Quaker Heritage Press > Online Texts > Works of James Nayler > Love to the Lost


Love To The Lost1

And a Hand held forth to the Helpless
To Lead out of the Dark

Wherein is plainly held out
Divers particular things, as they are learned of Christ; and
are most needful to be known of all who profess godliness

Set forth chiefly for the directing the simple into the living way
of Truth, as it is in Jesus Christ the Righteous, that therein
they may come to the life and power of that which the
world hath in words; which being received,
satisfies the weary soul, and makes the
creature well pleased with his Maker2

By one that seeks3 the Redemption of Zion's Seed, and a Lover
of the Creation of God, who is called James Nayler4

We have found him whom our souls loves;
And greater is he in us than he that's in the world.

London, Printed for Giles Calvert, at the Black-spread Eagle at the
West end of Paul's, 1656


Let him that reads understand

     Friends, The things following which I have declared of are not things of man, nor by man did I receive them, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ, which is contrary to the wisdom and will of man; nor to the wisdom and will of man do I commend them to be received, for the natural man's wisdom receives not the things of the Spirit of God, therefore would devour that which is born thereof. So to that wisdom I appear not, being a light thing to me to be judged thereof: but if anyone know the gift of God, and a measure of that Spirit which opens the bosom of the Father and reveals his secrets to babes, the least measure of that (if not clouded with the imaginations) will savor these things, and to such they may be profitable. So to the light of Christ, that which changeth not in everyone, I appear to be judged and discerned, which is one in the male and in the female; for therein alone both these things, and all other that proceeds from that root, makes for gathering creatures together unto that5 one name and seed wherein all the nations of the earth are blessed, as therewith they are gathered into the one word of faith and power of life, to believe and speak the same things in the godly conversation, which leads to the end of all rents, schisms, heresies and errors, sects and divisions, into that one name to be baptized,6 where the fullness of God is, blessed forever.

     So whoever thou art who shall receive these particulars following, or any thereof, and shall find anything which for the present thou canst not receive; be not hasty in judging that which yet thou knowest not, nor kick against that which comes contrary to thy will, lest thou put far from thee in thy will, that which therewith thou canst not call again, and the day of thy visitation pass over unawares, and in the evil day thou be made to cry out, "How have I hated instruction, and resisted the day of healing!"

     And this know, that no prophesy of old came by the will of man, nor by the will of man could be received; but by those that stood in their own wills was ever resisted; and so must7 it be in <49> these things, unless with the eye that never changeth thou readest them, which if thou knowest such a thing in thee and stand single therein, in the meek Spirit, not lifted up above thy measure, thou wilt come to feel how that of God in thee answers to the things of God, as face answers face; and find them to agree with the life of the Scriptures, though for the present some things appear darkly; for to that seed which is not of this world, which savors spiritually and judgeth not according to outward appearance, is my service. And to that of God in every conscience am I manifest, if therein I be received; however a good savor am I unto the Lord in them that are saved and in them that perish, at that day when it shall appear that I have not handled the word of God deceitfully. Though with the swine who feeds on the husk, this may be trampled on, and I sought to be rent, if to such it come to whom I send it not.

A Table of the Several Particulars Following
Concerning the Fall of Man
Concerning Light and Life
Concerning Righteousness
Concerning the Word
Concerning Worship
Concerning Error, Heresy, &c.
Concerning Faith
Concerning Hope
Concerning Love
Concerning Judgment
Concerning Perfection
Concerning Government, or Magistracy
Concerning Obedience
Concerning Good Works
Concerning Election and Reprobation
Concerning the New Birth
Concerning the Baptism of Christ, from that the World so calls
Concerning the Lord's Supper
Concerning Redemption
Concerning Justification, Sanctification, and Mortification
Concerning the Law
Concerning Christ Jesus
Concerning the Ministry of Christ
Concerning Free-Will
Concerning the Resurrection

Concerning the Fall of Man

     In the beginning God made all things good, so did he man, whom then he made in his own image, and placed in him his own wisdom and power, whereby he was completely furnished with dominion, power and authority over the works of God's hands, knowing the nature and use of each creature, by what8 God had placed in him of himself, who in that state was the son of God, whose seed was in himself. God also made9 the tree of life in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and both of these was good in their place, but the tree of knowledge not good for food; therefore did he that made it, forewarn of it, as the thing wherein death was placed,10 as in the other tree was life. And herein was the blessing and the curse placed,11 the life and the death, the obedience and the disobedience, election and reprobation; and these were good for man12 in their place, while man stood in his place, guided by that which placed him in the good, and forewarned him of the knowledge, and gave him power against it, while he stood in that will which had set all these things in their place, which will was free for God, and from sin, and the will of God and the will of man was one,13 and so at unity with all the creation. But when man looked out into the other, where he ruled who abides14 not in the truth, wherein the disobedience was received in, of that which was contrary to the will of God to feed upon, then he joined to that which was contrary, wherein the weakness was, and the death, darkness and blindness as to the things of God, and15 that which freely he16 had received of God, but when he grew subtle within himself, and wise to do evil, he lost the will that was free to wait upon God in his wisdom and counsel, freely to be carried forth by him; and so from the uprightness and innocency, and pure wisdom, and spiritual power, which God had placed in his heart, he fell, and into the self-inventions which he had chosen in the contrary will, and so entering into the forbidden <51> thing became accursed, lost the measure of God,17 his honor and likeness, in which he stood above the creation, and so became brutish in his understanding, & as to the things of God, as the beasts that perish,18 for the19 seed he had lost, wherein the election, the wisdom, the authority, and all happiness, present and eternal, did consist; and so became led by another seed, wherein God had placed20 emptiness of himself, which he had21 raised up for dishonor. And here it is that man hath lost his dominion over the devil, by letting him in, which otherwise had never power further than to proffer,22 which now being got in, with a show of God and godliness, into the temple of God, the principle23 part in man, and man having joined in with him, now is become his captive, in whom he makes havoc, beguiling him of the life of simplicity and godliness, and perverting his ways, as to the end for which man was made; yea, the mercies that God gives to that creature, he being above and ruler in the heart, are turned to the lust that is carnal and self-ended; and to that lust and self-ended things the man's become a servant; yea, hath so lost his dominion, as he is brought to serve the creature, over which he was ruler. Hence it is that men become servants and are captivated, some with covetousness, some with pride, some with lust and many other several things, which are become lords in the heart of man, whereby he is hurried with all eagerness out of all moderation, hunting after vanity and folly; yea, what vain toys and foolish trifles hath led away the heart of man from the pure wisdom of his God, till he scarce knows any end of running after changeable things, gluttony and excess in diet, yet not satisfied; foolery in apparel, without all stay or stop, being wholly fallen from that which is unchangeable, the true satisfaction and honor, and the further man goes in this state the more emptiness and darkness comes in upon himself; and being fallen under the earthly principle he is covered with thick darkness, so that the mind of God he knows not, nor his own woeful state he sees not, the god of this world having blinded the eye which should show him his misery, <52> and the ear being stopped which should hear the voice of the soul's shepherd, whereby he should be quickened, his eye and ear being led out to carnal things, and those captivated, so that the voice of the Spirit he knows not. And so being become heart-blind, cannot receive the way in Spirit, and whatsoever is spoken to man in this state, in love to the soul which lies in death, the serpent being above upon the earth, catcheth the thing24 into the imaginations, and the creature being led to consult with him there in the flesh, he beguiles the creature of the simplicity, and so keeps the creature in self, that he regards not the seed of God, which is fallen25 under all this death and darkness; so long as the creature will but hearken to him and his lying promises, he will lead him from one thing to another in things without, but never to see that from whence he is fallen. Therefore to all in this state Christ and all his ministers preached repentance, that all might turn their minds from these dead works to the living God, who is a Spirit, known in Spirit, and so worshipped, whose kingdom is within, and whose light is in the midst of all this darkness, though the darkness comprehend it not; but as many as repents of their following this way of self-wisdom and knowledge, and come to stand still, to such he shows his salvation, and his kingdom near at hand, which the serpent, while they follow him, doth put afar off. And as the mind is stayed to wait for the kingdom of God in Spirit, the god of the world comes to be denied and resisted; and as the mind is stayed in the light, from hearkening to the earthly, so that seed which26 lies in death comes to hear the voice of the Son of God, and to receive life and strength from the word, whereby it is raised out of the grave and appears above the earth, to receive from the Father the dew of heaven, whereby it is nourished and refreshed. And as man beholds the seed growing, so he comes to see the new creation, & what he lost in the fall, and so is restored by the power of the word in27 the Son of God, into his dominion, power and purity, made able to resist the devil, to choose the thing that is good and delight in it, as before he delighted in the contrary: so come man to be reconciled to his <53> maker in the eternal unity beyond what is to be expressed. The wisdom and power received from above, whereby the heart is set free from corruption and made able to escape the pollutions of the world, and to run the pure ways with delight, which is the glorious liberty of the sons of God, the resurrection28 from the dead,29 and the entrance into the everlasting rest.

     And now all who find yourselves fallen from your dominion, that measure of God which he placed in man, from which he received power and wisdom over the evil one; and now find yourselves led captive with the evil one, into the ways of death, sin and evil, so that corruption hath got dominion on you and over you; never look to be restored by that which leads out, for that which acts in the flesh is only evil, and will lead you from mountain to hill, and so keep you doing without, in self, without life and power, healing yourselves in false persuasions, which will not stand in stead in the evil day, nor reconcile to God to be accepted in anything you do, for that is the first man with his righteousness. But to that from which you are fallen must you look, and return into that from which you are gone out, that by the light that's in the midst of all this darkness and death you may be led in again by the blood of the cross, through the fire and sword, into the garden of God where he plants and feeds, into which the old man, with his will and works, cannot enter, nor he whose leader is any visible thing; for by the Spirit from whence man is fallen and gone out, by the same must he be led in again; and that seed which man hath sinned against must make the atonement,30 to which the31 promise is, which is free, and sets all free, as they are born thereof. So that which leads out into the knowledge is the fall; but that which leads into the simplicity of life, which is manifest in the Spirit, and not in the knowledge of the first man, that leads to the resurrection of life; for it is the hidden wisdom that God ordained before the world unto glory; so to the hidden man of the heart must you look to find it, which is not corruptible.

Concerning Light and Life

     God is the life of every creature, though few there be that <54> know it, for the darkness sees him not nor his life, though the children of darkness have got words in the Scripture (which were given forth from the light) to talk of; yet God such know not32 present; for the first beginning33 of God in the world is34 light: God said, "Let there be light," and it was so. And this light God saw that it was good. This is35 that which was in the beginning with God,36 the Word, by which all things were made and seen, and without this was nothing made that was made, nor anything seen to be good; and darkness was over the face of all the waters, till the light, which from the word came, who is the life, which life is the light of men. So none can see the life but with the light, which from the life comes, which to the life leads all that come. So this that was in the beginning is given to keep in order all the creation. That is good, but the darkness comprehends it not, though it shine in it; so all that abide in the darkness are destroyed, not discerning the life, to order and govern the creation in the light.

     So all that go out of the light go into the darkness, and there the life and image of God is lost, and there is the fall; and all who there abide are reserved in chains of darkness, not knowing the life which breaks the bonds and chains of iniquity and opens the grave and prison door. And here the soul being in death, breathing after the light, but darkness37 got above; in the darkness is the creature led into sects, opinions and errors, after the imaginations, to seek life; but further, it runs here to the sensual wisdom, further into death and darkness, till the creature be so blinded in the understanding that he thinks and imagine he doth God service when he is acting against the life of God, both in himself and others; so comes the creature of God and his life, wherewith God did furnish him to do his will, wholly to be lost, and the gospel hid that should recover him again, the god of this world having so blinded the mind, and thereby so far alienated him from the life of God, that he neither hath power and life to do the will of God, nor38 light to know where to have it, in this condition of death; and without the life of God shall the creature never be without profession, or <55> some conceit or other, to keep in a vain hope of salvation.

     And here is the sole ground and cause why we have so many sorts of forms and opinions and ways to worship, but none that doth good, nor lives in what they say, because all have lost the life of God, which is only able to bring forth the righteousness of God. And self having got the form into the imagination above the life cannot receive the life that lies under, that39 condemns it. So all the world lies in darkness, yea, thick darkness is upon all the seas, and great depth is covered with gross darkness; and from thence is the imagination spread over all, so that none can witness the work of God, neither knows the beginning nor end thereof. And this is the cause of condemnation, and it rests upon all who are out of the life of God. And no other way there is appointed of the Father, to come out of this condition, but Christ Jesus, the light and life of men, who is the light that is in the world, though the world know him not; which light shines in darkness but cannot therewith be comprehended; which light is the revealer of darkness, and manifest the deeds thereof: and the first appearance of this in the creature shows the darkness, and captivity that is in the darkness; till which the creature never comes to see the wretched condition that man is in, who is without God the life; nor till then will the creature be willing to stand still to see God's salvation, but is full with vain hopes, conceits, and imaginations; and the veil is over the heart, and what God hath there written is not seen; and so being whole, needs not the physician. And with this blind heart the creature reads the Scriptures and steals the promises that the children of light spoke of, who had the life whereby the seed was raised out of the grave, to which the promise is; but neither knows law nor Gospel; neither came so far as Moses, yet boasting of Christ.

     But when the light is minded, the creature comes to see death reigning, and self alive without the law, with that light which was given to keep out of the pollution and defilements, and so to keep the life40 clear and unspotted. With that light, that is seen and judged, which hath passed over the life and defiled it,41 and that which hath gendered to bondage is seen, and the hardness of heart <56> comes to be felt, and the cause seen, even the great transgression of the pure law; and so comes the fear of God to take hold of the man that hath lived out of the life of God, and taketh pleasure in unrighteousness; and the creature then finds trouble within, even where the strong man did keep the house in peace; and abiding in the light, the cause and end of it is seen; and dwelling in the fear, wisdom is received from above to depart from the iniquity, and in departing from the iniquity, there is a coming nearer to God; so the light grows and springs, as there is a coming nearer of42 the just paths of life. And as the light ariseth the creation is seen, and how the enmity hath spread over, and how the lust hath defiled it, and how that which was planted as a vineyard is become as a wilderness for barrenness, grown over with thorns and briars, sturdy oaks and tall cedars, for want of the vine-dresser; and where the lily should grow, it's grown over with weeds, thistles, and nettles; so that God walks not there because of the great abomination; and that is the cause of all your woe, even his absence.

     And when you see this, the lamentation begins in the house of laughter, even after him from whom you have fallen; and as you follow the light, and come nearer to the Lord from whence it comes, you will see that is only your own wills and ways that hath separated you from the Holy One. And with the light you will come to see how often you have been moved by the Spirit of light, from your evil ways; and that the cause why you have been thus long in the fall hath been in self-will and worldly pleasures, whereby the life hath suffered; never till then comes any to see him whom you43 have pierced, nor to lament over him, nor to see what it is that oppresseth the just, nor to hate that which God hates and love that which he loves, in any measure; but joins with that which destroys the soul and devours44 the life; and it makes a profession; a prayer against it in words, and that's the Pharisee and hypocrite, who with the words destroys the life, who makes a profession above the life, but not in the life; and this is he that climbeth up some other way than the life which is the door, to which the light leads. And in this state are all the high-minded lofty ones, whose mouths speak of great things, swelling words <57> of vanity (for so are words without life), empty brass, giving a pleasant voice45 to the carnal ear, but cannot evidence the life and the works of it, who have the saints' words present, but their righteousness is as far off as Judea, Corinth, Thessalonica, &c. And these are they who in words confess God but in works deny him; who have a large faith in words but to the good work reprobate; for none can be of any true judgment concerning the work of God, who are strangers to the life that works it.

Concerning Righteousness

     That righteousness which God accepts is but one, which is his own, perfectly fulfilled and manifest in the world in Christ Jesus the light and Savior thereof; which righteousness is not of the world, nor manifest to the world, nor in the world received, but by the world ever judged as unrighteousness,46 nor can the world inherit it, but only they who believe in the light of Christ, which God hath given into the world, to lead out of the world to Christ, where God's righteousness is. And47 there be many talkers of this righteousness, yet none inherit it further than by faith they receive the Son of righteousness, and with him his righteousness is freely imputed, or48 put into the creature, a free gift from the Father; and with this righteousness is the creature made righteous even as he is righteous, even as the measure of49 Christ is received, and no further; and whose life is kept in the measure of him, as he is so are we in this present world, and not of this world, even as he is not of this world; and herein is boldness in the day of judgment, in that which is perfect. And all that is not perfect50 is self; and with the righteousness of Christ, denied in the light; which condemns all self-actings under what pretense soever.

     So who abides in that righteousness, abides in that which denies self and all51 the world; and so lives in obedience to that which is contrary to all51 men's wills, and so everywhere evil spoken on; for the will of men52 works not the righteousness of <58> God; but this righteousness is wrought into53 the creature, in that obedience which is contrary to the will of the flesh; and in the faith by the eternal Spirit is the new begetting, both of the will and the deed; and so the new is born54 of the Spirit and life. And so far as any have this righteousness, he doth not lie under sin nor give place to the devil; but it is as a breastplate against all assaults on the right hand and on the left; and all who have not this are they who have that which will not stand in stead in the evil day. So you that say your righteousness is as filthy rags, why do you abide in that? Gods righteousness is not so. Wherefore cease from that, and own that which is perfect; even that everlasting righteousness in which all his Saints have been gathered unto55 himself; who can receive nothing but what's his own, and it must be yours also, else can you not be received in it. In vain do you plow wickedness and sow iniquity, and think to reap righteousness.

     So with the light you may see what works in you, and to what you yield yourselves servants to. That you bring forth while you live, that will go with you; so56 if you own no works in you but what God works; you shall have no righteousness but what is perfect, even the least measure of it. And as you obey unto this righteousness, you shall see the spiritual man raised and living, and the bonds of death broken, and that living which gives power over hell and death. Then may you say, the Spirit is life because of righteousness: and your dead profession will be judged with the life, as it arises, and57 seen to be fruitless.

     But this is blasphemy in your own eyes, who have made Christ's righteousness a cover for your abomination. What wickedness now is so vile in these nations, but the righteousness of Christ is made a cover, and men bless themselves therewith in the greatest abomination? And this hath its beginning at the head of the deceit, and is gone over all the whole body. For to cover your wickedness, pride and covetousness have your teachers invented this faith, that it's sufficient to believe in a righteousness you read of in the letter (though you be not obedient to it in spirit). But <59> you that are not servants of righteousness are no servants of Christ's and his works; and your faith, without his works, will be little worth to salvation; and even as it saves you out of sin, so will it save you out of condemnation, and no further. And this, that58 your conscience will witness, if you take counsel at it: No further than you find the power of his righteousness working in you, and you owning it in obedience and subjection, and joining to it against all unrighteousness, no more of it can you inherit, nor be made the righteousness of God in him.

     And at that day when he comes to separate the precious from the vile, then will you see in what stead your notions of righteousness are, when the worker of iniquity is found and judged with Christ's righteousness, of which you have been boasting in words, without the power of it: by the power and purity of it shall all the workers of iniquity be judged and condemned. So deceive not yourselves: he that works righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous; but he that talks of this and commits sin is of the devil, and with him must inherit, by whom he is acted and guided; for God's righteousness will not mix with, nor cover deceit, nor was it ever given for that purpose; but as it is obeyed, it reveals and destroys man's righteousness and unrighteousness, as it is revealed from faith to faith, by which the just lives,59 and the unjust perisheth59 and passeth59 into death. And all who have Christ's righteousness can witness this effect, to kill and make alive, as by faith it is received; and this is Zion's righteousness that goes forth as a brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth, that the Gentiles may see it and its glory, and the heathen be ashamed of their abomination.

