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AN INTRODUCTION TO The holy Underſtanding of the Glaſſe of RIGHTEOUSNESSE. Wherein are uttered many nota­ble admonitions and exhortations to the good Life: Alſo ſundry diſcreet warnings to beware of deſtruction, and of wrong-conceiving, and miſunderſtanding or cenſuring of any Sentences.

Set forth by H. N. and by him peruſed anew, and ex­preſſed more plainly.

Pro. 1. VVho ſo is wiſe, he will be counſelled, to the end he may underſtand the parables, and their interpreta­tions; alſo the doctrine of the wiſe, and their darke ſayings.

Pro. 4. He will be guided in the ſtrait path [to the holy underſtanding] that (when he goeth) the way be not tedious unto him, and when he runneth, that he do not ſtumble.

LONDON, Printed for George Whittington, at the blue Anchor, neer the Royall Exchange in Corn-hill. 1649.

The Counſell of the Wiſdome.

STrive not ſo for the death, by your error, and wraſtle not ſo for the deſtruction, through the work of your hands: For God hath not made the death nor deſtruction, neither rejoyceth he in the deſtructi­on of the living; for he created all things, that they ſhould have their being: likewiſe he made all people of the earth, that it ſhould go well with them, and that there ſhould be no de­ſtruction in them, and that moreover the Kingdom of hel ſhould not be on the earth; for righteouſneſſe is everla­ſting and immortall, but unrighteouſ­neſſe is the procuring of death,Sap. 1.

Go not in the path of the ungodly, and walk not in the way of the wic­ked; let it paſs, and go not therein, turn from it and paſs by, &c. keep thine heart with all diligence, for thereout goeth the life: put away from thee a froward mouth, and let reproaching lips be far from thee,Pſal. 1. Prov. 4.

Who ſo (among you) is wiſe and ex­pert, let him ſhew by his good conver­ſation, his works & fruits in the meek­neſs of wiſdome, &c. for where envy and ſtrife is, there is ſedition, and eve­ry evill work; but the wiſdom which cometh from above, or out of the height, is firſt, chaſt: after that peace­able, modeſt, conſtant, gentle, full of mercy, and good works or fruits: For righteouſneſs is ſowne in peace by them that maintain peace,Jam. 3.

Be ye all like-minded, pitifull, bro­therly, merciful, friendly; recompence not evil with evil, nor rebuke with re­buke; but contrariwiſe bleſs: and know that ye are thereto called, even that ye ſhould inherit the bleſſing,1 Pet. 3.

But above all things, put on the love; for the love is the band of per­fection: And the peace of God keep the preeminence in your hearts,Col. 3.

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AN INTRODUCTION TO The holy Underſtanding of the Glaſſe of Righteouſneſſe.

CHAP. I.

1. Amidſt the variety of opinions, H. N. is gran­ted to ſee, and appointed to ſhew unto all men, which is the elect and holy Congregation. 7. And the ſame he affirmeth (as an eye-witneſse) to be with the Family of Love. 10. Without which all mans worke is but a bondage. 11. And where it is not, there is all error, and miſery. 13. The cauſe of error. 14. Which is not without the fore-telling of God. 16. Neither can it, nor any mans fault fruſtrate Gods promiſes. 20. An Exhortation to rest upon the promiſes of God, and to prove our ſelves, whereby to amend our ſelves, and to win others. 27. For God will now manifeſt his owne work of the Love. 30. And unto that his Grace, the holy Miniſter perſwadeth to be obedient.

FOraſmuch as we now find ſun­dry ſorts of communalties, Religion-urgers, Tongues, and Peoples, and that (with dif­ferent Religions, God ſervices, conceivings, and underſtandings) each laboureth to de­fend2 his own cauſe to be the very beſt; (by means whereof, the whole world is every whereaaInfra. 4. in great diviſion and diſcord, and all againſt one another:) And whilſt that I H. N. (concerning the diviſions and diſcords, and other cauſes which I find to be among them in great reviling, ſtrife, and hatred) am impartiall towards them all, and do contend with none of them: and thatbb1 Tim. 1. mercy is (now in theſe dangerous times) extended on me from the higheſt God [namely, through the manifeſtation of his upright Righteouſneſſe;] therefore could I not hide the underſtanding of the upright Righteouſneſſe (by Gods grace)ccEph. 3. Col. 1. 2 Tim. 1. revealed unto me.

2. For the moſt holieſt being [which is the upright righteouſneſſe and holineſſe it ſelfe; and wherein the true Saints of God and Chriſt do live, and are compre­hended] is (out of Gods heavenly Revela­tion, and his grace)ddMat. 11. Rom. 16. Eph. 1.3. Col. 1. 2 Tim. 1. revealed unto me through the love of God the Father, for to witneſſe the ſame again, and (out of the inclination of love) to declare it unto the people on earth, to the end all mouths might be ſtopped, all underſtandings ſa­tisfied, all hearts well affected to the Righ­teouſneſſe contented, and all ſtrife ended,3 ſo to draw all people to the peace, and to the unity of heart in Jeſu Chriſt, under the obedience of the love, the moſt holieſt God ſervice: and that they might ſo be lead to the holy underſtanding of the Glaſſe of Righteouſneſſe.

3. Under which moſt holieſt God ſer­vice, we witneſſe and ſet forth the wonder­full Acts of God, which are revealed and manifeſted unto us in theſe laſt daies, ac­cording to theeeIſa. 44.60.61.62.65.66. Jer. 23.30.33. Ezek. 36 7. Joel. 2. Act. 1. foretelling of the Pro­phets.

4. Wherefore ſeeing that the Providence of God, and all what he in former times hath ſpoken, by the mouth of his holy Pro­phets, cannot fail nor lie: and that more­over he cannotffJoh. 14. leave his people like Or­phans God doth now, according to his promiſes, manifeſt and make known (by his righteous judgement in this laſt day of the love) which is his Elect and holy Con­gregation.

5. For (to the intent there may be an end of contending) he himſelf, as the true glorious God, who isggJoh. 11. the Reſurrection and the Life, revealeth his Saints out of his boſom, where (ſince the time theyhhEſa. 26. 1 Theſ. 4. fell a­ſleep) they have reſted untill this day of the love, becauſe they ſhould now in theſe4 laſt times, in the Reſurrection of the Righ­teous) be manifeſtedii1 Cor. 15. 1 Theſ. 4. with Chriſt in glo­ry, tokk2. Theſ. 1.6. a righteous judgement of God on the earth.

6. Inaſmuch then as this righteous judgement of God hath his manifeſtation in us, now in the end of the world, through thell2 Tim. 1. Act 1. appearing of the glorious coming of Jeſu Christ; and will break thorow and appear (to Righteouſneſſe on the earth) o­ver all the world, according to the Scrip­ture, therefore are we alſo (out of the ſame judgement of God) to ſpeak, and to write of the upright communalty of the Saints of God and Chriſt, and to witneſſe, and declare the ſame on the earth, to the end that ſhe likewiſe may be manifeſted to the world, and the world may know that ſhe is worthy to inhabite the earth, and that the will of God, the everlaſting Father, may be donemmMat. 6. Lu. 11.2. on the earth as it is in hea­ven.

7. Therefore behold that which we with ournnJoh. 1. 2 Pet. 1. 1 Joh. 1. eyes do ſee. The right communalty of the Saints of God and Chriſt, is of one mind with us, and we with her (as of one accord with each other) ſtand under the lov, obediently ſubject unto her requi­ring; and the love is to us all, aooCol. 3. band of5 perfection, to an heritable peace for ever­more.

8. Wherefore the right of ſervice of love, is among us the little ones and choſen of God (in as much as we bring into the world, theppEſa. 43.65.66. Eph. 1. 1 Pet. 3. 1 Cor. 13. renewing of life in Jeſu Chriſt through the ſame) and it ſhall never ceaſe, but have his courſe among us for e­evermore, for God is with us, he bringeth unto us (in the obeying of the requiring of the ſame ſervice of love) his bleſſing and encreaſe, for a fruitfulneſſe to his ſervice of love.

9. And the holy ſpirit of love ſheweth likewiſe his power and effect among us, namely, that God himſelf is the Lord, and the Manifeſter and Worker of his Work (in the ſervice of his love) among us, the com­munalty of his holy ones. For he (as a God of Life) doth now through us, and his ſer­vice of love, reveal and bring to lightrrEſa. 33. Amos 9. Mic. 7. Act. 15. his building (the holy City Jeruſalem) prepa­red byſſHeb. 12. Apo. 21. him (for an holy adorning well-pleaſing unto him) even as a bride is trim­med for delighting of her husband.

10. Without this building of the Lord, and without our holy communalty of God and Chriſt, and without this bleſſing or increaſe, out of the power of the Al­mighty,6 and without this our moſt holieſt God ſervice of the love, and of the graci­ous word appeared unto us according to the promiſes,ttEſa. 44.45.46.47. Jer. 10. truly all the mans work, and all his God ſervices, Wiſdome, and Do­ctrine, are nothing els but a very blinding of the heart, or a tying and bewitching of the ſenſes and thoughts, how skilfull,uu1 Cor. 1. how learned in the Scriptures or Languages, how eloquent, how wiſe, or how glorious and rich of ſpirit, ſoever the man can be.

11. Where God therefore doth not buy us his choſen holineſſe, execute his office of the Love according to his promiſes; or where men have no regard unto his promi­ſes, according to the foretelling of the Pro­phets, neither do endeavour to the obey­ing of the love: and whilſt the man goeth on no otherwiſe, but according to his own mind, or after the inſtigation of his owne ſpirit,xxEſa. 8. there cometh the man into no­thing but ſorrow, and into erring blind­neſſe and miſeries, whereby many do ei­ther become faint-hearted andyyEſa. 13. hopeleſſe, or els find themſelves as vain, andzzEſa. 59. Sap. 5. with­out underſtanding, as aforetimes they were; whereof in the end ariſeth (among them that are without underſtanding) a bondage unto men, under mens imaginati­ons. 7Likewiſe, divers ſorts of choſen Holi­neſſes, bewitching of the heartaaCol. 2. 2 Theſ. 2. 2 Tim. 3.4. and ſtrong errors; whereof (alas) there are now every where to be found many, and many ſorts among the children of men.

12. Oh, how do many erre, and fail in their opinion and vain conceiving, and how do many turn them from us, whilſt they walkbbEſa. 53. their own way, and have no right regard to the promiſes of God, nor to the ſervice of his love! and therefore under­ſtand not the requiring thereof.

13. But this doeth the gloriouſneſſe of their knowledge cauſe, deceiving them in their diſobedience. Nevertheleſſe, (becauſe of the ShineccCol. 2. of the ſpirituall humble­neſſe, which they behold by it) they ſuppoſe that it cannot poſſibly beguile nor deceive them, and ſo they go on, ſome in a vaine conceited knowledge, and ſome in a cho­ſen holineſſe, which God hath never re­quired nor willed.

14. Many others forſake all Religions and Ceremoniall ſervices, and even Gods promiſes alſo, [inſomuch that they give no credit to God in his promiſes, nor yet ex­pect his Salvation, in ſuch manner as he a­foretimes (through his Prophets) hath ſo ſpoken and promiſed the ſame] and ſo8 cleaving to the world, or to their own i­magination, they wax diſtruſtfull of God, becauſe (in many) they have found the word of unregenerate men, and their own word alſo to be lying, not conſidering nor underſtanding, that the Scripture and Pro­phecies (given forth of God aforetimes) muſt thus be fulfilled, upon all unregene­rate and opinioniſh or vaine-conceited men: Yea it ſhall now all be fulfilled, Evill, and Good, and Strife, and Peace, Lies, and Truth, Deſtruction, and Salvation, in ſuch ſort as it is written thereof. It is the Lords Teſtimony: He himſelf hath by the mouth ohis holy Prophets fore-ſpoken that it ſhal ſo come to paſſe: and his wil it is, that now in this laſt time it ſhall all be fulfil­led,ddRom. 9. then who is he that can let it?

