven were open; and the trea­sure of wisdome and Counsel, which had (comparatively) been hidden from ages and generations (not positively so) for every Age had its proper measure in proportion to the dispensation under which it was, yet in comparison of what was further made out by the appearing of the grace of God giving testimony of his great love to the world in sending his own Son, Rom. 8.3. To dye for sinners, Rom. 5.8. Yea while they were yet sinners, and at enmity with him, then to reconcile them to God, Rom. 5.10.

Then I say and at this time for the Word to be made flesh, and Ta­bernacle among the sons of men, and cause his glory to be beheld as the only begotten of the Father full of grace and truth, without con­troversie this was the great Mystery of Godliness, God manifested in the flesh, &c. He had been hid in God long before, but now was made manifest, bringing immortality and life to light by the Gospel, pre­paring a way into the Holyest of all, which way was not yet open, but shut up under veiles and shadowy darkness whilst the first Taber­nacle was yet standing; and this God hath done upon terms not of the first covenant, that is to say, of works, called the old Covenant: but upon the terms of the second Covenant, or Law of faith, bring­ing in everlasting Righteousness upon the account of that better hope by which we draw nigh to God, Heb. 7.19.

Thus as that first Covenant or law of works, which was witnessed sufficiently in mans heart, so far as to justifie God, and render man inexcusable for transgressing it, yet through the bountiful good­ness of God was afterward engraven on Tables of stone, and so be­came a written and legible Law, the keeping of the Oracles whereof was committed eminently to Abrahams posterity; yet so as that the sound thereof went forth among the Gentiles far and near, who [Page 21] also might be admitted upon the terms thereof into the family of the then Israel of God, and many taking hold of that Cove­nant of God were admitted, to whom there was but one Law, as well to the stranger, as to him, who was born in the house, Exod. 12.48.49.

In like manner this new Covenant which God made with miser­able, fallen, affrighted run-away, hidden, Adam touching the seed of the woman, which should break the head of the serpent as in the promise, Gen. 3.15. this in process of time comes to be drawn from under the veil, and so immortality and life comes to light through the gospel. Which notwithstanding it were so sufficiently mani­fested from the time it was first promised, as that the heirs of Salva­tion did see through these veils, and beheld him that was invisible: and all others might have seen, and many did see, that which left them without excuse; for with whom was he angry but with those, who had not faith, Heb. 3.11, 18, 19. as with those to whom the Gospel was preached, but did not profit them, not being mixt with faith, Heb. 4.2.

Yet out of the super-abundant goodness and riches of grace, Eph. 2.7. commending his love to poor sinners, God makes this new im­pression thereof in such large and capital letters, as that it may be read and seen of all men, to whom the tidings thereof comes, making publication of this joyful message by the Acclamation of that hea­venly Host, who praising God said,

Glory to God in the Highest, on earth peace, good will toward men, Luke 2.13.14. bringing good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people, the sum of which was, There is born this day in the City of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord, Luke 2.10.11. or, the Lords Christ, v. 26. a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of his people Is­rael, v. 32.

Which voyce of this heavenly Host was not like that on mount Sinai, wherein the mount was altogether on a smoke like the smoke of a furnace, where the whole Mount quaked greatly, and the people, which were in the Camp trembled, Exo. 19.16, 18. but contrarywise it was here: Peace on Earth, good will towards Men, and glad-tidings of great joy to all people.

These were the blessed openings of the Fathers bosome, bringing life unto light; Revealing the Counsels of his heart, which had been kept secret from the beginning of the world, but was now made ma­nifest for the obedience of faith among all nations, according to [Page 22] the tennor of that Scripture, John 3.16, 17. God so loved the world, that he gave his onely begotten Son, that whosoever beleeveth on him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Now is the first promise unbowel'd, and declaration is now made, who is the seed of the woman, and what is the Law of faith, and also who are the proper subjects thereof. Every one to whom the sound thereof comes is under the obligation thereof: but they only, which do beleeve in Christ, shall not perish, but have everlasting life, and these also are reckoned for the seed.

This then is the tennor and tendency of the Law of faith; That whosoever beleeveth on Jesus Christ, shall not perish, but have ever­lasting life: and this, not occultly but openly declared.

Together with this new Edition of the Law of faith, the Subjects thereof are likewise declared to be such, as are to be renewed, to be new made, to be born again, and to have a light implanted in them suitable to this Law, as they had a light implanted in them suitable to that of works.

That like as the former light sprang up with them in the natural birth: Man had his candle from the beginning of his Creation to see his Creator, and a Law sprang up with him to serve his Maker, that is, to love him with all his heart, with all his soul, &c. So now in this new Creation is he in like manner to be endued with a light suitable to his birth, he must be born of the Spirit, or from above, and therewith to be enlightned to have this Law written in and on his heart; this is a branch of the new Covenant, I will write my lawes in their hearts, &c.

This is that which was pointed at all along thoroughout the old dispensation in all the types and sacrifices, they looked unto Jesus the Mediatour of this new Covenant, whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood to declare his Righte­ousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbear­ance of God, That he might be just and the justifier of him, that be­leeveth in Jesus, Rom. 3.25, 26. and by this law of faith to exclude boasting.

The Law of works speaking on this wise, do and live (or the man that doeth these things shall live in them) sets man upon doing for life, or that he may live: and while man is doing he is apt to be boasting (as he) Luk. 18.11. I am not as other men are, &c.

The Law of faith speaks on this manner, Awake thou that sleepest, [Page 23] stand up from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light, Eph. 5.14. You hath he quickned, who were dead in trespasses and sins, Eph. 2.1, 6. He is made to live, that he may do, and he is made to know, that he is not sufficient as of himself to do any thing, John 15.5. but all his suffi­ciency is of God, 2 Cor. 3.5. who worketh in him both to will and to do of his own good pleasure, Phi. 2.13. here is no room for boasting nor any colour for any such thing, it is utterly taken away by the law of faith, Rom. 3.27. which empties the Creature of all self-sufficiency, and leaves it at the foot of him, that quickned it, that gave it life, to en­able it to perform every action of life: not as if the Law of faith were destitute of works, or the subjects thereof totally exempted therefrom. Nay! but notwithstanding the saved ones are to ascribe the honour of their Salvation to the free and rich grace of God as being meer gift in opposition to works, to cut off all occasion of boasting; Nevertheless its testified, that such are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained, that they should walk in them, Eph. 2.7, 8, 9, 10.

So then the bringing of Immortality and life to light through the Gospel opens the Mystery thereof, and discovers in plain Chara­cters, that which had lyen hid in former ages, the sum of all which is this, viz. That it is not in him that wills, nor in him which runs, but in God that sheweth mercy Rom. 9.15, 16. according to that in Heb. 8.12. for I will be merciful, &c.

This is the well-head, spring, or fountain of the Law of faith, from whence flowes all those blessed streames of good will toward man: this laid the foundation of mans recovery and restauration, and this layes the top stone thereof, whereunto all the saved of the Lord must cry, grace, grace: for his mercy endureth for ever.

This is the Beginning or first letter of his Name as it was de­scribed to Moses, Exod. 34.6, 7. Merciful and gratious, long-suffering, and keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity, transgressions and sins.

The Elect-tryed-pretious-corner-stone of this Building is the Lord Jesus, laid for a Foundation, a living stone, and such as he is, such are they, which are built upon him, lively or living stones built up a Spiritual house, an holy Priesthood, to offer up Spiritual Sacri­fice, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ, 1 Pet. 2.4, 5, 6, 7. and other foundation can no man lay, than that is layd, which is Jesus Christ. 1 Cor. 3.11.

It is this, which gives boldness in the day of Judgment, because [Page 24] as he is, so are they, that are his, in this world, 1 John 4.17. and this is the honour of all his Saints or Sanctified ones, it is the lot of all the General Assembly of the first Borne, whose names are written in Heaven, Heb. 12. not only of the Saints, which were in Corinth, no nor thoroughout all Achaia, Ephesus, and all Asia, but all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord both theirs and ours.

Of this living Stone the Lord Jesus, and of these lively stones, viz. they which beleeve on him, doth the new building, or spiritual house consist; he is not ashamed to call them Brethren: forasmuch as he which sanctifieth and they which are sanctified are all of one, Heb. 2.11. Nay not onely Brethren, but they are so of him, as Children of the Father, He the everlasting Father, Isa. 9.6. and they the Children of that father, Heb. 2.13. Behold I and the Children that thou hast given me; He the Root, and they the Off-spring, he the head, they the Members: they are so of him, that they have no subsistance without him, which, as it is true of all mankinde in ge­neral, yea and of all things, that have being, that he bears up the pillars thereof, even he, who is the Brightness of his Fathers glory, and the express Character of his Hypostasis or substance; he bears up or upholdeth all things with the word of his power, Heb. 1.4. who is before all things, and by him all things consist, Col. 1.17. I say, though all things own themselves to him for that Existence, which they have, as upheld by him, and consisting in him, he being the Sa­viour of all men, and of all things, according to that in Psalm 36.6. Thou savest Man, and Beast.] I rather use the word Savest or wilt Save than Preservest (though the latter be used by the Translators) be­cause I finde themselves have so rendred the same word elsewhere, viz. Esa. 45.17. Israel shall be saved with an everlasting Salvation, as al­so in the 118. Psa. 25. verse, Save now, where the words [...] are rendred by the Septuagint, [...], which Prophecy hath an especial reference and relation to Christ, as may appear by the par­ticular application thereof to him by the Children crying in the Temple, and saying [...], Hosanna, Matth. 21.15, 16. and Christs defence thereof against those that were displeased thereat, avouch­ing in their defence that Prophecie of David, Psal. 8.2. Out of the mouth of Babes, &c. And to this agreeth that of the Apostle men­tioned formerly, viz. The Saviour of all men, &c. Yet it is most e­minently, and in a most especial manner true of those, who beleeve, [Page 25] 1 Tim. 4.10. Even those of his own house, (stock and kindred) those which are of the houshold of faith.

That of the Author to the Hebrews is very emphatical, where speaking of Christ it's said, He tooke on him the seed of Abraham: It is not said, the seed of Adam. For though that be true that Christ is the second Adam, and took on him the nature of Man, as such; yet it is not terminated there, but his alliance, stock, and kindred by way of eminency were Abram's seed, rather than Adam's seed: these were his Brethren, and his Children. Heb. 2.11, 13, 16, 17. Therefore to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed, even to all who are of the faith of Abraham. Rom. 4.16. He took on Abraham's seed, which was more than if he had taken on Adam's seed.

Not as though the Word of God had taken none effect: For, as all were not Israel which were of Israel, neither because they were the seed of Abraham according to the flesh, were they all chil­dren, but the children of the promise were counted for the seed. Though the whole race and linage of Abraham's family arrived at great dignity, and were wonderfully differenced from the rest of the Nations, by externall Covenant, Oracles, and Ordinances: Yet the seed was hid among them; the children of promise were scarce discernable, yet they were those which were reckoned upon, to whom the promise of the everlasting rest was made, for they which beleeved entred into rest.

It follows then, that although God hath made of one blood all Nations to dwell on the face of the Earth, &c. and bounded their habitations, Act. 17.26. Yet he hath distinguished the Race and Generations of mankind into two seeds, first expressed in Gen. 3.15. in these words, Thy seed, and her seed. Afterwards more amplified, and that distinction evidenced not to be different quali­ties or qualifications in one and the same person, (as some under­stand) but in distinct persons differently qualified; as appears in the persons of Cain and Abel, Ishmael and Isaac, Esau and Jacob, and so all along: Wherein, though all mankind are of the Race of Adam, yet there are but some which are of Abraham, and of those, all are not the seed which the Lord hath blessed; for though all which proceeded from his loins were his children according to the flesh, yet the children of the promise are counted for the seed: [...] [Page 24] [...] [Page 25] [Page 26] and these also are so the children of Abraham, (children of Pro­mise, children of Faith, children that cannot lie) as that they were first the children of Adam, as Abraham himselfe also was, accor­ding to that divine testimony, 1 Cor. 15.46, 47, 48, 49. That was not first which is spiritual, but that naturall, and afterward that spirituall. The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they that are earthy; and, as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. The former are the children of the first Adam by naturall generation, the latter are the children of the second Adam by spirituall regeneration, of whom it is thus witnessed, Joh. 1.12, 13. That to as many as receive him, (i. e. the Lord Jesus) to them he gave the privilege (or preroga­tive) to be made the Sons of God, even to as many as beleeve in his name: who are born not of bloods, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

So that it appears, As the first stone of the building, viz. that living, elect, precious corner-stone, the Lord Jesus himselfe, was not borne of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God, Luk. 1.34, 35. So likewise the living stones of the same spirituall building are borne after the same manner (for nature and kind) not of the will of man, nor of the will of the flesh, but from above, according to what is testified in John 3.3. by the true and faithfull witnesse himselfe; Veri­ly, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be borne again (or from above, vers. 5. or of the spirit, vers. 6.) he cannot see the Kingdome of God.

Which being regenerate, or born from above, reverts into the for­mer, Joh. 1.12, 13, viz. a receiving of, and beleeving on Jesus Christ; both which put together, produce that new birth which is from above, viz. when it shall please God the Father by his holy Spirit to make discovery of his love in Christ, through or by means of a pro­mise to sinners, & shall take off the fears and doubts of a Soul, causing it to lie down at the foot of that grace, thus brooding over it, and wil­lingly accepting thereof upon the terms on which it is tendred. Surely, this amounts unto a begetting again unto a lively hope, 1 Pet. 1.3. & is a testimony of the great good will of God, by which he be­getteth by the word of truth a kinde of first fruits to himself, Jam. 1.18. especially when this discovery of Gods love shining into [Page 27] the Soul through the face of Christ, 2 Cor. 4.6. shall be mixt with faith in them that hear and receive the glad tidings of it, Heb. 4.2. & Gal. 3.14.

The Spirit of God, thus revealing Christ to the heart of a Sin­ner (and Gods great love in him) & preparing the heart to receive him mingling faith with the promise, and giving strength to receive the seed of the Word of promise, in fulness of time, or according to the time of life (spiritually so considered) brings forth that birth which is after God, according to that which is spoken, 1 Pet. 1.23. Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incor­ruptible, by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

This new birth presupposeth a new Life, which holds simili­tude and proportion with the first Creation; when God first made man, he breathed into him the breath of lives, and he became a living soul, setting up in him a light, viz. the spirit of a man, viz. the Candle of the Lord, suitable and proportionable to his capacity as he then stood, directing him in all things necessary to be known, or done, in respect of God or himself, according to the law written in his heart: So likewise in this new birth, or new creation, the person receives a new life. Ephes. 2.5. Even when we were dead in sinnes he hath quickned us, &c. Evidencing, that as he which hath the Son hath life, 1 John 5.12. So this life puts forth it self in such discoveries, as wherein the new-born Babe in Christ, having received through beleeving a witnesse in himself, 1 John 5.10. and hath set to his seal, that God is true, John 3.33. crying to God, Abba Father, by the Spirit of Adop­tion received, Rom. 8.15. even the spirit of the Son sent forth into his heart, Gal. 4.6. and desiring (as new-born Babes) the sincere milk of the Word, the unmix'd milk of that same Word by the incorruptible seed, whereof the new Birth was begotten and born. 1 Pet. 1.23. That it may grow up in him in all things, and this upon the accompt of having tasted, that the Lord is gracious. 1 Pet. 2.2. By which spiritual growth it appeareth to others as to himself also, that he is alive in Christ, as in his head and root by faith. And that Christ lives in him also by faith, Ephes. 3.17. and Gal. 2.20. Not onely as an Object to be be­leeved on without him, as having done all for him, Rom. 4.25. and 8.3. 1 Cor. 1.30. 2 Cor. 5.21. but as inhabiting in him, ac­cording to that Testimony, Gal. 1.16. It pleased God to reveal [Page 28] his Son in me; which is more amplified and explained, Gal. 2.20. I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life I live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

This inhabiting or in-dwelling of Christ in the heart is proper only to beleevers, to new-born Babes in Christ, unto whom he hath become a quickning Spirit, Ephes. 2.1, 5. and 1 Cor. 15.45. in such he dwels, as in his Tabernacle, while they are Tabernacling in their house of clay. And as its proper to them only which be­leeve, so it is effected and performed in them by the same Instru­ments, by which its life and being was at first conveyed, viz. by the Spirit on Christs part, John 14.17. Rom. 8.11. and by that fruit of the Spirit, viz. faith, on mans part, Ephes. 3.17. That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; so may those Scriptures be under­stood, Col. 1.27. Christ in you the hope of glory; and that 2 Cor. 13.5. Know you not that Christ is in you, &c. He is in the hearts of beleevers by his Spirit, and dwells there by faith, guiding and leading them, di­recting and assisting them, teaching and enabling them to perfect holiness in the fear of God; not only becoming a Principle of life or quickning, giving existence or being to the new-born, but causing them to grow up in him, and to perform the actions of spi­ritual life, or of a living new-man.

Secondly, as in the first Man there was not only life, but light set up in him, so the new-born babe in Christ (the new Man) is also endowed with light suitable to his life; That quickning Spirit, which gave him life, gave him also light, Ephes. 5.14. Awake thou that sleepest; and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light; as is the Man, so is his life, and his light: His birth is from above, so is his life & his light, Eph. 1.17, 18. That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation, in the knowledg of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightned: that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints: that he may answer the ends of God in his new Creation. As formerly the spirit of a man, the Candle of the Lord in man, Prov. 20.27. acted its part under the first Covenant: so the quickning Spirit of Christ, or rather the Lord Jesus Christ, that quickning Spirit, 1 Cor. 15.45 and 2 Cor. 3.17. is the Sun of righteousness arising with healing in his wings, Mal. 4.2. upon them which sate in darkness, Isa. 60.1, 2. and in the region of the shadow of death, Luk. 1.78, 79. and Mat. 4.16. (notwithstanding [Page 29] all their Torch or Candle-light) Christ is their spiritual Light.

This living light, or Light of life is it, which beams into the souls of the new-born babes, those little ones, which beleeve in Christ, giving them the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, 2 Cor. 4.6. according to that testi­mony of the holy Spirit, Psalm 36.9. With thee is the fountain of life, in thy light, shall we see light, as far surpassing the Candle-light of mans spirit, as the administration of the law of faith doth that of works: This spiritual light as far excelling the former, as the administration of the Covenant to which it relates, doth excell that which was in-glorious in comparison thereof, 2 Cor. 3.10.

As man was not at first made for himself, but to serve his Ma­ker, and had for that purpose the law of his Creatour written on his heart, by which to this day he is accused or excused: So neither is the new man, or renewed man indued with the prin­ciple of life and light, according to the image of him that crea­ted him, for no other purpose, but to exist barely, and to be no o­ther way serviceable to him, that hath quickned and illuminated him.

But there is a law, proper to this state of new life, called by the Apostle, Rom. 8.2. The Law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, to which law subjection is to be yeelded by all that are born of the Spirit, or from above. Which law (as the former, viz. of works) is written in the hearts of these, Heb. 8.10. as that former on the hearts of those, with this difference, viz. that was written on the heart in Creation, this in regeneration; that in the first birth, this in the new birth. On which law of the Spirit of life, the renewed principle of light, which is in the renewed man acts, (as the candle in the man did or doth in the former capacity) re­flecting on it, and receiving conviction, and direction from that; and as far as the new Covenant is above the old, so far is this law of faith above that law of works, Prov. 6.22, 23. And this law of faith, Rom. 3.27. or law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, Rom. 8.2. or this better Covenant, Heb. 8.6. doth excel, and far surpass the first Covenant, as being founded upon better promises, than that was, which are expressed most fully in Jeremy 31.33, 34. and 32.40. Ezek. 36.25, 26, 27. and applyed, Heb. 8.10, 11, 12. Wherein God undertakes by Covenant, and promiseth, to pardon iniquity, transgression, and sins, and to remember them no more; also to cleanse from all pollution, and all filthiness, that is, to take away [Page 30] both the guilt and filth of sin; to take away the old, and give a new heart; to take away the heart of stone, and give an heart of flesh, to put his laws in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts, to put his spirit within them, and cause them to walk in his statutes, and to keep his judgements, and do them, God will not turn from them, and they shall not depart from him; these are better promises than those upon which the first Covenant was esta­blished, Heb. 8.6.

For there was equitie and justice in that Covenant, whose tenour was, Do, and live: And cursed be every one, which doth not continue in every thing, that is written in the Law to do it. Who can say, God is unrighteous, in taking vengeance upon those, who abide not in all things, fulfilling that Covenant, considering the capacity where­in man stood, when this Covenant was made with him at first, when God made him upright.

But now a Person being left to wrestle it out, and to toil in the remaining strength of his own spirit, to fulfill it, how impos­sible is it for him to attain to the fulfilling thereof? not so much in respect of the faultiness, or weakness of the law, or first Cove­nant, though it pleased the Lord to impute a faultiness thereunto, Heb. 8.7. And the Apostle saith, that it was weak, Rom. 8.3. And if there had been a law given, which could have given life, verily righteousness had been or come by the law, Gal. 3.21. Neither doth this lay an imputation upon the law, which the same Apostle testifieth, is holy, just, and good, Rom. 7.12. For surely if there be any such person, which abideth in all things, that are written in the law to do them, such an one shall finde the Lord just in his Co­venant, fulfilling to a title, what on his part is promised therein. The weakness therefore imputed to the law, is not so much in re­spect of the law, as in respect of the subjects thereof, who through the weakness of the flesh cannot fulfill it; according to Rom. 8.3. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, &c.

The law is holy, just, and good, but it can do no more then point out the duty, and discover the transgression, and pronounce sentence against the transgressor, and this it doth not in weakness, but in pow­er, and is therein quick and powerful, and mighty, &c. There's no fleshly weakness in the pure and holy law of God, it would and could convey life, if man could fulfill it to a title, if not, then it must kill: this is it whereunto it hath received its anointing, and beyond which it must not pass, and therefore the weakness is mans, and lies proper­ly at his door.

Yet forasmuch as it conveys not strength, where it requires duty; nor is founded upon any such promises, as may be ground of hope, in case of failing, or non-performance of every title, therefore it is found fault with, and counted weak in that respect: and through the appearance of a greater grace, way is made for the bringing in a better hope, a better Covenant, stablished upon better promises, as before.

This new and better Covenant is Jesus Christ, (in whom all the promises center, as being the Yea; and the Amen thereof, 2 Cor. 1.20.) and so he is called, Isa. 42.6. and 49.8. I will give thee for a Covenant of the people to establish the Earth, agreeing with that in Psalm 75.3. The earth and all the inhabitants thereof are dissolved, I bear up the Pillars thereof.

This Covenant consisting of these better promises, is not yea and nay, but in him they are yea, 2 Cor. 1.19. ratified and confirmed by bloud, yea by his own bloud, in opposition to the bloud of Bulls and Goats, by which the first was confirmed, Heb. 9.18, 19. but this by the eternal Spirit, Heb. 9.14. in order to eternal salvation, was confirmed by the bloud of the everlasting Covenant, Heb. 13.20. By all which, (as by very much more which might be instanced in) in­finitely transcends the former.

Especially if it be considered, that he, who confirms the Cove­nant by his own bloud (rendring it thereby eternal and everlasting) becomes also the Mediatour of this Covenant, even of this better Covenant, Heb. 8.6. Not only confirming, ratifying, making, and well-ordering it in all things, and sure, (as touching the promises themselves, which are in him Yea and Amen, as he was the Sacri­fice and Propitiation) but by becoming the Mediatour thereof, to ap­ply it to all the seed, Rom. 4.16. working in them the conditions, and qualifications, which are requisite for the enjoying the good things, which are contained therein, 2 Sam. 23.5.

If Repentance be a condition of this Covenant, and required of the subjects thereof, (as indeed it is) it shall be given them by the hand of this Mediatour, Acts 5.31. Him hath God exalted to be a Prince, and a Saviour, to give Repentance to Israel, and remission of sins.

If Faith be required, (as certainly it is) the same hand con­veyes it, who is the Authour and the Finisher thereof, Heb. 12.2. Phil. 1.29.

If any other branch of obedience be requisite, it is also under­taken [Page 32] for in this Covenant, where it is said, I will write my Laws in their hearts: and lest when they are written there, they should not be heeded nor followed, it is further undertaken, for that the spirit shall cause the subjects of this Covenant, not only to remember the things, which are required, but shall cause them to walk therein, Ezek. 36.27. & Jer. 32.40. By leading them, by exciting them, by quickning, strengthening, confirming, establishing, guiding, direct­ing, and assisting them, keeping the feet of his Saints, 1 Sam. 2.9. from stumbling, sliding, and falling, in order to all which, they are taught to pray daily against being led into temptation, and then are promised also to be delivered out of it, by him, who himselfe also was tempted, that he might succour them, which are tempted.

And to the intent, that they may not be misguided by their own spirit, or any false spirit (the Lord Jesus foreseeing there would be many false Christs, false Apostles, false Prophets, false Spirits,) he committed his mind to writing, to the intent also, that in other ages, Esay. 8.19, 20. thence forth they might try the spirits, the Christs, the Prophets, the Apostles, (which pretend to come in his Name) 1 Joh. 4.1. Rev. 2.2. Joh. 20.31. 2 Joh. 10. As also therein much amplifying and enlarging their direction in point of obedience, expressing and declaring more particularly that law of the new Covenant, which is written in their heart more generally, explaining and expounding his mind and will not only touching the matter, but manner of their Obedience: hereby ordering and guiding the steps of his Servants, that their footsteps slide not, Psal. 119.9, 105. Psal. 17.4, 5.

This bespeaks the Condition of the new-Covenant, and conse­quently the law of faith, to be infinitely transcending the old-Co­venant or law of works; & by how much this is more excellent than the former, by so much also must of necessity the light be by which it is discerned, as that intiles it self to Jesus, who is the Covenant, and Mediator of the Covenant: so must the light also be referred to him, who is therefore (so frequently in the Scripture) called the Light, Esa. 42.6. A Light of the Gentiles, as well as, the Cove­nant, of the People. Act. 13.47. I have set thee, to be a Light to the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for Salvation unto the ends of the earth.

Christ is this Light, in whose face the glory of God is to be seen according to that in the 2 Cor. 4.6. God shining into the heart the Light of the Knowledge of his glory in the face of Jesus Christ, who as Mediator (or one standing between, 1 Tim. 2.5. For there [Page 33] is one God and one Mediator between God and Man, the Man Christ Jesus, and Gal. 3.19, 20.) declares and makes forth that bosome-love of the Father, which was from everlasting, which no man could ever see by the light of his Candle, 1 Cor. 2.9, 10, 11, 14.

The light of the Father is not to be discerned by any other Me­dium, but as revealed by Christ. In thy light shall we see light, Psalm 36.9. 2 Cor. 4.6. John 1.18. John 14.6, 7, 9. Nor can any person behold the light of the Father in Christ, but by the Spirit of Christ, John 14.26. and 16.13, 14, 15. and 1 Cor. 2.10. Nor can any per­son behold the light of the Father through Christ in the Spirit, o­therwise than by faith, Heb. 11.1, 6. John 17.7, 8. John 8.56. Eph. 3.12. Rom. 5.2. (so Abraham saw, as Moses also did, him who is invisible, Heb. 11.27.) The Spirit emptying the creature of all other mediums, and producing this fruit of its own, that is, faith, Gal. 5.22. by which it can look on Jesus, and by him on the Father, as they of old from the foot of the mercy-seat might behold him, who was above the mercy-seat, sitting between the wings of the cherubims, Exod. 25. from the 17. to the 22. so that the light by which the regenerate or renewed man, or the man in Christ, comes to see the wonderful things of this law of faith, or new Covenant, and the mind of God therein, is Christ Jesus himself, who is both the Covenant, and the light thereof, who by the Spirit of Wisdome, and Revelation in the knowledge of him, opens the eyes of the understanding, Ephes. 1.17. and through the washing of Regenera­tion, and renewing of the holy Spirit, Tit. 3.5. abundantly and richly saves them, making them to become one Spirit with himself, 1 Cor. 6.17. In whom they in their degree and measure behold with o­pen face as in a glass the Glory of the Lord, and are changed into the same image from glory to glory, as by the Spirit of the Lord, or by the Lord the Spirit, 2 Cor. 3.17, 18. I say in measure, according to the proportion he bears in the stature of Christ, Eph. 4.13.

Thus the Regenerate man doth come to see by the light of the Spirit of the Lord, (by which he is illuminated) that glory of the Lord shining forth of darkness through the face of Christ Jesus, which all the candles, nor torches of mans spirit in the world could never have discovered, nor given him the true and distinct knowledge of, whatever hints he otherwise might have had, touch­ing a possibility of Remission and Salvation, probably, and conje­cturally, from the series of Gods Goodness, Patience, and for­bearance, or from the general sound of the Gospel, and the glad [Page 34] tidings held forth therein, (which infinitely transcends the for­mer) yet this also, whilest it is taken in by the light of a mans spi­rit, (though that be the candle of the Lord, as hath often been min­ded) it cannot amount to a discovery or right and true discerning of the things of the Spirit of God as contained in and under the new Covenant, or law of faith, but the Testimony of that Scri­pture stands as a wall of brass between his candle and it, which saith, The Natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned, or judged of, 1 Cor. 2.14.

The reason is; because although the candle-light of mans spirit was suited and fitly qualified by the Lord to lead him thorough the first Dispensation, that is, of works: as that which had received its anointing thereunto, and adapted to the administration that then was, (for he was made upright) yet when that administration was to cease, and to be done away, 2 Cor. 3.7, 11. and another to be brought in the place and stead thereof, wherein all things were to become new, a new creation, and new creatures, 2 Cor. 5.17. go­verned by a new Covenant or law, Heb. 8.6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 13. and Heb. 10.24. It was necessary that the subjects hereof should be endued with new principles, and particularly with a new heart, and a new spirit, also with another eye and light, than which did accompany the former administration: for in that former there was light e­nough in mans own spirit to see to work by, as a man may do in the night by a candle; but in this there must be to walk by, broad day-light, Sun-light, that they which are made light in the Lord, may walk in the light of the Lord, Ephes. 5.8. Isa. 2.5. and that those which are born of the spirit, and made alive thereby, may also walk in the spirit, by which they were quickned and made to live, Gal. 5.16, 18, 25.

For which purpose the Covenant now spoken of undertakes not only to new-creature the man in Christ, 2 Cor. 5.17. giving him a new heart, and a new spirit, that is, renewing him in the spirit of his mind, Eph. 4.23. but also God superadds of his abundant grace in the same Covenant, his own Spirit, which shall cause the renew­ed spirit to be improved aright, which may appear, as to the praise and glory of God that gives it, so to the infinite and unutterable consolation of the sons and daughters of God, to whom it is given, (as appears in those precious promises and breasts of consolations) whereby the new Covenant is unbosomed particularly, Ezekiel 36. [Page 35] 26, 27. where besides that the new heart and the new spirit are promised in the twenty six verse, its added, And I will put my spirit within you.

Q. But what to do?

A. It shall cause you to walk in my waies; it shall be both light to shew you how to walk, and life to enable you, it shall cause you to walk, &c.

Neither of which could be effected by the candle-light, so often mentioned before; therefore was it of absolute necessity in this case, that as there was to be another Law, or Covenant, divers from the former, called a new Covenant in comparison of the old: So there must of necessity be another light to accompany it, diverse from the former, that is, as then mans spirit, so now the Spirit of the Lord, not onely to enlighten, but to enliven, as to direct and guide, so likewise to enable to perform, that is, to work in us to will and to do of his own good pleasure, Phil. 2.23.

Object. Although it may not be denyed, but that the Covenant, and tearms thereof are much different from what they were under the Legal administration, and that the Mediatour of the new Cove­nant doth far excel him, that executed that Ministery under the old, and that the light and glory of the latter doth far surpass that of the former: Yet this doth not put out the Candle of the Lord in any man, nor render it unnecessary, or useless, but rather improves it by clearing up its object from the obscurity that it lay under, by reason of the veils and shadows, which are now done away in Christ, where­by the Candle of the Lord burns much brighter, and is enabled to all intents and purposes to make discovery of whatsoever is revealed in the Gospel, whatsoever is pretended unto as a means of discovery o­ther than this, viz. the spirit of a man, that is, the reason and un­derstanding of a man, is unnecessary, uncertain, and dangerous.

Answ. Though this Objection hath a great appearance of seeming strength, and bids defiance to all that hath been spoken hitherto, touching the light of the Spirit of God in the new creature, calling it unnecessary, uncertain, and dangerous: Yet a few smooth stones taken out of the Brook of the holy Scripture directed by the Lord of the Battle, though slung out by a weak, despised, and contemptible, Instrument, may stagger and disarm this Objection, how disdainful­ly and Goliah-like soever it utters its self; threatning to give the flesh of all that hath been said touching this matter, to the fowls of the air, and beasts of the field.

It hath been often said touching the Candle of the Lord in man, that it's a great and a goodly Light: and to what hath been spoken, this may further be added, that it may be said of it, as was said of that Champion, 1 Sam. 17.4, &c. It hath an helmet of brass on its head, and is armed with a coat of male, weighing five thousand shekels of brass, besides its staffe, its spear, and shield. Incomparable in all these, and can speak words like it self, so saying, it can comprehend all myste­ries, especially now having the addition of Gospel-discovery, yet not­withstanding all this may be said of it, and possible much more.

Yet the testimony of God speaks on this wise, That touching him there is no searching of his understanding, Isa. 40.28. That his understan­ding is infinite, Psalm 147.

Object. Though a man cannot by searching find out God unto per­fection; yet he may attain to a competent proportion of the know­ledge of him, especially in Gospel-discoveries.

Answ. 1. Vain or empty man would be wise, though man be born a wild asses colt, Job 11.7. What is more incongruous and inconsi­stent, than for a natural Organ to comprehend a supernatural Ob­ject. The spirit of man may know the things of a man, but the things of God knows no man but the Spirit of God, 1 Cor. 2.11. The reason is, because the things of a man are connatural to the spirit of a man, and are objects adequated to his Organ, but the things of God are not so, Ergo.

Object. This Scripture speaks only of the deep things of God, that the Spirit searcheth them, verse 9, 10. Such as eye never saw, nor ear heard, nor ever entred into the heart of man, &c.

Answ. Nay; for though the Apostle doth cite a passage out of the Prophet Esay, where those words are used, Esay 64.4. Yet he doth not limit the search of the Spirit unto those things only, forasmuch as it is added, The Spirit searcheth all things, yea the deep things of God, not only other things, but those also, that is, the deep things of God, which may relate to the seventh verse, the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdome, which God ordained be­fore the world unto our glory, which none of the Princes of this world knew, &c. the hidden mysterie, the wisdom of God, which none but the Spirit of God could search out, according to this Scripture. It was beyond the reach of the spirit of man, yet this hidden wisdome of God, doth the Spirit of God search out.

Answ. 2, The natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God, [Page 37] for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned, 1 Cor. 2.14. Hence its evident, that there is an impotency, and defect in the reason and understanding of the natural man: he cannot receive them, because he cannot dis­cern them, (neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned) both his eye and his hand are (as it were) Planet-struck, his understanding and his will are both defective.

Object. This is still spoken of the deep things of God, (as before) which eye hath not seen, &c. and consequently are not discerna­ble.

Answ. Not so, for it is evident, they are discernable by others, though not by the natural man, as appears, verse 10, 12, 15. they are spiritually to be discerned, or judged of.

2. They are so far discernable by the natural man, as that they are rejected by him, therefore they are things to be seen, yea even by him, while he is such, only his eye is not adapted to the object; he looks upon the things of the Spirit of God, without the eye of faith enlightned by the Spirit, as its medium, by which these things are only dscernable; and hence his wrong judgement doth proceed, that is, he counts them foolishness, ver. 14. for they are foolishness to him, that is, to the natural man. They are not so secret and un­seen, but that he can see so much of them, as to pass sentence upon them, and count them foolishness.

Object. This is true of the natural man, that is, the carnal or sinful man, whose eyes are closed up by infidelity, according to that of Mat. 13.15. This Peoples heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, &c. But to such as improve the light of their understanding and reason, it is not so; as Solomon witnesseth, Prov. 14.6. A scorner seeketh wisdome, and findeth it not: but knowledge is ease to him that understandeth.

Answ. It is not to be denyed, but that God in justice may, and often doth give such up to blindness of mind, and hardness of heart, who close their own eyes, and refuse to entertain the light, and make scorn of it, Prov. 1.24, 33. Yet that this should be the proper signification of that word, that is, the natural man, is not so evi­dent; nay, the contrary appears.

Forasmuch if this place, viz. 1 Cor. 2.14. be compared with a­nother of the same Apostle, viz. 1 Cor. 15.44, 45, 46. where the same phrase is used, it will appear that [...], that is, the na­tural man, is not to be taken for the carnal or sinful man, (in the [Page 38] sense intended in the objection) but for a man (in puris naturalibus) meerly natural; for of him as such an one doth the Apostle speak in the Scripture last mentioned. Where the first man Adam is spoken of as of a natural man, yea as being made such, and in his Creati­on, he was not made a sinful man, though he was then made a natu­ral man.

Object. Nor doth it avail ought to say, this place speaks of his Bo­dy, where it is said, It is sown a natural body, and there is a natural body, &c. A. If that which follows be considered, v. 45. As it is writ­ten, the first man Adam was made a living soul, the last Adam was made a quickning (or live-making) spirit. Whence it appears evi­dently, that not the natural body (taking the Body per se, or divisim) is there intended, but the natural man: else how could that be which is there said, (so it is written, the first man Adam, &c.) I say, how could this be a pertinent quotation and proof to the for­mer, if it were not the same in sense with the former? And how could it be of force by way of Antithesis, or Opposition to the se­cond Adam? If it took not in the whole first man, and that as he was at first, that is, at his being made so, that is, without sin; for so was he made, Eccles. 7.29. upright, without crookedness, without inventions, they came in afterwards. Whence it follows, that the Pseuchical man, that is, the natural man, yea in his purest naturals, (as only such, and while he is only so) cannot receive, nor discern the things of the Spirit of God, until he is Pneumatized, or made a Pneumatical man, that is, born of the Spirit, or from above, accor­ding to the tenour of those Scriptures, John 1.13. and 3.3, 6. and 1 Cor. 2.14.

Object. But the Apostles James and Jude, doe render this word [...], sensual, not natural; whence it may be concluded, that by the natural man is not to be understood man as impotent, and under an incapacity, or defect, and privately so, but rather positively making himself so, and therefore rendred here, earthly, sensual, and devillish, James 3.15. and Jude 19. sensual, having not the spirit.

