Source: Reprinted in "A Collection of Ranter Writings", ed. Nigel Smith, 1983 & 2014.
All light, no darkness; or light and darkness One:
In which you have it purely Discussed,
1. The Original of darkness.
2. What darkness is.
3. Why it is called darkness.
What God is Within, and what Without; how he is said
to be One, yet Two; when Two and not One, yet
then One, and not Two.
A Word from the Lord touching the only Resurrection
of the Body, In, From, and To the LORD.
With a certain parcel of Queries to be answered from
Heaven or Hell,
This revealed in L. C. one of the UNIVERSALITY.
Imprinted at LONDON, in the Year that the
POWERS OF Heaven and Earth Was, Is,
and Shall be Shaken, yea Damned, till
they be no more for EVER.
Behold, the King of glory now is come
T'reduce God, and Devil to their Doom;
For both of them are servants unto Me
That lives, and rules in perfect Majesty:
Though called God, yet that is not my Name,
True, I be both, yet am I not the same:
Therefore a wonder am Ito you all,
So that to titled Gods ye pray and call.
Oh then my creature, let me speak to thee;
Thy Worship, and thy God, shall die truly.
Why dote ye Worldings? up and down being hurled,
As he is, so are we even in this World;
And so are all things perfect, just, and good;
Yea, all are saved by's Cross, his wounds, and blood.
Where else is heaven, but in our present peace
From him? or hell, but when that this doth cease?
Fie then for shame, look not above the Skies
For God, or Heaven; for here your Treasure lies
Even in these Forms, Eternal Will will reign,
Through him are all things, only One, not Twain:
Sure he's the Fountain from which everything
Both good and ill (so termed) appears to spring.
Unto this Single Eye, though Adam's two
Cannot perceive, to Such, to All
Having experience that his Majesty, the Being and Operation of all things, appeareth in and to the creature under a two-fold form or visage, by which that becometh real with the creature, which is but a shadow with this Infinite Being: So that from hence it ariseth, the creature supposeth God to be that which is not, and that not to be, which is God.
Therefore hath his Majesty divulged his pleasure, that thereby he may take occasion to unfold himself in and to the creature under such a prospect, that the creature may know God, as he is known of God, that so from the clear appearance of God, the creature may behold purely what God is, which as yet is manifest, the creation in this nation inhabiteth in no other region than the woman of Samaria: And therefore it is the cry of his Majesty is not fulfilled and obeyed, but by Churches, Saints, and Devils opposed and contemned: So that rare it is to find the creature that is awaked out of his deep sleep, that hath shaked off the covering, so that he can from the clear appearance of God say, the veil is taken away, and that he believeth the truth as it is in his Majesty.
In answer to this, I have travelled from one end of England to another, and as yet could find very few that could define unto me the object of their worship, or give me a character what that God is, so much professed by them; yet notwithstanding I could come into no city, town, nor village, but there I heard the name God under one form or another, worshipped that for God, which I had experience was no God: So that in the period of my pilgrimage, I concluded there was gods many, and lords many, although to me but one God: Therefore at my return, I was carried out by God to hold forth to the creature, the God yesterday, to day, and for ever.
To that end, in the perusal of his Majesty's pleasure, you may notice what is intended, or rather, in the ensuing treatise recorded, having for the present but only presented to you a map, in which you may take a full view what that God is thou pretends to worship, whether he be Infinite, or Finite; whether he be subject to passion and affection, whether he behold the actions of the creature as the creature esteem them, and whether he can be changed by thy prayers, so as to expiate a judgement, or produce a deliverance, yea whether he be all, and in all, or but all in part, that is to say, whether one act be good, another evil, one light, another darkness; and if so, reason from scripture declareth, God is passionate, God is affectionate, and if either, then changeable.
