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Love To The Lost


by James Nayler
from
Street Corner Society

 

Love To The Lost,

And a Hand held forth to the

HELPLESS,

To Lead out of the Dark.

Wherein is plainly held out

 

Diverse particular things, as they are learned of Christ; and are most needful to be known of all, who profess godliness.


Set forth chiefly for the directing of the simple into the living way of Truth, as it is in Jesus Christ the Righteous, that therein they may come to the life and power of that which the world has in words; which being received, satisfies the weary soul, and makes the creature well-pleasing to his Maker.(Printed in 1656)

 

Table of Contents:

 

Let him that reads understand. (Introduction)

Concerning the Fall of Man.

Concerning Light and Life.

Concerning Righteousness.

Concerning the Word.

Concerning Worship

Concerning Error, Heresy, &c.

Concerning Faith.

Concerning Hope.

Concerning Love.

Concerning Judgment.

Concerning Perfection.

Concerning Government, or Magistracy.

Concerning Obedience.

Concerning Good Works.

Concerning Election and Reprobation.

Concerning the New Birth.

Concerning the Baptism of Christ, from that the World so calls.

Concerning the Lord's Supper.

Concerning Redemption.

Concerning Justification, Sanctification and Mortification.

Concerning the Law.

Concerning Christ Jesus.

Concerning the Ministry of Christ.

Concerning Free-Will.

Concerning the Resurrection.

Let him that reads understand.

Friends,

The things following, which I have declared of, are not things of man, nor by man did I receive them, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ, which is contrary to the wisdom and will of man; nor to the wisdom and will of man do I commend them to be received, for the natural man's wisdom receives not the things of the Spirit of God, therefore would devour that which is born thereof: So to that wisdom I appear not, being a light thing to me to be judged thereof: But if anyone knows the gift of God, and a measure of that Spirit which opens the bosom of the Father, and reveals His secrets to babes, the least measure of that (if not clouded with the imaginations) will savor these things, and to such they may be profitable. So to the light of Christ, that which changes not, in everyone, I appear to be judged and discerned, which is one in the male and in the female, for therein alone both these things, and all other that proceed from that root, make for gathering creatures together into one Name and Seed wherein all the nations of the earth are blessed, as therewith they are gathered into the one Word of faith, and power of Life, to believe and speak the same things in the godly conversation, which leads to the end of all rents, schisms, heresies and errors, sects and divisions, to be baptized into that one Name, where the fullness of God is, blessed forever. So whoever you are who shall receive these particulars following, or any thereof, and shall find anything which for the present you cannot receive; be not hasty in judging that which yet you know not, nor kick against that which comes contrary to your will, lest you put far from you in your will, that which therewith you cannot call again, and the day of your visitation pass over unawares, and in the evil day you be made to cry, How have I hated instruction, and resisted the day of healing!

And this know, that no prophesy of old came by the will of man, nor by the will of man could be received; but by those that stood in their own wills was ever resisted; and so will it be in these things, unless with the eye that never changes you read them, which if you know such a thing in you, and stand single therein, in the meek Spirit, not lifted up above your measure, you will come to feel how that of God in you answers to the things of God, as face answers face; and find them to agree with the Life of the Scriptures, though for the present some things appear darkly; for to that Seed (which is not of this world, which savors spiritually, and judges not according to outward appearance) is my service. And to that of God in every conscience am I manifest, if therein I be received; how ever a good savor am I to the Lord, in them that are saved, and in them that perish, at that day when it shall appear that I have not handled the Word of God deceitfully, though with the swine that feed on the husks, this may be trampled on, and I sought to be rent, if to such it come, to whom I send it not.

Concerning the Fall of Man.

In the beginning God made all things good, so did He man, whom then He made in His own Image, and placed in him His own wisdom and power, whereby he was completely furnished with dominion, power and authority over the works of God's hands, knowing the nature and use of each creature, by that image God had placed in him of Himself who in that state was the son of God, whose seed was in himself. God also placed the tree of life in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and both of these were good in their place, but the tree of knowledge not good for food; therefore did He that made it, forewarn of feeding upon it, as that wherein death was, as in the other tree was life. And herein was the blessing and the curse, the life and the death, the obedience and the disobedience, election and reprobation; and these were good in their place, while man stood in his place, guided by that which placed him in the good, and forewarned him of the knowledge, and gave him power against it, while he stood in that will which had set all these things in their place, which will was free for God, and from sin, and the will of God and the will of man agreed, and so at unity with all the creation. But when man looked out into the other, where he prevailed who abode not in the truth, wherein the disobedience was received in, of that which was contrary to the will of God to feed upon, then he joined to that which was contrary, wherein the weakness was, and the death, darkness and blindness, as to the things of God, and to that which freely man had received of God, but when he grew subtle within himself, and wise to do evil, he lost the will that was free to wait upon God in His wisdom and counsel, freely to be carried forth by Him; and so from the uprightness and innocency, and pure wisdom, and spiritual power, which God had placed in his heart, he fell, and into the self inventions which he had chosen in the contrary will, and so entering into the forbidden thing, became accursed, lost the sense of the measure of God's grace, His honor and likeness, in which he stood above the creation, and so became brutish in his understanding, and as to the things of God, for the sense of the Seed he had lost, wherein the election, the wisdom, the authority, and all happiness, present and eternal, did consist; and so became led by another seed, wherein God had left emptiness of Himself, which was raised up for dishonor. And here it is that man has lost his dominion over the devil, by letting him in, which otherwise had never power further than to proffer or tempt, which now being got in, with a show of God and godliness, into the temple of God, the principle part in man, and man having joined in with him, now is become his captive, in whom he makes havoc, beguiling him of the life of simplicity and godliness, and perverting his ways, as to the end for which man was made; yea, the mercies that God gives to that creature, he being above and ruler in the heart, are turned to the lust, that is carnal and self-ended; and to that lust and self-ended things, the man's become a servant, yea, has so lost his dominion, as he is brought to serve the creature, over which he was ruler. Hence it is that men become servants, and are captivated, some with covetousness, some with pride, some with lust and many other several things, which are become lords in the heart of man, whereby he is hurried with all eagerness out of all moderation, hunting after vanity and folly; yea, what vain toys and foolish trifles has led away the heart of man from the pure wisdom of his God, till he scarce knows any end of running after changeable things, gluttony and excess in diet; yet not satisfied; foolery in apparel, without all stay or stop, being wholly fallen from that which is unchangeable (the true satisfaction and honor) and the further man goes in this state, the more emptiness and darkness comes in upon himself; and being fallen under the earthly principle, he is covered with thick darkness, so that the mind of God he knows not, nor his own woeful state he sees not, the god of this world having blinded the eye which should show him his misery, and the ear being stopped, which should hear the voice of the souls Shepherd, whereby he should be quickened, his eye and ear being led out to carnal things, and those captivated, so that the voice of the Spirit he knows not. And so being become heart-blind, cannot receive the Way in Spirit: and whatsoever is spoken to man in this state, in love to the soul which lies in death, the serpent being above upon the earth, seeks to catch into the imaginations, and the creature being led to consult with him there, in the flesh, he beguiles the creature of the simplicity, and so keeps the creature in self, that he regards not the Seed of God, which suffers under all this death and darkness, so long as the creature will but hearken to him, and his lying promises, he will lead him from one thing to another in things without, but never to see that from which he is fallen. Therefore to all in this state, Christ and all His ministers preached repentance, that all might turn their minds from these dead works to the living God, who is a Spirit, known in Spirit, and so worshipped, whose kingdom is within, and whose light is in the midst of all this darkness, though the darkness comprehend it not; but as many as repent of their following this way of self-wisdom and knowledge, and come to stand still, to such He shows His salvation, and His kingdom near at hand, which the serpent, while they follow him, does put afar off. And as the mind is stayed to wait for the kingdom of God in Spirit, the god of the world comes to be denied and resisted; and as the mind is stayed in the light, from hearkening to the earthly, so that soul that lies in death, comes to hear the voice of the Son of God, and to receive life and strength from the Word, whereby it is raised out of the grave, and appears above the earth, to receive from the Father the dew of heaven, whereby it is nourished and refreshed. And as man beholds the Seed growing, so he comes to see the new creation, and what he lost in the fall, and so is restored by the power of the Word, the Son of God, into his dominion, power and purity, made able to resist the devil, to choose the thing that is good, and delight in it, as before he delighted in the contrary: so comes man to be reconciled to his Maker in the eternal unity, beyond what is to be expressed; the wisdom and power received from above, whereby the heart is set free from corruption, and made able to escape the pollutions of the world, and to run the pure ways with delight, which is the glorious liberty of the sons of God, the resurrection in Christ from the dead in Adam, and the entrance into everlasting rest.

