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And a few there is still left amongst us (I firmly believe) blessed be the Lord, that have not any thing so much in view as in all sincerity, to promote and exalt the Honour and Interest of TRUTH the Peace and Tranquility of the True Church, and the present and eternal Happiness, Welfare and well-being of [page 231] Mankind, in all Nations, Colours and Countries in the World, that they might be brought to the knowledge of the TRUTH, and be saved form Sin, yea, from all Sin, for that is possible and so from Wrath to come; but some are, yea, very many are pushed on, Headlong and Headstrong, with a furious raging fiery and mad Zeal, yet blind, as in the ease of Saul, before he was Paul, before he had the new Name, with his Letters from the Chief or High Priest to persecute the Saints at Damascus, or else where (not from Colchester two Weeks Meeting, to R. J. to Philadelphia Monthly Meeting,) to separate S. and B. I pray in my Heart at this time, they all that are living that had any hand in it, may have their Reward according to their Intention. I think to leave ‘em there with him, himself, that is able to do all things, and so is able to produce good Effects, from very bad causes, and say, Oh (Deus Meus Omnia) preserve my Soul.
Oh! That all the Libertines, loose Livers, the Magdalens, the Publicans and Harlots, the Smoaking Drunkards, all unclean Persons, Thieves and Covetous, Covetous Earthly [page 232] minded Idolater, the Superstitious, Formal and Nominal Christians, Preachers and Hearers, the young and old, old, the old Hypocrites too, if possible, I say if possible might be converted, translated, drawn out of that deep, dirty Ditch Hypocrisy.
And all the blind Zealots, and Superstitious Bigots, of all Names, their Nature and Spirit is the same, when invested with a little imaginary Power. how they will rage and persecute furiously them that oppose ‘em, reprove ‘em, and will not submit to their Rules, Orders and Laws, though never so unjust, and thus it happened to many of our dear Friends called Quakers, in old as well as New-England, and elsewhere, when they went into their Synagogues, Mass-Houses, or Idol Temples to reprove ‘em, for their Hypocrisy and Wickedness, in pretending to Worship him that laid down his Life for his Enemies, and at same time preparing Laws to take away the Lives of his Servants, that came in his Name, to do his Will, as he the Holy one required it at their Hands.
I would tenderly advise, and earnestly intreat all my dear Friends to be very careful not to taste nor touch that Dust [page 233] and Dirt, Persecution, which is the Serpents Meat, and Cain’s Mark, and it is Satan’s Food, and his Childrens Meat and Drink, and Life, to do the will of their Hellish Father, and Father in Hell, that sends them and sets ‘em about that, & all other unrighteousness and Iniquity, and it is as essential to then in that State and Nature, as it was and is to Christ’s Brethren and Sisters, and all his true Friends and faithful Followers, to do the will of their Heavenly Father, & Father which is in Heaven, in his Holy Church, his Body, comprised of Sanctified Members, purified Hearts ad Souls, washed and cleansed from all Sin; and such as those did of old, and now doth perfectly know a new Birth, a being Born again of him, and in him that is True and is the very TRUTH itself the very pure Verity of Verities, the Eternal Essence in him only, not in any Book or Books, a Thousand Ship-loads of the very best of Books will do us no good, nor the best of Professions, Ordinances, and Humane Preachers (much less the worst) will do us no good, except Man (Male and Female) be Born again he cannot see the Kingdom or Government of TRUTH, or of God; which [page 234] is one; this was and is and ever will be declared of by the Eternal TRUTH, to all that had, have and shall have Eyes, Ears and Hearts truly prepared to receive it.