15 For in the riſing up of unregenerate men, w••h their deceivings, imaginations, and lies (andhat in ſhew of the name of the Lord)eeLev. 10. Num. 16. Deut. 13.18. Eſa. 33.34.35.42.43. &c. Jer. 4.5 6.7.8.23.26.27.28.29.30. &c. Mat 24. 2 Tim. 3. 2 Pet. 2.3. Jude 1. to contention, confuſion, blindneſſe, andrrupting of the Gentiles or People, there is the Scripture, and the Prophets as wll fulfilled, as in the ſetting up of Iſraelo a Salvation of the People of the Lord or ſo it was foretold to come to paſſe, and it is written there­of. Read Moſes and t••Prophets, together9 with the teſtimonies of Jeſu Chriſt, and of his Apoſtles, and there ſhal ye find the ſame manifoldly declared.

16. For albeit that many vaine-concei­ted men and unſent Prophets or Prea­chers, have been found lying, and might yet daily be found ſo, or that we (through any ignorance) do any way miſdemeane our ſelves; yet ſhall God in his promi­ſes, and in the mouth of his Prophets be found true.

17. He willffGen. 17.22. never forget his Co­venant which he hath made with Abraham and his ſeed; but in due time will remem­ber his Covenant, and ſhew, that he is the God of Abraham, and a God of his ſeed, for evermore.

18. In whom or through whom, he hath heretofore made his name notable, and glorious among all people; and will yet againe through the ſame, make his name great and glorious in the laſt time, ſhew­ing therein, that the God of Iſrael is on­ly the Lord, Iſrael his choſen people, that his purpoſe and wiſdom is ſtedfaſt, and that the world by her wiſdome,gg1 Cor. 1.2. knoweth not the wiſdom of God.

19. Therefore it hath pleaſed God al­ſo that his elect people ſhouldhh1 Cor. 3. circum­vent10 the world in her wiſdome, and to ſave the world (if they believe God) in Jeſus Chriſtii1 Cor. 1. by a fooliſh preaching, to the end, they may know that Gods fooliſhneſſe in his people, is wiſer then all the wiſdome of this world; and hereby it is manifeſt and apparent unto us, that Gods promiſes abide firme and unmoveable for ever, and that in his holy and gracious Word they are fulfilled and eſtabliſhed, howſoever the requiring of the obedience thereof be foo­liſhneſſe to all the ſelfe-wiſe.

20. Hereon [that is to ſay, on the pro­miſes of God,kkLuk. 2. and upon the conſolati­on of Iſrael] ought we to truſt, hope, and long, even as the ſeed of Jacob (which is ſcattered among all Heathen) doth alſo hope thereon, and long thereafter.

21. And though many unſent Preachers be (before the coming of Jeſus) riſen up,llMat. 24. Luk. 21. 2 Tim. 3.4. 2 Pet. 2.3. who have falſly boaſted of Chriſt, yet let us notwithſtanding remember, that it was ſo prophecied of before, and that the Scri­pture maketh mention of ſuch things; therefore reproach none, ſeeing it falleth out to us allmmRom. 8. for the beſt.

22. For, if we find any to be falſe, de­ceitfull, unwiſe, or lying, yea reſiſtant a­gainſt our moſt holieſt Service of the Love,11 that ſame is for a ſtirring up of us, and for a ſerious examining of our ſelves, whereby to prove whether we alſo might find ſuch evill or iniquity in our ſelves, or not; and whether likewiſe we our ſelves doe with humble hearts,nnGal. 6. endeavour us after the good, as all upright Chriſtians ought to do: therefore let us judge none, but ſo much the more circumſpectly look to our ſelves, that no manooRom. 2. judge another, and forget to judge himſelfe.

23. Now when the man perceiveth his own evill, falſhood, and lying, and beareth his judgement therein, then let him ſeek (according to the doctrine and requiring of the gracious Word and his Service) to find grace at Gods hand, and abiding firme in the hope of ſalvation, let him be renew­ed in the holy and gracious Word, under the obedience of the Love, and ſo (out of love) indeavour to draw another to the ſame grace alſo, then ſhall heppMat. 7. Luk. 6. judge nor condemn none: Behold, this is theqqHeb. 5. true Schoole-rule of Chriſtian Doctrine, accor­ding to the nature and requiring of the Service of Love.

24. If now any man be a Chriſtian, or boaſteth himſelfe, that he is illuminated, and hath his fellowſhip with the Lord Je­ſus,12 let him thenrr1. Joh. 1. have alſo a Chriſtian nature; and ſtand ſubject with us under the obedience of the love of Jeſus Chriſt.

25. But if he be not ſo, to wit, that he hath no Chriſtian nature, norſſExod. 33. Deut. 4. Joh. 1.5. 1 Joh. 4. hath not yet ſeen the Lord Jeſus, nor ſtandeth ſubject under the love, then can he not aſſuredly be illuminated, neither be any Chriſtian in the ſight of God, nor yet have any fel­lowſhip with Chriſt.

26. Then if his fellowſhip be not with Chriſt, and his love, he ought not to vaunt himſelf as yet for a Chriſtian: but if he ſubmit himſelf with us, under the obedience of the love of Jeſus Chriſt, and ſo ground himſelf on the promiſes ofttGen. 17.22. God, & on theuuEſa. 2.44.60. Jer. 23.29.31. Ezek. 36.37. Joel. 2. foreſhewings of the Prophets &xxAct. 2.17. 1 Cor. 15. Phil. 3. 1 Theſ. 1. Tit. 2. Apo­ſtles of Chriſt, and believeth God, that he is true in his promiſes, he may then (as a Lear­ner and Diſciple of Chriſt) ſpeakyy1 Pet. 3. of the hope that he hath in Jeſus Chriſt: but he may not judge another, much leſſe Gods Saints and Miniſters.

27. For God will now in the laſt time, (when the man with all his deceivings, falſe judgings, and working of lies iszzEſa. 10. run to an end) himſelf appear through his love, and manifeſt both himſelf and his true judgment, by his Elect Saints, and bring13 unto his choſen, who are falſly cenſured of all the falſe hearts, and vain-conceited wiſe of the letter-learned, hisaaExo. 20. Eſa. 58.66. everlaſting Sabbath day, that they once havebbEſa. 56. Apo. 14. reſt that hope in him, in whom ſhall be found no falſhood, ſtrife, nor guile; but continual thankſgiving,ccApo. 7. for the wonderfull works of the great grace of God.

28. Hereon let us alſo hope and long, and endeavour that our fellowſhip might be with the love (that in no caſe weddRom. 13 Eph. 5. reſt, nor ſleep in the ſin) and ſoeeEph. 6. Phil. 4. in the Spi­rit, ſigh and pray night and day unto God,ffAbac. 2. Heb. 10. untill that come, which ſhall come, and untill the godlineſſe, which is groun­ded in the Love, doe appeare un­to us.

29. Which godlineſſe I doe perfectly witneſſe and declare (out of the inclination of love) in the Glaſse of Righteouſneſse, and do likewiſe ſhew with full inſtruction, the upright ſtock of life, whereunto tendeth the way of the upright communaltie, or believers of Chriſt, and whereunto man­kind was of GodggGen. 1. Sap. 2. Eccl. 17. created, and by Chriſt called, to live therein: upon which upright ſtock of life, and lovely being in the peace, they doe all hope and have a longing wich love, equitie and righteouſneſſe,14 to the end that all thoſe, who have a deſire to God and his Righteouſneſſe, might be comprehendedhhCol. 3. in the band of love (wherein the upright ſtock of life, and Gods Righteouſneſſe, is to be obtained and inherited) for to inhabit theiiPſal. 37. Prov. 2. Eſa. 60. 2 Pet. 3. world agreeably,kkRom. 15. Phil. 4. peaceably, and quietly (with one like mind to the love) in righteouſ­neſſe and in all love, according to the pro­miſes: and that the world in like manner might [with humble heart] give good ear to the upright underſtanding, to the obey­ing of the truth of the ſpirit, to the end that the ſervice of love, might every where have his courſe, without any hindrance; and that the godlineſſe might be underſtood, andllPſal. 98. Lu. 1. knovvn, to the land and praiſemmEph. 1. of the glory of God, and to an everlaſting Thanksgiving for his bountifull grace ſhevved on us, to vvit, that he hath cauſed us to ſee, and made known unto us, whatnnRom. 12. Eph. 5. 1 Theſ. 4. his will is, and what manner righteouſ­neſſe he requireth of us.

30. If God therefore hath ſuch a favor and inclination towards us, that through the adminiſtration of his gracious Word under the obedience of the love of Jeſu Chriſt, he reacheth us the hand, and pulleth us to himſelfe out of the deſolationooHeb. 2. and15 captivity of the devill, into his glorious freedome, to the end we ſhould be his in­heritance in his love; then let us (for our parts) look to it, that wepp2 Cor. 6 Heb. 12. refuſe not the ſame grace, nor ſeparate our hearts there­from,qqPſal. 95. Heb. 3.4. nor harden them thereagainſt; but be ſubject to his love, and love him, and beare good will towards him a­gaine.

31. For he hath ſhewed his tender loverrJoh. 3. Rom 5. and ardent affection upon us firſt, wakening usſſEzek. 37 Eph. 2. in the Spirit out of the ſleep and death of ſinne, unto his Ser­vice of Love, which reacheth to the ever­laſting life, that we ſhould walk inttLuke 1. righ­teouſneſſe and holineſſe before him in all love.

32. Lo, out of ſuch a diſpoſition of heart and mind, my writing is, and unto this is all my longing, that (if the Lord would vouchſafe it) I might in the truth a­ny where upon earth, find any communal­ty which might in that manner be compre­hended in the Service of the Love, or were inclined thereunto; and that ſuch grace might befall us, as to have fellowſhip one with another.

33. For in the ſervice of the love, and in the vertuous diſpoſition and good16 nature, it is all comprehended what God from the beginning and alwaies, hath wil­led and required of the man; wherefore the Law and the Service of the Prophets and Apoſtles,uuMat. 22. Luk. 10. Gal. 5. 2 Tim. 1. are fulfilled in the Love: for to the righteouſneſſe of the Love all of them have their Service, and even all their office and miniſtration, is to the love, that ſo in the laſt time, the Love (xxCol. 3. the true per­fection) might abideyy1 Cor. 13 in her Service for evermore.

CHAP. II.

1. The Love never faileth. 3. The Law and the Prophets are not aboliſhed by the beliefe. 6. But when the Love is come, and men are eſtabliſhed in her, then (and not before) is the Service of the Law ceaſed. 9. The time is come, that the well­minded people ſhal joyn to the Love, and find nou­riture in her Service. 11. According as the Pro­phets have fore-told. In which time the houſes of Iſrael and Judah ſhall be gathered into one, and the Gentiles alſo be joyned into them. 14. H. N's. mild and peaceable ſervice hereunto, yet without flattery. 21. He exhorteth to make this holy life (which by this Service is ſet forth) our patterne of righteous living, putting away evill thoughts, and reproaching lips. 26. The vengeance of the wicked world, in the laſt time.

FOr though the Prophecies ceaſe, and the knowledge leaveth off, yet the17 love neveraa1 Cor. 12 faileth; for the prophecying is in part, and hath his Prophecy: and the knowing is in part, and hath his know­ledge, and they do all ceaſe in the love. In like manner, the Law alſo hath her Do­ctrine, out of which (in the end) thebb1 Tim. 1 love is required.

2. When the perfection therefore com­eth, that we be eſtabliſhed in the love, then is the Law, the prophecying, and the knowledge fulfilled, and accompliſhed, or then is the obedience ſhewed in the ſame Commandement and doctrine of God, and not before.

3. To the intent therefore, that the o­dience, which availeth before God, ſhould be ſet up, theccRom. 10 Gal. 2.3.4 belief was publiſhed to ſalvation, through the ſervice of the holy word of the Apoſtles of Chriſt: howbeit, not to break, nor to ſet aſide the Law of Moſes, and the Prophets, neither the obe­dience thereunto,ddMat. 5. Rom. 3. but to eſtabliſh and to fulfill them.