Answ. This doth not in the least invalidate that which hath been spoken, touching the Pseuchical or natural man; forasmuch as the Scripture-phrase is not another, but the same in all four places, that is, 1 Cor. 2.14. 1 Cor. 15.44, 46. James 3.15. and Jude 19. only the Translators have varyed the English word in the two latter: That which in the former is rendred natural, is in the two latter transla­ted [Page 39] sensual, for reason best known to themselves; (hinted at by a Learned man, in his Exposition on the Epistle of James) but both are the same in the Original, and both are opposed to that which is spiritual, as in the last of the places aforementioned, that is, Jude 19. appears, sensual not having the spirit. So that all being put to­gether, they make up but one and the same thing, viz. The sensuall man. Let him be the Positive Pseuchik, he that does not embrace the Wisdome from above, James 3.15. but brings in another wis­dome, which is from beneath, or those mockers of the last time, Jude 18, 19. both these being [...], sensuals, not having the Spi­rit, that is, opposing the Spirit: Or, those privative Pseuchik's mentioned, 1 Cor. 2.14. which perceive not, or receive not the things of the Spirit of God, but count them foolishness, nor can know them, because they are spiritually discerned: Both these kinds of persons, (if there be any diversity of kinde among them) and all those testimonies of Scripture put together, center in this truth; That man, that is, meer man, furnished with all that the first man (after his transgression) was capable of, with all his light of know­ledge and reason heightned and improved to the uttermost in that capacity; He is not able to discern the things of the Spirit of God, till he be born again, and receive another eye, wherewith to see, that is, faith, and another light, that is, the Spirit, by which to discern the spiritual-things of God, or the things of the Spirit of God; So true is that testimony, Surely man at his best estate is alto­gether vanity, Psal. 39.5. not only in respect of outward things, but even in his wisdome, his very thoughts are vanity, Psalm 44.11. yea the wisest of them are so, 1 Cor. 3.20. The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain: therefore let no man glory in man; but as it is written, Jer. 9.23. 1 Cor. 1.27, 28, 29, 30.31. He that gloryeth let him glory in the Lord, and be content to be a fool, that he may be wise, 1 Cor. 3.18. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdome of the wise, & bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent, 1 Cor. 1.19. and that God effecteth, by bringing in that which the wise ones of the world count foolishness, viz. Christ crucified, who though he be to the Jews a stumbling block, and to the Gentiles foolishness, yet to them that are called, both of the one, and of the other, that is, both Jew, and Greek, he is the power of God, and the wisdome of God, 1 Cor. 1.18, 31. because the foolishnesse of God is wiser than men, and the weaknesse of God is stronger than men. And the way of Gods com­munication hereof to his called ones, is no lesse wonderful in it [Page 40] self, though as foolish to the wisdome of them, which would be wise according to the flesh; whose glorying God himself cuts off, 1 Cor. 1.29. and addes; But of him are ye (that is, called ones) in Christ Jesus, who of God is made to us (not in us) Wisdome, and Righ­teousness, and Sanctification, and Redemption; that according as it is written, He that gloryeth, let him glory in the Lord: How foolish a thing soever this seems to be in its application, yet this is true in him, and founded upon him as the Covenant, and is one of the deep things of the Spirit of God, which no natural man can receive, till washing of Regeneration, and the renewing of the holy Spirit, flowing forth out of this blessed Fountain of mercy and grace, (as in opposition to works of Righteousnesse) which is the womb of sal­vation to the saved ones, Tit. 3.4, 5, 6, 7.

Obj. This is (notwithstanding all that hath been said) a most un­certain means of discovery, as is cleerly to be evinced by all the pretenders thereto, who, though they be very many, and diverse, yet they all discover the great uncertainty hereof, by sad and wo­full experience: Instances whereof may be given in great abun­dance.

Answ. Though this be too true in some, yea in very many, yet it doth not make the Faith of God of none effect, as if the things were not, because so many are mistaken about it. For the Scri­ptures give plentiful testimony to the thing, and many have expe­rienced the same, viz. That as the Father had his peculiar time of operation by way of eminency, (though by the Word and Spirit) as is testified, John 5.17. The Father worketh hitherto, &c. So the Son had his peculiar time of working, to bring life and immortali­ty to light, 2 Tim. 1.9, 10. Reconciling the world to God, (though God was in Christ effecting this work) 2 Cor. 5.19. (and through the eternal Spirit the atonement was made, Heb. 9.14.) So likewise to the Spirit there is assigned a time of operation, to apply what­soever hath been spoken or done by the Father, and Christ, in order to the atoning and reconciling, to the perfecting and compleating the eternal Inheritance, preparing, or making meet the heirs of salvation for it, and it for them, in all things necessary thereunto, according to the tenour of the new Covenant, Ezek. 36.27. and the Mediation and ministration thereof; opening the dark eye of the understanding, Ephes. 1.18. to see the wonderful things which were hid from ages and generations with Christ in God, Eph. 3.9, [Page 41] 11. and now by him manifested and revealed, 2 Tim. 1.9, 10. en­clining the will to receive them, Phil. 2.13. removing away what­soever sets and hinders, and making the subject and object meet in the center, and become a perfect vision; and this not with uncer­tainty, but with greatest assurance and certainty, as doth evidently and eminently appear to such as to whom it was a seal, Eph. 4.30. an earnest also, Eph. 1.13, 14. and the first fruits, Rom. 8.23. and likewise a witness, Rom. 8.16. 1 Joh. 4.13. & 1 Cor. 2.12. All which are terms of indubitableness, therefore there is such a thing, such an administration to be witnessed unto in some, whatever mistakes may otherwayes be about it in the misapplication thereof by many.

Obj. Though this were the dispensation in the times of the Apo­stles, and of the primitive Saints and Churches, that they were indued with the Spirit, and born witness unto thereby, and sealed therewith, and that it was to them an earnest and first fruits, and so was in them an evidence and certainty. Yet it is not safe to con­clude from thence, that because they once had it, therefore per­sons now have it; except they which do now pretend to it, can make it evident, and give demonstration thereof, as the Apostles and primitive Christians could (as is to be demonstrated by many instances in the Scripture) by signes and wonders, and mighty deeds.

Answ. The Dispensation of the Spirit may be considered in a twofold respect, viz.

In relation to its

  • Inward Operation, or
  • Outward Manifestation.

Sometimes it is expressed under the similitude of wind or air (in­visible and unseen) and so it is in the work of Regeneration and Renovation, John 3.3. Tit. 3.5. And this was personally effected, and personally evidenced, Rom. 8.16. Rev. 2.17. Sometimes under the similitude of Cloven tongues and fire, and visible demonstrati­ons, ratifying and confirming the word of Faith, according to Mar. 16.20. By tongues, prophecies, miracles; or by signes, wonders, and mighty deeds, and these were Apostolical, 2 Cor. 12.12. God bearing witness to the ministration of those first Messengers with signes, and wonders, and divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to his owne will, Heb. 2.4. thereby confirming their word, Mar. 16.20. convincing the opposers, and stopping the mouths of the gainsayers, Act. 4.16.

This variety of the Spirits operation, as thus distinguished into the Internal and External dispensation thereof, as it may be clearly evidenced from the Scriptures, so may it be of great use to strengthen the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees of such as are made weak, and turned out of the way upon the account of this obje­ction, or the like.

The Scriptures do witness, that many have been born of the Spirit, i. e. have been true beleevers, have had their eyes and hearts opened, and have been turned to the Lord; and yet many of these, though they bear witness of the internal and invisible operation of the Spirit, as being born from above, Joh. 3.3. yet have been destitute of the demonstration of the Spirit, in respect of its out­ward and visible manifestation in Signes and Miracles, &c.

Those twelve Disciples at Ephesus, mentioned Act. 19. were Beleevers, and were so called, vers. 2. where the Apostle propounds this Question, Have ye received the holy Spirit since ye beleeved? Whereby it is evident that he spake of the outward manifestation of the Spirit, which they had not so much as heard of, and which they afterwards did receive, vers. 6. when upon the laying on of his hands they received the holy Spirit, and spake with tongues, and prophesied; whence it appears evidently that they were Belee­vers, i. e. were born of the Spirit; for faith is a fruit of the Spi­rit, Gal. 5.22. whereof Christ (i. e. the Spirit) is both the Au­thor and Finisher, Heb. 12.2. not onely in himself, as the object; but in the Beleever, as the subject, giving them to beleeve on him, Phil. 1.29.

And if the faith of these twelve Disciples be questioned, what kind of faith it was, it will be resolved by the Apostle in his Let­ter of Confirmation directed to them, Ephes. 1.13. where he saith, In whom ye also trusted, after ye heard the word of truth, the Gospel of your salvation; in whom also after that ye beleeved you were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise. Whence it appears plainly that those Ephesians, Act. 19. were reall and true Beleevers, and did partake of the inward operation of the holy Spirit, viz. faith, though they had not as yet heard of the outward manifestation thereof in visible gifts.

A like instance there is of those Grecians of Antioch, who upon the Evangelizing of the scattered Disciples, a great number belee­ving turned to the Lord, Act. 11.21. who yet had no visible de­monstration of the Spirit, but an invisible operation onely: So it [Page 43] was with them of Samaria, who beleeved upon the Evangelizing of Philip, while as yet they were destitute of the visible manifesta­tion of the Spirit, Act. 8.12. compared with vers. 15, 16.

At Iconium multitudes both of Jews and Greeks beleeved, Act. 14.1. at the speaking and preaching of Paul and Barnabas. At Berea also, upon the hearing of Paul and Silas, together with sear­ching the Scriptures daily, many beleeved, Act. 17.10, 11, 12. At Corinth likewise upon Paul's preaching many of the Corinthians hearing, beleeved, &c. At Philippi the Lord opened the heart of Lydia, attending to the things spoken by Paul, Act. 16.14.

These with many more examples there are, testifying to, and bearing witness of this truth, that many persons have beleeved, been converted, and turned to the Lord, (i. e. have been born of God, Joh. 1.12, 13. 1 Joh. 5.1. regenerated, or born again, or from above, or of the Spirit, Joh. 3.3, 5, 6, 8.) who nevertheless have evidenced no other power or presence of the holy Spirit, than what was invisible in and upon their owne hearts, but gave no outward visible manifestation thereof by Signes and Miracles, at least not until afterwards.

Whence it follows, that notwithstanding the dispensations in the times of the Apostles, and primitive Saints and Churches, were very eminent for visible and outward manifestations of the Spirit, in wonders, signes, and miracles, with gifts of tongues and pro­phecies; yet this was not universal in operation, for many were turned to the Lord, Act. 11.21. and unto them it was given to be­leeve, Phil. 1.29. and taken into a state of sonship, Joh. 1.12, 13. were also regenerated and born from above, or of the Spirit, Joh. 3.3, 8. Some of them not knowing, Act. 19.2. Others of them not yet receiving or witnessing any outward appearance or mani­festation of the Spirit, but onely that inward operation of the Spirit opening and enclining their hearts to embrace the word of faith, and to receive the Lord Jesus as tendered therein, according to Rom. 10.8, 9, 10, 11. And as some who had the inward opera­tion, had not the outward manifestation; so some to whom the outward or visible power of the Spirit was communicated, were not intrusted with the inward and sanctifying operations thereof, as appears, Mat. 7.22, 23. where it is witnessed that Christ shall say to the workers of miracles, Depart, &c. I know you not; and to Judas Iscariot was given power (among the rest) to cast out devils, and work miracles, Matth. 10.4, 8. to shew the Spirit is [Page 44] not limited; but, as the wind blowing where it listeth, distribu­ting to several persons severally, even as he pleaseth, 1 Cor. 12.11. in diversity of gifts, administrations and operations: For as to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdome, to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit, to another the gifts of healing, to another working of miracles, &c. So it is said, to another faith, by the same Spirit, 1 Cor. 12.9.

Which operation of the Spirit is diverse, from the former gifts enumerated both before it, and after it: for although there is requi­red to the working of Miracles a faith suitable thereunto, as ap­pears by our Saviours testimony, Matt. 17.20. Luk. 17.6. Matt. 21.21. and by the Apostles, 1 Cor. 14.2. Yet this Faith is a distinct gift diverse from that whose manifestation was external in healing, miracles, and tongues, &c. and the one might then be where the other was not, as hath been proved already.

In like manner also such is the Dispensation of the holy Spirit at this day, as the wind bloweth where it listeth, forming the new-birth, which is after and according to God by faith in Christ Jesus, becoming a Spirit of regeneration and illumination, Eph. 1.17, 18. & Tit. 3.5. opening the blind eyes, not only to see Christ as he is held forth in the word, but to be beleeved on, accepted, and recei­ved as the Author of eternal salvation to them that obey him, Heb. 5.9. but also by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the holy Spirit, purging the conscience from dead works, Heb. 9.14. giving boldness and access to the throne of grace, through the faith of him, who is thus become a quickening spirit and principle of life, a new and living way to all that receive him, and manifest that faith by obedience true and unfained, Heb. 10.19, 20, 21, 22.

This may be thus evidenced by divine testimony, viz.

1. That as the wind bloweth where it listeth, so is the birth of the Spirit in those which are regenerate, is proved, John 3.3, 6, 8.

2. That they which beleeve in the Lord Jesus are thus dignified and privileged with the estate of sonship, as being born of God, and from above, is witnessed, Joh. 1.12, 13. & Gal. 3.26.

3. That this is effected by the washing of regeneration, and re­newing of the holy Spirit, that being justified by his grace, we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life, is like­wise born witness unto by the Apostle, Titus 3.4, 5, 6, 7.

[Page 45]4. That this was not the work of the spirit in any one particular age only, viz. in the Apostles dayes, or primitive times (as they are called and distinguished by some) but as it is said of Christ he is the same yesterday, to day, and for ever, Heb. 13.8. so is it said, He is the Author and finisher of faith, not only of theirs, Heb. 12.2. (though the word Ours being inserted in the English reading may seem to carry it that way) but he was the Author and finisher of theirs also, who are catalogued, and Chronicled in the 11. of Heb. who began as low, as Abel, and so upwards, and not of theirs only, who thus beleeved, receiving the word of promise, or rather Christ in the promise, from the first giving forth thereof in Gen. 3.15. mixing the Gospel with faith, Heb. 4.2. nor of those who (in the times of more clear manifestation thereof) did know and beleeve, Joh. 17.6, 7, 8.

But of their faith also, who from thence forth should beleeve on Christ through their word, Joh. 17.20. and therefore in the place mentioned, Heb. 12.2. Christ is not said to be the Author, & finisher, (that is, the beginner and ender) of our faith, nor of your faith, nor of their faith, but of faith, in relation to all times and persons according to the tenour and testimony of that word of truth, Act. 13.38, 39. By him all that beleeve are justified from all things, &c. (not only the Jew, but the Gentile also) even all that are a farre off, as many as the Lord our God shall call, hence the Apostles testify, that they had received the same spirit of faith, with those who had gone before, 2 Cor. 4.13.

And as the faith of all true beleevers from Righteous Abel tho­roughout the whole cloud of witnesses, and thence forward, owns it self to Christ, as the Author and the Finisher thereof; as was said before.

So likewise it is as necessarily applyed to the spirit, whose gift it is, and by whom it is wrought, 1 Cor. 12.11. among which ope­rations of the spirit Faith is one, reckoned among, yet diverse from that of miracles.

And it is called the fruit of the spirit among many other inward qualifications of the renewed and regenerate Man, Gal. 5.22.

5. To this agree those other testimonies of the holy Scripture, wherein the holy spirit is promised not for this or that particular age, much less this or that particular person or persons onely, but to all the seed, not reckoned according to the flesh, but according to the faith of beleeving Abraham, Rom. 9.8. & 2.28, 29. Gal. 3.7, 8, 9, 14. Gal. 4.27, 28.

But to speak more particularly.

The Scriptures bear witness to Christ Jesus, that he is the true seed promised, in whom all the Nations of the earth should be blessed, according to that, so often mentioned place, Gen. 3.15. as also, Gen. 22.28. expounded by the Apostle (in Gal. 3.8.) of Christ himself, as the seed promised, a Covenant to the people: So is he also the seed to whom the promise is made, as appears by the same Testimony, Gal. 3.16. Not to seeds as of many, but as of one, and to thy seed, which is Christ, who was the seed, which was to come, to whom the promise was made, vers. 19. thus is Christ originally both Root and Offspring.

It is with Christ that the Covenant is made originally, Isa. 53.10, 11. and in him with those that are his: to whom he is given for a Covenant, as appears, Esay 42.1, 6, 7. Behold my servant whom I uphold, mine Elect in whom my soul delighteth, I have put my spirit upon him, and he shall bring forth judgment to the Gen­tiles. I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and wil hold thy hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a Covenant to the peo­ples, for a light of the Gentiles to open the blind eyes, &c.

In this Covenant it is promised, that he should have the spirit put upon him, Isa. 42.1. which also was fulfilled in Luk. 4.18. And as the spirit was by Covenant to be put upon him, so was it also to be put upon them, which were his, as doth appear in the fifty ninth of Esay 21. As for me, this is my Covenant with them, saith Jehovah, my spirit, which is upon thee, and my words, which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seeds seed, saith Jehovah, from hence forth and for ever.

Where it is Evident, that the gift of the spirit is a Covenant-promise, as to Christ in whom all the promises are Yea and Amen, so to them which are Christs, to him and to his seed, and seeds seed, according to Joh. 17.20. Not only they, which did beleeve, but those, who through their word should beleeve, were the subjects of Christs prayer in the Application, and Mediation of the Cove­nant.

This is promised also in Ezek. 36.27. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my Statutes, &c. which promise is not limited to Israel, or to Abrahams seed according to the let­ter or Circumcision, but to Abrahams seed according to faith. If [Page 47] ye be Christs, then are you Abrahams seed, and heirs according to promise, Gal. 3.8, 9, 29. and as is before proved.

The same is likewise confirmed, Joh. 14.16. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, even the spirit of Truth, (but lest it should be said; as in the Objection, this promise was made to that Age of the Apostles only; it is added) that he may abide with you for ever?

Obj. But were the Apostles at that time without that spirit al­together?

Answ. It is answered in the 17. verse, But ye know him, for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you: the spirit shall be the same, but the measures enlarged; the same spirit of faith, but not the same measure.

Object. What shall the spirit do, when it is given in that larger measure.

Answ. It is resolved partly in the 26. verse, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. And partly Joh. 16.13. He will guide you into all truth, and he will shew you all things to come.

Obj. This is that dispensation of the spirit, which is mentioned in Joh. 7.38, 39. and for which the Apostles were commanded to waite at Jerusalem, Luk. 24.49. and which the Apostles did receive, Act. 2.4. according to the prophecy, Joel 2.28.

A. It is not to be denyed (as before) that one branch of the dispen­sation of the spirit is to open it self in such discoveries as those; but the whole thereof, and the all of that dispensation is not limited or confined to the external and outward, and miraculous manifestati­on thereof only as in the Apostles dayes; At which time not to every person individually was it so communicated (as hath been proved before) unto which you are referred, and they, which did receive the dispensation of the spirit at large both in its inward o­peration, and outward manifestation, yet did receive but the first fruits thereof, Rom. 8.23.

From the whole of what hath been spoken in answer to this main objection, this briefly is the summe;

1. That notwithstanding the dispensation of the spirit (in the times called primitive, viz. in the dayes of the Apostles and primi­tive Christians) was with great evidence, and outward manifestati­on, accompanied with signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds, yet it was so but in some persons, not in all beleevers, as by the instan­ces [Page 48] before cited may appear, for there were some beleevers, that did not know of such a thing, as the spirit, Act. 19.2.

2. That as some Beleevers were ignorant of outward manifesta­tion thereof: so there were others, who having the outward were destitute of the inward. Mat. 7.22, 23. & 10.4, 8.

3. The gift of the spirit is a Covenant gift, first promised to Christ, and in him to them that are his, that is, Christs, to him and to his seed throughout their generations (seeds seed.) Isa. 59.21.

4. It was promised by Christ to his Apostles to be in them for ever, Joh. 14.16, 17. not so to remain in their individual persons for ever, but in their successors, and not in them only, as such, that is, Apostles, but also in all such as should thenceforth beleeve tho­rough their word, Joh. 17.20.

5. It was prophesied to be poured upon all flesh, Joel. 2.28. and applyed to all that were a farre off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call, Act. 2.39.

6. The Apostle declareth of himself, and the beleeving Romans, who although they had received the Spirit of Adoption, whereby they cryed Abba Father, and he (at least) had also received the outward visible manifestation of the Spirit, yet saith of himself, and them; They had received the first fruits of the spirit, intima­ting that there was yet a further manifestation thereof reserved to them, which were to come after, according to the tenor of that Scri­pture, Heb. 11.40. That they without us might not be made perfect. Hence therefore it may be argued; that though it hath pleased the Lord for the misuse or abuse of his holy spirit, or for other most ho­ly ends known unto himself, to withdraw from the children of men for a season the manifestation thereof in that which is outward in gifts of tongues, prophecies & healings, &c. Suffering Arts (so called by Man) to prevail instead thereof: till the faith of his people prevail through cryes and tears to bring back the Anointed and with him the Anointing.

For the prophesy of Joel is as yet but in part fulfilled, and the direction of our Lord remains firm to this day, Luk. 11. from the 5. verse to the 14. touching the incessant importunate prayer for the holy spirit, concluding thus, vers. 14. If ye then which are evil know how to give good things to your children, how much more shall the Heavenly Father give the holy spirit to them, which ask him. And surely were but the Lords people awakened to consider the ne­cessity of the return of that spirit, which hath been for so long a time [Page 49] withdrawn, and to be importunate with the Lord, and give him no rest, but with all humble and holy boldness continue in prayer, and not faint, according to that in Luk. 18.1. who knowes how soon the most high might turn the Captivity of his people as the Rivers of the South, as to this particular, and meet his mourning, pray­ing Servants, where David met the men of Judah, (who came to conduct him over Jordan) even at Gilgal, viz. the place of the row­ling away of reproach, Ioshuah 5.9. and make it a time (as that was a place) of rowling away of reproach from his people forever.

Nevertheless though in respect of its visible manifestation, there be a great hiding and withdrawing, yet according as was promised, Joh. 14.18. Our Lord hath not left his children Comfortless, nor Orphans. But hath left them a Comforter, as promised: Conti­nuing to them the invisible Operations of his holy spirit, ena­bling them thereby to cry Abba Father, who in that respect is cal­led the spirit of Adoption, Rom. 8.15. & Gal. 4.6. Because ye are Sons God hath sent forth the spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying Abba Father: becoming in them a sanctifying spirit, 1 Cor. 6.11. a spirit of sanctification, 2 Thes. 2.13. 1 Pet. 1.2. witnessing to their spirits their estate of Sonship, Rom. 8.16. Causing them to Read that new-Name written on the white stone, which no Man knows but he which hath it. So that all though they cannot assure another by infallible evidence, so as to leave them without doubt touching their estate: yet to themselves the spirit of God, by which they are regenerated, doth evidence its own operation, ac­cording to that testimony, 1 Joh. 5.10. He that beleeveth hath the witness in himself: and by filling them with fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ unto the praise and glory of God; lead­ing them in paths of righteousness, keeping their feet that they stumble not upon the dark mountains, sanctifying them through­out, as well in body as in soul, and spirit, enabling them to morti­fy the deeds of the flesh, and to cleanse themselves from all filthi­ness of flesh and spirit: mourning, longing, pressing after this, and resisting and opposing, judging and condemning, whatsoever is contrary thereunto.

This is a measure of evidence even to the stander by, (at least so farre as is necessary) and will amount to the fulfilling of that rule, viz. Let your light so shine before men, that they seeing your good workes, may glorifie your father, which is in Heaven. And this may be, and in many persons is witnessed; though other external disco­veries by Miracles be not produced.

Having in the foregoing part of this discourse treated of that light which the most high, and holy God, the eternall fountain and Father of lights hath formed in every man, (viz.) the spirit of a man, Zech. 12.1. Or candle of the Lord, Prov. 20.27. And therein holding forth, in some smal measure, that which is witnessed in the holy Scriptures of truth, touching the nature and property thereof, under these two general heads, viz. 1. What it is, 2. What it does in every man.

The impartiall and serious consideration whereof afford's matter of conviction to the opposite principle, and might be of use to such a purpose, though there were not a word further added thereabout.

Nevertheless, in order to the satisfaction of some that are tender, who may not be free to trace the discourse throughout, or may not so clearly discern the scope thereof by what hath hitherto been spo­ken, I shal endevour to treat them (I mean the people that pass under the name of Quakers) upon their own ground, discoursing with them upon such principles as are laid down in the Papers and Bookes of the men of their confederacy, persons of no smal esteem among them, certain hints whereof have been given at the beginning, and others may occasionally be added.

In prosecution whereof, & to the intent it may be performed with the more clearness to the meanest capacity, I shal proceed in the Me­thod above mentioned enquiring what is by them held forth touch­ing the nature of the light wherewith every man and woman that comes into the world is enlightned (viz.) 1. What it is, 2. What it doth in ever man, and I shall also examine the Testimony by them produced for proof thereof.

Touching the former of these two particulars (viz. what that light is) it is affirmed;

That the little light which shines in the dark heart is,

1. The powerful word of faith, which was in the beginning, by which all things were created.

2. That it is the word of Faith the Apostle exhorted to take heed unto, Rom. 10.6, 7, 8.

3. That it is the unction of the holy one given of the Father, whereby we need not to teach one another, but as the anointing teacheth us.

4. That it is the sure word of Prophecy, whereunto ye do wel to take heed, 2 Pet. 1.19. [Dewsborr, Mans return, Pag. 27, 28.]

Christ hath enlightned every one that comes into the World. [Fox way to the Kingdome Page 1.]

Waiting in the light which Christ hath enlightned you withall,

5. That's Scripture within you, pag. 8.]

These five Heads or Propositions thus laid down, relate to the first Article, and are to be considered how far they hold proportion with the writings of Truth, and are born witness unto thereby; to the um­pirage whereof, I find, the Authors of these assertions do referre themselves.

The Scriptures we own, &c. (Howgills fiery darts, Page 19.)

We direct to search the Scripture, whether our doctrine be not true. (Page 22.)

I challenge all the City of London to prove, that we speak or de­clare any thing, but what the Scriptures bear witness to the same. [Page 28.]

Let him that can try us by the Scripture.

Here therefore we joyn issue, and answerable to the evidence, which the Lord shall give by his Spirit in the holy Scriptures, so let it be. According to the tenor of that divine Testimony, Esai. 8.20. To the Law, and to the Testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because they have no (morning) light in them.

First, To the first of those five Prepositions, I Reply.

1. Reply. 1. That although it be said, that the little light which shines in the dark heart is the powerfull word of faith, which was in the beginning by which all things were created.

Yet this is but said without any Scripture produced giving witness thereto; and therefore may not be admitted to the credit of a di­vine Truth, having no other evidence than an humane Testimony; briefly, It is not proved, therefore not beleeved.

1. Obj. Did not God create all things by the word of his power, or powerful word?

Answ. I read in the holy Scriptures of truth that God created the Heavens and the Earth, and all the hosts of them, Gen. 1.1. & 2.1. and that he did this by his word, Psal. 118.5. He commanded and they were created; but I no where read, that they were created by the powerful word of faith, as is affirmed in the proposition beforenamed.

2. Object. Is not Christ the word and did not he create all things?

Answ. 1. Christ is called the word of God, Rev. 19.13. but not the word of faith.

2. Christ is called the word God, Joh. 1.1. by whom all things [Page 3] were made, vers. 3. and without whom was nothing made that was made (i. e.) created, Col. 1.16.

But he is not called the powerful word of faith, much lesse may it be said, that the little light, which shines in the dark heart, is the powerful word of faith; or it, by which all things were made or created; nor may be so called by warrant from the Scripture with­out some clearer proof.

3. Object. Is not Christ the light, which lightneth every one that cometh into the world? Joh. 1.9. And is it not he by whom al things were created and made? A measure of whose light shineth in the dark heart of every one.

A. Besides that there is a departing from the Terms in the Propo­sition; (as may by the impartial and unprejudiced Reader be ob­served) For if the little light which shines in the dark heart be that by wch God created all things, & that that light is the word of God, or the word God, Joh. 1.1.3. or Christ the light, as is intimated in the Object. & 'twas by him & not without him that al things were made.

Then this Objection should be thus put (in plainness and truth) Is not Christ the light in every man that cometh into the world? &c.

And to this agree those so often quoted sentences of Scripture, Christ in you the hope of Glory, Know you not that Christ is in you, The Kingdome of Heaven is within you. Which Scriptures are applyed (by those Objectors) to every man by a distinction and a meaning (viz) the light of Christ, and a measure of Christ, and the little light which shines in the dark heart, and sundry other meanings of this kind,

I shall endeavour to make it appear, that this Objection is not foun­ded upon the Scripture, which is brought to prove it, by reciting the passage in its own words, John 1.9. That was the true light which lightneth every man that cometh into the world, or, every man coming in­to the world. Now let him that reads judge, whether the terms of the Proposition (viz. That the little light which shines in the dark heart is the powerful word of faith) or if the Terms in the Objection (viz.) That Christ is the light which lighteth every man, that cometh into the world, may be read in this recited place: and if they cannot be found in the words of the Scripture, then the challenge of him which wrote the Book Entituled Common Salvation, mentioned before, is returned as an evidence against themselves, and their assertion re­mains still unproved by the Scriptures.

4. Object. Although that those words (viz.) The little light which shineth in the dark heart, is the powerful word of Faith which was in [Page 4] the beginning, by which all things were created. Nor that Christ is the light which lightneth every one that cometh into the world.

Although these very words be not expressed in John 1.9. nor Christ so much as once named in all the nine first verses, yet of whom can it be meant other than of Christ? as may be gathered from those verses considered and compared together?

Answ. I might in answer to this Objection (alluding to that of the Apostle, Acts 17.28.) alleage a passage out of your own Bookes, (viz.) Fran. Howgill, Common-Salvation, Page 3. Thou that tells of opening Chapters and verses by meanings, thou never heard a word of Christ. I only observe this to shew you, what hard measure you mete out to others when your selves are constrained to do the same things as will hereafter be further made to appear.

5. Object. Doth not Christ himself say in John 8.12. I am the light of the world, and in John 12.35, 36. where it is plainly expressed, That Christ is the light, without any meaning?

Answ. Although in the 8. of John 12. vers. Christ is called the light of the World, being the same, who in the 12. of John v. 36. is to be beleeved on; yet neither in the 8. nor 12. nor first of Joh. by any of them, or all of them put together, is it proved that the little light which shines in the dark heart is the powerful word of faith, which was in the beginning, by which all things were created, which can­not be affirmed of any other but of him, I say of him, by whom all things were made, that were made, of whom it is said, he was in the world, & the world was made by him & the world knew him not, and how or where he should be called the little light, that shines in the dark heart, or powerful word of faith, or the light, which lightens e­very man, that cometh into the world, I do not, nor cannot read, let the impartial, & sober minded consider, whether any thing, but a mea­ning can make it out, & whether such meaning be according to truth.

6. Object. Thou art stumbling at the light which should guide thee, and therein manifests thy confusion and ignorance; while thou art talking about the light, thou comprehends it not, through the darkness that is in thee. Shew if thou canst, what is said touching the light of Christ, wherewith he enlightens every man that comes into the world, either in the 1.8. or 12. of Joh. or any other Scripture, that thy knowledg in the Mystery thereof may be manifested, if there be any such thing in thee, or else for ever cease speaking any further thereof.

A. Not to meddle with that branch of the Objection at all, which censures, and judges, and speaks of darkness, confusion and ignorance, [Page 5] for bringing the things asserted to tryal, by the words of the holy Scriptures, and for discovering the unproveableness thereof, by the Scriptures produced by them to prove the same, lest the anger and frowardness in the Objector might produce a like spirit in the Answer­er: but rather inclining to the latter part thereof, (viz.) to shew what is said in the first of John, touching the light, wherewith every man coming into the world is inlightned; according to that mea­sure wherewith I shal be assisted; though with never so much weak­ness and stammeringness of speech, in holy fear and trembling before him, whom I serve with my Spirit, even in this Service, though but a babe therein; I shall propound to consideration a few things.

1. I do find that in the first of John there is mention made of the word, which was in the beginning with God, of whom it is said, and that word was God, Joh. 1.1. All things were made by him (vers. 2.) i. e. The word God. In him was life, and that life was the light of men, vers. 4.

John was sent from God to bear witness of that light (vers. 7.) i. e. The word God, vers. 1. That was the true light, which lightneth eve­ry man Coming into the world, vers. 9. even he by whom the world was made, vers. 10. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.

This word God, he in whom was life, and the life was the light of men. He (i. e.) God, the word, the maker of the world, vers. 10. He was that true light, which lightneth every man that cometh into the world.

According to that Divine testimony, 1 Joh. 1.5. This then is the message that we have heard of him, and declare unto you, That God is Light, and in him is no darkness at all. So, that he who is the true originall fountain of light, In whom is life, and that life is the light of men, v. 3. & who enlightneth every man, v. 9. (with life & light) that cometh into the world, Is the word God, Joh. 1.1. as appears, by what is witnessed in the forenamed Scriptures, even God the Creator of the ends of the Earth, Esa. 40.28. The maker and former of all things.

The word God, thus considered, the original and fountain of all light and life, he of whom its said, as in Acts 17.28, 29. In him we live and move, and have our being. For we are also his Off-spring, even all the generations of mankind, who are, or ever were subjects of life, and light, as he is the Author and fountain of both, Psal. 36.9. To all and every one, that comes into the World: I say as thus considered, So the word God, or God the word, is the light and life of men, and as so considered, he doth enlighten, as really as inliven, every man that cometh into the world.

Setting up in every man a Spirit by which he doth exist or live as a man, differencing him from other creatures, by that Spirit of a man, by which he lives a rational life, calling it, the candle of the Lord, searching all the inward parts of the belly, Prov. 20.27. (i. e.) the things of a man, 1 Cor. 2.11. As appears more at large in the former part, where the nature and property of this light, the spirit of a man, or candle of the Lord is propounded and discussed.

I do likewise finde in the same first of John 14. vers. that That word was made flesh, and tabernacled among them, and they beheld his glory, the glory, as of the onely begotten of the Father; according to that Testimony, Phil. 2.6, 7, 8. who being in the form of God, thought it no robbery to be equal with God, but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a Servant, and was made in the likeness of men, & being found in fashion as a man, agreeable to that, Psal. 40.7. & Heb. 10.5, 7. A body hast thou prepared me, then said I, lo I come, (In the volume of the book it is written of me) to do thy will O God, by which will we are sanctified, &c.

In like manner, & according to the tenour of these Scriptures, the word before spoken of, John 1.1. was made flesh, John 1.14. and thenceforth was called Christ the Lord, Luk. 2.11. or the Lords Christ, Luk. 2.26. As is witnessed in the Song of Simeon, to whom it was revealed by the holy Spirit, that he should not see death untill he had seen the Lords Christ, who taking up the holy Child Jesus (or the word made flesh) into his armes, he blessed God, and said, Lord now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace according to thy word, for mine eyes have seen thy Salvation, which thou hast prepared before all people, a Light to lighten the Gentiles, and the Glory of thy people Israel, Luk. 2.26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32.

Thus the word God, who was the enlivener, & enlightener of the world, the maker and sustainer thereof, gave being both of light and life to the natural man, and so enlightned every man that comes into the world, setting up a light in him, a candle light, (i. e.) the spirit of a man, common to all men as men.

But the word made flesh becoming the Messiah, which is by inter­pretation the Christ, Joh. 1.41. opened the Mystery of Godliness, manifesting God in the flesh, according to that in 1 Tim. 3.16. With­out controversie great is the mystery of Godliness, God manifested in the flesh, &c. To which agrees that, 1 Joh. 1.2. For the life was ma­nifested, and we have seen it and bear witness, and shew unto you, that eternal life which was with the Father, and was manifested unto [Page 7] us. The word I say, thus in fullness of time, becoming flesh, became therewith the Lords Christ, or the Lords anointed, or the holy child Jesus, Act. 4.26, 27. The anointed Saviour, and hereby brought life and immortality to light through the Godspel, 2 Tim. 1.9, 10. mani­fested by his appearing, Tit. 2.11. & 3.4. according to purpose, Eph. 1.9. and promise, Tit. 1.2. from the foundation of the world, & accord­ingly beleeved on & expected by al the cloud of vvitnesses from Abel forward, to this day, from the time the promise vvas given, Gen: 3.15.

In this sense and as thus considered Christ is said to be come a light into the World, John 12.46. I am come a light into the world, to what end? Is it to enlighten every man, that cometh into the world? Nay, but that whosoever beleeveth on him should not abide in dark­ness, agreeing with that in John the third, and 19. Light is come into the world, and this light is the Son of God, whom the Father hath sent, that whosoever beleeveth in him, should not perish but have everlasting life; and thus is he the light of the world, John 8.12.

As one whom the Father hath sent, John 7.29. and sealed, John 6.17. and anointed, Luk. 4.18. to be the Covenant to the people, and light to the Gentiles according to the prophecy going before of him, Isa. 42.1, 6, 7. & 61.1, 2, 3. Whereby he brought in another life, & another light into the world, diverse from that which was gi­ven to the world, or set up in every man, that comes into the world, according to the Terms of the Covenant, whereof himself is Me­diator, Heb. 8.6. and being made perfect he became the Author of eternal Salvation, unto all them that obey him, Heb. 5.9.

Remembring only this that as there is a life common to al men, that come into the world, who nevertheless cannot therewith inhe­rit the Kingdome of God, till renewed, so there is a light common to all men and women that come into the world, which cannot dis­cern the things of the Spirit of God (til renewed) as their life is, for the life and the light have one Original.

7. Obj. Art thou so foolishly blind, as not to see thy own Babel, & confusion in what thou hast said? Is not Christ, and the word one? How then dost thou in thy beastly Nature, (the head of the Serpent reigning in thee,) by dividing, & distinguishing confound the truth?

Answ. O that there were given to these people an ear to hear, and an heart to consider the things that differ. Let him that reads under­stand, though I be nothing, yea worse then so, I passe not for mans day; my judgement is with the Lord in this matter.

Only it will not be amiss, to give a brief account, why I have thus distinguished, or rather taken notice of the distinction, whch the Scri­pture [Page 9] gives of God the word; by whom all things were made, who though he were the fountain of life and light to all living, though he were clothed with light as with a garment, yet the light wherein he dwelt was unapproachable, 1 Tim. 6.16. whom the Apostle testifi­eth, no man hath seen, nor can see, yea, though he were in the world, and the world was made by him, yet the world knew him not, but to the world he was invisible, though he made it, and gave it subsistence, and being, as is witnessed, Acts 17.28. In him we live and moove and have our being, even our creaturely being, as such; yet was he invisible to us, while such notwithstanding, and though some of the invisible things of God, might be discerned by the visible things of the creation, (viz.) his eternall power and God-head yet he, the Creator and ma­ker thereof, could not be discovered by that little light in man, which was common to every man, untill the word was promised to be made flesh, Gen. 3.15. in the seed of the woman, who was break to the Ser­pents head.