But by forms and spiritual God like forms he is professed, and so worshipped as a God that beholds evil and good; so passionate with the one, and affectionate with the other, so that in conclusion they imagine him as themselves, not infinite, but finite, therefore it is, one act in God is conceived two in themselves, to wit, one act adultery, another honesty; when if reason were admitted, and thereby scripture interpreted, then should they observe in that act they call honesty, to be adultery, and that act so called adultery, to have as much honesty as the other, for with God they are but one, and that one act holy, just, and good as God; This to me by reason is confirmed, and by scripture declared, That to the pure all things are pure: So that for my part I know nothing unclean to me, no more than it is of itself, and therefore what act soever I do, is acted by that Majesty in me, as in the ensuing treatise will appear what acts they are, the nature of acting them; and in the period: how I esteem them: So that I weigh not how I am judged, in that I judge not myself So to conclude, the censures of scripture, churches, saints, and devils, are no more to me than the cutting off of a dog's neck,
I will make darkness light before them.
The God of gods hath cast me on this Subject, to the end he may take occasion to unfold himself what he is in himself, and how he maketh out himself in his appearance to the creature.
To that end, be pleased to peruse the precedent verses, and you will find what occasioned these terms in this text; In brief, you may behold the original thereof arise from the present state of the Gentiles, they being then as it were prisoners, and in the state of darkness; So that in reference to their bondage, Christ called the Son of God was promised, to redeem them from the region of darkness; that notwithstanding they had worshipped that for God which was no god, yet now is the time come, now is the day that God will plunder them of their idols, that God will enlighten their dark understandings, as in my text, God will make darkness light before them.
Notwithstanding it may be supposed by some, that the connexion hereof doth only concern the Gentiles, yet let me tell thee, I find that God is not so limited in his pen, ink, and paper, but that he can and will make the darkness of the Jew light, as well as the Gentile; yea, the darkness of you as any other: for never was there more superstition, more darkness in the Churches than now, therefore never more need to have the light of God expel those dark mists that at this time is spread over all opinions in the Kingdom: So that now doth the time draw near that the sayings in this Text shall appear in the unfoldings of the Spirit, I will make darkness light before them.
Being now arrived at the wished haven, all the difficulty will be how to unload the Vessel fraughted with such hidden pearls, how to make merchandise of them, how to unfold this
Subject to your capacity, how to give you the mind of God, in such terms as God appears in you.
And that the more, I find these unfoldings of God in this, seem to appear contrary to most that is quoted in the History; I will make darkness light; How is it possible, when there is no communion, no correspondency but enmity? Yea, so great, that they cannot dwell in one house, lodge in one bed, but devour one another; for where darkness is, light is not, and where light appeareth, darkness is gone; yet notwithstanding you hear, he will make darkness light.
So that the first thing I mind from hence is, That he will not take darkness away, and in the room thereof place light, but that which in Scripture is called darkness, and by the creature believed darkness, shall be made light.
Secondly we shall enquire, Whether that in Scripture, or by the creature entitled darkness, be darkness with God or no?
To this end you may read light and darkness are both alike to God. So then it appeareth but a darkness in the creatures apprehension, so but an imagined darkness; for saith the Text, God is light, and in him no darkness. So that you see, whatsoever or howsoever it is called darkness in Scripture, yet it is none with God. Then
Thirdly, I shall search, Whether that in Scripture or by the creature called God, admit of any other Title but unus (to wit) One himself, and if I find there is but one Being, one God, and that all that is be light with God, then shall I not cease till I find the Original of darkness, what it is, and why it is called darkness, &c.
First, I find in his Divine Being, in his Essence, there is but one God; the history declareth the same. I am what I am: I am the Lord, and there is none else: There is no other God beside me: with varieties of Scriptures to this purpose. So then, it is deer by the History, That the Being and Essence of God admits not of the plural but singular.
