The Missing Cross to Purity


THE

TRUE CHRISTIAN'S

FAITH AND EXPERIENCE

Briefly Declared,

Concerning God, Christ, the Spirit, the holy Scriptures, the
Gospel and the Doctrines thereof.
Also, the titular Christian's Faith and Profession
Examined Tried and Judged. Written for the Confirmation
and Consolation of the One, and for the Information
in order to the restoration and salvation of the other.

Also, A Few Words to such who
are newly turned in their Minds
to the Light within, and are Believers in it.

by William Shewen


Download this Book as PDF

(Text in Light Blue or bold Light Blue can be "clicked" for backup in scripture or detail in writings.)


Rom 2:28 — He is not a Jew that is one outwardly,
John 3:29 — He that has the bride, is the bridegroom,
John 5:6 — He that has the Son has Life; he that has not the Son, has not Life,
1 John 2:8 — Darkness is past, the true light now shines,
Isa 9:2 —The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light, they that dwell in the shadow of death, upon them has the light shined,
John 3:20-21 — Everyone that does evil, hates the light, etc.

Printed in the Year 1675.  

Site Editor's introductory remarks

This book is an excellent resource in two ways:

  1. To those who are looking for a deeper relationship with God — to understand the full shortcomings of traditional Christianity today, plus the radical, wonderful changes available for those who seek them.

  2. To those already convinced of the narrow way, the author of this book, (an early Quaker in 1670, who obviously dwelt in the kingdom of God while still on earth), describes in very hopeful details the significant qualities of being a new creation of the Lord, a regenerated man, with the constant presence of the Lord within him, often using beautiful biblical quotations to describe his success.

Introductory material from the book's author has been moved to an Appendix at the end of his main writing, so the reader can start with the detailed comparisons of the true Christian with the titular Christian [ in name only, so-called], and not lose interest before the main elements of the book are presented for his edification.

Text [between brackets] has been added by this site editor: 1) to make sentences written in the style of 1670 to be more easily understood; 2) additional information to also help understanding.

THE CONTENTS

THE Faith and Experience of the True Christian briefly declared:

     (Click on a below Chapter name to go directly to that chapter. )

I. THE True Christian's FAITH AND EXPERIENCE DECLARED Concerning God, Christ, the Spirit, etc.

First, Concerning God.

(Text in Light Blue or bold Light Blue can be "clicked" for backup in scripture or detail in writings.)

God is infinite and incomprehensible, in himself; and all the words of men and angels cannot define him as he is, being in all, through all, and above all. And the various names given him throughout the holy Scriptures, were according to the manifestation or appearance and operation of his Spirit in their hearts that wrote them, and according to the state it found them in, when it appeared to them; so he was called a consuming fire; our God is a consuming fire; and his words as a hammer, and as a fire, and a jealous and angry God, who as a devouring fire goes through the briars and thorns,* and consumes them; and the day of his appearance among these briars and thorns, thistles and stubble, is compared to the burning of fire in an oven, in which the wicked cannot dwell. And others could call him by quite contrary names, even according to the operation of his Spirit in them; and by the same could say, that God is love, and his word was as milk, and sweeter than honey or the honeycomb; that the light of his countenance was better than the increase of corn, wine, and oil; that he was a shield, and a shadow of a rock in a weary land; his name as a strong tower, and safe dwelling place, and as precious ointment poured forth. His face or presence, glory and power, which is terrible to the worker of iniquity, is pleasant and desirable by those that witness Zion's redemption by the spirit of judgment and burning; these things are known now, as in former ages. The same ark, whose presence troubled and plagued the Philistines, was the glory of Israel; the same hand and power that smites and destroyed the Egyptians, saves and delivers the Israelites; the same Spirit of truth that reproves the world of sin, is the comforter of those that are made free by it from sin; the same breath that breathed life in the beginning, before sin entered, kindles the fire that torments the wicked. He that can understand, let him.

[* Before the heart is cleansed and purified, Jesus stated the heart of man was defiled with evil things, Mat 15:18-19, Mark 7:21-23. The evil [sin] in a man's heart is described as briars and thorns to be burnt by the consuming fire of the Lord: the baptism of fire for those who are purified while on earth, and the lake of fire for those who die still sinning.]

The true Christian believes there is one God, who is a Spirit, pure in essence, omnipresent in being, incomprehensible and almighty in power: and he demonstrates his faith and experience after this manner; he has received a manifestation of him in his own mind; and so has come to know him pure, and omnipresent by his work and operation within his mind; he can say that God is pure of a truth, because he finds his appearance so pure and holy in his heart, that it will not allow so much as a vain thought to lodge there, nor any unclean thing to be touched. And this true Christian is a true witness of the truth of those scriptures, Hab 1:13, Jer 17:10,15:19, which say, that God is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity; and that he searches the heart and tries the reins, and divides between the precious and the vile, between thought and thought, word and word, work and work. And further, he is a true witness that God is Almighty in power, because he has by his mighty power broken down those strongholds, formerly built in his heart by the enemy of his Soul, cast down imaginations, and every high thing, that exalted itself against the knowledge of God; bringing into captivity very thought into the obedience of Christ. And he knows the dark mountains, at which his feet stumbled, removed, and the rocks smashed, and the raging waves stilled, and that tongue and nature bridled, which no man could tame. But before this is witnessed [experienced], he has known him to sit as a refiners fire, and as fullers Soap, and as a spirit of judgment and burning; and so became a living witness of what he has seen, felt, heard, and understood by the mighty working of his Holy Spirit in his mortal body.

The titular Christian says believes in one God, who is pure, omnipresent and Almighty (take his word and there is no difference [between him and a true Christian]). But how does he [the titular Christian] demonstrate his faith, that to him there is but one God?—why, he has heard a description of him, of his oneness, his purity, and Almightiness from the holy scriptures; and he has been educated and trained up in the traditions of his forefathers, and so the knowledge of God from which he professes is acquired; he has read in some book, or somebody has told him, that God is one, pure, omnipresent, and Almighty, and he grounds his faith and knowledge upon this tradition and history, and professes God and his attributes in words, but is not a living witness of the same within himself. And so, notwithstanding he professes one God, he lives in the world which has many gods, and worships and falls down before them; every beloved lust [of his], obeyed [or sought], is a god.*

[* To lust for something is want something not actually needed: a new car, a new house, a vacation in Hawaii, clothes, a body, fine dining, a drink, a drug, a cooler cell phone, etc. To lust is covetousness, and covetousness is idolatry, making your desires to be the objects you hope for, seek for, work to achieve, admire, etc., — thus to be false gods.]

Let the titular Christian profess what he will, he that commits sin is the slave of it [sin], and therein is no true believer, worshipper, nor knower of the true God, his purity, nor almightiness, because his heart remains corrupt and rocky, the mountains of darkness and ignorance remain unremoved, and the strongholds of Satan not broken down, his thoughts and imaginations not subject to the obedience of Christ, his will, tongue, and nature unbridled, the dross, tin, and rubbish remains, and is as a grave to the pure metal; this titular Christian contents himself to hear or read of God as a refiner's fire, and as fuller's soap, and as a spirit of judgment and burning, and of his cleansing and purifying some in former generations, but loves not, nor cares not to know him so in himself; but rather despises and hates his pure appearance in him, whose first work is to convince him of sin, righteousness, and judgment, which is compared to a little silver among much dross, a little seed among many great ones, and to a little leaven hid in three measures of meal; which silver cannot be parted, separated and enjoyed, but by the appearance of God within, as a refiner's fire to purge away the dross, and take away the tin also, which is somewhat like the silver, whereby indeed the titular Christian is deceived; neither can the little seed grow up until the rubbish is taken away, and the ground that is cursed, removed, and the heart made honest, which is the good ground, wherein the seed of the kingdom grows to perfection; neither can the little leaven work through and leaven the three measures of meal, until that is taken away which lets and hinders, namely unbelief and hardness of heart. Now this day of small things, this day of Jacob's troubles, wherein he goes through the refiner's fire, this little seed, this little leaven is overlooked, despised and slighted by the titular Christian, who in his own conceit is exalted and puffed up above the pure appearance of God in his heart; which to know and obey is the gate of all true wisdom and knowledge; and is grown so tall, great and wise in his own thoughts and imaginations, that he cannot walk in the straight way, nor go in at the door of the sheepfold, but would climb up some other way, and so contents himself with a traditional historical profession of God in words, but denies him in works. And all the knowledge and experience he has of God, his purity, oneness and almightiness, is but as somebody has told him, or as he has, in an unsanctified and unprepared heart, read in the holy scriptures, which knowledge avails nothing, except accompanied with a living experience of the same power, working after the same manner as it did in others in times past, who have left their testimonies thereof upon record.

II.The True Christian's Faith* and Experience concerning the Lord Jesus Christ.

[* The faith that the Apostles preached was not an outward faith, but an inward faith. The object of both faiths are the same, but the differences are crucial to realize the promises of God. The two faiths are:

  1. to concur with history in the Bible that Jesus was the son of God, born of a virgin, rose from the dead, ascended into heaven, etc; that is outward Bible-faith,

  2. to hear the Word of God, which word is in your heart to obey this is the word of faith that the Apostles preached. Hearing and obeying Jesus speak to you from within your heart is operational faith, inward faith, faith given to you by Jesus himself. With persistent obedience to the commands heard from God within your heart, this faith within justifies, purifies, redeems, makes righteous, sanctifies, and saves; to give you peace, joy, and righteousness in union and fellowship with Christ and the Father— this is to see and listen to your beloved, living a holy life that pleases Him and you.

George Fox wrote of this inward faith and focus necessary:

"The Father is in you all, Christ is in you, and the Kingdom of Heaven is in you; there, in your hearts, is where you will find them all. Know him there searching your hearts, and find him there trying your minds and hearts; incline your ears, and give ear to him there, who will render to everyone of you according to your words and works whether they are good or evil."]

The true Christian believes in one Lord Jesus Christ, who came from the bosom of the Father, who is the son of the true God, by whom he made the world; and that this Lord Jesus Christ is his savior, redeemer, sanctifier, and cleanser, by his precious blood, and is to him as a king, priest, and prophet. And he demonstrates his faith in this manner: in being obedient to him as he is Lord, in being saved by him from sin, as he is Jesus, and by his learning of him, and being taught by him, as he is Christ, or the anointing. So he [the true Christian] can call him Lord Jesus Christ in truth and righteousness, having truly learned his name and nature, through obedience to his cross, and a cleansing by his precious blood; and so he not only reads, hears, and professes the benefits and privileges which the primitive Christians partook of and enjoyed, by believing in and receiving Christ; but experientially partakes of, possesses, and enjoys the same. And the Spirit of God bears witness with his Spirit, that he is a child of God, and a joint heir with Christ, Rom 8:16-17, bone of his bone, and flesh of his flesh; and that he has the mind of Christ; that Christ lives in him, and is greater in him than he that is in the world. And as the old adversary, the devil, is strong and powerful to tempt, and ready to draw and allure into evil; so he knows his Lord and savior Jesus Christ as near, and as ready, and more powerful to deliver, save and preserve him from falling into evil and temptation; and he is not only enabled to resist the devil, but to make him flee also. Thus in truth can the true Christian call Christ the captain of his salvation, who being armed with his power, fights as he did, and follows him, and sits down in heavenly places with him, triumphing over sin, death, hell, and the grave. So the true Christian proves himself such, by denying himself, and taking up his cross daily, and following of Christ; and that he believes in him, because he enjoys everlasting life, and abides not in death and darkness, but he has overcome the wicked one; and that he is his Lord, because he does the thing he says or commands; and that he loves him, because he obeys his commands; and has received power to become a son of God; and further, has a name better than the name of sons and daughters.

The titular Christian says, he believes* in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the true God, by whom he made the world, and that this Lord Jesus Christ is his savior, redeemer, and sanctifier, by his precious blood, and professes him as king, priest, and prophet, and in all his attributes and offices.—But how does he demonstrate and show forth his belief and profession? How is he his Lord? Does he do the thing he says? How is he his Savior? Is he saved by him from the committing of sin, and redeemed from vain conduct? How does he believe in him as Christ, or the anointing? Is he taught by him? How is he his king, priest, and prophet; does he rule in his heart as king ? Are all his services, sacrifices, and offerings offered up by and through his hand, as priest ? Does he hear him in all things, as the prophet whom God has raised like unto Moses? No. The titular Christian has no knowledge of him after this manner, neither does he believe it is attainable on this side the grave; or possible to obey him as Lord; nor to be saved by him from sin, as Jesus; nor taught by him, as Christ or the anointing; nor that he can be washed, cleansed, and sanctified by his precious blood from the stains, spots, and defilements of the world, flesh, and the devil, while he bears about this body of clay. He contents himself with a corrupt, traditional faith, which has sprung up in the dark night of apostasy, which is certainly a very venomous pernicious weed of Satan's kingdom, which has poisoned and destroyed the souls of many, and is now grown to such maturity, and clothed with such beauty to the eye of the titular Christian, that he calls it the Christian faith, though thereby he is taught to believe, that it is not possible to cease from sin, nor to have his heart purified, nor to overcome the devil, and gain victory over the world; and further, that notwithstanding he commits sin daily, and lives in the act of it for the term of his life in this world, he is hereby taught to believe that Christ will save him from the guilt and punishment of it in the world to come. It may be said of this titular Christian's faith, as it was once said of Saul and David, looseness and atheism have slain it thousands, but this [continuation of sin for life has slain] its ten thousands.

[* If all anyone has to do to have eternal life and salvation is believe that Jesus is the son of God, then his disciples would have left him and gone home long before the three years that they spent with him night and day, sleeping on the ground; they knew he was the Son of God, but as Peter said, eternal life came by listening to his words, "you have words of eternal life, and we believe and are sure that you are the Christ, the Son of the living God," John 6:68. It is devoid of common sense to think all you have to do is believe that Jesus is the son of God. That is ignoring that every man must daily deny himself and take up his cross to follow (obey) Jesus; that is ignoring you must lose you life to save your life; that is ignoring all the scriptures that specifically state the exclusions, requirements, and qualifying conditions of salvation; that is ignoring that every man will be judged on his works and words. Even the demons believe that Jesus is the Son of the most High God, and they tremble in fear of their ultimate fate.]

So although he hears and reads what Christ did in, and for those that believed in him, and of the powerful virtue and operation of that ancient Christian faith, which was once delivered to the saints, and borne witness to by the holy scriptures; yet he neither hopes, believes, nor expects to witness the same produced in him and for him. They bear witness of some, in whom Christ produced all their works; and that through him they [the some in the scriptures] were able to do all things; and many glorious things were spoken of, and were enjoyed by the true believers in Christ, while upon earth.

But the titular Christian puts off all until he is dead, and pleads for the continuation of the devil and his works, term of life, and says, the devil works strongly in him, and prevails over him, and causes him to sin in his holy duties; and that he is so captivated by him [the devil], that he cannot live one day nor hour without sin; so notwithstanding his profession of Christ, he knows him [Christ] not greater in him, than he [devil] that is in the world; so the strong man keeps the house, and it is furnished with his goods, and though he [the titular Christian] cries Lord, Lord, he is a worker of iniquity, and is bound in chains of darkness, and his feet stick fast in the mire and in the clay; and even while he talks of his Lord and savior, he is led captive at the devil's will; and is a stranger to that power which is able to resist him, and make him flee, and to that faith which gives victory. So he cannot in truth call Christ the captain of his salvation, nor approve himself one of his soldiers, who is armed with the same power, and with it fights against the same enemy, and gains the victory, and follows him who rides on conquering and to conquer. So never comes to sit down with him in his father's kingdom, triumphing over sin, death, hell, and the grave, but remains under the power thereof, through the fear of which he is all his life-time subject to bondage, Heb 2:15. Let his profession of liberty and redemption by Christ be what it will; his fair talk will avail him nothing, though he says he believes in Christ, and loves him, yet, if he keeps not his commands, he is a liar, and deceives himself, and has not eternal life abiding in him. Profession and named of Christ, without possession and nature, is of no worth.*

[* From the Word of the Lord within: "If all that profess me, would possess me; actions belie all professions. Remember, every person who sins denies Him as Lord and Master. Every man that comes, must come through the cross;—I say every man.Do not be misled; come, listen, hear. Let no one defraud you."]

III. The true Christian's Faith and Experience concerning the Holy Spirit.

The true Christian believes in the Holy Spirit, being one of the three which bear record in heaven, which three are one; and he shows forth his faith by his obedience thereto; he has received the spirit of adoption, whereby he can call God, Father, not as the Scribes, Pharisees, and hypocrites did, but in truth and righteousness; and he witnesses a being led by the Spirit in the way of holiness, and so cannot fulfil the lusts of the flesh, but by the same does mortify them, and gain victory over them, is sanctified and cleansed from them, and is taught by the Spirit the true knowledge of God, and how to worship him right in spirit and in truth, and so prays in the Spirit, and with the understanding, sings in the Spirit, praises God in the Spirit; the law of the Spirit is in his heart, and this law of the Spirit of life makes him free from the law of sin and death. The Spirit of God that raised up Jesus from the dead, dwells in him, and quickens his mortal body; and this true Christian is the spiritual man that discerns all things, but is not discerned by another out of the same Spirit that searches all things, yes, the deep things of God; he is led by the Spirit from under the law, and through the law, to him who was before the law, and so is under grace, and brings forth the fruits thereof, which are love, joy, peace (quietness and confident trust forever), patience (including longsuffering, steadfastness, and perseverance), kindness (including morality and integrity), goodness, faith, gentleness (including meekness and humility), and self-control (mastery of sensual appetites, passions, and desires); against this Christian there is no law.

The titular Christian says, he believes in the Holy Spirit, etc. But how does he demonstrate his faith and belief? He is ready to make a mock of receiving the Spirit, and being led by the Spirit, moved and taught by the Spirit; this seems strange doctrine to him, that he should know his lusts mortified by the Spirit, that he should walk in the Spirit, and be sanctified by the Spirit from all sin and uncleanness, that he should attend the motion and guidance of the Spirit, and in all his conduct to do nothing but what will stand justified by this Holy Spirit, that he should pray in the Spirit, sing with the Spirit, and worship in the Spirit. These are new doctrines to the titular Christian, he knows not what to make of them, except it be to brand them with despicable names; the law of the Spirit of life, which should free him from the law of sin and death, he is a stranger to, and wholly ignorant of the indwelling of that Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead, to quicken his mortal body; this he counts fanatic doctrine. And instead of being a spiritual man, which discerns all things, he is carnal, and sees not far off; the veil being over his heart, he cannot see nor regard the glory of God when it appears in the inward temple, but opposes and slights the appearance of that holy Spirit which searches his heart and all things; and so is not led by it from under the law; which law was added because of transgression; and this titular Christian who lives in the nature and act of transgression, and that knows not the cursed ground removed, which brings forth briars and thorns, from where all evil thoughts, words, and works proceed, and is a stranger to the mortification of them by the Spirit; he is under the law, and liable to the punishment thereof, and not under grace, let him profess what he will, if he brings not forth the fruit of the Spirit in his life and conduct, he clearly shows, he does not believe in it, nor walk in it, neither has received it, nor come to any true knowledge of it, by its work and operation in his heart, he only talks of it with his tongue, as some book or body has told him; this is the state of a titular Christian.

IV.The True Christian's Faith and Experience concerning the Holy Scriptures.

THE true Christian honors the holy scriptures in their places, and believes and receives their testimony, and is a living witness* of the truth thereof, and he demonstrates it as follows. By believing, receiving, and obeying Christ Jesus, of whom they [scriptures] testify, whereby he receives power to order his conduct according to them; and the true Christian believes that they [scriptures] were spoken and written by the motion and inspiration of the Spirit of God in holy men, prophets, and apostles; and that it is his duty to wait upon God, to receive the spirit of grace and glory, and the gifts thereof, of whom they testify; that thereby he may be enabled to read them with understanding, and to receive the comfort of them, and to be made wise through faith in Christ unto salvation by them.

[* To witness is not to talk about or write about something, it is to have experienced that something, (felt, seen, heard, possessed, etc.).]

And this [true] Christian knows right well, that all the university or academic learning in the world is not able to give the true knowledge of the mind of the Spirit in the holy scriptures; they are as a sealed book to all the wit, reason, comprehension, and acquired parts of all mankind in the fall, learned and unlearned; and until man comes to receive, regard, and reprove by the manifestation of the Spirit, which is given to every man to profit withal, as the scriptures witness, he is wholly ignorant, and a stranger to the key of true knowledge. The treasures of life and wisdom are hidden from him, and secured as with seven seals; and the cherubim with a flaming sword, that turns every way, and guards the tree of life, with the fruits thereof, from the fallen wisdom of man; and this the true Christian knows by experience, having tried what the wisdom of this world in all its perfection can do; and has seen it confounded and brought to nought in himself, being discovered to be no part of the key of true everlasting knowledge; but rather that which hides it, and makes the veil the thicker, and shuts the door of the kingdom the faster; and those that abound in it, neither enter themselves, nor allow those that would, and this the holy scriptures testify.

The titular Christian says, he honors the scriptures, and believes the testimony of them. But how does he demonstrate his honor to them, and belief of them? Does he order his convduct according to them? They exhort, to abstain from every appearance of evil, and from every fleshly lust, which wars against the soul; and to put on the whole armor of God, and thereby resist the devil, and make him flee; the titular Christian does not obey this exhortation, neither does he believe, that it is possible that any should obey it on this side the grave; so while he pretends to honor them, he regards them a lie; for, what is more ridiculous and unreasonable than to profess a belief that the Spirit of God in holy men has left holy precepts and exhortations upon record in the scriptures, which are impossible to be obeyed? Yet this is the language of the titular Christian, who honors them with his lips, and cries them up with his tongue, but in works denies them. Sometimes he will give them more titles of honor that to them is due; as, when he calls them [scriptures] the word of God, the touch-stone and trier of all Spirits; the everlasting rule of faith and practice; so in his ignorance will advance them with lip-honor beyond what they testify of themselves, and above what they are; for they are not the word of God, but proceed from it, and bear witness thereof; which word, is quick and powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword, dividing in the inward parts; and this word is in the mouth and in the heart, to be heard and obeyed there. They call Christ the word of God; which word was in the beginning, before the scriptures were written; and all that understand not the voice of this word, this inward and spiritual speaking word, are wholly ignorant of the words of God and good men, recorded in the holy scriptures; and are no true honorers nor believers of them. Notwithstanding this titular Christian's verbal, traditional, notional profession and high titles he gives them, he only therein shows his blindness and folly, in taking the history and description, or declaration of a thing for the thing itself; they [the scriptures] are not the everlasting rule, touch stone, and trier of spirits, but declare and testify of him that is, as Christ said to the Jews, speaking of the scriptures, "They are they that testify of me, but you will not come to me, that you may have life."

