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On-line at PTW: June 15, 2005
Last update: January 20, 2013
S h o r t E x e r c i s e
of the S p i r i t u a l W a r r i o u r s,
by an Old Experienc'd Soldier in the Faith, who
Ended lately the Days of his Warfare in France.
1. That which is the most Holy, the most Common, and the most Necessary Exercise in the Spiritual Life, or Warfare, is the Presence of GOD: It is to be pleas'd with, and to accustom our selves to his Divine Company, speaking Humbly, and Lovingly communing with HIM at all Times, in every Moment; without Rule or Measure; especially in the time of Temptations, of Sufferings, of Aridities, of Displeasures; and even Unfaithfulnesses and Falsehood, that so we may immediately recover our selves.
2. We must continually endeavour that all our Actions, indifferently of what sort soever, be a kind of little Conferences and Conversations with GOD; yet without Study, only as they proceed from the Purity and Singleness of Heart.
3. We must perform all our Actions with Weight and Measure; without Impetuousity or Precipitation, which denote a Wandering Spirit: We must Labour gently, quietly, and love-fully with GOD; must pray him to accept our Labour. And by this continual Attention to GOD we shall bruise the Head of the Devil, and shall make him to let fall his Arms.
4. We ought, during our Labour and other Actions, yea even in the midst of our Reading and Writing, however Spiritual they may be; nay, moreover while we are at our Outward Devotions, and Vocal Prayers; to cease and give over for a little Moment, and as frequently too as we can, to Worship GOD in the Center of our Heart, and to get a taste of him, tho' by the By, and as it were by stealth. Since you are not ignorant how GOD is present before you during your Actions, how he is in the Ground and Center of your Soul: Wherefore then it behooves you from time to time to retire and pause in the midst of your Outward Occupations, and also of your Vocal Prayers, to adore him inwardly, Praise him, Pray to him, offer him your Heart, and give him thanks.
5. All these Adorations are to be done through Faith, we believing of a Truth that GOD is in our Hearts; that he must be Worshipped, Loved and Served in Spirit and Truth; that he seeth whatever cometh to pass, and shall come to pass in us, and in all the Creatures; that he is Independent from all, and is that upon which all Created Beings depend; that he is Infinite in all kind of Perfections, so as by his Infinite Excellency, and Soveraign Right of Dominion, he deserves all that we are, and all that is in Heaven and in Earth, whereof he may dispose according to his Good Pleasure both in Time and Eternity: And that consequently we owe him in Justice all our Thoughts, Words, and Deeds.
6. We must carefully examine which are the Virtues, that are most necessary for us; those which are the most difficult to obtain; the Sins into which we are most apt to fall, and the most frequent and unavoidable Occasions of our falling: We ought to have recourse to GOD with an entire Faith and Confidence, while we are engag'd in the Combat, to abide resolute in the presence of his Divine Majesty, to Adore him in Humility, to Represent to him our Miseries and Weaknesses, and to Beg affectionately the Assistance of his Grace, according to the several Circumstances we are then under, and the stress of the Battel. This Conversation with GOD is in the Center of the Soul, where the Soul speaks to GOD Heart to Heart, and always in a great and profound Peace, which it enjoys in GOD: And now all what passeth without is to the Soul no more than as a Fire of Straw, which is extinguish'd according to the Measure that the Holy Fire from heaven is there enkindled; and cannot at all (or but very little) disturb its Internal Peace.