So that there is but one God, whose name is light, so called God; for, that which God is, is God (to wit) God is light, then that light is God; for what God saith he is, that is himself, but God saith, He is light, therefore light is God; so from the Scripture where God said Let there be light, it is no more than if he had said, Let there be God, and there was God, for God is light. For,
You have heard the Scripture holds forth but one God, which God is light; yet the same Scripture holds forth not only light, but lights; as verse 14. Let there be lights, and that lights in the Firmament of the Heaven: So that God made two great lights, that is to say, The light of the Sun, the light of the Moon, Stars, fire, and candle. From hence take notice, that though but one God, yet divers lights, and that all made by God; for he that said Let there be light, said Let there be lights; therefore he is called The Father of lights, &c.
But then how shall we do with that place, for God is light, not lights; either he must be as well lights as light, or else, that all other lights but one hath a Being and Original besides God.
And if it appear that all lights, or that which is called light, though the light of the candle, be made by God, then the light of the candle is the light of God; but if all that is called light, to wit, the light of the Sun, Moon, stars, fire, and candle, have not their being in God, then not made by God; So it will follow, that there is not only one, but two gods.
But the Scripture saith, That God made the light, and God made the lights: So that both light and lights were made by God, then had they their being in God; for all that he made were in him, of him, and to him, as well the Sun as the Moon, the stars, the fire, and the candle, as any of them; So that in making of these, he made nothing but himself; for God is light, as well the one as the other.
But then, If God be light, then lights; so that we may as well say Gods, as God; a God of the Sun, another of the Moon; for in that God is light, he must as well be the light of the Moon, as the light of the Sun, the light of the fire, the candle, as the stars.
Not denying but God is as well the light of the one, as the light of the other; yet notwithstanding that, God is but one light, and although called lights by God, yet they are but one light in God; to that end he is called The Father of lights, but one Father, though many lights. So that why they are but one light in God, or God one light, and yet by God called lights, are in reference to their distinct appearance in those several bodies (to wit) the body of the Sun, the body of the Moon; that as you see notwithstanding several beams from one Sun, yet in their rise from the Sun, they were but one in the Sun; nay indeed, they were nothing but the Sun, but after they are issued out of the Sun, one this way, another that way from the Sun, then according to this divers appearance, it is no more called a Sun, but a Beam, not only Beam, but Beams, which when reduced to their being, they are no longer called a Beam, but a Sun.
So why they are called lights, and yet but one light with or in God, who is light, it is but according to its divers appearance, which in the being is but one appearance, because he that is the being of the light, is the appearance of the light, in what kind or degree whatsoever.
So that now you may take notice, and in some measure behold what God is, and what is to be understood by those terms, God is light, and light is God; which if it be that light is God, to wit, the light of the Sun, Moon, stars, fire, and candle, which if the light appearing in these, and held forth by these, be the light of God, Why may not the whole creation say with their brother Jacob, Surely God were in these, and we knew it not?
But maybe you will say, the light that is there recorded, is not to be understood the light of the Sun, Moon, &c. but a light that is quoted in these several Scriptures, to wit, a divine and Scriptural light, by which a creature beholds and enjoys God.
However God that is light appeareth in you, discovering to you that the light in the creature is not the same light of the Sun, yet the appearance of light in me, showeth me (and that from Scripture declareth to me) that one is as much divine as the other; no more precious (simply in itself) than the other: for as you have heard, though lights, yet but light with God: so that all that is light, is nothing but God; for light is light, and God is light: this may be will in some measure be believed. But now to the matter in hand, I will make darkness light, and crooked things straight, &c.
Whether it is intended the darkness of the night to become the light of the day, or it is the dark, as in several portions of Scripture is recorded: yea it is intended that you call the darkness in the creature, which darkness is sin, hell, and misery: this darkness he will make light, Heaven, and felicity; for in God is no darkness, sin, nor misery; yet this will he make light. So that now I am come to the place where I told you I would show you the rise of darkness, what it is, and why it is called darkness.
To this end you shall find in Scripture a two-fold power, to wit, more powers than one, yet notwithstanding there is no power but of God, and the powers that be, are ordained of God. From hence you may observe the connexion hereof run in the plural, not power, but powers; a power of darkness, a power of light, a power in the wicked, a power in the Godly; yet you have held forth in the same Scripture but one God.
