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that which is holy and acceptable in the eyes of the Lord (as all that proceeds from his own Holy Spirit is) all that is of the new covenant, and performed by the working thereof, and not by the working of the natural part of itself, but by the working of the Spirit of life in the new-birth, and through the natural part as his inftrument. So let none reproach the works chat God brings forth in us, who hath created us anew in Christ Jesus unto good works, left thereby he reproach the Holy Spirit and power of the living God, in which they are wrought, and by which they are brought forth, and could never be brought forth without it.
Then for our sufferings, indeed they are gifts we received from God; so that we can truly say, it is given us by the Lord our God not only to believe in his Son, but to suffer for his fake; and that it is only in good conscience to God, and by the aslistance of the Lord, that we suffer; that the patience and meekness wherewith we suffer, is not of ourselves, but of him. Whenever the Lord permits afflictions or sufferings to come upon us, our eye is to him, and we enter into them in his fear, knowing our own inability to go through them, and looking up to him for strength. And when we are in then, while they continue, we daily look up to him for strength, and have been many times very weak in ourselves, when immediately, or very soon after, we have felt great strength in the Lord. Also after our sufferings, when the Lord hath been with us all along, and brought us through our sufferings in the peace and joy of his Spirit, we do not look back boastingly, as if we had been any thing, or done any thing as of ourselves; but we bow before the Lord, and bless the Lord, when we consider how he hath been with us, and how he hath upheld us by the right-hand of his righteousness; and what he hath done for us when we were very poor, weak, afflicted, and often forely distressed. Therefore let none reproach, misrepresent, or vilify our sufferings, which our God hath helped us through, and for which we (in humility of heart) give him thanks, and cannot but do so all our days, because the thankful remembrance and senie of them is written by the finger of his Spirit upon our hearts. Oh! all forts of people, whom we love and travail for, and use our interest in the Lord our God for, that ye might be truly sensible of your conditions, know the inward appearance and visits of the Shepherd and Saviour of the foul, turn to him (looking in true faith unto him) and be saved! I say unto you, in tenderness of spirit, oh! do not requite us so ill for our love and truth of heart towards you, as to caft untrue and unjust reproaches upon us, and to render that truth vile which God hath made honourable, in sanctifying and redeeming many thereby. Truly our love is from the God of love. We could not so love you as we do, if our God had not taught us ; nor lo feek after you as we do, in tenderness of bowels, if we were not inftruinents in the hand of the shepherd of Ifrael. And the light we teitify of, which we feel shine in us, it is no less than the true sure light of the fun of righteousness, which God hath caused to shine in our hearts; who also loveth mankind, M m 2
and causeth it to glance into the darkest corners of the earth. And the life we are quickened by out of sin and transgression, and the power we have received to become sons of God, it is from him who is the fountain of life, and hath all power in heaven and earth. Oh! that ye could receive the blessed report! Oh! that the arm of the Lord might be revealed in you! Oh! that ye could feel and witness the Saviour working out your salvation in you, binding the strong man in you, cafting him out of you, with all his goods after him, that the place of the wicked-one might be found no more in you, nor none of his lusts or vain thoughts lodge in your hearts any more; but ye might witness and experience the new heart, the clean heart, the pure heart, in which God dwells, and the eye that sees him that is invisible. Oh! glory to the Lord for what he hath done in and for a despised people (who were no people before the Lord made them one) who hath brought them to Sion, his holy mountain, where he dwells and reigns, and where he builds up his own house and temple, which he establisheth over all, where the sheep of Israel feed, and where the Shepherd of Israel reigns and triumphs in glory over the enemies of his kingdom. The little innocent babes taite somewhat of his holy. dominion and power, and of his kingdom of peace and righteousness; but in his antients his light lines very brightly, and before them he reigneth gloriously; so that he is praised in the very heights of Sion, and his name renowned there over all for ever. Glory, glory to the pure spring of life, from whence the living streams come which refresh the souls of the living. Surely his pure praises Thall be founded in the hearts of the living for ever and ever. Amen..
An EXHORTATION to true CHRISTIANITY.
It is easy to pretend to Christ; but to be a true Christian is very
precious, and many Tribulations and deep Afflictions are to be passed through before it be attained unto, as those who are made
so by the Lord experience. M TOW everlasting happiness and falvation depends upon true Christia
nity. Not upon having the name of a Christian only, or profefling fuch or such Christian doctrines; but upon having the nature of Christianity, upon being renewed by the Spirit of Christ, and receiving the Spirit, walking in the Spirit, and bringing forth the fruits of the Spirit. Oh! here is the Christian indeed! and it should be every one's care not to fall thort of this. Now because there is a contention about Christianity, who is the right Christian, it behoves every man to take care as to himself that he be really
such; that he receive that from God, and be that to God, which none but the right Christian can be, or can receive. This is the use I would make of these things in my own heart, even to be sure I be such an one as God hath made, and will accept and own as a Christian. And having had some experience of this thing, and truly understanding what the Christian state is, and what doth attend it, I shall set down some few things, which he that inwardly knoweth, witnesseth, and enjoyeih, is without all controversy a true Christian, whatever man may account of him.
First, He that is a new creature, is without doubt a true Christian. He that is regenerated, he that is renewed in the spirit of his mind by Christ Jesus, he that is new-created in the holy and heavenly image, he has felt the power of God's Spirit begetting him anew, forming him anew, but of the old nature and image of the first Adam, into the nature and image of the second Adam, who is the quickening Spirit; and that which is begotten and born of him is Spirit.