     Be ashamed you heathens, who have hid the Lord's righteousness under your pride and covetousness; who have exalted the idols of the world and bring forth to the oppressor, who have bowed down to the god of this world, and his begettings are in all houses and assemblies, and the name of the Lord you have polluted before all the world; yet will you lean upon the Lord, and say, "the righteousness of Christ, the righteousness of Christ"; <60> in that you have more dishonored his righteousness than all that were ever before you; and the name of a Christian is become a reproach in all the world, because of your unfaithfulness to his righteousness. For this will he plead with you, and will take from you the covering, that you may appear, and he will bring forth his righteousness to your confusion, and his own shall witness him in the gate, and his work shall praise him openly; so shall all sinners be afraid, and fearfulness surprise the hypocrite, when God shall60 own his own righteousness and judge the wicked after the works of their hands.

Concerning the Word

     The word is that which was in the beginning, and was the beginning of all visible things, and that by which all things were made, but itself is invisible; which though it be the upholder of all visible things, yet can no visible thing reveal it; yet doth it reveal the ground and use and end of all visibles. And as without it "was nothing made that was made," so without it is nothing seen as it was made, nor anything can be guided nor used in its pure place; but whatever man meddles with, not having the word in him to guide, order, and sanctify, the same he defiles, and it is polluted as to him. Nor can this word be comprehended in heaven or earth; without this word can no holy Scripture be read with profit, for it opens the Scriptures,61 and the Scriptures declare of it, yet cannot the Scriptures nor all the writings of the world comprehend it nor declare the depth and extent of it, which is beyond all generations; yet is it the teacher and guide of his own in all generations; and in all generations of saints hath been known in measure, more or less immediately, though it has no place in the world's profession.

     So hearing of a word, but not knowing it, men say the letter is it. But who hath the word hath that which comprehends death and hell and the grave; that which binds and chains Satan, overcomes the world, gives issues of life and light whereby the new creation is known, wherein dwells righteousness; and this everyone hath, so far as he hath the word abiding in him; but so hath not everyone that hath the letter. Nor can any man's will change <61> the word, for it is contrary to all men's wills; nor can any man's wit open or expound this word, which confounds the wisdom of the wise and brings the understanding of the prudent to naught; that hides from the wise and prudent, and reveals to babes; and the word grows and increases within the babes, but so doth not the letter; and as it grows, it sanctifies all that have it, but so doth not the letter; and it's a fire and a hammer to all that have it, but so is not the letter; it is quick and powerful, to the dividing asunder the joints and marrow, the soul and spirit, wherever it is, so is not the letter. And the word is a reproach to every carnal mind, even to them especially who62 profess the letter. Whosoever have the word, with it are washed and cleansed and translated from the world, and conformed to God, so far as they have it; but many have the letter who know not God, but are in the unclean customs and fashions and ways of the world, not changed, nor reconciled.

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

     But such, reading of the word which came to the saints (in obedience to which they were washed and purified, in which they were begotten again), they finding that the saints had this word, but63 not knowing it, they say the letter is it, which doth but declare of it: and so their word hath not power in them to overcome the devil and break the bonds of wickedness; whereas the word of God is not bound but free, and sets free all that64 have it abiding in them, which breaks down the seat of sin, and raises up and quickens the seed of God which lives in the life of God (which through sin, death hath passed over) and so65 quickens the mortal body to newness of life. So that the old life and the word cannot stand <62> together in one body; nor doth the old man, who lives in that life, know any word but the letter; and the life of that he knows not; but in the imagination searches with the fallen wisdom for that which God hath in his wisdom hid from it; and in this is all the darkness; to this man the Scriptures are spoken as a parable and mystery, which in that disobedient wisdom cannot be found out. So is the simplicity deceived with meanings, addings, and wrestings, which are all in that man which cannot enter, in whom the word dwells not, nor can anything such do be accepted, because it is not from the word; for all that comes not from the word, by the word is condemned not to be the work of God; for all that God made, he made it by the word; and it was seen in the light to be good, which was made with the word. And here all stood in the reconciliation to God; but when man went out from the word, then he went out from the good, and so with the light was seen to be in the evil, and so was accursed from the same word against which he had sinned; and so long as out of that word he acts, all is accursed, being self and not God that works it.

     And so man being gone out into the world, the light of the gospel is preached to turn man again to know the word, that coming to the knowledge thereof in his heart, and having his mind stayed thereto in the light, he may come to see the power of the word working in Spirit, working out the unclean nature and the rebellious will, and working in the pure nature in the cross, slaying the carnal man with all his affections; and so through death thereof raising up the new man, making a new creation in Christ Jesus, with power unto good works from the eternal word; and this God owns when he is the mover thereof and worker also, and the creature only servant therein, in the same power. And this is not a self-taken-on performance from the letter, but is the eternal counsel and strength of God, commanded, moved, and performed in God's will and time, and contrary to the will of the flesh, whereby the will of all flesh is subdued, even all that is come in since the beginning, till all be seen in the light to be good, and the work of God; and so his works praise him, from a good understanding of the Spirit and power of the living God. And with the living word is the living soul witnessed, and the life of Christ made manifest in the mortal body, and the creature comes to have fellowship in the life, and is transformed thereinto and united in <63> one; and this is the word of reconciliation, which unites God and the creature in Spirit; which whoever knows, needs not go forth for wisdom, counsel or strength against all the powers of darkness nor wiles of the enemy, but by diligent taking heed to the word which is nigh in the heart, from thence finds the issues of life, spiritual strength, and power against the spiritual wickedness, which all who run out for help, lie under and become servants of.

Concerning Worship

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

     So that before any can rightly worship God they must wait to know his Spirit that leads to know him and his worship, and the matter and manner; for all who do the same thing66 as to the outward performance do not worship God, because they worship not in Spirit and power of God himself. So that all who would so worship him as to be accepted, you must know the light, and in it wait to know what God calls for at your hands: for it is not what men appoint you to do or not to do that will acquit you before the Lord. For this know, that God made man for himself and for his service, and the living God is not as the dumb idols, that people should imagine a way to serve him as may best suit with the fashion and custom of a nation or a people: but he that made man hath given him a life from67 himself, to improve it in <64> his service; and a light hath he given wherewith to see the moving of this Spirit of life, which ever moves after the will of God, because it is of him; and so where it is awakened it ever draws the creature towards God; the mind, and will, and affections, and love of God is in it, and who walks in the light sees this.

     But the creature running before this, or without this, there comes all the dead works and worships. And the ground of all this ariseth out of darkness and disobedience; for when the creature hath been out in the world and unrighteous ways thereof, doing that which is evil, then that in the heart condemns for the evil and neglect of good; then the same mind runs to act a worship to get peace, when both the evil and the worship is in one nature, and so the prayer becomes abomination, as the others was, for he that regards the iniquity, God will not hear his prayers nor accept his worships; that's Cain's sacrifice, and Esau's prayers; but either must your worship be performed in one that never sinned, or it cannot be accepted with the pure God.

     So that the way to be well-pleasing to the Father is to wait in the light till you see something of the Spirit of life which is in Christ Jesus moving in you, and then to that join, in its power to worship; and that being of God, he cannot forget himself; and that is done in the name of Christ, which is done in his light and power and wisdom and strength; and whatever is done in his name is not denied of the Father; and so far as any are in him, so far sons, and so far accepted in him, without whom you can do nothing, nor be respected; nor did ever any worship in this nature but they found acceptance and the knowledge thereof; and you who know not this to lead and guide you in your worships, are worshipping you know not what, nor with what; and though you say that God works all your works in you, and that it's his work and worship you are about, yet when it comes upon trial he will not own it for his, which the worker of iniquity hath wrought. For the evil worker hath not only his hand in the deceitful works of the unrighteous mammon but in the deceitful works of worship too. For did he not deceive in worship, to hide his wickedness with pretence of godliness and long prayers, he could not keep people in any peace in his wicked ways. So they who join to him herein receive the greater <65> damnation:68 for the false worshippers were always greatest enemies to Christ and so to their own souls; and woe to him that hides his sin thus.

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

     But do not you offer the sacrifice of fools, who have been worshipping all your time and yet have his worship to learn? And are but still asking if this be the right worship, & have it yet to dispute? (if not confident in a false way, which is much worse); and such are you who are fighting and contending for such a manner of worship as Christ never ordained, nor his own ever practiced; as you may see if you compare your national worship with the saints' practice; which is changed in every particular, and that by men and councils, under pretense of decency and conformity, or something that stands in men's will, which God never commanded. But you may long worship here and call it God's worship ere he own it by answering you; yet was Nebuchadnezzar <66> never more zealous for his image than you are for this, if you had but his power; yea, them who have found the everlasting way of Christ, and an answer from God in it, such would you force to bow to your imaginations, where you know not God nor his presence with you therein; nor can you ever find God in that way which is not his own, nor is that his own which generations of men and councils have altered and added to, and changed from time to time, as may most suit their customs and countries; so that each nation hath its different manner of worship, but all out of the counsel of God, agreed on by councils of men.

     And all you who are gone out in anything from Christ the true pattern and example, you are gone into the imaginations of men and so are become servants of men, and not of God, herein. For God is pure, and so is his way and worship, and without his command cannot be changed in the least jot, but by him is denied and is become will-worship and not God's worship: for it is not the name that makes it God's worship; but it is the nature of it, which must be in Spirit and will of God, contrary to the will of all69 men, and their wisdom, wherein men in all ages have performed the idolatrous worship and set up likenesses instead of true worship, though being heart-blind did not know it, but ever looked upon all to be out of the way but themselves. And this is your work, who at this day set up an imitation from the letter of what other men have done, but have not received your command & power in Spirit from the Lord; and to you it will be said, "Who hath required these things at your hands?" for all the saints have their commands in Spirit, but yours is in letter, and so of another ministration; for the literal ministration is done away in the spiritual,70 and all that knows the command in Spirit knows it is life eternal and gives life to fulfill the command, and so the worship is spiritual; and the heart and the mind and soul is united in it; and so being in one there is no idolatry nor likeness, but in one is the command, and power, and life, and will, and way, and worship; but all you who have taken on the saints' practice to perform the like, but not called, commanded and furnished in Spirit, you want <67> power and life, and so even in the time of your worship your hearts are going out after carnal things, and there is the spiritual idolatry: for whatever your minds are in, that is your god you worship, and the pure God owns no such; for it's truth in the inward parts he seeks for, wherein none of you can worship who knows not the living word in your hearts, to keep them up to God in your worship; and that worship which71 is not in the will of God is the worship of devils.72

Concerning Error, Heresy, &c.

     It is not error to forsake the opinions of any natural man whatsoever, nor to withdraw from the church of Rome, as they call it, nor from any who have reformed some things since the time of popery but yet are not come to the true foundation of the apostles, though they call themselves national churches, or gathered churches whatsoever. But the error is to err from the Spirit of God and its73 teachings, and that church which by its teaching alone is gathered into God, out of all the ways, worships, sects, and opinions of the world, convocations and councils, that are not in God. And the church so gathered into God is the pillar & ground74 of truth, where the Spirit alone is teacher; and all that are gone out from this church and teaching are in error, where all the sects and opinions and false ways and worships are, & their teachers, who have erred from the Spirit of Christ, and the saints' teacher and their practice, and are gone after their pride and covetousness and filthy lucre: here lies the world's teachers, though they do not know from whence they are erred because they never yet came in the right way; nay, who never yet came so far as Balaam, who had the word of the Lord from his own mouth, and knew it, and yet his heart erred after gifts and honor. So these preach against Balaam, but cannot see themselves in the same error, ever since they were promoted to honor and gifts, and masterships and great livings, by the pope, who received his power from the beast and gave of it to all his adherents, to cause all that75 dwell on the earth to worship them, but such whose <68> names are written in the book of life, who have suffered to this day, and do suffer, because they cannot bow to that power nor worship it, nor according to its likeness; and under pretense of heresy and error do these always suffer, by such who are erred and with the spirit of error do judge, which spirit hath shed all the innocent blood since Abel to this day, though the error was ever in the persecutor.

     So that there is no error but what goes from the Spirit of Christ and his teachings, and all who are gone from that are gone into error, whatever they pretend. And that which leads from that Spirit is the mother of confusion and vain janglings and contention, disputing about the things of God, but are gone out into the world, where all the deceived ones are, antichrists and seducing spirits which deceives the nations with enchantments and witcheries, which none can see, till to the light of Christ and his Spirit they return, which only leads out of all errors as it is believed and followed. For no spirit can lead out of error but that Spirit which never erred; and whoever is led out by any other is erred already, though unknown to them who are so deceived. For error could never76 judge of error, nor darkness of light, though it will be doing, to show enmity.

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

     And whatever that be which leads out into the world's conformity and pleads for it, or anything that is come in by the fall, that is the spirit of error. But that Spirit which testifies against <69> all that is in the fall, and convinceth of it, and leads out of it, that is the Spirit of truth and comes to testify of the Redeemer Christ Jesus, who is to set us free out of it; which all that live in, live in error.

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

Concerning Faith

     He that hath living faith which is in Christ lives by it; and the life that he lives is above all the world and the powers of darkness; and the least measure of that faith is perfect, and is77 present power against all the assaults of Satan, if in it the creature abide faithful, and run not to other helps, and so lay himself open to distrust; for it is the gift of God, whereof whosoever receives a measure, he hath a measure of the Son, above which the Father will not suffer any temptation; for the true faith lays hold upon God's righteousness, against which no unrighteousness can prevail; which righteousness is received by faith in Christ Jesus; wherein the creature so believing stands armed against all the fiery darts and temptations of the devil, with God's righteousness, seen in the light and wrought in the Spirit, whereby the creature becomes God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, by which he becomes free from the evil; dead to sin, but alive to God's righteousness, waiting in faith to see it revealed through obedience thereto, from faith to faith, as it is written, "The just shall live by faith"; and this is the living faith, which purifieth the heart unto the life of godliness, and so reveals the righteousness of faith for an inheritance, everlasting righteousness, ever growing <70> and springing, whereby the creature grows into the knowledge of God, with him to walk by faith, out of the knowledge of all the world, translated out of the pleasures and kingdoms of it, into the kingdom of the Son of God, where the reproach of Christ is esteemed great riches; laying hold upon the invisible, which the world's faith cannot reach, which carries them no higher than visible reasonings and consulting with sensual wisdom and carnal helps, and so brings nothing to perfection, because it sees nothing that is perfect; but the living faith sees him that is invisible, and lays hold on the measure of God made manifest in Spirit, which measure of the Spirit is that which in faith worketh out the old, and worketh the new, both will and deed, whose work is perfect to kill and to make alive.

     But the world's faith is not of this nature and power, who hear a thing with the outward ear, and so set themselves to believe or not to believe it, in their wills or outward persuasion, from others, or in their own imagination; and as their imaginations, thoughts, and conceiving changes, so their faith changes also; and so it cannot be steadfast, because it stands not in the measure of God known in the heart, which changes not; and this faith serves not God, nor can it please him, nor doth it see him that is invisible. And so not standing in that which is contrary to the will of man and power of sin, it lies under the wills of men, and power of the prince of this world; and as the world and times changes, so doth that faith, but can never lead out of the world and all time, up to the redeemer of the soul. And to all who are in that nature, the living faith that stands in that which is of God in a pure conscience is a mystery, not known nor received, and so cannot be improved, which is the true faith, which is the gift of God, which none can receive but in the Spirit. So the faith of Christ and the faith of the world are two, and have their several effects and fruits; the one professeth freedom and redemption in the imaginations and comprehensions, but is a servant of sin; and the other hath the living faith which gives the life of freedom, and so as is their ground and root, so is their fruits and effects; and the one of these is against the other. For that faith which stands in Christ believes in purity and in perfection and holiness, and slays sin, and by that faith alone the just <71> lives,78 and justice and righteousness is brought forth to light, in the godly conversation; but that faith which stands in the imaginations and wisdom of man, which believes salvation without holiness of life, that slays the just and keeps alive the unjust; and this faith they had which believed the Scriptures and the words of the prophets, and that God was their Father; but not having the word of faith in their hearts, these slew the Son of God and set the murderer free: and as that faith which is dead works death, so that faith which is living worketh life. And a profession of faith without righteousness is like a body without life; and like as a living man is known by his actions, so is the living faith by its fruits. And as the man cannot live without action, no more can faith in Christ without righteousness; these are inseparable, therefore it is called the righteousness of faith; where the heart believes unto righteousness, there the mouth confesseth to salvation, without hypocrisy or self-righteousness.

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

     And in the eternal light is all your faith seen and judged to be without Christ, and without foundation, who are out of the light and out of the life. And your faith is seen to be the same with the scribes and Pharisees, who believed the Scriptures and thought to find life therein, but did not believe in the light, and so would not come to Christ that they might have life. So all your faith which is out of the light, which from the letter you have formed, is a faith set up in your own wills, and not that which is given of God: for that faith that is the gift of God believes in the light and follows it, and so leads to the life; and this <72> faith that stands in the light and life is the living faith and never without works, which works are love, meekness, patience, mortification, sanctification, justification, &c.—the works of God in Christ Jesus, in which God's workmanship is seen in the new creation, received in the faith and in the obedience to which the soul is purified, and victory witnessed over the world, sin and death. But you who believe not in the light are enemies to this faith, and yet you get the words of the Scripture, given forth from the light, and so your faith stands in the wisdom of words, into which you have been searching with your wisdom, but not in the power of God and his work: so you are they who say and do not, whose practice could never suit your profession.

Concerning Hope

     Hope is a gift of God and is pure, and stands in that which is pure, showing that purity of God, and his righteousness in Christ Jesus, the beholding whereof stays the soul from joining to the wicked one, when he tempteth, because he sees in the light a better work to serve; so that until the time of that work being79 manifest, the hope is as an anchor to stay from following the unclean one, and so keeps out of the sin, and so makes not ashamed, even then in the time of want it hopes against hope. When that life of Christ is not yet seen in its full power, yet it is evidenced in the hope, which is wrought in the patience and experience, whereby the love appears and the faith works, whereby God's righteousness is revealed, and the Son is seen who is the redeemer, and he that hath this hope in him purifies himself even as he is pure. And this is that hope that enters within the veil into the holy place, where the life and immortality is brought to light, which the mortal eye nor carnal senses cannot approach to. And this is the living hope, which hopes to the end, that Christ and his righteousness may be revealed, to take away sin, and save from it, and out of it; and in hope of this, the children and babes of Christ wait in the obedience of the Spirit, not fashioning themselves after the lusts of ignorance; but as he who hath called to that hope is holy, so in his holiness is their conversation, who are in his hope.

     But the devil hath begotten another hope, as like this as may <73> be,80 in his servants who believe him and are acted by his spirit, which stands in another ground and brings forth another fruit, and that is that though they be servants to sin (for that must be concluded in all his covenants and graces) yet there is hopes of salvation; and such hopes as may not be judged false nor questioned, although the witness of God in the conscience doth testify to the contrary, yet it must not be heeded, lest they be deluded. So that where he81 is become teacher, a tender conscience is to be resisted as the greatest error and foolery in the world; and that to wait for the testimony or witness within is to deny Christ at Jerusalem, and the greatest blasphemy that can be spoken of; and to wait for that mystery that hath been hid from ages (to wit), Christ within the hope of glory, is to deny the person of Christ and his blood and sufferings. And many such imaginations hath he82 begot in people's brains, to scare them from minding the light of Christ within, that so he may keep the heart in darkness, and his seat there undiscovered.

     So he sets them to look for the kingdom of Christ without them, and a Spirit without, and a light without, and a word without, and righteousness without, and in that to hope; while he dwells in the heart, and there in darkness upholds his kingdom of sin and seat of unrighteousness all their life, and feeds them with a hope after they are dead, by a profession without power and life and Spirit and truth in them, to order them and their conversation aright, towards God and man in their generations. And this is the hope of the hypocrite, that must perish in the end and come short of salvation, whose hope is not in God, nor gives being in righteousness; but he hath a hope, and lives in the world without God and his hope. And this is not the hope of Christ, which lives in sin and hopes for salvation; but this is his hope83 that hopes to freedom and perfection, which never comes short of its end in all that wait in it. And this hope only is it that makes not ashamed. But you may be ashamed of your hope, who are found in your sins and encouraging yourselves therein that you shall not die.