[* From the Word of the Lord within: "Calling the Bible the word is the most evil lie of Christendom." Why is calling the Bible "the word" the most evil lie in Christendom?—because then people read "Blessed are those who hear the Word of God and obey, Luke 11:28;" thinking it means to read the Bible instead of quietly listening for God to speak His words to them. Christendom has put a book between God and man, separating man from God's love and creating a form of godliness with no power: a powerless substitution for quietly listening for Him to speak to each of us mind-to-mind with words tailored to our exact understanding, and which impart the life of God, Christ, to us. As the Word of the Lord further said: "Woe be to them for they have coupled an external form between God and man."]

V. The True Christian's Faith and Experience concerning the Doctrine of Repentance.

The true Christian believes the doctrines and teachings of Christ and his apostles recorded in the holy scriptures, and it is not only his duty, but his practice to obey and live according to them. As first, the doctrine of repentance from dead works, or a turning from darkness to light, and from the power of satan to God. This is the gate of the kingdom, or the first step towards Christianity. This is the door at which the true Christian enters; if any miss this way they strive to enter in vain, without repenting, which is changing or turning from evil to good, from the way of death to the way of life, from darkness to light, from the power and service of sin and satan to the power and service of God and righteousness. This is the nature and effect of true repentance, and without this no man has a true title in Christ nor Christianity, let his profession of it be never so high; for death reigned from the fall of Adam until Moses, and all men have therein come short of the glory of God, and in that fallen nature are the children of wrath, dead in sins and trespasses; and God has sealed all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all, Rom 11:32. And now the call of God is to all men everywhere to repent, Acts 17:30; and none but those that answer this call,* find the mercy; this call of God is more universally inward and direct than outward and indirect; the [inward and direct call],* which if people slight, disregard, and neglect to obey, the outward instruments and means avail not. Now the true Christian gives testimony that he believes and obeys the doctrine of repentance, in manner following: first, whereas his mind and heart was running after and captivated with the sight of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life, that are in that world which lies in wickedness; now his mind and heart is not only stopped, but also turned from them, and weaned from the delight and pleasure he had in them, and not only so, but by the shining of the light in his heart, is made to see the exceeding sinfulness of them and to feel the weight and burden thereof, which while he was dead in sins and trespasses, he could not feel, nor be sensible of. But now being quickened by the voice of God, which calls to repentance, he cries out with Paul, "O wretched man, who shall deliver me." And this is the cry which the Lord is ready to hear, and to answer with the manifestation of his love and power, and with the joy of his salvation; and now is his [the true Christian's] face Zion-ward, and his travel towards the holy city is begun; and this true Christian well knows that his repentance or turning from and out of the broad way of sin and Satan, and setting his foot into the strait and narrow way, was not of himself, nor effected in his own will and power, but by the virtue of the free gift of God, and operation of his free grace, and that he daily and momentarily needs the divine assistance of the same, to lead, guide, and assist him every step of his journey, to the end

[* He who rejects me and does not receive my words, has one for his judge the words that I have spoken [to him] will judge him in the last day. John 12:48. He knocks in every man's heart; he quietly pleads anonymously for us to depart from our evil, selfish ways. If we do not keep [practice, obey] his words, when we die, (the last day), we will remember the words of him pleading with us to depart from evil, and those words will judge us. From the Word of the Lord within: "All men are without excuse; if I were silent, they would have an excuse. Every man has heard the call to repent."]

And now he is a living witness of the truth of Christ's saying, when he said, "Truly, truly, I say to you, 'He who hears my word, and believes in [depends on, trusts, obeys] him who sent me, has eternal life, and shall not come into condemnation; but has passed [past tense] over from death to life,'" John 5:25.* This is the first distinguishing work of the powerful voice of God, and the true hearing of it; the world hears its convincing voice, but not regarding nor obeying it, are not made alive, nor converted by it; nothing is able, nor sufficient, nor appointed of God to give repentance unto life, but the hearing of this voice of the Son; he has formerly, or in times past, heard many voices, Look here, or Look there, and has made many repentances, and turnings, from one way and opinion to another; but until he heard and obeyed the voice of the Son of God, never knew that repentance, which is never to be reversed.

[* There is a voice of the Lord like thunder over the waters described in many Old Testament passages. This is radically different than the small still voice we hear from within our hearts or from the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit and the Word of the Lord within speak with words from Jesus, so we are hearing from the Son of God. But until we can truly hear the Voice of the Lord, we will not know for sure it is the Lord speaking to us. From the Word of the Lord within: "You will always have doubts until you hear His voice. My voice is like thunder over waters. You will hear His voice when He calls you." You will hear His voice for the first time after the baptism of fire and death to then be called forth and resurrected with Him as a new creature, and you will then know His voice; when you hear His voice like thunder over waters for the first time, you have passed over from death to life.

We first have to listen to the Holy Spirit and the word of the Lord within to hear and obey His many teachings and commands. Then with long persistence and patience in doing obedient works of repentance, we experience the baptism of fire and death, to then hear the Voice of the Lord as we pass from death to life. Until then, we have to be on our guard to not be deceived by the enemy, pretending to be the Lord speaking to us. Based on the advice of Edward Burrough, (click to read), a giant in the early Quakers, until we can distinguish between the voice of the Lord and the voice of the enemy, we should do nothing  for the Lord but follow his commands* to repent; and William Penn wrote, "Though it is the duty of all to walk in the light, and to wait for it, that by it they may be instructed in the way of life and salvation, yet it is they only who are actually led** by it, [the light] that can rightly discern between the false spirits and the true."

* Any command to repent from the Lord should be first pure, then peaceable, fair, gentle, easily accepted, full of mercy and good fruits, immediately understood, and sincere. James 3:17

** To be guided or led by the light, the light must first arise in your heart like a magnificent star, so that you are shown everything to do and told everything to say; the unmistakable arising of the light comes from faith in the voice.

You may hear the Lord tell you to go ahead with your considering to buy something or do something that you feel is necessary; and providing it is nothing that you know to be wrong, or it is nothing He has told you not to do in the past, you can follow His suggestions before you can distinguish His voice. If you don't need what you are considering to purchase, He may plainly tell you, "you don't need it." If it is not necessary to do something you are considering, He may tell you, "it's not necessary." If it is necessary and/or needed, he may encourage you to proceed.]

And then secondly, when this Christian has heard and obeyed this voice, and is turned out of the broad way, and begins to walk in the strait and narrow way, and to have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reproves them, then he becomes a wonder, a by-word, and a taunt to his former companions, who think it strange, that he runs not with them into the same excess of riot; but makes straight steps to his feet, and measures all his goings by the line of righteousness, which the goodness of God, that leads to repentance has brought him to, Rom 2:4; now he appears like an owl in the desert, and like a pelican in the wilderness, and like a sparrow upon the house-top. Now his great trials, temptations, and exercises begin both within and without; here he sees his enemies about him like bees, which until now he had no sight nor sense of; the strong man [Satan] keeping the house, all his goods were at peace, and the house being dark, and his eye dim, did not perceive nor discover the enemies of his soul that lodged therein [within him], nor could not judge, nor discern the nature of the goods with which his house was furnished, that old deceiver having power to transform himself like unto an angel of God, and to imitate the furniture of his temple; but now he having heard the voice of the Son of God, and being quickened by his mighty power, and the eye of his mind being opened and fixed upon the same, then the devil rages, knowing he has only a short time, and that his dispossession grows near, and the spoiling of his goods is at hand, unless he could by any means prevent it; but all his endeavors were and are in vain against this true repentant [man], who trusting in the goodness of the Lord, which at first led him to repentance, and relying upon the arm of his power, which had opened the eye that was blind, unstopped the ear that was deaf, and enlightened the understanding that was darkened, he in the same is made able to stand, and to resist him in all his assaults, to escape all his baits and snares, to quench all his fiery darts, and to overcome him in all his temptations, to go right on his way, pressing forward toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus, Phil 3:14, where all the treasures of wisdom, of knowledge, and the glory are hidden, Col 2:3, and laid up for those that love his appearance, and obey his calling, which is to repentance; and none other are in the way to know what the high calling of God in Christ Jesus is, let their notions, professions, and confessions be never so high.

The titular Christian professes that he believes the doctrine and teachings of Christ and his apostles, and first this of repentance; but how does he demonstrate his faith? Is his mind turned from the darkness to the light, from the power of satan to God? Is he quickened and made alive by the hearing of the voice of the Son of God? Has he come forth of the grave of sin and sea of corruption? Does he feel the weight and burden of it? Has sin become exceedingly sinful to him? Is a cry raised in his soul unto the Lord for a full deliverance and redemption from the servitude of sin and satan? Has he a true sense and sight of the nature and tendency of sin? Is his mind truly turned to the appearance of God in Christ within, which is to destroy and make an end of sin, and finish transgression, and the author of it, and bring in everlasting righteousness instead thereof? Does he bring forth fruits suitable for repentance? And does he show by them that he is turned from the service of sin and satan into the service of God and righteousness? Is he turned out of the broadway ? Does he walk in the narrow, and make straight steps to his feet? Are they pulled out of the mire and clay, and set upon the rock? Are all his goings guided by the line of righteousness? And is he enabled by the powerful voice and arm of the Son of God, to stand upright on his feet in the midst of all his enemies, and by the same to travel on in the way of holiness towards the holy city, and heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the saints solemnity ? These things accompany true repentance; therefore let the titular Christian turn the eye of his mind inward, and commune with his own heart, and be still; consult with God's witness therein, and examine and answer these things, see and try whether he has not deceived himself with a false profession and a feigned repentance, wherein he confesses daily, but does not forsake, and so finds not mercy, deceiving his own soul by daily sinning, and an imaginary repentance, being subject to call and account a changing and turning from one sort of the devil's service to another, from self-sinning and debauchery to self-righteousness; from one opinion to another, and from one sort and fashion of invented worship to another. A repentance, though in in it the old man with his deeds appears prevalent, the earthly image is borne, and the nature and ground of sin and transgression remains unshaken by the voice and power of the Son of God, which calls and leads all that hear and obey it to true repentance.*

[* For many are called, but few are chosen. Mat 22:14

Every person is anonymously called by God to depart from evil on their day of visitation when Christ, the light given to every man so that he might believe, preaches the gospel in them; He knocks at every person's door, (heart). The vast majority of people ignore His anonymous call to turn from evil because they love their selfish lifestyle and have no love of the truth about their evil ways. Thus they deny and hate the truth; thus they deny and hate Christ. The few who do heed His anonymous pleas, loving the truth, turn from evil to then be chosen by God to receive more of His Spirit in return; God gives them a taste of His goodness by revelation, which creates the hunger and thirst in them for more of Him — thus to seek Him with all their heart and soul. From the Word of the Lord within: "All men are without excuse. If I were silent, they would have an excuse; every man has heard the call to repent." But it is a gentle, anonymous call to forsake their evil ways. You might ask, why anonymous? What a man hears and/or sees is the truth of his ways; if he heeds the call, he has an appreciation and love of the truth; if he ignores the call, he hates the truth. Thus it is a test of those who love the truth or love their evil ways. From the Word of the Lord within: "Many people use the visitation of this web site to remove the blocking of past visitations. People can't come in fear; they have to come in love." Only through love, can the cross be endured to death of one's selfish spirit.]

And until this voice is heard [and obeyed], and this power felt and witnessed to work and operate in the inward man, the beast receives no deadly wound, nor the strength of sin is not abated, and the strong holds of imagination continue unbroken down; and so repentance in this state is only talked of in vain by all the nominal Christians upon the face of the earth, who experience not these things produced and effected in them and for them, and are wholly ignorant of that repentance which is never to be repented of, and of that joy that is in heaven over one sinner that repents, more than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.

VI.The True Christian's Faith and Experience concerning Mortification, Warfare, Self-denial and a Dying daily.

The true Christian, next to repentance, believes the doctrine of mortification, warfare, self-denial, and a dying daily; and he shows forth his faith by his works, having heard and obeyed the call of God, and being thereby turned, or having repented, he comes to receive the spirit of adoption, whereby he can call God Father, and so comes to receive power against the world, the flesh, and the devil, which though he has turned his back upon them, and set his face Zion-wards, yet they will follow him, and pursue him, and attend him with several allurements and temptations, in order to turn him back again; and thus will continue, laying baits and snares, in hopes to prevail, until a death is witnessed to the carnal mind, and transgressing nature, which is prone to receive the temptation; therefore the true Christian being come to a true sight and sense of the strength and subtlety of the enemy, watches and wars in the Spirit against him, and obeys the apostle's exhortation, "Mortify therefore the deeds of the body that are of the earthly life: fornication, impurity, inordinate affections, evil lusts of the flesh, and covetousness, which is idolatry." Col 3:5. And if you through the Spirit mortify the deeds of the body, you shall live, Rom 8:15. So he witnesses a dying or mortifying daily of that nature and mind which has had a life in sin, until it is mortified or killed, and until he comes to witness that saying fulfilled, "Death is swallowed up in victory," the strength of it being taken away. Until that is effected, he remains in the warfare like a good soldier, following his captain, conquering and to conquer, until a perfect victory is obtained. And [so] that he may not fail nor come short in this warfare and work of mortification, he keeps his eye always upon his captain, and his ears open to that voice that at first quickened him, and called him to repentance, and his mind stayed upon that holy Spirit of grace that has produced up until now for him, which makes self of no reputation, and which buries self in all his acquirements and perfection in the death of the cross, as not being fit nor worthy to be concerned in the work of regeneration. And the true Christian well knows that there is no possibility to be a disciple and follower of Christ further than the daily cross to self is taken up; he meets with no greater enemy in his journey than self-thoughts and imaginations, self-willing and running, self-consultation and self-working, which if he watches not against, rule over, and keep under by that hand and power that has appeared for his deliverance, and has produced it in a measure, he again may be entangled and ensnared and driven back into the pit where there is no water.* Therefore he stands in the doctrine of self-denial until self is denied, and in the putting off the old man, with his deeds, until they are wholly put off; and when he has done all, to stand still, and abide with the same powerful hand, that has produced all these things in him and for him; and to it he attributes the glory, and gives the praise forever.

* Paul was careful to keep his body under control, lest while he preached to others, he himself be disqualified.

[There are two stages of perfection; when Paul wrote the subject verse, he had not reached the 2nd stage, which protects the believer from ever sinning again. Mortification, sanctification, holiness, the first stage of perfection, redemption, and justification are a state still without protection from ever sinning again, which occurs after union with Christ and God. From the Word of the Lord within: "Once you are in union, it is permanent." Then you are protected by God from ever sinning again.]

Now the titular Christian professes the doctrine of mortification, and talks of a dying to sin, and a warring against it, and of self-denial, and putting off the old man, and taking up the daily cross. But how does he answer his profession? What course does he take to mortify sin, while he believes not in the light, which shines in his heart, that discovers it; nor in the manifestation of the Spirit given him to mortify and destroy sin; nor in the power of God within, which gives strength to war against it, and to overcome sin within? Neither has he received the spirit of adoption, whereby he is enabled to call God Father, but is unacquainted and ignorant of him in that relation, Rom 8:15; yet has learned by tradition, as the impenitent and unconverted Jews did, to call God Father, whose knowledge of him was taught by the precepts of men, John 8:41; and though they accounted themselves children of God by virtue of this traditional knowledge received from their forefathers, rabbis, and doctors of the law; yet Christ Jesus, the great doctor, and righteous judge, and true teacher, told them, they were quite the contrary, even of their father the devil, John 8:44, etc.

So the titular Christian, while not begotten to God, in his impenitent, unregenerate state, having read the holy scriptures, and the traditions of his fathers, furnishes himself with the profession of the doctrines of the gospel, as the Jews did of the law, even while sin reigns in his mortal body, while the old man with his deeds are not put off, and while self-will, self-wisdom, and self in all its properties is undenied, and while he is a stranger to the cross of Christ, and so does not takes it up, nor follows him; but lacks power to mortify sin, and to war against the world, flesh, and the devil. So while he talks of mortification and dying to sin, sin lives in him, and increases as his days increase; and instead of overcoming it, he is overcome daily by it. While he professes self-denial, nothing but self is owned; self wills and runs; self worships and offers the offering of Cain; self seeks, and knocks, and strives to enter, but is not able. And until this willing, and running, and power of self is denied, judged, and brought down, and made of no reputation, by the powerful working and operation of the Spirit of God within; none can witness a being dead to sin, nor have victory over it, nor be a disciple of Christ Jesus, nor follow him in the work of regeneration, let them profess that they will, except this be known, their profession is a lie, and they deceive their own souls. This is the word of truth to all the titular Christians upon the face of the earth, of what name or sect soever.

VII. The True Christian's Faith and Experience concerning Sanctification, Washing and Cleansing from Sin and Corruption.

The true Christian owns and believes the doctrine of sanctification, washing, and cleansing from sin and corruption; and he manifests his faith by the virtue and operation of the Spirit of God working in him; having been led by the same through the work of repentance, mortification, and self-denial; he is now not only turned from sin, and come to the mortifying of it, but also to the sanctifying, washing, and cleansing from it; so he comes to witness a being delivered from the dead body, and the dead to be buried out of his sight; and as he abides and dwells with this sanctifying and cleansing power, he is preserved from corrupting himself, or so much as touching the dead again. This is the antitype, and substance of all the several washings, purifications, and sanctifications, used under the law, where the temple and all the furniture thereof were sanctified. Now he knows himself to be the temple of the Holy Ghost, 1 Cor 6:19; and this knowledge keeps him from defiling of it, being bought with a price, not with gold, nor silver, nor corruptible things, but with the precious blood of Christ, which cleanses and keeps clean the true Christian and herein also he witnesses the antitype and substance signified by the laying of the people's sins upon a scapegoat, and letting him go into the wilderness, Lev 16:8–10. These were the shadows of good things to come, the substance of which the true Christian now enjoys; and is come to the one everlasting offering, Christ Jesus, which perfects forever those that are made holy, Heb 10:14; and both he that sanctifies, and they that are sanctified, are of one family; and he that is joined to the Lord is one spirit, 1 Cor 6:17. And the true Christian abiding in this sanctification and unity with the Lord, sins no more; so needs no further confession of sin, nor further sacrifice for it; being drawn near unto the Lord with a true heart, in full assurance of faith, having his heart sprinkled from an evil conscience, and his body washed with pure water, Heb 10:22. Here is no more a remembrance again of sin; yet there is a possibility, after this estate is witnessed and enjoyed, that there may be a falling away, or a wilful sinning again, Heb 10:26, which the apostle knew well, and therefore warned people to beware of it, that they tread not the Son of God under foot, nor count the blood of the covenant, wherewith they were sanctified, an unholy thing; nor spite the spirit of grace, Heb 10:29,30. Therefore the true Christian, after he is washed, cleansed, and sanctified, watches against all that would defile him again; and in the spirit and power, which has produced his sanctification, abiding, he rules and reigns over sin and Satan, and is no more entangled with the yoke of bondage; but keeps in his inheritance among them that are sanctified, who are members of that glorious church, which is without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, holy, and without blemish, Acts 20:32, Eph 5:27.

The titular Christian also talks of and professes the doctrine of sanctification, washing, and cleansing from sin and corruption. But his talk is not true, and his profession is feigned, because he is not a witness of the work thereof in himself. He has read in the holy scriptures, that no unclean thing can enter the kingdom; and that without holiness no man can see the Lord; and that the Lord will be sanctified of all that draw near unto him. Therefore he has devised a profession of sanctification, which may be only talked of, but never possessed and produced in him on this side the grave; and to this end he has made up a faith of his own, and is wholly ignorant of that faith which was once delivered to the saints, or holy people, by which their hearts were purified. And by virtue of this feigned faith, persuades himself, that the sanctification and holiness of Christ without him, shall be reckoned and imputed unto him, while he remains unsanctified, and unholy; and that the cleanness, innocence, and spotlessness of Christ shall be accounted unto him, notwithstanding he remains foul, guilty, and full of spots and defilements; and that God looks upon him not as he is in himself, but as he is in Christ Jesus, his savior; when indeed he is not in him; nor saved by him from that which defiles him. For if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature, old things have passed away, and all things have become new, 2 Cor 5:17. By this the titular Christian may try himself, if he is not really changed, [to believe] the old creature and old things have passed away, but he is not in Christ; and God cannot, nor does, look upon him where he is not. Therefore let him not further deceive himself for God's witness in his own conscience sees and judges him where he is, out of Christ, unsanctified, in the old nature and old things; and God, from where it comes, is greater, and sees and judges him also. And this titular Christian is so far from living and enjoying a sanctified state, as the true Christian did and does, that he never comes to enjoy so much clearness and freedom from sin, as the Jews did, who lived in the types, figures, and shadows of good things to come; for they once a year, while they kept the law, were acquitted and eased of all their sins and transgressions, and a full atonement was made once a year for all sins past. Which is more than all the nominal Christians upon the face of the earth really enjoy, notwithstanding their boast of living in gospel times, and in the days of the new covenant, and of salvation by Christ Jesus; their boast is vain; the gospel, which is the power of God to salvation, working and operating in their inward man, to save not only from the guilt, but from the act of sin, and to cleanse from all iniquity, they are wholly ignorant of, and strangers to; and the new covenant, the law in the heart, which makes free from the law of sin and death, and the Spirit that sanctifies from it, reigns not in their mortal bodies; but the contrary, namely sin, and the law of it. And by the Spirit of truth they are convinced of it; and by the light in their consciences they stand arraigned and convicted before the judgment seat of God, let their profession be ever so high. Nor is the titular Christian a living witness of the one everlasting offering, which perfected forever those that are sanctified; nor of the oneness and unity which is between him who sanctifies and those that are sanctified; nor of the abiding with him that sanctifies, so as to sin no more; neither is he drawn near unto God with a true heart, sprinkled from an evil conscience; nor is his body washed with pure water. He has no full assurance of faith in these things, but rather concludes them unattainable on this side the grave; and so he is held captive in the chains of sin and satan, and entangled with the yoke of bondage, and in this state inherits misery and darkness, and is a member of that church which is full of spots and wrinkles, sores and corruptions, diseased from the crown of the head to the sole of the foot. Of this church Christ is not the head; let the titular Christian imagine what he will, he must depart among the goats, because he is a worker of iniquity.

VIII. The True Christian's Faith and Experience concerning Justification.

The true Christian believes the doctrine of justification, and that it immediately succeeds the work of sanctification, "being justified by faith," (even that faith which is the gift of God), he witnesses peace with God through the Lord Jesus Christ, Rom 5:1. And the just lives by faith, Heb 10:38. And he is come to the spirits of just men made perfect, even now in this age, as the true Christian did in former ages, testified of in the holy scriptures, Heb 12:23. Now to be justified, is to be made just, by the virtue of that faith which gives victory over the unjust, and by that blood which cleanses and saves from wrath to come. And this justification comes not by the works of the law; for by that shall no flesh be justified, Gal 2:16, nor by self-works, nor self-righteousness, but by the free gift of God, which leads through the law, and fulfills it, and destroys self works, and self-righteousness, and establishes good works,* and brings in everlasting righteousness, which exceeds the righteous ness of Scribes, Pharisees, and hypocrites, and herein the true Christian stands justified in the sight of God, who works all his works in him [God] and for him [God], who brings forth from the true Christian the will (to work) and the works (as commanded) according to God's good pleasure, Phil 2:13; and none can lay anything to the charge of this elect, whom God justifies, Rom 8:33.