4. Therefore many do utterly miſtake and faile in their imagination,eeMat. 22. becauſe they underſtand not the Scripture, and becauſe they thinke (before the Love offfGal. 4. Chriſt hath any form in them) that the law and the Prophets be fulfilled, and that they18 are not bound to be obedient to the Law.

5. O beloved, conſider once rightly (I. pray you) how, and in what manner, or in what upright fruits of righteouſneſſe, the Law and the Prophets are fulfilled. For behold, muſt not the Law require of usggRom. 3.8 Gal. 2.3. the upright Righteouſneſſe, and be­ſides, remain (from one Generation of men to another) in her ſervice and degree for ever? And do not the Prophets pro­phecie thereunto, or have not the Pro­phecies and preachings their ſervice to that purpoſe, even to make the upright fruits of the Law known? and muſt not we then in like manner, through the belief (in the knowledge of the Righteouſneſſe) paſſe on obediently towards the ſame, to our Sal­vation, that ſo (thorow the belief) we might bring forth the fruits of the upright Righteouſneſſe of God, which are requi­red by the Law, and be made the children of the new Teſtament, through Jeſus Chriſt in his bloud,hhRom. 3.8. Col. 1.2. Heb. 9. whereby we might be juſtified from the fin, and ſo live with each other in all love.

6. Now when we areiiEph. 3. Col. 2. eſtabliſhed in the love, the foregoing ſervices [namely of the Law and Prophets] have then the19 firſt time fulfilled their office vvith us, and their requiring doth alſo with us thenkk1 Cor. 13. ceaſe, and they have with us, their reſt and form in the love, and ſo then have we peacellEph. 2. with God, and likewiſe love and peace among each other. It is true.

7. Verily, that ſame, when it appeareth and is preſent, is the true being which is perfect. And therefore the love is the higheſt good,mmDeut. 10. Mat. 22. Rom. 13. Gal. 5. the fulfilling of the Lavv, and thenn1 Tim. 1. principall ſcope of the belief.

8. For though a man could ſpeak even as with Angells tongues, or had ſuch faith,oo1 Cor. 13. that he could move mountaines out of their places; and though he wrought won­ders and ſigns, or were endevved vvith ſuch knovvledge, that he could open and de­clare all myſteries, and diſcover all ſecret treaſures: or that he gave all his goods to the poor, or did out of a religious humble ſerviceppCol. 2. ſhevv a certaine obedience; or as a ſervant vvere every ones Miniſter, or (by means of perſecution)qqMat. 10.23. fled from Land, to Land, and from City, to Ci­ty: yea though he yeelded his body to be killed, or gave it over to be burnt, yet tru­ly, all theſe cannot profit the man to Salva­tion, nor to the vvell pleaſing of God,rr1 Cor. 13. if20 he have not the love; for without the love they are all of no value: wherefore let not men without the love give any reſpect unto them, as if they were any thing, much leſſe hold of them; for they doe all ceaſe in the love.

9. Therefore the time cometh, [yea, it is come already] that it ſhal come to paſſe, that all Religions, all that are good of will, and every underſtanding, conceiving, and knowledge, ſhall be brought in under the obedience of the love, to the uniforme building of Jeruſalem,ſſEſa. 33. Eph. 2. Apo. 21. or houſe of God,ttRom. 12 Eph. 4. and body of the communalty of Chriſt, and every underſtanding ſhall wil­lingly yeeld it ſelfe captive under the o­bedience of the love,uuAct. 2.3.4.5. &c. according as it came to paſſe in the Service of the com­munalty of the Apoſtles of Chriſt, under the obedience of the beliefe, inaſmuch as the ſervice of the communalty in the love, is not leſſe then it: for in the communal­ty of the love Chriſt is perſonally with the Father at his right hand, in whom is the forgiveneſſe of ſins.

10. Whoſoever therfore hopeth in Chriſt, and whoſoever is infirm, feeble, or weak, & isxxMat. 5.9 11. hungry or thirſty after the righteouſ­neſs, he obtaineth his nouriture & ſtrength­ning21 out of the love; yea, every one that is fallen or is broken,yyEſa. 61. Ezck. 34. or is ſtrayed and ſepa­rated from the true God & his Chriſt, ſhall through the love & her ſervice (if he con­vert and humble himſelf, & be wel-affected to the love) be reſtored, & brought to right againe; and therfore grow ye up, & through the love,zzEph. 4. 1 Theſ. 3. 2 Theſ. 1. become manly in Jeſu Chriſt.

11. Behold, unto this Service of Love have all the Prophets of God, and Apo­ſtles of Chriſt borne witneſſe in the Word of Truth and Life, and therein likewiſe is reſtored allaaActs 3. what God hath ſpo­ken by the mouth of his Prophets, from the beginning of the world.

12. For all the doctrine of God, the Law, and the Prophets, the Images, Figures, and Ceremonies, doe witneſſe of this time of grace, concerning the reſtoring of the man in the Love, [which is the gracious Word promiſed in the laſt time;] in which Love, the Houſe of Iſrael and the houſe of Judah (bbJer. 29.33. Rom. 11 which now are diſſolved, and ſcattered a­broad among the Gentiles) ſhall be e­ſtabliſhed.

13. They ſhall thenceforth be no more divided into two Kingdoms,ccEzek. 37 Dan. 2. but be ga­thered into one, and be ſet up in the love;22 the multitude alſo of the Gentiles ſhall joyne themſelves unto them,ddEſa. 2. Mic. 4. Zach. 8. to ſerve the God of Jacob, that they may learne his will, walk in his ſtreets, among the Citi­zens of Iſrael, and ſo all that love the righ­teouſneſſe be oneffJoh. 17. in the one living God, let them be who they are, and of what generations, peoples, or Religions, ſoever they may be, as Chriſtians, Jewes, Maho­metiſts, and Heathen, or diſperſed people; for all thoſe which love the righteouſneſſe, and ſubmit them obediently under the gra­cious Word of the Lord, and his ſervice of Love,ggAct. 10. are acceptable to God, and ſhall (all through the Word of Truth) be re­newed in the love, to obſerve one manner Statutes, and Ordinances of the God of Iſrael, according to the promiſes.

14. Now ſeeing my ſervice is in all peace­ableneſſe (under the obedience of the Love) inclined to the ſame, therefore al­ſo my writing is neither againſt nor with any Nations, Peoples, or Congregations, that boaſt themſelves to be of God or Chriſt, [ſo as either to reproach, or to praiſe any of them. ] but doe ſet forth (through the grace of God the Father, which is given unto me) the plaine evi­dence of the upright communalty of God23 and Chriſt, according to my ſight of the true being.

15. Moreover I do not ſet my ſelf, ei­ther to contend againſt one, or againſt ano­ther, or to revile, reproach, or cenſure a­ny man in his error or failing, becauſe he ſhould endeavour him to repentance: O no, that is not our ſervice of the love. For verily, we have all grievouſly ſinned;hhEſa. 59. Rom. 3. yea we have all erred like the blind, there hath truly none continued in his eſtate, no not one.

16. Oh man! who art thou then, or why takeſt thou ſo upon thee, that thouiiRom. 2. judg­eſt another, and juſtifieſt thy ſelf? for we are all void of the grace of God, which vve receive and obtaine, if vve be of goodkkLu. 2. Phil. 2. vvill, and doe turne us unto God, and be vvell-minded to the love, from the heart.

17. And for this cauſe, I doe not oppoſe my ſelf againſt any ſorts of people or Re­ligions, either for to judge them to de­ſtroying, ſuppreſſing, or rooting out, or els to ſtrive or to contend againſt them, but do out of the mercy, (vvhich through the love of God the Father) is ſhevved on me, deſire to dravv unto Unity, all thoſe that love the Righteouſneſſe, under the o­bedience24 of the love, and to manifeſt un­to them the upright righteouſneſſe, to the end they might allllMat. 3. Acts 2.3 ſhew repentance for their ſins, and be ſaved, and that they with us, and we with them, might inherit in the love, the true peace of Jeſu Chriſt, and the unity of heart, and that the truemmEph. 2.4 Col. 3. peace of Jeſu Chriſt might be prepared on earth.

18. For in all this our moſt holieſt God­ſervice of the love, I have from my heart a pleaſure in all them that love the love, and peace, and are minded to concord and righteouſneſſe of heart, or do indeavour thereafter, neither deſire I to beare any thing in mind to the worſt, which any man through unbeliefe, hath done or ſpoken a­gainſt us.

19. Furthermore, ſeeing true beliefennEph. 2. is the gift of God, and that we are notooRom. 3.5 Gal. 2. Eph. 2 ſaved out of our ſelves, but out of Gods grace, through the faith of Jeſu Chriſt, therefore can I not in any wiſe oppoſe my ſelfe againſt any, either againſt the Pope­dome or Catholike Church, or againſt any temporal Rulers, againſt Jews or Gentiles, or againſt any inſtitutions of Religion; for we are are all called in Chriſt to ſalva­tion and peace, that we ſhould all in the25 laſt time beppJohn 17. Eph. 4. of one mind under the obe­dience of the love.

20. Now becauſe I doe not ſet my ſelfe reſiſtingly or reproachingly againſt any, ſhall I then fawne and flatter, as to write any thing for any mans favour, to pleaſe men? that be far from me, but rather, I declare uprightly [even as it is through Gods heavenly Revelation manifeſted and granted me to ſee] the thing that right is, and that availeth in the ſight of God, and ought to have his paſſage among all men.

21. Lo, this [O ye well-willers of the righteouſneſſe] is now out of the inclina­tion of love [as far as we may, and as God permitteth unto us] painted out and pour­trayed before you, according to the life thereof, as a preſident or pattern of the righteouſneſſe.

22. Let every one therefore once glaſſe himſelf in the Glaſſe of Righteouſneſſe, according to the truth, and look upon the thing which is right; let him put away from him all evill thoughts, together with his deceitfull tongue,qqPſa. 34. and let reproa­ching lips be far from him, and ſo ſeek peace, and zealouſly labour for it.

23. For if any man be innocent, or do in­deavour26 ſo to be, and if he have right on his ſide, or do carry his matters uprightly, then will ſuch a one by his righteouſneſſe agree with us in one mind, according to the na­ture of the love, even as we affect the love, and endeavour to the peace.

24. If on the other ſide, he be not ſo, then may he there (if he be not partially minded) have knowledge of his errour, whereby he may turn him to the love, and live; for the inclination to be upright of heart in the love, or to inherit the love, isrrCant. 8. Mar. 22. 1 Cor. 12.13. truly, that is the moſt beſt vertue, and paſſeth all Religions, and like-reſembled God-ſervices; it doth likewiſe farre excell all ſelf-choſen ſpirituall humilitie and ho­lineſſe.

25. Such kind of hearts, as are inclined to love and peace, and have ſet their minds on the moſt beſt vertue to inherite it, I ſuppoſe there are ſome at leaſt among all ſorts of people; and albeit many of them do ſeek God the eternall Father, and his righteouſneſſeſſEſa. 58.9. ignorantly, being yet igno­rant of the truth, and bewitched in their hearts with ſpirituall appearances,ttCol. 2. and vaine wiſdomes, whereunder their under­ſtandings and conſciences are ſtill held captive, yet nevertheleſſe in their obedi­ence27 to the requiring of the ſervice of love,uuEſa. 25. the covering wherewith many people or heathen are yet covered and bewitched, ſhall be taken away from their hearts, that thoſe which love the good might cleave to it, with free and unbound conſciences, and be comprehended in the band of love.

26. To that end [that is to ſay, for the peace and unities cauſe] is mine inclinati­on to the ſervice of the Saints that are cal­led to the love, and the ſervice of my ex­hortations is to thoſe that hope and long after it, to wit, that they would all have regard unto the Service of the Love, to the intent that all we, who have any plea­ſure, will, or deſire to the good, might (through the ſame Service) prepare our hearts thereunto, for to be joyned in all love to the good, in humbleneſſe of heart, and ſo might avoid the plagues of the un­godly,xxApo. 18. and not be made partakers of thoſe plagues, which (as ayyLuk. 21. ſnare) ſhall catch the blood-guilty, the wicked, and all the malicious in the laſt time, and they ſhall not be able to eſcape the vengeance of God.