     That's the devil's hope, which hopes not freedom from sin as much as freedom from hell. And with this hope would he make <74> God a liar, and partial like himself, that he should find some in sin and save them, and others in sin and condemn them. But who knows Christ and hopes in him, hopes in righteousness, and therein to stand in the day of judgment; and therein to live in this evil world above it and all the unrighteousness of it. And the end of the lively hope is no less than God's righteousness to attain and live in, as it is received; and only such can give a reason of that hope that is in them, who sanctify the Lord God in their hearts, and have a good conscience, and suffer for well-doing; which unreasonable men, who live in the unreasonable nature, cannot do, whose hope is not an helmet of salvation against sin, yet would have it for salvation against hell. And this is that unreasonable hope in unreasonable men, for which they can give no reason, but in their own wills and imaginations. For is there any reason why you should hope to be saved by Christ, who will be the devil's servants, to yield your members servants to, and delight in his wickedness while you live, and yet be saved by Christ's righteousness when you die? This is a hope that serves you to talk on, to feed yourselves in your vanity; but will be in the end like the giving up of the ghost. But who is begotten into84 the lively hope, are begotten into an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, whereunto they are kept by the power, in hope through faith, unto salvation from sin, the thing that he that's begotten of God longs and hopes for, which hope shall not fail.

Concerning Love

     The love of God is but one, and in one, nor can any receive it but who receive that one, the Son of God; and this cannot stand with self, or any changeable thing; for God is that love, and none can dwell in it but as he dwells in God: so it's pure and perfect. As the creature comes to live in God, as he is, into his image and likeness; so with the pure light his love is seen and shed abroad in the heart, whereby the power of faith works, to the overcoming all that is contrary to God. So the love of God abounds, and who dwells in it worketh no ill; but the work of love fulfills the law of God, which is upon all that's gone out <75> from him into the world and self-ends, which hath85 received in the love of carnal things, and so are gone into the enmity against God, setting the affection on changeable things; for whosoever will be a friend to the world is the enemy of God; for the world's love arises from the spirit of the world; but the love of God is a fruit of God's Spirit, and none hath the love of God but who hath that Spirit from which it springs, which is eternal, unchangeable and above all carnal things, nor can time or carnal things quench it, for it endures forever. And herein it differs from all the world's love; nor can anyone have this love, but in the fountain of love, even the manifestation of God's love shed in the heart, wherewith he first loved the creature. And this being known and seen in the light, from thence is the spring of love, which runs out to the whole creation of God, and for the same end; for as the love is one, so the end is but one.

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

     So that this love of God consists of reproofs, judgment and condemnation against all that defiles the creation, and against the creature who yields to that pollution; and this is pure love to the soul, that deals faithfully therewith in declaring its condition; and that was the great love Christ showed the Jews, when he told them they were hypocrites, blind guides, liars, and said, "Woe to you, ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can you escape the damnation of hell?" And many such plain true words he spoke in love to them. And that was the love of God in Paul, which <76> said to Elymas, "O full of subtlety and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?" For all the love that can be showed to any creature is to deal faithfully and truly with them as they are seen in the light; and he who doth not so loves neither God nor them (as will be found in the day of judgment) and so are out of God's love, and have imagined86 a love which is of another nature; and with this love, such as87 are out of the love of God, flatter one another in your evil ways and changeable opinions, which love is grounded in carnal things and stands in your own wills. And therewith, when you will, you love; and when you will, you hate (but neither knows love nor hatred as it is in God88), whose love and hatred stands in changeable things; so your love and hatred perisheth, which stands not in God. But who knows the love of God tramples upon all your love and hatred, and sees an end thereof. And such see your blindness, who say you would have all won by love, but know not whereof you affirm; whose ways are not God's ways, nor your thoughts his. For, saith he, "I will redeem Zion with judgment, and with the spirit of judgment and burning will I wash away the filth thereof." But you who are in your filth would have all flattered therein.

     So that love is seen to be filthy which spares filthiness, which defiles the temple of God; but that is pure, which purges away the filth and condemns the unclean, and all that loves it; for the love of the devil may be won with serving of him, and flattering him in his ways, in them in whom he is; but what is it worth? So may one have the love of all the world, and their friendship, but woe to that friendship which is got by sparing God's enemies, that is enmity against God. Therefore, says God, "let love be without dissimulation; abhor that which is evil, cleave to that which is good"; and that love is it which uncovers sin, which condemns sin to death, and covers it with righteousness. Otherwise (saith the Scriptures) "he that covereth sin shall not prosper." And, saith James (Jas. 5:20), "he which converteth a sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul, and shall hide <77> a multitude of sins." And saith Solomon, "Open rebuke is better than secret love"; such wounds are precious to them that know what love is; but he that spares men's wickedness, hates God's righteousness. And so with the light is seen God's love and the devil's love; and each loves his own works, and so do their children in whom they reign; for whoever loves the one, hates the other; and he that serves the one, hates the other; and so the servant pleads for his master, whom he loves.

Concerning Judgment

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

     Therefore his judgment must pass before, upon all that's unrighteous, and none can have his righteousness but who receives his judgment. Therefore, says the Lord, "I have hewed them by the prophets, I have slain them by the words of my mouth, and my judgments are as a light that goeth forth." And for this end is judgment given to the saints of the Most High. And, saith the Lord, "righteous men89 shall judge them after the manner of <78> adulteresses, and after the manner of women that shed blood, because they are adulteresses, and blood is in their hands; thus will I cause the lewdness to cease out of the land." Therefore is Ezekiel so often commanded to judge them and cause them to know their abominations. And Jeremiah was full of the fury of the Lord, and he was weary with holding it in. And Micah was full of power, by the Spirit of the Lord and of judgment, to declare to Jacob his transgression and to Israel his sin. And so in all ages he placed his judgments in his servants, who are to judge the heathen and such as know not God therewith; and so many as did believe it and receive it did repent and found mercy, and the rest were hardened. And this judgment is eternal, and shall stand in heaven as it is passed upon earth. And this was committed to the apostles as a doctrine; and whom they bound, were bound; and who by it they loosed, were loosed. Therefore did all the saints love judgment; for it is the ministration of Christ, ministered out upon all that's against Christ, and that which is against Christ is against the soul: so this judgment must begin at the house of God, but where the devil keeps the house, he rejects it; and saith Solomon, "The ungodly scorn judgment," and evil men understand it not. So, saith he, there is that's destroyed for want of judgment; and he that hath not judgment is blind and sees not that his enemy reigns, which must90 reign till judgment be brought into victory and set in the earth; but when judgment is laid to the line, and righteousness to the plummet, then the covenant with hell and death must be disannulled. So all that are in this covenant loves not that which breaks it.

     And this is your case, who hates reproof, who when you are told of your evil hearts where sin lives, and your cursed crooked nature, you say, Who made you a judge? And many say, you could like what we say, but we judge people. So you are they that hate judgment, and would not have the ministry of Christ to go on; for who hath the Spirit of Christ hath the Spirit of judgment; and who serves that Spirit must suffer it to speak and judge in them; and all that oppose it shall be condemned by it. Therefore said David, "The tongue of the righteous talketh <79> judgment, the law of God is in his heart, his steps shall not slide, but the wicked seek to slay him."

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

Concerning Perfection

     God is perfect, and so are all his works and all his gifts; and whoever receives his gifts, receives that which is perfect. And by receiving and joining to that which is perfect is the creature91 made perfect. And no farther than the creature is in this perfection, can any be united to God, nor appear in his sight, nor be blessed, but is gone out into the curse,92 from what was in the beginning, and so is in the fall, unredeemed,93 and hath no more of Christ, than what he hath of perfection; for perfection is of Christ, and imperfection94 is of the devil; and these are two <80> contraries, and comes from contrary grounds, and brings forth contrary fruits, for he that is of God is of perfection and believes perfection, but who is of the serpent cannot own it nor believe it, being blinded by the god of this world. So God sent his Son into the world to preach perfection, even the perfection95 of the Father, that all who will believe may inherit it; and all that believed him, believed perfection. And when he had left a perfect example in all things, he ascended, and gave gifts to men, several sorts of gifts; all for the perfecting of the saints, that all might come up to one faith, to a perfect man, to the measure, and96 stature, and96 fullness of Christ, that so he may be an everlasting redeemer, perfecting the work of God in every generation of them that believe in his work and follow him. And this all his ministers improved to the same end, and preached and prayed that they might present every man perfect in Christ Jesus, from whom they had received the gift; and all that believed them, believed perfection, and pressed after it as the end of their faith; knowing, nothing less than perfection could give them perfect rest and redemption.

     Now since the mystery of iniquity entered there is another ministry gone out into the world, who hath taken up an imitation instead of gift, and have begotten another kind of faith in the world, wholly reprobate as to perfection, preaching against it with all the power that may be,97 holding it for blasphemy, and calling it a doctrine of devils and the like. And these would be called the ministers of Christ, that so they may not miss of their end; for did they come in his name whose work they uphold, he knows they might run in vain. Thus they deceive all who receive them by their words; but who minds the end of their work, may easily see as much difference as is betwixt Christ and Belial. The work of Christ is and ever was to renew man again to his perfect estate; but the work of antichrist is to withstand it, and each hath his ministers suitable to their ends intended. Christ's end is to perfect, the devil's is to keep unperfect.98 And each ministers have their faith, hope, and other gifts suitable: one pure, the other polluted. And according to each faith, so it is to <81> all that believe them and follow them; for the faith of Christ is a shield, and gives victory over uncleanness, sin and evil; but the devil's faith lets in, and believes it must be so: for had not the devil first brought man to believe him rather than God, he could not have polluted what God had perfected. And the same way he takes to keep up his work, by which at first he wrought it.

     So none can come to know a new creature but who can99 believe perfection;100 nor can any come to God, nor Christ, nor God's righteousness, but who comes to101 perfection.102 For all who are in the unperfect103 righteousness, are in your own righteousness; for the least measure of God's righteousness is perfect, and all are in104 perfection who become105 servants to it, and thereby become free from sin. So by your unbelief you destroy your souls, who are in your own works, which makes nothing perfect. And so measuring yourselves with yourselves cuts you off from Christ, as measuring your faith by your own ability, so standing in that covenant which makes nothing perfect; but the coming in of a better hope doth. And this all know, whose faith stands in what God is, and not what we can do; in everlasting righteousness, not in what we have to work: the one being righteousness by faith revealed, a gift put into the believer; the other, an imitation of the same in works, but not the power: and such are you who read a verse and see therein what the saints did, and then set yourselves to do the like, but know not that righteousness revealed in you in the faith which they had, which was wrought in them by the Lord, before they brought it to light; and so did not work,106 but believed on him who worketh the will and the deed of his own good pleasure, who alone is well-pleased with his own work, and with all who are servants to his work, to bring it to light, to his praise whose workmanship such are. And they who are found herein have his witness in the light, to prove their works that they are wrought in God, and not of self, self-will, nor for self-ends, nor in self-time, nor in self-power. And all that know this perfect will and acceptable work of God knows it begotten and brought forth in self-denial in all things; and not <82> of us, but of him that is perfect, and so makes our way perfect. And this is the covenant that makes perfect all that comes thereto; and self being denied in the work, boasting is excluded by the law of faith, which receives the free and perfect gift.

     And for this cause the first covenant was found faulty and disanulled, because it made not the comers thereto perfect as pertaining to the conscience, nor did exclude boasting; no more doth your imitations from the letter, for the light in your consciences witness your imperfection therein, and your works is condemned before they be wrought; and your ministers tells you your righteousness is not perfect, yet they call for righteousness, and yet say your best is but as filthy rags; and they call for prayer, and yet tell you that you must be wicked107 while you live, and that the prayers of the wicked are abomination to the Lord. So the abominable sacrifice is preached and performed; and perfection denied by all those priests and people who have not received the gift for perfecting. And of this sort are they who have their preaching to study and to seek at other men's mouths, or from the letter, but have it not from the mouth of the Lord, freely given, the perfect gift for perfecting the saints. So what they get, that they sell; for none can give freely but who so receives, nor can any perfect others who have not the perfect gift themselves.

     So you that talk of perfection, you must first know a free gift from above. Perfection is not from below, where you have your carnal imaginations and reason and wisdom and prudence gotten by your learning and studies, whereof you boast, and wherein you exalt yourselves above your brethren; for that108 came in by the devil, and perfection is hid from it and all that live therein; neither can it be bought or sold, nor procured with all the industry of man; only such obtain it who wait in the light till they receive the free gift of righteousness and be endued with power from above: not they who hear a thing in the notion and then declare it; nor who see a work done, and go do the like; for none was more like to have been able ministers than the apostles in this, who had seen the mighty works of Christ, and heard him and his doctrine; but these were not fit for perfecting the saints till they had received the same Spirit from above. Therefore <83> were they commanded to wait at Jerusalem till therewith they was endued; and then they was made able ministers, not of the letter but of the Spirit; and their testament in the Spirit, and not old in the letter, for that of the letter kills, but the Spirit perfects.

     And so all that ever bare the testament in Spirit, preach and believe perfection, but that testament of the letter being without cannot perfect the comers thereto: for the light, faith, hope, love, patience, &c., are gifts spiritually given for perfecting, and cannot be had any other way but in Spirit, freely given and freely received; which gifts you know not, nor the effect of them, who are in the literal ministration; but in your vain imaginations and comprehensions are judging you know not what, and limiting the spiritual covenant of God to the literal; and because you who are in the letter (searching with your wit) can find no perfection, therefore you will judge the spiritual covenant also: that so the devil may forever keep people from the coming in of the better hope. For if the first covenant made nothing perfect, nor the second neither, what hope is there for people, seeing no imperfection109 can enter into the kingdom of heaven?

Concerning Government, or Magistracy

     There is no just government but what is of God, and in whomsoever he (having called them) placeth his power and authority; which is just and righteous, received in the light, and from the anointing of Jesus, and the subjection to his spiritual power in the soul, whom the Father hath appointed king and governor of all things in heaven and in earth. And none can deserve the name of Christian governors but who by him are governed and do receive his authority, with subjection thereto in Spirit. Therefore saith the apostle, "Let every soul be subject to the higher power." And he that will rule for God must first see that his own soul be subject to the higher power and must know one higher than he; and so himself coming under that power, then with that power and authority upon him, he goes forth to rule with God, for God; and having set up his kingdom in his heart, he goes to make way that his kingdom may be set up in others; that all may bow to his authority wherewith he is anointed from <84> above, and to which he is become subject for conscience sake. And so his government, being according to that in every conscience, everyone that minds that in the conscience shall witness him and his government to be of God, and so he that resists shall receive to himself damnation,110 witnessed by that in the conscience; and all who own not that in the conscience which is pure, to obey the Lord therein, the sword of the Lord in the hand of his minister shall be upon such; and that of God to which he is subject, even the anointing he hath received, shall instruct him in the spirit of meekness, wisdom, and judgment to find out the transgressor and lay the sword upon him; and such shall not bear the sword in vain, but a terror to the evildoer shall be, without respect to the persons of men or any other thing, but only to the law of God, which is one with that in the conscience.

     So is Christ honored as lawgiver, and judge, and king; and with this honor he honors such rulers in the consciences of all his people, and before all the world; and though the world knows not the authority of such, nor from whom they have it, yet all that fear God do; and are made to confess them before God and man. And so Isaiah was made to confess to Cyrus, whom others counted a heathen; for it is the authority in the person that is honorable, wherever it is placed. So Moses was dreadful in this authority, though otherwise but a shepherd, and the meekest man in the world; and Samuel a poor man, yet this authority made the elders of Bethlehem to tremble at his coming when they heard thereof. Nay, it is too much to instance in particulars; for all that ever honored God in this, he honored them, whose names are a blessing to this day, and their memorial shall not rot; for when such reign, the people rejoice that delight in righteousness, the just are bold, and righteousness flourishes in the open streets, and wickedness is ashamed and is hid, and the innocent clap their hands for joy that the Lord reigns and their governors are of themselves. When Christ rules all111 in all, then he makes his officers peace and his exactors righteousness.

     But if it be said, Must not men own wicked magistrates? I say, they are to be owned and obeyed in all things, as they are appointed by God; for God limits them and hath set bounds to <85> them, though they know it not; and so far as they command the will of God they are to be obeyed for conscience sake; but when they are contrary to God, and command that which God forbids, and forbid what he commands, then God is to be obeyed, and man denied for conscience sake; for none can be obeyed for conscience sake who commands that which is contrary to that112 of God in the conscience; though many do deny the Lord and conform to such; yet who are guided by the Spirit of God, which keeps the conscience clean, never could, but in all ages have suffered violence from such, to keep their consciences void of offence; for so it must be when rulers themselves deny obedience to God in Spirit, then all who walk after the Spirit must needs suffer by them.

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

     And in the time of such governors hath the Lamb borne testimony in much patience, meekness and longsuffering, bearing all the venom and envy that the serpent could cast out upon him (where he was manifest in the creature) for a witness against all such rulers; that his longsuffering might lead them to repentance and leave them without excuse in the day of his wrath; and against such is he finishing his testimony at this day. And a blinder generation never was in any age, who have run from all tenderness, so far into that wisdom that many are grown wholly past feeling: imprisoning, whipping, and torturing their brethren for such things as never any age of persecution can parallel.113 And it must needs be so; for114 as every generation of that seed grows more subtle, so (to115 the things of Christ) more blind and deaf. So that it's rare <86> to find one who hath an ear to hear oppression; but not one, whose heart is perfect to deny the world's favor, to bear witness against the ground of oppression: so the just man perisheth and none lays it to heart; nor can any lay it to heart, whose hearts are filled with selfish passion and self-will; for none can rule for God whose heart is not ruled by God; but when the Lord rules in the heart then the just reigns, and the cause of the just is heard; and he that rules for the just rules for God and with God, over the unjust; first in himself, then in all the world; otherwise though an unjust judge may hear the cause of the poor in some case or time, yet it is not for God, nor from obedience to the Spirit of judgment which is of God, the heart being filled with self-ends.

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

     And herein is the clear difference between heathens and Christians. The one exercise justice, and judgment, and righteousness, which is of God and in his will, whereby they rule over all unrighteousness of men of corrupt minds and principles whatsoever, and stand in the authority of God a terror to the evildoer. The other exercise lordship over men's persons, in their own wills, which they set up in their selfish principle, in carnal policy, who lay the sword upon the just as on the unjust, if he bow not to their wills; which who stands in the will of God may not do; and so they that abide in the fear of God do ever suffer by such as are out of his fear. And though these be set in their places by the permission or appointment of God, yet not knowing him who ordereth all things, to order them, though they are restrained from evil, or made to do his will, yet have they no reward nor share <87> in it, not doing it in obedience of God, nor from a principle of equity, not knowing Christ guiding and leading them therein; they are no Christians whatever they may call themselves.

     And to such as these who mind not that116 of God to govern withal, hath God sent his servants to testify to their faces of their departure from the just principle, and so cannot please God with his government (yet did they never plot against them, nor murmur), which if they did hear, they rejoiced to see them established as a blessing to the place and people, which the people of God ever seek to God for; but if they hear not, then they are made to mourn that God should be grieved and his creature lost, especially in such a place by which God may be so dishonored and a nation or town plagued from the Lord for his sake who hath the sword of God in his hand, and suffers sin but punishes the innocent, both which the Lord will revenge; and seldom but the place where it is done tastes thereof, which such as rule with God, and for him, prevent; yea, by such the peace hath been lengthened after the judgment hath been pronounced. So when the righteous reigns, God is honored and good men rejoice; but when wickedness gets up in the king,117 then the Lord is dishonored and the glory departs.