And now all, who find yourselves fallen from your dominion, that measure of God which He placed in man, from which he received power and wisdom over the evil one: and now find yourselves led captive with the evil one, into the ways of death, sin and evil, so that corruption has got dominion on you, and over you; never look to be restored by that which leads you out; for that which acts in the flesh is only evil, and will lead you from mountain to hill, and so keep you doing with out, in self, without life and power, healing yourselves in false persuasions, which will not stand in stead in the evil day, nor reconcile to God, to be accepted in anything you do, for that is the first man with his righteousness: But to that from which you are fallen must you look, and return into that from which you are gone out, that by the light that's in the midst of all this darkness and death, you may be led in again by the blood of the cross, through the fire and sword, into the garden of God, where He plants and feeds, into which the old man, with his will and works, cannot enter, nor he whose leader is in any visible thing; for by the Spirit from whence man is fallen and gone out, by the same must he be led in again; and that Seed which man has sinned against, must make the atonement, or perfect peace, to which the said promise is, which is free, and sets all free, as they are born thereof: So that which leads out into the knowledge is the fall; but that which leads into the simplicity of life, which is manifest in the Spirit, and not in the knowledge of the first man, that leads to the resurrection of life; for it is the hidden wisdom that God ordained before the world unto glory; so to the hidden man of the heart must you look to find it, which is not corruptible.

Concerning Light and Life.

God is the life of every creature, though few there be that know it, for the darkness sees Him not nor His life, though the children of darkness have got words in the Scripture (which were given forth from the light) to talk of, yet such know not God present; for the first beginning or appearance of God in the world is by light; God said, Let there be light, and it was so. And this light God saw it was good. That which was in the beginning with God, was the Word, by which all things were made and seen, and without this was nothing made that was made, nor anything seen to be good; and darkness was over the face of all the waters, till the light, which from the Word came, who is the Life, which Life is the Light of men: So none can see the life but with the light, which from the life comes, which to the life leads all that come. So this that was in the beginning is given to keep in order all the creation; That is good, but the darkness comprehends it not, though it shine in it; so all that abide in the darkness are destroyed, not discerning the life, to order and govern the creation in the light.

So all that go out of the light, go into the darkness, and there the life and image of God is lost, and there is the fall; and all who there abide, are reserved in chains of darkness, not knowing the life which breaks the bonds and chains of iniquity, and opens the grave and prison door. And here the soul being in death, breathing after the light, but darkness is got above; in the darkness is the creature led into sects, opinions and errors, after the imaginations to seek life, but further, it runs here to the sensual wisdom, further into death and darkness, till the creature be so blinded in the understanding, that he thinks and imagines that he does God service, when he is acting against the life of God, both in himself and others; so comes the creature of God, and his life, wherewith God did furnish him to do His will, wholly to be lost, and the Gospel hid that should recover him again, the god of this world having so blinded the mind, and thereby so far alienated him from the life of God, that he neither has power and life to do the will of God, nor receives the light to know where to have it. In this condition of death, and without the life of God, shall the creature never be without profession, or some conceit or other, to keep in a vain hope of salvation.

And here is the sole ground and cause, why we have so many sorts of forms, and opinions, and ways to worship, but none that do good, nor live in what they say, because all have lost the life of God, which is only able to bring forth the righteousness of God. And self having got the form into the imagination above the life, cannot receive the life that's hid and condemns it. So all the world lies in darkness, yea, thick darkness is upon all the seas, and the great depth is covered with gross darkness; and from thence is the imagination spread over all, so that none can witness the work of God, neither know the beginning nor end thereof; and this is the cause of condemnation, and it rests upon all who are out of the life of God: And no other way there is appointed of the Father, to come out of this condition, but Christ Jesus the light and life of men, who is the light that is in the world, though the world know Him not; which light shines in darkness, but cannot therewith be comprehended; which light is the revealer of darkness, and manifests the deeds thereof: and the first appearance of this in the creature, shows the darkness, and captivity that is in the darkness; till which the creature never comes to see the wretched condition that man is in, who is without God the life; nor till then will the creature be willing to stand still to see God's salvation; but is full with vain hopes, conceits, and imaginations, and the vail is over the heart, and what God has written there is not seen; and so being whole, needs not the Physician. And with this blind heart the creature reads the Scriptures, and steals the promises that the children of light spoke of, who had the life, whereby the Seed was raised out of the grave, to which the promise is; but neither know the law nor Gospel; neither came so far as Moses, yet boasting of Christ.

But when the light is minded, the creature comes to see death reigning, and self alive without the law with that light which was given to keep out of the pollution and defilements, and so to keep clear and unspotted. With that light, that is seen and judged, which has passed over the life and defiled man, and that which has gendered to bondage is seen, and the hardness of heart comes to be felt, and the cause seen, even the great transgression of the pure law; and so comes the fear of God to take hold of the man that has lived out of the life of God, and takes pleasure in unrighteousness; and the creature then finds trouble within, even where the strong man did keep the house in peace; and abiding in the light, the cause and end is seen; and dwelling in the fear, Wisdom is received from above to depart from iniquity, and in departing from the iniquity, there is a coming nearer to God; so the light grows and springs, as there is a coming nearer to the just paths of life. And as the light arises the creation is seen, and how the enmity has spread over, and how the lust has defiled it, and how that which was planted as a vineyard, is become as a wilderness for barrenness, grown over with thorns, and briars, sturdy oaks, and tall cedars, for want of the vine-dresser; and where the lily should grow, it's grown over with weeds, thistles, and nettles; for that God walks not there, because of the great abomination; and that is the cause of all your woe, even His absence.

And when you see this, the lamentation begins in the house of laughter, even after Him whom you have fallen; and as you follow the light, and come nearer to the Lord, from whence it comes, you will see that is only your wills and ways that have separated you from the Holy One. And with the light you will come to see how often you have been moved by the Spirit of light, from your evil ways; and that the cause why you have been thus long in the fall, has been in self-will and worldly pleasures, whereby the life has suffered; never till then come any to see Him whom they have pierced, nor to lament over Him, nor to see what it is that oppresses the Just, nor to hate that which God hates, and love that which He loves in any measure; but joins with that which destroys the soul from the life; and it makes a profession, a prayer against it in words, and that's the Pharisee and hypocrite, who with the words destroys the life, who makes a profession above the life; but not in the life; and this is he that climbs up some other way, then the life, which is the door, to which the light leads. And in this state are all the high-minded lofty ones, whose mouths speak of great things, swelling words of vanity (for so are words without life) empty brass, giving a pleasant sound to the carnal ear, but cannot evidence the life, and the works of it; who have the Saints words present, but their righteousness is as far off as Judea, Corinth, Thessalonica, &c. And these are they, who in words confess God, but in works deny Him; who have a large faith in words, but to the good work reprobate; for none can be of any true judgment concerning the work of God, who are strangers to the life that works it.

Concerning Righteousness.

That righteousness, which God accepts, is but one, which is His own, perfectly fulfilled and manifest in the world in Christ Jesus the light and Savior thereof; which righteousness is not of the world, nor manifest to the world, nor in the world received, nor can the world inherit it; but only they who believe in the light of Christ, which God has given into the world, to lead out of the world, to Christ, where God's righteousness is. Though there be many talkers of this righteousness, yet none inherit it farther than by faith they receive the Son of righteousness, and with Him His righteousness is freely imputed, being put into the creature, a free gift from the Father; and with this righteousness is the creature made righteous, even as He is righteous, even as the measure of light from Christ is received, and no farther; and whose life is kept in the measure of Him, as He is so are we in this present world, and not of this world, even as He is not of this world; and herein is boldness in the day of judgment, in that which is perfect: And all that is against perfection is self; and with the righteousness of Christ, denied in the light; which condemns all self-actings, under what pretence soever.