So then, as it hath been proved, and I believe by you all will be granted, that the power of light, Life, and Salvation, cometh from God; the power that acteth in the Godly, hath its rise from God; but then, What shall we say to the power of darkness, that power in the wicked? for in them is a great power, as saith the Prophet, I have seen the wicked in great power, (instance) the power in Esau, in Pharaoh, the power in Herod and Pilate, by which they crucified Christ, from whom came this power? the Scripture saith, from above, (to wit) from God: yet this was the power of darkness, of sin: was it not a sinful act to crucify Christ? that I know you will all conclude it was a wicked act; and yet this act was according to the will of God, as saith the history, By the power of God the Kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together, against the Lord, and against his Christ. &c. What had they power from God to destroy the Son of God? was this the will of God? so saith the scripture, by the power of God they gathered together: What to do? Nothing but what thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.
Well friends, consider this power in Pilate, was a dark, sinful power, yet it came from God; yea, it was the power of God, as is recorded: I form light, I create darkness, I form Peace, I create evil. So that let it be a power, whatsoever, in whomsoever, whether in flesh or spirit, wicked or Godly, it is the power of God, yea, came from God. So that in time, he will make this power of darkness a power of light; that whereas you have called and condemned one power for a dark sinful power; you shall have it appear to you, as now it is to me, that it is a power of light; for you heard this power came from God, this power of darkness: yet God is light, and in him is no darkness.
So that consider, though two powers, yet they have but one womb, one birth; to both Twins, both brethren, as Esau and Jacob, then if Twins, if brethren, then one Flesh, one Nature, yea, of the self-same Nature of God, from whom they came; as well Esau as Jacob, Pharaoh as Moses, Pilate as Christ: I say, although these be distinct, in reference to their several operations, as two streams runneth contrary ways, yet they are but of one nature, and that from one fountain: Herein it appeareth but a seeming opposition; instance the tide, what striving for victory; yet but one water, yea and that from one ocean. So is the case with these powers, one opposite to the other, contending for victory, till at last, one overcomes another, as the tide the stream.
Thus you may take notice from whence darkness hath its rise, only from God. Secondly, What darkness is; nothing but light with God.
Thirdly, Why it is called darkness, is but only in reference to the creatures apprehension, to its appearance; so nothing but imagined darkness: therefore his meaning is, that which appeareth now under the form of darkness, shall ere long appear in a Visage of light, as saith the Text, I will make darkness light before them.
Again, it may be granted by you, as it hath been by some, that the power or powers are of God; yea that power by which Pharaoh persecuted Israel; that power by which Pilate crucified Christ, yet it will not be granted that God gave the power so to do; neither was it the power, but a corrupt thought, or sinful imagination arising from the Devil, and their own wicked inventions.
Answer. Being now surrounded with the black regiment, whose commander is the Devil, and the whole legion consisting of the imaginations of the whole creation, I have no way to escape this camp and bottomless gulf, but by breaking through the bulwark and stronghold fortified against me.
So that being armed with a weapon of Majesty, I doubt not but that God in me shall cast down those strong holds and imaginations, yea everything that exalteth itself against the power of the most high.
To that end attend the nature of your objection, the sum thereof is to this effect, that a sinful act, or an act that is sinful, hath not its being in the power of God, nor produced by the power of God; no not that act of crucifying the Son of God, but from the Devil, and their sinful imaginations.
If thou by whom the objection was raised, didst nakedly understand the truth therein contained, I should not in the least molest thee, but in that thou declarest truth not knowing it, I am engaged to unfold the same, that thou mayest know it, for whereas thou sayest a sinful act is not produced by the power of God, it's Truth: for that which is not in the power, cannot be acted by the power: but an act that is sinful is not in God, nor the power of God, therefore hath not its being in God, nor acted by the power of God, for God is light, and in him no darkness: but sin is darkness, therefore sin is not in God.
So that yet, notwithstanding that, I must tell you as before I have related, that as all powers are of God, so all acts, of what nature soever are produced by this power, yea this power of God: so that all those acts arising from the power, are as Pure as the power, and the power as Pure as God.