[* Works commanded by God to you are not works of the law or not dead works. The purpose of being a Christian is to be able to do works commanded and energized by God. The first works you will be commanded to do are works of your obedient repentance; through your steadfast endurance to be purified and sanctified, then you will be commanded to do works of righteousness, which doing will be your joy, your worship and your praise of God; and doing so, you bring glory, pleasure, and honor to God.]

The titular Christian professes the doctrine of justification by faith in Christ Jesus; but it is no more than a bare profession, and his faith is not the faith of God's elect, neither is he led into peace with God by it, nor receives power by it to gain victory over the unjust nature and spirit that lives within him, but imagines an imputative justification, and applies the justness, righteousness, and holiness of Christ, produced without him, above 1700 years ago, unto himself, while he is unjust, unholy, and unrighteous; but this avails not the titular Christian at all. Herein also he deceives himself, being not experientially acquainted with the blood of Christ, which justifies, washes, cleanses, and saves from wrath to come, and from that which is the cause of it, namely sin. And so he knows not a leading through the law, which was added because of transgression, and has power over the transgressor, as long as he lives, unto Christ, who was before the law, and before there was any occasion for the law, who alone was able to justify the righteous, and condemn the wicked, whose ways are all equal, just, and righteous, never condemning the just, nor justifying the wicked; and it may be truly said of this titular Christian, as Christ said to the covetous Pharisees, who derided him, you are those who JUSTIFY YOURSELVES before men, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly exalted by men, is abomination in the sight of God, Luke 16:15.

Now the same spirit that then derided Christ, and set him at naught, and that then ruled in the hearts of Scribes, Pharisees, and hypocrites, and impenitent hard-hearted Jews, is, in this part of the world called Christendom, turned professor of him in words, and teaches him in whom it rules to talk of salvation and justification by him, though at the same time that spirit lives and rules in his heart, to which God looks, and which he knows, that denies, despises, betrays, and crucifies him, even while he pretends to worship him, as the Jews did, who smote him on the head, spit upon him, mocked him, and at the same time bowed their knees, and worshipped him, Mark 15:19; and as Judas did, who said, Hail, Master, and kissed him, and at the same time betrayed him, Mat 29:49. The nominal or titular Christian is guilty of the same thing, he living in that, and daily committing whatever was the cause and occasion of all his sufferings, namely sin. Therefore he [the titular Christian] is many times convicted, reproved, judged, and condemned in his heart by God's Spirit that searches it, even while his tongue talks of justification. Now to this Spirit of God, which searches his heart and tries his heart and mind, is this titular Christian counseled to take heed, and to hear its judgment concerning him, and with his whole heart receive the same, and by it judge all the flatteries, vain conceits, notions, imaginations and dreams, by which he has been led and deceived, through the subtlety of that grand enemy the devil and satan, who will allow his servants, children, and slaves, to turn professors of Christianity, and be Christians in name, and to talk of the gospel, while he keeps possession of the heart. Let the titular Christian consider these things before it is too late.

IX. The True Christian's Faith and Experience concerning Baptism and the Lord's Supper.

The true Christian believes and lives under the two great ordinances of Christ, baptism and the supper of the Lord in the mystery; and he can give an experiential account how he comes to live in the enjoyment of these ordinances, even how he passed through the work of regeneration, mortification, self-denial, sanctification, and justification, before he became to be a true subject, and partaker of these ordinances; he can tell how the old man with his deeds were put off, and the new man put on; for he that is baptized into Christ, has put on Christ, Gal 3:27; not only professed him while the old man was alive, but baptized with the same baptism he was baptized with in a measure, even with the Holy Ghost and fire, which is inward and spiritual, and washes, cleanses, and purifies inwardly and spiritually, which all the outside washings and baptisms were but a type of; and by this baptism the true Christian is not only washed and made clean, but kept and preserved by the same clean and pure, prepared and made fit to put on the wedding garment, and to sit at the table of the Lord, and partake of the feast of fat things, and drink of the wine that he has prepared, which is the blood of the new testament, which is drink indeed, and he eats the flesh of the son of man, which is meat indeed, and this is the supper of the Lord, John 6:53,55; and he eats and drinks worthily, discerning the Lord's body, having heard his voice, and opened the door at which he once stood knocking; and he is now come in unto him, according to his faithful promise, and supped with him, and he with him, Rev 3:20;* here is the fruit of the vine drunk new in the kingdom of God, Mark 14:25; and here is the blessed man that eats bread in the kingdom of God, Luke 14:15, and sits down therein, being clothed with his wedding garment of fine linen, and enjoying the efficacious virtue of him, which is everlasting life and salvation, hungering and thirsting no more after the forbidden fruit, nor after the wine of Sodom, because he has the same mind which was in Christ Jesus, who never hungered nor thirsted after those things, though tempted, yet never transgressed, but overcame the devil in all his temptations. This is the state and glory of the true Christian; this honor have all the saints, who come to be established in the mind of Christ; and this honor they had in former ages, borne witness of and testified in the holy scriptures, is in store, and laid up for all that love his appearance, and come unto God by him.

[* Stephen Crisp wrote of the Lord knocking at the door of your heart and then the supper with Him:

"If a man opens his heart and receives Christ when he comes, then you shall find such an alteration in that man, that go and try him with the same temptation which prevailed over him in the last week, it will not do so now; though he is as weak as water, and as prone to corruption and iniquity as before, yet now having a faith begotten in him, that the grace of God will defend him, he keeps out of the devil’s snares. Now this man trusting in this grace until his sin and iniquity is purged out, now is the time to spread the table; now there is a clean heart, and the heavenly guest has now come, and the dainties of the kingdom are brought to him for his nourishment. Now, says Christ, I will come in and sup with him, and my Father will also come, and we will sup with him and he with us. This never happens to anybody so long as the table and heart is foul; for the table must be clean, and the devil and sin thrown out, and then will the Lord confirm and ratify, and seal the covenant; so that here is a seal with a witness. When a man has this testimony of the love of God, that God is reconciled to him in Christ, then Christ will come in, and he will bring his Father, and they will sup with him; and this is what will give complete satisfaction to such a soul."

(This is the true "Lord's Supper," not the sacrament of communion or the Eucharist invented by man.)]

The titular Christian says, he owns Christ's ordinances, and professes himself a subject of the baptism of Christ, and a guest at the Lord's table; but his profession must be examined, tried, and searched; for as in other things, so in this he must not be so because he professes it; this were to judge according to appearance, and so not righteous judgment; his account that he gives to prove that he is so, is as follows; first, as to baptism, he has received the administration of it by water after one fashion or other; either when he was a child, he had water sprinkled upon his face by the hand of a priest, or plunged all over, it may be accompanied with other ceremonies, as spittle, cream, salt, oil, and the sign of the cross; or otherwise, when he grew up to years of discretion, able to receive the traditions of his forefathers, and to read the holy scriptures, therein he finds that several were baptized in water after they did believe in John's ministry, who was the peculiar minister of it, and was a burning and a shining light in his day, and as the voice of one crying in the wilderness, "Prepare the way of the Lord," and that Jesus himself was baptized therewith, and that many others were baptized, not only by John, but also by the disciples and apostles of Jesus. Now this reader, it may be in the tenderness and simplicity of his spirit, the veil being over his heart when he reads, is ready to conclude, surely this is an ordinance of Christ, this is Christ's baptism, and if I will be his disciple, I must be a subject of it; if I would be counted a believer, I must also be baptized with water, or else I cannot be saved; and so this reader, his eye being abroad, and being ignorant of that head, in which the wise man's eye stands, and not discerning the times and seasons and the several dispensations of God towards mankind since the fall, nor perceiving the end of them, lays hold of the shadow and figure instead of the substance, and gets possession of the shell instead of the kernel, his body washed, though not with the pure water of the word, his outside baptized with outward water, and then accounts himself a subject, and partaker of Christ's ordinance; but herein the titular Christian of all sorts is deceived; for not withstanding what his teachers tell him, that he entered within the boundaries of the church, and was made a member of Christ when he was sprinkled with water in his infancy; and the other [sort of deception], when of understanding to imitate others, I say, herein he deceives himself, and is deceived, because he still remains ignorant of the one baptism, which washes and cleanses the inside, purifies the heart, and sprinkles the conscience from dead works, of which all the outside sprinklings, washings, and baptisms that ever were appointed of God, or practiced of holy men, were but a figure or type. The true Christian stays, nor remains in any of them; but it is a great mystery to tell the titular Christian of being baptized with this one baptism, which is the baptism of Christ, under the term of Holy Ghost and fire, though he may read that Christ foretold, that even those that were partakers of John's baptism, which was the greatest of outward baptisms, should be baptized with the Holy Ghost and fire. And John said, "I indeed baptize with water to repentance; but he that comes after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to carry, he shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire, whose winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the barn; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire, Mat 3:11, 12. This, the true Christian witnessed fulfilled in the primitive times; and [the true Christian] now is partaker of the same, being baptized into Christ, has put him on, being baptized into his death, is buried with him in baptism, Gal 3:27,Col 2:12; and this baptism being the one [baptism], brings all that are partakers of it, of what nation or country soever, bond or free, into one body, into oneness of heart, and mind, and spirit, as Paul testified to the Corinthians: "For by one Spirit we are all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be slaves or free, and have been all made to drink into one Spirit," 1 Cor 12:13. This blessed oneness and unity, is the fruit and effect of the one true baptism of Christ Jesus.

These things the titular Christian can read of in the Holy Scriptures, (which the true Christians were witnesses [by experience] of); but until the veil of the covering is rent and taken away from off his heart, and he truly turned unto the Lord, and becomes sensible of the operation of the Spirit, as a winnower, as a purger, as a gatherer of the wheat in the barn, and as a fire to burn up the chaff, until he knows this working in his own heart, he remains in death and darkness and only talks of heavenly things, lives in the earthly, and boasts of Christ's ordinance of baptism, but is a stranger to it [the real, one baptism of fire], and stays in the outside and shadow, and abides in the outward court which is trodden under foot of the Gentiles, and cries up the temple of the Lord and his ordinances, but dwells not therein, nor is a living witness or member thereof.

And concerning the Lords supper, the titular Christian professes himself a guest prepared to sit at the table, and to eat of the dainties that he has prepared; but the master of the feast has appeared, and taken notice of his guest, and has given an eye also to his children, to see beyond the outside appearance and profession; and the day of trial and manifestation is come, and the titular Christian must be examined, whether he sits at the table of the Lord, and eats of his flesh, and drinks of his blood; or on the contrary, whether he only professes it, and crowds himself in unprepared, without his wedding garment, and catches at a shadow, and feeds upon husks, and is as one that dreams he eats, but when he awakes, is hungry. Therefore how does he demonstrate that he is a partaker of this supper ? Why, he has received by tradition, or finds it written in the holy scriptures, that the same night that Christ was betrayed, he took bread and blessed it, and broke it, and gave to his disciples, and said, take, eat, this is my body, which is given for you, do this in remembrance of me, and also the cup, saying, this cup is that new testament in my blood, which is shed for you, this do as often as you drink in remembrance of me; and Paul says, so often as you eat this bread, and drink this cup, you show forth the Lord's death until he comes. This was to the disciples, and was in itself but a representation and figure of that which is meat indeed, and drink indeed, which Paul principally aimed at, which at Christ's second appearance without sin unto salvation, his saints and disciples were partakers of. But the titular Christian, before he has approved himself a disciple of Jesus, and before he has followed him one step in the work of regeneration, begins to imitate what he finds was practiced by Christ and his disciples, though not in the same spirit, nor to the same end; one sort gets bread and wine, and consecrates it, as he says, and then imagines it immediately transubstantiated, or changed, into the real flesh and blood of Christ; this is a great and strong delusion indeed, contrary to his outward senses, which are able to try outward things, for the very bread and wine so consecrated, remain of the very same quality, nature, and form as before, and as subject to decay, mold, corruption, and be eaten by vermin, as any other bread and wine of the same kind.

Another sort, not quite so much high notions in this thing, blesses bread and wine after his manner, and looks upon it as bread and wine after his blessing is bestowed upon it, eating and drinking of it, some after one manner, and some after another, calling it a blessed sacrament; one will eat it before dinner, another after supper; one standing, another kneeling, another sitting, and do not look upon it as real flesh and blood, but a representation, type, or figure, or something which ought to be partaken of in remembrance of Christ until he comes.* But in all these things the titular Christian deceives himself, and indeed has no part in the one, nor in the other, in the true figure, nor in the substance. And not withstanding his outward mouth eats and drinks outward bread and wine, which comes from beneath, and is the fruit of the earth, his inward man pines and hungers for want of partaking of that living bread which comes down from heaven; and is wholly a stranger to that flesh which is meat indeed, and to that blood which is drunk indeed, and puts the coming of the Lord far off; and is wholly ignorant not only of him, but of the manner of his coming also, and of the very door of conscience at which he stands knocking, and so does not open unto him, but opens to a stranger, and entertains his enemy, and give place and obedience to that which occasioned all his sufferings, namely sin and the author of it. This is to sit at the table of devils, eating of the forbidden fruit; in this state he has no part in the precious promises, no right nor title in Christ nor his ordinances, much being [still] to do before all things are prepared, and made ready for the last supper, 1 Cor 10:21; and before this titular Christian is made fit to sit at the table with him, or stand upright in his presence; and before he knows him [Christ] to make his home with him, and to sup with him, as he has promised, and as the true Christian in former ages, and now in this age enjoys, who did and does witness eternal life abiding in him; for he that eats his flesh and drinks his blood, has eternal life, and dwells in him, and he in him. Read John 6:53-58.

[* The New Testament is full of references to the second appearance of Jesus being then, not thousands of years later. In Matthew, Mark, and Luke, Jesus is recorded saying that some then standing with him, 2000 years ago, would see his glorious coming in the clouds with the Kingdom before they died. In addition Paul, Jesus preaching, Jesus in Revelation, Peter, James, and John, — all said, soon, the time is near, a little while, he stands at the door. Christendom blithely ignores this gaping incongruity between what the Bible plainly states vs. what they are taught by their blind guides. It would be a cruel hoax to be waiting on Him to appear if the past one hundred generations of believers actually had no hope of ever seeing Him.

But the second appearance, the revealing (revelation) of Christ, is in the hearts of individual believers in all generations;
in those who have prepared the way for him in their hearts for the Lord to enter, be revealed, and rule as Lord.
He, who has been hidden within, is revealed. As Paul said: " it pleased God... to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him."
Always bearing about in the [our] flesh the same death [of the inward cross] of the Lord Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.
For we who live are constantly progressing to death [crucifying the old man] for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus might be revealed in our mortal flesh. 2 Cor 4:10-11

For as the lightning comes out of the east, and shines to the west; so also will the coming of the Son of man be. Mat 24:27
The morning star rises in your hearts. 2 Pet 1:19. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright morning star. Rev 22:16
Jesus is resurrected in us to be our true Lord. 2 Cor 4:14, Rom 8:11, Col 2:11-12,3:1, Eph 2:6
Paul said Jesus was resurrected in him: I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.]

This the titular Christian cannot receive nor understand, no more than the Jews did; this he stumbles at, and goes backward, murmurs and takes offence at, as some of old did, when Christ was speaking of the bread which came down from heaven,* of which those who eat should live forever, many of his own disciples said, "This a hard saying, who can hear it?" And so, murmured, and went backward, and walked no more with him. These, though they heard his many gracious words, and saw his mighty works and miracles produced before their carnal eyes and ears, yet they saw not him, as he was the mighty power of God, nor heard him, as Peter did, who said, when he asked the twelve, Will you leave me also? Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. And we believe and know you are Christ, the Son of the living God. This knowledge, Christ said, was revealed unto him, not by flesh and blood, but by his heavenly Father.

[* The words you hear are the bread of life, the bread from heaven. The words are Jesus's flesh and blood. Each word you hear from the Spirit is the life of Jesus, (his flesh and blood), that is engrafted into your heart; forming Christ within you; until Christ is fully formed and resurrected in you to be your true Lord, ruling your thoughts, your words, and your deeds. From the Word of the Lord within, "Christ is actually resurrected in every person that comes to Him and obeys Him repetitively. With persistent and faithful obedience, you too will be raised. "]

Now the titular Christian denies revelation, the only means of all true knowledge; and so in his carnal imaginations and exalted mind above the cross of Christ, glories in the flesh and prides himself with what flesh and blood has taught him and revealed unto him; and he cries up natural bread and natural wine, and a natural supper, which feeds the natural man, and remains a stranger to that bread which comes down from heaven, and to the wine of the kingdom, to the supper of the Lord, and to his table which is richly spread; and derides the true Christian, who possesses and enjoys these things. And this is the cause, that notwithstanding the titular Christian eats ever so often of this outward bread, and drinks this outward cup, which he in his ignorance calls, the supper of the Lord, he hungers and thirsts again, even after the forbidden fruit, and after the wine of Sodom and Egypt, and drinks down iniquity as the ox drinks water. So, in the end, notwithstanding his notions and profession of the supper of the Lord, and eating at his table, his soul is hard distressed with hunger, and pines for thirst, and labors for very vanity, sowing the wind, and reaping the whirl wind of the wrath of God. This is the state of all the titular Christians upon the face of the earth, of what name or sect soever.

X.The True Christian's Faith and Experience concerning the Universal Love of God towards all Mankind.

The true Christian believes, that the love of God is universal unto all mankind; that his grace, which brings salvation, has appeared and does appear unto all men; that he has given a manifestation of his Spirit to every man to profit withal; even to the rebellious; that God so loved the world that he has given his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life; and that he is the true light, that lights every man coming into the world; that this light is saving and sufficient to lead all mankind, that love it and walk in it, to him from whence it comes, where they may inherit life and salvation. God wills not the death of him that dies, neither does he desire the death of a sinner, but rather that he would turn and live; his call is to all men everywhere to repent; and there is a possibility that all men may hear his voice, repent, and may partake of his universal love, and be saved by his grace, which has appeared, and profit by the manifestation which he has given, and be guided out of rebellion by his good Spirit, and to believe in him, which saves from perishing, and gives everlasting life. These things are called for and exhorted to throughout the holy scriptures; and there is a possibility to obey them; otherwise all is in vain, the call to all in vain, the appearance of grace to all in vain, the gift and manifestation of the Spirit to every one in vain, and the shining of the light in vain, if men may not obey it, and walk in it. So man's destruction is of himself, and his sores remain uncured, and his soul unredeemed; not because there is no balm in Gilead, or because the arm of the Lord is shortened, or his love abated; neither because he has decreed any man's destruction from eternity; but because men will not make use of the balm, nor be gathered by his arm, that is stretched out all the day long, even to the rebellious, to save them, nor receive that love that daily is tendered. Their eye is blind, and their souls poor, miserable, and naked; not because he [God] does not have not eye salve, fine linen, and treasures of wisdom and knowledge to furnish them withal; but because men are taken up with other things, and have no mind to purchase gold tried in the fire, nor white raiment to be clothed. The forbidden fruit seems more beautiful and lovely to desire, the enemy having drawn out man's mind to look after it, he turns his back upon the other; then his eye is blinded, and his ear stopped; then he cannot see the glory of God to surpass the beauty and glory of all things visible and invisible, nor delight in the hearing of his voice and obeying it; but his stolen water is sweet, and the forbidden fruit is pleasant to man in this blind, deaf, and dead estate, wherein he walks in the broad way, and falls into every temptation, bait, and snare of the enemy, that old serpent, who, having drawn him thus far, takes him captive at his pleasure. Thus entered sin in the beginning, and thus it increases, and thus the enemy prevails. Now, no man in this estate can open that eye which was blinded through transgression, nor unstop that ear, nor save and deliver himself out of the hand of his enemy, which holds him in sore captivity. Therefore, herein is the universal love of God manifest, that he has laid help upon one that is mighty, that is able to save to the uttermost; that he has appointed and prepared a seed that is able to bruise the serpent's head; and that he has sown this good and powerful seed in the hearts of all men, in the bad ground as well as in the good; and that he has caused his light to shine in the hearts of all, though in darkness; and his rain to fall upon all, just and unjust; and to call upon all men everywhere to follow, ([but] mankind has run from him [God] by transgression, and hidden himself among the trees, and covered himself with the fig-tree leaves), and to meet with him in the cool of the day; and to reason with him, reprove, correct, and chastise him, in order to do him good, if he will hearken to his voice, and turn at his reproof; and be gathered by his arm, which is stretched out to save him; which, if he does, he shall not miss of salvation. But if he stops his ear, hardens his heart, and continues in rebellion, and refuses to be reconciled, his destruction is of himself, and God will be just when he judges.

XI.The True Christian's Faith and Experience concerning the Doctrine of Election and Reprobation.

Election and Reprobation stand in the two seeds, called the seed of the woman, and the seed of the serpent; and all mankind are partakers of the one or of the other, as either of these two seeds grows up in them, and as they grow up in the one, or in the other, or join to the one, or to the other; and are born of the one, which is incorruptible, or of the other, which is corruptible. And this seed, which is incorruptible, and has remained pure through out all generations, is that in which all nations are blessed, as they come to be born of it, Acts 3:25. And this is it unto which all the promises of God are yes and amen, which was not made unto seeds, as of many, as Paul says, speaking of the seed of Abraham, but of one seed, which is Christ; and they that are Christ's are Abraham's seed, and heirs by promise, Gal 3:16,29. And the election, or choice of God, stands in this seed, and all the heavenly blessings, and evangelical promises, come to be enjoyed and inherited by mankind through faith in this seed, through the growing up of it in them, and through the knowing it to remain in them, and become the greatest of all seeds, stopping the growth of the seed of the serpent, bruising his head, and causing his whole body to languish and die; and through the knowing of this seed to become so powerful in them as to possess the gates of its enemies. With this seed and with all that are born of it, God's election stands sure, and his covenant is kept with it forever; whom he loves here, he loves to the end. And all that love this seed, he will be their God, and they shall be his people; and those are the elect, which can never be deceived, nor the gates of hell prevail against.

And the true Christian, who is born of this incorruptible seed, obeys Peter's exhortation, Giving diligence to make his calling and election sure; adding to his faith, virtue [excellence]; and to virtue, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, patience; and to perseverance [and patience], godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love; and as he does these things, he shall never fall, but have an entrance ministered abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of his Lord and savior Jesus Christ, 2 Pet 1:5-7,10-11. And he lays aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, and becomes as a new-born babe, desiring the sincere milk of the word, that he may grow more and more, and increase with the increase of God thereby, until he grows up in the promised seed, in which his calling and election stands, unto the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, growing up in him in all things, which is the head, even Christ, 1 Pet 2:1-2. This is the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus, and these are the marks, tokens and signs, fruits and effects, which attend and accompany all those that are born of this incorruptible seed, in which their election stands, in, through, and by which their calling and election is made sure. And the true Christian, who is thus elected, and born of this seed, has not only the witness in himself, and the Spirit of God bearing witness and sealing to his spirit, that he is a child of it; but the fruit of this seed also shows itself forth and appears, that men may see and behold it, and glorify his father which is in heaven.