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CHAP. III.

1. An admonition to obſerve the time, and to fly the abominations of the wicked world. 14. He hopeth that many believe the pro­miſes of restoring, and exhorteth all not to looke backe, as the greateſt part in former times did; but to take their unbeliefe for in­ſtruction.

SEeing now [dearly beloved] that we ſee, heare, and marke evidently, that the blind wicked world is wholly min­ded to errour, hunteth foraaSap. 1. corruption, and deſtruction, and haſteth to fall into the plagues of the ungodly, to her own perdition, which all malicious ones, toge­ther with ſuch as are ſtrayed and departed from the upright life, doe take pleaſure with, and are blinded in, and doe dai­ly increaſe in blaſphemie,Rom. 1. Eph. 4. wicked imagi­nations, falſe judgements, malice, and owne conceitedneſſe of ſelf-choſen wiſ­dome: therefore let every one now with carneſt love to the good take heed to his time, that is to ſay, that he hate, die from, and forſake all that which the erring world increaſeth in, and followeth after.

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2. And let us increaſe daily in the ſpirit of the upright being, andccCol. 1. 1 Pet. 2. grovv up in the true life of godlineſſe, [namely, as many as (out of a good purpoſe) have turned them to the vertue of truth, and (in obedi­ence) given over themſelves to the vvord of the Lord and his ſervice of love; for the righteouſneſſe ſake] that none [through his careleſſeneſſe, or delight in vvorldly deſires] beddHeb. 3.4. diſappointed of the reſt of godlineſſe, vvhich reſt of godlineſſe and of the upright life hath ceaſed, but hath been reſerved, for an everlaſting inheri­tance for the children of God in the laſt daies, according to the promiſes.

3. Novv for to enter into this reſt, let e­very one have the eyes of his ſpirit, and the eares of his heart, and underſtanding earneſtly attent to regard the time of his calling thereunto.

4. Let no man look back to the vain and wicked being of the ungodlineſſe, whicheeLu. 9.17. Phil. 3. he leaveth, forſaketh, and dieth from: nei­ther let any man think to turn again (with his heart to the world [that is to ſay, to her abominations of iniquity, or to her vain be­ing of wantonneſſe] for behold the daies of her deſolations be at hand, and are now already come at the door.

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5. Oh flyffEſa. 48. Jer. 51. Apo. 18. from the ungodlineſſe of the vvorld vvith all your hearts, and from the wickedneſſe of her abommations. Look not back after her deadly poyſon, and be not therewith made unbelieving to think, that the world ſhall not be puniſhed for her abominations.

6. O! conſider I pray you, how can a man that hath any underſtanding or know­ledge of righteouſneſſe, take pleaſure in the world? are not the ſins of this laſt wicked world become out of meaſure abomina­ble? are they not much more abomina­ble and horrible, then the ſins of the for­mer wicked world,ggGen. 6.7. in the time of Noe, and of the Cities of Sodoma and Gomerra,hhGen. 18.19. 2 Pet. 2. in the time of Lot? If God then pu­niſhed them ſo terribly and ſeverely, how much more will he puniſh theſe, who doe far paſſe the other in wickedneſſe?

7. Oh children, keep your hearts ſepara­ted from her, fear God and love his righ­teouſneſſe, that ye be not taken in the ſnares of the wicked, nor plagued with the reward of their errors.

8. Take an example byiiGen. 19. Lu. 17. Lots wife: and remember the ſaying of our Lord Jeſu Chriſt which he ſpake, when ye ſhall ſee the abomination of deſolation (ſpoken of by31 the Prophet Daniel) ſtanding in the holy place; who ſo readeth it, let him conſider it. Read Dan. 9. Mat. 24. Lu. 21.

9. Therefore (O all ye that love equity and righteouſneſſe) watch and pray; the ſight of the deſtruction is aſcended on high, thekkEſa. 5.60. 4 Eſd 14. darkneſs overwhelmeth the earth, herllEſa. 28.29.56. inhabitants are drunken & ſleepy, the Sun of righteouſneſſe giveth little ſhine among them,mmEſa. 13.14. Ezek. 32. Joel. 2.3. Sap. 5. the Moon of Underſtanding (which was wont to be a clearneſſe to the darkneſſe) is utterly darkned with them, and for bright ſhining, giveth them but lit­tle light; for almoſt all of them begin to grope,nnEſa. 59. as if they were blind, by meanes of the thickneſſe of the darkneſſes which have invironed the earth, therefore is the woe of miſeries, and the infelicity of unbe­lieving men, come hard by, even at the door.

10. Whoſoever therefore rejoyceth him with the unbelieving wicked world, andooJer. 6.8. Ezek. 13. promiſeth or pronounceth happineſſe, peace, and proſperity unto her or to her Adherents, the ſame man ſpeaketh lies, who ſo boaſteth him of grace, and yet abideth in his ungodly being, he blaſphemeth God in his righteous judgement,ppEſa. 52. Ezek. 36. Rom. 2. and (with blaſphemy) diſhonoreth his holy Name. 32For God, is a God that loveth Righte­ouſneſſe, and hateth all (yea all)qqPſal. 5. Prov. 3. ungodly being.

11. He is holy,rrLev. 19. 1 Pet. 1. and will have us to be holy alſo, and that we (to the laud and praiſe of his glory ſhouldſſ1 Cor. 15. Eph. 4. Col. 3. carry or bear his image and like being, and not the image of the devill, nor the vaine being of the world, wherein we do mock and reproach him.

12. We are called through Jeſus Chriſt and his ſervice of love, unto God, and his upright Righteouſneſſe,ttJoh. 15. Phil. 1. becauſe we ſhould bring forth the fruits of God, and not to the devill, through the Antichriſt the devills child, by whom we joyne to the world,uuSap. 1.2. Joh. 8. 1 Joh. 3. and bring forth the fruits of the devill, whoſe end or recompence is the e­verlaſting condemnation,xxMat. 25. Heb. 10. 2 Pet. 3. and the judge­ment of the raging fire, which cometh up­on the wicked world, and all wretched men that deſpiſe the Salvation of God, and believe not, that vve ought to live the righ­teouſneſſe of God, with whole heart, ſoul, and body.

13. Now this paſſed over, I hope there are yet many good of will, and contrite of heart, which have a deſire to do the will of the Lord, and which do ſtedfaſtly believe33 Gods promiſes, and hope thereon; andyyRom. 8. 1 Cor. 1. Tit. 2. 1 Pet. 1. ſo vvith patience, wait for the coming of Jeſu Chriſt, to their juſtifying and delive­ring from their ſins,zzLuk. 11. whereby they might ſerve God without feare all their life long, in ſuch holineſſe and righteouſneſſe, as are pleaſing unto him.

14. Hereunto vve are to have regard, to the intent Gods promiſes may be to our ſalvation,aaMat. 5. Rom. 2. and not to a rigorous judge­ment on us, as they are threatned to be to the ungodly.

15. If any man therefore count the e­verlaſting God true in his promiſes, let him not look back on that which is paſt,bbLuk. 9. Phil. 3. but have regard to that which is to come, and believe God that he will not neglect, but openly ſhew his Salvation.

16. He will remember his holy Covenant, andccEſa. 40.42.60.61.62. Jer. 23 31.33. Ezek. 36.37. be gracious unto his people, and ſet them up again, according as he hath ſpo­ken it heretoforeddLuk. 1. by the mouth of his holy Prophets.

17. Let no man reckon theſe things vain, or as though nothing ſhall come or grow of them, that he be not intangled by his blindneſſe, as it came to paſſe heretofore with many, vvhen the Lord would puniſh the ungodly.

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18. At which time, alwaies the moſt part of people were blinded,eeGen. 6.7.18.19. Eſa. 6. Sap. 2. and had no re­gard hereunto, before it fell upon them, in ſuch ſort, that they could no way eſcape the vengeance of the wrath of God.

19. Which puniſhment, God (in ſundry ſorts) cauſed to come upon the ungodly, and are all ſet before us, for example,ff1 Cor. 10. that we being mindfull of the things to come, ſhould exerciſe our ſelves in the moſt holi­eſt belief of godlineſſe, to the end we mightggHeb. 5. find grace before God, and ſo be preſerved from the plagues of the un­godly,hhLu. 21. and from the terrible maledicti­on, and horrible end of the laſt wicked world.

20. Which plaguesiiDan. 12. Mat. 24. ſhall be divers and more horrible then aforetime, becauſe the time is otherwiſe, as being much wickeder, and more manifoldlykk4. Eſd. 14. Mat. 24. increaſed in wick­edneſſe.

21. For behold, it was another time, and a different puniſhment upon the mali­ciouſneſſe of men, when the LordllGen. 11. con­founded, and ſcattered the workmen at Babel (after which time of puniſhment, A­brahammmGen. 12. found grace before the Lord) then that time was, when the LordnnGen. 6.7. 2 Pet. 2. pu­niſhed the world with the floud, before35 which time of that puniſhment, Noe with his family, found grace (to be a Remnant) before the Lord.

22. In like manner it was alſo another time and puniſhment, upon Sodoma and Gomorra,ooGen. 19. 2 Pet. 2. when Lot (the righteous) was lead out thence, and found grace before God, to his preſervation.

23. Furthermore, conſider the different puniſhments alſo of Jeruſalem and her In­heritants, how that God puniſhed them for their ſins cauſe,ppVide Li­bros Reg. Proph. in locis plu­rimis. nevertheleſſe, they alwaies which were upright of heart, and turned them from the iniquity, found grace before God.

24. Now, all this aforegoing being ſet behind, and having regard unto that which is to come, let every one turn him to the Lord, the God of Iſrael, who hath made heaven and earth,qqJer. 18.25.35. Ezek. 14.18. 4 Eſd. 14. and put away the ab­ominations of idolatrous phantaſies farre from his heart, and ſo amend his courſe of life.

25. Let every one love the good out of his whole heart, mind, and thoughts, and take heed of the perverſity of the wicked world, wherein all impiety and the moſt horrible abominations doe bear ſway,rrMat. 11. Lu. 10.11. whoſe plagues and puniſhments ſhall now36 in the laſt time, be (out of meaſure) much more horrible then any aforementioned, according to the Scripture.

26. Wherefore let every one labour for an upright heart before God and towards his neighbour,ſſEſa. 55. Jer. 29. Heb. 5. and ſeek of the Lord, to find grace in his ſight, whereby to inherite now in this day, the bountifull mercy of God in the preſervation of the righteous, that he periſh not in the blind errours of the abominable and wicked world.

CHAP. IIII.

1. He willeth the wiſe to regard, how the un­believers do proceed in the evill: 2. and the Lovers of Righteouſneſſe in the good. 6. It is now no time to ſleepe. 8. But to labour for an upright heart. 11. It is wiſdome to buy the good things, whiles they are beſt cheape. 13. The World esteemeth not the true Ʋer­tues. 15. The Beliefe. 17. Hope, 20. and Love. 22. But the God fearing wiſe are to take the more heed, that their Lamps be not without oyle. 26. The world contendeth for the knowledge, more then for the godli­neſſe it ſelfe. 29. Many that know not the mans fall from God, will yet ſpeak much of Repentance, &c. 31. but it is all unprofita­ble. 33. H. N. found no upright people of the Lord: yet all contended to the Lords37 Communalty, and defaced others. 41. Cru­ell perſecutions. 47. By meanes of conten­tions many turned from their zeale, whom he lamenteth.