So what abides in that righteousness, abides in that which denies self, and the world; and so lives in obedience to that which is contrary to mens wills, and so everywhere evil spoken on; for the will of man works not the righteousness of God; but this righteousness is wrought in the creature, in that obedience which is contrary to the will of the flesh: And in the faith by the eternal Spirit, in the new begetting, both the will and the deed; and so the new is born both of the Spirit and life. And so far as any have this righteousness, he does not lie under sin, nor give place to the devil; but it is as a breast-plate against all assaults, on the right hand and on the left; and all who have not this, are they who have that which will not stand in stead in the evil day. So you that say, Your righteousness is as filthy rags, why do you abide in that? God's righteousness is not so; Wherefore cease from that, and own that which is perfect; even that everlasting righteousness, in which all His Saints have been gathered into Himself; who can receive nothing but what's His own, and it must be yours also, else can you not be received in it. In vain do you plow wickedness, and sow iniquity, and think to reap righteousness.

So with the light you may see what works in you, and to what you yield yourselves servants, to that you bring forth while you live, that will go with you: But if you own no works in you, but what God works; you shall have no righteousness but what is perfect, even the least measure of it.

And as you obey unto this righteousness, you shall see the spiritual man raised, and living, and the bonds of death broken, and that living which gives power over hell and death; then may you say, The Spirit is life because of righteousness: And your dead profession will be judged with the life, as it arises, and is seen to be fruitless.

But this is blasphemy in your own eyes, who have made Christ's righteousness a cover for your abomination? What wickedness is now so vile in these nations, but the righteousness of Christ is made a cover, and men bless themselves therewith in the greatest abomination? And this has its beginning at the head of deceit, and is gone over all the whole body. For to cover your wickedness, pride and covetousness, have your teachers invented this faith, that it's sufficient to believe in a righteousness you read of in the letter, (though you be not obedient to it in Spirit.) But you that are not servants of righteousness, are not servants of Christ's, and His works; and your faith, without His works, will be little worth to salvation; and even as it saves you out of sin, so will it save you out of condemnation, and no farther. And this, that in your conscience will witness, if you take counsel at it: No further than you find the power of His righteousness working in you, and you owning it in obedience and subjection, and joining to it against all unrighteousness, no more of it can you inherit, nor be made the righteousness of God in Him.

And at that day when He comes to separate the precious from the vile, then will you see in what stead your notions of righteousness are, when the worker of iniquity is found, and judged with Christ's righteousness, of which you have been boasting in words, without the power of it: By the power be judged and condemned. So, deceive not yourselves, he that works righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous; but he that talks of this, and commits sin, is of the devil, and with him must inherit, by whom he is acted and guided; for God's righteousness will not mix with, nor cover deceit, nor was it ever given for that purpose; but as it is obeyed, it reveals and destroys mans righteousness and unrighteousness, as it is revealed from faith to faith, by which the just live, and the unjust perish and pass into death. And all who have Christ's righteousness can witness this effect, to kill and make alive, as by faith it is received; and this is Zion's righteousness that goes forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burns, that the Gentiles may see it, and its glory, and the heathen be ashamed of their abomination.

Be ashamed you heathens, who have hid the Lord's righteousness under your pride and covetousness; who have exalted the idols of the world, and bring forth to the oppressor, who have bowed down to the god of this world, and his begettings are in all houses, and assemblies, and the name of the Lord you have polluted before all the world; yet will you lean upon the Lord, and say, The righteousness of Christ, the righteousness of Christ, in that you have more dishonored His righteousness, then all that were ever before you; and the name of a Christian is become a reproach in all the world, because of your unfaithfulness to His righteousness.

For this will He plead with you, and will take from you the covering, that you may appear, and He will bring forth His righteousness to your confusion, and His own shall witness Him in the gate, and His work shall praise Him openly; so shall all sinners be afraid, and fearfulness surprise the hypocrite, when God shall openly own His righteousness, and judge the wicked after the works of their hands.

Concerning the Word.

The word is that which was in the beginning of all visible things, and that by which all things were made, but itself is invisible; which though it be the upholder of all visible things, yet can no visible thing reveal it; yet does it reveal the ground and use, and end of all visibles. And as without it, was nothing made that was made, so without it, is nothing seen, as it was made, nor anything can be guided, nor used in its pure place; but whatever man meddles with, not having the word in him, to guide, order, and sanctify, the same he defiles, and it is polluted as to him. Nor can this word be comprehended in heaven, or earth; without this word can no holy Scripture be read with profit, for it opens the Scriptures of truth, and the Scriptures declare of it, yet cannot the Scriptures, nor all the writings of the world comprehend it, nor declare the depth and extent of it, which is beyond all generations; and in all generations of Saints has been known in measure, more or less immediately, though it has no place in the world's profession.

So hearing of a word, but not knowing it, men say, The letter is it. But who has the word, has that which comprehends death, and hell, and the grave; that which binds and chains satan, overcomes the world, gives issues of life and light, whereby the new creation is known, wherein dwells righteousness; and this everyone has, so far as he has the word abiding in him; but so has not everyone that has the letter. Nor can any mans will change the word, for it is contrary to all mens wills; nor can any mans wit open or expound this word, which confounds the wisdom of the wise, and brings the understanding of the prudent to naught; that hides from the wise and prudent, and reveals to babes; and the word grows and increases within the babes, but so does not the letter; and as it grows, it sanctifies all that have it, but so does not the letter: And it's a fire and hammer to all that have it, but so is not the letter: It is quick and powerful, to the dividing asunder the joints and marrow, the soul and spirit, wherever it is, so is not the letter. And the word is a reproach to every carnal mind, even to them who only profess the letter. Whosoever have the word, with it are washed and cleansed, and translated from the world, and conformed to God, so far as they have it; but many have the letter, who know not God, but are in the unclean customs, and fashions, and ways of the world, not changed, nor reconciled.

None can keep the word, and his sins both, but the letter without he may, for wherever the word is known, the new creature is witnessed, who is created to walk in righteousness; and who has the word, sees all, who say they know the word and walk not in righteousness, to be liars, and do not the truth; and with the word of truth are such cast out, and judged to be those who dishonor the word, as though it were a polluted thing, or could dwell with pollution; which is a fire to burn up all uncleanness, wherever it is; and where sin stands, the word is not known.

But such, reading of the word, (which came to the Saints, in obedience to which they were washed and purified, in which they were begotten again) they finding that the Saints had this word, but such readers only not knowing it, they say the letter is it, which does but declare of it: And so their word has not power in them, to overcome the devil, and break the bonds of wickedness; whereas the word of God is not bound, but free and sets free all that obey it, and have it abiding in them, which breaks down the seat of sin, and raises up and quickens the Seed of God, which lives in the life of God, (which through sin, death has passed over) and also quickens the mortal body to newness of life. So that the old life and the word cannot stand together in one body; nor does the old man, who lives in that life know any word, but the letter; and the life of that he knows not; but in the imagination searches with the fallen wisdom for that which God has in His wisdom hid from it; and in this is all the darkness; to this man the Scriptures are spoken as a parable and mystery, which in that disobedient wisdom cannot be found out: So is the simplicity deceived with meanings, addings, and wrestings, which are all in that man which cannot enter, in whom the word dwells not, nor can anything such do, be accepted, because it is not from the word, for all that comes not from the word, by the word is condemned not to be the work of God; for all that God made, He made it by the word; and it was seen in the light, to be good, which was made with the word. And here all stood in the reconciliation to God; but when man went out from the word, then he went out from the good, and so with the light was seen to be in the evil, and so was accursed from the same word against which he had sinned; and so long, as out of the word he acts, all is accursed, being self, and not God that works.

And so man being gone out into the world, the light of the Gospel is preached to turn man again to know the word, that coming to the knowledge thereof in his heart, and having his mind stayed thereto, in the light, he may come to see the power of the word working in Spirit, working out the unclean nature, and the rebellious will, and working in the pure nature in the cross, slaying the carnal man with all his affections; and so through death thereof raising up the new man, making a new creation, in Christ Jesus, with power unto good works from the eternal word: And this God owns when He is the mover thereof, and worker also, and the creature only servant therein, in the same power.

And this is not a self-taken on performance from the letter, but is the eternal counsel and strength of God, commanded, moved, and performed in God's will and time, and contrary to the will of the flesh, whereby the will of all flesh is subdued, even all that is come in since the beginning, till all be seen in the light to be good, and the work of God; and so His works praise Him, from a good understanding of the Spirit and power of the living God. And with the living word, is the living soul witnessed, and the life of Christ made manifest in the mortal body, and the creature comes to have fellowship in the life, and is transformed thereinto, and united in one; and this is the word of reconciliation, which unites God and the creature in Spirit; which whoever knows, needs not go forth for wisdom, counsel or strength, against all the powers of darkness, nor wiles of the enemy, but by diligent taking heed to the word which is nigh in the heart, from thence finds the issues of life; spiritual strength, and power against the spiritual wickedness, which all who run out for help, lie under and become servants of.