Now the reprobation stands in the seed of the serpent, and all that are born of it, are born of flesh and blood, and of the will of man, and not of the will of God, nor by promise; and in whomsoever this seed grows up, enmity increases in them against the seed of the woman, against the promised seed, and all the children of it; thus arose Cain's envy, Ishmael's mocking, and Esau’s rage, and is continued in that generation or birth, down to this age. This is that birth that is born after the flesh, which always did, and does to this day, persecute him that is born after the spirit; this is he that was grown a great dragon in John's day, which persecuted the woman that brought forth the man child, and that went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which kept the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus. And he is the same at this day, and his wrath, enmity and work is the same in the hearts and hands of all mankind, in whom this seed of the old serpent has taken root, and grows up. This is the seed of the wicked that shall be cut off, and of the evil doers, that shall never be renowned, Psalm 37:28, Isa 14:20; and all that are joined to it and become children of it are reprobate to every good word and work, and go upon their bellies, and dust is their food, and they dwell upon the earth, where the woe is, and where the devil is come down among them, and they walk upon that ground that is cursed, and inhabit the dark corners thereof, and they hate the light, and are reprobate from the presence of God, and from the glory of his power, children of disobedience and wrath, in whom the old serpent rules, and holds them in sore captivity; and as in this state of reprobation they abide, hey are children of the devil, and his lust they do, his servants and slaves they are, and cannot cease from sin, nor enjoy the many glorious promises made to the seed of the woman, nor know the serpent's head in them bruised by it, nor the great red dragon chained, being reprobate from that faith which gives victory over him.

But out of this estate of reprobation and deep pit of misery, wherein a great part of mankind is held, the testimony of the true Christian is, that God has appointed a means of deliverance, salvation and redemption; there is a possibility of being born again of the other seed, in which the election stands. Children of disobedience and wrath may become children of God, and partake of his grace and mercy, and witness redemption from the earth, and the cursed ground with its cursed fruit burned up by the spirit of judgment and burning; and the seed of the serpent may be rooted out of the heart of man, though it has grown there long, and filled it with its fruit; and the good seed of the kingdom may spring up and grow there; and every thorn, briar, thistle, and plant, which hinders its growth, may be pulled up, which the heavenly father has not planted. Those who have borne the earthly image, may bear the heavenly; and those that have yielded their members to be servants to unrighteousness, may yield them servants to righteousness; and those that are foolish, may become wise; those that are disobedient and deceived, may become obedient and undeceived; those that serve several lusts and pleasures, and live in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another, may come to witness victory over, and redemption from all these things.

And this true Christian's testimony is plentifully borne witness to in the holy scriptures, as Paul wrote to Titus, saying, "we ourselves were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving several lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another," Tit 3:3; these were all the fruits and effects of the evil seed; these were all fruits of the ground that is cursed; and in this estate they were reprobate concerning the faith, and children of wrath as well as others; but, says he, after the kindness and love of God our savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost, which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ, our savior. So in the kindness, love, and free mercy of God, by the washing of regeneration, or new birth, they become transplanted out of the old into the new, out of the seed of the serpent into the seed of the woman, out of the reprobate state into the chosen and elected state; taken out of the wild olive, and planted or grafted into the true vine that brings forth fruit, which gladdens the heart of God and man. And he [God] is ready to do the same in this age for all that love his appearance, and hearken to his voice, and obey it, and shut their ears against the voice of the serpent, which is possible to be done; these shall enjoy God's salvation and partake of his love and kindness, which the saints enjoyed in former ages, and do in this age, and is freely tendered to all for their everlasting good. For God has not, as some titular Christians affirm, predestined or foreordained the greatest part of mankind, or any part, to everlasting perdition, nor made any fixed decree, that so many and no more, shall be saved, and all the rest damned, and that this decree was established before mankind was brought forth, without having respect to either good or evil that they should do.

This is a doctrine that is accursed, and contrary to the gospel or glad tidings of peace and reconciliation, and inconsistent with all the dispensations of God's love towards lost man, ever since he obeyed the voice of the serpent, and his seed grew up in him, and ever since the devil got his seat and dominion in man, all which have been in order to break his power, and dispossess him, cast him forth, and spoil his goods, and to sweep and garnish the house, and furnish it again with heavenly goods, as it was before the devil and his goods entered, and as it was before the evil seed was sown in man's heart, and before he entered into temptation, or eat of the forbidden fruit; this has been the end of the Lord in all his promises, appearances, and dispensations, before the law, and under the law, and in the days of the evangelical prophets, who saw and prophesied of glorious things, which God would bring to pass for the universal good of mankind. For Isaiah saw that day in which the Lord with his grief, great and strong sword, should punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent, and slay the dragon that is in the sea;* and he saw that the abundance of the sea should be converted, and the forces of the Gentiles should come unto him, whom God has appointed to be his salvation to the ends of the earth, Isa 27:1,60:5; and he spoke of a time wherein the Lord would gather all nations and tongues to come and see his glory, which he had given for a light to the Gentiles, and for the glory of his people Israel, to finish transgression and make an end of sin and bring in everlasting righteousness, to destroy the devil and his works, to repair the breach, and restore paths to dwell in, even paths of holiness, wherein the wayfaring man, though a fool, cannot err, Dan 9:24,Isa 58:12,35:8; this is the end or substance of all the dispensations of God; and many have been, and are living witnesses of the same, and no man is exempted by any decree of God from the enjoyment of these things.

* The sea is a metaphor for the peoples of the earth.

And all those Babel builders, and blind guides, which set up and minister this kind of doctrine, that God has pre-ordained how many persons shall be saved, and how many damned, if people were not as ignorant and as blind as themselves, their [the preachers of this doctrine] trade [means of income] would quickly be spoiled and come to an end, and no body would employ them; for if there be a fixed decree from all eternity how many shall be saved, and how many damned, and that neither the one nor the other by all the good and evil they can do, are able to alter this determinate counsel; then altogether in vain is it for people to hire such builders, who say beforehand, their tower will never convey any to heaven, who are not designed to go there without it, or to maintain such unprofitable talkers and babblers, when they can neither make them better nor worse, nor bring one soul to salvation that is not determined and decreed already to be saved, nor direct one soul how he may escape hell, that shall not escape it without their directions. These are unprofitable and vain talkers indeed, and messengers of miserable tidings, that preach this doctrine of devils in the world, the fruit and effect of which runs many a poor soul upon one of these desperate rocks, dissolute despair, or implicit imaginary security.

Much might be said to show the grossness and absurdness of this kind of doctrine;* but intending brevity and a hint at things, and hoping the light of the glorious gospel, that now shines, and is broken forth in the hearts of thousands and tens of thousands, will disperse this gross darkness, and cause this destructive, pernicious doctrine to vanish away, especially in this nation of England, before this age is worn out. I say, for these two reasons I forbear to enlarge, with a breathing to the Lord, that people may come to know the fallow ground ploughed up, and the hard clods broken, and their hearts made tender and honest, that the good seed of the kingdom, wherein the election stands, may spring and grow up, and bear fruit in them to everlasting life, and the seed of the serpent rooted out, and he and all his works destroyed. This is the glorious liberty which the whole creation groans for, and some already enjoy; praises to God forever, whose love extends to all, whose arm is stretched out to help all, whose scepter of salvation is held forth to all, whose desire is, that all may come to the knowledge of his truth, and be saved. This is the testimony of God, and of those righteous men that knew him in former ages, who were born of the incorruptible seed, and is the testimony of the righteous in this age; and the contrary is the testimony of the enemy of God and man, that old serpent and his children, who are born of the seed of it, and their fruit is the offspring of the adulterer and the whore, whom God will judge. This is the word of truth to all whom it may concern.

* The doctrine deciding before-hand who is the elect and who are the reprobates makes God: 1) a respecter of persons, 2) makes God responsible for who goes to Hell and not heaven, 3) lays waste all the means of salvation, and 4) excludes his universal love.

XII. The True Christian's Faith and Experience concerning Temptation.

JAMES says, Blessed is the man that endures trials; for, when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to them that love him. Let no man say, when he is tempted, he is tempted of God; for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempts he any man. But every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed, James 1:12,13,14.

Now the true Christian is a witness of this saying of James, having found the blessedness that follows the enduring temptation [or trials], and received the earnest of the crown of life: and he truly and experientially knows, that God cannot be tempted with evil, because that heavenly light and grace, and manifestation of the Holy Spirit, which he is partaker of, and endued withal, and is of God, cannot be tempted with evil, nor be prevailed upon to consent or take pleasure in any unrighteousness; and this good and perfect gift of God, which cannot be tempted with evil, nor tempts no man, being received, believed in, and entertained in the heart, is that which enabled the righteous in all ages to endure temptation and trials, and does enable them in this age. And all those that know not, receive not, believe not in this good and perfect gift of God, given and sent into the world, to sinners as well as saints, they cannot, nor are able to endure temptation [or trials]; but are led away of their lusts, and enticed, and fall into temptation, for lack of faith in the gift and power of God, which is as near them as the temptation, and able and ready to deliver them, if they would regard it and obey it.

Now, the ground of all temptations is within, the lusts that lead away, are within; the light which discovers them, and the grace which is sufficient, and the Spirit which mortifies the lusts, must also be known within, where the temptations rise and attend mankind, even the righteous for a time, and several outward objects also may present, in order to draw out and allure the mind to join with them, and to entertain them;* but neither the temptations within nor without can prevail, until the light is disregarded, the appearance of grace slighted, and the Spirit of God despised, and the mind joined to the tempter and temptation.

* The devil has the power to tempt, but not to force.

Now, it is no sin to be tempted, but to enter into the temptation [is a sin]. No man was ever condemned because tempted, or because evil motions and temptations did arise in him, and present themselves, if he entered not into them, nor give place to them, nor joined with them in his mind, nor allowed his members to obey them; but kept in the light, grace, and Spirit of God, by which he resisted them, and the author of them, and made him [the devil]flee; this is the blessed man that endures temptations.

So though temptations are evil and sinful in themselves, and did at some times attend the righteous in all ages, and do at this day; yet if they give no place nor consent to them, nor obey them, but by the light and Spirit of God judge them, and walk in the light which discovers them, and the evil tendency of them, and are preserved from joining to them, they are no sinners because tempted; as for instance, to speak but to a low state, if any are troubled with unclean and vain thoughts, and tempted with dark unlawful imaginations, which in themselves are evil and sinful;* yet if they by the light and Spirit of God judge them, and give no place or obedience to them, but wait to see the ground thereof removed, they do what is right in the sight of the Lord, and are no sinners. So if tempted to use any member of the body, to speak or do any evil; as, the tongue, to lie, flatter, or dissemble, or speak perverse things; or the hand to do violence to any man; or the feet to run to do mischief; if these members are not yielded up to serve and obey these temptations, those so tempted are no transgressors, but are witnesses of that prayer, and the effect of it, which Christ taught his disciples, Lead us not, or let us not be led into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

* These will lodge in that flesh in which dwells no good thing, until it and its habitation is mortified, and removed, which is to be known (experienced), even while the earthen vessel remains, that holds the heavenly treasure.

Christ Jesus was attended with several great temptations, and the old serpent, that deceived the first Adam, was very bold with him, and carried him from *place to place, (let him that reads, understand), from the wilderness to the Holy City and from there to the pinnacle of the temple, and then to an exceeding high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them, with a promise, "he would give them all to him, if he would fall down and worship him;" but he, standing in the power of his Father, gave no place to him, but rebuked him, and resisted him in all his temptations, and overcame him. Now it is said, while the time of of temptation lasted he ate nothing, and when it was ended, he afterwards hungered, Luke 4:2; and when the devil departed, angels ministered unto him, Mat 4:11; this is the glory of the second Adam, that never fell though tempted to fall, ate no forbidden fruit though tempted to eat; neither did he hunger, in the time of temptation, after it; nor gave place to the lies of the old serpent that allured and deceived the first Adam thereby, and subjected him under hope of enjoying a better estate than that where God had placed him. Thus he fell into the depth of misery: first by letting out a desire after the pleasantness of the forbidden fruit, and hungering after it in the time of temptation; and then putting forth the hand, and joining to it, he obeyed and ate, and so fulfilled the lusts of the serpent. And thus, and in this manner, temptation prevails over all the sons of the first Adam, who bear the earthly image, and are not born again of the promised seed, that breaks the head of the serpent, and redeems from under his power, and brings to grow up in the second Adam, who could not be prevailed upon with his lies and subtlety.

And this second Adam, Christ Jesus, is the captain of the true Christian's salvation, who is gone before, leaving him an example, to follow his steps; and he has endued him with heavenly power, and armed him with spiritual armour, and furnished him with strength so to do; so the true Christian is compared to a good soldier, that follows his captain, and fights with him, and does not desert him, and leave him to fight by himself; but makes good use of the power, armour of light, and sword of the Spirit, that is given him to war withal, and to overcome his enemy withal; and he keeps on his breastplate of righteousness, and the helmet of salvation, which are able to quench all the fiery darts of the devil, and so follows his captain, not only conquering, but also to conquer; for when he has overcome him not only in the field, but has also pursued him to his strongholds,* and beaten him out there, and pulled them down and cast down imaginations, (and every high thing, that exalts itself against the knowledge of God), in which he built them. When this is effected by virtue of the weapons which are mighty, and by the power of him which enables the true Christian to do all things, he still keeps on his watch tower, which is the light of Christ, wherewith he is enlightened, that he may not be surprised with another part of his forces. And as he keeps watching there, in vain are all the enemy's stratagems, wiles, and subtle devices; in vain are all his snares and ambushments laid; in vain are all his temptations and allurements, as the true Christian keeps in that, and dwells in that which the devil has no part nor fellowship in, namely the light, whereby the devil is discovered, and all his baits and snares seen and avoided. It is in the darkness, and over all that dwell in it, that he prevails; his power stands there, and is exercised over all that walk in it. He need not go about with wiles and devices to deceive such, who already dwell and are subjects in his kingdom; nor he need not go about like a roaring lion, seeking to devour them, being already under his dominion, and obedient children, vassals and slaves to him. He need not use subtlety to tempt such, but has power to command, and they obey. But it is against the children of light, that are turned from the darkness, and from under his power, that he improves all his cunning subtlety and devices, and it is against them he rages, if by any means he can beguile them, as he beguiled Eve, and corrupt their minds from the simplicity that is in Christ, 2 Cor 11:3; even after they are presented as a chaste virgin to Christ, and have come to a dwelling place in Paradise, and to appear before God in heaven; he will not cease to tempt and accuse there, as he has done, he is still ready to do; he tempted and beguiled Eve in Paradise, Gen 3; and on a day "when the sons of God appeared before the Lord, Satan came also among them," and accused Job, Job 1:6-11; and John in his day saw the great red dragon appear in heaven, waiting to devour the man-child, Rev 12:4; (he that reads let him understand). This made Paul fear the serpent might beguile them he wrote to, as he beguiled Eve, and through his subtlety tempt and allure them out of innocence, out of a virgin, sinless, and harmless estate, after they were in it. ** This he once did and may do again, if he be not watched against, and resisted in the power of the second Adam, which enables to endure temptation, and so to receive the blessing, and after trial to enjoy the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to them that love him, James 1:12.

* The devil's strongholds are the wills, thoughts, and imaginations of men.

** Until you have made the final step to union with Christ and God in his kingdom, it is still possible to be tempted and allured out of innocence and to lose a good estate, the first stage of perfection and be in paradise.

XIII. The True Christian's Faith and Experience concerning a Holy Life.

The true Christian believes that it is his duty to live a holy life, to forsake the devil and all his works, the pomps and vanity of the world, which lies in wickedness, and to keep God’s holy will and commandments, and they are not grievous unto him; for he loves the law of God in his heart, and sees it written there with his own finger, enjoying that precious promise, I will write my law in their hearts, and put my fear into their inward parts; and he can say, as David once did, O how I love your law, it is my meditation all the day! How sweet are your words unto my taste! yes, sweeter than the honey to my mouth! your law is my delight; the law of your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver, Psa 119:97,103,92,72. The true Christian being in this estate, and persevering in this love of God and his [inner] law, it becomes his meat and drink to do the will of his heavenly Father. And so by walking in this law, and meditating in it, and by feeding on this word, which is sweeter than honey, he becomes so united with it, and so natural a subject and child of it, that he comes to be able to say, as some of old did, We can do nothing against the truth; this is the true forsaking the devil and all his works, and the keeping God's holy will and commandments. And as the true Christian grows up in this, he does always that which pleases the captain of his salvation, who is gone before, being bone of his bone, and flesh of his flesh, sitting in heavenly places with him, beholding the glory of their heavenly Father, even the same glory, which was before the world began, before the devil and his works entered, before his holy will and commandments were broken, or before the forbidden fruit was eaten. Those that have their eyes anointed with eye-salve, and are clothed with fine linen, have their garments washed in the blood of the lamb, and follow him wherever he goes, have no guile in their mouths, but stand before the throne of God without spot or wrinkle; those are they that are redeemed from the earth, have their conversation in heaven, and give the glory to him, who is God blessed for ever.

The titular Christian professes, that it is his duty to live a holy life; to forsake the devil and all his works, the pomps and vanities of the world, and to keep God's holy will and commandments, but never comes to witness that estate; it is very grievous to him to make straight steps to his feet; he enjoys not that precious promise, the law written in his heart, and the fear which keeps the heart clean, in the inward parts; neither is the law of God his meditation all the day, nor his delight therein; neither are his words to him sweeter than honey, or better than thousands of gold and silver; he cannot say that he does nothing against the truth; nor that he does always that which pleases God; nor that he follows Christ the captain of salvation; neither is he a member of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones; nor sits in heavenly places with him, beholding the glory of God, though he will sometimes talk of these things, as they are written in the holy scriptures; but in his heart he is a stranger to them; and God's holy witness in his own conscience makes him confess that his heart is desperately wicked, that his thoughts and meditations are defiled, and full of sin. Further, he is so far from living a holy life, and forsaking the devil and all his works, and keeping God's holy will and commandments, that he is begotten into such a belief and persuasion, that it is not possible to do it, while he breathes in the air of this world, but must always be sinning, and doing that which he ought not to do, and leaving undone that which he ought to do; always confessing, always sinning, and never forsaking; so always reaping the wages of sin, which is death; and so always lacking the mercy and forgiveness, which he only who forsakes the devil and all his works, partakes of.

In short, this is one of the last lessons the devil can teach his children, namely to persuade them and make them believe that they cannot cease from sin, but must be committers of it, and servants to it, and that they cannot forsake him and all his works, nor keep God's holy will and commandments so long as they live in these houses of clay. Such titular Christians as these he has in chains and fetters strong enough so that nothing less than the mighty arm and power of God is able to break them, and to release those poor captives, and to redeem them out of this deep pit of misery, wherein is no water, wherein their souls or inward man lies as among the pots, soiled with the smoke and soot of the bottomless pit. O God! hasten, and bring deliverance to these poor bond slaves of sin and satan, is the cry of the souls of the righteous, who have the mind of their heavenly Father, who desires not the death of him that dies, but that they should come to the knowledge of his truth, and be saved, and be partakers with them of the exceeding riches and glory that is laid up for all that love his appearance, and is ready to be revealed to all that truly wait for it.

XIV. The True Christian's Faith and Experience concerning the Motion or Moving of the Spirit of God, and the Spirit of the Old Serpent in the Hearts of Men.

The true Christian is endued with a heavenly spirit of discerning, by which he sees to the beginning, before sin entered the world, and by it perceives how it entered, and how it has grown and increased, and filled the earth with violence; and how that old serpent, which at first was glad to use great subtlety and lies, and make great promises, before he could prevail against Eve, is now grown so powerful a prince in his kingdom of darkness in the hearts of the children of men, in whom he rules, that he no sooner moves in their hearts, but they follow him; no sooner commands, but they obey. He needs not use his subtlety and cunning to betray, allure, and persuade; nor make great promises before he can win to his obedience. Many being grown such natural children of him, and such slaves in his kingdom that now in these days his commands are sufficient to thousands and ten thousands; and his very motions to evil have gained such a powerful name in the world, even among the titular Christians, that they count them too mighty to be withstood, too powerful to vanquish, too strong to war with, overcome and conquer in all his motions, commands, and temptations, while on this side the grave. Hereby people have become home-bred slaves, and have sold themselves for nought, having let in that accursed faith that has sprung up in the apostasy from the true faith, that they can never resist all the motions of the devil, nor disobey all his commands, nor be delivered from all his temptations, until the death of their natural bodies, which is then too late; for as the tree falls, so it lies.

Now, the titular Christian will readily acknowledge and confess, that the motions of the devil are strong, powerful and present with him and in him, and that thereby he is stirred up to evil; but he does not believe, that the Spirit of God is so near him and present with him, moving in him against the motions of the evil one; nor that there is sufficient power from God given to him, to preserve him from obeying the motions and temptations of the world, flesh, and the devil, and to move him to that which is good, and enable him to do it. Also he has no faith in this gift of God, but rather counts it delusion, and the property of a fanatic, to profess the knowledge of the Spirit of God moving in them to speak and write good words, and do good works; this professors and profane, learned and unlearned, make a mock at, concluding this operation of the Spirit is not in use, nor to be known in these days, nor to be expected in these latter ages of the world; as if God had left the world of mankind to be guided wholly by the motions of the devil; as if there was no law or power in the mind able and sufficient to war against the law and power that is in the members, and overcome it; thus to believe, such is the faith of devils and not the faith of God's elect. But the true Christian in this age, as in former ages, is a living witness of the moving of the Spirit of God to every good word and work, as the holy men and Christians in former ages were, who spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost, and as they were led and guided by the Spirit, as is testified in the holy scriptures, though made a mockery of in this day. This Spirit of God accompanied the righteous in all ages, and always moved, led, and guided them into the way of peace; and as they obeyed it, and abode with it, they were preserved by it therein, though in the midst of their enemies. This preserved Joseph, when his brethren, moved with envy, sold him into Egypt, and out of the temptations he met with there, Acts 7:9; and the same spirit of envy that moved his brethren to sell Joseph, moved Cain to kill Abel, and moved Esau to hate his brother, and the Israelites to envy Moses and Aaron; and the Jews to persecute the prophets, Christ, and the apostles; and the unbelieving vagabond Jews were moved by this spirit of envy, to make a tumult against Paul and Silas, and to assault the house of Jason, and to draw him and the brethren to the rulers, with false accusations, Acts 17:5. The spirit of envy is the same at this day, and his motions are the same, and all that obey them are found in the same work. And the motions of the Holy Spirit are also the same, and all that obey them bring forth the fruits thereof, and they are both manifested by their fruits; the one moves to good, the other to evil; the one to love and good will, the other to envy and hatred; the one to patience and long-suffering, the other to anger, rage, and persecution. The one moves to meekness, gentleness, and low-mindedness; the other to hardness, roughness, exaltedness, and high-mindedness. So by the fruits and effects are the motions of the Spirit of God known and distinguished from the motions of the devil, the prince of darkness. And whosoever does or shall profess to speak or write words, or do works, in and by the motion of the Spirit of God, if they tend not to good, if they are not accompanied with the fruits of the same, if they will not endure the trial of the Spirit of God in others, and abide by the testimony thereof; and [if not] also agree with the testimonies of the holy men of old, left upon record in the holy Scriptures; for, the spirit of the prophets was subject to the prophets; and the Christians were of one mind. I say, except this: their motion is to be judged by the Spirit of God, and them also that obey it, as a delusion of an exalted Spirit and as a high imagination,* which must be brought down; and whoever glories therein, or boasts thereof, will fade and wither as a flower, and fall and corrupt as untimely fruit; the mouth of the Lord has spoken it.