And that all, for the Call is gone forth to all, might come to know this new Birth, this being Born again of the incorruptible Seed, and the Word of TRUTH Eternal, and be washed from all the filthiness of Flesh, as well as Spirit, from all unrighteousness, and all self righteousness too, that very dangerous Enemy to Man’s Happiness, and that all might be redeemed and Translated out of the Kingdom of Sin and Satan, which is Death and Darkness, Hell and Torment, into the Kingdom of the dear Son and Power of TRUTH, which is pure righteousness, Peace and Joy, in the Holy Ghost, in the pure Hearts and clean Bodies of his Children and Servants he dwells, they are his Body, his Temple and Kingdom, he Rules, Reigns and Governs, and takes delight in pure Hearts, and the pure in Heart see him and know him, and dwell in him, the TRUTH in him, and he in them, and his Banner over them, and Standard in them, is Faith and pure Love, and these sits and abides under his Divine Shade [page 235] with great delight, and his Heavenly Fruit is sweet to their taste, and they are ravished with his Beauty, and overcome with his Love at times, and their Cups do overflow, and the Song of the Heavenly Host is known, and here the Bright and Morning Star is seen and doth remain where the Babe Immortal is Born the Proclamation is heard great Joy to all People, Peace on Earth & good will toward all Men, and here the sweet lovely Babe Immortal is formed in the Heavenly Womb, and doth leap for Joy at the sound of the Heavenly Salutation, and when the fullness of time is come the Babe above-mentioned will be Born in the Soul, and his Heavenly Government will be on his Shoulders within, the Divine Essence within, in the Soul that is made perfect through Sufferings, as Christ was; he that can receive it let him. Oh! That this might be the Blessed experience of all Mankind, that the Earth might become a Paradise again, to all People, as it is to some; is the sincere and hearty desire of my Soul and Spirit, much more than for all the Wealth in the World abundantly; the Kingdom of Heaven aith TRUTH, is within you, not known without by any Man, I can truly say. B.L.
[page 236] ABINGTON, the 3d of the 5th Mo. 1738.
This Morning early it came in my mind to write something concerning the New Birth, Resurrection and Baptism, all one.
VERILY, Verily, said Truth, except a Man be Born gain he cannot see or enter into the Kingdom or Government (there be some Governments where there is no King) of Heaven or Heavenly Government, all one, the same thing, and this is the Holy Government of TRUTH in the Souls of the Sons and Daughters of Men, the Government of Heaven is within, said Christ, the Truth is within, so said a Servant of Truth; whatever is to be known of TRUTH is manifest within, I say not without but within, greater is be, Truth that is with in us than be that is in the World, Satan, the Lyer and God of it, and Father too, who saith in his Children, in his Servants, in his Ministers, in his Angels, in his Messengers, all one, That there is no Freedom from his Government, or Sin, all one in this Life, but he Satan was a Lyar from the beginning, and so remains, who said to Eve, you shall not Die, but he as [page 237] Gods; such Gods as himself and his Children, which are always sinning, and will boldly confess and declare, That they cannot cease from Sin, nor any Body else, say they, no not by any Power of the Holy Spirit, and this is Satan’s Master-Piece, to possess poor Mankind, with such a Faith;
for it is the Faith of Satan which he possess all that are under his Government with, that he might keep them at ease in their Sins and be his Servants forever, and so always live in Bondage through the fear of Death, Hell and the Grave, by reason of Sin and Iniquity that reigns in them;
so that I may safely say, although with Sorrow of Heart, without the least, I say, without the least Breach of Charity, that all such as are firm in this Faith are possessed of the Devil, and the Devil hath them in his Possession and Government, and he is Chief Ruler and Governor in and over them, Preachers and Hearers of all Societies that pretend to be Christians, but the Children of God, that are Born of TRUTH, their Heavenly Father they are in him, in his Heavenly Government, and he the TRUTH in Chief Ruler and Governor in them, and they have received a living strong and powerpage 238] ful Faith of him that overcomes the World, and Satan the God of this World, which is Self, unmortified Self; so in the World there is Gods many, and many Rulers, that are Slaves to the Lust of the Flesh, with the Lust of the Eye, Eyes full of Adultery, they cannot cease from Sin, and Pride of Life, and Covetousness, that old, old, very old Devil and great Idol, and it must be closely minded and worshipped to maintain the other gross Enormities or Devils, almost as bad as Covetousness, that Father or Chief of Devils; but though it is so, yet they that are and shall be counted worthy to know the New-Birth, a being Born again of the incorruptible Seed and Word of God, and God the Word, that made all things, such do know a ceasing from Sin, a Death to Sin, and Resurrection in eternal Life, in the TRUTH in Heaven, and Heaven is in them, and have been Baptized and Washed from all Sin, in thought, Word