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A N

H U M B L E,     E A R N E S T,

A N D

Affectionate A D D R E S S

T O   T H E

C L E R G Y.

 


By   W I L L I A M   L A W,   M.A.


 


L O N D O N :

Printed for M. RICHARDSON, in Pater-Noster-Row.

1761.

 

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AS this ADDRESS makes its appearance after the Decease of the Author, it cannot be thought improper to inform the Reader, that the Whole was sent to the Press by himself, except a few Pages, the last of which was Wrote by him not many Days before his Death.


 

Address to the Clergy [Segment 1 of 3]

 

A n    A d d r e s s   t o   t h e   C l e r g y.


[Addr-1] THE Reason of my humbly and affectionately addressing this Discourse to the Clergy, is not because it treats of Things not of common concern to all Christians, but chiefly to invite and induce them, as far as I can, to the serious Perusal of it; and because whatever is essential to Christian Salvation, if either neglected, overlooked, or mistaken by them, is of the saddest Consequence both to themselves and the Churches in which they minister.— I say essential to Salvation, for I would not turn my own Thoughts, or call the attention of Christians, to any Thing but the one Thing needful, the one Thing essential and only available to our Rising out of our fallen State, and becoming, as we were at our Creation, an holy Offspring of God, and real Partakers of the Divine Nature.

[Addr-2] If it be asked, What this one Thing is? It is the SPIRIT OF GOD brought again to his FIRST POWER OF LIFE IN US. Nothing else is wanted by us, nothing else intended for us, by the Law, the Prophets, and the Gospel. Nothing else is, or can be effectual, to the making sinful man become again a godly Creature.

[Addr-3] Everything else, be it what it will, however glorious and Divine in outward Appearance, every Thing that Angels, Men, Churches, or Reformations, can do for us, is dead and helpless, but so far as it is the immediate work of the Spirit of God breathing and living in it.

[Addr-4] All Scripture bears full witness to this Truth, and the End and Design of all that is written, is only to call us back from the Spirit of Satan, the Flesh, and the World, to be again under full Dependence upon, and Obedience to the Spirit of God, who out of free Love and Thirst after our Souls, seeks to have his first Power of Life in us. When this is done, all is done that the Scripture can do for us. —Read what Chapter, or Doctrine of Scripture you will, be ever so delighted with it, it will leave you as poor, as empty and unreformed as it found you, unless it be a Delight that proceeds from, and has turned you wholly and solely to the Spirit of God, and strengthened your Union with and Dependence upon Him. For Love and Delight in matters of Scriptures, whilst it is only a Delight that is merely human, however Specious and Saintlike it may appear, is but the Self-love of fallen Adam, and can have no better a Nature, till it proceeds from the Inspiration of God, quickening his own Life and Nature within us, which alone can have or give forth a godly Love. For if it be an immutable Truth, that "no man can call Jesus, Lord, but by the Holy Ghost," it must be a Truth equally immutable, that no one can have any one Christ-like Temper or Power of Goodness but so far, and in such Degree, as he is immediately led and governed by the Holy Spirit.

[Addr-5] The Grounds and Reasons of which are as follow.

[Addr-6] All possible Goodness that either can be named, or is nameless, was in God from all Eternity, and must to all Eternity be inseparable from him; it can be nowhere but where God is. As therefore before God created anything, it was certainly true that there was but one that was good, so it is just the same Truth, after God has created innumerable Hosts of blessed and holy and heavenly Beings, that there is but one that is good, and that is God.

[Addr-7] All that can be called Goodness, Holiness, Divine Tempers, heavenly Affections, &c., in the Creatures, are no more their own, or the Growth of their created Powers, than they were their own before they were created. But all that is called Divine Goodness and Virtue in the Creature is nothing else, but the one Goodness of God manifesting a Birth and Discovery of itself in the Creature, according as its created Nature is fitted to receive it. This is the unalterable State between God and the Creature. Goodness for ever and ever can only belong to God, as essential to him and inseparable from him, as his own Unity.

[Addr-8] God could not make the Creature to be great and glorious in itself; this is as impossible, as for God to create Beings into a State of Independence on himself. "The Heavens," saith David, "declare the Glory of God"; and no Creature, any more than the Heavens, can declare any other Glory but that of God. And as well might it be said, that the Firmament shows forth its own Handy Work, as that a holy Divine or heavenly Creature shows forth its own natural Power.

[Addr-9] But now, if all that is Divine, great, glorious, and happy, in the Spirits, Tempers, Operations, and Enjoyments of the Creature, is only so much of the Greatness, Glory, Majesty, and Blessedness of God, dwelling in it, and giving forth various Births of his own triune Life, Light, and Love, in and through the manifold Forms and capacities of the Creature to receive them, then we may infallibly see the true Ground and Nature of all true Religion, and when and how we may be said to fulfill all our Religious Duty to God. For the Creature's true Religion, is its rendering to God all that is God's, it is its true continual Acknowledging all that which it is, and has, and enjoys, in and from God. This is the one true Religion of all intelligent Creatures, whether in Heaven, or on Earth; for as they all have but one and the same Relation to God, so though ever so different in their several Births, States or Offices, they all have but one and the same true Religion, or right Behavior towards God. Now the one Relation, which is the Ground of all true Religion, and is one and the same between God and all intelligent Creatures, is this, it is a total unalterable Dependence upon God, an immediate continual receiving of every Kind, and Degree of Goodness, Blessing and Happiness, that ever was, or can be found in them, from God alone. The highest Angel has nothing of its own that it can offer unto God, no more Light, Love, Purity, Perfection, and glorious Hallelujahs, that spring from itself, or its own Powers, than the poorest Creature upon Earth. Could the Angel see a Spark of Wisdom, Goodness, or Excellence, as coming from, or belonging to itself, its Place in Heaven would be lost, as sure as Lucifer lost his. But they are ever-abiding Flames of Pure Love, always ascending up to and uniting with God, for this Reason, because the Wisdom, the Power, the Glory, the Majesty, the Love, and Goodness of God alone, is all that they see, and feel, and know, either within or without themselves. —Songs of Praise to their heavenly Father are their ravishing Delight, because they see, and know, and feel, that it is the Breath and Spirit of their Heavenly Father that sings and rejoices in them. Their Adoration in Spirit and in Truth never ceases, because they never cease to acknowledge the ALL of God; —the ALL of God in the whole Creation. This is the one Religion of Heaven, and nothing else is the Truth of Religion on Earth.

[Addr-10] The Matter therefore plainly comes to this, Nothing can do, or be, the Good of Religion to the intelligent Creature, but the Power and Presence of God really and essentially living and working in it. But if this be the unchangeable nature of that Goodness and Blessedness which is to be had from our Religion, then of all Necessity, the Creature must have all its Religious Goodness as wholly and solely from God's immediate Operation, as it had its first Goodness at its Creation. And it is the same impossibility for the Creature to help itself to that which is good and blessed in Religion, by any Contrivance, Reasonings, or Workings of its own Natural Powers, as to create itself. For the Creature, after its Creation, can no more take any Thing to itself that belongs to God, than it could take it, before it was created. And if Truth forces us to hold, that the Natural Powers of the Creature could only come from the one Power of God, the same Truth should surely more force us to confess, that That which comforts, that which enlightens, that which blesses, which gives Peace, Joy, Goodness, and Rest to its natural Powers, can be had in no other way, nor by any other Thing, but from God's immediate holy Operation found in it.

[Addr-11] Now the Reason why no Work of Religion, but that which is begun, continued, and carried on by the Living Operation of God in the creature, can have any Truth, Goodness, or Divine Blessing in it, is because nothing can in Truth seek God, but that which comes from God. Nothing can in Truth find God as its Good, but that which has the Nature of God living in it; like can only rejoice in Like; and therefore no religious Service of the Creature can have any Truth, Goodness, or Blessing in it, but that which is done in the Creature, in, and through, and by a Principle and Power of the Divine Nature begotten and breathing forth in it all holy Tempers, Affections, and Adorations.

[Addr-12] All true Religion is, or brings forth, an essential Union and Communion of the Spirit of the Creature with the Spirit of the Creator: God in it, and it in God, one Life, one Light, one Love. The Spirit of God first gives, or sows the Seed of Divine Union in the Soul of every Man; and Religion is That by which it is quickened, raised, and brought forth to a Fullness and Growth of a Life in God.— Take a Similitude of this, as follows.— The Beginning, or Seed of animal Breath, must first be born in the Creature from the Spirit of this World, and then Respiration, so long as it lasts, keeps up an essential Union of the animal Life with the Breath or Spirit of this World. In like manner, Divine Faith, Hope, Love, and Resignation to God, are in the religious Life its acts of Respiration, which, so long as they are true, unite God and the Creature in the same living and essential manner, as animal Respiration unites the Breath of the Animal with the Breath of this World.

[Addr-13] Now as no Animal could begin to respire, or unite with the Breath of this World, but because it has its Beginning to breathe begotten in it from the Air of this World, so it is equally certain, that no Creature, Angel or Man, could begin to be religious, or breathe forth the Divine Affections of Faith, Love, and Desire towards God, but because a Living Seed of these Divine Affections was by the Spirit of God first begotten in it.— And as a Tree or Plant can only grow and fructify by the same Power that first gave Birth to the Seed, so Faith, and Hope, and Love towards God, can only grow and fructify by the same Power, that begot the first Seed of them in the Soul. Therefore Divine immediate Inspiration and Divine Religion are inseparable in the Nature of the Thing.

[Addr-14] Take away Inspiration, or suppose it to cease, and then no Religious acts or Affections can give forth any Thing that is godly or Divine. For the Creature can offer, or return Nothing to God, but That which it has first received from him; therefore, if it is to offer and send up to God Affections and Aspirations that are Divine and godly, it must of all necessity have the Divine and godly Nature living and breathing in it.— Can any Thing reflect Light, before it has received it? Or any other Light, than that which it has received? Can any Creature breathe forth earthly, or diabolical Affections, before it is possessed of an earthly, or diabolical Nature? Yet this is as possible, as for any Creature to have Divine Affections rising up and dwelling in it, either before, or any further, than as it has or partakes of the Divine Nature dwelling and operating in it.