OYe wiſe, who (according to the word ofaaDan. 7.9.12. Daniel, do regard this, and underſtand the ſame, lift now upbbLuk. 21. your heads, beholdccMat. 24. Luk. 21. and conſider, for whiles the children of unbelief (which are minded to errour) doe love the darkneſ­ſes more then the light, believe the lies, through their ignorance, rather then the truth: cleave rather to the world and her errour, then to God and his Righteouſneſſe; and do more incline to the conceiving of their owne cogitati­ons (out of the minde of their fleſh) then to the Salvation in the Spirit: Therefore doe they alſo follow after the ſame: and eſtrange their hearts (the longer the more) from the truth, and from the light of life and God­lineſſe: where through they are nowee2 Pet. 2. ſhut in with bands of darkeneſſe: withholding and ſheltering themſelves with their deſire, luſt, and will, under the workes, of iniquity: where out they gather unto themſelves,ffRom. 2. a treaſureddJoh. 3.38 of wickedneſſe, for a terrible judgement ofggEſa. 66. Judith. 16. Eccl. 7. 2 Pet. 3. the violence of the fire of the laſt plagues, which now doe come over the wicked world, and over all malicious unhappy men.

2. But in the mean time, whiles now the ungodly increaſe in the worſt, the lovers of righteouſneſſe do contrary-wiſe increaſe in the good, be they, who or whereſoever they be,hhRom. 6. Col. 3. they die from the evill, and grow up in the good, ſo as they increaſe daily more and more in the life of godli­neſſe.

3. They depart from the ungodly nature, and do paſſe into the nature of God and Christ,iiRom. 8. and all in the ſpirit, according to the ſpirit or mind of the love, and of the requiring of her obedience, for to live the righteouſneſſe which God eſteemeth, and hath promiſed.

4. Theſe have their ſuſtaining (under the obedience of the love) in the works of righteouſneſſe, and do wait with patience,kkRom. 8. Heb. 10. for the promiſe which God to-fore hath made, by the mouthllEſa. 44.60.62. Jer. 23.31.33. Ezek. 36.37. of his holy Prophets, and to believe God that he is true, and kee­peth his Covenant which he hath made with Abraham, Iſaac, and Jacob, (yea, the living God of Jſrael performeth his pro­miſes39 onmmRom. 9. Gal. 3. Heb. 2. the Seed of Abraham, even as he hath ſworn unto their Fathers, and ſheweth thereby that he is their God, and the God of their ſeed for evermore.)

5. Hereon doe they truſt, and towards this do they paſſe forth in the ſpirit, through the illuminationnn2 Pet. 1. of the upright being, which ſtandeth before them in the ſight of their hearts, to a continuall joy and conſo­lation of all godly men.

6. Behold the riſings of both theſe up, [to wit, of the godlineſſe, and of the un­godlineſſe] ſhall in their time be made known, and in two kinds of peopleooRom. 2. 2 Theſ. 1. be­come manifeſt, that is to ſay, the godli­neſſe, in the well-willers of the righteouſ­neſſe, and the ungodlineſſe, in the malici­ous. Let every one that loveth the righte­ouſneſſe, take now heed to his time; and let himppRom. 13. Eph. 5. not ſleep, whiles it is time to wake.

7. Let no man lie ſtill upon his old Couch, in the darkneſſe, when the day cometh on, and the light ſhineth bright and cleare (wherethrough men may ſee and perceive plainly, how to obtain the riches of the good, that the darkneſſes cover him not, nor the abominations of ungodlineſſe o­verwhelm him, and that he be not like the erring ignorant world, or the vain concei­ted40 wiſe of the letter-learned, who doe boaſt much of vviſdome, knovvledge, and righteouſneſſe; and yet are far from theqq1. Cor. 1.3. wiſdome of God, and from the righte­ouſneſſerrRom. 10. that God eſteemeth.

8. Therefore labour for an upright heart in the love, that in thoſe daies, vvhen the refreſhingſſAct. 3. cometh from the face of God, to the preſervation of the righteous, and when all ungodly being beſtirreth and pre­pareth it ſelf to deſtroying, you may be preſerved from the horrible plagues of the ungodly.

9. For Gods righteous judgement ſhall not be ſuch, as that any man ſhal be able to hide or to cover himſelf before it, but it ſhall diſcloſe andtt1 Cor. 4. lay open the counſell of every ones heart, whether they be well-willers unto him or not, and the righteous ſhalluuPro. 17. Zach. 13. Sap. 3. Eccl. 2. through the fire or furnace of humi­lity be purged, cleanſed, and purified, even as the fine gold, in the furnace of the Goldſmith.

10. Behold, this is ſhewed unto you, out of the inclination of love, therfore be war­ned before it come to paſſe,xxMat. 24. Luke 21. 1 Pet. 5. vvatch and pray, cleave to the good, love vviſdome and inſtruction, and love the light, to the vertue of life, that theyyJoh. 8.12. ſleep and darkneſ­ſes take you not.

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11. Uſe wiſdome now ye wiſe, and you that have underſtandingzzMat. 35. get ye now oyle in your veſſells,aaEſa. 55. it is to be had for nought, which the world in generall, together with the unwiſe, and ſuch as are without underſtandingbbEſa. 5. 4 Eſd. Heb. 20. do utterly contemn, e­ſteem vile, and deſpiſe; yea tread under their feet.

12. If therefore any among you be wiſe and hath underſtanding, let him eſteem of this oylecc1 Joh. 2. or anointing of Salvation, ſo much the better and the more worth, for it is ſpoken for a Proverb: When any ware or Merchandiſe is at loweſt value, then will men paſſe moſt for it. For then there is greateſt vantage and gain to be made and gotten by it.

13. Therefore conſider now the time, ye that have underſtanding; what is there now (I pray you) of ſmaller value, or what is there leſſe accounted of, then the upright vertue, and the godly vviſdome, out of the love?ddEſa. 59. 4 Eſd. 14. for the truth is fallen in the ſtreet.

14. She is impriſoned,eeMat. 25. vvho viſiteth or goeth unto her? ſhe is naked, vvho doth cloath her? ſhe is hungry, who feedeth her? ſhe is thirſty, and vvho giveth her to drink? truly not the erring vvorld: but ra­ſhe42 crucifieth,ffEſa. 53. Ier. 20. Sap. 2. and treadeth her under foot, and giveth her bitterneſſeggPſal. 69. and gall to drink, and letteth her lie altogether in priſon, and cometh not once at her.

15. The belief bloſſometh,hh4 Eſd. 6. her buds are ſhot forth, but vvho looketh for her fruits, vvho beleeveth that ever they ſhall come forth, and give a ſvveet taſt, vvhen they have gotten the heat of the Summer, and are become ripe or full grovvn?

16. Therefore pluck not the unripe fruit (to eat) before the time, untill it be through ripe, els ſhall your teethiiEzek. 18. be dul­led or ſet on edge, and your mouth be made unreliſhable, and unlikeing of the fruit, but vvho hath regard hereunto, or vvho hath knovvledge of this time?

17. The hopekkRom. 5. remaineth firme in the Patience, and profereth her treaſure ofllJam. 5. patience (bountifully) to every one, that no man might be aſhamed, but in due time, rejoyce vvith her.

18. But the haſty people, that vvill not tarry the due ſeaſon, but in the vvinter vvill reap and gather the fruit, and ſeek for it on the Sabbath, ormmMat. 24. Mat. 13.1. Gal. 12. in the barren vvinter, they think not on the treaſure of hope.

19. Therefore let us pray for patience, that (in the time of heavineſſe) vve may43 ſtand faſt in hope, andnnLu. 21. 2 Cor. 6. Col. 1. Heb. 10. Jam. 1. unto patience commit our ſouls; but this (I know well) the world in generall is not minded unto: for by her, this treaſure and riches of God is contemned, deſpiſed and rejected.

20. The love, which hath all theſe (the truth, beliefe, and hope, claſped in her arms) is inclined to nouriſh all things with the milk of her concord, which floweth a­bundantly out of her breſts, for to unite her ſelf with thoſe (to a concord in the love) whom ſhe imbraceth in the truth, and in the belief and hope: and with all thoſe likewiſe which love equity and righ­teouſneſſe.

21. Lo, This is the Chriſtian oyl, and ho­ly unction, and thisooMat. 11. Lu. 20. 1 Cor. 1.2.3. neither the world, nor her wiſe, or letter-learned can a­way with, neither do they eſteem the pre­cious treaſure of God, as being for them much too baſe, for there is no pride nor ar­rogancy to be found in it, nor any diſputa­tion about the knowledge, nor any wiſ­dom of the Philoſophers.

22. But ye that fear God, and love the upright judgement ſincerely,ppEſa. 1. Jer. 18.25.35. Ezek. 14. put away the bewitching of your hearts, and labour for the oyl of the true vertues.

23. Do not ſleep, ſlumber, nor go to reſt44 or be ſluggiſh, before you have firſt filled your veſſells or Lamps with the oyl of the ſpirituall and holy underſtanding.

24. For in time of the midnight, (qqSap. 18. when the darkneſſes have covered the world, and every one reſteth in his ſleep) ſhe ſhall then through the voice of the Bruite, and noiſe of the ſound of the laſt Trumpet,rrEſa. 9.60. 2 Pet. 2. ſhine in the darkneſſe, as a light, and be eſteemed very precious and of great value, among all that are wiſe; for unto the wiſe, ſhe ſhall be for an entrance to the everlaſting joy, at that time, there ſhall none among the wiſe have too much, nor yet any of them lack any thing.

25. Who ſo now is wiſe and well-affe­cted, let him not (like the unwiſe Virgins) give himſelf to the ſleep or reſt, withſſMat. 25. emp­ty veſſells or lamps that have no oyle in them: for then verily he ſhall find himſelf deceived, as the fooliſh and unwiſe Vir­gins were.

26. Therefore, ye beloved (you I mean, that have any ſight of the Peace, or affecti­on to the good) conſider once I pray you, of this preſent time, how the world, toge­ther with her wiſe and learned ſtandeth in many contendings and diviſions, and all for the knowledges cauſe and eſteem, not45 above all things the vertue of godlineſſe in Jeſu Chriſt, the which thing (I mean to love any thing above the vertue of godli­neſſe) is nothing elſe but an unknowne er­ring darkneſſe, and a being of the fall, which the world will not know nor be­lieve, becauſe ſhe ſeeth it not, but walketh inttEſa. 59. the darkneſſes, like the dead, and is alſo without the light and life which is of God.

27. Wherefore ſeeing they know not the fall or ſeparation from their God, therefore can they not (though they would never ſo faine) turne them rightly unto him; the which Eſay bewailed in the blind people, when he noted mens fall and ſeparation from their God, ſaying,

28. WeuuEſa. 59. are in darkneſſe like the dead, we roare all as bears, and mourne like doves, when we look for equity it is not any where; for health, ſo is it farre from us; for our tranſgreſſions are too many before thee, and our ſins anſwer a­gainſt us: for we muſt needs confeſſe our tranſgreſſions, and know our miſdeeds, to wit, our treſpaſſing and lying againſt the Lord, and our fall or ſeparation from our God, &c.

29. In like manner ſeeing unto me now46 in this perillous time, it is indifferently well knowne, that many (albeit they boaſt them of God) do not yet know the mans treſpaſſing, and lying againſt the Lord, nor the fall or ſeparation from their God; and do nevertheleſſe ſpeak much of repen­tance, and converting unto God: there­fore do I alſo truly note, that in ſuch a ſtate (whileſt this is unknown to the man) neither the mans repentance for ſin, nei­therxxEſa. 55. his converſion to God, neither his praying, isyyIam. 4. at all performed aright.

10. But this the man will not under­ſtand; but in the ſeparation from his God, he will judge of divine things, erect righ­teouſneſſe, and preach and teach the e­quity, ſuch as in his ſeparation from God, he conceiveth for right, as if it were very righteouſneſſe: he will alſo faſt and pray, as though his matter (which he intendeth to himſelf) were upright before God, ſay­ing, dear Father, dear Maſter, thou Phyſiti­an of our ſoules, vouchſafe to help us, and defend us, and ſo ſuppoſeth that God will not ſuffer him to come to ſhame.