And this is borne witnesse unto by our Lord Jesus Christ himselfe, John 1.18. No man hath seen God at any time. As they who came to see whether Christ were risen, John 20.3. They saw the napkin which had been about his head, and the linnen cloathes wrapped together, sufficient to demonstrate, at least that he, whom they sought was not there (if not also to testify that he was risen) but him that had layn there, and was risen, this, those things cold not discover, this was reser­ved to his owne appearance, vers. 15, 16.19, 20.

So though upon the account of the common enlightning which eve­ry man and woman which cometh into the world, receives from God the former and maker of them, which light they receive together, with the principle of their naturall life, which light and life as they are both one in the Author and fountain thereof, John 1.4. So are they both one in the subject thereof. As James Naylor himselfe acknowledgeth in his Answer to certaine Queries in a book called Strength in Weak­nesse, mentioned before Page 24. line the first.

Yet this little light in man is so far from being the powerfull word of faith, which was in the beginning, and by which all things were crea­ted, I say, it is so far from being it, That it cannot discover who, or what it is, that's spoken of the napkin and the graves cloathes. It may see, some of the visible things of God, and there by somewhat of that which is invisible, but him that is invisible they can never see, till he manifest himself, for no man ever saw him or shall see him, since the transgression but as the word made flesh, Jo: 1.14. manifested in the flesh, 1 Tim. 3.16. [Page 10] as revealed in the Sonne, John 1.18. and by him manifested unto his Witnesses, 1 John 1.2. according to that blessed testimony among o­thers, 2 Cor. 4.6. God who commanded light to shine out of darknesse, hath shined in our hearts, the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, which no man can see, but as he receives ano­ther life, John 3.3. and light, for the life and the light are one.

For this very reason: Because I have observed the enemy to hide himselfe in this bush, and here to lay his Ambuscado's to take persons at unawares, and to cast his net over them, blundering and confound­ing by tearmes the Truth it selfe, under shadowy expressions not obvi­ous to the first view of every reader: Because Christ is called the light of the world, therefore where light is spoken of, there Christ is applyed to be hee, or if under these expressions, The light is but one in all, Are there more lights then one? Shew any other light, &c.

Not heeding that, which is testifyed of the Word, that while he was hid in God, (though he bore up the Pillars of all the Creation, as be­ing made by him, and existing in him, though he was light and life to all beings, according to their capacities, besparkling all with rayes or Candles, as their maker and Creator) yet untill a body was prepared him, and he made flesh, thereby becoming the seed of the Woman, and fulfilling therein that promise, which had been a word of faith to the Beleevers, throughout all ages, who all dyed in faith, having not received the promise, but saluted it, as that which they saw, and kissed it, and rejoyced in it, as Abraham did, who saw him, the Word, that was to be made flesh, and was glad. I say, till the word was thus im­bodyed in flesh, or considered as such, and so to be seen and beleeved on, there was no such thing as Christ, a Light to the Gentiles, other then in promise. I say, Christ, as the Lords Christ, or Christ the Lord, according to those testimonies before mentioned in Luke for as he was Manifested in the flesh, he was thus stiled.

Of whom it is thus said, He which hath the Sonne hath life, and he which hath not the Sonne of God hath not life (which is true of Light, for the life and light are one, Eph. 5.14. and promiscuously put one for another) which light and life is no other way attained but by a per­sons being borne againe, John 3.3. by receiving, i.e. by beleeving on the Lord Jesus Christ. For to as many as beleeved on him, to them he gave power, priviledge, or prerogative, to be made the Sons of God, even to as many as beleeve in his name, which were borne not of Bloud, nor of the Flesh, nor of the will of Man, but of God, John 1.12, 13.

The Children of the first Birth with their life and light cannot enter [Page 11] into the kingdome of God, nay they cannot see the kingdome of God, 1 Cor. 2.14. John 3.3.5, 6. Except they be borne againe, i. e. from above of the Spirit. But the new-borne, they which beleeving receive Christ, or receive Christ by beleeving, those are they whose hearts God purifyes by faith, Act. 15.9. renewing them in the Spirit of their mind, Eph. 4.23. by the washing of Regeneration, and Renewing of the holy Spirit, Tit. 3.5, 6, 7. which he shedds on them abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour, justifying them by his grace, that they may be made heires according to the hope of eternall life. With this new-life comes in the true light of the renewed Man, who till then is dead, as in opposition to life, and darke, as in opposition to light, notwith­standing he be both alive and enlightned by the fountaine of life as a branch of the naturall Creation. [1 John 2.8. Eph. 2.5. & 5.8. John 1.3, 4.]

Hitherto touching the first Assertion or Proposition, and the proofe thereof.

Secondly, It is further affirmed touching the little Light, which shines in the dark heart, viz.

That it is the word of Faith, the Apostle exhorted to take heed unto, Rom. 10, 6, 7, 8.

2d Reply. I cannot with more clearenesse proceed in the Examina­tion of what is here alledged from Rom. 10. Then set downe the words of the Scripture it selfe, which is cited for proofe thereof, that the Rea­der may have the clearer view thereof. The words are these, viz. But the Righteousnesse which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into Heaven, that is, to bring Christ downe from above, or who shall descend into the deep, that is, to bring up Christ againe from the dead: but what saith it, the word is nigh thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that is the word of faith, which we preach.

Having presented the Reader with the sight of the Scripture produ­ced for Evidence, I need say no more then this, It doth not prove the thing for which it is brought. Let him that reads consider, whether there be one word therein, which mentions the little light, which shines in the darke heart, or calls that little light the word of Faith, or exhorts to take heed thereunto as being it.

Now if the Scripture quoted for proofe proves not the thing, as it plainely appeares, it doth not. Where is he that made the Chalenge to all the Citie of London, to prove that any thing is (by these men) spo­ken or declared, but what the Scriptures beare witnesse unto the same? or if it be said, that the Apostle meanes the little light, which shines in [Page 12] the darke heart, when he speakes of the word of faith, which is nigh, both in the mouth and heart.

I must say to this, as before in the former Case, Meanings are by some approved, while as yet they are under Judgement and condemnation by others, as I have already instanced in the Answer to the 4th Objection.

Inasmuch therefore as this appeares (as the former to be asserted) without proofe, for that this Scripture doth not at all mention, the lit­tle Light, which is said to shine in the dark heart, nor calls it the word of faith, nor exhorts to take heed unto it as such, nor useth no such phrase, as by reading the words will appeare. Further answer is not re­quisite to be given to it, then to say, It is an ungrounded and an un­proved opinion.

Object. But what may the Apostle intend by the word of faith, which he saith is in the heart, and in the mouth, and infers to be a saying of Moses, Deut: 30.14. where the like words are used, if it be not the light which shines in the dark heart, what other thing can it be?

Answ. It is evident that the Apostle treating about the Righteous­nesse of the Law, and the Righteousnesse of faith, asserts in the 4th verse of the 10th of Rom. That Christ is the end of the Law for Righteousnesse to every one that beleeveth, alledging that Moses describeth the Righ­teousnesse, which is of the Law, that the man which doth those things shall live by them. Doe and live. And this was according to the Te­nour of the Law written on the heart of man from the Creation. It was no new thing that he Commanded them, but the same repeated; which was engraven on their hearts before, viz. That they should love the Lord, and serve him; which was the end of their Creation: Of which much hath been spoken in the former part.

Alluding to this passage of Moses, the Apostle useth the like forme of speech, that as the Children of the first Covenant, had the Law of that Covenant written not only on tables of stone, but also on the fleshly tables of their hearts, as appeares, Rom. 2.15.

So the Children of the new Covenant might have the Law of the new Covenant, speaking to them in the like sort; the heires of righte­ousnesse or the children of faith might heare the righteousnesse of faith speaking to them on this wise; viz. Say not in thine heart, who shall as­cend into heaven to bring downe Christ from above, or who shall descend in­to the deepe, to bring up Christ againe from the dead: But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart.

Quest. Nigh thee, nigh who?

Ans. Even nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart.

Quest. Whose mouth, and whose heart?

Ans. Not every mans mouth, and every mans heart, but in thy mouth, and in thy heart, who art a Beleever.

Quest. What Word is that?

Ans. The Word of Promise, the Word of Faith, which we preach.

Quest. What Word is that, which you preach?

Ans. That which saith, If thou shalt confesse with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt beleeve in thine heart, that God raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. This is the Word of faith, which is in thy mouth, and in thy heart: and on this wise the Righteousnesse of faith speakes; For with the heart man beleeveth to Righteousnesse, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation; for the Scripture saith, Whosoever be­leeveth on him, shall not be ashamed.

Thus the word of Faith, or Law of Righteousnesse is near unto the Children of faith, the heires of salvation, even in their mouthes, and in their hearts. The Law of the new Covenant is a word nigh unto the Children of that Covenant, even to as many as beleeve, and are of the faith of Abraham, the faith, which is of the Operation of God. And these not as in the schoole of Moses, hearing the voyce, (which hath thundrings and earth-quakes) saying doe and live, or the man that doth them shall live in them, and Cursed be every one, that abideth not in every thing, that is written in the Law to doe them: But the word of Faith speaks on this wise, This is the worke of God, that ye beleeve on him, whom he hath sent.

As those who are marryed to another Husband, that they may bring forth fruit to God, even fruites of righteousnesse, which are by Jesus Christ unto the glory and praise of God; serving him without feare in righteousnesse and holinesse all the dayes of their lives: who having restored their soules, leades them in pathes of righteousnesse for his names sake; being to them in stead of Broad Rivers and Streames, wri­ting his Law in their hearts, putting his holy feare therein, having Cir­cumcised their hearts, Calling them to his foote, and keeping them there, leading them (though blinde) in wayes they knew not, who or­ders their goings that their footsteps slide not. So that his Word is nigh them, (I say nigh unto those, who are borne from above, and are the Children of the new Covenant,) viz. in their heart, and in their mouth, even the word of faith of which the Scripture speakes. But not so to every man: nor is the little Light, which shines in every dark heart, this word of faith: nor is this word of faith or Law of the new Co­venant nigh to any person, viz. in the mouth, and in the heart, but on­ly [Page 14] to those that beleeve, as the scope of this Scripture discovers; and then, and not till then is it a Scripture fulfilled on such, and not on o­thers, who, till they receive Life and Light through beleeving on the Lord Jesus, are really destitute of both, 1 John 5.12. He which hath the Sonne hath life, and he which hath not the Sonne of God hath not life, which is true of light also, for it hath been acknowledged already, that the light and life are one.

I shall now proceed to the third Assertion, touching the light in eve­ry man, viz. That it is the unction of the holy one, &c.

Thirdly, I finde it affirmed touching the little light in every man, which shines in the dark heart, That it is the unction of the holy one given of the Father, whereby we need not to teach one another, but as the anoynting teacheth us, which is truth and no lye.

Reply. Here being no Scripture cited for the proofe of this Asserti­on, but certaine words of the Scripture made use of. It doth appeare to me to have Reference to that passage of the Apostle, 1 John 2.27. I know not what other place properly to referre them unto for proofe. I shall therefore recite these words, and compare them with what is here affirmed touching the light in every man, or the little light which shineth in the dark heart, viz. verse 20. But ye have an unction of the holy one, and ye know all things. Vers. 27. But the anoynting which ye have received of him abideth in you: and ye need not that any man teach you, but as the same anoynting teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lye.

If this be the Scripture passage intended for proofe, and beside this I know none other.

Then I affirme (as of the former) that it speaks not at all to the thing, which is under consideration; for how doth it appeare, that the little light, which shineth in the dark heart of every man is the Ʋncti­on of the holy one, given of the Father, whereby we need not teach one another, &c. I say how doth it appeare that this is spoken of that little light, as being that Ʋnction, when there is not so much as one word mentioning that little light, at all, in this entire passage of Scripture, nor any other that I doe know of? If there be any, I wish it were pro­duced: nor can it satisfie to say its meant so, for meanings have recei­ved their sentence already in the former branch. Nay, the contrary is evident, that the Apostle is so farre from speaking of the Light in every man, and calling it the Ʋnction of the holy one given of the Father, &c. That he speakes of that holy Anoynting, which they to whom he there writes, viz. the little children, the young men, and the fathers, were [Page 15] made partakers of, viz whose sins were forgiven for his names sake, and who had knowne the Father, and overcome the wicked one, 1 John 2.12, 13. Such as in whom the darknesse was past, and the true light now shined, vers. 8. These were they who had received the Ʋnction from the holy one, and did know all things, the anoynting which they having received abideth in them, according to that which was promi­sed, John 14.16. Even the Spirit of truth, who was to abide for ever with them to whom he should be given, vers. 27. who being come should teach them all things, vers. 26.

To the persons, who through beleeving were borne againe, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God, who (as little children) had obtained Remission of sinnes for his names sake (as young men) had overcome the wicked one, (as fathers) had knowne him from the beginning: I say, to such as these are, and of such as these are, this Scripture gives Testimony, that they had received the Ʋnction of the holy one, i. e. the Spirit of truth, which should lead them into all truth, and teach them all things, and abide with them for ever, according to the promise of Christ, John 14.16, 17, 26. John 16.13, 14, 15.

Which Ʋnction of the holy one (i. e. the Spirit of truth) is not a light in every one, shining in the darke heart, and teaching them all things; but is so in such only as doe beleeve, for to as many as recei­ved him to them he gave the priviledge of Sonneship. And because they were Sonnes, he sent forth the Spirit of his Sonne into their hearts crying Abba Father, Gal. 4.6. Which is not the state or case of every one, as is evident; for all men have not the faith, 2 Thes. 3.2. Without which men cannot be the Children of God, Gal. 3.7, 26, 28. nor re­ceive the Ʋnction of the holy one, so as not to need any one to teach them, but as the anoynting teacheth them.

Object. The words by thee first repeated (as taken out of the booke called Mans returne) mention not these words (viz. Every one) but only the little light which shineth in the darke heart. Where the words Every one, doe not follow, notwithstanding thou doest often mention them, as if they were there expressed.

Answ. 1. To speake roundly and plainly to the Principle. That which is said of the little light, which shines in the dark heart, as being the powerfull word of faith, or as being the Ʋnction of the holy one, &c. is true of it, as it is in every one, or is not true of it, at all in any one, according to this Principle, which saith, The Light is but one in all.

[Page 16]2 That Christ is the light which hath enlightned every one that comes into the world. Thou that hatest this light, thou hast it, to this the current of these writings give testimony, and in particular this very Author of mans returne hath these words (viz.) [Fox way to the Kingdome, Pages 1.6.]

All you enslaved Captives of Babylon hearken diligently to Jesus Christ the light which lets you see the evill of your hearts to be guided by it, &c. [Mans Returne, Page 26.]

Every one minde your conditions, see what guides your mindes, for the Kingdome of Christ is within you, and that is the light which lets you see the evill of your hearts, [Page 27.]

O thou enslaved soule under the power of Babylon, in thee, come forth minde the light in thee, which is the sure word of Prophecy, whereunto ye do well to take heed, 2 Pet. 1.19.

By which severall passages it is evident, that the light which enlight­neth every one is the little light which shines in the dark heart of every one, and is so intended even by this Author, as by others, and accor­dingly so applyed and spoken to.

Object. Doth not the Scripture say, 1 Cor. 12.7. The manifestati­on of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withall. How then dost thou restraine it to some men, as thou hast done?

Answ. It is evident that all have not the Spirit of Christ, Rom. 8.9. If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his, and Jude doth testifie of some persons, that they are sensuall, haveing not the Spirit, vers, 19.

Therefore the Apostle speaking of the manifestation of the Spirit which was given forth in the Church of Corinth, in the diversity of its gifts, the differences of administration, and the diversity of operations: To one was given a word of Wisedome, to another a word of Know­ledge, to another faith, to another the gifts of healing, to another the working of miracles, to another Prophecy, to another discerning of Spirits, to another kindes of tongues, to another interpretations of tongues. Now all these were divers manifestations of the Spirit, in that Church of Corinth diversly distributed, and divided to every man se­verally, vers. 11. Now all these worketh that one and the selfe same spirit divideing to everyman severally as he will; as appeares vers. 28, 29, 30. Now God hath set some in the Church, &c. Are all Apostles? are all Prophets? are all Teachers? are all Workers of miracles? have all Gifts of healing? doe all speake with tongues? doe all inter­pret?

By which it doth appear, that the manifestation of the Spirit, as it [Page 17] was different, so it was differently distributed, and is restrained to some Persons, v. 30. have all? doe all? are all? &c. And the word (every man) in the 7. verse, is explained by the same words (every Man) in the 11. vers. And the end of this distribution of the Spirit, or manifestation of the Spirit is given to no man for himselfe, but it is to every man to profit withall, to edify and build up, and doe service in the body, as an hand, foot or eye, or some other member of the body, according to the similitude of a body used in that Scripture, not that the Spirit or the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man (i. e.) to every indi­viduall Person; Forasmuch as some men are sensuall having not the Spirit; therefore not the manifestation thereof, for there can be no manifestation where the thing it selfe is not.

But the Spirit himselfe, dividing to every man severally, as he please, gives forth his manifestation to every man for the profit and benefit of others; for to that end were those manifestations set in the Church, and given to severall Persons of the Church, for the use and benefit of the whole: and so is this Scripture to be understood (i. e) the mani­festation of the Spirit to whatsoever it be, and to whomsover it is given, it is given them for edification and profit of others.

The Spirit it selfe may be given to a Person for himselfe to bear wit­nesse with him, to be his evidence or Testimony in things partaining to himselfe, Rom. 8.16.26. and in 1 Cor. 2.12. Now we have re­ceived the Spirit which is of God, that we might know the things which are freely given to us of God.

But when God is pleased to give to any Person the manifestation of his Spirit in a word of Wisedome, a word of Knowledge, in gifts of healing, or workes of miracles, tongues, or Prophesies; these and such as these are given for to profit others withall, rather then the Persons themselves to whom they are distributed; and so it is witnessed in the place before named; which discovers the end of the Spirits manifesta­tion, (viz.) to profit withall.

The Fourth branch of what is asserted touching the little light which shines in the dark heart is next to be considered.

Fourthly, I finde that it is affirmed touching the little light which shines in the dark heart.

That it is the sure word of Prophesie whereunto ye do well to take heed, 2 Pet. 1.19.

Reply, To make tryall of the truth of what is affirmed, it is necessary to examine the Scripture to see whether it intermeddle in this matter which it is brought to bear witnesse unto (viz.) the little light which [Page 18] shines in the dark heart of every man; whether that be the sure word of Prophesie here mentioned, the Scripture words are these;

We have also a sure word of Prophesie whereunto, ye doe well, that ye take heed as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, untill the day dawn, and the day starr arise in your hearts.

Knowing this, First, that no Prophesie of the Scripture is of any private Interpretation.

For the Prophesie came not in old time by the will of man but holy men of God spake as they were mooved by the holy Spirit.

In this portion of Scripture it may apparrantly be discerned that the Apostle doth not say of the little light, which shines in the dark heart that it's the sure word of Prophesie.

For there is no such word in this Text as the little light shineing in the darke heart; and therefore so to affirme and to bring this Scrip­ture for proofe, is to wrong the Scripture, except it can be made forth that it ought to be so understood and that that is the true and proper meaning thereof, which neverthelesse would fall under reproofe as cen­tring in a meaning, a thing by them so branded with reproach, of which mention hath been made before.

But as its not exprest in the words of the Apostle, so it will be found, not to be meant or intended as spoken of the little light shining in mans darke heart, a being the sure word of Prophesie in this place mentio­ned, for it's evident the Apostle speaks of the word of Prophesie contai­ned in the Scriptures, as himselfe explaines himselfe as may appear by considering the words and the scope thereof.

For the Apostle Peter knowing that hee must shortly put of his Ta­bernacle (as our Lord Jesus Christ had shewed him) vers. 14. endea­vors the establishment of the scattered Saints in the doctrine of the power and comeing of our Lord Jesus Christ 15.16. and this he doth by two Arguments.

One drawne from the testimony of himselfe and others who were eye witnesses of his Majesty when he received from God the Father, honour and glory, when there came a voice to him, from the excellent glory, which voice they heard when they were with him on the holy Mount, Matth. 17. the 8. first verses, to which John might referre. John 1.14.

The other argument to establish and confirme them in the present truth (i. e.) the power and comeing of our Lord Jesus was drawne from the Testimony of the Prophets, in the holy Scriptures, and there­fore adds, vers. 19.20, 21.

[Page 19]19. We have also a more sure word of Prophesie, whereunto you doe well that ye take heed as unto a light that shineth in a dark place untill the day dawne, and the day-starr arise in your hearts;

20. Knowing this first, that no Prophesie of the Scripture is of any private interpretation.

21. For the Prophesie came not, in old time, by the will of man; So that it is evident that the more sure word of Prophesie, which he exhorts them to take heed unto, is the prophesie of the Scripture, or Scriptures of the Prophets; which agree with and confirm this thing which he was an eye and ear witness of, and had declared unto them (viz.) the power and comeing of our Lord Jesus, to which agrees that which is testified. In 1 Pet. 10, 11, 12. and more particularly that of Paul, who confir­med his doctrine.

By the like Testimony, Acts 26.22.23. witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things then those which the Prophets and Moses did say, should come.

From whence it plainly appears, that as the Apostle would confirme them in the truth, of what he had testified touching the power and comeing of our Lord Jesus, by telling them what he and others had both heard and seen when they were with him on the holy mount; where they were eye-witnesses of his Majesty, and heard the voice which gave testi­mony from heaven touching him.

Yet for further confirmation of them in this truth he referrs them to the concurrent testimony of the Prophets, and to that more sure word of Prophesie contained in the holy Scriptures, with this connexion, (Also) we have also a more sure word of Prophesie; besides my Testimony, ye have the testimony of the Prophets, in the words of their prophesie; which he modestly proposeth; as of more weight to them then his report might be unto them, from what he had either heard or seen; And therefore adds not only, we have a sure word of Prophesie, but a more sure word of Prophesie and strengthens that saying by what followes (viz.)

Knowing that no Prophesie of the Scripture is of any private inter­pretation, for the Prophesie came not in old time, by the will of man but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the ho­ly Spirit which Testimony being founded upon the Scriptures, he might, in relation to their beliefe thereof, call it a more sure word, as to them.

And if it be but remembred, that he being an Apostle of the circum­cision, Gal. 2.7, 8, (as James also was) among whom the Prophesies [Page 20] of the Scriptures were of great esteem; as appears by our Lord himselfe, who so reports of them; and sends them thither for Testimony of him. John 5.39. To which Paul also appeales, Acts 26.22. As Peter in like manner doth after the effusion of the holy Spirit. In the 2. of the Acts 30. Acts 3.20. to 25. Acts 10.43.

Considering him I say as an Apostle of the circumcision and these scattered strangers to whom he writes, to be such who are called by James the twelve Tribes scattered abroad; among whom the writings of the Prophets had been so greatly esteemed it was more to the belie­ving Jewes who were in the dispertion to finde it written in the Scrip­tures of the Prophets, beside what Peter the Apostle both heard and saw, then if they had only received it upon his Evidence and Testimony Therefore it is an additionall and concurrent Testimony. Also a more sure word of the Prophets (As if he had said) ye have not only my word, though I have told you both what we have heard, and were eye witnesses of: But we have Also the Testimony of the Prophets, whose word of Prophesie is by inspiration of God; for holy men of God spake as they were moved by the holy Spirit; thus ye have for witnesse both theirs and ours.

I might Further add:

That the word of Prophesie whereunto the Apostle saith, that they doe well to take heed as unto a light shining, or as unto the shining of a light in a dark or squalid or filthy place, [...], is a meta­phoricall speech.

As if he should say, you shall doe well to attend to the more sure word of Prophesie as you would doe to the light of a Lamp, or Torch in a darke and filthy place, so doe to the word of Prophesie till the day dawne and the * day starr arise in your hearts; till the day break and the shadowes fly away: but if this may not be admitted to be the scope of the Apostle, but that still it is insisted upon, that the little light which shines in the dark heart of every man is the more sure word of Prophe­sie, whereunto they doe well to take heed. I would yet say a few words more in this case occasioned from those two terms in the Text (i. e.) (More) and (Ʋntill) [* [...].]

More is a word of comparison, and must referre to some positive tearm to which it hath relation (i. e.)

More sure then what? What answers to this Question? It must be sought in something going before it, some other word of Testimony, there is besides this, in comparison of which, this is a more sure word; not the onely word, where any person or thing is more excellent then [Page 21] another, there is of necessity some other besides it selfe which hath its excellency also in the degree.

If therefore the light shineing in the dark heart of every man, be a more sure word of Prophesie or witnesse: then there is some other word of witnesse beside this little light which must supply the place to this comparison; and so this light is not the onely word or witnesse, but a more sure word in comparison of some other word beside it, touching the other expression (i. e.) Ʋntill I have to say.

2 The little light of which so often mention hath been made, called the powerfull word of faith which was in the beginning by which all things were made, called also the unction of the holy one the manifesta­tion of the spirit given to every one, the Kingdome of Christ in every one, the Grace of God which hath appeared to all; the eye of the Lord which runs too and froe, in the earth; with many more such like Epethites which are ascribed to it.

I say, if the little light which shines in the darke heart of every man, be all this, or any of this, which hath been spoken of it what is it lesse then the day starr it selfe or what can be more ascribed to him who is the bright morning starr, himselfe then is ascribed to it; which never­thelesse this Scripture intimates, must have the precedency and this must give way to that which is to come when the day dawnes, and the day starr it selfe appears, or ariseth in the heart.

For this is to be given heed unto, or attended unto; Ʋntill he come whose right it is, Ʋntill the day dawne, and the day starr arise. [Ʋntill.]

Which forme of speech (viz.) Ʋntill, denotes in Scripture Phrase a cessation of the former at the ariseing and appearance of the latter. Doe this till I come, Mich 5 3. Micah 7.3.10. Matth. 2.13. Flee into Aegypt and be thou there, untill I bring thee word, which was done, vers. 19, 20, 21.

When that which is perfect is come, that which is in part shall be done away, whether Prophesies, they shall cease, &c. 1 Cor.

Let this little light be what it will be it is some such thing as is of use, Ʋntill the day starr arise; it hath its anointing with limitation, it is but Ʋntill: then let this be considered and applied by any Person in so­briety and tendernesse, and let them say whether it doth not necessarily carry the truth and scope of this place, to the Prophesies of the Scrip­tures, which went before of Christ; of whom it is said (by the mouth of his Apostle Peter, Acts 10.43.) To him give all the Prophets wit­nesse, and particularly it is affirmed, touching the Lord Jesus his pow­er [Page 22] and comeing, Acts 3.20, 21. And he shall send Jesus Christ which before was preach unto you, Whom the heaven must receive, Ʋntill the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy Prophets, since the world began; for Moses tru­ly said, vers. 22. Yea, and all the Prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise fore-told of those dayes. These words of the holy Prophets have been that which the holy Fathers, the Believers in all ages, have given attendance to (or given heed unto) as unto a light shineing in a dark place, untill the day dawne, and the day starr did arise according as is witnessed in the de­gree thereof (so farr as to the accomplishing of that part of the perfor­mance of the words of the Prophets) John 1.41. where Andrew saith to Simon, we have found the Messiah, which is by interpretation Christ, and Phillip to Nathaniall vers. 45. we have found him of whom Moses in the Law, and the Prophets did write, Jesus of Nazareth: visiting his people with salvation, as he spake by the mouth of his holy Prophets which have been since the world began, Luk. 1.71.

Becomeing a day spring, or Sun riseing upon them, vers. 78. after their long night, or shadowy dispensation, which neverthelesse was be­spangled with variety of Prophesies all tending to this day, starr or Sun­riseing, to which they did well to take heed, as unto a light shineing in a dark place, Ʋntill he come, of whom the Prophets testified; which Pro­phesies touching his comeing had their fulfilling in that his appearance, and vailed themselves as haveing finished the work of their Testimony, when it was said of him; Behold the Lamb of God, I am come a light into the world; we have found him of whom Moses and the Prophets spake. The Lord is risen and hath appeared to Simon, with other Testi­monies of like nature.

In like manner the present and succeeding witnesses of God through­out their Generation shall doe well to take heed or give attendance unto the Testimony of the Prophesies of the Scripture, which bear wit­nesse unto the Kingdome power and futher appearance and comeing of our Lord Jesus, throughout the present and future dispensation, wherein knowledge is but in part, and vision is much obscured; accor­ding to that in 1 Cor. 13.12. The light which shines through the Pro­phesies of the Scripture, haveing their tendency to that day dawning and morning appearance which they who (though beleevers in their severall eyes yet, without us could not be made perfect; knowing that when that which is perfect is come, that which is in part shall be done away; the shadowes shall fly away when the day appeares, and the [Page 23] light which shines in the prophesies of the Scripture, shall vaile and disappeare as the thing prophesied of in them is fullfilled, but not till then: like as the starre which appeared to guide the wise men unto Christ, Math. 2.1. It went before them till it came and stood over where the young child was: which when they saw, they rejoyced with exceeding great Joy, vers. 9, 10. but after it had led them to him, there's not any mention of its further appearance.

So, when the Prophesies of the Scripture, touching the kingdome, power, and coming of our Lord Jesus, whether within or without, ei­ther within the heart or without in the world: when the day dawns, and the day-starre ariseth: when its really day: when whatsoever hath been prophesied of is really accomplished in that appearance of his who is the yea and Amen of the concurrent testimony of all the Pro­phets, and to whom they all give witnesse, Acts 10.43. Then shall that be fullfilled which is spoken of that Citie, Rev. 21.23. That it had no need of the Sunne nor of the Moone to shine in it, for the Glory of God did lighten it, and the Lambe is the light thereof, Chap. 22.5. There shall be no night there, no candle nor light of the Sunne; for the Lord God giveth them light, and they shall reigne for ever and ever: These sayings are faithfull and true and testified unto by him who is the roote and off-spring of David, and the Bright and morning starre: As then and not till then may it be truely and in strictnesse said; That which is perfect is come; when there shall be no night nor need of can­dle, but God shall be all in all: so till then and as long as knowledge is but in part and vision is but in part, that men see darkly as in or through a Glasse (or riddle) so long as there needs any Sunne-light, Moone-light, or Candle-light; and that the body is not compleated (i. e.) arrived at the state of a perfect man, so long as any member of the body or joynt in the body is unsupplyed or uncompacted and un­joyned together.

The measure of the stature of the fullnesse of Christ is not arived at, nor the Prophesies fullfilled, which say, There shall then be no need ei­ther of candle or Sunne; for there shall be no night there.

Therefore, while persons finde themselves falling short in measure, either in things to be knowne and beleeved, or done and practised, let such acknowledge; That the bright morning starre is not yet risen, its at best but rising, the shadows are not yet gone, they cannot yet say, there's no need of a Candle, or that there is no night there; what else meanes that bleating noise, which speaks out the word measure, knowing in measure, and perfect in measure? who knows not that re­all [Page 24] and absolute perfection, admits of no measures or degrees; it knows no such thing as either diminution or increase, no such thing as lesse or more, and that will appeare when once that which is perfect is Come, and that which is imperfect is done away; then shall we know as we are knowne, and be with him where he is; our bodyes of vilenesse be­ing changed, and made like unto his glorious body: Till which time wee shall doe well to attend to the more sure word of prophesie (con­teined in the holy Scripture) as unto a light shining in a dark place.

Object. Thou that gives meanings and adds thy owne words to the Scripture, thou art a perverter of the Scripture; for whereas thou tells of the day dawning, and the day-starre arising in the heart; and sayes then it's really day, and that there is no night, when it is plaine that the Scripture declares of the dawning of the day, and speaketh of it as of a time before day-breake, or while it was yet darke, Math: 28.1. Com­pared with John 20.1. So that the day dawn is a time wherein there is but a measure of the day appearing.

Ans. As for endeavouring to finde out and hold forth the scope and sence of the Scripture, by you called [giving of meanings]

1. It hath been practised by your selves, as the reader may perceive by what hath gone before, and that which hath been observed here­upon, so that the blame lyes equally on your selves as on me, if it be blame-worthy in either of us.

2. What ever sentence Francis Howgill passeth upon the thing in these words mentioned before in Page 1. and however his sentence is seconded by the Objector, yet beside that they themselves cannot escape the censure thereof, being in the same Condemnation; yet is it Evident notwithstanding, that is no crime, neither in themselves nor others, to endeavour to finde out the sence and meaning of the Spirit of God in the holy Scriptures, and to give the sence and meaning thereof, pro­vided it be done according to truth; so did Ezra, and the Levites, one or more of them; They opened the booke of the Law, and read therein distinctly, and gave the sence, and caused them to understand the reading, Neh: 8.5.7, 8. And our Lord Jesus himselfe sends the Pharisees not only to the saying, but to learne the meaning of a particular Scripture, Mat: 9.13. But goe yee and learne what that meaneth, I will have mer­cy and not sacrifice: Mat: 12.7. If yee had knowne what this meaneth. Nay the Disciples themselves understood not what Christ meant, when he spake touching his owne rising, Mark. 9.10. and questioned one with another what the rising from the dead should meane. Hence it is that our Lord expounded to the Disciples not only the parables in which he [Page 25] spake to the people, Mark. 4.34. but, beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, he expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things con­cerning himselfe, Luke 24.27. So that to endeavour to finde out the true sence and meaning of God in the holy Scriptures, and to endea­vour an understanding thereof in others, is not a thing lyable to Cen­sure, but Commanded by our Lord himselfe, and practised by the Saints. The 2d of the Acts give plentifull testimony where the sayings of David are applyed by the Apostle Peter unto Christ, as meant of him, and fulfilled in him, citing severall Scriptures, and giving the sence and meaning thereof.

3. It is necessary therefore In order to the fuller answering the ob­jection, to Consider what the Scripture phrase is, and how to be un­derstood, which speakes of the dawning of the day, and whether in this place of 2 Peter 1.19. it may and ought to be understood as in the 28 Math. 1. Compared with John 20.1. for the time of the morning before the day breake, or, while it was yet darke.

For the understanding whereof I shall propose to Consideration what I observe.

That whereas in Math. 28.1. It is said, In the end of the Sabbath, or late in the Evening of the Sabbath (i. e.) the Jewish Sabbath, as it began to dawne toward the first day of the weeke. [ [...], Evening, serò Mark. 13.35.]

And for that in Mark 16.2. it is said, [...], valde mane, very early in the morning, which is in the 20 John 1. Early while it was yet darke, [...]; Tenebris adhuc existentibus die, vix adhuc lucescente, quum plus esset noctis quàm diei.

From which places it is evident, that the Dawning, which is hinted at is such an one, as is rather an Evening then a morning, or at least it hath so much of the night in it, that the darknesse was said to exist, John 20.1. While it was yet darke, being more like the night then the day.

But in the place under Consideration, 2 Pet: 1.19 the greeke word which is there used for the day-dawne, is not the same with this in Math. 28.1. nor with any of the other, that have been named, but imports a greater splendor and brightnesse, and more open-facednesse, as will appeare by comparing it with other Scriptures. The word is [...], of [...] irradio, illucesco; fit ab [...] lux, splendor; and is used 2 Cor: 4.4. Least the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, who is the Image of God should shine unto them: ut non fulgeat [...] non splendendum, unde est nomen [...] effulgentia, Heb. 1.3. Who be­ing [Page 26] the brightnesse of his glory. And a word of the same derivation is used, Mark 8.25. After that he put his hands againe upon his eyes, and made him looke up, and he was restored and saw every man clearely. [Mark 8.24, 25.]

So that it evidently appeares to me, That the Apostle intends an eminent Sunne-shine day of the appearance of the Sunne of righteous­nesse, whose apparition shall be with such splendor and brightnesse, as wherein there shall be cleare day-light, a bright shining light. It shall be as the light of the morning, when the Sunne ariseth: a mor­ning without Clouds, wherein the Saints shall see clearely; no more through a glasse, no more through riddles, parables and prophesies, but shall now see eye to eye, face to face, when the splendor of this day appeares, when this Phosphorus or light-bringing starre appeares, whose descending with great power shall enlighten the earth with his glory; and whom every eye shall see, and all the Tribes shall behold, then shall the Prophesies draw to an end, and vaile to him in whom they Center; and unto whose appearance and coming they all give witnesse: then shall that day be so bright and cleare, a morning so free from Clouds, a day-breake so scattering the shadows, and causing them to flee away, as that henceforth there shall need no Candle; for there shall be no night there.

If any particular person, one or more, shall say touching themselves, that they are arived at this estate, and doe witnesse such a day to have dawn'd, and day-starre to be risen in them. I only intreat such to be tender and speake the thing they know, not as in apperance, but as in very deed and truth (forasmuch as many have been mistaken herein) And to them in Bowells of Compassion I would say but this; Is there no Clouds in their morning? Is there no shadows in their day-breake? Is there no need of a Candle, Moone, nor Sunne? Is there no night there, where they make their abode? why doe they oft times speake of measures? What meanes those Cracks and Crany's in their know­ledge, knowing but in part, there's no peices, nor parts, nor measures, nor degrees, in absolute perfection? but when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part is done away; but till then it's not so: let such measure themselves by these words. For as long as any person is imperfect in knowledge in any thing, his attainement is but in part; he knows but in part, he needs the light of Candle, Moone, or Sunne; he cannot say there is no night in him, nor that his morning is without Clouds, or his day-breake without shadows; therefore this is a word of advice in force unto him, and such as hee, That they attend to the [Page 27] more sure word of prophesie, as unto a light shining in a darke place, till The day breake forth in it's splendor and brightnesse and [...] (or the light-bringing starre) appeare in their hearts; till they behold him without riddle or parable, no more in a glasse darkly, but with open face see him as he is.

There remaines one thing more to be spoken of, and that is a pas­sage of George Fox touching the light in every man, viz. Waiting in the light which Christ hath enlightned you with, That's Scripture within you, * [* Fox way to the Kingdome, pa. 8.)

Ans. I shall in Answer to this say but little, for that I finde no place of Scripture by him quoted for proofe thereof, nor doe I know any, where the light in every man is called Scripture within: And if it must be brought off with a meaning, It will fall within the Compasse of what hath been spoken unto already in the former branches, or in some one, or more of them, to which I referre the reader: dismissing it here in this place, as knowing nothing of moment in it, which may not be found to have been cleared in what hath gone before.

I shall therefore now passe on to the second generall head, viz. to Consider what is alledged touching the light; in relation to What it doth in every man. Among many other things I finde it thus exprest, viz. That

‘The light which Christ Jesus hath Enlightned every one withall is made manifest, and Convinceth of all ungodlinesse and worldly lust. * [* F. Howgill Common salvation, pa: 7.]’