[Addr-15] A religious Faith that is uninspired, a Hope, or Love that proceeds not from the immediate Working of the Divine Nature within us, can no more do any Divine Good to our Souls, or unite them with the Goodness of God, than an Hunger after earthly Food can feed us with the immortal Bread of Heaven.— All that the natural or uninspired Man does, or can do in the Church, has no more of the Truth or Power of Divine Worship in it, than that which he does in the Field, or Shop, through a Desire of Riches.— And the Reason is, because all the Acts of the Natural Man, whether relating to Matters of Religion or the World, must be equally Selfish, and there is no Possibility of their being otherwise. For Self-love, Self-esteem, Self-seeking, and Living wholly to Self, are as strictly the Whole of all that is or possibly can be in the Natural Man, as in the Natural Beast; the one can no more be better, or act above this Nature, than the other. Neither can any Creature be in a better, or higher State than this, till something Supernatural is found in it; and this Supernatural something, called in scripture the WORD, or SPIRIT, or INSPIRATION of God, is that alone from which man can have the first Good Thought about God, or the least Power of having more heavenly Desires in his Spirit, than he has in his Flesh.

[Addr-16] A Religion that is not wholly built upon this Supernatural Ground, but solely stands upon the Powers, Reasonings, and Conclusions of the Natural uninspired Man, has not so much as the Shadow of true Religion in it, but is a mere Nothing, in the same Sense, as an Idol is said to be Nothing, because the Idol has nothing of That in it which is pretended by it. For the Work of Religion has no Divine Good in it, but as it brings forth, and keeps up essential Union of the Spirit of Man with the Spirit of God; which essential Union cannot be made, but through Love on both sides, nor by Love, but where the Love that works on both sides is of the same Nature.

[Addr-17] No Man therefore can reach God with his Love, or have Union with him by it, but he who is inspired with that one same Spirit of Love, with which God loved himself from all Eternity, and before there was any Creature. Infinite Hosts of new created Heavenly Beings can begin no new Kind of Love of God, nor have the least Power of beginning to Love him at all, but so far as his own Holy Spirit of Love, wherewith he hath from all Eternity loved himself, is brought to Life in them. This Love, that was then in God alone, can be the only Love in Creatures that can draw them to God; they can have no Power of cleaving to him, of willing that which He wills, or adoring the Divine Nature, but by partaking of that eternal Spirit of Love; and therefore the continual immediate Inspiration or Operation of the Holy Spirit, is the one only possible Ground of our continually loving God. And of this inspired Love, and no other, it is that St. John says, "He that dwelleth in Love, dwelleth in God." Suppose it to be any other Love, brought forth by any other Thing but the Spirit of God breathing his own Love in us, and then it cannot be true, that he who dwells in such Love, dwells in God.

[Addr-18] Divine Inspiration was essential to man's first created State. The Spirit of the triune God, breathed into, or brought to Life in him, was that alone which made him a holy Creature in the Image and Likeness of God. To have no other Mover, to live under no other Guide or Leader, but the Spirit, was that which constituted all the Holiness which the first man could have from God. Had he not been thus at the first, God in him and he in God, brought into the World as a true offspring and real Birth of the Holy Spirit, no Dispensation of God to fallen man would have directed him to the Holy Spirit, or ever have made mention of his Inspiration in Man. For fallen Man could be directed to nothing as his Good, but that which he had, and was his Good, before he fell. And had not the Holy Spirit been his first Life, in and by which he lived, no inspired Prophets among the Sons of fallen Adam had ever been heard of, or any holy men speaking as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. For the Thing would have been impossible, no fallen Man could have been inspired by the Holy Spirit, but because the first Life of Man was a true and real Birth of it; and also because every fallen Man had, by the Mercy and free Grace of God, a secret Remains of his first Life preserved in him, though hidden, or rather swallowed up by Flesh and Blood; which Secret Remains, signified and assured to Adam by the name of a Bruiser of the Serpent, or Seed of the woman, was his only capacity to be called and quickened again into his first Life, by new Breathings of the Holy Spirit in him.

[Addr-19] Hence it plainly appears that the Gospel State could not be God's last Dispensation, or the finishing of Man's Redemption, unless its whole Work was a Work of the Spirit of God in the Spirit of Man; that is, unless without all Veils Types, and Shadows, it brought the Thing itself, or the Substance of all former Types and Shadows, into real Enjoyment, so as to be possessed by Man in Spirit, and in Truth. Now the Thing itself, and for the sake of which all God's Dispensations have been, is that first Life of God which was essentially born in the Soul of the first Man, Adam, and to which he died. But now, if the Gospel Dispensation comes at the End of all Types and Shadows, to bring forth again in Man a true and full Birth of that Holy Spirit which he had at first, then it must be plain, that the work of this Dispensation must be solely and immediately the Work of the Holy Spirit. For if Man could no other possible way have had a holy Nature and Spirit at first, but as an Offspring or Birth of the Holy Spirit at his Creation, it is certain from the Nature of the Thing, that fallen Man, dead to his first holy Nature, can have that same holy Nature again no other way, but solely by the Operation of that same Holy Spirit, from the Breath of which he had at first a holy Nature and Life in God. Therefore immediate Inspiration is as necessary to make fallen Man alive again unto God, as it was to make Man at first a Living Soul after the Image and in the Likeness of God. And Continual Inspiration is as necessary, as Man's Continuance in his redeemed State. For this is a certain Truth, that That alone which begins, or gives Life, must of all Necessity be the only Continuance or Preservation of Life. The second Step can only be taken by That which gave Power to take the first.— No Life can continue in the Goodness of its first created, or redeemed State, but by its continuing under the Influence of, and working with and by that Powerful Root, or Spirit, which at first created, or redeemed it. Every Branch of the Tree, though ever so richly brought forth, must wither and die, as soon as it ceases to have continual Union with, and Virtue from that Root, which first brought it forth. And to this Truth, as absolutely grounded in the Nature of the Thing, our Lord appeals as a Proof and full Illustration of the Necessity of his immediate indwelling, Breathing, and Operating in the redeemed Soul of Man, saying, "I am the Vine, ye are the Branches, as the Branch cannot bear fruit of itself, no more can ye, except ye abide in me. He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much Fruit. If a man abides not in me, he is cast forth as a withered Branch; for without me, ye can do Nothing," John xv.

[Addr-20] Now from these Words let this conclusion be here drawn, viz. that therefore to turn to Christ as a Light within us, to expect life from nothing but his holy Birth raised within us, to give ourselves up wholly and solely to the immediate continual Influx and Operation of his Holy Spirit, depending wholly upon it for every Kind and Degree of Goodness and Holiness that we want, or can receive, is and can be Nothing else, but proud, rank Enthusiasm.

[Addr-21] Now as infinitely absurd as this conclusion is, no one that condemns continual immediate Inspiration as gross Enthusiasm, can possibly do it with less absurdity, or show himself a Wiser Man, or better Reasoner, than he that concludes, that Because without Christ we can do Nothing, therefore we ought not to believe, expect, wait for, and depend upon his continual immediate operation in every Thing that we do, or would do well.— As to the Pride charged upon this pretended Enthusiasm, it is the same absurdity. Christ says, "without me ye can do Nothing," the same as if he had said, As to yourselves, and all that can be called your own, you are mere helpless Sin and Misery, and Nothing that is good, can come from you, but as it is done by the continual immediate Breathing and Inspiration of another Spirit, given by God to over-rule your own, to save and deliver you from all your own Goodness, your own Wisdom, and Learning which always were, and always will be, as corrupt and impure, as earthly and sensual, as your own Flesh and Blood. Now is there any selfish Creaturely Pride, in fully believing this to be true, and in acting in full Conformity to it? If so, then he that confesses he neither has, nor ever can have a single Farthing, but as it is freely given him from Charity, thereby declares himself to be a Purse-proud vain Boaster of his own Wealth. Such is the Spiritual Pride of him, who fully acknowledges that he neither has, nor can have the least Spark or breathing after Goodness, but what is freely kindled, or breathed into him by the Spirit of God. Again, if it is Spiritual Pride to believe, that Nothing that we ever think, or say, or do, either in the Church, or our Closets, can have any truth of Goodness in it but that which is wrought solely and immediately by the Spirit of God in us, then it must be said, that in order to have religious Humility we must never forget to take some Share of our religious Virtues to ourselves, and not allow (as Christ hath said) that without Him we can do Nothing that is good. It must also be said, that St. Paul took too much upon him when he said, "the Life that I now live, is not mine, but Christ's that liveth in me."

[Addr-22] Behold a Pride, and a Humility, the one as good as the other, and both logically descended from a Wisdom, that confesses it comes not from above.