* Many whom the old Serpent could not move of draw into carnal wickednesses, have been captivated with spiritual wickednesses in high places; and have been deceived so far as to call high thoughts and imaginations, motions of the Spirit of God; and these have been exalted above all that is called God, being joined to the son of perdition, who usurps the throne of God, and has been and is worshipped as God. [George Fox called the high thoughts and imaginations, high notions of men.]

XV. The True Christian's Faith and Experience concerning Revelation.

The cry in the world is even among many called Christians, no revelation in these days; revelation is ceased; no spiritual vision to be known now; no sight of God now, as Abraham, Moses, and the prophets, and primitive Christians had. Now, the faith, experience, and testimony of the true Christian is, that where there is no revelation, no heavenly sight, the people cast off restraint [which is a perishing state], Prov 29:18, where there is no revelation known, there is no true knowledge of God, as is witnessed by the holy scriptures; none knows the father but the son, and he to whom the son will reveal him, Mat 11:27. Since the veil came over man's heart, there was never any other way in any age, nor is there in this age, to come to the true knowledge of God but by revelation; by taking off the veil, and removing the covering, which hides the face of God from man; the outward veils before Moses's face, and in the outward temple, were a figure of this veil, that is spread over the hearts of men; and the rending the veil of the temple from top to bottom, was a figure of revelation and spiritual sight into the holiest of all, or the taking away that which stood between man and the true sight and knowledge of God; and there is not, nor never was, since the cause of the veil entered, any man upon the face of the earth, that came or comes to the knowledge of God by any other means. Men have sought out many inventions, and devised many ways and means to gain the knowledge of God, but all in vain; as his invention, device, and knowledge increases, his sorrow increases also; and all he can arrive at is traditional knowledge, a historical knowledge, a strong conceit and imagination concerning God, which all worth nothing nothing. When he [the Christian] comes to see and know him by sight and revelation, he will say as Job once did, I have heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now mine eye sees you; therefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes, Job 42:5-6.

And as there is no true knowledge of God but by revelation, so there is no perfect knowledge of the son of perdition, or man of sin, but by revelation, 2 Thes 2:3-4. Iniquity is a mystery, as well as godliness; and the devil can appear like an angel of light, and get into the temple of God [your heart], and sit there as God, and be worshipped as God also; and when he thus appears in the temple of God [your heart], clothed with the sheep's clothing, and in the form of an angel of light, with the saints words in his mouth, many are then beguiled with him, the veil being over their hearts, and the scales before their eyes, that they see no further than his appearance, his show and outside [the physical world]; and hereby he deceives many in the form of religion, which could not be deceived by him as a devil, nor drawn into his service in the gross evils that are in the world; this is the mystery of iniquity, which cannot be discerned nor discovered while the veil is over, until revelation is known, and the prophecy of Isaiah witnessed; He will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering, cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations, Isa 25:7. This is a blessed promise to enjoy, and to witness fulfilled.

Now until it pleased God to reveal his son in Paul, he was deceived and captivated with this mystery of iniquity, and in his religious zeal and ignorance thought he was serving God, when he was serving the devil; and in this estate lie all the titular Christians at this day, who are persecuting the true Christians, and hating one another, and destroying, biting, and devouring one another, about religion, church, and worship; and this comes to pass for lack of revelation, for lack of true knowledge. All the contentions, envies, quarrels, and divisions among all sects in Christendom arise, for lack of being acquainted with revelation. One says, look here is Christ; another, there. One says, Christ is this, another that; and there are of many minds concerning him now, as they were in the days of his flesh, some saying one thing, and some another of him. But said Christ to Peter and the rest, what say you; and Peter answered, you are Christ, the son of the living God. Christ says, blessed are you Peter, for flesh and blood has not revealed this unto you, but my father which is in heaven, Mat 16:17. Revelation was the cause of Peter's surpassing the others in true knowledge. Many [disciples] that ate and drank with him and had a love for him, and heard his gracious words and saw his mighty works that he did, yet lacking this revelation, had only a knowledge of him after the flesh, contended and reasoned about him; but this knowledge that was revealed to Peter, they were strangers to; this was the ground of contention then, and is the same at this day, throughout all Christendom.

But Peter himself did not abide in this knowledge, which was revealed to him; but for lack of watchfulness, and through self confidence, weakness, and fear, became veiled again, and lost his knowledge, sight, and revelation, and in the day of close trial denied that he knew at all; then began to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. This was a great change in Peter, who in his great zeal and affection thought, if all forsook him, he should not; yes, though he should or were to die with him, he would not deny him; all the disciples similarly said the same. Mat 26:70,72,74.

This may teach all, even those that have had revelation, heavenly sights, and visions, to be watchful, and beware, for fear that darkness overtake them again, the veil be spread over [them] again. These things are written for our learning, and are set forth as an example, showing how far self-confidence, zeal, and affections, and a knowledge of Christ after the flesh can carry men; and how heavenly sights, visions, and revelations may be seen and partaken of before a thorough conversion. The wind blows where it desires, and many hear the sound thereof, yet know not from where it comes, nor where it goes, so is every man that is born of the spirit, John 3:8. Now, it is a further thing to grow up in it, and to increase with the increase of God, unto the stature and fullness of Christ; such are not only born, and children, but men; such cannot be tossed to and fro with wind [of every deceptive doctrine]; and until this is attained unto, there is much danger. I knew a man, twenty four years ago, who had heavenly sights, and revelations, and raptures into the third heaven, and heard and saw things unutterable, ravished with delight, overcome with joy and consolation, while his hand has been in his outward labor; and would with Peter and John, have built tabernacles there, and all before his conversion, before he was endued with power from on high, before the work of regeneration was produced, and before he knew from where it came, or where it went, being as the lightning coming out of the east, and shining into the west; and so knew not how nor where to wait to receive it again, nor knew a stay to his mind, nor a bridle to his tongue, nor strength to endure temptations, nor patience to have its perfect work; neither was he endued with wisdom and discerning, to discover the several wiles and devices of that old serpent that betrayed in Paradise, being not humbled and brought down to the true foundation, though the seed of the kingdom was sown, and received with much joy; but springing up in great haste, for want of depth of earth, proved like corn upon the house-top, or in stony ground, soon withered again. So, let none be lifted up above measure, because of revelations, heavenly sights, and visions; let none rest in zeal and affections; let none deck themselves with God's jewels, and play the harlot with them, nor lay up manna for tomorrow; but wait upon him from where the daily bread comes, and abide low in the ROOT, from where all heavenly blessings, gifts, and graces spring; so a growing up in him, which was from everlasting, before evil sprung up, before the veil was spread over, when all was good, yes, very good, will be witnessed. This is the converted estate, in which those that are come unto it, not only stand themselves, but are able to strengthen their brethren, who are begotten by the same father, and born of the same mother; and this counsel Christ gave unto Peter, that zealous affectionate disciple, after he had had heavenly sights and revelations, When you are converted (turned back again), strengthen your brethren. Let this be minded by all to whom the Lord has appeared, and has given discoveries of himself, for fear that they take up their rest by the way, and like Peter and John at the sight of the transfiguration of Christ, say, Master, it is good for us to be here; let us build three tabernacles, one for you, one for Moses, one for Elijah.This they spoke in ignorance while the cloud overshadowed them, while they saw his raiment shining exceeding white as snow; but did not see him nor hear him as the beloved Son of God, nor understand the vision; therefore the voice out of the cloud says to them, This is my beloved Son, hear him, Mark 9:7. Heights may separate, as well as depths; therefore what Christ says to one, he says to all, Watch and pray, for fear that you enter into temptation. In hearing and obeying the beloved Son, there is peace, blessings and safety; but in hearing and obeying the serpent, [there is] tribulation, anguish, and sorrow, and great danger, which all that wait and watch in that true light, by which they are enlightened, enjoy the one, and escape the other.

XVI. The True Christian's Faith and Experience concerning the Gospel or Glad Tidings of Salvation.

[From the Word of the Lord within: "The gospel is a mystery to the natural man; he cannot conceive it. The gospel is not a book to be read; it is to be revealed in your heart. The everlasting gospel comes to those who are not stained. A heart that is pure shall receive the glorious gospel freely. The gospel is pretty radical; it is mind boggling — unity with Christ; this I offered free of charge to anyone."

The true Christian believes the gospel or glad tidings of life, liberty, and salvation; and at the hearing the joyful sound thereof he is glad; and he rejoices to see the angel fly through the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach again to them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, fear God, and give glory to him, for the hour of his judgment is come, and worship him that made heaven and earth, the sea, and fountains of water, Rev 14:6-7. And the true Christian has not only heard, but obeyed this gospel; and he knows life and immortality brought to light thereby, 2 Tim 1:10; and the light of this glorious gospel shines in his heart, and he has repented or turned to the light thereof, received and believed this gospel, which is the power of God unto salvation, which was preached unto Abraham, and was and is now preached in every creature under heaven, Gal 3:8; of this gospel Paul was a minister, Col 1:23; and the true Christian is come to the mystery of the fellowship of the gospel, which stands not in word, but power, and is not of man, nor by man, but of God; and judges the secrets of all men; he is come to the knowledge of the mystery of the gospel, and through it has received life, liberty, and salvation. His feet are shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, and his conduct is as becomes the gospel; and he adorns the gospel of his Lord and savior; and in this abiding he enjoys the privileges of the gospel, and inherits the precious promises made of old, and enjoys that which was prophesied of by that evangelical or gospel prophet Isaiah, when he saw and spoke of the universal love of God to be enjoyed in the gospel days, in making a feast unto all people; in this mountain shall the Lord of Hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined; and he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering that is cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations; he will swallow up death in victory; the Lord will wipe away tears from off all faces, and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth; for the Lord God has spoken it; and it shall be said in that day, Lo this is our God, we have waited for him, and he will save us; this is the Lord, we have waited for him, we will be glad, and rejoice in his salvation, Isa 25:6-9. A blessed sight and heavenly prophecy, which the true Christian has come and is coming to the full enjoyment and fulfilling of; glory to God forever.

And the anti-type of the year of Jubilee is now enjoyed, the sabbath of rest is entered into; and the holy mountain, in which is no destroyer is now dwelling in. And the light of God's countenance is lifted up, which makes the true Christian's heart more glad than the joy that comes with the increase of corn, wine, and oil. Many prophets and righteous men saw far off what he now possesses; so that he can truly say, gospel times are glorious times, the privileges of the gospel are glorious privileges; Christ reigning and ruling in his heart, leading captivity captive, and giving victory over death, hell, and the grave, wiping away all tears, and taking away the reproach, being sin, which is a reproach to any people, and giving power to war with spiritual wickednesses in high places, and to bring down every high thought and imagination into the obedience of Christ. This honor all the saints have who receive the gospel of peace and salvation, and arrive at the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. The titular Christian says, he believes in the gospel, and talks of life, liberty, and salvation by it; he says, he has heard the sound of the gospel, and that he obeys the gospel; but how does he show forth the truth of that? Let him examine himself; does he know the light of the glorious gospel to shine in his heart, whereby the mystery of it is revealed unto him? Has he repented or turned to the light and believed the gospel? Does he know it [the gospel] to be the power of God unto salvation? And is he saved by it, as Abraham was, when preached unto him, and as the primitive Christians were, when they received it? Does he know life and immortality brought to light through the gospel? Hath he obeyed the gospel ? And are his feet shod with the preparation of it? And does he adorn the gospel with a holy life and conduct? No, the titular Christian knows no such gospel, nor the light of it to shine in his heart, nor the mystery of it to be revealed in him for he hates the light and denies revelation, and says it is ceased, and that there is no revelation to be expected in these days, nor any possibility to live a holy life, as becomes the gospel; nor any inheriting the precious promises, nor enjoyment of the glorious things prophesied of while on this side the grave; nor having the veil taken off the heart, nor tears wiped away, nor the cause of them removed; nor death swallowed up in victory, while he remains in the body; nor that the anti type of the year of Jubilee, which is perfect liberty and redemption, can be witnessed and enjoyed, by believing in the gospel; nor that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established upon the top of all mountains, or that any can dwell in that where no destroyer is; nor that the sabbath or rest wherein he shall not speak his own words, nor think his own thoughts, nor bear any burden, can be entered into, or dwelt in, while on this side the grave. The titular Christian has no faith in any of these things; therefore his faith is feigned, and the object of it is imaginary, and is indeed what may be called another gospel, which he that brings is accursed, and is not of God, but of man. The titular Christian can be a professor of this gospel, and a hearer of it, and yet never come to be quickened unto life; nor ever receive remission of sin, nor inheritance among them that are sanctified; nor ever come to enjoy the privileges of the gospel, signified and showed forth by several types, figures, and shadows under the law, and seen and prophesied of by the holy prophets; yet can talk of all these things, even while in death, will talk of the fame of wisdom, and the glorious things her children formerly enjoyed, while he himself is poor, blind, and miserable, and wants the possession and experiential enjoyment thereof.

And indeed the mystery of iniquity has so far prevailed, and the darkness is grown so thick, by reason of the smoke that ascends out of the bottomless pit, in this night of apostasy, which has spread over this part of the world, called Christendom, since the apostles days, that the titular Christian, who hates the light, and dwells in this darkness, will not endure the preaching any other doctrine, than such an one, which will admit of living under the bondage, service, and slavery of the devil term of life; this is he that cannot endure sound doctrine. Now the sound of this [false] doctrine, which Christendom too much rings of, is: no perfect victory over sin; no overcoming the devil; no withstanding him in all his temptations; no abstaining from every appearance of evil; no perfecting holiness in the fear of God; no ceasing from committing of sin; no dispossessing the strong man, and spoiling all his goods; no sweeping the house, and garnishing it with heavenly goods; no pulling down the strong holds of sin and Satan; no bringing every thought and imagination into the obedience of Christ; no putting off the old man with his deeds, nor putting on the new, nor bearing the heavenly image, nor any such regeneration or new birth to be known, which commits not sin; no repairing the breach which our first parents made; no finding again that which is lost; no restoration into innocence and a sinless state again, while men dwell in these earthly tabernacles. None of these things can be effected, says the sound of this [false] gospel; or the preachers of it in all sects. Oh how greatly is it to be lamented, not only to see and behold the garden and vineyard of the Lord become so great a wilderness, and so overgrown with briars and thorns, thistles, and noisome weeds, where many venomous and hurtful things are nourished; but also to see those who count themselves laborers in the vineyard, and dressers of the garden, sit down and conclude, that it can never be dressed, nor the vineyard purged from all that does offend the tender grapes, and that the wild boar and the little foxes can never be driven out, nor those plants, which the heavenly Father never planted, be pulled up, nor that this wilderness can ever become a fruitful field, nor like Eden again. There are so many believers of these sorrowful tidings and miserable messengers and ministers of Satan; there are even unbelieving spies, who discourage and persuade the people they can never inherit the good land, nor overcome their enemies. Oh you God of heaven appear more and more, and disperse and remove this unbelief and gross darkness,and stop the ascending of this smoke, which arises out of the bottomless pit and darkens the air, and gather your scattered people from under those idol shepherds and false vine-dressers, blind guides and miserable comforters; you have gathered a remnant from under them, and made their folly manifest, and to them [the remnant] their [Satan ministers'] doctrine is accursed; do so for thousands and ten thousands, which yet know you not, ([which plea to God] is the breathing of the soul of the righteous); and remove this monstrous faith out of the hearts of all men, which holds up the devil's kingdom there TERM OF LIFE; and let your POWER be known and magnified over all, who are God, blessed forever.

XVII. The True Christian's Faith and Experience concerning Grace, and Living under it; and Growing up in it from one Degree unto another; and of the Possibility of Falling Away from it.

[* The definition of grace is totally ignored by Bible professing titular Christians, but the definition of grace is detailed in the Bible, Titus 2:11-14, as follows:

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,
teaching us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts,
and how to live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
as we receive the blessed fulfillment of our hope, even the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ,
who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity [lawless deeds, sin],
and purify for himself a people who are his very own, zealous for good works. Titus 2:11-14

False Christians, in the time of the early apostolic church, transferred the meaning of grace from the truth: that with repentance, the Spirit of God commands us to deny lusts and ungodliness as it purifies us to be able to live a soberly, godly life in this present world transferred instead to the twisted lie that grace excuses all past, present, and future sins in believers, thereby excusing believers to live in their lusts and pride as they please with no laws. From the Word of the Lord within: "it is twisted, pernicious lies, a fatal flaw that turns aside the just." By claiming grace excuses all sin, these men denied and disowned Jesus as their Lord and Master, who said, "repent or perish, and sin no more." It is not what one says that makes Jesus their Lord or Master, but their deeds — disregard and disobedience of his teachings and commands denies him as Lord and Master.]

The law came by Moses, but grace and truth by Jesus Christ. Grace is the free gift of God for the salvation of all, and has appeared unto all men; but all men did not, and do not receive it, so they don't know the teachings and virtue of it, nor its sufficiency and power to save, being known to none but such as do receive it. And all that do receive this grace, are taught by it to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts; and to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world. Tit 2:12. Thus it taught the true Christian in former ages, and teaches the same now; and all that are so taught [to salvation] by it, are not under the law, but under grace; for grace does not destroy the law, but fulfills it, and leads those that are under it to the enjoyment of the substance of those heavenly things it shadowed forth, and which the prophets prophesied of. And further, it teaches more spiritual and evangelical lessons than Moses did, by whom the law came. And the true Christian not only receives this grace, but grows in it from one degree unto another, and witnesses to have been saved by it, and a being justified by it, having experience of its sufficiency when the enemy does assault, and trials and temptations attend; even as Paul the aged [in his later years], when in danger, and besought the Lord, the answer was, my grace is sufficient for you, 2 Cor 12:9. The true Christians of this day witnesses [experiences] the same. And Paul could say, by the grace of God, I am what I am. That was a high and heavenly state, to be no otherwise than grace made him; self, sin, and satan, are here excluded, and all boasting and glorying in the flesh is laid aside, and the free gift and grace of God exalted over all. This is a standing by grace, and a living under it, being saved by it from transgressing the law, which is holy, just and good. Here grace reigns through righteousness unto eternal life, even where sin reigned once unto death, and abounded, here grace is known to abound much more, Rom 5:20-21. This was not only professed and talked of by the true Christians in former ages, nor is not now in this age, but really felt, known, and witnessed in them, by the effectual work and operation of it; they did not, nor do profess a living under grace, while they do and commit that which the law is over, and which the law was added because of, namely sin. He that is alive to sin, the law has power over him; and he is indeed under the law, notwithstanding he may profess a being under grace, and living in gospel times; for Paul's parallel holds good, "A woman is bound by the law to her husband, so long as he lives;" but when dead she is loosed from the law of her husband," Rom 7:2. So the law has dominion over a man, so long as he lives, Rom 7:1, in that life and nature which transgresses it, let him profess what he will; and none are fitted and prepared to be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, until they are become dead unto the law, and so delivered from it, that being dead in which and by which they were held, namely sin. For he says, when we were in the flesh, the passions of sin, (evil established by the law) worked in our members, to bring forth fruit unto death; but now me have been delivered from the law, having died to that which we were held, that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter. Here the true Christian knows the righteousness of the law fulfilled in him, who walks not after the flesh, nor the motions of it, but after the spirit, and the motions thereof; so that his words are seasoned with grace, and walks to the praise and glory of his God. As he abides here, he witnesses being delivered from under the law, and knows the occasion of it taken away, and so [the true Christian] truly lives under grace, and grows in it, and in the knowledge of his Lord and savior Jesus Christ; to whom be glory both now and forever.

But now [1670], notwithstanding that the cry of some titular Christians is, "There is no falling from grace totally," yet there is a possibility that after people have received the grace of God [to be purified], and known the virtue and operation of it also, that they may fall from it, and from children of grace to become children of wrath; they may turn the grace of God into wantonness [a license for immorality], or rather, turn from it after they have received it, into wantonness. They may use their liberty, which by grace they had come unto, as an occasion to the flesh, and so not stand fast in that liberty by which Christ has made them free; and they may fall from steadfastness after by grace they had attained it.* And after people have clean escaped from them who live in error, and from the pollutions of the world, they may err, and be polluted again, and turn like the dog to his vomit, and like the sow that was washed to the wallowing in the mire; and an evil heart of unbelief and disobedience, in departing from the living God, after they have known him, may get in; and people may crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to open shame, and trample the blood of the covenant, with which once their hearts were sprinkled, under foot again; and do despite unto the spirit of grace, and grieve the Holy Spirit of God; and finally, they may make shipwreck of faith and a good conscience. These things may all be done, or else in vain are the several exhortations recorded in the holy scriptures to the primitive Christians, to stand fast, abide, and continue to the end, that they might not be entangled, deceived, nor fall into temptations again. And in vain was all the labor, travail, care and exercise of the apostles, teachers, and elders among the churches, after they were gathered out of the world, and had received the manifold graces of God to confirm them and establish them in the same, if there had been no danger of their falling from it, and corrupting themselves again. This titular Christian's opinion of no totally falling from grace, is contrary to the current of the whole scriptures; and Paul's testimony is, that such that so fall away, who were once enlightened, and tasted of the heavenly gift, and powers of the world to come, if such sin wilfully, after they have received the knowledge of the truth, that it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, and that there remains no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries, Heb 6:4-6,10:26; who incur a sorer punishment than those that despised Moses's law, who died without mercy under two or three witnesses. There is a sorer punishment than outward death, which the outward law inflicted upon the transgressors of it; and those that have known the law of him that is greater than Moses, which is the law of the spirit of life, and have been subjects of it, and [then] fallen and apostatized from it, shall partake of this sorer punishment. And as none knows the joy and consolation of those that have the law of the spirit of life, and obey, and abide in it; or the white stone, wherein the new name is written, which none knows but he that has it; so none knows the sorer punishment, the fiery indignation, kindled by the breath of the Lord, nor feel the gnawing of the worm which never dies, which attends the transgressors, and wilful sinners against this law of the spirit of life, but he that has it, and receives it as a just recompense of reward of his disobedience, rebellion, and apostasy.

[* For at least the last one hundred years [this note being written in 2021], there have been no Christians freed from all sin, much less to live under grace and then return to sin. This occurred in the time of the Early Church and in the time of the Early Quakers; so it could happen again when the true church is again established in the world.

