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what has been formerly known, that gives right peace; but “every immediate word that proceeds out of the * “ mouth of God,” that can satisfy him. In short, he that obeys the light, is thereby taught to deny una
godliness, and worldly lusts, and to be sober, right« eous, patient, humble, meek, upright, merciful,
forbearing, forgiving, peaceable, gentle, self-deny
ing, constant, faithful, and holy, because the Lord « his God is holy.'
Thus have I given a brief account as well what he is not, as what he is, who is obedient to the light within, which is Christ's spiritual appearance in the heart, whose holy blood is sensibly felt to cleanse, atone, and save, all those who believe and abide therein, both from the guilt and pollution of sin.
CHA P. XXIII.
The discourse hitherto summed up, and concluded,
with an exhortation to all professors of religion, efpecially our opposers.
Will sum up the whole of this discourse in these few heads :
1. That salvation is to be saved from sin first, and wrath consequently : “ He shall save his people from " their fins.” Matt. i. · II. That Christ, the WORD-God, has lighted all mankind, not only after his coming in the flesh, but before: and that the light has ever been sufficient, as well as universal, to lead to God all such as have obeyed it, as by its properties and effects is demonstrated.
III. That the difference betwixt the time of the law and that of the gospel, as generally distinguished, was rather in manifestation than in nature. God might be as much more propitious and bountiful to
the last ages (be it that they were better able to receive such extraordinary discoveries, or that it was the alone good pleasure of his sovereign will) as he was to the former ages; yet that he gave them a fufficiency of the same divine light to conduct them through the world to eternal blessedness.
IV. That Jews and Greeks, Heathens and Chriftians, agree in this.
v. That still the pre-eminence is given to Christ's manifestation in the flesh, both generally and particularly; that being both the fulness of time, and fulness of discovery, which put an end to the types and figures, and carnal commandments, by shewing forth an abrogation and consummation of them all, in Chrift, the substance itself: in which itate they are not needed; but, in comparison thereof, they are (though once they were as calendars, for weak people to read some mystical glory by) but beggarly elements now.
VI. That not only in that flesh did the eternal light preach forth itself the end of these things, by revealing and becoming the author of a more plain and perfect way, though less easy to flesh and blood (placing the stress of all upon an evangelical righteousness, whereof he became the firft minister, and our most holy example); but he also appeared in that publick body, so peculiarly prepared, a general Saviour, by his life, doctrine, miracles, death of the cross, and resurrection ; in and by all which he obtained “ a name above every name."
VII. That neverthelefs, not to the body, but the holy light of life therein, is chiefly to be ascribed the salvation; and to the body, however excellent, but inftrumentally; for that it was the eternal light and life, which gave the weight to all the actions and fufferings of the body.
VIII. That the benefit then procured is not wit. nessed by any, but as they come to believe in Christ the light, as he doth appear in the heart and conscience, to « fave from sin, destroy the works of the os devil, finish transgression, and bring in of his ever« lasting righteousness.” Wherefore to imagine one's felf entitled to a state of falvation, whilft in rebellion against the light within, which is Christ's inward knocking and appearance, must needs be a delulion, most pernicious, and destructive to the souls of men.
IX. That, upon the whole, it is determined and concluded, that “ Christ is that light which thineth « in the conscience."
X. That the light is proved, by reason, both aniverfal and sufficient: the first, from the consent of mankind, and the goodness and rectitude of God: the second, both from experience, and that it were inconfiftent with the goodness and wisdom of God to give a light to his creature infufficient for the work for which he gave it.
Thus, in short, have I given the heads and results of most of the matter contained in the whole difcourse upon the light: and I entreat our adversaries they would seriously weigh the whole, before they either reject it, or pretend to reply to it. But lec them be advised to try the virtue of the light, before they sentence it to have none ; and, in the love of God, be once prevailed upon to consider, if something in then doth not really condemn them for evil; and, amongst other things, for these brisk attempts against it, and unreasonable undervaluings of it.
O why should men covet to know so far beyond what they do faithfully praktise! Let them firft outlive the just and holy requirings of the light, before they put these barbarous affronts upon it; as a Willa, in-the-whisp, a dark-lanthorn light, natural, insufficient, ignis fatuus, the Quakers idol, and abundance of such-like frothy, profane, and indeed blasphemous cpithets, which some have wickedly bestowed upon it, as if they were its proper names: when the scriptures they would oppose to it plainly tell them, that the whole work of the apostolical ministry was, “to turn “ people from darkness to the light, from the power
« of Satan unto God, that they might have remiffion « of fins.” As much as to say, Such as are turned ! to the light, are turned to God, who is light; and • those who abide there, both have remission of the punishment, and purgation from the defilement, of
And whatever any may think of us, we both believe, affert, and will maintain, against men and devils, “ That God is light:” and that out of the light, or void of his divine illumination, no man can know him, and consequently not worship him, unless they should worship an unknown god : that such as receive this illumination, and rebel not against it, but improve this heavenly talent, they have fellowship with the pure eternal God, and experience the blood of Jesus Christ to “ cleanse them from all unrighteous« ness.”
If any think to arrive at glory another way, and will not be admonished, let them proceed: we speak what we know, and can but declare what we have felt of the work of God in our hearts. The scriptures we highly value: but we believe not the things we often quote thence to be true only because there, but for that we are witnesses of the same operation, and bring in our experimental testimonies to confirm the truth of theirs ; and such truly honour the scriptures : all others are at best but empty scribes, and pharifaical babblers.
So with God I leave my labour in this particular, defiring that this heavenly light may yet more abundantly arise upon the dark hearts of mankind, and awaken them to repentance: that since it hath so long shined in darkness uncomprebended, till even darkness itself is grown fo impudent as to impute it to the infufficiency of the light, he would be pleased to cause it to shine out of darkness, that it might plead the excellency of its own divine nature in the consciences of men and women, against the scorns and detractions that even too many of the great professors of Christi
anity stick not to fling upon it; fo ill are they principled, and so unchristianly employed: which proves to me how little they are profeffors of the “ true,
pure and undefiled religion,” whatever opinion some weak and simple people may have of them. My soul pitieth their opposition, and feareth the con. sequence of such resistance, and desires they may see the very vanity of their endeavours against the light, repent of them, and be converted, that God may yet heal them. Which fincere prayer is my return for all their hard speeches and ungodly sayings against us in general, and myself in particular.