[Addr-23] The Necessity of a Continual Inspiration of the Spirit of God, both to begin the first, and continue every step of a Divine Life in Man, is a Truth to which every Life in Nature, as well as all Scripture, bears full Witness.— A natural Life, a bestial Life, a diabolical Life, can subsist no longer, than whilst they are immediately and continually under the working Power of that Root or Source, from which they Sprung. Thus it is with the Divine Life in Man, it can never be in him, but as a Growth of Life in and from God.— Hence it is, that Resisting the Spirit, Quenching the Spirit, Grieving the Spirit, is that alone which gives Birth and Growth to every Evil that reigns in the World, and leaves Men, and Churches, not only an easy, but a necessary prey to the Devil, the World, and the Flesh. And Nothing but Obedience to the Spirit, trusting to the Spirit, walking in the Spirit, praying with and for its continual Inspiration, can possibly keep either Men, or Churches, from being Sinners, or Idolators, in all that they do. For everything in the Life, or Religion of Man, that has not the Spirit of God for its Mover, Director, and End, be it what it will, is but earthly, sensual, or devilish.— The Truth and Perfection of the Gospel State could not show itself, till it became solely a Ministration of the Spirit, or a Kingdom in which the Holy Spirit of God had the doing of all that was done in it.— The Apostles, whilst Christ was with them in the Flesh, were instructed in heavenly Truths from his Mouth, and enabled to work Miracles in his Name, yet not qualified to know and teach the Mysteries of his Kingdom. After his Resurrection, he conversed with them forty Days, speaking to them of Things pertaining to the Kingdom of God; nay though he breathed on them, and said, "receive ye the Holy Ghost," &c., yet this also would not do, they were still unable to preach, or bear Witness to the Truth, as it is in Jesus. And the Reason is, there was still a higher Dispensation to come, which stood in such an opening of the Divine Life in their Hearts, as could not be effected from an outward Instruction of Christ himself. For though He had sufficiently told his Disciples the Necessity of being born again of the Spirit, yet he left them unborn of it, till He came again in the Power of the Spirit. He breathed on them, and said, "Receive ye the Holy Ghost," yet that which was said and done was not the Thing itself, but only a Type or outward Signification of what they should receive, when He, being glorified, should come again in the Fullness and Power of the Spirit, breaking open the Deadness and Darkness of their Hearts with Light and Life from Heaven, which Light did, and alone could, open and verify in their Souls, all that he had said and promised to them whilst he was with them in the Flesh.— All this is expressly declared by Christ himself, saying unto them, "I tell you the truth, it is expedient for you that I go away"; therefore Christ taught them to believe the Want, and joyfully to expect the Coming of a higher and more blessed State, than that of his bodily Presence with them. For he adds, "if I go not away, the Comforter will not come"; therefore the Comfort and Blessing of Christ to his Followers could not be had, till something more was done to them, and they were brought into a higher State than they could be by his verbal Instruction of them. "But if I go away," says he, "I will send him unto you, and when the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth is come, he will guide you into all Truth; He shall glorify me" (that is, shall set up my Kingdom in its Glory, in the Power of the Spirit) "for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you: I said of mine, because all Things that the Father hath are mine," John xvi.

[Addr-24] Now when Christ had told them of the Necessity of an higher State than that they were in, and the Necessity of such a comforting illuminating Guide, as they could not have till his outward Teaching in human Language was changed into the Inspiration, and Operation of his Spirit in their Souls, He commands them, not to begin to bear Witness of him to the World, from what they did and could in an human Way know of him, his Birth his Life, Doctrines, Death, Sufferings, Resurrection, &c., but to tarry at Jerusalem, till they were endued with Power from on high; saying unto them, "Ye shall receive Power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you. And then shall ye bear witness unto me, both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and unto the utmost Part of the Earth."

[Addr-25] Here are two most important and fundamental Truths fully demonstrated, First, that the Truth and Perfection of the Gospel State could not take place, till Christ was glorified, and his Kingdom among Men made wholly and solely a continual immediate Ministration of the Spirit: Every Thing before this was but subservient for a Time, and preparatory to this last Dispensation, which could not have been the last, had it not carried Man above Types, Figures and Shadows, into the real Possession and Enjoyment of that which is the Spirit and Truth of a Divine Life. For the End is not come till it has found the Beginning; that is, the last dispensation of God to fallen Man cannot be come, till putting an end to the "Bondage of weak and beggarly Elements," Gal. iv.9, it brings Man to that dwelling in God, and God in him, which he had at the Beginning.

[Addr-26] Secondly, that as the Apostles could not, so no man, from their Time to the End of the World, can have any true and real Knowledge of the Spiritual Blessings of Christ's Redemption, or have a Divine Call, Capacity, or Fitness to preach, and bear Witness of them to the World, but solely by that Same Divine Spirit opening all the Mysteries of a Redeeming Christ in their inward Parts, as it did in the Apostles, Evangelists, and first Ministers of the Gospel.

[Addr-27] For why could not the Apostles, who had been Eye-Witnesses to all the whole Process of Christ, why could they not with their human Apprehension declare and testify the Truth of such Things, till they "were baptized with Fire, and born again of the Spirit"? It is because the Truth of such Things, or the mysteries of Christ's Process, as Knowable by Man, are Nothing else in themselves, but those very Things which are done by this heavenly Fire and Spirit of God in our Souls. Therefore to know the Mysteries of Christ's Redemption, and to know the Redeeming Work of God in our own Souls, is the same Thing; the one cannot be before, or without the other. Therefore Every Man, be he who he will, however able in all Kinds of human literature, must be an entire Stranger to all the Mysteries of Gospel Redemption, and can only talk about them as of any other Tale he has been told, till they are brought forth, verified, fulfilled, and witnessed to by That, which is found, felt and enjoyed of the whole Process of Christ in his Soul. For as Redemption is in its whole Nature an inward Spiritual Work, that works only in the altering, changing, and regenerating of the Life of the Soul, so it must be true, that Nothing but the inward State of the Soul can bear true Witness to the Redeeming Power of Christ. For as it wholly consists in altering That which is the most radical in the Soul, bringing forth a new Spiritual Death, and a new Spiritual Life, it must be true, that no one can know or believe the Mysteries of Christ's redeeming Power, by historically knowing, or rationally consenting to That which is said of him and them in Written or Spoken Words, but only and Solely by an inward experimental finding, and feeling the Operation of them, in that new Death, and new Life, both of which must be effected in the Soul of Man, or Christ is not, cannot be found, and Known by the Soul as its Salvation. It must also be equally true, that the redeemed State of the Soul, being in itself Nothing else but the Resurrection of a Divine and holy Life in it, must as necessarily from first to last be the Sole Work of the Breathing creating Spirit of God, as the first holy created State of the Soul was.—And all this, because the Mysteries of Christ's redeeming Power, which work and bring forth the renewed State of the Soul, are not creaturely, finite, outward Things, that may be found and enjoyed by verbal Descriptions, or formed Ideas of them, but are a Birth and Life, and Spiritual Operation, which as solely belongs to God alone, as his creating Power. For Nothing can redeem, but that same Power which created the Soul. Nothing can bring forth a good thought in it, but that which brought forth the Power of thinking. And of every Tendency towards Goodness, be it ever so small, that same may be truly affirmed of it, which St. Paul affirmed of his highest State, "yet not I, but Christ that liveth in me."

[Addr-28] But if the Belief of the Necessity and Certainty of immediate continual Divine Inspiration, in and for everything that can be holy and good in us, be (as its Accusers say) rank Enthusiasm, then He is the only sober orthodox Christian, who of many a good Thought and Action that proceeds from him, frankly says, in order to avoid Enthusiasm, My own Power, and not Christ's Spirit living and breathing in me, has done this for me. For if all that is good is not done by Christ, then Something that is good is done by myself. It is in vain to think, that there is a middle Way, and that rational Divines have found it out, as Dr. Warburton has done, who though denying immediate continual Inspiration, yet allows that the Spirit's "ordinary Influence occasionally assists the faithful." {Sermons, vol. i.}

[Addr-29] Now this middle Way has neither Scripture nor sense in it; for an occasional Influence or Concurrence is as absurd, as an occasional God, and necessarily Supposes such a God. For an occasional influence of the Spirit upon us supposes an occasional Absence of the Spirit from us. For there could be no such Thing, unless God was sometimes with us, and sometimes not, sometimes doing us good, as the inward God of our Life, and sometimes doing us no good at all, but leaving us to be good from ourselves. — Occasional Influence necessarily implies all this blasphemous Absurdity. Again, this middle way of an occasional Influence and Assistance necessarily supposes, that there is something of man's own that is good, or the Holy Spirit of God neither would, nor could assist or cooperate with it. But if there was any Thing good in Man for God to assist and cooperate with, besides the SEED of his own Divine Nature, or his own WORD of Life striving to bruise the Serpent's Nature within us, it could not be true, that there is only one that is good, and that is God. And were there any Goodness in Creatures, either in Heaven, or on Earth, but the one Goodness of the Divine Nature, living, working, manifesting itself in them, as its created Instruments, then good Creatures, both in Heaven and on Earth, would have something else to adore, besides, or along with God. For Goodness, be it where it will, is adorable for itself, and because it is Goodness; if therefore any Degree of it belonged to the Creature, it ought to have a share of that same Adoration that is paid to the Creator.— Therefore, if to believe that Nothing godly can be alive in us, but what has all its Life from the Spirit of God living and breathing in us, if to look Solely to it, and depend wholly upon it, both for the Beginning, and Growth of every Thought and Desire that can be holy and good in us, be proud rank Enthusiasm, then it must be the same Enthusiasm to own but one God. For he that owns more goodness than one, owns more Gods than one. And he that believes he can have any good in him, but the one Goodness of God, manifesting itself in him, and through him, owns more goodness than one. But if it be true, that God and Goodness cannot be divided, then it must be a Truth for ever and ever, that so much of Good, so much of God, must be in the Creature.

[Addr-30] And here lies the true unchangeable Distinction between God, and Nature, and the Natural Creature. Nature and Creature are only for the outward manifestation of the inward invisible unapproachable Powers of God; they can rise no higher, nor be anything else in themselves, but as Temples, Habitations, or Instruments, in which the Supernatural God can, and does manifest himself in various Degrees, bringing forth Creatures to be good with his own Goodness, to love and adore him with his own Spirit of Love, for ever singing Praises to the Divine Nature by That which they partake of it. This is the Religion of Divine Inspiration, which being interpreted, is Immanuel or God within us. Every Thing short of this, is short of that Religion which worships God in Spirit and in Truth. And every religious Trust or Confidence in any Thing, but the Divine Operation within us, is but a sort of Image-Worship, which though it may deny the Form, yet retains the Power thereof in the Heart. And he that places any religious Safety in theological Decisions, Scholastic Points, in particular Doctrines and Opinions, that must be held about the scripture Words of Faith, Justification, Sanctification, Election, and Reprobation, so far departs from the true Worship of the Living God within him, and Sets up an Idol of Notions to be worshipped, if not instead of, yet along with him. And I believe it may be taken for a certain Truth, that every Society of Christians, whose Religion stands upon this Ground, however ardent, laborious, and good their zeal may seem to be in such Matters, yet in spite of all, sooner or later, it will be found that Nature is at the Bottom, and that a selfish, earthly, overbearing Pride in their own Definitions and Doctrines of Words, will by Degrees creep up to the same Height, and become that same fleshly Wisdom, doing those very same Things, which they exclaim against in Popes, Cardinals, and Jesuits. Nor can it possibly be otherwise. For a letter-learned zeal has but one Nature wherever it is, it can only do that for Christians, which it did for Jews. As it anciently brought forth Scribes, Pharisees, Hypocrites, and Crucifiers of Christ, as it afterwards brought forth Heresies, Schisms, Popes, papal Decrees, Images, Anathemas, Transubstantiations, so in Protestant countries it will be doing the same Thing, only with other materials; Images of wood and Clay, will only be given up for Images of Doctrines; Grace and Works, imputed sin, and imputed Righteousness, Election and Reprobation, will have their Synods of Dort, as truly evangelical, as any Council of Trent.