George Fox stated in his letter 211 the following:

All you that have known the way of truth, and tasted of the power of the same,
and now turn back into the world's fashions and customs,
you stop those who are coming out of the world, you make them to stumble at the truth,
you make them to question the way of the Lord,
which is out of the way of the world, and its ways;
and you grieve the righteous, and sadden the hearts of the upright and simple.
You had better never have known the way of light, life, and power;
you are the cause of many keeping in darkness;
you are the cause of the boasting of the wicked,
and make the wicked to take you for an example,
and their object against truth, and them that live in it, to plead against its ways.
You had better never have been born; ]

And the titular Christian, who talks of living under grace, and not under the law; and [talks] of being married to Christ, before he has known in some degree the law as a schoolmaster to bring him to Christ and become dead to that which the law has power over; before he comes to know the righteousness of the law fulfilled in him by the spirit of grace, and righteousness which exceeds the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees; [before he] knows grace to reign through righteousness unto eternal life, even where sin has reigned unto death; before he is taught by grace to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and [how] to live soberly, righteously, and godly [in this present world]; [before he] ceases from sin and knows the body of it destroyed, and has become dead, and delivered from the dead body; I say, before this, his talk and profession of living under grace is vain, he remaining alive in that for which the law was added, namely sin. For the main reason to prove a person to be under grace, which Paul mentions, is: for sin shall not have dominion over you; for, or because, you are not under the law, but under grace. [However,] he that commits sin is the servant of it, and sin has dominion over him, let the titular Christian profess what he will.

XVIII. The True Christian's Faith and Experience concerning Outward and Inward Miracles.

All miracles and wonders, that were outwardly produced by the power of God, before the law, under the law, since the law, by the hand of Moses and Aaron, the prophets, Christ, and his apostles, were in themselves signs, generally showed before unbelieving, hardhearted, adulterous, untoward generations; and we don't read of very many in the holy scriptures that were converted by the working of outward miracles; Pharoah and the Egyptians were hardened. The Israelites themselves, after they had seen and partook of wonderful deliverances and mighty miracles produced before their face, as the going through the sea on dry land, and their enemies destroyed in the same; the pillar of cloud by day, and the pillar of fire by night; the manna and quails from heaven; the water out of a rock, and had also drank of the spiritual rock which followed them; yet an unbelieving, ignorant, disobedient, rebellious, murmuring heart got up in them, so that they discerned not the power by which they were produced, nor the end thereof, being ignorant of both; neither did they truly regard the instruments by whom they were produced, their wills and lusts remained strong, their hearts foul and gross, their ears dull of hearing, and their eyes so weak, and their under standings so darkened, that they could not look upon, nor behold the glory of that ministration, though it was but of angels; nor abide and endure the voice of God in giving forth the law, for the condemnation of the transgressor, which was glorious in its time, so that they could not behold the glory of Moses's face without fear, Exo 34:30, nor so much as touch the mount on which God appeared, yes, the priests, unless sanctified, or made holy, were not to come near the Lord, Exo 19:22. This was the state of the Israelites, notwithstanding they were eye witnesses of the mighty wonders and miracles visibly produced before their natural senses; yet through unbelief, disobedience, murmuring, and rebellion, they perished, and their carcases fell in the wilderness, and they did not enter into the promised land. Let the reader consider those things.

And when Christ Jesus, the great prophet, came, of whom Moses prophesied, and produced several visible miracles before the hardhearted Jews, who professed themselves the disciples of Moses, we do not find, nor read, that many of those that saw them produced with their natural eyes; and that drank of the miraculous wine, made from water; and that ate of the five loaves and two fishes that fed five thousand with twelve baskets of fragments to spare, were converted; much less became his disciples or followers, except for loaves or some selfish ends; and some among whom he produced mighty miracles, desired him to depart their coasts. And from the chief priests and leaders he met with this judgment: that he was a deceiver, a Samaritan, and had a devil, and cast out devils by Beelzebub, the prince of the devils. So that his raising the dead, healing the sick, possessed, and diseased, though mighty works in themselves, and produced by the power of his Father in him, yet they were not such great works, nor the effects of such great extent, but that those that did believe in him should do greater, or he in his spiritual appearance in them would do greater, according to this saying, Truly, truly, I say unto you, he who believes in me, he shall also do the works that I do; and greater than these shall he do; because I go to my Father; and whatsoever you ask in my name, that will I do, John 14:12-13. This saying and promise was and is fulfilled, fulfilling, and to be fulfilled. And every true Christian is a witness of the power that is received by believing in Christ, and knows and experiences greater works, produced by the power and spiritual appearance of Christ within, than all the outward miracles he produced before the carnal eyes of carnal professors and unbelievers in the days of his flesh. But this the titular Christian cannot receive, knowing nothing about it. In order therefore to convince him of the truth of the same, the true Christian speaks further, as follows:

First, he says, that once he was dead in trespasses and sins, and so dead, that though he was loaded therewith, yet he felt not the weight and burden thereof, and not only so, but he had all the properties of a dead man spiritually; his eye was so blind, that he could not see the exceeding sinfulness of sin. His ear was so deaf, that he could not hear the voice of God, though he [God] often called him out of it; his feet were so lame, that he could not walk one step in the way of God; and he was so bowed down that he could not stand upright, his bloody issue could not be stopped, nor his wounds healed, his sores ran in the night, and his soul refused comfort, he was cast out into the open field to the loathing of his person, and the Levite and the priest passed by and ministered no help; he saw no eye to pity, nor no hand to save, nor no physician of value could he meet with; all told him he could never be cured, healed, and made a sound living man again while he lived upon the earth; and to increase his misery, he was persuaded to believe the same; which belief is one of the strongest links of the chains of darkness. In short, words cannot express the sad and lamentable estate of mankind in the fall, which the true Christian once lay in, even bound in chains of darkness, under the slavery and bondage of sin and satan, captivated in a strange land, out of which nothing less than the mighty, terrible, and glorious power of God, by and through his Son Christ Jesus, is able effectually to redeem, save, and deliver.

Therefore in the second place, the true Christian's testimony is as follows : to the praise and glory of the power of God in his glorious appearance and heavenly revelation, through the son of his love in this latter day, wherein his exceeding kindness and power is manifested, as in ages past, and as in the generation of old; and his faithful promises fulfilled; and the hour is come, wherein the dead hear the voice of God, and the graves open, and they that are therein come forth, John 5:25, and a mighty sound is heard of the dry bones* in the valley coming together, and knitting bone to bone, and joint to joint, and sinew to sinew, and flesh grows upon the same, and the breath of life is received, and a standing up is known of an exceeding great army, which shall yet increase more and more, and inherit and possess the anti-type of the promised land; this was seen and prophesied of by Ezekiel, and now enjoyed by the true Christian. Read Ezekiel 37:14, and the Lord give you understanding.

* People dead in sins and trespasses, degenerated and estranged from the life of God, are as these dry bones, and are to be witnesses of the same power to restore them to form and life.

Now to witness these things effected by the Spirit and power of the Lord, is more than to see a dead body outwardly raised to life, and to have the eye of the mind opened, and the ear of the spiritual man unstopped, and the tongue unloosed, that can praise the Lord, and the lame to leap as an heart, and to run the ways of God's commandments with delight, without stumbling, weariness, or fainting; I say, these things being produced by the power of God in the inward man, are greater miracles than the opening of a blind eye, or unstopping of a deaf ear, or unloosing the tongue of the dumb, or curing the lame outwardly.

And to be cleansed from the leprous disease of sin, to know the bloody issue thereof stopped, and to have an heart sprinkled from an evil conscience, the body washed with pure water, and the heart and mind cleansed from all that would defile, by the precious blood of Christ manifest and known within, where the defilements are, are greater miracles, though the same in nature, than that which cured the leprosy and bloody issue, outwardly; and the cleansing of the mind, heart, and conscience, and healing the inward man of all its diseases, is more wonderful than the healing all outward diseases whatsoever.

Now the working of outward miracles are not of absolute necessity in the church of Christ, neither does the gift thereof always attend the church; and we read of no outward miracles produced by several primitive apostles, ministers and teachers, elders and fathers in the church:* but these greater works and miracles which Christ promised those that believed in him should do, they were all witnesses of in a measure, being of absolute necessity to be known produced by Christ, the power of God, in every true Christian now, as then; without which, no resurrection to life, nor entrance into the way of salvation is attained unto, let the titular Christian profess what he will.

[* Not every believer has the gift of outward miracles.The Early Quakers had a recorded few with the gift of outward miracles, including George Fox's record of several miracles, available to read on this site. In 1932, Henry Cadbury was doing research in the Quaker Library, and he discovered a catalog of important lost books, including a Book of Miracles, which was written by George Fox, who in his will had left money for it publication and free distribution. The book was lost, but in the catalog were 150+ entries of miracle cures by Fox, with the beginning and ending words of each cure included. Due to frequent, harsh attacks on previously known miracle cures by those opposing the early Quakers, the book by Fox was not permitted to be published and was somehow lost.]

And I still well remember, when I was a titular Christian, and a hearer and disciple of that generation, which now calls upon the true Christian for signs and miracles, which no impostor, nor false Christian can give; they used them [signs and miracles] to acknowledge and preach for doctrine, that the conversion of one soul to God was a greater work than the creation of the world; and the main reason they gave, was, that in the work of the outward creation nothing did resist and oppose, God said, let it be; and it was so. But now in the new creation and work of regeneration, God meets with much opposition; he speaks, and calls once and again, and man regards it not; he stretches out his hand all the day long, and the rebellious regards it not; he stands at the door and knocks, but his enemy has gotten into the house, and the door is shut against him, yet he waits to show himself gracious, according to the phrase in scripture, until his head is wet with the dew, and his locks [hair] with the drops of the night. And he woos and beseeches, with bowels of compassion, all mankind by his universal love, light, and Holy Spirit to be reconciled unto him, and to turn or be converted unto him, that he may heal them, restore and redeem them out of the degeneration which they have run into through sin, into the primitive estate and pure enjoyment of himself, which was before sin entered, or the forbidden fruit was eaten, or evil was in the world. But mankind slights this great love, and resists and despises this light and Holy Spirit, which would work all these things in him and for him. So these things above considered, which are according to the phrase and language of the holy scriptures, it may evidently appear that the work of the new creation, being accompanied with so much opposition, is greater than the work of the old. In this the titular Christian, as in many other things, talks a truth with his tongue, but is not a living witness and one experienced of the same in his heart. Therefore when the true Christian tells him what the Lord has done for his soul, and the mighty works and wonders that he [God] has produced in him and for him: how he has raised him from death to life, from sin to righteousness, and translated him from darkness to light, from the kingdom of Satan to the kingdom of his dear son; and how he has made him whole throughout, even upon the sabbath day, and that he now sits in heavenly places with him, clothed, and in his right mind; and that he has received a good understanding to know him that is true, and is in him that is true; and that he has the witness of God's Spirit bearing witness with his spirit, that he is a child of God, and a possessor of these things; which things no impostor, deceiver, nor titular Christian can have and possess. While so, I say, when these things are told and borne witness of in the ears of the titular Christian, he slights and disregards them and will not believe the same, but counts it delusion and fanatical dreams and fancies, arising from spiritual pride, high mindedness and vain conceit; and so [the titular Christian] despises his [the true Christian's] testimony and the works that bear witness thereof, even as the Jews did of old judge and condemn Christ and his mighty works, as produced by the power of the devil. So does the titular Christian in this age judge, censure, arraign, and condemn Christ and his mighty works in this day of his power and spiritual appearance in the hearts of the sons and daughters of men, wherein he has produced as mighty works, and done as great miracles, as in any age since the fall of man, and many are now living monuments of the same; blessed is the eye that sees them, and is fixed upon the author thereof, to whom be glory and praise throughout all generations forever.

XIX. The True Christian's Faith and Experience concerning the Doctrine of Perfection.

In he holy scriptures are several precepts, and commands, and exhortations, not only to holiness, but to the perfecting of holiness in the fear of God, to the pressing forwards until it be attained unto, and a full growth be witnessed, to the stature of a perfect man in Christ Jesus, 2 Cor 7:1, Phil 3:14, Eph 4:13; presented to God without blemish, spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing, Col 1:28; and it is said of Noah, that he was a just and perfect man in his generation, and that he walked with God, Gen 6:9; and God said unto Abraham, walk before me, and be you perfect, Gen 17:1; and that Job was a perfect and just man, Job 1:8,2:3; and in David's time he bids, Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright, the end of such is peace, Psa 37:37. And Christ exhorts his disciples to be perfect, as their heavenly father was perfect, Mat 5:48; and the labour and travail of the apostles were, that people might be perfect and entire, lacking nothing, James 1:4; and that they might be presented perfect, and be made perfect in every good work, Heb 13:21; and he wished the perfection of those he wrote to, 2 Cor 13:9; and he spoke wisdom in them that were perfect, 1 Cor 2:6.

So the holy scriptures contain not only precepts and exhortations to holiness and perfection but they also give testimony that several did obey them, and attain thereunto in ages past. And the faith and testimony of the true Christian in this age is, that holiness and perfection are attainable now as in days of old, and that the several precepts and exhortations in the scriptures thereto may be obeyed, and the state truly enjoyed. Even while people dwell in these earthly tabernacles, they may enjoy the heavenly treasure in their earthen vessels, which may be possessed with purity and honor, 2 Cor 4:7, 1 Thes 4:4. Now this is one of the sound doctrines which the titular Christian cannot endure, comprehend, nor understand, therefore cries out against it, and says, no perfection here; no perfecting holiness in the fear of God; no coming to the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus, Phil 3:14; no growing up to the stature of the fullness of Christ; no perfect man in Christ; nor no being presented to God as a chaste virgin, holy and unblamable, faultless, without spot or wrinkle, Col 1:22,28. In sum, no being now as the fathers of old, and the Christians in the primitive times, were no possibility of perfect obedience to the several precepts, exhortations, and commands of the Spirit of God throughout the holy scriptures. This is the language of the titular Christian; so that herein he commits these two great evils: first, notwithstanding his pretended honor to the scriptures and holy men, he gives them all the lie. Secondly, he with the slothful servant calls God a hard master, in requiring that which none are able to perform.* But the testimony, faith, and experience of the true Christian is quite the contrary; he having passed through the work of regeneration, and experienced the several workings and operations of the Spirit of God in his heart, (in this small treatise before hinted at), leading him from one degree of grace unto another, from one degree of faith and knowledge unto another, until he is fully saved by the grace, and has gained perfect victory by the faith from and over that which made him imperfect, sinful, and defiled, and until the knowledge of the Lord so abounds in him, that it covers the earth as the waters cover the sea; and until he comes to the sabbath of rest, the anti-type of the outward sabbath; wherein he speaks not his own words, nor thinks his own thoughts, nor does his own will nor works; but witnesses a denial of them all, and a putting off the old man with his deeds, and keeping the body under, and a bridle upon the tongue, nature, will, thoughts, and desires, which received the temptation in the beginning; always keeping them to the cross. Though a renewing and restoration be attained unto, and the state of innocence known and lived in, even as in the beginning before the fall; yet the will, thoughts, and desires must be watched, ruled over, and subjected to the will and command of God, in truth and reality, even as Christ has left an example whose will and desires were good, pure, and perfect; yet said he, when he prayed to his Father, "Not my will, but yours," whose will he came to do.

[* William Penn, who also dwelled in the kingdom, wrote in his book No Cross No Crown:

If a Christian is asked, "Is Christ your Lord?" They will cry, "Of course he is our Lord; yes, He is my Lord and Savior."
"Very well; but do you obey his commandments?" [If they know his commandments they will say], "No, how should we? "
"If you don't obey his commandments, how can you claim to be his disciples?"
"It is impossible, they say. What! Do you expect us to obey all his commandments? No man can!"

So, has Christ made it impossible to be a Christian? Is Christ unreasonable?
Does He reap where He has not sown? Require where He has not enabled?]

Now in this heavenly self-denial, and true resignation, stands the perfection and safety of the true Christian, all which is produced and effected by the power and spiritual appearance of the second Adam in him, and for him, who of himself can do nothing. And in this is his happiness and perfection, that he is come to cease from his own thoughts, words and works, his own way and will, and his own wisdom and knowledge also; for in these things began his misery, and while they lived in him, and ruled over him, he continued in the misery, notwithstanding his several de vices, and inventions, and strivings to get out of it; death, misery, and sorrow accompanied him, and cleaved close to him, and he could never be rid thereof, until he came through the work of regeneration, through true self-denial and resignation, to that estate which Paul was in, when he said, I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life, which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me;" this is the perfection the true Christian arrives at, even to know Christ live in him, and self and sin dead. Then this life of righteousness reigns, where once sin and death reigned; and this life cures all diseases, and makes a man grow to perfection, makes the mind sound, and the understanding good, the heart clean and honest, purges the conscience from all dead works, and brings into the service of the living God, makes free, and redeems from the contrary, namely the service of sin and satan; and this is a perfect state, and has been, is, and may be attained unto, according to the holy scriptures, and the testimony of the true Christian.

And some titular Christians do pray for, promise, and profess as much in words, when they pray for a clean heart, and the renewing of a right spirit, to live a holy life; and to be cleansed from all sin, and when they promise one for another, to forsake the devil and all his works, the pomps and vanities of this world, and all the sinful lusts of the flesh, and to keep God's holy will and commandments; this defines perfection, and he that does receive a clean heart and a right spirit, and does those things, is a perfect man.

Now he that professes and witnesses these things before spoken of, and has travailed through the work of the new creation, he can speak of perfection in truth and righteousness; he can say, all the works of God are perfect, good, yes, very good, being a living witness of the same, and that the works of man in the fall and degeneration, and of the old serpent whom he obeys, are all imperfect and bad; yes, very bad. Therefore let all that talk of perfection with their tongues, and profess it with their lips, see that they are in that faith which is the gift of God, and works by love, and does wonderful things. Though it be but as a grain of mustard-seed, it removes mountains, and the effect of it does away all imperfection, and makes whole every small thing; the eye being fixed upon the author thereof, it brings the mighty from its seat, and exalts that of low degree, it brings to the true poverty which makes many rich, and inherits all things, to the sorrowing wherein is rejoicing always; to the having nothing, and yet possessing all things; to the weakness, wherein is strength; to the loss, wherein is gain; to the death, wherein is life everlasting.This state Paul was in, when he spoke after this manner, When I am weak, then am I strong; when dead, then alive; as sorrowing, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing all things, 2 Cor 6:10. These things are as mysteries to the carnal mind, and are hidden from the wise and prudent, but revealed to the babes, who suck at the breasts of consolation, and are weaned from the breasts of this world, in all its perfection, glory, and beauty, visible, and in visible, and are become children of that faith, without which it is impossible to please God. Therefore if any will be perfect and have treasure in heaven, they must become as new born babes, feeding on the milk of the word, and know a growing up in and by the virtue of the same, to the state of a perfect man, out of all self-will, thoughts, and imaginations, self-wisdom, riches, and knowledge. For in the state of innocence, before the fall, man was not rich, wise, nor strong of himself, his own will, thoughts, and desires, though in themselves and in their places harmless, did not rule over him; neither did he feed upon the tree of knowledge, which was and is good in its place, though not for food, but he ruled over them all. While he stood in the image of his maker, and obeyed his command, he had power over all the beasts of the field, and fish of the sea, and the earth was subdued by him, and he had dominion over it, standing in the life, power, riches, and wisdom of his God, and out of his own; here, though he had nothing, yet he possessed all, subdued all, and had dominion over all. Though he fed not upon the tree of knowledge, yet was he full of knowledge and wisdom, to discern the nature of things, and to give them names accordingly. Though he had no will nor desire except what was to be subject to the will of God, nor no power, or strength given him of God to act contrary to his command; yet he had great power, liberty, and freedom given him of God over all the works of his hands and every herb bearing seed, which was upon all the earth, and every tree, in which was the fruit of a tree, bearing seed for food; only the tree of knowledge, which grew, not at one corner, but in the midst of the garden, even where the tree of life itself grew, he was not to eat of. He that reads, let him understand, for I testify that Moses, or the author of Genesis, was endued with the same divine heavenly sight and wisdom, when he wrote these things, as John was when he wrote his book of Revelations; and a measure of the same must give the understanding of them.

Now mankind had nothing to do, but to dress and keep the garden, which God's own hand had planted; and this he was to do in the will, wisdom, and power of God, by which he became a living soul, clothed with the image of God, without any other covering but his Spirit; this was his glory and perfection. In this stood his joy and felicity, power, and dominion within and without; in this stands the true Christian's now. But when he allowed his will and desire, and the eye of his mind by the temptation, to be drawn and allured forth, and gave way to the springing up of a desire, to know and be wise for himself, to be something of himself, this let the temptation over him, being deceived, disobeyed his God, even under a hope of gaining by it, and bettering his state, believing the serpent, who said, You shall be as Gods, you shall not die. Thus death entered upon him, thus the image of God in him became veiled, and his beauty, glory, and perfection defaced; his own will and desires no sooner gave way to, but temptation entered; no sooner his own eye opened, but his imperfection appeared, and his nakedness was seen. No sooner he began to live of himself, and to will, and to know of himself, but death, misery, and ignorance followed, and shame, fear, and guilt appeared; and inventions, and contrivances, how to cover the nakedness and shame, and excuse the guilt, was invented. This was the work of transgressing man in the beginning, and is the same at this day among all the children of men, of what nation, name, or sect soever, who abide in the transgressing state of the first Adam.

Now the state of perfection that the children of the second Adam do attain unto, while in the body, is a true self-denial and resignation into the will of God, throughout all trials, and over all temptations; he is a perfect man in Christ, who is not only restored and redeemed by him into a state of innocence, harmlessness, and uprightness; but also in this state is resigned and given up in his mind, will, thoughts and desires, into the will of God, as clearly knowing it; so that his mind being the mind of Christ, is eyeing his heavenly Father, and his mind is stayed upon him, where the perfect peace is. And his will, thoughts, and desires, though harmless, as Christ's were, yet subject to his Father, truly saying, as Christ said, "Not my will, but yours." In this state of true resignation unto and unity with the Father's will stands the true Christian's safety and perfection; and that which preserves him in the same is the power of God that thoroughly debases self, subjects man's will, and saves to the uttermost through faith in it. And in this state of perfection, as he lives and remains, he is clothed with the spirit of glory and humility; the greater his attainments are, and the higher the heavenly place is he sits in, the lower is his mind, and the lesser he is in his own eyes; the greater he is in the kingdom of God, the more he is replenished with true love, goodness and humility. Here the greatest is the servant, a helper of others; the highest, the lowest. Here the servant is as his Lord, and the Lord as him that serves. And among these true Christians there is no strife nor dispute, who shall be the greatest. Though they are elders, and have crowns upon their heads, yet they throw them down at the feet of him that sits upon the throne, and give glory to him forever, Rev 4:10-11.

W. Shewen.

They have seduced my people saying, 'Peace!' when there is no peace.
...with lies you have made the heart of the righteous sad, and have strengthened the hands of the wicked,
so that he does not turn from his wicked way,
by (falsely) promising him life.
Eze 13:2,10,22

XX. A Few Words, by Way of Advice, Counsel and Exhortation, to such as are newly turned in their Minds from Darkness within, to Light within, from the Power of Satan within, to the Power of God within, whereby the Work of Regeneration is begun within, that such may not miscarry in the same, nor sit down by the Way (short of the Mark of the high Calling of God in Christ Jesus) is what follows written, seriously to be Read, Weighed and Considered.

