All you that are believers in the light of Christ, which manifesteth darkness, ye are kept by the power of God unto the day of salvation [1 Pet 1:5]. So, though your salvation is not yet completed, yet you have your keeper, the power of God, which neither slumbers nor sleeps [Psa 121:4; cf Mat 25:5], and it will keep you unto that day. For those virgins, in the parable [Mat 25:1-10], they had their keeper, by which they were preserved in their virginity, which they were never accused of losing; for it is said, that ‘the cry was at midnight [Mat 25:6];’ that is, the mid-time of darkness; for darkness is called night [Gen 1:5], and the voice of the bridegroom was at midnight, ‘Arise.’ Now they that had no oil in their lamps did not enter with the bridegroom, but they that had oil did. Now that which doth keep is the power of God, and preserves pure unto him in the virginity, from that which would defile the virgin mind, and the virgin soul and spirit. For it is all from the same man of sin that defiles the mind, and the spirit, that leads them out to defile their bodies, and corrupt them; therefore all are to mind their keeper, the power of God, which was before the devil, the man of sin [2 Th 2:3], was; by which power of God they have oil in their lamps, through which their lamps may be always burning in their temple [Lev 24:2,4], and such come to be the temple of God; for they that defile the temple, defile their souls and bodies [1 Cor 3:16f], they let in the defiler and destroyer, and so their lamps go out, and they go from God and his power, the keeper, and such God will destroy. And so many as are kept by the power of the Lord unto the day of salvation [2 Cor 6:2], though the day of salvation <6> is not yet completed, yet in the day of salvation the people of God are a willing people, even in this day of his power [Psa 110:3]. And so they are to abide with their keeper, which is the power of God; for while they be in the night, and not in the day of salvation, nor day of power, though they may be in the wilderness of temptations [Psa 95:8?] and trouble, yet may feel the power, the keeper, to lead through all these things, out of Egypt, through the Red Sea, through the wilderness, through Jordan, the river of Judgment, and over the Canaanites; and therefore every one's faith is to stand in the power of God [1 Cor 2:5], and believe in the power of God, that will bring to the day of God's power, and to the day of his salvation. For the outward Jew did not enter, because of unbelief; and so this great foul man of sin hath defiled all mankind outwardly and inwardly. And therefore all to have their faith to stand in the power of God, their keeper; for the defilement is in the night, by the power of darkness, and through it. Therefore let thy faith stand in the power of God, thy keeper [1 Pet 1:5], which will keep body, and soul, and spirit clean and blameless to the day of redemption [Eph 4:30], and day of salvation [2 Cor 6:2]; and by the power of God such will have a dominion over the foul man of sin [2 Th 2:3], the devil; for it is he in people that leads and tempts to outward defilement of their body, and so to lose their virginity; and it is he that draws their minds from God and Christ, and from God's ways, and his worship, and his truth, and his spirit, and his grace, and his faith that he works in people. Therefore if thy faith stand in the power of God, all by it is preserved in this, body, soul, and spirit, in purity and a hidden mind, soul, and spirit, secret to the Lord, who is a spirit [John 4:24]; and they are preserved by his power, their keeper. For, as is the saying of some of the world, that are the most modest, that they will keep their outward virginity to the day of their death, or of their marriage, but such as before that have no esteem of their bodies, no more than unruly beasts, give up their bodies to uncleanness, and themselves to work wickedness, and so forsake their keeper, the power of God, which should keep both inwardly and outwardly. And so all the inward virgin minds, and souls, and spirits, that are hidden to the Lord, they will die before they will lose their inward virginity, but will keep it to the marriage of the Lamb [Rev 19:7], as the wise virgins did; by which power they are preserved over the man of sin, whom Christ their husband bruises the head of [Gen 3:15], and destroys him and his works. [Heb 2:14/1 Jn 3:8] For Christ was before the man of sin was, (the devil, or his works either,) who was glorified with the Father before the world began [John 17:5]; and therefore all such virgins as are come to Christ, and are married