So from hence it comes, there is no act whatsoever, that is impure in God, or sinful with or before God.
Yet say you, there is a sinful act, or acts that are sinful; so that if all that is an act be produced by the power of God, then why not the act that is sinful arise from the same power, so sinful in and with God.
As I have said, so I say again, that those acts, or what act soever, so far as by thee is esteemed or imagined to be sinful, is not in God, nor from God, yet still, as I said, all acts that be are from God, yea as pure as God.
And yet, notwithstanding that act, or so much of the act that thou apprehendest sin is not in God, nor simply in thyself: for indeed sin hath its conception only in the imagination; therefore; so long as the act was in God, or nakedly produced by God, it was as holy as God: but after there is an appearance in thee, or apprehension to thee, that this act is good, and that act is evil, then hast thou with Adam eat of the forbidden tree, of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, then hast thou tasted of that fruit, which is not in God; for saith the text, Out of the mouth of the most High proceedeth not evil, and good: good but not evil; for God is good, and good is God: therefore it was he made all things good: yea that which by you is imagined evil, he made good: so that thou apprehending that from God which is not in God doth of all his creatures most abuse God, in making God the author of that which is not in God, (to wit) sin. But to the matter in hand, Thou hast heard all acts that are, had their being and birth from God, yea acted by God, to be plain those acts by thee called swearing, drunkenness, adultery, and theft, &c. These acts simply as acts, were produced by the power of God, yea, perfected by the wisdom of God.
What said I, a swearer, a drunkard, an adulterer, a thief, had these the power and wisdom of God, to swear, drink, whore, and steal? O dangerous tenent! O blasphemy of the highest nature! what make God the author of sin? so a sinful God! Well friends, although the appearance of God in me be as terrible to you, as it were to Moses in the mount, yet notwithstanding, that what I have seen and heard, I do not in the least tremble, but rejoice, that I have this opportunity to declare it unto you; however it may be received by you.
To that end consider what I said those acts called swearing, drunkenness, adultery and theft, those acts, simply as acts, not as they are called (and by thee imagined) drunkenness, adultery and theft, that is in and from thy imagination; for there is no such act as drunkenness, adultery, and theft in God; though by his power and wisdom thou executest this act and that act, yet that appearance by which thou apprehendest and esteemest them to be acts of sin, that esteemation was not in God, though from God.
For indeed, it is but imagination, which is not, yea nothing in this, infinite being; for as I said before, so I say again, the very title Sin, it is only a name without substance, hath no being in God, nor in the creature, but only by imagination; and therefore it is said, the imaginations of your hearts are only evil continually. It is not the body, nor the life, but the imagination only, and that not at a time, or times, but continually. Herein sin admitting of no form in itself, is created a form in the estimation of the creature; so that which is not to God, is found to be in a something creature; as you have it related, One man esteemeth one day above another, another esteemeth every day alike: what to one is pure, to another is impure; herein it appeareth but a bare estimation.
To this end (saith Paul) I know and am persuaded, by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself, but to him that esteemeth anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean.
So that the extent thereof is in reference to all things, as well as meats and drinks; let it be what act soever. Consider what act soever, yea though it be the act of swearing, drunkenness, adultery and theft; yet these acts simply, yea nakedly, as acts are nothing distinct from the act of prayer and praises. Why dost thou wonder? why art thou angry? they are all one in themselves; no more holiness, no more purity in one than the other.
But once the creature esteemeth one act Adultery, the other honesty, the one pure, the other impure; yet to that man that so esteemeth one act unclean, to him it is unclean: (as saith the History) there is nothing unclean of itself, [but] but but to him that esteemeth it unclean: yea again and again it is recorded that to the pure all things, yea all things are pure, but to the defiled, all things are defiled: yea the prayer and praises of the wicked are defiled, as saith the History, The Prayers of the wicked are abomination to the Lord.