Concerning Obedience

     Spiritual and living obedience is not that of man's way and will, wherein men and women (in the first birth and wisdom therein) read the Scriptures, and there find what the saints performed in the Spirit and power of the Lord Jesus, and from that set themselves on work to do the like; and so make an imitation instead of obedience, and set up self-works instead of Christ's works; and obey self-righteousness instead of God's righteousness; and so cover themselves with filthy rags instead of everlasting righteousness. But all who will know true obedience must first know a measure of God's Spirit in the light of Jesus, and therein moving and drawing towards Christ Jesus, wherein the faith is which lays hold on God's righteousness which is in Christ Jesus, and by the moving of this Spirit in the light the truth is seen, and <88> the obedience that is one in Christ Jesus the second Adam. And as the creature is joined in the light to that Spirit of Christ, and in believing, there is the life of Jesus made manifest, quickening the body unto that one obedience which is contrary to the will of man; and the mind being kept spiritual in the measure the seed is raised, and the new is born, of that Spirit; to which seed the promise and power is, wherein the creature is joined heir with Christ Jesus, who is God's righteousness; and so in the faith is the glad tidings of good things preached to the soul, and by the power of the gospel preached to the creature, the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith, and the just lives in that faith, and Christ is manifest for obedience to the faith. And all that are in this faith are in the one obedience, which is in Christ Jesus, which he learned of the Father for us, that in that obedience many may be made righteous, and all that learns Christ learns his obedience; which was not what he saw or heard from men, but what he saw and heard of the Father; not in his own time or will, but in the Father's, nor in his own strength118 could he do anything, but what he see the Father do; in that work he was found, doing the same as he was taught of the Father in his obedience to him; not what the scribes and Pharisees did, though they sat in Moses' seat, nor what the world approved, but what was contrary to all the world, and contrary to his own will; only submitting to the moving of the Spirit of the Father that dwelt in him, by which alone he was guided and furnished to every good work.

     And all that believe in him and follow his light, he leads119 into the same knowledge and obedience, out of all carnal knowledge, power, and obedience; and by faith the creature is made partaker of this120 obedience and the power thereof from faith to faith. And all that have learned him, as he is, so are they in this present world, both in law,121 and life, and power, and Spirit; and in all this in the measure as he is learned; and as any come to the unity of the faith in him, to his measure, stature and122 fullness, so the obedience is but one, the power one, the way one, and the <89> Son one, and the Father one. And this is not anything from without, but in Spirit it is learned and obtained, and the mystery of it is hid from all who are without, and the ministration of it is spiritual within, whereby that obedience is known which is to the truth, through the Spirit, which is in life and not in imitation;123 in the will of God and not in self-will; which obedience stands not in anything seen from man, or by man done, thereby to imitate or do the like, for that is two obediences;124 but it stands in Christ Jesus, and in his own obedience to the Father, seen in the light, and in the faith received, whereby the believer is made one in it, and it in him; that as the same Father calls for the same obedience in Spirit, so in the same Spirit doth the believer offer up himself and all he hath in the same power and obedience in Christ Jesus. And so as the creature by faith partakes of that one obedience, in the second Adam, he is made righteous, and no further; even as all are made sinners as they partake of the disobedience of the first Adam, and no further.

     And who knows to partake of this obedience, knows the eternal Spirit in which all the children of God have been taught and enabled to this one obedience, in their several measures, ever since the world was, which is not works by them done, but the everlasting righteousness of God, obeyed in that Spirit, according to the motions thereof seen in the light of Christ, which none knows who are heart-blind, and who minds the motions of the flesh, and obeys them, their minds being gone out to carnal pleasures, the call to this obedience is not by them heard; nevertheless the same carnal spirit that leads out into the world teaches to make an imitation of this obedience, and so deceives the simplicity,125 by setting up a likeness without life; and so glories in appearance but not in heart. And the witness of God in the heart or conscience of such, testifying to the face of such, that their obedience is not perfect nor accepted; they conclude that there can be no perfect obedience attained in this world; they not knowing the mighty powerful working of God in Spirit, which worketh in them perfectly who believe and walk in the light; whereby such become his workmanship in <90> Christ Jesus, wrought into his obedience, and his obedience into them, in their measure, till they become of one heart, one mind, one soul, one Spirit, one flesh and bone, and blood, and one obedience, and one life, that it is no more we that live, but Christ that lives in us, and the life that we now live is by faith in the Son of God. And though the fullness of this obedience is not attained at once, yet the least measure of it is perfect and accepted, and so accepted in him in whom it is wrought; as the obedience of a child is as pure, clear, and willing as the strong man's; even so is the new birth in Christ Jesus, according to what God requires thereof, who never requires but what he gives; and never gives but what is perfect and what he perfectly accepts, which gifts are all in his Son; and in him, the least is accepted; and everyone that therein exercise themselves without mixture.

Concerning Good Works

     As there is but one126 good, so there is but one127 worker of good in heaven and in earth, who by the word of his power made all good in the beginning; and in this good work and will was man wrought128 in the will of God; in his image and goodness he stood, but falling from this steadfastness that was in God, and betaking himself to self thereby to become wise, he became subtle and proud in himself, seeking to be as God,129 was cast out from God, his power, love, and goodness; and being fallen into the dark imaginary130 of his own heart; and finding himself under the curse (whereof the light of Christ in the conscience is a witness) he hath set himself to make a likeness of God and Christ and God's worship, and good works, faith, hope, patience, love, &c., but being under the powers of darkness neither knows God nor his work; but is deceived by the prince of darkness and so doth please himself with an imitation of God and his works, but without power; and so, as he imagines, is doing good. But the testimony of God in his heart bears witness against him, that his work is not perfect, nor accepted. He also imagines that he is redeemed, but is still under the commanding power of Satan, led captive at his will; who that <91> he may the more strongly bind him, he leads him sometimes into a seeming worship, that so he may not so much suspect his way, nor be too much troubled at his other unrighteous practices; so that the worst of men in this state have a worship; and each sort thinks they are right, though there be but one way, and they all without it; and each in their thoughts are not so bad as others, but have their several131 good works, though there be but one good work,132 and they all out of it in their own works.

     And it is no small work to undeceive the least of these who are thus conceited, though men of greater wits and parts (as they call them, which is but a higher deceit) may lead them from one deceit to another; yet all the world's wisdom cannot bring them into the good work, nor the way wherein it is wrought. Only such who mind the light of Christ in their dark hearts, which manifests to them the evil deeds and reproves them for them, and can believe it to be the light of Christ, and thereto take heed to follow it out of the world and carnal mindedness, and in that light wait, till the living word they come to receive in their hearts—only such come into the good work and will of God. For without the word was nothing made, nor without it can any be redeemed. For it is the word of the Lord, heard and received, that quickens the dead and raises to life that which is dead in the trespasses and sins; and the spiritual man being quickened, the power of the word brings forth in him the work of God's righteousness, which was from everlasting; which, in the measure thereof, confirms the creature unto God in righteousness, who lost the133 image in unrighteousness; and so is the creature renewed in the spirit of the mind and inward parts to receive wisdom and power in the hidden man, how to escape the evil and resist it, and to bring to light what God begets in the heart, and so the new creature is seen created in Christ Jesus unto good works, to walk therein, as was foreordained.134

     And as the believer is found diligent in the light waiting, and in the Spirit obedient to this work, in this work he comes still more to learn God's power and teaching and Christ's obedience, and God's wisdom and care over him, in leading into the <92> sufferings and tribulations, trials and temptations, and the faith and fellowship with Christ therein; in which, if the creature stand, not a hair can fall, but he is sure to come out more pure than gold; and so in all this work he grows in the knowledge of Christ and his sonship, toward the measure and stature and fullness of the perfect man, into the likeness of God. And thus the saints were made conformable to God by his mighty working, whereby he wrought powerfully in them, after his good pleasure, contrary to their fleshly pleasures. And what is thus wrought is good, because it comes from the fountain of all good; and this is not a new work but the everlasting good work of God, manifest to the creature, and through the creature to the world, by which God is glorified who is the Father and author and finisher thereof in everyone that135 believes.

     And this is no self-work, nor can it be wrought in any but where self is denied and a cross to self taken up; so boasting is excluded, the creature having nothing but what he hath received, neither by his own will nor deed, but by believing in the light, and in obedience of faith. And with this faith and work are all the world judged, who are in their own works, and all that are without works, whose faith is dead, and136 to every good work reprobate: and whose works are their own, their prayers are abomination, where the works come not from this everlasting work and workings. For though there be many works, as to the creature's obedience and measure, yet they all complete but this one work of the creature's redemption, and God's praise therein, the beginning and end of all.

     And of this work of God is all the world ignorant, who are preaching, pressing, and acting their good works (as they call them), but all their works do not manifest a power that brings them out of sin and the worlds conformity, and service thereof in his ways and worship; but every good work of God in his saints, who become obedient to his working, as they subject to bring forth the good work and will of God; every work begets the creature nearer to God and into his likeness and nature, and this is the reward of good works to everyone who are exercised therein, that thereby they are wrought out of the world's likeness and <93> conformity, and so out of their friendship, till all manner of evil they suffer for the name of God that is in them, and the nature of his works, which is abomination to the world's works,137 and the world to them. And so their name being cast out as evil among men, they are received into the love of the Father of the work, for which they are hated of the world, and so the reproach of the world becomes great riches to all who love God and are obedient to his work, which none who stand in their own wills can inherit.

     And so self-works and God's works are manifest in the light. The one is that which men see, or hear, or imagine, and so set themselves to imitate the same in their own wills and ways, which they have conceived in their fallen wisdom and earthly minds, not in Spirit new born, but in the old138 letter, or tradition from men. But God's works are those which are from everlasting, before the will of man or the world's customs, and therefore must conform to neither; but everyone who into this work will come must deny the world and their own wills, and all that is in them must bow and conform to the motion of the Spirit and to its workings (which is seen to such as in the light dwells), and in its way and time must bring forth the fruits of the Spirit in due season; not the works of the flesh, nor to the flesh, but the working of the Spirit to God, in the sight of God; and the praise of such is not of the world, who bring not forth to the world; but of God, who bring forth to God, and the world praises its own.

Concerning Election and Reprobation

     This is that139 which is sealed from all the world; nor can any know it nor receive it140 who is in the reprobate state; though many be disputing about it in the dark, which none know but the children of light. So, as one who have obtained favor to have this mystery revealed, I shall according to permission write a few words, as is received in Jesus, yet can be received by no man's wisdom, nor any who141 are born after the flesh; but who knows <94> what it is to walk in the Spirit, shall witness me herein.

     And I deny all of that spirit who would foolishly charge God to have concluded the condemnation of some persons before they come into the world; and though they seek after God, yet they cannot be saved, because God hath purposed the contrary. And on the contrary, some are concluded to salvation, though they live and die in their sins. And this is the spirit of the world, which knows not the secrets of God revealed in Spirit, and therefore judges142 from the letter, from the figures and shadows, but knows not the uprightness that lies in the mystery; but being without, so he imagines. But none knows the purpose of God, but who comes to the beginning, for in the beginning was the election and reprobation established by an eternal decree unalterable143 in the two seeds, that after the flesh, and that after the Spirit, and he that can judge of these two, he knows the two vessels, ordained to honor and dishonor; and as everyone is found in these, so is God's purpose touching them.

     Now in the fall, all are in the dishonor, and so children of wrath under the curse, and heirs thereof, and so without God or the promise; and so not having the indwelling of God, no vessels of honor, but reprobate concerning God. Now in Christ Jesus is the election, and the elect seed in whom the election is obtained, and in whom alone it is established; and in the midst of all the dishonor his light is tendered to lead out of the dishonor, the curse, and the fall; and whatsoever144 he be that will believe in his light, without respect of persons, he leads out of the world and to the cleansing and purging of the body, soul and mind, till the vessel be changed, from the oldness of the will, and affections and lusts of the flesh, till the newness of the Spirit be witnessed, and so the creature in heart and mind is brought out of the flesh, wherein the dishonor lodges, and which is prepared for dishonor, and is brought to live in the Spirit, where the lusts of the flesh is not fulfilled, and so the vessel of honor is witnessed, prepared for the Master's use; who while he lived in the flesh, was prepared <95> for dishonor and fitted for destruction; not knowing the Master nor his use; though God with much long-suffering endure such vessels, that he may at his pleasure show his wrath thereon, who will not own the mercy showed in his Son. And for this purpose had he long endured Pharaoh, suffered his oppression, till he was fit to show his power upon him who had long been setting himself above the seed of God. As also he did the Amorites, till their iniquities were full; and so doth145 many at this day, who proceed to one wickedness after another, till they fill up their measure, that he may make known his wrath upon them that will not own his seed.

     And so shall it be with all who own not the light of Christ and whose day of visitation is past; such hath a measure of sin to fill up in the other seed, which they shall not pass. And for this purpose is that seed raised up and prepared, that he may show his power upon him who doth not retain the knowledge of God, that they all might be damned who take pleasure in unrighteousness, serving the creature more than the Creator, whose hearts are filled with all lasciviousness and fleshly lusts; and these are the vessels of dishonor. But if any man purge himself from these he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified and meet for the Master's use, and prepared unto every good work, which they who live in these things are to the good work reprobate, to God, and to the faith of God. And so here is the election and reprobation, they that are after the Spirit, and they that are after the flesh; and they that are after the flesh are not the seed, but they that are after the Spirit are accounted for the seed; and these have obtained, but the rest are hardened. And so there is no unrighteousness with God, but the unrighteousness is with men who reject the counsel of the Lord against themselves and choose to abide in that which God hath cursed, and wherein all must146 be hardened to their own destruction, notwithstanding all their endeavors and labors, prayers and tears that are in this nature; it's not accepted, this being the seed which God hath put the enmity in against147 his own seed; it cannot be well pleasing to him. For against this he hath placed his displeasure, but in the other mercy, wherein he is well <96> pleased for his mercy's sake. So "it is not of him that wills, nor of him that runs, but of him that hath showed mercy"; and this mercy hath he set above all his works; so he that stays in the world cannot obtain it, but the light which leads out of the world leads up to it; and whosoever comes unto him, he will in no wise cast off; but who comes not to him are cast off already, because they will not come to the light of life.

     So read your condemnation, you vain babblers, who spend your time disputing about election with your reprobate minds. When ye find that the light of Christ condemns you for your lusts and earthly delights, and the Spirit of God moves in you against your evil deeds, but you will not be obedient thereto; but you still harden your hearts against the light, that is the reprobate state; and that is the Spirit of God that strives in thee against it, which would not thou should die in it; then let that of God in thy conscience judge if thy destruction be not of thyself, whose way is reprobate from God; and let that of God in thy own conscience, which reproves thee for thy wickedness, be a witness against thee that God delights not in thy destruction, but rather that thou should repent: and so hath given thee his light to reprove thee and lead thee to repentance, showing that he hath not concluded thy condemnation before thou wast born. And let the same light which checks thee for thy sin, and lets thee see in thy heart that the righteous God hath appointed a day wherein all shall receive after their doings, be a witness against thy vain thoughts, that God hath not concluded to quit thee in thy wickedness; nor do thy selfish imaginations make thy sins any less in God's account. And so the righteous judge of all the earth will proceed to do righteousness. And therefore to make way for the same, hath he placed his pure light in the heart of everyone that will mind,148 which will clearly show you all whether you be in the elect seed or in the seed of evildoers; and this light is that which, being believed and followed, doth reveal the election and reprobation; and without it none knows who is elected or reprobated, nor can judge thereof; but if the light be minded it will reprove the reprobate and his way (which is contrary to God in his own heart) for his own works, but whose work is wrought in God, with the light is justified.


Concerning the New Birth

     There is the old man, and a new man, which are known in the light; and their several births, and their several natures and kindreds according to that whereof they are born. That which is born of the earth is149 earthly, fleshly, carnal, and corrupt; and this is the state of the old man, and all that are in that state are fallen from God and his covenant, and are in the curse, and wholly blind in heart as touching the mysteries of God, yet in the sensual wisdom of the flesh make profession of God and his gospel: but being heart-blind, neither knows God nor his power, but is alienated from the life of God and led captive in the dark at his will who is the prince of darkness, and whatever he doth is cursed in this state. And in this state did Cain sacrifice, but could not be accepted; for he was out of the state of well-doing or well-being, yet would have been accepted. And in this state Esau sought the blessing and wept for it, but could not obtain it. And in this state came Nicodemus to Christ, but could not enter into the kingdom in that state, nor knew the new birth, though he loved Christ, and believed him to be sent of God; and this is that state David speaks of, when he says, "If I regard iniquity, God will not hear my prayer." And in this state you all are, who are worshipping in your carnal minds and sensual wisdom in the flesh.

     But that which is born of the heavenly, is heavenly, spiritual, eternal, and incorruptible; which is the state of the new man, which of God is begotten of the divine nature; and as is his nature, so is his works; and so his delights are spiritual; for as is the man, so are his works; and as is the tree, so is its fruit. And so he that is born of this seed is born of God; and he that is born of God sins not, in whom that seed remains. And all who remain in this seed, and it in them, this hath the promise and power that puts off the old man with his deeds, lusts, and affections; and so the body of sin being put off through the body of Christ, the redemption is witnessed; and as the creature passeth from the old to the new, so they pass from the death to the life; for the life is in the new, and so the victory is received in the new, over sin, the grave, and hell, which the world's birth talks of in their fallen nature, but cannot receive the power and victory whereby to enter <98> into that kingdom, nor to see the glory of it, and so takes up their rest and delights in visible things, and so encumbers themselves with that, the end whereof is destruction; which those who are born of the Spirit tread upon, and cannot set their minds upon, nor bow unto, nor be conformable to such vanities. And so those who are of the heavenly cannot have communion with the earthly, they being contrary minded in all things. So that which is wisdom to the one is foolishness to the other, and ever was.

     So the spiritual seed could never worship the heathen gods, nor can it bow to their imaginations; for that seed which is of God leads the heart up to God; and that which is of the earth, to earthly things; and so those that are the children of God are led by his Spirit of which they are born; and the children of this world, by the spirit of this world, are captivated into the world's ways and fashions, and love of it, wherein is the serpent's seat and kingdom wherein he rules, and wherein his power is seen in all who are disobedient to the light of Christ the new150 man; so being given up (because of the blindness of their hearts) to his power, which is always in the dark, in such he brings forth his enmity against the babes of God born after the Spirit, children of the light, of the immortal seed, who bear the image of the invisible God, and have the spiritual worship, into which they are led and guided with the eternal Spirit of which they are born; which can no longer stay in any form of worship than God stays therein; but by his Spirit is led to follow him into whatever he goes, and out of whatever he departs; which those who are born after the flesh, and see but the outside and form, and there abide when God is departed, such are the seat of Satan become, where he sits and persecutes such as follow the Spirit's teaching into its several ministrations. And therein hath the serpent beguiled the creature, by getting into somewhat of the form once used with the saints (whilst God dwelt therein) and to that adds inventions of his own, called decency and order and the like, and with this hath deceived the creatures so as to serve his ends, to shed the blood of their brethren under a pretence of error and blasphemy, and denying ordinances and worships, and as being leaders of dangerous sects and heresies, denying government, turning the world upside down, and the like. <99> So that the children of light have been ever numbered amongst transgressors, but were never so, further than to transgress the wills of men to observe the will of God: yet none of these did ever suffer as well-doers in the world's account, but as not worthy to live in the world, being born of a principle above the world, which the natural man knows not. So he that is born after the flesh persecutes him that is born after the Spirit, as it is at this day, thinking they do God service, because they know not the Father nor the Son, but live in darkness, not owning that whereof the children of light are born, so becomes their enemies.