to him, Christ your husband [2 Cor 11:2], he will deal with the foul man of sin, and bruise his head, and break his power and strength to pieces, and will take him and cast him into everlasting fire [Mat 25:41]. And therefore keep your faith in the <7> power of God, which will bring you to the marriage of the lamb [Rev 19:7]; by which power of God, which was before the devil was, you may have oil in your lamps, that your lamps may burn always [Lev 24:2,4]; by which power of God you may come to the day of God's power, and all to be a willing people [Psa 110:3], to serve God, and walk in truth [3 Jn 1:3f], and to obey him; and so by the same power of God, which is your keeper [1 Pet 1:5], you may come to the day of salvation; you may have the song of salvation, and joy of salvation [Psa 51:12], and comfort of salvation, and the possession of salvation, and be heirs of the same [Heb 1:14]. And so here you have your keeper, to wit, the power of God. And Peter's words answer to this, ‘You have a light which you do well to take heed unto, that shines in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts [2 Pet 1:19];’ signifying it is sufficient, which you must take heed to, it will lead you to the day dawning, the light that shines in the dark place of your hearts, in the dark place of your minds. Now you do well to take heed to this light, for it leads you to the day star, and day dawning. ‘Out of Egypt have I called my son [Hos 11:1],’ saith the Lord; and Israel was called God's son, who was called out of the house of darkness and bondage [Exo 13:3]; they had light in Goshen [Exo 9:26], when the children of Egypt were in darkness [Exo 10:21f], and could not see one another. For now the children of light have light, and can see one another; the children of Egypt, Sodom, and Babylon cannot see one another. And so, they do well that take heed to the light, but they do ill that do not take heed to the light, for they walk in darkness, and know not whither they go [John 12:35], and stumble at noon day [Isa 59:10], the highest time of light; for this light leads to the day dawning, and day star arising in their hearts, which is a sure word of prophecy 2 Pet 1:19]. A prophet is a seer, and so with the light he will see, that which doth make manifest is light [Eph 5:13]; by it you shall see the day dawning, and the day star arising, and when that ariseth, the sons of God sing together, because of the joyful day; and the saints sing [Psa 30:4], who have long been in the brambly, briary wilderness, and in the house of bondage [Exo 13:3], of darkness and trouble, and of sorrow and misery. Therefore, there is joy when the day star appeareth and the day dawn; there is great cause of joy for all the sons of God, when the day star appears, and for them to sing together; for long nights of trouble and travel have they been in. ‘The path of the just is a shining light,’ the path of the unjust is darkness. So there are but two paths. Now the unjust cannot abide to hear talk of the light, but call it natural, and created and made, or conscience, they do not know what to call it, whose darkness cannot comprehend the light, though it shines in the darkness [John 1:5]; and so, the path of the just being ‘a shining light, which shines more and more unto the perfect day [Prov 4:18];’ signifying that the day is come, that the just hath his path, and his path is a shining light; and so increaseth, shineth more and more unto the perfect day. Now <8> the unjust being in darkness, they hate the light, and love darkness rather than light; the just man's path, the light, because their deeds are evil; for the light will reprove them [John 3:19f]. So the just man's path is sufficient, a shining light: for it shines more and more, it increaseth, it it is sufficient, and brings to the perfect day. Now the unjust, whose path is darkness [Prov 4:19], say, ‘It is not sufficient,’ but such cannot abide the light, cannot abide the just man's path, nor the just neither, but hate both, and speak against him and his path, with his darkness, that cannot comprehend the light, though light shines in his darkness; and therefore if he cannot comprehend the light with his darkness, (how can he comprehend the prophets', and apostles', and Christ's words?) but calls light darkness, and darkness light [Isa 5:20], and calls it natural, or created, or made, or conscience; and so this comes to be fulfilled on them, as John said, who with their darkness could not comprehend the light, yet they would be talking of the saints' words, law and prophets, with their darkness, which could not comprehend the light. They