[Addr-31] This must be the Case of all fallen Christendom, as well Popish as Protestant, till single Men, and Churches, know, confess, and firmly adhere to this one Scripture Truth, which the blessed Behmen prefixed as a Motto to most of his epistles, viz., "That our salvation is in the life of Jesus Christ in us." And that, because this alone was the Divine Perfection of Man before he fell, and will be his Perfection when he is one with Christ in Heaven.— Every Thing besides this, or that is not solely aiming at and essentially leading to it, is but mere Babel in all Sects and Divisions of Christians, living to themselves, and their own old man under a seeming holiness of Christian strife and contention about Scripture works.— But this Truth of Truths, fully possessed, and firmly adhered to, brings God and Man together, puts an End to every Lo here, and Lo there, and turns the whole Faith of Man to a Christ that can no where be a Savior to him, but as essentially born in the inmost Spirit of his Soul, nor possible to be born there by any other means, but the immediate Inspiration and working Power of the Holy Spirit within him.— To this Man alone all Scripture gives daily Edification; the Words of Christ and his Apostles fall like a Fire into him. And what is it that they kindle There? Not Notions, not Itching ears, nor rambling Desires after new Ideas and new Expounders of them, but a holy Flame of Love, to be always with, always attending to, that Christ and his holy Spirit within him, which alone can make him to be and do all that, which the Words of Christ and his Apostles have taught. For there is no possibility of being like-minded with Christ in anything that he taught, or having the Truth of one Christian Virtue, but by the Nature and Spirit of Christ become essentially living in us. Read all our Savior's Divine Sermon from the Mount, consent to the Goodness of every Part of it, yet the Time of practicing it will never come, till you have a new Nature from Christ, and are as vitally in him, and he in you, as the Vine in the Branch, and the Branch in the Vine. "Blessed are the pure in Heart, for they shall see God," is a Divine Truth, but will do us no Divine good, unless we receive it as saying neither more nor less, than "Blessed are they that are born again of the Spirit, for they alone can see God."— For no Blessedness, either of Truth or Life, can be found either in Men or Angels, but where the Spirit and Life of God is essentially born within them. And all Men or Churches, not placing all in the Life, Light, and Guidance of the Holy Spirit of Christ, but pretending to act in the Name, and for the Glory of God, from Opinions which their Logic and Learning have collected from Scripture Words, or from what a Calvin, an Arminius, a Socinus, or some smaller Name, has told them to be right or wrong, all such, are but where the Apostles were, when "by the Way there was a Strife among them who should be the greatest." And how much soever they may say, and boast of their great Zeal for Truth, and only the Glory of God, yet their own open notorious Behavior towards one another, is proof enough, that the great Strife amongst them is, which shall be the greatest Sect, or have the largest number of Followers. A Strife, from the same Root, and just as useful to Christianity, as that of the Carnal Apostles, who should be the greatest. For not numbers of Men, or Kingdoms professing Christianity, but numbers redeemed from the Death of Adam to the Life of Christ are the Glory of the Christian Church. And in whatever National Christianity any Thing else is meant or sought after, by the Profession of the Gospel, but a new heavenly Life, through the mediatorial Nature and Spirit of the eternal Son of God, born in the Fallen Soul, wherever this Spirituality of the Gospel-Redemption is denied or overlooked, there the Spirit of Self, of Satanic and worldly Subtlety, will be Church and Priest, and supreme Power, in all that is called Religion.

[Addr-32] But to return now to the Doctrine of Continual Inspiration. The Natural or unregenerate Man, educated in pagan Learning, and Scholastic Theology, seeing the Strength of his Genius in the Search after Knowledge, how easily and learnedly he can talk, and write, criticize and determine upon all Scripture Words and Facts, looks at all this as a full Proof of his own religious Wisdom, Power and Goodness, and calls immediate Inspiration Enthusiasm, not considering, that all the Woes denounced by Christ against Scribes, Pharisees, and Hypocrites, are so many Woes now at this day denounced against every Appearance and Show of Religion, that the natural Man can practise.

[Addr-33] And what is well to be noted, everyone, however high in human literature, is but this very natural Man, and can only have the Goodness of a carnal secular Religion, till as empty of all, as a new born Child, the Spirit of God gets a full Birth in him, and becomes the Inspirer and Doer of all that he wills, does, and aims at, in his whole Course of Religion.

[Addr-34] Our Divine Master compares the Religion of the learned Pharisees "to whited sepulchers, outwardly beautiful, but inwardly full of Rottenness, stench, and dead Men's bones."

[Addr-35] Now whence was it, that a Religion, so serious in its Restraints, so beautiful in its outward form and Practices, and commanding such Reverence from all that beheld it, was yet charged by Truth itself with having inwardly such an abominable Nature? It was only for this one Reason, because it was a Religion of Self.—Therefore, from the Beginning to the End of the World, it must be true, that where Self is kept alive, has Power, and keeps up its own Interests, whether in Speaking, Writing, Teaching or Defending the most specious Number of Scripture Doctrines and religious Forms, there is that very old Pharisee still alive, whom Christ with so much Severity of Language constantly condemned. And the Reason of such heavy Condemnation is, because Self is the only Root, or rather the Sum total of all Sin; every Sin that can be named is centered in it, and the Creature can sin no higher, than he can live to Self.— For Self is the Fullness of Atheism and Idolatry, it is nothing else but the Creature broken off from God and Christ; it is the Power of Satan living and working in us, and the sad Continuance of that first Turning from God, which was the whole Fall or Death of our first Father.

[Addr-36] And yet, sad and Satanical as this Self is, what is so much cherished and nourished with our daily Love, Fears, and Cares about it? How much worldly Wisdom, how much laborious Learning, how many Subtleties of Contrivance, and how many flattering Applications and Submissions are made to the World, that this apostate Self may have its Fullness, both of inward Joys, and outward Glory?

[Addr-37] But to all this it must yet be added, that a Religion of Self, of worldly Glory and Prosperity carried on under the Gospel State, has more of a diabolical Nature than that of the Jewish Pharisees.— It is the highest and last Working of the Mystery of Iniquity, because it lives to Self, Satan, and the World, in and by a daily Profession of denying and dying to Self, of being crucified with Christ, of being led by his Spirit, of being risen from the World, and set with him in Heavenly Places.

[Addr-38] Let then the Writers against continual immediate Divine Inspiration take this for a certain Truth, that by so doing, they do all they can to draw Man from That which is the very Truth and Perfection of the Gospel State, and are, and can be, no better than pitiable Advocates for a Religion of Self, more blamable and abominable now, than that which was of old condemned by Christ. For whatever is pretended to be done in Gospel Religion, by any other Spirit or Power, but that of the Holy Ghost bringing it forth, whether it be Praying, Preaching, or practising any Duties, is all of it but the Religion of Self, and can be nothing else. For all that is born of the Flesh, is Flesh, and nothing is spiritual, but that which has its whole Birth from the Spirit. But Man, not ruled and governed by the Spirit, has only the Nature of Corrupt Flesh, is under the full Power and Guidance of fallen Nature, and is that very natural Man, to whom the Things of God are Foolishness. But Man boldly rejecting, and preaching against a continual immediate Divine Inspiration, is an Anti-Apostle, he lays another Foundation, than that which Christ has laid, he teaches that Christ needs not, must not, be all in all in us, and Preaches the Folly of Fearing to grieve, quench, and resist the Holy Spirit.— For when, or where, or how could everyone of us be in danger of grieving, quenching, or resisting the Spirit, unless his holy Breathings and Inspirations were always within us? Or how could the Sin against the Holy Ghost have a more dreadful Nature, than that against the Father and the Son, but because the continual immediate Guidance and Operation of the Spirit, is the last and highest Manifestation of the Holy Trinity in the fallen Soul of Man? It is not because the Holy Ghost is more worthy, or higher in Nature than the Father and the Son, but because Father and Son come forth in their own highest Power of redeeming Love, through the Covenant of a continual immediate Inspiration of the Spirit, to be always dwelling and working in the Soul. Many weak Things have been conjectured, and published to the World, about the Sin against the Holy Ghost; whereas the whole Nature of it lies in this, that it is a Sinning, or Standing out against the last and highest Dispensation of God for the full Redemption of Man. Christ says, "If I had not come, they had not had Sin," that is, they had not had such a weight of guilt upon them; therefore the Sinning against Christ come into the Flesh, was of a more unpardonable Nature, than Sinning against the Father under the Law. So likewise Sinning against the Holy Ghost is of a more unpardonable Nature than Sinning against the Father under the Law, or against the Son as come in the Flesh, because these two preceding Dispensations were but preparatory to the Coming, or full Ministration of the Spirit. But when Father and Son were come in the Power and Manifestation of the Spirit, then he that refuses or resists this Ministration of the Spirit, resists all that the holy Trinity can do to restore and revive the first Life of God in the Soul, and so commits the unpardonable sin, and which is therefore unpardonable, because there remains no further, or higher Power to remove it out of the Soul. For no sin is pardonable, because of its own Nature: or that which is in itself, but because there is something yet to come that can remove it out of the Soul; nor can any sin be unpardonable, but because it has withstood, or turned from that which was the last and highest Remedy for the Removal of it.