Concerning Worship.

The worship of the true and living God stands out of man's will, and knowledge, wisdom or prudence, as in the natural; for God is a Spirit, and in Spirit He is worshipped; not with mens hands, nor with bodily exercise, farther than by the eternal Spirit the body is exercised, nor does it stand in meats and drinks, nor diverse washings, nor carnal ordinances taken on by tradition, or imitation of others, but as every creature is moved by the Spirit of the living God, whom is that Spirit, who will be served with His own alone, not with anything in man, which is come in since the fall; for the imaginations, thinkings; and conceivings are shut out; all man's ways, man's times and forms, national customs, man's decency, and orders by men devised and added; are all shut out, and condemned with that Spirit in which God alone is worshipped, and His people taught His worship, and the manner of it; and the times are in His hand, whose the worship is.

So that before any can rightly worship God, they must wait to know His Spirit, that leads to know Him and His worship, and the matter, and manner; for all who do the same thing only as to the outward performance, do not worship God, because they worship not in the Spirit and power of God Himself: So that all who would worship Him as to be accepted, you must know the light, and in it wait to know what God calls for at your hands: for it is not what men appoint you to do, or not to do, that will acquit you before the Lord. For this know, that God made man for Himself, and for His service, and the living God is not as the dumb idols, that people should imagine a way to serve Him, as may best suit with the fashion and custom of a nation, or a people: but He that made man, has given him a life for Himself, to improve it in His service; and a light has He given wherewith to see the movings of this Spirit of life, which ever moves after the will of God, because it is of Him; and so where it is awakened, it ever draws the creature towards God, the mind, will and affections, and love of God is in it, see this; but the creature running before this, or without this, there comes all the dead works and worships. And the ground of all this, arises out of darkness and disobedience; for when the creature has been out, in the world, and unrighteous ways thereof, doing that which is evil, then that in the heart condemns for the evil, and neglect of good; then the same mind runs to act a worship to get peace, when both the evil and the worship is in one nature, and so the prayers become abomination, as the other was, for he that regards the iniquity, God will not hear his prayers, nor accept his worship; that's Cain's sacrifice, and Esau's prayers; but either must your worship be performed in one that never sinned, or it cannot be accepted with the pure God.

So that the way to be well-pleasing to the Father, is to wait in the light, till you feel something of the Spirit of life, which is in Christ Jesus, moving in you, and then to that join, in its power to worship; and that being of God, He cannot forget Himself; and that is done in the name of Christ, which is done in His light, and power and wisdom, and strength; and whatever is done in His name, is not denied of the Father; and so far as any are in Him, so far sons, and so far accepted in Him, without whom you can do nothing, nor be respected, nor did ever any worship in this nature, but they found acceptance, and the knowledge thereof; and you who know not this to lead and guide you in your worships, are worshipping you know not what, nor with what; and though you say, that God works all your works in you, and that it's His work and worship you are about, yet when it comes upon trial, He will not own it for His, which the worker of iniquity has wrought. For the evil worker has not only his hand in the deceitful works of the unrighteous mammon, but in the deceitful works of worship too. For did he not deceive in worship, to hide his wickedness, with pretence of godliness, and long prayers, he could not keep people in any peace in his wicked ways. So they who join to him herein, receive the grater condemnation: for the false worshippers were always greatest enemies to Christ, and so to their own souls; and woe to him that hides his sins thus.

So all who desire to worship in truth, you must know the truth, even the Spirit of truth, to lead into all truth: which Spirit of truth takes of Christ, and testifies of His life, and power, in the creature worshipping, who believes in the light; and such know they are in Him, and He in them, who is true, in whom they worship the Father of the truth, and so God is served with His own; and no farther than this is known, can any worship God in Spirit, which the light does manifest. So you having received a light from Christ, in that wait, till therein you find the Spirit's leading, acting, and ordering; and here the least in the light, is in God's service, when on Him you are waiting in Spirit, and such as abide in the light, waiting upon God, in the light, are kept from serving the prince of darkness, and having your loins girt, and your light burning, you are always ready to know the Voice, and answer it with obedience, and then you serve God, and not men, when you have a command from the living God, not taken by tradition from men; for in vain do all worship, whose fear and service towards God is taught by the precepts of men; for all the children of the Lord, are taught of the Lord: And they are the sons of God, who are led by the Spirit of God. And such hearken to the Lord and know His voice; and what they see and hear, that they do, and do not offer the sacrifice of fools.

But do not you offer the sacrifice of fools, who have been worshipping all your time, and yet have His worship to learn? And are but still asking, if this be the right worship, and have it yet to dispute? (If not confident in a false way, which is much worse) and such are you who are fighting and contending for such a manner of worship as Christ never ordained, nor His own never practiced; as you may see, if you compare your national worship with the Saints practice; which is changed in every particular, and that by men and councils, under pretence of decency and conformity, or something that stands in mens will, which God never commanded. But you may long worship here, and call it God's worship, ere He own it by answering you; yet was Nebuchadnezzar never more zealous for his image, than you are for this, if you had but his power; yea, them who have found the everlasting way of Christ, and an answer from God in it, such would you force to bow to your imaginations, where you know not God nor His Presence with you therein; nor can you ever find God in that way which is not His own, nor is that His own, which generations of men, and councils, have altered, and added to, and changed from time to time, as may most suit their customs and countries; so that each nation has its different manner of worship, but all out of the counsel of God, agreed on by the councils of men.

And all you who are gone out in anything from Christ the true pattern and example, you are gone into the imaginations of men, and so are become servants of men, and not of God, herein. For God is pure, and so is His way and worship, and without His command cannot be changed in the least jot, but by Him is denied, and is become will-worship, and not God's worship: for it is not the name that makes it God's worship; but it is the nature of it, which must be in the Spirit and will of God, contrary to the will of men, and their wisdom, wherein men in all ages have performed the idolatrous worship, and set up likenesses instead of true worship, though being heart-blind did not know it, but ever looked upon all to be out of the way, but themselves. And this is your work, who at this day set up an imitation from the letter of what other men have done, but have not received your command and power in Spirit from the Lord, and to you it will be said, Who has required these things at your hands? For all the Saints have their commands in Spirit, and all that know the command in Spirit, know it is life eternal, and gives life to fulfill the command, and so the worship is spiritual; and the heart, and the mind and soul is united in it; and so being in one there is no idolatry, nor likeness, but in one is the command, power, life, will, way, and worship; but all you who have taken on the Saints practice to perform the like, but not called, commanded and furnished in Spirit, you want power, and life, and so even in the time of your worship your hearts are going out after carnal things, and there is the spiritual idolatry: For whatever your minds are in, that is your god you worship, and the pure God owns no such; for it's truth in the inward parts He seeks for, wherein none of you can worship who know not the living Word in your hearts, to keep them up to God in your worship, that worship is not in the will of God.

Concerning Error, Heresy, &c.

It is not error to forsake the opinions of any natural man whatsoever, nor to withdraw from the Church of Rome, as they call it, nor from any who have reformed some things since the time of Popery, but yet are not come to the true foundation of the Apostles, though they call themselves National Churches, or Gathered Churches whatsoever. But the error is to err from the Spirit of God and His teachings, and the Church which by its teaching alone is gathered into God, out of all the ways, worships, sects, and opinions of the world, convocations and councils, that are not in God. And the Church so gathered into God, is the pillar and ground or stay of truth, where the Spirit alone is Teacher; and all that are gone out from this Church, and teaching, are in error, where all the sects, and opinions, and false ways and worships are, and their teachers, who have erred from the Spirit of Christ, and the Saints Teacher and their practice; and are gone after their pride, and covetousness, and filthy lucre: Here lies the world's teachers, though they do not know from whence they are erred, because they never yet came in the right way; nay, who never yet came so far as Balaam, who had the word of the Lord from His own mouth, and knew it, and yet his heart erred after gifts and honors. So these preach against Balaam, but cannot see themselves in the same error, ever since they were promoted to honor, and gifts, and masterships, and great livings, by the Pope, who received his power from the beast, and gave of it to all his adherents, to cause such as dwell on the earth to worship them; but such whose names are written in the book of life, who have suffered to this day, and do suffer, because they cannot bow to that power, nor worship it, nor according to its likeness; and under pretence of error and heresy do these always suffer, by such who are erred, and with the spirit of error do judge, which spirit has shed all the innocent blood since Abel to this day, though the error was ever in the persecutor.