31. But what availeth it? all ſuch ſhall find themſelves in darkneſſe, as the dead, and mourne like the doves, till that they perceive their tranſgreſſing, and their ſins47 anſwer againſt themſelves, and ſo their treſpaſſing and lying againſt the Lord be made known unto them, and the off-fallen being from our God.

32. Then ſhall they ſay, and confeſſe, we have looked for equity, and to that pur­poſe have preached & taught, if happily it might any where break through or come forth:zzEſa. 59. howbeit, when we look about every way after it, it is no where to be found, and our righteouſneſſe vaniſheth in it ſelfe as a ſhadow, and conſumeth it ſelfe like ſmoke in the aire, and the ſalva­tion is farre from us; for we ſee no­thing before us but ſorrow and deſola­tion.

33. Now whileſt that ſuch things floted unto me, before the eyes of my ſpirit, and that I ſaw the ſundry blindneſſes of men, whereunder they lay bound with igno­rance, through the falling away from their God, (which fallaa2 Theſ. 2 when I ſaw it was ſo deep, and ſo utterly unknowne, that the children of men were by meanes of it un­wittingly incloſed and covered therein, with many grievous darkneſſes) I could not find that there were any of all the children of men, that were the upright people of the Lord, or ſuch as walked in48 the true light and upright love of Chriſt, or had continued in the truth of God.

34. Wherefore I found no confidence in my ſelfe, that any of all the children of men had been rightly turned unto God and his Chriſt, againe, or that Gods holy Miniſterie and Service of Love, through his true Chriſt (according to the promiſes) had had paſſage among any.

35. But rather I have found at this preſent time, among the children of men, ſundry kinds of boaſting, much brawling, contending, wrangling, and diſcord, con­cerning God and Chriſt; which contenti­on and diſcord came principally hereof, that every particular faction would in their blindneſſe, and off-fallen being or ſe­paration from Chriſt, and without the true light of the love of Jeſu Chriſt, be the people of God, and communalty of Chriſt, and make others contemptible and odious.

36. For when of the one ſide it was ſaid, we are the holy Church, the Congre­gation of Chriſt,bbMat. 24. Mark. 13. Luk. 17. it was anſwered on the other ſide, nay, we are it, and ye are Antichriſtians, a Congregation of the De­vill, and of the unbelief.

37. Againe, it was further ſaid by ſome49 others, behold, this is it which God requi­reth, we have the right uſe of the Ceremo­nies, we are Gods people, the holy Iſrael, and have the true faith of Chriſt; where­unto alſo it was ſaid again to the contra­ry by others, nay, ye are heretikes, decei­vers, and murtherers of ſoules: and thus every one ſtood for his Religion, out of contention againſt others, and not out of love to the unity of heart with each other.

38. In theſe ſundry ſorts of debate and diſcord, every particular faction was by their conſorts and adherents, eſtee­med holy, and all other to be erring, blind: the ones Teacher to be of the De­vill, or out of the bottomleſſe pit, the others againe to be a ſpirit of Be­lial.

39. After ſuch a manner have I found many of them, and they were yet all Chri­ſtians, as themſelves ſaid: whereby there aroſe upccMat. 24. great contention, hatred, and envy among many, and all about Chriſt, in ſuch ſort, that divers of them contended for that, which they themſelves knew not, even as the blind do, that ſtrive about the judging of a thing, whether it be white or blacke, whileſt yet themſelves50 cannot diſcerne the colours of the ſame; but becauſe men ſay unto them, this is white, therefore they ſay ſo too, not ha­ving at all any ſight of it.

40. In like ſort there were many alſo, unto whom men ſaid, there is a God,ddEph. 4. and a Chriſt, or they read themſelves ſo, and thereout aſſumed the ſaying unto them­ſelves, and took it upon them, that they conceived and underſtood the ſame very rightly, and that ſo they knew God and Chriſt well. But ſeeing in the truth, they knew not that which they ſpake of God and Chriſt,eeEph. 4. and that they had not the forme of God or Chriſt in them, and for that cauſe could not diſcerne the ſame; therefore doubtleſſe they contended there­of like the blind.

41. Among which ſundry ſtrifes and diſſentions, ſome alſo laboured (by ſtrong perſecution) to reproach, revile, purſue, and root out or kill others that were not of one underſtanding with them, for the confeſſion of their God, and for their beliefs cauſe; which perſecution very many did ſuffer. Briefly, there hath been every where ſo ſore betraying among many,ffMat. 24. that they have delivered up to the perſecution and ſlaughter even one ano­ther of themſelves.

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42. But of all theſe ſundry factions, my conceiving was, that they which ſuffe­red perſecution for righteouſneſſe ſake, and for conſcience, which they had to­wards God and his righteouſneſſe, were neereſt unto the truth; nevertheleſſe, the one condemned and blaſphemed the o­ther, ſo well they that were perſecuted, as thoſe which were the perſecutors: and upon many came feare and anguiſh, with much perplexity and diſtreſſe of heart, and great ſorrow (for lack of underſtan­ding) over-whelmed many of the children of men, in ſuch ſort, that they came to great miſery.

43. There aroſe alſo many ſorts of Se­ctaries with ſeverall Lawes, Doctrines, Ordinances and Inſtitutions,ggJer. 8. n. 25. Ezek. 13. every of which would maintaine his owne to be Gods requiring and appointment,hhSupra. 1. and the conſciences of men were (to obedi­ence) drawn to the ſame, and bound therein, and every one loved and earneſtly affected his own.

44. I eſpied likewiſe many offences, and many abuſes, with ſundry erroneous miſunderſtandings, among the children of men, by means whereof I was often in heavineſſe, becauſe I was not joyned with52 men, in the upright forme of godly living, and becauſe they erred ſo ignorantly eve­ry where.

45. And ſo in all this (becauſe many of them gave ſo high reſpect to their owne wiſdome) I tryed and examined their un­derſtandings, and therein earneſtly noting and obſerving whereon the wiſdome of many men was grounded, I found and per­ceived, that they which were beſt ſpoken, and could over-bear or ſtop the mouth of others, with hidden reaſons or ſubtil argu­ments, and words of Scripture, thoſe were in their owne opinion, the ſtouteſt and valianteſt men.

46. Who ſo moreover, could in ſuch ſort (as it is ſaid) out-brave, catch, or in­trap others, and knew how to propound and defend their owne ground in godlieſt and ampleſt manner, thoſe were eſteemed of their complices for the wiſeſt, and on them ſtood all their wiſdomes grounded.

47. Yet found I amongſt them all many well-willing hearts, that had a zeale to the good, but becauſe of the miſ­underſtanding which was found among many, and wherewith they were driven into much ignorance, and they perceiving the ſame, therefore (iiMat. 24. with many of them)53 even the ſame zeale was waxen cold, and that is lamentable, ſpecially becauſe in their zeal, they had not turned them up­rightly to the waies and doctrines of the holy Fathers.

CHAP. V.

1. H. N. and others with him were much grie­ved for the blindneſſe of people. 5. But the Lord comforted him. 6. He hath ſet forth many writings, and newly written them for a Glaſſe of Righteouſneſſe. 15. Which he exhor­teth us to conſider of, and thereunto to conform our ſelves, and to draw others. 19. Not blaſ­pheming, if any thing therein ſeem contrary to the truth. 20. He requireth to caſt away our ſelf-knowledge, and to regard the balance of equity, and to ſet the truth free as God is free. 22. With whom ſhe is co-eſſentiall. 23. God is the God both of Jews and Gentiles. 24. From whom to be ſeparated is death, but to be joyned unto him, is life and ſalvation. 28. Gods being is the life, bread, and communion of Chriſts body, which the Diſciples did eat of. 33. The ſame became fleſh, and was diſtributed alſo to the Gentiles, and the ſame ſhall like­wiſe be given in the laſt daies, according to Gods Promiſes, and not after the inventions of men.

BUt in the mean time whileſt I conſide­red and ſcanned all this (inaſmuch as54 I laboured for that which is right) I found my ſelf oftentimes, through conſiderati­on of the mans weakneſſe, and of his ig­norant zeal to the righteouſneſs and truth, in great anguiſh of heart, and in lke man­ner there were others more in the ſame caſe with me.

2. And I was ſorry for the people, be­cauſe many of them had ſo ignorant a zeale, and were bewitched with ſo many ſorts of blindneſſe, and vaine imaginati­ons, and I was oft times very unquiet in my mind, becauſe I could not know any of the children of men, whom I might be­lieve, or account for the people of God, ſuch as ſtood in the ſtock of the righteouſ­neſſe of Abraham, or didaaPhil. 1. preach Chriſt, out of the nature of the love.

3. For I grew ſuſpicious, jealous, and diſtruſtfull of all fleſh, yea, of my ſelfe al­ſo; for in my humane diſpoſition after the fleſh, I found oft times no power at all, to enter into thebbRom. 7. vertue of righteouſneſſe, in any ſuch ſort, as by Gods heavenly Revelation (which came unto me from God in the Spirit) I had obſerved the ſame.

4. Howbeit many of the children of men looked not into the vertue of the righte­ouſneſſe,55 according to the truth; but were bewitched in their underſtanding and thoughts, bearing a zeal unto that which was not of God, and which did nothing further them to the righteouſneſſe: and therein was my humane underſtanding a­fore-times ſomewhat diſtreſſed, whileſt I ſought the righteouſneſſe among the chil­dren of men, where it was not to be found.

5. But the Lord (out of his grace) hath ſhewed much mercy on me, and through his heavenly revelation, and manifeſting of his truth, hath inlightned my underſtan­ding, and pulled my ſpirit unto him; his goodneſſe leads me, and his Spirit vouch­ſafes to ſtrengthen me in the Service of Love, that I may declare unto the man that which is moſt profitable for him to live in, to the eſtabliſhing of the Word, which God afore-times hath ſpoken out of his truth, and according as he hath promiſedccLuk. 1. by the mouth of his holy Pro­phets, to the bleſſing and ſalvation of all people.

6. Then foraſmuch as I have ſeen the miſery of men, and do know the contra­ry nature to God, and that moreover, the good being of God, and the ſalvation of men is out of Gods grace, appeared unto56 me in my ſight; therefore have I ſet forth certaine writings out of the ſame know­ledge of the good being, and of the ſal­vation of men, (ſo farre as in my under­ſtanding I could reach unto the ſame, and as the Lord revealed unto me) that the mans bewitched underſtanding and thoughts might be made known unto him, and ſo he might regardddPhil. 4. what were right and reaſonable, and what were meet and profitable.

7. And thoſe writings (according to the appointment of God, and teſtimony of his holy Word) we have now renewed a­freſh in the land of the living, and ſo through the true light of the godly wiſ­dome, and of the holy Spirit of Love, ex­preſſed them more plainly, and written them again with the aſſiſtance of the prin­cipall Elders and Miniſters of the holy Word in the Family of Love.

8. Which writings (that every one both ſmall and great of underſtanding, might be ſatisfied, and none have any oc­caſion to blaſpheme the truth, but that they might all be minded toee2 Cor. 1. Eph. 4. the unity of heart in the love) we have (out of the loves inclination) placed together with cleer diſtinction, and compiled them to a Glaſſe57 of righteouſneſſe, to the end men might the more eaſily (in their underſtanding) comprehend and mark the reaſon of our hope, for to cheer up thereby the mind of man to the good, and out of the inclinati­on of love) to refreſh and ſtrengthen him with good courage, to draw him to a right diſcerning of the upright wiſdome; and for that he ſhould then be zealous with good underſtanding, and labour for that, vvhich continueth for ever.

9. All that ſame (ſo far as we diſc••n it, and as God hath permitted unto us) we ſhew and declare with full inſtruction (in this Introduction to the holy underſtanding of the Glaſſe of Righteouſneſs, and principally in the book it ſelf) ſetting down, wherein the man ought to ſtand comprehended, whence the happineſſe of our life cometh unto us, what manner of one the uprightff1 Cor. 12. Congregation of Chriſt is, and how that the miniſtration, and ſervice of the holy word,gg1 Cor. 13. ought to have paſſage out of love.