‘Loving the light it will guide to God from all men, that you need never looke at man more. [* Farnworth discovery of faith, pa: 12.]’

‘Being obedient to the light within, it will bring you to purity, to holinesse, to uprightnesse; there is your teacher present with you. * [* A breife discovery of Antichrist, pa: 4.]’

‘That light obeying it is your salvation; Disobeying that light is your Condemnation.’

‘Minde your teacher within, minde the light within, Jer. 31.34. Esa. 54.13. Jo. 6.46. Jo: 2.27.’

‘This light opens all Scriptures, and leades man out of the fall up to God the Father and Fountaine of lights, this is the true light and leadeth unto life Eternall, John 1.5.8, 9.10, 11, 12, 13. John 17.10.23, 24. * [* Farnworth, Ranters discovered.]’

‘This pure light, that doth proceed and come forth from God, which is pure and perfect, it convinceth man of all the deceits of his heart, and of all his false wayes and worships, and Convinceth him of [Page 28] unrighteousnesse, and infidelity, and all manner of evill whatsoever, and leads him into the way of peace and salvation in obedience to it.’

‘This light is from the Fountaine of lights, it is the light of life. John 16.25, 26, 27, 28. John 12.35, 36.’

‘God is supernaturall, and this light proceeds and comes from him. [Farnworth, Ranters discovered.]’

As in the former branch or Generall head, so also in this I shall not need to say ought positively touching the light in every man, viz. What it doth; Having spoken thereof before in the former part.

But shall proceed to Consider and Examine by the holy Scriptures, whether that which I finde alledged touching it, and it's operation, be such as it is said to be.

And herein I might Collect and gather up into one, many things, as spoken by divers persons, tending to the same thing, though in va­riety of expression; yet if so, I should be constrained to vary in phrase, and forme of speech, which by the persons concern'd may be adjudg'd a crime, as I have observed it, to be so reputed in some others, who to avoyd prolixity have done the like, and have been censured for so do­ing. I shall therefore (as much as in me lyes) keepe to the forme of words, as they are laid downe in their owne termes, and proceed in the tryall and examination thereof accordingly, although I be censured by others for tautalogy and repetition. These expressions fall in the first place under Consideration, viz.

‘The light which Christ hath Enlightened every one withall is made manifest, and convinceth of all ungodlinesse and worldly lusts.’ [F. Howgill common salvation, pa: 7.]

Reply. This passage in the first part thereof takes for granted, That Christ hath Enlightned every one. But how and under what Conside­ration, it speakes not, nor need there any thing be further spoken there­unto, then to intreate the reader to remember what he hath observed upon occasion of that Scripture passage, John 1. the first ten verses thereof; to which he is referr'd.

2. In the latter part thereof it saith:

‘That it Convinceth of all ungodlinesse and worldly lust: but produceth no Scripture for the proofe thereof.’

Object. Is it not said in the 3d of John 20 Every one that doth evill hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, least his deeds should be re­proved.

Ans. 1. These are the words of the Lord Jesus touching himselfe, so as he was Come a light into the world; as may be observed, vers. 16, [Page 29] 17, 18, 19. and is further testified John 12.46. I am Come a light into the world.

But they speake not of any light of Christ, as derived from him, and conveyed into the creature, calling it the light of Christ, as a thing distinct from him, which convinceth of sinne, viz. of all ungod­linesse and worldly lusts; but testifie of Christ Jesus the light: and therefore doe no way proove the thing in hand, touching the light of Christ in every man, except it be said and prooved that Christ the light is in every man, Convincing him of all ungodlinesse and worldly lusts. And if that were said so in plaine words, it would then be en­quired what testimony the Scripture gives to such a saying.

2. The property of light is to make manifest the things that are, as they are things made or done: but that which discovers the recti­tude, the straitenesse, or crookednesse of them, is the application of a rule, a reflection of the Law; from whence proceeds the testification of the goodnesse, or badnesse. The light alone doth but manifest the action, but the sentence touching the goodnesse or the badnesse there­of, proceeds from the Law, which is the rule of the action; hence pro­ceeds those rebukes, those checks, those smitings, those convincing re­proofes, whereby a person is out-argued in himselfe, and judged in himselfe, not the sight of the thing done, but of the evill of the thing done: which can never appeare to be evill by all the light that is ima­ginable, till the Law discover it to be so.

For where there's no law, there is no transgression *. By the law com­eth the knowledge of sinne, Rom: 3 20. I had not knowne sinne but by the law, Rom: 7.7. [* Rom: 4.15.]

It is the property of the light to make manifest, Eph: 5.13. For whatsoever doth make manifest is light; And it is the property of the law to convince, James 2.9.

‘If yee have respect to persons, yee commit sinne, and are Convinced of the law as transgressors.’

Object. The law and the light are one, Prov. 6.23. for the Com­mandement is a lamp, and the law is light.

Ans. John was a burning and a shining light, Joh: 5.35. and the Disciples were the light of the world, Mat. 5.14. so testified of by Christ; yet John was not that true light, but to beare witnesse thereof, John 1.8. nor were they the light of the world, as he was the light thereof, John 8.12. but they were his witnesses to the world, Act. 1.8. Yee shall be witnesses unto mee, Acts 2.32. This Jesus hath God rai­sed up whereof wee are witnesses. They were lights, but they were not [Page 30] that light, but bare witnesse of him who was That true light, the very light of the world, yet were they lights in the Scripture sence. The lamps which the Lord had lighted up and set a burning; John was a burning and a shining light, to fulfill the worke of his testimony ac­cording to his Anoynting, as also the Apostles were.

In like manner the Law may be called a light, as John and the Dis­ciples in their capacity were; and as the words of the Prophets were, 2 Pet. 1.19. The most High and holy God, having placed such a transparency and brightnesse of perfection therein, by which the recti­tude of all actions is to be discovered, and all swerving, crookednesse, and turning aside reprooved. The law is not the eye, by which we see, but the Glasse in which we see our face by way of reflection, and not the face only, but every spot and blemish is discernable, if it be apply­ed, and the eye acted and exercised thereon. This similitude the A­postle makes, James 1.23, 24, 25. alluding to the naturall man be­holding his naturall face in a glasse, retaines the figure if he abide, but if he goes away he forgets what manner of man he was.

So is he which looketh into the perfect law of liberty and continueth, &c. This precious Glasse of the Law discovers and reprooves by reflexion, as the light shines upon it, and the eye is exercised in beholding its face in it. The eye can never see its owne face, but by this way of reflection upon the perfect law. As therefore in Math. 26.27. the wine is put for the Cup, when it was said, Drinke yee all of this, which could not be spoken of the Cup, but of the wine in the Cup. So the lamp and the light are convertible terms, and put one for another. Psal. 119.105. How sweete are thy words unto my tast; thy word is a lamp (or candle) to my feete, and a light to my path: it shews light, it gives discovery to him that lookes into it; according to that in Psal. 19.8. The Com­mandement of the Lord is pure, enlightning the eyes. The eye is advan­taged to the knowledge of that by reflexion of the purity and transpa­rency of the Law, without which it could never make discovery (viz.) of the regularity or irregularity of its owne actings: it is therefore well called a light, though but a lanthorn wherein the light burns, or the Glasse wherein the eye reflects upon its owne likenesse, and sees its owne spots, and becomes self-smitten, and ashamed, being convicted in himselfe, as they John 8.9. who being over-argued or convicted in their owne Conscience went out one by one. If what hath been spoken will not convince but that the light and the law is one. It is in the next place to be Considered;

Quest. Whether this light spoken of, as being in every man (be it [Page 31] the light, or be it the Law, or be it both, or be they both but one) I say whe­ther this light or Law in every man, doth convince every (or any) man of all ungodlinesse and worldly lusts.

Answ. It is said so to doe, but no Scripture brought for proof thereof, except those words ungodlinesse and worldly lusts may be un­derstood to be the Scripture intended for proofe thereof, it will there­fore be necessary to consider that Scripture, where those expressions are used, and to examine what testimony they give to this matter in hand.

The Scripture hinted at seemes to be, that in Titus 2.11, 12. ‘For the grace of God which bringeth Salvation, hath appeared to all men.’

‘Teaching us that denying ungodlynsse and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously and Godly in this present world;’ If this be the Scripture intended for the proofe of the point in hand, It is evident that it makes no mention at all of the light in every man nor speakes a word thereof, nor may any such thing be gathered from it, but by a mea­ning and inference, the truth whereof will be lyable to much doubt, and question, besides the censure it incurrs, from the Author himselfe, see Common-Salvation before mentioned.

Object. It is said the grace of God which bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men; and that is the light which Christ Jesus hath en­lightnned every one withall; which is in man, but not of man.

Answ. Where is it said, that the grace of God which bringeth sal­vation is the light in every man? is not this an inference or conclusion made out of something, which is not to be granted, nor can by this Scrip­ture be prooved, and is at best but a meaning, and without a warrant:

2. It is further evident, that that grace which brings salvation, though it appeare to all yet it teacheth us, (viz.) the regenerate, the Children of the new-birth, the Beleevers, to deny ungodlinesse and worldly lusts, and to live righteously, and soberly, and Godly in this present evill world. It not only pointeth out the way, and sheweth it by way of direction but it giveth understanding, and causeth the new-borne Babe, the Believer, to tast that the Lord is gratious; It pointeth out the way, and sets his feet into the way, and leads him on in the way, establisheth his goings in that way, keepes his feete that they slide not from the way; Of this David was sensible, when he prayed, Psal. 25.4, 5. Shew me thy waies O Jehovah, Teach me thy paths; lead me in thy truth, and teach me; for thou art the God of my Salvation, on thee doe I wait all the day. And to this agrees that blessed Covenant [Page 32] promise, Eccles. 36.27. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walke in my Statutes and ye shall keep my judgements and doe them. This is the grace of God which teacheth both privately and po­sitively (viz.) to deny ungodlinesse and worldly lusts, and to live righteously and Godly in this present evill word.

And this grace of God doth thus teach (viz.) by way of demonstra­tion only; shewing the way and saying walke in it, but by way of effectu­all causation, causeing to walke in it, giving power and strength to walke therein, strengthning the nerves, and sinne [...]es, and joynts up­holding and leading on the regenerate; or new-born, teaching him to deny ungodlinesse and to live Godly in Christ Jesus.

But it is not so with the light in every man, for the property there­of at most is but to discover, and make manifest the deeds done, it is not in the power of the light (as 'tis in every man) so much as to call any thing that's done, either good, or evill, but as it relates and referrs to the law; for by it, (viz.) the law comes the knowledge of sin.

Nor doth the law as its in every man, convince every man of all un­godlinesse; and that may be thus demonstrated.

The Law as hath been formerly minded, is either considered as the Law of works, or Law of faith. Rom. 3.27. As in the first capacity (i. e.) of workes, so every man and woman in the world, is under the Regiment thereof, Rom. 2.14. Rom 3.19.

As the Law of faith, so it is not written in every mans heart, For all men have not faith, 2 Thess. 3 2. In their hearts only is the Law writ­ten, who are borne againe of the Spirit, and from above [Jer. 31.33. Heb. 8.8.10. Gal. 3.9. Rom. 9.8.]

The Law as considered, a Law of works, hath power over every man and woman in the world, in things appertaining to the first Covenant, both to give rule touching things to be done, or left undone, requring obedience, yea, perfect obedience, to its command, as well in what's to be done, as how to be done; and this both Negatively, and Positive­ly; Forbidding as well what is not to be done, as commanding what is to be done: To which are anexed these conditions, (viz.) The man that doth them shall live in them, Rom. 10.5. And cursed be every one that continueth not in every thing, which is written in the Law to doe it, Gal. 3.10.

In order to which conditions the Law of works as it is in every man, hath power of deicsion, to weigh and measure, and determine touching the rectitude, the regularity of every action, and to declare it's con­formity, or non-conformity to the rule and pronounce it good or evill, [Page 33] and to passe sentence according to the tenor and conditions of the Covenant; both unto them who continue in well doeing as unto them that obey not the truth but obey unrighteousnesse for the doers of the law shall be justified, if any such could be found that had or could fulfill the same in every thing [* Rom. 2.6, 7.8.13.]

But this dominion which the law hath over every man is limitted, Rom. 7.1.4. If once that be dead wherein we were held, we thence forth serve in newnesse of Spirit, and not in oldnesse of the letter; bringing forth fruit to another husband [* Rom. 7.6.]

Now it is evident that Whatsoever the law saith, it saith to them that are under the Law * Rom. 3.19. whether it be the Law of works, or the law of faith, the Law of sin and death, or the Law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. And whatsoever the Spirit saith to such, it saith it to them according to the tenor of the Covenant to which it relates.

Hence then it followes, that as the Law to which all mankinde is sub­jected being written on every mans heart, is the Law of works, so it directs and gives rules, detects, and passeth sentence touching things done, within its spheare and compasse, as a Law of the first husband, and so of the first man.

But touching such kinds of ungodlikenesse, as relate to the new Co­venant, or law of faith, viz. (among many others) the sin of not be­leeving on Christ, the light or Law in every man reprooves not for, nor convinceth man of, neither can it, for it is not a condition of that law; Now where no law is, there is no transgression, therefore no reprooving for transgression, where none is imputed. More might be added, but it will be taken in, in that which followes.

Object. ‘This pure light that doth proceed, and come forth from God, which is pure and perfect, it convinceth man of all the deceits of his heart, and of all his false wayes, and worships, and convinceth him of unrighteousnesse and Infidelity, and all manner of evill what­soever, and leads him into the way of Salvation, in obedience to it; this light is from the fountain of lights, it is the light of life, Joh. 16.25, 26, 27, 28.’ John 12.35, 36. * [* Richard Farnham, Ranters discovered, Page 12.]

Reply, This being much what the same with the former passage of Francis Howgills, that which hath been spoken in answer thereunto, may be applyed to this also, and where there is a difference in their expressions, ir shall be considered a part and examined. Besides (and among other things) this last writer saith that this pure light (which [Page 34] he also calleth the pure Law (Page 2.) doth convince of all the deceits of the heart, &c. Among which he reckons up Infidelity and all man­ner of evill whatsoever. To which it may be Replyed, that If by Infi­delity be intended a not believing in Christ; then I doe affirme, that the light or Law in every man doth not convince thereof.

For though Persons are reproved of many sins by the light and Law within them, so as to leave them inexcusable before God, yet are they not convinced, or reproved of the sin of not believing in Christ, but by the Comforter the Spirit of truth. Joh. 16.7, 8, 9. If I goe not away, the Comforter will not come unto you, but if I depart I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he shall reproove the world of sin, &c.

Of sin, because they beleeve not on me;

By which place it is very plainly prooved that to convince of the sin of not believing on Christ, is not ascribed to the light or Law in every man, but to the Spirit of truth which Christ would send to his Disciples, upon his departure, Joh. 16.7.

Object. The light which is in man but not of man reprooves the the world of sin, and is the same which is mentioned, John 16.7, 8, 9. and convinceth of Infidelity and all manner of evill whatsoever.

Answ. 1. That the light in man discovers, and the Law in man con­vinceth and reprooves of sin, even to the stopping of all mouthes, and makeing them to become silent and guilty before God, is acknowledged and witnessed unto both by the excercise of the accuseing conscience in man, and the testimony of the Scriptures, Rom. 2.14, 15. And hath been assented unto before, except in the case of not believing on Christ.

2. But that this light or Law in every man is the same, which is men­tioned, John 16.7, 8. (i. e.) the Comforter the spirit of truth, which convinceth or reproveth the world of the sin of not believing on Christ, It may not in the least be admitted without great injury to the truth contained in the holy Scripture.

Forasmuch as First the Scripture saith not in expresse terms that the light in every man is the same Spirit or Comforter, which was promised in John. 16. to be sent to reprove the world of sin.

Secondly nor may any meaning or consequent supply the defect by putting in for a proofe thereof, for if the light in every man and the Spi­rit of truth promised, John 16 7. be both one; then there was no time since man had a being on the face of the earth, wherein this Comforter, the Spirit of truth, was not in every man (as the light is said to have been) and to have reproved every man of every trans­gression, [Page 35] yea, of unbeliefe. Now it is plainly testified by Christ touch­ing the Comforter, the Spirit of truth, who was to reprove the world of sin (viz) of unbeliefe, That he was not yet come, while as Christ was not yet ascended as appears, John 16.7.13.

‘Neverthelesse, I tell you the truth, it is expedient for you that I goe away, for if I goe not away, the Comforter will not come unto you, but if I depart I will send him unto you, when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin.’

‘How be it, when he; the Spirit of truth, is come, &c.’

By which words of him who is faithfull and true, yea, Truth it selfe, it's evident that the appearance and comeing of the Spirit of truth, to reprove the world, for not believing on Christ Jesus; was not a thing which had alwayes been with, and in every man, since man had a being, as is affirmed of the light with which every man which comes into the world is enlightned, Nay, the clean contrary appears by this Scrip­ture, which testifies that he (the Spirit of truth) had not yet appeared a Comforter to the Disciples, nor a Reprover to the world, for their unbeliefe in Christ; nor could he so appear as yet, till Christ was glo­rified, and then Christ when he went away, would send him: Therefore the light or law in every man, is not that Spirit of truth mentioned, John 16.7. nor doth that light or law in every man, reprove any man of not beleiving in Jesus Christ.

It remaines to consider of a further clause, in the Objection which saith, touching this light (viz.)

Object. ‘That this light is from the fountaine of lights, it is the light of life, John 16.25, 26, 27, 28. John 12.35, 36.’

Answ. 1. Although the Lamp or Candle of the Lord in every man proceeds from God, as from the father, and fountaine of lights, Yet that the light in every man is the light of life, is not a Scripture Phrase, (to say no more thereof)

2. These Scriptures brought to prove it (viz.) John 16.25, 26, 27, 28. John 12.35, 36. speak not the thing (viz.) the light of life, much lesse doe they say, that the light in every man, is that light of life, and this will appeare to any one that examines the Scriptures which are quoted; which is conviction enough to the meeke and tender, and more need not to be said thereunto, but to desire such to consider how it is written.

The next passage I am to consider of touching, the light (viz. what it doth in every man) I finde thus exprest (viz.)

‘Loving the light it will guide you to God, from all wen, that you [Page 36] need never looke at man more, Ri. Farnworth, Discover faith.

Reply, The light which is in every man by which the deeds done in the body, are discovered and manifested (for the light makes manifest) And the Law in every man which gives sentence upon those deeds done, as good or evill (for by it comes the knowledge of sin) I say this light, and law, should be by any person loved and obeyed, yet were it not able to guide to God from all men, so as that we need never look at man more.

For this were to ascribe falsehood, and to put a lye upon the holy Spirit of truth, which testifieth. Gal. 3.21. If there had been a Law given, which could have given life, verily, righteousnesse should have been by the Law, And Gal. 2.21. If righteousnesse come by the Law, then Christ is dead in vaine. So that there doth need a looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of faith, Heb. 12.2. Yea even the Man Christ Jesus, * [* 1 Tim: 2.5.] who endured the Crosse, despising the shame, and is set downe at the right hand of the Throne of God, loveing the light that is in man, will not doe it, obeying the Law will not, nor cannot leade up to God; without looking unto him, whom God hath anointed and appointed to be Salvation to the ends of the earth, besides whom there is no Saviour. who saith, Look unto me, and be you saved all yee ends of the earth * [* Esay 45.21, 22.] Neither is their salvation in any other; For there is no other name under Heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved Acts 4.12. And other foundation can no man lay then what is laid, which is Christ Jesus.* [* 1 Cor. 3.11.]

Christ himselfe, and he alone, is the true and only foundation, besides which no man may lay any other by what name soever he call it, whe­ther light or law, or what ever other name may be given to it, it's a name divers from that name, which God hath anoynted to be the salvation of the ends of the earth; by receiving of whom through faith, by be­lieving in his name, we are priviledged with the dignity of Son-ship, and declared to be born of God, John 1.12, 13. As many as received HIM, to them he gave power (i. e.) right or priviledge to be made the sons of God, even to them that BELIEVE in his name, who are born not of the will of man, BƲT of God.

There is some what further to be added in answer to this passage, or sentence, but I referre it to that which followes, where there will be occasion to treat againe upon the same matter though the expressions of words may be somewhat varied.

That which followes to be considered in this passage.

‘Being obedient to the light within, it will bring you to purity, to holinesse, to uprightnesse; there is your Teacher present with you.’

‘That light obeying, it is your salvation, disobeying that light, is your condemnation.’

‘Minde your Teacher within, minde the light within, Jer. 31, 34. Esay 54.13. John 6 46. John 1.2.27.* [* A briefe discovery of Antichrist.]’

Reply, It is a most certain truth, that there is in every man a Lamp or Torch, or Candle of the Lord; which is a great light within him; together with which there is a Law, which is holy, just, and good, whose tendency is to direct the Creature to purity, to holinesse, and to up­rightnesse, and in that sence is his Teacher within him, according to the divine truth of that Scripture. The Law was our School-master, unto, or untill Christ, Gal. 3.24. which is true of the Law written, either on the heart, or on tables, or in a book (all which are Scripture expressions?)

I say this light and Law which is in every man, hath a tendency to direct toward purety, and uprightnesse, but hath no power to assist, it gives not the Creature, the least abillity to perform the thing it requires Gal. 3.21. If there had been a Law given, which could have given life, but what the Law could not doe Rom. 8.3.

Neverthelesse it exerciseth the parts of a Teacher or Tutor, in give­ing rules and precepts in pointing out to a Person his duty and reviving and calling to account the things done, passing a righteous and just sen­tence, according to the terms and tenour of the Covenant of works (viz.)

‘The man that doth them shall live in them, Rom. 10.5.

‘Cursed be every one that contonueth not in every thing which is, written in the Law to doe them, Gala. 3.10.

But as it doth not give strength to the performance of what it re­quires; so it hath received no anointing to relieve the Creature against the sentence of the curse incurr'd upon the transgression, which it selfe pronounceth but wounds him, and leaves him without pouring in either oyle, or wine, according to what is testified, Rom. 4.15. ‘Because the Law worketh wrath.’

So that although a person by the light and law within him, may see his worke before him, what is to be done, and while he obeyes the com­mand, is under that sentence, which saith, The man that doth them, shall live in them. And he hath peace, while he continueth in his o­bedience, But if at any time, he doe amisse in any thing, where is his [Page 38] Peace then? The Law is faithfull, it is impartiall, it doth not speak Peace to the transgressor. Nay, the Law worketh wrath; it pronoun­ceth sentence, ‘Cursed be every one which continueth not in every thing.’ And this sentence is absolute, without limitation.

Here's no covering, or terms of recovery; no roome for repentance, under the leading, and teaching of this School-master, but scourging and lashing, and wounding, without healing, haveing no balme, nor, healing medicine in it, but pure wrath, and pure Justice, powred forth in a curse against the transgressor, by a just and righteous Law of equity. May I not say then? yea, I doe say it with earning bowels of compassi­on. Tell me ye that desire to be under the Law (I mean the light and Law set up in every man) doe ye not heare the Law, for it is written that Abraham had two Sons, the one by a bond maid, the other by a free woman. I desire the Scripture might be read in its owne words, Gal. 4. from the 21. vers. to the end of that Chapter, and the Allego­ry thereof given heed unto as holding forth the 2 Covenants under the Persons of Agar and Sarah vers. 24. and the 2 seeds under the per­sons. of Ishmael and Isaac, who both had but one father (Abraham) from whose loines they both descended, though not so the one as the other, for the former was born after the flesh.

The other was born after the Spirit.

The first born of these 2. though the son of the bond woman, yet had Abraham to his father, as truly and really as Isaac had.

Abrahams prayer touching Ishmael (the interpretation of whose name is, God shall hear) was heard, and Ishmael was blessed, and made fruitfull, and exceedingly multipled, begot twelve Princes, and became a great nation, Gen. 17.20. Gen. 25.12, 16. But notwithstanding all his greatnesse, and glory, and priviledge of being Abrahams Son, yet his glory was no glory, in comparison of that which excelled as ap­pears, Gen. 17.19, 21. For it is said, But my Covenant will I esta­blish with Isaac. I will establish my Covenat with him, for an ever­lasting Covenant, and with his seed after him, the Son of the bondwo­man, for all his parentage priviledge, and greatnesse, though he say we have Abraham to our Father, and we are a great people, yet out of the house he must goe, Cast out the bond woman and her Son * [* Gen. 21.10.] though it be never so grievious to part with this goodly birth, the first-born of our strength, yet it must be done, the Son of the bond­woman must not abide in the house, though he be Abrahams seed as it was witnessed, Gen. 21.10, 11, 12, 13. ‘whom God will make a nation because he is his seed.’

However out of the House he must be cast; For the servant abideth not in the house for ever, but the Sonne abideth ever, Joh. 8.35, 36. If the Sonne therefore shall make you free, then are yee free indeed.

Agar the first Covenant, and Ishmael the seed of Abraham by the first Covenant must be put away as faulty, they may not abide in the House; no, though the first, and first-borne: For it is written, The elder shall serve the younger, and he that caught his brother by the heele must have the dominion; The application hereof is plaine, Neverthe­lesse, for the sakes of some, there may be a gathering up the summe of what hath been spoken touching this matter, and it is this: That al­though there be a light and law in every man, which proceedeth from the Eternall God (the Father and Fountaine of lights and spirits) which hath the power and dominion over every man (while he is un­der age) as a Schoole-master or Tutor: to the Edicts, precepts, and principles whereof he is obliged to yeild obedience, under the penalty of Curse and Eternall separation from God which is the Condition of the first Covenant. Yet this is not the abiding estate which God hath appoynted to perfect the Heires of salvation; but rather in order to the bringing in that better hope; viz. the promise by faith of Jesus Christ. That it might be given to them that beleeve, Gal. 3.22. And after that faith is come, they are no longer under a Schoole-master, but admitted to the Adoption of sonnes, and thenceforth no more servants but sons; not now under the Spirit of bondage and feare, of being cast out of the house, as a servant, or sonne of the bondwoman, who is not to abide in the house for ever, but now as one whom the sonne having made free is free indeed, and shall abide for ever, Joh. 8.35, Gal. 3.25. Gal. 4.5. Rom. 8.15.

The light and law of the naturall man, of which every one is parta­ker, and by which they (which are obedient thereunto) bring forth fruits as unto a first Husband, which are legitimate and lawfull, and of which wee are apt to say, Oh that Ishmael might live in thy sight! Neverthe­lesse, this Husband must dye, and so must his off-spring too, though they seeme never so goodly, nor never so glorious, whether they be mournings, prayings, teares, fastings, humblings, abstinencies, righte­ousnesses, loving and obeying the light, and law, which is in every man. These must all dye, and the glory of them become as the grasse of the feild: when the glory of the Lord is revealed, bringing in everlasting righteousnesse by the blood of the everlasting Covenant; when the Lord shall pronounce against the goodlinesse of all flesh, and when the Spirit of the Lord shall blow upon it, & cause it to wither, declaring all [Page 40] flesh to be grasse, and all the goodlinesse thereof as the flower of the feild; which shall wither and fade away, and its beauty shall be bla­sted, Isa. 40.4, 5, 6, 7.8. And the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day. To him then shall every knee bow, and every tongue sweare, surely shall one say (or surely shall he say of mee) In the Lord is all righteousnesse and strength, even to him shall men come, and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed. In the Lord shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory, Isa, 45.24, 25. Thus shall glorying in the flesh and all boasting be cut off, Rom. 3.27. to fulfill that word of the Lord, Jer. 9.23. Let not the wise man glory in his wisdome, nor the mighty man glo­ry in his might, nor the rich man glory in his riches, but let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth mee, that I am Jehovah which exerciseth loving kindnesse; Which passage of the Pro­phet Jeremiah is made to Center in Christ, who of God is made to his, wisdome, righteousnesse, sanctification and redemption; That no flesh should glory in his presence; But (as it is written) Hee that glorieth let him glory in the Lord, 1 Cor. 1.29, 30, 31. This poore and base and con­temptible hang'd and crucified Jesus, which to the Greekes was foolish­nesse, and to the Jewes a stumbling blocke, but to the Called, to them which beleeve, both Jewes and Greeks, Hee is Christ the power of God, and the wisdome of God, 1 Cor. 1.18, to 31. This is that other husband to whom the beleeving are married, by whom they bring forth fruit to God, not in oldnesse of letter, but in newnesse of Spirit, Rom. 7.4.6. These are they, who notwithstanding all their obedience to the law of the first husband, wherein they were fruitfull, and had whereof to glory as un­to, and under that ministration, yet all that glory and glorying was to vaile it selfe, yea to vanish and be done away, and rendred Inglorious at the appearing of that which excelled: the Mother and Child must be gone; Agar and her Sonne must have no tarriance, notwithstand­ing all their pretence of alliance and affinity to Abraham, yet these must not abide, the Spirit of the Lord must blow upon them; and plain­ly and faithfully is it declared, Joh. 3.3. Except a man be borne againe, he cannot see the kingdome of God. And except that word be fulfilled in him, Rom. 7.4. that he become dead to the Law of the first husband, and married to that other husband, i. e. to him that is raised from the dead, he can never bring forth fruit unto God (how fruitfull soever he may seeme to be; 'tis not such fruit as of which it may be said, In mee is thy fruit found) i. e. fruit unto holinesse, the end whereof is everlasting life, Rom. 6.22. Let a man follow the dictates of the light and law that is in him with all possible exactnesse, that the creature is capable [Page 41] of, minding it as his teacher, and obeying it as such, and arive at a justi­fication in himselfe; such an one may have whereof to glory, but not before God. As is testified in the person of him, who said, I know no­thing by my selfe, yet am I not thereby justified, but he that judgeth mee is the Lord, 1 Cor. 4.4. Forasmuch as not he that commendeth himselfe is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth, 2 Cor. 10.17, 18. Nor he that pronounceth himselfe cleane is therefore so, for who can say, I have made my heart cleane, I am pure from my sinne, Pro. 20.9. But the blessednesse is thus described, Rom. 4.7, 8, Blessed are they whose ini­quities are forgiven, and whose sinnes are covered: Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sinne. Hee therefore that glorieth let him glory in the Lord, who, silencing and stopping the mouth of all flesh, cuts off all pretence of boasting and glorying in his presence, how good­ly soever men may seeme to appeare to themselves and to one another, looking for salvation from the light and law within them (as it is com­mon to all men, or as it is such in every man, for so are the termes) whereas God hath not anoynted it to that worke, nor laid the great weight of eternall salvation upon the shoulders thereof, it being too weake for that service*; But upon him that is mighty to save, who is able to save to the uttermost all them which come unto God by him; even by him in whom all the seed of Israel shall be justified, and shall glory. [* Rom. 8.3. Gal. 3.21. Heb. 7.25.]

It remaines to Consider whether there be not a great mistake in the applying, or rather in the misapplying the scriptures, which are annexed at the Close of the recited Paragraph, as a proofe of it, or of some part thereof. The words are these, viz.

Being obedient to the light within —

That light obeying it is your salvation —

Minde your teacher within, minde the light within, Jer. 31.34. Isa. 54.13. Joh. 6.46. Joh. 1.2, 27.

It is to be observed and remembred by the reader, that, The light within, is all along throughout this discourse understood to be the light within every man and woman, which cometh into the world: of which light in every man it is said, There is your Teacher present with you, minde your Teacher within, minde the light within: and then are the Scriptures added, which are last above-cited.

Reply. It may not be denyed but that the light and law in every man is a Teacher, a Schoole-master to every man: it Commands and directs in matters to be done; it approves, or reproves the deeds done or undone in the flesh, according to the dispensation and administra­tion [Page 42] thereof; whether it relate to a law written in letters, or only on the heart; according to Ro. 2.14. such a teacher it is of all mankind; for whatsoever the law saith, it saith to them, that are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, & all the world may become guilty before God (but no mouth is stopped without a law, Rom. 5.13.) Rom. 4.15. Every one is bound to hearken to this teacher, while he is under the tuition thereof; and for his contempt is inexcusable, being self-con­victed, or convict in his owne Conscience. It is the lot of all the po­sterity of Adam, to be under this tuition and teaching. But by the re­citall of the Scriptures above-named it is most Evident, that both the Teacher and the Schollers therein intended, are differenced from these last above-mentioned, and may not without great injury to the truth and scope thereof be applyed for a proofe of that, for which they are alledged, viz. to prove that the light in every man is that teacher, those Scriptures intend, and are brought to prove; it will plainly ap­peare upon tryall (the Scriptures being examined) that the schollers are not every man that comes into the world, but they are the children of the New Covenant, the borne of God, Joh. 1.13. or of the Spirit of God, Joh. 3.3.6. Nor is the teacher That light, which is within every man, that cometh into the world, but it is the Spirit of truth, the Anoynting of the Father, that Spirit of promise which Christ would send, and which being come would guide the Anoynted ones into all truth, as hath been prooved before, from Joh. 14.16, 17, 26. Joh. 16.7, 13.

The Scriptures before mentioned are these which follow, viz.

Jerem. 31.34. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, know the Lord, for they shall all know mee from the least unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord, for I will for­give their iniquity, and I will remember their sinne no more.

And they shall, &c.

Quest. Who are they?

Ans. They with whom the Lord makes the New Covenant.

Quest. Why, who are they with whom he makes a new Covenant?

Ans. With the House of Israel and Judah.

Quest. Who are the House of Israel and Judah?

Ans. Not all the seed of Abraham according to the flesh, as is testi­fied, Rom. 9.6, 7, 8. For they are not all Israel that are of Israel: Neither because they are the seed of Abraham are they all children; but the children of the promise are counted for the seed. Which promise made by God to Abraham, was not made to him as he was the father of the [Page 43] Circumcision only, but of the uncircumcision also, as is witnessed, Rom. 4.13.16, 17. As he was Heire of the world, and father of many Nations, that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not according to the flesh, but the faith of Abraham: as is further testified, Gal. 3.7. Know yee therefore that they which are of faith, the same are Children of Abraham, and are blessed with faithfull Abraham, vers. 9. For there is neither Jew nor Greeke, neither bond nor free, neither male nor female; for yee are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christs, then are yee Abrahams seed, and heires according to promise.

To this seed of Abraham, (i. e.) the Children of faith, whether Jew or Gentile, male or female, bond or free, was the Covenant made, and this was it, Jer. 31.33. I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people: And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, for they shall all know mee from the least of them, unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord.

By the Consideration whereof; It may most plainly be discerned, how this Scripture is mistaken and misapplyed, 1. forasmuch as it treats of a new and another Covenant, which God would make after those dayes: not according to the tenour of the first, which obliged the per­sons of all mankinde, either as it was engraven on their hearts, accord­ing to Rom. 2.14. or on Tables of stone, or in a booke, under the Ad­ministration of the first Mediator, Gal. 3.19. But this is another Co­venant, called here and in Heb. 8. a New Covenant.

2. The persons, with whom this Covenant is made and confirmed, are the seed of Abraham only, not the Race of Adam (who was the father of every man that comes into the world) but of Abraham the father of the faithfull.

3. Nor were all the seed of Abraham taken into this Covenant, and the priviledges thereof, however they were joynt-sharers, and par­takers in the former: yet not here, for the Children of the promise were counted for the seed, Rom. 9.8.

How farre then is this Scripture mistaken and misapplyed, which is subjected to the light in every man; which intermedleth not with the condition of any man, but the children of the New Covenant only (i. e.) the beleever or man in Christ; If yee be Christs, then are yee Abrahams seed, and heires according to promise. Now with Abraham and his seed were the promises made. Not with every man that cometh into the world; No more was this Covenant promise mentioned be­fore, Jer. 31.34. And therefore suites not with the purpose or matter [Page 44] touching which its produced, viz. to prove that the light in every man is his teacher, and teacheth him (i. e.) every man, so as that he need not to be taught by any one, saying, know the Lord; for that this Scripture speaketh not to or touching any but the Children of the New Covenant, the children of faith, or of the new birth only, and not of every man coming into the world.

The next Scripture mentioned is Isa. 54.13. And all thy Children shall be taught of the Lord.

Quest. Thy Children; Whose, and who are They?

Ans. The citing of the very next Scripture by themselves produ­ced, will both answer the question, and discover the error in their mis­applying it to the purpose in hand: the place is this, Joh. 6.46. (which I rather doe judge was intended to have been, vers. 45.) the words are these: It is written in the Prophets, And they shall be all taught of God: Now how that saying in the Prophet, which was last recited (and to which this in John referres) is to be understood, will appeare from our Saviours words: which are these, viz.

No man can come to mee, except the Father which hath sent mee draw him, and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the Prophets, and they shall be all taught of God: Every man therefore that hath heard and learnt of the Father cometh unto mee. Not that any man hath seene the Father, save hee which is of God, hee hath seene the Father.

Verily, verily, I say unto you, hee that beleeveth on mee, hath everlast­ing life.

Who doth not discerne? that Esay doth not speake of every man, that comes into the world, nor of the light in every such man, as being his teacher, nor doth our Lord Jesus so interpret his words: Nay the contrary is Evident: For our Lord doth not say every man hath a teacher, viz. the light within him, and that being obedient to that light within him it will bring him to purity, holinesse, &c. Obeying it is salvation; minde the teacher within, the light within. But he declares plainly, That no man can come to him, except the father draw him; i. e. teach him; for so it follows, It is written in the Prophets, they shall be all taught of God.

Quest. Who are they?

Ans. Thy Children shall be all taught of the Lord, Isa. 54.13. Not every one that cometh into the world, but every man, that hath heard, and learned of the father, cometh unto Christ, and its hee that belee­veth on Christ, who hath everlasting life. These are the children who are taught of the Lord, who having heard, and learnt of the father, [Page 45] come to Christ; which is not the case of every one that comes into the world, but of such only as being regenerate and renewed in the spirit of their minde, become children of the Covenant and heires of the promises thereof, or being Christs through beleeving are heires accor­ding to promise, Gal. 3.29.

The next Scripture mentioned is Joh. 1.2.7

But the Anoynting which yee have received of him abideth in you, and yee need not that any man teach you, but as the same Anoynting teacheth you of all things, and is truth and is no lye.

Reply. This Scripture (as the former) doth not beare it selfe in its tendency toward every one, that cometh into the world, viz. the light in every one, nor calls that light their teacher, but it speakes of the Unction which they, (viz. the Apostles, and some others) had received from the holy one; and describes the nature and property thereof, its efficacy and operation in them, but what's this to the condition of eve­ry man, or to the proofe of this, that the light in every man is this Unction, or Anoynting: but this Scripture having come to hand be­fore, and been Considered then and there, there need not more be said thereto in this place, there having been too oft repetition of things for­merly spoken, the reader is desired to beare in minde, what he hath read already, or else to helpe his memory by looking backe into those pages where this Scripture is examined.

That which offers it selfe to be Considered in the next place touch­ing this light in every man, and what it does, is thus expressed.