[Addr-39] Hence it is, that grieving, quenching, or resisting the Spirit, is the Sin of all Sins, that most of all stops the Work of Redemption, and in the highest Degree separates Man from all Union with God. But there could be no such Sin, but because the Holy Spirit is always Breathing Willing, and Working within us. For what Spirit can be grieved by us, but that which has its will within us disobeyed? What Spirit can be quenched by us, but that which is, and ever would be, a holy Fire of Life within us? What Spirit can be resisted by us, but that which is, and has its Working within us? A Spirit on the outside of us cannot be the Spirit of God, nor could such a Spirit be any more quenched, or hindered by our Spirit, than a Man by indignation at a Storm could stop its Rage. Now, dreadful as the above mentioned Sin is, I would ask all the Writers against continual immediate Divine Inspiration, how they could more effectually lead men into an habitual State of Sinning against the Holy Ghost, than by such Doctrine? For how can we possibly avoid the Sin of grieving, quenching, &c., the Spirit, but by continually reverencing his holy Presence within us, by continually waiting for, trusting, and solely attending to That which the Spirit of God wills, works, and manifests within us? To turn men from this continual Dependence upon the Holy Spirit, is turning them from all true Knowledge of God. For without this, there is no Possibility of any edifying, saving Knowledge of God. For though we have ever so many mathematical Demonstrations of his Being, &c., we are without all real Knowledge of Him, till his own quickening Spirit within us manifests Him, as a Power of Life, Light, Love, and Goodness, essentially found, vitally felt, and adored in our Souls. This is the one Knowledge of God, which is eternal Life, because it is the Life of God manifested in the Soul, that Knowledge of which Christ says, No one knoweth the Father but the Son, and He to whomsoever the Son revealeth him. Therefore this Knowledge is only possible to be found in Him, who is in Christ a new Creature, for so it is that Christ revealeth the Father. But if none belong to God, but those who are led by the Spirit of God, if we are Reprobates unless the Spirit of Christ be living in us, who need be told, that all that we have to trust to or depend upon, as Children of God and Christ, is the continual immediate Guidance, Unction, and Teaching of this Holy Spirit within us? Or how can we more profanely Sin against this Spirit and Power of God within us, or more expressly call Men from the Power of God to Satan, than by ridiculing a Faith and Hope that look wholly and solely to his continual immediate Breathings and Operations, for all that can be holy and good in us?

[Addr-40] "When I am lifted up from the Earth," says Christ, "I will draw all Men to me." Therefore the one great Power of Christ in and over the Souls of Men is after he is in Heaven; then begins the true full Power of his Drawing, because it is by his Spirit in Man that he draws. But who can more resist this Drawing, or defeat its Operation in us, than he that preaches against, and condemns the Belief of a continual and immediate Inspiration of the Spirit, when Christ's Drawing can be in nothing else, nor be powerful any other Way?

[Addr-41] Now That which we are here taught, is the whole End of all Scripture; for all that is there said, however learnedly read, or studied by Hebrew or Greek Skill, fails of its only End, till it leads and brings us to an Essential God within us, to feel and find all that which the Scriptures speak of God, of Man, of Life and Death, of Good and Evil, of Heaven and Hell, as Essentially verified in our own Souls. For all is within Man that can be either Good or Evil to him: God within him, is his Divine Life, his Divine Light, and his Divine Love: Satan within him is his Life of Self, of earthly Wisdom, of diabolical Falseness, Wrath, Pride, and Vanity of every Kind. There is no middle Way between these two. He that is not under the Power of the One, is under the Power of the Other. And the Reason is, Man was created in and under the Power of the Divine Life; so far therefore as he loses, or turns from this Life of God, so far he falls under the Power of Self, of Satan, and Worldly Wisdom. When St. Peter, full of an human good Love towards Christ, advised him to avoid his Sufferings, Christ rejected him with a "Get thee behind me, Satan," and only gave this Reason for it, "for thou savourest not the Things that be of God, but the Things that be of Men." A plain Proof, that whatever is not of and from the Holy Spirit of God in us, however plausible it may outwardly seem to Men, to their Wisdom, and human Goodness, is yet in itself Nothing else but the Power of Satan within us. And as St. Paul said truly of himself, "By the Grace of God I am what I am"; so every Wise, every Scribe, every Disputer of this World, every Truster to the Strength of his own rational Learning, everyone that is under the Power of his own fallen Nature, never free from Desires of Honours and Preferments, ever thirsting to be rewarded for his theological Abilities, ever fearing to be abased and despised, always thankful to those who flatter him with his distinguished Merit, everyone that is such, be he who he will, may as truly say of himself, Through my turning and Trusting to something other than the Grace and Inspiration of God's Spirit, I am what I am. For Nothing else hinders any Professor of Christ from being able truly to say with St. Paul, "God forbid that I should glory in any Thing but the Cross of Christ, by which I am crucified to the World, and the World to me." Nothing makes him incapable of finding That which St. Paul found, when he said, "I can do all Things through Christ that strengtheneth me"; nothing hinders all this, but his Disregard of a Christ within him, his choosing to have a Religion of Self, of laborious Learning, and worldly Greatness, rather than be such a Gospel fool for Christ, as to renounce all that which he renounced, and to seek no more earthly Honour and Praise than he did, and to will Nothing, know Nothing, seek Nothing, but that which the Spirit of God and Christ knows, wills, and seeks in Him. Here, and here alone, lies the Christian's full and certain Power of overcoming self, the devil, and the world. But Christians, seeking and turning to anything else, but to be led and inspired by the one Spirit of God and Christ, will bring forth a Christendom that in the Sight of God will have no other Name, than a spiritual Babylon, a spiritual Egypt, and Sodom, a scarlet Whore, a devouring Beast, and red Dragon. For all these Names belong to all Men, however learned, and to all Churches, whether greater or less, in which the Spirit of this World has any share of Power. This was the Fall of the whole Church soon after the Apostolic Ages; and all human Reformations, begun by ecclesiastical Learning, and supported by Civil Power, will signify little or Nothing, nay often make things worse, till all Churches, dying to all own Will, all own Wisdom, all own Advancement, seek for no Reforming Power but from that Spirit of God which converted Sinners, Publicans, Harlots, Jews, and Heathens, into an holy apostolical Church at the first, a Church which knew they were of God, that they belonged to God, by that Spirit which He had given them, and which worked in them.

[Addr-42] "Ye are not in the Flesh," says the Apostle, "but in the Spirit"; but then he adds, as the only Ground of this, "if so be that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you"; surely he means, if so be ye are moved, guided, and governed by that, which the Spirit wills, works and inspires within you. And then to show the absolute Necessity of this Life of God in the Soul, he adds, "If any Man hath not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his."— And that this is the State to which God has appointed, and called all Christians, he thus declares, "God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your Hearts, crying, Abba, Father." Gal. iv.6. The same Thing, most surely, as if he had said, Nothing in you can Cry or Pray to God as its Father, but the Spirit of his son Christ come to Life in you. Which is also as true of every Tendency in the Soul towards God or Goodness; so much as there is of it, so much there is of the seed of the Woman striving to bring forth a full Birth of Christ in the Soul.

[Addr-43] "Lo, I am always with you," says the holy Jesus, "even to the End of the World." How is he with us? Not outwardly, every illiterate Man knows; not inwardly, says many a learned Doctor, because a Christ within us is as gross Enthusiasm, or Quakerism, as the Light within us.—How then shall the Faith of the common Christian find any Comfort in these Words of Christ's Promise, unless the Spirit brings him into a Remembrance and Belief, that Christ is in him, and with him, as the Vine is with and in the Branch. Christ says, "Without me ye can do Nothing"; and also, "If any man loves me, my Father will Love him, and we will come unto Him, and make our Abode with Him." Now if without Him we can do Nothing, then all the Love that a Man can possibly have for Christ, must be from the Power and Life of Christ in Him, and from such a Love, so begotten, Man has the Father and the Son dwelling and making their Abode in Him. What higher Proof, or fuller Certainty can there be, that the Whole Work of Redemption in the Soul of Man is and can be Nothing else, but the inward, continual, immediate Operation of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, raising up again their own first Life in the Soul, to which our first Father died?