     And this is your state who resist that measure of light that shines in your dark hearts, that shows your evil deeds. So being against the light of the Spirit, you are enemies to all who of that Spirit are born. And so far as you see the ground and root of your disobedience to the light in yourselves that reproves of sin, so far you may see the ground of your enmity, and no farther. And until you join to that light, you cannot be one with that seed, but hate it; for that which is born of the will of the flesh is151 enmity to that which is born of the will of God; and that which is born of God, is enmity with152 the world, and conformity to it. And with the light are you judged to be of the flesh, who love the things of the flesh and mind them, and who conform to this world are of it; whatever you profess to the contrary, the light will find you out: which light leads above all these things, up to the Father of light;153 which light is one with all who are born of the Spirit, but a witness against you who are born of the flesh. So they that are in the flesh cannot please God, that in your conscience is witness, the light which is condemnation.154 But who is born of the Spirit, with such he is well pleased, the testimony of their conscience bearing them155 in the sight of God, that they are his children and born of him; and their envy and reproach and suffering from the world, for testifying against the deeds thereof, are as a cloud of witnesses that they are not of it, for it loves its own, and so the enmity is seen put between the seeds; <100> that of the serpent seeks a word or a form without, whereby to murder and destroy the creature which God hath made, under a pretence of serving God, but the seed of God strikes at the head of that enmity and root of sin, but saves the work of God alive.

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

     In the world there be many sorts and forms of baptisms, but in Christ there is but one, and that is that of the Spirit; and this is the baptism of Christ, and all that are baptized with it are baptized into his death, buried with him to the world, its ways and worships, loves and friendships, and to all that in them is which would conform or bow thereto; and through this death is the seed of God raised up out of the grave, quickened by the same Spirit which raised Jesus from the dead. And all that are baptized with this Spirit (and the old man dead and buried) they are raised a spiritual seed unto God, holy and zealous of good works, being begotten again of another nature from above, which is but one; and all, as they are baptized herein, grow into one in God the Father and the Son Jesus Christ. And so the saints were all baptized by one Spirit into one body, out of that nature in which all differences are, sects and opinions, and so come to put on Christ, which is but one: for as many as are baptized into Christ have put on Christ, and his156 mind and affections; and such know a further prize than contentions about elements of the world, or washings without, neither do they stand laying again such foundations as stand in times and seasons and customs and persons, as all157 the world is contending about, who are in the many baptisms and many fashions, some contending for sprinkling infants, some for dipping them; some for sprinkling them over again, and some for dipping them over again, when they are grown to158 such a confusion in outward159 words, and many other160 outward ceremonies161 they keep themselves disputing and jangling about, from the letter, in an imitation of John's ministry, calling it the baptism of Christ, but162 <101> out of the Spirit and power of Christ or John either; yea, so far from the power as not163 come to the form of either.

     And this effect this hath taken in all who are gone out into the world in these imitations and imaginations, that so many baptisms, so many religions and sects; and every sect-master and his followers set themselves against all other in the way they have conceived to be right, and to that way must all bow, or else no agreement, though never so near in other things, nay, so zealous they are for their likeness, that if any come not into it, though the Spirit of God be in them, and they themselves confess it, yet he must not speak in that creature in their churches without bowing to their forms of water, which are all different one from another; though the Spirit of God be but one and cannot be limited to any visible form or rudiment.164 And thus the form is set above the power, and not the true form neither; but as men have conceived from the letter, by the counsels of their own brain; some in the popish councils, some since, but none from the mouth of the Lord: and therefore they are scattered in their imaginations and baptisms. But they who are baptized with the baptism of the Spirit, are baptized into one body. But all that are without, who are the nearest, are in the error, not knowing the Scripture nor power of God herein, for all who have not their law, guide, and rule in the Spirit, are in that generation who have erred, and lost the saints' guide; and such are scattered, with what they from the letter imagine, into divisions.

     And this was that which Paul saw getting in amongst the churches in his time, setting up sects, and the person by whom they were baptized; puffed up for them, and against the other apostles, some of Paul, some of Peter, &c. Which Paul seeing, thanks God he baptized no more of them, and plainly says, "Christ sent him not to baptize, but to preach the gospel," though he could use it, until he saw them make an idol of it, thereby to make divisions and parties, and to puff up one above another, as it is now used at this day, yea, far more, for it is now made the key to let in and shut out of that they call a church; yea further, some say none can be saved without it, but all that have it are believers and shall be saved: and so set it in the place of Christ.

<102>     But others are more moderate, who finding it practiced in the letter, they say it is an ordinance, and that they who practice it not deny an ordinance of Christ. To such I say: all that is in the letter is not ordained there to be taken up by all that read it; for the saints had their call to their particular ministrations in Spirit, and not in letter: for else they had not witnessed differences of administrations, but the same Lord. But by the Spirit they were led from carnal administrations, and through them, not sticking in the letter. What letter had Paul to deny circumcision, which the letter said should be as a sign forever? Or by what letter did he deny baptism?165 Did he deny an ordinance of Christ in either of these, and divers more rudiments which were commands in the letter, which he preached and practiced in Spirit, putting an end to the shadows of things to come, and leading to the body, as is plain (Col. 2).

     Further I say, if it were so, that all that was done in the letter was to be taken up, then the form thereof must not be changed, if the letter be the rule: but not any that I know at this day that are in the form as the saints did it, for none practiced this but who was called out to teach all nations.166 So you that have your certain dwelling places, and live in your worldly estates and fashions, are out of this call. Neither did they take such into the outward washing, who had been there before, but baptized such167 into the name of Christ Jesus with the Spirit, that they might receive the Holy Ghost. But if you say, they168 had it not in right form or manner, nor by persons rightly called and qualified, &c. I say, Nor can they have that from you, who are not called out of the world, but live in its friendship, professions, fashions and customs, in which the saints never lived after they were called to teach and baptize.169 So you do but add another false form to that they had before, but still out of the power, nor any change of faith or qualification, only in that thing of water over again, differing in some circumstances, as you have conceived from the letter, but still, with the <103> rest of professions, in covetousness, pride and contention, vain words and heathenish customs and manners of the nations in which you live; you that can live in suits170 and revenge; you that swear at men's wills, and so deny the commands of Christ and his apostles, who says, "Above all things, swear not at all"; you that can uphold the high places of popery which yet remain in the land, and such a worship therein as Christ never commanded, with tithes and offerings and all the rest of popish inventions, whereby Christ is denied171 come in the flesh, the everlasting priest, and something set up instead of his way, like unto the Jewish priesthood which is not it neither, but an imagined thing from men of corrupt minds, &c. You who can do these things and much more of that nature, rather than you will suffer the loss of all things, you are far unlike those you would imitate, or those they baptized.

     And were baptism in your manner as great a cross to you now as it was in the time of the persecuting Jews, or as these other weightier things are now, we should find few to contend for it, as for the other things: for did you know the right ends of that ministration of water, you would know that it was a forerunner of Christ's172 kingdom, and a witness to all men that the Jews' ceremonies and heathenish prayers and worships, wherein they were grown into divisions, was to have an end, and the spiritual ministration and baptism was to be set up in the downfall of carnal ordinances and elements, of all which they were to repent, for the kingdom of God was at hand, even within all that would believe it; who did deny all the Jews' worships, circumcisions and ordinances without in the letter, and preached them and practiced173 them in Spirit; but your baptisms, which comes not to an end of tithes and offerings and Jewish ceremonies, and Gentiles also, that baptism we deny; for herein was the cross of Christ and the power of God manifest; for they suffered for this all the envy that the Jews and professors could do unto them, who upheld the same in the letter but denied the power and Spirit; which could they but have bowed to their ceremonies outward, the cross of Christ had ceased, and then the power of Christ had ceased also. And the same is now <104> seen of you at this day, and the same cross; for could but those whom Christ hath called out now bow to your several forms of baptisms and worships of you that be zealous for them, and bow to men's wills, and worship the persons of such as are zealous for their pride and willfulness, we should not suffer by you, but the offense of the cross would cease, as it is ceased to all who preach baptisms, carnal ordinances, respect of persons, conformity to men's wills, and the world's customs and manners—who preach up pride, swearing, and imperfection and sin for term of life, &c.

     I say to you who can conform to the ways of men and please them, the cross of Christ is ceased, and so the power also; and therefore are you ever preaching against the world's ways and wickedness, but never able to lead out of them; like those who minded earthly things, who were enemies to the cross of Christ, ever learning and teaching, but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth that makes free; to those the cross and sufferings are ceased, and they and the powers of the earth are one against such as take up the cross to follow Christ in the way of the Spirit; and such being without in the letter are become spiritually blind, and so cannot see that the appearance of Christ was ever cross to all who were got into the rudiments, pleading for outsides, but had lost the power, wherein this generation exceeds, having lost both power and form also.

     And to you I say of all sorts of baptisms, as the apostle saith of circumcision: We are the baptism who worship God in the Spirit and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh, though we might have confidence in the outward washing, being that we have had it from such as gathered it from the letter,174 and yours is no more. But this we have learned, that it is not baptism which is outward in the flesh, but that is baptism which is in the Spirit, and not in the letter, whose praise is not of men but of God; whereby we are baptized by one Spirit into one body; and as many as are baptized into Christ, are baptized into his death, and have put him on, and are become new creatures. And this is that which availeth to save us: not the washing the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience towards God by the resurrection of Jesus.

<105>     And this baptism we witness, that whosoever is therewith baptized shall be saved; but for other baptisms, which men are contending about from the letter, we see the end thereof and what they bring forth. But if any should175 come in the power and Spirit of John's baptism; or if any had176 a call from God thereto, such we judge not, nor gainsay; but that any hath power from the letter, to take up and impose it upon others (yea, though it were the true form), that I deny; or177 that they who are not sent to baptize, that the leaving the outward water, and going on to the spiritual baptism, is a slighting or contemning of an ordinance of God, that I can deny also: for this might as well have been charged against Paul, who denied it in his time, and preached baptism in Spirit in its stead; the same thing for which we are accused (to deny an ordinance of Christ) whom he hath not sent to dip or sprinkle in water but to preach the gospel of light and life, and the spiritual baptism of Christ Jesus, to the bringing all that receive our testimony into one body, by one Spirit, not making divisions about carnal things; for to us the day is come, and the shadows fly away.

     And your baptism we judge, and the end of it, which hath not led you out of tithes and offerings, swearing, suing and contention, out of the world's worships, manners and respects of persons, and to suffer the loss of all to witness Christ. That baptism we see to be out of the faith of Christ Jesus and not worth contending about; for he that is in the world without it is as good as he that is in the world with it, if not much better; for that baptism which preaches not repentance to178 all the ways of fallen man, and manners there set up, is none of John's; and that which179 walk in the flesh is none of Christ.180 So with the light of Christ, if you it mind, you will see yourselves out of the true baptism, both as to the matter, manner and the end, who are crying up ordinances in the world, which leads not out of the world, and when the world comes to judgment that baptism will not save you from the world's portion.

     But this I say to those who would know the truth herein, as we have received: we do not despise any ordinance of God which <106> he hath called any of his people to in any generation; nor dare we take a tradition upon us which God hath not required at our hands, lest we keep people in that which God is departed out of, and it be said to us, "Who hath required it at your hands?" But God hath showed us a more excellent way: the light is come, and therein have we found Christ Jesus, the guide of his people, and the leader of ages, even181 the Spirit of truth, which leads into all truth, even into all that God requires, the obedience to which is better than sacrifice. And to direct people to this Spirit are we sent, that Christ may be all in all, who gives power in the creature to perform in182 what he leads into; that thereby all that believe in the light may learn him, who begets the will and the deed also, who is the author and finisher of their faith, who look to him alone, and to his light, that all may see their righteousness to be of him alone. And by this which we have received of him in Spirit do we all see you, who read what the saints have done by call from God, and from that sets yourselves to do the like, to be in the imitation and self-righteousness and will-worship, both in this and all other things into which you are not led by the Lord and by a call from him. For this I say, that the Father hath given his Son for a leader and guide to all ages, and into and out of all forms, at his will, and183 in his way and time, in every generation.

     And therefore it is that all who know his will herein, cannot endure that any visible thing should be set up, to limit his leading in Spirit or his people from following in Spirit. So no form we deny, into which Christ leads in Spirit; but all forms we deny that are imposed by men to keep people from following the Spirit; for those only are the children of God who are led by the Spirit of God, to whom they who are led by the letter were ever enemies: for it is the spiritual ministration that gives the knowledge of God, and his glory and power, and not the literal; for he that is born after the flesh hath his way in the visibles, but he that is born after the Spirit hath his food the world knows not of, and therefore becomes his enemy. And in that state you are, who set up the shadow to oppose the body, which should lead to the body,184 which is the end of the shadow; and takes the letter to oppose the <107> Spirit, which is given to declare the sufficiency of the Spirit's teaching alone; and so pervert the Scriptures out of their place and end, which are set to testify of Christ, the life and end, to set them in the place of Christ and think to have life in them.

     And this is the error of the wicked, who are gone into the world, sensual, not having the Spirit. And in this state, wherein the Spirit leads not, both Scriptures and ordinances and all the other gifts of God, are abused, wrested out of their places, and made unprofitable. And therefore you that take up from the letter cannot bring forth their fruits, who were spiritually called into their several ministrations: therefore your ordinances are left to you desolate, you and they in the world together, out of which God is leading his people in Spirit, to get himself a name in such a way as is foolishness to your wisdom, yet the hidden wisdom of God to the children of light, who have believed therein.

     And you that use great swelling words, crying, that we deny an ordinance of God: to you I say, to neglect that which is altered from what God ordained, both in call, manner and end, is no neglecting an ordinance of God. 1) God never called any to baptize185 but first he called them out of the world and their habitations there, to follow Christ, as into the wilderness, which were prophets and apostles called immediately. 2) They did not baptize believers over again with water, who had had it, because they had it not before in their fashion; but they went to disciple unbelievers; neither did they lay it upon all, as of absolute necessity, but could forbear in case it was idolized. 3) Their186 end was to gather all into one, out of all the shadows and ceremonies and fashions of the world, to follow Christ alone, as he walked, bearing his cross daily, suffering the spoiling of their goods joyfully and their lives unto death, rather than to conform to any but him alone, for whose sake they were hated of all men; which186 end, how your baptisms answers, let your pride and pleasures and conformity to the world, in their fashions, manners and worship, and upholding thereof; your suits,187 and contentions about carnal things,188 your rents and divisions about outward forms of baptisms and worships, and upholding that in others which you know is false, by tithes <108> and offerings, whereby Christ is denied, and the popish inventions holden up, with much suchlike; I say, let these things judge you before all men, and the light in your consciences answer thereto, until the Lord appear to judge your unfaithfulness herein.

Concerning the Lord's Supper

     This is the thing that all189 the world's professors are contending about; and indeed, is of great use and profit to the weak believers,190 who have not yet seen the Lord, for bringing them into one body and blood, mind and heart, and soul and spirit. But since the mystery of iniquity began to work, the world's teachers and professors having lost their indwelling in the body of Christ, are run out into the imaginations, and are so far from the life of this as that they have lost the form and the first institution,191 as it was by Christ first192 performed and appointed,193 and therefore are so far from being thereby made one in the blood of Christ, that they are shedding one another's blood about the form, which they are all out of, and have lost,194 and the power also. For this was done and instituted195 by Christ, as they sat at meat and did eat;196 and so often as they did eat and drink thereof they were to do it in remembrance of him, showing his death till he came.

     And this197 was that the apostles received of the Lord, and was so practiced198 in the purity of the church, before they ran into confusion, which199 did continue steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, breaking bread and prayer, daily breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, in the fear and favor of God. And this was to be done at all seasons, when they eat and drank: in their eating and drinking they were to do it to the Lord, and therein200 to have communion with his body and his blood; and for that end were to keep themselves pure from all pollution: yea, when they were to <109> eat with Gentiles, they were to partake of the table of the Lord, as is plain (1 Cor. 10). And therefore they were to keep their consciences pure from things offered to idols; for they could not partake of the table of the Lord and eat that which was sacrificed to devils; though in some cases they might go to feast among unbelievers, yet whether they eat or drank, they were to do it to the Lord, as at his table, and not at the table of Gentiles, whose feasting is in the lust, and so their meat they sacrifice to devils and eat not to God; and so do all who eat to the lust. To keep from which, there is no other thing can, but to eat in remembrance of Christ's death till he come; who, when he is come, he takes the ordering and government of the creature himself upon his shoulders, and so ever keeps them out of the lust in all they do. And so is the creation restored and reconciled to God in Christ Jesus at his appearing: till which time the apostles exhorted to these things,201 and warned of the contrary, as Jude, who saw some crept in among the church, who did turn the grace of God into lasciviousness, walking after their own hearts' lusts, whereby they defile the flesh, living in sensuality, not having the Spirit to order them, they fed themselves without fear, and these were spots in their feasts, who being once enlightened and again giving way to the lusts and excess, they became twice dead, plucked up by the roots, yet had they great swelling words. And of suchlike are many examples at this day, who have had something quickened in them to hope for the appearance of the Lord, but fullness and excess having overtaken them, for want of eating always in fear and in remembrance of his coming,202 they are become dead again to any hope of his appearance at the present, and have put his coming afar off into another world; yet are contending about the shadows or figures of his coming, as they have imagined concerning them,203 but are become reprobate in204 the faith, as to his appearance, and plucked up by the roots. And to avoid this it was205 the Lord Jesus commanded his disciples, in eating and drinking206 <110> to show forth his death till he came, and they knowing this from the Lord gave it in207 example and warning to those who were convinced, that in all fear and moderation they might wait for his appearance; who at his coming would bring to light the hidden things and manifest the counsels of the heart and all its deceits, and become the worker in them; and then they should have praise of God; and these things were transferred to the apostles in a figure. So they exhorted the believers to whom the Lord was at hand, to let their moderation be known to all men, the Lord is at hand; which they knew, all who get up into the liberty of the flesh, rioting and excess, will put afar off, as it is at this day with many who are in observations outward, who have a day to go into the idols' temple, and there to eat bread and drink wine in a self-solemnity, once a month, or three times a year, or as they imagine, some affirming the body and blood of Christ to be in the creature after consecration (as they call it), some saying, Nay, but it is spiritual after consecration; others saying, It is still carnal and not changed because of words; and one imagines the body of Christ real in it, another, not real, but by faith, (as they say). But in this they all agree, that they return back into the pleasures of the flesh and fashions of the world, there to eat and drink the rest of God's creatures, to spend on their lusts; and it must needs208 be so with such as do not discern his body in their eatings, who is the body209 of all creatures, and filleth all things in heaven and in earth, which they who stick in observations never knew; and with such he is always to come, or past. But the carnal eye, which sticks in the visibles, can never see him present to order the creation out of the lust, and therefore it is that all the creatures of God are turned to feed the lust, in that state, as is seen in all the world's profession, and therefore accursed: the more riches, the more pride, the more fullness, the more lust, in that state where Christ is not discerned present. And so their eating is not the supper of the Lord, nor doth he sup with them in the new, but in the210 lustful spirit211 become the table of the devil, where the creatures are sacrificed to his use; so he keeps them in observation of <111> a day from the letter, which they think is worship, but he bears rules in their whole lives by his spirit; and so much of the creation as is in their hands, is used at his will. And hence is all lasciviousness, wantonness, strife, fighting, suits, and violence, sports, and vanities, too many here to mention, all which the creation is spent upon (given not to that end), for which they shall account who are in that state, when shall be required his corn and his wine, his wool and his flax, which he hath made for his use, and to be ordered by his Son, who is the fullness and virtue of every creature, which all know who come to his supper, where the Father and the Son are come in, and sup with the creature, which all the imitators and observers of times are ignorant of, whose contention is about outsides.212

     And for the sake of such who are lost in this thing, and troubled in mind concerning it, what I have received of the Lord, that I shall declare unto you, which all shall witness to, who come to partake thereof, as the truth is in Christ Jesus. If you intend to sup with the Lord, or show the Lord's death till he come, let your eating and drinking, so oft as you do it, be in remembrance of him, and in his fear, that a death you may witness to the lust and excess, which is that which slew him since213 the foundation of the world, and is the great enemy of his appearance, and that by which he lies slain214 in the great city which is called Sodom and Egypt. For all you that live in pleasure on the earth and are wanton; you that nourish your hearts as in the day of slaughter; you have condemned and killed the just, and he doth not resist you; and you must know a death to this before you can sup with the Lord, or he with you. But if you eat in remembrance of him, and so come to die to that which slew him, then you do show the Lord's death till he come; and when he comes he shall not find you eating and drinking with the drunken, nor beating your fellow-servants.