Tender Friend, who are turned to this light and power, and are a believer in it, and desires to hear and obey the word in your mouth and in your heart, to this you do well to take heed, as unto a light that shines in a dark place, and as a voice that calls unto you, saying, Come up here, and I will show you the bride, the lamb's wife.

In order to do that, you must understand and regard the end of the precious appearance of the light within, though it is and appears to you only as a light that breaks forth before the day dawns, or before the morning star arises in your heart, yet the end of its appearance and shining in you, is, that you should fix the eye of faith upon it, and keep your mind towards it, and this is the star of the Messiah, and the angel of the Lord, that will lead you to the inn, where the virgin is delivered of a son, and where the babe of glory lies, swaddled in a manger, unregarded by all the guests thereof, and you following this star, and finding him, will not spare your gold, incense, and myrrh, but offer up your precious things unto him, as the wise men did.

And when the light within, the morning star has led you thus far, you must not think within yourself, that you have now attained to the mark of the high calling of God, in Christ Jesus, because your eye sees the salvation which God has prepared before the face of all people, think not with yourself that you presently possesses and enjoys the same, because of the joy, delight, and pleasure that accompanies the sight thereof, yet take you heed of sitting down in the appearance of light and heavenly discoveries, and in the bare sight and knowledge of the man-child that is born, but wait and walk in the same light, which will discover unto you that spirit that seeks its life within yourself, even after it is born, under the pretence of worshipping of it, as Herod did, and in it you will receive wisdom and counsel, to cherish and preserve it, until the death of its enemies, as Joseph did; in the light you may come to read and understand those things which are written for your learning.

Now whatsoever makes manifest is light; darkness and the works of it, is and has been produced within; the light that expels the darkness, and the power that destroys the works of it, is also to be known within; and you must believe and continue walking in the light, that you may become a child of it; and abide with the power, that you may know and witness the work of it within yourself, proceeding in order from the first day to the seventh, or sabbath of rest. You may understand, that you do not become a child of light so soon as you see the shining of it, and begins to believe and walk in it; you must not only have faith, but you must add to your faith endurance, for you have as much need as some of old had, which Paul wrote to when he said, You need endurance, that after you have done the will of God, you may wait to receive the promise; and it was after they believed, that the primitive Christians were sealed with the spirit of promise. The end of faith is not soon attained unto; he that believes must not make haste, neither must he will nor run, but in patience wait in the faith without doubt and wavering, until he receives the end of it, as some of old did, namely the salvation of their souls. And so you will know, as in the light you wait, salvation comes nearer and nearer one day than another unto you, and will witness to the truth of what the apostle wrote, when he said, "Now is salvation nearer than when you first believed."

Now tender friend, I have this principally to advise you of, that the wiles and devices of the enemy are many and mysterious, and it is against you, who are come to believe in the light, he rages within and without, and about you he goes as a roaring lion, seeking to devour; and as a subtle fox to get into the vineyard again, and spoil the tender grapes. Therefore I counsel you to wait low in your mind, in that heavenly principle of light, to which you have been turned, and in which you have believed, in this the devil has no part; abiding here, you are as one armed in a strong tower of defense; keep you yourself that he may never prevail against you by allurements, baits, snares and enticements, and he can never force you, nor by all his strength compel you to yield unto him and obey him.

But know this, he will suit and sort his temptations according to your temperament, state, and condition, seeing you have turned your back upon that wherein his kingdom stands, and wherein his works and will is done, and set your face Zion-ward, and walks in the light within, that leads thereto; he knows it is in vain for him to appear unto you now as a devil, therefore will he transform himself like unto an angel of light, and propose and promise as great things to you, as he did to Eve in Paradise, if he can but get you out of your way, the light within, which makes him manifest in all his shapes and transformings, he will prevail against you, and cause you to err, and deceive you under the hope of enjoying a greater liberty and a higher glory; thus he has beguiled some in this age; for when and where the woman appears clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and a crown of twelve stars upon her head, being with child, crying, travailing in birth, pained to be delivered, then and there also the great red dragon with his seven heads, ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads, appears also, and with his tail draws stars from heaven, and casts them to the earth, and also stands ready before the woman, to devour her child as soon as it is born. Read Rev 12:1-4, and the Lord give you understanding.

So, tender friend, if you desire to travel on with safety in the way and path of Christianity, from its birth to the cross, and from the cross to the crown, you must walk in the light, and daily learn of the grace of God, and keep on your armor, the light, whereby you have conquered many enemies, and overcome several temptations; and have known it as an axe laid to the root of the evil tree within; abide you in it, and keep your eye fixed upon him that hews with that axe, that you may know its work thoroughly effected, namely the very root of the evil tree cut up; not only its branches lopped off, and the root struck at, but root and branch destroyed; and the heavenly plant to grow and increase into a tree of righteousness instead within yourself, that you may sit under its shadow with safety and eat of the fruit of it [the tree of righteousness] with delight.

Now, though you are a believer in the light, and a learner of the grace, and are traveling right on in the same, towards a full enjoyment thereof, know this, that you will meet with many trials, exercises, and temptations in the way, some to turn you out of it, and others to cause you to sit down short, and take up a rest by the way, and glory in your former experiences, openings, sights, and revelations, and power over devils, which you have been endued with; so, if the old serpent cannot prevail in the one, he may in the other. Envying your happiness, he will try all means against you, to beguile you, as he did Eve, tempt and allure you out of a heavenly estate, he will press hard against you within and without; and when you appear before God, to worship him, he will appear also with lies and accusations against you. Now, keep yourself in the light with which you are enlightened and in which you have believed; and lean on and trust in the grace of God, which is sufficient and present with you, and ready and able to save and deliver you, when his allurements and buffetings attend you.

And this light within, in which you have believed, as you walk in it, will show you the nature and tendency of the bait, though covered with golden pretences, and the very hook with which it is covered. So as you wait and abide in this light, in vain is the snare laid in your sight, in vain are all his subtle devices against you, in vain are all his variable appearances in order to deceive and destroy you, whether he appears as a subtle serpent, or as a satan to accuse, as he did Job, before God, or as a dragon, or roaring lion to devour, or as an antichrist; or on the contrary, whether he appears as an angel of light, with two horns, like a lamb, and in sheep's clothing. And further, though he appears in, and assumes the form of godliness, and preaches and confesses Christ in his spiritual appearance within, in words, and talks of and professes the light within, and the motion of the Spirit, and a learning of the Spirit, and a ceasing from man, and a learning of the anointing, light and grace within, and gets into the throne and temple of God, and sits there as God, I say, in vain are all his variable appearances, wiles, and works, formings, and transformings; as your eye is kept single, your whole body will be full of light; and you will be able to say, as some of old did, we are not ignorant of his devices. And you will try and discern spirits; and that ear will be open that tries words as the mouth tastes meat, and judges the several sounds and voices, and sees to the inside, root, ground, and foundation of things that do appear, and gives them names according to their nature, and judges righteously concerning them, and not according to appearance only, whether within yourself or without. As in this wisdom and discerning you abide, you will travel safely on, from faith to faith, from knowledge to knowledge, from one degree of grace and glory unto another, until you come to be fully gathered from the east, west, north, and south, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of God; and also knows the son surrender the kingdom to the Father, and God become all in all; then shall you know as you are known, and see as you are seen; and death shall be swallowed up in victory, mortality of immortality; and there shall be no more sea, death, nor sorrow, crying, nor pain, former things being past away, and all things made new; this estate John saw in his divine and heavenly revelation; and you abiding in the light, and walking in the Spirit, will not only see, but enjoy the same (read Rev 11 and 22), and the Lord will give you understanding more and more, and increase your joy in believing; and strengthen your faith and hope, that they may be as a trusty shield of de fence, and as an anchor sure and steadfast, to preserve you from all assaults, and from splitting upon a rock or sands, until you arrive at the haven of eternal rest, and lie down in the valley, where your bread, yes your daily bread, from the table of the Lord, will be sure, and your water fail not, where none can make you afraid, where no enemy can prevail, where no danger of making shipwreck of faith and a good conscience is, where no destroyer is, where all tears, and the cause of them, are wiped away, where faith and hope has an end, and where the heavenly city is, whose gates stand always open, and yet no unclean thing can enter. As you persevere in the light, and obey and follows him that has called you out of Egypt, and translated you from the gross darkness thereof, you will thereby be led to inherit and possess these things; for, it is he that endures to the end that shall be saved.

Now, tender friend, as you walk in your way, the light within, the Spirit and grace of God within, which teaches not only to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, but also to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world, you are safe. Despite that, I advise you to take great heed and watch diligently against the enemy of your happiness in all his appearances, and especially when he appears under the form of truth itself, with the words of it in his mouth, and with the very likeness of it; for I have seen him there, and he has beguiled and betrayed many thereby in this age, even since we [the Early Quakers] were a people; and he effected it by drawing the mind from being stayed upon God waiting low in his light, instead to wonder after and desire something else, which he made appear lovely to behold; the attaining of which, he persuaded them, would better their condition, and increase their glory. So, in hope, many, after they have been presented as a chaste virgin to Christ, have again been subjected to vanity in this age as mankind was in the beginning; and they have lost a present good estate by believing the lies of the serpent, who told them, they should enjoy a better [something]; some he has drawn out on this wile, and by other of his wiles, to that degree of apostasy and degeneration, that they became like trees twice dead, and plucked up by the roots, never like to grow in the garden of God again, whose way and end is utter darkness, out of which there is no redemption.

Now, his other ways and means, whereby he lies in wait to deceive, are more open and manifest; but his working under the form of truth more secret and mysterious, and more likely to prevail upon the mind of the simple, unless a diligent watch be kept, than when he appears as he is. By this means I have known him not only get into the temple of God, and sit there, but to be worshipped as God, and exalted above all that is called God, or that is worshipped besides him. Now, he never got into the temple, nor sat there, nor was worshipped under the name of a devil, Satan, or prince of darkness, now, nor in any age; but mysteriously produced himself in under a disguise, clothing himself like an angel of light, that desired and endeavored the good of mankind; by this means he came and comes to be obeyed and worshipped, not as he is, but as he appears to be. Now, this temple, where he sits, and where he is worshipped, is the heart and mind of mankind in the degenerate state. What reveals him with this mystery of iniquity, is the light and Spirit of God, in which you have believed, working and operating in the same place, and consuming him with the spirit of his mouth, and destroying him with the brightness of his coming. But this is not experienced so soon as you believe; it is a work produced by degrees; your safety and duty is, to wait with patience for the coming of the Lord in that light and grace which fits and prepares his way, and teaches you how to join with him when he appears, and to help the Lord against the mighty, and to meet him in the way of his judgments, by which Zion is redeemed. So, as you wait here, you will discern him when he appears from all the appearances of your enemy, and be made willing in this day of his power to yield up your heart, mind, and strength unto him, and to serve him, love, fear, and obey him; this is required on your part. So will you know him to appear unto you as a morning without clouds, and in his light you will see more light, and know it shine more and more unto a perfect day, until by the brightness thereof the whole mystery of iniquity is discovered, and the man of sin destroyed, and your temple cleansed from all that does defile, and the mystery of godliness displayed therein, and truth and righteousness sit upon the throne, and reign, where sin and unrighteousness did reign, even in your heart, will, and conscience; then will your earth rejoice, and your heavens rain down fatness, and everlasting peace will be in your dwellings.

That which you may attain unto, hold fast what you have; let none take your crown. What you have attained, therein walk, pressing forwards to the end of your race, where the crown of life is laid up; and take heed of your own thoughts and imaginations, conceivings, and consultations, and of that will that works not the righteousness of God. Those of your own house will prove your greatest enemies, if you do not walk in the light which discovers them, and take up the cross that crucifies them, and is able to bring every high thought and imagination into the obedience of Christ. While this is coming to pass, abide in the patience, bearing the cross of Christ, which is the power of God; and keep your eye fixed on the same, and look not downward to the earth, nor at the smoke that ascends out of the bottomless pit, and darkens the air, nor at the dragon that makes war in heaven; but join yourself with Michael the Prince, and follow the lamb, which rides on conquering and to conquer. So shall you overcome, and sit down with him on his throne, as he sat down with his Father on his throne, and know your enemies made your footstool.

And that you may not fail in this, watch also against the dead spirit of formality. See that your form of godliness is accompanied and seasoned with life, virtue, and power; for though godliness is not manifested without a form, yet there may be a form without the power; this spirit of formality captivated some in former ages, and led them to deny the power; from such they were to turn away then, and so are you now; for if this spirit of formality prevails, though a form of godliness be retained, as a form of sound words; plainness and decency in apparel; excess of foods and drinks laid aside; respecting men's persons, and worshipping them with cap and knee avoided; truth and light within professed in words; meetings and assembling often frequented; the sound of truth as a lovely song, etc., yet if your heart is gone astray; if you feel not life to lead you; if you take not up the daily cross to your will, thoughts, affections, lusts, and passions, and by the same mortify them; you may be a mere formalist, and your observing and abiding in your form may become as abominable in the sight of the Lord now, as it was of old among his once peculiar people, the Jews, when he sent his prophet Isaiah to cry against them, though they kept and observed the multitude of offerings and sacrifices, feasts and fasts, new moons and sabbath days, solemn meetings and assemblings before the Lord, which was the very form of worship he once commanded; but the spirit of dead formality, having gotten into their hearts, corrupted them so that: he who sacrifices an ox, as if he slew a man; he who sacrifices a lamb, as if he cut off a dog's neck; he who offers a grain offering, as if he offered swine's blood; he who burns incense, as if he worshiped an idol. The reason of all this was not because these things were evil in themselves, but because the call of the Lord was not answered and because when he spoke they did not hear but did evil before his eyes and chose that in which he delighted not, yet observed and performed the outward part of worship, and sat before the Lord as his people, and loved and delighted to hear the words of the Lord by the mouth of his prophet, but not to do them. Read Isaiah 66:3,Ezekiel 33:30-32.

Now, dear friend, let this sore evil never come near your dwelling. In your holy form of godliness, which you have been led unto by the power, keep in the sense and feeling of the same. In your form of sound words, keep in the fear of God and tenderness of conscience, wherein you were at first constrained to speak them, even in the cross to self, which took great offence on account of that; yet in tenderness, love, and fear to God, against this will, and the pride and haughty spirit of this world, were you moved to speak them. Likewise your holy form, in not respecting men's persons, or having them in admiration because of advantage, nor honoring them in bowing with cap and knee, nor giving flattering titles to men, this the Spirit of the Lord led to in the beginning. Keep in the same and his presence and power will uphold you in the same and also lead you to honor all men in the Lord and to be subject to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake, and truly to honor your parents, and rise up before your elders, and give them double honor, and to be courteous and kindly affectionate unto all. This will the Spirit of the Lord lead you to, being the true nature of Christianity; as you walk and abide therein, you will be like your Heavenly Father.

And your form of plainness of apparel, and your avoiding of superfluity in food and drinks, etc., keep yourself with that Holy Spirit that led you there, and let not the sense of it depart from you; so shall you feel the power of it [the Holy Spirit] accompanying of you, and working in you to remove that root and ground from where all superfluity of naughtiness arose; and wholly mortify that spirit that delighted in these things.

And in your manner of attending meetings, always have your mind exercised in that love, life, virtue, and power of the Lord, by which he touched your heart, and which met with you in the beginning; so shall you enjoy more and more of his presence and increase in wisdom, life, and strength; and all the virtues of the Holy Spirit. Though you have received an unction from the Holy One, which is able to teach you all things necessary to your salvation; yet this will not lead you to forsake the assembling of yourself with the Lord's people, according to their customary manner, nor to forsake the flocks of the companions, nor the footsteps of them; but to travel on in the same, until you come to know where they lie down at noon, solacing themselves in the green pastures of life, and there to lie down with them, where none can make you afraid, and where no destroyer is, where the Spirit of dead formality has no place. Here your form of godliness will be accompanied with power, and this evil [dead formality] will never overtake you, as it has some in our age, who are convinced by the truth, and love its sound, yet come to our meetings and frequent our assemblies formally and customarily, even as too many people go to hear the common service [of the Church of England] or studied sermons; but do not receive the engrafted word, which is able to save their souls. So, though they hear many heavenly testimonies and exhortations, they do not receive and obey them, neither do they grow and increase in their inward man, from one degree of grace, knowledge and virtue to another.

The spirit of dead formality has also assumed the form of sound words, and plainness of apparel, and under this form and disguise has brought forth and effected much evil, deceived many, and laid a stumbling before others, and brought an evil report upon the truth, and those that live in it. And this evil spirit of deceit, hypocrisy, and formality, has produced more mischief against the truth, and the holy profession of it, manifest within, even under this form, than all open opposition and persecution could ever effect. This is now, and has been in former ages, the way and work of the spirit of deceit, when he cannot prevail by direct opposition and persecution, then will he get the words and profession of truth, and appear and work under the form thereof; and by the evil fruits he brings forth under this disguise, he occasions many, who are waiting for the consolation of Israel, and strictly observing the conversation of the children thereof, to lose their expectation, and to sit down and conclude, These people are but as others, and their way is but as other ways; and they fail in their profession of holiness, etc., as others do; we see evil among them, as among others, even under their very form. This has occasioned many to take up their rest in an unrestrained spirit, or to be ready to say, All men are liars, and religion a cheat. And some run into atheism itself. But greater woe and misery will be the portion of those who entertain and join with this spirit of deceit and hypocrisy, and thereby occasion many to stumble, go backwards, and fall, and speak evil of the way of truth, which is peaceable, pleasant, and pure, not only in itself, but also to all those that love, obey, and become children of it. But as for those that once knew the way of the Lord, and afterwards gave way to the spirit of evil, deceit, hypocrisy and formality; or that took up the form of godliness to deceive, as in former ages, so now; such are more abominable in the sight of the Lord, and more to be testified against than the very heathen or profane unbelievers. False brethren are most perilous, and hypocrites most odious in the sight of God and all good men; and the guilt of souls lies at their door, because of their ungodly practices and evil doings under the form, show, and profession of godliness; such, like unsavory salt, are good for nothing, but to be trod under foot of men, judged and condemned by God's witness within themselves, and without by others; and the gnawing worm takes hold of them, and the unquenchable fire is kindled in their bowels, and an down payment of eternal vengeance they receive, as a just recompense of reward, and like fallen angels, are reserved in chains to the judgment of the great day.

For my faith and belief is, that if all, who ever took up the form and profession of the truth, light, grace, and spiritual manifestation within of each, had stood firm in the same, and watched against, ruled over, and kept out the spirit of enmity, ungodliness, deceit, and dead formality; and by the heavenly gift and power, with which they were endued, had judged the serpent in all his appearances, formings and transformings, and walked uprightly in the same, the eye of the nation had been towards us; and Yes and No had been of great authority in this nation of England before this day; and truth in the inward parts, the law of the Spirit, the rule of life and manners within, honorable, and of high esteem in the hearts and minds of thousands, more than now it is. Offences have come, and may come; but woe to them by whom they come.

So my tender friend, who have not had your spiritual senses thoroughly exercised, nor are yet acquainted with all the wiles and devices of the enemy, for whose sake I chiefly write this Epistle; this one thing I would have you settle in your mind, and fully understand, that the spirit of Satan working under the form of godliness,* is what has been, is, and will be the greatest waster, destroyer, and opposer of the power of true godliness; therefore watch you against him in this appearance, not only in others, but in yourself, so will you frustrate his design, and be able to keep yourself, as some of old did, that the evil one touch you not.

* At the gate of dead formality, and under the form of godliness, the destroying spirit of apostasy entered in the primitive times, and soon eclipsed the light of the glorious gospel; and the old adversary effected that by turning professor of Christianity, which he could not bring to pass by bloody persecutions and open opposition.

W. Shewen.

THE END

 

APPENDIX

William Shewen's preface and introductory remarks have been moved here so the reader can start with the detailed comparisons of the true Christian with the titular Christian, and not lose interest before the main elements of the book are presented for his edification.

TO THE READER:

Friend,

You may know, that in this part of the world called Christendom, the name Christian is very famous, and that there are few therein but desire to be called by that name; and a high and great profession of Christianity abounds among the several sects therein, all coveting the name of Christian; but the Christian life, the nature of Christianity, the fruits and effects of the Holy Spirit are much lacking; and to-the-contrary much abounds where by an evil savor is sent forth to the nations round about, called heathens and infidels. For there is scarcely any sort of wickedness to be found upon the face of the whole earth, which is not done and committed in this part of the world, called Christendom, whereby the Jews and heathen, instead of being converted, are strengthened and confirmed in their infidelity, ignorance, blindness, and idolatry. For where this nominal or titular Christian has prevailed, (as among the Americans), he has sent forth such a stink and ill savor, by his abominable inhuman practices, that the name of Christ is blasphemed, and the Christian religion hated, by many that have heard the fame and report thereof.

Had the life of Christ, and the nature of Christianity, been known and lived in by all that profess the name, Christendom had been as a fruitful field, as a pleasant garden enclosed, as a vineyard walled about, full of trees of righteousness, and plants of God's own right-hand planting; and the tree of life would have flourished among them in the midst thereof; and the leaves of the same would have healed the nations round about; it would have been as a city set upon a hill, which cannot be hidden; and as a lamp that burns, being fed with sweet oil; as a glorious light that shines; and many would have fled unto it, as unto a city of refuge, and have walked in the light thereof, have seen and beheld their good works, and have glorified their Father which is in heaven; they would have lain down as a flock of harmless lambs together, solacing themselves in the green pastures of life and salvation, in the low valley, and atop of that holy mountain, where no destroyer is, nor none can make afraid; where the lion eats straw like the ox, and where the sucking child plays on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child puts his hand on the cockatrice's den, without hurt. The earth would have been full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea Isa 11:7-9; and this song would have been in Christendom, as in the land of Judah, We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks, Isa 26:1-2; the gates thereof would have been open to them, as a righteous nation that keeps the truth, that they might have entered in, and dwelt safely; this would have been the state of Christendom. But, alas! alas! quite-the-contrary appears. Instead of being as a fruitful field, as a pleasant garden enclosed, and as a vineyard planted and walled about, bearing fruit unto God, and flourishing with trees and plants of his own right-hand planting; it is like a desert, howling wilderness, full of briars and thorns, and hurtful weeds, whereby the good seed that was sown is choked, and the noble plant degenerated, and become the plant of a strange vine, which brings forth the sour grapes, which makes the wine of Sodom, which fills the whore's cup, whereby nations are made drunk.