So that there is no error from the Spirit of Christ and His teachings, and all who are gone from that, are gone into error, whatever they pretend. And confusion, and vain janglings, and contention, disputing about the things of God, but are gone out into the world, where all the deceived ones are, antichrists and seducing spirits which deceive the nations with enchantments and witcheries, which none can see, till to the light of Christ, and His Spirit they return, which only leads out of all errors, as it is believed and followed. For no spirit can lead out of error, but that Spirit which never erred; and whoever is led out by any other, is erred already, though unknown, to them who are so deceived. For error could never truly judge of error, nor darkness of light, though it will be doing, to show enmity.

So error cries, Take heed of being deceived, which is deceived already; but the Spirit of light searches out that deceit: But who walks not in the Spirit and light of Christ is blind, and knows not by what he is led, nor where, and stumbles at the light which should judge his blindness, and become his Leader; and such an one, though he be in error, yet knows not whence he is fallen, who never knew the right way; as many at this day, who are talking of blindness, but themselves in the pit, and must be, till they own the light to lead them out of it, which never erred, which is of God, even as they who received it are of God: and they that were of God, knew that all that would not hear them had the spirit of error; and thereby they knew it, and the Spirit of truth.

And whatever that be which leads out into the world's conformity, and pleads for it, or anything that is come in by the fall, that is the spirit of error: but that Spirit which testifies against all that is in the fall, and convinces of it, and leads out of it, that is the Spirit of truth, and comes to testify of the Redeemer Christ Jesus, who is to set us free out of it; which all that live in, live in error.

So all who desire to know the spirit of error, you must turn to the Spirit of light, from whence you have erred; for no other shows the error, but that which reproves the fruit of error; that which reproves for sin, is that from which man has erred, the faithful and true Witness, which is the beginning of the creation of God, to which all must give an account, and which alone is appointed for a light, and Leader of the people that sit in darkness, to show the darkness, and the way out of it: So, to that which was in the beginning all must come, that with the Light, from which man has erred, you may know the ways of error, and the way of truth.

Concerning Faith.

He that has living faith, which is in Christ, lives by it; and the life that he lives is above all the world, and the powers of darkness; and the least measure of that faith is perfect, and has present power against all the assaults of satan, if in it the creature abide faithful, and run not to other helps, and so lay himself open to distrust; for it is the gift of God, whereof whosoever receives a measure, he has a measure of the Son, above which the Father will not suffer any temptation; for the true faith lays hold on God's righteousness, against which no unrighteousness can prevail; which righteousness is received by faith in Christ Jesus; wherein the creature so believing stands armed against all the fiery darts and temptations of the devil, with God's righteousness, seen in the light, and wrought in the Spirit, whereby the creature becomes God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, by which he becomes free from the evil; dead to sin, but alive to God's righteousness, waiting in faith, to see it revealed through obedience thereto, from faith to faith, as it is written, The just shall live by faith; and this is the living faith, which purifies the heart, unto the life of godliness, and so reveals the righteousness of faith for an inheritance, everlasting righteousness, ever growing and springing whereby the creature grows into the knowledge of God, with Him to walk by faith, out of the knowledge of all the world, translated out of the pleasures and kingdoms of it, into the kingdom of the Son of God, where the reproach of Christ is esteemed great riches; laying hold upon the invisible, which the world's faith cannot reach, which carries them no higher than visible reasonings and consulting with sensual wisdom, and carnal helps, and so brings nothing to perfection, because it sees nothing that is perfect; but the living faith sees Him that is invisible, and lays hold on the measure of God made manifest in Spirit, which measure of the Spirit is that which in faith works out the old, and works the new, both will and deed, whose work is perfect, to kill, and to make alive.

But the world's faith is not of this nature and power, who hear a thing with the outward ear, and so set themselves to believe, or not to believe it, in their wills or outward persuasions, from others, or in their own imaginations; and as their imaginations, thoughts, and conceiving change, so their faith changes also; and so it cannot be steadfast, because it stands not in the measure of God known in the heart, which changes not; and this faith serves not God, nor can it please Him, nor does it see Him that's invisible. And so not standing in that which is contrary to the will of man, the power of sin, it lies under the wills of men, and power of the prince of this world; and as the world and time changes, so does that faith, but can never lead out of the world, and all time, up to the Redeemer of the soul.

And to all who are in that nature, the living faith that stands in that which is of God in a pure conscience is a mystery, not known nor received, and so cannot be improved, which is the true faith, which is the gift of God, which none can receive but in the Spirit. So the faith of Christ, and the faith of the world, are two, and have their several effects, and fruits; the one professes freedom and redemption in the imaginations and comprehensions, but is a servant of sin; and the other has the living faith which gives the life of freedom, and so as is their ground and root, so is their fruits and effects; and the one of these is against the other.

For that faith which stands in Christ, believes in purity and in perfection, and holiness, and slays sin, and by that faith alone the Just live, and justice and righteousness is brought forth to light in the godly conversation; but the faith which stands in the imaginations and wisdom of man, which believes salvation without holiness of life, that slays the Just, and keeps alive the unjust; and this faith they had, which believed the Scriptures, and the words of the prophets, and that God was their Father; but not having the word of faith in their hearts, these slew the Son of God, and set the murderer free: and as that faith, which is dead, works death, so that faith which is living works life. And a profession of faith without righteousness, is like a body without life; and like as a living man is known by his actions, so is the living faith by its fruits. And as the man cannot live without action, no more can faith in Christ without righteousness; these are inseparable, therefore it is called the righteousness of faith; where the heart believes unto righteousness, there the mouth confesses to salvation, without hypocrisy or self righteousness.

And so God's righteousness is received in the heart by faith, and by obedience thereto brought forth into the world, a witness against all the unrighteousness of the world; and so the righteousness of God is preached through faith, in all whose faith stands in Christ Jesus: But that is a dead faith which brings not forth the life of Christ into the world, and that's the reprobate faith which is to the good work reprobate; and he that errs from the righteousness, errs from the faith also which is held in a pure conscience; and he that makes a shipwreck of a good conscience, and puts that away, makes shipwreck of faith also.

And in the eternal light is all your faith seen and judged to be without Christ, and without foundation, who are out of the light and out of the life. And your faith is seen to be the same with the Scribes and Pharisees, who believed the Scriptures, and thought to find life therein, but did not believe in the light, and so would not come to Christ, that they might have life. So all your faith, which is out of the light, which from the letter you have formed, is a faith set up in your own wills, and not that which is given of God: for that faith that is the gift of God, believes in the light, and follows it, and so leads to the life; and this faith that stands in the light and life, is the living faith, never without works, which works are love, meekness, patience, mortification, sanctification, justification, &c. The works of God in Christ Jesus, in which God's workmanship is seen in the new creation, received in the faith, and in the obedience, to which the soul is purified, and victory witnessed over the world, sin and death. But you who believe not in the light, are enemies to this faith, and yet you get the words of Scripture, given forth from the light, and so your faith stands in the wisdom of words, into which you have been searching with your wisdom, but not in the power of God and His work: so you are they who say and do not, whose practice could never suit your profession.

Concerning Hope.

Hope is a gift of God, and is pure, showing the purity of God, and His righteousness in Christ Jesus, the beholding whereof stays the soul from joining to the wicked one, when he tempts, because he sees in the light a better work to serve; so that until the time of that work being fully manifest, the hope is as an anchor to stay from following the unclean one, and so keeps out of the sin, and so makes not ashamed, even then in the time of want it hopes against hope. When that life of Christ is not yet seen in its full power, yet it is evidenced in the hope, which is wrought in the patience and experience, whereby the love appears and the faith works, whereby God's righteousness is revealed, and the Son is seen, who is the Redeemer, and he that has this hope in him, purifies himself even as He is pure. And this is that hope that enters within the vail, into the holy place, where the life and immortality is brought to light, which the mortal eye nor carnal senses cannot approach to. And this is the living hope, which hopes to the end, that Christ and His righteousness may be revealed, to take away sin, and save from it, and out of it; and in hope of this, the children and babes of Christ wait in the obedience of the Spirit, not fashioning themselves after the lusts of ignorance; but as He who has called to that hope is holy, so in His holiness is their conversation who are in His hope.