     And this is known from the Lord in the eternal,215 to be the true end of the supper of the Lord, instituted and appointed, that in the remembrance of his death they might be kept from all <112> excess,216 that at his coming they may be found fit to receive him; which they who feed without fear do deny, and crucify afresh to themselves. And therefore in another place, speaking of his coming, he warns them to take heed, lest at any time in eating, their hearts be overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness and cares of this life, and so that day come upon them unawares, and so become a snare to them; for so it is to all who are in that state when he should appear to them, and they cannot receive the day of his visitation whose hearts are gone out into these carnal things. And this he knew, that till that man be born which lives not by bread alone, that man that lives217 upon the creatures is soon drawn into them, and so to forget his coming who is the maker thereof, who is the sanctifier thereof, at his coming.218 And so orders the outward food as unto God and not to carnal things, the mind grows thereby, and so to the pure all things are pure: but where the pure is not, all things are defiled, when they are not sanctified by the word and prayer; and therefore are to be received in fear; and therein remembering his death till he come, who is the word and prayer,219 which at his coming restores all things to God, which till then are subject to be used to the lust, which was the thing Christ in tender love to his disciples, at220 his departure, warned them on,221 knowing that their nature would draw to the earthward, not yet being fully changed, nor having Christ born in them to keep them, and for all this his warning and leaving this as a sign, how soon were they returned into the carnals, and to their fishings, and the like, having222 forgot the promise of his coming, till he renewed the remembrance of it, making himself known in breaking of bread again after his resurrection? and so charging them to wait for his coming at Jerusalem, the promise of the Father, of which he had told them before his death; which they were to show so often as they broke bread, till he came; and after he was come to the apostles, they continued it223 for their sakes who were weak in the <113> faith, to whom he was not yet appeared; and so those did break bread from house to house, and eat with singleness of heart to Christ, and not to the lust; which was another thing than the world's observation of bread and wine, or wafers in the idol's temple, where the Lord's death is not showed till he come; where some are hungry, and some are drunken; where the covetous, the proud, the liars, swearers, whoremongers, fighters, swearers, scorners, and all evil workers meet, to eat bread and wine so often a year, and return into the lust224 again; this is not to eat the Lord's body,225 nor at his table, but the table of devils.

     And this you shall all know, that you who do this for an hour, or a day, and then feed without fear, not showing the Lord's death in all other your eating, so oft as you eat and drink226 till he come, you are they who eat judgment to yourselves herein: and all your will-worship will not be found at that day to be an ordinance of Christ, as you have limited it; nor can you know his coming to your salvation. And of this sort are you who now say, The Lord delayeth his coming, and have put it into another generation; if not till doomsday, as you call it; and so have settled yourselves in your worldly pleasures and high notions, with the drunken spirit eating and drinking, and beating your fellow-servants, mocking, whipping and imprisoning them at your will and pleasure, having forgot his coming; which if you did remember to show forth his death so often as you eat and drink till he come, you should not have been found in blindness and opposition to his coming (as to yourselves), nor persecuting him now which is come in others; nor should your table have been made a snare unto you, that that day should overtake you unawares (as it is seen at this day), upon whom the words of Christ are to be fulfilled.

Concerning Redemption

     This is that which many boast on and glory in, who never knew what it is to be redeemed further than in words and imagination thereof; nay, there are few who are come so far as to know what it is that wants227 redemption, and that228 the promise is <114> to,229 wherein only it is seen and received, for there is a seed to230 which the promise of redemption231 is, but you who take delight in sin and plead for it, art not he.232 Thou that canst take pleasure in the flesh, and fashion thyself thereto, art of another seed, who art at liberty in the world to conform thyself thereto in thy own will and way and time, who hast power in thy hand233 to do what thou list, and when thou list, and as thou list: Thou needs no234 redemption who art at liberty,235 nor physician who art not sick; and so a talk of redemption little changes thy condition in that state, who are of this world and obtains that thou loves, and therein takes pleasure; building a seat, and blessing thyself therein, laying up thy treasure here below; he that redeems Israel's seed is no glad tidings to thee, who speaks woe to all in that state. But if thou finds something in thee that in all these worldly delights cry vanity and emptiness, and can find no satisfaction therein, nor can conform to this world nor take pleasure in wickedness, that cannot plead for sin but cries woe to thee because of thy wickedness, and mourns because of the abominations of thy times, wherein thou hast followed the world's customs and foolish fashions; if thou find that in thee that cannot take delight in decking the outside with pride, nor worship the creature, nor bow to any but God alone, but condemns thee if thou so do: if thou find that which breathes in thee towards God for life and strength against all these vanities and all other evils, that which would follow God out of all the world, if it had power;236 I say, if such a seed thou find in thee, though it be the least of all seeds in thee, yet that is the seed of the kingdom, to which the promise is; and no further than that principle is raised to reign in thee above all that is contrary to it, no further art thou redeemed by Christ Jesus: for that's the237 plant of God's renown, the lily <115> among the thorns; which with the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and pleasures, is choked, that it may not bring forth to God, who hath placed it in thee for himself, that therein he might teach thee to profit, and from thence thou might receive wisdom and strength, yea, all that is needful for thee in thy measure to which thou art called.

     And this lying238 under thy lusts and pleasures is the cause thou knowest not God the Father, nor the Son, for to this239 he is revealed; though thou talk of redemption, yet thou knowest not God, nor his power, nor life, nor presence with thee to guide thee out of the evil, and to give thee victory over the prince of this world and his dominion; but are captivated at his will, to do his works, and so under the condemnation that he is in; and the talk of redemption doth not deliver thee from his temptations; but into it thou falls, and commits the sin that is of his moving, and so art of the devil; but that which is of God lies under, in240 death and captivity, and bonds of iniquity,241 and so thou canst not have power, nor the promise, nor salvation, which in the seed is placed, which is not of thee nor with thee, while thou art in these delights, but against thee, and thou sinning against it; and so art not of the promised seed, but an enemy to it, and by thy lusts and pleasures and self-will art in Pharaoh's state and nature, keeping242 the seed of God243 in the house of bondage, and dost not pity nor regard the cries thereof, which cries against thy pride and excess, envy and wrath, and all thy wickedness by which thou oppressest the seed of God in thee (in that state where death reigns), for which the wrath of God comes upon the world of iniquity; who are enemies to that seed which is of the covenant, and are not joined to it (but to the contrary, in the contrary nature), to which all who are joined in the light come to partake of God's love and life therein by Jesus Christ; who takes upon him that seed after the flesh, not the seed of the evil one, nor the nature of angels, but the seed of Abraham, to whom the promise is.

     And all who know this, quickened and raised by the Spirit of Jesus, know the plant of God's renown, of God's own planting, <116> in which the fruit is found; and such knows where to wait for a supply of all wants, and counsel in all straits; where is the law received that is spiritual, and the righteousness of faith; from which God's righteousness is manifest in the world, not of self nor self-works, nor of that244 seed, but of the heritage of faith, a free gift to the seed.245 And in this seed as it is redeemed hath the saints246 fellowship with the Father and the Son in the light, and all the gifts and grace247 whereby that creature becomes free from the law of sin that they248 be married to Christ, in him to serve the living God, set free from the service of sin and Satan. And this is their freedom, even their righteousness, which is everlasting, as the seed249 is redeemed out of the pit;250 for where this seed is raised up, there the creature receives from God of his fullness; but where the seed251 is in the grave, the curse is betwixt, upon him where the sin is, and the trespasses, by which it is slain. But where this is raised, and the immortal birth born, the creature is blessed of God for the seed's sake, throughout all the nations of the earth, for in this is God worshipped; but where this is dead,252 the sacrifice is abomination, for they that are in the grave cannot praise God; it's the living that he accepts and not the dead.

     And this I say to all you that find such a thing as is holy thus moving in you against your lusts and worldly pleasures: take heed, and do not deceive yourselves with a talk of redemption while this is in prison and not brought above all your lusts; but in the light of Christ wait, which lets you see this, that you may see his power in Spirit to raise this to reign above all in you that is contrary, and so shall you reign with it over all the world and its wicked ways; but if you have found this breathing towards God, and you have no regard thereto, take heed, lest he that gave this for thy salvation take it away from thee in wrath and leave thee to thy lusts without reproof (for his Spirit will not always strive with you). And then it had been good you had not been born. And this hath befallen many after many reproofs and motions to good, who are now left to fill <117> up their measure with greediness, who now glory in their shame and boast of their filthiness; and this day is coming upon many more who now little mind the measure of God253 moving in them, but live in the254 lust, sinning against their conscience out of the255 self-ends, and yet please themselves with a talk of redemption: as the greatest profession now set up by many is to make the redemption of Christ a cover for all licentiousness and fleshly liberty, and say they are to that end redeemed; which redemption the Son of God needed not to come from heaven to purchase for them, man being thither fallen, by nature subject thereto; but all who know the redemption of Christ, by his precious blood, are redeemed from the vain conversation received by tradition, into the holy conversation of him that hath called them to be holy, as he is holy, and not vain, as the world is vain. And this is true redemption to all that know it, whereby this seed256 hath received redemption for us, who were transgressors, even to purge the conscience from dead works to serve the living God. And for this end he gave himself for us, to redeem us from all iniquity, and to purify unto himself a peculiar people zealous of good works: who hath redeemed us to God by his blood, out of kindreds, tongues, and fashions,257 from amongst men, to follow the Lamb and not the258 lust. And all whose redemption leads not out of this world will fail you, when you look for another, and this all that are redeemed know; but who live in the lust are blinded with the god thereof, as the light in every conscience shall testify that he that lives to the flesh is not redeemed.

     So with the light of Christ which lets you see your transgressions, search your hearts, that you may see if the just principle that moves to righteousness be not oppressed and burdened, and overpowered259 by the seed of the evildoer, and that nature which loves carnal delights; and so you be led captive to do the works of Satan; then what redemption have you further than a talk? Like a man that hath a conceit of eating, but still hungry; so you conceit freedom, but still serve sin; and while servants of sin you are free from righteousness; as he that is a servant of <118> righteousness is free from sin; for it is an easy thing to conceit righteousness and redemption, but he that doth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous: but this is not seen while the seed of God is in bondage.260

Concerning Justification, Sanctification
and Mortification

     The wisdom of men in the fall finding these several words in Scripture hath in their imaginations run them into divisions, and separated that which is in one and cannot be divided in the possession: for it is one261 that works all these, where he is present, according to the measure received. And this is the just one, who by faith lives in the creature, and the creature in him, and so becomes the justifier and sanctifier of all that believe, and the mortifier of that nature which is out of the faith; and one of these is not alone without the rest. For that which sanctifies, that mortifies, and the same justifies; and all that know what it is to have these in the life, knows this.

     I know there are a people who have a desire to heaven more than to holiness; and they, lest they should spoil their carnal delights, have in their brain-imagination conceited a justification without sanctification or mortification, wresting those scriptures which condemn the works of the law, and therewith they would exclude the righteousness of faith also. And because the Scripture saith God justifies262 the ungodly through faith, therefore they conclude themselves justified in their ungodliness by a fancy which they call faith, but are without faith in Christ. For that faith which lays not hold upon God's righteousness is not the faith of Christ, but a dead thing; for so far as any hath the faith of Christ, so far it reveals the righteousness without the law, from faith to faith; by which righteousness of God the just lives263 and the unjust dies;264 and so justified as they are sanctified and mortified, and no further; even as the righteousness of God without the law is manifest, being witnessed by the law and the prophets, even the righteousness of God, which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all, and upon all <119> that believe, without respect of persons. No righteousness, no faith in Christ; but where God's righteousness is unto all and upon all, there the belief is witnessed, and the faith is showed by the works, which cannot be showed without the works; for that faith that hath not works is dead, being alone; as the body without the Spirit, so is your faith without works; and so is your justification without holiness and mortification of life. And you will find in the end that he that justifies the wicked in you is the same that condemneth the just, and they are both abomination to the Lord. And this is your state who plead for sin and live in pleasure and wantonly on the earth; you slay the just and holy one and save the unjust alive; and so know not him that is just; who justifies, mortifies, sanctifies and redeems; who of God is made so to us, that in all things we are and have we may glory in him.

     And although the Scriptures mention these three, yet not to divide them so as to make people believe they may have one and not all; but as to show the several effects of that one work of man's redemption, all wrought by one thing in the creature. For the blood and Spirit of Christ washes away the filth, and so puts off the old man, and mortifies the deeds of that265 body, and so sanctifies and justifies. The Spirit it mortifies and sanctifies and justifies: now though the saints named both these it was not to divide them; but being one, they might declare it by either; for none could have the one without the other, and all that have them are thereby mortified, sanctified, and justified. Yet none of these without the creature,266 being works of faith, and not of self: for by the law of faith is self-sanctification, self-mortification, and self-justification excluded, though they who have received the Spirit were called to all these by faith in his blood, yet it is the work of God wrought by Christ in the believer, and in the light are they called to behold the work of God herein, and to join to it in the faith and obedience thereto, being the work of God, which he will work in all that believe in the light, that they may receive his Son, in whom the promise is, and the power to mortification, sanctification, and justification as by faith he is received, from the dead,267 <120> who was delivered for our offenses and raised again for our justification: but such who would share in his justification but not have fellowship in his sufferings and obedience are such as are justified in conceit, but sin reigns, and the unjust lives and acts in them, and this is self that justifies self but is not just before God, the just268 being dead in trespasses and sins; but God justifies the living and not the dead. Therefore the saints suffered the loss of all things, counting them as269 dung that they might know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable to his death. These through death came to the power and fellowship of his resurrection, whereby they are justified, being raised with him to newness of life; by faith receiving the gift of God's righteousness and becoming servants thereto; and thereby became free from sin: and this is true justification, where there is no condemnation, where the deeds of the flesh are mortified, and the creature walks no more after the flesh but after the Spirit: For the condemnation is to him that walks after the flesh, but he that walks in the Spirit is justified: for he that walks in the Spirit shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh, and there is mortification to that nature that breaks the law; and the just is seen who fulfills the law, in such as walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. So, not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. In the first270 man's state, the law is broken, and there mortification and sanctification is denied, and there the man would be justified from the guilt of sin but not from the love and power of sin, but would have his carnal delights in the world and heaven also, but this is vain hope and will perish. But in the second man's state the law is fulfilled through mortification, sanctification, justification of the Spirit. And no man can be justified where the just lives not; for that by which the just lives is that by which the creature is justified.

Concerning the Law

     In this thing are many people confounded, yea all who know not the ministration of the Spirit; for such going into the Scriptures <121> and finding the ministration of the letter and the ministration of the Spirit, and themselves being under neither of these but in notion, as they have received it, in their imaginations, and not from the mouth of the Lord, some say they are under the law and that it continues still; others say, but some part of it, which is moral; others say, Nay, but it is done away, and they are not under any ministration of law but under grace; and so by their faith make void the law, not knowing what they say herein. And this is all such know, either of law or gospel, who in their wisdom and prudence271 read the letter, and from thence imagine what is law and what is grace, not having that Spirit by which they were ministered to the saints and by them received, who had the law in their hearts, and grace there also; and such do know that the one of these doth not make void the other but establish the other; for the coming of Christ was not to make void but to fulfill the law; and he doth not come to put the law afar off, but to bring it near, that with his light all may see it, as it is written in the heart by the living God; and he is so far from destroying or taking away the law that he declares it in its force and purity, saying, that one jot or tittle should not pass till it be fulfilled.

     And whereas it was said in the letter, thou shalt not commit adultery, saith he, thou shall not lust. In the letter it was said, thou shalt not swear falsely; but in the Spirit, he saith, swear not at all. In the letter, thou shalt not kill; but in the Spirit, thou shalt not be angry; and whosoever doth any of these things is guilty before God; and this is far from making it void, which declares it in its purity, so as they who might seem to be clear in the letter, might be found guilty in the law of the Spirit; that by Christ Jesus, who is the end of that law, they may come to see their condemnation, and by faith in him become272 set free, not by the blood of bulls and goats, and the ashes of an heifer, and carnal sacrifices, oracle,273 temple or altar, or days, or Sabbath without in the letter, but by all these in Spirit, which are in Christ Jesus ministered274 to the soul and conscience, to wash away sin, and purge the conscience from dead works to serve the living God, which the ministration of the <122> letter and carnal ordinances could not do.

     And for this cause is the ministration of the letter done away, because it could not make perfect the comers thereto, as pertaining to the conscience; and the ministration of the Spirit preached in his275 stead, which gives perfect knowledge of sin and perfect redemption from it, and from all things from which the law without could not, and the same Spirit doth testify it perfectly, in the conscience, which the letter cannot; though the letter may show a man his condemnation, yet it cannot give life; it can show the duty but not give power to perform it, so276 the letter kills, but the Spirit giveth life.

     And hence it is that all you who read your duty in the letter but want power to perform what you read, you set up your imaginations instead of performance: and some say the law is done away, and now none shall be condemned by it; others say Christ fulfilled it in his own person, and to believe what he did sixteen hundred years since is all we need to do; others say, nay, but we must do what we can do of what the Scriptures commands, and he will do the rest, with his Father; others say, that what we do he makes it accepted with the Father, as though he did perform all that is required; but none in that state knows his commands in Spirit, which gives life and power to perform what is commanded in Spirit, which none knows who reads what others did, but want their Spirit and power to perform the same. This was the self-righteousness and is the self-righteousness which is by the letter of the law taken on without the Spirit of life, which is in Christ Jesus. And here is the weakness of the law taken on through the flesh, but the power of the law to such as receive it in Spirit and life; for the law is fulfilled in Spirit and not in the letter; and so in Christ and not in self; and so by faith and not by works; even by the everlasting righteousness of God, freely given and received by faith, and revealed in the creature from faith to faith in everyone that believes; and not by works of the law which the creatures see in the letter and set themselves a-doing, who are carnal and sold under sin, not quickened by the Spirit of righteousness; for the letter of the law gives the277 knowledge of <123> sin; but the law in the Spirit gives not only the knowledge of sin, but the knowledge of God and his righteousness in Christ Jesus for fulfilling the law, which is life eternal, according to his promise: I will write my law in your hearts and put it in your inward parts, and you shall all know me, from the greatest to the least; so the letter kills, but the Spirit giveth life.278

     So all you who read the commands in the letter without, from thence you may fetch your own condemnation, but from thence you cannot fetch power for obedience, to justification of life. From within is the life in Spirit, and not in the letter. And here is a change of the law to that which is spiritual, the priesthood spiritual, the temple spiritual, the altar, the circumcision, the offering, the blood, the oracle, the anointing, the washings, and the whole worship, which was without and could make nothing perfect, is279 become spiritual and within; which is280 the better hope, being more pure281 than that without could be, and so more perfect, even as282 he is perfect. Now the law was added because of transgression till the promised seed should come, of whom it is prophesied in types and figures; which seed is Christ, the end of the law to everyone that believes, without respect of persons, and so it is in the Spirit. A law hath God written in the heart, whereby the transgressor is condemned in his own conscience, and this law is upon the first man, who is the transgressor, and hath power over that man as long as he lives: judging, reproving, and condemning; and prophesying of one that is to come to fulfill the law in everyone who minds the light, and so is a schoolmaster to bring to Christ; and till he come to fulfill it, who is the end of it, there is condemnation upon the creature; because the pure law of God is broken; and this is testified by the light in the conscience, a witness against the first283 man and his deeds, which is contrary to the perfect law of God; and so by that which is perfect is he condemned who is imperfect, where the image of God is lost, and the seed lies in death,284 because of <124> trespasses and sins.

