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they become of those to whom our Savior declares, “ Ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.”*
12. If any ask, What is the kingdom of heaven, or of God? I answer: Notwithstanding he is the Almighty Sovereign of the universe, yet that is more peculiarly styled his kingdom, wherein he so completely governs as to be always cheerfully and perfectly obeyed; where he is the sole Mover of all that is done, where he is glorified in all that is done, and where he communicates of his glory and felicity without mixture. This kingdom can neither be entered, nor at all seen into by man, but through the new birth of the Holy Spirit, whereby the soul experienceth a being born into it; a being delirered from the power of darkness, and translated into the kingdom of the dear Son of God. Hereby alone the spirit of man enters it, and through faithfulness is enabled to make advances therein while in the body. This kingdom stands not in locality not in any here or there; therefore it is in vain to direct it by lo here, or lo there. It stands in an infinite and heavenly Spirit, life, and nature, wherein nothing impure can live or enter. It is the internal dominion, or ruling power of the Holy Ghost in men and angels: that pure influence so beautifully and sublimely described in Wisdom vii., flowing from the glory of the Almighty, which in all ages entering into holy souls, maketh them friends of God, and prophets. In fine, this kingdom of God, is the dominion of the light and life of the Spirit of God. Whoever lives under the sensible influence and government of it, lives in this kingdom. This is the kingdom of the saints militant on earth, and of the saints triumphant in heaven, it being experienced by the sanctified in Christ Jesus, in part while in this world, and enjoyed in its fulness in the world to come.
What follows is chiefly a repetition of what our opponent published before in his letter, the tenor of which is already obviated in divers parts of this work, and therefore I shall now take my leave of him, passing by abundance of his illiberalities, and sincerely wishing that himself
, and all men may come really to know the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent, that they may experience life eternal.
* Matt. xxiii. 13. † John iii.; Col. i. 13. John xvii. 3.