‘This light opens all Scriptures, and leads man out of the fall up to God the Father, and Fountaine of lights, this is the true light, and leadeth unto life Eternall, Joh. 1.5.8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13. Joh. 17. 10, 23, 24. Farnworth, Ranters discovered, pa. 13.’

Reply. God who is light, 1 Joh. 1.5. the Father and Fountaine of lights, He revealeth secrets, Dan. 2.28, 29.

God the Word, Joh. 1.1. That true light, vers. 9. being made flesh, vers. 14. and so became the Lord's Christ, Luk. 2.26. Hee openeth his mouth in parables, Math. 13.35. and openeth the parables, which himselfe hath uttered, vers. 18.38. Beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, Hee expounded in all the Scriptures the things concerning him­selfe Luke 24.27. Hee as Christ the Lord, or the Lords Christ, Luk. 2.11.26. opened to them the Scriptures, Luke 24.32. and opened their understandings that they might understand the Scriptures, v. 45. The Spirit of truth which proceedeth from the father, and whom Christ would send from the Father, John 15.26. after he himselfe was depar­ted, John 16.7.

Hee, that Spirit of truth, should be the Revealer of secrets, 1 Cor. 2.10. who is called the Spirit of Revelation, Ephes. 1.17. and should both bring to remembrance and open the mystery of the sayings of Christ, and of the holy Scriptures of truth, John 14.17.26. John 16.13. and continue so to doe, as the abideing Oracle: from whose blessed breathings and whispers, wisdomes Children, the Anoynted ones of the Lord, the New borne babes, the borne of God; they which are borne of the Spirit, or from above, are to expect openings and lead­ings into truth, Joh. 14.16, 17. The light as thus considered opens all Scriptures.

Reply. But the light in every man which comes into the world, viz. the Spirit of a man, Zach: 12.1. or Candle of the Lord, Pro: 20.27. or the law which is written on every mans heart, which (as hath been said before) is one with the light. This light or law in every man doth not, nor cannot open all Scriptures, nor lead man out of the fall up to God the Father, and to eternall life.

That it doth not open all Scriptures, may be demonstrated from the passage now under Consideration, if compared with the Scriptures, produced for the proofe thereof; For as much as the Scriptures pro­duced make not so much as mention of the thing, which they are brought to proove.

Who is there that in John 1.5.8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13. or in John 17.10.23, 24. can finde one word of proofe, that the light in every man opens all Scriptures, and leads man out of the fall up to God the Fa­ther, and to eternall life? which is a plaine Evidence and demonstrati­on that the light in Richard Farnworth hath not opened these Scrip­tures to him, else he would have seene them, not to have been to the purpose, or matter in hand; and if the light in this person before named have not opened these Scriptures, then the light in every man doth not open all Scriptures.

Object. The light in every man doth open all Scriptures, but it is not to every man, but to them only, that love it and obey it.

Ans. It hath been often said by many, that the Scriptures are plaine, and wee deny meanings, and particularly this hath been men­tioned before, that sharpe sentence of Francis Howgill, Thou that tells of opening Chapters or verses by meanings, thou never heard a word of Christ.’

I would demand of any man, Are not Chapters and verses, Scrip­tures?

Is not opening of Scriptures, the expounding them, and giveing the sence and meaning thereof.

Forasmuch as no Scripture needs to be opened or expounded, where there is not some difficulty or obscurity in the sence and meaning there­of.

In the 24. of Luke. 25.26, 27. our Lord expounds to his Disciples, Moses and the Prophets, and in them the things concerning himselfe, and the Disciples testifie, vers. 32. that he opened to them the Scrip­tures; the like did Peter, and Phillip, and others, Acts 2.29. Acts 1.16. Acts 8.34, 35. Acts 17.35. If the Scriptures be plaine, and need no opening, how then is the light said to open all Scriptures; and how may these two writers, (viz.) Francis and Richard, be reconci­led.

The one affirming, The light opens all Scriptures. The other say­ing, Thou which tells of opening Chapters, or Verses, by meanings, thou never heard a word of Christ.

If the light in every man, doth open alll Scriptures, to every one that doth love and obey it. How is it, that Richard Farnworth doth faile of the true understanding of the Scriptures before cited? as to the end and scope thereof, haveing not in them the proofe of the matter, for which they are brought, is it because he doth not love the light and o­bey it? That will hardly be consented unto, seeing in his book called Heart-opened, Page 12. He saith of himselfe, the heavenly treasure doth dwell in an earthen vessell, and my joy is in doing the will of my heavenly Father.

If then the defect be not in him through a want of love and obedi­ence, to the light in him.

It must be in the light, that is in him, that it cannot, or doth not o­pen all Scriptures to him.

Another instance may be given in this case from the writeings of the same Person in his book called Heart Opened, Page, 16. I finde these words.

‘You say Christ did breake the Passeover with his Disciples, true it is, he did so, to shew what death he was to dye, his body was to be broken, and his blood to be shed, and that was the figure; and they were to observe it tilll he came, to rise from the dead, and they did so.’

‘They did observe it, till he came to them again, after his death, and then the shadow was put away, and the life was manifested in power, and the substance was come unto them, for he shewed him­selfe [Page 48] to those very Disciples, which he broke the Passeover with, be­fore his death; Now to whom Christ is come, they need not to ob­serve that which did typifie or held forth, that he was to come, Page 18.’

Reply, I have chosen to expresse this whole passage, the rather be­cause I would avoid the offence of such as might say, I had willingly o­mitted some word or sentence to the Authors prejudice.

In this passage there is a plain discovery that the light in this Author hath mistooke the Scripture, and instead of opening thereof, hath dark­ned, obscured, and perverted the truth therein, and that will appeare upon examination and tryall.

1. Where it is said, Christ did breake the Passeover. The Scripture saith, not so, Exod. 12.46. Nay, the law testifies that not a bone thereof was to be broken, Numb. 9.12. But I suspect the difference be­tween the Passeover and the Supper of the Lord, was not taken notice of by him.

2. They did observe it till he came (saith he)

What Scripture gives Testimony thereto, that the Disciples did ob­serve the Passeover, or the Supper, dureing Christs abode in the grave, or where, and how, was it by them observed?

3. ‘Then the shadow was put away, and the substance was come unto them, Now to whom Christ is come, they need not to observe that, which did tipifie or hold forth that he was to come.’

Reply, This kinde of opening of this Scripture, and the meaning that is put upon it speakes thus much to me.

That Christ did breake the Passeover; but that's not so, rather he brake bread (and so it's testified) this his breaking bread was a figure, and they were to observe it, till he came to rise from the dead, and they did so, and they did observe it, till he came to them againe, after his death, and then the shadow or figure was put away.’

Answ. In this case the counsell of the Prophet Esay is applyable. To the Law and to the Testimony if they speak not according to this word it is because there is no (morning) light in them Esay 8.20.

1. The Scripture doth not any where declare, that the Disciples brake bread in remembrance of Christ, between the times of his death, and resurrection.

2. The Scriptures doe testifie that they did breake bread after his re­surrection and ascention, and if both these be true, then this Author wanted light in the opening this Scripture-passage or the light in him was not sufficient to open this, therefore not all Scriptures.

The former of these two, (viz.) that the Disciples of our Lord did observe the Passeover, or Supper in remembrance of Christ till he came to them again after his death; that this was true, and that the Discip­les so did it, remaines to be proved, where, and how it was by them so done, during his abode in the grave.

The latter of them, that the Apostles did observe the breaking of bread after the resurrection, and assention of Christ, is thus witnessed, Acts 2.42. And they continued stedfastly in the Apostles doctrine, and fellowship, and in breaking of bread and prayers, Acts 20 7. 1 Cor. 10.16. 1 Cor. 11.23, 24.

If this were not that breakeing of bread which is by our Lord Jesus appointed, and by the Apostle intended 1 Cor. 11. Let it be made ap­pear by the Scriptures of truth, by him that can without a meaning; and this I doe in an especiall manner commend to the serious con­sideration of Fr: Howgill.

Or let that meaning and opening of the above named Scriptures (if they need any) be according to verity and truth, and this I commend to Rich: Farnworth and both these writers to observe their difference herein, touching the opening of Scriptures, (viz.) Chapters or verses, The one affirming the sufficiency of the light in every man to open all Scriptures.

The other saying, Thou that tells of opening Chapters or Verses by meanings, thou never heard a word of Christ.

It remaines to consider touching the light in every man.

‘Whether it doth or can lead man out of the fall up to God the Father, and to eternall life.’

Reply, The light in every man, considered either apart and singly, as the spirit of a man the candle of the Lord; or as the Law written on every mans heart, for so the law is light, Prov. 6.23. as before minded. The light and Law as thus considered, doth not, nor cannot lead a man out of the fall &c.

First, That it doth not.

This is evident first in the person of Adam, In whom the light after his fall was as eminent (to say no more) as in any other of the children of the transgression, Considered as meer subjects of the light common to all or of that light which is in every man that comes into the world, of which number he was not the least. Yet the light in him though it discovered to him his transgression and wrought in him feare; and hideing of himselfe; it led him not out of the fall, up to God the Fa­ther, and to eternall life, for it is said Gen. 3.8, 9, 10. And [Page 50] Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord, and he said, I heard thy voice in the Garden, and I was afraid, because I was na­ked, and I hid my selfe: So true is that word by the law is the knowledge of sin. Rom. 3.20. And the law worketh wrath, Rom. 4.15. And so farre was the light and law in the first man Adam, from leading him out of the fall up to God the Father, that it had this effect upon him, to drive him from the voice and presence of God, and through feare to hide himselfe.

As this is true of the first man, and of the light in him, so may it be affirmed of the Generations of mankinde, and of the light in them, it leads them not up to God out of the fall nor can doe, as not being there­unto enabled, as may further appeare. Those dreadfull examples of Cain and Judas, in whom the light and law did shine so eminently to their soules conviction that they saw their sin, and owned their guilt, the latter proceeding so farre, that to conviction he added confession, I have sinned in betraying Innocent blood. And unto both these added restitution, Matth. 27.3. He repented (i. e.) confessed the sin, and re­stored the Silver; That is (as I have heard some say) shamed the de­ceit, yet did not this light, which convinced him, lead him out of the fall up to God, but the contrary as is evident in that Scripture, and in Acts 1.18, 19. verses, other instances might be given, and experience disco­vers the many selfe convicted ones, whose light neverthelesse leads them not out of the fall, up to God the father, but by the light and law in them, are convinced, and condemned, and driven away from God, and made to hide themselves.

Object. ‘These Instances (nor any other of the like kinde) do not at all weaken the truth, touching the nature and power of the light, for the defect was not in the light, but in the persons, not loveing nor obeying the light, hence was their condemnation, which if they had loved and obeyed it, had been their salvation, and would have led them up to God the Father, and to eternall life.’

The light and law in the first man, what ever it was to him before he transgressed, how lovely, and delightfull soever it was to him then, yet after his fall, his heart did meditate terror; the light and sight of the law was not desirable, it was not to be loved, but feared, it wrought wrath in him, I was affraid and hid my selfe, did it require obedience after the fall so as to lead up to God, for its worke was to poure forth contempt upon the transgressor, to execute the just, equall, and righ­teous (though severe) sentence of death, haveing no other thing in commission from the law-giver but death to the transgressor. In the [Page 51] day thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely dye. This decree was peremp­tory, and without condition, and the law could propound no dispensa­tion; upon terms of loveing or obeying it, to encourage the Creature to face about, much lesse to lead him up to God; and this was the conditi­on of the first man, till the seed of the woman Gen. 3.15. (As the Ser­pent) was lift up upon the pole of the promise, to destroy the destroy­er, and become a door at which man through faith should enter; Ac­cording to that word, I am the doore, by me if any man enter he shall be saved, John 10.9.

Nor was this Adams condition only, but it is the state and condition of every man; to whom the light and law doth discover sin, and slayes the sinner leaves him so, till the Lord Jesus the quickning or live-ma­king Spirit, doth become a principle of life and light within him, and he become new born. John 3.3. till Christ be formed in him Gal. 4.19. and he created a new in Christ Jesus, 2 Cor. 5.17. being begotten of his owne good will by the word of truth, James 1.18. and so born again, of the incorruptible seed, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever, 1 Peter 1.23, 24, 25.

I say till a man be thus new born, and new created in Christ Jesus; and Christ be formed in him, till the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath set him free from the law of sin and death, he cannot see the Kingdome of God; nor by the light and law under the former consi­deration (of which every man is partaker) be led up to God out of the fall unto eternall life.

The Scripture beares Testimony of Paul. That in the heat of his zeale he made havoke of the Church Acts 8.3. Chap. 9.1. Chap, 22, 4, 5.19, 20. and being exceedingly mad against the Saints shut up ma­ny of them in Prison, punished them, and compelled them to blaspheme, and gave voice against them, when they were put to death, Acts 26.10, 11. yet he was in all this zealous toward God, instructed accor­ding to the perfect manner of the law, Acts 22.3. and touching the righteousnesse thereof was blamelesse, Phil. 3.6. and thought with himselfe that he ought to doe many things contrary to the name of Je­sus of Nazareth, Acts 26.9. he was kicking against the pricks, and persecutig the Lord Jesus, vers. 14, 15. And knew it not, 1 Timothy 1.13. For although he were a Blasphemer, a Persecuter, and inju­rious, yet obtained he mercy, because hee did it ignorantly in unbe­liefe.

Hence it appears that Paul did obey the light that was in him, and did prosecute with zealethe dictates thereof, and was therein zealon [Page 52] toward God, according to that which is said John 16.2. The time cometh that whosoever killeth you, will thinke that he doth God ser­vice, or as they of whom Paul bears record, Ro. 10 2. That had a zeal of God but not according to Knowledge.

Either the light in Paul was not sufficient to lead him out of the fall up to God, and to eternall life, or else he did disobey and did not follow the light, which did lead him.

That he did not disobey but follow the light which was in him, it is evident; for then his sin had been against knowledge, whereas it is said, he did it ignorantly, 1 Tim. 1.13. his conscience did not reprove him for the things he did, for thus he witnesseth, Acts 2.3.1. That he had lived in all good conscience before God untill that day; and in the ex­ercise thereof was without blame in himselfe, and as touching the law blamelesse before others, yet was he neverthelesse a persecuter of the Lord Jesus, in his Saints, and did not know it: which discovers plainly the light in him was either not sufficient to discover to him the error of his way, or at least did suspend its act of enlightning him in the know­ledge thereof; it check'd him not, it convinced him not, otherwise his sin had not been a sin of ignorance, which is want of light, but a sin a­gainst light, and knowledge, and consequently against conscience, where­as on the contrary, he thought, he ought to doe many things against Jesus of Nazareth (not knowing him to be the Lord) and he did what he did in his persecuting and blaspheming, without light and his con­science being silent toward him in all this; according to that saying of our Lord, Luke 23.34. Father forgive them for they know not what they doe. For it is to be remembred that there are sins of ignorance, as well as sins against light and knowledge, the former are not without their guilt, and punishment, though the latter greatly aggravates both one and the other, as is witnessed in those two Servants, Luke 12.47, 48. nor was it without the singular wisdome and mercy of God, who appoin­ted sacrifices to be offered for sins of ignorance, Leviticus 4.2.13, 27, 28. errors in the judgement, as well as in the will, the head and the heart both sick, must be purged Levit. 5.15, 17, 18, 19. Levit. 4.2, 13, 27, 28.

But to sin against light and knowledge, to be reproved and checked, and convinced by the light and yet not to reclaime but to goe forward in the evill, is not only transgression and sin, but it is sin aggravated; it is opposed to sins of ignorance, and is called sinning presumptuously, or sinning with an high hand, and despising the word of the Lord, such as so sinned were to bear their iniquity, they were to be cut off, [Page 53] Numb. 15.27, 28, 30, 31. Deutro. 29.19, 20, 21. And to these kinds of sinning hath David relation, when he prayes, Psal. 19.12, 13. Who can understand his errors, cleanse thou me from secret faults, keep back thy Servant also from presumpteous sins and let them not have domi­nion over me, then shall I be upright and innocent from the great transgres­sion.

To this agrees that saying of the Apostle, 1 Cor. 4.3, 4. Yea, I judge not mine own selfe, for I know nothing by my selfe, yet am I not here­by justified, but he that judgeth me is the Lord.

So that hence it will appeare that a person may sin through a want of light or knowledge, and such may be great sins (viz.) Blasphemy, Persecution in an high mannner against God and his Saints, such as of which Paul was guilty, and yet the person committing them by reason of his want of light, to detect, and discover them, may be without con­science of sin, as in himself, and he in this his estate not sin against light; Nay, he may doe this in the prosecution of his light, such as it is. Ac­cording to those words of our Lord, Matth. 36.23. If the light in thee be darknesse, &c. Luke 11.35. Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darknesse. They shall thinke they doe God service, have­ing a zeale of God, but not according to knowledge. The light that is in them discovers not unto them that they are in an evill course all this while, nor are they convicted of disobedience to the light, for then their zeale could not be a zeale of God, nor they think they were doing God service, and have a quiet conscience therein, nor selfe accuseing, nor selfe condemning; therefore the objection doth not hold good in the terms thereof, that the light loved and obeyed will lead up to God the father, and to eternall life, forasmuch as persons may goe on in a course of sin, and therein proceed desperately against the Lord and his anointed ones, and yet not know it, not have light to discover it, nor reprove them for it, much lesse to lead them up to God out of the fall and to eternall life.

And where the light and law in any person discovers to him his sin, and makes him know his transgression, yet is it not able to lead such a person out of the fall up to God the father, and to eternall life; for it roles him in garments full of blood, it tumbles the transgressor into his grave, and roles a stone upon him, and seales the stone; so farre is it from leading up to God from the fall, that it drives the soule from God, and keepes him in the fall, till the Lord who is the quickning or live-making Spirit say to him while he is in his blood, live: by opening to him a doore of hope in this valley of Achor.

Besides what is said in this instance of Paul, and that it appeares plainly, that the light in him did not discover to him his transgression, and lead him out of the fall up to God, and unto eternall life, notwith­standing hee professeth himselfe, to have had a zeale toward God, in what he did, and that he did not sin against his light in what he did, but thought he ought to doe as he was doing, while he was opposing and kicking against the Lord. So may it be further discovered touch­ing the light in every man, that as it leads not out of the fall up to God, and unto eternall life, those that love it, and obey it, as in this in­stance last mentioned.

So neither doth it lead into all truth such as love it, and obey it, as may be discovered in severall instances and examples; viz.

Who can Impeach that man of Aethiopia, the Eunuch, of not loving, or not obeying the light in him? in whom neverthelesse it appeares to be insufficient, to open to him the meaning of the Scripture of the Pro­phet, wherein he was reading, but understood not of whom the Pro­phet spake; for being asked whether he understood what he was read­ing? he doth not say, yea: But answereth, How can I except some man guide me? and discovers plainly he did not understand, what he read by the question he propounds, when he saith, Of whom speaketh the Pro­phet this, of himselfe or of some other man?

Nor is it sufficient to say, the light reveales all truth to them that love and obey it, though not all at once, but by degrees to them which know little, and doe love and obey it, they shall know more: and so it might have been with this Eunuch, the light in him was suffi­cient to have opened to him this Scripture, and all others, though Phi­lip had never instructed him.

This were to Impeach the wisdome of the most high, and holy God, as if hee had needlesly and causelesly appoynted Philip (by the Spirit) to goe neare and joyne himselfe to the Eunuchs Chariot.

And it were to impute folly unto Philip, who, when in obedience to the Command of the Spirit, he was come to the Chariot of the Eu­nuch, did not bid him minde the light within him, and informe him of the sufficiency thereof, to instruct him, and teach him, and that he had not need of any man to teach him, if he would but love and obey the light which was in him, that was sufficient to direct him into all truth, and particularly into the understanding of that Scripture of the Prophet Esay, which he was then reading, but understood not.

Nay had hee not a faire opportunitie of reprooving him, and of cal­ling him, an Ignorant man, for saying, How can I except some man guide [Page 55] mee? Might he not have had just occasion, to have bid him turne his eyes inward, and minde the light within, his guide and teacher was within, hee had Scripture within? But there is not a word of all this proceeds from him, but contrariwise as hee by the Command of the Spirit was bid to arise, and goe toward the South, and particularly was directed to the Eunuchs Chariot, to which hee accordingly applyed himselfe, so being come thither, without any reproofe to the Eunuch, or ac­quainting him with the sufficiency of his teacher, the light within him. Hee opened his mouth, and began at the same Scripture, and preacht to him Jesus: and accepted from him this Confession; I beleeve that Jesus Christ is the Sonne of God, Acts 8.26. to 39.

A further example there is in the person and case of Cornelius, of whom it cannot be said, but that hee was in the meeknesse, loving and obeying the light, and prosecuting the dictates thereof in all simplicity, improoveing his measure and talent, even to acceptation with God; for that hee was one that feared God, and wrought righteousnesse, as Peter testifies of him Implicitly, Acts 10.34, 35. And the Spirit of God beares him witnesse, that Hee was a devout man, and one that fea­red God with all his house, and gave much almes to the people, and prayed to God alway, or incessantly. Was hee one that walked not up to his light, loving and obeying it? The Lord by his holy Angel doth acquit him of this Charge, testifying unto him in these words:

Cornelius, Thy prayers and thine almes are come up for a memoriall before God; Nor doth the Lord by his Angel encourage him, to goe on in his way, hearkening to the light in him, and to abide therein, loving and obeying it, nor doth he call him into silence, and command him to cease prayer, and to waite in silence, expecting his teaching from within, but expressely directs him to send for Simon Peter, that he might tell him, what he ought to doe; who accordingly so doth: and Peter be­ing come unto him, at the speciall instance and direction of the Lord, manifesting his pleasure to him in the vision: and having received an ac­count from Cornelius his owne mouth of his being sent for; who ha­ving called together his kinsmen and neare friends said, Wee are all heere present before God, to heare all things that are Commanded thee of God; Then Peter opened his mouth, and preached unto them Jesus of Nazareth, whom God anoynted with the holy Spirit and power, who went about doing good, being hee to whom all the Prophets give wit­nesse, that through his Name, whosoever beleeveth in him, shall receive remission of sinnes. And while Peter yet spake (or while he was speak­ing those words) the Holy Spirit fell on all them which heard the word, [Page 56] and they spake with tongues and magnified God. This was not a silent meeting, for Peter opened his mouth and spake, nor was it a fruitlesse and empty meeting, notwithstanding there were words spoken, for the Lord bore witnesse thereunto by the gift of the holy Spirit, yea though a Christ without them were preached unto them, as appeares by Peters Sermon, who stileth him Jesus of Nazareth, whom God anoynted with the Holy Spirit and power, who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the Devill, for God was with him; even hee whom they slew, and hanged on a tree, whom God raised up the third day and shewed him openly. I say, a Christ without them is by the Apostle Peter preached unto them, and their faith in him (as such) is borne witnesse unto by the holy Spirit, which is given un­to them: whence it may without Injury to the truth be offered to the serious and sober minded to Consider, whether the most High and Holy Lord, who doth nothing in vaine, would have directed Cornelius to send for Simon Peter, to tell him what he ought to doe, if the light within had been sufficient to have done it? Or that the Lord would have done so much, to have Convinced the Apostle of his duty, in go­ing to Cornelius, when he was sent? for if Cornelius had a sufficient in­structer already within him, to inform, and instruct him, to lead him up to the light of life; or would Peter have Concealed this from his Mes­sengers, when they came to him, if it had been so?

Or being come, would hee not have shewed him, how needlesse a thing it was for him to have sent so farre, having a teacher within him sufficient to have instructed him.

Or at least would hee not have told him, that although hee, in obe­dience to the Command of God, had sent for him, and it was well, that hee had obeyed the Lord in so doing: Yet now being come, Hee must be faithfull, and preach to him the everlasting Gospel, and must tell him, hee was come, to direct him to his teacher within him, to the light within him, which lets him see the evill of his wayes, loving it, it would be his salvation, hating it, it would be his eternall Condemnation.

Whereas this blessed Apostle the Messenger and Minister of the Lord, hee preaches to him the Lord Jesus, living and dying; dead and risen, whom the most High and holy God had anoynted to be a Prince and a Saviour, and that through his name, whosoever beleeveth in him, should receive remission of sinnes; which Doctrine was Confirmed by the effusion of the holy Spirit, which plainely Evidences, that it was no Idle nor fruitlesse Doctrine, and may have its use to the Conviction of those, who are contrary minded, in relation to the all, and alone sufficien­cy [Page 57] of the teacher within, viz. the light in every man and woman which comes into the world: and the onlinesse of that Doctrine of a Christ with­in, whereas the Spirit it selfe is pleased, to set his seale of Evidence, to the preaching of a Christ without, and to confirme the witnesse, which was given of him upō the persons of those who received it, the whole 10th Chapter of the Acts Conteines this instance, as also the second of the Acts from 22. to the end thereof: gives the like testimony to the same doctrine of the Lord Jesus, as he was Jesus of Nazareth. So that it doth Evident­ly appeare, from what hath been hitherto spoken that the light in e­very man, though it be loved and obeyed, yet it is not sufficient to discover the mystery of all truth; and this appeares from the supply, which the Lord hath graciously made to those, who have been most faithfull improovers thereof, without reproaching or upbraiding them for their not abiding therein, or giving them command to abide there, to turne in and not to looke out after any other teacher, but hath con­trariwise provided teachers, and sent them such, notwithstanding their light within.

Besides what hath been spoken it may yet further appeare, That man cannot thereby be led out of the fall up to God, and attaine thereby eternall salvation.

First, For that the law and light pronounceth an Irreversable sen­tence upon the person, that is in the Fall, or in the transgression, Cur­sed be every one that continueth not in every thing.

Secondly, If man by loving and obeying the light and law, that is in him might attaine salvation, then would not all boasting be cut off from the creature, contrary to the designe of God, Rom. 3.26, 27. 1 Cor. 1.29, 30, 31.

Thirdly, The great End of God, in magnifying the Riches of grace by the blood of Christ, would be frustrate and made voyd, and of none effect, and Christ have dyed in vaine, Gal. 2.21. Rom. 3.24, 25.

Fourthly, The preaching of the Gospel by the Apostles and Mes­sengers thereof were an unnecessary and superfluous thing; for to what end or purpose should Christ be preached, as dead, and risen, and as­cended, to be beleeved on for life, if the light and law in every man, (being loved and obeyed) could lead up to God, and to eternall life, Act. 26, 16.18. Act. 10.39, 42, 43.

Fifthly, The Apostle expressely declares, That the law could not effect this thing, Rom. 8.3. For what the law could not doe in that it was weak through the flesh, God sent his own Son. and Gal. 3.21. If there [Page 58] had been a law given, which could have given life, verily righteousnesse should have been by the Law; and Gal. 2.21. If righteousnesse be by the Law, then Christ dyed in vaine. But Christ dyed not in vaine, nor was hee preached in vaine, to have both dyed and rose againe accord­ing to the Scriptures, 1 Cor. 15.2, 3, 4. nor is that faith vaine, which so receiveth and so beleeveth, That such might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith, Gal. 3.14. And through the Spirit waite for the hope of righteousnesse by faith, Gal. 5.5. From whence proceeds that true walking in the Spirit by such, as live in the Spirit, Gal. 5.18, 25. That following of the Spirit by such, as are led by the Spirit, Rom. 8.4.14. And this is that, which God hath anoynted, to lead up to him out of the fall, and to eternall life, according to that testimony, 1 Pet. 1.18, 19, 20, 21.

Forasmuch as yee were not redeemed with corruptible things, but with the precious bloud of Christ, who was fore-ordained before the foundation of the world; but was manifested in these last times for you, who by him doe beleeve in God that raised him from the dead, that your faith and hope might be in God. Through whom is preached the forgivenesse of sinnes, and by him all that beleeve are Justified from all things, from which they could not be Justified by the Law of Moses: no nor by any workes of righteousnesse, which they could performe, Tit. 3.5. Eph, 2.8, 9, 10. Salvation is not ascribed to man's loving and obeying the light that is in him: but unto a submitting unto the righteousnesse of God; viz. Christ Jesus, who is the end of the Law for righteousnesse to eve­ry one that beleeveth, Rom. 10.3, 4. Who of God is made unto such, Wisdome, Righteousnesse, Sanctification, and Redemption, 1 Cor: 1.30.

Object. ‘Thou hast plainly discovered, that the Christ, in whom thou beleevest, is a Christ without thee, at a distance, and afarre off, and the Righteousnesse, which thou tells off, is the Righteousnesse of another, by which thou expectest salvation, though thou in the meane time art unrighteous, and so thou seekest a Covering, but not by the Spirit of the Lord, thy Covering is too narrow, and thy bed is too short: For it is witnessed, That Christ is in you except yee be Re­probates, and the kingdome of heaven is within, and Christ in you the hope of glory: and as touching righteousnesse, it is said the Righ­teousnesse of the Law is fulfilled in us, which walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit, therefore thou must no more goe forth to seeke a righteousnesse, but looke in, the kingdome of heaven is within.

Ans. The Christ, of whom this discourse hath been treating, is no other, but the same to which the Scripture beares witnesse, as hath been testified by many severall passages before recited, not here to be re­peated; viz The Lord's Christ; The anoynted Saviour, or Christ the Lord.

And it is a truth not to be disdain'd, but considered by the sober-mind­ed, (and received according to the divine Evidence that appeares in it;) That the Lord Jesus Christ is held forth in the Scriptures under a two-fold dispensation.

First, Either as hee was God the Word made flesh, (so becoming the Lord's Christ) and Tabernacled among men; and as such hee was to be beleeved on, though hee under that dispensation were without; not only before, but after his Resurrection.

That hee was without, while in the dayes of his flesh, none will de­ny: whether hee be considered before his suffering, or after his resur­rection, 1 Cor. 15.5, 6, 7. That hee was to be beleeved on while hee was so, is prooved from Joh. 14.1. Yee beleeve in God, beleeve also in mee: Hee that honoureth not the Sonne, honoureth not the Father, Joh. 5.23. Thus he spake touching himselfe while yet hee was in the flesh, and consequently without: during which space of time hee fulfilled all Righteousnesse, Math. 3.5. And became the end of the Law for righ­teousnesse to every one that beleeveth, Rom. 10.4.

His soule being made an offering for sinne, according to the Pro­phesies, which went before of him, Isa. 53.10.12. Hee finished trans­gression, and made an end of sinne; Confirmed the Covenant, and brought in Everlasting righteousnesse, Dan. 9.24, 27. By the sacrifice of him­selfe, which he offered up through the eternall Spirit at once, and that once for all, Heb. 9.14.26, 28.

This hee did for his Redeem'd ones without them, as is witnessed by many Scriptures, Rom. 5.8. While wee were yet sinners Christ dyed for us, Rom. 4.25. Who was delivered For our offences, and was raised againe For our Justification, 1 Cor. 5.7. Was sacrificed For us, Gal. 3.13. Was made a Curse For us, Eph. 5.2. Given himselfe for us, 1 Thes. 5.10 Who dyed For us, Titus 2 14. Who gave himselfe For us, Heb. 9.12. By his owne Blood hee entered in once into the Holy place, having obteined eternall Redemption For us, 1 Pet. 2.21, 24. Christ also suffered for us; who his owne selfe bare our sinnes in his owne body on the tree: that wee being dead to sinne, should live unto Righteous­nesse, By whose stripes yee are healed, 1 John 3.16. Herein perceive wee [Page 60] the love of God, because Hee laid downe his life For us. All this hee did for his: without them, not within them, as is plaine by this Cloud of witnesses.

So that to speake of a Christ without, and of what he both did, and suffered without, not in, but for his people; Even while they were yet sinners, is no despicable thing, nay it is such a dispensation of Christ as the Scripture gives testimony of, and beares witnesse unto. The be­leife of which is necessary unto salvation, and without which there is no peace, according to the divine truth of those Scriptures, Esay 57.21. There is no peace saith my God to the wicked. And Rom. 4.23, 24, 25. But for us also to whom it shall be imputed, if wee beleeve on him, that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was delivered for our offences, and raised againe for our Justification, Rom. 5.1, 2. Therefore being Ju­stified, by faith wee have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom also wee have accesse into this grace wherein wee stand, and re­joyce in the hope of the glory of God: and hope maketh not ashamed Rom. 5.1, 2, 8, 9, 10, 11. For when wee were yet without strength, in due time Christ dyed for the ungodly: (Yea,) while wee were yet sinners Christ dyed for us, vers. 8. Much more then now, being Justified by his blood, shall we be saved from wrath through him, vers. 9. And being reconciled wee shall be saved by his life. And hence wee Joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom wee have now received the Attonement. And to this purpose is that prayer of the Apostle, Rom. 15.13. Now the God of hope fill you with all Joy and peace in beleeving.

Nor is this consideration of Christ, as the object of faith for justifi­cation, the antitype of the brazen Serpent lift up upon the pole in the Wildernesse, to which the then bitten ones, under which the sins-smit­ten soul, the self-condemned sinners were figured, and to it must these looke and live. Numb. 21.8, 9. Esay 45.22. John 3:14, 15.

I say this consideration of Christ is not the whole of what the Scrip­ture testifies concerning him; nor may any such use be made hereof, as if the magnifiing the grace of God were a covering for sin (as the ob­jection intimates) Nay, nay, should we continue in sin, because grace hath abounded, God forbid, Rom. 6.1.

There is therefore a further dispensation of Christ, viz. in Spirit, according to the tenour of that testimony of the Apostle touching the mystery of Godlinesse, 1 Tim. 3.16. God manifest in flesh, Justified in Spirit: and this dispensation of Christ in Spirit, the Scriptures likewise beare witnesse unto, which is Christs application of that, which hee [Page 61] did for his beloved ones in the dayes of his flesh, applying that to them by his Spirit (by which he dwelleth in them) which he wrought for them without them. Then he prepared the medicine, and since applyes it, and gives it operation; then he wove the Garment, and since cloathes his therewith; then he was the bruised and broken Corne, now the loafe, or staffe of Bread: his flesh meate indeed, and his blood drinke indeed, both eaten and drunken by the beleever.

As there was a necessitie, that the Word should be manifested in the flesh, to answer the end of that dispensation, 1 Tim. 3.16. viz. to be­come the end of the Law for righteousnesse to every one that beleeveth, Rom. 10.4. That he might Confirme the Covenant, viz. finish trans­gression, and bring in everlasting righteousnesse, Dan. 9.24, 27. By being made of God (to the beleeving) Wisdome, Righteousnesse, Sanctification, and Redemption, 1 Cor. 1.30.

So it was necessary that he should be Justified in Spirit, in order to the more effectuall application of what he had done, to those for whom he did it: To whom hee was to be preached, and by whom hee was to be beleeved on in the world, and received up into Glo­ry: According to the testimony of the Holy Spirit, by the mouths of men and Angells, Luk. 24.51, 52. Acts 1.9, 10, 11. 1 Tim. 3.16.

For which purpose hee promised, to send the Comforter, the Spi­rit of truth, that he might abide with his schollers and followers for ever, John 14.16, 17, 18.26. To teach them all things, and to bring all things to their remembrance, whatsoever hee had said unto them, viz. all things, which hee had heard of his Father, John 15.15. Who when hee was come should guide them into all truth, Joh. 16.7, 13. Nor should this be a priviledge peculiar to the then Disciples only, or to the persons of that age or generation; as appeares, Joh. 17.20, 21. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also, which shall beleeve on mee through their word: That they all may be one, &c. in us.

By the Administration of which Spirit of truth, Hee (i. e.) The Lord Jesus Christ, makes forth the discovery of himselfe his minde and will, touching things to be knowne and done, beleeved, and practised, Joh. 16.13, 14. Whatsoever hee shall heare, that shall hee speake, and hee will shew you things to come: Hee shall glorifie mee, for hee shall re­ceive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

As the glory of God did shine forth through the appearance of Christ, Joh. 17.4. So the glory of Christ doth shine forth through the appearance of the Spirit, Joh. 16.14.

As Christ did nothing of himselfe during his ministration in the world, Joh. 12.49, 50. I have not spoken of my selfe, but the Father which sent mee, gave me Commandement, what I should say, and what I should speake; and as the Father said to me, so I speake.

So the Spirit of truth, hee shall not speake of himselfe, but what­soever hee shall heare, that shall hee speake; Hee shall glorifie mee, for hee shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

As God was in Christ reconciling the world to himselfe, 2 Cor. 5.19. So is Christ in Spirit subduing the world to himselfe, Joh. 16.7, 8. Now the Lord is that Spirit, 2 Cor. 3.17.

As Christ by being put to death in the flesh hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring them to God. 1 Pet. 3.18.

So by being justified in spirit, or quickned by the spirit, or declared to be the son of God with power: according to the spirit of holiness, 1 Tim. 3.16. He doth actually effect that thing in all them, who by him do beleeve in God, that raised him from the dead, and gave him glory, that their faith and hope might stand in God, 1 Pet. 3.18. Rom. 1.4. Who by faith purifies their heart in obyeing the truth, through the spirit waiting for the hope of righteousnesse by faith, 1 Pet. 1.19, 21, 22, 23.

By which spirit he doth negotiate all the affairs of his kingdome on earth, and so hath done from the time of his ascending up on high, when he led Captivity captive, and not only received gifts for men (or in the man, yea for the rebellious, that he might dwell among them, Psal. 68.18.) But also gave gifts to men, Eph. 4.8.12. for the gather­ing into one, or perfecting the number of the Saints, for the edifying or building up the body of Christ, till we all, (that is, all the seed,) come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulnesse of Christ, which cannot be so long as one joint, one finger, or member of the bo­dy is uncalled, ungathered, or unjoynted: according to that of Heb. 11.40. For as they without us could not be made perfect, so neither they nor we, apart, nor together can so be without those, which are to come after, who altogether make up the measure of the stature of the fulnesse of Christ, whose body cannot be compleat till every joint be supplyed.

The Effecting whereof the Lord Jesus Christ performs by his spi­rit, from the very first stone (the foundation) to the top stone thereof: For he having been hammered, and broken, smitten and bruised, cru­cified [Page 1] through weaknesse (when his soul was made an offering for sin) yet being raised in power, and declard to be the Son of God, with power by the spirit of holinesse, and liveing by the power of God; was made perfect through suffering and became the Author of eternall salvation to them which obey him; being laid for a foundation, for a Corner stone: 1 Cor. 3.11. 1 Pet. 2.6. Ephes. 2.20, 21, 22. In whom the building is fitly framed together, and built up together for an habitation of God through the spirit, by which spirit the work is both begun and carried on; by it the stones are hewen and made meet to be made partakers of a place in the building; they are fitted, and then fitly framed, and built up together from first to last.