10. For this is the ſervice of the graci­ous word,hhJer. 29. promiſed in the laſt time, to wit, that all thoſe vvho have any longing after the love and concord, or do hope thereon, ſhould be ſtirred up to the ſame, to the intent, that all they which ſeeke58 Chriſt, might with one conſent cleave to the love and her ſervice, and walk in all love, for that is the peaceiiEph. 2. prepared for us by Chriſt, if ſo be we have any deſire to the love, and to the true peace.

11. And thereunto, even for the unities ſake in the love, is my ſervice to all lovers of the truth, that the deſtruction of heart might once ceaſe, that every one might have the love before his eyes, that the ſer­vice of the love and word of truth, might have paſſage without hindrance, and that ſo all ſentences which bear witneſſe to the truth, might according to the truth be judged impartially.

12. True it is, that my ſpirit is well diſ­poſed hereunto [even that the bewitching of many mens hearts might be done away, and the calling of the Gentiles rightly be diſcerned and underſtood, according to the truth] to the end all matters apper­taining to the righteouſneſſe, might out of love, be diſcerned and underſtood impar­tially, (with an unbewitched ſpirit, and an unbound heart, according to the truth, but inaſmuch as I find little upright judge­ment among the children of men, as ha­ving much more inclinationkkJer. 7.11.13.18. to their own ſenſe, and to their ownllRom. 10. righteouſneſſe,59 then to the truth and righteouſneſſe which God accepteth, alſo a more inclination to their ovvn ſelf-choſen communalty, then to the unity of heart, in the ſervice of love, therefore is my heart many times not ſa­tisfied nor contented with the judgement of men.

13. For I find apparently by experience that the man is in his judgement altoge­ther partially minded in every reſpect, and ſetteth his affection to this, or to that, vvhich tendeth not to concord, but much rather to ſtrife, and hath very little reſpect to the love, vvhereby he might out of the love, have regard to the truth of the ſoveraign good impartially, but [common­ly] he will have the ſame bound, or tyed to one thing or another, vvherewith ſhe is not of one being, vvhereas the truth is free, and in her upright being, abideth undivi­ded for ever,mmGen. 1. Pro. 6. Sap. 9. vvhereby alſo every thing vvas made, and vvhereby all elementiſh things have their right miniſtration, and ſhe ſhrinketh avvay from none.

14. But if vve have regard unto her, then ſhall the true underſtanding [through the raiſing up of the image or like being of God in us] be diſcovered unto us, and the meaning of the knowledges be unlocked, to60 wit, after what ſort God is thennEſa. 9. Lord, King, Saviour, and Prince of us all, name­ly, of thoſe that are upright of heart, and do joyn themſelves to his love, and her ſer­vice.

15. Therefore, O ye upright hearts, which have the true ſight of the good be­ing of God or Chriſt, and do well diſcerne and underſtand the promiſes of God, and do moreover ſincerely love the upright righteouſneſſe from his heart, judge the matter your ſelves,ooJoh. 7. with rightfull judge­ment, and underſtand the meaning aright.

16. Conſider deeply, the godly teſti­monies of our writings, which (out of the inclination of love, we have ſet forth, and pointed out for a Glaſſe of Righteouſneſſe, and endeavour you thereunto (even to ob­tain the ſame upright righteouſneſſe) obe­diently, and then to adminiſter the ſame unto every one of them alſo, that love the truth and righteouſneſſe, to the intent the righteouſneſſe and life, may out of love, be be adminiſtaed according to the truth unto all people, to their Salvation.

17. Thus let every one paſſe on to the ſame upright life, which is ſet forth there­in, and reach one another the hand, to theppEph. 4. unity of heart in the love, and glaſſe your55 ſelves daily in the Glaſſe of Righteouſ­neſſe, and be you cleanſed of the ſpots of unrighteouſneſſe, whereby with pure hearts you may inherit the ſame life in the Love.

18. And whom you know to have any deſire to the beautifulneſſe of vertue, and to the unity of heart with us, under the obedience of the Love, unto them deny not the ſame Glaſſe alſo; and ſo in all things love ye the fairneſſe of vertue, and of the pure Love.

19. But if any man thinketh that there is any thing ſet forth in the Glaſſe of Righte­ouſneſſe, which is not ſutable with the truth, or whereon Moſes, the Prophets, and the Apoſtles of Chriſt have not wit­neſſed, or that ſhould not tend to the Love, let him there ſtay himſelfe, and not blaſpheme, but rather aske the mean­ing, and ſo tarry his timeqq1 Cor. 4 till a further inlightning, that he may diſcerne it all by the true light of the eternall truth, as agreeably minded with the love, where­unto we bear witneſſe.

20. Wherefore (O ye dearly beloved) looke to your ſelves, and deſtroy not your ſelves through your own know­ledge; for our ſervice of love is for a56 furtherance unto you all, to a diſtinguiſh­ing between the truth and lies, to the end, that every vain conceit, and every bewitch­ed imagination might be taken out of the hearts of men, and the good ſeed of liferrMat. 13. Luk 8. obtain his fruitfulneſſe in us, to all laud, honour, and praiſe of the Almighty, and to all love and concord amongſt each other, and that all together, to one man­ner, congregation,ſſRom. 12. 1 Cor. 12. Eph. 2.4. houſe, temple, or ta­bernacle of the one unſeparated Spirit of Chriſt, and to a life of bleſſedneſſe unto all people.

21. Now if any man be thus minded with us, and be comprehended with us in the judgement of the truth, and in the love impartially, or if he have any deſire to judge uprightly, or would faine be knit in one conſent with us in the love, whereby he might judge uprightly, according to the truth, let him then in like manner with us, have reſpect unto thettEſa. 28. ballance of equity, and ſet or hold himſelfe with us, according to the ſtock of the upright love and truth, impartiall under the obedience of the Love, and ſo alſo with us, ſet the the truth free, not as tied hereto, or thereto, wherewith ſhe is not of one being, foraſmuch as the true God Jeſus Chriſt,57 and the holy Ghoſt is ſo untied alſo.

22. For the true being of the eternall truth, is a free majeſty of the high God­head, anuuSap. 7. Heb. 1. everlaſting ſtedfaſt power, life and mightineſſe; likewiſe the ſame true being comprehendeth all that is in heaven, in earth, and under the earth, and is not it ſelfe comprehended either of this or of that, wherewith it is not co-eſſential, neither is it tied thereunto; for it is, and remaineth an everlaſting, living, and free uncloſed up fountain of wiſdome, where­with we all ought to be of one being, and to live therein.

23. Lo, this is our ſight concerning the life, which we do freely declare even without partiality; as alſo that God is a living, everlaſting, and undivided God, and that he is not onely a God of the Jewes, but alſo of the Gentiles, that is to ſay, axxAct. 10. Rom. 10. Gal. 3. Eph. 4. God of all people that love his righ­teouſneſſe, that joyne themſelves to his love, and her Service, and that have a deſire to do his will.

24. But to be ſeparated from the ſame higheſt God, and from his love and her Service, is the middle wall, the ſin and the darkneſſeyyEſa. 50. Eph. 2. between God and the man, and it maketh manifeſt and knowne,58 that the ſame ſinne is the fall and de­ſtruction of the inward manhood from his God; whereout alſo all wickedneſſe and the ſundry ſorts of diſſention and diſ­cord are come into the world: But to know the ſame, and to be incorporated a­gaine with God, under the obedience of the love, is the ſalvation, and bringeth in­to us againe the unity of heart in the peace.

25. Behold the ſame God of whom we beare witneſſe, and which bringeth unto us the true ſalvation and peace out of his love, and out of the obedience to the re­quiring of her ſervice is the onely God of life, whoſe hand hath made all that is, he is the true being, wherein the ſpirit of men ought to be incorporated and groun­ded; and we bear record that he even the ſame God is only the Lord, who alſo was in times paſt praiſed of the righteous, in Iſrael,aaPſal. 118. Eſa. 28. 1 Pet. 2. as the rock of their ſalvation.

26. Whilſt then the people of Iſrael afore-times were grounded upon the ſame onely God, they ſerved no Idolls, neither did they chooſe any thing for Gods beſides their God, nor yet tied them­ſelves to any other thing, but did celebrate, and glorifie the ſame living God, as the59 King, Lord, and God of all the world, and declared his righteouſneſſe as the word of life,bbDeut. 30 Rom. 10. and ſhewed the ſame unto the man, and called him thereunto, that all knees might bow themſelves before the ſame God,ccEſa. 45. Phil. 2. and that all hearts of men might fear, honor, and only ſerve him.

27. Now where the word of life (to Gods glory and mens ſalvation) was here­tofore thus miniſtred,ddAct. 2.3 4.5. &c. and God then gave his bleſſing and increaſe for a fruit­fulneſſe of his Word through the belief, there was alſo the ſame Word miniſtred out of Love by the Miniſters thereof, namely to the believers, for their ſtrength­ning and growing up in the Word; and in like manner they held forth the ſame Word of life according to his worthineſſe unto the little, young, and weak ones, to cheer up their hearts thereunto and to confirme them in the holy being of the ſame Word, that ſuch an holy being of God might haveeeGal. 4. a ſure forme in them, and all people might with their tongues, laud and praiſe God.

28. Behold, this ſame holy being of God, is the true life of the holy Ghoſt, which heretofore God wrought among60 his people Iſrael, and likewiſeffJoel 2. Acts 2. among the Gentiles that feared his name; and the ſame is promiſed afterward to be given in theggEſa. 2.3.9.25.32.35. &c. laſt daies.

29. This ſame being of God is indeed the right food of the ſoule, and bread of life, and ishhIoh. 6. deſcended unto us from hea­ven for a life to the man, and was hereto­foreii1 Cor. 10 11. broken and diſtributed to the peo­ple of Iſrael and Dicſples of Chriſt, to feed on in their ſouls.

30. And this ſame bread which they brake, fed on, or eat,kk1 Cor. 10 is the Commu­nion of the Body of Chriſt, which Chriſt isllEph. 1.4.5. the Head, Lord, and Maſter of his Congreation, ſavingmmMat. 1. & redeeming his people from their ſins, and the cup where­of they drank,nn1 Cor. 10 is the Communion of the blood of Chriſt.

31. This ſame bread which was given unto them, is the true meat-offering of Chriſt, namely, his body;ooMat. 26. Mat. 14. Luk. 22. 1 Cor. 11. and this cup which was powred forth unto them is the true ſhedding of his blood, the which is the out-flowing of the holy Word or Spi­rit of Chriſt, upon all believers of Chriſt, to everlaſting life.

32. Even thus did the Diſciples of Jeſu Christ eat of his fleſh, and drinke of his61 blood, to the forgiveneſſe of their ſins unto him, [namely to Chriſt] for an incorpo­rating, and unto them [namely to the be­lievers of Chriſt] for a life: and ſo then had they their fellowſhippp1 Joh. 1. with the ſame Christ, and with his Father, and were fleſhqq1 Cor. 12. of his fleſh, and bone of his bones.

33. Behold that ſame bread or body of Chriſt, is the word that became fleſh,rrJoh. 1. and it dwelt amongſt them, and they ſawſſ2 Pet. 1. 1 Joh. 1. his glory, as a glory of the onely born Son of the Father full of grace and truth.

34. And that ſame is the new Teſtament,ttJer. 31. Heb. 8.10. which God (in thoſe daies) made and ap­pointed with his people,uuAct. 2. Tit. 3. and he powred out his ſpirit plenteouſly on them,xxApo. 12. and did let them ſee his Ark in the heaven, ſent down his holy Jeruſalem unto them,yyApo. 21. and ſhewed them the Temple of his holy dwel­ling (zzAct. 7.17. which is not made with mens hands, but which he had prepared for him­ſelf) according as he promiſed to the houſe of Iſrael and to the houſe of Juda, and the ſame is publiſhed to the Gentiles, for a joy­full meſſage.