would call light, darkness, saith Christ, ‘If that light that is in you be darkness, how great is that darkness? [Mat 6:23]’ You neither know the scriptures nor the power of God [Mat 22:29]. How should they know the scriptures or the power of God either, whose darkness does not comprehend the light? A dark man, is a blind man. A blind man hath not true judgment. Therefore how should they call it otherwise, but a natural light, a created or made light? So the Pharisees believed that Christ was to come, and preached him to come; as the Protestants and Papists preach him, that he is come and to come; and can tell by scripture where he was crucified, as the Jews could tell by scripture where he was to be born. But they were all against Christ, the light. When he came, they said, ‘Christ had a devil [John 7:20].’ The Pharisees said of him, who was light, that he was the prince of devils [Mat 9:34]; who was the light, and the truth, and the life; and that he was the carpenter's son [Mat 13:55]. So without the light they could not see him, nor his works, with their darkness; neither can they now, neither can they know the scriptures nor the power of God, whose darkness cannot comprehend the light [John 1:5]. And John was a man sent from God [John 1:6], the greatest prophet born of a woman, who came for a witness, to bear witness of the true light [John 1:8], which lighteth every man that cometh into the world [John 1:9], that all through him might believe [John 1:8]; and it is said, in Christ was light; and this light was the life of men [John 1:4]. And so the life that is in Christ, is the light of men. So this is a heavenly light, a divine light, a spiritual light, a saving light; which is the life of Christ, which is the light of men; though the professors in Christ's time, and these times, Papists and Protestants, with their darkness, cannot comprehend the light, so not the life; so no true preachers of Christ without the light and life. John said, he was not the light, but was sent to bear witness of the light [John 1:7]. That he was not worthy to unloose <9> the latchet of Christ's shoes [John 1:27]. And yet John, who had seen Christ, the lamb of God, that taketh away the sins of the world [John 1:29], pointed his disciples to him, and showed them Christ; and they forsook him and went to Christ [John 1:35-37]. For John came for a witness, to bear witness of him who was the true light; and that he that was to came after him, was preferred before him, for he was before him [John 1:30]. Yet when John was cast into prison, he questioned whether Christ was he, or whether he should look for another; and sends to Christ. And Christ answers his messengers, and saith unto them, the blind receive their sight, and the poor receive the gospel, &c [Mat 11:1-6, Luke 7:19-23]. And as for these Papists, and Protestants, and Jews, they question whether Christ, the light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world, be the spiritual, divine, saving, and heavenly light. And further, mark Christ's own words. John xii. 46. He saith, ‘he is the light of the world [John 8:12, 12:46], that teacheth you how to believe;’ to wit, all his disciples, as Christ hath taught them, who saith, believe in the light [John 12:36]. Now, believing in the light, you believe in that which doth make manifest all things; for that which doth make manifest is the light [Eph 5:13]; and therefore to believe in the light, is to believe in that which doth make manifest Christ to be their way, their teacher, priest, mediator, interceder, saviour, and redeemer. . . . Which is plain, that they are no true believers that do not believe in the light, neither Jews, nor those that have got the name of christians; for believing in the light, they become children of the light [John 12:36]. And so it is plain, they are no children of light but who believe in the light, nor children of the day [1 Th 5:5]. For children of darkness may profess scriptures, the devil may bring scriptures, and Protestant, and Turk, and Papist, and Jew may bring scriptures, with a dark spirit, and hold them in the unrighteousness; but there is no true believer in God, nor in Christ Jesus, but who believes in the light, which the scripture testifies of; showing there is no salvation, redemption, justification, sanctification, but to them who believe in the light, that manifesteth all things, <10> nor seeing Christ, who died, and is risen for them. And therefore the heavenly man, the second Adam, the Lord Jesus Christ [1 Cor 15:47], teacheth how to believe, and saith, ‘believe in the light, while you have it [John 12:36];’ and this