[Addr-44] Again, Christ, after his Glorification in Heaven, says, "Behold I STAND at the DOOR and KNOCK." He does not say, Behold ye have me in the Scriptures. Now what is the DOOR at which Christ, at the Right-hand of God in Heaven, KNOCKS? Surely it is the Heart, to which Christ is always present. He goes on, IF ANY MAN HEARS MY VOICE; how hears, but by the hearing of the Heart, or what Voice, but that which is the Speaking or Sounding of Christ within Him; He adds, AND OPENS THE DOOR, that is, opens his Heart for me, I WILL COME IN TO HIM, that is, will be a living holy Nature, and Spirit born within him, AND SUP WITH HIM, and HE WITH ME.—Behold the last finishing Work of a Redeeming Jesus, entered into the Heart that opens to him, bringing forth the Joy, the Blessing, and Perfection of that first Life of God in the Soul, which was lost by the Fall, set forth as a Supper, or Feast of the Heavenly Jesus with the Soul, and the Soul with him. Can anyone justly call it Enthusiasm to say, that this supping of the Soul with this glorified Christ within it, must mean something more heavenly transacted in the Soul than that last Supper which he celebrated with his Disciples, whilst He was with them in Flesh. For that Supper of Bread and Wine was such, as a Judas could partake of, and could only be an outward Type or Signification of that inward and blessed Nourishment, with which the Believing Soul should be feasted, when the glorified Son of God should as a Creating Spirit enter into us, quickening, and raising up his own heavenly Nature and Life within us. Now this continual Knocking of Christ at the Door of the Heart, sets forth the Case or Nature of a continual immediate Divine Inspiration within us; it is always with us, but there must be an opening of the Heart to it; and though it is always there, yet it is only felt and found by those, who are attentive to it, depend upon, and humbly wait for it.— Now let anyone tell me how he can believe any Thing of this Voice of Christ, how he can listen to it, hear, or obey it, but by such a Faith, as keeps him habitually turned to an immediate constant Inspiration of the Spirit of Christ within him? Or how any heathenish profane Person, can do more Despite to this Presence and Power of Christ in his own Soul, or more effectually lead others into it, than that Ecclesiastic, who makes a Mock at the Light within, a Christ within and openly blasphemes that Faith, and Hope, and Trust, which solely relies upon being moved by the Spirit, as its only Power of doing that which is right, and good, and pious, either towards God or Man.— Let every Man, whom this concerns, lay it to Heart.— Time, and the Things of Time, will soon have an End; and he that in Time trusts to any Thing but the Spirit and Power of God working in his Heart, will be ill fitted to enter into Eternity; God must be all in all in us here, or we cannot be his hereafter. Time works only for Eternity; and Poverty eternal must as certainly follow him, who dies only fully stuffed with human Learning, as he who dies only full of Worldly Riches.— The Folly of thinking to have any Divine Learning, but that which the Holy Spirit teaches, or to make ourselves rich in Knowledge towards God, by Heaps of Common-Place Learning crowded into our Minds, will leave us as dreadfully cheated, as that rich Builder of Barns in the Gospel, to whom it was said, "Thou fool, this Night, shall thy Soul be required of Thee. And then, whose shall all these Things be?" Luke xii. So is every Man that treasures up a Religious Learning that comes not wholly from the Spirit of God.— But to return. To this inward continual Attention to the continual working of the holy Spirit within us, the Apostle calls us in these Words, "See that ye refuse not him that speaketh; for if they escaped not, who refused him that spoke on Earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn from Him, that speaketh from Heaven," Heb. xii.25. Now what is this Speaking from Heaven, which it is so dangerous to refuse, or resist? Surely not outward Voices from Heaven. Or what could the Apostle's Advice signify to us, unless it be such a Speaking from Heaven, as we may and must be always either obeying or refusing? St. James saith, "Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you." What Devil? Surely not an outward Creature or Spirit, that tempts us by an outward Power. Or what Resistance can we make to the Devil, but that of inwardly falling away, or turning from the Workings of his evil Nature and Spirit within us?— They therefore who call us from waiting for, depending upon, and attending to the continual secret Inspirations and Breathings of the Holy Spirit within us, call us to RESIST God in the same manner as the Apostle exhorts us to resist the Devil. For God being only a Spiritual Good, and the Devil our Spiritual Evil, neither the one nor the other can be resisted, or not resisted by us, but so far as their Spiritual Operations within us are either turned from, or obeyed by us. St. James having shown us, that Resisting the Devil is the only Way to make him flee from us, that is, to lose his Power in us, immediately adds, how we are to behave towards God, that he may not flee from us, or his holy Work be stopped in us. "Draw near," says he, "to God, and God will draw near to you." What is this Drawing near? Surely not by any local Motion, either in God or us. But the same is meant, as if he had said, Resist not God, that is, let his holy Will within you have its full work; keep wholly, obediently attentive to That, which he is and has, and does within you, and then God will draw near to you, that is, will more and more manifest the Power of his holy Presence in you, and make you more and more Partakers of the Divine Nature. Further, what a Blindness is it in the forementioned Writers, to charge private Persons with the Enthusiasm of holding the Necessity, and Certainty of continual immediate Inspiration, and to attack them as Enemies to the Established Church, when every Body's Eyes see, that Collect after Collect, in the Established Liturgy, teaches and requires them to believe, and pray for the Continual Inspiration of the Spirit, as that alone, by which they can have the least good Thought, or Desire? Thus, "O God, forasmuch as without Thee we are not able to please Thee, mercifully Grant that thy Holy Spirit may in all Things direct and Rule our Hearts." Is it possible for Words more strongly to express the Necessity of a Continual Divine Inspiration? Or can Inspiration be higher, or more immediate in Prophets and Apostles, than that which directs, that which rules our Hearts, not now and then, but in all Things? Or can the absolute Necessity of this be more fully declared, than by saying, that if it is not in this Degree both of Height and continuance in and over our Hearts, Nothing that is done by us can be pleasing to God, that is, can have any Union with him?

[Addr-45] Now the Matter is not at all about the different Effects or Works proceeding from Inspiration, as whether by it a man be made a Saint in Himself, or sent by God with a prophetic Message to others, this affects not the Nature and Necessity of Inspiration, which is just as great, just as Necessary in itself to all true Goodness, as to all true Prophecy.— All Scripture is of Divine Inspiration. But why so? "Because holy men of Old spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." Now the above Collect as well as Christ and his Apostles oblige us in like manner to hold, that all Holiness is by Divine Inspiration, and that therefore there could have been no holy men of old, or in any latter Times, but solely for this Reason, because "They LIVED as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." Again, The Liturgy prays thus, "O God, from whom all good Things do come, grant that by thy holy Inspiration we may think those Things that be good, and by thy merciful Guiding may perform the Same."— Now, if in any of my Writings I have ever said anything higher, or further of the Nature and Necessity of continual Divine Inspiration, than this Church-Prayer does, I refuse no Censure that shall be passed upon me. But if I have, from all that we know of God, of Nature, and Creature, shown the utter Impossibility of any Kind, or Degree of Goodness to be in us, but from the Divine Nature living and Breathing in us, if I have shown that all Scripture, Christ and his Apostles, over and over say the same Thing; that our Church Liturgy is daily praying according to it; what kinder Thing can I say of those Churchmen who accuse me of Enthusiasm, than that which Christ said of his blind Crucifiers, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."

[Addr-46] It is to no Purpose to object to all this, that these Kingdoms are over-run with Enthusiasts of all Kinds, and that Moravians with their several Divisions, and Methodists of various Kinds, are everywhere acting in the Wildest Manner under the Pretense of being called and led by the Spirit. Be it so, or not so, is a matter I meddle not with; nor is the Doctrine I am upon in the least affected by it. For what an Argument would this be; Enthusiasts of the present and former Ages have made a bad use of the Doctrine of being led by the Spirit of God, ergo, "He is enthusiastic, or helps forward Enthusiasm, who preaches up the Doctrine of being led by the Spirit of God." Now absurd as this is, was any of my Accusers as high in Genius, as bulky in Learning, as Colossus was in Stature, he would be at a Loss to bring a stronger Argument than this, to prove me an Enthusiast, or an Abettor of them.

[Addr-47] But as I do not begin to doubt about the Necessity, the Truth, and Perfection of Gospel Religion, when told that whole Nations and Churches have, under a Pretense of Regard to it, and for the Sake of it, done all the bad Things that can be charged upon this or that Leading Enthusiast, whether you call those bad Things, Schism, Perjury, Rebellion, Worldly Craft, and Hypocrisy, &c. So I give not up the Necessity, the Truth, and Perfection of looking wholly to the Spirit of God and Christ within me, as my promised Inspirer, and only Worker of all that can be good in me, I give not this up, because in this, or that Age, both Spiritual Pride and Fleshly Lusts have prospered by it, or because Satan has often led People into all the Heights of Self-Glory, and Self-Seeking under a Pretense of being inspired with Gospel Humility, and Gospel Self-denial.

[Addr-48] Another Charge upon me, equally false, and I may say, more senseless, is that I am a declared Enemy to the Use of Reason in Religion. And why? Because in all my Writings, I teach that Reason is to be denied, &c. I own, I have not only taught this, but have again and again proved the absolute Necessity of it. And this, because Christ has made it absolutely Necessary, by saying, "Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself," &c. For how can a man deny himself, without denying his Reason, unless Reason be no Part of Himself? Or how can a rational Creature whose chief Distinction from Brutes is that of his Reason, be called to deny himself any other Way, than by denying that which is peculiar to Himself? Let the Matter be thus expressed, Man is not to deny his Reason. Well, how then? Why, (N.B.) he is only to deny himself. Can there be a greater Folly of Words? And yet it is their Wisdom of Words, who allow the Denying of Self to be good Doctrine, but boggle, and cry out at the denying of Reason, as quite bad. For how can a Man deny himself, but by denying That which is the Life, and Spirit, and Power of Self?— What makes a man a Sinner? Nothing but the Power and Working of his Natural Reason. And therefore, if our natural Reason is not to be denied, we must keep up and follow That which works every Sin that ever was, or can be in us. For we can Sin nowhere, or in any Thing, but where our Natural Reason or Understanding has its Power in us.— What is meant in all Scripture by the Flesh and its Works? Is it something distinct, and different from the Workings of our rational and Intelligent Nature? No, it is our whole intelligent, rational Nature, that constitutes the Flesh or the Carnal Man, who could not be criminally so, any more than the Beasts, but because his Carnality has all its Evil from his intelligent Nature or Reason, being the Life and Power of it. And every Thing which our Lord says of Self, is so much said of our natural Reason; and all that the Scripture says of the Flesh and its evil Nature, is so much said of the evil State of our Natural Reason, which therefore is, ought, and must be denied, in the same manner and Degree as self and Flesh is, and must be denied.

[Addr-49] I have elsewhere shown the Gross Darkness and Ignorance which govern that which is called Metaphysics in the Schools, "that it is so great, that if you were to say, that God first creates a Soul out of Nothing, and when that is done, then takes an Understanding Faculty and puts it into it, after that, adds a Will, and then a Memory, all as independently made, as when a Tailor first makes the Body of a Coat, and then adds Sleeves, and Pockets to it were you to say this, the schools of Descartes, Malebranche, or Locke, could have Nothing to say against it." {Spirit of Love, First Part.}

[Addr-50] And here Truth obliges me to say, that Scholastic Divinity is in as great Ignorance about the Most fundamental Truths of the Gospel, as I have again and again shown, in Regard to the Nature of the Fall of Man, and all the Scripture Expressions Concerning the new Birth; and here also concerning the Doctrine, of a Man's denying himself, which modern Learning supposes to be possible without, or different from a Man's denying his own natural Reason; which is an Absurdity of the greatest Magnitude. For what is Self, but that which a man is, and has in his natural Capacity? Or what is the Fullness of his Natural Capacity, but the Strength and Power of his Reason? How then can any Man deny Himself, but by denying that which gives Self its whole Nature, Name, and Power? If man was not a Rational creature, he could not be called to deny himself, he could not need, or receive the Benefit and Goodness of Self-Denial: No man therefore can obey the Precept of denying Himself, or have any Benefit or Goodness from it, but so far as he denies, or dies to his own natural Reason, because the Self of Man, and the Natural Reason of Man, are Strictly the same Thing.— Again, our blessed Lord said in his Agony, "Not my Will, but thine be done." And had not this been the Form of his whole Life, He had not lived without Sin.—Now thus to deny our own Will, that God's Will may be done in us, is the Height of our Calling; and so far as we keep from our own Natural Will, so far we keep from Sin. But now, if our own Natural Will, as having all sin and evil in it, is always to be denied, whatever it costs us, I would fain know, how our Natural Reason can ever escape, or how we can deny our own Will, and not deny that rational or intelligent Power, in and from which the Will has its whole Existence and continual direction? Or how there can be always a Badness of our own Will, which is not the Badness of our own natural intellectual Power? Therefore it is a Truth of the utmost Certainty, that as much as we are obliged to deny our own Natural Will that the Will of God may be done in us, so much are we obliged to deny our own natural Reason and Understanding that our own Will may not be done, or followed by us. For whoever lives to his own natural Reason, he necessarily lives to his own natural Will. For our natural Will, in whatever State it is, is nothing else but our Natural Reason willing this, or that.