Observe not the act nakedly, as the act, for we find the prayer and praises of some to be pure, though to others impure: impure to those acting, in relation to the title his apprehension, his Conscience in the improvement of them is defiled and condemned for a swearer, a drunkard, an adulterer, and a thief.
When as a man in purity in light, acts the same acts, in relation to the act, and not the title: this man [no this man] doth not swear, whore, nor steal: so that for want of this light, of this single pure eye, there appeareth Devil and God, Hell and Heaven, sin and holiness, damnation and salvation; only, yea only from the esteemation and dark apprehension of the creature.
I will make darkness light, rough ways smooth; not half light and half darkness, not part rough and part smooth; but as it is said, Thou art all fair my Love, there is no spot in thee. Observe, all fair my Love; in thee only is beauty and purity, without, defilement: my love my dove is but one, thou one, not two, but only one, my love: Love is God, and God is Love; so all pure, all, light, no spot in thee.
So that consider what act soever is done by thee, in light and love, is light, and lovely; though it be that act called adultery, in darkness, it is so; but in light, honesty, in that light loveth itself, so cannot defile itself: for love in light is so pure, that a whore it cannot endure, but enstranges itself from darkness from whence whoredom has its first original. Light is so pure, that it will not lodge with two; but treads the steps of the Apostle, saying, Let every man have his own wife: when as darkness is not ashamed to lie with his neighbours wife: for in light I declare that whoredom is the fruits of darkness; therefore no companion for light, who scorns the society of a whore indeed. Light is like Susanna, that had rather die, than be defiled with harlots. Yea, innocent Susanna, uncorrupted light, must be accused, arraigned and condemned, for that her accusers are guilty of: Yet fear not Susanna, thou shalt be vindicated, and thy accusers condemned.
So that this is my Majesty's pleasure to declare, again and again, that what acts soever is done by thee, according as thou esteemest it, yea according as thou believest it, so be it done unto thee; that is to say, if thou hast committed those acts in Scripture recorded for swearing, drunkenness, adultery and theft; and so acting apprehendest them, let me deal plainly with thee; to thee it is sin: and for so sinning, thy imagination will pursue thee, arraign thee, and condemn thee for a swearer, an adulterer and a thief.
When as on the contrary, thou are persuaded that those titles in scripture, and thy apprehension recorded, for swearing, adultery, and theft, be no such acts with thee, but only titles without thee; neither dost thou apprehend them any other, but pure acts, without title: then I declare, according to thy esteemation so is the act to thee, and for so doing, thy imagination, will not, cannot condemn thee, but say with the Apostle, We know that an idol is nothing: what thou esteemeth idolatry, to us is none: So that whatsoever I act, though it be that act you call swearing, adultery, and theft, yet to me there is no such title, but a pure act, for there is nothing that I do that is unclean to me, no more than it is unclean of itself.
And yet notwithstanding this, my privilege doth not in the least approbate thee, yea thee that apprehendest the title to swear, whore or steal, &c. because to thee it is unclean, therefore not lawful for thee: neither canst thou upon the bare report hereof, say, Well, if it be but as man esteems it, then I will esteem it so too.
Alas friend, let me tell thee, whatever thy tongue saith, yet thy imagination in thee declares sad things against thee, in that thou esteemest them acts of sin, thy imagination will torment thee for this sin, in that thou condemnest thyself, thou art tormented in that condemnation; with endless misery: so that I say, Happy is the man that condemns not himself in those things he alloweth of.
No matter what Scripture, Saints, or Churches say, if that within thee do not condemn thee, thou shalt not be condemned; for saith the history, Out of thine own mouth, not another's, will I judge thee: Therefore, remember that if thou judge not thyself, let thy life be what it will, yea act what thou canst, yet if thou judge not thyself, thou shalt not be judged; For, I came not into the World to condemn, but to save the World. But if the reproach and slander of saints and churches do cause thee to question thyself, then art thou ready to say within what they report without, I am guilty of what they accuse me: So that true is the saying, O Adam, thy destruction is of thyself.