light will manifest him to be their way, their truth, and life [John 14:6]; which light comes from him who enlighteneth every man that cometh into the world [John 1:9], that all through the light might believe [John 1:7]. . . . So Christ the light teacheth his people to believe in that which manifests all things; and they that believe in the light have the witness in themselves of Christ, in whom they do believe, they have the witness in themselves, that he is their redeemer, and saviour, and their way, their truth, and their life; for with the light they see him, they believing in the light that doth make manifest; and after they believe in the light, become children of the light; they witness themselves, that they are sealed, for their belief in the light stands in Christ the light, who hath bought and purchased them; and after that they are sealed by the spirit of promise [Eph 1:13], having God's mark or stamp set upon them [Rev 14:1?], they can set to their seal, that God is true in all his promises, in all his prophets concerning Christ Jesus, who taught them to believe in the light. With the light they see, and come to know the ‘three that bear record in heaven [1 Jn 5:7],’ and the ‘three that bear record on earth, the spirit, the water, and the blood 1 Jn 5:8].’ First, the spirit that beareth witness in the earth, which mortifies them [Rom 8:13], which circumcises them [Rom 2:29], which leads them into all truth [John 16:13]; in which spirit is their fellowship, and a bond of peace [Eph 4:3], that keeps down that which troubles them; by which spirit the believers are baptized into one body [1 Cor 12:13], brought out of the many bodies; and so by the spirit they are brought to the one head, which is Christ Jesus, (though there are many heads in the world,) by which spirit they are sanctified [1 Cor 6:11], by which spirit they are instructed [Neh 9:20], by which spirit they worship God [John 4:24], by which spirit they are covered [Isa 30:1?], by which spirit they pray, and by which spirit they sing praises to God [1 Cor 14:15] who is a spirit, by which spirit they have an <11> understanding, the spirit of wisdom and knowledge [Isa 11:2], which is to know God, and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent [John 17:3], which is life eternal. 2dly. They come to know the water, which is a witness in the earth; by which water they are washed, their minds, their souls, their spirits, and in their bodies, with this pure water [Heb 10:22]. And this is a witness in the earth with the light; they that believe in it, it manifesteth these two witnesses in the earth, and with the light they see the pope's counterfeit holy water, which he hath set up since the apostles' days, who with the light bear witness against it, not to be God's witness, nor God's setting up. And so the children of the light, that believe in the light, their bodies, their souls, their spirits, and their minds are washed clean in this pure, clean, holy water, that comes from above, from the pure holy God, which is one of these witnesses in the earth. The third witness is his blood, with which the hearts of people are sprinkled, and their consciences are sprinkled with the blood of Jesus. As Moses sprinkled the outside of the posts, &c. with the blood of bulls and goats; which blood of bulls and goats, Christ's blood ends [Heb 9:13f], which sprinkles the heart and conscience of people [Heb 10:22]. So this blood of Jesus Christ, the heavenly man, is felt in the hearts and consciences of people; by which blood they are sanctified [Heb 13:12], they are cleansed from all their dead works, to serve the living God [Heb 9:14], and to serve their dead works no longer. So by this blood they are cleased from all sin [1 Jn 1:7]. They that walk in the light, and believe in the light, they are children of the light, and children of the day [1 Th 5:5]; and the blood of Jesus Christ, the son of God, cleanseth them from all sin; and their garments are made white in the blood of the Lamb [Rhev 7:14]; by which they come to testify of Jesus, they overcome the beast, the whore, the false church [Rev 17:3-5]. And so every true believer, believes as Christ hath taught them, to believe in the light, that so they may become children of the light [John 12:36]. They have these three witnesses that bear witness in the earth, to bear witness in themselves [1 Jn 5:10]; and they can set to their seal, that God is true [John 3:33] in all his works, in prophets and apostles, and his son; and they shall come to know, and do come to know, the three that bear record in heaven, and the three that bear record in the earth.