[Addr-51] Now hard as this may seem to unregenerate Nature, and yet harder to nature highly exalted, and big with the Glory of all That, which Wits, Poets, Orators, Critics, Sophists, and Historians have enriched it with, yet true it is, and a Truth as certain as the Fall of Man, that this full Denial of our own natural Will, and our own Natural Reason, is the only possible Way for Divine Knowledge, Divine Light, and Divine Goodness, to have any Place or Power of Birth in us.—All other religious Knowledge, got any other Way, let it be as great as it will, is only great in Vanity, Emptiness, and Delusion. For Nothing but That which comes immediately from God, can have any Thing godly in it, and all that which comes from Self, and natural Reason, however outwardly colored, can have no better a nature within, than Self-seeking, Self-esteem, and fleshly Wisdom, which (N.B.) are those very works of the Devil in us, which Christ came into the World to destroy.— For the Efforts of natural Reason, and Self-abilities, to be great in religious Knowledge from our own particular Talents, are as Satanical Things as any we carry about us, and most of all fix us in the highest Contrariety to that State, which our Lord affirms to be absolutely necessary.

[Addr-52] "Except ye be converted, and become as little Children, ye cannot enter into the Kingdom of God."— Now as sure as this is necessary, so sure is it, that no one can be thus converted, or come under the good Influence of this childlike Nature, till natural Reason, Self, and own Will, are all equally denied.— For all the Evil and Corruption of our fallen Nature consists in this, it is an awakened Life of own Reason, own Will broken off from God, and so fallen into the Selfish Workings of its own earthly Nature.

[Addr-53] Now whether this Self broken off from God, reasons, wills, and contends about the Difference of Scripture Words and Opinions, or reasons against them all, the same evil State of fallen Nature, the same Loss of Life, the same Separation from God, the same evil Tempers of Flesh and Blood, will be equally strengthened and inflamed by the one as by the other.—Hence it is, that Papists and Protestants are hating, fighting, and killing one another for the Sake of their different excellent Opinions, and yet, as to the Lusts of the Flesh, the Lust of the Eye, and the Pride of Life, they are in the highest Union and Communion with one Another. For if you expect a zealous Protestant to be therefore a new born Creature alive unto God, or a zealous Papist to be therefore dead to all Divine Goodness, you may be said to have lived in the World without either Eyes or Ears.— And the Reason why it must be so, is because bad Syllogisms for Transubstantiation, and better Syllogisms against it, signify no more towards the Casting Satan out of our Souls, than a bad or better Taste for Painting.

[Addr-54] Hence also it is, that Christendom, full of the nicest Decisions about Faith, Grace, Works, Merits, Satisfactions, Heresies, Schisms, &c., is full of all those evil Tempers which prevailed in the heathen World, when none of these things were ever thought of.

[Addr-55] A Scholar, pitying the Blindness and Folly of those who live to themselves in the Cares and Pleasures of this vain Life, thinks himself Divinely employed, and to have escaped the Pollutions of the World, because he is, day after day, dividing, dissecting, and mending Church-Opinions, fixing Heresies here, Schisms there; forgetting all the while, that a carnal Self and natural Reason have the doing of all that is done by this learned Zeal, and are as busy and active in him, as in the reasoning Infidel, or projecting Worldling. For where Self is wholly denied, there nothing can be called Heresy, Schism, or Wickedness, but the Want of loving God with our whole Heart, and our Neighbour as ourselves; nor any Thing be called Truth, Life, or Salvation, but the Spirit, Nature, and Power of Christ living and manifesting itself in us, as it did in him. But where Self or the natural Man is become great in Religious Learning, there the greater the Scholar, the more firmly will he be fixed in their Religion, whose God is their belly. I write not to Reason, says the blessed Jacob Behmen; O Enthusiasm! says the Mouth of Learning: and yet Jacob said as sober a Truth, as if he had said, I write not to Self and own Will; for natural Reason, Self and own Will, always did, and always must see through the same Eyes, and hear through the same Ears. Now let it only be supposed, that Behmen and myself, when we speak of natural Reason, mean only the natural Man (as is over and over declared by us) and then Behmen's saying, that he writes neither from Reason, nor to the natural Reason of others, is only saying that very same thing as St. Paul says, that "the natural Man receiveith not the Things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him, (N.B.) neither can he know them, (N.B.) because they are Spiritually discerned."

[Addr-56] But that I may fully show the Perverseness of my Accusers, in charging me with denying the Use of Reason in Religion, see here a Word or two of what I have said at large, and in the plainest Words, more than twenty-four years ago, which Doctrine I have maintained in all that I have since wrote. My words are these.

[Addr-57] "You shall see Reason possessed of all that belongs to it. I will grant it to have as great a Share in the good things of Religion, as in the good things of this Life; that it can assist the Soul, just as it can assist the Body, that it has the same Power and Virtue in the Spiritual, that it has in the natural World; that it can communicate to us as much of the one, as of the other, and is of the same Use and Importance in the one as in the other. Can you ask more?" All which I thus make out in the following Manner.

[Addr-58] "Man, considered as a Member of this World, who is to have his Share of the Good that is in it, is a sensible, and a rational Creature, that is, he has a certain Number of Senses, as Seeing, Hearing, Tasting, Touching, and Smelling, by which he is sensible of that which the outward World, in which he is placed, can do for him, or communicate to him, and so is sensible of what Kind and Degree of Happiness he can have from it.

[Addr-59] "Now besides these Organs of Sense, he has a Power or Faculty of Reasoning upon the Ideas, which he has received from these Senses.

[Addr-60] "Now how is it, that the good Things of this World are communicated to Man? How is he put in possession of them? To what Part of him are they proposed? Are his Senses, or his Reason, the Means of his having so much as he has or can have from this World?

[Addr-61] "Now here, you must degrade Reason just as much as it is degraded by Religion, and are obliged to set it as low with Respect to the Things of this World, as it is set with Respect to the Things of the Spiritual World. It is no more the Means of Communicating the good Things of the one, than of the other. And as St. Paul says, "The Natural Man cannot receive the Things of the Spirit of God," for this Reason, because they are Spiritually discerned; so you must of Necessity say, the Rational Man cannot receive the Things of this World, for this Reason, because they are sensibly received, that is, by the Organs of Sense. Reason therefore has no higher Office or Power in the Things of this World, than in the Things of Religion; and Religion does no more Violence to your Reason, or rejects it any other Way, than all the good Things of this World reject it; it is not Seeing, it is not Hearing, Tasting, or Feeling the Things of this Life; it can supply the Place of no one of these Senses.

[Addr-62] "Now it is only thus helpless and useless in Religion; it is neither Seeing, nor Hearing, Tasting, nor Feeling of Spiritual Things; therefore in the Things of Religion, and in the Things of this World, it has one and the same Insignificance.— It is the Sensibility of the Soul that must receive what this World can communicate to it; it is the Sensibility of the Soul that must receive what God can communicate: Reason may follow after in either Case, and view through its own Glass what is done, but it can do no more. Reason may be here of the same Service to us, as when we want any of the Enjoyments of this Life; it may direct us how and where they are to be had; it may take away a Cover from our Eyes, or open our Window Shutters when we want the Light; but it can do no more towards Seeing, than to make way for the Light to act upon our Eyes. This is all its Office and Ability in the Things of Religion; it may remove that which hinders the Sensibility of the Soul, or prevents the Divine Light's acting upon it, but it can do no more; because the Faculty of Reasoning is only the Activity of the Mind upon its own Ideas or Images, which the Senses have caused it to form from that which has been stirred up in them, but has Nothing of the Nature of that which it speculates upon by Ideas; it does not become dark, when it reasons upon the Cause or Nature of Darkness, nor becomes Light, when it reasons about it; neither is it Religion, nor gets any Thing of the Nature of Religion, when it is wholly taken up in Descriptions and Definitions of religious Doctrines and Virtues.

[Addr-63] "For the Good of Religion is like the Good of Food and Drink to the Creature that wants it. And if instead of giving such an one Bread and Wine, you should teach him to seek for Relief by attending to clear Ideas of the Nature of Bread, of different ways of making it, &c., he would be left to die in the Want of Sustenance, just as the Religion of Reasoning leaves the Soul to perish in the Want of that Good which it was to have from Religion. And yet as a Man may have the Benefit of Food much assisted by the right use of his Reason, though Reason has not the Good of Food in it, so a Man may have the Good of Religion much assisted and secured to him, by the right use of his Reason, though Reason has not the Good of Religion in it. And as it would be great Folly and Perverseness, to accuse a Man as an Enemy to the true Use of Reasoning about Food, because he declares that Reason is not Food, nor can supply the Place of it, so is it equally such, to accuse a Man as an Enemy to the Use of Reasoning in Religion, because he declares that Reasoning is not Religion, nor can supply the Place of it. We have no Want of Religion, but because we want to have more of the Divine Nature in us than we have in our fallen Nature. But if this be the Truth of the Matter (and who can deny it?) then we are sure that nothing can be our Good in Religion, but that which communicates to us something of God, or which alters our State of Existence in God, and makes us Partakers of the Divine Nature, in such a Manner and Degree as we wanted. What a Folly is it then to put any Trust in a Religion of rational Notions and Opinions logically deduced from Scripture Words? Do we not see Sinners of all Sorts, and Men under the Power of every corrupt Passion, equally zealous for such a Religion? Proof enough, that it has not the good of Religion in it, nor any Contrariety to the Vices of the Heart; it neither kills them, nor is killed by them. For as Pride, Hypocrisy, Envy or Malice, do not take away from the Mind its Geometrical or Critical Abilities; so a Man may be most logical in his Religion of Reason, Words, Doctrines, and Opinions, when he has Nothing of the true Good of Religion in him.