The first work, which Christ by his spirit would exercise in the world after his departure, was to reprove the world of sin, viz. of unbeleefe, John 16.7, 8, 9. and not only should they thereby be reproved of sin, and of that before named, in particular or in speciall, that is, of unbe­lief, but it should convince them also of righteousnesse and of judge­ment: The law under the former dispensation, though it convinced of, and reprooved for sin, yet it discovered not a perfect righteousness, nor brought forth judgement into victory, but haveing detected the sinner, it left him under the sentence of judgement and condemnation, but the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus, That quickning spirit proceeds at another rate, it not only reproves the Sinner, but reveales the Saviour, opens a doore of hope to the convicted sinner: If so there may be hope, and for this reason (among others) it is called the Com­forter, giving to the sin-smitten soule the valley of Achor, for a doore of hope. I will be mercifull to their unrighteousnesse, and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more; making the discovery of grace, a foundation of repentance, and returning to a poore convicted and reproved sinner, holding proportion with that ancient and first Gos­pel promise, or word of faith, the seed of the woman shall breake the head of the Serpent, Gen. 3.15. applied by God to the trembling sinner Adam, when he was affraid and hid himselfe. By the same spirit doth Christ administer as a spirit of wisdome and revelation, opening the eyes of the understanding, Ephes. 1.17. that men may come to the know­ledge of him and may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the Saints (i. e.) in them that trust in Christ, or beleeve, and are sealed with the holy spirit of pro­mise, Vers. 12, 13.

Which operation of the spirit is wrought as himselfe listeth, Joh. [Page 2] 3.8. and by what means himselfe pleaseth (though ordinarily) by the preaching of the word according to divine appointment, Rom. 10.17. Ephes. 4.11, 12. whereby the spirit opens the blind eyes, and turns men from darknesse to light, and from the power of Sathan to God, that they may receive forgivenesse of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith, which is in Christ Jesus, Act. 26.15, 16, 17, 18.

Which Faith is the fruit of his spirit in them, Gal. 5.22. whereby they are given to beleeve, Phil. 1.29. and to receive Christ Jesus, Joh. 1.12. and to submit to him for life and salvation, by which they re­ceive the witnesse in themselves, that they are adopted Sons; 1. Joh. 5.10. the spirit it self bearing them witness that they are born of God, Rom. 8.16. and are the seed, whom the Lord hath blessed, Esay 61.9.

So that Christ is not at a distance, not a farre off from such as true­ly beleeve: but is nigh them, dwelling in their hearts by faith, Eph. 3.17. and by his Spirit, Rom. 8.11. and is in them the hope of glory, Col. 1.27. whereby they being renewed in the spirit of their minde, Ephes. 4.23. and being married to this their other husband, hence­forth they bring forth fruit to God, not according to oldnesse of let­let, but according to newnesse of spirit: Rom. 7.4, 6. not taking advan­tage of the grace of God, to dispence with themselves in poynt of obedience toward God, but reckoning themselves under deeper ob­ligation; that as grace hath abounded toward them, so might their obedience towards him, that hath manifested that grace unto them, as hee who sayd, What shall I render to the Lord for all his benefits; I will take the Cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord, Psal. 116.12.

What were those benefits? The Lord hath heard the voyce of my supplication; thou hast delivered my soule from death, my eyes from teares, and my feete from falling: I will walke before the Lord in the land of the living, Psal. 116.1. I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the Lord, — as long as I live, Psal. 116.17. She loved much because much was forgiven her, Luk. 7.47. The life of the New Creature, of the renewed man, or man in Christ, in whom Christ lives by his spirit, and dwels by faith, is no idle unfruitfull life: but as a branch in the Vine, and as a part of Gods husbandry he is purged and pruned, and caused to bring forth fruit: filled with fruits of righteousnesse, which are by Jesus Christ unto the praise and glory of God, Phil. 1.11.

Not living to himelfe: It is his meate and drinke to doe the will of his Father; He now comes to beare witnesse to the truth of that Scripture, which saith, In keeping thy Commandements there is great reward. Though formerly his soule went forth after the knowledge of Christ, sometimes the Excellency of him as he was discovered and revealed in the Scriptures, sometimes the necessitie of him, as being the way to the Father, and the only Name, besides which there is no other given among men whereby they can be saved. Under which dispensation, and in the exercise whereof it was not so much Christ, that was the ulti­mate object of the soules enquiry, as it was the Creatures preservation from wrath to come. It was not so much for Christ himselfe, as for the Creatures owne selfe, that the soule was so earnest, and ardent in its pursuite after vision and manifestation; yet it knew it not, nor could it have beleeved that it had been so with it.

But Judgement breaking forth into victory, remooving the Spirit of Feare, and giving (in stead thereof) the Spirit of love, and of a sound minde, 2 Timothy 1.7. The Grace which was given in Christ Jesus was made manifest, and by him brought to light, and in his light was the new Creature caused to see light, and by it to discerne where it had stucke all this while, and how it had mistooke its way, and sought its selfe in all its seeking, under pretence of following on to know the Lord, whom to know is life eternall. Then the fire bur­ned and the love was kindled towards him, who had shed abroad his love in the heart by the Holy Spirit, setting it in an holy flame to­wards himselfe and his service. Henceforth hee became as one made up of strong desires and breakings of heart after doing the will of God: Oh that hee were then baptized into the will of him, whose he is, and whom hee would serve according to the tenour of those Scriptures, I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasona­ble service. And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your minde, that ye may prove what is that good, that ac­ceptable, and perfect will of God, Rom. 12.1, 2. 2 Cor. 7.1. 1 Pet. 1.14, 15, 16. As being bought with a price, would glorifie God in body and Spirit, which are Gods.

Not now as formerly obeying for life, or that he might live, but from life, or because he is made to live, or because he doth live by the power of Christ living in him, Gal. 2.20. his whole life is a Thank-offe­ring, a sacrifice of praise, the end henceforth of all he is, and all he does, is this, that he may live to him, who dyed for him, and rose again; to [Page 4] him, who hath loved him, and washed him from his sins in his blood, Rev. 1.5. to him, who hath said to him, when he was in his bloods live: not expecting a covering of sin, that he may live in sin, nor the righte­ousness of another, that himselfe may live in unrighteousness: but that he might live to God, and serve him without feare in righteousness and holiness of truth, Luk. 1.74, 75. But as really as he doth beleeve that Christ is made of God to him righteousness, 1 Cor. 1.30 so verily ex­pecteth he to be made the righteousness of God in him, 2 Cor. 5.21. that the righteousness of the Law, which could not be fulfilled by him through the weaknes of the flesh might be fulfilled in him by the power of the spirit of life, Rom. 8.3, 2 4. wherein he is made able and wil­ing to wait for the hope of righteousness by faith, Gal. 5 5, 18. ex­pecting to be led and made willing to follow the guidance of the spirit, even the spirit of truth, by which he lives and moves and exists in Christ, who is (by his spirit) in him, the hope of glory, Col. 1.27.

Object. Thou hast heaped up together many of the Saints words, whose condition thou never learned of God: Tell plainly whether the Christ (thou tells of) be within or without.

Answ. How farre my soule is made one with what I beare witness unto, is knowne unto him from whom nothing is hid, to whom I ap­ply for a further measure of the spirit of wisdome and revelation in the knowledge of him, whom to know is eternal life: remembring what is witnessed, Rom. 15.4. being unmooved by the Judgement or censure of mans day; and in relation to the objection, have spo­ken in plainness already; That the Lord Jesus Christ, to whom (in this poore stammering way) I bear witness, is considered both as being with­out and within the soule.

Respecting his person or bodily presence, his glorious or glorified body, so he is considered as being without, not within the soule: ac­cording to the testimony of those Scriptures before-named, Joh. 17.24. Father I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am, that they may behold my glory which thou hast given me, 1. Tim. 3.16. Beleeved on in the world, received up into glory.

And he shall send Jesus Christ which before was preached unto you, whom the heaven must receive, untill the times of restitution of all things, Acts 3.20, 21.

For our conversation is in heaven, from whence also we look for the Sa­viour the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall change our vile body, or body of vileness, that it may be fashioned, like his glorious body, Phil. 3.20, 21. according as John also testifies, 1 Joh. 3.2, 3. But we know that when he [Page 5] shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

Thus then in relation to his bodily presence, he is considered as without us, as is testified 1 Pet. 3.22. Heb. 1.3. Col. 3.1. Act. 7.56.

But in relation to his spiritual presence, so he filleth all things, Ephes. 4.10. and in respect thereof it may be sayd,

Whither shall I go from thy spirit, or whither shall I flee from thy presence, Psal. 139.7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. and though the influence of his supporting and susteining presence extendeth to all things, upholding them by the word of his power, Heb. 1.3. (though they see it not) Col. 1.17.

Yet his special Resience and presdence is with such, as being joined to the Lord are become one spirit and are his house, his Temple, where he abides, as one at home, and that for ever; as is testified, 1 Cor. 6.17, 19, 20. He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit: What, know you not that your body is the temple of the holy spirit in you: which ye have of God, and ye are not your own, for you are bought with a price, therfore glorifie God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.

Nor is this union of Spirit, or spiritual union; this residence or Temple presence; as the state of a wayfaring man, which tarries but for a night: for this is the word of promise, Joh. 14.16, 17. I will pray the Father, and he shall (or will) give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever, even the Spirit of truth. Ye know him, he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. Now the Lord is that Spi­rit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty, 2 Cor. 3.17. The fear of Casting out is removed and gone, and the soul put into a capacity of serving the Lord without fear, in holiness and righ­teousness before him all the dayes of its life.

Such persons being joyned to the Lord, and become one Spirit with him, Beholding with open face (or, with the face unveil'd, which veil is done away in Christ) the glory of the Lord, are chan­ged into the same Image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord: and of such persons, such Temples, such spiritual houses, may it be said as anciently it was said of the typical place of Gods residence and abode, 2 Chr. 7.16. I have chosen and sancti­fied this house— Mine eyes and my heart shall be there perpetually. Psal. 132.14. This is my rest for ever, here will I dwell, for I have desired it, I will make the Horn of David to bud; which was, is, and shall be accomplish'd in the Lord Jesus, whom God hath raised up as an horn of salvation in the house of his servant David. Luk. 1.69. By whom [Page 6] he hath begun to repair the breaches, and build again the tabernacle of David, which was fallen down, and will build again the ruines thereof, and will set it up, that the residue of men may seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, (or as many as the Lord our God shall call, Act. 2.39.) saith the Lord that doth all these things, Act. 15.16, 17.

Then shall the body be compleated, and every joynt supplyed, the Saints perfected, and gathered into one in the unity of faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: Who as he is the head of the body, Ephes. 4.16. & 5.23. in whom the univer­sal body or Church of the first born become a perfect man, being fitly joyned together in due order of membership to the complea­ting thereof.

So is he the foundation or chief corner stone of the building, in whom every living stone is framed together, & built together an holy Temple in the Lord an habitation of God through the spirit. Thus is the Lord Jesus Christ in Spirit both Author and finisher of faith in every one that beleeves.

As considered the object of faith, so is he held forth in the Word, as one, who himself in his own body hath done whatsoever was necessary to bring us to God; and this he did for us, and with­out us, Phil. 2.7, 8. 1 Pet. 2.21, 24.

As considered the Author and Finisher of faith, in bringing us to God, so he performeth all in us by his Spirit, from the very first step of conviction, laying himself as a foundation in the judge­ment and will; to the very top stone of the building, and that he might be all in all.

It remains to consider some certain passages expressed in a Let­ter written by a friend of this conscience and perswasion, the parti­culars whereof follow, viz.

Dear Friend,

I Truly own in thee a breathing after the Lord, and unsatisfied­ness till thou hast found him, whom to know is life eternal; but the mistake is about the way to attain: — Now the way for lost man to return to have Communion and fellowship with the pure and holy God, is by Christ; who saith, I am the way.

But where to find this Christ or way, here lyeth not only the difference, but also for the want of the knowledge of this, and wal­king in it; is the true cause of mans misery, and thou thy selfe art not ignorant of the several forms that cry, Loe here, and loe there: yet the way is but one.

Search the Scriptures, and see if Christ be not only the way, but also Christ near: and while we consider Christ at a distance, is it any more than those, that are of the world, which say, Depart from us, we desire not the knowledge of thy wayes—

To this will that other Scripture agree, When they knew God they glorified him not as God, these had such a knowledge of God, that they might thereby have glorified him as God, which not doing, they were given up to vile affections: Now to know him that is the gift of God, if ever we will, we must know him as God holds him forth.

Christ saith of himself that he is the dore:

Can any one enter to God otherwayes than by Christ?

He also saith he is the light:

Can any one come to God but he must receive the light?

Also, there are measures of this light:—

The first measure or degree of light is, that which discovers sin and iniquity, and He that will not own Christ, and follow him in this, and be faithful, he may learn to talk of Christ, yet he shall never know more until he come down to this dore of entrance.

Christ saith, I am the light, and to them that receive him, to them he gives power, to become the Sons of God: the light re­jected, no power received, and this I am a witness for the Lord in.

I am bold in the Lord to say your heart shall fail, and your eyes grow dim, that looks for another way, or another Gospel than the power of God that redeems out of sin.

And this I say and do testifie to all, small and great.

He that receives the light, and is obedient to it, receives the gift of God, and shall receive the power; for Christ is not un­faithful.

The name of Christ in the outward sound is pleasant, in as much as thereby men look to have their sins taken away. But consider seriously, if the Gospel be not clear, and without danger to be received, as it is in it self, the Apostle saith, It is the power of God to salvation to every one that beleeves. And let him be ac­cursed that preacheth another Gospel; What then will become of all those which have preached a Gospel without power.

I further say, If the first wisdome could have attained, then mightest thou have had whereof to boast; but it is written, and I also set to my seal, that man by wisdome knows not God, and it is the work of Christ to destroy the wisdome-of that nature, and to bring in a wisdome of another nature, viz, pure and peaceable.

In relation to what is expressed by this Friend, I might alleage, that there hath been consideration had already of whatsoever is material in these passages of his Letter: yet considering his condi­tion, as not being enclined to reading much, and doubting whe­ther what hath been said in the foregoing part, may be gathered up in the application without prejudice or offence, I am free to re-assume some things formerly insisted on, for the sake of my so much longed for and beloved Friend, (who probably may read no more than what concerns himself) though I undergoe from others the censure of Tautologie and Repetition.

I find it to be by him affirmed,

1. That the way for lost man to return to Communion with the pure and holy God, is by Christ, who is the WAY:’ To which I also assent, the Scripture testifying the same, Joh. 14.6. I am the way, no man cometh to the Father but by me.

[Page 9]2. That Christ is the Gift of God.

Herein I also assent; the scripture bearing testimony thereto, Joh. 4.10. with this further consideration, that though the Lord Jesus Christ be The Gift of God: eminently so, no gift like him, none so eminent as he, yet he is not the alone, (or only) gift of God: there being other gifts of God beside him, though none to be compared with him; faith is a gift of God, Phil. 1.29. Repentance is a gift of God, Act. 5.31. so is salvation also, Ephes. 2.8. Though all these veil and lay down their Crowns at the feet of Christ: as being eminently the chief; yet are they gifts of God distinct from Christ: and the Apostle James, Chap. 1.17. puts the matter to an issue, where he saith, Every good and every perfect gift comes down from the father of lights, &c. so that though Christ by way of e­minency be the Fathers gift, yet not the alone (or only) gift of God: Though the Father hath but one only begotten Son, Joh. 1.14, 18. yet hath he many Sonns more besides him, though he be the first born among many brethren, Rom. 8.29. so is he also in relation to the manifold gifts of God, the first born of them all: and by way of eminency called THE GIFT; yet of him it's said, he received gifts for men, Psal. 68.18.

3. That Christ is the door.

To this the scripture likewise gives testimony, Joh. 10.17. I am the doore of the sheep: and that no man can enter otherwayes than by Christ the door, I assent; for as much as there is no other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved, Act. 4.12.

4. He also saith, he is the Light, can any one come to God but he must receive the light?’

It is indeed said by Christ himself, Joh. 8.12. I am the light of the world: And that none can come to the Father but by him, hath been said already: other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ, 1 Cor. 3.11.

5. Also there are measures of this light, the first degree or measure of light, is that which discovers sin, and iniquity.

Reply. Christ Jesus, the Way, the Gift, the Door, the Light, is but one, entire and undivided being, not admitting of degrees or mea­sures: but a whole, and entire Christ, is the way, the truth, the life, the door, the light. Though there be manifold gifts of Christ who ascending up on high gave gifts to men, and these admit of their measures and degrees, Ephes. 4.7, 8. 1 Cor. 12.4.

Yet of him who is called (as before) the door, the way, the gift, [Page 10] the light, viz. the Lord Jesus Christ, of him it is said, Is Christ de­vided? He is but one and undivided.

‘The first measure and degree of light, is that which discovers sin, and iniquity.’

Reply. That measure and degree of light, which first discovers sin and iniquity in any man, is the law, which God hath written on the heart of the natural man: (that is, of every man, as hath been largely proved before) for by the law comes the knowledg of sin, and where no law is, there is no transgression, Rom. 2.15. & 3.20. & 4.15.

And this first discovery of sin and iniquity may be, where the sound of Christ, as a doore, as the light, as the way, may not have been, and so it was in the first man the root of all mankind. That measure or degree of light, which discovered sin to him, was the law written in him, by which he was convinced and reproved: the effect whereof was horror and amazement implyed in those two words, I was afraid and hid my self, for the law worketh wrath and leaves the sinner under the sentence of curse & condemnation: it's a good Schoolmaster, it teacheth perfectly and directs plainly what's to be done, but wo to the transgressor, it opens no door of hope to him upon no terms: no not upon the terms of his amending, and doing better for time to come; though he erre thorough ignorance and against his will, yet this severity is found in the equity and justice of it, (as it's written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things, which are written in the book of the law to do it.)

And thus the first man found it by his first measure of light, which discovered his sin and condemned him, as the sinner; but the way, the gift, the door, the light, (Christ Jesus) was not hereby re­vealed: here was the sin found out, and the sinner driven out by the first measure of light, viz. the law: But the Saviour of the sin­ner from sin and death, was not revealed by this first measure of light. The sinne was discovered, but the sinner was not thereby re­covered; Till the Lord holds forth the Scepter of grace in the pro­mised seed of the woman, Gen. 3.15. who was to be received as the way to the father, the door by which entrance was to be made, the gift in whom was exhibited eternal life, Redemption from sin and wrath: a proper object of faith while yet he was but in pro­mise, so was he received and so beleeved on by all the children of faith under the first Covenant, Heb. 11.13, 39. and the contrary with those who mingled not the Gospel with faith, and so fell short of the rest, and could not enter because of unbeleef, Heb. 3.19. Heb. [Page 11] 4.2. notwithstanding the measure of light which discovers sinne and iniquity.

So then, the first measure and degree of light which discovers sin and iniquity, is the Law of God written in every mans heart; but it is not Christ the light, the door, the way, the gift; for Christ is not the law, but the Law-giver: Christ is the end of the law, not only in the commonly received sense, the end of all figures, types, and shadows, the substance in which they all center.

But he is so the end of the Law, that he finishes and perfects what the Law could not finish nor perfect: He takes up the work where the Law leaves it.

The Law may say, O my God! I have shewed them thy wayes, I have been a light and a lanthorn unto them, I have kept back no­thing that thou gavest me in command to shew unto them, and to require of them: But they (like men) have transgressed, and have started aside like a broken bow, and are become guilty and filthy: Woe unto them, Woe unto them, they are polluted; my Commission is to curse them from mount Ebal, and they shall be cursed; Cursed be Every one that abides not in Every thing written in the law to do it: in some thing or other, every one hath transgressed, every mouth is stopped, and every one become guilty before God. God hath concluded all under sin, saying there is none righteous no not one, Rom. 3.10, 19. they are all transgressors I cannot redeem them, I cannot bring them to God: But Christ takes up the matter, where the law leaves it; and becomes the end of the law for righteous­ness to every one beleeving; saying, to this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, to bear witness unto the truth; giving the Valley of Achor for a door of hope, perfecting and finish­ing the work, which the law had been labouring to effect but could not; For that which the Law could not do, he did, being not a­shamed to call them Brethren, whom the law had left under the sen­tence of the curse, and that he might bring many sonns unto glory, himself the captain of their salvation, was made perfect through suf­ferings, delivering them from the fear of death, who all their life time were subject unto bondage: standing upon Gerizim the mount of blessing (in opposition to that mount Ebal, where the law had left them) making triumph and open shew in behalf of the seed: saying, Behold I and the children God hath given me, all that the father hath given me shall come unto me.

They are blessed, and they shall be blessed; though righteous­ness [Page 12] could not come by the law (for if it could then had my death been in vain,) yet to the beleeving, to every one that beleeveth, I am the end of the law, for righteousness being made so of God to and for them, that the righteousness of the law may be fulfilled in them, and they be made the righteousness of God in me.

Though the first measure of light, viz. the law written on the heart of the natural man, be not Christ, the way, the door, the gift, the light: yet it is such a measure and degree of light common to all men, as to the direction whereof they are to give obedience, and in the doing whereof they enjoy much peace, and many persons in many things done in obedience thereto, have whereof to glory, but not before God: for their peace is seated in their understanding, while they think they do God good service, but Gods thoughts are not as mans neither is their peace the peace of God which passeth all understanding: which guards the heart and mind through Christ Jesus.

Nevertheless it is a good thing and hath a measure of blessing annexed to it, for a person to be obedient to the law in the measure of the knowledg whereof he hath attained according to that testi­mony; Happy is that man whose conscience condemns not himself in that thing which he allowes, but doth exercise himself to keep a good conscience toward God, and toward man.

But when he hath done all he can there is this one thing lacking to sell all he hath; to resign up all to Christ Jesus and leave it at his foot, that when he hath done all, he reckon himself an un­profitable servant, and to have done nothing in all that's done, to sel it all, and give it all up in sacrifice to God, this is more than whole burnt offerings and more than is attainable under the dispensation of the first measure of light, and obedience thereunto: for if so, then righteousness were attainable by obedience to the law, con­trary to that testimony; If there had been a law given, which could have given life, verily righteousness should have come by the law, and if righteousness could have come by the law, then had Christ died in vain. But God hath concluded all under sin that he might have mercy on them that beleeve: to cut off boasting and glorying in the flesh; that he, which gloryeth, might glory in the Lord, who hath said, It is not in him that willeth, nor in him that runneth, but in God that sheweth mercy, who testifieth, That not by workes of righteousness which we have done, but of his mercy he saveth his saved ones?

Leaving no room for glorying or boasting to him, that worketh, nor colour of confidence to him, that is in the disobedience to the first measure of light: for even he which despised Moses law died without mercy: such will be the portion of every one, who is willingly ignorant, and disobedient, to what is made known to him by the law that's in him.

Yet to call this (which discovers sin in man) Christ the light, the gift, the door, the way, is to take the Gardener for Christ, as Mary did mistake Christ for the Gardener. The good way then is not to confound the several dispensations of God, not to advance the son of the bond woman into the room and place of the son of the free woman, not to preferre the servant into the place of the Heir: but to consider every one as in his own order; giving the honour to each dispensation according to the measure appointed unto it of God: which is not to assign to the first (the light common to all mankind) the place of a door or entrance into the heavenly in­heritance: for there is an house called Moses house, Heb. 3.2. which had its door of entrance or admission, and a law of ordinan­ces suitable, the disobedient thereunto were subject to death: they died who despised Moses law.

But that house of Moses was taken down, the veil thereof rent in sunder: and this other house, the Sons house is set up in the room thereof, and he himself become both foundation and top-stone, both door of entrance and mansion of residence: he is all in all to every one that receiveth him by faith, and manifests their faith by obedience: walking obediently before him, who is Lord of his house & faithful therein as a Son: as Moses was in his house as a Ser­vant; Administring therein by the law of the spirit of life: lead­ing his sheep, going in out and before them, guiding their feet, and causing them to walk in his way, according to that blessed witness, and testimony, The meek he will guide in judgment, the meek he will teach his way: and will keep the feet of his Saints, and uphold their goings that their footsteps slide not.

It is further added in these words viz.

‘Christ saith I am the light to them that receives him, to them he gives power to become the Sons of God; The light rejected, no power received.’

Reply. This passage touching power to become the Sons of God is necessary to be considered: (though it hath been hinted before.)

I find in scripture that the word [...] is not only used for power, which consisteth in the virtue or strength which a person hath to do [Page 14] any thing, but it is used to signifie Dignity, Honour, Right, Privi­lege, Prerogative, Authority, or Liberty.

1 Cor. 8.9. But take heed lest this Liberty (or Privilege) of yours become a stumbling block to them that are weak: the word is [...] the same which is in Joh. 1.12. rendred power.

1 Cor. 9.4, 5, 6. Have we not power to eat and to drink, have we not power to lead about a Sister a Wife, as well as other Apostles, have not we as much right and Privilege as they, or I only and Bar­nabas have we not power to forbear working; that is, have not we li­berty so to do? It is used for dignity, honour or prerogative which the Divel used as a baite in his tempation to our Lord, Luk. 4.6. who taking him up into an high mountain shewed him all the Kingdomes of the world, and said to him, All this power will I give thee and the glory of them, &c.

And to this of privilege and dignity and prerogative, doth the interpretation of this word, in Joh. 1.12. agree, as may appear by the connexion of the word, which followes [...], which though it be rendred in the English to become, that it may the better agree with the former word power: viz. power to become the sons of God, yet the word truely and properly signifies to be made the Sons of God: and that wil appear by the interpretation of the same word in the same first of John and in other scriptures, where it is not ren­dered become, but made: Joh. 1.3. all things [ [...]] were made by him, and without him was not any thing made that was made, vers. 10. the world was made by him, vers. 14. the word was made flesh: Gal. 4.4. Made of a woman, made under the law, Joh. 2.9. when the ruler—Tasted the water which was made wine, Joh. 5.9. the man was made whole: and many the like instances.

So that the reading of these words before mentioned as they are translated, have (I perceive) misled this friend in his application, or rather misapplication of them, which in true construction are not to be read, as they are Englished, viz. power to become the Sons of G; but to as many as received him to them he gave privilege, prero­gative or dignity to be made the Sons of God; to them (beleeving or) which beleeve in his name, and the Rhemists themselves, though they use the words to prove a power of free will in man to become the sons of God, if they will; yet is it acknowledged by Martin, that the Greek word signifieth not only power, but also dignity, and the vulgar Latin reads it power to be made the sons of God; now what power is there in a person in his being made a Son of God? [Page 15] nor will the context favour such a construction, which plainly testi­fies, that such as receive Christ, are dignified with Sonship, or are made the Sons of God, even as many as beleeve in his name.

Q. How are they made the Sons of God? actively or passiively; have they power to become Sons of God, or are they made such?

A. Nay they were born such: How? not of Bloods, nor of the will of man, nor of the will of the flesh, but of God; who of his own good will begets, and of his meer grace brings forth, or causes to be born the children of the regeneration, Joh. 3.3, 5, 6. who are as meerly passive in the new birth as they were in their first generati­on, or natural birth; so farre is man from becoming a Child or Son of God that he must be made so, or he shall never see the kingdome of God: where then is glorying or boasting, it is excluded; by what law, of works? Nay, but by the law of faith.

For both will and deed own themselves to God, who of his own good pleasure, worketh both to will and to do, that no flesh should glory in his presence.

‘The Gospel is the power of God to salvation, to every one that beleeves: let him be accursed that preacheth another Gospel; what then will become of all those, which have preached a Gospel without power?’

‘He that receives the light, and is obedient to it, receives the Gift of God, and shall receive the power: The light rejected, no power received; your heart shall fail, and your eyes wax dim, that looks for another way, or another Gospel, than that which redeems out of sinne.’

‘The name of Christ in the outward sound is pleasant, in as much as thereby men think to have their sins taken away, but the Gospel is the power of God that redeems out of sin.’

‘Though thy self art not ignorant of the many forms, which cry lo here and lo there, yet the way is but one.’

The Scripture saith of some;

‘When they knew God, they glorified him not as God, these had such a knowledg of God, that they might thereby have glorified him, as God, wch not doing they were given up to vile affections.’

To speak to these promiscuously and in general might not prove so satisfactory, as if they were particularly treated; therefore I shal speak to each distinctly, though with all possible brevity.

Reply. That the Gospel is the power of God to salvation may not be denyed: Rom. 1.16. for it is so to every one that beleeveth and [Page 16] let him be accursed, that preacheth any other gospel than that which is so, Gal. 1.9. But where the gospel (which is the power of God to salvation is preached) if it be not mixt with faith in them, which hear it; it is not the power of God to salvation to such according to the testimony of that Scripture, Heb. 4.2. For unto us was the gospel preached as well as unto them, but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard.

So that the gospel is not the power of God to salvation to any but to such as beleeve it, and by faith receive the glad tidings and message thereof, and become obedient thereunto, Rom. 1.17. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith, as it is written, The just shal live by faith.

The gospel which in it self is the power of God to salvation (so named already) may be prerched not only in word but also in power and in the holy spirit (as twice to the Thessalonians 1 Thes. 1.5.) in demonstration of the spirit and power (as to the Corinthians, 1 Cor. 2.4.) [...]: it may be powerfully ratified and confirmed by signs and wonders and mighty deeds, yet not powerfull to salva­tion, except received by faith in them that hear it.

Such a gospel was it to the Thessalonians 1 Thes. 1.5. It was brought to them in mighty power; and received by them in much assurance, as the very word of God to which they yeilded the obedience of faith, 1 Thes. 2.13, 14. As the Romans also did, Chap. 15.18, 19. Wheresoever the Gospel is preached in Evidence and demonstrati­on of the spirit, and received by faith in them that hear it: it is the arm and power of God to salvation to such, and doth power­fully incline them to yeild obedience in word and deed, to whatso­ever is therein revealed unto them.

‘He that receives the light, and is obedient to it receivs the gift of God, and shall receive the power; the light rejected, no power received.’

Reply. It hath been said before (by this friend to whom I now re­ply, ‘That Christ is the light;’ and ‘That Christ is the gift of God.’ To which may be added that which is testified, 1 Cor. 1.18.

That Christ is the power of God, as it is expressed by the Apostle.

Now let it be considered, what is spoken by the friend in this parcel of words above recited, and whether it amount not to a repetition and Tautology of words.

He that receives the light and is obedient to it, receives Christ [Page 17] (for Christ is the light) receives the gift of God, that is, Christ, for Christ is the gift of God; and shall receive the power that is Christ, for Christ is the power of God, and such as receive Christ, and obey him, reject not the light, nor can be without the power, forasmuch as he whom they have received and obeyed, is both the light and the power and the gift, and is no more than if it had been thus express'd; He that receives Christ & obeys him, receives Christ, and shall receive Christ, Christ rejected, no Christ received.

‘Your heart shall fail and your eyes wax dim, that look for another way, or another Gospel than that which redeems out of sin.’

Reply. It hath been said before that Christ is the way.

Let their heart fail, and their eyes wax dim, that expect salvati­on by any other way, than by him, who is the Way the Truth and the Life. Forasmuch as there is no other name given under hea­ven, whereby we can be saved: and that Gospel, which tenders salvation by Christ to sinners without redemption from sin, let it indeed be Anathema from the Lord.

For it is witnessed of the true and only Lord Jesus, that his name should be called Jesus, (that is, Saviour) for that he should redeem his people from their sins, Mat. 1.21. and save them to the utmost, that come unto God by him, everliving to make intercession for them, Heb. 7.25. even for them, who by him do beleeve in God, purifying their souls in obeying the truth through the spirit, being born again, &c. 1 Pet. 1.21, 22, 23.

Which testimony is born up in the hearts of the children of the regeneration, who are made the sons of God by faith in Christ Jesus, having received the adoption of sons they cry unto him in spirit incessantly night and day, that this redemption from the bo­dy of sin and death may be compleated in them, saying, how long Lord holy and true? fighting the good fight of faith, keeping up the watch and warre of the Lord, as knowing that the God of peace will shortly tread Sathan under their feet; I say, their feet (as really) within them, as he hath troden him under his own feet for them without them: And further knowing that they shall assuredly reap in due time, if they faint not, this being their victory even their faith, by which with patience they possess their soul, being confi­dent of this one thing, that he is faithful, who hath called them, who will also do it; and having begun a good work in them will also per­fect it, perform, or finish it untill the day of Christ: having this [Page 18] hope they purify themselves in the power of him, who of God is made to them righteousness and sanctification, as well as wisdome and redemption.

‘The name of Christ is pleasant in the outward sound, in as much as thereby men think to have their sins taken away; but the Gospel is the power of God that redeems out of sin.’

Reply. Who ever names the name of Christ, is to depart from iniquity: and he who naming the name of Christ, how pleasant soever he count that name, yet if such an one, depart not from iniquity, but rowl his sinne under his tongue as a sweet morsel, and bless himself in his heart, saying, I shall have peace, though I walk in the Imagination (or stubborness) of my heart, to adde drunk­enness to thirst, the Lord will not spare him, but the anger of the Lord and his jealousie will smoak against that man: there's no such use of the name of Christ, as to make it a Cloak for sin; for the wrath of God is revealed against all unrighteousness in men. Whatsoever and in whomsoever it be, and he that regards iniquity in his heart, hath a root of gall and wormwood, that will eat out all the pleasantness that may seem to be in the name of Christ in the outward sound, Deut. 29.18, 19, 20.

Yet for asmuch as there may be some snare and temptation lie upon some souls, touching those words (before minded and re­peated,) viz. the Gospel is the power of God that redeems out of sin.

Whence some persons do conclude, that they are redeemed out of sin, and that the body of sin is destroyed in them, they are come unto mount Sion, to the Citty of the living God, to the heavenly Jerusalem, to the spirits of just men made perfect: & hence proceeds that frame of spirit of judging, others with severity & austereness, (who dare not so say of themselves; but through the spirit wait for the hope of righteousness) contrary to the spirit of meekness and lowliness of mind, wherewith each should account and esteem others better than themselves: according to the rule of Christ given by the A­postle often repeated, Ephes. 4.2. Col. 3.12. which requireth a shewing all meekness to all men, Tit. 3.2. Jam. 3.13. to the end; as our Lord Jesus himself left example, who quenched not the smoaking flax, Mat. 12.18, 19, 20. who said, Learn of me for I am meek and lowly in heart, Mat. 11.29. Others on the other hand judging themselves (because they cannot so say of themselves) that they are not redeemed out of sin, but go mourning and bowed down and are in fear continually, because of the fury of the op­pressor: [Page 19] the evil they would not, that they do, and the good they would, that they do not; and are crying out in bitterness, as Ru­ben for Joseph, Alas, for the Lad is not, and I whither shall I go? (or as she) If it be so, why am I thus?

There might be some good use made of a seasonable word to each of these, if it might please the Lord to direct therein.

Are there some redeemed out of sin, and come to the spirits of just men made perfect: and is it so indeed with them?

What means then the bleating of the sheep, and the lowing of the oxen which are heard in such? (I mean such) as say they have attained, but in measure: I am not free to instance in personal or per­ticular discoveries; But this wotd (in measure) declares plainly, that such are not at home, they are not in the City, they are at most but travailers towards it, they have certain Miles yet to travail be­fore they arrive.

Who ever saith, he knows in part, declares plainly he is short of perfection, 1 Cor. 13.10, 12. and who ever saith, he knows perfectly, he knows not how imperfect his knowledg is.

Therefore to the first sort I would say, why boastest thou O vain man of that which is not? who so boasteth of a false gift, is like clouds and wind without rain.

Or if thou dost not pretend to have attained, and to be arrived at end of thy journey, and to be perfect, as the heavenly father is perfect;

Why dost thou judg thy Brother, and why dost thou set at nought thy Brother, who is in his way as well as thou? we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ, Rom. 14.10. who then art thou that judgest another mans servant? contradicting that rule of Christ, Jam. 4.11, 12. Mat. 7. the five first verses, Iudge not that ye be not judged, &c.

Take with thee therefore these two Cautions, viz.

1. Boast not against thy Brother: neither glory in a false gift; for thou art not perfect, while thou knowest but in part, and hast at­tained but in measure.

2. Despise not the day of smal things in another, while as yet thou thy self art not perfect: but remember that command of Christ, Learn of me for I am meek and lowly in heart, Mat. 11.29. shew­ing all meekness to all men, Tit. 3.2. break not the bruised reed: Remember the parable which our Lord Jesus spake unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous and despised others. Luk. 18.9.

To the Second Sort.

To those who are bowed down in their spirit, for fear of the fury of the oppressor: of whom it's said in truth and sincerity of heart: the evil that I would not do, that I do; & the good I would do, I do not: whose soul goes forth in them for deliverance from the body of sin & death by Jesus Christ according to the Gospel & the power thereof: to such it may be said: (notwithstanding they may be judged and despised by the former; yet) the foundation of God is sealed, who will bring forth judgment into victory, and perfect the work which himself hath begun in them: & having laid the foun­dation will lay the topstone also, to the praise of the glory of his grace: for faithful is he, who hath promised, who will also do it, according to the tenour of those words, Ezek. 17. last, And all the Trees of the field, shall know that I the Lord, have brought down the High tree, have exalted the Low tree, have dryed up the green tree, and have made the dry tree to flowrish, I the Lord have spoken it, and have done it.

‘Thou thy self art not ignorant of the many forms which cry, Lo here and lo there, yet the way is but one.’

Reply. I am not unacquainted that there are indeed many forms, which do pretend to that one way, That only way the Lord Jesus; Among which the present form (now under debate between us) is one, touching which I have met with these passages, viz. ‘Sinck down into the eternal love, and thou wilt see me, and the rest, that we are in unity of that one spirit, Rich. Farn. discovery of faith, p. 4.’

‘Though ten thousand times ten thousand, yet they are but one in the body, one faith, one seed, one baptizing, one Supper, one Covenant, one God, and Father, all one heart and one soul, serving God in one way, worshipping him in spirit, and with one mouth glorifying his great and glorious name; Who are of this seed, are of Abraham, Rich. Farn. Rant. discov. pag. 17.’

The contrary to which the most High and holy Lord hath been pleased to suffer to discover it self most eminently in the Schism wch hath been made in the body of this so much adored & admired pro­fession: which I cannot but take notice of, being so opportunely led into it by this Appeal, which is made to me, touching my not being ignorant of many forms: to all which the Lord hath suffered the addition of this one more; and that also increased into more than one by dividing the heads thereof: which many (dear to the Lord) in holy fear and trembling, say touching this matter, What hath God wrought?

While they consider, that the unity so much gloried in being as the band or girdle, which bound up the bundle, and was made an Eminent Character of the verity of the persons, their Doctrine and practice: by which it was exalted, magnified in opposition to other peoples, of whom it was said, that they were in division and confusion, but themselves were in unity: of one heart and of one way (as in the passages last recited out of Rich. Farnworth, beside many others which might be named) For the most high and holy Lord in his great wisdome to permit that this band or girdle should be rent in sunder without hand; no man contributing toward the doing thereof but themselves: this is not a smal thing in the eyes of the impartial and sober minded observer.