But before I conclude touching how darkness is made light, sin holiness, and so all deformity converted into its own pure nature, it was my pleasure to treat something concerning the nature of this loss, that whether darkness in Scripture recorded, and by the creature believed, be cast out as distinct from light, and so said to be damned, in that it is not light, not pure, but defiled.
In answer to that, the Lord declares that those filthy abominable works of darkness (by thee so apprehended) shall be destroyed and damned; But how, or where they shall be damned? that is in the sayings of this text, I will make darkness light: Oh that this were purely minded, then thou wouldst see that sin must not be thrown out, but cast within, there being in the vat, it is dyed of the same colour of the liquor; as saffron converts milk into its own colour, so doth the fountain of light convert sin, hell, and devil into its own nature and light as itself; I will make rough ways smooth: Now it is dammed and rammed into its only centre, there to dwell eternal in the bosom of its only Father: This, and only this, is the damnation so much terrifying the creature in its dark apprehension, that it shall be robbed and carried it knows not whither, crieth out I am damned, I am damned, being carried out of its former knowledge, now knoweth not where it is, therefore lamenting, Master, Save me, I perish, perished in its own apprehension, yet saved in the essential. Thus much concerning I will lead the blind by a way that they know not, and in paths they have not known: I will make darkness light, crooked things straight, &c.
A Word from the Lord touching Resurrection, there being reports not a few that I should deny the Resurrection of that body consisting of flesh, blood and bone. I answer, If I should not, reason would arraign me for a mad man, Scripture would declare me anti-scripturist, in favouring such a palpable tenent of darkness, which if rightly understood, affirm no such thing as the resurrection of this body: both which affirm, that what the body is made of, that is the life, perfection, and happiness of the body; but thy body consisting of flesh and bone, is made of the dust of the earth, therefore when thy body is reduced to its centre, then (and not till then) is thy body alive, perfected in its happiness; now for thee to raise this body, it would declare thee a tyrant; for as it is destructive for the fowl to live in the water, or the fish in the firmament, so to raise thy body to a local place called Heaven, would to thy body become a Hell; for as the earth would become a Hell to the spirit, so that place called heaven, would become a hell to the body, for after laid in the grave, it is buried in its heaven, glory, and happiness, where it shall rot and consume into its own nature for ever and ever.
Yet not denying but that body quoted in the history shall rise, which body hath several denominations, as earthly, corruptible, dishonourable, weak, vile, and natural body; all which doth but make one clear prospect, in which you may take a full view of what that body is made of that shall rise, whether a visible body consisting of flesh and bone, or invisible body, consisting of the sensitive within this body; To this end the history speaketh on this wise, That we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the redemption, to wit, our Body.
So that in light I declare, that the corrupt senses must put on incorruption, thy mortal apprehension must put on immortality, that whereas before thou wast alive to five, and dead to one, now thou shalt be dead to five, and alive to one, that lovely pure one who beholds nothing but purity, wheresoever it goeth, and whatsoever it doth, all is sweet and lovely; let it be under what title soever, thou art risen from title to act, from act to power, from power to his name, and that only one name, pure and undefiled; so that now thou art of purer eyes than to behold any iniquity, so that Devil is God, Hell is Heaven, sin holiness, damnation salvation, this and only this is the first resurrection.
Yet here is no lodging, no safe inhabiting, in that thou art yet on the borders of Egypt, only with Moses on Mount Hermon, only verbally, not practically, so short of the second Resurrection which is the life and power what thou saw, for till thou be delivered of that thou wast risen to, thou canst not say, Death, where is thy sting? Grave, where is thy victory?
Wonder not at me, for without act, without birth, no powerful deliverance, not only the talkers, but the doers; not only your spirit, but your body must be a living and acceptable sacrifice; therefore till acted that so called sin, thou art not delivered from the power of sin, but ready upon all alarums to tremble and fear the reproach of thy body.