35. The ſame bread, which was ſent down unto them from heaven, was hereto­fore broken, and diſtributed alſo to the Gentiles, as it is now unto us, there was62 alſoaa1 Cor. 11. powred forth unto them, of the cup of Chriſt: and God did likewiſe ſhed ſorth the ſame ſpirit of Chriſt,bbAct. 10.11.13. upon the Gen­tiles, and (through the belief) juſtified their hearts from the ſin, for accEſa. 2.42.56.60.61.66. Jer. 23.33. Joel. 2. Zach. 2.8.13. ſerting up of the banner of righteouſneſſe unto them, accor­ding as God had avouched and promiſed the ſame to the Gentiles aforetimes, by the mouth of his Prophets.

36. Loe, ſuch things doth God work, through his miniſtration of the holy Ghoſt, and it is the true ſervice in the obedience of the love, and in this very ſort my ſight is, that it ſhall come to paſſe in the laſt daies, when God ſetteth up again the houſe of Iſrael according to his promiſes, and not according to any humane Ordinance or in­vention, which the man bringeth forth out of his witty dexterity, or knowledge, or out of his letter-learned wiſdome, where­with the ignorant ones (who underſtand not Gods promiſes) are taken captive or tyed, and with the bondage of heart through mens doctrine and wiſdome, car­ried into a made holineſſe, and fed there­with, but not unto the word of life, or ſhedding forth of the Holy Ghoſt from the living father; the moſt higheſt, nor yet fed with it.

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37. O no [ye deerly beloved] GodddEſa. 42. gi­veth not that honour unto any creature. It is alſo no mans work nor power, through mans invention, but the work and power of the Lord, through his gracious word, in the ſervice of his love, that ſo they might all according to the promiſes,eeEſa. 54. Joh. 6. be taught of God, and all know him, fromffJer. 31. the leaſt to the greateſt.

CHAP. VI.

1. The ſervice of the love, being Gods work by the illuminate elders. 2. Is of few believed, yet is it certainly the truth. 3. Nevertheleſſe, he per­mitteth it to be judged of all upright hearts. 6. But with caution, that none judge of envy, but faithfully out of love. 16. The worthineſſe of the true wiſdome. 25. For lack whereof, the courſe of the world is marred. 26. Of the falſe wiſdome, 28. and of the true. 30. The end of the falſe wiſdome is come. 32. How to come to the true wiſdome.

BUt this ſervice out of the love, and this adminiſtration of the true bread or living word, where it is appeared out of the true God, is adminiſtred among the unlightned, by the Elders and illuminated men in the family of the love of Jeſu Chriſt,oaaEſa. 40.42.61. Jer. 1.20. Mat. 28. Mar. 16. prepare and make meet the unlight­ed, for to receive the true light of Chriſt62〈1 page duplicate〉63〈1 page duplicate〉64and the gifts of his holy Spirit, yea the ſame miniſtration, is even Gods Ordinance, wherebb1 Cor. 3. God is the worker, but not els, and then the illuminated man [who is grown up under the obedience of the love,ccEph. 4. to the old age of the holy underſtanding, or of the man Chriſt]ddJoh. 15 Act. 1.2. is a witneſſe and ſerviceable inſtrument thereof, but the bleſ­ſing or increaſe [which is the ſpirit of the living Word]ee1 Cor. 3. muſt God give, through which righteous ſpirit, or ſpirit of promiſe,ffAct. 15. 1 Cor. 6. God juſtifieth our hearts from the ſinne, through the belief.

2. Lo, hereof have I written heretofore, and do now ſtill bear witneſſe to the ſame, but who believeth the truth? or who hath any regard unto Gods promiſes, to wait [with long ſufferance, and with a firme confidence in God] for ſuch things to come, and [in the obedience to the requi­ring of the ſervice of love] to hope for them? and my conceiving in the truth, and mine underſtanding, is even yet no other­wiſe, neither can I otherwiſe diſcern, but that God will thus [in his time] bring forth his work, to an everlaſting peaceable living in the love, according to his promi­ſes.

3. Notwithſtanding, if it be not ſo, as I65 [through the holy ſpirit of the love of Jeſu Chriſt] do according to the life de­ſcribe it, or that Gods working [according to his promiſes] be not in ſuch wiſe promi­ſed, alſo that ſuch a life of peace as we bear record of, ſhould not be to come, or that men ſhould not [under the obedience of the love] hope for it, according to the promiſes; Let any man give judgement of it, according to the truth, for every one that loveth righteouſneſſe, he intendeth doubtleſſe the Salvation, after his beſt meaning.

4. But if on the other ſide [O all ye which obſerve theſe things] the Lord hath open­ed the door of underſtanding unto you, or hathggEph. 1. enlightned your underſtanding, and that ye conceive that we have ſet forth and deſcribed the life of righteouſneſſe, and the ſervice which leadeth thereunto, according to the truth, then verifie the ſame, to the unity of heart in the love, and to one un­derſtanding of the true belief in Jeſu Chriſt, one with another, and ſohhEccl. 6. then give your ſelves obediently to the ſame ſervice of love, and to our communion of the living God, in one faith, and in one fa­miliarityii1 Pet. 1. of upright brotherly love, to the end the true belief, and the right obe­dience66 of the love, may among us all which love the righteouſneſſe,kk4 Eſd. 6. grow and bloſ­ſome [in all concord] in a ſure hope to Gods promiſes, and that the righteous in the love, may become many.

5. Els if you think, that we have concei­ved of the truth amiſſe, or if in any point it be too ſlenderly ſet forth, then give teſti­mony thereof with a meek ſpirit, and ſo help forward the unity of heart, in the o­bedience of the love, and think no evill of it, neither blaſpheme it, for in ſuch a ſort we ſtand pliable to examine the truth, where­by [out of love] we may cleave thereun­to; and ſo receive the explanation of the truth, in that wherein we know it not a­right, for the wiſdome of the truth in a gentle and meek ſpiritllPro. 3.8. Sap. 7. is the moſt preci­ouſt treaſure, that a man can find.

6. But one that covereth himſelf in his evill conceiving, and thereby thinketh to be wiſe, and one which hath a tongue that ſlandereth, and an heart which is envious or wrath againſt any, he is not to be com­mended. Moreover an arrogant heart, which with contempt of another, hath a pleaſure, in his own underſtanding, or which ſtandeth partiall in the teſtimony of the truth, or an heart that turneth it67 ſelf away from the concord of the ſervice of love, and cleaveth to the vain conceited fleſh and bloud, and taketh part therewith, that ſame can in no wiſe judge rightly.

7. Therefore judge with faithfulneſſe and truth, and not with favour or disfa­vour, nor yet with reviling or deſpite, leaſt any man judge out of ſuch a diſpoſition, as they aforetimes did, that were the confe­derates of the high-Prieſt, and ſmote the mouth of the wiſdome on his face,mmJoh. 18. ſay­ing with arrogant minds and malicious hearts, wilt thou anſwer the High-Prieſt ſo?

8. Behold howſoever it be meet, and Gods Ordinance that men ſhould learn the Law,nnMal. 2. out of the mouth of the Prieſts, and the wiſdomeooEccl. 6.8. of the Elders, or principal­leſt of underſtanding, yet is ſuch dealing an unreaſonableneſſe, and againſt the Law, al­ſo againſt the wiſdome, and againſt the love which God requireth.

9. Whereſoever therefore men deal after that manner, or with ſuch partiality, (though it ſeemeth to be ſome righteouſ­neſſe, holineſſe, or wiſdome) there deem we not, the true High-Prieſt, nor any El­ders of the holy underſtanding, nor yet the Law of the Lord, nor wiſdome of God to be.

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10. Therefore ought men to ſtand im­partiall with the heart in Gods upright be­ing, and ſo to ſet forth the Salvation, out of the love and her ſervice, for many ſeek it ignorantly, and through lack of wiſdome, they go into waies, where it is not to be found.

11. But if any man love the ſalvation and wiſdome from his heart, let him ſub­mit himſelf to the love and her ſervice, and ſo then in obeying of the requiring of the ſervice of love, let him be familiar,ppCol. 3. 1 Pet. 3. brotherly, kind-hearted, chaſt, meek, gen­tle, ſober, patient, or long ſuffering, lowly of heart, and friendly, for that is a bleſſed­neſſeqqJam. 3. and wiſdome, which is not earthly of the earth or of men, but onely of God, the fountain of grace, full of all wiſdome, and he diſtributeth her unto every one, that feareth, ſeeketh, and loveth him, for there is none only wiſe, nor onely good,rrMat. 19 Luk. 18. but God, who onely is the Lord, and the ever­laſting wiſdome it ſelf.

12. Therefore ſpeaketh the mouth of the wiſdome, and ſaith,ſſMat. 18. where two or three of you be gathered together in my Name, there am I amongſt you, and in the midſt of you,ttDeut. 17.19. Mat. 18. Joh. 8. for in the mouth of two or three witneſſes, all matters ſhall be judged,69 and be rightly known out of the true wiſ­dome.

13. But not of ſuch, as (with ſubtilty of the knowledge, do enquire daily thereafter of another, or with wittineſſe and reaſon do ſearch or ſound deeply for it, whereby to diſcern the matters of underſtanding, touching things divine, out of the know­ledge. O no! butuuEſa. 57.66. Sap. 1.6. Mat. 11. 13. 1 Cor. 2. of thoſe that are lowly of heart, and have not ſtudied nor ſearched for any knovvledge,xxBccl. 6. 1 Pet. 1.5. but (with a deſire) do humble their hearts to the obeying of the requiring of the holy vvord, and his ſervice of love, for to do the will of the Lord.

14. Lo, ſuch are upright wiſe-ones, and lovers of wiſdome, upon whom alſo the wiſdome ariſeth, as a light, whoſe judge­ments agree in one underſtanding, and do tend or reach to one upright being.

15. O God, that the hearts of men were yet once rightly humbled before thee, and thy ſervice of love, and were partakers of thy holy wiſdome, that ſo they might live in thee.

16. O holyyyRom. 11. bottomleſſe depth of the everlaſting godly wiſdome, who can ſuffici­ently praiſe thy vertue?

17. Thou ſurmounteſtzzSap. 7. all humane un­derſtanding; therefore can no man com­paſſe70 nor incloſe thee, for thou abideſt for ever with the Godhead eſſentially.

18. In thee isaaSap. 7. the holy Ghoſt, and the perfection.

19. Through thee is the earth grounded,bbPſal. 33. Pro. 8. the heavens are made through thee, and without thee,ccJoh. 8. there is nothing made that is any thing.

20. Thou artddJoh. 8.9. the light of the world, the way of the righteous,eeJoh. 14. the truth of God,ffGen. 2. Prov. 3. 4 Eſd. 8. Apo. 2. and a tree of life.

21. Thou refreſheſt all them that are burdened and laden, if they do but come unto thee,ggMat. 11. for thy yoke is eaſie, and thy burden light to bear.

22. Thou diſtributeſt forth knowledge and underſtanding,hhProv. 8. Sap. 6. whereby the Lands are preſerved, and wherethrough the peo­ple are protected.

23. But he that forſaketh thee, and lo­veth thee not, cometh into miſery and de­ſtruction.

24. Oh that they all had taſted a little of the wiſdome of God, then would there be no ſtrife or diſſention.

25. Wherefore do the Lands periſh, and wherefore come the people into ſo much vvofulneſſe and miſerie? wherefore com­eth the deſolation, the diviſion, and71 the abomination over the world? where­fore doth the man believe the lying, rather thenii2 Theſ. 2. the truth? wherefore is the man be­witched with vain God-ſervices, and wrap­ped with ſo many ſorts of vaine imaginati­ons? vvherefore do men come into ſuch falſe freedome, and looſeneſſe of heart, that they will in no vviſe be obedient to the requiring of Gods truth, and of his ſer­vice of Love, and ſo draw away others, from the firſt entrance of the Chriſtian life? wherefore do certain come alſo into ſuch intanglement of heart, as that they give over themſelves therein to a bon­dage, and not to a deliverance from the ſinne, under the obedience of the love? why do the people ſtrive, and uſe craft and violence one againſt another? why arekk<