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And all ye believers in the heavenly light [John 12:36], as Christ hath taught, you seek that which is lost and driven away [Ezek 34:16]; but the false prophets, false ministers, and teachers [2 Pet 2:1], they did not seek that which was lost, and driven away from God; they put no difference between the precious and the vile [Jer 15:19], but mash all together, like the priests and prophets of our times. . .. <12> . . . Therefore seek that which is lost, ye that believe in the light, by which you see, then you are distinguished from the false prophets and teachers [2 Pet 2:1], and by the light you put a difference between the precious and the vile; for Jacob was found in a desert land [Deut 32:9f], and you see all the prophets, how they sought that which was lost, and the apostles, and how Christ encouraged to seek that which was lost. And when the lost sheep was found, what joy there was, more than of the ninety and nine [Mat 18:12f]. And who are they that make the land desolate, but the rough Esaus, and wild Ishmaels [Gen 16:12], and Cores? And who makes the world as a wilderness [Isa 14:17] but the devil? and who brings the whole world to lie in wickedness [1 Jn 5:19], but the devil, that wicked one? And if you should not find that which is lost and driven away, at the first, nor second, nor third time of seeking, if you should not find him that is lost, go again, that you may have your joy, and rejoice others; for Christ in the parable saith, ‘the prodigal son was lost, yea, was dead, and is alive again [Luke 15:24];’ when he had been feeding among swine, and upon husks, and could never fill his belly [Luke 15:16]. When any such come back again, they will tell you how hungry they were, they could never fill their bellies among the husks, while they went astray, and tell you long declarations of the citizen that they were joined to [Luke 15:15]: and therefore when the lost is found, and brought back again to the Father's house, where there is bread enough, there is joy, and the heavenly instruments of music, and the heavenly feast of the heavenly fat things [Isa 25:6], and the heavenly robes of righteousness [Isa 61:10] are enjoyed. And so all be diligent, ye believers in the light, as Christ hath taught you; look up and down, in the light you will see where the lost sheep are, and such as have been driven away, you will spy them out, out of the woods, or brambles, or pits, where there is no water [Zech 9:11], where they are ready to be famished, where they are tied with thorns and briars; and so with the light you will see, and put a difference between the precious and the vile. For ‘whatsoever makes manifest is light [Eph 5:13];’ for by that you see, and you will see with it, how the false prophets, and ministers, and teachers drive people away; they drive them away from God, and his way, from Christ, and the covenant of light [Isa 42:6]. How angry they are with them that believe in it! With their clubs, how have they beaten many, and wounded many, and imprisoned many, because they would not be driven by them into the devil's pit-fold, or prison! But do you never give over seeking, for the light shines over all, which believe in, and walk in the path of the just, which is as a shining light [Prov 4:18]; for it hath been the work of all <13> the false teachers and ministers to drive away from God, and his truth, and light, and those have been the devil's servants, and the wages he gives them is death [Rom 6:23]. This hath been the way of all true ministers, ‘to seek that which was lost, and that which was driven away [Ezek 34:16];’ as you may see Christ and the apostles, and all the true prophets did, and to bring them to feed in the pastures of life, and gently to lead them, whose wages is life; and he gives them their heavenly penny [Mat 20:9] of life eternal.