But the devil has begotten another hope in his servants who believe in him, and are acted by his spirit, which stands in another ground, and brings forth another fruit, and that is, That though they be servants to sin (for that must be concluded in all his covenants and graces) yet there is hope of salvation; and such hopes as may not be judged false nor questioned, although the Witness of God in the conscience does testify to the contrary, yet it must not be heeded, lest they should be deluded. So that where the devil is become teacher, a tender conscience is to be resisted, as the greatest error and foolery in the world: And that, to wait for the testimony or Witness within, is to deny Christ at Jerusalem, and the greatest blasphemy that can be spoken of; and to wait for that mystery that has been hid from ages (to wit,) Christ in you, the hope of glory, is to deny the person of Christ, and His blood and sufferings. And many such imaginations has satan begot in peoples brains, to scare them from minding the light of Christ within, that so he may keep the heart in darkness, and his seat there undiscovered.

So he sets them to look for the kingdom of Christ without them, and a spirit without, and a light without, and a word without, and righteousness without, and in that to hope; while he dwells in the heart, and there in darkness upholds his kingdom of sin, and seat of unrighteousness all their life, and feeds them with a hope after they are dead, by a profession without power, and life and Spirit, and truth in them, to order them and their conversation aright, towards God and man in their generations. And this is the hope of the hypocrite, that must perish in the end, and come short of salvation, whose hope is not in God, nor gives a being in righteousness; but he has a hope, and lives in the world without God and His hope. And this is not the hope of Christ, which lives in sin and hopes for salvation; but this is his hope in Christ that hopes to freedom and perfection, which never comes short of its end, in all that wait in it. And this hope only is it that makes not ashamed; but you may be ashamed of your hope, who are found in your sins, and encouraging yourselves therein, that you shall not die.

That's the devil's hope, which hopes not freedom from sin, as much as freedom from hell. And with this hope would he make God a liar, and partial like himself, that he should find some in sin, and save them, and others in sin and condemn them. But who knows Christ, and hopes in Him, hopes in righteousness, and therein to stand in the day of judgment; and therein to live in this evil world above it, and all the unrighteousness of it: And the end of the lively hope, is no less than God's righteousness to attain, and live in, as it is received; and only such can give a reason of that hope that is in them, who sanctify the Lord God in their hearts, and have a good conscience, and suffer for well-doing; which unreasonable men, who live in the unreasonable nature, cannot do, whose hope is not an helmet of salvation against sin, yet would have it for salvation against hell. And this is that unreasonable hope in unreasonable men, for which they can give no reason, but in their own wills and imaginations: for is there any reason why you should hope to be saved by Christ, who will be the devil's servants, to yield your members servants to, and delight in his wickedness while you live, and yet be saved by Christ's righteousness when you die? This is a hope that serves you to talk on, to feed yourselves in your vanity; but will be in the end like the giving up of the ghost. But who is begotten in the lively hope, are begotten into an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, whereunto they are kept by the power, in hope through faith, unto salvation from sin, the thing that he that's begotten to God longs and hopes for: which hope shall not fail.

Concerning Love..

The love of God is but one, and in One, nor can any receive it, but who receive that One, the Son of God: And this cannot stand with self, or any changeable thing; for God is that love and none can dwell in it, but as he dwells in God: so it's pure and perfect. As the creature comes to live in God, as He is, into His image and likeness; so with the pure light His love is seen, and shed abroad in the heart, whereby the power of faith works, to the overcoming all that is contrary to God. So the love of God abounds, and who dwells in it works no ill; but the work of love fulfills the law of God, which is upon all that's gone out from Him, into the world and self-ends, which has been received in the love of carnal things, and so are gone into the enmity against God, setting the affection on changeable things; for whosoever will be a friend to the world, is the enemy of God; for the world's love arises from the spirit of the world; but the love of God is a fruit of God's Spirit, and none have the love of God, but who have the Spirit from which it springs, which is eternal, unchangeable and above all carnal things, nor can time or carnal things quench it, for it endures forever. And herein it differs from all the world's love; nor can anyone have this love, but from the Fountain of love; even the manifestation of God's love shed in the heart, wherewith He first loved the creature. And this being known and seen in the light, from thence is the Spring of love, which runs out to the whole creation of God, and for the same end; for as the love is one, so the end is but one.

Now God so loved the world, that He gave His Son into the world, a light to condemn sin in the flesh, that the righteousness of God might be fulfilled in the creature, in walking after the Spirit, and denying the works of the flesh. And this is the love of God to sinners, to condemn sin, and take it away by the light and life of Christ; and to all that love with this love, this is the end of it: But with this love is all your love condemned, whose love stands in fashions and customs, feastings and riotings, sports and vain pleasures, or anything in the flesh that's in the fall; and in flattering one another in your evil ways, or in respect of persons, or any other thing that has an end, for the love of God is without end, in love to the soul and body, as God has made it, but in hatred to all that has come in since, which has defiled it.

So that this love of God consists of reproofs, judgment and condemnation against all that defiles the creation, and against the creature who yields to that pollution; and this is pure love to the soul, that deals faithfully therewith, in declaring its condition; and that was the great love Christ showed to the Jews, when He told them they were Hypocrites, Blind Guides, Liars, and said, Woe to you you serpents, you generation of vipers, how can you escape the damnation of hell? And many such plain words He spoke in love to them. And that was the love of God in Paul, which said to Elymas, O full of subtlety, and all mischief, you child of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord? For all the love that can be showed to any creature is to deal faithfully and truly with them, as they are seen in the light; and he who does not so, loves neither God nor them (as will be found in the day of judgment) and so are out of God's love, and imagining a love which is of another nature, and with this love, you who are out of the love of God, flatter one another in your evil ways and changeable opinions, which love is grounded in carnal things, and stands in your own wills. And therewith, when you will love, and when you will hate; but neither know love, as it is in God, nor hatred, whose love and hatred stands in changeable things; so your love and hatred perish, which stand not in God. But who knows the love of God, tramples upon all your love and hatred, and sees an end thereof. And such see your blindness, who say, You would have all won by love, but know not whereof you affirm; whose ways are not God's ways, nor your thoughts His: For, says He, I will redeem Zion with judgment, and with the spirit of judgment and burning will I wash away the filth thereof: But you who are in the flesh would have all flattered therein.

So the love is seen to be filthy which spares filthiness, which defiles the temple of God; but that is pure, which purges away the filth, and condemns the unclean, and all that love it; for the love of the devil may be won with serving of him, and flattering him in his ways, in them in whom he is; but what is it worth? So may one have the love of all the world, and their friendship, but woe to that friendship which is got by sparing God's enemies, that is enmity against God, Therefore, says God, let love be without dissimulation; abhor that which is evil, cleave to that which is good; and that love is it, which uncovers sin, which condemns sin to death, and covers it with righteousness; Otherwise (says the Scriptures) he that covers sin shall not prosper. And says James, He which converts a sinner from the error of his way, shall save a soul, and shall hide a multitude of sins. And says Solomon, Open rebuke is better than secret love: Such wounds are precious to them that know what love is; but he that spares mens wickedness, hates God's righteousness. And so with the light is seen God's love, and the devil's love; and each loves his own works, and so do their children in whom they reign; for whoever loves the one, hates the other; and he that serves the one, hates the other; and so the servant pleads for his master, whom he loves.

Concerning Judgment.

True judgment (as it is known to men) is a gift from the Spirit of God, set in the heart of everyone who dwells in the light of Christ, which judgment passes upon all that is in the creature, contrary to the life of God: And so as it is received, springs up with light and salvation, to the redeeming of the heart from all uncleanness, condemning all that which is contrary to purity, that God may be seen in His dwelling place with His righteousness. And so He is said to redeem Zion with judgment, and her converts with righteousness; and to purge away the filth of the daughter of Zion, with the spirit of judgment and the spirit of burning. And if there be a dwelling in the light, this judgment ceases not, till the throne of Christ be established in the heart in peace; for this is His judgment, and is upon all that stands up against His kingdom. And this is the cause why the enemies of righteousness love it not, but have turned it to gall and wormwood; which the righteous delight in and love, who are redeemed and saved therewith, and know it to be the promise first to be received: For, says the Lord, I will make judgment to rest for a light of the people; which being received, His righteousness is near to be revealed.