Nor did this their rent or division happen among the mean ones, but between the heads, the men of name; where the chief strength lay: persons of no smal account or esteem with the persons of this perswasion. G. F. to I. N. I. N. to G. P. I. B. to I. N.

Nor was this in some circumstantial matter, but in their founda­tion, so that it amounts unto the very same thing mentioned, that is, (lo here, and lo there,) the one (not person only, but party) Crying down the other with great severity, and that in the name of the Lord, as not having stood in the Counsel of the Lord, though both avouch the light to be but one and the same in all, yet are set up as witnesses against each other, and what further thing the Lord will do in the end thereof, doth not yet appear, but many of his poor and tender ones lie at his foot admiting at his wisdome and coun­sel herein, waiting to see his further pleasure, mourning for his Captiv'd ones, Crying day and night unto him, that they may be redeemed out of the snare, which God hath caused to be broken before their eyes without hand, using none other means but them­selves for effecting thereof.

‘When they knew God, they glorified him not as God, those had such a knowledge of God, that they might thereby have glori­fied him as God, which not doing they were given up to vile af­fections.’

Reply: whether this passage have a special and particular appli­cation to the Romans, or whether it relate more generally to man­kinde, is not declared; however, it is thus far evident,

That the most Holy and Eternall God, the Maker and Creator of all things, the father of lights, and spirits; hath made forth the discovery and knowledge of himself (in the majesty of his power [Page 22] and Godhead) to the sons of men. (Partly by what he hath manifested in them, and partly by what he hath shewed unto them, viz. his eternal pow­er and Godhead.) hath been before largely proved, and may be here but briefly hinted by way of repetition; upon this renewed occasion, viz. That God who stretcheth forth the Heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, hath formed the spirit of man within him as a Candle, or lamp, or torch, calling it the candle of the Lord (of the nature and property whereof much hath been spoken before) together with a a law written on his heart, by reflexion upon which, not only the power, but the Godhead of God was knowable and discernable: that as it is manifested in man, that no other but this eternal God is his maker and Creator; so he must serve no other but him, nor none beside him: Him only shalt thou serve: and this service must be performed (as to the only Creator and Maker) according to the te­nor of that law written upon the heart, which afterwards was decla­red by more solemn publication in the mount which burnt with fire, Deut. 4.11.

Nor was the power and Godhead of God only invisibly manifested in man, but was also externally shewed unto him by those outspeak­ings of God in the visible parts and parcels of the Creation, whereby it evidently appeared that there was no God, no other God besides him, whose invisible glory shined through these visible appearances, which were seen from the Creation of the world, by which double demonstration of his power and Godhead, he left not himselfe without witnesse unto and in man, nor man under the capacity of an excuse before God, nor in himselfe; the evincing whereof is the main scope of the holy spirit in Rom. 1.19, 20, 21. Acts 14.15, 16, 17. Act. 17. from 24. to the 30 verse.

Hence it follows, that because when they knew God, they glori­fied him not as God, &c. neither were thankfull, but changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an Image made like to corrup­tible man, and to birds and to four footed beasts, and creeping things, therefore, or for this cause, God gave them up.

Though they had evident & plain discovery of the Godhead of God of his soveraignty and supremacy together with his benignity and bounty; for which they should have served him and praised him as their soveraign Lord and maker: owning him to be so, and serving him as such according to those expressions, Psal. 95.6. Psal. 100.1.2, 3.

Instead whereof it is testified, that they did not glorifie him as [Page 23] God (i. e.) they did not ascribe unto the Lord glory and strength as became the kindreds of the people: nor although they knew) there was no God, but he which made them, and had made mani­fest the same unto them, yet they liked not to retain this knowledge of God, or God in their knowledge, but changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an Image, made like unto corruptible man, and to birds and beasts and creeping things; turning the Godhead of the invisible and eternal God into a lye, and falling down there­unto worshipping and serving the Creature more than (or instead of) the Creator, who is blessed for ever; for this cause God gave them up, &c.

Not as if the natural man while he is such can glorifie God as God (i.e.) ascribe to God the glory due unto his name, any other­wise than as he is demonstrated to his naturall capacity; as he is pleased to give forth himself to be discerned by his lamp or torch within, or the works of Creation without him: forasmuch as that which to a regenerate person (to one born of the Spirit, or from above) is the power of God, and the wisdom of God, and owned by him as such, and by him ascribed to God, as being so, is by the natural man accounted foolishnesse, and consequently upon this account (i. e.) in spiritual things he cannot glorifie God, because he cannot discern that there is any glory therein, The natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned, 1 Cor. 2.14.

Neverthelesse so much as may leave him without excuse is mani­fested in him and shewed unto him, and is discernable by him, viz. the eternal power and Godhead of God in opposition to all false Gods, to every created being or likenesse thereof: so as that who ever shall willingly and knowingly depart from the living God (or from that of God which they know as men) and erect something in­stead thereof, and bow down thereto; these do herein say to the Almighty, depart from us, we desire not the knowledge of thy waies, and they may be truly said in the sense and scope of this Scripture, Rom. 1.21. not to glorifie God as God; these might have glorified him as God, i.e. own'd him as such, as the only God, the Creator and maker of all things, for so was he made out to them, (both with­in them and without them) which they not owning nor acknow­ledging: not liking to retain God in their knowledge, but erecting something instead of him, are said not to glorifie God as God.

The Scriptures bear testimony unto this in sundry places.

Those which have seen the mighty works of God (as a Creator) upon themselves or others (I say the mighty works of God as a Cre­ator) these are said to glorifie God, in owning and acknowledging him to be the Author thereof, confessing him to be the only God, or the God of Gods: so did that proud King Nebuchadnezzar, Dan. 3.28, 29. Blessed be the God of, &c. Because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort, Dan. 4.2, 3. I thought it good to shew the signes and wonders, which the high God hath shewed toward me: how great are his signes, and how mighty are his wonders, vers. 34. And I blessed the most high, and I praised and honoured him, that liveth for ever.

Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extoll and honour the King of hea­ven, all whose works are truth, and his wayes judgement, and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.

Thus he glorified God as the most high God, Dan. 5.21. ascri­bing to him the glory due to his name: so may, and so ought every naturall man to own God, as his Creator, and to ascribe to him glo­ry and honour. The contrary whereof appears in his son Belshazzar, Dan. 5.22. And thou his Son hast not humbled thy heart though thou knewest all this: and the God in whose hand thy breath is, hast thou not glorified: whence it is evident that the father did (but the Son did not) glorifie God (i.e.) ascribe unto him the greatnesse of his power, soveraignty and dominion, and extoll and praise him accor­ding thereunto, as the most High, the only God of Gods: as they in Rev. 11.13. in that terrible and dreadfull Earthquake, who be­ing affrighted gave glory (i.e.) ascribed glory to the God of hea­ven.

In like manner did the Centurion glorifye God in giving testimony to our Lord Jesus: at the time of his death, Luk. 23.47. when he saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, Certainly this was a righteous man, Luk. 7.15, 16. and there came a great fear on all, and they glorified God, saying, That a great Prophet is risen up among us.

So that when in that passage it is said, Because when they knew God they glorified him not as God: and the inference thereupon, viz. those had such a knowledg of God that they might thereby have glorified him as God: It is to be remembred what that Such Knowledg was. Now what that kind of knowledge of God was which they had is declared, (that is,) Such as whereby they saw his eternal power and Godhead, and could distinguish between him, and any Created being, they were not to be instructed that a bird or a [Page 25] beast, or a creeping thing, or the Image of a man, was not the true and living God, the Author and fountain of all created beings: for they knew full well the contrary, they had sufficient demonstration to the contrary, both without them, and within them. Neverthe­lesse they being so stupidly brutish as (contrary to their light and knowledge) to bid defiance to the most high God, and to cast off the knowledge of him, and to erect (contrary to truth and reason) such beastly and brutish gods, which are lies and no gods, viz. Birds and beasts, and creeping things, as they did, Rom. 1.23.

The righteous Lord as a just recompence of reward, gave them up to all uncleanesse, blindnesse, bruitishnesse, a dreadfull reward of so horrible a sinne, vers. 24.26.28.

A fearfull example to all such, who having attained to any mea­sure of the knowledge of God, though but as a Creator, and yet doe not glorifie him as such, by ascribing unto him the honour due to his name, according to those words of truth, 1 Cor. 16.23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30. Jer. 10.7. Rev. 15.4. Who would not fear THEE O King of Nations, and glorifie thy name: sing unto the Lord all the earth, shew forth from day to day his salvation, declare his glory among the hea­then, for great is the Lord: ye kinreds of the people give unto the Lord glo­ry and strength, the glory due to his Name.

But for any to know the true God, and that there is no other gods but he, nor any to be feared & served, but he, and yet to bid defiance to him, and that measure of knowledge which they have of him, and imbrace other gods, whether birds or beasts, or creeping things; yea, though it should be a man, or the Son of a man, the Image of a man: it is an aggravation of sin, and 'twill be so in the judgement, and 'twere better such had never known this knowledg, but had been made birds or beasts or creeping things: or had never seen the light, for the untimely birth is more happy than such: ‘Whoso is wise, and will observe those things: even they shall understand the loving kindnesse of the Lord, Psal. 107. last verse.’

To the Soule-ly Sensual, or Natural Man Whether • Civil , and • or Profane. 

SOlomon applying his heart to know, to search, and to seek out wisdome: and to know the wickedness of folly, even of foolish­ness, and madness, Eccles. 9.3. centers all in the heart of the Sons of men: from whence proceeds evil thoughts, Adulteries, Fornicati­ons, Murders, Thefts, Covetousness, Wickedness, Deceit, Lascivious­ness, an evil Eye, Blasphemy, Pride, Foolishness, all these evil things come from within, and defile the man (as he that is the truth it self testifies;) Mar. 7.21, 22.

But in the beginning it was not so: and this testimony the Ho­ly spirit gives by the mouth of him, that made this diligent search: Ecclesiast. 7. ult. Lo this [...]nly have I found, that God made man upright, but they have sought out many Inventions: As all the Inventions which defile the man, proceed from within the man (as above) so all those defiling Inventions, were sought out, and fetch'd in by the man: whose destruction is of himself; for in the beginning God saw every thing, that he had made, and behold it was very good, and Man was made in his own Image, In the Image of God created he him, Gen. 1.27. (God made man upright) Nevertheless Man in honour abideth not, he is like the beasts that perish; His bow abode not in strength he sought out many Inventions; Tumbles down from his excellency, and is driven out among beasts, and made to eat grass, as the Ox, or husks with the Swine: (Till the time appointed of the most High be determined, and mans understanding be caused to return, and the splendor, honour, and brightness of his king­dome be restored: and excellent Majesty added to him, by being new created in Christ Jesus, and renewed in the spirit of his mind, in righteousness and holiness of truth: being born again by the spirit or from above, without which change passing upon him no man can see, or enter into the kingdome of God.)

Nor is this the Condition of some men only, but it is the lot and portion of all the Generations of mankind, all having sinned, and come short of the Glory of God, there being none that doth good, no not one: there is none that understandeth, none that [Page 27] seeks after God, every one is turning the Glory of the incorruptible God, into the Image of corruptible man, according to the variety of his Invention, some into the figure and form of Birds, some of Beasts, some of Creeping things, every one something (besides or instead of the true God, the eternal living God) to which they bow down, seek after, and delight themselves in, as if these were their Gods, & each ones particular own self were the God of Gods.

Whom (by all these) they serve, and to whom they make subservi­ent all their other Gods: Mans Belly is his God, mans self is Mans Idol, whether he will see, & acknowledg it to be so or no.

The true and incorruptible God is by mans Invention changed into corruptible appearances of birds, or beasts, or creeping things, and his truth is changed into a lye.

Therefore is man turned out from his dominion and dignity, and given up to make abode with these birds, and beasts, and Creeping things, these lyes of his own Inventing.

Among the Sons of men, who have their habitation in this de­sart or vast howling wilderness; There is a proportional diffe­rence, or different qualification resembling that, to which they are Hieroglyphically resembled, viz. the Beasts, and Birds, and Creep­ing things, among which, some are birds and beasts of prey, and others are less hurtful, and more useful: some more fierce, and savagely cruel, or sordidly brutish: others resembling other kind of Cattel more serviceable and useful.

Yet all are in their understanding (in relation to the most High & holy God) brutish, and without knowledg: though, that which may be known of God, is manifest in them, viz. his eternal power and Godhead, Jer. 51.17. yet there is none that understands, none that seeks after God, but they are all gone out of the way, and are altogether become unprofitable, loving, fearing, and serving the Creature more than the Creator; and may be thus differenced and distinguished

  • either into the tame Beast, the Civil Naturalist.
  • or the wild Beast, or the openly profane Naturalist.

If any shall say as Bildad, Job 18.3 Wherefore were we counted as Beasts? It may be answered, because man hath lost his understanding, Rom. 3.11. and man though in honour being without understanding, is like the Beasts that perish, Psal. 49.28. and Sol mon resolves the Case, touching all the generations of mankind, Eccles. 3.18. I said [Page 28] in my heart concerning the estate of the Sons of men, That God might manifest them, and that they might see, that they themselves are beasts: Every man being brutish in his knowledg, Jer. 10.14. To the Civil naturalist; whose study and exercise of body and mind is to excel in vertue, to be serviceable and useful in his generation, who wisely considers the nature of the things intended, & the nature of himself, that intends them: & the coherence or correspondence thereof, and so keeps the ordinance of nature inviolate in the transaction; which is observed in relation to persons as to things: whose care and Industry is to discern by daily speculation the mu­tual concords, and to make application thereof, doing as he would be done by, and steering his course by that compass: though this be an eminent part of the excellency of the natural man, yet, is not this the only or the alone exercise of his mind, for he hath also an eye to God herein.

Doth not nature it self teach? hath it not its rule, and its rea­son, its law and its custome, yea and its Religion also? Hence that Philosopher Epictetus, Manuale Chap. 38. Hath this saying touch­ing Religion.

‘Know that the first and for most point of Religon is a true be­leefe, to be assuredly perswaded that there is a God, and that he swayeth the state of the whole universe, in goodness & in justice: that we must obey him, & assent unto his commands in the smalest condition, approving all his actions and following his directions, as the effects of that purest and most glorious Intellect, thus doing thou shalt never have cause to repine at him nor to repute him negligent of thee—Now as for Sacrifices and offerings let each one observe the custome of the land, wherein he liveth, doing it with purity,—parsimony, diligence, cleanness, and within the compass of his ability.’

But who this God, this most pure and glorious Intellect is, he discovers in these words;

‘In all our Enterprises we should pray thus, Jupiter thou High and holy God, and thou O changless Fate, direct me to the end that your immutable determinations have assigned me, for I will follow your appointments most chearfully, and if I would not do so I were a villain—Chap. 77.’

How evidently demonstrable is it, that the tamest & cleanliest, the most virtuous and best accomplish'd among the Sons of men; the improvers, and promoters of natures dictates, and principles, [Page 29] the studiers of vertue, whether it be Socrates the wise, or Plato, whom they call the divine philosopher, or Seneca the grave mora­list, or Epictetus, or any other of the more refined sort of Natura­lists, could not by the light of their torch arrive at the knowledg of the true and invisible and eternal God, but notwithstanding that which may be known of God, was manifest in them, & by the visible things from the Creation made forth unto them, yet either through the pravity & want of light, their understanding being darkened; or through the perversness of their will, their foolish heart was dark­ened: so as that professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, changing the glory of the Incorruptible God, into an I­mage made like to corruptible man (that is,) vainly imagining the most High and glorious God, which is invisible and eternal might be resembled by an Image of a corruptible man or manness, Jupiter, Mercury, Apollos, Diana: or some one or more of these or the like, priesting and sacrificing unto them with oxen and garlands according to the Invention of their foolish and darkened heart: the more Seraphick, Aiery, and celestial among them, soaring more loftily, devoting and inscribing to the unknown God, while others more sordidly, crept upon the earth & resembled the divine Majesty to four footed beasts, and creeping things, all groping after, but not attaining the knowledg of the true God, because thinking them­selves wise they became fools, and the most high God in wisdome would have it so; that he might make foolish the wisdome of the world, and destroy the wisdome of the wise, and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent: that they by wisdome should not know him, but that he might bring forth the knowledg of himself in a way of foolishness in the worlds account; as he did, and hath done, and hath given testimony thereof both by and un­to men and Angels, testifying that the knowledg of him the true God; and of him, by whom he hath made forth this knowledg, (that is,) the Lord Jesus Christ, whom he hath sent, is Eternal life: the further demonstration of which may be referred to those two lectures, which this messenger and blessed Apostle of the Gentiles mannages in behalf of the most High God, against the worship­pers of Jupiter, and Mercury. Both priests and preisted people, Act. 14. v. 11, to 18. And those lofty Athenians, Philosophers, Epicurians, and Stoicks, whom he encounter'd, Act. 17. from v. 16, to 31. prov­ing and alleaging their Gods to be no Gods, and contrarywise preaching, and declaring to them that unknown God, to whom [Page 30] their Altar was inscribed: calling them to repentance by an Argu­ment drawn from the judgement, which the most High God would administer to the world in righteousnesse by Jesus Christ, of which he hath given assurance unto all men by raising him from the dead. In which he briefly layes down the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith towards God (the true and living God) of the resurrection from the dead, and of eternal judgment.

But if any shall say, What doth this Babler say? Are we Lycao­nians or Athenians, Stoicks or Epicures, what doth all this concern us? Whereunto tends all this waste? Are not we Christians, born of Christian Parents? Did not our Fathers say for themselves and us, I beleeve in God the Father Almighty? Did they not pro­mise and vow in my name, and made me say Amen to it in my in­fancy, in the way that seem'd good to them to signifie thereby my consent? Therefore we are no Heathens, but Christians (out of doubt) and worshippers of the true God.

To you then O ye men, women and children (not of Athens) but of England; to you is this poor plain word directed.

Are you of the posterity of Adam? so am I. Are you Natives of England? so am I. Were you made to confesse God in your infan­cy, when you were uncapable of knowing him? so was I, in such a manner as my zealous parents were instructed, and as I in that e­state was capable. Were you, any of you, put in mind of the vow and promise, which was made in your name, and educated accor­dingly? I also had my measure thereof. Were you vaine neverthe­lesse? so was I: stubborn and rebellious? so was I. Were you foo­lish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures? all this, and more than this, was I.

Had you under all this checks and reproofs of conscience for va­nity, for lying, even in your Childhood? so had I. Did you resolve against it? so did I. Did you cry to the most high God for strength against it? in my degree & measure I did so too: Were you tender in heart? so was I. Were you grieved, when God was offended? I was the like. Saw you the root and spring of all wickednesse and noisome lusts to proceed from the corrupt and impure fountain of the heart? I did the like; being convinced that till the heart was changed, and a new heart given instead thereof, it would not be o­therwise with me: Did you reforme what you were convinced of? so did I. Did you put on a form of profession? so did I. Did you walke on in that forme for some time? I did so too. Suffered you [Page 31] any thing from Superiours or equals for walking strictly or diffe­rently from them? I had my share therein also: Were you not even and constant in this course of witnesse and walking? no more was I. Were there not breakings out into sins, such as from whence you seemed to have been departed? that state I witnesse. Had you peace then? no more had I. Durst you approach God in prayer then? no more durst I: Did mournings and repentings, tears and fastings renew the confidence, and create the peace? 'Twas so with me: so long as I was obedient, I had peace, and when I was in trans­gression, I was afraid, I ran away, and hid my self. Did you ever search your own heart to discern and discover the evil thereof? so did I oft.

(From all which I conclude the truth of the foregoing premises, That there is a light and law in man, &c.)

Did you (after many years of profession) enquire into the ground of your profession, and consider whence, as well as what it was? I did so too: Were you convinced, that your worship and service of God was founded upon tradition, and education, and the custome of the Nation, the light that was let in thorough the observation of what they said and did; and that whensoever you were checked or reproved for sin, or affrighted and discouraged from approaching to God being self-judged, and self-convicted, that it proceeded from what you had received and learned from reading or hearing, and as you did conform or not conform to this, so was your peace made up, or broken, and discontinued without any other, or further ground? Have you, or have you not been acquainted with this en­quiry, and observed the result thereof?

I have known the person who upon this enquiry hath been smit­ten the mouth stopped, and the person silenced, and the building, which for many years hath been erecting, blown upon by the breath and spirit of the Lord, and laid even with the ground: through the power of this discovery, that Jesus Christ was not laid as a founda­tion nor corner stone in this building: But all the profession hath amounted to no more, but to a creaturely and selfe-righteousnesse made up of reformation and purification; founded in the Creatures act and power.

But the name given of God for salvation, besides which there is no other name given among men, whereby they can be saved, this being not understood, received or beleeved on; there hath appea­red nothing but stones of emptinesse, and lines of confusion: per­sons appearing as men, which have dream'd that they were eating, [Page 32] but when they are awakened by the spirit of the Lord, which re­proveth and convinceth of sin indeed, behold their soul is empty and faint.

To such then as not only have improved their first radical prin­ciples in the exercise of the moral vertues: but to those especially who have made progresse in higher profession; I demand, whether they have considered the force of natural education, what an influ­ence it hath upon the offspring: you may read of him, who said he profited in the Jews Religion above many, being exceeding Zea­lous of the traditions (or ordinances) of his fathers: and the mixt multitude, who fell all sting, Numb. 11.4. went up out of Aegypt, Exod. 12.38. and bear a share in the external part of that song, Exod. 15.2. My fathers God, & I will exalt him: how apt is it for man to say my fathers God, my Countries God, my friends God, my Com­panions God; & yet not know the God of their fathers, or not to know that knowledg to be indeed according to God in verity and truth.

There are empty Vines which bring forth fruit to self, Hos. 10.1. Trees which flourish and grow and bring forth fruit goodly to the eye, and in outward appearance are as that green olive tree, fair and of goodly fruit, on which nevertheless the most high will kindle a fire, and cause the branches to be broken, Jer. 11.16, be­cause it is not testified of them, according to that word, Hos. 14.8. from me is thy fruit found. It's necessary to consider the foundati­on, whereon we are built: there's no other foundation, but the Rock, nor no Rock but the Lord Jesus Christ, and him laid as a foundation, whereon the building must stand, that will abide the storm and tempest.

There are two Common Roots of Mankind

  • The First Adam,
  • the Second, Adam,

two Creations, two Covenants.

There must be a breaking off, that there may be a grafting in, a dying to the spirit, that there may be a quickning, or live-making by the second Adam: not a garnishing the old tomb, neither with feathers nor Garlands, no nor garments neither; but old things must pass away, and all things become new, not a new name only, but a New nature also: For except a man be born again, he shall never see the kingdome of God, much may the natural man do and yet but a Child of the first birth.

To the latter of these, to such as bid defiance to, &c.

To the latter of these: to such as bid defiance to the most High God, who say to the Almighty, depart from us, we will not the know­ledge of thy wayes; Even to these, wisedome uttereth her voice in the streets, she cryeth in the chiefe place of concourse. How long ye scorners will ye delight in scorning, and fooles hate knowledg, turn ye at my reproof: To day while its called to day harden not your hearts, but seek the Lord while he may be found: for there is a destruction determined from the Lord upon all the proud and profane ones, for he will dash them one against another, even the Fathers and the Sons together, and will neither pity nor spare, nor have mercy, but destroy.

Hear ye therefore and give ear, be not proud, for the Lord hath spoken; give glory to the Lord God, before he cause darknesse, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and while ye look for light he turn it into the shadow of death, and make it grosse darkness: humble your selves, and sit down, for your Principalities shall come down, even the crown of your glory: and although you wipe your mouths, and say you have done no wickedness, yet the pride & rebellion of Haman and Nebuchadnezzar, the profaneness of Esau, the gluttony & drunkenness of Dives and Belshazzar, as the ini­quity of your heels will compass you about, and what will you do in the end thereof, when the watcher, the Holy one shall say unto you as to him in the vision; Hew down the Tree, cut off his branches, shake off his leaves, and scatter his fruit, let the beasts get away from under it, and the fowls from his branches, and let his portion be with the beasts in the grasse of the earth? And though you may slight and contemn this, as being a sound of words, yet when your eyes shall see the fingers upon the plaister of the wall, and shall read the writing: which you cannot but see and read, for the most High hath placed his candle upon a candlestick, (and not under a bushell) and this writing is upon the wall over against the candle­stick, that thou maist see, and shalt not chose but see (eye to eye) the light that's in thee reflects upon the law written in thee: & that law written on the plaisterd wall or table of thy heart, returns a recipro­cal reflexion: Then will thy countenance change, and thy thoughts be troubled, the joynts of thy loins be unloosed, and thy knees smite against each other: but if the vision be so terrible, what wil the inter­pretation and the application thereof be unto thee; when thou shalt be numbred, and weighed, & found too light, the glory of thy King­dom finished & divided from thee? Then O thou fool, whose shal these [Page 34] things be? O therefore that thou wert wise, and wouldest consider thy latter end, and honour and extoll the most High God, whose e­ternal power and Godhead is manifested in thee, and shewne unto thee, whose works are truth, and his waies judgment, and those which walk in pride he is able to abase.

To the Religious man upon the Terms of the first Covenant.

Thou art perswaded that thou art passed from death to life, by all the Arguments whereby a person may be perswaded thereof.

Thou art convinced that as absolutely as it's appointed for man once to dye, so certainly necessary it is for a person to be born again of water, and of the spirit, if ever he expect to see the Kingdome of God: and that thou art so born it's to thee out of doubt: being possest with these perswasions, or such as these, viz.

That thou hast had the spirit of bondage to fear, and haste abode under that dispensation for a season, and this hath been the hour of thy travail, through which thou hast been brought forth, and hast been made partaker of the new birth, the holy spirit testifying as much unto thee by giving thee ability to cry Abba father.

By this thou knowest thou hast past from death to life, because thou lovest the brethren.

Thou art poor in spirit.

Thou dost hunger and thirst after righteousness.

Thou art weary and heavy laden.

Thou art persecuted for righteousness sake.

Thou dost mourn.

Therefore all the conditions of these promises shall be surely made good to thee whatever becomes of others: whom thou piti­est, and over whom thou mournest to think of their conditions: And is it so indeed?

Art thou O man or woman at rest under all this? if so, what means those doubts and fears that so often arise within thee; and whispers these things to thee?

What if my mourning should not be mourning aright, my pover­ty of spirit not of a right kind? my love to the Brethren but par­tial and feigned, to some, not to others, scarce to any in a full pro­portion, at least not to all without partiality? is not this friend dear­er to thee, than that couldest thou not dye sooner for this friend than for that (if at all for any?) oh how is thy wine mixt with wa­ter, and thy silver with dross, thy (seemingly) unfeigned love with respect of persons.

Sayest thou not sometimes in secret to thy soul, O! if I were sure my hungring and thirsting were indeed after righteousness, for righteousness sake, and that I were indeed heavy laden according to truth, then I were sure of satisfaction, and were sure of ease; but while these are the private reasonings of thy soul, and yet thou wouldest seem and appear to be past from death to life; death's in the window, death's in the pot, thou yet needest the Physician, for thou art sick, though thou knowest it not.

But admit, thou art able to deduce arguments of life, from the actions of a living man.

Forasmuch as he that worketh righteousnes is righteous, and such art thou, and the course of thy life doth evidence this to thine own, and all mens view: walking in all the ordinances of God with­out Blame.

This is a worthy testimony indeed, and to be had in great esti­mation of all that love and fear the Lord.

But may there not be a defect here, can no man challenge thee for things done as a man? Admit they cannot, though that be rare, no inequality? no partiality? in word or deed, having been found in thee? if so, thou hast whereof to glory, but not before God, might­est thou not have done the same things sooner or better with respect to circumstances, in relation to matter or manner, to person or thing? did thy heart never smite thee for defect or excess in relati­on to these? it's with thee to give an answer according to truth: now if thy heart condemn thee, God is greater than thy heart: and though thy heart condemn thee not, and that thou hast confi­dence toward God; yet must that confidence be according to God, forasmuch as although it be a very comfortable thing and much to be desired, to have the testimony of a mans own conscience in the thing he doth, yet this being but a single witness though it may serve a man in mans matters, in such cases as concern a mans self: yet in the matters between a man and his God, it's requisite that to the quietation of his mind, and the establishing his rest, to the mak­ing up a peace in his spirit, its necessary that his righteousness (which he calls such) be born witness to by God, otherwise his peace flowing from his righteousness being but singly evidenced, may be without joy in the holy spirit: As is witnessed, 1 Cor. 4.4. For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth, 2 Cor. 10.18. There be some eminent cases which being considered, will give thee and me light in this matter.

Paul was a strickt observer of the Law, highly privileged and dignified, in walking exact and blameless, living in all good conscience, having a zeal of God, and knew not but that he ought to do what he was doing, even then when he was in the height and ruff of his persecution: yet this quietness of mind in himself, nor his zeal toward God, nor his perswasion that he was doing God good service; none of these did justifie him before God, though they might contribute to a satisfying him in his own mind, and a justi­fying of him in the Court of his own conscience, which was at this time un-informed as he testifieth, 1 Tim. 1.13. That he ob­teined mercy, because he did it ignorantly in unbeleef.

That person mentioned in Luk. 18.10, 11, 12. who in his pray­er appealed to God, insisting upon his negative and positive righte­ousness, declaring what he was not, and what he was, that he was righteous and did righteousness, he was exercised in relation to God and man, a keeper of both tables. Yet the passage intimates that God was not like minded, touching this boaster or cracker: Gods thoughts were not touching him as his own thoughts were touch­ing himself, but the contrary, for every own that exalteth himself shall be abased, and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

Another passage most eminently remarkable is that of Job, of whom it's testified by God himself to the face of the accuser; that he was a perfect and an upright man, one that feared God, and es­chewed evill, and that there was none like him in the earth, Job 1.8. & 2.3. touching his integrity he makes a Narrative thereof, which discovers the most surpassing excellencie: appealing to God there­in, of whom he saith, doth not he see my wayes, and count all all my steps, Job 31.4, 6. let me be weighed in an even Ballance, and let God know mine integrity; if my step have turned out of the way, and mine heart walked after mine eyes, if any blot have cleaved to my hands: if I have eaten my morsels my self alone; if I have seen any perish for want of cloathing, or any without co­vering; if I covered my transgression as Adam by hiding mine in­iquity in my bosome: much is there spoken of Jobs integrity; by which it's evident, he had whereof to glory before men, and by his confident appeals to God, it is evident, he did not doubt to stand al­so before him in the Judgement.

He was righteous and did work righteousness, and was able to bear it out with confidence, against the accusation of his professed adversary, and his three friends, yet his righteousness doth appear [Page 37] to be but a righteousness of the first Covenant, done under the dis­pensation of the Covenant of works: which he, as a fearer of God, and worker of righteousness, might and did perform: which answers the Character God gives of him, Chap. 1.8. that he was one that feared God, and eschewed evil: agreeable to that testimony of Pe­ter, touching Cornelius in the tenth, Act. 31.32. in every nation he which feareth God & worketh righteousness is accepted with him.

And the rather is this considerable, because that notwithstanding the testimony which God gave of the perfection and uprightness of Job, in the before mentioned scripture, and the narrative Job gives of his own integrity as before, yet doth the Lord himself re­prove him; with many repeated arguments for his conviction as also doth Job lay his hand upon his own mouth and passe sentence upon himself, wch plainly declares his perfection whatever it was in relation to the first Covenant, and his uprightness however it might be without blot or blame, as in reference to what was outward, and that Job might have in respect thereof whereof to glory before men, yet in relation to the righteousness of God, & that which give him boldness there: he with the Leper cries, I am unclean, Job 40.4. Behold I am vile, what shall I answer thee, I will lay my hand up­on my mouth, Chap. 42, I have uttered that which I understood not, things too wonderful for me which I knew not; I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear, but now mine eye seeth thee, where­fore I abhorre my self, and repent in dust and ashes.

Thou maist have many evidences, marks, and signes whereon thy confidence may be built, and these nevertheless may be return'd upon thee for want of authority to confirm thee in an undoubted perswasion of thy renewed condition.

Thou maist likewise abound in works of righteousnesse, which may have a mighty influence upon thee, to further that perswasion and yet reach no further than to set thee up amongst men: thou maist be outdone in all thy working, and undone in all that's done: for this is most certain, man would be at work, & doing some thing that might render him his owne saviour; whereas it's plainly decla­red, that it's not in him that willeth, nor in him that runneth, but in God which sheweth mercy: nor by works of righteousnesse which we have done, but of his mercy he saveth such as are saved by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the holy spirit; which man doth not care for being acquainted withall, as long as he hath any stock of his owne, so long as he hath one penny to go to the Phy­sicians [Page 38] with, he'l spend it there, but to be made a beggar, and to be saved of alms, to receive salvation of gift he likes not to be accomp­ted so lame and impotent, so sick, yea, dead; proud man cannot bear thus, nor will not beleeve this: Nor is this spoken to discourage a­ny from waiting on the Lord in the use of his appointments, in or­der to their salvation: Nay it is required of all, that they work out their salvation with fear and trembling. Yet withall to remember that it is God that worketh in them, both to will and to do of his own good pleasure, but it is spoken to mind thee, that there is an am­bitious mind in me, and thee, and we would think we are not so poor as we are, nor so beggarly as we are, nor so unable to help our selves, but we can contribute much upon accompt of the stock we have in hand: our Candle will serve the turn well enough, we do not stand in so much need of the sun, we may work by Candle­light, sufficient to answer what's required of us. Whereas the scope and tendency of the Gospel, is as to leave man without ex­cuse, for not improving what is left with him; so it is to cut off glorying and boasting from man in the utmost of his improve­ments: that he should reckon himself to have done nothing, but to have been an unprofitable servant, even then and there, where, and when, he is most conversant, in what is required of him, and to be so far from bearing himself in hand, that any work of righteousness which he can do, hath in it a vertue whereby to declare him righte­ous (as before God) that the very unrighteousness, of his righte­ous action (either as to matter or manner) would silence him in that perswasion, if his eye were open to see it, as it is seen by God.

If the most high should enter with thee into judgement, thou wouldest not be able to answer him one of a thousand of thy mis­carriages and transgressions which pass thee, untaken notice of in the day of thine own judgement; which would not, nor could not, if thine eye were open: there are sins of ignorance, as well as of knowledg, yea sins cleaving to thy most holy things, sufficient to abate thy glorying. Those things which are now of price unto thee, in which thou confidentest thy self: are but creaturely excel­lencies, and may be found in such as whom thou in comparison wouldest not set with the Dogs at thy Table.

I mean those whom thou in thy own judgement, infinitely sur­passest in vertue and goodness, would blame and shame thee, if com­pared with thee: be therefore content to be stript of thy seeming glory, which indeed hath a beauty, if considered by it self, as that [Page 39] of Moses also had in its day of dispensation: but considering it as that which was to be done away, and so the glory thereof was in­glorious; it had no glory in comparison of that glory which excel­led. The face of Moses did shine, but it was veiled, the schollers then could not behold it with open face. But this veil is done away in Christ, in whose face the glory of God doth shine with more clearness, and with less terror and amazedness, so as that the dis­ciples the scholers and followers of the Lord Jesus, those who having heard and learn'd of the father, come unto him: God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, shines in their hearts, to give them the light of the knowledg, of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ: which they beholding (not as under a veil but) as in a glasse with open face, are changed into the same Image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

To the Regenerate man upon the accompt of his first manifestation.

And is it so indeed? that notwithstanding all thy hitherto zealous strict and religious appearance, putting it self forth in reformations humiliations, resolutions, austere and strict obligations, for piety, for, purity, for bringing under the body of sin by vows & covenants, holy purposes & performances: in religious duties and services: neglecting of the body through watchings, fastings & abstinence from necessary supplyes, and all this in order to the attainment of the true peace wch is after God, the peace which passeth mans understanding, which thine awakened and wounded Spirit thirsted after the attainment of, and could not be satisfied till it was enjoyed, and in these supposed to have found it: (but it was but at times) however it was liable to breaches, yet those breaches were healed, and made up with some one or more of these, and this was the case of thy soul for many days, perhaps for many years, sometimes 'twas day with thee, otherwhile 'twas night, sometime thou sawest, nor Sun, nor Moon, nor stars for many daies; sometimes thou wert confident thy estate was good and safe, thy heart melted into tears of compassion for others, which were not so as thou wert, and saw not that which thou sawest, and in this thy confidence thou becamest a guid to the blind, a light to them which were in darkness, an instructer of the foolish, a teacher of babes Thou prayedst with and for them, thou weptst and madest suppli­cation over them? this or something like this thou bearest testimony unto, as having been the frame of thy spirit: neverthelesse in this thy bow abode not in strength, 'twas not alwayes bent, sometime when thou wert reproving others, thou thy self wert secretly reproved in thy self, either for the same, or some other evil: when thou wert com­forting [Page 40] others, thine own heart was in doubt whether thou wert truly comforted of God: while thou wert helping others with strengthning arguments against distrust & despair, couldst thou thy self believe that thou wert indeed translated from death to life? when others thought highly of thee, and their souls blessed thee, and God for thee, did not thine own heart (at times) tremble within thee, lest thou after thou hadst comforted others, shouldest thy self become a cast-away? whence might this proceed, these ups and downs, these yeas and nays? why did the mountains skip, why was Jordan (the river of judgment) driven back? why did the earth tremble? the state which seemed to be founded upon a rock, to move and step backward? was it not be­cause it did but seem to be so founded? It was but earth, and therefore trembled: the bow was not the bow of Joseph, therefore it abode not in strength; the bogh was not Josephs bogh, therfore not increasing; it was not rooted in him who was the excellency of Jacob, not strength­ned by the arm of the mighty God of Jacob, and therefore no marvail it admitted of such variety & mutability, notwithstanding its seem­ing excellency and stability. Thy garments were but prison gar­ments, and thou in thy prison house, though thou knewest it not: the iron was entred into thy soul, and thou couldest not shake it out, thy soul was afflicted & distressed in its season, the iron pierced and grieved thee sore, the wounds which the archers had given thee, were not throughly healed, notwithstanding all thy medicines & plaisters and thus thou remainedst, till the time the word of Jehovah came, the word of the Lord tryed thee, as the Goldsmith tries metal in the fire, [...] conflavit, purgavit, Esay 1.25. Was not thy soul then put upon it to make diligent search to see upon what foundation thou hadst been building all this while? Did not this word, (or some such like) as an arrow from the Almighty enter into thy soul? other foun­dation can no man lay then that is laid, which is Jesus Christ, (or this) nei­ther is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved: (or the like) wast thou not as one in the fire under examination and tryall? Did not thine heart throb within thee, and was not the voyce of the Spirit in this word, applying it with power to thy soule, evidencing and de­monstrating to thee? that thou wert as yet unacquainted with the Lord Jesus, as being the foundation of thy rest and peace; that name, that only name besides which there is none other given among men for salvation, this name thou wert a stranger unto, and never hadst any knowledg of? this begot strange work in thy soul, great were thy strivings and struglings to maintaine thy former building,

But this error in the foundation put thee to a great stand, thou consultd'st thy friends, with whom thou hadest mourned and fasted and prayed, thou calledst up thy former experiences, thy tendernesse of con­science, which rendred thee exemplary to thine observers, thy reforma­tions, vowes, covenants, resolutions, strict performances, both pub­lique and private, and concludest these could not grow in natures gar­den, therefore sure it was some great temptation which had seized up­on thee to make thee to question thy former evidence, and to empaire thy former goodly structure, and to rase the foundation thereof; thus thou wouldest have healed the breach, (which the Spirit of God had begun to make in thee) by the reasoning of thine own spirit, drawne from thien own former experiences and the suffrage of thy friends and companions.