     For God did not give a law to condemn his own work, but the work of the devil. And where the transgressor is, there is the work of the devil. And the law hath power over that man as long as the transgressor lives. And all his works are by the law condemned, until the resurrection of the seed and the image of God be witnessed, and all things subdued to him who is the end of the law, by whom the fruits of the Spirit are brought forth, against which there is no law. And so by his resurrection and the virtue thereof, that which is of God in the conscience is answered; and so the creature saved from the condemnation of the law of God, which respects no man's person, but hath respect to his own seed, where it is raised,285 but condemns all where it lies286 in death, and where death reigns.

     So the law that lays hold upon all transgressors, we witness to endure, spiritual, just, and good; given forth against the first man and his works good or bad (as people call them), yea, though he set himself to do the works of the law never so zealously, yet a witness of condemnation the pure law of God is against him in his conscience, until the promised seed287 be born, which is not of the will of the first man, nor after the flesh, but after the Spirit, after the will of God (one with the law) and by his grace, who shows the mercy and glad tidings. Now Israel after the flesh, who received the law in the literal ministration and carnal ordinances of288 them, was Christ to be born,289 who was made of a woman under the law, to redeem them that was under the law, if they did believe. Even so now Israel after the Spirit, who receive the law in the spiritual ministration written in the heart, such shall witness the child born of the royal seed, heir of the promise, even of God's righteousness, for the fulfilling of the pure law of God, for that end given forth; whereof there are many witnesses at this day who have patiently waited in what God hath written in their hearts, seen with the light of Christ; who have therein received the faith of the gospel and the end of that faith, even God's righteousness revealed from faith to faith, <125> whereby the pure law of God is fulfilled in many, and fulfilling in others, who abide in their measure of faith which God hath dealt to them, walking in the light, not after the flesh, but after the Spirit; and so by the law of the Spirit of life which is in Christ Jesus see themselves set free from the law of sin and death, and so witness the gospel, which you cannot do who cast the law of God and his light behind your backs, and in your vain mind say you are not under it; in the day of trial you will be found under the condemnation thereof, and that in every conscience shall witness thereto at that day.

Concerning Christ Jesus

     This is he whom the world much talk of, but few there be that know him, though it be he by whom all things were made, who is the life of all creatures, who was before all creatures, without beginning of days or end of life, a priest forever, and a king of whose dominion there is no end; by him kings reign, and dominions are cast down, though they know him not where self is standing, who is hidden from the world's wisdom, and the depth of prudence cannot find him out; yet doth he reveal himself to such as walk in his light, which is contrary to all the dark paths of the world, nor can the will of man walk therein; but who deny themselves, that they may learn the way of the Lord, to such he freely reveals his way for their return, that he may bring them down from the seat of exaltation and make known to them their beginning and from whence they are digged; that they may see him that bears up the pillars of the earth and hath laid the foundation thereof; who hath set the world in their hearts,290 who stood not in his counsel: so that they291 cannot find out the beginning nor the end of the work of God; yet will vain man in that state be imagining touching him, and from whence he had his beginning who is the eternal word, before all time, glorified in the heavens with the Father, who in time was manifest, which word became flesh and dwelt among us, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men; and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to the death, that he might become a <126> living example to all generations, which no creature could be, the whole creation being in the fall; and having finished the work of292 redemption, given him of the Father to do, and for which he was begotten, he ascended far above all heavens, to prepare a place for all that follow him by faith in his light; and that from thence all such as wait for him may see his appearance as a savior. And only such know him for their redeemer who know him for their judge and lawgiver, who love him and keep his commands; to such he comes, and the Father also, and make their abode with him.

     And this is he who is the light of the world, and lighteth every man that comes into the world; who stands at the door and knocks; and if any hear his voice and open he will come in and sup with him; and such know him, and he knows them who hear his voice, by which they are quickened out of the trespasses and sins, and the seed of God raised out of293 death in man, but where death reigns, Christ is rejected, and the wisdom by which he should be known is foolishness.

     So if you desire to know him who is not of this world, but who is before the world was, a witness against all the world's ways and wickedness, then mind that light in you which thus witnesseth; for as Christ is, so is his light that leads to him; for that which bears testimony against the world is not of the world, even as he is not of the world, and so leads out of the world to him who is not known in the world: for the world by wisdom knows him not. And as thou follows the light out of the world, thou wilt come to see the seed, which by294 the world's wisdom and glory is crucified; to which seed are all the promises, and wherein is all the knowledge of God and Christ. And as that seed is raised,295 therein is the Father revealed, and his power and Godhead in his Son Jesus Christ, which in him dwells, and without him is not revealed, but being known is life eternal, and eternal power, and eternal glory and riches, made manifest in the light; for as you know this seed raised by the same Spirit that raised Jesus Christ from the death;296 so shall you see him to whom all <127> power and judgment is committed in heaven and earth, and for whom, and by whom all things were made in heaven and earth, of whom it is said: When he brings his only begotten Son into the world, let all the angels worship him; who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire, whose flesh is the life of men, and his light is as a law that goes forth; whereby man is led to his297 food, and the sons of men sees out of darkness. And this is he who cannot be limited, nor his person298 restrained in one place, who filleth heaven and earth with his presence and appeareth at his pleasure to his own (though the wise of the world knows him not, and therefore limit him299 above the stars), who dwells in the bodies of300 his saints. But as for the reprobates, they know him not so, who have put the good day far from them and hate reproof, that they may spend their days in folly and feed themselves with the wind, and fill their hearts with carnal delights. When the hearts of the children of light are established with grace, yet these will be disputing about the body of Christ; but the body of sin rules in them, whereby they are darkened and become heart-blind, past feeling the measure of God,301 whose hearts are overcharged with surfeiting and cares of the world, and their minds corrupted with earthly things.

     To such I say, cease your imaginations, as to find out what Christ is in that state; for he alone reveals himself in Spirit to such as wait in the light and love that which is pure; to such his appearance is as the sun, whose rising is not by the will of man, but for his appearing all the world must wait, to be302 refreshed with the beams of his glory. And to all that are yet in the night shall he appear, if you look towards the place of his rising, which is not, Lo here, lo there; but within you in your hearts. And all who are come to the sure word of prophecy, as to a light that shines in a dark place, to which you do well to take heed till the day dawn and the day-star arise in your hearts, you shall see the sun arise where the day-star appears in your hearts, if in the light you wait that shines in the darkness; and you shall feel the virtue and life of him, and receive thereof to live in the same <128> with him; and you shall see him as he is, and know him to be the Sun303 of Righteousness, whose arising is with healing in his wings, and whose breaking forth is upon all his enemies which over the seed hath reigned; whose spiritual weapons are mighty through God to the pulling down strongholds, casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of himself, and having in readiness to revenge all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.

     And thus the saints know the Son with his light, his power and dominion over all things in heaven and in earth, who rules in righteousness in the hearts of his people, trampling down Satan under their feet, which Son of God hypocrites call Lord, Lord, but the devil they serve and obey; and though such have got the words of the Lord, and Christ, and Jesus, yet they know not his light, his power, his kingdom and dominion over sin and the devil in them, to set them free therefrom by his light and life; nor his blood304 to wash them from their pollutions and to present them without spot or wrinkle or any such thing. And so you have made the name of Christ a reproach among the nations, who call him a redeemer but lives in your sins. So as such as profess not the syllables of Christ and Jesus, even from a principle of God within them, many of them become your judges as to moderation, faithfulness and honesty.

     Nay, it is manifest amongst you that the name of Jesus, which gives the saints victory over sin, you know not, who have it in words and therewith make a cover for your sin, your pride, lust and excess. What covetousness and all manner of unrighteousness is covered over with a profession of the name of Christ, which redeems from those things all that knows him? For none knows Jesus further than they know a savior from sin, and not a cover for sin, and live in it; for the promise of the Father is, "he shall save his people from their sins." And the children of the promise knows this to be so without a cover or meaning to live in sin. And none knows Christ but who knows the anointing, and such need no man to teach them, but as the anointing teacheth them all things that is true, if they abide <129> therein, and there is no lie in it.

     But who says they know Christ, and are redeemed, and commits sin, not keeping his commands, is a liar, and so abides not in the truth and anointing; and so is of the devil and not of Christ; for he that abides in Christ sins not. For the name of Jesus Christ is power over all sin, as it is known, and the creature baptized into it by faith. So all that know Christ, know the seed, the promise, the word of life, the covenant, the heritage, the righteousness, the kingdom, the power, the glory which is not of this world, and the Father of all; which you that commits sin have not seen. Neither can any say that Jesus is Lord, but by the Spirit; so you whose knowledge is without, another lord ruleth within.

Concerning the Ministry of Christ

     The ministers of Christ are ever called out of the world and contrary to the world, contrary to their own wills and the wills of all flesh, for such have the word who are begotten of the word, and such are begotten contrary to the will of man, and through such came the Scriptures, which came not by the will of man, but by the Spirit, and so are of no private interpretations, nor are his ministers of any private call, but of himself, who hath all creatures in his hand, to choose whom he will, to go on his message, nor would he ever send by any whom the kings of the earth did choose, nor the powers thereof, but such as they called and set up without his immediate call was ever the great enemies to such as he sent. And this is evident in all the Scriptures, and in all histories since, that whenever the mystery of iniquity had spread over, and darkness had passed over his seed, and his people had broken his covenant and lost his word, then he in love to his people sent out some immediately who had his word in them, to bear witness to the Lord against all their backslidings and self-ways and formal worships, and to such the world's ministers, or rather masters, were ever enemies, and sought to stir up the powers of men against them to devour them, always305 under the name of blasphemers and heretics, and destroyers of worship, and peace-breakers and enemies to authority, when they are306 sent of God to testify against their false worships and to break the peace of the <130> wicked one, who keeps his house in peace till a stronger than he comes. And this you shall find recorded through all307 the Scriptures, and all histories of persecution in all ages and at this day. And you shall never find that ever any of these could join in with the world's worships, but cried them down, their priests, their prophets, their days, their times, their places, their whole worship, who were gone out into the world from the word and Spirit, for which they was ever308 envied of them who was therein, and such as they had deceived thereby; for the world ever loves its own, but he that is of God testifies against the world and the deeds thereof that they are evil, therefore hated for the truth's sake.

     And as the ministers of Christ are ever called out of the world and the things thereof, so they are not careful for the things of the world; but he who is their master309 is their maintainer, whom they preach. And so they that preach the gospel live of the gospel: so never any of his sought to the people for means, nor bear rule by it, nor sought for their gain from their quarter; nor taught for the fleece, preached for hire, nor prophesied for money, for pieces of bread, nor handfuls of corn; none of Christ's ministers ever lived in parsonages, nor lived upon tithes, nor ever went to the law with their flock for carnal things; they were never310 called masters of their hearers, but servants; they were never approved311 by men to whom they was to preach, but was sent of God to preach to such as sought him not, nor them neither;312 and amongst such they in all things approving313 themselves to be ministers of God (that the ministry be not blamed); in much patience, in affliction, in necessities, in distresses, in stripes, in prisonments, in tumults, in labors, in watchings, in fastings, by pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left; by honor and dishonor; by evil report and good report; as deceivers and yet true; as unknown and yet well known; as dying and yet live; chastened, sorrowful, poor, having nothing, wandering up and down, having <131> no certain dwelling-place. And in this state their reward was that they might keep the gospel without charge, and yet they was ever hated by such as was approved of men, who stirred up such as they preached to for their hire, to persecute them that preached freely, to such as are so far from hiring them as they would rather devour them than hear them, yet will hire and hear them of their own choosings. And this must be, that the grace of God may appear to be free, and he be found of them that sought him not.

     And this was ever his way who will be taught of none, nor shall any choose for him by whom he shall send, nor shall any whom he sends ever want, nor take care for aught aforehand, that they may follow their master and be as their Lord, who shall feed many but seek to none for food but what God gives: for it is not like that they should feed others with everlasting food who dare not trust God for carnal food; for God will not have such as are of his family314 to take care for food or raiment, nor wherewith to feed others; for who hath315 the word in them, in which all fullness is, need not study what to say, nor have a divination to make, what to preach, like them who have not the word in them but what they steal from another or316 fetch out of the bottomless pit by divination and witchcraft, who can have the word in their own time and wills, against whom they will, and to flatter whom they will; who cry peace to such as put into their mouths, else they prepare war against them; who mind earthly things; whose god is their belly; who talk against pride and live in it; against covetousness and live in it; who preach against sin but cannot cease from sin. And such as they are, such is their hearers, who in words confess Christ but in works deny him. And these are they who for their pride, pleasures, and carnal ends, have changed the Lord's worship from what it was both in matter and manner, means and maintenance, and so have scattered the Lord's people into sects and opinions, forms, customs and traditions in every nation, as may best suit their wicked wills; for which they pretend decency, order and necessity, so that not one is317 found in the way of God, nor form of true worship as the Scriptures will own without wresting. And now the Lord is appeared in the true way as <132> Christ left it with his disciples to gather his own from off all these mountains where they are scattered; all the idol-shepherds are gathering against him to battle, of all sorts, not willing to hear of the living way, which is but one, in which there is no rent, sect, error, and opinion,318 but Christ in all; nay, one can scarcely grieve a town teacher worse than to tell him of the apostles' way of preaching, their call, their Spirit, their wanderings, their wages, their word and way of walking in this world and amongst their hearers, as is declared in Scripture without a meaning, or liberty to change it according to the times.

     Nay, though all their parish be believers (as they call them) yet can they not believe they shall get their wages from them without a law to compel them, so that though they have begot a larger faith in their hearers than the apostles ever taught, to wit, that though they commit sin while they live, yet they may be saved and set free when they die; yet have not they so much faith themselves as to believe they will pay them their wages, without it be forced from them, that which none of Christ's ministers ever did either in law or gospel. So we may not say that these are ministers of Christ, or like them, if we will speak truth and take Christ's rule to judge by, who saith, "By their fruits you shall know them."

     Nor should I have spoken thus much of them in this place, did they but call themselves the ministers of men, made so by them, and so upholden and maintained, but such as call themselves ministers of Christ, and walk so far unlike him and his in all things, I say to such as are found in these things: your ways testify to your face, and before all men, that you are no more like the ministers of Christ than they that walked in your steps before you. So search the Scriptures, and search your hearts with the light of Christ, and know your portion, and count me not your enemy for telling you the truth; however I have cleared my conscience in love to your souls, though such as are deceived through blind zeal and envy cannot receive it.

Concerning Free-Will

     There is no will free for God but that which is319 free from <133> sin, which will man lost in the fall, when he let in the will of the devil and entered into it; wherein man became in bondage. And all that man in that state knows of the free-will, is320 that which moves in him against the will of the flesh and of the devil, which is seen in the light of Christ. And this is321 the will of God, whereby he wills not the death of the sinner.322 And this will of God is manifest according to the Spirit which is free, always moving contrary to the will of the flesh, which is in bondage to the devil. And this will that is free, only those who abide in the light do feel the moving of it present in the Spirit; and as the spiritual man is quickened by the word of God, and that man born323 which is not of the flesh, nor of the will of it; so is that will seen again in man which is free, wherein the creature is made free from the will of the flesh, which is bondage. So the spiritual man hath the spiritual will which is free, and that is from above. And the carnal man, which is from below, his will keeps in bondage, who is contrary to God in all things. So the first born hath not the free-will, for who is born after the flesh, thereof is kept in bondage;324 but who is begotten again of the word from above is free-born (when he is born), who is born of the Spirit; for where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty; but where the spirit of the world is,325 there is bondage: for as is the man, so is his will. So with the light of Christ, which shows you the thoughts of the heart, if you it diligently mind, you may see the two motions of the two wills, each contrary to other; the one after the flesh, the other after the Spirit. So whether of these wills thou art servant to, that thou may be said to have, and to the other thou art an enemy; for no man hath free-will further than he is joined to it, though he that is in his own will may feel the will of God contrary to him and that will he is in; yet can he not come to it until he owns that which leads him to take up the cross to his first326 will, and in the cross to his own will is he born who hath the will of God, wherein God worketh to will and to do of his good pleasure, <134> in the male and in the female, even the plant of God, who hath the will of God, the mind of God, the heart of God,327 as in measure he it formed in the creature. So man hath not free-will further than he is free-born from above of the seed that sinneth not, and the growth in that seed is man's freedom; but while this lies under the earthly will and self, thereby it is denied, though the free-will may often move in the creature to holiness and be felt in the light of Christ as a tender of healing; yea, and would lead to holiness and healing, were it328 minded and obeyed, for that will which is of God only leads to God; by which will we are sanctified and saved. But you that stand in the will of the flesh, resists,329 and so you will not come to me,330 that you may have life; for the will of God, which is life, is free, and freely tendered in Christ Jesus to every creature; and in the light which reproves the evil deeds, it is seen: but they that resist free grace resist free-will; for that's free grace which shows man his sin and reproves for it, which would lead to God,331 and to deny all ungodliness and worldly lusts, and so to live godly, righteously and soberly in this evil world. And that's free-will, which wills not that thou should commit sin, which will is, that thou should not die. So man's destruction is of himself, and self-will, by which he resists the will of God; but salvation is of the will of God which is free, and in the measure of God332 is this freedom found and enjoyed. So that in Christ I have free-will, but in the flesh is bondage; therefore the flesh must be denied by all that will own freedom in the will or deed; for none hath free-will but who in the light of Christ hath learned to deny their own wills; and such knows that in the first man is neither will nor deed that is free from sin, nor for God, and his work or worship; for God hath concluded the whole man under sin that the gift of grace might appear to be free, that all might glory in the Lord, and the whole treasure be found in him, to whom every tongue shall confess when the glory of man shall come to an end, to his praise who is blessed forevermore.


Concerning the Resurrection333

     "I am the resurrection and the life," saith Christ, "he that believes in me though he were dead, yet shall he live"; and "whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die." Blessed is he that this334 knoweth and believeth, "which335 is the first resurrection, for on such the second death shall have no power. Yet the day cometh, in which all that are in the graves shall hear the voice of the judge, and shall come forth: they that have done good unto the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil unto the resurrection of condemnation." Think of this, you wicked workers, who live and die in your sins and yet please yourselves with talking of the resurrection and what a glorious day it will be—a woeful day to you will it be who are found in your sins and in the love of the world, you profane Esaus, and cursed Nimrods, and proud Hamans, who trample upon the despised seed of innocency; you must not then lord it over the poor, and judge their case and your own also;336 you must not then stop the mouth of truth any longer, but right must be heard and pass, as to the high, so to the low; you hypocrites who confess God in words but in works deny him, what will this be to you when your fair covers must be taken away and by your works you must be judged? will he say to you, because you have been great talkers of me, therefore your deceits shall not be laid open,337 I will first make you clean before I judge you; but all others will I judge as I find them? You that are pleading for sin while you live, and holiness when you are dead, you will not then find it as you have conceited, but as you are found. A terrible day will this be to you that die in your sins; and this the children of light knows, whom your envious minds is accusing as though they denied the resurrection, though you see them preparing for it by casting off the deeds of darkness and works of the flesh, and all the ungodly ways of the world, the pleasures and vanities thereof, and esteeming more of the cross of Christ and the reproach of the world, counting that greater riches than the present glory of the world and friendship thereof; which338 were our <136> hope only in this life, we were of all men most miserable, who have denied all these things for the Lord, that in him we might be found at that day, in whom we look for a better resurrection; which did we not see to be an unsearchable reward, we have an opportunity to return; but a better country we desire, and we know that a city is prepared for us, whose maker is God, a durable habitation in the heavens, which such who love the world cannot receive: and therefore in your carnal hearts imagine carnal things, comparing heavenly things with earthly and praising the present world and conforming to it; loving and worshiping the creature more than the Creator; therefore hath God appointed a day wherein he will judge the world in righteousness, and give a just recompense, when the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with339 the voice of the archangel, the quick and the dead to judge; and the dead in Christ shall rise first, as says the Scripture: wherefore "Blessed are they that die in the Lord"; but woe to you who die in your sins at that day, who neither live nor die in the faith of Christ; and you are they who live and die in that faith that you cannot be set free from sin while you live; for this is not the faith of Christ, nor did ever any of his profess it or die in it, but believe340 him that is able to save341 the uttermost all that come to342 him. So as is your faith unclean, so shall you be in your resurrection unclean;343 for all that die in that faith, die in their sins.