Therefore His judgment must pass before, upon all that's unrighteous, and none can have His righteousness, but who receive His judgment. Therefore, says the Lord, I have hewed them by the Prophets, I have slain them by the words of My mouth, and My judgments are as a light that goes forth. And for this end is judgment given to the Saints of the Most High. And,says the Lord, the righteous man shall judge them after the manner of adulteresses, and after the manner of women that shed blood, because they are adulteresses, and blood is in their hands: thus will I cause the lewdness to cease out of the land. Therefore is Ezekiel so often commanded to judge them, and cause them to know their abominations. And Jeremiah was full of the fury of the Lord, and he was weary with holding in it. And Micah was full of power, by the Spirit of the Lord and of judgment, to declare to Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin. And so in all ages He placed His judgments in His servants, who are to judge the heathen, and such as know not God, therewith; and so many as did believe it, and receive it, did repent and found mercy, and the rest were hardened. And this judgment is eternal, and shall stand in heaven, as it is passed upon earth. And this was committed to the Apostles as a doctrine; and whom they bound, were bound; and who by it they loosed, were loosed: Therefore did all the Saints love judgment; for it is the ministration of Christ, ministered out upon all that's against Christ, and that which is against Christ, is against the soul: so this judgment must begin at the house of God; but where the devil keeps the house, he rejects it; and says Solomon, The ungodly scorn judgment, and evil men understand it not, So, says he, there is that which is destroyed for want of judgment; and he that has not judgment is blind, and sees not that this enemy reigns, which will reign till judgment be brought into victory, and set in the earth; but when judgment is laid to the line, and righteousness to the plummet, then the covenant with hell and death must be disannulled. So all that are in this covenant, love not that which breaks it.

And this is your case, who hate reproof, who when you are told of your evil hearts, where sin lives, and your cursed crooked nature, you say, Who made you a judge? And many say, You could like what we say, but we judge people. So you are they that hate judgment, and would not have the ministry of Christ to go on; for who has the Spirit of Christ, has the Spirit of judgment, and who serve that Spirit, must suffer it to speak and judge in them; and all that oppose it shall be condemned by it. Therefore said David, The tongues of the righteous talk judgment, the law of God is in his heart, his steps shall not slide, but the wicked seek to slay him.

So, for uttering the judgments of God against the wicked, have the Just ever suffered; and for the same do you now hate them, and condemn them; and you are in the same nature and covenant that your Forefathers were in, who shed the innocent blood; and you would have joined with them had you lived with them, whatever your deceit may say to the contrary. And you are found in the same opposition to the utmost power you have against the Spirit of judgment now, as they were then; and the cause is the same now as it was then, both they and you living in that which is for judgment, fire and condemnation: Therefore you cannot receive their testimony, who have judged and condemned that evil, which you love and live in. And for this cause Cain slew his brother, and so do all his generation. And with that which you hate shall you be condemned, and shall not be able to stand in judgment, which is the Saints delight, in which they are united to God, as He has said, I will betroth you to Me forever, in righteousness and in judgment; which righteousness and judgment must condemn the wicked. So who has Christ, has Him in judgment and righteousness, and love Him, His judgment and righteousness; but who is married to the world, cannot love that which is his condemnation for so doing.

Concerning Perfection.

God is perfect, and so are all His works and all His gifts; and whoever receives His gifts, receives that which is perfect. And by receiving and joining to that which is perfect, is the creature gradually made perfect. And no further than the creature is in this perfection, can any be united to God, nor appear in His Spirit, nor be blessed, but are gone out from what was in the beginning, and so are not delivered out of the fall, nor redeemed, and have no more of Christ, than what they have of perfection; for perfection is of Christ, and imperfection and sin is of the devil. And these are two contraries, and come from contrary grounds, and bring forth contrary fruits, for he that is of God is of perfection, and believes perfection, but who is of the serpent cannot own it, nor believe it, being blinded by the god of this world.

God sent His Son into the world, to preach perfection, even the perfection in the image of the father, that all who will believe may inherit it; And all that believed Him, believed perfection. And when He had left a perfect example in all things, He ascended, and gave gifts to men, several sorts of gifts; all for the perfecting of the Saints, that all might come up to one faith, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, that so He may be an everlasting Redeemer, perfecting the work of God in every generation of them that believe in His work and follow Him.

And this all His ministers improved to the same end, and preached and prayed, That they might present every man perfect in Christ Jesus, from whom they had received the gift. And all that believed them, believed perfection, and pressed after it, as the end of their faith; knowing, nothing less than perfection could given them perfect rest and redemption.

Now since the mystery of iniquity entered, there is another ministry gone out into the world, who has taken up an imitation instead of gift, and have begotten another kind of faith in the world, wholly reprobate as to perfection, preaching against it with all the power they have, holding it for blasphemy, and calling it a doctrine of devils, and the like. And these would be called the ministers of Christ, that so they may not miss of their end; for did they come in His name whose work they uphold, He knows they might run in vain. Thus they deceive all, who receive them by their words; but who mind the end of their work, may easily see as much difference as is between Christ and Belial. The work of Christ is, and ever was, to renew man again to his perfect state; but the work of antichrist is, to withstand it, and each has his ministers suitable to their ends intended. Christ's end is to perfect, the devil's is to keep imperfect, and in sin. And each minister has their faith, hope, and other gifts suitable, one pure, the other polluted. And according to each faith, so it is to all that believe them and follow them; for the faith of Christ is a shield, and gives victory over uncleanness, sin and evil; but the devil's faith lets in, and believes it must be so: For had not the devil first brought man to believe him, rather than God, he could not have polluted what God had perfected. And the same way he takes to keep up his work, by which at first he wrought it.

So none can come to know a new creature, but who believe perfection in Christ; nor can any come to God, nor Christ, nor God's righteousness, but who comes to believe perfection attainable in Christ. For all who are in the imperfect and polluted righteousness, are in your own righteousness; for the least measure of God's righteousness is perfect, and all come into perfection who are true servants to it, and thereby become free from sin. So by your unbelief you destroy your souls, who are in your own works, which make nothing perfect.

And so, measuring yourselves with yourselves, cuts you off from Christ, as measuring your faith by your own ability; so standing in that covenant which makes nothing perfect, but the coming in of a better hope does. And this all know, whose faith stands in what God is, and not what He can do; in everlasting righteousness, not in what we have to work: the one being righteousness by faith revealed, a gift put into the believer; the other, an imitation of the same in works, but not the power: and such are you, who read a verse, and see therein what the Saints did, and then set yourselves to do the like, but know not that righteousness, revealed in you in the faith which they had, which was wrought in them by the Lord, before they brought it to light; and so did not work of themselves, but believed on Him who works the will and the deed of His own good pleasure, who alone is well-pleased with His own work, and with all who are servants to His work, to bring it to light to His praise, whose workmanship such are. And they who are found herein, have His witness in the light, to prove their works, that they are wrought in God, and not of self, self-will, nor for self-ends, nor in self-time, nor in self-power. And all that know this perfect will and acceptable work of God, know it begotten and brought forth in self-denial, in all things; and not of us, but of Him that is perfect: And so makes our way perfect. And this is the covenant that makes perfect all that come thereto; and self being denied in the work, boasting is excluded by the law of faith, which receives the free and perfect gift.

And for this cause the first covenant was found faulty and disanulled, because it made not the comers thereto perfect, as pertaining to the conscience, nor did exclude boasting; no more does your imitations from the letter, for the light in your consciences witnesses your imperfection therein, and your works are condemned before they be wrought, and your ministers tell you your righteousness is not perfect, yet they call for righteousness, and yet say, your best is but as filthy rags: And they call for prayer, and yet tell you, that you must be sinners while you live, and that the prayers of the wicked are abomination to the Lord. So the abominable sacrifice is preached, and performed; and perfection denied by all those priests and people who have not received the gift for perfecting. And of this sort, are they who have their preaching to study and to seek at other mens mouths, or from the letter, but have it not from the mouth of the Lord, freely given, the perfect gifts for perfecting the Saints. So what they get, that they sell; for none can give freely but who so receives, nor can any perfect others, who have not the perfect gift in themselves.