This is what was found Written by a Person, who had Practis'd for above Forty Years continually this Holy Exercise of the presence of GOD, and of Communion with CHRIST in silence, by having his Conversation in the Heavens, even amidst all his External Employments: And who during Ten of these was Trained in the Battels of the Lamb, after such a manner as is almost incredible; specially to any that have not been in like manner Exercis'd, under the Fiery Proba (or Fire-Ordeal) that every true Christian Soldier must pass through of necessity. And they that will obtain the Garland of Roses, in the Garden of Sharon, must (as he did) hold out in Fighting under the Banner of the Blessed Cross of JESUS; till the Victory, preceding the First (and Spiritual) Resurrection be obtain'd, and they can say that the LORD is risen in them, by the Demonstration of his hidden Life, and that being in the Hands of GOD, they matter not what they do or suffer for him, and in Union with his Will: For this is to be their whole Business and Engagement. They must not be terrified at the Fire of the Cherub which guards the Passage, but must Valiantly break through the same in the Victorious Name of JESUS: whereby the Pretious Door of Pearl will be made to fly open, and a free entrance given into this Divine Plantation, whither their Beloved is gone down to see the Fruits of the Valley, who will there eat his Honey-Comb with his Spouse and Sister: and will drink his Wine and his Milk with the Virgins of the Bride-Chamber, that shall have follow'd him fully in the process of their Regeneration, and have trimmed their Lamps, filling them from the Seven Fountain-Lamps that burn perpetually before the Throne of the Majesty, in the Light of which the Majesty may be beheld in the Center and Ground of the Soul, as in its proper Mirrour and Reflection.
And thus is that True and Spiritual Worship attained to, which this Holy Man did under many Outward and Heavy Burdens practice: and which he has thus, with all plainness and simplicity, express'd in Declaring,
1st. How that to Worship God in Spirit, is to Worship him by an humble real Adoration of Spirit in the Center of our Souls: and that there is none but God who can see this Adoration, which we may reiterate so often, till in the end it become as it were Natural; as if God were One with our Soul, and our Soul were One with God. Experience demonstrates this.
2dly, How to Worship God in Truth, is to acknowledge him for what HE is, and to acknowledge our selves for what we are: How it is to own truly, actually, and in Spirit that God is That which HE IS, that is, infinitely Perfect, infinitely Adorable, infinitely remov'd from Evil, &c; and to behave our selves suitable to such an acknowledgement, under the Conduct of his Spirit.
3dly, How to Worship God in Truth, and under the Leading of the Spirit of Truth, is also to confess that we are entirely contrary to him, and that he is willing to make us Like unto himself: and how therefore it is a very great Folly for us to turn aside but for one Moment from that Respect, that Love, that Service and those continual Adorations which we owe to him.
And there are not wanting at this Day many Worshippers in the Spiritual Temple, who have well learnt these Divine Maxims, and have sounded thereby a Mighty Alarm in a Neighbouring Kingdom: which may cause yet a greater Shaking than the Politicians are aware of, who will then be convinced too late (if they Repent not) no less of the Imprudence, than of the injustice of those Violent Measures which for some few Years past they have taken, in order to suppress the growth of this kind of Worship, (whose manifest Crime is that it is of no profit to the Merchants of Souls;) and will experiment the vain Attempt of thinking to Dam up a River that runs under Ground, and that may easily break forth in Seven Streams, while resisted in One. The Interest and Multitude that are engage'd on both sides, are indeed most considerable: And the War that has been Proclaimed against these Spiritual Worshippers in the inward Court is like to be yet of some Continuance, tho' prosecuted never so vigorously. But these hear the Word of the LORD by his Prophets, saying unto them, Be not afraid, nor dismayed by reason of this great Multitude; for the Battel is not Yours, but Gods: Ye shall not need to Fight in it your selves: only set your selves, stand still, and see the Salvation of the LORD with (and in) you: And thus Believing in the LORD their God, by a continued Introversion into the Divine Presence, and a standing still in the center and Fund of their Hearts, from all the Activity of their Corrupt Imaginations and Wills, that so the Pure Magia of the Holy Spirit may bring forth its Wonders; they shall surely be Established. But as for their Enemies, every one shall help to destroy another: Even as it was in the Great Day of the Valley of Berachah, so shall it be again. Wherefore every one that is of the House of Judah (that is, they that are called to make a Confession of Spiritual Praise to the Divine Being as he is LOVE, and to acknowledge the Eternal duration of his Mercies;) and all the Inhabitants of Jerusalem (that is, they that press after the Internal Quiet, and Rest of the Soul;) and every one that is Listed in the Military Roll of the Lamb of Mount-Sion (that is, they that are in the Election of God to the First Resurrection, being Separated and Sanctified from the World to that end;) must above all things study this short and easie Exercise of the Heavenly Militia, to stand in the presence of God, and to stand still: That so they may behold that great Salvation and Glory, which is now about to be revealed in these latter Ages of the World. But to be Masters of this Holy Exercise, we are taught that there is required (1.) a Purity of Life very great: (2.) a Faithfulness to the Practise of this Presence, and to the Internal Beholding of God in the Light of Faith: (3.) a particular Care that this Internal Beholding (tho' but for a Moment) may prevent, accompany, and end every Action that we undertake: And (4.) Obedience to the Spirit of Christ, to follow him whithersoever he goeth, and to rest where he resteth; and especially to observe this in the Reading of the Holy Scriptures, or other Books that are Written with any Degree of the Unction of this Blessed Spirit.