     But to such busy minds who are saying, How are the dead raised? and with what bodies do they come? I say, to such the apostle's words are very suitable: "Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened except it die." So to such I say, go to the figure and read if thou canst with all thy curious wisdom, which is foolishness with God, for to such the parable is, but the mystery is sealed with the sons of God; nor can any ever know with what bodies they shall arise but who comes to the flesh of Christ and discerns his body, the sight whereof, in the life, slays the serpent and opens the mystery. Till then cursed is he that reveals344 that which God hath sealed and hidden from the serpent's <137> wisdom. So you that are wise in your own eyes, you may read the 1 Cor. 15, and you may see the apostle speaks plain words to that purpose; and if you cannot understand his speech, neither can you do mine: yet doth the sons of God (who are born of the incorruptible seed) know345 the incorruptible body that shall never wax old: therefore doth give up the corruptible to be tortured by the wills of the wicked and bloody persecutors, for the honor of him who hath called us thereto, by whom the inward man is daily renewed, though the outward man perish, and from whom we have assurance that when this earthly tabernacle is dissolved we shall be clothed on from above; which clothing we see by faith, not by what the carnal can see or comprehend; for that which is seen is temporal, but that which is not seen is eternal; and all flesh is not the same, nor is all flesh from the earth,346 for there is heavenly bodies, and there is earthly bodies; yet cannot the earthly reveal the heavenly nor judge of them; even so is the resurrection of the dead: he that hath an ear let him hear; but flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.347

     And this I say to all who desire to attain the resurrection from the dead and to be counted worthy thereof, consult not with flesh and blood about it, nor seek to comprehend it in thy reason, lest thou lose it and become brutish in thy judgment; but in the light wait, which shows the old man's deeds, that out of darkness thou may be led, to obtain the new birth and first resurrection;348 and as thou becomes conformable to that body which came down from heaven and ascended into heaven,349 so shalt thou see the resurrection, the form and350 power and purity thereof: but the woeful estate of the wicked, who die not in the Lord, who are talking of the resurrection but the old man still living, so live and so die, that resurrection is to eternal destruction. Hearken all you busy minds, whose ear is open to mischief.

Editor's Notes

1. Love to the Lost appeared in several editions, the first two published in 1656. The first edition (which I do not have), dated Feb. 9, 1655/56 by Thomason, did not contain the final section on the Resurrection. I have worked from the second 1656 edition, with notes as to changes in the 1665 and one dated "London, 1671?" where the tentative date is apparently supplied by the Wing Catalog which numbers it 297A. These later editions omit Nayler's name from the title page, identifying him only by the initials J.N. at the end.

     The second edition places the section "Let him that reads understand" ahead of the table of contents; later editions reverse this order.

     George Whitehead included this tract in his 1716 Collection of Sundry Books ... by James Nayler: his changes are usually indicated as "W."

2. W. changes "well pleased with his Maker" to "well-pleasing to his Maker.

3. Later editions change "seeks" to "sought."

4. 1665, 1671 change "is called James Nayler" to "was called in derision by Ishmael's seed, a Quaker." Whitehead has "was called in derision by Ishmael's seed, a Quaker—James Nayler."

5. Whitehead changes "unto that" to "into"

6. Whitehead changes "into that one name to be baptized" to "to be baptized into that one name."

7. Whitehead changes "must" to "will."

8. W. changes "what" to "that image."

9. W. changes "made" to "placed."

10. Whitehead changes "it, as the thing wherein death was placed" to "feeding upon it, as that wherein death was."

11. Whitehead omits "placed."

12. Whitehead omits "for man."

13. Whitehead changes "was one" to "agreed."

14. Whitehead changes "ruled who abides" to "prevailed who abode."

15. Whitehead inserts "to."

16. Whitehead changes "he" to "man."

17. W. changes "measure of God" to "sense of the measure of God's grace."

18. Whitehead omits "as the beasts that perish."

19. W. inserts "sense of the."

20. Whitehead changes "placed" to "left."

21. W. changes "he had" to "was."

22. Whitehead inserts "or tempt."

23. 1665 and Whitehead read "principal."

24. Whitehead changes "catcheth the thing" to "seeks to catch."

25. Whitehead changes "is fallen" to "suffers."

26. Whitehead changes "seed which" to "soul that."

27. Whitehead omits "in."

28. Whitehead inserts "in Christ."

29. Whitehead inserts "in Adam."

30. Whitehead inserts "or perfect peace."

31. Whitehead inserts "said."

32. Whitehead changes "God such know not" to "such know not God."

33. Whitehead inserts "or appearance."

34. Whitehead inserts "by."

35. W. omits "this is."

36. W. inserts "was."

37. 1665 and W. insert "is."

38. Whitehead inserts "receives the."

39. Whitehead changes "that lies under, that" to "that's hid and"

40. Whitehead omits "the life."

41. Whitehead changes "it" to "man."

42. Whitehead changes "of" to "to."

43. W. changes "you" to "they."

44. Whitehead changes "and devours" to "from."

45. Whitehead changes "voice" to "sound."

46. Whitehead omits "but by the world ever judged as unrighteousness."

47. W. changes "And" to "Though."

48. Whitehead changes "or" to "being."

49. Whitehead inserts "light from."

50. Whitehead changes "not perfect" to "against perfection."

51. W. omits "all."

52. 1665 and Whitehead change "men" to "man."

53. Whitehead changes "into" to "in."

54. Whitehead inserts "both."

55. W. changes "unto" to "into."

56. Whitehead changes "so" to "but."

57. 1665 and Whitehead inserts "is."

58. 1665 and Whitehead insert "in."

59. Whitehead changes these singular verbs ("lives," "perisheth" and "passeth") into plural verbs ("live," "pass," "perish").

60. Whitehead inserts "openly."

61. Whitehead inserts "of truth."

62. W. changes "especially who" to "who only."

63. W. inserts "such readers only."

64. Whitehead inserts "obey it, and."

65. Whitehead changes "so" to "also."

66. Whitehead inserts "only."

67. Whitehead changes "from" to "for."

68. Whitehead changes "damnation" to "condemnation."

69. Whitehead omits "all."

70. Whitehead omits "but yours is in letter, and so of another ministration; for the literal ministration is done away in the spiritual."

71. Whitehead omits "which."

72. Whitehead omits "is the worship of devils."

73. Whitehead changes "its" to "his."

74. Whitehead inserts "or stay."

75. Whitehead changes "all that" to "such as."

76. Whitehead inserts "truly."

77. Whitehead changes "is" to "hath."

78. Whitehead changes "lives" to "live."

79. Whitehead inserts "fully."

80. W. omits "as like this as may be."

81. W. changes "he" to "the devil."

82. Whitehead changes "he" to "Satan."

83. W. inserts "in Christ."

84. Whitehead changes "into" to "in."

85. Whitehead inserts "been."

86. Whitehead changes "have imagined" to "imagining."

87. 1665 & 1671A omit "as." Whitehead changes "such as" to "you who."

88. Whitehead changes "love nor hatred as it is in God" to "love, as it is in God, nor hatred."

89. Whitehead changes "righteous men" to "the righteous man."

90. Whitehead changes "must" to "will."

91. Whitehead inserts "gradually."

92. Whitehead omits "into the curse."

93. Whitehead changes "is in the fall, unredeemed," to "are not delivered out of the fall, nor redeemed."

94. Whitehead inserts "and sin."

95. W. inserts "in the image."

96. Whitehead inserts "of the."

97. W. changes "that may be" to "they have."

98. W. inserts "and in sin."

99. Whitehead omits "can."

100. W. inserts "in Christ."

101. W. inserts "believe."

102. Whitehead inserts "attainable in Christ."

103. W. inserts "and polluted."

104. W. changes "are in" to "come into."

105. W. inserts "true."

106. Whitehead inserts "of themselves."

107. W. changes "wicked" to "sinners."

108. Whitehead inserts "self-exaltation."

109. Whitehead inserts "nor uncleanness."

110. Whitehead changes "damnation" to "condemnation."

111. W. omits "all."

112. Whitehead changes "that" to "the law or light."

113. W. omits "for such things as never any age of persecution can parallel."

114. Whitehead omits "it must needs be so; for."

115. W. changes "to" to "in."

116. W. inserts "light or law."

117. 1665 and W. change "king" to "magistrate." [But 1671A retains "king".]

118. W. omits "nor in his own strength."

119. W. inserts "them by degrees."

120. Whitehead changes "this" to "his."

121. 1665, 1671A, and Whitehead change "law" to "love."

122. Whitehead changes "his measure, stature and" to "a measure of his."

123. Whitehead inserts "but."

124. W. omits "for that is two obediences."

125. Whitehead changes "simplicity" to "simple."

126. Whitehead inserts "chief."

127. Whitehead inserts "principal."

128. Whitehead changes "wrought" to "made."

129. W. inserts "for which he."

130. Whitehead changes "imaginary" to "imaginations."

131. W. inserts "pretended."

132. Whitehead inserts "to make men good."

133. Whitehead changes "the" to "his."

134. Whitehead adds "of God."

135. W. inserts "truly."

136. W. changes "and" to "are."

137. Whitehead changes "till all manner of evil they suffer for the name of God that is in them, and the nature of his works, which is abomination to the world's works," to "till they suffer all manner of evil for the name of God, and the nature of his works that is in them, which is opposite to the world's works."

138. Whitehead changes "old" to "oldness of the."

139. W. inserts "doctrine."

140. Whitehead inserts "truly."

141. Whitehead inserts "only."

142. Whitehead inserts "carnally."

143. W. changes "but who comes to the beginning, for in the beginning was the election and reprobation established by an eternal decree unalterable" to "according to election, but who come to see that the election and reprobation are."

144. Whitehead changes "whatsoever" to "whosoever."

145. W. changes "doth" to "do."

146. W. changes "must" to "that continue will."

147. W. changes "in against" to "betwixt it and."

148. Whitehead inserts "it."

149. Whitehead changes "born of the earth is" to "of the earth."

150. Whitehead changes "new" to "heavenly."

151. Whitehead inserts "in."

152. Whitehead changes "is enmity with" to "has enmity against the evil of."

153. Whitehead changes "light" to "lights."

154. Whitehead changes "condemnation" to "the condemnation of the world."

155. 1665 and Whitehead insert "witness."

156. Whitehead inserts "love."

157. Whitehead omits "all."

158. Whitehead changes "grown to" to "grown; and are in."

159. W. changes "in outward" to "of."

160. W. omits "other."

161. W. inserts "that."

162. Whitehead changes "but" to "though."

163. W. inserts "to."

164. W. inserts "of the world."

165. W. changes "deny baptism" to "declare that he was not sent to baptize."

166. Whitehead changes "that are in the form as the saints did it, for none practiced this but who was called out to teach all nations" to "are called of God into the form, as John did it, who had a call from heaven."

167. Whitehead changes "Neither did they take such into the outward washing, who had been there before, but baptized such" to "But the apostles baptized."

168. W. changes "they" to "some."

169. W. changes "and baptize" to "baptizing."

170. Whitehead changes "suits" to "lawsuits."

171. Whitehead inserts "to be."

172. Whitehead inserts "baptism and."

173. Whitehead changes "them and practiced" to "the mystery and end of."

174. Whitehead changes "the letter" to "tradition."

175. W. changes "if any should" to "which of you can show, that you."

176. Whitehead changes "if any had" to "have."

177. W. changes "or" to "for."

178. W. changes "to" to "from."

179. W. changes "that which" to "they who."

180. Whitehead: "are none of Christ's."

181. Whitehead inserts "by."

182. Whitehead omits "in."

183. W. changes "all forms, at his will, and" to "what forms he pleases."

184. "Whitehead omits "which should lead to the body."

185. Whitehead changes "baptize" to "teach.

186. W. inserts "ministry and."

187. W. changes "your suits" to "at your lawsuits."

188. W. inserts "manifest, and."

189. Whitehead omits "all."

190. Whitehead changes "of great use and profit to the weak believers" to "a great mystery to them."

191. Whitehead inserts "of the shadows."

192. Whitehead omits "first."

193. Whitehead omits "and appointed."

194. Whitehead inserts "it."

195. W. changes "For this was done and instituted" to "as held forth."

196. Whitehead inserts "the passover, and drink of the cup he gave them."

197. Whitehead inserts "mystery."

198. Whitehead omits "and was so practiced."

199. Whitehead changes "which" to "they who."

200. W. omits "therein."

201. Whitehead changes "till which time, the apostles exhorted to these things" to "The apostle exhorted that both in their eating and drinking, &c., they should do all to the glory of God."

202. W. omits "and in remembrance of his coming."

203. W. omits "concerning them."

204. W. changes "in" to "from."

205. W. changes "And to avoid this it was" to "But."

206. Whitehead omits "in eating and drinking."

207. Whitehead omits "it in."

208. Whitehead changes "must needs" to "will."

209. Whitehead changes "body" to "life and the upholder."

210. Whitehead inserts "old."

211. Whitehead inserts "such."

212. Whitehead adds "and shadows."

213. W. changes "since" to "from."

214. Whitehead changes "lies slain" to "is crucified spiritually."

215. Whitehead inserts "light."

216. Whitehead omits "instituted and appointed, that in the remembrance of his death they might be kept from all excess."

217. Whitehead inserts "only."

218. Whitehead omits "at his coming."

219. Whitehead changes "prayer" to "power."

220. W. changes "at" to "before."

221. Whitehead changes "on" to "against."

222. Whitehead changes "were they returned into the carnals, and to their fishings, and the like, having" to "they had."

223. Whitehead changes "continued it" to "condescended."

224. W. changes "lust" to "corrupt lusts."

225. W. inserts "nor his supper."

226. Whitehead omits "in all other your eating, so oft as you eat and drink."

227. W. changes "that wants" to "to want."

228. W. changes "that" to "what."

229. Whitehead inserts "and."

230. Whitehead changes "to" to "in."

231. Whitehead inserts "to the soul."

232. W. changes "he" to "in that seed."

233. Whitehead changes "hast power in thy hand" to "art at liberty."

234. Whitehead changes "needs no" to "seest no need of."

235. Whitehead changes "liberty" to "ease in sin."

236. Whitehead changes "follow God out of all the world, if it had power" to "have you follow God out of the world."

237. Whitehead inserts a footnote: "*The seed is mentioned in a twofold sense; the seed Christ who redeems, and the seed of Abraham, i.e. believers, whom he redeems. The children of the promise are counted for the seed."

238. Whitehead inserts "oppressed and veiled."

239. Whitehead inserts "birth."

240. Whitehead changes "lies under, in" to "suffers for thee."

241. Whitehead inserts "being over thee."

242. Whitehead changes "keeping" to "resisting."

243. W. inserts "and art."

244. Whitehead inserts "corrupt."

245. Whitehead omits "to the seed."

246. Whitehead changes "as it is redeemed hath the saints" to "men are redeemed, and the saints have."

247. Whitehead changes "grace" to "graces."

248. Whitehead inserts "may."

249. Whitehead changes "seed" to "soul."

250. W. inserts "of corruption."

251. Whitehead changes "this is dead" to "death reigns."

252. Whitehead changes "this is dead" to "death reigns."

253. Whitehead changes "God" to "God's grace."

254. W. inserts "world's."

255. W. changes "out of the" to "for."

256. W. changes "this seed" to "Christ."

257. W. changes "fashions" to "sinful nations."

258. W. inserts "worldly."

259. Whitehead omits "and overpowered."

260. Whitehead changes "in bondage" to "oppressed, and not regarded."

261. Whitehead inserts "Spirit."

262. Whitehead inserts "or pardons."

263. Whitehead changes "lives" to "live."

264. W. changes "dies" to "die."

265. Whitehead changes "that" to "the."

266. Whitehead changes "the creature" to "man's obedience."

267. Whitehead omits "from the dead."

268. W. changes "the just" to "man."

269. Whitehead inserts "dross and."

270. Whitehead inserts "or earthly."

271. Whitehead changes "wisdom and prudence" to "carnal wisdom."

272. 1665 and W. change "become" to "come to be."

273. W. inserts "legal."

274. Whitehead changes "all these in Spirit, which are in Christ Jesus ministered" to "Christ Jesus the end of all these, ministering."

275. Whitehead changes "his" to "its."

276. Whitehead changes "so" to "for."

277. Whitehead changes "the" to "a"

278. Whitehead omits "so the letter kills, but the Spirit giveth life."

279. W. changes "is" to "changed and."

280. W. changes "which is" to "to."

281. Whitehead changes "pure" to "perfect."

282. Whitehead changes "and so more perfect, even as," to "for."

283. Whitehead changes "first" to "old."

284. Whitehead changes "the seed lies in death" to "death reigns."

285. W. omits "where it is raised."

286. W. changes "where it lies" to "who are."

287. Whitehead inserts "and birth thereof."

288. W. changes "of" to "from."

289. Whitehead changes "be born" to "come."

290. Whitehead inserts "so that they."

291. Whitehead omits "so that they."

292. Whitehead changes "of" to "and offered up himself for man's."

293. Whitehead changes "out of" to "over."

294. Whitehead changes "by" to "to."

295. W. inserts "and man born thereof."

296. Whitehead changes "death" to "dead."

297. W. inserts "spiritual."

298. W. omits "his person."

299. W. inserts "only."

300. W. omits "the bodies of."

301. Whitehead changes "God" to "God's grace."

302. Whitehead changes "to be" to "if they'll be saved and."

303. Whitehead changes "Sun" to "Son."

304. Whitehead changes "his blood" to "this blood of Christ."

305. Whitehead omits "always."

306. Whitehead changes "are" to "were."

307. Whitehead omits "all."

308. Whitehead omits "ever."

309. 1665 and Whitehead change "master" to "minister."

310. Whitehead changes "were never" to "never loved to be."

311. Whitehead inserts "or commissionated."

312. W. omits "nor them neither."

313. W. changes "approving" to "approved."

314. Whitehead inserts "and his ministers."

315. W. changes "hath" to "love."

316. Whitehead inserts "to."

317. W. changes "not one is" to "they are not."

318. Whitehead changes "error, and opinion" to "or error."

319. Whitehead inserts "turned against and"

320. Whitehead inserts "by."

321. Whitehead inserts "according to."

322. Whitehead inserts "God calls man to be willing and obedient."

323. Whitehead changes "that man born" to "man born of that."

324. Whitehead omits "So the first born hath not the free-will, for who is born after the flesh, thereof is kept in bondage."

325. Whitehead changes "is" to "rules."

326. W. changes "first" to "own."

327. Whitehead omits "the heart of God."

328. Whitehead changes "were it" to "where it's."

329. Whitehead inserts "it."

330. Whitehead changes "me" to "Christ."

331. Whitehead inserts "calls to be willing and obedient."

332. Whitehead changes "God" to "God's gift."

333. This section was not included in the first edition.

334. W. omits "this."

335. Whitehead changes "which" to "in him, who."

336. 1665, 1671a, and Whitehead omit "you must not then lord it over the poor, and judge their case and your own also."

337. Whitehead inserts "Or."

338. Whitehead changes "which" to "but."

339. W. changes "with" to "and."

340. W. changes "believe" to "believed in."

341. W. inserts "to."

342. W. inserts "God by."

343. W. omits the second "unclean."

344. W. changes "reveals" to "by his earthly wisdom, presumes to reveal."

345. Whitehead changes "know" to "believe, and in measure understand."

346. Whitehead changes "is all flesh from the earth" to "are all bodies earthly."

347. Whitehead adds "neither doth corruption inherit incorruption."

348. Whitehead inserts "in Christ."

349. Whitehead changes "that body which came down from heaven and ascended into heaven" to "the image of the heavenly."

350. Whitehead omits "form and."