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. And because most people would own and confess, that God's people should be thus, but few knew how to come to this state; therefore in the openings of the spirit of truth I writ another short paper, directing to the right way and means, whereby people might come unto Christ, and so be made like unto God. That was thus :
• Christ saith, “ I am the way, the truth, and the life ; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me,” John xiv. 6. And again, “ No man can come to me, except the Father, which hath sent me, draw him," John vi. 44. Now, what is the means by which God doth draw people to his Son, but by bis Holy Spirit, who poureth out of his Spirit upon all flesh (that is, all men and women.) And by this Holy Spirit the holy and righteous God doth draw people from their unrighteousness and unholiness, to Christ, the righteous and holy One, the great prophet in his new covenant and New Testament, whom Moses in the old covenant and Testament said, God would raise up, like unto him, and whom people should hear in all things: and they that would not hear him, should be cut off. Now they that do not hear the Son of God, the great prophet, do not mind the drawing of the Father by his Holy Spirit to his Son : but they that do mind the drawings of the good Spirit of the Father to his Son, the Spirit doth give them understanding to know God and Jesus Christ, which is eternal life. And then they do know that Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life, and that none can come unto God but by and through his Son Jesus Christ, who is their shepherd to feed them at his pastures and springs of life ; and his sheep do know his holy voice, in whom there was no sin, and in whose mouth there was no guile; and an hireling they will not hear, for he careth not for the sheep; for they are not the bireling's, but Christ's, who hath laid down his life for his sheep. And he that robs and steals his neighbour's words, and climbeth up another way, and entereth not by the door, he is a thief and a robber: but Christ is the door into his sheep-fold, for his sheep to enter in by. And so they know that Christ is the bishop of their souls, to see that they do not go astray from God, nor out of his pastures of life: and they do know that Christ is their mediator, and makes their peace with God: and they do know that Christ is their high-priest, made higher than the heavens, and hath died for their sins, and doth cleanse them with his blood, and is risen for their justification, and is able to the utmost to save all that come to God by him.'
G. F. Gooses, the 6th month, 1687.
Before I left this place I writ another paper, the scope whereof was to shew, by many instances taken out of the holy scriptures, that the kingdom of God, which most people talk of at a distance, and refer altogether to another life, is in some measure to be known and entered into in this life; but that none can know an entrance thereinto, but such as are regenerated and born again. of that paper the following is a copy :
• Christ saith, “ Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God," John iii. 3. “That which is born of the flesh, is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit, is spirit,” ver. 6. (So, except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God, ver. 5.) And John, wiiting to the seven churches in Asia, calls himself their brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, Rev. i. 9. Here you may see, that John was in the kingdom; so he was born again: for he did not only see the kingdom, but was in it.
And John saith, “ Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not,” 1 John iii. 1. And, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God,” ver. 2. And, ye
know that he is righteous, ye know that every one, that doth righteousness, is born of him," chap. ii. 29. And, “ Whosoever is born of God, doth not commit sin ; for his seed remaineth in him, and he cannot sin, because he is born of God,” ch. iii. 9. Again John saith, “Let us love one another : for love is of God: and every one that loveth, is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not, knoweth not God; for God is love," ch. iv. 7, 8. Again, “ Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ, is born of God," ch. v. 1. And, “Whatsoever is born of God, overcometh the world : and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith,” ver. 4. Were not these, that were born of God, in the kingdom of God? And seeing, John says, every one that doth righteousness, is born of God, do not such see the kingdom of God that stands in righteousness, and enter into it?
• Peter, in his first general epistle to the church of Christ, saith, “ ás new-born babes desire the sincere milk of the Word, that ye may grow thereby,” 1 Pet. ii. 2. And he tells them they were a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people, that they should
shew forth the praises of him, who had called them out of darkness into his marvellous light, ver. 9. And that, as lively stones, they were built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ, ver. v. Did not these new-born babes, these lively stones, spiritual household, royal priesthood, holy nation and chosen generation, who were called out of darkness into Christ's marvellous light, see, and enter into his holy kingdom, being heirs of the same? who were born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever, 1 Pet. i. 23. And had not such an entrance ministered to them into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ?