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Friends,—All ye that believe in the light [John 12:36], as Christ hath commanded, that are become children of the light, and of the day [1 Th 5:5], and of the promise [Gal 4:28], and do minister therein, do not judge one another in public meetings, you that do minister, as you have received the grace, and have the word of the Lord God committed to you, that minister abroad [2 Cor 5:18f], or go abroad in cities, towns, countries, or nations, do not judge one another, nor reflect one upon another in public meetings; for that hurts the hearers, and you do more hurt than you do good, and that makes confusion. If you have any thing to say, have patience, let that gift be exercised, and speak to one another by yourselves alone [Mat 18:15]; for that was the way before any thing was spoken against any of the church, and that will show the spirit of order and government, and the spirit of love, and of patience and humility. And keep down passion, and that part in yourselves that cannot bear all things, nor endure all things, whereby the love comes up that will endure all things, and bear all things [1 Cor 13:7], which edifies the body [Eph 4:16], and by which the body is edified; for ‘the spirit of the prophets is subject to the prophets [1 Cor 14:32].’ This shows the true spirit, for that which cannot bear all things, many times, is forward in judging, that cannot bear all things, nor endure all things, and so goeth out of the true love and edification; which breeds confusion and distraction, and destroys more than ever it will beget to God. And also goes out of the church order, ‘first speak to him alone;’ for by that he may win his brother [Mat 18:15]. Speaking publicly makes strife, some owning and some disowning, and that spirit must be shut out by the true spirit, that keeps order, and unity, and fellowship, and the true love which edifies the body. And so all who feel the power stirring in them to minister, when they have done, let them live in the power, and in the truth, and in the grace, that keeps in the seasoned words [Col 4:6], and that keeps in a stablished and seasoned life: and so all may minister as they have received the grace; so every one is a steward of the grace of God [1 Pet 4:10], if he do not turn the grace of God into wantonness [Heb 12:15f?]; and so to minister in that love, and grace, and power, that keeps all things in <14> subjection and order, and in unity in the life and in the power, and light, by which you may see that of God in every man, and answer to that which God hath showed unto people: for the true labourers in the vineyard do answer that of God, the true ministers bring people to that which is to instruct them, viz. the spirit of God [Neh 9:20], and so are ministers of the spirit [2 Cor 3:6], and ministers of the grace [Eph 4:29]; they answer the spirit, and the grace, and truth in all, in which all that do minister have unity, and through which they have fellowship with God and Christ.
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Friends,—Did not God provide for man and woman before he made them? Did he not make all things in six days? And the sixth day he made man in the image of God [Gen 1:27], in righteousness and holiness [Eph 4:24]. And therefore Christ, who is the son of God, who comes to restore man up again into the image of God, and leads man up into his image in righteousness and holiness, as he was in before he fell: doth he not reprove such as take thought, and told them of their little faith [Mat 6:30], and that they could not add one cubit to the stature [Mat 6:27] that God had made; and it was the practice of the heathens and of the Gentiles to take thought [Mat 6:32]? So it is clear, before God made man, he took care for him; but after man was fallen from the image of God, and his righteousness, he took care and toiled, though he cannot add one cubit to his stature in the Lord's work. For thou mayst sow thy seed in the ground or garden, thou mayst have much cattle, and other things, but yet there is no increase but by the Lord [1 Cor 3:7], neither of thy seed, nor of thy cattle; for is not the earth the Lord's and the fulness thereof [Psa 24:1]? Mark! and doth he not give the increase, who upholds all things by his word and power [Heb 1:3], who is the Creator of all, and provided for man before he made him, and set him in dominion over all the works of his hands [Psa 8:6]; which dominion man lost. Man lost righteousness and holiness, in his disobeying the command of God, which Christ comes to restore man to, and sets man above all again, as he was in the beginning, and up to his own state beyond Adam before he fell, to him that never fell [1 Pet 2:22]. And so all that believe in the light [John 12:36], as Christ commanded, in the light they see they cannot add one cubit to the stature, and so they come to grow in the faith, in Christ and in God. And so herein hath the Lord the praise of his works; and all things praise him, who hath created them all to his honour, and to his glory, and to his praise; and man to glorify him in righteousness and holiness, in the image of God and of Christ Jesus, above all other creatures in the covenant of God, in the covenant of light and life in Christ Jesus, him by whom the world was made; by him they praise and please God, and in their pleasing God, they honour God and Christ.
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[CCLXIX. (269) — Concerning the single language.]