But this work of conviction being from the Lord, and put into the hand of his owne spirit to effect; he mightily and irresistibly convinced thee of unbeliefe, and as the words of the men of Judah were said (in another case) to be fiercer then the words of the men of Israel; so was the voice of the Spirit of God more powerfull in convincing, repro­ving, and silencing all the arguments of thine owne Spirit, testifiing plainly that whatsoever thou had'st done hitherto, not being founded upon Christ Jesus, nor done as an obedience of faith, thou wert but lay­ing another foundation besides Christ, which no man can or ought to lay; that thou wert not building upon Christ the Foundation Gold, Sil­ver, precious stones, &c. But thou wert laying these or something like these for a Foundation instead of Christ; mean while he that the Father hath anointed to be the Corner stone, elect and precious, his name thou knewest not; nor wert acquainted with either the necessity, or the excellency of him, whom to know is eternall life.

But thou contrarywise wert building a Towre to reach up to heaven, to mount up by a Ladder of thine owne makeing, the one end whereof, though it were upon the earth, and had it's footing in natures excellen­cies, improved by education, and other qualifications, yet it would and should reach to the highest attainment, and besides it there needed no other, to give thee full fruition of thy soules desires; Thy both foundation was laid in selfe, (that was the rise thereof) and the top stone was selfe, (that was the end thereof) selfe was at ends of the worke; and this was discovered to thee by this convinceing spirit, who caused thee to see where thou wert, and the evill of what thou wert doing.

That thy very righteousnesse (which to thee appeared so) and [Page 42] which was commended of others for such) was not the righteousnesse of faith, but at the best a righteousnesse of works; upon the beauty whereof the Spirit of the Lord did blow, and the flower thereof past a­way, faded, and whithered, as the grasse or flower of the feild fadeth, and falleth off: The glory of the Lord revealing it selfe in power through that word. I will make waste Mountaines and hills and dry up all their hearbs, and I will make the Rivers Islands, and I will dry up the pooles, and I will bring the blinde by a way that they knew not, I will leade them in paths that they have not known, I will make darknesse light before them, and crooked things streight; these things will I doe unto them, and not forsake them. Heare ye deafe, and looke ye blinde, that ye may see.

Thus wast thou convinced of thine error, thine ignorance, blindnesse, and unbeliefe, thy mountaines were laid waste, and thy pooles dryed up, and thou received'st the sentence of one, deafe, and blinde, notwith­standing all thy former excellency, which as a flower was now blown upon by the breath of the Lord, and thy building discovered to have been begun in sand and not on the rocke, the Lord Jesus; of whose name and nature thou wert yet ignorant. Neverthelesse, the Lord who leaveth not himselfe without witnesse in the soules of his, not only began his good worke in mercy, truth, and faithfulnesse, convinceing thee of sin even in thy holy things, viz. of unbeliefe; which wrought no small stir in thee to see thy building, which had been the fruit of many years, wherein thou had'st with no small cost, and travaile been exercised; to see it all tumbled down in a moment, and laid levell with the ground, and not a stone left upon a stone, but a new foundation discovered, by thee not hitherto known, nor understood where nor what it was.

And not only so, but putting under his left hand, he susteyned thee and kept thee from sinking (under this conviction) by opening a crevis of light, discovering the righteousnesse of God in opposition to thine owne unrighteousnesse, and to thy former seeming righteousnesse, wherein thou seemest to have made such progresse, nor was this a bare discovery that such a thing there was, but what it was, and how attain­able, viz. by faith in Jesus Christ, who is made of God to the beleever, wisedome; righteousnesse, sanctification, and redemption; thus he con­vinced thee not only of sin, but also of righteousnesse, discovering and revealing the fountaine thereof.

Nor was this all but the same spirit led thee on to further measures of knowledge in order to the attainment thereof, not suffering thee to be satisfied with the knowledge thereof at a distance, but raised up in the strong desires and earnest longings to be possest thereof, and to be [Page 43] made one therewith; partly to quench the fiery sting, and not only to pacifie but to purifie the conscience, and that not in relation to sins past (only) but also that for time to come, thou mightest (denying all ungodlinesse) live righteously, soberly, and Godly in this present world; which earnest longing of soul was mightily raised up and increa­sed in thee by the delayes, which the heavenly Father exercised thee with, according to his divine wisedome, to commend his love to thee, and thereby to let thee know how great a love and what a manner of love it was, that should bear withall thy frowardnesse, and impatiency, and unbeliefe, and mistrust, and almost despairs; giveing thee hints and tasts and opening certain crevises of light makeing darknesse light be­fore thee, and crooked things streight, susteyning and supporting thee with secret hope, founded upon his goodnesse in promiseing and faith­fulnesse, in performing, which thou sometimes beleeved'st (though weak­ly) that he would doe, and could not chose but doe, because he was faithfull: in this desart he kept thee the longer to acquaint thee with the disposition of thine owne heart, that thou mightest see, what was in thee, and that he might cause the carkases of the rebells (murmur­ings and unbeliefe) to fall and perish in this wildernesse.

And at length thou knowest how (though thou thought'st it long first) he caused judgement to break forth into victory, by removing all thy doubts, fears, distrus'ts not all at once, nor on a suddaine, but by measures, and degrees, as thou wast capeable of bearing such discove­ries; revealing him whom thy soule loved, and so longed for, perfor­ming that for thee in an higher more safe, more sure way, which thou by thine owne works wouldst have affected for thy selfe in thine owne strength, and in thy owne way, so that the kindnesse and love of God our Saviour, thus appearing not by works of righteousnesse, which thou hadst done, but according to his mercy he hath saved thee, by the wash­ing of regeneration, and renewing of the holy Spirit, the shedding a­broad whereof (though but in the first fruits) were the evidence of thine adoption, whereby in some measure thou wert able to cry Abba-Fa­ther.

And could'st tel to others what a wonderful redemption thou hast at­tained unto, through grace; whereby thou art redeemed not only from thy vaine conversation, wherein in times past thou lived'st but also from all thy selfe righteousnesse, wherein thou wast exalting thy naturall man, dressing a dead carkasse with raggs of thine owne makeing, trimming up the Tomb, and garnishing the Sepulcre, and bringing thine ointments, and spices to odoriferate a dead Jesus; whom now thou [Page 44] understandest is risen and hath appeared manifesting himselfe, to thee, and in thee in a portion and measure, by whom thou beleevest in God that raised him from the dead, and hath given him glory; by whom thou hast received the attonement, and obteyned eternal redemption, by faith in him.

And now what workings of heart are upon thee, tongue cannot ex­press, thy new life, and renewed being, puts thee now upon enquireing as David after Jonathan, what's to be done to testifie thankfulnesse to him who hath loved thee, and washed thee from thy sins, in his blood, now takeing the Cup of salvation and calling upon the name of the Lord, walking before the Lord in the Land of the liveing. Now the new song, sing praises to our God, sing praises, &c. It's too wonderfull to say how brim full and runing over thy heart is, what would'st thou not be now, and doe now for him, who hath done so much for thee? I want words to expresse.

Now that, which thou wast exercised in, at the beginning, when thou wast working for life, before thou wert unbottom'd, laying it as a foun­dation instead of Christ, will become thy soule to be conversant in, as a fruite and effect of life, and of thy praisefull heart, for though they were not fit to be a foundation; yet are comely and beautifull, being built upon the foundation; who so offereth praise, glorifieth God: now to live holily, Godly, righteously, strictly, to walke watchfully, and circumspectly, humbly, to be filled with fruits of righteousnesse, which are by Jesus Christ unto the praise and glory of God; and all this as a thank-offering, performed as a Sacrifice of praise, was not this thy frame of Spirit then? Sure it was.

Neverthelesse, The enemy of thy salvation, Satan that old Draggon, the Serpent, that lyar and murtherer, did he not lye in waite to devour this new born Babe, this birth from above? tempting thee either to doubt of the truth and reallity of this discovery, and manifestation to thy soule, perswading thee it was a delusion, and that the newes was too good to be true, and so possest thee with feare, distrust, and unbe­lief, under which thou, for a season, wert distressed, till the Son of righteousnesse dispelled this cloud for thee, by makeing his day-light, shine more bright upon thee.

But this baite not takeing effect, this murthering tempter did insinuate to thee, that now the bitternesse of death was past, God had made thy mountaine strong, so as that thou shouldest never be moved, thou wert now called unto liberty, and that there was not need of being so strict as thou hadst been, thou needest not henceforth be so watchfull, nor [Page 45] mournfull, nor prayerfull; these had their use in their day, while thou wert seeking after the enjoyment of God, but were now unnecessary and uselesse for thee: (haveing attained) but to live freely and cheer­fully in the liberty, to which thou wert called, to enjoy the fulnesse and fatnesse of the blessing, wherewith thou wert betrusted, whether it were spirituall, or temporall, this was to walke worthy the Lord and his high calling, and to speake good of his name, and of his Salvation, and to de­clare to all that should see, or converse with thee, that thou wert redee­med indeed, and in thee was fulfilled that word, Let the heart of them rejoyce which seeke the Lord (much more of them which finde the Lord)

With this sort of temptation, thou wert in danger of being taken, it had so specious a pretence for God, and came so near to that which was acceptable to the flesh, that thou listened'st to it, and to the reason that seemed to be in it, the fruit was goodly to the eye, pleasant to look on, 'twas good for food, and to be desired to make one wise; for it repre­sented God in another manner of appearance, then thou hadst known him; it led thee into a more seeming Spirituality of discerning, then thou hadst been acquainted with; tending to a neglect of thy for­mer, so much prized and prospered duties of seeking the face of God in prayer, and other exercises under this notion, that they were but forms, and that bodily exercise peofiteth not, and that they were but performances in letter, but not in Spirit, with many more such like as these, till at length thou wast drawn into a disesteeme, and disuse of that, which once was more deare, and precious to thee, then thy life, and wherein thou enjoyest communion with God, with whom thou had'st confidence in thine addresses, but thy discoveries being now of another kinde, thou applyest to the meeting with God in them, after another manner then thou wast wont.

Now thou soughtest and enjoyed'st God and the Creature under a pretence and specious shew of seeking to enjoy God in the Creature; Nay, did not the Creature eye it with God, and take place of God, and require that of thee which is proper only to God? did'st not thou by hearkening to this deceiver, who beguiled thee as he beguiled Eve, didst not thou love and feare, and seek after and delight in the Creature more then the Creator, didst thou indeed glorifie God as God in pro­portion to what thou knewest of God, and such discoveries as he had made forth of himselfe in thee, when he caused his glory to shine in thy heart, through the face or appearance of Jesus Christ? but thou preten­ding to more wisedome, and professing thy selfe to be wise, becamest a [Page 46] foole, and changed'st the glory of the incorruptible God, into corrup­tible Images, and worshipped'st the imaginations of thine owne braine; Golden Gods, or Silver Gods, or such as were formed out of baser met­tall, the God of this world having deluded thee, put out thine eyes, and made thee to grinde in his mill, serveing, and loveing, prizing and de­lighting in lying vanityes, under pretence of liberty in Spirit, or Christi­an freedom in the use of the Creature, by which thou wert cheated, as Solomons fool was by that whorish woman, who notwithstanding her lips drop as an honey combe, and her mouth is smoother then oyle, yet her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two edged sword; They which yeeld to goe after her flattering lips, they goe as fooles to the correcti­on of the Stocks, till a dart strike through their liver, and are as a bird hasting to the snare, not knowing that it is laid for her life, for she hath cast downe many wounded, yea, many strong men have been slaine by her. Oh the number of valiant ones! how faint and feeble are they through the subtill insinuations of the God of this world, who hath poysened them with this deadly potion in a Cup of gold, mixing his poyson with these two glittering ingredients; Liberty, Spiritu­allity.

To the Virgins that having knowne the depths of Sathan, and have kept their garments pure, abideing in the councill of the Lord, rooted and established in him, and growing up in him, bringing forth fruit un­to him. O Blessed are ye of the Lord, be not high minded but feare!

But to the rest with whom it is not so, let it be said, doe ye thus re­quite the Lord? Ah foolish people, and unwise, is he not thy father, that hath bought thee, shouldest thou sell thy rock, thy God, for a lye, a vanity? Oh that ye were wise, and would consider, thine own wicked­nesse shall correct thee, and thy backslidings will reprove thee, remem­ber therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent and do thy first works.

To the relapsed or back-sliding Christian, considered either as unsen­sible, or sensible thereof.

To the first, How is the gold become dim, how is the fine gold changed, the precious Sons of Zion comparable to fine gold, how are they esteemed as a common thing? The Nazarites which were once purer then snow, and whiter then milke, more ruddie then Rubies, and polish't as the Saphir, their visage now is blacker then a coale, they are not known in the Streets; Because they have forgotten the God of their Salvation, And have not been mindfull of the Rock of their strength, But have trusted in their owne beauty. And as its testi­fied in another case, Ezek. 16. Thou hast taken of thy fair Jewells of [Page 47] my Silver, and my gold, which I had given thee, and madest to thy selfe Images of men, and didst commit whoredome with them. How weak is thy heart? saith the Lord God, seeing thou dost all these things and that which is the more to be lamented is this, that although grey haires are upon thee here and there, yet thou knowest it not, but presumest all things are with thee as yesterday, and heretofore, saying I am innocent, I have not sinned, but doe seeke the Lord daily, and delight to know his way, not forsakeing his ordinances, but approach his presence with de­light. Neverthelesse thou considerest not where thou art, nor what thou art doing, nor what will be the issue thereof; when the most high shall recount with thee and bring upon thee the remembrance of thy wayes, saying to thine heart.

What hast thou to doe in the way of Aegypt, to drink the waters of Sihor, or why hast thou gadded so about to change thy way? hast thou not embraced this present world? and the gloryes thereof, have not the sparkling glittering appearances thereof taken thine eye, and thy heart? what a share have the promotions and the preferments thereof in thine estimation, and affection, where, and what is become of thine ancient tendernesse and meltingnesse of soule? Art not thou in the way of Assyria? and hast not thou drunk of the River? thou knowest the time when thou wouldest have preferred one moments comunion with God, before all the earthly gloryes, if thou mightest have enjoyed them; Nay, thou forsookest these: that thou mightest enjoy that; thy kindred, thy Country, and thy Fathers house were not deare to thee, in comparison of thy being entertained into fellowship, and com­union with him, whom thou esteemed'st more then thy life, thine all, what things were gain to thee then, thou then counted'st dung, and drosse in comparison of the excelleney of the knowledge of Christ Jesus thy Lord, for whom thou wast content to part withall, that be­fore time had been deare to thee, but he suffering thee to be tryed that thou mightest know what was in thine heart, how is thy heart become as weake as water? and how hath the God of this world blinded thee, makeing thee to joyne in affinity with his Gods of Silver, and Gods of Gold: The Honours, Titles, dignityes, preferments, wealth, houses, Lands, the Revenues of this earth, which are the portion of the children of the earth, of which thou wert once affraid least thy heart should be deceived therewith, but now it is otherwise with thee, thou embra­ced'st, lovest, pleadest for, huntest after them as though thou couldest never have too much nay, scarce enough thereof. This is a lamentation, and shall be for a lamentation, and it will so appeare to thee, when this [Page 48] thy wickednesse shall correct thee, and this thy backsliding shall re­prove thee, and thou thereby be brought to see where thou art, and made to confesse thine iniquity, giveing glory to the God of heaven, in whose hands thy breath is, and who is acquainted withall thy wayes.

In order whereunto thou hast been under-dealing more then once, whereby thou mightest have been retained from the error of thy wayes, but thine eares were stopt, and thine eyes were closed; thou sawest no evill in thy way, nor regardest much to know the end and cause of thy visitation, forasmuch as in all thy out-goings thou still kept'st on the form of Godliness, though all thy former zeale and quick­nesse, life and power in thy profession, were reduced to a bare empty forme (at most) especially thy secret and personall comunion, how e­ver with others thou assembled'st, wept'st, and covered'st the Altar with teares, yet when thou wert alone, thou either durst not make bold with God as formerly, or cared'st not for so doing; thy promotions and preferments, thy Silver, and thy Gold, thine honours and possessi­ons, some one or more, if these make such a ratling noise in thy soul, that thou can'st not listen nor lend an eare to these silent gailes, and heavenly whispers of the divine breathings of the Spirit of truth, which thou once pretended'st to be instructed, guided, and led by. Oh consider this you that forget God least he teare you in peices, and there be none to deliver.

To the awakened and sensible back-slider, I have this word.

Why cryest thou for thine affliction, thy wound is incureable, for the multitude of thine iniquity? thy sins were increased, and now the most high hath visited them upon thee?

Hast thou not heard that the everlasting God fainteth not? neither is weary, and that because he changeth not, therefore the sons of Jacob are not consumed; nor that the foundation of God standeth sure haveing this seale, the Lord knowes who are his.

I know these words of truth are with thee, but what influence have they upon thee; thou art sensible of thy backslidings, and thou art cut to the very heart, and pained beyond expression, and that which wounds thee is thy unkindnesse to thy Lord and husband, to whom thou art betrothed, and espoused, yet canst not behold him, who to re­prove and correct thy backesliding, hath withdrawne his presence from thee, which once was deare to thee, and however thou hast been in a, deep sleep, in a farre Country, among the hoggs and swine of the earth feeding with them, and wallowing in the mire with them, during which time, thou wast unsensible of thy losse, yet being alarm'd from on [Page 49] high with that voice, What meanest thou O sleeper? arise; now thy heart is troubled, and the thoughts of thy fathers house comes to thy remembrance and now thou would'st faine return to thy first husband. But Oh the ma­ny feares and doubts which are created in thy troubled spirit! thy sorrowes are multiplyed, because thy transgression is aggrava­ted.

Now thou findest what that word means, It had been better never to have known the way of righteousnesse, then after the knowledge there­of, to turn from the holy Commandement like a dog to his vomit, or a washed sow to her wallowing in the mire, thou canst now say, what hath pride profited me, mine honours my promotions my preferments, my Silver, and my Gold; my musicks, and dancings, what can these availe me in this houre of my sorrow? the God of this world hath by these bewitched and poison'd mee, under the specious pretence of liberty and freedome, and glorying God in, and by these, till a dart is struck through my liver, and now woe unto me, woe unto me, I will take up a lamen­tation and say, look away from me, I will weep bitterly, labour not to comfort me, for it is a day of trouble, and of treading down, and of per­plexity by the Lord God of Hosts.

In this state of perplexity and hour of visitation, thou findest an emp­tinesse in all those imaginary delights, wherewith thou hast contented thy selfe, these cannot satisfie nor quiet thy restlesse minde, Nay, they are so far from doing it, that they are as so many pricks in thine eyes, and thorns in thy sides, thou art wearied in the beholding them, and that word is come upon thee in part, and in measure already, that thou art ready to cast thy Gods of Silver and Gold to the moles and to the batts, wishing a thousand times in secret that thy heart had never been let loose to goe out after these, and if parting from them would give thee peace and recover thy communion with God thou would'st let all goe, but thou knowest if thou shouldest give all thy goods to the poore and thy body to be burned, this would be too short, and too narrow, to procure communion with God, therefore by prayer and Supplication, thou applyest unto God as at other times, but thou perceivest him not to answer neither by dream, nor by vision, but is as one who hath hid himselfe from thee in displeasure, Hath hedged thee about, and made thy chain heavy, when thou cryest and shoutest, he shuts out thy prayer; he hath covered himselfe with a cloud, that thy prayer should not passe through, and hath caused the Arrow of his quiver to enter into thy reines, filled thee with bitternesse, and made thee drunk with wormwood, testifiing against thee, that all this is come upon thee because thou hast been unsteadfast [Page 50] with him in Covenant; forsaken thy first love, and embraced other lo­vers, other contents, and delights, thy heart hath been divided between God and some creaturely excellency, with which thou hast been ena­moured, and by which thou hast been beguiled and deluded.

And now thine eyes begin a little to be opened, and thou beginnest to say, where am I? what have I done? But like a silly bird thou art snared, and taken, thy Dalilahs, in whose lap thou hast been sleeping, have cut of thy locks, and betrayed thee into the hands of him, that hunts for the precious life.

Neverthelesse, though thou art ashamed as a Theife when he is found, yet thou art not left to say, there's no hope; no (or the case is desperate) nor I have loved strangers and after them will I goe.

But thou findest a secret power bearing up thy Spirit, and causeing thee to looke towards the Lord and to seeke his face, thou canst not give it over, but must come unto him though the iniquity of thy heeles doe compasse thee about, and thou art full of secret feares, least thy locks should never grow againe, nor thy former strength return to thee againe.

When thou remembredst God thou art troubled, yet that which most troubles thee is thy own unkindnesse, and ungratefulnesse toward him, whose love and goodnesse hath been so wonderfull toward thee; thou remembred'st what he hath been to thee, and done for thee, in the times of thy greatest sorrowes, streights, tryalls, and temptations, which thou wert under, and from which none but the eternall arm could re­scue or deliver thee; and now thou callest to minde what vowes, what promises, what resolutions thou then madest to live to him who had gi­ven life to thee, but compareing things together, thou art confounded and ashamed in thy selfe, and yet art strangely and secretly born up thou knowest not how, still to looke toward God, against whom thou hast sinned; notwithstanding thy sensiblenesse of thy departings from him.

The foundation of God standing sure, and being sealed, the Lord having once known thee, and owned thee for his, Oh how it works in thee that thou canst not give up, nor give over, though thou knowest not whether ever thou shalt recover thy sight of him againe, to see him as thou hast seen him; the goings of thy God and King in his Sanctua­ry; Now the remembrance of the kindnesse of thy youth, and the love of thine espousalls, and thy free and willing following of the Lord through the wildernesse, in hard and difficult and untroden pathes, when the day of his power was upon thee, while thou meditatest on [Page 51] these things thy heart meditates terror, forasmuch as thou discernest that as thou hast, in great measure forsaken the Lord, and gone back­ward, so hath he also withdrawn himselfe in very great measure, and caused thy Sun not to stand still nor to goe backwards many degrees, as a testimony and signe of his presence with thee, as of old, with Josh­uah and Hezekiah, but to goe down while was yet day; withdrawing the testimony of his presence, the light of his countenance.

That whereas thou wert wont to speake before him, and unto him as a friend speaks with his friend; to be visited and supped with, to be caused to sit under his shaddow with great delight, and to be refreshed with the tasts of his loves, but and now not finding it so as heretofore, this is thy gall, and thy wormwood, and to consider, thou hast procured this to thy self, this is the gravell in thy teeth, the arrow in thy reines, and the Iron that enters into thy soule, though thy nights and dayes be filled with terror and anguish under these considerations, yet still thou art secretly drawn after the Lord for the return of the light of his coun­tenance, through a secret perswasion that, as its of his mercy that thou art not consumed, so certainly it is the love of God which is at work up­on thy heart, and which thus constraines thee to seeke after him and which will not suffer thee to give him any rest till he make thy soule which (as Jerusalem) is now as a plowed field, a joy and a praise through the lifting up the light of his countenance, by restoring the years which the Locust, the Catterpiller, and the Kanker-worm hath eaten.

The sence of thy guiltinesse cannot drive thee from God, but thou inclinest toward him, and cleavest unto him, and wouldst faine lye un­der his feete laying thy mouth in the dust, if so be there may be a re­viving certainly, concluding the seed is yet alive, which his holy hand (as the blessed seeds-man) hath sown; that the Covenant he hath made with thee is a Covenant of salt it's fixt, as to him, though thou hast started aside like a broken bow, yet as to him, it is ordered in all things and sure; and that he will cause thee to revive as the Corn after a sore Winter, sometimes such workings of heart as these have been upon thee, and thou hast had a little reviving.

But when the thoughts of thine unkindnesse, have been renewed, together with the silence of God to thy teares and cryes.

Then are thy sorrowes repeated which have raised up in thee an holy Indignation and revenge against thy selfe, that ever thou shouldest be so unkinde so unfaithfull, and so treacherous as thou hast been [Page 52] to him who hath been so deare to thee.

In these workings and counter-workings that have been upon thee, the most holy, blessed, and tender God and Father, hath preserved the vitall and radicall principle intire, thou hast not been suffered to give up all, and to say all was hitherto, nothing and so give the lye, to all the former workings of God toward thee.

But wast still kept upon, and close to the foundation, thou remem­bredst and often saidst thou hadst an husband, and he was still thine, though withdrawne, through thy unfaithfulnesse, and unstedfastnesse, thy Father, thy Former, and Maker, was thy husband, thou remem­bred'st his visits, and thy vowes, and those vowes, were upon thee, thou hadst been treacherous in not keeping stedfast yet thou durstest not add to all the rest this, viz. to renounce the Covenant, nor the witnesse thou hadst born thereunto.

Thus thy root was preserved, and thou hadst a little strength, and wert helped with a little help, in this great hour of thy temptation, when many quit their help and their hope, to seeke for another foun­dation then that which had been laid; yet the most high kept thee from turning after the flocks of thy Companions.

And though this were to thee as an hour of sore travaile wherein thy hands were upon thy loins, and palenesse in thy cheeks, and thou wert a wonder to many, when none but the most high God (who su­steyned thee) was acquainted with thy griefe, and anguish, yet the fire did not burn thee, nor the waters which came into thy soule were not suffered to overflow thee; because his arme was under thee, and su­steyned thee; keeping up in thee, the acknowledgement of the interest, wherein thou stood'st related to him as to a Father, an husband, though thou wert made and kept sensible of being a rebellious child, and treacherous wife, yet now thou wert a soul-sick, fainting, languishing, and almost dying (both) wife and child, and cryed'st out often, Oh that one would give thee of the waters of Bethlem to drink, no waters like those to thee, if thou mightest have but a look from thy father, but a line from thy husband, for thou assuredly knewest thou hadst both a Father and a Husband, thus thy rellative interest being preserved, in this storm of temptation, wherein thy Father and Husband heard thee, and saw thee, and secretly susteyned thee, though thou wert not aware thereof, and there was a doore of hope further opened to thee, by the presentation of those passages of the holy Scripture, which discover the bowells of God, in his restoring and healing which when it was given thee to consider, thou foundest the Lord had manifested great [Page 53] tendernesse to such as had dealt very unkindly with him; and thou hadst many hints thereof darted into thy soule, encourageing thee to waite and expect the discovery of the light of his countenance which thou so earnestly, and uncessantly Soughtest.

And besides, That it was said unto thee, refraine thy voice, from weeping, and thine eyes from teares, for there is hope in thine end, by which word a doore of hope was opened unto thee, which gave thee incouragement, not to wax weary nor faint in thy minde. Thou hadst this further testimony from the Lord (at a certain time made forth with clearnesse, and set upon thine heart)

I will not contend for ever, neither will I be alwayes wroth, for the spi­rit would faile before me, and the soules which I have made.

For the iniquity of his coveteousnesse I was wroth, and smote him, I hid me and was wroth.

I have seen his wayes, and will heale him, I will restore comforts to him and to his mourners.

Now thou cam'st to consider where thou began'st to turn thy back upon thy God, and to goe out from his presence, and wherein thou provoked'st him to smite thee with blindnesse, and to hide himselfe from thee, and to leave thee to thine owne hearts [...]usts, to feed and lye down amongst the beasts of the earth, till time and times had passed o­ver thee.

But he remembring his Covenant hath visited thee, putting in his finger at the hole of the doore, hath reproved thee for thy back-sli­dings, hath shewed thee wherein thou hast back-slidden, how it came about, that thou forsookest thy first love, and wherein it was, hath justified his dealing toward thee in smiteing thee, Perhaps with sick­nesse as he hath done with some at least by hideing his face, by with­drawing the light of his countenance from thee, under which con­viction he hath not left thee as one without hope, but hath given ar­gument to faith, to plead out the promise of pardon, and healing, and restoring so that now the vaile and curtaine began a little to be drawn open and thou recovered'st a little more light to look into that within the vaile, and a little more strength to approach to the mercy-seat; and in this posture thou hast been for a season exerciseing faith, accor­ding to that measure of abillity that is given thee, in the promise of grace for healing & restoring, which thou expectest to be fulfilled in the Lords season, according to that good word wherein he hath caused thee to hope.

And although the fig-tree doe not yet blossome, nor there be no [Page 54] fruit in the Vine, yet thou beleevest, the vision is but for an appointed time, and that it will speake, and not lye, nor tarry beyond the ap­pointed season, but that judgement will break forth into victory, and that the Evnuch shall no more say, I am a dry tree, but shall have a name given unto him, better then of Sons and Daughters, and that the glory of the latter house will be greater then the glory of the for­mer; and this Covenant renewed, will be a band of love stronger then death.

Under such Considerations as these, that little spark of Divine fire, which is kindled in thee, is glowing and warming, and brooding in thee, causeing thee to increase with the increase of God, throwing down the strong holds of Sathan, which he had errected in thee, unthroneing of him; not only whipping out the buyers, and sellers, but overthrowing the tables of the money-changers, and makeing thee again a meet Temple for thy Lord and Father, casting out the den of Theives, the nest of Robbers, the brood and spawn of that filth which hath been forming it selfe in thee, and by which thou hast been acted by setting thee a­gainst thy selfe in a soule-abhorrency and detestation and selfe-loathing with holy indignation, that ever thou shouldest be so treacherous, so vie, and so unworthy.

Now thou art in some competent degree and measure able to say to thy former delights and contents (which stole away thy heart and robbed thee of thy pretious comunion with thy God) as they of whom the Prophet speaks, Esay 30.22. Thou canst say unto these, get ye hence, Ashur shall not save us, we will not ride upon horses, nor say any more to lying vanityes, they are thy Gods, but this den of Theeves being turned out, the Temple begins to be purged, and to become a­gaine an house of prayer; thine ear is bored, and thou art caused to heare instruction the whispers of God in thy soule are a little returned and thou art caused to bear the voice behinde thee, and to distinguish in some measure between it and the voice of the stranger.

The skales (also) are made to fall from thine eyes, and thou art caused to see and to understand where thou art, and where thou hast been, what thou art, and hast been doing; that thou hast been among the Tombes, and Graves, and painted Sepulchres, and art a liveing monument raised from thence, to declare the mighty power of God in thy recovery and restoration which in part thou canst already witnesse at which thou wondrest, yet art not therewith satisfied, because that little of which thou hast begun to tast, hath so inlarged thine appetite, that thou hungrest and thirstest more, and longest more for whats be­hinde, [Page 55] for whats yet further to be enjoyed, then thou didst at any time heretofore.

Thy Spirituall sences are enlarged, and more exercised to discerne, relish, and distinguish, then formerly in thy best estate hitherto. That which was excellent to thee then, is of small account to thee now; nay, thou forgettest it leavest it, behinde thee pressing forward, toward the marke of the price of the high-calling in Christ, for whom thou art now content to be any thing, to suffer any thing in the power of him who gives thee to be, to doe, and to suffer for him.

It's now made evident to thee, and by the eye of faith thou discernest that thy first love, was but selfe love; and began and ended in selfe, and art able now to demonstrate it to thine owne heart, and unto others by arguments undenyable, such as formerly thou couldest not beare the hearing of, much lesse believe.

Forasmuch, As when thou hadst the discovery of Christ, as the Lords anointed Saviour made forth unto thee, either in the beauty and excellency which is in him, or in the necessity which thou stood'st in, of him, for Salvation, for setting thee free from wrath to come, It is evi­dent that thy selfe was the ultimate end of thy soules aime, in submit­ting to him, and closeing with him, which though thou sawest not then yet now thou discernest.

For then possibly thou mightest say within thy selfe, as some have said, that they have apprehended such excellency in Jesus Christ, that it alone hath drawn their hearts to long for him, and desire him, to e­steem him as the cheifest of ten thousands, and for whom they could be content to suffer the losse of all things, yet thou who so saidst, knewest not the deceit of thy heart herein, as it is now made manifest, for had'st thou indeed sought him for himselfe (and not for thy own selfe) how could it be possible, but thou shouldest have prized him at as high a rate in the possession as thou didst while thou wert in the pursuite, while thou wert mourning after the Lord, and begging that he would make forth the discovery of him selfe unto thee; renewing of thee in the spirit of thy minde, and makeing thee a meet Temple for himselfe; that he would dwell in thee, and walk in thee, sup with thee, and make his abode with thee, when thou wert arived at some measure of perswa­sion, that this thy longed for, and so much prized beloved was thine, and thou wert his, haveing through faith received the witnesse in thy selfe, and hadst peace with God through Jesus Christ, by whom have­ing received the attonement thou had'st accesse through faith unto the Throne of Grace, with bouldnesse for helpe in times of need.

Yet in processe of time (perhaps but a short time too) thou hast neglected him whom thy soule profest such love unto, and accounted him but a common thing; could this be possible if he had been the a­lone object of thy soules desire, and delight, is it not apparent that it was not He, but His, not his person, but his revenue; his Salvation, his peace, his deliverance, which when thou hadst attained it was enough? had he all thy heart? all thy might, all thy strength, all thy soule, was he indeed thy all? Nay, thou knowest he was not; was not selfe the wheele which turned every motion? was it not the center where they all fixt? No mervaile then, that all this is come upon thee, which hath befallen thee, that the most high hath suffered thee to make thine abode with the Beasts of the field and forrest; to shew thee thereby what was in thine heart, which thou before didst not know, nor could'st be­leeve, but now canst set thy seale to it, as true in thine own sad experi­ence.

Thou doest now understand what an influence that grand Idoll Selfe had upon every motion, and how it was first and last in every acti­on, which thou wert conversant in, this discovery is now made forth unto thee, with fulnesse of evidence which thou couldest never have be­leeved, touching thy selfe before.

Therefore now thou abhorrest Selfe in dust and ashes, and cryest un­to the Lord, night, and day, that thou maist be delivered from this se­cret soul-deceiver, that henceforth it may no more be as formerly, that not Thy selfe, but Himselfe may be the object of thy soules seeking; nor not so much His, as He may be thy soules solace, joy, and delight, that he would glorify himselfe in thee, and by thee, makeing manifest his strength in thy weaknesse, his power in thy nothingnesse, that thou maist now know him in power, and not in word, or in forme only that he would be indeed thy life, to act thee, and lead thee, to guide thee, and preserve thee, that he would perfect the work which himselfe hath begun in thee, that thou mayst in all persons and things thou hast to doe with, converse with him, and behold him, treating thee, and admi­nistring unto thee, whether it be in plenty, or scarcity, in abundance, or in want, in crosse, or in more fair appearances; if Shimei curse, let him alone, for God hath bidden him, if Jonathan shew kindnesse, he hath his Commission from him who is thy God, thy Rock, if when thou callest he answers thee not, it is that thou mightest owne his So­veraingty over thee, as knowing best what and when, and how to doe thee good according to what he knowes to be best for thee, if waiting for thy mercy be best, thou shalt be made to waite, and susteyned in [Page 57] waiting, wherein faith shall be exercised, and patience be perfecting, being raised up into an expectation of the promised good, for which thou art waiting: for as much as it is healing and restoring that thou wantst, and prayest for; and God hath promised to thee, and given thee to beleeve, that he will heale thy backsliding, and restore comforts unto thee; thou art in good measure quieted in him, resting upon his goodnesse, by which he made this promise, and upon his faithfulnesse, by which thou beleevest he will make good this promise, in expectati­on whereof through patience thou possessest thy soule: Hearkning what God the Lord will further speak unto thee, who will speake peace unto his people, and to his Saints, and they shall not turne againe to folly: For he will be as the dew unto them, they shall grow as the Lil­ly, and cast forth roots as Lebanon: they shall revive as the Corne, and grow as the Vine, and be beautifull as the Olive tree: and all this not in themselves, but in him in whom their fruite is found; even in him who is the Roote and off-spring of David, who loves them freely, and therefore will heale them perfectly. Psal. 107.43. Who so is wise, and he shall understand these things, prudent, and he shall know them, for the wayes of the Lord are right, and the Just shall walke in them, but the transgressors shall fall therein, Hosea 14.9th.


These faults being omitted at the Presse, the Reader is desired to mend as followeth.

1 PArt. P. 2. l. 1. r. 2 Cor p. 10. l. 30. r. of things. p. 11. l. 14. r. Mat. 26. p. 12. l. 3. r. was. p. 13. l. 27. r. of fai [...]h. p. 14. l. 25. r not. p. 16. l. 14. 32. r. les­sen. p. 34. l. 32 r. newcrea [...]e. p 39. l. 26. r. Ps. 44.11. l 38. [...]r 31. r. 24, 25. p. 41. l. 4. r. unison. p. 44. l. 12. r. 13. 2. p. 45. l. 19 dele all

2 Part. p. 1. l. 18. r. society. l 26. r every. p. 4. l. 10. p. 47. l. 16 p. 49. l 23. r. the word. p 9. l. 32. dele mentioned before, l. 37. r. as. l. 40. r. God manifested. p 16. l. 4. dele viz. Fox way to the kingdome. p. 17. l. 18. dele to p. 18. l. 3. r. a more. l. 22. r. as. l. 36. r. 1 Joh. 1.1. p. 19. l. 12. r. 1 Pet. 1. p 32. l 28. for eyes, r. ages. p. 27. l. 33. r. 1 Joh. p. 32. l. 1. 1. Ezek. l. 3. r. privatively. l. 6. r. not. l. 38. r. decision. p. 33. l. 34. r. Farneworth p. 36. l. 2, 5. add, adm [...]. p. 37. l. 23. r. reviewing p. 46. l. 36. r. there. p 50. l. 36. r. neither did.

Part 3. p. 25. l. 16. r. 1 Chr p. 32. l. 33. for spirit, r. first. p 41. l. 35. dele both. l. 37. add, both, p. 45. l. 32. r. vie. i [...]. p. 43. l. 7. r. reclaimed. p. 49. l. 15. r. glorifying. p. 52. l. 19. r. aside. p. 54. l. 20. r. vile.

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