[Addr-64] "But as soon as it is known and confessed, that all the Happiness or Misery of all Creatures consists only in this, as they are more or less possessed of God, or as they differently partake of this Divine Nature, then it must be equally known, that Nothing but God can do or be any religious Good to us, and also that God cannot do, or be any religious Good to us, but by the communication of himself, or the manifestation of his own Life within us."

[Addr-65] Hence may be seen the great and like Blindness both of Infidels and Christians; the one in trusting to their own Reason dwelling in its own logical Conclusions; the other in trusting to their own Reason dwelling in learned Opinions about Scripture Words and Phrases, and Doctrines built upon them. "For as soon as it is known and confessed, that God is all in all, that in him we live and move and have our Being, that we can have nothing separately, or out of him, but every Thing in Him, that we have no Being or Degree of Being but in Him, that He can give us Nothing as our good but Himself, nor any Degree of Salvation from our fallen Nature, but in such Degree as he again Communicates something more of Himself to us, as soon as this is known, then it is known with the utmost Evidence, that to put a religious Trust in our own Reason, whether Confined to itself, or Working in Doctrines about Scripture Words, has the Nature of that same Idolatry that puts a religious Trust in the Sun, a departed Saint, or a graven Image." {Demonstration of the Gross Errors in the Plain Account, &c.} And as Image-Worship has often boasted of its Divine Power, because of the Wonders of Zeal and Devotion that have been raised thereby in thousands, and ten thousands of its Followers, so it is no Marvel, if Opinion- Worship should often have and boast of the Same Effects.— But the Truth of the whole Matter lies here: as the WORD manifested in the Flesh or become Man, is the one Mediator, or Restorer of Union between God and Man, so to seeing Eyes it must be evident, that Nothing but this one Mediatorial Nature of Christ, essentially brought to Life in our Souls, can be our Salvation through Christ Jesus. For that which saved and exalted that Humanity in which Christ dwelt, must be the Salvation of every human Creature in the World. But to return. What poor Divinity Knowledge comes from great Scholars, and great Readers, may be sufficiently seen from the two following judicious Quotations in a late Dissertation on Enthusiasm; the one is taken from Dr. Warburton's sermons, the other from a Pastoral Letter of Mr. Stinstra, a Preacher among the Mennonists of Friesland. That from Dr. Warburton stands thus: "By them (that is, by the Writings of the New Testament) the prophetic Promise of our Savior, that the Comforter should abide for ever, was eminently fulfilled. For though his ordinary Influence occasionally assists the Faithful, yet his constant Abode and Supreme Illumination is in the Sacred Scriptures." {Dissertation, page 10.} Dr. Warburton's Doctrine is this, that the inspired Books of the New Testament is that Comforter, or Spirit of Truth, and Illuminator, which is meant by Christ's being always with his Church. Let us therefore put the Doctor's Doctrine into the Letter of the Text, which will best show how true or false it is.

[Addr-66] Our Lord says, "It is expedient for you that I go away, or that Comforter will not come"; that is, it is expedient for you, that I leave off teaching you in Words, that sound only into your outward Ears, that you may have the same Words in Writing, for your outward Eyes to look upon; for if I do not depart from this vocal Way of Teaching you, the Comforter will not come, that is, ye will not have the Comfort of my Words written on Paper. But if I go away, I will send Written Books, which shall lead you into such a Truth of Words as you could not have, whilst they were only spoken from my Mouth; but being written on Paper, they will be my spiritual, heavenly, constant Abode with you, and the most supreme Illumination you can receive from Me.

[Addr-67] Christ says further: "I have many Things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now: howbeit when He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, He shall guide you into all Truth; for He shall not speak of Himself, for He shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you"; that is, though you cannot be sufficiently instructed from my Words at present, yet when they shall hereafter come to you in Written Books, they will give you a knowledge of all Truth, for they shall not speak of themselves, but shall receive words from me, and show them unto you. Again, Christ says, "These things have I spoken unto you in Proverbs; but the Time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in Proverbs, but will show you plainly of the Father." That is, hitherto you have only had spoken Proverbs from me, and therefore you have not plainly known the Father; but the time cometh when these spoken Proverbs shall be put into Writing, and then you shall plainly know the Father. Again, Christ adds. "Ye now therefore have Sorrow, but I will see you again, and your hearts shall rejoice, and your Joy no Man taketh from you." That is, you are now troubled at my personal Departure from you, but some written Books shall be my seeing you again, and in that Visit you shall have such Joy as cannot be taken from you.

[Addr-68] Christ also says, "If any Man loves me, my Father will Love him, and we will come unto him and make our Abode with Him." That is, according to the Doctor's Theology, certain Books of Scripture will come to him, and make their Abode with him; for he expressly confines the constant Abode and supreme Illumination of God to the holy Scriptures. Therefore (horrible to say) God's inward Presence, his operating Power of Life and Light in our Souls, his Dwelling in us, and we in Him, is something of a lower Nature, that only may occasionally happen, and has less of God in it than the dead Letter of Scripture, which alone is his Constant Abode and Supreme Illumination.— Miserable Fruits of a paradoxical Genius!

[Addr-69] Christ from Heaven says, "Behold I stand at the Door, and knock; if any man hear my Voice, and open unto me, I will come into him and sup with him." This is his true eminent Fulfilling of his prophetic Promise of being a Comforter, and Spirit of Truth to his Church to the end of the World. But according to the Doctor, we are to understand, that not the heavenly Christ, but the New Testament continually stands and knocks at the Door, wanting to enter into the Heart, and sup with it; which is no better than holding, that when Christ calls himself Alpha and Omega, He means not himself, but the New Testament.— Again, "I am the Vine, ye are the Branches; as the Branch cannot bear Fruit of itself, except it abide in the Vine, no more can ye, except ye abide in me; for without me, ye can do Nothing." Now take the Doctor's Comment, and then the Truth of all these Words of Christ was only temporary, and could be true no longer, than till the books of the New Testament were written; for then all this, which Christ has affirmed of himself, of the Certainty and Necessity of his Life and Power in them, ended in Christ, and passed over to the Written Words of the New Testament, and they are the true Vine, and we its Branches, they are That without which we can do Nothing. For thus it must be, if, as the Doctor affirms, the Writings of the New Testament are that, by which we are to understand the constant Abode and supreme Illumination of God in Man.— Now absurd, and even blasphemous, as this Interpretation of the foregoing Text is, it must be evident to every Reader, that it is all the Doctor's own; for the Letter of Scripture is only made here to claim that Divinity to itself, which the Doctor has openly affirmed to be true of it.

[Addr-70] "Rabbi," says Nicodemus to Christ, "we know that thou art a Teacher come from God." Now that which was here truly said of Christ in the Flesh, is the very Truth that must be said of the Scripture teaching in Ink and Paper; it is a Teacher come from God, and therefore fully to be believed, highly reverenced, and strictly followed. But as Christ's Teaching in the Flesh was only preparatory to his future vital Teaching by the Spirit, so the Teaching of Scripture by words written with Ink and Paper is only preparatory, or introductory to all that inward essential Teaching of God, which is by his Spirit and Truth within us.—Every other Opinion of the holy Scripture, but that of an outward Teacher and Guide to God's inward Teaching and Illumination in our Souls, is but making an Idol-God of it: I say an Idol-God; for to those who rest in it as the Constant Abode and Supreme Illumination of God with them, it can be Nothing else. For, if Nothing of Divine Faith, Love, Hope, or Goodness, can have the least Birth, or Place in us, but by Divine Inspiration, they who think these Virtues may be sufficiently raised in us by the Letter of Scripture, do in Truth and Reality make the Letter of Scripture their Inspiring God.— The Apostles preached and wrote to the People by Divine Inspiration. But what do they say of their inspired Doctrine and Teachings? What Virtue and Power was there in them? Do they say that their Words and Teachings were the very promised Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, the true Abode and Supreme Illumination of God in the Souls of Men? So far from such a blasphemous thought, that they affirm the direct contrary, and compare all their inspired Teachings and Instructions to the dead Works of bare Planting and Watering, and which must continue dead, till Life comes into them from another and much higher Power. "I have planted," says St. Paul, "Apollos has watered, but God gave the Increase." And then further to show that this Planting and Watering, which was the highest Work that an inspired Apostle could do, was yet in itself to be considered as a lifeless, powerless Thing, he adds, "So then, neither is he that planteth any thing, nor he that watereth, but God that giveth the Increase."— But now, if this must be said of all That which the inspired Apostles taught in outward Words, that it was nothing in itself, was without Power, without Life, and only such a Preparation towards Life, as is that of Planting and Watering, must not that same be said of their inspired Teachings, when left behind them in Writing? For what else are the Apostolical Scriptures, but those very Instructions and Teachings put into Writing, which they affirmed to be but bare Planting and Watering, quite powerless in themselves, till the Living Spirit of God worked with them? Or will anyone say, that what Paul, Peter, John, &c., spoke by Inspiration from their own Mouths, was indeed bare Planting and Watering, in order to be capable of receiving Life from God; but when these apostolical Teachings and Instructions were written on Paper, they were raised out of their first Inability, got the Nature of God himself, became Spirit and Life, and might be called the great quickening Power of God, or, as the Doctor says, the Constant Abode and Supreme Illumination of his Spirit with us?

 

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