All that are gathered in the name of Jesus [Mat 18:20], and are made alive by him and quickened by him, come to the flock of Christ; and know where they feed at noon-day [Song 1:7], they are gathered into the name of Jesus Christ, whose name is above every name; and know that there is no salvation under the whole heaven, but in the name of Jesus [Acts 4:12], in the testimony that they have of Jesus, which is the spirit [Rev 19:10], by which they see Jesus, and see his pastures of life, see his springs of life, and his rivers of life, and his bread of life [John 6:35]; and see the footsteps of the flock [Song 1:8[, the testimony of Jesus, the spirit, by which they see him and his flock; and they see the barren mountains they have been upon and come off from. And therefore all you that be gathered into the name of Jesus, and walk in the path of the just [Prov 4:18], where the footsteps of the flock are, quench not the spirit [1 Th 5:19] in any, and if any will not have of your bread of life, and water of life [Rev 21:6], let them fast, that will neither receive, nor give; for the bread of life and water of life, are not only given to feed yourselves, but by them you may feed others, and refresh others: therefore have bread in your houses, and water in your own well [Prov 5:15], and fruit of your own tree, and salt in yourselves, to savour withal [Mark 9:50], that you may try all things [1 Th 5:21]; and have oil in your own lamps, [Mat 25:1-10] that they may burn in your own temple; and odour and frankincense, that it may burn continually upon your own altar [Lev 24:2,4], that it may ascend as a sweet savour, holy and pure [Exo 30:35], up to God who is holy and pure. Be not removed off your ground, wherein you may grow and increase. And so quench not the spirit, despise not prophecy [1 Th 5:20], hate not the light, [John 3:20] but improve your talent; hide it not but improve it [Mat 25:14-30]. Mind the kingdom within [Luke 17:21], and the heavenly penny [Mat 20:9], and the spirit of God, which is given to instruct you [Neh 9:20]; and <16> walk according to the rule of the spirit of God [Gal 6:16/5:25], that he hath given to you to profit withal [1 Cor 12:7]; and mind the truth in the inward parts [Psa 51:6]; so that you may be adorned and arrayed with a meek and a quiet spirit [1 Pet 3:4]. For the light that shines in your hearts will give you the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ [2 Cor 4:6], that you may know the heavenly treasure in your earthly vessels [2 Cor 4:7], and the day star to arise, the day to dawn in your own hearts [2 Pet 1:19], that you may become temples of Christ; he to dwell with you, and walk with you, and sup with you [Rev 3:20]; and the blood of Christ to sprinkle your hearts from dead works, and your consciences also [Heb 9:14], that you may serve the living God [Heb 10:2].
So know the true faith to purify your hearts [Acts 15:9], which Christ is the author and finisher of [Heb 12:2]; and the true hope, to purify you. And so, be true believers in the light, as Christ commands, and become children of the light [John 12:36]; for he that believes, hath the witness in himself [1 Jn 5:10]. And know the true word in your hearts and mouths; which is the word of faith the apostle preached [Rom 10:8], which distinguishes your good thoughts from bad, and your good words from bad; which word is in your hearts to obey and do. Which is as a hammer [Jer 23:29] to hammer down sin and evil, and as a sword [Heb 4:12] to cut it down, and as a fire [Jer 23:29] to burn it up. So that by that word you may be sanctified [John 17:17], by that word you may have salvation, by that word you may be reconciled to God [2 Cor 5:19]; by which all things are upheld, by his word and power [Heb 1:3]; by this word you may be born again of the immortal seed, that lives and abides for ever [1 Pet 1:23]. And so from this word you may have your milk [1 Pet 2:2]; for this is the ingrafted word, that is able to save the soul [Jas 1:21], and raise the soul, that is immortal, up unto the immortal God. And by this word you will see over all the deceivers of your souls; which word was before they were. And by this word you will understand the scriptures of truth [Dan 10:21], that cannot be broken [John 10:35]. And by this word you will come to judge all those that are got into the imaginations concerning the scriptures, and that set them up in the room of God and Christ, in their dark imaginations [Rom 1:21], who in their darkness cannot comprehend the light [John 1:5]. And by this word you will have riches; out of this word is poverty. And by this word you will come to know life and salvation; for in the beginning was the word, and the word was with God [John 1:1]; and Christ's name is called the word of God [Rev 19:13]; and the scriptures are the words which are to be fulfilled. So all be diligent in the truth, that you may be fruitful in the word of God, that it may have its passage through you all.