Secondly, He that is in the new covenant, is a true Christian. He that hath thirst after the living waters, and hath heard the call to the waters of life, hath heard the voice of him who gives life, and hath received life from him, who giveth life to all that come to him, and who maketh the new and everlasting covenant with all that hear his voice, take up his cross and follow him, he is without doubt one of Christ's sheep, whom the shepherd owneth, and taketh care of.
Thirdly, He that is inwardly circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, he is a Jew inward, a Christian inward (in the sight of God) who hath felt the Spirit and power of Christ Jesus, and rejoiceth in Christ Jesus, and is one of those worshippers whom God hath fought out and taught to worship him in the life and Spirit of his Son.
Fourthly, He that is inwardly washed with clean water, with the inward water, he is the inward Jew, the inward Christian. God promised to 'pour out clean water upon his Israel, and they should be clean. He who hath the clean water poured upon him inwardly, which inwardly washeth and cleanseth, he is without controversy one of God's inward Israel.
Fifthly, He that feeds on the bread of life within, and drinks the water of life out of his own well or cistern, he without doubt is living. He that is invited to the marriage-supper of the Lamb, and comes and sups with the Lamb, he is one of the same nature and Spirit with him. He with whom Christ sups, who hath heard Christ knocking at his door, hath opened to him, and received him in, to purify his heart, and dwell in him, and sup with him, and give him to fup with himself; so that he eats bread in the kingdom, and drinks wine in the kingdom, and partakes of the feast of fat things, which God makes to his Israel in his holy mountain, he is without doubt one of Christ's, and partakes of this in and through him. · Sixthly, He that lives the Christian life, who walks not after the flesh, but after the Spirit; who doth not fulfil the lusts of the Aesh, but hath the
law. law of God written in his heart, and his fear put within him, and his Holy Spirit given to instruct him, and to guide him to answer the holy law written in his heart, which the carnal mind is not subject to, nor can be subject to, without doubt he is spiritual; without doubt he is a true Christian.
Seventhly, He that lives by faith, who knows the faith which is the gift of God, hath received it, and lives by it; who can do nothing of himfelf, but only by faith in that holy power which doth all in him ; so that he lives, and believes, and obeys from an holy root of life, which causeth life to spring up in him, and love to spring up in him, and the Lamb's meekness and patience to spring up in him, and all grace to fpring up in him; I sày, he that lives thus, without doubt is ingrafted into the true vine, into the true olive-tree; and the root bears him, and ministers fap unto him, and he is a true, fresh, green, living branch of the true vine, of the holy olive-tree.
Many more things might be mentioned, as they are experimentally known and felt amongst us, who are true Chriftians; though the Baptists and others have represented us to the world as if we were no Christians : but that touching us not, their saying so is no more to us than the profelsing Jews of the fame spirit, who said Christ had a devil. But these are to give a taste; and he that knows and feels these, may also know and feel the rest, if ever fo inany more should be mentioned. Now the way to feel these, and to become a true Chriftian (and to grow up in the Christian life) is to feel the seed of the kingdom, which is the beginning of the kingdom, the beginning of true Christianity; and then to feel the feed abiding (the feed which is of the Spirit, and which is Spirit), here is the constant feal of Christianity in my heart ; here are true and certain evidences, day by day, of the Christian nature and spirit manifesting themselves undeniably inwardly.
And now having the witness in myself, the testimony of him that begat life in me, testifying to his own work, and to his own birth, of what value are any testimonies of men without, against this ? Christianity is a mystery, and he only can truly fee who is a Christian indeed, who hath the inward eye opened, and with that inward eye is taught of God to pierce into that wherein Christianity consisteth. There have been many Christians of mens making; there are also some Christians of God's and Chrilt's making; which Christians God and Christ will own, but not the other. Oh! let men have a care, that when God cometh to distinguish between cattle and carile (between Christian and Christian) they be found such as God will make up as his jewels, and own as the sheep of his fold; such as shall be able to bear the trial of his searching judgment, and pure impartial eye; and not such as still, notwithstanding all their profession of religion and Christianity, are found workers of iniquity, and so not created anew in Christ Jesus unto good works, and therefore not truly of him, nor true Christians in his eye.
AND TO THE JE WS SPIRITUAL;
WITH A Few WORDS to ENGLAND, my native Country, &C. Some fensible, weighty QUERIES, concerning some Things
very sweet and necessary to be experienced in the truly Christian State.
Whereunto is added;
Scripture of deep Counsel and Concern to the darkened and distressed
Whereunto are added, Two or three Queries touching the River and City of God, and the
pure Stillness, wherein God is known and exalted.
AS ALSO, Some QUESTIONS answered concerning the true Church, Ministry,
and Maintenance under the Gospel, and about the Lamb's War.
Written in travailing Bowels, by
Truly God is good to Israel, to such as are of a clean beart, Psal. lxxiii. 1.
outward in the flesh: but he is a Jew which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, and not in the letter ; whose praise is not of
men, but of God, Rom. ii. 28, 29. Behold, the days come, faith the Lord, that I will punish all them which are .cir
cumcised, with the uncircumcised, Egypt, and Judah, and Edom, and the children of Ammon and Moab, and all that are in the utmost corners that dwell in the wilderness; for all these nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Ifrael are uncircumcised in the heart, Jer. ix. 25, 26.