and Deed, such are entred into his rest and remain in it, which no Sinner can, while he remain so and not changed, such who are so Sanctified or Baptized, one, are Cloathed with the fine Linnen, clean and white, the righteousness of Saints, such are admitted [page 239] to fit the Lord’s Table, in New-Jerusalem, and sup with him, him himself, and he with them in his own Government or Kingdom, and this is the Supper of the Lord, & the Fellowship & Communion of Saints, who said, Come, come and have Fellowship with us; for Verily, Verily or truly, our Fellowship is with the Father and the Son. Is not this Paradise itself, to Eat and Drink in the presence of God and Angels. Heb. 12. and this is perfectly agreeable to what TRUTH promised and said, I stand at the Door, and knock or call, if any one will hear and regard, or obey my Voice, and open to me in all Obedience, I will come in and sup with him, and he with me, and the Father and we will make our abode with him. Oh holy abode! no Sin here, No, No, No, UNREADABLE no, truly these dear Children Worship their Father, and serve him Night and Day in his Temple with all Alacrity; so these Heaven-Born favorites do know the Gospel and the New-Birth to be Spiritual, the Baptism, the Resurrection, and the Lord’s-Supper to be Spiritual, and not carnal or natural. So they that know the New-Birth, they know all the other, for they are all one, in Essence Divine, he that hath one in [page 240] possession cannot miss of all the other if he would; this is for then that know the TRUTH, for to others they are but as Mysterious Parables, for the Natural, Earth’y, Covetous, Carnal minded Man or Woman knows not these things, neither can they, because they are made known and manifested by the Holy Spirit the TRUTH only, and a Hundred Thousand Ship-Loads of the best of Books, and all the Earthly Worldly Wisdom, and Natural Learning in the whole World, either in Preachers or Hearers, cannot make manifest the knowledge of these things; for he that loves the World, and the things of the World, the Love of the Father is not in him, so as to reveal the Mysteries of the Government or Kingdom of Heaven unto him, and in him.
So that I may truly say, this Heavenly New-Birth is the chiefest good to bring us to the sure and certain knowledge of Heavenly things, and no other way, this, this, this is the Key that opens the Mysteries of Truth’s Government, this is the Rock of Ages, & Foundation on which Truth doth and ever will build his Congregation; and Hell, Satan, Sin and Death shall never be able to prevail against it.
[page 241] A B I N G T O N, the 14th of the 4th Mo. This Morning before Day Light; as it now comes in my mind.
Concerning the Living and True Vine, which never was dead nor could die, nor ever will nor can die, but remains the same it was from and to all Eternity, Eternal TRUTH and every True and living Branch dwells in this Vine, and this Pure Vine Dwells in, in, in them, and they in, in him, not out of him, No, No, we are in him that is True, and we know him that is True, and is the very Truth itself, the Holy eternal Essence which is God, the only True God, and True and only Saviour, and there is no other True God and Saviour either in Heaven above, or in the Earth beneath, or any-where else; in this eternal TRUTH the true God is manifest to and in, in his Saints, in Sanctified Hearts, which is his Temple, House or Body, and these dear beloved Children of his, Worship him in this his own Temple, and he the Holy one accepts of their Worship and their Offerings, whether Preaching, Prayer, Praises or Thanksgivings, which are offered up to him and in him, in and by his own Spirit [page 242] Life, Power and Strength (which is himself) without any mixture of Self, striking Sparks of Fire of Man or Woman’s own kindling, such dear sweet living Branches as these that are in, in the Holy pure living Vine, and the living Vine in them can and do, and ever shall at times offer up high Praises, Hallelujahs and Thanksgivings to him that was, and is and is to come, the Truth with pure Hearts, listing up Holy Hands without Wrath or Doubting for they or he that Doubts is Damned, as it is Written: These Heaven-born Souls and Bodies, have the Government and Kingdom of Heaven, the Truth, the true Christ Essentially within them; the Kingdom, Government, which is one of Heaven is within, as it is written; such as those knows it to be so, and do not look out at the Lo heres, and Lo theres, nor stand gazing up into the Air, looking after and for a carnal, humane, earthly, Natural, Finite, Fleshly and Mortal Body, as the Essence of St. Mary’s Body and her Childrens was; but the Body of Christ, the Truth, a Spiritual Heavenly Immortal Body, which is his Church or Congregation, more properly speaking, as that worthy Martyr William Tindall’s Translation of the Bible, calls it Congrepage 243] gation and this is Christ’s or Truth’s Body, and he himself the Holy Head of and in his own Body, his Congregation the Truth, and Christ the True Head is on and in his own Body, not a great way off, by no means, such wild Notions are preposterous, to imagine that Truth the true Head, and there is no other, should be Thousands of Millions of Miles distance from its own Body, in some place of Locality, nobody knows where.