So you that talk of perfection, you must first know a free gift from above. Perfection is not from below, where you have your carnal imaginations, and reason, and wisdom, and prudence, gotten by your learning and studies, whereof you boast, and wherein you exalt yourselves above your brethren, for that self-exaltation came in by the devil, and perfection is hid from it, and all that live therein; neither can it be bought or sold, nor procured with all the industry of man, only such obtain it who wait in the light, till they receive the free gift of righteousness, and be endued with power from above: not they who hear a thing in the notion and then declare it; nor who see a work done, and go to do the like; for none were more like to have been able ministers than the Apostles in this, who had seen the mighty work of Christ, and heard Him and His doctrine; but these were not fit for perfecting the Saints, till they had received the same Spirit from above: Therefore were they commanded to wait at Jerusalem till therewith they were endued; and then they were made able ministers, not of the letter, but of the Spirit; and their testament in the Spirit, and not in the letter, for that of the letter kills, but the Spirit perfects.

And so all that ever bear testament in the Spirit, preach and believe perfection, but that testament of the letter being without, cannot perfect the comers thereto: For the light, faith, hope, love, patience, &c. are gifts spiritually given for perfecting, and cannot be had any other way but in Spirit, freely given, and freely received, which gifts you know not, nor the effect of them, who are in the literal ministration; but in your vain imaginations and comprehensions, are judging you know not what, and limiting the spiritual covenant of God to the literal; and because you who are in the letter (searching with your wit) can find no perfection, therefore you will judge the spiritual covenant also: That so the devil may forever keep people from coming in of the better hope: For if the first covenant made nothing perfect, nor the second neither, what hope is their for people, seeing no imperfection nor uncleanness can enter into the kingdom of heaven?

Concerning Government, or Magistracy.

There is no just government but what is of God, and in whomsoever He (having called them) places His power and authority; which is just, and righteous, received in the light, and from the Anointing of Jesus, and the subjection to His spiritual power in the soul, whom the Father has appointed King and Governor of all things in heaven and in earth: And none can deserve the name of Christian Governors, but who by Him are governed, and do receive His authority, with subjection thereto in Spirit. Therefore says the Apostle, Let every soul be subject to the Higher Power. And he that will rule for God, must first see that his own soul be subject to the Higher Power, and must know one higher than he; and so himself coming under that power, then with that power and authority upon him, he goes forth to rule with God, for God; and having set up His kingdom in his heart, he goes to make way that His kingdom may be set up in others; that all may bow to His Authority wherewith he is anointed from above, and to which he is become subject for conscience sake. And so His government being according to that in every conscience, shall witness him and his government to be of God, and so he that resists, shall receive to himself condemnation, witnessed by that in the conscience: And all who own not that in the conscience which is pure, to obey the Lord therein, the sword of the Lord in the hand of His Minister shall be upon such, and that of God to which he is subject, even the Anointing he has received, shall instruct him in the spirit of meekness, wisdom, and judgment, to find out the transgressor, and lay the sword upon him; and such shall not bear the sword in vain, but a terror to the evil-doer shall be, without respect to the persons of men, or any other thing, but only to the law of God, which is one with that in the conscience.

So is Christ honored as Law-giver, and Judge, and King; and with this honor He honors such rulers in the consciences of all His people, and before all the world; and though the world knows not the authority of such, nor from whom they have it, yet all that fear God do; and are made to confess them before God and man: And so Isaiah was made to confess to Gyrus, whom others counted a heathen; for it is the authority in the person that is honorable, wherever it is placed. So Moses was dreadful in this authority, though otherwise but a shepherd, and the meekest man in the world. And Samuel a poor man, yet this authority made the elders of Bethlehem to tremble at his coming when they heard thereof. Nay, it is too much to instance in particulars; for all that ever honored God in this, He honored them, whose names are a blessing to this day, and their memorial shall not rot, for when such reign, the people rejoice that delight in righteousness; the just are bold, and righteousness flourishes in the open streets, and wickedness is ashamed, and is hid, and the innocent clap their hands for joy that the Lord reigns, and their Governors are of themselves. When Christ rules in all, then He makes His officers peace, and His exactors, righteousness.

But if it be said, Must not men own wicked magistrates? I say, they are to be owned and obeyed in all things, as they are appointed by God; for God limits them, and has set bounds to them, though they know it not; and so far as they command the will of God, they are to be obeyed for conscience sake; but when they are contrary to God, and command that which God forbids, and forbid what He commands, then God is to be obeyed, and man denied for conscience sake; for none can be obeyed for conscience sake, who command that which is contrary to the law or light of God in the conscience; though many do deny the Lord, and conform to such, to keep their consciences void of offence; for so it must be when rulers themselves deny obedience to God in Spirit, then all who walk after the Spirit, must needs suffer by them.

And here is the ground of all persecution that ever was, when governors are out of the fear of God, and stand in their own wills, and walk after the flesh, then that spirit rules, which persecutes him that is born after the spirit, and so the enmity getting up, snares are laid for the innocent, to make him an offender for a word, who is none indeed: And from this ground have the lambs been devoured always by evil-doers, but ever innocent, yet never wanting accusations, as heretics, ringleaders of sects and seditions, blasphemers and the like; that so the devil may more blind the world, lest they should see his envy, and their innocency.

And in the time of such governors has the Lamb born testimony in much patience, meekness and long-suffering, bearing all the venom and envy that the serpent could cast out upon Him (where he was manifest in the creature) for a witness against all such rulers; that His long-suffering might lead them to repentance, and leave them without excuse in the day of His wrath; and against such is He finishing His testimony at this day. And a blinder generation never was in any age, who have run from all tenderness, so far into that wisdom that many are grown wholly past feeling; imprisoning, whipping, and torturing their brethren.

And as every generation of that seed grows more subtle, so (in the things of Christ) more blind and deaf. So that it's rare to find one, who has an ear to hear oppression; but not one, whose heart is perfect to deny the world's favor, to bear witness against the ground of oppression: So the just man parishes, and none lay it to heart; nor can any lay it to heart, whose hearts are filled with selfish passion, and self-will; for none can rule for God, whose heart is not ruled by God; but when the Lord rules in the heart, then the Just reigns, and the cause of the Just is heard, and he that rules for the Just, rules for God, and with God, over the unjust; first in himself, then in all the world; otherwise though an unjust judge may hear the cause of the poor in some case, or time, yet it is not for God, nor from obedience to the Spirit of judgment, which is of God, the heart being filled with self-ends.

So that he that is a self-lover, or proud, or covetous, or respects gifts, or rewards, cannot rule for God, nor can he that respect persons rule for God, nor with God, who is no respecter of persons, but only has respect to such as walk in obedience to that just Principle of Himself: Nor can such as seek for honor from men, rule for God; for such are out of the faith of Christ, and in the unreasonable nature, seeking the praise of men, and so cannot have the praise of God; for the friendship of the world is enmity with God, and he that seeks the one, loses the other. And such as are out of the fear of God, cannot rule for God, for such are subject to be drawn with fear or favor of men, from the just Principle of God, out of which none can rule for God.

And herein is the clear difference between heathens and Christians. The one exercises justice, and judgment, and righteousness, which is of God, and in His will, whereby they rule over all unrighteousness of men of corrupt minds, and principles whatsoever, and stand in the authority of God, a terror to the evil-doer: The other exercise lordship over mens persons, in their own wills, which they set up in their selfish principle, in carnal policy, who lay the sword upon the just, as on the unjust, if he bow not to their wills; which who stand in the will of God may not do; and so they that abide in the fear of God, do ever suffer by such as are out of His fear. And though these be set in their places by the permission or appointment of God, yet not knowing Him, who orders all things, to order them, though they are restrained from evil, or made to do His will, yet have they no reward, nor share in it, not doing it in obedience of God, nor from a principle of equity, not knowing Christ guiding and leading them therein; they are no Christians, whatever they may call themselves.

And to such as these who mind not that light or law of God to govern with, has God sent His servants to testify to their faces of their departure from the just Principle, (and so cannot please God with His government, yet did they never plot against them, nor murmur) which if they did hear, they rejoiced to see them established as a blessing to the place and people, which the people of God, ever seek to God for; but if they hear not, then they are made to mourn that God should be grieved, and His creature lost, especially in such a place by which God may be so dishonored, and a nation or town plagued from the Lord for his sake who has the sword of God in his hand, and suffers sin, but punishes the innocent, both which the Lord will revenge; and seldom but the place where it is done tastes thereof, which such as rule with God, and for Him, prevent; yea, by such the peace has been lengthened after the judgment has been pronounced. So when the righteous reigns, God is honored, and good men rejoice; but when wickedness gets up in the magistrate, then the Lord is dishonored, and the glory departs.

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