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Those that are gone from the light, from the spirit and power of God, and so from the unity, by the light, and by the spirit, and by the power <17> are judged; and the power, and light, and spirit are over them. And they being gone into their own wills, and into a perverse spirit [Isa 19:14], then they say, they will not be subject to men's will, nor to the will of man; and that spirit leads them out of the bonds of humanity. When they are thus gone from the light, and the power and spirit of God, they go out of all true forms, into confusion and emptiness, without form; then they say, they will not be subject to forms, and cry down all forms with their darkness and a perverse spirit, and so mash all together.
For there is a form of godliness [2 Tim 3:5], and there is a form of sound words [2 Tim 1:13]; many have a form. All creatures have a form, the earth hath a form, and all things were brought into a form by the power of God; for the earth was once without form, and was void [Gen 1:2], and empty and confused.
So they that be gone out of the covenant of God and life, and out of the power of God, are gone into a confused condition without form, a state which is out of the bond of civil men and women. And so such are confused without the right form; for the form that God hath made, viz. the form of the earth, the form of the creatures, the form of men and women, the form of sound words, the form of godliness, nor the form of sound doctrine [Rom 6:17], was never denied by the men and women of God. But such as got the form only, and denied the power of godliness, those were denied, for they deny the power [2 Tim 3:5]; and do not only so, but quench the spirit [1 Th 5:19], and grieve and vex it [Eph 4:30, Isa 63:10]:, and hate the light: by which light they are condemned [John 3:19f].
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Keep to the equal measure and just weight [Deut 25:15, Prov 11:1, 16:11, 20:23] in all things, both inwardly and outwardly, that you may answer equity, answer truth in the oppressed, and the spirit, and grace, and light in all people. And so, being kept in righteousness, and equity, and truth, and holiness, that preserves you over the inequality, injustice, and the false measure, and weight, and balance in all things, both inward and outward. And this keeps your eye open, keeps you in a feeling sense, keeps you in understanding, and true wisdom, and true knowledge, what you are to answer to all men [Col 4:6] in righteousness, and truth, and equity, both inward and outward. And this is to all you that have purchased or bought any Irish land, so that justice and righteousness, and the true measure, and true weight, and even balance, may be among you, to answer that which is true, and just, and even, and equal; that you may answer that which is equal, and just, and true in yourselves, and in every man and woman; that you may be preserved in the sense and favour of God, and so may answer the good and righteous principle in all, by which <18> they may be brought to truth, the equal principle, and just measure, and true weight and balance; by which they may know the just and true God in all his works and out-goings.
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All Friends, be ye as strangers to all things visible and created, but be acquainted with the Creator, your maker [Job 22:21], the Lord God Almighty; for outward things are not durable riches [Prov 8:18], nor durable substance, nor durable habitations, nor durable possessions, for they have wings and will fly away [Prov 23:5]; and so therefore be as pilgrims and strangers to the world, and all worldly, created and visible things, and witness redemption from the earth, that you may reign upon the earth, as kings and priests to God [Rev 1:6], that you may know a habitation in God, and the riches of his grace and life, that is everlasting, and a substance that fadeth not away, the riches which hath not wings, and the riches that is not deceitful, that is durable and true. For men trusting in outward riches, and outward things, they will deceive and fail them, and have wings and flee away from them. And so man in that state is deceived, and riches are deceitful to him. Therefore, as I said before, be as strangers and pilgrims to the world [Heb 11:13], and all things therein, possess, as though you did not possess them, and what you enjoy, as though you did not; be above all such things, and loose to them in the invisible life and power, which is over all things; for the birth that is born again of the immortal seed by the word of God, that lives and abides, and endures for ever [1 Pet 1:23], and is above all things; for all things are upheld by his word and power [Heb 1:3]. And so be acquainted with the heavenly and certain riches, the durable substance, and the everlasting possession and inheritance of life, through which you may be acquainted with your maker and creator, the Lord God Almighty.