And instead of being like a flock of harmless lambs, lying down together in love and unity, feeding in the green pastures of life and salvation, in the low valley, and atop of the Holy Mountain, where no destroyer is, they are like unto a herd of swine, that is possessed and runs violently into the sea, or that wallows in the mire; and like the wolf, bear, lion, asp, and cockatrice, which the little child has not power over; but their devouring and poisonous nature remains, which makes them prey one upon another, bite and devour one another, hate and murder one another, even under the profession and name of Christ and Christianity. So instead of being as a city whose walls are salvation and as the heavenly Jerusalem, they are like Sodom, Gomorrah, and Babylon . Instead of being like a lamp that burns, being fed with sweet oil, and a light that shines, they are like a lamp that is gone out, and a candle under a bed or bushel, which gives no light to others. Instead of the meekness, love, brotherly-kindness, gentleness, patience, long-suffering, forgiveness, innocence, goodness, harmlesness, righteousness, and heavenly-mindedness of Jesus, which he and his followers were and are endued withal, quite the contrary abounds; and yet a profession of Jesus in words is not lacking in these nations called Christendom; so that Isaiah's vision, sight, or prophecy, is fulfilled therein; the show of their countenance does witness against them, and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not. Woe unto their souls, for they have recompensed evil unto themselves; children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. Oh my people, they which lead you, cause you to err, and destroy the way of your paths, Isa 3:9,12.

In this day also this prophecy is fulfilled in Christendom, seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel, only let us be called by your name, to take away our reproach, Isa 4:1. These seven women are, or may fitly be compared to the perfect full number of all the titular Christians of all the many sects and opinions in Christendom, who profess the name of Christ, and call Christ their husband, but play the harlot with other lovers, eat their own bread, which is the forbidden fruit, and the old gathered manna, and wear their own apparel, which they have sewed together with their own hands, and formed by their own inventions, to cover their nakedness in transgression. But the Lord God, whom they have transgressed against, is come down to walk in his garden; and he finds it overgrown with weeds, thorns, briars, and thistles; but neither the weeds, trees, nor fig-tree leaves of profession, though sewed together, and made like a garment of modesty and righteousness, can hide from his all-seeing eye; the word Adam, Where are you ? is sounded forth, and he and all his works are found out, the hidden things of Esau are sought out, and the earth can no longer cover her slain; but the blood of righteous Abel cries, and the souls under the altar cry, "How long Lord, how long will it before you avenge yourself on them that dwell on the earth," and yet profess your name and your Son's name, and say, "Thus says the Lord"when they have not heard your voice, nor seen your shape, nor known your wondrous works in the deep, nor regarded the operation of your hand.

Because of these things the cry of the righteous has been unto the Lord in all ages, and is now in this age, even because of the hatred and bloodiness of Cain about religion and worship, and because of the envy of Esau about the blessing; and because the great whore, who sits upon the waters, and rides upon the beast, and calls herself the lamb's wife, and holds forth her golden cup, full of abominations, with which the nations, even those called Christendom, are made drunk, has so far prevailed.

And because the waters on which the whore sits, which are nations, tongues and people; and the beast on whom she rides, takes her golden cup for the cup of blessing and for the gold that is tried in the fire; and the wine of fornication, for the new wine of the kingdom.

And because this great whore is taken for the bride, the lamb's wife; the harlot for the spouse of Christ; the titular Christian for the true; finally, because light is called darkness, and darkness light; good evil, and evil good.*

* This made Jeremy wish his head were waters, and his eyes a fountain of tears, that he might weep day and might for the slain of the daughter of his people, Jer 9:1-2. This made Christ to weep over Jerusalem, and Paul to wish himself separate from Christ for his brethren's sake. This made the prophets, apostles and ministers, willing to spend and be spent, and to run to and fro, that knowledge might be increased, and people undeceived.

I say, because of these things the cry and breathing of the souls of the righteous are unto the Lord, that he would take away the veil that is spread over the hearts of all people by transgression, and open the blind eye, and unstop the deaf ear, that his glory may be seen, and his voice heard, and the two great mysteries of godliness and iniquity revealed.

And that people may come to look upon him whom they have pierced, and mourn over him, even him whom they have kissed with their lips, but betrayed in their hearts, and so come to that godly sorrow which leads to repentance, and a turning unto him, who redeems from all these things, and brings into favor with God again, and gives the right to eat of the tree of life, and to enter through the gate into the city, even the heavenly Jerusalem, which, that all may partake of and inherit, is the desire of the true Christian, who has received the gospel of peace and goodwill to all men; the which, that you may attain unto, take the counsel of one who was a child of wrath as well as others, and once lived in the nature of Cain and Esau, and was one of them on whom the whore sate, and was deceived by her golden cup, and drank of the wine of her fornication; and once took the whore for the lamb's wife, the harlot for the true woman, Babylon for Jerusalem, Antichrist for Christ, the titular Christian for the true; but now knows that the Son of God is come, and a good understanding given, where by he knows him that is true, and is in him that is true, and has received wisdom to trace the eagle in the air, and the serpent on the rock, and the adulterous woman, who eats the forbidden fruit, and wipes her mouth and says, she has done none evil; and is now acquainted with the wiles and mysterious workings of him, who is more subtle than all the beasts of the field; and is come to the rending of the veil, and the taking off the covering, and to the falling of the scales from his eyes, and to the revelation of the two great mysteries of godliness and iniquity; I say unto you, whosoever you are that reads these words, and knows not the same, turn your mind inward; commune with your own heart, and be still; stand in awe, and sin not; fear to offend that Holy Spirit which searches your heart; and love the reproofs thereof, for it is the way of life; and wait low in the same, until that eye be opened in you that can see God's salvation, that he has appointed unto the ends of the earth; then will you rejoice therein. Cease from man, whose breath is in his nostrils, and speaks the studied inventions of his own corrupt heart, and the traditions of his forefathers; and yet says, "Thus says the Lord, when he has not spoken unto him, nor heard his voice, nor seen his shape, but speaks the conceivings and divinations of his own brain, and the uncertain notions of his own spirit;* the listening and harkening to this, and following of this in the particular and in the general, is the universal ground and root from whence spring all the diversities of sects and erroneous opinions upon the face of the earth; and from this arises all the willing and running, self-righteous ness, will-worship, voluntary humility, and intrusion into things which are not seen in the vision of God, but being vainly puffed up in a fleshy mind. Now this you are to cease from in your own particular; for you were not created to follow your own thoughts, conceivings and imaginations, nor the motions of the flesh; nor enticements of the serpent; but another guide is appointed for you, which all that are ignorant of, go astray from their youth. Now, this guide is not far off, that you need say, Who shall ascend or descend, or ſo beyond the seas to fetch it; but it is near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may hear it, and obey it, and be guided by it.

* The root of all divisions, erroneous opinions, and sects.

And that you may know its voice, and teaching, and guidance from all other voices and teachings, I will in a few words set before you an infallible way, and show you certain marks and tokens thereof; for it is known by its work and operation.

First, If you are, (as all are before the new creation is known), without form and void, darkness being over the face of the deep; if you are as the waters, or one covered with darkness; yet the Spirit of God moves upon the waters, and is ready to work in you, and to form you into a comeliness; and the true light shines in you, though you are darkness, in order to show you the way out of it; and you may know this holy spirit that moves upon the waters, and the voice of it from your own Spirit, thoughts and imaginations, and from the voice of the serpent, because it always moves against every appearance of evil,* and calls out of it; shows you the very secret thoughts and intents of your heart, reproves and judges every vain thought and wicked imagination; and when you go before it, and walk in the paths of darkness, sin, and disobedience, you may hear it as a voice behind you, reproving you, saying, "This is the way, walk in it." This holy guide consents to no evil you do; but is given of God to lead you out of it, and to bring you to him that saves from it. This is the great ordinance of God, and the means of salvation, that he has appointed, which, if you slight and disregard, you will remain without form, void and empty of the heavenly treasures, and never be able to say in truth as the primitive Christians did, and the true Christians now can, namely, that God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, has shined in our hearts, to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ; and so you will continue ignorant of the new creation of God, and of the experiential work of regeneration. Profess what you will, and live under what other ordinances and means you will, and hear what other teachers you will, and follow what other guides you will; if you learn not of the grace of God within, which has appeared to you and all men, if you walk not in the light which shines within, and are not guided by the good Spirit of God, which was the saints guide in all ages, your profession is vain, and your religion a lie, and you deceive your own soul. In sin you live, and in sin you will die, and where Christ is, you cannot come. This is the experience of him who has tried the traditions of men, the teachings and inventions of men, books, and studied sermons, and carnal ordinances; and has found them not able to lead one step in the narrow way, or give perfect victory over one sin; neither is all the wisdom, understanding, prudence, and knowledge, among all the children of men, that are strangers to the new creation and work of regeneration, produced by the Spirit of God within themselves, able to direct or bring any so much as to the gate or entrance of true wisdom, life, and immortality; but rather obstructs [and fences up] the way, and leads more and more astray from it.

* An infallible mark of the holy spirit of God in the hearts of men, Jew and Gentile.

This is the wisdom and knowledge which the righteous in former ages testified against, which is of this world, fleshly and foolish, earthly and sensual; and whoever increases in it, increases in that which brings sorrow, for, as the fool, so dies the wise man; and whosoever sets himself up in this wisdom, as a teacher of the ignorant, and as a guide to the blind, though allowed by the universities, or general schools, he runs before he is sent, and does not profit the people at all; but is as the blind which leads the blind, and they both fall into the ditch together, out of which there is no redemption, but by the knowledge of the effectual working of the Holy Spirit in you, to open your eye, that you may see where you are, and beget a desire in you and a cry in you for deliverance, and minister strength unto you, and to pull your feet out of the mire and clay, and to set them upon a rock; and be as a light unto you to guide you in your way, that you stumble not again. All which I testify, he is ready and willing to do for you, and all that love his appearance; and those only love his appearance, that love the Spirit of truth in them, and believe in it, and receive it, which reproves them of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. And this is an infallible proof that people love this Spirit, believe in it, and receive it when they walk* in it, obey it, and bring forth the fruits of it, are led by it out of sin, and that righteousness and judgment, which it did reprove them of, while they lived therein; and are led by it into that holiness and everlasting righteousness, through true judgment, which is the white raiment, fine linen, and clothing of the true Christian, who is come to know the same Holy Spirit of truth, which once convinced, reproved, and judged him for sin and ungodliness, to make him free from it, and become his comforter and leader into all truth, according to the promise of Christ Jesus, John 16, the which to profess and enjoy, is the end, sum** and substance of the Christian Religion, and the end of all hearing, reading, preaching and believing. And that you may know whether you are a possessor hereof, or whether you only talk of it, and profess it, I in the bowels of love entreat and beseech you seriously to weigh, read, and consider what follows, as the faith and experience of a true Christian, which is written in true love and goodwill to all that have the veil over their hearts, and the scales before their eyes, when they are reading the Holy Scriptures, and professing God, Christ, and Christianity, and the doctrines thereof, which are but briefly hinted at or spoken to in few words, in what follows.

* A true proof that people love the spirit.

** The sum of Christian religion.

And whether you are a bare professor, or a real possessor, you may reap profit hereby; if the one, you are invited to inherit substance; if the other, you are exhorted and warned to beware, for fear that you lose your inheritance again. So to the light, grace, and Holy Spirit of God in you, be you professor or pro fame, I do commend you, with it to read, and with it to judge, and by it to be taught and guided into a good understanding, and into the true knowledge of the two great mysteries of godliness and iniquity.

And that you may truly understand and receive the one, and discover and avoid the other, is the desire of him who is a lover of the Christian religion, and of all that walk therein, and has good-will to all men.

 

W. SHOWEN.

Reader,

These following Scriptures, having a good esteem in my mind, as sayings worthy greatly to be noted and weightily considered; I have committed them to the press; wishing you enjoy the end therefore.

And this I will assure you, if you can understand, believe and receive these divine and heavenly sayings, precepts, exhortations, promises and testimonies, in these and other scriptures mentioned in this brief declaration of a true Christian's faith, etc., you will not stumble nor reject his testimony, etc., but embrace and have unity therewith. But if you don't understand, nor believe the one, neither will the other; for the true Christian bears testimony to the holy scriptures, and the scriptures to him; and the titular Christian's testimony is against them, and they are against him, because he does not obey them, nor live the life for which they call.

Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, are not darkened, nor do the clouds return after the rain. Ecc 12:1-2

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but try the spirits to see whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

Little Children, You are of God, and have overcome them; for, greater is he that is in you then he that is in the World,
1 John 4:1,4

Whoever runs ahead and does not remain in the teachings of Christ, does not have God. He who remains in the teachings of Christ, has both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this Doctrine, receive him not into your House, neither bid him God speed, 2 John 1:9-10.

For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God. For it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can it be. So then those who are in the flesh [living in their sinful nature] cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if any man does not have the Spirit of Christ [to rule a man as his king, doing His will], he is none of his. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is your life because of righteousness. Moreover, if the Spirit of him who raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised up Christ from the dead has also restored to life your mortal bodies by his Spirit who dwells in you. Rom 8:6- 11.

To the pure all things are pure; but to those that are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but their mind and conscience is defiled. They profess, that they know God, but by Works they deny him, and are abominable; and to every good work — [reprobate]. Tit 1:15-16.

If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you shall ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you. John 15:7

And [then] you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. Truly, Truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. John 8:32,34

Truly, truly, I say to you, If a man obeys my teachings [and commands], he shall never see death. John 8:51

Father, I will that they also, whom you have given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which you have given me. For you loved me before the foundation of the world. That the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them. John 17:24,26

The disciple is not above his master, but everyone who is perfect [purified, restored to the spiritual image of God, specifically authorized, and perfected] will be like his master. Luke 6:40

But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be the children of the Most High. For he is kind to the unthankful and evil. Therefore be merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Luke 6:35,36

You are my Friends, if you do whatever I command you. John 15:14

But the anointing that you have received from him abides in you, and you do not need any man to teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you all things and is truth, and is no lie; and even as it has taught you, abide in him. 1 John 2:27

Read the 8th Chapter to the Romans, and the Lord give you Understanding.

The word is near you, even in your mouth, and in your heart [so you may hear and obey it];" that is, the word of faith, which we preach. Rom 10:8

And by this we know that we know him: if we obey his commands. He who says, "I know him," and does not obey his commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever obeyss his spoken word [obeys the Lord's commands spoken to him], truly the love of God is perfected in him;1 by this we know that we are in him. He who says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way that He walked. 1 John 2:3-6, read to the end of the Chapter.

Little children, let no man deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous.
He who commits sin is of the devil, for the devil sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God is revealed [in us], that he might destroy [in us] the works [sin] of the devil.
Whoever is born of God does not commit sin, for his seed [Christ] remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
By this the children of God and the children of the devil are revealed [distinguished]: whoever does not live righteously is not of God, neither is he who does not love his brother.
We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brothers. He who does not love his brother abides in death.
1 John 3:2-10,14

No man has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwells in us, and his love is perfected in us. By this we know that we dwell in him and he in us: because he has given us his Spirit. And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. 1 John 4:12-14, read to the end of the Chapter.

I counsel you to buy from me gold refined and tried in the fire, so that you may be rich; and white garments, so that you may be clothed and the shame of your nakedness may not appear; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, so that you may see. As many as I love, I chastise [reprove, discipline]. Be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock. If any man hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him who overcomes, I will grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and have sat with my Father in his throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. Rev 3:18-22.

To him who overcomes I will give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone with a new name written on it, which no man knows except he who receives it. Rev 2:17

He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; 1 John 5:10

He who overcomes [conquers sin and the devil] shall inherit these things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. Rev 21:7

But the cowards, the unbelieving and faithless, the abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, magic art practitioners, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone; which is the second death. Rev 21:8

Thus I have here transcribed and set before you these scriptures before, being very divine and heavenly sayings, greatly worthy of your reading over and over again; and in that light and grace which shines and appears in your heart, and is able to remove the covering, and take away the veil from off the same; I desire you to weigh and consider them, and measure and try yourself thereby. Had I not the remembrance still upon my mind, how I often read those scriptures, and many the like, while my understanding was clouded, and the veil over my heart, and did not understand what I read, nor receive the comfort of them, nor witness the truth thereof in myself; I say, were it not for this remembrance, and the knowledge of the true light, that now shines out of darkness, I should admire and wonder how the titular Christian, who reads and professes the holy plain testimonies, precepts, exhortations, and glorious promises recorded in the holy scriptures, (and lived in, and born witness to by several true Christians now in this Age), should oppose and deny the fame, and understand nothing thereof.

Though he professes them to be rule he is so far from being ruled by himself that he hates and persecutes those that are, and that have received the good things to which they testify.

And were it not that the holy scriptures had a great esteem in the affections of the people of those nations called Christendom, and that they did bear so plain evidence to the truth of the doctrines taught, and heavenly estates now professed and enjoyed by the True Christian, he would be more hated, persecuted and cried out against then he is; so for this reason and several more, he has great cause to praise God, that the scriptures have been preserved, and the holy divine sayings and testimonies of the righteous delivered down to this age, so clear, true and plain as they are; for he alone enjoys the benefit, privilege and comfort of them, by the virtue and operation of the light, love and Spirit of God, which they testify of, working in his inward man; and except this be known, the scriptures and all heavenly things are as a sealed book to you, let your natural parts, wisdom and acquired attainments be never so great. Therefore your duty is above all things, to hearken to and obey the voice of God, and regard the inspiration of the Almighty, which gives understanding, that you may learn his heavenly precepts, and understand his divine mysteries, and enjoy his glorious promises, and be made wise unto salvation, and so inherit everlasting life, peace and glory, and know an entrance ministered into the joy of the Lord.

And at least an earnest of all these things are to know, be revealed, and felt and enjoyed within yourself, before go from earth, and be no more among men.

Therefore put not the day of the Lord far off, nor say in your heart, the Lord delays his coming; for he waits to show himself gracious unto you, and is come near unto judgment, and stands even at the door, and appears at the gate and entrance of your heart and his appearance may you infallibly know from all other appearances because it judges every appearance of evil; and not only so, but if you open the gate, and entertain him in your heart, he will furnish you with power and strength against it [evil], and fill your temple with his heavenly treasures of wisdom and glory. So shall you not only read and hear of good things, but understand, possess and enjoy them; and be able to obey this exhortation, "Abstain from every appearance of evil."

And this Saying, once spoken to Cain, the first-born, after transgression, universally concerns you and all mankind, and is sounded daily in their ears, If you do well, shall you not be accepted? But if you do evil, sin lies at your door, Gen 4:3, and affliction and distress upon every soul of man who does evil [sins] Rom 2:9, (let him profess whatever he will), .

Something by Way of Caution and Warning to the titular Christian, to whose Hand this following Treatise may come.

I have some sense upon my mind, that will upon your reading thereof, be ready to censure and judge those things understood not, nor have had any experience of; and also, to deride and mock at the frequent testimonies and exhortations to the light within, grace within, spirit within, power of God within, Word of God within, law within, etc., consider what does, and against what, and whom opens your mouth, and dread the living God, whom in words only professed to be a spirit, infinite, omnipresent and Almighty, which Spirit searches your heart, and judges your ways, though at present you are ignorant and unbelieving concerning him, and his being so near you. And also consider within yourself, how that if you do not know light shining within, and a walking in it, you are no child of it, but darkness abounds in you, and you know not where you go, nor at what you stumble. If grace you don't know to rule and reign within you, sin rules, and death, the wages thereof is present with you. If the spirit of God you do not know to be teaching and ruling in your heart, and sitting upon the throne thereof, the spirit of satan, devil, and antichrist rules there and teaches there, and you are a poor captive and bond slave thereof, profess you what will. And if the power of God you don't know working within yourself, and operating in your heart, not only to shake, pull down, and remove that which can be shaken and removed, but also to bring in that which cannot be shaken nor removed, namely everlasting righteousness; I say, if you don't know the power of the enemy of God (and your Soul) works in you, and prevails over you, by working in your imaginations, sill and affections, mind and members, what is evil, either in your sinning or self righteousness, which are both abomination to the Lord. So if you know not the Word of God within you, in your mouth and in your heart, (with the virtues and properties thereof, as a hammer, as a fire, quick and powerful, sharper than a two-edged Sword); and you hear and obey the Voice thereof; I say, if this Word is not known within, you are not made clean nor sanctified by it; but those things stand in you, against which it is as a hammer, fire, sword, sharp and powerful; and the word and commands of the old serpent, that betrayer, sounds loud in your ears, and pierces deep into your heart, and are carried away with the wind thereof, and enter into his temptations daily, and know not power against them; so you cannot say, as David once did, I have retained your word [spoken commands] in my heart, that I might not sin against you; (Psa 119:11) neither have you received with meekness the engrafted Word, which is able to save; but you are of those whom Christ spoke to, you have not his word (speaking of his Father) abiding in you. (John 5:35)

And if you don't know the law of the spirit of life within you, written in your inward parts, you are a stranger to the new covenant , (Jer 31:33) , the law of sin and death has power over you, and the law that is in your members leads you captive there, and the carnal mind which is enmity against God, and cannot be subject to his law, reigns in you; and though you professed the law of God with your tongue, you do not love it nor delight in it within your Heart, neither is it better in your esteem than thousands in gold and silver.

So, in short, if are not partaker and possessor of the heavenly treasures in your earthen vessel, are weighed with earthly treasures and vanities; if you know not your body to be the temple of the living God, and your heart to be his throne, then [your body] is it as a cage for unclean birds, and as a habitation for wild beasts, and as a nest for venomous creeping things; and the Prince of Darkness sits upon the throne of your heart, and rules there, let your opinion and talk of Religion be what it wills.

Now, be warned and advised, to watch against that spirit in yourself, which moves you to sleight, deride and mock at the appearance and manifestation of the light, grace, spirit, power, word and law of God within [a man].

And learn to cease also from those teachers without, which have caused you to err, who hate the light within, and despise the shining of it, and give it despicable names as, Ignis Fatuus, uncertain or false fire, natural light; and the checks and reproofs of it, but the checks of a natural conscience; and despises the grace that appears to all men, and call it common, and not saving grace; and sleight and reject the power and spirit of God within, which moves and works against all evil, and to all good, not allowing it to be the principal rule and guide of a Christian; and also endeavor to demolish and raze out the word and law of God within, under pretence of directing you to a more sure word and law without, namely the holy scriptures, which contain several words, precepts and commandments, namely spoken by holy men, to whom the Word of the Lord came, (which was before the Words were), and by this Word and Spirit that came to them, and was in them, were they moved to speak them, and that is greater than the words; and until you know a measure of the same Word and Spirit within yourself, you can neither truly understand nor obey the words, and holy precepts, and exhortations that proceeded from it, that indeed being the original cause, root and ground from whence all the good words and good works that ever sprang up in the heart of mankind, proceeded. Such teachers have run, but God has not sent them, so people are not profited, but spoiled by them [the false teachers without]; they shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; they neither enter themselves, nor suffer those that would; and under the name of ministers of Christ, are direct ministers of satan; from such turn away, and learn of the grace of God, which teaches to deny ungodliness, etc. and love the light, and bring your deeds to it, and walk in it; so shall you become a child of it, and have right to inherit the precious promises, and possess and enjoy the glorious privileges, which have till now only professed, heard and read of in the holy Scriptures; so you will come to inherit substance, and soon be wiser then your former teachers; and of a titular Christian will become a Christian indeed, an Israelite indeed, a Jew inward indeed, whose praise is of God, and not of men.

W. S.