And if these, or any other Spiritual Treatises shall thus be begun to be Read by any, a proportionable Success may thence be expected: and they will have no reason to complain of their Labour being lost. Therefore seek to learn this Holy Exercise here Describ'd; then Read: So shall ye Understand, and so shall ye Profit. Otherwise there is nothing but may be converted into Venom. Even the very love of God it self is at this Day become a Stumbling Block to many, as is well known: And if it be Pure from all Self-Interest, not seeking its Own but Gods, this alone we find is enough to raise the Jealousie of the highest Ecclesiastical Princes and Courts. Whence as if there were danger of Loving God too much, or seeking his Glory too Generously, the Passions of Men have been carried on against it to that Exorbitant Height (though still under the fairest Pretexts) as even to Decry it for turning Christianity upside down, as well as the World. Such is the blindness of Human Nature, even in Good Men, as coming without that Preparation of Holy Silence, which is requisite, and without the Practise of that Exercise here recommended, we run into the grossest mistakes of Things and Persons that are Spiritual. But if any one shall faithfully practise this Holy Exercise, and attend to the Presence of God in his Soul, he shall be sure to hear and understand that Heavenly Call, and Angelical Summons that is now beginning to go forth over the whole Earth, by Witnesses raised up in all Parts, to Proclaim the Entrance of the Kingdom of Christ, in the Restitution of the Evangelical Spirit, and in the Renovation of Nature. And thrice Blessed is he that shall be Obedient to this Call: For he shall have a Name Written upon the Foundations of the New Jerusalem, and shall be made a Pillar in that Temple which descends from Heaven.
Fountain of Gardens, Vol.III. Part I. p.151. "These are those that shall Fight the Battels of the LAMB, and bring him to Reign on (and over) the Earth: So that all Kingdoms and Nations may serve him as appearing in his Saints."
Isa. 59. 17,19,20. He put on Righteousness as a Breast-plate, and an Helmet of Salvation upon his Head, and he put on the Garments of Vengeance for Cloathing, and was clad with Zeal as a Cloak. When the Enemy shall come in like a Flood, the SPIRIT of the LORD shall lift up a Standard against him: And the Redeemer shall come to Zion.
Eph. 6. 12,13,14. We wrestle not against Flesh and Blood, but against Principalities, against Powers, against the Rulers of the Darkness of this World, against Spiritual Wickednesses in high Places; wherefore take unto you the whole Armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the Evil Day. & having done all to stand. Stand therefore having your Loins girt about with Truth.
Note from Pass the WORD: This short treatise appeared in the 1816 Edition of Jane Lead's The Wars of David and the Peaceable Reign of Solomon; it was placed in the book along with The Real Nature of Regeneration, just prior to Lee's Publisher's Address to His Readers. This treatise was and is thought to have been authored by Francis Lee although it was not signed. It is also known that Lee died while conducting business in France, hence matching the description of the Soldier who "Ended Lately the Days of his Warfare in France", as the sub-title conveys.
End of: 'A Short Exercise of the Spiritual Warriours'
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