Therefore my beloved ones, that supposeth your service is perfect freedom, by having only light into another's life, know this, that if light without life, thy service will be perfect bondage; and therefore it is when a creature is drawn forth to act in another's life, instead of triumphing over sin, he will be conquered in sin; so that I say, till flesh be made spirit, and spirit flesh, so not two, but one, thou art in perfect bondage: for without vail, I declare that whosoever doth attempt to act from flesh, in flesh, to flesh, hath, is, and will commit adultery: but to bring this to a period, for my part, till I acted that, so called sin, I could not predominate over sin; so that now whatsoever I act, is not in relation to the title, to the flesh, but that eternity in me; So that with me, all creatures are but one creature, and this in my form, the representative of the whole creation: So that see what I can, act what I will, all is but one most sweet and lovely. Therefore my dear ones consider, that without act, no life; without life, no perfection; and without perfection, no eternal peace and freedom indeed, in power, which is the everlasting Majesty, ruling, conquering, and dancing all into itself, without end, for ever.
The ensuing Queries
What that God is so often recorded in scripture, and by the creature believed.
First, whether he admit of a corporeal substance (to wit) flesh, blood and bones; and if so, (as by some of the creation is believed) then the question will be Where his habitation hath been, is and will be, to the end of the world? I say, if God admit of a corporal substance; whether then any other but a local place can contain that substance, or that he can be omnipresent in all places, and with all creatures at one time, in that substance, &c?
Secondly, Whether God admit of any other but a Spirit, so invisible? And if so, (as by others of his creation believed,) the query is then, where its region hath been, is, and will be? I say, if God admit of no corporal substance, form, nor image, but only a spirit, whether then any other but an invisible habitation, an infinite boundless region can contain an invisible infinite boundless spirit.
Thirdly, If God be a spirit, then whether a spirit can be confined from any thing? And if confined, then must we observe these two things
1. What He is confined from, or confined in?
2. What is it that doth confine God?
Fourthly, If God be a spirit, and cannot be confined, then whether God be not infinite and omnipresent in all places, and in all things: as well Hell as Heaven, Devil as angel, sin as holiness, darkness as light?
Fifthly, If God be infinite in all things; then whether all things be not finite in God? That if God be subject to nothing, then whether all things be not subjected to God, so as to do nothing without God, nor against God; but in the performance of the will of God, as well Esau as Jacob, Pharaoh as Moses, Pilate as Christ; yea, sin, Devil, or any other instrument whatsoever?
Sixthly, Whether a creature living in God, so as to know God, as he is known of God, be not infinite with and in God; and so all things finite unto him, as unto God; subject unto him, as unto God whether Devil, Hell, sin, death, or any other thing whatsoever?
Seventhly, If God be in all things, as in all men, the wicked as the godly, wherein then is the state of the wicked worse than the godly? Yea, if God be in both, why have they not both one title, but one wicked, another godly?
Eighthly, If God be in all things, then in all creatures that hath live whatsoever, so that wherein is man better than these, or hath any pre-eminence above these? Yet if he have, by whom is it given; and the reason of so being given?
Ninthly, If God be in all, the wicked as the godly, why is not the wicked saved with the godly? But if not saved, what is that in the wicked more than the godly, that is damned? With the place where, and the nature of that damnation.
Tenthly, If God be in all, why are not all things one in God? And if they be all comprehended as one in God; how cometh it they are two distinct from God, yea so titled from the scripture? Now if scripture were indited by God the question will be, why it speaks not of these things, as they are in God, but relates two distinct titles, two opposites; the one for God, the other against God? And whether that scripture so contradictory be not the original or instrumental cause by which the creation becomes blinded, divided, yea destroyed; in worshipping that for God, which in the original is no God? I say, the query will be, whether the contradiction in the scripture be not the contradictions in the creation: and so long as there is not this scripture, there will be religions, and religious forms, not spirit, war, not peace, envy, not love; the teachings of men, not the teaching of Godyea in conclusion there will be gods, and not God: no not that God that is all in the Alpha and Omega; the God yesterday, and today, and forever.