• James, in his general epistle to the church of Christ, saith, “ Hath not God chosen the poor of this world, rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom, which he hath promised to them that love him?" James ii. 5. The apostle Paul saith, “God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, &c. to redeem them that were under the law; that we might receive the adoption of sons: and because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ, Gal. iv. 4, 5, 6, 7. The same apostle saith, “ As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God: " and tells the saints at Rome, “ Ye have received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God; and if children, then heirs ; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together (namely with Christ),” Rom. viii. 14, 15, 16, 17. Now seeing they are the sons of God, that are led by the Spirit of God, and the Spirit beareth witness unto their spirit, that they are the children of God, and heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ, are not all these children of God heirs of the righteous, glorious kingdom of God? and do they not see it, and enter into it?
The Lord saith in Hosea, i. 10. " Where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God.” Did not this relate to the gospel days of the new covenant? see Rom. ix. 26. And what the Lord said by the prophet Jeremiah, ch. xxxi. 1. the apostle applies to the gospel-days, and says, “ Be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a father
unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty,” 2 Cor. vi. 18. Are not these the children that see, and enter into the righteous kingdom of God, that separate from that which is unclean, and touch it not ?
• The Lord saith also by Isaiah, “I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back : bring my son's from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth. Isa. xliii. 6. Then doth not he bring them to his kingdom of glory, that stands in righteousness and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost ?
"And the Lord said to Job, “ When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy," Job xxxviii. 7, where did these sons of God shout for joy? Was it not in his kingdom of glory?
Christ saith,“ The least in the kingdom of God is greater than John,” Luke vii. 28. And in chap. xvi. 16. he says, “ The law and the prophets were until John: since that time (viz. since the law, and the prophets, and John) the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.”
“ The good seed are the children of the kingdom,” Mat. xiii. 38. And the righteous shall shine forth, as the sun, in the kingdom of their Father,” ver. 43. And Christ said unto his disciples, “ Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God," Mark iv. 11. And Christ lifted up bis eyes upon his disciples, and said, “ Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God,” Luke vi. 20. And the apostles preached the kingdom of God. These were boru again ; that saw and knew the kingdom of God, and preached it.
• Christ said to his disciples, “ Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom, Luke xii. 32. And, “ I appoint to you a kingdom, said Christ, as my Father hath appointed to me,” chap. xxii. 29. The Lord said, “ He that overcometh, shall inherit all things : and I will be his God, and he shall be my son, Rev. xxi. 7. And John saith, “I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one,' 1 John ii. 14. And Christ, by whom are all things, is said “ to bring many sons to glory.” Heb. ii. 10.
· Christ said, “ Wo unto you, scribes and pharisees, hypocrites; for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering, to go in,” Matthew xxiii. 13. He also said, “Wo unto you, lawyers; for you have taken away the key of knowledge ; ye entered not in yourVol. II.
selves; and them that were entering in ye hindered; Luke xi. 52. Christ gives unto his children the keys of the kingdom, bis Spirit; but the scribes, and the pharisees, and the lawyers, great professors, who were erred from the Spirit, like the great professors in our age that scoff at the Spirit, and draw people from the Spirit of God within, these shut up the kingdom from men, and draw people from the key of knowledge, and the key of the kingdom. For no man knows the things of God but by the Spirit of God; for the things of God are spiritually discerned. So the Spirit is the key, by which the kingdom of God, and the things of God, are revealed and discerned, and known, according to 1 Cor. ij. 10, 11, 13, 14. The apostle names some in his epistle to the Colossians, and says “ These are my fellowworkers unto the kingdom of God.” Col. iv. 11. And he tells that church that 6 God hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son." Chap. i. 13. So ye may see these were born again that were translated into the kingdom of Christ, and were fellow-workers unto the kingdom of God.
• Christ exhorts his disciples to love and to do good, that they might be the children of their Father, which is in heaven, Matth. v. 45. And he bids them be perfect, even as their Father which is in heaven is perfect; ver. 48. And the apostle saith to the church at Philippi, “ That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without re. buke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, amongst whom ye shine as lights in the world, holding forth the word of life,” &c. Phil. ii. 15, 16. And writing to the church of the Thessalonians, he puts them in mind how he had exhorted them that they would walk worthy of God, who had called them into his kingdom and glory.” 1 Thess. ji. 12.
• The Lord had promised by the prophet Joel, that he would pour out his Spirit upon all flesh, and that sons and daughters should prophecy, old men should dream dreams, and young inen see visions; Joel ii. 28. Now the cause that sons and daughters, hand-maids, servants, young men, and old men, have not these heavenly visions, dreams, and prophecies, is, because they are erred from the Spirit of God, which he poureth upon them : but as many as are led by the Spirit of God, are the sons of God.
John saith, Christ was the “ true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world,” John i. 9; and that “ As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God; ver. 12. which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man,